Results 61–80 of 1000 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Lord Drayson

Stem Cell Research — Question (22 Jun 2009)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, the Government are absolutely clear that we need to maintain our investment in science. We have more than doubled the science budget and, within that, over the past few years we have seen our research budget allocated to stem cell research more than double. While investing in the underpinning components that maintain Britain's excellence in science, it is not for Ministers to judge...

Science, Technology and Engineering — Debate (4 Jun 2009)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I thank my noble friend Lord Haskel, for securing this important and timely debate. In fact, as the noble Lord, Lord Crisp, said, this is an urgent debate. I thank all noble Lords who have spoken today; their contributions reflect the true expertise in this House on these matters and reflect well on its expert role. Science, technology and engineering represent a public good, in the...

Health: Stem Cell Therapy — Question for Short Debate (3 Mar 2009)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Alton, for securing this debate. As I have said on several occasions before, although we may disagree in this House and elsewhere on some issues, the ability of this country to debate the challenging ethical issues that underpin stem cell research—and, from that, the derivation of a carefully considered and highly effective regulatory system—has...

Iraq: Withdrawal (18 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, first, I am sure that the House will wish to join me in offering sincere condolences to the family and friends of Lance Corporal Sarah Holmes, who died on Sunday from injuries received serving on Operation TELIC. The Prime Minister announced last week in another place that we expect to be able to reduce the number of British forces in southern Iraq to around 2,500 from spring 2008....

Iraq: Withdrawal (18 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I really do not accept the noble Lord's point relating to the Secretary of State for Defence; as I am sure the House is aware, the Prime Minister was accompanied on that visit by the Chief of the Defence Staff. With regard to the loss of life and the need to protect our troops as they carry out the very dangerous mission we ask of them in Iraq, we are doing absolutely everything we...

Iraq: Withdrawal (18 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I should point out that we have not specified the location of the support troops that we have in the region down to a particular country, so I cannot comment on the location of troops in Kuwait or other places, but I shall certainly be able to look further into the noble Lord's point on the definition of the operational bonus. I will write to him and place a copy of the letter in...

Iraq: Withdrawal (18 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, the number varies, but it is approximately 500 troops.

Iraq: Withdrawal (18 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: Yes, my Lords, I am very happy to do that. They are there primarily to support, mentor and train the Iraqi security forces, particularly the 14th Division of the Iraqi army. They are also there to provide back-up if required in extremis to the Iraqi troops.

Iraq: Withdrawal (18 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, a small team from the United Kingdom contributes to a coalition effort to redevelop the Iraqi air force to enable it to carry out counter-insurgency operations. The Iraqi air force currently has about 1,200 personnel and operates 50 aircraft. We are seeing real progress in that former members of the Iraqi air force are now rejoining, the flying training centre has been...

Iraq: Withdrawal (18 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, the violence has decreased significantly. Of course we need to monitor the situation carefully, but the violence in Basra itself and in Iraq as a whole has decreased significantly from its peak last December. In figures, the levels of attack in September, for example, were about one-tenth what they were in the previous months.

Iraq: Withdrawal (18 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, the noble Lord is right: the relationship between the nation-state of Iraq and its regional neighbours is fundamental. It is encouraging to see the way in which the Iraqi Government are establishing those relationships and the focus which they have on their relationships as a nation. In particular, the relationship between Iraq and Iran is fundamental. The UK Government are acting...

Iraq: Withdrawal (18 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I shall try to be even clearer. Our troops are involved daily in training the Iraqi army in the operations which it must undertake to maintain security within the region. This training is conducted at all levels of the army, among the leadership and across the chain of command, and includes tactics, procedures and training on equipment. We can see from the Iraqi army's...

Iraq: Withdrawal (18 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, responsibility for the Iraqis' security, both internal and external, will lie with the Iraqi Government themselves. Our strategy is to develop that capability, as I said, in the Iraqi air force, navy and army. We have undoubtedly made the most progress with the Iraqi army, but all three branches of Iraq's services need to be developed.

Iraq: Withdrawal (18 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, we are not envisaging Turkish intervention in northern Iraq. We are aware, as is the international community, of the terrorist attacks that have been undertaken by certain elements in the north, the PKK in particular. We are supporting all efforts to stop such terrorist activity, and we recognise the calm measures that the Turkish Government have taken to date in response to those...

Gulf War Illnesses (11 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, the health of Gulf veterans and support of their families remain a high priority for the Government. Appropriate pensions are paid. We have written to advise veterans on how they can have the label "Gulf War syndrome" applied to their disablements as an umbrella term. We are working with appropriate experts to develop a rehabilitation programme, and we are monitoring international...

Gulf War Illnesses (11 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, my noble friend is absolutely right to raise these issues, as he has over many years. The issue of Gulf War syndrome will be fully recognised by the Ministry of Defence, and I accept on behalf of the Ministry of Defence that this issue has not been handled well from the beginning. The department was slow to recognise the emerging ill health issues and to put measures in place to...

Gulf War Illnesses (11 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, as the noble Lord said, we wrote to veterans earlier this year, as we promised. We sent out a total of 1,293 letters. As of today we have had 203 responses.

Gulf War Illnesses (11 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I understand the noble and gallant Lord's point. However, we think that it is right to continue to invest in research where we are advised by the Medical Research Council that such research makes sense and is likely to lead to further understanding. However, the emphasis of that research is on the rehabilitation of veterans as opposed to research into possible causal links. We do...

Gulf War Illnesses (11 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, as I have already said to the House, I accept that the way in which this has been handled by the department has not been good. However, the measures that we have put in place, the recognition of the umbrella term, the letters to veterans, the research that is being undertaken and the focus on rehabilitation are in response to that recognition. The noble Lord says that the Americans...

Gulf War Illnesses (11 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I recognise the efforts that the noble and learned Lord and others have made in persuading the Ministry of Defence to respond to this issue, and I accept the criticism that he and others have made. However, on his point about closure—which is where I believe we now are on this matter—I sincerely do not believe that that can be best achieved by some form of payment. I imagine...


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