Mark Spencer: Surely my hon. Friend will recognise that in the period before the referendum our relationship with the EU will still be fluid and there may be matters that need the attention of the Government and that could be crucial to an industry or sector of the economy. If he goes down the route of this period of purdah, the Prime Minister might not be able to do a deal or make an announcement on...
Mark Spencer: I acknowledge my hon. Friend’s cynicism about the Government taking a view one way or another, but does he accept that the Government could express their view neutrally and thereby help to inform the electorate? It is vital that the electorate are informed and can make a decision based on informed opinion, and surely the Government could have a role in making sure that the Great British...
Mark Spencer: Would the hon. Gentleman extend his remarks to other charities, such as animal welfare charities? Those might have a strong view on how our relationship with the EU affects their ability to do their work on animal welfare or ivory imports, for example.
Mark Spencer: I wonder whether my hon. Friend will clarify his remarks, because I think that amendment 10 could have unintended consequences. Many companies and businesses that have received European funding for a project, such as an extension to a factory to create more employment, would be barred from the process and would not be able to fund one side of the argument or the other. Even if they felt...
Mark Spencer: Will my hon. Friend help me to understand his amendment 10? It appears to bar people who want to engage in the process by donating to the in or out campaign from doing so because of their business interests. For example, a large agricultural company that was receiving basic payment scheme money from the European Union would not be able to donate to an in or out campaign because it was getting...
Mark Spencer: Before the general election, the Secretary of State visited Dukeries college in Ollerton. Will the Minister find time to visit Sherwood and Dukeries college to see its exciting plans to improve information technology in the new academy?
Mark Spencer: The loss of a family pet is a painful process, but it is amplified when the loss of that pet is caused by malicious poisoning by a neighbour. May we have an urgent debate on sentencing for the crime of poisoning animals and on animal welfare issues?
Mark Spencer: What military assistance is being provided by the Department in the Mediterranean and north Africa to help with humanitarian disasters?
Mark Spencer: The Leader of the House may be aware that Thoresby colliery will close in July this year. Will he encourage the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills to come to the Chamber to make a statement about the measures that will be put in place to assist the employees there in retraining and reskilling so that they can move on to jobs elsewhere?
Mark Spencer: rose—
Mark Spencer: We made a manifesto commitment to lead on the humanitarian response to emergencies, as we have demonstrated to the people of Nepal. Has the Secretary of State had the opportunity to visit Nepal to see the devastation and the response of the UK?
Mark Spencer: Will the Minister pass on my thanks to the Secretary of State for visiting a GP surgery in my constituency in April? Will the Minister assure the House that during his tenure he will continue to visit GPs and to spread examples of good practice to other GPs who may have room for improvement?
Mark Spencer: May we have an urgent debate on BT’s provision of broadband within Nottinghamshire for areas such as Lamin’s Lane and Burntstump Hill, where constituents of mine have been connected because of a fault in the system, only to be disconnected later because BT wants to reconnect them to a system that does not supply superfast broadband?
Mark Spencer: The best way out of poverty is through employment. What can the Prime Minister do to help small and medium-sized businesses to create more jobs—more than the 2 million he created in the last Parliament?
Mark Spencer: Does the Secretary of State agree that the economy of the Falkland Islands would benefit from foreign investment, and that foreign investment will be forthcoming only if we deliver a safe and secure long-term state?
Mark Spencer: I draw the House’s attention to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. I congratulate the Minister on taking decisive action and avoiding the disaster that the previous Government oversaw in 2006-07, when only 15% of farmers were paid on time. I congratulate him on listening to the National Farmers Union, the Country Land and Business Association and other...
Mark Spencer: I am grateful to the hon. Lady for giving way; she is being generous with her time. May I take her back to her comments on property values in Islington? How would she seek to control the market? How would that work in reality? What steps would she like to see a Labour Government take to control the marketplace and control property values?
Mark Spencer: I am sure that the hon. Lady will be aware, through her connection with Nottinghamshire, that the Conservative-controlled Newark and Sherwood district council has built a number of properties in Ollerton and Edwinstowe. In fact, on Friday, I will cut the ribbon in Bilsthorpe on some new properties that have been developed through Newark and Sherwood Homes.
Mark Spencer: I know that the Minister is very busy in his Department and in the Forest of Dean, but I was wondering whether he would join me on Friday when I will be cutting the ribbon on some new properties built by Newark and Sherwood Homes in the village of Bilsthorpe. If he were able to come, I would be more than happy to let him take the scissors off me. If not, perhaps he could praise Newark and...
Mark Spencer: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman, who is being generous in giving way. Does he also recognise that it is wrong to distinguish between individuals on the basis of who their landlords are? Whether their landlord happens to be in the private sector or the public sector should make no difference to the level of support they get.