Mary Glindon: Now that Northumberland is to benefit from Government funding to boost the county’s digital connectivity, does the Minister have a plan or timescale for the roll-out of fibre to the premises to facilitate job creation in North Tyneside and across the rest of the northern powerhouse?
Mary Glindon: What assessment he has made of the contribution of the armed forces in tackling the covid-19 outbreak.
Mary Glindon: Our armed forces have been invaluable in delivering for the whole nation during the pandemic, but for the second year running they have not received their pay award on time. Will the Minister put things right and say precisely when our forces can expect to receive their pay rise?
Mary Glindon: What steps his Department is taking to enable the resumption of cancer treatments delayed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.
Mary Glindon: As the Minister knows, being diagnosed with cancer is devastating, and one of the most important things to get patients through this difficult time is for them to be able to focus on their treatment. What message does the Minister have to comfort those people who are worried and stressed because they still cannot access the treatment they need because of covid-19?
Mary Glindon: What plans he has to extend the scope of the coronavirus job retention scheme.
Mary Glindon: New starters not registered with HMRC before 19 March and agency staff workers are some of those who currently find they are in limbo when it comes to accessing the job retention scheme. What more can the Chancellor do to help these workers now facing hardship?
Mary Glindon: What recent discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on the preparedness of UK ports of entry to facilitate international trade after the transition period.
Mary Glindon: Can the Minister ensure that virtual free ports will be considered during the free ports bidding process, so that we can protect existing jobs in the north-east as well as creating new ones?
Mary Glindon: What recent assessment her Department has made of the (a) accuracy and (b) efficiency of contracted out health assessments for (i) employment and support allowance and (ii) personal independence payment.
Mary Glindon: Atos, Capita and Maximus constantly fail to meet their targets for acceptable standards of assessment, and many claimants in North Tyneside have suffered as a result. Will the Minister tell my constituents how his Department will remedy such failures and explain why the Government have seen fit to reward those companies with extended multimillion-pound contracts?
Mary Glindon: Both myself and the Northern Powerhouse Minister are concerned that power cables over the Tyne are a real barrier to businesses securing work for large renewable energy structures. Will the Prime Minister, through his good offices, undertake to support the National Grid’s energy transmissions bid to Ofgem for the permanent removal of the cables and to unlock the potential of the Tyne?
Mary Glindon: The Secretary of State recognises how the safer and more pluralistic Kurdistan region can play a positive role in the wider efforts to de-escalate the conflict, but it does need stronger assurances about its own security and continuing UK efforts so that it can remain respected and neutral as a player in this situation. Does he now think it is time to implement the promise made to invite the...
Mary Glindon: At Highways England, a Government-owned company of which the Secretary of State is the sole shareholder, over 60 executives—mostly men—now enjoy six-figure salaries, while the vast majority of staff have been told to expect their pay increases to remain capped at 1% until 2025? When will the new shareholder be challenging company directors to address these pay disparities?
Mary Glindon: It is an honour to follow the hon. Member for Dudley South (Mike Wood). I think the whole House wishes him all the best of health in the future, having recovered from that terrible illness. I congratulate all the staff at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust because, for the second time in a row, they have received a rating of outstanding from the CQC. I have to declare an interest,...
Mary Glindon: The Government’s previous offers to reduce the pension age of prison officers have included unrelated changes to their terms and conditions, such as a derisory three-year pay deal. Will the Minister agree to sit round the table with the POA union to negotiate this issue solely on its own?
Mary Glindon: It is four months since the Government announced a consultation on the introduction of mandatory accessible housing standards in building regulations. Will the Leader of the House urge the Housing Minister to begin the consultation without any further delay?
Mary Glindon: I never thought that would be me, Mr Speaker. Thank you. The KRG and Kurdistan have been at the forefront of defending everyone from Daesh. They have taken in hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and they took in more than 1 million Iraqi refugees when Mosul was attacked. They are a democratic, tolerant nation. What are we doing to support these important allies and protect them against...
Mary Glindon: Prison officers need to be fit enough to protect not just themselves but prisoners from violence. Someone elderly, who does not have the same reflexes or strength as a younger person, cannot protect themselves or the people they are there to guard.
Mary Glindon: Given the importance of the rapid response teams, will the Secretary of State say what extra Government resources they are receiving so that they can fully support these unemployed workers?