Chris Matheson: How many reports he has received of foxes being killed by hunts in England in 2018.
Chris Matheson: The League Against Cruel Sports reports 32 kills last year, which is the bare minimum because it cannot monitor every hunt. May I suggest to Ministers that the reason why they do not collect these figures is that if they did, they would have to do something about enforcing the laws that already exist?
Chris Matheson: What recent representations he has received on the modernising the defence estate programme.
Chris Matheson: Does the Minister share my concern that reducing the number of barracks and concentrating them in one place—for example, in the north-west, at Weeton in Preston—reduces the operational footprint of the Army in the north-west or elsewhere in the country and therefore reduces operational effectiveness? Might it not be better to keep open some barracks, such as the Dale barracks in Chester,...
Chris Matheson: I am most grateful to my right hon. Friend for giving way. Can I just assure her that I will speak to her with respect and not the patronising tone used by the Minister? Further to what has been said, and particularly to the comments of the hon. Member for Ochil and South Perthshire (Luke Graham), every single statement that the Government made on the way that their proposal was to be...
Chris Matheson: Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. It seems to be an all too regular occurrence that announcements by this Government are made outside this House. Of course, it is open to hon. Members to seek your permission to ask an urgent question when such announcements are not made to the House. When considering such a request, would your office take into account the fact that the Government...
Chris Matheson: What recent discussions he has had with Network Rail and train operating companies on plans to extend the electrified rail network.
Chris Matheson: It strikes me that a lot of official capacity is currently being sucked out of the Department by preparations for a no-deal Brexit, and that is slowing up projects that should be pushing ahead. What progress is being made on plans for electrification of the Chester to Crewe and north Wales line or, if not electrification, on the procurement of the electro-diesel trains that are the next best...
Chris Matheson: Over the holiday period, another young woman tragically died of cervical cancer, which she contracted before the age of 25; therefore, she was not able to have a smear test. Will the Secretary of State, as part of this review, remove that ridiculous and utterly arbitrary age limit so that, where a GP believes a female patient needs a cervical smear, they can have one irrespective of their age?
Chris Matheson: This year’s voter ID pilots cost the taxpayer £1.7 million and the only discernible effect was that several hundred people were prevented from voting. The Minister is refusing to publish details of the budget for next year’s voter ID pilots. Why is she keeping that information secret, and what has she got to hide?
Chris Matheson: What steps the Government is taking to retain experienced prison officers.
Chris Matheson: Morale among prison officers is at an all-time low because of low pay, understaffing and soaring violence, and now a retirement age that could go as late as 68. Police officers get the same protection as prison officers, and they are allowed to retire at 60. Why can prison officers not?
Chris Matheson: The modus operandi of this Government—whether we are talking about the police, fire services or, as today, local government—is to smash financial support for public authorities and, when they are unable to deliver services, to attack them for such an inability; or, if they are forced to increase the council tax to make up the shortfall, to attack them politically for increasing the...
Chris Matheson: Are you sure?
Chris Matheson: Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. Has the Prime Minister given you any indication as to whether she will be back in time to face this House at Prime Minister’s questions on Wednesday? By the sound of things, she has a pretty arduous itinerary for just one day.
Chris Matheson: The tactic employed by the Prime Minister of trying to foment division between this House and the country outside is to be deeply regretted and will only add to the problems that she described in her statement. Is the deal that is currently on the table now dead, since she is trying to renegotiate something that was previously unnegotiable?
Chris Matheson: Cheshire West and Chester Council activates its severe weather protocol for homeless people on the first night of bad weather. Share, the homeless charity in my constituency, would like this to be extended across the country. Will Ministers provide the funding for this extension to happen?
Chris Matheson: I was and remain a very firm remainer, but nevertheless I voted to activate article 50 because I wanted to respect the result of the referendum. After that, my responsibility is to secure what I believe to be the best outcome for the United Kingdom and my constituents. However, I must say that the more I hear about not just the lying in the referendum, but the manipulation of data and the...
Chris Matheson: It is absolutely the case and I will not take any heckling from the right hon. Gentleman. We need to address concerns about free movement and the exploitation of migrant labour by bad employers, but there should still be an option to remain within the European Union and negotiate a much better deal than David Cameron would ever have come back with.
Chris Matheson: Business growth in north Wales is being choked off by congestion on the M56, on my side of the border. Will the Secretary of State sit down with the Transport Secretary to work out when it will be upgraded?