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Results 1–20 of 700 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Cat Smith

Business of the House (2 Jul 2020)

Cat Smith: As chair of the all-party parliamentary group for valproate and other anti-epileptic drugs in pregnancy, I take a huge interest in the Cumberlege review, which will be published on Wednesday. Members on both sides of the House have campaigned on sodium valproate, surgical mesh and Primodos for many years. Can the Leader of the House reassure us that, on Wednesday, we will receive an oral...

Education: Topical Questions (22 Jun 2020)

Cat Smith: My question was to the Minister for Universities, the hon. Member for Chippenham (Michelle Donelan), but in her absence perhaps I could ask the Secretary of State whether he shares my concern about the recent spate of redundancies in the sector. I have been contacted by many constituents over the past week who are being asked by their employer, Lancaster University, to donate part of their...

International Trade: Free Trade Agreements: Environmental Protection Standards (18 Jun 2020)

Cat Smith: What discussions she has had with UK trade partners on maintaining environmental protection standards in future free trade agreements.

International Trade: Free Trade Agreements: Environmental Protection Standards (18 Jun 2020)

Cat Smith: Last year’s free trade agreement between Mexico, the US and Canada ran to 250 pages but failed to mention climate change or global emissions. What assurances can the Minister give the House that the free trade agreement being negotiated by his Government between the UK and the US will not make the same mistake and will put climate change at the heart of it?

Cabinet Office: Boundary Review (11 Jun 2020)

Cat Smith: As a result of the Bill, England looks set to increase its number of constituencies at the expense of Scotland and Wales. What action are the Government taking to prevent the weakening of Scottish and Welsh voices in this place and to both strengthen and defend the Union?

Cabinet Office: Boundary Review (11 Jun 2020)

Cat Smith: It is interesting that the Minister talks about the importance of equality and ensuring that every vote counts equally when her Government is pushing a policy that could see some votes count more equally than others. In the light of the Windrush scandal, where we discovered that some communities find it harder to access proof of identification than others, in the days following the Black...

Parliamentary Constituencies Bill (2 Jun 2020)

Cat Smith: I beg to move an amendment, to leave out from “That” to the end of the Question and add: “this House whilst supporting the retention of 650 parliamentary constituencies declines to give a Second Reading to the Parliamentary Constituencies Bill because the Bill would disproportionately and undemocratically concentrate power over constituency sizes and boundaries in the hands of the...

Parliamentary Constituencies Bill (2 Jun 2020)

Cat Smith: I thank my hon. Friend for that very sensible point. What he notes, of course, is that we see a spike in voter registration when we have a general or a local election. Of course, this year there are no elections because of the coronavirus crisis, but just six months ago we had a general election in this country and we know that the December 2019 register is incredibly accurate because we saw...

Parliamentary Constituencies Bill (2 Jun 2020)

Cat Smith: I thank the hon. Member for giving me the opportunity to put on record my concerns about the overstretched nature of electoral returning officers in our councils right across the country. Cuts to local government have not protected electoral returning officers and the resources that they are working with. Turning to the issue of the electoral quota, I know that Members across the House will...

Parliamentary Constituencies Bill (2 Jun 2020)

Cat Smith: I completely dispute the hon. Member’s argument; that is absolutely not the case. I am very keen that the Government should be able to get on with this boundary review. I want new boundaries to be in place ahead of the next general election, because at the moment we stand in this House representing constituencies based on data that is two decades old. We should absolutely move on from the...

Parliamentary Constituencies Bill (2 Jun 2020)

Cat Smith: The Opposition recognise the need for constituencies to be broadly as equal as possible, but anyone who stands up in this House and says that they truly believe that all constituencies should be equal should look at the data from December 2019. If we were to take that data on how the electorate looked and say that every constituency had to be exactly equal, every constituency would have to...

Parliamentary Constituencies Bill (2 Jun 2020)

Cat Smith: The 7.5% I drew attention to is in the private Member’s Bill promoted by the hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr Bone), so if the hon. Member for Dartford (Gareth Johnson) wants to know where the figure comes from, I suggest he speaks to his hon. Friend. I am conscious that you want to get all Back Benchers into this debate, Madam Deputy Speaker. There are many aspects of the Bill that...

Treasury: Business Rates: Small Companies (18 May 2020)

Cat Smith: What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the number of small companies that pay business rates collectively through landlords that have been able to access cash grants through local authorities during the covid-19 outbreak.

Treasury: Business Rates: Small Companies (18 May 2020)

Cat Smith: Will the Minister ask local authorities to report on the extent to which landlords are passing on the grants to tenants, because it is not just in Lancaster and Fleetwood that we are seeing widespread evidence that that is not occurring?

Census (6 May 2020)

Cat Smith: It is a pleasure to speak for the Opposition Front Bench, supporting changes to make a more inclusive census that is fit for the 21st century. The census is an important tool for taking a snapshot of the country as it is today, useful for Government planning now and precious to the historians of the future, who will use this vast record of how we live our lives. Perhaps the most telling way...

Covid-19 (16 Mar 2020)

Cat Smith: The week before last it was “shortly”, last week it was “imminently”. Does the Secretary of State know when the public health budgets will be announced, and if he does, can he shed some light on that?

Transport: Topical Questions (12 Mar 2020)

Cat Smith: Yesterday’s Budget provided no further clarity on the £350 million for cycling that the Prime Minister mentioned on 11 February. As a consequence, from the start of next month, local authorities outside London have nothing earmarked for their local cycling and walking infrastructure plans. Will the Minister explain why cyclists were forgotten in yesterday’s Budget?

Health and Social Care: Life Expectancy (10 Mar 2020)

Cat Smith: What recent assessment he has made of trends in life expectancy.

Health and Social Care: Life Expectancy (10 Mar 2020)

Cat Smith: The truth is that if you live in poverty you will get ill quicker and die sooner. For my constituents in Pharos ward in Fleetwood, life expectancy is 10 years shorter than just five miles down the road in Carleton, and following the report that came out last week we know that life expectancy has stalled and for the poorest women it is now declining. What kind of damning verdict does the...

Airport Expansion (2 Mar 2020)

Cat Smith: The Minister has talked about the Government’s ambitions, shall we say, to reach net zero, but they are way off meeting their targets, and we do not need communities that live near airports such as Heathrow to tell us about the environmental impact that it can have on their lives. Will she join me in paying tribute to my right hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Harlington (John...


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