Results 1–20 of 3000 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 Goldsmith of Richmond Park

Ethiopia: Humanitarian and Security Situation - Question (6 Sep 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: My Lords, the UK is gravely concerned about the resumption of fighting between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and the Ethiopian Government. There is no military solution to this conflict; only political negotiations can resolve it. Thirteen million people in northern Ethiopia are in need now of humanitarian assistance as a result of the conflict and the UK is urging all parties to...

Ethiopia: Humanitarian and Security Situation - Question (6 Sep 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: My Lords, as I said, 22 months of fighting has shown that the only solution is a political one and we have been very forthright in urging all parties to reinstate the previously agreed cessation of hostilities, begin peace talks and guarantee humanitarian access to northern Ethiopia for basic services. We have supported and continue to support the African Union’s mediation efforts. The...

Ethiopia: Humanitarian and Security Situation - Question (6 Sep 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: I thank the noble Lord for his efforts in the wider region. The UK is a major humanitarian donor to the East African region. UK-funded activities are making a measurable difference to people’s lives. In the current financial year, we will have provided around £156 million in humanitarian aid across East Africa, £76 million of which has already been spent, and UK aid is helping millions...

Ethiopia: Humanitarian and Security Situation - Question (6 Sep 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: The noble Lord has a long track record on these issues and I appreciate the very regular updates I get from him, all of which I transfer to my colleague in the other place in whose portfolio this sits. I know it is appreciated there as well. Millions of people in Ethiopia have been lifted out of poverty in recent years; it was a development success story. We all remember the horrors that...

Ethiopia: Humanitarian and Security Situation - Question (6 Sep 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: The noble Lord makes such an important point. I am tempted to depart from the current line to take on Somaliland, but I will simply say that it is one of the most extraordinary success stories. It is a plucky country and a place that has defied all the odds. It is one of the only countries in the world that has almost eliminated electoral fraud through the use of iris technology. It is a...

Ethiopia: Humanitarian and Security Situation - Question (6 Sep 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: HMA Addis Ababa and the UK special envoy to the Horn of Africa met Prime Minister Abiy on 12 May and Deputy Prime Minister Demeke and National Security Adviser Redwan on 16 August. We are continuously pressing for a resumption of peace talks. The Minister for Africa visited Ethiopia in January this year and has been very public on this issue on a regular basis. We are actively supporting...

Ethiopia: Humanitarian and Security Situation - Question (6 Sep 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: The noble Lord makes a really important and valid point. My understanding is that there have been no recent discussions with the Government of Ethiopia on this issue. The tablets are legally owned by the trustees of the British Museum, which is operationally independent of government. Decisions relating to the care and management of its collection are of course a matter for the trustees. But...

Water Companies: Borrowings - Question (5 Sep 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: My Lords, as of 31 March this year, water companies have reported total borrowing of £57.6 billion. Privatisation of the water sector has delivered around £170 billion of investment through private finance and this country would not have seen that level of investment if the water industry was in public ownership. Holding a licence to provide an essential public service of this sort is a...

Water Companies: Borrowings - Question (5 Sep 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: My Lords, I cited figures in relation to investment by the sector, so I will not repeat them. But I make the point that, as a consequence of the Environment Act, which this House, along with the other place, brought into law just a few months ago, companies are now required to be transparent in a way that they never had to be before about how executive bonuses and dividends are linked to...

Water Companies: Borrowings - Question (5 Sep 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: It is simply an objective fact that we are the first Government specifically to tackle sewage overflows in the way that we have. We are the first Government to set a legal requirement on water companies to tackle significantly storm overflows. That has never been there before—not before Brexit or before we joined the European Union—and is a new development. We are taking stronger action...

Water Companies: Borrowings - Question (5 Sep 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: I cannot answer questions on the two companies but will ask the Minister responsible for this area and get back to the noble Baroness. The reason we took the steps we took in the Environment Act was to improve the environment. This is an issue that everyone cares about; it does not matter where they live or which part of the political spectrum they occupy. Everyone wants our waters to be...

Water Companies: Borrowings - Question (5 Sep 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: It is a good question and a number of steps are being taken at the moment. As part of the commitment that the water companies have made on investment, the numbers for which I provided earlier, we are seeing a lot of work being done between them to invest in schemes that will transfer water between areas of need and areas of plenty. We have already seen water transferred from the Lake District...

Water Companies: Borrowings - Question (5 Sep 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: I am deeply worried about it. As I said, I do not pretend for a second that we do not have a problem with pollution; we do. Incidentally, this is not a UK problem but one that affects countries across the European Union. But I also said, rightly, that this Government are the first to take these steps. There is now a legal requirement for those companies to take action; that did not exist...

Water Companies: Borrowings - Question (5 Sep 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: We very much share the overwhelming view of the population of this country that more action needs to be taken to protect not just the health of our waters but the resilience of supply. This goes back to the question asked by my noble friend. But we do not believe that nationalisation is the answer: it would place an enormous financial burden on the taxpayer and would not deliver anything like...

Water Companies: Borrowings - Question (5 Sep 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: I am not convinced that the record in Wales is significantly better than the one here. A report today, which I am surprised has not been brought up yet, showed a worrying increase in pollution in areas of this country. But, in every case that has been reported, to my knowledge, that is a consequence of our having put record investment into monitoring in a way that we never did before. There...

Water Companies: Borrowings - Question (5 Sep 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: My noble friend makes an important point. Although I do not have the numbers at the tips of my fingers, it is very clear that the record levels of investment would not have happened had the sector not been privatised. We would not see anything like that level of investment if we were to renationalise the sector. Of course we care about the manner in which executives are paid, incentivised and...

Water Companies: Borrowings - Question (5 Sep 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: I have to admit that I am not familiar with the leak that the noble Baroness describes, but there are certainly problems with leaks, and not just in government. We have a serious need for investment in the pipe network, which has been made a lot worse by record heat this summer. As noble Lords will know, the heat causes the ground to shift, which imposes significant stress on pipes. A record...

International Development Strategy: Volunteering - Question (12 Jul 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: My Lords, the UK’s international development strategy has British expertise at its core. Our rich culture of volunteering means we have the experience and expertise to effectively support voluntary action abroad, ensuring that development is increasingly locally led. Last month, we launched Active Citizenship Through Inclusive Volunteering & Empowerment, a £27 million partnership between...

International Development Strategy: Volunteering - Question (12 Jul 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: My Lords, the Government agree with the premise of the question from the noble Baroness but take issue with the last bit on abandonment by the Government. The reality is that the ACTIVE programme will reach 2.5 million people—a really significant number—and mobilise marginalised groups, including women, young people and those with disabilities, across 18 countries. The key is that it...

International Development Strategy: Volunteering - Question (12 Jul 2022)

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: My Lords, the importance of volunteering is embedded and well understood in the FCDO. That has not changed; it is reflected in everything coming out of it. Specific decisions on funding are yet to be made but, adding to what I said on the previous question, we are committed to and are already establishing new centres of expertise, building on existing platforms for shared learning and with...


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