Kevan Jones: Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the armed forces provide great opportunities to many youngsters in former mining communities, such as my constituency and Nottinghamshire where I grew up? Without those, they would not have the chance to get the skills and expertise offered at an apprentice level, to see the rest of the world or to get well-paid and fulfilling, meaningful jobs and careers.
Kevan Jones: Thanks to a Labour Government.
Kevan Jones: I am grateful to find a Conservative Member who recognises the valuable contribution that the Government have made to increasing police numbers. I suggest that he reinforce the message to the Leader of the Opposition.
Kevan Jones: If the hon. Gentleman had been in the constituency in 1984, he would know that the then Conservative Government had no shortage of policemen in Nottingham.
Kevan Jones: I am listening to the hon. Gentleman with great interest. It is not that we do not know who is in charge at local level. The real problem relates to the co-ordination of different local agencies and how that fits in with what the military are doing. I do not think that there is any confusion as to who is in charge of what; we need to work out how to get them working together.
Kevan Jones: My hon. Friend's experience on the Defence Committee has obviously been invaluable. She has one advantage over male members, in that she does not have to share a tent with my right hon. Friend the Member for Walsall, South (Mr. George) when we go away.
Kevan Jones: Following my sin analogy, my hon. Friend obviously agrees not only with sin, but with quality sin. Is it not the point that a lot of those high-tech jobs in the south-east support long supply chains, including industries in the north-east of England and small and medium-sized enterprises that rely on such contracts for their livelihood?
Kevan Jones: I no longer feel that I can sleep safely in my bed in Durham in the knowledge that the hon. Gentleman has moved to Somerset. Does the hon. Gentleman accept that the Government have recognised that there was a co-ordination problem between the military and the civil authorities at a local level and have taken action to improve that co-ordination? I was a member of the Defence Committee when it...
Kevan Jones: It seems that my hon. Friend is referring to the arms industry as rather like sin, and that she is in favour of a little of it but opposed to a lot of it. In the north-east, for example, there has been a shift from manufacturing. The new jobs that are coming on stream are very high tech and service related, and many of them have an important role to play in the defence industry in this...
Kevan Jones: I accept that it is the Opposition's role to look for opportunities to criticise a Government, but do the hon. Gentleman and his party accept no responsibility for the state of affairs relating to the Apache helicopter? Some of the decisions were taken by the previous Government.
Kevan Jones: I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's point, but it is not the point that the shadow Secretary of State for Defence made this morning on the XToday" programme. He tried to blame this Government for the problems with the Apache. Does the hon. Gentleman accept some responsibility for the situation in which we find ourselves—yes or no?
Kevan Jones: I fully support the view that we should await the outcome of the police investigation, and I do not think that some of the more sensationalist headlines have been helpful to the debate about what is going on at Deepcut, or to the families. But does my right hon. Friend recognise that the hon. Member for Perth (Annabelle Ewing) raised an important point? If four people have died, possibly as...
Kevan Jones: I did not say that.
Kevan Jones: That is reassuring.
Kevan Jones: If he will make a statement on the merger of North Durham Health Care NHS Trust and South Durham Health Care NHS Trust.
Kevan Jones: Does my right hon. Friend agree that one of the main problems facing the trust is bed blocking at the new North Durham hospital? The solution clearly lies with a number of organisations—the primary care trusts, Durham county council, the district councils and the trust itself. Will he support an initiative from the county council to get all the stakeholders round the table to come up...
Kevan Jones: If he will make a statement on the review of the coroners service.
Kevan Jones: Does my right hon. Friend agree that local coroners should be both accountable and sensitive to their communities? Clearly, that has not happened in Durham. I raised serious concerns about the death of one of my constituents, Maureen Malta, in the local accident and emergency department, but the local coroner, Mr. Andrew Tweddle, arrogantly refused to publish the letter or even to give...
Kevan Jones: Will the hon. Lady give way?
Kevan Jones: Does my hon. Friend agree that many of his constituents, and many of the people whom I dealt with when I handled asbestos claims at the GMB union, were told when they were working with asbestos that it was safe? Many of them are now dying a horrible and cruel death. The hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow) also spoke of a safe type of asbestos.