Jeff Smith: Hear, hear!
Jeff Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which (a) organisations and (b) individuals his Department has held discussions with on the consumption of illegal drugs at UK music festivals since April 2018.
Jeff Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the letter from his Department to Glasgow City Council published on 4 June 2018 on drug consumption rooms, what steps his Department is taking to protect heroin users in Glasgow against HIV infection.
Jeff Smith: My constituent Yaser has been living, working and training as a GP in south Manchester for nine years, but he has been told that no local surgery can afford to sponsor his visa renewal application. As a result, he will be forced to go back to Canada in August instead of serving the community in which he was trained. May we have a debate on what more we can do to support GP surgeries in...
Jeff Smith: What assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of introducing safe standing areas at football grounds in the English premier league and championship.
Jeff Smith: The truth is that we already have standing at practically every football ground in the country—it is just that it is on terraces designed for seats rather than standing, so it is less safe. The majority of clubs, and the leagues, are now calling for safe standing, so will the Minister let the clubs work with the safety advisory groups to design a system that works for them?
Jeff Smith: I welcome the statement, and particularly the news on Alfie Dingley. Of course, there is already evidence of the medical benefits of cannabis, because otherwise Sativex would not be available on licence. That is why it is so absurd that cannabis is still a schedule 1 controlled drug. I am therefore hopeful and confident that the review will lead to a recommendation to reschedule. Will the...
Jeff Smith: Last November, the Health Secretary committed to ending out-of-area mental health placements by 2020, but the number of people placed more than 100 km from their home rose by 65% over the past year. The earlier response from the Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the hon. Member for Thurrock (Jackie Doyle-Price), was no answer, so what are the Government actually going to...
Jeff Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the European Drug Report 2018, published by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction on 7 June 2018, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the rise in cocaine-related deaths in the UK.
Jeff Smith: What steps he has taken to reduce inappropriate out-of-area placements for mental health services.
Jeff Smith: I welcome this first step from the Government, but the Minister has just said that the Government recognise the medical benefits of cannabis, so the question is: why on earth is cannabis still a controlled drug under schedule 1, which is for drugs with no medical benefit? It is time for an urgent rescheduling of cannabis, which would make life easier for the Government and for patients.
Jeff Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the timetable is for his Department to respond to its consultation on the draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill; and what the timetable is for further steps to be taken in relation to that Bill.
Jeff Smith: It took nearly 5,000 cancelled trains in just three weeks for the Transport Secretary to notice the Northern Rail crisis. If this Government cannot run our railways properly, will the Prime Minister agree with businesses, council leaders and over 25 newspapers from across the region and give Transport for the North the powers that it needs to do the job?
Jeff Smith: It is now 60 years since Operation Grapple. Is it not time that we followed so many other countries and awarded our nuclear test veterans a medal?
Jeff Smith: I have not heard an explanation of why Northern could not suspend bringing in the new timetable. The Minister has just outlined that the new interim timetable has made a difference. Why could it not have thought about bringing in an interim timetable in the middle of May, instead of the new changed timetable?
Jeff Smith: Will the Leader of the House join me in congratulating the pupils at Chorlton High School in my constituency on their Incorporated Society of Musicians Trust for excellent GCSE results? I am regularly contacted by parents who are worried about the narrowing of the school curriculum, and particularly the squeezing out of creative subjects. Can we have a debate in Government time on creativity...
Jeff Smith: What steps his Department is taking to improve the provision of bus services throughout the country.
Jeff Smith: Over the past four years, Greater Manchester has lost 8 million miles of bus routes, largely owing to the chronic underfunding of local government. Councils are forced to freeze funds, while costs rocket. Does the Minister accept that unless local government funding is increased, mayors and transport authorities will not be able to use the new powers in the Bus Services Act to full effect?
Jeff Smith: My hon. Friend is making an excellent speech and I completely agree with it. Does this not point to a much wider issue, which is the ridiculous process we have to go through on private Members’ Bill in this House? Is it not time we had a private Members’ Bills process where Bills could not be blocked by filibustering or by the whim of the Government?
Jeff Smith: Recently, two constituents with serious and deteriorating cerebral palsy both scored zero points on their PIP assessments. Both require round-the-clock care, but both were forced to appeal the decisions. Is it acceptable that people with serious and deteriorating disabilities are being forced to go through the courts to get the support that they deserve?