I beg to move,
That this House
has considered strengthening families.
I am very pleased to have secured the debate, with the support of my right hon. Friends the Members for Meriden (Dame Caroline Spelman), for New Forest West (Sir Desmond Swayne) and for Chesham and Amersham (Dame Cheryl Gillan) and my hon. Friends the Members for Mid Dorset and North Poole (Michael Tomlinson), for East Worthing and Shoreham (Tim Loughton), for Telford (Lucy Allan), for Lewes (Maria Caulfield), for North Thanet (Sir Roger Gale), for Maidstone and The Weald (Mrs Grant), for Hazel Grove (Mr Wragg) and for Woking (Mr Lord). I also had the support of the right hon. Members for Tottenham (Mr Lammy) and for Birkenhead (Frank Field) and the hon. Members for Luton South (Mr Shuker), for Dagenham and Rainham (Jon Cruddas), for North Tyneside (Mary Glindon), for Upper Bann (David Simpson) and for Strangford (Jim Shannon).
I am grateful to the Backbench Business Committee for granting the debate, and for the cross-party support the debate has gained, although I recognise that its timing has precluded many hon. Members from contributing. There is much interest in the subject across both Houses. More than 60 right hon. and hon. Friends and peers have signed up to the “Manifesto to Strengthen Families”, which forms the foundation of the debate and which can be found online at strengtheningfamiliesmanifesto.com. Some 25 peers took part in a similar debate in the other place in the November, led by Lord Farmer, who co-authored the manifesto with me.