Strengthening Families — [Mr Peter Bone in the Chair]

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 3:07 pm on 8th February 2018.

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Photo of Margaret Greenwood Margaret Greenwood Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) 3:07 pm, 8th February 2018

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Ms Buck. I congratulate Fiona Bruce on securing the debate. It is a great pleasure to speak for the Opposition in what has been an interesting discussion covering a wide range of important issues. I was particularly pleased to hear many speakers talk of the importance of the role of fathers and the value to families of supporting prisoners.

Jeremy Lefroy focused on child mental health provision, describing its inadequacy as a “burning injustice”. It was interesting to hear him talk about his childhood experiences and the phrase, “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” That very usefully broadened the discussion out, away from a focus purely on families and on to the broader range of support that is needed.

I was somewhat surprised by the claim made by the hon. Member for Congleton that family breakdown is the root cause of poverty. As Carol Monaghan explained, poverty is the root cause of family breakdown. It is important that we keep that in mind.