Access to Pension Credit

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:12 pm on 24th July 2019.

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Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 5:12 pm, 24th July 2019

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Ms Buck.

I congratulate Chris Elmore on securing this important debate, which I accept addresses significant and real issues. I must also congratulate him on his marriage. He will agree with the Prime Minister—bear with me—when she made the point at Prime Minister’s Question Time today that those who choose to marry a Member of Parliament do so with great bravery. It is an honour and privilege to get married, but choosing to marry a Member of Parliament is a bold thing. I wish Mrs Elmore well, and I wish them both well for the future.

It is also a great privilege and pleasure to welcome Ruth Jones to this place. This was the first time I have heard her speak; she spoke most eloquently. I congratulate her on her win, and wish her good fortune and enjoyment of this great privilege to hold a position in this House, where she will hold Government to account and possibly, in about 30 years, have a Labour Government—obviously under a new leader, as everyone in the House of Commons seemed to agree today.

Before I get into the nuts and bolts of the debate, I will make a point that is fair across the board and yet matters. It is entirely right for the hon. Member for Ogmore and the Opposition parties generally to hold Government to account, but it is also right that we all celebrate, support and talk glowingly about the various voluntary and charitable organisations that do such great work in all our communities.