Speeches and parliamentary questions in the House of Commons in the Current SessionWhile speaking in the chamber of the House is a high profile activity for an MP, much other work is done elsewhere, in committee, as well as a large casework load for constituents.
29/06/16 Ethiopia: Human Rights
28/06/16 Ethiopia: Overseas Aid
28/06/16 Ethiopia: Human Rights
16/06/16 Personal Independence Payment
15/06/16 Canada: EU External Trade
15/06/16 The fight of our lives
14/06/16 Personal Independence Payment
14/06/16 Football violence
13/06/16 Mobile Phones: Children
13/06/16 Cancer: Mobile Phones
10/06/16 Muscular Dystrophy: Drugs
09/06/16 Asylum: Children
08/06/16 Disability Employment Gap
07/06/16 Land Registry: Privatisation
01/06/16 Coal Fired Power Stations
26/05/16 Steel Industry; Pensions
26/05/16 The Economy and Work
26/05/16 National Grid
25/05/16 North-East people know better than old Etonians
25/05/16 Coal: Imports
25/05/16 Muscular Dystrophy: Drugs
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the findings of the Human Rights Watch report on Ethiopia, Such a brutal crackdown, published in June 2016, on alleged human rights violations by government security forces in that country.
James Duddridge, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office): We are aware of the Human Rights Watch report on Ethiopia and are considering its findings. I met with Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa on 27 January. I raised the UK's concerns with regards to the human rights situation. We will continue to raise our concerns with the government of Ethiopia both through our bilateral engagement, most notably our ongoing Human Rights Dialogue, as well as jointly with our international partners.
We remain deeply concerned about the handling of demonstrations in Oromia, including the reported deaths of a number of protesters, and about those detained under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. We have repeatedly made representations to the Ethiopian Government over the situation in that region.
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has been appointed to look into the handling of the protests in Oromia and presented their findings to the Ethiopian parliament on 10 June 2016. We have not seen the report, but are pressing for its publication and will take a view on what further actions, if any, might be appropriate.
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions she has had with the Ethiopian government on the implications for her Department's supported programmes in Oromia of the response of that government to protests in that region.
Nick Hurd, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Development) : I visited Ethiopia on the 17th of June and held discussions with senior Ministers in the Ethiopian Government, reiterating our concerns about the response to the protests in Oromia. I emphasised that civil and political rights are an important aspect of DFID's Partnership Principles assessments, which inform decisions on the shape of our programme.
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions she has had with the Ethiopian government on the situation in the Oromia region.
Nick Hurd, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Development): I visited Ethiopia on 17th June and met with a number of senior Ethiopian Government officials. Our discussions covered a range of issues, including the situation in the Oromia region. I set out the UK Government's serious concerns about the response to protests in Oromia.
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when his Department plans to publish the findings of its forthcoming review on personal independence payments.
Justin Tomlinson, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Work and Pensions) (Disabled People): I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to his previous Question UIN39987.
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if he will take steps to ensure that the proposed EU-Canada trade agreement is not implemented until it has been fully scrutinised by national parliaments.
Anna Soubry, Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Business and Enterprise): The EU-Canada Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) could be worth up to £1.3 billion per year to the UK economy. The Government is therefore keen to see the agreement implemented as soon as possible.
The Government considers, along with other Member States, that CETA is a "mixed agreement". This means that CETA can only take full effect once the UK has decided to ratify it. As part of that ratification process, the complete draft text of the agreement would be laid before Parliament for 21 sitting days. In addition, the Government will ensure the proposals for a Council decision on signature, and subsequently conclusion, will be subject to scrutiny in both houses of the UK Parliament.
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions his Department has had with stakeholders on the terms of reference of the forthcoming review on personal independence payments.
Justin Tomlinson, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Work and Pensions) (Disabled People): The Department has regular discussions with stakeholders on all aspects of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
PIP is subject to two statutory, independent reports on the operation of assessments which determine ability to carry out daily living activities or mobility activities. The terms of reference for the second report, due to be published by April 2017, will be subject to the statutory criteria and will be published in due course.
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): Before our friends from Scotland get too carried away, may I gently remind them that there was a riot at the end of the Scottish football final on 21 May?
I want to make a serious point about how we can prevent racism and do the necessary work on the ground. For the past two decades, groups such as Show Racism the Red Card have played a tremendous part in that anti-racist work, going into schools and encouraging young people to get involved in it. Sadly, however, as a result of Government decisions, funding for such groups has been cut both by local authorities and the Department for Communities and Local Government. May I encourage the Home Secretary and other Ministers who are here today to consider restoring that support? Getting to our children first is what will end this curse.
Theresa May, Home Secretary: The hon. Gentleman makes an important point about the significant work that has been done over the years to stop racism in football. Sadly, the job is not complete; the work must continue, and the Government and football authorities take that seriously. However, the issue is wider than racism. Before the Olympics I was involved in discussions with a number of sports authorities, including the Football Association, about homophobia at sporting events. We should all take those issues seriously and work at every level to try to cut all that out.
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the advice on mobile telephone safety on the NHS Choices webpages, what the evidence base is for the recommendation that children should only use mobile telephones for essential purposes and keep all calls short.
Jane Ellison, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health): Public Health England (PHE) keeps the scientific evidence regarding the effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields from mobile phones on public health under review, and advises on the measures that should be taken to protect the public.
Precautionary advice to discourage the non-essential use of mobile phones by children dates from the year 2000 and was motivated by concerns that, if there are unrecognised adverse health effects from the use of mobile phones, children may be more vulnerable. The advice was accepted by government and has been continued by Public Health England, including after its 2012 comprehensive review of research evidence, which found no convincing evidence that exposures to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields below the international guideline levels cause health effects in either adults or children. The precautionary advice is based on the potential for health effects, rather than proven identifiable evidence of harm.
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will discuss with his US counterpart the potential implications for his policies of work undertaken by the US National Toxicology Program on links between mobile telephone use and levels of cancer risk; and if he will make a statement.
Jane Ellison, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health): The Government looks to Public Health England (PHE) to review the scientific evidence regarding the effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields from mobile phones on public health, and to advise on the measures that should be taken to protect the public. Among the available evidence are the recently-released partial findings from a study carried out by the United States National Toxicology Programme, which involved rats exposed at levels substantially above those to which the public are exposed when using mobile phones. PHE has welcomed the first results of the study but consider the findings far from definitive with regard to any relationship between the use of mobile phones and cancer in humans.
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 25 May 2016 to Question 37646, what preparatory work NHS England is undertaking on Translarna; and whether a date has been set for a commercial meeting between NHS England and PTC Therapeutics after that preparatory work.
George Freeman, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health): Further to the answer given in Question 37646, NHS England has been undertaking the detailed preparatory work required to meet the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence's request that NHS England and the supplier, PTC Therapeutics, work towards agreeing an acceptable managed access arrangement for Translarna (ataluren) by 7 July 2016.
NHS England will be meeting with the supplier when it has concluded this preparatory work. There have not been any commercial meetings with PTC Therapeutics in the period since 15th April 2016 - however, NHS England is in regular contact with the supplier and will be agreeing mutually convenient times to meet.
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to accelerate the family reunification process for unaccompanied children in Europe with family in the UK.
James Brokenshire, Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration): The Government continues to work with key EU Member States to ensure the Dublin Regulation family reunification process works effectively.
Under the UK-France Joint Declaration of 20 August 2015, the UK and France have committed to ensuring that the provisions of the Dublin III Regulation are used efficiently and effectively. To assist the handling of such cases, the two Governments have established a permanent official contact group, agreed single points of contact within respective Dublin Units and we have seconded an asylum expert to the French administration to facilitate the improvement of all stages of the process. The UK and France are running regular joint communication campaigns in northern France which inform unaccompanied children and others of their right to claim asylum in France and of the family reunion process.
We are also providing support to the Dublin Units in Greece and Italy bilaterally and through European Asylum Support Office. On 4 May we announced the Government will work with local authorities on plans to resettle unaccompanied children from Europe. We are looking to transfer children who were already present in Europe before the EU-Turkey deal came into force on 20 March, where it is in their best interests.
We will work closely with local authorities to implement this initiative. It is important that we ensure we fulfil our obligations to children who are already in the UK, as well as ensuring we have the right support for those who may be brought to the UK from Europe. We will also consult relevant Non-Governmental Organisations, the UNHCR, UNICEF and Member States.
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if he will reconsider the proposal to privatise the Land Registry; and if he will make a statement.
Anna Soubry, Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Business and Enterprise): A government consultation seeking views on options to move operations of the Land Registry to the private sector closed on 26 May. Government is currently considering the responses but no final decisions have been made.
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what proportion of coal burnt in UK coal-fired power stations in each of the last three years was mined in the UK
Andrea Leadsom, Minister of State (Department of Energy and Climate Change): This can be estimated by subtracting the amount of steam coal imports (mainly used by coal-fired power stations) by the total amount of coal used in electricity generation. Please see the table below:
|Imports of steam coal (thousand tonnes)||Coal used in generation (thousand tonnes)||UK produced coal used for generation * (thousand tonnes)||Proportion of UK produced coal used for generation %|
* This includes stocks from earlier years.
Energy Trends tables 2.1 and 2.4, available at:
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): The Secretary of State said in response to my hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover (Mr Skinner) that this issue was not related to the mineworkers pension scheme, but there are lessons to be learned from it. Members need to understand that in 1994 it was estimated that the Treasury would get £2 billion out of the scheme over 25 years, but it looks like it will get £8 billion over 25 years, when retired miners and miners' widows are struggling to survive. That is the lesson. What is the Treasury going to take out of the proposal if it is involved? Let us not let what happened in 1994 happen again.
Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills: I reassure the hon. Gentleman that the options that may have been used in the past are not being considered. The consultation document is clear and relates specifically to the British Steel pension scheme.
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): The Chancellor has taken us through what has been happening in the Labour party recently. May I ask him to comment on what has been said about him and his leader by the former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the right hon. Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith), who took through welfare reform over the past five years? He called the Prime Minister "disingenuous" and the Chancellor a liar and "Pinocchio". Where does that leave you, Chancellor?
Mr Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer: We worked together to bring welfare bills down and to make work pay. I am working with the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my right hon. Friend the Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire (Stephen Crabb) to carry on that record in government. We will go on building that strong economy and the sound public finances that underpin a fair society.
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what the cost to the public purse was of the Notifications of Inadequate System Margin issued on 9 May 2016 by the National Grid; and if she will make a statement.
Andrea Leadsom, Minister of State (Department of Energy and Climate Change): There was no cost to the public purse resulting from the Notice of Inadequate System Margin issued on 9 May.
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what measures she is putting in place to minimise the number of Notifications of Inadequate System Margin issued by the National Grid; and if she will make a statement.
Andrea Leadsom, Minister of State (Department of Energy and Climate Change): A Notice of Inadequate System Margin is one of the tools National Grid use to maintain margins in the system and can happen at any time for a variety of reasons. Issuing a NISM does not mean that demand is about to outstrip supply: it is a notice to the market to bring forward further capacity. National Grid issue NISMs ahead of dispatching capacity from its supplementary balancing reserve, which will include 3.5GW of dispatchable generating capacity next winter. This will give any remaining capacity in the market first opportunity to respond but does not signal any significant risk of shortages. National Grid's objective is to secure supplies and the NISM is an important tool to achieve that objective with minimum distortion to the market.
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what proportion of coal produced and imported into the UK is used for (a) electricity generation, (b) steel production, (c) cement manufacture, (d) domestic uses, (e) carbon fibre goods, (f) liquid fuel manufacture, (g) mobile phone components and (h) heritage railways in the latest year for which figures are available.
Andrea Leadsom, Minister of State (Department of Energy and Climate Change): The table below gives the proportion of coal produced and imported into the UK by sector for 2014. DECC only produces industry consumption data for the main industrial sectors. Therefore, data is not broken down specifically for cement manufacture, carbon fibre goods, liquid fuel manufacture and mobile phone components. For industry the table shows the two largest consumers and iron and steel.
|Thousand Tonnes||Proportion %|
|Of which: Electricity Generation||38,400||79.2%|
|Of which : Mineral Products||1173||2.4%|
|Pulp, paper, printing, etc||136||0.2%|
|Iron and Steel||54||0.1%|
*includes energy industry use, public administration, commercial and miscellaneous.
DUKES table 2.4 available at:
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Prime Minister, with reference to the Answer of 10 May 2016 to Question 36679, which of those specific groups of people referred to in that Question he has shared a speaking platform with in an official capacity.
The Prime Minister: Details of my official speeches are available on the gov.uk website.
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to ensure that NHS England implements the NICE recommendation for NHS funding for Translarna as a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
George Freeman, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health): The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently evaluating Translarna (ataluren) for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy through its highly specialised technology programme. The expected publication date for NICE's final guidance is July 2016.
National Health Service commissioners are legally required to fund drugs and treatments recommended in NICE highly specialised technology guidance within three months of its final guidance being issued.
Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many meetings NHS England has had with PTC Therapeutics to discuss an agreement on price for Translarna to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy since 15 April 2016.
George Freeman, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health): NHS England has advised that on 4 May 2016 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) asked NHS England and PTC Therapeutics to continue to work towards agreeing an acceptable managed access arrangement for Translarna (ataluren) for the treatment of children aged five and over with Duchenne muscular dystrophy caused by a nonsense mutation.
NHS England and the company have been asked to reach agreement on the cost of the drug to the National Health Service by 7 July.
NHS England has advised there have not been any commercial meetings with PTC Therapeutics in the period since 15 April 2016, however, it is in regular contact with the company.
NHS England will be meeting with PTC Therapeutics when it has concluded the detailed preparatory work required to effectively respond to NICE's request within the set timescale.
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Reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO
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