Here are some contributions made to the House on Monday, November 27th
- What steps he is taking to improve support for the families of deployed servicemen and women.
Personnel deployed on operations must have confidence that their families at home are able to access the support they need. Our welfare support is provided to families before, during and after deployment.
Will the Minister join me in congratulating Newport County football club and Newport Live on recently joining the armed forces covenant? Does he agree that the only adequate way we can deal fairly with those who have been injured in body or mind by their service is to provide them with facilities and benefits that will leave them in a position where they do not have to rely on charities?
The hon. Gentleman makes reference to the armed forces covenant. It is probably the single biggest change in support and recognises that no member of the armed forces or veteran should be somehow disadvantaged because of their service. He is right to pay tribute to that, and I encourage all hon. Members to visit their local authorities and ask what is being done to ensure that they are living up to the requirements of the armed forces covenant
Professor Peter Gill is the most distinguished forensic scientist. He did magnificent work on DNA mass profiling. His authority is unquestioned, and he warned that what happened with privatisation would lead to the present situation because of a lack of trust in results. I have spent my working life in laboratories, so I know how highly prized the integrity of scientific results is. This is a very rare situation, with an accusation having been made, and I am afraid it is the Government who have taken a political stance on this. The Opposition and the scientific community are absolutely right to be deeply concerned.
As I said clearly at the outset, I do think that the situation is extremely serious, but I agree with the hon. Gentleman’s diagnosis that it may be a rare one. Again, I repeat the view that the regulator has reached about the efficacy of any standards of regulation to prevent
“determined malpractice by skilled but corrupt personnel”.
Again, I place on record the progress that has been made since 2011, when the regulator published the first codes of practice and conduct for forensic science providers. I do think that there is increased stringency in the standards and quality requirements for forensic science, and that matters enormously because of the way this underpins confidence in forensic science within the criminal justice system.
How many pages of the Secretary of State’s strategy deal with the immense value of tidal power? It is non-carbon, it is green, it is British, it is eternal in its duration and, unlike other renewables, it is entirely predictable. Will he temper his manic enthusiasm and optimism by reading the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee reports on Hinkley Point, which say that it will cost us £30 billion in subsidies that will be paid for by the poorest consumers?
I am not going to temper my enthusiasm; quite the opposite, in fact. We have many opportunities in clean energy, with many breakthroughs in prospect. As was pointed out earlier, we have to ensure that the cost to consumers is taken into account, and that is the judgment that we need to make when it comes to projects such as the one the hon. Gentleman has just described.