Debates between Lord Desai and Baroness Evans of Bowes Park during the 2019 Parliament

Mon 31st Jan 2022
Tue 3rd Nov 2020

Sue Gray Report

Debate between Lord Desai and Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
Monday 31st January 2022

(2 years, 3 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The Metropolitan Police put out a statement this afternoon in which it said it was working “at pace”, but it did not give a specific timescale. I am afraid that I cannot say more than that, but it has confirmed what it is investigating. It has had a lot of evidence from the Cabinet Office and is now working at pace to continue the investigation, but I am afraid I do not have a timescale.

Lord Desai Portrait Lord Desai (Non-Afl)
- Hansard - -

My Lords, does the noble Baroness agree that 10 Downing Street and the structure of the Prime Minister’s office is the poorest accommodation of any Prime Minister of the G7, the G20—or the G140? You cannot have a Prime Minister living in a flat with 50 or 60 people running around below, day and night. Not only do we need an office of the Prime Minister, but we need a dignified working environment away from the private home of the Prime Minister which does justice to the complexity of the work and to the dignity of the Prime Minister. We cannot have the Prime Minister living in a top-floor flat with people running around having parties in the evening. Whether he likes it or not, he will be blamed for it. That needs urgent reform. I know it sounds trivial.

Lord Desai Portrait Lord Desai (Non-Afl)
- Hansard - -

I very much want the Prime Minister of the country to be properly housed.

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The noble Lord picks up some of the points made by Sue Gray—for instance, the use of the garden and No. 10 not being able to be made particularly Covid-secure. Some of the points he makes have been recognised. The report also finds that, while

“The number of staff working in No 10 Downing Street has steadily increased”


to the point that

“it is now more akin to a small Government Department… The structures that support the smooth operation … have not evolved sufficiently to meet the demands of this expansion.”

That is what we will look into trying to solve.

Covid-19 Update

Debate between Lord Desai and Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
Tuesday 3rd November 2020

(3 years, 6 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I hope the noble Viscount will be pleased to know that, last week, we confirmed that we will join the global COVAX initiative, with the aim of expediting the discovery, manufacture and fair distribution of a vaccine to 1 billion people.

Lord Desai Portrait Lord Desai (Lab) [V]
- Hansard - -

Will the Government, at some stage, explain to the country how come we have the same mortality rate per million as the United States, yet while the United States has achieved a 33% growth of GDP quarterly in the third quarter, we are still in a recession? We have protected neither lives nor livelihoods. Can the Government not do better?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am not sure I heard everything the noble Lord said, so I will go back and check. I think he was talking about the economy, but if I have got that wrong, I apologise. We have put in place one of the most comprehensive economic responses of any country, with more than £200 billion of support. We have protected 12 million jobs through the furlough and self-employed schemes, and we will continue to provide all the support we can to businesses that are struggling at this time.