Commonwealth Games

Debate between Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale and Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Thursday 7th September 2023

(9 months, 3 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale
- Hansard - -

To ask His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the recent decisions by the governments of (1) Victoria, Australia, and (2) Alberta, Canada, to withdraw from bids to host the Commonwealth Games in 2026 and 2030.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay) (Con)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, His Majesty’s Government recognise the great value of major sporting events such as the Commonwealth Games, particularly with the United Kingdom having hosted the Games twice in the past decade. Last year’s Games in Birmingham demonstrated the power of sport in bringing people together and building a foundation for a wide-ranging legacy that will deliver benefits for many years to come. We therefore urge the Commonwealth Games Federation to work towards a sustainable resolution for 2026 and 2030.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Lab)
- View Speech - Hansard - -

I thank the Government very much for their urgency in trying to ensure that we find a solution: I hope that we see that in the weeks and months to come. The Commonwealth Games are a fabulous exhibition of the benefit of the Commonwealth and the coming together of many nations from right across the globe. They are one of the most popular and successful multisport international events that we see. In both Birmingham and Glasgow in the past decade, we have seen not just the sporting benefits but the economic benefits of the Games to the cities and the wider regions. So, will the Government work with the national teams of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland to make sure that they rule out no options in order to deal with this immediate emergency of the Games not having a host for 2026? Will they also work with other Governments in the Commonwealth and with the Commonwealth Games Federation to make sure that, in the long term, the Commonwealth Games are able to be hosted by countries that are not the large, richer, white countries of the Commonwealth but are other countries in the Commonwealth, so that “commonwealth” goes back into the Commonwealth Games?

Global Education Summit

Debate between Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale and Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Wednesday 14th July 2021

(2 years, 11 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Lab)
- Hansard - -

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper. In doing so, I draw attention to my entry in the Lords register: my additional honorary ambassadorial role with the Global Partnership for Education.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Portrait Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, at the Global Education Summit we will set the Global Partnership for Education on a path to secure its five-year funding target of $5 billion, providing the single biggest-ever boost to children’s education opportunities around the world. We will also diversify GPE’s donor base, work with our co-host to ensure that eligible developing countries sign a political declaration on education and secure further support for the girls’ education objectives endorsed by the G7.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Lab)
- Hansard - -

My Lords, the Global Partnership for Education works in 76 different countries around the world to build the efficiency, equity and volume of education systems in those countries. It is in those low-income countries—where, for example, two-thirds of girls do not complete primary school—that education is most required, and we know how important it is. Given that the Government have become probably the first country in history to host a global summit to refinance education at the same time as cutting the budget, what will the Government’s strategy be to ensure that that gap is filled by others but also that we achieve that $5 billion target that will see so much more education available throughout the world?

International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act 2015

Debate between Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale and Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Wednesday 25th November 2020

(3 years, 7 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Portrait Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The noble Baroness is right to pay tribute to her noble friend Lord Purvis of Tweed, who took this Bill through your Lordships’ House. She is right to say that it is a proud achievement of the coalition Government, composed of both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives. This is an issue on which all parties have worked over many years. I believe the target was first adopted by a British Government in the year in which the noble Lord, Lord Purvis of Tweed, was born—it took us a long time to reach it.

I am afraid the noble Baroness’s two questions are both hypothetical, and I cannot pre-empt what my right honourable friend the Chancellor is saying at the moment.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Lab)
- Hansard - -

My Lords, in 2020, we have been informed by a virus that did not start in this country and will not end in this country of just how interdependent our world is in the 21st century. What possible justification could there be, in such a world and at such a time, to reduce by two-sevenths, or £2 in every £7, the budget that we spend—that we invest—around the world in tackling climate change, extreme poverty and preventing conflict and ill health?

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Portrait Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The noble Lord is right to point to the current circumstances of the pandemic as a forcible reminder of the importance of assisting people around the world: these are global problems. That is why the United Kingdom is one of the largest donors to the international Covid-19 response. We have already committed up to £1.3 billion to combat the pandemic and to reinforce the global effort to find and equitably distribute a vaccine.

Asylum Seekers

Debate between Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale and Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Thursday 29th October 2020

(3 years, 8 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale
- Hansard - -

To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the deaths of at least four people in the English Channel, what steps they are taking to protect asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking who are fleeing persecution and seeking refuge in the UK.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Portrait Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, this tragic event highlights the grave dangers of channel crossings and the pressing need to stop the callous criminals who are exploiting vulnerable people. The UK has a proud history of granting protection to those who need it, but it is an established principle that people should claim asylum in the first safe country that they enter. We continue to work closely with our neighbours to discourage people from making these dangerous and unnecessary journeys.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Lab)
- Hansard - -

My Lords, I have four grandchildren under the age of 10, and I cannot imagine being so scared of what might happen to them on land that I put them in an unsafe boat to cross the English Channel. Yet this week, Rasoul Iran-Nejad and Shiva Mohammad Panahi put their three children, Anita, aged nine, Armin, aged six, and 15 month-old Artin, in a boat. Two of the children are dead, along with their parents, and one is still missing. Surely in this day and age, France and the UK, the fifth and seventh-largest economies in the world, with some of the most professional armed forces and diplomatic services in the world and a history of public service administration, can find a way of coming together with the International Organization for Migration and the UNHCR to find a safe route for families fleeing persecution to come to France and this country, and to have their applications determined in a safe and legal manner?

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Portrait Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The noble Lord will appreciate that because there is an ongoing investigation, I am unable to go into much detail on the names, identities and ages of the people that he mentioned, but I have seen the reports, as I am sure we all have, and the details are heart-wrenching. This tragic case underlines the importance of breaking the criminal business model, which is exploiting the desperation of vulnerable people who, as he says, are in fear. We are working very closely with the French. Our National Crime Agency is assisting the French authorities in their investigation. The Home Secretary has appointed a former Royal Marine, Dan O’Mahoney, as the clandestine channel threat commander, to tackle the problem there. However, the noble Lord is also right that we must have safe methods for people to claim asylum without making that journey, which is why our vulnerable persons resettlement scheme works with the organisations that he mentions, to ensure that people do not undertake these perilous journeys.