See more like "Devolved Government: Restoration"

Devolved Government: Restoration
Debate between David Hanson and Karen Bradley
Wednesday 03 July 2019

(5 months, 2 weeks ago)

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Commons Chamber
Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Hansard
3 Jul 2019, 11:38 a.m.

May I start by congratulating my hon. Friend on his appointment to the role of Chair of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee? I have not had an opportunity to do so in the Chamber before now. I am sure he will make an excellent Chair, following his predecessor, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Wiltshire (Dr Murrison), who is now a Minister in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

I want to reassure my hon. Friend that I am doing everything in my power to ensure that the parties continue to talk. They are all still in the room. I will be returning to Northern Ireland straight after questions, to continue talks over the rest of the week. I want the talks to succeed and will do whatever I can to ensure that they do.

David Hanson Portrait David Hanson (Delyn) (Lab) - Parliament Live - Hansard

12. I obviously hope that the devolved Administration is restored as soon as possible but, in the absence of devolution, can the Secretary of State examine how this House can scrutinise the decisions of officials in the Northern Ireland Departments—for example, by tabling parliamentary questions on the key issues that affect people in Northern Ireland? [911636]

Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Parliament Live - Hansard
3 Jul 2019, 11:39 a.m.

As the right hon. Gentleman knows, he was the last direct rule Minister in Northern Ireland, and I very much hope that he continues to be. He will understand the constitutional implications of the independence of the civil service in Northern Ireland and the fact that it reports to the Executive Office, not to this House. I am determined to get the institutions restored because then the question that he asked will become irrelevant.

See more like "Northern Ireland: Political Process"

Northern Ireland: Political Process
Debate between David Hanson and Karen Bradley
Monday 29 April 2019

(7 months, 2 weeks ago)

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Commons Chamber
Northern Ireland Office
Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Parliament Live - Hansard
29 Apr 2019, 6:11 p.m.

If my hon. and gallant Friend will forgive me, I do not have the exact percentage, but I am happy to write to him. As for the talks and what will happen, if he will forgive me, today is the day for showing our encouragement for the talks starting, and our support for their succeeding. I will be happy to come back to this House later to give a progress report—hopefully with good news for the people of Northern Ireland.

David Hanson Portrait David Hanson (Delyn) (Lab) - Parliament Live - Hansard
29 Apr 2019, 6:12 p.m.

I wish the Secretary of State well. She has a difficult job. Will she look at the lessons that were learned from the establishment of the St Andrews agreement, which restored devolution last time? It was characterised by four key points. The first was prime ministerial and Taoiseach engagement consistently and intensively over a long period in a very short time, if that makes sense. In addition, all the parties, including the smaller ones, were clearly involved, and there was a clear deadline by which decisions had to be made on areas where there was disagreement. If there was no decision, those disagreements were exposed for further discussion with the people of Northern Ireland.

Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Parliament Live - Hansard

The right hon. Gentleman will have welcomed the fact that the first statement on the talks was a joint statement from the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach. We are looking carefully at all the successful talks processes of the past, and at those that perhaps were not so successful, to learn lessons and ensure the best chance of success this time.

See more like "Northern Ireland: Murder of Lyra McKee"

Northern Ireland: Murder of Lyra McKee
Debate between David Hanson and Karen Bradley
Tuesday 23 April 2019

(7 months, 3 weeks ago)

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Commons Chamber
Northern Ireland Office
Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Parliament Live - Hansard
23 Apr 2019, 7:18 p.m.

The right hon. Gentleman makes a very powerful point. When I visited Londonderry on Saturday, I heard people say that they want this to end, that this was not what they wanted to see, that it was not the Northern Ireland they wanted to be part of and that these people did not represent them. The tragedy is that so many of the people involved are young people who were not even born at the time that the Belfast agreement was signed. They have been groomed by evil people who have put them in a position where they have ended up murdering an innocent journalist. We cannot allow that to happen. They will heard the unity of the House’s voice very, very loudly.

David Hanson Portrait David Hanson (Delyn) (Lab) - Parliament Live - Hansard
23 Apr 2019, 7:18 p.m.

The Secretary of State said that there is nothing that can justify this act of violence, and she is right. This time it happened to be Lyra, a journalist, but it could have been a police officer or a citizen on the streets of Creggan. To support what the right hon. Member for Lagan Valley (Sir Jeffrey M. Donaldson) said, the key point is that these are proscribed organisations. It is an offence to wear material that promotes these organisations and it is an offence to support them. It is an offence to organise meetings and to have contact with them. There is a case for the Secretary of State, after the funeral, looking into what action can be taken on proscription and enforcement, to support the community and make sure that these people are outlawed among the community as a whole.

Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Parliament Live - Hansard

I assure the right hon. Gentleman that we will consider carefully all the points he made. He will know that the Fresh Start agreement committed not only money but resources to the tackling of paramilitary activity. One of the problems is that that agreement is a responsibility of the Executive Office, which is another reason why we need to see devolution restored. [Interruption.] I agree with the right hon. Gentleman, as he shakes his head, that this needs to be tackled and dealt with. He is right that tonight we need to think about a family who are grieving, but in future we need to think about such measures.

See more like "Oral Answers to Questions"

Oral Answers to Questions
Debate between David Hanson and Karen Bradley
Wednesday 10 April 2019

(8 months, 1 week ago)

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Commons Chamber
Northern Ireland Office
David Hanson Portrait David Hanson (Delyn) (Lab) - Parliament Live - Hansard

10. What recent steps she has taken to help restore devolution in Northern Ireland. [910255]

Karen Bradley Portrait The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Karen Bradley) - Parliament Live - Hansard
10 Apr 2019, 11:40 a.m.

On 26 March, I laid before Parliament a statutory instrument that extends the period for Executive formation until 25 August. This follows the recent engagement that I have had with the five main political parties in Northern Ireland and the Irish Government. On the basis of those conversations, I have proposed a short, focused set of five-party talks aimed at restoring devolution and the other institutions at the earliest opportunity.

Break in Debate

Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Hansard
10 Apr 2019, 11:41 a.m.

I do not agree with the hon. Gentleman’s opening remarks, but I do want to look at what is the best way to achieve a successful outcome from the talks, and I am open to looking at all options for how to achieve that.

David Hanson Portrait David Hanson - Parliament Live - Hansard
10 Apr 2019, 11:41 a.m.

In the absence of local rule and the absence of direct rule there remains a vacuum. Will the Secretary of State now look at the possibility of Members of this House asking written questions about issues of devolved responsibility to give someaccountability to the local civil service?

Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Parliament Live - Hansard
10 Apr 2019, 11:41 a.m.

The right hon. Gentleman, who has considerable experience in this field and who will, I am determined, remain the last direct rule Minister, knows that there are some constitutional arrangements. The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018 was very carefully drafted so that it respected the separation and independence of the Northern Ireland civil service, and we mess with that at our peril.

See more like "Northern Ireland Assembly Election"

Northern Ireland Assembly Election
Debate between David Hanson and Karen Bradley
Thursday 21 March 2019

(8 months, 4 weeks ago)

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Commons Chamber
Northern Ireland Office
Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Parliament Live - Hansard

With specific reference to the moneys secured under the confidence and supply arrangement, those moneys are being released as appropriate by the Treasury, and they are included within the Northern Ireland budget. We legislated two weeks ago to put the 2018-19 budget on a statutory footing, and we will of course do so for the 2019-20 budget later on. Clearly this is not a good situation, and none of us wants to be in this situation, but it is the least worst of the options that are available to us.

David Hanson Portrait David Hanson (Delyn) (Lab) - Parliament Live - Hansard
21 Mar 2019, 9:44 a.m.

The Secretary of State has a difficult job, and I know that the Prime Minister is very busy with other matters, but the reason I was the last direct rule Minister for Northern Ireland is that the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and the Taoiseach put the parties in St Andrews hotel in Scotland for an intensive period to come to a conclusion and to do what the right hon. Member for Belfast North (Nigel Dodds) said—to ask “Are you in Government, or are you not?” The answer out of St Andrews came, “Yes, we are.” The challenge is for the Secretary of State to bring the Prime Minister, the Taoiseach and the parties to the table and to put that deadline to them.

Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Parliament Live - Hansard
21 Mar 2019, 9:44 a.m.

I agree with the right hon. Gentleman; I want him to continue to be the very last direct rule Minister for Northern Ireland, and I am determined that we achieve that. But he will know, from his great experience, that St Andrews was the culmination of work that had happened with the parties to bring them together. A lot of work happened before that short, intensive period of talks. I am looking at what work we can do before we bring together the parties in that short, focused talks period.

See more like "Oral Answers to Questions"

Oral Answers to Questions
Debate between David Hanson and Karen Bradley
Wednesday 06 March 2019

(9 months, 2 weeks ago)

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Commons Chamber
Northern Ireland Office
Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Hansard
6 Mar 2019, 11:56 a.m.

My hon. Friend should not believe everything he reads in the newspaper. I assure him that I am working closely with the Defence Secretary, the Attorney General and Members on both sides of the House to ensure we can deliver a new system that works for the people of Northern Ireland, that works for the victims of terrorism and, very importantly, that works for our veterans and retired police officers.

David Hanson Portrait David Hanson (Delyn) (Lab) - Parliament Live - Hansard
6 Mar 2019, 11:57 a.m.

Where are we with the European arrest warrant in three weeks’ time?

Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Parliament Live - Hansard
6 Mar 2019, 11:57 a.m.

The way to guarantee that the European arrest warrant continues in three weeks’ time is to vote for the deal.

See more like "Northern Ireland: Restoring Devolution"

Northern Ireland: Restoring Devolution
Debate between David Hanson and Karen Bradley
Wednesday 13 February 2019

(10 months ago)

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Commons Chamber
Northern Ireland Office
Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Hansard
13 Feb 2019, 12:04 p.m.

I do not think it is any secret that sustainability of the Executive was one of the matters for discussion in the talks 12 months ago, and I am sure it will be a matter for discussion if we are able to find a way to get the parties back together. The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee has made proposals for a more sustainable Executive. My hon. Friend has great expertise, as former Chair of that Committee, and if he would like to make any suggestions, I am happy to take them to the parties.

David Hanson Portrait David Hanson (Delyn) (Lab) - Parliament Live - Hansard
13 Feb 2019, 1:58 p.m.

I retain the title of the last direct rule Minister of Northern Ireland, and with respect to the right hon. Member for North Shropshire (Mr Paterson), I hope I can keep that title in perpetuity. In that role, I took hundreds of decisions every week on behalf of this House and the people of Northern Ireland, and now those decisions are being taken without scrutiny. Can the Secretary of State bring together all the interested parties to look at how we can inject greater local scrutiny, pending—I hope—the restoration of those institutions in due course?

Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Parliament Live - Hansard
13 Feb 2019, 1:59 p.m.

The right hon. Gentleman speaks with great experience and knowledge of this matter. The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act allows for transparency in decision making, but there is of course a constitutional issue when it comes to elected politicians scrutinising the decisions taken by unelected officials. Although I understand the desire to see more scrutiny, we must remember that when the institutions are restored—I hope sooner rather than later—those officials are going to have to return to taking direction from political masters, and having political masters who may have scrutinised their previous decisions is probably not a situation in which we want them to find themselves.

See more like "Northern Ireland: Security Situation"

Northern Ireland: Security Situation
Debate between David Hanson and Karen Bradley
Monday 21 January 2019

(10 months, 4 weeks ago)

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Commons Chamber
Northern Ireland Office
Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Parliament Live - Hansard
21 Jan 2019, 6:31 p.m.

I agree with my hon. Friend, and that is why we have consulted on how to reform the system for dealing with deaths in the troubles—to enable the PSNI to police today, not the past.

David Hanson Portrait David Hanson (Delyn) (Lab) - Hansard
21 Jan 2019, 6:32 p.m.

This attack should be condemned, and I welcome the support given to organisations in Londonderry/Derry promoting peace. The Assistant Chief Constable has said that the New IRA was involved. Will the Secretary of State confirm that it is a proscribed organisation, and that proscription brings with it the potential for intelligence-led policing and could permit other offences, such as that of supporting those who perpetrated this act, to be brought before the courts?

Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Parliament Live - Hansard
21 Jan 2019, 6:32 p.m.

I can confirm what the right hon. Gentleman has said.

See more like "Oral Answers to Questions"

Oral Answers to Questions
Debate between David Hanson and Karen Bradley
Wednesday 21 March 2018

(1 year, 8 months ago)

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Commons Chamber
Northern Ireland Office
David Hanson Portrait David Hanson (Delyn) (Lab) - Parliament Live - Hansard

12. What progress has been made on restoring devolved government in Northern Ireland. [904420]

Karen Bradley Portrait The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Karen Bradley) - Parliament Live - Hansard

I set out—[Hon. Members: “Hear, hear!”] It is nice to be welcomed so loudly—[Interruption.]

Break in Debate

Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Hansard
21 Mar 2018, 11:58 a.m.

I set out the Government’s approach to restoring devolved government in my statement to the House on 12 March. As I said then, the UK Government remain determined to see devolved government re-established. We are continuing to work with all the Northern Ireland parties—and with the Irish Government, as appropriate—towards restoring the Executive and a fully functioning Assembly.

David Hanson Portrait David Hanson - Hansard
21 Mar 2018, 11:58 a.m.

What progress has the Secretary of State made on involving Assembly Members in scrutiny? Has she had discussions with the political parties, and does she expect them to be involved in the scrutiny of the budget proposals announced yesterday?

Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Hansard
21 Mar 2018, 11:58 a.m.

Specifically on the budget, I made sure that all the main political parties represented in Stormont had sight of it before I announced it, because I sincerely hope that they will be the parties that will actually deliver that budget. The right hon. Gentleman will also know from my statement of 12 March that I have had a number of representations and that I continue to receive suggestions about how we might get some form of functioning Assembly working in Stormont, and I am considering all those approaches.

See more like "Northern Ireland Finances"

Northern Ireland Finances
Debate between David Hanson and Karen Bradley
Monday 12 March 2018

(1 year, 9 months ago)

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Commons Chamber
Northern Ireland Office
Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Parliament Live - Hansard
12 Mar 2018, 6:56 p.m.

My priority is to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland. For the good of the Union and for the good of the people of Northern Ireland, that is the right thing to do. It is also worth putting on the record that that is the primary aim of the Irish Government as well. I want to put on the record my thanks for their support in the talks process, and I know that they are committed to restoring devolved government, as we are.

David Hanson Portrait David Hanson (Delyn) (Lab) - Parliament Live - Hansard
12 Mar 2018, 6:57 p.m.

Could the Minister set a timetable for her consideration of a halfway house on some of the scrutiny issues that have been mentioned by Members across the House? She would have support on allowing MLAs to table questions, to meet as committees and to scrutinise decisions. As a direct rule Minister, I know there were hundreds and hundreds of decisions taken every day by Ministers that are now not being taken. There needs to be scrutiny of those taking those decisions.

Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Parliament Live - Hansard
12 Mar 2018, 6:57 p.m.

I know the right hon. Gentleman served as a direct rule Minister, in 2004-05 or around then. He was distinguished in doing so—

See more like "Northern Ireland"

Northern Ireland
Debate between David Hanson and Karen Bradley
Tuesday 20 February 2018

(1 year, 9 months ago)

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Commons Chamber
Northern Ireland Office
Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Hansard
20 Feb 2018, 4:34 p.m.

All five parties were involved in the talks, including some roundtable talks. However, the clear point is that, for an Executive to be formed, the two large parties need to reach an accommodation. That is what we were working towards, and what I would like to happen in the near future.

David Hanson Portrait David Hanson (Delyn) (Lab) - Parliament Live - Hansard
20 Feb 2018, 4:35 p.m.

In the welcome absence of direct rule, of which I had personal experience as a Minister, will the Secretary of State tell the House how she will bring forward the budget, what form the approval of that budget will take and whether, as the hon. Member for Beckenham (Bob Stewart) asked, Assembly Members will make any contribution to the discussions of the proposals in it?

Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Parliament Live - Hansard
20 Feb 2018, 4:35 p.m.

I know that the right hon. Gentleman served as a Minister during the last period of direct rule. I have been led to believe that there was a small incident involving a football match—Wales versus Northern Ireland—when he possibly found it difficult to know which side to support. I have said that I will come back to the House on the budget.

See more like "Channel 4"

Channel 4
Debate between David Hanson and Karen Bradley
Thursday 21 December 2017

(1 year, 11 months ago)

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Commons Chamber
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
David Hanson Portrait David Hanson (Delyn) (Lab) - Hansard

1. When she plans to announce her decision on a new location for Channel 4. [903075]

Karen Bradley Portrait The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Karen Bradley) - Hansard
21 Dec 2017, 9:35 a.m.

We have been clear all along that this is a publicly owned broadcaster. Channel 4 must provide for and reflect the country as a whole. We are still in discussions with Channel 4 about how it should do this, including through relocating staff out of London, and we will set out next steps in due course.

David Hanson Portrait David Hanson - Hansard
21 Dec 2017, 9:36 a.m.

Merry Christmas, Mr Speaker. Will the Secretary of State confirm that moving Channel 4 out of London would bring an approximate £600 million benefit to broadcasting, and that it is unacceptable that only four of the 120 commissioners of programmes for Channel 4 currently live outside London? There is an economic benefit, whether it is Salford, which I prefer, Birmingham, Sheffield or Leeds, and it should be done now.

Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Hansard
21 Dec 2017, 9:36 a.m.

I thought it was going to be a bid for Wrexham, so I am interested to hear the right hon. Gentleman’s views on other locations. There are many estimates of the benefit, but Channel 4 relocating out of London would have a clear benefit to the country. It is a publicly owned broadcaster and as such we expect it to deliver public benefits above and beyond commercial benefits, and that includes relocating out of London.

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Oral Answers to Questions
Debate between David Hanson and Karen Bradley
Thursday 21 December 2017

(1 year, 11 months ago)

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Commons Chamber
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
David Hanson Portrait David Hanson (Delyn) (Lab) - Hansard

1. When she plans to announce her decision on a new location for Channel 4. [903075]

Karen Bradley Portrait The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Karen Bradley) - Hansard
21 Dec 2017, 9:35 a.m.

We have been clear all along that this is a publicly owned broadcaster. Channel 4 must provide for and reflect the country as a whole. We are still in discussions with Channel 4 about how it should do this, including through relocating staff out of London, and we will set out next steps in due course.

David Hanson Portrait David Hanson - Hansard
21 Dec 2017, 9:36 a.m.

Merry Christmas, Mr Speaker. Will the Secretary of State confirm that moving Channel 4 out of London would bring an approximate £600 million benefit to broadcasting, and that it is unacceptable that only four of the 120 commissioners of programmes for Channel 4 currently live outside London? There is an economic benefit, whether it is Salford, which I prefer, Birmingham, Sheffield or Leeds, and it should be done now.

Karen Bradley Portrait Karen Bradley - Hansard
21 Dec 2017, 9:36 a.m.

I thought it was going to be a bid for Wrexham, so I am interested to hear the right hon. Gentleman’s views on other locations. There are many estimates of the benefit, but Channel 4 relocating out of London would have a clear benefit to the country. It is a publicly owned broadcaster and as such we expect it to deliver public benefits above and beyond commercial benefits, and that includes relocating out of London.