4 Afzal Khan debates involving the Ministry of Defence

Oral Answers to Questions

Afzal Khan Excerpts
Monday 30th January 2023

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Andrew Murrison Portrait Dr Murrison
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As it happens, last Monday I visited the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre. I also heard about the NHS-led National Rehabilitation Centre, which will hopefully be stood up by the end of next year: together, they will be able to provide a truly trailblazing international centre for rehabilitation and research. Obviously, this country stands by to help Ukraine in its fight against Putin in any way possible, including in the rehabilitation of its brave men who have given so much not only in defence of Ukraine, but in defence of the rest of us.

Afzal Khan Portrait Afzal Khan (Manchester, Gorton) (Lab)
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T4. Labour’s dossier on waste in the MOD found that at least £15 billion of taxpayers’ money has been wasted since 2010. Can the Secretary of State explain why the Government are failing to get a grip on the defence procurement process and secure value for money for the taxpayer?

Ben Wallace Portrait Mr Wallace
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It is a really wonderful dossier, as far as dodgy ones go, because half the waste in it was under a Labour Government.

Oral Answers to Questions

Afzal Khan Excerpts
Monday 21st September 2020

(3 years, 8 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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James Heappey Portrait The Minister for the Armed Forces (James Heappey)
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Where to begin? Specialist personnel such as engineers, medical clinicians, logistics planners, advisers, and general duty soldiers and drivers have carried out a variety of tasks to help tackle the covid-19 outbreak in London. They have distributed personal protective equipment; critical care transfer teams for the London ambulance service have assisted in the movement of patients; and they have driven ventilators around London, as well as helping with testing. Finally, they helped build the amazing first Nightingale hospital at the ExCeL.

Afzal Khan Portrait Afzal Khan  (Manchester,  Gorton) (Lab) [V]
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The GMB union estimates that by placing the Fleet Solid Support order with UK shipyards, the Treasury could see up to £285 million of the £800 million contract returned in taxes. The award of the contract could have long-term benefits for the shipbuilding sector and the wider economy, giving companies the confidence to train new apprentices and plan for the future. Will the Government support GMB’s call for the FSS order to be placed in UK shipyards?

Ben Wallace Portrait Mr Wallace
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We have already started a market engagement exercise and have had a healthy response. I intend to announce the procurement timetable for the warships in due course, after market testing has completed. We intend to encourage international partners to work alongside UK firms for the bid, which will build on the success of Type 31.

Oral Answers to Questions

Afzal Khan Excerpts
Monday 21st October 2019

(4 years, 7 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Danielle Rowley Portrait Danielle Rowley (Midlothian) (Lab)
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13. What recent discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on the minimum income requirements for Commonwealth personnel and veterans to bring family members to the UK.

Afzal Khan Portrait Afzal Khan (Manchester, Gorton) (Lab)
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15. What recent discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on the minimum income requirements for Commonwealth personnel and veterans to bring family members to the UK.

Johnny Mercer Portrait The Minister for Defence People and Veterans (Johnny Mercer)
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All service personnel with non-EU citizen dependants are subject to the minimum income requirement when applying for visas to enter the UK. I recently met my hon. Friend the Member for South Ribble (Seema Kennedy), the Immigration Minister at the Home Office, to discuss the minimum income requirement for visa fees. This is now being taken forward by officials from both Departments, and I am very hopeful of a good outcome.

Johnny Mercer Portrait Johnny Mercer
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I pay tribute to those from Commonwealth countries for their sacrifice and service over the years, which is exactly why we are looking to recruit more people from those parts of the world. I am in conversations with the Home Office to try and work out ways to get over the minimum income requirement, and a lot of options are being looked at—such as whether we can work with credit unions or advertise on payslips—but I am more than happy to meet with the hon. Lady.

Afzal Khan Portrait Afzal Khan
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Much like ordinary civilians, Commonwealth soldiers are being unfairly treated by the Government under their hostile environment policies. Is the Minister aware of the significant difficulties that Commonwealth personnel have encountered in bringing their families to the UK, and will he engage with me to address these issues?

Johnny Mercer Portrait Johnny Mercer
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I will be delighted to engage with the hon. Gentleman, and I would reiterate my point about the sacrifice and the service of so many of our Commonwealth soldiers, who have contributed so much to the armed forces in this country and who make them such a diverse and incredible set of armed forces that do such a good job on our behalf.

Oral Answers to Questions

Afzal Khan Excerpts
Monday 9th July 2018

(5 years, 10 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Tobias Ellwood Portrait Mr Ellwood
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Well, HQ 160st Infantry Brigade and 38 (Irish) Brigade will continue to have a footprint in the area. I would be more than delighted to meet the hon. Gentleman to discuss this. I am always happy to meet any colleagues to discuss the real estate challenges that we face in any particular constituency.

Afzal Khan Portrait Afzal Khan (Manchester, Gorton) (Lab)
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15. What steps his Department is taking to increase the UK’s contribution to UN peacekeeping missions.

Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton Portrait The Minister for the Armed Forces (Mark Lancaster)
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The MOD has more than doubled the number of British forces on UN peacekeeping missions in the past three years in accordance with the commitment made in the strategic defence and security review in 2015. This is through new deployments to the UN missions in South Sudan and Somalia, in addition to our long-standing commitment to the UN mission in Cyprus. That means that we have increased numbers from some 300 to over 670 today.

Afzal Khan Portrait Afzal Khan
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It is important that NATO works hand in hand with the UN and other bodies with regard to conflict prevention and peacekeeping. What steps are the Government taking to promote collaboration between NATO and the UN to make that as efficient as possible?

Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton Portrait Mark Lancaster
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I met the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, in London last month, and that is just the sort of discussion we have with him. There are a number of areas where we think that closer co-operation between the UN and NATO can be of benefit, and that is precisely why we are increasing our commitment to the UN in practical terms.