Modern Slavery Act 2015 Debate

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Modern Slavery Act 2015

Alex Chalk Excerpts
Thursday 26th October 2017

(4 years ago)

Commons Chamber

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Lord Coaker Portrait Vernon Coaker
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26 Oct 2017, 12:55 p.m.

My hon. Friend puts the point very well. There is a need to look at the whole area of labour force enforcement. The co-operation between the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, the Home Office and so on in sharing data and information is important.

The Minister may want to consider an additional point about awareness. Only last week there was a case in the area of my local authority, Gedling Borough Council. The case is in the public domain. Just outside my constituency, people found a victim of labour exploitation working on their farm, Hammond farm. They were found by a person being made aware by a chance remark that caused them to question what was happening. Part of this is about enforcement but it is also about trying to raise awareness so that people may question what is happening and try to report it to the appropriate authorities. We might want to consider how we do that.

Alex Chalk Portrait Alex Chalk (Cheltenham) (Con)
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26 Oct 2017, 12:56 p.m.

rose—

Lord Coaker Portrait Vernon Coaker
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I will give way, but before I do, let me say that I have been in this House a long time, and we give way a lot and that is fine—I do not mind doing it—but Members cannot have it both ways if I then speak for a long time.

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Deputy Speaker
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26 Oct 2017, 12:56 p.m.

From when you started. The benefit of that is that I will be putting on a time limit of seven minutes and I will not have to reduce it to six—I do not want to do that. Are you sure you want to intervene, Mr Chalk?

Alex Chalk Portrait Alex Chalk
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26 Oct 2017, 12:57 p.m.

If I may. As somebody who has prosecuted offences of servitude in the past, I am extremely grateful to the hon. Gentleman for the passion that he is showing regarding this horrible offence which robs people of their dignity. Raising awareness is vital. Will he join me in paying tribute to the Salvation Army in Cheltenham, who last week held an event on this? We need to get the message out to people that everyone needs to be on their guard.

Lord Coaker Portrait Vernon Coaker
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If you will nod at me, Mr Deputy Speaker, when I need to start thinking about finishing, that would be good.