Debates between Rachel Maclean and Lindsay Hoyle during the 2019 Parliament

Fri 20th Dec 2019
European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill
Commons Chamber

2nd reading: House of Commons & Money resolution: House of Commons & Programme motion: House of Commons & Ways and Means resolution: House of Commons & 2nd reading & 2nd reading: House of Commons & Money resolution & Money resolution: House of Commons & Programme motion & Programme motion: House of Commons & Ways and Means resolution & Ways and Means resolution: House of Commons & 2nd reading & Programme motion & Money resolution & Ways and Means resolution

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Rachel Maclean and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 17th January 2022

(1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Rachel Maclean Portrait Rachel Maclean
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I thank my hon. Friend for raising such an important issue. These and many other issues are captured in the rape review. Every Member of this House will be concerned about the level of rape prosecutions, which is why the Government are working across Departments to improve the system overall, and it is absolutely right that we do so.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call Dame Diana Johnson—I welcome the right hon. Lady to her first Question Time as Chair of the Home Affairs Committee.

Diana Johnson Portrait Dame Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North) (Lab)
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The Minister will know that, in 2015, in her report on rape investigations and prosecutions in London, Dame Elish Angiolini recommended that the specialist RASSO police officers should investigate rape cases. We heard much evidence to back that up in the inquiry that the Home Affairs Committee has just concluded. I have a question for the Safeguarding Minister, who appeared before the Committee in December. At the time she could not tell us how many police officers were RASSO trained, or, indeed, how many of the new recruits to the police had been RASSO trained. Is she able to do so today?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Rachel Maclean and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 22nd November 2021

(2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Rachel Maclean Portrait Rachel Maclean
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I can reassure my hon. Friend and all Members in the House that those victims who are working closely with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service are looked at on a case-by-case basis. Where they are assisting the police and the criminal justice system with their inquiries, they are permitted to stay in this country, and our legislation that we are bringing forward will clarify that further. [Interruption.] I have met victims of modern slavery, thank you, I say to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley (Jess Phillips), who is speaking from a sedentary position.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Let us try to calm it down. We do not want another week like last week. When Members have asked their question, they do not need to continue.

Rachel Maclean Portrait Rachel Maclean
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I hope I have answered my hon. Friend the Member for Wellingborough (Mr Bone). I am happy to speak to him in more detail. I make it clear to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley that I have met victims of modern slavery. I have heard their stories, which are shocking, and we are putting all our efforts into preventing these crimes and dealing with the people who perpetrate them.

Violence Against Women and Girls: Police Response

Debate between Rachel Maclean and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 22nd September 2021

(4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Urgent Questions are proposed each morning by backbench MPs, and up to two may be selected each day by the Speaker. Chosen Urgent Questions are announced 30 minutes before Parliament sits each day.

Each Urgent Question requires a Government Minister to give a response on the debate topic.

This information is provided by Parallel Parliament and does not comprise part of the offical record

Rachel Maclean Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Rachel Maclean)
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Crimes of violence against women and girls are utterly despicable. They inflict profound and lasting harm on the victims and have a damaging impact on our society as a whole. That is why the Government are taking concerted action to crack down on these appalling crimes.

I am extremely grateful to the right hon. and learned Lady for providing me with an opportunity, as the newly appointed Safeguarding Minister, to outline our work in this area, and I very much hope to work collegially across the House. I know that every parliamentarian shares our concern about these serious issues.

The Home Secretary commissioned this report from the police inspectorate to help police forces strengthen their response. We are carefully considering the inspectorate’s findings, and we expect the police and others to take any necessary action. The Home Secretary has committed to considering the report’s full recommendations and will update Parliament when she has done so.

We supported the inspectorate’s recommendation in its interim report in July to introduce a full-time national police lead for violence against women and girls. I am pleased to say that Deputy Chief Constable Maggie Blyth has been appointed to the role, and we look forward to working with her.

While the report shows that there is more to do, we must not lose sight of the fact that we have made progress. The report acknowledges improvements in the police response to these crimes, including better identification of repeat victims, improved techniques to collect evidence, and improved safeguarding measures.

Since 2010, the Government have taken significant action in this space, including introducing new laws to tackle stalking, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and so-called revenge porn. Importantly, we have brought forward the landmark Domestic Abuse Act 2021, and I pay tribute to my predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Louth and Horncastle (Victoria Atkins), who is sitting beside me on the Front Bench, and to the Prime Minister for playing a vital role. We have more than doubled the safer streets fund, while our unprecedented police recruitment drive is putting more officers in our communities to protect the public and drive down crime.

We are determined to go further, which is why we published our new tackling violence against women and girls strategy in July, and we will publish a complementary domestic abuse strategy this year. Our new strategy will drive our effort to prevent these crimes, ensure that victims get the support they need, and bring perpetrators to justice. It details a number of steps, including immediate investment in measures to make our streets safer, more funding for specialist support services, and a multimillion-pound public behaviour campaign to challenge unacceptable behaviour.

Public protection is our No. 1 priority. Violence against women and girls has absolutely no place in our society, and we are committed to working with the police and other key partners to confront these crimes wherever they appear.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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We come to the Mother of the House, Harriet Harman.

Harriet Harman Portrait Ms Harman
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Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am really grateful to you for granting this urgent question.

I thank the Minister for her response and welcome her to her new role and wish her well in it. I will support her in her work, but we need a greater sense of urgency. In just the last few days, there have been more horrific killings of women. In Sheffield, 35-year-old Terri Harris was killed together with three children, John Paul Bennett, Lacey Bennet and Connie Gent. In Greenwich, primary school teacher Sabina Nessa was only 28 years old.

Her Majesty’s inspectorate of police, Zoë Billingham, rightly describes this as an “epidemic” of male violence against women, and the extent of the impunity of men for this violence is shown by the killer of Sophie Moss saying that it was just “rough sex gone wrong” and literally getting away without a murder charge.

All credit to the Government for commissioning this report. Will they now implement its recommendations in full? We have a woman Homey Secretary, and I believe that women in leading positions have a special duty to deliver for other women. Although she will meet the inevitable institutional objections and traditional resistance to change, she will, if she does this, have 100% support from this side of the House and, indeed, 100% support from her own side. It is not often we can say this, but this is something that the whole House wants.

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Rachel Maclean Portrait Rachel Maclean
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It is a real privilege to be questioned by my right hon. Friend on this issue. She has been instrumental throughout the years in initiating the important work I am now talking about. She is absolutely right to highlight the fact that when women go to the authorities to seek help, they need to be listened to and they need to be supported adequately. That is a key part of the work we set out in the violence against women and girls strategy. We will be making sure that that takes place.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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We come now to the shadow Minister, Jess Phillips.

Jess Phillips Portrait Jess Phillips (Birmingham, Yardley) (Lab)
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Thank you, Mr Speaker. I welcome the new Minister to her place.

The report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services highlights the continued staggering failures by the Government to protect women and girls adequately. We should not make any bones about what it actually says. Since Sarah Everard was killed, a further 78 women have been killed by men, and I am sure that we would all wish to send our support to the family of Sabina Nessa this week.

The report tells the Government that there cannot be anything less than sweeping and fundamental changes across the board. There have been many reports, statistics and cases this year. After each one there has been an opportunity for concrete action, but each time we simply get a piecemeal response—a little review here, a pilot project there. Tackling misogyny and violence is on all of us, but primarily it is on the Minister. It is the Government’s job to keep people safe. The report is clear. In the words of Her Majesty’s inspectorate, these problems have arisen because of

“the continuing effects of austerity on policing and partner-agency budgets.”

The Labour party continues to call for a comprehensive violence against women and girls Bill. We also support all the recommendations in Zoë Billingham’s report. Will the Minister today commit to keeping to the very detailed action plan commanded by the report within the timeline it states? I will, of course, be checking. Will the Minister now take seriously our calls for the proper supervision and management of repeat offenders? Again, I quote from the report:

“there is no consistent and dedicated model in place for managing domestic abuse offenders”.

No model in place, Mr Speaker. I could actually scream. How can there be no model in place to deal with violent criminals? We have repeatedly asked for one. When can we expect it?

Will the Minister tell this House—I have asked this from this Dispatch Box before—when the Government will finally categorise violence against women and girls as a serious crime, just as they do with terrorism and serious youth violence? When I asked this question recently of the Minister for Crime and Policing, the right hon. Member for North West Hampshire (Kit Malthouse), who is in his place, he said that local areas can do it if they want. That is exactly the kind of half-hearted effort that leads to patchy approaches that this report decries. It is not an acceptable response. Will they finally act? They have a chance to do it in the House of Lords in these weeks around us.

The safety and security of women is not some side-line, add-on issue; it is essential to a functioning society. It can no longer be a weight borne by women everywhere. Every day wasted waiting for the Home Secretary to decide if she wants to undertake the recommendations is another rape, another murder and another beating.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Rachel Maclean and Lindsay Hoyle
Thursday 24th June 2021

(7 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Rachel Maclean Portrait Rachel Maclean
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I remind the hon. Gentleman that his constituents in Scotland, like those across the UK, have benefited from up to £1.3 billion of support to help them transition to electric vehicles. Shall we look at the facts, Mr Speaker? The plug-in car grant, the home charge grant, the on-street chargers and the workplace chargers are all funded by the UK Government for the benefit of the hon. Gentleman’s constituents and those across the United Kingdom.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I do apologise for the noise. There is a helicopter somewhere overhead. I know it is Transport questions, but it is getting a bit much.

Sam Tarry Portrait Sam Tarry (Ilford South) (Lab)
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As someone who is regularly stuck in traffic on the A13, I think no one wants to return to the levels of pollution we saw before the pandemic began, particularly as emerging evidence indicates that exposure to air pollution increases the severity of coronavirus symptoms and other respiratory conditions. That is why I am so glad to see the work done by brilliant, publicly run light rail systems such as Tyne and Wear metro and Tramlink, led by fantastic local Labour administrations. Light rail networks are an effective means of reducing congestion and pollution given that they produce next to no pollution at the point of use. What assurances will the Minister give, therefore, to support projects that incorporate light rail, tram trains, and electric and hydrogen buses such as the mass transit system proposed by the new West Yorkshire Combined Authority Mayor?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Rachel Maclean and Lindsay Hoyle
Thursday 29th April 2021

(9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Enjoy your travel in Lancashire when you do.

Rachel Maclean Portrait Rachel Maclean
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I note your remark, Mr Speaker. I thank my hon. Friend for her point. I am not a man in a grey suit, so I can reassure her fully, and I thank her for the massively constructive way she has engaged with the national bus strategy since its launch. The way she has stood up for her constituents is absolutely exemplary, and I know from the discussions that she and I have had how important that is. By October, local transport authorities are expected to provide bus service improvement plans, which should be developed in collaboration with local people to ensure that they genuinely reflect the area’s needs.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Staying in Lancashire, I call Rosie Cooper. Come on, Rosie.

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Rachel Maclean Portrait Rachel Maclean
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My hon. Friend is a brilliant champion of connectivity for her constituency, and as a result, my right hon. Friend the Transport Secretary was in north Wales early this week, discussing plans to upgrade the A55 with the Welsh Conservative candidate standing in May’s election. We look forward to the final Union connectivity review recommendations ahead of the spending review, in which we will consider funding plans for delivering improved UK-wide connectivity. However, I must say to the hon. Lady that the fastest way for her constituents to secure upgrades to the A55 is to vote for a Welsh Conservative Government, who have pledged to end Labour’s neglect of north Wales.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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That brings me on to my final point, which is just to say that I will be pleased when next Thursday is out of the way, but I remind Members who are going into other constituencies, other than for a private, personal visit, to please ensure that they notify the MP. That goes to all sides, because I am getting letters of complaint. Please, I do not need any more letters of complaint: just abide by good practice.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Rachel Maclean and Lindsay Hoyle
Thursday 28th January 2021

(12 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Rachel Maclean Portrait Rachel Maclean
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How could I possibly turn down such a wonderful invitation? I can tell my hon. Friend that I have already visited an information and advice site in Hopwood. It is a fantastic service, and there are thousands of hauliers visiting these sites up and down the country, including the Road King at Cannock. I would like to join him there, and hopefully he can tell me what the best breakfast is.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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He will pay, of course.

Kerry McCarthy Portrait Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East) (Lab) [V]
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I am afraid that my question for the Minister might be slightly tougher to answer. As she knows, the new three-stop limit will be devastating for UK hauliers working with touring musicians or on events that involve multiple stops in EU countries. This is such an important sector for the UK, and it has already been hit so hard by covid. Can the Minister at least acknowledge today that the Government’s failure to seek an exemption during the negotiations was a massive own goal? Will the Government get back round the negotiating table and sort this out before the summer, when we all hope that the live music scene will be open once again for business?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Rachel Maclean and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 25th November 2020

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Rachel Maclean Portrait Rachel Maclean
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I thank the hon. Lady very much for her support for this scheme. She will know that over 63% of victims of domestic abuse accessing the support have stated that they would not have been able to access a journey at all if the scheme had not been in place. I am pleased that this vital scheme is extended until next March, and we keep all these schemes under review all the time.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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We are now going back to Basingstoke, to Maria Miller with her supplementary question.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Rachel Maclean and Lindsay Hoyle
Thursday 17th September 2020

(1 year, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Rachel Maclean Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Rachel Maclean)
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We are making active travel and public transport the natural first choice for journeys. We are providing £2.5 billion of support to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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We are now going to Swansea, via the New York backdrop, to Geraint Davies.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Rachel Maclean and Lindsay Hoyle
Thursday 12th March 2020

(1 year, 10 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Rachel Maclean Portrait Rachel Maclean
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I am delighted to assist my hon. Friend. I encourage him to think about purchasing an electric vehicle. The answer is to ensure that there are charging points at his block of flats and across the country. In fact, the Government have doubled the funding available to local authorities to install charging points for electric vehicles on-street, to £10 million. I am sure that that will assist him.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Or he could get roller-skates!

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

Debate between Rachel Maclean and Lindsay Hoyle
2nd reading: House of Commons & Money resolution: House of Commons & Programme motion: House of Commons & Ways and Means resolution: House of Commons & 2nd reading & Money resolution & Programme motion & Ways and Means resolution
Friday 20th December 2019

(2 years, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
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Rachel Maclean Portrait Rachel Maclean (Redditch) (Con)
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Thank you, Mr Speaker, for calling me so early in the debate.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Don’t get too used to it.

Rachel Maclean Portrait Rachel Maclean
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I was just congratulating myself on putting my tick in the right box to vote for you, Mr Speaker. It is indeed wonderful to see you in the Chair. Congratulations on your election, and I hope that it ushers in the start of a brave new Parliament, not just for me and my own speeches, but, of course, for all of us, and for the country.

In the general election that took place only just over a week ago—which seems incredible—I was returned to this place with more than 63% of the vote, the largest share ever received in the fantastic constituency of Redditch since its formation in 1997. It exceeded even the vote share of Jacqui Smith, the former Labour Home Secretary, when she represented the constituency so ably. That, I think, constitutes an overwhelming mandate for me to get Brexit done, and then move on to the priorities on which my constituents want me to focus on their behalf. One of those priorities is, of course, returning services to the Alex hospital. New Members, you will hear that again—hint, hint.

I think it fair to say, along with my colleagues who were also elected in 2017, that we have had a pretty miserable time of it. All of us entered the House full of the passion that my wonderful new colleagues sitting near me clearly feel. We were eager to do our best not just for our constituents but for the whole country, but we have not been able to fulfil what we were sent to Parliament to do. I believe that, as a Member with the privilege to sit on these Benches, I am a servant of my constituents. It is not my job to tell them that they were wrong, and that they did not know what they were voting for. I voted remain, but at the end of the day we have to respect democracy. People who are on the wrong side of arguments just need to move on, and, finally, we have a chance to do that.

I must admit that when the Prime Minister set out on his path of first trying to reopen the withdrawal agreement and get rid of the backstop and then going for a general election, I thought to myself, “He has an uphill struggle in front of him.” I really wondered whether he would be able to do it, given the state of the Parliament that we had at the time, but I think that what he has done is take a leaf out of the British Army engineers’ book. They have a saying when faced with a seemingly unsurmountable challenge: “We will get it done, whether it can be done or not.” I think that that is what the Prime Minister has done, and I want to thank him for returning all of us here, and for breaking the deadlock and allowing us to do our job of serving the people. We have a refreshed Parliament. We have a new intake who are full of passion and energy and ideas to transform our whole country, and we can finally do that.

I can think of no better way in which to finish this brief session of Parliament than to wish everyone a very, very merry Christmas, including you, Mr Speaker, the Clerks and all the Doorkeepers, and all the staff who have worked so hard to make us all feel welcome. It was only two years ago that I was here for the first time, and I remember how confusing it was, but the staff are so patient and so lovely.

Let me end by saying, in case anyone was in any doubt, that I will definitely be voting in the Aye Lobby to honour the democratic wishes of the lovely people of Redditch who have put me here—and by wishing everyone a very merry Brexmas.