On a good day, there may be a million words spoken in the Palace of Westminster. Here are a very few of them, from the floor of the Commons. They are not always verbatim but are reliable. That is, reliably reported.
Robert Halfon (Con): The Education department has appointed 13 Attendance advisers, but we have 1.7 million absent children and 100,000-plus so-called “ghost children”.
Grant Shapps (Con): Professor Jay’s Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse heard from 7,300 victims. It processed 2 million pages of evidence and cost £184 million. £4.5 million is to be allocated to seven organizations to support victims.
James Murray (Con): The out-of-turn estimates will increase overall spending by £71.4 billion [with £60 billion sought by BEIS to implement the energy price cap].
Christopher Chope (Con): The Paul Ehrlich Institute (the German regulator for vaccine safety) tried to raise the alert that one in 5,000 vaccinated people experienced a serious side effect, such as heart muscle inflammation. It said that, statistically, every tenth person must expect a severe consequence from having a course of three or four vaccines.
Scott Benton (Con): More than 70% of successful deportation appeals are now based solely on Article 8 [the right to respect for private and family life’].
Rachael Maskell (Lab): 7.5 million people are on pre-payment meters.
Graham Stuart (Con): In the Scotwind auction, Scottish fields have been sold off cheap, netting £700 million, while New York garnered £4.3 billion for a quarter of what was on offer in Scotland.
Andy Slaughter (Lab): The briefing from the National Residential Landlords Association says that 70% of landlords could envisage operating without section 21. Kevin Hollinrake (Con): That means in effect somewhere between 20% and 30% of supply (of rented accommodation) might go overnight.
Alison Thewliss (SNP): The gas bill of the Toryglen Community Base has gone from £9,700 a year to £62,273.36.
Richard Fuller (Con): In 2019, almost 243,000 net additional homes were delivered.
Anne McLaughlin (SNP): 40% of those entitled to pension credit do not apply for it.
Damien Hinds (Con): The e-petition for verified ID to be required to open a social media account has almost 700,000 signatures.
Taino Owatemi (Lab): In the last four years in this country, £3 billion has been lost to online fraud and 60,000 offences relating to online sexual abuse and grooming have been committed.
Guy Opperman (Con): Google made $14 billion profit last quarter.
Paulette Hamilton (Lab): (Before Putin’s invasion) Ukraine grew enough food to feed an estimated 400 million people despite having a population of only 44 million.
Matt Vickers (Con): There is a street in Stockton where if someone travels from one end to another just five miles, they pass through two areas where the difference in life expectancy is 20 years. Those living in Yarm in my constituency can be expected to live until the age of 84, whereas those living in Stockton Town Center, and neighboring Stockton North, can expect to live only to the age of 64 – that is equivalent to the life expectancy of those living in Ethiopia.
Drew Hendry (SNP): Scotch whiskey exported to India attracts a tariff of 150%.
Robert Halfon (Con): New Spanish consumer laws will force big companies and utility firms to answer customer service calls within three minutes or face fines of up to £85,000.
Theresa Villiers (Con): [On revoking the retained EU laws] We do not know with certainty how many laws there are within DEFRA’s food, animal welfare and environmental remit because that has not been comprehensively counted on the Government’s dashboard. (Greener UK estimates 570 pieces of legislation in DEFRA. Estimates for the total number of laws to be examined by the end of 2023 fall between 2,500 and 2,700 – around five a day.)
Patricia Gibson (SNP): There have been four secretaries of state for education in the last year and nine out of 10 schools in England say they will run out of money this year. The dogs in the street know that the government is so unstable as to be unfit for purpose. Does today’s Secretary of State for Education agree with me and the hon. member for Christchurch (Christopher Chope) that the new Prime Minister will face an “ungovernable” and “riven” Tory party and that a general election is the only answer, otherwise things will go from very bad to much worse? Mr. Speaker: What does that have to do with education? I do not think it has anything to do with education, so let us go to Elliot Colburn.
Jim Shannon, DUP: Does the minister agree that human rights provisions must be included in the India trade deal and can he guarantee that no blind eye will be turned to human rights abuses for the sake of economic benefit? Greg Hands (Con): I think this government have a fantastic record of promoting religious tolerance and religious diversity abroad. (In English: No.)
While speaking to LBC this morning, Climate Minister Graham Stuart couldn’t rule out energy rationing. This is despite Liz emphatically doing so in the leadership contest. The change in tune comes as the National Grid warned that 3-hour blackouts could be a possibility from November. Wrap up warm…
During the interview Graham did also proclaim “we’re not a nanny state government” in response to questions about a public information campaign. Liz is sticking to some campaign pledges…
The resignation of Chris Pincher as Deputy Chief Whip on Thursday evening left two large ministerial holes at the top of Boris’s government, following the resignation of party chair Oliver Dowden the previous week. While Pincher’s job was quickly given to Kent MP Kelly Tolhurst, the Tory Party remains without Cabinet-level representation. While Boris sits on his hands ahead of an inevitable reshuffle – either before or after the Summer recess – the rumour mill has dozens of potential names being floated for the job. Frontrunner Nigel Adams’s name, Cabinet Officer minister, was joined by Robert Halfon and Stephen McPartland in Chopper’s Telegraph email; Paul Waugh floated NRG chair Jake Berry’s name, along with former trade minister Graham Stuart. So many names, so little interest…
By coincidence, a keen-eyed co-conspirator noticed one of those names, Graham Stuart, has taken the time to update his Linkedin profile over the weekend. A social media site itself dedicated to careers and jobs…
Boris has previously proved lobbying for government jobs via Linkedin isn’t a fruitless endeavour. After James Dudderidge was sacked as a Foreign Office minister he took to the platform also declaring himself “Open for work”, albeit hoping for “part time / non exec or consultancy roles.” He was swiftly reappointed to the payroll as the PM’s PPS five months later…
Lisa Nandy seemed to like the joke somewhat less…
Last month Emily Thornberry attempted to make hay by writing and publicising a letter over meetings her counterpart Liz Truss had with the Institute of Economic Affairs, after DIT reclassified two meetings and one dinner with the free market think tank on the grounds that Truss had attended in a personal capacity, rather than an official one. After Thornberry complained the department reinstated the meetings to the public transparency record. There is however a sting in the tale…
Trade Minister Graham Stuart has hit back, highlighting the hypocrisy of Thornberry and pointed out that Labour’s Shadow Cabinet have themselves “not published any transparency information on its meetings with senior media executives since May 2016″, flouting a commitment made by then-Labour leader Ed Miliband during the Leveson Inquiry. Clearly another keen Guido reader…
“I would be grateful if you could let me know whether it is formal Labour Party policy to have dropped the implementation of this pledge, or whether you will now publish your own backdated entries for the period you have been a member of the Shadow Cabinet.”
Ouch. Read the scorching letter in full here: