David Nuttall MP

9 Nov 2011 16:40:45

Government EU budget motion passes without rebellion

By Paul Goodman
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COMMONS-sittingThere are conflicting views at present about where Conservative Euro-revolts go next.  One is that they peaked on the vote over an EU referendum.  Another is that they will climb higher if Britain enters any new treaty negotiations without a repatriation of powers proposal. My view is the latter (were the Government to present a bill based on such a treaty).

But either way, it is worth recording briefly that a Government motion relating to future EU budgets was passed yesterday evening without a Tory backbench amendment.  Both a source loyal to the Government and a rebel used the same phrase to me yesterday about potential future rebellions - "guerilla warfare".

In other words, they are united in agreeing that rebellions will be back sooner or later, but for the moment there is no appetite for more among most of the 81 Conservative MPs who voted against the Government on the referendum motion.  I think that Tracey Crouch's letter to Mark Pritchard last week rather caught the mood.

Continue reading "Government EU budget motion passes without rebellion" »

8 Nov 2011 17:33:57

Eurosceptic Tory MPs grill Cameron following G20 statement

By Matthew Barrett
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Yesterday afternoon, David Cameron made a statement to the House on his recent G20 meetings. Given that the Prime Minister described the main topic of debate as "instability in the eurozone", one could have predicted Eurosceptic members would turn up in force - as indeed they did. Douglas Carswell, Bill Cash, and Peter Bone were amongst the MPs asking questions. 

Bill Cash posed the first challenging question of the session:

CASH WILLIAM"Mr William Cash (Stone) (Con): Given that the single market, including the City of London, is governed by qualified majority voting, how does the Prime Minister propose to achieve a majority to protect our interests in the context of the fiscal union that he advocates?

The Prime Minister: First, we need to disconnect the issues that my hon. Friend raises. The issue of the single market and the threat to the City of London and Britain’s financial services is a real threat. We have to work extremely hard to build alliances in the single market and in the European Council to stop directives that would damage our interests. I think it is extremely important that we do that work. Financial services matter hugely to this country, and this is one of the areas that I want to ensure we can better safeguard in future."

Continue reading "Eurosceptic Tory MPs grill Cameron following G20 statement" »

31 Aug 2011 14:29:55

Ten new MPs responsible for a quarter of all rebellious votes by Tory MPs

By Matthew Barrett
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COMMONS-sitting As reported last week, this Parliament has seen more rebellions than during the Major years, and in fact, the 2010 intake has been the most rebellious since at least 1945. The last Parliamentary year has seen Conservative rebellions on issues such as European bailouts, recognising marriage in the tax system, or on law and order matters.

An interesting new post by Philip Cowley and Mark Stuart of the Centre for British Politics at the University of Nottingham's NottsPolitics blog shows just ten Conservative MPs from the 2010 intake are responsible for nearly a quarter of all rebellious votes by Conservative MPs. 

Their findings also show:

  • Tory newcomers have accounted for 31% of rebellious votes cast by all Conservative MPs
  • More 2010 intake Conservative MPs have rebelled (46), compared to Labour MPs (21) or the Lib Dems (7)
  • 31% of new Tory MPs have now rebelled
  • New Conservative rebels have cast 249 rebellious votes

Continue reading "Ten new MPs responsible for a quarter of all rebellious votes by Tory MPs" »

12 Jul 2011 08:32:49

29 32 Tory MPs rebel against Britain's £9.3 billion EXTRA contribution to IMF bailouts

By Tim Montgomerie
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Last night at least 32 Tory MPs (listed below) voted with Labour against an 88% hike in Britain's contribution to the IMF. The hike is to partly fund the IMF's ability to fund bailouts. I write "at least" because I've only quickly scanned the voting list. Please email [email protected] if I've missed anyone off the list.

  1. Steve Baker
  2. Brian Binley
  3. Peter Bone
  4. Douglas Carswell
  5. Bill Cash
  6. Chris Chope
  7. James Clappison
  8. Philip Davies
  9. David Davis
  10. Zac Goldsmith
  11. James Gray (added at 9.30am)
  12. Gordon Henderson (added at 9.30am)
  13. Chris Kelly
  14. Edward Leigh
  15. Julian Lewis
  16. Anne Main
  17. Karl McCartney
  18. Nigel Mills (added at 11.30am)
  19. David Nuttall
  20. Matthew Offord
  21. Andrew Percy
  22. Mark Reckless
  23. John Redwood
  24. Simon Reevell
  25. Richard Shepherd
  26. Henry Smith
  27. Graham Stuart
  28. Peter Tapsell
  29. Andrew Turner
  30. Martin Vickers
  31. Charles Walker
  32. John Whittingdale

The Government won the vote to increase Britain's contribution from £10.7 billion to £20.15 billion by 274 votes to 246. This is the first time that the Labour frontbench has voted with Tory Eurosceptics. Labour was voting against an increase in the IMF subscription that was largely agreed during Gordon brown's time in office.

Redwood-on-NewsnightS On his blog John Redwood suggests that the 29 rebels are only one sign of Tory discontent. Given that there are more than 300 Tory MPs he calculates that AT LEAST 80 Conservatives were unavailable, abstained or voted against the government. He writes:

"Some of us want the UK government to use the influence it says it has at the IMF to halt the futile bail outs of Eurozone members. The debt markets show the markets do not believe that Greece can repay all its debts in full and on time. Yesterday was a day when market worries spread beyond Greece, Ireland and Portugal to Italy. Those in  charge of the Euro scheme need to get a grip. It is doing a great deal of financial and economic damage, and they no longer seem to be in control of their project. The IMF should decline to bail out rich countries that have shackled themselves to a currency scheme that was badly put together and needs a thorough re think."

Carswell Douglas Central Lobby 10.30am Douglas Carswell has just blogged this:

"The decision to raise our IMF subscriptions by 88 percent was first mooted when Gordon Brown was in charge – but was okayed by the current government last October.  While Canada, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium all managed to keep the increase in their subs low, whoever negotiated the deal on our behalf seems to have preferred to have UK taxpayers assume greater debt liabilities so that they could sit on a bigger chair at the various international summits they attend on our behalf. Alongside fiscal policy and monetary policy, our approach towards the bailouts and the IMF shows that there has been remarkably little change in economic policy at the Treasury since Gordon Brown was in charge." 

More from Douglas Carswell.

5 Jul 2011 08:30:46

Conservative MPs rebelling more against Cameron than Major

By Tim Montgomerie
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Over on the NottsPolitics blog Professor Philip Cowley underlines the rebelliousness of backbench Liberal Democrat and Conservative MPs since the formation of the Coalition. This graph confirms that this is the most rebellious intake since the second world war:

Screen shot 2011-07-05 at 08.20.20

Cowley notes:

  • "Backbench dissent amongst government MPs is running at a historically high level – with a rebellion in almost one in every two votes in the Commons...
  • This is especially striking once you remember that this is a first session (normally relatively quiet) and even more so once you realise that this is a first session after a change of government (normally extremely quiet)...
  • The rate [of rebellion] for Conservative MPs alone is higher than in any first session since the war, including that of John Major in 1992, when he faced all the Maastricht rebellions...
  • The rates of rebellion are themselves very high: Philip Hollobone in particular is rebelling at a rate of roughly one rebellion in every four votes.  This is much higher than, say, Jeremy Corbyn under Blair or Brown..."

Jonathan Isaby has produced his own list of top rebels. Professor Cowley has done the same:

Screen shot 2011-07-05 at 08.20.37

Read Cowley's full blog.

2 Apr 2011 07:54:37

A Bone to pick with the BBC

by Paul Goodman

As some MPs prepared for the Easter recess, one in particular was still in the Commons yesterday - that inveterate attender, Peter Bone (Wellingborough).  He moved the second reading of his Broadcasting (Public Service Content) on behalf of Christopher Chope (Christchurch), which succeeded the Broadcasting (Television Licence Fee Abolition) Bill, also originally introduced by Chope  -

"The aim of the Broadcasting (Television Licence Fee Abolition) Bill was fairly modest: it just wanted to abolish the licence fee in total. I do not think that that is right. I want to retain the licence fee, but I want it to cost a lot less, and I want its benefits to be available to non-BBC broadcasters. At the moment, it is not so much a licence fee as a BBC fee. All the money goes to the BBC, and none goes to other broadcasters...I am told that the current licence fee, which is in effect a poll tax, is £145.50 a year. Almost no one can avoid paying that if they are under the age of 75. Anyone who has more than one television set in more than one location has to pay more than one licence fee. It is a very regressive tax. Also, anyone who does not have a television is still hounded as though they do have one. I had a constituent—this is not made up—who told the BBC licensing authorities that he did not have a television set. They did not believe him. They sent inspectors around to inspect every room in his home to see whether there was a hidden television. That is the sort of thing we might get in a totalitarian state, but surely it is not acceptable in the United Kingdom at any time, and certainly not in this century?"

Bone went on to explain what the effect of his Bill would be, if passed -

"The public service content is mentioned in clause 1(1) and is defined in some detail in clause 1(2). Let me outline the idea behind the Bill. The licence fee will be available to all broadcasters and it will be paid out in return for public service broadcasting content. It will not be left purely to the BBC, but be open to ITV, Channel 4, Sky and any other broadcaster and to local radio. The licence fee, which many people think is paid directly to the BBC, is, in fact, paid to the Secretary of State, who then dishes it out. I believe that the licence fee should be allotted for a specific purpose—in this case, the provision of public service content broadcasting. That is what my Bill would do."

Continue reading "A Bone to pick with the BBC" »

12 Dec 2010 08:14:35

Tory MPs line up with ideas to save the British pub

Tim Montgomerie

Thirty-nine pubs are closing each and every week. The all-party save the pub group secured a Westminster Hall debate last week to highlight the problem and discuss solutions. Contributions from MPs are extracted below.

Great-british-pub-large Karen Bradley MP said pubs are socially useful: "The group shares a belief that the British pub is an important part of this country's history and heritage, and that pubs are hugely important to the communities they serve as a focus for community, social, sporting and charitable activity. The traditional public house also provides a sociable and controlled drinking environment, which is important to encourage responsible sociable drinking."

Jack Lopresto MP says the smoking ban should be relaxed: "Overall, the smoking ban has been positive. It has improved the environment of pubs no end, especially for those that rely on serving food as a key part of their business, and it makes for a much more pleasant experience for most people who are non-smokers. It has also made pubs more family friendly. But there needs to be a re-think on having a dedicated smoking area inside buildings, with extractor fans, where no children would be allowed and no food would be served. I realise that this would not be possible in every case, but it would allow many pubs to utilise extra space or even have a smoking bar and non-smoking bar or room/lounge-whatever-and end the practice of smokers being thrown outside in all weathers at any time of day or night, with the problems that can be caused with disturbance to local residents who live close by. That would generate a significant increase in business for pubs that are currently struggling and it could make the difference between a pub staying open or closing."

Thérèse Coffey MP said that pubs should offer diverse services: "We must also encourage other income streams; I think of what is happening with post office essentials. If a pub is open from 11 until 11, there is no reason why one cannot buy stamps and get driving licence forms and so on there. There are also aspects such as the internet hub. We have the digital village pump, and I know that schemes are afoot already to try to ensure that it is near the pub, so that people can use the internet there as well. Of course, we had the endorsement of His Royal Highness Prince Charles in 2001, when he spoke about the pub as the hub. On that note, I raise my glass and toast the future of British pubs. Cheers, everyone."

Continue reading "Tory MPs line up with ideas to save the British pub" »

8 Dec 2010 06:26:31

Ken Clarke's Criminal Justice Green Paper gets a mixed reaction from Tory backbenchers

By Jonathan Isaby

Yesterday Justice Secretary Ken Clarke presented his Green Paper on Criminal Justice, “Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders”. ConHome has already covered some of the announcements contained therein here and here, but here are some of the highlights of what Mr Clarke said in presenting the Green Paper to the Commons and the reaction he got from Tory backbenchers.

Ken Clarke pointing Mr Clarke told the Commons:

"Of course, criminals must face robust and demanding punishments. This means making them work hard both in prison and in the community. More prisoners will face the tough discipline of regular working hours. This has been lacking in most prison regimes for too long. Community sentences will be more credible, with more demanding work and greater use of tough curfew requirements. There will be greater reparation to victims through increased use of restorative justice and by implementing the Prisoners’ Earnings Act 1996. We will bring forward other changes to make sure that more offenders directly compensate the victims of crime.

"But we will take a new approach to the reform of offenders. I regard prison first and foremost as a place of punishment where people lose their liberty as reparation for what they have done, but on top of that, prison cannot continue to be simply an expensive way of giving communities a break. We must give higher priority to ensuring that more prisoners go straight on release.

"Offenders will face a tough and co-ordinated response from the police, probation and other services. It will mean that they must either address the problems that fuel their criminal activity or be caught and punished again."

"The sentencing framework must provide courts with a range of options to punish and rehabilitate criminals and keep the public safe. The sentencing framework has developed in an ad hoc fashion recently, with over 20 Acts of Parliament changing sentencing in the past 10 years. This has left it overly complex, difficult to interpret and administer, and hard for the public to understand. We need to make better use of prison and community sentences to punish offenders and improve public safety, while ensuring that sentencing supports our aims of improved rehabilitation and increased reparation to victims and society. We will therefore simplify the sentencing framework in order to make it more comprehensible to the public and to enhance judicial independence. We will reform community orders to give providers more discretion, and we will encourage greater use of financial penalties and improve their collection."

"Let me assure the House that public safety remains our first priority. We will continue to ensure that serious and dangerous offenders are managed effectively and their risk is reduced through appropriate use of prison and then through the multi-agency public protection arrangements... Any adult who commits a crime using a knife can expect to be sent to prison, and serious offenders can expect a long sentence. For juveniles, imprisonment is always available and will also be appropriate for serious offenders."

There were some voices of considerable scepticism from some Tory MPs sitting behind him:


Continue reading "Ken Clarke's Criminal Justice Green Paper gets a mixed reaction from Tory backbenchers" »

14 Oct 2010 13:46:24

David Nuttall's attempt to relax the smoking ban falls at the first hurdle - but 77 Tory MPs vote for his Bill (with 38 opposing it)

By Jonathan Isaby

Nuttall David On Tuesday we carried this video of Bury North MP David Nuttall explaining why he wants to relax the smoking ban.

His chance to make his case with a ten minute rule bill in the Commons came yesterday afternoon. Here are key extracts from the speech of Mr Nuttall - a "devout non-smoker":

"Although there are arguments for it to be completely repealed, this Bill aims to deal with what has perhaps been the most contentious aspect of the ban-namely, its application to public houses and private members' clubs. This Bill would exempt such premises from part 1 of the Health Act 2006 and allow them to reintroduce a smoking room if those in charge chose to do so. Smoking would be permitted in a separate room, provided that appropriate and effective air extraction equipment was fitted. Smoking would continue to be prohibited where food was being served."

"There are two main reasons why the blanket ban should be relaxed and smoking should once again be permitted in public houses and private members' clubs. First, there is the economic case; and, secondly, there is what I believe to be an even more important reason-namely, freedom of choice and the desirability of devolving decisions to the lowest appropriate level."

"Since the ban was introduced, thousands of public houses have closed down. As ever with statistics, it is possible to choose the ones that best suit the desired argument. Few could argue against the fact, however, that since the introduction of the smoking ban, thousands of public houses have closed down. I do not claim that the smoking ban was the only cause of all those closures, as other factors such as the availability of lower-price drinks from supermarkets, the cost of satellite television and the general economic climate no doubt all played a part. For many, however, the smoking ban was the final straw."

"Let me turn to deal with the second reason-freedom of choice and localism. I believe that in the case of a private members' club, the decision should be taken by the members of that club. I believe that the decision on whether smoking takes place in a public house should be taken by the pub landlord. I believe in trusting the people. This means giving individuals the power and the responsibility to take decisions for themselves.

"Pub landlords are the right people to decide whether allowing a smoking room is the best thing to do for their establishments. Some would no doubt choose to take advantage of the freedom that the Bill would give them, but I know from my own constituency that many would not. As smoking would continue to be prohibited where food was being served, many public houses would remain just as they are today. Customers would have a choice whether to use a completely non-smoking pub or to use one with a smoking room. The establishment of separate smoking rooms in some pubs would also reduce the incidence of smokers' being forced to gather on the pavements outside pubs.

"The Bill puts into practice the principle of localism that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister set out with such clarity in his speech to the Conservative party conference last week. It transfers power from the state to the citizen, from politicians to people. It puts the "local" back into localism."

Mr Nuttall's attempt to introduce the Bill was defeated by 141 votes to 86.

The official Conservative line was to abstain, but a total of 77 backbench Tory MPs supported this attempt to relax the smoking ban:

  1. Richard Bacon
  2. Steve Baker
  3. Guto Bebb
  4. Andrew Bingham
  5. Brian Binley
  6. Peter Bone
  7. Graham Brady
  8. Andrew Bridgen
  9. Aidan Burley
  10. Douglas Carswell
  11. Rehman Chishti
  12. Chris Chope
  13. Thérèse Coffey
  14. Oliver Colvile
  15. David Davies
  16. Philip Davies
  17. David Davis
  18. Caroline Dinenage
  19. Jackie Doyle-Price
  20. Charlie Elphicke
  21. Jonathan Evans
  22. Zac Goldsmith
  23. Ben Gummer
  24. Robert Halfon
  25. Gordon Henderson
  26. Damian Hinds
  27. Philip Hollobone
  28. Sajid Javid
  29. Gareth Johnson
  30. Jo Johnson
  31. Simon Kirby
  32. Greg Knight
  33. Kwasi Kwarteng
  34. Pauline Latham
  35. Edward Leigh
  36. Ian Liddell-Grainger
  37. Peter Lilley
  38. Jack Lopresti
  39. Paul Maynard
  40. Karl McCartney
  41. Anne McIntosh
  42. Mark Menzies
  43. Patrick Mercer
  44. Stephen Metcalfe
  45. Penny Mordaunt
  46. Anne Marie Morris
  47. David Morris
  48. Stephen Mosley
  49. David Mowat
  50. David Nuttall
  51. Eric Ollerenshaw
  52. Richard Ottaway
  53. Priti Patel
  54. Christopher Pincher
  55. Jacob Rees-Mogg
  56. Laurence Robertson
  57. Amber Rudd
  58. Alec Shelbrooke
  59. Chris Skidmore
  60. Henry Smith
  61. Andrew Stephenson
  62. Bob Stewart
  63. Iain Stewart
  64. Rory Stewart
  65. Sir Peter Tapsell
  66. Elizabeth Truss
  67. Andrew Turner
  68. Andrew Tyrie
  69. Paul Uppal
  70. Charles Walker
  71. Robin Walker
  72. Robert  Walter
  73. Mike Weatherley
  74. James Wharton
  75. Craig Whittaker
  76. John Whittingdale
  77. Gavin Williamson

Meanwhile, the following 38 Conservatives actively voted against allowing the Bill to proceed any further:

  1. Stuart Andrew
  2. Steve Barclay
  3. Sir Paul Beresford
  4. Nick Boles
  5. Peter Bottomley
  6. Steve Brine
  7. Fiona Bruce
  8. Damian Collins
  9. Jane Ellison
  10. Graham Evans
  11. Mike Freer
  12. Richard Fuller
  13. Sam Gyimah
  14. Matthew Hancock
  15. Rebecca Harris
  16. George Hollingbery
  17. Margot James
  18. Chris Kelly
  19. Eleanor Laing
  20. Andrea Leadsom
  21. Phillip Lee
  22. Jeremy Lefroy
  23. Karen Lumley
  24. Nigel Mills
  25. James Morris
  26. Sheryll Murray
  27. Caroline Nokes
  28. Matthew Offord
  29. Andrew Percy
  30. Stephen Phillips
  31. Daniel Poulter
  32. Andrew Rosindell
  33. Julian Smith
  34. John Stevenson
  35. Mel Stride
  36. Justin Tomlinson
  37. Chris White
  38. Sarah Wollaston

12 Oct 2010 16:58:53

David Nuttall MP explains why he is introducing a Ten Minute Rule Bill to relax the smoking ban

More on his blog.

9 Sep 2010 06:44:12

David Nuttall MP answers ConHome's Twenty Questions for the Class of 2010

Here is the latest in our series of Twenty Questions with members of the Class of 2010...

Nuttall David David Nuttall was elected MP for Bury North with a majority of 2,243.

1. What is your earliest political memory? Coming home from school to power cuts in the 1970's.

2. Complete the sentence: “I’m a Conservative because… I believe in a smaller role for the state and therefore more freedom for individuals.”

3. Who is your political hero and why? Margaret Thatcher, because she was prepared to be unpopular if she knew what she was doing was right.

4. When did you decide you wanted to become an MP? The mid-1990's (this was my fourth consecutive General Election).

5. What is your reading material of choice? Mainly nowadays websites and newspapers at the weekend. I usually buy the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph and some weeks I even get time to read them!

6. Who is your favourite political interviewer/presenter on TV or radio? Locally, Jonathan Ali from BBC Radio Manchester - as a Bury local he understands the Bury issues. Nationally, I like the style of Andrew Neil.

7. If you could run any government department, which would it be and why?  Not much chance of this I think but let me say the Foreign Office so I could immediately bring forward a Bill to have a referendum on our continued membership of the European Union. It is expensive, all pervasive and in my opinion we would be far better off outside the European Union. We could still agree to act in unison where it was necessary to do so but as things stand it boils down to other countries constantly telling this country what to do.

8. Which non-Conservative politician do you most admire? I admire all those who have had to struggle to overcome a disability in order to achieve their goal.

9. Who would you least want to get stuck with in a House of Commons lift? Anyone who was claustrophobic.

10. If you were in the US, would you be a Republican or a Democrat? Republican

11. What do you enjoy doing to unwind and relax? Spending time with my wife and our Dalmatian dog CeeCee. I do not have much free time and I usually use it to try and catch up with the newspapers and my personal post. When I can fit it in I enjoy walking, watching cricket and football and listening to music.

12. What is your favourite book? The Bible.

13. What is your favourite film? Grease (although I am not a film buff and rarely watch films).

14. What is your favourite music? Meatloaf and Kate Bush (but I enjoy listening to many sorts of music, especially Handel).

15. What would be your ideal meal and where would you eat it? Either Thai or a traditional English roast at home.

16. What is your favourite holiday destination? Anywhere warm, sunny and tranquil.

17. What do you most want to achieve during your first term in Parliament? To serve my constituents in Bury North and earn the reputation as someone with straight talking common sense.

18. Tell us one interesting, unusual or surprising fact about yourself. I played the piano and the bassoon when I was at school.

19. Tell us one interesting, unusual or surprising fact about your constituency. It was the birthplace of Robert Peel.

20. Share with us your most amusing story or favourite anecdote from the campaign trail. Stuck on the last one. I am sure there have been many funny moments over the years but to be honest none stick out so I will pass on this.

> Previously: James Wharton MP

13 Jun 2010 19:58:22

Tracey Crouch, Mary Macleod, David Nuttall and Jessica Lee all discuss tackling poverty in their maiden speeches

Here are excerpts from four more maiden speeches delivered during Thursday’s debate on poverty.

Crouch Tracey Tracey Crouch, who gained Chatham and Aylesford, said that there was “no easy answer” to solving poverty:

“It is not just one thing that needs to change. Low income, family breakdown, addiction, mental health problems and criminal behaviour contribute to a lack of expectation that, in turn, leads to inactivity. Charities find themselves too small to help; agencies find it too difficult and authorities find it too expensive. Complex problems may require multiple solutions, but unless we invest our time, energy and support, deprivation in parts of one of the most advanced countries in the world will continue to blight our nation.

“I have heard many maiden speeches over the past few weeks, and the one thing all new Members share is the desire to make a difference. While I am in Parliament, I want to accomplish many things on behalf of all my constituents, but I hope that improving the plight of the poorest will be my greatest achievement. The Government must of course cut the deficit, but our legacy must be to reduce the dreadful levels of poverty and give every person in my constituency and throughout the country the standard of living they deserve.”

Macleod Mary Mary Macleod, who beat former minister Ann Keen in Brentford and Isleworth, covered poverty both at home and overseas in her contribution:

“First, I wish to say a quick word about international poverty. As a former ambassador for ActionAid, I believe that whatever economic difficulties we face nationally, we must not neglect our responsibilities as a civilised nation to act to reduce world poverty. Hunger kills 3.5 million children every year—one every 10 seconds—and we must do all we can to end it.

“Even closer to home, we have issues of poverty to tackle, and that is even more important now than ever before. I see that in areas across my constituency. Currently, 2.9 million children are living in poverty in this country, which prevents them from having the fair start in life that all children deserve. We will work to change this. I agree with the Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions, my right hon. Friend the Member for Epsom and Ewell (Chris Grayling) that our first task is to ensure that we give children the best education possible and give them the skills that will make a real difference to their lives. After that, it is about cutting the deficit and creating jobs for the future, so that we can create a strong and stable future for us all.”

Nuttall David David Nuttall, who gained Bury North from Labour spoke with the hinterland of a working-class background in the “Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire” and concluded that there was no reason why anyone should be categorised as living in poverty:

“I note that nowadays poverty comes in all sorts of technical categories. We have “severe” poverty, “relative” poverty, “absolute” poverty and “persistent” poverty, but it seems to me that, with our welfare system and the vast amounts that we spend on welfare in Britain today, there is no reason why any of our fellow citizens should be categorised as living in poverty. It is incumbent on us all to look at how we are spending our welfare budget. It is the poverty of aspiration and ambition, which is so pervasive and widespread among many in the lower socio-economic groups, that is the real problem. In that regard, I hope that perhaps my achievements can be an inspiration to others.”

Lee Jessica Finally, Jessica Lee , the new MP for Erewash – who has legal experience in this area, as well as having worked with the Centre for Social Justice – offered her services to Frank Field as he reviews these matters:

“I applaud my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s recent announcement that there will be a review on poverty in the UK and how the state can assist the least advantaged. The whole House benefited from the contribution to the debate made by the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr Field), who will lead the review, and I look forward to assisting in any way that I can.

“Agencies working together locally to assist families is the key to fighting poverty. The reality is that the state cannot and should not seek to provide all the answers to this complex problem by itself. We have a dedicated voluntary sector with many large and small charities that help disadvantaged families in the UK. Further steps to enable the third sector to work hand in hand with social services and adult services are to be encouraged.

“Before I was elected to the House, it was my privilege to work as a lawyer specialising in cases concerning children and their welfare. The consequences for children of a life in poverty were all too clear to see in my daily work. Family breakdown, substance misuse, personal debt and educational failure can all too easily follow, and the consequences for children can be far-reaching and devastating. I will contribute in any way that I can to the ongoing debate on protecting children and ending the cycle of poverty that can perpetuate.”

Jonathan Isaby