Speeches in Parliament

Age Verification for Online Harms

I was able to ask a question today concerning the Government's decision to postpone proposals for age verification on accessing pornographic material online. This is a complex issue and concerns civil liberty as well as child protection.

US Whisky Tariffs

I am saddened that the Scotch whisky industry has been dragged into a row between the US and the EU on the subsidy of aeroplane manufacture.  The 25% tariffs, to be effected by the US in two weeks, affect not only whisky distillers but also cashmere producers and others.  Some of the smallest ind

Trophy Hunting Imports

I was pleased to be able to call yesterday for tighter rules in the debate on trophy hunting imports.

Hong Kong Protests

We are all concerned with the ongoing situation in Hong Kong.  Earlier today, during the debate on the Urgent Question raised by the Member for Hornsey and Wood Green, I asked the Foreign Secretary to confirm what the UK Government can do to halt the apparent trend towards a reduction of civil an

Science and Technology Committee Report on Clean Growth

I have served on the Science and Technology Committee since I first came to Parliament, and its work has been fascinating and always especially pertinent to current issues.  The environment, 5G, genomics and drones have all been discussed this year (amongst other things - we have sat for 37 sessi

UK Shared Prosperity Fund

I spoke earlier in the debate on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, asking the Minister to ensure that the Fund "will be flexible enough to take account of the diverse needs of my constituency, with its many struggling rural ex-mining communities that bear the legacy of a harsh industrial past, as we

Debate on Preparations for Leaving the EU

Earlier today, I asked a question of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, who is responsible for preparations for our departure from the European Union.  As the UK prepares to leave the EU, I sincerely hope with a deal (and see my wider thoughts on that here), I k

Workplace Deaths in Scotland

I spoke today in the debate on workplace deaths in Scotland.  There is cross-party concern at the sad increase in deaths this year.  The Minister acknowledged this, going on to say that:

Defence Spending

I spoke today in the debate on defence spending.  As is often the case, we had to cut short our contributions from seven minutes to three, such are the time pressures on debate, but I hope I was able to make my point clear – we spend a great deal on our Armed Forces, but when we still hear of poo

Cabinet Office Questions

I was reassured today to hear the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Mr David Lidington, confirm that the UK Government has anticipated and is prepared for potential devolution consequences of Brexit.   Mr Lidington explained at Cabinet Office Questions that “there has been good co-operation on fra