An Urgent Question was granted on police funding and I wanted to see if we could get a straight answer from the minister on cuts.
We were told austerity has ended, but the Red Book – which details the Budget’s spending – stated that the Home Office will be cut by £100,000,000 next year. If the UK Government can’t say where these cuts are going to fall we must all be worried that they will hit our neighbourhood police officers the hardest.
If the Government do not properly fund our law enforcement agencies, like security services and the police, properly we will see crime continue to rise.
An Urgent Question was secured today by the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee to ask what plans were in place for EU nationals in the case of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit – where we crash out of the EU without any transitional arrangements.
I wanted to know if the UK Government will be using the same criteria they use for non-EU nationals for EU nationals going forward. This would mean that people’s income would be used to block them entry to the UK.
If, for example, a UK national married an EU national their partner would not be able to live in the UK, no matter if they had children or not, if they did not earn enough per year. All the minister needed to do was to reassure people that they will not see their families broken up. Instead she chose to muddy the waters and say plans will be set out in the future.
Let me remind you that we leave the EU on 29 March 2019. The minister has a little under five months left.
The National Audit Office (NAO) took the unprecedented step on Wednesday of publishing an open letter informing everyone that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions had misled the Commons when replying to mine and Margaret Greenwood MPs questions on Universal Credit.
Today, the Secretary of State was hauled in front of the Commons to apologise. I demanded an apology for her actions – something that was not forthcoming. But in her response she notes how she went back to her office and realised that she had misled the House. This was on Monday evening. She didn’t appear before the Commons again until after Prime Ministers Questions on Wednesday. So questions now stand to why did she not inform me and the House on Tuesday. It now may be the case that the minister has misled the House again when she was pulled in front of us to apologise for misleading the Commons. I will be watching this closely.
Misleading the House under the ministerial code is a sackable offence and if proved that the Secretary of State is a repeat offender she should resign. Thousands of Delyn constituents have seen their Universal Credit payments refused or delays because they make a small mistake on their application forms. How is it right that the Secretary of State can make such massive mistake and still keep her job?
I was selected by the Leader of the Labour Party and the Prime Minister to sit on the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC). This committee sits in private, unlike all other committees, as we hold the Government and our security services to account for actions they have taken. We must consider documents with the highest security to do this.
You may have seen the ISC produced a report into rendition and the UK’s involvement following the atrocious terrorist attacks in the US on 9/11. Our report noted a number of concerns about the UK’s monitoring of the situation and lack of support for our security service personnel. At this urgent question I wanted to know what would happen if a judge led inquiry was allowed to take place.