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.
It is time for the UK Government to wake up to the realities of Brexit. The announcement by Airbus – as well as BMW and Siemens – should make them realise that it is time to put forward a decent Brexit settlement and not one based in a strange dreamworld.
The UK Government’s Brexit negotiations are failing as they can’t even decide amongst themselves what they want. This is putting decent employers in a terrible position where they cannot plan for the future.
1,500 people live in Delyn and work at the Airbus plant in Broughton. We cannot lose these jobs and the Government should get its act together and agree with me, and the Labour Party, that we should become a member of a Customs Union and a version of the European Economic Area. This will secure our trading partnership with the EU and jobs.
But this isn’t just a question of trading relationships it’s about aviation standards. The Government couldn’t promise me today that the UK will remain part of these vital bodies. Without membership of this body planes won’t fly: as simple as that.
G4S’ contract to run the Brook House immigration removal centre has been extended for another two years. This comes less than a year after undercover footage broadcast by the BBC’s Panorama showed detainees at Brook House subjected to verbally and physically abused, amid drug abuse and suicide attempts.
I wanted to know how much to aborted tender process cost the UK taxpayer and was there more than one bidder when the contract came up for renewal. The response I received was muddled. The minister continued to repeat the phrase ‘due diligence’ but was unable to give specifics to my points.
I am concerned that a company has been given the rights to continue to provide this service without the necessary safeguards to protect either the taxpayer or those using the service.