On Thursday this week there was a discussion in the House of Commons under the title of Business of the House and one of the MPs stood up to call for a Parliamentary debate that related to her setting which tragically was related to the way in which her local Police and Crime Commissioner has responded to the current issues on the theme of stop and search. Now this is of course a matter that MPs would have a view about, but the fact is that local MPs need to work together with their colleagues in the same region and they should be engaging with their PCCs and indeed their Councillors as well as with the voluntary sector and charities and indeed with businesses. This is vital in Sussex where we need all 16 of our MPs to work together and in the West Midlands which is where Nicola Richards is the MP for West Bromwich East. Of course the challenge is that she is a Tory MP and she wants the Tory Government to challenge the actions of Simon Foster who is their Labour PCC. However whatever the Government thinks, her local PCC was elected exclusively by the same local people who elect Nicola and so this has to be dealt with locally and only brought into Parliament if the local communities are not able to resolve matters. Of course Jacob Rees-Mogg was happy to endorse her but that is because he and Nicola are both Tories and they oppose Labour politicians. However they are not the relevant people on a matter like this. Anyway here is the question and answer. The images above are Nicola and Simon who need to work together even though they are involved in other political groups as they are both responsible for the same group of people.
Nicola Richards: I was shocked and incredibly disappointed to hear of the Labour west midlands police and crime commissioner’s plans to overhaul the use of stop and search powers across West Midlands police. Yesterday, I wrote to the police and crime commissioner to spell out my disappointment at his proposals. My view, shared by other Members, is that we should be empowering our police officers to use stop and search powers in an appropriate and proportionate way, rather than undermining them and making our streets less safe. Will the Leader of the House make some time for west midlands MPs to debate this issue and ensure that the views of my constituents are represented?
Jacob Rees-Mogg: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for her question. Police chiefs are absolutely clear: stop and search is a vital tool to crack down on serious violence and to keep people safe. That is why we have announced the relaxation of voluntary restrictions on section 60 stop and search powers in all forces in England and Wales. We are also introducing a new court order to make it easier for officers to stop and search those convicted of knife crime. Every weapon seized is potentially a life saved. Last year, stop and search removed 11,000 dangerous weapons from our streets. I encourage my hon. Friend to seek a Back-Bench debate on this matter. I will share her concerns with my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary.