Two significant themes emerged from Sussex MPs


It appears that when Parliament closes down for the Summer that some Ministers attempt to set out radical ideas knowing that they cannot be easily challenged for several weeks. Equally the conscientious MPs and Lords use the time to submit written questions knowing that the Ministers should respond to them. This year given that the Conservative Party is selecting who will be their next Prime Minister means that most of their members are focused extensively on that theme rather than the usual elements. However, there are still some MPs and Lords who are taking their time to raise concerns and we can be thankful for their questions and it will be interesting to observe answers when they are published. Last week there did not appear to have been many answers for questions that took place but the week before which was the first week of the Parliament holiday there were several questions which arose including some from our Sussex representatives.

The first Sussex MP question came from Henry Smith who is the Crawley Conservative who raised a question shared with another Conservative MP which was

“what provision the 10 Year Cancer Plan will make for expanding system infrastructure to deliver radioligand therapy and other innovative cancer treatment.”

The Minister who responded him on Monday was James Morris who pointed out that he had answered the same question a week previously from a Liberal Democrat MP. His response at that time began with

“The 10-Year Cancer Plan is currently under review and further information will be available in due course”

and so sadly he did not respond to any of these three MPs in an effective way, either during Parliament or in the Summer. Clearly this is a theme that is important to all of us and so we should be very grateful for this question to get answered before the Cancer Plan is completed.

The other Sussex MP who raised several questions that were published a fortnight ago was Caroline Lucas who is the Brighton Pavilion Green MP who submitted four written questions that were responded on the Tuesday. These four questions were on the theme of Rwanda and that is important because many of us in this area have raised such concerns which included at least one petition that has involved significant Sussex signatures. The questions from Caroline included these elements

“whether reports made by the Monitoring Committee….between the UK and Rwanda for the provision of an asylum partnership will be laid before the House of Commons” then “will have representatives with experience of applying for asylum” next “which individuals and organisations her Department has contacted….for the provision of an asylum partnership” and finally “whether the Monitoring Committee will be able to intervene in individual cases.”

The response for these four questions came from Simon Baynes who stated

“An independent Monitoring Committee for the Migration and Economic Development Partnership will monitor the entire relocation process and compliance with assurances in the Memorandum of Understanding, including the processing of asylum claims and provision of support in Rwanda. The terms of reference of the Monitoring Committee for the Migration and Economic Development Partnership have been agreed and will set out how the Monitoring Committee will report its findings. The Monitoring Committee is due to become established over the next few weeks and the membership is in the process of being agreed. More details on this will be set out in due course.”

It is clearly very disturbing that the Government has not yet established this Committee and they merely claim they will do so over the next few weeks apparently. Sadly, our other Sussex MPs have not yet asked many questions or comments on Rwanda. Caroline is the most involved MP who along with these four questions has raised six other comments previously. The Sussex Conservative questions about Rwanda have been limited to Tim Loughton who asked twice and Sally-Ann Hart along with Henry Smith who both asked once. There was also one call from Lloyd Russell-Moyle on behalf of the Sussex Labour MPs.

The other person who I spotted that has asked a significant question about Rwanda during the holiday period is a member of the House of Lords. Roger Roberts is a member of Liberal Democrat and ten days ago on Friday the 29th of July he stated “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the total number of asylum seekers who have been deported to Rwanda to date.” Bizarrely the answer that emerged from Susan Williams was “There have not been any returns charter flights operated from the UK to Rwanda” which clearly did not answer the very simple question that was asked. It is clearly vital that the Government will be strongly challenged for such incompetence on a theme that many of us are very concerned about.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Brighton & Hove, Health Reform, Immigration, Parliament and Democracy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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