In her first Prime Ministers Question time, towards the end of the session two of the questions came from Tony Lloyd and Helen Hayes that both related to children in our Nation. The first was focused on the cold impact of our nation due to the heating costs although the call went much further than that and the second was focused on social care. The questions both came from Labour MPs and indeed in the last few days I had spotted very significant comments that these two people had made and I focused on them in my previous blogs. Tony Lloyd set out a debate to Priti Patel on Monday that is focused on Rwanda that can be seen here and yesterday I focused on the discussion of COP27 which was set out by Helen Hayes. These same two people raised very significant questions yesterday and sadly the responses from Liz Truss were very modest but they are both responses that need to be promoted very significantly despite their modest aspect. These two questions and answers along with all of the other questions and answers can be obtained from here and the two questions are referred to as Q8 and Q11.
Lloyd: On the theme of children, the Prime Minister will know from her time as Children’s Minister that children whose young lungs are exposed to cold and damp housing are more likely to fall seriously ill and possibly die. Child poverty has been growing during her time in different ministerial offices. Will she give a solemn pledge—with no evasion—that no child will go to bed in a cold, damp house this winter and beyond because the parents cannot afford to put the heating on?
Truss: This is why it is so important that we tackle the issue of energy. I will make sure that people are able to afford their energy bills, at the same time as dealing with the long-term supply issues to ensure that we are resilient in energy and never get into this position again.
Hayes: The Prime Minister has been part of a Government who for the past 12 years have been systematically letting down the most vulnerable children in the country. The independent review of children’s social care, published by the Government in May, describes the system as being in need of a total reset. The Prime Minister has said that she wants to deliver. Will she make a cast-iron commitment to deliver for our country’s most vulnerable children, and publish the Government’s response to the independent review and an action plan for delivery, before the end of the year—yes or no?