On Friday Morning last week in Parliament Sally-Ann Hart, the MP for Hastings and Rye introduced the third reading of the Bill she has set out. The full list of all of the comments and responses can be obtained from here on They Work For You website. The section on Friday was entitled Clause 4 – Extent, commencement and short title and there are four amendments that are listed at the beginning of the session. Then Sally-Ann Hart begins with these initial words.
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time. As many hon. Members heard me say on Second Reading, I emphasise that this Bill is an important measure for victims of domestic abuse who use the Child Maintenance Service. I am proud, delighted and grateful that it is being taken forward and has the support of the Government, as confirmed by the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, my hon. Friend Tom Pursglove on Second Reading, and reconfirmed in Committee by the Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression, my hon. Friend Mims Davies. I am pleased that she is here again today on behalf of the Government, and thank her profusely for her support and the support she has shown throughout the progression of the Bill.
There are 11 other people that took part in the discussion and the most of them are Conservative MPs but it is encouraging that there are also two other MPs from two significant groups. The first person who spoke after Sally-Ann had finished her statement at the beginning of the session was Wendy Chamberlain who is a Liberal Democrat MP from Scotland and she states
I am delighted to be here today, as I was when the Bill was in Committee. As constituency MPs, I think we all know the issues that the CMS presents when domestic abuse is involved. Indeed, I have a constituent whose children are grown up, but who still has moneys outstanding as a result of the coercive control of domestic abuse, and her ex-partner still utilises that fact. I welcome my hon. Friend’s Bill, and hope very much that its provisions will help prevent those kinds of long-term abusive ongoing relationships.
Sally-Ann responses with these words initially and then she goes on to respond the information
I thank my hon. Friend for her intervention, and completely agree with her. I am absolutely confident that the Bill will help prevent those sorts of long-term coercive and abusive behaviours that many women and children have had to put up with over the years.
After several other response the Labour MP Vicky Foxcroft from Lewisham Deptford begins with the response
It is a genuine pleasure to respond to this debate from the Opposition Front Bench. I thank and congratulate Sally-Ann Hart on bringing this important Bill to the House and on all her hard work in this area. We fully support the Bill and see it as a welcome step in the right direction. Like colleagues before me, I pay tribute to the many organisations who work tirelessly to support victims of domestic abuse and who have campaigned on this issue, particularly Refuge, Gingerbread and Surviving Economic Abuse.
Later on when Mims Davies who is the Mid Sussex MP and also the Minister for Works and Pensions opens up she states
I thank my hon. Friend for his remarkably insightful idea. Children’s social work is an incredibly brave and diverse job, as we are asking people to go into homes and make judgments. Of course, the police are now wearing body cameras, and Ministers should take note of his view. It is very difficult to look at both sides of the coin, and photographic evidence could be extremely helpful. I am sure that putting it on the record has strengthened his resolve, for which I thank him.
The end of the debate is completed by Sally-Ann Hart and at the end of her statement she says
Getting children and families right—strengthening families—is vital for our communities, for my beautiful constituency of Hastings and Rye, and for our wider society. The Bill will strengthen the support that domestic abuse victims are offered when using the CMS by allowing them to decide what service type is best for their child maintenance case and their circumstances. I wish it success as it moves to the other House.
Question put and agreed to.
Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed.
We will now need to wait for this Bill to be adopted within the whole of the Parliament but this seems very positive so far.