The week began with Oral Questions to the Department for Health and Social Care. I asked what work the Government have been doing to improve survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest and what measures were being taken to facilitate the rollout of 20,000 defibrillators into state funded schools across in England, as per UK Government targets. While a devolved matter, access to defibrillators is essential to survival rates. You can read a transcript of my contribution here in Hansard or watch them here on ParliamentTv.
I followed this up with a question in the topical portion of the session about regional variations in access to innovative new treatments for liver cancer. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
On Wednesday, I participated in a Westminster Hall debate on Government Support for Marine Renewables. Here I made two interventions, firstly, to highlight the important role of research from the Orkney based European Marine Energy Centre in delivering sustainable energy and to stress how important that this organisation could be in combatting the energy price crisis. And then to ask the Hon. Member for Strangford, Jim Shannon MP, about the opportunities to research tidal energy in an area of his constituency. You can read a transcript of both of my interventions here and here in Hansard or watch them here and here on ParliamentTv.
Thursday was a particularly busy day. During Defence Questions I had an opportunity to ask the Minister for Veteran’s Affairs to update us on any discussions had between the MoD and the DWP regarding support for 60,000 British Military Veterans living overseas with frozen pensions. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard, or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
After this, there was an Urgent Question to the Home Office on the Seasonal Worker Visa Scheme. Here I asked what consultation there had been with UK retailers to hear of their concerns about the risks that the visa presents to human rights and bondage in supply chains and how these concerns will be addressed. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv
During Business Questions, I took the chance to highlight a visa case which my office had been dealing for over a year and asked the Leader of the House to urge the Home Office to respond to our ongoing enquiries. You can read a transcript of my contribution here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
In the afternoon, I led a Westminster Hall debate to mark International Human Rights Day, which I had requested from the Backbench Business Committee in my capacity as Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group. In my speech, drawing attention to human rights abuses by Governments such as Saudi Arabia and Iran and to draw attention to the plight of numerous individuals who have been detained arbitrarily in a grievous breach of their civil liberties. You can read transcripts of my contributions here in Hansard or watch the whole debate, including my contributions, here on ParliamentTv.