Prime Minister – in the House of Commons am ar 22 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Gen Kitchen Gen Kitchen Llafur, Wellingborough

If he will list his official engagements for Wednesday 22 May.

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

I know the whole House will join me in remembering the victims of the horrific Manchester Arena bombing seven years ago today. Our thoughts are with them and their families. I pay tribute to Figen Murray, who joins us in the Gallery, for the courage and bravery of her campaigning in her son Martyn’s memory. I look forward to meeting her later today.

I also add my personal welcome back to Parliament to my friend and colleague, my hon. Friend Craig Mackinlay. No one who watched his interview last night could have failed to be awed by his incredible resilience.

This morning, I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in this House, I shall have further such meetings later today.

Photo of Gen Kitchen Gen Kitchen Llafur, Wellingborough

I, too, welcome Craig Mackinlay back to the House and wish him well in his duties. I associate myself with the Prime Minister’s remarks.

The Association of Dental Groups, in its May 2022 report, identified my Wellingborough constituency as one of England’s dental deserts. I welcomed the Prime Minister’s grand scheme to send dental vans to constituencies like mine but, months on, he is having to U-turn because there are not enough vans. Why can he not address this issue seriously?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

That is not right. Actually, thanks to our dental recovery plan, we are delivering 2.5 million more dental appointments. There is a new patient premium and new provision for remote communities, and we know the plan is now delivering because, since it was announced in January, over 500 more dental practices are now accepting new patients. I also point out to the hon. Lady that, compared with her party’s plan, we are producing more than twice the number of extra appointments to get people the treatment they need.

Photo of Elliot Colburn Elliot Colburn Ceidwadwyr, Carshalton and Wallington

Today’s news on inflation is good news not just for consumers in Carshalton and Wallington but for capital projects, such as the investment in St Helier Hospital and in building a second hospital in my constituency, protecting A&E and maternity services locally.

Given the good news on the economy, will the Prime Minister recommit today to working with the NHS in my area to build that second hospital and improve St Helier Hospital? And does he agree that we can only underpin a strong NHS with a strong economy?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

We are investing in better healthcare right across our country, and I am delighted to see that Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust was recently allocated over £6 million to upgrade A&E and will benefit from a new specialist emergency care hospital in Sutton as part of the programme.

As my hon. Friend says, that is possible only because of the difficult decisions we have taken to bring inflation back to normal and grow the economy. Today’s figures show that the plan is working, and I am sure the whole House, perhaps including the Leader of the Opposition, will welcome the news that inflation is now back to normal.

Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Leader of HM Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party

I will begin by saying a few words to Craig Mackinlay. First, thank you for meeting me privately this morning with your wife and daughter, so I could personally convey my best wishes to all of you. Secondly, on some occasions—there are not many—this House genuinely comes together as one, and we do so today to pay tribute to your courage and determination in not only coming through an awful ordeal, but being here with us today in this Chamber. Thirdly, I want to acknowledge your deep sense of service. I think politics is about service, and resuming your duties as an MP and being here today is an example to all of us of your deep sense of service, and we thank you for it.

I also welcome Figen Murray, who is up in the Gallery, who lost her son Martyn seven years ago today in the Manchester Arena attack. We remember everybody who was lost in that awful attack. She is campaigning for Martyn’s law, which we must make a reality as soon as possible.

The infected blood scandal reflects a profound failure across almost every part of the British state. In our apologies on Monday and on the question of compensation yesterday, this House was united; however, we have too many times heard similar sentiments from that Dispatch Box and this one. There are many hard yards to go. Does the Prime Minister agree that we will make real progress only if we finally tackle the lack of openness, transparency and candour that Sir Brian Langstaff identified as having prolonged the victims’ suffering for decades?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

The inquiry was established to get to the truth and provide answers, and this week’s report represents a hugely significant moment for the community. This was an appalling scandal. I am sure the whole House is grateful for the diligent work of all those who have supported Sir Brian Langstaff and the work of the inquiry. I also pay tribute to the bravery of every individual who has come forward and told their story in their fight for justice; their voices have finally been heard. I agree with the right hon. and learned Gentleman: we will listen to them and ensure that nothing like this can ever happen in our country again.

Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Leader of HM Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party

The infected blood scandal is truly shocking, but it is not unique. The story is familiar: concerns raised but ignored; reports written but not acted on; victims and their families campaigning for years just to be heard. If I may, I want to focus on the duty of candour—or lack of it—that has been a failing in scandal after scandal and injustice after injustice from Grenfell to Horizon, Hillsborough and now the infected blood scandal. I have read that the Government have called for evidence on the duty of candour in health, but I cannot think of a single example where that duty of candour should not apply to all public servants across the board. I do not think it is possible for any of us to stand at these Dispatch Boxes and honestly say “Never again” unless we address that. Does the Prime Minister agree that the time has now come for the duty of candour to be clearly enshrined in law across the board?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

I am, of course, aware of the recommendation made by Sir Brian Langstaff in the final report of the inquiry on the duties of candour and accountability. Indeed, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care previously introduced the duty of candour to the health service. It is important that the Government take the time to fully digest the gravity of the report’s findings. The wrongs that have been committed are devastating and life-altering for so many, and ensuring that nothing like this ever happens again is a priority. We are sympathetic to that, and are going through the recommendations in detail at the moment before providing a comprehensive response. Of course, given the situation and the gravity of the findings, it is a recommendation for which there is an enormous amount of sympathy.

Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Leader of HM Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party

I understand that the Prime Minister wants to look at the recommendations in detail and to come back to them in due course, but we cannot look away on this duty of candour. Can I ask the Prime Minister at least to expand the call for evidence on the duty of candour beyond health? We owe it to the victims of Hillsborough and Horizon to work across the House to establish a far-reaching and binding duty of candour as quickly as possible.

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

The right hon. and learned Gentleman will remember that on Monday I said very specifically that the patterns of behaviour we have seen in this appalling tragedy have been replicated in others, and I mentioned Hillsborough specifically, so I am very aware that there are structural and behavioural cultural problems that we need to fix. There is an enormous amount of support and sympathy for the principle of the duty of candour. He will understand that we are digesting the full contents of the report, but of course we want to right the wrongs of the past and, crucially, ensure that nothing like this happens ever again.

Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Leader of HM Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party

In his report, Sir Brian identified a number of individual failures, even cover-ups, but alongside that he also found equally important and harder to reach institutional and cultural failings, including in the NHS: a defensive attitude that refused to acknowledge problems, the silencing of those who raised concerns and a total failure of leadership when faced with the truth. The NHS does a remarkable job every day, but those failings are indefensible. Does the Prime Minister agree that the very culture of the NHS needs to change?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

Yes, Mr Speaker. I discussed this issue on Monday in my response to the question asked by my right hon. Friend Sir Sajid Javid. The NHS provides lifesaving care to so many people every single day, for which we are enormously grateful, but the report makes it crystal clear that there were significant failings. The NHS failed: it failed people and it let them down. It is right that the NHS is held accountable for that and learns the lessons. There clearly have been improvements and changes in medical practice since that time, but going forward we need to go through the full recommendations of Sir Brian Langstaff’s report and hold the NHS to account for bringing through the changes that are necessary.

Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Leader of HM Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party

We need reform. We need change. I saw at first hand how important reform is during my time running the Crown Prosecution Service, but I also saw how hard it is, particularly on cultural issues. It requires brave and difficult decisions. Eleven years ago, as Health Secretary, the now Chancellor said:

“The era of gagging NHS staff from raising their real worries about patient care must come to an end.”

Eleven years on from that and 10 months on from the Lucy Letby case, there are still clear examples of NHS managers still gagging staff and then being moved on, instead of being moved out. Will the Prime Minister now commit to ensuring that those who gag and silence whistleblowers will no longer be able to work in the NHS?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

Of course the behaviour that the right hon. and learned Gentleman describes is wrong and, I believe, already illegal under our laws, but we will ensure people have the ability to raise concerns. One thing that I know has given many of those who have been impacted by the scandal some reassurance is the appointment of Sir Robert Francis to be chair of the inquiry. Obviously he is someone who does not just have a wealth of experience dealing with this particular set of issues, but has a long track record of working with the NHS on the issues that the right hon. and learned Gentleman raises.

Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Leader of HM Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party

Sir Brian’s report is a victory for all those campaigners and victims who fought so hard for this moment, including my right hon. Friend Dame Diana Johnson, but it is also one of profound pain, anger and sadness for so many. There is a chance for us to make real progress on this issue and we must do that with victims in mind. Given the degree of cross-party consensus that we have already seen on apologies and compensation, and given the Government’s promise to ensure compensation by the end of the year, will the Prime Minister also now promise to deliver on all the recommendations in the same timeframe, by the end of the year?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

Of course we want to deliver on the recommendations as quickly as practically possible. Indeed, our expectation is that we can do that before the end of the year. As I said, Sir Robert’s appointment will bring a wealth of experience; it is crucial that the chair has the knowledge, expertise and familiarity with the issues. His support for delivering the scheme and ensuring that compensation can be paid by the end of the year will be invaluable.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman talked about the community. Over the next few weeks, Sir Robert will seek views from the infected blood community specifically on the proposed scheme, to ensure the scheme will best serve those it is intended for. Our shared priority is delivering compensation to all those infected and affected with absolutely minimum delay, and begin bringing justice to all of those impacted.

Photo of Danny Kruger Danny Kruger Ceidwadwyr, Devizes

In 1997, the public voted in what they were told would be a sort of continuity Conservative Government—the same policies, but with different faces. Instead what they got was record immigration, constitutional vandalism and a broken economy. Does the Prime Minister agree that, with the economy now roaring back to life under a Conservative Government, the last thing we need is a return to the failed Labour recipe of high taxes, open borders and employment laws that destroy jobs?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

My hon. Friend gives a superb and passionate economic diagnosis. He is right: inflation is now back to normal, and, indeed, lower than that of France, Germany and the United States. Inflation is at its lowest level in years, our economy is growing faster and wages are rising, which is why we need to stick to the plan that is working. He is right to point out the risks of what the Labour party proposes: 70 new laws —70 new laws! Labour has caved in to its union paymasters, and what does that mean? It means that it will cost jobs and damage our economic recovery.

Photo of Stephen Flynn Stephen Flynn SNP Westminster Leader

May I begin by also welcoming Craig Mackinlay back to the Chamber? He is indeed an inspiration to all of us.

Mr Speaker, speculation is rife, so I think the public deserve a clear answer to a simple question. Does the Prime Minister intend to call a summer general election, or is he feart?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

As I have said repeatedly to the right hon. Gentleman, there is—spoiler alert—going to be a general election in the second half of this year. At that moment, the British people will in fact see the truth about Keir Starmer, because that will be the choice at the next election. It will be a party that is not able to say to the country what it would do—a party that would put at risk our hard-earned economic stability—or the Conservatives who are delivering a secure future for our United Kingdom.

Photo of Stephen Flynn Stephen Flynn SNP Westminster Leader

The Prime Minister continues to play games with the public, so while he does that, let us get back to some serious matters. I was taken aback this week when a former Prime Minister spoke some sense. Alas, it was, indeed, David Cameron. What he said in relation to graduate route visas was that if any restrictions were implemented, it would lead to job losses, university closures and a reduction in research. Universities Scotland outlines that £5 billion of economic value is at risk. So, may I ask the Prime Minister: does he agree with the Foreign Secretary?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

The Foreign Secretary also said that the levels of legal migration to this country are too high. That is what I also believe, which is why it is right that we are taking decisive action to bring down the numbers. And that plan is working. In the first three months of this year, the visas issued are down by 25% and migration is on its way to being returned to more sustainable levels. I appreciate that that is a point of difference between the right hon. Gentleman’s party, and indeed the Labour party, and us. We believe that that level of migration needs to come down to more sustainable levels, so that we ease the pressure on public services. Everyone who comes to our country must contribute economically. That is the migration system that we will deliver.

Photo of Simon Baynes Simon Baynes Ceidwadwyr, De Clwyd

On the Welsh borders, we are incredibly proud of the Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in north Shropshire, which treats veterans not only locally, including from my constituency of Clwyd South, but from across Britain, as it is the largest hospital-based veterans service in the UK. Will the Prime Minister help resolve the centre’s current funding crisis, caused by changes in the NHS funding formula last year, given the fantastic treatment provided by Lieutenant Colonel Carl Meyer and his team for our amazing veterans community across the UK?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

I thank my hon. Friend for raising that important issue. We are committed to making the UK the best place in the world to be a veteran and to ensuring that they have access to the appropriate physical and mental health support that they deserve. That is why we have rolled out Operation Restore, Op Courage and Op Nova. NHS England has been introducing a suite of health services to work more closely with orthopaedic services. I know that my hon. Friend has raised this issue of funding with the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, who will be writing back to him with an update in due course.

Photo of Edward Davey Edward Davey Leader of the Liberal Democrats

I join others in welcoming back to the House Craig Mackinlay. We admire his courage, and send our best wishes to him and his family. I also join others in remembering all the victims of the bombing at the Manchester Arena.

Amanda claimed carer’s allowance when caring for her mother, but the Department for Work and Pensions is now hounding her to pay back £1,200. Karina, whose daughter requires round-the-clock care, has been hit by a bill for £11,000. Victoria is being forced to pay back £100 a month. They are just some of the tens of thousands of carers who are victims of the DWP’s flawed system, punished harshly for going sometimes just a few pounds over the arbitrary earnings limit. Family carers do a remarkable job. They should not be penalised for working, or for the DWP’s own failures. Does the Prime Minister agree that the Government should be supporting carers, not persecuting them?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

The Government recognise the contribution and sacrifices that carers up and down the country so often make to care for others. That is why we have increased carer’s allowance by almost £1,500 since 2010. It is why we introduced carer’s leave, and it is why the better care fund funds respite care breaks for carers, which I know have been warmly welcomed and used. In the rare number of cases where individuals have not appropriately informed the DWP about a change in their circumstances, the DWP has then rightly sought to recover overpayments, as it would be expected to in order to ensure the integrity of the system and protect the taxpayer, but of course it will work with anyone who is struggling with their repayment terms, and will always look to negotiate an affordable repayment plan.

Photo of Shailesh Vara Shailesh Vara Ceidwadwyr, North West Cambridgeshire

I, too, welcome back my hon. Friend the Member for South Thanet (Craig Mackinlay).

The £8 billion made available by the Government for the repair of roads and potholes is very welcome; however, some local authorities, such as Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, which serve my constituency, sometimes use inferior material, so the works need to be done again in a few months’ time. That is an issue that applies to many constituencies across the country, so will the Prime Minister use his influence to ensure that there are tough quality specifications, so that the repairs can last much longer?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

I am proud that we have announced an additional £8 billion for roads resurfacing over the next decade—money made available through the reallocation of HS2 funding. That will mean fewer potholes and smoother, safer roads across our country, but I agree with my right hon. Friend that it is of the utmost importance that these repairs are completed with high-quality materials. I join him in calling on Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council to make sure that they deliver that for his residents.

Photo of Alison Thewliss Alison Thewliss Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

In the wee small hours of Saturday morning, I received an email—I apologise for the language, Mr Speaker—calling me a “fucking parasite”, a “rat”, and a “piece of shit”. This came in response to my challenging the appropriateness of a US citizen, Michael Franzese, doing a tour in the UK, as part of which he is advocating publicly for the self-proclaimed misogynist influencers Andrew and Tristan Tate, who are encouraging toxic attitudes among young men in this country. The Prime Minister has spoken about banning hate preachers from entering the UK. Will he extend that to misogynists?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

Those who seek to divide us, undermine our values, and indeed intimidate and threaten others have no place in our society, and we will not hesitate to use not just the full force of the law but our immigration regime to make sure that we have security and cohesion in this country.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Ceidwadwyr, Maldon

The population of Maldon is rising rapidly, and for over 20 years my constituents have been promised a new hospital, yet the Mid and South Essex integrated care board is proposing to close the existing St Peter’s Hospital without any replacement, leaving my constituents and those of my right hon. Friend the Member for Witham (Priti Patel) having to travel up to 30 miles for some treatments. Will the Prime Minister ask Ministers to tell the ICB to withdraw this proposal and to commission an independent assessment of how best to provide the quality local health services that my constituents, and those of my right hon. Friend the Member for Witham, deserve?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

I commend my right hon. Friend for his commitment to his constituents. I know that he and my right hon. Friend Priti Patel met both the Minister for Health and Secondary Care and the Minister for Social Care recently to discuss this issue. I understand that the ICB has extended its consultation by three weeks to ensure that more consideration can be given and voices can be heard, but I will ensure that the relevant Minister keeps my right hon. Friends updated on the progress of this.

Photo of Janet Daby Janet Daby Shadow Minister (Youth Justice)

My constituent has recently applied to move from her council home because she can no longer walk up the stairs and is in constant pain. She has been waiting for an knee operation for more than two years and has become progressively worse. She feels forgotten and neglected. Does the Prime Minister agree that his Government are failing and that this country is waiting for a Labour Government to bring down NHS waiting lists?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

Of course I am sorry to hear about the experience of the hon. Lady’s constituent. We are putting in more money and rolling out more elective surgical hubs to bring the waiting lists down. She talks about the difference that the Labour party would make to the NHS. Her constituents can just look to Wales to see what is happening when it comes the NHS: a quarter of the Welsh population on a waiting list, the worst emergency care performance in Great Britain, people on long waiting lists five times more than they are in England and, on average, people waiting 40% longer for treatment. That is the reality of Labour and the NHS—failing.

Photo of Tom Randall Tom Randall Ceidwadwyr, Gedling

Forty years ago, Mrs Thatcher described high inflation as a

“destroyer…of industry, of jobs, of savings”.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that that sentiment is as true today as it was then? What assessment does he make of today’s announcement for my Gedling constituents, who want to be able to save, get a good job and enjoy a reasonable standard and cost of living?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

My hon. Friend is right that today marks a major moment for the economy; not only have we halved inflation, but it has returned back to normal, thanks to the collective hard work, sacrifice and resilience of people up and down the country. That is further proof that our plan is working. Mortgage rates have come down, energy bills have come down, taxes are being cut and inflation is now back to normal. That shows that when we stick to the plan, we can look forward to a brighter future, but he is right to point out the alternative: the Labour party imposing £2,000 of tax rises—that is what would put the country’s stability at risk.

Photo of Kate Osborne Kate Osborne Llafur, Jarrow

England’s chief medical officer said that reducing sewage in rivers and seas is a “public health priority”, highlighting the problems that dumping untreated sewage causes. Even the treated sewage that is continuously discharged into rivers and seas contains faecal matter. Water firms are now asking for bills to go up by up to 91%, when they have paid out billions to shareholders and neglected pipework and infrastructure. Can the Prime Minister tell me why his Government are allowing those companies to destroy our waterways and make obscene levels of profit, while making people ill?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

The level of overflows we have seen is unacceptable, but we have gone further than any other Government, monitoring 100% of overflows—up from only 7% under Labour—investing record amounts in our water infrastructure, enshrining in law strict targets and introducing unlimited fines for water companies to hold them to account. But when it came to this House the Labour party could not even vote for its own policy. That is because there is only one party with a plan to protect the environment—the Conservative party.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince Ceidwadwyr, Colchester

Our NHS needs to be at the cutting edge of innovation and transformation, so I very much welcome the recent announcement on artificial intelligence in the delivery of radiotherapy. Will my right hon. Friend commit to going further and faster in the roll-out and realising the potential of AI and the latest, most innovative medtech across our NHS, benefiting not only patients, but clinicians?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

I agree with my hon. Friend that we need to ensure that our NHS is a world leader in medical innovation. That is why yesterday we announced funding to roll out game-changing AI to radiotherapy departments in England. The benefits are clear, because that technology can locate cancer cells two and a half times quicker than doctors alone. But we will not stop there. We recognise the huge potential; that is why the productivity plan announced in the spring Budget will modernise the NHS and ensure that our patients get the care they deserve.

Photo of Bell Ribeiro-Addy Bell Ribeiro-Addy Llafur, Streatham

In recent days, the Trussell Trust has revealed that its network has handed out more than 3.1 million emergency food parcels in the past year. That is the most it has ever distributed and nearly double the number of five years ago. Absolute poverty among children in this country has risen by its highest rate in 30 years, and a quarter of all children live below the poverty line. Two thirds of UK children in poverty live in families in which at least one parent works. My Streatham constituency is one of the worst affected. Does the Prime Minister have any plans to restore the child poverty unit, address the calls for universal free school meals, or report on any Government plans aimed at tackling child poverty at all?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

Nobody wants to see any child grow up in poverty, and that is why I am pleased that the record of this and previous Governments has reduced not just the number of people living in poverty, but the number of children living in poverty, thanks to our measures to strengthen the economy. When it comes to food support for vulnerable children, we have extended the holiday activity and food programme with £200 million of funding, and we are investing £30 million in our national school breakfast programme, which will now run until the end of the summer term.

Photo of John Baron John Baron Ceidwadwyr, Basildon and Billericay

The best ways to help people with the cost of living are to cut their taxes, keep unemployment low and get inflation down—things that this Government are doing. What is the Prime Minister’s assessment of how the very welcome news of today’s reduction in inflation will help businesses and families with the costs that they face?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

My hon. Friend is exactly right in his analysis of how to help working families and our country. Thanks to the difficult decisions that we have taken, inflation today is back to normal, which is a very welcome moment. Of course, there is more work to do, and people are only just starting to feel the benefits, but it is clear that the plan is working, and that is why we have also been able to deliver significant tax cuts worth £900 to the average worker in our country. That is all progress that would absolutely be put at risk by the Labour party.

Photo of Stephen Farry Stephen Farry Alliance, North Down

Harland & Wolff is an iconic cornerstone of the UK’s future shipbuilding, defence and energy capabilities. It has saved four shipyards from administration, having invested millions, and it now employs 1,500 workers across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, many of whom are my constituents. Approval for the company’s export development guarantee is crucial to consolidate that progress. Will the Prime Minister ensure that that is achieved?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

The Government are committed to supporting the UK shipbuilding sector right across the nation. I have seen at first hand what companies such as Harland & Wolff do, and the role that they play in the economy. Although, as the hon. Gentleman will understand, I cannot comment specifically on the details of any individual case due to commercial sensitivity, I can assure him that we are working closely with Harland & Wolff in its request for a UK Export Finance-guaranteed loan—that is under consideration. I also pay tribute to Gavin Robinson for all his strong advocacy for that company.

Photo of Jason McCartney Jason McCartney Ceidwadwyr, Colne Valley

The smart new £15 million accident and emergency unit at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary opened in the early hours of this morning. Will the Prime Minister join me in thanking the team at HRI and welcoming the new doctors and nurses who have been recruited for the A&E unit, and does he agree that, alongside the new teaching block at Greenhead College, the West Yorkshire investment zone and the trans-Pennine rail upgrade, it shows that we are delivering for my constituents in the Holme and Colne valleys and Lindley?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

I congratulate my hon. Friend and his constituents on their brand-new A&E unit at the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, which is, as he said, a real game-changer for residents. It is not the only piece of delivery in his area. He mentioned the trans-Pennine rail upgrade delivering faster journeys, but there are also levelling-up projects such as Huddersfield open market and the new teaching block at Greenhead College. They show that it is the Conservatives who are delivering on the priorities of his local community.

Photo of Zarah Sultana Zarah Sultana Llafur, Coventry South

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity. This House does not aid and abet Hamas, but it does aid and abet Israel through the sale of arms, such as components for Israeli F-35s—known as the most lethal fighter jet on earth—which are raining down hell on Gaza. Will the Prime Minister uphold international law, drop the nonsense about the most robust licensing system in the world and end arms sales to Israel? If the ICC issues arrest warrants, will he comply by ensuring that those individuals are arrested if they enter the UK?

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

It is always nice to see the changed Labour party in action. When it comes to the ICC, this is a deeply unhelpful development, which of course is still subject to a final decision. There is no moral equivalence between a democratically elected Government exercising their lawful right to self-defence and the actions of a terrorist group, and the actions of the ICC do absolutely nothing to get a pause in the fighting, or to get the hostages out or aid in.

Photo of Craig Mackinlay Craig Mackinlay Ceidwadwyr, South Thanet

Thank you, Mr Speaker. This is an emotional day for me, and if you will indulge me, I will say a few thanks, because a few are due. Apologies are due, actually, as I have caused the breaking of so many rules today: there has been clapping; I have got trainers on because my shoes would not go over the plastic feet; and my jacket would not go over the bionic arm.

First, I thank you, Mr Speaker, for being there for me and for coming to visit. I will tell everybody this little story: the rest of the hospital thought I must be dreadfully ill, because they said, “That guy’s got the funeral director in already.” [Laughter.] But you have been, and you have cared for me throughout, and I thank you for that. The other person in this Chamber I would like to thank is the Prime Minister, who has been with me throughout. He has not advertised it, but he has been to see me multiple times. To me, that shows the true depth of the character of the Prime Minister, and I thank him for that.

I thank my wife, who is in the Chamber, my daughter and other family members—my father and my father-in-law. I thank my wife for being there every single day of those many months in hospital. She could only do that because of the support of family behind her. In the Public Gallery—they cannot quite see me, unfortunately—are many of the staff from the NHS. [Applause.] They took me from where I was, close to death, to where I am today, so I thank them for that. I am not entirely sure I am that happy that the two surgeons who took this lot off are there, but never mind.

There is a question here. Prime Minister, can we please ensure that we embed recognition of early signs of sepsis? It would not have worked for me—mine was too quick and too sudden—but many people do get a few days. If we can stop somebody from ending up like this, I would say that that is a job well done. I would also like to impress upon Health Ministers the importance of allowing the provision of appropriate prosthetics, particularly for multi-limb amputees, at the right time. Thank you, Mr Speaker; thank you, Prime Minister. [Applause.]

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

It is so wonderful to hear from my hon. Friend. I thank him for his kind words, but I also personally pay tribute to his family, who are here in the Chamber. I know first hand the extraordinary job they did to support him over the past several months, and they all deserve our absolute admiration and thanks for what they have done. Before I answer the substantive question he has raised, I also join him in paying tribute to the NHS workers who looked after him.

My hon. Friend is right that sepsis is a devastating condition; we are working hard to raise awareness of it, and I know that he will play a leading role in doing that. Without getting into all the details, I will just say that he is right: as the NHS itself has recognised this morning, more needs to be done, and I can assure him that we will do that. My right hon. Friend Victoria Atkins will discuss with him shortly, as will I, his suggestions for how we can improve care and awareness for people, but I will end where I started earlier today: Craig, you have inspired each and every one of us. Thank you.