Canlyniadau 181–200 o 15571 ar gyfer speaker:Tony Blair

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: It is precisely for that reason that, in part as a result of pressure from this Government, we have an African Union force in Sudan. We are giving it logistic support, but it is true that we need to do more, as I have already said. I am afraid that the arms embargo will not, in this instance, meet the issue. What will do so is building up the African Union's peacekeeping capability. One of...

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: I agree with what my hon. Friend said about the boycott and I very much hope that that decision is overturned because it does absolutely no good for the peace process or, indeed, for relations in that part of the world. He is right to emphasise that the only solution ultimately is to relaunch the framework for a negotiated peace with a two-state solution at its heart, and we will work on that.

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: There are 1 million more people who receive treatment, but the right hon. Gentleman is right to say that we need to go further. The commitment is to do that by 2010, and I hope that we will recommit to that at the G8 summit at Heiligendamm. In addition, the announcement by the Americans to double their HIV/AIDS spending from $15 billion to $30 billion is extremely important. The Germans have...

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: We are trying to strengthen that language and put in some specifics, particularly in relation to HIV/AIDS treatment. For obvious and natural reasons, pressure groups always say that not enough is being done or that the situation is in danger of collapse. Since Gleneagles, however, there has been almost $40 billion of debt relief; there have been substantial increases in aid, including to...

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: I thank my hon. Friend for the work that he has done in that area. What is interesting, and what came out very strongly from the two-day conference, is the fact that the moderate, reasonable voice of Islam is the majority voice of Islam. It is not heard enough, but it was interesting that people around the world, including some of the most distinguished Islamic scholars, made it quite clear...

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: I think that the hon. Gentleman is exaggerating the situation a trifle. Of course, there are pressures on children today: pressures through exams and through the type of things to which they have access a lot earlier than generations past. The majority of young people whom I meet are working hard and are extremely responsible, decent members of society who behave very well. There is a...

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: Because I have enormous respect for my hon. Friend and because this may be the last time that he asks me a question at Prime Minister's questions, I do not want to disagree with him—but if I were pushed, I might. It is important—and this has been made clear—that on matters such as expenses, MPs continue to be very open. There is a consensus on that. A huge amount of scrutiny is given by...

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: Of course, local decision making is important, but I hope that the hon. Gentleman agrees that if we are to deal with housing issues, we have to expand the availability of housing because of the expansion in the number of households. I agree that a balance needs to be struck, but that must include proposals that allow us to make sure that our people, particularly our younger people, have...

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: Those are obviously decisions that have to be taken at the time of the Budget. Although I entirely understand the point that my hon. Friend makes, we are now spending, on an annual basis, about £11 billion a year extra for our pensioners. They have the winter fuel allowance, the free TV licences for the over-75s, and a substantial uplift in many of the payments that are made through the...

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: Each of those decisions must be taken on the basis of local conditions, but they are driven by clinicians, not cost. In emergencies involving some of the most serious illnesses such as stroke or heart disease, it is better for people to be treated by paramedics in an ambulance and then taken to a specialised unit. The idea of changing accident and emergency, like maternity services or...

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: There will be an opportunity to talk to President Putin at the summit. I have always had good relations with President Putin. We want good relations with Russia, but that can be achieved only on the basis that there are certain shared principles and shared values. If there are not, there is no point in making hollow threats against Russia. The consequence is that people in Europe will want to...

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: The most important thing is that whoever is on the Policing Board and whoever is taking part in the politics of Northern Ireland does so on the basis of complete commitment to democracy and exclusively peaceful means. That applies to everybody. That is the central test, and it is a test monitored, as the hon. Gentleman knows, by the Independent Monitoring Commission.

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: The point that my hon. Friend has raised about coastal towns is very important. Because the focus is sometimes on inner-city regeneration, people forget that some coastal towns have large numbers of people who are either socially excluded or unemployed and that such local economies can be difficult. It is precisely for that reason that we are looking at what more we can do to support our...

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: It is correct that there was a small rise here and, indeed, elsewhere in Europe. It is precisely for that reason that we have agreed a new framework for the European emissions trading system. I know that the right hon. Gentleman may find it hard to support anything with the word "European" in it, but it is none the less important to recognise that it is only through that trading scheme that...

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: I thought that there was a developing consensus, although it has faltered a little in the past few days. The academy programme is proving to be a real success story with parents, and it is providing excellent education for some of the poorest communities in the country. My hon. Friend is absolutely right: it is part of a change throughout schools in our country, where there has been massive...

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: As I said to the hon. Member for North-East Milton Keynes (Mr. Lancaster) earlier, the green belt is being protected—we now have far more development on brownfield sites—and that is absolutely right, but we need to build more homes. If the Conservative party says that, in general, we need to give help to first-time buyers and those who need to get into the housing market, and help to...

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: My hon. Friend is absolutely right to say that the opportunities now exist because many hundreds of schools throughout the country have GCSE results that are well over 70 per cent. In addition, there have been thousands of refurbishments, some 2,500 extra sports facilities and we have the biggest school building programme under way that the country has ever seen. Consequently, standards are...

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: Sometimes, the best people to speak about Iraq are the elected politicians there. I refer the hon. Gentleman to the press conference—which, unsurprisingly, was not covered—that the President of Iraq gave here a few weeks ago. He said that however difficult the situation because of the terrorists, we should never forget what it was like under Saddam and that, if terrorists try to stop the...

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: My hon. Friend's point is absolutely right and reasonable. We are putting a huge investment—some £2 billion—into supporting our post office network. However, as he rightly implies, changes are happening that mean that the way in which post offices operate must change if they are to be viable in future. We will try to identify as quickly as possible the post offices that are at risk and...

Prime Minister: Engagements ( 6 Meh 2007)

Tony Blair: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his opening remarks. As he knows, my belief is that we do not need a constitutional treaty and that we should have a simplified and amending treaty. I can assure him that all the red lines that we have set out will be protected for this country, but it is also in the interests of this country that we find a way for Europe to operate more effectively with 27...


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