Canlyniadau 81–100 o 6544 ar gyfer speaker:Alistair Carmichael

Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill (20 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: That is one way in which the procedure could be done. However, I say to the hon. Gentleman and the hon. Member for Motherwell and Wishaw that the question of quashing convictions is just one element of justice. The other important element is that those who were responsible for initiating the prosecutions must be accountable. That accountability would be missing if the provisions for Scotland...

Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill (20 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: The hon. Gentleman is right. If he has been listening, he will have heard me speak on a number of occasions about my work to support constituents who are pursuing claims as part of the historic shortfall scheme. That would be the route to compensation for the people to whom the hon. Gentleman refers. We have taken a particular approach quite deliberately and for good reason. Because the Post...

Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill (20 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: I do not think it is unfortunate, but highly fortunate and deliberate, that we are in the UK, but we will save that debate for another day. The compensation can and will be paid on a UK-wide basis. Given the timescale that the Government have outlined so far, we would expect the convictions to be quashed on the basis of this Bill by the middle of July. That gives the Scottish Parliament time...

Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill (20 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: I am grateful to the Minister for that. Those who are not convicted will have access to compensation through the historic shortfall scheme—a process available to them at the moment.

Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill (20 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: I do not really need to answer that, so I will take the hon. Lady’s intervention.

Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill (20 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: That is a political decision for the Scottish Government, who control the Scottish Parliament’s business, to take.

Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill (20 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: They are set by the Parliamentary Bureau, of which the majority of members come from the SNP and the Greens. I have kept this fairly broad in its terms. Can I just say gently to the hon. Lady that if the Scottish Government, instead of trying to evade political accountability, would take their responsibilities seriously and get on with it, they would get on with the drafting of the necessary...

Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill (20 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: Can the hon. Gentleman sitting to my left explain to me why he thinks that is not true?

Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill (20 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: It is a solution to the issue inasmuch as it is another means of doing the same thing that the hon. Gentleman’s party wants to do in respect of the Bill, but it is not a solution inasmuch as it allows that level of accountability, and it is the accountability that matters. The current Lord Advocate, Dorothy Bain, has already said, on the record, that “not every case involving Horizon...

Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill (20 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: As a matter of fact, the situation is different in Scotland, where prosecutions are taken in the name of the Procurator Fiscal Service or the Lord Advocate, depending on the forum, and they receive only the report from the Post Office. The prosecution decision is made by the prosecuting authorities. I understand that in other parts of the United Kingdom the Post Office can prosecute in its...

Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill (20 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: The Scottish Parliament has provisions in its own Standing Orders for emergency procedures, just as we have. It would be open to it to do it in three days, if it chose to.

Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill (20 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: Is not the point about a sunset clause that none of us knows what is around the corner or what the future holds? Once this legislation has expired, the law of sod dictates that somebody somewhere will come up with a case that requires to be dealt with. That is eminently possible. A sunset clause would serve no useful purpose, other than smoothing a few ruffled judicial legal feathers.

Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill (20 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: I fear that the issue is not so much with the Scottish judiciary as with the prosecuting authorities, given the remarks already on the record from the Lord Advocate. If I may, I will offer the hon. Member for Glasgow South West (Chris Stephens), through the shadow Minister, a rational reason: it is about political accountability. The lines of political accountability lie through the Scottish...

Hong Kong Security Legislation (20 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: The all-party parliamentary group on Hong Kong, which I chair, heard very powerful testimony this morning from a young Hongkonger who had been a political prisoner in Hong Kong. We will now see more people enduring the indignity of political imprisonment, and the BNO passport visa can be withheld on the basis of the applicant having been in prison. Surely that is something that must be reviewed.

HMRC Self-Assessment Helpline (20 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: The reprieve is welcome, but if we are to keep these helplines open, can we at least resource them properly and make them work? I spoke to a chartered accountant in my constituency this morning, and he tells me that when he recently phoned HMRC with a complex query on behalf of a client, it took 40 minutes to get an answer. When the phone was answered, there was an acknowledgment of the...

UK Food Security (19 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: Before my hon. Friend leaves this topic, I think this comes to the heart of the matter. One of the biggest barriers, particularly for red meat producers, to putting produce into a local supply chain is the inability to get it slaughtered close to the point of production. Does my hon. Friend agree that ending the ever-increasing move towards larger, centralised abattoirs would allow a regrowth...

UK Food Security (19 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: Fine Shetland sheep.

Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill: Clause 1 - Introduction (18 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: It is a pleasure to follow the right hon. Lady, particularly given the context she gave to this debate, which is important and worth reflecting on for a second or two. She reminds us that this is in fact the third Bill in this area in this Parliament. Indeed, as the shadow Minister, the hon. Member for Aberavon (Stephen Kinnock), pointed out towards the end of his remarks, we now have...

Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill: Clause 1 - Introduction (18 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: Would there not be some sense in allowing Home Office decision makers to take account of the Home Office evidence that has been gathered together in the way that the hon. and learned Lady describes?

Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill: Clause 1 - Introduction (18 Maw 2024)

Alistair Carmichael: Will the hon. Member give way?


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