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General Press Cycle
Those of any political persuasion will agree that we must do all that we can to protect the most vulnerable in our society from those who wish to exploit them – in particular the organised criminal gangs engaged in the practice of human trafficking. Often those trafficked are young women and children who have been offered the chance to realise their dreams in Britain. The reality is that once here, they live the nightmare of being forced into a life of crime and, in some cases prostitution, for the benefit of their traffickers.

If we are to tackle this problem then we must do so by unleashing the full force of the British legal system and utilising the severest possible penalties for those found guilty of this heinous crime. That is what the Anti-Human Trafficking Act introduced to parliament by the Conservative Party aims to achieve. We must show those responsible for exploiting the hopes and dreams of the vulnerable that Britain means business when we talk of ending Human Trafficking. Our act is proof, if it was needed, that the Conservative Party not only talks tough about crime, but acts tough too!

I am disappointed that some in the Labour Party have frustrated smooth passage of this bill. There are members of the Labour Party who would prefer our country take a weaker stance when it comes to sentencing and confiscating the ill-gotten gains of human traffickers. I would urge all members of parliament to consider their conscience when they vote on this life-changing piece of legislation. If Britain is to lead the way in ending human trafficking on the international stage then we must take action to stamp it out.
Cordelia Banks
Shadow Home Secretary
Member of Parliament for Witney (1992 - )

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Whilst I agree with Stonewall that there is a need for the introduction of civil partnerships, I have to disagree with the rest of their claims. There is no need to repeal section 28. It must remain. And as for adoption rights given to homosexual couples - I have never heard of anything so disgustingly selfish. These people would rather have their children bullied at school for having two fathers or two mothers - just so they can "have" children.
MP For Hexham 1987 -
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Human Trafficking is something the Labour Party takes seriously, we want a just and fair system even for such horrible crimes such as human trafficking. Mandatory minimums do not work, and what the Labour government is offering is greater legal aid permissions for victims and extending the age of the bill to cover 17 and 18 year olds. The Conservative party failed to do either and so once again we see all bite but no real substance, Headline Harry and his Tory Headliners strikes again!
Nelson Mabuza
MP for Blackburn

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What the Labour Party offer is more tolerance of paedophiles, and lesser sentences. The Conservative Party would lock up those involved in child trafficking for life, Labour want to be fair and let them loose on the street.
MP For Hexham 1987 -
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Today the Labour Government led its MPs in voting against tough new offences against human trafficking. The Conservatives have brought forward new legislation which would have imposed tough new sentences, particularly on those guilty of trafficking and exploiting children, and also would have allowed courts to confiscate the assets of the criminal to compensate the victim. Throughout the debate the Labour benches have put the interests of the criminal above the victim, and that is illustrated in how they have chosen to vote on this Bill. By fighting for weaker sentences, complex amendments which would have made prosecutions impossible and trying to introduce a test requiring a judge to put a victim through the ordeal of putting a price tag on their suffering, Labour have shown they are out of touch with public opinion and that they are the real nasty party of British politics.
Member of the Conservative and Unionist Party
Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party (2001 - Present)
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (2001 - Present)
Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness (1997 - Present)
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It's unfortunate to see such obstinance from the Opposition that they're unwilling to spend the time to debate into the detail about good law-making. While that seems to earn us the title of being the "nasty party", I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty by making sure that our laws are clear, fair, and comprehensive. The Tory proposal fell short, and its proponents decided that explicit clarity in a bill's implementation was too much work, too complex. So be it: it was their vehicle that just lost interest in carrying through to the finish line.

This government has already finished initial drafts of a new bill: the Labour bill will have greater resources for victims, new penalties for traffickers, and clear, enforceable standards that meet the British sense of justice. We will pick up this issue where the Conservatives lost interest in the work of governing to instead spare an extra hour for press coverage.
Dame Beatrice Oona Millar DBE MP FRSE RSA | Labour
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1992- )
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Hillhead (1987- )
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh Leith (1957-1959)

Formerly: Parminder Chawla, Joshua Bertram, Lillian Nichols, Gareth Edwards, Andrew Pearson, L Chris Havilland, Mack Aldritt
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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth this week celebrates 50 years on the throne. Her Majesty has served with dignity and consistency during her reign and is the respected figurehead across the world at the helm of our constitutional monarchy.

I congratulate Her Majesty on reaching this incredible milestone and wish her many more years on the throne. God save the Queen!
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We have began to debate the Hunting Act. This is yet another important bill that I intend to support. In my speech to the House of Commons today I discussed the large amounts of post I had received on this issue and I will receive much more before the vote takes place.

"The Thrill of the Chase" is often given as a reason for keeping hunting legal. What pro-hunting supporters do not mention is the thrill of the "catch" and the savage and barbaric way foxes are brutally and quite literally torn apart by the hounds that chase them.

We all know that in this country we raise animals for slaughter, but what is a very important and even critical part of this long-standing process is that the animals are humanely killed. This uncomfortable yet necessary part of the process is conducted in a controlled way that causes very little, if any pain to the animal. To turn cow slaying or chicken slaying would be seen as distasteful, even cruel, so the same principle applies here.

I find fox hunting distasteful and uncomfortable, as does the many hundreds of people who take the time to write to me on this issue. If we care about animal welfare, and I do, we must support this bill.
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General Press Cycle Week 8: Basically a Human Trafficking Press Cycle with queens (both kind) thrown in. 
 
Labour: 25
 
So, this press cycle ended in a tie. You really effectively outlined why mandatory minimum sentences were good – and your promise to produce a bill that would give more resources for victims softened some of the Tory blows. However, while that satisfies the group of voters that currently vote for you, you didn’t sympathise with that innate need for justice and action and being tough which could have won over some Tory voters, so it’s a deadlock.
 
Conservatives: 25
 
You saw what I said about Labour. Inverse applies to you – you took a really good popular line, and being tough on those criminals and standing up for victims resonates with voters, particularly the voters currently aligned with you. But you needed to explain or defend the specifics and practicalities more effectively if you wanted to win over more centrist, socially liberal or swingy voters. Solid tie.
 
Influence Points Awarded to:
 
Elizabeth Atwood: “The Conservative Party has acted in the spirit of compromise to get this legislation passed and allow law enforcement to act now, but this Labour Government has shown its true face in the debate on this bill: its concern to weaken sentences against criminals and powers to confiscate victims of human trafficking shows it is the real nasty party of British politics.” A little long, and if you split this into two punchy statements on separate issues (e.g Labour are nasty and another about Labour being obstructionist – the latter being slightly more painful), you could’ve probably won this press round. But this was a really solid contribution.
 
Lillian Nichols: “we’re focused on passing good laws; they’re focused on making easy headlines.” Zinger from the Home Sec, who has slowly obtained a reputation for being the most practical and effective Minister in government as it stands.
 
Aaron Pitt: “I congratulate Her Majesty on reaching this incredible milestone and wish her many more years on the Throne. God save the Queen!” Someone had to say it, even if it’s hardly the most controversial piece of news at the moment, and with his EDM Pitt has found a little issue to make a name for himself. Have an influence point.
 
Notes: Remember, press statements – especially any taglines you want to make the title of an article or, if you’re particularly good, a headline – must be short and sweet.
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I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. I'm sure I'm speaking for many of the British people when I express my sorrow and indeed my goodwill for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and her family during these difficult times.

The monarchy is the trans-generational linchpin which binds our United Kingdom together, and the Queen Mother was the absolute epitome of grace, courage and indomitable British hardiness. She will not be forgotten. 
David Crawford MP 

MP for Reading West 1997 -
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I commented recently on the passing of Princess Margaret and I am saddened to once again offer my deepest sympathies to Her Majesty The Queen and members of our Royal Family as we mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

We share in the monarchy's pain at this sad time and remember The Queen Mother's long service and integral part of many of the historical events that have shaped our country over the past century. She will be missed but not forgotten.
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With hapless Harry imprisoned by his Shadow Cabinet, it is clear that he dances to their equality-hating tune. Scrapping the Equalities brief in the Shadow Cabinet just goes to show that any commitment to equality was election dressing to show that the Conservative Party has changed. The mask has now slipped in the immediate aftermath: the Leader of the Opposition is no fighter for equality. He dithers and hesitates over the Shadow Chancellor, changing his mind within 24 hours. Let’s hope he does the same with this decision and reaffirms his commitment to equality outside of an election, not just during it.
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I, one of many women to become newly elected MPs in this election, find myself in complete agreement with my colleague Alice Robertson. I strongly urge Harald Saxon to reconsider - if the price of a U-turn is worth paying to keep you in the job, then it surely is for the values of equality as well!
The Rt Hon Angela Harvey MP | Labour Party, Socialist Campaign Group

Deputy Prime Minister & Deputy Leader of the Labour Party (1992 - Incumbent)
Member of Parliament for Dover (1992 - Incumbent)

Previously: "A nobody backbencher", "Backbench Spokesperson for Everything"

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Tomorrow we will be hearing the Queen's speech, which in general is the agenda the ruling or in this case, the ailing party will give us their agenda. Yet Last year Labour achieved only one goal of the many they laid out, and with their feeble majority what makes us think they'll accomplish any of their goals this time out either?
"the fagnoglin"  Moray Mac Gill Fhaolain MP Aberdeen North 1964-Present

1973-1974 Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
1976-1978 Secretary of State for Transport
1978-1979 Secretary of State for Scotland
1979-1987 Shadow Secretary of State for Workers and Pensions
1992-Present Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Constitutional Affairs & Devolution

fmrly Sean Kapur fmr. Shadow Minister of Environment, Housing, and Ag 
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The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in auditioning for the role of Prime Minister, is talking a good game about how voters support the end of the House of Lords. He cites Labour and the Liberal Democrats having a clear majority in the House of Commons, and as such a mandate. Between the two parties that the Chancellor cites, they lost 48 seats; that is a lot of things—mostly a failure—but it is not a mandate to play games with the institutions of Parliament.
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Thanks given by: Richard De Villiers (CON)
As Secretary of State for Communities, Devolved Government and the Constitution it is my unfortunate duty to deal with asinine comments from the Conservative Party desperate to protect their retirement home and in-built majority in the House of Lords. The fact of the matter is that far from being a totalitarian power-grab by the Government this is a move that would introduce democracy into one of the last vestiges of the British constitution currently lacking any form of it. The Conservative Party are only concerned with protecting their retirement home and privileged constitutional position in the House of Lords, they do not care for the democratic implications of having an unelected, unaccountable upper chamber beholden to nobody but their own interests.

The Tories complain about the so-called "absent Prime Minister", the only thing he can ever be construed as absent from is the press. Newsflash, he is too busy running the country to come running whenever Headline Harry has found a new bandwagon to hop onto. The Prime Minister is not at the beck and call of the Leader of the Opposition or his Shadow Cabinet puppet masters, he goes to the House of Commons to deliver his policies, legislation and updates, not the soapbox Harold has set up outside.
The Rt Hon Sir Dylan Macmillan MP
MP for Bedfordshire Mid (1983-Present)

Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (1992-Present)
Secretary of State for Energy 1987-1990

@Dylan_Macmillan
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I am gravely concerned by the apparently intentional exclusion of a Shadow Minister for Women & Equalities from the Conservative Frontbench. It was as the Minister for Women just five years ago that I came into the frontbenches of government, and I have forever held that there is a crucial importance for an explicit seat at the policymakers' table for someone to take concern for the conditions of women and other marginalized groups in society. We have made tremendous progress, but I fear we still have not done enough. I am not sure whether to take the change here from the Conservatives as a signal that they think we have done enough as a society or that they simply don't care about the issue anymore. Either way, they would be gravely mistaken. The Tories have not simply forgotten about social equality: they have taken an explicit step to downgrade its importance. I will continue my work at the Minister for Women & Equalities and have hope that the British people will hold me to account in this responsibility where the Conservatives have abandoned it.
Dame Beatrice Oona Millar DBE MP FRSE RSA | Labour
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1992- )
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Hillhead (1987- )
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh Leith (1957-1959)

Formerly: Parminder Chawla, Joshua Bertram, Lillian Nichols, Gareth Edwards, Andrew Pearson, L Chris Havilland, Mack Aldritt
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It's honestly disappointing that people are wasting their breathe on who said what or who didn't do this instead of having a discussion on the issues that matter to people. This sort of squabbling won't help anybody get a job, education, or place to live, and that's what matters at the end of the day. I think I speak for enough people to say that we need less political sniping and more focus on the basic issues.
Terry Roberts, MP for Southampton Test
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
Shadow Foreign Minister


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The Labour Government's proposed amendments to the Council Tax exemptions for unoccupied dwellings are, I think, from a genuinely laudable place of wanting to help Britons get themselves on the property ladder. However, I think after examining the facts, we will find that the majority of empty dwellings are not within the immediate price range of first-time home buyers, certainly not with the current housing prices, and that there is not a shortage of mid-range houses for sale currently. There is, perhaps, a shortage of entry-level homes on the market and that is an issue the Conservative Party has been fighting to fix since the 1980's. The answer to improving the housing market is to incentivise the construction of more entry-level houses and help those seeking a home to acquire a mortgage loan, not to punish people who have unoccupied dwellings.

The Labour Government, as usual, is hanging its hat on the old, faithful lamp post of class warfare in this discussion over Lords reform. While they want to create an elected upper chamber, Mr. Thomas has confirmed that they have no intention of giving it any real teeth. The Labour Government want to create an elected, partisan upper chamber, wasting millions of pounds on elections, to elect Senators who will have no real power and are still bound by the Salisbury Convention. From the horse's mouth, the new Senate will have no power to introduce laws, no power to stop laws from passing. It will have no power whatever, except to waste money and time on unnecessary elections.
[Image: VO5PA6L.png]
R I C H A R D • D E • V I L L I E R S
C O N S E R V A T I V E
for
G R A N T H A M

Shadow SoS for Regions, Nations, & Devolution | Constitutional Affairs

CORNERSTONE GROUP
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The Tory defence of the indefensible is a clear example of putting one's own interests before democracy. The Tories enjoy a natural advantage in the House of Lords, and until recently an absolute majority, we can either spin the wheel and stack the Chamber with Labour Lords or we can break the wheel and introduce proper democratic legitimacy to the Upper Chamber. Rather than engaging constructively with the process and crafting a Senate with accountability, democracy and the teeth to stand up for itself the Tories would rather spend their time defending their retirement home. The public can see through the Tory charade on this issue, and Mr Stonewood's blatant lies about what I said in the Chamber are ill-befitting of a Member of the House of Commons.
The Rt Hon Sir Dylan Macmillan MP
MP for Bedfordshire Mid (1983-Present)

Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (1992-Present)
Secretary of State for Energy 1987-1990

@Dylan_Macmillan
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