Short people

I think we have the first Business Statement tomorrow from the new Leader of the House, Sir George Young. The Opposition response will be led by Rosie Winterton, who’s stepped into Harriet’s shoes. (Not literally – I suspect they wouldn’t fit). I have already reported that this may well be the biggest height differential ever seen at the Despatch Box. And yes, I am working on the revised list of “MPs who are shorter than me” to take into account the new intake. (Priti Patel: possibly even shorter than Sarah Teather. Really.) 

Expect lots of questions about things that made into the Coalition Agreement, and things that didn’t, and whether we can have a debate on such matters (that’s mostly what the Business statement consists of, asking when we’re going to debate things, or if we can). 

I might try and ask about the anonymity for rape defendants issue, asking for a debate before the proposal is taken any further, though I think other MPs may get in there first. There’s an EDM doing the rounds, from Fiona Mactaggart and Roberta Blackman-Woods, joint chairs of the women’s PLP, which I signed today. I also e-tabled some written questions, on it. They may get altered by the Table Office (Q3 almost certainly will, because it’s a bit unspecific), but this was the wording I submitted.

1) What evidence was considered on the case for giving anonymity to defendants in rape cases before the Coalition Agreement: Our Programme for Government was published?

2) If [the Home Secretary] will confirm whether the proposal in the Coalition Agreement: Our Programme for Government to give anonymity to defendant in rape trials will apply only to defendants who have been charged with rape, or will include defendants charged with other sexual offences?

3) What estimate does she make of the number of cases of unreported rape and/ or what research has she commissioned on this topic?

4) What recent evidence or research has the Government seen on the number of reported rapes which a) do not result in a prosecution and b) do not result in a conviction, which looks at whether a false allegation of rape has or may have been made, and the prevalance of false allegations by comparison with the number of reported rapes?.

I also put in a couple of other questions, one on the Regional Fire Control Centre in Taunton, and one on badger culls, just to get back into practice. First one is asking what’s happening about it, and actually so is the second one.

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  • Genji Monogatari  On May 27, 2010 at 6:12 am

    How about asking IDS during the Welfare Reform debate what a special adviser who believes homosexuality can be cured by praying out the demons will bring to the Dept. of Work and Pensions?


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