My office organised a meeting between Cornwall’s NHS hospital leaders, the ambulance service, the Council, MPs, and care homes, to discuss the challenges we face with ambulance response times. I have heard some harrowing stories from constituents and my heart goes out to anybody who has suffered because of delays. I set up this meeting to get everyone together in one room to share ideas and information, following representations I received from Cornish GPs and residents. The meeting highlighted some stress points, and I will be sharing the findings of this meeting with Ministers and stressing the importance of supporting and expanding our local social care system.
In Parliament, we announced a new Bill of Rights to strengthen freedom of speech and curb bogus human rights claims, bringing an end to claims wasting taxpayers’ money and court time. Our human rights laws need reform – under the current system, those convicted of hurting their own partners and children have evaded deportation by claiming it would breach their right to family life. That is why our new Bill will reinforce freedom of speech while making sure that courts cannot interpret laws in ways that were never intended by Parliament. It will also introduce a new permission stage in court to prevent trivial legal claims from wasting taxpayers’ money. These reforms will strengthen freedom of speech and the role of UK courts, while helping us to deport more foreign offenders and better protect the public from dangerous criminals.
As disruption on our railway continues due to strike action, we are calling for a sensible compromise between the unions and industry to end the dispute for the good of the British people and the rail workforce. By going on strike, the unions are harming the very people they claim to be helping. They are making it more difficult for people to get to work, risking people's NHS appointments, making it more difficult for kids to sit exams, and driving away the commuters who ultimately support the jobs of rail workers. Throughout the pandemic we provided the rail industry with £16 billion of support - equivalent to £600 for every UK family - to keep the railway's running, and we are now levelling up rail in the North and Midlands through our £96 billion Integrated Rail Plan. These are transformational investments - but to deliver them, we must have reform. That is why we need the rail unions to get back to the negotiation table and sit down with the industry to stop these strikes and agree to reform. These reforms are in the interests of passengers and rail workers - they will help cut costs for farepayers and ensure the sustainability of our railways so they can survive and thrive in the future.