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  • >> Hannah Bardell (Livingston) (SNP):

  • If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 5 July.

  • The Prime Minister (Mrs Theresa May)

  • Today marks the 69th anniversary of the NHS, and

  • last week saw the 80th anniversary of the 999 service. I know that Members on both sides

  • of the House will join me in paying tribute to the incredibly dedicated men and women

  • who work tirelessly to save and improve lives day in, day out.

  • This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties

  • in the House, I shall have further such meetings later today. Later this week I will attend

  • a meeting of the G20, where I will discuss the global economy, counter-terrorism and

  • sustainable development with my fellow leaders.

  • >> Hannah Bardell:

  • Her face smashed with an iPad, her body beaten, and forced to abort a baby girl: that is only

  • some of the domestic abuse that my constituent Lola Ilesanmi has suffered from her estranged

  • husband because she has refused to allow the genital mutilation of her daughter. Lola is

  • educated, has a mortgage, and had a good job with Royal Bank of Scotland until the Home

  • Office revoked her right to work. I have been writing to the Home Office since March, and

  • have got nowhere. Will the Prime Minister now intervene to prevent the family from being

  • deported, and to prevent that three-year-old girl from being subjected to genital mutilation?

  • >>The Prime Minister:

  • The Home Secretary has obviously heard the case that the hon. Lady describes. The issue

  • of female genital mutilation is one on which I think all of us, throughout the House, are

  • agreed. It is an abhorrent activity; it should not be taking place. Great efforts have been

  • made in recent years in strengthening the law on female genital mutilation, getting

  • information out about the issue, and trying to support people in communities where FGM

  • is practised. The message must go out from the House today that we will not accept FGM

  • in this country.

  • >> James Morris (Halesowen and Rowley Regis) (Con):

  • In the last few days Iraqi security forces, assisted by coalition airstrikes, have made

  • significant progress in eradicating ISIL fighters from Mosul. That is a significant step forward

  • in the military conflict against ISIL in Iraq, but does the Prime Minister agree that the

  • United Kingdom and the United States, in a broad international alliance, need to work

  • with the Iraqi Government to ensure that there is reconstruction in places such as Mosul,

  • and also to ensure that they are sufficiently strong to withstand the poisonous ideology

  • of ISIL as we seek to defeat it?

  • >> The Prime Minister:

  • My hon. Friend is absolutely right: in order to keep the streets of Britain safe, we must

  • continue to attack Daesh in Iraq and Syria, and the UK is playing its part as one of the

  • 71 members of the coalition. The RAF has conducted over 1,400 strikes, and over 500 British soldiers

  • are on the ground providing further assistance, but he makes the very important point that

  • it is not just about the military action that takes place; it is about how we ensure there

  • is sustainable reconstruction and rebuilding afterwards. Our troops have helped to train

  • over 55,000 Iraqi security forces personnel, and we are providing more than £169.5 million

  • in humanitarian aid and a further £30 million to help Iraq to stabilise these liberated

  • areas. Together, we must also work not just in Iraq but internationally to ensure that

  • the hateful ideology of extremism is not able to poison the minds of people.

  • >> Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North) (Lab):

  • May I start by wishing everyone a very happy Pride month, especially those taking part

  • in the Pride march this Saturday and similar marches around the country? We should also

  • be aware that a survey taken by Pride in London found that half of LGBT people in London had

  • experienced hate crime in the past 12 months.

  • I join the Prime Minister in wishing the NHS a very happy birthday, but I was hoping that

  • she was going to say a bit more about NHS staff and their pay during her birthday greetings,

  • because after a week of flip-flopping and floundering, we thought we had some clarity

  • from Downing Street at last. On Monday, the announcement was that the public sector pay

  • cap at 1% remains, and a rare moment of agreement between Nos. 10 and 11 was seen, but yesterday

  • we heard news that firefighters will be offered 2% this year and 3% next year, so can the

  • Prime Minister confirm whether the public sector pay cap will remain for all other public

  • servants until 2020?

  • >> The Prime Minister:

  • First, may I join the right hon. Gentleman in wishing everybody who is going to take

  • part in Pride London on Saturday an excellent day? I am sure it will be a very good occasion,

  • as it always has been. May I also say that I and all Members of this House value the

  • incredibly important work done by our public sector workers, including, yes, including

  • those in the national health service and others?

  • I understand why people feel strongly about the issue of their pay, but perhaps I can

  • just set out. For the information of the House, perhaps I can just set out what the current

  • position is. Three public sector pay review bodies reported in Marchthey covered doctors

  • and dentists, NHS staff including nurses, and the armed forcesand the Government

  • accepted the recommendations of all three. The firefightersaward is not determined

  • by the Governmentit is determined by the employersand is not subject to a pay review

  • body. There are outstanding pay review body reports that cover teachers, prison officers,

  • police officers and those on senior salaries. The Government will consider those reports

  • very carefully and respond to them, but while we do that, we will always recognise that

  • we must ensure that we take decisions with regard to the need to live within our means.

  • The right hon. Gentleman and I both value public sector workers and our public services;

  • the difference is that I know we have to pay for them.

  • >> Jeremy Corbyn:

  • The public sector pay cap causes real shortages in nursing, teaching and many other professions,

  • as well as real hardship. I had a letter last week from a teacher called David. It’s all

  • right: he is a teacher; he is doing a good joball right? He says:

  • “I have been teaching for 10 years. I have seen my workload increase. I have seen more

  • people leave the profession than start, and no form of pay increase in seven years. The

  • only thing holding the education system together is the dedication to struggle on for the students

  • and staff.”

  • He goes on to say that that dedication isstarting to run out”. I say to the Prime

  • Minister that what we are doing through this pay cap is recklessly exploiting the good

  • will of public servants like David. They need a pay rise.

  • >> The Prime Minister:

  • The Leader of the Opposition refers to the number of nurses and teachers working in the

  • public sector. Of course we now have more nurses in our hospitals than we had in 2010,

  • and we have more teachers in our schools. But let me remind the right hon. Gentleman

  • why it has been necessary for us to exercise restraint in public spending, including by

  • capping public sector pay. It is because we inherited the biggest deficit in our peacetime

  • history. We have acted

  • >> Mr Speaker:

  • Order. I noticed earlier, Mr Mahmood, that you seemed to be in a very hyper condition

  • today. I recommend that you take some sort of soothing medicament or go and lie down

  • for a little while. You will feel better at the end of it.

  • >> The Prime Minister:

  • We acted to bring the deficit down by a quarter and then a half, and it is now down by three

  • quarters. At the same time, we have seen the economy grow and record levels of people in

  • employment. Our policy on public sector pay has always recognised that we need to balance

  • the need to be fair to public sector workers, to protect jobs in the public sector, and

  • to be fair to those who pay for it. That is the balance that we need to strike, and we

  • continue to assess that balance.

  • >> Jeremy Corbyn:

  • We have had seven years of tax cuts for the richest and tax breaks for the biggest corporations.

  • Last year, there was a net loss of 1,700 nurses and midwives to the NHS, and in the first

  • two months of this year alone, 3,264 have left the profession altogethernot a great

  • birthday present for the NHS, is it? Last week, the Chancellor said:

  • We all value our public services and the people who provide them to us.”

  • He went on to laud his own economic record by saying that we had a “fundamentally robust

  • economy”. The Prime Minister found £1 billion to keep her own job; why cannot she find the

  • same amount of money to keep nurses and teachers in their jobs? After all, they serve all of

  • us.

  • >> The Prime Minister:

  • The right hon. Gentleman talks about the number of nurses. In fact, I think he was talking

  • about the number of nurses who are registered in the United Kingdom. There are about 600,000

  • nurses registered in the United Kingdom; about half of them—300,000—work in the NHS in

  • England. Contrary to what he says, we have 13,000 more nurses working in the NHS today

  • compared with 2010. I understand that it has been hard for people who have been working

  • hard and making sacrifices over the years as we have been dealing with Labour’s mismanagement

  • of the economy, but let me remind the right hon. Gentleman of what happens when you do

  • not deal with the deficit. This is not a theoretical issue. Let us look at those countries that

  • failed to deal with it. In Greece, where they have not dealt with the deficit. What did

  • we see with that failure to deal with the deficit? Spending on the health service cut

  • by 36%. That does not help nurses or patients.

  • >> Jeremy Corbyn:

  • I hope that the Prime Minister is proud of her record of controlling public sector pay

  • to the extent that hard-working nurses have had to access food banks in order to survive,

  • and of frozen wages for teaching assistants, paramedics and council workers. But this is

  • not just in the public sector. Across the economy, wages are rising by 2.1% while inflation

  • is at nearly 3%. Six million workers already earn less than the living wage. What does

  • the Prime Minister think that that tells us about seven years of a Conservative Government

  • and what they have done to the living standards of those people on whom we all rely to get

  • our public services and our health services delivered to us?

  • >> The Prime Minister:

  • I will tell the right hon. Gentleman what has happened over the past seven years. We

  • have seen record numbers of people in employmentnearly 3 million more people in work. We have seen

  • the introduction of the national living wagenever done by Labour, but introduced by a Conservative

  • Government. We have seen 4 million people taken out of paying income tax altogether

  • and a cut in income tax and a change in the personal allowance that is the equivalent

  • of £1,000 a year to basic rate taxpayers, including nurses. That is a record of good

  • management of the economyyou only get that with the Conservatives.

  • >> Jeremy Corbyn:

  • The Prime Minister simply does not get it.

  • >> Mr Speaker:

  • Order. We have plenty of time. I am quite happy to run on for some considerable period

  • of time. People who are making excessive noise should try to calm themselves and perhaps

  • just give a moment’s thought to whether they would like to be viewed by their constituents

  • shrieking their heads off. It is very downmarket.

  • >> Jeremy Corbyn:

  • There is a low-pay epidemic in this country, and it has a terrible effect on young people.

  • Those in their 20s will earn £12,500 a year less than the generation before. They are

  • the first generation to be worse off than the last. They are less likely to be able

  • to buy their own home, more likely to be saddled with debt, and more likely to be insecure,

  • low-paid work. Except for more misery, what do the Prime Minister and her Government actually

  • offer the young people of this country?

  • >> Hon. Members:

  • Jobs!

  • >> The Prime Minister:

  • To echo the words of my colleagues, we offer young people more jobs, more homes, and the

  • opportunity to own their own home. Let me just tell the right hon. Gentleman what is

  • not fair: it is not fair to refuse to take tough decisions and to load debts on to our

  • children and grandchildren; it is not fair to bankrupt our economy, because that leads

  • to people losing their jobs and their homes; and it is not fair to go out and tell people

  • that they can have all the public spending they want without paying for it. Labour’s

  • way leads to fewer jobs, higher prices and more taxes. Labour’s way means that everyone

  • pays the price of Labour.

  • >> Jeremy Corbyn:

  • When Tories talk of tough choices, we know who suffers: the poorest and most vulnerable

  • in our society. Young people employed on zero-hours contracts are more likely to have worse mental

  • and physical health. Students who have worked hard at university graduate with £57,000

  • of debt that will stay with them until they retire. Let me spell it out to the Prime Minister:

  • this is the only country in which wages have not recovered since the global financial crash;

  • more people are using food banks; 4 million children are living in poverty; there is record

  • in-work poverty; young people see no prospect of owning their own home; and 6 million people

  • are earning less than the living wage. The low-pay epidemic is a threat to our economic

  • stability. Will the Prime Minister take some tough choices and instead of offering platitudes,

  • offer some real help and real support to those in work and to young people, who deserve better

  • and deserve to be given more optimism, rather than greater inequality?

  • >> The Prime Minister:

  • We actually now see that the proportion of people in absolute poverty is at record lows.

  • The right hon. Gentleman asks for help for those who are low paid, and I reiterate to

  • him the help that we have given to people who are low paid: we introduced the mandatory

  • national living wagethe lowest earnersfastest pay rise in 20 years; we have cut

  • taxes for basic-rate taxpayers and taken people out of paying income tax; and we are doing

  • what is important for this country, which is ensuring that there are jobs and an economy

  • providing those jobs for people, because the best route out of poverty is being in work.

  • I know that he has taken to calling himself a “Government in waiting”. Well, we all

  • know what that means: waiting to put up taxes; waiting to destroy jobs; and waiting to bankrupt

  • our country. We will never let it happen.

  • >> Hon. Members:

  • More, more.

  • >> Mr Speaker:

  • Order. I understand that the House is excited about hearing the right hon. Member for Loughborough

  • (Nicky Morgan).

  • >> Nicky Morgan (Loughborough) (Con):

  • Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I know that the Prime Minister and her Ministers, and

  • many other Members of this House, are committed to better mental health care for everyone.

  • I am a founder of the Loughborough Wellbeing Project, and I recently visited the CAMHS––child

  • and adolescent mental health serviceseating disorder service in Leicester. As a result

  • of this Government’s careful financial management, £1.4 billion more is going into mental health

  • services. How can the Prime Minister ensure that that money is getting to frontline NHS

  • services consistently?

  • >> The Prime Minister:

  • First, let me commend my right hon. Friend on the work she has done in setting up the

  • Loughborough Wellbeing Project, and I am happy to join her in paying tribute to the work

  • of the eating disorders service in Leicester. As she says, it does incredibly important

  • work, and we must do more to transform the mental health services that we provide for

  • young people and mental health in general. That is why, as she says, we are putting more

  • money into mental health, and our spending on mental health reached a record £11.6 billion

  • last year. We do need to make sure that that funding gets through to frontline services.

  • One example of that is the work we are doing to ensure that teachers and staff in schools

  • are trained to better identify and better deal with mental health problems when they

  • are present in children. I saw that when I visited Orchard School in Bristol last week,

  • where excellent work is being done, really improving the quality of services for young

  • people with mental health problems.

  • >> Ian Blackford (Ross, Skye and Lochaber) (SNP):

  • As we meet here today, the funeral is taking place at St Peter’s Free church in Dundee

  • of the former leader of the Scottish National party and Member of Parliament for Dundee

  • East from 1974 to 1987. I am sure the House would like to join me in commemorating the

  • life and contribution to politics of the late, dearly missed friend and colleague Gordon

  • Wilson.

  • The UK government have not announced any measures to address rising inflation and slowing wage

  • growth, which the Institute for Fiscal Studies has described asdreadful”. As workers

  • face more than a decade of lost wage growth, and endure the worst period for pay in 70

  • years, does the Prime Minister think she is looking out for thejust about managing”?

  • >> The Prime Minister:

  • First, may I say to the hon. Gentleman, as I did last week, that I am sure all Members