Parliamentary Speeches, Debates & Questions

SEPTEMBER 2017

House of Lords (Hereditary Peers) (Abolition of By-Elections) Bill [HL] – Second Reading (8 Sep 2017)

Baroness Berridge: My Lords, I, too, begin by applauding the hard work of hereditary Peers in this House, such as my noble friend Lord Howe, which is exemplary. This is the first time I have spoken on this issue, but the current system undermines the credibility of all the hard work which your Lordships undertake on behalf of the British public. In January this year, Her Majesty’s Government outlined…

Myanmar: Rohingya People – Private Notice Question (5 Sep 2017)

Baroness Berridge: My Lords, yesterday saw nearly a million people take to the streets in Chechnya, so this crisis has the potential to cause instability beyond the region. In response to a Question back in July, my noble friend mentioned that the UK Government since 2014 have given £8 million to the Bangladeshi Government to help support the Rohingyas who have crossed the border. Could my noble friend…

JULY 2017

Refugees – Question for Short Debate (19 Jul 2017)

Baroness Berridge: My Lords, I am grateful to the right reverend Prelate for securing this debate. I hope Her Majesty’s Government find the recommendations that he has outlined uncontroversial. While I still have questions for the Government, this is actually a good end-of-term report for the Home Office as far as I am concerned. On 21 March 2016 in your Lordships’ House, my noble friend Lord…

Nigeria – Question (18 Jul 2017)

Baroness Berridge: My Lords, some of those affected by the conflict in the north of Nigeria are in fact the friends and relatives of British citizens, with hundreds of thousands of them within the British Nigerian diaspora. As well as meeting with Ministers in Nigeria and working through the high commission, could the Foreign and Commonwealth Office reach out specifically to that diaspora in order to hear their…

Myanmar and Bangladesh: Rohingya – Question (11 Jul 2017)

Baroness Berridge: I thank my noble friend for her Answer, but that now makes a total of more than 400,000 refugees in Bangladesh due solely to the religious persecution in Myanmar. Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees visited Cox’s Bazar this week and said: “These people deserve a better future than the present conditions of extreme poverty, deprivation and isolation”. Can my…

Grenfell Tower: Rehousing Update – Statement (5 Jul 2017)

Baroness Berridge: My Lords, in the Prime Minister’s Statement on 22 June, she first outlined that the accommodation will be on the same terms as the original accommodation, and we have seen a definition of that today. Unfortunately, I understood “same terms” to be in the personal injury lawyer sense, which is to put the person back into the position they would have been in had none of this…

Overseas Development Assistance – Question (4 Jul 2017)

My Lords, in a debate this morning in Westminster Hall, a number of MPs highlighted the correlation between the fragile states in which DfID spends much of its money and high levels of persecution of people on the grounds of faith or belief. I would be grateful if the Minister could assemble a meeting of interested MPs and Peers, particularly with his counterpart the right honourable Alistair…

JUNE 2017

Agriculture: Foreign Workers – Question (28 Jun 2017)

Baroness Berridge: My Lords, can my noble friend the Minister please confirm that the migration advisory group will consult the Commonwealth Secretariat and Secretary-General in relation to opportunities for workers to come from Commonwealth countries, as there is a great expectation that there will be new opportunities within the Commonwealth?

Grenfell Tower – Statement (22 Jun 2017)

Baroness Berridge: My Lords, as my noble friend outlined, 151 homes have been destroyed. However, has an accurate list been compiled of all the residents of the block? My noble friend outlined that homes will be provided to people on the same terms as the ones they had. Has a clear communication been given that for residents who may have resided in the block without a tenancy agreement, or with a tenancy…

APRIL 2017

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Egypt: Christianity (27 Apr 2017)

Baroness Berridge: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Egypt regarding the bombings of the Coptic churches in Alexandria and Tanta in April.

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Egypt: Christianity (27 Apr 2017)

Baroness Berridge: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions, or meetings, they have had with (1) Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, and (2) the leadership of the Coptic Church in the UK, regarding the bombings of the Coptic churches in Alexandria and Tanta in April.

Race in the Workplace: The McGregor-Smith Review – Question for Short Debate (24 Apr 2017)

Baroness Berridge: My Lords, my noble friend’s report states that it is now time to act and after spending more than a decade working with many of Britain’s wonderful black and minority ethnic communities, action and even legislation is now needed. It is young people’s lives that are being affected here. As outlined, the first priority has to be data collection, as effective policy or law…

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting – Question (6 Apr 2017)

Baroness Berridge: My Lords, my noble friend the Minister has outlined the design and creation of an appropriate programme. I declare an interest as the leader of a Commonwealth initiative on freedom of religion or belief. Will she consider meeting, as she has done in the past, parliamentarians and representatives from CPA UK, the Youth Parliament and the Commonwealth Youth Parliament so that everyone can play…

MARCH 2017

Debate — Alcohol Abuse (30 Mar 2017)

A national piece of work, looking at the evidence and policies in Yorkshire mill towns, city centres such as Birmingham, Chinatown and boroughs such as Lambeth is well overdue. It would show how much ethnic minorities save the National Health Service ​but also any deficiencies so that people could then access services they need. Perhaps religious leaders could also help bring down the barriers for communities when they need to access other professional services.

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Religious Freedom (30 Mar 2017)

Baroness Berridge: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much of the Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy will be allocated in 2017–18 to projects on freedom of religion or belief.

Commonwealth – Motion to Take Note (16 Mar 2017)

Baroness Berridge: I raised a specific point about Commonwealth apprenticeships. It is really important that we have this as government policy. If my noble friend could agree to investigate this and write to me, that would be very helpful.

Commonwealth – Motion to Take Note (16 Mar 2017)

Baroness Berridge: My Lords, I, too, join with noble friends to thank my noble friend Lady Anelay for this debate. The Commonwealth is a 21st century, ahead of the curve multilateral, as its modus operandi is network. Over the last few years, we have heard of networking lunches, networking the room and of course virtual networks, so I join my noble friends Lord Howell and Lord Goodlad in assessing this as part…

Brexit: Commonwealth, Trade and Migration – Question (13 Mar 2017)

Baroness Berridge: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of future trade and migration from and to Commonwealth countries after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

Brexit: Commonwealth, Trade and Migration – Question (13 Mar 2017)

Baroness Berridge: I thank my noble friend the Minister for his Answer. Within the trade that was outlined, there are many British citizens of Commonwealth heritage who run businesses that trade incredibly effectively with those countries of heritage. Many want to see renewed opportunities for migration between the United Kingdom and those Commonwealth countries as free movement within the EU comes to an end….

Bilateral Trade: Sri Lanka – Question (28 Feb 2017)

Baroness Berridge: My Lords, I am sure that my noble friend the Minister will draw to the attention of fellow Commonwealth Trade Ministers the recent research which revealed that it is about 19% cheaper to trade within Commonwealth countries. But, as the noble Baroness, Lady Symons, outlined, could we please have an assurance that human rights will also be raised at the meeting? If not, we face the same…

Written Answers — Department for Communities and Local Government: Religious Hatred: Christianity (21 Feb 2017)

Baroness Berridge: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the case for a Christian hate crimes unit, additional to the Jewish and Muslim hate crimes units in the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Lay Magistrates – Question (20 Feb 2017)

Baroness Berridge: Statistics from the Ministry of Justice show that 10% of magistrates are from a black and minority ethnic background, but can my noble and learned friend the Minister outline whether there is a specific recruitment drive that also addresses the need for young people from those communities? When black and minority ethnic young people come before a youth justice panel, it is very important that…

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Central African Republic: Politics and Government (1 Feb 2017)

Baroness Berridge: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the current security situation in the Central African Republic.

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Central African Republic: Armed Conflict (1 Feb 2017)

Baroness Berridge: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports of a new armed militia group, 3R, operating in Cameroon and the Central African Republic border region; and of the capacity of that group, the weapons they possess, the impact on the distribution of aid in that region, and whether they control any territory in that border region.


A full list of Baroness Berridge’s contributions to debates, motions and questions in the House of Lords is available on They Work for You using this link, where you can subscribe to alerts of future contributions.