Amber Rudd – 2019 Speech on Disabilities

Below is the text of the speech made by Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on 5 March 2019.

Good afternoon.

I am delighted to be with you and I’d like to thank Scope for graciously hosting us here today.

I remember watching the 2012 Paralympics here in this Olympic Park. We watched outstanding athletes achieve extraordinary ambitions. One broadcaster dubbed them ‘The Superhumans’ but we have to keep this in perspective – their achievement was ‘superhuman’ but these disabled athletes have very human needs, requirements, aspirations, goals, successes and failures – like all disabled people, like all people without disabilities, like all of us.

Equality is something we should never take for granted. Whether or not you’re a Paralympian, you want to be able to get into your local shop, your work or your home. And it’s important that we’re not just talking about equality for people with physical disabilities, but consider the full range of what disability can mean. This includes people with learning difficulties, and those whose mental health can hold them back; people whose disability may be unseen and lifelong, or those whose challenges and needs fluctuate. All of us, whatever age or need want an equal chance to live a life of opportunity and fulfilment. We intend to support disabled people in all phases of their life so that the pursuit of equality is a shared goal. Everyday Equality is one of Scope’s enduring strategies and I commend them for it.

Scope has a long history of advocacy and support for disabled people. It was founded by 3 parents and a social worker with a specific practical objective: education for their children in order to improve their life chances. This objective has evolved and expanded over the years, changing in response to what disabled people have told them. Scope is well known for holding governments to account, and for speaking frankly when they don’t agree, and they don’t think we go far enough.

So it is particularly apt that I am here today to talk about some practical initiatives that will improve the quality of life for all disabled people in Britain.

Scope was founded – I discovered – in 1952 – the year my parents were married.

Like many people, my sensitivity to the variety of barriers faced by disabled people was not well developed until I was confronted by them in my own life.

My father became blind in 1981. For 36 years his blindness was a normal part of my family’s life.

Of my life.

I reflected on my father’s lack of sight, and how it affected his life and the lives of those who loved him, as I considered my role now in supporting disabled people in Britain.

This government intends to change the landscape for disabled people: to level the terrain and smooth their path.

The Department for Work and Pensions holds many of the levers to enable disabled people to achieve their potential, and lead positive, fulfilling lives.

The benefits system should be the ally of disabled people. It should support them, and ensure that the assistance the government provides arrives in the right place for those who need it most. People with disabilities and health conditions have enough challenges in life; dealing with my department shouldn’t be one of them. So my ambition is to significantly improve how DWP supports disabled people and those with health conditions.

Across the DWP, there is already huge commitment to helping disabled people navigate the obstacles they face. It is obvious to me that my colleagues in jobcentres and policy teams in Whitehall are in their jobs because they want to help people – and they do enormous good every day.

But equally, I know that it doesn’t always seem that way to claimants. Some disabled people have said to me that they feel as though they are put on trial for seeking the state’s support.

Now nobody in DWP wants that.

So we need to do more to close the gap between our intentions and your experiences.

Before I go any further, I want to thank the Minister for Disabled People, Sarah Newton, for all of her work. Sarah is committed to improving the lives of disabled people, and is a powerful advocate both within DWP and across government.

Under her guidance, and that of her predecessors, positive change and improvement is already underway.

We’ve stopped requiring the reassessment of those with the most severe and lifelong conditions, who already receive Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit. Those who’ve been awarded the highest level of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), whose needs are unlikely to decrease, now receive an ongoing award – with only a light touch review a decade later. This change recognises that people with the greatest health difficulties should be acknowledged as such, and treated in a way which respects their circumstances.

We are now trialling the video recording of PIP assessments. It is hoped this measure will make assessments more transparent for all concerned.

We can and must go further. We have already committed to reforming the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), and are continuing to collaborate with external stakeholders on this.

But I am aware there is more we need to do.

Of particular concern are the cases referred to tribunal following both PIP and WCA decisions. For example, between July and September 2018, 72% of PIP appeals heard found in favour of the claimant. Now that number is too high. We should do more to gather the evidence we need to make the right decision earlier, so that fewer claimants have to seek redress through tribunal. I will be looking at this matter over the coming months.

And today, I am delighted to announce an imminent change:

We will no longer regularly review the PIP awards for claimants who have reached State Pension age, unless they tell us that their needs have changed.

This applies common sense and mutual understanding to a situation where needs are unlikely to change. This positive change will apply to the 270,000 PIP claimants currently over State Pension age; a group which will increase over time as more PIP claims are made.

Looking forward, we have plans to smooth the application and assessment process.

First, we are creating an integrated service for PIP and Work Capability Assessments from 2021.

To enable this we are developing a single digital system, built to reflect the needs of our customers.

We are joining-up our processes in order to work with customers as individuals, document the numerous interactions they may have with the department, and simplify their journey to getting the support that they are entitled to. This is not just about those customers who apply for more than one benefit; it is about improving the service for everyone who requires a health assessment to receive benefits.

This will reduce the need for people to give us information multiple times, and reduce the number of face-to-face assessments that they attend.

We hope that by developing our own digital platform, a greater range of assessment providers will compete to help us deliver this important service in the future.

Secondly, we will test the feasibility of using a single assessment to determine eligibility for PIP, and ESA-Universal Credit.

Building on the integrated service, we want to simplify claimants’ participation in these processes even further. We have listened to the concerns of those who feel they are being asked for the same information at face-to-face assessments for different benefits. We will therefore explore how a single assessment could improve the experience of those who apply for PIP and ESA-Universal Credit at the same time.

And third, I want to build a strong relationship, based on trust and mutual understanding, between work coaches and claimants awaiting an assessment on Universal Credit. I am committed to ensuring that jobcentres deliver personalised, compassionate and positive support for people with disabilities and health conditions. An important part of this has been the 10,000 work coaches we’ve already trained to support claimants with mental health conditions.

Now I accept that conditionality is a much debated part of the benefits system. Last month, in response to the Work and Pensions Select Committee, the department agreed to carry out a small test; work coaches will start from a point of no conditionality with a claimant awaiting a Work Capability Assessment, and scale-up where appropriate, focusing on what claimants can do. This contrasts with the current approach, which starts at full conditionality and then tailors down accordingly. My ministerial colleague, Alok Sharma, is taking this forward.

But there is more to do, beyond the benefits system – if we are to help people with disabilities achieve their potential. Employment is central to that goal.

Employment of disabled people has risen by 930,000 between 2013 and 2018. But we don’t want to sit back and think the work is done; far too many disabled people are missing the opportunity to develop their talents and connect with the world of work.

So I will be reviewing our goal to get one million more disabled people in work by 2027. We can do more, and I want to set a new and more ambitious goal.

We want to remove barriers and create more opportunities. We want to enable people to achieve their goals.

If the government is to set higher ambitions for disabled people’s employment, integration and inclusion, we need to do more to prevent disabled people and those with health conditions falling out of work in the first place. Currently 300,000 disabled people leave work each year.

We know that it’s possible to reduce the drop-out rate through better occupational health, workplace adjustments, and HR practices that support people to continue working to their capability. The benefits are clear: for individuals, businesses’ productivity and our economy.

Prevention is better than cure. But when someone is too ill to work, the system that awaits them should provide the support they need without writing them off. I have been working with the Secretary of State for Health to look at how we can improve Statutory Sick Pay and Occupational Health, to enable employers to provide comprehensive, holistic support to their employees.

We will shortly consult on reform of Statutory Sick Pay and improving access to occupational health. We want to encourage and support employers to play their part in this agenda.

Plenty has been done – in signing-up employers to Disability Confident, and facilitating the record number of Access to Work grants that were approved last year – but there’s still more to do.

None of us can achieve change alone. To tackle the injustices that disabled people face requires cross-government collaboration, and a far more joined-up approach. Sarah and I are committed to this approach. We know it is the most effective way to deliver for disabled people.

We want to change and improve the way we engage with disabled people, disabled people’s organisations, and the charities that support disabled people.

We will achieve more by taking you with us than by ploughing on alone, well-meaning but self-guided. Therefore, I will commission a new piece of research to better understand claimants’ experiences of the benefits system, and how to meet their needs.

This research will complement the report that Scope published last week – which provides an important reminder of the extra costs faced by disabled people. Together, these will inform future policy-making to better reflect the needs of disabled claimants.

Today’s announcements are a good start, but they are by no means the end.

It is our ambition to go further: to listen harder and to reform effectively. We need to deliver policies, strategies and structures that are co-produced with disabled people – ones that improve the quality of life, the life choices, and the life chances of disabled people.

I was close to my father. He meant everything to me. I want to believe I felt his anxiety, the struggles his blindness brought, every stumble, indignity and frailty. These weren’t intellectual exercises for me. They were visceral. I never pitied him. I empathised and I supported. He told me what he needed. He told me how I could help him and he guided me.

As I look around this room I am certain that all of us want to deliver a fairer Britain. I want you to guide us, help us, and work together with us to provide the opportunities and support that disabled people expect and deserve.

Amber Rudd – 2019 Speech on Universal Credit

Below is the text of the speech made by Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, at Kennington in London, on 11 January 2019.


It’s great be here in Kennington this morning.

I’m particularly pleased to be joined by frontline colleagues and work coaches in the audience today and I’d like to acknowledge the incredible work you do, each and every day, to ensure our claimants receive the payments and support they need. I’d also like to welcome Alok Sharma, the Minister for Employment who I’m pleased could join me here today.

And I am delighted to be here to speak about Universal Credit – a vital reform delivering a fair and compassionate welfare system, which helps people into work.

Let’s not forget that Universal Credit began with near universal support – across party lines, and from charities and stakeholders.

Because everyone agrees with the principles of helping people into work, making work pay, and providing support in times of need.

And I want Universal Credit to retain that support as we deliver it in practice.

This means delivering it in a way that meets the needs of claimants, who come from every conceivable background and each with the potential to achieve their ambitions.

In welfare, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and Universal Credit offers the opportunity to move away from that.

It must treat individuals as individuals – and I will set-out the first steps I will take to achieve this today.

The principle of UC and why it matters

Our welfare system is based upon 3 fundamental principles.

First: work – those who can, should; and those who cannot should be protected from poverty.

Second – work should always pay.

And third, the system should be fair. Fair for taxpayers who pay for it and fair to those who receive it, and fair to future generations – who do not deserve to become trapped in it.

As a nation, I believe we all want a decent safety net: if you’re facing a difficult moment in life, the state should be there to help you.

Whether that’s becoming unemployed, falling ill, or facing bereavement – nobody should find themselves alone in desperate circumstances.

But it is vital that people are supported by this safety net, not trapped beneath it.

It is there to help people get through difficult times – it is not meant to be a mode of long term subsistence for those who can work.

For the vast majority of people, it is ultimately work, not benefits, which provides the route to a better life. And the welfare system should clear a path for that route, not block it.

Work gives purpose, dignity and security. The opportunity to provide for your family, progress in earnings, and build a fulfilling life.

In this respect, the old system was broken; it is why we had to reform it.

Despite what some people suggest, the legacy system – 6 different benefits administered by 3 government departments – was not a utopia that we should return to.

Indeed, 700,000 claimants on that system are currently failing to claim their full entitlement because they find it so confusing. These people – some of the most vulnerable in society – are failing to receive, on average, £285 a month.

Under the old regime, claimants who moved off benefits into full time work lost welfare payments almost immediately, which resulted in effective ‘tax rates’ of up to 90% on their income.

As an MP, I frequently met people who wanted to earn more but were too scared to take-on extra hours, knowing they’d have so little to gain.

In 2010, 1.4 million people in this country had been out of work for at least 9 of the previous 10 years.

1.9 million children lived in households where nobody worked, making it more likely that tragically, they too would live a life on welfare – with little chance of any kind of progression.

We have re-introduced fairness into the system.

We have capped benefits – so that where the adults in a household are able to work, they cannot claim more than what many working families earn.

We have taken millions of the lowest-paid out of income tax altogether.

And we’ve introduced the first National Living Wage, giving many a much-needed pay rise.

But by far the most important and crucial reform is Universal Credit.

Let me explain why Universal Credit is a force for good. It is based on these principles:

a social security system that provides a safety net, but doesn’t trap people in welfare
certainty that every extra hour of work pays more than staying on benefits, with these being withdrawn at a consistent taper rate
help to enter work – through increased, tailored support provided by work coaches at jobcentres like this one
accuracy of benefits payments, with those made to in-work claimants responding in real-time, each month, to income earned. A digital system – where claimants can access information about their payments online, at their convenience

These principles pumped much-needed fresh air into a failing system, and failed thinking on welfare.

Which is why it is vital that we turn these principles into success in practice. We have steadily invested in Universal Credit, adding £4.5 billion in the last budget, following the extra £1.5 billion allocated in 2017 – giving claimants more money as they transition to Universal Credit.

And in many areas we are succeeding. More people will enter work as a result of Universal Credit and work coach support.

The provision of Universal Support – to provide tailored help for people to make and complete their Universal Credit claim – is a significant new step in creating personalised support for claimants.

And it’s very exciting that from April this year, Citizens Advice will be working to deliver this new support across the country.

But in other areas we can improve – in particular, we must ensure that Universal Credit always meets the different needs of different claimants.

And today, I will outline 3:

First – the delivery of the next phase of Universal Credit, known as managed migration, must be handled carefully so it works for all claimants.

Second – flexibility in payments, especially on rent and frequency, should support people financially in a way that works for them.

And third – the system must do even more to support women.

A standard offer cannot work for everyone. People’s work patterns, the pressures they face, their families – everyone’s circumstances are unique.

I want to make sure Universal Credit has enough flexibility to adapt to personal circumstances – particularly the needs of the most vulnerable.

So let me set-out in detail the changes that I’m going to make.

Delivering UC in a way that works for individuals

In the first instance, I am not going to be rushed into the mass migration of existing claimants onto Universal Credit. My priority is to ensure that the transition is done well.

As we embark on this next stage, I want to be absolutely sure that every person switched over to Universal Credit is getting a personalised service.

I will tread cautiously – not rushing but instead proceeding with the utmost care.

I want to ensure every individual is thoroughly supported to access Universal Credit quickly and successfully.

We need to reach out to claimants – so the onus should be on us to deliver managed migration in a way that meets everyone’s needs.

So I am going to change the current regulations, removing the powers government previously planned to migrate all legacy claimants onto the new system. The regulations will continue to uphold our commitment to protecting claimants receiving the Severe Disability Premium.

Instead, I’m only going to seek powers for a pilot: the chance to support 10,000 people through the process. This is an opportunity to learn how we can best facilitate the transition – before returning to Parliament with the legislation which we will need for future managed migration.

This will begin, as planned, from July 2019.

These next 6 months will be a period of careful preparation, working closely with claimants and partners – many of them who are in the room today – to design our communications and support systems effectively.

We want to ensure the process goes smoothly for claimants, so we will provide tailored communications, help with applications, and even home visits – with bespoke support for the most vulnerable claimants.

From July, we will carefully migrate up to 10,000 claimants, monitoring and adjusting our approach as needs be, before reporting our findings to Parliament.

The lessons from the pilot will inform our next steps, but there will be no overall delay.

Universal Credit migration will be completed, as planned, by the end of 2023. However, I will consider carefully the results of the pilot, and its implications for scaling-up migration.

It would not be sensible to move immediately from the pilot phase of 10,000, to full scale managed migration.

Instead we should start small and build up over time, as we develop our processes and learn more. This is the approach any big organisation would take when delivering a complex project.

I want to be clear: I will only proceed with this process when I know it can deliver the best possible service for everyone who relies on it.

Alternative Payment Arrangements

But equally, I don’t need to wait for the results of the pilot to see there are issues with Universal Credit’s implementation which can be fixed now.

Much of the premise of UC, and the positive change it offers, is based on the fact that it mirrors the world of work. Payments are made monthly, in arrears, and all the money goes straight to claimants.

For many people this is an advantage – providing financial independence and preparation for monthly bills and salary payments.

But for others this approach does not work; managing their money month-to-month can be challenging, even impossible.

That can cause difficulties for people who are already vulnerable, and I am determined to do more to help those claimants.

There is already some flexibility in the system, thanks to the changes that we have already made.

Around 60% of Universal Credit claimants apply for advances to tide them over the initial wait for their first payment.

20% of claimants with housing costs have their rent paid directly to landlords, because a vulnerability or special need has been identified.

And for people unable to budget, there are provisions to receive payments twice, or even four times, a month. But currently only 2% of claimants have taken this option.

So although these ‘Alternative Payment Arrangements’ exist to provide people with the bespoke payments they need, they aren’t yet helping as many claimants as I believe they could.

One third of UC claimants in social rented housing have their rent paid directly to their landlord. But in the private sector, that number is only 5%.

People in the private rented sector already face a far higher risk of losing their tenancy, and I know from talking to claimants and landlords that the current system isn’t working for some of them.

So we need to make it easier for tenants in the private sector to find and keep a good home, by giving landlords greater certainty that their rent will be paid.

Therefore, I have asked the Department to build an online system for private landlords, so they can request (where necessary) for their tenant’s rent to be paid directly to them. And I will consider what else we can do, because I am determined to help keep people in their homes.

I am also looking at what more can be done to support those who find monthly payments hard to manage.

We need to go back to first principles: reviewing how we identify claimants who might struggle to manage on monthly payments, and ensuring work coaches are moving them onto more frequent payments where necessary.

I have asked Jobcentre Plus to test how we can to improve the provision of more frequent payments for new claimants; these pilots will start shortly, and once we have evidence of what works, we will roll it out further.

We must ensure that provision of frequent payments doesn’t slow the system for users who don’t require them – but I believe we can offer this facility more widely, so those in genuine need can take it up more readily.

Women’s economic empowerment

Indeed, some of the most exciting results we’ve seen from Universal Credit have resulted from personalised and targeted support reaching the right people.

This is particularly true for groups who have historically been left out of the labour market.

Women can never be truly free until they have economic independence.

It is fantastic that 1.6 million women have entered employment since 2010 but for some women, economic empowerment remains the final frontier.

Many women still don’t have access to the opportunities and independence that comes from earning their own money.

This can be particularly true of communities that hold a more traditional view of gender specific roles.

Under the old system, millions of women could be written off as “dependents” and left without any encouragement or support from the system. Under Universal Credit that won’t happen.

For example, last week I visited our Jobcentre in Birmingham Yardley – which has piloted a brilliant project focusing specifically on how to support Bangladeshi and Pakistani women into work.

It is early days, but projects like these suggest there are ways to free untapped female potential. And in doing so, we’ll benefit communities across the country, and inspire the next generation to understand the value of financial independence.

Since taking office, I have also listened to a number of concerns – from Refuge, Women’s Aid and others – about how the current structure of household payments penalises women.

Although one payment per household is an established feature of the welfare system (Housing Benefit, for example, has always been paid in this way) I recognise the validity of these concerns.

This is why I am committed to ensuring that household payments go directly to the main carer – which is usually, but not always, the woman.

For those couples currently claiming UC, around 60% of payments already go to the woman’s bank account. However, I am looking at what more we can do to enable the main carer to receive the UC payment, and we will begin to make those changes later this year.

Childcare is essential to enable parents to work. Although UC’s provision of funding up to 85% of a claimant’s childcare costs is higher than its predecessor, this is paid in arrears only once actual costs are known.

So I recognise that this can cause financial difficulty, with some claimants struggling to pay upfront or report their costs on time.

Therefore I’ve instructed jobcentres that if the initial month’s childcare costs prevent a claimant from starting work, the Flexible Support Fund should be used to help smooth the transition for this priority group.

Secondly, I’ve decided we should be flexible when parents are unable to report their childcare costs immediately, so that these costs will be reimbursed.

Taken together, these improvements will help to drive the take-up of childcare, as we strive to close the lone parent employment gap and further boost female employment rates.

I believe passionately that economic independence liberates women, and I will continue to look at what more Universal Credit can do to support them into work.

Cancelling the extension of the Two Child policy

There is one additional change I am going to make.

I know that many people are concerned about the two-child limit in the welfare system.

Most families make a conscious decision about how many children they have, considering in part their income and the additional costs each child will bring.

I think it is fair that those on welfare are asked to make the same considered decision as other taxpayers, who support themselves solely through work. So I believe it was right to limit the number of children for whom support can be provided through Universal Credit – funded by the taxpayer.

However, I believe it is unfair to apply that limit retrospectively.

As it stands, from February the two-child limit will be applied to families applying for UC who had their children before the cap was even announced. That is not right.

So I can today announce that I am going to scrap the extension of the two-child limit on Universal Credit for children born before April 2017.

All children born before that date will continue to be supported by Universal Credit. And that will help approximately 15,000 families a year.

And it means that by removing any retrospective application, the two-child policy retains its fundamental fairness.


I am determined to deliver Universal Credit’s vital principles in practice. A system that supports people into work, supports those in need and provides fairness to the taxpayer.

So here’s what’s going to change:

a more considered approach, so we can provide a better service for everyone moving onto Universal Credit from the old system
greater flexibility on payments, so the benefit fulfils its promise to adapt to individual needs and circumstances
more support for women: moving payments to the main carer, and making childcare payments more accessible
and every child born before April 2017 will now be supported by Universal Credit

I know there is more to be done to support the most vulnerable, and finesse the system – so that Universal Credit truly works for everyone.

The goal is clear: a safety net, but also a system that can transform lives through work – not just financially, but in life chances, health and social wellbeing

I am optimistic – because I know the basic principles are sound – which is why I am so excited to have the chance to get this right.

A British welfare system should reflect the values of our country.

We believe in fairness and compassion.

We believe in standing-by people when times get tough.

We believe in helping each individual reach their full potential.

These values are at the heart of the Universal Credit I am determined to deliver.

Amber Rudd – 2010 Maiden Speech in the House of Commons

Below is the text of the maiden speech made by Amber Rudd, the Conservative MP for Hastings and Rye, in the House of Commons on 17 June 2010.

I am grateful for the opportunity to deliver my maiden speech. I congratulate all new Members who have spoken so ​elegantly and eloquently, particularly my hon. Friend the Member for Rossendale and Darwen (Jake Berry), whose maiden speech was well conceived and comfortably delivered.

I represent the constituency of Hastings and Rye. Of course, it is only us who call our areas constituencies. To my constituents, the constituency is home, where they live and where they bring up their families, and I will never forget that. Some six weeks since the general election, I still get a little lost going from one room to the next, and between staircases and lifts, but I remain impressed, humbled and not a little relieved to be in these historic corridors and as part of this historic coalition.

Part of my responsibility is to live up to the example of the previous Member of Parliament for Hastings and Rye, Michael Foster. He was the epitome of a good constituency MP. He was immensely popular, not just because of the individual acts that he did for local residents, but because of his high visibility locally and his successful lobbying of the then Government for additional funds for the town. Unfortunately for him, his popularity grew in inverse proportion to that of his Government, but I recognise that, through his service, he set a very high bar—one that I shall try to reach and, hopefully, at some stage exceed.

The fruits of Michael Foster’s success are evident in Hastings. We have a new train station, further education college, and university centre, and two new state-of-the-art office developments. However, physical regeneration has not yet translated into economic regeneration. Our offices are still largely empty, the train services are still poor, and on the index of multiple deprivation, Hastings remains 29th from the bottom. We have some of the lowest wages and highest unemployment in the whole country, let alone the south-east. Cynics might be forgiven for thinking that Labour’s regeneration has been a triumph of style over substance so far. The make-up is in place, but I am afraid that the wrinkles are still very much there.

But deprivation is only one part of Hastings, and Hastings is only one part of an area of contrasts and variations. My constituency feels very much like a microcosm of the country, with urban and rural areas, with farmland adjacent to idyllic estates, and with idyllic villages next to deprived wards. We are the custodians of England’s most famous date—perhaps more famous than 6 May 2010.

Let me introduce colleagues to the wonderful aspects of my constituency. Hastings, Rye and the village of Winchelsea were all parts of the Cinque ports, which were put together in the 11th century to keep out seafaring invaders, and for the mutual benefit of trade and fishing. Each place has its own unique character. I urge Members to spend their summer holidays with us. They can enjoy local produce, the source of modern English history, top-quality entertainment, fresh air and exercise—and for the more sedentary among us, there are fish and chips and slot machines. They can even walk in genuine dinosaur footprints, which may appeal to some Labour Members.

Tourism is an essential ingredient of what we have to offer. Hotels and boarding houses boast that they have been popular with visitors since 1066—visitors, of course, have not always been so popular with them. We have fantastic beaches, wonderful countryside and arguably ​the world’s most remarkable heritage. We have flourishing language schools, visited by students from all over the world, and a community that welcomes them with open arms, not to mention open tills, because we need the business.

Like many towns, we suffer from the coastal problem of being at the end of the line. Looking at previous maiden speeches over the past 40 to 50 years, I see that there has been a recurring theme: transport. The A21 to Hastings needs renewing and improvement. Our survival and prosperity depend on access. There is no point having wonderful facilities if people cannot access them. It unquestionably puts off employers and tourists, both of whom we need, that it is so difficult to get to our part of the world. I am talking of a constituency where 43% of the work force are in the public sector. We are like an island. We know which way the tide is going; we need to attract the private sector to try to take up some of the unemployment. I fear that much of the money that has already been spent in my constituency will fail to improve the economy if we do not do something about that. For too long, we have been the underprivileged cousin of the south-east. Many of my constituents have suffered terribly from an economy that has simply left them behind.

I have two important considerations for my constituency of Hastings and Rye. The first is transport. I recognise the particular financial situation in which we find ourselves—there must be cuts; we have inherited a difficult legacy. However, I urge Government Front Benchers not to make them to vital infrastructure projects, on which everything else depends. In my constituency, they are a link road to open up the area to more jobs and more employers, improvements to the A21, and better rail transport. We must be accessible to prosper. Conservatives understand above all the importance of enterprise and encouraging private sector growth so that families and communities can grow on their own.

We have discussed the high-skilled economy, and I agree that we all need that for our country to advance. However, I would like to draw hon. Members’ attention to a very old trade. In Hastings, we have the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Europe. In Rye, we have an important port and fishing fleet. They have been treated shamefully in the past 15 years. In the 1990s, there were 44 fishing vessels leaving Hastings; now there are 20, and the fishermen eke out a precarious living. Those men earn their living in a traditional, honest and environmentally friendly way, battling with the sea and the dangers of the deep. However, the common fisheries policy, as enforced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has made their lives impossible. In 2005, there were prosecutions of those fishermen. The role of Government must be to help people, not put them out of business. Their way of life needs bailing out. Our Fisheries Minister understands the issue and the urgency and has visited Hastings twice, but we cannot wait for a full renegotiation of the common fisheries policy. We need change now, with the cod season approaching and difficulties ahead of us. We need a Government who protect our fisheries and our fishermen. I urge particular consideration of coastal towns.

The Government recognise the importance of promoting private sector growth. I hope that we can demonstrate ​that in Hastings and Rye by supporting better transport links and securing a fairer deal for fishermen. All we ask is a fair wind and an even keel.

Amber Rudd – 2018 Speech on Tackling Child Sex Exploitation

Below is the text of the speech made by Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, on 18 April 2018.

It’s a great honour to be with you all in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

Our 53 countries are home to 2.4 billion people. And over seven decades, our association has helped nations to deepen and strengthen their democracies, by working together in partnership on issues that affect all of us.

Today across the Commonwealth, we face an unprecedented security threat, threats that do not respect borders and require us to work even closer together to tackle them.

We no longer just need to be concerned about the threat of terrorism.

We face security including serious and organised crime, cybercrime, violent extremism, human trafficking and Hostile State Activity.

So I am pleased to be with you today for the first ever Commonwealth security event. The theme for this year’s summit is ‘Towards a Common Future’ and I want to talk a bit today about what the threat picture looks like in the UK, and how we can have a more secure future, and achieve that together.

The threat faced by Commonwealth countries from terrorism is clear to us all.

Last year in the UK, five terrorist attacks took place in London and Manchester. And 36 people were killed, and many more injured.

As Home Secretary, there are various stages of horror and shock you go through when you learn that there has been a terrorist attack.

The first of course is when you hear for the first time what has happened. That moment when you get the initial news about what’s gone on. When you learn where the attack has taken place, the casualties the scale of the tragedy.

The 2nd stage of horror is when you learn more about the personal stories of the victims and their loved ones.

And there’s one encounter which really sticks in my mind.

It was in the aftermath of the terrorist attack here in London in June 2017, after a van left the road and struck a number of pedestrians on London Bridge. After the van crashed, the three men ran out to the nearby Borough market area and began attacking people enjoying themselves in and around the restaurants and bars

Eight people were killed and 48 injured.

One of the victims was Sara Zelenak, a 21-year-old Australian who had been working in London as a nanny.

She was stabbed while out celebrating getting a new job with a friend.

It was meeting her parents, which I did a few days later, that really brought home to me the agony of losing a loved one in such appalling circumstances.

They told me she had come to London for a once in a lifetime experience.

I really felt their grief.

It’s moments like this that really reinforce how important strong national security is.

And in the UK, we continue to disrupt terrorist plots. Since 2017, 10 Islamist terrorist plots and four extreme right wing plots were successfully disrupted.

And under the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy, we work to reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from terrorism, so that people can go about their daily lives freely and with confidence.

But the terrorist threat is changing, evolving and moving more quickly than ever. And as the threat we face from terrorism becomes more complex, our strategies need to evolve, and they will continue to do so. For instance, like many of you, we are looking at the issue of online radicalisation more closely than ever before.

But recent events here in the UK are a reminder that terrorism is not the only threat to our national security and prosperity.

Last month’s nerve agent attack in Salisbury shows us that we need to be increasingly wary of other states who wish to subvert our democracy, attack our rule of law and are prepared to endanger us with the unchecked use of chemical weapons.

Though the attack in Salisbury has been shocking in its indiscriminate and reckless nature, it is just one part of a progressively worrying picture that we’ve seen in recent times.

Last year, we saw a number of major cyberattacks including the ‘Wannacry’ and ‘Not Petya’ incidents which had significant economic repercussions.

We saw numerous attempts to influence democratic elections through illegal and subversive means.

And we saw significant evidence uncovered of abundant disinformation campaigns being committed in our democracies in an attempt to divide our societies and challenge our values-based approach to domestic and international issues.

But we are determined not to let that become the new normal.

The UK has led the response to this hostile state activity, and we will continue to do so, engaging our friends and partners across the world to provide a coordinated international response to the threat.

We have shown this in our recent response to the Salisbury attack, where we have led the international response to what the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons deemed the first use of a chemical weapons on Western European soil since the Second World War.

And we thank allies who have taken measures in support of the UK’s position. The expulsion of more than 150 Russian diplomats from 28 different countries sent a clear message to Russia that its hostility will no longer be tolerated. However, this is not the end of the story, and we stand ready to go even further should Russia wish to continue its blatant aggression towards us or others.

But there’s another group who pose a significant risk to our security and our prosperity.

That’s the serious and organised criminals.

In the UK there are around 6,000 organised crime groups, comprising approximately 40,000 individuals.

These groups target vulnerable people and ruin the lives of victims and their families, local communities and legitimate businesses. They use online tools and services designed for legitimate purposes – such as end-to-end encryption, cryptocurrencies and the dark web – to facilitate their offending.

Overall, serious and organised crime costs the UK over £24 billion each year.

As the threat evolves rapidly, so must our response.

And I think that there is significant potential for strengthening law enforcement cooperation between Commonwealth countries to tackle serious and organised crime.

Only this morning, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office announced that it is spending nearly half a million pounds to establish a new partnership between the UK’s Counter Proliferation and Arms Control Centre and the Commonwealth Secretariat to help combat illicit flows of firearms.

Significant potential also exists for strengthening co-operation between Commonwealth countries, including through our enhanced use of INTERPOL. I’m delighted that INTERPOL’s Secretary General, Jürgen Stock, is here to join us today and we will be hearing from him shortly.

But let’s not forget that security is also about safeguarding – safeguarding citizens to make sure they can live freely and without fear.

But it’s a sad fact that around the world today, millions of men, women and children are cruelly enslaved and trafficked.

And to combat this too, we need a truly global response.

In September 2017, we announced we would give £150 million to tackle these crimes internationally.

This includes a £33.5m Modern Slavery Fund to tackle trafficking and exploitation in partnership with countries the UK receive a high number of victims from.

And today I’m pleased to announce that we will give a further £5.5m for projects aimed at strengthening the Commonwealth’s response to these crimes.

These projects, delivered in countries across the Commonwealth, will work to support the development of human trafficking legislation in parliaments, and will strengthen law enforcement capabilities to disrupt the criminal networks behind human trafficking and identify those most at risk of becoming victims and protect them.

Because we can only hope to succeed in our ambition of combating this detestable crime at home if we work in partnership with our neighbours around the world.

That is also why last year, the UK Prime Minister endorsed a Call to Action to end Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking at the UN General Assembly, alongside over 20 world leaders.

I think there is an opportunity for the Commonwealth to show real leadership on this agenda.

Over 50 countries have now endorsed this Call to Action, including more than a third of the Commonwealth, and more are expected to do so during the Summit.

I encourage all of you to make very clear that these crimes are not acceptable in the 21st century, by endorsing the Call to Action if you have not done so already.

Now, there’s another crime which I haven’t yet talked about which is a real threat to the security of all of our children and that’s the threat of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

We’ve done a lot of work to tackle this both in the UK and internationally, but today I am pleased to announce that we will be going even further.

We will be taking further measures to combat child sexual exploitation across the Commonwealth.

This will include £2 million of Commonwealth funding for international projects to tackle child sexual exploitation online.

A number of Commonwealth countries will receive a share of the £2 million for projects to teach children and young people how to protect themselves online and to put in the infrastructure to prevent child sexual exploitation.

We will also give an additional £600,000 funding for projects to support UK victims. This will help fund a national helpline for victims and bespoke therapy to help children with learning difficulties to share and recover from their experiences of abuse.

And we have begun the process of ratifying the Lanzarote Convention against Child Sexual Abuse. Ratifying this shows our continued determination to play a global role in tackling this crime across the globe.

I hope that these comments have given some insight into the threats we face here in the UK and the threats we are aiming to tackle abroad as well. I’ve talked a lot about the importance of working internationally. And that’s because I am clear that when we stand together as one Commonwealth, we are better prepared to face the threats which challenge us.

Thank you.

Amber Rudd – 2018 Statement on UK / French Migration

Below is the text of the statement made by Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, in the House of Commons on 19 January 2018.

The UK and France share a special relationship. The operation of juxtaposed controls, provided for by bilateral agreements, is an essential element of our border strategy. Since the juxtaposed controls were introduced, the number of asylum claims made in the UK has decreased dramatically. Before the controls were in place, asylum claims reached over 84,000 a year, three times higher than the 26,617 claims in 2016-17. The reduction in claims we have seen has significantly reduced the impact on public services and the UK taxpayer—with every reduction by 10,000 asylum claims saving the UK at least £70 million in costs.

Juxtaposed controls play a hugely important role in protecting our national security and have significant economic value for both the UK and France—creating a smooth border and making trade more efficient. Having UK border controls based in France allows Border Force officers to check passengers and freight destined for the UK in France, ensuring we can take action against illegal migrants, those trying to smuggle people into the UK and criminals attempting to bring illegal goods into the country, before they reach British soil.

Yesterday, we signed a supplementary agreement that demonstrates the UK and France’s long-term commitment to the future of the juxtaposed controls, recognising that they are in the common interest. This treaty with France—the treaty between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the French Republic concerning the reinforcement of co-operation for the co-ordinated management of their shared border, recognising the importance of cooperation at the juxtaposed controls—is established to sit alongside the Le Touquet and Canterbury treaties and will come into force on 1 February 2018. In securing the future of juxtaposed controls in this way we are able to strengthen operational co-operation, both in northern France and further upstream, to reduce the illegal flows into France. The treaty will not affect the operation of our juxtaposed controls, but demonstrates the UK and France’s long term commitment to their successful operation, and secures some of the mechanisms that we need to further strengthen our joint capabilities to prevent the formation of any new migrant camps.

Building on the successful co-operation of the clearance and relocation of the migrant camp in Calais in 2016, the UK and France have now agreed a comprehensive “whole of route” approach to migration. The aim is to reduce the number of migrants making the dangerous and illegal journey to northern France and manage the pressure on our shared border from those who do travel. The elements are to:

jointly work upstream in source and transit countries to discourage migrants who do not have any lawful basis for doing so from making the dangerous journey to northern France;

invest in strengthening our shared border through investment in port security and infrastructure and further improving operational co-operation with France; and,​

work to ensure that migrants who have travelled illegally to Northern France are able to quickly claim asylum in France so we can meet our international obligations.

The UK has a shared interest in co-operating with France to manage migratory pressures. The support announced as part of the UK France Summit will help ensure migrant camps do not reform and that those willing to engage with the asylum system in France can claim asylum there. It also includes working with France to facilitate the return of migrants with no legal right to be in Europe to countries further upstream where they can be lawfully admitted.

Our co-operation with France on migration and our shared border is a long-term commitment. Just as we invest in our borders around the rest of the UK, it is only right that we constantly monitor whether there is more we can be doing at the UK border controls in France and Belgium. Signing the treaty yesterday ensures a continuation of operational co-operation in a number of ways. It reaffirms both parties’ commitments to the operation of procedures for determining the member state responsible for an asylum claim under the Dublin III Regulation. It establishes a new co-ordination centre for operational co-operation at our shared border and strengthens co-operation on returns. It sets up a strategic dialogue and commits both countries to working towards joint practical measures in countries upstream, further demonstrating our commitment and leadership on this agenda. These practical measures will help to reduce flows to northern France and underpin our joint commitment to fight modern slavery and human trafficking.

In addition, the UK and France recognise their humanitarian responsibilities towards unaccompanied asylum-seeking and refugee children. In 2016, the UK transferred over 750 unaccompanied minors from France as part of our comprehensive support for the Calais camp clearance. We have also announced a number of further measures in respect of unaccompanied asylum-seeking and refugee children:

France, Greece and Italy will now be able to refer unaccompanied children who arrived in Europe before 18 January 2018 to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016. The Government had previously insisted on the previous eligibility date of 20 March 2016 to avoid establishing an open-ended relocation scheme from Europe, as this would increase the pull factor that puts children’s lives at risk. After extensive discussion with France, Greece and Italy, we have agreed to amend the eligibility date on an exceptional basis to ensure we can transfer the circa. 260 remaining unaccompanied children and meet our obligation under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016. Over 220 children are already here and we are fully committed to transferring the specified number of 480 children as soon as possible, in line with our published policy. The specified number of 480 under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 remains unchanged following the UK France Summit.

The allocation of a £3.6 million development fund, as part of the UK’s overall £45.5 million funding commitment, which the UK intend to use to work with France to identify projects which support genuine claims through the Dublin process and ensure that those with no prospect of transferring to the UK are informed of their options.

The strengthening of co-operation with France on the operation of the Dublin Regulation, including shorter timescales for decisions and transfers. These commitments apply whilst both the UK and France are participants in the Dublin Regulation.​

The deployment of a UK Liaison Officer to France by 1 April 2018.

The Government have not agreed to any new obligations to take more unaccompanied children from Europe. The commitments set out in the treaty and this Written Ministerial Statement will improve joint working with France and support the delivery of existing obligations.

The deal that we have done yesterday recognises the importance of the juxtaposed controls for both the UK and France, and seals confirmation by President Macron to ensuring that we work together to operate them as efficiently as possible, and sets up a new phase of co-operation that will enable us to break the cycle of camps forming in northern France.

We have a shared interest in co-operating with France on our whole of route approach to migration and the commitments set out at the UK France Summit, and in this Written Ministerial Statement further underline the value of our enduring strategic relationship.

Amber Rudd – 2017 Speech to APCC and NPCC Partnership Summit

Below is the text of the speech made by Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, to the APCC and NPCC Partnership Summit on 1 November 2017.

London is one of my favourite cities to travel through. I love the architecture, the history and the throng of the crowd. But today’s route really made me stop and think. My journey started near Parliament, and from there I drove over Westminster Bridge, past Borough Market and through London Bridge, and this year, these places of course have taken on a new significance.

We’ve witnessed terrorist attacks at these sites and Manchester Arena, Finsbury Park and Parsons Green. On each occasion police officers responded with exemplary skill and bravery – working long hours and putting themselves in harm’s way to keep others safe. We will never forget the heroism of PC Keith Palmer who was fatally stabbed while defending our Parliament.

So today I want to start by saying thank you to all of you who have played your part and I know it’s been utterly exhausting.

I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my deepest condolences and sympathy to the victims and families who have lost loved ones in New York in such a vile and cowardly act of terrorism. Our thoughts are with you at this most difficult time.

The day after the Parsons Green attack, I met officers who had been part of the response team. I could see what a strain events like this put on emergency services. And in Manchester, I met the team of detectives who are working tirelessly to investigate the Manchester Arena bombing. It’s true that in all jobs there are bad days at work, but there’s few which involve confronting terrorists.

But I’m not here today to talk about terrorism – horrific as it is. What I want to talk about is local policing and how best to fight the day to day crime which blights people’s lives.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales, acknowledged by the ONS as our best measure of long term crime trends, shows there’s been a substantial 9% fall in crime over the last year – and a 38% drop since 2010. This has led to more confidence in the police with latest figures showing that 78% of people now have confidence in their local force.

But we also know that police-recorded crime had gone up by 13% this past year. This reflects continued improvements in crime recording and an increased willingness of victims to report crime. However, it also reflects a genuine increase in some specific crime types including homicides, knife crime and firearms offences.

Types of crime which ruin lives and cause irrevocable damage to families and communities.

We all need to account for, and find solutions to, these worrying rises.

But behind these national rises are huge local variations.

Take the example of police recorded knife crime for instance. While in the year to June 2017 it was up by 36% in the Metropolitan Police area, it was down 16% in the Greater Manchester Police Force area. During this same period, the East of England has seen a 19% drop in homicides, whereas the East Midlands has seen a 35% rise.

Local policing can make a difference. You’re probably tired of Conservative Home Secretaries standing here and saying the Home Office doesn’t run policing.

But it’s crucial. You are the ones who are responsible for cutting crime and delivering an effective and efficient police service for your local area.

Of course, part of being a Police and Crime Commissioner is about speaking to the government about resourcing. But it mustn’t just be about lobbying the government for money.

It needs to be about cutting crime, delivering on the priorities you were elected on and being held to account by local people in your area when you don’t.

So when crime statistics go up, I don’t just want to see you reaching for a pen to write a press release asking for more money from the government. I want you to tell your local communities and the victims in your area what your plan is to make them safer.

Because policing can make a difference.

Just as we at the Home Office will set out what we are doing to make the country safer.

Because we do still have a role to play. Giving you the powers you need. Supporting you when you need to be supported. Challenging you when you need to be challenged. And yes, in making sure you have the right resources.

When it comes to powers, I hope you, as police leaders, feel we are responding to the recent changes in crime. Because as crime changes, the powers you need are changing too.

Following the worrying recent rise in violent crimes, we’re taking action. We’ve recently published our consultation outlining how we’re intending to crack down on violent crime and offensive weapons. This will be complemented next year by the publication of a new strategy to combat serious violence.

We’re going to prevent children purchasing knives online and we’re going to stop people carrying acid in public if they don’t have a good reason. And as I outlined at the Conservative Party Conference, the sale of acids to under 18s will be banned and the public sale of sulphuric acid dramatically limited.

Attacks with knives and acid ruin lives. Confidence and happiness can be lost forever.

We need to make sure that the thugs who think of attempting these horrible acts are stopped before they are able to realise their hateful ambitions – and that they face the full force of the law.

And on stop and search.

I know there are those who think it’s a controversial tactic, and I know it has been badly used in the past.

But figures show that stop and search reforms are working. The stop-to-arrest rate has risen and once again is the highest on record. The new data published as part of the ‘best use of stop and search’ scheme shows that around two-thirds of searches result in some kind of police action.

It is my belief that stop and search is a useful tool for the police, especially to target rising levels of knife crime and acid attacks, and that you should have the confidence to use it where necessary. My message to you today is that officers who use stop and search appropriately will always have my full support.

However, let me be quite clear. No-one should be stopped because of their race or ethnicity. Locally, where there are racial disparities in the use of stop and search, chief constables will still need to explain these.

Because if stop and search is misused, then it is counter-productive and, more importantly, it damages confidence in policing.

And when you tell me you need additional powers, it’s my job to listen carefully.

You said that officers have concerns about pursuing and apprehending moped-riding criminals. You explained that some officers worry about their legal position when pursuing suspected offenders when they’re on mopeds or scooters.

So we’ve listened and we’re taking action. We’re reviewing the law and practice regarding police pursuits. We want to make sure officers feel they have the legal protection they need to go after moped and scooter gangs. And I can announce today that we will finish the review early next year.

My officials at the Home Office are working with the police, including the Police Federation as well as the IPCC and other criminal justice agencies, to do this. But I can say today that there will be change. Officers have said they don’t feel confident they will be supported if they pursue a criminal on a moped. These criminals terrorise our streets, intimidating people into giving over their phones or wallets and leaving many too scared to walk outside their front doors. I don’t want any officer to feel that they cannot pursue someone like this because they have taken their helmet off. We will always support the police and officers, not the criminals who commit these awful crimes on our streets.

But the job of the Home Office isn’t just to give new powers; it’s also about providing support, constructive challenge and ideas.

Because police reform is not an objective which left the Home Office when Theresa May did. And whilst policing is in a much better state now than it was in 2010, there’s still work to be done and that work is easier to do when we collaborate.

I’m really pleased that in the policing vision 2025, you’ve set out a transformative programme for yourselves. My department is committed – and stands ready – to do whatever it takes to support you with these plans. This includes making our expertise and resources available to the Police Reform and Transformation Board where helpful, for example to help them address commercial, procurement or programme management issues.

We also want to help you further professionalise the sector. That’s why we continue to work alongside the College of Policing. We are putting in place multiple reforms in this area, such as the Policing Education Qualifications Framework, to ensure that policing continues to develop its existing workforce and attract the best recruits. We are also establishing the Licence to Practise Scheme to give those who operate in the most high risk and high harm areas the correct skills and training to do so.

We’re also supporting those of you in the audience who want to deliver greater efficiency and effectiveness through closer collaboration between emergency services, to benefit your local communities. We’ve legislated to enable PCCs to take on responsibility for fire and rescue services locally, where a local case is made, and to place a statutory duty on all three emergency services to collaborate. But you are in charge and you can decide where the opportunities lie for your area and your communities.

I am delighted that on the 1st October, Roger Hirst in Essex formally became the country’s first Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner, and I know PCCs elsewhere have, or are considering, submitting their own proposals.

And look, as I’ve said, I know that policing can be a stressful business. You work long hours, you deal with people at their worst and no doubt this has an impact on physical and mental health. That’s why in July I announced £7.5 million of funding to pilot and – if it is successful – fund a dedicated national police welfare service to help those who need it.

But I’ll tell you something that we won’t stand for. Officers being attacked, abused and spat at while they do their jobs. This sort of behaviour is unacceptable. That’s why we are supporting new legislation which will send a clear message that we will not tolerate attacks on emergency workers and we will ensure that those who are violent are punished.

You protect us and it’s right that we protect you.

So the Home Office’s job, and my job, is to give you the powers you need to keep us safe.

We will use our coordinating role to support and, where necessary, challenge you.

And, yes, it’s our job to provide you with the right level of funding and resources.

We’re investing £1.9 billion in cyber security which will contribute to relieving pressures on individual forces tackling online and cyber enabled crime.

We’re providing funding to bolster counter-terrorism policing in the wake of this year’s terror attacks. For example, we’re putting an extra £24 million into counter-terrorism policing in addition to the £707 million already announced.

And since 2015 we’ve protected the total amount of spending that goes to policing in line with inflation. That means that overall police spending is increasing from £11.4 billion in 2015 to 2016 to around £12.3 billion in 2019 to 2020.

Within that we’re spending hundreds of millions of pounds to ensure you continue to reform and become more productive.

And today I am pleased to announce the award of £27.45 million police transformation funding to a further ten projects which includes:

– £1.9 million for the Metropolitan Police to design a single call handling system and centralised control rooms for London’s emergency services

– £6.87 million to South Wales Police to help them join up with health professionals and other local partners to better support the vulnerable people they come into contact with, many of whom have had traumatic childhoods

– £2.87 million to MOPAC’s drive project which involves working with serial perpetrators, offering one-to-one support to break the cycle of domestic abuse

All the remaining successful bids will be listed on the Home Office website.

I know a number of you have been calling for more money on top of this. We’ve always been clear that decisions about funding need to be based on evidence and not assertion.

That’s why the policing minister will have visited or spoken to every force in the country ahead of this year’s spending settlement.

We appreciate that the increase in complex, investigatory work has put pressure on forces, as well as the efforts to deal with the unprecedented wave of terrorist attacks we’ve sadly seen this year.

But police financial reserves now amount to more than £1.6 billion and the independent inspectorate remains clear that there is more forces can do to transform, with greater efficiencies still available.

So these are the considerations we will balance as we take decisions on future funding. Listening to your concerns, but also critically evaluating them. So we get the decisions right for the people we serve.

But I don’t want to finish by talking about resourcing. Because I don’t believe the people we serve want to hear disagreements between us on whether a hundred million pounds should be given straight to forces as part of the core grant, or instead bid for as part of the transformation fund.

They want to hear about what we are doing, together, to cut crime.

Because being a PCC, or chief constable for that matter, should be about agreeing and then delivering on a plan to cut crime in your area.

Remind yourselves that millions of people voted for you in the PCC elections in 2016. They voted for your plans to keep them safe.

Because, they like me, believe policing can make a difference.

And we’re already seeing some great examples of your initiative:

Like Marc Jones, the PCC in Lincolnshire who has funded an initiative to deploy a team of nurses to the police control room to help officers deal with incidents involving mental health issues. Or like Martin Surl, the PCC for Gloucestershire who backed a 12 month trial to reintroduce horseback patrols to help serve the public and reduce crime.

And if you look back over the cumulative effect of your work since PCCs were first elected in 2012, then you should be really proud.

You’ve presided over a fall in traditional crime, you’ve made efficiencies which have saved hundreds of millions of pounds for the taxpayer, and you have increased the proportion of officers on the frontline. You’ve brought real democratic accountability to British policing and you’ve shown true leadership.

But now it’s time for you to rise to the challenge of leading the next chapter of reform so you deliver for your local communities.

Because policing can make a difference. And together we can improve people’s lives.

Thank you.

Amber Rudd – 2017 Statement on Terrorist Attacks

Below is the text of the statement made by Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, in the House of Commons on 22 June 2017.

With permission Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement about the terrorist attacks we have seen since Parliament last sat.

There has been no summer like it.

When we rose seven weeks ago, we left this House in the wake of the worst terrorist attack our country had seen in over a decade. With Khalid Masood trying to strike at the heart of our democracy.

He was foiled that day by one of our brave police officers. But tragically it has proved to be the first of many attempts to bring terror and hate to our streets.

Two months later, a cowardly and devastating attack in Manchester left 22 people dead and 59 injured after a suicide bomber targeted children at a concert in the Manchester Arena.

On the 3rd of June, a van was deliberately driven into pedestrians on London Bridge before three men got out of the vehicle and began stabbing people in nearby Borough market. Eight people were killed and 48 injured.

And then on Monday, almost exactly one year after Jo Cox was brutally murdered in Birstall, we woke to the news of the return of far right terror, when a man viciously drove into a group of Muslim worshippers in North London. One man who had fallen ill before the attack died and nine others were treated in hospital.

Westminster. The Manchester Arena. London Bridge. And now Finsbury Park.

36 innocent people dead and over 150 hospitalised. A tragic loss of innocent life.

Last week I met a mother and father who had lost their daughter in the vicious attacks on London Bridge. She had been stabbed while out celebrating her new job with a friend in Borough Market.

Just under two weeks before, she planned to be at the arena in Manchester where Salman Abedi committed his heinous crimes, but she decided not to use her ticket.

She had come to London to enjoy a wonderful trip away, a once in a lifetime experience. But instead it was the last trip she ever made.

I know everyone in this House will want to join me in expressing our sorrow for the pain her family will be feeling. And all those families who have lost loved ones.

As well as passing on our thoughts and prayers for those victims who are still trying to recover from the trauma and tragedy of these events.

I also know that the House will want to join me in acknowledging the incredible efforts of our emergency services during this difficult period.

The events of recent months serve to remind us of the bravery, professionalism and, above all, incredible sacrifice made by those who work to keep us safe.

As Home Secretary there is nothing more saddening than standing before Parliament to deliver a statement like this.

These acts of terrorism represent the very worst of humanity. They seek to spread fear, intolerance, hate.

Countering this threat has always been a crucial part of the work of this government. That’s why we have introduced measures to disrupt the travel of foreign fighters. That’s why we have passed the Investigatory Powers Act which gives the police and intelligence service more powers and tools that they need to keep the public safe. And that’s why just seven weeks ago we legislated to strengthen our response to terrorist financing with the Criminal Finances Act.

We have also protected overall police funding in real terms since 2015, increased counter-terrorism budgets and funded an uplift in armed police officers. We are now in the process of recruiting over 1,900 additional security and intelligence staff.

The Channel programme, which offers voluntary tailored programmes of support to people assessed as being at risk of radicalisation, has supported over 1,000 at risk individuals since 2012.

And following referrals from the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit, social media providers have removed 270,000 pieces of illegal terrorist material since February 2010. But we are entering a new phase of global terrorism and many of the challenges we are facing are unprecedented.

We now believe we are experiencing a new trend in the threat we face. Between June 2013 and the Westminster Bridge attack in March this year, the security services foiled 13 plots linked to or inspired by Islamist extremists. But since just then, we have seen 5 plots prevented as well as 3 such Islamist extremist plots succeeding and the appalling attack of course on Finsbury Park earlier this week. We must do more.

We must do more to defeat ideologies of hatred by turning people’s minds away from violence and towards pluralistic British values.

We must make sure that these ideologies are not able to flourish in the first place.

We must do more to force tech companies to take down terror-related content from their platforms.

And we must also do more to identify, challenge and stamp out the extremism that lurks in our communities.

That is why we will be setting up a Commission for Countering Extremism. For just as the Labour government in the 1970s set us on a course to tackling racial inequality in this country by setting up the Commission for Racial Equality, we need – and must – do more to tackle these extremists who seek to radicalise and weaponise young people in Britain today.

Doing more also means asking difficult questions about what has gone wrong. In light of the terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy will be reviewed to make sure that the police and the security services have what they need to keep us safe.

In addition to this, there will be a review of the handling of recent terror attacks to look at whether lessons can be learned about our approach. I am pleased to announce that David Anderson, former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation will be overseeing it.

Mr Speaker, what we have witnessed in Manchester and in London are the depraved actions of murderers, intent to tear our country apart. But each act of hate has been met by overwhelming defiance.

In Borough Market recently, I saw stallholders dishing out olives into plastic pots, shoppers searching for delicious treats and tourists flicking through guidebooks in the shadow of the Shard. Rather than being divided by recent violence, people seemed ever closer together.

We should follow the example of the traders and the shoppers of Borough Market.

What terrorists want is for us to fear and turn in on one another.

But we will never give terrorists what they want.

We will stand together and we will make the point that terrorists will never win. That our values, our country, our unity will prevail.

I commend this statement to the House.

Amber Rudd – 2016 Statement on Orgreave


Below is the text of the statement made in the House of Commons by Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, on 20 July 2016.

Last week my noble friend the Advocate General for Scotland answered an oral question asked by Lord Balfe of Dulwich on whether the Government had yet decided whether there would be an inquiry into police actions during the Orgreave miners’ clash in 1984. He explained that the previous Home Secretary had been considering the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign’s submission, and that the Independent Police Complaints Commission is working with the Crown Prosecution Service to assess whether material related to the policing of Orgreave is relevant to the Hillsborough criminal investigations with decisions yet to be made by them on whether any criminal proceedings will be brought as a result.

The Government take all allegations of police misconduct very seriously and the then Home Secretary considered the campaign’s analysis in detail. I can tell the right hon. Gentleman that I have today written to the campaign secretary, Barbara Jackson, to say that I would be very happy to meet her and the campaign immediately after the summer recess. I would also be happy to meet the right hon. Gentleman to discuss this case as I know this is something that he feels very strongly about. This is one of the most important issues in my in-tray as a new Home Secretary, and I can assure him that I will be considering the facts very carefully over the summer. I hope to come to a decision as quickly as possible following that.

Amber Rudd – 2016 Speech on Nice Terror Attack


Below is the text of the speech made by Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, in the House of Commons on 18 July 2016.

With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement about the terrorist attack in Nice and the threat we face from terrorism in the UK.

The full horror of last Thursday night’s attack on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice defies all comprehension. At least 84 people were killed when a heavy goods lorry was driven deliberately into crowds enjoying Bastille day celebrations. Ten of the dead are believed to have been children and teenagers. More than 200 people were injured and a number are in a critical condition. Consular staff on the ground are in touch with local authorities and assisting British nationals caught up in the attack, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is providing support to anyone concerned about friends or loved ones.

Over the weekend, the French police made a number of arrests, and in the coming weeks we will learn more about the circumstances behind the attack. These were innocent people enjoying national celebrations—they were families, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, friends, and many of them were children. They were attacked in the most brutal and cowardly way possible, as they simply went about their lives. Our thoughts and prayers must be with the families who have lost loved ones, the survivors fighting for their lives, the victims facing appalling injuries and all those mentally scarred by the events of that night.

I have spoken to my counterpart, Bernard Cazeneuve, to offer him the sympathy of the British people and to make it clear that we stand ready to help in any way we can. We have offered investigative assistance to the French authorities and security support to the French diplomatic and wider community in London. This is the third terrorist attack in France in the last 18 months with a high number of deaths, and we cannot underestimate its devastating impact. We have also seen attacks in many other countries, and those killed and maimed by these murderers include people of many nationalities and faiths. Recently, we have seen attacks in Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey and America, as well as the ongoing conflict in Syria, and last month we marked a year since 38 people—30 of them British—were murdered at a beach resort in Tunisia.

In the UK, the threat from international terrorism, which is determined by the independent joint terrorism analysis centre, remains at “severe”, meaning that an attack is “highly likely”. The public should be vigilant but not alarmed. On Friday, following the attack in Nice, the police and security and intelligence agencies took steps to review our security measures and ensure we had robust procedures in place, and I receive regular updates. All police forces have reviewed upcoming events taking place in their regions to ensure that security measures are appropriate and proportionate.

The UK has considerable experience in managing and policing major events. Extra security measures are used at particularly high-profile events, including—when the police assess there to be a risk of vehicle attacks—the deployment of the national barrier asset. This is made up of a range of temporary equipment, including security fences and gates, that enables the physical protection of sites. Since the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008, we have also taken steps to improve the response of police firearms teams and other emergency services to a marauding gun attack. We have protected and increased counter-terrorism police funding for 2016-17 in real terms, and over the next five years, we are providing £143 million for the police to boost their firearms capability further.

We continue to test our response to terrorist attacks, including by learning the lessons from attacks such as those in France and through national exercises involving the Government, the military, the police, the ambulance and fire and rescue services and other agencies.

The threat from terrorism, however, is serious and growing. Our security and intelligence services are first rate, and they work tirelessly around the clock to keep the people of this country safe. Over the next five years, we will make an extra £2.5 billion available to those agencies, and that will include funding for an additional 1,900 staff at MI5, MI6 and GCHC, as well as strengthening our network of counter-terrorism experts in the middle east, north Africa, south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

We have also taken steps to deal with foreign fighters and to prevent radicalisation by providing new powers through the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, and we continue to take forward the Investigatory Powers Bill, which will ensure that the police, the security and the intelligence agencies have the powers they need to keep people safe in the digital age.

The UK has in place strong measures to respond to terrorist attacks and since coming to office in 2010, the Government have taken significant steps to bolster that response, but Daesh and other terrorist organisations seek to poison people’s minds and they peddle sickening hate and lies to encourage people to plot acts of terrorism or leave their families to join terrorists. That is not just in France or this country, but in countries all around the world. We must confront that hateful propaganda and expose it for what it is.

In this country, that means working to expose the emptiness of extremism and safeguard vulnerable people from becoming radicalised. Our Prevent programme works in partnership with families, communities and civil society groups to challenge the poisonous ideology that supports terrorism. This includes supporting civil society groups to build their own capacity, and since January 2014, its counter-narrative products have had widespread engagement with communities. In addition, more than 1,000 people have received support since 2012 through Channel, the voluntary and confidential support programme for those at risk of radicalisation.

This is an international problem that requires an international solution, so we are working closely with our European partners, allies in the counter-Daesh coalition and those most affected by the threat that Daesh poses to share information, build counter-terrorism capability and exchange best practice.

As the Prime Minister has said, we must work with France and our partners around the world to stand up for our values and for our freedom. Nice was attacked on Bastille day, itself a French symbol of liberation and national unity. Those who attack seek to divide us and spread hatred, so our resounding response must be one of ever-greater unity between different nations but also between ourselves. This weekend we saw unity in action as people came together to support each other. People sent messages of condolence, and Muslims in this country and around the world have said that those who carry out such attacks do not represent the true Islam.

I want to end by sending a message to our French friends and neighbours. What happened in Nice last Thursday was cruel and incomprehensible. The horror and devastation is something many people will live with for the rest of their lives. We know you are hurting; we know this will cause lasting pain. Let me be quite clear: we will stand with you; we will support you in this fight, and together with our partners around the world, we will defeat those who seek to attack our way of life.

Amber Rudd – 2016 Speech on the Referendum Result


Below is the text of the speech made by Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, in London on 29 June 2016.

The decision to leave the EU is of historic significance.

To be clear, Britain will leave the EU.

The decision of the British people was clear.

The key challenge now, as the Prime Minister and the Chancellor have stressed, is to work towards a settlement that is in the best interests of Britain.

As a Government, we are fully committed to delivering the best outcome for the British people – and that includes delivering the secure, affordable, clean energy our families and business need.

That commitment has not changed.

Because while the decision to leave the EU is undoubtedly significant, the challenges we face as a country remain the same.

How do we protect the strong economy that we have built over the past 6 years?

How do we ensure we build the infrastructure we need to underpin our strong economy?

How do we ensure people have good jobs that pay them well?

The challenges to our environment remain the same.

How do we make sure people can have respite from the daily grind in safe, clean green spaces near their home?

How do we ensure we protect our most precious species?

How do we ensure our green and pleasant land is protected both to respect the efforts of generations past and as a responsibility to generations to come?

In particular, I want to underline our commitment to the issue over which I have primary responsibility; climate change.

Climate change has not been downgraded as a threat. It remains one of the most serious long-term risks to our economic and national security.

I was lucky enough to lead the world-class team of British diplomats at last year’s Paris climate talks. Our efforts were central to delivering that historic deal.

And the UK will not step back from that international leadership. We must not turn our back on Europe or the world.

Our relationships with the United States, China, India, Japan and other European countries will stand us in strong stead as we deliver on the promises made in Paris. At the heart of that commitment is the Climate Change Act.

Its success has inspired countries across the world, and its structure of 5-yearly cycles inspired a core part of the Paris deal.

I know many of you are keenly awaiting the outcome of our deliberation on the 5th Carbon Budget. You can expect the Government’s decision tomorrow.

It is an important building block of our economy’s future and you would expect us to take our time to ensure we got the decision right.

And however we choose to leave the EU, let me be clear: we remain committed to dealing with climate change.

The Act was not imposed on us by the EU.

The Climate Change Act in 2008 underpins the remarkable investment we have seen in the low carbon economy since 2010.

Investment in renewables has increased by 42% since 2010.

In 2014, 30% of all of Europe’s renewable energy investment took place in the UK.

Annual support for renewables is expected to double during this Parliament to more than £10 billion.

Last year I set out a clear vision for the future of our energy system.

We said that security of supply would be our first priority. Since then we have consulted on changes to the capacity market which has further secured our position.

We are likely to see significant investment following the auction later this year.

Beyond that, we will continue to invest in clean energy.

We have agreed to support up to 4GW of offshore wind and other technologies for deployment in the 2020s – providing the costs come down.

At the same time we made tough decisions on support for renewable energy, reflecting our core belief that technologies should be able to stand on their own two feet.

We remain committed to new nuclear power in the UK – to provide clean, secure energy.

Government has prepared the ground for a fleet of new nuclear stations. Three consortia have proposals to develop 18GW of new power stations at six new sites across the UK.

These will support more than 30,000 jobs across the nuclear supply chain over the coming years.

We have announced record investment in new heat networks, to enable new and innovative ways of heating our homes and businesses.

And we made a commitment to closing unabated coal-fired power stations – a commitment that was praised by leaders across the world.

All these commitments remain in place. They will help us rebuild our energy infrastructure.

And I am certain that future investment in this sector will continue to flow to Britain’s strong economy.

As the Chancellor made clear earlier this week, thanks to the reforms of this Government, the United Kingdom approaches the challenges of leaving the EU from a position of strength.

Growth has been robust.

The employment rate is at a record high.

And the budget deficit has been brought down from 11% of national income, and was forecast to be below 3% this year.

Britain remains one of the best places in the world to live and do business: the rule of law; low taxes; a talented, creative, determined workforce; a strong finance sector.

We have to build on the strengths of our economy, not turn away from them. We have to enhance our scientific leadership including our co-operation with other countries.

These factors – a clear energy policy framework and a strong, investment-friendly economy – combine to make the UK an ideal place to attract energy investment.

Whatever settlement we decide on in the comings months, these fundamentals will remain.

At the heart of the approach I set out last autumn is our commitment to innovation in energy – and I am delighted this topic is top of your agenda today.

We do not yet have all the answers to addressing climate change.

We must nurture new technologies and industries that will make our future energy system both cheap and clean.

In energy, we are leading the way.

Last autumn as part of the Paris talks, Britain committed to Mission Innovation – a global partnership to encourage greater support for innovation. It was complemented by the Breakthrough Energy Coalition: 29 wealthy investors pledging to invest in energy research and development.

I met Bill Gates earlier this year to discuss this and we agreed the need for a transformation of our energy system.

We also agreed that the transformation would only happen if we could find technologies which are reliable, clean and cheap.

We are doing our part. That is why, as a Government, we have committed more than £500 million over this Spending Review to supporting new energy technologies.

This means supporting entrepreneurs as they look to develop the innovations of the future – in storage, in energy efficiency, in renewables.

As part of that programme, we will build on the UK’s expertise in nuclear innovation. At least half of our innovation spending will go towards nuclear research and development. This will support our centres of excellence in Cumbria, Manchester, Sheffield and Preston.

Our nuclear programme will include a competition to develop a small modular nuclear reactor – potentially one of the most exciting innovations in the energy sector.

Let’s be honest, as the Chancellor said we now face a period of uncertainty. The decision on Thursday raises a host of questions for the energy sector, of course it does.

There have been significant advantages to us trading energy both within Europe and being an entry point into Europe from the rest of the world. Europe has led the world on acting to address climate change.

The economic imperative that drove those relationships has not changed, an openness to trade remains central to who we are as a country.

As the Prime Minister said, we will work towards the best deal possible for Britain.

Securing our energy supply, keeping bills low and building a low carbon energy infrastructure: the challenges remain the same.

Our commitment also remains the same.

As investors and businesses, you can be confident we remain committed to building a secure, affordable low carbon infrastructure fit for the 21st Century.