Local Government Devolution

Yesterday, the first question on the order paper to the Home Secretary was about the steps the Government were taking to protect 16 and 17 year olds who are victims of child sexual exploitation. I asked whether the Home Secretary agreed with me that by allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote would increase the likelihood they would be viewed as adults and increase the likelihood they will become victims of sexual exploitation.
I was not aware when I asked the question but the Labour MP for Huddersfield had made a similar point when votes for 16 and 17 year olds was being debated in the Chamber earlier in the year. I wonder if all those who criticised me were as quick the criticise the Huddersfield MP.

As I anticipated Home Office questions were followed by a statement from the Home Secretary on the terrorist attacks last Friday evening in Paris. The Home Secretary announced there were to be increased checks on vehicles entering the UK. I asked that whilst that was to be welcomed, only by checking every vehicle could the risk of illegal firearms being smuggled in be reduced.

Today, the main business is the second day of consideration in Committee of the local government devolution Bill which provides for the establishment of elected mayors in metropolitan areas including of course in Greater Manchester where the devolution of powers is more advanced than in any other area.