Harriet Harman

Labour Member of Parliament for Camberwell & Peckham

Culture, Media and Sport questions - 22/11/12

Today at Culture, Media and Sport questions I asked the Secretary of State, Maria Miller, the following about the Leveson Inquiry: 

"I agree with Members who have said that this issue is of enormous importance. Like me, the Secretary of State had an opportunity to meet victims of phone hacking and press intrusion yesterday. 

"The hon. Member for Maldon (Mr Whittingdale) was absolutely right to say that this is a matter for the House. In that context, may I ask the Secretary of State whether she intends to make a statement to the House on the day on which the Leveson report is published, and also whether she will ensure that the Government provide an early opportunity for the House to debate it? I have already asked for cross-party Front-Bench talks, but this is also a matter of great interest and importance for Back Benchers in all parts of the House."

She replied that she hoped there would be cross-party discussions, and that the Leader of the House would later announce further details about a debate. The Leader of the House later announced that the Prime Minister would make a statement on 29 November after the Leveson Report was published, and there would be a general debate on Leveson on Monday 3 December. 

I also asked Ed Vaizey, the Minister for Culture, about local government cuts to arts funding: 

"The Minister’s Department is responsible for the arts, which are so important to not only our culture, but jobs and growth. The Government have already cut funding for the Arts Council by 30% and abolished the regional development agencies, which supported arts in the regions. Now, as my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent Central (Tristram Hunt) has said, local government, which has always been such an important support for arts locally, is struggling with huge central Government cuts to its budgets. That is set to have a catastrophic impact on the arts in local communities, with some councils set to end their funding of local arts altogether. Will the Minister make an immediate detailed assessment of local government cuts in arts funding and place a copy in the House of Commons Library?" 

He replied that he did not recognise this picture and that the arts were healthy across the country.

You can read all the Culture, Media and Sport questions and answers on the UK Parliament website.

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