In Parliament

Domestic Ivory Market — [Mr Graham Brady in the Chair] (6 Feb 2017)

Victoria Borwick: The hon. Lady is right about the difficulty of those details when something is made entirely of ivory. Of course, ivory often forms part of something else. Therefore, we often date, for example, a clock, a piece of furniture with an inlay or another decorative object on the other items. For example, it is easy to date ivory that appears in a silver teapot where it acts as the handle or an…

Domestic Ivory Market — [Mr Graham Brady in the Chair] (6 Feb 2017)

Victoria Borwick: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. After all, America has a rolling 100-year plan, China has said that it will again consider exempting antiques when it brings in its arrangements, and France already exempts antiques. As she says, there is a lot of good will about making progress, and the idea of some sort of rolling scheme might be a way forward.

Domestic Ivory Market — [Mr Graham Brady in the Chair] (6 Feb 2017)

Victoria Borwick: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Brady; I am sorry that my voice today is not quite as strong as it might be. I declare an interest: I am president of the British Antique Dealers Association and I have been advised by the British Art Market Federation, the Antiquities Dealers Association and LAPADA, which comprise a group of Britain’s most knowledgeable and highly…

Domestic Ivory Market — [Mr Graham Brady in the Chair] (6 Feb 2017)

Victoria Borwick: Certainly. I can answer both questions. There are many parts of the art and antiques dealers’ trade for which we keep catalogues, make certifications and work among trade associations and specialists to keep certificates, records and suchlike. I have absolutely no doubt that when the Minister sets out her suggestions on a committee or a way of taking things forward, the trade will…

Domestic Ivory Market — [Mr Graham Brady in the Chair] (6 Feb 2017)

Victoria Borwick: I think the cost of radiocarbon dating depends on the complexity of the testing required, but I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Derbyshire (Pauline Latham) for her clarification. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service recognises that antique ivory is a special case that warrants exemptions. People say, “What lessons are we learning from the rest of the world?” Well,…

Domestic Ivory Market — [Mr Graham Brady in the Chair] (6 Feb 2017)

Victoria Borwick: That is absolutely the sort of discussion that I know the trade is very willing to hold. I am sure that such a discussion would represent the interests of many hon. Members present and would be a good way of discussing a way forward. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has stated that old ivory items do not threaten today’s wild elephants, so the point is accepted elsewhere. No one has…

Domestic Ivory Market — [Mr Graham Brady in the Chair] (6 Feb 2017)

Victoria Borwick: Things have to have value in order to be kept, in order to be valued. Also, as the British Museum has said, these things are part of all our history. Nowadays, we are obviously very upset when people destroy other people’s history, and that is exactly the point. Things have to have a value. We have cherished our history, just because it shows our history to our children, our…

Domestic Ivory Market — [Mr Graham Brady in the Chair] (6 Feb 2017)

Victoria Borwick: First, as we all know, the Christie’s stuff is publicly known—Christie’s admits to making a mistake and paid up; that is a matter of public record. As has been said before with regard to the tusks, as we all know, they were in transit and that is what we have got to stop. Every Member in this Chamber, and I am sure that all those watching, would absolutely concur with the…

Domestic Ivory Market — [Mr Graham Brady in the Chair] (6 Feb 2017)

Victoria Borwick: Absolutely immeasurable—nobody is disputing that. However, the argument that I am making is that we cannot compare a wonderful live elephant, where the value of the tusk is to the elephant, with something that comes from several thousands of years ago. I think the hon. Gentleman is trying to compare apples with pears, and that is the point I am trying to make to him. He does not have to…

Domestic Ivory Market — [Mr Graham Brady in the Chair] (6 Feb 2017)

Victoria Borwick: Absolutely—I have no doubt about that at all. There is no dispute there; there is nobody in this Chamber or among those watching who would agree with killing elephants today. The hon. Lady is absolutely right. I am merely saying that, as others have said, when we come up with the new regulations, we must do so very carefully so that we do not destroy what history we do have. On behalf…

Domestic Ivory Market — [Mr Graham Brady in the Chair] (6 Feb 2017)

Victoria Borwick: I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend; nobody wants to destroy anything. I was just getting a bit nervous because of some of the talk earlier, so I stand corrected. I am delighted that everything is going to be saved. As many Members have already done, I could list examples of how ivory has been used down the centuries. The British Art Market Federation has made copies of its reference…

Domestic Ivory Market — [Mr Graham Brady in the Chair] (6 Feb 2017)

Victoria Borwick: May I draw attention to what my hon. Friend said earlier? She actually said clearly—I absolutely agreed with her as, I am sure, many did—that genuine experts can tell the difference between genuine works of art. As others in this room have said, the market in the far east is for shiny, modern, contemporary pieces. That is entirely different from the antique ivory sold by our…

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Self-employment (31 Jan 2017)

Victoria Borwick: What steps he is taking to support the self-employed.

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Self-employment (31 Jan 2017)

Victoria Borwick: North Kensington, an area that the Minister knows, has several fantastic initiatives through which new start-ups have access to shared space. Are there any plans to reduce business rates and provide relief for small companies using shared space initiatives?

School Funding (25 Jan 2017)

Victoria Borwick: I am grateful to the Secretary of State for giving way; I appreciate that this is a very busy debate. I want to speak up briefly for London. I need an assurance from her—I am sure that she has touched on this—because of the negative effect that the reform of the funding formula may have on schools in London, some of which face intolerable pressures.

Written Answers — Department for Transport: Pedicabs: Greater London (24 Jan 2017)

Victoria Borwick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment has been made of the effect of pedicab drivers on traffic congestion in Central London.

Written Answers — Department for Transport: Pedicabs: Greater London (24 Jan 2017)

Victoria Borwick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department has taken to bring forward legislative proposals for the operation of pedicabs in London.

Written Answers — Department for Transport: Pedicabs: Greater London (24 Jan 2017)

Victoria Borwick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timetable is for introducing legislative proposals on the operation of pedicabs in London.

Written Answers — Department for Communities and Local Government: Holiday Accommodation: Regulation (24 Jan 2017)

Victoria Borwick: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals on subletting through companies, such as Airbnb, to mandate the owner’s permission before that accommodation is sublet.

Written Answers — Department for Communities and Local Government: Holiday Accommodation: Regulation (24 Jan 2017)

Victoria Borwick: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to bring forward legislative proposals on subletting through companies, such as Airbnb, to mandate the owner’s permission before that accommodation is sublet; and if he will make a statement.

Backbench Business (8 Dec 2016)

Victoria Borwick: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mrs Main. I declare that I am president of the British Antique Dealers’ Association. I have also been advised by the British Art Market Federation, the Antiquities Dealers’ Association and LAPADA, which together comprise a group of Britain’s most knowledgeable and highly regarded auction houses and specialist dealers in fine…

State Pension Age: Women (30 Nov 2016)

Victoria Borwick: Will the Secretary of State, or a member of his team, personally examine some of the individual cases to see whether the women affected can prove that they are suffering hardship?

Public Bill Committee: Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [Lords]: Enforcement: costs (15 Nov 2016)

Victoria Borwick: Will the Minister consider inviting members of the trade and those who deal in cultural objects to participate in the consultation, to ensure that we have effective legislation?

Public Bill Committee: Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [Lords]: Enforcement: costs (15 Nov 2016)

Victoria Borwick: As a point of record, because it keeps coming up as an error, it is the art and antiques unit. I believe that point has been made before. It is not art and antiquities; it is the art and antiques unit.

Public Bill Committee: Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [Lords]: Offence of dealing in unlawfully exported cultural property (15 Nov 2016)

Victoria Borwick: I wish to comment on new clause 3 on behalf of the art and antiques trade, because I believe that it is entirely inappropriate. I believe that there is considerable misunderstanding about the information available for millions of works of art, antiques and antiquities owned by citizens and institutions in this country. The submissions from the trade make it clear that the vast majority of…

Public Bill Committee: Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [Lords]: Offence of dealing in unlawfully exported cultural property (15 Nov 2016)

Victoria Borwick: Although I accept that, it is also an important briefing point today as to why the art and antiquities associations feel so strongly about this. The Government’s opinion is that such a level of interference could not be justified as necessary for the aim of protecting cultural objects. I maintain that the same considerations would apply to the proposals contained in the new clause, and…

Public Bill Committee: Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [Lords]: Offence of dealing in unlawfully exported cultural property (15 Nov 2016)

Victoria Borwick: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Turner. I declare an interest as president of the British Antique Dealers’ Association. I have also been advised by the British Art Market Federation, the Antiquities Dealers’ Association and LAPADA, all of which have made written representation to the Committee. Amendment 1, which stands in my name, relates to the most…

Public Bill Committee: Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [Lords]: “Unlawfully exported cultural property” etc (15 Nov 2016)

Victoria Borwick: I think the point is that if a Security Council resolution regards a territory as being occupied, surely that is on the record.

Public Bill Committee: Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [Lords]: “Unlawfully exported cultural property” etc (15 Nov 2016)

Victoria Borwick: I want to take the Minister up on the due diligence point, if I may. Inevitably, there are different levels of due diligence, and different categories. There is no accepted level of due diligence. This goes back to the point made about getting absolute clarity in the Bill, because nobody wants there to be confusion later. We all have the right spirit here; we are just making sure that things…

Public Bill Committee: Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [Lords]: “Unlawfully exported cultural property” etc (15 Nov 2016)

Victoria Borwick: I am concerned on behalf of traders that there will inevitably be a great deal of cost. As you and the Secretary of State have been kind enough to say that you do not wish to place additional burdens, I am concerned that you are appearing—

Public Bill Committee: Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [Lords]: “Unlawfully exported cultural property” etc (15 Nov 2016)

Victoria Borwick: I apologise, Ms Buck. High legal costs might be incurred, but I do not understand that to be the Minister’s intention.

Public Bill Committee: Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [Lords]: “Unlawfully exported cultural property” etc (15 Nov 2016)

Victoria Borwick: I thank the Minister for that clarification, because we all seek greater clarity about what is in the Bill. I have previously mentioned the uncertainty inherent in clause 2 and how our art market is keen to avoid uncertainty. Another area of uncertainty is an auctioneer’s or dealer’s ability to identify the occupied territories to which the law applies, particularly if an item may…

Public Bill Committee: Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [Lords]: “Cultural property” (15 Nov 2016)

Victoria Borwick: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Ms Buck. I would like to declare that I am the president of the British Antique Dealers’ Association, and I have been advised by the British Art Market Federation, the Antiquities Dealers’ Association and LAPADA, all of which have made written representations to this Committee. I wish to draw the Committee’s attention to the…

Public Bill Committee: Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [Lords]: “Cultural property” (15 Nov 2016)

Victoria Borwick: I cannot think of something instantly, but the important point is whether the restricted view should apply that the object should be “of great importance to…every people”. We are making sure that we do not by mistake include things that are not covered in the convention—in other words, that we do not, through loose punctuation, fail to make it absolutely clear which…

Written Answers — Department of Health: Hepatitis: Greater London (4 Nov 2016)

Victoria Borwick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions his Department has had with (a) NHS England, (b) clinical commissioning groups and (c) local authorities in London on ensuring appropriate services are in place to increase the number of people who use or have used drugs who are tested for and diagnosed with hepatitis C.

Written Answers — Department of Health: Hepatitis: Greater London (4 Nov 2016)

Victoria Borwick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions his Department has had with NHS England and operational delivery networks in London on ensuring that the new hepatitis C treatments are available to people who use or have used drugs.

Community Pharmacies: Police Officer Safety (2 Nov 2016)

Victoria Borwick: I want to raise the increase in assaults on police officers at the Notting Hill carnival. What can the Minister do to make that event safe for our good thin line, which works so hard at it?

Community Pharmacies (2 Nov 2016)

Victoria Borwick: Can reassurance be given that local pharmacies are the frontline of primary care? Will the Minister extend the work and responsibility of those local pharmacies, particularly in deprived areas, and reassure us that that is the focus of this debate?

Hepatitis: Greater London: Written Question (28 October 2016)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions his Department has had with (a) NHS England, (b) clinical commissioning groups and (c) local authorities in London on ensuring appropriate services are in place to increase the number of people who use or have used drugs who are tested for and diagnosed with hepatitis C.

Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office: Digital Technology (7 Sep 2016)

Victoria Borwick: What progress the Government are making in using digital technology to transform delivery of public services.

Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office: Digital Technology (7 Sep 2016)

Victoria Borwick: May I join in the congratulations to the Minister on his new role? How could we better use digital sharing services to reduce the never incidents and the serious untoward incidents in the NHS?

Supported Housing (12 Jul 2016)

Victoria Borwick: I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Waveney (Peter Aldous) for securing this debate. I just want to say something briefly about supported housing for vulnerable people, which is exactly what my hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mr Jackson) is talking about. This is not just about the country, so I want to bring London back into the equation. If we build these things only out of…

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: School Funding Formula (London) (4 Jul 2016)

Victoria Borwick: What plans she has to ensure that reform of the school funding formula does not have a negative effect on schools in London.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: School Funding Formula (London) (4 Jul 2016)

Victoria Borwick: As a long-term governor, and having visited the outstanding Bevington school in Kensington this morning, will the Minister talk about the area school cost adjustment in respect of meeting the higher costs and vulnerability of schools in London?

Written Answers — Department of Health: Blood: Viral Diseases (10 Jun 2016)

Victoria Borwick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what research the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs plans to undertake or commission on the risk of blood-borne viruses for former sex workers and ex-intravenous drug users.

Backbench Business – Education Funding in Londonbackbench Business (4 May 2016)

Victoria Borwick: I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing this debate and absolutely concur with what he has said about deprivation. Kensington still has two of the most deprived areas in all of Britain, so nobody should think that it is paved with gold. We also have some outstanding schools. We have run through the initial proposals and—I hope that the Minister will take cognisance of this—it is…

Housing and Planning Bill: What is a starter home? (3 May 2016)

Victoria Borwick: Will my hon. Friend join me in welcoming the fact that, over the last eight years, the current Mayor of London has built more than 100,000 affordable homes? Moreover, the public land database established by the London Land Commission, supported by the Chancellor, will reveal that there is space for another 400,000 homes on brownfield sites. It will show that not only the Transport for London…

Housing and Planning Bill: What is a starter home? (3 May 2016)

Victoria Borwick: I welcome the fact that there will be more flexibility on higher-value homes, particularly for outliers and where prices are particularly high or particularly low in an area. I am delighted that the Minister has taken cognisance of the needs of various people in various different areas so that local need is met.

Enterprise Bill [Lords] — [2ndAllocated Day]: Clause 33 — Extended Sunday opening hours and Sunday working (9 Mar 2016)

Victoria Borwick: I rise to speak in favour of Sunday trading, because, in a place such as London—I stand as a London MP—we should have some freedom for people to trade and choose how they do business. A person does not have to go shopping, but if they want to, they should have the opportunity to do so. Many of the arguments have been made already, so I will talk briefly about garden centres. Some…

Enterprise Bill [Lords] — [2ndAllocated Day]: Clause 33 — Extended Sunday opening hours and Sunday working (9 Mar 2016)

Victoria Borwick: I thank the Minister for letting us know about the zoning proposals. Perhaps he could clarify whether London could be a zone itself, or whether that will be delegated to the individual local authorities. London is obviously a diverse area, and many people would appreciate working on Sundays, whereas they would not like to work on another day—so there is flexibility in this new…

Written Answers — Department for Work and Pensions: Employment and Support Allowance: Disability (3 Mar 2016)

Victoria Borwick: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to support disabled people affected by the changes to employment and support allowance work-related activity group.

Written Answers — Department of Health: General Practitioners (9 Feb 2016)

Victoria Borwick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will discuss with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government steps to encourage local authorities (a) to use their powers under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and (b) in other ways to allocate space for surgeries in new developments.

Written Answers — Department of Health: General Practitioners: Greater London (9 Feb 2016)

Victoria Borwick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effect on health care provision in Central London of trends in the number of GPs retiring from single-handed practices (a) over the last five years and (b) in the next five years.

Written Answers — Department of Health: General Practitioners: Greater London (9 Feb 2016)

Victoria Borwick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to help maintain access to local GPs for people in Central London.

Enterprise Bill [Lords] (2 Feb 2016)

Victoria Borwick: Is the hon. Gentleman aware that staff in many garden centres across the country are already working longer hours because they go in to feed the animals? So for some shops, more flexibility around opening on Sundays would be beneficial. I have been asked to make this representation on behalf of garden centres.

Housing and Planning Bill (Programme) (No. 2): Housing and Planning Bill — [1st Allocated Day] (5 Jan 2016)

Victoria Borwick: Will these homes also be disabled-accessible? I am a passionate believer in the importance of lifetime homes for communities and families, especially in view of debates that we have had and what we have already heard this evening. Will my right hon. Friend assure me that all possible ways of improving disabled accessibility will be considered?

Opposition Day — [13th Allotted Day]: Housing (15 Dec 2015)

Victoria Borwick: Is the Minister pleased to see how many people have already expressed their interest in our aspirational policy and are already queuing up to take advantage of it?

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Sunday Trading (9 Nov 2015)

Victoria Borwick: What assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of extending Sunday trading hours on high streets and market towns.

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Sunday Trading (9 Nov 2015)

Victoria Borwick: Is the Secretary of State aware that extending Sunday opening hours by just two hours in London will have a very positive effect on both employment and trade? Will he consider allowing the devolution of Sunday trading hours to the Mayor of London, the other metro mayors, or London councils following the success of such a move during the Olympics 2012?

Housing and Planning Bill (2 Nov 2015)

Victoria Borwick: I thank the Minister for listening to areas such as Kensington that want to encourage entrepreneurship and business and for continuing to exempt central London areas from the rules on converting commercial premises to residential premises. This recognises that mixed communities are vital in promoting local employment and industry, which is particularly important in north Kensington, which is…

Young Jobseekers (27 Oct 2015)

Victoria Borwick: No, I made my point in an intervention. Thank you, Mr Gray.

Young Jobseekers (27 Oct 2015)

Victoria Borwick: I am sorry.

Young Jobseekers (27 Oct 2015)

Victoria Borwick: I absolutely concur with my hon. Friend. On that point, do you believe that jobcentres, which do good work in my constituency and others, should be encouraged to promote apprenticeships as a way of tackling the issues and figures that you have raised?

Young Jobseekers (27 Oct 2015)

Victoria Borwick: You are quite right, Mr Gray. I am sorry. In London, we have created 220,000 apprenticeships since 2010, which have introduced people into a world of work. Perhaps in due course the Minister will comment on apprenticeships.

Bill Presented — Sugar in Food and Drinks (Targets, Labelling and Advertising) Bill: Clause 1 — Devolution: annual report (21 Oct 2015)

Victoria Borwick: I want to return to the point, mentioned across the Chamber, about the work that can be done collaboratively on health issues. We saw the work done on dealing with violence against women, and I want to reiterate the importance of devolving health to these larger areas.

Bill Presented — Sugar in Food and Drinks (Targets, Labelling and Advertising) Bill: Clause 1 — Devolution: annual report (21 Oct 2015)

Victoria Borwick: Turning to another aspect of devolution, I would like to talk about the importance of health devolution. I obviously welcome the Government’s devolution revolution, which the Bill will help to deliver. In London, the Mayor has been campaigning for greater fiscal devolution and I know he applauds the recent announcement on business rate reform, as this will benefit our capital. The…

Backbench Business — [2nd Allotted Day]: Superfast Broadband (12 Oct 2015)

Victoria Borwick: I concur with those colleagues who have mentioned the issues in central London. Obviously, all Members across the House welcome the push to ensure that more of the country has broadband and superfast broadband, but I am concerned that there are still a significant number of “not spots” in our capital city. Will my hon. Friend please ensure that his “not spots” include…

Bills Presented — Armed Forces: Basement Excavation (Restriction of Permitted Development) (16 Sep 2015)

Victoria Borwick: On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I hope that I shall be allowed a quick point of order; I am rather new to this procedure. I should just like it to be recorded that I support the points made by the hon. Member for Westminster North (Ms Buck), because, as she has said, Kensington has significant problems with basement construction.

[Sir Edward Leigh in the Chair] — London Black Cabs (15 Sep 2015)

Victoria Borwick: Another important thing to talk about when we are considering the difference between the two kinds of vehicle is that there have also been incidences of guide dogs not being taken in minicabs. For the record, I think it is important that we ensure that any taxi driver of any taxi that we license should take such assistance dogs.

[Sir Edward Leigh in the Chair] — London Black Cabs (15 Sep 2015)

Victoria Borwick: I have a long-standing family interest in the subject of the debate. My father ran Carbodies, which some right hon. and hon. Members may know about, from the time when taxis were made in this country. My husband Jamie took over after my father’s death and ran the company for a short while. He led the changeover to the taxis with full disability access that we have today. As has been…

[Sir Edward Leigh in the Chair] — London Black Cabs (15 Sep 2015)

Victoria Borwick: I welcome that point. It is right: people want to use a safe vehicle that has been properly assessed, as everyone has said. Technology has moved on, so we must support the gold standard of our taxi drivers. Becoming a licensed taxi driver does not have such an appeal any more. Is that because of the barriers or because the investment and time is entirely on one side? TfL should look at its…

London’S Licensed Taxi Trade (15 Jul 2015)

Victoria Borwick: The Minister makes an important point about quantity. We are talking about the free flow of London traffic, and although we have seen this explosion in the number of private hire vehicles, it cannot be said to contribute to the smooth running of London or to reducing pollution levels in London. When considering legislation or regulation, I hope he might consider whether we need all these…

London’S Licensed Taxi Trade (15 Jul 2015)

Victoria Borwick: I declare a slight interest, as my husband was running the company that made the taxis when they became fully accessible to the disabled. I have spoken before about my concern for the disabled, so may I ask first whether my hon. Friend agrees that only fully accessible taxis should be allowed to ply for hire on the streets of London? Does he also agree that all vehicles should be subject to…

Regional Support for the Arts — [Andrew Rosindell in the Chair] (15 Jul 2015)

Victoria Borwick: Victoria Borwick will do. It is a delight to welcome you to the Chair for this debate, Mr Rosindell. I am speaking today as the MP for Kensington, where we have a great number of fantastic museums. I appreciate the sentiments expressed by some of my colleagues earlier, but it is only fair that I should remind people that we have the fantastic Science museum—many Members will have beaten…

Bill Presented — National Insurance Contributions (Rate Ceilings) Bill: Ways and Means — Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation — Amendment of the Law (14 Jul 2015)

Victoria Borwick: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, for allowing me to make my maiden speech in this important debate. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to speak from these Benches that have borne witness to so much of our country’s rich history. I would like to begin by paying tribute to my predecessor, Sir Malcolm Rifkind. One of only five Ministers to serve throughout both the Thatcher and…