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Jeff Ennis (Barnsley, East and Mexborough) (Lab): My right hon. Friend will know that there is intense speculation in the press that the bomb on the No. 30 bus was triggered by a suicide bomber. Can the Prime Minister clarify that specific point for the House; and does he have any information at this point in time about how the bombs were triggered on the underground?

The Prime Minister: If my hon. Friend will allow me, I think the best thing at the present time is to leave to the police any statements in relation to that. I know they will give as much information as they think is sensible or responsible. It is important that we proceed in giving that information or speculating on it only when they want to do so.

Mr. Quentin Davies (Grantham and Stamford) (Con): The Prime Minister and my right hon. and learned Friend the Leader of the Opposition have spoken movingly in the House this afternoon. I endorse what the hon. Member for North Antrim (Rev. Ian Paisley) said about Her Majesty. It is very good news that the major intelligence services in the world have offered their collaboration. Can we count on a corresponding degree of help from those and other countries in the matter of extradition, if we need it? Is the European
 
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common arrest warrant up and running now in the EU, and can it be counted on to work, if required, in the present situation?

The Prime Minister: I am not sure exactly how that will work in the present situation. Perhaps I can correspond with the hon. Gentleman on that. Clearly, we want to make sure that we have the maximum opportunity to co-operate with other European countries. For various reasons to do with legal systems, not with political leadership, that co-operation has not always worked as well it should, including from us to other European countries. We need to consider that carefully, and I am sure the matter will be covered by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary in his meeting on Wednesday.

Mr. Sadiq Khan (Tooting) (Lab): I stood in the Chamber on Wednesday and said how joyous and proud I was, as a lifelong Londoner, at my city's successful bid to host the Olympics in 2012. Does my right hon. Friend agree that today Londoners and the rest of the UK have even more reason to be proud of Londoners—proud of the way heroic Londoners of all faiths, races and backgrounds, victims, survivors and passers-by, acted on Thursday; proud of the way ordinary courageous Londoners carried on with their business and stopped the criminals disrupting our life; proud of the way our Mayor and emergency services behaved on Thursday and onwards; and finally, proud of the way Londoners have come together to stop any individual or community being the victim of any misconceived backlash or reprisal?

The Prime Minister: I agree entirely with my hon. Friend.

Susan Kramer (Richmond Park) (LD): A few moments ago the Prime Minister gave great and well deserved praise to the emergency services. Does he agree that we also need to recognise the many ordinary staff on the London Underground who are not emergency workers and who, on Thursday last, before the emergency services could come, put themselves directly in danger to give immediate assistance to those who were caught in the carnage, and dealt with horrors that most of us in the Chamber will never see and hope never to see? Will he join me in congratulating London Resilience, which did so much of the planning that meant that the response was so effective and helped to reinforce the calm and composure of Londoners? Will he let the House know that there are books of condolence open at city hall, which many hon. Members and others may wish to sign?

The Prime Minister: The hon. Lady is right. The books of condolence are there, and I hope that as many people as can get to sign them will do so. She is right, too, that the whole staff of the underground and the services—the hospital services and so on—have performed magnificently. I had an opportunity of meeting some of them on Friday, and they were remarkably strong about their experience. It is not just the emergency services that came on the scene—obviously, there are people at hospitals and elsewhere who are having to cope with an extremely difficult
 
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situation, and of course there are the people still engaged in the forensic work, and a very harrowing and difficult time it must be for them.

Mark Durkan (Foyle) (SDLP): May I join the hon. Member for North Antrim (Rev. Ian Paisley), on behalf of all the people of Northern Ireland, in sharing the sense of hurt and horror at Thursday's events? One does not need to be a Briton or a Londoner to feel the effects and to feel the pain that the people of London felt. One does not need to be a Briton or a Londoner to salute the character and the calibre of the response from the city of London and its public services. I join so many others in the House in paying tribute to the resolve and resilience of the Prime Minister in the face of the threat. Does he agree that it is that blend of sense, strength and sensitivity that he has shown and which has been shown by many Members in the House today that needs to inform what we do in the future? Any decisions that we make and any points that we make, from whatever part of the House, must not give any succour or satisfaction to those who had an agenda on Thursday. They may not have been able to calculate the exact body count that they would get on Thursday, but they calculated that there would be other, wider fallout. No matter what policy differences we have on other issues, it is important that all of us are diligent enough to deny them their agenda.

The Prime Minister: I thank my hon. Friend. He is absolutely right in what he says about the right response to make. Coming from someone in Northern Ireland who has had to live his own politics with the possibility of violence and terrorism against his political party, his words are wise words that we should heed.


 
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G8

4.25 pm

The Prime Minister (Mr. Tony Blair): With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a statement on the G8 summit which I chaired at Gleneagles last week.

There were two major issues on the agenda for this summit—Africa and climate change. Those subjects were chosen because they represent huge problems for the world which require concerted action by the international community. Africa is the only continent in the world that, without change, will not meet any of the millennium development goals. Although there are success stories in Africa, 4 million children under five die in Africa every year, 3,000 children a day die from malaria, and 50 million African children do not go to primary school. Life expectancy is plummeting, and by 2010 it will be down to just 27 years in some African countries. So Africa is an immediate moral cause that commands our attention.

Climate change is perhaps the most long-term serious threat to our environment. Already sea ice in the Arctic has shrunk by 1 million sq km, the 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since 1991, and sea levels are    rising. Until now, however, the international community has been divided, with no agreement on the nature or urgency of the problem, what to do about it, or how to start a discussion that would involve the United States and key emerging economies such as India and China.

The Commission for Africa, which I established last year, set out a comprehensive plan for dealing with the continent's problems. At Gleneagles, we agreed a doubling of aid for Africa—that is, an extra $25 billion a year by 2010—as part of an overall increase of $50 billion for all developing countries, which will start to flow immediately. That was made possible by a series of new pledges by G8 partners in the weeks before the summit—notably, the European Union's aid increase of an extra $38 billion, the American and Canadian decisions to double aid to Africa, and Japan's pledge, at the summit, of an additional $10 billion over the next five years. That is a mighty achievement, not only for the summit but for the millions of decent people world wide who have campaigned so long and hard on this issue. I should like to thank not only fellow leaders but my right hon. Friend the International Development Secretary and, most particularly, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor for their work in securing this.

In addition, again thanks to the work of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor, we agreed to cancel 100 per cent. of the multilateral debts of the heavily indebted poor countries. That could amount in total to some $55 billion of relief. We also agreed a special package of debt cancellation for Nigeria worth around $17 billion.

The G8 put particular emphasis on health and education in Africa. We agreed free primary education and basic health care for all, and we agreed these specific measures: on HIV/AIDS, to provide as close as possible to universal access to treatment by 2010; on malaria, to reach 85 per cent. of the vulnerable with bed nets and drugs in order to save around 600,000 children's lives a year by 2015; and on polio, the UK has agreed the
 
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funding to eradicate polio this year, and the G8 has agreed to ensure that the programme is fully funded in the years ahead.

However, that help will not make a difference unless we also take action to end conflict and create conditions of stability. That means, above all, supporting the African Union's ability to deploy its forces to prevent and resolve conflict. We confirmed our commitment to train and equip 75,000 troops by 2010, mainly for Africa, including for the 20,000-strong African Union stand-by force.

On trade, we agreed that we should establish a credible end date for agricultural export subsidies. The British Government want the Hong Kong world trade ministerial meeting to agree to an end date of 2010. I believe, on the basis of my discussions last week, that that is possible. We also agreed at Gleneagles concrete measures to build Africa's capacity to trade and recognised poor countries' need to determine their own economic and trade policies.

It was the most detailed and ambitious package for Africa ever agreed by the G8. However, none of it can be implemented or improve the lives of African citizens without significant improvements in standards of governance, transparency and accountability. It is a partnership, not an act of charity. In the end, only Africans can lead and shape Africa. We can help, but every Government in Africa who betrays the principles of good governance betrays Africa. The G8 unanimously deplored recent developments in Zimbabwe. The United Nations Secretary-General told us that his envoy, Anna Tibaijuka, will report back to the UN Security Council in days.

The summit of itself cannot end poverty in Africa but it should mark a turning point. I pay tribute to the organisations around the world whose members care passionately about Africa and who made their voice heard to the G8 leaders in the run-up to Gleneagles. It was a remarkable and brilliantly led campaign by people who have long demonstrated their commitment, and I particularly praise the contribution of Make Poverty History and the organisers of Live 8. Faith groups, schools, businesses and many millions of concerned people attached to no formal organisation made their demands, protested for them reasonably and gave political leaders the support that they needed to turn a campaign into a victory.

In respect of climate change, our discussion included the leaders of China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico. We were able to do four things. First, we agreed that climate change was a problem, with human activity contributing to it. Secondly, we agreed that we had to tackle it with urgency. Thirdly, we agreed that, to do that, we have to slow down, stop and, in time, reverse greenhouse gas emissions. Gleneagles adopted an action plan to exploit cleaner technologies that meet our energy needs and safeguard the climate, including measures to develop technologies such as bioenergy and cleaner coal, to promote energy efficiency and finance investment in clean technologies in emerging economies.

Fourthly, we put in place a new dialogue involving the G8, the emerging economies and the key international institutions. The purpose is to create a pathway to a post-Kyoto agreement, so that when Kyoto expires after 2012, the world can act with unity. The new dialogue between the G8 plus the five and others will have its first meeting in the UK in November.
 
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The G8 also gave its strong support to the middle east peace process and pledged its support for a package of assistance worth up to $3 billion a year for Palestine. We gave warm backing to the mission of Jim Wolfensohn, the Quartet's envoy for disengagement, who reported to us at the summit. I continue to believe that progress in the middle east between Israelis and Palestinians is an enormous part of creating a fairer and more secure world.

Inevitably, some will be disappointed with aspects of the G8 summit. However, on any realistic basis, on the two hardest issues on the international agenda, there was progress, and in the case of Africa, immense progress. We now have to build on that, using our EU presidency, the UN summit in September and the Hong Kong ministerial meeting on trade in December.

Of course, the task is now to implement what has been agreed. However, let us for a moment assume that we can. If we do so, millions of children will not die when otherwise they would have died. Africa will change its destiny from one of decline to advance. The values of democracy, freedom and the rule of law will be strengthened further still. On the environment, if we can implement what is agreed, today's largest economy can achieve agreement with the largest economies of tomorrow to get the framework, technology and policy in place to reverse the threat of global warming.

Such progress, if achieved, would be the most poignant and powerful riposte to the forces of terrorism.


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