Oona King

Wednesday, 05 September 2012 19:26

Blog: Never again - Britain must influence Rwanda

When people think of Rwanda they usually think of genocide or, if they've visited, maybe the Garden of Eden. Rwanda's beauty seems at odds with its past horrors. I first visited Rwanda when I was an MP, in 1998, four years after the genocide claimed between 800,000 - 1,000,000 lives. I went to a school where 10,000 people were herded, then murdered. I stood in a classroom where the victims' twisted screams were still clearly visible on their faces; the only signs of the UN were the plastic curtains with the UN logo, nailed over the windows to keep the flies out. As far as the international community was concerned, "never again" turned out to be a slogan, not a policy.

Thursday, 19 July 2012 00:00

Democratic Republic of Congo

Baroness King of Bow:My Lords-

Lord Avebury: My Lords-

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): My Lords, the noble Baroness, Lady King, has been trying very hard to get in.

Baroness King of Bow: My Lords, I have visited the Great Lakes region on 10 occasions over a decade and I have never ceased to be amazed by the resilience and dignity of the local populations and the barbarity and scale of the atrocities visited on them, such as a nine month-old baby who was raped with a military-issue rifle and who then sustained terrible gunshot wounds. Does the Minister agree that we need to hold Rwanda to account, and that we should also hold the Congolese army to account? Could he press for more military tribunals so that we can play our role in ensuring that innocent victims such as that nine month-old baby girl get the justice they deserve?

Tuesday, 10 July 2012 00:00


Baroness King of Bow: My Lords, the Minister will be aware that increased sugar consumption leads to obesity and, in my view, diabetes. Is he also aware of the many studies, including one from Princeton University, which show that sugar is potentially addictive and activates endorphins in the brain in a way similar to heroin-I could hardly put down my Jaffa Cake long enough to come and ask this question. Does he not agree that it is important to look at research that shows that scientists have made rats sugar-addicted in just one month by feeding them sugared drinks? Will he revisit the nutritional standards for schools, because 62% of British schools currently do not have tough nutritional guidelines that would reduce sugar consumption among British children?

Hansard Link: Diabetes

However, in the mean time I hope the Minister can assure me that the Government's priority is to increase free school meal take-up among the eligible and ensure that all the schoolchildren whose families are in receipt of universal credit, when it comes in, will be eligible for free school meals. Can he assure me that the introduction of universal credit will not mean that fewer children will qualify for free school meals?

Wednesday, 13 June 2012 00:00

Schools: Nutrition

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will enforce nutritional standards for school food in academies and free schools in the light of new evidence that some schools are reintroducing junk food.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): My Lords, we know that nutritious food has positive effects on behaviour and attainment. The evidence indicates that many academies have responded positively to the standards, and some are going beyond them. The quality of food offered in all schools, including academies, has improved, but further improvement is needed. The latest findings from the School Food Trust show no significant difference between the lunch provided by maintained schools and by academies.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012 00:00


Asked by Baroness King of Bow

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much funding from the 2011-15 Affordable Homes Programme has been made available to (1) Circle Anglia, (2) East Thames Housing Group, (3) Genesis Housing Association, (4) Metropolitan Housing Trust, (5) One Housing Group, and (6) Swan Housing in London; and how many new (a) affordable rent properties, and (b) low-cost home ownership properties will be built by each as a result.[HL1588]

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