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Volume 641: debated on Wednesday 16 May 2018

5. What steps his Department is taking to help improve the cyber-security of public and private sector organisations. (905319)

Our world-leading national cyber-security strategy is supported by £1.9 billion-worth of investment. It sets out measures to defend our people, businesses and assets, to deter our adversaries and to develop the skills and capabilities we need.

With cyber-attacks on public services in other countries and a highly publicised attack on our own NHS, does my hon. Friend agree that cyber-security is not just the responsibility of people at the top of our businesses, public services and agencies, but is actually the responsibility of every single employee, and that we have to get that culture across our public service estate?

My right hon. Friend is absolutely correct. Cyber-security is a responsibility of all businesses and individuals. It is precisely the objective of the Government’s national cyber-security strategy to get that point across.

It is undeniable that the UK is in the grip of a digital skills gap, yet despite the Government’s national cyber-security programme, the problem is getting worse. Fewer students are taking up technology-based A-levels, and those who do are underperforming compared with their counterparts in other subjects. What conversations has the Minister had with his Front-Bench colleagues to ensure that digital technology is integrated across the curriculum and that teachers of all subjects are given the training to help them inspire the next generation into closing the digital skills gap?

I do not recognise the picture that the hon. Lady paints. We are a world leader in digital technology, as I repeatedly see when I visit the Government Digital Service, which has an extensive training programme. In addition, one of the first three of the Government’s new T-levels will focus on digital.

Order. The hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross (Jamie Stone) has just sent me a most gracious letter of apology in respect of a matter for which he has no reason whatsoever to apologise. I think we ought to hear the fella.

I received a letter last week from Greater Manchester police that informed me that on 18 April I was involved in a vehicle collision in Salford and that, if I am convicted, I will face a fine of £1,000 and get six points on my licence. As many Members will testify, I was in this place on 18 April. This is a clear example of identity theft. Greater Manchester police have been most helpful and told me that it is likely that a drug dealer in Manchester has stolen my identity. You will be interested to know, Mr Speaker, that he has put down my occupation as “cobbler”. I would be interested to know what the Minister has to say.

The hon. Gentleman’s profession should have been orator and statesmen; that would have been a better description. He is absolutely right that we should be working with the police, and that is why one of the measures in our strategy is to deter and disrupt our adversaries, which includes states, criminals and hacktivists.