Andrew Smith

Oxford East


AQA has taken a unilateral decision to scrap the A-level in Polish from 2018. Are you going to lobby the AQA to reverse their decision? If yes, are there any other actions which you would undertake in order to preserve the Polish A-level?!

I have written to AQA, and to the Secretary of State for Education, asking why they have taken the decision to scrap the A level in Polish, what consultation was carried out, and urging them to reverse their decision. I will get back to you on receipt of their replies. Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary has committed to save the A Level in Polish, alongside other modern language A Levels, if Labour form the next government.

Poland was the most loyal ally of Britain in the Second World War. Would you support a ban on British media falsely labelling the German concentration and death camps as being “Polish” e.g. Polish ghetto, death camps of Poland, or, Poland’s Auschwitz?

Labour has committed to implement the recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry. This means that a new regulator, not controlled by editors and proprietors, will be set up. I would be happy to raise the matter of how German concentration camps in occupied Poland are labelled with the new regulator. I agree it’s wrong for anyone to imply that these were Polish.

Do you support promoting information about the positive contribution of Polish immigrants to the economy of the UK?

I agree that it is very import_ant to make the case for the positive contribution of migrants, including Polish migrants, to the UK economy and cultural life. While a Minister in the last Labour government, I supported freedom of movement within Europe and successfully argued against placing restrictions on members of new accession states (including Poland), which were subsequently adopted for further accession states in recent years. I believe that if freedom of movement is allowed, as it is when new states join the EU, but freedom to work is denied, it simply incentivises bogus self-employment or employment in the clandestine economy, with all the dangers of exploitation which go with that.

In the event of Brexit, would you support granting an unconditional Indefinite Leave To Remain to the EU citizens who have lived and worked in Britain under the freedom of movement rules?

I would campaign strongly against the UK leaving the EU in the event of any referendum, and believe that given a choice the British people would vote in favour of staying in the EU. If the UK did leave the EU, there would clearly be a need to regularise the status of those EU citizens who have been living and working in the UK, and I do not think that parties and MPs who are in favour of leaving the EU have considered this matter sufficiently.

If you were to be elected to the Parliament, would you join and support the activities of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Poland?

Please do let me know if there are any further points that it would be helpful for me to raise with the government, and do feel free to keep me aware of any events organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group, which I would be pleased to support.

Questions were sent out before the elections.