John Howell (Henley) (Con)
I am glad that the Minister mentioned all of those organisations, but there is another organisation that he should mention, which is the Council of Europe, of which we are a member. The Council of Europe has always taken a very strong line on this issue. For example, it runs facilitation courses to help people to understand the role of trade unions and how they can participate in them. That is something that we should be proud of.
I thank my hon. Friend for his point. He is not just a powerful advocate in the Council of Europe, but a powerful advocate in this place for the role it plays in helping to make positive change, not only in this country but across Europe.
Trade unions have played a long and positive role in our society; they have long represented their members and lobbied for wider changes in society. They have campaigned on equality issues for women and other groups, helped to tackle child poverty and fought against modern day slavery. They have shown how we can bring about change that benefits everybody in society.