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tv   Monday in Parliament  BBC News  January 10, 2017 2:30am-3:01am GMT

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jared kushner, as a senior white house adviser. some experts say it could violate an anti—nepotism law. more than 30 people have died as a cold snap from the arctic circle takes hold in central and eastern europe. temperatures dropped to as little as minus 30 degree celsius. temperatures dropped to as little as minus 30 degree celsius. brazil's government is defending its plan to build dozens of huge hydro—electric dams. it argues the project will boost the economy and provide clean energy. environmentalists say the plan is a disaster for the amazon and will actually result in more deforestation and global warming. now it's time for monday in parliament. hello and welcome to
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monday in parliament. the main news from westminster. winter pressures in the nhs. the health secretary calls for an honest discussion about a and e departments. we are going to protect our four hour standard. we need to be clear it is a promise to sort out all urgent health problems within four hours, not all health problems, however minor. plans to stop domestic abusers from questioning ex—partners in family courts. as a result of the family court process this extremely vulnerable woman needed weeks of medication and months of counselling to recover. she has now suffered this ordeal three times. and peers rally to the defence of england's universities. universities have changed the world because of what they are. because they are different and they are distinctive. it was the first day back at westminster for mps
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after the christmas break. they returned to news that the national health service has not, however, had much of a break. the health secretaryjeremy hunt told the commons that it had been a tough christmas and that, with cold weather on the way, the winter pressures were likely to continue. jeremy hunt also said it was time to rethink the nhs target that all patients attending accident and emergency should be seen within four hours. tuesday after christmas was the busiest day in the history of the nhs. some hospitals are reporting that a&e attendances are up to 30% higher compared to last year. i therefore want to set out how we intend to protect the service through an extremely challenging period and sustain it for the future. he said the nhs had made more extensive winter preparations than ever before. the result has been that this winter has already seen days when a&e have treated a record number of people within four hours. and there have been fewer
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serious incidents declared that many expected. as chris hopson, head of nhs providers said, although there have been problems at some trusts, the system as a whole is doing better than last year. however there are a number of trusts where the situation has been extremely fragile. all of last week's a&e diverts happened happened at 19 trusts, of which four are in special measures. it is clear we need to have an honest discussion with the public about the purpose of a&e departments. there is nowhere outside the uk that commits to all patients that we will sort out any health need within four hours. if we are going to protect our four hour standard we need to be clear that it is a commitment to sort out all urgent health problems within four hours, but not all problems, however minor.
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labour said the nhs was in a worse state than the health secretary had suggested. 15 hospitals ran out of beds in one day in december. several hospitals have warned they can't offer comprehensive care. elderly patients have been left languishing on hospital trolleys in corridors sometimes for over 2a hours. and he says care is only falling over in a couple of places. i know la la land did well at the golden globes last night but i didn't realise the secretary of state was living there. perhaps that is where he has been all weekend. can he now confirm that the nhs is facing a winter crisis and the blame for this lies at the door of number ten downing street? with my background i know exactly what it is like when a&e is swamped, when you do not have anywhere to put people.
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i do not think that the staff across nhs in england are afraid of us discussing this topic and weaponising it. they are in tears. they are exhausted. they are demoralised. they have never experienced a winter like this. perhaps the secretary of state could explain why his figures suggest 19 diverts and only two trusts in serious problems, whereas what we are hearing, from the nuffield trust is 42 or 50 trusts who are diverting, which is a third. that means it is widespread. the minister seems to blame the public for overcrowding a&e departments when he himself knows the reason the public go to a&e is because they can't get to see their gp and social care is in crisis. will he confirm that he has just announced another significant watering down of the four hour a&e target following the watering down by the coalition in their first year in office in 2010? and what is he personally doing to address the chronic long—term underperformance of hospitals like that at worcester where two people died on trolleys, and plymouth, one of the hospitals
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that had to call in the red cross over the christmas period 7 let me just say to him i think probably because of the forum that we are in now he is misinterpreting what i have said. but it needs to be put right. far from watering down the target i have today recommitted the government to that four hour target, injust the answer before he spoke. maybe he was not listening but i said this was one of the best things about the nhs, that we have this four hour promise. but the public will go to the place where it is easier to get in front of a doctor quickly and if we don't recognise that there is an issue with the fact that a number of people who don't need to go to a&es are using those a&es, if we don't recognise that problem and address it then we won't make a&es better for his constituents and mine. in her first speech of the year, the prime minister theresa may chose to focus on mental health services. she said mental health had been dangerously disregarded
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and announced plans to improve the capacity of schools to support children with mental health issues. theresa may also said nearly £70 million would be invested in online services which enable people to carry out symptom checks. and there will be a review on how to support people with mental illnesses in the workplace. during the health secretary's statement on the nhs, mps had a chance to ask questions about the announcements on mental health services. we welcome measures to improve mental health services in this country as indeed we welcomed such announcements 12 months ago when the then prime minister made similar promises. but does the secretary of state not agree that if this prime minister wants to shine a light on mental health provision she should aim her torch at the government's record? 6,600 fewer nurses working in mental health. a reduction in mental health beds. 400 fewer doctors working in mental health and perhaps most disgracefully of all the raiding
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of children's local mental health budgets in order to plug funding gaps in the wider nhs. i welcome the statement and also the prime minister's focus in the speech on mental health today. she spoke of holding the nhs leadership to account for the extra billion that we will be investing in mental health. will the secretary of state set out in further detail how ccgs will be held to account for ensuring that that money gets to the front line, so that we can deliver progress on parity of esteem? yes, i can absolutely do that. and it is important because we have had a patchy record in the nhs of making sure that money promised for mental health reaches the front line. the way that we intend to address this is by independently compiling 0fsted style ratings for every ccg in the country that actually highlights where mental health provision is inadequate. jeremy hunt.
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now, the government has promised to change the law so that the perpetrators of domestic abuse lose the right to question former partners during proceedings in family courts. the practice has been banned in the criminal courts. a labour mp peter kyle said allowing it to continue in family courts was wreaking untold devastation. i have spoken to numerous survivors of abuse whose accounts of torment under cross—examination, often by convicted rapists, in the family court are devastating to hear, but impossible for most of us to even imagine. i have spoken to a woman who was cross—examined by the man who was in jail for numerous counts of rape and abuse that left her unconscious and hospitalised. as a result of the family court process this extremely vulnerable woman needed weeks of medication and months of counselling to recover. she has now suffered this ordeal three times. i have spoken to the sister of a woman who was abused so greviously it resulted in her death. the convicted murderer then sued
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for custody of their child from prison where he was serving a life sentence for murder. he directly cross—examined the sister of the woman he murdered, even having the grotesque nerve to ask, what makes you think you can be a parent to my child? mr speaker, abuse is being continued, perpetuated, right under the noses ofjudges and police, the very institutions that should be protecting the vulnerable with every sinew of state power. the government agrees that the law needs to be changed. i want to make family court process safer for victims so they can advocate effectively for themselves and for the safety of their children? this cannot happen while a significant number of domestic abuse victims face cross—examination by their abusers. the lord chancellor has requested urgent advice on how to put an end to this practice.
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this sort of cross examination is illegal in the criminal courts. i am determined to see it banned in family courts too. we are considering the most comprehensive and efficient way of making that happen, that will help family courts to concentrate on the key concerns for the family and always put the children's interests first. some mps said changes to legal aid meant that increasing numbers of people were forced to represent themselves. members on both sides of the house have constituents who have been left devastated by the experience. that the government is doing something to now end this practice is welcome. but this is a clear admission that the legal aid cuts have caused this situation. victims of domestic violence struggle to provide evidence of their abuse because frequently they're not believed. and in some cases medical evidence is difficult to obtain. and the experience is made worse still because the abuser, also unable to get representation,
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is allowed to question them. please look at rules in relation to legal aid because there is certainly strong anecdotal evidence from former colleagues of mine at the family bar and indeed the judiciary that there is a direct consequence and link between the rise in litigants in person and the changes to legal aid actually begun under the last labour government. but it's this link between litigants in person that is causing so many of this. if he would at least look at it it may provide some of the solutions. as my honourable friend has rightly said this is a long—standing issue but it's one which has become particularly urgent, and where the cries for help from the judges and others have become more urgent. that's why the government is tackling this issue. as regards litigants in person
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it is necessary to find a way of stopping them using proceedings to continue the abuse, and that's what we are aiming to do. the commons also paid tribute to jill saward, who died of a stroke last thursday. she became a campaigner on behalf of sexual assault victims after being raped during a burglary at her father's vicarage in west london in 1986. her local mp said she was instrumental in securing a ban on defendants accused of rape from cross—examining victims in criminal courts. we were all shocked and saddened by the death of my constituent jill saward who campaigned tirelessly on behalf of victims of rape and sexual violence following her own horrific personal ordeal. the minister called jill saward a wonderful person and said he wanted the law to change in family courts. you're watching monday in parliament with me, kristiina cooper. the government has been defeated
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in the house of lords over plans to change the way england's universities are run, set out in the higher education bill. peers from different parties combined to vote in favour of an opposition proposal for the bill to define the powers and aims of universities. the bill is designed to make it easier for new colleges to award degrees and will introduce a regulator called the office for students. a succession of peers praised the achievements of england's universities. they are not one size fits all. they are not beholden to the state. they are not looking forward to launching themselves on the ftse 100. they are, to use a phrase of alan bennett's, just keeping on, keeping on, at a higher level in different but effective ways with fertile variations with their primary purpose, which is scholarship. so we must, from the start, and throughout the consideration of this bill, reassert and defend
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the prime values of our university sector and resist the government's controlling plans to seek central control via its own appointed, unhappily— named office for students. could it be, my lords, that our universities have flourished and retained world rankings because they have not been subjected to government interference? within education, schools and colleges have suffered from changes imposed by different governments and by the churn of ministers seeking to make their mark, regardless of advice from professionals in the sector. universities, for some years, had been relatively free of such assistance and they have flourished as a result. but one peer thought teaching standards in some universities was poor. it is clear that in arts subjects, too often, large classes are taught by ph.ds from overseas whose first language is not english and can't be understood and that, in the arts, there is a lack of proper framework, two or three essays per term for a student to prepare, otherwise to be left to read around in the library. the noble lord, lord krebs, said he had a quote. well, somebody who wrote to me,
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my lords, about this debate said, "i am effectively paying £9,000 per annum for the use "of a good library." i think there are major shortcomings in accountability in our universities. there is a climate of lassitude in many of our universities on the path of academics in terms of their duties and obligations to their institution and to their students, and i think the government has quite correctly addressed that as an issue in putting this legislation before us. universities have changed the world because of what they are, because they are different and they are distinctive, and that is why dictatorial governments take them over and close them down. it's why people care so much about how government deals with them, and we should make it clear what we believe a university is. this is the first major bill on higher education
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for a generation. it's going to have far—reaching consequences. one of its aims, as we've heard, is to extend university title considerably. it's a matter of great concern to me that this piece of legislation has so far made no attempt to define what a university is or its role in society more widely and particularly what we expect these new universities to do. but a former minister thought defining a university wouldn't work. my personal view is that the way in which we should be protecting universities is by putting obligations on governments and regulators to respect the autonomy of universities, not trying to define universities and put obligations on them. it is ordinary for institutions to compete, not to be the best or to have the best offerings, but to make the greatest profit, to do it in the most cheap, cheerful and economical way and,
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as we move, as the noble lord, lord giddens, said, through a technological revolution, of which books will be a series part, i think we need to think very hard about what is not a university. and that, my lords, might be rather easier than defining what is a university. the government spokesman said there were dangers in setting out a definition of a university that could be challenged in the courts. if a disgruntled business partner or rival institution brings a legal challenge and convinces a court that a university does not offer, for example, an extensive range of high—quality academic subjects, then is it no longer a university? surely not. but that is what accepting this legislation, and we're not aware of this in itself, that has led to particular problems in the system. at the end of the debate, peers voted narrowly in favour of the proposalfor the bill to contain a definition
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of a university. to the communities committee now, where dame louise casey has said immigrants have to make more effort to fit in. the author of last month's casey review on integration told mps that britain needed to be less shy about telling immigrants what was expected from them. a labour mp asked her how she defined integration. do you consider it to be a two—way process or do you feel that some groups need to make more effort than others? i didn't realise i was heading into these controversial territories so early but, in terms of the two—way street, no, i don't think it's a two—way street. i think that's a sound bite that people like to say, which is integration is a two—way street. i would say, if we stick with the road analogy, that i think integration is more like you've got a bloody big motorway and you have a slip road of people coming in from the outside, and what you need to do is people in the middle, in the motorway, need to accommodate and be gentle and kind to people coming in from the outside lane, but we are all in the same direction and we are all heading
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in the same direction. i think it gets into this place where we have this idea that it's a two—way street. to some degree, it's a two—way street but, to some degree, it is not. there is more give on one side and more take on the other, and i think that's where we have successively made a mistake, which is we've not been honest about that. and i think that's partly what i'm trying the terms of leadership, which is i understand what people are saying when they say integration's a two—way street, of course it is, but only to some degree. so the majority doesn't have to change? the majority doesn't have to adjust very much? what you'll note i said is that i think the people in the middle, the people in the motorway, of course they have to adjust a little bit, but the general thing moves in the same direction. she was also asked about the so—called trojan horse scandal. the allegation — that a group of extremist muslims was taking control of some
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schools in birmingham. i'm just wondering, in terms of the trojan horse scandal, whether or not he think that's a tip of the iceberg or a one—off? in terms of... we are very honest in their review about this, which is in terms of some of the things that we are seeing during what's called the trojan horse, we didn't have to find it very difficult to find things like segregation of girls, some of the sort of what i would describe as anti—equal opportunities or antiliberal values. i again think that, that there's too much... because there are court cases and various things going on, i don't want to go into too much detail over the actual trojan horse. but is it happening elsewhere? but, yes, it's happening elsewhere. one idea in the casey review was for immigrants to swear an integration oath. dame louise said symbolic acts could have a powerful impact. the rights and wrongs of immigration are for other people to judge but what is clear is that we ought to be more on integration, we should have been and we need to be and again, one of those moments...
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in fact, i hope the chairman won't mind, but we were jointly in a meeting in your constituency were actually i felt, in one of those meetings, we were kind of explaining the rules of the game to some of the people that were at that meeting from eastern europe, who had never really been engaged with that way before. it's the local mp, so they got a different... they had me. but i thought it was interesting that the said that nobody has talked to them about... —— they said. they arrived, they didn't get jobs when they thought they were getting jobs, they hadn't been treated that well, as it happens, and on we go from there. but also, nobody had talked to them about our way of life here, about when to put rubbish out. let's take it as a real detail that would be a real issue for a local authority. you put rubbish out on the wrong day, it costs a lot of money. so there are basics that we hadn't even run through. nobody had told them to queue, nobody had told them to be nice,
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all those sorts of things. we hadn't been on it and i think, as part of the package, that would be no bad thing. we had a sort ofjoke in the review that we thought it was quite british to be too polite to tell people what we expected them to do but to then get cross when they didn't do it! yeah, exactly. before we go, time to catch up with the latest news on brexit. in a tv interview on sunday, the prime minister, theresa may, said the uk would not keep bits of membership. some brexit watchers took that to mean that the uk would not try and stay in the single market. in the lords, there were some suggestions on how to approach the negotiations. we all try to understand why the government wishes to keep a close hand on its negotiating objectives with europe. we must remain very hush—hush about this in casejohnny foreigner understands what we are up to. but would the noble lord, the minister, like to hazard a guess on the negotiating objectives of the 27 countries, the european commission and the european parliament? surely, that's not a matter on which we cannot comment. it's very tempting, my lords!
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not on my first time back, i think. all i would say, in seriousness, the noble lord makes a very good point. and what i would say on reflection of his question, which is a very fair one, is i would like to think that our european partners would see that a smooth, orderly and timely brexit is as much in their interests as it is in ours. could the noble lord, the minister, clarify whether the government actually thinks it's important that we are within the single market, not just trading with the single market? could he also explained to us precisely by the well—being of the country is being held hostage to squabbles within the conservative party and cabinet? i totally dispute the second part of the noble baroness' question, i'm sorry to say!
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i really can't agree with that at all. and as regards the single market, my right honourable friend, the prime minister, set out our thinking on this yesterday and, as she said, what we are looking for here is the best possible deal for trading with and operating within the single european market, and we want that prosperity for all businesses. thank you, my lords. since the eu does so much better out of our membership of the eu than we do in pretty well every sphere of our national life, trade and job security, mutual residence, agriculture, fish, the single market and, not to mention, the £10 billion in cash we give them every year, why don't we just tell them that we are taking back our law and our borders and that we will be reasonably generous about the rest of it if they behave themselves and agree? my lords, wouldn't that be a nice clean brexit and it needn't take very long at all? the noble lord has a very unique way of putting things, which i note but i don't necessarily think the government would adopt quite that phraseology.
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it is clear, the government has set out at numerous occasions over the last few months, our intention to take control over our borders, our money and our laws whilst achieving the best possible access for businesses in the single market. so i think that that is the position, my lords. the first and rather light—hearted discussion about brexit of 2017. well, that's it from monday in parliament. alicia mccarthy will be here for the rest of the week but, from me, kristiina cooper, goodbye. good morning. there's certainly some chilly and wintry weather on the way but today, it will get that bit milder as we go through the day. lots of clouds spilling in from the west after what will be a cooler start than recent mornings.
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even a touch of frost and ice around in southern and eastern parts of england with clearer skies at the end of the night. start the day with sunshine, a much brighter day than we have seen for the past few. in the west, already patchy rain and drizzle and a bit of a breeze across devon and cornwell and west wales. a bit of rain pushing into northern england, mainly to the west of the pennines, going through the night. the further north we go, a blustery start and strong winds through the night in northern scotland. already here, the cloud is spilling in. western scotland and northern ireland, occasional rain. cloudy conditions with occasional rain and drizzle in the west, pushing its way eastward. winds strengthening throughout across the northern half of the county, gales in particular to the north—east. temperatures steadily on the rise. by the end of the day, into double figures in the west but a bit cooler further east. it sets us into a mild enough start through the night with a bit of cloud but strong winds and severe gales spreading across the north of scotland through the night. the wind is picking up elsewhere as we go into wednesday morning.
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a weakening weather front works its way southwards. temperatures into double figures overnight in the far south. notice we are starting to open the door to arctic air. into wednesday, not only will it get colder but we will have strong winds to contend with. bear that in mind if you are on the move on wednesday. wind gusting 50—60 mph through parts of wales and northwards. frequent showers in the north and west turning into sleet and snow as the colder air digs in. slowly getting colder across the south but temperatures still holding up by the afternoon, 7—9. plenty of cloud and one or two rain showers. the big change comes into thursday. open the door to arctic air. this little feature, pushing in to the south as we go through the day. how far north that goes, it will be crucial as to whether we see any snow into thursday across southern counties. at the moment, it will stay in the english channel, mainly rain, but maybe a bit of snow.
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frequent snow showers across northern and western parts of the country, giving coverage to some places. eastern areas, dry and brighter. one or two flurries. for all, the wind will be noticeable, makeing it feel subzero, a real arctic blast with a bitter wind chill. the cold winds continue into friday. again, we will see snow flurries work their way southwards. at this stage, we have to be careful of severe gales down the north sea. here we can see some rough seas around the coast as well. bye for now. a very warm welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to our viewers in north america and around the globe. my name's gavin grey. our top stories: keeping it in the family — jared kushner is to be appointed as a senior adviser when the incoming president enters the white house. and as he prepares to leave the white house, we look at 0bama's legacy as america's first african american president. europe's deep freeze — after temperatures plummet and icy conditions bring misery to millions. and building brazil's mega—dams — we visit the amazon rainforest to assess the impact
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from one of the world's biggest civil engineering projects.


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