tv The Week in Parliament BBC News June 25, 2017 5:30am-6:01am BST
iraqi forces say the remaining is fighters will be defeated within days. the country's prime minister says the city will be liberated within a week. the united nations has issued a warning about yemen, calling the current cholera outbreak the worst in the world. the number of cases has now passed 200,000. the world health organization, says more than one quarter of those who have died are children — and the death toll is expected to rise. efforts are continuing to recover victims of a huge landslide in china's sichuan province. fifteen bodies have been been found so far. more than 100 people are missing, and at least sixty homes were covered by mud and debris after days of heavy rain triggered the collapse of a mountainside. now on bbc news it's the week in parliament. hello and welcome to the programme.
in the week the queen came to westminster for the state 0pening of parliament, and set out the government's plans for the next two years — starting with brexit. my government will seek to maintain a deep and special partnership with european allies, and to forge new trading relationships across the globe. theresa may sets out what action the government's taking following the grenfell tower fire. but reveals other high rise blocks could be at risk. mr speaker, shortly before i came to the chamber, i was informed that a number of these tests have come back as combustible. and all mps start their life in parliament by taking an oath of allegiance to the monarch, but is it time for a change? i think the queen is a wonderful woman and does great work, but i'm here to represent the people and that wasn't an option.
but first — it's been a dramatic couple of weeks since we were last here, with an election result that few predicted and theresa may returned to power — just — with her party now the largest in a hung parliament. cue recriminations among the conservatives and jubilation in labour's ranks, after a better than expected performance byjeremy corbyn. with a deal between theresa may and the democratic unionists still up in the air, and with the clock ticking on brexit, it was time for the state opening of parliament. this because no—one was expecting a general election at the start ofjune, there was no time to prepare for the traditional pomp and ceremony with coaches, horses and mass ranks of guardsmen. so, it was a very scaled back procession that set off from buckingham palace — with the queen travelling by car to westminster accompanied by the prince of wales. there was no duke of einburgh either — —— edinburgh either —
he was recovering from an infection. when the queen, without her ceremonial robes, and prince charles arrived, they processed through the lords gallery walking behind the imperial state crown and took their seats on the thrones in the house of lords. and then it was time to despatch black rod to the house of commons to summons mps to hear the speech. and with that mps left the commons, processing out of their chamber, through central lobby and on into the house of lords. normally, the prime minister and the leader of the opposition exchange pleasa ntries, but there was little chit chat between theresa may and jeremy corbyn. and when mps had arrived at the bar at the back of the lords, the queen read out the contents of the speech — the 64th time she'd performed the role. beginning with the government's plans for brexit. my government's priority is to secure the best possible deal as the country leaves the european union. establishing new national policies on immigration, international sanctions, nuclear safeguards, agriculture, and fisheries. there was no word on grammar
schools, but instead... my government will continue to work to ensure that every child has the opportunity to attend a good school, and that all schools are fairly funded. and as to the conservatives controversial manifesto policy on social care... my ministers will work to improve the social care and will bring forward proposals for consultation. there'd be a public inquiry into the grenfell tower block fire. there will be a full public enquiry into the tragic events at the grenfell tower, to ascertain the causes and ensure that the appropriate lessons are learned. to support victims, my government will take forward measures to introduce an independent public advocate, who will act for bereaved families after a public disaster. in the light of the terrorist attacks in manchester and london, my government's counterterrorism strategy will be reviewed, to ensure that the police and security services have
all the powers they need. and that the length of custodial sentences for terrorism related offences are sufficient to keep the population safe. so, a nine minute speech, stripped of many of the controversial ideas in the conservative manifesto. with the day's ceremony over, it was the turn of mps to discuss what had been proposed. after a minute's silence to remember those who had been killed and injured in the recent terror attacks and in the grenfell tower fire, it was over tojeremy corbyn to give labour's response to the speech. he began by reflecting on the grenfell disaster. the fire at grenfell tower in west london has killed at least 79 people. what makes it both a tragedy and an outrage is that every single one of those deaths could have been avoided. turning to the speech itself, he argued there was very little in it.
a threadbare legislative programme from a government that has lost its majority and apparently run out of ideas altogether. this would be a sin legislative programme, even if it was for one year, but for two years? two yea rs 7 there is not enough in it to fill a year. he turned to what was not in the speech, including means testing the winter fuel payment. and older people and their families might also be keen for some clarity around the government's policy on social care. whether it is still what was originally set out in the conservative manifesto or whether it is what was later amended to, or whether it is no something else entirely. and then, it was on to brexit. we need full access to the single market and the customs arrangements that provide britain as the brexit secretary has pledged, and i quote, with the exact same benefits as now,
neither must our victory targets for immigration be prioritised over the jobs and living standards of the people of this country. theresa may also began her speech by talking about the grenfell fire. 0ne lady i had met ran from the fire wearing no more than a t—shirt and a pair of knickers. she had lost absolutely everything. let me be absolutely clear, the support on the ground for families in the initial hours was not good enough. people were left without belongings, without roots over their heads, —— without a roof over their heads, without even basic information about what had happened, what they should do, and where they could seek help. that was a failure of the state, local and national, to help people when they needed it most. as prime minister, i apologise for that failure. she reflected on the election. our country is divided, red versus blue, young versus old, leave versus remain.
as i said here last week, the test for all of us is whether we choose to reflect divisions or help the country overcome them. with humility and resolve, this government will seek to do the latter. she concluded that recent weeks, and the terror attacks, had been an unsettling time. the queen's speech on its own will not solve every challenge our country faces. they speak over each other not every problem can be solved by an act of parliament. but it is... but it is a step forward. it is a step forward to building a more compassionate, a more united and more confident nation. that is what this government will aim to achieve, it is what this queen's speech will deliver and i commend the queen's speech to the house. cheering theresa may. after that, it was over to other
party leaders and backbenchers to have their say on the contents of the speech, with many focusing on brexit. the prime minister's gamble backfired, and she has desperately clung to power, at least for now, and stumbled into the brexit negotiations on monday morning. regardless with an almost all—male team, equipped with no credible plan, no mandate, and seemingly no functional government. well, i can see the prime minister floundering, but where is the stable government that the prime minister promised us? it's not here. we don't really know quite what the basis is upon which we are negotiating this brexit at the moment. i think it's going to have to be carried by what i think is an extremely sensible cross—party majority that this house could easily command if we were able to put in place some processes with which to achieve it. the prime minister has proceeded and continued to pursue, it's very clear from recent statements and from the gracious speech, that she seeks to pursue an extreme version of brexit,
having failed to gain any mandate to do so. there is no plan to keep britain in the single market, as the right honourable member for rushcliffe mentioned earlier, or indeed for the customs union. we will therefore seek to amend the queen's speech to add in membership of the single market and of the customs union. both the remain and leave campaigns agreed we did not stay in the single market and customs union for a variety of good reasons. 0ne, we want to do free trade agreements with other countries around the world. and you can't do it if you're in the single market and customs union. two, they made it very clear you'd have to pay budget contributions and accept freedom of movement, which we have no intention of doing. so, it's one of the few things the two campaigns agreed about. we all told the british public we would be leaving the single market and the customs union. we again will work with government in the course of the next period in this parliament to ensure that we do deliver prosperity, we do deliver greater spending on health, and education,
and that we do see an end to the tunnel, the dark tunnel, of austerity. this queen's speech does not herald any hope for my constituents. this government and the preceding government have knocked out those rungs of the ladder of opportunity for so many of my constituents. that reach for the first rung is now very high. a new mp used the first day of the debate to make her maiden speech. many of my constituents work in financial services. other key 21st—century sectors, like medical innovation, the tech centre and advanced manufacturing also prioritise access to the single market, and such access must be underpinned by the principles of mutual recognition, based on trust and cooperation. vicky ford, making her maiden speech. and i'm delighted to save vicky ford and chris williamson, who was an mp until 2015 and has just been re—elected, join me now. vicky ford, let me start with you.
you've already been keen, you're first out of the blocks, you've made your maiden speech. your background is as a member of the european parliament. do you think that gave you an advantage? well, i see, as a former member of the european parliament, that we've got a huge amount of work to do over the next two years. actually, the negotiations for brexit, we don't control the timescale, we've got 27 other countries we need to get agreement with and we've got to get on with that process, so i was quite keen to, um, get started myself. it's a bit like standing on top of a diving board and looking down and thinking, at some point i've got to make my first speech, so why not try and do it straightaway? chris williamson, a very different experience for you, because you were in parliament before, until 2015. what do you think that two years away from westminster taught you? what did you learn from being away and what did you learn from being defeated ?
it was a very bitter pill to swallow, i have to say. i'm a local lad and it was a great privilege to represent my home city. i suppose it taught me that, you know, you can never take anything for granted, even though you are a sort of local individual in that sense, and you always are subject to the vagaries of the democratic process. but i think having gone through that experience, it does make you stronger. they say what doesn't kill you does make you stronger. so hopefully i will be a better representative this time. all right. vicky, you have already mentioned brexit, obviously it was the big item in the queen's speech. it seems that the position on brexit is being played out very publicly in the conservative party. what do you think your former colleagues in europe make of what is going on? well, if you look back at the white paper which came out before the election, we were very clear about wanting to have a long—term strategic partnership... but do they look at britain at the moment and think, this is just chaos?
actually, no, because i had meetings with a lot of them before the election, and have continued to talk since. they want to find an orderly process. this has never been done before. but they know it is in the interests of their economy as well as our economy to find that partnership. it is incredibly important that we get together, we get focused, if the labour party is serious about wanting to keep the access to the market as well, then we need to work together. all right, chris williamson, let's bring you in here, then. what is labour's tactic going to be? are you going to disrupt or try to defeat the government at every single turn in the next two years? well, we have said that we want to make sure that the brexit process works for ordinary people. we don't want to see britain turn into a deregulated offshore tax haven. no good having a situation where we end up with a brexit which is going to enrich millionaires still further. we need to make sure we are collaborating to create decent jobs. the conservative party and the government want to make sure —— that's completely unreasonable.
the conservative party and the government want to make sure this process works for ordinary people, for everybody and that is why we need to get working together and stop this rhetoric that somehow you are saying we are not focused on making it work. why can't you sign up to that, just say, we've got to get this done, let's work together and get this done and notjust vote down everything that comes our way? if only life were that simple. i hope vicky's view prevails in the conservative party because they are clearly written on the issue of europe. but one just has to look at the conservative record where they have sought to deregulate the labour market, they have brought in the trade union act, we have seen rights of workers being diminished, living standards deteriorating for lots of ordinary people. it is really there for that we use the brexit process because it gives
us an the brexit process because it gives us an opportunity, in a post—eu period, the opportunities for governments to be more interventionist in a way which would be more tricky to do. but how does holding up the parliamentary process achieve that? surely just achieves nothing, everything stops. but the ball is very firmly in the government's court. we want to make sure this brexit process works for ordinary people and if the government signs up to that, there will not be a problem. stop scaremongering! the conservative party have published a plan for brexit, but does work for all the issues that you have mentioned, but does keep workers' rights, keeps consumers‘ rights, that will keep parts of our fire safety that are governed by european law. that has been published and set out by the conservative party and in the meantime, i have seen no detailfrom labour. just reply to that. it is unfair to say we are scaremongering. we have seen the tories' record, we know where they are coming from in terms of workers' rights, they have sought to support corporations and wealthy and powerful individuals at the expense of ordinary people.
that has been their record. people only have to look at the wrecker to see that. if they have had a damascene conversion, and delighted by that, —— people only have to look at the record to see that. if they have had a damascene conversion, and delighted by that, we are more than happy to cooperate to ensure the brexit process works for ordinary people in this country. let's see how it really does play out. thank you very much for coming into the programme. as we saw earlier, both theresa may and jeremy corbyn used the opportunity of the queen ‘s speech to reflect on the g re nfell tower queen ‘s speech to reflect on the grenfell tower fire. at least 79 people are believed to have died, with hundreds more made homeless, having lost everything in the blaze. attention has focused on the cladding on the outside of the recently refurbished building. on thursday, theresa may returned to the commons to update mps. the house should of course be careful on speculating what caused this fire. but as a precaution, the government has arranged to test cladding in all relevant tower blocks.
mr speaker, shortly before i came to the chamber, i was informed that a number of these tests have come back as combustible. the relevant local authorities and local fire services have been informed and as i speak, they are taking all possible steps to ensure buildings are safe and to inform affected residents. mrs may repeated that the government response to the disaster had not been adequate. now, though, help was available, from health care to replacement driving licences and emergency funds. it is absolutely essential, mr speaker, that people understand they can keep the money they receive. these grants are not loans and they will not be expected to repay a single penny. i would like to reassure people that we will not use this tragic incident as a reason to carry out immigration checks on those involved or on those providing vital information to identify victims or those assisting with the criminal investigation. at least 79 people are dead.
it is both a tragedy and an outrage, because every single one of those deaths could and should have been avoided. the grenfell tower residents themselves have raised concerns about the lack of fire safety in the block. the grenfell action group have warned, and i quote, it is a truly terrifying thought, but the grenfell action group firmly believes that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the kensington and chelsea tenant management organisation. the local mp said she spoke on behalf of a traumatised and frightened community with little trust in authority. she called for cuts in fire services to be reversed. these people have quite literally our lives in their hands. in short, where is the funding? when brand—new properties are empty for many years,
does the prime minister think it is right to discuss with her honourable friend the chancellor of the exchequer changing the taxation regime so that as in new york city, these people face punitive taxation? my wife, principally, and i, mentored, employed and encouraged a young woman called khadija saye, who lost her life with her mother on the 20th floor of grenfell tower. she has talked about the public enquiry. but she understands that most people see this as a crime, and they know that rich and powerful organisations get away with crime. the response to the string of recent terror attacks is to be examined by the former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, david anderson. the recent attacks in london and manchester have claimed more than 30 lives. there was outrage after an attack on an ariana grande concert in manchester at the end of may, which happened as thousands of youngsters were streaming out of the venue. the suicide bomber blew himself up by detonating a device in the foyer of the manchester arena.
the home secretary, amber rudd, told mps mr anderson would be reviewing the government's counterterrorism strategy, to make sure the police and the security services had the tools to keep people safe. we must do more to defeat ideologies of hatred, by turning people's minds away from violence and towards pluralistic british values. we must make sure that these ideologies are not able to flourish in the first place. it also means asking difficult questions about what has gone wrong. in light of the terrorist attacks in london and manchester, britain's counterterrorism strategy will be reviewed, to make sure that the police and the security services have what they need to keep us safe. in addition to this, there will be a review of the handling of recent terror attacks, to look at whether lessons can be learned about our approach. i'm pleased to announce that david anderson, former independent reviewer of counterterrorism legislation, will be overseeing it. i noted the actions the government has taken in the home secretary's statement, and largely on this side
of the house, we support them. but we would warn against an emphasis on more legislation, rather than looking at the issue of resources. we will look at all the legislative proposals that the government brings forward on their merits, but we believe that resources is at the heart of this, not just new legislation. will the home secretary confirm that there is absolutely nothing in the human rights act, or the european convention on human rights, that would prevent us taking a robust approach to terrorism, and therefore will she confirm that there are no plans to tear up human rights, and that we can tackle terrorism and uphold the standards of this society without ripping up human rights? a point ms rudd did not answer directly, saying simply that the government would provide the resources necessary to keep the country safe. now, back to the queen's speech, which was also being debated in the lords. the first speaker was a seasoned conservative and former cabinet minister.
it looks like a good election for labour. indeed, they are behaving as if they had won it, despite being 56 seats behind the tories. and the new rapturous enthusiasm on the benches opposite forjeremy corbyn is only matched by their relief that he is not running the country. laughter peers, too, turned to brexit. i suspect there are a number of issues on which a conservative—dup government might not find all the mps of their respective parties in total agreement. should the house of commons send this house legislation that has been amended from the government's original intentions, then ministers should not seek to use your lordships' house to thwart the mandate of a democratically elected house. what makes this such an exceptional time is that for perhaps only the second or third time in a couple of centuries, we find ourselves needing, as we come to brexit, to redefine our whole approach
to foreign policy, and what our place should be in the world. trade deals, customs unions, single markets, financial passports, all are without use unless they are seen as a means to serve individuals, communities and our society. finally, is it time to rewrite the traditional oaths and affirmations made by mps at the start of a new parliament? every member has to pledge their allegiance to the queen, but this year, some have proved keen to customise their contributions. as a republican by conviction, and under protest, i swear by almighty god that i will be faithful and bear true allegiance to her majesty queen elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law, so help me god. i, richard burgon, was elected by the people of leeds east to represent the interests of the people of leeds east, and therefore i make
the following affirmation in order to enable me to do that. i, laura pidcock, was elected by the people of north west durham to represent their interests. i therefore take this affirmation in order to do that. layla moran is the new lib dem mp for oxford west and abingdon. i was surprised that i didn't have the option of pledging loyalty to the people, given that i've spent the last eight years, you know, campaigning to try and be an mp, to help raise the concerns of the people, then when you get to the point when you are swearing allegiance, you have the choice of either god or the queen. now, i don't have an issue with either, in fact i'm a greek orthodox in my background, i think the queen is a wonderful woman and does great work, but i'm here to represent the people, and that wasn't an option. i do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm... as a new mp, it's quite hard to know which rules you can bend and which you can't. so, i think perhaps in future years, i will be able to ad lib a little more.
you're quite concerned about getting it right or wrong at this point, so ijust did as i was told. and nonetheless, i mean, while it is broadly ceremonial, what you're doing, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, it's what i do while i'm here that matters, not who i've pledged allegiance to at the beginning. the new mp for oxford west and abingdon, layla moran, bringing us to the end of this edition of the programme. dojoinjoanna shin on monday night at 11:00 for another full round—up of the day at westminster. but for now, from me, alicia mccarthy, goodbye. hello there, good morning. things are pretty much back to normal across the uk. we've got low pressure in charge of the weather.
we've got that curl of cloud to the north of the uk. that is that centre of the area of low pressure and the closer you are to it the stronger the winds are and the heavier the showers are. so there are some showers to be had in scotland overnight. quite blustery and by the end of the night we will see an area of rain moving into western england and wales. 13, 1a, 15 in southern parts of the uk, ten or 11 in the north. quite a lot of isobars in the charts for sunday as our area of low pressure drifts towards scandinavia. the winds coming down from the north or north—west around that area of low pressure. through the evening the rain tends to clear away, the brees moves down from the north and we will see clear spells and it will turn fresh, into single digits across scotland. rain is gathering out west. questions about the timing but there will be wetter weather in northern ireland but sunshine and walks in the south—east. hello, this is breakfast, with rachel burden and christian fraser. more failed fire—safety tests
on high rise buildings. every sample of cladding looked at so far has failed to meet safety standards. 3a towers in 17 areas of england have now been identified as a fire risk. following the grenfell tower tragedy as many as 600 blocks may need to be examined. the government says work is taking place around the clock. hundreds of residents in north london have spent a second night away from their homes after four buildings were evacuated, but some are still refusing to go. good morning, it's saturday 25th june.