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tv   Tuesday in Parliament  BBC News  June 28, 2017 2:30am-3:01am BST

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are among thousands of companies and organisations who've been hit by a major cyber—attack. users are told that their computers have been frozen until a $300 ransom is paid in untraceable bitcoins to an anonymous account. president trump's attempt to overturn his predecessor's healthcare reforms has been set back, with senators delaying a key vote. five republican senators have said they'll oppose the bill. president trump held a meeting with several senators at the white house but hasn't yet persuaded the critics. the left—wing rebel group in colombia known as the farc has formally ended its existence as an armed group, after a revolutionary campaign lasting half a century. the group's leader told a ceremony that its disarmament was complete and farc would now transform itself into a peaceful political movement. now on bbc news, it's time for tuesday in parliament. hello and welcome to tuesday
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in parliament, our round—up of the highlights of the day. on this programme. renewed anger over the involvement of private providers in the nhs, as the commons reacts to the loss of 700,000 items of medical correspondence. are these not an example of when the ideological agenda of the party opposite to contract out our nhs services has failed and as a result of that the patients are suffering? what happened at sbs was totally unacceptable. it was incompetent. the first minister of scotland announces a re—setting of the timetable for a second referendum on scottish independence. we will not seek to introduce the legislation for an independence referendum immediately. and more new mps make their maiden speeches in the commons. today sadly we have a
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society in which the middle—class are told to blame the working class. the working class are told to blame the benefit claimants. and the benefit claimants are told to blame the asylum seekers and refugees. the rapid changes of 21st century britain can make people afraid but rather than calling for a day of rage, i hope to call for days of courage. but first, to lose one medical letter in the post is understandable. but, more than 700,000? that sounds like serious carelessness. the facts are that some 709,000 items of nhs correspondence, written by doctors and other medical staff, were, rather than delivered on time, instead placed in a warehouse, by a company called nhs shared business services, or ‘sbs‘. the national audit office believes more than 1700 people may be affected. correspondence which did not
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reach its intended destination includes blood tests, cancer screening and child protection notes. the health secretary explained what happened. the backlog arose from the primary care services gp mail redirection service that sbs was contracted to run. none of the documents were lost and all were kept in secure storage. but my immediate concern was patient safety had been compromised by the delay in forwarding correspondence. so a rapid process was started to identify whether anyone had been put at risk. to date no harm has been confirmed to any patients as a result of this incident. today's national audit office report confirms that patient safety was the department and nhs england's primary concern. the minister said transparency was his priority. i was advised by my officials not to make the issue public last march until an assessment of the risks to patient safety had been completed and all relevant gp surgeries informed. is it not an absolute scandal
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that 709,000 letters including blood test results, cancer screening appointments, child protection notes, were failed to be delivered, left in an unknown warehouse, and many destroyed? and does not the nao reveal today a shambolic catalogue of failure which took place on the secretary of state's watch? as of four weeks ago 1700 cases of potential harm to patients have been identified, with the number set to rise. a third of gps have yet to respond on whether unprocessed items sent to them indicate potential harm for patients. now, mr speaker, he is a board member of shared business services and many honourable members have warned him about problems and delays with the transfers of records with shared business services. not least my honourable friend the member for exeter. given that these warnings were on the record, why did he not insist on stronger oversight of this contract? and the cost of this debacle could be at least 6.6 million for administration fees alone, that is the equivalent to the average annual salary of 230 nurses. does he agree with the nao that there was a conflict of interest between his role as secretary of state and his role as a board member? well, let me respond
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to those points. first of all what happened at sbs was totally u na cce pta ble. it was incompetent and they should never have allowed that backlog to develop. there was a very specific reason why, if we had informed the public and the house immediately, gp surgeries would have been overwhelmed, 709,000 pieces of patient data we're talking about. and they would not have been able to get on as quickly as we needed them to do with identifying risk. and that was the priority. whilst i completely recognise that with the government arrangements there is potential conflict of interest, i do not accept there was actual conflict of interest, because patient safety concerns always overrode any interest
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that we had as a shareholder in sbs. this is not an isolated case. we have got a pattern occurring where the government is failing in its governance over patient records. will the secretary of state now review that governance and bring that back in—house? it is so urgent that we oversee safety of patients first. being a doctor myself understand the importance of ensuring that results and letters are reviewed in a timely manner. in any system relying on bits of paper being sent around, there will always be the opportunity for error. which is why in hospitals such as peterborough where i have worked, they provide results electronically, which is quicker as well as in back—up paper form which provides for patient safety. we have seen a pattern across government not just in the department of health but work and pensions, for example. where contracts are awarded to companies, home office too, and they fail miserably.
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they have the contracts taken away from them but then they get awarded another government contract. so clearly there is a lesson to be learned across government that some companies simply are not fit for purpose when it comes to delivering public services. in my own constituency, a tenderfor cancer care was ended prematurely, costing millions of pounds to the taxpayer. but are these not examples of where the ideological agenda of the party opposite to contract out our nhs services is failing and as a result of that, patients are suffering? quite the opposite. because what those examples show is that when the private sector lets us down, we take the contracts off the private sector. jeremy hunt. nicola sturgeon has abandoned her demands for a new scottish independence referendum before the brexit deal is signed. the first minister of scotland had called for an independence vote in either autumn next year or the spring of 2019. but in the general election, the snp lost a third of its seats at westminster. nicola sturgeon outlined her revised
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thinking at the scottish parliament at holyrood. we face a brexit that we did not vote for, and in a form more extreme than most would have imagined just one year ago. and now the terms of that brexit are being negotiated by a uk government with no clear mandate, precious little authority and no real idea even within its own ranks of what it is seeking to achieve. before, during and since the election campaign, i have had hundreds of conversations with people in every part of scotland about the issues of brexit and a second independence referendum. i want to reassure people that our proposal is not for a referendum now or before there is sufficient clarity about the options. but rather to give them a choice at the end of the brexit process when that clarity has emerged.
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i'm therefore confirming today that having listened and reflected, the scottish government will reset the plan i set out on march the 13th. we will not seek to introduce the legislation for an independence referendum immediately. instead we will in good faith redouble our efforts and put our shoulders to the wheel in seeking to influence the brexit talks in a way that protects scotland's interests. but the issue that we have had this last year has been with a first minister who has tried to use the uk's decision to leave the european union to try and impose another referendum on independence in scotland at the earliest opportunity. no once in a generation, no edinburgh agreement of respecting the result, just a single vision drive to the line by nicola sturgeon to try and secure her place in history. and as her own msps have accepted, that decision cost her 21 seats and the support of half a million scottish voters in the general election. but the truth is the threat
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of an unwanted second independence referendum is dead. and this didn't happen because nicola sturgeon wanted it to, the people of scotland have taken that decision for her. but the first minister is digging her heels in, putting herfingers in her ears and pressing on regardless. she is just not listening. if she wants to prove she has listened, the first minister should trigger a vote in this chamber which would rule out another independence referendum in this parliamentary term. willie rennie. well back at westminster, the snp attempted to instigate a debate on the controversial deal struck between the conservatives and the northern irish democratic unionist party. the deal came earlier this week after days of on—off talks, some of it in downing street, involving the dup leader arlene foster and theresa may. in return for the dup supporting
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the conservatives in commons votes, one billion pounds will be made available for infrastructure in northern ireland in areas such as health, education and broadband. the snp said the agreement needed some urgent discussion in the commons. yesterday morning the government confirmed a confidence and supply agreement with the democratic unionist party to secure a working majority in this parliament. the central part of this deal involved a funding arrangement that would see northern ireland benefit with over £1 billion of extra investment but the other nations of the united kingdom would secure next to nothing. the full details of this deal must be fully debated and all the issues properly scrutinised as quickly as possible, certainly ahead of thursday's votes on the humble address. hear, hear. i have listened carefully, it was my decision to allocate to the honourable gentleman three minutes in which to make his case, to the application
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from the honourable member. however, i'm not persuaded that this matter is proper to be discussed under standing order number 24. i do realise that that will disappoint the honourable gentleman. but he is a persistent terrier and i feel sure that he and other members from his benches will raise this matter in all sorts of ways in days to come and they will not be deterred in any way by the thought that they might be repeating themselves. john bercow ruling out a special emergency debate on the conservatives' deal with the dup. the business secretary has said he will ensure that the voice of business is heard as the brexit talks proceed. greg clark was speaking in the first question time of the new parliament. business chiefs have said recently the economy must take centre stage in the brexit negotiations. and in a recent letter
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to the business secretary, five top business groups urged ministers to keep the uk in the european single market. i've held discussions with businesses, workers, and local leaders across the uk and investors all round the world. these will continue over the coming months, including my weekly meetings with the directors general of the five main business organisations. and the government is creating a new eu exit business advisory group to ensure that business is not only heard, but is influential throughout the negotiations. many businesses are concerned about additional checks on imports and exports in trade, if we leave the customs union. can the secretary of state give any reassurance at all to businesses that there will not be additional checks if and when we leave the customs union? well, what i would say to the right honourable lady is that i have always been clear and the government has been clear that we want to have not only no tariffs, but no bureaucratic impediments of the type that she describes. and that is one of the objectives that the business
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organisations have set out. she knows that the negotiations have just started, but we are very clear that that is our objective. jacob rees—mogg. thank you, mr speaker. will my right honourable friend be asking businesses to list the most egregious and restrictive eu directives that may be removed once we leave, to make british business more competitive and efficient? well, we do have, and i'm sure my honourable friend will be an assiduous contributor to the scrutiny of the repeal bill, the approach is to transfer into uk law that which was part of eu law, precisely so that this house can scrutinise and consider what we should continue with. you're watching our round—up of the day in the commons and the lords. still to come: that railway dilemma — it is sensible for the trains and the tracks to be run by different companies? it's been the fourth day of debate on the queen's speech in the commons, where there were rowdy exchanges on education. the education secretary claimed labour's manifesto pledge to scrap
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student tuition fees in england was no better than "snake—oil populism". but her opposite number claimed the royal address had so little to say on education it was not so much a programme, "more a post—it note". deriding labour's plans, justine greening said one only had to look at their record in wales to see how disastrous they would prove in government. according to the 0ecd, it's the lowest—performing country in the uk. it's the one that's run and overseen by the labour party. in fact, it's significantly below england now in maths, reading and science, and that is labour's legacy for welsh children, that they would import to english children if they ever get the chance. i will give way. the welsh government are quite open about the fact we need to get better scores in terms of the results. but what i will not have
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from the secretary of state is the way, yet again, that tory government are trying to demonise wales. they did it before on health, the line between life and death, it is a disgrace. will she not apologise to the people of wales? they will never be credible to parents in england, until labour sets out why it feels it is failing children in wales and failing children on opportunity. i will give way, then i will make more progress. the honourable lady quite rightly talks about credibility in the eyes of parents for the government strategy. can i ask her then, what credibility does she think her government has with parents when schools are sending home letters requesting donations so that they can afford to buy books and computer equipment so their children can have an education? i think what parents are most interested in is the fact that, when we have independent inspections going on in schools from 0fsted, they're now saying that nearly nine out of ten schools in this country are now good or outstanding.
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and i think the intervention by the honourable gentleman shows very clearly the difference between these two sides of the house. on one side, a genuine intent to see standards raised. 0n the other side of the house, it's all about politics. it's not about outcomes for children, on the ground. and we just heard from that when we were intervened on by a welsh labour mp had nothing to say about the standards in wales. labour are not being honest and upfront with young people in our country about the implications of their proposals on higher education funding. it is simply snake—oil populism. in the last labour government, we expanded higher education and had a cap on fees. she talks about one million young
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people being unemployed. in the first parliament under the tory government, unemployment was at 1 million — youth unemployment — and the work programme was a disaster, wasting billions of pounds. can i ask her to reverse the 3 billion education cuts that her government is proposing that will devastate aspiration in our schools around the country? it's time to act, secretary of state, not attack the opposition. when you are in power, deal with the cap on aspiration now. there were few interventions on the government side. one or two backbenchers wanted to flag up their continuing concern about the proposed changes to the funding formula for schools. the current funding formula is unfairand depends on a lottery code. does she agree that every pupil in this country and every school deserves a fair minimum funding? well, as he knows, we are absolutely committed to making sure we do have fair funding across our schools. we had an extensive consultation
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that had 25,000 responses to it, which we have now gone through, and we are pulling together what it means for the right way forward. the secretary of state concentrated more on the labour party than her own government and the queen's speech. there are over 2500 words about education in the manifesto on which the prime minister stood just a few weeks ago, but barely 50 in the speech we heard last week. maybe that's why, mr speaker, she concentrated so much in the labour party manifesto. it's not so much a programme, but a post—it note. angela rayner said she would give justine greening a copy of labour's manifesto to show how it should be done, and even get it signed by the next prime minister. the debate over education. now, it was more than 20 years ago that british rail was broken up and the country's rail system was privatised. after lengthy discussion
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at the time, the decision was made to separate the management of the track from the operating companies that run the trains. it was thought it made economic sense if the train companies didn't have the responsibilities for track renewal and maintenance. the arguments have raged ever since. and the issue resurfaced when discussion at lords questions turned, once again, to the long—running dispute affecting southern rail services. two rail unions, the rmt and aslef, have been in dispute with southern's parent company, govia thameslink, for more than a year over the role of guards on trains. would he like to consider whether it is really sensible to have the ownership and management of the track and the trains in separate hands? it didn't work that way in the great days of the lner and the gwr and southern rail before the second world war. they'd better put them back together
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again and then we might have some sensible management. could the ministerjust remind us, in the course of this, when and by whom the decision was taken to separate the track from the trains and privatise them both separately? it was taken, as my noble friend reminds me, by the john major government. but i see no evidence that the labour party policy of renationalising the railways, handing even more power to their friends in aslef and the rmt, will bring any improvement for passengers whatsoever. it will enable them to hold the whole of the country to ransom rather than just the poor miserable passengers on southern rail. my lords, how optimistic is my noble friend the minister that passengers, even miserable ones such as myself on the southern rail franchise, can expect a decent service over the summer months, when there is industrial action planned for later this week,
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i understand, and also for the 10th ofjuly by both the rmt and aslef? i'm afraid the noble lord is correct in that the unions have announced further industrial action starting from thursday. so i can't give him any consolation because we can spend as much as we like on on upgrading the infrastructure, on providing new trains, on taking action over management failings, but if drivers and conductors failed to turn up for work, there's very little we do about it. the lords discussing trains. now, thejune 8th election was a significant landmark. not only did it ruin theresa may's hopes of greatly increasing her commons majority, it also ended the westminster careers — for the moment, anyway — of several individual politicians and it sent a clutch of brand—new mps to westminster. the grand total of new mps is 87. some have been making their maiden speeches in the commons. here are a few of them. the people of southport are egalitarian and charitable. but too often they have
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been taken advantage of, and the town has suffered as a result. i can assure my constituents that southport will no longer be a soft touch, and i will solicit investment into the town every day that i have the privilege of representing it. for too long, it is the most vulnerable who have felt the sharp end of this government's austerity programme. today, sadly, we live in a society where the middle class are told to blame the working class, the working class are told to blame the benefit claimants, and the benefit claimants are told to blame the asylum seekers and refugees. after that and eventually, there is nowhere left to blame. we can choose in this place, to be self—obsessed, to be a perpetrator of fear and greed, a monument to injustice, or, mr speaker, it can be a place that elevates equality, facilitates the power of the people, esteems and properly funds a rich network of public services so that nobody is left in the
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indignity of poverty, thank you. the rapid changes of the 21st—century britain can make people afraid. but rather than calling for a day of rage, i hope to call for days of courage. courage to face the test of globalisation and help recognise the opportunities that they provide. courage to face the challenges of identity and nationhood, whilst recognising the strength of our united kingdom. and finally, the courage to stand behind our political conviction, but then know when it is best to stretch our hand across the aisle to work for the betterment of our communities. every school in my constituency is facing cuts, with many secondaries facing half a million stolen from their budget by an 0rwellian description of a fairer funding formula. it promises some of our poorest schools in my constituency to lose out the most. not fair at all. the government may say there's record spending, but when our excellent local schools an high peak are about to lose
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over £4 million a year, our children are already in classes of 34 or more, it doesn't cut much ice to say that we could have lots of money for a free school if we want one. we have outstanding schools already. is there anything more important than the support and the love that we give to the youngest in our society? after all, one day, they may well be sat here, looking after us. and i beseech the government, in this time of great uncertainty, let's make sure we give them everything we possibly can to help them, and by extension all of us, succeed. let me close today by once again quoting sir winston churchill. "the state must increasingly and earnestly concern itself with the care of the sick, the aged and the young. the state must increasingly assume the position of the reserve employer of labour." for the sake of the people kirkaldy
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and cowdenbeath, and the communities across the country, i sincerely hope we will all seize this moment to stop repeating the mistakes of history and look to find new ways to regain a sense of society and opportunity for all. a sprinkling of maidens. and that's it for this programme. dojoin me for our next daily round—up. until then, from me keith macdougall, goodbye. good morning. the rain is the big story at the moment, really difficult travelling conditions as we head into the rush—hour in
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england and wales. already a lot of rain in the south—east and that rain heavy at times is pushing north. briefly rain in northern ireland but a dry day here but we'll miss the rain in scotland. some brightening in the south—east later triggering sharp showers but cold in the wind and rain in northern england. that rain continues northwards through the evening and overnight, turning wetter in scotland and in northern ireland. eventually the rain begins to peter out across mid and south wales, drier to the south—east, warm and humid but the rain is the big deal and that will affect different areas on thursday. the wind and rain for scotland, northern ireland eventually turning a bit drier for northern england. the rest of all england and wales will miss the rest of the showers, some brightness, some warmth and humidity, further north in the wind and rain it will feel quite cold for the hello. my name is tom donkin. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to our viewers in north america and
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around the globe. these are our top stories: holding the world to ransom: another widespread cyber attack hits banks, shops, transport and energy networks. another setback for president trump's attempt to change american healthcare. this time, the senate delays a crucial vote. after half a century as armed revolutionaries, the farc rebels in colombia finally put down their weapons. the chinese artist ai wei—wei brings his new exhibition to washington, and, with it, his support for american dissidents.
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