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

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on monday the us supreme court partially upheld the ban, which also covers all refugees. it means travellers without close family or business relationships in the us could be barred from entry. forces opposed to the islamic state group have made significant advances against strongholds in both syria and iraq. in syria, kurdish and arab troops supported by the us have the city of raqqa completely surrounded. raqqa was captured by is militants over three years ago. the united states has urged china to respect freedom and civil liberties in hong kong, as president xi makes his highly symbolic visit marking 20 years of reunification. official celebrations are planned this weekend, as well as protests from pro—democracy activists. now on bbc news, it's time for thursday in parliament. hello and welcome to the programme.
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coming up: the government heads off the threat of a defeat on the queen's speech, by offering a concession on abortion rights for women in northern ireland. we will be funding her department with additionalfunding so that she can make a grant to the external organisations who will provide these services. the culture secretary says she's minded to refer fox's proposed takeover of sky to the competition watchdog. and is another parliamentary tradition about to disappear, as the speaker hints he's relaxing the dress code? the question of whether that member is wearing a tie is not absolutely front and centre stage. but first, the government has seen off a possible rebellion in the commons by announcing that it will fund abortions for women who travel from northern ireland to england. a cross party group of mps was threatening to back an amendment to the queen's speech put forward
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by the labour mp stella creasy. with a tiny majority in the commons the government bowed to the demand. a letter from the equalities minister, justine greening, was released as the debate on the queen's speech was underway. it stated that, while women from northern ireland were currently asked to pay for terminations, that would no longer happen. the news of the change came while the chancellor, philip hammond, was on his feet, making his speech in the debate. my understanding is that my right honourable friend the minister for women and equalities either has made, or isjust about to make, an announcement by way of a letter to members of this house, explaining that she intends to intervene to fund abortions in england for women arriving here from northern ireland, and i hope the house will find that a sensible way of dealing with this challenge. it is welcomed that the government is now saying that they will correct
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this injustice, however, he will know, as everyone knows, that the devil will be in the detail, so can i ask him whether he will make a commitment on behalf of this government to meet with myself and representatives of organisations like marie stopes and bpas and the london—irish abortion campaign to look at how we can turn this into a reality, so that those women in northern ireland today will finally have their voices heard and can use their services as soon as possible? hear, hear! well, look, i would say to the honourable lady, please, read the letter that my honourable friend has sent out. we will be funding her department with additionalfunding so that she can make a grant to the external organisations who will provide these services. i think she will be satisfied when she has read the letter and understood the details. if she is not, i am happy to meet with her. well, that seemed to satisfy those who'd been arguing for the change, and stella creasy later withdrew her amendment. the stated focus of the day's debate was the economy and jobs. the previous evening the government had defeated a labour amendment
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calling for an end to the public sector pay cap and an end to cuts to the police and fire services. but the shadow chancellor thought the government had nevertheless been forced to make changes to its programme for government. i would like to thank the millions of voters who rejected the conservatives because they have prevented the tories from implementing their full cuts that they promised. thank all those people who called a halt to the barrage of cuts that the tories were intending to introduce, but, regrettably, instead the government has been reduced to a grubby backroom deal in an attempt to cling on to office. but a conservative backbencher argued the government had much to be proud of. according to the office for national statistics just this week the uk has the fifth lowest level of persistent poverty of anywhere in europe, and compared to when the last labour government was in power,
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when over a million young people had nojobs or education, we now have some of the lowest youth unemployment anywhere in europe. are these not statistics that we should be proud of? hear, hear! can ijust say i find it astounding that we can have that level of complacency when we have this levels of poverty, homelessness, and, yes, people going without food — the choice between heating and eating every winter. is it something to be proud of that the uk is the only major developed country that is seeing economic growth but falling wages? yesterday we had the absolute chaos of double u—turns, s—bends, whatever they have been described as, coming out from number ten and the treasury over hints that the pay cap was to be scrapped, and it was a disgrace that last
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night the coalition of tories and dup voted down our motion to support public sector workers simply securing a fair pay rise. it would be particularly helpful, it would be particularly helpful, if the chancellor explained today how he covers the cost of the £1 billion grubby bribe to the dup to keep his party clinging in office? shocking! that... that is a 100 million... i will. that is £100 million a vote. will he accept that when it comes to grubby bribes his party has got a lot to tell us about grubby bribes in the form of letters to terrorists to get them off their murder charges etc? what is grubby about money being put into the infrastructure of northern ireland, to promotejobs, money going into the health service
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of northern ireland, money going into the education service, what is grubby about that? later a conservative backbencher made clear her displeasure at what had been agreed. i can barely put into words my anger at the deal my party has done with the dup. we didn't need to do it. i cannot fault the dup for wanting to achieve the very best for their residents in northern ireland, nor for their tough negotiating skills, but i must put on record my distaste for the use of public funds to garner political control. when he stood up, the chancellor turned his fire on labour, saying the party had given up any pretence of fiscal credibility. just two years ago, in the 2015 general election, labour at least pretended that its figures added up, that it would pay for its giveaways so that its plans would not bankrupt the country.
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not any more. the current lot are clear that not only would they hike taxes, but they would also embark on a massive expansion of borrowing, and subject the country to a catastrophic programme of ideologically—driven productivity—sapping investment—destroying nationalisation on a scale that this country has not seen since the 1970s. i give way to the honourable gentleman. i am grateful to the chancellor for giving way, if he is so proud of his economic record, why didn't they discuss it during the course of the election campaign? is it possibly because after seven years of this government the prime minister stood before the electorate resembling that great baddy of the chronicles of narnia, promising always winter and never christmas? yesterday his department in downing street were briefing the press about a public sector pay cap, to what extent was he aware and did he sanction his officials to carry out those briefings? and does he now support and end to public sector pay constraint? just to be clear, there is no change in the government's position.
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there is no change in the government's position, our pay policy has always been designed to strike the right balance of being fair to our public servants and fair to those who pay for them. in the ten minutes or so that my right honourable friend has been speaking, our national debt has increased by nearly £900,000. will the chancellor — will the chancellor continue to speak up for hard—pressed taxpayers and make the point that for all this talk of austerity, the debt is still rising and we have to look after the pennies otherwise we will be up queer street? there are three ways for government to increase spending on public services — higher taxes, higher borrowing or higher growth. higher taxes have a cost in terms of business investment, economic growth and take—home pay. that is why we, on this side, are instinctively in favour of keeping taxes as low as possible,
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so that businesses can continue to create high—quality jobs and so hard—working people can keep more of the money they earn. if you ask people in the street they will tell you that they are feeling the pain, they are feeling the pain of a decade of wage stagnation, they are feeling the effects of rising inflation, rising faster actually than the chancellor predicted in his spring budget. they are feeling the effects of rising inflation and they are looking at how they can make their household budgets meet. this is the reality for people here. the conservatives fail repeatedly to understand this. they stand there and talk about "just about managings", the long—term economic plan and how great the economy is, people are not feeling those things, that is not the real life lived experience of people in the nations of the uk. at the end of the debate there were a series of votes on amendments put down by opposition mps, but all were defeated, meaning the government's programme for the next two years passed through the commons, and specific bills, as set out
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in the speech, will now be put forward. the culture secretary has told mps she is minded to refer rupert murdoch's bid to take full control of sky television to the competition authorities, because of concerns about media plurality. mr murdoch already owns 39% of the satellite broadcaster. an earlier attempt to take over sky was abandoned in the wake of the phone hacking scandal. the culture secretary, karen bradley, told the commons that the merger would increase the murdoch family's ability to influence the uk's news agenda and political process. as a result there were clear grounds to refer the deal to the competition and markets authority. on the question of whether the merger gives rise to public interest concerns in relation to media plurality, ofcom's report is unambiguous. it concludes, "the transaction raises public interest concerns "as a result of the risk of increased influence by members "of the murdoch family trust
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over the uk news agenda and "the political process, with its unique presence on radio, "television, in print and online. "we consider that these concerns may justify reference by the secretary "of state to the competition and markets authority." on the basis of ofcom's assessment i confirm that i am minded to refer to a phase ii investigation on the grounds of media plurality. the reasoning and evidence on which ofcom's recommendations is based are persuasive. the proposed entity would have the third largest total reach of any news provider, lower only than the bbc and itn, and would uniquely span news coverage on television, radio, in newspapers and online. but ofcom said it had no concerns about fox's genuine commitment to broadcasting standards, so ms bradley said she wouldn't be referring that second area for further investigation. labour said nothing about the decision was a surprise. it is the old playbook.
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the secretary of state has known all along what she wants to end up doing, but she has to establish, she has to follow the established dance steps, so let me make a prediction now. the parties have proposed some pretty minor undertakings in lieu. they always knew they weren't going to be enough to satisfy ofcom, so the secretary of state will demand extra conditions. as a result of which she will get written up as a tough operator. the parties will offer something new, which they always had in their back pocket, the secretary of state will accept them, as she always planned, and this merger will go ahead. well, let me tell the secretary of state the problem with murdoch's undertakings in lieu. notjust these undertakings in lieu, but any undertakings in lieu which have ever been offered by the murdochs, they're not worth the newsprint they're written on. the only thing on which the opposition spokesman was correct
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was in saying that when it comes to plurality, it is becoming increasingly obvious, and the general election bears this out, that the printed press are of waning influence and the real media giants today are the companies like google and the social media giants. can i urge the secretary of state not to do a grubby deal with the murdochs, because we know their history, as my right honourable friend from the front bench said, they break every undertaking they make, from the times to the wall street journal. on the doorstep media bias came up a lot but i am afraid it was media bias by the bbc and they suggested to me that they should be called the brussels broadcasting corporation. in terms of broadcasting standards, does she recall the anger over the fox news broadcast that claimed that birmingham is a city where non—muslims simplyjust can't go, if she approves this merger, what assurance can she give us that she can prevent that kind
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of offensive nonsense from being allowed on a sky news programme in this country? any broadcaster in the united kingdom has to comply with broadcasting codes and our standards and those codes are very different from those that exist in other countries. karen bradley. you're watching thursday in parliament with me, alicia mccarthy. should the government be doing more to improve cyber security? at culture questions, labour argued ministers weren't doing enough to protect infrastructure and businesses online. and the party's spokeswoman said even the government's own scheme to help firms do more had been hacked. given the increasing intensity of cyber attacks and threats to our national infrastructure, it was quite frankly shocking to see no mention of cyber security in the queen's speech. so can the minister confirm that the government's cyber security strategy relies on a scheme
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which claims to be a badge of assurance for thousands of businesses and institutions, but is in fact based on outdated technology, redundant hacking approaches, and astonishingly, was itself hacked last week? no, i don't recognise what she says, and cyber security is incredibly important. that is why we brought in and put together the national cyber security centre, which has been leading on all of these issues. the laws we have are the laws that we need largely on cyber, and that is why there was not a need for a mention in the queen's speech. what we do in government is not only the legislative programme, it is also getting on and protecting people in terms of cyber security. matthew hancock. former police chiefs have challenged plans to recruit senior police officers in england from outside the service. for the last few years, forces have been able to recruit individuals without policing experience to the middling ranks of inspector and superintendent.
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the conservatives promised in their election manifesto to look at extending the direct entry scheme to higher up the chain of command. what is it about the police service that is so unique that itjustifies a consultation on whether and how to appoint people to leadership positions in the police, who have no professional experience in the police, when all other professions regard it as axiomatic that prior professional experience is a pre—requisite for senior leadership? my lords, we did consult police leaders on direct entry at chief constable level rank ahead of the election, and the proposal featured in the conservative manifesto, which is the direct entry in the broader chief officer ranks. i found the meeting that i had with the noble lord and the other noble lords extremely useful indeed, and one thing that we all concluded and all agreed on, was that leadership, what we saw as so important, was leadership
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with the skills and training that was required for senior police officers. i don't believe that the noble baroness, the minister, answered the noble lord, lord blair's question, so perhaps i can rephrase it. can the noble baroness the minister please explain, if the government is not considering appointing admirals of the fleet, who have never commanded a warship mad if the government is not considering appointing field marshals who have never led troops into battle, why is the government considering appointing chief constables who have no experience of policing? well, my lords, the direct entry scheme would not apply to chief co nsta bles. it would not apply to chief commissioners of the metropolitan police. the senior officer roles that i have talked about do not include them
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under current legislation, and i hope that that helps to answer the noble lord's question. staying in the lords, peers also turned their attention, for a final time, to the queen's speech. ministers were accused of offering only a fig leaf on education in england, in the face of a funding squeeze that is seeing schools shed teachers. the brief mention of the subject in the queen's speech revealed neither imagination nor competence by the government, according to liberal democrat peer and former headteacher, lord storey. the former leader of the lords told peers that she didn't go to university. in spite of an accentuated consultation period, the fairer funding about which the government has made such great claims has turned out to be unfairfunding. with schools having to reduce teaching staff, reduce nonteaching staff, cut subjects from secondary curriculum, and ask parents to pay for the free state education which we used to be proud of. the average primary school will lose £74,000 in real terms over the next
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four years, equivalent to two teachers, and the average secondary school will lose £291,000 in real terms, and that is equivalent to six teachers. on the upside, i was pleased to see the absence of grammar schools from the queen's speech, and i hope very much that means we will not see a new wave of secondary moderns sweeping england. i was glad also that there was no sign of the tory manifesto plan to snatch school lunches away from infants. i am glad the government thought better of that one as well. but, my lords, that is where the good news ends. put simply, there is no vision for education in the queen's speech, no commitment to ensure schools are properly funded, no strategy to deal with the crisis in teacher recruitment and retention, no plan to help the 500,000 children being taught in classes of over 30. there are aspirations — the government wants "to make sure all children get a world—class "education, and for every child to go "to a good or
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outstanding school." excellent, but how will that be achieved when we have unprecedented funding crises in our schools? the former leader of the lords told peers that she hadn't been to university. i think we are in danger of thinking of people who are not educated to degree standard as sometimes all being failures, and that is just not true. many of these people who are not educated to degree level will have set off and run their own business, and there will be skilled tradesmen, tradeswomen. they might do importantjobs, managing other people, and they have things to contribute to society. and they do. and i think a better way of thinking about them is being cut off and left out sometimes. they are not left behind, they are right here, right now. but what is happening is the educated side of the divide have decided that everything is so constituted that only the educated people can actually come up with the answers.
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lady stowell. now to a parliamentary tradition, the drawing of the private members‘ bill ballot. labour mp chris bryant was the first name to be picked. the draw was presided over by deputy speaker, lindsay hoyle. members who are picked at random have the chance to bring in a bill of their own. labour's steve reed was second, while new labour mp afzal khan came third. 461 mps took part in the ballot, with 20 names being chosen. only the first few bills stand any realistic chance of making their way through parliament. on what was the last day of debate on the queen's speech, several mps had the chance to make their maiden speeches. first off the mark was the new labour mp whose constituency of gower was previously held by the conservatives. it turned out that she has connections to the speaker. it is indeed outstanding to take this seat back for labour
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after being the most marginal seat in the last election, and to be the first woman to do so. it is a constituency wrought by the devastating impact of post—industrialisation, and remains with stubbornly high unemployment. it is a constituency that has borne the brunt of the policies put forward by the party opposite, and it is a constituency that on the 8th ofjune, said, "enough is enough". i grew up in huyton in knowsley, and went to the local comprehensive school. i left school at 16, and started work as an apprentice in a carfactory in kirby. general motors invested in me, sponsored my degree, and gave me the life chance that enabled me to have a successful, international business career in the tech sector for the next 27 years. there is today a false narrative about multinational companies
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and the contribution they make to our society. ‘it turned out that she has connections to the speaker.‘ in the name of transparency, i inform the house that the honourable lady, the member for chichester, is the godmother of two of my children. secondly, as has been declared in all the appropriate places, i nevertheless take this opportunity to declare to the house that the honourable lady's husband, michael, my very good friend of 32 years, generously contributed to each of my last three election campaign funds in the buckingham constituency. and finally, the long—standing tradition that male mps should wear a tie in the commons chamber appears to have been abandoned. concern has been raised in parliament that on wednesday one mp — tom brake — appeared
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in the chamber and asked a question without one. i noticed yesterday, sir, that a member was allowed to ask a question in the chamber without wearing a tie. now, i have no particular view on that, but have the rules on that changed, sir? i must say to the honourable gentleman that i think the general expectation is that members should dress in businesslike attire. so far as the chair is concerned, i must say to the honourable gentleman, and i fearthis will gravely disquiet him, it seems to me that as long as a member arrives in the house in what might be thought to be businesslike attire, the question of whether that member is wearing a tie is not absolutely front and centre stage. so, am i minded not to calla member simply because that member is not wearing a tie? no.
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the always dapperjohn bercow. and that's it from me for now, but dojoin me on friday night at 11.00, when, among other things, we'll be taking a look back at the first prime minister's questions of the new parliament, and getting some top tips on the skills you need to be deputy speaker. but for now, from me, alicia mccarthy, goodbye. hi there. june has been a pretty wacky weather month, with a number of records set. you'll remember last week it was hot and humid, temperatures up to 35 degrees, the highest temperature recorded for over a0 years, but this week it has been cloudy, cool and wet. all now, we've had record rainfall across parts of eastern scotland. in edinburgh, 178 millimetres
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of rain has already fallen injune so far. that makes it the wettestjune on record and, yesterday, for a time roads were turned to rivers. now, looking at the forecast for today, low pressure is still with us, and we still have a lot of cloud left over with rain at the start of the day. but at least it is mild, with temperatures 12 to 14 degrees first thing in the morning. we will still have rain left over across parts of western wales. south—west england still with some fairly gusty wind here, so the rain heavy over the hills for a time. but moving further eastwards, breaks in the cloud coming in. so there will be some glimmers of sunshine first thing in the morning. through the peaks, pennines, eastern areas of scotland, expect hill fog with low cloud. there will be further outbreaks of rain as well, but the rain won't be quite as heavy as it was yesterday. it will be a relatively mild start to the day, but those temperatures will struggle to rise much of the day goes by. we still see these northerly winds and the wind will continue to push cloud on to the hills
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with further bursts of rain. but overall, the rain gets a little bit lighter as the day goes by. yes, there could be a few isolated showers moving into south—east england, but equally, some sunny spells breaking through the cloud. still cool across the north and the west but we do see bright spells across parts of england, temperatures could reach as high as 23 towards south—east england. and then overnight our weather front, our band of rain, sinks southwards, taking the rain with it. at the same time, the rain eases across scotland. so here, the weather becomes a little bit dry overnight, and that is because we got a ridge of high—pressure moving in overnight across the north—west of the uk, before spreading in across england and wales as we move on into saturday. it means, all in all, for this weekend, that the weather prospects are a little bit drier and a little bit brighter. most of us will see spells of sunshine. that said, there could be a little bit of rain left over for the night—time across with extreme south—east of england, clearing away. then comes the sunshine. in the afternoon, thick cloud into scotland and northern ireland with a band of rain pushing in here. the winds freshening, as well.
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should stay relatively cool, 15 to 17 degrees for the north—west. quite warm across south—east of england, with highs up to 24. sunday again most of us will have a dry day with sunny spells. a few showers across north—west, and similar kinds of temperatures. 16 to about 22. that is your weather. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: donald trump's travel ban comes into force. a supreme court ruling partially allows travel restrictions on six mainly muslim countries. we report from the front line in mosul, the iraqi city where the global caliphate was declared three years ago. the us urges china to respect freedom and civil liberties in hong kong as president xi makes his highly symbolic visit marking 20 years of reunification. and we have the findings of a major new study into the effects of pesticides on bees.
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