tv The Week in Parliament BBC News February 4, 2018 5:30am-6:01am GMT
a syrian rebel group says it shot down a russian fighterjet near the city of idlib. tahrir al—sham said the plane had been hit by a shoulder—launched anti—aircraft missile. moscow says the pilot ejected but was killed by rebels on the ground. italy's prime minister has urged the country to reject hatred and violence after six african immigrants were injured in a drive—by shooting. the suspected attacker, a former candidate for the far—right northern league party, has been arrested. the local mayor has described the attacks as racist. the hollywood actress uma thurman has claimed that she was sexually assaulted by the film producer harvey weinstein in london in the 1990s. two other women have contacted british police to say they were also attacked by him. mr weinstein denies all the allegations of non—consensual sex. now on bbc news, the week in parliament. hello, and welcome to
the week in parliament. coming up in the next half hour: the bill putting eu law on the uk statute book clears its first hurdle in the lords, but there's a hint of the battles to come. at this pivotal moment in our history, we cannot, we must not, indulge in that very british habit of just muddling through. mps vote to move out of parliament for a multi—billion pound repair programme, after warnings there's a risk of it burning down! we must recognise that as time passes without competence of action, those risks only increase. also on this programme, it's stand—in day at prime minister's questions, where emily thornberry attacks the government and the dup for not backing votes at 16. they are not the coalition
of chaos, mr speaker, they're the coalition of cavemen! but david lidington says that labour put up the age for doing all sorts of things. raised the age to buy fireworks to 18, and raised the age for using a sunbed to 18! but first, after two days of debate and 190 speakers, the eu withdrawal bill cleared its first parliamentary hurdle in the house of lords. the bill translates eu law into uk domestic law to avoid a legal black hole opening up after brexit. it's already been through the commons, so now it was down to peers to have their say, and the government could have been left in no doubt it was going to have a fight on its hands. a labour former transport secretary lord adonis proposed a rare vote to regret the bill, in effect calling for a second referendum. the interest of the public as a whole do not lie in making britain poorer.
they do not lie in undermining the good friday agreements. they do not lie in diminishing trade and our people's right to live and work across europe. there was strong criticism too from a former brexit minister. all we hear day after day are conflicting, confusing voices. if this continues and ministers cannot agree among themselves on the future relationship the government wants, how can this prime minister possibly negotiate a clear, precise set of terms with the future relationship of the eu? my fear is that we will get meaningless waffle in a political declaration in october. the implementation period will not be a bridge to a clear destination, it will be a gang plank into thin air. at this pivotal moment in our history, we cannot, we must not, indulge in that very british habit of just muddling through.
a former ukip leader said he supported the bill but thought the government needed to change tack on the brexit negotiations. they should sit the eurocrats down and tell them that we have done our best to make clauses 2—5 of the article 50 to work. but they have abused our trust, and we see no future in going on like this. so we are unilaterally taking back our law, our borders, fisheries, agriculture is and so on, but we will also be generous — we will give them wide mutual residence. we will allow them to continue in free trade with us. we will go on helping them with security, and then we will decide, my lords, how much cash will give them, which may be nothing after march 29 next year if they do not behave themselves and fall with the above. it remains government policy that through brexit, we will strengthen our democracy,
protecting and enhancing environmental and social laws in its process. but in its current form, this bill will fail on all those aims, and sadly, the gaps in the bill will leave the environment as the biggest casualty. as things stand, both government and opposition parties are finding it hard to agree a way forward. so a referendum on a new question about the future relationship may become unavoidable — although this is not something on which, in my view, we should be voting at this stage. i know what my duty is, and it is to bring to the attention of the other house the manifest defects which exist in this legislation. we may not make them any wiser, my lords, but if we deal properly with this bill, we will make them better informed. heavens knows they need it. the duty of of your lordships' house is very clear.
and that duty, i submit, is to assert our rights to scrutinise, to amend, and if needs be, to reject unacceptable parts of this bill, and to use the entire arsenal of our powers and prerogatives to limit the damage that threatens the sovereignty of parliament and the national interest. i cannot believe it is in the national interest to get onto such a referendum merry—go—round. whatever point of view we fought for in the referendum campaign, we could have made a success of the united kingdom in the european union. and we can make a success with some cost and upheaval of being outside the european union. but we cannot possibly make a success at being in a national state of bewilderment about when we're going to have another referendum, and which direction we're going in. well, at the end of that,
lord adonis didn't press his motion to the vote, and the bill passed its second reading. it will begin detailed scrutiny in the house of lords later this month. now, mps have backed a call for parliament to move out of the palace of westminster while billions of pounds of repairs are carried out. the building is part of a world heritage site but there are problems with asbestos, wiring, pipes, and plumbing. the thorny problem of how to carry out the repairs has been looked at over the years, with three options being put forward — moving out altogether, moving one chamber out at a time and staying put for the work to be carried out around mps and peers. the three options carry correspondingly increasing price tags. opening a debate in the commons, the leader of the house presented mps with two two motions — one of which suggested a further review delaying any decision for a further four years and a second suggesting the setting up of a delivery authority as soon as possible to look at the options again, and fully cost them.
andrea leadsom said she'd approach the question of restoration with a healthy degree of scepticism. i, like many, felt that the case for a major restoration programme had probably been overstated and that the palace looked fine to me, and we would be able to continue to patch and mend as we went along, as we have done for many, many decades. however, mr speaker, during my seven months in thejob, i have, as they say, gone on a journey. i have lived and breathed this topic. i have visited the basement and seen for myself what our engineers are up against. we must recognise that as time passes without comprehensive action, those risks only increase. this work is necessary for safety — that has been agreed by everyone. we need to do it now. we can't delay. any delay increases the costs. a lib dem dismissed the idea
of moving one chamber out at a time. because the services do provide for the whole of the house, and therefore, you cannot in fact decant half the building. when i look at this building and i look at the stunning architecture and condition of it, i see it as some sort of sad metaphor for brexitised britain — dilapidated, falling to bits around our ears, generally unloved, and in need of a lot of attention and support. doesn't that just sum up where this nation is? mr speaker. give way! yes, of course i'll give way. is it not the case, that my honourable cousin from scotland, it would take a crowbar and can of irnbru to wrestle him from this place? that he actually loves it here! well, recovering from that, pete wishart said he favoured turning the palace into a tourist attraction. an amendment to the motion, backing the proposal that all mps and peers moving out altogether
while the work was carried out, and calling for the proposed delivery agency to oversee the project to be set up as soon as possible. one of the mps behind that amendment said trying to move out one chamber at a time would double the cost and risk of fire. the thought of cutting a sewer system in half, or the electrics, or of the any other works, does not make sense because of the nature of the building. well, there then followed a series of votes. this was what's known as a free vote, meaning that mps didn't have to follow a party line but could vote however they wanted. mps backed the amendment calling for both houses to move out of the palace while work was carried out by 236 votes to 220. there's no date set for when that will happen, but during the debate, andrea leadsom said mps and peers would not leave the houses of parliament until 2025 at the earliest. peers will have their say in the next few days. it was all change at prime minister's questions.
the prime minister theresa may in china was on a trip to china, attempting to boost trade and relations. as well as formal talks, there was time for mrs may and her husband to pay a visit to a peking opera performance for a little music and drama. well, back in westminster, the lead role at prime minster's questions had been delegated to the cabinet office minister david lidington, who faced the shadow foreign secretary emily thornberry. the exchanges began with a little bit of banter about the last time the two had faced each other across the despatch box. let me start by welcoming the minister back to his role, deputising for the prime minister. last time he did so was in december, 2016, when his party was 17 points ahead in the polls, and he told the house that the labour party was, i quote, "quarrelling like the film mutiny on the bounty, re—shot by the team who made carry on". well, what a difference a year makes! it's a delight to me to see
the right honourable lady still in her place, when no fewer than 97 members of her front bench have either been sacked or resigned since the opposition took office. emily thornberry asked about the number of women in parliament. i am pleased that my party, since i was first elected 25 years ago, has made considerable progress, but i accept that there is more to be done. i hope that she, for her part, will accept that we have now had two women leaders and prime ministers, so they have a bit of catching up to do. i've got to say, mr speaker, that if the party opposite of proud of having a female leader, why are so many of them trying to get rid of her? and why has she had to run away to china to get away from them? she then turned to the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote.
it was originally restricted to women with property over the age of 30. then 90 years ago, it was extended to all women over 21. and almost 50 years ago, it was extended to all men and women over the age of 18. so can i ask the minister a simple question? how many more years do we have to wait until the vote is extended to everyone over 16? i am, i have to say, i am slightly baffled by the honourable lady's comments, when compared with what her party did in office. because it was the last labour government that raised the legal age for buying cigarettes to 18, raised the age for selling knives to 18, raised the age to buy fireworks to 18, and raised the age for using a sunbed for 18! there is no logical principalled objection to the vote at 16. that is why the welsh and scottish government support it, that is why every single political party in this house supports it, except of course
the conservative party and the dup. once again, joined in opposition to change. they are not the coalition of chaos, mr speaker, there are the coalition of cavemen! the situation we have here, mr speaker, with the national voting age at 18, is one that is followed by 26 out of the 27 other members of the european union, by the united states, canada, new zealand, and australia. i do — unless she is going to denounce all of those countries as somehow inadequate to her own particular standards, then quite honestly, mr speaker, she ought to grow up and try to treat this subject with a great deal of seriousness. some other news in brief. this is
from sam thompson. let me read you this from one of the residents affected. this is an eyewitness statement. stranger standing and other ends of the street firing fireworks as if they were guns. pointing at each other. i saw one young child being hit in the head by fireworks, fortunately it did not explode it had it exploded it would've resulted in some serious burns. it has been dubbed unjust and sickness tax. in the debate in the comments, mp ‘s call for an end to car park charges and hospitals in england. it's estimated that its cost visitors hundreds of thousands of pounds each are. no one goes to the hospital by choice, no one chooses to be ill, we rely on doctors and nurses to look after us and we urge the minister who is here today to take urgent action to end this
social injustice once and for all. the government has rejected claims that there are calls to fluoride to be added to water the government has rejected claims that dental care dental care in england is in crisis. government spending on nhs dentistry has fallen by 170 million since 2010, meaning patients pay more and more. i am afraid i don't recognise the picture the noble lady has painted. it is quite right 25% of five —year—olds are not decay free and that is obviously not good enough. that figure is increase over the next ten years, it has been going up. i should point out, there
are more dentists practising in nhs dentistry than ever. mps held a debate on the next phase of high speed rail, extending the route from the west midlands to crewe. but a conservative rejected the idea that the line would provide an alternative to flying to europe. and patients pay more and more. it took in 22 minutes to tramp across birmingham to get to curzon street to get a chest one. a government minister dramatically resigned in the house of lords after arriving late for questions. he apologised for what he described as his discourtesy. we should always rise to the highest standards of courtesy and respect.
i am thoroughly ashamed that not being in my place and therefore i shall be offering my resignation to the prime minister. with immediate effect. lord bates immediately walked out of the chamber. downing street later said the prime minster had refused to accept his resignation. well, while we're on the subject of apologies, a brexit minister apologised to the mps following comments he made at question time on thursday. a conservative mp suggested to steve baker that treasury officials were trying to influence policy with negative economic projections. will my right honourable friend confirmed that he heard said from central european research that officials in treasury deliberately developed a model to share that all options and status remaining in view commissions were banned... i am sorry to say to my honourable colleague is essentially correct. civil service are extraordinarily careful to uphold the impartiality of the civil service. well, overnight audio
of what charles grant, the director of the centre had said was released, and first thing friday, steve baker came to the commons to accept he'd got it wrong. yesterday i answered the question to the best of my recollection. i'm the audio of that conversation is now available and i am glad the record stands corrected. in the context of that audio, i accept that i should've corrected or dismissed the premise of by honourable friend's question. i have apologised to mr charles grant who is an honest and trustworthy man. and he repeated he had the highest regard for hard
working civil servants. now let's go back to prime minister's questions, where the snp's westminster leader turned his attention to brexit. this is a government in crisis, i'd international embarrassment. the chancellor, the scottish secretary, the scottish conservatives, are all supporters of the slngle market. despite this, the government is still prepared to make everyone... where is the leadership? the most important single market to the people of scotland is the single market of the united kingdom. it is worth nearly £50 million to the scottish economy, four times more than trade with the eu. it is our deep and special partnership with the eu, that will help deliver
prosperity to scotland, now the separatist policies pursued by the scottish national party... the bbc‘s carrie gracie has told mps she is ‘very angry‘ at the way that the response to her grievance was insulting, but women further the corporation has treated some female members of staff. carrie gracie resigned as china editor, citing pay inequalities with male colleagues. the bbc said there was ‘no systemic discrimination against women'. she told the culture and media committee admitted was insulting but women down in the organisation were suffering more. if the bbc cannot sort it out for me, a single person to 55 and a powerful position, how can it sorted out for more vulnerable people without a public profile, that is my concern. being in conflict, the delays,
the opacity and the belittling of the work, that is what has to happen if you are not willing to concede, the are going to have to crush your self—esteem about your work. that is very painful. i found all of that really hard and i really did, getting upset now, i felt very angry, i really feel about some of the things i've seen and heard, and some of the women's's suffering that has come through. as regards her own case, carrie gracie said the bbc had not admitted to pay discrimination. to me it sounds like a tacit admission that it is pay
discrimination, and want to pay £100,000 in back pay. but what is very unacceptable to me, i just don't know why they do this. they basically said, in these three previous years that i was in development. it is an insult to add to the original injury. it is unacceptable to talk to your senior women like that. and the next witness was the director general, tony hall. how is it possible? that's wrong. how is it possible? what we are doing going forward, we want to make sure that we keep these things regularly under review, so we don't get to the point between the band between a low paid
editor and a top paid editor is unjustifiable. to make sure these things are reviewed properly. do you agree with me that the bbc has paid less to women who work on equal value... the answer is that might be individual cases, where if that is the case we will solve them. i don't believe that the bbc is an organisation, that we will pay a woman less to do that job. i don't believe that is the way we operate. to go back to the case of carrie, she was being paid less, i have said already that the grievance and the mistakes the procedure has found, i accept were wrong and i am
sorry about that. that was a big failure of management, there was no system in place. so you are saying, no, it wasn't the failure of management? there is no failure of management, management is always about learning and listening, things are never right, you have to reform terms and conditions two years ago, at the same time we looked at the same issue, paying top talent because we knew we had to get things right. it has taken a long time and this committee has heard today, it's a very complicated issue. don't underestimate our desire to get this right. finally, mps were all of a twitter on wednesday. a robin had found its way into the chamber and swooped across the ceiling during welsh questions at the start of the day.
it was still roosting in the chamber during prime minister's questions, the snp's westminster leader saw an opportunity to make a quickjoke about david lidington‘s possible leadership ambitions. cani can i welcome the minister to his place. he is maybe looking for a new role. or perhaps he could put it on twitter. and that's it from me for now but do join keith macdougall on bbc parliament on monday night at 11pm for a full round up of the day in westminster. but for now, from me, alicia mccarthy, goodbye! you might be hoping for some sunshine on sunday after that grey, rainy saturday. if so, it's not looking bad at all, some sunshine on the way.
certainly a brighter day compared to what we've just had and this is what we had — a weather front very slowly moving across the uk, grinding to a halt pretty much by the time we got to saturday night and then through the night, this weather front just sitting across the uk, raining itself out so it could rain no more and the skies in one or two areas starting to clear as well, so just little pockets of rain, but clear skies too. temperatures will be around 2 or 3 degrees in city centres very early on sunday morning. let's have a look at the forecast around 9am in scotland — it will be pretty chilly, only 3 degrees for glasgow, edinburgh, a couple of degrees there in aberdeen. a little bit less cold we think in belfast, maybe 5 with some sunshine and look at that, not looking bad at all for manchester, kendall, manchester, wales, the south—west, in fact, if you're lucky we could be waking up to blue skies in southampton. but notice in east anglia
and the south—east, a bit more cloud there and that really will be the trend for the rest of the day. that wind you'll notice is strengthening across the south—east here, coming all the way from scandinavia. it's a cold wind. it'll drag in cloud off the north sea and also some showers, so it could be raining on and off at least from time to time in norwich and london. this is what it'll feel like with that wind, around zero degrees. how about the rest of europe? you know, i mentioned that wind coming out of scandinavia, it's not stopping across the uk, look at that — it goes all the way down to the bay of biscay and then turns around and moves all the way to morocco, so they're feeling some cold there as well, it's not looking great across that part of europe. anyway, back to the wind — look what happens when it drags in those showers during the course of sunday night into monday — some snow showers get into kent, sussex, essex, norfolk, suffolk, possibly the london area, which means first thing monday morning, there could be a little bit
of snow lying around across the south—east all the way up into lincolnshire, so don't be surprised, and just in time for the rush hour. this is what it looks like tuesday — a weather front this time moving across the north and west, and on this day, we could have some snow in north—western parts of the country down to wales and maybe the midlands, as well, and still cold, 2, 3 degrees at best. the summary for the week ahead — it's going to stay cold, cold enough for some snow, widespread frost. as i said, cold enough for some snow. hello, this is breakfast, with chris mason and tina daheley. the disgraced film producer harvey weinstein faces fresh claims of sexual assault. scotland yard says a total of nine women have now made allegations against him. the actress uma thurman has broken her silence, saying that harvey weinstein tried to force himself on her during the 19905 following the release of pulp fiction. good morning, it's sunday