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tv   The Week in Parliament  BBC News  July 2, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm BST

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for public sector workers. the environment secretary, michael gove, says the government should listen to pay review bodies‘ recommendations. council tenants whose services have been disrupted by the grenfell tower fire have had their rent suspended. three blocks have been without hot water since a boiler, located beneath the tower, was destroyed in the blaze. britain says it'll withdraw from an agreement that lets other countries fish in its territorial waters. the government says ending the agreement would help the industry with access to its fishing rights. now on bbc news, it's time for the week in parliament. hello and welcome to the week in parliament. coming up: the government gets the queen's speech through the commons,
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but only after adopting a new policy on abortions for women from northern ireland. i am happy to withdraw the amendment today. let us send a message to women everywhere that, in this parliament, their voices will be heard and their rights upheld. hear, hear! also on this programme... i will be reporting on the first prime minister's questions of the new parliament. and in the week that saw elections for deputy speakers to help outjohn bercow, we've got some top tips on delivering that famous line. a little bit of welsh lilt. order! but first, the queen's speech is the first business of any new parliament. it sets out the programme that ministers hope to put into law. after the election left it without an overall majority, the government finally agreed a deal with the dup in the week, to make sure its key policies get through. but it came at a price — just over £1 billion to keep the ten northern ireland mps onside for the next two years.
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so, it was with a slender working majority of 13 that the government launched the queen's speech into the commons. labour put down an amendment, calling for an end to the pay cap limiting increases for public sector workers to i%, and called for an end to cuts in the funding of public services, linking them to the recent terrorist attacks and the grenfell tower fire. how long are they going to pursue austerity? when any parent who has a child at school, anyone who has been at an accident and emergency department, anyone who has an elderly relative in need of social care can see for themselves that cuts have consequences and that there is a human price to pay for tory austerity. amber rudd rejected that and insisted public safety was "an absolute priority" for the government. she pointed to the response to the grenfell fire. fire crews were on the scene
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within six minutes and over 200 firefighters responded. can the shadow home secretary really suggest that the numbers were inexcusably low? we should also remember that the number of fire incidents has halved in the last decade, but the number of firefighters has fallen by less than 20%. but at the end of the debate, labour's amendment to end the pay cap and public sector cuts was defeated. the ayes to the right, 309. the noes to the left, 323. tory cheering. the government seeing off that amendment to lift the pay cap by 14 votes, although those cheers from the conservative side angered some. throughout the day, there had been suggestions — later rejected — that the government might reconsider the 1% limit but, in the end, there was no public change of heart. but the next day, when the queen's speech returned to the commons for the final time, ministers did have to bring in a new policy,
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to make sure their plan for government got through. the government was facing three amendments — one from the official opposition, calling for an end to austerity. one from labour's chuka umunna on brexit. and a third from another labour mp, stella creasy, on abortion rights for women from northern ireland. health is a devolved issue and women who travel from northern ireland to england for terminations currently have to pay for them. stella creasy‘s amendment — calling for an end had gathered cross—party support. and so it was on that, during a debate aboutjobs and the economy, that chancellor philip hammond announced the government would give way. my understanding is that my right honourable friend, the minister for women and equalities, is just about to make an announcement by way
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of a letter to members to intervene to provide finance for anyone coming from northern ireland. it's welcome that the government is looking to end this injustice, but the devil will be in the detail. could he make a commitment to meet with myself and other organisations organisations like maries stokes, to look at how we can turn this into a reality, so these women in northern ireland today will finally have their voice here? and at the end of the debate, ms creasy announced she would be withdrawing her amendment. let us send a message to women everywhere that, in this parliament, their voices will be heard and their rights upheld. hear, hear! stella creasy. well, those arguments, which illustrated the challenges facing a minority government, overshadowed the last day of debate on the queen's speech, when the focus was supposed to be
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on the economy. labour's shadow chancellor called for an end to austerity. so we have a government that can't feed their people, can't house its people adequately, or protect our adequately, or protect our children or older people from poverty. it can't ensure that when people go to work, they earn enough to live on. they cannot maintain basic public services. that's a government which doesn't deserve to remain in office. just two years ago, labour at least pretended that its figures added up. it would pay for its giveaways. they would not bankrupt the country. not any more. not only will they hike taxes, they would embark on a massive
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expansion of borrowing and subject the country to a catastrophic policy of nationalisation not seen since the 1970s. people will tell you they are feeling the pain of a decade of wage stagnation. they are feeling the effects of rising inflation, rising even faster than predicted in the budget. they are looking at how they can make the household budgets last. this is a reality for people here. the conservatives fail repeatedly to understand this. they talk about how great the economy is. people are not feeling these things. that is not the experience of people in the uk. there is an underlying malaise — not just in this country, but in other western economies too — which is the long—term legacy
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of the 2008 financial crisis, which destroyed government budgets, it killed business investment and depressed living standards. to emerge from that tunnel. now, we have superimposed on that the self—inflicted pain of brexit. sir vince cable. well, at the end of that last day of debate on the queen's speech, the government saw off a labour amendment on austerity. it also defeated another on brexit, which had been put down by the labour mp chuka ummuna. he wanted the uk to remain part of the single market. labour members were told to abstain on the vote, but 50 rebelled. and later, jeremy corbyn sacked three of his shadow ministers, for backing mr umunna's amendment. so, theresa may passed herfirst big parliamentary test, with the queen's speech approved by a majority of 14. the previous day, she had faced her first pmqs since the general election.
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political commentator james millar was watching. the first prime minister's questions of the new parliament and much has changed since the last session back in april. but to almost everyone‘s surprise, given the expected election result and the actual election result, the two protagonists remained the same — theresa may and jeremy corbyn. the labour leader began the session in sombre and statesman—like fashion, with some questions about the grenfell fire tragedy, to which the prime minister gave serious answers. as of this morning, the cladding from 120 tower blocks across the country in 37 local authority areas had been tested and had failed the combustibility test. given the 100% failure rate, we are very clear with local authorities and housing associations they should not wait for test results. they should get on with the job of fire safety checks. and, indeed, they are doing that. and they should take any necessary action, and the government will support them in doing that.
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but it didn't take long for party politics to break out, as corbyn sought to connect the tragedy to austerity. when you cut local authority budgets by 40%, we all pay a price in public safety. fewer inspectors, fewer building control inspectors, fewer planning inspectors. we all pay a price. and, mr speaker, those cuts to the fire service have meant there are 11,000 fewer firefighters. the public sector pay cap is hitting recruitment and retention right across the public sector. theresa may may be prime minister, but her position has changed. she's considerably weakened by losing her majority at an election she called. it looks like opposition mps will not let her forget it. labour's jo stevens joked about the prime minister's gamble that had gone wrong. i know the prime minister is well aware of the misery and suffering
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caused by reckless gambling. and following her recent own experience... her own experience and the turmoil it has caused to herfriends and colleagues, will she now commit to legislating against fixed—odd betting terminals, the cause of so much hardship across our communities? conservative backbencher philip davies' pet subjects might not have changed — this week, it was overseas aid — but he took a vicious swipe at that tory election manifesto. spending more and more money on overseas aid each year does not make us look compassionate to the public, it makes us look idiotic when that money is much needed in the united kingdom. can she promise to slash the overseas aid budget, spend it on priorities in the uk? i hope she doesn't have a strange aversion have a strange
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aversion to pursuing any policies that might be popular with the public. the snp group in the commons has a new leader, and he also made reference to the fact she relies on the dup for her majority. the scottish secretary insisted that scotland would seek increased funding if the dup secured funding for northern ireland. i quote, i am not going to keep anything which could be regarded as back—door funding for northern ireland. did the prime minister receive any recommendations from her colleagues before or after that was signed? £350 million extra is going to scotland. i don't remember, when the money was announced for scotland,
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the honourable gentleman complaining about more money going to northern ireland. but then, of course, he is a nationalist and not a unionist. so theresa may is still standing and she came through relatively unscathed, but there was enough in the session to suggest she has a hard time ahead of her in the years to come. james millar. well, as we saw there, the government's £1 billion deal with the dup is hugely controversial. at prime minister's questions, the dup's westminster leader defended the deal. suicide rates in northern ireland, and particularly in my constituency, and issues of severe mental health are some of the worst in europe and, indeed, the developed world. and clinicians and others have pointed to the legacy of 30 years of terrorism and violence and the awful effects of that. part of the money that we have for investing this week goes to mental health care. extra investment in the health service.
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isn't it time that people recognised that this is delivery for all of the people of northern ireland, across all sections of the community, and it is going to help some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in northern ireland? and people should get behind it and welcome it. but in the queen's speech debate the following day, one conservative made clear she was far from happy. 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. heidi allen. now let's take a look at some of the other news from around westminster in brief. over 700,000 pieces of nhs correspondence, rather than being delivered, were put into a warehouse by a company called nhs
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shared business services, or sbs. correspondence which did not reach its intended destination includes blood tests, cancer screening and child—protection notes. 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. the cost of this debacle could be at least £6.6 million for administration fees alone. that's the equivalent to the average annual salary of 230 nurses. the family of the murdered labour mp jo cox unveiled a memorial plaque in her honour. it bears the motto "more in common", a phrase from her maiden speech. nicola sturgeon has abandoned her demands for a new scottish independence referendum before the brexit deal is signed. in the general election, the snp lost a third of its seats at westminster. in holyrood, nicola sturgeon said she now wanted to give people a choice at the end
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of the brexit process. i am, therefore, confirming today that having listened and reflected, the scottish government will reset the plan i set out on march 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 shoulder to the wheel in seeking to influence the brexit talks in a way that protects scotland's interests. but the issue which we have had this last year is of 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 on 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. as her own msps have accepted, that decision cost her 21 seats
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and the support of half a million scottish voters in the general election. the truth is, the threat 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. applause. if she wants to prove she has listened, the first thing the first minister should do is trigger a vote in this chamber which would rule out another independence referendum in this parliamentary term. there wasjubilation in the german parliament after it voted overwhelmingly to legalise same—sex marriage, after the chancellor, angela merkel, changed her position and decided to allow mps to vote according to their consciences. the measure will grant gay and lesbian couples full marital rights, including the right to adopt children. back to westminster, where the long—standing tradition that male mps should wear a tie in the commons chamber appears to have been abandoned.
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the question came after one mp, tom brake, appeared in the chamber and asked a question without one. it seems to me that as long as a member arrives in the house in what might be thought to be business—like 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. now, securing trade deals after brexit will be like "filling a swimming pool with a teaspoon", according to one of the government's top infrastructure advisers. labour's lord adonis, the head of the national infrastructure commission, was moving an amendment to the queen's speech, regretting that it contained no plan for britain to remain in the customs union and the single market. in total, more than 60%, 60% of our trade is with the eu or third countries, where we enjoy
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free and preferential access by virtue of customs union and single market membership. my lords, the government's brexit policy is basically one of trying to fill a swimming pool with a teaspoon. it is an interesting and very challenging idea, but don'tjump in for about three centuries. taking back our own control over our own affairs includes regaining control of our borders and setting our own immigration policies. we're also clearly to respect the referendum outcome, we cannot be half in and half out of the eu. so, my lords, we will be leaving the single market and customs union. i would approach herjob with immense trepidation. she is carrying a invaluable ming vase across a rather polished floor.
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in the government's hands is the future of our economy and, thus, the well—being of our people. how the government negotiates our future with the eu will have immense consequences on businesses, workers, consumers, young people, trade unions, and for generations to come. every time a minister attacks those who ask questions about the details of brexit as 'unpatriotic', people on the continent as well as here become more suspicious that the government still does not know the answers. to those who want to stop brexit, and i have heard one or two speeches which seem to say they would like to, we must listen to the democratic decision of the people. i was particularly struck by lord adonis, who made a very good speech, but it seemed to me that he was ignoring the fact that we had a referendum. of course, we will still, with control, be able to support in this country people
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who have come into this country as immigrants, people with the necessary skills, or the necessary unskilled people to fill certainjobs. but the public have made it very clear that they wanted tighter control of our borders. once one has accepted that, once one has also accepted free trade, the logic is inescapable that one must leave the single market. what i believe, and my nose — which is close to the ground — is that in the future, there will be blood on the streets. because at the level that we are, we cannot give the benefit of the doubt. we cannot go to people who we know aren't doing as well as we could and say to them, let's work together. and when lord oak said earlier that, in fact, the poor are going to pay for brexit, i say, ok, how can the house of lords and the house of commons stop the poor paying for brexit? lord bird. mps elected a new deputy
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speaker on wednesday. labour's former chief whip rosie winterton will serve alongside lindsay hoyle and eleanor laing, who were both re—elected. they'll helpjohn bercow to keep order in the commons. gabrielle o'neill asked a former deputy speaker, nigel evans, if he could pass on any tips to the new recruit. we do have a little booklet and it contains the photographs and constituencies and names of every member of parliament. and i think the trick for rosie is to do what i used to do, which is start at the top left and work your way along the chamber, and go back and mentally say the name of the person you're looking at. and if you can't get the name, then you look through the book and have a look at the photograph, and then start again. and just make sure that you remember the person's name. and i used to do it even when i was in the tea room, and i'd look at mps mentally, and i would say their names in my head.
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and if i couldn't get the name, i would go and get the book. and how do you deal with a rowdy chamber? labour mp ian austin found out in 2012. ian was shouting at george osborne, as chancellor of the exchequer, and he wouldn't let it go. so the usual "order! order!" just didn't work. and ijust stood up and i yelled at ian to shut up. and, basically, do you understand? do you understand ? and i remember, actually, glenda jackson coming up to me afterwards and saying, "nigel, i was in my office and had the tv on on the parliament channel and you yelled at ian, and even my office went quiet." and just a reminder of the key phrase that all speakers and deputies must use. a little bit of welsh lilt. order! nigel evans, with a call to order. some of the new mps from the 2017 intake have been making their debuts in the commons this week. so, what are the key elements of a maiden speech? claire gould has our countdown.
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praise your constituency — it is the best place in the country, full of the best people, and this liberal democrat made the bold claim for abingdon in her oxford west constituency. it's the oldest town. colchester, go away and try harder. prove you are more than just a career politician, then tell the house about your practical experience. conservative damien mooore clearly felt that his previous job as a supermarket manager would be a huge help in his new role. only time will tell if my audience this afternoon is as receptive as my customers were to my prices. some say it's best not to be too political in your maiden speech, but that's impossible to resist for many. the only new snp mp, david linden, took the opportunity to lay into the government. it is simply unacceptable
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that in glasgow east, 6,234 children are deemed as living in poverty. that is the burning injustice the prime minister must be pursuing right now. praise your predecessor. even if they came from an opposing party. the dup's paul girbin had warm words for the former uup mp for south antrim. danny and i, although we were on opposite sides during the election, we were the best of friends. now, i don't know whether danny will still say that about me now, in that i took his seat! and if you want to be sure of always catching the speaker's eye, it's a good idea to point out something unique and memorable about yourself, like labour's new mp for bristol north west. and now, so i'm told, mr deputy speaker, an the first
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ever darren alex elected to this house of commons. bristol north west is an historic and fascinating constituency. claire gould. and that's it from us for another week, but dojoinjoanna shinn on monday night at 11 for another round—up of the best of the day here at westminster, including questions to the home secretary, amber rudd. but for now, from me, alicia mccarthy, goodnight. hello. most of us have seen a bit of sunshine today. the best across england and wales, but more sunny spells during the week to look forward to and a spell of rain on tuesday. after that, it is hot and humid across england and wales, with thunder later in the week. this is
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the extent of the sunny skies across england and wales. more cloud for northern ireland and scotland, where we have seen the cloud break—up in cornwall, beautiful scenes there, thank you for sending us that picture. this evening, a weak weather front head south across scotla nd weather front head south across scotland and northern ireland, bringing some rain. not too heavy. that weather eventually slides into north west england, wales, the south—west, where there could be hill fog patches overnight. 11—15d for most. tomorrow, cloud continues south and east, by the afternoon, just a streak of cloud with some passing showers and some of those could be heavy. behind this area, sunshine breaking out across northern eland and north wales and scotland, a much better day here. sunshine in northern ireland and clouding over later. because as the wea k clouding over later. because as the weak weather front had south, monday
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evening and monday night and into tuesday as well. that process begins in northern ireland, clouding up here. overnight, rain setting in. rain slides east across northern england in particular. we could get rainfora time england in particular. we could get rain for a time in southern scotland. maybe also north wales and north midlands. either side of that, some sunny north midlands. either side of that, some sunny spells. in the south, quite warm, 2a degrees. in northern scotland, we have sunshine but the area school, ice of 16 in stornoway. things warm up more on wednesday. temperatures into the mid—thai 20s. feeling humid across parts of southern england. some sunshine. showers further north. this is still relatively cooler for the far northern scotland. on thursday, temperatures pick up more, highs in the be up 20s and maybe 30 on thursday. and that heat and humidity triggers heavy and thundery showers which drive north east through
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thursday night and into friday. yes, for some, we will see temperatures rise later in the week. for some, it becomes very warm , rise later in the week. for some, it becomes very warm, if not hot. that is your weather. this is bbc news. the headlines at 3pm: the environment secretary, michael gove, suggests the government could support a lifting of the 1% pay cap for public sector workers. council tenants, whose services have been disrupted by the grenfell tower fire, have had their rent suspended. britain is withdrawing from an agreement which allows foreign countries to fish in its waters. also in the next hour: could battery powered planes be the future of flying? we'll take an exclusive look at an experimental electric plane. wimbledon fans soak up the sun as they set up camp in the queue for tickets ahead of the first day of play. and in half an hour: the click team head to los angeles and ask could intense farming in containers solve the world's food
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