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tv   Monday in Parliament  BBC News  July 18, 2017 2:30am-3:01am BST

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venezuela's political crisis has deepened after voters rejected plans to rewrite the constitution. president trump has said the country will face strong and swift economic action if the controversial plans go ahead. venezuela's opposition has called a 24—hour general strike on thursday. following russia's demands that the us returns two diplomatic compounds seized last year, russian officials have suggested a deal could be close. washington shut the properties in december, accusing russian diplomats of interfering in the presidential election. just two weeks after north korea's intercontinental ballistic missile test, seoul has proposed military talks with pyonyang in a bid to de—escalate tensions in the region. north korea has yet to respond. now on bbc news, it's time for monday in parliament. hello, and welcome to monday in parliament. the main news from westminster:
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there's an extra £1.3 billion for schools in england. labour says the government is in retreat, but the education secretary goes on the offensive. fury over the government's decision on where to route the high speed 2 rail link. these constituencies are going to be demolished, and roads are going to go straight to a development that is only just taking place. and a debate about parliamentary debate. opposition parties say the government is stifling democracy. this is what happens when you do
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nothing, bad stuff happens. this is a government at war with itself. but first, education in england was thought to be a big issue on the doorstep during the general election. the government announced recently that it will not be scrapping free school lunches for four to seven year olds. now, the education secretary has announced an extra £1.3 billion for english schools. labour said the money — to be found out of existing education budgets — was no more than a sticking plaster. we recognise that at the election, people were concerned about the overall level of funding in schools as well as its distribution. and as the prime minister has said, we are determined to listen. so that is why today, i am confirming our plans to get on with introducing a national funding formula in 2018—19, and i can announce that this will additionally now be supported by significant extra investment into the core schools budget over... hear, hear! ..over the next two years.
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there will therefore be an additional £1.3 billion for schools across 2018—19 and 2019—20 in addition to the schools budget set at spending review 2015. this funding is across the next two years as we transition to the national funding formula. i will always be the first to welcome new money for schools. after all, i have spent a year asking the secretary of state to give our schools the funding they need, so it's nice to know i'm finally getting through to her. laughter. but sadly, mr speaker, today's statement raises more questions than it answers. i welcome the 1.3 billion announced today, but can the secretary of state confirm if it will protect per—pupil budgets in real terms orjust the overall budget? astoundingly, this is all been funded without a penny of new money from the treasury. perhaps the chancellor didn't
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want to fund schools and thought that teachers and teaching assistants are simply more overpaid public servants. i wonder if the secretary of state agrees with him? i know they are in full retreat from their own manifesto, but i don't see how this 1.3 billion can possibly fit with it. we were promised 4 billion. they shout. order! a kind of group hysteria takes over. mr chalk, you're usually a very understated fellow. laughter. rather a gentlemanly type, i'd always thought. calm yourself. and you're sitting next to a very senior member who normally behaves, prince andrew over there, the very embodiment of... laughter. the very embodiment of dignity! i think there's only one party that is retreating from its manifesto, and it's... it's certainly not this one! it's certainly not this one. we heard over the weekend
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that the promise to students wasn't worth the paper it was written on, and i think it was one of the most dishonest pieces of electioneering i have seen in many, many years, and our young people deserve better than to be peddled some snake oil propaganda that proves to be not true. i call the chair of the education select committee. thank you, mr speaker. the news will be welcomed by schools, teachers and parents, especially given the additional costs facing our schools. in addition to moving money from healthy pupil programmes, my right honourable friend has said she is redirecting 200 million from the department's central programme to the front line in schools. but which programmes are included? well, we will now go through a process of looking across those programmes to identify that £200 million. but i think across an entire
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departmental resource budget of £60 billion, it is a reasonable request to make sure that my department and civil servants in my department are having to similarly make efficiency savings. while i welcome this announcement, of extra money today, isn't the fact that the government got themselves into such a mess over schools funding an indication of the fact that they haven't been straight with people all along—? and i'm not sure they are being entirely straight with people now. the secretary of state talks about an increased schools budget, but fails to mention that the number of pupils has increased significantly. and isn't it the case that even with this money today, the truth is that since 2015, the real terms cuts per pupils that schools have faced is £2.8 billion and will be further, additional of £8.9 billion even when you take into account this extra money today? so there is still a massive shortfall here, and i think it is about time the government
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started being straight with the figures of the reality of what schools on the front line are facing. i think we are setting out our figures very transparently. one thing i don't expect to happen as a result of today's funding announcement is for the website that has been worrying parents about school cuts... i don't expect... i don't expect any of those numbers to be updated because it is far easierjust to simply continue to peddle out of date data. she asked me about the numbers of pupils, she is of course quite right and that is why i'm sure she will welcome the fact that i'm saying that actually, the real terms per—pupil spending will be maintained. the government has announced its preferred routes for the hs2 high—speed railway north of birmingham. one main route is to run east of sheffield, with a separate spur to take passengers to the city centre. the government has also announced seven contracts worth nearly £7 billion for some of the engineering work between birmingham and london. there was anger from conservative and labour mps over the absence of a commons statement from the transport secretary, chris grayling, on these two issues. the points of order came thick and fast. and sure enough, the transport secretary chris grayling did get
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the message and made a statement in the commons later in the day. point of order, mr ed miliband. thank you, mr speaker. can i seek your advice on an urgent matter of the hs2 route and the announcement is due to be made by the transport secretary today... where is he? ..which will affect millions of people? the secretary of state began his consultation with an oral statement last november and there had been an expectation, mr speaker, that he would announce his final decisions today with an oral statement, and parts of the media were briefed to that effect. all the indications are now that the news will be sneaked out in a written statement any time now. mr speaker, this is a gross discourtesy and adds insult to injury for my constituents. so i would seek your advice about how we can get the transport secretary to come to the house and show some accountability on this issue. quite right, too. very grateful to the right honourable gentleman for his point of order. as others relate to the same subject, i will take them, or at least a number of them, and then respond.
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point of order, cheryl gillan. further to that point of order, mr speaker, i would seek your advice. because today, the government has announced, it's certainly been all over the airwaves, £6.6 billion worth of contracts on hs2, and it would seem to me that when such a large amount of taxpayers‘ money is being spent, that the minister should come to the house and make a statement. i appreciate the urgent question in the statement and the business on the order paper today is equally important, but i'm wondering whether you could extend the sitting of this house, mr speaker, and allow us to have a statement from the minister? this is the latest in a long line of actions by the government which demonstrates an unwillingness to make itself available, properly, to the scrutiny of the house. i, too, sadly think it is outrageous that this major item of public expenditure which is affecting my constituents and those of many others is not being reflected by a statement here today. a lot of houses in my constituency are going to be demolished and roads are going to go straight through a development that has only just taken place, that in derbyshire there will be a slow track dawdling its way to sheffield and beyond and then a fast track
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that goes to meadowhall. this is a very important matter and should be debated at length. i'm afraid it is not within the power of the speaker to reverse time. i cannot do anything about that. i can only deal with the situation as it evolves. but what i would say is that if no statement is forthcoming from the minister, it would be perfectly open to members to do their best to secure parliamentary time and attention tomorrow, and it may be that such an exploration would take place at some length. at some length. and it may be that faced with that scenario, a minister might think it prudent and judicious to anticipate the difficulty and to offer the statement today instead. i don't know, we shall have to see. liberal democrat tom brake has raised reports that saudi arabia
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is ready to execute up to 1a people. he said they included at least two who were juveniles at the time of their alleged offences and who were convicted on the strength of confessions obtained through the use of torture. the foreign office minister alistair burt insisted that the uk government opposed the death penalty in all circumstances. he said saudi arabia was going through a process of reform. the new chair of the commons foreign affairs committee wanted reassurance. will the minister ask the prime minister to call on saudi king salman and crown prince mohammed bin salman to stop the executions, especially of juveniles mujtaba sweikat and salman qureish, from going ahead? of the executions ofjuveniles and others arrested english into alleged protest activity go ahead, will the uk committed to freezing and reviewing any criminal justice systems which could contribute to the arrest of protesters and dissidents in saudi arabia? and what further steps will her majesty's government to take to condemn saudi arabia's use of the death penalty, especially in the case of people with disabilities and juveniles such as ali al—nimr, dawoud al—marhoon,
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and abdullah al—zaher? our starting point for engagement on human rights with all countries is based on what is practical, realistic and achievable and we will always be ready to speak out as a matter of principle. ministers frequently discuss human rights and raise concerns with the saudi arabian government, we have a balanced relationship with saudi arabia and we use engagement to encourage reform. we have heard over the years her majesty's governments talk about the influence it has had over the actions of the saudi government in terms of capital offences. i would be very grateful if the minister could, from his place today, give some examples of how that has paid off. because on days like this, it does leave some questions to be answered. it's so difficult to try and prove a negative. the authorities with which we deal in saudi arabia are not necessarily any position to make theirjudicial decisions dependent
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on external pressure, and nor would we be in their case. what we do know is a number of allegations are made about possible executions, possible exclusions of minors, and then they don't happen. but whether or not it would be specifically laid at the door of any particular representations... we would not necessarily know. saudi arabia is one of the world's most prolific executioners and the death penalty is increasingly being used as a punishment for non—violent acts. indeed, in january 2016, the saudi authorities executed 47 men in a single day for alleged terrorism offences. and just last monday, six men were killed. it is becoming clear that these executions are being used not only as a form of draconian punishment,
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but as a tool to suppress political opposition, to fight sectarian religious battles against the shia minority and antagonise their religious rivals in the process. we are constantly being told by the party opposite that we share values in common with saudi arabia. what are they? they are not values concerning human rights. they are not values of international law. what are these values we could possibly share with saudi arabia when they propose to crucify somebody and to use the death penalty against minors? well, in response to the honourable lady asking for things which we may share in common, we shouldn't ignore saudi arabia's important contribution to regional stability. it has had its own painful experiences as the victim of numerous daesh attacks, and the collaboration with saudi arabia has foiled terrorist attacks, potentially saving british lives. so there are areas where our interests work
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together in the interests of the united kingdom. but of course, it's not universal. it is a month now since the devastating fire at grenfell tower, in which over 80 people died. the tragedy has left dozens of families without a permanent home. some are being offered temporary accommodation. a few have received offers of permanent homes. when the communities secretary sajid javid updated mps about re—housing the former grenfell tower residents, the local mp, emma dent coad, seemed lost for words. the first new permanent homes will be available very shortly, and more are being secured, either in kensington and chelsea or very close by. in the meantime, good quality, fully furnished, temporary accommodation in the local area has been offered to every family. emma dent coad. sorry, i'm not sure
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about the formalities of this, but in some cases, this is due to a single unsuitable offer. the fact that people are refusing these homes is because an unsuitable offer has been made to them. one single, unsuitable offer, and this is absolutely true. i am dealing with cases day by day and i'm amazed that only 22 households have been matched with temporary accommodation, four moved in, and what is going on here? there are empty homes all across the borough and they are still not being taken up. they are being offered unsuitable homes, can the secretary of state please answer what is happening here? i can tell the honourable lady, first of all, there are only 220 temporary homes that have been identified. they have been inspected, they are all good quality, they are all available with good quality accommodation. if she is aware of a... she has referred to something that she is called an unsuitable offer, she should certainly bring
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those details to me and we will certainly look at that and take it very seriously. in terms of the families, 169 families have been, have received offers. 30 offers of temporary accommodation had been accepted by those families. nine families have already moved in. as she will full well know from talking to her constituents, many families don't feel ready to move into temporary accommodation yet and we will absolutely respect their wishes. you're watching monday in parliament, with me, kristiina cooper. coming up, a voyage of discovery for one minister as she watched her first—ever hunt. i was amazed to see the diversity of people on horseback and on foot. and i also got some nice food for brea kfast. with brexit and the so—called "great repeal bill" on the horizon, mps are putting parliamentary scrutiny high on the agenda. labour claims the government is trying to "stifle" debate by restricting the parliamentary timetable.
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but the government says it's "business as usual", and labour should focus on policy rather than process. the convention is that each parliamentary session must include 20 days on which the opposition parties set the agenda. but as this session is twice the usual length, there's confusion over how many days they should get. mr speaker, we need certainty. the government has not provided an opposition day before the summer recess, making the earliest opposition day in september 2017. this means a staggering eight months, nearly as long a time as it takes to have a baby, without a single opposition day, denying vital scrutiny of government business. the snp and labour were equally upset. perhaps unfavourably, this parliament has already been dubbed the zombie parliament. i actually think that this comparison would actually give the flesh—eating undead a bad name. this is turbo—charged political zombie—ism. but it's a curious type
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of zombie—ism, mr speaker, cos if you look at them, not only are they tearing the flesh from the public, but they are starting to consume themselves. if you look around whitehall just now, what passes for discourse, normal discourse, amongst secretaries of state and whitehall departmentsm is briefing and counter briefing. and this is what happens, leader of the house, when you do nothing — bad stuff happens. this is a government at war with itself. the government said many important debates had already taken place. last week, we had a vital debate on the grenfell inquiry. many powerful points were raised from members on all sides of the house, and it's right that we have prioritised giving time to such a catastrophic and tragic event. this week, we are having a general debate on what more could be done to eradicate the evil of drug misuse, and today, although now under threat by this debate, we're scheduled to have a debate on the intimidation and abuse of candidates
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in the general election — abuse that challenges the very heart of our democratic process. these, to me, mr speaker, seem to be perfect examples of our parliamentary democracy working well. and she accused labour of playing politics. my government, this party, has done far more for parliamentary supremacy than the opposition has. so far, over 10 million people have signed various petitions. the government has formally responded to 264 petitions, and 20 petitions have been scheduled for debate. the government has also responded to a 162 urgent questions in this house since 2015 alone. mr speaker, this urgent debate is the result of party politics at its worst. nearly 13 million people voted for the party opposite to come to this place and represent them. i don't believe they were voting for petty time—wasting by labour. one of the pledges in the conservatives‘ election manifesto was to give parliament
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a free vote on whether to revive fox—hunting. the government has said it isn't planning to hold a vote during this parliamentary session, which is due to last for two years. it's an issue that still rouses a few passions. obviously the message is beginning to seep through that theresa may's support for hunting with hounds was massively unpopular on the doorstep in the election. the manifesto pledge to reopen the debate once again illustrated a party out of touch with the british people. the latest polls showed that an overwhelming 84% oppose fox—hunting. it is widely... my lords, it is widely regarded as cruel, inhumane and ineffective. so, can the noble lady confirm that the ban on fox—hunting is now here to stay for the long—term? and can she give a guarantee that any approach from the council of hunting associations to reverse the legislation will indeed be rebuffed ? my lords, i'd like to commend the noble lady for her continued probing, but i can say little more.
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any decision or announcement on future legislation programmes will be made before the start of the second session of parliament 2019. however... however, the government does acknowledge the high level of public interest in this debate, and the strength of feeling on this matter on both sides of the debate. since the ban, the latest research by the british ornithological trust and springwatch have both shown a significant fall, a decline, in the numbers of both hares and foxes. in asking this question, i am having to declare my interest as chairman of the hunting association, and chairman of the masters of foxhounds association, of which i am pleased gives so much amusement opposite, but are the only two organisations, clearly, which have any interest in the welfare of the animals concerned.
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given the latest successful prosecution by the police of three members of the grove and rufford hunt, does the minister agree with me that the hunting act is both enforceable and effective? hear, hear. my lords, i do agree with the noble lady in that the police are under a duty to enforce the hunting act, and enforcement is ultimately a decision for local police chiefs. but i would also say that, as with any suspected criminal activity, we rely on the general public as well. anyone who believes an offence is taking place, or has taken place, should report the matter to the local police. my lords, i declare my interest as the president of the countryside alliance and a passionate hunter. can i take up with the minister, if i may, very briefly, the point that has hasjust been made by the noble lord lord mancroft? the issue where the methods available now to those who were suffering fox predation, of which i have to say i have been one in recent weeks very considerably, are sneering, which is in my view
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likely to cause very considerably greater and prolonged suffering, and night shooting, which does cause a high degree of wounding. does the noble minister agree that what is important, as soon as it is politically possible, is to look at the way in which we manage wildlife populations and come up with a method which is stable, which is acceptable on both sides of the argument, and which puts animal welfare at the forefront, which i don't believe that this act does? will my noble friend join with me in commending one of anthony trollope‘s novels of the american senator? it describes the visit to the english countryside in the mid—19th—century of mr senator gotobed, who arrives and is at first shocked by what he sees in the english countryside, fox—hunting in particular, but, after weeks of experience, comes round to their merits and indeed applauds them. my lords, i have not actually read that particular book, but i will commend it to you anyway because you've got weeks off. but i would like to say, actually, that i watched my first hunt earlier this year, and i was amazed to see the diversity of people involved, from all walks of life, on horseback and on foot, and i also got a taste for mini—sausages and port for breakfast.
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well, mini—sausages and port might not be on the breakfast menu at skegness, but a lincolnshire mp is urging holiday—makers to consider the town as a holiday destination. skegness was home to the first butlins holiday resort in 1936. it has a clean, sandy beach and — says the tourist board — a fun, friendly atmosphere. with parliament on its last week before the summer break, minds are, quite naturally, turning towards the holidays. mr speaker, as you know, in lincolnshire we have some wonderful coastal resorts. they trip off the tongue with a litany of sun and fun — cleethorpes, mablethorpe, skegness. .. indeed, mr speaker, when you go on your holidays on thursday, don't go to italy and france, come to bracing skegness. so, can i say to my right honourable friend, can he promise to use the coastal communities fund to promote all—round tourism, and after brexit match the £143 million we receive
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in european regional development fund for these resorts? mr speaker, my right honourable friend rightly highlights the importance of all of our coastal communities, and of course those in lincolnshire as well, many i had the pleasure of visiting during the recent general election campaign, and i can assure that we will continue to use the coastal communities fund, and whatever other resources we have available, to help promote those areas. brexit and the general election, never far from the conversation. definitely time for a break. well, that it's from monday in parliament. alicia mccarthy will be here for the rest of the week, but, from me, kristiina cooper, goodbye. hello there, good morning. yesterday, we saw 27 degrees in the london area, with increasing amounts of medium and upper—level cloud, but the sky stayed pretty much clear in northern scotland. and, through the day today,
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we're going to see those temperatures creeping up a notch or two. 29 degrees somewhere in england and wales. then midweek, big changes on the way, some thunderstorms heading our way, and then by the end of the week, it is going to be a good deal cooler, 27 degrees. as the cloud goes to the southern half of the uk, clearer skies further north to end the day on monday. and, with those clearer skies, we see temperatures dipping down to 11—12 degrees in major cities, and rural areas could be single figures. but not so further south — it is a warm night here. today, a south—easterly breeze striking in some hot and humid air from the near continent. that breeze will be quite a noticeable breeze, in the south—east in particular. but a decent day for many places. some sunshine for much of scotland. maybe a shower or two developing as we get on into the afternoon, but a lot of sunshine, and it is going to be quite warm as well. 25 in glasgow and 22 in inverness. northern ireland should have a decent afternoon,
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22 degrees or so, similar in northern england. always a bit fresh along that north sea coast. but get away from that, 25 or so in the manchester area. southern england and wales gets to 28—29 degrees. but, as we get down towards the south—west, we start to see some thunderstorms developing. they will be in the channel islands early on, and drift ever northwards. hit and miss, but if you get one, you will know all about it. and those thunderstorms continuing to drift their way north through the small hours of wednesday. there will be some hail, some gusty winds to go with that. wednesday itself, thunderstorms continuing to drift north. dry in large parts of england and wales. but then we see more rain coming in from the west, and some of that could be quite heavy. temperatures coming down a little bit across the west side, norwich 29 degrees, but generally temperatures are beginning to come back down on wednesday. and that process continues on into thursday. as this weather front goes from west to east, it will bring some rain with it, and also some fresher air. for the golfers at royal birkdale, quite strong winds making it challenging.
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early rain and then sunshine and showers into the afternoon, and temperatures in the upper teens. so on thursday, yes, some rain spreads from west to east. it will be an unsettled end to the week, with some more general rain across quite a large area. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: war as a way of life. we have a special report from eastern ukraine, where three years of conflict has brought misery to thousands of people. this wall has grown to a stalemate. that means untold suffering, particularly for the civilian population —— war. a serious blow to president trump's proposed healthcare bill, as two more republican senators
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announce their opposition. after venezuela's referendum, president trump threatens strong and swift economic action if plans to rewrite the constitution go ahead. and george and charlottejoined and george and charlotte joined the duke and duchess of cambridge for a family state visit to poland.

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