tv The Week in Parliament BBC News July 21, 2018 2:30am-3:01am BST
michael cohen, in which they discuss a payment to former playboy model, karen mcdougal. the conversation is believed to have ta ken place just before the 2016 presidential election. 17 people, including nine members of one family, are now known to have died when their tourist boat capsized and sank during a sudden storm on a lake in the us state of missouri. another two members of the family were among the 1a people aboard the vessel who survived. the eu's chief brexit negotiator says the british govenrment‘s proposal have opened the way to a constructive discussion but it must be workable. michel barnier questioned whether the plans for a common rulebook for goods were practical. earlier, theresa may urged the eu to evolve its position on brexit. now on bbc news, the week in parliament. hello and welcome to
the week in parliament, where the governmentjust about navigated its way through two key votes on two key brexit bills. but it wasn't plain sailing. they actually whipped my party to defeat the government's policy as set out in the white paper. the mp for uxbridge and south ruislip set out his vision of brexit. a strong, independent, self—governing britain that is genuinely open to the world. not the miserable permanent limbo of chequers. and ministers toyed with the idea of packing up early — but is it a good look? this decision will bring this whole house into opprobrium. but first... the government began the week fearing defeat in the commons over its brexit legislation. but they needn't have worried.
the key elements went through, but only just. how did they pull it off? well, on monday, they did it with concessions — ministers accepted amendments to the bill from brexiteers in the european research group. but the question was — did those concessions scupper the hard—won deal the cabinet agreed at chequers? why, then, does she keep dancing to the tune of the european research group? and why she capitulating to their proposals on the customs and trade bill? she is excepting the deal that the chequers deal is dead in the water. they do not change that chequers agreement. and the minister from the dispatch box later today will be making that clear. he may have made that clear but that didn't mean it didn't all kick off. it was margaret thatcher that championed free trade as the proud conservative. and i'm a tory. i believe in business. i knew margaret thatcher, i worked for margaret thatcher.
my honourable friend ain't no margaret thatcher. anna soubry accused some of her fellow conservatives of having whispered conversations in which they said... the loss of hundreds of thousands ofjobs will be worth it... to re—gain our country's sovereignty. you tell that to the people of my constituency. we're the country that does least well out of the european union's free trade agreement. they almost never involve services from our primary trade. this idea that somehow or other, every good that comes into the eu via northern ireland and then into the republic, is going to have to be stopped, it doesn't even match with common day practice. it is clear that the eu is not going to force anyone to put infrastructure up. why on earth would we add burdens to businesses that don't face them at the moment? why an earth would we make it difficult and more costly for them?
as we progress to the next stage of negotiations on the future of the eu uk relationship, britain does need to be an equal partner with the eu, and not their tax collector. well, with ministers accepting those brexiteer amendments, the bill passed all its commons stages. then came tuesday and the second bill. but here, the government was reluctant to give in — this time to remain supporters on the issue of staying in a customs union. the negotiations between the rebels and the minister were carried out in full view, across the conservative benches. what causes the government sometimes, or indeed a number of people in this house, concern is the word union. i'll give way to the minister. it is my intention to bring forward an amendment in the other place that takes in the essence of new clause 18 but removes the defective elements relating to the customs union. a generous offer from the front bench, and one that
i am tempted to accept. but i'd say to him, let's do this the other way round. i'll make you a generous offer. why don't you accept new clause 18 and then amend it in the lords? it is the policy of the government that we should not remain part of the customs union. that is why we cannot accept the amendment today. this doesn't commit us to ‘the‘ customs union, it commits us to a customs union, which is a customs arrangement, or a customs partnership. but no further concessions were forthcoming. some were still trying to make sense of what had happened on monday. they actually whipped my party to defeat the government's policy as set out in the white paper. today, we have amendments which are entirely consistent, the reason we explained in the government's white paper. but we must have that freedom to have our own international trade
policy, our own agreement with countries other than the eu, and our ability to settle our own laws and spend our own money. it is very clear that in this house, there is a majority for a customs union to safeguard businesses and jobs and the financial security of our constituents in the future. when it came to the vote, the government won by majority of six. by wednesday, it was a full nine days since borisjohnson had resigned as foreign secretary. and late that afternoon, the speaker uttered five words which must have sent a chill down theresa may's spine. personal statement, mr borisjohnson. he began by setting out his grievance. after decades in which uk ministers have gone to brussels and expostulated against costly eu regulations, we are now claiming that we must accept every drop and tittle for our economic health with no say of our own. but, he said, it wasn't to late to save brexit. there is time.
and if the prime minister can fix that vision once again before us, then i believe she can deliver a great brexit for britain with a positive, self—confident approach that will unite this party, unite this house, and unite this country as well. well, that was a flavour of borisjohnson‘s big moment, but how does it compare to other significant resignation speeches of our time? i asked bbc newsnight‘s political editor, nick watt, what he thought. well, i don't think the borisjohnson speech will go down as a great historic moment. i think the times said it was more reggie perrin than anything else. but remember, the house of commons isn't really borisjohnson‘s environment. he has never in his entire career in parliament in those two phases
ever done anything of any significance in that chamber. he made his name by great speeches, sort of anarchic speeches to tory audiences, and those stunts, getting caught on the tripwire, so it is not his natural place. but also he faced a very difficult political challenge. he wanted to say how unhappy he is with the prime minister's approach to brexit but he didn't want to bring her down. and interestingly he decided to speak after the vote on brexit because he didn't want to be seeing encouraging brexit tory mps to vote against the prime minister. and when you speak in parliament like that, are you speaking to the mps on your own side, on the opposition, or are you speaking to people who will see the speech on the news later? well, obviously, you can't really speak to the nation unless you are carrying parliament with you because if it is clear you are being listened to very seriously, and obviously, resignation speeches are traditionally listened to in silence. if you carry the commons, then obviously your message will punch through much further to the nation as a whole. so you said it's not a great parliamentary speech, there have been some very fiery parliamentary resignation speeches
in the past, like geoffrey howe, which precipitated the fall of margaret thatcher, robin cook when he objected to the iraq war. how does this compare to those? i mean, ijust don't believe that borisjohnson‘s speech is up there with geoffrey howe and robin cook's speeches. as you say, the point about the geoffrey howe speech was that changed history immediately, because that gave michael heseltine the cover to challenge margaret thatcher. famously, he challenged her, he didn't get the crown because he or she who wields the knife never wears the crown. and they delivered their resignation speeches to a completely full house of commons, and boris johnson, it wasn't quite full. i think it was the nature of the day and the fact that it came very late in the day. but there was a difference in atmosphere, i'm sure, in the house. yes, a very different atmosphere. the problem for borisjohnson was he had to wait two and a half or three hours after prime minister's questions because of all those urgent questions and statements, the prime minister wasn't in the house and the benches were not full so that had an impact.
the geoffrey howe speech, margaret thatcher was famously there on the treasury bench looking behind her. we all remember what her face looked as this devastating knifing of her premiership went on. and indeed, robin cook, it was an absolutely packed chamber. and if you look at the pictures of that speech by robin cook, you'lljust see to the left of him a labour mp wearing a green jacket that goes by the name ofjeremy corbyn, and you could argue that the legacy of the iraq war, the legacy of the perception in the labour movement that it was a mistake of historic proportions, which was obviously borne out by the robin cook speech, you could argue that that is what eventually delivered the leadership of the labour party to somebody in the days who was wearing a green jacket and seen as a way out on the margins of the labour party. are we likely to look back in ten or 20 years at borisjohnson‘s speech and think that has somehow changed history? it's very interesting you say that because we are talking about it
110w and here am i saying this was not a very great historic moment, parliament wasn't riveted by it but as the way that brexit plays out, if leave voters believe they have been betrayed because in some way brexit doesn't happen, or brexit happened in a way that they believe is not consistent with the key message of that campaign, which was take back control, if they believe that they have been betrayed, then maybe, just maybe, you would point to the speech where the man who resigned as foreign secretary saying to the prime minister, "prime minister, you've got enough time to save this, you've got enough time to deliver the vision that i successfully put before the british people," maybe, maybe we'll look back in 20 years' time and say, "do you know what, that really was a very historic speech." thank you. theresa may praised the american president for having "made a difference" in pushing nato countries to increase their spending on defence. the prime minister was reporting back to mps following the nato summit in brussels.
at the talks, donald trump suggested nato allies should double their defence spending goal from 2% to 4% of their national income. the summit was followed by a brief presidential working visit to britain, where he met the queen at windsor castle. after golf in scotland, mr trumpjetted off to helsinki for a meeting with president putin. back in the commons, theresa may, turned her attention to moscow. our long—term objective remains a constructive relationship with russia, so it is right that we keep engaging both as individual nations and as a nato alliance. so i welcome the meeting between president trump and president putin in helsinki today. but, as i agreed with president trump in our discussions last week, we must engage from a position of unity and strength. this means being clear and unwavering about where russia needs to change its behaviour. the labour leaderfocused on nato. once again, another global gathering has been dominated by the erratic statements of president trump. so did the us president ask the prime minister another nato leaders to double uk defence spending to 4%?
the prime minister defended donald trump. he has made a difference. we share his view that actually we want to see allies all stepping up to meet the commitments they gave at the summit here in wales in 2014 to spend 2% of their gdp on defence. what is more embarrassing is that after this treatment, we witnessed a prime minister roll out the carpet to the president as he visited the uk. a president who went on to publicly criticise the prime minister's brexit plans after advising the prime minister to sue the european union. you really couldn't make it up. trump looks more comfortable straddling the world stage next to putin than he did beside the prime minister. how can she justify sabotaging our sick your economic relationship with ourfriends in the eu and craves favours of a man who prides himself in shredding the rules based order. i say to the honourable lady that is not a question that can be
answered for the precise reason that the basis of the question is entirely wrong. now, if you thought things at westminster were a bit febrile, spare a thought for members of the national assembly for wales. in cardiff, all four major parties are facing leadership contests this year. our quite exhausted wales correspondent david cornock explains. this will be the last welsh labour conference i address as party leader. he's going. she's going, possibly. he's gone. he's gone, too, but he hopes to make a comeback. westminster may be in turmoil but these are tumultuous times in welsh politics too. four of the party leaders in the assembly in cardiff bay are either out, on their way out, orfacing a leadership challenge. in the departure lounge after a decade at the top, labour first minister carwynjones says he will step down
by the end of the year. so far, only one man, finance minister mark drakeford has enough support to succeed him. it is simpler in the conservatives where one day this davies ill be replaced by another davies. andrew "brexit means breakfast" rt davies has quit after several years and several plots by mps to oust him. his replacement will be either interim leader paul davies or susie davis. plaid cymru's leanne wood is one of the better—known welsh politicians but she is facing a double challenge to herjob leading the third biggest party. in the running, adam price, former conservative mp, and rhun ap iorwerth, a former bbc presenter. the former tory mp neil hamilton leads ukip in wales but not in the welsh assembly where he was ousted by caroline jones. neil hamilton is standing again. he is up against carolinejones and another assembly member gareth bennett, who wants to abolish the assembly. it is a lot easier in
the welsh liberal democrats who only have one am. kirsty williams has been the welsh party leader, she doesn't want her old job back. and she is the only one of the 60 assembly members who isn't involved in a leadership election this year. now for a look at some of the other westminster news in brief. the dup‘s ian paisley made an emotional apology to the commons forfailing to register and declare two free trips to sri lanka in 2013. the family holidays, worth an estimated £50,000, were paid for by the sri lankan government. the commons standards committee recommended that mr paisley be suspended from the commons for 30 days. it is to my constituents, mr speaker, who have sat me here since 2010 that i make the profoundest of all apologies. they have honoured me with unwavering support to be their voice and i hope they will continue to have that confidence in me in the future. the brexit campaign group vote leave
was fined more than £60,000 and referred to the police. the electoral commission said the organisation exceeded its spending limit by funnelling money through a pro—brexit youth group breaking electoral law. in the commons there was clear anger. i never thought i would see the day when a government minister would come to this house and seek to downplay one of the most serious attacks on our democracy in history. this isn'tjust about overspending, as important as that is. this is about dark money, this is about foreign interference in our democracy and this is about serious misuse of data. labour claimed that millions of disabled people have been affected by chronic chaos at the department for work and pensions. tens of thousands of sick and disabled people were underpaid when they were moved from the old incapacity benefit onto employment and support allowance. this meant they were denied vital support, causing significant
hardship on people already neglected by the governmentt‘s social security system. the dwp was alerted of this error as early as 2013 but in what the public accounts committee report published yesterday described as a culture of indifference at the dwp, the error was neglected only to be taken up six years after it had occurred. a bill to ban the buying or selling of ivory in the uk was debated by peers. the former conservative leader, lord hague led the attack on the trade, saying planet earth was notjust for human beings. we have to persuade people in china, india now, in thailand, and elsewhere, that seeking products made of ivory is no longer socially acceptable. that they are not to be regarded of value. that they are not a symbol of luxury but a symbol of cruelty. the restoration and renewal plan for the palace of westminster was one of the only questions not about brexit when the chairs
of all the commons committees got their regular chance to grill the prime minister. we've had angels falling off parapets onto cars, we've had chunks of sewage and people's desks, all sorts of problems in the building which need to be rectified. when are we going to see the legislation that will make this happen? because it has already been seven months. well, we are going to support bringing forward legislation and what we are looking at is we intend to publish a draft bill this year but as members will know, we do have a very busy legislative programme. i recognise, though, the importance of the bill. i recognise the importance of dealing with the state of the building. indeed, it was when i was home secretary, my outer office was flooded and it wasn'tjust water. now, the row about why an mp took part in crunch brexit votes, despite an agreement not, to rumbled on throughout the week. it was all about pairing, and if you're not familiar
with the minutiae of the british parliamentary voting system, that's when two mps of opposing parties agree not to vote, so cancelling each other out. but on tuesday the great yarmouth mp and conservative chairman brandon lewis, did vote, despite being paired with the liberal democrat mp for east dumbartonshire, jo swinson, who's on maternity leave. theresa may gave her version of events at prime minister's question time. the breaking of the pair was done in error, it was not good enough, it will not be repeated, my right honourable friend and the chief whip have apologised directly to the member because we take pairing very seriously. the person in charge of making sure the government gets its way when it comes to commons votes is the chief whip, a slightly shadowy figure, especially as by convention the chief whip does not speak in the commons. but the liberal democrats thought perhaps he should. i have to say i still do not understand how this highly
regrettable state of affairs came to pass. so today i have a somewhat novel request for the leader of the house. and that is that the government chief whip should come to the despatch box and make a statement himself. my right honourable friend, by virtue of the conversation i had with them, it was absolutely clear to me that he was totally unaware that he was paired with the honourable member for east dunbartonshire and i myself texted his honourable friend and i have made very clear to her that i will continue to ensure that her maternity pair is in place and i have reassured the house that is the case and i apologise again for that error. but try as they might, ministers seemed unable to draw a line under the matter. a labour mp claimed new information had emerged about the behaviour of the chief whip, julian smith.
here is what one honourable member for the conservative benches was quoted as saying. "julian told me i was needed and told me to come in and vote. of course he knew i was paired, i didn't vote and honoured my pair and he demanded to know why not afterwards." it then appears he told the prime minister it was an honest mistake. now, madam deputy speaker, i have no doubt or any reason not to believe that the leader of the house is only relating what she has been told to say. so given this, how can we compel the chief whip to come to the despatch box to account for his actions because if the trust of the pairing system has been abused in this way, he must surely now resign. the labour mp wes streeting. the speaker of the irish parliament this week presented the uk parliament with a portrait of the first woman ever elected as an mp. constance markovitz was a sinn fein member who never took her seat at westminster, instead becoming
the first female cabinet minister in the irish republic. the picture, a copy of one in dublin, is currently on show in the voice and vote exhibition in westminster hall. markievicz is a sterling role model, i think, for women, still, right across europe. that she really pioneered, she pushed for the vote for women and pushed for independence for our country. and she was a very effective minister. she was a leader in every sense of the word. for a long time, the first woman was recognised as nancy astor, who was actually the second woman elected to the house of commons. but for a long time, constance markievicz was wriiten out of british history, so of course we welcome the fact that the british parliament are finally recognising and acknowledging the very important role that she took part in 100 years ago. it's an important moment for us and very newsworthy, in ireland and i think also
in britain to see this act of reconciliation between our two countries and to see this formal act of recognition, of this vitally important a feminist, a campaigner for workers' rights, and campaigner for irish freedom being recognised in this way. in 1916, she was involved in the easter rising in dublin, after she was imprisoned and initially sentenced to death. her death sentence was commuted on grounds of her sex, which greatly annoyed her at the time. she was then released on amnesty in 1917, but then as the war progressed she was rearrested in 1918, and she fights her election campaign from her prison cell and writes her election address to the constituents of dublin's sir patrick's constituency from there and she said that she would never swear an oath to a government she meant to overthrow. so she set out from the start that as a sinn fein mp, she would never take her seat in westminster. the policy has served us well for 100 years, there is no appetite within the nationalist community to change it and people know that when they elect a sinn fein member, they are voting for a very hard—working and activist
who is going to get things done for their constituents. constance markievicz was a sinn fein abstentionist member of parliament. we still have sinn fein abstentionist members of parliament today. the relation between our two countries has often been complicated and often being in disagreement but i think today is about cooperation and friendship and recognising the contribution that irish people have made to this place over many years and i think it is appropriate and fitting that our first woman member of parliament constance markievicz finally has her place here in the british houses of parliament. finally, if you can't wait for your summer holiday, neither, it seems, could ministers. they'd suggested the commons starts its summer break early, thursday instead of next tuesday. but the idea provoked a furious reaction, not least among conservatives. this decision will bring this whole house into a programme. it seems to meet extraordinary that they shouldn't want to bring parliament into disrepute by sending just scuttling into our constituencies
and suspending our deliberation several days early. later in the evening, the suggestion had become motion 13 on the order paper. the leader of the house or somebody on her behalf to move. not move! not to move! thank you. and if the motion‘s not moved, mps didn't move. so we still get another two days in parliament, hurray! but that's it for now. don't forget there's a round up of each day in parliament every evening at 11pm on bbc parliament. but for now from me, mandy baker, goodbye. hello. some areas were lucky enough to have some useful rain on friday.
0thers, though, just had the cloud, and hardly anything fell from it. and it is looking mainly dry for the weekend, as this nose of high pressure builds in behind that rain—bearing weather system clearing away south—eastwards. for early risers saturday morning, a lot of cloud around, rather misty and murky in places, and for england and wales at any stage in the day, anywhere, there's the chance of a hit—and—miss shower. most will avoid them and stay dry with warm sunny spells developing. warm anywhere where you get to see sunshine, not a lot of cloud around for northern scotland and north—east scotland and thickening further later in the day. this is 4:00pm, south to north across the uk, at this stage parts of southern england and south wales most favoured for an isolated shower, though most stay dry. and again, warm sunny spells in england and wales, southern and eastern scotland. more cloud for northern ireland, western scotland, especially into the north—west, where the breeze is picking up. and a bit of patchy light rain is starting to move in.
for the golf at carnoustie as the open continues, a lot of cloud around particularly early in the day. i think some sunny spells will develop. looks like it will be a sunnier and warmer day on sunday, but at that stage it looks like the breeze will be perhaps more significant. now, as we go on through saturday evening and overnight, what showers have popped up in england and wales will die away. a few patches of mist and fog around, though most will be with clear spells. more cloud starting to filter into western scotland, and again there'll be a bit of patchy rain the further north you are, and a warmer night to come for scotland and northern ireland compared with friday night. and some spots into the high teens overnight, particularly in south—east england. into sunday then, and a weather system moving in will give some patchy rain towards parts of northern and western scotland, perhaps later in the day into northern ireland, as the cloud feeds in from the north—west. breezier across northern scotland, compared with elsewhere. but, for much of south—east scotland and across england and wales, there will be more
warm, sunny spells to come, and it's becoming very warm to hot once again, as those temperatures get close to 30 celsius across eastern and south—eastern england. now, early into next week, this weather system will bring some patchy rain through scotland and northern ireland. ahead of that, though, we draw up some even hotter air to england and wales, so the heatwave is absolutely back on. anywhere getting to see some sunshine next week will be very warm to hot, but again, it's got the weather system earlier in the week affecting parts of scotland and northern england. highest temperatures in east and south—east england, in excess of 30 once again, and dry. hello and welcome to bbc news. i'm nkem ifejika. donald trump's former lawyer, michael cohen, secretly recorded his client discussing payments to a former playboy model — that's according to a us media report. the tapes were reportedly discovered during an fbi raid on mr cohen's property. the new york times reports that, on the recording, mr trump and mr cohen discuss paying karen mcdougal. she says she had a ten—month affair with donald trump in 2006.