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tv   Tuesday in Parliament  BBC News  March 20, 2019 2:30am-3:01am GMT

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300 people are now known to have died after cyclone idai hit southern africa. 200 of the victims were in mozambique, and another 100 in zimbabwe, where the government, has admitted they failed to anticipate the magnitude of the tropical storm. hundreds of thousands have been made homeless. the first funerals are taking place in new zealand of victims of the two mass shootings at mosques in the city of christchurch. there's been some criticism of the authorities for delays in returning the 50 victims‘ bodies to their families for a speedy burial. theresa may is formally asking brussels to delay britain's withdrawal from the eu beyond march 29. the prime minister is to request an extension until the end ofjune or, possibly forfar longer. the request will be considered by eu heads of government on thursday.
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you are up—to—date on the headlines. now on bbc news, tuesday in parliament. hello there and welcome to the programme. coming up in the next half hour: calls for the victims of child sexual exploitation not to have to reveal conditions connected to their abuse. will the minister please give guidance to police, the judges and cps to consider holistically when a child is presented with a activity that it could be part of grooming? young people in special education needs ask for better support at schools and colleges. many children aren't receiving the support and the correct education that they need, and they are missing out on their education and childhood. and peers want to know what the government is doing to help
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the tens of thousands of victims of cyclone idai. what immediate effect is in hand to save 2,500 children from the threat of drowning? but first, labour says child sexual exploitation victims should no longer be forced to reveal convictions linked to their abuse. the shadow home office minister louise haigh said punitive rules mean they cannot escape their past as victims. their past is something they are forced to confront every day of their lives, through the painful, which never leaves them and which many simply cannot escape. their bravery in the face of all that has happened to them is humbling. but mr speaker, the victims are not only forced to live with their trauma but also convictions linked to their sexual exploitation and childhood. they are blighted by an obligation to dispose criminal convictions linked to past abuse, forced to tell employers and even local pta about their past convictions. this punitive rule means they simply cannot to escape a past in which they were victims. she asked the government to look at enacting a proposal,
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sammy's law, named after the campaign and survival of child exploitation sammy woodhouse. it would allow victims to have their criminal records reviewed and crimes associated with their grooming removed. louise haigh explained that sammy woodhouse had two convictions. which includes possession of an offensive weapon and affray, both explicitly linked to her grooming. when she was 15, police raided a property of a now—convicted serial rapist. sammy was half naked and hiding under his bed. he was not detained, but sammy was arrested and charged. she was a victim of exploitation and is now forced to disclose her criminal convictions — crimes she committed only through her exploitation. louise haigh said judges had already ruled that forcing exploitation victims to review convictions connected to their mps was unjust. —— victims to reveal convictions connected to their mps was unjust. will the minister consider bringing
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forward what is known sammy's law — the rights of victims of cse to have their criminal records automatically reviewed and crimes associated with their grooming removed? at present, anyone has a right to apply to the chief constable of their force area to have their records reviewed, but this right is little—known and surely, there must be a specific case in these circumstances? we have acknowledged, i think as a society, that children who present initially as suspects, that the police and others must ask questions so as to see whether there is more to the picture that is presented to them in the immediate circumstances than is perhaps suggested. i'm sure we all agree with that, and so that is why i am extremely grateful for the opportunity to reiterate that. sammy woodhouse is to be commended for her courage and fortitude, and her campaign does remind us of the very complex nature of child sexual abuse and its long—lasting consequences. she makes an important point when she says the fear
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of being prosecuted may stop victims coming forward and that criminal records may prevent survivors from moving on with their lives. with children's services having taken a 49% cut in their early intervention funding, could the minister explain how she thinks we will be able to intervene at an early stage to spot and to rescue young people at risk? the minister said there was work going on including with policing to make sure... children are intervened upon before harm happens. and this includes helping to fund regional organised crime units, to increase the undercover online capability which we know is being used to target the online grooming of children. it's clearly evident that, as part of their grooming, children are coerced into getting criminal records, whether that is the child sexual expectation or through drugs and gangs. this has both a desired effect in that it prevents the children from going to the police and also has a lifelong damage on theiremployment and,
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most perversely, from their likelihood of getting compensation from seca. will the minister please give guidance to police, the judges and cps to consider holistically when a child is presented with a criminal activity that it could be part of grooming? i have dealt pretty much every week and, certainly, every month over the last five years with those who have survived abuse, including this week. and i can tell the minister that this question of criminality and its impact in terms of custody, housing, employment, but also in terms of ongoing reputation for those who have managed to move on in their lives is fundamental to why the vast majority of people have not come forward, despite the fact that i represented over 30 of the three weeks of the nottinghamshire inquiry. it is important notjust in terms of how the criminaljustice system and other agencies react to this,
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but also how we in this place react to it. the choice of language that we use is vitally important. and i make it absolutely clear that it is the policy of this government that we will always be on the side of the victims of child sexual abuse and we will always seek to secure justice for them. victoria atkins. now, bosses from the firm behind the instant messaging app snapchat has been challenged by mps over delays in handing over dates to police investigating allegations that a murder boy's family has been —— data to police investigating allegations that a murder boy's family has been taunted by his killer. 14—year—old breck bednar was murdered by lewis daynes, who befriended him on a dating website. —— who befriended him on a gaming website. appearing before the digital, culture & media expert committee, a senior executive said that snapchat was constrained by united states law, where the firm is based.
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what is frustrating, i think, for everybody, including us, is the mutual legal assistance treaty between the uk and the us is a very slow process. there are things that can be done in exceptional circumstances, i understand, to expedite the process — that is an intergovernmental process, not a company one. we undertake to respond very quickly to any requests we receive from uk law enforcement through the process. can you just help us by saying one action you have taken with police investigating the messages sent to breck bednar's family? of course. so, as always in this case, as well, we have responded very quickly to the two requests that police made, the kent police. the folkestone constabulary. they asked what our process was and then they asked a second question about clarifying one fine point on that process. we never received any formal request for data at all from the police.
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if kent police did make a request directly to the company for that data and information as part of their investigation, is there anything to stop you giving it to them? no, but they would have to go through the process. it is a uk—us governmentally agreed process. so what would be the consequence of snap responding directly to a request from the uk police in this regard? i don't know. there would — potentially we would be a breach of our obligations under us law. stephen collins said it was a very distressing case. we obviously take this opportunity to extend our sympathies to the family. as a parent, i cannot imagine, to be fair, what they are going through. and we have done, i think, what we could on the legal side, also on the trust and safety side. it is important that you know that we have been in direct touch with the family and we have helped
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them understand how they can report to us, to have us block accounts that are harassing them. that if they report through the app, we can preserve that data for police investigation. also through the process, if the police ask us to preserve data whilst they go through the process, so it is not lost, we would also do that. and people with special educational needs and disabilities have called for better support at school and college. they shared their experiences with mps on the education committee, who are revealing changes that introduce education, —— who are reviewing changes that introduce education, health and care plans for the children. research from the rip stars project, which acts a voice for young people, were asked if the process is working. one of the things that we found out in the research was that children weren't actually being involved in the process of their actual education. that was a stunning find.
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the plan is being made about the child, without the child's information being shared, their verbal opinions or their views and everything, and that is not unto us. quite shocking, i found, in the beginning. eva? we found out that what is written in the plan is not being followed through. so many children aren't receiving the support and the correct education that they need and they are missing out on their education and childhood, and the plans aren't preparing them for independence in adulthood. can i ask what does a quality education health and care plan look like for young people with send — special educational needs and disabilities? what we found with this was that he needs to be passed. it is notjust education, orthe other side — health. it should be the whole life. it should be what the child wants to achieve, get their full potential out of it. so not what they want to get in their gcsc. it is their whole life,
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their whole aspiration. so working towards an independent life as well. and to be fully included in school, communities, access clubs, and activities, so they can be involved with eve rytghing and so they can had that normal life and childhood. one big thing that we learned is that you got to remember, please, that we are human beings — we are not problems, we are not disabled, we're not just send. we are human beings and the same as the rest of you. we may do things a little bit differently. so just remember that fact and go with it as — ok, with this, not a problem or a puzzle sort of thing. work with us, not as a problem. the mps heard from simran, a university student who has cerebral palsy. do you think there is enough help and support for young people with send to find out what they want to do when they get to college? in a way, no. i was lucky enough to know what i wanted to do, so i feel like i am in the minority.
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a lot of disabled people don't know what they want to do. i want to be an accountant. i want to work, i want to contribute to the economy and society. but i feel like there's not very many opportunities for me to do so. the final witness were ella, who is 14, and francesca, who is 16, both of whom are profoundly deaf and have different experiences at school. in primary school, they don't really have a disability or a special needs room, which i find really interesting. because in secondary school, they feel like there is more of a need for it. which is a bit of a shame, because it shows to the average students that these people need to be kept separate, which i feel like this the wrong attitude completely. it should be about inclusivity and empowering those people. going into my gcsc years, i don't know what support i will be able to have, as i am currently
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waiting on an education, health and care plan, which my council is currently refusing me, as they did not think i was deaf enough. the hearing ended with a rare standing ovation led by the committee chair. all the pupils who have come here this morning have given up their time and have been absolutely inspirational. we just want to give you a proper round of applause. you're watching tuesday in parliament with me, alicia mccarthy. don't forget, you can follow me on twitter @bbcalicia. a former gang member, junior smart, has said that children are attracted to gangs because of the social and financial benefits. mr smart now works for a charity which helps disadvantaged youngsters make positive life choices. he told mps that children as young as eight were becoming gang members.
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i spent some time doing a documentary with gangs in birmingham ten years ago. i was seeing embryonic gangs in playgrounds of schools. you can see how they then graduate to become actual gangs. so, what is the average recruit? so many of you mentioned "recruit" as well, so how is that person drawn into a gang? are they actively seeking to become a member of a gang or is there talent spotting effectively by gangs? how does that work and what aspect of that is social media—driven? so, i think the first thing we have to be careful of is using careful use of the language. i know we have used the word "recruit" and also, they have this whole idea around this sophistication of grooming. the reality is to recruit any young person or to groom a young person is very easy. any child wants to be seen as an adult. we misconstrue that it's going
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to be this enticement period and this young person is going to get drawn in. actually, the easiest place to recruit are outside schools. the kids that leave school last are going to be the ones that are often in detention, the ones that are socially excluded. you only have to look at our county lines and evaluation where100% of our young people involved in county lines came from pupil referral units or from alternative learning establishments. he said the law had to catch up with the reality of those children's lives. hitting a young person with a £200 fine is not going to have a determined effect, when actually, they could make that in a day. and also, chastising the parent, blaming the parent, the sins of the parent on the child. when actually, the child sees everyone that challenges mum or dad as the enemy anyway. it isjust going to die for him further into it. i think there is a lot there to take into account. but, yes, the youngest person in our caseload is eight years old.
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at the moment, we're still working with him to ascertain how he was brought in, drawn in, whether it was through family members or even through the school. thanks to social media, this thing is very, very common. dr simon harding said some stereotypes about gang members were overemphasised. one is the dysfunctional family and another is the absent father. these are stereotypes and tropes that tend to be played out a great deal. i have, for example, worked with young people on estates in south london where the young person has both parents, both civil servants, both gainfully employed, bringing in income. and the boy goes to church on sunday with the parents. but on sunday afternoon, he is selling crack to local prostitutes in the council estate. so, those kind of things can happen. dr carlene firmin said there weren't enough safe spaces for the children. we absolutely hear of young people congregating in a range of public
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spaces where they're exposed to violence without access to any sort of support from youth workers or any other kind of active community guardians who can keep them safe, and a lack of other organised spaces in which they can spend their time. this, combined with cuts to local authority budgets over recent times, and a struggle that they're really experiencing to adequately safeguard young people and put in the appropriate responses. many companies have been accused in the comments of the abusive treatment of small business. it follows the case of 63—year—old westin scotland property businessman john guidi, who's now staging a hunger strike near glasgow city centre. he claims the clydesdale bank changed the terms of their lending arrangement with him, and then sold his debt to an american private equity firm, cerebrus. it subsequently put his business into receivership. his mp spoke about the significance of the case. this tragic case brings
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to the attention the vulnerability of uk businesses to the abusive treatment by lenders and vulture funds and the inadequacy of the current way of preventing it. because, sadly, john is not alone. there are hundreds of people across the uk that had their business sold by the bank. simply put, cerebrus is the world's largest debt collector. as we all know, so—called ‘distress loans‘ are anything but. since the banking cases in 2008, we have seen a sorry catalogue of thousands of instances in which banks have been forging legitimate followers into stress through no fault of their own. it is common across all jurisdictions for banks at times to sell off parts of their portfolio of debt. the question becomes — what is the appropriate mechanisms and safeguards in those cases? and we know that when sale of debts
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are made to third parties, practise, —— it is covered, as i said, under the standards of lending practise, to which clydesdale are a signatory. that means they are committed to ensuring the third party whose buy loans has initiated that customers will be treated fairly and to allowing customers to complain to the original lender if there is a dispute between the business and the third party, which cannot be resolved. over in the lords, peers wanted to know what the government was doing to help three countries hit by cyclone idai. the death toll in mozambique can be as high as 1,000, but tens of thousands are thought to have been displaced in mozambique, zimbabwe and malawi. the storm made landfall near the port city of beira on thursday, with winds of up to 177km/h or 106mph before sweeping across the region. aid teams only reached
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the city on sunday. in the lords, and appear worried that zimbabwe was missing out on help and read out an e—mail he had received from a friend in the country. 800mm of rain in one day caused a huge mudslide 7:30 at night. it swept away our sawmill, our workshops, tree nursery where most of this year‘s trees were planting. all of next year‘s, and most terrible of all, 37 out of the 39 aid room workers‘ residences, killing five, with another 15 are missing presumed dead, and masses injured. what is being done to see that this aid is distributed throughout the three countries, and not pinned down to two of them for favouritism? i can assure the noble lord that the government will not be treating countries in an imbalanced way. in zimbabwe, we've already carried out satellite mapping of the affected areas to assess damage, provided hygiene kits, cholera kits, essential medicines,
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chasing support for children and water sanitation. before i came into the chamber, i came off of a telephone call with two of the aid workers in mozambique. i didn't think i would be able to say that without getting very emotional. it was amazing, their stoicism, and what they were doing. but i can assure the noble lord money will be allocated to zimbabwe, and we will know that that is in the next 24 hours. just over an hour ago now, save the children reported that due to the river bursting in mozambique, it could be underwater within 2a hours. so what immediate relief action is in hand to save the 2,500 children from the threat of drowning? according to un aid agencies, this is one of the worst weather—related disasters to ever hit the southern hemisphere.
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is the government considering initiating commonwealth—wide relief across the region in the longer time? the minister explained that the met office had been giving support to the region. unfortunately, it looks like in the next six days, there could be more terrible weather. but in terms of the commonwealth—wide relief programme, i don't know the answer to that question, but i will surely get you one. please be assured that everybody's doing everything they can to avoid children and humans dying. stay in the lords. peers back to move the continued home delivery of knives bought online in the uk. the lords defeated the government by a majority of 21 to support the creation of a trusted career scheme, aimed and ensuring the person receiving the blade is legally allowed to do so. the government is seeking to outlaw the delivery of knives to residential address to try to stop them falling into the hands of children under the age of 18. but critics pointed out this would not apply to knives bought outside the uk and it would unfairly impact
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the british retailers. now, the comments speaker john bercow stands by his ruling that a common speaker cannot bring his field back to the commons unless it is substantially different to what mps have voted on before. he made his controversial decision on monday, taking the government by surprise. a conservative asked him about the way forward. i stand by the point about the same or substantially the same proposition not being able to be brought in the same session. the logical corroborie of that is that if a different proposition is brought forward, it is perfectly possible that that can be done in an orderly way, that is to say without falling foul. john bercow. finally to new zealand, where the country‘s prime minister, jacinda ardern,
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has vowed never to say the name of the christchurch mosque gunman. friday‘s shootings at two mosques left 50 people dead and dozens wounded. in the nation‘s deadliest attack. australian brenton tarrant, 28, a self—described white supremacist, has been charged with murder. speaking in the new zealand parliament, the prime minister, jacinda ardern, described it as a terrorist attack and one of new zealand‘s darkest days. mr speaker, there is one person at the centre of this terror attack against our muslim community in new zealand. at 28—year—old man, an australian citizen, has been charged with one count of murder. other charges will follow. he will face the full force of the law in new zealand. the families of the fallen will have justice. he sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety.
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and that is why you will never hear me mention his name. he is a terrorist. he is a criminal. he is an extremist. but he will, when i speak, be nameless. and to others, i implore you — speak the names of those who were lost rather than the name of the man who took them. he may have sought notoriety, but we in new zealand will give him nothing. not even his name. new zealand‘s prime minister, jacinda ardern. that‘s it from me for now. join me at the same time tomorrow for another round—up of the day here at westminster, including the highlights from prime minister‘s questions. but for now, from me, alicia mccarthy, goodbye.
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hello there. the most noticeable feature of the weather for the next few days will be the feel of it. it‘s going to be very mild with temperatures a little above the seasonal average, in fact. and it should be largely dry too with the high pressure taking control. winds will be light for most away from the far north of the country. now, the air mass is key to how it‘s going to feel for the next few days. got low pressure to the north of the uk, high pressure to the south, and we‘re bringing this warm air on a south—westerly wind. but it is very moisture—laden off the atlantic, which is why we‘re seeing quite a lot of cloud around, thick enough to produce outbreaks of light rain and drizzle for northern england and scotland early on wednesday. there could be a bit of mist and fog too. a mild start to wednesday in places. no lower than 10 degrees, for example, in belfast. so, through this morning, again, we‘ll have quite a lot of cloud around, generally light wind.
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but i‘m hopeful through the afternoon we could see some good breaks of sunny spells appearing. again, across the far north—west of the uk, it will be windier here with outbreaks of rain for the north—west highlands. depending on how much sunshine we get, we could see temperatures reaching the high teens, but generally, even where you have the cloud, it‘s going to feel very mild, temperatures around 13 or 1a degrees. into thursday then, a similar picture, quite a bit of cloud around, but some good holes breaking, particularly to the east of high ground to allow for some sunny spells. staying very wet, though, for the north—west of scotland, where it will be breezier, temperatures 11 or 12 degrees here. further south, again, given some good spells of sunshine, we could make 16 or 17 celsius. now, as we head on into friday, we‘ll see this developing area of low pressure, which will bring a spell of gales and rain to the north of the country. the further south you are, close to that area of high pressure, it should stay largely fine again with variable cloud and some sunny spells. it will be a breezy day across the board, very windy across parts of scotland with gales, 50 to 60mph gusts inland.
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60 to 70 perhaps for the northern isles and the western isles, and we‘ll also see rain, which will spill its way southwards and eastwards, tending to weaken as it does. cooler behind it, but again, another very mild day ahead of it, given some spells of sunshine. but even where it‘s cloudy, it‘s going to be mild. and then through friday evening and night, that band of cloud and rain sinks south—eastwards, introducing cooler air. we‘ll see a few wintry showers pushing in there to the north of scotland. so, you can see the blue colours invading from the north—west as we head on in towards the weekend, but it‘s still high pressure in charge. so it means it should be largely fine and dry, and with drier, cooler air, we could see more sunshine around both saturday and sunday. but you‘ll notice the temperatures a little bit lower and nights will be chilly too with a touch of frost in places.
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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: there are fears that cyclone idai has left hundreds of thousands homeless in africa. it may be the worst natural disaster that‘s ever hit the southern hemisphere. the really striking thing as you walk through here is just how exhausted they are. person after person has come up to us, asking for help, wondering when aid is going to arrive. the first funerals begin in new zealand for some of the 50 people who were killed in last friday‘s mosque attacks. theresa may is formally asking brussels to delay britain‘s withdrawal from the eu beyond march the 29th. american—backed forces in syria say they‘ve captured the last bit


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