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tv   Tuesday in Parliament  BBC News  April 3, 2019 2:30am-3:01am BST

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a warm welcome to bbc news — broadcasting to our viewers this is bbc news. in north america the headlines: and around the globe. my name's mike embley. our top stories: britain's prime minister theresa may is to ask the european union for britain's prime minister is to ask for another brexit delay and seek another delay to brexit. theresa may talks with the opposition in a fresh bid to break the logjam. this debate, this division, is also going to co—operate with cannot drag on much longer. it is putting members of parliament and everyone else under immense jeremy corbyn, a move that has pressure, and it is doing infuriated hard brexiteers within damage to our politics. her own party. celebrations in algeria celebrations in algeria as president as president bouteflika resigns bouteflika resigns after 20 years in after 20 years in power, bowing to weeks of pressure and protests. power, after weeks of protests and he has 82 and has been in powerfor 20 years. the corruption trial of malaysia's former prime minister, najib rajak, it's under way shortly. pressure. peace talks in he is accused of stealing billions afghanistan, where the taliban still casts a long of dollars from the country past wealth fund, 1mdb. —— from the country's soften wealth fund.
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—— from the country's sovereign wealth fund. you're up to date with the headlines. it's 2:30am. now on bbc news, it's tuesday in parliament. hello again and welcome to tuesday in parliament. a seven—hour cabinet meeting, the pm says we can't leave the eu next week. but a backbench bid to delay brexit riles the brexiteers. this is a reprehensible procedure, in the context of this vitally important issue of our leaving of the european union. mps ponder what to do when people won't talk to them. people often cite the ancient powers of the house to lock people up in a prison under big ben. and after 50 years, is it time the faces on our banknotes reflected 21st—century britain? all but three have been historic white men. all that to come and more. but first, it was the morning
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and the afternoon after the indicative votes the night before. with mps having failed to break the brexit deadlock, theresa may's cabinet spent seven hours in downing street trying to find their own way out of the crisis. in a statement afterwards, she called for a short extension for the brexit process, to avoid britain leaving without a deal next week. she called for talks with labour and a cross—party agreement, that would include her withdrawal agreement. as the cabinet met, a cross—party group of mps had lodged an attempt to stop the uk leaving the eu without a deal on april 12. european union (withdrawal) (no 5) bill. second reading, what day? tomorrow. tomorrow, thank you. that bill, proposed by the labour former minister yvette cooper, could be fast tracked through the commons in a day.
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something that's alarmed eurosceptics. this is a reprehensible procedure in the context of the vitally important issue of our leaving the european union. it's unconstitutional, it is inconceivable that we should be presented with a bill which could be rammed through in one day. it is not unknown for a bill to be pushed through the house in one day. for a bill to be brought forward by a back—bench member is very unusual, but it is consequent upon a decision of the house. bills being brought forward and taken through their various stages in one day, in government time, are not particularly unusual at all. so it looks as if mps will spend wednesday debating yvette cooper's plan, although it's unclear how theresa may's statement will affect that. mps spent tuesday looking back on the brexit process and agreed to admonish the director of the vote leave campaign, dominic cummings. the censure was not directly about the campaign itself, but instead with his refusal to appear before mps in a later enquiry into fake news. the witness himself,
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mr cummings, was critical of the committee's inquiry, he was critical of other witnesses who had attended, and of the evidence that they's given. and the main reason that we wished him to attend was so that he could respond to the allegations made by other witnesses. that is an important part of the inquiry, and also demonstrates the committee's desire to hear all sides of the story. but we are frustrated in that process when witnesses refuse to confirm dates, put up spurious reasons for why they cannot attend, and then, in correspondence with the committee, seek to behave in a way that certainly is contemptuous of its work and, therefore, of the work of the house. does he not have at least some sympathy for the argument that vote leave was under investigation by the electoral commission, a full—scale legal investigation? and given that that was an ongoing investigation, a request to say that he would give evidence after that had concluded was not at all unreasonable? the speaker insisted the debate
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was about dominic cummings‘s refusal to appear before mps, rather than the referendum campaign. but others saw a link. the vote leave campaign does stand accused of engaging in lies, propaganda and wilful distortion of the facts. it is a fact that it has been found guilty by the information commissioner of breaking the regulations on the gathering of personal data. and it is a fact that it broke the law and has been fined by the electoral commission for its expenses. now, it seems to me that it would be legitimate for mr cummings to engage with the committee to talk about those things. there was clear frustration about the ability of mps to sanction witnesses who refused to give evidence to them. people often cite the ancient powers of the house to lock people up in a prison under big ben or lock people up here, and those powers do technically still exist, but would rightly be considered to be unenforceable. the house must therefore debate and decide what we want to do
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when witnesses decline to attend. there's a very real danger, given the nature of dominic cummings, and i don't think, incidentally, the way he's behaved towards the select committee is any different from the way he behaves generally, that he would actually regard an admonishment from the house of commons as a badge of honour. does he also agree that we need some form of alternative measure so that future witnesses will not think that an admonishment is the only thing they might have to face? the chair of the privileges committee, who found dominic cummings in contempt of parliament, agreed changes were needed. we recommend that he be admonished by resolution of the house, to be communicated to him by the clerk of the house. we do not recommend the old practice of summoning him to the bar, which we believe would merely give him an opportunity to grandstand. so mps agreed to admonish dominic cummings, but there will be
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a review of sanctions to make sure people can't simply ignore parliament. you're watching tuesday in parliament. the government has been accused, by labour, of allowing the crown prince of saudi arabia, mohammad bin salman, to get away with murder. it was a charge that was rejected by the foreign secretary, who in turn accused labour of double standards. the clash came six months after the alleged murder by saudi agents of the journalist, jamal khassogi. —— jamal khashoggi. and just days after the saudi led coalition was charge of being behind an air strike in war—torn yemen. the bomb killed several adults and children. today is just six months to the day since jamal khashoggi was brutally murdered by saudi agents in their embassy in istanbul. but the greatest tribute that we can pay to him today is not to look back
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at his death, but to look at the murder of innocent children in yemen whose lives he tried to save with his journalism and whose lives matter just as much as his did. so in that light, can i ask the foreign secretary, what possible justification can he offerfor the saudi air strike last week on the save the child ren—supported hospital in kitaf, which was clearly marked on the saudi no—strike list? the strike killed three adults and four children, including an innocent child, aged just eight years? let me tell my opposite number that that is exactly why we are doing everything that we possibly can to try to create peace in yemen. it's why i'm the first western foreign minister to meet the houthi side, even though they were the ones that were the cause of the conflict when it started four years ago. i'm the first western foreign minister to visit yemen to actually see where we could progress the stockholm accords. but i'm afraid i'm not prepared
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to let labour pose as the great humanitarians here, when their foreign policy is to support an evil regime in venezuela, that stops its own people accessing food and medicine, itjust doesn't work. time and again over the last four years, including onjamal khashoggi, we get the same response from this government, that they regret what's happened, they want a proper investigation by the saudis, they promise real consequences, and nothing ever happens! there is no investigation, there are no consequences and bin salman carries on with complete impunity. can i ask the foreign secretary yet again what it will take for this government to finally, fianlly tell bin salman that he cannot keep getting away with murder? hear, hear. mr speaker, she just is not reflecting what has happened. so thanks to action by this government and other governments,
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we now have a judicial process that has started in saudi arabia, it started on 3 january and we are sending observers. we have a un special rapporteur, agnes callamard, who is responsible for looking at extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and she's leading an independent international inquiry. when it comes to yemen, let me just say to her, when i became foreign secretary, and was shadow foreign secretary then, we did not have a peace process in yemen, and now we do, which is thanks to the uk and the huge diplomatic effort we have been making. but mr hunt was prepared tojoin anothermp in criticising a close ally. is it not a matter of the greatest regret that our most important ally, the united states, is in clear contravention of united nations
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security council resolution a97 by recognising israeli sovereignty claims over golan? as annexation of territory is prohibited under international law, will he send a very strong message to the united states that the british house of commons condemns unreservedly this breach of the rules—based order? hear, hear. well, i am happy to do that. because my right honourable friend is absolutely right, we should never recognise the annexation of territory by force. that has been one of the great achievements since the founding of the united nations. and i say to him, i do that with a very heavy heart, because israel is an ally, it is a shining example of democracy in a part of the world where that is not common. we want israel to be a success, and we consider them to be a great friend, but on this we do not agree. jeremy hunt. now, how well is the government doing in putting the planet at the heart of the policies? that's the central question considered by the environment audit committee, in its enquiry into planetary health.
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in its final hearing, mps on the committee took evidence from the government, scientific advisers and ministers. the committee chair had an example of where she reckoned there hadn't been muchjoined up thinking. giving the green light for a go—ahead to include recycled plastic in road surfaces and i was concerned that there didn't seem to have been any prior research into how the degradation of those roads could feed microplastics into the environment, for example. the scientific expert at the department said that had not been made through the air quality. because it is looking at material for roads. can it plastics get into the air? particularly this is becoming a concern of ours. my science advisory council, they challenge me and advise me, our next deep dive is on particulates.
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you're allowing an innovation to go through, which potentially puts microplastics into the rivers in a very sensitive ecological part of the country, up in the lake district. personally, i wasn't involved in that, i heard about that quite late on, and we have been challenging on that to the point where we want to make sure there is some evaluation on the first trial of that, to see what the environment impacts are. the view was that it was actually using waste products in a recyclable way. we don't have the full evidence on that at this point in time. so we'rejust doing a big, giant experiment in the lake district to see how it goes? with innovation, sometimes you've got to do some experimentation. but another expert thought there was room for optimism about scientific solutions to environmental problems, and he had an example based on evidence the committee had heard. a mosquito species, because of climate change, would probably move up to europe.
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i'm summarising roughly. now, that is true. and a threat therefore is that we will get an outbreak of zika, except that it is likely by the time we have it in the europe, there will be a vaccine against zika. they looked at food and recent reports urging people to move towards a diet that's more pla nt—based, with less meat and fish. i think the food system has to start with what people want to eat and just telling people that they should eat stuff because it's good for them is destined to fail. we also want it to be as environmentally sustainable as possible. yeah, let me finish this. we also want it to be environmentally sustainable and extremely healthy. i am surprised at that answer because there is an obesity crisis, there is a public health crisis, there is an environmental crisis, and if you start all of that off with your starting point being what people want to eat, it makes it sound like what we want to eat is somehow something that is just a given.
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what we want to eat is massively mediated by the advertising industry, the massive amount of sugar that gets us hooked on certain foods, and everything else. i certainly agree with that. changing a diet habit is not only desirable but possible. well, it isn't if you start off where your starting point is what people want to eat, i think our starting point should be public health and environmental sustainability and equity. i'm a public—health person, i completely agree but what we need to do is start from the question, how can we turn what people want to eat into something that does all the things you talked about rather than saying "we found the ideal diet for you." what about controlling the number of fast food outlets? the issues with fast food outlets have been highlighted with food deserts in parts of leeds where you can't buy a cucumber but there are five chicken shops. the minister said local authorities could limit the number of fast food outlets. if the evidence allows them that there is a proliferation of a particular use like they can limit it through planning powers at the moment.
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used for alcohol but not for fast food, are you encouraging the same? you don't get rid of the ones that are already bad that's the issue we are finding in wakefield. you are correct. but we are quite keen to promote to local authorities in relation they have got this power, that if they can provide the evidence that comes where you have a proliferation beyond kind of shutting them down. there's not much that can be done about that. just under 15% of people in england smoke. that's the lowest figure since records began but it is still higher than in sweden where adult figures put it at just 5%. this is because of a harm reduction, the snus tobacco that you press against your gum. it is widely used in sweden and as a result they have low lung cancer rates. but because is banned in the eu,
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we cannot follow and we could follow and save tens of thousands of lives if we were to legalise this technology when we leave the eu at the end of next week. no tobacco product is safe to consume due to its links to cancers. and snus is banned, as he rightly says, under the tobacco products directive is in all countries except in sweden. we have made an agreement under the tobacco control plan that the government will consider reviewing the position on snus and whether the introduction to the uk market will promote the kind of proportionate harm reduction that he proposes however i would make the point that there is no evidence that snus in sweden has reduced smoking rate so this is under review. will she commit that the review of tobacco regulation will include a assessment of the continuing attempts by major tobacco companies to market their brand identity
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through advertising campaigns and sponsorship, for example formula i, and indeed one of her colleagues had to write to philip morris, which makes marlboro cigarettes, telling them to remove poster adverts for healthier tobacco around the uk recently. i thank the noble baroness for this question. smoking remains the biggest cause of death in this country. there are strict rules in place to prevent tobacco countries from promoting their products including sponsorship. we take it seriously and we expect any organisation flouting the rules to be prosecuted. a doctor offered his advice. snus offers nicotine and tobacco and that's why the swedes use it. using it for any other reason has reduced lung cancer in sweden and that's the main thing
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we should talk about. five years ago, i used to smoke 50 cigarettes a day. since then, i took up a vaping and i haven't had any tobacco since shouldn't the government do more to encourage smokers to switch to vaping? i would like to emphasise to the house that smoking rates are at the lowest rate recorded and we should be proud of the fact the uk is seen as a world leader in tobacco control. there was an outbreak of community in westminster hall as mps debated funding for further education in england. in february, 164 members signed a letter to the chancellor philip hammond designing more money for fe colleges. it was organised by labour's nic dakin and the conservative richard graham who opened the debate. this is a fantastic opportunity
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for members from all parties to come together without the need for indicative motions on alternatives and to reach a rare and much—cherished cross—party consensus. nic dakin said the further education sector had been overlooked in favour of schools and universities. there has been a 22% decline in core funding and the average funding per student for 16 to 18—year—olds is 15% lower than for 11 to 16—year—olds and about half the average university tuition fee. the debate became a chance for former ministers who had recently resigned over brexit to say what they might not have been able to say while on the payroll. a recently resigned health minister paid tribute to his local college and said it was struggling to make ends meet. he wanted the upcoming spending review to address that. peter symonds college in winchester is the largest in england. it has grown significantly in recent years.
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student numbers grew by 19% between 2011 and 2018, yet in the same period the college?s overall funding grew byjust 3%. the rising cost base, changes to pension contributions, national insurance and the part—funded pay rise means that, without a long—overdue increase in the base rate, it will have to make some very difficult and significant changes. does my honourable friend agree that the comprehensive spending review is looking increasingly like a seminal moment for this sector? sarah newton, who until a fortnight ago was the minister for disabled people, was glad so many mps came to speak and will sure the skills the skills minister would be receptive. my honorable friend is being very generous with his time. i commend him for securing the debate. there could not be a greater champion for this sector than the minister. 0urjob is to give her strength to go forward to the treasury to secure the funding, and it is great that so many of us will be on the record giving her that strength.
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a labour mp said there were also probablems with the government's flagship apprenticeship scheme with evidence in his constituency of a failure to get young people into placements. as well as funding for students, colleges face challenges with apprenticeships and, in particular, with the new non—levy in my area, the newcastle and stafford colleges group has no funding for 18—plus, non—levy adult apprenticeships, and only enough funding until the end of september for 16 to 18—year—olds. these skills minister acknowledged funding for further education had fallen. as honourable members have stated, funding per student has not kept up with costs. for 16 to 19—year—olds, we have protected the base rate of funding at £4,000 until the end of this spending review period, but that has been eroded by inflation. the association of colleges and the raise the rate campaign?s funding impact survey report have highlighted many of the issues and financial challenges. reductions in 16—to—19 funding over recent years have partly been due to falling numbers of students,
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the number of 16 to 18—year—olds in the population has been falling for ten years. the level is now 10% lower than in 2008—09, which poses difficult challenges for the sector, but it will start to increase again from 2020. she said she would champion fe colleges in the spending review. for me, they are pushing at an open door. amid the cries for schools funding and the concerns for universities, fe can get lost. if we accept not only the personal gain for individuals but the potential productivity gains for the country, the case to the chancellor is surely clear. with tin hats on, we continue into battle to make the case for further education. a new £50 note is due to be unveiled this summer. the bank of england is working its way to a shortlist fewer than 989 people who meet its criteria.
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they have to be real, dead and have contributed to science in the uk. the current £50 note as i'm sure you know features matthew boulton and james watt from the industrial revolution. the conservative mp says the face of the new note should be more representative of the current population where 40% are from a black minority or ethnic background. helen grant is trying to change the law to ensure the bank reflects diversity in its choice. i present this bill because i believe that the governor of the bank of england now has a unique opportunity to address an archaic stereotype, one that completely undermines the credible efforts towards diversity and inclusion that are indeed taking place the old lady of threadneedle street. there have been 2a banknotes featuring a notable person on the reverse since the first was issued in july 1970. of these, all but three have been historic white men, the notable exceptions being three women — florence nightingale, elizabeth fry and jane austen.
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and she had some suggestions for the new note. mary seacole, the jamaican—british nurse who supported british troops during the crimean war and whose contribution has been recognised as equal to that of florence nightingale. noor inayat khan, a muslim of indian origin, who was the first female radio operator to infiltrate enemy occupied france in world war ii. sophia duleep singh, the prominent indian suffragette and member of the women?s social and political union. and not forgetting sir charles kao, the british—chinese scientist
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who won the nobel prize for physics and pioneered the use of fibre optics in telecommunications. there are, of course, many other examples, but all these individuals represent the very best of britain. helen grant with a few ideas for the bank of england as it makes its mind up. that's it from today in parliament. please join me at the same time tomorrow for the latest brexit developments as theresa may and jeremy corbyn clash during prime minister's questions. thank you for watching and goodbye for now. hello there, good morning.
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at the moment, it feels like winter has made a comeback. we've had everything thrown at us in the last 2a hours. lots of weather watcher pictures of big hailstorms affecting the uk, and of course, the sunshine coming out in between has led to some lovely rainbow pictures as well. we're seeing a short, sharp burst of really cold air that's come down from the arctic. you can see how that colder air has plunged southwards, and with it all those shower clouds. the cloud that's in the north sea is coming back into scotland and northern england, which is why we're seeing some sleet and snow, and it's quite slippery over some high—level routes. some icy patches around, with temperatures in many places close to orjust below freezing. so a cold start really, i think, to wednesday, and a pretty miserable morning across the far north of england and scotland. some rain, some sleet and snow across the hills. that wetter weather clears away from northern england, pushes its way into northern ireland, mostly rain here, and across north wales. but some heavy showers in the south—east and east anglia. some hail and thunder possible here.
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for many central and eastern parts of the uk, shouldn't be too windy, so those showers could hang around a bit, but it will be windy in the north and west of the uk — strong to gale—force winds here. so these are the temperatures, 7—9 degrees. it will feel colder in the wind. especially northern and western scotland, northern ireland, maybe the far south—west of england, and the channel islands, nearer to 2—4 degrees. that's how it will feel in the wind. we've got low pressure dominating our weather at the moment, which is why we're seeing all these downpours. it's cutting off that supply of colder air, mind you, on thursday. we've got that weather front wrapped around a low, so that's the focus for some more persistent what is probably mostly rain at this stage across northern scotland. some wetter weather curling back into south—west england, moving into wales, and into the west country too. a few heavy showers elsewhere, but a fair bit of sunshine around. not a bad day for northern england, southern scotland, and those temperatures are creeping up to around 9 or 10 degrees. and, as we head towards the end of the week and into the weekend, well, it's an improving sort of story. it will feel a bit warmer. i think many places will be dry, and there'll be some sunshine around as well. we've got our low pressure from thursday into friday,
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still anchored to the south—west of the uk. but, instead of a northerly wind that we're getting at the moment, we're going to find more of a south or south—westerly wind, so that means the temperatures will get a boost. we've still got the threat of some downpours in the south—west of england, wales, perhaps into north—west of england. eastern scotland, eastern england probably having a drier day on friday, with some sunshine at times. those temperatures continuing to climb up to 13 or even 1a celsius.
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