tv The Week in Parliament BBC News June 10, 2019 2:30am-3:01am BST
this is bbc news, the headlines: hong kong's police chief has pledged his force will track down demonstrators who clashed welcome to bbc news. with his officers after one of the biggest marches i'm reged ahmad. the territory has ever seen. organisers say a million people our top stories: clashes in hong kong, marched in protest against a new law allowing suspects to be extradited to the mainland. after one of the biggest marches anti—government groups in sudan say at least four people were killed seen in the territory during a day of civil against a new extradition law disobedience on sunday. demanded by beijing. i think it's the most serious they blamed the ruling military council for the deaths. challenge to the autonomy of hong kong and to the rule of law many offices in khartoum were closed as the opposition tries to force a transfer of power in hong kong since we left in 1997. to civilian rule. at least 3 people are reported to have been killed in sudan, on the first day of a campaign of civil disobedience. authorities in kazakhstan say one of the leading contenders they've arrested to become britain's next about 500 people demonstrating against what they said prime minister admits was a fixed presidential election. committing a crime when he took cocaine 20 years ago. interim president kassym—jomart tokayev, the hand—picked successor to the long—time authoritarian leader nursultan nazarbayev, is expected to win. exit polls indicate that he has around 70—percent of the vote. now it's time for a look back
at the week in parliament. hello and welcome to the week in parliament, where donald trump takes centre stage on his state visit to the uk, and theresa may stands down as leader of her party and prepares to exit number ten. on this programme we'll be asking, what did this prime minister get done in parliament? many of these small bills, i mean, it's easy to write them off because actually a lot of them are very small and they are not very politically salient, but a lot of them are worthy. with theresa may due to leave office next month all eyes are now on who will take over but the speaker has a warning to candidates who might consider suspending parliament to get a no—deal brexit through. parliament will not be evacuated
from the centre stage of the decision—making process on this important matter, that's simply not going to happen. also on this programme: a debate to mark d—day. calls for more action to stop obesity. and what prompted hundreds to write to the first woman mp to take her seat? she had appeal throughout i would say the full spectrum of social classes, and she also approached people in a really positive and engaging way. but first, friday june the 7th was another step towards theresa may's exit from number ten, as she officially stood down as leader of the conservative party. nominations to succeed her close on monday, with a smorgasbord of contenders in the running to succeed her. mrs may will stay as prime minister and acting tory leader until her successor is announced, expected to be onjuly the 22nd. but there's still plenty in the prime ministerial calendar and the week was dominated by the state visit of us president donald trump.
monday's highlight was a banquet at buckingham palace with the queen and other members of the royal family. while it was down to business on tuesday with meetings with senior politicians and a news conference at which president trump revealed he'd turned down the offer of a meeting withjeremy corbyn, and insisted the us was committed to a "phenomenal" trade deal with the uk after brexit. though his controversial comments that he expected "everything" to be on the table during negotiations, including the nhs, were clarified a little later in the visit. the president's visit was timed to tie in with commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of the d—day landings, with veterans and world leaders taking part in an hour—long ceremony in portsmouth on wednesday. the queen addressed the service on southsea common, thanking veterans for their heroism, courage and sacrifice. and finally it was off to normandy, where hundreds of veterans gathered for a series of events marking the day allied troops landed on the beaches.
theresa may, along with the french president, emmanuel macron, attended an inauguration ceremony for a memorial to honour the british troops who'd died. calling d—day "one of the greatest battles for freedom this world has ever known", theresa may praised the raw courage needed "to leap from landing craft and into the surf despite the fury of battle". so a sombre week for theresa may as her time at number ten draws to a close and a moment to reflect on what's been achieved. for any prime minister dealing with parliament can be tricky and, after the 2017 general election left her with a minority government and facing brexit, theresa may has had a tougher time than most. so, who better to weigh up the prime minister's parliamentary achievements than nikki da costa, who was director of legislative affairs at number ten. when you have no majority, you actually have to approach things a bit differently. we have been very used to majority government and had this big omnibus bill and education bill, and often in the past governments have actually thought, when they did a queen speech, they thought of titles first and then worked out what kind
of content to stick in them afterwards — they'll sound good on the day, they'll get the press coverage. it's very different with a minority government. you had to do small bills and what we do is we try and watch for something called "scope" and what that means is, if you're going to attach things to youe bills, because their issue, their pet issue might be within the libel areas of those particular bills, then you're going to come under lots of attacks. you do small bills and you do them niche, i think the things the prime minister will be proud of will be the things that actually affected consumers and the average person in the street. so three things i'll refer to you — the energy price cap bill, again to cap the standard variable rate for the consumers, protecting them, particularly those people that haven't switched, protecting them from energy price rises; the second aspect is the tenant fees bill — again, protection for tenants against unfairfees being imposed on them by letting agents and also restricting the amount of rent that you'e required to do as a deposit for five weeks; and then maybe something from the civil liability bill — for example, reducing the premiums onwhiplash.
these sound like small measures and i get that, but the point is to try and get them through while you're doing major constitutional change — we had the eu withdrawal act, which took about 270 hours of debate over the course of a year. nikki da costa. well to look at theresa may's parliamentary legacy in a bit more detail i spoke to dr daniel gover, from queen mary university of london, and asked him what had been achieved. the number of the bills that have actually received royal assent — particularly i'm looking here since the 2017 general election — the number of bill that have received royal assent has been roughly comparable with what we would expect from a similar session, so the last time we had a two—year session was 2010—12 and it's a roughly similar number of bills. in terms of the actual type of bills, though, and the length of them, the number of clauses, the political significance,
aside from brexit, they have tended to be relatively small bills, uncontroversial bills. so many of these small bill — i mean, it is easy to write them off because actually a lot of them are very small, and they are not very politically salient, but a lot of them are very worthy causes that will make a difference. and so she can claim those as successes, as part of her legacy, things that will make a difference. i think the key thing though, when you compare her legislative successes to previous governments, there have not been the sort of major flagship bills that we tend to see with incoming governments. the government and no doubt theresa may would argue that not everything of significance is actually legislation. theresa may, for example would no doubt, point to her race disparity audit, looking at how ethnic minorities or white working class people are treated by things like the nhs — can she count those as achievements? i mean, they are certainly achievements and it's definitely true to say that you don't always
need legislation in order to govern. lots of governing can take place without needing new primary legislation. and of course, secondary legislation as well can be used to implement some of the sorts of changes that can be counted as policies successes but nevertheless, in terms of primary legislation, it has really been dominated by brexit and it is these much smaller bills that have taken most of the rest of the legislative timetable. one of the accusations that has been levelled at theresa may is that, whereas david cameron, for example, took a more relaxed approach to things, theresa may tends to get a bit bogged down in the detail. do you think it is fair to say that is why some things haven't been done? big issues like social care haven't been tackled, or is that more likely to be just the reality of it being a minority government? i don't think it is down to the particular personality traits of the prime minister,
it is really down to two key factors, the first is, as you've mentioned, that we have a minority government that certainly doesn't, it certainly can't rely on being able to get its legislation through the house of commons, but then alongside that, you've also got the fact that the government is committed to delivering brexit, and brexit is requiring a significant number of bills, only some of which have been passed so far, and most of which are controversial or could be used by mps to attach controversial elements into them, things that the government might not want to be passed. and so you take those two things together and and i think actually government hasn't had the time or the political capital in order to focus on some of the things that it might have wanted to have focused on, had the circumstances been different. what will theresa may be doing now? she stands down as the leader of the conservative party but she remains as prime minister. what does she do in this period of five weeks? it's a very good question and it
would be interesting to know from her what her plans are. it's possible she may wish to keep going with some of the legislation that's currently before parliament. it's difficult to see that she's going to make much progress on the key brexit legislation, but there may well be things she wishes to do, and also as you've just mentioned, there are lots of non—legislative things that she can be doing. you think back to some of the issues she raised when she first became prime minister, she may wish to sort of promote those, but clearly she's not going to have the time to introduce new legislation on these sort to things. dr daniel gover, thank you for coming onto the programme. all eyes are now on who will take over as conservative leader and prime minister. in the commons on thursday mps picked up on comments by one of the leadership contenders, dominic raab, who's suggested he'd be prepared to shut down parliament to ensure the uk leaves the eu on 310ctober. the first thing this new leader
of the house has to say this morning is that this subversion of democracy will never be considered or entertained and that he has no intention of suspending democracy in this country t ofacilitate that no—deal brexit. in this country to facilitate that no—deal brexit. every parliamentary session, which usually lasts around a year, ends when it's prorogued by the queen. the process essentially closes parliament and ends the progress of legislation until a new session begins. if a new prime minister was concerned about mps blocking brexit, they could advise the queen to prorogue parliament, in effect sending mps and peers away so they couldn't hold up the process. the leader of the commons said prorogation was ultimately in the gift of the queen. what i would say is that i do think that her majesty should be kept out of the politics of our parliament and i'm sure that will be a matter at the forefront of those toying with those decision is in the future. i think his answer is
on prorogation and whether a new prime minister will address the house swiftly after being elected have been wholly inadequate so far. it must surely be on a venezuelan scale of outrage if we were to prorogue parliament simply to force through a no—deal brexit against the will of parliament. even winston churchill during the midst of war, when the british expeditionary force was in danger of complete collapse in france and we were trying to get people out of dunkirk, when he was made prime minister in may 1940, addressed the house of commons jus tthree days later, even the marquess of salisbury in 1885 knew he had to come to parliament the next day, so surely to god, the new leader of the house should be able to say to us today, yes, a new prime minister will address the house of commons within a week of being appointed. he will know that these matters and others are decisions that the future prime minister will take in due course and it's not for me to speculate as to what those decisions might be.
we all know because i have said it myself several times and i think the honourable gentleman believes this is that, parliament will not be evacuated from the centre stage of the decision—making process on this important matter. that's simply not going to happen, it's jus tso blindingly obvious that it almost does not need to be stated but apparently it does and therefore i have done. john bercow. now a new labour mp is expected to take her seat on monday. union activist lisa forbes won the peterborough by election, narrowly seeing off a challenge from the brexit party. labour took 31% of the vote, beating the brexit party's mike greene by 683 votes. the conservatives came third with 21%, and the liberal democrats fourth with 12%. the by—election was triggered after former labour mp, fiona 0nasanya, was forced to step down by her constituents after being jailed for lying about a speeding offence. the commemorations in portsmouth meant theresa may wasn't in westminster
for her weekly round of pmqs, and so her senior minister, david lidington, filled in. instead of his usual opponent, the shadow foreign secretary emily thornberry, he faced another labour frontbencher, rebecca long—bailey. she turned to president trump's visit and speculation that access to the nhs would be part of any trade deal with the us after brexit. yesterday, the prime minister had to repeat to president trump a journalist's question about whether the nhs is on the table as part of a us trade deal. given the prime minister was silent on the matter, perhaps the right honourable gentleman could clarify the government's position. will the tory party gave us companies access to the nhs? yes or no? david lidington began his reply by speculating that he wasn't facing emily thornberry because of comments she'd made about labour's brexit policy going into the european elections.
i welcome the honourable lady. i feel slightly sorry for the right honourable lady, the member for islington south, who i am used tojousting with, who seems to have been dispatched to internal exile somewhere else along the front bench. you know, the honourable lady perhaps needs to watch out because i think there is a lesson there that anybody who at the dispatch box outshines the dear leader risks being... ..risks being airbrushed out of the politburo history at the earliest opportunity. as for the nhs... my right honourable friend, the prime minister has been very clear and she spoke for everyone in the government and on this side of the house, when it comes to trade negotiations the nhs is not and will not be up for sale. yesterday, donald trump said that the nhs was on the table
in the trade talks with the uk. today he says he is not so sure. this is someone who doesn't even believe in climate change, a president who simply cannot be trusted. why, then, is the uk government so obsessed with pursuing a trade deal that puts scotland's nhs at risk? mr speaker, the government is not putting the nhs at risk in scotland or anywhere else, and the prime minister has made that very clear indeed. what i fear is putting at risk standards in the nhs in scotland is the snp's obsession with constitutional matters and the referendum rather than focusing on the better delivery of public services. david lidington. now let's take a look at some news in brief. the anniversary of the normandy landings was commemorated in the lords.
peers reflected on the success of the campaign, the freedoms it had brought and the price that had been paid. a peer quoted the memories of one woman. i was very moved to read of one of the war widows, bernice lois bartlett's recollection of the day when the letter came to tell her that her husband harry had been killed in 19114. she says, "i just didn't expect it. "the letter came, the ordinary blue envelope, "and i put it on the dresser. "i didn't open it because it was the children's tea—time, and i thought, ‘0h, i'll get them done, i'll put them to bed, and then i'll read my letter.‘ "of course, i didn't realise what the letter contained. "you just don't think it is going to be you." the welsh assembly has backed a call for a new referendum on whatever
terms are proposed for brexit, with the option of staying in the european union on the ballot paper. earlier in the week, the brexit ministerjeremy miles told ams the labour—run welsh government now favours a second vote. in the 2016 referendum, wales voted to leave the eu. so, as a government, we will campaign to remain in the eu, and to make that happen, parliament should now show the courage to admit it is deadlocked and legislate for a referendum with remain on the ballot paper. we have been calling for months for the uk government to make preparations in case a referendum should be necessary. now, parliament must make sure that it happens. the government's been urged to tackle a silent crime wave that's sweeping across the uk — fraudsters cheating people out of money on the phone or online. mps said that scams caused financial and psychological damage to the victim and they had many examples. a couple who had no conventional pension and were convinced by a combination of telephone
and online scamming working together, a hacking of their computer, though not of their online banking operation, into transferring nearly £200,000, which has utterly destroyed their retirement. the business minister has said she won't be gung ho about changing fire regulations for furniture. mps on the environmental audit committee are concerned about the use of flame retardants in sofas and mattresses. some scientists argue that once a fire is fully developed the chemicals can actually make smoke more toxic. it does look like your department is a prisoner of corporate lobbying. well, i would say not because in the time that i have been here, which has been ten months, i have not spoken to any corporates around this particular work which has firmly fallen under me. when you came in and it was on your desk, wasn't it a matter of urgency? well, i think that it is a matter of urgency but quite rightly,
i would have questions i would like to, you know, i would like to think about things. when you are dealing with a piece of regulation that is so important to the safety of individuals in their homes, it is not something that i will be prepared to take lightly. england's chief medical officer says a tax on unhealthy food could be one way to help people improve their diet. professor dame sally davies has been asked to urgently review what more can be done to meet the government's target of halving childhood obesity by 2030. she told a committee it needed to be easier for people to eat heathily. i like food, and so, a canape goes past and i say, "0oh, that looks nice," and i've eaten it, and then i think, "oh no, this was the day i wasn't going to overeat." and so that is a real example of automaticity. we have to say... i'm not saying stop canapes, i like them, good ones. but we have to restructure our environment so that it's healthy. because it isn'tjust education,
i know i shouldn't eat more than one canape. now, let's take a look at some of the other stories which have been making the political news this week. selina seth has our countdown. at five, could a parliamentary tug of war be a new way to elect a leader? in the men's event, the commons team lost 2—1 to the peers. at number four, kat smith channels her inner shaggy during cabinet office questions. on this matter, the minister appears to be taking his cue from shaggy, protesting, "it wasn't me." at three, environment secretary michael gove tells a committee that president trump is a fan of... # dun—dun—dah! ta rta n. the president may well be placing an order for some tartan. so, that's another example of a successful trading relationship between the uk and america.
at two, larry the downing street cat, tired of all the media attention during the state visit, has a lovely rest under president trump's ‘beast‘. and at one, as the tory leadership race heats up, president trump puts potential candidate foreign secretary jeremy hunt on the spot. i don't know michael, but would he do a good job, jeremy? tell me. selina seth. in 1919, nancy astor made history as the first woman to take her seat in the commons. and her by—election victory at plymouth sutton prompted hundreds of people to send her congratulations — and advice. the letters are now part of the astor archive at reading university. to mark the centenary, the national trust has put some of them on display at cliveden, in berkshire, herformer home. carol hall has this report for us.
great malvern, december 4th, 1919. dear lady astor, fulford kingston near charleston, would lady astor kindly accept the belated but very... cliveden, liverpool, november 1919. dear lady astor... it must have created a great deal of interest throughout the whole country. this was a woman running to become a member of parliament. a wealthy and privileged woman who proved a popular campaigner. i think she had appealed, she had appealed throughout, i would say, the full spectrum of social classes. and she also approached people in a really positive and engaging way. nancy astor received hundreds of letters from the public on her by—election victory in 1919. dozens of them feature in a centenary display in the grounds of cliveden. the news of that election must have spread very quickly because we have
letters dated the 28th of november which is the day nancy astor was elected. my name is nancy and i am so pleased that the first woman to enter parliament is also called nancy. young nancy's is my favourite. this young child, under 10, who was aware of what was happening, gives some indication of the significance of the event and what it meant to such a wide spread of people. a pavilion built to celebrate a military figure now celebrates nancy astor. we send you our hearty congratulations on your brilliant victory. we hope that god will spare you for many years to come, to advocate the cause of the poor in the house of commons. the world has been slow to recognise the public acknowledgement of the power of woman's brain.
i think people felt they had someone there who was fighting for them and that comes across in the letters. my favourite is from ada carter. although i am not in your division, it is possible i may be by the time i reach voting age. i am now 28. when i should most certainly cast my vote for you. she says i am not yet of voting age because in 1919, women could not vote until they were 30. it really hits home but it is also filled with hope as well. the display is at cliveden until december. yours most gratefully, mary t brown. yours sincerely, ada carter. we remain yours faithfully, mr and mrs daniel evans. some of the "letters to nancy". finally, in these divided times, there was a moment of consensus in the house of lords.
a suggestion by the housing secretary that people should be able to use their pension savings to get onto the housing ladder was roundly criticised by peers on all sides. the conservative former cabinet minister, norman, now lord tebbit, argued unless the supply of houses was increased, the scheme would just push up prices. and he had an unlikely ally. i agree with the noble lord lord tebbit. there is a first time for everything. and a last! lady sherlock — proving it's never too late to make new political alliances! and that's it from me for now, kristina cooper will be with you on bbc parliament on monday night at 11 with her round up of the day here at westminster, but for now, from me, alicia mccarthy, goodbye.
there was a lot of cloud around on saturday, heavy outbreaks of rain and it was pretty blustery with strong winds. the skies looking a little grey like these. 0vercast. but at least it was a comment to the day with the cloud tending to thin and break up, clear spells becoming established, that's what you've got at the moment. many of us will continue to see the skies clear over the next few hours, a few showers running in across the final stress —— northwest, dry if you are heading outside, not especially cold, temperatures around 7— nine celsius. sundays with a picture in more detail, by and large it could be a fine and sunny start to the day, the exception in scotland where it will be rather cloudy. really the shower clouds start to develop around the middle part of the day and into the afternoon. that's when we see the main risk of showers, they will form
in lines whether winds bash together in convergence owns sewer line of heavy, thundery, slow—moving shells extending from the south—west, a few more across the central oils, another line into parts of northern ireland, and another line of co nve rg e nt ireland, and another line of convergent showers in northern scotland. that's what you are most likely to see downpours and away from those zones, the weather should be largely drivers showers few and far between. a bit morejune sunshine then we saw on saturday. don't get used to that though, as we head into the early part of the new week, clashes of air masses, hotter blows up from africa into central europe which, to call and moving down the polls, the huge contrast an air mass powers and active with the front with the met office issuing a weather warning. some places could be getting on a months worth of rain through monday and tuesday. the rain, notjust through monday and tuesday. the rain, not just heavy through monday and tuesday. the rain, notjust heavy but persistent. you can see the rain notjust sticking across these eastern areas, is going to be pretty extensive across is going to be pretty extensive a cross m ost is going to be pretty extensive across most of england and wales,
the further north and west you go, the further north and west you go, the drier the weather gets, there will be some sunshine and a few passing shells but the weather not too bad. in the south, we will continue to see best of rain affecting england and wales bringing the risk of localised flooding. 0vertime towards of the week, but whether will journey northwards 0vertime towards of the week, but whether willjourney northwards and the weather will turn wetter in scotla nd the weather will turn wetter in scotland later on in the week. that's a lettuce weather, bye for 110w. “— that's a lettuce weather, bye for 110w. —— your that's a lettuce weather, bye for 00:29:25,171 --> 4294966103:13:29,430 now. —— your latest weather.