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tv   Wednesday in Parliament  BBC News  February 8, 2018 2:30am-3:00am GMT

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of using the winter olympics in south korea as an opportunity to hold talks with the united states. senior north korean officials will be attending, as will the us vice president, mike pence. the north is expected to hold a military parade on thursday. human rights groups say more than 25 people have died, including at least 12 children, in eastern ghouta, where syrian government forces have carried out more airstrikes. it is one of the last areas still controlled by rebels fighting president assad. the region is home to about 400,000 people. party leaders in the us senate have struck a two year budget deal which could avoid a repeat of last month's government shutdown. it needs approvalfrom the government shutdown. it needs approval from the house of representatives, and many are questioning a $300 billion increase to the federal deficit. now on bbc news, wednesday in parliament. coming up, the brexit
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debate gets a bit shouty. stand up! let's get on with leaving the eu. labour mocks government plans to help gig economy workers. we see the creation of a website about and be self—employed to talk to each other. well, bravo. and who just can't wait for his birthday? i don't celebrate things like that. i don't think you should celebrate age. i know this isn't the first time i've said this and it won't be the last, but it's a big week for brexit. theresa may has chaired the first of two key meetings with her senior ministers as the government faces more calls to clarify the uk's position. on wednesday the brexit cabinet committee sketched out what the future relationship between the uk and eu might look like.
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what conclusion they came to, we don't know but the issue came up several times in the commons. first, in a spirited intervention by one dup mp, echoing of the words of his father during the troubles. does the minister agree with me that it is about time the government demonstrated a no surrender attitude to the european bureaucrats who try to blackmail us, and stand up to the eu and let's get on with leaving the eu! well, that plea came moments before the start of prime minister's questions during which the chair of the brexit committee raised the matter again. the prime minister will be aware that all free trade agreements involve some customs checks and therefore infrastructure at frontiers which would be completely incompatible with maintaining an open border between northern ireland and the republic. as the cabinet subcommittee is finally getting around to discussing this, could the prime minister explain
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to the house why she is so opposed to the uk remaining any customs with the eu when not only would this be betterfor the british economy, but what also helped to ensure that that border remains as it is today which is what all of us want? the united kingdom is leaving the european unit that means we are leaving the single market, the customs union because if we were full numbers of the customs union we would not be able to do trade to the gas trade unions around the rest of the world. we will have an independent trade policy and do those deals. he asked about those originals, i suggested he will at the paper that was published by the government last summer. and from the other end of the brexit spectrum, a different question. i want her about ultimatums from the eu last summer. again last week, which she'd be good enough to be very robust when discussing these messages in the committees. i'm sure she will be in order to ensure that we repudiate any of these eu threats?
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as a separate from the very beginning we will hear noises off and also to things being said about positions being taken. what matters is the positions we take in negotiations as we sit down and negotiate the best deal. we're shown we can do that. we did it in december we will do it again. the head of the parole board has said action is needed to make the reasons for its decisions public and its judgements easier to challenge. nick hardwick‘s comments come in the wake of controversy over the decision to release john worboys. worboys was jailed indefinitely in 2009 with a minimum term of eight years for drugging and sexually assaulting women. two of his victims have been given the go—ahead to challenge his release at a judicial review next month. the government has ordered a review of the transparency of parole board decisions.
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professor hardwick told thejustice committee that people didn't really understand what the parole board did: we could do much more than we do at present to explain individual decisions. there are risks to doing that. and they need to be carefully explored and considered stop with its an awareness and education programme. for proposals can you second yourself? there are number of different steps that we are in the process of taking. i think there i think we need to have accessible information about the process and the number of different formats and the number of different platforms. what we can't do and we're absolutely prohibited, is explaining anything about an individual case. even the most basic of things.
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talking about completely different cases, you will have victims ask for information about licence commissions. we have information about licence commissions that would reassure them. they would find comforting. and we can't tell them. we can go much further, much further in explaining our decisions to people so that they have a real sense of what we're doing. they may like what we are doing, they may not agree with us. but at least they will have some basis to know. as related thing about there could be a change and it can make a challenge to the process puzzle. you can judge you because they they deny we make decisions. that, he said, needed to change. it seems to me that it is undignified things and go and find a review. that is our situation. but we can't do is make every decision twice. twice. but victims needed
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better information. one of the things we should look at his victims getting... victims who wants to get one, getting a summary of the parole boards decisions. and i think they should get that. let's may change, but think big change but let's think it through carefully and not do it in a hasty gut reaction. a report by the chief inspector of probation found the correct procedures had been followed, but victims found out about his release from the media. it was critical of the "victim contact scheme". to my mind of every victim whether they opted in or not should know what the parole board hearing is happening. know if the decisions are made and given a chance to observe that before it becomes general release. we need to set up this principle speaking with those who represent
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victims to get this right. had even given a time frame? we are comfortable that we can give a report by easter. we will focus on four specific issues, whether we should ask to reconsider one of its decisions we will be doing some work around that. we will be looking at transparency and parole board decisions that need to have a more transparency system so that victims know more about licence conditions and knowing about whether we can create an online register or some ways and that we can... this is only the came across very strongly from the report is how we communicate with the victims. we need to use the latest technology to make sure that happens in a much more reliable and expedient and high—quality way. you're watching wednesday in parliament with me, mandy baker. now jeremy corbyn‘s battleground of choice for this week's prime minister's questions
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was crime figures. last month the office for national statistics said the number of violent crimes and sex offences recorded by police in england and wales has risen sharply over the past year. but the separate crime survey, based on people's experiences, suggested crime was continuing to fall. and with that in mind, battle commenced with a particularly pithy question. with crime rising, does the prime minister regret cutting 21,000 police officers? what we have actually seen from the crime survey is that crime is not down at record low levels. that is what has been achieved and it has been achieved by conservative government that at the same time has been protecting police budgets. mr speaker, recorded crime is up by one fifth since 2010,
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violent crime up by 20%, and during the period that the premise or was home secretary, £2.3 billion was cut from police budgets. her majesty posited inspectorate of constabulary was at neighbourhood policing rest of being eroded and the shortage of detectives is at a national crisis. does the prime minister think the inspector is scaremongering? the right honourable gentleman raises the issue about crime. one of the things we're seeing in recent years is ensuring we get a proper recording of certain types of crime and i am pleased to say that we have seen improvements over the last seven to eight years in the recorded types of crimes. he also talks about the issue of police budgets. as i have said this is a government that has detected police budgets. at the chief constable
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of bedfordshire says we do not have the resources to keep residents safe, the position is a scandal. too many people don't feel safe and too many people are safe. we have just seen the highest rise in recorded crime for a quarter of a century. the chief counsel of lancashire says the government's police cuts have that much more difficult to keep people safe. is he wrong? can i say to the right honourable gentleman, he mentions the constabulary because what i was hoser jerry i asked h mic to look at the recording of these crimes. to make sure that police forces were doing it properly. and indeed some changes were made as a result of that. we now see the better recording of crime. we also see £450 million extra being made available to the police. but what have we also seen over the last two years? the creation of the national crime agency, our police forces taking more notice of helping the support vulnerable victims, doing more on modern slavery, doing more on domestic violence. taking issues seriously that they weren't taking seriously before. mr speaker, if you ask
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the instructor to look at unrecorded crime and they tell you what is going on in the least you can do is act on what they tell you. jeremy corbyn. one study but two very different verdicts. the taylor review examined modern working practises, especially the employment rights of people in what's known as the gig economy, where workers are paid for eachjob they do. the business minister set out the government's response to its findings. we will support employers to give individuals the correct employment rights. but we will prevent undercutting who try to game the system by clearly defining who is employed and who is not. we will extend the rights to receive a pay set to all workers including stating the hours that they work, to set a written terms,
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and extending us to all workers. we are taking forward this or speaker 52 of the figure three recommendations in the taylor review. for workers on zero our contrast, we are creating a right to request a simple contract. for the first time, mr speaker, for the first time, the state will take responsibility for enforcing a wider set of employment rights including sick pay and holiday pay for the most vulnerable of workers. but labour's shadow business secretary was scathing about the government's plans. many of these workers faced a precarious and unstable working life. they needed to do something bold today but it appears that they are simply papering over these weak realities with rhetoric. launching four consultations, merely considering proposals, and tweaking the law here and there is not good enough. we need clarity on workers
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being paid when they are logged into apps waiting to receive jobs. as well as clear and urgent direction on the legal status of gig workers. why was there not even one mention, not one mention of trade unions? and on the genuinely self—employed, we see the creation of a website allowing the self—employed to talk to each other. well, bravo! why was there no system of support, no recognition of the precariousness of the situation? mr speaker, this is simply window dressing. as a result of the actions set out in our response to this review, as a result of those actions, millions of workers will get greater rights. the access to more protection. indeed, i would argue that we can rightly claim to be leading the world in improving the quality of work for our constituents. one of the issues that was not contained within the scope of the taylor review was that was
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that of unpaid work trials. that is regrettable. however, one member from glasgow has brought forth a bill on the 16th of march to end exploitative, unpaid work trials. will the government the supporting that? i think the honourable gentleman for his question. i am very happy to meet with his colleague and discuss his bill. a labour mp turns to the issue of bogus self—employment. the dwp and various select committees have produced a bill that the government can take through parliament with cross party support to sort this out. the country are crying out for change. can i urge the government to be a little bit more ambitious? i can reassure the honourable lady that we are hugely ambitious. these proposals will help millions of workers, but she will understand, because i think matthew taylor said this in relation to when he gave evidence to the committee, that this is hugely complicated. that this is complex, and we do need to consult further. we are not consulting about whether we should do this.
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we are consulting about how we do it, so i thank herfor her contribution and i reassure her that our ambition is strong. the business minister, andrew griffiths. the northern ireland secretary has struck an optimistic note about the restoration of power—sharing at the stormont assembly, saying it could happen imminently. northern ireland has been without a functioning administration for over a year after the dup/sinn fein—led coalition collapsed in a row over a controversial green energy scheme. over the past weeks, the political parties, particularly the dup and sinn fein, have engaged in discussions on the key issues, which remain to be resolved. they have done so with continuous support of the uk government accordance with the three—stranded approach, the irish government. those discussions were built on the progress that was made in previous talks to introduce further gaps between them and accommodation between the parties, mr speaker, is yet to be reached, but there is no doubt as to the parties‘ collective commitment to restore the devolution. i firmly believe that agreement in the coming days, while not certain, is achievable, and and this remains my focus.
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every party in northern ireland says they want a deal but that significant gaps remain. could she outline to the house what those gaps actually are and what she is doing to try to resolve them and bring people together? mr speaker, can i gently say to the honourable gentleman, who i know is greatly distinguished in this area and knows northern ireland politics very well, that we are we are at a very sensitive stage of the discussions, that i have been committed to no running commentary on the talks while they are ongoing, and there have been very intense, very detailed discussions? i believe we can reach an outcome but i am not going to do anything that mightjeopardise that. can she at least confirm that one of the big sticking points in the talks right now is rights? not just language rights, but marriage equality rights, and can she tell us whether she would consider taking that issue off the table by legislating for equal marriage rights in northern ireland as they enjoy in staffordshire? the minister said equal marriage
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was a devolved issue. the question moved the budget will. would she give a clear commitment to the people of northern ireland and this house that the budget for northern ireland will be set as soon as possible, given that the head of the civil service said we cannot go much beyond the beginning of february with that clarity about how much departments and public bodies are going to have to spend next year. the lack of a budget is affecting services, including health and social care. the current position is intolerable. we need a budget and we need it now. karen bradley assured him she had had discussions about that issue. if you were watching this programme on tuesday, you'll have seen mps grilling senior executives from the failed construction company, carillion. well, on wednesday it was the turn of the government. the liaison committee, which is made up of the chairs of all the other committees, had summoned the cabinet office minister. but he was being very cautious in his answers. this exchange was typical. when we had the directors
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of carillion, past and almost present, in front of our select committees yesterday, one of the things we questioned them about was the changes in the rules about the claw—back of bonuses. many of the people we had in front of us yesterday had a big bonuses in the period leading up to the collapse of the business, the company changed its own rules, which make it harder to claw back those bonuses. one of the lessons from the global financial crisis was to have tougher rules about being able to claw—back bonuses go wrong at business. do you think we need to look again at the claw—back arrangements for bonuses so that we can get some of that money back? again, sitting here today, i am open—minded on not but there have been serious allegations of misconduct by the board and former board members of carillion. those are being independently
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investigated by the official receiver, and it would be wrong for a minister to make any comment that could be prejudicial of the official receiver's findings on that. david lidington. now, at the weekend the conservative mp, jacob rees—mogg, went to the university of the west of england to give a speech. but then this happened. masked protesters disrupted the event and there was some pushing. police launched an investigation into the scenes at the campus in bristol, but no arrests were made. the human rights committee is investigating freedom of speech in universities. jacob rees—mogg told them that he wasn't alarmed by the fact people were protesting. the only thing i think was odd was that they turned up wearing masks, and i think wearing masks is the one bit that ought not to have happened.
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i think people coming along and charging at you, people heckling you is part of political life and to be perfectly honest, as a politician, a bit of heckling can make your speech. it can actually be very good for the speaker, rather than damaging. but masks is just a little bit sinister. suppose that if somebody was 67 with brown hair and had been an mp for 35 years, do you think she would actually be prepared to speak at meetings if somebody was going to come bursting in and then she had to go back on a train on her own? i don't think anybody would ever suggest that you weren't quite brave, but i think there's a really serious point and i'm actually much more concerned about the online abuse that particularly female mps receive. will people want to go and speak if there are going to be protests? i mean, i'm going to carry on regardless, but i can see that some people would think, "is it worth the hassle?"
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and politicians don't have to go and speak at universities. it may be a very good thing that they do, i happen to think that it is. but we could just go home on thursday nights and friday nights and that can sometimes be quite tempting. earlier the universities minister told the committee there was a "creeping culture" around censorship. what is hard to measure here is the larger number of events that do not happen at all, either because organisers were worried about obstruction or because of the overzealous enforcement of rules made them seem more trouble than it is worth. in my view, these restrictions and disruptions, are unacceptable. on some us campuses, we've seen a cultural censorship that is restriction of free speech and i do not want that to happen here. the universities minister. over in the lords, it was the government's plans for handling the the winter crisis in the nhs which came under attack. labour wanted to know how it could be that in some hospitals, every bed was full.
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can i ask the noble lord, the minister if that was part of the winter plan, or will the minister accept that the winter plans have now been compromised in the light of pressure on beds, lack of staff, and the fact that at least 23 trusts are now on black alert, which means they are under very severe pressure? i do agree with the noble lady that bed occupancy is higher than we want to be and in some particular hospitals it is far too high. the question about what we do about that did necessitate the difficult decision for which the premise or apologised which is cancelling elective surgery. we think a particular with flu, at the situation has hopefully stabilised and that will start to relieve the pressure. i do understand the hard work that staff are having to put in under tremendous pressure and we all appreciate that.
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since its inception in 1948, the nhs spending has risen by an average of 4% each year in real terms. does this government took over in 2010, that 4% increase has fallen to an average of between one and one and a half percent will stop in real terms, will the government and cannot government accept that some of this meanness is one of the causes for the crisis the nhs find itself in? i totally reject the accusation of meanness. if you look at the spending on a nhs, not only hasn't gone up in real terms every year while a massive retrenchment has had to take place in order to deal with £150 billion of barring bequeathed by the previous government, nhs spending now accounts for the highest standard of public spending that has ever been the case.
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we have found the money, in difficult circumstances. we all agree that more was needed and more was found in the budget and i'm sure more will be found in the future. lord 0'shaughnessy. nobody quite fits the description of "veteran" like labour's dennis skinner. and with veteranship comes privilege. few backbenchers would be permitted to go on for nearly one and a half minutes at prime minister's questions. but before he got under way, the speaker had a special message for him. in offering him best wishes for his birthday on sunday, i call mr dennis skinner. i didn't know about that. i don't celebrate things like that. i don't but you should celebrate age. anyway. and he was off. he said the last labour government delivered a golden era for the health service. how? the chancellor of the exchequer put 1% on the national insurance and that went directly
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to the health service and it is called long—term stability. under this government, they don't know whether they are coming or going. it is high time this government did the same as we did between 1997 and 2010. get weaving. and the words "get weaving" bring us to the end of the programme. so for now from me, mandy baker, goodbye. hello there.
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for many places, the day ahead will bring a slightly different feel to the weather. something just a little bit milder. many starting the day under cold air. but this wedge of mild air in the atlantic beginning to show its hand. this is tied up with a weather system in the atlantic. you can see the cloud here is going to bring some outbreaks of rain as we go on through the day. a split in temperatures in the morning. as much as —5, —6, in the south—east. temperatures generally above freezing for northern ireland and northern scotland. this is sam. the coldest weather in east anglia and the south—east, but the brightest weather. a lot of sunshine to come. the south—west, wales, northern england, thick clouds, outbreaks of mostly light and patchy rain at this stage. a lot of cloud into southern scotland. but for northern ireland, northern scotland, something more bright. sunny spells returning. a rash of showers to the north—west. because of the slightly milder air, most showers falling as rain rather than anything more wintry.
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now, as we go on through the day, we take this band of cloud and rain further south and east. do you see the deep blue colours? that indicates the rain will turn more heavy for wales and northern england during the afternoon. clouding over in the south—east after the bright start. remaining chilly here. scotland, northern ireland, sunshine and a few showers. temperatures getting up to 7—8 degrees. thursday night, we push this band of at this stage quite heavy rain eastwards. showers too, wintry showers. as we get into friday, the air will be turning more cold. temperatures dipping away. seven in cardiff. some rain, sleet, and snow perhaps in the south—east for a time. some wintry showers elsewhere. generally speaking, high pressure with us for the very start of the weekend. a cold and frosty start to saturday. another frontal system. perhaps a spell of snow in the north. then some rain. then the second half of the weekend, you guessed it, back in the cold air. things are very much up and down through the coming days. this is the weekend. often it will be windy. rain at times on saturday. something more bright and cold for most on sunday. there could be double—digit temperatures in places. but with some outbreaks of rain,
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on sunday, it will feel colder, but it should be brighter. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers
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in north america and around the globe. i'm mike embley. our top stories: preparations for north korea's massive military parade, and pyongyang says there will be no talks with the united states during the olympics. hopelessness in syria, as the human cost of the fighting gets worse again. hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending, and another us government shutdown is averted. and a missing masterpiece, described as the african mona lisa, has been rediscovered in an apartment in north london.


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