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tv   Wednesday in Parliament  BBC News  March 22, 2018 2:30am-3:01am GMT

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the firm cambridge analytica to exploit the data of millions of users on behalf of political clients. he said there had been a breach of trust between facebook and users and promises to make changes. russia has reacted furiously after the british foreign secretary drew a comparison between vladimir putin and adolf hitler. borisjohnson was giving evidence on the chemical attack that poisoned a former russian spy and his daughter more than two weeks ago. police in texas say the man suspected of a string of bomb attacks in the state left a 25—minute recording about the six devices he'd constructed. mark anthony conditt blew himself up while being chased by police officers. two people were killed in the attacks and officials have warned that more undetonated devices may have been planted. now on bbc news, wednesday in parliament. hello, and welcome
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to the programme. coming up, the foreign secretary compares president putin's approach to the world cup in russia to hitler's use of the 1936 olympic games. the comparison with 1936 is certainly right. and i think it's an emetic prospect, frankly. how is the health secretary going to fund pay rises for more than a million nhs staff in england? has the prime minister's magic skills grown, says magic money tree? and theresa may says claims that a british company harvested personal data from facebook users must be properly examined. the allegations are clearly very concerning, as is right. they should be properly investigated. but first, the uk's relationship with moscow
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has been under the spotlight since the poisoning of the former russian double agent and his daughter in salisbury earlier this month. a complicating factor is, of course, that russia is hosting the world cup this summer. facing the foreign affairs committee, borisjohnson was asked about the safety of those travelling to the tournament and, indeed, whether the england squad should go at all. on balance, it would be wrong to punish them or the team who have worked on this for a long time incredibly hard, given up their lives to it, i think it would be a pity for them. but your point about the safety of fans is well made and well taken. this is of crucial importance to us. and we do, indeed, need to have an urgent conversation with the russians about how they propose to fulfil their obligations under their fifa contract to look after all fans. a labour mp was dubious about the championships being staged in russia.
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they got the right to state a world cup clearly through corruption. putin will use it the way hitler used the 1936 olympics. the idea of putin handing over a world cup to the captain of the winning team fills me with... i think that your characterisation of what is going to happen in moscow at the world cup, all venues, yes, ithink the comparison with 1936 is certainly right and i think it's an emetic prospect to think of putin glorying in this sporting event. the foreign secretary said the safety of fans was uppermost in his mind. one of the consequences of the expulsions that we had from moscow was that we lost the officer who was going to be responsible for the fans.
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i mean, you can't imagine anything more counterproductive than the uk's ability to help fans in russia. so, there is an issue. i'm not going to hide it from this committee. there is an issue, there is a discussion. we need to consider that issue and at the moment, as i say, the numbers of applicants for tickets are well down where we were at brio, and a considerable amount of fans to want to go and we have to think of the welfare. there are fans who will be exposed to hotbeds of russian nationalism. those train and carjourneys are mr austin has a good point. that is the truth. you're right. we are thinking actively about all of this. borisjohnson was also asked about the salisbury attack itself. why do you think putin,
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russia felt able to undertake such a brazen, despicable, illegal attack on british soil? it was a sign that president putin or the russian state wanted to give to potential defectors in their own agency, saying this is what happens to you if you decide that you support a country with a different set of values, such as our own. you can expect to be assassinated. and i think the reason that they picked the united kingdom is very simple — it's because this is a country that does have that particular set of values, does believe in freedom and an democracy and in the rule of law. and time and again, has called out russia over its abuses of those values. you could argue there aren't saying this as being weak. and we are desperate to look the other way rather than seeing the nature of russia's precedent set
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in other countries. regardless what happened 12 years ago after litvinenko assassination, i think most people on both sides of the commons, all backbenches that i listened to last wednesday overwhelmingly approved of the response of the uk is issuing this time. and it's been a mixture of a very firm diplomatic responses, the biggest expulsion of undeclared russian agents since the 1980s. coupled with a series of measures designed to push back on russia in all sorts of ways. what are your plans in terms of communication in light of what has happened? things are going to be very difficult, politically, for a while to come. but that doesn't mean that all contact must be stopped
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and all engagement must be stopped. boris johnson gave his assessment of the uk's relationship with russia now. we do not wish to engage in a new cold war. and a depricate that term. i remember the old cold war, and ot was a pretty miserable time. and i grew up genuinely worrying that the world, our country was going to be evaporated in a thermonuclear strike. i don't think we face that kind of existential threat. but it is a threat nonetheless. the foreign secretary. the health secretary has said a pay rise for more than a million nhs staff in england recognises they're working harder than ever. nurses, midwives, paramedics, cleaners and porters will be among those receiving at least 6.5% over the next three years. answering an urgent question about the deal, mr hunt said rarely had a pay rise been so well deserved. the whole house will want to pay tribute to the hard work of nhs staff up and down the country
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during one of the most difficult winters in living memory. and today's agreement on a new pay deal reflects public appreciation forjust how much they have done and continue to do. however, it is much more than that. the agreement which nhs and trade unions have recommended to their members today is a something for something deal which brings in profound changes in productivity in exchange for significant rises in pay. staff, royal colleges, trade unions and the labour party have today been vindicated in saying a pay rise is long overdue. but when we've seen nurses, paramedics, midwives losing thousands of pounds in the value of their pay, when we've heard stories of nhs staff turning to food banks, when we have 100,000 vacancies across the service, and more nurses leaving the profession that entering, we have spent billions on agency
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staff than this pay cut it should have been scrapped years ago. i also want to recognise and remember back in 2009, labour's great depression plunged the economy into the biggest and most of economic trench we have faced. as a result of our stewardship and support of the nhs through that period, unlike many other countries that cut their health spending, we secured 200,000 jobs in the nhs and now we can start rewarding them for their hard, hard work. i welcome the fact that the nhs workers in england were finally receiving a pay rise they deserve. health is devolved to was government and so could the secretary clarify how much of this additional funding is new funding and also with the consequential will be for the government? jeremy hunt said the normal barnett formula, which dictates how funding from westminster is allocated to the devolved governments, would apply. we have not had a functioning assembly for 1h months. we've had no health ministerfor14 months!
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so how can the hard—working members of nhs staff in northern ireland benefit from this new pay deal? will the secretary of state commit to speaking to his cabinet colleague whom i'm delighted to see on the bench here today to make sure that nhs staff in northern ireland see the benefits of this deal today. the rise is deserved, welcome and overdue. but without a long—term plan for funding health and care, this announcement won't be trusted. doesn't he agreed that we need a new deal to refresh the vision for the 215t century and should we be prepared to be honest with the british people that this will involve a modest, but clear increase in taxation? will need to find a way of getting more money into the nhs and social care system in the future as we face the pressures of an ageing population. and we need to find the best way to do that. jeremy hunt.
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now, prime minister's question time is supposed to be one of the highlights of the week. but on wednesday, some mps were very slow to take their places on the green benches and some even left before the end. to top it all, a little boy brought in as a guest of a labour mp to watch democracy in action fell asleep on his father's lap in the visitors‘ gallery. in the chamber below, there was more than a hint of local election campaigning in the air. does the prime minister believe that the collapse in northamptonshire was a result of the incompetence at a local level or is it conservative incompetence at a national level? obviously, there has been the report into northamptonshire county council, but let's look at what we see across the board in councils. let'sjust...yes, yes, yes. if you look at what is happening and councils up and down this country, there is one message for everybody. and that's that conservative councils cost you less!
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jeremy corbyn! mr speaker, my question was actually quite specific to northamptonshire, and the tory leader said we've been warning the government from about 2013 and 2014, we couldn't cope with the level of cuts we're facing. three years ago, mr speaker, that council bragged it was pioneering an easy council model. it then proceeded to outsource 96% of its council staff, transferred them the new service providers, run by private companies, paying dividends, now that council has gone bust. does the prime minister really believe that the slash and burn model for local government is really a good one? can i say to the right honourable gentleman, first of all, it would be helpful if he accurately reflected the independent statutory inspection,
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which concluded last week. which the report was clear that northamptonshire's failure is not a case of underfunding. so his claims... indeed, the core spending power is set to rise by 14.5 million pounds. so i say to the right honourable gentleman, the attack that he is making that this is all about the amount of money that government is providing is not correct. what we are ensuring — what we are ensuring is that councils are able to provide good services up and down the country and that's what we seek with councils, conservative councils up and down the country, costing people last than labour. jeremy corbyn said the government had prioritised tax cuts for the super rich and big business over funding for councils. theresa may hit back.
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we all know what labour would mean for council taxpayers because just this week, the shadow community secretary... ohh, he says. laughter could that be because he doesn't want people to know what he is supporting? because he has supported a plan to stop local taxpayers having the right to stop tax hikes, he is supporting a plan to introduce a land value tax, a tax on your home and yourgarden! and he wants to introduce a new hotel tax! we all know what would happen under labour. more taxes and ordinary working people would pay the price. this conservative government has slashed public services. they cut funding and expect councils to pick up the pieces. the result of this is children's centres are closing,
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schools are struggling, fewer police on the streets, older people being left without care or dignity. and refuges turning women away. the tories own head of local government says it is unsustainable. and doesn't it tell you everything you need to know about this government? that it demands households and businesses pay more to get less! the prime minister replied that the economy was strong under the conservatives, which meant more money for schools and hospitals than ever before. of a public inquiry at the high court. they said not enough officers were being named and that they had no confidence in the inquiry‘s chairman. the review relates to undercover police officers who formed sexual relationships to help them infiltrate certain groups. the concerns were echoed in the lords. over a period of 2a years from 1985
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to 2009, almost every single year, there was a state—sponsored sexual relationship between a police officer and a woman who at no point was accused of doing anything illegal, not arrested, not accused. ijust don't understand how the minister can sit back and think that this is all right. this strikes at the heart of the ethics and the integrity of our police forces, and of course, our security services, and i must stress that the cases we know about are the only ones we have heard about because they are the only police names in the public realm. we don't know all of them. until we know the police undercover names, we won't know how me victims there were. i have been made aware of that walk—out and i am aware that the hearings are still ongoing
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and i would encourage all core participants and indeed anyone impacted by undercover policing to participate fully in the inquiry so that we can learn the lessons and get to the truth. and the minister was asked if procedures were now in place to make sure similar practices wouldn't be repeated. my lords, i would love to stand at this despatch box and say that certain things could never happen again, but nobody can legislate for the odd rogue undertaking or malicious intent of people and therefore, one cannot be absolutely certain it will never happen again. what one can do is put measures in place to try and mitigate as far as possible that it never happens again. the minister also thought it was important for the officers to retain their anonymity and said the home secretary had full confidence in the chairman to carry out the inquiry. companies that deliberately put workers‘ pensions at risk will face fines and even criminal sanctions,
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a cabinet minister has warned. the construction firm carillion collapsed injanuary with a pensions deficit of almost £600 million and hundreds of unfinished public contracts. the work and pensions secretary, told a joint committee of mps that the pensions regulator will soon have tougher powers to deal with situations like that. should anybody do anything to weaken or recklessly put their pension scheme into difficulties, then those people will get either penalties or now, a criminal sanction for what they have done. so this is about strengthening the regulator. it is about giving them powers to investigate more. it is about putting them on the front foot, and also, being able to enforce a funding standard, and as i said, there will be a very clear message that should you not adhere to what you should be doing for your pensioners, then there will be sanctions and criminal prosecution. but mps suggested that regulators had not done enough.
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it became a joke, peter crying wolf. it worries us that if the industry knows that peter will only ever cry wolf lord knows what else is out there, because they would be absolutely toothless. i'm going to defend what they didn't do and i think it's important that if you do have powers, that you should use them. i know you can't always judge what was happening in 2013 with what was happening in 2018, and there's always a very fine balance that i guess the regulator was seeking to strike between the ongoing sustainability of a business, because everybody would say the best way to protect their pension scheme going forward is to make sure you've got a viable, strong business. however, that balance in those instances, you're right. they said they could have done more. hindsight‘s a wonderful thing, but again, moving forward, they will need to do more and they've now got stronger powers to do more.
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during the same hearing the business secretary was challenged over the dominance of the big four accounting firms: i think it is an important question. as i say, it has been looked at recently. 2013. the evidence, i would suggest, it is not really working. are you in favour of breaking them up, greg? i don't want to answer that without having considered advice on the consequences of that. in general, i agree with your fellow chair that more competition tends to act in the interest of consumers and of innovation, i would say, and in general, when you have concentrated markets, that is, that is not a good state
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of affairs, but i think it is, it would be proper to consider in yourjoint committee and the select committee may well want to, as i will, take an interest in whether further reforms are needed, including the suggestion you made. greg clark. the prime minister has said allegations that the political consultancy, cambridge analytica, misused information about millions of facebook users are "very concerning". they should be properly investigated. it's right that the information commissioner is doing exactly that, because people need to have confidence in how their personal data is being used. and i would expect facebook, cambridge analytica and all organisations involved to comply fully with the investigation that is taking place. she was challenged about her party's links to cambridge analytica by the leader of the snp at westminster.
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the parent company of cambridge analytica is strategic communications laboratories. it has been run by the chairman of the oxford conservative association. its founding chairman was a former conservative mp. a director appears to have donated over £700,000 to the tory party. the former conservative party treasurer is a shareholder. we know about the links to the conservative party. they go on and on. will the prime minister explain to the house her government's connections to the company? can i say, the right honourable gentleman has been talking about two companies, about the parent company, scl, and he also referred to cambridge analytica and i can say that as far as i'm aware, the government has no contracts with cambridge analytical or with the scl group. later, on the committee corridor, a former operations manager for facebook told mps he'd raised concerns about the risk of users‘ data being abused —
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but the company didn't tell users. speaking on a rather ropey video—link to the culture committee, sandy parakilas, described how a firm like cambridge analytica could get personal data when people connected to an app linked to facebook. facebook asks you the user for permission to give certain kinds of information from your facebook account and once you agree, facebook passes that data from facebook‘s servers to the developer. he explained that they gave the developer the ability to access data relating to the users‘ friends — but those people hadn‘t explicitly given their authorisation. as a senior manager, he raised the issue with executives who are still at the company now. i included lists of bad actors and potential bad actors, which i included lists of vulnerabilities
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and potential bad actors, which included, foreign state actors, data brokers, and i said here are some of the things they could be doing and here are some of the areas that the company is still exposed and user data is still at risk. and i shared that around with a number of people at the time. he said he didn‘t know if facebook‘s chief executive mark zuckerberg knew, but it was widely understood at the company that there was a risk in the way facebook was handling data. a conservative asked about the developer companies. do you think they might have acquired data illegally from facebook and that might have been used in an attempt to impact the outcome on elections in the uk and further afield? that seems very likely. the amount of data that was passed out of the facebook platform in 2010 and 2014 is just fast. there were in my memory, hundreds of thousands of apps on the platform while i was there.
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sandy pa rakilas. in the lords, it was day nine of detailed scrutiny of the eu withdrawal bill and the thorny issue of devolution. the government explained that its amendments would place restrictions on westminster‘s ability to exercise powers returning from brussels after brexit where those relate to devolved matters. their affect is that by default, on exit day, any decision—making powers currently held by deq in areas that are otherwise devolved, would pass directly to our evolved institutions without first being diverted through westminster. he said he wanted to be clear. any decision that the devolved institutions could take before exit day will continue to be a decision they can take after exit day
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areas where they have exercised their powers. there is no encroachment into existing devolved areas. labour described the original drafting of the bill as an "emasculation" of devolution. there was "some way to go" before the government‘s proposals would be satisfactory. i must make the point in sorrow rather than angered that the way which the government has handled the whole issue over months of inactivity from the autumn onwards, it leaves much to be desired. indeed, it would not be wholly inappropriate to describe it as lamentable. and peers are expected to return to these issues next week. and that‘s all we‘ve got time for. so from me, mandy baker, goodbye. hello there.
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temperatures have been slowly recovering over the last couple of days after that mini beast from the east brought us that disruptive snow. and in fact, as we head on into thursday, a more mild start and generally a mild afternoon. with some good spells of sunshine, feeling quite springlike. the atlantic has come back to life, feeding in cloud and mild air. we have seen the back of that wind. you can see the air mass chart here, the orange colours moving in on thursday. something more fresh pushing in behind for the end of the week, for friday. mild air neverfar away. sunshine on the weekend and feeling pleasant. as we head through the overnight period and into early thursday, continuing to see damp weather down the east of the country affecting east anglia and the south—east. but elsewhere, largely dry. variable amounts of cloud. a bit more of a breeze further west. but a much milder start on thursday. most places starting
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around 4—7 degrees. just one or two pockets of frost in some very sheltered rural locations, south—west england and maybe northern scotland. during the day on thursday, looking good. losing the cloud from the east of england. a change in northern ireland and western scotland. increasing wind, 45 miles per hour, outbreaks of rain. elsewhere, a lovely day in store. 12—13, perhaps 14 celcius. on thursday night, that rain band will spread across the country, eventually clearing the east for the country on friday. a fairly good—looking day. showers in the north—west. wintry on the hills. maybe a toucher cooler than what we saw on thursday. a typical early spring weekend. sunshine and showers, variable amounts of cloud. generally quite mild, particularly where we get the sunshine. this is saturday morning.
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a rather cloudy note in central and southern and eastern parts of the country. the cloud may hang on in the south, the odd spits and spots of rain. skies will brighten up further north and west. showers in scotland and northern ireland, especially on the hills. given some sunshine, temperatures around 11 celcius. i think sunday probably looks like the better day of the weekend. more widespread sunny spells. just a few showers again throughthe north and west of the country. the best of the sunshine across the east. feeling more milder too, top temperatures around 13 celsius. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers
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in north america and around the globe. my name is nkem ifejika. our top stories — mark zuckerberg admits facebook made mistakes, mishandling data from 50 million users, and promises to make changes. anger in russia as britain‘s foreign secretary says president putin will use the world cup as propaganda like adolf hitler did with the berlin olympics. the suspect in the texas bombings blows himself up as police close in. but what motivated the 23—year—old man? six months after hurricane maria, millions of puerto ricans are still struggling to survive. many blame the us government forfailing to do enough. and a cracking continent — the seismic shift in kenya‘s rift valley that could divide africa.


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