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tv   The Week in Parliament  BBC News  June 9, 2018 2:30am-3:01am BST

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g7 leaders meeting in canada have been discussing import tariffs imposed by president trump. following a bilateral meeting with donald trump, the french president said there's willingness to find an agreement. the us special counsel robert mueller has filed new criminal charges against president trump's former campaign chairman, paul manafort. he and a former aide are accused of obstructing justice by tampering with witnesses. chinese government hackers are reported to have stolen highly sensitive data from the computers of a us navy contractor. the information is said to include plans for advanced underwater weapons. american celebrity chef and tv presenter, anthony bourdain, has died at the age of 61. the us television network, cnn, for whom mr bourdain worked, said he'd taken his own life. now on bbc news it's time to look back at the week in parliament. hello and welcome to the week in
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parliament. coming up: it's been debated for half a century. now a decision has been made. creating tens of thousands of localjobs and apprenticeships and boosting our economies for future generations by expanding heathrow airport. desperation and anger as mps debate abortion laws in northern ireland. if we had had the legislation that exists here in the rest of the united kingdom, we would be discarded and put a bin between the river boyne. with train timetables derailing chris grayling, i asked a old cabinet and how to survive a ministerial crisis. whatever goes wrong in your cabinet, however much
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it is at arms length, and you're not responsible, you have to take responsibility. but first, after 50 yea rs of responsibility. but first, after 50 years of umming and ar, a breakthrough. many don't like the idea of the heathrow expansion, not least boris johnson, on idea of the heathrow expansion, not least borisjohnson, on the grounds of noise and pollution. mps will be asked to vote on the decision in the next three weeks. the transport secretary was at the dispatch box to deliver the news. the time for action is now. the time for action is now. heathrow is already full, and the evidence shows the remaining london airports won't be far behind. despite being the busiest two—runway airport in the world, heathrow‘s capacity constraints means it is falling behind its global competitors, impacting the uk's economy and global trading opportunities. the secretary of state now stands here today at the dispatch box and expects this house to accept
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what he says about the most significant of infrastructure projects. i'm sorry, but the secretary of state has form. the only reason that he is at the dispatch box today is because the prime minister is too weak to sack him. he failed to say whether labour supported the decision. given in the heathrow airport limited statement of principles, there is a cost recovery clause for heathrow in the event that the project does not proceed after this decision, that this could mean taxpayers have to pick up a bill that costs billions and billions of pounds? the government denied taxpayers would be liable. others were worried about the environmental dimension. it really does beggar belief that that the words climate change didn't pass his mouth once during the statement. in his department's most recent aviation forecast, there is no scenario in which expansion at heathrow is compatible with meeting the government's own commitments under the climate change act. some mps were delighted with the news. now, i must be honest.
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initially, supporting heathrow was counterintuitive for myself and actually for my scottish perspective, but engaging the scottish airports, all but one actually support expansion at heathrow. the various scottish chambers of commerce all support expansion heathrow as well because they recognise the business benefits it can actually bring to scotland. can i congratulate the secretary of state on at last moving this issue on? does he agree with me that the delays caused by successive governments on this issue have caused the uk to lose a lot of business? i welcome the decision, but can he reassure me that there will be no further delays because of divisions in his cabinet? this matter was discussed at the cabinet this morning. the airport's subcommittee met earlier this morning and reached its view. the cabinet was informed about that, and i can say that the cabinet gave almost entirely universal support for it. chris grayling claiming "almost entirely universal support". but support was something that he was very much lacking
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the day before when he was again on his feet to answer questions about the chaos caused by timetabling changes on the railways. passengers on the northern and govia thameslink networks had faced repeated delays and cancellations. in the commons, the transport secretary began by apologising. passengers on these franchises are facing unsatisfactory levels of service. it is mine and my department's number one priority to make sure the industry restores reliability for passengers to an acceptable level as soon as possible. i will assure passengers that i share the frustration and i'm sorry this has taken place. no one will take responsibility for great britain's rail industry. amid the clamour, recriminations and buckpassing, there is one person who is ultimately responsible, that is the right honourable gentleman, the member for epsom and ewell, the secretary of state for transport. why, in his letter to mps and today, does he fail to take any
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responsibility for his department's role in the shambles enjoyed by passengers up and down the country? —— enjoyed. -- enjoyed. there was frustration too on conservative benches —— enjoyed. this whole thing is a disaster and must be put right! well, timetables and rail companies aside, was that the wrong kind of commons performance? i've been speaking to the labour formerjustice secretary, home secretary, foreign secretary and leader of the house, jack straw — a man who clearly knows a thing or two about being a minister. i asked him whether he felt any sympathy for the beleaguered mr grayling. on one level, i have sympathy for him because he was on the rack. at another level, i was almost shouting at the television to say, "chris, you should have learned will one about being a minister,"
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advice given to me by a conservative minister patrick mayhew when we were in opposition, which is, whatever goes wrong in your department, however much it is an‘s length to you, you're not responsible in practice for it, you have to take responsibility for it because the british people expect that one of the elected ministers should be held accountable to the elected parliament and, if they see a minister trying to say, it wasn't me, guv! it was network rail or a train operating company, the thing, this guy is washing his hands of it. is it hard, though? he had responsibility without control or power. yes, it is. there are lots of government departments, including the home office, where you have some of these agencies which are supposed to be semi—autonomous on the run themselves. the fact of the matter is that, when things go wrong, that piece of constitutional fiction goes out of the window. in my case, after a period of where it looked as though i could walk on water,
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it went on for 20 months, and then everything went wrong. nobody could get a passport because the passport office had gone into the change programme with new computers, and the whole thing gummed up. it was not an issue or agency over which are paid any attention. there were huge queues outside the passport office which inconveniently was directly opposite the home office, and it started raining. and if i had said, iam not responsible, i would've been done for. as it was, it was a very dangerous period, but i had to say, i am responsible for this mess and i will sort out. i got umbrellas for people, got special queue for women holding babies.
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after a few days, it come down. why is it that some ministers attract these problems? and others glide through and they put the problem on who was there before rather than them themselves? it is partly about how they handle the house whether they take responsibility when things go wrong and do not appear to evade responsibility. it is also to do with something tangible but real witches whether they have got credit in the bank with colleagues. by colleagues in both sides of the house. if a minister appears to be dismissive of a reasonable point on the opposition, that actually feedbacks on the other way, so if you have a minister who was paying attention to the house, picking points up, not gratuitously abusive or dismissive to people, and in the corridors in the room is picking up problems that backbenchers are raising with them
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in dealing with them, then they will have credit in the bank and the reverse is also true. what are your top tips for being a minister? always take responsibility. whatever it is and however remote in practice is your real responsibility because it is what people expect. get yourself to the house of commons straightaway, do not wait to be dragged there. when you are there, give all the facts you can in one go. thirdly, pay attention to the concerns of backbenchers, both in the house of commons... you will quite quickly be a backbencher again. take up these concerns, get yourself to the tearoom, feel the atmosphere around the place and, if you do that, when you are in trouble, people will give you the benefit of the doubt. but if you do not get that, that could dissolve in front of you, and i saw that simile times.
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—— so —— so many times. -- so many times. jack straw, thank you. now, this week, mps backed calls to decriminalise abortion in northern ireland. the debate came after abortion laws were relaxed in the irish republic. mps voted after hearing some very personal stories from within their own ranks. i was ill when i made the incredibly hard decision to have a termination. i was having seizures every day. i was not able to control my own body, let alone care for a new life. so, mr speaker, are you seriously telling me that, in the civilised world, rape, incest or a foetus that is so sadly deformed that it can never live are not sufficient grounds for a woman to have the power to decide for yourself that she should not make that decision? no, enough. but the dup opposed any change. 98% of all abortions carried out in the uk are carried out on pregnancies that could continue to full term. they are not inconvenient, or fatal abnormality cases,
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not cases as a result of crisis pregnancies, they are unwanted pregnancies. we've people today in northern ireland who are rearing families, who are contributing to society, building businesses, working in ourfactories, sitting in our schools, who otherwise, if we had had the legislation which exists here, would've been discarded and put in a bin before they were ever born! that vote in the commons wasn't binding and won't bring in a change. later in the week, the supreme court rejected a challenge to northern ireland's strict abortion laws. the court said human rights campaigners didn't have the legal standing to bring the case, even though it agreed the current law was incompatible with european human rights legislation. after the court's decision, the northern ireland secretary came under renewed pressure to step in. the secretary of state has the power to direct the northern irish departments to such action required
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under international obligations. human rights are an international obligation. minister, i beg of you, don't make a victim go to court! name the date that the domestic abuse bill comes to parliament and we can get on and end this scandal. we cannotjust take back control, we can get it. it is the view of this government that the decisions about abortion and the laws that apply northern ireland should rightly and properly be decided by the people of northern ireland and their elected politicians. that's why i call on those elected politicians to come together to form a government in stormont and deal with this issue. i, like her, want to ensure that where those victims and personal stories we have all heard, those stories are dealt with. well, what does this all mean? i asked our northern ireland political correspondent, stephen walker. well, it's clear that theresa may is getting advice from all sides. it also means that the issue
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of abortion remains high up on the political agenda. theresa may is getting advice from labour mps, liberal mps and people in her own party like maria miller and amber rudd, who want abortion reform. however, she's also hearing from the dup, her political partners. they don't want abortion reform and don't want to see the 1967 abortion act in northern ireland. but the issue is complicated. whilst sinn fein would like to see some legislative change, there is no assembly, and it seems unlikely that the assembly will come back in the foreseeable future. that means all eyes are on westminster and the pressure remains an theresa may. she's hearing these voices and she knows the mood of the house, but she knows she has to keep the dup happy and that explains why she is treading very carefully. stephen walker in belfast. now for a look at some of the other news from westminster this week. mps backed a motion summoning a prominent leave campaigner
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in the referendum to appear before a commons committee inquiry into fake news. dominic cummings has repeatedly refused to speak to mps. so the chairman of the culture committee introduced a rarely—used motion in the house of commons to persuade him to come along. this was the first time since 1920 that emotion of this kind has been put before the house. it has not been done lightly, in some ways it is with regret, i wish we could have reached a successful conclusion before now. while one witness was refusing to appear, another was on appearance number two. alexander nix, the former chief executive of cambridge analytica — the political consultancy at the heart of the row about facebook and privacy — suggested he was the victim of a conspiracy theory. to deny everything that has been said or written about you and then when you are caught on the record
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saying something your first response is, but is all lies. you can understand that is a frustrating position for us to be into half to listen. not as frustrating a position as it is for me. the culture secretary gave the green light for two corporations — 21st century fox and comcast — to bid for the entertainment firm sky. but matt hancock attached conditions to the bid from fox, which is owned by rupert murdoch. one is that fox must offload sky news. i will seek undertakings to ensure that sky news remains a viable over the long—term and independent saw that it can pursue politicians without or favour. the government's decision to sell 7.7% of its stake in the mainly taxpayer—owned royal bank of scotland drew strong criticism from opposition peers. the sale price is significantly lower than the amount the treasury paid for its stake a decade ago. the minister said the sale
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would raise £2.5 billion. the transaction represents value for money for the taxpayer. rbs is smaller, simpler and safer than the organisation and the government was forced to recapitalise in 2008 and its sale price reflects that reality. why sell now, crystallising a loss that rises to an excess of 3 billion when financing costs are included, when there is no pressure and when the government claims to be positive about both rbs and the community? mps debated how best to respond to a controversial decision by donald trump to impose import tariffs of 25% on steel and aluminium from the european union, canada and mexico. one mp wanted to hit the president where it hurt. he likes golf. let us have golf tarriffs on golf owners in scotland. let us bring home and immediately and stand up for our steel community
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instead of this rubbish that we can do nothing about it. fight him. i've said this before, but it's been a bumpy week on the brexit front. david davis was apparently on the point of resignation over theresa may's proposed plan b or backstop if the negotiations don't produce a deal. then there were the comments made by borisjohnson that the brexit talks strategy lacked guts. and looming very large on the parliamentary horizon is the return of the key brexit legislation — the eu withdrawal bill — to the house of commons. looking ahead at prime minister's questions, the labour leader focused on the government's strategy while theresa may focused on labour's. jeremy corbyn kicked off with a question about the government's detailed plans for the uk's future relationship with the eu — the white paper. the brexit secretary promised, and i can quote, a detailed and precise white paper on the government's negotiating position. will it be published in advance of the eu withdrawal debate next week? yes, my right honourable friend the brexit secretary and i agree
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that we want to publish a white paper that goes beyond the speeches... that goes beyond the speeches and the papers that have been given and published so far. theresa may had a question of her own. perhaps the right honourable gentleman would like to take the opportunity of doing what he refused to do two or three weeks ago in this chamber which is to stand up and rule out a second referendum. it is not the opposition that are conducting that negotiations. but very sadly, mr speaker, it is not the government either. then came a question which elicited one of the shortest answers ever uttered by theresa may. can the prime minister confirm that it remains her plan to leave the european union in march 2019 and complete the transition by december 2020 ? yes.
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when it comes to brexit this government has delivered more delays and more cancellations than northern rail. labour voted for a referendum. they voted to trigger article 50. and since then they have tried to frustrate the brexit process at every stage. the snp leader didn't seem impressed by either of his counterparts. the opposition is playing games. the question he should have asked today is, will the prime minister stop her charade and vote for the lords' amendments next week for membership of the eea and the customs union, protecting jobs and prosperity? theresa may declined to give a direct answer to that one.
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now, the chief executive of the tsb, paul pester, has already offered numerous apologies to customers for the problems caused by the it meltdown at the bank. and on wednesday he said sorry again. the tsb moved the records of its five million customers to a new computer system in april. the changeover meant some people couldn't access their accounts online and others were targeted by fraudsters. one customer logged on to find he was £1.2 million overdrawn. in his second appearance before the treasury committee in five weeks, mr pester faced some blunt questioning. do you think that the tsb deserves its new nickname of the truly shambolic bank? the migration, the subsequent fraud attack, the fact that even when we sent letters to customers we have managed to put more letters on a single envelope, all collectively has created a terrible time for our tsb customers. i apologise unreservedly for that. one mp raised the question of compensation for a constituent who couldn't access her account before her wedding. it put a lot of stress on her,
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emotional distress. i raised it with you last time. i just wonder what you thought was appropriate. i can't give you an answer to that today. you said, to quote you, the amount would be calculated based on stress and emotional distress. and i hope that is how it has been done because i am aware that she has received compensation but i haven't got in my head what the amount is. £100. now, take a look at this sketch. it shows women listening in to debates in the old house of commons through a ventilator attic space in about 1821 because they were excluded from the public gallery. the sketch is part of a forthcoming exhibition in parliament to commemorate 100 years since the first women gained the vote. and dozens of historic sites have
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been officially re—listed online to recognise their role as targets during the militant suffragette campaign. claire gould reports. what links these postboxes in london, this old school in birmingham, and westminster abbey? they are all now listed officially as sites of suffragette sabotage. we are not changing the listing in any way about how the building will be used but it is a way of adding this important layer, this important part of the story, to flesh out and bring to life this important aspect of our nation's history. postboxes were firebombed and empty buildings attacked in the militant campaign for votes for women. we don't obviously condone sabotaging the public realm today but we need to remember that this was a time when women were not enfranchised, they couldn't use the power of the vote, like we can to effect change. this was really brave, activity to try to bring to attention this important cause they were fighting for. suffragettes bombed this coronation chair in westminster abbey in 1914.
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they also disrupted services by staging prayer protests. this birmingham school escpaepd lightly. campaigners who broke in merely left a message. they decided not to inflict the damage that they had started off intending to do, and left a message in chalk on the chalkboard to say that we find this building very charming indeed and we have decided not to inflict damage here. claire gould reporting there. now what's been happening in the wider world of politics this week? julia butler is our guide. at five, move out of the way, minister. a gymnast celebrates being in downing street. at four, oops, dutch pm mark rutte spills coffee on his way into parliament and needs expert help to wield the mop. at three, the german parliament tries out its own version of pmqs,
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complete with applause. at two, happy 99th birthday to lord carrington, former foreign secretary, who first took his seat in the lords in 19115. and at one, it's rhondda rips it up, premiering this week, welsh national opera's tribute to women's rights pioneer lady rhondda. finally, in the dying stages of prime minister's questions, the conservative mp chris davies seemed to be concerned about whether mps will overturn the changes made to the eu withdrawal bill by peers. the biggest challenge between the commons and the lords takes place next week. yes, i am referring to the lords versus commons pigeon race. there hasn't been a pigeon race
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of this nature for 90 years, but soon it'll take its place in the parliamentary calendar alongside such delights as the dog of the year contest, the pancake race and the commons vs lords tug of war. and even if pigeon racing doesn't inspire you, at least it produced this memorable line from theresa may. can i say to my honourable friend i would be happy to do so. i'll add that to my list of things i never thought i'd hear a prime minister say. well, that's all we've got time for. don't forget there's a round up of each day in parliament every night at 11 o'clock on bbc parliament. but for now from me, mandy baker, goodbye. to do this weekend with the chao,
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that we have seen the chao were here and there on the last day or two,. and there will be different areas at risk on different days a. we had a lot of showers on friday in northern ireland, as you can see. a lot of the showers leaking during the day on saturday today will be focused across scotland. we also have the re m na nts of across scotland. we also have the remnants of a weak weather front to the south that will keep an eye on, back to drift into the channel islands and perhaps across the channel as well. towards saturday morning, a little chilly in the north—east, a bit of clout will have moved back in. a little bit of misty mess around and even the old patchy fog. or most of us it is double figures. a really quite close to start the day. worth pointing out again that there is no sign of the relief of the grass pollen. lots of
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sunshine to come here and again in the north—west of scotland but different distributions of showers through the day, with a bit of mr penfold will clear quickly to be dry, hazy and sunshine and bright and warm. not too much sunshine across the northern isles because we keep that cloud around the north sea coast but we have the best of the sunshine, but those chao was particularly over the hills is not a great day. heavy and thundery, perhaps fewer for northern ireland and a few more across northern england and wales and the south—west. i wouldn't rule out heavy, thundery showers anywhere but you will be lucky if you catch one. there will be a lot of dry and bright weather except for scotland. they do ease away as we go through to sunday morning, but there will be still one or two lingering, missed and fog, just like the past four hours and again that moisture is there to trigger the showers are. further east on sunday across scotla nd further east on sunday across scotland and northern ireland, perhaps fewer for northern ireland
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against a peak temperatures are little bit high. strong sunshine all the time. that he is quite exceptional just to the the time. that he is quite exceptionaljust to the east of us across scandinavia. the wildfire risk is high. on the satellite picture i showed you a swell of clout and that is low pressure interacting with all of that heat, it could give lively downpours and we will keep an eye on the one for you. welcome to bbc world news, i'm duncan golestani. clashes over trade tariffs are continuing to overshadow the g7 summit in quebec. several countries taking part say a closing joint statement is unlikely, although president trump said he believed they would agree on one. from quebec, here's our north america editor, jon sopel. one big happy family, but although they put on strained smiles for the cameras, do not be deceived. this is as bad tempered and as tense a start to the g7 as there has ever been.
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