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tv   Monday in Parliament  BBC News  September 11, 2018 2:30am-3:01am BST

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kim jong—un, has requested a second meeting with president trump and officials are looking into scheduling one. an official said the request was made in a "very warm, very positive" letter from the north korean leader to mr trump. the us states of north and south carolina as well as virginia have declared states of emergency ahead of the arrival of hurricane florence. the governor of south carolina has ordered the evacuation of about a million people from coastal areas. it's strengthened to a category 4 storm. the eu's chief brexit negotiator, michel barnier, has said that if both sides are realistic then they could agree the first stage of the divorce deal with britain within six to eight weeks. he said the main risk was failure to work out how to solve the irish border question. now at 2:30am on bbc news
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we bring you monday in parliament. hello, and welcome to monday in parliament. our look at the best of today in the commons and lords. on this programme: labour say the government is failing to give sufficient help to victims of disasters. labour has campaigned on this for years. haven't we had long enough to talk about this? borisjohnson comes in with an on complement three remarks in the house of lords. —— uncomplimentary. i'm not an apologist for former foreign secretary. it requires a portfolio of skills which i... which i don't have. and what are the lessons of the seven year conflict in syria? but the sad truth, mr speaker, is that syria represents the worst failing of this democratic civilized
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world since rwanda and burundi, after which we said never again. but first: labour has said victims of major disasters in serious crimes must receive extra support, amid claims that the government has engaged in too much consolation and too little action. ministers have announced new proposals to create a new independent public advocate who died buried families their inquests and direct them to appropriate support services. it is part of the government's victim strategy. the details of which were given by a justice minister in the commons. the message from victims is clear: they want to be treated with dignity, humanity, and compassion. they want clear, timely and accurate information about what is happening with their cases from day one. and they want the opportunity and support to make their voices heard as justice is done. to help achieve this, this strategy sets out a systemwide response to improving the support offered to all victims of crime.
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throughout the criminal justice process. mr speaker, from hillsboro to grenfell, there have been too many to properly support those affected by disasters and tragedies. today in the strategy, we have set out our plans for an independent public advocate, and have an tandem published a consultation on the detail of that role. supporting bereaved families so that those failures cannot be repeated, and we can properly support that comes from the beginning of a disaster, right through to the application of justice, and beyond. they say an independent public advocate would help guide bereaved families through any investigative process after a disaster, and so their voices could be heard at inquest. this is misleading. although the title includes the term advocate, the official will not represent bereaved families and inquiries or inquests. when we provide advocates to help victims navigate a complex and intimidating system command lawyers for bereaved families at inquest?
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it has taken three years for the government to produce a strategy that has finally been unveiled today. so why so many mentions of consultation? consult on a revised victims code, consult on a victims law, consult on the establishment of an independent public advocate. we've consulted all this to death over the last three years, and have heard loud and clear from all courses that these things —— and have heard loud and clear from all quarters that these things are vital and urgently needed. labour has campaigned on this for years. haven't we had long enough to talk about this? while i understand that she may be a little frustrated by consultations, i do believe that what we're doing here is hugely important, and it is right that we consult widely, particularly with those victims of crime, and others who know best what will work for them in this context. can i warmly welcome the minister's statement, and say many of the promises the government have made to have cross party support?
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i'm sure the minister will recognise that without adequate funding, many of these promises will be empty. in the 50 pages of the victims tragedy, i counted what look like 16 million commitment of new funding. can the house say is that it, or is there extra funding to make sure we are notjust legislating, but actually doing? victims expect us to make the best possible use of risk assessment and management schemes. obviously there's everything in the strategy announcement to commend, but i wish to be a bit picky and ask the minister if he would consider meeting with me, as it was part my previous job, and all other experts in the field who know far more than me, about how to make the use of the best—tested risk management schemes? specifically thinking of grenfell tower and what happened with the tower tragedy, what measures is the minister taking to ensure that victims are heard and that before the tragedy occurs, rather than after the tragedy occurs, in order for things
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like a horrendous tragedy like grenfell to be stopped before they happen? one of the most depressing elements of a violent crime is that quite often, the victim has to live with the damage a long time afterwards, in particular, many young men have been hit on the head, have had traumatic rain —— brain injuries which they have never been able to recover from because there's not been proper rehabilitation support. will the minister make sure he works closely with the department of health to ensure that we have neuro—rehabilitation prescriptions to make sure thatjustice is brought to those victims, because they can properly recuperate ? given that the minister's said that £200 million a year is spent on support for the victims, it is simply staggering that 12 years after it was introduced, only one in five victims are actually aware that the victim code exists at all. can i ask the minister, what demonstrable difference
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and improvements have been made to the judicial experience of victims and witnesses since the victims commission was first appointed in 2010? the honourable gentleman makes a good point and highlights the issue around awareness of the victim's code. the fact that 20% of victims say they know about it and 80% do not cite it does not mean that the code in and of itself is a bad thing. i believe it means we need to do more to promote awareness of it, we need to make it simpler, which is exactly what we are planning to do. while controversy is never far away from boris johnson, shortly after he resigned from the government injuly, he took of a newjob at writing articles for the daily telegraph. is it a crime? no, it is not, but the former foreign secretary should have notified a panel set up to vet what former ministers do after leaving theirjobs. that panel has the title of the advisory committee on business appointments, better known as acoba. it said it was unacceptable that
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borisjohnson had signed contract with the telegraph before contracting a panel. in the lords a labour peer took up the issue. he will know that the committee, so ably chaired by baroness browning, is an advisory committee. it's not a statuary committee and can impose no sanctions on any former minister that does not seek the committee's approval. essentially, my lords, it remains as a code of honour. my lords, we shouldn't be surprised, i suppose, that the latest transgressor of this system is mr boris johnson, who perhaps, my lords, seems to have a rather distant acquaintance with the national honour. a minister said making the committee statutory wouldn't work. if you make a statutory, i suspect the decisions will take longer to deliver, but crucially, the decisions would then be judiciable.
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they could be challenged in the courts. and i think there's a real risk of crystallizing a potential conflict between the rules and the common—law right that individuals have to earn a living in their own right. the ministerial code very clearly states that former ministers must ensure that no new appointments are announced or taken up before the committee has been to provide its advice, and it goes on to say former ministers must abide by the advice of the committee, which will be published by the committee went a role is announced or taken up. and of course, there is a minimum of three month waiting period on resignation. boris johnson breached all of these elements of the ministerial code, which explains the very strong tone of this letter. should there not be some comeback when ministers who have signed the ministerial code breach it within days of leaving office? the former foreign secretary should not have treated it with such... the rules which had been brought
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to his attention which acknowledged —— the former foreign secretary should not have treated it with such souciance. —— the rules which had been brought to his attention which acknowledged he had read as recently as january this year. i am not an apologist for the former foreign secretary. that requires a portfolio of skills which i... laughter ..which i don't have. but i would just say this in his defence: the rules are designed to prevent a minister using the knowledge she acquires, the relationships he develops in the department, to stop him roaming the pitch for a lucrative job subsequently in a related organisation. in the case of the former foreign secretary, after two years, he reverted back to a career injournalism, a careerfor perhaps which his qualities are better suited. and so while he should indeed — he should indeed —
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and i don't in any way undermine the seriousness of his offence... what he did was not quite the revolving door that one normally sees in that the revolving door ended up back where he started. could i suggest to my noble friend that perhaps he could communicate with the cabinet office and say that as far as the ministerial code is concerned, for which i have no authority whatsoever, but as far as the ministerial concerned two code is concerned, perhaps there should be some consideration that people who did not behave with honour should in some way be debarred or have some penalty from holding public office for a limited amount of time after probably two years would be a good idea? laughter after they have flagrantly just ignored both the ministerial code and the... and the rules. my noble friend makes a good point about honour. when one joins your lordship‘s house, we subscribe to the code of conduct, and part of that is that injunction always to act
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on personal honour. and those words have been used for centuries to describe the conduct one should follow in the house. the former foreign secretary seems to defy the rules of political gravity. a foreign office minister has ruled out consulting mps over further military action in syria. if the regime of president assad again uses chemical weapons. alastair bird was speaking to mps following the resumption of intensive strikes by russian answer injets on the population of idlib at the weekend. —— russian and syrianjets. the strikes have increased the pressure on the rebel held area on the day after iran and russia backed a military campaign there, despite turkey's pleas for a cease—fire. will my right honourable friend ensure that in all the international councils, the immense moral authority, which britain has in this matter, is exercised to the full? we are, after all,
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through our taxpayers, looking after more of the 11 million displaced people from this conflict than the whole of the rest of europe added together. and will he also be sure to make clear that the bombing of these hospitals in idlib, each one of them clearly marked with a red cross on its roof, is a war crime, and the individuals engaging in those attacks will be held to account however long it takes? last week i announced a further, on 17 august, a further £10 million additional uk for emergency support for idlib. but my right honourable friend's last point is important. we have more documented evidence of recent attacks on health centres, this is unacceptable — this is deliberate targeting of health centres, and that is against international humanitarian law. we know from bob woodward's book that what president trump wants to do is instruct a regime change
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in syria, and that he had to be prevented from doing so after duma. that would be a gravely serious step for the uk to take part in, with vast and dangerous implications notjust for the future of syria, but for wider geopolitical stability. our position on the assad regime's use of chemical weapons is unchanged, as we demonstrated, we will respond appropriate lead to any further use of chemical weapons by the assad regime, which has had devastating humanitarian consequences on the syrian population. and if the honourable lady will recall, depending on the nature of the attack, whether the united kingdom needs to move swiftly and it move keeping in mind the safety of the personnel involved in the mission, as it is utmost priority. i'm not prepared to say at this stage what the united kingdom's detailed reaction might be or give any timescale.
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can i welcome his assurance that britain will support a robust response, showed a solid resort to chemical weapons again? but the sad truth is that sera represents the worst failing of the civilized world since burundi, after which we said never again. so does the minister think that when all this is over, there may be a case for an inquiry in britain as to how on earth we allowed this to happen? having only recently seeing the prime ministers stand where he sits now and talk of the attacks we face from russian weapons, and our case chemical weapons, does he not agree that we should also stand up to the russians, who are financing this war, and the banks like dtv, who are trading on our markets, raising debt in this country, is it not outrageous that these people are allowed to exploit our assets, our property, and our laws to finance a war in syria that is leaving hundreds of thousands injured, many more millions displaced, and is fundamentally destabilising the interests of not only us, but also our partners around the world? this is an opportunity for russia
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to stand forward and do what is right on the international stage, even at this stage, and assist in the transition of syria to do something in the future. it continues to be very determined to use any diplomatic sanctions that its pose this disposal to ensure that what is necessary to provide a peaceful solution to the troubles in syria, and end a conflict that is done so much damage. alastair bird. you're watching our round up of the day in the comments of the lord. you're watching our round up of the day in the commons and the lord. still to come: a plea for a specialist minister for high streets. the government's ivory bill is aimed at halting the extinction of these chaps. it's believed the population of african elephant is at risk once again because of a surge in recent years in poaching
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for the ivory trade. but could the ivory bill, which bans the trading of ivory, have unintended consequences? there are exemptions to the legislation — some older musical instruments, for example. but for one conservative peer, the exemptions don't go far enough. anything certified as being made before 1918 should, i believe, be exempt. because we are entering a bureaucratic quagmire if we don't do something like this. ivory will have to be certified or it will be got rid of. what about those of you who have grandmother's ivoryhandled fish knives? or ivory hairbrushes? i do hope that because so many will be caught up, unwittingly, in the tentacles of the bureaucracy
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that will be necessary to be established after this bill becomes law, i do believe it would be in the good interest of all if we said that what was made before 1918 is not of our concern. because it will save no elephant, it will punish no poacher. my lords, i'm a proud owner of a set of fish knives. as i say, i don't believe that john betjeman would have approved of fish knives, my lords. but i am firmly in the category which the noble lord cormack seems to have identified as being the sort of people that are caught by these kind of provisions in the bill. i'm very relaxed about it, my lords. i don't believe one should be able to trade, deal or sell in that kind of commodity, my lords. it's the sort of thing you pass on to your descendents. you don't deal it. i'm very relaxed about that and i very much hope that this provision will remain part of
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this bill, my lords. we are having a debate at cross purposes. i'm trying to do something that protect elephants. the noble lord is trying to protect inanimate objects, and i think at the end of the day, in my argument, the elephants win that argument. they are a higher priority. and i think that was the view of the vast majority of people that responded to the consultation. the minister talked about the bill's aims. its intention is to introduce one of the strongest ivory bans in the world, with narrow and limited exemptions to curtail the demand for ivory that currently threatens the elephant with extinction. the exemptions outlined in the bill have been included to allow limited dealings in ivory to continue where they are unlikely to contribute to the poaching of elephants. to allow all pre—1918 ivory items to be sold or had regardless of whether they meet one of the exemptions, we believe, would significantly undermine the aim of the bill and indeed the carefully balanced
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packages of exemptions. and shortly after that, lord cormack withdrew his amendment. was the brexit referendum in 2016 a fair contest? like any election, there were limits on how much money could be spent during the campaign. this summer, a watchdog body, the electoral commission, imposed a fine on the successful vote leave after finding another brexit group had allowed them to get around spending rules. people signed a petition on the parliamentary website calling for article 50 to be rescinded if vote leave broke the law. article 50 is the way for a country to leave the eu. vote leave did break the rules. and they should be punished. and they have been punished
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according to the law as it stands, but they also seriously misled the public. and i and many others feel furious about the false promises that were made. but i would reluctantly concede that this motley collection of attempts to, at best divert, at worst misleading the electorate, is, frankly, what electoral politics has always been, an unlovely struggle to achieve sometimes noble ends through too often distinctly tawdry means. i was one of the mps who voted against triggering in article 50 last year. every day that goes by in my mind, and indicates that position that i was right to do so. the government had no plan for brexit then and has no realistic brexit plan now. and triggering article 50 when the prime minister did begin the countdown to the biggest changes our country has faced in peace time. it was an incredibly serious decision and one that should not have been taken lightly. what the prime minister's letter
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meets president tusk's desk in brussels, it strictly limited the time for negotiations to two years and one that clock is ticking down and feel like its taking down ever faster by the moment. but if the government wants to be transparent and open about this, they should very clearly state whether in their view article 50 is or is not revocable. as far as i'm aware, the position they've adopted so far is, "the question isn't being posed, therefore, we are not going to answer it." actually, they should. they should put it on the record. i absolutely agree with that. we're discussing all the options available to us at the moment, from no deal to some of us advocating that we ought to think better and do all we can to try and stay in the eu. and clearly, looking at the legallities around article 50 is in everyone's interest, so that we know, actually, which options are still on the table and which ones are not. a due process will take place...
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it is right that the matter has been given to the glitz and we must let it is right that the matter has been given to the police and we must let that investigation takes due course. i will comment on is how inadequate the powers of the electoral commission appeared to be in relation to this matter. i emphasise that it is not acceptable for any organisation to breach electoral procedures, and it is regrettable that fines have been levied on multiple groups on both sides of the referendum campaign. electoral law must be followed, and its breaches must be decisively dealt with. and the electoral commission's use of its sanctioning powers shows that it is doing this vitaljob. but it did happen on both sides, i guess. a number of pro—remain organisations have already been fined by the electoral commission for breaking referendum law, including the liberal democrats, open europe, best for our future and a host of others.
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but i understand that's not the nature of this petition. this issue, though, is effectively being dealt with through our legal system. chris heaton harris. a call for a specialist minister for high streets has been made at a commons committee hearing. the local government committee is considering what britain's town centres might look like by the year 2030 in light of recent downturns affecting such retail names as house of fraser. the latest session heard from academics and retail experts. the fact is that the minister needs to adjust that set, that he has not listened to some of the things that have been put forward, including making town centres and high streets a top minister'sjob. and stop appending it to junior minister profiles, because it doesn't get the attention it needs. it encompasses retail,
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which is a great employer in this country as well as our communities and our local economies, which is driving great britain. and it's time to wake up, smell the coffee. we are in a technology revolution. our town centres need to be restored to thriving places where people congregate and local economies work. there are answers out there, some of which are in these reviews and other reviews, but we've got to get the leadership coming from westminster. and the two things that i think they can do immediately is to endorse a project to put in a central data hub that we can populate with statistics and best practise for people to access, and to put in place a proper education and training model that enables us to get the right leaders into these local authorities, the right business plans in place and to help them to drive forward
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a collective solution, including all of the bodies that are out there. william grimsey. and that is it for this programme. alicia mccarthy will be here for the rest of the week. from me, keith mcdougall, goodbye. hello there. full uk weather forecast coming up injust a moment, but first of all, i thought we'd cast an eye with what's going on on the other side of the atlantic. you might have heard, we have a major hurricane on our hands. this is hurricane florence, which is a very powerful category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds of 140mph. but it's forecast to strengthen, up to 155mph with 190mph gusts, and that is heading to the east
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coast of the united states. landfall probably thursday night around north carolina. it's going to cause big, big problems. just to the north of florence, we've got an area of cloud that extends of miles across the atlantic, right over to the united kingdom. yes, it's a massive weather front, or a couple really. it's going to be pushing southwards, bringing some heavy rain. the rain always heaviest across the hills and coasts of north—west england and wales. to the east of higher ground, it's one of those fronts where the rain's probably not going to amount to too much. but nevertheless there will be some damp weather getting into the east of the pennines, for example. given it stays quite windy overnight, temperatures will stay up into double figures. and this massive long weather front marks the dividing line between some coolish air that we've got flowing into northern areas, and air that's come in more from the mid—tropical atlantic across the south. so a lot of cloud around, but we are going to see the highest
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temperatures across southern counties of england. now, i wouldn't even rule out an odd spot of drizzle towards the coasts and hills in the south to start the day. but, for many of us, probably a dry start. now, through the day we'll see outbreaks of rain pushing southwards across wales, quite murky through the bristol channel for a time. and there'll be further showers in western scotland as well. temperature—wise, coolish air across the north of the uk, with temperatures between around 13 and 16 celsius. but, further south, well, the temperatures still into the low 20s. 22, 23 degrees, something like that around the london area. now, through tuesday night, we're going to see that weather front have a pulse of energy running along it, and that will push the rain back northwards, back into north—west england, back into the north of wales. that's where it starts the day on wednesday. and then wednesday, the rain will very slowly trickle its way southwards, where it will become confined to southern counties of england to take us into wednesday afternoon. so it'll stay quite dull and damp across these southern areas, with the rain perhaps even a bit slower to clear than this. and temperature—wise, 16 degrees in london. so those temperatures around seven degrees lower. it is going to be a much colder—feeling day in the south, particularly on wednesday. the rest of the week sees a bit more sunshine in the south, so temperatures do tend to recover,
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but the north—west will see further showers from time to time. that's your weather. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is martin stanford. our top stories: kim meets donald — the sequel: reports a second summit between the two world leaders is being planned. a state of emergency is declared in virginia and the carolinas, ahead of the arrival of hurricane florence. almost ten years after the end end of sri lanka's civil war, families of the missing are still searching for answers. and the star of sex and the city who wants to become governor of new york. the white house says the leader of north korea has
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