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tv   Wednesday in Parliament  BBC News  December 13, 2018 2:30am-3:01am GMT

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to 117 in a secret ballot. mrs may said it was time to get on with the job of securing the brexit and would seek further assurances from eu leaders. donald trump's former lawyer has been sentenced to three years in jail for paying off two women who said they'd had affairs with the president. mr cohen also admitted to lying to congress about a proposed trump tower project in russia. french police and security forces have launched a manhunt for the suspect in the deadly strasbourg christmas market attack. there are reports that the gunman may have crossed the border into germany, where the security forces are also on alert. now on bbc news, wednesday in parliament. hello again and welcome
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to wednesday in parliament. and what a day it turned out to be. the parliamentary party does have confidence. hear, hear! theresa may survives a vote of confidence in her leadership, after a last—ditch appeal to wavering tory mps at prime ministers questions. the biggest threat to people and to this country isn't leaving the eu, it's a corbyn government. hear, hear! the labour leader calls for a different sort of vote on her brexit deal. her behaviour today is just contemptuous of this parliament and of this voting. hear, hear! and in the lords, an archbishop demands post brexit reconciliation. when two elephants fight, the grass gets hurt. all that to come and more. but first, the outcome from another turbulent, momentous day here at westminster.
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today's vote was triggered after 48 conservative mps wrote letters to say that they had no confidence in theresa may. the result was announced at 9pm. the parliamentary party does have confidence... hear, hear! the number of votes cast in favour of having confidence in theresa may was 200. and against was 117. that means theresa may cannot be challenged for the party leadership for another year. although most conservatives expect she will step down before then. and behind closed doors this evening, she told her mps she won't lead them into the next election. before tonight's vote, the prime minister had to face, as usual at noon on wednesdays, questions from mps. and as ever, the first question was about the prime minister's engagements. mr speaker, today i will have meetings, possibly many meetings with ministerial
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colleagues and others. laughter speaker: kerry mccarthy. so just a normal day in the office, then, prime minister? but it's been far from a normal week. last year, the prime minister told us there wasn't going to be a general election, and then there was. this week, she told us she wasn't going to pull the meaningful vote, and then she did. can i ask her now if she's going to rule out having a general election and a people's vote? yes, can i say to honourable lady, first of all that, i think that a general election at this point in time would not be in the national interest in the middle of our negotiations.... and secondly... and secondly, as she will have heard me say before in this house, i think we should respect the result of the referendum that took place in 2016. hear, hear! the labour leader mocked the prime minister's trip to european capitals on tuesday after her decision to cancel monday's vote on her deal.
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since the prime minister has not achieved any changes, either to withdrawal agreement or the future partnership, can she now confirm that we will have the concluding days of debate and votes within the next seven days a month before the house rises for the christmas recess? theresa may tried to win over her own mps by turning defence into attack on labour. well, if he says, i will tell members on the other side when we've had a meaningful vote we had it in the referendum on 2016. hear, hear! and it's... and if he wants a meaningful date, i'll give him one. 29th of march, 2019, when we leave the european union. speaker: jeremy corbyn. totally and absolutely unacceptable to this house in any way.
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this house... this house agreed a programme motion. this house agreed for five days of debate. this house agreed when the vote was going to take place. the government tried to unilaterally pull that and deny this house... deny this house the chance of a vote on this crucial matter. the prime ministerand her government have already been found to be in contempt of parliament. her behaviour today is just contemptuous of this parliament and of this process! mr speaker, the time for dithering and delay by this government is over. the prime minister has negotiated her deal. she's told us it's the best and only deal available. there can be no more excuses, 110 more running away ‘ put it before parliament and let us have the vote. whatever happens with her conservative leadership vote today, it is utterly irrelevant to the lives of people across our country.
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he should be honest with people. he should be honest with people about his position. he couldn't care less about brexit. that's right. what he wants to do is bring down the government, create uncertainty, sow division and crash our economy. the biggest... the biggest threat... the biggest threat to people and to this country isn't leaving the eu, it's a corbyn government! this government is a farce. the tory party is in chaos, the prime minister is a disgrace with her actions. the reality is that people across scotland and the uk are seeing this today. prime minister, take responsibility, do the right thing, resign. hear, hear! can i just say to the right honourable gentleman, he claims... he makes the remarks he does about the deferring of the vote, but of course it is precisely
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because i have listened and colleagues in government have listened to the views of people across this house, that we are pursuing this issue further with the european union. that is being respectful of the views that have been raised in this house. in what was, even by its standards, an unusually noisy question time, many of theresa may's critics sat in silence on the benches behind her. but the father of the house, the longest—serving mp, offered his support. at a time of grave national crisis, i would issue with huge importance to future generations. can my right honourable friend think of anything more unhelpful, irrelevant and responsible than for these conservative party to embark on weeks of a conservative leadership delay? well, can i say to... can i say to...
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can i say... my right honourable and learned friend has raised an important issue. and i think it is the impact that those weeks of that campaign would have on the decision that the house has to take and the decision that we have to take as a country in relation to leaving the european union. because there is no doubt that will go beyond the legislative date of the 21st of january. and it would mean that a new leader, were a new leader to come in, that one of the first things that will have to do would be to either extend article 50 or resent article 50. and that would mean either delaying or stopping brexit. —— rescind. does the prime ministerjudge that it is more welcome or more appropriate to face a no—confidence motion from her back benches, offering the leader of the opposition? laughter i say to the right honourable gentleman, that that is not... obviously we have one of those
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which is going to take place. what i think is important for everybody in this house is to recognise that we have, i believe, a solemn duty to deliver on the result of the referendum in 2016. i believe the best way of doing that is with a good deal, with a good brexit deal with the european union that protects jobs and honours the referendum. and i believe that the deal we negotiated. the lib dem leader with a reminder for mp5, especially perhaps labour ones, that there's more than one way to get rid of a prime minister. now, one of the reasons why theresa may's brexit deal is so unpopular with mps is the so—called backstop. an insurance policy to avoid checks on the irish border that would see the uk following some eu rules if there is no trade deal after brexit. you won't be surprised to learn that the issue surfaced during northern ireland questions. last week, the secretary of state was telling everybody that this was the best deal, the only deal. the prime minister now says that that isn't the case, she needs changes.
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so what does she say to that? mr speaker, as i've said already, this is the best deal. this is the best way for the united kingdom to leave the european union as i hold in an orderly way. but the prime minister has recognised the concern. she has listened to the concerns that the other right honourable gentleman and his colleagues and many others in this house have around the backstop. and she is looking to asuage those concerns. the secretary of state can't have it both ways. she's telling everybody that is the best deal, it's a wonderful deal and everybody should accept it. 0n the other hand, the prime minister is telling everybody that nobody likes it, the irish don't want it, europe don't want it, the british government don't want it. so how does he explain the other contradiction in her argument? mr speaker, i disagree with the right honourable gentleman. that there was a contradiction. i think what he is talking about is the backstop. we all agree that the backstop is a very uncomfortable thing. that none of us want to see introduced.
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as we never want to see any insurance policy being called upon. because the fact you're calling upon an insurance policy means that the worst has happened. in recent weeks, the secretary of state has publicly stated that the backstop article, or the current one, but northern ireland and an unrivaled position in the world as a destination for foreign direct investment. however cabinet called to ask energy said any suggestion of advance for northern ireland is a wholly false argument. can i ask the secretary of state who is right? the scottish secretary or herself? mr speaker, i trust that the honourable gentlemen to is not diminish not trying to somehow use the unique situation in northern ireland, and the success of northern ireland, to try to somehow impute that there needs to be a special status for scotland. the fact is that northern ireland has a land border with ireland. and therefore will be an unrivaled position because it will be the only place that has both a land border with the european union and access to trade deals with independent trade policy of the united kingdom. labour said the belfast good friday agreement in northern ireland's
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politicians should be consulted about changes in eu rules. why should northern ireland members have confidence in this government? why should the people of northern ireland believe this government is committed to devolution, to the peace process and to the good friday agreement? mr speaker, it is this government that is inserted into withdrawal agreement and the future political... get the political declaration of the future relationship, our absolute commitment to the belfast good friday agreement. karen bradley. and staying on the other ireland, a minister has barred that the pressure of westminster to act on the province's abortion laws will increase unless devolution is restored. abortion is prohibited in most circumstances and is devolved to stormont. which has been suspended since january last year. penny mordaunt was giving evidence to mps on the women and equalities committee.
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governments of successive colours have decided to delegate this as a policy area to northern ireland, yet you signed international agreements on a westminster level. how are you going to sort that out? regularly, when you don't have an assembly in northern ireland and in light of the supreme courtjudgement? so, this is... this is where i think the 60 should be making a difference. because obviously it is government policy that these are devolved matters. but anyone can see, from supreme court rulings and cases that are still being under consideration, but also the view that this house has expressed on these matters, that that is not going to be a tenable situation if the situation in northern ireland continues. that is, i think, and in controversial and irrefutable reality.
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i think what you would want from your equalities office in such circumstances is to be thinking through the possibilities that will inevitably come from that. if there is... in my view, if there is the absence of the assembly continues, i think the pressure for westminster to act will increase. penny mordaunt. you're watching wednesday involvement with me david cornock. —— wednesday in parliament. don't forget if you missed our nightly round or you just want to watch it again, i know some if you do, you can find it on the bbc iplayer. one of the uk's largest providers of public services revealed earlier this week that it was seeking a rescue deal. the firm which works and prisons, schools hospitals and on the roads
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has £500 million of debt, but has said it is making good progress on a recovery plan. the news follows the collapse of carillion injanuary this year, which was thousands ofjobs at risk and cost taxpayers tens of millions of pounds. in the lords, peers demanded assurances about public services and jobs. you may be talking to interserve, but are you talking to the companies that support interserve where they deliver their services to people? because if you did, you'd hear from really the chief executive of asbestos engineering contractors group, who is advising their members not to work for interserve. your response seems very relaxed in the light of what's actually going on out there. so could you tell us what contingencies you are taking in the event that interserve is unable to deliver services? well, on the first point, i made inquiries about the suppliers to interserve.
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90% of suppliers are paid in 60 days or less. so far as contingency plans are concerned, the government has now insisted that where it places new contracts with suppliers, there is a contingency plan to take effect if and when that contract runs into difficulties. and interserve, along with four other companies, are piloting this new arrangement which we've introduced post the problems with carillion. the foreign office minister alan duncan has robustly rejected accusations that an organisation has been using public money to distribute material on twitter criticising the labour leader, jeremy corbyn. the institute for statecraft is running a project called the integrity initiative, which is working to counter russian disinformation activities. sir alan told mps that the institute had itself been a victim of hacking by russia. the government is funding this initiative with nearly £2 million this financial year.
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that funding covers its activity outside the uk, and it does not fund any activity within the uk. nor does it fund the management of the integrity initiative social media account. recent reports that foreign office funding has been used to support party political activity in the uk are therefore wholly untrue. it is a cardinal rule of public life in our country that official resources should not be used for political purposes. a rule we saw symbolised this very morning when the prime minister delivered her statement outside downing street with the usual government coat of arms removed from her lectern because of the political nature of her statement. and there is, i'm afraid, absolutely no doubt that the publicly funded integrity initiative has broken that rule on a repeated basis by using its twitter accounts to disseminate articles attacking the integrity of conservative and labour officials, of conservative peers, and on a repeated basis, the leader of her
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majesty's opposition. she said the integrity initiative's twitter use with central to its applications for funding from the foreign office. the budget for their agreed adaptive to increase reporting in the media and expand the impact of their website and twitter account amounted to £270,000 in the current financial year. and in the list of key deliverables they promised the foreign office this year, they stated explicitly that one of their instruments of delivery will be, and i quote "their 600 plus twitter followers, including influential players". if the government intends to renew that funding for the next financial year, what arrangements and agreements will be put in place to ensure that nothing... nothing of this sort ever happens again? hear, hear! mr speaker, it's a matter of regret that the right honourable lady did not listen to the answer that
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i gave a moment ago. let me explain to the house what has been going on. the institute for statecraft was hacked several weeks ago and numerous documents were published and amplified by kremlin news channels. ah! the russian state media campaign which followed it fits with a wider pattern of russian disinformation against the uk. this campaign's objective is clear. it is yet another example of russian disinformation, intended to confuse audiences and discredit an organisation which is working independently to tackle the threat of disinformation. faced with heckling from labour mps, sir alan made his point more forcefully. no foreign office funding is used for their uk domestic activity, and she can look at me as aghast as she likes, but the money that comes from the foreign office is used for activity overseas and she should accept that, and if she doesn't... and if she doesn't accept it, she should say in terms
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what she is accusing me of because that would be a breach of the forms of the house! our most powerful tool against any russian misinformation is that we have respect for the rule of law, the democratic process, and critically, transparency. we owe it to them who are working in these organisations, and i know that the minister will be aware of many of those who worked in very difficult circumstances, who themselves have found themselves at the heart edge of russian disinformation campaigns. i welcome the absolute clarity of the minister's statement and his refuting of these allegations. and i also welcome the work of the institute for statecraft. does the minister agree with me though that we need to double down on this work? because the reality is that the dcms select committee has shown the danger to our democracy, to our very way of life from russian disinformation. back to the lords now, where the government came under pressure to call another referendum
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before brittany the european union. —— exiting. a so—called people's vote. but the idea of another vote was firmly resisted by a brexit minister. my lords, the government has been clear that we will not hold a second referendum. the clear majority of the electorate voted to leave the european union and the people's vote was in 2016. we must respect the will of the british people and the democratic process, which delivered this result. my lords, of course bearing in mind that vote would have no direct connection to the previous recommended as a separate matter entirely. would not the minister now undertake to make sure that a government led by either the present incumbent or whoever succeeds her, over the next short period, should really concentrate now on the examining of the incredible number of messages that were coming into all government departments
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about this as well, saying from people who were leave voters before that are reminded not to consider changing their minds, bearing in mind the change in parliament? no, the short answer to this question. i don't know where he gets his figures from about the incredible number of messages, because i certainly haven't seen any. my lords, i think 48 messages that went to mrs may, which was then able to lead straightaway to an election. so, other votes are now awaited. we need votes in the other house on the withdrawal deal. we need to vote on this government, for its mishandling of brexit, for the nhs waiting lists, for the universal credit shambles, and for much else besides. so could the noble lord, the minister, perhaps undertake to this house to advise mrs may that the correct way forward for a prime minister who's lost control of her cabinet, of the commons, and indeed i think of the country, is to call a general election? hear, hear. i'm sure the prime minister will be very grateful for the advice from the noble lady, and if i get the opportunity, i will of course pass on herfond regards. will my noble friend look
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at the situation in the netherlands, where the government there is considering banning referendums altogether? hear, hear. laughter i understand the point that my noble friend is making, and i realise that this is a view that is widely shared. but i would just point out that, of course, the referendum was agreed to, authorised and voted for by this parliament. we agreed to ask the people what their verdict was on the european union. my lords, the prime minister was very clear that there wouldn't be a general election in 2017. the prime ministerand members of her cabinet who were dispatched last friday, and then even on monday morning were very clear there was actually going to be a vote on the withdrawal agreement on tuesday evening in the house of commons. there wasn't. so how certain is the minister that, in fact, the prime minister
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won't change her mind and allow a people's vote, assuming that she survives this evening? well, i'm very certain is the answer to a question. laughter and as she well knows, to hold a referendum as for the previous referendum, the government would need to introduce legislation to do so and we are not going to. my lords, would my noble lord agree with me with this african sentiment that when two elephants fight, the grass gets hurt? is it time now that we look for more conciliation, reconciliation as a nation, to move forward, not having more point—scoring, but actually listening to one another in a sense of humility, of humbleness, kindness, and have more civil discourse than point scoring? otherwise, elephants are fighting and the grass is getting hurt. i think as on so many things,
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the right reverend makes important points that we should all take careful heed of. would my noble friend accept that the referendum ofjune 2016 divided this country more bitterly than anything in living memory? what is the point of exacerbating that division by having another referendum, for which there is clearly no groundswell of public opinion? hear, hear. and as somebody who deeply regrets the result of the referendum of 2016, i would endorse — and hope my noble friend will — the archbishop's plea for reconciliation. i think my noble friend is absolutely correct. i think there are many arguments against a second referendum, but i think the most powerful one is that it wouldn't necessarily solve anything. the brexit minister, lord callanan. as we saw there, theresa may's political difficulties were seldom
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far from peers‘s minds. a labour peer even managed to raise their future in a question about housing. what advice would somebody give to someone threatened with eviction from their home just off whitehall? laughter stick at it and should be there tomorrow. hear, hear! the lord's prophetic advice brings us to the end of wednesday in parliament. and it has been quite a day at westminster. thank you for watching. i do hope you canjoin me again tomorrow. bye for now. hello there. temperatures are heading downwards
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over the next couple of days. a cold end of the working week and i think particularly cold during thursday because there will be a chilly wind exacerbating that cold feel. dry for many with high pressure in charge, but this vital system trying to work in from the west will bring a little bit of rain here. the fun and making much progress, is running up against that area of low pressure and that is going to be driving a brisk south—easterly wind. not only will the air be inherently cold, the winner will also be strong. most places starting thursday and a dry note, one or two show is close to north sea coast. we keep this lingering band of cloud and showery rainfor lingering band of cloud and showery rain for northern ireland, western wales and the south—west. elsewhere, some sunshine that you will notice the strength of the wind, particularly gusty for some coast. analyst rank of the wind, it will feel more like this. it will feel subzero in the channel islands, freezing in birmingham, one degree in glasgow, certainly a chilly day
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and a chilly night as well because thursday night will be more clear spells. the winds by this stage might dropa spells. the winds by this stage might drop a little bit. this is a recipe for quite a widespread frost across scotland, england and wales. you can see the shading on the chart, towns and cities down the wheezing in the countryside, liam coltman that. for northern ireland, not quite as cold as he will have some cloud and showery rain. we will continue to season cloud and a little bit of rain here during friday. still some showers blowing into some of these north sea coast and it looks like a cold day on the face of it that the winds will not be quite as strong at this point, so it might not feel quite as bitter. and then the changes we start the weekend because these funds the atla ntic weekend because these funds the atlantic will have a bit more all about them. they will make a bit more progress, as we are going to bring some wet weather across the country. —— oomph. just about anywhere, they could temporarily be some snow. it looks most likely the northern england, northern ireland, particularly over higher ground, and
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especially scotland, could see some snow, likely to cause some disruption in areas. there is milder air wafting disruption in areas. there is milder airwafting in disruption in areas. there is milder air wafting in from the south—west and slowly but surely during sunday and slowly but surely during sunday and monday, all of us will get into that milder air. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: the parliamentary party does have confidence... cheering britain's prime minister survives a vote of no—confidence from her own party, but the challenges over brexit remain. here is our new mission — delivering the brexit that people voted for, bringing the country back together and building a country that truly works for everyone. president trump's former lawyer is jailed for paying off two women who said they had affairs with mr trump and lying to congress. how could michael cohen's sentence affect the white ho use? hundreds of police are still hunting a militant
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islamist who carried out a deadly attack in the french city of strasbourg.


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