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tv   The Week in Parliament  BBC News  July 14, 2019 2:30pm-3:01pm BST

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weather. tuesday, i dry and bright weather. tuesday, i think, more of the same. hello, this is bbc news with carole walker. the headlines: more leaked memos from the uk's former ambassador to washington suggest president trump abandoned the iran nuclear deal to spite barack obama. a man is charged with the murder of kelly mary fauvrelle — the 26—year—old who was eight months pregnant when she was fatally stabbed at home. scuffles have broken out for the second day
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in a row in hong kong. a stand off between pro—democracy campaigners and police is continuing into the night there. storm barry makes landfall in the us state of louisiana, where there are warnings of life—threatening floods. now on bbc news, a look back on the week in parliament. hello and welcome to the week in parliament. as the race for number ten nears the finish line, mps start laying down the law. the ayes to the right, 294. the noes to the left, 293. members of the uk's youth parliament
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hear about the risks young people face from knife crime. we have to be very careful. i don't want to leave that radio station and we've got 20 young men that have just heard this track waiting outside the front with shanks and machetes and all sorts. and all change on the woolsack — but the lord speaker knows his limits. and i have no ambition to do whatjohn bercow does and say that mr brown or lord brown or mr smith. all that to come and more from a week dominated by the race for downing street. not so long ago, mps would spend their evenings voting. frequently. usually to reject theresa may's brexit plan. since that ran into trouble, votes in the commons have been rather rare. so, when relatively technical legislation on northern ireland was tabled, mps seized their opportunity. power—sharing at stormont collapsed more than two years ago and the bill in question is designed to keep northern ireland running in the absence of a
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devolved administration. mps used the legislation to make changes that could go far beyond public administration. in a moment, we'll hear more about what it could mean for gay marriage and abortion in northern ireland. but first, how opponents of brexit changed the legislation with the aim of making it harder for a new prime minister to deliver a no—deal brexit, which they say could raise prices and costjobs. with the leadership frontrunner borisjohnson having refused to rule out suspending parliament to allow the uk to leave without a deal, it was clear who the leader of the latest backbench revolt had in mind. i have listened with astonishment to a number of references from people who may be holding high office in the nearfuture, one of whom appears to think that proroguing parliament to achieve brexit is an acceptable form of activity for the leader of the executive, when in fact it is a constitutional enormity and a gross undermining of democracy. the grieve plan would force
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ministers to update mps regularly on progress towards restoring devolution in northern ireland in the hope that would mean parliament would have to be sitting and be able to block a no—deal brexit. ministers smelt a rat. just simply the requirement for regular fortnightly reporting throughout the autumn subject to a vote on each occasion is an excessive and unnecessary level of procedure, and i would also note that the requirement for fortnightly reports and notions were detached to many the other reporting obligations of the other different topics which have been attached to this bill which various honourable colleagues are seeking to add to this clause. and therefore the amount of parliamentary time which we would be picking up throughout september and on into the autumn should the executive instalment not have been created would start to amount. but in the end, on the key
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issue mps agreed — by the narrowest of margins. the ayes to the right, 294. the noes to the left, 293. look for the mp on the left of your screen with her hand over her mouth — whipjo churchill's mistake in not voting led to the government's defeat. the ayes to the right, 294. the noes to the left, 293. the ayes have it. that isn't the end of it, of course. the bill now goes to the lords and the significance of the vote in terms of brexit is disputed. but when peers begin their debates and votes on the bill in the coming days, there will be other attempts to thwart a no—deal brexit. that defeat wasn't the only drama of the evening. earlier, mps had made two significant changes to the bill that
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could have a major impact on social policy and politics in northern ireland. the bbc‘s northern ireland political reporterjayne mccormack has this analysis from stormont. what happened in the commons on tuesday night was potentially a game changerfor northern ireland. now, the bill was only ever meant to keep public services ticking over here in the absence of a government. instead, we saw the clearest sign of direct rule by westminster yet. one amendment from labour's connor mcginn sought to extend same—sex marriage to northern ireland, where currently it is not legal. another amendment from labour's stella creasy was to liberalise abortion laws in northern ireland, where currently it is only allowed in the strictest of circumstances. now, they both passed overwhelmingly, and it is safe to say the dup were not pleased about this. they oppose a law change on both those fronts, and they also said they felt the principle of devolution had been breached. there is one very big caveat to all of this, though. the law doesn't automatically change
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and in fact it will only become law if there isn't a return to power—sharing at this place by the 21st of october. does that mean there could be a return to power—sharing anytime soon? that seems unlikely because the other political parties in northern ireland have campaigned for the law to change, even if that means via westminster. the other thing to say about tuesday night is that it is certainly a nod to the effect of politics to have real change and issues that people care about and also a reminder of what has been missing from stormont for more than two years. jayne mccormack reporting. boris johnson hasn't spoken in the house of commons since march but as theresa may's time in number ten draws to a close, he dominates debates without actually being there. his failure in an itv leadership debate to defend the uk's ambassador to the united states was said to have been a factor in sir kim darroch's resignation from that role after his leaked, frank comments about the trump administration prompted donald trump
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to denounce in colourful terms both the ambassador and the prime minister. theresa may said she'd told sir kim she regretted his resignation. sir kim has given a lifetime of service to the united kingdom and we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude. good government depends on public servants being able to give full and frank advice. i want all our public servants to have the confidence to be able to do that. and i hope the house will reflect on the importance of defending our values and principles, particularly when they are under pressure. some observers thought those remarks a little pointed. a foreign office minister accused boris johnson of throwing sir kim darroch under a bus. but sir alan duncan was a little more guarded answering mps‘ questions a day later. while the failure of the former foreign secretary to leap to the defence of sir kim shows
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a lack of leadership that is lamentable, is not the priority now to restore the shattered confidence of our diplomatic corps? and is not the best way to do that to identify the miserable perpetrator of this act, and then to see them charged with a criminal offence? i hope the house will understand why i will hold back today from making any further comment on my right honourable friend the member for uxbridge. ithink i... i said enough yesterday to make my position entirely clear. sir alan duncan, showing that diplomacy isn't confined to the diplomatic service.
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it's all change in the house of lords — well, up to a point. the lord speaker guides and assists the lords rather than managing it. he has no power to call members to order or decide who speaks next in a self—regulating house. but we are now seeing and hearing more of lord fowler and his deputies as they explain what's going on. i asked norman fowler what's the problem he's trying to fix. oh, the problem is quite simple. what we are trying to do is to make the house of lords is accessible and as understandable as possible. and, as you know, it's not just for those watching from the gallery, it's for those watching from outside. bbc parliament. i mean, you have something like approaching two million viewers a month. well, at times, one wonders whether they actually understand what is happening, not because of them but because of us, we don't actually explain it. we don't say this is going to be a private notice question on,
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shall we say, events in syria. it is simply not set out for them. so, that's the number one aim. is this the beginning of the end for a self regulating chamber? no. it's not. i don't want to move away from a self regulating chamber. it is not the thin end of the wedge. and, actually, everyone in the lords, virtually everyone in the lords, supported what i'm doing. i mean, they are very practical reasons for not wanting to move away from a self—regulating chamber. i mean, first of all, it's better to have a self regulating chamber which is operating by consensus and assent, as opposed to, well, perhaps as opposed to the commons. and i have no ambition to do whatjohn bercow does and say, mr brown or lord brown or lord smith. because in the house of lords, you'd not only have to say the name,
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you would have to say his territorial assignation as well. i mean, calling joan bakewell, i would have to say baroness ba kewell of hartington mandeville. well, you know, i can just about remember... i can rememberjoan but i'm not sure i can remember the territorial, so i've got no ambitions in that respect. you say you don't want to be like john bercow but there must be a temptation, even an opportunity to become an activist speaker. well, i'd quite like to be an activist, but not actually on the floor of the house. i mean, i think it's important, well, as you mentioned, i am trying to reduce the numbers in the house of lords itself. that i think is a worthwhile thing to do and i will continue to press on. and we are making progress on it, we are about 60 or 70 down over the last 12 months, which is good. we are making progress in that respect. lord fowler. more from him in a moment. the authorities in both the lords
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and the commons have promised another crackdown on bullying and harassment in the palace of westminster. two reports by senior lawyers highlighted the problem of mps and peers bullying and harassing staff. gemma white qc said the most common form of offending behaviour by a minority of mps was shouting at, demeaning, belittling and humiliating staff, often in public. but her report said sexual harassment was also a problem, with staff being subject to unwanted advances. let me be clear that they should be absolutely no place for bullying and harassment in this place and we all bear a responsibility to uphold the proper standards of dignity and respect in parliament. and as you know, mr speaker, over the last year we have made significant progress that will help bring about meaningful culture change but there remains more to be done. in the lords, naomi ellenbogan qc found a culture of undue deference, fear and hierarchy that has put
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members and clerks at the top, and everyone else below. i asked lord fowler what he planned to do about that. i'm totally committed to fighting that and fighting any cases of that kind, any evidence of that kind. i mean, thatjust doesn't have any place in the house of lords. it is against our whole tradition. and as far as i am concerned, if cases come to me, they will go straight to the commissioner for investigation. now, you say that it's not part of the tradition of the house of lords but this report talks about known offenders whose behaviour was tolerated. well, i read that. i don't know who these known offenders are, to be perfectly honest. and, certainly, if people would come to me, tell me who these known offenders are, give me examples of it, i'm very happy indeed to pass that on to the commissioner, i am very happy to have that investigated. you set up a parliament
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wide code of behaviour. it comes to something, doesn't it, when lawmakers need a code of behaviour to be told the difference between right and wrong? yes, but again, i have to say it is not unique. when you look at so many organisations today, but the lords is different, parliament is different. and, yes. but often, the people who are at fault here are not peers, and they are not mps. they are staff on staff. i mean, that is the trouble. if you take the house of lords, i think that the number of cases affecting peers themselves, i don't defend those who have been found guilty, but the majority are staff on staff, and it is the hierarchy in an organisation, it is people who are senior but are not prepared to let it pass as that but wish to actually bang
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on the table and say, i am the boss. we've got to get rid of that, and we've done that in other organisations, we've got to do it in the house of lords and in the house of commons. but the report talks about parliamentary royalty. peers seeing themselves as parliamentary royalty. well, i also saw that comment as well. no. we've only had this report for a short time. i've been trying to find out who this parliamentary royalty are, is, but as far as i am concerned, if i find out parliamentary royalty who have been doing things wrong, i will become a very staunch republican and seek to take action. lord fowler, thank you. thank you very much. the uk youth parliament's select committee has been continuing its inquiry into knife crime exploring the links between gangs and "trap and drill" music.
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they heard from a social worker and ex—gang member who's now working with young people caught up in gangs. he said many media organisations were consciously cashing in on gang culture. the radio stations are now literally promoting guys, if you go on youtube you can see them, it's a list of guys who come in either with ski masks and if it ain't ski masks, they come on and they are literally inciting violence to the point... this is the point that carlie was saying. so i think yes, we have to run and look deeper into the music, of course we do because there are social factors which we are going to talk about later. because music is just a symptom of this situation. it's just a symptom. it's like a way out for them to release their frustration. but, the frustration is what's causing the mayhem on the street and we have to recognise that. i sat with a young man yesterday and they were taking him to a radio station a couple of weeks just to know what it's like to be in that kind of environment where people
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aren't smoking weed, they aren't drinking, they're not getting off their face, it's a professional environment. i want him to have a taste of that not in somebody's backyard, not in somebody's kitchen, not in somebody's bedroom. i want him to know that also he has the skills, he has these prospects. he can go anywhere he likes with them. what i have heard discussed with him is anything we do put out in the radio, we have to be very careful. i don't want to leave that radio station when we have got 20 young men who have just heard this track waiting outside the front with shanks and machetes and all saws. if you are looking at social media and all you getting is that rubbish that comes up on there from the different young people that tell you to act in a certain way, tells eight—year—old girls to wear makeup, girls to wear miniskirts, tell guys out there just to go around and do different things. and i am not suggesting that every part of social media does that but i am sorry, most of the things that young people watch on social media is negative. and the reason why is because mum, or dad, is not in control at home.
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and the youth parliament committee will produce a report which will be considered by the government and mp5. time for a look now at some other news in brief. and mps have been told that waiting lists for routine surgery have risen by up to 50% in england because senior doctors say they can't afford to work extra shifts. consultants have begun refusing to work beyond their planned hours after receiving unexpected tax bills following new pension rules. a conservative asked an urgent question. can we imagine the conversation between couples along the lines of, "so you are leaving me and the children again this weekend to go voluntarily to work to make our family worse off?" it's not going to happen, is it? the same applies for gps, many of whom are now doing less sessions each week than they want to and patients desperately need in order not to be made worse off by breaching their annual pension allowance.
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peers have been urged to consider moving parliament away from london while a restoration of the palace of westminster goes ahead. that was one idea floated when the lords debated the legislation paving the way to set up organisations that will oversee the work. the leader of the lords said the horrific fire at notre dame cathedral in paris had served as a reminder of the risks to the historic and iconic building which now required regular fire patrols. other issues which have affected the palace in recent months include falling masonry, water leaks, floods, sewage leaks, lighting and power outages, and toilet closures. whatever individual position members may take on particular elements of this programme, i think your lordships would all agree that significant maintenance work cannot be delayed any longer. peers will now consider the bill in more detail. fresh from his appearance at glastonbury, sir david attenborough headed to the business and energy committee, where he gave
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a stark warning about the future of the planet. i'm ok, you know, for the next decade. i'm ok, and all of us here are ok because we won't face the problems that are coming. but the problems in another 20—30 years are really major problems that are going to cause great social unrest and great changes in the way that we live, in what we eat and how we live and so on. it's going to happen. the mp5 liked what they heard. this for us i think has probably been the most inspiring session certainly since i've become chair of the select committee to have the privilege to chair so thank you for everything you do and thank everybody for coming to observe today. thank you. thank you very much. applause. it's fair to say that not all witnesses at committees get that sort of reception. now, one of the most notorious events in 19th century politics, the peterloo massacre in manchester — when peaceful campaigners calling for political reform were mown down by a cavalry charge —
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is being remembered in parliament. simon vaughan reports on a bicentenary exhibition. manchester, august 1819. thousands attend a peaceful political meeting at st peter's fields. but the authorities fear trouble. as well as it being a protest and a campaign for parliamentary reform, it's also about much more than that as well. it's about the way in which the country is ruled and there are many people within the groups who coalesce around the reformers at peterloo who wanted much more than just parliamentary reform, they want revolution. the local yeomanry charged the crowd. at least 18 people are killed and hundreds injured. in an ironic echo of that famous victory at waterloo, this became known as the peterloo
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massacre. a new exhibition in westminster hall charts its political impact. in 1819, few people could vote. industrial cities like manchester had no mps. many seats in the 1818 election had gone uncontested. this is showing that particular election which is the background really to peterloo. they want to have parliamentary reform, they want to have a vote. eyewitness accounts of peterloo sent to parliament by those seeking redress are on display for the first time. so, for example, this is one of the only original petitions actually handwritten version that we found and was presented to the house of lords in november 1819. and it is from samuel bamford, who was a working—class radical reformer. he was actually arrested at peterloo. another is from a 76—year—old man who was trampled on by horses. he ended up in an infirmary for seven weeks, subsequently lost hisjob and ended up in the workhouse. petitions really weren't successful.
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the main thing was the government responded with what is known as the six acts, six pieces of really repressive legislation that clamped down on things like public meetings and newspapers. but in the longer term, peterloo did help bring about social change. you end up with petitioning campaigns, electoral pressure being brought on government, and by the time you get to say a decade later, you have seen all of the repressive legislation against the dissenters being removed with the test and corporations act, you're seeing all the repressive stuff against catholics being removed in 1829. so, you are seeing the dismantling of the sort of protestant establishmentjust a decade after peterloo. and i think it is only now that historians realise the iconic role that peterloo played in that process. parliament & peterloo is on until september. tickets are free and booked via the website.
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time now for some birthday greetings now. for the bell which is an international symbol of westminster. duncan smith takes up the tale. bell tolls. the great bell of the elizabeth tower known throughout the world as big ben turned 160 years old on thursday. the mighty 13—tonne bell chimed at the first time on the 11th ofjuly 1859 and had been ringing out across london ever since. until restoration work starting in 2017 silenced it. big ben's birthday coincides with the halfway point of a huge project to preserve and revive parliament's clock tower. the work is due for completion in 2021. as the painstaking process continues around it, the birthday bell has
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remained in place. the clock faces themselves are receiving a detailed spruce up. you can see the first of the completed clock faces. the clock face itself is 6.9 metres in diameter. and the glazing, there are 324 pieces of glass in there, all of which have been renewed including the glass cover strips that you can see. each and every piece is a different size so they have all had to have individual templates made and be individually cut out and then glazed from the back. when the conservation work is complete, the clock parts will be reassembled, the mechanism reattached to the hands and the bells, and that most famous of westminster sounds will make a welcome return. bell tolls. duncan smith reporting. before we go, there's just time for a quick look at the papers. and the daily telegraph reveals how bbc parliament, tv‘s geekiest channel, became a surprise ratings hit
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with record viewing figures as the only bbc channel to increase its audience. time for me to get my anorak. do join mandy baker on tv‘s geekiest channel on monday evening at 11pm for the latest from the commons and the lords. thank you for watching. from me, david cornock, bye for now. the weather for the rest of the afternoon is looking pretty good across afternoon is looking pretty good a cross m ost afternoon is looking pretty good across most of the uk, some sunshine, pleasantly one in the sunny spells, too, if you have them, because in some areas, it is still cloudy, particularly across some northern, eastern and southern parts of the uk, and also a low chance of catching a shower. high pressure is in charge of the weather across the uk right now, but low pressure and weather fronts in the atlantic are ready to come our way. this weather front is so slow, it is moving at a
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glacial pace, and it will not reach us glacial pace, and it will not reach us until around wednesday night. the forecast for the rest of today, you can see plenty of bright weather, if not sunny, sunny in northern ireland for sure. temperatures in the high teens, low 20s, beautiful evening on the way. tonight, it will turn cloudy across some eastern parts of the uk, a bit like this notjust gone, the uk, a bit like this notjust o the uk, a bit like this notjust gone, or rather, last night. 12 degrees is the overnight low in london, 14 in cardiff, just about single figures in some northern parts. monday, sunny spells on the way, very little difference compared to what we have had today, high pressure is still there, and the weather front i pointed pressure is still there, and the weatherfront i pointed out living ata weatherfront i pointed out living at a glacial pace, it has hardly move, it is still to the west of us. low pressure is in the atlantic, but very little wind across the uk itself, with the high pressure. it will be cloudy at times across the south—east and east anglia, the further west and north—west you are, the brighter the weather will be,
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for example, beautiful off south—west scotland, the welsh coasts as well. that weather front finally makes a move, encroaching into ireland on tuesday, a week where the front, meaning it will not bring much cloud or rain, just a few showers in the north—west, with this increasing atlantic wind. the vast majority of the uk, another dry, bright and sunny day. temperatures are rising a little bit as we go through the course of the week, the wind will turn more out of the south—west. this is wednesday, low pressure is just south of iceland, weather fronts are approaching the uk, so late on wednesday, we will start to see the weather going downhill in northern ireland, western scotland, too. again, england and wales, it looks as though we are in for another mostly sunny day, with temperatures rising, 25 in london, 24 expected in hull. from thursday, cooler with a chance of some showers almost anywhere in the uk.
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this is bbc news i'm carole walker. the headlines at 3pm: more leaked memos from britain's former ambassador to washington suggest president trump scrapped the iran nuclear deal to spite barack obama. a man is charged with the murder of kelly mary fauvrelle — the 26—year—old who was 8 months pregnant when she was fatally stabbed at home. in the cricket world cup final, new zealand set england a target of 242 to become champions. a stand—off on the streets of hong kong between pro—democracy campaigners and police. scuffles have broken out for the second day in a row.


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