Skip to main content

tv   Thursday in Parliament  BBC News  July 19, 2019 2:30am-3:01am BST

2:30 am
at a campaign rally in north carolina on wednesday, aimed at a somali—born democratic congresswoman. the president told reporters at the white house that he was not happy with the taunt. footage from the rally shows mr trump paused when the chants erupted. he specifically named three congress women of colour who criticised him to. him to. an american navy ship has shot down an iranian drone in the gulf. president trump said the drone had flown within a kilometre of the vessel, threatening the safety of its crew. but iran says it has no knowledge of any missing drone. injune, iran downed a us military drone in the area. ajudge in the us has ruled that financier jeffrey epstein must stay behind bars until his trial for sex trafficking. thejudge denied epstein‘s request
2:31 am
to to be under house arrest, saying he posed a flight risk. the financier has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. now it's time for a look back at the day in parliament. hello again, and welcome to thursday in parliament. another government defeat on brexit as mps try to make life more difficult for the next prime minister. what have we come to in britain where we have to have amendments to ensure that parliament can still operate? a political veteran says the leak of private diplomatic messages sets a dangerous precedent. you can in effect politically assassinate one of her majesty's ambassadors. and a suggestion that the next pm tries mountain climbing. getting to the top of everest will be easier than getting a new deal with the commission. laughter. all that to come and more.
2:32 am
but first — mps have backed a bid to stop a new prime minister closing down parliament to force through a no—deal brexit at the end of october. the government was defeated by a majority of 41 on an amendment to legislation on northern ireland. a number of ministers, including the chancellor philip hammond, abstained or were absent. one, margot james, resigned and voted against the government. why does it matter? well, the frontrunner to become prime minister, boris johnson, has refused to rule out shutting down or proroguing parliament to enable the uk to leave the eu without a deal. this vote will make it much harderfor him to do so, as one of the mps behind the amendment explained. so, i suppose this amendment has a secondary effect which would be to ensure that the house would be sitting at a crucial time for our country which is what i believe the country would expect. and i don't think that we can accept circumstances if i may coin
2:33 am
the phrase in which we were sent missing in action. what is the outrage today is that this is supposed to be a debate on the northern ireland executive formation and it is now being hijacked and turned into something to do with brexit, and to do with every other issue under the sun except the formation of the executive which now looks more unlikely as a result of this piece of legislation. mr speaker, i entirely accept that the honourable gentlemen is right to be somewhat miffed about what he called a hijack but what i would call a situation where needs must. what have we come to in britain where we have to have amendments to ensure that parliament can still operate? and i would simply say to people who feel that this is somehow a viable approach to shut down parliament, firstly you don't win a debate by closing down the main chamber in which this country's people's views are aired.
2:34 am
and you don't unite a country by muzzling the representatives of people around those communities who have been democratically elected to come here and represent them. the uk government's own analysis shows the catastrophic impact a no—deal outcome would have yet some on the benches opposite are still courting no—deal. the default should be revoking article 50, not a no—deal brexit. and it would be a democratic constitutional crisis if the very honourable member from uxbridge and south ruislip were to prorogue parliament. mr speaker, i said last week that given the fact a clear majority of mps are opposed to the uk leaving without a deal, the prorogation of parliament to facilitate a no—deal would be unconstitutional, undemocratic and entirely untenable. and the fact that the prime minister in waiting, only elevated to office by conservative party members, refuses to rule this out tells me that he is unfit for high office.
2:35 am
mr speaker, i rise simply to support the amendment. like others, however, i regret the need for it. it is needed because of the position adopted by one person, the person who is going to be our next prime minister who, if i recall, did in fact campaign for parliamentary sovereignty but is now dangling the threat of abolishing parliament over our heads. i say this very firmly to my friends from northern ireland in this house. they have got to recognise that there is nowhere in this united kingdom of ours that will be more affected by a no—deal brexit than northern ireland. no part of the united kingdom. and in particular mr speaker, if we are moving to a... and i hope the minister will respond to this precise point. if we are moving to a no—deal brexit as we move towards october and this government will have to introduce direct rule in the absence of a functioning northern ireland assembly in order to affect the legislation to allow for that
2:36 am
no—deal brexit to take place. this amendment is being moved or is being proposed by those who voted to remain and as speaking as someone who voted to leave, and is in a minority in this place, i can assure the minister that we on our side of the referendum debate would in no way countenance a prorogation of parliament. so, in many respects, these people are tilting at windmills! we have been going at this for three years, mr speaker! the country sent us all a very clear message in the polls in may that they want this done. we have reached a narrowing funnel in which our choices are getting fewer and fewer. we are running out of room. the time and voters' tolerance of us failing to address that central issue is running out! so, the problem with this amendment for many of us isn't about more or less democracy. it is that it is pretending to be democratic but in reality, it is trying to prevent the democratic referendum decision
2:37 am
from ever happening at all! the ayes to the right, 315. the noes to the left, 274. applause. downing street said theresa may was disappointed that a number of ministers failed to vote and that, no doubt, her successor would take this into account when forming his government. well, the northern ireland bill has been used as a vehicle notjust for brexit, but also to try to liberalise the law on abortion and on same—sex marriage in the province despite some opposition. if this amendment passes, northern ireland will have the most permissive abortion law in the british isles. the way in which this particular issue and indeed this bill has been handled, i believe, have been unconstitutional, undemocratic, legally incoherent, and utterly disrespectful to the people of northern ireland.
2:38 am
and the fact of the matter is that many people have expressed their outrage and indeed are very frustrated that this house has acted in this way. of course it has the right to do so but given the lack of time and consideration and consultation to take such drastic steps on a matter of such import and concern in which there is a cross—community consensus of care, a more careful approach and a more different approach needs to be taken, is in my view completely wrong. but despite their concerns, the commons also endorsed the moves to extend same—sex marriage and abortion in northern ireland unless there's an executive in place by october the 21st. the bill is now nearing the end of its passage through parliament. now, the conservative former foreign secretary, lord william hague has said that the leak of private communications and subsequent resignation of sir kim darroch as uk ambassador to washington set a "dangerous precedent". he said the episode showed that it was possible to in effect "politically assassinate" a british ambassador.
2:39 am
lord hague told the commons foreign affairs committee that the leak of the documents in which sir kim criticised the white house and president trump himself was "significant" and "damaging". it is significant because it has turned out to set a whole series of unfortunate precedents. very damaging precedents. one that you can in effect politically assassinate one of her majesty's ambassadors. couldn't you envision other heads of state, perhaps less friendly nations, using a similar technique of blanking a british ambassador in seeking to get them removed? well, i can imagine them being rather more emboldened to do so in the future now after this because the, you know, one precedent that i mentioned is that you can... somebody can politically assassinate an ambassador. another is that it set the precedent that the head of state of another country, albeit a friendly country, has joined in making an ambassador‘s position untenable. that's a very bad precedent.
2:40 am
will it mean that the uk government will now have to be more robust in defending our envoys both civilian and of course our military as well to avoid this becoming a norm? well, i think we should be robust. we should be in principle anyway. i can't think of any organisation, company, country which can benefit from hanging out to dry an official who is doing theirjob. and not only is doing theirjob but telling the truth as they are meant to do. that cannot be beneficial in the long term to any organisation. and it is wrong in principle to treat them in that way. it's important though for it to be robust and i would suggest that given that there is to be a new prime minister next week and no doubt making their...
2:41 am
making his positions in the cabinet, this will be a good moment to make clear from the very top that public servants are expected to give frank, honest, clear, clearly—expressed advice and that the government will always seek to ensure they are never penalised for doing so if they are put in a difficult situation as a result of doing so. ijust wonder if i'd ask you if you thought the fact that the former foreign secretary and favourite to be prime minister didn't do that, stand robustly behind sir kim darroch, affected the situation at all? and whether or not the actual resignation itself has set a dangerous precedent now that people think that leaking from the foreign office can get rid of somebody they don't particularly like? well, i certainly think it set a dangerous precedent because there was also the resignation of sir ivan rogers and i know you had him giving evidence to the committee. it certainly sets a dangerous precedent and yes i do think it was let me say "most unfortunate" that not all former foreign
2:42 am
secretaries could give robust and unequivocal support. but there is an opportunity to put that right. as i say, there will be in some form a new cabinet next week and again, i would suggest that's a good moment to make clear how the british government will approach these things and to inform the civil service of how the british government will approach these things. but it's regrettable if there is any equivocation about this. are you waiting for the phone call for your old job back? a phone call? for your old job back? i will not be, and if i received it, i know what reply i will give... laughter. lord hague there not expecting a phone call from downing street next week, after the new prime minister has taken over. you're watching thursday in parliament with me, david cornock. still to come, some wedding
2:43 am
news from the speaker. the government has rejected calls for a newjudge—led inquiry into allegations that the uk was involved in the mistreatment of detainees in the wake of the september the 11th attacks. in 2010, sir peter gibson, was asked to look into allegations that british intelligence officers were aware of, or involved in, that mistreatment. his inquiry was halted two years later to allow a police investigation. several mps had called for a newjudge led inquiry to pick up where sir peter left off. making a statement in the commons a senior minister explained that new guidance was to be put in place. these new principles have been put in part by successive governments to understand the appalling attacks on september 11, 2001 and put in place policies and practice. as the prime minister said in a written statement on the 28th ofjune this year, orjune last year, it was clear with the benefit of hindsight the uk personnel were working with a new and challenging environment for which in some cases
2:44 am
they were not prepared. but there'd be no newjudge led inquiry. there is no policy reason to do so given the extensive work already undertaken to improve policies and practice in this area. the government position is also that there is no legal obligation. but the majority of mps in the chamber reckoned that was the wrong decision. i believe is a fundamental error ofjudgement of the outgoing prime minister has made not to make good on commitment of her predecessor, not to honour the promises of the former justice secretary now the father of the house and not to listen to the recommendations of the intelligence and security committee.
2:45 am
they were all absolutely clear that the only way to catch the truth on these issues and learn lessons for the future was for the government to commission an independent and judge let inquiry with the power and authority to examine all of the evidence in question every potential witness and come up with conclusions with which the government would be banned. has there been an express prohibition on ministers giving the green light to the torture of overseas detainees? and if not, why not? it's already the position that ministers are bound by the law and ministers are bound by the ministerial code, and the ministerial code requires ministers to comply with the law in all their actions as ministers, and by compliance with the law we include in that definition compliance with the united kingdom's international treaty obligations.
2:46 am
the one point i would make to my right honourable friend is that even when problems have been remedied there is, at times, good public policy reasons for bringing about closure, and the question i simply pose to him is whether the decision has been taken will enable that closure to take place. the ise did look into the issue but was not able to hear from all of the witnesses it wanted to. the point taken up by the s&p. investigation took place under such severe government restrictions that as the committee itself describes it was left unable to conduct an authoritative inquiry or to produce a credible report. as a result they chose to classify the report and conclusions as provisional and warned that it must be taken as a comprehensive account. does the minister not see that the only way to take the work forward and properly addressed what went wrong is to establish an inquiry with the necessary
2:47 am
powers to follow the leads which they could not? the police have had access to all material about individual cases, and they have concluded a number of investigations and a few are continuing. i think all necessary steps have been taken. i will resist the temptation to reply to this inquiry in four words. those words being "see you in court." the point of the government have solved the problems, that is plainly and demonstrably not true. most clearly in the point raised by the shadow foreign secretary where there is not a prohibition on ministers approving torture. my right honourable friend says they're required to obey the law. so they were in 2002 when the law was precisely the same in terms of international convention.
2:48 am
david davis. now is it the end of the road for one of the government's great survivors? will the transport secretary chris grayling survive the new prime minister and the inevitable cabinet reshuffle? at transport questions, it looked as if labour would miss him. it's a sad day, mr speaker, because rumour has it the secretary of state's last outing at the dispatch box. but mr speaker,, it heats the gift thatjust keeps on giving but not fully because he has cost the country billions. earlier this month the society of motor manufacturers and traders and asset sales of low emission cars in the uk has fallen for the first time in two years. the chief executive describes the decline in sales as a grave concern and blamed the secretary of state's confusing policies and premature removal of purchase incentives. will he finally apologised for his political clusters that have
2:49 am
cost the taxpayer £2.7 billion? as usual, mr speaker the honourable gentleman is quite wrong. the secretary of state has been leading the way in this area and the uk department for transport is a world leader. michael ellis was kept busy defending his boss. the best way of decarbonization the transport is making sure that people use public transport. it is therefore alarming to hear the secretary of state until transport select committee yesterday that thought automated vehicles was the answer, and any shift should be incremental. incremental? there's a claimant emergency now and in incremental response will not cut it. doesn't this show that the secretary of state is not taking the climate crisis seriously?
2:50 am
well, mr speaker, that is quite wrong. the fact of the matter is the right honourable secretary of state has been in charge of a record investment in rail, that form of public transport has seen huge sums of investment we have invested across the board, but he talks about the climate. this government is doing more than countries around the world and certainly far more than labour ever did when in power. michael ellis defending chris grayling. michael ellis. peers have demanded that ministers urge the government of nepal to act to stop overcrowding on mount everest. pictures of the mountain crowded with climbers went viral on the internet. for 20 years, the average death rate has remained at around six, but this spring alone, 11 people have lost their lives. a conservative former cabinet minister set out his case that something must be done. in one day on the 23rd of may this
2:51 am
year there were 250 people trying to summit the mountain. the nepalese government have issued record numbers of permits this year some 380 which allowed 600 people to tackle the mountain. and the result has been that many people have been placed in danger and on safety. with my noble friend or our ambassador to lobby the government and reduce the number of permits and make it mandatory that people who go on the mountain either as outfitters or climbers are able to demonstrate proper experience and thus not put other people's lives at risk? many people will be in sympathy with what he is saying, i would reassure that the agency to discuss this and that the policies promote safety for all involved that was done in june when consulate officials met with people from the department of tourism. the next important points that the website does in fact cover
2:52 am
a number of the points which he raises but i hear what he is saying, and i certainly take that back. of course in the lords, you've never far from an amazing tale of personal endeavour. i have a personal interest since my father was the first man in the world to fly over mount everest. . . in 1933 when it was just technically possible and if he had not succeeded i would not be here today. laughter. when i went up the himalayas a few years ago the sharpest told me that there was not one ship a family who had not had a member killed being a guide. only when the europeans came up with this strange idea that you had to get to the top of these uninhabitable regions that they, because their income is low they lost their lives, will the noble lady talk
2:53 am
to her colleagues in the development department to try and help the income level of those families so that they don't need to rely on insane europeans going to high up mountains? i think the noble lady has a number of points and i applaud her distinguished experience. never been anywhere near everest myself... i think i can safely say that situation is unlikely to change. laughter. the noble lady will be aware that we have a good relationship with nepal. that includes support and financial help. one of the things that we have been doing is endeavouring to help with disaster resilience and make a very meaningful contribution to new paul in that respect. and there was a topical observation from a labour former cabinet minister.
2:54 am
can i asked her whether she would be kind enough to recommend becoming conservative party leader? getting to the top of everest will be easier getting a new deal with the commission. the minister replied that she would add that to the list of things she had to discuss with the incoming prime minister. now thursday is the day mps find out about what they'll be doing in the following week in a statement from the leader of the commons. and when mel stride arrived to answer mps' questions there was rather more interest than usual ahead of a week when theresa may is due to hand over to eitherjeremy hunt or boris johnson. the two candidates went head to head at their last hustings in london on wednesday. conservative party members will choose their new leader and our new pm in a postal ballot. could the leader please say whether there will be a statement from the new prime minister that is not on the business for next
2:55 am
week or at least that of the timetable of what happens next wednesday when the former prime minister goes to the palace, when will the new prime minister go to the palace, i'm assuming the same day? i feel sure there will be an opportunity for the house to hear from the new prime minister later this week, although clearly i cannot comment on the precise circumstances that may pertain to that, it will be a matter for him, whoever he is. the leader really has to make time for my honourable friend. his premise or nomination and cabinet appointment bill which would give this house the opportunity to endorse any candidate. which is what happens in most civilised democratic institutions these days starting with the scottish parliament. other mps had more important events in their diary for the coming days. such as their wedding the speaker misses nothing. i know the house willjoin me in that expression of goodwill, he's a very young man to be contemplating the state of matrimony, but we wish him well in his pursuit. hear, hear!
2:56 am
i'm very, very grateful to you. thank you very much. i'm quite thrown now. can i first to congratulate the honourable gentleman and also thank my wife are having put up with me for a0 years, it is our anniversary this weekend. and she has truly put up with a great deal, so i love you very much, michelle. there we are. and the new prime minister can only dream of a political honeymoon lasting that long. that note of harmony brings to an end this thursday in parliament. thank you for watching. i do hope you canjoin me at 11pm on friday night on bbc parliament for the week in parliament, the programme that does what it says on the tin. until then, bye for now.
2:57 am
some soggy weather on the way for some of us over the next 2a hours, heavy rain pushing northwards across the uk during the day ahead, with a brisk breeze. the rain already into the south—west of england, through the south—west of england, through the first part of the morning, getting into south wales weather could be some travel disruption, surface water and spray on the road, but of northwards across england and wales keeping into northern ireland in southern scotland to the afternoon. could be the odd bump of thunder with the rate of showers testing from the south, a lot of dry weather on the northern half of scotland, one or two showers here, to butchers of the 18— 21 degrees. —— temperatures. another positive rain moved its way through southern counties of england overnight, some clear spots, monkey note down towards the south—east, not as muggy further north and west. the main
2:58 am
area of rain on saturday, we're with sunny spells and heavy thundery showers.
2:59 am
3:00 am
welcome to bbc news. our top stories: president trump attempts to distance himself from the racist chanting, targeting a somali—born democratic congresswoman, at wednesday's campaign rally. i was not happy with it. i disagree with it but, again, i did not say it, i didn't say that, they did. the pentagon says us forces have shot down an iranian drone as it approached an american ship in the gulf. staying in jail. the reasons why a judge ruled that financierjeffrey epstein must stay behind bars until his trial on sex trafficking charges. on a beach in norfolk — the biggest sandscaping project ever


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on