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tv   The Week in Parliament  BBC News  November 10, 2019 2:30pm-3:01pm GMT

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from the "catastrophic" bushfire threat to sydney and surrounding areas. three people are known to have lost their lives. now, let's get highlights of proceedings in westminster — in the week in parliament. this is bbc news, i'm shaun ley. hello and welcome to the last week the headlines at 3. in parliament before december‘s general election. the chancellor defends conservative party analysis coming up... the new speaker takes his seat of labour's spending plans, in the commons‘ biggest chair. as labour says they are a complete work of fiction. i hope this house will be once a great respected house, big ben chimes the hour. notjust in here but across the world. in the final days of the session — mps push through a bill to compensate abuse victims in northern ireland. ceremonies take place across the uk and a former conservative demands to mark remembrance sunday a report into alleged russian to commemorate those
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interference in uk who lost their lives in conflict. a world war 2 dakota plane dropped democracy is published. 750,000 poppies over the prime minister does not have the white cliffs of dover carte blanche to alter our reports or remove material from them. to remember the fallen. and we talk to three of the 70 mps who are standing down the environment agency continues about what prompted them to go. to warn there's a danger to life i thought somebody is trying from high river levels to tell me something, in south yorkshire, with seven i think i better pop off while i can severe warnings still in place. we've had no sleep for two days, still make it out on my own. we keep getting calls, but first... in the dying days of what's been a most turbulent parliament, mps elected a new speaker. john bercow, who'd done the job for ten years — had decided to stand down from parliament. seven mps put themselves forward to replace him — five labour and two conservative. the job comes with a salary of £150,000 and the added bonus of not having to campaign in the looming election as the speaker's seat is traditionally not contested by the major parties. the bookies' favourite was senior deputy speaker and labour mp, sir lindsay hoyle, but in this secret ballot, anything was possible. the house gathered on monday
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afternoon and the prime minister got things under way. i have to acquaint the house that her majesty having been informed of the resignation of the right honourablejohn bercow, lately the speaker of this house, gives leave to the house to get forth with to the election of a new speaker. each candidate got five minutes to make their pitch. most highlighting how they'd be different to john bercow. first up, one of the current deputy speakers. urgent business must be debated when it is urgent but uqs and statements should not take hours, neither should pmqs. someone who is completely impartial and knows erskine may inside out and back to front, i have it lying by my bedside. laughter. all right, all right.
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a speaker who is an umpire and not a player. i think the speaker should submerge his or her character in thejob, the speaker should be the servant of the house, the speaker should be a dignified and quiet voice. i am very sad that so many honourable members who i see as i look around have decided to leave the house tomorrow. it is time that someone had the courage to defend members of parliament, notjust inside this house but outside at as well. defending members of parliament, that is what i would do if the house makes me speaker. a labour mp said her main reason for standing was to tackle bullying and harassment. there is a good list of mps to work for and a bad list of mps to work
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for, staff know this, we know this and it may be an uncomfortable message. it may not be a vote winner today, but we should not be complacent even if we are on the good list. it is not a club that says you have been here for 35 years, do not take it wrong, mr clarke, but the fact is when i look at 35 years of people in this house i think i have earned that speech once more or once again or many more times. that speech is important but the person who walked through that door yesterday is just as important to their constituents. their voice must be heard as well. i know you want a speaker who understands what it is to be a government backbencher and an opposition backbencher. and a government minister and a shadow minister. and i have been all of those things. the process of electing a new speaker is overseen
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by the longest continuously serving mp, known as the father of the house — which this time was ken clarke, who's been in the commons since 1970. he was making one of his last appearances in the chamber before standing down at the election. the speaker is selected through a series of votes. after each round the candidate with the fewest votes, or anyone who's polled under 5% is knocked out. the contest went to four rounds. meg hillier and sir edward leigh were first to go, followed by dame rosie winterton. harriet harman withdrew, and eleanor laing was fifth to go, leaving two labour mps in the run off. number of votes cast for each candidate was as followed, chris bryant, 213. sir lindsay hoyle, 325. but that's not quite the end of the rather lengthy process. i invite sir lindsay hoyle to take the chair of the house. it's traditional for the speaker
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elect to appear reluctant to take thejob, so he or she is dragged to the chair. labour's caroline flint and the conservative and former deputy speaker nigel evans doing the dragging this time. the tradition comes from the fact that the speaker has to communicate the opinion of the commons to the monarch — and, in the past at least, if the monarch didn't like the message, he or she might — literally — shoot the messenger. once in position, lindsay hoyle spoke to mp5. it is about the challenges ahead for me and this chamber. i stand by what i said and i stand firm that i hope this house will be once a great respected house not just in here but across the world. we have to make sure that tarnish is polished away and the respect and tolerance that we expect from everyone who works in here will be shown that we keep that in order. the prime minister was among the first to congratulate him. you will also bring your signature kindness, kindness and reasonableness to our
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proceedings and that might help bring us together as a parliament and a democracy because no matter how fiercely we may disagree, we know that every member comes to this place with the best of motives, determined to serve the oldest parliamentary democracy in the world and to achieve our goals by the peaceable arts of reason and debate, invigilated by an impartial speaker. which was and remains one of our greatest gifts to the world. congratulations. as you said and many know, the job of speaker is notjust a ceremonial one but it is about the rights of backbenchers to be able to speak up and it is about the power of parliament to hold the government to account and that is the whole principle and point of a parliamentary democracy that we have a strong parliament that can hold the executive to account and i know
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you will stand up for that principle. because that is what you believe then. all the candidates said they would protect and respect the rights of the third—party and smaller parties, and we appreciate that and we look forward to it. the lib dem leader welcomed a pledge to make parliament more inclusive. we should, none of us, be happy until this place properly represents the communities that we serve. and because you can't have too much ceremonial on days like these there was one last formality, an invitation for lindsay hoyle — delivered by black rod. mr speaker elect and members of the house of commons, him the law by order of her majesty's commission have been authorised to declare her approval of the new speaker. in the house of peers and therefore desire the presence of this honourable house. in the house of peers to hear
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the commission read. lindsay hoyle took the short walk to the lords and announced that the commons had chosen him as speaker. i therefore present myself with your lordships bar and submit myself with all humility for her majesty's gracious probation. and, after a bit of hat doffing and the reading out of the queen's approval, sir lindsay hoyle was finally confirmed as the new speaker of the commons. the week wasn't all about the speaker election. with only two sitting days before parliament dissolved there was plenty mps wanted to get done before it was too late. a former conservative urged the government to publish a report into alleged russian interference in uk democracy. the document from parliament's intelligence and security committee, the isc, is currently with the prime minister. mps feared if it wasn't published before parliament ended, it wouldn't
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become public until well into next year. the chair of the committee said the security agencies had all agreed the report could be released. could he confirm the prime minister does not have carte blanche to alter our reports or remove material from them and if he wishes to exercise a veto to publication he must give the committee a credible explanation as to why he is doing this? the current length of time that this report has been with the government is not unusual as this has averaged around six weeks for reports published in recent years and 3—4 weeks for a response to be forthcoming from the government. publish the report and let us see for ourselves otherwise there is only one question, what have you got to hide? if the shoe were on the other foot and he was at opposition despatch box as he denying that he would be asking for a publication of the report as we are? it would be a dangerous precedent
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to establish that the committee can come to the house and believe what the publishing of what is an important report. mps have fast—tracked legislation to compensate victims of historical abuse in northern ireland. it follows a report into allegations of abuse in 22 children's homes and other residential institutions between 1922 and 1995. the northern ireland secretary urged victims to come forward to make a claim, and said around 5,000 people could be eligible for compensation. the bill establishes a redress board to administer a scheme for victims in northern ireland and paves the way for a commissioner for survivors to be appointed. victims were let down notjust by the perpetrators and institutions but by the churches and the councils and the governments that were meant to look after them. standing by, ignoring, not checking and turning a blind eye. child abuse victims never had their fallen childhood.
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they were held hostage by the experiences they had throughout their lives. i hope this bill go some way in providing northern ireland victims with her redress and i hope for other victims throughout our country that their time for redress will come very soon. the shadow minister had also met victims. it is an experience that none of us came into politics to undergo, but it is right that we came into politics to resolve this horror and this agony. the former secretary of state said the report into the abuse had been delivered just at the time power sharing in northern ireland had collapsed. if the executive had not collapsed, we would have had ministerial direction to know what ministers thought of recommendations, we would have had something to work with.
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and in fact if the executive would have been there and could have delivered interim payments without the need for prominent legislation and could have delivered so many things so much sooner. people get into politics because these are the types of the issues that people want to change, issues with health or public services and to try to address greater wrongs and great injustice. and i think it is such a good thing that we end this parliament on this type of issue where the very many hundreds of thousands of those who suffered appalling abuse will finally get the last piece of the process, which is redress. peers have called for an overhaul of the law, to prevent people with autism being detained in secure mental health hospitals. the current mental health act defines autism as a mental health disorder — which means people with the condition who display challenging behaviour can be detained.
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in the lords, a vice president of the national autistic society was relieved that was due to change, but wanted one more thing. will the government set up an advice hotline for families who are in despair — despair because they have no idea where to go for help or advice as their children — and they are children — face christmas locked up and detained in a mediaeval practice that deprives them of their human rights? the government is committed to ensure that people with learning disabilities and autistic people can live a full life and be community. 0n the specific point raised about a hotline for families in this situation, i will take you back to the department and ask what can be done. ministers are developing plans for a compensation scheme for thomas cook customers who face losing out on injury compensation claims because of the compa ny‘s collapse. the firm went out of business in september when it failed to raise enough money to finance its debts. thousands of holidaymakers were left stranded abroad. in a commons statement, the business secretary said
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thomas cook only had insurance cover for the very largest personal injury claims. as thomas cook has entered into liquidation without entering any protection for pending claims, the vast majority of claimants who are not covered by the insurance — including customers who have suffered very serious injuries and loss of life — will be treated as unsecured creditors. and were unlikely to get compensation, so the government would act. this is an extraordinary situation which never should have arisen. while the government cannot and will not step into the shoes of thomas cook, we do intend to develop proposals for a statutory compensation scheme. any scheme must strike a responsible balance here between the moral duty to respond to those in the most serious financial need and our responsibility to the taxpayer. labour said a £188 million bridging loan would have helped the firm survive. it would have allowed profitable
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parts of the business to be sold while still trading, and for workers' rights to be protected. this would have supported the wider economy and communities too. government should be a partner of business, not stand apart from it. that means intervening, it means providing support where intervention stands a chance of succeeding. there was something like £1.9 billion of debt on thomas cook's balance sheet. they did approach the government looking for a loan of up to £250 million but it is quite clear that had the government put that significant sum of taxpayers' money to thomas cook, we would have ended up in the same position where we are today where we would have had to repatriate those customers and we would have had to do exactly as we would have done, but the taxpayer would also be £250 million worse off. the end of this parliament meant it was time to say goodbye to more than 70 mps who are standing down at the general election. in the commons, they had the chance
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to make a final speech. labour's ann clwyd has been an mp since 1984. i am standing down from this election with a heavy heart, especially as there was so much that i would still like to do. i've got a long shopping list and i have not completed the shopping. i would like to thank all my constituents who sent me such wonderful letters and kindness. i won't not miss many of my party political activists, i would have to say, but i will miss my constituents. sir patrick mcloughlin used to be the chief whip — the man in charge of getting the government's business through. i think the whip‘s office is quite often misunderstood, both inside and outside of this place. contrary to some of the wilder stories, they are the personnel department of any parliamentary party. in my experience, i always saw the whip's office as a human resources department, with the human part taken out.
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they say madame deputy speaker, people who are often kindest when you are on your way out. and there has been occassions in the last week, since i announced my intention to step down, when i felt i had been granted the privilege of attending my own funeral oration without the need to arrive in a hearse. sir david lidington, one of the dozens of mps who have decided to give up their seats and opt perhaps for a quieter life. so why are they going and what will they miss? i spoke to lib dem norman lamb, the conservative ed vaizey, and labour's stephen pound, and began by asking what had prompted them to go. i think there was a moment when we had the indicative votes — this opportunity that we forced through parliament to give mps the chance to vote on their preference for brexit — and i felt very strongly that we should be finding a compromise at that point. and ijust felt, at that point, very isolated. in this parliament,
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and you are either in one tribe with the extreme view on europe or another tribe with the alternative extreme view on europe but if you are not in either, you end up feeling particularly isolated — and that is how i felt. is it brexit that pushed you over the edge? no, actually when i stopped being a minister which was a job i loved, i enjoyed doing things so i sat on the back benches and wondered which direction my career will take me. and when the 2017 election came, i thought to myself "after 2015, i will think through and wait until the 2020 election" — which we expected — "and decide if i want to carry on being an mp." then came the 2017 election, which was too soon for me to make a decision, so i thought "ok, i will carry on." "that is not too bad." but when this election came along, i thought "i do have to make a decision. if i decide to stay, i will be here forever and if i decide to go, there is a big wide world
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which is quite scary but i have a chance to have a second career." what made you decide to go, brexit or has your party moved away from you? a couple of things really and most people in parliament and most are decent, i came into parliament to make a difference and to help make a change and it became fairly obvious in the last couple of years that we were wading through treacle and it was not doing anything and was depressingly and there was so much i wanted to do. and what tipped me over the edge, i got a text from gp's surgery, inviting me to participate in an end—of—life seminar which is obviously some algorithm that set up for people like me who were born in the same week as the national health service and i thought "someone is trying to tell me something" and i thought "maybe i should pop up while i can make it on my own." what are you going to miss? the friendship, the sense of power and actually being there, in the tower of power,
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and the things we could do to make a difference. missing the fact that you can come into a place or office or a shop with a card that says mp, and they listen to you and you can make a difference. that is quite powerful and quite seductive. what do you wish you knew when you first became an mp or minister, what do you wish someone had told you? i think i had a pretty good run and i have had actually a very easy time in parliament, which was why it was such a difficult choice for me to leave. i have a fantastic constituency and i had also worked in politics quite a lot before i became an mp, so i was familiar with this place when i got here. you will always hear new mps tell you about their shock and horror and taking weeks to get an office and how difficult it all was and trying to learn the procedures, but i never actually had that problem and had pretty much a very good career. so hard for you to let go. i get the impression you made the decision very late and it sounds
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like a difficult one. it was a real, real wrench. i will not deny had a lot of sleepless nights. because, as i have said, i have been incredibly privileged in terms of the opportunities i have had and have been given to me by parliament and i look at my colleagues in marginal seats who have had to fight tooth and nail and street by street to make sure they hold every election. they do not have the luxury of saying "do i stay or do i go?" it could be an end through no fault of their own. to be 11 years to get elected in the first place and trying to defeat that lot, finally got there and then holding on is a constant strain. will you miss campaigning and going out? when you add the 11 years of trying to get here, plus 18 plus years of being here, that is 29 years of knocking on doors in every by—election and i will not miss that. i will miss the constituents
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and trying to solve individual problems and trying to give voice to those who do not have it in our system and i will miss government. there is much about this place i will not miss at all. ifind it deeply depressing in many ways. what are your plans for future? i've ended up spending many years particularly focusing on mental health and a lot with wider health and care system, and i genuinely feel that i can be of more value on the outside of this rather dysfunctional institution than staying on the inside. those are the causes i care a lot about. legalisation of soft drugs, you were very courageous on that and no—one talked about that and no one brought that and and in your valedictorian speech mentioned that.
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and, fair credit, i don't usually give credit to the yellow peril. that is why i am doing at! what has been your big achievement and what will you take away from your time in westminster? i've enjoyed being a minister, so i was the largest—serving culture minister in history. had to labour'sjenny lee, their first arts minister. i was determined to beat her record through thick then and i would not move department. i am pleased that that is the sort of record that will last. who knows how long it will last? particularly given the way it has been treated these last few years. i think as well i think i have many achievements there and being a voice for culture and for the industry, the creative industry with the film and tv world is my legacy. i have done my nine years and i think it is pretty long time and it does not say anything about my personal qualities of excellence but rather my difficult portfolio.
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and i absolutely love that. i actually took a private members bill through the system to my high hedges bill. which is a a piece of legislation and that was me, darkness at noon was my enemy and i now brought within the planning regulations and when i lie on my deathbed, they will say "he is the man who brought in the high hedges bill." stephen pound on his high hedge legacy, our thanks to him, ed vaizey and norman lamb. and that's it from us for now, but we'll be back when parliament returns. and if you're wondering when that is, here's a snippet of a special ceremony that took place in edinburgh in the week, proclaiming the date for the new house of commons to gather. to call a new parliament to be holding in westminster on tuesday the 17th day of december next. the lord lyon accompanied by the sheriff clerk and the returning officer for edinburgh, were among those present at the mercat cross. and we'll see you then.
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but for now from me, alicia mccarthy, goodbye. good afternoon. it has been so much nicer and guidetoday, a brief respite to be sighed for many after all we we have had. however, the flood warnings are still out there, along with numerous flood warnings. with warnings for yet more rain to come. it has been a quiet day with some sunshine coinciding with the sunday, we do have this rain and helps them to come. for northern ireland initially, then overnight in the small hours, there could be a
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few centimetres in the pennines, up to 10 centimetres for some parts of highland scotland. with the strong wind as well, with the snow, that could be blown around and give very poor visibility. as we wake up on monday morning, we will have encountered a bit of rain throughout the night, that is not good news and white there is a warning across compounds of northern england for that. this area of low pressure moves that. this area of low pressure m oves a cross , that. this area of low pressure moves across, it is slow moving, in the north sea for the next day or two. it allows a north—westerly wind behind it, ushering in a lot of showers, primarily to northern and western areas of the uk. given the fa ct western areas of the uk. given the fact that we have the strong wind blowing, it will blow right the way across to the east coast of scotland and england and wales. we will see more in the west than in the east. the range though slow to clear for scotland, still winter here. strong winds, tempering the to 7 to 10
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celsius. low pressure are still around on tuesday, these bands of showers and longer spells of rain will migrate around that area of low pressure, particularly across the eastern half of the country. another warning from the met office for those areas, very sensitive to more rainfall throughout monday and tuesday, not excessive amounts about any amount of rainfall will not help the situation. 0nly any amount of rainfall will not help the situation. only 6 or seven celsius with that enough wind blowing, chilly on tuesday. i widespread frost develops on tuesday night, it thus set us up for a fine start. that window of their diet weather on wednesday. as we head towards the end of the day on wednesday, more rain will come into the west, slipping across many parts of england and wales during thursday before slowly clearing on friday. it is still unsettled and ornately cold 00:28:55,061 --> 4294966103:13:29,430 side of this week coming.
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