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tv   Wednesday in Parliament  BBC News  November 5, 2020 2:30am-3:01am GMT

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joe biden says he's on course to win the us presidency as vote counting continues. michigan is projected as a biden win, and it looks like he could also win wisconsin, putting him ever closer to winning the electoral college. european monitors described the election as competitive and well managed. the trump campaign has launched legal action to stop vote counting in michigan, pennsylvania, and georgia, accusing democrats of scheming to disenfranchise republican voters. mr trump's campaign has also called for there to be a recount of ballots in wisconsin saying there had been reports of irregularities. the democrats are expected to remain in control of the house of representatives, but with a reduced majority. in the senate they were unable to unseat republican susan collins. the democrats needed to gain three senate seats to take control — so far they've made a net gain of one.
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now it's time for a look back at the day in parliament. hello again, and welcome to wednesday in parliament. as mps back the prime minister's new lockdown for england. i have no doubt that these restrictions represent the best and safest path or our country, our people, and our economy. but his predecessor isn't convinced by the government's figures. it is not 1,000 deaths a day. so the prediction was wrong before it was even used. and what are the chances of a vaccine arriving in the next year? to get a vaccine that has an effect of both reducing illness and reducing mortality are very high. but first: mps have agreed tough new lockdown measures for england despite a rebellion among some conservative mps. it means non—essential shops,
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gyms, and cinemas have to shut for four weeks. so do bars and restaurants, except for takeaways. the measures replace the three tiers of regional restrictions across england until 2 december, when the tiers will be re—imposed. the prime minister explained his change of policy with an air of reluctance. of course, this is not something that any of us wanted to do. none of us came into politics to tell people once again to shutter their shops, to furlough their staff, or stay away from their friends and family. and i'm sure all members feel the pain and anxiety that we will share in the month ahead. but, as prime minister, when i'm confronted with data that predicts our nhs could even collapse with deaths in the second wave potentially exceeding those of the first, and when i look at what is happening now amongst some of our continental friends, and i see doctors who've tested positive are being ordered to work on covid wards, and patients to hospitals in some other countries simply to make space — i can
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reach one conclusion. but some mps on his own side were unconvinced. what evidence has he received that we will save more lives by the lockdown that he proposes than we will lose from public health, from lack ofjobs, from mental health crises? because that's the evidence i seek today, prime minister, in order to cast my vote his way. mr speaker, he raises a very important point, and that's the crux of this debate. but alas, we as leaders and politicians have to look at the immediate peril that we face. boris johnson directly addressed the fears of some tory mps that the new lockdown would last beyond the scheduled 2 december — possibly
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for months on end. so let me level with the house. of course i can't say exactly where the epidemiology will be by the 2nd of december. but what i can say is that the national measures that i hope the house will vote on tonight are time—limited. it is not that we choose to stop them — they legally expire. so whatever we do from the 2nd of december will require a fresh mandate and a fresh vote from this house. and, as i have made clear, it is my expressed intent that we should return to a tiered system on a local and a regional basis according to the latest data and trends. but a former chief whip questioned the science on which the decision was taken. what i'm troubled by when i've looked at the basis on which the modelling's been done, both by sage and also the nhs, is that the modelling is done, but doesn't take into account the effect of the introduction of the tier system.
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and it doesn't take into account any of the effects of that. and i think, therefore, we've acted too soon. the prime minister disagreed. the furlough scheme, which was due to end last weekend, has been extended now that england is entering lockdown. mps from other parts of the uk wanted to know if workers there would get 80% of their wages paid if they enter lockdown at a later stage. the prime minister appeared to suggest they would, but snp members were still wary. the problem, prime minister, is we've not heard a clear, unequivocal "yes" to the question. so can he sort that now? if scotland, england, or wales needs to introduce lockdown measures at different times, than england, will the chancellor be there to support us with furlough? mr speaker, i don't know how to exhaust my affirmative vocabulary any further. but they won't take yes
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for an answer, mr speaker! the prime minister ended his speech with an appeal for unity. while it pains me to call for such restrictions on lives, liberty, and business, i have no doubt that these restrictions represent the best and safest path for our country, our people, and our economy. so now is the time for us to put our differences aside, focus on the next four weeks, getting this virus back in its box, mr speaker. borisjohnson could count on the labour leader's support — up to a point. nobody votes for the regulations today with anything other than a heavy heart — on both sides. i didn't come into parliament to restrict people's freedoms, to prevent people meeting their friends and loved ones, to decide when people can and can't leave their home, or how many people they attend a funeral. but, while these regulations
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are not in any way desirable or perfect, they are now necessary because the government's lost control of the virus. and we will support them. sir keir starmer questioned the prime minister's plan to return to a system of regional alert levels — or tiers — after the lockdown ends. he said the system wasn't working. to go back to that system doesn't make any sense. and, for heaven's sakes, we've got to use the next four weeks to come up with something better than that for the 2nd of december. otherwise we'll do the usual thing, which is to pretend something will happen on the 2nd of december, and then, when we get there, find out that what was said would happened won't happen. and i can predict what'll happen, because it's happened so many times the last seven months. the prime minister says, "x won't happen, x will happen." it does happen, and we start all over again. and it's not fair to the british public to pretend that's what will happen on the 2nd of december. sir keir starmer. conservative mps lined up to oppose the new lockdown, warning they'd vote against the new restrictions. former prime minister theresa
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may didn't go that far — she abstained. but she questioned the data that was being used, particularly a slide in a weekend news conference modelling the possibility of 4,000 deaths a day. if you look at the trajectory shown in that graph that went to 4,000 deaths a day, we would've reached 1,000 deaths a day by the end of october. now the average in the last week of october was 259, by my calculation. each of those deaths is a sadness, and our thoughts are with the families. but it is not 1,000 deaths a day. so the prediction was wrong before it was even used. and this leads to a problem for the government. because for many people, it looks as if the figures are chosen to support the policy, rather than the policy being based on the figures. a labour member of the science and technology committee, who'd questioned the government's advisers over those figures on tuesday, said he wouldn't vote for the lockdown.
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we have not been told how many people will die of cancer and various other treatments. we've not been told how many people are likely to commit suicide. in order for us to take a decision in the round, we need both of those figures. we need the figures for the economic catastrophe that is happening in my constituency, and other parts of the country. and many tories made clear they wouldn't back the lockdown either. and the people that will be damaged by this will be the poorest in society. they will be damaged because they lose theirjobs. the loss of a job is not just an income problem. it's self—respect, it's a status, it is what you do, it's how you stand up in front of your family and show them that you are bringing, as it were, the money back to the house and improving their lot. we were told, madame deputy speaker, that the reason for the first national lockdown was to give time to build capacity in the nhs, presumably so we wouldn't need any further lockdowns. so what has the secretary of state been doing?
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why has he failed in this task? well, we know what he's been doing — instead of building that capacity and sorting out test and trace properly, he has been spending far too much of his time seemingly relishing the power of seeking to micromanage every aspect of everybody‘s lives. i think there is an — unintended perhaps — but an arrogance in assuming the government has the right to do so. that has the right to tell people whether they can visit their elderly parents in a care home. whether it has the right to tell parents they can't see their children or their grandchildren. whether it has any right, for heaven's sake, to tell consenting adults with whom they are allowed to sleep. this legislation goes against my every instinct. perhaps an instinct even more fundamental than the love and touch of my family. and i am not living in fear of the virus. i will not live
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in fear of the virus. but i am living in fear of something much darker, much darker hiding in the shadows. other conservatives backed the government — albeit with a heavy heart. i will be reluctantly supporting the government tonight, but with a caveat. i am putting the minister and government on 28 days' notice. they've had many months, but now, over that short period, they need to put in place a public health strategy. the liberal democrats argued action had been taken too late. i'm horrified by the regulations that i'm being asked to vote for today. i'm horrified by the impact that these restrictions will have on people's lives, their mental health, and their livelihoods. the snp accused the government of obfuscation over the continuation of economic support in scotland. and he repeatedly says the snp won't take "yes" for an answer.
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we'll take "yes" for an answer, but it's put in writing to the scottish government, and is clear unambiguous. john steinbeck wrote, "a sad soul can kill you far quicker than a germ." now, it's not entirely biologically correct, but we understand the point. loneliness and isolation extract a heavy mental and physical toll. tonight, we will support these measures, but we are demanding our constituents pay a huge price. we are demanding our constituents make greater sacrifice because of a failure to act sooner. ultimately this comes to a very significant judgement. it comes to a judgement about how we best manage a nation and lead a nation through an incredibly difficult period, with a pandemic of a virus that exists only to multiply, and a virus that lives and breathes off the essence of what is to be human. order, order.
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when it came to the vote, mps backed the new lockdown restrictions for england by 516 votes to 38. more than 30 conservative mps voted against the government. you're watching wednesday in parliament with me, david cornock. still to come: the prime minister tries his hand at astrology. now, mps, as you might expect, take more than a passing interest in elections both abroad and closer to home. the whole house is talking about the result of a heavily contested election, and indeed it is a year ago to the day, mr speaker, that you were elected speaker. and behalf of all members i wish you that for a very happy anniversary and thanks to you, mr speaker, for making the speakership great again. hear, hear! but the labour leader wanted to make a serious point about the us election.
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whatever the results, with the prime minister joined me in saying that it's not for a candidate to decide which votes do and don't count, or when to stop counting? the next president must be the free and fair choice of the american people. of course we don't comment as a uk government on the democratic processes of our friends and allies and i don't think in all seriousness he would expect otherwise. i'd like to take the opportunity to send my best wishes to our friends in the us during this anxious time. donald trump claimed an unsupported victory and major fraud with millions of legitimate ballots left to count and i hope the prime minister will me in his actions this morning. the prime minister did not join him in condemnation. an alliance mp wanted to look to the future.
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the health and signs committees joined forces to try to find out just how joined forces to try to find outjust how quickly a vaccine that could be deployed. your question is about deployment. there are two steps that had to happen after that. first of all, all of the data needs to be put together and presented to the regulators, both here and in other countries around the world. the regulators then have to review all of that and we absolutely need for that to happen so there is very careful scrutiny of everything that has been done in the clinical trials to look at the integrity and equality. i think we have made huge progress. the uk now has access to six different vaccines across four different formats, because we don't know which of these different types of vaccines will actually work. so we have mostly secured 350 million doses, obviously vastly in excess of what we need, because we are expecting vaccines to fail. and as we've just heard from the professor, could be weeks away from the
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first interim data review for the oxford vaccine and, also, we are in that same timeframe we are in that same timeframe we should be looking at the interim data for the beyonce advisor vaccine, which are the two vaccines that have the possibility of being ready for the end of the —— pfizer. possibility of being ready for the end of the -- pfizer. as you look ahead, what you think the percentage chances are that we will get a vaccine at some stage in the next year that will wipe out coronavirus? to wipe out coronavirus, i think, very slim. to get a vaccine that has an effect of both reducing illness and mortality very high. because again if you look at the data that's been generated so far by multiple different vaccines and companies so far actually the dead is pretty good. you think you could be in it
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situation by easter or early summer where all of our people in the country have got a vaccine that will have some impact on reducing the dangers of coronavirus? that is my view, yes. 50%. kate bingham was also asked about newspaper reports that she had disclosed confidential government information in an online presentation to american investors, last month. in the presentation that you gave did you disclose anything that was proprietary and not in the public domain? no, and there's been a lot of nonsense reports and inaccurate and i am afraid to say irresponsible reports suggesting that i did. what i described was the landscape of vaccines. there's over 250 vaccines with about 50 in the clinic and at i think of this like a race, like the grand national. lots of hurdles and runners and get to the end of the race.
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but it's all being done very quickly. and so what i described in that particular presentation was this is the overall landscape of these are the six vaccines that we have chosen for the uk but we are of course monitoring other vaccines that are relevant to the uk vaccines that we have selected. she said some of the slides used in her presentation had inadvertently suggested the information they gave was confidential — it was not. our home office minister has been challenged over government plans for border security after the end of the brexit transition period — now less than two months away. currently, the uk uses a europe wide information system, known as sis two. but uk access to that database is set to come to an end at the close of the year. the chair of the home affairs committee wondered what would happen next. what will the new system look like if there is no sis2?
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of terms of the work we're doing to continuing discussions going of what options there are and we'll get to monitor our system anyway in terms of the checks we do as part of the future system. if michael gove has told us we won't have access to sis2, iam still at a loss as to what databases you will be able to check anybody against. if you got someone that is not on the uk au alert system because they are a wanted criminal in spain, or in poland, or somewhere else in europe what database will you be able to check that person against at the border? there's ongoing work to make sure that we have the security systems that we need at the border, and the 1st of january will also apply criminality standards of the border which will be an improvement in security that we have. ah—ha, and how will you apply the standards if you cannot tell if someone is a criminal or not because you don't have a database to check from against? we will have a database to check from against...
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which data base? we will have a productive discussion with the eu... we which love that too. there will be domestic fallback options. domestic fallback that has information about somebody that is wanted in france, or in germany or what domestic database? we will have databases as for if people want in new zealand as we have been discussion with regards to modernizing our traditional proceedings. as a range of information that we have access to measures for europe and so the ending the transition period for our own standards at the border that we can enhance the security of our nation. an snp mp had a different concern. immigration may not be a devolved matter, but the scottish government was used to at least meeting the westminster minister.
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your predecessor used to meet with the scottish immigration minister pretty much quarterly. you have not met the scottish immigration ministers once since you took of the post. is a reserved policy area, so there's not a minister with the ministerial powers in any of the devolved administrations. but we have met with stakeholders across scotland and we engage, for example, with the other week or to the deputy first ministers of northern ireland and especially scottish first minister and his engagement with those that have devolved powers. we are not planning to have meetings with spokespersons on reserve matters from the current... do you understand how condescending that sounds? they'll have powers but they are hugely important issues for these devolved administrations they have budgets to balance on the back of a shrinking population, thanks to uk immigration policies. why was all right for your
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predecessor to be quarterly with the scottish immigration minister but since the new pm took office they have refused to meet a single time? we regularly engage with stakeholders and scotland and engage with those that have got that back direct da areas. for example, around housing and health and education we engage directly where there is da, with the person we are talking to has ministerial powers. on a wider basis will be appearing before the scottish parliament committees in the not—too—distant future as well. at the end of the day my priority is to create an immigration system that works the whole of the united kingdom delivers for scotland, delivers to scottish businesses, set on aspirational plan for the scottish economy and is not to get into arguments with spokespersons about whether there should be more academic aggression borders through this island. kevin foster. a health minister has
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acknowledged that a network of contacts and informal arrangements were used to secure supplies for the nhs during the pandemic. lord bethell told peers he wouldn't pretend that the government's procurement of medical supplies during the first lockdown was absolutely perfect. it followed criticism over firms with links to the conservative party being awarded contracts. the noble lord must realise he is in danger of appearing complicit in the stench surrounding these procurements. on the 6th of april he met with mellor designs, which provides beauty product that's owned by a man who was finance chair of michael gove public leadership campaign and donor to the conservative party of the noble lord also sat in on that meeting and was chairman of the party. a few weeks later the company was awarded a series of contracts amounting to 155 million forfacemasks and hand sanitizers. those did not go through the normal procurement processes. at the beginning of this year the global supply of ppe in particular and also other
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medical supplies completely collapsed. and there was a global drought for the supply of key materials that were necessary for the protection of doctors, nurses and front line health care staff. in those circumstances, we relied upon a very large network of contacts and formal, and informal arrangements in order to reach the people that can manufacture often moving their manufacturing from one product to another in order to reach those people under extremely difficult circumstances. the minister seems to say there's nothing to see here. where some of us think there is the whiff of uncertainty and something's not quite right. can i ask the minister when he agreed to a appoint an independent forensic auditor to an independent report that can be published publicly to show exactly what has happened with ppe procurement. i don't want to give the impression that absolutely everything
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is perfect. those were desperate days, and we had to do extraordinary things in order to protect our own health care staff. i remind noble lords that there were other countries that were flying in their representatives with bags of cash in private jets in order to seal contracts, and some of our supplies were literally ta ken from under our noses on the roadway of hong kong airport. they were actually difficult times indeed i'm not pretending for a moment that everything was actually perfect. but i would like to reassure noble lords that the right procedures were put in place by officials and i would like to reassure the noble lord that these figures are currently being validated with the national audit office. lord bethell. finally, as we saw, it's the anniversary of sir lindsay hoyle's election as speaker. and sir lindsay marked the date by interrupting the prime minister to lay down the rules to a conservative mp, andrew murrison, who'd found something else to do during borisjohnson‘s speech.
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we cannot read newspapers in the chamber. prime minister. absolutely right for honourable members to consult relevant documents that may contain information to the advantage of the betterment of the house. laughter. i can assure my honourable friend that his future is rosy. the prime minister possibly raising andrew murrison‘s hope of a ministerial comeback. that was wednesday in parliament. thank you for watching. i do hope you canjoin me at the same time tomorrow for the week in parliament — the only programme that offers you highlights from westminster and the uk's other parliaments. until then, from me, david cornock, bye for now.
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hello there. it's pretty cold out there at the moment across more southern parts of the uk. wednesday started with some frost quite widely in england and wales. what followed was a generally dry and sunny autumn day. but, for scotland and northern ireland, we saw more cloud moving in during the afternoon and the evening. you can see that clearly on the satellite picture from earlier on. that cloud moving very slowly southwards. we actually have weakening weather front bringing some damp and drizzly weather and lowering the cloud onto the hills. but we've got high pressure across the south, this is where we've got the clearer skies and we've got those lower temperatures as well. milder in the north, but colder in the south. maybe some frost around for mid wales, midlands and southwards. notjust some frost, some mist and fog too. that's going to be dense in places in the morning. gradually through the morning that will tend to lift and break. may take a while in the home
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counties, mind you. then we get sunshine coming through. but, for north wales, northern england it looks quite cloudy, damp and misty over the hills. further north, we've got more of a breeze from the atlantic. that's significant. it's blowing in a lot of cloud but the cloud breaks to the east of the high ground in a bit of scotland. and a bit of warm, 15 or 16 degrees. elsewhere ten to 12. similar to what we had on wednesday. this time in the morning we've got much more mist and fog around. and into friday morning, again there will be dense patches of fog. again it's more likely for the midlands southwards. this time on friday that fog will tend to lift more readily. the breeze will pick up a little bit more and we should see sunshine developing. further north, some low cloud around, misty over the hills. cloud tending to thin, some sunshine coming through away from the northwest. the temperatures ten to 12 degrees again. a little bit milder perhaps towards the south east, but the winds are picking up in the far southwest. the wind direction is changing just in time for the weekend. that's going to be quite significant because that's going to draw up some milder air and push it
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very slowly northwards. instead of the high pressure that's keeping it quiet at the moment, it'll be quite cold. that's moving away towards continental europe. and lowering pressure from iberia means we've got the threat of some rain coming up from the south. maybe the odd shower around on saturday rain across northern and western areas on sunday. temperatures gradually rising. higher temperatures towards the south possibly up to 16 or 17 c.
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welcome to bbc news. i'm mike embley. our top stories: joe biden says he's on course to win the us presidency but the vote counting continues. i'm not here to declare that we've won, but i'm here to report that when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners. the trump campaign launches legal action to try to stop the counting in michigan, pennsylvania, and georgia — and wants a recount in wisconsin. and we visit one so—called swing state where the record number of postal votes mean they've got a lot on their plates.

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