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tv   Wednesday in Parliament  BBC News  July 1, 2021 2:30am-3:01am BST

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the american entertainer bill cosby has had his conviction for sexual assault overturned by the supreme court of pennsylvania did it mr cosby has served over two years of his sentence in a state is a near philadelphia. originally he was found guilty of drugging and molesting a woman into thousand and four. the chinese president is attending a celebration of the communist party �*s 100th celebration. events are taking place in and around tiananmen square. he said the era of china being bullied is over. they ignored the purges and famines of the early decades of power. officials in the us of the threat of wildfire following several record—breaking days of high temperature. over 100 excess deaths are thought to have been caused by the heat. dozens of died as a result of conditions.
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now on bbc news, wednesday in parliament. hello again and welcome to wednesday in parliament, as labour's leader accuses the prime minister of failing to sack matt hancock for breaking covid rules. isn't the case, mr speaker, that while the british people are doing everything asked of them, it's one rule for them and another rule for everybody else? there was a new health secretary the following day, mr speaker, and the whole country can see that. changes are on the way to stop children missing school when their friends get covid. isn't it time we stopped this. self—isolation madness and get all pupils back in the _ classroom, where they belong?
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also in this programme, the truth is out there — in the house of lords. can my noble friend, the minister, reassure members of the public that the ministry of defence takes reports of unidentified objects in our airspace very seriously? but first, prime minister's questions — dominated this week by the fallout from the resignation of matt hancock as health secretary after he was filmed breaking social distancing rules with his adviser. he resigned the day after the pictures appeared. the labour leader, sir keir starmer, wanted to know why he hadn't been sacked immediately. on may the 5th, the day before that video was filmed, ollie bibby, a 27—year—old man from essex, died of leukaemia after seven weeks in hospital — where, due to covid restrictions, he was "barely able" to see his family. keir starmer raised ollie�*s case with the prime minister. when he was in hospital, he begged to see his family. but, following the rules, only one member of his family was allowed to see him. his mum said, "i'm livid. we did everything we were told to do, and the man who made
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the rules didn't. how can that be right?" so, i ask the prime minister again, how could he possibly think this matter was closed on friday morning? mr speaker, we all share the grief and the pain of ollie and his family, and millions of people up and down the country who have endured the privations that this country has been through in order to get the coronavirus pandemic under control. and that is why we had a change of health secretary the day after the story appeared, mr speaker. and that is why, actually, what we are doing as a government, instead of focusing on stuff going on within the westminster bubble, we are focusing on rolling out that vaccine, those vaccines at a rate that will make sure that people like ollie and his family do not have to suffer in the future. mr speaker, i can hardly think that the prime minister thinks
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it's appropriate in response to a question about ollie to suggest that this is, in his words, the "westminster bubble." the westminster bubble, in answer to that question, prime minister — before prime minister's questions this morning, i spoke to ollie�*s mum about the awful circumstances that she and her family have been through. she told me, prime minister, that every day, she watched the press conferences — every day they were on — and she hung onto every word that government ministers said so that she would know what her family could and couldn't do. and then, they followed the rules. this is not the westminster bubble. she told me that, for her and herfamily, this case isn't closed, and she speaks for millions of people. i ask the prime minister withdraw that when he gets up, withdraw that when he gets up. it's the wrong response to ollie�*s case. mr speaker, let me be absolutely clear with the right
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honourable gentleman — and i think the whole house and the whole country can see — that we have a new health secretary in place, and have had one since the day after the stories appeared. and that was entirely right and that was the right response to the situation. and of course he's right in what he says about the sacrifice made by families up and down the land, but the best response, in my view, to their grief and their pain and the sufferings that they have endured is to get on with a new health secretary, which is what we have. and with all the energy and application that we have to roll out those vaccines and allow the people of this country to work towards freedom day, which i devoutly hope will come onjuly the 19th. keir starmer thought there was a pattern here with borisjohnson defending ministers and advisers who broke the rules. every time, it's
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the same old story. isn't it the case, mr speaker, that while the british people are doing everything asked of them, it's one rule for them and another rule for everybody else? hear, hear! mr speaker, this government... there was a new health secretary the following day, mr speaker, and the whole country can see that, and we are getting on with our agenda of vaccinating the population of this country through the energy and application of the new secretary of state for health and the department of health. the snp raised the midnight deadline for eu nationals resident in the uk to apply for settled status. if they don't, they lose their rights to live and work here. ian blackford said there was a backlog of hundreds of thousand of cases. mr speaker, overnight, thousands of our friends and neighbours could become illegal immigrants. they are living in fears for theirjobs, theirfamilies and their livelihoods, all because this prime minister
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would keep his word. we know all too well the experience of this government's home office — dawn raids, vulnerable people deported, a hostile environment for the windrush generation. scotland's message to eu citizens is "you're welcome here. we want you to stay. this is your home." but this uk government is causing eu citizens untold stress. we've had huge numbers of people applying, and, of course, if there are people still who, after applying... there's been several extensions of the deadline. it's five years now since the brexit referendum. we've funded 72 organisations to help vulnerable eu citizens to understand what their rights are to make the applications. anybody applying within the deadline will of course have their case dealt with, and i urge them to get on with it. borisjohnson. the education secretary has promised an end to rules requiring children to self—isolate when a pupil in the same school "bubble" in england tests positive for
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covid. gavin williamson said any changes would come as part of a wider lifting of restrictions — the next stage of the "road map" due on the 19th ofjuly. with 375,000 children currently absent from school for covid—related reasons, mps vented their frustration at the measures. what i want to see is these restrictions, including bubbles, removed as quickly as possible, along with wider restrictions in society. i do not think it is acceptable that children should face greater restrictions over and above those of wider society, especially since they have given up so much to keep older generations safe over the last 18 months. further steps will be taken to reduce the number of children who have to self—isolate, including looking at the outcomes of a daily contact testing trial as we consider a new model for keeping children in schools and colleges. we constantly assess all
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available data and we expect to be able to confirm plans to lift restrictions and bubbles as part of step four. it's nine weeks until the new academic year begins, but we have no idea what the secretary of state plans to keep them in class. school leaders dread another last—minute announcement. they need time to put plans in place, and their staff also desperately need a break over the summer. the secretary of state has briefed that the bubbles policy will be replaced with daily testing from september. will testing take place in schools, and if so, what support will they receive to do it? time and again, labour's called for mitigations to keep children learning, including ventilation and nightingale classrooms. why has this not happened? the number of children missing school is rising every single - day, and families are l at their wits' end whilst the government is once again far too slow to react. - so, will the government act now and establish a rapid task- force with public health -
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directors and school leaders with a mandate to keep schools open safely? i the metropolitan borough of bury currently has over 2000 children self—isolating, negatively impacting their social, emotional and educational development. i welcome and recognise my honourable friend's commitment to keeping children in school, but does my right honourable friend — and i'm sure he does — recognise and agree that we cannot allow this situation to continue? surely, we must learn to live with covid—19 and remove the requirements for school bubbles, together with the current policy of self—isolation, at the earliest opportunity. well, mr speaker, we're very much wanting to go down that course of easing restrictions and ensuring as we come out of this pandemic, is that children are one of the greatest beneficiaries. so, my honourable friends and my minds are very much in the same place. the secretary of state -
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says his priority is to keep children in school, yet- hundreds of thousands of them are missing yet more precious time in the classroom, - as well as important| end—of—term rituals, and families are - angry and desperate. but, for many months, - organisations like the health and safety executive i and the royal society of medicine have been saying to protect our children, - one of the basic things that . needs to be done is to ensure better ventilation| in all classrooms. if you live in new york, - for example, you can consult a public website to see - the ventilation status of every single classroom in the state, i and there is serious investment in ventilation and filtration. why hasn't the secretary- of state done something similar here? last week, 375,000 pupils were off school through self—isolation, and there has been a 40% increase in antidepressants being prescribed to under—17—year—olds. given that children are extremely unlikely to suffer serious ill health as a result of catching covid and given the damage being done to their education and their mental health, isn't it time we stopped this self—isolation madness and get all pupils back in the classroom, where they belong? the secretary of state
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for health told the house on monday that we're going to have to live with the virus. now, what does that mean for schools? where's the plan for improved ventilation, for nightingale classrooms, so that children can socially distance within schools and not have to be sent home in bubbles? the virus is not going away — where's the plan? the honourable gentleman seems to have paid very little heed to some of the measures we have put in place in order to be able to ensure that children are able to get back in school. and it's probably not unsurprising considering his party's policies seem to be very rarely to encouraging making sure that schools are open. gavin williamson. you're watching wednesday in parliament with me, david cornock. mps angry at the government's
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cut to overseas aid have stepped up their campaign to force a vote on the issue. the share of national income earmarked for aid is being cut from 0.7% to 0.5%. ministers argue that the money is needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic at home. there was cross party concern about cuts. over the last two years, there have been considerable and brutal reductions in overseas development aid at a time of unprecedented global needs. when other nations across the globe are stepping up, the uk seems to be walking away, that is why today's debate is so important. it has nothing to do with the pressures of covid on the economy and everything to do with an ideological distrust of what aid is supposed to achieve. but aid works. aid saves lives. 0.7% wasn't a magic number, it was agreed by developed countries in the 19705 as a result of working out how much was needed to address local poverty at the time
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and how much those who could afford it should contribute. and some of borisjohnson�*s own mps questioned the effect on his other commitments, including again his predecessor. our right honourable friend the prime minister is rightly very keen to encourage girls education around the world. it's been a theme of conservative governments now for some considerable time. we have taken it up in g7 meetings, we've encouraged others around the world to take that theme up. and of course, a girl who is educated is less likely to be lured into modern slavery. however, if you cut the programmes from dealing with modern slavery, that girl may not be able to get into education because you may... the slave drivers, the gangs, the criminal gangs may have got to her first. a third of all girls in secondary schools in africa drop out because they become pregnant, yet we are cutting by 85% the work that the united nations family planning agency does across the world.
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85% cut! it is not, as my right honourable friend for maidenhead indicated, joined up government. there were a few voices supporting the government's decision and questioning the rebels... i am concerned with some of my colleagues that are being so generous with other people's money, a notable socialist behaviour i might add. perhaps they can explain to my dudley north taxpayers why we should spend £15 billion overseas when my residents cannot find council houses and why we still have homeless people on our streets, some of them brave veterans. but mps called again for a meaningful vote on the change to the figure and clarity on when 0.7% would return. the minister defended the government's position. the uk, looking back, has met the target of 0.7% every year since 2013. so it is with great caution we fall short of that target now. but no other country can even match that record. and i'm proud of that and i know there's been some
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debate over whether .7 is right or .5, it is doable and what is tackable, but the government are committed to getting back to .7%. james duddridge. now, is there anybody out there? the us government has said it has no explanation for dozens of unidentified flying objects seen by military pilots. a pentagon report released last week said of 144 reports made about the phenomena since 2004, all but one remain unexplained. questions were asked inevitably in the house of lords. my lords, for decades, people who have been concerned with ufos have been dismissed as fantasists. but now the us the director of national intelligence, who oversees 17 intelligence
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agencies, has published a report saying the data ufos is inconclusive. the report offers several possible explanations and does not rule out these could be military aircraft with very advanced capabilities or even extraterrestrial phenomena. either way, can my noble friend the minister reassure members of the public that the ministry of defence takes reports of unidentified objects in our airspace very seriously and will she consider publishing a detailed assessment of the data we hold? what i would say to my noble friend is the mod deals with actual threats substantiated by evidence and the government continues to take any potential threat to the uk seriously, the integrated view of the defence my command paper set out in march set up the assessment of threats we face and how we will meet them. my lords, unidentified does not mean suspicious. - and does my noble friend the minister recognise .
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that the us report reflectsl referred to says there is no clear indication that there is any nondirectional- explanation for the 144 - sightings that it specifies? and the idea that in an era of mobile phone cameras, | drones and frequent travellers could possibly be alien - spaceships whizzing about - undetected in our atmosphere on a regular basis is not i think very plausible? i it is much more likely- that these blurred images have boring explanations, alas. does my noble friend agree? i think the important point in which i wish to reassure your lordships is that the uk air defence community detect and monitor all flying air systems 24 hours a day to provide and identify air pictures as part of the uk's national security posture and our commitment to the integrity of nato airspace. now, that is supported by typhoon aircraft raf lossiemouth and conningsby, they're hold at high readiness, ready to intercept any threat to uk airspace. can i say to the minister,
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given the subject, it is very reassuring to see her here physically and not beamed in. laughter. the pentagon have said that unidentified aerial phenomena are actually a serious national security threat. notwithstanding what what she just said, does she agree with that evidence analysis, the pentagon analysis of the threat from unidentified aerial phenomena? and therefore is the uk suffering from a similar threat the us itself has identified, and given that the mod has abandoned the ufo desk in 2009, where are such sightings to be reported and who to? the truth is out there, minister. and hopefully it will be in your answer as well. what i would say to the noble lord is again the underlying important point is the security of our airspace and i've
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already indicated how we address that potential threat and how we are well sustained and well provided to deal with any such potential threat, but we regard threats as having to exist in the first place, we regard them as having to be substantiated by evidence, and that is because we need to know what it is we are addressing and how best we can address it. we of course are aware of the us assessment, i would just say to the noble lord that the mod has no plans to conduct its own report into uap because in over 50 years, no such report has indicated the existence of any military threat to the united kingdom. lady goldie. the chair of the commons transport committee has lambasted highways england for failing to fit safety technology on so—called smart motorways. the roads allow traffic to drive on the hard shoulder, with bays for motorists to use if their vehicle breaks down. in april, the transport secretary announced that no
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more smart motorways without hard shoulders would be able to open without additional safety measures in place. in 2016, the transport committee was told that technology that detects when a vehicle has broken down in a moving lane would be introduced straightaway. but in fact the system will only be installed on all motorways by september next year. what you are saying is following the 9th of may 2016, all lane running smart motorways were fitted with stopped vehicle technology, detection technology? no, that is not what i'm saying. right. 0k. so in that case, you didn't correctly respond to us when you said you're confident in works that will be part of standard roll—out going forward? forgive me, but it was part of standar roll—out going forward. admittedly, i've could have been clearer when i made the commitments that there was still development of the system that was necessary, but it was included as part of the standard specification from may 2018 and as wasjust described, we
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are undertaking a retrofit... i'm not interested in 2018. i'm interested in the day after the 9th of may 2016. and whether you were then delivering all lanes running without that technology. because you said that you would not. sorry, i said that we would be part of... part of standard roll—out going forward? yes. and it was. going forward was as of may 2018. come on! i'm sorry, that it is not good enough. when you say going forward, it doesn't mean in two years' time. that doesn't need me as a lawyer to say that. we all know that is the case. i think sometimes it is better to put the hands up and just say it turned out not to be the case because we had supply issues or something else. but to give me that answer, i'm sorry, it is just not good enough for parliament. now, borisjohnson may "devoutly hope" that covid restrictions are lifted onjuly the 19th and it's fair
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to say his hope is shared by amateur singers whose frustrations were voiced in the house of lords. my lords, there is no specific evidence that i can see to support this restriction on choirs. to limit our inside choir to six people when last night at wembley 40,000 people were singing. the night before, my lords, they covered the roof at wimbledon, and people were cheering to the rafters! that, my lords, is apparently allowed, when indoor choirs, where they can exercise proper social distancing, is not, my lords, this is nonsense. the government should reverse this immediately. well, i am sure the noble lord is aware that the events to which he refers are part of the events research programmes where particular public health measures taken for those attending. the evidence is clear that, sadly, singing does increase the risk of transmission
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and hence we have the guidance that we have been given. my lords, bearing in mind that on monday in the other placel the new health secretary hoped that church congregations - would soon be able to sing i together, can the noble lord the minister, sorry, - noble baroness the minister, please give us some clarity on this and say what plansl the government has now to review their research. on congregational singing - with the use of face coverings giving that singing is not an add—on to worship . but it is intregal to it. i absolutely recognise the right reverend's final remarks about singing being intregal to worship. we continue to be led by the science and the experts and to follow the public health advice.
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as soon as that changes, we will of course update the guidance. lady barron. finally, some sports news and today's political leaders didn't get where they are today without spotting a potential bandwagon to jump on. who knew the prime minister was such a keen football fan? yes! they did score! mr speaker, i know members from across the house will want to congratulate gareth southgate and his team on their 2—0 win against germany at wembley last night, the first time the men's team had beaten germany for 55 years in in a knockout game and we wish them all the best for their match against ukraine on saturday and we will all be hoping against hope that this time finally football is coming home. can i also congratulate the england team for yesterday's performance, having been at wembley for the euro '96 semifinal and experiencing first—hand the agony of that defeat, yesterday's result was truly incredible, and i know the whole house will wish the team the very best of luck on saturday,
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the whole house will wish them the best of luck on a saturday i'm sure. can i congratulate england for their victory last night, j and of course wish them - all the best in the tournament ahead? of course, they have done well. they have won most of- the matches with the exception of the game against scotland, where of course they failed i to score a goal. ian blackford with the football results. that's the final whistle for this wednesday in parliament. i hope you canjoin me at the same time tomorrow for the week in parliament. until then, from me, david cornock, and all the team here, bye for now.
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hello there. the first couple of days ofjuly look pretty similar to how we ended the month ofjune on, and that's with quite a lot of dry weather around with some sunshine. but there will be some showers around, too. generally isolated, but they will be quite heavy and slow moving where you catch them, as there will be very little wind to move them on. that's because we're in between weather systems, as you can see here, this weak area of high pressure building in. this is the area of low pressure which has brought a lot of grey, damp weather across eastern parts of the country throughout the week so far. it will still be close enough to bring further grey, damp, drizzly weather from east anglia up towards northumberland, but a much drier and brighter day, i think, for the southeast of england. elsewhere, early cloud clearing to allow for some sunny spells, but we could see a few isolated showers here and there. perhaps a bit of low cloud and mist lapping on to western england and west wales' coastline. and it will be warmer where you have the sunshine — low 20s celsius — but cooler along the east coast. so a better looking day for wimbledon for thursday and friday. more sunshine around.
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it'll feel warmer, but it does turn more unsettled as we head on into the weekend thanks to a new area of low pressure. through thursday night, any showers should tend to fade away. and again, we'll see variable amounts of cloud, a bit of mist and fog here and there and some clear spells. and for most of us, i think those temperatures holding in double figures, the odd single value there under clear skies and some of the glens in the north. so to end the week, again, a similar pressure pattern, but this area of low pressure is heading towards our shores just in time for the weekend. so for friday, then, there will be variable cloud to start with, a bit of mist too, but it looks like that will melt away. we should see some good spells of sunshine. the thinking is now we could see a few more showers around on friday, pretty much anywhere, but especially across central and southern scotland. it will be heavy, and with light winds, they will be slow—moving as well. but top temperatures, again, 22—23 celsius. then into the weekend, low pressure takes over, it becomes more unsettled for all of us. and you can see it moving here from the southwest. could bring a spell of more prolonged rain across england and wales on saturday. further north could see some heavy,
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slow moving showers. into sunday, it looks like the whole of the uk will see a mixture of sunny spells and heavy, perhaps thundery showers. so temperature—wise, because there will be more cloud around and showers, not quite as warm as how we've ended the week — temperatures ranging from high teens to the low 20s.
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the minister defended the government's position. welcome to bbc news. our top stories: three years after he was sent to prison for sexual assault the american entertainer bill cosby has his conviction overturned. the era of china being bullied is over. the chinese president makes an impassioned speech as they celebrate their centenary. dozens of canadians die in north america's heatwave. president biden says the climate threat is now critical. and we look at the legacy of former us defense secretary donald rumsfeld who has has died at the age 88.


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