14/12/2016 Daily Politics


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Intervenion has not been popular since Iraq.


But is the carnage in Aleppo, the rise of Isis, the migration


consequences for the West when it does not intervene?


A deal to evacuate rebel fighters and civilians from Aleppo


appears to have stalled, with heavy shelling reported


But, as the siege comes to a bloody end, is it time for Britain


and other Western powers to rethink their global role?


Strikes on the railways, strikes in post offices,


Are we heading for another winter of discontent?


The Prime Minister may well have a spring in her step


as she goes in to the final PMQs of the year, with new figures this


morning showing a fall in unemployment and a rise


The newest member of the Women and Equalities Select Committee,


Philip Davies, and the co-leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas,


All that in the next hour and a half, and with us


for the whole of the programme today are the Work and Pensions


Minister Penny Mordaunt, and the Shadow Transport Secretary


Now, the planned evacuation of injured civilians and defeated


Syrian rebels from eastern Aleppo has been delayed and there


are reports of a resumption of fighting in the city.


A ceasefire was declared in Aleppo yesterday in order to allow


civilians and injured rebels to evacuate.


It was overseen by Russia and Turkey.


Government buses were brought in to rebel areas this morning


but they are now reported to have left.


Opposition sources have suggested that Shia militias loyal


to President Assad had been blocking people from leaving.


And fresh fighting will dash hopes for those civilians


In recent days, though, hundreds of civilians have crossed


from the remaining rebel-held areas in the east of Aleppo


to government-controlled areas in the west of the city.


Yesterday, the United Nations claimed that pro-government forces


had been killing people, including women and children,


on the spot in their homes and on the street.


The UN human rights office said they had seen reports


of up to 82 civilians, including 11 women and 13 children,


being executed in the days running up to yesterday's ceasefire.


Of course, these reports are as yet unconfirmed, although the UN has


made them. Yesterday, MPs were granted


an emergency debate It included a notable


contribution from the former Chancellor George Osborne -


his first speech from I think we are deceiving


ourselves in this Parliament, if we believe that we have no


responsibility for what has The tragedy in Aleppo did not


come out of a vacuum. Of American leadership,


British leadership. I take responsibility,


as someone who sat on the National Security Council


throughout those years. Parliament should take its


responsibility because of what it prevented being done


and there were multiple Once this House, the Commons,


took its decision, it I believe it did have an impact


on American politics. and then think our decisions have no


impact on the rest of the world. I think it did cause a delay


in the administration's action. It did cause Congress


to get cold feet. Tens of thousands of people have


been killed as a result. Millions of refugees have been sent


from their homes across the world. We have allowed a terrorist state


to emerge, in the form of Isis, Key Allies like Lebanon


and Jordan are destabilised. The refugee crisis has transformed


the politics of Europe, allowed fascism to rise


in Eastern Europe, created extremist parties in Western Europe


and Russia, for the first time since Henry Kissinger kicked them


out of the Middle East in the 1970s, is back as the decisive player


in that region. That is the price


of not intervening. George Osborne in the House of


Commons yesterday. Penny Mordaunt, do you agree with Mr Osborne that


what is happening in Aleppo and other things are a result of what he


called a vacuum of Western leadership, which London must share?


Well, ultimately the responsibility for what's going on lies with Assad


and with his supporters but I think that George is right that Parliament


has to do take responsibility for the consequences of the decision


that it took back in 2013. There were consequences to that. We didn't


just do nothing, we gave a green light to Assad to proceed with the


atrocities that he was committing and we, at that moment, lost any


ability to influence our American allies in getting involved. More


than that, you did influence the American allies. When they saw the


House of Commons voting against any intervention, President Obama


immediately changed his position and sided with the British House of


Commons. And people sometimes think that that vote was a vote about


going to war. It wasn't. What it did was take the option of military


force off the table and that was a grave error. You were one of the 220


Labour MPs who voted against the government on Syria. Do you regret


that now? No, I don't talk when you were talking about intervention, we


got to describe what that intervention would be and how it


would secure an improvement in the situation, and Labour quite rightly,


in my view, tried to set up a framework to identify the criteria


by which intervention would be justified unsuccessful. What was the


main element of a? That you know what the objective is going to be,


who we are trying to get rid of, who we would replace it with and who we


were going to bomb. And what were the main objectives behind the


government motion? It didn't commit us to any specific action. It


condemned the use of chemical weapons, which was what a sad was


doing against his own people, in that week, against a school. It kept


the option open for military force and it was our chance to say, don't


do these things, we know where you're heading, don't do them. We


lost that opportunity. You lost the vote but why did you then


effectively give up? Couldn't you, as events on the ground took several


turns for the worse, have returned to this issue in the Commons? The


Prime Minister did not want to go back to the Commons until he was


confident he was going to win the vote and during part of this time, I


was Minister of State for the Armed Forces and spent many hours with


some of our generals sitting down, sometimes on a one-to-one basis,


with Labour MPs, some of which were in tears during the conversation


because it was a very difficult subject for them. Trying to persuade


them, trying to methodically go through what would be the


consequences of doing one thing or another. It was at the point where


we knew we had that support from, I have to say, some very brave Labour


MPs who were facing, at the time, incredible intimidation not to


support the government, that we were able to take it back to the floor of


the House. One of those MPs was John Woodcock, chairman of the Labour


backbench defence committee. Let's have a look at what he had to say in


the debate. I still feel sick at the idea


of the then Leader of the Opposition going from that vote,


into the whip's office, and congratulating himself and them


on "stopping a war." Well, look what is happening today


and look what's happened over What do you say to that? The motion


is predicated on the basis that if we doubted we would have secured an


improvement in the situation and there is some causative link being


made between this vote in the House of Commons and the subsequent


slaughter in Syria. What could be worse than the situation at the


moment? That we do not know. I think Patrick Cockburn described Syria as


3-D chess with nine players and no rules. It is hard to imagine


anything worse, isn't it? It certainly is. Ed Miliband played a


major part, indeed celebrated, the defeat of the government in that


famous motion in 2013, and yet didn't turn up yesterday. Well, I've


no reason why he wasn't there yesterday. I wouldn't suggest that


there was some sort of celebration on an important issue. I know John


said that but he's got his own views on this. I do remember Douglas


Alexander was very sombre about the whole process. Emily Thornberry, who


I think also voted against the motion in 2013, is now calling to


get aid. She's calling for the use of unmanned drones. I'm not sure


what drones are not unmanned. I think by definition a drone is not


manned or it would be an aircraft. I think what she's talking about our


drones that can carry cargo. How many of these drones do we have? I


don't know the answer to that. We can't do that. We don't have these


drones, do we? Not to deliver packages of age. We don't have cargo


carrying drones? You might have thought the Shadow Foreign Secretary


might object that first. That is the need to be addressed. You either


address them by cargo planes, if they can be secured. How could you


put a British cargo plane over Aleppo when the Russians on the


Syrians are surrounding the area with missiles? Are you going to


pilot that? Absolutely not. It is the right point. It can only be done


if the situation has been secured and that has been agreed that those


cargo planes can access. I accept entirely that, as we speak right


now, that has got to be... She also called for the use of GPS guided


parachutes. These are parachutes that are dropped out from very high


altitude planes that may avoid the SAM missile, but I'm not sure, and


you can then, with the digital technology, helped to guide where


the parish of my client. How many GPS guided parachutes do we have? I


don't know. We can't do that. That is not an option. We don't have any.


So the Shadow Foreign Secretary calls for two things to be done,


neither of which the UK has the capability to do. You criticise the


Government. Is it not incumbent on the Shadow Foreign Secretary to find


out what she's talking about? It's incumbent on us all to try to


encourage the circumstances where we can get aid supplies into this


dreadfully stressed area, where people are absolutely desperate, by


whatever means, but clearly that's got to be by diplomatic pressure and


agreement, to make sure that there is a safe and secure area for that


to happen. Have you followed Secretary of State Kerry's schedule


in recent months? Nobody could have done more to try and bring this...


He's never off the plane. He's in a different time zone every week. Is


it credible that the Russians and the Syrians, given that we know how


they behave, from Chechnya to how Syria was even before the Civil War


broke out, that they will facilitate humanitarian aid to people they want


to destroy? Absolutely, and even... The Russians have signed up to a UN


resolution saying that they will do this but it is absolutely the case


that they have consistently prevented aid from getting through


and they are using starvation as a weapon of war against their own


civilian population. Rather than hand-wringing, shouldn't the British


Government just admit that, given decisions taken in the past, it is


pretty powerless to do anything? Of course it can urged to dramatic


initiatives but as long as China and Russia can control the security


council, that can't happen, America can't make it happen. We should


admit our strategy, which was to get rid of Assad, has failed. Well, I


think that the opportunities that we had to avoid what's happening - and,


of course, we can't take the blame away from Assad and his supporters -


but yes, we have missed opportunities to try and mitigate


this and we now have very few options, other than the immense


diplomatic efforts that are being made. OK, what do you make of the


Morning Star's front page quoting the liberation of Aleppo. That was a


huge error, and it was ill judged. It shouldn't have been expressed in


that way. Thank you for that. Southern Rail passengers face


a second day of chaos on the network due to an ongoing strike


by train drivers. However, talks between the company


and the unions are being held today to try to bring an end


to the dispute. Another 24-hour stoppage is due


to take place on Friday. But it's not just rail commuters


who are being affected We're a long way from a winter


of discontent, but a string of strikes are due to arrive just


in time for Christmas. Today is the second of three days


of strike action by the Aslef train hundreds of thousands of passengers


on Southern Rail services. The RMT union is due to stage


further walk-outs next week. Post Office workers will also stage


five days of walk-outs from Monday in a dispute over jobs,


pensions and branch closures. And the Unite Union announced


yesterday that Argos delivery drivers at its key


distribution centre will also strike for three days


from the 20th December. New figures out today show the UK


has lost 304,000 working days to strikes in the 12 months


to October this year. That's less than the average


over the past 20 years, when around half a million working


days have been lost And it's just a fraction


of the 29 million working days lost So is there anything


the Government can do? The Conservatives have already


passed the Trade Union Act - delivering their manifesto pledge


to introduce minimum turnouts and tougher thresholds for strikes


in essential public services. Could ministers go further


by changing the law to ban strikes or require minimum levels of service


when industrial action takes place? Transport Secretary Chris Grayling


said yesterday that he would rule Penny more dant. What did that mean,


do you think? Chris Grayling hinting yesterday that the Government may


look at changing the law on strike action? Is that something the


Government is now seriously considering? Well, as you heard,


he's not ruled anything out. No doubt he will be working through


what those options might be. I think we are in a new territory with


regard to the rail strike. I think that passengers have put up with


this for a long period of time and it has been extreme. And the


situation that has led to the strike, I think, is not justifiable.


No-one is losing a job. Right. You are blaming the unions, clearly,


rather than the company in this. But would it be warranted to change the


law, in terms of perhaps banning strikes by railway drivers? I think


that where you have a situation where a strike is not justifiable,


where you haven't met those thresholds. But they have met the


thresholds. The point about this, if you look at the figures I quoted.


The level of industrial unrest historically, is pretty low and the


strike action on Southern Ray, it followed a -- on Southern Rail, it


was legal, it met the threshold, what do you mean - in cases that are


not justifial. I think what we have seen is so bad, so detrimental,


people losing jobs because they cannot continue their role.


Commuters even contemplating bringing in their own train in order


to get them to work. It is extreme stuff. So I do think it is worth


looking at the issues. What is it you want to look at? That's the


point. I understand your sentiment. You have said just there "it is


worth looking at the law." What would you change to stop the strike


happening? Well, there is nothing on the cards being announced by the


Department for Transport as yet. But I think we do need to recognise that


the public has had enough. They are fed up of this. I have great


sympathy. My constituents are affected by this. We really do need


to look at protecting them. Interestingly, it's not - the


situation on Southern is not just the issue around the union, there


was some issues around the infrastructure that the company was


managing which the Department for Transport has moved to address.


There are hints there that the law is going to be changed to try to


prevent this sort of strike happening, do you agree with Penny


it has gone on too longs it is unfair on the commuters and that the


unions are to blame I agree it has gone on too long and people are


suffering greatly as a result but I am delighted that at long last,


dragged kicking and screaming, Chris Grayling is at ACAS today. It is the


very thing we have been asking for, unconditional discussions. But Chris


Grayling has a habit of saying this, if he doesn't like the outcome, he


takes more and more Draconian steps. To suggest you go down the path of


starting to ban strikes in a company that compares very favourably with


European counter-Nats terms of industrial action. -- counterparts.


Do you think he will do that Well he is not ruling it out. That's his


position, for him to deny people the ability to withdraw their labour is


a Draconian step a slippery slope. It won't work, that's for sure. The


response would be - there would be great outcry. Do you support the


strike by Aslef on Southern? It is about a critical safety issue. I


support. I'm asking if you support it. Absolutely. It is highlighting a


hugely important issue that's being dismissed continuously and relegated


and denigrated to a discussion about buttons. Can you tell me how many


accidents have been on those trains which are driver-only operated, as


opposed to having the driver and the guard? Out with the Croydon


incident, we have - there are ten ongoing investigations with the rail


accident investigation branch... Who to do with the doors? Eight are


directly-connected with driver-only operational activities. Right. So


there is a real safety concern. I mean, we've had Government ministers


dismissing the issue of safety that has been put forward by Aslef. Well,


that speaks for it, doesn't it? The body that looks at safety on the


railway has said it is not a safety issue. And also, where you have


Southern services that currently have a second person on the train,


you are still going to have that. You are still going to have that.


So, for example, if a passenger needs assistance. So, it is not the


case that that is not going to happen or anyone is losing their


jobs and the body that is charged with looking at safety on the


railway says there is no issue around this change. Right. That's


how trains are operating elsewhere. There are 30% of trains on these


lines that are driver-only operated. Well, what's wrong with them? If


they work and operate perfectly well. What is eight problem with


having them on other lines? When you have something where you have


problems with, you deal with it. We used to chuff children up chimneys


and we stopped it because we didn't think it was a very good idea. Are


you comparing that? When you see a lady being dragged down the platform


and she sustained life-changing issues. And that was with a


driver-only train. Well, you have a driver with the responsibility of


looking at 12 screens, the size of mobile phones, and we are saying


take on the responsibility... Why did the boss of Aslef support


driver-only operated trains on Thameslink? It is horses for


courses. If you have different circumstances. Why did he support


it? If it is such a big safety issue and I take the point there have been


these instances perhaps without the guard you cannot see up and down the


train in the same way if you have a guard and driver, why did the boss


of Aslef give it the go-ahead on Thameslink? Well, it is horses for


courses. What does that mean? Well I will explain, if you have 12


carriages coming out of Victoria and curved platforms where drivers


simply cannot see, they don't have full vision, we have all seen the


hundreds of people on those platforms, it is a dangerous


environment. That wasn't the case on Thameslink. Mick will speak for


himself -- Mick will have to speak for that, I don't know the answer.


But I'm trying to explain to you, this is the safety-critical issue at


the heart of the matter now at arbitration.


Can I just ask. Why is it then that Her Majesty's Chief Inspectorate of


Rail wanes the rail accident investigation branch, say they have


no safety concerns for driver-only operated trains? And then why is it


that the rail safety Standards Board said while there is nothing


inherently wrong with the mechanism, what they did say it s it makes an


accident more likely to happen and if it does happen, it will be


severe. Now, I take that in terms of risk assessment, as sufficient


notice that something can happen and it has happened and we can readily


see this. Who is going to bear responsibility if somebody is badly


injured in these circumstances? The driver, we are asking too much. Can


I ask Penny, would you support a ban on strikes of this kind? I would be


reluctant to do anything that would infringe on someone's ability to


withdraw their labour. I think we need to see how those new


regulations, when they come into affect work. But, in situations like


this, it is clear that perhaps more needs to be done. Like a ban. The


public I think have had enough. And I think we are right to look at


these issues. All right. Now, have you heard the one


about Ukip's Christmas party? Why are Jeremy Corbyn's Christmas


cards on the floor? And, what is David Cameron's


favourite Christmas song. Yes, it's that time of year


for bad cracker jokes and me and Jo Co have been writing


them all year. Sadly, they all got rejected,


so these come courtesy of Twitter, from where TV channel UK Gold has


compiled the best list But, forget about


Christmas crackers. We all know that there's only one


thing that matters this yuletide. And that's what's wrapped


under your Christmas tree. Shoppers are falling over themselves


to get their hands on this year's But all the gold,


frankincense and myrrh Yes, it's time for our


Guess the Year contest. Just tell us which


year this happened. A warning - this does


contain flash photography. # Will she know how


much I loved her? # We've got a little


world of our own #. This disease that has changed


an industry finally defeated. # I don't want to run away


but I can't take it #. I'd like to again sincerely


apologise for the huge offence that # Why does my heart


tell me that I am #. The bed shook, my husband


jumped out of bed, panicked, he ran out,


I jumped up and we thought, # Round, round, baby, round,


round # And we'll ride still fired


on the beach down low # I don't need nobody,


got my honeys when I go # Round, baby, round,


round, spinning out on me # I don't need no man,


got my kicks for free #. To be in with a chance of winning


a Daily Politics' mug, send your answer to our special


quiz email address. Entries must arrive by 12.30 today,


and you can see the full terms and conditions for Guess


The Year on our website. That can mean only one thing - Prime


Minister's Questions is on its way. We are going to talk about the


unemployment figures and social care development. Another decent set of


unemployment and even average earnings figures for the Government


Indeed and relief I think again in the post-referendum world that they


are not seeing signs, so far, of what many people warned of before


the vote. And I think, certainly, particularly in the Treasury, I


think there is a view that at some point this will come to pass. Maybe


they want to be proven right because they made so many dire predictions.


Also, there is the situation that the Chancellor, we know, is more


interested in a deal that is with the rest of the EU that's more like


the current system we have now. Close to the status quo and if there


are political consequences that happen, that may make his case. Far


be it from me to suggest that the Chancellor wants the economy to


suffer, but there is a difference between political convenience and


holding their breath in anticipation of things going wrong and the


evidence is not suggesting that right at this stage. The thing to


watch will be the inflation average earnings figures. The misery gap.


Inflation was up to 1.2% on the CPI measure but average earnings, I


forget whether it includes bonuses or not, they go to 2.6, so double


Exactly. But inflation could catch up and will average earnings go


ahead and go 3% or not? The expectation is that there will be,


what some people call the misery gap, if you feel more and more skint


every year, we saw that for a long time during the years of the crash.


That hits consumer spending And therefore, hits politics. The


Government has been criticised for being slow to recognise the maybe


"crisis" is not too strong a word, developing in social care there.


Have been developments on that, too? There have and last week we were


discussing that this had been left out of the Autumn Statement. No


mention. But the local Government settlement, the amount to councils


have not been settled that. Is now officially done, it will be


announced tomorrow but we know, now, that what the Government is going to


do is not give extra cash to social care, which many people say


absolutely has to happen but they will allow councils to increase


council tax bills by up to 3% for the next two years... Per year Per


year. Instead of, what they were going to be allowed to do, to


increase it by up to 2%, for three years in a row. So what they are


going to do is allow councils to increase council tax bills a bit


more in the next couple of years to try to plug the gap but it is not


actually extra cash and most people say that's desperately needed. It


may well come up to This I had the ministerial


colleagues and others in addition to my duties in this House, and I shall


have further such meetings later today to talk can I take the


opportunity to wish you, Mr Speaker, and all members of the House a merry


Christmas. In the light of the Foreign Secretary's display of


chronic foot in mouth disease, when deciding on cabinet positions, does


the Prime Minister now regret that placing F O by his name should have


been an instruction, not a job offer?




LAUGHTER Order! There is far too much noise


in the chamber. We've heard the question but I want to hear the


Prime Minister's answer. Thank you, Mr Speaker. First of all, I join the


honourable gentleman in wishing everybody happy Christmas. I will,


of course, have an opportunity to do that on Monday when I'm sure the


House will be as full for the Senate on the European council meeting.


LAUGHTER -- statement on the European council


meeting. I have to say that the Foreign Secretary is doing an


absolutely excellent job. He is, in short, and F F S, a finer Foreign


Secretary. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Maistre constituency has a really


bright future ahead... I want to hear the voice of Cannock Chase!


Thank you. Rugeley has a really bright future ahead but only if we


are ambitious, bold and visionary in our redevelopment plans. Will my


right honourable friend outline how the Government's industrial strategy


can create the conditions which will help us build a sustainable local


economy and highly skilled jobs for future generations? She is


absolutely right that communities across this country have a bright


future ahead of them, but we need to ensure that we create the conditions


that future. That's why we will be producing a modern industrial


strategy that will show how we can encourage strategic strengths of the


UK, deal with our underlying weaknesses. It will enable companies


to grow, to invest in the UK, to provide those jobs for the future,


but we also need to make sure that that prosperity is spread across the


whole of the UK and is prosperity for everyone. Jeremy Corbyn. Thank


you, Mr Speaker. That I start by wishing yourself, Mr Speaker, and


all members of the House and everyone who works in the House a


very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Sadly, Mr


Speaker, our late colleague Jo Cox will not be celebrating Christmas


this year with her family. She was murdered and taken from us. So I


hope the Prime Minister - I'm sure she will - will join me in


encouraging people to download the song which many members helped to


create as a tribute to Jo's life and work and in everlasting memory of


her. The right honourable gentleman is absolutely right to raise this


issue. I'm sure everybody in this House, we should send a very clear


message, download this single for the Jo Cox foundation. It is a very


important cause and we all recognise that Jo Cox was a fine member of


this House and would have carried on contributing significantly to this


House and to this country, had she not been brutally murdered. I think


the Chancellor is waving the VAT on this single. Everybody involved and


it gave their services for free. I am having a photograph with them


later this afternoon. LAUGHTER


and, once again, let's just encourage everybody to download the


single. The Prime Minister was of course referring, for the benefit of


those referring outside, to the Parliamentary Rock band MP4. I


applaud the work of MP4 but for the benefit of their quality, I am not a


member of it! I thank her for that answer. Social care is crucial. It


provides support for people to live with dignity. Yet Age UK research


has found that 1.2 million older people are currently not receiving


the care that they need. Will the Prime Minister AXA is a crisis in


social care? -- is a crisis. Government I have consistently said


that we recognise the pressures on social care so it might be helpful


if I set out what the government is doing in social care. We recognise


the precious. That is why the government is putting more money


into social care and at the end of this Parliament, that will be


billions of pounds extra. We have enabled the social care precept for


local authorities. We recognise that there are immediate pressures on


social care, that's why this will be addressed by my right honourable


friend, the Secretary of State for communities and local and in the


local government finance settlement tomorrow. But we also recognise that


this is not just about money, it is about delivery. There was a


difference in delivery across the country. We need to make sure reform


takes place we see best practice in terms of integration of health and


social care across the country but we also need to ensure that we have


a longer term solution to give people the reassurance for the


future that there is a sustainable system, which will ensure that they


are receiving the social care that they need in old age, and that is


what the Government is working on. There is a short-term issue, there


is a medium-term need to make local authorities and health services are


delivering consistently, and there is a long-term solution we need to


find. Care Quality Commission warned as recently as October that evidence


suggests we have approached a tipping point so instead of passing


the buck on to local government, shouldn't the Government take


responsibility itself for the crisis? Could the Prime Minister


take this opportunity to inform the House exactly how much was cut from


the social care budget in the last Parliament? We have been putting


more money into social care in this House...


more money into social care in this We have been putting more money into


social care and health. We recognise the pressures that exist and that's


why we will be looking at the short-term pressures that exist in


relation to social care. But you cannot look at this question as


simply being an issue of money in the short term. It is about


delivery, it is about reform, it is about the social care system working


with the health system. That's why this is an issue that is being


addressed not just by the Secretary of State for communities and local


and but also the Secretary of State for Health. But if we are going to


give people the reassurance that they need in the longer term that


their social care needs will be met, this isn't just about looking for a


short-term solution, it's about finding a way forward that can give


a sustainable system of social care for the Prime Minister doesn't seem


to be aware that 4.6 billion was cut from the social care budget in the


last Parliament. And that her talk of putting it on to local government


ought to be taken for what it is, a con. To % of council tax is clearly


a nonsense. 95% of councils use this social care precept and it raised


less than 3% of the money they planned to spend on adult social


care. Billions seem to be available for tax giveaways to corporations,


not mentioned in the Autumn Statement, underfunded, and many


elderly people left isolated and in crisis because of the lack of


government funding of social care. We see many councils around the


country that have taken the benefit of the social care precept and have,


as a result, seen more people being able to access social care and needs


being met. Sadly, there are also some councils across the country,


some Labour councils, who haven't taken the opportunity, where we do


see a worse performance in relation to social care. But he once again


refers to the issue of money. I might remind him that at the last


election, the then Shadow Chancellor said that if Labour were in


government there would be not a penny more for local authorities and


also that when recently asked about spending more money on social care,


Labour's Shadow Health Secretary said when he was asked where the


money would come from, "Ooh, well, we're going to have to come up with


a plan for that". Mr Speaker, this government has cut social care and


she will knows it and she well knows the effect of that. She also well


knows that raising council tax has a different outcome in different parts


of the country. For example, if you raise the council tax in Windsor and


Maidenhead, you get quite a lot of money. If you raise a council tax


precept in Liverpool or Newcastle, you get a lot less. Is she saying


that older people, frail, elderly, vulnerable people are less valuable


in our big cities than they are in wealthier parts of the country? Mr


Speaker, this crisis is a crisis for many elderly people who are living


in a very difficult situation because of this. It is also a crisis


for the National Health Service. Those people who are in hospital


cannot be discharged because there is nowhere for them to go to, so


I'll ask her again - the crisis affects individuals, families and it


affects the national Health Service, so why doesn't she do something


really bold - cancel the corporation tax cut and put the money into


social care instead? The right honourable gentleman has quoted


Newcastle council in the list that he set. I have to say, Newcastle


council is one of the councils where we saw in September virtually no


delayed discharges, so elderly people were not being held up in


hospital and they didn't need to be and when they didn't want to be, so


what this shows is that it is possible for councils to deliver on


the ground. So you see councils like Newcastle and Torbay doing that, and


you see councils like evening not using the social care precept and a


different result it can -- Ealing. The worst performing council -- the


difference between the worst performing council and the best is a


20 fold difference. That is not about the difference of funding but


about the difference of delivery. Councils work very hard to try to


cope with a 40% cut in their budgets across the whole country and the


people that pay the price are those who are stuck in hospital, who


should be allowed to go home, and those that aren't getting the care


and support they need. This is a social care system that deep in


crisis. The crisis is made in Downing Street by this government.


The former chair of the health select committee, Stephen Doll, says


the system is inadequately funded. The current chair of the health


select committee says, "The issue can't be ducked any longer because


of the impact it's having not just on vulnerable people but also on the


NHS". Why can't the Prime Minister listened to those in local


government, to the King's Fund, the NHS Confederation, her own council


leaders, and recognise this social care crisis forces people to give up


work to care for loved ones because there isn't a system to do it, makes


people stay in hospital longer than they should and leads people into a


horrible, isolated life when they should be cared for by all of us


through a properly funded social care system? Get a grip and funded


properly, please. -- fund it properly. The issue of social care


is, indeed, one that has been dogged by governments for too long. That is


why it is this government, it is this government, that will provide a


long-term, sustainable system for social care that gives reassurance


to people. But when he talks about governments docking social care,


let's look about 13 years of Labour in government. They said in 1997


that they would sort it in their manifesto. They had a royal


commission in 1999, a green paper in 2005, the Wanless Report in 2006. In


2007, they said they'd sorted. In 2009, they had another green paper.


13 years and no action whatsoever. Order! Mr Speaker, today a


constituent of mine from shore who struggled to get to university


College Hospital in London for drug trials. Across Sussex, thousands of


others will be unable to get to work, school and college because


Affleck Aslef -- Aslef object to their drivers operating doors. Aslef


drivers are driving tens lick trains on the same rails. And the Prime


Minister give her assurance that everything will be done at the ACAS


talks today to end this nonsense of a strike, address any residuals


safety issues and give our constituents their lives back? He is


right to raise this issue. This is an appalling strike. He's right to


raise the discrepancy in attitude of Aslef. We've seen driver only


operated trains on rail networks in the UK for decades. They are on the


Thameslink train. I hope that the talks at ACAS are going to lead to


an end to this strike but, actually, I've got a suggestion for the Leader


of the Opposition. I think the Leader of the Opposition could do


something to help members of the public. The Labour Party is funded


by Aslef. Why doesn't he get on the phone and tell them to call the


strike of immediately? Angus Robertson. We join with the leader


of the Labour Party and with the Prime Minister in wishing great


success to the Jo Cox single that's available for download on Friday.


I'm sure we're all going to download it. Civilians have suffered


grievously with the bombing of hospitals opt all, of schools, of


markets. The United Nations believes that 60% of civilian casualties are


caused by air strikes. In the last 24 hours, the United States has


stopped the supply of provisional guided munitions to Saudi Arabia to


bomb Yemen. When will the UK follow suit? As the right honourable


gentleman knows, we do have a very strict regime of export licences in


relation to weapons here in the UK. We exercise that very carefully and


in recent years, we have indeed refused export licences in relation


to arms, including two Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The US government has


just said, and I quote, "Systematic, endemic problems in Saudi Arabia's


targeting drove the US decision to halt a future weapons sale involving


precision oil guided munitions". The Saudis have UK supplied missiles,


made in Scotland. The UK has licensed ?3.3 billion of arms to


Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the bombing campaign. What will it


take for the UK to adopt an ethical foreign policy when it comes to


Yemen? As the right honourable gentleman knows, the intervention in


Yemen is a UN backed intervention. As I've said previously, where there


are allegations of breaches of international humanitarian law, we


require those to be properly investigated. We do have a


relationship with Saudi Arabia. The security of the Gulf is important to


us and I would simply also remind the right honourable gentleman that,


actually, Saudi intelligence, the counterterrorism links we have with


Saudi Arabia, the intelligence we get from Saudi Arabia, has saved


potentially hundreds of lives here in the UK. Mr Speaker, one of my


constituents has just had to move to residential care because no carers


could be found to support her in her own home. She's at the sharp end of


a crisis in social care that is as much about inadequate funding as it


is about a shortfall in our very valued social care workforce. I'm


looking forward to hearing what immediate further support will be


provided for social care but isn't it time that rather than having


confrontational dialogues about social care funding, all parties


work together across this House to look for a sustainable, long-term


solution for funding of both integrated health and social care?


My honourable friend is right to raise the issue of looking at a


sustainable way in which we can support integrated health and social


care and a sustainable way for people to know that in the future


they are going to be able to have the social care they require. As I


said earlier in response to the Leader of the Opposition, we


recognise the short-term pressures on the system but I think it is


important for us to look at those medium and longer term solutions if


we are going to be able to address this issue and I was very pleased to


be able to have a meeting with my honourable friend to discuss this


last week and I look forward to further such meetings. Can I tell


the Prime Minister that the cross-party delegation led by the


right honourable member for common Valley will meet the Russian


ambassador tomorrow morning on Aleppo, and we will reflect and


amplify, in precisely the sort of terms that she and the Foreign


Secretary have used, about Russia, the Assad regime and Iran, not least


because we want to protect those who have heroically struggled to save


lives in that city who are now going to be at particular risk because of


the witness they can give. But does she accept that many of us believe


that those sort of messages are more cogent when we are equally


unequivocal about the primacy of human rights and international


humanitarian law when we need the Gulf states? We do raise the issues


of human rights when we meet the Gulf States but he's absolutely


right in relation to the role that Russia is playing in Syria. There is


a very simple message to President Putin. He has it within his own


hands to be able to actually say to the Assad regime that enough is


enough in Aleppo, we need to ensure that humanitarian aid is there for


people and the people who have, as he says, been heroically saving the


lives of others, ensure that they have their security ensured. I'm


sure that is a message she and others will be giving to the Russian


ambassador. It is an President Putin's hands. He can do it - why


doesn't he? Will the Prime Minister thank me in


enjoying the many people it from this House who Sung for Syrians. It


was created in order to pay the salaries of the medical staff in


Aleppo. Since our hospital was shut two weeks ago, bombed two weeks ago,


we have been buying pros thetedic limbs with all of our money. --


prosthetic limbs. We have a waiting list of 30,000 people. What can we


do to target our humanitarian aid it make sure it gets to the most


vulnerable people in Syria, the old, very young and people who are too


injured to move? Well, first of all, I absolutely join my honourable


friend in congratulating everyone who took part in Singing for


Syrians. I'm sure the whole House would welcome the work that that


group is doing and the money that is being put to extremely good use,


that is being raised. She raises, I think, the House was struck by the


number of people she referred to being on the waiting list for


prosthetic limbs. Of course, in terms of our humanitarian aid


support for Syria, which is the biggest humanitarian effort that the


United Kingdom has made, of course we are giving money to the refugees


who have fled from Syria, we're also, of course, working


diplomatically to try to reduce the suffering, to try to make sure that


we can see the sort of aid and medical support she is talking


about, getting through to the citizens of Aleppo. But we will


continue to ensure that our humanitarian aid is being put to


good use, helping those who are vulnerable but also helping those


who need the education and support to be able, in due course, to


rebuild Syria when we see a stable and secure Syria.


Mr Speaker, rip-off interest rates on household goods are wrong.


Companies like Brighthouse exploit families, who have no other way to


furnish their homes. So, will the Prime Minister look at capping these


interest rates, to help those who are just about managing?


Well, the honourable gentleman raises an important issue and I


recognise there are many people who are just about managing, who are


struggling to get by, who did find themselves actually having to revert


to support from companies who do, sadly, as we see, charge the sort of


interest rates he is talking about. Of course action has been taken in


relation to some of these activities in the past. But I will look at the


issue he raised. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Across the


country, and particularly in Kent, lorry fly park something a blight.


It's antisocial and dangerous. Will my right honourable friend, the


Prime Minister, support my campaign for more lorry parking spaces, more


effective enforcement and ultimately, a ban on lorries parking


in unauthorised places? Well, I recognise the concern my


honourable friend has raised. This is one I think is shared by many


Kent MPs, who see this problem only too closely in their own


constituencies. Can I assure her that the Government shares the


desire to ensure that we don't see this fly parking of lorries across


Kent, that we do provide suitable lorry parking facilities in Kent. I


know that my right honourable friend, the minister for roads, is


looking at this issue very carefully indeed. I recognise it from my time


as the Home Secretary, the pressure at particular times that can be put


on the roads and villages and towns in Kent, in relation to this. It is


something that Government is working on and we will find a solution.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. Now we know, courtesy of the


Government's own infrastructure watchdog, that mobile coverage in


the UK is worse than Romania, will the Prime Minister take steps to


introduce a universal service obligation, in the Highlands, it is


fair typical to get the message, no signal. It would often be better to


use carrier pigeons. Will the Prime Minister recognise this is not


acceptable and will she take responsibility? It's time to connect


the Highlands to the rest of the world.


Well, I can assure the honourable gentleman that the issue of decent


mobile coverage isn't one that only affects the Highlands. There are


some other parts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland that also get


affected by it, but the Government has very strong commitments in


relation to this. We have very strong commitments in relation to


broadband and my right honourable friend, the Culture Secretary, will


be delivering on those. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker,


money cannot compensate somebody who has been charged accused of a very


similar offence and then finds the details of that are in the press,


along with their name. Nothing can restore, in truth, their reputation,


after it has been thrashed in those circumstances. In 2011 I tried it


change the law in a private member's bill. Today, Sir Bernard Hogan how


said now is the time to introduce new legislation. Would the Prime


Minister, agree to at least consider changing the law, so that everyone,


with a few exceptions, should have a right anonymity if they are a


suspect in criminal proceedings, until such time as they are charged?


Quite right. I recognise the interest that my honourable friend


has taken in this particular issue. As she will know, it is one that has


been debated on a number of occasions in this House. The general


assumption is that somebody should not be named before the point of


charge but there is an allowance for the police to be be able to raise


somebody's name if it is a case where they believe that doing that


will help, perhaps, to find other victims coming forward. This has


been particularly of concern where it is matters of sexual violence, of


rain, for example, or where they believe -- of rape, for example, or


where they believe the naming of the individual will help in the


detection of the crime. But this is a delicate issue. I recognise the


concern my honourable friend has shown. The college of politician is


looking at this issue very carefully. -- the college of


policing. They are Go going to deliver new


guidance in the new year in relation to this issue to the media. The


heartbreaking humanitarian crisis and genocide in Syria, continues to


take place as the world watches on impotently, yet there is still no


end in sight. Does the Prime Minister agree with the right


honourable member for Tatton, that what is happening in Syria is a


failure of Western leadership and does she agree with me, that what is


now urgently required, is what our dear friend, Jo Cox called for,


nearly a year ago, and that is - a UK-led strategy to protect


civilians. Whether it is those fleeing persecution. Whether it is


those surrendering themselves or those that are still besieged?


We must all take responsibility for decisions we have taken, whether we


take those decisions sitting around National Security Council table or


indeed this House, in taking the decision that it did in 2013. The


honourable lady raises the question of a UK-led action in relation to


the protection of civilians. It is the UK that has been pressing for


action inside the United Nations' Security Council, working with the


French, the two most recent emergency UN Security Council


meetings were those that we called for. The most recent of those took


place yesterday. As I'm sure the honourable lady will know, there


have been six UN Security Council resolutions which have been vetoed


by Russia. The most recent also vetoed by China. We are continuing


to work with the United Nations, but if we are to get a solution that


works on the ground, then it has to be a solution that is actually


bought into by other countries and it has to be a solution that Russia


is going to buy into as well as the regime.


Ment Thank you, Mr Speaker, I have received a message from Nick from


Grantham. Actually it was a text message from our honourable friend


the member for Grantham and Stanford. For the avoidance of doubt


this is one text message he is willing to be read in public. Mr


Speaker, getting rid of his tumour and making a swift return to this


place and nothing matters more to him than that, than ensuring around


the clock emergency services are restored had his local hospital in


gran that. Will my right honourable friend the Prime Minister, receive


the petition he has organised, ensure that the passionate views of


his constituents are heard and, above all, reassure people, in this


rural area, that they will always have access to safe, emergency care


for them and their families? Well, can I first of all, I'm sure


that the thoughts of the whole House are our honourable friend, the


member for Grantham and Sandford and can I wish him the very best for his


recovery as he goes through this illness. And I recognise the


strength of feeling that he has about the emergency services in his


local hospital. I believe that there are also concerns that are shared by


ou new honourable friend, the member for Sleaford and I can assure my


honourable friend the member for Grantham and Sandford, that the


process that is taking place in looking at the development of local


services, is about listening to local people, hearing the local


voice and about ensuring that the services available to local people


in their area are the right services for that area and that can be


delivered safely and securely for local people.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. At the last election, the Conservative Party


manifesto said, "We will help local authorities keep council tax low for


hard-working tax payers and ensure residence will continue to veto


rises comboep "Tax payers in my area face paying more with no veto


because of the account of Government's failure to tackle the


social care crisis, so will the Prime Minister now admit her pledge


on council tax has been bane donned. I have to say obviously we put the


social care precept in place, in recognition of the pressures on


social care but I'm pleased to say we have seen many examples over the


country, of good local authorities, actually ensuring they were keeping


council tax down, including may I say the Royal Borough of Windsor and


Maidenhead which cut council tax, for six years running.


Mr Speaker, on 14th August, my constituents George Lowe and Ben


Barker were the victims of a vicious knife attack in eye nappia. George


Lowe sadly died later that day from his injuries. The two culprits fled


to northern Cyprus where they were actually arrested in unrelated


matters. Despite representations made by the Foreign Office, one of


these men was recently able to simply walk free and it is feared


the second man will follow shortedly. Will the Prime Minister


do all she can to help bring justice for George Lowe and Ben Barker for


what was an horrific, vicious attack that was completely without


provocation and has bob devastating for both of their families? -- and


has been. I'm sure all of us across the House would want to send our


deepest sympathies to the family of George Lowe and our best wishes for


a full recovery for Ben Barker from the terrible injuries that he


suffered at what my honourable friend said was a violent and


unprovoked attack. The previous time this case was raised by the relevant


Government was during by the Foreign Secretary during his visit to Cyprus


and he clearly set out his desire to see those guilty brought to justice.


The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will continue to offer support to


those familiar lanes we'll continue to raise this issue and I'm sure the


Foreign Office will keep my honourable friend informed of any


developments. . Many food and drink projects have benefited a European


scheme, with a guarantees the Prime Minister can give us that we'll


continue to get that protection, should we end up leaving the EU?


Well, first of all, of course, issues like that are ones that we


will be needing to address as we look at the arrangement that is will


be in place, following the EU I'm sure everybody would recognise the


significant of the Arbroath smokey and, indeed other products around


the UK. But, can I just say to the honourable gentleman, at the end


there, he should "should we leave the EU." I can tell him we will be


leaving the EU. Thank you, Mr Spearer, on December


19th, 35 years ago, 16 people lost their lives in ferocious storms off


the coast of West Cornwall. Eight lives were men who launched their


lifeboat to rescue the crew of the Union Star. 35 years later, this


tragedy still haunts the village and many people mark this referry year.


Would the Prime Minister join with me in marking this day, and pay


credit to those men and women who risk their lives for those in peril


on the sea. I thank my honourable friend for raising this issue. I


absolutely join him in marking the 35th anniversary of the Penlee


lifeboat tragedy and sending our sympathies to all those families


affected but also to the local communities who were affected, as he


has set out. Finally I'm sure everybody in this House would want


to pay tribute to the RNLI. The tireless work they do. It is an


island. It is important we have that security and safety around our


shores. The RNLI work tirelessly to protect people, who, as my


honourable friend say are in peril on the sea and we pay tribute to


them. The Prime Minister knows that I and


colleagues from all parties across this House are keen to guarantee the


rights of some 3 million EU and EA citizens in this country. This will


be the largest administrative task the Home Office has ever undertaken.


Could I encourage her to look at the report producedes by British Futures


which suggests practical suggestions on how the Home Office can implement


this and possibly encourage the Home Secretary to update us on any


progress made? Well, I say to the honourable lady I'm keen to ensure


we can protect the rights of EU citizens living here but I'm also


keen that UK citizens' rights for those living in the EU are


protected. The home Serbs I think is aware of the proposals that have


been put forward and is looking at them very carefully. Thank you very


much, Mr Speaker. In October, hundreds of people from -- the Home


Secretary Hundreds of people from across European attended a neo-Nazi


in my constituency. What steps is the what happens taking about this?


Can we make it clear there is no allowance for racial hatred. Earlier


this week my right honourable friend, the Home Secretary,


proscribed the Right Wing Organisation National action, which


means being a member of or inviting support for that organisation will


be a criminal efence. I think it is important we take every step we can


to stop racial hatred in this country. I was pleased to announce


on Monday, that Britain will be the first country in Europe it adopt the


International Haul cast Remembrance Alliance's definition of


anti-Semitism. Yesterday, I met with the CEO of


Providence Financial, one of two FTSE 100 companies in Bradford, yes,


outside of London right in the heart of the North and being in my


condition constituencicy. We agreed that for Bradford to fulfil the


potential of its young #350e78 we need better educational outcomes and


transport. Having been overlooked for so long, can I invite the Prime


Minister to come and meet the leaders of my great city and pave


the way for long overdue investment in Bradford.


-- of its young people. The honourable lady is right to talk


about what is needed that's why I'm pleased the say there has been an


increase of 16,000 people in Bradford who are at good or


outstanding schools since 2010. We are taking control of quality


education but I want it make sure there are enough good school places


for children across the council and this is' what our education


consultation is B I came to PMQs today from an incredibly moving and


powerful private session with the DWP Select Committee, talking and


listening to four Vic tilts of modern slavery who are living in


safe houses. I don't think I will ever forget it in my life. Please


would the Prime Minister take her enshoes yachl -- victims. -- please


would she take her passion and work with the Secretary of State for


Pensions. These people are vulnerable. When thee come to job


centres their back cases are not understood. The same as women and


survivors of domestic violence they need to be fast-tracked F ever they


need the state to step up and support them, please can we do more?


My honourable friend is absolutely right. I think nothing brings home


to one more than anything else, the absolute horrific nature of the


crime of modern slavery, than actually sitting down hearing the


testimony of a Vic ti. These people have gone through the horrendous,


dehumanising experiences very often and it is absolutely right that the


Government brought forward the Modern Slavery Be a. It is right


that we have been looking at how Victim Support is provided and the


international referral member you nichl and a number of steps and


we'll work with the DWP. My honourable friend refers to job


centres but it isn't just job centres. We need to ensure that


those in authority who come into contact with people who have been


the victims of modern slavery, are able it recognise those signs and


are able to treat it in the way and deal with people, sensitively and


sympathetically in an appropriate way.


Thank you I don't think the Prime Minister has any idea of the level


of suffering and pain that rail passengers and businesses in


Brighton and beyond are suffering. And it is not just on strike days.


This has been going on for well over 18 months. So, given the failure of


her passive Transport Secretary who apparently has no intention of


acting to deal with this utterly incompetent company, will she sack


him, strip DCR of the franchise and freeze fares for long-suffering


passengers? Well, first of all my right


honourable friend the Transport Secretary has been taking steps in


relation to the general performance of southern railway. We've stepped


in to invest ?20 million to specifically tackle the issue and


bring a rapid improvement to services. We announced the delay


repay 15 from 11th December for whole of Southern which will make it


easier for passengers to complam exceptcation. We've nounsed a refund


for a month's travel. So we have been looking at that wider issue. --


we've announced. But the honourable lady raises the question of the


current strievenlingt there is only one body responsible for the current


strike, ASLEF. This is a strike from the trade union and she should be


standing up and condemning that strike because it is passengers who


suffer. Thank you, Mr Speaker, the ?1.5


billion additional funding for the Bether care fund is both needed and


welcome. But, the problem is, that this money is not available until


2019. Will my Right Honourable Friend look at seeing whether some


of this funding can be drawndown earlier than, that in order to


alleviate the pressure on social care in areas such as Devon, where


there is a very high level of elderly people?


Well, my right honourable friend raises an important point bht


short-term pressures there are on social care. Thass' why the


Government has been looking at what measures can be taken to alleviate


the short-term pressures. My right honourable friend the Communities'


Secretary will be making the statement on the local government


finance settlement tomorrow. We need to look at the medium-term


delivering issues and longer term assurance to provide to people in


order to ensure we have a sustainable system of care that


gives people the comfort of knowing they will be cared for in their old


age. Can I join colleagues who have


earlier on urged people in this house and beyond to go out and buy


the Jo Coxp foundation single by the excellent MP 4 not just available in


download but in hard copy for those of us who prefer that kind of thing.


Every day, Mr Speaker, since Brexit result on 23rd June, seems to have


been a good day to bury bad news. The worst news is in our social care


and health system. The daily wave of tragedies indignatory tis and near


posts, the short fall in social care funding and thousands ofp hospital


advice its cancelled. Yesterday the NHS and social care said they needed


more money and the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not offer a single


extra money for health or social care within the Autumn Statement.


Which of the two does she agree with? Will she take this opportunity


to provide health and social care, give it the money it needs this side


of Christmas? The Secretary of State for


Communities and Local Government will be making a statement tomorrow


on the local Government finance settlement. I suggest the right


honourable gentleman wait for that statement.


Back in 2010, the overseas aid budget was around ?7 billion a year.


By 2020, it will have more than doubled to over ?15 million a year.


The short fall in social care funding by 2020 is estimated at


about ?2.5 billion. Surely the Government priority should be to


look after the elderly, vulnerable and disabled people in our own


country, before we hand money over to other countries? Will the Prime


Minister take some of that money, a small amount of that increase from


the overseas aid budget and spend it on elderly, vulnerable and disabled


people in our own country? Surely charity begins at home?


I think it is absolutely right that the Government is taking steps in


relation to the pressures on social care here in the United Kingdom but


I would say to my honourable friend, I think it is also important for us


that we do take consideration of those who are in different


circumstances across the world. I think that the record that this


Government has of ensuring that 0.7% of our GDP is spent over overseas


aid is a record second to none. I think we should all be proud of the


help and support we are giving to people around the world who are


living off an incredibly difficult circumstance. So we look after old


people here in the UK, we also take that moral responsibility for people


around the world seriously as well. And the final Prime Minister's


Questions of 2016 comes to an end. It did officially past the 45 minute


mark, which I think makes it the longest Prime Minister's Questions


in recent times, if not the longest ever. 46 minutes by our studio clock


here. It seems to go by but it was a PMQs in which Mr Corbyn, Leader of


the Opposition, performed strongly, perhaps learning from Emily


Thornberry, who stood in for him last week, by narrowing the


questions down into one specific area and going for that again and


again, particularly where the Prime Minister has trouble answering, and


on this occasion it was social care, in which there is talk of a crisis


and a lack of funding and the Government moving several ways to


try to plug the holes in the system and Mr Corbyn pushed the Prime


Minister, saying this was the tipping point, central government


had to take more responsibility, that the local government precept


alone may help but was certainly not the answer to the increasing demands


of social care and there were areas where the Prime Minister had trouble


giving a full answer to that. There will be another statement tomorrow.


Before we look into that of it, let's hear what you made PMQs. What


did the viewers think? The majority was about social care.


Dorothy said, very disappointed with Theresa May. Social care isn't a


joke for elderly people stranded in hospital. She is in


denial about the crisis in social care. We should all pay a bit more


through taxation to spread the cost. This from Andy. Every time Jeremy


Corbyn opens his mouth, he spent taxpayers' money. That scares the


hell out of the electorate and his usual comment about stopping the


lowering of corporation tax scares the hell out of investors. Joan asks


how raising council tax helps last week's major concerns, the Jams,


just about managing. The primaries to mention the number


of areas in which she thought we were doing things to try to address


this problem but the precept which local authorities will now be able


to add on to the council tax which, provided they spend it in social


care, is that different from the Prime Minister saying she will


address immediate pressures or is that the addressing the immediate


pressures? I think that is the addressing of immediate pressures


with the two problems with that, most people who are familiar with


the problem say it is not nearly enough. And of course better off


areas have a bigger tax base to raise money, so better off councils,


as Jeremy Corbyn were suggesting, in better of areas of the country, it


will be easy for them to get extra cash, worse off areas will find it


harder. But I thought what was really interesting about the Prime


Minister's comments on social care - and you were right, she was


struggling to give full and dozens of them because the Government is


vulnerable on this issue - was that she did promise several times that


they will find a long-term solution. In fact we know that the Cabinet


office is being instructed to try to come up with some way out of what is


a black hole here and we also know that before the referendum, Number


Ten was considering a cross-party commission that has been urged by


many people, Sarah Wollaston joining her voice, to take a cross-party


approach because it seems even a private acknowledgement that many


politicians have made behind closed doors for some time that this system


is going to work for much longer is starting to come out into the


public, that the government has to find a better solution. They have


said it before but always bottled it. I wonder if it will be best in


with looking at the triple lock for pensioners. This is one of the


interesting things. The general welfare of pensioners may be seen as


a broader picture than just pension payment. Minister suggested that to


me in the last week or so that it was one of the things that they


might look at, do you somehow read version the idea of guaranteeing


support for the... I will bring Peddie


mordant in. What is the answer to the issue that Jeremy Corbyn raised?


If it is an affluent area, you have a big tax base so you put council


tax by 3%, a lot of big houses, they pay council tax, you get a lot of


money in and the poorer areas don't. And those deprived areas - I'm


generalising - ten to have a higher social care need an poorer health


outcomes. This is a leak from the announcement tomorrow but I would be


surprised if that issue wasn't addressed. There are things like the


Better Care Fund, there are things that could be announced. That is


there already. We've discussed it before on this programme, the danger


is that the areas that, in a sense, need at the least extra social care


have the biggest tax base to raise it, the areas that have the biggest


need more social care have the weakest tax base. It doesn't seem to


be a sustainable solution to social care provision. I think that is


absolutely the case. We will have to see exactly what is announced, in


terms of the precept and what else might be announced tomorrow. It was


very interesting, the Prime Minister's emphasis on something


else being done. We will have to wait and see but you're right, that


issue has to be addressed. Good Labour meet all the demands of


social care, which are quite extensive, into the billions, and


still keep its promise to balance current budgets? Spending on social


care is current spending. York -- you are quite right, there is a


focus on the integration of long-term, but we've got to do


something fundamental to address what is a crisis. We've got to have


the government acknowledging that the crisis exists and what we are


hearing thus far is simply that the poorer areas will do worse off on


every single occasion. We have it when it comes to the tax base across


the business rates collection as well. It is or was punishing and


dividing. We've got to have a much more redistributive approach to


local government funding. We will no doubt be covering the statement


tomorrow. We have to leave it there because the Speaker has left as much


time for the rest of the show and we don't want to bump into the one


o'clock news, which Laura is probably going to do, so we'd better


let you go. Off for the rest of 2016! Last one of the year. Merry


Christmas. And to you and all of our DP devotees.


Philip Davies, the Conservative MP and well-known campaigner for men's


rights, is set to join the Women and Equalities Committee


Now, that's raised a few eyebrows - not because Philip Davies is a man,


there are already two of them on the committee -


but because Mr Davies has previously derided what he calls "militant


feminists" and he even described the creation of the Women


and Equalities Committee as "depressing".


Well, Philip Davies joins me now from Central Lobby, as does


the Co-Leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas.


Welcome to both of you. Philip Davies, if you think the committee


is depressing, why are you joining? The committee is there whether I


like it not so if I can bring some common sense to the committee, that


is surely a good thing, in the same way that Ukip used to take their


seats in the UK Parliament not because they were fans of the EU


Parliament or what it represented but because they it to account. They


didn't just want to hold to account, they wanted to actually end our


involvement in the parliament. Is that what you are going to do with


this committee, try and bring it down, break it up? I would prefer it


if it was to score the equalities commission, I don't see why it needs


to be called the women and equalities commission. You can still


go women's issues on a committee called equalities but it seems to


indicate that there are no issues for men and clearly there are issues


where men suffer so I don't see why it can't just be called the


equalities commission. What do you think about that, Caroline? I hope


that the time he spends on the committee will be an opportunity for


him to understand a bit more about entrenched sexism in our society, so


this is an MP who has been saying, as you said, that this committee


shouldn't even exist, that that it was going ahead and yet he is now


hoping to take his position on it and I just think that we need MPs on


committee who recognise, for example, the level of the gender pay


gap, who recognise the disproportionate violence against


women, who recognise that there is still a very long way to go in


business, politics and just every sphere of life where women are


discriminated against and we need to have concerted effort to support


women. I'm not against having actions to support men, and Philip


does a good job doing that, but let him do that in his work there and


let the women and equalities party carry on, rather than having him, a


person who says he is taking his lead from Ukip in the European


Parliament - as we know they are trying to bring down the presence of


the European parliament. That's not a very good precedent. Do you


understand the issues of entrenched sexism, Philip Davies, as Caroline


Lucas is just outlined? Do you understand those issues? Absolutely.


There are lots of issues that affect women. There is a gender pay gap,


there is also a part-time gender pay gap where women are paid more than


men. Two thirds of domestic violence are women but one third are men.


Issues affecting women should be tackled on the committee but there


are issues that affect men and I don't see why they should be


excluded from having their views on what is supposed to be an equalities


commission. I believe in equality where gender should be irrelevant


and that's what I want to try to bring to the committee. What's wrong


with that? When we have a society where women and men are equally


represented in the different spheres of power in this country, that is


the time to the debate that wants to have. If you want to go ahead and


organise and raise issues around men's equality and a very serious


issues around suicide rates for men and so forth, by all means please go


and do that, we support that, but to have a presence on the committee


when he doesn't believe the committee should exist, to have a


presence who thinks this is about feminist zealots, as he put it, that


Timmy doesn't suggest this is going to be a very constructive


contribution to the work of the committee. One might say you haven't


started off well in terms of the language you've used, feminine


zealots being just one of the terms you've used to describe people like


Caroline Lucas on the committee, but also you commented at an event


organised by a group called justice for men and boys, who have said that


women are whiny, gormless, toxic liars. Were you right to give a


speech at their conference? I appear on the BBC but I'm happy the


greatest fan of the BBC and so just because you appear on a flat form


doesn't mean that that means you endorse everything about that


organisation. -- platform. If that was the case, I would never appear


on the BBC, if you were setting up to give a barrier. People should


listen to what I actually said, play the case that men and women are


treated equally when they go before the courts. The only difference


between me and Caroline is that I want this committee to be called the


equalities committee and she just wanted to be called the women's


committee. I believe in genuine equality between the genders, races,


sexes... You've got a funny way of showing it! What he should be doing


right now on December 14 is giving us all a Christmas present by saying


this is all a joke and he's not going to be on the committee because


everything he's just been saying does not convince me


this is going to be a constructive presence on the committee. There is


serious work to be done, around women and disabilities, the gender


pay gap, which are still glaring when it comes to women, women in


politics. These are issues that need concerted action now. Is it a joke,


your application? No, and I would have thought Caroline would have


been the one person who want to protect people with minority


opinions in parliament. The day you are a minority, a white, Anglo-Saxon


man, I don't think so. It seems Caroline wants people to be on the


committee only if they agree with her and surely the point is to have


a range of opinions, otherwise what is the point of an all-party select


committee if people can only get on there if they agree with Caroline?


It sounds like you will get on there because you are standing unopposed


but, of course, any member of Parliament can block the appointment


or election to this committee. Would you try to block a? I will talk to


others and see what strategies they are pursuing. We


need to have a proper hearing with Philip and just check out that he


doesn't think the people who are standing up for things like equal


pay or standing up for women in the justice system are feminist zealots.


Maybe he should have a role and he could learn something. I'm sure


you're going to get on really well on this committee. Thanks very much.


A white Anglo-Saxon man - you don't hear that very often!


There's just time to put you out of your misery and give


The one o'clock news is starting over on BBC One now.


Jo and I will be here at noon tomorrow with all the big


When I look in your eyes, I think, "Where's the energy?"


You're not exactly a forceful character.


He's probably going to tell everyone how the nation consumes


You all right there? Oh, it's a very exciting day


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