08/02/2017 Daily Politics


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Morning folks - welcome to the Daily Politics.


The Commons gets its final say today on the Bill authorising


Have the Government offered MPs a concession with a vote


The Speaker is no stranger to controversy, but has


he overstepped the mark by condemning the leader of the free


world and banning him from Parliament during his state visit?


Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are still allowed in


They will face each other at PMQs at midday.


We'll bring you that live and uninterrupted.


MPs take aim at the sea birds that have become a seaside pest.


All that in the next 90 minutes of the very finest public service


broadcasting and with us for the duration today and looking


about as relaxed as two anxious holidaymakers protecting their fish


and chips from aerial bombardment, the Schools Minister, Nick Gibb


and the Shadow Transport Secretary, Andy Macdonald.


First this morning - was it or wasn't it a concession?


Yesterday the Brexit Minister, David Jones, told MPs


that they would get a vote on the deal that Theresa May


brings back at the end of Brexit negotiations.


It would be a vote on the divorce settlement and Britain's


new relationship with the EU and would happen before a vote


in the European Parliament to ratify the deal.


Labour's Brexit Secretary, Kier Starmer, welcomed it


as a meaningful concession - others said that MPs


Let's have a listen to some of those exchanges in the Commons.


I can confirm that the Government will bring forward a motion


on the final agreement to be approved by both Houses


We expect and intend that this will happen before


the European Parliament debates and votes on the final agreement.


Minister, I am very grateful for that intervention.


That is a huge and very important concession about the process


The argument I have made about a vote...


The argument I have made about a vote over the last three


months is that the vote must cover both the article 50 deal and any


I know that for my colleagues, that is very important,


and that that vote must take place before the deal is concluded.


is a debate right at the end of the process


and a point, we don't know where exactly,


but seemingly right at the dog days of the process,


and a choice at that point between the deal that is on offer,


which in my view is likely to be a bad deal


because it is predicated itself


on our leaving the single market, leaving the customs union,


the rock-hard Brexit that we all feared, and no deal.


then as the minister has confirmed here today,


what the country will face


is exiting the European Union on WTO terms.


Nick Gibb, is it a concession? It is a clarification. What is new


yesterday is the date. It'll happen before a vote in the European


Parliament. The Prime Minister has always been clear the Parliament


would have a vote in terms of the deal on the process and she is


confident, the Government is confident we will get a good deal


with the European Union. It is in both our interests to secure that


deal and I think we will. Why is it different are from what the Prime


Minister said in her now famous Lancaster House speech only three


weeks ago, "The Government will put the final deal that is agreed


between the UK and the EU to both Houses of Parliament before it comes


into force." That's what I said. That has been the position for


sometime since that speech. What is new yesterday is the timing. That's


it? A clarification? Yes, clarification of when it'll take


place. So why, Andy Macdonald Macdonald did Kier Starmer say "It


was a huge and important concession." We heard the minister


say that the draft agreement would come before Parliament, not the


final agreement, to be debated and voted upon. This was a huge shift.


What we were offered in the past at latch caster House, the final


agreement will come before Parliament, yes or not. This will


not be the final agreement, a draft agreement. What is the difference?


Because it can be amendedes and period ex-stoneded for transitional


arrangements. Can it be amended? I don't think it K it is about


bringing the final draft agreement to Parliament and the Prime Minister


will only bring an agreement to Parliament that she thinks is a good


deal and that will take place after a considerable period of


negotiation. It is in all our interests. The interests of the


European countries and Britain to have a good deal that ensure that is


we can continue trading on favourable terms, with industry in


Germany and France and throughout the European Union. If you vote


against it, this final draft agreement. You don't send the


Government back to renegotiate, my understanding of the Government's


line is - then we crash out shall as some people put it, on World Trade


Organisation rules. That's at final option, I suppose. But at the end of


the day, it is up to the Government to come back and persuade the House.


They have the majority. They have to persuade their own side this


represents a good deal. Of course, I don'tunder stand where the


concession comes from. This is what the Government has been saying it'll


doo for some time. It'll have a vote. Do it'll do. But it is not a


vote to go back and think again, it is a vote to either accept the draft


deal or we leave on non-negotiated terms. There is a huge chunk missing


here. Because there are two sides to this. It is the divorce settlement


itselfp and the new terms of dealing, both elements are to be


brought before the House. That's been clarified by the Government and


that is to be welcomed. Except you just can't change them. Well they


have to persuade the House that it is acceptable and if we have a


system scrutiny and examination, and we are examining between the


pro-Serbs the Government have to come up to something acceptable. --


between the process. Well you are between a rock and hard place, you


may not think it is good enough, you vote against t you end up in a hard


place, you fall off the rovenlingted That is he at pressure on the


Government to make sure they come back with a deal that's acceptable


and persuades Parliament. That's where the pressure will apply. Am I


right this thinking you will have this vote five months before we are


due to leave? Well, we'll have the vote when the agreement has been


reached. All this Bill is about, a simple Bill we have been debating


this week and last week, it has two clauses. One clause is the title and


the other clause is about Article 50. You will forgive me. I'm asking


about the time. Is it your understanding, I think it is what


from what ministers were saying, it'll come about five months before


we are due to leave? If that's what the minister said then that's the


timing but the key thing is that the Parliament is being given a vote on


the terms of the agreement and MPs have to take the same level of


responsibility that ministers are taking as they negotiate... However


they vote, we leave. Yes. So, it is a Hobson's choice? Well, the same


choice ministers V the British people have said they want us to


leave the European yuvenlt -- ministers have. And leave the


European Union and the Prime Minister has said we will be leaving


the European Union. Between now and then we'll negotiate the best-deal


possible and I'm confident she will and we will bring that to


Parliament. The decision of whether we stay or not in the European Union


has been taken and Parliament has to deliver on the decision of the


British people. What makes you think, what makes any of you think,


whether you are Brexit or Remain, what makes you think a deal would be


ready five months before we are due to come out? As someone who has


covered Brussels negotiations, I have never seen Brussels operate


like that. I have been covering events where they were so late they


had to stop the clock in order to meet the timetable? Well there are


huge anxieties about trying to get through this under that tight time


scale because it is tight, you are absolutely right but what it means


is, if we don't get a deal that's acceptable. It is effectively a bad


deal and that's what we have to recognise. It has to persuade people


in that time scale. All I would say is - we must be sensible about this.


If it isn't done, there must be a transitional arrangement or


extension of the period. Those are the options available but that must


come from the EU as well. The practiceticalities of Parliament


voting against this would leave the Government in an impossible


position, would it not? The Government would have done a deal,


it says, "This is the best we can get." Then presents this final draft


to the British Parliament. The British Parliament says no. What are


the Europeans going to think? The British Government would've had its


legs cut beneath its knees, they are not going to of give us a Bert deal?


These are the decisions Members of Parliament will be taking. -- a


better deenchts they'll have to take that into account when they have to


vote on the agreement. This is an important decision all of us will be


taking. So far on the vote in the Bill. So far on the debates on the


issue, there has been overwhelming support to deliver the verdict of


the British people. I have absolute confidence that the deal that will


be brought will be a favourable deal that we will support. Sure and time


will tell. And we'll want to vote for that deal. We are still unclear


how some Labour people are going to vote tonight. Clive Lewis, the


Shadow Business Secretary, he was doorstepped this morning. He let's


listen to what he said. REPORTER: Is this going to be your last day in


the Shadow Cabinet? I have to make a decision on how I vote, haven't I?


How long have you been there for? It is so cold. If I start running, you


are not going to run after us. I don't think we have it in us. Can


you tell us which way you are going to vote? I don't know. I'm going to


make my mind up. A lot on my plate. A lot on everyone's plate. We will


see what happens in the lobbies. You guys will be the first to know. Is


it your intention to back your leader? It is my decision to back my


constituents and I have to think about the Labour Party. It is a


tough kau. I think lots of MPs are having a tough time on this. One


final thought, if you defy the whip will you resign your position in the


Shadow Cabinet? I think if you defy the whip you do resign, that's the


protocould. I have been having aer long, hard think, like lots of MPs,


and I'll make a decision later today and you'll all get to hear about it.


If Clive Lewis does defy the whip and votes against the Labour


position and he resigns, which he has clearly independenticated that's


what he would do, how big a crisis is that for the Labour Party? Well,


it's not to be welcomed. We don't want Clive to go nowhere other than


stay in the Shadow Cabinet. He is a fantastic member of that Shadow


Cabinet. It'll not be a crisis for the Labour Party or Shadow Cabinet


Really? I don't think so. I think we have to remember if we have a three


line whip we're recognising the country did vote to leave the


European Union and we accept that entirely. We are a national party.


Oi know people are in all manner of difficulties because we come from


constituencies that voted to remain but we have to make that decision


and stick to it. Can you reassure a worried nation a concerned nation,


that Diane Abbott will be fit enough to vote tonight? Andrew, I think you


probably spend more time speaking to Diane Abbott than I do. Not since


she joined the Shadow Cabinet, no. #1450e did make her apologies and


said she was poorly. It is not my choice to go behind that. I don't


know what she will do. Is it true a colleague suggested to have a three


line whip to force you all to abstain in this vote? No, I don't


know who? Barry gardener? Within which context? Within the Shadow


Cabinet. It wasn't discussed? No. Because,


Emily Thornbury, who we now also call, Lady Nugee, has said that that


would be absurd, that Labour would not have a position on the most


important issue currently facing Britain. That is right. It would be


ludicrous. Just one final thing, Nick Gibb - does this, now after the


February recess, this now goes to the Lords. Does the Lords have any


concerns for you? No, I'm confident that the House of Lords will also


ratify this Bill. It is a simple Bill and the people have spoken


clearly and given that it went - well hopefully will go through the


Commons without aamendments, I'm sure the same will happen in the


House of Lords. We shall see, all that after the recess which starts


on Thursday night. Now, The Speaker John Bercow's


decision to announce that President Trump would not be


permitted to address Parliament in Westminster Hall has raised


questions of whether the Speaker is upholding the traditional


neutrality of the role. Whilst his words were praised


by many in the Labour Party and the SNP, some Conservative MPs


have said that The Speaker should It's not the first time that


Mr Bercow has courted controversy. He was once an admirer


of Enoch Powell and a member of the right-wing


Conservative Monday Club. It was an involvement


he would later describe as and as an MP, John Bercow


started adopting He resigned from the frontbench


after supporting gay adoption He fell out with David Cameron just


before he became leader in 2015 - Abandoning hopes of a ministerial


career, he became Speaker in 2009 with the help of support


from Labour MPs. But David Cameron's government


became increasingly frustrated at his perceived bias and ministers


launched a plot to get rid of him just before


the 2015 General Election. As Speaker, he has been lauded


by some for championing the power of the Parliament


over the Government. But he's also upset traditionalists


by ditching the wig traditionally worn by Speakers -


yesterday he announced that Commons His chosen coat of arms incorporates


the motto "All are Equal". He's come a long way from the young


admirer of Enoch Powell. Now, yesterday, Lord Fowler,


the Speaker of the House of Lords, criticised John Bercow for failing


to consult him before making his He also suggested the power


to veto visiting leaders from addressing Parliament,


which is currently held by the two speakers


and the Lord Great Chamberlain, should be taken away and a "better


way in which such decisions can be Back in the House of Commons, Bercow


was also under fire from MPs. The Prime Minister,


in the view of many of us, managed to secure a very favourable


outcome of what was And whilst I was keen yesterday not


to accuse you of an executive order in respect of another matter,


I do hope, Mr Speaker, that you will help us to ensure


that we can have full confidence in your impartiality,


because that is the way that this I was honestly and honourably


seeking to discharge I think in the interests


of the House, we should move on to other matters, but I thank him


for what he has said. We are joined now from Central Lobby


by the former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale.


You told Sky News yesterday that you got what he had done was damaging to


the national interest. Why? There are two problems. The first is


obviously that it was a personal attack on President Trump. I have my


differences with President Trump, but we have to recognise that he is


the elected leader of our closest ally and to attack him in those


terms will not help our relations at a time when we are trying to build a


stronger relationship with the United States. The second problem is


that it put the Speaker firmly on one side in a controversial matter,


when the chair needs to remain impartial. Do you think this raises


the issue of who, in the end, should decide who gets to speak to


Parliament, whether in Westminster Hall, which is the ultimate honour,


or the world gallery or other places? Should be taken away from


what are known as the three current key-holders of the speakers and the


Lord on the Lord Great Chamberlain? Lord Fowler's statement yesterday


was good. He suggested that there should be some mechanism which will


allow proper consideration, rather than just having the common Speaker


fire off without consulting anybody. But in this instance, had it been


decided that it was not appropriate for an invitation to come to


Parliament to be issued, I would have preferred the Speaker to have


said privately to the Prime Minister, please don't ask, because


the answer may be no and I don't want to damage our relationship.


Therefore, it's better that this matter wasn't raised. There was no


need to make the statement yesterday, because the matter had


not even arisen yet. Why do you think you did it? I think John


Bercow likes playing to the gallery and I am afraid this was a bit of


grandstanding. And it was popular on the Labour and SNP benches. Does he


pay any consequence for this? A number of your colleagues are


unhappy about it. Is there a price to be paid, or does he still command


a majority in the House for this sort of thing? The Speaker's


position is one which is rarely ever challenged. I respect the chair,


just as my colleagues were saying in Parliament yesterday. But John


Bercow, when he was elected in 2009, said that he would serve nine years.


So he is coming to the end of his term if he keeps to that in any


case. I suspect you will start to see people speculating about what


happens next. And do you think that what he has done reinforces the case


for him sticking to his original timetable on the part? Well, he was


very clear that he would serve just the nine years and then step down. I


would expect him to fulfil that pledge. John Whittingdale, thank you


for joining us. I get the feeling the clock is ticking. Let's get


reaction from our guests. Nick Gibb, John Bercow said yesterday he was


acting honestly and honourably in vowing to block Donald Trump


speaking in parliament. Do you believe him? Well, I am one of the


few conservative members of Parliament who voted for John to be


Speaker back in 2009, and he has been a very good Speaker. He has


improved the rights of backbenchers. He is pacey in terms of his chairing


of Question Time. We get through the order paper more. That is why MPs


like him. They do. He has also modernised the House of Commons. But


he can overstate the significance of what he said. We have a good


relationship with the United States which goes back a long way. The


Prime Minister was the first head of government to visit the president


after he was inaugurated, and I think that relationship will be


unaffected by statements by the Speaker. But do you believe he acted


honourably and within his remit? I wish he hadn't said what he said. He


doesn't speak for the government on this issue. But I think you can


overstate whether this matter is, what the Speaker of the House of


Commons says. You don't think it is important, in his role as Speaker,


making the comments he did about a president of the United States? It


is insignificant? Well, I wouldn't have said that, but you can


overstate the importance. Except that it is about the Parliamentary


side of the state visit. So in a way, it does come in his remit and


he would have a say with the other two key-holders, as Andrew called


them. So in a sense, it is crucial if he speaks out against it. Why


should Trump be invited to speak in parliament, which comes under John


Bercow's remit? He can decide these things, but the state visit will go


ahead whether or not there is a speech to the joint Houses of


Parliament. The relationship between the United Kingdom and the United


States will not be affected by the decision. The relationship is good.


The relationship between the Prime Minister and President Trump is


good. She secured his backing for Nato. And you don't think that will


be damaged by what John Bercow has said? No. Do you think Jeremy Corbyn


should have commented on it? He's supportive of John Bercow in terms


of speaking out against Donald Trump and his visit. Was it the right


thing for him to do? I do think it was right for him. As the father of


two disabled children, I remember very well the scenes of that


would-be candidate mocking somebody with cerebral palsy. I don't want to


be in the same room as a person who would behave in that way, and his


comments and attitude towards women and the other offences that are


well-known, I find deeply uncomfortable. John Bercow was right


to lay out how we want to conduct ourselves in our country. There are


many who will agree with you in personal terms when it comes to what


President Trump has said, but do you think he's just virtue signalling


here, John Bercow? Isn't it the case that there have been otherworldly


donors who are known for oppression and rights abuses who have had on,


if not of addressing both Houses of Parliament, but certainly of


addressing MPs in the world gallery? Yes. We have also had Nelson Mandela


and Barack Obama address us. It is an honour to be earned. And so


quickly into somebody's President Xi... Had President Xi Jinping of


China earned it? I understand the point you are making, and it is


difficult when you have that obvious conflict. But I am saying that this


candidate and now the president of the United States has made his


attitudes towards women and disabled people abundantly clear and it is


right that we draw a line and say that is not acceptable. Do you think


the Emperor of Kuwait, in terms of their views towards women, is that


acceptable? The red carpet was rolled out by John Bercow when he


came to visit. That is for John Bercow to judge on each occasion. He


has made his point with this particular invitation, and I think


he made the right comments. He speaks for a lot of people modelled


in this country, but the United States as well. Do you think has


gone beyond what should be a neutral position in terms of his


impartiality? We have already stated that there was a controversy and a


2-faced approach when it came to some world leaders and different


with Donald Trump. I don't think he has overstated. He asked a question,


a point of order was raised and he responded to it in a frank way. John


has been a superb Speaker, standing up for the backbenchers, and I would


not want to see his position affected. There are reports of a


no-confidence motion that might be tabled against John Bercow. Would


you support that? I will take a position on that issue at the time,


but I think he has been a very good Speaker. He has improved the rights


of backbenchers. He has a certain style that doesn't appeal to


everybody, but you can overgrow this issue. As he said himself in the


House, we should move on. And on that, we will!


Now, it's with great dismay that some of my colleagues have learned


of the difficulties someone called David Beckham -


I'm told he is an association footballer -


has had in securing himself a knighthood.


Despite charity work, warm words about the Queen and even


expressing his undying love for the union between England


and Scotland, he remains just plain old Mr Beckham.


I know how he feels, I've been trying to ingratiate myself


to the establishment for years and haven't got so much


Actually, I do have a Blue Peter badge! The script writer didn't know


that. But don't worry, David,


we've got something you can Yes, just tell us


when this happened - and here's a clue, David,


it was before you were born. # There'll never be anyone else


but you for me # Never ever be, just couldn't be


anyone else but you... # What do you want if


you don't want money... ..render easier finding a solution


to trade problems throughout Europe. NEWSREEL: The designer has given


them an attractive look. Not even the heaviest


passenger can daunt it. # I've waited so long,


a lifetime, it seems # For someone to step right


out of my dreams 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's It's coming up to midday here -


just take a look at Big Ben - and that can mean only one thing,


yes, Prime Minister's And that's not all,


Laura Kuenssberg is here. You will have seen the doorstepping


this morning of Clive Lewis. Sounds like he's going to defy the three


line whip. It is clear that that that is a likely outcome, and I also


think, from my understanding, that it will also be crystal clear, if he


decides to vote that way, he will therefore resign. Although there has


been confusion with what happened last week, there were Labour shadow


ministers and frontbenchers who abstained but still seemed to be in


their jobs, in his case it is clear that if you goes that way, he is


going to go. Diane Abbott, in contrast, is thought to be solid.


She is thought to be on the side of Jeremy Corbyn's decision to have a


three line whip, but never say never. Have we had an updated


medical bulletin about her? Some body suggested that she had been


given Migraleve, but that was a naughty suggestion. It is a


fascinating thing about the Brexit machinations as they proceed that


this is just as if not more painful for the Labour Party than for the


Tory party, and that is such a reversal. For decades, it was all


about Tory splits on this. That is totally now on its head. I am just


wait for that Mike Candlelight vigil has worked for Diane. You were


tweeting # Prather Diane. Absolutely. The power of prayer has


been vindicated. Let's go straight to the chamber.


In addition to my duties I shall have further such meetings today Mr


Speaker, the Government chose to launch the pupil premium at a school


in Chesterfield where 70% of people receive free school meals. The


headteacher, Dave Shaw was running the Great North Run for a cancer


charity. However, her new schools' funding formula means that the


junior school now face the biggest cuts in all of Derbyshire. Running


for cash is now the only alternative to sacking staff. Will she go to the


finish line and tell Dave Shaw how this is a fairer funding formula?


Well, I'm pleased to say that in the local authority that covers the


honourable gentleman's constituency, we have seen an increase of over


17,000 children at good or outstanding schools since 2010.


That's down to Government changes and the hard work of teaches and


other staff in the schools. For a very long time, it has been the


general view - and I have campaigned on this for a long time - that


actually we need to see a fair funding formula for schools. What


Government has brought forward is a consultation on a fairer funding


formula. We look at the results of that fairer funding formula and will


bring forward our firm proposals in due course.


Over the course of the last 12 months, as part of the Defence


Select Committee, I have' had the opportunity to look into the


historic Iraq team and how we as a country deal with more historical


allegations for our servicemen and women, not only for us who serve but


for many members across this House it has been a deeply disturbing


experience. I know the Prime Minister gets it but will she double


her and her Government's commitments to get a grip on this historical


process, so that never again, will our servicemen and women be


exposed... I'm sure the whole House will want to join me in praising the


bravery and commitment of all those who Seb in our Armed Forces. I would


like to thank my honourable friend for the work he is doing on the


Defence Committee because of course he brings personal expertise to that


work. Those who serve on the front line deserve our support when they


get home. I can assure my honourable friend of the Government's


commitment to that. All troops facing allegations receive Legal Aid


from the Government, with the guarantee that this will not be


claimed back. In relation to the issue he has referred to, we are


committed to reducing its case load to a small number of credible cases


as quickly as possible and I recognise the action that has been


taken in relation to the individuals he has referred to, I think it is


absolutely appalling when people try to make a business out of chasing


after our brave troops. Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker, nine out of ten NHS Trusts say their hospitals have been


at unsafe levels of overcrowding. One in six Accident Emergency


units in England are set to be closed or downgraded. Could the


Prime Minister please explain how closing A departments will tackle


overcrowding and ever-growing waiting lists? First of all, can I


extend my thanks and I'm sure that of the whole House to the


hard-working staff in the NHS who do a great job, day-in and day-out,


treating patients. Yes we recognise there are heavy priors on the NHS.


That's -- pressures on the NHS. That's why, this year we are funding


the NHS at 1.3 billion pounds more than the Labour Party promised at


the last election. He refers specifically to Accident


Emergency. What is your response in Accident Emergency? We see 600


more A consultants. 1,500 more A doctors and 2,000 more paramedics.


It's not about standing up and making a sound bite and asking a


question, it is about delivering results and that's what this


Conservative Government is doing. Mr Speaker, congratulating A staff is


one thing, paying them properly is another. I hope she managed to see


the BBC reports on the royal Blackburn A department which


showed that pep had to wait up to 13 hours and 52 minutes to be seen.


Shocking. A major cause of the pressure on A is the 4.6 billion


cut in the social care budget since 2010. Shocking. Earlier this week,


Liverpool's very esteemed adult social care director resigned


saying, "Frankly, I can't see social services surviving after two years".


"That's the maximum." People are suffering and we are really only


seeing the tip of the iceberg. Mr Speaker, what advice does the


Government have to the people of Liverpool in this situation?


SHOUTING THE SPEAKER: Order, order. It is bad


enough that when members who are within the curt ledge of the chamber


shout. Those who are not, absolutely should not do so. It is a


discourtesy to the House of Commons. Nothing more, nothing less. Please


don't do it. The Prime Minister. Well, he refers


at an early stage in his question to Blackburn oo. Imehappy to say


compared to 2010 there are more hospital doctors and more nurses in


the Blackburn East Lang kashire Hospital's NHS Trust. He went on to


talk about waiting times and waiting times can be an issue. Where is it


that you wait a week longer for pneumonia treatment? That you wait a


week longer for heart disease treatment? That you wait seven weeks


longer for cataract treatment? 11 weeks longer for hernia treatment


and 21 weeks longer for a hip operation? It's not in England, it's


in Wales. Who is in power in Wales? Labour. Mr Speaker, my question was


about the comments from the director of social care in Liverpool and why


the people of Liverpool are having to suffer these great cuts.


Liverpool has asked to meet the Government on four occasions. The


crisis is so bad that until yesterday, Mr Speaker, David Hodge,


the Conservative leader of Surrey County Council, planned to hold a


referendum for a 15% increase in council tax. And at the last minute


it was called off. Can the Prime Minister tell the House whether or


not a special deal was done for Surrey? The decision as to whether


or not to hold a referendum in Surrey is entirely a matter for the


local authority in Surrey. In Surrey County Council. The right honourable


gentleman has raised the issue of social care, which we've exchanged


on across this Despatch Box before and as I've said before, we do need


to find a long-term sustainable solution for social care in this


country. So I recognise the short-term pressures. That's why we


have enabled local authorities to put more money into social care. We


have provided more money over the next two years, ?900 million more


will be available for social care. But we also need to look at ensuring


that good practice is spread across the whole of the country. We can


look at places like Barnsley, North Tyneside, St Helen's, Rutland,


towards the end of last year, no delayed discharges attributed to


social care in those councils. We need to look long-term and that's


why the Cabinet is driving a review w the relevant department, to find a


sustainable solution, which the Labour Party ducked for far too


long. My question was, whether there had been a special deal done for


Surrey. The #4r50eder said they had many conversations with the


Government. We know they have because I've been leaked copies of


text be send by by the Tory leader intended to somebody called Nick who


works for ministers in the Department for Communities and Local


Government and this text reads "I'm advised that DCLG officials have


been working on a solution and that you will be contacted me to agree a


memorandum of understanding." Ah. Will the Government now publish this


memorandum of understanding and while they are about it, will all


councils be offered the same deal? What we have given all councils is


the opportunity to raise a 3% precept on the council tax for that


go to go into social care. He talks about understanding. What the Labour


Party fails to understand... THE SPEAKER: Order. There is far too


much noise. Mr Pound calm yourself, you are supposed to be a senior


statesman. Order. And Mr Rotherham, you should


reserve your shouting for the stands at Anfield. Prime Minister.


As I say, all councils have the opportunity to raise the 3% precept


to put that funding into the provision of social care. What the


Labour Party fails to understand is that this is not just a question of


looking at money, it is a question of looking at spreading best


practice and finding a sustainable solution. And I have to say to him,


that if we look at social care provision across the entire country,


the last thing social care providers need is another one of Labour's


bouncing cheques. Mrnchts speaker, I wonder if it is


anything to do with the fact that the Chancellor and Health Secretary


both represent Surrey constituencies? Mr Speakerers there


was a second text from Surrey County Council leader to Nick and in the


second text it says "The numbers you indicated are the numbers that I


understand are acceptable for me to accept and call off the R." Now I've


been reading a bit of John Le Carre, and apparently R means, referendum.


It's very subtle, all this. He goes on to say in his text to


Nick "If it is possible for that info to be sent to myself, I can


then revert back soonest. Really want to kill this off." So, how much


did the Government offer Surrey to kill this off? And is the same


sweetheart deal on offer to every council facing the social care


crisis, created by her Government? I've made clear to the right


honourable gentleman what has been made available to every council,


which is the ability to raise the precept. And I have to say to him...


THE SPEAKER: Order. As colleagues know, I never mind how long Prime


Minister's Questions takes. The questions must be heard and the


answers must be heard. The Prime Minister. I have to say to


him, he comes to the despatch broks making all sorts of claims. Yet


again what we get from Labour are alternative facts. -- Despatch Box.


What they really need is an alternative leader.


Mr Speaker, my question was - what deal has been offered to Surrey that


got them to call off a referendum and will the same deal be offered to


every other council going through a social care crisis? Mr Speaker,


hospital wards are overcrowded. 1 million people aren't getting the


care they need. And family members, mostly women, are having to give up


work to care for loved ones. Every day that the Prime Minister fails to


act, this crisis gets worse. So will she, finally, come clean and provide


local authorities with the funding they need to fund social care


properly, so that our often elderly and vulnerable people can be treated


with the support and dignity that they deserve in a civilised society?


The deal that is on offer to all councils is the one I have already


set out. Let me just be very clear with the right honourable gentleman,


because as ever, he stands up and consistently asks for more spending.


More money, more funding. What he always fails to recognise, what he


fails to recognise is that you can only spend money on social care and


on the National Health Service if off strong economy to deliver the


wealth that you need. There is a fundamental difference between us.


When I... THE SPEAKER: Order. I'm sorry there is still too much noise


in the chamber. People observing our proceedings here and on the outside


what the questions heard and the answers heard and they will be.


Prime Minister. There is a difference between us,


when I talk about half a trillion pounds, that's the money we will be


spending on the NHS this Parliament. When Labour talk about half a


trillion pounds, tss the money they want to borrow. Conservatives


investing in the NHS, Labour bankrupting Britain.


Thank you, Mr Speaker, there are significant challenges facing this


great nafgs ours, Prime Minister, one of which is tackling mental


health, particularly for young people. The pressures of juggling


school life, family life and staying safe and feeling valued online are


more difficult than ever, would the Prime Minister agree to meet with me


and my team to discuss the Mental Health Act that we have been working


on and developing, an app to give young people a tool box to help them


in the times of crisis? I am interested to hear of this.


Mental health is an area where we do need to put more of a focus and make


progress. I am pleased to say that something like 1400 more people are


accessing mental health services every day. But more needs to be


done. We are putting ?68 million into improving mental health care


through digital innovation, which sounds as if it fits right into what


my honourable friend is looking at. There will be a particular focus on


that with children and young people's mental health in mind. He


might want to look out for the Department of Health and the


Department for Education joint green paper that they will publish in


October. Angus Robertson. Last night, parliamentarians from across


the chamber and across the parties voted overwhelmingly against the UK


Government's Brexit plans in the Scottish Parliament. If the United


Kingdom is a partnership of equals, will the Prime Minister compromise


like the Scottish Government and reach a negotiated agreement before


invoking Article 50, or will she just carry on regardless? As the


right honourable gentleman knows, when the UK Government negotiates,


it will be negotiating as the government for the whole of the


United Kingdom. We have put in place the JNC arrangements through various


committees which enable us to work closely with the devolved


administrations identify the particular issues that they want to


see represented as we put our views together. We have said we will


intensify the discussions within that arrangement and that is what


we'll do. Angus Robertson. When the Prime Minister was in Edinburgh on


the 15th of July last year, she pledged that she would "Not trigger


article 50 until she had an agreed UK-wide approach. So given that the


Scottish Parliament has voted overwhelmingly against her approach,


and all bar one MP representing a Scottish constituency in this House


of Commons has voted against her approach, she does not have an


agreed UK-wide approach. As the Prime Minister knows, a lot of


people in Scotland watch Prime Minister's Questions. So will she


tell those viewers in Scotland when she intends to keep her word to


Scotland or not? We are ensuring that we are working with the


Scottish Government and the other devolved administrations as we take


this matter forward. I would just remind the right honourable


gentleman of two things. First of all, the Supreme Court was clear


that the Scottish parliament does not have a veto on the triggering of


article 50. The bill that is going through the House is obviously


giving the power to the government to trigger article 50. I would also


remind him of this point, because he constantly refers to the interests


of Scotland inside the European Union. An independent Scotland would


not be in the European Union. Mr Speaker, the people of Rossendale


and Darwen warmly welcome Government's housing White Paper.


Will my right honourable friend confirm that when it comes to


providing more security for renters, building more affordable homes and


helping people buy their own home, it is this party, the Conservative


Party, that is fixing our broken housing market? Am happy to agree


with my honourable friend. Our broken housing market is one of the


greatest barriers to progress in Britain today and the housing White


Paper brought out by my right honourable friend II for communities


and local government sets out the steps we will take to fix it and my


honourable friend is right. It is the Conservatives who are going to


support local authorities to deliver more of the right homes in the right


places to encourage faster build-up of developments. I'm sure everybody


recognised the problem of planning permission that are given and then


not built out, and create the conditions for a more competitive


and diverse housing market. We are setting out the response abilities


of all parties in building the homes that Britain needs. Does the Prime


Minister agree that in a 21st century parliament, the rules should


not able any member to speak for longer than 58 minutes in a


three-hour debate? Does she agree that the rules of the House should


be changed to prevent filibustering and French other members from all


sides of the House get that our share of the time available? I have


to say, I find that a rather curious question from the honourable


gentleman. Last night, as it happens, I was out of the House


between the two votes. I switched on the BBC Parliament channel and I saw


the honourable gentleman speaking. I turned over to something else. I


switched back. I saw the honourable gentleman still speaking! I switched


over to something else. I switched back and the honourable gentleman


was still speaking. He is the last person to complain about


filibustering in this House. Mrs Theresa Villiers. Mr Speaker,...


Order! Mr Hughes, you seem to be in a state of permanent overexcitement.


Calm yourself, man, take some sort of medication and it will soothe


you. We must hear Mrs Williams. As we prepare in this House to take


back control over our laws on agriculture, was she agree to use


Brexit as an opportunity to strengthen, not weaken the rules


which safeguard the welfare of animals? My right honourable friend


raises an important point which is of concern are many people in this


house and outside. We should be proud in the UK that we have some of


the highest animal welfare standards in the world. Indeed, one of the


highest scores for animal protection in the world. Leaving the EU will


not change this. I can assure my right honourable friend that we are


committed to maintaining and where possible, improving standards of


welfare in the UK while ensuring that our industry is not put at a


competitive disadvantage. Last week, the Russian Duma decriminalised


violence against women and children. I trust the government will


encourage Russia to rethink this aggressive approach which could


realise a domestic violence. Does she agree that ratify the Convention


would send a message to Russia and the world of the priority that


should be placed on ending gender-based violence? I am proud


that in this country, we have strengthened the law on domestic


violence and violence against women and girls. We see this as a


retrograde step by the Russian government, repealing existing


legislation sends out absolutely the wrong message on what is a global


problem. We have joined others in both the Council of Europe and the


OSCE in criticising this decision. Each year, the NHS reportedly spends


?80 million more than it needs to on prescriptions for basic painkillers


that can be sourced much more cheaply. Yet at the same time,


secondary breast cancer patients face being denied life extending


drugs. May I ask my right honourable friend to review this poor


allocation of resources and give breast cancer sufferers the hope


that they deserve? This is obviously an important issue that my


honourable friend has raised. I understand that on the point of


basic medication, it is in the fact that the NHS pays more for basic


painkillers than on the high street. In fact, their prices are lower. In


the case of the drug, it is right that difficult decisions are made on


the basis of clinical evidence. I understand that Nice is undertaking


a comprehensive assessment before making a final recommendation and in


the meantime, the drug is still available to patients. Last month, a


report was published on historical institutional abuse in Northern


Ireland. Given the uncertain political institutions in Northern


Ireland, if the executive is not up and running within a month, will the


Prime Minister commit to implementing a report on historical


institutional abuse in full? This was obviously an important review


and of course we have our inquiry into historic child abuse taking


place in England and Wales. I recognise the point the honourable


gentleman makes about looking ahead to the future. We obviously have the


elections on the 2nd of March. There were then be a period of time for an


executive to be put together. I would encourage all parties to work


to ensure that an executive can be put together in Northern Ireland to


maintain the devolved institutions. I don't want to see the benefits


that have come of progress being undone at this stage. I am sure that


looking ahead, whatever is necessary will be done to ensure that the


findings of that report are taken into account and acted on. The Prime


Minister has been clear in her negotiating objectives as we prepare


to leave the European Union. But with the Prime Minister agree with


me that regions like the West Midlands, part of which I represent,


needs a voice in those negotiations to ensure that we take the


opportunities presented by Brexit to raise investment in education,


skills and infrastructure in the region to ensure that her vision of


a global Britain represents the interests of all the regions of


England as well as the broader United Kingdom? I agree with my


honourable friend. When we negotiate as a United Kingdom, we will be


negotiating for the whole of the United Kingdom and taking account of


all parts of the United Kingdom. We have ambition in terms of making the


Midlands and engine for growth. It is about growing the region's


economy and more jobs. That is why money has been put into funding the


Birmingham rail hub, for example. Of course, the West Midlands will be


getting a strong voice nationally with a directed irate elected mayor


in May. I believe Andy Street will be a very good mayor for the West


Midlands. In welcoming the honourable gentleman back again to


the chamber, I call Mr Ronnie Campbell. Looking pretty slim as


well, Mr Speaker! Mr Speaker, I had five months under the health service


in Newcastle, under the auspices of Professor Griffiths, a marvellous


surgeon. He just about saved my life. But there was a flip side.


That is the best side of the national health and it has been


wonderful, the service I got. But there is a flip side, which is what


we are seeing today. We now have dedicated nurses who are called


corridor nurses. They are in the corridor, looking after patients on


trolleys. That is not the way we want our health service to run. Get


your purse open and give them the money they want. As the Speaker


said, I welcome the honourable gentleman to his place again in this


chamber. And I commend the surgeon and all those who have treated him


in the National Health Service that has enabled him to be here today and


to continue his duties. As we know, there are surgeons, doctors, nurses


and other staff up and down the NHS day in and day out, saving lives. We


should commend them for all that they do. The north-east is a good


example of some of the really good practice that we see in the National


Health Service. I want to see that good practice being spread across


the NHS across the whole country. Dr Sarah Wollaston. I am not alone in


hearing from family 's long settled here in Britain who are deeply


worried that they could be separated after we leave the European Union. I


know that the Prime Minister will not want that to happen, and I


wonder if today, she could reassure all our constituents that those who


were born elsewhere in the European Union but settled here in the UK are


married or in partnerships with British citizens, will have the


right to remain? My honourable friend raises an issue that is of


concern to members across this House. As she says, it is of concern


to many individuals outside of this House who will want reassurance


about their future. I want to be able to give that reassurance, but I


do want to see the same reassurance for UK citizens living in the EU.


But when I trigger article 50, I intend to make it clear that I want


this to be a priority for an early stage of the negotiations so that we


can address this issue and reassure the people concerned. Just two weeks


ago, a 15-year-old left school and was stabbed four times and died.


Three days earlier, a 19-year-old was stabbed to death in Wembley. And


just a few months earlier, two of my young constituents were killed and


the police said it was a case of mistaken identity. They were


22-year-old and a 27-year-old. Next week, I am eating the deputy Mayor


of London to discuss this issue and other issues. The Prime Minister


meet with me, fellow MPs and my borough commander to talk about this


issue and the sycamore project which we would like to see rolled out in


London and beyond? Can I express obviously the


condolences of the whole House to the familiar lanes friends to all of


those she referred to in her question who of been so brutally


stabbed and attacked and suffered from knife attacks she refers to.


Obviously this is an important issue. It is a particularly


important issue for London but it is one that we want to see addressed. A


lot of good work that has been done. I'm in the aware of the sycamore


project she has referred to but would be happy to hear more details


of it. From medics at Kingston Hospital to


researchers at Kingston university, and staff at growing electronics


businesses, Kingston's workforce is enriched by highly-skilled workers


from abroad so. Can my honourable friend refirm after we leave the EU


we'll continue to welcome highly-skilled worksers from the EU


and beyond. I thank my honourable friend for his question. We are very


clear that we dop want to bring the numbers of net migration down but we


also want to ensure that the brightest and best are still welcome


here in the United Kingdom. And that's why I think people want to


see the UK Government making decisions about people who are


coming here from the European Union, but we are very clear about the


importance, as I said in my speech in Lancaster House, there will still


be immigration from the European Union into the UK and we want to


ensure that the brightest and best are able to come here.


Yesterday the Brexit minister claimed that Parliament will have a


meaningful vote on the final EU deal. But account Prime Minister


confirm that under her plans Parliament will either have to


accept what the Government offers or fall back on WTO rules? And in the


event there's no deal, there'll be no vote at all? Isn't the reality


this is just take it or leave it and it is not a meaningful concession,


it's a con? We have been very clear. I said in my Lancaster House speech


that there would be a vote on the final deal. There were a number of


questions on what exactly that meant. We will bring forward o


motion on the final agreement for approval by both Houses of


Parliament and before the final agreement is concluded. We do


expect. I know this has been an issue for a number of honourable and


right honourable members. We do expect and intend that will happen


before the European Parliament debate before it votes and debates


on the final agreement. As the Prime Minister knows,


Trafford Schools are the best in the country. But they are also in one of


the F40 worst-funded areas but perversely the draft funding formula


would actually cut funding to are Trafford Schools not increase T when


she reviews the draft proposals l she look, please for a new formula


that guarantees that all of the worst-funded areas are increased in


funding, not cut? My honourable friend raises, again, an important


point that I know is a matter which is on the minds of a number of


honourable and right honourable friends. As I said earlier, I think


the current system of funding is unfair, it is not transparent. I


think it is out of date. I want to see a session at the that does


support our aspiration to ensure that every child has a good school


place. But, in looking at these reforms I can assure my honourable


friend that we want to get this right. It is why we are consulting


and why we will look very closely at the responses to that consultation.


Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Npower have announced a 9.8%


increase on dual fuel bills which even the former boss, the former


tsar has described as shocking. EDS announced a 8.4% electricity hike


and it is reported that British Gas is preparing its 11 million customs


tomorrow Merse for a 9% increase. Ofgem has moved to protect those on


prepayment ministers with a cap on energy bills. I ask the Prime


Minister why doesn't she demand similar protection for the majority


of customs Merse who are being ripped off as the CMA has said to


the sum of ?1.4 billion. The Right Honourable lady might have missed


the fact that where we have said that markets aren't working we will


look at the measures needed and the energy market is one we are looking


at at the moment. In the spirit of neutrality. The Prime Minister's


Lancaster House was a call to put the divisions behind us. Does my


right honourable friend agree that this is a vision that everyone in


the House should support, that the more united we are, the stronger our


negotiating position will be. THE SPEAKER: The honourable gentleman


must be concerned. Does she share my surprise that certain members


opposite that disagreeing with their current party leader, can cause


headaches, that some may not have learned.


Can I say to my honourable friend, he is absolutely right that I think


the country wants us, in this House, and everybody in the country, wants


to unite behind the Government's work to ensure that we get the


best-possible deal for the UK, as we leave the European Union, and I


believe that we can get a deal that actually is going to be in the


interests both of the UK and of the European Union. I had hoped that I


was going to be able to welcome the Shadow Home Secretary to the front


bench in time for the vote that's going to take place later tonight.


Perhaps members of the Labour Party are starting to realise the only


real headache is their leader. Thank you, very much, Mr Speaker.


Does the Prime Minister agree with the Director-General of the World


Trade Organisation that if Britain were to leave the EU on WTO terms,


it would cost ?9 billion in lost trade each year? What we want to do


is to ensure that we negotiate a deal with the European Union that


enables us to have the best-possible deal in trading with and operating


within the European Union single market in goods and services. I


believe that's possible, precisely because, as I have just said n


response to my honourable friend the member for Lincoln, I believe that


is a deal that is good, not just for but for the EU as well.


The Prime Minister rightly argues for true parity of esteem between


mental and physical health but parent in York have been sold that


their children must wait up to a year for an assessment by the child,


now adolescent mentalhealth services. As the Department of


Health actually does not currently record these figures, would the


Prime Minister consider making the monitoring fted waiting times a


requirement? My honourable friend has raised an important point. As I


set out a few weeks ago, the Government will be reviewing the


separation of CAMs services across the country because I recognise some


of the concerns that honourable members have made. We want to ensure


that children and young people have easy access at the right time to


mental health because of the evidence that a significant


proportion of mental health problems that arise later in life actually


sta of children and adolescents. We have made more money available to


support transformation in children and young peep's mental health but


the Shadow Health Secretary - sorry, the Health Secretary... -- young


people's mental health. He is in his place as well.


I haute Shadow Health Secretary will agree with me we need to review CAM


services and are giving the right support to children and young


people, adolescents with mental health problems and we'll look at


the issue my honourable friend has raised.


Many honourable members in this House have recently made the long


journey up to West Cumbria for the by-election and we've all


experienced the states of our roads and local railways. It's taken a


by-election for transport ministers to look seriously and show any real


interest in this. Can I is ask, is the Prime Minister planning a trip


herself, so she too can experience why we need proper investment from


this Government into our transport infrastructure in West Cumbria? We


are putting more money, the Government is putting more money


into infrastructure investment across the country but you have to


say to her, the Labour Party had 13 years to improve transport in West


Cumbria and didn't do anything about it. Thank you, Mr Speaker. I


recently visited a world class coach-building manufacture based in


my constituent and heard about their exciting plans for the future. With


my right honourable friend join me in emphasising the importance of


skills and manufacturing for our economy, especially as we look to


leave the European Union? Can I thank my honourable friend for


drawing our attention to the example of Woodall Nicholson and say how


pleased we are to hear they have good plans for the future. Can I say


he is right, as we leave the EU we will be doing that from a position


of strength. He is right that skills and manufacturing are an important


of our economy for the future that's why in the industrial strategy we


are looking at how we can develop the excellence we already have in


the UK, for the prosperous, growing economy for the future.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Prime Minister's right honourable friend,


the member for Rushcliffe last week pointed out that her aspiration to


achieve barrier-free tariff-free trade with the single market,


getting all the benefits but paying none of the cost, was actually akin


to disappearing down the rabbit hole to wonderland. Mr Speaker, I think


she makes a very interesting choice for Alice. But, if she doesn't


manage to achieve that Higham Biggs, would she produce an analysis of


what trading on WTO rules would actually mean for our economy, so we


can make a proper choice? Can I say I commend my right honourable friend


the member for Rushcliffe for the significant service he has given to


this House and his constituents over the years. He and I have have worked


well over a number of years although I have to say when I was Home


Secretary and he was Justice Secretary, I used to say that I


locked him up and he let them out. Can I say to the Right Honourable


lady, as far as this Government is concerned, we believe it is possible


within the two-year time frame to get the agreement, not just for our


withdrawal from the European Union, but also the trade arrangements that


will ensure that we have a strong, strategic partnership with the


European Union in the future. In my right honourable friend's


meeting with Binyamin Netanyahu this week, did she press the only way to


get a lasting peace settlement is for young Palestinians and Israelis


to look Ford to a job, a sharing prosperity and a life without fear,


does she agree the only way to achieve this is face-to-face


negotiations? And will she join the Israeli Prime Minister in pressing


the Prime Minister of the Palestinian authorities for


face-to-face negotiations? My right honourable friend does make a very


important point about this. We continue as a Government a


Conservative Government in the UK to believe that the two-state solution


is a right one. That means a viable Palestinian state but also a safe


and secure Israel. And, of course, it is for the parties to negotiate.


Obviously there are others on the international arena who are doing


their work to facilitate an agreement in the Middle East. But,


ultimately it is for the two parties to agree a way forward. THE SPEAKER:


Order. There was a good old-fashioned PMQs


ambush today. Jeremy Corbyn managed to get hold of some specks r text


and put the Prime Minister in a spot. Surrey council faced with


social cuts in other areas, decided to hold a referendum allowing it to


increase council tax by 15%. If you try to go by more than 5, you have


to call a referendum. Thiefs an embarrassment for the Conservative


Government in doing it and the text seemed to involve the head of Surrey


council, David Hodge, doing some -- this was an embarrassment for the


Conservative Government. It was somebody called Nick. We


think it may have gone to the wrong Nick, Nick Forbes a Labour


politician who works at the local association. And this is courtesy of


Guiedo Fox who got the "I understand you could chat this afternoon,


grateful if we could speak about the way forward." The rely is", hi,


David I haven't asked to speak to you, it is always a pleasure s this


something the Local Government Association is trying to set up?"


And Surrey then replies "I'm advised that the departmental officials and


my director of finance have been working on a solution and have a


memo of understanding." This Nick then says, "Do you know what it is b


sorry I'm going clueless here." This suggests to us, rather than going to


Nick King, Sajid Javid's SPAD, it went to Nick Ford at the "Local


Government Association." The key text here would seem to be again,


David Hodge, leader of Surrey council saying to Nick, "I have


received clarification from my Chief Executive (and I have just spoken to


various people) that the numbers you independenticated are the numbers


that I understand are acceptable for me to accept and call off the


referendum." So the clear implication here is that the leader


of Surrey council, assumes he is doing a deal, some kind of deal that


allows him not to proceed with this referendum to increase council tax


by 15%. We are trying to piece this together as we go along but it is


undoubtedly putting the Government on the back foot at the moment.


Exactly what the deal is we don't know but as Mr Corbyn said if this


deal was available to Surrey, an area which includes the


constituencies of the Chancellor and the Health Secretary, for example, a


staunch Tory area s this available to councils throughout? We will come


back to this in a minute Laura has been pouring over what she knows but


let's hear because you picked up on this too, and reflected in the


e-mails. And as a result, people for Jeremy


Corbyn had a good primer on Asos questions in contrast to last week.


A viewer indeed says, I am sure overwhelmed A doctors and nurses


will be reassured by the Prime Minister's kind words. They might


have preferred greater investment government interference. PS, I agree


with Nick, the memorandum of understanding one as opposed to Nick


Clegg. Another says Jeremy Corbyn is more effective when he hammers


through on health care. It was a good ploy to avoid mentioning


Brexit. Talk of sweetheart deals is effective mudslinging rhetoric. It


will make the news and united Labour for a day or two. Ian in Altrincham


says after a terrible few weeks at PMQs, Jeremy Corbyn stormed back to


be, admittedly on safe ground of the NHS and social care, but Mrs May was


flawed, not answering Coggan's questions, reduced to insulting NHS


Wales. Laura, we are now forced to call this Nickileaks! You stole my


line! This could be extremely embarrassing for the government with


a clear suggestion from Jeremy Corbyn and from these texts that


Surrey Council, of course an area around with Tory MPs, some of them


very senior, Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, being one of them, which


has somehow been given a special favour in terms of the numbers that


are talked about in this text. The key phrase is that the numbers are


acceptable for me to call off the referendum. That is clear evidence,


not a slam dunk, because we have not seen the origin of these texts, that


somehow a solid Tory area has been given a special deal to avoid their


being an embarrassing referendum to put up council tax, which would be


very unpopular. Theresa May didn't have answers at PMQs. They will be


scrabbling to come up with some kind of response to this. This could be


extremely embarrassing. Big question of how this came to light. Could it


be Nick Forbes, the leader of Newcastle City Council and a senior


figure at the Local Government Association? This could be extremely


awkward in an area we have discussed so many times in the last few weeks.


It is really difficult for the government. They don't have an


answer right now on social care. Nick Gibb, can we confirm that you


are not the Nick involved in this? Definitely not. There are a lot of


Nicks around. Can we also establish that it is now impossible for the


government to avoid explaining to us what deal has been done between


central government and Surrey County Council? These are routine


discussions that take place between the DC Oti and councils in the


country as part of the local government financial settlement.


They take place every year as they did under Labour. The final


settlement will be published later this month. The House of Commons


votes on it, so this is routine. But it cannot be routine if Surrey


Council were planning a referendum to increase council tax by 50%. They


have seen a cut in their central government grant since 2010 of ?170


million at a time when a man for the services that that 170 million was


meant to cover has been rising. So in real terms, it is a lot more.


They wanted a 15% rise. They have to put that to a referendum. Something


has been done, as we know from the texts. Let me get the reply -


something was done to stop a referendum. It is a crony deal


between Tories and Tories. That is clearly the implication. Well, the


budget settlement in Surrey is a matter for Surrey County Council. I


understand they voted it through last night. But these discussions


between different councils of all political colours up and down the


country take place every year as local authorities settle their


financial agreements with the government. No secret memorandum.


David Hodge thinks he was doing a deal. It is now clear that he


thought he was sending it to Nick King, special adviser to Sajid


Javid, but in fact sent it to a different Nick, Nick Forbes at the


local government authority. And he of course is a Labour politician. I


need to get reaction from you. I am gobsmacked. A good attempt, Nick,


but to say this is routine, are you saying this happens on a routine


basis that dodgy deals are done if you are in a Tory council and uterus


may referendum, you get what you want? Somebody has to resign over


this. This is a disgrace. There are people up and down the country


suffering these cuts and if you press the button with your Tory


mates, you get a good deal? It is an outrage and this is going to run and


run. People had better lance this boil quick, or we will see all these


documents published. We want to see it all fully disclosed, because this


will haunt you if you don't get it right. There will be a demand for


total transparency on this. It is not as if there are any security


implications. Indeed, and we understand John Ashworth will call


for an inquiry. He will suggest that all the correspondence around this


should be published. The classic question, if there is nothing to


hide and it is all routine, why should it not be out in the public


domain? We will see what happens. The whole financial settlement is


voted on by the House of Commons. We will see the numbers as they come


out. The local government finance settlement was announced after the


Autumn Statement. As we discussed at the time, it was delayed for a bit


longer because local government leaders were fighting for an


expected there to be something extra for them about social care. But


there was not. So this row is pushing at a bruise that is already


extremely painful. Won't it be the number that is the key? It is worth


referring back to the text. "The Numbers you indicated", says David


Hodge, "Other numbers I've understand are acceptable for me to


call off the referendum". If this text is genuine - we haven't got


hold of David Hodge yet or broken to whoever the Nick was - but this


seems... What makes this politically difficult is that this is a Tory


government, dealing with the Tory heartlands. You don't get more Tory


than sorry. Ian McLeod used to refer to it as the deep South. And we know


what he meant by that. It is interesting that they were so


anxious to do some kind of deal. I would suggest that there was never


any chance that Surrey, Tory heartland, was going to vote for a


15% increase in council tax. My understanding is that they had voted


for increases in the past. Not 15%. Probably not. But these issues do


take place because you have to make sure that the figures are correct.


We get this in school funding as well. The local authority sometimes


comes to us and says, we put the wrong figures in the wrong box, can


we have a mission to get extra money from the department? We look at


those things every year. I am glad you mentioned school funding,


because you will be glad to know that that is what we are going to


move on to. We can talk to Toby Perkins, the Labour MP who asked the


first question at PMQs, which was about the proposed changes to the


government's funding formula for schools. What are your concerns?


Well, the school that the government launched the pupil premium in in my


constituency is facing the biggest cuts in Derbyshire. It is a very


deprived school. 70% of the children are on free school meals. My sense


is not only that there is not enough money generally for schools, but


that the schools that need that support are facing the biggest cuts.


Now we have the headteacher of that school running the Great North Run


not for charity, but to try and prop up his core funding so he doesn't


have to sack staff. We have the schools minister here. Why are the


schools in that constituency, which is in a fairly deprived area, going


to lose money and funding from this new formula which the Prime Minister


said would be fairer? We are spending record amounts of money on


school funding, ?40 billion. But there is increased demand. Yes, so


it will rise to deal with that over the rest of the parliament to 42


billion by 2019. We had to address the historic unfairness of the way


the money was distributed. It is based on 2005 data which is out of


date. It is based on an amalgamation of all kinds of grants which went to


different parts of the country over a period of time. People have


complained for years that this is unfair, so we have grasped the


nettle. It is undoubtedly controversial, but we have set a


series of principles like deprivation, low prior attainment of


pupils and English as a second language. We have consulted on that


and got agreement and have applied that two schools based on current


data. You will find that some schools lose, because they have been


funded more generously in the past. Toby Perkins, have your school is


being funded more generously in the past? Derbyshire is one of the 40


councils that are underfunded generally. But specifically, we are


seeing the school that has the third greatest level of deprivation in all


of Derbyshire being the one that gets the biggest cuts. The


government are cutting the schools that have the kids with the biggest


level of deprivation. It is not just people on the opposition like Toby


Perkins. Graham Brady, a Conservative MP, has that


historically, funding in his constituency has been extremely low.


So it has led the Conservative leader of Kent County Council to say


we welcome the new funding formula, but are we getting the right spots?


We are. We are putting a great deal of money into deprivation. Then why


is the school losing out? The anomaly is not the new funding


formula. The anomaly is what happened before. We are having to


address historic anomalies. For example, in London ten years ago,


27% of pupils were eligible for free school meals. That figure is now 18%


because of the increased prosperity of inner London. They are still the


best funded part of the country. And now you are going to cut funding.


But it is fairer now. 50% of schools will gain and 46% will see a small


fall. But 1000 rural schools will have their budgets cut and the


proposed formula. The whole idea was to help some of these rural schools


in the government claim have lost out to areas like London. But


schools will gain which never had it in the past. The point is, when you


are creating a fairer national funding formula based on current


data and you apply those numbers to the current year, you will see some


schools rise and some schools fall. But overall, we are spending more on


schools that we have ever done. We have to leave it there. In the


interest of fairness, the Surrey County Council leader David Hodge


has said that Surrey's decision not to proceed with a 15% council tax


increase was ours alone. There has been no deal between Surrey County


Council and the government. But these texts have to be expensive but


we need to tell you what the year was. Whack that red button. It was


1959. That is it for today. The one


O'Clock News is starting on BBC One. We will be back tomorrow with


another edition of the Daily Politics here on BBC Two. Bye-bye.


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