Live coverage of questions in the House of Commons to Karen Bradley, the secretary for culture, media and sport, and her ministerial team.
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Good morning and welcome to BBC Parliament's live coverage of the
Commons. The Labour chair of the, first committee Yvette Cooper will
be asking about the decision to end the child refugee programme. Then
the Leader of the House David Lidington will be asking questions
about the future parliamentary business on the backbenchers debate.
Join me for a round-up of the day and both houses of parliament at
11pm tonight. First questions for the Culture Secretary Karen Bradley
and her team. Number one, sir.
Mr Speaker, in a fast changing and challenging broadcast environment,
the Government wants to ensure that Channel 4 has a secure and strong
future, and will continue to provide for audiences and support creative
industries around the UK. The Government is looking at a broad
range of options and we will set out our plans in this area in due
course. Is it that the review is not as fast
changing and fast moving as the broadcast environment? At the end of
this month, it will have taken longer than the BBC Charter review.
Can we now put this review out of its misery and declared that Channel
4 works well and will not be privatised.
Mr Speaker, unlike the BBC Charter review, this is no formal process
and there is not an end date to which the charter expires as with
the BBC. But we need to make sure we get it right. I want to see Channel
4 survive and flourish and prosper in an ever-changing broadcasting
world, as he has pointed out, and that means working with Channel 4 to
get the right deal for viewers, but also the right deal for the whole
country. David Nuttall.
Would my honourable friend think the view of the conditions and markets
authority, what would it be like, if a company owned one broadcasting
company the size of the BBC and wanted to own another the size of
the Channel 4? If she would agree that this should not be allowed,
will she add agree to sell off Channel 4?
Mr Speaker, I know my honourable friend has strong views on this, but
I assure him we are looking at all and we will report to the house in
due course. As we heard from my honourable
friend from Chester, this is one of the longest-running soap episodes in
this house, whether Channel 4 will or will not be privatised. Can the
Secretary of State confirm it will not be privatised and will not be
for-profit, unlike, and I expect she is coming from pressure from the
benches opposite to privatise. Mr Speaker, I know the honourable
gentleman from Chester is interested in long-running soaps on Channel 4,
given that Hollyoaks is set in his constituency, and I want to make
sure that Hollyoaks and other programmes around the UK are able to
prosper so we have a plurality of broadcasting that works for
everyone. Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Secretary
of State will be aware Channel 4 won the broadcaster of the year I
broadcast awards, and she, does she agree if it is not broken to fix it?
The point is that we make sure Channel 4 has a long term
sustainable future and that is why we are looking at all options we can
ensure that a station that relies very, very predominantly on
advertising revenue is able to continue and provide the excellent
broadcasting Channel 4 is renowned for.
But when she spoke to the select committee last year, she said you
would come to a decision, and I quote, "In the near -ish future".
And our in due course. I do not know whether the near -ish future is
sooner than in due course. This messing around about Channel 4 needs
to come to an end because the uncertainty is damaging the business
and broadcasting industry. Will she give us, rather than in the near
-ish future, a decision immediately? I do not agree this is affecting the
quality of broadcasting Channel 4 is able to produce. The fact that
Channel 4 has committed to being the broadcaster for the para athletics
being held in London is a positive move we welcome. I will get this
right and we're working with Channel 4 and all stakeholders to make sure
Channel 4 has the long-term, sustainable future and I will report
back to the honourable gentleman as soon as I can.
Number two. Matt Hancock.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. We strongly support a brass bands, and through
regular arts Council funding to organisations such as the Brass Band
England, and in addition large brass band can take advantage of the
orchestra tax relief introduced in April last year.
Youth Brass 2000 is a small brass band based in Kettering, and would
my honourable friend join me in congratulating them in recently been
crowned British Open youth brass band champions for the fifth year
running? They are an excellent example of youth band should be
pleased to follow, are they not? I would be delighted to trumpet
success... Of the winners of the British open
youth championship for a fifth year in the role. I myself played the
cornet in a brass band when I was a boy. But I never rose to the
dizzying heights of the National Champions that he represents and I
send them congratulations. In my constituency, we have the
wonderful band that brings together the not so young and the young, with
instruments that are also young or not so young and I understand the
minister is keen to support that. Could he endorsed today in this
chamber of the need to have that cross community, gender balance as
well, to make sure the brass bands of the future are as such?
As you see from the response in the House, there are brass band toured
across the country. The Haver Hill Brass Band in my constituency is a
good example. But the point the honourable gentleman makes is that
brass bands like other music organisations can bring people
together across cultural divides, from different backgrounds, and
provide a point of unity. A point well made.
The Minister is not known for blowing his own trumpet but... I am
sure he, like me, would want to congratulate the Rossendale Scout
band and many other bands, all of which particularly work with young
people. I am sure I hope the Minister will take the opportunity
to thank these bands getting young people off the street and giving
them a love of music and helping them perform.
I never played the trumpet, I was a mere player of the cornet but I want
to bang the drum for all of these brass bands.
The long-term sustainability of our brass bands, including the fine
brass band in my hometown... Yeah, yeah...
It depends on the affordable music lessons in schools. Does the
Minister agree that this Government's cuts to devolved
administrations and local councils but a risk?
I think that people who play in brass bands across the country
should be enthused by the level of support across this chamber for this
question. I would disagree with the honourable gentleman, because in
England, where the UK Government is responsible for support, we have put
in ?300 million into music clubs to make sure everybody gets the
opportunity to play a musical instrument. It is up to the devolved
authorities to do that. That is outside of England, and I wish that
the Welsh Government would do something similar.
Question three. Mr Speaker, the Government wants to
ensure the best deal for Britain on leaving the EU, and to provide as
much certainty as we can. The creative industries are one of the
UK's greatest success stories, contributing over ?87 billion to the
economy, and ?19 billion in exports, and I am confident this will
continue when we leave the European Union, and I am working with the
ministry to ensure this. I am sure the Minister has her
favourite things, but can she enjoys the Government is ensuring that work
Visa requirements and increased application costs do not kill the
ability of UK musicians to tour in European venues post Brexit?
Mr Speaker, as pointed out, we have moved from brass bands to rock
bands. A nice segue. But the point of the UK music industry is this is
a global leader. Not just in 27 countries in the European union but
across the world, and it is British music and British bands that are
touring around the world. I understand the point that he makes
and I am sure to work closely with the industry to ensure we get the
best deal for British music in Europe but also across the world.
The EU is crucial funding for the creative sector, and Scottish
organisations have received over 12 million from creative Europe, but no
word from this Government as to what will happen to the source of funding
after the UK leads the EU, so can you commit to giving the creative
industries assurance that they will not be worse off as the result of
the UK leaving the EU? The Chancellor of the Exchequer has
committed that funding will be secured until 2020, which is after
the UK will leave the European Union, but I am working closely with
industry and across Government to ensure that we get the right deal
for Britain, and that means that we have the support that is needed to
ensure our creative industries flourish.
Mr Speaker, when I look at the stylish men and women on the front
bench opposite, I think that each and every one of them...
LAUGHTER Except perhaps the honourable member
for Reading, could be models on the catwalk at London Fashion Week.
Now, the fashion industry, Mr Speaker, are concerned that as the
UK leads the EU, we will lose the right to present original designs
with serious knock-on effect for trade showcases, including London
Fashion Week. Can the Secretary of State tell us what the Government is
doing to make sure intellectual property rights of our designers are
protected post Brexit? Mr Speaker, the honourable gentleman
has a timely question with British Fashion Week coming up, but also,
because only on Monday myself and the Minister of State met the
fashion industry to discuss exactly these points, and I reassure him and
the fashion industry that because the Great Repeal Bill will bring
European rules into UK law, those rates will be protected.
Mr Speaker, last week the select committee took evidence from people
representing the creative industries. Some of these employ a
40% EU workforce and these people are now in limbo. What reassurances
can the Secretary of State give that their roles and livelihoods are
secure? I want to pay tribute to the
decreative works, and the role they have played in working Government to
develop our plan to ensure we get the right deal for creative
industries when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. He will
know the Prime Minister has been very clear that she wants to get an
early settlement on the matter of EU nations in the UK and UK nationals
living in Europe and I know that she is working hard, as we all are,
across Government, to ensure we can achieve it as soon as possible.
We expect all clubs and sports to fill full their legal obligations
under the act of 2010, so disabled people are a are not placed at a
disadvantage. Football has the highest issue, and is stepping up.
We expect all other sports to do the same.
People from across the United Kingdom have been contacting me with
grave concerns about lack of accessibility to sport stadiums.
Will the minister meet with myself and the all parliamentary group to
discuss the important steps in the way forward. Can I start by
congratulating the honourable lady in all she does. Her reputation is
fast spreading around the chamber and indeed beyond. I would, I am
sure, along with my colleague for work and pensions, be delighted to
meet her about this issue. We are making progress on it. It isn't just
football in the English Premier League. It is football throughout
this country and across other home nations as well. I encourage all
members to do what they can to encourage their own local clubs to
be as successful as possible. Will the minister agree it is
unacceptable with all the wealth that there are clubs that don't yet
have a plan to meet their accessibility target for their
stadia. Will she agree with the report that clubs that fail to do
that should face legal action? I don't agree with the honourable
gentleman that the clubs don't have a plan. I believe they have a plan,
they may not be meeting that plan. He is right to say there should be
legal action. It is not for me to advance that. It is, he will be
aware, as others will be, that equally and the human rights
commission is the body that enforces the act. If insufficient progress is
made by clubs they should consider using their legal powers and they
would have my full support. The Government's approach continues to
be come play sent. The Government's a-- complacent. The Government's
view is to leave it up to individuals to enforce. When they
try and enforce it the Government hit them with tribunal fees. Will
the Government do it itself and stop passing the buck. ? I am not sure he
listened to the answer. The enforcement body, if they decide to
take legal action and they would have Government support in doing so.
I know, Mr Speaker, that the honourable gentleman is in fact a
Wolverhampton wanderer's fan and Molineux is 62 spaces short of its
target. I hope he will encourage the excellent disabled, active fan's
group to make sure they do meet their own target. Number five. As
the honourable gentleman knows, we have committed to a come produce
when sieve review which will look at funding arrangements, remit and
governance. I look forward to the honourable member's contributions to
that review. She will be fully aware of the sig mans of S4C to the people
of Wales. When the announcement was made last year of a review, the
Government also wisely froze the cuts tDCMS share of the budget. The
review has not started. It will happen this year. Will the Secretary
of State guarantee to, again, freeze any proposed cuts to S4C's budget?
The Government is committing to ensuring the future is strong and it
has a long future in broadcasting. We will make sure the appropriate
budgets are available. Of course, the forthcoming
independent review of S4C is welcomed. It remains a scarlet pip
per them. The to specify recommendations about present and
future funding arrangements to ensure the channel can achieve its
public service obligations Mr Speaker, we have ensured that S4C
has appropriate funding for a very long time I was a Conservative
Government that introduced S4C in the first place. This Government the
Government gave over ?600 million and will give that next year in
addition to the money that comes addition to the money that comes
from the licence fee. I hope that will show we are committed. The
current funding projection means a 10% in its funding between now and
2021. Could the minister assure me the review will look strongly at
making sure we have a definitive base to S4C's funding? We are
putting together terms of reference for the reviesmt look forward to The
Right Honourable gentleman's comments on that review when it is
put forward. Question six.
We strongly support the roll out of super fast broadband, which is on
track to be available to 95% of premises this year. One in three
homes in my constituency have broadband speeds of under 10
megabits per second. In recent study 44% repeated repeated loss of
broadband service. If this situation continues, the future growth
prospects of my constituency will be severely restrained? I will look
into the figures which he mentions. But I think broadband, which is the
independent body which publishes figures on this, think the amount of
properties with super fast broadband available is much higher and ahead
of the national average. There's been a huge effort to roll out super
fast broadband. Of course there's a difference between it being
available and taken up. Making sure people take up broadband when it is
available is a very important task. In the rural areas n the isolated
areas across the country, the hardest to reach areas still haven't
been reached by broadband. I think, can I urge the Government to have as
flexible approach, a voucher system in some places? Use all technologies
in order to get it out to the people in isolated areas? I very strongly
agree with my honourable friend. Thank you. In designing the super
fast broadband tender, the Government was warned they were
effectively entrenching BT's monopoly. Now in designing the
obligation they appear to be making exactly the same mistake again. Will
the minister commit to delivering choice in our broadband networks.
She's wrong on the premise of the question. There is now many, many
companies delivering into the BDU scheme. In fact there are companies
that didn't even exist a few years ago who are now delivering super
fast and much faster broadband across the country.
Question eight, Sir. Rob Wilson. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
The Government is providing support for library authorities throughout
England to deliver library services that are accessible, modern and meet
modern needs. This includes a ?4 million libraries innovation fund
and support for libraries to explore alternative operating models. I
believe very strongly that staff should have a stake in the public
services they provide. Lichfield library is situated in a
lovely building. It will cost over ?1 million to maintain it.
Staffordshire County Council decided to move the library out into a
heritage centre, which will strengthen the heritage centre and
the old building is being privatised, if you like and being
restored so. A win-win situation. What sort of best practise advice
does his department give to other County Councils? And perhaps
Staffordshire County Council n this area at least could be a model?
Could I welcome the approach taken by Lichfield library and
congratulate Staffordshire County Council. Local authorities need to
think very imaginatively about how libraries can deliver priorities and
the ambition document which we recently published through the
library's task force challenges them to do so. Standing still is not an
option. I encourage local authorities to embrace change and be
bold in finding solutions. Can I thank the minister for being so
personally engaged in supporting our efforts to protect Swindon's
community libraries. Can he praise the trust which has saved the
library and should be expanded further?
Can I thank him for his efforts in Swindon, where I did recently visit
the local authority and I was encouraged by the desire to keep
local libraries open. I join him in congratulating his local colleague
and local councillor for the work he's done in setting up a local
trust and keeping libraries open. Topical number one, Mr Speaker.
Today, my department published the first annual report setting out our
progress against sporting future, our sports strategy for an active
nation. Since the last oral questions my ministerial team and I
have held round table meetses with representatives from various
sectors, the purpose is to identify challenges and opportunities as the
United Kingdom prepares to leave the European Union.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Last week, when I went and visited Deptford
green secondary school a teenager from the school council asked me a
question. She started by asking the question by saying, "It's not
political." She asked me, why are there not more sports facilities for
young girls in the area. Female sports participation is half that of
men. This is a very, very political qu efrom a young girl. Is there any
surprise when female role models like Stef Houghton is paid ?65,000 a
year. And Wayne Rooney is paid ?250,000 a week. No, that is ?12
million less. THE SPEAKER: Speak! Order! I am
sorry. It is a very good question, but it is far too long. Topical
questions have to be far shorter. Sorry to interrupt.
I do appreciate the point. We are aware of it and we are working
across Government to address it. Can the minister tell the House what
work her department is doing to help small charities to secure public
service contracts? Mr Speaker, my Right Honourable friends raises a
very important point. We know the volumetry sector has the ability to
bring greater social value to our services. We know they can face
barriers when up against established providers. We announced new measures
in this area in December. It is why a group attended by the ministers
for civil society met for the first time yesterday to lead our work on
this issue. Keeping our children safe on line is one of the most
important responsibilities. That is why section 67 made it a criminal
offence for adults to send sexual messages to children TNSPCC say two
years on the law is still not enforst forced. Will the minister --
enforced. Will the minister explain why the Government is dragging their
feet on this and ensure this is implemented immediately? It is very
good to see a member of the shadow team who has been voting with the
rest of the shadow front bench this week. On the important issue that
she addresses ensuring Internet safety is something, as she knows,
is at the top of the Government's agenda. It has been a crucial part
of the digital bill and the proposal she makes is also something we are
considering very seriously. Thank you. Million on the, Mr Speaker,
million on the is widely recognised as the horse racing capital of the
north. And the racing -- Molton. And the levy will bring up to ?30
million a year into the industry. Would the minister update us on the
progress of its implementation. I recognise the valuable contribution
that horse racing makes to the whole of the country. We remain on course
to implement the reforms to the levy in 2017 and lay legislation to that
effect shortly. Thank you Mr Speaker. Every day player, coach,
volunteer of every sport should be made welcome. Will she join me in
praising the leadership shown by rugby league in tackling homophobia
in sport, on this, the day the Superleague season kicks off? I will
certainly join with the honourable gentleman in praising rugby league
for its efforts to make progress on this issue. Homophobia should not be
allowed in sport. We share the same rugby league team, Leeds. We wish
them well this evening against St Helens. English and Welsh wine is a
great quality success story. By 2020 will produce more than 12 million
bottles. I know the Secretary of State does her bit to boost wine
consumption. What is she doing to promote the use of English wine in
her department, across Government departments and attracting visitors
to our emerging wine regions? I have travelled down and grown in
my constituency is one of the finest English wines, and I am passionate
about wine for all of the right reasons and tourism is part of
ensuring English wine is part of that.
Manchester United should be applauded for their recent
announcement to increase the number of disabled supporters attending
games, but this is not a step that clubs at all levels can afford to
take. What will be Minister do to support those smaller clubs looking
to improve the experience of disabled supporters attending
matches? Manchester United should be
applauded, and other Premier League clubs are doing the same to improve
the offering for disabled spectators at their clubs. It is to other clubs
in lower leagues do find it difficult and they are working well
to ensure they meet their commitment going forward. We as the Government
do what we can to support that. If a broadband service is to be
advertised as Faber, should it not be full labour and should the
service speed advertised not be got by at least half of people receiving
it? -- fibre. The advertising standards authority
is a non-statutory body looking at some of these issues but it needs to
look more broadly to ensure people know what they are getting and the
advertising is proper and fair. In 2014 - 15, nearly ?4 million was
lost in the Stockton North constituency by those who could not
afford it. I know ministers have concerns highlighted in an report
last year, and can I urge them to respond possibly and have more
stakes on these machines -- lower stakes on the machines.
There was a review announced on these machines, and I am considering
the findings of that will be publishing shortly.
A football club are part of the fabric of the community and have
inspired many generations to participate in sport and foster a
sense of town pride, so will the Minister welcome the home of these
football and rugby team thanks to a ?7 million investment?
I am pleased to help that Oldfield has now opened, having the right
facilities in the right places and combining sports with those
facilities is not only important in driving participation but it is
excellent leave money. The tech sector number one Brexit
concern is that when we leave it will become unlawful to send
personal data from Europe to UK firms unless the commission, the UK
commission has declared that to be adequate. What steps are being taken
to secure that declaration in time? This is an important point and
making sure that we have unhindered flow of data between the UK and the
EU and indeed other trading partners around the world like the US is
vital. We are implementing this in full to make sure we have that
unhindered flow of data. In 2020, my right honourable friend
knows that we will be celebrating the 400 anniversary of the Mayflower
setting sail to found the American colony. Can I ask my right
honourable friend what discussion she has had with the Secretary of
State for Transport to make sure that tourists can get to the place
they set off from to get to the wonderful event?
Mr Speaker, I had the honour last week to meet the team who are
putting together the Mayflower 400 celebrations, and also attended an
event at the US embassy last summer where I saw a replica of the
Mayflower that will be part of the celebrations we look forward to in
2020. It is important that as many people as possible can visit those
celebrations and I had discussions with the Secretary of State for
Transport for that matter last night.
When the Government reduced the maximum stake on fixed odds betting
terminals to ?50, it accepted the principle that we are lowering the
level of the state to have a positive impact on problem gambling.
As part of the review, will you examine the success of that measure,
and see if it has been successful, will you consider reducing the state
even further? The Minister might do one or other
or conceivably if they got honourable gentleman is a lucky boy,
both. Mr Speaker, we have had many
responses to the consultation and you will be welcome to help consider
those recommendations. I will make my recommendations shortly and we
are looking through the body of evidence that came to us from the
review published in October. I expect to publish the
recommendations and findings in the spring.
Questions for the Secretary of State for International Trade, Thomas
Simmonds. Mr Speaker, the EU Canada
comprehensive economic trade agreement, CE GAA, is a good
agreement for the UK. -- CETA. The UK Government is fully committed to
supporting such agreements whilst we remain EU members. The investment
protection provisions in