28/02/2018 House of Commons


28/02/2018

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons, including an Urgent Question on the border of Northern Ireland with the Republic after Brexit.


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statesman-like demeanour which

colleagues should seek to imitate.

0:00:000:00:03

Order. Urgent question, Emily

Thornberry.

To ask the Secretary of

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State for common and -- for

Commonwealth affairs for future

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arrangements for border arrangements

for the republican violence.

Where

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is he?

Mr Speaker, I have been asked

to reply. This government has been

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consistent in its commitments to

Northern Ireland as the United

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Kingdom leaves the European Union.

First, we will never accept any

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solutions that threaten the economic

or constitutional integrity of the

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United Kingdom. Second, we will not

accept a hard border between

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Northern Ireland and Ireland which

will reserves the considerable

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progress of the political process

over the recent decades. That is

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consistent with the Prime Minister's

Article 50 letter through to our

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paper published last summer and the

Prime Minister's Florence speech at

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last autumn. Most recently, the

government enshrined both of these

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commitments quite clearly in the

joint report we agreed with the

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European Union in December. I

preserve our commitment to

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preserving the integrity of our

internal markets with Northern

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Ireland. It also guaranteed an

avoidance of a hard border between

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Northern Ireland and Ireland

including any checks and controls.

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These agreements were approved

collectively by the entire Cabinet.

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Those commitments have not changed

nor will they.

Thank you, Mr

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Speaker, for granting the urgent

question. I am always pleased to

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hear from the Minister of State, I

have to say it is an absolute

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disgrace and a huge discourtesy to

this House that the Foreign

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Secretary is not hear himself to

answer the questions of his memo.

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Especially as we saw him in London a

few hours ago jogging in the snow

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and answering questions from the

media. If he can answer their

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questions he really should be

prepared to answer ours. What is he

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afraid of? Perhaps it is this, these

questions go to the very heart of

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his credibility and the credibility

of previous statements that he is

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made in this House. On November the

21st I asked the Foreign Secretary

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at this dispatch box whether he

stood by the statements he made in

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frippery 2016 that a vote for Brexit

would lead the border arrangements

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in Northern Ireland absolutely

unchanged. That is what he told the

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House just three months ago. I

repeat exactly that pledge. There

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can be no return to a hard border,

that would be unthinkable. It would

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be economic and political madness.

Everybody understands the

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ramifications of allowing such a

thing to happen. But last night, Mr

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Speaker, despite the clear a big

statement from the Foreign

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Secretary, we discovered his private

memo to the Prime Minister on the

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same subjects. And on that, he

wrote, it is wrong to see the task

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as maintaining no border. The

government 's task, he said, is to

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stop the border becoming

significantly harder, but even if,

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he wrote, a hard border is

reintroduced, we would expect to see

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95% plus of goods past the border

without checks. So let us be clear

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what this memo reveals. Contrary to

the Foreign Secretary 's previous

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statements, he except that there

will have to be changes to the

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current border arrangements. He

accepts that there will need to be

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border controls that do not exist at

present. The only debate is their

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degree of hardness. But surely the

Foreign Secretary has learned by now

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that you cannot just be a little bit

pregnant. Either there is a border

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or there is not. So my first

question for the Minister is this,

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the Foreign Secretary told this

House that there would be no new

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border arrangements and no changes

to the status quo but this memo says

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the exact opposite. So which is the

truth? What the Foreign Secretary

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said three months ago in public what

he said three weeks ago in private?

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Now, the Foreign Secretary has

already said what we have heard so

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many times on this issue, that there

is some magical, technical solution

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which will allow goods to be checks,

smuggling to be prevented and points

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of origin proved as easily as paying

the congestion charge. But here is

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the truly magical parts, without

even the installation of cameras.

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And as I pressed the Foreign

Secretary repeatedly to tell us how

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on earth is this possible? Or is it

just another addition to his ever

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growing list of fantasy from Boris

Island to the Channel bridge. I

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welcome the fact that the Foreign

Secretary has already promised the

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media to his leaked memo in full and

I hope that will provide some

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answers but can I ask the minister

now for the benefit of this House

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and so that's my colleagues can

question him on his answer to spell

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out in detail how this proposed

invisible border will actually work

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in practice? Because if he cannot

provide that the tell, Mr Speaker,

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we are left with the conclusion that

all of us on this side and

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increasing number on his side accept

that the only way to avoid a hard

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border in Northern Ireland is by

staying in a customs union. The fact

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is the government knows that.

We are

extremely grateful to the Shadow

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Foreign Secretary but she has now

exceeded her time. We must leave it

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there.

I have one further sentence

and I am done.

Well, very well. Or

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that! I will be the judge of these

matters. I'm grateful to you for

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your offer of services but I feel

able to cope without one. And the

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Minister will have suitable time to

respond. One sentence.

The truth of

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this memo is that they are saying

one thing in public what they are

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preparing for the reality in private

and it is about time that this

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deception was ended.

Forgive me. I

don't wish to be discourteous to the

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honourable lady and certainly not to

the Minister either, but the

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Minister of the Cabinet officer is

not a Minister of State, he is a

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member of the Cabinet.

It's so

confusing as to who was going to be

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answering to this. I do apologise

for having drafted one script and

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they're being somebody else.

That

was a nice try. It was very generous

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of me to allow her to make it.

Mr

Speaker, anybody would have thought

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that the right Honourable lady was

nervous about facing me across the

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dispatch box again. Now, she did

start by just questioning my

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credentials to be here. Can I just

say this, since I both have Cabinet

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responsibility for Constitutional

affairs, including for the

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implementation of devolution

throughout the United Kingdom, and

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since I also chair the Cabinet amity

on the domestic implementation of

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our Brexit arrangements, it seems to

me perfectly reasonable that I

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should be responding to the

questions. She asks about the

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position of my right honourable

friend the Foreign Secretary, my

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right honourable friend like every

other member of the Cabinet stands

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behind our support for the Belfast

agreement and for the December

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agreement reached between the United

kingdom and the European Union. We

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are now at the very start of a

negotiating period during which we

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will be discussing with our partners

in the European Union Howell to give

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practical effects of the commitments

that were entered into. Both to

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ensure that there was no north -

south border between Northern

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Ireland and Ireland is and to ensure

that there is no border customs

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between Northern Ireland and the

rest of the United Kingdom. The

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Prime Minister and the tsar have

both said publicly that they believe

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-- Taoiseach. The ambitious and deep

and special partnership that we are

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seeking with the European Union in

the future. My right honourable

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friend, the Prime Minister, will be

setting out my details to this on

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Friday.

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Mr Speaker, we have just heard the

Prime Minister reconfirm her

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commitment to keep the Irish border

open.

I didn't wholly understand the

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second half of high reply to me.

Does my right honourable friend

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really believe it will be possible

to negotiate a position where the

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British Government decides what

regulatory convergence it has and

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the British Government decides what

regulatory convergence it will not

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have and the British Government is

free to change its mind and move

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those boundaries at any time? What

does he think the prospects of

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agreeing that with 27 other

sovereign governments?

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I do not think there is the need for

any misunderstanding about what the

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Prime Minister was saying. On the

date when we leave the European

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Union, the treaties in the words of

Article 50 cease to apply to the

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United Kingdom. The effect of the

withdrawal bill, currently before

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the House of Lords, is that the

direct effect of European Union law

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and diplomacy of European law in the

United Kingdom will be

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distinguished. What we are now

seeking is an agreement for the

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future which will take the form of a

treaty governed by international law

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between United Kingdom and the

continuing entity of the European

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Union. That is what we are seeking

to do. The Prime Minister will be

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speaking about this with more detail

on Friday.

We know from leaked

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government figures that they will

play fast and loose with jobs and

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the economy in trying to prevent

another Tory civil war and there are

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concerns they may be doing the same

thing over the Good Friday peace

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process to prevent Tory civil war.

Will the Minister tell us, is it

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wrong to say the Foreign Secretary

Tasker is maintaining no order? Will

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he tell us that if the

implementation BDO is based on the

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principles, what impact it will have

on the border? And finally, it is

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good to see the minister here, I

enjoy a game of where is Wally, it

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is astonishing that the Foreign

Secretary is not yet.

Mr Speaker,

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the entire government is committed

to their being no border between

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Northern Ireland and Ireland, or

between Northern Ireland and the

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rest of the United Kingdom. Both

those elements were central to the

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December joint report. Those are

both firm commitments of the entire

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United Kingdom Cabinet and

government. I would say to the

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honourable gentleman, that I think

his strictures about the

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government's approach to jobs and

employment stands somewhat in

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contrast to the reality, which is

that within the United Kingdom at

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the moment, we have unemployment at

a 40 year low.

Has he seen the

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report prepared by the European

Parliament's policy Department first

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citizen 's right and Constitutional

affairs which concludes that a

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technical solution that will allow

free movement of persons under the

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Common travel arrangement is

possible and that we, there is no

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reason that we cannot implement it

straightaway?

I haven't had the

0:12:580:13:05

pleasure of reading that report from

the European Parliament yet but I

0:13:050:13:08

will add to my reading list I think

what my honourable friend has said

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is that there is evidence that there

are people both here and in the

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Brussels institutions and in the 27

national governments of our EU

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partners who are keen to work

constructively together to find an

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outcome that actually brings

benefits in the future to resolve.

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Instead of complaining that the

draft withdrawal agreement published

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this morning proposes to keep

Northern Ireland in the customs

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union, subject to the single energy

market and subject to EU rules on

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the environment and agriculture, is

it not time that ministers finally

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accepted that it is their continuing

failure to explain how they are

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going to keep an open border while

leaving the customs union and the

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single market that is the cause of

this problem? So will -- when will

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ministers explain when the proposed

to achieve this?

I drive the right

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honourable gentleman attention that

there were three different options

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to ensure that there is no hard

border between Ireland and Northern

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Ireland. The first of those, and the

one that the government of Ireland

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as well as this government is

strongly committed to and wants to

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see as the option we are able to

deliver, is the one that settles

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this matter in the context of the

overall future economic partnership

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between the UK and the European

Union. We are looking forward to

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beginning the negotiating process

which I hope we'll start off the

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publication today.

Mr Speaker, we

are coming up to the 20th

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anniversary of the Good Friday

Agreement which allowed people of

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this nation to have their own

identity and yet be citizens of the

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United Kingdom. That agreement also

mocked and three conditions. It

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could only change with the agreement

of the citizens of Northern Ireland,

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the government had to agree, and

that the United Kingdom had to

0:15:160:15:19

agree. Can you agree with me that

this agreement must not be

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undermined and those who voted

against it in the past should hang

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their heads in shame because it is

an agreement that has kept the peace

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for 20 years?

Mr Speaker, I am proud

of what the Belfast agreement has

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achieved in making possible a period

of peace and reconciliation with the

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Northern Ireland. I think none of us

would claim that process is complete

0:15:460:15:51

yet. But I think that the Belfast

agreement was an historic start and

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it was attributed to hard work by

successive governments to John Major

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and to Tony Leer both. I am happy to

pay tribute to both of them. -- Tony

0:16:010:16:07

Blair. I think my honourable friend

made the important point in talking

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about the principle of consent. The

principle of consent including the

0:16:140:16:19

status of Northern Ireland was also

written into the joint report and

0:16:190:16:23

signed up to not just by the UK

Government by the European Union as

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well.

Can I welcome what the

Secretary of State has said in this

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statement and also what the Prime

Minister said very clearly at Prime

0:16:380:16:43

Minister's Questions. It is ironic

is it not that some of those people

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who complained Harrod is about

creating a hard border between

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Northern Ireland and the Irish

Republic have today welcome proposal

0:16:510:16:54

from the EU which would create a

hard brother between Northern

0:16:540:16:58

Ireland and the rest of the United

Kingdom. The fact of the marker is

0:16:580:17:02

there is a border between North and

South. There are different

0:17:020:17:09

currencies, different economic

policies, but it is managed in a way

0:17:090:17:13

that is sensible and pragmatic. The

same can be done in relation to the

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future relationship. It has already

been spelt out in the government's

0:17:170:17:22

paper last August to use the Belfast

agreement, more despicably to use

0:17:220:17:30

the peace process to shave it in the

way that some people want is quite

0:17:300:17:33

frankly outrageous and disk visible.

Let's back the arrangements that are

0:17:330:17:39

in place but let's go forward and

pragmatic and sensible way not

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create things that are not there.

I

welcome what the right honourable

0:17:450:17:52

member for Belfast has said. Yes,

there is of course a Judas diction

0:17:520:17:56

order which gives rise to tax and

other differences as well. -- Judas

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diction. Those are managed in a way

that allows people to go about the

0:18:020:18:07

lives on either side of that border

without any kind of hindrance or

0:18:070:18:12

delay whatsoever. Both we and the

Irish government are determined to

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try and ensure that that state of

affairs continues but also

0:18:180:18:23

respecting the integrity of the

United Kingdom.

Of all the areas of

0:18:230:18:30

the Brexit negotiations which give

rise to high emotion, perhaps the

0:18:300:18:34

one that most needs to be treated

calmly, rationally and unemotionally

0:18:340:18:39

as the Irish border. Can my right

honourable friend assured me that

0:18:390:18:46

they will continue to deal with this

issue in that calm and rational way,

0:18:460:18:52

and in doing that, can they perhaps

persuade the commission 's

0:18:520:18:56

negotiating side that they should

concentrate, not just on one area of

0:18:560:19:01

the December joint report, but on

all three areas that were put

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forward by the British government

originally.

I agree wholeheartedly

0:19:060:19:09

with what might honourable friend

for Ashford says. His emphasis on

0:19:090:19:15

all three strands is correct. It is

important they should be no cherry

0:19:150:19:20

picking between the different

elements of the December joint

0:19:200:19:23

report and I think it is important

that we tried to approach these

0:19:230:19:27

matters in the kind of calm,

pragmatic way that he urged.

The

0:19:270:19:34

Foreign Secretary has claimed that

congestion technology is the answer

0:19:340:19:37

to border checks outside of a

customs union. We know that the

0:19:370:19:42

congestion charge checks fear is not

what is inside them and includes 197

0:19:420:19:49

camera sites around London that no

one notices because they are in

0:19:490:19:52

built-up areas and no one cares

because the last time I looked there

0:19:520:19:56

had been a long history of peace

between inner and no to London. In

0:19:560:20:01

Northern Ireland, there were four

attacks on the lives of police

0:20:010:20:06

officers. 58 shooting incidents and

the PSN I have warned that any

0:20:060:20:13

infrastructure at the Borders is a

threat. So will you confirm that

0:20:130:20:18

ministers rule out any physical

infrastructure at the border, that

0:20:180:20:22

cameras are physical and tell us, do

they rule out new cameras at the

0:20:220:20:27

border, yes or no?

We stand by the

words we committed to ourselves in

0:20:270:20:35

December, which includes no physical

infrastructure at the border.

Can I

0:20:350:20:41

support everything that has been

said by my right honourable friend

0:20:410:20:45

and the comets from my right

honourable friend from Ashford. We

0:20:450:20:54

are not going to rip our nation

further apart. We not only have to

0:20:540:21:00

have a pragmatic approach to browse

about an honest approach to Brexit.

0:21:000:21:03

The only solution to a hard border

is membership to the customs union.

0:21:030:21:09

They will get there in the end. My

question is this, does he share my

0:21:090:21:17

concern about democratic deficit. We

know that 56% of people in Northern

0:21:170:21:22

Ireland voted Remain. I wonder why.

In the absence of the executive,

0:21:220:21:27

given the composition of those Right

Honourable members who sit in this

0:21:270:21:33

place to represent Northern Ireland,

where is the voice of the 56% in all

0:21:330:21:38

of this?

Mr Speaker, it is the

government's hope that the political

0:21:380:21:49

parties in Northern Ireland can

agree to reconstitute the executive

0:21:490:21:54

and the assembly as soon as

possible. There is agreement across

0:21:540:21:59

all the parties in Northern Ireland,

that is what they do want -- that

0:21:590:22:04

that is what they want to do. I hope

any differences can be overcome.

Why

0:22:040:22:09

does the Secretary of State think

that the Foreign Secretary wrote

0:22:090:22:14

this letter? Was it because he did

not know that the government had

0:22:140:22:18

committed in paragraph 49 of the

December agreement to its guaranteed

0:22:180:22:24

of avoiding a hard border? Or was it

because any commitment can be set

0:22:240:22:30

aside in the service of the cause

that the Foreign Secretary really

0:22:300:22:34

cares about, which is the

furtherance of his own career? Or

0:22:340:22:38

was it something more sinister than

Boris's self-love, which is now

0:22:380:22:45

faced with the incompatibility of

red lines around the customs union

0:22:450:22:49

and the single market and the

commitment to no hard border. There

0:22:490:22:55

is a concerted ideological attack on

that commitment to no hard border.

0:22:550:22:59

And indeed to the Good Friday

Agreement itself.

Mr Speaker, I

0:22:590:23:06

don't think I could have been

clearer than I have been so far in

0:23:060:23:10

these exchanges that the government

is absolutely resolved to stand by

0:23:100:23:15

both the Belfast agreement and all

parts of the joint report of last

0:23:150:23:19

December.

Can I see how encouraged I

am that everybody seems to want to

0:23:190:23:32

avoid a hard border in Northern

Ireland. The only people who seem to

0:23:320:23:36

be threatening a hard border are

people who are trying to leveraged

0:23:360:23:40

their political advantage in

domestic politics and the Republic

0:23:400:23:46

of Ireland, trying to blackmail the

whole of the United Kingdom into

0:23:460:23:51

substantially changing the

referendum result. Far more

0:23:510:23:55

constituencies voted Leader of the

House than Remain. It would be

0:23:550:24:00

politically unsustainable for the

issues around Northern Ireland to

0:24:000:24:03

leveraged the whole of the United

Kingdom into some kind of customs

0:24:030:24:07

union as to correct any un-wholly

unnecessary infrastructure at the

0:24:070:24:12

border at Northern Ireland.

We are

at the start of the negotiations

0:24:120:24:17

about the detail of the withdrawal

agreement and then of the creation

0:24:170:24:20

of the future, deep and special

partnership we are seeking with a

0:24:200:24:26

utopian friends and neighbours. --

European. And the economic

0:24:260:24:34

partnership is something the Prime

Minister will talk about on Friday.

0:24:340:24:39

This is supposed to be a question

and answer session, not debate. I am

0:24:390:24:46

getting is years the Astec nods. --

I am getting enthusiastic nods. What

0:24:460:24:54

is required is not an oration, but

enquiry, which will either be

0:24:540:24:59

brilliantly exemplified by Lady

Hermon.

What a task and I will keep

0:24:590:25:09

to it. May I ask the secretary to

take a few moments to confirm to the

0:25:090:25:15

House that the Irish government has

accepted that there will be no hard

0:25:150:25:20

border and just as importantly, that

the Irish government has accepted

0:25:200:25:25

there will be no border down the

Irish Sea?

0:25:250:25:34

The Irish government like the rest

of the EU signs up to and support

0:25:340:25:38

its joint report in its entirety of

last December and paragraph 42 of

0:25:380:25:42

the joint report commits both

parties, the UK and the EU, to

0:25:420:25:50

uphold the totality of relationships

embodied and expressed by the

0:25:500:25:55

Belfast agreement. The totality of

relationships embraces East- West,

0:25:550:26:00

every bit as much as North- South.

What lies behind the commission's

0:26:000:26:08

partial decision to develop the

options?

I'm afraid that is not a

0:26:080:26:16

question I can readily answer. I

would just say to my right

0:26:160:26:20

honourable friend that I think it is

important that the commission

0:26:200:26:25

recognises, as the Prime Minister

said earlier, that's as far as the

0:26:250:26:28

government is concerned, which ever

side those of us round the Cabinet

0:26:280:26:36

table voted or campaigns for during

the referendum on the EU, our

0:26:360:26:41

commitments to the union of the

United Kingdom is absolute. There is

0:26:410:26:47

no division whatsoever on this

matter and I hope that our

0:26:470:26:52

negotiating partners will understand

that.

I understand the Minister's

0:26:520:26:59

clear frustration at the Foreign

Secretary that it is not his task to

0:26:590:27:03

try and defend the border but the

Foreign Secretary did say this

0:27:030:27:07

morning after his joke that he was

going to publish the memo. When?

We

0:27:070:27:16

don't publish internal ministerial

correspondence.

Mr Speaker, can I

0:27:160:27:25

congratulate my right honourable

friend are not being provoked by the

0:27:250:27:29

ridiculous statements coming from

the European Union on this subject.

0:27:290:27:32

Can I commend my right honourable

friend the wise words of the right

0:27:320:27:38

honourable member for North Belfast

because that shows that you can have

0:27:380:27:42

a border weather is regulatory

divergences as there is at the

0:27:420:27:45

moments, and why can't continue in

the future?

We are certainly seeking

0:27:450:27:51

no hard border and hopefully the

government of Ireland is committed

0:27:510:27:56

to that objective as well. Having

served six years for Minister for

0:27:560:28:01

Europe, I'm used to trying to avoid

provocation wherever it comes from.

0:28:010:28:10

The Foreign Secretary's absence does

us all we need to know about how

0:28:100:28:13

accountable he feels he should be to

this House, so I must ask the

0:28:130:28:17

Minister instead, why was the

Foreign Secretary speculating about

0:28:170:28:23

the Northern Ireland - Ireland

border becoming more difficult. --

0:28:230:28:26

harder. What was he considering on

the border?

The right honourable

0:28:260:28:33

gentleman served in the coalition

government. He knows that the way we

0:28:330:28:36

do government business is that

ministers right and conversed with

0:28:360:28:42

each other all the time but the

policy of the government is the

0:28:420:28:45

policy that has been at collectively

agreed by the Cabinet. That is what

0:28:450:28:53

I am the promised that set up this

afternoon.

Can I welcome the

0:28:530:28:59

Minister's commitment to the joint

report. Can I ask him to confirm

0:28:590:29:04

that it is Her Majesty's government

intention to stick by the agreement

0:29:040:29:09

that were outlined in paragraph's 49

and 50 of the joint report and there

0:29:090:29:18

is no intention to renege on any

part of them?

I can give my right

0:29:180:29:23

honourable friend that assurance.

Will the Secretary of State 's

0:29:230:29:29

confirm for the benefit of his

backbenchers and perhaps the DUP

0:29:290:29:32

that the Northern Irish border

backstop provision embodied in

0:29:320:29:38

today's draft EU withdrawal

agreement is exactly what the Prime

0:29:380:29:42

Minister agreed to as he backstop in

December 2017? And if he disagrees

0:29:420:29:48

with me, if he disagrees with me,

will his government produced an

0:29:480:29:58

alternative text explaining what he

did agree?

What we have today is

0:29:580:30:03

something that Mr Barnier has

described as not necessarily the

0:30:030:30:10

final version because this is a

draft that the commission is not

0:30:100:30:13

tabling for negotiation. The

commission is tabling before

0:30:130:30:16

discussion amongst the EU 27 Head of

State and the European Parliament.

0:30:160:30:20

When text comes to the table for

negotiation, we will obviously

0:30:200:30:25

consider that but I think, as the

Prime Minister said earlier, it is

0:30:250:30:29

important that there is not cherry

picking and that the text of the

0:30:290:30:34

withdrawal agreement when it is

eventually concluded reflects all

0:30:340:30:37

the paragraphs of the joint report

equally and, at the moment, my

0:30:370:30:46

feeling on the brief reading I've

had so far, is that the current

0:30:460:30:49

draft does not do that.

Mr Speaker,

can I welcome what my right

0:30:490:30:57

honourable friend has said in

pointing back to the joint report

0:30:570:31:00

from just before Christmas which

underlined both the commitments to

0:31:000:31:04

the UK and EU to the Belfast Good

Friday Agreement but also the

0:31:040:31:10

constitutional settlement of the UK.

In that regard, can he confirm that

0:31:100:31:16

the joint report highlighted that

primarily we need to focus on

0:31:160:31:19

dealing with the Northern Ireland

border through the broader

0:31:190:31:22

negotiations and in that regard that

he will encourage colleagues to

0:31:220:31:27

focus on the August reports that the

government published, setting out in

0:31:270:31:31

detail how we should do that?

My

right honourable friend give some

0:31:310:31:36

very good advice. We are certainly

committed to taking the negotiations

0:31:360:31:39

forward in that spirit.

If the

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

0:31:390:31:47

really wants a united United Kingdom

as we move forward in a situation

0:31:470:31:51

where the nation is facing some of

the most congregated decision it is

0:31:510:31:55

hard to make the best part of 100

years, is he not going to have to

0:31:550:32:00

build a bigger consensus than just

around the Cabinet table? Does that

0:32:000:32:03

not mean he is going to turn round

to his colleagues and say, yes, you

0:32:030:32:12

will come to Parliament and explain

to Parliament what your views are

0:32:120:32:16

and yes, Prime Minister, just

sometimes you're not going to make a

0:32:160:32:19

speech somewhere else, you're going

to make a speech about the European

0:32:190:32:24

Union, the most important issue

facing this in this chamber.

Just

0:32:240:32:29

before the Minister offers his

replies I should just advise the

0:32:290:32:31

House of what I have been advised,

namely that the Prime Minister will

0:32:310:32:37

be making a statement on Brexit

policy in this chamber on Monday.

0:32:370:32:44

That I think is extremely welcome. I

should just say in the name of the

0:32:440:32:50

intelligibility of our proceedings

to people who are not Members of the

0:32:500:32:52

House that the decision as to

whether to grant an urgent question

0:32:520:32:57

is a matter for me, the Speaker, to

have been granted today because I

0:32:570:33:03

judge that they warranted the

attention of the House, but as

0:33:030:33:06

colleagues also note and others

might not, the matter of who the

0:33:060:33:12

government fields to respond to a

question is a matter for the

0:33:120:33:16

government. That is the situation.

Minister for the Cabinet Office.

Mr

0:33:160:33:21

Speaker, I am always someone who

will welcome Parliamentary consensus

0:33:210:33:25

where that can be built. If the

gentleman looks at the Prime

0:33:250:33:29

Minister's records in being here and

giving statements after her main

0:33:290:33:36

European meetings and answering

questions at length, he should agree

0:33:360:33:39

it is a pretty good one.

Mr Speaker,

does my right honourable friend

0:33:390:33:47

agree with me that the European

Union continues to put the cart

0:33:470:33:50

before the horse on this aspect?

Surely we cannot know with any

0:33:500:33:55

degree of certainty what

arrangements will be needed on the

0:33:550:33:59

Ireland border if any at all until

we know what kind of trade agreement

0:33:590:34:03

were going to strike.

My honourable

friend makes an important point and

0:34:030:34:08

that is precisely why that's not

only the Prime Minister, but the

0:34:080:34:12

Taoiseach believe that the best

option is to settle the border in

0:34:120:34:17

the context of the overall economic

partnership between ourselves and

0:34:170:34:21

the European Union.

By leaving the

European Union we are taking control

0:34:210:34:28

of our borders such as that at

Holyhead, the government has also

0:34:280:34:33

committed to no border between the

Republic and Northern Ireland. Can

0:34:330:34:37

the minister name any pair of

countries that is regulated by two

0:34:370:34:44

difference customs regimes?

This is

exactly the point I was making to

0:34:440:34:49

the right honourable member for

chicks free. The right way forward

0:34:490:34:53

is to resolve these matters on the

future of economic partnership.

It

0:34:530:35:02

is rightly the determination of the

government to deliver the openly

0:35:020:35:07

effective border with the

qualifications made by the right

0:35:070:35:10

Honourable member for North Belfast,

surely all of the people of the

0:35:100:35:13

island of Ireland have the right to

that same practical determination to

0:35:130:35:19

be shared by the same EU 27 with out

being taking hostage by conditions

0:35:190:35:26

that would in effect override the

decision of the British people to

0:35:260:35:30

leave the European Union and the

agenda which is quite transparently

0:35:300:35:35

on display today.

We are at the

start of a process of negotiation,

0:35:350:35:40

not at the end of it. I do think the

Prime Minister could have been

0:35:400:35:47

clearer. No Prime Minister of any

party who has served up until now

0:35:470:35:50

including her good countenance an

agreement which led to a Customs

0:35:500:35:58

border between one part of the

United Kingdom and another.

The

0:35:580:36:04

Minister has said he wants no border

between Ireland and Northern Ireland

0:36:040:36:08

but he is also said he does not want

the border between the integral part

0:36:080:36:12

of the United kingdom and the rest

of Ireland. Well, I tell you this,

0:36:120:36:20

Wells has two borders, one with

Northern Ireland through the port of

0:36:200:36:23

Holyhead and one with Ireland. What

will happen with that arrangement?

0:36:230:36:27

That is precisely why this needs to

be settled when the overall

0:36:270:36:31

arrangement. The right honourable

gentleman will have noted in the

0:36:310:36:36

endorsements of the continuation of

the Common travel area between the

0:36:360:36:39

United Kingdom and Republic of

Ireland and also the fact that

0:36:390:36:43

that's commitments was reflected

today's draft text from the

0:36:430:36:46

commission.

Would it not be more

sensible and logical if Michel

0:36:460:36:56

Barnier focused more on the trade

arrangements on the United Kingdom

0:36:560:37:04

and the European Union where they

have a 70 billion pounds surplus

0:37:040:37:08

with the united kingdom rather than

focusing just on one part of the

0:37:080:37:12

United Kingdom? If they do that we

may only need to focus on one part

0:37:120:37:19

of the United Kingdom.

Well, the

trade surplus that the EU 27 enjoy

0:37:190:37:24

with the United Kingdom,

particularly in trading goods, is

0:37:240:37:28

just one more compelling reason why

it is to our mutual advantage to

0:37:280:37:34

negotiate a future economic

partnership which allows trades to

0:37:340:37:37

be as frictionless as possible.

The

Secretary of State is doing his

0:37:370:37:42

level best to fudge the principal

question, if we go into negotiations

0:37:420:37:49

that there will be no hard border

between the Republic and the

0:37:490:37:55

Northern Ireland, and no hard border

down the Irish Sea, how do we begin

0:37:550:37:58

to negotiate? What is the mechanism?

The mechanism is set out in the

0:37:580:38:04

joint report and in the government's

various speeches and publications

0:38:040:38:08

over the last 12 months. The latest

of which the Prime Minister will

0:38:080:38:12

deliver this Friday.

Thank you, Mr

Speaker. I wonder if my right

0:38:120:38:20

honourable friend has pointed out

that the Irish government that the

0:38:200:38:24

biggest loser if there is not a

sensible agreement on tariffs are

0:38:240:38:29

imposed on Irish goods coming into

the United Kingdom, that the Irish

0:38:290:38:32

economy, there will be huge

devastation to the Irish

0:38:320:38:38

agricultural economy particularly. I

wonder if he is suggested to their

0:38:380:38:41

Prime Minister the question of

whether his is willing to sacrifice

0:38:410:38:45

the interest of the Irish economy on

the high altar of European political

0:38:450:38:50

integration?

The economies of

Ireland and of the United Kingdom

0:38:500:38:58

are indeed intertwines but I would

reassure my honourable friend that

0:38:580:39:05

the Irish government and the

Taoiseach are themselves committed

0:39:050:39:10

in trying to resolve these matters

an option A in the joint report,

0:39:100:39:18

mainly through the means of an

overall economic agreement between

0:39:180:39:21

the United Kingdom and the European

Union.

Does he share my astonishment

0:39:210:39:36

that is when four years his

leadership and assess watchtowers

0:39:360:39:44

and closed roads. Would he not agree

with me that first of all there are

0:39:440:39:49

clear practical proposals to avoid a

hard physical border and this

0:39:490:39:58

concern about Northern Ireland and

the Irish Republic is more about the

0:39:580:40:02

referendum result and keeping them

in the customs union.

The

0:40:020:40:13

interventions on the front spent

about this week have been about more

0:40:130:40:18

about political opportunities than

principle. The way forward is in a

0:40:180:40:28

calm pragmatic spirit to take

forward the negotiations that will

0:40:280:40:29

shortly commence.

Given that goods

and services are routinely traded

0:40:290:40:40

across land borders elsewhere in the

European Union is it not possible

0:40:400:40:43

that given the political will to

achieve the desired outcome that is

0:40:430:40:47

always needed? Will my right

honourable friend ensure that we do

0:40:470:40:51

not sign up to what the European

Union dictate now but we look at the

0:40:510:40:56

creative solution that has been used

elsewhere in EU borders?

0:40:560:41:06

Mr Speaker, this House has received

assurance after assurance from the

0:41:060:41:10

government that there will be no

hard border in Ireland. Why then did

0:41:100:41:14

the Foreign Secretary right in his

memo that there was the possibility

0:41:140:41:17

of such a hard border coming about?

The policy of the government is the

0:41:170:41:25

policy that has been agreed by the

Cabinet, set out in error agreement

0:41:250:41:30

to the joint report last December

and expressed in the speech as the

0:41:300:41:35

Prime Minister has given in the last

12 months.

-- in error agreement.

0:41:350:41:43

The European Union approach to

sequencing these negotiations means

0:41:430:41:46

that the commission at the moment

only has a mandate to negotiate the

0:41:460:41:50

implementation phase and therefore

these issues cannot be dealt with

0:41:500:41:53

until after the end of March. So as

my honourable friend agree that

0:41:530:41:58

during this period, the guiding star

for all of us as to be that the

0:41:580:42:03

United Kingdom, the Republic of

Ireland and European Union are

0:42:030:42:06

agreed that there will be no art and

physical border and that this debate

0:42:060:42:10

is about the Foreign Secretary spar

with our Foreign Secretary more than

0:42:100:42:16

anything else.

I think our

honourable friend is spot on.

It

0:42:160:42:24

seems the government is happy to

contemplate the hard border with

0:42:240:42:27

Ireland, which would be a disaster

for Northern Ireland. Is it clear

0:42:270:42:32

now that the government has been

negotiating in bad faith with

0:42:320:42:36

Northern Ireland and the other

countries of the EU? I think the

0:42:360:42:43

lady's party would be happy with a

hard border. The government... I

0:42:430:42:48

don't want her or anyone in the

House to be under any

0:42:480:42:53

misapprehension, the government is

absolutely committed to what it

0:42:530:42:56

agreed in the joint report and we

have ever since the referendum made

0:42:560:43:00

it clear that we are not going to

support our hard border on the

0:43:000:43:05

island of Ireland. Can my right

honourable friend confirm that trade

0:43:050:43:13

between Northern Ireland and Great

Britain is far greater in volume

0:43:130:43:17

than between Northern Ireland and

the Republic of Ireland, Northern

0:43:170:43:22

Ireland and the European Union,

Northern Ireland and indeed the rest

0:43:220:43:25

of the world?

Not only is that true,

but it is also the case that trade

0:43:250:43:32

between Ireland and the great

Britain is more important than trade

0:43:320:43:41

from south to north, between Ireland

and Northern Ireland. Which

0:43:410:43:45

reinforces the point it is the

mutual interests of all parties to

0:43:450:43:50

agree on an ambitious economic

partnership for the future.

Can the

0:43:500:43:56

Minister confirm that cameras

counters infrastructure. Can he

0:43:560:44:00

point to an example anywhere in the

world of an international border

0:44:000:44:04

with no customs union and no border

infrastructure, just one example

0:44:040:44:08

anywhere?

The language of the joint

report is very clear, the associated

0:44:080:44:16

physical infrastructure is ruled

out.

The success of modern Northern

0:44:160:44:25

Ireland can be seen in the fact my

friends whose parents used to dread

0:44:250:44:31

the school run can with the kids off

without a second thought. All these

0:44:310:44:37

agree that there will be a full

security assessment.

There will be a

0:44:370:44:42

proper analysis of security will be

undertaken by the appropriate

0:44:420:44:48

agencies in any and all

circumstances where that is

0:44:480:44:51

required. My honourable friend is

right to say that one of the great

0:44:510:44:56

achievements of constitutional

politics in Northern Ireland, over

0:44:560:45:00

the last 25 years, has been to bring

about a measure of peace and

0:45:000:45:08

security after decades when people

lived under the threat of terrorism.

0:45:080:45:12

And we should welcome and rededicate

ourselves to making sure that

0:45:120:45:16

process continues.

He is forgetting

the reason he is in the chamber this

0:45:160:45:23

afternoon is because of the memo the

Foreign Secretary wrote and no other

0:45:230:45:26

reason. Can you answer the question

and tell us why the Foreign

0:45:260:45:32

Secretary wrote the memo to the

Prime Minister?

As I said to the

0:45:320:45:36

Right honourable gentleman earlier,

in any government, ministers, write

0:45:360:45:45

letters and memoranda, have

conversations from time to time. The

0:45:450:45:49

policy of government under our

system is the policy that is agreed

0:45:490:45:52

collectively by the Cabinet and the

policy of the Cabinet and government

0:45:520:45:56

is what I have set out today.

Can I

also add... Does he agree that the

0:45:560:46:09

evidence given that two -- two tier

system could help to avoid the

0:46:090:46:19

physical infrastructure we all want

to avoid?

Those where items that

0:46:190:46:25

were also mentioned in the

government's position paper that was

0:46:250:46:29

published last summer about the

Irish border. And I am not saying

0:46:290:46:36

those were necessarily provide a

comparison of solution, but it is

0:46:360:46:42

evidence of goodwill in seeking

pragmatic and sizeable ways forward.

0:46:420:46:49

It has been deeply irresponsible. I

would like to ask again, the Foreign

0:46:490:46:59

Secretary wrote, if a hard border is

introduced. He has been clear about

0:46:590:47:06

their foreign -- Cabinet position

was.

Ministers, when they have

0:47:060:47:12

private correspondent, engage in all

sorts of speculative thinking to

0:47:120:47:17

test out ideas before they are

brought for collective discussion

0:47:170:47:22

and decision. The government

collectively is accountable to this

0:47:220:47:28

House or the policies that the

government has adopted. The

0:47:280:47:33

government has ruled out both a hard

border between Northern Ireland and

0:47:330:47:38

Ireland, and border in the Irish

Sea.

How dare the EU propose a

0:47:380:47:49

break-up of the United kingdom into

two trading zones. Both levers and

0:47:490:47:57

Remainers are increasingly angered

by this stroppy petulant and

0:47:570:48:01

unreasonable approach to these

negotiations by the European Union.

0:48:010:48:06

Will my honourable friend tell the

EU in these negotiations they have

0:48:060:48:09

not got off to a good start?

I think

that... What we learnt at the end of

0:48:090:48:18

2017 was that despite all the

predictions about the imminent

0:48:180:48:25

collapse of the negotiating process

at that time, that with political

0:48:250:48:30

will, both from London and from 27

partners, and the European

0:48:300:48:35

Commission, that an agreement could

be reached. And I think that provide

0:48:350:48:39

a very good process -- basis from

which to move forward now.

Sir John

0:48:390:48:45

Major and Tony Blair warned you in

the EU referendum campaign that this

0:48:450:48:49

would be it an issue. What he has

said today in the dispatch box is

0:48:490:48:55

simply impossible. We are not

talking about a backbencher or a

0:48:550:48:59

backbencher Ora Parliamentary

undersecretary. We are talking about

0:48:590:49:02

the Foreign Secretary who has a

central role in the heart of

0:49:020:49:07

negotiations, who is entertaining

the prospect of a hard border that

0:49:070:49:10

he says that Tasman ruled out. The

only question is, is this the

0:49:100:49:16

settled position of the government,

is the Foreign Secretary says he is

0:49:160:49:21

going to publish a memo Ireland when

is he going to do it? Is it not the

0:49:210:49:26

case that the Foreign Secretary

should have had the guts to come

0:49:260:49:29

here and answer for themselves and

clean-up up his own mess if he

0:49:290:49:32

cannot answer for him?

The

government was my policy is what I

0:49:320:49:36

have set out. What we're doing at

the start of the negotiating process

0:49:360:49:41

is to bring forward ideas and

develop those internally in

0:49:410:49:44

government about how we would wish

to give practical application to the

0:49:440:49:49

commitments we have entered into.

The Prime Minister will see more

0:49:490:49:52

about on Friday.

The differences in

tax, economic strategy and currency

0:49:520:50:00

has proven to be no hindrance to

that free and open land. We give an

0:50:000:50:06

absolute declaration that the UK

will not, under any circumstances,

0:50:060:50:12

implement and new Northern Ireland

and Republic border. If the EU

0:50:120:50:17

requires a new hard border, it is a

matter for them and the republic to

0:50:170:50:24

decide and implement. We,

unilaterally if necessary, will

0:50:240:50:29

honour the Belfast agreement and

indeed strengthen our union of the

0:50:290:50:32

UK.

I think... My honourable friend

was right to talk about the

0:50:320:50:40

resolution of the United Kingdom

government. In fairness, we do need

0:50:400:50:45

to acknowledge that the government

of Ireland, too, is committed to try

0:50:450:50:49

and make sure that no hard border is

created and the Taoiseach and his

0:50:490:50:56

government are committed to working

constructively as part of the EU 27

0:50:560:50:59

with us to find a way forward in

terms of a future economic

0:50:590:51:04

partnership.

There is a member of

the House that lives closer to the

0:51:040:51:11

Northern Ireland border than anyone

else in the chamber. Can I ask this

0:51:110:51:15

focus of a hard border, does the

government and all his colleagues in

0:51:150:51:20

the government, the Irish government

and the EU negotiators understand

0:51:200:51:24

that any top on a principle of a

hard border is irrelevant because it

0:51:240:51:28

would be totally impossible to

police 310 crossing points and

0:51:280:51:35

everyone locally would how to

circumvent them if they tried!

0:51:350:51:38

Particularly conscious that in

County Londonderry people are

0:51:380:51:44

commuting to and from work,

businesses are supplying customers,

0:51:440:51:49

people are travelling to and from

the doctors across the international

0:51:490:51:55

jurisdictional border. It is very

important in terms of people being

0:51:550:51:57

able to go about their everyday

lives that we reach the kind of

0:51:570:52:02

agreement to which the government

here and the Irish government are

0:52:020:52:05

committed.

Would he just define for

the House what the government meant

0:52:050:52:13

work he said a guaranteed no hard

border, what does that actually

0:52:130:52:17

involved?

It is exactly what we said

in a commitment to the joint report

0:52:170:52:27

in December and in the position

papers that we published back last

0:52:270:52:30

summer.

Last night in the other

place we had the second reading of

0:52:300:52:40

the roads, trailer registration

bill. It is the first piece of

0:52:400:52:45

contingency planning. Can he clarify

how the government will make sure no

0:52:450:52:51

checks on the registration between

the Republic of Northern Ireland and

0:52:510:52:54

Northern Ireland and how this will

be consistent with its current

0:52:540:53:00

legislation on holiday?

We do

believe that the bill is completely

0:53:000:53:04

compliant with our commitments under

the joint report. But I will as the

0:53:040:53:08

Transport Secretary to write to them

with detail.

The Good Friday

0:53:080:53:14

Agreement is an international

multiparty agreement, endorsed by

0:53:140:53:18

referendums on both sides of the

Irish border. The decision to leave

0:53:180:53:22

the customs union and single

market... Does he accept it is the

0:53:220:53:29

responsibility of his government to

bring forward detailed workable

0:53:290:53:33

proposals as to how his government

unilateral headlines can be made

0:53:330:53:38

compatible and can he tell is how

much longer we have to wait until we

0:53:380:53:42

see those proposals in print?

We are

at the start of a process of

0:53:420:53:46

negotiation. The honourable

gentleman would not want me to go

0:53:460:53:55

into entire detail. I hope when he

sees what the Prime Minister says on

0:53:550:54:00

Friday and when he has the

opportunity to question her after

0:54:000:54:03

her statement last Monday, that he

will feel reassured.

Thank you.

0:54:030:54:10

Normally points of order come after.

But this relates to these exchanges

0:54:100:54:14

so I will take it now.

Mr Speaker,

would it be in order for it to be

0:54:140:54:20

recorded that you quite rightly

acknowledged a number of hours in

0:54:200:54:23

that recent session that we had the

urgent question for speaking too

0:54:230:54:28

long. And not asking the short

questions of course some honourable

0:54:280:54:33

members are good at. But not all of

us. The reason for that and you will

0:54:330:54:38

correct me if I am wrong, is because

we have never add a proper

0:54:380:54:42

meaningful debate, or indeed a vote,

on this or any other Brexit matter

0:54:420:54:49

that would indeed help the

government in its negotiations and

0:54:490:54:55

indeed the uniter country. And this

is just one of many examples, Mr

0:54:550:55:01

Speaker, where Parliament's voices

profoundly lacking in the whole of

0:55:010:55:04

the Brexit process.

There have been

debates in the committee of the

0:55:040:55:14

whole House report stage on the

withdrawal bill. But outstayed of

0:55:140:55:21

legislation, if memory serves me

correctly, what the right honourable

0:55:210:55:27

lady says is factually correct. She

will know that I have an unbridled

0:55:270:55:35

enthusiasm for debate, for votes,

and for sitting in the chair for

0:55:350:55:43

extended periods, listening to the

intellects of Einstein and the

0:55:430:55:53

eloquence of Demosthenes, which are

so regularly on display, from my

0:55:530:55:59

colleagues. In all parts of the

House. And I cannot get enough of

0:55:590:56:07

it. It may seem eccentric on my

part, but I love listening to my

0:56:070:56:14

colleagues. And the more debates,

and the more votes, the better. I am

0:56:140:56:22

most grateful to the right

honourable lady on whose point of

0:56:220:56:26

order I had only a moment's notice,

but which I enjoyed. If there are no

0:56:260:56:34

further points of order at this

stage, we come now to the urgent

0:56:340:56:38

question, Stephen Twigg.

0:56:380:56:39

Can I ask the Minister of State for

the foreign & Commonwealth Office to

0:56:440:56:48

make a statement to the House on the

Burmese government's failure to

0:56:480:56:51

issue visas to the members of the

international select committee?

May

0:56:510:57:01

I thank the honourable gentleman for

local West Derby for his question,

0:57:010:57:08

i:e., like him and deeply

disappointed that the government of

0:57:080:57:14

Burma have not granted visas. This

displeasure has been communicated to

0:57:140:57:19

the Burmese authorities. I accept

that they do vital work providing

0:57:190:57:24

important oversight of UK aid

programme in Burma and beyond. The

0:57:240:57:33

aid committee was due to travel on

the 27th and 20th of February, when

0:57:330:57:41

no decision on visas was received in

the early morning of yesterday, it's

0:57:410:57:49

then cancelled the Burma leg of its

visit. I understand they will

0:57:490:57:54

continue at the second part of that

trip, travelling to Bangladesh,

0:57:540:57:59

supporting the Rohingya refugees

replace in those facilities. Burmese

0:57:590:58:11

officials have indicated three

reasons for the refusal. First,

0:58:110:58:14

there is an extended public holiday

in Burma. Secondly, access to rack

0:58:140:58:23

kind state is restricted for

security reasons. And finally, they

0:58:230:58:30

were unhappy that individual members

had signed a letter calling for the

0:58:300:58:38

senior general of the Burmese army

being called to account for the

0:58:380:58:42

military's behaviour. It is right, I

think, Mr Speaker, that this House

0:58:420:58:49

takes a close interest in this sort

of crisis and I know all members

0:58:490:58:52

here will continue to do so. The

government fully supports the work

0:58:520:58:57

of the committee. A conference about

in a tree was developed but the

0:58:570:59:09

British ambassador in the country

pressed repeatedly for visas to be

0:59:090:59:15

approved both in Burma and in the

Burmese embassy in London. I myself

0:59:150:59:19

spoke yesterday morning over the

telephone with the Burmese

0:59:190:59:22

ambassador to raise the status of

visas demonstrating just how

0:59:220:59:26

seriously the FCO takes this matter,

not least, as a courtesy to the

0:59:260:59:31

House. I understand you also read to

the Burmese ambassador, Mr Speaker,

0:59:310:59:36

and he intends to reply formally

setting out the reasons for the

0:59:360:59:39

refusal. Through DFID, ... The first

chance of UK funding is providing

0:59:390:59:53

emergency food and safe water and

hygiene for more than 180 thousand

0:59:530:59:59

people. The UK's emergency medical

team was deployed to save lives.

0:59:591:00:06

This decision to deny visas is

highly regrettable and will prevent

1:00:061:00:10

the committee from seeing some of

its work first hand. However, this

1:00:101:00:15

government must and will remain

committed to supporting Burma's

1:00:151:00:19

poorest and most vulnerable people.

Working with DFID, we will ensure

1:00:191:00:25

the committee has all the access

needed.

In democracies,

1:00:251:00:37

parliamentarians to criticise

governments. This is a lesson that

1:00:371:00:40

the Burmese government will have to

learn.

Thank you for granting this

1:00:401:00:47

urgent question. Can I thank the

Minister for his response. First of

1:00:471:00:53

all, I would like on behalf of the

entire committee to thank all of

1:00:531:00:56

those who have worked incredibly

hard over the last few days to try

1:00:561:01:00

and sort this matter out, including

you, Mr Speaker, as the Minister

1:01:001:01:05

rightly pointed out, you wrote

personally to the Burmese ambassador

1:01:051:01:08

in London. The Minister himself for

his intervention of which I'm very

1:01:081:01:13

grateful. And the team in Burma

particularly, the British

1:01:131:01:20

ambassador. Sadly, it was all to no

avail. The committee should write

1:01:201:01:23

now be on its way to Burma where we

were planning to look at some of the

1:01:231:01:27

fantastic work that DFID funds in

that country. We were told last week

1:01:271:01:33

that our visas had been approved

here in the United Kingdom, they had

1:01:331:01:38

been processed and they were ready

but the Burmese embassy in London

1:01:381:01:42

was awaiting final approval from

their government. Yesterday, our

1:01:421:01:46

passports were returned to us

without visas and clearly the

1:01:461:01:49

failure of the Burmese government to

grant these visas simply prevents us

1:01:491:01:55

from doing our job as a select

committee which is to oversee how

1:01:551:02:00

overseas developer and assistant is

spent in countries. I have no doubt

1:02:001:02:05

that a major part of the reason this

has happened is direct retaliation

1:02:051:02:10

for the report that we published

last month on the Rohingya crisis. I

1:02:101:02:14

believe there is a direct connection

between our report and these

1:02:141:02:19

actions. I thank the Minister for

shedding some light today in his

1:02:191:02:23

response to this urgent question

about the reasons that the Burmese

1:02:231:02:27

have now given for denying our

visas. I understand, Mr Speaker,

1:02:271:02:31

that it was Aung San Suu Kyi herself

who blocked the approval of our

1:02:311:02:36

visas. Some will argue and some have

argued this overnight on social

1:02:361:02:43

media that as a result of this we

should stop United Kingdom aid to

1:02:431:02:47

Burma. I agree with the Minister

that it would be a major mistake to

1:02:471:02:51

stop supporting programmes that help

the poorest, health programmes,

1:02:511:02:55

education programmes that make a

difference to the very poorest

1:02:551:02:58

people. We should not punish them.

However, with the Minister agree

1:02:581:03:03

with me that it is now the time for

us as a parliament and for the

1:03:031:03:07

government to review the programme

for Democratic change which is

1:03:071:03:13

working with the Burnley 's

parliament's? If we as

1:03:131:03:17

parliamentarians are not permitted

to go to that country and meet their

1:03:171:03:22

political leaders and look at how UK

aid is being sent whether it is

1:03:221:03:25

right that our taxpayers resourced

as is being spent on Parliamentary

1:03:251:03:31

strengthening in Burma. -- Bernie 's

parliament. Finally, I believe this

1:03:311:03:43

is to silence the treatment of the

Burmese government of the Rohingya.

1:03:431:03:49

Does he agree that we must double

our efforts on behalf of the

1:03:491:03:53

Rohingya people so they get the

justice they deserve?

I thank the

1:03:531:03:59

honourable gentleman for his

thoughtful contribution as ever. And

1:03:591:04:02

thank you for the kind words about

the intervention of the Foreign

1:04:021:04:05

Office. I think it is direct

retaliation, I accept that. I would

1:04:051:04:11

not like to speculate whether there

has been a personal interception by

1:04:111:04:14

Aung San Suu Kyi but we may learn

more in the days to come and we will

1:04:141:04:18

discuss matters then. May I say that

I agree with much of what he has to

1:04:181:04:22

say and please rest assured that

particularly my right honourable

1:04:221:04:26

friend the Secretary of State for

DFID is working very closely to try

1:04:261:04:33

and reorganise programmes that we

have in Burma to take into account

1:04:331:04:36

many of the concerns that he has but

above all that we want to keep the

1:04:361:04:41

interest of the most vulnerable

closely in our minds. As I mentioned

1:04:411:04:46

earlier on, we are one of the

biggest single donors in this

1:04:461:04:48

terrible crisis. We have provided

money to both the Red Cross and the

1:04:481:04:54

world food programme to provide

assistance in the Burmese side of

1:04:541:04:59

the border. To be honest, given the

very severe humanitarian impact that

1:04:591:05:06

heavy rain and cyclones could have

on the population, we are heading

1:05:061:05:11

into the cyclone season in the next

month, this is something we will

1:05:111:05:14

keep under very open review. I would

also say, if I may, Mr Speaker, I

1:05:141:05:20

was in Brussels deputising for the

Foreign Secretary on Monday and we

1:05:201:05:23

agreed at that point with the EU

Council that the conclusions

1:05:231:05:30

initiating an work Sue introduced

targeted sanctions on elements of

1:05:301:05:35

the Burmese military. This work is

ongoing. You will appreciate some

1:05:351:05:42

difficulties we face, not least

because of the potential veto of

1:05:421:05:47

some of the permanent members of the

Security Council but we are doing a

1:05:471:05:51

lot at the EU level as well.

Having

seen what is going on in Burma, it

1:05:511:06:03

is imperative that we continue to

assist the Rohingya people in their

1:06:031:06:06

hour of need. I would urge the

Minister to summon the Burnley 's

1:06:061:06:15

ambassador -- their ambassador for

Burma to spell out formally. Mr

1:06:151:06:23

Speaker, for those of us that

followed events in that country for

1:06:231:06:26

some time now, our policy was to

support Aung San Suu Kyi where we

1:06:261:06:31

could and were told that the

problems were with the military. If

1:06:311:06:34

it is now the case that she is no

longer part of the solution but is

1:06:341:06:39

indeed in some way part of the

problem, I do believe this is a time

1:06:391:06:44

to reassess our relationship with

the parliament, with the army in

1:06:441:06:52

Burma and the training and

assistance we have tried to give

1:06:521:06:55

them to make them a more democratic

military and indeed the range of

1:06:551:07:02

bilateral relations where fibre that

country. We simply cannot allow them

1:07:021:07:06

to away with this kind of behaviour.

I thank my right honourable friend

1:07:061:07:10

and obviously he was the predecessor

in the role that I now hold. And

1:07:101:07:15

must, very depressing given the high

hopes he had when he was in office.

1:07:151:07:24

I gather given the number of visits

he made to Burma at that time that

1:07:241:07:28

we were moving toward some sort of

democracy. In many ways, there are

1:07:281:07:32

some lessons we have learned is

perhaps in that time, as a small

1:07:321:07:39

amount of democracy, the Rohingya

will not included in the census, not

1:07:391:07:43

allowed to vote in elections, in

many ways we are seeing elements of

1:07:431:07:47

the consequences of that. Major say

in relation to his initial point

1:07:471:07:54

about the Burmese ambassador, we

will of course summon him over the

1:07:541:07:59

course of the next week to express

our deep displeasure at his

1:07:591:08:03

government's actions.

The refusal of

visas for the international

1:08:031:08:16

development committee by the Myanmar

government is obvious the shocking.

1:08:161:08:18

It seems to be a response to their

critical report on the treatment of

1:08:181:08:29

the Rohingya. It might be on the

tightening of a use sanctions as the

1:08:291:08:33

Minister mentions. Banning people is

their stock response to criticism.

1:08:331:08:37

They have also banned the UN

fact-finding mission, the special

1:08:371:08:41

rapporteur, the UN refugee agency.

The UK has a £100 million aid

1:08:411:08:50

programme and significant

development investments. We have our

1:08:501:08:53

own Parliamentary strengthening

programme. It is completely

1:08:531:08:55

reasonable for the international

double in committee to visit Myanmar

1:08:551:08:59

and see how these are going. I think

the chair is right to say we need to

1:08:591:09:04

think again about the Parliamentary

strengthening programme but what I

1:09:041:09:08

would like to ask the Minister is

what is the Foreign Office going to

1:09:081:09:11

do to secure access both for British

parliamentarians and for the United

1:09:111:09:18

Nations agencies?

The Right

Honourable lady will appreciate that

1:09:181:09:27

these are very difficult issues. We

are doing our best to work both

1:09:271:09:32

bilateral and then the international

community to try to secure that sort

1:09:321:09:36

of access. We are also working

quietly behind-the-scenes. There are

1:09:361:09:42

individuals known to Aung San Suu

Kyi over many years who have paid

1:09:421:09:48

visits and at least advise her at

the displeasure and concerns of the

1:09:481:09:53

international community. And the

reality is that the truth really is

1:09:531:09:59

that the military do have a whip

hand to very large extent on what is

1:09:591:10:06

going on in Burma. We will continue

to work tirelessly to and ensure

1:10:061:10:11

that we move forward. We want to see

some accountability for the crimes

1:10:111:10:16

that have been committed and I hope

that at some point when the UN

1:10:161:10:21

fact-finding mission can enter a

report that we will have a statement

1:10:211:10:26

in the House setting out our

position about the issue of impunity

1:10:261:10:29

for the future.

1:10:291:10:33

It is my strong belief that going

back to my initial point and the

1:10:331:10:36

point made by a the honourable

gentleman from Liverpool West Derby

1:10:361:10:40

we always have to remember that

frustrating though it is and she

1:10:401:10:45

rightly points out we have spent 100

win pounds a year on aid within

1:10:451:10:52

Burma, that actually the work being

done for the most vulnerable must

1:10:521:10:56

continue. It is very easy for us to

walk away. We want to be honest and

1:10:561:11:01

try and find within the military in

so far is that I'm more moderate

1:11:011:11:05

elements we can begin to work with

and that is why we have stock

1:11:051:11:10

programmes of training for the

military but we feel there are

1:11:101:11:13

individuals there who we should try

to keep lines of communication open

1:11:131:11:17

with and we will continue to do

that. This is one of the

1:11:171:11:20

frustrations in many ways of

democracy and diplomacy but we will

1:11:201:11:23

continue patiently but with some

urgency for the reasons I have said

1:11:231:11:28

that given the humanitarian

catastrophe taking place on the

1:11:281:11:31

Bangladeshi side of the border to

continue that.

Mr Speaker, your own

1:11:311:11:38

role was instrumental in setting up

the Parliamentary strengthening

1:11:381:11:41

programme. The purpose of which is

to make their parliament more like

1:11:411:11:46

ours. Therefore it would be folly to

stop it no matter how insulted we

1:11:461:11:51

properly feel.

I do share the right

honourable gentleman's concerns on

1:11:511:12:01

this and I in a previous ballad I

was on the business foundation for

1:12:011:12:05

democracy I played a role in trying

to work together and have integrated

1:12:051:12:08

programmes and they think I'm a

cross-party basis we would not I

1:12:081:12:10

think to begin desert in the biggest

hour of need some elements within

1:12:101:12:18

Burma reveal strongly about this

matter but equally Aphibarnrat

1:12:181:12:22

honourable friend will recognise

that there is a deep concern that we

1:12:221:12:29

cannot continue as though it is

business as usual in all our

1:12:291:12:32

relations with the Burmese

authorities but they very much hope

1:12:321:12:35

there will be some individuals who

will be able to work with to make

1:12:351:12:38

that country a better and more

democratic place in the years to

1:12:381:12:40

come.

It goes without saying how

deeply disappointed I am to be in

1:12:401:12:49

this chamber along with my

International Development Committee

1:12:491:12:51

colleagues when I am supposed to be

on a plant like to Burma to see the

1:12:511:12:55

good work that they are doing in

areas also bitter disappointment

1:12:551:13:00

that I find out just now that Aung

San Suu Kyi is personally

1:13:001:13:03

responsible for blocking the visas

to give the essential work that we

1:13:031:13:07

are providing to her citizens in her

nation who are of the poorest and

1:13:071:13:14

most fundable. Difficult as a

substantial aid programme in Burma

1:13:141:13:17

and our job is to go out there to

see the good work being done and I

1:13:171:13:20

would want to put on record as the

member of Parliament for Dundee city

1:13:201:13:27

currently considering whether or not

to withdraw the freedom of the city,

1:13:271:13:30

with heavy heart I feel I will be

recommending that withdrawal of the

1:13:301:13:34

freedom after hearing what I have

heard today. Can the secretary tell

1:13:341:13:37

me that what assurances he would

give or indeed the Minister, what

1:13:371:13:40

assurances can be given for future

visits to Burma to see the essential

1:13:401:13:44

work being carried out in the

regions which include Bracken state

1:13:441:13:50

and can he give us an opportunity to

give a further explanation given the

1:13:501:14:00

fact we are a democracy here and

support democracy in Burma in

1:14:001:14:04

particular Aung San Suu Kyi and

widely very remarks, I sang that and

1:14:041:14:08

I endorse anyone else to sign up

later, if there are war crimes and

1:14:081:14:15

mass atrocities being carried out in

Rakhine state, I hope Aung San Suu

1:14:151:14:22

Kyi is listening to this message

today because she should also be

1:14:221:14:27

speaking out. I would like to hear

there will be further explanation

1:14:271:14:30

and if there has been anything we

have lost in this Parliament, is

1:14:301:14:36

asked to be rebranded and lastly to

have an apology from the Burmese

1:14:361:14:39

authorities.

May I think the

honourable judgment but Andy West we

1:14:391:14:45

were able to speak before the

disappointment became apparent the

1:14:451:14:49

refusal was in place and I wish him

and the rest of the Committee all

1:14:491:14:53

the rest and be able to see is much

as they can in Bangladesh, but I

1:14:531:14:56

think it is depressing and it would

be more worthwhile to be able to go

1:14:561:15:00

into Rakhine State to sit where I

know is whether intended to be. I

1:15:001:15:05

don't want to spend the time, to

defend Aung San Suu Kyi but we have

1:15:051:15:14

a bilateral relationship and we want

to try to keep lines of medication

1:15:141:15:17

open. The recognition has to be to

the Burmese military who have been

1:15:171:15:21

responsible for many of the

atrocities that have taken place in

1:15:211:15:24

the aftermath of the 20th of August

and I think we should not forget

1:15:241:15:29

that amidst great disappointment

that was shared by many members of

1:15:291:15:31

Parliament given the great high

hopes they had with the new regime

1:15:311:15:35

when it came into play only a couple

of years ago. That we just say this

1:15:351:15:40

about issues of accountability. The

immediate task I think will be to

1:15:401:15:43

support those who are building

evidence and testimony. The task of

1:15:431:15:47

been ongoing over the past six

months. A number of organisations

1:15:471:15:51

will be left collecting that

testimony and we will be considering

1:15:511:15:56

how best we can support that range

non-governmental organisations. If

1:15:561:16:01

it is Burma is not a party to the

statute of the International

1:16:011:16:05

criminal Court, Cosmo see PIC will

not have jurisdiction, or it would

1:16:051:16:09

only have jurisdiction over the

alleged crime if Burma was to revert

1:16:091:16:13

to accord, an unlikely scenario, or

there was a referral to the UN

1:16:131:16:18

Security Council which I think is

unlikely. So we are working and hope

1:16:181:16:24

to come back to the hazard some

point before too long and working to

1:16:241:16:27

a strategy of how impunity can be

and account ability, can be put to

1:16:271:16:34

those to some who have committed

some of these terrible crimes.

As a

1:16:341:16:40

member of the Committee I'm a bit

disappointed we are not going.

1:16:401:16:43

Mainly because we were trying to see

both sides, but the Burmese side and

1:16:431:16:51

the Bangladeshi side, to see how

these terrible -- terribly burnable

1:16:511:16:56

people are being treated on either

side and I think the Bangladesh side

1:16:561:16:59

were doing a magnificent job --

terribly vulnerable people. We

1:16:591:17:08

recognise it was a Bank Holiday, it

was quite dangerous to go up there

1:17:081:17:13

but we were prepared if we could

possibly go to go and now we have

1:17:131:17:17

been thwarted and I do think, I

don't know whether there was truth

1:17:171:17:22

in the fact that Aung San Suu Kyi

did have a hand in it, but I hope

1:17:221:17:27

the Minister will ask and find out

and report back to this House

1:17:271:17:31

because I think that this incredibly

serious because someone who has her

1:17:311:17:37

before, as many millions of people

in this country have, the shine will

1:17:371:17:43

definitely have gone off her halo if

that is the case.

I think I

1:17:431:17:51

honourable than for what she says we

will do our level best to try to get

1:17:511:17:54

the bottom of exactly what has

happened and who is responsible.

1:17:541:17:58

That media say this. I know it is

often felt when parliamentarians

1:17:581:18:02

visit other countries that they all

get teased by our constituents that

1:18:021:18:07

say this is all one big jolly that

we are heading off, I had to sit on

1:18:071:18:15

my own part as many know I was

speaking in these notes tragically

1:18:151:18:22

in September, it has made a

difference to my understanding to

1:18:221:18:25

the situation and the two sides have

happened, and my opportunity to go

1:18:251:18:33

visit Bangladesh and I think it is

invaluable work that is done and

1:18:331:18:38

gives a real sense of perspective

and certainly a Committee such as

1:18:381:18:41

this rightly is holding a government

department to account and needs to

1:18:411:18:47

be able to see on the grounds the

work that is being done. May I also

1:18:471:18:51

take some tribute, not perhaps for

me to pay tribute, hopefully the

1:18:511:18:57

Committee, for my right honourable

friend the Secretary of State, I

1:18:571:19:01

think she has expended huge amount

of time and energy and passion on

1:19:011:19:05

this particular issue. They think

she is very much on top of the issue

1:19:051:19:09

to recognise that we have to have

some fundamental changes in the way

1:19:091:19:12

in which we look at programmes

particularly within Burma and I know

1:19:121:19:16

that we are much respected across

the globe for the tremendous

1:19:161:19:19

contribution we have made since the

row up prices came to pass. --

1:19:191:19:25

Rohingya crisis.

This is hugely

disappointing for the Select

1:19:251:19:31

Committee and shocking if it is true

what the honourable member the

1:19:311:19:34

Liverpool West Derby said that Aung

San Suu Kyi may have been

1:19:341:19:38

responsible for blocking the betas

although it will not dampen the

1:19:381:19:42

effort and determination to the

Committee to keep the pressure on.

1:19:421:19:45

Is it a clear signal that the

diplomatic relationship is breaking

1:19:451:19:47

down which is frankly understandable

and in some way even reassuring

1:19:471:19:52

because a regime that commit ethnic

cleansing is no ally of hours. The

1:19:521:19:55

Minister is absolutely right that we

must continue to help support the

1:19:551:20:02

most vulnerable people in May on my

particular the Rohingya but can I

1:20:021:20:06

press him for accountability for

those in the military, a discussion

1:20:061:20:15

with the security Council for the

possibility to refer those who both

1:20:151:20:20

for the responsibilities --

atrocities to the criminal court.

1:20:201:20:26

The UK continues to work to maintain

the UN Security Council's focus on

1:20:261:20:33

Rakhine State and she will be very

aware that in recent weeks, the

1:20:331:20:36

Syrian issue has been very important

and clearly last autumn a lot of

1:20:361:20:40

focus on what was happening on the

Korean Pincher but that is not to

1:20:401:20:44

say we aren't persistent to try and

get this as high-profile as possible

1:20:441:20:50

and our own request the Security

Council held Google briefing on the

1:20:501:20:53

13th of to focus on the very

specific issue of returns and the

1:20:531:20:58

likelihood of returned happening.

The UN security council statement,

1:20:581:21:05

first decade, last year, the UK was

that and focusing attention on what

1:21:051:21:14

is happening in Burma. We are

providing a response to the

1:21:141:21:18

fact-finding report of the human

rights Council which is due in March

1:21:181:21:21

and be co-sponsored the UN human

rights Council General Assembly

1:21:211:21:26

resolutions. I have to say to the

honourable lady however that the

1:21:261:21:31

notion that we have a headlong rush

to a UN Security Council resolution,

1:21:311:21:35

the feeling on the ground from

representatives is that almost

1:21:351:21:38

certainly would be vetoed by the

Chinese and probably by the Russians

1:21:381:21:42

as well. That is not to say that at

some point we might not test that

1:21:421:21:47

further but I believe there are

other avenues that we wish to pursue

1:21:471:21:50

and one of the reasons that I have

been so pleased to be able to work

1:21:501:21:54

together with our colleagues in the

European Union is that actually to

1:21:541:21:57

get sanctions from that quarter as I

think will make some progress

1:21:571:22:03

particularly against leading lights

within the military.

I am

1:22:031:22:10

pro-pleased that the Minister is in

his place because his work on the

1:22:101:22:14

question of Burma has been

impressive over these many months

1:22:141:22:17

and the work of the Ambassador

country and has been impressive and

1:22:171:22:22

none of this, I am sure he couldn't

have done more. This is a very

1:22:221:22:27

distressing scene. I have however

torn between the desire to ensure we

1:22:271:22:34

have oversight of the enormous on

the money we're spending and that we

1:22:341:22:37

promote cause of democracy and here

I speak with an interest because one

1:22:371:22:42

of the clerks who has been to make

the door is the second clerk of the

1:22:421:22:48

Foreign Affairs Committee and the

clerk who is going... If they have

1:22:481:22:54

learnt 1% of the knowledge that

these two fabulous individuals can

1:22:541:22:58

impart it would be a huge blessing

to the Burmese people and a great

1:22:581:23:03

blessing to do a Sinjar between the

United Kingdom and Burma.

I thank

1:23:031:23:08

him for his insights and I will pass

the message on. It is worth pointing

1:23:081:23:16

out a little bit about the bilateral

action that continues to take place.

1:23:161:23:20

Many members will be aware the

Foreign Secretary was in Burma

1:23:201:23:22

during the most recent recess and

that Aung San Suu Kyi then stressing

1:23:221:23:27

refugees must feel to returning home

and need to be supervised at the

1:23:271:23:32

UNHCR. Aung San Suu Kyi was spoken

to no fewer than five times since

1:23:321:23:38

the crisis began last August. I met

her last September and the Defence

1:23:381:23:42

Minister and Deputy First Minister

-- deputy Foreign Minister, in

1:23:421:23:47

Ecuador in November. I will, that

work will continue to bring as many

1:23:471:23:55

options as possible to be able to

discuss as far as we can but there

1:23:551:23:59

is some fantastic expertise that we

need to try to channel into and keep

1:23:591:24:03

the pressure on as far as possible.

The United Nations High Commissioner

1:24:031:24:12

for human rights has described what

has been happening to the Rohingya

1:24:121:24:15

as a textbook case of ethnic

cleansing. Isn't the withholding of

1:24:151:24:20

visas from myself and other members

of the International Development

1:24:201:24:22

Committee a textbook case and with

an authoritarian regime with

1:24:221:24:27

something to hide trying to shield

itself from legitimate international

1:24:271:24:31

scrutiny. And if Aung San Suu Kyi is

indeed responsible for that, that it

1:24:311:24:37

is nothing short of disgraceful.

With the Minister agree with me that

1:24:371:24:42

all this points to the fact that the

international community has to be

1:24:421:24:45

far more assertive in rising for

unimpeded humanitarian access to

1:24:451:24:51

Rakhine State?

I would agree with

that. I don't want to cast judgment

1:24:511:24:58

until we know the facts about any

involvement of Aung San Suu Kyi or

1:24:581:25:03

other senior members in relation to

the future but I think he is right

1:25:031:25:06

that this is something that is a

textbook case of the worst elements

1:25:061:25:11

of an increasingly close regime but

I would repeat to him as I have said

1:25:111:25:16

at the outset, in the midst of our

displeasure, anger, frustration at

1:25:161:25:23

not being able to visit there,

please remember the interests of

1:25:231:25:27

those millions in Burma and so

desperately need our help and

1:25:271:25:31

support.

1:25:311:25:42

Thank you for your letter, which was

well received. When she was here,

1:25:421:25:50

she said when she saw us discussing

it, they were moving towards

1:25:501:25:56

democracy, but unfortunately the

country is heading in the wrong

1:25:561:25:58

direction. Since I saw you cheered

the parliamentary group in 2005, I

1:25:581:26:05

always wanted to help move

democracy, and that is what I intend

1:26:051:26:10

to do as the coach here. --

co-chair. We will also look at the

1:26:101:26:26

health for all of the ethnic groups.

Does the Minister agree with me that

1:26:261:26:31

now the International development

committee is going to be carrying on

1:26:311:26:35

its work, it will only be speaking

to people which gives a one-sided

1:26:351:26:42

view that the Bernd government could

take some time to reply, but makes

1:26:421:26:49

the work harder for those of us who

want to take a holistic view of

1:26:491:26:53

Burma as a country. -- a one-sided

view that the Burmese man government

1:26:531:26:58

could take.

I do not know where he

gets the time to do all of this

1:26:581:27:05

work. Joking aside, please may I say

this, I agree with everything he has

1:27:051:27:15

to say, and we need to look at all

sides to see what extent there is

1:27:151:27:19

efficacy in being able to return to

Burma at the earliest opportunity.

1:27:191:27:24

Please keep the faith with Burma and

by means. However, -- the Burmese

1:27:241:27:35

man. Remember this is important work

being done, and we have a lot of

1:27:351:27:49

commitment going to historic

reasons, but keep the faith.

I am

1:27:491:27:55

disappointed as one of the committee

members refused if these are. I am

1:27:551:28:00

also disappointed as a member of

Parliament that represents a city

1:28:001:28:03

that gave Aung San Suu Kyi not only

the freedom of the

1:28:031:28:24

city, but... Will the government

look at convening an emergency

1:28:281:28:37

summit to put sanctions in place not

only against Burma, but possibly

1:28:371:28:41

even considering Aung San Suu Kyi's

family assets here in the UK. We

1:28:411:28:50

will also immediately review some of

our other aid products including the

1:28:501:28:54

£500 million we have given to a

university on a project with Oxford

1:28:541:28:59

University last month to make sure

that money is not being used for

1:28:591:29:06

academic work which undermines the

Rohingya.

He is right to identify

1:29:061:29:25

the fact that the issue around the

Rohingya, terrible how it is, is on

1:29:251:29:30

a different scale than other

minorities, which have suffered for

1:29:301:29:35

many decades. I think I have covered

some of the issues about why we have

1:29:351:29:40

not gone for the UN Security Council

resolution at this stage, and I hope

1:29:401:29:46

whatever investment is being made

between Rangoon and Oxford is being

1:29:461:29:53

done for positive reasons and we

should not necessarily except, but

1:29:531:29:59

need to get to the bottom of it.

I

was very depressed to learn last

1:29:591:30:03

night that the visas had not come

through. I do not know what the

1:30:031:30:08

Hermes authority think we're going

to do now, give up and shrug our

1:30:081:30:12

shoulders? -- Burmese authority.

We're not going to do that, we are

1:30:121:30:22

democratically elected select

committee. Within our parliament we

1:30:221:30:25

do not have a quarter for the

military, everyone is elected in the

1:30:251:30:29

same matter. -- Manor. It is

important to stress the money we

1:30:291:30:35

give is the for the people and it

does go to the military regime and

1:30:351:30:39

it doesn't go through the military

regime. The reason it is so month is

1:30:391:30:43

the -- the reason it is so much is

because of the militaries team. And

1:30:431:30:48

I thank you, Mr Speaker, for

everything you have done. You were

1:30:481:30:51

one of the champions of Aung San Suu

Kyi to get her freed from House

1:30:511:30:57

arrest, and it was through you that

you are able to get her to address

1:30:571:31:00

both Houses of Parliament in

Westminster Hall, a unique privilege

1:31:001:31:05

for someone who is not officially

head of state. Can I ask you, Mr

1:31:051:31:09

Speaker than the Minister of State,

to carry on with your work because

1:31:091:31:14

the Rohingya problem is not going to

go away but we do want to go to

1:31:141:31:20

Burma and we want to see exactly how

our money is being spent, so can I

1:31:201:31:25

implore both of you to carry on and

see if that can be done this year?

1:31:251:31:32

Great pleasure to speak on the half

of the Speaker on this matter. I

1:31:321:31:46

should thank him for letting me get

a word in. Sorry, this is not a

1:31:461:31:54

subject for allegedly. We will keep

in mind what is happening to

1:31:541:31:57

Rohingya and other minorities, but

also those of us who have the

1:31:571:32:00

interest of Burma and Burmese people

at heart.

Can I associate myself

1:32:001:32:12

entirely with my honourable friend's

comments and share my horror of what

1:32:121:32:14

we have seen in selecting the

Rohingya people. Many of my

1:32:141:32:19

constituents have written to me and

rely on committees to shine a light

1:32:191:32:25

on these dark situations. Can I urge

the Minister and Secretary of State

1:32:251:32:29

to look at examples from the past,

such as our relationship with

1:32:291:32:34

Zimbabwe, where we continued to

support people in Zimbabwe while

1:32:341:32:44

they had despotic regime. This is a

very unusual case for visas to be

1:32:441:32:49

denied in this way. Is he aware of

any other examples of them being

1:32:491:32:54

denied to politicians in a similar

way?

Thank you very much from the

1:32:541:33:01

contribution. I must confess, it

seems unique circumstances

1:33:011:33:08

contribution. I must confess, it

seems unique circumstances, it may

1:33:081:33:08

not be but I will write to him

regarding the situation of what is

1:33:081:33:12

the situation of refusal of these as

of this sort.

Can I get assurances

1:33:121:33:18

from Her Majesty's government that

not a single penny of taxpayer money

1:33:181:33:24

will go to the regime in Burma, who

is increasingly not only a regime

1:33:241:33:30

that practices genocide but also is

becoming a rogue state?

May I thank

1:33:301:33:42

him for his contribution. I think

all of us recognise we do not wish

1:33:421:33:46

to do anything that props up a

regime. May I put in a slight

1:33:461:33:51

caveat, which is that we need to

keep lines of communication open,

1:33:511:33:59

and if it is felt not least by our

ambassador Andrew Patrick on the

1:33:591:34:05

ground, if it is felt there are

individuals who need to keep the

1:34:051:34:14

lines of communication open, I not

rule it out.

Despite the

1:34:141:34:21

government's attempts to conceal the

fact, the Burmese military actions

1:34:211:34:26

look a lot like ethnic cleansing.

Isn't it time that the international

1:34:261:34:31

community started treating it as

ethnic cleansing?

Please be assured

1:34:311:34:37

that the work does continue.

Difficult to do this through the

1:34:371:34:45

usual context, which would be a UN

Security Council resolution because

1:34:451:34:48

it would be retold. We had a meeting

in November, and whilst

1:34:481:34:55

understandably and rightly much of

the world's focus must be on the

1:34:551:34:59

humanitarian catastrophe that is

happening and could get worse on the

1:34:591:35:02

Bangladeshi side of the border,

equally there is no an increasing

1:35:021:35:06

focus, and I have had many meetings

over the previous weeks and months,

1:35:061:35:13

with the focus on diplomatic and

political solution, not least the

1:35:131:35:18

issues he points out.

I visited the

Rohingya refugee camp last year with

1:35:181:35:28

the Commonwealth Parliamentary

Association, and two nurses from

1:35:281:35:32

Kettering General Hospital have

returned from the Rohingya camps,

1:35:321:35:36

successfully combating the spread of

disease. Can I draw his attention to

1:35:361:35:41

the problem on the Bangladeshi side

of the border? Bangladesh has been

1:35:411:35:46

incredibly generous in hosting the

Rohingya refugees and going out of

1:35:461:35:50

its way to assist them. But the

Bangladeshis are overwhelmed with

1:35:501:35:56

applications for visas from aid

workers and the like, and they are

1:35:561:36:00

having difficulty processing them in

a timely way, holding up some of the

1:36:001:36:06

aid. Can we help them in overcoming

this problem?

He is absolutely

1:36:061:36:12

right, it is something we have

identified and we are working

1:36:121:36:15

together with DFID to get it sped

up, and our own embassy in

1:36:151:36:24

Bangladesh has made and will

continue to make representations to

1:36:241:36:26

ensure that NGOs and others,

particularly relating to medical

1:36:261:36:34

help, at able to get people on the

ground in Bangladesh.

Point of

1:36:341:36:44

order, Jonathan Ashworth.

We all

heard at prime ministers questions,

1:36:441:36:48

the Prime Minister rightly speak of

the importance of early diagnosis

1:36:481:36:51

when it comes to cancer. Yet, in

today's newspapers we have learned

1:36:511:36:57

that some CCGs are offering cash

incentives to GPs not to refer

1:36:571:37:02

patients to hospitals including

cancer patients. We believe this is

1:37:021:37:10

totally unacceptable. Has the

Secretary of State for health given

1:37:101:37:12

any notice that he intends to come

to the House to make a statement to

1:37:121:37:16

tell us how extensive this scheme

is, so we can call upon the

1:37:161:37:21

Secretary of State to rule out this

an acceptable practice?

Lowe, but it

1:37:211:37:31

is open to the shadow Leader of the

House today is this matter that the

1:37:311:37:34

business question tomorrow, and I

feel sure that having registered his

1:37:341:37:41

concerns today, the honourable

gentleman will articulate them in

1:37:411:37:47

subsequent days until he elicits a

ministerial response. Chris Bryant.

1:37:471:37:54

You have always concerned yourself

with the issue of political

1:37:541:37:57

prisoners but I have discovered

there is one in our own country

1:37:571:38:01

because the Foreign Secretary

declared this morning on television

1:38:011:38:04

that he was desperate to be able to

publish a letter to the Prime

1:38:041:38:10

Minister referred to earlier, but

now apparently the Prime Minister

1:38:101:38:13

will not let him. So, the poor chap

is languishing unable to fulfil his

1:38:131:38:20

stated intention and desires. I just

wonder, because obviously he wants

1:38:201:38:23

to keep the House informed, he wants

to be able to tell us what is going

1:38:231:38:29

on. I do not know whether he has

written two letters, and only one

1:38:291:38:33

has got into the public domain, but

I wondered if that is a way to free

1:38:331:38:38

the Foreign Secretary so he is no

longer a political prisoner in this

1:38:381:38:42

way?

I read what he said in

reference to his correspondence and

1:38:421:38:48

the activities of the Foreign

Secretary, but not entirely for the

1:38:481:38:52

first time and not

uncharacteristically, I rather fear

1:38:521:38:56

that the honourable gentleman might

have invested me with powers I do

1:38:561:39:01

not possess. I do not have power

over responsibility for or the

1:39:011:39:14

capacity to free the Secretary of

State for following Commonwealth

1:39:141:39:19

affairs. The Foreign Office One, he

calls from a sedentary position.

1:39:191:39:33

Some people might think it is a good

thing I am not responsible for him,

1:39:331:39:37

and other people may think it a bad

thing. But it is a fact that I am

1:39:371:39:45

not responsible for him other than

in regard to his responsibilities to

1:39:451:39:50

appear here. Shame, says the

honourable gentleman! We must leave

1:39:501:40:01

it there for no. We now come to the

ten minute rule motion in the name

1:40:011:40:04

of the honourable gentleman, the

Member for Bassetlaw. Ten minute

1:40:041:40:09

rule motion, John Mann.

1:40:091:40:15

I rise to propose what I would

suggest of the House is a very

1:40:151:40:19

important legislative proposal that

in the three weeks subsequent to me

1:40:191:40:25

laid this proposed Bill before the

public Bill office, to an incidence

1:40:251:40:32

of occurred directly impacting me,

my staff, my family, there are

1:40:321:40:39

specific examples apply the powers

we have in this country with

1:40:391:40:44

internet companies are too weak and

why this Bill would transform the

1:40:441:40:49

situation. In those two weeks I have

received a series of violent threats

1:40:491:40:58

on Twitter directed to myself and my

family and stop they are rightly in

1:40:581:41:05

action by the police in the

appropriate way. I immediately on

1:41:051:41:14

receiving these series of tweets

registered them in the Twitter style

1:41:141:41:20

with Twitter, removes them from the

public domain. The police will

1:41:201:41:29

require the precise time that these

tweets were sent. Not the tone with

1:41:291:41:36

which I can provide them, where they

go onto the Parliamentary system via

1:41:361:41:43

e-mail but the precise time. Twitter

refuses to provide these to me.

1:41:431:41:51

Second example is in relation to

Facebook. Whereby that is the

1:41:511:41:59

gentleman I believe still in prison

who was convicted in prison for a

1:41:591:42:03

series of very aggressive internet

attacks on other members of

1:42:031:42:10

Parliament and myself. I was

referred to directly in the court

1:42:101:42:17

proceedings. A repeat has been last

week put out through Facebook and

1:42:171:42:24

immediately then this fake account,

which is in my name with my face

1:42:241:42:32

which could best be described as an

century, and of course statements

1:42:321:42:38

none of us in here including myself

would never dream of making, and

1:42:381:42:43

intend to incite violence against me

which when originally done, at that

1:42:431:42:50

impact with extremists, nicking

directorates and specific threats in

1:42:501:42:56

my locality. Facebook with that

refused to assist and provide

1:42:561:43:07

immediately deleted Facebook

message. And yet again I could

1:43:071:43:13

present that to the police because

the individual originated it may

1:43:131:43:17

still be serving a custodial

sentence for precisely this form of

1:43:171:43:26

activity with this example are part

of the case taken against him. The

1:43:261:43:32

purpose of this Bill was, if this

was the broadcast media, television,

1:43:321:43:35

if this was radio, but this was

newspapers, and they failed to

1:43:351:43:43

cooperate -- if this was newspapers,

then I would be free to take civil

1:43:431:43:48

action against them. Government

could take action against them.

1:43:481:43:52

Please could take action against

them. To take action the courts

1:43:521:43:58

would potentially be complicated but

the fact it is possible would and

1:43:581:44:04

does mean that newspapers with

broadcast media, with radio, that

1:44:041:44:10

they are cooperative. Both with

individuals and with the police.

1:44:101:44:16

When it comes to the internet

company we have no such powers. Our

1:44:161:44:23

law comes from the 1896 United

States communications decency act

1:44:231:44:34

section 2:3.0. -- 19 96. It says

explicitly community is conferred

1:44:341:44:42

upon the operators of internet

services who are not to be deemed

1:44:421:44:47

publishers of and therefore not

legally liable for the words of

1:44:471:44:50

third parties who use their

services. In our law this comes from

1:44:501:44:58

the European Commission and the

European Union, the European

1:44:581:45:05

directive 2000-31 of the European

Parliament and Council of the 8th of

1:45:051:45:12

June 2000 which was harmonised into

UK law by an electronic commerce EC

1:45:121:45:17

directive predilections 2002. It

again gives publishers immunity

1:45:171:45:26

explicitly to the internet companies

which is not there in a free and

1:45:261:45:32

competitive market for newspapers,

television, radio. In other words a

1:45:321:45:38

specific community only solely

exclusively for internet companies.

1:45:381:45:44

I am not seeking, and indeed I am

sure Parliament would not seek, to

1:45:441:45:54

interfere with the rights of free

speech and the rights of a free

1:45:541:45:58

internet. But the Democratic

internet in exactly the same way we

1:45:581:46:02

have a democratic media and free

press has to have the ability that

1:46:021:46:10

if there are criminal acts being

carried out that directly impact on

1:46:101:46:16

us, and these two examples do

potentially in relation to me, my

1:46:161:46:20

staff, my family. And indeed one has

had a criminal prosecution and

1:46:201:46:26

imprisonment. We ought to have the

right to use that format. What would

1:46:261:46:32

happen if we did? Internet companies

would cooperate immediately. It is

1:46:321:46:39

absurd that the police in this

country cannot force Twitter or

1:46:391:46:44

Facebook or Google or any of the

others to provide evidence required

1:46:441:46:50

for criminal prosecutions, criminal

prosecutions. It is done on

1:46:501:46:56

goodwill. And successive governments

have attempted, are attempting, to

1:46:561:47:04

get good codes of conduct, the

internet companies have their

1:47:041:47:07

conditions of service where they say

what they will do. Well, let me give

1:47:071:47:11

an example where I would consider

taking action. It would be precisely

1:47:111:47:17

where those terms and conditions

have been broken and the internet

1:47:171:47:21

company has failed to act

appropriately. That is precisely an

1:47:211:47:26

example where their own terms and

conditions are being broken but they

1:47:261:47:29

are failing to act. It cannot be

right that our place with Twitter

1:47:291:47:35

for example can wait very many weeks

and are not guaranteed evidence they

1:47:351:47:42

require, it could be to do with

terrorism, other violent threats,

1:47:421:47:48

but criminality cannot get that.

This simple removal from exemption,

1:47:481:47:55

equalising the markets with the

television companies, with radio,

1:47:551:48:02

the free newspapers, would create an

equal playing field in the media

1:48:021:48:10

market and would get rid of some of

the absurdities which mean that the

1:48:101:48:14

same thing can be impacted on, say,

media, but run simultaneously with

1:48:141:48:23

that those powers with the internet.

There are countless examples. The

1:48:231:48:28

House of Lords, there was a very

good debate initiated by Baroness

1:48:281:48:32

Kidron, I haven't got the time to go

through that and I recommend that to

1:48:321:48:40

the House, but she went through

precisely a social media companies

1:48:401:48:47

are commissioning, editing and

curating content for broadcasting

1:48:471:48:49

and our publishing. It affects our

societal values. For example the

1:48:491:48:57

spreading of fake news. We have seen

it on the internet with the

1:48:571:49:02

potential outbreak of measles from

big news about inoculations, nothing

1:49:021:49:07

government could do in relation to

that if the internet company fails

1:49:071:49:14

to act, public health in this

country could be a threat. Should

1:49:141:49:17

government choose to do that? That

is a different set of questions.

1:49:171:49:21

Different set of decisions. But

government cannot do that because

1:49:211:49:25

government doesn't have the power to

do that. We are seeing mounting

1:49:251:49:29

pressure. Germany has adopted a

fairly modest system in terms of the

1:49:291:49:37

potential to applying for a failure

to remove content within 24 hours.

1:49:371:49:41

Australia has built-in and ease

safety Commissioner. This Bill

1:49:411:49:46

suggests a similar thing could

happen in this country. But at its

1:49:461:49:52

core we need to treat the internet

companies in exactly the same way as

1:49:521:49:59

other media, whereby a free media

can be taken to court if they are

1:49:591:50:04

failing to cooperate on criminality.

What is good enough for TV, radio

1:50:041:50:10

and newspapers is good enough for

social media and the internet. I

1:50:101:50:14

recommend this proposed Bill to the

House, Mr Deputy Speaker.

As many of

1:50:141:50:23

the opinion say aye. I come to who

will prepare to bring in your Bill?

1:50:231:50:34

Ruth Snead, Lucy Birdsall, Lillian

Greenwood, Anna Turley, Nicky

1:50:341:50:39

Morgan, Andrew Percy, Liz Seibel

Roberts, Lisa Cameron, and myself.

1:50:391:50:47

Excellent. John Mann.

LAUGHTER

1:50:471:50:57

Very important!

1:50:571:51:08

Social media service providers...

Second reading what they? Friday,

1:51:191:51:26

April 27.

On a Friday? Excellent.

Keep going, while you can.

1:51:261:51:44

The working group was convened by

the Prime Minister last November,

1:52:341:52:39

supported by all party leaders.

The

question is as order paper. The ayes

1:52:391:52:56

have it. When I come to the motion

on the Independent complaints and

1:52:561:53:03

grievance policy, I have selected it

in the name of Kevin Byron. I now

1:53:031:53:11

call the Leader of the House to move

the motion.

Thank you, a bit of

1:53:111:53:20

Groundhog Day here. I beg to move

the motion standing on the order

1:53:201:53:23

paper in my name and those of my

working group colleagues. The

1:53:231:53:27

working group was convened by the

Prime Minister last November

1:53:271:53:30

supported by all party leaders. To

address serious allegations of abuse

1:53:301:53:37

and harassment in Parliament. I

announce the publication of the

1:53:371:53:40

group's report before February

recess, and I hope members have

1:53:401:53:50

considered the more detail. We're

all at the bid is no place for

1:53:501:53:54

harassment, abuse and misconduct in

Parliament. We need to ensure there

1:53:541:53:59

are robust procedures in place so

everyone is able to work with the

1:53:591:54:03

dignity and protection that they

deserve. I believe the working group

1:54:031:54:09

proposals do that. During the course

of its work, the group took

1:54:091:54:13

extensive evidence in person and

writing from a wide variety of

1:54:131:54:19

stakeholders including parliamentary

officials, staff of MPs and peers,

1:54:191:54:23

trade unions, academics, authorities

and sexual violence and legal

1:54:231:54:27

professionals. The group also

conducted a survey open to a wide

1:54:271:54:31

range of people including a number

of pass-holders who had not been

1:54:311:54:37

asked for the experience of bullying

and harassment. Many people have

1:54:371:54:42

devoted a considerable amount of

time to this work, and after more

1:54:421:54:45

than 100 hours of discussion,

consultation and consideration, I

1:54:451:54:52

believe we have proposals for the

House to consider today that will

1:54:521:54:55

fundamentally change the working

culture in Parliament for the

1:54:551:54:58

better. I would like to turn to

these proposals, and briefly set

1:54:581:55:04

them out for the House. They are as

follows. Firstly, Parliament will

1:55:041:55:10

agree a shared behaviour code, which

will apply to everyone on the estate

1:55:101:55:14

or engaged in parliamentary business

regardless of location, and will

1:55:141:55:20

underpin the new policy. It will

make clear the expectations for the

1:55:201:55:25

behaviour of everyone in the

parliamentary community and will be

1:55:251:55:28

consulted on and on that basis.

Secondly, the new complaints and

1:55:281:55:32

grievance procedure will be

independent from political parties.

1:55:321:55:38

Thirdly, it was acknowledged that

sexual harassment and violence are

1:55:381:55:42

different from other forms of

inappropriate behaviour, such as

1:55:421:55:47

bullying and intimidation.

Therefore, separate procedures will

1:55:471:55:49

be agreed for those looking to raise

a complaint regarding sexual

1:55:491:55:53

harassment to those with a complaint

of bullying. This is an important

1:55:531:55:59

distinction, and while everyone has

acknowledged the significance of

1:55:591:56:03

complaints of sexual harassment,

evidence from staff made clear that

1:56:031:56:06

instances of intimidation and

bullying are more prevalent. So, MPs

1:56:061:56:17

staff need HR advice, which has been

lacking, and this will go to a long

1:56:171:56:21

-- go a long way of resolving

workplace grievances. Importantly,

1:56:211:56:27

the new system will be based on the

principles of equality, it will be

1:56:271:56:32

confidential and fair to all

parties, it will be in line with the

1:56:321:56:36

laws of natural justice, and it will

command the confidence of those who

1:56:361:56:41

will use it. The working group took

advice at an early stage that rather

1:56:411:56:47

than reinvent the wheel, we should

work with and build on the many

1:56:471:56:52

sound processes and systems already

in place here. Today we are bringing

1:56:521:56:58

forward a motion that will enable

the House commission to authorise

1:56:581:57:03

House officials to take forward the

recommendations of the group and

1:57:031:57:06

implement proposals in full. This is

a big step towards creating a more

1:57:061:57:14

professional environment and the

Parliament among the best in the

1:57:141:57:16

world in treating people with

dignity and respect at work.

I'm

1:57:161:57:24

grateful to her forgiving way and

want to commend her for her work on

1:57:241:57:28

this report. She will agree that

Parliament should be a for Best

1:57:281:57:32

practice rather than playing catch

up, so we need to make sure the

1:57:321:57:39

procedures relate to everyone,

including crucially extending to

1:57:391:57:42

constituency officers, and visitors

to offices as soon as possible. Can

1:57:421:57:48

she reassure us that this is a real

priority for her going forward?

I

1:57:481:57:55

would like to pay tribute to the

honourable lady who is an assiduous

1:57:551:57:59

contributor to the work of the

working group, and I thank sincerely

1:57:591:58:03

for her dedication. We can recall

these happy hours debating that

1:58:031:58:09

point, and we concluded in the end

that this is a priority to make sure

1:58:091:58:15

the behaviour code will extend

protection to all those coming into

1:58:151:58:24

Parliament, but in the immediate

future we should focus on bedding in

1:58:241:58:29

a new complaints procedure dealing

with the Palace of Westminster and

1:58:291:58:33

our work in parliamentary duties,

and that as soon as possible, once

1:58:331:58:36

it is bedded down through a review

six months after its operation of

1:58:361:58:41

how we should deal with others who

come into contact with MPs, where

1:58:411:58:45

there is the tricky grey area about,

where is your public life and we

1:58:451:58:49

lose your private life? I hope she

is reassured once again by

1:58:491:58:53

committing that we must look at

that, she is exactly right.

I

1:58:531:59:00

appreciate her giving way. Can I

ask, going into the definitions of

1:59:001:59:06

bullying, why are the older

versions... The most recent version

1:59:061:59:13

takes away the issue of

1:59:131:59:17

intentionality, because often

perpetrators hide behind that.

What

1:59:171:59:19

I can say is that the work on the

detailed procedures including

1:59:191:59:26

definitions will be finalised once

the authorities get under way to put

1:59:261:59:33

the proposals in place, and if she

wants to propose a different

1:59:331:59:36

definition, I am very pleased to

look at it and will take into

1:59:361:59:41

account all views in the area. So, I

am committed to ensuring that work

1:59:411:59:48

proceeds apace over the next few

months, and I am pleased to report

1:59:481:59:52

the House authorities have already

begun preliminary work on several

1:59:521:59:57

work streams needed to implement

these policies. Members will also

1:59:572:00:01

want to know that the following four

interim steps have already been

2:00:012:00:05

taken to improve services available,

and I have mentioned these

2:00:052:00:08

previously because we wanted to

ensure we had immediate steps

2:00:082:00:13

following the serious allegations

that we all heard about last

2:00:132:00:18

November, so firstly, enhanced

support arrangements have been

2:00:182:00:21

provided through the extension of

the employee assistance programme

2:00:212:00:24

helpline run by health are sure to.

Secondly, face-to-face counselling

2:00:242:00:29

sessions can be offered with

appropriate. Thirdly, an interim

2:00:292:00:34

service providing HR advice for

member staff was launched in

2:00:342:00:38

January, and fourth, political

parties have all updated the

2:00:382:00:41

behaviour codes and published them

on the parliamentary intranet. This

2:00:412:00:47

demonstrates we have already taken

urgent action, but the new

2:00:472:00:50

procedures will go much further. For

the benefit of members not present

2:00:502:00:58

at my last statement, I will turn

briefly to the process of making a

2:00:582:01:02

complaint or raising grievance

against a member of the House. As

2:01:022:01:06

colleagues will appreciate, the

process for raising complaints

2:01:062:01:09

against other members of the

parliamentary community such as

2:01:092:01:14

peers, members and peers staff, and

contractors, will each differ

2:01:142:01:18

according to the role. All

procedures are designed for the

2:01:182:01:22

protection of staff and

parliamentarians alike, and have

2:01:222:01:25

their own is at the heart. So, it is

intended that the House authorities

2:01:252:01:32

will procure two independent

services. 12 consider allegations of

2:01:322:01:40

violence, and 12 consider workplace

bullying. Where a resolution is not

2:01:402:01:50

possible and a complaint is upheld,

it will be referred to the

2:01:502:01:54

parliamentary commission. The role

of the commission will be expanded

2:01:542:02:05

and reformed, she will be able to

impose a new range of sanctions

2:02:052:02:09

which may include a written apology,

mandatory training or future

2:02:092:02:14

behaviour agreements. The

commissioner will be able to review

2:02:142:02:17

any finding by the independent

investigator, and where she does so,

2:02:172:02:20

she will ensure that have

investigations are also strictly

2:02:202:02:25

confidential, that both the

complainant and alleged perpetrator

2:02:252:02:27

have access to all evidence, and

crucially, each has a right to

2:02:272:02:33

representation or to represent

themselves. These measures will

2:02:332:02:37

ensure fairness. In the most serious

of cases, the Commissioner will

2:02:372:02:42

refer her findings to the committee

on standards. The committee can

2:02:422:02:46

recommend to the House that an

individual is suspended and the

2:02:462:02:49

House will vote on the

recommendation. It is to this route

2:02:492:02:54

that the existing procedures under

the recall of MPs after 2015 could

2:02:542:02:59

be invoked. The trigger for a recall

remains the same as it is now, and

2:02:592:03:02

it is no plan for changes to primary

legislation. The working group

2:03:022:03:09

recognised the fact that those who

work in this place are often in the

2:03:092:03:13

media spotlight and that vexatious

and malicious complaints at a risk.

2:03:132:03:17

The new procedures will therefore

ensure checks and balances are in

2:03:172:03:21

place to guard against complaints,

while also making sure complainants

2:03:212:03:24

can come forward in a safe and

confidential manner. I will turn

2:03:242:03:32

into more detail in individual work

streams to implement these streams.

2:03:322:03:38

We expect six major work streams to

be established, and I would like to

2:03:382:03:41

address these individually. It is

the intention that most of these

2:03:412:03:45

work streams will be completed in

three months' time more or less.

2:03:452:03:49

Firstly, and importantly, a new

behaviour code for parliament will

2:03:492:03:54

be developed. This was a key

recommendation of the working group

2:03:542:03:58

report. It will ensure that we're

all aware of and able to promote the

2:03:582:04:03

high standards expected in the

parliamentary community. It will

2:04:032:04:06

cover all those working in

Westminster and constituency offices

2:04:062:04:10

and all pass-holders. With the

approval of the House we will

2:04:102:04:16

consult on the new behaviour code.

It is important that those who would

2:04:162:04:19

be subject to the code will have the

opportunity to contribute to its

2:04:192:04:24

development. This code must be

something that underpins us all, it

2:04:242:04:31

will be able to investigate and

resolve allegations of bullying,

2:04:312:04:36

harassment and sexual harassment. It

will also be the cornerstone of

2:04:362:04:40

cultural change... It is our

intention the behaviour code will be

2:04:402:04:48

brought forward within three months.

Secondly, there will be an

2:04:482:04:54

implementation work stream around

the bullying and harassment

2:04:542:04:56

procedure. This will develop

detailed policies and procedures,

2:04:562:05:02

and commission a new reporting

helpline and workplace dispute

2:05:022:05:05

resolution service. The new helpline

will signpost new available

2:05:052:05:13

services, and they will investigate

independently allegations of

2:05:132:05:17

bullying and intimidation. Dedicated

emotional and practical support for

2:05:172:05:20

all those involved in a complaint

will be an important aspect of the

2:05:202:05:25

new services. Thirdly, there will be

a separate work stream... Could I

2:05:252:05:31

just finished this point then I will

give way? Thirdly there will be a

2:05:312:05:34

work stream commissioning a new

independent specialist service

2:05:342:05:39

around sexual harassment and

violence. A single point of ongoing

2:05:392:05:43

support will be provided for

complainants by an independent

2:05:432:05:47

sexual violence adviser.

Investigations of misconduct will be

2:05:472:05:53

able to be conducted by an

independent investigator with a

2:05:532:05:58

specialist qualification in

understanding sexual harassment. I

2:05:582:06:00

will give way.

Thank you for being

generous with your time. Could I

2:06:002:06:06

just caution the media once again

about the issue of mediation due to

2:06:062:06:12

the inequalities of power regarding

billing and sexual harassment, --

2:06:122:06:17

bullying. We want to ensure there

are clear processes that ensure

2:06:172:06:22

equality of power, and often

mediation has the reverse effect.

I

2:06:222:06:27

hope I can reassure her that the

issues she raises really was at the

2:06:272:06:32

core of all of the evidence we took

and all of the discussions we had

2:06:322:06:36

done the determination of the

working group to address the issue

2:06:362:06:42

of imbalance of power, to make sure

at the heart of the whole procedure

2:06:422:06:48

is the interest of the complainant,

so it is very much complainant lead,

2:06:482:06:52

to ensure people do feel safe and

able to come forward in a safe space

2:06:522:06:59

without the fear of being

intimidated further. So, I think I

2:06:592:07:03

can reassure her on that point, but

I am very happy to speak to her

2:07:032:07:08

separately about that, if she wants

further the assurance. Fourthly, new

2:07:082:07:14

training is already available to

help people understand more clearly

2:07:142:07:18

what types of behaviour might be

considered bullying or harassment

2:07:182:07:21

and the impact it can have on

individuals. This is the first step

2:07:212:07:27

towards implementing the working

group's recommendation that the new

2:07:272:07:31

independent grievance and complaints

policy needs to be supported by a

2:07:312:07:34

comprehensive training programme.

Training will be a significant work

2:07:342:07:40

stream and will include learning

opportunities for members and their

2:07:402:07:44

officers. A new induction programme

has also been introduced, with the

2:07:442:07:51

first session this week in response

to the working group's request.

2:07:512:07:57

Other individual areas of work,

including the fifth work stream, are

2:07:572:08:01

already underway, including work to

prepare for a third-party supplier

2:08:012:08:09

of HR advice. This will be supported

by a new member staff bit, and the

2:08:092:08:14

first draft has already been

compiled by IPSC and the House

2:08:142:08:17

authorities. Finally, the working

group has been clear back to

2:08:172:08:23

implement a number of the proposals,

the sixth work stream will develop

2:08:232:08:26

the Met and processes of the

parliamentary -- the re-met and

2:08:262:08:32

processes of the parliamentary

processes in each House. This means

2:08:322:08:40

liaising with each other as

necessary. Changes will also be

2:08:402:08:43

likely to be needed at the end of

these processes to the existing

2:08:432:08:48

parliamentary codes, not least to...

I welcome the clarity given by the

2:08:482:08:56

order paper, and I can assure

members that having recently met

2:08:562:09:04

with the new commissioner of the

standards myself and Shedlock --

2:09:042:09:08

scheduled a meeting with the

standards committee, I can give the

2:09:082:09:11

assurance that consultation will

continue and will form a key part of

2:09:112:09:15

the next age of our work. It is

important that the development of

2:09:152:09:23

these work streams is underpinned by

fairness, confidentiality and add a

2:09:232:09:27

key ignition of the unique

environment in which these

2:09:272:09:30

procedures are being implemented.

The new arrangements must be

2:09:302:09:34

monitored and reviewed and embedded

as part of a wider change in

2:09:342:09:39

culture. I would like to pay tribute

in this regard to the political

2:09:392:09:46

affairs committee. Unfortunately the

letter was omitted from the list of

2:09:462:09:55

written submissions, for which I

apologise. One of the suggestions

2:09:552:09:58

made in the submission was the

importance of the review and

2:09:582:10:03

scrutiny of the working group's

proposals. It is our attention --

2:10:032:10:06

intention that once the proposals

have been implemented, a Crosshouse

2:10:062:10:11

body order group will assess the

operation of the new processes. In

2:10:112:10:16

the meantime a steering group whose

membership will be based on the

2:10:162:10:22

composition of the working group

will oversee the implementation

2:10:222:10:24

period.

2:10:242:10:31

I am

period.

2:10:312:10:32

I am confident

period.

2:10:322:10:32

I am confident the

period.

2:10:322:10:32

I am confident the measures

period.

2:10:322:10:32

I am confident the measures the

period.

2:10:322:10:32

I am confident the measures the

working group has recommended will

2:10:322:10:34

provide the basis with the

significant and sustainable changes

2:10:342:10:36

to which we all aspire. A parliament

that provides dignity and work for

2:10:362:10:42

all. We need to make sure that our

Parliament is among the best in the

2:10:422:10:48

world, demonstrating our commitment

to equality, justice and fairness. I

2:10:482:10:56

hope the House will interest the

working group's recommendations

2:10:562:10:58

today.

The question is as on the

order paper.

Then I think the Leader

2:10:582:11:10

of the House but opening the debate,

it is now the fourth time this

2:11:102:11:14

matter has been before the House and

it is good we can continue to debate

2:11:142:11:18

this important topic. We have had

three statements and know this

2:11:182:11:23

motion. If we cast our minds back it

was to the first meeting the Prime

2:11:232:11:27

Minister and leaders of other

representatives of the party, that

2:11:272:11:31

was on Monday the 6th of November 20

17. The report was published on the

2:11:312:11:37

8th of February 20 18. I certainly

have passed it on to every member of

2:11:372:11:43

the opposition. I want to place on

record my thanks to all the staff

2:11:432:11:48

involved putting together the report

and all colleagues involved in the

2:11:482:11:56

working group. All this motion does

is set out the works at the House

2:11:562:11:59

authorities have to undertake. There

needs to be time at how to put the

2:11:592:12:03

processes and procedures in place

and of course the working group

2:12:032:12:08

can't do that. To pick up the point

of my friend the honourable member

2:12:082:12:12

for York Central who worked on this

sector previously, what happened to

2:12:122:12:22

the full-time permanent person who

feeds into the some of the leader

2:12:222:12:25

has outlined in detail the work that

needs to be done so I will confine

2:12:252:12:35

myself to very two reef areas. As to

training, and any programme, I don't

2:12:352:12:44

consider to be, it is not the

judgment of people's views but just

2:12:442:12:51

to ensure everyone is in the same

place, and it will be useful for all

2:12:512:12:56

members to update with the latest

and behaviour in a working place.

I

2:12:562:13:05

am grateful. Can we not ensure that

training is mandatory, face-to-face

2:13:052:13:14

and also we don't have to wait until

the next Parliament but it is

2:13:142:13:18

brought in within this year.

I think

the honourable friend for her

2:13:182:13:24

comments and I've would want to see

this from any training programme. I

2:13:242:13:29

think we expect something to be put

in place after three months when the

2:13:292:13:33

permanent person has looked at all

the details of what they have to do.

2:13:332:13:40

The Leader of the House knows that a

few people have been asked and were

2:13:402:13:47

allowed to join the group, but in my

view I think the steering group

2:13:472:13:52

should be a bit more representative

and perhaps include other groups and

2:13:522:13:56

unions. I would support the

inclusion of the House trade union

2:13:562:14:02

side to widen the representation

slightly but maybe the numbers on

2:14:022:14:06

the steering group need to be

reduced. But most importantly to

2:14:062:14:10

wear number of new initiatives set

up and when those events first hit

2:14:102:14:16

us in November Mr Speaker acted very

swiftly and extended the helpline to

2:14:162:14:24

24 hours and seven days a week from

health assured and it would be

2:14:242:14:29

useful to have those figures and how

that is used, perhaps at the next

2:14:292:14:33

commission meeting because it would

be six months it would have been

2:14:332:14:36

extended to every single person

working on the estate. I don't

2:14:362:14:43

underestimate the amount of work

that these to be done by the House

2:14:432:14:46

authorities and while it is useful

to get updates from time to time

2:14:462:14:49

they do need to be left to get on

with the work. Consulting with the

2:14:492:14:57

member programmes Valley and his

Committee and Essex and his

2:14:572:15:04

Committee and all members of the

other have something to offer. It is

2:15:042:15:08

only when processors are in place

and usable we know if they are

2:15:082:15:12

robust and command the sport of

those who seek to use them. The

2:15:122:15:17

opposition support the motion is

tabled and amended and look forward

2:15:172:15:21

to be updated. We thank the staff

are taking on this task so we have a

2:15:212:15:27

truly modern Parliament where

everyone knows the boundaries of

2:15:272:15:30

acceptable behaviour in a safe and

secure workplace.

2:15:302:15:43

It is just a few months since

Parliament faced a wave of

2:15:432:15:48

allegations and bullying and sexual

harassment, and atmosphere in richer

2:15:482:15:53

times it was hard to distinguish,

serious cases from the proliferation

2:15:532:15:57

accusations and rumours. It exposed

a lack of credible and transparent

2:15:572:16:06

and robust system for existing

complaints and periods is about

2:16:062:16:11

bullying and sexual harassment. It

led to the establishment of the

2:16:112:16:14

working group and their report which

I fully support and it is carefully

2:16:142:16:19

drafted and reflect a great deal of

thought and discussion. The working

2:16:192:16:23

group has proposed to burst the

adoption of a new shared behaviour

2:16:232:16:27

code for all who work in Parliament

and its members. Secondly the

2:16:272:16:31

introduction of a new independent

complaints and grievance policy to

2:16:312:16:38

reflect this. There's not

unsurprisingly concentrates on

2:16:382:16:41

creating new rules and the

procedures for investigating

2:16:412:16:45

incidents and complaints by police

to try to address the present

2:16:452:16:49

hodgepodge arrangements from which

different categories of people and

2:16:492:16:53

the glaring gaps of this system of

how we employ and care for our

2:16:532:16:59

staff. The working group has rightly

spent a lot of time discussing and

2:16:592:17:06

defining what constitutes the bad

behaviours that must be called out.

2:17:062:17:10

But there is also a need to address

how Parliament arrived at this

2:17:102:17:15

situation. How a culture of

tolerance towards bullying and

2:17:152:17:19

sexual harassment became embedded

and let substantially unchallenged

2:17:192:17:23

until now. Very few people who come

into political life at whatever

2:17:232:17:28

level and would have the capacity in

this building to work in Parliament,

2:17:282:17:34

very few are bad people and most are

appalled about the culture that has

2:17:342:17:40

been exposed. So how have we let

this happen close like after all,

2:17:402:17:48

MPs are already subject to the House

of Commons code of conduct will stop

2:17:482:17:52

as employers we are already covered

by employment law and there is the

2:17:522:17:56

respect policy there to protect

staff of the House. It is clear

2:17:562:18:00

however that there needs to be a

wider and continuing discussion

2:18:002:18:04

about the positive attitudes and

kinds of behaviour that we want to

2:18:042:18:09

promote in Parliament and in public

life and what the values and

2:18:092:18:15

principles are upon which those

positive attitudes and behaviours

2:18:152:18:17

should be based. The remit of the

public administration Constitutional

2:18:172:18:24

affairs Committee which I chair

includes oversight of the Committee

2:18:242:18:30

and public web, ministerial code,

civil service code and special

2:18:302:18:32

advisers code and the workers

concerned with leadership and

2:18:322:18:38

governance in the civil service and

public bodies so we have done a lot

2:18:382:18:42

of work on this area. In December

they submitted evidence to the

2:18:422:18:47

working group showing drawing on

work it has carried out in other

2:18:472:18:52

areas. This was in the form of the

letter to the Leader of the House

2:18:522:18:57

which might right honourable friend

very kindly acknowledged was not

2:18:572:19:00

included amongst the record of

written submissions received by the

2:19:002:19:03

group and I know it was

substantially discussed and I'm

2:19:032:19:06

grateful to the spokesman for the

opposition for drawing attention to

2:19:062:19:12

it. Some of the reasons for our

failures are practical and

2:19:122:19:18

procedural. The working group has

made great strides to address these.

2:19:182:19:22

However it is also clear that there

is confusion among MPs and others

2:19:222:19:29

about the behaviour should be

subject to public scrutiny. And what

2:19:292:19:32

should be regarded as entirely

private. As we argued in our

2:19:322:19:37

submission to the Parliamentary

commission standards review of the

2:19:372:19:42

House of Commons code of conduct

last year this commission is not

2:19:422:19:46

resolved by our own current Commons

code. Far from it. As PACAC set out,

2:19:462:19:52

in fact, I was there is a

fundamental ambiguity as to whether

2:19:522:20:01

our Commons code of conduct is

intended to function as a set of

2:20:012:20:06

principles which govern the whole of

members behaviour which would

2:20:062:20:09

naturally extend to a degree into

private sphere of MPs conduct or

2:20:092:20:14

whether it is intended simply as a

set of regulations which are mostly

2:20:142:20:21

about financial disclosures relating

only to an MP's public role. And in

2:20:212:20:26

fact the 2015 code states that it

does not seek to regulate what

2:20:262:20:30

members do in their private and

personal lives and yet it is clear

2:20:302:20:35

from these recent controversies that

it is not always possible to keep

2:20:352:20:37

the two are separate as many of us

would like. The risk is now that

2:20:372:20:44

this new behaviour code will be once

again mainly concerned with rules

2:20:442:20:50

and regulations and new procedures

for enforcement and that this is

2:20:502:20:55

just patched onto the present system

which has manifestly failed in at

2:20:552:21:00

least one of its main objectives,

which is to promote public

2:21:002:21:02

confidence in the standards we

observe in Parliament we should not

2:21:022:21:06

be surprised if problems continue to

rise. The working group is right to

2:21:062:21:13

promote a system of training to

support the new behaviour code. I

2:21:132:21:18

think there is going to be some

problems persuading some of our

2:21:182:21:21

colleagues that they should be

subject to such training and I will

2:21:212:21:23

come to that point in a moment. It

is easy to put into a document like

2:21:232:21:29

this but the practicalities of

persuading people to participate,

2:21:292:21:34

but what about extending that to

training about what the seven

2:21:342:21:38

principles of public life are

actually intended to mean in our

2:21:382:21:44

lives and of all the public figures

in this place? I give way.

I can't

2:21:442:21:51

quite keep waiting until he tells

you whether or not he will agree

2:21:512:21:54

that in order to persuade colleagues

to undertake some training, some

2:21:542:21:58

kind of sanctions might concentrate

people's minds. For example having

2:21:582:22:01

paid out or something similar.

I am

so much more in favour of persuasion

2:22:012:22:08

than coercion. And in the end can I

just tell the honourable lady you

2:22:082:22:14

can lead a horse to water but you

cannot make them drink. You could

2:22:142:22:20

force MPs to attend a training

session but what kind of attitude

2:22:202:22:24

would they have two words that

training if they did not feel it was

2:22:242:22:28

something they wanted to do. Just

take a step back and think about how

2:22:282:22:34

we want to do this. I do agree with

her. Unless we promote conversation

2:22:342:22:40

and understanding about the

principles and values that should

2:22:402:22:45

guide behaviour, the risk is

confusion about what is acceptable

2:22:452:22:48

or not will persist. Rules and

regulations are of course important

2:22:482:22:56

but PACAC's work has shown so often

that when rules are not underpinned

2:22:562:23:00

by clear principles and values which

are understood, discussed and talked

2:23:002:23:02

about, the outcome is a

preoccupation with compliance with

2:23:022:23:08

the rules rather than upholding but

reflects the values and principles

2:23:082:23:13

that we want to see upheld. The road

to damnation, the road to damnation

2:23:132:23:19

is all too congested these days with

people who argue as conduct was,

2:23:192:23:25

could, within the rule, unquote.

I

am very much enjoying his comments

2:23:252:23:33

and it is what we can do to improve

the culture of this place and I

2:23:332:23:39

wholeheartedly endorse his

suggestion of training on the simple

2:23:392:23:42

principles of public life. I think

we probably need some sanctions in

2:23:422:23:49

training but we need a different way

of looking at it, there is an

2:23:492:23:52

arrogance people have and they seem

to take the view that they didn't

2:23:522:23:54

need training as a learning should

be something that we stop at the age

2:23:542:23:58

of 18 when we leave full-time

education rather than something we

2:23:582:24:01

should continually aim to find out

more and work out how to do our job

2:24:012:24:06

and fulfil responsibilities better,

continual learning and continual

2:24:062:24:08

training.

I couldn't agree more with

the honourable lady and they so much

2:24:082:24:16

want there to win this argument and

hearts and minds with this idyllic

2:24:162:24:20

rather than have to resort to

coercion which would be so

2:24:202:24:28

counter-productive in terms of what

she really wants to be achieved,

2:24:282:24:32

because to avoid just being

preoccupied with compliance in the

2:24:322:24:40

future, but the regulations and the

principles and values that we won't

2:24:402:24:44

behaviour to reflect must be clearly

set out and adjudicated. Perhaps

2:24:442:24:49

only a breach of the rules attracts

sanction but nevertheless there

2:24:492:24:53

needs to be some authority and we

suggest in respect of MPs the

2:24:532:24:58

Parliamentary Commissioner for

standards who will at least call

2:24:582:25:01

that people who are failing to live

up to the principles and values we

2:25:012:25:04

have all signed up to. They also

argued in our submission that the

2:25:042:25:08

rules should be adjudicated by a

separate person with appropriate

2:25:082:25:13

legal expertise and the appointment

of legal advice the Parliamentary

2:25:132:25:17

Commissioner for standards is a

really good step in that direction

2:25:172:25:21

and in fact the Parliamentary

Commissioner for standards has one

2:25:212:25:24

of the thought leaders is perhaps

one of the more important than her

2:25:242:25:28

role as adjudicator of rules.

2:25:282:25:33

The working group recognises the

need for comprehensive training for

2:25:332:25:36

MPs, peers and staff to help them

understand harassment and sexual

2:25:362:25:41

abuse and to assist professional

practice and members in their

2:25:412:25:48

positions and employers. It is

essential to

2:25:482:26:00

who will not have the authority to

carry out that kind of training that

2:26:032:26:08

the honourable lady referred to

earlier. The culture of an

2:26:082:26:13

organisation is the responsibility

of its leaders. We parliamentarians

2:26:132:26:19

must be the champions of change or

will not happen. And we must be held

2:26:192:26:25

accountable for its success. We

cannot delegate this vital

2:26:252:26:28

government's function to anyone

else, and normal parliament secure

2:26:282:26:32

public trust if we seem incapable of

exercising effective governance. I

2:26:322:26:39

give way.

I wondered what his

concerns are about the standards

2:26:392:26:46

committee and the role of the

standards committee when it comes to

2:26:462:26:50

identifying what is relevant

sanction? Because the standards

2:26:502:26:54

committee is made up of some MPs are

least, it could be open to the

2:26:542:27:00

accusation of MPs marking their own

Hallmark, is essentially it is MPs

2:27:002:27:04

who will make your own decision over

whether a colleague is expelled long

2:27:042:27:13

enough.

All of these are good ideas,

in terms of marking our own

2:27:132:27:20

Hallmark, I think this is an

unavoidable consequence of the

2:27:202:27:24

constitutional position of this

House and the other place. But what

2:27:242:27:29

must be much more explicit is the

advice on which we are marking our

2:27:292:27:37

own Hallmark, and that is why I

think having legal advice for the

2:27:372:27:41

parliamentary commission over

standards is important, and in the

2:27:412:27:45

end having someone who simply

adjudicates or provides an

2:27:452:27:49

adjudication on far clearer legal

principles by someone who has

2:27:492:27:53

juridical experience of judging

evidence and drills, someone like a

2:27:532:28:00

judge, rather than this vague

arrangement we have at the moment.

2:28:002:28:04

That is not to criticise any past or

present parliamentary commissioner

2:28:042:28:08

for standards, it is just we asked

the person to take on the

2:28:082:28:11

responsibility to adjudicate on

rules and evidence they may not

2:28:112:28:18

actually have much training and

experience to do so. It is not a

2:28:182:28:22

qualification for the job, it is

only one of them, rather than the

2:28:222:28:28

qualification. I hope that answers

the question. On the instruction of

2:28:282:28:34

an independent complaints and

grievance policy to underpin the

2:28:342:28:36

behaviour code, I am delighted the

working group has recognised the

2:28:362:28:42

need to make sure behaviour can be

addressed effectively. They have

2:28:422:28:46

also recognised appropriate support

is available for complainants and

2:28:462:28:51

alleged perpetrators and crucially

the need for an HR service for MPs

2:28:512:28:55

and peers staff. I would like to

endorse the conclusions, the latter

2:28:552:29:00

of which was included in the working

group. -- submission to the working

2:29:002:29:05

group to the recent scandal is in

large part about a failure of our

2:29:052:29:16

own governments. This stems from a

degree of a field by Parliament to

2:29:162:29:20

establish means by which we can be

more mindful of ourselves as an

2:29:202:29:25

institution. As always, every action

there is are crying for more

2:29:252:29:31

comprehensive rules and tougher

sanctions against those who break

2:29:312:29:35

them, which is undoubtedly

important. Good governance is also

2:29:352:29:39

however about much more than this,

and we now have an opportunity to

2:29:392:29:42

have a much more positive

conversation about what values we

2:29:422:29:47

want to promote and that we expect

public leaders to live by them. They

2:29:472:29:53

hope the proposed behaviour code

will clearly set out these

2:29:532:29:56

principles and values and that the

review and scrutiny of the new

2:29:562:30:01

system's success will assess how

successfully the principles and

2:30:012:30:09

values are embedded in attitude and

behaviour. This reform also needs to

2:30:092:30:14

be properly integrated into reformed

House of Commons code of conduct,

2:30:142:30:19

and I know my right honourable

friend has said there will be

2:30:192:30:23

changes to the code as a consequence

to this. My right honourable friend

2:30:232:30:30

the Leader of the House emphasised

how the working group agrees that

2:30:302:30:32

there should be a review of the

recommendations once implemented.

2:30:322:30:38

The recommendation is that this

should be overseen by a joint

2:30:382:30:42

committee of both houses, which

should also include representatives

2:30:422:30:45

of unions and employees,

organisations like the working

2:30:452:30:49

group, and it should cover the codes

of conduct of both houses. If such a

2:30:492:30:55

review is not conducted and we fail

to integrate the new arrangements

2:30:552:30:59

fully with the existing arrangements

in both houses, I feel we will not

2:30:592:31:03

have established a robust system for

the future that we all wished to

2:31:032:31:08

see.

Thank you, it is a pleasure to

follow the honourable gentleman. I

2:31:082:31:16

always seem to follow him with

debates in this House, which is

2:31:162:31:21

probably how it should be given his

thoughtful contributions. I want to

2:31:212:31:25

give about -- discuss a couple of

the issues. Can I thank the Leader

2:31:252:31:32

of the House and congratulate her

for the state leadership she offered

2:31:322:31:35

throughout the working group, she

mentioned 100 hours, and I looking

2:31:352:31:40

at my colleagues behind me and I

have to say it was not the most

2:31:402:31:45

peaceful 100 hours throughout the

sessions, and there was a fractious

2:31:452:31:48

debate around some of the issues,

but I think this is a solid

2:31:482:31:53

cross-party piece of work, and I

have to concede, I do not think in

2:31:532:31:58

my 17 years in the House but I have

been involved in a piece of work

2:31:582:32:05

that is so comprehensively looked

at, which is tribute to all members.

2:32:052:32:10

Mainly those in the chamber here

today, in the way they diligently

2:32:102:32:15

approach the work underway it is

done. It is a privilege to be part

2:32:152:32:18

of this working group and I hope to

have played some part in designing

2:32:182:32:23

this hugely important report. I also

want to pay thanks to the many

2:32:232:32:28

witnesses that came in front of the

working group and the staff that

2:32:282:32:32

played a vital role in helping

provide testimony to the working

2:32:322:32:36

group. I want to thank the

Secretariat, some of whom are here,

2:32:362:32:43

regarding this debate and produced

what is a very readable report. It

2:32:432:32:54

is also a new way of working, and

possibly they most innovative

2:32:542:32:58

feature is we have the staff from

the House on the working group, and

2:32:582:33:07

I think what that does is give added

legitimacy to this report and

2:33:072:33:11

hopefully go a long way to ensure it

is taken up with a great deal of

2:33:112:33:18

confidence from the staff who worked

on the report. I hope that in the

2:33:182:33:26

future we involve the staff in the

work, particularly when it comes to

2:33:262:33:31

House issues. We need to hear the

voices of the staff because as we

2:33:312:33:34

found out in the report, they have

solid contributions to make about

2:33:342:33:39

how the House functions. I believe

this is a significant and ambitious

2:33:392:33:46

piece of work which will hopefully

help to redefine the culture in the

2:33:462:33:52

Westminster workplace, and for me

the most important part of this

2:33:522:33:55

report is the first sentence of the

first paragraph which reads, all

2:33:552:34:01

those who work for or with

Parliament have a right to dignity

2:34:012:34:05

at work. Something you would feel

does not need to be said, but it

2:34:052:34:10

underpins everything throughout this

report, and I believe it cannot be

2:34:102:34:14

said enough and reiterated enough as

we go forward. If we look at the

2:34:142:34:22

parliamentary state, -- estate,

50,000 people work in and around the

2:34:222:34:25

estate. You have we are done

demanding members of parliament,

2:34:252:34:31

even weirder House of Lords, and the

staff who provide support so we can

2:34:312:34:36

stand here and make these grand

speeches and impress our

2:34:362:34:40

constituents. It is our staff that

provide us. So it is full of very

2:34:402:34:45

diverse and sometimes we're done

strange people, we would have to

2:34:452:34:47

conclude and concede. There is one

thing in common that should unite

2:34:472:34:55

everyone in this estate, and that is

the conviction that everyone who

2:34:552:34:58

works here has the right to expect

an environment free from bullying

2:34:582:35:06

and harassment, especially sexual

harassment. There should be zero

2:35:062:35:09

tolerance for any inappropriate

behaviour. And this report was not

2:35:092:35:16

created in a vacuum, it was a

response to some very serious

2:35:162:35:21

allegations that emerged at the end

of last year, when all parties got

2:35:212:35:27

together and decided something had

to be done and this had to be

2:35:272:35:29

addressed. It was such an issue that

something had to be done. It is also

2:35:292:35:37

part of the wider part of debate

going on following the Hardy when

2:35:372:35:47

steam allegations in Hollywood. We

are at a critical juncture about the

2:35:472:35:56

debate. -- Harvey Weinstein. Have to

decide what is and is not acceptable

2:35:562:36:05

and make an important contribution

to dignity in work. It is absolutely

2:36:052:36:10

essential that Parliament leads the

way. This is the forum of national

2:36:102:36:20

debate, and we would be shirking in

our responsibility if we did not put

2:36:202:36:24

out the strongest possible statement

that it is not acceptable in this

2:36:242:36:27

place as it should be unacceptable

in any workplace across the United

2:36:272:36:34

Kingdom. If we did not lead the way

and put in place procedures and

2:36:342:36:37

processes to deal with our own

issues, we would be letting down the

2:36:372:36:43

people we serve across this country.

We should set the example and I

2:36:432:36:46

believe this document does that. It

sets out clearly our commitment to

2:36:462:36:53

put our own House in order. We have

sort of got a sense of how big scale

2:36:532:36:59

this problem is in our particular

work place because as part of our

2:36:592:37:05

work in the working group we

commissioned a short survey asking

2:37:052:37:09

people in Parliament about the

experiences, and we got a very solid

2:37:092:37:14

response from members of staff who

worked across the estate, when asked

2:37:142:37:19

about the experiences regarding

bullying. 1377 responses. The

2:37:192:37:26

results of the survey, combined by

the survey done by Unite gave us a

2:37:262:37:40

sense of what was going on, and some

results were shocking. It revealed

2:37:402:37:45

that the bullying, harassment and

sexual harassment had been a feature

2:37:452:37:48

in the lives of so many people who

work in Parliament. 39% of all

2:37:482:37:57

respondents have reported an

experience of sexual harassment or

2:37:572:38:00

bullying in the past year. 19%

reported experience of sexual

2:38:002:38:03

harassment including sexually

inappropriate behaviour. I have

2:38:032:38:11

received an e-mail from the young

woman's trust, an important e-mail

2:38:112:38:16

which I saw too late to include in

this part of my speech, but it

2:38:162:38:20

emphasised clearly that there are

issues in workplaces right across

2:38:202:38:23

the country, and the figures the

sound in the workplace is that young

2:38:232:38:27

women currently work in is similar

to what we found in the House of

2:38:272:38:36

Commons. What we have heard is a new

shared code of behaviour which will

2:38:362:38:47

underpin the new complaints and

grievance policy. What we will have

2:38:472:38:50

is a new transparent system that

will apply natural justice at its

2:38:502:38:57

core. It will be independent of the

political parties, and that is a key

2:38:572:39:05

feature. There have been concerns

raised about the political parties'

2:39:052:39:11

ability to do this, and I think all

parties are just bad at doing this

2:39:112:39:17

stuff. What we have several

unresolved cases of people who have

2:39:172:39:22

been charged with all sorts of

activities, who have still not had

2:39:222:39:26

this how to properly, -- had it

heard properly, and there is a lot

2:39:262:39:32

of discussion about the failure to

take this up because of the fear

2:39:322:39:37

that the political parties will try

to defend and protect their own

2:39:372:39:42

political interest, so an

independent route is therefore

2:39:422:39:44

absolutely essential. Partied it

will still be available for people

2:39:442:39:48

who feel it is more important for

them, but I feel that the

2:39:482:39:54

independent route will be the one

routinely used, and if anyone raises

2:39:542:40:01

concerns it will be through the

independent route that it will be

2:40:012:40:04

taken. Another feature I found

helpful is the proposal that all our

2:40:042:40:08

staff secure... I was quite shocked

there was not that facility

2:40:082:40:15

available for members of staff, and

it is essential, given we are going

2:40:152:40:19

to go forward with new codes of

behaviour and procedures about

2:40:192:40:25

grievance resolving, that the

supporters going to be given to

2:40:252:40:28

stuff. I think this is an important

new innovation which I am certain

2:40:282:40:33

will be warmly received by members

of staff throughout the House.

2:40:332:40:40

It is the concerns about sexual

harassment that led to this group

2:40:412:40:43

being set up will stop in a report

we recognised that sexual harassment

2:40:432:40:49

is for the bleak different to other

forms of inappropriate behaviour and

2:40:492:40:54

requires and definitions, deceive

you as. This new confidential steam

2:40:542:41:02

will provide practical and emotional

support to any complainant and

2:41:022:41:04

respect absolutely that complainants

have confidentiality and have no

2:41:042:41:11

obligation to report criminal

offences to the police although they

2:41:112:41:13

will be supported if they feel it is

appropriate to do so. All reports

2:41:132:41:18

will be handled by a specialist

independent sexual violence adviser

2:41:182:41:24

who will be a single point of

contact throughout the seedings and

2:41:242:41:27

I think the way this has been

designed will give confidence to

2:41:272:41:30

anybody who wants to bring forward

and respect confidentiality and the

2:41:302:41:36

proper road mapping of how

complaints are going to be conducted

2:41:362:41:39

and progressed. Sanctions are

important. I was disappointed when

2:41:392:41:46

over Christmas a draft report was

leaked to the press and the way that

2:41:462:41:52

the press sought to portray present

this was nothing overdone and

2:41:522:41:56

apology that slap on the wrist that

members if they were found to be

2:41:562:42:02

guilty in respect of any

transgression committed, but there

2:42:022:42:05

was never anything of the sort. We

have put forward a range of

2:42:052:42:09

sanctions which will be in place

from resolution dispute resolving

2:42:092:42:14

where there might be necessary for

an apology but it goes on and

2:42:142:42:20

includes right up to the possibility

of recall of an MP and expulsion of

2:42:202:42:26

a member from the House of Lords and

the full range of sanctions is

2:42:262:42:30

included in the report. Lastly I

want to talk about the culture of

2:42:302:42:36

that house because this issue has

come up again and again and it is

2:42:362:42:40

really important that we have a look

at this. I hate the culture in this

2:42:402:42:44

House. I could never been bond of

being in the Commons. I know some of

2:42:442:42:49

my friends think it is a fantastic

place to live and work but I was

2:42:492:42:53

buying it a little bit

uncomfortable. It is maybe the

2:42:532:42:56

Scottish nationalist in me that

creates a little bit, that grew

2:42:562:43:01

grapes. This House has a peculiar

historic culture that practically

2:43:012:43:06

loses patriarchy and abuse of power.

I had a female friend in the House

2:43:062:43:12

just a few months ago and was very

conscious of these issues and she

2:43:122:43:15

told me that the portraits in this

place were practically seeming to

2:43:152:43:19

harass you because the way the

images are all set up and the

2:43:192:43:23

defining feature of this has are

embedded in this historic patriarchy

2:43:232:43:28

that we have in this place. Our

workplace is a weird bastion of

2:43:282:43:32

privilege where we call friends and

strangers and the legislation is

2:43:322:43:39

designed in a sea of blues with the

bar is that we have and the...

He is

2:43:392:43:49

making a good point about the sea of

alcohol in this place and witty

2:43:492:43:54

share my concerns, I was in an event

at one o'clock this afternoon and

2:43:542:43:59

wine was being served, does he

consider the appropriate?

I am

2:43:592:44:04

grateful for her to raising this, I

want to come evidence that is

2:44:042:44:09

compelling that we came across and

that is from Sarah child who --

2:44:092:44:14

Sarah Giles. A fantastic report that

somehow got to the part about how

2:44:142:44:20

this plays does business, the

environment we work and made some

2:44:202:44:27

practical suggestions about how this

is, don't try to suggest to me that

2:44:272:44:34

it is good working practice, that it

allows people getting home to their

2:44:342:44:41

families, it is nonsense, we do it

because we are committed to doing

2:44:412:44:46

it, I don't think anybody would

convince me that this would be good

2:44:462:44:49

practice. Dates back to the example

of this place, we should lead the

2:44:492:44:55

way in terms of good normal working

practice. In Scotland we have

2:44:552:44:59

designed our Parliament round the

normal working day and if we should

2:44:592:45:01

do it so could we, as we go forward

I think we will continue to engage

2:45:012:45:07

the work of Sarah, I couldn't

commend her report another when it

2:45:072:45:10

comes to having a look at the

culture and environment of this

2:45:102:45:13

place.

I think the member but giving

way and he is making some very

2:45:132:45:21

powerful points. With the number of

me that everyone in this chamber, we

2:45:212:45:26

are here today are very important

job and responsible job, we are

2:45:262:45:30

making the laws which dictate and

set the parameters for people right

2:45:302:45:35

across the United Kingdom and is the

knot at the very heart of this we

2:45:352:45:39

can talk about the culture and

environment and the bars, but there

2:45:392:45:44

is an important issue about personal

responsibility, the individuals

2:45:442:45:47

across all of the parties should

know better, take personal

2:45:472:45:52

responsibility and should act in an

appropriate and respectful way to

2:45:522:45:56

everybody regardless of the working

hours and regardless of the bars and

2:45:562:45:58

the restaurants.

I must take that as

a personal chastisement. Sometimes

2:45:582:46:10

enjoy a pint of the guest ales in

the strangers bar. The honourable

2:46:102:46:16

lady is right, it is all about

personal behaviour but we have an

2:46:162:46:19

unusual workplace. I don't know any

other Mac workplace in my

2:46:192:46:23

constituency which would have six

buyers as a feature of its normal

2:46:232:46:27

business, I think we have to

recognise that because of the way

2:46:272:46:31

this is setup, the way the whole

designed it can lead to difficult

2:46:312:46:35

issues and we begin to see in the

course the past year, the member per

2:46:352:46:40

Essex and Harwich and West Essex

remembered how historically we got

2:46:402:46:43

to this place but it is a little to

do with how this is as had been

2:46:432:46:49

constricted and designed in the way

we do business so I think all these

2:46:492:46:52

things are perhaps, I am glad I had

got onto this because you mentioned

2:46:522:46:56

training in his contribution and we

spent hours and hours discussing the

2:46:562:47:01

issue of training and I think we got

to a reasonable place where a

2:47:012:47:05

consensual view started to emerge

about how we should report this in

2:47:052:47:09

the working group report. I am of

the view that the should be

2:47:092:47:13

compulsory training and I actually

supported the idea that they would

2:47:132:47:17

be a kitemark given to members of

Parliament who have been the

2:47:172:47:22

training, members of staff who are

looking round about who they should

2:47:222:47:26

work for will see a kitemark

attached to a member of parliament

2:47:262:47:28

knowing they had been through

training and they would have a

2:47:282:47:33

better expectation of a good

workplace environment as opposed to

2:47:332:47:36

somebody who rejects draining out of

hand and weather might be issues, as

2:47:362:47:43

figure was a good suggestion I

couldn't convince the House. It

2:47:432:47:45

actually came from the staff

represented on the group. I think as

2:47:452:47:50

a way forward, training would be

mandatory for new members of

2:47:502:47:56

Parliament, the honourable gentleman

makes a good point. Most members of

2:47:562:48:00

parliament here have never been

employed as before. I was never an

2:48:002:48:02

employer. Those of us who come from

a more modest background when it

2:48:022:48:12

comes to these issues are perhaps

never been employers before. I

2:48:122:48:15

didn't know how to manage staff. He

had to learn through experience and

2:48:152:48:19

do it on the job. I think there is

something really helpful and useful

2:48:192:48:23

about being given that training, not

just about issues to do with quality

2:48:232:48:28

but issues to do with out to be a

good employer and I think there is

2:48:282:48:31

nothing wrong with that and they

welcome the recommendation that in

2:48:312:48:34

the next Parliament members will be

obliged to go through training.

2:48:342:48:40

Sometimes the people who will rush

to go to training who are those of

2:48:402:48:42

us who are interested and I have no

issue about taking training and I

2:48:422:48:47

look forward to it but is how about

how we dragged the old dinosaurs and

2:48:472:48:51

those who have a more traditional

view of the workplace environment

2:48:512:48:55

that might go to influence some of

their approaches to play members of

2:48:552:48:58

staff and it is how we get them and

maybe that kitemark issue would be

2:48:582:49:01

the way that divides people who are

prepared to have important quality

2:49:012:49:06

planning...

I think he may, to

encourage them because I know we

2:49:062:49:13

have been so many draft of this

report on this issue but the good

2:49:132:49:17

employer standard idea is is in

paragraph 81 and 79 and I was very

2:49:172:49:23

happy we did get to the place of

saying until such time training is

2:49:232:49:28

mandatory, records will be publicly

available which might help focus

2:49:282:49:32

minds before compulsion is actually

there.

There is a kitemark related

2:49:322:49:39

issue, may be slightly different to

what was eventually agreed but they

2:49:392:49:42

do accept that. I think it is a

welcome addition to this report.

2:49:422:49:50

This is a really important report

and I think it was certainly worth

2:49:502:49:57

spending 100 hours in the course of

those last few months and I see this

2:49:572:50:01

as being more than just a report for

this House, a think this could be a

2:50:012:50:05

blueprint for complex workplaces red

Prosser country and possibly be the

2:50:052:50:11

start -- right across the workplace

and the culture of this place. There

2:50:112:50:17

is no going back. I will give way.

I

thank him very much. I am fascinated

2:50:172:50:23

by his remarks on training and I

agree with about 99% of what he is

2:50:232:50:29

saying but I wonder if he could

comment further for us on what his

2:50:292:50:32

thoughts about when training is

being taken how often people should

2:50:322:50:36

renew and undergo that training

because we all know that workplaces

2:50:362:50:40

change very fast and legislation

changes faster was considered

2:50:402:50:43

acceptable maybe ten or 15 ago isn't

any more and I would be interested

2:50:432:50:46

in those comments.

It is not

something we consider and she is

2:50:462:50:52

right that such is the fast changing

and evolving workplace environment

2:50:522:50:56

that the should be a requirement for

people to come back and refreshed

2:50:562:50:59

because we are seeing new

innovations and I look at colleagues

2:50:592:51:03

and I can see any real objection to

that and I think as we go forward it

2:51:032:51:08

might be something we consider as we

do a bold with this report. I will

2:51:082:51:12

give way.

Surely if we look outside

this place, along with almost every

2:51:122:51:20

other industry, there is something

called continual professional

2:51:202:51:22

development and of the dinosaurs

don't like being dragged into that

2:51:222:51:24

they know what the alternative is.

A

useful contribution. My workplace

2:51:242:51:30

background was in a rock band so I

am not all that familiar with some

2:51:302:51:34

of the things that maybe have gone

on in an industry before but I will

2:51:342:51:38

take lessons from the honourable

gentleman who nobody what he is

2:51:382:51:40

talking about. I will conclude --

who seems to know what you're

2:51:402:51:45

talking about. This is a helpful and

worthwhile document. I believe there

2:51:452:51:48

is no going back in the quest for

equality. We have reached the

2:51:482:51:52

defining point last year when all

these issues starting to emerge in

2:51:522:51:58

the range of societal campaigns

online, people who just decided they

2:51:582:52:03

had had enough, there is no going

back and I hope that this report

2:52:032:52:09

were maybe mark the beginning of the

end of some of the horrible and

2:52:092:52:14

appalling practices we have seen in

this House over the years.

I am

2:52:142:52:20

grateful, it is a great pleasure to

follow the honourable gentleman in a

2:52:202:52:23

more reflective mood and sometimes

displays and has, as I think if it's

2:52:232:52:30

the serious subject matter and he

dealt with it very seriously and

2:52:302:52:35

that is a great pleasure to follow

his comments. I also want to admire

2:52:352:52:41

support -- add my support to the

motion that the leader mood that is

2:52:412:52:44

before us and they report that backs

it up and the proposals. I just had

2:52:442:52:49

a few things I wanted to add to the

debate. Several colleagues have

2:52:492:52:54

referenced the events of last year

that triggered this particular set

2:52:542:52:59

of proposals and work but I just

want to put on record that actually

2:52:592:53:06

when I became government Chief Whip

in 2015, shortly after that there

2:53:062:53:11

were a number of issues and has and

this was an area of work which I had

2:53:112:53:17

started in training on a cross-party

basis working with all the parties

2:53:172:53:22

in the House looking to see if we

could improve the way this has dealt

2:53:222:53:25

with some of these issues. Initially

parties obviously have their own

2:53:252:53:31

processes and for various reasons

they don't command the confidence, I

2:53:312:53:37

think either of members and I think

members of my party weren't entirely

2:53:372:53:41

comfortable processes that were

controlled by political parties, and

2:53:412:53:46

I think that was also the view that

was expressed by people who worked

2:53:462:53:50

in the House and those outside they

didn't the confidence that a party

2:53:502:53:56

run process even if it was a

fantastic process it simply wouldn't

2:53:562:53:59

have commanded the confidence and it

was very clear from the views that

2:53:592:54:03

were expressed to me both by

colleagues, the conversations I had

2:54:032:54:07

with members of other parties, and

indeed the representatives of

2:54:072:54:12

members of our staff that came to

see me, but a house process covering

2:54:122:54:18

all members of Parliament on a

cross-party basis would be the best

2:54:182:54:23

way of proceeding and we started, Mr

Deputy Speaker, to set some of those

2:54:232:54:30

processes in train and it was to my

disappointment that the European

2:54:302:54:36

Union referendum intervened and

terminated the career of David

2:54:362:54:40

Cameron and indeed myself in

government and we weren't able to

2:54:402:54:43

bring those processes to fruition,

so I was actually very pleased, I

2:54:432:54:50

wasn't pleased about why the leader

of the House had to put these

2:54:502:54:53

processes in place but I was very

pleased that she responded so

2:54:532:54:57

strongly to the events that took

place last year. Both in parliament

2:54:572:55:02

and outside it and actually put

those processes and train and I was

2:55:022:55:08

pleased it was done on a cross-party

basis and I was pleased that all the

2:55:082:55:11

parties took part in the process and

we have come up with the

2:55:112:55:15

comprehensive report which I have

taken the trouble to study and I

2:55:152:55:19

think that would be a step forward.

2:55:192:55:31

I would like to thank the honourable

member for gold Ford, who served as

2:55:312:55:35

my executive, and working with me,

she led many of these issues as part

2:55:352:55:41

of the office. -- the honourable

member for Gilford. Colleagues on

2:55:412:55:44

this side of the House and the other

side know

2:55:442:55:56

that... She made it clear how

strongly she takes these matters,

2:56:022:56:06

and I wanted to make sure it was on

the record that my banks were

2:56:062:56:14

expressed for her efforts when she

was deputy Chief Whip. Although it

2:56:142:56:18

is clear from the things that have

been talked about publicly and the

2:56:182:56:22

responses to the survey that the

honourable member mentioned,

2:56:222:56:27

bullying and harassment affects all

members of staff. It is indeed the

2:56:272:56:34

case that it does affect female

members of staff more severely than

2:56:342:56:42

others, and if we are to get more

women to be members of Parliament

2:56:422:56:47

and work in this House and be

treated as equals in dealing with

2:56:472:56:52

this is incredibly important, but

we're working to try to get more

2:56:522:57:05

female members of conservative, and

I am behind this because I think it

2:57:052:57:09

will have that effect. I wanted to

talk about furnace. When the report

2:57:092:57:13

was first produced, there was some

comment outside the House. -- about

2:57:132:57:18

fairness. There was some comment

about how the proposals mean the

2:57:182:57:28

investigations take place in private

without everything being published,

2:57:282:57:32

but I think that is like most

workplaces. In most places when

2:57:322:57:38

someone makes a complaint about

another employee, in the workplace

2:57:382:57:40

the matters are not published in

national newspapers, and I always

2:57:402:57:45

thought in this House that it was

true when we were going through the

2:57:452:57:48

difficulties on expenses but a good

test for members of Parliament is

2:57:482:57:52

for us to be judged at least by the

standards we expect of everyone

2:57:522:57:59

else, so the processes that would be

used for us to deal with complaints

2:57:592:58:05

about bullying and harassment should

be the same processes exist in

2:58:052:58:11

up-to-the-minute workplaces, and

those are ones you would not expect

2:58:112:58:16

everything to be published in a

national newspaper, but I do welcome

2:58:162:58:21

the fact it refers in the report to

the fact you have to recognise that

2:58:212:58:25

sometimes when there are examples

bullying and harassment, there

2:58:252:58:30

patterns of behaviour and sometimes

people need the confidence to come

2:58:302:58:41

forward, and sometimes it is only

when people are aware that there is

2:58:412:58:43

an issue with someone's behaviour

that they are willing to come

2:58:432:58:47

forward. It is a difficult balance

to get right, to protect the

2:58:472:58:54

confidentiality and those who might

be unfairly accused, but also for

2:58:542:58:58

members of Parliament, we employ

large numbers of staff, and if a

2:58:582:59:03

member of Parliament has a complaint

made against them and they are

2:59:032:59:07

identified, it would not be

difficult for newspapers to identify

2:59:072:59:10

which of the members of staff had

probably made the complaint, so

2:59:102:59:15

having a disciplinary process... It

is not helpful. The report is very

2:59:152:59:27

welcome. I wanted to say something

in response to what the honourable

2:59:272:59:32

member said about the standards

committee, I do think that her issue

2:59:322:59:37

about marking our own homework would

have been a reasonable point before

2:59:372:59:44

lay members were added to the

standards committee, but I think for

2:59:442:59:47

members of the public, the fact that

they are utterly members on the

2:59:472:59:52

standards committee should give them

the confidence that the members of

2:59:522:59:55

Parliament on the standards

committee cannot just decide things

2:59:553:00:01

by standards they consider

appropriate, and it is important

3:00:013:00:07

they bring an outside valuable

perspective.

I am not 100% sure of

3:00:073:00:14

my facts, but I am sure the lay

members do not actually thought, so

3:00:143:00:18

although I would agree that it is a

great step forward that there are

3:00:183:00:22

there, I have concerns that it will

be MPs who are seen to be voting on

3:00:223:00:26

the colleagues, even if we have had

an independent and good procedure

3:00:263:00:31

until that point, I still think it

is a weakness.

If you are talking

3:00:313:00:36

about a serious sanction, and if we

were talking about expelling the

3:00:363:00:43

member of Parliament or suspending

them for a period where conditions

3:00:433:00:47

would kick in, that is a decision

for the House, not the standards

3:00:473:00:54

committee. The House would be

furnished with a report from the

3:00:543:00:58

parliamentary commissioner, and the

report of the standards committee,

3:00:583:01:01

and I think the change that was very

valuable when we introduced lay

3:01:013:01:05

members was members of the House

would be aware that even if the

3:01:053:01:10

member of Parliament on the

committee had had a view, the lay

3:01:103:01:14

members are able to have their views

expressed in my report of the

3:01:143:01:19

committee, and I see the chairman of

the committee I think was nodding to

3:01:193:01:22

that. Let me just complete the point

and I will give way.

3:01:223:01:36

So it is not just the views of

members of Parliament going before

3:01:363:01:40

the House, it is the views of the

lake committee, so that can affect

3:01:403:01:46

our views of what is and is not

acceptable.

He is right that lay

3:01:463:01:53

members present when decisions are

made gives the standards committee

3:01:533:01:56

more authority, but there is

something odd about the committee

3:01:563:02:04

itself adjudicating about rules and

evidence when that is something that

3:02:043:02:10

should be done by a lawyer.

3:02:103:02:21

To be told, this is the judgment,

and if you overturn it your

3:02:263:02:31

overturning a respectable opinion,

on your head be it.

I listen to do

3:02:313:02:36

what he says, and I put a fair bit

of weight on it given that he chairs

3:02:363:02:41

the committee, I do not entirely

agree, though. I have taken the

3:02:413:02:44

trouble over the years with

standards committee reports,

3:02:443:02:49

particularly serious ones and to

read the report of the parliamentary

3:02:493:02:57

commissioner, and the thing that

always struck me, I have often

3:02:573:03:04

looked at how thorough the

parliamentary commissioner has

3:03:043:03:06

looked into, particularly serious

allegations, and I have often

3:03:063:03:11

thought to myself, if you were ever

tempted not to uphold the standards

3:03:113:03:16

of behaviour, you would not want to

be subject to that level of scrutiny

3:03:163:03:22

because it is fairly exacting. I do

not know how many people have looked

3:03:223:03:28

at this, but it has been looked at

in some considerable detail. The

3:03:283:03:34

report put before the committee are

far and detailed, and when I have

3:03:343:03:46

read the reports of the committee on

standards, I have felt that they

3:03:463:03:50

have been very balanced, tough and

fear, and it is not clear when you

3:03:503:03:55

read the reports of any bias coming

into them from a particular party

3:03:553:04:03

view of members of Parliament, I

have always got the system is pretty

3:04:033:04:07

good. I think the only gap was

rectified by the addition of lay

3:04:073:04:24

members I had a situation where

there was one view, but the judge in

3:04:343:04:40

court give a much harsher view,

which completely undermines the

3:04:403:04:43

authority of the system

3:04:433:04:54

we have.

I do not entirely agree,

but I do not want to deviate from

3:04:583:05:03

the debate on this into a wider

debate about standards. My final

3:05:033:05:08

point was actually about training

and culture. I think the Member for

3:05:083:05:18

Perth made a sensible point when he

spoke about the backgrounds of

3:05:183:05:22

members of Parliament. I will pick

up slightly on his comments about

3:05:223:05:32

assuming everyone on this side has a

privileged background, which is not

3:05:323:05:37

true, and I will not or him with the

fact I was the first person to go to

3:05:373:05:43

university and my father was a

labourer, and we have not had any

3:05:433:05:46

members of parliament in the family

before. He makes a sensible point

3:05:463:05:54

that members of Parliament have a

very varied set of backgrounds. Some

3:05:543:05:59

of us have employed significant

amounts of people, some will have

3:05:593:06:04

worked in a business grabbers, and

experience of management teams, and

3:06:043:06:10

others will have come -- in a

business for others, and experience

3:06:103:06:18

of management teams, others will

have come in without that

3:06:183:06:20

experience. Often mistakes are made

not because of ill intent, but as my

3:06:203:06:30

honourable friend said, members come

with the best of intentions, but

3:06:303:06:35

often do not have the skills, but it

is about the expectations you have,

3:06:353:06:48

and managing HR supports you can be

better trained and better supported,

3:06:483:06:51

but you also have to have someone to

ask -- you also have someone to ask

3:06:513:06:55

questions that they are challenging

issues you're not comfortable

3:06:553:06:57

dealing with, I think that is very

valuable. I welcome the training in

3:06:573:07:07

part of the induction process for

new members of Parliament, and I do

3:07:073:07:11

not think there was a massive gap

between the honourable lady and my

3:07:113:07:16

honourable friend, I do think

everyone should go through the

3:07:163:07:20

training, but the challenge is this,

you can mandate that everyone goes

3:07:203:07:24

through a training course, but you

cannot mandate that the people who

3:07:243:07:32

turn up will listen attentively and

change their behaviour having

3:07:323:07:35

attended the training, and it seems

to me that the people least likely

3:07:353:07:40

to go to the training of those most

in need of it, so the challenge is

3:07:403:07:45

to do what the honourable lady said,

which is to persuade people that

3:07:453:07:52

they should go on the training and

listen to the training, change their

3:07:523:07:56

behaviour. I do think the proposals

set out about publicising whether

3:07:563:08:03

people have been on the training, so

the is peer pressure that people

3:08:033:08:07

feel they should go, and the staff

they might want to hire puts

3:08:073:08:14

pressure on them is a good sign, but

for new members of parliament, it

3:08:143:08:18

should be the standard set of

training that every Parliament

3:08:183:08:23

undertakes solely undertake the

expectations correctly. That leads

3:08:233:08:29

to my second half of the point,

which is about the culture of this

3:08:293:08:32

place. On the debates we have had, I

was perhaps fortunate in having

3:08:323:08:46

worked for two businesses which took

management and how they treated

3:08:463:08:49

their people very seriously, and I

went on training courses about how

3:08:493:08:53

you manage people, how you set

expectations and what was expected,

3:08:533:08:57

and staff members were empowered to

speak up and it was recognised

3:08:573:09:05

speaking up was the right thing to

do about a range of issues, whether

3:09:053:09:09

it was about how they ran the

business or behaved, and that set

3:09:093:09:14

the right sort of culture. That is

not always the case. I was thinking

3:09:143:09:18

through some of the things that have

happened over the last few months,

3:09:183:09:23

and there have been examples of

behaviour, and people have said

3:09:233:09:28

things like, this sort of behaviour

was acceptable a few years ago, and

3:09:283:09:32

things seem to have changed. I was

thinking back to when I started my

3:09:323:09:37

working life when I left university,

which tragically is a lot longer ago

3:09:373:09:41

than I care to remember, 1991, and I

was thinking through some of the

3:09:413:09:48

specific examples we have read

about, whether it is members of this

3:09:483:09:51

House or outside, and you have heard

people say that this sort of

3:09:513:09:56

behaviour used to be acceptable, and

I got back to when I started 27

3:09:563:10:02

years ago, and all sort of things

were not acceptable 27 years ago.

3:10:023:10:06

The difference was that 27 years ago

and more recently, people used to

3:10:063:10:10

get away with behaving like that.

The thing that has changed is not

3:10:103:10:15

that the behaviours are no longer

acceptable, actually they never wear

3:10:153:10:19

acceptable, the difference now is

people cannot get away with them,

3:10:193:10:25

which is right, and that is an

improvement. What we are trying to

3:10:253:10:29

deliver with the training and the

change of culture is that everyone

3:10:293:10:32

accepts that not only are those sort

of behaviour is not acceptable, no

3:10:323:10:37

one is going to let them get away

with it.

3:10:373:10:53

It changes the culture it will have

taken a huge step forward. I am very

3:10:533:10:58

happy to support the motion. And

coming into the House.

Can I just

3:10:583:11:04

say I still want to make sure that

we get equal time. We are going to

3:11:043:11:08

20 26. If we all work for about ten

minutes. It will be very helpful.

3:11:083:11:14

Could I first of all say that the

Committee on Standards has discussed

3:11:143:11:22

the report and authorised me to

write to the Leader of the House

3:11:223:11:26

setting up their unanimous views

that the committee welcomes the

3:11:263:11:31

report strongly. It supports its

commitment to zero tolerance on

3:11:313:11:38

sexual harassment, bullying and

harassment in the Parliamentary

3:11:383:11:42

community. Members will have seen...

A member of a table that was signed

3:11:423:11:51

by all that people. We were a little

surprised, I have to say not to have

3:11:513:12:03

been mentioned in the motion. Could

I say to the Leader of the House,

3:12:033:12:14

I'm sure I could say this on behalf

of all members of the committee, I

3:12:143:12:18

welcomed what was said earlier in

relation to the Standards Committee

3:12:183:12:23

and the Parliamentary commission

being involved in future work. The

3:12:233:12:29

House ought to take note that we are

currently performing a long planned

3:12:293:12:33

review of the code of conduct which

will be announced in due course.

3:12:333:12:38

Obviously the current review will be

informed by the working groups

3:12:383:12:41

report. As members have said, the

committee is unique in that it

3:12:413:12:50

contains lay members. Can I just

react to one or two exchanges that

3:12:503:12:58

have taken place? It is true to say

that the lay members are not allowed

3:12:583:13:01

to vote. It was the wish of this

House. My understanding is that this

3:13:013:13:12

House did not want to bring the law

inside this House and its

3:13:123:13:17

committees. The honourable member

for North Essex are talking about

3:13:173:13:23

printing the law and peered that

would be a big step as I understand

3:13:233:13:27

it. I'll get you in a minute. The

reason that the lay members have not

3:13:273:13:32

been involved is because I

understood we were advised that we

3:13:323:13:35

could not take them on without

breaking the law into the committee

3:13:353:13:40

system. I still think if we are

going to legislate in any state,...

3:13:403:13:44

I'm going to give way, but just let

me say this. I don't understand that

3:13:443:13:50

Casey talked about there. About the

judge taking a hard line on the case

3:13:503:13:56

and what the committee did. We don't

get involved in taking our

3:13:563:14:01

judgements in terms of the law. The

law is a completely different

3:14:013:14:04

process. From time to time, we will

send members there if it is felt

3:14:043:14:08

that it is a matter for the law. I

will give way.

I am grateful to the

3:14:083:14:15

honourable gentleman for giving way.

I'm not going to name the case I was

3:14:153:14:21

referring to because it is too

tiresome. It was a case where the

3:14:213:14:25

committee adjudicated on someone who

then tried to make the same case in

3:14:253:14:29

a court of law under a completely

separate jurisdiction, he lost his

3:14:293:14:34

case and he was criticised. The

point is, these proposals is not

3:14:343:14:44

about bringing the judiciary into

our own proceedings. It is not about

3:14:443:14:48

that. It is about the House of

pointing our own legal person to

3:14:483:14:53

make these adjudications on behalf

of the House, on behalf of this

3:14:533:14:56

committee so that he has a far more

unimpeachable judgement handed to

3:14:563:15:01

his committee on which to act then

what he is compelled to work with at

3:15:013:15:06

the moment.

I think I know the case

with the honourable member talks

3:15:063:15:12

about now. He did not agree with

what happened with him and he went

3:15:123:15:15

to the courts and got nowhere with

it. In that respective if it's a

3:15:153:15:20

case that I'm thinking about, the

court agrees with what the committee

3:15:203:15:24

had said. Anyway, the current system

is a series of merely reactive

3:15:243:15:33

measures. Initially this scandal in

the 1990s. It was arguably skewed

3:15:333:15:46

too much towards the issues of

financial impropriety. Important as

3:15:463:15:52

they are. It neglects other aspects

of members's conduct in their

3:15:523:15:57

behaviour towards other people.

Would he consider financial

3:15:573:16:06

impropriety, but the challenge that

we face moving forward in for

3:16:063:16:10

finding the balance between the

personal life of members and when

3:16:103:16:14

actually conducting their

Parliamentary duties, particularly

3:16:143:16:17

in relation to sexual harassment.

Does he foresee any questions about

3:16:173:16:20

that and the way we implement

policies?

I think that is the issue

3:16:203:16:25

that has to be looked at. I think

the honourable member was there when

3:16:253:16:28

I gave evidence. It was around

October of last year that this House

3:16:283:16:34

will have to come to a decision on

what is a personal and private

3:16:343:16:39

activity and what is not. That is

something that you may be asked to

3:16:393:16:43

do in the coming months. Over the

years, the independent cylinders

3:16:433:16:50

commission has done its best to try

to address the imbalance and look at

3:16:503:16:55

ways to update the current coat of

paint -- current code of conduct.

3:16:553:17:05

The House in the past resisted

attempts to incorporate some of

3:17:053:17:08

these changes. But I am glad that

the working groups report has now

3:17:083:17:13

given fresh impetus to developing a

new comprehensive system of

3:17:133:17:16

standards and behaviours. The

committee contains a pool of

3:17:163:17:22

expertise on the part of collected

and lay members which we believe

3:17:223:17:26

will be of real value for developing

the new process. We are keen to be

3:17:263:17:30

in the system and are in the process

of setting up a meeting with the

3:17:303:17:34

Leader of the House to discuss how

we can help. I understand that is

3:17:343:17:37

now in the diary, I am pleased to

say. I comment as is inevitable with

3:17:373:17:45

such ambitious and far-reaching

proposes, there are a number of

3:17:453:17:48

challenges concerning details on

process as well as some issues of

3:17:483:17:52

principle which will need to be

addressed as part of the

3:17:523:17:55

implementation. My letter sent out

what these are so I will not detain

3:17:553:18:00

the House long and summarising them.

We will need to consider how the new

3:18:003:18:05

arrangements will work alongside the

existing system. It is crystal that

3:18:053:18:09

the new system should be seen to

operate fairly and impartially, due

3:18:093:18:14

process is important because it

secures the rights of everyone

3:18:143:18:18

involved. One proposal in the report

might proceed in parallel will

3:18:183:18:24

police inquiries. This would

represent a clear breach with the

3:18:243:18:28

current existing practise which is

set out in a memorandum of

3:18:283:18:31

understanding between the committee,

the commissioner and the

3:18:313:18:34

Metropolitan Police. And this will

require careful consideration. Also,

3:18:343:18:38

the implications of the report

proposals of other anomalies. One of

3:18:383:18:48

these is for future discussion. The

six work stream that the Leader of

3:18:483:18:53

the House mentioned is going to be

an area that the committee and the

3:18:533:18:56

Commissioner are likely to be

involved in. Today I simply want to

3:18:563:19:02

express the committee's support for

what is trying to be achieved. And

3:19:023:19:06

as for the House that my colleagues

and I and the Commissioner are

3:19:063:19:09

committed to working closely with

this group to turn the new system

3:19:093:19:13

into a reality as soon as possible.

Could I just finished on this? There

3:19:133:19:19

was comment about the lay members

earlier not having a vote in the

3:19:193:19:23

committee. It is many years since

there has been a vote in the

3:19:233:19:27

committee. We work on the basis of

getting an agreement by all people

3:19:273:19:32

in there. But each one of those

seven lay members of the committee

3:19:323:19:36

are asked when we create a report if

they have got anything they want to

3:19:363:19:42

put down outside of what the report

has come to. That has never happened

3:19:423:19:47

yet. They have far more power each

one individually then the seven

3:19:473:19:51

elected members have together. And I

hope the House begins to understand

3:19:513:19:55

that and stop repeating some of

these remarks that this is a

3:19:553:20:00

committee that is murky one

another's homework. It is not. It is

3:20:003:20:04

a committee was lay members, we

should be looking at having lay

3:20:043:20:07

members on other committees as well.

I have argued for this for many

3:20:073:20:11

years before we actually got it. I

served on another council as a lay

3:20:113:20:17

member overseeing doctors and

medical professionals. And we should

3:20:173:20:23

not be afraid to do that. It is

independent, notwithstanding the

3:20:233:20:27

absence of a vote.

The question is

that the amendment be made.

Thank

3:20:273:20:37

you. It is a great privilege and

pleasure to contribute to this

3:20:373:20:42

debate to follow the right

honourable gentleman. And all the

3:20:423:20:46

contrary the other contributions

that have been made. I have some

3:20:463:20:51

short points. I am very lucky to be

elected to record I've are

3:20:513:20:58

interested in this debate. This year

women entering into Parliament is

3:20:583:21:01

something we want to support and see

more of. I pay tribute to this for

3:21:013:21:05

my honourable friend. Also I know

that there are many champions of

3:21:053:21:16

women on all sides of the House. Of

course the Member for North Mercer

3:21:163:21:23

talked about these issues. I think

that we ought to be proud that we

3:21:233:21:30

have a number of incredibly

competent women in this House. I see

3:21:303:21:34

them sitting on all sides and are

more than capable of holding their

3:21:343:21:38

own despite the patriarchy. It is

important that we signal to other

3:21:383:21:42

people who wish to enter this plays

that they are going to be welcomed

3:21:423:21:44

when they get here. So, I just want

to touch on the issue of culture.

3:21:443:21:51

And my own experience is also from

running my own business. I don't

3:21:513:21:55

come from an exotic or privilege

background. I got there from hard

3:21:553:21:59

work. By experiencing many failures

and setbacks. It is an misconception

3:21:593:22:07

that people who have a business are

somehow privilege. I did learn about

3:22:073:22:12

managing teams. And the one thing

that I did learn from a mentor is

3:22:123:22:16

that culture eats strategy for

practise. It is about the culture.

3:22:163:22:20

It is about the leadership. You can

have as many reports or practises or

3:22:203:22:25

training as you want. If that is not

followed through, if that is not

3:22:253:22:30

lived and breathed, by deeds not

words, I'm afraid we might as well

3:22:303:22:34

all give up go home. I think that

what we have seen is a fantastic

3:22:343:22:39

response to this issue and I do pay

to breathe -- I do pay tribute to

3:22:393:22:46

everyone who has played their part.

This is a issue that has gone on for

3:22:463:22:50

such a long time. It is long

overdue. The bull has been taken by

3:22:503:22:55

the horns and I really do hope it

came go up the very highest level of

3:22:553:23:01

all political leaders on all sides

of this House. All of us need to

3:23:013:23:05

live and breathe it. The reason why

it is so important is because our

3:23:053:23:08

staff are very vulnerable. They are

relatively speaking, maybe not all

3:23:083:23:13

of them, some of them are quite

young. They don't come from a lot of

3:23:133:23:19

experiences of other workplaces. For

some of them it is the first place

3:23:193:23:22

they have actually worked. If you

have a young woman, on an older man

3:23:223:23:28

or... There is an issue of the

gender imbalance here that is very

3:23:283:23:33

sensitive issue. I think that can be

very difficult for a young woman or

3:23:333:23:37

a young man in their first job to

tackle that and to have the

3:23:373:23:42

confidence to raise that and to know

that it will be taken seriously. I

3:23:423:23:47

really do think the consideration

that has been placed on this point.

3:23:473:23:52

It goes back to the root of the

issue. The root of the issue is

3:23:523:23:55

about power and the abuse of power.

How easily that can be very

3:23:553:24:00

detrimental for young people, for

honourable people who are vulnerable

3:24:003:24:04

because they are working in this

unique workplace and supporting us

3:24:043:24:07

in our challenging duties. I think

we have reduced the issue of

3:24:073:24:15

leadership. That is absolutely

critical and essential. I hope we

3:24:153:24:20

can all do our part by holding our

colleagues to account in however we

3:24:203:24:25

do that. I think this issue of

training needs to be taken forward.

3:24:253:24:29

It is not enough to just train once.

I have the great delight of actually

3:24:293:24:36

having 2 degrees I worked in HR for

many years and like my honourable

3:24:363:24:41

friend, I had a lot of training. I

was asked to the person giving the

3:24:413:24:46

training. And I recognise it is one

thing to

3:24:463:25:01

Change is difficult organisational

change is really, really hard, to

3:25:013:25:05

make it stick. We need to have close

attention to that, we need to be

3:25:053:25:10

united in our determination to drive

this through for the benefit of all

3:25:103:25:13

the people who work here and all the

people looking at us to be examples.

3:25:133:25:18

I end by thanking very much again

for the work that has been done and

3:25:183:25:23

hope it'll lead to a change.

Jo

Swinson.

It's a delight to follow

3:25:233:25:28

the honourable member for Redditch,

sounds like she's got some excellent

3:25:283:25:32

skills and perspectives that will be

important in the consultation as we

3:25:323:25:35

go forward about how to make this

organisational culture change stick.

3:25:353:25:39

I very much welcome the motion and

the debate today is a member of the

3:25:393:25:44

working group. As well as some

specific comments on what we put in

3:25:443:25:48

the report I also wanted to talk

about the wider context that we are

3:25:483:25:52

facing here because we've come at

this issue in Parliament from the

3:25:523:25:57

events of the end of last year, but

that followed hot on the heels of

3:25:573:26:01

the Weinstein scandal, we've had in

recent weeks the issues in the

3:26:013:26:05

charity sector. An important point

for us to remember is, this is not a

3:26:053:26:09

problem in any one specific

industry, this is a problem that is

3:26:093:26:13

endemic across society, across every

sector. And therefore it's important

3:26:133:26:18

we get our whole house in order with

our own procedures, but we also need

3:26:183:26:23

to understand that wider perspective

on it and that wider societal

3:26:233:26:27

cultural change that as parliament

we have a goal in leading. That is

3:26:273:26:31

why it's vital what we do is of an

excellent quality, and it can act as

3:26:313:26:39

a beacon to other organisations and

institutions that are trying to

3:26:393:26:42

grapple with similar issues. For all

that we've seen these cases in

3:26:423:26:49

politics hit the headlines, I'm

painfully aware of how many women

3:26:493:26:54

are in positions of so much less

power than those connected to this

3:26:543:26:58

place, where this doesn't even hit

the headlines, women working low

3:26:583:27:02

paid jobs. We saw the briefing for

the young woman's trust saying three

3:27:023:27:05

in ten young women have experienced

sexual harassment at work. This is

3:27:053:27:11

something happening all over the

country. The working group was

3:27:113:27:16

generally positive, and occasionally

frustrating experience, but partly

3:27:163:27:19

because we were grappling with

difficult issues. I'd like to praise

3:27:193:27:22

the contribution of the staff,

particularly the three

3:27:223:27:26

representatives of staff who work

for members in the various parties,

3:27:263:27:30

and also the experts that advise the

group. I for one learned a huge

3:27:303:27:34

amount from listening to what they

had to offer and in part in terms of

3:27:343:27:40

their wisdom. These issues are not

easy to deal with, we all say we

3:27:403:27:44

want to deal with this and get it

right but there are sensitive issues

3:27:443:27:47

to work through. The Forest of Dean

number talked about the issue of

3:27:473:27:53

confidentiality, on the one hand if

names are published that might

3:27:533:27:58

encourage others to come forward you

might spot more patterns, but at the

3:27:583:28:01

same time, it might discourage

people from coming forward because

3:28:013:28:05

of fear their own anonymity will be

breached. We had a lot of

3:28:053:28:10

discussions about how you work

through their systems, how you deal

3:28:103:28:14

with historical allegations, how you

deal with people who have gone

3:28:143:28:16

through a different process and are

very upset with how that went. There

3:28:163:28:20

are no easy answers to some of

these. The issue of the interplay

3:28:203:28:26

with the criminal justice system we

also discussed at length and while

3:28:263:28:29

we want to make sure support is

there for people who want to take a

3:28:293:28:34

criminal conviction weather has been

sexual assault, we recognised from

3:28:343:28:38

the survey we did that a tiny

proportion of people said in no

3:28:383:28:41

circumstances would they feel

comfortable to go to the police, I

3:28:413:28:45

think it was 2%. We looked clearly

at how we could provide people with

3:28:453:28:49

the support if they wanted to do

that, but also to give them control

3:28:493:28:52

so if they wanted this to be pursued

as a grievance, a case of

3:28:523:28:57

professional misconduct, it could be

dealt with as unemployment issue

3:28:573:29:00

rather than necessarily them being

forced to have faith in the criminal

3:29:003:29:04

justice system, which they may not

do. That is why because this is not

3:29:043:29:09

easy the review clauses we suggested

are so essential. What we're

3:29:093:29:13

proposing today I am very confident

will make things much better. I'm

3:29:133:29:19

also confident it won't be perfect

and will only improve if we can

3:29:193:29:23

review it regularly, learn from what

works well, but there may well be

3:29:233:29:26

cases where it doesn't work well and

we need to be able to make sure we

3:29:263:29:29

can take those lessons on board and

not be overly defensive about that.

3:29:293:29:33

I also wanted to touch on the issue

of gender. Harassment, bullying,

3:29:333:29:40

sexual harassment happens to men as

well as women but we know from the

3:29:403:29:43

server it happens more to women. The

Right Honourable member for

3:29:433:29:50

harrowing of Essex said, how did we

let this happen? This is an

3:29:503:29:57

institution that was designed by

men, built for men, and for the

3:29:573:30:01

large part of its existence has been

run by men and almost exclusively

3:30:013:30:06

men. And therefore the place of

women within the institution, in

3:30:063:30:12

this chamber itself, or within the

stuff that support the work we do,

3:30:123:30:16

is not necessarily been viewed on an

equal basis. I think it's

3:30:163:30:22

interesting if we speak to women in

Parliament, we know, we all have

3:30:223:30:25

these experiences of being talked

over in meetings. Being questioned

3:30:253:30:29

about whether you are allowed to be

somewhere. Whether you've got the

3:30:293:30:33

right to be on the terrace or in a

particular lift during a division,

3:30:333:30:37

whether or not you are a researcher

or clean instead of a member of

3:30:373:30:40

Parliament. -- cleaner. The way

women journalists, bravely, reported

3:30:403:30:47

somebody said to her here comes the

tarty. How many other women

3:30:473:30:52

journalists have had similar

experiences and worse? In terms of

3:30:523:30:56

the way they've been treated by

people in this place. I remember

3:30:563:30:58

when I was a minister learning about

a former minister from the House of

3:30:583:31:02

Lords who had basically engaged with

his female, with his male private

3:31:023:31:07

office staff, but wouldn't speak to

the female private office staff or

3:31:073:31:10

take them seriously because they

happen to be women, even if they

3:31:103:31:14

were more senior. These things do

happen, we know these things happen.

3:31:143:31:17

I was really struck by the young

woman's trust briefing that said 89%

3:31:173:31:23

of women MPs and 58% of men MPs say

sexism still exists in Parliament.

3:31:233:31:29

That golf is significant, almost all

women now say there are still

3:31:293:31:36

instances of sexism but just over

half of men recognise that is the

3:31:363:31:39

case and that golf is part of the

problem we have and part of the

3:31:393:31:42

complacency that still exists. We

are only talking about gender, but

3:31:423:31:48

race, LGB PT, socioeconomic, all

these barriers. -- LGBT. It's not

3:31:483:31:55

every man that does this, but this

kind of behaviour is present in

3:31:553:31:59

every single political party and we

all experience it and see it from

3:31:593:32:02

time to time. It's not just a few

bad apples, it's cultural. In fact

3:32:023:32:07

women as well, we'll have the

capacity to make these assumptions,

3:32:073:32:11

to make thoughtless comments. When

we're somebody with a position of

3:32:113:32:14

power, those comments have so much

more force, so we have an extra

3:32:143:32:18

responsibility to be aware of this.

I would just say to all members of

3:32:183:32:22

the house, I say it myself as well,

often when we see these things

3:32:223:32:26

happen they are tolerated or

somebody rolled their eyes or they

3:32:263:32:29

are embarrassed, but it's not always

called out, because it might feel

3:32:293:32:33

uncomfortable or inconvenient or

it's easier not to rock the boat.

3:32:333:32:36

Part of what we need to do is to be

challenging and tackle that culture

3:32:363:32:39

through the work we do in this

place. In terms of specific issues

3:32:393:32:44

on the report I want to touch on a

couple very briefly. On the

3:32:443:32:49

behaviour code, this will be the

foundation of what we do, and the

3:32:493:32:52

widest possible involvement of

members of staff of those who are

3:32:523:32:56

not in those categories is vital to

make sure it is built on that shared

3:32:563:32:59

sense of values and it has,

therefore, the resonance we need it

3:32:593:33:03

to have, that people really buy into

it. There has been discussion about

3:33:033:33:07

training. I do think it's essential.

Certainly anyone employed, it should

3:33:073:33:12

be part of what they have to do in

order to be able to access funds

3:33:123:33:16

from trips to pay somebody. But also

on harassment and the issue of

3:33:163:33:22

content. When I did an interview on

the day of the release of this

3:33:223:33:25

report, I was challenged by John

Humphrys on the today programme.

3:33:253:33:29

Surely MPs know what is appropriate

behaviour. You know, if that were

3:33:293:33:33

universally the case we wouldn't be

in this situation in the first

3:33:333:33:36

place. And I think that there is no

room for complacency. The #MeToo

3:33:363:33:46

movement shows us that. We need

relationship and sex education in

3:33:463:33:52

schools for all peoples, I'm

dismayed at the government rolling

3:33:523:33:56

back on that. I'll give way to the

Right Honourable gentleman.

Such a

3:33:563:33:59

good speak, particular the point

about assumptions because if you

3:33:593:34:04

want to change culture, everyone has

to stop making assumptions about

3:34:043:34:08

your own beliefs and what other

people's beliefs are. You need to

3:34:083:34:11

talk about that and get it into the

open without judgment. The other

3:34:113:34:15

thing I would agree with her

wholeheartedly on is about training

3:34:153:34:20

for MPs who employ staff. Ultimately

if you haven't been through a basic

3:34:203:34:24

training package, well then why

should the taxpayer allow you to

3:34:243:34:27

employ your own staff?

I would

certainly welcome his support for

3:34:273:34:32

those points. I would say some of

what we experience in these issues

3:34:323:34:37

of harassment, some are undoubtedly

deliberate, with the intent to do

3:34:373:34:42

what is being done, entirely with

knowledge, but I think some of it is

3:34:423:34:46

also inadvertent. It is to tackle

that complacency that the training

3:34:463:34:50

is so essential. There will be

people who don't understand the

3:34:503:34:53

impact of all of the words that they

use. I attended a recent session on

3:34:533:34:58

anti-Semitism which was a

fascinating session by the Holocaust

3:34:583:35:02

educational trust. I think the more

we can listen and learn to the

3:35:023:35:06

experience of others, it helps us to

engage in a more mature weight on

3:35:063:35:09

these issues. That cultural change

is important. Sarah Childs is the

3:35:093:35:14

member for Perth and North

Perthshire, she recommended ways we

3:35:143:35:21

could change the culture and gave

evidence and talked about

3:35:213:35:25

challenging the exceptionalism of

MPs, that we think we're in a unique

3:35:253:35:28

scenario. Yes, there are many

elements of our job that are unusual

3:35:283:35:31

but it should be some kind of excuse

for not having basic professional

3:35:313:35:35

standards whether in terms of good

implement relationships, which if we

3:35:353:35:39

had good employment practice that

would deal with large part of the

3:35:393:35:43

problems we are experiencing here,

not entirely, but a large part. Or

3:35:433:35:47

whether it's evenly match your

approach to late-night sittings as

3:35:473:35:50

if it's a badge of pride. It's the

equivalent of having your jacket on

3:35:503:35:54

the back of the chair in the office.

It's not how modern are effective. I

3:35:543:36:02

also agree with the member for

Brighton Pavilion that we need to do

3:36:023:36:05

it as fast as possible, extend the

behaviour code to the behaviour of

3:36:053:36:09

members of Parliament and staff of

Parliament. Wherever they are. When

3:36:093:36:13

they are in that role, carrying out

duties, whether in the constituency,

3:36:133:36:17

office or at some event or here in

Parliament. I know others want to

3:36:173:36:22

speak so in conclusion the problems

we are facing are not unique to

3:36:223:36:25

Parliament but we all have a part to

play in dealing with them. This

3:36:253:36:28

motion today and this report is an

important first step, it will lead

3:36:283:36:33

to a real improvement and hopefully

help us to get our own house in

3:36:333:36:35

order.

Jess Phillips.

I like

everybody else want to commend the

3:36:353:36:42

work done by the leader, Shadow

leader and everybody on the working

3:36:423:36:46

group. 100 hours sounds... I would

definitely have lost the will to

3:36:463:36:51

live halfway through I think in the

negotiations. I think everybody

3:36:513:36:54

worked really, really hard. I think

it has been done relatively quickly

3:36:543:37:00

for this place. I mean, it's the

quickest thing I've known go through

3:37:003:37:03

since I've been here. There are just

a few points I wanted to raise.

3:37:033:37:10

Slight concerns about how we might

take this forward. By and large I

3:37:103:37:14

think it is brilliant, where there

are not often easy answers to

3:37:143:37:19

anonymity, privacy, this isn't easy.

People who are outside of this

3:37:193:37:24

building can say these things are

easy but when you're actually here

3:37:243:37:28

it is quite different. I also want

to place on record, we talk about

3:37:283:37:32

the events of last November and this

being the reason we are all here, I

3:37:323:37:37

want to say thank you to Lex Baillie

and Kate Maltby... And others, who

3:37:373:37:48

all have the guts to come forward

and say people who were powerful had

3:37:483:37:55

not always behaved the best with

them and they deserve huge praise

3:37:553:37:59

and merit. One of my concerns around

the issue of representation during

3:37:593:38:08

any process in the sexual harassment

and leader of the house said both

3:38:083:38:15

parties would be entitled to

representation, which is absolutely

3:38:153:38:17

as it should be. Fair in every

system in the land, whether trade

3:38:173:38:25

union representation union

representation. I do have a concern

3:38:253:38:29

about how we will make sure in this

place there is an equality of arms

3:38:293:38:33

in that representation, because if

you are a case worker working in one

3:38:333:38:37

of our offices and somebody sexually

harasses you and the person who's

3:38:373:38:42

actually you is a very wealthy peer

for example, I worry that one person

3:38:423:38:50

has a really good representation and

can frighten people with legal

3:38:503:38:55

letters. I've received some myself

in these past few months. That

3:38:553:39:00

worries me greatly, that there will

be an unfair imbalance. If the

3:39:003:39:08

Weinstein issue teaches us anything,

it's that rich men know how to use

3:39:083:39:13

the law to get away with murder. And

that, I think, we need to make sure

3:39:133:39:21

we are addressing that all the way

through this process. Also I have

3:39:213:39:25

one slight issue about the

independence of MPs being

3:39:253:39:29

decision-makers. Not with regards to

their marking their own homework,

3:39:293:39:33

I'm satisfied, I didn't know

anything about the numbers till

3:39:333:39:35

today. I'm satisfied actually with

the explanations I've heard. In the

3:39:353:39:41

report one of the decision-making

lines is, if a member of our staff

3:39:413:39:49

perpetrate sexual harassment or

bullying and harassment, that we are

3:39:493:39:54

one of the decision-makers. So I as

the employer would be the

3:39:543:39:57

decision-making. It seems completely

acceptable, that's what it would be

3:39:573:40:00

like in the world, the member for

Forest of Dean it's the same

3:40:003:40:07

standard as their employer. Except

in this place we are in close

3:40:073:40:11

quarters with our employees, I

employ only one person here. She is

3:40:113:40:16

very, very close to me and I feel

incredible loyalty towards her. I

3:40:163:40:22

walk around this building and see

people's children who are members of

3:40:223:40:28

Parliament who work in this

building. People's partners work in

3:40:283:40:31

here, people's families. I'm not

entirely sure that a member of

3:40:313:40:37

Parliament could be completely and

utterly without bias in a case

3:40:373:40:42

against a member of their staff. And

I think that definitely needs to be

3:40:423:40:46

looked into, because... I'll gladly

give way.

3:40:463:40:53

I hope to be able to assure reassure

her. We didn't come up against this

3:40:533:41:00

as she rightly says, there are some

very close, unusually close

3:41:003:41:04

relationships in this place. But

when there is a finding that there

3:41:043:41:09

is something against in the way of

an... And a member fails to take

3:41:093:41:15

action, it is been up on that

claimant to take the MP. I hope that

3:41:153:41:24

reassures you.

That does reassure me

to some degree. My only concern is

3:41:243:41:34

that complainant having to do an

awful lot of work in making sure

3:41:343:41:42

that they are supported all the way

through that. I get going back to

3:41:423:41:45

the equality of arms to make sure

that... We are much more hopeful

3:41:453:41:51

than most people and much more

frightening than most people. -- we

3:41:513:41:55

are much more powerful than most

people. I'd like to think that I

3:41:553:42:03

could recognise that and try to

employ it with appropriateness. The

3:42:033:42:09

truth is, I still worry that there

will be a power imbalance. Although

3:42:093:42:15

I think the Working Group has done

everything that they could possibly

3:42:153:42:19

to find -- to do a very difficult

thing. I will finish by doing

3:42:193:42:28

just... All. I mean, I will give

way.

I am grateful to the honourable

3:42:283:42:39

Lady because I think she rightly

points to the necessity that MPs as

3:42:393:42:46

employers because we are public

figures must be held to a much

3:42:463:42:49

higher standard than we would expect

of an ordinary small businessman. We

3:42:493:42:57

are accountable and we are expected

to be accountable and we Ards

3:42:573:43:01

leaders and example setters. And I

think the report addresses that and

3:43:013:43:09

her concern. There is going to be HR

support from outside for the staff

3:43:093:43:13

of members of Parliament so they get

the support of counselling they need

3:43:133:43:17

to take a complaint against their

employer in a way that has not

3:43:173:43:21

existed before.

I totally recognise

that and as I say, not even broadly,

3:43:213:43:28

I am very happy with the progress

that has been made and I personally

3:43:283:43:32

felt very listened to. I think the

shadow leader for that. The system

3:43:323:43:42

will need to be tested as we go

through it. And lots of people have

3:43:423:43:47

talked about review. It will be

strength tested by those who go

3:43:473:43:52

through it. What we have to make

sure in this place is that we don't

3:43:523:43:56

do is when the first case comes and

and it is not as it should've been,

3:43:563:44:03

that we close ranks with each other

and that certainly I will always

3:44:033:44:08

commit to being the person who

closes ranks with the people on the

3:44:083:44:13

outside. So I commend the report.

Thank you Madam Deputy Speaker. It

3:44:133:44:23

feels almost like Christmas is upon

us. Nearly all men can stand

3:44:233:44:28

adversity, but if you want to test a

man's's character, give him power.

3:44:283:44:33

That is something that Abraham

Lincoln said. What we have been

3:44:333:44:35

talking about today is what happens

when it does tend to be mainly men

3:44:353:44:41

have power and how power can be

missed misused. I want to pay

3:44:413:44:48

tribute to all those people who work

for a hundred hours for working at

3:44:483:44:52

this issue through that vein and

recognising it is about many

3:44:523:44:55

different ways that power can be

abuse. This place is powerful and

3:44:553:44:59

full powerful people. I took part in

an assembly on sexual harassment.

3:44:593:45:07

And it is a very sobering moment

when you think what to tell young

3:45:073:45:11

women of our country about sexual

harassment now in 2018 in the

3:45:113:45:16

environment of the MeToo Movement

and the environment of Harvey

3:45:163:45:21

Weinstein and the environment of

what we have seen and our charity

3:45:213:45:24

sector. Each individual is

responsible in terms of this motion

3:45:243:45:29

and what happens next but we know we

have a wider unit. It is not enough

3:45:293:45:35

to simply pay lip service and save

this should not be happening. It is

3:45:353:45:40

to ask what are we all doing to make

sure that it never happens again.

3:45:403:45:44

And the messes that we send out

through Parliament to this work and

3:45:443:45:47

we know this work must continue has

wider ramifications because it sets

3:45:473:45:51

the bar for other agencies. None of

us can claim that Parliament has

3:45:513:45:55

covered itself in glory. We have

been too slow. It is like leaving a

3:45:553:46:01

horse to water, instead of

recognising that some of those

3:46:013:46:05

donkeys have no place in our

political process. Now is our

3:46:053:46:09

opportunity to say that we are going

to make a stand not just Parliament

3:46:093:46:13

by a crossed Public life because it

matters to those girls. The freedom

3:46:133:46:17

that we would want all those girls

to be able to acknowledge their

3:46:173:46:20

potential. In the run-up to it

International Women's Day. I just

3:46:203:46:26

want to say four point that I hope

the Leader of the House will take on

3:46:263:46:30

board. Bearing in mind that some of

us have been called sheltie feminist

3:46:303:46:33

today. First and foremost, the

question about training. I

3:46:333:46:41

understand where he is coming from.

We have been inspiring each other in

3:46:413:46:47

issues around gender equality and

feminism. Either stand his point

3:46:473:46:51

about catching more flies with honey

than vinegar, but it is something

3:46:513:46:54

like this that people who are least

resistance are the most likely to

3:46:543:46:58

need to change. We cannot simply

keep asking nicely and then

3:46:583:47:04

apologising to the people would have

to do with the consequences. That is

3:47:043:47:08

why it matters we have six and

relationship education for every

3:47:083:47:12

young person in this country. And I

hope we'll all renew our resolve not

3:47:123:47:16

to backslide now. That is my second

point to the leader. I think this

3:47:163:47:23

does have to fit into this wider

context. We know it is not by

3:47:233:47:28

accident that people end up as

pass-holders. How do people get

3:47:283:47:35

involved whose matter how do people

get employed? Inevitably it is one

3:47:353:47:41

part of the puzzle of the jigsaw

about how to become involved in

3:47:413:47:47

public life. I want to pay tribute

today to the women who have come

3:47:473:47:49

forward as part of a labour of

campaign and given their stories. It

3:47:493:47:54

tells us that we have work to do

within our own political movement. I

3:47:543:47:58

think it is across political

parties. This process will only be

3:47:583:48:02

as good as the people were coming

into political activism and

3:48:023:48:06

political activism will only be as

good for the environment as we

3:48:063:48:10

create. How do we fit that in

without broader work about making

3:48:103:48:14

sure there is no hiding for those

people who to abuse power. My third

3:48:143:48:20

point is what happens when we find

people who behaved inappropriately.

3:48:203:48:25

I have been consistently asking

about recall. And I'm so pleased to

3:48:253:48:29

see that this is the agenda. I

believe we need to have the sanction

3:48:293:48:34

that none of us want to admit to but

know that it needs to be in the

3:48:343:48:38

process when someone is found to

have behaved in these ways. We have

3:48:383:48:41

heard today about whether standards

will come into it and if there is a

3:48:413:48:46

case of taking the initial question

about sections out of the commission

3:48:463:48:53

and giving it to a independent

third-party who would then advise us

3:48:533:48:57

so we can take out any suggestion of

political favour or fear of the

3:48:573:49:01

constant to the consequences. If

recall is the right course of

3:49:013:49:06

action, it should be on the table

because the transgression is serious

3:49:063:49:10

enough that the local community that

that person represents needs to have

3:49:103:49:14

the right to say something. None of

us would want to send one of those

3:49:143:49:17

young girls to go and see their Adam

Peaty knowing that that person has

3:49:173:49:21

behaved in a way we would not

tolerate in any other workplace. And

3:49:213:49:26

the fourth thing I want to say is we

know that this is just another

3:49:263:49:31

staging posts. This is the fourth

time that we have debated this. We

3:49:313:49:34

know that there is much more work to

do. I want to pledge my support in

3:49:343:49:40

keeping going. I fear there are

some, particularly some of his

3:49:403:49:44

plays, who may have even been

accused of things who are hoping

3:49:443:49:47

that after the title and subsides,

this issue will go away and life

3:49:473:49:51

will go back to normal. Let us not

make 2018 like 2017. Let's make 2018

3:49:513:49:59

the point when the fans really did

shift. That means we have to keep

3:49:593:50:03

going and see these cases through.

As awkward and difficult as it is.

3:50:033:50:09

We all those young women I spoke to

today so much more, but that is at

3:50:093:50:13

least something we can promise them.

As one of the members of the Working

3:50:133:50:23

Group. I really do wish to

congratulate everyone involved.

3:50:233:50:27

Everyone who undertook this timely

long and drawn out and demanding

3:50:273:50:30

task. I think it is worth stating

the obvious fax. This process has

3:50:303:50:40

come up in cooperation for all the

people who sit in this House and

3:50:403:50:44

representatives of people employed

here and trade unions. I want to

3:50:443:50:48

commend the many witnesses who spoke

to us and particularly the

3:50:483:50:52

specialist adviser of sexual

harassment. I would also like to

3:50:523:50:56

commend the Leader of the House for

her patient work. This is a critical

3:50:563:51:05

step in transforming Westminster

into a 21st-century workplace. Again

3:51:053:51:10

let us take a moment to state an

obvious thing. Consider how

3:51:103:51:16

ineffective all of us would be here

without the staff. They balanced the

3:51:163:51:23

conflicting demands and enable us to

show composed face to the public.

3:51:233:51:34

And the flip side of that is this is

a tiring and pressurised

3:51:343:51:38

environment. There is a toxic mix of

power, ambition and vulnerability.

3:51:383:51:42

Much of which of course has played

out behind closed doors. Again, the

3:51:423:51:50

decentralization of this and any

workplace it is a matter of

3:51:503:51:56

equality. I think much of our

discussion is out of fear of where

3:51:563:52:03

we draw the lines. The unique nature

of terms of MPs staff who are

3:52:033:52:11

employed by MPs directly who could

only go to that an MP or the MP

3:52:113:52:21

party. That is why the independent

nature of this policy is so

3:52:213:52:24

significant. While of course

political parties must endeavour to

3:52:243:52:32

ensure that their policies are fair

without prejudice, the question of

3:52:323:52:36

whose interests are best served wall

was remaining in those woods. There

3:52:363:52:42

is an amount of work again for my

discussion today I think this is

3:52:423:52:48

obvious, that still needs to be

done. Over and above the

3:52:483:52:51

recommendations that have been

brought here today. There has been

3:52:513:52:55

quite as sophisticated discussion on

this. Another point I would like to

3:52:553:53:00

raise, is a matter of how we include

visitors to constituency offices

3:53:003:53:06

which needs to be addressed as a

matter of urgency. Also, how to

3:53:063:53:11

decide when and where elected

members or to whom the supplied and

3:53:113:53:17

their staff are engaged in

Parliamentary duties, be that

3:53:173:53:21

hearing once Mr on visits or abroad.

We need clarity on this to ensure

3:53:213:53:29

fairness. This will of course be a

semi judicial process. There has

3:53:293:53:41

been some discussion, I would draw

attention to the fact that this

3:53:413:53:48

report does anticipate changes in

clues and changes to the voting

3:53:483:53:52

arrangements with in the committee.

We are of course doing our best to

3:53:523:53:57

merge together the structures that

we have in this House alongside

3:53:573:54:01

cultural change. This will be

challenging, but I think we have the

3:54:013:54:05

balance as best we can and we will

be moving ahead with that. I would

3:54:053:54:10

urge that there is a campaign to

inform staff of the new human

3:54:103:54:16

resources facilities. I know it is

there and I know we have talked

3:54:163:54:19

about it, but we need to remind

people that this is their when they

3:54:193:54:24

needed. The independent complaint

policy in itself and I think the

3:54:243:54:34

particular emphasis for our staff to

constituency officers who are not

3:54:343:54:39

necessarily part of the same

discussion that we have here. The

3:54:393:54:44

process of forming new staff could

go into the future. It is not a one

3:54:443:54:50

event. Just as the size, I think

affective human resources facilities

3:54:503:54:54

being available to MP staff, these

will address the minor and mundane

3:54:543:55:03

problems and in doing so they will

prevent the problem from escalating.

3:55:033:55:09

Quite a bit of discussion about

training as well today, it's

3:55:093:55:13

important we depersonalise this.

There has been an individualistic

3:55:133:55:17

approach to this matter as a whole.

This isn't a threat to individuals

3:55:173:55:21

but anyway we bring about change as

an entire body, the training we

3:55:213:55:28

participate, not as a threat to

individuals, it's part of the

3:55:283:55:31

bringing about a change, this is our

corporate leadership to do that. To

3:55:313:55:36

close, and what I would like to

commend with this document in

3:55:363:55:40

particular, how politicians have

been able to rein in that

3:55:403:55:45

inclination to console as

individuals, to overemphasise the

3:55:453:55:49

potential for political motivation

in the complaints. This final report

3:55:493:55:53

has kept the balance between

supporting complainants and

3:55:533:55:57

resisting and overemphasis on

vexatious complaints. The success of

3:55:573:56:06

how these initiatives will be

measured will be from a culture of

3:56:063:56:10

deference and outmoded power

structures to a culture of respect

3:56:103:56:13

among equals working together in our

many Parliamentary workplaces

3:56:133:56:17

wherever they may be. The future

success will require rigorous

3:56:173:56:24

monitoring and implementation just

as the contribution of staff and

3:56:243:56:27

union representatives acted on a

number of occasions, frankly, as the

3:56:273:56:31

glue which held the working group

together. So it's essential there is

3:56:313:56:34

a full role. , representatives of

unions, or unions who have staff

3:56:343:56:41

here in the house. That they are

represented. These policies are not

3:56:413:56:48

complete. They will evolve in

practice and in review. But I am

3:56:483:56:53

confident they are catalysts of

change.

Caroline Lucas.

Thank you

3:56:533:57:00

very much Madam Deputy Speaker. I

think there is a sad irony that on

3:57:003:57:05

this hundredth anniversary of the

time when the first women won the

3:57:053:57:08

vote Parliament has been under the

spotlight as a place in which women

3:57:083:57:11

in particular do face so much

harassment and mistreatment. As we

3:57:113:57:15

know, one in five people working in

Westminster report experiencing or

3:57:153:57:20

witnessing sexual harassment in the

last 12 months, twice as many women

3:57:203:57:24

as men record incidents. It was a

real privilege to serve on the

3:57:243:57:28

cross-party working group set up to

respond to this routine sexual

3:57:283:57:32

misconduct, and indeed the

concurrent routine failure to handle

3:57:323:57:35

complaints either fairly or in some

cases at all. I want to join others

3:57:353:57:39

in paying particular tribute to the

leader of a house for her leadership

3:57:393:57:42

and commitment to seeking consensus

for the recommendations from the

3:57:423:57:46

working group. The report we

produced I think we'll set up a

3:57:463:57:51

support system where previously

there was none. It also establish an

3:57:513:57:57

independent framework in which

complaints can be heard and,

3:57:573:58:01

crucially, anybody who report sexual

misconduct will have access to a

3:58:013:58:04

complaints procedure that

specifically is designed to

3:58:043:58:07

differentiate between those cases

and bullying. That was the first and

3:58:073:58:11

arguably most important change the

working group pressed for.

3:58:113:58:14

Complainants will have access to

somebody with expertise in

3:58:143:58:18

supporting those who experience

sexual misconduct, somebody who

3:58:183:58:20

understands the complainant has to

be in control about the next steps

3:58:203:58:23

and who will fight for their rights

to be upheld. Parliament should lead

3:58:233:58:28

by example, not take it more power

away from those who make complaints,

3:58:283:58:33

as happens repeatedly elsewhere. I'm

very pleased this has been reflected

3:58:333:58:36

in the working group

recommendations. That is progress,

3:58:363:58:41

and it was possible due to having

one of the country's best qualified

3:58:413:58:45

expert in sexual harassment in an

advisory role on the working group,

3:58:453:58:49

meaning our work and decisions were

informed by evidence and best

3:58:493:58:52

practice. Thanks must go to her, but

also to the whole secretariat for

3:58:523:58:57

their tireless work, to all the

experts who supported us, and I

3:58:573:59:00

would echo the words of the

Honourable member for Perth and

3:59:003:59:05

North Perthshire about the

importance of staff representatives

3:59:053:59:07

in our negotiations, it really did

make our process far more effective

3:59:073:59:11

and inclusive. A complaint centred

approach is just the start. The next

3:59:113:59:19

steps are of equal importance,

especially the question of

3:59:193:59:21

sanctions. To some extent, that

question of sanctions is in the

3:59:213:59:27

hands of political parties, and I

welcome the commitment all parties

3:59:273:59:30

have made to reviewing and improving

their own processes. At the Green

3:59:303:59:34

party we've committed to referring

cases to an external body, which is

3:59:343:59:42

how we will ensure independence and

transparency. I'd like to make the

3:59:423:59:45

case that smaller parties are at a

disadvantage when it comes to

3:59:453:59:47

resource in those more robust

systems for training and constant

3:59:473:59:52

evaluation. I would ask Parliament

might be encouraged to look at this

3:59:523:59:55

on the grounds that I believe there

should be some element of funding

3:59:553:59:57

for political parties, and this

would be a good place to start. I

3:59:574:00:02

made that point at the working group

meeting. I've had previous

4:00:024:00:08

complainants and MPs tell me they

have zero confidence in their

4:00:084:00:11

parties to deal with cases fairly,

or take appropriate action against

4:00:114:00:15

perpetrators. That's the threat of a

by-election would be enough to kill

4:00:154:00:18

off the prospect of sanctions. A

vast amount of work must be done to

4:00:184:00:25

undo the years of sweeping under the

carpet that have taught us to a

4:00:254:00:29

place of distrust and despair. No

political party is perfect and I'm

4:00:294:00:33

certain my own party will have it's

an ongoing learning to do as

4:00:334:00:37

confident in procedure and more

vocal discourse on harassment right

4:00:374:00:40

encourages more people to come

forward. Today I want to pay tribute

4:00:404:00:44

in particular to labour and all of

the women with the coverage they've

4:00:444:00:46

shown in terms of raising that

within the Labour Party. The

4:00:464:00:50

challenge for political parties will

be to be brave enough to accept no

4:00:504:00:56

party, no organisation, no one, is

exempt from this. But that together

4:00:564:01:00

we can work together to challenge

that culture of harassment, and that

4:01:004:01:04

it can change if we are committed

enough to do that. And we must

4:01:044:01:08

prioritise the voices of those

coming forward over party

4:01:084:01:11

reputation. However, the working

group is clear many of those

4:01:114:01:17

experiencing sexual misconduct would

not be protected by party policies,

4:01:174:01:21

even if those were the best

possible. That is why we've

4:01:214:01:24

recommended the development of a

shared and binding behaviour code

4:01:244:01:27

that covers everyone working in

Parliament including all MPs, peers

4:01:274:01:30

and Parliamentary staff. That code

which will be developed in detail in

4:01:304:01:34

the coming months is crucial.

Volunteers, staff employed by

4:01:344:01:39

political parties, contractors,

officials working in Parliament, all

4:01:394:01:42

of them will be entitled hand-held

to the high standards of treatment.

4:01:424:01:45

It'll cover behaviour in any

designated place of work, or in the

4:01:454:01:51

cause of Parliamentary duties or

activities at home and crucially

4:01:514:01:54

also abroad. The working group

wasn't able in the timescale

4:01:544:01:59

involved to reach agreement on how

best to protect visitors to

4:01:594:02:03

constituency offices and I was

reassured by what the leader of the

4:02:034:02:07

house and said earlier in our

debate, saying it would be a

4:02:074:02:10

priority for her going forward.

We've had quite a bit of debate

4:02:104:02:14

about the role of the standards

committee, and while I do appreciate

4:02:144:02:19

that the inclusion of lay members on

that committee does improve the

4:02:194:02:23

situation, I do think the

recommendations in this report about

4:02:234:02:26

looking again at how the standards

committee works are going to be

4:02:264:02:30

important. I do think there is risk

of how this looks to outside this

4:02:304:02:34

place, to looking inside. If it

seems to them as if the outcome of a

4:02:344:02:39

complaint is in the hands of people,

politicians, who may have a vested

4:02:394:02:43

interest in not taking it any

further, I think it will undermine

4:02:434:02:47

all the good work we've done to

date. I think there is a risk we

4:02:474:02:51

could be perceived to leave the

system open to abuse by political

4:02:514:02:56

string bowlers and other career

makers or breakers. It flies in the

4:02:564:03:00

face of what constitutes best

practice and is utterly at odds with

4:03:004:03:04

the stand-up principle of an

independent system which underpins

4:03:044:03:07

the working group report. They risk

perpetuating the lack of trust

4:03:074:03:12

keenly felt by the staff these new

procedures are supposed to protect

4:03:124:03:16

and risk further reputational damage

by opening a sub, rightly, to

4:03:164:03:21

accusations we are dragging our feet

were letting perpetrators off the

4:03:214:03:25

hook. We've made huge strides in the

last hundred years but still have a

4:03:254:03:29

patriarchal political culture that

is, negates against woman and

4:03:294:03:33

bodies. A complaints mechanism fit

for purpose work to transform things

4:03:334:03:37

overnight but will make a big

difference and send a loud signal

4:03:374:03:40

that we recognise the problem. But

that difference and that signal

4:03:404:03:46

will, themselves, be seriously

undermined if MPs are left deciding

4:03:464:03:51

on recall and other sanctions. I

want to say a few last words about

4:03:514:03:56

culture change and I have been very

heartened by the number of people on

4:03:564:03:59

both sides of the house if stressed

the importance of culture change. It

4:03:594:04:04

was not formally within the remit of

our working group but I'm very glad

4:04:044:04:08

we did stray into it. It's very

right that we did. I think it does

4:04:084:04:12

show we have an opportunity to start

to dismantle the power inequalities

4:04:124:04:16

that exercise such a damaging grip

on politics and to replace them with

4:04:164:04:20

a culture founded on dignity,

equality and safety from harassment.

4:04:204:04:24

One that goes further than

sanctioning those who haven't yet

4:04:244:04:28

grasped why grabbing somebody's knee

without permission is a problem, one

4:04:284:04:32

that also seeks to educate. I'm

sorry that we didn't manage to get

4:04:324:04:36

agreement for compulsory content

training in this Parliament, though

4:04:364:04:39

I'm glad we had the famous kite mark

by any other name, we decided not to

4:04:394:04:43

call it a kite mark. The Honourable

member for Perth and North

4:04:434:04:47

Perthshire will be glad there is

still the idea of a naming and

4:04:474:04:51

shaming device. It could still mean

that proper compulsory content

4:04:514:04:53

training might not start happening

until 2022. I do think it's not

4:04:534:04:59

right that staffers and visitors to

the parliamentary estate have to

4:04:594:05:03

wait another five years to be

guaranteed safety in the workplace.

4:05:034:05:07

But I want to put on a record

formally now I believe we will have

4:05:074:05:11

failed all of those of experience

sexual misconduct and who

4:05:114:05:15

experienced it in future if we don't

continue the momentum started in

4:05:154:05:18

this working group to take radical

steps when it comes to culture

4:05:184:05:21

change. The immunity once enjoyed by

the powerful and influential is

4:05:214:05:25

starting to wear off, but perhaps

only because we are under a

4:05:254:05:28

spotlight and right now there are

loud, strong voices for change. It

4:05:284:05:31

has to continue, those loud voices

need to continue to be heard. This

4:05:314:05:36

issue must not be allowed to be

kicked into the long grass.

4:05:364:05:40

Arguments like only those who employ

staff should have to participate in

4:05:404:05:45

training, nor should those kinds of

arguments be allowed to gain

4:05:454:05:48

traction. Every single peer and MP

must learn about consent, bullying,

4:05:484:05:52

to understand the power they hold

and the weight of their actions.

4:05:524:05:56

That education has to be ongoing and

delivered by experts attacking

4:05:564:06:01

misconduct and bullying. Crucially,

I do believe, sadly, that this

4:06:014:06:04

training does need to be accompanied

by a system of financial penalties

4:06:044:06:08

imposed on those who fail to

cooperate, it's been recommended by

4:06:084:06:12

the Public Administration and

Constitutional affairs committees

4:06:124:06:15

and could include withholding pay

and allowances. The systems and

4:06:154:06:18

processes have to have teeth or they

will be rendered meaningless. Madame

4:06:184:06:24

Debord is bigger, unfortunately,

serious sexual harassment and

4:06:244:06:26

bullying is endemic in Westminster.

-- Madam Deputy Speaker. The

4:06:264:06:32

behaviour in this chamber is part of

the problem. I knows you and your

4:06:324:06:36

colleagues will continue to show

leadership in that respect as well

4:06:364:06:38

as demanding much more from

colleagues. Finally I want to echo

4:06:384:06:43

those Honourable members who have

already talked about the importance

4:06:434:06:46

of ongoing evaluation review and

development. We must make sure as we

4:06:464:06:52

go along we're tracking to see how

effective our new procedures are.

4:06:524:06:56

That must also include those cases

not taken forward. We need to devise

4:06:564:07:02

mechanisms for trying to capture

ones that don't even come into

4:07:024:07:06

contact with the system. I disagree

profoundly with the witnesses

4:07:064:07:10

evidence to the working group was

that we don't have a problem because

4:07:104:07:12

no one ever reported one. A final

few words about complainants wishing

4:07:124:07:17

to remain anonymous. We've protected

that right and reflected the

4:07:174:07:21

importance of building up a picture

that includes those cases, for

4:07:214:07:24

example, if an individual is accused

by a number of different people,

4:07:244:07:28

that is a pattern of behaviour that

can be investigated further, whether

4:07:284:07:32

or not formal complaints are made.

Of course we must uphold data

4:07:324:07:35

protection laws but I'm pleased I

think we found ways within the

4:07:354:07:39

framework to pay attention to cases

where the complainant wishes to

4:07:394:07:42

remain anonymous. Madam Deputy

Speaker, though the working group

4:07:424:07:46

doesn't go as far as I would have

liked in some areas, I'm proud of

4:07:464:07:49

the extent to which we've signalled

a 0% tolerance to sexual misconduct,

4:07:494:07:55

making politics a world genuinely

attractive, accessible and safe for

4:07:554:08:00

irrespective of gender, race,

sexuality or background is a prize

4:08:004:08:04

from which society as a whole can

only benefit. I'm reassured with the

4:08:044:08:08

kind of response we've had from all

sides of the house today that is

4:08:084:08:11

something we can do, that we can

make a real difference.

Thank you

4:08:114:08:17

Madam Deputy Speaker.

Today marks a

positive step forwards towards

4:08:174:08:24

achieving a working environment that

treats everyone with the dignity and

4:08:244:08:27

respect they deserve when they come

to work. Further work is needed but

4:08:274:08:30

I do want to take this opportunity

to thank all those who have helped

4:08:304:08:33

us get to this point. So can I first

thank all members of the working

4:08:334:08:38

group, the Honourable members for

Walsall South, Brent Central, Perth

4:08:384:08:44

and North Perthshire, East

Dunbartonshire, Brighton Pavilion,

4:08:444:08:46

Belfast South... My noble friend

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park, Lord

4:08:464:08:53

Hope of Craighead and our staff

representatives Max Friedman,

4:08:534:08:57

Georgina Koester and Emily

Cunningham, for all of their

4:08:574:09:02

dedication and perseverance over the

last few months. I'd also like to

4:09:024:09:06

thank the amazingly hard-working

members of the secretariat, Nick

4:09:064:09:10

Beach, Andrew Boro, Christopher

Clarke, Ian Hook, Justine Henin,

4:09:104:09:14

Alex Langley, Helen Mott, Anna

Murphy, Sophie Sommerville and Kate

4:09:144:09:18

Emms, as well as my own leaders of

his team. Their help, support and

4:09:184:09:23

advice has been invaluable and I

sincerely thank them for their drive

4:09:234:09:27

and determination. I'm very grateful

to all those who gave written or

4:09:274:09:30

oral evidence to the group and for

colleagues or sides of the house and

4:09:304:09:35

in the other places given their own

thoughts and advice. Adam Deputy

4:09:354:09:41

Speaker, this Parliament must lead

by example. It is a right not a

4:09:414:09:44

privilege to be treated with dignity

and respect at work. This place must

4:09:444:09:49

set the best example of a workplace

that protects and support all those

4:09:494:09:54

working in it. So can I assure all

those who contributed and who care

4:09:544:09:58

deeply, as I do, about changing the

future for all who work here, that

4:09:584:10:04

I'm 100% committed to seeing this

through. No rolling back, no

4:10:044:10:08

watering down, and no delay. Madam

Deputy Speaker, I hope the house

4:10:084:10:12

will support this motion.

The

question is that the amendment be

4:10:124:10:17

made. As many as are of that opinion

say aye. The ayes have it, the ayes

4:10:174:10:27

have it. The motion as amended, as

many as I wrote that opinion say

4:10:274:10:32

aye. On the contrary know. The ayes

have it, the ayes have it.

4:10:324:10:42

The title of the private build sent

down for consideration today.

Middle

4:10:424:10:47

level Bill.

No.

We will take new

clause one which will it will be

4:10:474:10:57

convenient to consider. Sir

Christopher choke.

I bake to move

4:10:574:11:09

new clause one, minimum debt

requirements. The Commissioner much

4:11:094:11:13

assured that the water in the

waterways must be a minimum depth of

4:11:134:11:18

three feet. In the event that the

depth is not maintained, no boaters

4:11:184:11:25

should be required to pay any

charge. And the background to this

4:11:254:11:31

new clause is the principle of quid

pro quo. Because the petitioners are

4:11:314:11:44

concerned that new charges and

obligations are being brought in

4:11:444:11:49

without them getting anything in

return. But before I expand on that.

4:11:494:11:54

Can I say that because all of these

new clauses and amendments are being

4:11:544:12:01

grouped together in one, we are

effectively discussing the Bill as a

4:12:014:12:05

whole. I think every single part of

the Bill is included in one or other

4:12:054:12:12

of the amendments. And I'm grateful

to my friend for confirming that

4:12:124:12:16

that is the situation. I must make a

few introductory remarks by saying

4:12:164:12:23

that I know I am the petitioners

much appreciate the way in which the

4:12:234:12:30

promotion of this Bill have

responded positively to the points

4:12:304:12:34

made. As a series of good points

that out in the promoter's statement

4:12:344:12:42

and the people who worked on the

committee I think that everybody

4:12:424:12:51

agrees that this is to a credit to

this House that this Bill has been

4:12:514:12:56

looked at in such detail. Obviously,

when we had the Second Reading

4:12:564:13:04

debate, number of points were made

and the petitioner and the

4:13:044:13:07

commissioners responded to those and

some of those responses were

4:13:074:13:13

reflected in amendments that were

brought forward at the Committee

4:13:134:13:16

Stage and at the same time when the

petitioners had a chance to be

4:13:164:13:21

heard, over I think three days, many

of their points were accepted. I

4:13:214:13:26

think the stage where we are now is

the amendments were put forward as a

4:13:264:13:32

result of those were representation,

question whether those amendments go

4:13:324:13:39

far enough, could beach week in some

way. -- could beach week in some

4:13:394:13:45

way. I am sure that when the Bill

does go to the Other Place, there

4:13:454:13:54

will be a petition against it and we

will be able to see the extent to

4:13:544:13:57

which the petitioners arguments are

accepted today prior to the Bill

4:13:574:14:06

going to the Other Place. Because

obviously it is open at any stage of

4:14:064:14:12

the promoter of the Bill to say, I

think that is a good point, we have

4:14:124:14:15

not thought of that. I'm behalf of

the promoters, he is a very good

4:14:154:14:25

listener. And I am sure that will go

well for the future. So this is a

4:14:254:14:32

Bill that has been never objected

to. I think it is now much better

4:14:324:14:43

Bill, but although much better, it

does not mean it is not capable of

4:14:434:14:47

further improvement. That is the

whole purpose of putting forward

4:14:474:14:53

these new clauses and amendments

this afternoon. Paragraph 2.3 of the

4:14:534:15:00

statement on behalf of the promoter

of the middle level commissioners in

4:15:004:15:05

support of the Bill makes clear that

the commissioners currently do not

4:15:054:15:13

receive any income from the

navigation of the waterways. With

4:15:134:15:17

the passage of this Bill they will

see income. New clause one is

4:15:174:15:22

designed to ensure that the quid pro

quo is that if the waterway is not

4:15:224:15:33

navigable, those charges should not

be applied. The petitioners believe

4:15:334:15:37

that under case law that means the

commissioners must provide something

4:15:374:15:49

beyond what is already provided in

return for making additional

4:15:494:15:52

charges. I think you accept that is

a reasonable proposition. The march

4:15:524:15:59

cruising club specifically are of

the opinion that if you are able to

4:15:594:16:05

charge the boaters to use the system

of navigation, it is essential that

4:16:054:16:09

voter facilities are available and

also there is adequate depth of

4:16:094:16:18

water and that is maintained or

introduced at a minimum standard and

4:16:184:16:21

where that does not apply, then

there should be a waving of any

4:16:214:16:27

requirement to pay any charges. Yes,

of course I would.

As you would be

4:16:274:16:36

aware. This does affect my

constituency because without the

4:16:364:16:40

middle level commissioners, we

wouldn't have many thousands of

4:16:404:16:48

farmland. The key point here is that

the money that was previously spent

4:16:484:16:57

on navigation unlocks, on these

waterways, if it is actually funded

4:16:574:17:01

through this charge, there will be

more money for flood defenses. And

4:17:014:17:06

flood defenses are absolute key

issue and a priority in this part of

4:17:064:17:11

my constituency. Do you agree that

the principle of the Bill is

4:17:114:17:15

actually really fit for purpose? Now

he has got his involvement with

4:17:154:17:21

these various amendments, but the

principle is still very strong.

I

4:17:214:17:29

think the principle is that if the

farmers and I know that my

4:17:294:17:36

honourable friend has a significant

interest in farming, if farmers are

4:17:364:17:40

going to benefit from this type of

scheme that I don't see why they

4:17:404:17:46

should not have to pay for the

benefit that they are getting. From

4:17:464:17:50

that scheme. And that is what this

is all about. I don't hold myself

4:17:504:17:56

out as an expert on anything, but

certainly not on this. I am told

4:17:564:18:03

that if if there was no longer any

land drainage, then the navigation

4:18:034:18:09

would be actually a much wider, more

effective, deeper and so on. So in a

4:18:094:18:17

sense, the land drainage which

enables the farmers to make their

4:18:174:18:20

profits off the land is of direct

benefit to the farmers, as the

4:18:204:18:28

navigation would be there anyway. I

don't know if you except that sure

4:18:284:18:36

analysis of it. Maybe he is a better

student of geography than I am. That

4:18:364:18:42

is what I am informed. In that

sense, Mr Deputy Speaker, when the

4:18:424:18:49

commissioners were first given their

role, it was on the basis that they

4:18:494:18:52

would recover charges from the land

owners rather than the users of the

4:18:524:19:00

navigation. And so if there are

going to be charges introduced for

4:19:004:19:07

the use of the navigation, then the

argument is those charges should be

4:19:074:19:13

in respect of enabling the

navigation to be kept open and

4:19:134:19:16

usable by those who are being

charged for using it. That seems a

4:19:164:19:24

perfect and equitable way to do it.

That is the background to the first

4:19:244:19:32

Amendment of the new clause.

Before

he moves on, will he give way? I am

4:19:324:19:40

very grateful to him. I apologise

for missing his opening statement.

4:19:404:19:44

But could he... Could he tell me how

many times that this depth of water

4:19:444:19:54

is not maintained to this level? Is

this a solution looking for a

4:19:544:19:59

problem or is this a genuine

problem?

I'm afraid I am not brief

4:19:594:20:06

to have an answer to that particular

question. All I can say is that is a

4:20:064:20:11

general comment that this is a point

which has been raised by the March

4:20:114:20:15

cruising club and I imagine they

would not be concerned about this if

4:20:154:20:20

it was not a problem. That is all I

can say to my honourable friend. The

4:20:204:20:26

March cruising club believe that

this is a very important issue for

4:20:264:20:31

them. There should be this adequate

depth of water to make sure the

4:20:314:20:35

navigation is available. That brings

me onto a new clause two which is a

4:20:354:20:46

requirement to provide specified

facilities. That would require the

4:20:464:20:51

commissioners within 12 months of

the day of the act coming into force

4:20:514:20:57

providing facilities at those locks.

Including a laboratory, freshwater

4:20:574:21:02

point, beings, etc. They should also

provide a minimum of ten moorings

4:21:024:21:10

for up to seven days capable of

accommodating a boat up to 50 feet

4:21:104:21:14

in length. This is, again, a quid

pro quo. If the commissioners want

4:21:144:21:20

to make money out of the navigation,

it would be sensible for them to be

4:21:204:21:29

able to make sure that there are

proper facilities for those vessels,

4:21:294:21:35

which are using the navigation and

will be paying significantly for

4:21:354:21:38

that privilege. A similar point is

raised a new clause three. By the

4:21:384:21:51

March cruising club to say that the

commissioners must within 12 months

4:21:514:21:55

of the day this act comes in to

force and of course... I understand

4:21:554:22:08

the commissioners have more or less

guaranteed that this is what they

4:22:084:22:10

are going to do provide these

facilities, but what the

4:22:104:22:16

petitioners, understandably, want to

ensure is that those undertakings

4:22:164:22:20

and expression of good intention are

properly reflected on the face of

4:22:204:22:26

the legislation rather than just

being left as a matter of good will.

4:22:264:22:30

I will give way.

Shortly there is

very few precedents for putting this

4:22:304:22:39

on the face of the Bill, specific

infrastructure. I think it would

4:22:394:22:45

some way cheapen the Bill and I

think make it... The voting interest

4:22:454:22:57

what they want above all else they

want really good navigable waters,

4:22:574:23:03

that are well maintained at the rate

depth so they can enjoy both at

4:23:034:23:09

different time peered and then if

there is a service of revenue that

4:23:094:23:18

means other facilities indeed can be

looked at in the future. I would

4:23:184:23:23

urge my right honourable friend

putting this on the face of a Bill

4:23:234:23:25

is not a good idea.

I am glad that

my honourable friend agrees that the

4:23:254:23:33

provision of these facilities is a

good idea, but I cannot understand

4:23:334:23:37

why he thinks requiring them to be

provided on the face of the Bill is

4:23:374:23:41

not a good idea. He says there is no

need. I suppose it is an issue of

4:23:414:23:52

trust as to whether or not the

undertakings can... Will be

4:23:524:23:57

honoured. We have had precedent in

other bills, private bills in this

4:23:574:24:05

House, for example, in the North

London cemetery Bill. Where the

4:24:054:24:09

promoters of the Bill giving an

undertaking which was then put on...

4:24:094:24:20

Put in the public domain and that

may be another way of resolving this

4:24:204:24:25

problem. It seems what my right

honourable friend is saying is that

4:24:254:24:31

everyone is in agreement that these

facilities are necessary and

4:24:314:24:35

desirable and should be provided.

So, that brings me onto new clause

4:24:354:24:43

four, which is saying the

commissioners must within 12 months

4:24:434:24:48

enable access of moorings under a

boot NT system. Operated by the

4:24:484:24:57

commissioners. Not an unreasonable

suggestion. This is a practise that

4:24:574:25:01

is commonplace in the boating

industry. Then I think the most

4:25:014:25:09

important of these five introductory

new clauses, Mr Deputy Speaker, is

4:25:094:25:15

new clause five, which would make

provision that no voter should be

4:25:154:25:19

required to pay any charges under

the provisions of this act until the

4:25:194:25:24

facilities and moorings specified in

the act are maintained in good

4:25:244:25:28

repair and in working order.

4:25:284:25:36

Should the users be required to pay

before they got the facilities or

4:25:364:25:40

should they only be required to pay

once facilities are there? It seems

4:25:404:25:44

to me that is an important issue.

I

particularly support new clause five

4:25:444:25:55

Mr Deputy Speaker because I struggle

to find a reason anybody couldn't

4:25:554:26:02

support new clause five because it

only seems to be fair. I wonder

4:26:024:26:06

whether or not my honourable friend

had had any discussions with either

4:26:064:26:10

the promoter of the bill or the

people behind it to find out if

4:26:104:26:14

they, too, thought it was just a

clause they would accept or what

4:26:144:26:21

logical reason they have for not

accepting it.

We haven't reached

4:26:214:26:23

that stage yet, I have to say, my

honourable friend. It may be my

4:26:234:26:28

fault because I haven't actually sat

down with the promoters of this bill

4:26:284:26:34

and discussed in detail these

particular issues. My understanding

4:26:344:26:37

is that there have been quite a lot

of discussions around this in the

4:26:374:26:43

context of the committee stage and

that the petitioners, for the

4:26:434:26:49

reasons I've set out, are still

unhappy and feel that there needs to

4:26:494:26:56

be a new clause incorporating this

particular condition. Of course I'll

4:26:564:26:59

give way.

I thank the Honourable

member for giving way and I am

4:26:594:27:03

finding his speech of some interest,

would he be interested to note

4:27:034:27:06

clause four was amended in the

committee to make clear revenue from

4:27:064:27:12

navigation would only be spent on

navigation purposes and this was

4:27:124:27:16

done in response to the petitioners

concern is to ensure the confidence

4:27:164:27:20

they could have, that effectively

whilst they are getting something

4:27:204:27:22

for nothing, they would get

something for what they pay and it

4:27:224:27:27

would be clear navigation fees would

go on navigational facilities and

4:27:274:27:30

costs.

I thank my honourable friend

for his intervention. We'll be

4:27:304:27:36

coming on to clause four and

amendments to clause four. I'm not

4:27:364:27:40

going to do anything other than say

the petitioners and I are very

4:27:404:27:45

pleased that new clause four was

introduced into the bill in the

4:27:454:27:49

committee stage in response to

concerns expressed. I mentioned at

4:27:494:27:53

the outset, because it was brought

in at that stage, doesn't mean it's

4:27:534:27:59

perfect. This is really why we've

got these new clauses, these

4:27:594:28:05

preliminary new clauses, and some

amendments to clause four which I

4:28:054:28:09

shall come to in due course. I think

it's much easier for people to

4:28:094:28:14

follow proceedings if we go, start

at the beginning and go clause by

4:28:144:28:19

clause.

Yes? And very grateful, but

would he agree with me that if new

4:28:194:28:26

clause five were not accepted it

would, in effect, mean people would

4:28:264:28:30

say it was absolutely fine for the

charges to be made, but the

4:28:304:28:34

facilities not to be in good repair

and working order and that would be

4:28:344:28:40

intolerable if that were not

accepted.

I hear the Honourable

4:28:404:28:46

friend speaking on behalf of the

promoters say in my honourable

4:28:464:28:50

friend would be wrong about that.

Let's wait until we get to

4:28:504:28:57

discussing clause four, which was

introduced at the committee stage,

4:28:574:29:01

to see whether we can tease more

information out on all the

4:29:014:29:06

implications. As far as... This

brings me on to the amendments, Mr

4:29:064:29:15

Deputy Speaker. Amendment number

one, page two clause one, line 24,

4:29:154:29:21

it basically says it's an

unreasonably short period of time

4:29:214:29:27

between this bill obtaining consent

and being implemented. It specified

4:29:274:29:37

it should only be 28 days, and it

seems to me that it would be

4:29:374:29:45

reasonable for that period to be six

months. It would come into force at

4:29:454:29:51

the end of six months beginning on

the day which it was passed. I would

4:29:514:29:59

not say it was the most important of

all the amendments but it would be

4:29:594:30:02

interesting to hear from the

promoters asked why they don't think

4:30:024:30:06

it's a reasonable position to have,

because we know under the provisions

4:30:064:30:10

of this bill they're going to have

to draw up bylaws and it doesn't

4:30:104:30:16

mean they can't start working on the

bylaws in advance of the bill being

4:30:164:30:23

passed into law and then leaving a

period of six months until it

4:30:234:30:29

implemented, bearing in mind the

fact we're dealing with a lot of

4:30:294:30:36

laypeople who are... Who will

probably need a lot of notice of the

4:30:364:30:41

changes that are going to be made

under the provisions of this bill.

4:30:414:30:49

So, amendments two, again, is, in a

sense, a drafting amendment. When we

4:30:494:30:54

get the definition of what is

polluting, it seems to me, it's much

4:30:544:31:06

easier to keep that as an objective

test and so I've got no problem

4:31:064:31:13

defining polluting matter as sewage

or any other injurious matter,

4:31:134:31:16

whether solid or liquid. We were let

our imaginations run to wild on all

4:31:164:31:23

that. What I find more difficult Mr

Deputy Speaker is what is meant by

4:31:234:31:28

the word offensive. What is added by

including that, because essentially,

4:31:284:31:35

what is offensive to one person may

not be offensive to another. It's a

4:31:354:31:40

subjective test. I'd be interested

to know from my honourable friend

4:31:404:31:44

what he thinks that subjective test

adds in that particular part of the

4:31:444:31:50

interpretation section on polluting

matter. In relation to amendment

4:31:504:31:59

three, I'm going through these quite

quickly but as I don't think there

4:31:594:32:02

is any need to spend a lot of time

on amendments to which there should

4:32:024:32:07

be a short and succinct answer

saying, yes, I agree with the

4:32:074:32:13

honourable gentleman, I think these

are good amendments and we'll be

4:32:134:32:16

happy to incorporate them in the

bill. As far as amendment three

4:32:164:32:20

goes, this is more of a probing

amendment. Because we are in the new

4:32:204:32:28

age of electricity. The definition

of power driven vessel here includes

4:32:284:32:35

a vessel propelled by detachable

outboard engine. But it doesn't

4:32:354:32:43

include a sailing boat, rowing boat,

or canoe. Fine. Now that we've got a

4:32:434:32:50

new generation of electric motors,

why don't we introduce in a bill

4:32:504:32:57

like this an incentive for people to

use electric power on these

4:32:574:33:06

waterways as photos? Because

electric power is a much less

4:33:064:33:12

polluting and better for the

atmosphere. -- use these waterways

4:33:124:33:19

as boaters. If it's quiet, as these

new cards seem to be, it would

4:33:194:33:24

hardly disturb anybody, as the boat

powered by an electric motor glides

4:33:244:33:32

down the route of the navigation. So

I'd be interested in the thoughts of

4:33:324:33:39

my honourable friend on that. And

indeed on recognising the minister

4:33:394:33:45

on the front bench, who's come along

to help us in our deliberations.

4:33:454:33:49

Maybe this is an issue as well which

the government might be interested

4:33:494:33:54

in thinking about introducing some

sort of incentive for the use of

4:33:544:33:58

electric motors rather than

outboards. I know that in my

4:33:584:34:05

constituency if there were more

electric driven vessels rather than

4:34:054:34:12

power driven vessels, a lot of my

constituents would be very happy.

4:34:124:34:17

That could be the opening up of a

much larger issue, but why not start

4:34:174:34:22

raising it on the first occasion to

today? Which takes me on to

4:34:224:34:29

amendment four Mr Deputy Speaker,

which is about the use. Are we

4:34:294:34:38

talking about the use of the

vessels. It says in use in relation

4:34:384:34:42

to any vessel on the waterway

includes launching the vessel onto

4:34:424:34:46

the waterway, keeping or mooring it

on the waterway. I've got no quarrel

4:34:464:34:52

with the rest of it, navigating

getting it on the waterway and

4:34:524:34:55

letting it for higher. But there

seems to be a lot of concern about

4:34:554:34:59

what happens when people have a

vessel which is kept at the side of

4:34:594:35:05

the waterway, even in a marina,

always used as a houseboat. Are we

4:35:054:35:15

really saying it is about using the

vessel on a waterway? Under this

4:35:154:35:25

definition, it would amount to using

the vessel on a waterway and it

4:35:254:35:29

doesn't seem to me that really fits

in with common sense, using a

4:35:294:35:35

waterway means, surely, using it,

navigating it, letting it for

4:35:354:35:38

higher. It doesn't include keeping

or mooring it on the waterway. That

4:35:384:35:45

is amendment number four. Number

five is a more extensive version of

4:35:454:35:57

the same concern, which has been

raised by a number of the

4:35:574:36:05

petitioners. Because the extension

of waterways, they say they find the

4:36:054:36:16

amended definition in this bill

compared with what it was like

4:36:164:36:21

before it went to committee is, I

quote, a move in the right

4:36:214:36:25

direction. But it still serves to

extend the jurisdiction and control

4:36:254:36:31

of the commissioners into privately

owned property, such as marinas,

4:36:314:36:35

which will usurp the rights of

property owners to decide who and

4:36:354:36:39

which boats can use the water over

their land. And the petitioners feel

4:36:394:36:44

this is an unwarranted interference

with the rights of private citizens.

4:36:444:36:48

And at the very least there should

be provision for boat owners whose

4:36:484:36:53

vessels remain permanently within

the marina to make an offer what a

4:36:534:36:59

declaration, a sort of waterway

4:36:594:37:08

the marina to make an offer what a

declaration, a sort of waterway, so

4:37:084:37:09

they are no longer reliable for the

charges. I think it's a very good

4:37:094:37:15

analogy. If you don't use your

vehicle, your motor vehicle, on the

4:37:154:37:18

road, you don't have to pay the tax,

the road tax. If you're not using a

4:37:184:37:23

houseboat on the water, why should

you have to pay for these charges

4:37:234:37:28

and why should you? That issue could

be resolved by having a narrower

4:37:284:37:35

definition of waterway and that,

indeed, is what amendment number

4:37:354:37:42

five six to do, because it says at

line 17, or is it lying 18... The

4:37:424:37:53

waterways mean... Including the

waterways set out in the schedule,

4:37:534:38:01

that is what we would understand

that the waterways. The banks of

4:38:014:38:06

those waterways and any water in the

middle level, which is what this

4:38:064:38:12

bill is about. What I take objection

to is... I don't see why it should

4:38:124:38:17

include a lake, pond, marina was

substantially enclosed water

4:38:174:38:23

adjacent to those waterways. And

from which any vessel may be

4:38:234:38:27

navigated, whether or not through a

lock or into the waterways

4:38:274:38:30

themselves. If a vessel is navigated

to the waterway, then it is in the

4:38:304:38:39

waterway and it is liable under the

provisions of this bill. But if it's

4:38:394:38:45

not navigated in there, doesn't seem

to me it is relevant to say it could

4:38:454:38:49

be navigated. So this, one way of

reducing the scope of the definition

4:38:494:38:57

of waterways, about which the

petitioners remain concerned, would

4:38:574:39:00

be to support amendment number five.

When we turn to amendment under six,

4:39:004:39:10

which is to clause three, this is a

new clause introduced as a result of

4:39:104:39:23

the work of the committee. That

dealt with this. It establishes a

4:39:234:39:28

navigation advisory committee. And

the petitioners are very pleased

4:39:284:39:33

about that. But they think this

needs further definition and that's

4:39:334:39:43

not a criticism of the people who

brought forward this amendment, but

4:39:434:39:48

I think, as we know, the way we deal

with legislation in our houses,

4:39:484:39:53

sometimes an amendment can be

improved when further considered.

4:39:534:40:01

And the concerns of the petitioners

are that the duty on the

4:40:014:40:07

commissioners, though it is a good

idea, it gives too much discretion

4:40:074:40:10

to the commission is over, for

example, the Constitution of the

4:40:104:40:14

proposed navigation advisory

committee.

4:40:144:40:21

They think that all many further

consideration and criteria as to the

4:40:214:40:25

election and effectiveness of the

committee's advice. The fact the

4:40:254:40:29

committee is to consist of persons

appointed by the commissioners who

4:40:294:40:32

appeared to be to the commissioners,

representatives put full control

4:40:324:40:37

over the membership of the proposed

committee, firmly within the

4:40:374:40:41

commissioner's discretion. And if I

looked at amendment number six, that

4:40:414:40:48

deals with that particular point,

because amendment number six would

4:40:484:40:53

change subsection number two of

section three so that instead of

4:40:534:41:01

saying the committee is to consist

of persons appointed by the

4:41:014:41:04

commissioners who appeared to the

commissioners to be taken to get a

4:41:044:41:08

representative, it would actually

say that who are representative.

4:41:084:41:12

What could be the problem was not

that straightforward English

4:41:124:41:16

language. Why aren't we going to

have a committee consistent --

4:41:164:41:19

consisted of burst and appointed who

are representative of recreational

4:41:194:41:23

motor boating interest in the

waterways, the interest of

4:41:234:41:27

individuals who use the vessels and

other navigation issues etc. Why

4:41:274:41:30

have such this expression when a

plain English would suffice?

I think

4:41:304:41:43

the honourable gentleman for the

speech he has given and the point

4:41:434:41:45

he's making but would he agree that

slight danger with this amendment if

4:41:454:41:49

it says are representative of all

the items meaning someone would have

4:41:494:41:52

to represent all those areas when

the whole point of a representative

4:41:524:41:54

committee without people who

represent the friend areas, the same

4:41:544:41:59

way as we all represent different

uncertainties even though we have

4:41:594:42:01

the same duty as a member.

The point

my honourable friend makes is a

4:42:014:42:06

brilliant one but is nothing to do

with this. Because actually, what it

4:42:064:42:11

says is it is not a question of what

they are representative of, because

4:42:114:42:16

that spells out. It's a question of

whether they are representative of

4:42:164:42:21

those groups set out or whether they

appeared to the commissioners to be

4:42:214:42:26

representative of. It seems to me

that it is here, you should be quite

4:42:264:42:31

easy to establish whether someone is

representative of these particular

4:42:314:42:34

interest, rather than appearing to

be commissioners to be

4:42:344:42:37

representative of them, but anyway

that is my response to my honourable

4:42:374:42:43

friend's intervention.

I had

intended to make a point of order

4:42:434:42:53

when he stopped speaking. On the

point of early -- order, earlier

4:42:534:42:58

today Toys "R" Us announced the

company has gone into

4:42:584:43:02

administration, ramifications in my

constituency. I spent majority of

4:43:024:43:08

the day time to get in touch with

administers with no success. Can I

4:43:084:43:11

ask if you have been given any

advancement of a statement now and

4:43:114:43:15

how can members of Parliament do

their job if they cannot get in

4:43:154:43:18

touch with the company to seek

security for the staff that for

4:43:184:43:20

them?

Normally I would not take the

point of order but as Christopher

4:43:204:43:27

has stopped I recognise that would

be a frustration not to get it.

4:43:274:43:30

First of all, it's on the record

now. I have been given no notice

4:43:304:43:36

from ministerial statement about

this series issue of Toys "R" Us but

4:43:364:43:39

I recognise you are representing

your constituents and I hope the

4:43:394:43:42

message has gone loud and clear that

Toys "R" Us should be waking up with

4:43:424:43:46

the member of Parliament to ensure

that you can represent the workers

4:43:464:43:48

right there. Sir Christopher.

Mr

Deputy Speaker, thank you.

4:43:484:43:54

Unfortunately my children are so old

that they don't benefit from visits

4:43:544:44:00

to Toys "R" Us, but anyway it's very

sad when any long-established

4:44:004:44:06

business goes into administration.

Mr Deputy Speaker... In terms of the

4:44:064:44:22

wording of this about the weather

people are representative or who

4:44:224:44:27

appeared to be to the commissioners

to be I wondered whether my

4:44:274:44:30

honourable friend thought the

commissioners might hear some kind

4:44:304:44:34

of legal action on the basis of

whether or not somebody could be

4:44:344:44:37

determined to be a representative

and how that might be the case and

4:44:374:44:41

that somebody might say I don't

think these people are

4:44:414:44:46

representative for X Y and Z and

therefore it puts the qualification

4:44:464:44:49

in to help them get out of a

potentially sticky situation. I

4:44:494:44:53

wonder if that was the explanation

for why it was worded as it was.

I

4:44:534:45:00

think it's a more plausible

explanation than the one being put

4:45:004:45:02

forward by our honourable friend. I

think we said enough about that. We

4:45:024:45:08

will hear what our honourable friend

thinks about it when he comes to

4:45:084:45:12

mind up a response to this debate.

-- wind up. As far as the other

4:45:124:45:20

amendment six, seven and eight are

concerned to clause three, the

4:45:204:45:28

petitioners are concerned that the

requirement that the commissioners

4:45:284:45:34

must take the committee's views into

consideration has limited use

4:45:344:45:39

because the commissioners could say

that they have taken those views

4:45:394:45:43

into consideration but found them to

be of no value. The only remedy for

4:45:434:45:47

in such failure to take the

committee's these properly into

4:45:474:45:51

account would be judicial review

which is strictly time-limited,

4:45:514:45:54

expensive and hugely unreliable.

With historic by as they think in

4:45:544:46:00

favour of authorities. I don't know

about that, but certainly they are

4:46:004:46:05

right in saying that judicial review

is a long and expensive way of

4:46:054:46:12

seeking redress. So, in the lives of

those concerns, I put forward

4:46:124:46:18

amendment number seven, which says

that instead of the commissioners,

4:46:184:46:22

this is in subsection six of clause

number three, instead of the

4:46:224:46:28

Commissioner requiring commissioners

must take into consideration any

4:46:284:46:30

matter, the commissioners must give

full consideration because there's a

4:46:304:46:36

difference between taking into

consideration and giving

4:46:364:46:38

consideration is seems to me, and

that if the commissioners give full

4:46:384:46:43

consideration to any matter that

would be useful and to reinforce

4:46:434:46:48

that point, at the end, amendment

number eight which would add at the

4:46:484:46:53

end, they give full consideration to

any matter, recommendation,

4:46:534:46:56

representation which may from time

to time be referred or made to them

4:46:564:46:59

by the committee and the Sobhi

amendment number eight and in the

4:46:594:47:01

advent of -- event of not accepting

such representation or

4:47:014:47:06

recommendation give full reason for

that decision. It seems to me that

4:47:064:47:09

what provide the sort of protection

that the petitioners are seeking and

4:47:094:47:15

would actually strengthen clause

three and make clause three and even

4:47:154:47:21

more effective addition to this bill

than it is currently. Turning now to

4:47:214:47:31

amendment clause four and amendment

nine, amendment nine would be to

4:47:314:47:39

leave out subsection number two of

clause four, and this is in essence

4:47:394:47:52

a probing amendment to draw

attention to this whole issue,

4:47:524:47:57

because as my honourable friend said

in an earlier intervention, this

4:47:574:48:01

whole issue of charges and

constraints upon the way in which

4:48:014:48:05

charges can be made is a useful

amendment to the Bill. But I'm

4:48:054:48:12

suggesting that it could be linked

more specifically with each of the

4:48:124:48:17

different uses for it which charges

will be recoverable, and therefore

4:48:174:48:24

in amendment number ten, I'm

suggesting that in exercising the

4:48:244:48:31

power and subs -- power under

subsection 18 rather than the will

4:48:314:48:35

of section one the commissioners

must aim to secure that taking

4:48:354:48:39

one... Does not exceed the

annualized cost incurred by

4:48:394:48:47

commissioners in respect of

navigation under the navigation act

4:48:474:48:49

and it seems that that is relating

to the use of any waterway by any

4:48:494:48:55

vessel. Those would be the charges

for the use of the waterway and they

4:48:554:48:59

would link indirectly with the

functions in respect of navigation

4:48:594:49:04

under the navigation act. I'm a much

more dubious about the linking in

4:49:044:49:11

the reasonable charges for the

provision of services and facilities

4:49:114:49:17

in respect of the waterways and

their banks because those... They

4:49:174:49:22

not linked in with taking... They're

not separated out from the more

4:49:224:49:30

general and nor is there a

requirement for registration of any

4:49:304:49:37

vessel under navigation bylaws. It

seems to me that those charges

4:49:374:49:43

should be separately identified and

accounted for and undergo the test

4:49:434:49:52

of taking one financial year with

another that the charges under those

4:49:524:49:55

subsections should not exceed the

annualized cost. So, this is a

4:49:554:50:02

refinement of clause four, but I

think it would actually improve

4:50:024:50:12

clause number four significantly.

And if one looks at amendment number

4:50:124:50:23

11... Again, this is dealing with

this issue, but that refers to the

4:50:234:50:37

annualized issue and then what I

wanted to do also was draw attention

4:50:374:50:46

to amendment number 12, which covers

that as well saying that

4:50:464:50:51

commissioners may revise, weight or

remove any charge pics under

4:50:514:50:53

subsection one AA in different

charges may be fixed for different

4:50:534:50:59

cases or classes. -- 1A. It would be

extending the discretion may have,

4:50:594:51:06

but making sure there were specific

to the different categories of

4:51:064:51:10

activity for which they can recover

charges. Amendment number 13 is

4:51:104:51:20

again a probing amendment. It is to

leave out subsection number four. I

4:51:204:51:28

was wondering whether we could hear

some more explanation as to why the

4:51:284:51:33

commissioners want to make use of

the services and facilities referred

4:51:334:51:36

to in subsection 1B subject to such

terms and conditions as may be

4:51:364:51:44

specified in writing and I'm sure

that it would be Fozz -- possible to

4:51:444:51:48

get an explanation of that. I think

the most radical amendment that I

4:51:484:51:55

put forward in relation to clause

number four, and I hope this will

4:51:554:51:59

find favour with members of the

House right across the House, and

4:51:594:52:04

that is amendment number 14 at the

end which we say no charge of the

4:52:044:52:11

parable in respect to these of a

waterway by a vessel being used by a

4:52:114:52:15

person whose registered disabled. Mr

Deputy Speaker, the reason I raised

4:52:154:52:22

it is because it's quite an issue

about disability and the use of

4:52:224:52:30

waterways and the use of powers

similar to the powers which are

4:52:304:52:35

being sought by the promoters of

this bill. And those powers have on

4:52:354:52:45

occasions than I think one can say

abused, and people who are disabled

4:52:454:52:53

have found themselves pillared and

discriminated against quite

4:52:534:53:03

severely. And why should it not be

possible to exempt disabled people

4:53:034:53:10

from the provisions of these

charges? There is a press cutting

4:53:104:53:17

that I've been sent from April 2015,

from Wiltshire, where a disabled

4:53:174:53:25

boat owner living on the canal was

faced with up to £76,000 in cost as

4:53:254:53:35

a result of action being taken,

which the people who are acting on

4:53:354:53:42

his behalf, the trust, they took the

view that it was a... Instead of

4:53:424:53:56

allowing this disabled individual

who was living on incapacity

4:53:564:54:04

benefits and disability living

allowance is, instead of allowing

4:54:044:54:07

him to repair his boat over a period

of time, they imposed strict

4:54:074:54:16

conditions of his license and

required him to vacate not only his

4:54:164:54:21

boat, but also what was his home and

insult was added to injury by the

4:54:214:54:28

fact that he was denied legal aid

and the legal officer of the

4:54:284:54:36

national chattels association

represented him instead -- national

4:54:364:54:42

travellers Association.

I'm just

waiting to see how it links in with

4:54:424:54:46

the Bill.

It linked in with

amendment number 14, because

4:54:464:54:51

amendment number 14 would exempt...

I'm more bothered about the canal

4:54:514:54:57

and that particular individual was

not actually on the middle levels or

4:54:574:55:01

affected by it, so I understand in

reference, but not in detail.

I

4:55:014:55:05

accept we don't want to go into

anymore detail than I've already

4:55:054:55:09

done, Mr Deputy Speaker. But the

analogy is that the powers that are

4:55:094:55:15

being sought in this bill by the

middle level commissioners are

4:55:154:55:18

almost identical to the powers which

have already been obtained by other

4:55:184:55:24

organizations such as the canal and

river trust which operates on the

4:55:244:55:31

Kenneth Navin canal. I get way.

4:55:314:55:36

Can you tell me, is there a serious

demand from disabled people from the

4:55:364:55:44

community to actually have this

extension? Because I have a number

4:55:444:55:47

of disabled constituents, and as I

have pointed out, Mr Deputy Speaker,

4:55:474:55:57

there are many versions of my

constituency who, I have not come

4:55:574:56:05

across any demand from disabled

people. We have great respect for

4:56:054:56:11

disabled community, but is he really

saying that the requirement, or

4:56:114:56:16

decide to give an exemption from the

charges, and make this much more

4:56:164:56:21

bureaucratic and also, they're very

proud and do they really want is

4:56:214:56:27

exemption?

They'd only get the

exemption if they apply for it.

4:56:274:56:34

Disabled people are proud and I have

a lot of disabled members of my

4:56:344:56:41

constituency. But that does not mean

that they don't benefit or cherish

4:56:414:56:44

the ability to park their cars using

the benefit of the parking permit.

4:56:444:56:54

But the answer, the direct answer to

my honourable friends intervention,

4:56:544:56:59

I have not received any

representations prior to the speech

4:56:594:57:03

from disabled constituents of his.

If I had, I would have preferred

4:57:034:57:07

them to him. The canal and river

trust dealing with this issue in

4:57:074:57:16

Wiltshire, they accepted in

principle, that they should not have

4:57:164:57:21

enforcement taken against them, as

they would taken against an

4:57:214:57:26

able-bodied person. But they have

not yet been very keen to

4:57:264:57:32

communicate that policy to disabled

people there. But, all I can say is

4:57:324:57:39

that, when one looks at the way in

which these pounds have been used in

4:57:394:57:43

other parts of the country, and

waterways, then there is a potential

4:57:434:57:51

issue here. I've insured that it is

discussed, as we know and the other

4:57:514:58:02

place, there is even more interest

in promoting the cause of disabled

4:58:024:58:09

people than there is in this house,

I think. And it may be that when

4:58:094:58:14

this bill gets to the other place,

that they will wish to pursue the

4:58:144:58:19

content of amendment 14 if it is

accepted today. So, Mr Deputy

4:58:194:58:28

Speaker, that takes on to the

amendments 15 and 16. And these are

4:58:284:58:39

amendments, not designed to leave

out clauses five and seven, and I

4:58:394:58:45

put them in order to enable us to

have a debate on the content of

4:58:454:58:53

those clauses should it be thought

desirable. But, having regard to the

4:58:534:59:00

time, it seems to me that probably

the best thing to do would be to not

4:59:004:59:07

speak to those amendments, but to

get on and go on to one or two... My

4:59:074:59:13

honourable friend says that that is

a shame, but... Anyway! One each on

4:59:134:59:21

that one!

He wanted to make a

very...

Because the river depending

4:59:214:59:35

on which part of my constituents you

are, flows into this. So what causes

4:59:354:59:41

a wider issue.

I think it's very

important that my honourable friend

4:59:414:59:57

has been able to put an interest in

this subject matter. In the way that

4:59:575:00:01

he has. We then get onto the

amendment number, let's turn the

5:00:015:00:10

right page over, amendment number

17, page eight clause nine, leave

5:00:105:00:19

subsection three. One can see that,

line 35, this is about when, this

5:00:195:00:37

the deal with clause nine, and what

it would do is add or remove the

5:00:375:00:44

provision that says whenever it

vehicles left, unless it is not

5:00:445:00:55

passable Centura, race and remove

the vessel. While it's quite clear,

5:00:555:01:08

and the other parts of the clause

that if a vehicle, the vessel is

5:01:085:01:13

abandoned in the waterway and is

absolutely interfering with the

5:01:135:01:18

navigation. Then obviously it needs

to be removed very quickly. But when

5:01:185:01:22

one takes into account, Mr Deputy

Speaker, the very wide definition

5:01:225:01:27

that there is of waterway, which

have already spoken, it seems to me

5:01:275:01:34

the inclusion of subsection three is

potentially oppressive. Because, it

5:01:345:01:43

means that the commission is going

to, for example, enter a Marina and

5:01:435:01:51

take action and remove the vessel at

a considerable cost. No more than 28

5:01:515:02:04

days of notice. So that amendment is

to leave out that power from the

5:02:045:02:10

bill. And clause... Can I just come

on out to close 11, which is to deal

5:02:105:02:27

with the requirements of

registration and clause page 12,

5:02:275:02:37

clause 11. It includes a very

important amendment, which is

5:02:375:02:47

promoted by the cruising club and

others, and this relates to the

5:02:475:02:52

level of charges that can be...

Increased in any one year. And what

5:02:525:03:04

it does is, it introduces a

requirement that such charges do not

5:03:045:03:09

increase above inflation. And the

reason for that is because many of

5:03:095:03:16

the people who are boaters and,

maybe some of them are represented

5:03:165:03:24

by my honourable friends here this

evening, many of those people are

5:03:245:03:29

not very well-off and financial

terms, and they need to be owed to

5:03:295:03:35

plan their budgets and cares and

what the costs are going to be of

5:03:355:03:41

having a vessel on the waterway,

they need to have a surgeon to for

5:03:415:03:48

example that the charges are going

to be level and cannot increase by

5:03:485:03:52

more than the rate of CPI index

every year. Mr Deputy Speaker,

5:03:525:04:00

counsel tenses, counsel

5:04:005:04:06

every year. Mr Deputy Speaker,

counsel tenses, counsel, they have

5:04:065:04:07

made some exceptions to that

recently, the general proposition is

5:04:075:04:12

that they can not be increased by

more than CPI. And then, I am going

5:04:125:04:21

to rush to the last amendment.

Because...

OnNet

5:04:215:04:32

that the bill doesn't state

initially what the themes are, would

5:04:355:04:41

you not preferred the bills stayed

with that should be?

As wise as I

5:04:415:04:51

would like to agree, I think the

level of fees, this got to be some

5:04:515:04:59

discretion. The level of the fees

needs to relate to the duties of the

5:04:595:05:04

game to be carried out. And funded

by the seas. -- fees. The money for

5:05:045:05:16

the fees has to be spent

particularly on navigation.

You do

5:05:165:05:26

not need to explain were very

discussed, and I know you're not

5:05:265:05:29

attempting to do the.

This is

amendment number 26, clause 15,

5:05:295:05:42

line... The protocol of removing

vessels, the commissioners must in

5:05:425:05:50

consultation with the navigation

adviser committee, publish and

5:05:505:05:54

maintain a protocol by virtue. In my

amendment is, instead of in

5:05:545:06:03

consultation with, in conjunction

with. Because it seems that the

5:06:035:06:09

advisory committee should be working

jointly with the commissioners,

5:06:095:06:14

rather than adjusting consultation

with the commissioners of this

5:06:145:06:18

important matter. So that, that that

amendment. And when we look at the

5:06:185:06:35

subparagraph on subsection four of

clause 14. That again is an

5:06:355:06:41

amendment to try and reduce the

powers conferred upon the

5:06:415:06:45

commissioners under way that they

have been exercise. As he said at

5:06:455:06:53

the beginning, this is a much and

improved bill compared to what it

5:06:535:07:00

was. It obviously would not be

possible to test the will of the

5:07:005:07:06

house on each one. And I'm glad that

you agree with me, Mr Deputy Speaker

5:07:065:07:16

on a proposition. But I know the

motives of the bill are worrying,

5:07:165:07:25

because you're discussing these

things today, whether night means

5:07:255:07:28

they'll be discussed further when

the bill gets to the other place.

5:07:285:07:35

And I my understanding, when the

bill goes into the other place,

5:07:355:07:38

there are many people will put in

petitions and I ensure that the

5:07:385:07:45

other place will build upon the

discussions that we are having on

5:07:455:07:53

this bill. So that eventually the

bill will be even better than it is

5:07:535:07:56

now. I beg to move clause one.

5:07:565:08:10

Thank you very much, Mr Deputy

Speaker. I am proud to respond, I

5:08:125:08:18

may not be the most conventional

way, the detailed reservation of the

5:08:185:08:24

honourable member for chair, it does

make sense, and we wish to support

5:08:245:08:32

the bill is it stands. While it is

narrow in scope, it has

5:08:325:08:38

satisfactory, and is taking place in

committee and stations at an end.

5:08:385:08:46

The mid-level of defence try to

retain

5:08:465:08:53

pass between 1663 and 1874, so we

appreciate that the legislative

5:08:585:09:05

framework want to pay the

commissioners is in need of an

5:09:055:09:07

update. Because all of the all of

the mainland is below sea level, the

5:09:075:09:17

waterways could pose a significant

risk to the estimated hundred

5:09:175:09:21

thousand people living and working

in the area. In the simplest terms,

5:09:215:09:25

this will allow the commissioners to

bring in revenue from boat owners,

5:09:255:09:31

which will be used to improve the

waterways. The agency denial which

5:09:315:09:35

are trust, all similar powers in

5:09:355:09:39

an line with his neighbours, it can

make a real difference and the

5:09:435:09:51

waterways, though I appreciate the

desire from local boat users from

5:09:515:09:56

facilities as he heard, this will

allow the commissioners to raise

5:09:565:09:59

revenue to deliver this. The chief

executive commissioners, has said

5:09:595:10:05

around 1500 vessels and use their

looks every year, and are on a

5:10:055:10:10

hundred bucks are hiding unlicensed

on the waterway. He believes that is

5:10:105:10:14

the largest reservoir in the

country. I cannot something

5:10:145:10:22

organisation but owners said they

should be done I cannot think bill

5:10:225:10:29

could be a money gathering excess of

the commissions. However there are

5:10:295:10:32

positions and the bill, as outlined

already which prevent the

5:10:325:10:40

commissioners from raising more

navigation revenue then they spend

5:10:405:10:43

on navigation. This is not simply a

matter of money gathering, and that

5:10:435:10:50

proper safeguards are in place. They

also noted that the waterways is

5:10:505:11:01

associated, the residential boat

owners Association, the Association

5:11:015:11:04

of waterway cruising clubs, would

support the bill, I understand they

5:11:045:11:10

remain in support. So the detailed

reservations, at some of the

5:11:105:11:16

interventions from others.

5:11:165:11:22

I wondered whether or not she had

any sympathy for any of the

5:11:225:11:26

amendments put forward by my

honourable friend and in particular

5:11:265:11:29

the one about the no charge being

payable for the use of the waterway

5:11:295:11:32

by a vessel being used by a person

whose registered disabled. Is that

5:11:325:11:36

not something that the Labour Party

would welcome?

And grateful for that

5:11:365:11:42

intervention. Andersen he makes a

valid point and we will want to

5:11:425:11:45

increase the accessibility so that

everyone can enjoy the waterways. It

5:11:455:11:49

is certainly something we would

consider further in later

5:11:495:11:51

discussions on the Bill but not

something that we will be seeing go

5:11:515:11:54

to a vote later today. Taking all

this into account, Mr Speaker, Mr

5:11:545:12:00

Deputy Speaker, we are satisfied

this bill is sensible in updating

5:12:005:12:04

the legal framework that sets out

the role of the middle level

5:12:045:12:07

commissioners bringing them into

line with what now standard practice

5:12:075:12:11

across comparable waterways. Despite

its unusual journey through

5:12:115:12:14

Westminster we have no problems in

supporting this bill this afternoon.

5:12:145:12:19

Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. It's a

pleasure to get another opportunity

5:12:195:12:23

to speak in relation to this bill.

Given its already been through a

5:12:235:12:26

second readings I will focus my

remarks on the amendments we have

5:12:265:12:30

today and the changes made in

committee. As it's been referred to

5:12:305:12:35

by the honourable member for Halifax

there's been a number of positive

5:12:355:12:37

changes that were made in this bill

to respond to the petitioners

5:12:375:12:40

concern and I was grateful to hear

in the opening remarks from the

5:12:405:12:45

honourable member how he referred to

the fact that there have been

5:12:455:12:47

changes made in people had been

listening to what was said. But I do

5:12:475:12:52

think it's appropriate to briefly go

through and say why I don't think

5:12:525:12:56

it's appropriate for the amendment

and the New Clause is proposed to be

5:12:565:13:01

accepted. Briefly in terms of New

Clause one it sets a minimum

5:13:015:13:03

navigation that's lower than the one

under current legislation. New

5:13:035:13:13

Clause at number two, three, four

and five referred to specific

5:13:135:13:16

facilities that could be provided.

The thing is it was suggested in one

5:13:165:13:20

of the interventions made it does

not seem logical to pursue on the

5:13:205:13:23

face of statute where we have things

like a coin-operated water shower.

5:13:235:13:27

It also means we have dangers of

this legislation becoming completely

5:13:275:13:32

outdated if it fits on the front of

a primary piece of legislation. It

5:13:325:13:36

does also make sense for the uses by

the mechanisms proposed in the Bill

5:13:365:13:41

to be able to discuss what are the

appropriate facilities? And also for

5:13:415:13:45

example by including some of these

items it means that if they don't

5:13:455:13:49

get planning permission for example

it could render particular powers

5:13:495:13:52

any effective and therefore I would

urge the House to reject all the

5:13:525:13:56

Clause is proposed. Very briefly I

will give way.

I certainly take the

5:13:565:14:03

point he makes on the other specific

points, but New Clause five does not

5:14:035:14:08

actually have anything specific, it

just maintains that something should

5:14:085:14:13

be in good repair and working order

so I wondered if that New Clause was

5:14:135:14:17

not accepted, what with the

appropriate remedy be for the

5:14:175:14:22

boaters to make sure they were not

paying for something they weren't

5:14:225:14:24

able to actually use?

I think the

honourable member for his

5:14:245:14:28

intervention. I think what we are

clear about is the way New Clause

5:14:285:14:32

four was amended means that income

can only been used for navigation

5:14:325:14:37

purposes and income navigation

purposes, and ultimately there

5:14:375:14:40

becomes a chicken and egg situation.

If the commissioners are going to

5:14:405:14:44

provide the type of facilities

people want to see on the middle

5:14:445:14:47

level, in consultation with

navigation users, there will need to

5:14:475:14:50

be money raised to provide those

facilities. The alternative is to

5:14:505:14:55

ask those paying for drainage to

provide the secured -- the abilities

5:14:555:14:59

to be provided initially which is

neither a fair or applicable way of

5:14:595:15:03

looking to get the resources into

actually pay for the facilities to

5:15:035:15:07

be provided. This cannot be a money

raising exercise. It's absolutely

5:15:075:15:10

clear what the purpose of any money

raised by navigation are for. People

5:15:105:15:16

are already paying council tax in

terms of drainage and via a.

On the

5:15:165:15:23

question of navigation I wonder if

you could help me understand whether

5:15:235:15:29

this historical public right of

navigation by extending those powers

5:15:295:15:33

into privately owned waters and

private Marines, would that give the

5:15:335:15:36

middle level commissioners complete

control to charge boats with

5:15:365:15:43

licensed these?

I thank the

honourable member for Peterborough

5:15:435:15:47

for her intervention and an

amendment was made to the billing

5:15:475:15:50

committee to make clear that where

someone owns the waterways and

5:15:505:15:53

branded properties only there is

that would not extending the powers

5:15:535:15:57

to there. In terms of the marinas

themselves it's worth noting they

5:15:575:16:01

permitted that promoted the Bill the

marinas covered have wish to be

5:16:015:16:05

included within this. In case of the

marinas there is no definition

5:16:055:16:09

between the water. You're not

talking a lock or key, we are

5:16:095:16:13

talking there's no waterway so there

has been a wish to manage it as a

5:16:135:16:16

whole system. For example

registration applies across a lot to

5:16:165:16:20

me don't have different safety

standards are different insurance

5:16:205:16:23

requirements which should be a

benefit to her constituents. Coming

5:16:235:16:27

on to burst of the amendments,

amendment number one -- first of the

5:16:275:16:32

imminent. He talked about extending

the time period for bringing this

5:16:325:16:35

bill into effect. It's worth noting

that in terms of many of the

5:16:355:16:39

provisions around construction and

use -- he's their the month

5:16:395:16:44

transition period has been

undertaken but he does not make

5:16:445:16:46

sense to lay off all the provisions

of this bill for that link the

5:16:465:16:50

period. For example promoters of new

duty to have regard to the interest

5:16:505:16:53

of both dwellers bass boat dwellers,

that would not make sense to delay.

5:16:535:16:57

In relation to amendment number two,

I think it is quite clear, where did

5:16:575:17:05

the any other event that come from?

It is similar to the requirements

5:17:055:17:09

under the environment agency's

powers to control discharges into

5:17:095:17:12

water for work purposes under

section 163 of the water resources

5:17:125:17:17

act, 1991. If the well-established

definition I hope that will reassure

5:17:175:17:20

him. In terms of amendment number

three, he said it was a probing

5:17:205:17:26

amendment. The issue is adding

electric vehicles onto the end of a

5:17:265:17:29

provision that also includes power

vehicles under sail. I think does

5:17:295:17:34

not take account where technology

could go as he alluded to in the

5:17:345:17:37

fact that electric motors are

becoming much more powerful,

5:17:375:17:40

certainly far more powerful than a

sealed vessel ended up not make

5:17:405:17:43

sense for that to be excluded

although as I say I noted he said it

5:17:435:17:48

was a probing amendment. Amendment

number four, it would actually have

5:17:485:17:54

issues that the promoters would find

unacceptable as it potentially them

5:17:545:18:01

-- removes the need for a static

vessel to meet construction and

5:18:015:18:04

safety standards or insurance

requirements. I think given the

5:18:045:18:08

issues we have been debating over

the past year view left with a

5:18:085:18:11

indispensable that houseboats don't

have those. Moving on to amendment

5:18:115:18:16

number five. This extends the

commissioner's powers in an odd way

5:18:165:18:21

and could see them having to be

required to dig out virtually every

5:18:215:18:27

watercourse in the area, which is

not actually unnavigable course, so

5:18:275:18:30

again that's not an amendment would

suggest. The idea of having a

5:18:305:18:36

waterway sonnet does not really

reflect the fact that the idea that

5:18:365:18:40

taking care of by the change made

around someone's own boat in their

5:18:405:18:44

own property and only they use that.

I would be very different parking it

5:18:445:18:47

in a marina for example, the

equivalent of parking it in a public

5:18:475:18:50

car park. Coming onto some of the

other amendments. Number six, I made

5:18:505:18:59

the point in my intervention about

how this could require that this

5:18:595:19:05

would potentially allow challenges,

the honourable member pointed out

5:19:055:19:09

around who had been appointed, if

someone felt that they did not

5:19:095:19:13

represent them. We did not yield...

I don't feel that an appropriate or

5:19:135:19:16

helpful addition to the Bill and

that would potentially make it easy

5:19:165:19:21

to challenge the advisory committee

and frustrate its establishment.

5:19:215:19:26

Coming onto his further amendments,

nine, 16 and 22. One of the reasons

5:19:265:19:36

for not wishing to accept these

amendments is that the point of

5:19:365:19:41

making this a practical power is to

have a simple registration claim

5:19:415:19:46

that can be enforced. Getting into

an argument about whether a boat is

5:19:465:19:49

being used or not seems neither

sensible nor appropriate,

5:19:495:19:53

particularly if we are talking about

looking to have basic construction

5:19:535:19:57

and safety standards and insurance

standards. In exactly the same way

5:19:575:20:01

as if you park a car on a public

road it does not matter if you are

5:20:015:20:04

driving or not it needs to be

roadworthy and have a vehicle tax.

5:20:045:20:10

Therefore this is a president that's

similar in other areas of

5:20:105:20:14

legislation, so again I would

suggest that these amendments are

5:20:145:20:17

both unwelcome and unnecessary. In

terms of amendments ten and 11, the

5:20:175:20:25

Bill makes it very clear, the

provision and how the cost from

5:20:255:20:33

navigation would be used to fund

benefits for navigation. Therefore

5:20:335:20:37

again I don't believe either of

these are necessary. As for

5:20:375:20:41

amendments 12 and 13 then we do

not... It does not seem

5:20:415:20:48

unreasonable. For example allowing

the commissioners to set conditions

5:20:485:20:52

on use facilities such as clean

showers afterwards and not abusing

5:20:525:20:56

waste facilities, does not seem an

unreasonable thing for them to wish

5:20:565:21:00

to do and could completely

undermined the purposes of providing

5:21:005:21:03

those facilities if they are not

able to provide a basic regulation

5:21:035:21:07

system for how they are used, which

have been common in many, many other

5:21:075:21:13

environments. Amendment number 14, I

appreciate the honourable member's

5:21:135:21:17

process for ensuring disabled people

have a strong voice in this chamber

5:21:175:21:21

and I know along with the Member for

Shipley, he's a passionate advocate

5:21:215:21:25

around you quality had his pursuit

of the women and equality committee.

5:21:255:21:28

The one way I would make, it's quite

flawed because it refers to -- the

5:21:285:21:34

1.I would make, it refers to a

registered disabled when the

5:21:345:21:37

registered disabled person with a

polity by the disability act so as

5:21:375:21:43

the House would not be sensible to

bring that in. I would also urge the

5:21:435:21:48

House to reject... Very briefly.

I'm

very grateful. I appreciate his

5:21:485:21:54

ability to find a technical reason

why he should not accept the

5:21:545:21:58

amendment, but does he accept the

principle behind the amendment?

We

5:21:585:22:04

are in report stage and the jobs

look at the technical detail of the

5:22:045:22:10

Bill. Do I support the principle? I

think it's about my own counsel for

5:22:105:22:15

example or does not offer a parking

concession and fees to those who

5:22:155:22:20

hold a blue badge on the inability

to use reserved space is very close

5:22:205:22:25

so that principle is established in

many areas, so again I don't think

5:22:255:22:28

the principle of this is one to take

for. This is not about for example

5:22:285:22:33

someone needing an extra facility

because they are disabled. This is

5:22:335:22:37

about a boat on the navigation and

wherever they pay the same charge as

5:22:375:22:41

everyone else, that treated exactly

the same. -- effectively treated

5:22:415:22:46

exactly the same. It does not seem

to make any sense to remove the

5:22:465:22:50

ability to promote reciprocal

arrangements and could end up

5:22:505:22:53

costing boat owners more if they

have to have separate licenses and

5:22:535:22:59

separate registration and different

standards, so again I would urge the

5:22:595:23:02

House to reject amendments 15 and

16. Coming onto amendment 17, 18, 19

5:23:025:23:08

and 20, again there will be a

protocol put in place so I don't

5:23:085:23:11

accept the suggestion that the

existing powers would be oppressive.

5:23:115:23:16

Removal of the health boat would

only be done in the last result in

5:23:165:23:20

where it's proportionate to do so.

-- of a houseboat. Coming to a

5:23:205:23:24

conclusion, amendment number 23

seems to make little sense to only

5:23:245:23:28

apply to this particular cap to the

application fee and not the

5:23:285:23:33

registration fee, it could produce

reverse a long one and again suggest

5:23:335:23:38

it ejected. The same goes, he talked

about amendment number 26. My own

5:23:385:23:43

view is that this would confuse the

Bill as if things are being done in

5:23:435:23:51

conjunction with rather than

consultation. If someone wishes to

5:23:515:23:55

take legal action would've a ticket

against? They could take it against

5:23:555:23:59

members of the navigator a committee

-- and it could act as a deterrent

5:23:595:24:05

for anyone wanting to be involved.

Madam Deputy Speaker, there are many

5:24:055:24:10

good reasons for this bill to pass.

It's been examined in great depth in

5:24:105:24:15

opposed a bill committee and on the

floor of this House. I thank the

5:24:155:24:19

honourable member for Christchurch

where his great interest in the

5:24:195:24:21

scrutiny he put the scrutiny he put

this bill do but I would urge the

5:24:215:24:24

House and members here to reject all

the new clauses and all the

5:24:245:24:27

amendment is necessary to do so.

Thank you.

David Rydings.

Thank you,

5:24:275:24:33

Madam Deputy Speaker. I'm pleased to

make the very short speech in

5:24:335:24:36

support of the Bill on amended. I do

want to congratulate the honourable

5:24:365:24:42

member for Torbay and those who sat

in on the committee stage. They seem

5:24:425:24:47

to have done a great deal of clever

and thoughtful work. I know very

5:24:475:24:56

little about the middle level bill,

but I do know a lot about the canal

5:24:565:25:02

where we had similar issues about

leading to update and the

5:25:025:25:06

arrangements of who was able to more

the boat and who was able to

5:25:065:25:11

therefore be charged for facilities.

That was done without some

5:25:115:25:15

difficulty, because there was

opposition, but eventually people

5:25:155:25:19

have seen the sense and that does

include things like shutting the

5:25:195:25:22

canal on certain days when there is

very limited need for use of that

5:25:225:25:28

canal, to allow people to dare I

say, get easier passage over the

5:25:285:25:33

canal because we have lots of

bridges, and I think it is right and

5:25:335:25:38

proper that these particular

arrangements should be visited from

5:25:385:25:42

time to time to make sure that we

had a fit for purpose canal system

5:25:425:25:47

and the waterway system in general

so I would like to add my own

5:25:475:25:51

congratulations for the work you

have done and to make sure that this

5:25:515:25:54

passes through without amendment.

5:25:545:25:59

I had the pleasure of taking

evidence on this legislation, I and

5:25:595:26:09

colleagues and two from the

opposition have considered the

5:26:095:26:12

objections in great detail, and this

is made in response. I think the

5:26:125:26:17

honourable friend for their conduct

as well. Before the House strikes a

5:26:175:26:25

balance between a clear need, and

the legitimate concerns for those,

5:26:255:26:33

recommended the new middle level

bill to the house. I will give way.

5:26:335:26:38

Thank you very much for giving way.

Could they assure me that families

5:26:385:26:45

wouldn't suffer consequence and also

could you confirm that the licensed

5:26:455:26:52

the, the revenue acquired from

licence fee would be spent on their

5:26:525:26:59

facilities?

The interest taken in

this particular matter. I'll be

5:26:595:27:08

going in greater detail and review,

if the interest of how strollers are

5:27:085:27:12

not take into account. The other

matter was to deal with licence

5:27:125:27:18

fees. Also within the bill is that

effectively, the money that is

5:27:185:27:23

raised on this should be spent on

navigation. And as I understand it,

5:27:235:27:28

it's likely that actually that isn't

going to be enough to cover the

5:27:285:27:32

whole costs. I said it strikes the

right balance, and it is a case that

5:27:325:27:42

we located at a level, lay down and

mid-19th century. And do not reflect

5:27:425:27:49

the reality of the modern world.

This will bring it into line with

5:27:495:27:55

neighbouring systems, prevent the

diversion away from proper proper

5:27:555:28:03

prevention methods, and shall be

standard on all British waterways.

5:28:035:28:07

Some will reject to this bills,

because an ancient right offering

5:28:075:28:13

navigation, under close scrutiny my

constituents and I do believe

5:28:135:28:19

that,... When the previous middle

level was drafted, they were used by

5:28:195:28:25

commercial and industrial shipping.

The zones anomaly that respect. It

5:28:255:28:33

was sensible to concentrate the

navigations on commercial shipping,

5:28:335:28:38

of the today the situation entirely,

and see very little very commercial

5:28:385:28:45

traffic. It is lay right therefore

that we get... Than many of the

5:28:455:28:56

keeping the waterways now that

5:28:565:28:57

be only consideration, it also

raises concerns about the supposed

5:29:015:29:07

right to free navigation. Some can

be made not to levy, and naturally

5:29:075:29:14

when public funds may be laid out to

obtain an artificial navigation, it

5:29:145:29:20

is just those of benefit that should

pay. And remember the middle levels

5:29:205:29:25

are only navigable waterways. The

commissions are responsible for both

5:29:255:29:36

of these features, forgot their

ability to levy funds from those

5:29:365:29:40

using the waterways, we have no

choice but to maintain the right

5:29:405:29:43

diverting money for defenses. As

always basic fairness, they should

5:29:435:29:48

change. The committee heard another

important objection which I like to

5:29:485:29:56

address here. Those who paid the fee

will receive in exchange? This is a

5:29:565:30:01

perfectly reasonable concern, I like

to briefly explain how the bill has

5:30:015:30:04

entrusted. Get a commitment from the

commissioners they were not under

5:30:045:30:08

any circumstances, in fact I am told

that they will raise less than that,

5:30:085:30:16

does another they will only

undermine their own fund-raising

5:30:165:30:21

efforts and they said it to a level

that discourages the use of levels.

5:30:215:30:27

There were a man at a competitive

level and live the rest of the

5:30:275:30:30

network, and effective market. Those

using the navigations while

5:30:305:30:38

maintaining the navigations

themselves, the funds earned. A

5:30:385:30:46

president there are

5:30:465:30:47

at present, there only to public

facilities in the entire system. All

5:30:525:30:57

of these need to be paid for it does

not seem right that local taxpayers

5:30:575:31:03

are asked to fund these improvements

and the actual beneficiaries can

5:31:035:31:08

injure them free of charge. Another

objection heard by the committee

5:31:085:31:11

that the new rules in question are

the commissions power to move

5:31:115:31:18

vessels, without authority. Some

conditioners were worried that they

5:31:185:31:24

were too short a period. He even

alleged that the violated the human

5:31:245:31:31

rights of those that lived on the

level. This began a specific

5:31:315:31:44

exemption was written to have a

purpose. Beyond that, the bill

5:31:445:31:48

contains several additional methods.

It provides a clear definition of

5:31:485:31:55

the lawful authority to which

vessels can be removed and specifies

5:31:555:31:59

that any notices will be served to

the vessels in question. Plus 15

5:31:595:32:03

says protocol specifies that removal

of us will be a last result.

5:32:035:32:09

Moreover, of course their team, L

5:32:095:32:14

the middle level navigation will see

the best and most explicit

5:32:195:32:23

protection for owners and users of

dwellers, a part of this countries

5:32:235:32:26

waterways. I concluded that these

protections are more than etiquette

5:32:265:32:34

to -- adequate of moving abundant or

more vessels blocking the use of

5:32:345:32:46

this obstructing navigation of the

narrow waterways. Finally, I'd like

5:32:465:32:50

to mention bylaws and regulations.

Requiring vessels to be insured to

5:32:505:32:58

proper safety standards, while

providing a period of adjustment to

5:32:585:33:01

those using that to make sure

they're up to code. Some not only

5:33:015:33:09

for others, but before it became a

dumping ground for unsafe vessels

5:33:095:33:13

which are no longer legal under par

for the network. Furthermore, as

5:33:135:33:18

they will be adopting standards are

a soon to neighbouring areas,

5:33:185:33:23

minimal disruption for a winter in

these navigation as part of a

5:33:235:33:28

broader network, in short, this bill

will modernise by resuming any

5:33:285:33:33

enhancing its historical character,

and future generations.

This bill

5:33:335:33:45

affects my constituency along with

many others. About the modern

5:33:455:33:51

drainage bells brought in in the

18th century they would not have

5:33:515:33:54

homes and we would have nearly

200,000 prime land, so is vital to

5:33:545:34:00

my constituency, obviously, it's

important to boat owners as well.

5:34:005:34:08

Elected Frank my honourable friend,

I agree exactly with what he just

5:34:085:34:12

said. The nature of this bill, the

wikis within, I think what is real

5:34:125:34:25

important as we have a regime, that

is simple and transparent and not

5:34:255:34:31

too bureaucratic. And a great

respect of our, so the technical

5:34:315:34:37

amendments added to allow with the

sentence. But the high is not

5:34:375:34:43

telling what would complicate or

make it more bureaucratic. And what

5:34:435:34:48

we want is a simple bill with a

charging system that really fits the

5:34:485:34:54

purpose and we want to build up a

position of trust between the

5:34:545:34:57

commissioners they'll be playing

5:34:575:34:58

paying these navigation keys. It so

important my constituency.

Thank you

5:35:025:35:13

very much Madam Deputy Speaker, I

can be relatively brief. The

5:35:135:35:21

government supports this bill which

is promoted by middle level

5:35:215:35:24

commissioners. A stacked tree

constituted under the middle

5:35:245:35:29

the previous amendments that this

sought to put forward here, by

5:35:335:35:39

believe in all the points that have

been raised in doubt with a

5:35:395:35:45

particular by our honourable member,

who has a creep grasp of the details

5:35:455:35:49

of the bill.

5:35:495:35:50

-- deep grasp of the details of the

bill. These acts are considerably

5:35:545:35:58

out of date and do not align with

modern requirements or the statutory

5:35:585:36:03

framework applicable to other

navigation authorities. In

5:36:035:36:07

particular, at the current legal

framework, which covers the

5:36:075:36:10

commissioners does not include

adequate provision for the vessels

5:36:105:36:15

using the waterways of the levying

of charges and waterways for

5:36:155:36:19

centuries. As result, they do not

receive any income for navigation

5:36:195:36:24

waterways and this is meant that

money raised through drainage,

5:36:245:36:29

rather then flood defence purposes,

which is contradictory to policy. It

5:36:295:36:37

enabled them to find their waterways

-- fund their waterways, authorities

5:36:375:36:47

for example have the canal and

rivers, just and the authority. I

5:36:475:36:53

read the report this and hope that

it will pass an amended.

Madam

5:36:535:37:02

Deputy Speaker, we had a good

thoughtful debate, and I'm grateful

5:37:025:37:06

to everybody who has participated in

it. I like to think of friend who is

5:37:065:37:18

conceded to some of my minutes were

sensible and perhaps the new

5:37:185:37:22

clauses, is not accepted by

promoters tonight that they will be

5:37:225:37:30

taken forward and the other place as

it inevitably will be. This is a

5:37:305:37:43

considerable concern to the

petitioners them very grateful that

5:37:435:37:47

my I will friend having got to his

feet, it's quite than usual in these

5:37:475:37:54

debates for the person who is

actually gone to the detail, coming

5:37:545:37:59

care to explain his reasoning

ability did I like to thank my

5:37:595:38:05

honourable friend and other members

of the committee for the work that

5:38:055:38:07

they did in the courteous way in

which they dealt with the concerns

5:38:075:38:11

which are being confessed. Instead

of hiding under a Bush, they didn't

5:38:115:38:23

show

5:38:235:38:24

I'm also grateful to the member of

how facts showing some sympathy for

5:38:275:38:34

my amendment, even though she cannot

bring herself to support them yet.

5:38:345:38:40

There are a number of amendments out

there today can house because I

5:38:405:38:50

think people will be much better for

them to be dealt with and at the

5:38:505:38:57

other place, the head Pat has

developed the buses

5:38:575:39:01

can I say that I do think, that

amendment 14 is one in which bears

5:39:065:39:16

further consideration. Another 14

for the benefit of those who are

5:39:165:39:20

living in the debate, amendment 14

clause 11, at the end, and

5:39:205:39:29

respectively so our way to a driver

who is identified as disabled. In

5:39:295:39:37

response to that by my other friend,

thankful on all through my work. He

5:39:375:39:55

answers the point that he made, and

makes it much easier for someone up

5:39:555:40:01

for debate if they know that there

are parts of been answered. In

5:40:015:40:08

relation to disabled people, he sees

on the fact that registered disabled

5:40:085:40:14

is no longer with the R a D, a

category service and this amendment

5:40:145:40:21

would be for people registered as

disabled with a mid-level

5:40:215:40:28

commissioner. So in order to have

these boats, come its registration

5:40:285:40:35

system and that's that system will

include

5:40:355:40:46

I don't think the objection is a

valued one. If I put the amendment

5:40:465:40:51

with on the D perhaps it might have

been. I hope that we'd be able to

5:40:515:41:00

support this on the basis that it

is... There are a lot of people who

5:41:005:41:06

are disabled who got considerable

difficulties and I think it will be

5:41:065:41:11

a reasonable cross subsidy to be

paid by all other voters if they

5:41:115:41:18

were prepared to cross subsidize

those who register with the

5:41:185:41:23

commissioners as being disabled. The

only other issue I raise in

5:41:235:41:26

conclusion is that I note from

what's been said that there is a

5:41:265:41:33

move here to ensure that the vessels

which are substandard are

5:41:335:41:36

effectively going to be removed. I

hope that is not going to be done in

5:41:365:41:41

a way that's harassing, because as

the chairman of the all party

5:41:415:41:43

Parliamentary group on mobile phones

or park homes, I think there's a lot

5:41:435:41:50

of concern that largely elderly

people living in Park homes find

5:41:505:41:54

themselves harassed just because

their park home has not been updated

5:41:545:41:58

for 20 years or so, and I think

there a danger that in the drive for

5:41:585:42:04

what I might describe as

gentrification in the waterways,

5:42:045:42:09

that we may be working against the

interests of the people who have

5:42:095:42:13

been resident on those waterways for

many, many years and whose vessels

5:42:135:42:20

are not up to modern standards, but

are for their purposes perfectly

5:42:205:42:23

good vessels. I hope that the

commissioners and the promoters

5:42:235:42:29

won't abuse that power which we are

giving them. Madam Deputy Speaker, I

5:42:295:42:35

would seek to withdraw New Clause

one and ask the House to express its

5:42:355:42:41

opinion on amendment 14. In other

words, whether or not the House

5:42:415:42:46

would like to give disabled people

who are using these inland waterways

5:42:465:42:55

in vessels which are registered with

the commissioners, give them the

5:42:555:43:00

right to be able to do so without

having to pay charges. So, I would

5:43:005:43:04

like to move amendment 14.

Is it

your pleasure that New Clause one be

5:43:045:43:10

withdrawn? New Clause one with John.

We therefore come to amendment

5:43:105:43:20

number 14. Sir Christopher to move

formally.

They to move.

The question

5:43:205:43:28

that amended 14 boot. So many of

that opinion say iMac. Of the

5:43:285:43:34

contrary no?

5:43:345:43:36

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons, including an Urgent Question on the border of Northern Ireland with the Republic after Brexit, an Urgent Question on the failure of the government of Myanmar to provide visas for parliamentary committee, a Ten Minute Rule bill, a motion on the independent complaints and grievance procedure for Parliament and opposed private business on the Middle Level Bill.


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