BBC Parliament's programme looking back at the week in Westminster presented by Mandy Baker.
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Hello and welcome to
The Week In Parliament.
Coming up, Carillion's senior
executives seem lost for words.
And you are still all right? All of
The Brexit debate gets a bit shouty.
Stand up to the man to the EU and
get on with living that you.
And 100 years after the first women
get the vote, female MPs
are still suffering abuse.
What this is about is about
misogynists seeking to silence women
who dare to speak out.
But first, the chairman
of the collapsed construction firm
Carillion has told MPs how upset
he is at the firm's demise.
The company which provided
services for schools,
hospitals, and prisons went
into liquidation last month.
An array of senior executives
gave a joint committee
of MPs their side of the story.
But the chairs of those
committees were not impressed,
saying afterwards that the directors
were "delusional characters"
who "maintained that everything
was hunky dory" until it all went
suddenly and unforeseeably wrong.
Words cannot describe the depth of
my despair. I am devastated. By the
impact that the collapse has had and
as I said, on the pensioners, on
customers, on suppliers, on staff.
We have had one session where
everyone is pointing figures, your
main evidence so far is that you had
these advisers, and ineffective
pointed her finger at them, but what
is your, out to this question is
what is your responsibility for the
Full and complete. No
question in my mind about that. Full
responsibility, no question, and if
I look back, there are things I
would do differently.
I am asking
whether you think it is justified at
a time when the share price of the
company is falling quite
substantially, whether it is right
to increase the renumeration of the
It was right at
the time because he wanted to retain
the chief executive in that
business, and period when the
separate -- it was volatile.
think that decision was right?
have thought a lot about many of the
decisions that we would have made,
and I think that decision was
All of you sitting here,
with multi-million pounds of payment
from the company over a period of
years, and you say how sad and
disappointed you are, but what
actions do you take to show that?
Because it is just words, is it not?
It is just worth, I am saddened by I
am disappointed, which I could do
things differently, but the money is
in the bank but it does not for the
people who are retired or coming for
All for if you have done
rather well from the company, which
you then in different ways helped to
crash. Does that not movie you at
all? I mean, why should we believe
you, that you feel so sad about all
of this? It does not extend to your
I am genuinely, shocked
and saddened by the events. I
genuinely am. And I am very happy to
engage with the company and
You do not have
to wait for someone to have an
engagement with you, it is part of
your DNA. Is it not?
It is, but I do
need to understand what the position
is, I do not know what the position
It is clear is it not? As
she said pages are taking cuts
people are not going to get paid for
contrast, other people have lost
their jobs, you are still all right.
I love you. Argue? -- are you not?
lost for words there.
Well, the next day it was
the turn of the Government.
The Liaison Committee
which is made up of the chairs
of all the other committees summoned
the Cabinet Office minister.
But he was being very
cautious in his answers.
This exchange was typical.
One of the lessons from the
financial crisis, was to have more
tougher rules about being able to
pull back bonuses, and when things
go wrong at a business, do you think
we should look again at the
claw-back arrangements for bonuses
so that we can get some of that
Again sitting here
today, I am open-minded on that, but
there have been serious allegations
of misconduct by the Board and
former board members of them. Those
are being independently did --
investigated by the receiver and it
would be wrong before a Minister to
make any comment that could be
prejudicial of the findings on that.
I know this isn't the first time
I've said this and it won't be
the last, but it's been a big
week for Brexit.
Theresa May chaired two key meetings
with senior ministers.
The Brexit cabinet committee
sketched out what the future
relationship between the UK and EU
might look like.
What conclusion they came to,
they haven't told me,
but the issue came up several times
in the Commons.
First, in a spirited
intervention by one DUP MP,
echoing the words of his father
during the Troubles.
Does the Minister agreed that but it
is time the Government demonstrated
that no surrender attitude to the
bureaucrats who bully us over air
flights, passenger and everything
else and stand up to them and stand
up to the EU and get on with leading
Well, that plea came
moments before the start
of Prime Minister's Questions
where the matter was raised again.
The Prime Minister will be aware
that all free-trade agreements
involve some customs checks and
therefore infrastructure at
frontiers of which will be
completely incompatible with
maintaining an open border between
Northern Ireland and the time
subcommittee is getting around to
discussing this, could be a Minister
explained to the House at why she's
so opposed to the UK remaining and a
customs union with the EU when not
only would these be better for the
British economy, and a vague
partnership whatever that is, but
would also help to ensure that that
border remained as it is today,
which is what we all want.
leading the EU, that means relieving
the single market, we are leaving
the customs union, because if we
were members of it, we would not be
able to do trade around the rest of
the world. And we are going to have
an independent trade policy and due
the stills. And he asks me about the
arrangements, well I have second,
say to data looks of the paper that
was published by the Government last
And a question about reports
that the EU could suspend "certain
benefits" during any transition
phase, came from the other end
of the Brexit spectrum.
In the committee last December I
wonder about all tomatoes from the
EU, and again and might you queue
only last week, which he be good
enough to be very robust in
discussing the matters and the
Brexit committees, I'm sure she will
be, in order to ensure that we
repudiate any of these threats.
said from the beginning, we will
hear all sorts of thing being said
about positions are being taken.
What matters is the position that we
take in the negotiations as we sit
down and the best deal we has shown
that we can do that we did in
December, I would do it again.
Jeremy Corbyn's battleground
of choice for this week's
Prime Minister's Questions
was crime figures.
Last month the Office
for National Statistics said
the number of violent crimes and sex
offences recorded by police
in England and Wales has risen
sharply over the past year.
But the separate Crime Survey, based
on people's experiences, suggested
crime was continuing to fall.
And with that in mind,
battle commenced, with
a particularly pithy question.
With crime rising, does the PM
regret cutting down police officers?
Will you seem from the crime survey,
is that crime is now down at record
low levels. That is, that is what is
being achieved and it has been
achieved by conservative government
that the symptom has been protecting
The Chief Constable says
we do not have the resources to keep
residents safe the position is a
scandal. Too many people do not feel
safe and too many people are not
safe. We had just enough highest
rise in recorded crime for a quarter
of a century. The Chief Constable of
Lancaster said that the gut -- the
police can't make it much more
difficult to keep people safe. Is he
Can I say to the right
honourable gentleman, on this issue
of recording crime, he mentions it
is precisely because when I was Home
Secretary, I asked them to look at
the recording of bullies crime, to
make sure that police forces were
doing it properly and indeed, some
changes were made as a result of
that. So we now see the better
recording of a crime post-op we also
see, 450 million pounds extra being
made available to the police. But
what have we seen and ICS? The
creation of the national crime
agency, our police taking more
notice to protect multiple victims,
doing more on modern slavery and
domestic violence. Taking issues
seriously, that they were not taking
If you asked to
look at unrecorded crime in Italy
what is going on, the least you
could do is act out what they tell
This week marked a 100 years
of the Representation
of the People Act, which gave women
over 30 who had property,
the right to vote.
And in a debate to mark
the centenary, the Commons
was awash with the white,
purple and green emblem
of the suffrage movement.
I am proud to be part of the most
diverse House of Commons in British
history. We have our second female
Prime Minister. A third of those
attending Cabinet are women and we
had the highest ever number of
female MPs. Outside of politics, we
have seen so much progress since
1918. More women are in a more
diverse range of jobs than ever
before, and are increasingly at the
top of their field.
I was hoping
that the Minister was going to make
an announcement today that the
Government was going to issue may be
an official apology to the women of
the suffragette movement or a part
in maybe, for those who were wrongly
imprisoned. And sexually assaulted
in their battle to get women the
vote. But instead, all we have is a
nether renouncement, how utterly
I would be doing a
disservice to suffragette who stood
up for the causes which are more
than just getting a book for women,
if I did not say that today we still
have a government that pursues
policies like the rape clause, and
Social Security cuts, which hit one
budget 85% of the cuts have come
from their pockets, and we are yet
to see a justice for the campaign
I support the Government moved
to asked the Lord commission to
consider the case for making it and
that went to the brain and abused
Parliamentary candidate. What this
is about, is about misogynist
seeking to sign into women who dare
to speak out. Particularly, very
lately, this against younger women
and black women. Voters have the
right to choose who they want, man
or woman, to represent them. And
once that Representative is elected
to Parliament, it is the right and
duty to be able to get on with the
job without being subjected to
intimidation, threats, or Biden.
This is about our democracy. So I
hope members on our side of the
House will get this our -- their
And women MPs past and present...
Were in Westminster Hall on Tuesday
to mark that centenary.
The suffrage campaigns
were led by women, but some male
supporters played a key role.
In a film for BBC Parliament,
the former deputy speaker
Natascha Engel reports on the Votes
for Women campaign and the men
who backed the cause.
We get thousands of petitions from
1860 to 19 it is signed by more than
3 million women.
A were undermined,
questions raised about their
manliness, their fitness for their
careers. They tried to rush the
building and chained themselves to
doctors and so long, they're in the
height of the storm.
You will go
down in history as the man who
tortured innocent women.
on how the strikes. -- hunger
strikes. Daley from his first
election he introduced a women's
suffrage bill every year. But this
was the great opportunity.
also a story about Parliament.
Campaigners ended to win allies from
the all-male Parliaments of the day.
We will be looking at the
politicians have eventually agreed
to change the law.
And the film, Suffragette Allies,
is on BBC Parliament on Sunday
evening at half-past-eight.
MPs who are found to have bullied
or harassed their staff could be
be suspended and voters could force
them to face a by-election.
The Leader of the Commons announced
a package of measures to tackle
misconduct at Westminster.
The working group was formed to
bring about change. It is a right,
not a privilege, to be treated with
dignity and respect at work. This
ambitious report is a major step
towards a safer and more
This is a
significant, substantial document
that has managed to secure all
partisan support, as signal the
beginning of the end of the poison
is culture that has characterised so
many other relationships of this
House. Of such harassment is will
now have a process to make formal
complaints independent of the
political parties and that is the
key feature of what is being
designed and delivered today.
media spotlight can be very harsh on
a member of Parliament on the basis
just of an accusation made. But it
can also be very harsh on a
complainant. We have to bear that in
Publication of the accused's
name might bring forth corroborating
evidence of what otherwise might be
one person buys that against the
other. Where should the difficult
My honourable friend
will appreciate that this has been
an incredible difficult balancing
act. But we all made clear, all of
us on the working group is that the
commitment to protecting the
interests of the complainants would
be at the heart of this. And that
means very often that complainant
does not want and will not come
forward with a complaint if they
then run the risk of being hounded
Indymedia and having effectively --
Indymedia and having a trial in the
full glare of the public spotlight.
And that was one of the core areas
that we sought to address. What that
inevitably means is that there are
Which you not agree
that we need consent training but
also mandatory, and sanctions
available for those members were not
persuaded to take it up because
quite frankly, those members who are
likely to be resistant to taking up
training are those who need it most?
The training we've mentioned in
consent and unconscious bias and had
to recruit and how to employ people
and what constitutes harassment, all
of these things are vital. They will
be available as compulsory sanctions
and we will be seeking means to
encourage people across the estate
to take him up voluntarily where we
make it mandatory.
The head of the Parole Board has
said action is needed to make
the reasons for its decisions public
and its judgments
easier to challenge.
The comments come in
the wake of the decision
to release John Worboys.
Worboys was jailed indefinitely
in 2009, with a minimum
term of eight years,
for drugging and sexually
Two of his victims have
been given the go-ahead
to challenge his release
at a judicial review next month.
The Government has ordered
a review of the transparency
of Parole Board decisions.
We could do much more than we do at
present. To explain individual
decisions. But there are a number of
risks to doing that. And they need
to be carefully explored and
It's an awareness and
education programme. What proposals
can you second to train yourself?
there are a number of different
steps that we are in the process of
taking. I think there is... We need
to have information accessible about
the process in a number of different
formats and it is never a different
platforms. I think we should use, we
are talking about some very
impressive stuff from other
jurisdictions. Written information
that can be produced to be much
improved. But we can't do and we're
absolutely... Approved by Parliament
earlier, is explain anything about
any individual case. Even the most
basic things. For an example,
talking about completely different
cases, you have victims ask for
information about licence
commissions. We have information
about licence conditions that would
reassure them. They would find them
comforting. And we can't tell them.
We can go much further. In
explaining our decisions to people
so they have a real sense of what we
are doing. They may not like what we
are doing, or they may agree with
what we have done. But at least they
have a basis to know why they do
agree or not. Then it makes it
challenging -- it makes a child
process better. You can challenge it
at the moment. So then you have to
That he said needed to
Is undignified to me. I
don't think it's acceptable. But we
can't make every decision twice.
Professor Nick Hardwick.
It's not often a reality TV star
is called to give evidence in front
of a parliamentary committee.
But on Tuesday the model Katie Price
appeared before MPs to make
an impassioned plea for criminal
action to be taken against malicious
trolling on social media.
Katie Price has long campaigned
on behalf of her son, Harvey,
who has several disabilities.
What I am thinking is it's bad. What
goes in people's had when what they
want to do this to an innocent child
who can provide back. I went to a
bunch of governments and the police.
I went to the police twice and they
arrested two people, got their
computers, microphones, and the
police were embarrassed because it
got to the point where they couldn't
take it any further because it could
not charge him because there was
nothing in place. They had to drop
the cases. Since then, it has
discontinued and got worse. My
petition, I have 220,000 signatures.
A lot of people say that I don't...
We are not fans of yours. We don't
like you, but what you are doing is
amazing. Because it will help a lot
of people. I know that you don't sit
there and agree with me, really.
Now, you'll remember civil
servants came under fire
for pessimistic Treasury reports
about the effects of Brexit.
On BBC Radio, the Tory backbencher
Jacob Rees-Mogg accused civil
servants of "fiddling the figures".
So can the Treasury be trusted?
A Labour peer took up the issue.
My lords, given that the Downing
Street at Number 10 and the prime
Minister have failed to slap down
those Ministers and those MPs in
their own party that had made these
disgraceful slurs, is it too much to
ask for the Prime Minister finally
to show leadership?
I think I have
done on and off 20 years more than
anyone else in this House with many
discontinuities. -- with a
discontinuities. And I have never
had occasion to question the
impartiality or the objectivity of
civil servants. They have spoken
truth onto power and quite often has
said things I did not want to hear.
But I would never accuse them of
some of the accusations that have
recently been levied against them.
We should be proud of our civil
service. And I reject these smears
that have been made against them.
will be familiar with this document,
the Treasury analysis of May 2016
forecasting the complete collapse of
the British economy if we were to
vote to leave. I have maintained
this document as propaganda from top
to bottom. And it turns out to be
utterly untrue and reality. My noble
friend as praise the objectivity of
those who produce government
statistics. And I asked my noble
friend this. If I continue to
criticise the mandarins and the
Ministers who approved the
statistics and this document, does
that make me a snake oil salesman or
a 1930s German Nazi or a bit of
He impugned DM partiality and
good faith of our civil servants.
They marked the -- the remark as
president Trump does in the United
States with regard to the FBI.
I don't often want to open up a
fresher front from the despatch box.
But President Trump I hope will read
what my noble friend... Has just
And finally, the recently-appointed
Secretary of State for Digital,
Culture, Media and Sport fully
embraced the Digital part
of his new brief by becoming
the first MP to launch his very
own smartphone app.
The Matt Hancock App features
picture galleries and videos of him.
It also allows users to sign up
as friends and chat with other fans
of the Matt Hancock app.
But there've been concerns
and whether it complies
with the Data Protection Act.
What action does the Secretary of
State think should be taken as the
app which prevents key provisions of
the data protection act and is not
GDP are compliant?
I think that all
apps should be compliant with the
law and I am delighted to say that
the Matt Hancock app is, Mr Speaker.
Exactly because the app I am talking
about is not -- it doesn't belong to
them. It is named after him. The
general public needs protecting, Mr
Speaker, from their privacy being
invaded by Matt Hancock, their
information be shared with third
parties by Matt Hancock, and their
private photos being accessed by
Matt Hancock. Will the under take to
ensure that Matt Hancock complies
fully with all data protection
protections in the future and why he
things other people should abide by
their legal obligations to data
protection if Matt Hancock doesn't?
Of course the app does comply. More
importantly, I think we should use
digital communications Mr Speaker to
communicate with our constituents
and all their modern forms. I am
delighted by the response of the app
has had so far is bigger than I
could have possibly imagined. And I
look forward to him -- can --
committed to it -- communicated with
our decisions over Matt Hancock for
Matt Hancock singing
the praises of, Matt Hancock.
And that's it.
Parliament is on a short half-term
break so we are too.
We'll be back in a week's time.
But for now, from me,
Mandy Baker, goodbye.