09/02/2018 The Week in Parliament


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09/02/2018

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.

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Coming up, Carillion's senior

executives seem lost for words.

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And you are still all right? All of

you, argue?

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The Brexit debate gets a bit shouty.

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Stand up to the man to the EU and

get on with living that you.

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And 100 years after the first women

get the vote, female MPs

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are still suffering abuse.

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What this is about is about

misogynists seeking to silence women

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who dare to speak out.

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But first, the chairman

of the collapsed construction firm

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Carillion has told MPs how upset

he is at the firm's demise.

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The company which provided

services for schools,

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hospitals, and prisons went

into liquidation last month.

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An array of senior executives

gave a joint committee

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of MPs their side of the story.

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But the chairs of those

committees were not impressed,

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saying afterwards that the directors

were "delusional characters"

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who "maintained that everything

was hunky dory" until it all went

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suddenly and unforeseeably wrong.

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Words cannot describe the depth of

my despair. I am devastated. By the

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impact that the collapse has had and

as I said, on the pensioners, on

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customers, on suppliers, on staff.

We have had one session where

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everyone is pointing figures, your

main evidence so far is that you had

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these advisers, and ineffective

pointed her finger at them, but what

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is your, out to this question is

what is your responsibility for the

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collapse?

Full and complete. No

question in my mind about that. Full

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responsibility, no question, and if

I look back, there are things I

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would do differently.

I am asking

whether you think it is justified at

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a time when the share price of the

company is falling quite

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substantially, whether it is right

to increase the renumeration of the

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chief executive...

It was right at

the time because he wanted to retain

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the chief executive in that

business, and period when the

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separate -- it was volatile.

Do

think that decision was right?

I

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have thought a lot about many of the

decisions that we would have made,

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and I think that decision was

correct.

All of you sitting here,

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with multi-million pounds of payment

from the company over a period of

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years, and you say how sad and

disappointed you are, but what

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actions do you take to show that?

Because it is just words, is it not?

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It is just worth, I am saddened by I

am disappointed, which I could do

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things differently, but the money is

in the bank but it does not for the

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people who are retired or coming for

retirement?

All for if you have done

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rather well from the company, which

you then in different ways helped to

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crash. Does that not movie you at

all? I mean, why should we believe

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you, that you feel so sad about all

of this? It does not extend to your

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chequebook.

I am genuinely, shocked

and saddened by the events. I

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genuinely am. And I am very happy to

engage with the company and

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understand what...

You do not have

to wait for someone to have an

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engagement with you, it is part of

your DNA. Is it not?

It is, but I do

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need to understand what the position

is, I do not know what the position

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is today.

It is clear is it not? As

she said pages are taking cuts

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people are not going to get paid for

contrast, other people have lost

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their jobs, you are still all right.

I love you. Argue? -- are you not?

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Carillion's executives,

lost for words there.

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Well, the next day it was

the turn of the Government.

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The Liaison Committee

which is made up of the chairs

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of all the other committees summoned

the Cabinet Office minister.

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But he was being very

cautious in his answers.

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This exchange was typical.

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One of the lessons from the

financial crisis, was to have more

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tougher rules about being able to

pull back bonuses, and when things

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go wrong at a business, do you think

we should look again at the

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claw-back arrangements for bonuses

so that we can get some of that

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money back?

Again sitting here

today, I am open-minded on that, but

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there have been serious allegations

of misconduct by the Board and

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former board members of them. Those

are being independently did --

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investigated by the receiver and it

would be wrong before a Minister to

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make any comment that could be

prejudicial of the findings on that.

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I know this isn't the first time

I've said this and it won't be

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the last, but it's been a big

week for Brexit.

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Theresa May chaired two key meetings

with senior ministers.

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The Brexit cabinet committee

sketched out what the future

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relationship between the UK and EU

might look like.

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What conclusion they came to,

they haven't told me,

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but the issue came up several times

in the Commons.

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First, in a spirited

intervention by one DUP MP,

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echoing the words of his father

during the Troubles.

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Does the Minister agreed that but it

is time the Government demonstrated

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that no surrender attitude to the

bureaucrats who bully us over air

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flights, passenger and everything

else and stand up to them and stand

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up to the EU and get on with leading

it.

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Well, that plea came

moments before the start

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of Prime Minister's Questions

where the matter was raised again.

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The Prime Minister will be aware

that all free-trade agreements

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involve some customs checks and

therefore infrastructure at

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frontiers of which will be

completely incompatible with

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maintaining an open border between

Northern Ireland and the time

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subcommittee is getting around to

discussing this, could be a Minister

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explained to the House at why she's

so opposed to the UK remaining and a

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customs union with the EU when not

only would these be better for the

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British economy, and a vague

partnership whatever that is, but

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would also help to ensure that that

border remained as it is today,

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which is what we all want.

The UK's

leading the EU, that means relieving

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the single market, we are leaving

the customs union, because if we

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were members of it, we would not be

able to do trade around the rest of

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the world. And we are going to have

an independent trade policy and due

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the stills. And he asks me about the

arrangements, well I have second,

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say to data looks of the paper that

was published by the Government last

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summer.

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And a question about reports

that the EU could suspend "certain

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benefits" during any transition

phase, came from the other end

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of the Brexit spectrum.

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In the committee last December I

wonder about all tomatoes from the

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EU, and again and might you queue

only last week, which he be good

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enough to be very robust in

discussing the matters and the

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Brexit committees, I'm sure she will

be, in order to ensure that we

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repudiate any of these threats.

As I

said from the beginning, we will

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hear all sorts of thing being said

about positions are being taken.

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What matters is the position that we

take in the negotiations as we sit

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down and the best deal we has shown

that we can do that we did in

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December, I would do it again.

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Jeremy Corbyn's battleground

of choice for this week's

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Prime Minister's Questions

was crime figures.

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Last month the Office

for National Statistics said

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the number of violent crimes and sex

offences recorded by police

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in England and Wales has risen

sharply over the past year.

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But the separate Crime Survey, based

on people's experiences, suggested

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crime was continuing to fall.

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And with that in mind,

battle commenced, with

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a particularly pithy question.

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With crime rising, does the PM

regret cutting down police officers?

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Will you seem from the crime survey,

is that crime is now down at record

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low levels. That is, that is what is

being achieved and it has been

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achieved by conservative government

that the symptom has been protecting

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the budget.

The Chief Constable says

we do not have the resources to keep

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residents safe the position is a

scandal. Too many people do not feel

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safe and too many people are not

safe. We had just enough highest

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rise in recorded crime for a quarter

of a century. The Chief Constable of

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Lancaster said that the gut -- the

police can't make it much more

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difficult to keep people safe. Is he

wrong?

Can I say to the right

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honourable gentleman, on this issue

of recording crime, he mentions it

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is precisely because when I was Home

Secretary, I asked them to look at

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the recording of bullies crime, to

make sure that police forces were

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doing it properly and indeed, some

changes were made as a result of

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that. So we now see the better

recording of a crime post-op we also

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see, 450 million pounds extra being

made available to the police. But

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what have we seen and ICS? The

creation of the national crime

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agency, our police taking more

notice to protect multiple victims,

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doing more on modern slavery and

domestic violence. Taking issues

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seriously, that they were not taking

seriously before.

If you asked to

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look at unrecorded crime in Italy

what is going on, the least you

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could do is act out what they tell

you.

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This week marked a 100 years

of the Representation

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of the People Act, which gave women

over 30 who had property,

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the right to vote.

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And in a debate to mark

the centenary, the Commons

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was awash with the white,

purple and green emblem

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of the suffrage movement.

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I am proud to be part of the most

diverse House of Commons in British

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history. We have our second female

Prime Minister. A third of those

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attending Cabinet are women and we

had the highest ever number of

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female MPs. Outside of politics, we

have seen so much progress since

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1918. More women are in a more

diverse range of jobs than ever

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before, and are increasingly at the

top of their field.

I was hoping

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that the Minister was going to make

an announcement today that the

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Government was going to issue may be

an official apology to the women of

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the suffragette movement or a part

in maybe, for those who were wrongly

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imprisoned. And sexually assaulted

in their battle to get women the

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vote. But instead, all we have is a

nether renouncement, how utterly

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disappointing.

I would be doing a

disservice to suffragette who stood

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up for the causes which are more

than just getting a book for women,

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if I did not say that today we still

have a government that pursues

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policies like the rape clause, and

Social Security cuts, which hit one

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budget 85% of the cuts have come

from their pockets, and we are yet

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to see a justice for the campaign

is.

I support the Government moved

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to asked the Lord commission to

consider the case for making it and

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that went to the brain and abused

Parliamentary candidate. What this

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is about, is about misogynist

seeking to sign into women who dare

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to speak out. Particularly, very

lately, this against younger women

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and black women. Voters have the

right to choose who they want, man

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or woman, to represent them. And

once that Representative is elected

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to Parliament, it is the right and

duty to be able to get on with the

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job without being subjected to

intimidation, threats, or Biden.

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This is about our democracy. So I

hope members on our side of the

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House will get this our -- their

full support.

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And women MPs past and present...

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Were in Westminster Hall on Tuesday

to mark that centenary.

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The suffrage campaigns

were led by women, but some male

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supporters played a key role.

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In a film for BBC Parliament,

the former deputy speaker

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Natascha Engel reports on the Votes

for Women campaign and the men

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who backed the cause.

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We get thousands of petitions from

1860 to 19 it is signed by more than

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3 million women.

A were undermined,

questions raised about their

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manliness, their fitness for their

careers. They tried to rush the

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building and chained themselves to

doctors and so long, they're in the

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height of the storm.

You will go

down in history as the man who

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tortured innocent women.

They went

on how the strikes. -- hunger

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strikes. Daley from his first

election he introduced a women's

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suffrage bill every year. But this

was the great opportunity.

This is

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also a story about Parliament.

Campaigners ended to win allies from

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the all-male Parliaments of the day.

We will be looking at the

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politicians have eventually agreed

to change the law.

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And the film, Suffragette Allies,

is on BBC Parliament on Sunday

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evening at half-past-eight.

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MPs who are found to have bullied

or harassed their staff could be

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be suspended and voters could force

them to face a by-election.

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The Leader of the Commons announced

a package of measures to tackle

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misconduct at Westminster.

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The working group was formed to

bring about change. It is a right,

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not a privilege, to be treated with

dignity and respect at work. This

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ambitious report is a major step

towards a safer and more

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professional environments.

This is a

significant, substantial document

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that has managed to secure all

partisan support, as signal the

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beginning of the end of the poison

is culture that has characterised so

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many other relationships of this

House. Of such harassment is will

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now have a process to make formal

complaints independent of the

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political parties and that is the

key feature of what is being

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designed and delivered today.

The

media spotlight can be very harsh on

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a member of Parliament on the basis

just of an accusation made. But it

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can also be very harsh on a

complainant. We have to bear that in

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mind.

Publication of the accused's

name might bring forth corroborating

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evidence of what otherwise might be

one person buys that against the

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other. Where should the difficult

balance lie?

My honourable friend

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will appreciate that this has been

an incredible difficult balancing

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act. But we all made clear, all of

us on the working group is that the

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commitment to protecting the

interests of the complainants would

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be at the heart of this. And that

means very often that complainant

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does not want and will not come

forward with a complaint if they

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then run the risk of being hounded

Indymedia and having effectively --

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Indymedia and having a trial in the

full glare of the public spotlight.

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And that was one of the core areas

that we sought to address. What that

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inevitably means is that there are

compromises.

Which you not agree

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that we need consent training but

also mandatory, and sanctions

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available for those members were not

persuaded to take it up because

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quite frankly, those members who are

likely to be resistant to taking up

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training are those who need it most?

The training we've mentioned in

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consent and unconscious bias and had

to recruit and how to employ people

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and what constitutes harassment, all

of these things are vital. They will

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be available as compulsory sanctions

and we will be seeking means to

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encourage people across the estate

to take him up voluntarily where we

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make it mandatory.

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The head of the Parole Board has

said action is needed to make

0:17:180:17:21

the reasons for its decisions public

and its judgments

0:17:210:17:23

easier to challenge.

0:17:230:17:25

The comments come in

the wake of the decision

0:17:250:17:27

to release John Worboys.

0:17:270:17:28

Worboys was jailed indefinitely

in 2009, with a minimum

0:17:280:17:31

term of eight years,

for drugging and sexually

0:17:310:17:35

assaulting women.

0:17:350:17:36

Two of his victims have

been given the go-ahead

0:17:360:17:38

to challenge his release

at a judicial review next month.

0:17:380:17:41

The Government has ordered

a review of the transparency

0:17:410:17:44

of Parole Board decisions.

0:17:440:17:50

We could do much more than we do at

present. To explain individual

0:17:500:17:55

decisions. But there are a number of

risks to doing that. And they need

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to be carefully explored and

considered.

It's an awareness and

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education programme. What proposals

can you second to train yourself?

If

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there are a number of different

steps that we are in the process of

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taking. I think there is... We need

to have information accessible about

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the process in a number of different

formats and it is never a different

0:18:220:18:28

platforms. I think we should use, we

are talking about some very

0:18:280:18:34

impressive stuff from other

jurisdictions. Written information

0:18:340:18:39

that can be produced to be much

improved. But we can't do and we're

0:18:390:18:44

absolutely... Approved by Parliament

earlier, is explain anything about

0:18:440:18:52

any individual case. Even the most

basic things. For an example,

0:18:520:18:58

talking about completely different

cases, you have victims ask for

0:18:580:19:05

information about licence

commissions. We have information

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about licence conditions that would

reassure them. They would find them

0:19:090:19:11

comforting. And we can't tell them.

We can go much further. In

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explaining our decisions to people

so they have a real sense of what we

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are doing. They may not like what we

are doing, or they may agree with

0:19:200:19:26

what we have done. But at least they

have a basis to know why they do

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agree or not. Then it makes it

challenging -- it makes a child

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process better. You can challenge it

at the moment. So then you have to

0:19:380:19:41

grant funded.

That he said needed to

change.

Is undignified to me. I

0:19:410:19:53

don't think it's acceptable. But we

can't make every decision twice.

0:19:530:19:59

Professor Nick Hardwick.

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It's not often a reality TV star

is called to give evidence in front

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of a parliamentary committee.

0:20:040:20:05

But on Tuesday the model Katie Price

appeared before MPs to make

0:20:050:20:08

an impassioned plea for criminal

action to be taken against malicious

0:20:080:20:11

trolling on social media.

0:20:110:20:14

Katie Price has long campaigned

on behalf of her son, Harvey,

0:20:140:20:16

who has several disabilities.

0:20:160:20:24

What I am thinking is it's bad. What

goes in people's had when what they

0:20:240:20:30

want to do this to an innocent child

who can provide back. I went to a

0:20:300:20:36

bunch of governments and the police.

I went to the police twice and they

0:20:360:20:40

arrested two people, got their

computers, microphones, and the

0:20:400:20:43

police were embarrassed because it

got to the point where they couldn't

0:20:430:20:46

take it any further because it could

not charge him because there was

0:20:460:20:50

nothing in place. They had to drop

the cases. Since then, it has

0:20:500:20:56

discontinued and got worse. My

petition, I have 220,000 signatures.

0:20:560:21:01

A lot of people say that I don't...

We are not fans of yours. We don't

0:21:010:21:08

like you, but what you are doing is

amazing. Because it will help a lot

0:21:080:21:12

of people. I know that you don't sit

there and agree with me, really.

0:21:120:21:18

Now, you'll remember civil

servants came under fire

0:21:180:21:20

for pessimistic Treasury reports

about the effects of Brexit.

0:21:200:21:22

On BBC Radio, the Tory backbencher

Jacob Rees-Mogg accused civil

0:21:220:21:26

servants of "fiddling the figures".

0:21:260:21:29

So can the Treasury be trusted?

0:21:290:21:31

A Labour peer took up the issue.

0:21:310:21:38

My lords, given that the Downing

Street at Number 10 and the prime

0:21:380:21:42

Minister have failed to slap down

those Ministers and those MPs in

0:21:420:21:48

their own party that had made these

disgraceful slurs, is it too much to

0:21:480:21:52

ask for the Prime Minister finally

to show leadership?

I think I have

0:21:520:21:57

done on and off 20 years more than

anyone else in this House with many

0:21:570:22:03

discontinuities. -- with a

discontinuities. And I have never

0:22:030:22:09

had occasion to question the

impartiality or the objectivity of

0:22:090:22:14

civil servants. They have spoken

truth onto power and quite often has

0:22:140:22:17

said things I did not want to hear.

But I would never accuse them of

0:22:170:22:21

some of the accusations that have

recently been levied against them.

0:22:210:22:25

We should be proud of our civil

service. And I reject these smears

0:22:250:22:30

that have been made against them.

He

will be familiar with this document,

0:22:300:22:35

the Treasury analysis of May 2016

forecasting the complete collapse of

0:22:350:22:40

the British economy if we were to

vote to leave. I have maintained

0:22:400:22:44

this document as propaganda from top

to bottom. And it turns out to be

0:22:440:22:49

utterly untrue and reality. My noble

friend as praise the objectivity of

0:22:490:22:53

those who produce government

statistics. And I asked my noble

0:22:530:22:56

friend this. If I continue to

criticise the mandarins and the

0:22:560:23:01

Ministers who approved the

statistics and this document, does

0:23:010:23:04

that make me a snake oil salesman or

a 1930s German Nazi or a bit of

0:23:040:23:08

both?

He impugned DM partiality and

good faith of our civil servants.

0:23:080:23:18

They marked the -- the remark as

president Trump does in the United

0:23:180:23:23

States with regard to the FBI.

While

I don't often want to open up a

0:23:230:23:26

fresher front from the despatch box.

But President Trump I hope will read

0:23:260:23:33

what my noble friend... Has just

said.

0:23:330:23:38

And finally, the recently-appointed

Secretary of State for Digital,

0:23:380:23:40

Culture, Media and Sport fully

embraced the Digital part

0:23:400:23:44

of his new brief by becoming

the first MP to launch his very

0:23:440:23:47

own smartphone app.

0:23:470:23:50

The Matt Hancock App features

picture galleries and videos of him.

0:23:500:23:53

It also allows users to sign up

as friends and chat with other fans

0:23:530:23:57

of the Matt Hancock app.

0:23:570:24:00

But there've been concerns

about the app's privacy policy

0:24:000:24:02

and whether it complies

with the Data Protection Act.

0:24:020:24:11

What action does the Secretary of

State think should be taken as the

0:24:110:24:15

app which prevents key provisions of

the data protection act and is not

0:24:150:24:20

GDP are compliant?

I think that all

apps should be compliant with the

0:24:200:24:27

law and I am delighted to say that

the Matt Hancock app is, Mr Speaker.

0:24:270:24:33

Exactly because the app I am talking

about is not -- it doesn't belong to

0:24:330:24:38

them. It is named after him. The

general public needs protecting, Mr

0:24:380:24:44

Speaker, from their privacy being

invaded by Matt Hancock, their

0:24:440:24:47

information be shared with third

parties by Matt Hancock, and their

0:24:470:24:51

private photos being accessed by

Matt Hancock. Will the under take to

0:24:510:24:56

ensure that Matt Hancock complies

fully with all data protection

0:24:560:24:59

protections in the future and why he

things other people should abide by

0:24:590:25:03

their legal obligations to data

protection if Matt Hancock doesn't?

0:25:030:25:08

Of course the app does comply. More

importantly, I think we should use

0:25:080:25:14

digital communications Mr Speaker to

communicate with our constituents

0:25:140:25:18

and all their modern forms. I am

delighted by the response of the app

0:25:180:25:22

has had so far is bigger than I

could have possibly imagined. And I

0:25:220:25:24

look forward to him -- can --

committed to it -- communicated with

0:25:240:25:30

our decisions over Matt Hancock for

years.

0:25:300:25:33

Matt Hancock singing

the praises of, Matt Hancock.

0:25:330:25:34

And that's it.

0:25:340:25:35

Parliament is on a short half-term

break so we are too.

0:25:350:25:38

We'll be back in a week's time.

0:25:380:25:40

But for now, from me,

Mandy Baker, goodbye.

0:25:400:25:44