16/03/2018 The Week in Parliament


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16/03/2018

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, Theresa May tells MPs

Russian diplomats will be expelled

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after Moscow fails to give

an explanation for the nerve agent

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attack in Salisbury.

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They've treated the use of military

grade nerve agent with...

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The Labour leader condemns

the attack, but he doesn't put

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the blame on the Russian

government.

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Our response must be decisive and

proportionate and based on clear

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evidence.

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And YouTube gets a dressing down.

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This isn't about perfection, this is

about you being the wrong person

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before this committee and not having

a clue what you're talking about.

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But first...

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It was the first time a nerve agent

had been used offensively in Europe

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since the Second World War and it

happened on British soil.

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The attack on the former Russian spy

and his daughter in Salisbury

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dominated the week in Parliament.

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On Monday afternoon,

the Prime Minister came

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to the Commons to update MPs.

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It is now clear that Mr Scrip can --

Skripan and his daughter... Russia's

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record of conducting state-sponsored

assassinations and our assessment

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that Russia views some defectors as

legitimate targets for

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assassinations, the Government has

concluded that it is highly likely

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that Russia was responsible for the

act against them. She said there

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were two possibilities. Either this

was a direct act by the Russian

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state against our country, or the

Russian government lost control of

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its potentially catastrophically

damaging nerve agent and allowed it

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to get into the hands of others.

Angie demanded an escalation from

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Moscow.

Should there be no credible

response, we will assume that

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this... Jeremy Corbyn condemned the

attack. The investigation into the

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events must reach its conclusions,

we need to see both the evidence and

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a full account from the Russian

authorities in light of emerging

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evidence that the Prime Minister has

just referred to.

The Labour leader

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turned to party funding, claiming

there had been large donations from

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Russian oligarchs...

We are all

familiar with the way huge fortunes

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often acquired in the most dubious

circumstances in Russia sometimes

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connected with criminal elements

have ended up sheltering in London

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and trying to buy political

influence in British party politics.

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Meddling in elections as the Prime

Minister put it, there has been over

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£800,000 worth of donations to the

Conservative Party from Russian

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oligarchs and their associates.

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Well, that febrile mood persisted

when the Prime Minister returned

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to the despatch box on Wednesday.

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The deadline she'd set

the Kremlin of midnight had

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passed without a response.

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Theresa May set out

the Government's position.

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They have treated the use of a

military grade nerve agent in Europe

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with sarcasm, contempt and defiance.

So Mr Speaker, there is alternative

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conclusion. Other than that the

Russian state was culpable for the

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attempted murder of Mr and his

daughter. Under the Vienna

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convention, we will expel 23 Russian

diplomats who have been... They have

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just one week to leave. This will be

the single biggest expulsion for

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over 30 years, and it reflects the

fact that this is not the first time

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that the Russian state has acted

against our country.

The attack and

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Salisbury was an appalling act of

violence. Nerve agents are

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abominable if used in any war, it is

utterly reckless to use them in a

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civilian environment. Our response

has to be both decisive and

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proportionate. And based on clear

evidence.

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When it became clear that Jeremy

Corbyn was not going to blame the

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gremlin...

I couldn't understand a

word...

His behaviour demeans his

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office. There was a terse response

by the Prime Minister.

It was clear

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from the remarks that were made by

backbenchers across the whole of

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this House on Monday that there is a

consensus across the back benches of

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this House. I'm only sorry that the

consensus does not go as far as the

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right honourable gentleman.

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Who could have taken the opportunity

as the UK Government has done the

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contempt the culpability of the

Russian state. -- to condemn.

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Many on the Labour backbenches

spoke out in support

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of Theresa May's action,

including one MP who explicitly

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condemned his own leader's response.

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Responding with strength and resolve

your country is under threat is an

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essential component of political

leadership. There is a Labour

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tradition that understands that. And

it has been understood by prime

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Ministers of all parties who have

stood at the despatch box.

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Spokesmen from other parties

expressed solidarity

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with the Government.

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There has to be a robust response of

the use of terror on our streets. We

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must act in a measured way to show

that we will simply not tolerate

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this behaviour.

We welcome the

decisive action that's been taken by

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the Prime Minister today it sits in

contrast with the policy of

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appeasement that we've heard from

the front backbench of the Labour

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Party.

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But it was a senior Conservative

who emphasised the seriousness

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of the whole situation.

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It's just a question of expressing

anger about Salisbury. This is

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actually a serious threat to the

safety of the Western world, a

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lesson to do something together...

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In a newspaper article on Friday,

Jeremy Corbyn warned against rushing

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into a new Cold War with Russia

before there was conclusive evidence

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that Moscow was behind

the nerve agent attack.

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He said police needed to confirm

that the Russian mafia

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wasn't responsible.

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Now, most of our legislation

is made by the Government.

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But it is possible for individual

MPs to change the law.

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And one way is through

a Private Member's Bill.

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It was this humble type of bill

that was responsible for some major

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social change in Great Britain

in the 60s, the legalisation

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of abortion and the abolition

of the death penalty for murder.

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More recently, a law to reduce

homelessness and a ban on under-18s

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using sunbeds were the result

of private members' bills.

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The best chance for MPs to bring

in this kind of Bill is to finish

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high up in the ballot held

at the start of every session.

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The ballot drop for private members

bills in the present session is

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about to take place. 461 members

enter the ballot this year. We now

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come to the members who get the

first pick of the...

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20 names are chosen but generally

only the top seven or so will get

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a day's debate on an allocated

Friday.

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Debating time is limited.

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And without government backing,

there's little chance

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of a Bill becoming law.

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Now, if you had a magnifying glass

handy then, you may have spotted

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the name Angus MacNeil at the very

top of that list.

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He's introducing a measure to allow

the families of refugees to join

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them in this country.

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And earlier, I spoke to him.

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I began by asking why he'd

chosen that subject.

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It's a subject that makes a

difference in people's lives. In

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politics one of the things we should

be doing is helping people. I think

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if all the people -- of all the

peoples in the world who need help,

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refugees are those people. This

bill...

Very few backbenchers's Bill

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get through.

They are held on a

Friday, there's a lot of pressure on

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MPs to be away. Saying that, if they

do get the MPs to be there, it

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should progress to the next edge. I

am quite nervous about that because

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you can't take everything for

granted. Having them on Friday is

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bad. It should be Wednesday or

Thursday, given proper time. But

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there can be a variety of other

reasons the Government decides their

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big hefty utility against private

members bills. That could be a

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difficulty. Often, governments look

for excuses not to do it, sometimes

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they wish they had thought of it

themselves. Sometimes they wish it

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wasn't there. I hope the Government

eventually wishes they thought of

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this themselves, I would be quite

happy if the Government adapted this

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and didn't need to be done this way.

Sometimes these bills fall because

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other MPs talk about, they just go

on and on and so the Bill doesn't

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have enough time to get through.

That's not a dignified way of

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getting rid of a bill that.

Absolutely. The best way for that to

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be decided is on a boat.

Some people

don't like these bills. They are

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badly drafted and this is the reason

why other MPs oppose them. You have

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to be careful there's no unintended

consequences from these measures.

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Absolutely, and also when people

have something against the Bill,

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they will look in the detail and

spin... Indeed, Thomas can make --

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commas can be quite important.

Would

like to see more backbench bills

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getting through?

I think so. I think

they have to be good in the first

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place, they have to commend support

but they have to be given the time

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for that support. That is the

difficulty of having private members

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bills on Friday. There are other

days of the week when the Government

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and the business managers and

Parliament are scraping around

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looking for a debate just filled the

time. You could see with the

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publicity that this bill has

generated, there is greater... Some

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of the things that have been debated

on Wednesday or Thursday...

Thank

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you.

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And Angus MacNeil was on his feet

first thing on Friday to put

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the case for his bill

in the Commons.

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And after three and a half hours,

the Bill cleared its first

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hurdle in the Commons.

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But it'll face a trickier test

when it comes under more

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detailed scrutiny by MPs.

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It used to be that cometh

the spring, cometh the Budget.

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The full holding up the briefcase

outside Number 11, how much a pint

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was going to be and a rabbit

out of the fiscal hat.

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But that was in the old

days, well, last year.

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It all changed when the Chancellor

announced budgets were now

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to be autumnal affairs,

with just a limited

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statement in the spring.

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So it was that Philip Hammond rose

in the Commons on Wednesday

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with what he said would be

a short statement.

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He began by characterising his mood.

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If their are any in the chambers,

there, they're over there. I,

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meanwhile, and at my positively most

figure like today as I contemplate a

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country which bases the future with

unique strengths. This Autumn

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Statement, 2016, I have committed to

£60 billion of new spending, shared

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between long-term investment in

Britain's future and support for our

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public services. With almost £9

billion extra for our NHS and our

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social care system am a £4 billion

going into the NHS in the 18 height

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in 19 alone. -- Wendy 18-20 19.

This

complacency today is astounding. We

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face in every public service a

crisis on a scale we've never seen

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before. Hasn't he listened to the

doctors, the nurses, teachers, the

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police officers, the carers and even

his own counsellors? They are

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telling him they can't wait for the

next budget. They're telling him to

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act now.

The real tragedy is that we

are ten years on from the financial

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crisis but austerity is still with

us and there was a lack of hope

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given to the people of the United

Kingdom from their statement today.

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The Chancellor has been very upbeat

today but why is he so upbeat when

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the growth figures showed that we

have gone from near the top of the

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G7 and the G20 growth lists, to the

bottom of both?

The future is

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uncertain and the likelihood of

unexpected political developments

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leaves to significant downside risks

to public forecast. Can I ask the

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Chancellor whether he sees any of

those political downside risks

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sitting directly in front of him?

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Funnily enough Philip

Hammond did see risks

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on the Labour front bench,

and what's more, he said,

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business had told him they shared

those risks, too.

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The Chancellor is always looking

for new ways to increase revenue.

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The longest-serving MP,

the Father of the House,

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is Kenneth Clarke, a former

Conservative Chancellor

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himself of course.

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He had a idea.

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Can I suggest that he looks at some

of the extraordinary tax anomalies

0:15:020:15:06

he has inherited in the tax

treatment of older, prosperous

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people in full-time work in this

country?

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LAUGHTER

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i think i am perfectly well placed

to make my point.

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One Conservative later made

the point that perhaps imposing

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a new tax targeted at a core element

of the party's support may not be

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a good idea after all.

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And now let's have a look at some

other news from Parliament in brief.

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The peer who was Britain's first

female Muslim Cabinet minister said

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she won't be intimidated by letters

inciting violence against Muslims.

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Her comments came after four suspect

packages were sent to MPs

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from a Muslim background.

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The previous day, MPs had condemned

the letters encouraging people

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to take part in a

"Punish a Muslim" day.

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I received a message, my lord, from

a friend. She said, please do not go

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out on the 3rd of April, it is

punished a Muslim day. I will, along

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with many others, be going out on

the 3rd of April because we will not

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be intimidated in this way.

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The Government reported

a new and worrying development

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in the investigation into the fire

at Grenfell Tower.

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It's nine months since

the blaze claimed 71 lives.

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The cladding and insulation

on the outside of the building have

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already failed all preliminary tests

by the police.

0:16:380:16:40

Investigators have found now that

a flat door from the building

0:16:400:16:43

could only hold back a fire for half

the time it was supposed to.

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The door is believed to have been

designed to resist fire for up to 30

0:16:530:16:57

minutes, but when tested by the

Metropolitan Police, failed after

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approximately 15 minutes. The

Metropolitan Police considered that

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this test result might have wider

implications for public safety and

0:17:060:17:09

alerted my department.

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Professor Stephen Hawking, who died

on Wednesday at the age of 76,

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was remembered at Prime

Minister's Questions.

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Theresa May paid tribute

to his courage and persistence,

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and his brilliance and humour,

which inspired people

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across the world.

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Jeremy Corbyn said, as well as being

an acclaimed scientist,

0:17:230:17:27

Professor Hawking was also

passionate about the NHS

0:17:270:17:29

and universal health care.

0:17:290:17:39

The International Trade Secretary

criticised President Trump's

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decision to impose tariffs

on imports of steel and aluminium

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into the United States.

0:17:440:17:45

Liam Fox told MPs he'd be working

with the European Union to win

0:17:450:17:48

an exemption from the tariffs.

0:17:480:17:49

Dr Fox said the 25% duties

could harm US industries

0:17:490:17:52

as well as those in other countries.

0:17:520:17:54

We do disagree with the US decision

to implement tariffs on steel and

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aluminium imports based on national

security considerations. These

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unilateral trade measures have weak

foundations in international law and

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they are not consistent with the

Department of defence's own

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judgement in an investigation that

was conducted on the basis of

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national security.

0:18:150:18:19

Mistrust, anxiety and prejudice

are characterising too many

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parts of the country,

the Communities Secretary has said.

0:18:210:18:23

Sajid Javid told MPs

there was a "lack of meaningful

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mixing" between people

from different backgrounds,

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as he set out a government

consultation paper on how

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to improve integration.

0:18:290:18:33

But the plans earned a stinging

rebuke from the SNP.

0:18:330:18:38

This government has pandered, let's

be honest, to tabloids and Stoked

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anti-immigration rhetoric for years.

He should apologise for their part

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in this. This is, after all, a

government of go home vans, of a

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possible -- hostile environment, a

preventing asylum-seekers from

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working which we know what eight

immigration.

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The Scottish and Welsh First

Ministers met Theresa May

0:18:590:19:01

in Downing Street to discuss what'll

happen to devolved powers,

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such as regulation of

fisheries and farming,

0:19:040:19:05

once they come back

from Brussels after Brexit.

0:19:050:19:10

The issues that remain between us

are not insignificant but neither

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are they insurmountable. And I think

with understanding and good will on

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both sides, then I think a deal can

be reached. That is not to say that

0:19:210:19:25

there is certainty at this stage

that it will be reduced. -- that it

0:19:250:19:29

will be reached.

0:19:290:19:32

Owners of dogs with behavioural

problems can buy collars which give

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the animal an electric shock.

0:19:340:19:36

The idea is help train them,

but campaigners argue

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the devices are cruel.

0:19:380:19:39

MPs called for their use

to be banned in England.

0:19:390:19:41

A Conservative described

what happened when one woman used

0:19:410:19:43

an electric collar on her dogs.

0:19:430:19:45

The first time he got -- the dogs

got the shock was by mistake, so

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after a small dog that they were

walking past made her jump, from

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then on her pet associated the

shocks with small dogs and there for

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became afraid of them, so when she

described the day in July when her

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dogs turned on and should suit, she

had tears in her eyes and she

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stated, they connected the pain of

the electric shock with little dogs

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because of the first time I used to

call her, the day that machine came

0:20:120:20:18

in this House, I regret.

0:20:180:20:24

Now then, a senior official

at YouTube has apologised to MPs

0:20:240:20:27

for the company's slowness

in removing extremist

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and offensive videos,

in particular those produced

0:20:290:20:30

by neo-Nazi groups such

as National Action.

0:20:300:20:33

William McCants faced an

uncomfortable round of questioning

0:20:330:20:35

from the Home Affairs committee.

0:20:350:20:42

In fact, you might want to hide

behind the sofa at this point.

0:20:420:20:46

We apologise for those videos

being on our platform.

0:20:460:20:48

They should not have been there.

0:20:480:20:49

You should not have had to come

back to us repeatedly.

0:20:490:20:52

These four videos,

because they are from a proscribed

0:20:520:20:54

terrorist organisation, should not

have remained up on our platform.

0:20:540:20:57

Do you have any reviewers based

in the United Kingdom?

0:20:570:21:02

I believe we have a large team

of reviewers based in Ireland.

0:21:020:21:04

Which is not in the United Kingdom.

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Right.

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I'm not sure, of course, we have

full-time employees which work

0:21:120:21:15

on this, but if you're asking me

about contractors that we use,

0:21:150:21:18

I'm not sure if they're based

in the UK or not.

0:21:180:21:21

So you put some of these

decisions out to contract?

0:21:210:21:24

Certainly, and that is part

of the trouble here is that these

0:21:240:21:27

videos were going to people

who were not able to identify them.

0:21:270:21:32

That is why they're going to be

routed to specialists and why

0:21:320:21:35

the general reviewers

are going to be given training

0:21:350:21:37

in order to identify these videos.

0:21:370:21:39

How many of the people

who make these decisions are

0:21:390:21:41

actually not YouTube employees?

0:21:410:21:42

Generally, I don't know a number.

0:21:420:21:51

You don't even know where your

review teams are based,

0:21:510:21:54

who they are, whether they are done

through contract to other

0:21:540:21:56

companies or organisations

or whether it is done by YouTube.

0:21:560:21:59

Now, all of the statements

that you gave us at the

0:21:590:22:01

beginning of this evidence session

about how much it mattered to you,

0:22:010:22:04

personally, these things are

actually being implemented by staff

0:22:040:22:06

on your behalf or by

people on your behalf.

0:22:060:22:09

It is frankly shocking that you seem

to know so little about who

0:22:090:22:13

they are, where they are,

what training they've had or even

0:22:130:22:16

whether they are employed

by your organisation.

0:22:160:22:20

You have no response to that.

I have

been brought on to deal with

0:22:200:22:27

counterterrorism policy. I work at a

very high level. Our trust and

0:22:270:22:30

safety teams are making sure that

the reviewers get the training that

0:22:300:22:35

they need.

When we had evidence from

YouTube in the past you were very

0:22:350:22:39

clear that when it was copyrighted

materials such as songs or albums,

0:22:390:22:43

the minute they appear you remove

them within minutes. Within minutes,

0:22:430:22:47

and yet you have nothing, you have

not invested anything to match that

0:22:470:22:51

find of copyrighted material, and

yet, this stuff is dangerous. It

0:22:510:22:58

leads to people losing their lives.

It is illegal.

We are putting in

0:22:580:23:04

place fixes

every day, spending

millions of dollars to address this

0:23:040:23:08

problem. Our technology is getting

faster and we are expanding the

0:23:080:23:11

number of personnel who work on this

issue. We continue to make

0:23:110:23:15

improvements. Are we perfect? No.

Will we be perfect? No. Oh we will

0:23:150:23:20

get better.

This is not about

perfection, is about you being wrong

0:23:200:23:25

person before this committee and not

knowing what you're talking about.

0:23:250:23:32

Telling it like it is.

0:23:330:23:34

Now, with a whirlwind

tour of the wider world

0:23:340:23:36

of politics this week, here's

Julia Butler and our countdown.

0:23:360:23:39

At five, turning on a penny after an

outcry of treasury proposals to

0:23:390:23:43

review small change. Downing Street

says there are no plans to scrap

0:23:430:23:48

small coins. Perhaps we should all

move to Finland since the Nordic

0:23:480:23:51

nation has been declared the world's

happiest country. The UK rolled in a

0:23:510:23:54

19th. It seems like he would have

more fun with a thin. He prime Mr

0:23:540:23:58

adopted a more relaxed approach this

week when she visited the scene of a

0:23:580:24:02

narrative agent attack in Salisbury.

Angela Merkel is finally sworn in as

0:24:020:24:07

Chancellor of Germany. But the corks

will be staying in the campaign. It

0:24:070:24:18

took many days per to be approved

after political deadlock. And now,

0:24:180:24:22

and the Bob Neill who gave his...

I

will do my best to be naturally

0:24:220:24:30

short.

Laughter at Bob Neill there.

How could anyone stoop so low?

0:24:300:24:42

Julia Butler.

0:24:420:24:46

Finally, MPs are always anxious

to put in a good word

0:24:460:24:49

about their constituency

and the ideal time to do this

0:24:490:24:51

is Prime Minister's Questions.

0:24:510:24:54

So in the very dying minutes,

one Conservative seized his chance.

0:24:540:25:04

The inspirational Music Man project

in South End that works

0:25:070:25:09

with people who have learning

difficulties has now set a world

0:25:090:25:13

record for tinkling the most

number of triangles ever,

0:25:130:25:15

so does my right honourable friend

agree with me that that is yet

0:25:150:25:20

another reason why South End

should be made a city?

0:25:200:25:22

The Prime Minister seemed unwilling

to commit to Southend becoming

0:25:220:25:25

a city just on the strength

of that, but...

0:25:250:25:28

I am very happy to congratulate

the music man project in Southend

0:25:280:25:32

for the record that they have

achieved in tinkling triangles.

0:25:320:25:35

Now there's a phrase you don't hear

a prime minister say every day.

0:25:350:25:38

Well, that's all for now.

0:25:380:25:39

Don't forget there's a round up

of the day in Parliament every night

0:25:390:25:42

at 11pm on BBC Parliament.

0:25:430:25:45

But for now, from me,

Mandy Baker, goodbye.

0:25:450:25:55