Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Thursday, presented by Keith Macdougall.
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Hello and welcome to Thursd`y in Parliament, our look at the best
of the day in the Commons and the Lords.
A cabinet minister lays his Eurosceptic cards on the table,
It is the most mealy-mouthed, myth-peddling, facing both ways
piece of journalism that has ever come from
Peers voice their latest concerns for the future
The future of our NHS is in peril by this change of attitude.
MPs explore the final fronther and weigh up the prospects
Please be imaginative and enable this industry across the entire UK,
so that it can live long and prosperous.
With the referendum on Brit`in's continued EU membership edghng ever
closer, the Leader of the Commons Chris Grayling has
effectively become the first cabinet minister to indicate he will be
Mr Grayling wrote in the Daily Telegraph that it would be
"disastrous" for the UK to stay in the EU under the current
The article appeared on the day of Mr Grayling's regular appearance
in the Commons, to talk abott future parliamentary business.
His opposite number Chris Bryant noted Mr Grayling's contribttion
He said he believed Ministers should always fight for what
And last week I suggested it was time the Leader of the House
There is a vacancy, they want a leader.
Surely the time has come, cometh of the hour, cometh the man,
come on down, the new Leader of the House.
He turned to Mr Grayling's newspaper article.
I was hoping for a fool argtment from the Leader of the Housd.
It's the most mealy-mouthed, myth-
journalism that has ever come from his pen.
Because thou art lukewarm, neither cold or hot,
He's pretending he supports the Prime Minister's
renegotiation strategy when he is really desperate to burst
the barricades under the banner of English nationalism.
Apparently the Buisness Secretary is going to pretend he is in favour
of leaving the EU, so as to bolster the prospect of his favourite
candidate for leader, the Chancellor.
It is not about the leadership prospects of Tory ministers.
It is about our standing as a nation and the most
important decision the country will make in this generation.
He says it will be disastrous for us to stay
in, I say it will be disastrous for us to leave.
Mr Grayling declined to talk about Europe.
Today we have heard another seven minute rhetorical
flourish from the Honourabld member with his usual wit.
But, Mr Speaker, what on earth does he think he is doing?
He represents Her Majesty's loyal opposition.
Last week, on the day that North Korea said they had a hydrogen
bomb, he was joined at thes Shadow Cabinet table by a Shadow
Defence Secretary who believes we should unilaterally
So it is all very well him coming here on a Thursday morning
Given the disgraceful turn of events in the
Labour Party, what on earth is he still doing here?
There are many reports in the media today that a mini beast has spoken
Has the leader considered m`king time available for his owne mini
personal statement in which she could update
of his constituents who work in the EU,
whose children aspire to sttdy in the EU, have homes in thd EU
or want to retire in the EU countries or are EU citizens,
on the effects of brexit on their ambitions or opportunities?
The only many thing I am aw`re of all the Liberal Democrats who have
been reduced from 50s to eight in the last few months. Followhng my
contribution to the debate, can we right honourable friend's
contribution to the debate, can we have a more widespread debate in
this house on the merits of leaving and remaining in the Europe`n Union.
In that debate we will see the only real arguments are scaremongering
arguments. In that debate wd will also see that those who are most
enthusiastic for our membership by these same people who are the most
enthusiastic for this country joining the euro, including the
to be very reticent about hhs past shadow Leader of the House. He
to be very reticent about hhs past enthusiasm for joining the duro
That is certainly true. What I would say to my honourable friend, he
makes his point with his articulate and strong views. He is right about
the debate that lies ahead. There will be extensive discussions in
this house and around the country. We as politicians and the ptblic as
a whole will decide the futtre of the country. You wait decadds for a
nasty, brutal, interparty Chvil War come along and to come at once.
Listen to his mild manner Honourable friend Lum bass touring the
Minister. We may be pooled out Europe against
us. We need a statement on this issue. It is popcorn time for us as
we watch both the UK parties knock lumps out of each other
lumps out of themselves. lumps out of themselves.
The future of the National Health Service is in peril
because of changes of attittdes to the service by Government,
the view of the fertility expert and Labour peer Robert Winston.
During the latest debate in the Lords on the state
of the NHS, Lord Winston sahd there was now an inflexible
culture in the health service with young doctors prevented
from gaining broad experience and from having extra trainhng.
I congratulate the current Secretary of State.
He has certainly united somd of the most diligent,
the most altruistic, most committed workforce,
and the most intelligent and well trained workforce in the cotntry.
They have gone on strike allost unanimously, and the fact
of the matter is, these atthtudes, which are being pushed
onto the doctors, are ultim`tely extraordinarily destructive,
and the Government has a major responsibility for that,
because the future of our NHS is imperilled by this
The great advance will be if we can keep the NHS together for another
couple of years, and the noble Lord, Lord Winston, is quite right,
it is being preserved at thd present time by an extraordinary amount
of dedication and commitment by its own staff, badly paid,
inadequately recognised, and we owe them a very great deal
But we simply cannot continte as if we don't have to addrdss this
central issue of steady, consistent inadequate funding,
The Treasury have now chosen public health as the one area in the whole
of the health field where spending is being reduced, and that H think
My Lords, there is a vast amount to do.
What we do now has implicathons for years to come.
I believe the Royal commisshon has the potential to provide a proper
basis for facing the financhal challenges and also the potdntial
Maybe a Royal commission is the way forward.
Maybe something smaller, independent of public consultation,
could lead the way, and I c`n think of no place better
lordship's House, which is full of expertise and common sense
and vision to lead the way hn order to make it possible to engage
To look at the possibility on both sides of the House.
My lords, before this decadd, successive governments provhded
the NHS with a real terms annual increase averaging 3-4%.
It is virtually impossible, I suggest, to retain a good
quality Labour force, meet rising demand, improve quality
and redesign service delivery on a 1% annual real terms
increase by whole decade, ending up with 7% of GDP, roughly,
By 2020, the combined health and care system now faces a funding
gap, I would suggest, of some ?35 billion a year,
with the 2015 spending revidw closing that gap on the most
favourable interpretations by about ?10 billion.
I have in many previous deb`tes suggested that every user of the NHS
be given an annual return on what they used it for and how
People have to be made award that if they miss an appointment,
it actually costs money, and whatever they have,
actually, somebody is grateful.
But they ought to be made aware that there is a cost to each thing
My Lords, what is the point of growing our economy if wd don't
spend the money on the things most of the population
Given what we know about rising demand, it makes no sense at all.
The consequences of the Govdrnment's failure to address this verx serious
and completely contrary to what it says it wants according
New technologies will be unaffordable.
Services will not be able to address our health inequ`lities,
The silly thing is that nobody really believes in the abilhty
of the system to fill the g`p through efficiency savings
and new models of working, desirable though they may bd.
Can we make the existing system more efficient?
We have some of the best hospitals, some of the best wards,
the best clinics, the best laboratories and the best
Our problem is that there is so much variation across the system.
There is clinical variation, staffing variation, propertx
utilisation variation, procurement variation,
pharmacy and medicines usagd variation, back-office
The latest debate on the state of the NHS.
Now a report from a group of MPs has said transgender people facd
discrimination on a daily b`sis and have "a long way to go"
In the Commons, the equalithes minister was pressed over
Will she recognise the huge amount of online bullying being directed
towards the trans community, leading to high levels of mdntal
health issues in that community and high levels of suicides as well,
and ensure this is tackled when she is reviewing
of the select committee, and I do warmly welcome the very
important, and I think landmark report, that is
It has highlighted lots of action is needed to be
He is absolutely right to mdntion, I have already mentioned issues
about social media, on onlinebullying, the effect that
has on mental health, and the ability for members
of the trans community to take part in life,
What I think we need to do now is look at all the action t`ken
on online abuse, and work ott how we can make sure it is also
accessible to members of the trans community.
Questioning then turn to online abuse in general and revengd porn in
particular. that what is illegal
off-line is illegal online. We have criminalised this abhorrent
Act and the revenge porn helpline It is there to support anyone
affected regardless of genddr, No-one should have to suffer
from this repulsive crime, and we will make sure
that we continue to Will the helpline and other measures
help more victims come forw`rd, and help to take down the vholent
and abusive content, and indeed prosecute and take down
the violent and abusive offdnders? My Honourable Friend
is absolutely right, it is obviously important that those
who are victims get the right through education and awareness
that this is a crime and it The Internet can be a huge force
for good, but it can also bd a platform for abuse
and intimidation, so staff not only monitor their helpline and provide
help and support, but they have also been very successful in havhng
content quickly were moved removed from the Internet and worked
directly with social media Does the Minister recognise the need
to raise awareness about people s rights and the new offence tnder
the criminal Justice Act 2005 rights and the new offence tnder
the Criminal Justice Act 2005 which aims to tackle
the increasing amount of revenge Well, I entirely agree
with the Honourable Gentlem`n that this is an offence that
people are more aware of, but sadly that means
there are more cases of it, and that's why we have crimhnalised
it, why we have put in placd the helpline to offer support,
but of course we have to go further and make it clear that this is not
an acceptable way for peopld to behave, and also to give guidance
to those who might potentially become victims, to think very
carefully about images that they share and how
they could then be abused. What conversations has she had
with social media providers with regard to misogynistic
online abuse, and will Well, I and other ministers,
including the Member for Wantage, the DCMS Minister, speak to social
media providers all the timd about these sorts of issues,
and I welcome the statement from a Twitter director recdntly,
saying that they thought they were doing better
about dealing with trolls, I think they recognised
they needed to do more. Mr Speaker, can I ask
the Secretary of State, what evidence is there of ilproved
data collection so that we know And what evidence is there that
police officers up and down the country are receiving
appropriate training so thex know how to identify and deal
with the perpetrators of thhs abuse? Well, I would have to come back
to the Honourable Gentleman, which I'm very happy
to do, about the issues I suspect that some organis`tions
are better than others, and I mentioned the revenge porn
helpline, which clearly is monitoring and keeping d`ta,
to evaluate one year But I have also already said that
what is illegal offline is hllegal clear to police forces up and down
the country, and we continud Does my Right Honourable Frhend
agree that the increasing dhgital world we live then makes it
absolutely vital to help chhldren, parents and carers be able to tackle
and deal with this vile onlhne abuse I thank my Honourable Friend very
much indeed, she is absolutdly right, of course it is much better
to educate young people agahnst any of this in the first place to make
sure they are robust and resilient if they do come across unwanted
images or cyber bullying, and of course she is right
to mention parents and of course she is right to
mention parents and carers `s well. There are a range of websitds
and organisations that help parents know how to discuss these
issues with children, and we have also invested,
the Government and qualities office and the Home Office,
?3.5 million in a new phase of our This Is Abuse campaign,
which tackles abuse within teenage relationships and will be
launched later this year. You're watching our round-up
of the day in the Commons MPs talk up the prospects
for a booming UK space industry In his budget in July,
the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced plans to replace
maintenance grants for the poorer The change has now been approved
by a decision taken But several Labour MPs complained
that there should have been a vote First, the shadow leader
of the Commons said Let me be absolutely clear, this
should not be secondary leghslation. This is a major change
and will deprive around half a million of England's poorest
students of maintenance grants, The deputy leader is talking
a whole load of guff. If she doesn't know the rulds
of this House, she should Forcing them to graduate
with debts of up to ?53,000 for a three-year cotrse
rather than ?40,500 at presdnt. Given that the abolition of student
grants will hit half a millhon university students from thd poorest
backgrounds, can the leader of the House explain why
this isn't being debated Because the people
in my constituency certainly did not vote
for the people on the opposhte benches, and their democracx
is being assaulted. Well, Mr Speaker, this
is via the normal route, it will not pass without a vote
of the whole House, it will be debated again in this House,
which is more than just this room,Mr Mr Speaker, and of course,
the Labour Party, as I have just announced, has a number
of opposition days come up. If this is a significant
in issue, then I would suggest to her that she encourages
her front bench colleagues to bring it to the floor of this House
if they choose to do so. Opposition also came from a former
president of the National Union Of Students.
What message does the leader of the House believe
he is sending to young people watching our proceedings today,
when a Government elected with a majority
of just 12 on a minority sh`re of the vote and with no manhfesto
commitment can abolish studdnt grants that hit the poorest
studentsthe hardest, and in a committee that
most of our constituents will never have heard of?
Well, Mr Speaker, I simply say that this is a matter
that will be voted on by thhs House, and if it is for the House to vote
against it, that is what will happen.
It will sit on the floor of this House, it will be divisible
on the floor of this House, and if members want to vote
MPs have boldly gone where they ve very rarely gone before,
A timely debate as it came ` matter of hours before Major Tim Pdake
becomes the first-ever Brithsh astronaut to do a spacewalk.
a month ago and is due to c`rry out on the international space station
His stint in space comes as the competition continues to find
a location to be a UK Space Port to help develop a British
In the Commons, the debate on space started with a surprise message
beamed to the House from Captain Kirk
And I therefore have a mess`ge to the House of Commons frol William
"Space is one of the last-known frontiers.
"Mostly untouched by mankind in his politics.
"In opening a debate on this subject, it is my hope is that
"you take the tenets of Star Trek's prime directive to universally
"and peacefully share in the exploration of it.
To us in this country, we think space is for other people,
it's for the big boys, North America, Russia,
And that's something we have to change,
we need to believe what we can do, and I think Major Tim Peake's
We see the interest of schoolchildren -
the Science Museum was packdd on the day of the launch,
with members in this place watching it live on a screen.
And we hope that that's going to lead to an
interest in these subjects and an absolute belief in the space
She said Prestwick in her constituency had many advantages to
become Britain's new spaceport. I would just like to say in closing,
Prestwick was Scotland's first-ever passenger airport,
and it was actually founded by Group Captain David McIntyre
the first man to fly This is the kind of imagination
and drive that we need, so I call on the Minister
to please be imaginative, enable this industry
across the entire UK so that it can The other main contender to be a
spaceport is Newquay in the south-west of England.
I just want to put on record and make members aware that Cornwall
Newquay has a runway that c`n takethe very fastest and thd largest
Formerly the home of an RAF base, it Newquay is an ideal location
A Labour MP said a British space industry would bring many bdnefits.
The value created by this bx this industry grows the economy,
and increases tax revenues, thereby helping to fund public
services, and research carrhed out in the space industry has positive
applications back here on e`rth whether it's things like satellite
technology, addressing food crops, whether it's experimenting
with materials and how they can react, and major Tim Peake himself,
whilst on the International Space Station, is carrying out experiments
to measure pressure in the brain, which could have important future
The value of the space industry in the UK has
gone from 6.5 billion pounds in 2007 up to ?11.8 billion
The potential to double again is there.
With Tim Peake's recent mission sure to rekindle interest
in the space industry, this is a trend sure to continue.
Tim's iconic voyage into space, living and
working on the International Space Station, is beamed into our lives,
and this is fascinating - tweet by tweet, he has paid tribute
to David Bowie's Starman, and he sent us his extraordhnary
aerial views of the planet alongside space-suit selfies.
It really gives a feeling of life there on the space station,
as well as these iconic views and iconic visions.
And he raises our aspirations to the
Let's make the most of this chance to spark young people's
interest in the career of the future.
The Minister recalled the words of President Kennedy more than 50 years
ago. America was embarked
upon a mission of internationalism, and two ydars
later, in his Apollo speech, asother members have referenced
andannounced that America chooses to go to the moon not
because it was easy but because it was hard,
and did so in a spirit of internationalism and a spirit
of appeal to the best It is a beautiful thing,
I think, that every minute, every hour, every d`y
in space, is left on the moon and inscription that
says, "Mankind came to the moon in a spirit
of freedom and peace." about our society and all
we want to achieve, and it is for those reasons,
I think, that the Prime Minhster asked that we harness
the inspirational power of major Tim Peake's lission
to inspire the next generathon of scientists and engineers
and to bring the country together. But the minister wouldn't bd drawn
on where the UK's space port might eventually be sited -
he said the various bids from MPs from across the country had been
heard loud and clear. Do join me for The Week
in Parliament, when we not only look back at the last few days
at Westminster, but also discuss the changes being put forward
regarding how the House of Lords deals with laws sent to thel
by the House of Commons. Until then, from me,
Keith Macdougall, goodbye.