14/01/2016 Thursday in Parliament


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.


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