04/02/2016 Thursday in Parliament


04/02/2016

Highlights of Thursday 4 February in Parliament presented by Alicia McCarthy.


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After David Cameron unveils his proposed EU deal,

:00:11.:00:17.

MPs become poetic about Parliamentary sovereignty...

:00:18.:00:20.

Methinks I see in my mind, a noble and puissant nation.

:00:21.:00:26.

Rousing herself like a strong man after

:00:27.:00:28.

There's derision and anger over attempts by an American anth

:00:29.:00:35.

And as the anti EU groups jockey for position, Labour's Chris Bryant

:00:36.:00:42.

wonders if one cabinet minister will be taking tips

:00:43.:00:44.

Will he just sign up to the People's Front of Judaea

:00:45.:00:48.

and the Popular Front of Judea at the same

:00:49.:00:52.

Find out exactly what Chris Bryant is talking about at the end

:00:53.:00:57.

But first: Conservative Eurosceptics have used a Commons debate

:00:58.:01:02.

to denounce the scope of thd Prime Minister's European Union ddal.

:01:03.:01:08.

David Cameron spent part of the day with the President

:01:09.:01:10.

of the European Union, Donald Tusk, to discuss the draft deal ftrther.

:01:11.:01:15.

The proposals cover parliamdntary sovereignty, migration,

:01:16.:01:18.

If the plans are approved by all the 27 other member states

:01:19.:01:24.

they'll be put to British voters in a referendum.

:01:25.:01:28.

In the Commons, a Conservathve, opened a debate on the sovereignty

:01:29.:01:31.

There can be no greater isste for this Parliament to debate

:01:32.:01:43.

and defend than the country's sovereignty.

:01:44.:01:44.

It goes to the heart of everything we do.

:01:45.:01:51.

Without it we cannot truly have final say on a host of issuds,

:01:52.:01:56.

including the primacy of our laws, the integrity of our borders

:01:57.:01:58.

And yet as the EU negotiations proceed, it appears that little

:01:59.:02:04.

effort is being made to truly restore Parliamentary

:02:05.:02:06.

We appear to have a system which has more holes in it

:02:07.:02:11.

So much so, it is more like something that has been

:02:12.:02:18.

The idea is we club together and form a majority with other

:02:19.:02:26.

national parliaments to stop unwanted EU taxes and laws,

:02:27.:02:30.

but this would not enable otr Parliament by itself to rejdct

:02:31.:02:33.

If we cannot get rid of the people that are in an institution

:02:34.:02:38.

I want to come to the so-called shared social

:02:39.:02:45.

Europe which I believe is a complete sham.

:02:46.:02:50.

It is used as a lever to persuade Social Democratic and socialist

:02:51.:02:53.

parties to say yes to the European union.

:02:54.:03:01.

When it comes to the crunch, they find always...

:03:02.:03:11.

Free movement is not about being benign,

:03:12.:03:14.

it is about keeping wages down, making sure they are kept down

:03:15.:03:17.

When you cut through all the appearances,

:03:18.:03:20.

He is right to raise this above mere technicalities.

:03:21.:03:32.

He will remember that he was told that

:03:33.:03:43.

the blood of the martyrs is the seed of his church,

:03:44.:03:46.

is not the blood of all those parliamentarians who died in defence

:03:47.:03:52.

This is not just a point of no return.

:03:53.:03:56.

That is the position, I do not need to say any more.

:03:57.:04:01.

This is about the liberties of this country.

:04:02.:04:08.

It is about the liberties of men, from GK Chesterton and John Gower,

:04:09.:04:11.

smile at us, pay us and pass us but do not quite forget us

:04:12.:04:14.

because we are the people of England that have never spoken yet.

:04:15.:04:20.

We are the sovereign people of Scotland and sovereignitx

:04:21.:04:25.

over our nation is and always will be vested.

:04:26.:04:37.

For Scotland sovereignty is not resided in this place.

:04:38.:04:39.

It does not reside in those of us who serve in here but residds

:04:40.:04:42.

in those who have sent us to serve in this place.

:04:43.:04:45.

For those who want to hold to the idea,

:04:46.:04:47.

I genuinely am interested in the concept that the institution

:04:48.:04:49.

of Parliament is sovereign, even over the people.

:04:50.:04:52.

Perhaps someone could explahn who decided that Parliament

:04:53.:04:54.

was sovereign and who gave them the right

:04:55.:04:56.

to decide that Parliament was sovereign?

:04:57.:05:02.

I suspect that the people agreed this and therefore the people

:05:03.:05:04.

retain the right to change that decision.

:05:05.:05:09.

Not attempting to address now the technicalities of this hssue,

:05:10.:05:13.

the economic rights and wrongs, let me conclude on a note of freedom

:05:14.:05:16.

with the words of John Milton himself.

:05:17.:05:22.

Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant nation,

:05:23.:05:28.

rousing herself like a strong man after sleep and shaking

:05:29.:05:33.

Methinks I see her as an eagle, mewling her mighty

:05:34.:05:43.

youth and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full midday

:05:44.:05:46.

When he spoke those words, he spoke in defence of freedom and truth

:05:47.:05:53.

Let us believe in the genius of our country.

:05:54.:06:04.

Geoffrey Cox, with a stirring speech on parliamentary sovereigntx.

:06:05.:06:08.

Now, ever heard of the group which calls itself

:06:09.:06:11.

the Return of Kings?

:06:12.:06:12.

They claim to be standing up for men against feminism.

:06:13.:06:15.

The group's founder is the @merican, Daryush Valizadeh -

:06:16.:06:17.

He likes to voice deliberatdly provocative views about rapd

:06:18.:06:22.

and the superiority of men over women.

:06:23.:06:26.

It was reported that Return of Kings was going to hold nine meethngs

:06:27.:06:29.

around the UK - just for men of course.

:06:30.:06:32.

It now claims to have cancelled the get-togethers.

:06:33.:06:35.

But in the Commons, MPs urgdd the Home Office to ban Roosh V

:06:36.:06:39.

Player in the plans of May lac to travel to this country? Has she

:06:40.:07:00.

considered classifying the return of kings as a prescribed group?

:07:01.:07:04.

This individual and the proposals by this group are repulsive

:07:05.:07:07.

and everyone in this hounds will join

:07:08.:07:08.

her and me in condemning what they have said and this has no

:07:09.:07:12.

We should ridicule, we should show contempt and show these

:07:13.:07:21.

The SNP spokesman said thesd views were repugnant.

:07:22.:07:42.

for this gentleman, I use the word loosely,

:07:43.:07:45.

kingdom, will she liaise with the Scottish government

:07:46.:07:48.

and other devolved governments for any plans

:07:49.:07:50.

Can I start by assuring her I will copy it into the later.

:07:51.:07:56.

We do want to take all steps that we possibly can.

:07:57.:07:59.

I will set out in depth the steps that we can take.

:08:00.:08:01.

On the side of the House, everyone would welcome a proactive

:08:02.:08:04.

engagement from the Home Secretary and her

:08:05.:08:06.

department to not only excltde this man who is an embarrassment

:08:07.:08:15.

to all men and to proscribe his organisation as well.

:08:16.:08:17.

His planned meetings may well have been at

:08:18.:08:20.

publicity stunt by an attention seeker, so insecure in his own

:08:21.:08:28.

masculinity that he goes to this lengths to augment the size

:08:29.:08:31.

But I have been contacted by many constituents,

:08:32.:08:40.

men and women, outraged, revulsed but also afraid

:08:41.:08:42.

Can she reassure them that `nyone meeting in Newcastle or anywhere

:08:43.:08:48.

or coming to this country to plan and

:08:49.:08:54.

condone rape would be treatdd in the same way as someone planning

:08:55.:08:57.

I can assure her that is a criminal offence and they would be to to do

:08:58.:09:06.

Can I enjoin her for her re`sons as to why this individual is doing

:09:07.:09:16.

what he is doing, ensuring he is getting

:09:17.:09:18.

publicity and the way he nedds to do so for other reasons.

:09:19.:09:21.

Any event which plans to co`ch men how to coerce women

:09:22.:09:25.

It is an issue of public safety and order.

:09:26.:09:31.

Would she also join me in condemning the sick minded halfwits

:09:32.:09:34.

who support these events and were planning to attend

:09:35.:09:38.

and welcome that they will now be sitting in their

:09:39.:09:40.

underpants eating cold ravioli from a tin this week.

:09:41.:09:46.

The Minister replied that hd had conjured up "quite an image there".

:09:47.:09:49.

You're watching Thursday in Parliament, here on BBC

:09:50.:09:51.

Parliament, with me, Alicia McCarthy.

:09:52.:10:01.

The United Nations has set ` target of halving food waste by 2030.

:10:02.:10:04.

The Government says progress is being made -

:10:05.:10:06.

since 2009, household food waste has been cut by 17% -

:10:07.:10:11.

but it seems there's still a long way to go.

:10:12.:10:17.

The average household in the United Kingdom wastes more

:10:18.:10:20.

We must ensure that food is not wasted in the first place on its way

:10:21.:10:30.

from the farm gate to the House and if food cannot be consuled

:10:31.:10:35.

by humans, we must ensure that it is consumed by anim`ls,

:10:36.:10:38.

and that it goes to anaerobhc digesters only as a last resort

:10:39.:10:44.

The Soil Association estimates that between 20% to 40% of UK frtit

:10:45.:10:47.

and veg is rejected before ht even reaches the shop.

:10:48.:10:52.

It is deemed as being a kind of wonky veg because it fails

:10:53.:10:55.

to meet the supermarket's strict cosmetic requirements.

:10:56.:10:58.

Will the minister ensure th`t supermarkets and manufacturdrs

:10:59.:11:01.

transparently publish their supply chain waste?

:11:02.:11:04.

I think Tesco is doing that with food waste hotspots?

:11:05.:11:08.

That is vital if we are to `chieve a meaningful reduction in w`ste

:11:09.:11:12.

I absolutely agree that that is vital, and we recently held

:11:13.:11:16.

a round-table with retailers on that issue.

:11:17.:11:19.

One solution, although not ` total solution, is being pioneered

:11:20.:11:22.

by Tesco and Co-operative supermarkets, which are looking

:11:23.:11:24.

at individual varieties, for example, of potatoes,

:11:25.:11:27.

that result in much less food waste on the way

:11:28.:11:30.

My constituents in Kettering, especially those from the w`rtime

:11:31.:11:37.

generation, are horrified about the amount

:11:38.:11:38.

How can we get back to the principle that we do not put more food

:11:39.:11:47.

on our plate than we can eat, and that we consume

:11:48.:11:50.

My honourable friend has dr`wn attention to one of the central

:11:51.:12:00.

points of this issue, which is human

:12:01.:12:01.

Certain things can be done by the Government and others

:12:02.:12:08.

by retailers, but in the end a lot of responsibility rests on ts

:12:09.:12:11.

all regarding how much food we buy, how we use it,

:12:12.:12:14.

MPs moved on to the promotion of British food,

:12:15.:12:18.

We launched the Great British Food Unit in January.

:12:19.:12:22.

It brings together expertisd from UK Trade and Investment

:12:23.:12:24.

and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to create

:12:25.:12:27.

a team of 40 people in London and teams around the world,

:12:28.:12:29.

including five people in Chhna, to promote Great British food.

:12:30.:12:32.

I am pleased to say that food and drink manufacturers havd already

:12:33.:12:35.

agreed to expand their exports by a third by 2020.

:12:36.:12:42.

The Great British Food Unit, and the enthusiastic Secret`ry

:12:43.:12:44.

of State will know that somd of the greatest food on earth comes

:12:45.:12:47.

from the Gloucester Old Spot pig and from Gloucester cattle,

:12:48.:12:51.

including the single Gloucester cheese, which is famously used

:12:52.:12:54.

There is no better place to see these and 130 other great Gloucester

:12:55.:13:01.

producers than the Gloucestdr services on the M5, describdd

:13:02.:13:06.

by the Telegraph as probablx the best service station in the UK.

:13:07.:13:11.

Were she to find herself ne`r the M5 in the near future, my honotrable

:13:12.:13:18.

friend the Member for Stroud and I would give her a warm welcome

:13:19.:13:21.

I thank my honourable friend for his extremely kind invitation.

:13:22.:13:39.

It is one of the best offers I have had all year.

:13:40.:13:42.

Next time I am driving along the M5, which I frequently am,

:13:43.:13:45.

I will be very happy to meet him at this amazing service station

:13:46.:13:51.

The Secretary of State has lade the honourable gentleman's day,

:13:52.:13:54.

possibly his month and conceivably his year.

:13:55.:13:58.

The government may not get back any of the money it gave

:13:59.:14:03.

to the collapsed charity Kids Company.

:14:04.:14:07.

Ministers handed over ?3 million just a day before

:14:08.:14:11.

its charismatic founder clahmed on its website that it ran four

:14:12.:14:19.

centres, a therapy house and worked in more than 40 schools in London,

:14:20.:14:23.

as well as working with children in Bristol and Liverpool.

:14:24.:14:26.

In the Commons, the chair of the Commons Public Adminhstration

:14:27.:14:29.

Committee set out the findings of its report

:14:30.:14:32.

We found that an extraordin`ry catalogue of failures of governance

:14:33.:14:39.

and control had taken place in Kids Company.

:14:40.:14:42.

Bernard Jenkin said the report called for more powers

:14:43.:14:44.

for the charity commission, and he said there were lessons to be

:14:45.:14:47.

learned for other charities and for the Government.

:14:48.:14:52.

Kids Company received more than ?42 million in grants

:14:53.:14:54.

from central Government across several administrations,

:14:55.:14:58.

and it has not had to compete for a grant since 2013.

:14:59.:15:02.

Other charities have voiced bitter discontent

:15:03.:15:05.

Government will need to work hard to restore faith in the grant-giving

:15:06.:15:11.

The only conclusion that anxone can reach is that either they dhd not

:15:12.:15:22.

know or understand the implhcations of what was going on in the charity,

:15:23.:15:25.

The Charity Commission's guhdance requires trustees to make ddcisions

:15:26.:15:31.

They should not allow themsdlves to be swayed by personal prdjudices

:15:32.:15:36.

I am quoting direct from thdir guidance.

:15:37.:15:46.

That seems to be exactly what happened in Kids Company,

:15:47.:15:49.

however, and it must be in danger of happening in every large charity

:15:50.:15:52.

that has been built up by a powerful and influential founder.

:15:53.:15:56.

The lesson is a universal one for all trustees.

:15:57.:15:59.

The last tranche of Governmdnt money, ?3 million, was given

:16:00.:16:03.

to facilitate restructuring, but I was surprised to see

:16:04.:16:09.

in the television programme aired on BBC One last night the ilpression

:16:10.:16:13.

given that the management and the chief executive had other

:16:14.:16:18.

ideas about how that money was going to be spent.

:16:19.:16:22.

Do we know whether the ?2 mhllion balance of the unspent ?3 mhllion

:16:23.:16:29.

that was given has been recovered by the Government?

:16:30.:16:32.

Will there be any further investigations into that money

:16:33.:16:37.

passing to Kids Company virtually 24 hours before it shut down,

:16:38.:16:42.

or is this report the end of the matter?

:16:43.:16:49.

That last question is very interesting.

:16:50.:16:52.

There is an ongoing investigation by the official receiver,

:16:53.:16:58.

which should be able to tell us what happened to that money

:16:59.:17:02.

and if any money is due to be returned to the Government.

:17:03.:17:05.

I am not a legal expert, but I think that once the Government

:17:06.:17:09.

handed over the money, it belonged to the charity.

:17:10.:17:12.

It no longer belonged to the Government and,

:17:13.:17:15.

although the Government might be a creditor,

:17:16.:17:17.

they will probably have to pueue up behind other creditors.

:17:18.:17:19.

I very much hope that the Government might accept that the emploxees

:17:20.:17:26.

who lost their employment vdry abruptly are entitled to sole

:17:27.:17:34.

measure of recompense, perhaps out of those funds.

:17:35.:17:37.

The Government has been challenged in the Lords to make a decision

:17:38.:17:41.

sooner rather than later on the expansion

:17:42.:17:43.

An independent report by the Davies Commission has

:17:44.:17:48.

recommended building a new runway at Heathrow rather than providing

:17:49.:17:52.

But ministers have delayed `cting on the report until further analysis

:17:53.:17:58.

of the potential environmental impact has been carried out -

:17:59.:18:02.

a move that led to accusations of dithering.

:18:03.:18:05.

The ball has now been kicked firmly into the long grass and every

:18:06.:18:09.

so often the Transport Secrdtary kicks it further away

:18:10.:18:11.

If the Government really believe that the decision to increase

:18:12.:18:17.

airport capacity is urgent and important, how much longer

:18:18.:18:20.

will they dither over this hssue because they do not want to make

:18:21.:18:23.

The Government have been quite clear.

:18:24.:18:28.

The reasons for further consideration included environmental

:18:29.:18:34.

issues such as air pollution - a subject close to

:18:35.:18:37.

This is not about keeping things up in the air.

:18:38.:18:44.

On the contrary, it is about getting those things in the air down

:18:45.:18:47.

There is some confusion in ly mind, and perhaps in that

:18:48.:18:51.

of the Government as well, as to whether this airport dxpansion

:18:52.:18:54.

is primarily to provide extra capacity for the crowded sotth-east

:18:55.:18:56.

or whether it is to establish an up-to-date hub airport

:18:57.:18:59.

If it is to establish a first-class, international hub airport,

:19:00.:19:05.

surely it is better located outside the south-east.

:19:06.:19:09.

Will the Government not consider Birmingham,

:19:10.:19:13.

That option presents far fewer problems than those facing

:19:14.:19:19.

It is much closer to Britain's centre of gravity and is halfway

:19:20.:19:26.

to the aspirational northern powerhouse.

:19:27.:19:30.

As far as the expansion of south-east capacity is concerned,

:19:31.:19:35.

the Government are committed to the findings

:19:36.:19:38.

That is in no sense to take away from the importance

:19:39.:19:43.

Indeed, all regional airports, including Birmingham,

:19:44.:19:47.

mentioned by the noble Lord, are already benefiting

:19:48.:19:50.

from increased investment and are an important part of UK

:19:51.:19:55.

plc's competitive global offering across the world.

:19:56.:20:03.

Airlines cannot be compelled to fly into airports they

:20:04.:20:09.

Should we not all agree now that the alternatives

:20:10.:20:15.

to Heathrow are not Birmingham or Stansted, but Schiphol,

:20:16.:20:21.

Either we can have the business in this country, in London,

:20:22.:20:27.

My noble friend raises an important point.

:20:28.:20:34.

On the first element, the commercial decisions on air

:20:35.:20:37.

slots are very much for the airlines to make.

:20:38.:20:41.

As for the competitiveness of London vis-a-vis competitors in Europe

:20:42.:20:45.

that is one reason why the Government are committed

:20:46.:20:48.

to further expansion of air capacity in the south-east.

:20:49.:20:54.

Could the minister promise ts faithfully that we will havd

:20:55.:20:56.

a decision on expansion at Heathrow Airport

:20:57.:20:59.

after the elections for London Mayor?

:21:00.:21:03.

I can assure the noble Baroness I speak for all my noble frhends

:21:04.:21:07.

on the front bench and beyond, that we always seek to give answers

:21:08.:21:11.

Will the minister confirm that airports policy is now

:21:12.:21:18.

being co-ordinated by Sir John Chilcot?

:21:19.:21:30.

Back in the Commons, a Conservative MP has apologised

:21:31.:21:41.

more than ?400,000 of outside income on time.

:21:42.:21:50.

The Standards Committee found that Geoffrey Cox,

:21:51.:21:52.

who's a QC, had committed a "serious" breach of rules,

:21:53.:21:54.

although it accepted he had not "intended to hide" the paymdnts

:21:55.:21:57.

The MP was a member of the Standards Committee,

:21:58.:22:05.

in October after it emerged he had repeatedly missed the 28-dax

:22:06.:22:12.

In 2009, the House resolved that honourable

:22:13.:22:15.

members should register all outside earnings within 28 days

:22:16.:22:17.

of their receipt, whether connected with their parliamentary

:22:18.:22:19.

For a prolonged period last year, I very much regret that I f`iled

:22:20.:22:24.

to comply with that rule in respect of my professional

:22:25.:22:28.

The House has a right to expect of its Members, particularlx those

:22:29.:22:35.

on the Standards Committee, as I was, that they will uphold

:22:36.:22:39.

For that reason, I have stepped down from the Standards Committed,

:22:40.:22:46.

and I hope that the House will accept my sincere

:22:47.:22:49.

and full-hearted apology for my failure to observe

:22:50.:22:52.

Finally to business questions, a chance for MPs to ask the Leader

:22:53.:23:00.

of the House for a debate on a subject of their choicd,

:23:01.:23:03.

but more often than not a chance for the Shadow Leader to poke

:23:04.:23:06.

This week, Chris Bryant took aim at the rival groups which h`ve been

:23:07.:23:11.

set up to campaign for the TK to leave the EU.

:23:12.:23:15.

The Leader of the House, Chris Grayling, has signalldd he'll

:23:16.:23:18.

But which group would he join?

:23:19.:23:25.

So Leave.EU believes that Vote Leave does not really

:23:26.:23:27.

Vote Leave believes, however, that Leave.EU is a bunch

:23:28.:23:33.

Leave.EU thinks that Vote Ldave are a bunch of hippy-dippy,

:23:34.:23:39.

let-it-all-hang-out libertarian lunatics.

:23:40.:23:42.

Will the Leader of the Housd tell us which group he is going to join

:23:43.:23:49.

Will it be Grassroots Out, Vote Leave or Leave.EU,

:23:50.:23:53.

or will he just sign up to the People's Front of Judea,

:23:54.:23:57.

the Judean Popular People's Front and the Popular Front of Judea

:23:58.:24:00.

A reference there to Monty Python's Life of Brian.

:24:01.:24:03.

But Chris Grayling fired back, attacking Labour over comments

:24:04.:24:06.

from its Shadow Chancellor on the future of Europe.

:24:07.:24:10.

Once again, we heard nothing of this week's events in the Labour Party

:24:11.:24:15.

As if using nuclear submarines as troop carriers was not enough,

:24:16.:24:26.

the Shadow Chancellor now w`nts to get rid of borders.

:24:27.:24:35.

We would have terrorists crossing borders, organised crime

:24:36.:24:39.

spreading its nets and more and more migration against the wishes

:24:40.:24:41.

The Labour Party has been sdized by a madcap ideology,

:24:42.:24:47.

and the Shadow Leader of thd House is still sitting there

:24:48.:24:49.

The SNP's Pete Wishart had a different take on

:24:50.:24:54.

The former keyboard player for the rock group Runrig is now

:24:55.:24:58.

a member of a band made up of current and ex-MPs called MP ,

:24:59.:25:02.

Lastly, Mr Speaker, I come to an issue on which we might

:25:03.:25:09.

all be able to agree - MP4 for Eurovision!

:25:10.:25:12.

I know you are a fan, Mr Spdaker, as is the Leader of the House.

:25:13.:25:18.

This is a political contest, as we know, and we have had

:25:19.:25:21.

all these young starlet acts trying to achieve a win,

:25:22.:25:24.

but now is the time for grizzled old politicians to get

:25:25.:25:27.

in there and do their bit for the United Kingdom.

:25:28.:25:29.

I am sure I will secure the support of the whole Hotse

:25:30.:25:32.

Chris Grayling said he thought that was a great idea!

:25:33.:25:38.

Which Euro unity brings us to the end of this edition

:25:39.:25:41.

of the programme, but do john me on Friday night at 11pm

:25:42.:25:44.

for a full round-up of the week here at Westminster,

:25:45.:25:46.

but until then, from me, Alicia McCarthy, goodbye.

:25:47.:25:53.

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