22/06/2017 Thursday in Parliament


Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Thursday 22 June, presented by Alicia McCarthy.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 22/06/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Hello, welcome to Thursday In Parliament.


Theresa May says tests are being carried out


on tower block cladding, following the Grenfell fire.


As a precaution, the Government has arranged to test cladding in all


relevant tower blocks. Shortly before I came to the Chamber, I was


informed that a number of these tests have come back as compost to


bowl. -- combustible. The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd,


warns the UK is entering We must do more to defeat ideologies


of hatred by turning towards British values. Churchill famously said,


courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it


takes to sit down and listen. But first - The Prime Minister has


revealed that tests have shown that cladding used on some high-rise


buildings is combustible. Theresa May was making a statement


to the Commons following the fire at the Grenfell Tower block


in West London last week. At least 79 people are


believed to have died, with hundreds more made


homeless and having lost It's estimated that 600 other


blocks in England have Mr Speaker, it should


never have happened. In a few moments, I will say how


we are going to discover why But as I said yesterday,


that initial failure was then compounded by the fact that the


support on the ground in the initial As Prime Minister, I have


apologised for that second failure and taking


responsibility for doing what we can It quickly became clear that


Kensington and Chelsea could not cope.


And it was right the Chief Executive Officer had


resigned, but it wasn't just about the steps taken


in the first few weeks, but what happened long


Each family had received a ?500,000 payment for food


So far, more than 700,000 had been paid out.


Mr Speaker, that people understand they can keep the


These grants are not loans and they will not be


Neither are they waiving any legal rights as a result of accepting this


The payments will be disregarded for means tested welfare


So no-one in receipt of benefits will see their


benefits cut if they accept emergency support.


And I would like to reassure people that we will not


use this tragic incident as a reason to carry


those involved or on those providing vital information to identify


victims or those assisting with the criminal investigation.


And new homes were being found for those left homeless.


Mrs May confirmed there'd be a public inquiry and hoped there'd


be an interim report as soon as possible.


In the meantime, safety checks had and were being carried out.


I should of course be careful on speculating


But as a precaution, the Government has


arranged to test cladding in all relevant tower blocks.


Mr Speaker, shortly before I came to the


Chamber, I was informed that a number of these tests have come


The relevant local authorities and local Fire Services


And as they speak, they are taking all possible


steps to ensure buildings are safe and to inform affected residents.


There is grief, there is anger, and there is also great


And I hope the whole house will join with me in


commending the community spirit and public support which helped


Every single one of those deaths could and should


The Grenfell Tower residents themselves had


raised concerns about the lack of fire safety in the block.


The Grenfell Action Group had warned, and I quote, "It is a truly


terrifying thought, but the Grenfell Action Group firmly


believes that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude


the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation."


The Prime Minister said it is right that the CEO of Kensington and


It may be, but why aren't the political leaders of Kensington


and Chelsea taking responsibility as well for this


Mr Speaker, from Hillsborough to the child sex abuse


scandal to Grenfell Tower, the pattern is consistent.


Working-class people's' voices are ignored, there are concerns


We have to learn those lessons to make sure this tragedy is


a turning point in our whole attitude and never again do people


die needlessly in a towering inferno, living in poverty,


This needs to be about Parliament recognising the significance of what


We can never be as a country in this position again.


And I welcome the remarks of the Prime Minister


Let's make sure that social housing is something that we invest in.


The local MP said she spoke on behalf of a traumatised


and frightened community with little trust in authority.


She called for cuts in Fire Services to be reversed.


Will the Prime Minister commit to an adequate fund to enable emergency


services and particularly the London Fire Brigade to be fully funded to


carry out this work and reverse the cuts to the funding of Fire Services


that have made their lives so difficult? These people have quite


literally paralysed in their hands. In short, where is the funding? In


recent years, London has seen many high-quality high-rises being built,


often financed with hot foreign money and then left empty for years,


sometimes with the kitchens clingfilm and pristine. Where we all


understand there are occasions when the landlord will need to leave an


apartment empty from time to time, when brand-new properties are empty


for many years, to the prime ministers think it is rape to


discuss with her honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer


change in the taxation regime so that these people face punitive


taxation? My wife and I mentored and employed and encouraged a young


woman who lost her life with her mother on the 20th floor of Grenfell


Tower. On their behalf, and all the people that died, I urge the Prime


Minister to say something more about the criminal investigation that was


announced last week. She has talked about public enquiry, but she


understands that most people see this as a crime and they know that


rich and powerful organisations get away with crime. The criminal


investigation has been opened by the Metropolitan Police. The red


honourable gentleman invites me to comment on that in a whole variety


of ways will stop people know this is an operational matter for the


Metropolitan Police. It is for them to determine any point at which they


have evidence which could lead to prosecutions or two charges or


presentations. We must let the net do their job. Was cladding of the


type used in Grenfell Tower compliant with the fire safety and


building regulations applicable at the time when the rougher


abridgement was undertaken, yes or no?


Theresa May said the Fire Service and the building research


establishment had been looking at the cause of the fire


They expected to make the result of those tests public


The Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, has departmental


responsibility for housing in England, and he told the Commons


that there had to be a new approach towards social housing in the wake


Speaking in the continuing Queen's Speech debate,


Sajid Javid said a change of attitude was needed.


We all need to rethink our approach to social housing.


And we need to reflect on the way that successive


governments have engaged with and responded to social tenants.


We don't yet know for could have been Grenfell Tower at their home


had been listened to, but we do know that for far too


could have been Grenfell Tower at their home


had been listened to, but we do know that for far too


long their voices so if nothing else, let the legacy


of Grenfell Tower be that such voices will never


Does he actually accept and will he confirm now that since 2010,


governments record in building social homes is deplorable and has


shown in fact a 97% fall in social housing stocks?


Mr Deputy Speaker, there was a deplorable record on


building social homes, and that was the last


But of course, we have a Welsh Labour


Government in Wales that is committed to building 20,000 new


homes and is building new social housing


and council housing in


Would he also agree that lessons need to be


learned from Wales on a different approach to fire safety, and the


fact that we introduce measures that requires sprinkler systems to be


fitted in a new high-rise buildings and converted buildings?


There are a lot of lessons to be learnt from


I think when it comes to fire safety, we should learn lessons from


The honourable gentleman will also know that for


new buildings since 2007, it has also been a requirement to require


Labour's John Huey said there were still answers about the Government's


response to the Grenfell Tower fire. He also needs to make clear,


which the Prime Minister did not, if remedial work


is required in order to make these blocks safe,


and funding is required to do that, then


the Government will provide that funding to make sure those building


or made safe for the residents. We made it clear that we will pave


the testing. If there is a local authority, in terms of implementing


any necessary changes they need support and help, we will work


without local to provide it. Support, help and funding if they


need it, is that what the secretary is saying to this House, yes or no?


What we have made clear is that if there is a local authority that need


support, including funding support, we will work with them to provide


funding support. I am grateful for that, I think the house is grateful


for that. Finally, it has taken probably a dozen questions to him


and to be Prime Minister and the leader of the house during the


course of the day to get that statement, but it is of course


welcome. You're watching Thursday in


Parliament with me, Alicia McCarthy. The response to the string of recent


terror attacks is to be examined by the former independent reviewer


of terrorism legislation, The recent attacks in London


and Manchester have claimed There was outrage after an attack


on an Ariana Grande Concert in Manchester at the end of May,


which happened as thousands of youngsters were streaming


out of the venue. The suicide bomber blew himself up


by detonating a device in the foyer The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd,


told MPs Mr Anderson would be reviewing the Government's


counter-terrorism strategy, to make sure the police


and the security services had We are entering a new phase


of global terrorism and many of the challenges that


we face are unprecedented. We now believe we are


experiencing a new trend We must do more to defeat


ideologies of hatred by turning people's minds away from


violence and towards pluralistic We must make sure that these


ideologies are not able We must do more to


force tech companies to take down terror-related content


from their platforms. And we must also do more


to identify, challenge and stamp out the extremism


that lurks in our communities. Doing more also means


asking difficult questions In light of the terrorist attacks


in London and Manchester, Britain's counterterrorism strategy will be


reviewed to make sure that the police and the security services


have what they need to keep us safe. In addition to this,


there will be a review of the handling of recent terror


attacks to look at whether lessons can be learned


about our approach. I'm pleased to announce


that David Anderson, former independent reviewer


of terrorist legislation, I noted the actions the Government


has taken in the Home Secretary's statement, and largely on this side


of the House, we support them. But we would warn


against an emphasis on more legislation rather than looking


at the issue of resources. We will look at all


legislative proposals that the Government brings forward


on their merits, but we believe that resources is at the heart of this,


not just new legislation. It is one thing to


talk about specialist policing and security resources,


but we cannot overstate, the importance


of neighbourhood policing. It is that neighbourhood


engagement at all levels, often in the what might seem


simple ways, that builds the confidence in communities of


officialdom and the Government and encourages people to come


forward with their information which may help us to stop future


terrorist activity happening. And we have said, and we


continue to say, it was wrong that since 2010, we have lost


20,000 in police numbers. During the election


campaign, the Prime Minister spoke of ripping up human


rights to fight terrorism. We'll be Home Secretary


confirmed that there is absolutely nothing


in the Human Rights Act or European Convention


on Human Rights that would prevent us


taking a robust approach to terrorism and therefore will she


confirm that there is no plans to tear up human rights


and that we can tackle terrorism and uphold the standards


of this society Ms Rudd didn't answer directly,


saying simply that the Government would provide the resources


necessary to keep the country safe. The Prime Minister, Theresa May


is in Brussels for talks It's her first European summit


since losing her Commons majority She'll be setting out her plans


to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens living


in EU countries. While the Prime Minister was engaged


in Brexit negotiations, the House of Lords was debating


the implications of the Queen's speech


for international affairs. Brexit was uppermost


in many peers' minds too, with the Archbishop of Canterbury


calling for a cross-party position What makes this such


an exceptional time is that for perhaps only


the second or third time in a couple of centuries,


we find ourselves needing, as we come to Brexit, to redefine


our whole approach to foreign policy and what our place


should be in the world. Trade deals, custom


unions, single markets, financial passports,


not all are without use unless they are seen


as a means to serve individuals, Over the past few weeks,


it has felt as though we've been overwhelmed by a storm of events


that have tested our deepest values We are being tested not only


in how we handle security, but also diversity, integration,


social mobility and inequality. The aftermath of the horrific


fire at the Grenfell Tower in Kensington has


given us particular need There is no doubt that the response


from the emergency services and civic society has been,


and continues to be, remarkable. Communities have been


revealed as effective. Many though, including the Prime


Minister herself, have recognised that the support from the state has


been inadequate in its response to those urgently and


desperately in need. Such failure is ultimately


a failure of values. Lord West thought the Queen's speech


overstated the UK's strength. At paragraph 25,


the gracious speech states that ministers will ensure


that the United Kingdom's leading role on the world stage


is maintained and enhanced Our soft power is formidable


but it is as nothing if not backed by hard power


as has been true for decades. Indeed, it has been our


military capability that has allowed successive prime


ministers and foreign secretaries for those decades to stride the


world and punch above our weight. The implications for security


of Europe are severe. We and the United States,


and we should be proud of this, have actually ensured


Europe's defence And Lord Sterling -


who voted for Brexit - In the Queen's speech,


the gracious speech, the very first sentence is


"My Government's priority is I think that is a shocking word


to use in any aspect. Anybody that's done a business deal


knows that is not the word. If you really want to continue


in friendship and in partnership, like we're emphasising all the time,


you come to an agreement. You don't want to leave


for that table feeling... I could use stronger words,


that somehow or other I've got my leg over, I've got


the best out of it, etc. You carry on on the basis that


I want to do it again, Lord Bilimoria suggested that Brexit


might not happen at all. It is only a matter of time


that the people themselves will see that the Brexit


emperor has no clothes. And given the option


between a hard Brexit or a soft Brexit, the opinion of


the British people at that time will probably be, why not just stay


with what we've got? Which is the best of both worlds


and as President Macron has said, and as the rest of the EU


would welcome, it will be much better for us to end up staying


in the EU and there may well be Now let's go back to the Commons,


where the class of 2017 continued to make their first official


appearances in the Commons. Although MPs are allowed


to ask questions before making their first speech,


they still need to make a maiden before they can fully take part


in life at Westminster. Labour's new MP for Kensington Emma


Dent Coad is the member who represents the area


of the Grenfell Tower block, destroyed in the recent


catastrophic fire. The horror and fear of this


man-made catastrophe will be etched on all


our hearts for ever. I know this from the grief etched


on the faces of people in Ladbroke Grove, total strangers


approaching me for comfort, reassurance, a question,


a hug, to share their fears could be visited


upon our neighbourhood. And the burnt out carcass


of Grenfell Tower and all it represents glowers


over us, and the Red Cross managing a relief programme


in Kensington. I've seen housing


conditions that are shocking, homes growing toxic black mould,


five children squeezed on mattresses in one bedroom,


homework done in relays. Chronic health problems


such as asthma with children being carted off


to hospital at night. The simple day-to-day organisation


of clean clothes, food and personal cleanliness carried out


in the rotors to allow Child poverty in Kensington,


the same as child poverty in Lanark and Hamilton East,


25% in Kensington. The new Labour MP for


Enfield Southgate in London. Paid tribute to the courage


of members of emergency services, especially those involved in dealing


with the recent atrocities. The recent terror attacks


have been abhorrent and terrifying, but our emergency services


responded each and every time with the utmost courage


and professionalism. They deserve both our


praise and our gratitude. So too with the awful


tragedy at Grenfell Tower I know that all of London


grieves deeply for the family and friends of those


who sadly lost their lives and I join in thanking and praising


the brave people who ran towards danger


in London once again. Mr Speaker, I am


of Cypriot heritage. We were welcomed with tolerance


and warmth and that is what allowed me to be here today


in Parliament to give my maiden speech as a proud


new MP for Enfield Southgate. This is the same welcome


that people here extend to everybody from other nations living,


working and studying locally. I'm proud of our diverse,


tolerant and inclusive community that brings


out the best in people. John Lamont the new Scottish


Conservative MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk


reflected on Brexit. The challenges and opportunities


thrown up from Brexit for my constituents,


especially export businesses, farmers and fishermen will be


of fundamental importance I will work tirelessly


to ensure that we come out of this process stronger


and even more together The new Conservative Mp


for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, as is tradition,


praised his constituency. For me, it has the happy


advantage of being home. I did so in Marton in


Middlesbrough, a few hundred yards from the birthplace of


Captain James Cook and I can think of few better ambassadors for


a new global Britain than a man who actually discovered


large parts of the world. Now, Cook's cottage stands


in the grounds of Stewart Park which was in turn originally


the grounds of Marton Hall, home to Henry Bolckow,


the pioneering and master and Middlesbrough's first mayor


and member of Parliament. He was one of a generation


of industrialists who prompted Gladstone to prison


Middlesbrough The new MP for Aldershott


is a former soldier. Mr Speaker, anyone familiar


with my constituency will know that one figure


who literally towers over us is the Duke


of Wellington. The Iron Duke sits on horseback


in massive bronze relief And the Iron Duke,


never one to be over patient with politicians, I think


would have agreed with this nation's other greatest soldier turned


statesman, Sir Winston Churchill, who as a young cavalry officer lived


in Aldershot's cavalry barracks Churchill famously said,


"Courage is what it takes Courage is also what it takes


to sit down and listen. And on that note, Mr Speaker,


I will resume my place. but do join me on Friday night


at 11 for our round up of the week in Parliament,


when we'll be looking back at the Queen's speech and I'll be


talking to two of the class of 2017 about the challenges


facing this parliament. But for now from me,


Alicia McCarthy, goodbye.


Download Subtitles