Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Thursday 6 July, presented by Alicia McCarthy.
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Hello, and welcome to Thursday in Parliament.
Our look at the best of the day in the Commons and Lords.
On this programme, the Government says
is unacceptable that standards in a third of nursing homes
in England have fallen below safe levels.
In some areas it is completely unacceptable that standards in some
cities are below those likely expected by early users and their
families. Claims that the news media
are being too hostile to Brexit. I cannot recall a single instance in
recent times when I have seen good economic news the BBC didn't
describe as despite Brexit. And those maiden speeches
by new MPs, they It is essential that we give people
the tools they need to live their lives to the fool. Lincoln and its
citizens have the hassle of defying the odds. We have a saying.
But first, the quality of care in nursing homes for elderly and
vulnerable people is once again in the spotlight.
After inspecting 24,000 care services in England, the
Care Quality Commission watchdog said it found completely
problems according to the CQC with a third falling short of safety
The report found examples of elderly people being shouted at
humiliated, living in dirty conditions, not receiving adequate
In the Commons, the care minister said he was heartened that
the majority of care was good, but the failures
We have seen the numbers of over 65s increase by nearly 1.2 million, 40%
over the last five years, and today's report shows that in some
areas it is completely unacceptable that standards in some cities are
below those likely expected by Keir users and their families. This
government sees social care as a priority which is why the spring
budget this year than announced additional money to councils over
the next three years to spend on adult social care services. On the
side we have repeatedly raised the damaging aspects of budget cuts, the
?5 billion cut since 2010. Does he now see that this has caused the
crisis in peer staffing which is at the heart of the Porky are being
reported. Poor staff training is a key factor. With social caring
crisis that is not the time to be threatening to stop working with
local councils, so will he reversed the threat and match the Labour
pledge of an extra ?8 million including an extra ?1 billion this
year. Nobody is making any threats. The government has very supportive
of the best performing systems of local government and the NHS working
together to tackle the challenge of delayed transfers of care. We said
we would consider a review of the allocations of social care funding
for the area is properly performing. This funding wall remain with local
government to be used for social care. We obviously recognise there
are real pressures in the system which is why we responded as we did
and I think that party were pleased with that at the time. If I could
just point out that the same report gives 92% good than 3% outstanding
on caring and it comes down to the commitment of staff who sadly have
not been given a breaking of the 1% cap. Obviously what has been raised
as the safety issue with one in four feeling to provide safe care and it
comes down to workforce and funding. Brexit threatens workforce because
as the honourable member said there is a one in four turnover. Funding
has reduced 9% and it is something that has to be tackled. Of the care
homes requiring improvement on the inspection 5% have deteriorated so
what action is the minister taking beyond just inspection to improve
standards? It is an absolutely fair question which is why I said in my
statement that through the dashboard we have picked 12 most challenged
local areas for review. The reviews will cover providers and
commissioners to look at the interface between social care and
general primary care and include an assessment of the governments in
place and management resources. I am sorry to read that it but I wanted
it absolutely clear on the record. I welcome the sea QC inspections
because it is driving up standards and highlighting problems but many
older residents tell me what they want to do is stay in their own
homes for longer. What is the minister doing to help that to
happen tee I thank my right honourable friend for that and it is
exactly why I said this has to be a one system solution and we need the
NHS to work on delayed transfers of care but we need local authorities
to work with us as well. I hope the Minister would agree that these
widespread feel years of care are intolerable in a civilised society,
and does he share my view that they will have to confront the need to
increase taxes to ensure we have an efficient system and witty embrace a
cross-party approach to come up with a long-term approach? Does the
Minister agree it is deeply cynical to pretend there is some financial
issue to this that doesn't involve difficult decisions both within and
across generations. Yes, I do. The many disappointing things about the
recent general election but I can say that one of the more
disappointing things, being serious, one of the more disappointing things
was that the debate in the future of adult social care was reduced to
using the words dementia tax which I think is dead our public life and
this Parliament an enormous disservice and I do think we need to
have a grown-up debate in this country around this issue and that
is why we are going to bring out proposals for consultation. I say
gently to the Minister the only reason the Labour Party was able to
mention dementia tax was because the Conservative Party had put something
stupid in their manifesto. And really, this is far too important a
matter for party politics. The former Conservative leader and
Foreign Secretary Lord Haig has told a group of peers that Brexit
will undoubtedly damage the UK's He's leaving the European
union would also mean the UK having less influence
in the rest of the world. He appearing at a Lords
committee alongside former Nato Secretary-General and a former
EU foreign policy chief. Lord Haig said being
part of the EU had been Brexit will be damaging to our
ability to work with other EU countries, obviously on foreign
affairs and influence they overall. The UK's participation in the
EUforeign affairs helps to keep the whole Western alliance together, and
we have at a time of the danger of fragmentation of the Western world.
We can see that for many reasons and in many ways. As the forthcoming
summit in Germany is demonstrating. And so UK participation in
influencing the foreign affairs of the other EU nations is a crucial
aspect of averting such a fragmentation. How then will Brexit
affect our relationship with the remaining EU countries with regard
to the formulation and exercising foreign policy? The most fundamental
issue is that in the process of working up the way in which policy
is developed and determining what Europe's policy will be, we want to
be in the room to either influence it in one way or another, and
that'll be a loss to the European Union and potentially lost to our
capacity to develop policy. Brexit changes the political relationship
with the EU, it doesn't change their geography or the nature of the
common threats that we face. And in many ways, it doesn't affect the
corporation that is essential on handling the future of security
threats as well. With American foreign policy veering
slightly away from the old relationship, Europe is going to
have to do more in terms of capability in terms of exercise and
in terms of political priority, and therefore we need to be part of
that, and the reality is today and for the future, UDP and defence
actually as Britain and France. That's what it is. These are the
only two countries with the capability and the headquarters and
the ability to do things. So how we move forward on that is going to be
complex and difficult. Speaking as someone not in favour of leaving the
EU but effects we are doing, it is true that they will want our
participation, our support. We do have the biggest military budget in
the EU and the biggest development budget by some distance, and one of
the equal biggest diplomatic network and a seat on the UN Security
Council, and so there are many things that can't effectively be
done by Europe without some degree of participation and support from
the United Kingdom. And therefore the degree to which it is damaging
depends on what we put in place to enable the maximum cooperation, and
I think that will require a lot of political commitment by ministers
but also a specific framework designed for this purpose. Can you
say something about the influence on the rest of the world? Are you
saying that our influence will be diminished not just in Europe but
when we go and talk to the United States, if we are not a member of
the European Union two or our influence at the UN will be
diminished. I think it necessarily follows that if you are less
influential and grafting the overall approach of the EU you end up with
this influence on the rest of the world and I think there will be less
solidarity with Britain invoked that the United Nations. We cannot simply
depend on institutional relationships, because if you are
not in the room then you are not part of the framework at the
beginning, the concept of operations, if its military
operations, and the exit strategy, and that is where we are bound to
lose traction. And Lord Hague said some
sort of post-Brexit And enhanced framework participation
agreement between the UK and the EU on foreign affairs. Something of
that kind would mitigate the damage that will undoubtedly because.
The Lords committee discussing Brexit, but our journalists being
too gloomy over Brexit's Commons leader Andrea Leadsom said recently
on BBC's new site that she wished broadcasters could be a bit more
Now her Cabinet colleague Liam Fox has accused media
organisations of not wanting to see Brexit succeed.
His remarks in the Commons followed a question from a
I think the potential for trade with Commonwealth countries is very
exciting but every time I open a newspaper or listen to the radio
or TV, the story is done very negatively that it will be
impossible to do these trade deals. Mr Speaker, it does appear that some
elements of our media would rather see Britain fail than
see Brexit succeed. I cannot recall a single time
in recent times when I have seen good economic news that the BBC
didn't describe as despite Brexit. This front bench team must know that
a silly attack on the BBC cannot be used as an excuse for policy. This
is a Secretary of State who has refused to meet the all-party
manufacturing group. Can I tell him from the manufacturers I know that
they have no confidence in the Secretary of State, living in cloud
cuckoo land, they think he is not confident and want his resignation.
I will take note of his comments. The members only Conservative
backbencher desperate for the Secretary of State to give us more
confidence that they will massively increased trade and the common law,
but he is wise not to do so in that Australia and Canada collectively
account for less than 5% of their exports. With research showing the
most enduring statistic is that trade halves every time the distance
between nations doubles, isn't it foolhardy far as to be turning away
from close of trading partners and the lying on increasing trade with
countries so very far away? I am sorry to hear that the lack of
understanding of how the modern economy works, because particularly
countries which have large proportion of their trade in
services, services trade does not depend upon distance, and in fact,
what we need to have is an increasingly close cooperation with
countries that are similar to ours in terms of their economic status,
not necessarily geographically proximate.
You're watching our round-up of the day in the Commons and the lords.
Still to come, the closure of job centres north of the border.
The Minister for equalities has told MPs there
will be no backsliding on
rights for lesbian, gay and transgender people by this
During Commons questions, MPs expressed concern
that equalities policies could come under pressure following the
Conservative's confidence and supply deal struck with Northern Ireland's
DUP representatives have described homosexuality as repulsive, wrong,
vile, immoral, offensive and obnoxious.
Does the Minister agree that it is these hateful remarks
themselves that are repulsive, wrong, vile, immoral, offensive and
And they should have no place in our politics let alone in
The DUP once ran a campaign called save also from
Isn't it time to save Ulster from bigotry?
The views that she set out are absolutely not ones
that I agree with or indeed I think our shared by this house.
As I said to her, I think it is important that
the way in which we have this debate and progress continued improvements
in LGBT rights, women's rights, in the rights of disabled
All sorts of people who face discrimination
in our country is in ameasured fashion.
Where we can find some consensus, we will steadily win
Equality and tolerance are important British
Will the Minister work to overturn the ongoing
ban on equal marriage in
Northern Ireland, or does she believe that ?1 billion is a fair
price to pay for selling of these fundamental values?
I think we have to fundimentally win the argument on LGBT rights.
This is something that needs to take place across our country, including
There is a democratic Northern Ireland assembly
and I think it is a debate that we all need to engage in, but I think
it is one that we see progress made in over many, many years.
She sets out that there is a lot of progress to
I have spoken to my party leader, who is a woman and my
closest colleague in MLA, who just happens to be a woman.
And my most senior member of staff, my close
adviser and shockingly is also a woman.
Equality and rights in their party, they seem to be satisfied.
Subsequently, I would ask the Minister 's question.
I wonder what discussions have been held with
Labour's sister party the SDLP, who hold many of the same moral
issue stances that we hold, which is what
I believe this question is ready seeking to highlight.
I think he sets out that there is a discussion
and debate to be had across political parties both here in this
Parliament, but also in Northern Ireland.
That is a debate and discussion that I welcome.
Can I join everybody in this house in
wishing all those celebrating London Pride this weekend a happy Pride.
Despite a number of promises during the election
campaign on the need to
strengthen and protect equality legislation,
there is no commitment in this year's Queen speech.
People across the country have deep concerns that the Tory backbench
deal with the DUP could undermine, halt or damage equality here in the
What assurances will the Minister provide that progress on a
quality will not be sidelined for political expediency?
I think I have given those assurances on a number
I will be very happy to come to this dispatch box and
continue to give them because I think they are important.
Later, the Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke was called to
the Commons to explain the Government's decision to close ten
job centres across Scotland, including six in Glasgow.
Ministers say online applications meant that
More than 70 Jobcentres are being closed across the United Kingdom,
Compassionate conservativism lasted fully two days.
There should have been a statement at a vote in this
Does the Secretary of State accept that there
is a direct link with the index of multiple deprivation
and those job centres earmarked for closure?
Will he publish an impact on the quality
assessment, particularly on those with disabilities and those
It will be the case after these reforms have been completed that
there will be a reduction in the number of job centres
in Glasgow, that Glasgow will still have more
job centres per head of population than any other city in the United
It is also the case that a number of the Glasgow job centres
It is therefore sensible that we rationalise this estate and can
In some cases, what we need is much improved
job centres with improved facilities, greater capability of
That is exactly what this strategy involves.
Having conducted a survey outside Batley
Jobcentre, I know that the majority of users actually walk there often
everyday to use the computers to look for jobs.
With Batley's closing they will have to work to Dewsbury.
A journey of 20 minutes if you are able bodied.
So can the Secretary of State confirm whether new
sanctioning guidance will be provided for those who are late or
We don't expect people to miss appointments.
It is the case that as I say, people who
are looking for jobs are expected to spend 35
That should enable them to travel from Batley to Dewsbury in
As I say, we would expect people to make
appointments, but we would look at the individual circumstances if
somebody has missed an appointment to see if we can take into account
whether there has been any mitigating factors.
The more serious issue ahead is making sure we have
got the right resources in the Jobcentre plus
for the expanded role of
Universal Credit that is starting next year.
I think my honourable friend hits the nail on the head,
It is very important that we have got job
centres that are able to deal with the new and important role in terms
of providing the support that claimants need, having worked
coaches in place, having those facilities and sometimes that
requires new estate, new improve estates.
We shouldn't be stuck on where the footprint that we happen
The class of 2017 continues to make itself
Brand-new MPs have been making their maiden speeches in the
I'm also thankful for my honourable friends for gathering around me
like a protective huddle of penguins, I very much appreciate it.
We must be realistic, pragmatic and determined about how
we best shape this country as we leave
But too often debate on how we do this is infected
by corrosive pessimism that betrays a lack of confidence in our nation
As a local councillor, I have also witnessed the impact
of cuts to local council budgets and how
austerity for some has caused untold misery for the many and not a few.
At the beginning of the General Election campaign, it was unclear
whether I would be standing here today making a speech, but Lincoln
and its citizens have a history of defying the odds.
From the development in the first tank in
World War I, by a determined group of engineers, to the recent runaway
success of Lincoln City's football club, the Imps, who took the fight
in the FA Cup to the Emirates Stadium last
proud history of going the extra mile.
I want to quote in Gaelic to amuse your good selves, Mr Speaker,
The mighty cairn is built of Little stones.
I do hope Mr Speaker that this particular
stone, myself, may play a suitable part in the mighty cairn that is
It is essential that we give people the
tools that they need to live their lives to the full.
When I have worked with people in various jobs
who are receiving benefits or support from charity, that is what
They want support to do things for themselves.
Not a hand-out, as some members of this
house and the media, might have you believe.
Some of the new members of the Commons.
The issue of male MPs wearing ties in the Commons has been
Last week, the Speaker, John Barker, said he was
prepared to relax the rule on the compulsory
wearing of ties in the
At the start of the week, the transport Minister John Hayes
declared that he wouldn't take interventions from sartorially
challenged MPs who were not wearing ties.
That prompted this response from the Lib Dem MP, who first asked
the Speaker if the tie rule could be dropped.
You were not in the chair on Monday and may not
have heard the Minister of State for transport,
who said that he would not take interventions from anybody who
Given your pronouncements on this matter,
Mr Speaker, do you think there is a risk of a slippery slope which might
lead that member to refuse to take interventions from members who are
sartorially challenged in other ways, such as wearing a gaudy tie,
I'd welcome your advice on this matter, Mr
I rather thought that what he had to say on this matter was
proffered in his characteristically jocular fashion.
However, insofar as I could be staged to have received
an application from the Right Honourable gentleman by virtue of
his pronouncements for the role of style
right honourable gentleman and all members of the house that I have
filed the application for the right honourable
member for that post in
The Speaker clarifying the position, I think.
To join me for the week in Parliament when we not only look
back at the last few days in the Commons and the Lords,
but also discussed what the agreement between
the DUP and the Conservative Government means for the future of
For now, for me Keith McDougall, goodbye.