06/07/2017 Thursday in Parliament


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.


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