Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Thursday 7 December presented by Alicia McCarthy.
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Hello there and welcome
to the programme.
the government distances itself
from Donald Trump's decision
to recognise Jerusalem
as Israel's capital.
The process has to move on. If the
process was derailed by this that
would compound the helpfulness of
The opposition rejects further
consultation on paying
for social care in England.
They consulted on this during the
general election, and they were
rejected by the electorate.
And the government's urged to speed
up efforts to tackle homelessness.
The Government only committed itself
to a limiting rough sleeping by
2027. My lord, why does it take ten
But first: a Foreign office
minister has repeated
the government's disagreement
with United States President,
Donald Trump over his decision
to recognise Jerusalem
as the capital of Israel.
There's been a growing
chorus of condemnation
over the announcement.
Saudi Arabia called it
"unjustified and irresponsible",
while France said it did not
support the move.
President Trump's decision reversed
decades of US policy on one
of the thorniest issues
between Israel and the Palestinians.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu hailed it
as "historic" and said he was sure
more countries would follow suit.
In the Commons, Labour asked
an urgent question on the decision
and the minister made it clear
where the UK stood.
We disagree with the US decision to
move its embassy to Jerusalem and
recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli
capital before a final status
agreement. We believe it is
unhelpful in terms of prospects for
peace in the region. The British
entity to Israel is based in Tel
Aviv and we have no plans to move
There was a reason that before
yesterday no other country would
locate its embassy in Jerusalem and
no other country would recognise
Jerusalem as Israel's capital,
because to do either thing, let
alone both of the same time, confers
legitimacy on Israel's occupation of
East Jerusalem, an occupation with
no basis in international law and
which is a permanent barrier to
achieving a political settlement
that we all wish. The sheer
recklessness of that decision needs
no debate. Donald Trump is not
crying fire in a crowded theatre, he
is the liberally setting fire to the
theatre. And then he has the
unbelievable cheeks to pretend he is
doing this to move forward the peace
process when in reality, he is
setting it back decades.
The minister said the question
was how did the UK
government respond now.
I think it is imperative that the
work that the President's and boys
have been doing, that have shared
with a number of parties, we now
need to see this. These needs to
come forward and more quickly than
perhaps people anticipated and then
we can see what there is to work on,
for friends about of Israel and the
Palestinians, so the process has to
move on. If the process was derailed
by this, that would compound the
young helpfulness of the decision.
If the president has a cunning plan
which he has not shared with any of
his allies, and I invite my right
honourable friend to speculate when
it might be?
I have no intrigue into
the thinking of the president of the
United States, but as everything in
his whole business is used one way
or another, just possibly, there are
those within the State of Israel who
will recognise... And maybe when
push comes to shove, that might be
We do share the
values of tolerance, inclusion and
respect across these islands. Taking
this into consideration, will the
Secretary of State today completely
rule out a state visit from
President Trump and send out a clear
message that his divisive and
reckless actions are not welcome
Alistair Burt said an invitation had
been made, but no date had been set.
The Minister confirm that if we are
to maintain that he will maintain a
robust position with the states to
seek a two state solution, although
it is suggest...
He will be aware
that one of the most grievous
consequent as of this position is
the impact on Palestinian public
opinion. More and more people are
giving up on a two state solution
and with Britain cosmic detail or
historical response abilities would
not now be the time to recognise
Palestine as a state?
the State of Palestine I do not
think is necessarily a consequence
of what we have heard yesterday. It
is not a tit-for-tat. It is more
important than that. Accordingly, it
should be a decision made by the
United Kingdom at a time when we
believe it is in the best interest
of the process of peace. That is the
view and that is the view for now.
If the reality that the peace
process has been stalled for 24
years, since 1993 and what would you
need now following this announcement
is direct peace talks between the
state of Israel and Palestinian
representatives, and if can get from
the United Nations, a brokered
position whereby this peace talks
start, actually, this could end up
being quite a good decision.
no sense that yesterday's decision
made a contribution to advancing the
peace process will stop Trump's
desperation to take off every ill
judged device of campaign sound bite
now threaten the peace process in
one of the most volatile
geopolitical regions of the world.
The Government welcomes his reports
of a two state solution. Mr Nesbitt
Copper Little when his actions,
coupled with the expansion of
Israeli illegal settlements make the
prospect of a two state solution
more distant than ever. The
Government clearly has limited
ability to influence the US position
actually it is now time to listen to
the clear will of this House to
confirm UK commitment to a two state
solution by recognising the state of
Palestine as we do the state of
Well, Alistair Burt said
a collective decision had to be made
about when the time was right to do
that, but he added the views
of colleagues were well known.
Now, MPs have been told that a cap
on social care costs in England,
due to come into effect in four
years' time, is to be scrapped.
The cap of £72,500 on an
individual's care costs was brought
in following the recommendations
of the Dilnot commission in 2011 -
and had already been put
into an Act of Parliament,
but the Government says
there will now be a fresh
consultation on the future
system of social care.
The minister was making
the statement following a vote
by MPs earlier in the year.
The Prime Minister has been clear
that the consultation will include
putting a limit on the care cost
individual face to aloud be fuller
engagement... And the latest paid
for, we will not be taking forward
the previous government's plans to
implement care costs -- a cap on
care costs in 2020.
This is a
shameful waste of taxpayers money.
Over £1 million of today's money was
spent on commissioning to review and
it is a waste of Parliamentary time
and it is no good for the Minister
to say that the Government are
consulting on this. They consulted
on this during the general election,
Mr Deputy Speaker, and their
proposals were rejected by the
Can we start looking
seriously at some of the challenges
that we faced with an ageing
population? I think the Government
has had its head in the sands.
the absence of provision that I
might make and indeed Delmont might
have encouraged me to make, is it
reasonable for me to expect for my
social care costs to be paid for by
the state and yet my heirs to
inherit my substantial housing
I think my honourable friend
in a nutshell actually summarises
one of the debates that we have to
have in the space, which is, how do
we ensure that people can achieve
care when they need it and that it
can be pay for it whilst at the same
time achieving intergenerational
I should welcome the idea
of a green paper. Halley can
actually build a party consensus for
the long-term. A change is going to
be years away from that green paper
and the problems are here and now
for local councils and this... We
estimate next year there will be a
funding gap of £2.6 million, so what
is the Minister going to do about
that? Where's the money to make sure
that an inadequate social care
system does not get even worse next
Clearly, local authorities
more than any other constituency in
this space, are desperate for a
solution as I think it is incumbent
on all of us to actually have a
construction discussed at the best
constructive discussion about a
solution to this.
The key issue is
that this is causing misery for
thousands of people now. I am 53, Mr
Deputy Speaker. Will my vote would
be suffering the same level of
misery about my care costs in the
next but Sako 30 years? -- in the
next 30 years.
I think we were clear
and the general election we just had
that we will be revisiting this
A Liberal Democrat raised
a problem over back pay
for overnight shift staff.
HMRC said workers were owed
the minimum wage for every hour
of an overnight stay
at a residential care home.
Previously, employers had been given
the all-clear by the government
to pay sleep-in staff
a flat rate of about £30.
Many providers say the bill for six
years' back pay is unaffordable.
If that is not sorted very soon, a
number of very reputable charities
and organisations might go bust.
The minister accepted it was a big
issue but said the government
was working with care providers
to address it.
You're watching Thursday in
Parliament with me, Alicia McCarthy.
MPs have pressed the Government
for more urgent action to tackle
what they say is a "crisis"
in prisons in England and Wales.
Ministers have put forward
a Prison Safety and Reform Plan
with measures to tackle drug abuse,
recruit more staff and create
new prison places.
But a Justice Committee report
warned of a rapid deterioration
in safety driven by a population
at a historic high - now at more
than 86,000 inmates.
The report was the focus
of a debate in the Commons.
We can't avoid the reality, that our
prison system has reached a stage
where we have to use the -- the
phrase, a crisis. It does not come
lightly to me. The truth is that we
incarcerate too many people.
Particularly people with mental
health problems, a staggering
percentage of people in prison have
mental health problems. Or a
learning disability or autism. And
actually be ought to be investing
more in keeping people out of prison
and getting them the treatment that
they need to help them to avoid the
criminal justice system in the
We need to be much more
discerning and to do that, we need
to have a much more sophisticated
approach to our penal policy. We
have been putting in place genuinely
robust alternatives for those who
are not a threat and a danger to the
public and can be reformed without
going to present.
MPs turned to other problems
including violence and drugs.
Assaults on staff continuing to
rise, and when we see the number of
hospital admissions continuing to
rise there is some real challenge in
the system. I would contend there is
a challenge because of reduction and
resource, there is a challenge
because of reduction in staff.
There's also a challenge because a
reduction, sorry an increase in the
amount of psychoactive substances
and drugs getting to present.
are gang operations going on within
the presidents that are putting
pressure on some offenders to go out
on licence halfway to their
sentence, and incredibly are almost
driven to reoffend deliberately to
break their licence, to then go back
into prison and ordered to smuggle
more drugs back in. It is an
astonishing idea than the 21st
century we have reoffending as a way
of making a living.
There were concerns, too,
at the state of older
prisons like Rochester.
The all 1840s prayers and buildings
there are described as deplorable
and deteriorating. -- 1840s prisons.
That impact under create meant which
had been frozen in this present and
they way in which the situation was
demoralising to staff.
New prisons weren't popular either.
The truth of the matter is we are...
Westminster is turning the old South
goes into a homage of New South
Wales these are not my words these
are the comments of Frances crook,
CEO of the... He went as far as to
draw a parallel between infamous...
As a society affinity to be asking
about the numbers of women and
jailed while the woman of a majority
committed a nonviolent offence with
half of them in prison for theft. If
prison is about rehabilitation as
well as punishment, what is the
point of seven in ten women serving
12 weeks or less in jail? Recruiting
more staff, investing in
intelligence and technology, ruling
out a drug strategy... Giving more
power to the inspection, these are
things that will solve issues in our
prisons. Spam always been to cult
places to manage and will be so.
There are significant investment
going into tackle the problems that
we have in our prisons. It will not
be done overnight at the actions
that I'm outlining today sure
determination our will to overcome
these problems and to make sure that
prisons are places of safety and
also of reform.
With Christmas not far off
and a cold spell on the way,
peers have said the government must
take emergency action
to tackle homelessness.
One Peer raised the
problems found in London
and the work being done in the run
up to the festive season.
We admire the work done by these
crisis organisations, and those that
look after people for Christmas
only. This is a much greater problem
than just Christmas, homelessness
has become desperate. I have come in
contact with people trying to up
people recently, it is extremely to
My noble friend is right
about some of the particular
challenges faced by London, she is
also absolutely right to pay tribute
to crisis and also shelter both of
whom are presented on the advisory
board that we have just set up in
relation to tackling the problem of
rough sleeping, which you have put
£28 million into that amount of
funding three pilots in the country
as well as the £20 million rough
sleeping grant that are ready
As a possible we can do
something more on the lines of an
emergency because wherever you go in
our cities, whatever crisis or
shelter do, there are people out
there, many of the mentally ill and
it is an absolute disgrace. It is
nothing to do with human rights. We
have to move very quickly because
these people are dying before our
Pepe tribute to the mass of
work that the noble Lord does in
this area. He and I visited
Sheffield together and did see some
project worked out going on there.
And other projects which are
considerable. There are complex
problems cash with this command is
not just a straightforward problem.
Some of these pilots will be looking
at the complex nature of this,
wraparound help... Where working
with the Ministry of Justice and
Rhett Laois into ex-offenders who
have a homelessness problem as well
very much with rough sleeping. In
the budget never mind the minister
that the government only committed
itself to a laminating WAFA sleeping
by 2027. Why does it take ten years?
My Lords, the noble Lord as about
that. We have committed to that and
it is a massive and combat problem
as I've indicated. I think it is a
realistic timetable both up it is a
national problem, it is not just
associated with our city, it is a
national problem. I think it is a
realistic timetable but obviously we
will be watching that, the noble
Lord will be holding our feet to the
The work main causes is the
shortage of supply and the huge rise
in cost of housing, particularly in
the renting sector. With the
government not try to address at
least that part of the problem by
engaging in a programme of the mass
of the building of pre-fabricated
housing? As someone who was abroad
up very happily in a prefab, a come
to bowl and affordable prefab,
register until my late teens can I
recommend to him, strongly, that
this is a rapid and effective way of
addressing a fundamental problem of
this 21st century.
We are engaged in
the most ambitious house building
programme with targets of 300,000
new homes per year by middle of the
20 20s. He is right about modern
methods of construction as he
preferred to call these now rather
than prefabs. User about how
important they are. About 15% of new
homes are modern methods of
construction but we can get that up
and we're looking at either doing
The Government faced criticism
in Westminster Hall over its
rejection of all six recommendations
from the Women and Equalities
Committee to get more women
to enter Parliament.
The Chair of the Committee,
explained that, so far,
progress had been slow.
In the past 100 years since women
were first given the rights to vote
and the rights to stand for
election, just 489 women have ever
been elected to this place. I was
the 265th woman elected in 2005. We
had record numbers of women in work,
women achieving record highs when it
comes to education, but just a
handful have had the opportunity to
use their skills and expertise to
represent their communities and this
Where you have one set of
people were tepid people, there are
more likely to agree than disagree.
It is much better if you have people
of different religions, sexuality,
gender and ability around the
decision-making table because it
will make for better decision-making
Labour has used all-women
shortlists to boost
the number of its female MPs.
It is unacceptable that we look at
evidence very clear evidence that
the heavy lifting and the reason
that we have more women in
Parliament now is that in the last
election the Conservative Party went
backwards. The Labour Party is
searched for words, and of them you
wrong the Labour Party is in no
way... I have to apologise it is in
no way thoughtless in this area but
it is willing to do the thing that
actually works. It is willing to do
it at every single level of the
political party also so every single
Perkin who sits on the seat has to
be balanced. It is not because of
people who want to claim that there
are great heroes of the movement, it
is because of women in the Labour
Party fighting and bearing the
In most political parties
individual consists... Constituency
parties are bodies who are
determined to contain control over
this selection of candidates. I
think we have to allow the parties
to have structures that allow those
associations to have autonomy and I
know that a 1-size-fits-all solution
is not going to give us the answer.
The Environment Secretary,
Michael Gove, says the Government
will make an announcement next week
about recognising the principle
of animal sentience and providing
stronger welfare protection
in UK law.
MPs voted not to incorporate part
of a European Union treaty
into the EU Withdrawal Bill that
recognised animals could
feel emotion and pain.
Ministers argued that
the recognition of animals'
sentience already existed in UK law.
This sparked a row - not least,
over the reaction on social media.
The vote was raised in the Commons
at Environment Questions.
I along with many of my colleagues
have been contacted by constituency
razor concerns over the vote on the
new clause in the EE withdrawal bill
intended to weaken the protection of
animals. We are committed to the
highest standards of animal welfare
however can you please provide
absolute assurances of the so be the
case as we leave the EU?
been a consistent advocate for
animal welfare. It has been
absolutely the case that we are
committed to ensuring batches that
we recognise the pencil of animal
sentence that we provide appropriate
and started production in UK law and
will be bringing proposal shortly by
The Secretary of
State was asked to confirm that
article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty
which categorizes animals are
sentient beings but pastor me
Bill... Here replied absolutely.
What caused induce agree with
I am tempted to quote from
the American power it, his name I
temporarily forget who made the
point that I contain not to dudes.
We want to go further than
existing... There is a bit of
legislative vehicle and we will make
an announcement up that next week.
Another impact of Brexit on animal
welfare was raised by the former
Liberal Democrat Leader.
Britain leads the world in food
hygiene and in animal welfare but
that is at risk given the
Association reckons that's many of
the that's FME EU and that many of
them are leaving. -- that's in the
youthful. Vets in the VE you. On I'm
very grateful for raising this
More than 90% of the
veterinarians come from the E U
countries. My department have been
talking to representatives of the
profession in order to ensure that
those who do a wonderful job
continue to feel valued and also
ensuring the public of high
standards of food hygiene.
Finally, loyalty is a much-treasured
trait in politics,
and it was clearly on display
in the Lords at question time.
At the despatch box,
Lady Goldie strongly defended
the Prime Minister's negotiating
stance in the Brexit talks -
failure to agree a deal.
But having stood up for her boss,
the Peer made it clear she wasn't
going to give anything away
about the negotiations.
Everyone will understand these are
sensitive and could tickle stage, I
not going to be drawn on detail.
Lady Gouldie, refusing
to crack under the pressure
of questioning about Brexit!.
And that's it from me for now but do
join me on Friday night
at 11 for our round up
of the week at Westminster.
As the government tries to secure
an interim Brexit deal.
But for now, from me,
Alicia McCarthy goodbye.