25/01/2018 Thursday in Parliament


25/01/2018

Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Thursday 25 January, presented by Alicia McCarthy.


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Hello there and welcome

to Thursday in Parliament.

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On this programme: Coming up:

A former Labour minister tells

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of her battle with a brain tumour

and calls for more

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innovative international

working to tackle cancer.

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So that we can do live well together

with cancer. Not just dying of it.

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The Defence Secretary announces

a new review of the Armed Forces

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and faces calls for more spending.

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Could he please ensure that we do

not repeat the nonsense of when

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people say, you can modernise but

what they mean is you cut.

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And: the government's told to do

more to stop the revolving door

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of former ministers and civil

servants moving into lucrative jobs

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in the private sector.

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If nothing is done by government to

strengthen business rules we risk of

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further undermining trust and

integrity in politics.

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But first: There was

a prolonged standing ovation

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in the Lords for Tessa -

now Lady Jowell - as she called

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for greater global cooperation

to help beat cancer.

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Lady Jowell was diagnosed

with a brain tumour.

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On the 24th of May last year I was

on my way to talk not for the first

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time in East London. I rot into a

taxi but I couldn't speak. I had two

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powerful seizures. I was taken to

hospital. Two days later, I was told

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that I had a brain tumour. A week

later, the tumour was removed by an

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outstanding surgeon at the national

Hospital in Queens Square. I then

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had the standard treatment of radio

and chemotherapy.

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She told peers what had happened:

Now she was backing a scheme called

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the eliminate cancer initiative

-- or ECI.

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It aims to do three main things. The

first, link patients and doctors

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across the world through a clinical

trial network. Secondly, speed up

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the use of active trials. Thirdly,

build a global database to improve

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research and patient care.

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It was she said about sharing

knowledge at every level --

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and quoting Seamus Heaney she said

she was not afraid

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So many cancer patients collaborate

and support each other every day.

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They create the community of love

and determination that they find

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each other every day. All we now ask

is that doctors and health systems

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learn to do the same and for us to

work together. To learn from each

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other. In the end, what gives life

meaning? Is not only how it is left.

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But how it draws to a close. I hope

that this debate will give hope to

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other cancer patients like me so

that we can live well together with

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cancer. Not just dying of it. All of

us for longer. Thank you.

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To a packed public gallery

and with MPs crowding at the bar

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of the lords a fellow former cabinet

minister paid tribute

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to his friend of 40 years.

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We are all of us privileged to be

here this afternoon and to have

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heard her speak and to give us a

clarion call to pick up the cudgel

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into work tirelessly to ensure words

she seeks is carried forward for

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others and the future and that our

NHS, scientists, innovators,

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consultants, can jot down and

experience from across the world and

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can remember Tessa giallo is the all

well and we are privileged to have

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heard this afternoon.

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The minister praised

Lady Jowell's speech.

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I would like to praise the normal

lady for the determination she has

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shown. I think it's fair to say she

is inspired us all and many cancer

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sufferers as well. I suppose we

should expect nothing less from the

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women who brought us the most

wonderful Olympic and her Olympic

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Games in 2012. On of the wonderful

things about the NHS is is here for

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all of us all the time. One of the

quirks is that it has an unrivaled

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data set on patient's medical

experiences and that is invaluable

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to the research community. We all

know that we have a God policy rate

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in this area always or brought the

public with us about the benefits of

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sharing data but the earth keep

decisions coming up so that we can

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access and create a data set for

research purposes. The noble lady

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has offered hope. With her ever for

tile mind making suggestions for how

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we can improve cancer care she races

our sites and demands that

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collectively we work harder to offer

hope to people affected by the

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terrible disease she suffers with

such dignity. It is the right

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challenge and one I'm prepared to

accept on behalf of the government.

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In doing so, I promise her that our

efforts will not waver until the

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scourge of cancer no longer robs us

of the ones we love.

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The Defence Secretary has hinted

he'll ask for more money

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for the UK's Armed Forces

when he carries out

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a defence review.

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Making a statement to MPs he said it

would not be "fiscally neutral'

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There's been much

speculation in recent weeks

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that there could be cuts

on the horizon, specifically

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the potential loss of amphibious

assault ships and reports that

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full-time army numbers could fall

from their current level

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of about 78,000 to 70,000 -

well below the government's

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target of 82,000.

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The review was being overseen

by the National Security Council -

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the NSC, but Gavin Williamson

successfully argued for it to be

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carried out within the MOD.

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The world is becoming a more

dangerous place. We cannot afford to

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shy away from this reality. Nor can

we take our security for granted.

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But even more than back, and a post

Brexit world, pretend must continue

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to champion the global good. It must

continue to reach out to seize

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global opportunities in deal with

global threats.

If this review

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identifies additional spending is

necessary for the security of our

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nation, will the government step up

to the plate? Surely he must agree

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that it would be pointless to have a

review that finds we need additional

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equipment or increase personnel only

for the government to ignore that

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recommendation. You cannot do

security on the cheap and it's high

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time that the government recognise

this. And yet, this statement makes

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reference to further efficiencies

being carried out as part of this

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review. Raising the spectre of you

further cuts.

The honourable lady

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asked if this is aiming to be

fiscally neutral. No, it isn't. It's

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looking at how we can actually get

the Armed Forces that we need in

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order to deal with the threats that

we face.

Could he ensure that we do

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not repeat the nonsense of when

people say, you can modernise but

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what they actually mean is you

can't.

If it is not to be fiscally

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neutral, Kenny confirm that the

departure... If not, can members of

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the armed forces expect a pay rise?

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Gavin Willliamson repeated

it was not aiming to

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be fiscally neutral.

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He will have the second part of that

whole house if he manages to secure

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additional funding. But then put the

defence budget on a more sustainable

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footing that allows our armed forces

to tackle the increased threats that

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they face without these demoralising

rumours of deep cuts. The words here

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are interesting and they are

important. But what matters in the

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end is money.

We have seen rumour

after rumour and speculation

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undermining not only our global

reputation but the confidence of our

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serving personnel about their

futures. Rumours about the parachute

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Regiment merging with the rail

Marines, all of this has been

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nonsense.

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There'd been much criticism

during the statement

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of the way it was made,

with the timings being

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repeatedly changed.

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But a Conservative reckoned

he understood the pressures.

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I have every sympathy with the

Secretary of State in terms of over

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the last two days when this was

going to be announced.

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Keith Simpson.

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The minister said the aim of

the review was for the Armed Forces

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to set out their case

for the resources that they needed.

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Last year, the Supreme Court ruled

that the law which has allowed

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people to be convicted of murder

even if they did not inflict

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the fatal blow has been wrongly

interpreted for more than 30 years.

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In recent years, what's known

as Joint enterprise has been used

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to convict people in gang-related

cases if defendants "could" have

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foreseen violent acts

by their associates.

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But it's very controversial because,

many believe, it lowers the burden

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of proof and allows people to be

swept up in a prosecution

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and convicted on the basis

that they were all "in it together".

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With hundreds of what's known as

lifers in prison convict did

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underwent the Supreme Court viewed

as a wrong application of the law,

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this is potentially one of the

biggest and most widespread

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miscarriages of justice ever to face

our justice system. As such, I fear

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that the cosy club of the criminal

justice establishment is closing in

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on itself to prevent this from fully

ever being exposed.

If you look at

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statistics, 37% of those were

serving long sentences for joint

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enterprise are black. That is 11

times the proportion of black people

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the population. I think it

underlines why it's absolutely

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essential that we have the review

that my honourable friend has called

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for which I fully support. Secondly,

surely we're seeing a case given the

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uncertainty here where the courts

are in effect acting as legislators.

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That is wrong. Where there's

uncertainty in the law it is for

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this host to tidy and cleared up

particularly when it's visiting in

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on people the way we're seeing.

There's been a failure to

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distinguish between gangs and

groups. The house will understand

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that not all members of groups have

a criminal purpose and not all

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members of or groups join in when

there's an incident. Humans are by

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nature social animals. People hang

around and groups or sports teams.

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It doesn't mean if an incident

occurs that everyone in the group

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intended whatever happened to

happen.

We know of this harassment

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honourable members have picked up

the maze. Former leader of the SMP,

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the honourable member Lord

Haseltine, if you picked up the mace

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and an older member of Parliament

got the mace was coming towards them

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and had a heart attack and died, he

would be in serious Thomas serious

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trouble. But if you discussed it

with your colleagues beforehand, you

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two would be in serious, serious

trouble. At the whole political

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party. And this occasion, the S and

P that might have been heading.

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That's how ridiculous this has come

and why we need urgent review.

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August 2013, Alex Henry went

shopping with three friends. A

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confrontation took place that lasted

just over 40 seconds. It's not clear

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why the confrontation took place. It

may have been triggered by a stare.

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One young man used a knife from

within a bag and stop two brothers

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one of whom tragically lost his

life. On the sixth day of the trial,

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the man with a knife pleaded guilty

to murder and was sentenced to 20

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years. While Alex Henry received 19

years. Despite never touching the

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knife or even being aware of its

existence. Only four years class.

We

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can seek to actually bring an end to

this rent is, a disproportionate

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nightmare, this and British

jurisprudence and this appalling

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situation in which 40 seconds and

laid to 12 years. For someone who

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happens to be with a group of people

can find themselves facing the best

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part of their young life in prison

for something that they cannot stop

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even they wanted to. And it is often

said that the house is at its worst

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when it's unanimous but I think this

is the exception to that.

I

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recognise the importance of the law

and joint enterprise. The impact

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that it can have on those such as

the constituents of the honourable

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member for Manchester Centura and

others who have come before the

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house today. Up for the reasons set

out, the government does not believe

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that time is currently writes for

any changes to the law and joint

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enterprise. It is for the courts to

interpret the law as laid down by

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the Supreme Court. I very much hope

that the revised guidance on

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secondary liability will provide a

clear direction and guidance for

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prosecutors on this area of law. I'm

happy to keep the matter under

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review.

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You're watching Thursday

in Parliament, with me,

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Alicia McCarthy.

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A senior Conservative,

has made a stinging criticism

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of the "revolving door" which allows

former ministers, to take up

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highly-paid jobs linked

to their previous ministerial

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responsibilities.

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There was criticism

of the Conservative former

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Chancellor, George Osborne,

who took a job with the financial

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firm BlackRock shortly after leaving

office and later took

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on the editorship of

London's Evening Standard Newspaper.

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Bernard Jenkin, who chairs

the Public Administration and

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Constitutional Affairs Committee,

also said he was disappointed

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in the government had responded

"evasively" to his committee's

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report on the issue.

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For example, it includes every

department. The will finish up

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working in the industry. A similar

situation occurs in our departments.

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No one should assume that there is

automatically anything wrong with

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this. That there needs to be an

adequate system of assurance. That

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there is indeed nothing wrong, and

that we are not fostering it commits

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an attitude.

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He described the official watchdog,

ACOBA, as a toothless regulator,

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which had failed to change

the environment around

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official appointments.

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If personal observation, the

magazine Private Eye, frequently

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appears to be doing a better job

than the advisory committee itself.

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The SNP, said the government's

response smacked of complacency

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and self interest.

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Alison Thewliss pointed to the

former Chancellor, George Osborne.

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The actions of the former

Chancellor, had respected, if

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nothing is done, buy this house, the

risk further undermining trust and

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integrity.

Our port does mention,

George Osborne as, first of all, dad

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it was striking in starkly, the fact

that he appeared to give a blank

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check to the former Chancellor to

join at a very inflated salary. So

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shortly after he had left his

office. George Osborne also

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completely bypassed the appointment

as editor of the evening standard,

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prior to accepting his appointment.

And a very glaring example, not

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necessarily of a particularly his

honour of an individual, but --

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dishonor.

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A Labour mp, said George Osborne had

been invited to give evidence to

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the public administration committee.

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To explain why had five meanings, he

altered the law in their favour and

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when he lost his office, took a job

with them for £650,000 for a one day

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a week of work. If that is not an

egregious example of the abuse of

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the revolving door, it is hard to

see what is.

If they have not

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already done so, to take a look at

the government response that has

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been laid to the committee, in which

we clearly stated, to maintain the

0:19:010:19:07

highest standards of conduct,

including special advisers under the

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rules and procedures we have in

place. We look forward to work with

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the committee to do more though.

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A response Bernard Jenkin

described as disappointing.

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The present arrangements

he insisted were not adequate.

0:19:210:19:27

The Prime Minister says she's

"appalled" by the reports

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of the groping and sexual harassment

of women at a men only

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charity fundraiser.

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Speaking at the World Economic Forum

in Davos, she said "I thought that

0:19:360:19:39

sort of approach to women,

that objectification

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of women, was something

we were leaving behind.

0:19:430:19:45

The Children and Families minister

Nadhim Zahawi attended the evening

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organised by the Presidents Club,

but says he left early.

0:19:500:19:55

Mps had expressed their fury

about the women's treatment

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in the Commons on Wednesday and kept

up the pressure at

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business questions.

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One shadow minister wanted to know.

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Was it a official visit, or was a

private visit? Where all the

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Presidents men is neck either way,

it is an abuse of power. There is

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absolutely no place for that type of

activity. A men only club, abusing

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women in this way, is absolutely

unacceptable.

It continues to

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develop to appal, to be possibly

have a debate about this? Canmore

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begun to challenge the laws that

sustain them in the culture that

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still thinks that they are

acceptable? We're in an area of zero

0:20:500:20:56

tolerance of behaviour, and it has

to be substantial progress to tackle

0:20:560:21:02

this pathetic behaviour.

0:21:020:21:03

Plastic waste has made the news

again as water companies announced

0:21:030:21:06

plans to set up water refill

points across England.

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In an attempt to reduce the amount

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of plastic bottles sold,

shops, cafes and businesses

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will provide the refill points

and public fountains will be found

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via an app.

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This was welcomed by

the Environment Secretary

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in the Commons as he spelled out how

the government is trying

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to stick to its twenty-five

year environment plan

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We have already banned these

products, single use plastics, and a

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return scheme as well as production

of plastic food eyelets by

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retailers.

Can you tell why it is,

that he allowed 20 years for the

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elimination of nonessential

plastics. If they're not essential,

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surely we can do better than that.

The nature of betrayed five-year

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plan was, it covers a wide array,

and they're more ambitious ways to

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reduce these plastics which the

government is bringing forward. But

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he sadly right to encourage us in

the government and all of us to be

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more.

A number of times the

importance of recycling. So I'm very

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concerned that the government has

been opposing the new EU targets.

0:22:280:22:33

Can they explain why the government

is opposing?

Across the EU that we

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have the right targets. One of the

flaws with the EU system is that it

0:22:410:22:46

relies on measuring through weight,

sometimes it signifies the wrong

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approaches. But our country has gone

further than the European Union as

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requested, or suggested on

everything from banning micro

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plastics, to indeed introducing a

charge on plastic bags, that all of

0:22:590:23:04

these areas, that we've gone further

and faster than the EU. That is the

0:23:040:23:08

ambition of this government for a

claim Brexit.

0:23:080:23:12

And away from pollution

and recycling, after being wished

0:23:120:23:14

a happy Burns day by a Scottish

colleague, Mr Gove told

0:23:140:23:17

the Commons that he was hopeful

of a breakthrough with

0:23:170:23:19

the United States over its ban

on haggis from 1971 because of its

0:23:190:23:22

key ingredient: sheep's lung.

0:23:220:23:28

On the subject of, I've had recent

discussions with the Department of

0:23:280:23:37

Agriculture, if he can lift the ban

on haggis. He has one virtue is that

0:23:370:23:43

he has, I hope that he may listen

sympathetically.

0:23:430:23:48

Michael Gove.

0:23:480:23:49

Controversial plans to build a zip

wire tourist attraction

0:23:490:23:51

across the Thirlmere Reservoir

in the Lake District have faced

0:23:510:23:53

strong opposition in the Lords.

0:23:530:23:56

At question time the scheme

was described as a "very bad idea"

0:23:560:23:59

and an "inappropriate"

for a National Park

0:23:590:24:00

and World Heritage site.

0:24:010:24:04

Concerns were also raised over

the potential threat to RAF planes

0:24:040:24:06

who use the area for training.

0:24:060:24:13

Zip wires across there are a very

bad idea. Intrusion into the

0:24:130:24:23

national Park, where fundamental

policies include the conservation of

0:24:230:24:26

the landscape. Together with

recreational uses, how would that

0:24:260:24:30

landscape.

Has he nominated the

national Park for heritage site

0:24:300:24:38

status. That is primarily about our

cultural landscape in beauty. It

0:24:380:24:46

would be inappropriate for the

tourist industry to see it is mainly

0:24:460:24:50

a way to create another Disneyland.

I am not in a position to comment on

0:24:500:24:58

what is a very light application in

which I think will be considered by

0:24:580:25:02

the national Park Authority, on the

7th of March.

The preservation of

0:25:020:25:09

natural beauty of this country.

Should properly have a very high

0:25:090:25:13

priority. The governments first

obligation is to provide for the

0:25:130:25:18

defence of this country. The

proposed zip line would be a highly

0:25:180:25:23

dangerous, and pediment of our crews

in low-level flying.

The register of

0:25:230:25:34

defence, this will be a matter that

is considered by Lords by the

0:25:340:25:36

planning authority.

0:25:360:25:38

And that's it from me for now,

but do join me on BBC Parliament

0:25:380:25:41

on Friday night at 11 for a look

back at the last week

0:25:410:25:44

here at Westminster.

0:25:440:25:45

But for now from me, AM goodbye.

0:25:450:25:48

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