11/07/2017 Tuesday in Parliament

Download Subtitles




Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Tuesday 11 July with Alicia McCarthy.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 11/07/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Hello there, and welcome to the programme.


The Health Minister confirms there's to be an inquiry


Nearly 2,500 people are thought to have died after being given


products that were infected with hepatitis C or HIV.


A Government-commissioned report on employment says


all work in the UK should be "fair and decent".


And David Davis says there's unity at the top when it comes to Brexit.


You will find in terms of public statements, it is very hard to put a


cigarette paper between the Chancellor and myself.


But first - Theresa May has ordered a UK wide enquiry into the use


of contaminated blood products in the NHS, stemming from the 1970s.


2,400 people have died as a result of the scandal.


Many of them were haemophiliacs who died from hepatitis C


It has been called the worst treatment disaster in


Many of those affected and their families say they were not


told of the risks involved and believe there was a cover-up.


In an emergency debate, the Labour MP Diana Johnson,


who has campaigned for an enquiry, said the victims needed answers.


They deserve to be told what went wrong, why it went wrong, and who is


responsible for what happened. The story of the injustice they have


suffered also needs to be set out and told to the wider public. Their


voices need to be heard. Apologies, compensation and other forms of


support are essential, but if their right to answers is not also


satisfied, I feel that they will be denied true and meaningful justice.


She said successive governments of all colours had sidestepped


She turned to the questions that needed to be answered,


such as why the Government had not acted sooner.


Because the UK was not self-sufficient in blood supplies,


profit-making American companies played a considerable role in


supplying factor concentrates to haemophilia patients. This plot was


sourced from much riskier patients, including prison inmates, who were


much more likely to have infections and had a financial incentive to be


less than honest about the risks of infection. The dangers of American


products were being discussed in public, not from the 1990s, nor the


1980s, but from 1970. A Conservative turned his fire


on one of the five charities set up In my experience, I have to say to


the minister, the McFarland trust has done anything but help my


constituent. They have behaved in an utterly despicable way. They refused


to take meetings with my constituent or with me. I have requested


meetings for the past six years. And they always come back with a reason


why they can't have a meeting. They have bullied my constituent. The


trustees of the McFarland have bullied her. And they have fed her


scraps. Labour called for a


Hillsborough-style enquiry The previous two enquiries have not


been sufficient in seeking justice and this is the reason why a


Hillsborough style enquiry must be actioned and secondly the evidence


presented so far is clear that if we are to have the truth and


reconciliation of the murky covering up of this scandal, then the


strongest of daylight must be shone on every aspect of this scandal,


leaving no stone unturned. I am pleased to be able to confirm to the


house that the Government intends to call an enquiry into the events that


led to so many people being infected with HIV and - or hepatitis C


through NHS supplied blood and blood products. We have heard already


today that there have been calls for an enquiry based on the model that


was used to investigate the Hillsborough tragedy, a so-called


Hillsborough style panel. This will allow for a sensitive investigation


of the issues, allowing those affected and their families close


personal engagement with an independent and trusted panel. There


have also been suggestions that only a formal statutory enquiry, led by a


senior judge, under the enquiries act 2005, will provide the answer is


that those affected want. The Government can see that there are


merits in both approaches. And to ensure that whatever is established


is in the interest of those affected, we will engage with the


affected groups and interested parties, including the all-party


parliamentary group, before taking a final decision on the type of


enquiry. Will he confirm that in terms of drawing up the scope of the


enquiry, you will be careful not to do anything that would endanger any


future trials and also will he also further emphasise that anyone with


information must make sure it is made available to the police? My


honourable friend will recollect from the recent Hillsborough enquiry


that it gave rise to certain information which was made available


to the police, which led to certain charges being made. We would


envisage that any enquiry that is established would have the ability


to do the same thing if that is appropriate.


An MP who was a former surgeon turned to one of the former reports.


She wondered why there had not already been a public enquiry.


I remember a criticism in response to Penrose in 2015, saying they were


surprised that clinicians showed so much trust in the quality of blurbs.


But a clinician was using hundreds of drugs and implants and machines


and blood products must be able to trust them. We have no mechanism


personally to check them. That is the role of Government and all the


agencies of Government. That is why we have licensing and inspections


and why when there is suspicion of harm action must be taken.


Theresa May has said flexible working practices


should not be an excuse to exploit employees.


But she also called flexibility "the British way" -


The Prime Minister was responding to a report on modern working practices


The author, Matthew Taylor, recommended sick and holiday pay


for workers in the gig economy and a new employment status


When the report was debated in the Commons, opposition MPs


Labour said that after seven years in power, the Conservatives had done


They have inflicted hardship on public sector workers with a pay


which has been confirmed yesterday by the Department for Education for


yet another year. They promised workers on board, but rolled back


scared when powerful interests said they were not particularly keen on


the idea, and they have introduced employment tribunal fees, which has


made it much harder for workers to enforce their rights. So today, with


the publication of the Taylor review, although there was a real


opportunity to overhaul the existing employment system in a way that


would protect workers in a rapidly changing world of work, but in the


words of the general secretary of Unite, the biggest union in the UK,


instead of the serious programme the country urgently needs to ensure


that once again work pays in this country we got a depressing sense


that insecurity is the inevitable new normal.


The Minister said the Government would be considering


He does criticise Government's record and so I would like to remind


her that it is this Government that has introduced the National Living


Wage, that it is this Government that has presided over the minimum


wage being at its highest rate in real terms since it was introduced,


and the facts remain that the wage increase we have seen in the last


year have been at their highest amongst the lowest paid thanks to


the National Living Wage. Today's response in the Taylor review for


the Government tells us everything we need to know about their frailty


and their approach to work's rights. A weak set of proposals that


probably will not be admitted that the set of talking bout that leads


the power with the businesses. It was interesting that the Prime


Minister did not mention the role of the trade unions in securing fair


rights at work. If the news reports are right, Matthew Taylor goes for


flexibility rather than always implementing the National Minimum


Wage. Can we have an undertaking from the Government that they will


always abide by the National Minimum Wage, even if there is a loss of


flexibility? I congratulate the honourable gentleman for all the


work he did sharing the work and pensions Select Committee in the


last parliament. And I can assure him that minimum wage rates are


absolutely sacrosanct. There will be no trade-off with regard to ensuring


that everybody is paid at least the minimum wage.


One MP - a former actor - is a fan of flexible working.


I have spent 45 years in the deep economy and what I liked about the


Digital economy is that it was very flexible and in order to big build a


career, I found myself delivering bacon across north London from


Smithfield market. I became a removal man and many things. But


does my Right Honourable friend agree with me that it is very


welcome that this report supports a flexible labour market and is not in


favour of restricting that flexibility were individuals wanted?


Someone who has done a few gigs in his time. Can I urge the Minister to


reject this think tank the jargon of the phrase depended contact? Work is


work. Workers are workers. Depending contractors of the world unite, you


have nothing to lose but your chains is not going to change anything.


The Speaker explained to new MPs that when Mr Brennan mentioned gigs,


he was talking about his involvement in Parliament's rock band.


You're watching Tuesday in Parliament,


The Foreign Secretary has told MPs the European Union can "go whistle"


for any "extortionate" final payment from the UK on Brexit.


And Boris Johnson said that the Government had "no plan"


for what to do in the event of no deal being agreed.


The Prime Minister has said that "no deal is better than a bad deal".


However, Number Ten has played down suggestions that Theresa May


could walk away from the Brexit talks over the EU's demand


for a settlement worth tens of billions of pounds.


The subject was raised with the Foreign Secretary


Since we joined the Common Market on the 1st of February 1973


until the date we leave, we will have given the EU and


its predecessors, in today's money, in real terms,


Will the Foreign Secretary make it clear to the EU that


if they want a penny piece more, they can go whistle?


I'm sure that my honourable friend's words will have broken


like a thunder clap over Brussels and they will pay attention


to what he has said, and he makes a very valid point,


and I think that the sums that I have seen that they propose


to demand from this country seem to me to be extortionate and I think


"Go whistle" is an entirely appropriate expression.


In March, the Foreign Secretary said that


leaving the EU with no deal would be perfectly OK.


However, last month, the Chancellor of the Exchequer


said that that would be a very, very bad outcome for Britain.


Since the two positions are clearly completely contradictory,


who should the British public believe?


I think what the British public can take from both the Chancellor


and myself and indeed from the vast majority of Labour members opposite,


as I understand their position, that we all want to get on and do


the deal and do the best deal possible and to leave the EU.


With the Chancellor and the First Secretary of State,


they were going to need at least a transitional period of three years


during which we will remain under the jurisdiction of the ECJ.


Neither the Chancellor nor the First Secretary of State


Other European leaders were making it clear that they would not


accept a deal on any terms and does he share my view that what is sauce


for the goose is sauce for the gander?


He makes a very good point about the negotiating stance of


our friends and partners across the Channel.


They do sound at the moment as though they're pretty hard over,


But I have no doubt that in the fullness of time, a subtle


mist will descend and a willingness to compromise, because after all,


a great Brexit deal, a great free trade deal, a deep and special


partnership is in the interest of both sides of the Channel.


Can he explain what that no deal option


would mean for the people and businesses of Great Britain?


As I have said before, I think that the chances


of such an outcome are vanishing and unlikely since it is


manifestly in the interest of both sides of the Channel to get a great


free trade deal and a new deep and special partnership between us


and the European Union, and that is what we


I thank the Foreign Secretary for that answer,


but unfortunately it leaves us none the wiser.


After all, it is the Prime Minister, at least the Prime Minister for now,


who decided to put the deal of the no deal option


couldn't stop using the phrase during the election campaign.


Given that a plan for no deal would be


worse than a dereliction of duty, can the Foreign Secretary spell out


publicly what no deal would mean and can he reassure


us that if he is not prepared to tell us publicly,


at the very least he has a detailed private plan to manage that risk?


There is no plan for no deal because we are going to get


Just for the sake of example and illustration, I would remind


the honourable lady that there was a time, and I am


old enough to remember it, when Britain was not in what we now


Given that the Prime Minister has appealed to these


benches to help out today, where does the Foreign


Secretary think there are areas for compromise?


As I have said before, I think the striking thing


about this debate is how much unanimity there really is between


the two sides of the chamber on these fundamental questions


and I have been very struck by the Right Honourable


gentleman that was the leader of the Labour Party who seems to me


very much on all fours with the objectives of the Brexit...


He very much agrees with the position that we are


taking and I hope to see him in the lobbies with us.


Well, later, the Brexit Secretary, David Davis, laughed off those


comments by Boris Johnson about the "extortionate"


As we saw, Mr Johnson said the EU could "go whistle"


Appearing before a Lords committee, David Davis was asked


The Foreign Secretary this morning says that, um,


the money that it looks like the EU is asking for is "extortionate"


and it is quite appropriate to say that "go whistle"


The truth is, we all read this, the Europeans read this...


He is not the only one, other members of Government say


things which absolutely blow the strategy off-course.


You'll have to get the Foreign Secretary here to explain his views,


if you really want to, I'm not going to comment


But in terms of the tone, you'll find two levels


of knowledge when you go to our continental partners.


You'll see local knowledge in Brussels, in which, frankly,


They read all the British newspapers, you're quite right,


and they take them, if anything, to seriously, is what I say to them.


It was the reason of humorous exchange between Jean-Claude Juncker


But more importantly, in the context of the 27,


actually very little of what happens here percolates across.


I remember talking to the Austrian Foreign Secretary,


who is turning into a very good friend of mine,


This was about two months ago, and we were talking about the issue


of the citizens' rights, and I explained what we wanted


to do, and he said, "Well, you'd better come to Austria


and say that, because nobody in Austria knows this."


Lady Armstrong turned to what she saw as another area


The discussion that we have heard within government around


a transitional agreement, or implementation period,


whatever you like to call it, has varied enormously.


Between the Chancellor talking about no cliff edge,


and therefore really raising the question of single


market and Customs union membership continuing,


whereas others say something very different.


I mean, leave aside the briefings which I can't speak for,


but you'll find in terms of public statements, it's very hard


to put a cigarette paper between the Chancellor and myself


on the transitional or implementation agreement.


Because we have discussed it at length, virtually


You will similarly find, on another controversial area,


in terms of issues of migration policy, we have both said,


time and again, bringing back control of migration policy


in the UK is not the same as slamming the door.


The session ended with a question from another Labour peer.


May I ask the Minister, how many women are on the negotiating team?


The photo in the Times was a disgrace.


Being taken to task by Lords committee.


Many pundits have suggested that there was an obvious and


gaping hole in the general election campaign last month.


There was little discussion about the economy and the state


Well, a Conservative MP thought it was a subject worthy of debate


and led a discussion in the alternative chamber


He attacked Labour's public spending plans.


If they had carried on spending at the rate they were when they left


office, there would be an extra ?1 trillion added to the public debt


And we saw their manifesto at the last general election


was just spend, spend, spend other people's money with


And that way, I suggest, Ms Ryan, is not the route


And the fact that so few of them are here to defend their plans,


I suspect, tells us everything we need to know.


He turned to the spending demands facing ministers.


There are many pressures on public spending.


There is public sector pay, funding for our National Health Service,


funding for social care, colleagues want more money put


into schools, there are many, many pressures on public spending,


and part of the challenge of being in government is that


you cannot say yes to everybody, you have to make choices


Would he also agree with me that our public services are under


real pressure at the moment, and I think we have to recognise


that, and I speak as someone who works in those public services,


and I see that in my working life there.


According to the latest forecast, the target, a structural deficit


of less than 2% of national income in 2020-21 will be comfortably met


by sticking with the current tax and spending plans.


So there is about ?25 million worth of leeway to invest a little bit


more in those very important public services, whilst at the same time


paying down the deficit in a responsible manner.


When the Chancellor looks at the public finance


position in his Budget, he needs to look at the grade


forecast from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility,


so he needs to look at what tax revenues he is likely to have,


he then needs to look at the pressures on our public


servants, on our public services, he needs to look across the piece,


look at all of the pressures he faces, then he needs to come


to a balanced budget judgment, weighing up all of those things,


and then we need to back him in those decisions.


What we cannot do is each week, have a particular story


that's running around, we then decide that happens to be


the flavour of the month, then when we get to the Budget,


we discover we have run out of money.


Ms Ryan, I feel somewhat like Custer at the Battle


of Little Bighorn at the moment, as the Comanches come running


towards me, and I want to apologise to Tories present for pouring water


on some of the more political points that the honourable member


Over the past seven years, the Government, I believe,


has been very good at one thing, that is patting themselves


on the back and congratulating themselves on what a great job


Even though some many families are more pessimistic


than ever about the future, the Government still trades


on a myth they are overseeing a strong and robust economy.


When they were elected in 2010, they were given a mandate alongside


the Liberal Democrats to bring about real change.


Intentionally, I believe, Ms Ryan, allowing people to believe


that the deficit and the national debt were one and the same thing.


They told the British people in 2010 they would pay off the debt


and bring the Budget into surplus by 2015.


I'm really frustrated at this debate, because I cannot believe


that people are able to spill this nonsense.


The Chancellor, when he stood up in the Spring Budget,


mentioned that inflation was going to be 2.4% in 2017.


Actually, inflation, in May, over the last 12 months,


The OBR's forecast for earnings growth over 2017 was 2.6%.


If inflation continues to grow at 2.9% and wages


continue to grow at 2.6%, then we very quickly


Particularly for those households that are struggling with increasing


The Bank of England are concerned at the increases in household debt.


Household debt is at its highest level since 2008.


Now, this is a real problem for families, especially


when they are going to see their real wages eroded.


And I don't think there is a case in modern political history


of a British Government so regularly failing to meet


There are many ways the Government can balance the books,


and there were very many difficult decisions that had to be taken over


the past seven years, no-one doubts that one.


That being said, the Government chose the path of austerity


of long-term prosperity for everyone in the country.


But surely, Ms Ryan, the cruellest cut of all


is when a politician struts the stage, telling the audience that


which they most dearly wish to hear but knowing in his heart he has


Knowing in his heart that what he is suggesting will lead


Finally, there were more than 80 new MPs elected in June.


Each of them have to make a first, or maiden, speech.


Making hers, the new MP for Oxford East reflected


on the housing crisis in the South of England.


Renters of homes have fewer rights than if they were renting


The rules for housing benefit have been changed so people whose


families have lived in Oxford for generations are being forced out


of the city for the crime of merely owning an average,


And to pay for the right to buy and Housing Association properties,


up to a third of Oxford's remaining council stock could vanish.


As far as I'm concerned, people doing their best to bring


up their children on low incomes in Oxford are today's


Often running between more than one job to make ends meet.


I must say, it comes as a slap in the face to them when they hear


politicians refusing to admit there is such a thing as in-work


poverty, and I was disturbed to hear that in this House


Britain, and especially Oxford, urgently needs more


The new MP for Oxford East bringing us to the end of this


edition of the programe, but do join me at the same time


tomorrow for a Prime Minister's Questions with a difference,


as Damian Green and Emily Thornberry fill in for Theresa May


But for now, from me, Alicia McCarthy, goodbye.