07/11/2017 Tuesday in Parliament


07/11/2017

Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Tuesday 7 November, presented by Keith Macdougall.


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Transcript


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Hello and welcome to Tuesday in

Parliament. Our look at the best of

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the day in the Commons and the

Lords. On this programme, Boris

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Johnson says he is sorry if his

words about a British woman jailed

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in Iran caused anxiety, but Labour

strongly criticises the Foreign

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Secretary.

Will the Foreign Secretary now

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apologise? He cannot be trusted to

do this job and he should resign.

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She deflects blame, she deflect

accountability from those who are

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truly responsible for holding that

mother in jail.

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Also on this programme, should the

International Development Secretary

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quit because of meetings she had on

holiday while in Israel?

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Does the minister accept that it is

time the Secretary of State Ivor

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faces a Cabinet Office investigation

order the decent and just resigns?

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If I had been in Israel and on a

two-day visit, I would have wanted a

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programme just like this.

And arguments rage again over the

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release of documents on the economic

impact of Brexit.

There can be no

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further delay. Ministers just need

to get on with it.

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Our purpose is not to create the

kind of stories which the honourable

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gentleman seems to be pursuing.

But first, the Foreign Secretary

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Boris Johnson has apologised to the

family of a British woman imprisoned

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in Iran for marks Elwood remarks he

made which, as Ben says, could lead

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to a prison term being lengthened.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is serving

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a five-year jail sentence for

allegedly allotting to overthrow the

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government in Tehran. Boris Johnson

had told MPs last week that Mrs

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Zaghari-Ratcliffe was simply

teaching people journalism, a

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statement to family and employers

that was untrue. Or as Johnson has

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faced calls for his resignation.

When he came to the Commons, he told

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MPs that the government wanted to

see the early release from jail of

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Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

The UK

Government has no doubt that she was

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on holiday in Iran when she was

arrested last year, and that was the

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sole purpose of their visit. My

point was that I disagreed with the

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Iranian view that training

journalists was a crime, not that I

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wanted to lend any credence to

Iranian allegations that Mrs

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Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been engaged

in such activity. I except that my

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remarks could have been clearer in

that respect, and I am glad to

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provide this clarification.

I hope that he will now take the

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opportunity to apologise to this

woman's family, to their friends and

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see their employers. How many more

times does the Foreign Secretary

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have to consult our international

partners, damage our diplomatic

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relations, and now in peril the

interest of British National

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-- British national abroad? How much

is it until the Prime Minister says

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enough is enough? But the truth is,

she can't, because she does not have

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the strength or authority to sack

him. How about the Foreign Secretary

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himself shows a bit of personal

responsibility and admits that a job

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like this, where your words hold

gravity and your actions have

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consequences, it is simply not the

job for him?

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And they may say to the right

Honourable lady that she has a

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choice. She always has a choice in

these matters. She can choose to

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blame, to heap blame onto the

British Foreign Office that is

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trying to secure... Trying to secure

the release of Nazanin

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Zaghari-Ratcliffe, and in so doing,

she deflect blame, she deflect

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accountability from those who are

truly responsible for holding that

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mother in jail, and that is the

Iranian regime.

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Order!

In this case, there are fears

this could mean the extended

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incarceration of a British- Iranian

woman, and he will know that the

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lives and the safety of British

citizens across the globe depend on

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having a Foreign Secretary who does

not bluster and who is not too

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careless or too lazy to consider his

words. Will the Foreign Secretary

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now apologise? He cannot be trusted

to do this job, and he should

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resign.

I really think, Madame deputy

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Speaker, that I have made my

position clear already on this. And

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indeed, the Iranians have made their

position clear.

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May I say that his errors in choice

of words, however unfortunate they

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may seem, are, to be fair, entirely

secondary and maybe even tertiary to

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the crimes committed by the Iranian

regime over nearly four decades of

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Khamenei site authoritarianism. But

the Foreign Secretary take this

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opportunity to address the threat

that Iran poses to UK interest in

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the region, and whether, after 40

years of instability and tyranny, we

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need a wider review of Iran policy?

It is precisely because many of us

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have, for many months, been working

to try to secure Nazanin's release

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that many of us are so upset by this

mistake which has been made. I

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accept, perhaps inadvertently. We

are aware of the effect of her

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detention on her and their family,

and this is an occasion in this

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extent of dismay. This is not an

attempt of politicisation. It is

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genuine upset. I hope the Foreign

Secretary will now go to look at the

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website of the Iranian judicial

authorities where his remarks are

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repeated for all to see.

Could he

now give us an undertaking that in

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future, he will concentrate on the

very important matters that he has

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within his brief as Foreign

Secretary? To that end, could he

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give an undertaking to support the

Prime Minister in her efforts, as in

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relation to the Florence speech, for

example, and make sure that his own

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ambitions upwards Eikenberry to the

well-being of all my constituents,

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and indeed, to everyone else in this

country? Because that is his job.

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It is not enough of the Foreign

Secretary not in the basic details

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of this case. It is unforgivable to

repeat the lies of the Iranian

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Revolutionary Guard, and to say that

I should be clearer does not cut it

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when it is a matter of life and

death.

So if our words really do

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matter, then it is only right that

we do not play party politics. I am

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looking at the shadow front bench,

giggling a minute ago about the

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discomfort that the Foreign

Secretary may be feeling. And I

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would ask the Foreign Secretary to

redouble his efforts to get Nazanin

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released as soon as possible.

I am very grateful to my honourable

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friend, who speaks with huge

authority about that region. And I

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can certainly say that we are

redoubling our efforts to secure the

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release of Nazanin

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, and I think it is

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entirely right that the focus of the

house should not be on any failings

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and the responsibility of the UK

Government for the incarceration of

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this mother. I really think that if

she is going to continue to blame

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the British government for the

incarceration of Nazanin

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Zaghari-Ratcliffe, she is living in

cloud cuckoo land, Madame deputy 's

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bid. The world is upside down in the

Labour Party, absolutely upside

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down. It is the Iranian authorities

against whom she should be directing

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her attention and her anger.

Boris Johnson. It is not the best of

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weeks for Theresa May. Another of

her Cabinet ministers has also faced

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calls for her resignation. The

International Development Secretary

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Priti Patel has apologised to the

Prime Minister for holding a series

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of unofficial meetings while on a

private holiday in Israel. One of

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those was with the is really Prime

Minister. The Shadow International

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Development Secretary went down what

is known as an urgent question in

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the Commons.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

To ask the Secretary of State for

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International Development issue will

make a statement on the

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circumstances surrounding her

meetings in Israel in August 20 17.

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She's at a meeting!

Mr Speaker, may I start by

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explaining that the Secretary of

State is on a prearranged government

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visit to Africa to focus on how we

are breaking down barriers...

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And she is presently in the air.

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She is a prearranged visit to

Africa.

The minister said Priti

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Patel had met a number of

organisations in Israel.

A list of

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who she met and what was covered was

published in yesterday's statement.

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The Secretary of State realises in

hindsight that these meetings were

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not arranged following the usual

procedures, and she has apologised

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for that. The Foreign Office has

said the UK interests were not

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damaged or affected by meetings on

this visit, so I hope therefore that

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honourable members would now agree

that she has made that apology, and

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published details of those meetings,

we should accept that.

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The British public are outraged that

the international developer and

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secretary held 12 secret meetings in

Israel, including the Prime Minister

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Netanyahu, without telling either

the Foreign Office or the Prime

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Minister, and was accompanied by a

pro-Israeli lobbyist. She then

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misled the British public with

comments on Friday that yesterday

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she finally corrected. It is hard to

think of a more black and white case

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of breaking the ministerial code of

conduct. But rather than change the

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minister, the Prime Minister somehow

decided last night that it is the

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Ministerial Code itself that needs

changing. We have a Prime Minister

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who has lost their authority and her

control of the classroom. Does the

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minister except that it is time the

Secretary of State either faces a

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Cabinet Office investigation or does

the decent thing and just resigns?

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The minister list of the

organisations Priti Patel had met in

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Israel.

A visit to Save A Child's

Heart to talk about a coincidence

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project. The Galilee International

Management Institute. A group of

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start-ups with a focus on Africa.

Does the honourable lady think she

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should not have met these people?

All of these people are perfectly...

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This is... If I had been in Israel,

and I had been on a two-day visit, I

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would have wanted a programme just

like this.

He has read out an

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incredibly long list of meetings

that the Secretary of State held in

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Israel, on what I thought were

supposed to be a family holiday.

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Did she have any meetings with the

Palestinian side? He would, of

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course, appreciate the importance as

Middle East minister of a whole

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balanced approach to the Middle East

peace process and not a one-sided

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one. If she is in the air now, she

could have delayed her departure,

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couldn't she, Ann Jones courtesy to

this house? It is very difficult to

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know whether the Secretary for

international developer or the

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Foreign Secretary is the one who has

the worst relationship with

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accuracy, and if we had a Prime

Minister who was not so weak, both

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of them would have been sacked.

The spotlight is on this place, and

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the proceedings of this place, and

the behaviour of all of us as never

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before. And what people want is

transparency and accountability. So

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does my right honourable friend not

agree with me that it is time

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finally to address the issue of

access, privileged access, and

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lobbying, and funding, if we are not

to have this repeated time and time

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again? And would he not agree with

me that all organisations involved

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with active lobbying members of

Parliament and ministers should open

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their books, be entirely transparent

so we can see who is lobbying who,

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and he was providing the funding?

Has guidance now been reissued to

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ministers and secretaries of state

that they should not freelance on

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foreign policy when they are on

their holidays, or indeed on policy

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in relation to any other government

department? With or without Tory

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donors present?

It seems to me to be a gross breach

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of the existing code of ministerial

conduct, and every code of

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ministerial conduct I have ever seen

as a minister of some nine years

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standing. In previous governments, I

would have thought this was a

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resigning matter.

What action is the Prime Minister

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taking to ensure this matter is

investigated in terms of the

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Ministerial Code, and does he have

faith that the Secretary of State

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still has the ability and

credibility to carry on?

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When I met the is really Deputy

Prime Minister, he stormed out of

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the meeting. The Secretary of State

got a much more cordial reception.

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-- the is really Deputy Prime

Minister. Is it just because she is

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a lady?

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I'm not sure, Mr Speaker, if it is

appropriate for me to answer. Either

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how my right honourable friend was

treated himself, or the reception

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for the Secretary of State for

International Development. I'm sure

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both meetings were entirely proper

and.

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Alistair Burt.

The Commons Education Committee is

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investigating how to improve the

foster care system for children. The

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committee has been hearing from

young people who have been through

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the care system. For this unique

session, they sat alongside MPs. The

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MPs instead sat at a table set aside

for witnesses. Rachel revealed that

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she was separated from her siblings.

I was moved away from them because I

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was overprotective with them, which

in my eyes, as a sister, moving away

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from home, I feel like it is an

instinct straightaway to just be

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protective, because you are moving

in with a stranger you don't know.

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To lose a bond with your own

siblings is sad, because you are by

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yourself in the world, and your

siblings are practically best

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friends, and now you are losing

them. You have lost your parents are

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now your siblings, and it is like

your whole world has crashed down

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quite quickly.

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MR, which you like to ask something?

It is quite upsetting you have gone

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through that. I just think you're

also impressive and brilliant and I

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am so pleased you are here. I think

you are fantastic. What you said

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about the resilience and strength

you all have is just absolutely

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incredible. And I'm sure you will

get your link back with your

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siblings.

I see them now with a long

process of fighting, writing letters

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and getting an advocate. I see them

once a month.

Luke had a difficult

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experience in foster care.

My story

is common. As a child, I was very

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angry about moving around a lot. Now

I understand it is down to the

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capacity of the individuals in the

information they had about me. Myra

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Ferrell was bad. It was about things

I had done.

Fundamentally, we need

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to be remind from the survey that

83% of children reported they

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thought that being in foster care

improved their life. So overall, the

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picture is good. And certainly it is

better. I met some care leavers last

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week who had been out of care for

ten years. Some of the stories I

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heard about being moved at short

notice, for example, one of them had

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been moved in the middle of his GCSE

exams. He had a two hour commute to

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his school, sleek and complete his

exams. 83% of children in the survey

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in foster care said their lives had

been improved.

Where did this survey

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come from?

It was commissioned to

get feedback. Many of those children

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have had a pretty rough time with

their birth parents. So we have

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improved from where they were. But

it shows that foster carers are

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doing a great job in the vast

majority of cases in improving the

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lives of their children.

In our

sector, I think surveys are quite

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useless. The only engage with

children who want to engage who have

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had good experiences.

The Minister

said some foster carers would not be

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happy calling themselves workers or

employees.

It is vital to keep it

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within the family environment. Any

move towards employees there think

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would be bad. We are unable to

recruit foster carers who consider

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themselves in this role. We don't

see themselves of taking another

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drop.

He added foster carers should

not be left out of pocket. You are

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watching our round-up of the day in

the House of Commons House of Lords.

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Still to come, does the intranet

have too much power and influence

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over the nation's children? --

internet. An Anglican bishop has

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confessed to looking at pictures in

sleazy magazines when he was a boy

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of 15. The Bishop of Chelmsford said

the admission would not be good on

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his Facebook page. The admission

came during the Lords debate on the

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internet and children.

When I was

about 15, I had a Saturday job in a

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wood yard. The men who worked there

are often left there are sleazy

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magazines, mild by today's

standards. When I was alone in the

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canteen, and if I thought nobody

could see me, I looked at those

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magazines. I am not particularly

proud to tell you that and I

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publicly repented within the House

of Lords. I am a bishop, after role.

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It won't work very good on my

Facebook page, admitting this to

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you. I was a normal 15-year-old boy

and I expect most normal 15-year-old

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boys would have done the same thing.

He said it should've been a huge

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moral concern that those sorts of

images are much worse and available

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today in the pockets of every

15-year-old.

The digital age can be

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an age of cultural and intellectual

and even moral prosperity. But

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enlightened legislation based on

sound and child-centred research is

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needed to lift it from the mire and

misery that it is also creating.

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Bullying and name-calling online

doesn't stop when you go home from

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school or even when you go to bed.

You can be exposed to confusing and

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frightening images of pornography

and violence, images that can stay

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in the mind for years. These pop up

on social media or they may be

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pressed on you by others, or you may

access them deliberately but regret

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doing so. A fifth of 12-15

-year-olds say they have encountered

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something online they found worrying

or nasty.

Teachers will tell you

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children come to school tired after

having watched film, television or

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online material for hours, rather

than being asleep. We need to teach

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children how to resist temptation

and not allow the online world to

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control their existence. Not to be

seduced by social networking and

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readily share personal information

without first learning about privacy

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and trust.

The debate over the

internet. Last week, the government

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was told that it had to release

detailed reports on the economic

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impact of Brexit. When the work

release of the reports take place?

0:21:300:21:34

Labour wants them handed over

immediately. In the House of

0:21:340:21:38

Commons, a Brexit minister said the

government's analysis was constantly

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evolving and was being updated.

It

will take the government some time

0:21:420:21:46

to collate and bring together this

information in a way that is

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accessible and informative to the

committee. We will provide this

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information to the committee as soon

as is possible. We have made claim

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to the House authorities that we

currently expect this to be no more

0:22:000:22:04

than three weeks.

If it is the case

the department has some of the

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information but not all of it, can

he tell the House what is preventing

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the information that is available

from being released immediately?

0:22:170:22:21

This farce has dragged on for too

long. Ministers cannot use semantics

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and doublespeak to have a clear

instruction this House has given

0:22:270:22:30

them. There can be no further delay.

Ministers need to get on with it.

0:22:300:22:39

The honourable gentleman says that

an impression has been allowed to

0:22:390:22:42

develop. It was never our intention

to allow this to develop. The

0:22:420:22:51

situation is that the government, as

I've explained, carries out a wide

0:22:510:22:56

range of analysis across these

sectors in order to inform our

0:22:560:23:00

negotiating position. Our purpose is

to develop our negotiating capital,

0:23:000:23:04

not create the kind of stories which

the honourable gentleman seems to be

0:23:040:23:09

pursuing. I think the public will

look at the Labour Party today, look

0:23:090:23:12

at what they're asking for, they

will look at the kind of narrative

0:23:120:23:15

which members opposite are trying to

create and they will ask whose side

0:23:150:23:21

are they on?

Can I thank my right

honourable friend for his answer.

0:23:210:23:30

The select committee has not

discussed this matter. Can I tell

0:23:300:23:34

them that what he is said to the

House this afternoon seems to be

0:23:340:23:37

entirely reasonable.

It is

astonishing that more than 500 days

0:23:370:23:43

on from the referendum these are not

prepared yet. It is astonishing. If

0:23:430:23:51

they are scrabbling together this in

three weeks' time, will beside us

0:23:510:23:55

all. Will he tell us, will these be

shared with the devolved

0:23:550:23:59

administrations?

Sure the public

will on all agree that this timing

0:23:590:24:06

is reasonable. Could I ask the

Minister to make it very clear that

0:24:060:24:09

whatever is in these documents that

we will all be sitting up all night

0:24:090:24:14

to read, it will make no change to

the government policy and the policy

0:24:140:24:21

of this country where leaving the

European Union?

The Minister

0:24:210:24:28

confirmed in response to me in

September the Department had the

0:24:280:24:34

analysis. He has confirmed today he

has seen the analysis. He has then

0:24:340:24:39

said there is no quantitative work

that casts its eye into the future.

0:24:390:24:43

The question that is why has that

work not been done by his Department

0:24:430:24:48

on such a critical issue? He has not

explained at.

What the Minister has

0:24:480:24:53

said it is reasonable. I urge him to

release these documents in full as

0:24:530:24:57

quickly as possible, redaction is

only inflame interest. I have lived

0:24:570:25:02

through many of these rows. Once

these documents are published,

0:25:020:25:06

they're often found to be very long

and boring. When Parliament gets

0:25:060:25:10

itself into a fine passion about the

sort of thing, often travelling is

0:25:100:25:15

more fun than arriving.

That is it

for this programme. MPs and peers

0:25:150:25:21

take a brief half term break.

Orthoses returned on Monday. From

0:25:210:25:26

me, goodbye. -- both houses return

on Monday.

0:25:260:25:34