04/11/2015 Wednesday in Parliament


Georgina Pattinson presents highlights of Wednesday 4 November in Parliament.

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This is Wednesday in Parliament, our look at the day at Westminster.


On the programme, the Government unveils proposals to help combat


It will give the men and women of hours security and intelligence


agencies and our law enforcement agencies who do so much to keep a


safe and secure the powers they need to protect our country.


The Prime Minister tackles questions on tax credit cuts and the NHS


We suffered a defeat in the House of Lords, so we have taken the tax


credit proposals are away and are looking at them.


And MPs expressed concern about the future of policing.


I believe this government is about to cause serious damage to our


police service. But first, the Government has


unveiled its latest proposals to help the police and security


services tackle criminal and terrorist activity


online. The draft Investigatory Powers Bill


contains more safeguards, after a previous attempt to update


the law in 2012 was dubbed who argued it was too intrusive


and had to be abandoned. The Home Secretary said law


enforcement and intelligence gathering had become a lot more


difficult in the digital age. It is right, therefore, that those


who are charged with protecting us should have the powers they need to


do so, but it is the role of Government and Parliament to ensure


that there are limits to those powers. Let me be clear: the draft


Bill we are publishing today is not a return to the draft communications


data Bill of 2012. It will not include powers to force UK companies


to capture and retain third party internet traffic from companies


based overseas; it will not compel overseas communications service


providers to meet our domestic retention obligations for


communications data; and it will not ban encryption or do anything to


undermine the security of people's The Home Secretary said law


enforcement agencies would not have access to people's full internet


browsing history, and an internet connection record


would only demonstrate which social media sites


had been accessed. And for communications to be


intercepted, there would need to be a warrant from the Home Secretary


formally approved by a judge. It will provide safeguarding


powers. It will give the men and women of our intelligence agencies


and our line force and agencies who do so much to keep us safe and


secure the powers they need to protect our country.


The issues the proposed legislation seeks to tackle go way beyond party


politics. Any Government will face a difficult task in balancing the


security of the nation with the privacy and liberties of individual


citizens. As someone who was in the Home Office on 7/7, I know that that


challenge has got harder in recent years. We will examine carefully the


detail of the draft Bill and seek to improve the safeguards to build


trust. Having listened carefully to what the Home Secretary has said


today, I believe that she has responded to legitimate concerns and


broadly got that difficult balance right.


Her last Bill on this fraught but important subject hit the buffers.


The current Bill is a much improved model, although I have the feeling


that, under the bonnet, it retains some of the flaws of its


predecessor. The Home Office has clearly put in a lot of work, which


I welcome, as I do the dropping of some of the key provisions on


We are concerned that a hybrid system-involving both political and


judicial authorisation-might add an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy and


lead to error and delay in urgent situations. Can she give us any


We have every confidence that the process will not add greater


bureaucracy, but will add the necessary independent judicial


authorisation. In emergency warrant cases, the Secretary of State will


be able to authorise a warrant immediately, but that will be


followed by a speedy review by the judge to ensure there is still


However much we all agree that action is necessary to combat


terrorism and other forms of criminality, I remain concerned,


even if I am one of only a few who do, about the excessive powers that


will be given to the security authorities in addition to what they


already have, although judicial involvement is better than no


The Home Secretary said the bill strengthens safeguards.


The bill is still in draft form and can be amended,


even before it begins its journey through Parliament.


At PMQs this week, both the Prime Minister and the Labour Leader


began their stint at the dispatch box by marking Remembrance Sunday,


paying tribute to those who lost their lives in conflict.


Last week, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn used all of his allotted


Last week I asked him the same question six times. Now he has had a


week to think about it. Canny guarantee that next April nobody


will be worse off as a result of cuts to working tax credits. Let me


be clear. There lobby and 11,000 personal allowance, so you can earn


?11,000 before you pay tax. There will be a national living wage of ?7


20, giving the lowest paid in our country at ?20 per week pay rise. We


suffered the defeat in the House of Lords, so we have taken the


proposals away, we're looking at them, we will come forward with new


proposals in the Autumn Statement. At that point in three weeks' time I


will be able to answer his question. The Prime Minister said that if


the Labour Leader wanted to ask the he was sure he would find that


very entertaining and interesting. This isn't about entertainment, Mr


Speaker. A serving soldier, a private in the Army with two


children and a partner with us over ?2000 next April. I ask a question,


surely that is the whole point of our Parliament, that we are able to


put questions to those in authority? So I have a question from Kieran, a


veteran of the first Gulf War. His family are set to lose out. He


writes, it is a worry to the family, this fear and trepidation,


about whether we are going to be able to get by. Is this how the


government treats veterans of the armed services? All soldiers will


benefit from the ?11,000 personal allowance, so they will be able to


earn more money before they even start paying tax. What I say to the


serving soldier is that he is now dealing with an opposition party the


leader of which said he couldn't see any use for UK forces anywhere in


the world at any time. That serving soldier wouldn't have a job if the


honourable gentleman ever got anywhere near power. We remember all


sacrifices from the past and present conflict. We sure our respect to


service men and women and their families. Many service widows


continue to be deprived of their forces pensions if there is a change


in their personal circumstances. Does he agree this is a clear breach


in the spirit of the military covenant? We made a big change last


who had remarried were able to get who had remarried were able to get


their pensions. That was a big step forward, welcomed by the British


Legion. If there are further steps we need to look at, I am happy to


look at them and see what can be done.


The Prime Minister answering SNP's


Did he use all the questions on the issue of tax credits?


No, he moved on to ask the prime about the NHS.


I quote Doctor Clive Mantle, the president of the Royal College of


emergency medicine, who said this winter will be worse than last


winter. Last winter was the worst winter we have ever had in the NHS.


Can the Prime Minister guarantee there will be no winter crisis in


the NHS this year? Jeremy Corbyn began


his questions saying he was awaiting details on the proposals for pay


for junior doctors. When it comes to the Royal College


of Emergency Medicine, the support what we're saying a 7 day NHS and


the junior doctor. I would urge all junior doctors who are watching this


to go on the Department of Health website and look at the pay


calculator, because they will be able to see there that no one


working legal hours will lose out in any way at all. This is only 11%


basic pay rise and pottable deliver is a stronger and safer NHS.


As for the state of our NHS more generally, it is benefiting from the


?10 billion that we are putting in-money that the Labour party at


the last election said it did not support. I believe the NHS has the


resources that it needs, and that is why we are seeing it treating more


patients, with more treatments, more drugs being delivered and more tests


being carried out. It is a much stronger NHS, and the reason is


You are watching Wednesday in Parliament.


The Home Secretary announces ways to tackle online crime


Still to come... There is no place like home.


Could prefab buildings provide the houses of the future?


Now, when are three runways quieter than two?


A committee of MPs found the answer when they met


Heathrow Airport bosses and Sir Howard Davies,


the man who chaired the commission which backed the idea of building


a new third runway at Heathrow. Sir Howard was giving evidence


to the Environmental Audit Committee, when Labour's


Geraint Davies posed the question, how could a third runway


On some noise measures, a new three-runway airport would,


in fact, be less irritating than an existing two-runway


airport, partly because of the different configuration


of the flights. You could put them further to the north and over-flying


fewer people. You have got flights coming in at a higher level.


Some of the flights coming in low over central London in the


morning would not be coming in low over central London


in the morning. They would be coming in over the less-populated areas


a bit further to the north and they would be higher.


So, for some of the measures, a three-runway airport


is less noisy than a two-runway airport, at that time.


Earlier in the session, Heathrow chief executive,


John Holland-Kaye, outlined to the committee how successful


he believed the airport can be at limiting sound pollution.


And he was pushed on limiting night flights


It is something we need to keep working on. We need to discuss it


with airlines and the government. We will make our statement on that in


due course. When is that? When we have concluded the agreement. We are


not in a position to do that at the moment. With regard to what John


said about Nate flakes, the fourth runway as a matter for government. I


realise this is an easy of great controversy, but I have to as people


watching in the public gallery not to intervene. Please, beer weathers,


listen to the evidence. My apologies. I am interested in your


views on the fourth runway. The session last year, you said the


succession of a third runway would pave the way for the campaign for a


fourth runway. What we have said is that Heathrow is capable of


expanding, if that were the case. That is entirely a question for the


future. On the specific question, this is for the government to


decide. The government has said it


will make a decision on whether to go ahead with expansion


at Heathrow At Lords' Question Time,


Liberal Democrat peer Lord Marks asked a question on the current


policy towards the treatment of transgender individuals


In the criminal justice system. Prison rules say that prisoners


should be placed according to their gender,


as recognised by UK law, usually, as stated on


their birth certificate or, if a person has a gender


recognition certificate, giving them a new birth certificate


in their acquired gender. The National Offender Management


Service Policy on the care and management of transexual


prisoners states that prisoners are normally placed


according to their legally-recognised gender.


The guidelines allow, however, some room for discretion and,


in such cases, senior prison management will review


the circumstances with relevant experts,


to protect the prisoner's safety and well-being and that


of other prisoners. Tara Hudson, a woman after


six years of gender reconstruction, was originally imprisoned


at HMP Bristol - a tough prison for 600 men,


causing her great distress. She was moved to a women's


prison only after the judges considering her case appeal


suggested that the prison service reconsider. How can prison


allocation be so insensitive to transgender offenders,


particularly in light of the noble lord's answer?


And will the noble lord's department ensure that,


in the future, if a transgender offender


is at risk of a custodial sentence, then full and careful


thought should be given to allocation before sentence,


rather than after placement? It is the policy of the Ministry


of Justice Executive Agency But I can, however, without


breaching any of the obligations, assure the House that she is being


held in an appropriate environment and is receiving the care


that she needs. There is deep concern about


treatments within the criminal justice system.


There are, however, good works being undertaken,


such as at HMP Stafford. Will he commit and reassure


the House that there is ongoing training and awareness-raising


on the issue of transsexuality, particularly when the criminal


justice aspects are outsourced? There is an emphasis on the prison


officer training, which has been extended in its length


and its content refreshed. It is all about respecting the needs


and the rights of each individual prisoner in their care


and there is a component of the mandatory training which


addresses the Equality Act, and the nine characteristics


protected under that legislation. The minister seem to suggest that it


was at the point of prison Surely, when a person is


leaving court, they need to be in the right van to go to the correct


person. So, should the decision not be taken earlier, before they leave


court? And can he assure us that the staff there are properly trained


and a decision is taken My noble lady makes an


important point. The National Offender Management


Service is currently looking at ways of facilitating the proper


recording of this information, through the introduction of an


equalities self-declaration form, to be completed by all defendants


who are adjourned for Labour has predicted


a dangerous future for policing if the government proceeds with


funding cuts. Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham


warned that, if cuts went beyond 10%, public


safety would be put at risk and some But Home Secretary Theresa May


insisted that communities in England and Wales were safer than ever


and accused Labour When the Home Secretary gets it


right, she will have my support. I have just offered her that


on the Investigatory Powers Bill. But where she


and the government get it wrong, then, Madam Deputy Speaker,


I am not going to hold back from saying so, particularly where public


and community safety is at risk. I believe this government is


about to cause serious damage to I spoke to my Police


Crime Commissioner yesterday. He confirmed to me, and I quote,


"We are in a strong position to face future financial challenges, whilst


maintaining frontline services." Does he agree with me, that many


factors influence performance, That may well be the case,


Madam Deputy Speaker. But could I gently point out to her


that it is not the case everywhere. I would refer her to


the comments made by the Chief Constable of Lancashire


yesterday, before the Home Affairs Select Committee, when he said,


"Going forward, if the cuts come through, people in Lancashire will


not be as safe as they are now." Three weeks from now,


the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be standing at the dispatch box


announcing his spending review. If he follows through


on what he said at the Budget, the country will soon have


a very different police force, providing a much-reduced service


from the one he has just described. As it stands, like other unprotected


departments, the Home Office is in line for cuts over the next five


years of between 25-40%. If we assume the government are


working towards keeping it at the lower end of that spectrum, that is


still a massive hit on resources. As I understand his position,


he is saying that cuts of up to 10% could safely be made now, because


he accepts, in the terms of this motion, that further efficiencies


could be made in the police budget. Therefore, by definition,


he has accepted the efficiencies that have been made so far have not


damaged policing - by definition. If further cuts can be made,


up to 10%, he therefore accepts that the reductions which have been made


to date have not damaged policing. Is it not, therefore,


not extraordinarily that the Labour Party opposed those


reductions in spending, said that Is it not the case that they are


saying exactly the same thing now? I am glad the honourable


gentleman has intervened. I am not saying anything


of the kind. I am not saying that


the cuts they have managed, to date, I have just been describing how


functions as important as I have also pointed to


the fact that crime is rising. These reforms are working


and crime is falling. This government has achieved


something that no other We have proved that it is possible


to improve services and maintain public trust and confidence, whilst


saving money for the taxpayer. It is with some dismay that I see


the party opposite making exactly the same mistakes as they did


in 2010 - misusing statistics, worrying decent members of the


public and wilfully ignoring the I am really surprised to hear


her say that crime is falling. In Cleveland, we have seen


an increasing in crime of 21% - that includes a 77% increase


in violence against the person. That does not accord with what


she says about crime falling. Under the last Labour government,


crime fell by 43%. We are very proud of that record


and it is disappointing to see this I think I am right in saying that


the figures she quotes for crime falling under the last Labour


government were from exactly the same basis as the figures I have


quoted for crime falling over the last five years -


namely the Independent Crime Survey. Now, could prefab buildings be


the solution to Britain's housing They were the answer to many


of the housing problems after World War II and they conjure up


images of flat-roofed, wooden-clad, In Westminster Hall,


Conservative MP Damian Collins said new techniques and technologies


for building homes and factories While the number


of finished new homes was increasing at 130,000 per year, he says it


remains below the target figure. Modern prefabrication could be


the solution. The warrant prefabrication conjures


up images for many overs of the post-World War II situation, brought


into solve the huge housing need we were faced with. But on-site


manufacturer assembly have transformed the application for a


modern housing. A project in Islington Manchester can pre-order


and design their own home before it is assembled. It can be assembled


on-site at a lower cost than would normally be the cost for standard


construction. Other companies will have similar schemes. I think we are


having an exciting new technology which will revolutionise


house-building in this country. The Local Government minister,


Brandon Lewis, was similarly optimistic


about the possible solutions offered We need to build more homes in our


country. We need to build them in our communities. We all appreciate


the high quality, thoughtful design and built quickly in the right


places. Fast housing manufacturer can achieve all this. It has a


normal potential for new growth as the factory industry. I would


recommend that we look at this more often. And finally, what do you do


in the absence of the front bench spokesman? This was faced by the


Melbourne-based Deputy Speaker. We now come, I am purposely speaking


rather slowly. We know come to the opposition Day motion in the name of


the leader, I cannot go much more slowly than this. Some filling and


was provided by an honourable member from the Conservative benches. On a


point of order, obviously, the house is in anticipation of important


papers. What procedures are in place if someone does not cannot? The


honourable gentleman makes an excellent and most immediate point.


All is well that ends well. Just as I was looking for a solution, the


passion of a certain member of a person appearing at the door, I no


longer need to consider that solution. We know come to the


opposition day motion, to be moved. Thank you very much and I beg to


move the motion in my name and those of my right honourable and


honourable friends. Why see a little out of breath? That is all for me.


Thank you for watching. Goodbye.


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