20/04/2016 Wednesday in Parliament


20/04/2016

Highlights of Wednesday 20 April in Parliament, presented by Alicia McCarthy.


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Transcript


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Hello there and welcome to Wednesday in Parliament.

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Coming up - the Prime Minister defends plans to force all schools

:00:16.:00:18.

The Home Secretary is accused of scrabbling around to find

:00:19.:00:24.

money to patch up holes in the Border Force budget.

:00:25.:00:27.

And a group campaigning for the UK to leave the EU

:00:28.:00:30.

is accused of using misleading literature.

:00:31.:00:34.

Do you think it might be a good idea to think twice about putting out

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But first to Prime Minister's Questions where David Cameron

:00:39.:00:44.

defended his plans to force all schools in England

:00:45.:00:47.

to become academies free from local authority control.

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The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, attacked the idea,

:00:52.:00:53.

describing it as a "top-down reorganisation" that even senior

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Could the Prime Minister explain why he is

:00:58.:01:04.

intent on forcing good and outstanding schools to become

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academies against the wishes of teachers, parents, school governors

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The short answer is, because we want schools to be

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run by head teachers and teachers, and not by bureaucrats.

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But we also support it because of the clear

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If you look at converter academies, 88% of them

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And you look at schools started by academies, they see a 10%

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improvement on average, over the first two years.

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The results are better, education is improving.

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Every teacher, every parent, every pupil

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wants the best they can get for their schools and they want

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What many are concerned about is this top-down reorganisation.

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If he won't listen to the former chair of the Education

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Select Committee, will he listen to his friend the member for

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Colchester, who said this, if a school is well governed,

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well-run and performing well, it should be left alone

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Can the Prime Minister explain why good school leaders should focus

:02:17.:02:22.

their time and resources not on educating children, but on arbitrary

:02:23.:02:27.

Let me make two points on the specific issue he raises.

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I would say to outstanding or to good schools,

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they have nothing to fear from becoming academies but a huge

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The truth is, even about outstanding or good schools,

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we want them to be even better and the truth is,

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academies and greater independence, letting headteachers

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run their schools, has been hugely effective.

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And this is something started by the Labour government,

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given rocket boosters under this government.

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We have seen massive improvements in our schools because

:03:05.:03:07.

of academies and we say let's get on with it,

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finish the job and give all our children a great opportunity.

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Mr Speaker, we appear to be heading into some kind of fantasyland, here.

:03:14.:03:17.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies states that school spending is

:03:18.:03:27.

expected to fall by at least 7% in real terms in the next four years.

:03:28.:03:33.

So why on earth is the Prime Minister

:03:34.:03:40.

proposing to spend ?1.3 billion on a top-down reorganisation that

:03:41.:03:46.

wasn't in his manifesto, teachers don't want it,

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parents don't want it, governors don't want it,

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headteachers don't want it, even his own MPs

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Can't he just think again and support schools and education,

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Let me answer his question very directly about spending.

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Because we have protected spending per pupil all the way

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through the last Parliament and all the way through this Parliament and

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we are spending ?7 billion on more school places to make up for the

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woeful lack of action under the last Labour government.

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I think it is the Labour Party that this week entered

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fantasyland where they are now

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have selected somebody who sits on platforms

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with extremist in London, and they have now decided...

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When I read they were going to ban McDonald

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it was the first sensible decision they've made!

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But it turns out it wasn't the job destroyer they wanted

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to keep away from their conference, it was one of Britain's's

:04:54.:04:56.

Well, David Cameron made reference there to appearing

:04:57.:05:10.

on platforms with extremists, a jab at Labour's candidate

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for Mayor of London - Sadiq Khan - who Mr Cameron accused of appearing

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in public alongside an Islamic extremist.

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It was an accusation picked up by a Conservative MP.

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Does my right honourable friend agree that is the duty of all

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members of this House to condemn without caveat, all extremism and

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never, never to share a platform with any extremist?

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I think my honourable friend is absolutely right.

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If we are going to condemn and not just violent

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extremism but also the extremism that seeks to justify filers and

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it is very important that we do not back these people

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and we do not appear on platforms with them.

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And I have to say, I am concerned about Labour's candidate for Mayor

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of London who has appeared again and again...

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Well the leader of the Labour Party is saying it's

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Solomon Ghani, the honourable member for Tooting has

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appeared on a platform with him nine times.

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This man supports IS. He even shared a platform...

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Well, Mr Speaker, I think they are shouting

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down this point because they don't want to hear the truth.

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Anyone can make a mistake about who they appear

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We're not always responsible for what our political opponents say.

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But if you do it time after time after time, it is right

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Mr Cameron faced a wall of noise as he made those accusations.

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No Labour MPs stood up to counter them but speaking a short time later

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outside the chamber Sadiq Khan said the Tories were "running a nasty,

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dog-whistling campaign that is designed to divide London's

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He added that he had fought extremism all his life

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and would "keep focusing on keeping Londoners safe".

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Regular viewers will remember last week the Chair of the Home Affairs

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Committee Keith Vaz lost his patience with a senior Home Office

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official and dismissed him from his committee hearing.

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The subject which so provoked Mr Vaz was whether or not

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the UK Border Force had been told what its budget was for

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The force is part of the Home Office, responsible

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for front-line border control operations at air, sea and rail

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It's responsible for checking the immigration status of people

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arriving in the UK, searching bags, vehicles and cargo for illegal goods

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or immigrants and patrolling the UK coastline, alerting the security

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Labour demanded the Home Secretary come to the Commons to tell MPs

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Theresa May insisted Border Force spending was being "protected"

:08:05.:08:10.

compared to the previous financial year,

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despite Labour claims of a "revenue cut".

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Border Force spending to all intents and purposes is

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protected compared to 2015-16 with increased capital investment to

:08:28.:08:29.

improve the technology at the border, to improve security and

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Over the next four years, we will invest ?130 million in

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state-of-the-art technology at the border.

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Since I became Home Secretary six years ago, we have

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pursued an ambitious programme of reform

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at the border, to keep this country safe.

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She has been furiously backpedalling for the last two

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weeks, patching holes in the Border Force budget.

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But Mr Speaker, let's be clear about what has just been announced.

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She has just announced to this House a cut, a revenue cut to

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She has announced a budget of ?558 million.

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In 2012-13, the budget was ?617 million.

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So the budget is down by over ?50 million on her watch.

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That is this Home Secretary's record on border funding.

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The question, he said, was whether that was anywhere near enough.

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A whistle-blower working at the port of Immingham,

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the country's largest freight port,

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has been in touch with me to reveal

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that the staff of ferry companies who

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are carrying out her border exit checks, some

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That the passports of lorry drivers are not checked on arrival

:09:43.:09:46.

by anyone and worst of all, school leavers

:09:47.:09:48.

are now being recruited to

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check passports, replacing experienced board officers.

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This is the reality of what is happening at

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Britain's borders today under this Home Secretary.

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It is the direct consequence of the cuts that she has

:10:02.:10:04.

already made it to the UK border in her time in office.

:10:05.:10:06.

And unbelievably, Mr Speaker, she wanted

:10:07.:10:11.

to make even further cuts to the UK border before we

:10:12.:10:14.

on the side of the House stopped her.

:10:15.:10:15.

The Home Secretary has spent the last two weeks running scared,

:10:16.:10:23.

scrabbling for loose change behind the back of the Home of the sofa.

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But worse, she has weakened our borders,

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damaged our security and is only now pledging to stop the cuts.

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Well, I have to say to the right honourable gentleman that in so much

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of what he has said, he simply doesn't know what he's

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It was under Labour that we saw the creation of the

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dysfunctional UK Borders Agency that we had to abolish and change

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It was under the last Labour government

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that the border, at the border, there was no operating mandate and

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it was under the last Labour government that as people came

:11:00.:11:01.

through the primary checkpoints, they won't all getting the 100%

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We have enhanced security, and will continue to do so.

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You're watching Wednesday in Parliament, with me,

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The increasingly bitter EU referendum battle has

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produced lively scenes at a Commons committee session.

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The director of the Vote Leave campaign group, Dominic Cummings,

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called the EU institutions in Brussels undemocratic

:11:21.:11:22.

He faced claims that Vote Leave had used misleading literature,

:11:23.:11:26.

when he was questioned about leaflets distributed

:11:27.:11:28.

You are saying, in hospitals, in your literature,

:11:29.:11:35.

aren't you, that we can give a lot more money to hospitals?

:11:36.:11:41.

You are distributing leaflets to that effect?

:11:42.:11:44.

No. We're not.

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We are not distributing any literature

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So I have a piece of literature here with your logo.

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Is this a pirated piece of literature?

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It is badged up as your literature, it looks like...

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It says "Help protect your local hospital."

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And it has got here, at the bottom, Vote Leave.

:12:05.:12:17.

I'm asking a straightforward, simple question,

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we are getting down to very simple questions.

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Is this leaflet one from your organisation?

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Do you mean that design of leaflet, or do you mean

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I'm asking you if this leaflet is one of your organisation's

:12:26.:12:29.

Yes, it is. Good, we have arrived at a...

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Do you think that it is reasonable that somebody might misconstrue

:12:34.:12:42.

this leaflet at first glance as a leaflet produced by the NHS?

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Since it has an NHS logo in the top right-hand corner?

:12:50.:12:57.

No. It says "Vote Leave,take control" with our logo.

:12:58.:12:59.

What do you mean, what do I make of it?

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Do you think it looks like the logo of the NHS?

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It looks roughly like it from here, yes.

:13:10.:13:11.

Well, it looks roughly like it from any distance.

:13:12.:13:15.

Here is an NHS document, encouraging you to eat better food.

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And you will see that the logo is strikingly similar.

:13:23.:13:25.

It takes an expert eye to tell that the one is not the other.

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One of them is italicised slightly, one of them is not.

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Do you, now that you have had a chance to consider whether you did

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in fact produce this leaflet, and you have now agreed that it does

:13:40.:13:42.

look like an NHS leaflet at any reasonable distance, do you think it

:13:43.:13:46.

might be a good idea to think twice about

:13:47.:13:48.

putting literature out as misleading as this?

:13:49.:13:51.

I think you are confused about what my answer was before.

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I thought you were asking me, is the leaflet you are holding

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in your hand been put into a hospital, has

:14:00.:14:02.

that come from cars, and I was saying

:14:03.:14:14.

no, it hasn't come from us, as in, we did not distribute leaflets

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to hospital, we are as baffled as anyone else about the

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The questioning moved on to financial services.

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If we were to leave the EU, you may get free trade agreements,

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so no trade tariffs, but it's hard to see,

:14:31.:14:33.

given the comments of people like Wolfgang Schauble,

:14:34.:14:35.

the same sort of trade in services outside the European Union.

:14:36.:14:38.

I mean, you may think it is a good thing, but would

:14:39.:14:43.

You see, the most important thing with the City and

:14:44.:14:47.

financial services is that we control the wideboys

:14:48.:14:49.

and Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan who drove the economy

:14:50.:14:51.

Britain has the number one financial centre in Europe.

:14:52.:14:57.

They want to be here, using our services.

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There is a great incentive for them to sort out the

:15:00.:15:02.

passporting system, same as there is for us.

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But my main point is, that's not the most important thing.

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The most important thing is, we control the banks,

:15:07.:15:09.

we don't let the corrupt institutions

:15:10.:15:11.

Will the Vote Leave campaign be setting out their analysis

:15:12.:15:17.

of the macroeconomic impact of leaving the European Union?

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We will be publishing all sorts of things on the macroeconomic

:15:23.:15:24.

impact, but we won't be publishing these spuriously

:15:25.:15:26.

I have heard, Mr Cummings, what you won't be publishing,

:15:27.:15:36.

analysis about international trade, how we think things will improve.

:15:37.:15:44.

Macroeconomic impact assessment is not just

:15:45.:15:54.

about international trade, it is about GDP, inflation,

:15:55.:15:56.

the currency, productivity, all those range of issues,

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so what I am asking, Mr Cummings, and if the answer is no,

:15:59.:16:07.

you can just tell us that, will the Vote Leave campaign be

:16:08.:16:10.

setting out their analysis of the macroeconomic

:16:11.:16:12.

We will set out the analysis of the macroeconomic

:16:13.:16:20.

impacts of Brexit, but it won't look like these.

:16:21.:16:25.

I have heard, Mr Cummings, what you won't be doing.

:16:26.:16:28.

What I am asking is, what will you be publishing?

:16:29.:16:30.

You have to let me answer the question.

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Of course we will be publishing that.

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I also asked, Mr Cummings, who will be doing

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You will find out when we publish it.

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When do you intend to publish it, Mr Cummings?

:16:40.:16:44.

You will find out when we publish it.

:16:45.:16:46.

Do you think we should continue with single market access

:16:47.:16:49.

as we currently, as the United Kingdom currently have?

:16:50.:16:51.

Definitely not, because single market access as we currently have

:16:52.:16:54.

Single market access that we currently have forced us

:16:55.:16:57.

to implement the clinical trials directive, which kills an unknown

:16:58.:16:59.

number of people every year because we cannot test

:17:00.:17:01.

We would be much better off going outside things like that.

:17:02.:17:06.

Do you not see that leaving Europe puts at risk inward investment

:17:07.:17:09.

Read all of the same stuff on the euro.

:17:10.:17:12.

Well, staying with the EU referendum, not surprisingly

:17:13.:17:15.

the subject was raised at PMQS, mostly by David Cameron's

:17:16.:17:18.

First to question the PM, was veteran EU opponent,

:17:19.:17:21.

Can I ask my right honourable friend whether he agrees

:17:22.:17:24.

with the Treasury forecast issued on Monday, which warns that

:17:25.:17:26.

if we stay in the European Union, there will be 3 million more

:17:27.:17:30.

Last year, my right honourable friend and I were elected on a clear

:17:31.:17:34.

manifesto pledge to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands.

:17:35.:17:37.

How are we going to be able to deliver on that pledge unless we

:17:38.:17:41.

The point of the Treasury forecast is, it takes the Office

:17:42.:17:57.

of National Statistics figures and the ORB figures and it

:17:58.:17:59.

It is trying to make a very clear and pure argument,

:18:00.:18:03.

backed by the governor of the Bank of England yesterday,

:18:04.:18:05.

that shows what would happen if Britain leaves the EU.

:18:06.:18:07.

There is a demand out there for independent

:18:08.:18:09.

and clear statistics, and that is exactly

:18:10.:18:11.

Mrs Thatcher used to occasionally organise seminars for ministers

:18:12.:18:14.

and senior academics for colleagues like myself,

:18:15.:18:16.

whose knowledge of modern science she thought

:18:17.:18:18.

Would he contemplate similar seminars for some of his senior

:18:19.:18:24.

and very respected Cabinet colleagues with businessmen

:18:25.:18:32.

on the nature of independent international trade,

:18:33.:18:35.

because some very respected figures appear to believe that you simply

:18:36.:18:38.

turn up and sell goods and services that comply with British made rules

:18:39.:18:42.

but don't have to comply with any rules agreed with the country

:18:43.:18:45.

Back on the Eurosceptic side of the argument,

:18:46.:18:50.

another Conservative raised the forthcoming visit

:18:51.:18:51.

Would my right honourable friend point out to President Obama that

:18:52.:18:58.

in a series of European Court judgements such as Davis

:18:59.:19:03.

and Schrems, using EU data protection laws and the EU Charter

:19:04.:19:09.

of Fundamental Rights, the EU has established its jurisdiction

:19:10.:19:11.

over our intelligence data, and sought to prevent our

:19:12.:19:14.

intelligence sharing with the United States?

:19:15.:19:27.

Will he warn the president that if we vote Remain,

:19:28.:19:29.

far from the US gaining influence in the EU, the United States

:19:30.:19:32.

is losing control and influence over her closest ally?

:19:33.:19:34.

This decision is a decision for the British people

:19:35.:19:37.

We are sovereign in making this decision.

:19:38.:19:40.

Personally, I believe we should listen to advice from friends

:19:41.:19:44.

and other countries, and I struggle to find the leader

:19:45.:19:47.

of any friendly country who thinks we should leave.

:19:48.:19:49.

The so-called Islamic State group is guilty of genocide

:19:50.:19:53.

against Christian, Yazidi and other ethnic groups in Syria and Iraq.

:19:54.:20:01.

That was the view of MPs who have voted overwhelmingly

:20:02.:20:03.

in support of a motion calling on the Government to

:20:04.:20:05.

ensure the United Nations and the International Criminal Court

:20:06.:20:08.

In a backbench debate, every speaker condemned the group -

:20:09.:20:11.

also known as Daesh - for its brutality.

:20:12.:20:13.

Many set out in shocking and emotional detail atrocities

:20:14.:20:17.

Several quoted the testimony of a young Yazidi girl

:20:18.:20:20.

My father and brothers were killed in front of me.

:20:21.:20:29.

He grabbed my arm and my leg and then he raped me.

:20:30.:20:39.

He was 32 years old, I was 15.

:20:40.:20:50.

After they raped me, they took my friend and they raped her.

:20:51.:20:56.

I could hear her shouting, "Where is the mercy?

:20:57.:20:58.

"There must be some mercy in their hearts."

:20:59.:21:07.

We also heard from another woman, Yvette, who had come directly

:21:08.:21:10.

She spoke of Christians being killed and tortured,

:21:11.:21:13.

of children being beheaded in front of their parents.

:21:14.:21:15.

She showed us recent film footage of her talking with mothers,

:21:16.:21:18.

and more than one who had seen her own children crucified.

:21:19.:21:20.

We know that those who are perpetrating this these crimes

:21:21.:21:23.

are doing so to exterminate and extinguish a people.

:21:24.:21:25.

We know that they mean what they are doing

:21:26.:21:27.

We know that those who are suffering these terrible crimes know

:21:28.:21:32.

that it is genocide and know that it is meant as genocide.

:21:33.:21:35.

Why should we hesitate to say as a chamber?

:21:36.:21:38.

We know what the word genocide means and we know it is being committed

:21:39.:21:41.

The word that describes the ultimate crime, only that one,

:21:42.:21:51.

single word accurately describes the full horror of what is happening

:21:52.:21:54.

here to these communities in Syria and Iraq.

:21:55.:21:59.

Madam Deputy Speaker, we all know what that word is.

:22:00.:22:02.

Let us be united, here in this House, and hopefully outside

:22:03.:22:04.

as well, and to say what is happening is genocide

:22:05.:22:07.

Here is the chance for the United Kingdom to show

:22:08.:22:17.

leadership and to take action, to stand up before, to respond

:22:18.:22:27.

leadership and to take action, to stand up, to respond

:22:28.:22:30.

to her plea for help, for all of those who have suffered.

:22:31.:22:33.

Show that, like in 1942, we will do the right thing in 2016.

:22:34.:22:44.

Or are we just going to stand back, wring our hands and watch as Daesh

:22:45.:22:48.

My honourable friend the Minister is sitting there,

:22:49.:22:52.

He is now going to give a really strong and powerful speech,

:22:53.:23:01.

he is going to condemn Daesh, he is going to say, yes,

:23:02.:23:05.

we have listened to the debate, we will listen to the House

:23:06.:23:12.

of Commons, we are going to act, and we are going to refer this

:23:13.:23:16.

But the Minister would not give that promise, but did pledge

:23:17.:23:26.

We will do everything we can to help gather evidence that could be used

:23:27.:23:34.

by the judicial bodies who are the appropriate people

:23:35.:23:36.

to judge these to make a judgement on this matter.

:23:37.:23:38.

It is vital that this is done now, before evidence is lost

:23:39.:23:41.

or indeed destroyed, because ultimately, this

:23:42.:23:42.

is a question for the courts to decide.

:23:43.:23:44.

It is not for governments to be the prosecutor, the judge

:23:45.:23:47.

or indeed of the jury, and we are playing a leading role

:23:48.:23:50.

in defeating Daesh on the battlefield,

:23:51.:24:19.

and we are also holding Daesh to

:24:20.:24:23.

In the courts, no matter how long it takes.

:24:24.:24:27.

The government has agreed to a plan put forward by Labour

:24:28.:24:30.

and the Lib Dems to protect tenants' and landlords' money in England

:24:31.:24:33.

Some letting agents don't keep deposit money in a separate,

:24:34.:24:36.

protected client account - meaning the letting agents can use

:24:37.:24:39.

the money themselves, or it can be lost if the agent goes bust.

:24:40.:24:42.

The government's been defeated a number of times on the Housing and

:24:43.:24:45.

Labour's spokeswoman explained what the compromise was that had

:24:46.:24:48.

To require every leading agent to have money they hold belonging

:24:49.:24:52.

either to the tenant, by way of advanced rent,

:24:53.:24:54.

or to a landlord as rent is received, to be protected,

:24:55.:25:02.

so thats even if the letting agent disappeared or went bankrupt,

:25:03.:25:04.

such money would be safe and made available to the landlord.

:25:05.:25:07.

Another peer explained that it was often the most

:25:08.:25:09.

Because they are vulnerable, credit checks, they do not

:25:10.:25:12.

satisfy credit checks, and so, they cannot give

:25:13.:25:14.

the guarantees that banks would very often offer,

:25:15.:25:17.

so agents often are something like four year rent in advance.

:25:18.:25:19.

Many tenants had to borrow to pay that much in advance.

:25:20.:25:22.

And even if it isn't a client's account, which internally,

:25:23.:25:25.

they make all the clients accounts, if it is not recognised

:25:26.:25:27.

as such by the bank, then those monies can and often

:25:28.:25:30.

are used by the agent for one purpose, and very often

:25:31.:25:32.

because the agent is over trading and spends more money

:25:33.:25:35.

than they should do, and they use that money.

:25:36.:25:37.

Replying to the debate the minister said the amendment would allow

:25:38.:25:40.

ministers to make regulations requiring letting and property

:25:41.:25:42.

agents to belong to a client money scheme, and set out an enforcement

:25:43.:25:45.

mechanism to ensure the changes had teeth!

:25:46.:25:46.

Which brings us to the end of this edition of the programme,

:25:47.:25:49.

but do join me at the same time tomorrow, when MPs and peers pay

:25:50.:25:53.

tribute to the Queen on her 90th birthday.

:25:54.:25:56.

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