27/04/2016 Wednesday in Parliament


Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Wednesday 27 April, presented by Keith Macdougall.

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Hello and welcome to Web and stay in Parliament, our look at the best of


the day. On this programme, learning lessons from tragedy, the Home


Secretary in sombre mood following the Hillsborough inquest verdicts.


No one should have to fight decade after decade in search of the truth.


Condemnation of the government 's policy on child refugees. It is not


insulting other European countries to offer to help, they want us to


help. Could and should electronic voting be introduced and trades


unions ballot there are members? It has been used on television. Theresa


May has praised the relatives of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster


for their extraordinary dignity and determination. It is almost exactly


27 years since the tragedy at the Sheffield football ground. 96


Liverpool supporters died in a crash at the start of an FA Cup semifinal


tie. Much of the blame at the time was laid on the behaviour of the


Liverpool supporters but the report of an independent panel four years


ago revealed that safety failures at the ground and serious mistakes by


the police as well as details of a police cover-up after the event.


This week following an inquest that lasted two years, the jury found


that 96 victims had been unlawfully killed and listed a long catalogue


of failings by the police and Ambulance Services. In the Commons,


the Home Secretary said the outcome of the inquest was of national


significance. I have met members of the Hillsborough families on a


number of occasions. In their search for truth and justice I have never


failed to be struck by their extraordinary dignity and


determination. I do not think it is possible for any of us to truly


understand what they have been through. Not only in losing their


loved ones in such horrific circumstances that day, but to hear


finding after finding over 27 years, telling them something that they


believed to be fundamentally untrue. They have quite simply never given


up. The jury 's determination that those who died were unlawfully


killed is of great public importance. It overturns in the


starkest way possible, the verdict of accidental death returned at the


original inquests. The jury 's findings do not of course an amount


to a finding of criminal liability and no one should impute criminal


liability to anyone while the investigations are still pending.


The conclusion of the inquest brings to an end an important step since


the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel 's report, thanks


to that report, and now the determinations of the inquest, we


know the truth of what happened on that day at Hillsborough. Naturally


the families will want to reflect on the historic outcome yesterday which


is of national significance. I am also clear that this raises


significant issues for the way the state and its agencies deal with


disasters. Once the formal investigations are concluded, we


should reflect and active necessary so that we can better respond to


disasters and ensure that the suffering of family since taken into


account. No one should have to injure what the families and


survivors have been through. No one should have to suffer the loss of


their loved ones in such appalling circumstances and no one should have


to fight year after year, decade after decade in search of the truth.


I hope that for the families and survivors who have been through such


difficult times the determination yesterday will bring them closer


towards the peace they have been so long denied. I commend this


statement to the house. Millions of pounds of public money was spent


retelling discredited lies against Liverpool supporters, lawyers for


retired officers through disgusting slurs around, goes for the force


today try to establish that others were responsible for the opening of


the gate. If the police had chosen to maintain the apology, this


inquest would have been much shorter but they did not and they put the


families through hell once again. It pains me to say it, but the NHS


through the Yorkshire Ambulance Service was guilty of the same.


Despite the inquest being adverse Oriole, the verdict was unequivocal.


Liverpool supporters were totally absolved of any blame and did not


contribute to the disaster in anyway. The initial coroner said, in


forced alcohol testing on all of the victims of this unlawful disaster


including the children, including a ten-year-old boy. That is a disgrace


and we want to know but that will never happen to a single victim


again. In the eyes of the establishment, football fans were


less than human and as soon as the police and the establishment see


groups of people, not as individuals but as less than human, then we


enter into dangerous circumstances. Before then, the miners were less


than human and we may look at how we treat disabled people, asylum


seekers or the victims of child sex abuse and wonder if we think that as


well. Having served as a special constable I recognise the


institutional defensiveness that was mentioned yesterday and I fear it is


not a problem that is unique in South Yorkshire. Will the Home


Secretary as part of a review looked at ending the practice of officers


confirming together when recording statements. The lesson that the


house needs to take away is that we have to subject ourselves and our


institutions to self examination and to maintain it, if we are to insure


for the future that we do not have a repetition of this frankly


deplorable episode. I would like to agree with their right honourable


member that this must rank alongside a bloody Sunday as one of the most


disgraceful establishment cover-ups of our time. The ruling confirms


that some police officers have behaved abominably and I note what


the Shadow Home Secretary said about there being the same force who


repressed the miners strike. We knew the truth, it seems to be the legal


system in this country that has been unable to get to the truth and


accept the truth. For 27 years it has failed them at every turn. I


think the strength of the families makes me proud to be a Scouser.


There is a lot of talk about justice, I do not think it is


justice that has taken 27 years, it is not justice that the city and the


fans and the families were kicked when they were on their knees, it is


not justice that there was a cover-up. The response of MPs to be


outcome of the inquest into the Hillsborough deaths. The laws also


debated the verdict and there were calls for an early decision to be


made on whether criminal proceedings should be started. How could it have


taken 27 years for the truth to emerge? The South Yorkshire Police


force put protecting themselves above care for the fans, the


families and the truth. They had relationships with the media which


made it possible for them falsely to smear the families and the fans. The


media in all too many cases colluded with the police in perpetrating


those smears. Would it not be a fitting tribute if we were able to


move forward with sensitivity and rationality in ensuring that the


people of Merseyside received the justice and truth that they have


sought, that the people of south Yorkshire do not themselves find


themselves penalised financially or in terms of policing because of what


happened 27 years ago. On this day of all days, the front page of the


Sun newspaper speaks volumes for the real levels of remorse shown by the


paper. There will be no complete justice until those responsible for


the events of Hillsborough, for the monstrous cover-up, for the lies and


the years of organised deceit are properly called to account. Thanks


to many people, the families of the 96 and nearly 700 injured have never


walked alone. May I say that the moral culpability of those who


participated in the cover-up is particularly grave and will he do


all he can to encourage authorities to come to an early conclusion as to


whether criminal proceedings should follow? The reaction of the loss to


the Hillsborough disaster. Putting the country to shame, the damning


description by the former Home Secretary of the government 's


policy on child refugees. On Monday MPs rejected the attempt by a Labour


peer to force ministers to allow into the UK 3000 unaccompanied child


refugees from Europe, despite rejection, appears on Tuesday dug in


their heels and voted in favour of the plan. The issue of unaccompanied


children surfaced at Prime Minister's Questions, first the


leader at Westminster last with David Cameron. Europe all estimates


that 10,000 unaccompanied children in Europe have disappeared. This is


a question about the safety of vulnerable children. The Prime


Minister thinks it is not the responsibility of the United Kingdom


to help unaccompanied children in Europe. I ask him, who has the moral


responsibility to feed them, clothe them, educate them and give them


refuge if not us and everyone in Europe? He asked the question, who


is responsible for refugees but the person who years responsible is the


country in which they are in. I want Britain to play our part but you


have to ask, do we do better by taking a child from a refugee camp


or taking a child from the Lebanon or from Jordan than we do taking a


child from France or Italy or Germany? As I said to compare


this to the 1930s is to insult those countries who are our neighbours.


The Prime Minister has suggested that child refugees alone in Europe


are safe. There are children's homes fill in Italy and Greece and over


1000 children will sleep rough in Greece tonight, how are they save?


10,000 children have disappeared in Europe, how are they save? The


agencies say that children are being abused subject to prostitution and


rape, it is not insulting other European countries to offer to help,


they want us to help, so will he reconsider his position on the


amendment before it comes back to the vote and stop with his attitude


to loan child refugees putting this house and country to shame? She asks


if we are helping other European countries and we are, not least with


the ?10 million we recently announced. I would say the crucial


point is this, how do we in Britain best help child refugees? We think


we help them by taking them from camps and the Lebanon and Jordan,


taking them from a different country, that is what we are doing


and we have a proud record and nothing to be ashamed of. The issue


that Jeremy Corbyn focused on was the government 's plan to make every


maintained school in England and academy and independent of local


authority control. The proposal is known to be concerning some Tory


backbenchers and the Prime Minister confirmed that becoming Queen 's


speech will contain the bill that makes the change. First the Labour


leader reminded David Cameron of the exchanges last week on academies.


Last week the Prime Minister told the house that he would put rocket


boosters on his forced academies Asian proposals. This weekend in the


light of widespread unease, it seems the wheels are falling off the


rocket boosters and the government is considering a U-turn.


to the issue of academies, I haven't yet met a rocket booster with wheels


on it. Rocket science isn't my subject and apparently it is not


hers. Academies are raising standards in our schools and I want


to see a system where it is heads and teachers running schools. Not


bureaucrats. Why is this costly reorganisation necessary for schools


that are already good or outstanding? Why is forcing them on


them. There are lots of ways they can become academies. They can


convert be sponsored or work with other schools in the area. They can


look at working with the local authority. Those schools that want


to go on using local authority services are free to do so.


Academies are great. Academies for all is a good policy. What we are


seeing from Labour is they are moving in favour of academies


schools. Does he say that academies or not? He might care to listen to


Councillor Carter, who says the change will lead to a poorer


education system. So why is he pushing it through with so much


opposition, concern of such a waste of money, when we should be


investing in teachers and schools, not top-down reorganisation?


We are very clear on this side of the house.


We back aspiration, we back opportunity,


It is Labour that want to hold back opportunity


Mr Speaker, there seems to be a pattern


developing here. His...


He has a Health Secretary that is imposing a contract


on junior doctors, against the wishes of patients


and the public and the rest of the medical profession.


He has an Education Secretary imposing yet another Tory top-down


When will his government show some respect and listen to public,


And, indeed, professionals who have given their lives to public service


and education and health and change his ways,


listen to them and trust other people to run services,


rather than imposing things from above?


I tell him the pattern that is developing.


We can see 1.9 million more people being treated in our health service.


We can see 1.3 million more children in good or outstanding schools.


That is the pattern that is developing.


A strong economy, investing into our public services.


The other pattern that I have noticed, standing at this


dispatch box, as I am on my fifth Labour leader and,


if he carries on like this, I will soon be on my sixth.


And later, David Cameron was calling on Labour to suspend one of its MPs,


Naz shaft. She had written that Israel should be moved to America. A


Conservative backbencher raised that the incident. -- the incident.


Hatred and ignorance lie at the heart of anti-Semitism.


And, when those in public life expressed such views,


they denigrate not only themselves, but also the institutions


Will my right honourable friend please reassure this house


of his commitment to fighting this vicious form of prejudice?


Anti-Semitism is, effectively, racism and we should


call it out and fight it where ever we see it.


And the fact that, frankly, we've got a Labour member of Parliament,


with the Labour whip, who made remarks about


the transportation of people from Israel to America and talked


about a solution and is still in receipt of the Labour whip


Let we just tell you what the Shadow Chancellor


"If people express these views, full stop, they are out.


"People might be able to reform their views


"On this, I cannot see it, I am not having it.


"People might say, I've changed my views.


"Well, do something in another organisation".


Well, frankly, there will be too many hours in the day before that


After PMQs, the MP made this apology.


I hope you will allow me to say that I fully acknowledge that I have made


mistakes and I wholeheartedly apologise to this house


for the words I used before I became a member.


I accept and understand the words I used caused upset and hurt


to the Jewish community and I deeply regret that.


As an MP, I will do everything in my power to build relations


between Muslims, Jews and people of different faiths.


And I hope, I sincerely hope, that this house will accept


And, later in the day, Naz Shah was suspended


Meanwhile, David Cameron seemed grateful for help from Labour


With the United Kingdom facing our most momentous decision


for a generation in eight weeks' time, does the Prime Minister think


it makes no sense for us to listen to all of our closest friends


and allies around the world, or to a combination of French


fascists, Nigel Farage and Vladimir Putin?


I'm glad he takes the English pronunciation of Farage,


rather than the rather poncy foreign-sounding one


I think that is a thoroughly good thing.


Honestly, I think we should listen to our friends and allies.


And, as I look around the world, it's hard to find the leader


of a country that wishes us well that want us to do anything,


other than stay inside a reformed European Union.


The Prime Minister and his government did next to nothing


It was left to the Scottish Government to do that.


Now, the UK Government is breaking the promises made by both Tories


and Labour to protect the Scottish shipbuilding industry.


Why does the Prime Minister think that Scottish jobs


Frankly, the Scottish Government and the UK Government


And one of the things we should work together on is procurement.


And it is worth asking, how much Scottish steel


What a contrast with the warships that we are building.


That, of course, we would not be building, if we had had


So we back the steel industry with actions, as well as words.


You are watching our round-up of today in the Commons and the Lords.


Are there too many groups campaigning for


MPs have approved a proposal for a review to be carried out


into the suitability of electronic voting when trade union ballots


Earlier this year, the Government was defeated in the Lords


on its Trade Union Bill, when peers voted in favour


of allowing a review to be made of online voting,


When it came to the Commons, ministers offered


I can see merit in exploring the issues further.


And, of course, the important difference is that this review


will specifically be in the context of electronic balloting


So, in accepting there should be this review,


we except the spirit of the clause on electronic balloting.


In fact, we accept virtually the entirety of the amendment


made by the noble Lords on electronic balloting.


It is pointless having a review on the technology needed,


because the technology needed already exists.


It has already been said that the Conservative Party have


as a previous programme, I can tell you it already exists.


It is already secured and, not only has it been used


in various businesses or independent organisations,


like the Conservative Party, but it has been used in X factor


So I can tell the minister, you do not need to do a report.


You just need to move onto the next stage.


Has my right honourable friend knows, I am in favour


I think the route he is taking the correct one, but I think


there is one real fear out there, which I think he can


And that is that this approach is designed simply to delay


Can he tell the house, in terms, that when the minister


receives the report, he or she will deal with it


And if the review suggests that it is safe to embrace


e-balloting, then we will be able to proceed.


The two sides of the argument are known as Remain and Leave.


But on the Leave side, there have been different groups campaigning,


So, have these various groups caused internal


In fact, the founder of Leave.EU says it is healthy to have


He gave a Commons committee his view of the process to designate


Vote Leave as the official campaign organisation for a British exit.


Or Brexit as it is sometimes called, from the EU.


A couple of the prominent Vote Leave supporters


actually communicated, via the Internet, they won


the designation two days before the commission were actually due


And I think one of the people that was a very senior member of it


"Congratulations, Vote Leave. You have won the designation."


Sorry, a very senior member of... Vote Leave, yes.


Not a senior member of the Electoral Commission?


We then wrote to the Electoral Commission via e-mail,


You are meant to be announcing it this Thursday.


They then brought forward their decision by a day,


because they realise the news was out there.


And it was clear that the Electoral Commission had either communicated


the result prematurely to Vote Leave, or otherwise.


It doesn't give much faith and confidence when you've got


a date when you announce it and then the news is out two days beforehand.


So call it a stitch-up, call it what you like,


in my book, if there is a process you stick to it.


There does seem to be an extraordinary...war.


And tension here, between these two groups.


Bearing in mind you agree on so much.


Well, we agree on quite a lot. Some things we don't agree on.


But if you look at the competition, I would say a Thatcherite principle.


Sorry for the Labour members of this committee.


We raised nearly ?9 million for the campaign, we wrote to over


We sent out leaflets to another 11 million.


So when you talk about the Government's In leaflet,


our campaign has clearly communicated with the whole country.


Do join me for our next daily round-up.


Until then, from me, Keith McDougall, goodbye.


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