27/04/2016 Wednesday in Parliament


27/04/2016

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

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

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Secretary in sombre mood following the Hillsborough inquest verdicts.

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

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

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

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help. Could and should electronic voting be introduced and trades

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

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

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for their extraordinary dignity and determination. It is almost exactly

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

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

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

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Liverpool supporters but the report of an independent panel four years

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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failed to be struck by their extraordinary dignity and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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killed is of great public importance. It overturns in the

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

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

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

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liability to anyone while the investigations are still pending.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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disasters. Once the formal investigations are concluded, we

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

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disasters and ensure that the suffering of family since taken into

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

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

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

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

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

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difficult times the determination yesterday will bring them closer

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

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

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retelling discredited lies against Liverpool supporters, lawyers for

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retired officers through disgusting slurs around, goes for the force

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

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

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

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

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through the Yorkshire Ambulance Service was guilty of the same.

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

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Liverpool supporters were totally absolved of any blame and did not

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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well. Having served as a special constable I recognise the

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institutional defensiveness that was mentioned yesterday and I fear it is

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

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

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confirming together when recording statements. The lesson that the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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that some police officers have behaved abominably and I note what

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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force put protecting themselves above care for the fans, the

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

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

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

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

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move forward with sensitivity and rationality in ensuring that the

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people of Merseyside received the justice and truth that they have

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

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themselves penalised financially or in terms of policing because of what

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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description by the former Home Secretary of the government 's

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

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

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

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

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children surfaced at Prime Minister's Questions, first the

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leader at Westminster last with David Cameron. Europe all estimates

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

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a question about the safety of vulnerable children. The Prime

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Minister thinks it is not the responsibility of the United Kingdom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Prime Minister has suggested that child refugees alone in Europe

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

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

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

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agencies say that children are being abused subject to prostitution and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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maintained school in England and academy and independent of local

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

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backbenchers and the Prime Minister confirmed that becoming Queen 's

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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bureaucrats. Why is this costly reorganisation necessary for schools

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

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

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

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

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

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

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seeing from Labour is they are moving in favour of academies

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

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

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

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

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

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We are very clear on this side of the house.

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We back aspiration, we back opportunity,

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It is Labour that want to hold back opportunity

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Mr Speaker, there seems to be a pattern

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developing here. His...

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He has a Health Secretary that is imposing a contract

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on junior doctors, against the wishes of patients

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and the public and the rest of the medical profession.

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

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

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

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and education and health and change his ways,

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listen to them and trust other people to run services,

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rather than imposing things from above?

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I tell him the pattern that is developing.

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

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

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That is the pattern that is developing.

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A strong economy, investing into our public services.

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The other pattern that I have noticed, standing at this

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

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

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

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

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

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

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And, when those in public life expressed such views,

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they denigrate not only themselves, but also the institutions

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Will my right honourable friend please reassure this house

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of his commitment to fighting this vicious form of prejudice?

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Anti-Semitism is, effectively, racism and we should

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

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

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with the Labour whip, who made remarks about

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the transportation of people from Israel to America and talked

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

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Let we just tell you what the Shadow Chancellor

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

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"People might be able to reform their views

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

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

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"Well, do something in another organisation".

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

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After PMQs, the MP made this apology.

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

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mistakes and I wholeheartedly apologise to this house

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for the words I used before I became a member.

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

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to the Jewish community and I deeply regret that.

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

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between Muslims, Jews and people of different faiths.

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

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And, later in the day, Naz Shah was suspended

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Meanwhile, David Cameron seemed grateful for help from Labour

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With the United Kingdom facing our most momentous decision

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

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

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

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fascists, Nigel Farage and Vladimir Putin?

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

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rather than the rather poncy foreign-sounding one

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I think that is a thoroughly good thing.

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

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

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

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other than stay inside a reformed European Union.

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The Prime Minister and his government did next to nothing

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It was left to the Scottish Government to do that.

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

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and Labour to protect the Scottish shipbuilding industry.

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Why does the Prime Minister think that Scottish jobs

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Frankly, the Scottish Government and the UK Government

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

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And it is worth asking, how much Scottish steel

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What a contrast with the warships that we are building.

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

:20:49.:20:51.

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

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

:21:01.:21:03.

Are there too many groups campaigning for

:21:04.:21:07.

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

:21:08.:21:19.

into the suitability of electronic voting when trade union ballots

:21:20.:21:21.

Earlier this year, the Government was defeated in the Lords

:21:22.:21:24.

on its Trade Union Bill, when peers voted in favour

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of allowing a review to be made of online voting,

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When it came to the Commons, ministers offered

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I can see merit in exploring the issues further.

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

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will specifically be in the context of electronic balloting

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So, in accepting there should be this review,

:21:45.:21:53.

we except the spirit of the clause on electronic balloting.

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In fact, we accept virtually the entirety of the amendment

:21:57.:21:58.

made by the noble Lords on electronic balloting.

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It is pointless having a review on the technology needed,

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because the technology needed already exists.

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It has already been said that the Conservative Party have

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

:22:12.:22:14.

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

:22:15.:22:17.

in various businesses or independent organisations,

:22:18.:22:18.

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

:22:19.:22:29.

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

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You just need to move onto the next stage.

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Has my right honourable friend knows, I am in favour

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

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

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And that is that this approach is designed simply to delay

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

:22:58.:23:01.

receives the report, he or she will deal with it

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And if the review suggests that it is safe to embrace

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

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

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

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So, have these various groups caused internal

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

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

:23:24.:23:27.

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

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

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A couple of the prominent Vote Leave supporters

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actually communicated, via the Internet, they won

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the designation two days before the commission were actually due

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

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

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

:23:59.:24:02.

Not a senior member of the Electoral Commission?

:24:03.:24:04.

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

:24:05.:24:16.

You are meant to be announcing it this Thursday.

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They then brought forward their decision by a day,

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because they realise the news was out there.

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And it was clear that the Electoral Commission had either communicated

:24:25.:24:27.

the result prematurely to Vote Leave, or otherwise.

:24:28.:24:29.

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

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

:24:35.:24:38.

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

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

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

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And tension here, between these two groups.

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Bearing in mind you agree on so much.

:24:53.:25:00.

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

:25:01.:25:03.

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

:25:04.:25:07.

Sorry for the Labour members of this committee.

:25:08.:25:09.

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

:25:10.:25:15.

We sent out leaflets to another 11 million.

:25:16.:25:20.

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

:25:21.:25:23.

our campaign has clearly communicated with the whole country.

:25:24.:25:29.

Do join me for our next daily round-up.

:25:30.:25:36.

Until then, from me, Keith McDougall, goodbye.

:25:37.:25:41.

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