Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Wednesday 8 June, presented by Keith Macdougall.
Browse content similar to 08/06/2016. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Hello and Welcome to Wednesday in Parliament, our look at the best
of the day in the Commons and the Lords.
It's a curious political world at the moment.
Are those campaigning for Leaving the EU rebels?
Do they speak for themselves or him and his government? And if they
speak for themselves, how are they ministers at the same time? The
honourable member for Edgbaston was out yesterday spinning for Nigel
Farage. But I don't want to play that game.
The latest twist in the sag` of the collapsed retail chahn
Serious allegations are madd against the shop's final
I think the technical term hs a .. That the term is what he was a
Premier League liar. And condemnation of the use
of cluster munitions International humanitarian law has
been seriously and repeatedly breached by all parties eng`ged in
warfare in the country, including the Saudi led coalition.
a fortnight to go and we'll be heading for the polling stations.
The UK decides on the 23rd whether it's staying in or departing
Most of the referendum camp`ign has been taking place
With the party leaders on the same side, the EU issue has
only fleetingly surfaced at Prime Minister's Questions.
But at the latest session, the Labour leader opted to discuss
Europe to highlight the stark divisions in the Conservative party.
But to get on to the EU, Jeremy Corbyn first turned
to employment rights and in particular the working
conditions of some employees of the sports retail
Yesterday, I met some workers from sports direct who are coming to
Parliament to give evidence to the select committee. It is abott the
shocking behaviour of that company, nonpayment of the minimum w`ge, a
culture of fear on top of the insecurity and exploitation of zero
hours contracts. Philip wrote to me this week on this issue and
concerned about it and said, the scandalous scourge of zero hours
contracts which is blighting the lives of many already low-p`id
people, so will the Prime Mhnister do what of the European countries
have done and plan these contracts here? On top of our national minimum
wage, we are going after unscrupulous employers and laking
sure people get the deal thdy deserve. Once the issue of zero our
contracts, we legislated in the last Parliament to stop exclusivd zero
hours contracts but followed the conclusions of our consultation that
said we shouldn't go further than that and that for some people, they
want to have the choice of those contracts.
The Labour leader quoted Priti Patel, the Work
and Pensions Minister, who's campaigning for
But his government's employlent Minister said that if we le`ve
Europe, we could just of thd burdens of the European Union social and
employment legislation. So, perhaps the Prime Minister could help us.
Does she speak on behalf of the government when she promises to
reduce the burden is, as shd describes them, of this leghslation
walk on behalf of whom does she speak? The government is in favour
of staying in a reformed European Union because we are strongdr, safer
and we're better off. For m`ny people, one of the reasons they will
want to stay in the European Union as they do believe that provides an
underpinning in terms of rights for workers.
Could I quote one other person who has given opinions? He says, I
cannot guarantee every person currently in their current job will
keep their job. That was thd member for Surrey Heath. He is the justice
minister, who seems equally relaxed about unemployment rights. ,-
employment rights. Two of hhs ministers want to reduce wh`t they
described as a burden. And he do something about that? Is he knows
well, we are holding a referendum. That is what is happening. @nd on
this issue, not only do he `nd I agree, does not only does the
Conservative government and the Labour Party agree, but we `lso have
the support of the Liberal Democrats, the Ulster Unionhst
party, Green party. This ond occasion when business is l`rge and
small, and the trade unions, are on the same side and we should
celebrate that. He will be `ware that the Labour position is that we
want to stay in the European Union to improve workers' rights, tackle
exploitation, drive down tax evasion and avoidance. But we are concerned
that these issues are not the priorities of members of his
government and his party such as the member for Uxbridge, the melber for
Surrey Heath and the member for Witton. They are speaking to try and
destroy any of the social advances made within the European Unhon. Does
he talk to them about this `t any time and to this big for thdmselves
or him and his government? Hf they speak for themselves, how are they
ministers at the same time? And here I am trying to be consensual. I m
doing my best. I could menthon that the honourable member for Edgbaston
was out yesterday spinning for Nigel Farage. But they don't want to play
that game. The biggest naval conflict
of the First World War took place More than 8,000 British
and German personnel lost their lives in the Battle of
Jutland. The historical event
was commemorated last week in Orkney, as in 1914,
the British Grand Fleet had been relocated to Scapa Flow, thd famous
waters in the Orkney islands. The commemoration of the battle
was raised at PMQs by the SNP's Last week, thousands of dead from
both sides in the Battle of Jutland remembered in commemorations. The
primers to joined the First Minister and the Princess Royal and the
president of Germany with thousands of people on Orkney to remelber the
tragedy of so many people losing their lives. European corporation
emerged from both world wars is the best way to secure peace. Does the
Prime Minister agree that wd should never take peace and security for
granted and that is a strong reason to remain in the European Union I
think the right honourable gentleman is absolutely right about this.
There were very moving scends as we start on that cemetery ground and in
the background, the British and German frigates together was a site
I'm not going to forget as we commemorated and remember how many
people lost their lives. I want to be clear about this. The words world
War three have never passed my lips, let me reassure everyone. Btt can we
really take for granted... Of course, they have now. Well spotted!
Can we really take for granted the security and stability that we enjoy
today when we know that our continent has been wracked by so
many conflicts in the past? I call conservatives, I will pleasd give
the greatest credit to Nato for keeping the peace but it has always
been a conservative view th`t the European Union has played its road
as well. Another SNP MP posed
a slightly cheeky question. As he reaches the end of his time in
office, President Obama reflected that his worst mistake was `
catastrophe in Libya. What was the worst mistake of the Prime Linister
in office? Time to reflect `s when you come to your time... Th`t
doesn't apply. The former owner of BHS,
Dominic Chappell, has been accused by top BHS managers
of being "a liar" who had hhs The claims were made at a committee
hearing Last month it was announced BHS would be closing all its 16
stores after the administrators failed to find a buyer
for the famous retail chain. The chief executive of BHS,
Darren Topp, alleged Mr Chappell threatened to kill him
in a row over company money. Mr Chappell, whose company,
Retail Acquisitions, bought BHS for ?1,
defended his recovery plan. He said it had been
"credible and viable". When asked about the deal to buy
BHS, Darren Topp said Mr Chappell had assured him
HE was a turnaround expert. Dominik said he had put 10 lillion
of his own mini into the business. He got a crack team, in terls of
very experienced people in turnaround. It was clear with me
that my role was focused on running the business. Actually, what he got
in his team was a property dxpert and financial expert. They were the
two things we needed. We nedded someone who could raise fin`nce and
somebody who could deal with our property portfolio. I think
unfortunately, as time progressed, that unravelled in terms of that
promise and it became clear to us, towards the end, that rather than
putting money in, he got his fingers in the till. What was your sense
where you arrived in June as to the cash position of the companx? This
was my first interaction with Dominic Chapple and like many others
throughout this process, I think I was duped. I think the technical
term is a little maniac. Thd layperson's Tim is, he was ` Premier
League liar and a Sunday pub league retailer at best. Could you tell us
whether it is true that he tried to take ?1.5 million out of thd
business and put it into a company called BHS Sweden? That is true
Michael had left the business at this point. I got a call from a head
of Treasury, Harry, to say that 1.5 million had been removed by a manual
transfer to BHS Sweden. My hnitial reaction was to call the police if
I'm honest, because I wasn't aware of this transaction. That's a
substantial amount of money and this was during the end of the process. I
said, tell you what, let me, because Olivia the director who is ` friend
of Dominic's is Swedish, before we call the police, let the ring
Dominic. I rang Dominic. He knew about it straightaway and I said to
him, that theft. Now, if I take out all the expletives, he basically
said, do not kick off about this, Darren. I've had enough of xou
telling me what to do over the last few months. It's my business, I can
do what I want. If you kick off about it, and going to come down
there and kill you. It thre`tened to kill me again and I know it sounds
silly but apparently, he saxs he was in the helicopter squad of the SAS
and I know he's got a gun. There was a bit of me that thought... I said,
you certainly again, Dominic, they'll call the police.
The MPs didn't put those last allegations
to Dominic Chappell himself - but they did ask him
You obviously have a lifestxle to maintain. A much of this money went
into your personal account? I was paid a regular salary from BHS but I
was working on an everyday basis. Yes, I did have money from that
from the original transaction which filled in the costs I had an easing
into the transaction. How mtch went into your personal account? I will
send you a full breakdown of that. Dominic Chappell blamed BHS's former
owner Sir Philip Green for the thousands of job losses
at the retailer - saying he and his team had worked flat out
to try to save the business - an MP wondered more
about his responsibilities. Knowing what you know now, what
would you do differently next time? The pension. It was down to the
pension. We... Yes, it's thd pension side. We should have spent lore time
dealing with the pension acquisition. We should have ensured
that Philip was contractually bound to produce insurance for thd
company. And knowing what you know now, is there anybody you would like
to apologise to? I am very tpset that there are 11,000 peopld
directly, and a number of thousand people indirectly, who have now lost
their jobs. It is a travestx that that has happened. I am verx upset
that it has happened and it was avoidable. For the record, hs that
an apology? That is an apology. I must stand as the majoritx
shareholder and say we were part of the downfall.
You're watching our round-up of the day
A computer glitch causes a headache for the process to get all dlectors
The Saudi Arabian air force has been violating international hum`n rights
law by dropping bombs on schools and hospitals in Yemen.
That was the assertion of the SNP's Margaret Ferridr.
In Westminster Hall the MP `lso claimed Saudi Arabia was ushng
But a senior Conservative w`rned about the dangers of
With the growing humanitari`n crisis in Yemen and mounting reports
indicating that internation`l humanitarian law is being sdriously
and repeatedly breached by all parties engaged in w`rfare
in the country including thd Saudi led Coalition the Government needs
The UK is bound by an international convention banning
But Margaret Ferrier said Alnesty had found evidence
There they found evidence of UK produced BL 755 cluster munhtions
being dropped on farmland in the north of the country.
They estimate that these munitions were dropped from the air
in the last quarter of 2015 and provide a compelling case
She said some cluster bombs sat on land in an unexploded st`te.
She said a UN report on Yemdn made for uncomfortable reading.
People will recall the fant`stic work of Princess Diana in r`ising
awareness of mines leading to the success of the Ottaw` mine
ban treaty, putting ourselvds in danger in the process.
Again in violation of international humanitarian law including
refugee camps, weddings, civilian buses, medical fachlities,
There is a lot of Saudi bashing but what everybody needs
to understand is that a leghtimate government has been displacdd.
For the first time ever Arab countries are trying to address
their own regional problems without Western intervention.
We have been telling them for years to sort out their own probldms.
And as soon as they try to do so we round on them
We have not supplied cluster weapons of any kind to Saudi
United Kingdom signed the convention on cluster munitions in 2008
and ratified it in May 2010 and since May 2008 we have not
supplied, maintained or supported these weapons anywhere in the world.
And he said that according to an assessment by the Minhstry
of Defence, the Saudi milit`ry was not targeting civilians.
As we said earlier, voting takes place in a fortnight's time
But in order to vote you have, of course,
But a last-minute rush to rdgister online before a deadline on Tuesday
night caused a dramatic crashing of the Government website,
so preventing thousands of people from registering.
Not a good situation to be hn, as a leading Conservative
in the Leave campaign made clear in the Commons.
First may I commend the Govdrnment and my right honourable fridnd
for so successfully engaging millions of people to register
But I'm afraid the problems he has encountered are borne out in fact
that the Government has been ill-prepared, and the Electoral
Commission has been, for this surge of registrathons
which the Government spent billions of pounds on promoting,
We have a cut-off in our legislation, because the register
has to be finalised six days and published before the referendum.
Who can understate the seriousness of what is this very great
If we go ahead to consult the people of this country on such an hmportant
decision for the first time in 0 years and deny tens of thousands
of our citizens the ability to participate I think that
will tarnish and call into puestion the entire process.
What stress testing was dond on the website in advance
and what provisions were made for the predictable rise in traffic?
On stress tests, we did of course undertake stress tests.
We tested to a higher level, a significantly higher level
of interest and applications than at the general election last
But as I said the level of hnterest was significantly higher
And it is because of this exceptional demand that the website
Later in the day it was announced that in light of Tuesday's computer
glitch the deadline for reghstering to vote would be extended.
Parliament would legislate to extend the registration period
The reaction in the Commons continued.
I support the decision to extend the registration period but given
the shambles that has occurred here can the Leader of the House
guarantee that everybody who wants to register to vote is now
going to be able to and would he consider looking at autolatic
registration in the future hn order that they can try and
Of course these are matters for the debate tomorrow.
I can simply assure the House that the Government will sedk
to ensure that all those who have been attempting to register,
because that is what this is about, have the opportunity to do so.
Can my right honourable fridnd confirm that people have had months
and months in which to register and that if they waited
until the last minute and all tried to register yesterday,
that is their fault, and that we should not
change our regulations in the middle of a very important referendum
campaign simply to suit those who haven't organised their personal
affairs well enough to secure their registration in good time
Well a central issue in the EU referendum campaign
The Leave and the Remain calps have repeatedly clashed over the numbers
of people who've come to thd UK and who could potentially come
to the UK, because of the well-established free movement
of labour principle within the member countries of the EU.
Part of that debate over imligration has been going on in
We cannot keep out an awful lot of people from the European Union
because they have a right to come here.
And because we are trying to cut immigration overall this le`ds us
to keep out an awful lot of people from outside the European Union
We control migration, economic migration and other
migration, whether from Europe or elsewhere.
In the context of the Europdan Union of course there are rules,
there are provisions, but in the context outside Durope
there are rules, there are provisions.
Does the Minister agree with me that it would be a great pity
if the outcome of the vote on the 23rd of June,
which affects our lives in so many ways and particularly our young
people, if that outcome was decided by a nasty, xenophobic camp`ign
To speak of immigration is not to be xenophobic.
My Lords, loyal supporters of this Government such as myself
are waiting with baited bre`th to see some progress
on the manifesto commitments made both in 2010 and 2015,
so could my noble and learndd friend the Minister tell the House first
why there has been this del`y in moving the immigration fhgures
in the direction we expected from the manifesto, and second,
notwithstanding what happens on June 23, when we can expect to sde some
progress in reducing the nulber of immigrants to this country
The pressure of economic migration has been driven in part
by the success of our econoly making us a goal for so many migrants
it is our ambition and vision to achieve sustainable levels
of migration during the course of this Parliament.
There may of course be two routes to that goal depending
A Northern Ireland Minister has said a British departure
from the European Union would put safety at risk in Northern Hreland.
At question time, Ben Wallace told MPs that the security arrangements
on the border between the Rdpublic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
in the event of a UK exit would be up to the EU.
A Labour backbencher started the exchanges.
There has been a period where both Ireland and Britain have bedn
outside the European Union and a period where they havd both
But if we vote to leave it would be a historically unprecedented period
What assessment is his department making on the impact this whll have
The Government is clear that should the United Kingdom leave
the European Union the borddr of the European Union
and the United Kingdom will be that land border in Northern Ireland
and that will place us outside the customs union.
And the customs union will lean delay and checks and reforms
which will hamper our ability to export and import
Mr Speaker the most passion`te Europhile I know is the amb`ssador
to the UK from Ireland, Dan Mulhall.
Dan Mulhall says that in thd event of Brexit not only the principles
of the Good Friday Agreement will be maintained but also
Instead of inflating fears `round the border is it not incumbdnt
on our Minister to deflate and de-escalate those strawlen?
I know the honourable member is an active campaigner
for Brexit and no doubt wants to control his border.
He can't want to control his borders, make checks,
and then just let everything carry on as normal.
And with all due respect to the Republic of Ireland this
will be up to the European Tnion what it does on its customs union
border, not necessarily up to individual states.
And that is why campaigning for Brexit will put our safdty
at risk and will actually ptt bariers to trade across that border.
Do join me for our next daily round-up.
Until then, from me, Keith Macdougall, goodbye.