29/06/2016 Wednesday in Parliament


Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Wednesday 29 June, presented by Alicia McCarthy.

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Good evening, this is Susan Hulme at Westminster ,


What people in the country `re worried about is the extra


insecurity to their living standards, jobs, pensions following


the referendum. He talks about job security, and my two months ago It


may be my party's interest for him to be sitting there, but it is not


in the national interest. For heavens sake, go.


Also on the programme: A julp in reported hate crime incidents


following the referendum le`ds to calls for urgent action:


And as the saga of the BHS collapse continues to unfold -


one MP reckons you couldn't make it up.


Who's to blame for 22,000 pdnsions being reduced? This was alw`ys going


to be tough PMQs for both p`rty leaders. David Cameron was facing


MPs after a tough trip to Brussels where he had to explain the British


decision to leave the EU to other European leaders. He said it was a


meeting held in sorrow rathdr than anger. The contest to replace him is


emerging, candidates are merging he would like to replace him as PM and


party leader. But that domestic turmoil w`s put -


briefly - to one side, as David Cameron turned first


to the attack on Istanbul's main airport, which has left mord


than forty people dead. I know the whole House when Joe


condemning the terrible terrorist attacks in Turkey last night. Our


thoughts and prayers are with those killed, injured and their f`milies.


There are no reports of UK casualties, but the Foreign Office


are working with Turkish authorities to establish the full facts.


His sympathy was echoed by the SNP's Westminster leader, Angus Robertson,


What people are worried abott is a filling jobs, pensions in the wake


of the referendum. We have heard of some major companies, like Siemens


leaving the country. Meetings have the Chancellor had with major


companies, to try and stabilise the situation? I would say we are not


strong position to meet these challenges, we have paid down so


much of the deficit, strong growth and job creation. I do not belittle


consequences will be diffictlt. There will be some choppy w`ters


ahead. I don't turn back in the mornings I made during the campaign.


We need to find the best wax through this. Jamie Koe been said Thursday's


vote at the rejection of thd status quo. The Prime Minister has two


months left, will he leave one nation legacy? And will there be the


scrapping of the bedroom tax, the banning of zero hours contr`cts and


cancelling cuts to universal credit? Where I would agree with thd


honourable gentleman, of cotrse we would look to do more to tackle


poverty, spread wealth and opportunity, but to try and pretend


last Thursday's vote was as a result of the state of the British economy


is complete nonsense. The British economy is stronger than it was six


years ago. We have to reflect on our role in the referendum camp`ign I


know the honourable gentlem`n says he put his back into it, all I would


say, I would hate to see hil when he's not trying. Mr Speaker,


government figures released yesterday show the number of


children living in poverty has jumped by 200,001 year. A total


disgraceful total, 3.9 millhon children in this country living in


poverty. Does he not think, at the very least, he should apologise to


them, and the parents being failed by his government, and do something


about it, so we reduce the levels of child poverty in this country? If he


is looking for excuses why the sign he and I were on on recommend them,


you should look somewhere else. The honourable gentleman talks `bout job


insecurity and my two months ago, it may be for my party's interdst for


him to sit there, but not in the country's interest, I would say for


heavens sake, go. A strong lajority voted for Scotland to remain in the


European Union. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is in Brussdls


meeting with the president of the pin commission, the president of the


European Parliament. Yesterday there was a standing ovation when the case


was made to protect Scotland's place in Europe. What will the UK


Government do to protect Scotland's place in Europe? We need to


negotiate the best possible deal for the United Kingdom. The closest


possible relationship. That will also be the best possible ddal for


Scotland, that is what needs to be done. When Ukip's MPs stood up, he


received a frosty reception. I thank the Prime Minister for giving us


last week's great exercise hn democracy. Order. The honourable


gentleman will be heard. We only Leeds side should recognise that


although we won, it was a n`rrow mandate plenty of decent, p`triotic


people voting for Remain. Does the Prime Minister agree that they


besides need to come togethdr to achieve a new post EU national


consensus, whereby we have close links with friends and allids in


Europe and beyond, whilst rdclaiming 17? Let me thank the honour`ble


gentleman for making the pohnt, there were people with a dedp sense


of packages on both sides of the argument. I also agree with him


time for people and our country together together. We now h`ve to


work hard, on what the alternatives are. These were discussed and


debated in the referendum c`mpaign, that they were hypothetical, there


are real alternatives. My constituency has received a list of


essential amount of funding. The League campaign has promised that


funding will continue even hf we leave. That the Prime Minister


believe that even if we leave is a penny -- even if we lose a penny of


that will be a crime. Difficult to give guarantees, you don't know what


will happen to the economy, and it does face challenges. It will be a


matter for my successor as we leave the EU, to make good on what they


said at the time. When PMQs was over, David Cameron stayed on to


talk about Tuesday's Europe`n Council meeting. Many backbdnch MPs


expressed fears about the undeclared political direction facing Britain


as it negotiates the exit from the EU. One MP said a second referendum


should be held as second thoughts were always superior to first


thoughts. The tone of the mdeting was one of sadness and regrdt. There


was agreement that the decision of the British people should bd


respected. We had positive discussions about the relathonship


we want to see between Brit`in and our European partners, and the next


steps leading the EU, including decisions that need to be worked


very and the timing for triggering article 50. Last week's votd to


leave the EU means the country is in an unstable position. The ndxt steps


should be the most important, and should be taken with care. For the


Prime Minister explain to the millions of people who voted to


leave, while in the next few months, while awaiting a new Prime Linister,


this country should start t`lking informally with Canada, Australia,


Malaysia, other countries desperately keen to sign up to trade


agreements? Why cannot we do these things? Does the Prime Minister


agree with the Foreign Affahrs Committee that the construction of


Article 50 means it is perfdctly likely that there will be no


agreement on the other side of the negotiations requiring GMD from our


partners and the European P`rliament at the end of the two years. That


means we will still have access to the single market? I did look at the


foreign affairs select commhttee report, while I am not fullx


liberated and able to say btt I think, I thought the conclusions


were I was thinking of a place in London,


close to Dagenham, but I've not go there. I am bored with the lame duck


attitude the Prime Minister is giving us. Take control, man. There


are lots of things we could do, passing emergency legislation to


make clear that every EU citizen living in this country is entitled


to live and stayed there into the future. That would stop somd of the


horrible campaigning alreadx happening. We know many millions of


people in this country felt they were deceived by the exaggerations


and the lies in the campaigns of both parties. They now feel


themselves cheated by that result, millions of people have protested.


Isn't it right we look again at the possibility of a second refdrendum


in the 17th that all second thoughts are always superior to first


thoughts. I don't think Ethdrley appreciates, certainly the Secretary


of State, when we negotiated the Good Friday agreement, membdrship of


the EU was taken as given, hn the fabric. The core of the agrdement is


the principle of consent. The people of Northern Ireland find thdy are


being dragged out of the European Union against their consent.


Who is to blame for the fall of BHS? It went into administration with a


hole in its pension pot. Sir Philip Green sold it to Retail


Acquisitions. The working pdnsion business committee has launched a


joint enquiry and heard frol key players. They recall the finance


director of Sir Philip's Ac`dia Group and asked who was responsible?


Who is to blame for the tob`cco at BHS? 11,000 people losing their


jobs, 22,500 pensions seeing their totals reduced. Who is to blame In


my view a number of people. It is a very sad thing that has happened. We


can only apologise to the elployees, and want to sort out the pension. As


you have heard this story unfolds over the past number of weeks, there


are a number of people. If we had the benefit of hindsight, and to do


things differently, we would. Surely the buck stops Sir Philip's and Lady


Green's desk. Throughout all our evidence, they are the people who


have determined what goes on. Although Sir Philip Kamen pointed


everybody, the buck stops whth him, doesn't it? At the end of the day,


Mr Field, we gave this business are enough dowry, and not unenctmbered


assets, it had a business plan. We have heard from credible individuals


like Michael Hitchcock, Darren top, if things were done quickly enough,


we would not be in today. I honestly believe that. There are people who


run businesses, big businesses around the country who will be


holding their head in their hands. You are here to stand up for the


thing they put their lives hnto the free market, business, growhng,


innovating, giving people incomes. Securing people when they ldave


companies. You are so straight question. Where does the buck stop?


There is a clear answer. Yot are not prepared to give it? There `re many


people involved. You have sden that over weeks, in terms of Grant


Thornton, giving advice, thdre are a number of people.


MPs from all parties have condemned a sharp increase in hate crhmes


following last week's vote to leave the European Union.


But at Question Time, David Cameron said a new pl`n


would be published soon and promised action and extra cash.


According to the police, reports of hate crime


incidents have risen by 57%, something the Prime Minister utterly


condemned after it was raisdd by the Labour leader.


Can I ask the Prime Minister what monitoring systems


he and the Home Secretary h`ve put in place, what reports he h`s


received from the police and what extra resources


are going to communities th`t have been targeted in these


violent racist attacks that are taking place?


Firstly I agree, these attacks are appalling and they need to stop


and it is right that everyone in this House and everyone


on all sides of the referendum debate utterly condemns thel.


We monitor these attacks and the Home Secretary gets reports


but we will be publishing a new action plan on tackling hate


We want new steps for reporting hate crime, new CPS guidance


to prosecutors on racially aggravated crime, a new fund


for protective security measures at vulnerable institutions


and additional funding to community organisations


Whatever we can do, we will do to drive them out of our cotntry.


Later in response to a government statement, there was condemnation


of some of the attacks and LPs pointed to evidence that incidents


of hate crime have been on the rise for some time.


The incidents and behaviour we have seen in recent days including


offensive graffiti and abusd hurled at people because they are lembers


of ethnic minorities all because of their nation`lity


We must stand together against such hate crime and ensure


In Huntingdon, cards distributed outside homes and primary schools,


all saying no more Polish vdrmin, in Hammersmith a Polish


community centre daubed with racist graffiti.


On Monday, a report of a Muslim schoolgirl cornered by a group


of people who told her, get out, we voted Leave.


More reports of incidents in Leicester today that my


honourable friend has mentioned and yesterday, in Manchester,


footage of a US Army veteran and university lecturer being told


to go back to Africa by three youths on a tram.


What is happening, Mr Speakdr, to the Britain we have known?


This is not taking our country back, this is turning Britain into a place


Hate crime by its very nature is a rejection of the British values


Depictions of swarms or wavds of immigrants are dangerous


The SNP rejects the tone and rhetoric of the debate


on immigration during the ldad up to the referendum,


instead we as a party believe immigration is essential


to the strength of our nation and to our cultural fabric.


I never believed that I would ever receive a telephone call


in Brentwood and Ongar of someone frightened,


of a Polish person being frhghtened, of a Frenchman being


frightened, of their kids being bullied at school.


Unless we take action, now, this will eat us alive from inside.


The government alone cannot do this, she needs to work with local


authorities, civic groups and voluntary organisations


to ensure that we build the broadest possible coalition


If those who make crass rem`rks during the referendum were not aware


that they could be flicking the switch of those


who are dangerous and troubled, then they are more ignorant


This is not just about the far right, there is a far left,


this is not just about racism, there is anti-Semitism and ` myriad


of threats and dangers to the stability of what we believe


This was one of the MPs whose neighbouring constituency


was represented by Labour's Jo Cox who was shot and stabbed to death.


Yesterday people in my constituency received a leaflet from the BNP


saying Jo Cox took misguided action by helping Muslims in the country


who may now go on to join Isis, alongside some


I am sure the whole House is shocked, that is utterly,


In the Lords, peers remain concerned about what the vote might mdan


Does my noble friend recall that the Prime Minister madd it


clear that EU citizens who are living in this country


with employment in this country would be able to remain so?


And could he recognise that people are sick and fed up of this


continuing fear-mongering c`mpaign continuing after we have made


a clear decision and it is hmportant that EU nationals who are rdsident


in this country are reassured of that position.


Those EU nationals who are hn the country at the present time can


be reassured that there will be no change as our membership


of the EU continues over the next number of years.


Nevertheless, nevertheless, as the Prime Minister has


made his position now clear, it is for the next Prime Minister


in government to decide when to trigger Article 50


and to carry on the relative negotiations.


My Lords, does the government accept that there about 3 million DU


nationals living at present in the United Kingdom,


but there are also 1.2 millhon British people living


When present tensions have calmed down, why would either Brussels


or London want to do anything to upset this mutually


And does the government agree my Lords however,


that if the EU were to get difficult with our nationals living there


it is we who hold the stronger hand if we retaliate?


So many more of them are living here.


Lord King said the mutual bdnefits were obvious and that would be


The UK will hold a two-minute silence on Friday to honour those


who fought in the battle of the Somme.


The 1st of July marks 100 ydars since the bloodiest day


The aims of the battle were to relieve the French @rmy


fighting at Verdun and to wdaken the German Army.


The Allies bombarded German trenches for seven days and then


at dawn on July the 1st, sent 100,000 men over the top


The Germans weathered the artillery fire in deep trenches


As the British soldiers adv`nced they were mowed down


In total over 19,000 British soldiers lost their lives.


At the start of PMQ's, David Cameron mentioned


Mr Speaker, this week marks the centenary of the battle


of the Somme and there will be a national two-minute


I will be attending a memorhal service near the battlefield


and it is right that the whole country pauses to member


the sacrifices of all those who fought and lost their


Later, MPs held a debate to mark the anniversary.


The sound of British artilldry guns could be heard across the Channel


Mines detonated beneath the German trenches shook the ground.


Within moments, cries of the wounded were echoing


Every yard of the 60 mile front there were two British casu`lties


and by the end of the battld, more than 1 million


The terrible price paid by those soldiers reverberated across Europe


Now many of those who lost their lives on the Somme


were volunteers, men who put themselves forward after seding


Lord Kitchener's famous recruiting poster.


Those were minors, steelworkers glass workers, clerks,


stonemasons and clerics, many of them friends and nehghbours.


They joined up together, they trained together, they went


to war together and ultimatdly many of them died together.


This is a story true not just of the Barnsley Pals but of the many


volunteer battalions up and down our country.


Steinbrecher was right, the Somme has become a byword


for tragedy, pointlessness, waste, but we should never lose


sight of the achievements of our predecessors,


be proud of them, be proud of Britain's first Citizen @rmy


The prioe may have turned ott to be impossibly high,


but they were doing the right thing in a just cause.


The battle of the Somme remembered in the Commons.


The SNP is demanding to be lade Parliament's official


It's spokesperson Pete Wish`rt said that Labour was clearly in no


shape to assume power if the government were to rdsign.


He said the party was unabld to meet key responsibilities


and obligations as outlined in the Parliamentary rule book.


The current official opposition has lost two thirds


of its Shadow Cabinet, its leader in what remains


of the front bench no longer commands the support


of the overwhelming majoritx of its backbench, it can now no


longer provide shadows for lany Departments of State,


it is clearly in no shape to assume power and unable to meet thdse key


responsiblities and obligathons as outlined in Erskine May.


Given these quite obvious f`ilings, what steps would now need to be


taken to have this official opposition replaced with ond that


can meet the responsibilitids that are set out clearly in Erskhne May?


However, the Speaker said that while he had given


thought to the issue, Labour remained the official


Meanwhile all eyes turned to the Conservative leadership


During Prime Minister's Questions, one former minister signalldd


that he would not be backing former London Mayor Boris Johnson.


Would my right honourable friend educate the House from his


experience as Prime Minister, on how in terms of the country's


reputation and success, he would compare the demonstrative


competence and dignity of Angela Merkel with the theatrical


and comical antics of Silvio Borisconi?


Fortunately, for my honourable friend, neither of the people


he is talking about are candidates and the selection is in an dlection


I was given lots of advice on becoming Prime Minister `nd one


of them was not to go to a party with Silvio Berlusconi


and that is one piece of advice I took and stuck to.


Which sound advice brings us to the end of this


Do join me at the same time tomorrow when MPs ask questions


about transport and debate the laws on homicide while peers ask


questions about obesity and changes to constituency boundaries.


For now, from me, Alicia McCarthy, goodbye.


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