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.