13/07/2016 Wednesday in Parliament


Highlights of Wednesday 13 February in Parliament, presented by Keith Macdougall.

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Hello and welcome to Wednesday in Parliament.


A Prime Minister departs, but not without first


No one had a clue who I was until eventually someone


said, "Hey, Cameron, Prime Minister's Questions,


A show that, inevitably, reflects on upheaval


inside the Conservatives and bitter in-fighting within Labour.


We've had resignation, nomination, competition and coronation.


They haven't even decided what the rules are, yet!


After publication of the Iraq inquiry report, MPs debate


whether action should be taken against Tony Blair.


This Parliament at this stage should hold him accountable.


Theresa May is Britain's new Prime Minister.


David Cameron's six-year tenure at 10 Downing Street is over,


two General Election successes to his name,


The transition of power from outgoing leader to incoming


leader followed long-standing tradition, complete with executive


During the late morning, David Cameron had made the familiar,


short journey from Downing Street to the Commons, for his 182nd


and final session of Prime Ministers Questions as PM.


The chamber, not surprisingly, was packed.


Mr Speaker, this morning I had meetings with ministerial


Other than one meeting this afternoon, with Her Majesty


The Queen, the diary for the rest of my day is remarkably light.


As he prepares to leave Downing Street, can I encourage him


to return to the Big Society agenda that I know he's so passionate


about and can I ask him if he remembers saying shortly


before becoming Prime Minister, politicians are a mixture of egotism


and altruism and you just hope the right one wins out


so people do the right thing, rather than the politically


It seems to me that he stayed on the right side of that divide


in the last six years, not least in the manner


of his departure and I think this country is going to miss him


As for the Big Society, yes, we should use a stronger economy


to build a bigger and stronger society and one of the things


that we are doing is introducing National Citizens Service,


200,000 young people have taken part in that programme and I hope


by the end of this Parliament it will be the norm for


In 33 years in this House, watching five Prime Ministers


and several ex-Prime Ministers, I've seen him achieve a mastery


at that despatch box, unparalleled in my time.


Prime Minister's Questions for all it's theatrics does


have a purpose because it's a time when every week the Prime Minister


has to know absolutely everything that is going on in Whitehall


and often you find out things that you want to stop pretty quickly


I believe that politics is about public service


in the national interest and that is what I've always


This session does have some admirers around the world.


I remember when I did his job and I met Mayor Bloomberg


in New York and we walked down the street and everybody knew


Mayor Bloomberg and everybody said, "Mayor, you're doing a great job."


Nobody had a clue who I was until eventually someone


said, "Hey, Cameron, Prime Minister's Questions,


May we thank the Prime Minister for all his hard work


and his leadership and particularly his commitment to the union


and to Northern Ireland, visiting it often and swimming


in Lough Erne and maybe he'd like to come and


We look forward, the Ulster Unionist Party, to working with the next


Prime Minister and I'm told that there are lots of leadership


There's the England football team, there's Top Gear.


There's even across the big pond a role that needs filling.


Let me thank the honourable gentleman for his kind remarks


and fascinating suggestions for future jobs, I think most


I believe that Northern Ireland is stronger than it was six years ago.


58,000 more people in work, the full devolution of justice


and home affairs delivered under this Government.


Mr Speaker, it's only right that after six years as Prime Minister


we thank the Honourable member for Witney for his service.


Jeremy Corbyn said he'd been listening to what Theresa


And she said it's harder than ever for young people to


So, does the Prime Minister think this is because of record low house


building or his Government's apparent belief that ?450,000


First of all, let me say at the despatch box how warmly


I congratulate the Home Secretary on becoming leader of


the Conservative Party and when it comes to women Prime Ministers,


I'm very pleased to be able to say pretty soon it's going to be 2-0.


On the issue of housing and homelessness, as I said,


He asks about this issue of affordability,


When I became Prime Minister because of what had happened


to the mortgage market, a first-time buyer often needed


to have as much as ?30,000 to put a deposit down.


Because of the combination of Help to Buy and shared ownership,


some people are actually able to get on the housing ladder now


with a deposit of as little as ?2000 and with low mortgage rates as well


and the new houses we're building, we're


Mr Speaker, the malaise seems a little deeper still.


The Home Secretary said, talking of the economy,


she said, so that it really does work for everyone,


because it is apparent to anyone in touch with the real world that


people do not feel our economy works that way.


Isn't she right that too many people in too many places in Britain


feel their economy has been destroyed in towns


they're in because the industries have gone, there are levels of high


unemployment or underemployment and a deep sense of malaise?


And to be accused of sloth in delivery by the right honourable


gentleman, let's just take the last week.


We've both been having these leadership elections.


We've had resignation, nomination, competition and coronation.


They haven't even decided what the rules are, yet!


If they ever got into power it would take them about a year


Democracy is an exciting and splendid thing and I'm


The Home Secretary, Mr Speaker, talking of the economy,


she said many people find themselves exploited by unscrupulous bosses.


I can't imagine who she is referring to!


Let me say something to him about the democratic process


of leadership elections because I did say


a couple of weeks ago that


I thought, I have to say, I'm beginning to admire his tenacity.


He has reminded me of the Black Knight in Monty


He has been kicked so many times but he says, keep going,


Mr Speaker, I would like the Prime Minister to address


another issue that the House voted on last week.


I've got a question from Nina, it's a question from somebody


She says, I would like to know if there is any possibility that


a European Union citizen, who has lived in Britain for 30


years, can have their right of permanent residence


revoked or deported, depending on the Brexit


We are working hard to do what we want, which is to give


a guarantee to EU citizens that they will have their rights


respected, all those who have come to this country.


I'm glad he mentions e-mails because actually I've


Now, I got this and I'm not making this up, I promise,


I got this on the 16th September 2015 from someone called


"Please, please keep dignity and not triumphalism during the first PMQs


She said, "because Tom Watson, who may oust Jeremy Corbyn,


He's experienced, organised and far more dangerous in the long-term."


She goes on, "so sensible and polite answers to Mr Corbyn, let him


After this is over I've got to find Judith and find out


Jeremy Corbyn wished Mr Cameron's family well.


I'd also like him to pass on my thanks to his mum


for her advice about ties and suits and socks.


It's extremely kind of her and I'd be grateful if he'd pass that


I'm reflecting on the lesson that she offered.


I will certainly send his good wishes back to my mother.


He's looking absolutely splendid today.


But it gives me the opportunity to put a rumour to rest


as well, even more serious than the Strictly Come Dancing one


and he'll appreciate this because El Gatto,


his cat, is particularly famous, and the rumour


And I have photographic evidence to prove it.


He belongs to the House and the staff love him


The jokes flying thick and fast at PMQs.


David Cameron had, back in 2010, been the Prime Minister


of a Coalition Government when the Tories were in power


Despite that, the Speaker didn't call any Lib Dem MP to contribute


These days the third party in the Commons is the SNP.


Its leader wished the outgoing Prime Minister well, but he said


some of the issues his successor would be handling were unlikely


The first vote of her premiership is likely to be imposing Trident


against the wishes of almost every single MP from Scotland.


she says she plans to plough on...meanwhile, she plans


to plough on with Brexit, regardless of the fact that Scotland


How does the outgoing Prime Minister think that all of this will go


On Trident, there will be a vote in this House


should decide and actually many in Scotland support our nuclear


deterrent, maintaining it and the jobs that come in Scotland.


He asks about the record of this Government when it comes to Scotland


140,000 more people in work in Scotland, massive investment


in the renewable industries in Scotland, the two


in our history built in Scotland, a powerhouse parliament,


a referendum that was legal, decisive and fair and I might add,


a Scotsman winning Wimbledon twice while I was Prime Minister.


Nevermind Indy Two, I think it's time for Andy Two.


The end of the half-hour session allowed David Cameron to sign off


with some thoughtful, valedictory comments, in the style


of Tony Blair nine years before, though he was simultaneously


resigning as a Member of the Commons.


For the last question at this PMQs, the Speaker called a veteran former


Can I ask that, as no doubt he will have some plans


for a slightly more enjoyable and relaxed Wednesday


morning and lunchtime, nevertheless he will still be


an active participant in this House as it faces a large number


As no two people know what Brexit means at the moment,


we need his advice and his statesmanship as much


Can I thank my right honourable friend for his very kind remarks.


I remember one of the toughest conversations I had in politics


was actually when I was Leader of the Opposition and I was trying


to get him to join my front bench and he was on a bird-watching


holiday in Patagonia and it was almost impossible


He is not always the easiest person to get hold of.


We tried, but Tory modernisation has never quite got as far as getting


Kenneth Clarke to carry a mobile phone.


He did briefly have one, but he said the problem is people


We had to move, I seem to remember in Opposition,


we had to move our morning meeting to accommodate his


But I will watch these exchanges from the backbenches.


I will miss the roar of the crowd, I will miss the barbs


from the Opposition, but I will be willing you on.


And when I say willing you on, I don't just mean willing


on the new Prime Minister at this despatch box or indeed just willing


on the front bench defending the manifesto that I helped to put


together, but I mean willing all of you on, because people come


here with huge passion for the issues they care about.


They come here with great love for the constituencies


They are also willing on this place because, yes,


we can be pretty tough and test and challenge our leaders, perhaps


more than some other countries, but that is something we should be


proud of and we should keep at it and I hope you will all keep at it


The last thing I'd say is that you can achieve a lot


You can get a lot of things done and that in the end,


the public service, the national interest, that is


Nothing is really impossible if you put your mind to it.


After all, as I once said, I was the future, once.


The Commons giving Mr Cameron an ovation he'll probably


Well, four hours after those moments in the Palace of Westminster came


David Cameron, plus family, walked out of Number 10


and after a final few words to the waiting media,


and those final, final photographs on the Downing Street steps,


the outgoing PM was taken, complete with police escort,


to that other Palace, namely Buckingham Palace.


There, he tendered his resignation to the Queen.


And a matter of minutes later, Her Majesty met Theresa May and


Theresa May is Britain's 54th Prime Minister,


the second woman to hold the job, the late Margaret Thatcher


Mrs May addressed the nation in Downing Street.


I have just been to Buckingham Palace where Her Majesty The Queen


has asked me to form a new government and I accepted.


You're watching our round-up of the day at Westminster.


Peers recall the so-called 'battle of Orgreave' during the long


drawn-out miners' strike of 32 years ago.


MPs have begun a two day debate on Sir John Chilcot's report


It concluded that the UK went to war before the peace


process was exhausted, that intelligence was flawed


and that the post war planning was inadequate.


The then Prime Minister, Tony Mr Blair, said the report


should lay to rest allegations of bad faith, lies or deceit.


But as MPs sought to tease out the lessons that needed to be


learned there were deep divisions over Mr Blair's responsibility


and whether action should be taken against him.


A reading of Sir John's report, however, suggests flaws,


Tony Blair's point to Parliament on the 18th March 2003,


"I have never put our justification for action as regime change," only


to find in a private note from Blair to Bush just a week later


on the 26th March, "that's why Iraq's weapons of mass destruction,


the immediate justification for action is ridding


Iraq of Saddam Hussein and that is the real prize."


These findings relate to decisions taken at that time


and the arrangements and processes in place at the time.


It is, therefore, for those who were ministers at the time


This government's role is not to seek to apportion blame


It is to ensure that the lessons identified by Chilcot are learned


and that they have already led to changes or the changes


While Chilcott finds there were no deliberate attempts


made to mislead people, the intelligence on which the war


was based was clearly flawed and it did not justify the certainty


which was attached to it by the government.


Can I ask my right honourable friend whether she's aware of an attempt


to call a contempt motion for the House to consider


against Tony Blair and does she agree with me that whatever else


is in the Chilcot report, it does not give grounds


There has been no admission of deliberately misleading this


House and so therefore, if I may just finish,


therefore if this house was to attempt to make a factual


finding, in my view it would be a kangaroo court.


In my view it would not be allowing the person accused to be able


to represent themselves or be able to speak and in those circumstances


it would fly in the face, in my view, of the established


One thing this makes quite clear is nobody has committed any crime


and as one who was present at the time, I have absolutely no


doubt that nobody acted at the time on any other basis


than that they believed passionately they were acting


This Parliament at this stage should hold him accountable.


Not because it's a matter of pursuing the former


Prime Minister but because it will demonstrate and illustrate that


even retrospectively, if a Parliament is systematically


misled they will say up with it, they shall not put.


When the Prime Minister told this house that he believed that


Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,


he believed it implicitly to be true.


He was not making up the intelligence.


He was not telling this house anything other


than what he believed to be true, let alone sort of inventing a lie,


The Iraq war has tarnished our reputation, ignored


international law, undermined international institutions


like the United Nations, which we worked so hard at building


It destroyed public confidence in our leaders and in Parliament


and it made it infinitely more difficult for a government to make


the case for war by making the prospect of humanitarian


intervention all the more unpalatable to many.


So, how will Britain's departure from the EU,


commonly known as Brexit, impact on the troubled


In a debate in Westminster Hall, the Business Minister,


Anna Soubry said continuing access to the EU market without


The United Kingdom steel sector exported 6.3 million


tonnes of steel last year, 3.3 million tonnes of which went


That's how important the EU is when it comes to the exporting


of steel, so access to that single market, I would suggest,


is absolutely critical, not just for steel but indeed


Let's turn to the automotive sector, which has been a massive success


Huge numbers of cars are exported to EU markets and many of them


I went to Nissan only the other week and I was reminded 45%


of the steel used by Nissan is made here in Britain.


The situation we now face is probably one of the most


What we do now will have serious consequences for our future.


The pound is plummeting and investment is going elsewhere.


This experiment with an EU referendum to satisfy Tory


backbenchers has completely backfired and it's now apparent


There is no industrial plan, there is no industrial strategy


but there is no plan for going forward.


The vote on the 23rd June has produced an enormous


Because of that uncertainty, businesses quite reasonably


and logically might want to pause on their investment plans.


Let's just wait the next quarter and the quarter after that in order


to invest in new plants and machinery.


If we are in a global race with regards to economic progress


we can't afford to be pausing for a quarter or two,


we will be left behind and our competitiveness will be


eroded as a result, so what is the government doing


in order to ensure that we provide as much clarity as possible?


Probably the most vivid and certainly some of the most


violent images of the miners' strike in the 1980s were those witnessed


at the Orgreave coking plant, near Sheffield.


There, a virtual pitched battle was fought on several days in June


1984 between police and thousands of striking miners.


The Independent Police Complaints Commission has this week ruled that


a full report into allegations of police misconduct at Orgreave


In the Lords, a Labour peer said it was high time


Could the noble Lord the Minister just confirm that media reports have


revealed the previously redacted sections of the Independent Police


Complaints Commission report from June of last year,


which exposed striking similarities between the personnel and alleged


practices of South Yorkshire Police at Orgreave and Hillsborough.


Could he also confirmed in a letter to the Home Secretary last month,


several MPs called for a public enquiry and said that trust


would never truly be restored until we found out the entire truth


about Orgreave and the wider policing of the miner's strike,


including the allegations of police mistreatment of striking miners.


The IPCC has specifically pointed out that a decision on an enquiry


at this stage could cross over the further investigations


of the criminal or potential criminal prosecutions.


With regard to the disclosure of the unredacted report


by a newspaper on the 4th of May 2016, the entire unredacted


report was not disclosed, however that which was disclosed did


show a number of senior officers acting in common in regard


As regards to the observations that have been made by the temporary


Chief Constable and the MPs, I agree those observations were made.


I represented a mining community in the other house.


The primary responsibility for what happened rests with the leaders of


the mining community who brought many numbers of people to the site


and were prepared to use force and threats of force in order to


implement policies which were as much political as they were


industrial and have basic seeded, that would have subverted the


principles of democratic government. I represented the mining community


in the other house. I was very active during the strike


in 1980 to 1984 and I must say, I saw police violence as well


and I do feel there ought to be an enquiry, generally,


about policing of the miners' strikes because it is one


of the reasons for the disenchantment with politics


that we saw three weeks ago I'm not going to anticipate


a decision that will be made I would observe that


following the incident at Orgreave there were 51 picketers


who were injured and 72 But do join us for our


next daily round-up. Until then, from me,


Keith Macdougall, goodbye


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