Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Wednesday 24 January, presented by Alicia McCarthy.
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Hello and welcome to the programme.
Coming up: Jeremy Corbyn
and Theresa May go into battle over
funding for England's NHS.
The labour government would not
underfund the NHS, it would not
privatise the NHS, they would
underfund and social care.
This is a
government that recognises the party
of its people, parties to an sure
the NHS remains a world-class health
care system indeed, the best health
care system in the world.
There's fury over reports
of hostesses being groped
and harassed at an all male
charity fund raiser.
Organisers chose to make this a men
only event and chose to treat the
hostess like this, and to parade
them around and wear skimpy outfits
and specify the colour of their
And MPs wonder how conditions
at Liverpool jail, reported
the worst in England,
got so bad.
But first: Ahead of a Cabinet
meeting on Tuesday, it was widely
reported that the Foreign Secretary,
Boris Johnson would pitch
for a £100 million a week 'Brexit
dividend' for England's NHS.
Although in the end it's thought
he didn't mention a 'specific
figure' he was apparently backed
by some colleagues and the principle
that the NHS would get some
of the money which will become
available after the UK leaves
in March 2019 was agreed.
So, it was perhaps no surprise that
that, along with broader concerns
about how the NHS is coping
this winter, was the focus
of the Labour leader's attack
at Prime Minister's Questions.
Does the Prime Minister agree with
the Foreign Secretary that the
national health service needs an
extra £5 billion?
Well I think the
right honourable gentleman as I
recall, was here in the chamber for
the autumn budget that was given by
my right honourable friend, the
Chancellor of... Were then also put
more into that help fund.
problem with that Mr Speaker, is
that it was to .8 million spread
like Bennett gruel over two years.
Two weeks ago, the premise of told
the House, and I quote it is indeed
the case that the NHS was a better
prepared this winter than ever
before. 68 senior and E doctors have
written to the Prime Minister about
what they described as very serious
concerns we have for the safety of
our patients. They say, patients
being treated in corridors are dying
prematurely. Who should the public
believe? The Prime Minister or the
It is right that the NHS
was prepared than it ever has
before, overall, we have seen to .8
million more people last year
visiting accident and emergency ban
in 2010. Our NHS is indeed,
providing for patients. We were
prepared for the winter, and we will
in sure as we have done every year,
under this conservative government
that the NHS receives more funding.
The Government would not underfund
it, the labour government would not
privatise the NHS, the labour
government would underfund social
care, a labour government would be
committed to an NHS free for use as
a human right.
Our support for the
NHS is about providing it with the
finding that doctors and nurses and
treatments and capabilities that it
needs in order to be able to deliver
for patients. And it is why we are
ensuring that we are reducing the
waste in the NHS of the taxpayer
money is spent effectively and on
It has been reported
that a man froze to death waiting 16
hours for an fabulous, last week a
young gentleman wrote to me saying
that my friend's 90 pre-op father
waited for hours for an ambulance
after a fault. These are not
isolated cases. These are common all
over the country. It needs money, it
needs the support, and it needs it
now. The Prime Minister is in denial
of the State of the NHS, even the
app support secretary recognises
that, but the Prime Minister is not
listening. People are using the NHS
can see from their own experience,
it has been starved of resources.
People are dying unnecessarily, in
the back of ambulances and in
hospital corridors. GB numbers are
down, nurses are leaving, the NHS is
in crisis, Mr Speaker Tory MPs might
not like it, by asked the question
to the Prime Minister, when is she
going to face up to the reality and
take action to save the NHS from
debt by a thousand cuts?
only one part of the NHS that has
been cut in the finding, it is the
NHS in Wales under labour
government. This is a government
that is backing the NHS plan but is
putting more money into the NHS is
recruiting more doctors and nurses
and see new treatments to come on
board which is where people are
getting the best treatment that they
need. Because this is a government
that recognises the priorities of
the British people. Parties to
ensure that the NHS remains a
world-class help care system indeed,
the best health care system in the
world. Parties to build homes that
people need to make sure that our
kids are in good schools, this is a
government that is building a
country for everyone. Any country in
which... A country in which people
can look to the future with optimism
and hope. Theresa May.
A businessman who helped to organise
a fund-raising dinner,
where hostesses were allegedly
sexually-harassed, has quit
the Department for Education board.
The Education Minister Anne Milton
announced that David Meller will no
longer serve as a non executive
member following allegations made
about the President's Club gala.
There are allegations of
inappropriate behaviour, it is quite
extraordinary to me Mr Speaker that
in the 21st century, allegations of
this kind are still emerging. Women
have the right to feel safe where
ever they work and allegations of
this type of behaviour, are
Turning to David Meller board
members were expected to adhere
to a code of conduct.
David Mellor is stepping down as
nonexecutive member for the
Department for Education and the
apprenticeship delivery board and I
know that my right honourable
friend, it's absolutely clear that
this is the right thing to do.
The Mp who asked the urgent question
welcomed Mr Mellers resignation.
What happened was women were bought
as bait for men who are rich men not
a mile from where we stand as if
that is an acceptable behaviour, it
is totally unacceptable.
As a mother
of three young women the same age as
the hostess, I can only describe my
initial response is being emotional
and equipment to a line as who would
immediately want to put myself in
the position of it it it was one of
my daughters, one of the prizes on
that brochure was a plastic surgery
to spice up your wife. It is
appalling that that continuous and I
support the Minister in her response
and we all have our duty to do to
make sure that those dinners do not
We have to be clear
that we send out a message that this
is unacceptable. People need to know
where the line is, because there is
a line, and it is about changing
One of the comments made
was they do not know where the light
should be, but this event was billed
as the most un-politically event NPC
abend of the year, so clearly they
do know where the line is. They
decided to cross it. And when we
have reports of toilets are being
monitored and women lingering too
long, being called out and lead back
to the ballroom, this is not sexism.
This is slavery. Organisers --
organisers chose to make this a men
only event and chose to create --
make the hostess paraded front of
meant and where skimpy outfits and
specify the colour of their
underwear, they chose to ask them to
drink before the event, does she
agree that all the organisers
including the president club and all
the private companies involved in
organising this should be
investigated for breach of the law
and breach of the charity rules.
right honourable lady, it's
obviously very angry about this, and
her report... Mr Speaker, do I look
like somebody who is not angry?
Several MPs asked about
the attendance at the event
of the Children's Minister,
Why she has been very loyal in the
two hurt Minister called a? Who did
not stay reportedly for any long
period of time, it is also reported
that the same gentleman attended the
President's club on a previous
occasion. I have no idea if that is
true or not but that is what is
reported. If that is the case,
should not that report -- Minister
consider his position?
I have no
idea whether he attended before, but
I do know that senior people on the
benches have attended and I know
that senior politicians from around
the House have attended this event.
That has hope, that this hope that
this debate today draws a line in
the sand and demonstrates...
Demonstrates to honourable members
to think twice about attending any
event like this ever again.
Well number ten said that
Nadhim Zahawi had 'attended briefly
and felt uncomfortable' and left.
The MP himself later
tweeted: 'I do unequivocally
condemn this behaviour.
I will never attend a men
only function ever'.
Later the Presidents Club
said it was to close.
You're watching Wednesday
in Parliament, with me,
The Brexit Secretary, David Davis,
has made his first Commons Committee
appearance of the year,
coming before the MPs who are trying
to keep tabs on the progress
of the UK's negotiations
to leave the EU.
There was much discussion
of the proposed transition phase
the period immediately
following the withdrawal
date of March next year.
A Labour Committee member asked
Mr Davis what would actually
happen during that period.
This the first time it has been
done, I do not really care what the
outcome is as long as one, it does
not require us to meet some of the
other duties. We are happy to accept
the ECJ for that period, there will
be questions about what happens
about subsequent laws. So it's got
to be bespoke. One of the things I
said earlier was that these
guidelines are negotiating
guidelines they're just that, not
the and and we are taking a
Just in case...
What I don't want the country to be
sucked into something that is not an
implication period that an
extension. That is the point.
The Conservative eurosceptic,
Jacob Rees-Mogg, followed up
on the issue of the ECJ,
the European Court of Justice.
On March 2019, the UK is subject to
the European Court of Justice, and
takes new rules relating to the
single market and is paying into the
European budget, are we not?
are not, nice day today, you might
We ever representative on
the Court of Justice and
representations in Parliament.
that were the case, my proper my
answer probably yes, but the answer
for a short time is no.
Is in this
very serious that the line is hard
to think that any president in the
world, when independent nation has
taken the judgement of a foreign
court as it superior and immediate
law without having a judge on that?
Bear in mind, we are talking about
something which we are negotiating
so we had not decided quite how we
will manage those, in court or the
in earlier entries
that we would accept it. What you
transitioning from one state to
another. And you can call it what
At one point, David Davis was in
full flow when he was interrupted.
David Davis perhaps off
to get a new phone.
The other element where I guess I
will be an issue although we've made
it clear, we will require this,
excuse me. Will require EU members
coming to the UK to register
European Union citizenship. And the,
that is not what we have normally
done. David Davis perhaps off to get
a new mobile phone.
Last week the prisons watchdog
condemned the 'squalid'
state of Liverpool jail,
describing conditions as the worst
inspectors could remember.
The Justice committee
is following up on the report
and took evidence from the head
of the Prisons Service
and the Justice Minister.
MPs wanted to know how things had
been allowed to get so bad that
Livepool had been dubbed England's
worst jail, with rats,
cockroaches and blocked toilets
a frequent feature especially
as there had been repeated
warnings about conditions.
We had a run of significant
difficulties. We had a number of
disturbances leading up to Christmas
2016, 20 17. We had issues that I
believe through 2017 were going to
get better. Than the population
increased and put more pressure on
establishments. The impact of
psychoactive substances is a big
issue and Liverpool. Was actually a
challenge for a lot of prisons. A
lot of prisons were operating
without the staffing opinion.
making if I may say so, you're
making the same reheated excuses.
The fact is in Liverpool or 549 the
staff against a benchmark of 460.
The report makes crystal clear bras
unusually, this is not issue of
staffing. An issue of leadership and
the question is is adjust the
governor or his adieu, or who is
adjust the governor or his adieu, or
who was responsible? I think there
is a responsibility at an
I need to just
check those figures. I just need to
check those things. There's no
question, I'm not suggesting. Yeah,
I read it.
I'm sorry you challenge
the figures in the report?
charging the figures, I'm saying,
the point of a benchmark figures and
where they are is that I am not
saying that Liverpool was short of
officers. I actually had said
earlier that one of the things we
had said earlier was putting
additional officers into Liverpool.
The difference of having staff above
your benchmark is because we are
recruiting staff to deliver the
offender -- management model whip
which were not yet trained but were
on the books. And I made the point
more generally about staffing. And I
except, and I have excepted again,
that yes we should have failings of
Liverpool and dealt with them
earlier, and yes there were
responsibility for the local level.
And responsibility at the
organisation, including a mile. And
I'm simply putting the context of
play. And what about the issues of
rats and caucuses -- cockroaches in
the report? I don't think that we
are tackling a robustly. It's a very
visible difference in the level of
cleanliness in the jail. But we are
at a very early part of the journey
and I think the thing is that we
need to keep added. At it with
Just on that point if I may,
you've see this issue, it seems from
what you are saying that you are
grabbing it. Is actually any good
excuse for not having been gripped
by the previous government? I have
been hearing about the greatest
government, is a good man, nothing
wrong with him is moved into a new
role, is actually any good reason
why he could not quit this is Mac is
a difficult question for me to
answer, but I think loneliness is
definitely within our gift.
there is no excuse for an unclean
jail. I think those are issues that
we have to tackle and we cannot make
So what is the Justice Minister two
weeks in to his new role
going to do about Liverpool
and several other struggling
prisons in England?
I needed this job, and I'm aware
that making grand statements about
the prison service is quite
difficult when I'm two weeks in. --
I'm new to this job. But I am on a
back to basics campaign. So if I
achieve nothing else in this job, if
we did have these places clean and
decent. So had a proper broken
window policy. We could reduce the
flow of drugs into these places. If
you have a house for someone to go
to would relieve the present, and a
decent set of education provisions,
I think that's good start. A good
reason to be proud of this job.
And the subject of failing prisons
was one of the issues raised
at questions time in the Lords.
A former Chief Inspector of Prisons
now an independent or crossbench
peer, said it was very disturbing
that ten jails were
in special measures.
The dropping of the prisons part of
the prisons and courts dealt, and
the recent appointment of the fourth
Justice Secretary and third prison
Minister since 2015 election, how
high does prison reform feature in
the Prime Minister's list of
Our prisons remained a
priority for this government. There
have been challenging issues. And we
need to address them. And we will
address them. As regards them matter
of special measures where prisons go
to special measures, they are
provided with central supports.
Potentially it can cover a number of
areas, it can cover expert advice,
they can cover the provision in some
instance as capital, it can provide
direction to the governor and staff
of the individual prisoner.
A Labour peer said 7000 prison
officer posts had been
abolished during the time
of the coalition government.
The Government is revealed that the
cost of rights since, due no doubt
to inadequate staffing, runs to
9,000,360 3000, 900 £64. The
contract was with beryllium.
Wouldn't have been better to have
kept those prison staff on?
lords, we are halfway to the target
of recruiting to a half thousand
extra prison officers. Of course,
reference is made to the past, we as
a government learn from the past. We
plan for the future.
Now back to Prime Minister's
Questions where the SNP's
Westminster leader returned
to a campaign he's been pursuing
doggedly in recent weeks,
the proposal by the Royal Bank
of Scotland to close 22
of its branches, which he says
will mean 13 towns will be left
without a bank branch at all.
By closing Visa branches and
replacing some with mobile banking
which do not provide the disability
access, the Royal Bank of Scotland
appears to be in breach of the
United Kingdom equality act.
Wheelchair users have described
experience of banking outside as
degrading. But the Prime Minister
agree that RBS have a legal
responsibility to offer a quality of
service to disabled customers, and
will she hold RBS to account on this
To the right honourable
gentleman come oh of course we all
want to be able to see you all
customers are able to access the
services that they need. That is
both customers who are disabled, and
customers who live in remote areas.
As I've said to him this is a
commercial decision that has been
taken by the Royal Bank of Scotland.
It is not, banks are closing
branches, other breaks -- other bags
at closing branches. It is actually
less use being made of those
Now to the collapse
of construction firm Carillion.
Labour had put down a debate
on the firm and the sustainability
of outsourcing and asking
that the Government release any risk
assessments relating to Carillion
to the Public Accounts committee.
The ordinary man or woman industry
can only draw one conclusion, which
is that this been a complete racket.
The company calls a clear and
present risks to the taxpayer. And
as we've seen the Government failed
to act. But worse they had a close
relationship with many of the key
decision-makers, some of whom were
active Tory supporters.
Now normally if there's a vote
on an opposition day motion
the result isn't binding
on the Government, but Labour has
found a way of wording these kind
of motions so that Ministers do
have to act.
So, when he got up to speak
the Cabinet office Minister made it
clear he would release the papers
Labour was asking for to the Public
I want to make it clear that if the
motion passes that the Government
will of course... The committee does
already possess powers to require
the Government to supply it with
papers. And whether or not this
motion passes this evening, it is my
intention to share with the
committee of Public accounts as I
reasonably can. That will help them
with their inquiries. And he
defended the use of outsourcing. He
resorted to ideology instead of
looking at the people of -- our
constituents actually use the
services. And who benefit from the
better value for money, the
innovative quality, that
private-sector contractors are able
to bring and have brought
successfully to that work.
Well when it came to the end
of the debate the motion did pass,
and afterwards Mps wanted to know
what would happen now.
I just wanted to confirm that the
motion that we've just had a has
actually been passed unanimously.
But if this is the case have you
received any indication from the
Government as to when the Public
Accounts Committee will be provided
with the relevant report? Thank you.
Once again it is now the record at
aggregate limit at that point of the
And that's it from me for now,
but do join me on BBC Parliament
on Thursday night at 11 for a full
round up of the day at Westminster
when among other things we'll be
hearing from Lady Jowell's debate
in the House of Lords
on cancer treatments.
But for now from me, goodbye.