24/01/2018 Wednesday in Parliament


24/01/2018

Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Wednesday 24 January, presented by Alicia McCarthy.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to the programme.

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Coming up: Jeremy Corbyn

and Theresa May go into battle over

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funding for England's NHS.

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The labour government would not

underfund the NHS, it would not

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privatise the NHS, they would

underfund and social care.

This is a

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government that recognises the party

of its people, parties to an sure

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the NHS remains a world-class health

care system indeed, the best health

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care system in the world.

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There's fury over reports

of hostesses being groped

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and harassed at an all male

charity fund raiser.

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Organisers chose to make this a men

only event and chose to treat the

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hostess like this, and to parade

them around and wear skimpy outfits

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and specify the colour of their

underwear.

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And MPs wonder how conditions

at Liverpool jail, reported

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the worst in England,

got so bad.

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But first: Ahead of a Cabinet

meeting on Tuesday, it was widely

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reported that the Foreign Secretary,

Boris Johnson would pitch

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for a £100 million a week 'Brexit

dividend' for England's NHS.

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Although in the end it's thought

he didn't mention a 'specific

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figure' he was apparently backed

by some colleagues and the principle

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that the NHS would get some

of the money which will become

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available after the UK leaves

in March 2019 was agreed.

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So, it was perhaps no surprise that

that, along with broader concerns

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about how the NHS is coping

this winter, was the focus

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of the Labour leader's attack

at Prime Minister's Questions.

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Does the Prime Minister agree with

the Foreign Secretary that the

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national health service needs an

extra £5 billion?

Well I think the

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right honourable gentleman as I

recall, was here in the chamber for

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the autumn budget that was given by

my right honourable friend, the

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Chancellor of... Were then also put

more into that help fund.

The only

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problem with that Mr Speaker, is

that it was to .8 million spread

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like Bennett gruel over two years.

Two weeks ago, the premise of told

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the House, and I quote it is indeed

the case that the NHS was a better

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prepared this winter than ever

before. 68 senior and E doctors have

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written to the Prime Minister about

what they described as very serious

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concerns we have for the safety of

our patients. They say, patients

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being treated in corridors are dying

prematurely. Who should the public

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believe? The Prime Minister or the

doctors?

It is right that the NHS

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was prepared than it ever has

before, overall, we have seen to .8

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million more people last year

visiting accident and emergency ban

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in 2010. Our NHS is indeed,

providing for patients. We were

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prepared for the winter, and we will

in sure as we have done every year,

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under this conservative government

that the NHS receives more funding.

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The Government would not underfund

it, the labour government would not

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privatise the NHS, the labour

government would underfund social

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care, a labour government would be

committed to an NHS free for use as

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a human right.

Our support for the

NHS is about providing it with the

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finding that doctors and nurses and

treatments and capabilities that it

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needs in order to be able to deliver

for patients. And it is why we are

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ensuring that we are reducing the

waste in the NHS of the taxpayer

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money is spent effectively and on

patient care.

It has been reported

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that a man froze to death waiting 16

hours for an fabulous, last week a

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young gentleman wrote to me saying

that my friend's 90 pre-op father

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waited for hours for an ambulance

after a fault. These are not

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isolated cases. These are common all

over the country. It needs money, it

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needs the support, and it needs it

now. The Prime Minister is in denial

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of the State of the NHS, even the

app support secretary recognises

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that, but the Prime Minister is not

listening. People are using the NHS

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can see from their own experience,

it has been starved of resources.

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People are dying unnecessarily, in

the back of ambulances and in

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hospital corridors. GB numbers are

down, nurses are leaving, the NHS is

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in crisis, Mr Speaker Tory MPs might

not like it, by asked the question

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to the Prime Minister, when is she

going to face up to the reality and

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take action to save the NHS from

debt by a thousand cuts?

There is

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only one part of the NHS that has

been cut in the finding, it is the

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NHS in Wales under labour

government. This is a government

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that is backing the NHS plan but is

putting more money into the NHS is

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recruiting more doctors and nurses

and see new treatments to come on

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board which is where people are

getting the best treatment that they

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need. Because this is a government

that recognises the priorities of

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the British people. Parties to

ensure that the NHS remains a

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world-class help care system indeed,

the best health care system in the

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world. Parties to build homes that

people need to make sure that our

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kids are in good schools, this is a

government that is building a

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country for everyone. Any country in

which... A country in which people

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can look to the future with optimism

and hope. Theresa May.

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A businessman who helped to organise

a fund-raising dinner,

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where hostesses were allegedly

sexually-harassed, has quit

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the Department for Education board.

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The Education Minister Anne Milton

announced that David Meller will no

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longer serve as a non executive

member following allegations made

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about the President's Club gala.

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There are allegations of

inappropriate behaviour, it is quite

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extraordinary to me Mr Speaker that

in the 21st century, allegations of

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this kind are still emerging. Women

have the right to feel safe where

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ever they work and allegations of

this type of behaviour, are

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completely unacceptable.

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Turning to David Meller board

members were expected to adhere

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to a code of conduct.

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David Mellor is stepping down as

nonexecutive member for the

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Department for Education and the

apprenticeship delivery board and I

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know that my right honourable

friend, it's absolutely clear that

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this is the right thing to do.

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The Mp who asked the urgent question

welcomed Mr Mellers resignation.

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What happened was women were bought

as bait for men who are rich men not

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a mile from where we stand as if

that is an acceptable behaviour, it

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is totally unacceptable.

As a mother

of three young women the same age as

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the hostess, I can only describe my

initial response is being emotional

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and equipment to a line as who would

immediately want to put myself in

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the position of it it it was one of

my daughters, one of the prizes on

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that brochure was a plastic surgery

to spice up your wife. It is

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appalling that that continuous and I

support the Minister in her response

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and we all have our duty to do to

make sure that those dinners do not

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happen again.

We have to be clear

that we send out a message that this

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is unacceptable. People need to know

where the line is, because there is

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a line, and it is about changing

attitudes.

One of the comments made

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was they do not know where the light

should be, but this event was billed

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as the most un-politically event NPC

abend of the year, so clearly they

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do know where the line is. They

decided to cross it. And when we

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have reports of toilets are being

monitored and women lingering too

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long, being called out and lead back

to the ballroom, this is not sexism.

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This is slavery. Organisers --

organisers chose to make this a men

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only event and chose to create --

make the hostess paraded front of

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meant and where skimpy outfits and

specify the colour of their

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underwear, they chose to ask them to

drink before the event, does she

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agree that all the organisers

including the president club and all

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the private companies involved in

organising this should be

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investigated for breach of the law

and breach of the charity rules.

My

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right honourable lady, it's

obviously very angry about this, and

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her report... Mr Speaker, do I look

like somebody who is not angry?

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Several MPs asked about

the attendance at the event

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of the Children's Minister,

Nadhim Zahawi.

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Why she has been very loyal in the

two hurt Minister called a? Who did

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not stay reportedly for any long

period of time, it is also reported

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that the same gentleman attended the

President's club on a previous

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occasion. I have no idea if that is

true or not but that is what is

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reported. If that is the case,

should not that report -- Minister

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consider his position?

I have no

idea whether he attended before, but

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I do know that senior people on the

benches have attended and I know

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that senior politicians from around

the House have attended this event.

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That has hope, that this hope that

this debate today draws a line in

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the sand and demonstrates...

Demonstrates to honourable members

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to think twice about attending any

event like this ever again.

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Well number ten said that

Nadhim Zahawi had 'attended briefly

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and felt uncomfortable' and left.

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The MP himself later

tweeted: 'I do unequivocally

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condemn this behaviour.

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I will never attend a men

only function ever'.

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Later the Presidents Club

said it was to close.

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You're watching Wednesday

in Parliament, with me,

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Alicia McCarthy.

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The Brexit Secretary, David Davis,

has made his first Commons Committee

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appearance of the year,

coming before the MPs who are trying

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to keep tabs on the progress

of the UK's negotiations

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to leave the EU.

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There was much discussion

of the proposed transition phase

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the period immediately

following the withdrawal

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date of March next year.

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A Labour Committee member asked

Mr Davis what would actually

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happen during that period.

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This the first time it has been

done, I do not really care what the

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outcome is as long as one, it does

not require us to meet some of the

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other duties. We are happy to accept

the ECJ for that period, there will

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be questions about what happens

about subsequent laws. So it's got

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to be bespoke. One of the things I

said earlier was that these

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guidelines are negotiating

guidelines they're just that, not

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the and and we are taking a

different stance.

Just in case...

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What I don't want the country to be

sucked into something that is not an

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implication period that an

extension. That is the point.

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The Conservative eurosceptic,

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Jacob Rees-Mogg, followed up

on the issue of the ECJ,

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the European Court of Justice.

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On March 2019, the UK is subject to

the European Court of Justice, and

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takes new rules relating to the

single market and is paying into the

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European budget, are we not?

Know we

are not, nice day today, you might

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think...

We ever representative on

the Court of Justice and

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representations in Parliament.

If

that were the case, my proper my

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answer probably yes, but the answer

for a short time is no.

Is in this

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very serious that the line is hard

to think that any president in the

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world, when independent nation has

taken the judgement of a foreign

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court as it superior and immediate

law without having a judge on that?

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Bear in mind, we are talking about

something which we are negotiating

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so we had not decided quite how we

will manage those, in court or the

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agencies. But,

in earlier entries

that we would accept it. What you

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mean by

I don't.

We are

transitioning from one state to

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another. And you can call it what

you like.

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At one point, David Davis was in

full flow when he was interrupted.

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David Davis perhaps off

to get a new phone.

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The other element where I guess I

will be an issue although we've made

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it clear, we will require this,

excuse me. Will require EU members

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coming to the UK to register

European Union citizenship. And the,

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that is not what we have normally

done. David Davis perhaps off to get

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a new mobile phone.

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Last week the prisons watchdog

condemned the 'squalid'

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state of Liverpool jail,

describing conditions as the worst

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inspectors could remember.

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The Justice committee

is following up on the report

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and took evidence from the head

of the Prisons Service

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and the Justice Minister.

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MPs wanted to know how things had

been allowed to get so bad that

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Livepool had been dubbed England's

worst jail, with rats,

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cockroaches and blocked toilets

a frequent feature especially

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as there had been repeated

warnings about conditions.

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We had a run of significant

difficulties. We had a number of

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disturbances leading up to Christmas

2016, 20 17. We had issues that I

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believe through 2017 were going to

get better. Than the population

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increased and put more pressure on

establishments. The impact of

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psychoactive substances is a big

issue and Liverpool. Was actually a

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challenge for a lot of prisons. A

lot of prisons were operating

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without the staffing opinion.

You're

making if I may say so, you're

0:16:240:16:30

making the same reheated excuses.

The fact is in Liverpool or 549 the

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staff against a benchmark of 460.

The report makes crystal clear bras

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unusually, this is not issue of

staffing. An issue of leadership and

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the question is is adjust the

governor or his adieu, or who is

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adjust the governor or his adieu, or

who was responsible? I think there

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is a responsibility at an

organisational level.

I need to just

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check those figures. I just need to

check those things. There's no

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question, I'm not suggesting. Yeah,

I read it.

I'm sorry you challenge

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the figures in the report?

I'm not

charging the figures, I'm saying,

0:17:090:17:16

the point of a benchmark figures and

where they are is that I am not

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saying that Liverpool was short of

officers. I actually had said

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earlier that one of the things we

had said earlier was putting

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additional officers into Liverpool.

The difference of having staff above

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your benchmark is because we are

recruiting staff to deliver the

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offender -- management model whip

which were not yet trained but were

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on the books. And I made the point

more generally about staffing. And I

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except, and I have excepted again,

that yes we should have failings of

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Liverpool and dealt with them

earlier, and yes there were

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responsibility for the local level.

And responsibility at the

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organisation, including a mile. And

I'm simply putting the context of

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play. And what about the issues of

rats and caucuses -- cockroaches in

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the report? I don't think that we

are tackling a robustly. It's a very

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visible difference in the level of

cleanliness in the jail. But we are

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at a very early part of the journey

and I think the thing is that we

0:18:200:18:23

need to keep added. At it with

focus.

Just on that point if I may,

0:18:230:18:31

you've see this issue, it seems from

what you are saying that you are

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grabbing it. Is actually any good

excuse for not having been gripped

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by the previous government? I have

been hearing about the greatest

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government, is a good man, nothing

wrong with him is moved into a new

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role, is actually any good reason

why he could not quit this is Mac is

0:18:480:18:54

a difficult question for me to

answer, but I think loneliness is

0:18:540:18:58

definitely within our gift.

I think

there is no excuse for an unclean

0:18:580:19:02

jail. I think those are issues that

we have to tackle and we cannot make

0:19:020:19:07

excuses.

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So what is the Justice Minister two

weeks in to his new role

0:19:090:19:12

going to do about Liverpool

and several other struggling

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prisons in England?

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I needed this job, and I'm aware

that making grand statements about

0:19:160:19:20

the prison service is quite

difficult when I'm two weeks in. --

0:19:200:19:23

I'm new to this job. But I am on a

back to basics campaign. So if I

0:19:230:19:29

achieve nothing else in this job, if

we did have these places clean and

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decent. So had a proper broken

window policy. We could reduce the

0:19:330:19:39

flow of drugs into these places. If

you have a house for someone to go

0:19:390:19:43

to would relieve the present, and a

decent set of education provisions,

0:19:430:19:47

I think that's good start. A good

reason to be proud of this job.

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And the subject of failing prisons

was one of the issues raised

0:19:520:19:55

at questions time in the Lords.

0:19:550:19:57

A former Chief Inspector of Prisons

now an independent or crossbench

0:19:570:20:00

peer, said it was very disturbing

that ten jails were

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in special measures.

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The dropping of the prisons part of

the prisons and courts dealt, and

0:20:100:20:14

the recent appointment of the fourth

Justice Secretary and third prison

0:20:140:20:18

Minister since 2015 election, how

high does prison reform feature in

0:20:180:20:25

the Prime Minister's list of

priorities.

Our prisons remained a

0:20:250:20:31

priority for this government. There

have been challenging issues. And we

0:20:310:20:37

need to address them. And we will

address them. As regards them matter

0:20:370:20:42

of special measures where prisons go

to special measures, they are

0:20:420:20:45

provided with central supports.

Potentially it can cover a number of

0:20:450:20:50

areas, it can cover expert advice,

they can cover the provision in some

0:20:500:20:56

instance as capital, it can provide

direction to the governor and staff

0:20:560:21:02

of the individual prisoner.

0:21:020:21:03

A Labour peer said 7000 prison

officer posts had been

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abolished during the time

of the coalition government.

0:21:050:21:11

The Government is revealed that the

cost of rights since, due no doubt

0:21:110:21:17

to inadequate staffing, runs to

9,000,360 3000, 900 £64. The

0:21:170:21:24

contract was with beryllium.

Wouldn't have been better to have

0:21:240:21:27

kept those prison staff on?

My

lords, we are halfway to the target

0:21:270:21:34

of recruiting to a half thousand

extra prison officers. Of course,

0:21:340:21:39

reference is made to the past, we as

a government learn from the past. We

0:21:390:21:45

plan for the future.

0:21:450:21:46

Now back to Prime Minister's

Questions where the SNP's

0:21:460:21:49

Westminster leader returned

to a campaign he's been pursuing

0:21:490:21:51

doggedly in recent weeks,

the proposal by the Royal Bank

0:21:510:21:56

of Scotland to close 22

of its branches, which he says

0:21:560:21:58

will mean 13 towns will be left

without a bank branch at all.

0:21:580:22:05

By closing Visa branches and

replacing some with mobile banking

0:22:050:22:09

which do not provide the disability

access, the Royal Bank of Scotland

0:22:090:22:15

appears to be in breach of the

United Kingdom equality act.

0:22:150:22:18

Wheelchair users have described

experience of banking outside as

0:22:180:22:23

degrading. But the Prime Minister

agree that RBS have a legal

0:22:230:22:28

responsibility to offer a quality of

service to disabled customers, and

0:22:280:22:33

will she hold RBS to account on this

issue?

To the right honourable

0:22:330:22:39

gentleman come oh of course we all

want to be able to see you all

0:22:390:22:42

customers are able to access the

services that they need. That is

0:22:420:22:46

both customers who are disabled, and

customers who live in remote areas.

0:22:460:22:50

As I've said to him this is a

commercial decision that has been

0:22:500:22:54

taken by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

It is not, banks are closing

0:22:540:22:59

branches, other breaks -- other bags

at closing branches. It is actually

0:22:590:23:04

less use being made of those

branches.

0:23:040:23:08

Now to the collapse

of construction firm Carillion.

0:23:080:23:11

Labour had put down a debate

on the firm and the sustainability

0:23:110:23:14

of outsourcing and asking

that the Government release any risk

0:23:140:23:18

assessments relating to Carillion

to the Public Accounts committee.

0:23:180:23:24

The ordinary man or woman industry

can only draw one conclusion, which

0:23:240:23:27

is that this been a complete racket.

The company calls a clear and

0:23:270:23:36

present risks to the taxpayer. And

as we've seen the Government failed

0:23:360:23:39

to act. But worse they had a close

relationship with many of the key

0:23:390:23:44

decision-makers, some of whom were

active Tory supporters.

0:23:440:23:46

Now normally if there's a vote

on an opposition day motion

0:23:460:23:49

the result isn't binding

on the Government, but Labour has

0:23:490:23:51

found a way of wording these kind

of motions so that Ministers do

0:23:510:23:54

have to act.

0:23:540:23:57

So, when he got up to speak

the Cabinet office Minister made it

0:23:570:24:03

clear he would release the papers

Labour was asking for to the Public

0:24:030:24:09

I want to make it clear that if the

motion passes that the Government

0:24:090:24:12

will of course... The committee does

already possess powers to require

0:24:120:24:19

the Government to supply it with

papers. And whether or not this

0:24:190:24:23

motion passes this evening, it is my

intention to share with the

0:24:230:24:29

committee of Public accounts as I

reasonably can. That will help them

0:24:290:24:36

with their inquiries. And he

defended the use of outsourcing. He

0:24:360:24:43

resorted to ideology instead of

looking at the people of -- our

0:24:430:24:48

constituents actually use the

services. And who benefit from the

0:24:480:24:52

better value for money, the

innovative quality, that

0:24:520:24:59

private-sector contractors are able

to bring and have brought

0:24:590:25:03

successfully to that work.

0:25:030:25:04

Well when it came to the end

of the debate the motion did pass,

0:25:040:25:08

and afterwards Mps wanted to know

what would happen now.

0:25:080:25:13

I just wanted to confirm that the

motion that we've just had a has

0:25:130:25:17

actually been passed unanimously.

But if this is the case have you

0:25:170:25:20

received any indication from the

Government as to when the Public

0:25:200:25:23

Accounts Committee will be provided

with the relevant report? Thank you.

0:25:230:25:27

Once again it is now the record at

aggregate limit at that point of the

0:25:270:25:32

stage.

0:25:320:25:33

And that's it from me for now,

but do join me on BBC Parliament

0:25:330:25:36

on Thursday night at 11 for a full

round up of the day at Westminster

0:25:360:25:39

when among other things we'll be

hearing from Lady Jowell's debate

0:25:390:25:43

in the House of Lords

on cancer treatments.

0:25:430:25:47

But for now from me, goodbye.

0:25:470:25:57

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