07/03/2018 Wednesday in Parliament


07/03/2018

Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Wednesday 7 March, presented by Alicia McCarthy.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to the programme.

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As Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince

begins a three day visit to the UK

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there are questions for Theresa May

about the UK's links to the country.

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As she makes her arms sales pitch,

will she also call on the Crown

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Prince to halt the shocking abuse

of human rights in Saudi Arabia?

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We have with Saudi

Arabia is historic,

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it is an important one, and it has

saved the lives of potentially

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hundreds of people in this country.

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Also on this programme: A call

to make misogynistic

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abuse a hate crime.

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Misogyny is everywhere in our

society, absolutely everywhere.

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To the point where we often miss it

because it has been so normalised.

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And MPs investigate why your fake

fur bobble hat may not

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be fake fur at all.

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But first.

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Theresa May has defended the UK's

relationship with Saudi Arabia

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at the start of a three day visit

by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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His schedule includes

talks with Theresa May

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and lunch with the Queen.

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The Crown Prince is credited

with kick-starting economic

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and social reforms in the kingdom,

such as the lifting

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of the ban on women driving.

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But protestors have objected

to the country's human rights

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record and its involvement

in the war in Yemen.

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Jeremy Corbyn raised the visit

at prime Ministers questions.

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But the session began

with Theresa May updating Mps

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on the suspected poisoning

of a former Russian spy

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and his daughter in Salisbury.

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The police investigation is ongoing.

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Yesterday afternoon,

I chaired a meeting of the national

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Security Council where

we were updated on that

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investigation which is now being led

by counterterrorism police.

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And this morning, my

right honourable friend,

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the Home Secretary, chaired

a meeting of the Government's

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emergency committee, COBRA,

and has asked police

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for an update later today.

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It was later revealed that a very

rare nerve agent had been used.

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The Labour leader thanked

Theresa May for the update and then

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began his first question.

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Tomorrow is International Women's

Day, a chance to both celebrate how

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far we have come for equality

on women, but also reflect

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on how far we have to go,

not just in this country,

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but around the world.

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And with that in mind he turned

to the visit of Saudi Arabia's crown

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prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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Despite much talk of reform,

there has been a sharp increase

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in the arrest and detention

of dissidents, torture

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of prisoners is common.

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Human rights defenders routinely

sentenced to lengthy prison terms,

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unfair trials and executions

are widespread as Amnesty

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International confirms.

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As she makes her arms sales pitch,

will she also call on the crown

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prince to halt the shocking abuse

of human rights in Saudi Arabia?

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Well, first of all, can I thank

the right honourable gentleman

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for telling me that it's

International Women's Day tomorrow.

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I think that's what's

called mansplaining.

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I welcome, I look forward to

welcoming Crown Prince Mohammed bin

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Salman from Saudi Arabia to this...

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Well, Labour backbenchers

from sedentary positions

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are shouting "shame".

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Can I just say to those backbenchers

that the link that we have

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with Saudi Arabia is historic,

it is an important one and it has

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saved the lives of potentially

hundreds of people in this country?

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that waits for a visit of the crown

prince to raise.

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We do regularly monitor

the situation and regularly raise

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this question with the Saudi

government and we will

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continue to do so.

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started on the issue

of International Women's Day,

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I welcome the fact that the crown

prince will be sitting down

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with as the guest of a female Prime

Minister.

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As the crown prince sweeps

across Westminster and Whitehall,

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will she pledge to raise a specific

case concerning the jailing

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of writer Raif Badawi,

who languishes in a prison now

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for six years all because he had

written something his

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government didn't like?

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His wife and children have now

claimed asylum in Canada.

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Will she pledge to raise his case

and do something that her

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predecessor never could,

stand at the dispatch box,

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say that Raif Badawi is not criminal

and that Raif Badawi should

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be set free?

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Can I say to the honourable

gentleman that I'll be raising

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a number of cases with the crown

prince as I see him over

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the next couple of days.

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The case he specifically refers

to of Raif Badawi is not something

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that waits for a visit of the crown

prince to raise.

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We do regularly monitor

the situation and regularly raise

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this question with the Saudi

government and we will

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continue to do so.

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Jeremy Corbyn moved

on from Saudi Arabia's human rights

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record to its involvement in the war

in Yemen, where it's

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backing attempts to restore

the country's president.

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Has suspended ourselves

to Saudi Arabia, but British arms

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sales have sharply increased

and British military advisors

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are directing the war.

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It cannot be right that her

government, Mr Speaker, it cannot be

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right that her government

is colluding in what

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the United Nations says

is evidence of war crimes.

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We have a very tight arms export

regime in this country.

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And when there are allegations

of arms not being used

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within the law, that we expect that

to be investigated and lessons

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to be learned on that.

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Theresa May, well a short time later

a Foreign Office Minister came

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to the Commons to answer an urgent

question, on the UK's

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relationship with Saudi Arabia.

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There will be wide spread concern

across parties at the fact that the

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dictatorial head of a mid-evil,

theocratic regime is being given the

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red carpet equivalent of a state

visit. And I also asked if he can

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explain why the safeguards on the

use of British weapons which were

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introduced at the end of the

coalition at the insistence of

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myself for my liberal Democrat

colleagues are apparently no longer

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being applied?

We keep under strict

checks to ensure that

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internationally mentoring lies

abided by, to make sure that we can

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provide the support of Saudi Arabia

that it needs in order to protect

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itself.

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Labour said it wanted a good

diplomatic and economic

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relationship with Saudi Arabia,

but with any good relationship

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there had to be honesty.

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As long as they continued the

indiscriminate bombing of

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residential areas of farms, and

markets in Yemen, as long as they

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continue to restrict the flow of

food, medical supplies and fuels to

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a population suffering from mass

epidemics of knowledge attrition and

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cholera, then they should not expect

our support in that war and the

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crown prince is not deserve to have

the red carpet rolled out for him

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here in Britain. Because let us look

at the man who the British

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Government are bearing and scraping

to today. The architect of the Saudi

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air strikes and blockade in Yemen,

funding the hottie grooves in the

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Syrian civil War, ordering his cards

to beat up the minute the Prime

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Minister of limit on. And the eight

months since he became crown prince,

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doubling the numbers of executions

in Saudi Arabia.

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The Minister said everyone wanted

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to see an end to the conflict

in Yemen but simply

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calling for a ceasefire

wouldn't make it happen.

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You have the facts on the ground to

make sure that a cease-fire actually

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works. It is all very well for the

honourable lady to shake her head.

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She is not faced with some of the

issues that face of Government

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Ministers in relation to this nor is

she giving full credit to the ethics

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-- efforts that are being made to

try to bring this matter to an end.

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She is at the sole holder of condos

in this places we deal with the

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difficulties of trying to deal with

the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

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That is what we are seeking to do

and we will ban all of our efforts

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to that and continued to do so with

or without her support.

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The former Labour Prime Minister,

Gordon Brown, has called for police

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to investigate "criminal wrongdoing"

by the Press.

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An ex-private investigator

who was used by The Sunday Times has

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spoken about the activity

he was involved in to obtain

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information for the paper.

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John Ford said his methods included

stealing rubbish and "blagging"

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or pretending to be a bank

or utilities account holder.

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The Sunday Times said it "strongly

rejects" the claim that it had

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ever commissioned anyone

to act illegally.

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In the Commons, Labour called

for the Leveson Inquiry into press

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standards to be re-opened.

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But the Culture Secretary stuck

to his announcement made last week

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that the second stage of Leveson

should not go ahead.

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The fact that this activity stopped

in 2010 underlines the point that

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the world has changed. Practises

like these have been investigated,

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newspapers today are in a very

different position to win these

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alleged offences took place. This

view is in fact strengthened by

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today by the example because the

behaviour we discovered today was

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before the Levinson inquiry and

existing or is in place to deal with

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it. Criminal behaviour should be

dealt with by the police and the

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courts and anyone who has committed

a criminal offence should face the

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full force of the law.

Mr Speaker,

the world has not changed. The one

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rogue blackguard offence has been

uttered from the knife of the

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Secretary of State. And when he

announced last week that he was

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dropping the Levinson inquiry, the

culture secretary said he was doing

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so because the inquiry looked into

everything in this area. And it was

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followed by a three police

investigations. We looked into these

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things as a society. We had a

comprehensive and batch copperheads

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of inquiry. He told us that the

matter was closed. There was nothing

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more to see. Well, overnight, the

BBC has reported allegations by

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another whistle-blower, John Ford,

who says he was a blackguard from

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the Sunday Times for 15 years.

I was

just a secretary when we set up the

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inquiry and we, as a second stage of

the inquiry. If my right honourable

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friend would not be surprised to

discover that I'd share some people

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insist -- disappointed that it was

postponed. Does he really think that

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there is no longer any sufficient

public interest in new allegations

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of this kind? Or knowing which

newspapers were bribing, which

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policemen because it was this long

ago as seven years.

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The former Labour Leader,

Ed Miliband, said Sir Brian Leveson

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himself wanted the next stage

of the inquiry to take place.

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Of course the police are looking at

specific instances. But the

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questions are Brian is posing is

what is the culture that allowed

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this practise is to happen and how

can we have reassurance that that

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culture has changed? How can he had

the reassurance without a Levinson

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inquiry.

Clearly, not only hasn't

already been a lemon -- a Levinson

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inquiry today's areas, but it has

clearly changed. The fact that these

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practises change in the best ten

underlines the fact that they are

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historic practises. But we have to

address now is how to ensure that

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there is high-quality journalism in

the years to come rather than going

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into revisiting the time when he was

at the height of his powers.

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Ed Miliband unimpressed there

by that answer from Matt Hancock.

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There was a call for misogyny to be

treated as a hate crime,

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because Mps argued the power

imbalance in society meant

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women were routinely

treated as a minority.

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A debate in Westminster Hall heard

that the definition of a hate crime

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should be extended to include

the abuse of women,

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if they are targeted simply

because of their gender.

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And there was some strong

language used in this debate

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to describe such abuse.

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All forms of abuse are committed

disproportionately against women and

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girls end the perpetrators are

usually men. Part of what is

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stopping women achieving equality is

violence against women and girls.

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This debate is about securing an

extension to existing hate crime

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definitions and sentencing to better

prevent violence against women. To

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support the early intervention

against lower-level incidents and

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give women greater confidence and

reporting the actions that too often

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have become the wallpaper of their

wives.

When she talks about

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misogyny, and I just wondered

whether we could take it as read

0:13:050:13:08

therefore that she thought that this

century should also be a hate crime

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in exactly the same way and if she

doesn't, could just lay why she

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thinks there should be one rule for

one original for the other

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Mhairi Black then read out some

of the extreme abuse

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she has received online -

which, because of the language,

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we can't broadcast here.

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I've been assured multiple times

because I don't have to worry

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because I am so ugly because nobody

would want to rate me. All of these

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have been tailored to be because I'm

a woman. We can kid ourselves that

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these are a few bad on the anonymous

people on Twitter but it's not. This

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is everyday, common line which.

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This is everyday, common line which.

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The Minister for Women insisted

the Government was taking

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this issue seriously,

saying it had brought

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in changes such as a new law

on revenge pornography.

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But...

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I do think we need to be careful.

About creating laws which would

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inadvertently conflict with the

principles of equality. If we were

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to have a crime in relation to

gender I think we would have to

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think through very carefully whether

that's applies to the whole of the

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population as opposed to half of it.

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opposed to half of it.

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Victoria Atkins, who herself came

off Twitter because of the abuse

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she suffered, also said hate crimes

were meant for minorities in society

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and she was hesitant to put

women in that category.

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You're watching Wednesday in

Parliament with me, Alicia McCarthy.

0:14:520:15:01

Let's go back to prime

minster's questions,

0:15:010:15:04

where Jeremy Corbyn used

the rest of his questions

0:15:040:15:07

to tackle Theresa May over

the problem of homelessness.

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In November the Chancellor of the

Exchequer announced a task force and

0:15:120:15:18

£20 million for three pilot schemes

to hack a homelessness. I understand

0:15:180:15:22

for months on the task force has not

yet met. Not a penny has been spent

0:15:220:15:28

on that programme. Mr Speaker, there

is a homelessness crisis in this

0:15:280:15:32

country. Rough sleeping has doubled

since 2010. Doesn't the premise or

0:15:320:15:37

think it is a little unambitious to

say we're going to tackle rough

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sleeping by 2027.

Can I say we are

going to eliminate it. That's our

0:15:420:15:50

aim by 2027. But let me just

perhaps... Perhaps it would be

0:15:500:15:56

helpful if I was to update, because

a task force that he referred to has

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in fact met. It met today. We are

funding for TA projects to help

0:16:020:16:11

rough sleepers into emergency

accommodations and to overcome the

0:16:110:16:16

issues like mental health and

substance abuse. It is why there

0:16:160:16:19

have been councils around the

country during severe weather

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ensuring their providing

accommodation for people who are

0:16:250:16:28

sleeping on the streets. But also

dealing with the underlying issues

0:16:280:16:31

that lead to somebody sleeping on

the streets. It is why we are

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ensuring that we are implementing

accounting first in a number

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regions. To put entrenched rough

sleepers into accommodation as a

0:16:410:16:45

first step to rebuilding their

lives.

0:16:450:16:47

first step to

rebuilding their lives.

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Plaid Cymru has called for UK

nationals to be allowed

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to keep their European Union

citizenship after Brexit.

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Holding a debate in the Commons

the party said that under

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the proposal, British citizens

would be able to keep

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their "European identity

and citizenship" either

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by protecting existing arrangements

or by creating a new "associate

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European citizenship."

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The assumption so far however on

both sides of the EU and the

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Government tear it is that you

citizenship lapses at the Poynter

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exit the European Union. But

European Union citizenship to not

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replace UK citizenship did not -- we

can't force. Both continue to

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coexist. And leaving the EU does not

entail the end of the EU citizenship

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for UK citizens.

One thing that

depresses me is that by the end of

0:17:400:17:46

this Parliament perhaps uniquely,

there'll be fewer opportunities and

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young people have fewer rights than

those of us who sit in this

0:17:520:17:56

Parliament today I've enjoyed. And

that is something that we should all

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reflect on. At the end of any

Parliament regardless was a

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government, regardless which party,

it should be aspiration of all of

0:18:020:18:07

us, and I do think the -- the young

people should have more

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opportunities and better

opportunities than those who went

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before them. That should always be

our goal.

The Government has been

0:18:150:18:20

clear that the membership in the you

will end on the 29th of March 20 19.

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We are content to listen to

proposals from the EU on associate

0:18:250:18:30

citizenship for UK nationals.

However, to date this has not been

0:18:300:18:34

formally proposed to the UK in the

negotiations. EU treaty provisions

0:18:340:18:40

state that only citizens of EU

member states are able to hold you

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citizenship.

0:18:440:18:45

member states are able

to hold you citizenship.

0:18:450:18:47

Does that woolly hat you pulled

on during the cold snap last week

0:18:470:18:50

have a fake fur bobble on it?

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Well if it does, be

warned: that bobble may

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contain actual animal fur.

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The Environment Committee has been

gathering evidence after a spate

0:18:590:19:01

of cases where garments trimmed

with fake fur were contaminated

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with the real thing.

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Samples sent to a laboratory

were found to contain a variety

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of different animal furs,

which were often cheaper

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than synthetic fibres.

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The revelations emerged

after investigations

0:19:150:19:17

by Sky News and the BBC.

0:19:170:19:24

All the products we found were

labelled as for, they were all quite

0:19:240:19:27

cheap price point under the £30

mark. We have those items sent to

0:19:270:19:33

the fibres expert. One of the

leading experts in this area any

0:19:330:19:38

identified, they ranged in terms of

species from raccoons to dogs, -- to

0:19:380:19:42

rabbits. Most consistent with cats

for quite asked ordinarily.

Because

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fake fur does feel very much like

real fall -- for. To the naked eye

0:19:510:19:56

and to feel you would necessarily

tell the difference would you. No,

0:19:560:20:00

absolutely. And what we've told

people about the accuser used to

0:20:000:20:06

tell fake fur, these completely

unreliable cues. Including price.

0:20:060:20:11

People using price to indicate fake

fur. Including colour like bright

0:20:110:20:18

pink. All the queues of people using

our unreliable. It was a range of

0:20:180:20:29

reactions. Some were left crying,

frankly.

I'm an animal rights

0:20:290:20:39

already constructing a somebody

would... We can reveal that she sold

0:20:390:20:45

us with pom-poms made with rabbits.

We took that to her. She burst into

0:20:450:20:50

tears. She said she would never do

that. She takes in strays or sell.

0:20:500:20:54

Then she admitted on camera that she

hadn't even asked her supplier

0:20:540:20:58

whether it was fake fur. John done

any fake check -- any checks. Have

0:20:580:21:04

master any paperwork.

I break that

story in April, December admittedly

0:21:040:21:10

different brands. But rivals were

still being found. Although they

0:21:100:21:15

were small in number. These are big

brands that you would expect to have

0:21:150:21:18

these checks.

0:21:180:21:19

these checks.

0:21:190:21:20

So what did the shops have to say?

0:21:200:21:26

I figure the challenge is about

understanding the nature of the

0:21:260:21:28

problem. So on that resetting the

nature of the problem. The supply

0:21:280:21:33

chains are being contaminated

because the real furs than the fake

0:21:330:21:36

fur. With something that only came

to light Willie with the Sky News

0:21:360:21:40

inquiry. So knowing that...

So back

in 2015 you are alerted to this, as

0:21:400:21:47

all your you're saying?

Nothing was

happening in that way. Such that in

0:21:470:21:53

the choice of material we were

expected to be a fabric that...

It's

0:21:530:22:05

interesting that you now feel it's

necessary, but you didn't feel is

0:22:050:22:09

necessary in 15, because otherwise

in 17 it wouldn't have been in your

0:22:090:22:15

shop and Skype -- and Sky News with

the fat in the BBC wouldn't have had

0:22:150:22:20

it. His board to carry on when the

heat dies down. Will you go back to

0:22:200:22:29

having some real fur traitorous fake

fur?

With complete respect what our

0:22:290:22:35

systems have been a place in 2015

they continue. Each step if

0:22:350:22:41

something happens we learn and we

improve the system.

0:22:410:22:43

improve the system.

0:22:430:22:44

Dorothy Maxwell

0:22:440:22:45

from House of Fraser

0:22:450:22:46

Finally for now to the Lords,

where fears were raised that music

0:22:460:22:49

was being pushed out of school

curriculums in England.

0:22:490:22:52

The education minister insisted

money was going in to make sure

0:22:520:22:55

children still took up the subject.

0:22:550:23:01

Between 2016 and 2020 we are

providing £300 million of funding

0:23:010:23:05

for music education. To ensure all

pupils have the opportunity to learn

0:23:050:23:10

an instrument, saying, and perform

regularly, and have access to clear

0:23:100:23:14

roots of progression.

In the last

year a low in England but it fell by

0:23:140:23:22

8%. Is he aware that a survey of six

and a half thousand schools,

0:23:220:23:32

teachers held the EU for this

decline.

There's no evidence that

0:23:320:23:40

the subject of the client... Did the

proportion of time spent studying

0:23:400:23:48

music has remained broadly stable

since 2010.

When there is so much

0:23:480:23:54

concern about child and adolescent

mental health would he accept that

0:23:540:23:58

it is important that within schools

there opportunities for children to

0:23:580:24:03

participate in music for the

therapeutic and social benefits they

0:24:030:24:07

convey his, and that is particularly

true of performing music groups.

My

0:24:070:24:12

own Academy trust I appointed,

director music just before a point

0:24:120:24:19

just an acid to give me his early

feedback. But he has said on

0:24:190:24:27

listening -- pupils find listening

easier, listening longer. Pupils

0:24:270:24:31

readily try new things. Improved

multitasking skills. And in relation

0:24:310:24:40

to extracurricular ensemble, he

talks about pupils being better able

0:24:400:24:44

to understand commitment, time

management, perseverance, and

0:24:440:24:46

cooperation.

Can you see why

facilities are so much worse than

0:24:460:24:54

they are in many private schools. A

situation which would be reversed by

0:24:540:24:57

that premium. Wars of the case of

the conservative government is quite

0:24:570:25:02

content for the study of music to be

the preserve of the wealthy?

As to

0:25:020:25:14

music in schools.

The commitment to

music remains. They are supporting

0:25:140:25:22

some 14,000 ensemble across the

country.

0:25:220:25:26

Lord Agnew.

0:25:260:25:27

And that's it from us for now,

but do join me on BBC Parliament

0:25:270:25:31

on Thursday night at 11 for a full

round up of the day at Westminster,

0:25:310:25:34

when it's environment

questions in the Commons

0:25:340:25:36

and both houses hold debates marking

international women's day.

0:25:360:25:38

But for now from me, AM goodbye.

0:25:380:25:41

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