07/09/2016 BBC Parliament on BBC Two


07/09/2016

BBC Parliament on BBC Two.


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Order, order.

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Questions to the Secretary of State for Justice.

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Mr Dominic Raab.

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Number one.

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First of all, I would like to pay tribute to the work done

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by my honourable friend on human rights reform as a minister

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in this department.

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He is a great champion of liberty.

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This Government is committed to scrapping the Human Rights Act

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and introducing a British Bill of Rights.

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Dominic Raab.

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Thank you, Mr Speaker.

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At the outset, it is an honour to be the first honourable member

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to welcome the new Justice Secretary and the new front bench team

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to their posts.

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I wish them every success.

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Can I, personally, from experience, assure her that being a lawyer

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is of very limited value in her departments, no offence

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to the Minister of State!

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Britain's decision to leave the EU will remove the jurisdiction

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of the Luxembourg court, probably the biggest obstacle

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to delivering a Bill of Rights.

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Can I welcome her in continuing with this reform and ask

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the government to provide consultation as soon as possible?

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I thank my honourable friend for his question.

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This is an important reform, we need to get it right.

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We will be introducing proposals in due course,

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we will deliver on this manifesto commitment.

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Which convention rights does the Justice Secretary propose

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to leave out of the Bill of Rights?

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I thank the honourable gentleman for his question.

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I remember with fondness our time together on the Justice select

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committee, where he had many good thoughts to put

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forward at that time.

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We will be putting out our proposals in due course that will discuss this

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issue in detail.

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One of the important points is that we want to see the ultimate

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arbiter of those rights be the Supreme Court of

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the United Kingdom.

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Charlie Elphicke.

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Does the Secretary of State agree with me that one of the problems

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with the current setup is the code includes many reservations

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and qualifications which the European Court does not embrace,

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and a British Bill of Rights could ensure that there is proper

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balance and the interest of justice can be served?

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My honourable friend makes a very good point, that is absolutely

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the reason that we want to pursue a British Bill of Rights

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that'll put that in place.

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Alistair Carmichael.

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If we are to have the Supreme Court as the ultimate arbiter, does this

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mean that if the Lord Chancellor wants to withdraw from

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the European Convention?

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The Prime Minister has been very clear that leaving the easy HR

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is not something that we will pursue.

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Julian Brazier.

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Could I too welcome my right honourable friend to her post,

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and her determination to proceed with a British Bill of Rights?

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Could I urge her to remember that the cornerstone of the rule

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of law in this country has always been the sovereignty of Parliament,

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could I urge her not to listen to those who argue that somehow

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or other getting rid of an act which came 40 years after we had

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signed up to the European Convention on human rights somehow or other

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undermines our position within the treaty?

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He is absolutely right, human rights were not invented

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in 1998 with the Human Rights Act.

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We have a strong record of the country of human rights

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dating back to Magna Carta.

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The British Bill of Rights is going to be the next step

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in enshrining those rights in our laws.

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May I welcome the Secretary of State to her new role and say that well,

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of course it is not a prerequisite for her role to be a lawyer,

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she will no doubt wish to listen carefully to any legal advice

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she receives in order...

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Relation to any proposals to reform the law.

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There was almost universal opposition to the repeal

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of the Human Rights Act in Scotland, reflected in the Scottish parliament

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and across Scottish Civic Society.

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On the 11th of August I wrote to the Government of Britain seeking

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clarification on the plans of the so-called reform

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to the Human Rights Act.

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I have yet to receive a substantive response.

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At what stage in her plans with the Secretary of State seek

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to consult with the Scottish Government, and can she confirmed

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that she will listen to and respect the answer?

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I thank her for her question.

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I have already had a number of legal meetings on this issue and I am sure

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I will enjoy working with the legal profession in this role.

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The Prime Minister has already had a very good meeting

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with the First Minister of Scotland, I will be meeting the Scottish

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justice minister shortly to discuss a number of issues.

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Order, I apologise, I had not realised that the honourable

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and Leonard lady wanted a second bite of herself.

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LAUGHTER I was rather hoping to have the second bite

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of Her Majesty's Government.

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I thank the Secretary of State for her early response.

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If she has been having legal meetings about the Human Rights Act

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she would have been advised that human rights are not a reserved

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matter, therefore the Scottish Parliament must be consulted

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regarding any legislation with regard to human rights.

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During the independence rep around, Scotland was told it was an equal

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partner in this union.

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Did she appreciate that to repeal the Human Rights Act across the UK

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would fly in the face of that promise and exacerbate

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the democratic deficit that already exists in Scotland,

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where a Tory Government we did not vote for is planning to take us out

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of the European Union against our will?

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I thank her for her question.

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I would point out that this was in the Conservative Party

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manifesto, we secured a majority at the general election.

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As I said, I will be in touch with the Scottish justice minister

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and look forward to talking to him on the subject.

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Richard Bergen.

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Thank you again, Mr Speaker.

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I would like to welcome the Secretary of State

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to her new role.

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It is good to see a Leeds person at both dispatch boxes.

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Like me, I understand that she comes from good left-wing Leeds stock,

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I look forward to our exchanges.

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In her swearing-in ceremony, the Justice Secretary quoted

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with approval the late Lord Bingham.

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On the Human Rights Act, Lord Bingham asked in 2009,

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which of these rights, I asked, would you wish to discard?

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And went on to say there may be those who would like to live

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in a country where these rights are not protected,

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but I am not of their number.

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To get the Secretary of State another chance, because she failed

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to answer the question from my honourable friend the member

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for Kingston-upon-Hull earlier, which of these rights did

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she wish to discard?

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I also welcome the honourable gentleman to the dispatch box,

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it is great to have somebody who is also from Leeds facing me.

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And to highlight the error of my ways after growing up

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in a left-wing household in that great city.

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LAUGHTER All I can say is I believe that everyone is capable of reform,

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even those, Mr Speaker, on the benches opposite.

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I have not given up hope yet on the Shadow Secretary of State

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for Health adjusters.

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The whole purpose of the Bill of Rights is to enhance human

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rights in this country.

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We have leading human rights since Magna Carta,

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the Bill of Rights published in Wales in 1689, and we will

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continue to lead the world in human rights.

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Thank you very much to the Secretary of State for that response.

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But we were very clear that we will replace

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the Human Rights Act, which is not working for British

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people, with a British Bill of Rights.

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It gives the ultimate power to citizens in this country.

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These were the words of the Secretary of State

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on the today programme in May 20 15.

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Given that and the answer she has just given, can she explain

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to the house why she wants to rob the people of Britain

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of their rights, and will she admits that talk of a so-called bill

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of rights is simply posturing and making concessions to the hard

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right of the Conservative Party?

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Human rights were not invented in 1998 with the Human Rights Act.

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There are major issues with the Human Rights Act.

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We need to move forward, had a British Bill of Rights that

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enshrines our ancient liberties.

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We do now need to make progress, as there are lots of questions,

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and progress has been slow so far.

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Can we be speeded up by Mr John Mann?

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Hate crime is abhorrent and has no place in society,

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the Government published its plan to tackle hate crime,

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Action Against Hate, in July 20 16.

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The Government believes that the enforcement of criminal

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legislation has an important role in tackling online hate,

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Willie deterrence and prevention which needs a broader response

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and effective management from the Internet industry.

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Last time I asked the Secretary of State question she invited me to

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join her on a delegation to China.

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May I reciprocate and invite the front bench to come to Bassetlaw

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May I reciprocate and invite the front bench to come to Bassetlaw

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today in the Jubilee room, hosted by myself and the member for Newark?

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True Vision, the Internet reporting organisation based in her officers,

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is the pride and joy of her department and the envy

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of every other Government in the world.

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Is she going to allow it to disappear into some other

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government departments, or will she keep it

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in her department?

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I thank him for his characteristically delivered

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question.

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The Secretary of State, I gather, recently wrote to him

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on this matter.

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The cross government hate crime programme is highly regarded by this

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government, and internationally.

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I am committed to ensuring that this important work continues.

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I would like to welcome my honourable friend.

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The government was right to make posting revenge porn online crime.

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Figures released today show that have been 200 prosecutions,

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yet more than 1000 reported cases of revenge pornography

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reported to the police.

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Does the Minister agree with me that as with other sex-related crimes,

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perhaps anonymity for victims needs to be carefully considered

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in these cases?

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I thank my honourable friend for this question and the work

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she and the select committee do in this area, it is a terrible abuse

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of trust which can leave victims feeling the bated and degraded.

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By making it a specific offence can offence we've sent clear message

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this will not be tolerated, with regard to anonymity I'm

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interested in what she's saying she would write me on that issue

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I will consider it.

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Can I welcome the Minister to his post and ask if he has seen

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the comments the Director of Public Prosecutions

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this morning that social media is one of the driving forces behind

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the record high in recorded crimes, violent crimes against women

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and girls, and welcomed what he said about needing a broader response

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to these issues.

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Can he tell me what he plans to do to safeguard the many specialist

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services that exist to support women who are suffering online

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harassment and abuse, many of which are suffering

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from funding cuts?

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As I already stated, this crime is deplorable.

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I suspect it has always happened and social media has facilitated it

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and we are now detecting a greater level of crime of this kind.

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I am determined to maintain services that support women and men

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who are subjected to this crime and will continue to keep a close

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eye on that.

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What action is the Government taking to combat online anti-Semitic hate

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crime emanating from extremist groups on campus?

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Like revenge porn, these are all pulling crimes,

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more easily committed by the internet and use of anonymity

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with specifically regards to anti-Semitism, thanks

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to the fantastic work for the member for Bassetlaw and his all-party

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group, the Government has made significant advances

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and I will consider her comments, particularly on campus.

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In the last year, assaults have risen by 31% and those on staff

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in our prisons have risen by 40%.

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This is totally an acceptable and I'm determined to tackle it.

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Reforming prisons will only be possible if they are made safer

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places for staff and offenders alike.

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The section of state makes clear prisons safety continues

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to deteriorate and is a major problem putting prisoners

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and staff at risk, but the major issue that must be tackled

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is the retention of staff.

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Can she set out what she will do to make this a priority and how

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she will succeed her predecessors have failed?

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I agree with the honourable lady that retention of staff

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is a very important issue.

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I've been to a number of prisons and seen how brave, fearless

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and hardworking our prison officers are, they are a vital in turning

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around offenders and getting them the education and skills they need

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to succeed outside and I'm determined to support

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them and work with them.

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Over the coming months, I will lay out more detailed plans.

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May I warmly welcome the secretary of state and her team

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to their posts, lawyers do sometimes have their uses.

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Her predecessor made prison reform a centrepiece of the agenda,

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he rightly described the deterioration in safety

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and prisons as terrible.

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The figures have now got worse, he committed to an action plan

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to tackle violence in our prisons.

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Will she reaffirm that?

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Can she tell us what specific steps will be taken to deal

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with what is a ticking time bomb that we have

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in our criminal justice system?

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Because nothing else works if that isn't right.

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Can I first say how pleased I've been to be able to meet the chairman

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of the select committee, I take the advice of all my lawyers,

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but particularly the chairman of the select committee,

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extremely seriously.

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This is a critical issue that faces our prisons.

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We cannot have reform in our prisons if we don't have safe prisons

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for people to work in.

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These things go hand-in-hand and I'm committed to an agenda

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of making our prisons safe and places of reform,

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I will lay out my plan is very shortly on this issue and I look

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forward to discussing it more with the select committee tomorrow.

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Will the Secretary of State look again at statements that were made

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by her department recently around numbers of prison officers,

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her department claims the number has increased, it hasn't

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and when will she look again because I believe they have not

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taken into account staff being regretted

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or the number of hours actually work when she examines the number

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of officers in the system.

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I thank the honourable lady for her question, I will of course

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look at those numbers in detail and I'm looking at them just now.

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What I would say as well as the number of staff,

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it is important how staff are deployed and how staff

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are trained and the Paras the governors have to be able to get

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the best out of the staff working in the prisons.

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I agree, staff are crucial to make our prisons work well.

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One of the causes of lack of safety and prisons has been

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psychoactive substances, with the secretary agree with me

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that the ban on possession of the substances in prison should

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improve the safety of other prisoners and prison officers

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if that ban is properly enforced?

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My honourable friend is right, they have, MPS have been a major

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issue in our prisons.

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I was pleased when I visited HMP Norwich last week to see

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they are using the new legislation to tackle that issue.

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They search and catch people out and they are succeeding in reducing

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the amount of usage of that drug already.

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I would like more of this type of programme happening more

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across our prison estate.

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Forgive me, I think the summer recess has taken its toll, I am

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determined to ensure our prisons are places of safety and reform,

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we need to help get offenders of drugs, improve their education

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and get the work skills they need so they are less likely

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to reoffend when they come out.

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Could she answer this question, does she see a connection

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between the long-term decline in prison officer numbers down 30%

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between 2010 and 2013 and they are going down again

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and this massive increase on assaults on staff,

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90% up on the last month?

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I thank the honourable gentleman for his question, there are many

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factors driving prison violence and self harm, I am looking

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I am looking at the evidence about what will work

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and what steps we can take, but I'm

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determined to tackle this and I'm very clear the current levels of

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violence we have are unacceptable.

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Can I warmly congratulate the secretary of state

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and the new ministerial team on their appointment,

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of course we need more prison officers but can of these extra

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of state and their ministers to look at greater use

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of prisoners as mentors.

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Wandsworth is leading the way with 50 mentors teaching

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education, but we can also do this in terms of both employment

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for therapeutic use and to cut down the use of drugs.

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I referred to that my honourable friend and as group to prison

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minister who's done tremendous work and we're learning from the work

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he carried out in the Department.

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He makes an important point and I think we need to look

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at overall prison culture in some of our best prisons,

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we do have exemplary work going on such as mentoring

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and we have to make sure that is happening

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across our prison estate.

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The Secretary of State might be aware the head of the prison service

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in Northern Ireland recently stepped down, attacks on prison staff

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are on the rise, can she ensure her department

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is engaging actively with the Department of Justice

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in Northern Ireland to see what lessons can be learned

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and to try and improve safety and prisons in Northern Ireland?

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I thank the honourable gentleman for his question,

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I have been in touch with the Justice minister

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in Northern Ireland and I look forward to speaking

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to her in due course.

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May I congratulate the secretary of state on her appointment,

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is part of the problem that we have so many Victorian prisons?

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The honourable gentleman is right.

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We have a big issue with prisons that are out of date and not

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fit for purpose.

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It makes it more difficult for our excellent governors

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and officers to manage well.

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I'm pleased to say this summer we were able to close

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Holloway prison.

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We have our ?1.3 billion building programme and what I want to see his

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new modern prison built, so that we can see prisoners get

0:21:200:21:29

the education and work then as required

0:21:290:21:31

in outside life.

0:21:310:21:32

As McGeeney to succeed.

0:21:320:21:33

And close down some of our most dilapidated and outdated prisons.

0:21:330:21:36

It is crucial that victims of crime are supported as effectively

0:21:360:21:39

as possible, the victims called was revised in 2015, victims of all,

0:21:390:21:42

no fences after entitled to support from a wide range of organisation

0:21:420:21:45

as well as criminal justice agencies.

0:21:450:21:48

The reforms the court will improve services for victims

0:21:480:21:50

and their families got ensemble to give evidence

0:21:500:21:53

remotely and digitally.

0:21:530:21:53

Over 23,000 individual crimes reported in Enfield over the past 12

0:21:530:21:56

months, for far too long the victims of these crimes have been forgotten

0:21:560:22:00

and ignored by the criminal justice system.

0:22:000:22:02

Given that the victims commissioner support the introduction of a long

0:22:020:22:05

for victims of crime, when will the Government

0:22:050:22:07

fulfil its election manifesto commitment to bring forward

0:22:070:22:09

legislation on the issue?

0:22:090:22:10

I thank the honourable lady for her question.

0:22:100:22:13

We want to make sure all vulnerable and intimidated witnesses can give

0:22:130:22:16

the best evidence in court and feel less anxious,

0:22:160:22:18

we are committed to making sure victims of crime get the support

0:22:180:22:21

they need.

0:22:210:22:22

We have protected the overall level of funding

0:22:220:22:24

for victims across the spending review period and have announced

0:22:240:22:30

funding of over 95 million pounds in 2016 to find

0:22:300:22:33

critical support services.

0:22:330:22:39

Victims of crime want to see the perpetrators of that

0:22:390:22:41

crime properly punished.

0:22:410:22:42

Is the minister happy that prisoners are automatically released halfway

0:22:420:22:46

through their prison sentence, no matter how disruptive

0:22:460:22:53

they are or much how much of a threat they still pose,

0:22:530:23:01

or does he agree that prisoners should serve the sentence

0:23:010:23:04

as was handed down by the courts in full?

0:23:040:23:09

I thank my honourable friend for his question.

0:23:090:23:11

The purpose of justice and the justice system must be

0:23:110:23:13

the primary goal to reduce reoffending.

0:23:130:23:15

If somebody in prison has been assessed and is deemed not a risk

0:23:150:23:19

to society and is being properly rehabilitated, it is in the best

0:23:190:23:22

interests of that individual and for that person to be released.

0:23:220:23:25

Too often the victims of criminal driving,

0:23:250:23:27

they are and their families are not treated as victims of crime,

0:23:270:23:37

told they were involved in an accident.

0:23:370:23:47

When will that be changed and can the Minister tell us

0:23:470:23:51

when we will finally get the review into the sentencing of these

0:23:510:23:55

types of offences?

0:23:550:23:59

Thank you for the question.

0:23:590:24:02

I don't see that as part of my purview but if he would write

0:24:020:24:06

to me I will reply to him on this issue.

0:24:060:24:09

I would agree victims in these situations need more protection

0:24:090:24:11

and the culture needs to change.

0:24:110:24:13

The best ways to ensure justice is served is to ensure victims

0:24:130:24:16

have the chance to make a victim impact statement to the court

0:24:160:24:20

but this does not always happen.

0:24:200:24:21

What can the Minister do to ensure this happens in every case?

0:24:210:24:24

I thank the honourable gentleman for his question.

0:24:240:24:27

As I understand it, they are getting more opportunity to do this now

0:24:270:24:30

because of the opportunity to do this online.

0:24:300:24:32

I would agree that this is something that

0:24:320:24:35

should be put in place.

0:24:350:24:36

As has been mentioned earlier, today's report on violence

0:24:360:24:38

against women and girls shows an increase in prosecutions,

0:24:380:24:41

however victims charities remain concerned about their futures

0:24:410:24:46

as was stated by the chair of the police and crime commissioners

0:24:460:24:49

supporting the group when asking the ministry to clarify

0:24:490:24:51

funding available to be cc earlier this year.

0:24:510:24:54

The minister told my honourable friend for Wigan that he would be

0:24:540:24:58

keeping an eye on this matter, which is not good enough

0:24:580:25:01

with respect.

0:25:010:25:08

Will the secretary of state confirm victim services will receive

0:25:080:25:12

the full funding required?

0:25:120:25:15

The victim services budget has increased significantly from ?48

0:25:150:25:25

million to around ?95 pounds in the current financial year.

0:25:250:25:37

In 2016 and 17 we have allocated about ?7 billion to 99 rape support

0:25:370:25:41

centres providing up to male and female victims of rape

0:25:410:25:43

and child sexual abuse.

0:25:430:25:44

I do not recognise the description the shadow minister has given,

0:25:440:25:47

this Government is committed to protecting victims,

0:25:470:25:49

particularly women who have been victims of crime.

0:25:490:25:52

Question number six.

0:25:520:25:52

The illicit use of mobile phones in prison undermines security,

0:25:520:25:55

order and control and has been linked to many forms of criminality.

0:25:550:25:58

This Government is determined to take action to stop it?

0:25:580:26:01

The connection between technology and radicalisation by

0:26:010:26:03

the dissemination of extremism in prisons is one of the most

0:26:030:26:06

critical challenges we face.

0:26:060:26:08

Will my honourable friend continue to do all that is possible

0:26:080:26:10

to ensure that prisoners, who already face difficulties

0:26:100:26:15

re-engaging in with society, do not have a difficult task made

0:26:150:26:18

impossible by those who would use mobile phones and technology

0:26:180:26:21

to spread extremist poisoning?

0:26:210:26:25

My honourable friend will have no doubt seen the Government response

0:26:250:26:28

to the review on extremism.

0:26:280:26:31

We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure extremist ideologies

0:26:310:26:33

are not spread by any means, including mobile phones.

0:26:330:26:45

There have been reports in Swansea prison of people simply throwing

0:26:450:26:48

mobile phones over the wall, which provides anonymity

0:26:480:26:51

for prisoners to indulge in all sorts of criminal activity.

0:26:510:26:53

What is he doing about this sort of thing?

0:26:530:26:56

He makes a very important point, every governor I have spoken

0:26:560:26:59

to in the last six weeks has mentioned the growing problem

0:26:590:27:02

of illegal mobile phones in prison.

0:27:020:27:04

I believe technology is vital to detect and block these

0:27:040:27:07

phones, so in addition to the range of technologies already deployed

0:27:070:27:13

across the prison estate, we have held a high-level meeting

0:27:130:27:16

with mobile network operators asking them to use their expertise

0:27:160:27:19

to develop new technological solutions to deny mobile

0:27:190:27:21

phone signals in prisons.

0:27:210:27:36

As responsible businesses, I expect these operators

0:27:360:27:38

to fully cooperate.

0:27:380:27:39

Question seven.

0:27:390:27:45

There is and there will be an appropriate level of corporate

0:27:450:27:49

vision for the people of Bury.

0:27:490:27:54

Thank you, and I warmly welcome my honourable and learned

0:27:540:27:56

friend to his new role, and thank you for that brief reply.

0:27:560:27:59

While school provision might be regarded as adequate now,

0:27:590:28:02

what is important is that it continues to be

0:28:020:28:04

adequate in the future.

0:28:040:28:14

And with the new Lord Chancellor and a new ministerial team,

0:28:140:28:17

could I ask that they look again at the proposals

0:28:170:28:19

for North Manchester, particularly the consequential

0:28:190:28:21

effects on, for example, the police budget as the police

0:28:210:28:24

are faced with longer journey times when they attend court?

0:28:240:28:26

I am immensely indebted to the honourable gentleman.

0:28:260:28:29

Can I start by paying tribute to the work that my honourable

0:28:290:28:32

friend has done, and for the proposals that he has put

0:28:320:28:35

forward about his local court situation.

0:28:350:28:46

He will know, as a lawyer as well, that we are investing huge amounts

0:28:460:28:53

of money, ?1 billion, to transform Court Tribunerals.

0:28:530:28:55

This modern technology improves efficiency and means fewer people

0:28:550:28:58

need to attend court in person.

0:28:580:28:59

There are excellent facilities are available to the people

0:28:590:29:02

of Bury and Manchester, which has some of the best

0:29:020:29:05

courts in the country.

0:29:050:29:06

The Minister will know that the proposals across the whole

0:29:060:29:09

of Greater Manchester are quite far reaching and controversial in parts

0:29:090:29:12

of that city region.

0:29:120:29:18

Can he explain to the house is precisely what has been agreed

0:29:180:29:21

with the Greater Manchester combined authority in the memorandum

0:29:210:29:24

of understanding that his department has signed with them,

0:29:240:29:28

and whether or not it means the combined authority can look

0:29:280:29:31

again at some of those procedures?

0:29:310:29:37

Of course, he will realise that none of these decisions is taken lightly

0:29:370:29:40

and it is important to work closely with local government.

0:29:400:29:46

That is exactly what has been happening.

0:29:460:29:48

Just to give him an impression of the tremendous improvement

0:29:480:29:53

that this court modernisation programme is making,

0:29:530:29:55

it has been going for four months and 6 million pieces of paper have

0:29:550:29:58

been avoided as a result, that is a pile of paper,

0:29:580:30:01

using digital case files.

0:30:010:30:03

6 million pieces of paper avoided, meaning a pile as high

0:30:030:30:05

as the largest building in London, the Shard.

0:30:070:30:12

Huntington is a splendid part of the world which deserves to be

0:30:120:30:15

very well represented by the honourable gentleman,

0:30:150:30:17

but it is a long way from Bury, to which this

0:30:170:30:20

question exclusively relates.

0:30:200:30:28

The question is about Bury.

0:30:280:30:29

He can come in later and I look forward to hearing from him.

0:30:290:30:35

This information is published by the legal professions.

0:30:350:30:42

For example, 13% of QCs are women and 6% of QCs declare themselves

0:30:420:30:49

as coming from a BAME background.

0:30:490:30:54

That shows a very limited progress.

0:30:540:30:56

What can the Government do to improve this?

0:30:560:31:06

I thank him for his question. do to improve this?

0:31:060:31:08

We want a justice system that works for everyone, a legal services

0:31:080:31:12

industry using all the talent in our country.

0:31:120:31:14

I have already had very positive conversations with the Lord Chief

0:31:140:31:20

Justice, who is keen to improve diversity figures in the judiciary,

0:31:200:31:26

and I am due to meet the bar Council shortly to talk

0:31:260:31:30

specifically about the bar.

0:31:300:31:31

What assessment has my right honourable friend made

0:31:310:31:34

of opportunities to increase apprenticeship-based routes

0:31:340:31:37

into the legal professions and the prison services,

0:31:370:31:39

to increase social mobility?

0:31:390:31:40

I thank him for his question, I am a huge fan of apprenticeships.

0:31:400:31:44

With the new apprenticeship levy, that brings a big opportunity

0:31:440:31:47

for some of our large legal services firms,

0:31:470:31:49

but right across the board to increase the number

0:31:490:31:51

of apprenticeships.

0:31:510:32:02

It is something I will talk to them about over the coming months.

0:32:020:32:08

As one London provider of legal education, fees for the academic

0:32:080:32:11

year ahead are as follows, nearly ?11,000 for the graduate

0:32:110:32:15

diploma in law, over ?15,000 for the legal practice course

0:32:150:32:18

and almost ?19,000 for the bar professional training course.

0:32:180:32:20

On top of the cost of university education, these fees

0:32:200:32:23

are beyond the reach of many from ordinary backgrounds.

0:32:230:32:25

Given this reality, how will the Minister ensure

0:32:250:32:28

a diverse legal profession?

0:32:280:32:35

I thank him for his question.

0:32:350:32:38

I have been discussing this right across the legal profession.

0:32:380:32:49

One of the issues that we have is that the younger end,

0:32:490:32:53

we are seeing a lot more diversity, the question is how people progress

0:32:530:32:56

through the pipeline.

0:32:560:32:57

I would like to see more transparency so we can look

0:32:570:33:00

at people moving through the system.

0:33:000:33:02

I have no doubt that with the Lord Chief Justice

0:33:020:33:04

and leading judges, they want to see more diversity and they are

0:33:040:33:08

keen to work with me.

0:33:080:33:09

Number nine.

0:33:090:33:10

With your permission, I will group this with question 15.

0:33:100:33:14

Prisons must become places of rehabilitation where offenders

0:33:140:33:17

can change their lives and turn away from crime, addressing health needs

0:33:170:33:20

including mental health is key in this.

0:33:200:33:22

We are committed to meeting the mental health needs

0:33:220:33:25

of prisoners.

0:33:250:33:26

All prisons must have procedures in place to identify,

0:33:260:33:28

manage and support those with mental illnesses.

0:33:280:33:32

Can the Minister confirm that governors will have new powers

0:33:320:33:35

and abilities to run their own mental health and health budgets,

0:33:350:33:43

and will that also include co-commissioning of mental health

0:33:430:33:49

services with local CCGs?

0:33:490:33:54

It is under consideration at present, I think commissioners

0:33:540:33:56

have an important part to play in helping to structure health care

0:33:560:33:59

services within prison.

0:33:590:34:16

Does the Department have a figure for the numbers in prison

0:34:160:34:18

at the moment who have mental health issues, would my honourable friend

0:34:180:34:21

reassure me that prison staff are adequately trained to deal

0:34:210:34:24

with those people exhibiting mental health issues?

0:34:240:34:26

I thank him for his question.

0:34:260:34:28

Based on a Ministry of Justice survey, 49% of prisoners

0:34:280:34:31

were assessed as being at risk from anxiety and/ or depression,

0:34:310:34:33

16% reported symptoms indicative of psychosis.

0:34:330:34:35

Department of Health figures are somewhat different,

0:34:350:34:37

north of 90% of prisoners have a mental health problem

0:34:370:34:40

if you include substance misuse.

0:34:400:34:41

This is an area where I am seeking more data.

0:34:410:34:58

We are committed to meeting the mental health needs

0:34:580:35:00

of prisoners, which is why all new intake prison officers

0:35:000:35:02

receive mental health awareness training as part of

0:35:020:35:05

entry-level training.

0:35:050:35:05

100 people have taken their lives in prison in the past year,

0:35:050:35:08

the highest level for over 25 years.

0:35:080:35:10

Over 9000 people have self harmed in prisons, an increase of over 25%

0:35:100:35:14

in the last year alone.

0:35:140:35:19

I think the Government should be ashamed, I think it is a dereliction

0:35:190:35:23

of their duty of care.

0:35:230:35:24

I want to know what they will actually do to look at the thousands

0:35:240:35:28

of prisoners who had serious mental health conditions and are not

0:35:280:35:31

being looked after.

0:35:310:35:32

I thank the honourable lady for her question.

0:35:320:35:34

Mental health is pretty complex, the genesis of problems do not just

0:35:340:35:37

occur in the terms of the parliament.

0:35:370:35:50

The system in place in terms of mental health care

0:35:500:35:53

and the continuity of care for people before,

0:35:530:35:56

during and after their stay in prison is clearly not

0:35:560:35:58

worried should be.

0:35:580:35:59

I would argue that has been the case for many decades.

0:35:590:36:02

I have been asked to look at this and will be doing so,

0:36:020:36:06

but this is a huge and very complex area and I am not about to make

0:36:060:36:10

dispatch box commitments on it as a consequence.

0:36:100:36:12

But there is a particular risk for women in prison,

0:36:120:36:15

30% of women prisoners have had a previous admission

0:36:150:36:17

for a psychiatric problems before they went into prison.

0:36:170:36:20

In the last year, 11 women have killed themselves.

0:36:200:36:22

My impression is that this is because the last Secretary

0:36:220:36:25

of State did not focus on the recommendations of a report

0:36:250:36:28

which would have ensured a better level of mental health

0:36:280:36:31

for women in prison.

0:36:310:36:32

What is this minister going to do on this report,

0:36:320:36:34

and on women in prison?

0:36:340:36:45

I thank her for her question.

0:36:450:36:47

I have read that report, it is good.

0:36:470:36:49

It was published in 2007 and is still relevant today,

0:36:490:36:51

with some international coherence within another report

0:36:510:36:53

about youth offenders.

0:36:530:37:10

I will be looking at it and I am personally persuaded of some

0:37:100:37:13

of the arguments within.

0:37:130:37:14

But the idea that the former Secretary of State was in anyway not

0:37:140:37:18

keeping a close eye on this, I have seen no about.

0:37:180:37:21

Mr Speaker, Speaker...

0:37:210:37:21

Those convicted of sexual offences are just one cohort of the range

0:37:210:37:25

we manage daily.

0:37:250:37:31

In doing so, we shall make sure estate capacity is realigned

0:37:310:37:34

to meet the demand for places, including those convicted

0:37:340:37:37

of sexual offences.

0:37:370:37:37

I thank him for his reply.

0:37:370:37:40

HMP in my constituency has seen a huge surge in prisoners

0:37:400:37:43

for sexual offences, either on remand or

0:37:430:37:44

serving a sentence.

0:37:440:37:55

This puts massive pressure on staffing, space and resources.

0:37:550:37:57

What specific advice can he give HMP Lewes?

0:37:570:38:00

Those served with sexual offences at HMP Lewes and general are held

0:38:000:38:03

in separate units providing suitable accommodation for their

0:38:030:38:05

offending behaviour.

0:38:050:38:22

Perhaps I can reassure her that the prison received over ?100,000

0:38:220:38:25

of a ?12 million Government fund for safety, planning

0:38:250:38:27

to spend this on staff.

0:38:270:38:29

There is a recruitment drive is going on at the moment.

0:38:290:38:32

Staff are being vetted, a number of staff will

0:38:320:38:34

be starting imminently.

0:38:340:38:35

Surely the Minister would understand that whether it is prisoners

0:38:350:38:38

who have been tried and convicted for crimes of a sexual nature

0:38:380:38:41

or prisoners with mental health problems or other problems,

0:38:410:38:43

it is the quality of management prisons which must give us

0:38:430:38:46

all great concern.

0:38:460:38:57

When my select committee looked at education in prisons,

0:38:570:39:00

we kept coming back that the culture of the prison comes from the top

0:39:000:39:04

and is supported by well-trained and well-educated prison officers.

0:39:040:39:06

Mr Speaker, I agree entirely with the honourable gentleman

0:39:060:39:08

that the quality of the leadership in the prison makes a huge

0:39:080:39:12

difference to the regime, has staff are inspired, but also how

0:39:120:39:15

deep can rehabilitate offenders.

0:39:150:39:20

That is why those on this side of the house argue for prison

0:39:200:39:24

reform, where we empower these governors, give them control

0:39:240:39:26

of budgets and enable you to get local resources to meet

0:39:260:39:29

the needs of offenders.

0:39:290:39:31

Number 11.

0:39:310:39:43

Mr Speaker, with permission I would like to group questions

0:39:430:39:46

11 and 16.

0:39:460:39:46

Most offenders arrive in prison with very low levels of educational

0:39:460:39:50

attainment, very high levels of substance misuse and often very

0:39:500:39:52

poor histories of employment.

0:39:520:39:54

I believe modern prisons have a purpose, to keep the public

0:39:540:39:59

safe and tackle each of these issues, so prisoners

0:39:590:40:02

have the foundations to secure and hold down

0:40:020:40:04

a job on release.

0:40:040:40:05

I would like to thank my honourable friend, but I have recently visited

0:40:050:40:12

prisoners from my constituency who told me that offenders do not

0:40:120:40:21

have access straightaway on release to

0:40:210:40:26

national insurance numbers, bank accounts or unemployment benefits.

0:40:260:40:28

What steps are the Government taking to improve this?

0:40:280:40:34

I agree with the honourable member that if this through the gate

0:40:340:40:38

service, as we call them, are to work and stop reoffending,

0:40:380:40:41

things like national insurance numbers and bank accounts need

0:40:410:40:43

to be in place.

0:40:430:40:45

There are a series of programmes in place, including an offender

0:40:450:40:48

banking programme which opened about 5000 new bank accounts every

0:40:480:40:50

year.

0:40:500:40:55

The Minister is right, in fact that research shows that

0:40:550:41:11

employment after custody greatly affects the amount of reoffending.

0:41:110:41:13

What are they doing with the Department for Work

0:41:130:41:16

and Pensions to ensure offenders find work after they leave prison

0:41:160:41:18

and also stay in work?

0:41:180:41:20

To tackle the challenge of getting prisoners work when they leave,

0:41:200:41:23

the member has rightly identified it acquires a concerted effort

0:41:230:41:26

across Government and across the community.

0:41:260:41:27

Every prisoner has the opportunity to meet with a DWP work coach

0:41:270:41:31

before their release and the role of the work coach is to guide

0:41:310:41:34

them to employment.

0:41:340:41:35

Work coaches can ensure a prisoner knows their national insurance

0:41:350:41:37

number and the other services they need in order to make

0:41:370:41:41

the appropriate transition.

0:41:410:41:41

When many prisoners are already on short-term sentences for under

0:41:410:41:44

nine months and are often in prison for short periods, could he give

0:41:440:41:49

some advice as to how governors will be judged on placing those

0:41:490:41:53

prisoners into employment when the challenges are difficult?

0:41:530:41:58

I've met with a number of governors since I've been appointed to this

0:41:580:42:04

job, and most governors will tell you what they want is to be

0:42:040:42:07

empowered to match resources to the needs of prisoners

0:42:070:42:10

in their prison, working with local employers and the entire community.

0:42:100:42:13

That is what governors want.

0:42:130:42:21

The other point is that this is not just the responsibility

0:42:210:42:24

of governors, if we want prisoners to go out and be able to find work,

0:42:240:42:44

then businesses have a role, companies play a role

0:42:440:42:50

and we all have a role, because prisoners can leave them

0:42:500:42:53

and have jobs and restart their lives for the better

0:42:530:42:55

and we all benefit.

0:42:550:42:56

More than 60% of young people in the justice system

0:42:560:42:59

have a communications disability and more than one third of young

0:42:590:43:02

offenders have speaking and listening skills at the level

0:43:020:43:05

expected for an 11-year-old.

0:43:050:43:06

With the skills being fundamental with the ability to hold down a job,

0:43:060:43:09

will the Minister update the house of what assessment the Government

0:43:090:43:12

makes of speech and language support need and how well that

0:43:120:43:15

need is being met?

0:43:150:43:16

The member is obviously right, lots of prisoners arrived with huge

0:43:160:43:19

learning difficulties and a disadvantage and that is well

0:43:190:43:22

documented, what we need is individual programmes tailored

0:43:220:43:24

to the needs of the prisoner and the way to do that

0:43:240:43:27

as the honourable member said, is to empower governors to work

0:43:270:43:30

with probation companies, rehabilitation organisations,

0:43:300:43:31

to deliver these programmes.

0:43:310:43:36

He said to the minister, I raise a report on this matter

0:43:360:43:39

myself in two dozen and it's got a copy

0:43:390:43:42

of voice and sure you'll find on the internet.

0:43:420:43:44

Or in the house library.

0:43:440:43:45

I'm sure the honourable gentleman does.

0:43:450:43:47

We are immensely grateful.

0:43:470:43:49

Fewer than half of the people entering our prisons have basic

0:43:490:43:52

standards of English and maths, this is an enormous problem

0:43:520:44:01

because we know low levels of education can prevent people

0:44:010:44:04

from securing jobs on release and leading law-abiding lives.

0:44:040:44:07

The secretary of state is right in saying in order to get a job

0:44:070:44:10

the need to have both literacy and numeracy are essential.

0:44:100:44:15

Should we be putting more resources into educating prisoners on release

0:44:150:44:18

to be able to get jobs?

0:44:180:44:20

My honourable friend is right.

0:44:200:44:22

The fact is too many people enter our prisons without those

0:44:220:44:27

skills, but we need to use that time in prison to help those prisoners

0:44:270:44:30

gain those basic skills so they succeed outside.

0:44:300:44:35

What we started doing is measuring, testing prisoners as they enter

0:44:350:44:43

prisons, what I'm looking to see is, we measure the progress made

0:44:430:44:46

during their stay in prison so we can hold governors

0:44:460:44:49

accountable for that.

0:44:490:44:50

Could the Minister confirmed there will be no return

0:44:500:44:52

to the policy on banning books for prisoners?

0:44:520:44:54

I confirm that books are freely available in prison.

0:44:540:45:00

I warmly welcome the Right Honourable friend to her position.

0:45:000:45:14

I was delighted to see the new Secretary of State

0:45:140:45:18

talk about the importance of art in prisons and I hope

0:45:180:45:28

that my honourable friend will recognise how they can teach

0:45:280:45:43

prisoners a range of skills and hope she will meet the Arts

0:45:430:45:46

Alliance that the earnest opportunity to discuss what the arts

0:45:460:45:57

can do in particularly in relation to literacy.

0:45:570:46:01

Firstly can I say what a fantastic job my honourable friend has

0:46:010:46:05

done in championing the arts in every part of our country

0:46:050:46:08

and his legacy lives on.

0:46:080:46:09

It will live on in our prisons.

0:46:090:46:11

I'm sure he is overcome with emotion, what a happy day.

0:46:110:46:14

What discussions will she have with the Justice Department

0:46:140:46:20

into devolved legislators to insure that best practice is replicated

0:46:200:46:23

in improving literacy across prisons in all of the UK?

0:46:230:46:29

I'm looking forward to meeting my counterparts across the UK

0:46:290:46:32

and discussing these critical issues because it is a challenge

0:46:320:46:35

we all face.

0:46:350:46:35

Extreme brevity is now required.

0:46:350:46:37

The Government's reform programme is intended to deliver a simple

0:46:370:46:40

modern justice system that is available for everyone.

0:46:400:46:42

East Lancashire, including my constituency of Blackburn and up

0:46:420:46:46

to five other constituencies has only one Legal Aid,

0:46:460:46:56

so that makes listers frontier with housing,

0:46:560:46:58

what the Minister do about this desert of legal advice?

0:46:580:47:01

It is important they should be legal aid available

0:47:010:47:03

and it is in housing cases.

0:47:030:47:05

As it is, in the most important cases where people's life or liberty

0:47:050:47:08

or home is at stake, it is also available in domestic

0:47:080:47:11

violence cases and cases where children may be

0:47:110:47:13

taken into care.

0:47:130:47:14

I'm grateful to the honourable lady for highlighting this issue.

0:47:140:47:17

Let's be clear that legal aid in housing cases is something

0:47:170:47:20

that is available and there is a national helpline

0:47:200:47:22

as well as the services of lawyers across the country.

0:47:220:47:24

Topical questions, Mr Douglas Carswell.

0:47:340:47:36

I'm proud to take on the role of Lord Chancellor

0:47:360:47:41

and Justice Secretary, upholding the rule of law

0:47:410:47:48

and our justice system.

0:47:480:47:58

I'm determined to insure our prisons are of safety and reform,

0:47:580:48:01

where offenders can get off drugs, improve education and get the work

0:48:010:48:04

likely to reoffend.

0:48:040:48:04

skills they need to their less likely to reoffend.

0:48:070:48:09

I would like to pay tribute to our brave prison officers

0:48:090:48:12

and probation staff.

0:48:120:48:13

Over the next couple of months I will lay out my plans for prison

0:48:130:48:17

reform and setting out plans to modernise the courts to ensure

0:48:170:48:20

we continue to have a world leading justice system.

0:48:200:48:22

Sir James Mumby was asked to undertake a review of the family

0:48:220:48:26

Court in August 2014, can the Minister shed light

0:48:260:48:28

on ending the secrecy that can lead it to injustice.

0:48:280:48:32

I thank the honourable gentleman for his

0:48:320:48:37

question, I am due to meet James Mumby

0:48:370:48:39

next week to discuss this issue.

0:48:390:48:41

There's been some progress in bringing the family Court

0:48:410:48:44

but there is a balance to be struck behind highly sensitive issues

0:48:440:48:49

and opening it up fully, I will get more detail.

0:48:490:48:51

Will my honourable friend commit to using all the powers

0:48:510:48:54

at her disposal to protect British military personnel and veterans

0:48:540:48:57

who have served our country bravely and with great honour

0:48:570:49:00

from the spurious and outrageous legal claims like those

0:49:000:49:02

pursued by people such as public interest lawyers?

0:49:020:49:05

I am delighted to tell my honourable friend that this summer the legal

0:49:050:49:08

aid agency pulls the plug on its contract with public interest

0:49:080:49:11

lawyers, it will no longer be adamant chasing our

0:49:110:49:14

brave service personnel.

0:49:140:49:14

Legal aid should support vulnerable people in our society,

0:49:140:49:17

not used to pursue spurious cases against our Armed Forces who do

0:49:170:49:20

so much to serve our country.

0:49:200:49:22

Can I join colleagues in welcoming the new Justice Secretary

0:49:220:49:24

and her team to their new roles.

0:49:240:49:31

The Government has created the toxic conditions for the record levels

0:49:310:49:43

of violence, drug crimes and death across the prisons

0:49:430:49:56

by reducing the number of prison officers by one third yet the former

0:49:560:49:59

prison minister spent much of his time at the dispatch box this

0:49:590:50:03

year telling me privately about his department was not

0:50:030:50:05

successful recruitment drive.

0:50:050:50:06

He did Justice Secretary did not have the figures earlier answering

0:50:060:50:09

a question from my friend, so I will help out.

0:50:090:50:12

Can she explained why we have 421 fewer full-time equivalent front

0:50:120:50:15

line prison officers working in our public prisons

0:50:150:50:17

than we did one year ago?

0:50:170:50:19

I fully acknowledge that we do have issues with violence and safety

0:50:190:50:22

in our prison, the levels are unacceptable and I am determined

0:50:220:50:25

to deal with issues like this and I will lay out my plans shortly.

0:50:250:50:29

Since the Government has no provision privatisation,

0:50:290:50:30

concerns have repeatedly been raised about the quality of presentence

0:50:300:50:33

reports for the court as a result of arbitrary targets set.

0:50:330:50:37

The probation inspectors have described this month as a persistent

0:50:370:50:40

problem leading to inappropriate sentences being handed down.

0:50:400:50:42

Vital safeguarding checks such as domestic violence checks

0:50:420:50:45

with pulleys and child protection checked with children's services

0:50:450:50:47

are not taking place prior to sentencing.

0:50:470:50:49

Will the Justice Secretary commit to an urgent review

0:50:490:50:54

so the public, probation professionals and sentences can

0:50:540:51:01

have confidence when convicted criminals are sensed those deciding

0:51:010:51:07

of all the necessary evidence available?

0:51:070:51:09

Probation services do vital work at the minister responsible

0:51:090:51:11

for prisons and probation is looking very close at this issue.

0:51:110:51:14

I would point out that those on shorter sentences get much more

0:51:140:51:17

support thanks to our new probation contracts.

0:51:170:51:19

Questions must be brief.

0:51:190:51:21

There is a lot to get to and not much time.

0:51:210:51:26

I would never excuse criminal behaviour, but some former prisoners

0:51:260:51:29

have been denied opportunities in life many of us take for granted,

0:51:290:51:33

what is the department and other Government departments doing

0:51:330:51:35

to ensure the life chances agenda extends the prisons?

0:51:350:51:43

I thank my honourable friend for that question, prisons

0:51:430:51:45

are places where some of the problems in society

0:51:450:51:51

are magnified.

0:51:510:51:52

As the Prime Minister said, if we're going have a society

0:51:520:51:59

and country that works for everyone, prison reform is part

0:51:590:52:08

including literacy, training, work in prisons

0:52:080:52:10

and unemployment opportunities when people are released.

0:52:100:52:15

The Secretary of State will know that Charlie Taylor was asked

0:52:150:52:18

to carry out a review of the youth justice system last year and enter

0:52:180:52:22

it does make an interim report was published in February

0:52:220:52:24

and we were promised the final one in July, we don't have it,

0:52:240:52:35

can the Secretary of State tell us when and

0:52:350:52:39

where we will have an explanation?

0:52:390:52:40

I thank the honourable lady for this question,

0:52:400:52:42

it's an incredibly important issue, but the youth justice Minster

0:52:420:52:45

and I have ever met Charlie Taylor and we will be publishing our

0:52:450:52:49

response this autumn.

0:52:490:52:49

Does the Department intends to promote English law,

0:52:490:52:52

the rule of law and our legal sector around the world, particularly to

0:52:520:52:55

take advantages of the opportunities that may arise from Brexit?

0:52:550:52:58

English law had a huge impact spreading the rule of Law around

0:52:580:53:01

the world, it is the law of choice in over one quarter of jurisdictions

0:53:010:53:05

and Brexit gives us even more opportunities to promote this.

0:53:050:53:08

I will champion our ?25 billion legal services industry as a key

0:53:080:53:11

part of post-Brexit global Britain.

0:53:110:53:13

The selected media has expressed concern that judges are reporting

0:53:130:53:16

they hear no money claims at all, claims brought by workers

0:53:160:53:21

in low-paid sectors and which often succeeded, when will the Government

0:53:210:53:27

publish the review of the impact of implement tribunal fees

0:53:270:53:30

which is now six months overdue and had to restore justice

0:53:300:53:38

for low-paid workers?

0:53:380:53:40

Can I start by welcoming the report on court and tribunal fees,

0:53:400:53:44

we intend to respond and we will also publish the review

0:53:440:53:47

of changes to employment tribunal fees in due course.

0:53:470:53:49

This is an important area and we will do that.

0:53:490:53:52

I would like to ask the Secretary of State about the treatment

0:53:520:53:55

of women giving birth in prisons and those with young children.

0:53:550:53:58

And whether she will do more to ensure that children have

0:53:580:54:01

access to their mothers and where appropriate

0:54:010:54:07

their fathers, and can be as near to them as possible?

0:54:070:54:12

I thank the honourable lady for the question.

0:54:120:54:18

100 babies resided in mother and baby units in prison in 2015,

0:54:180:54:27

prisons do an excellent job making sure these environments are built

0:54:270:54:30

as is possible and babies can spend time away from the prisoners

0:54:300:54:33

nominated carers but knowing the importance of early years

0:54:330:54:36

is essential we consider alternative ways of dealing with female

0:54:360:54:38

offenders including those with young children and babies

0:54:380:54:41

and care responsibilities.

0:54:410:54:41

The Secretary of State alleged earlier to the closure and imminent

0:54:410:54:44

sale of Holloway prison and made me aware

0:54:440:54:46

of the wish to cite a women's sector on the site, discussions are taking

0:54:460:54:50

place with the Mayor of London but I wonder if the Secretary

0:54:500:54:54

of State could confirm that she and the Government

0:54:540:54:56

will play its part in ensuring an outcome that secures services

0:54:560:54:59

for women on that site.

0:54:590:55:00

I thank the honourable lady for a question and I will be

0:55:000:55:04

interested in looking more at the details on that proposal.

0:55:040:55:15

Following the closure of the courthouse in my

0:55:150:55:19

constituency, the previous minister decided that it should go

0:55:190:55:30

to Stockport and Chesterfield as was originally intended.

0:55:300:55:36

A sign has appeared on the district quarries that McCourt has seen

0:55:360:55:39

the work when the Chesterfield, will my honourable friend

0:55:390:55:42

investigators and injure the decision by the ministers

0:55:420:55:44

admitted, not the one by the officials in the original

0:55:440:55:47

flawed consultation?

0:55:470:55:47

I am grateful to my honourable friend for having raised this issue,

0:55:470:55:51

he will be pleased to note that I have had the notice taken down.

0:55:510:55:54

But the response to the consultation stated

0:55:540:55:56

that the work would go to Stockport and Chesterfield,

0:55:560:55:58

that is what is happening.

0:55:580:56:00

Further to a previous question, I have many constituents who cannot

0:56:000:56:03

get access to employment tribunals because the fees have proved

0:56:030:56:06

prohibitive that were introduced in the last parliament.

0:56:060:56:08

Can the minister promised the house today that he will make a statement

0:56:080:56:11

to the House on the impact of those fees?

0:56:110:56:14

As he will have heard, we recognise that we need

0:56:140:56:17

to produce our review, which we will publish,

0:56:170:56:22

and also to respond to the Justice committee's report.

0:56:220:56:25

And, of course, their documents, which will be available

0:56:250:56:27

in the vote office.

0:56:270:56:28

That will happen in due course, we are committed to that.

0:56:280:56:31

And effective court administration is very different from retaining

0:56:310:56:34

costly court buildings.

0:56:340:56:35

But whether the closures are going hand-in-hand

0:56:350:56:40

with investment and better use of technology and efficiencies,

0:56:400:56:53

that includes in surrounding courts, not least in Bury, Mr Speaker.

0:56:530:56:56

I was not psychic, but I realised what the honourable gentleman

0:56:560:57:00

earlier was driving at and I am glad he was persistent.

0:57:000:57:03

Persistence pays.

0:57:030:57:03

Minister?

0:57:030:57:04

My honourable friend is right, we need a programme

0:57:040:57:07

of transformation that maintains the very high quality

0:57:070:57:09

of our legal system.

0:57:090:57:10

I don't think many in this house would disagree that it is one

0:57:100:57:14

of the best in the world.

0:57:140:57:16

But we want it to be the most modern as well.

0:57:160:57:19

We are investing ?1 billion, we have saved a shard load of paper,

0:57:190:57:23

as I mentioned earlier, and we will do a lot more of this.

0:57:230:57:29

Our courts are benefiting from the digital revolution that

0:57:290:57:32

every other part of society is benefiting from already.

0:57:320:57:35

My constituent's 17-year-old son was murdered last year.

0:57:350:57:38

Will the Minister meet with me and the mother to discuss

0:57:380:57:50

the repeated failings in the justice system that mean that his killer

0:57:500:57:53

is still walking the streets?

0:57:530:57:54

I would be very happy to meet the honourable lady

0:57:540:57:57

and her constituents, I am sorry to hear about the case.

0:57:570:58:01

Colin Pitchfork was convicted of raping and murdering two young

0:58:010:58:03

girls in the 1980s.

0:58:030:58:06

Will the Minister please assure me and the public of their safety,

0:58:060:58:09

given that Mr Pitchfork is being moved to an open prison?

0:58:090:58:17

The honourable member will be aware that transferring prisoners

0:58:170:58:19

from from one prison to another is done on a careful

0:58:190:58:22

assessment of the risks.

0:58:220:58:29

I am sure that would have taken place, but I am happy to discuss

0:58:290:58:33

in detail if he wants to do so.

0:58:330:58:35

Does the Secretary of State accept that the Human Rights Act

0:58:350:58:39

is an indispensable part of the Good Friday Agreement,

0:58:390:58:44

and whatever the plans for elsewhere, the Government

0:58:440:58:47

is obligated to the retention of the Human Rights Act

0:58:470:58:49

in Northern Ireland as a co-guarantor of

0:58:490:58:53

the Good Agreement?

0:58:530:58:58

The UK has led the world in human rights, from Magna Carta

0:58:580:59:02

to habeas corpus.

0:59:020:59:04

We are committed to bringing forward a British Bill of Rights to further

0:59:040:59:08

build on these ancient protections.

0:59:080:59:11

The Prime Minister has already met Nicola Sturgeon to make sure

0:59:110:59:17

that the UK works together...

0:59:170:59:22

And intensity meets...

0:59:220:59:23

We intend to meet...

0:59:230:59:26

We intend to meet, as the Secretary of State said, all those

0:59:260:59:29

across the United Kingdom with concerns about it.

0:59:290:59:38

You're under arrest.

0:59:420:59:44

You're going to prison.

0:59:440:59:46

In what sense are you free?

0:59:460:59:49

I live at a level of intensity

0:59:490:59:51

unknown to you and others of your type.

0:59:510:59:54

You will never know the almost God-like power that I feel

0:59:540:59:57

when that last bit of breath leaves a body...

0:59:571:00:00

VOICE DISTORTS That feeling of complete possession.

1:00:001:00:04

SHE TAKES A BREATH

1:00:061:00:08

PLAYS FANFARE

1:00:111:00:13

It's a bang.

1:00:201:00:21

Whoosh!

1:00:211:00:23

SINGS STRICTLY THEME

1:00:231:00:25

You're getting grumpy.

1:00:301:00:32

Ah-ha.

1:00:351:00:36

What next?

1:00:361:00:37

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