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tv   The Week in Parliament  BBC News  May 15, 2021 2:30am-3:01am BST

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violent clashes between israeli troops and palestinians have spread across much of the occupied west bank. israel's prime minister has warned that israel's biggest offensive against hamas in gaza in years is not over yet. it's estimated 10,000 palestinians have had to leave their homes to flee the bombardment. britain's prime minister borisjohnson has said that the new indian variant of coronavirus could pose a serious disruption to progress made in tackling covid. cases have more than doubled in a week. the government says there's no firm evidence that the variant causes a more severe disease. japan has declared a state of emergency in three more regions hit hard by the pandemic,
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casting further doubt over whether the olympic games in tokyo should go ahead. a petition has been submitted to the capital's governor, calling for the entire event to be cancelled. now on bbc news, a look back at the week in parliament. hello and welcome to the week in parliament. a week when the queen set out boris johnson's plans for the new political year. my government will level up opportunities across all parts of the united kingdom, supporting jobs, businesses and economic growth. also, in this program — ex—prime minister's question time — mps grill david cameron over the greensill affair. this is a painful day, coming back to a place that i love and respect so much. britain's top police officer defends the handling of a vigil for sarah everard. i think it's an extremely hard thing to second—guess when you are looking back
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at it, but i'm proud of the way they responded and i do think they took these issues into account. and 80 years on, the speaker recalls the night the luftwaffe bombed westminster. as a bomb was dropping on the lords, in westminster hall, elizabeth tower, but the big bomb that caused the real damage was in this chamber. but first, the state opening of parliament was a dressed—down, socially distanced occasion compared to previous years, but no less significant for that. the queen's speech, which is written for her by ministers, outlined 30 proposed new laws — a signal of the government's priorities for the year ahead. so there was plenty of talk of levelling up, but only nine words and no new laws promised on social care. a bill to ease planning controls in england and another to require voters to prove their identity before casting their vote are already proving controversial, but a long—awaited online safety bill has been widely welcomed. trumpets play fanfare.
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some pomp and pageantry did survive the stripped—down ceremony, even if the queen arrived by car, rather than horse—drawn coach, for her first major engagement since the death of the duke of edinburgh. as is traditional, black rod had the door to the house of commons slammed in her face to emphasise the commons�* independence. bangs on door. usually, party leaders walk side by side to the lords and even chat, awkwardly, but that is not permitted under covid restrictions. the social distancing continued as mps arrived in the lords to hear the speech. my lords and members of the house of commons, my government's priority is to deliver an national recovery from the pandemic that makes the united kingdom stronger, healthierand more prosperous than before. to achieve this, my government will level up opportunities across all parts of
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the united kingdom, supporting jobs, businesses and economic growth, and addressing the impact of the pandemic on public services. measures will be brought forward to support the health and well—being of the nation, including to tackle obesity and improve mental health. proposals and social care reform will be brought forward. on his first day as prime minister, borisjohnson promised to "fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared". as mps began to debate the contents of the speech, the labour leader sir keir starmer recalled that promise. 650 days on from that promise, what did we hear in this address? proposals on social care reform will be brought forward. no legislation, no new funding, no details, no timescale. failure to act for a decade —
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and it was failure to act for a decade — was bad enough, but failure to act after the pandemic is nothing short of an insult to the whole nation. the prime minister promised to publish plans for england by the end of the year. more widely, he promised to level up by spreading opportunity more evenly. the damage that covid has done could not be minimised, but... we must use this opportunity to achieve an national recovery, so thatjabs, jabs, jabs, becomes jobs, jobs, jobs. that is our plan, mr speaker. with scotland's first minister demanding another independence referendum, the prime minister sought to highlight the benefits of the uk. everything we do, mr speaker, will be done as one united kingdom, combining the genius of england, wales, scotland and northern ireland, joined together by blood and family, tradition and history, into the most successful political, economic and social union the world has ever known.
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in all its centuries, the union has seldom proved its worth more emphatically than during this pandemic. but the snp said the speech showed contempt for scotland, despite the snp's election victory. that electoral earthquake now opens the democratic path that will shape scotland's future. and let's be clear — that future will be in scotland's hands and will be the people's choice, and nobody, nobody else. and there was a reminder of problems in northern ireland after the brexit deal with the eu. it pains me to see youngl people out on the streets
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in northern ireland once again engaging in violence _ against the police. it pains me to see - the instability that is arising because of concerns i around this protocol. to be clear, mr deputy speaker, violence is not the way - to address this, but politics . has to be seen to be working, and the government must listen to those of us - who have a political voice. borisjohnson�*s predecessor was among those calling for action on social care. i know it's not an easy issue. i put forward a plan. it was comprehensively rejected. so i recognise the difficulty in trying to come forward with something here, but it is an issue that we need to grasp. and any care policy for england would have funding consequences for the rest of the uk. there is a will across this house to work together on this matter. there is a will across all the parliaments of the united kingdom to work on this matter together. we have to work together to do it. but we will have failed in the people who we serve if we do not address the care crisis which we have experienced in the last year, and which we know has been there for years previously. liz saville roberts. the former prime minister david cameron faced a tough
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grilling by mps over his work for the collapsed finance company greensill capital. he told mps on the treasury committee he was unaware the company was in trouble when he lobbied the government on its behalf. this is a painful day, coming back to a place that i love and respect so much, albeit virtually, but in these circumstances. and i've had plenty of time to reflect on what has happened. it has emerged that david cameron sent more than a0 texts and whatsapp messages to ministers and officials, lobbying on greensill�*s behalf. i hope it is accepted that nothing i did was in breach of the rules, but on the wider test of what is appropriate, as i've said previously, it would be better to use more formal means of contact, via a letter. he said greensill�*s aim had been to ensure small firms got greensill was not asking for direct government support and at this stage, april last year, i certainly had no sense at all that the business itself was in any danger of collapse.
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the mps wanted to know how much he was paid. there has been all sorts of speculation in the press, some people saying that you suggested to friends you could, if everything went the right way, make a gain of about £60 million, and others have said that is a vastly inflated figure. can you tell us something about what you would have expected to have gained, had your involvement gone to plan and you'd had an effective exit from the business at some point in future? well, i was paid an annual amount — a generous annual amount, far more than what i earned as prime minister — and i had shares, not share options, but shares in the business which vested over the period of time of my contract. he said he had a big economic investment in greensill, but the exact sum was a private matter. you had the enormous privilege of being the prime minister of our great country. you're one of only five people post—war to have been
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re—elected to lead our government. do you not feel that you have demeaned yourself and your position by whatsapping your way around whitehall on the back of a fraudulent enterprise based on selling bonds of high—risk debt to unsuspecting investors? well, my view is that what i did was i made a choice to work for a business which i hoped would be a uk fin tech success story, and many people believed that it would, and i wanted to help that company grow and expand. and what i did at the time of economic crisis was put to the government what i genuinely believed to be a good idea for how to get money into the hands of small businesses and get their bills paid early. david cameron. earlier in the week, the same committee heard from mr cameron's former boss, lex greensill, who began his evidence with an apology. please understand that i bear complete responsibility for the collapse of greensill capital.
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i am desperately saddened that more than 1000 very hard—working people have lost theirjobs at greensill. over three hours, he struggled to convince sceptical mps. mr greensill, are you a fraudster? no, ms mcdonagh, iam not. frankly, it smacks of- fraudulent behaviour and it franks of the sort of stuff- we saw conducted by the likes of madoff in the financial - crisis — that's what it smacks of. it doesn't smack of a proper. process where people can get supply chain finance - that is reliable and credible. ms ali, when i started greensill, no member of this committee or, indeed, i think almost any institution, had heard of supply chain finance. now, every majorfinancial institution in the world offers it as a product. what would you say to them that makes it clear that it wasn't
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a fraud, because i think that's the heart of what you are being held to account for here. certainly. we were using data inside corporate systems to allow the customers or suppliers that they had to — for us to be able to unlock capital using that information. lex greensill. the northern ireland secretary brandon lewis has said the government is truly sorry for the events in ballymurphy 50 years ago, in which ten people were killed. in the space of 36 hours in august 1971, nine men and one woman were shot in and around the ballymurphy area of belfast in the wake of an army operation. brandon lewis told the commons that the findings of the coroner earlier in the week were clear. those who died were entirely innocent of wrongdoing. the events of ballymurphy should never have happened. the families of those
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who were killed should never have had to experience the grief and trauma of that loss. they should have not had to wait nearly five decades for the judgement this week, nor have been compelled to relive that terrible time in august 1971 again and again in their long and distressing quest for truth. the government profoundly regrets and is truly sorry for these events, and how investigations after these terrible events were handled, and for the additional pain that the families have had to endure in theirfight to clear the names of their loved ones since they began their campaign almost five decades ago. downing street said borisjohnson had apologised to northern ireland's first and deputy first ministers in a phone call, but labour pointed out how a former tory prime minister had behaved. in the aftermath of the bloody sunday inquiry, david cameron came to this house and apologised in a statement. he didn't brief apologies from disputed calls
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with politicians. he took full responsibility. where is the prime minister today, and why has he not publicly apologised to the ballymurphy families and to this house? will he take responsibility as prime minister and show the victims the respect they so obviously deserve? the secretary of state says that the british army made terrible errors in northern ireland. joan connolly was a mother of eight. she was shot by the british army four times. she was left lying on the ground for hours to die. that is not an error. that is sheer bloody murder. will the secretary of state ask the prime minister to come out of hiding, come with me, meet the ballymurphy families and tell them to their faces why he wants to protect their killers. the prime minister is contacting the families directly, as well as his public apology on behalf of the state and his conversations with the first and deputy first minister, which ijoined him for yesterday. now obviously, members and colleagues will be aware that obviously the report was published on tuesday, which was the first full sight we had of the report.
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we received it on tuesday. we put out a statement on the same day. i am now making a statement to the house of commons, having had the n opportunity to reflect on that report, but obviously, we will be considering that report in more detail in the period ahead. a leading unionist spoke of ira terrorists. their victims will never see anyjustice ever in our country and therefore, we cannot have a scapegoating of our soldiers, of our police officers, a perverse exhibiting and rewriting in an alice in wonderland—like way of what happened in northern ireland, where the peacekeepers become accused of being the peace breakers. now, borisjohnson�*s announcement of an independent public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic has been widely welcomed, but his decision to delay it until next year was equally widely criticised. the prime minister told mps that the government was fully committed to learning the lessons at every stage of this crisis.
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a covid memorial wall outside a hospital, opposite parliament, remembers those who've lost their lives, and a commission will look at ways of commemorating what we have all been through. but the scope of the inquiry won't be decided until after talks with the devolved governments in scotland, wales and northern ireland. and it is unlikely to report until after the next general election. the prime minister said the state had an obligation to learn every lesson for the future. mr speaker, this process will place the state's actions under the microscope and we should be mindful required to do it properly. the exercise of identifying and disclosing all relevant information, the months of preparation and retrospective analysis, and the time that people will have to spend testifying in public — in some cases for days — will place a significant burden
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on our nhs, on the whole of government, on our scientific advisors and on many others. the labour leader recalled his meetings with families bereaved by covid. the hardest bit was the details. they told me about not being able to say goodbye in the way they wanted — whether that was a hospital or elsewhere — and not being able to have a funeral in the way that they wanted. he thought the inquiry should begin this year. the principle is that the enquiry should be as soon as possible — as soon as possible. now, i understand an enquiry — statutory enquiry will take time to setup. of course it will. but why can it not be later this year? why can't it start earlier? the snp thought the vaccines had generated hope. just as the hope is fragile, . so is the economic recovery. the prime minister hasjust- spoken of lessons and answers and timing. this morning's 0ns figures demonstrate the depth - of the plummet that's beenl experienced by the economy and equally showed the scale of the recovery needed. -
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the liberal democrats, who called for an inquiry last year, said the announcement was welcome. and desperately needed so that the public can understand why the uk has suffered one of the highest death tolls in the world, so it is critically important that this enquiry is properly independent and has the confidence of the public, including the bereaved families of the over 27,000 people who so tragically lost their lives. a labour mp shared her family's experience. speaker, my father—in—law died at the beginning of the pandemic. our children were not able to go to their grandfather's funeral. 0ur grief remains raw. so let me welcome the commitment to those families and the memorial. but can i draw the prime minister's attention to the scope of the enquiry. because we do know, don't we, that the fracturing of social care, running the nhs at 90% capacity, the lessons warned in the flu pandemic strategy in 2014, and the lessons from 0peration sickness all forewarned much of what has
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happened and for those of us who have worked in emergency planning, we were shocked at the initial i am so sorry to hear about her own loss, mr speaker, and i want to assure her, of course, i can't imagine there'd be any chair of the inquiry or any terms of reference that we could devise that would not include looking back at the state of preparedness before covid actually struck this country. 0thers raised issues that they felt couldn't wait for the inquiry. at the moment, if you want to reside in a care home, i you have to spend14 days isolated in your room. - can the prime minister look. again at that isolation period, because it is so impactfull on the physical and mental health of residents. she is also right to raise the very painful questions of visiting and the ability of care home residents to get to leave their care home safely and, mr speaker, there we have to balance the risks to them as well. we try to, as you know,
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to increase number of visitors they can have and we hope very soon that greater freedoms will be possible. borisjohnson. time now for a look at some other news in brief. a fire at a block of flats in east london prompted questions in the lords on why some high—rise buildings are still covered in dangerous cladding, almost four years after the grenfell tower fire in which 72 people died. a minister said the government had been pressing the developer, ballymore, for more than two years to replace unsafe cladding on new providence wharf. peers were told that remediation work had not been carried out, despite the government funding the lion's share of the £12 million cost. we also are paying for expert construction advice for this particular site, and that is been available sincejuly 2020. and prior to the fire, and this year i had two meetings, so ministerially led meetings with the senior leadership of ballymore and other members of london government to try and get the work started.
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sadly, it only started this monday. the metropolitan police commissioner has defended the way her officers handled the vigil in the memory of sarah everard. hundreds of people had gathered on clapham common in london after her body was found in woodland in kent. the force was criticised after some women were handcuffed and removed from the crowds, although the police inspectorate found the policing appropriate. cressida dick was appearing before the home affairs committee. you talked about people being shocked by the images, and i absolutely understand that some people were upset by them. i would underline again that the hmr report points out how well the officers conducted themselves at the time and that they were not heavy—handed at all and that they took a very proportionate approach and they did not rush in. she said her officers had had to enforce the covid regulations and had dispersed weddings, funerals and, just that day,
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two other vigils. i think it's a, you know, an extremely hard thing to second—guess when you are looking back at it, but i'm proud of the way they responded and i do think they took these issues into account. 0n on your marks, go! england's sports minister has said council should look sympathetically at applications to stage parkruns — free 5km events that, before the pandemic, were held every saturday morning across the uk. parkrun hopes to return in england next month, although several venues have yet to grant permission. there is nothing stopping them from starting, and starting and starting very soon. i understand the plans are to start again nationally from earlyjune, and i do encourage local authorities, who obviously work with parkruns, to make sure that the events can open safely, to take the applications very seriously and sympathetically because i think we'd all like to see parkruns start again very soon. members of the welsh parliament have returned to work after the senedd election, with labour winning 30 of the 60 seats. the party has led the welsh government for 22 years.
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the plaid cymru ms elinjones fought off a challenge from the conservative russell george to continue as presiding officer or llywydd. this senedd election is a neighbourly election. the members for montgomeryshire and for ceredigion. i guess in olden times, we would've sorted that out as a dual at dawn on the mountains of plynlimon but this feels far safer and we will both live to tell the tale, russell. at holyrood, two members of the scottish parliament have been sworn in. karen adam, the new snp msp for banffshire and buchan coast, made her affirmation in sign language. before becoming the first sikh to take the oath, pam gosal of the scottish conservatives spoke the words of the mool mantar, the sikh statement of belief, in punjabi. speaks punjabi. and britain's newest mp took her seat in the commons after the hartlepool by—election. jill mortimer won the constituency for the conservatives.
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it had been labourfor almost 50 years, and the defeat prompted a shadow cabinet reshuffle. i swear by almighty god that i will be faithful and bear true allegiance to her majesty queen elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law, so help me god. all: hear, hear! jill mortimer getting a warm reception in the commons there. it's 80 years since the chamber was destroyed by german bombs during the biggest second world war air raid on london. the speaker, sir lindsay hoyle, has been looking back at events in may 19111. plane after plane was dropping high explosive bombs incendiary devices that were dropping all over london. famous buildings were hit, and none more famous than the palace of westminster. as a bomb was dropping on the lords, on westminster hall, elizabeth tower, but the big bomb that caused the real damage was in this chamber.
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completely obliterated. in fact, the tragedy — and the luftwaffe was determined to smash democracy. and as we know, on the 10th, 11th, as it was raining down, 1500 people lost their lives. three people lost their lives in this house, trying to save this building. sir lindsay and his newly elected house of lords counterpart lord mcfall laid wreaths in a ceremony to remember them. the speaker's chaplin led prayers at what has become known as the churchill arch, at the entrance to the commons. 80 years ago today, 12th of may, prime winston churchill came to the chamber to view the destruction. he would make a plea for this archway to be retained in its bomb—damaged state as a reminderforfuture generations. and he looked at the chamber, the chamber where he had been here as an mp, where his father had been. he realised how important
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it was to the world, about the home of democracy. and as he surveyed the damage, which was unrecognisable, the spirit of the people of this palace was never going to be lost. and he said "we will rebuild this chamber as it was" but, more importantly, we know the damage to the arch when we walk in. it's not that we don't maintain this building. it is about a reminder of what the luftwaffe tried to do, which was smash democracy. that was never going to happen. the speaker, sir lindsay hoyle. and that was the week in parliament. thank you for watching. i hope you canjoin me on bbc parliament at 11 o'clock on monday evening for the latest from the commons and the lords. until then, from me, david cornock, goodbye for now.
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hello there. if you're waiting for a prolonged, dry, warm spell of weather, you'll have to keep on waiting because this weekend it is going to stay cool and there will be plenty more heavy, thundery downpours. 0n the atlantic satellite picture, you can see this big pipeline of cloud just ploughing its way from west to east. you can think of this line of cloud as something of a barrier. it's keeping the warm air away from our shores. that warm air will lift temperatures across parts of southern spain this weekend into the low to mid 30s. but for us, we are stuck in cool air and we are stuck under the influence of low pressure. this will bring showers or longer spells of rain through the weekend.
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a band of cloud with outbreaks of rain drifting north—eastwards across england and wales, clipping into northern ireland as we head through saturday morning. behind that, well, we revert to that mix of sunshine and showers. some of the showers will be heavy with hail and thunder. not too many showers across scotland. certainly across the northern half of scotland as we go through the day. although for shetland, it will stay pretty grey and damp all day long. temperatures struggling for north—eastern areas — just 11 degrees. even in the best of the sunshine, 15 or 16 — that is it. through saturday evening, the showers will try to fade but actually, i think through the early hours of sunday morning the showers will pep up again down towards the south—west. that is the first sign of what is going to be quite a turbulent day of weather on sunday, as this area of low pressure moves right on top of the uk. that means the air will be very, very unstable. so while most places will start with some dry weather and some sunshine, keep an eye on the skies, you will see big thunder clouds developing.
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some really intense downpours with frequent lightning, some hail, some very squally, gusty wind and some particularly strong winds down towards the channel islands. there will be some sunshine between the showers but temperatures below par, 11 to 15 degrees. and as we head to the start of next week low pressure will still be close by. that means we will see further showers or longer spells of rain through the week ahead. some of those showers always with the potential to be heavy, possibly thundery. some sunshine in between, but no sign of anything warm on the horizon.
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welcome to bbc news — i'm maryam moshiri. our top stories: palestinian officials say at least seven people, including four children, have been killed in the latest israeli air—strike on gaza. britain's prime minister warns that the new indian variant of coronavirus could pose a serious disruption to tackling covid. and, as the countdown continues to the tokyo 0lympics, fresh concerns over whether the games will actually go ahead. and, china prepares to make space history, becoming only the second country to land a rover on mars.


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