tv The Week in Parliament BBC News July 24, 2021 2:30am-3:01am BST
the olympic games at a ceremony in tokyo. it took place in an empty stadium with fewer than 1,000 spectators because of the pandemic. the ioc president said preparing for the games had been a difficultjourney with unprecedented challenges. the funeral of the assassinated haitian president, jovenel moise, has taken place amid heavy security near cap—haitien — the main city of his native northern region. outside the moise family compound, police fired shots and tear gas at protesters voicing anger at the president's murder. more than 100 people have been killed after torrential monsoon rains triggered landslides and flooding in western india. officials say that dozens of bodies have been recovered from a landslide in the district of raigad.
now on bbc news, the week in parliament. hello again, and welcome to the week in parliament, your irreplaceable guide to the world of westminster and beyond. in this programme, labour delivers the prime minister's end—of—term report. last week, a million kids were off school, businesses are closing and millions will spend their summer self—isolating. a self—isolating borisjohnson explains the government's approach to covid. you have to balance the catastrophe of the disease against the suffering that is caused by lockdowns. as england ditches facemasks, mps search for some summer travel tips. if you're on an ner train travelling from england i
through to scotland, the rules i change as you cross the border. have you any idea how that will practically work? - and we look back on 60 years of pmqs. you need to write out 1000 times, "i will behave myself at prime minister's questions!" but first, the last week of the parliamentary term was dominated, as was the rest of it, by the pandemic. two, one... on monday, so—called "freedom day", most legal restrictions were lifted in england. nightclubs finally reopened after 16 months, but ministers now say you'll need a covid passport to gain entry from september. it was the week the pandemic became the ping—demic, with more than half a million people told to isolate by the nhs app despite conflicting government advice. more than a million children missed school. ministers worried openly that staff shortages could lead to empty shelves
in supermarkets. at prime minister's questions, borisjohnson defended the covid isolation rules from his own isolation at the prime minister's country residence, chequers. the mounting confusion offered plenty of ammunition for the labour leader, sir keir starmer. i can't believe that the prime minister doesn't see the irony of him spending freedom day locked in isolation and...and... ..and announcing plans for a vaccine id card. i remember when he used to say he'd eat an id card if he ever had to produce one, but now he's introducing them. so, mr speaker, when it comes to creating confusion, the prime minister is a super—spreader. he wondered why the need for covid passports in nightclubs would only be introduced in the autumn. everybody can see that we have to wait until the end of september, by which time it's only fair to the younger generation, when they will all
have been offered two jabs, before we consider something like asking people to be double—jabbed before they go into a nightclub. that's blindingly obvious to everybody. it's common sense. the prime minister's former adviser, dominic cummings, is still making headlines. he made public text messages sent by borisjohnson that suggested he'd resisted a lockdown last autumn because he thought people dying from covid were "essentially all over 80". keir starmer had watched the interview. we've all now seen the prime minister's text message. i quote, "the median age for covid fatalities is 82. that is above life expectancy." and we have the prime minister's conclusion in the same text. "so get covid and live longer." remind the prime minister, over 83,000 people aged 80 or over lost their lives to this virus, every one leaving behind a grieving family and loved ones.
so, will the prime minister now apologise for using those words? there will of course be a public inquiry into what has happened, but i would just remind the right honourable gentleman that when he goes back over the decision—making processes that we had in those very, very difficult and dark times that these are incredibly tough balancing decisions that you have to take. again, you have to balance the catastrophe of the disease against the suffering that is caused by lockdowns, the impacts on mental health, the loss of life chances for young people, mr speaker. the labour leader accused borisjohnson of breaking numerous promises. mr speaker, he also promised that monday would be freedom day. he said 18 times from that despatch box that it'd be irreversible. but the truth is he's let a new variant into the country, he's let cases soar and he's left us... ..he�*s left us with the highest death toll in europe and one of the worst—hit economies of any major economy. last week, a million kids were off school, businesses are closing and millions will spend
their summer self—isolating. but don't worry, mr speaker, the prime minister's got it all under control. because this morning we read he's got a new three—word slogan — keep life moving. you couldn't make it up. mr speaker, isn't it clear there's only three words, three words this prime minister needs to focus on — geta grip? mr speaker, let's look at the position now as it was at the end of last year. and as we come to the end of this parliamentary term, let's be absolutely clear that it is thanks to the vaccine roll—out, which by the way i never tire of repeating would've been impossible if we'd followed his advice, that 9 million people have now
come off furlough, unemployment is 2 million lower than predicted, job vacancies, mr speaker, are 10% higher than they were before the pandemic began, business insolvencies are lower than before the pandemic began. he wants three—word slogans, mr speaker, i'll give him a three—word slogan. 0ur three—word slogan is "get a jab", and get a jab, and by the way what we're also doing is helping people to get a job. we're turning jabs, jabs, jabs intojobs, jobs, jobs. and after those exchanges, it was announced that one of keir starmer�*s children had tested positive for coronavirus. the labour leader is now also self—isolating. the snp�*s westminster leader returned to the prime minister's words in those dominic cummings text messages. the reality is that the prime minister wrote| these words himself. the over—80s were expendable. a prime minister is charged with protecting society, - not putting folk at risk of an early death. - such a glib attitude towards human life is indefensible. i the prime minister is simply,
simply not fit for office. - he said the only way to get at the truth was to bring forward the public inquiry into the pandemic that's due to begin next spring. i don't think that right now, in the middle of a third wave, when we're seeing many of the key people involved in fighting the pandemic very, very heavily occupied, i don't think it's right to ask them to devote a lot of their time to a public inquiry of the kind that i think we would all want to see. borisjohnson. as if the ping—demic were not disruptive enough, there's also been more confusion about the ever changing covid travel rules. the top civil servant at the department for transport was grilled by mps on the public accounts committee about some of the changes. bernadette kelly agreed that putting france in a separate
new category did add "complication" to the traffic light system. we seem to have introduced a fourth light in the traffic lights, which is usually a recipe for chaos i would've thought. are we likely to see more fourth lights or are we going to see a rainbow of all the colours with joy for everybody, but perhaps an illusory crock of gold at the end of it? look, i understand that obviously what we have done here with france is introduce an exemption to the red traffic light, but that which nonetheless requires people who've been double—vaccinated to quarantine on arrival. i agree it does add some complications. i think what we are doing now is urgently ensuring that we have a system that is as effective and also something that people can understand. she was also asked about domestic travel complications. one of the issues being raised with us is that i
if you're on an ner train travelling from england i through to scotland, the rules i change as you cross the border. have you any idea how that will practically work? - well, what i hope is that people will be sensible and put their facemasks on if they haven't already got them on, at the point at which they travel into scotland where it's mandatory. it's very much the same as coming in on a train to a london mainline station and then getting onto the tfl network. so, as i say, we're relying on people's good sense and good judgement here, i think. and certainly what i saw this morning was a lot of people wearing masks on public transport. bernadette kelly. now, we may have left the european union, but brexit, like dominic cummings, is still with us, with the government seeking to renegotiate part of the deal it negotiated with the eu. the so—called northern ireland protocol helps prevent the need for checks on the border of the island of ireland, effectively by creating a border down the irish sea. but ministers are particularly concerned that some food products won't be able to move from great britain to northern ireland
when a grace period expires at the end of september. the minister who negotiated that deal explained the problems with the way it's working. my lords, the difficulties we have in operating the northern ireland protocol are now the main obstacle to building a relationship with the eu that reflects our strong common interests and values. instead of relationship, we're seeing one that is punctuated with legal challenges and characterised by disagreement and mistrust. we do not want that pattern to be set, not least because it does not support stability in northern ireland. the northern ireland secretary told mps it was time for the uk and the eu to strike a new balance. we have today set out an approach which we believe can do just that. we urge the eu to look at it with fresh eyes and work with us to seize this opportunity and put our relations on a better footing. that new approach would include ending checks forfood products "only ever intended to be
consumed in northern ireland" and removing medicines entirely from the scope of the protocol. that approach failed to win over labour. today, businesses and _ communities needed reassurance. they needed to see _ the secretary of state announce to this house an agreementl on a sustainable way forward that will fix the problems i the prime minister created. instead, they have more political brinkmanship, i more threats to tear up i the protocol with nothing to take its place. communities are tired of these games from a government - they have totally lost trust in. - northern ireland's political parties gave it a mixed response. the statement today is a welcome and significant and important first step. to be clear, mr speaker, tinkering around the edges simply doesn't work. and i trust that the eu will approach new negotiations in good faith and recognise the need to enter into new arrangements that remove
the irish sea border. this statement, mr speaker, is the second attempt in one week that this government has made to distance itself from agreements that they have negotiated. why does he think that any other country or any person in northern ireland would trust anything that this government says from this day forward? the only legally sustainable way forward to achieve - the necessary flexibilitiesl and mitigations is through agreement with the - european union, either within the protocol or building on the trade and cooperation| agreement. so, does the secretary of state recognise that achieving that. requires trust to bel built and sustained, but all of the government's actions around the protocol this year have undermined that, including today the empty- threats around article 16? article 16 of the protocol allows the suspension of the brexit deal. the government says it won't trigger that now, but all options are still on the table. brandon lewis laid the blame
firmly at the door of brussels. it's the eu who have said they would at work at pace to resolve these issues seven months ago. it's the eu who sought to trigger article 16 that caused so many issues for the unionist community in northern ireland and who have not yet come to agreement on a range of issues that we need to resolve for the people of northern ireland. i think it is right, therefore, that we take this opportunity to outline a way we think to move forward in a positive way that can rebuild the relationship with the eu and fundamentally resolve the core issues that are detrimentally affecting so many of his constituents and people across northern ireland. brandon lewis. sometimes the most effective committee inquiries are those where the politicians let others do most of the talking. mps on thejustice committee have been hearing from former prisoners as part of their inquiry into women in prison. one of them, lisa, explained how she'd ended up with a jail sentence. my life was in tatters. i was in a really destructive relationship.
i could not stop using the substances that i was using, which i was on... i was an intravenous drug user, on heroin and crack. i couldn't stop. my addiction was escalating, which had a really bad impact on my mental health. she'd ended up — in her words — committing more and more crimes. when i went to prison, i was relieved. i thought, "oh, my god, thank god! i've been given the opportunity to be removed from my life and possibly have this period of time where i'm away from that," and i had every determination to get my life back together. she'd hoped for support and treatment. their solution to my mental health was to put me on really quite huge anti—psychotic medication that would, you know, knock out an elephant. this stuff is, like, seriously strong, and i'm sure that it was to keep
me calm, and i... that wasn't a solution. and she called for far greater support for women in prison, saying many were "victims". when i'm treated like i am worthy and i'm not dictated by this stigma and stereotype and ball—and—chain of my past, actually, i have a choice. and you can make that choice every day. it's all about empowering. it's all about empowering and encouraging change — that, actually, every single human being has got the capacity to be able to, you know, up—level their lives, to live a life of freedom, to have love in their life. lisa, telling mps on the justice committee how she turned her life around after prison. time now for a look at some other news in brief. the home secretary, priti patel, has defended a new deal in which the uk will pay france £54 million
to stem the rising number of migrants crossing the english channel. the number of people crossing the channel this year has now passed the total for the whole of 2020. the latest deal follows a payment of £28 million to the french last november. mps on the home affairs committee were sceptical it had been money well—spent. since that time, we now have a record number of boats which have come across the channel and the number of interceptions has actually fallen by the french. so, last night, you announced that we're going to give the french another 50 million — or 5a million, i think the figure was — to do the same thing. so isn't that throwing good money after bad? this is never a static situation. this is an evolving situation. the numbers of migrants attempting these crossings from france has increased considerably, and we are also seeing — i mean, the
french interior minister and i were discussing this last night — over 60% of the inflow coming to france is actually coming from belgium. and this is an increased trend in a pattern. a top police officer will be put in charge of tackling violence against women and girls in england and wales. the creation of the role was recommended in a report after 33—year—old sarah everard was murdered in march. her death — she was killed by a serving police officer — sparked a public debate about women's safety. these crimes that disproportionately affect women and girls are despicable. it is high time we sent a message — enough is enough. this government will always stand up for the law—abiding majority. and through this strategy, we will strive relentlessly to prevent these crimes, to support victims and to bring perpetrators to justice. today, rape prosecutions are a record low, domestic abuse in this country is soaring, charging is falling.
sexual abuse in school is being normalised, according to the recent 0fsted inspections. ending violence against women and girls is a cross party issue. on all sides of this house, there is a profound concern and desire for an ambitious strategy that would deliver. mr speaker, the strategy today is not ambitious enough. the housing secretary has said that mortgage lenders should no longer require safety information on external walls for properties in low and medium—rise blocks. in the wake of the grenfell towerfire in 2017, banks had been asking for so—called "cladding" forms and refusing mortgages if buildings failed safety assessments. robertjenrick said the number of fires in people's homes was the lowest since records began. on this basis, expert advice includes five significant recommendations to correct the disproportionate reaction that we've seen in some parts of the market. firstly, ews1 forms should not be a requirement on buildings below 18 metres.
but some mps doubted it would make a big difference to leaseholders. fundamentally, this bill betrays leaseholders, who will still face life—changing costs for problems they did not create and who are trapped in unsellable, uninsurable, unmortgageable homes, notwithstanding some of his announcements today, which i fear will do little to resolve it. two members of the house of lords have been banned from parliament's bars, libraries and restaurants because they refused to attend compulsory anti—bullying training. lord kalms and lord willoughby de broke were found to have breached the code of conduct for peers. but one member of the lords argued the ban was self—defeating. do we really, my lords, want to say to former captains of industry and others that we wish to treat you as recalcitrant schoolboys? "because you didn't do your prep, you can't go to the tux shop or the library," especially as the library has
a number of books on good behaviour. lord cormack, who — as you've probably guessed — was in a former life a schoolteacher. now, one of the joys of working in a centuries—old institution is that you're never more than a few days away from a significant anniversary. and so the speaker, sir lindsay hoyle, was keen to mark 60 years since the first prime minister's questions on july 18, 1961. on that day, the speaker at the time was sir harry hylton—foster, who was the last speaker to die in post. i hope not to reintroduce that! laughter he introduced pmqs by informing the house that the prime minister harold macmillan "was willing to try this experiment for the remainder of the session, if that be the wish
of the house." after 60 years, 12 prime ministers, pmqs has become one of the most high—profile events of the parliamentary week. questions to the prime minister! there were no tv pictures in macmillan's day. the cameras weren't allowed in until 1989, in margaret thatcher's third term. will the prime minister now make a public apology for this gross incompetence? mr speaker, apart from the year it sold jaguar, rover had not made a profit since 1976. the first question to a great new prime minister, sir. tony blair. prime ministers and leaders of the opposition have come and gone since then. this approach is stuck in the past, and i want to talk about the future. he was the future once!
laughter it's not a forum for the nervous. although i know its many harsh contentions, it is still the arena that sets the heart beating a little faster. and if it is, on occasions, the place of low skullduggery, it is more often the place for the pursuit of noble causes, and i wish everyone, friend or foe, well. and that is that, the end. laughter, applause many prime ministers find defence the best form of attack. a boss... and maybe even a boss who exploits the rules to further his own career. jeering remind him of anybody? the referee has changed a few times over the years too. remember him? order, order! you really, you really... order!
you really are a very overexcitable individual! you need to write out a thousand times, "i will behave myself at prime minister's questions"! john bercow was a modernising speaker, but even he didn't have to preside over prime minister's questions by videolink from a 16th—century manor house in buckinghamshire — a first for the pandemic parliament. what could possibly go wrong? hang on a minute. is it this thing here? prime minister... people were trying to be quite rowdy, but i can hear you now. continue... can you hear me, mr speaker? mr speaker, can you hear me? i can hear you loud and clear, prime minister! do you want me to give that answer again? no, don't worry! just complete the end bit.
well, that never happened in macmillan's day! mps and peers have now left westminsterfor their summer break. they'll be back in september, but we won't. this is the very last edition of the week in parliament — and there'll be no more daily programmes either. groans thank you. this programme started life as the record way back in 1992 on bbc two, before migrating to the bbc parliament channel when it started in the late �*90s. a weekly round—up programme was added... hello there, and welcome to the record review of the week at westminster. ..although that was rebranded after an mp turned up for the show thinking he'd been invited on to talk about his record collection. well, that may not be entirely true, but in 2012 the programme became known as the day in parliament with another weekly review. welcome to the week in parliament, and indeed welcome to parliament. and as well as keeping you informed about the big
issues in parliament, we didn't forget its traditions either. there used to be a great deal of doffing when a new peer was introduced to the house of lords. watch prorogation. it's one of the few examples you'll ever see of a real doff in action. ok, so you're obviously our expert. give us a quick rundown — what makes a good doff? and then we're going to have a go. take the end of the hat with your right hand and a good forward projection of the hat. we have to finish off by having a go, then. now, i understand that as a lady, i only have to nod, so i've got the easyjob. so, here we go. well, shall i give us a command of three, mark? 0k, ready when you are. one, two, three... now, you don't get that on netflix, do you? that was the week in parliament. thank you for watching and goodbye.
hello. after another fairly warm and mostly dry day on friday, things are now changing with the weather. we've got some heavy showers and some thunderstorms moving their way in from the south—west and through the course of the weekend, it's going to turn cooler and fresher with some downpours for some places, particularly towards the south. that's down to the fact that this area of low pressure is pushing its way in, and that's going to generate some really heavy downpours at times, some showers, some thunderstorms as well. and if you do catch some of those thunderstorms, they could bring some disruption to travel — particularly across parts of southern england and south wales, there is a risk of some localised flooding. so as we head through saturday morning then, initially the heaviest of the downpours will be close to the south coast and they'll slowly work their way northwards across the southern half of england and wales as we head through the day. some of them bringing some thunderstorms, some hail and some gusty winds mixed in with some of those heavy showers.
further north across the uk, most places staying dry with some warm sunshine. temperatures around 26, possibly 27 degrees in the warmest spots towards the north—west. we've got more cloud just lurking around those eastern coasts of scotland and north—east england as well. into saturday evening, we keep that threat of heavy showers and thunderstorms going on across some southern and south—eastern parts of england. they should ease a little bit overnight. many places starting sunday morning on a dry note and temperatures a little bit fresher overnight than they've been recently, between about 12 to perhaps 16 degrees or so. now, through the second half of the weekend, then, low pressure still not far away. it's just starting to drift its way a little bit further eastwards, so that's going to bring another day of fairly heavy showers and thunderstorms. but i think the focus of most of them during sunday will be across southern and south—eastern parts of england, perhaps one or two into south wales, too. but for the rest of the uk, once again, some dry and some warm weather with fairly light winds and long spells of sunshine. temperatures down a notch on recent days, so by the time we get to sunday, highs typically about 20—211 degrees for most of us. again, watch out for localised flooding with those torrential
hit—and—miss heavy showers. into monday, and another day of a few showers around across southern parts of england and wales and if you do catch one, it could be heavy and thundery as well. but i think much of the uk seeing again some spells of sunshine and largely dry conditions with temperatures about 20—211 degrees on monday. into the working week, it does remain pretty unsettled. more showers in the outlook, as you can see, but turning a little bit drierfurther south across the uk. bye— bye.
this is bbc news. i'm sarah mulkerrins — live in tokyo, where the olympic games are now under way. there were fireworks, but hardly any spectators, as the opening ceremony took place a year later than planned. saturday will see the first medals being awarded as athletes try to focus on competition rather than covid. and i'm lewis vaughan jones — in london. the rest of the day's headlines: a funeral�*s held for haiti's presidentjovenal moise after he was shot dead at his home two weeks ago. more than 100 people have died in western india in landslides and flooding triggered by torrential monsoon rains. and — what's in a name?