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tv   Wednesday in Parliament  BBC News  March 8, 2018 2:30am-3:01am GMT

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sergei and yulia skripal have been critically ill in hospital since being found slumped unconscious on a bench on sunday. suspicion has fallen on russia, which has denied involvement. the white house are saying some countries could be excluded from donald trump's plan to tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. the measures had led to concerns about the potential trade war. the president is expected to go ahead with approving them formally before the end of this week. counting is underway in sierra leone after more than three million people voted for a new president and parliament. president ernest bai koroma is standing down after serving two five—year terms. a run—off vote will take place if no presidential candidate wins 55% of the ballot. now on bbc news, wednesday in parliament. hello and welcome to the programme. as saudi arabia's crown prince begins a three day visit to the uk there are questions for theresa may about the uk's links to the country. as she makes her arms sales pitch, will she also call on the crown prince to halt the shocking abuse of human rights in saudi arabia? the link we have with saudi arabia
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is historic, it is an important one, and it has saved the lives of potentially hundreds of people in this country. also on this programme: a call to make misogynistic abuse a hate crime. misogyny is everywhere in our society, absolutely everywhere. to the point where we often miss it because it has been so normalised. and mps investigate why your fake fur bobble hat may not be fake fur at all. but first. theresa may has defended the uk's relationship with saudi arabia at the start of a three day visit by crown prince mohammed bin salman. his schedule includes talks with theresa may and lunch with the queen. the crown prince is credited with kick—starting economic and social reforms in the kingdom, such as the lifting of the ban on women driving.
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but protestors have objected to the country's human rights record and its involvement in the war in yemen. jeremy corbyn raised the visit at prime ministers questions. but the session began with theresa may updating mps on the suspected poisoning of a former russian spy and his daughter in salisbury. the police investigation is ongoing. yesterday afternoon, i chaired a meeting of the national security council where we were updated on that investigation which is now being led by counterterrorism police. and this morning, my right honourable friend, the home secretary, chaired a meeting of the government's emergency committee, cobra, and has asked police for an update later today. it was later revealed that a very rare nerve agent had been used. the labour leader thanked theresa may for the update and then began his first question. tomorrow is international women's day, a chance to both celebrate how far we have come for equality on women, but also reflect on how far we have to go, not just in this country, but around the world.
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and with that in mind he turned to the visit of saudi arabia's crown prince mohammed bin salman. despite much talk of reform, there has been a sharp increase in the arrest and detention of dissidents, torture of prisoners is common. human rights defenders routinely sentenced to lengthy prison terms, unfair trials and executions are widespread as amnesty international confirms. as she makes her arms sales pitch, will she also call on the crown prince to halt the shocking abuse of human rights in saudi arabia? well, first of all, can i thank the right honourable gentleman for telling me that it's international women's day tomorrow. i think that's what's called mansplaining. i welcome, i look forward to welcoming crown prince mohammed bin salman from saudi arabia to this... well, labour backbenchers from sedentary positions are shouting "shame". can i just say to those backbenchers
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that the link that we have with saudi arabia is historic, it is an important one and it has saved the lives of potentially hundreds of people in this country? when i meet with the crown prince when i meet him and can ijust say as the right honourable gentleman started on the issue of international women's day, i welcome the fact that the crown prince will be sitting down with as the guest of a female prime minister. when i meet with the crown prince when i meet him and can ijust say as the right honourable gentleman started on the issue
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of international women's day, i welcome the fact that the crown prince will be sitting down with as the guest of a female prime minister. as the crown prince sweeps across westminster and whitehall, will she pledge to raise a specific case concerning the jailing of writer raif badawi, who languishes in a prison now for six years all because he had written something his government didn't like? his wife and children have now claimed asylum in canada. will she pledge to raise his case and do something that her predecessor never could, stand at the despatch box, say that raif badawi is no criminal and that raif badawi should be set free? can i say to the honourable gentleman that i'll be raising a number of cases with the crown prince as i see him over the next couple of days. the case he specifically refers to of raif badawi is not something that waits for a visit of the crown prince to raise. we do regularly monitor the situation and regularly raise this question with the saudi government and we will continue to do so.
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jeremy corbyn moved on from saudi arabia's human rights record to its involvement in the war in yemen, where it's backing attempts to restore the country's president. germany has suspended arms deals to saudi arabia, but british arms sales have sharply increased and british military advisers are directing the war. it cannot be right that her government, mr speaker, it cannot be right that her government is colluding in what the united nations says is evidence of war crimes. we have a very tight arms export regime in this country. and when there are allegations of arms not being used within the law, that we expect that to be investigated and lessons to be learned on that. theresa may. well, a short time later, a foreign office minister came to the commons to answer an urgent question, on the uk's relationship with saudi arabia. there will be wide spread concern across parties at the fact that the dictatorial head of a medieval, theocratic regime is being given the red carpet equivalent of a state visit. and i also asked if he can explain why the safeguards on the use of british weapons which were introduced at the end of the coalition at the insistence of myself for my liberal democrat colleagues are apparently no longer being applied?
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we keep under strict checks to ensure that international laws are abided by, to make sure that we can provide the support of saudi arabia that it needs in order to protect itself. labour said it wanted a good diplomatic and economic relationship with saudi arabia, but with any good relationship there had to be honesty. as long as they continued the indiscriminate bombing of residential areas of farms, and markets in yemen, as long as they continue to restrict the flow of food, medical supplies and fuels to a population suffering from mass epidemics of knowledge attrition and cholera, then they should not expect our support in that war and the crown prince does not deserve to have the red carpet rolled out for him here in britain. because let us look at the man who the british government are bearing and scraping to today. the architect of the saudi air strikes and blockade in yemen, funding in the syrian civil war, ordering his guards to beat up the minute the prime minister of lebanon. and the eight months since he became crown prince, doubling the numbers
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of executions in saudi arabia. the minister said everyone wanted to see an end to the conflict in yemen but simply calling for a ceasefire wouldn't make it happen. you have the facts on the ground to make sure that a cease—fire actually works. it is all very well for the honourable lady to shake her head. she is not faced with some of the issues that face of government ministers in relation to this nor is she giving full credit to the efforts that are being made to try to bring this matter to an end. she is at the sole holder of conscience in this place. we deal with the difficulties of trying to deal with the humanitarian crisis in yemen. that is what we are seeking to do and we will ban all of our efforts to that and continued to do so with or without her support. the former labour prime minister, gordon brown, has called for police
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to investigate "criminal wrongdoing" by the press. an ex—private investigator who was used by the sunday times has spoken about the activity he was involved in to obtain information for the paper. john ford said his methods included stealing rubbish and "blagging" or pretending to be a bank or utilities account holder. the sunday times said it "strongly rejects" the claim that it had ever commissioned anyone to act illegally. in the commons, labour called for the leveson inquiry into press standards to be re—opened. but the culture secretary stuck to his announcement made last week that the second stage of leveson should not go ahead. the fact that this activity stopped in 2010 underlines the point that the world has changed. practises like these have been investigated, newspapers today are in a very different position to when these alleged offences took place. this view is in fact strengthened by today by the example because the behaviour we discovered today was before the leveson inquiry and existing or is in place to deal with it. criminal behaviour should be dealt with by the police and the courts
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and anyone who has committed a criminal offence should face the full force of the law. mr speaker, the world has not changed. the one rogue blaggard defence has been uttered from the mouth of the secretary of state. and when he announced last week that he was dropping the leveson inquiry, the culture secretary said he was doing so because the inquiry looked into everything in this area. and it was followed by a three police investigations. we looked into these things as a society. we had a comprehensive and look at the inquiry. he told us that the matter was closed. there was nothing more to see. well, overnight, the bbc has reported allegations by another whistle—blower, john ford, who says he was a blaggard from the sunday times for 15 years. i was just a secretary when we set up the inquiry and we were promised
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a second stage of the inquiry. if my right honourable friend would not be surprised to discover that i'd share some people were disappointed that it was postponed. does he really think that there is no longer any sufficient public interest in new allegations of this kind? 0r knowing which newspapers were bribing, which policemen because it was this long ago as seven years? the former labour leader, ed miliband, said sir brian leveson himself wanted the next stage of the inquiry to take place. of course the police are looking at specific instances. but the questions sir brian is posing is what is the culture that allowed this practise is to happen and how can we have reassurance that that culture has changed? how can he had the reassurance without a leveson inquiry? clearly, not only has there already been a leveson inquiry today's areas, but it has clearly changed.
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the fact that these practises change in the best ten underlines the fact that they are historic practises. but we have to address now is how to ensure that there is high—quality journalism in the years to come rather than going into revisiting the time when he was at the height of his powers. ed miliband unimpressed there by that answer from matt hancock. there was a call for misogyny to be treated as a hate crime, because mps argued the power imbalance in society meant women were routinely treated as a minority. a debate in westminster hall heard that the definition of a hate crime should be extended to include the abuse of women, if they are targeted simply because of their gender. and there was some strong language used in this debate to describe such abuse. all forms of abuse are committed disproportionately against women
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and girls end the perpetrators are usually men. part of what is stopping women achieving equality is violence against women and girls. this debate is about securing an extension to existing hate crime definitions and sentencing to better prevent violence against women. to support the early intervention against lower—level incidents and give women greater confidence and reporting the actions that too often have become the wallpaper of their wives. when she talks about misogyny, and ijust wondered whether we could take it as read therefore that she thought that misandry should also be a hate crime in exactly the same way and if she doesn't, could just lay why she thinks there should be one rule for one and another rule for the other? melanie onn said she was not pursuing that idea because she thought the power imbalance in society meant women were affected disproportionately.
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mhairi black then read out some of the extreme abuse she has received online — which, because of the language, we can't broadcast here. i've been assured multiple times because i don't have to worry because i am so ugly because nobody would want to rate me. all of these have been tailored to be because i'm a woman. we can kid ourselves that these are a few bad on the anonymous people on twitter but it's not. this is everyday, common language. the minister for women insisted the government was taking this issue seriously, saying it had brought in changes such as a new law on revenge pornography. but... i do think we need to be careful. about creating laws which would inadvertently conflict with the principles of equality. if we were to have a crime in relation to gender i think we would have to think through very
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carefully whether that's applies to the whole of the population as opposed to half of it. victoria atkins, who herself came off twitter because of the abuse she suffered, also said hate crimes were meant for minorities in society and she was hesitant to put women in that category. you're watching wednesday in parliament with me, alicia mccarthy. let's go back to prime minster‘s questions, wherejeremy corbyn used the rest of his questions to tackle theresa may over the problem of homelessness. in november the chancellor of the exchequer announced a task force and £20 million for three pilot schemes to hack a homelessness. i understand for months on the task force has not yet met. not a penny has been spent on that programme. mr speaker, there is a homelessness crisis in this country. rough sleeping has doubled since 2010. doesn't the premise or think it is a little unambitious to say we're going to tackle rough sleeping by 2027. can i say we are going
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to eliminate it. that's our aim by 2027. but let me just perhaps... perhaps it would be helpful if i was to update, because a task force that he referred to has in fact met. it met today. we are funding 48 projects to help rough sleepers into emergency accommodations and to overcome the issues like mental health and substance abuse. it is why there have been councils around the country during severe weather ensuring their providing accommodation for people who are sleeping on the streets. but also dealing with the underlying issues that lead to somebody sleeping on the streets. it is why we are ensuring that we are implementing accounting first in a number regions.
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to put entrenched rough sleepers into accommodation as a first step to rebuilding their lives. plaid cymru has called for uk nationals to be allowed to keep their european union citizenship after brexit. holding a debate in the commons the party said that under the proposal, british citizens would be able to keep their "european identity and citizenship" either by protecting existing arrangements or by creating a new "associate european citizenship." the assumption so far however on both sides of the eu and the government tear it is that you citizenship lapses we can't force you to exit the european union. but european union citizenship to not replace uk citizenship did not... both continue to coexist. and leaving the eu does not entail the end of the eu citizenship for uk citizens.
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one thing that depresses me is that by the end of this parliament perhaps uniquely, there'll be fewer opportunities and young people have fewer rights than those of us who sit in this parliament today i've enjoyed. and that is something that we should all reflect on. at the end of any parliament regardless was a government, regardless which party, it should be aspiration of all of us, and i do think the young people should have more opportunities and better opportunities than those who went before them. that should always be our goal. the government has been clear that the membership in the you will end on the 29th of march 2019. we are content to listen to proposals from the eu on associate citizenship for uk nationals. however, to date this has not been formally proposed to the uk in the negotiations. eu treaty provisions state that only citizens of eu member states
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are able to hold you citizenship. are able to hold eu citizenship. does that woolly hat you pulled on during the cold snap last week have a fake fur bobble on it? well if it does, be warned: that bobble may contain actual animalfur. the environment committee has been gathering evidence after a spate of cases where garments trimmed with fake fur were contaminated with the real thing. samples sent to a laboratory were found to contain a variety of different animal furs, which were often cheaper than synthetic fibres. the revelations emerged after investigations by sky news and the bbc. all the products we found were labelled as for, they were all quite cheap price point under the £30 mark. we have those items sent to the fibres expert. one of the leading experts in this area any identified, they ranged in terms of species from raccoons to dogs, to rabbits.
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most consistent with cats for quite asked ordinarily. because fake fur does feel very much like real fur. to the naked eye and to feel you would necessarily tell the difference would you. no, absolutely. and what we've told people about the accuser used to tell fake fur, these completely unreliable cues. including price. people using price to indicate fake fur. including colour like bright pink. all the queues of people using our unreliable. it was a range of reactions. some were left crying, frankly. i'm an animal rights already constructing a somebody would...
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we can reveal that she sold us with pom—poms made with rabbits. we took that to her. she burst into tears. she said she would never do that. she takes in strays. then she admitted on camera that she hadn't even asked her supplier whether it was fake fur. had not done any checks. i break that story in april, december admittedly different brands. but rivals were still being found. although they were small in number. these are big brands that you would expect to have these checks. so what did the shops have to say? i think the challenge is about understanding the nature of the problem. so on that resetting the nature of the problem. the supply chains are being contaminated because the real furs than the fake fur. with something that
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only came to light with the sky news inquiry. so knowing that... so back in 2015 you are alerted to this, is that what you're saying? nothing was happening in that way. such that in the choice of material we were expected to be a fabric that... it's interesting that you now feel it's necessary, but you didn't feel is necessary in '15, because otherwise in '17 it wouldn't have been in your shop and sky news with the fact in the bbc wouldn't have had it. his board to carry on when the heat dies down. will you go back to having some real fur traitorous fake fur? with complete respect what our systems have been a place in 2015 they continue. each step if something happens
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we learn and we improve the system. dorothy maxwell from house of fraser. finally for now to the lords, where fears were raised that music was being pushed out of school curriculums in england. the education minister insisted money was going in to make sure children still took up the subject. between 2016 and 2020 we are providing £300 million of funding for music education. to ensure all pupils have the opportunity to learn an instrument, saying, and perform regularly, and have access to clear roots of progression. in the last year a low in england but it fell by 8%. is he aware that a survey of six and a half thousand schools, teachers held the eu for this decline. there's no evidence that the subject of the client...
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did the proportion of time spent studying music has remained broadly stable since 2010. when there is so much concern about child and adolescent mental health would he accept that it is important that within schools there opportunities for children to participate in music for the therapeutic and social benefits they convey his, and that is particularly true of performing music groups. my own academy trust i appointed, director musicjust before a point just an acid to give me his early feedback. but he has said pupils find listening easier, listening longer. pupils readily try new things. improved multitasking skills. and in relation to extracurricular ensemble, he talks about pupils
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being better able to understand commitment, time management, perseverance, and cooperation. can you see why facilities are so much worse than they are in many private schools. a situation which would be reversed by that premium. wars of the case of the conservative government is quite content for the study of music to be the preserve of the wealthy? as to music in schools... the commitment to music remains. they are supporting some 111,000 ensemble across the country. the ebacc being the english baccalaureate of core subjects the minister defended the focus on the ebacc saying it was enabling more children to go to university as the music in schools. lord agnew. and that's it from us for now, but dojoin me on bbc parliament on thursday night at 11 for a full
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round up of the day at westminster, when it's environment questions in the commons and both houses hold debates marking international women's day. but for now from me, alicia mccarthy, goodbye. a weather looks to be a turning milder on the weekend but in the short term it is chillier and a bit of snow in the forecast. a cloud coming in from the south—west across parts of england and wales reducing some rain, sleet and snow. this is first thing on thursday. parts of wales, midlands and northern england but also in lower levels you could have picked up a few centimetres. that could this some snow falling as
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you start of the day. even behind the rain, sleet and snow, some wintry showers through here. worth checking before you head out in the morning to find the situation near you to make sure you will not encounter problems. the bbc local radio is a good place to start. the rain, sleet and snow will pull away from northern england and then it is quite a picture. still wintry on the higher hills. fine and sunny weather coming. there will be a few showers for parts of the northern and western isles west. most of us, temperatures in single figures. under largely the skies, a frost settling in. wintry showers affecting parts of scotland. be aware of that. some showers. cloud
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increasing as outbreaks of rain head into parts of southern england and south wales as we go through ride out the noon and into the evening. temperatures at mainly in single figures. the next weather system coming in as we go through friday and then into saturday, takes that moisture further north. still with the threat of snow. it is the leading edge of less cold air. milderairas leading edge of less cold air. milder air as you leading edge of less cold air. milderairas you can leading edge of less cold air. milder air as you can see by the colours here, moving north through the uk. not all plain sailing at the weekend. there will be some outbreaks of rain and the chance to see some hill snow but temperatures for the weekend are on the up. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: it's confirmed, a toxic nerve agent was used to poison a former russian spy and his daughter. sergei and yulia skripal and a police officer are still critically ill.
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police are now treating the attack as attempted murder, but they're not giving any more details of the substance used. president trump pushes ahead with his metal tariff‘s plan, but there could be exemptions for canada and mexico. more than three million people cast their vote, and now counting begins in sierra leone for a new president and parliament.
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