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tv   The Week in Parliament  BBC News  March 11, 2018 2:30pm-3:00pm GMT

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the government promises "robust" action after the poisoning of a former russian spy. the investigation is moving at pace and we will move without hesitation and we will move without hesitation and the fact become clearer. as the crown prince of saudi arabia arrives for a three day visit — the prime minister hails the historic links between the two nations. butjeremy corbyn condemns the country's record on human rights, and argues the uk shouldn't be selling arms there. they 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 lot dummy expect that to be investigated. also on this programme: parliament marks international women's day, but is it time for a statue to the 18th century author and activist mary wollstonecraft? and: ever signed an online petition to parliament? we find out if they really make a difference:
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we have seen that some petitions to change the government's mind. maybe not on gate day one but as we go through. but first... the home secretary told mps that the poisoning of a russian double agent and his daughter in salisbury was a "brazen and reckless act." sergei skripal was living in the uk following a spy swap . he was found slumped on a bench in salisbury in wiltshire, along with his daughter yulia. the couple had been poisoned with a rare nerve agent. detective sergeant nick bailey from wiltshire police — who went to help them — was also taken to hospital. at prime minister's questions on wednesday theresa may told the commons she'd held a meeting of the national security council. and the next day the home secretary came to the commons to update mps. the use of a nerve agent on uk soil is a brazen and reckless act. this was attempted murder and the most cruel and public way. the investigation
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is moving at a pace. this government will act without hesitation as the facts become clearer. as my right honourable friend the foreign secretary made clear on tuesday, we will respond in a robust and appropriate manner once we ascertain who was responsible. we on this side of the house are appalled that the idea that anyone might be poisoned on the streets of our towns and cities. we share with the government a determination that this case be brought to a speedy and just conclusion and that similar incidents are prevented in the future. i have written to her to ask that there could be a review of 14 other cases and she will know there are many ways in which lack it happen and precedents for doing so. can i also asked her, in terms of this initiate the leader—mac immediate investigation has she considered going to the un security council to ask for a statement calling on all nations to provide assistance including willingness to extradite suspects should not be
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needed. she makes a suggestion regarding international activity and i can say to the right honourable lady that at some stage we will be coming back to the house with our proposals but for now we are merely preparing and concentrating on the incident. isn't it time we, realistic and russia and canada home secretary confirm whether that memorandum of understanding between uk and the russian nuclear power company that was so strongly championed by the former prime minister mr cameron has formally ended. event has been ended, can she make it's ended so the previous love in with russia that we saw a few years ago is completely finished. if does the home secretary share my my constituents anger of the cruel nature of this crime which could've resulted in considerably more collateral damage. will she assured that
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eventually the full force of the law will be brought down on the perpetrators? my honourable friend is exactly right. just because you want to approach this with a cool tide in order to collect the evidence doesn't mean that we do not share the outrage that his constituents and he himself clearly feels about this. the home secretary, amber rudd. now let's take a look at some other news from westminster in brief. there was a call for misogyny to be treated as a hate crime. mps argued the definition should be extended to include the abuse a of women, if they are targeted simply because of their gender. misogyny is everywhere in our society. to the point where we often miss it because it's been so normalised by being continually unchallenged. she went on to detail, in very explicit language, some of the insults she'd received. now all of these insults have been put to me because i am a woman. we can kid ourselves
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that these are a few bad and ominous depot on twitter but it's not. this is every day common language. i think we need to be careful about creating laws which would an inverted leak conflict with the principles of equality. mps held theirfirst big debate on a bill to cap gas and electricity prices. the aim is to provide some protection to customers who don't shop around for the cheapest possible energy deals. those paying the terrorists are much more likely to be in reduced circumstances. 80% of households with an income of less than £18,000, ten not switch supplier in the last three years. i welcome the governments foray into a policy which are previously denounced as marxist. but it remains a case that as a result of this government in action, millions of households have been left to scrape through this winter facing a choice between cold homes or astronomical bills. if the average saving
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between the cheapest tariff for the big six and a standard tariff is £300 per annum, then somebody else apart from he can do the math to assess that the sums that we sought to recover from this company... the big thaw following the big freeze led to thousands of homes being left without water as engineers battled to deal with leaks and burst pipes. some areas were without supplies for several days, relying on emergency stocks of bottled water. there is absolutely no excuse for water companies making huge profits not being able to provide the resilience by what a protected businesses and indeed residents around the country. thames water made pre—tax profits of £638 million last year. or is simply no excuse for not having robust emergency plans in place. thames water are very much under the spotlight. i'm angry with them too.
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this is returning. they recognise there's been a change of ownership and leadership. i'm determined that thames water customers receive a far better service than they have today. ministers have been urged to introduce a licensing regime for air weapons. in the lords, peers heard that there had been thousands of attacks on pets involving airguns in the last five years. the charity recorded 164 attacks and cats within airgun last year while they received nearly 900 calls to their cruelty hotline to report air weapon attacks on animals making 4.5 thousand attacks in the last five years. is it time to licence these weapons to ensure they are possessed only for legitimate purposes by responsible owners and not by those who would truly inflict pain and suffering and often death and defenseless domestic animals. the government does take animal welfare seriously. with causing unnecessary suffering. we are increasingly the maximum penalty for this offence from six months imprisonment and or in unlimited fine to five years imprisonment and or in unlimited fine.
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does the fake fur bobble on your winter hat contain real fur? the environment committee has been gathering evidence after a spate of cases where garments trimmed with fake fur contained 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. to the naked eye into the field you wouldn't necessarily tell the difference would you? no, absolutely. the use of friday of completely unreliable cues including price. 50% of people used cheap price as an indicator of fake fur. colour. if it's bright pink then you know there is no bright pink animals.
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we've come a long way from the 1930s. emboldened by her latest speech on brexit , theresa may told the commons she's confident britain can reach an agreement with the european union. while everyone to the animals in circuses, there are currently 1812 animals are licensed for shows in england. get it right now questioned at the allow wild animals to travel around the country from temporary enclosures to circus tent and back toa lorry for a journey the next town? what sort of life is that for
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animals? without space to florida and to write with other animals of their own kind like they would naturally. these wild animals cannot be truly said to be wild. emboldened by her latest speech on brexit , theresa may told the commons she's confident britain can reach an agreement with the european union. she said she wants trade across borders which is as frictionless as possible, and that while the uk will leave the single market, and thejurisdiction of the european court ofjustice, some regulations will remain in step with the eu. a short time later the chancellor appeared in front of a committee of mps and told them the uk needed a free—flowing border between dover and calais and that he was setting aside £3 billion over the next two years to prepare for brexit. the next day it was the turn of the brexit secretary to answer questions. in a lively session he was asked whether the uk would stay in the eu if parliament voted down the final brexit deal in what's called a "meaningful vote."
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with respect that is been dealt with at length. i don't want to retract. i recommend you go back. when he was a minister your colleague on the committees comments on this matter... i think we have a right to ask these questions. there's no with respect. will there be an opportunity to suspend article 50 the event that there isn't time to have a meaningful vote? i don't think a meaningful vote is overruling the referendum. and after a request from the committee chair for the government to tell the eu it can't dictate terms, david davis gave his top tips on how to negotiate. at the beginning of this process i said to the house one of the debates that they would be astonished how to play i was going to be in the next
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two years. i take the view that when public aggression in negotiations generally doesn't work very well. it creates an attitude on the other side and i avoid it. what anyone else does is up to them. we've give me different advise? did you tell the foreign secretary that? now, two prime ministers questions were theresa may defended the uk's relationship with saudi arabia the start of a three—day visit by the crown prince. his schedule included talks with theresa may and once with the queen. we've come a long way from the 1930s when wild animals protesters have objected to the
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country's human rights record. despite the talk of reform there has been a sharp increase in the arrest and detention of dissidents, human rights defenders are routinely sentenced to life in prison terms. unfair trials and executions are widespread as amnesty international confirms. as if she makes her arms sales pitch will she also call on the crown prince to halt this shocking abuse of human rights in saudi arabia? i look forward to welcoming the crown prince from saudi arabia to this... labour backbenchers from sedentary preventions are shouting shame. can i say to those backbenchers that the point we have with saudi arabia is historic, an important one, and it has saved the lives of potentially hundreds of people in this country. jeremy corbyn moved on from saudi arabia's human rights record to its involvement in the war in yemen, where it is backing attempts to restore the country's president.
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germany has suspended arms sales 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 lob and we expect that to be investigated and to be —— to be investigated and to be, lessons to be learned on that. theresa may. have you ever felt so concerned about an issue that he wanted it aired in parliament? two was stemmed
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from online petitions to parliament, so from online petitions to parliament, so how does the system work? there isa so how does the system work? there is a website where you can click on a link to set—up your own petition. if you can attract 10,000 signatures the government must give a response. if 100,000 people sign up the petition might be debated in parliament. liz twist is on the commons petition committee and was involved in the recent sign language debate. 0n involved in the recent sign language debate. on a windy day at westminster in pascal wyatt petitions are automatically debated when they reach the magic 100,000 figure. as the petitions committee, we look at them quite carefully. sometimes they've been debated very recently and it will be repeated in debate. sometimes they are about things that perhaps the government cannot deal with, so rejected from that point of view. so, we have a certain criteria that we look at. that's a set of criteria. and how you do you decide? what kind of thing are you looking for in a petition? well, we are looking to see that it has a clear point to make, that it's something that can be
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debated and that we are able to take that forward. there is a threshold for 100,000 signatures for something to be debated, but you do occasionally debate things which don't reach that 100,000 threshold. your debate on sign language being an example of that. yeah. ok, so there are two things. first of all, once a petition gets 10,000 signatures, the government has to produce a response and publish that on the petition‘s website. very often as a committee we ask the government to go back and look at its response and improve it. so, that is something we take very seriously. but beyond that, we do look at issues like the sign language one, where we felt it would be really difficult for the petitioners to get to that 100,000 threshold. and yet it was still a matter of great importance in the public interest. these debates are not binding on the government. the government doesn't have to do anything once these debates have been had.
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do you think that it perhaps gives people a bit of false hope because they think i've signed this petition, it's been debated, something has to change now. i think everything has to start somewhere, and for some people it starts on the campaign to raise awareness. but we have seen that some petitions do change the government's mind. maybe not on day one, but as we go through, for example the debate that was held on brain tumours a couple of years ago, has actually seen the government responding and putting some extra money in, £115 million into research. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the political news this week. here's ryan brown with this countdown. the uk's first purple plaque was unveiled at cardiff bay. the plaque commemorates notable women. this one on their former welsh assembly member, and equalities campaigner. leader of the house andrea leadsom wishes resident rock star keith richards a happy birthday. i hear, mr speaker, that he's 21 again.
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but actually, i might be confusing that with his majority. former first lady meets her biggest fan after a photo of her enamoured by michelle 0bama's portrait goes viral. shake it off, shake it off. ministers questioned the environmental audit committee's proposed 25p charge on disposable coffee cups. they say voluntary discounts are betterfor shops. caffeine addicts are safe for now. at question timejeremy corbyn asked theresa may about human rights abuses in saudi arabia and reminds her of the importance of international women's day. i think that's what's called mansplaining. women took to the streets to mark international women's day, including a march on parliament and mass strikes and demonstrations in spain. in a speech in westminster the grandaughter of suffragette
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sylvia pankhurst said 2018 could be a turning point for women's rights. is it that one, two, three generations down from that act we have women who have been able to occupy many more spaces through education, through their work, through political spaces, and they are coming across all the continued barriers and they are feeling that maybe again another place, another weight is required and it really does feel that we are at one of those moments that 2018 will be remembered not because it's... that because something else was happening. 0n international women's day itself the commons held a debate to celebrate that, and to mark 100 years since some women got the vote. the labour mpjess philips began by reciting of women killed by men in the last year. as always the women are all ages and were killed in violent episodes at the hands of men. violence against women and girls is an epidemic. if as many people died every week at a
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sporting event or because they had a specificjob, there would be national outcry. these women deserve the same. we must all do better to hear their stories and to end the culture of male violence that killed them. over the next nearly four minutes, she read out the names of all the women who had died from domestic violence in the uk since the last international women's day. our test should always be did we do everything we could to protect all women? for too many women in this country the answer to this is still simply now. we must do better. an snp mp argued sexism was deeply embedded in our culture. we see it in this house, a juvenile, grinning idiocy that is so offensive sometimes that the smugness ofa minority of men who think that supposedly clever point
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scoring proves something. an anti—intellectual nonsense that makes this continuing debate so tiring. there are many in this house who had a record of opposing progressive politics without substantive argument, but with plenty of bluster and filibuster, opposing equality is as a playground joke. i command i'm sure others, are tired of engaging with men with so little, so very little to offer. and i am pleased that they represent a tiny percentage of the men encounter. 0ther mps spoke of encouraging more women into politics and westminster. the best thing that we are doing at the moment to encourage young women to be interested in politics is having a female prime minister, because suddenly for me it was when i saw margaret thatcher become prime minister and in the leader of the party and prime minister of our country, which may politics releva nt for me. it turned politics
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from being frankly a lot of old men grey raincoats to something which was a technicolor relevant issue for me to be involved in asa 14—year—old girl living in south wales where there weren't too many tories around and i could see an amazing role model on the television. it is important that we in this house take responsibility for inspiring other women, oui’ daughters, but i think we should also remember in this day that many of us owe our inspiration to our mothers and our grandmothers and important women in our lives. my own grandmother when she was born did not have the right to vote, andl wear her writing link to this chamber every day and occasionally it serves as a reminder of what we owed to generations past —— i wear herwedding ring. and westminster. and while we're on the subject of groundbreaking women, this year sees several new statues of suffrage campaigners to mark the centenary of votes for women. this one in leicester is of alice hawkins, with others planned for emmeline pankhurst
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in manchester and millicent fawcett in london. but women campaigners argue that a statue to the pioneering 18th century feminist — mary wollstonecraft — is long overdue. now a group of male labour politicians has joined that campaign. among them, lord adonis. this is a statute to emeline pankhurst, right by parliament. she was crucial in getting women to vote, but mary was it anything more important. her book, a vindication of the rights of women published 225 years ago established the whole idea that women were on a par with men when it came to social, political and economic rights. that was a revolutionary idea. it is now a century since women got the vote and as we look at the great achievements of women over that period and how it was that the social campaigns got going, in order to give them those rights, it all was back to mary wollstonecraft and her extraordinary book, the vindication of the rights of women, which started the modern feminist movement. when you read it today,
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i got a copy here, i tried to get a first edition from the house of lords but it was revolutionary for the house of lords in seven to 92 as they haven't got one. even as you read it now you realise how explosive it was —— 17 92. this is what mary wollstonecraft said in 1792 when louis xvi was being executed in paris: to render her a really virtuous and useful she must not, if she discharge occurs all duties one individual is he that production of the lot, she must not be dependent on her husband's bounty for her subsistence during her life or support after his death. foi’ how can a woman be generous who has nothing of her own? 0r virtue is who is not free? those are revolutionary ideas in 1792. we now regard them as of course absolutely commonplace. the fact that they were revolutionary then,, lace now is why they should be a statute to mary wollstonecraft in parliament square revolutionary then and commonplace now. the heart of our democracy
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since she did so much to liberate women. lord adonis on the revolutionary mary wollstonecraft. and that's it from me for now, but do join lucy grey on bbc parliament, on monday night at 11 for a round up of the day here at westminster. but for now from me, goodbye. temperatures as high as 15 degrees yesterday, but is highest at a budweiser league double figures and some "as in scotland for a change. here is the view from snow—covered spots in northern england and north yorkshire. even though around on the snow yesterday it struggled to melt
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and we have low—pressure been a moray firth some of us over the next 24 moray firth some of us over the next 2a hours, over the next two hours and parts of south wales as well and that goes on and will push up in area other enough to england on. radar pictures show a bit of rain close to the north sea coast and a few showers dotted about elsewhere in england and wales. this is the picture through tonight, well the rest of the afternoon first of all, and we concede just somewhere to weather and a rumble of thunder into south—west fringing into south—west wales, breezy here with the light wind as well. temperatures in scotland reaching double figures picking for a pleasant change. but as my others yesterday. income dried overnight, lifting its way northwards to england and will fund showers following on behind, the rain eventually coming into the east of northern ireland in southern —— southernmost parts of scotland. a lot of kylo ren, misty locale with fog patches, and the cloud across
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the uk means temperatures are not dropping too far, maybe just a touch of frost in northern ireland with clear skies for the west to go. as monday begins in browser the ready because the area of low pressure very slowly edging further east through southern party, so still the focus around the bands of rain with showers limiting brighter spells. the rain still affecting southern parts of scotland but mostly like the wrath of the central belt. a fairamount of 44=4 ,~—4 4.4 4-4 ,~j 4 4 4—4— 4. 4. 4—4— - . west this is bbc news. they headlines at three: up to 500 salisbury diners
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and pub goers are told to take precautions by england's chief medical officer after nerve agent traces are found. the people who work in either zizzi's restaurant or the mill pub should clean the clothes they wore. police say the detective sergeant nick bailey is still in a serious condition but this talking, and they pay tribute to his bravery. the chancellor says their‘s cause for economic optimism ahead of his spring statement on shoes day. also in the next hour: china's congress a pproves in the next hour: china's congress approves the removal of term limits for its leader. the move effectively allows president xijin ping to remain in powerfor life. and in half an hour: does the answer to curing cancer lie in artificial intelligence? click investigates at 3:30pm.
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