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tv   Tuesday in Parliament  BBC News  July 8, 2020 2:30am-3:00am BST

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the president of brazil, jair bolsonaro, says he's tested positive for coronavirus. he has insisted his symptoms are mild and says he's feeling fine. he's long played down the danger of the virus, saying it's like a little flu. the trump administration has formally notified the united nations that it's withdrawing the us from the world health organisation. it's due to leave on the 6th ofjuly next year. and melbourne in australia is back in lockdown for six weeks because of a reported spike in covid infections. police are stopping drivers from crossing the border between victoria and new south wales at the uk's high court, the hollywood actorjohnny depp is suing the sun newspaper for calling him a ‘wife beater‘. back for calling him a ‘wife beater‘. the case is expectec for back the case is expected to go on for about three weeks. now it‘s time for a look back
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at the day in parliament. hello there and welcome to tuesday in parliament. on this programme, awkward questions for the health secretary after borisjohnson says too many care homes didn‘t really follow the procedures for coronavirus. does the health secretary agree with the prime minister‘s despicable comments blaming care workers for the huge death toll in care homes? the chancellor rejects calls to extend hisjobs retention furlough scheme in the autumn. this is a universal scheme, it is generous, it has been extended to october, and it is winding down in a gradual and temperate manor. and there is a welcome for a big cash injection for the arts but questions about who will get it? it‘s vital that this money does not
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just get hoovered up by the biggest venues with the loudest voices. the health secretary matt hancock has brushed off labour calls for an apology for comments by the prime minister about care homes saying they‘ve done "amazing work" during the coronavirus crisis. the risk to care homes. —— borisjohnson has been accused of trying to shift the blame for covid deaths onto the homes when he said on monday that "too many care homes didn‘t really follow the procedures". his words sparked fury in the sector with one charity boss calling them "clu msy a nd cowardly". the initial guidance from the government downplayed the risk to care homes. care providers were sent conflicting guidance throughout this outbreak. staff could not access testing until mid april and are still not tested routinely. ppe supplies have been inadequate. thousands of families have lost their loved ones in care homes to this disease. care workers themselves have died on the front line. can he understand why people are so insulted by the prime minister‘s remarks when he said "too many care homes didn‘t really follow the procedures"? and will he take this opportunity now to apologise for the prime minister‘s crass remarks?
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throughout this crisis, care homes have done amazing work and the prime minister was explaining that because asymptomatic transmission was not known about, the correct procedures were therefore not known and we have been constantly learning about this virus from the start, and improving procedures all the way through. and i pay tribute to the care homes of this country who've done so much to care for the most vulnerable throughout this crisis. does the health secretary agree with the prime minister's despicable comments blaming care workers for the huge death toll in care homes or will he admit that his government's own failings left these low paid and undervalued carers with little or no protective clothing, many without access to sick pay, fighting a losing battle against this awful disease at the height of the pandemic? mr speaker, i've been clearthat throughout we have been learning
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about this virus and learning how best to deal with it. and my admiration for those who work in social care is second to none, and one of the good things about this crisis is that it has shown to the whole country how much we value not just those who work in the nhs but those who work right across social care caring for the most vulnerable. does the secretary of state accept that care home providers cannot be blamed for the deaths of their residents and that it‘s time to give care staff the pay and respect they deserve, and bring forward plans to fund social care properly? we have learned through the crisis yet more about the nature of the reforms needed because we have seen the positive impact of much closer system—level working between the nhs and social care and indeed local authorities, and that should inform our thinking about the long—term social care reforms that this
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country needs to see. even without a second wave, it's estimated this current level of covid infections would lead to 27,000 additional deaths by next spring. does the secretary of state consider that level acceptable ? our strategy is to drive this virus right down, and as i said in my opening statement, we have now seen in the latest figures just 352 new cases recorded in the previous 24—hour period. what estimate has he made of the additional funding required for the nhs between now and the end of 2020? well, we are constantly putting more money into the nhs and we have put 30 billion extra in over the crisis thus far. the reality is that the capacity
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is much greater than demand and resources are considerable. so, does my right honourable friend agree that we could make this testing capacity available, for example, for teachers with concerns or to members of bame communities who need reassurance much faster before symptoms develop? how could we make this happen? mr speaker, i'm absolutely thrilled to get a question on the problem of having too much testing capacity as opposed to too little. we have one of the biggest testing capacities in the world. we've built that almost from scratch. so, for teachers that he asks about mr speaker, we are currently survey testing teachers to find out if they are more at risk than the general population in the same way that care workers, care home workers, and nhs staff are, and if they are, then we will put asymptomatic testing into place. we are doing exactly the same for taxi drivers, mr speaker. because taxi drivers are at higher risk than the rest of the country. and so we are doing the survey testing. if he will forgive me, we're taking a scientific approach to how we allocate that capacity but it is true that one of the policy challenges we face as a department is making sure that we use all of the testing
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capacity and long may that be so. this week‘s economic statement by the chancellor has already been trailed in advance with news of help for the creative industries and a £2 billion grant scheme to get people to insulate their homes and supportjobs in the home sector. but with the job furlough scheme about to tail away and redundancies already mounting up, mps have been pressing hard for more help for other industries hit badly by the pandemic. the chancellor knows that different sectors of our economy face very different challenges in the months ahead. so, will he listen to the businesses right across our country that have called again and again for the job retention scheme to have the flexibility to meet those different challenges? mr speaker, on the job retention scheme, our policy is clear. we have extended the scheme all the way through to the autumn at which way it winds down gradually and in a way that asks for very
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modest contributions from employers. the plan to improve home insulation and cut co2 emissions was criticised too. we are facing the worst economic recession in history and a climate crisis. despite the warm words yesterday, the green finance announcement doesn‘t go far enough. germany are investing between a0 and 50 billion. france, 13.5 billion. and south korea 11.5 billion. 3 billion just does not cut it. the honourable lady mentioned plans from other countries. it is worth bearing in mind those plans relate to spending commitments over many years and are actually better compared to what we outlined at budget where we outlined a £600 billion investment programme over the remainder of this parliament, including many initiatives. for example, carbon capture and storage, climate fund, improvements in air—quality so we wholeheartedly on this side of the house believe in a green revolution and will provide the capital to make that happen.
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but other mps were worried about aviation. to help the aviation and travel sectors recover from the negative impact of covid—19, will my right honourable friend consider suspending air passenger duty until at least the end of summer 2021? what i can tell him is that a budget we committed to a consultation on aviation tax reform, and we remain committed to that and we will bring forward the timing and due course. one conservative was not happy with the prime minister‘s talk of investment like us president roosevelt‘s new deal after the great depression. can we hear from the chancellor and the prime minister less about high spending lefties like president roosevelt and more from good conservatives like ronald reagan and margaret thatcher? less about subsidies and more about tax cuts and tax simplification? i'd hesitate to give my right honourable friend a history lesson but he'll recall that ronald reagan was a deep admirer of fdr and quite a heavy
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spender in his own right. members of northern ireland‘s assembly have debated a motion criticising sinn fein ministers over their attendance at the funeral of senior ira figure bobby storey. the motion drawn up by the dup, uup, alliance, and the sdlp called on deputy first minister michelle o‘neill and finance minister conor murphy to apologise amid claims they broke coronavirus guidelines. critics have suggested social distancing was not maintained in crowds that lined the streets, that dozens of people attended a requiem mass and that ms o‘neill posed for a photograph at milltown cemetery where a man put his arm around her shoulders. michelle o‘neill has already apologised "for grieving families experiencing more hurt" but insisted she did not break the rules. more than 30 in attendance. hundreds more behind them in a procession. widespread advertising of an event. installing a public address system in the cemetery, a mass rally in a cemetery.
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posing for selfies. and yet, the deputy first minister continues to insist that her actions were within the regulations. i think that‘s for the birds. i have no doubt today, sir, an attempt will be made to brazen this out in the hope that once we have all had our say that will be the end of the matter. that‘s not my intention. i am asking the executive office committee chairman mr mcgrath to consider initiating a committee—led inquiry into these events in order to establish on the record of this house the scale of the breaches that occurred. in two days of discussion in this chamber, there has been little consideration for the pain presently being expressed by the family of bobby storey.
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no expressions or very little expression of sympathy and no condolences. how many members here in the midst of this week's incessant media coverage, the tweets, the facebook statuses, the interviews, how many have genuinely given any thought to the grieving family of bobby storey? many families have had to say goodbye to loved ones with no wake, no physical mass, and funeral burial at all. that we have all become accustomed to during covid—19. the sacrifices these families have had to make are immeasurable and will stay with them for the rest of their lives. and mr speaker, they are doing this on the advice given to them by our executive every week. a member of the clergy in my constituency put it much better than i ever could when he said, "i have stood in my empty church and sat in my car following a brief and personal funeral with only nine other people present. and i have more than once wept about what i was not able to provide.
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then i turn on the news and see a funeral in west belfast with a multitude attending in close formation. what an insult." your arrogance and the way you have spoken to the people of northern ireland in this assembly is insulting. it has undermined the very health and safety of our nation which is indeed the primary responsibility of leadership. you have failed. both you and the finance minister should have done the decent thing and resigned. i really don't know how the afternoon podium announcements will be accepted or believed again. how many times have each of us heard the words "why should i?" "why should i stick to the rules now?" we need to rebuild the public's trust and do all we can to bring the public with us as we all work through this crisis and the difficulties we are yet to face.
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with hand on heart, i can say that i will always apologise for any unintended hurt that was caused. it was not and it would never be my intention to hurt anybody within society. i'm satisfied that i did act responsibly within the church as part of a limited group as part of no more than 30 people as part of the cortege, and at the ceremony in milltown where i paid my respects. let me say very clearly — at no stage did i seek to give offence to anyone including this chamber nor would i ever seek to do so. all those in favour, say aye. and at the end of that debate, mlas passed the motion calling on the deputy first minister michelle o‘neill and the finance minister conor murphy to apologise. you‘re watching to see in parliament with me, alicia mccarthy. a former england woman footballer has told mps that targets are needed to increase black, asian and minority ethnic inclusion at the top level of the uk sport. speaking to the digital culture media and support committee,
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she said that the target of 30% was something to aim for. england‘s joint tenth most capped international and since retiring has become aston villa‘s women sporting director. the session began with the recording is study up on just 3% of board members and top uk sport were from a bame background. do you think there needs to be a target for bame representation across uk sport? there has to be something intentional about change. i think when you rely on self—regulation that people do it themselves, they tend to just fall back into a comfort zone of what has always been done. i think we do need a target, and the 30% target mentioned earlier, i think that is a good one in terms of being something that you can always strive to achieve towards. she cites the impact of the home—grown player rule. you now have a quota system
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where you must have x amount of home—grown players. ultimately, i think you would be surprised to find that actually the pool of talent is an intentional drive towards a pool of talent. for me, it is two—pronged. you have to encourage the pool talent and we've lost a lot of talent, black coaches from the game whojust don't believe that the support was there. so, that is that. we need to keep driving black players to get their qualifications, make sure that they are top candidates when the opportunity comes. but, on the flip side, we need to make sure that we are intentionally creating a pathway for those people to come through. in 2017, she was found to be subject to racial discrimination by that then england‘s women‘s manager after an independent investigation. i would generally would like to believe that if a similar thing happened to another black player today, it would be dealt with much differently.
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first of all, it wouldn't happen and i think it would be dealt with much, much differently and much more independently and without conflict. it was important, she said, that the national team took a firm antiracist stance. in 2017, it confused people in terms of where the team stands. i think it is very important, aside from me, i think it is very important for the team to really come out, particularly in this climate and say " look, we understand that there has been "some confusion and perhaps we understand that some people "believe that we endorsed racism. "but, we do not." the mps heard from this advisor to the premier league. i think targets are helpful. in my executive career, we try it a lot of stuff on diversity and inclusion and acceptance. towards my last few years there, the time has comes to actually measure things properly and set objectives for key people to achieve better representation.
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because it does not happen on its own. you cannotjust hope for the best and wait for things to change. do you think they are doing enough to tackle these issues? and are they bringing in the talent that we need to choose from? i‘ve seen a lot of progress, but there‘s no question that we are dealing with some of the deep—rooted problems in society that we had a0 and 50 years ago and in terms of discrimination just on the basis of peoples names, it tells you that. in the first studies that were done back in the late 60s and the studies done last year are 50 years apart, you see they‘re remarkably similar and that is depressing, and there are still many things that need to be dealt with and that is
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precisely why black lives matter protests are important. mps of in the emergency support package, but the cultural sector has demanded more help forfreelance workers in the industry. 1.57 billion has been allocated by the treasury to help protect the future of theatres, galleries and museums. but ministers urge that it will not be enough to save everyjob. they preset the secretary was in a desperate plight. we welcome this much—needed injection of cash to the arts and culture sector, but you have to ask what took the government so long. we have already seen venues going under, mounting job losses and warnings the side of the house and across the sector were ignored for weeks on end. getting the money to where it‘s needed now was critical. but according to her own department briefing, funds will not arrive until the autumn. less than half of the £160 million announced will be of the organisations they needed and we are now four months on end it is vital that this just does not
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get fulford up by the biggest venues but the loudest voices. it is a disappointingly churlish response to what is the largest financial investment in our culture sector. a big package of support for culture. i will not have shouting minister. thank you, madam deputy speaker it is the biggest package for the arts and culture sector in the world and i'm clear, madam deputy speaker, that our arts, culture and heritage is not even the cherry are the icing on the cake, it is the cake. many took up the cause for freelance workers. they have shown no intentions of showing those not eligible for the self—employed income support scheme. if this is not supported, we risk losing a generation that cannot
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afford to survive without this. when will this money get into the pockets and bank accounts of those freelancers? because i know for my own constituency, some of them are really looking forjobs outside the sector because they're worried about the future inside of it. will the minister go back to the treasury again and get more support through an extension of the furlough skiing and support the self—employed and the whole ecosystem can continue through this enforced closure was blue i do not think that the treasury will take very kindly to me going back and asking for more money after they‘ve given this one and a half billion, but i know they are aware of the individuals who have been under extreme pressure over the recent weeks and months and will be doing all they can to fill those gaps. but will this package reached the smaller venues, such as those in my constituency who are a valuable asset to our communities? thank you, madam deputy speaker,
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but i think my honourable friend has hit the nail on the head. one of the key criteria for allocating this money will be about supporting small cultural organisations that may be the only theatre in a town or in the museum, but are actually vital to those ecosystems and in their area. one mp was concerned about transmission of coronavirus through singing. opera houses in europe with whom we are in direct competition are planning to reopen at the end of this year. our science appears to lag behind that, the scientific reviews are being taken and address that this particular issue as a subject of real urgency. we‘re doing will be can to operate with the utmost urgency and we are going to be looking at some of the mitigation measures putting in place. we are leaving no stone unturned and trying to address this.
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one conservative reflected on the premise of it all. has she listened to it recently? it is suicidal. reflecting on the majority of us are more likely to die by her own hand that we are from the virus. i will, madam deputy speaker, i will reflect very hard on that indeed and i am a great fan of the archers, obviously. holidaying brits having enough on the plate at the moment, but with different social distancing rules around the world and the prospect of quarantine on their return, there remains the perennial question of whether the local food is safe to eat. but a conservative former cabinet minister was not surprised to learn that the government was offering no advice to travellers to the united states about eating chicken and beef. american chicken or beef pose no health risks, there are fewer salmonella cases in america than in europe. has the scare been concocted
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by anti—americans want to sabotage a potential uk us trade deal? each country must take its own decision on the range of issues based on its own individual circumstances and attitude to risk. as the noble lord will know, we have the withdrawal with the use of artificial growth hormones and production and meat products in our legislation, also prohibits the use of anything other than water to decontaminate poetry, carcasses and anything that will contain new legislation stability. is it true that there is not a shred of evidence that washing chicken and chlorine is harming us consumers? is it true that we wash fruit and vegetables in chlorine as well as our kitchens and swimming pools? this is being pushed by those of the political, rather than a scientific objective and they want consumers and taxpayers to pay for it. in my anywhere near the target?
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with respect, i disagree with the noble lord. the many reasons to be concerned with the use of chlorine to wash chicken carcasses is that one concern that has been raised that i have hinted at earlier is about the process, that necessitates the use of chlorine. do you recall mad cow disease, over the salmonella outbreak when the minister resigned when they made that mistake and really confirm that chlorine washing of chicken actually hides the bacteria, some of the us trade deal goes ahead, what measures will be introduced to make sure the british public are kept safe from any of these threats from the united states? as has been pointed out many times, we have already legislated by other withdrawal act against artificial growth hormones, against decontaminating poultry carcasses of chlorine, to change that would require
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legislation before parliament and i have no doubt it all that parliament would choose not to relax those regulations and in my view, rightly so. bringing us to the end of this edition of the programme. tojoin us tomorrow for the highlights of prime minister‘s questions and from the latest economic statement from the chancellor. for me, goodbye.
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hello. well, we‘ve got another dose of rain on the way for wednesday. it‘s more southern parts of the uk that will get the rain. now, this is the satellite picture. notice it‘s actually a conveyor belt of cloud that‘s stretching from the north sea across the uk, ireland and out into the atlantic, and out here in the central north atlantic, not that it is of any huge significance, but this is actually an old tropical storm that‘s just feeding in warmth and moisture into this band of cloud and rain that is going to gradually slip across the country from west to east. there is also a lot of mild air to the south, in fact, 15 degrees, that is the early morning temperature on wednesday, whereas in the glens of scotland early on wednesday it could be close to freezing in a few areas.
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so remember that cloud stretching out into the atlantic, it is kind of spreading across the uk, certainly some rain around at times for wales, the midlands, southern england, eventually into east anglia and the south—east. but i think much of yorkshire, northern ireland and scotland are in for a bright day, with just a few showers. that trend continues into thursday. it‘s more southern parts of the country that get the cloud and the outbreaks of rain, so i think for some of us, once again, not a pretty picture, but it‘s not going to be cold. 20 degrees in london, fresher in scotland with the sunshine, where temperatures will be between 1a and 18 celsius. on friday, there is a weather front out in the north sea. it‘s actually a low pressure, with its weather fronts, and it will be close enough to drive our weather. i think showers for the north—east of england, certainly through yorkshire and into east anglia, and a bit of a breeze as well. the wind is actually coming out of the north—west on friday, so it could feel a little on the chilly side in some north—western areas. the best of the weather, i suspect, across western wales
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and the south, as well as the south—west, on friday. now, here‘s the good news. high pressure is expected to build towards the weekend. not particularly hot weather heading our way with this high pressure, i think it willjust be pleasantly warm with some sunny spells. so here‘s the outlook for saturday and sunday. temperatures mostly in the high teens across more northern parts of the country, whereas further south it will probably get up to the low or maybe the mid—20s. that‘s it, bye—bye.
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welcome to bbc news. my name is mike embley. our top stories: the president of brazil, jair bolsonaro, tests positive for coronavirus. in a country ravaged by the disease, he has consistently played it down. the who gave this response. no country is immune and no country is safe and no individual can be safe, but having said this, we wish his excellency, the president, well. the world health organization says it can‘t rule out that covid—19 can be spread by tiny particles suspended in the air millions in melbourne are ordered back into lockdown for six weeks — there are police checks at the state border between victoria and new south wales.


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