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tv   Westminster in Review  BBC News  August 9, 2020 5:30am-6:00am BST

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this is bbc news, the headlines: there've been violent clashes between police and the public, as mass protests took place in the lebanese capital beirut against the country's leadership. some government buildings were briefly occupied by protesters demanding a change of regime after tuesday's explosion. donald trump signs executive orders aimed at providing aid to us workers suffering in the wake of the pandemic. the move comes after talks with democrats on a rescue package broke down on friday. mr trump's proposals include protection against eviction and extending loans.
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now on bbc news, alicia mccarthy looks back at how westminster has tackled the big stories like the budget, huawei, black lives matter and domestic abuse. hello there and welcome to westminster in review where the last few months have not all been about coronavirus. in the next half—hour we will take a look at the other big stories since december including a newly—elected borisjohnson gets his brexit divorce deal through parliament. this bill learns the emphatic lesson of the last parliament and rejects any further delay. labour elects a new leader who reckons the prime minister is all bluster. he has been found out. he either dodges the question or he gives dodgy answers.
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also on this programme, new chancellor gives a short—lived budget. tensions rise with russia and china. the uk's colonial history comes under the spotlight and as new mps make their first speeches, one tells of her struggle to get into politics. i was laughed at and literally told that the chance of someone like me getting a job in parliament would be very slim and not to even bother trying. borisjohnson took over from theresa may injuly 2019 but the new conservative leader faced the same old problem. a parliament with no majority to push through his version of the brexit divorce deal. attempting to break the deadlock he tried and failed to call an election but eventually opposition parties agreed to the ballot and got theirfingers burnt as borisjohnson swept to victory with an 80 seat majority. many of his new mps won in areas traditionally held by labour in the north of england, known as the red
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wall. scottish national party were the other big winners with 48 of 59 constituencies. but it was a dismal showing forjeremy corbyn‘s labour party, with 202 seats, down 60. the liberal democrats, who had helped call the election, gained some but lost more including their leader jo swinson who was rejected by voters. days later on december 19, the queen came to westminster for her 66th state opening of parliament. although this was a far more dressed—down affair than usual. a day dress and brief speech with no surprise what was at the top. my government's priority is to deliver the united kingdom's departure from the european union on january 31. my ministers will bring forward legislation to ensure the united kingdom's exit on that date. and to make the most of the opportunities that this brings for all the people
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of the united kingdom. borisjohnson promised voters he would make a start on getting brexit done by the time they sat down to christmas lunch. so he put his eu divorce bill to mps, the very next day paving the way for on january 312020. he said it was time to break the deadlock and reunite the country. this is the time when we move on and discard the old labels of leave and remain. the very words seem tired to me, as defunct as big enders and little enders, montague and capulet, at the end of the play. although they would leave the eu onjanuary 31 there would be a one—year transition in which things would remain pretty much the same, allowing time for negotiations on the future relationship. borisjohnson insisted that unlike the divorce talks, the transition would not be extended. this bill learns the emphatic lesson of the last parliament, unlike members opposite,
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and rejects any further delay. theresa may's government was reliant on northern ireland's democratic unionists get votes through. not so boris johnson. his version of the divorce bill had different arrangements for northern ireland and the dup were not happy. you need to understand concerns about custom arrangements for northern ireland, tariff differentials, the potential for checks and the concerns we share because we want to ensure we leave as one nation. with labour licking its wounds after its election drubbing, jeremy corbyn accepted that parliament could not go on debating the result but reckoned borisjohnson‘s deal wasterrible leading the uk to deregulation and what he called a toxic deal with donald trump. the choice we now face is between keeping the highest environmental and food standards in order to get a future trade deal with the eu or slashing food standards to match those of the united states where there
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are so—called acceptable levels of rat hair in paprika and maggots in orangejuice. it is true! england and wales voted leave, they will leave. northern ireland is getting a special deal and the right to decide their own future. the prime minister offers scotland nothing. the lib dems, the most avowedly anti—leave party accepted it was time to move on. my passionate belief that the uk is better off as a proud member of the eu rather than being an irrelevant outsider has not melted away overnight. i will not cease to voice this opinion here and outside parliament, but i understand now the battle to stop brexit is over. the bill passed its first commons vote fulfilling borisjohnson‘s christmas lunch pledge.
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but when it got to the lord, the peers inflicted defeats. but the biggest row was over unaccompanied child refugees. a labour peer who himself came to britain as a child fleeing the nazis was unhappy that it would no longer allow children to come to the uk to be reunited with their families. the minister said the child refugees would be protected by other legislation. lord dubs was not satisfied. by giving young people legal routes to safety we are thwarting the traffickers as well as being humane in terms of giving them an opportunity to join family members here. the minister said the government was committed to protecting vulnerable children. we received over 3000 asylum claims from unaccompanied children in 2018. the third—highest intake of any eu member state. but the peers were not persuaded and the government was defeated.
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content, 300, not content 220. but that and all the other objections of the lords were overturned in the commons and the divorce bill passed one week before brexit on january 31. in accordance with the royal assent act 1967, her majesty has signified her royal assent to the following act: european union withdrawal agreement act 2020. 0rder! and with that it was time to start talks with the eu on just what the uk's relationship with its biggest trading partner would be when transition ends on december 31. those negotiations continued fitfully with the two sides seemingly far apart before inching a little closer together as the summer went on. so having flexed his majority to get brexit through, borisjohnson moved to put his stamp on his cabinet,
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reshuffling his ministers in mid february. that produced an immediate shock when sajid javid quit as chancellor, rejecting the prime minister's order to fire his team of aides. he was replaced by the little—known rishi sunak who scarcely one month later found himself delivering one of parliament's big events, the budget. he'd hastily drawn up plans to cope with the growing coronavirus crisis, there was plenty else in his speech. he announced rises to the national insurance threshold, a freeze on alcohol and fuel duties, £600 billion for transport investment, a tax on plastic packaging and an end to the tampon tax. this is the budget of a government that get things done. creating jobs, cutting taxes, keeping the cost of living low, investing in our nhs, investing in our public services, investing in ideas, backing business, protecting the environment, building roads and railways and colleges, building houses, building our union.
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a budget that delivers on our promises. a people's budget from a people's government and i commend it to this house. by tradition it is the leader of the opposition, not the shadow chancellor, who responds to the budget statement. having ruthlessly forced down the living standard and life chances of millions of our people for a decade, the talk of levelling up is a crueljoke. the government are trying to pretend that this is a budget that will take action on climate change. let's look at it. a fuel duty freeze again. £27 billion on 4000 miles of road. that does not sound like a green transport policy to me. and then they announce, as if it will make any difference, £1 billion on green transport measures. this is completely absurd. as the debate continued, opposition reviews did not
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get any warmer. we have been told for years that there is no money but yesterday, rishi sunak found a magic bunch of gold rings and we will not argue on these benches but i am concerned it is not focused enough to help us recover from austerity. jeremy corbyn‘s appearance at the budget was one of his last appearances as leader, having said he would stand down after labour's disastrous election result. it is the honour and the privilege of my life to be elected as leader of the labour party. with coronavirus at its height, the announcement of the victory of sir keir starmer, came by video, as did his message to supporters. and with boris johnson hospitalised with covid—19, the two did not face each other until early may. at a time of national crisis, the early exchanges
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were low—key but as the weeks passed, the new labour leader increasingly pressured the prime minister over policies such as rates of child poverty. a report last week from the government social mobility commission concluded that there are now 600,000 more children living in relative poverty than in 2012. the report went on to say that child poverty rates are projected to increase to 5.2 million by 2022. what does the prime minister think caused that? i think he is completely wrong in what he says about poverty. absolute positive, relative poverty have both declined under this government and there are 400,000 fewer families living in poverty in 2010. but sir keir starmer was unhappy so he raised the figures again. there is a theme to these exchanges. last week i asked about two claims about child poverty.
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he said absolute child poverty and relative child poverty both declined under this government. on monday, the office of the children's commissioner ruled that the prime minister's answer was mostly false. he has been found out. he either dodges the question or he gives dodgy answers. 500,000 children falling below thresholds of low income and material deprivation, this government, as he knows, is increasing universal credit. £7 billion more to help the poor and neediest families in our country. boris johnson reckoned it was the labour leader who kept changing his mind. away from westminster after a three—year deadlock, the devolved government was finally restored to northern ireland. stormont‘s power—sharing coalition led by the dup and sinn fein collapsed in january 2017, initially over a green energy i’ow. a deal was brokered
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byjulian smith and the irish foreign minister. it was a short lived victory and five weeks later he was fired in the boris johnson reshuffle. the initial meeting of the northern ireland assembly appointed the dup's arlene foster as first minister and sinn fein‘s michelle 0'neill as her deputy. members of the scottish parliament voted 611—54 for a new referendum on scottish independence. the first minister wants to hold the poll this year but for that to happen, the prime minister boris johnson has to agree, something he has rejected. at holyrood, nicola sturgeon set out her case. today i ask parliament to endorse a basic but fundamental principle, the principle that scotland's future should be decided not by politicians at westminster who have not won a general election in scotland since the 1950s but instead by all of us who live here and call scotland home. let's be upfront about why we're here today.
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not because the first minister thinks she will hold a referendum this year. she knows that will not happen. the reason we have been called here today is because she needs to convince the yes movement behind her and beyond, that something is happening. or that if something isn't actually happening, don't worry — it will be happening soon. what must be understood in this parliament, in this debate this afternoon is that the people of scotland do not want another independence referendum anytime soon. we need to move on, unite the country, we need to tackle the challenges that we all face and if we do that we will have a better scotland and a better united kingdom. there were muted celebrations when the national assembly for wales officially changed its title to senedd cymru, the welsh parliament.
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the 60 elected members are now known as members of the senedd, or ms — or as in welsh. it is estimated the new name will cost £290,000 over five yea rs. the change wasn'tjust cosmetic though, the law that brought it in also lowered the voting age for senedd elections from 18 to 16. but elections at whatever age weren't the answer for 100,000 antiracism demonstrators who took to the streets across the uk following the death of african—american george floyd, killed by us police. one of the biggest gatherings was in london, where the met police said after mainly peaceful protests offices faced entirely unacceptable scenes of violence and disorder. 27 police officers were injured. in bristol, a statue of edward colston, a prominent 17th—century slave trader, was ripped down and thrown into the docks. the attacks on police were strongly condemned the home secretary. there is no excuse for pelting flares at brave officers, throwing bikes at police horses. attempting to disrespect the cenotaph or vandalising the statue of winston churchill.
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does the home secretary recognise that there is structural inequality, discrimination, and racism in our country? does the home secretary recognise that people want to see action from this government? my son turned three yesterday. i do not want to have to wait until he is a teenager before we see changes in this country. the home secretary used graphic language to recall racism she had faced. i'm really saddened that the honourable lady has effectively said that this government doesn't understand racial inequality. on that basis, madam deputy speaker, it must be a very different home secretary who as a child was frequently called a lackey in the playground, who was racially abused in the streets. who was advised to drop her surname or use her husband's to advance her career. when it comes to racism, sexism, tolerance, social justice, i will not take lectures from the other side of the house.
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now, let's take a quick look at some of the bills that got through parliament this year. legislation to reduce mudslinging between divorcing couples in england and wales became law. the divorce dissolution and separation bill was the biggest shakeup in 50 years. previously, one spouse had to alleged adultery, unreasonable behaviour, or separation. now they will only have to state that the marriage or civil partnership has broken down irretrievably. emergency legislation was passed to end the release of convicted terrorists halfway through the sentence. the measures were drawn up after attacks including one at fishmongers‘ hall on london bridge in which two people were killed and stabbings in stratham south london, which left two injured. in both cases, the attackers had been released halfway through their sentences. the move was rushed through parliament to prevent the release of a third man who was due to be freed at the end of february.
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while the uk was strengthening its anti— terror laws, changes to give the chinese authorities more powers in hong kong brought protesters out in the thousands. in 2019, demonstrators took to the streets over a plan, eventually withdrawn, to allow extradition to mainland china. but in spring 2020 china went back on the offensive, with a new national security law. experts say it fundamentally changes the territory's legal system, introduces new crimes with severe penalties, and allows mainland security personnel to operate in hong kong with impunity. the decision sparked fresh protests in hong kong and condemnation around the world. the foreign secretary warned that if beijing pressed ahead, the uk would extend visa rights for hong kong's british national overseas passport holders. even at this stage i sincerely hope china will reconsider its approach. but if not, the uk will not just look the other way when it comes to the people of hong kong. it is increasingly clear
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that we need an alliance of democracies to ensure that we can maintain, as he says, a constructive dialogue with china on shared challenges, not least climate change, while standing up to aggressive behaviour and clear breaches of international law. due to coronavirus, some mps and peers contributed to debates via video link. being away from westminster didn't stop the last british governor of hong kong backing international action. the government itself should take a lead in putting together an international contact group which can keep in touch with developments there and continue to press china not to breach its international treaty obligations and not to breach the commitments it's made for a high degree of autonomy in hong kong. meanwhile, a successful campaign by government back ranges forced users into a u—turn over chinese tech company huawei in building the uk's future 5g
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communications network. said to dramatically increase data speeds and intimate capacity. huawei insists it is independent of the chinese government but the us lobbied hard for it to be excluded on security grounds. at the start of the mps began piling on the pressure. i hope the minister will see the concern that this whole house feels towards huawei and the idea that we should be nesting that dragon, the idea that we should be allowing the fox into the henhouse when, really, we should be guarding the wire. where is our alternative homegrown suppliers? what is the government doing to build the sector? and does the minister accept the chronic lack of investment and leadership from the government has brought us to this parlous situation? and discontent grew when the government announced it would be allowing huawei a limited role in the uk's 5g network. he talks about huawei as though it is some kind of answer
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tojohn lewis. this is a faustian pact with the chinese communist party. he needs to be honest about that. it continued among conservative mps who formed a new china research group to try to shape government policy. we have no friends out there anymore on this issue, whether it's the canadians, the americans, the australians, the new zealanders, they all disagree with us. and in a vote on huawei's involvement, the government saw its majority cut to just 24. 38 tory mps rebelled, including, as we saw there, the ex—tory leader sir iain duncan smith. just before the summer break the government announced it would be stripping out huawei, but at a price. today's decision to ban the procurement of new huawei 5g equipment from the end of this you will delay rollout by a further year and will add up to half a billion pounds to costs. requiring operators, in addition, to remove huawei equipment from the 5g networks by 2027 will add hundreds of millions of pounds further to the cost and further delay rollout. 0liver dowden.
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and china wasn't the only nation rocking the government's boat. the long—awaited report by pa rliament‘s intelligence and security committee on alleged russian interference in uk democracy was controversial long before it was even published. there had been anger that it hadn't been made public before december‘s collection and then a row about how long it was taking to reform the isc afterwards. when it did finally meet, its members rejected the government's candidate for chairman, chris grayling, for fellow tory julian lewis, who was properly booted out of the conservative parliamentary party. when the report was finally published it accused ministers of underestimating the threat of russian interference. it raised concerns about the prevalence of russian money in the uk and claimed the government had actively avoided investigating kremlin interference in the brexit referendum. the home office minister, james brokenshire, insisted the uk had a record of taking action against russian wrongdoing.
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we have been clear that russia must desist from its attacks on the uk and our allies and we've been resolute in defending our country, our democracy, and our values. he said the government was committed to new legislation on espionage, but the opposition was scathing. no wonder the government was so desperate to delay the publication of this report. sitting on it for months and blocking its publication before a general election was a dereliction of duty. the report concluded that russian money was being used for building influence across a wide sphere of the british establishment. and i am mystified that government ministers are still taking millions of pounds from dodgy russian oligarchs. we have to clean up our act and it has to start with the government. a conservative peer and former ministerfocused on a reference to lords who worked directly for russian companies linked to the kremlin. some noble lords seem to be defending the indefensible,
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namely the vladimir putin regime. i wonder if my noble friend could ensure that there is a closer investigation into one or two links that people have with the putin regime. i think it is extremely important that we should be on our guard, all of us, against the activity of the putin regime. finally back in the commons, the general election brought in 140 new faces. a rite of passage for every newbie is to make their first or maiden speech. traditionally, they are lighthearted affairs, recognising their predecessor, their electorate, and the unrivalled beauty of the constituency. for many a chance to tell their story. i remember telling a careers advisor that i wanted to get into politics and know more about working for an mp. i was laughed at and literally
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told that the chance of someone like me having a job in parliament would be very slim and not to even bother trying. i won't break parliamentary privilege of this house by naming him, but i hope he is watching me now. laughter. another revealed she had been presented with some rather different career options. my mum, who has regularly said, "katherine, i have been saying since you were two that you will either be a stripper, a social worker, or a scientist." well, mum... laughter. given i have a biology degree and the nature of modern politics, there is a very good chance i have achieved all three. katherine fletcher, whose careers advice brings us to the end of the programme. please join us from september the first as the government at westminster finalises brexit and new mps face more of the tests and dramas of westminster life. but, for now, from me, alicia mccarthy, goodbye.
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hello there. pressure is on to bring in the harvest. there is heavy rain and thunderstorms in the forecast for next week. at the moment, it's all about how high the temperatures are going to get. it wasn't quite as hot on saturday as it was on friday. but still, the temperature in hampshire reached 34 degrees. the highest temperatures were in sussex and at frittenden in kent, and it's these sort of areas that we'll see the focus of the heat again during sunday. we start with some very high temperatures in the morning in the south—east corner of england, perhaps 19—20 degrees. again, it's cooler as you had further north, maybe 4—5 in the north—west of scotland. in between, we have got this zone of cloud that's pushed in off the north sea. and there may be 1—2 light showers in that as well. any shower threatening the far south—east should move away. gradually, the sunshine develops more widely, the cloud gets burned back onto some of those north sea coasts. we have got that onshore breeze keeping it a little bit cooler as well. with that sort
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of wind direction, it will be cooler across eastern scotland than western scotland. and in northern ireland, temperatures will reach 20 degrees. the heat,though, is really focused on the south midlands, southeast wales, the west country, southeast england and east anglia. 33—34, possibly even 35 degrees to the west of london. into next week, the heat will slowly subside, and it is only very slowly, but we have got this increasing risk of some torrential rain and thunderstorms. that could start to develop on sunday night into monday morning, and the focus looks like it's more of these western areas with those storms pushing their way northwards. now, large parts of the country will still be dry and quite sunny. more sunshine, perhaps, around some of those north seacoasts. but, again, the highest temperatures are towards the southeast of the uk. now, what's happening is that higher pressure is less in charge of our weather. pressure is falling from the south, we've got a weather front trying to push in from the west as well.
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so the air is essentially destabilising, which is why we have got this increased risk of some very heavy and thundery rain. the devil is in the detail, and there is still a lot of uncertainty. but it looks like on tuesday, most of those downpours are moving northwards across northern england and scotland. but later in the day, we could see some developing further south across parts of england. still some strong sunshine and, again, the focus of those higher temperatures will be across eastern and southeastern parts of england.
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good morning. welcome to breakfast with tina daheley and jon kay. 0ur headlines today: borisjohnson says he wants to fully reopen schools in england next month, calling it a "moral duty" and a "national priority". another 150 migrants reach the uk by crossing the channel over the past 24 hours as the royal navy considers a formal request for help from the home office. erupting with fury: tear gas is fired at protesters in beirut during mass demonstrations following tuesday's deadly explosion. everything discovery it is useless.
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they killed us,


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