Jun 9, 2021
Boris Johnson Questioned on Reopening Plans PMQs Transcript June 9
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced PMQs on the pandemic exit strategy on June 9, 2021. Read the transcript of his speech remarks here.
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Speaker 1: (00:01)
The government is introducing legislation to transform our environment through the Environment Bill, including measures to improve how we manage our resources and waste. And we continue to work with other countries to move towards resource-efficient and circular economy.
Speaker 2: (00:16)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker and I’m grateful for the VP’s answer. I’ve had many conversations with schools around my patch of passionate young people from St. Margaret’s School, from St. Martin’s School, from South Charnwood School who are dedicated to recycling. And they wanted me to ask, will the government consider asking for international targets on recycling rates to drive up recycling across the globe?
Speaker 1: (00:43)
Like my other friend, the school children in my own constituency are passionate and regularly communicating with me about reducing waste and reusing materials. The government’s view is that taking action is the best way to drive progress. And harnessing that consumer path drives changes for packaging use, I think, in the goods that we all buy and I think our children are the ones who are going to help all of us as parents across the country to help drive that. But domestically, we’re introducing the Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme, to ensure that producers cover the full net costs of recovery from packaging waste and a Deposit Returns Scheme to increase the recycling of drinks containers and that will help us to achieve a 65% recycling rate by 2035.
12, Mr. Speaker.
Speaker 3: (01:27)
Through the cooption six nature campaign, we are driving action to protect and restore forests and ecosystems as well as helping to catalyze a sustainable transition of the agricultural sector and food systems through our forest agriculture and commodity trade dialogues.
Mr. Speaker: (01:45)
I’m grateful to my [inaudible 00:01:48] friend for what he is doing. Can I ask him to step up the work he’s doing on ensuring that it’s protecting ecosystems is a part of the agreement we hope will be reached at coop. I know we have the summit in China, but for the protection of habitats and ecosystems around the world is so much an important part of dealing with climate change. But I hope it will be part of the deal in the autumn, but can I also ask him to put some pressure on the Brazilian government over the, the measures that appear to be happening there that could accelerate rather than reduce the loss of the Amazon rainforest?
Speaker 3: (02:19)
Let me speak, my Roman friend raises a very important point. He will know that the UK co-lead the development of the leaders pledge for nature, which almost 90 leaders from around the world have endorsed committing to global action to protect nature. And of course we are campaigning for strong biodiversity targets to be set at the butter Vestey carbon coming this October. And as you would expect, I’m in contact with the Brazilian government as well. Right?
Mr. Speaker: (02:43)
Substansive question to minister [inaudible 00:02:49]
Speaker 1: (02:49)
We’re exploring opportunities for strengthened international collaboration on innovation, focus on the bio economy through mission innovation, a global initiative to enable affordable, clean energy and achieve the goals of the past grievance. Leveraging growth of the bio economy will support clean growth across multiple sectors and contribute towards achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Mr. Speaker: (03:08)
let’s go to Rachel Mascel,
Mr. Speaker: (03:09)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, the climate crisis is turbo charged as a trajectory of mitigation ever deviates from planet saving targets while the government’s moves at a glacial pace to establish a climate economy by Yorkshire will not only create 4,000 new jobs and up-skill 25,000 people. It will lay the foundations for world beating research in bio sciences, having York and Yorkshire of setting carbon and waste. All we ask is for government to bring forward the funding already committed ahead of co-op 26. Will she agree to do this and meet with me to discuss the project and the importance of by OSHA?
Speaker 1: (03:50)
I’m always happy to meet with all new and really interesting innovative products. I’m very happy to commit to do that. And I think we are absolutely leading the way in this and Mission Innovation is an extraordinary organization driving some of the most forward thinking protests and putting them shining a light on them because one of the key challenges to helping the developing countries to be able to move to King growth is that the technologies that UK businesses and our scientists invent and take to market can actually be used in those developing countries.
Mr. Speaker: (04:25)
Substantial question to President Charlotte,
Speaker 3: (04:29)
Mr. Speaker, the UK is committed to championing diversity and inclusion throughout our co-ptic presidency. More than 45% of the senior management team in the Cochran six unit are women, including our chief operating officer and communications director and around half of the cop 26 negotiating team are women.
Mr. Speaker: (04:46)
Let’s go to Brenda [inaudible 00:04:50] .
Speaker 4: (04:49)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Speaker 4: (04:51)
Later this year, I’m hosting the British South Asian Youth Summit focusing on co- op 26, will the minister meet with our youth champions to hear the perspective of young people living in some of the areas of the world, most vulnerable to climate change?
Speaker 3: (05:17)
[inaudible 00:05:17] speakers. I said in response to an earlier question, of course we have the suicide use advisory group. There are co-chairs chairs, young climate activist, one from the global South and one from the global North and on every visit that I do. I meet youth activists. Of course, I’m very happy to look at the event that he’s talking about in my diary, permits, I will certainly come to it.
Mr. Speaker: (05:35)
Peter Buck, [crosstalk 00:05:38]
Speaker 3: (05:42)
Mr. Speaker, our overarching objective is to keep within reach the target of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. To do this, we’re asking companies to set out ambitious emissions reduction commitments come forward with plans to protect communities and nature, mobilize and reach agreement on the outstanding elements of the past rubric.
Mr. Speaker: (06:01)
[crosstalk 00:06:01] Peter Buck.
Peter Buck: (06:02)
Mr. Speaker, you will remember when David Cameron was hugging Huskies and I thought it was a great idea to try and do something to save the planet. So I got rid of my polluting petrol car, brought a biofuel car and then discovered I was destroying the rain forest. So I knew what to do next, get CO2 down, buy a diesel car. Now I know that when I drive along the street, I’m poisoning people. So could the president please give me some advice before buying an electric car? What do you assure me that the mining of cobalt and lithium isn’t killing people in the mind, or do you just be easier for me to buy a horse? [crosstalk 00:06:41]
Speaker 3: (06:40)
Well, it will certainly be sustainable. Mr. Speaker.
Speaker 3: (06:43)
Mr. Speaker I’m really pleased to hear that my other friend is indeed a climate activist at heart it’s a revelation for all of us. It’s great that he’s made a decision to purchase an electric vehicle. I can tell him he won’t be disappointed. Plugin grants are available and he knows the government is also back in the sector with almost 3 billion pounds worth of support.
Mr. Speaker: (07:03)
shutter Minister [inaudible 00:07:06]
Speaker 5: (07:06)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, as the president knows the international energy associations, latest world energy outlook makes clear that a net zero pathway for global energy requires that there be no new fossil fuel supply beyond projects already committed as of this year. That means not just coal, but also oil and gas. The report reinforces Mr. Speaker, the obvious need to secure agreement on a global framework frame managed and fair phase out fossil fuels. Could the president tell the house therefore, whether he accepts the IEA’s conclusion and if so, where the ending all new fossil fuel supply from next year will be incorporated into the objectives of the UKs presidency of co-op 26.
Speaker 3: (07:45)
Well Mr. Speaker, I actually commissioned that report and I’m very pleased that it is so substantive. Of course, he’s right. What we need to make sure is to help all countries with a clean energy transition. And that is what we are doing through the work of the co-op 26 eneergy transition council.
Speaker 5: (08:03)
About how often
Mr. Speaker: (08:04)
Speaker 3: (08:09)
Mr. Speaker two weeks ago, I co-chaired the G seven climate and environment ministers track with my right honorable friend, the different sector stage at this meeting, the G seven nations agreed to overwhelmingly decarbonize our power systems in the 2030s, consistent with our 2030 NDCs and NetSuite commitments. And in addition, they committed take concrete steps to end support for international coal power generation. By the end of 2021, this is a critical step in consigning co-partner history and accelerating the international transition to clean energy robot health.
Speaker 6: (08:40)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, of course we welcome plans for a cleaner greener Britain, but can my right honorable friend give reassurance says to my hardworking Harlow residents that the government’s environmental measures will not mean a more expensive hitting the low-paid with extra costs and increasing the cost of living for ordinary folk.
Speaker 3: (09:02)
Mr. Speaker, the government is indeed committed to getting the transition to net zero right for all consumers, we’re committed to driving savings and making our homes better insulated with more energy efficient measures. And indeed he will know that through the energy company obligation and the expanded warm homes discount, we will provide at least 4.7 billion pounds of extra support to low-income and vulnerable households between 2022 and 2026.
Mr. Speaker: (09:28)
Speaker 7: (09:28)
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, the speaker first successful co-op 26, we have a particular responsibility as hosts to build trust with developing countries, the government’s decision to cut aid spending the only G seven country to do so is therefore an appalling one, not just because it’s wrong in principle, but because it’s staggeringly self-defeating now he knows the decision makes a successful outcome at the cop harder, not easier. So can I invite him to add his voice to the powerful calls we heard yesterday, including from the former prime minister, the right former member for Maidenhead to immediately restore government aid spending to nought 0.7% of GDP.
Speaker 3: (10:06)
Mr. Speaker, as the round-table gentleman knows the UK is doubling its international climate finance commitments to support developing countries. And I can tell him this has been very much welcomed around the world with regards to the overall OODA spenders. He knows as they temporary measure and as the economic situation improves, I hope that be possible restore the nought 0.7 target at the earliest opportunity
Speaker 7: (10:27)
Mr. Speaker, the problem is that cutting aid spending severely undermines the ability of developing countries to tackle the challenges of climate poverty and public health. And he knows that, and that’s what developing countries are telling him in the negotiations. We need vulnerable countries to be calling for more ambition from big emitters like China, but there can be much more reticent to do so when they don’t feel we can be trusted. Now, totemic on the issue of trust is the promise made at Copenhagen for a hundred billion dollars of public and private finance for developing countries within a decade on it still hasn’t been delivered. It’s our job as hosts to deliver on this promise. So can he therefore tell us will the hundred billion finally be delivered this weekend at the G seven meeting?
Speaker 3: (11:08)
Mr. Speaker? He’s absolutely right. The a hundred billion easy totemic figure. And we are doing everything we can to ensure that we are able to deliver that by co-op 26. And I can assure him that I am having very frank discussions with donor countries with developed countries to ensure that they deliver on this commitment that was made in 2009,
Speaker 8: (11:27)
Does the co-op presidency share my concern at the reputational hit that the UK will take in the event that it continues to approve old-style carbon belching waste incinerators, like the one proposed at Westbury? In my constituency.
Speaker 1: (11:47)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, all energy from waste plants named under regulated by the environment agency and must comply with strict emissions limits set down in legislation. I’m aware that North Acre renewable energy limited has applied for an environmental permit from the evaluators to operate an incinerator in WestBridge Wilkshire. And the advantage is considering responses to the public consultation.
Mr. Speaker: (12:07)
Let’s go to Joanna Chair, Joanna,
Mr. Speaker, 11% of Scottish renewable generation comes from small projects like Harlow Hydro in my constituency. So ahead of co-op 26, well, the government introduced a replacement for the feed-in tariff, which is better place to encourage similar new projects than the smart export down in ti scheme?
Speaker 1: (12:33)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, we will be launching a new contract for difference auction in the, at the end of this year and the opportunity for a number of smaller sources of energy storage will be available.
Speaker 9: (12:49)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, wieldy minister detail. What steps has taken to engage with the G seven ahead of cop 26
Speaker 3: (12:57)
Mr. Speaker can I commend my honorable friend for all the work he’s doing in Dudley in turn supporting the local economy and green jobs. And as I said earlier, I co-chair, the climate environment minister’s meeting, which came forward with some ambitious commitments.
Ian Blackford: (13:15)
Well, the world’s not currently on track to meet our Paris targets, are we? The common pledges only add up to less than 10% emissions and we need 45% to meet the target in the last parliamentary session, 109 MPS signed the climate in ecological emergency bill. When it is reintroduced, will the government give time to debate this bill? Just so as we did with the climate change act, 2008, we can lead the world on legislation, not just follow.
Mr. Speaker: (13:45)
Speaker 3: (13:46)
What was bigger? I would recommend that he talks and lead with the house and the matters of the timetabling for, for debates and other events in this house. What I would say to him is that we are working very hard and pressing all the big emitters to ensure they come forward with the ambition that is required to be able to have emissions by the, by 2030
Speaker 10: (14:07)
Mr. Speaker. I’m kind of going through a lot of work in my constituency with people on the climate agenda preparation for the co-op summit and law for school children, young people are particularly interesting have asked me, one child in particular has asked me to raise this question with the president to beat climate change. We’ve got to look at his hoard con world. Surely this means given more, not less help to poor countries to help them make the changes needed to see if I would plan it.
Speaker 3: (14:34)
Well, Mr. Speaker the honorable gentleman raised the issue with me. I’ve set out that the position when it comes to overseas aid, in terms of schools, we are engaging. And I hope I will shortly be able to send out a pack, which will encourage young people around our schools to get even more involved in co-op six.
Mr. Speaker: (14:53)
Right? Should we now go to questions for the prime minister. [crosstalk 00:14:58] I start with governor,
Mr. Speaker: (15:02)
I start with [Gavin Newlands 00:15:03]. Gavin.
Gavin Newlands: (15:04)
Number one, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: (15:06)
Boris Johnson: (15:08)
Mr. Speaker, I’m delighted that the UK is hosting the leaders of the world’s greatest democracies at the G7 summit in Cornwall this week. This is the first meeting between G7 leaders since the start of the pandemic.
Boris Johnson: (15:22)
Mr. Speaker, this week is Carers Week and I’m sure the whole house will wish to join me in thanking care workers and everyone caring for family, friends, and loved ones. Their selflessness and devotion to helping others is an inspiration to us all.
Boris Johnson: (15:42)
Mr. Speaker, this morning, I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others, in addition to my duties in this house. I shall have further such meetings later today.
Mr. Speaker: (15:49)
Gavin Newlands: (15:50)
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. And I very much echo the comments of Prime Minister on the work of unpaid carers.
Gavin Newlands: (15:55)
But after plenty of warm thanks for the victims of fire and rehire, including from the Prime Minister himself, the government yesterday announced its legislative response to the [A-CAS 00:16:05] report of doing absolutely nothing, nothing for the hundreds of thousands already threatened or, as the A-CAS report itself says, the many, many more that are anticipated to face fire and rehire when the fall does commence.
Gavin Newlands: (16:16)
He should be thorough ashamed of himself, Mr. Speaker. It’s increasingly clear this government won’t protect workers, so while they evolve an employment law to hold it to, the Scottish government can.
Boris Johnson: (16:27)
Actually Mr. Speaker, this government has been absolutely clear that it’s unacceptable to use threats of firing and rehiring as a negotiating tactic. We welcomed the A-CAS report, which actually finds that hire and fire should only be used in limited circumstances, such as to prevent job losses, Mr. Speaker, when other options have been exhausted.
Boris Johnson: (16:49)
We therefore asked A-CAS to produce clearer guidance to help employers with other options.
Speaker 11: (16:56)
[inaudible 00:16:56] to create 84,000 jobs for local people? We’re legislating for planning powers for our development corporation, which will work in tandem with our unique inland Freeport. But Mr. Speaker, decisions about HS-2 and specifically the Toten Hub, will have a huge impact on whether we can deliver on our vision for the East Midlands. Will the Prime Minister meet with me urgently so we can make sure we can deliver on that commitment to local people?
Boris Johnson: (17:18)
Mr. Speaker, the East Midlands could have no more fervent or effective champion. And I congratulate my honorable friend on his vision for the East Midlands, Freeport, and all the benefits that rail integration will bring in. And I know that he’s about to have a meeting with ministerial colleagues to determine how the integrated rail plan can work with HS-2 best to achieve his objectives.
Mr. Speaker: (17:40)
Let’s go to the leader of the opposition, Kier Starmer.
Kier Starmer: (17:43)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Kier Starmer: (17:44)
This is the first PMQ since the Prime Minister on Carrie got married, so can I offer my warm congratulations to the Prime Minister and his wife and wish them a happy life together? I have to say, I admire the way they managed to keep it secret.
Kier Starmer: (17:58)
Can I join with the Prime Minister on his comments about Carers Week?
Kier Starmer: (18:01)
And can I also send our deepest sympathies to the four people killed in Sunday’s terror attack in Canada? It was, as the Canadian prime minister said, an attack motivated by hatred and Islamophobia. And we must all unite against that at home and abroad. And can I ask the Prime Minister to pass on our thoughts and condolences to the Canadian Prime Minister when he sees him later this week?
Kier Starmer: (18:24)
Mr. Speaker, why does the prime minister think that his now former education advisor, Kevin Collins, described the government’s education plan as half-hearted, that risked failing thousands of children, hundreds of thousands of children, and not being even close to meeting the scale of what is needed?
Boris Johnson: (18:44)
Mr. Speak, first I want to thank Kevin Collins for his work. But above all, I want to thank actually pupils, parents, teachers for everything they’ve done throughout this pandemic. And the struggle has been enormous.
Boris Johnson: (18:58)
And actually, what the government is doing is, in addition to the 14 billion pounds, the extra 14 billion pounds we committed, taking per pupil funding in primary schools up to 4,000 pounds per head, in secondary schools up to 5,150, Mr. Speaker, we’re now putting another 3 billion pounds into educational catch-up with the biggest tutoring program anywhere in the world, Mr. Speaker. And it is based on the best evidence that we could find it and that Sir Kevin could supply.
Mr. Speaker: (19:29)
Kier Starmer: (19:32)
Mr. Speaker, let me get this right.
Kier Starmer: (19:35)
In February, the Prime Minister appoints an expert to come up with a catch-up plan for education. It was a highly respected expert, consults widely, and comes up with a plan. The treasury balks at it and says, “We’ll only provide 10%.” Just one-tenth of what’s needed.
Kier Starmer: (19:52)
The Prime Minister rolls over, whatever he says. And children lose out. So much for leveling up. Let me help the Prime Minister with the numbers.
Kier Starmer: (20:03)
The funding he announced last week is about 50 pounds per child per year. And even if you add in previous announcements, even if you add in previous announcements, in England, it’s only 310 pounds per child over four years.
Kier Starmer: (20:16)
Yet in the US, there’s a catch-up plan worth 16,000 pounds per child. And in the Netherlands, it’s 2,500 pounds.
Kier Starmer: (20:24)
So, can the Prime Minister explain, when he was told by his expert that he appointed that only an ambitious, fully-funded catch up plan would do, only an ambitious, fully-funded catch up plan, why did he come up with something which in the words of that same expert is too small, too narrow, and too slow?
Boris Johnson: (20:47)
Mr. Speaker, I think that the right and honorable gentleman needs to do the maths and he needs to do some catch up on his own mathematics because in to the 14 billion I’ve already referred to, Mr. Speaker, there was already another one and a half billion of catch-up. This is a 3 billion pound catch-up plan just for starters, Mr. Speaker. And it includes the biggest program of tuition of one-to-one, one-to-two, one-to-three tutorials anywhere in the world.
Boris Johnson: (21:17)
And we all know, Mr. Speaker, that there are schools in this country, classrooms in this country where children are getting private tutorials, private tuition, thanks to the hard work of their parents.
Boris Johnson: (21:28)
He asks about leveling up. What we want to do is get on the side of all the kids who don’t have access to that tutorial, Mr. Speaker, to support them. That’s what I mean by leveling up, Mr. Speaker.
Kier Starmer: (21:41)
Who does the private to think he’s kidding?
Kier Starmer: (21:43)
He asked Kevin Collins to tell him what was necessary to catch up. Kevin Collins told him. And he said no. Who does he think he’s kidding?
Kier Starmer: (21:52)
The chancellor’s decision, and I assume it was the chancellor’s decision, it always is, to hold back the investment that’s needed is a completely false economy. The long-term costs are likely to be at least a hundred billion pounds, probably more.
Kier Starmer: (22:05)
And who will be hardest hit Prime Minister? Kids from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Kier Starmer: (22:10)
Mr. Speaker, if the government doesn’t change, course, this will hold Britain back for a generation.
Kier Starmer: (22:15)
And here’s the difference between us and them. Because when Labour says education is our number one priority, we mean it. That’s why published a bold 15 billion pound plan to catch up on education for every child. We’re putting that to a vote this afternoon.
Kier Starmer: (22:33)
If the Prime Minister is really serious about this, he’d backed that motion. Will he do so?
Boris Johnson: (22:40)
Mr. Speaker, I’ll tell you the difference between us and the party opposite, is that we put in the tough measures that are needed to give kids a better education across the country. When we rolled out the Academies Program, Mr. Speaker, which has driven up standards across the country, who opposed it?
Boris Johnson: (22:56)
Boris Johnson: (22:56)
When we put in tough measures to ensure discipline in schools, Mr. Speaker, they opposed it.
Boris Johnson: (23:02)
At the last election, Mr. Speaker, they even campaigned to get rid of Offstead, which is so vital. They did. They did. He authored a manifesto to get rid of Offstead. Will he now say that he not only supports our tuition program, but he supports our radical program to support teachers with better training? 400 million pounds we’re now putting in, not only a starting salary for teachers of 30,000 pounds, which we’ve introduced, but another 400 million to support, better training for teachers.
Boris Johnson: (23:34)
That’s what we’re backing in our party. And they are serious costed reforms based on evidence, unlike anything he’s producing.
Kier Starmer: (23:44)
Mr. Speaker: (23:46)
A less shouting from the South. Just to remind the Prime Minister, it’s Prime Ministers questions. It isn’t about the agenda of last general election.
Mr. Speaker: (23:53)
Mr. Speaker: (23:56)
The Prime Minister, Offstead was not the question. I’m not interested in what they put on the agenda. I’m more interested in you answering the question.
Mr. Speaker: (24:02)
Kier Starmer: (24:05)
Mr. Speaker, let me take this very slowly for the Prime Minister. The Collins review commissioned by the government was very clear. If the Collins’ proposed action is not taken, the attainment gap will rise between 10 and 24%. That was on a slide shown to the Prime Minister last week.
Kier Starmer: (24:21)
He talks about the various measures, so let’s look at this more closely.
Kier Starmer: (24:25)
Which part of our plan does he oppose, the plan that’s being voted on this afternoon? Is it breakfast clubs for every child? Does he oppose that? Is it quality mental health support in every school? Does he oppose that? Is it more tutoring for every child that needs it? Does he oppose that? Or additional investment for children who have suffered the most?
Kier Starmer: (24:46)
Which part of our plan does the Prime Minister object to? And if he doesn’t object to it and agrees with it, why doesn’t he vote for it?
Boris Johnson: (24:57)
With great respect, Mr. Speaker, I do think I’m entitled to draw attention to what the Labour Party stood on at the last election. And they haven’t yet repudiated it. They did want to get rid of Offstead, Mr. Speaker.
Boris Johnson: (25:10)
But I will tell the right honorable gentlemen, if he is now saying that he supports our tutoring program, and that’s what I think I understood from him just now, that that is a good thing.
Boris Johnson: (25:21)
Because hitherto, what has happened is that the kids have of well-off parents, thanks to their hard work, have been able to rely on private tutoring. What the government is now doing is coming in on the side of all the other kids who don’t get access to that. 6 million kids, 6 million children, Mr. Speaker, 6 million children will have access to tuition thanks to this program. It is a fantastic thing. It is a revolution in education for this country.
Boris Johnson: (25:51)
If he’s now saying that he supports it, Mr. Speaker, then that’s a good thing, though I’ve learned in the course of the last year that his support can sometimes be evanescent, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: (26:00)
Kier Starmer: (26:02)
Mr. Speaker, he pretends he’s here for the other kids. The report says the attainment gap will go up between 10 to 24% of the action isn’t taken. He’s just rejected it. How can he be on the side of the other kids?
Kier Starmer: (26:14)
Come off it.
Kier Starmer: (26:15)
We’ve been here before. Free school meals. U-turn. Exams fiasco. U-turn. Now catch up.
Kier Starmer: (26:22)
The Prime Minister has been all over the place when it comes to education. And he’s on the wrong side of it again.
Kier Starmer: (26:29)
Mr. Speak er, I now want to turn to this week’s G7. This will be the first major summit since the recovery. The UK needs to lead, not just to host. The priority, of course, must be a clear plan to vaccinate the world. As the Delta variant shows, nobody is safe from this virus until everybody is safe.
Kier Starmer: (26:48)
The Prime Minister has made big promises on this. But it needs a truly global effort to make it happen. So, will the Prime Minister take the lead at the G7 and do whatever is necessary to make global vaccinations a reality?
Boris Johnson: (27:05)
Yes, indeed. Mr. Speaker. And actually I think what the people in this country also understand is that, not only were we able to give one of the first authorizations for the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, but also, thanks to the deal the government did between the Oxford scientists and AstraZeneca, we were able to ensure that one in three of the 1.5 billion doses that have been distributed around the world are the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. That is global Britain in action, to say nothing of the billion vaccines that we hope to raise from the G7 this week.
Mr. Speaker: (27:45)
Kier Starmer: (27:45)
Mr. Speaker, that would sound a lot better if the Prime Minister wasn’t the only G7 leader cutting his aid budget. I hear what the Prime Minister says about vaccines, but we also need clear global agreement and global funding. Hundreds of former leaders, businesses, and development groups have pulled for exactly that kind of leadership at the G7. And that’s what we need to see from the Prime Minister this weekend.
Kier Starmer: (28:11)
Mr. Speaker, the G7, bilateral discussions with President Biden and the possibility of a new government in Israel also provide a real chance to restart a meaningful Middle East peace process. The appalling violence recently, which killed 63 children in Gaza and two children in Israel shows just how urgent this is.
Kier Starmer: (28:34)
For too many people in Palestine, the promise of an end to the occupation and a recognized sovereign Palestinian state feels more distant than ever.
Kier Starmer: (28:44)
So will the Prime Minister take the opportunity this weekend to press for renewed international agreement to finally recognize the state of Palestine alongside a safe and secure Israel, to stop the expansion of illegal settlements, and to get a meaningful peace process back up and running?
Boris Johnson: (29:03)
Mr. Speaker, it’s been a long standing objective of this government, and I think its common ground across this house, that the solution for the Middle East peace process is a two-state solution that we continue to press for that. And I’ve made that position playing in my conversations, both with the Palestinian Authority and of course, with Israel.
Boris Johnson: (29:25)
Mr. Speaker, he attacks the government, I think, for failing to be sufficiently ambitious in our overseas aid spending. I think I heard him say that in that compendious compendious question.
Boris Johnson: (29:37)
And let me just tell him… He’s gesturing at these benches. And Mr. Speaker, under this government, we’ve spent more and we continue to spend more than Labour ever did, than Labor ever did. Under Blair, under Brown, even when they were spending money on Brazilian dancers in Hackney to raise consciousness, which is what they did to raise consciousness of global poverty, Mr. Speaker, we are spending 10 billion pounds-
Boris Johnson: (30:03)
… property, Mr. Speaker. We are spending 10 billion pounds a year at a time of acute financial difficulty for this country, and I think that really people know that that is the right priority for this country. I think of it, and if labor members want to vote on that matter, Mr. Speaker, then may I just remind them the people of this country had an opportunity to vote on the way the government is handling it last month, and that the balance that we were striking. And I think that they adjudicated firmly in the favor of the government, Mr. Speaker. They pontificate and prevarication and procrastinate-
Mr. Speaker: (30:37)
Felicity Kenville come on, Buchan even.
Felicity Buchan: (30:39)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. You’ve made me slightly older, yes. I am very proud of have my government’s record on the environment, and the fact that we have cut emissions at the first is rate of any G7 country. I welcome the fact that Lancaster West Estate, in my constituency, has benefited from a green grant of almost 20 million pounds to decarbonize. Does my Right Honourable friend agree with me that we need to build back back better in a green way, and in a way that levels up all parts of the United Kingdom?
Boris Johnson: (31:28)
Yes, I do. And I thank you, Mr. Speaker. My old friend’s absolutely right. That’s why we committed a total 3.8 billion pounds to fund energy improvements in the performance, particularly of social rented homes.
Mr. Speaker: (31:43)
Leader the SNP, Ian Blackford.
Ian Blackford: (31:46)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’m sure we’re all looking forward to the European championships kicking off later this week. Can I get the opportunity to wish all the best to our country, Scotland, to Steve Clark and the team, and to remind the team it is time for heroes? Mr. Speaker, later this week the Prime Minister will walk into the G7 Summit as the only leader, the only leader, Prime Minister cutting development aid to the world’s poorest. At the very moment when global leadership is needed more than ever, this Tory government is walking away from millions still struggling from the COVID pandemic and a poverty pandemic. The Prime Minister has been hiding on this issue for months. This is a government on the run from their own moral and legal responsibilities, and on the run, Mr. Speaker, from their own back benches.
Ian Blackford: (32:37)
But the Prime Minister can’t hide from this issue any longer, and he can’t run from democracy in this house. Will he stand up today and commit to a straight vote in this house on his inhumane cuts, as demanded by the Speaker?
Ian Blackford: (32:53)
Prime Minister, it is a very simple question. Yes or no?
Boris Johnson: (33:00)
And the count, by the way, Mr. Speaker, I wish all of the very best to Scotland and England and all the home nations who may be playing in. I don’t think he’s going to reciprocate, Mr. Speaker, but you never know. Well, if a short, I thought. Oh, you did. There you go. That’s nice of him.
Boris Johnson: (33:22)
Anyway, Mr. Speaker, I think the answer is clear. We, the people of this country, as I said to the Right Honourable gentlemen, were given a vote on this and many other matters very recently. And I think they adjudicate very firmly in favor of the balance the government is striking. We are in very, very difficult financial times. But you shouldn’t believe the lefty propaganda, Mr. Speaker, that you hear from people. We’re spending 10 billion pounds overseas. We’ve actually increased. We’ve increased. All they want to do is run this country down, Mr. Speaker, run this country down when we’ve increased spending on girls education alone to half a billion pounds, almost half a billion. That is a fantastic sum of money to be spending in difficult times, Mr. Speaker, and we should be proud.
Mr. Speaker: (34:14)
Ian Blackford: (34:15)
Mr. Speaker. I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the previous Prime Minister, the Right Honourable member from Maidenhead, call the leftist propagandists. The simple fact of the matter is the simple fact of the matter, Prime Minister, is every single party, every single member of this house, stood on a manifesto commitment of 0.7%. The Prime Minister has reneged on that. And the Speaker has indicated that the government should allow a vote on it. It’s pretty basic stuff.
Ian Blackford: (34:44)
After a year dealing with a deadly virus, why can’t the Prime Minister get this? In a pandemic, no one is safe until everyone is safe. Now is the time to support each other, not to walk away from those in need. People are dying, and they need our help. The Prime Minister has the nerve to brag about the government support for the vulnerable. And at the very same time, he is slashing for and a half billion from the world’s poorest, in the week of the G7. What kind of what world leader washes the hands of responsibility by cutting water and hygiene projects by more than 80% in the middle of a pandemic?
Boris Johnson: (35:24)
Mr. Speaker, I may say that I think that the last contribution was absolutely disgraceful because the people of this country have gone through a very difficult time. We’ve had to spend 407 billion pounds supporting jobs, families, livelihoods throughout the country. And yet we are continuing to support international vaccination, a 1.6 billion pounds this country has contributed to Gavi. I think 548 million pounds to COVAX.
Boris Johnson: (35:52)
And let me just remind him of the statistic I mentioned earlier, one in three, one in three of the vaccines being distributed around the world to the poorest and the neediest come from the Oxford AstraZeneca supply. Thanks to the deal this government did, or does the name though? Does the name Oxford AstraZeneca continue to stick in his craw, Mr. Speaker?
Mr. Speaker: (36:18)
Scott Benton: (36:18)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. May I welcome plans outlined by the Education Secretary last week, which will oversee a tutoring revolution in this country, a proven way to help the most disadvantaged children to catch up. Is the Prime Minister able to confirm that this is just one part of our wider plan to ensure that no child misses out as a consequence of a disruption caused by this pandemic?
Boris Johnson: (36:46)
Yes, Mr. Speaker. I thank my Honourable friend because the whole point of the tutoring program is that it is evidence-based. And every tutoring program, and I say there are 6 million pupils, children, who can benefit, is equivalent to a three to five months of educational catch-up. We’re also, Mr. Speaker, going to be looking at increasing time in schools. And I hope that the loyal opposition, Mr. Speaker, may use their influence with their paymasters in the teaching unions to encourage them in that objection.
Mr. Speaker: (37:21)
Colum Eastwood: (37:22)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Prime Minister knows full well that the best way to reduce checks in the Irish Sea is to do a Swiss style SPS agreement with the European Union. So far, he’s decided not to do that. So why is he prioritizing cheap, dodgy beef from Australia over the concerns of the people of Northern Ireland in reducing checks in the Irish Sea?
Boris Johnson: (37:47)
No, Mr. Speaker. What we’re prioritizing is the right and ability of the people of Northern Ireland to have access as they should, freely and uninterruptedly, to goods and services from the whole of the UK. And we are working to ensure that we protect the territorial and economic integrity of our country. That’s what matters.
Mr. Speaker: (38:11)
Barry Sheerman: (38:13)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Prime Minister’s excellent First Homes policy will allow tens of thousands of key workers and local first-time buyers to buy a home every year at a discount of up to 50% from the market price. What do you consider turbocharging this policy by establishing a national land commission to assemble public sector land to facilitate the development of potentially hundreds of thousands of more half-price homes, so more people can see the benefits of home ownership?
Boris Johnson: (38:44)
I thank my Honourable friend. Last year, we delivered the highest, in spite of the difficulties we faced, the highest number of new homes for over 30 years. But his point is an extremely good one, as all Honourable members know. We must find better, faster ways of releasing publicly-owned land, brownfield sites for development. And that is exactly why we’re looking at the suggestion he makes.
Mr. Speaker: (39:07)
Barry Sheerman: (39:08)
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, in the very first speech mentioned leveling up. My constituents want to know when he’s going to start. The fact of the matter, and I understand that he’s lived a life of privilege and doesn’t know much about the public state sector. He knows a lot about the private sector in education. What are the markers for success? His head of his own Industrial Strategy Council says his leveling up with these resources, with this management team, will not work and will not be successful. My local [inaudible 00:39:42] council says it’s so complex, nothing is flowing down to the grassroots. When will we see the first signs of genuine leveling up in our country?
Boris Johnson: (39:54)
Mr. Speaker, I think that what you’re seeing across the country is people responding to massive investment, 640 billion pound-program, and investment in roads, in schools, in hospitals, in policing that bit-by-bit is transforming people’s lives, hopes, and opportunities. And that is fundamentally the difference between his side of the argument and ours. We believe that there is talent, genius, flair around the whole country, but opportunity is not evenly distributed. And that is our ambition. And that is what we are doing with our campaign Leveling Up. If he’s now saying, by the way, that he supports what we’re doing on the tutoring revolution, because I know he’s a great educational expert, then I’m glad to hear it.
Mr. Speaker: (40:37)
Brendan Clarke-Smith: (40:38)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My constituents in Bassetlaw have been the victims of illegal encampments, most recently at Farr Park in Worksop, where local taxpayers who have been left with a cleanup bell running into thousands of pounds. And residents have been left feeling powerless following a sustained period of antisocial behavior in the locality. Can the Prime Minister tell us what steps we are taking now to ensure we stop this from happening in the future and allow residents and the local authorities to take back control of trespassing?
Boris Johnson: (41:10)
Mr. Speaker, the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill, my Honourable friend will be pleased to know introduce a new criminal offense where a person who resides or intends to reside, whether land or a vehicle, and without permission, has caused or likely to cause significant damage or distress, can face new penalties, Mr. Speaker. And guess who voted against that bill on a three-line whip? Do anybody know? It was the Right Honourable gentlemen and his entire party.
Mr. Speaker: (41:37)
[inaudible 00:41:37] .
Speaker 12: (41:37)
Mr. Speaker, a few years ago, one of my elderly constituents with late stage dementia was married by a man who’d befriended her. Upon her death, the man subsequently inherited the whole of her estate. Because under the law as it stands, their marriage had revoked her previous will. Hundreds of people since then have contacted me citing similar experiences. But three Registrars General have refused to meet me to discuss it. So will the Prime Minister now act to bring this cruel exploitation to an end?
Boris Johnson: (42:10)
Well, I thank the Honourable gentleman for raising the concern that he has, and the injustice that he mentioned. I’ll make sure that he gets a meeting as soon as possible with the relevant minister in the Justice Department.
Mr. Speaker: (42:24)
David Jones: (42:25)
Mr. Speaker, according to newspaper reports, the European Union are unhappy with the negotiating style of the Right Honourable Lord Frost. But does my Right Honourable friend agree that, in fact, Lord Frost is doing a superb job negotiating in the natural interest? And does he further agree with Lord Frost’s assessment that the Northern Ireland protocol, as currently applied, is unsustainable, and that matters would be considerably easier if the European Union were to adopt a more pragmatic approach rather than the purist approach that are adopting at the moment?
Boris Johnson: (43:06)
I thank my Right Honourable friend, and I agree with him completely because I think that David Frost, Lord Frost, is doing an outstanding job. And I venture to say, Mr. Speaker, he’s the greatest Frost since the Great Frost of 1709.
Mr. Speaker: (43:20)
Andrew Gwynne: (43:21)
Thank you. The Prime Minister has seen his advisor on Ethics and Standards resign over his failure to uphold the ministerial code. He’s seen the head of the government’s legal department resign over his failure to uphold international law. And he’s seen his advisor on Education Catch-up resign over his failure to provide proper funding for children. Why does the Prime Minister think this keeps happening to him?
Boris Johnson: (43:51)
Mr. Speaker, I’m indebted to everybody who serves the government in whatever capacity. We have a lot of very tough decisions to make, but we will continue to get on with delivering the people’s priorities. And by the way, we will continue to ensure that we deliver value for money, that we don’t waste our taxpayer’s money. And that ministers follow the ministerial code.
Mr. Speaker: (44:12)
Theresa May: (44:13)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In April 1989, 96 Liverpool fans were unlawfully killed at Hillsborough. Yet nobody has been successfully prosecuted for their part in those unlawful killings. The most recent trial collapsed because, although it was accepted that police evidence had been altered, because it was evidence to a public inquiry, it did not constitute perversion in the course of justice. Will my Right Honourable friend urgently look at the ramifications of this judgment for current and future public inquiries, and ensure that in future people are give them the justice that has been so cruelly denied to the families of the Hillsborough 96?
Boris Johnson: (45:01)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my Right Honorable friend for her question. And-
Boris Johnson: (45:03)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my Right Honorable friend for her question. And, of course the families of the 96 who died in the Hillsborough disaster, those who are injured have shown tremendous courage and determination. Now my Right Honorable friend raises a particular issue about the recent court case and asked for a review of the law. And, I can give her the assurance that we will always consider opportunities to review the law and how it operates if necessary. And, we will certainly be looking at the case she describes.
Speaker 13: (45:38)
Let’s go to Peter Grant. Peter.
Peter Grant: (45:43)
Thank you Mr. Speaker. In just over three years, the directors of Blackmore Bond PLC took 46 million pounds of other people’s money and made it disappear. Now, in [inaudible 00:45:55] of small investors who the directors promised that money would be secure, now face losing everything. Most of the money, 26 million pounds, was only taken by Blackmore Bond after the financial conduct authority had compelling evidence from an expert witness who told them he felt the company was breaking the law but before the NCA took any decisive action.
Peter Grant: (46:17)
Ho many more scandals like this will it take before we have a regulated environment that’s fit for purpose and offers our constituents hope of protection against investments scams?
Boris Johnson: (46:32)
I thank the Honorable gentleman for raising the case he does and I’m afraid, Mr. Speaker I had no advanced notice of it and can’t comment on the case in question, except to say, if you will send me details, we will get back to him as soon as we can.
Speaker 13: (46:44)
I am delighted that Southend-on-Sea has now been given the opportunity to become a city. But, in the fifties, sixties and seventies, a million and a half ladies were forced to give up their babies for adoption. By any standards that was cruel and the hurt is still felt by those ladies today. So, will my Right Honorable friend agree with me that an apology should be given and an acknowledgement that forced adoptions was wrong by all those involved in the process?
Boris Johnson: (47:21)
Mr. Speaker, I echo my Honorable friends sentiments about Southend, but also what he says about those who’ve been affected by forced adoption. The practices that lead to forced adoption can’t now occur because the law protects both parents. He asked for an apology, Mr. Speaker, and I can tell him that the agencies involved in forced adoption in the past, have apologized for their role, Mr. Speaker and quite right too.
Speaker 13: (47:54)
Let’s go to Ian Lavery. Ian.
Ian Lavery: (47:57)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As eloquently highlighted by my Right Honorable friend the leader of the opposition, recent reports have revealed that during the pandemic, the loss of learning has being absolutely catastrophic. The North East is once again, suddenly trailing the field and in some subjects more than most other regions. The attainment gap which had been mentions between the most and least affluent areas is set to grow potentially [inaudible 00:00:48:27].
Ian Lavery: (48:27)
And, that’s desperate, really desperate. The government’s catch up funding is quite simply derisory. Too small, too narrow, too slow or comments by the former education recovery [inaudible 00:48:41] before his unfortunate resignation. Prime Minister, the parents in Wansbeck, in my constituency, are listening. You’ve got a wonderfully privileged educational background. Can you use it to explain how, how! 20 pence per day helps kids in my patch, catch up?
Speaker 13: (49:02)
Boris Johnson: (49:05)
Mr. Speaker, I can tell the Right Honorable gentleman that he’s again, I’m afraid of what he’s saying is completely wrong. The sums are huge that we’re already investing in education and we’ve announced a 3 billion pound additional package of catch up, including the biggest, not just investing in teacher training another 400 million to help teachers improve their qualifications as they got there. But, also the biggest tuition program in the history of this kind of the biggest anywhere in the world. And, that’ll make a huge difference to young people in Wansbeck and across the country. Many kids are getting a private tuition at the moment, Mr. Speaker. Loads aren’t. We want to level up.
Speaker 14: (49:47)
Thank you Mr. Speaker. Recently I met with Gianni Singh who founded the Sikh helpline 25 years ago and is based on West Bromwich high street. We met to hear about the fantastic work they’ve done over the air support to the community with advices issues, such as hate crime, domestic violence, bullying, mental health addiction, and more. Will, the Prime Minister join me in thanking Gianni G and their team for the work and wish them the very best of luck with their 350 mile charity bike ride from Edinburgh to West Bromwich next month?
Boris Johnson: (50:16)
I thank my Honorable friend for raising the important work of Sikh helpline UK. And, I’m very happy to join her in wishing Gianni Singh and her team the very best of luck for that charity bike ride, Mr. Speaker.
Speaker 13: (50:27)
Jonathan Edwards: (50:27)
Mr. Speaker. Brexit is quickly turning into a story of betrayals. Firstly, it was the Northern Irish Unionists. Then it was the fishermen. And, now our farmers fair say skilled trade deal with Australia. The big question, therefore is who comes next? Considering that the trade remedies authority want to cut the protections on the half of steel products previously protected by the EU, are our steel industry and the vast supply chain they sustain, next in line?
Boris Johnson: (50:59)
No, Mr. Speaker. But, can I just suggest to the Honorable gentleman that once again he is completely missing I think, the dynamism and an optimism of so many people I meet in the agricultural sector who see opportunities for Welsh lamb and Welsh beef around the world. Why isn’t he thinking of this as something as an opportunity for exports, Mr. Speaker? Instead of cowering in this way, Welsh lamb Welsh beef. Welsh farmers can do brilliantly from the deals we are opening up around the world and he should be championing a Welsh agriculture and Welsh produce.
Speaker 13: (51:38)
Speaker 15: (51:39)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In East Surrey I’ve been working with brilliant parish councils in Smallfield, Burstow and Horne to ensure we can get a better balance on HGV movements, allowing local businesses to thrive, but also ensuring that residents feel safe. I welcome the government’s work to clamp down on moving traffic offenses but will the Prime Minister also consider taking another look at the powers of the traffic commissioner to ensure that we can find this balance?
Speaker 13: (52:04)
Boris Johnson: (52:06)
Yes, Mr. Speaker. I thank my Honorable friend for raising this point. Traffic enforcement outside London can only be undertaken by the police, but I will certainly look at the role of the traffic commissioner in the cases that she describes.
Speaker 13: (52:23)
Speaker 16: (52:23)
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Our greatest national asset best of this country, record increase in funding, saved my life no question. My number one priority. All things the Prime Minister said about our NHS, yet award-winning South Tyneside Hospital has lost vital services and being told by his government to make further cuts to remain and services.
Speaker 16: (52:47)
Later today, I’m presenting a petition on behalf of over 40,000 of my constituents against these cuts. Like me, they want him to help us save our hospital and show for once that he is able to match his rhetoric with some action. Will he?
Boris Johnson: (53:05)
Yes. Mr. Speaker. And, all the changes that she mentioned will be consulted on in the usual way. I note that Dr. Shahid Wahid, the executive medical director of the trust was recently quoted in the Shields Gazette as saying, “This is about improving surgical services. It is not about downgrading anything.” And, she mentioned cuts but this government this year alone has given another 92 billion pounds, 92 billion pounds to support our NHS on top of the huge commitments we already made.
Speaker 13: (53:35)
Final question, Jacob [inaudible 00:53:36].
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday, we had the fantastic announcement of 25 million pounds of investment into Redcar town center, which will allow us to build a new watch sports facility at Cotham, a new indoor activity center on the Esplanades and give the town a much needed lift. I’m working with the council on other bids for Estin and [inaudible 00:53:56] area. But in the meantime, can I invite the Prime Minister to come to the mighty Redcar and see our plans for leveling up our area and I’ll even treat him to a lemon top.
Boris Johnson: (54:09)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you my Honorable friend who is a fantastic advocate for the people of Redcar. And, thanks at least partly to his advocacy, we’ve announced a ton of deals to benefit Redcar. The leveling up fund will help secure local investment in infrastructure, in communities, in Redcar and as and when my diary permits me, Mr. Speaker, I would be thrilled to come and join him for what I think he described as a lemon top.
Speaker 13: (54:36)
On that basis, I’m now suspending the House for three minutes to enable necessary arrangements for the next business. Order.