tv Prime Ministers Questions Prime Ministers Questions CSPAN September 14, 2020 12:00am-12:39am EDT
website, studentcam.org. >> you are watching c-span, your unfiltered view of government. created by america's cable television companies as a public service and brought to you today by your television provider. >> british prime minister boris johnson took questions from members of the house of commons on a range of domestic and international issues, including a shortage and coronavirus tests. also relations with scotland and northern ireland. disparities. >> questions for the prime minister. >> question number one.
>> mister speaker, i have meetings with ministerial colleagues and others and in addition to my duties in this house i will have further first meetings later today. >> thank you, mister speaker. if it is acceptable for this government to not obey the law, how on earth can the prime minister expect the public at home to do so? >> we expect everybody in this country to obey the law. >> sir robert neil. >> the prime minister will be aware that tomorrow the people of the broader celebrate their national day and to be chair of the parliamentary group in gibraltar will he join me in sending the people of gibraltar their best wishes when they celebrate their democratic decision and continuing wish to remain british and also as the
government will continue to give them every support in that matter and also in all capacities they may need our assistance going forward to be part of the british family. >> i congratulate my honorable friends on the continual support he gives the people of gibraltar and i can assure him the sovereignty of gibraltar is inviolable and i join him as all members join him in wishing the people of the broader a happy national day on thursday. >> the leader of the opposition takes questions. >> i spoke to someone who lives in london who has a 4-year-old daughter who had a high temperature yesterday morning, she phoned 911 and was told to get a test. she tried to book and was told the nearest was robin was 9:00
in the morning, there were no tests, she was then told, halfway to brighton, no tests there. by lunchtime she was told the nearest place was pilfered. a slot became available in lee valley in the afternoon, being offered across the country including people in manchester and it was impossible to book. 9:00 last night she was still nearest center was swansea. this is ridiculous. who does the prime minister think is responsible for this? >> i take responsibility as i have the entire handling of the coronavirus crisis but i will say to those who attack nhs test and trace and those who dedicate the efforts of people doing their best to keep us safe is precisely because of the success of test and trace
that capacity has gone up from 2000 a month in march, 320,000 a day. we know thanks to nhs testing and tracing in granular detail in a way we didn't earlier this year about what is happening, the groups that are suffering the extent of the infection rates and we've been able to do the local lockdowns that have been working. we also know some people have not been following the guidance in the way they should and we are seeing a rise in infections and that is why we are taking decisive steps to intensify our social distancing measures. the rule of 6 will be familiar to the country in order that we
can keep our schools open and keep this virus under control and i hope he will support those measures and support nhs test and trace. >> i will hear this later on but we will in principle support them as i supported all measures introduced, it is the right thing to do and i asked to follow advice on the opportunity. no one is attacking here. the primacy needs to know how anxious hundreds of families are all over the country, it can't be brushed off. the 21st of this year the health secretary said anybody who needs a test can get a test. it is the most important thing you can do to stop the spread of this virus. a very serious issue. the government line is changing all time. yesterday the director of nhs said my apologies to anyone who
can't be tested. it is the laboratory processing. this morning for health secretary change tack and blamed the public, made a statement, didn't say anything about it this morning, emerging overnight. who is right? the director of test and trace or the health secretary? >> i sympathize with all those facing difficulties getting the test they want but demand is unprecedented, the demand for asymptomatic patients that he should know this country has done more tests, 17.6 million, than any other country in europe, then the international comparisons, that is thanks to the efforts of nhs test and trace, they are doing an absolutely gross job in spite of the difficulties they face. they massively raise output in
testing and they will be up to testing 500,000 tests a day by the end of october. this is an organization working to contain the spread of this disease and it requires the public to trust this organization. yesterday the right honorable gentleman said it was on the verge of collapse. i think those were ill chosen words and i think he regrets those words. i think he should reflect and take them back. >> hundreds of families and try to get a test in the last weekend can't get one. this is basic stuff. people who have covid-19 symptoms are anxious about themselves, their children and families what to do. it means they can't go to work or get their children to school. it matters and if they can't get tested, not in the future or something else but address this problem. i want to take it further because it is not just that
people are being told hundreds of miles, somebody contacted me and said my wife has a temperature they said we need to isolate and get a test done. i've been trying to book a test, this is yesterday. the site says no capacity. i tried for a home test kit and they are telling me there are no home kits available at present. this is it, there were no tests available. what is happening? >> i know he won't take back his criticism and his attack. i regret that, to withdraw his verdict, it is not. they are doing a heroic job testing hundreds of thousands of people and, everybody can take an enabling tests at the beginning of the day.
and so we know whether we live our lives as normally as possible. that is the vision the health secretary and others have been sketching out over the last few days. nhs test and trace is doing a heroic job and today, most people get an in person test result in 24 hours -- >> we went test trace and isolate to succeed. i offer my support but the prime minister ignoring a problem, people travel hundreds of miles, something is wrong. constituents are telling them. the latest government figures were updated last night.
they said 75,000 tests were not being used every day. if they were not being used why yesterday with people being traveled hundreds of miles for a test, why yesterday were people being told there is no capacity? >> massive increase in the number of people who need or want tests, people who don't have symptoms. i hope he agrees we need to prioritize, they urgently need those tests. as if we increase the number of tests it is those groups who are getting priority. i can tell them he is wrong in what he says about the failure of nhs.
of those contacts, 80% are reached in 320,000 people have been persuaded to self isolate and stop the spread of disease. that is -- people ignoring his attempt to undermine confidence in test and trace, and working to gather to get this disease defeated. >> undermining confidence, being told to get a test, that is undermining confidence. what is the problem except the problem, tell us what the solution is and we try - either too many people coming forward for tests, capacity problem or not? they want to go back to work. we understand that and support
that. the other side is to deliver infective test and trace, prime minister tell us, when did you first know about this problem, so those tests would not be available. last week is reasonable. when did he know that was a problem? >> a function of the growing demand and public confidence in test and trace the we have to supply more tests and try to get the figures. to 320,000 a day today. for the support and encouragement, what they are trying to do.
people on average have to travel ten miles and thanks to them, 80% of the contact they identify, our reach -- told to self isolate. it is hard work. it is a big job. praise and encouragement and support. >> why can't we just hear from the prime minister? and honest answer. if he stood at the box and said something has gone wrong in the last couple weeks, we are getting examples of people being told there is no tests. i looked into it, worked out what the problem is. here's my plan. people might be reassured. but he pretend the problem isn't there. the infection rate is rising, this is the point we need a functioning testing regime.
but the system we were promised, the government can't get the basics right. the government is lurching crisis to crisis, basic incompetence. this lacks confidence, this prime minister lacks confidence. this is what is holding britain back. my final question is this. when is this problem going to be fixed? >> he was on the money when he said the government lacks confidence. if i can just say this, we are working flat out to address all the issues confronting us today including trying to get the infection rate down and we are taking tough decisions, making tough calls to take this country but when it came to state schools are is safe, he didn't want to offend his union, and a left-wing analyst
tried to do that, he didn't want to offend trustee left-wing anarchists and when it comes by the way to sticking up for our uk internal market, for delivering the will of the bridge people one of the most important issues he is totally silent on this bill but he takes office once again, has nothing to say about that because he doesn't want to defend the huge number and overturn the verdict of the people and take that fact into the eu, this government takes on tough decisions on behalf of the british people delivering thousands of jobs, record-breaking investment in a formal housing and getting on with all our work, working with
the honorable gentleman if he could only get coronavirus defeated and take our country forward. we take the tough calls. all he does is sit on the sidelines. >> thank you, mister speaker. the work of the armed forces and especially 103, mechanical engineers with the nhs cancels volunteers during the lockdown. will my right honorable friend join me in recognizing them, the importance of the barracks now and in the future? >> i think my honorable friend recognizing the importance of the barracks and salute the work for the entire armed services and what they've done across the united kingdom to help us fight coronavirus.
>> he and blackburn. >> thank you, mister speaker. shortly the government will publish its internal market report. it is nothing short of an attack on scotland's parliament and on the front to the people of scotland. we have this legislation breaking international law, the prime minister and his friends are creating a rogue state, one rule of law, why does the prime minister think he and his friends from the law. >> this uk internal market bill is about protecting jobs, protecting growth, ensuring the safety of our uk internal market and prosperity
throughout the united kingdom and scotland and northern ireland and wales. >> i saw the prime minister breaking the law, signaling behavior of dominic cummings, and what the prime minister said is complete rubbish. state agencies grabbed back from scotland and handed to westminster. the prime minister wouldn't listen to the scottish government, will he listen to the scottish president who warned the proposal limits the demonstration, the constitution of affairs that warned it will create new reservations and areas of consequence and the council for scotland, warned that an undermines that.
scotland is speaking out and i say to the scottish parliament will reject this attack so the question is organizing to break domestic law, the will of the scottish people, ignore the concerns, scotland's communities and press ahead with this bill. the time for scotland's place is an international law-abiding nation is almost here. our time has come. >> the answer, mister speaker is we will press on with this, attacks are totally illogical. it represents a substantial transfer of power, of sovereignty to scotland and wales. it is a massive devolution area act. what it also does, this is common ground across the dispatch box and also ensures,
with uk internal market. the transfer to the uk government, to transfer power is not just to state aid to brussels, over fisheries too. that is the policy of the scottish nationalist party and it would be a disaster for our country. >> to withdraw the last comment, no other member will do. please withdraw. >> mister speaker. >> i don't need that. >> on the face of the bill the government of the uk, that is not a lie. >> members of this house, do the right things by this house to be withdrawn. >> thank you, mister speaker. before being elected last year
i worked -- since october of last year, 120 suicides, there have been 24 deaths in that time. my right honorable friend will agree with me one debt is one deaf too many. will he support me or support national suicide prevention, the fantastic work carried out by the mental health charge, engage in unit 20. >> mister speaker, every suicide is a tragedy and my honorable friend is right to focus on that issue in the way he does, record investments in suicide prevention but i would like to pay tribute to the charitable sector, for the fantastic work they do.
in that crucial moment and suicide. >> they heard them onto trains, shave their heads, a genocide of the weaker people, taking place before their eyes. to criticize the next world superpower, harder to take action. what action is the prime minister going to take to stop the ethnic cleansing and when will he lead organization for the international tribunal, this time no country can say they didn't know. >> the foreign secretary, raising concerns with the chinese authorities and will
continue to do so in the un and every other context. >> bbc panorama reveals what people have been telling me for months. the council is failing its children. given shocking things we saw does the prime minister agree with me the council should hang us live in shame, meet with these parents, and gave a failure, should resign. >> hasn't acknowledged the improvements, the oversight of special needs and schools, and were offset, i'm happy to raise
further on that issue. >> a few weeks ago was found dead, one little sunday. hand eric came to me, anyone-year-old should ever have, his future hangs in limbo, organizing something for the secretary to look at the next case and make sure the family can go forward if such a difficult time. >> i think the honorable gentleman, deepest condolences to the friends -- we take seriously the well-being of all those in the asylum system,
that particular case with him. >> the prime minister knows that i have an 11 year track record, not least from the environmental damage it is courting and expressed my support for peaceful environmental campaigns against this project. regrettably, the actions of extinction and rebellion who glued themselves to trains and try to interfere with the freedom of the press have tarnished the reputation of peaceful environmental protection. will my right honorable friend tell me what he is considering to ensure rather than offering encouragement to lawbreakers, unacceptable behavior and attacks on democratic freedom to be prevented from happening again. and the integrity of peaceful campaigners is not impugned. >> i draw a sharp distinction
contrast between the approach of my right honorable friend to environmental protests and that is taken by those trying in vain to frustrate the freedom of the press. and the violence of the right honorable gentleman when he asks the opportunity to condemn. to answer the point directly it is important given, and the freedom of the press that we look at what we can do to public order and under the law on nuisance and that is what we will do. >> the health secretary said we have the largest texting system, my constituency, one of the areas of concern, people are struggling to get a covid-19 test.
this is criticism but months since the prime minister promised us a world leading test track and trace system so i asked him where is it. >> sympathy with those wanting to get tested. the demand is very acute because we have so many who don't have symptoms who want a test and argue the priority should be for those who do have symptoms and we will do everything we can to address the issues across the country but i would remind her nhs test and trace is so far conducted 17.6 million tests which is more than any other european country. she should take some pride in that. >> local restrictions to be lifted and parts of my
constituency, would the prime minister reassure the people the infection rate continued to reduce -- to be lifted out of local jurisdiction sooner rather than later. >> i thank the people of doonesbury for their fortitude in doing what they do, the local action to defeat the virus and as soon as we see results in the case of a local lockdown we take that area out of lockdown, there and elsewhere. >> there have been reports in the last two days the chancellor may scrap the increase in the national living wage on the grounds that may be considered unaffordable. and the primus to recognize working people should not be made to pay for this crisis and the marginal living rage will
raise to 9 pounds and $0.21 an hour in april? >> this government introduced the living wage and i am proud we delivered a record increase in the living wage and supported families throughout the crisis not just with a living wage but a huge 160 billion pounds package of support, this government puts its arms around the people of the country and helps them through tough times. >> the college announced the highest achieving college in the country recognizing dedicated students, quality teaching staff and fantastic facilities for advanced engineering and as a result the college and experienced ring year on year growth but in order to ensure people have the skills they need for the future, invested in people today. that is why i have given my support to the college with its
latest expansion funds which includes drone technology, robotics and engines. back from government, will he join me in this? >> my honorable friend is right to champion, the cutting-edge education, technologies of the future, all the plans the college has for investments to develop their campus. >> in 1869, to build council housing to replace progress over the years that has been instructed by this government most recently with a prefer useful to extend on a landlord licensing game and adoption of development which local
control, likely control, will the prime minister give the answer and commit to withdraw these plans and return control to the community and the 1860s. >> as far as i know the laboring 13 years when they were last in office and we will go on, you just heard about the investment in affordable homes and we will deliver beautiful homes across the country building on brownfield sites in a way that is affordable and helps young people onto the housing ladder the way they need either through affordable rent or part rent schemes which are immensely attractive and that is the way forward. >> the government agenda with
25 million pounds. will my right honorable friend encourage proposals for the school of nursing at the college of -- help kickstart local trading opportunities, job opportunities? >> i thank my honorable friends, an excellent champion for this area and if he could contain his impatience he may hear something to his advantage of his constituency from his right honorable friend, the community secretary. >> 150 million pounds spent on contracts, staggering billion pounds with out proper due diligence. where has the money gone? >> all i can tell is there has
been a massive investment in ppe throughout this pandemic and billions of items have been supplied. if she has an anxiety about a contract i'm happy to address that if she will take trouble to write to me. >> from growing our food and producing and british farmers lead the world in so many ways, will -- across the country for the contribution they make, national security and security. >> somebody grew up on a farm many years ago, i am thrilled to support a british farming day and it is thanks to them we have food on our plates every day but also for increased agricultural exports around the world and that is why i am looking forward to the period
at the end of this year when we take advantage of the freedoms of brexit and i hope members will join us in pushing through the internal market bill which will help to support uk farming across the country and build a stronger agricultural industry. >> the prime minister, there are some scottish nationalists who want to follow the example of catalonia. it would be illegal. acceptable to ignore international law, what basis would he approve it? >> i want to say this, neglected to raise an
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