PMQs: New dangerous cycling laws considered, Theresa May says – BBC News

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Media captionDangerous driving offences should be extended to cyclists, says Labour’s Heidi Alexander

The government says it will consider new laws to tackle dangerous cycling.

Theresa May made the commitment in PMQs when asked about the trial of a cyclist who knocked over and killed a woman.

Cyclist Charlie Alliston – whose fixed gear bike had no front brakes – was cleared of manslaughter last month but convicted under the 19th century offence of “wanton or furious driving”.

Labour MP Heidi Alexander said this law was “hopelessly outdated and wholly inadequate”.

The Lewisham East MP, whose constituent Kim Briggs was killed in the incident, also asked whether the offence of dangerous driving could be extended to cover cyclists.

Mrs May said the point was about ensuring legislation is kept up to date, and added: “I am sure this is an issue that the secretary of state for transport will look at.”

PMQs returns

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Image caption Nurses protested about low pay outside Parliament during Prime Minister’s Questions

It was the first Prime Minister’s Questions since the summer recess, and Mrs May clashed with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on executive pay and zero-hours contracts.

Mr Corbyn urged her to support McDonald’s workers, who went on strike this week, and accused her of going back on “tough talk” and a manifesto pledge to tackle boardroom pay rises.

The PM said the McDonald’s strike was a matter for the fast-food chain and that her party had just published proposals on corporate governance.

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Media captionTheresa May asks Jeremy Corbyn why Labour did nothing about zero hours contracts when it was in power for 13 years

She was also urged by the Labour leader to lift the cap on public sector pay rises – saying public servants did a good job in often “very difficult and harrowing circumstances”.

The government would balance protecting public servants’ jobs with “being fair to those who are paying for it” she added.

To coincide with PMQs, nurses held a protest outside Parliament calling for an end to the pay cap.

Brexit warning

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With Brexit likely to dominate Parliamentary proceedings in the coming weeks, Mrs May said she would “listen very carefully” to concerns about the legislation the government plans to enact to leave the EU.

Conservative MP Anna Soubry said there were “very serious concerns” on Tory benches that the government’s EU Withdrawal Bill would become an “unprecedented and unnecessary power-grab”.

The bill will incorporate EU law onto the UK statute book by the time Brexit happens in March 2019.

The “power-grab” concerns are because ministers plan to give themselves the power to update legislation during the Brexit process without needing Parliamentary approval.

Mrs May said this would ensure an “orderly exit from the EU” but said the government would listen to concerns and offered to meet Ms Soubry to discuss the issue.

MPs accused of ‘unseemly’ behaviour

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John Bercow criticised MPs who appeared to laugh at new Lib Dem MP Layla Moran as she asked her question about free childcare.

The Speaker accused the members of an “unseemly response”.

“The honourable lady is a new member, she’s highly articulate and she will be heard,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Philip Hammond’s rather conspicuous yawn while the PM was speaking did not go unnoticed by the watching journalists.

Speak out on child abuse, PM urges

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Media captionPMQs: Theresa May asked about child sex abuse investigation

Responding to a question from Tory MP Tim Loughton, Mrs May said politicians had to be free to speak out against child sexual abuse despite “political or cultural sensitivities”.

In a veiled reference to Labour MP Sarah Champion, who quit the party’s front bench after criticism of a newspaper article she wrote about grooming gangs, the PM said: “The freedom to speak out must apply to those in positions of responsibility, including ministers and shadow ministers on both sides of this House.

“Because if we turn a blind eye to this abuse, as has happened too much in the past, then more crimes will be committed and more children will be suffering in silence.”

MP Champion quits front bench over rape article

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Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41172434