09/02/2017 Question Time


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09/02/2017

David Dimbleby chairs topical debate from Torquay. On the panel are Claire Perry, Owen Smith, Peter Whittle, Billy Bragg and Ann Widdecombe.


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Welcome to Question Time and, tonight, we are in Torquay.

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On our panel, the backbench Conservative MP who campaigned for

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Remain and who this week, light and some of her pro Brexit colleagues to

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jihadis. Claire Perry. The man who unsuccessfully challenged Jeremy

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Corbyn for the Labour leadership last summer and now wants a second

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EU referendum, Owen Smith. The Ukip deputy leader, who ran for London

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last year, Peter Whittle. The singer, songwriter and socialist,

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Billy Bragg. And the former Conservative politician who, since

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leaving Westminster, has filled her time with writing novels, performing

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in pantomime and even doing aged -- doing a remember full turn on

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Strictly. Ann Widdecombe. Welcome to you all. Welcome to our

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panel and to you at home watching. You can always join in this debate

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have your say, either Facebook or Twitter or text us on 83981. Push

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some red button somewhere and see what others are saying. Our first

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question from Clare Sardari, please. What would the panel like to say to

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the many unaccompanied refugee children in Europe now affected by

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the curtailment of the Dubs scheme? That being the scheme to bring

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unaccompanied children into the UK. 200 have been brought in and they

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are only going to take 150 more. Originally, it was going to be

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around 3000. Yesterday it was suddenly curtailed. Peter Whittle.

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What I would say is that it seems hard. -- harsh. It is only going to

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be 350 as opposed to 3000. But I think there are different issues and

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we shouldn't confuse the issue of children who would come in under

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this scheme with, if you like, the general flow of refugees and

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therefore it is regrettable. I understand the reasoning, which is

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that this attracts, if you like, people traffickers and what have

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you, but I think that, in this case, it does seem somewhat harsh just to

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curtail this very small amount. Clare's brutal question was, what

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would you say to the ones not allowed in? What do you actually

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say? It is very difficult. One has to be quite clear about this, and

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you don't want to be lacking in compassion. Obviously, we've had

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cases last year of minors or supposed miners unaccompanied who

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were actually not my nose. Those sorts of people, that actually has

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be looked at very carefully. We have to be very careful these days who is

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coming into our country. It isn't a question of being not compassionate.

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That is the case. I think, in this instance, what we are talking about

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now with the Dubs law, if you like, is that it seems to have been rather

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a harsh judgment. Billy Bragg. Tony Benn once said that the way the

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government treats refugees is very instructive, because it's the way

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they would treat the rest of us if they had half a chance.

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APPLAUSE It seems to me to be a week where

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the debate in this country has been somewhat coarsened in the way that

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we've seen recently in the USA. Trying to get rid of John .co

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because he spoke out, the Prime Minister accusing Jeremy Corbyn of

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using alternative facts. -- trying to get rid of Jeremy Berkoff -- John

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Berkoff. We have a duty to take in refugees from around the world and I

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think that... APPLAUSE

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These young people are stuck between a rock and a hard place. We lent on

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the French got mud to clear the Calais jungle. These people have

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nowhere to go. They can't go back where they came from, they can't

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assimilate into France. Our government has said that we have

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undertaken the Dubs Amendment, and Alf Dubs was a child refugee, that

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we would take them in what I think it says something about the

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closeness of the debate that is going on our country. We have some

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real thinking to do in the coming years, not just about Article 50 or

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whether we want to stay in the single market would join the

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economic area. We have to ask ourselves what kind of people we

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are. APPLAUSE

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Are we going to turn away from our responsibilities to the world or are

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we going to step up and do what we said we would do, and take all 3000

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of these children? The person with their hand up. They haven't said

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they will stop taking refugees. They are still saying they will take

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thousands from the refugee camps, which is much safer for the children

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and puts them at less risk. But these children are already here. And

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they are in France, a safe country. APPLAUSE

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I understand the concern and I talked to the Home Secretary about

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this yesterday pulled to clarify, there was never a number made. The

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government committed to make sure that every child that came who may

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have gone through the most horrific situation would be given as much

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support as they could possibly have from local councils, and the

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councils have come back and said, this is the number we can support.

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But the original act stated that we would take 3000. The Dubs amendment

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wasn't accepted? I would hate for criticism of this policy to

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overshadow what we should all be proud of, that this government has a

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fantastic track record in this region. We are spending the biggest

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humanitarian aid package we have ever spent and that is being in

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Syria pulled we will take 20,000 Syrian people over the course of

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this Parliament and I am proud to say that we have Syrian families in

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my constituency. I suspect that these children, coming here with no

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family support, often escaping from traumatic circumstances, will have

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to have incredible support and care from the local council, quite

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properly, and the councils have said that if the number they can

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adequately support. Let's not make this an enemy of what we should be

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proud of, which is an incredibly good international track record of

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supporting people from the world's toughest regions. I'm afraid that I

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do think that the sensible ways to take refugees, including children,

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are from the camps around Syria, because that is where the problem

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is. We know that those people have been absolutely displaced by that

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war and I think that is an entirely sensible policy. It is true, and the

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Home Secretary made this clear, that councils have said... When a child

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arrives here, this isn't the end. That's the beginning. The child then

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has to be looked after, found a home for, properly educated, properly

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looked after, and all councils are saying is, at the moment, they feel

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they have reached a point beyond which they don't want further

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burdens. It doesn't mean that, in the future, some similar programme

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couldn't be reinstated. Let me say this about France. I'm pretty fed up

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with France. The fact is that those people in the camps at Calais spent

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all their time trying to get unlawfully into Britain, when they

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could apply quite lawfully to stay in France, which is a safe country,

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and a signatory to all of the refugee Convention is that we are a

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signatory to. APPLAUSE

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Owen Smith. Clare, I would say sorry on behalf of the British people for

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what I think... APPLAUSE

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What I think is a shameful day for our country. As Billy said a minute

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ago, Alf Dubs, who put his name to this amendment, I worked with him in

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Northern Ireland and he is a great man, somebody who was a refugee and

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came to this country as part of the kinder transport. He is clear that

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we need to do this and I am absolutely clear that we need to

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take more of these refugees. What did you say to the council? I rang

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my council leader tonight and asked Rhondda Cynon Taf council in south

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Wales how many of these children they'd been asked to take. They have

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taken four. They could take four or five times that. They have not been

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asked to take any of the vulnerable families. I don't believe for a

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minute that it is true that the councils are ringing up a Home

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Office, saying they can't afford to take any more, and it certainly is

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not true of my council. There was a number that was talked about 3000

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was very widely understood to be the number we hoped to take as a result

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of the concession that we had to ring out the government kicking and

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screaming, and they are reneging on the promise that may made -- they

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made. There are 30,000 unaccompanied children in Europe, fleeing

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persecution. Billy is right. We've got to make some decisions about

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what sort of country we want. I want to bring Clare in, because he set an

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interesting thing, that his council hasn't been asked and could take

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five times as many. In Wiltshire, we have taken in Syrian families, but

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we have taken in children, minors on their own. I would be interesting to

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clarify that and, if it's the case, I will feed that back. But there is

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a difference between a child coming here as part of a family and a child

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coming who has no family members here, doesn't speak the language and

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may have been persecuted. A lot of abuse. There is a of abuse. We can

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go back to the government and ask them to review the numbers. But

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checking the allegation that Owen has made is clearly desirable. Let's

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hear from some of the audience. In the run-up to World War II, we took

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to 10,000 Jewish children unaccompanied. Why can't we do

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similar numbers now? It was a moment of pride for our country, and yet we

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are saying only 350. We didn't have the resources then that we have now.

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We were about to enter a world war. And we are not about to enter one

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now. Why can't we take on more children? Peter, briefly. It isn't a

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comparable situation. The kinder transport were fleeing almost

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certain death, murder by the state. That is quite different to the

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situation we have got in Europe at the moment. Children leaving Syria!

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Children who are leaving... It is absolutely not just Syria. The point

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is that I would agree that this particular thing with the Dubs

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children is harsh. There is no point trying to make general point about

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Britain's harshness. We are a compassionate country and the

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refugee situation generally is quite different to what we are talking

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about. The woman over there. I'll come to you then. Yes, I have huge

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empathy for anybody who wants to come into this country who is at

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fear for their life, but what about our NHS? What about social care? We

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are absolutely on our knees. We cannot take any more people. And

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you, sir. Is it not completely wrong that Theresa May is willing to turn

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her back on child refugees but willing to lay out the red carpet

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for somebody who is...? Ann Widdecombe, we may come too late

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later. We usually get round to Trump before the programme is over. It is

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a fact that there has been evidence of people trafficking. If you are

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taking Syrian refugees from the camps on the Syrian border, you know

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that that is not the case but, if they have come through Europe,

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sometimes several countries, and they have ended up in the camps at

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Calais, quite if you of them will have been trafficked, they will be

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exploited, not the children, the adults will be exploiting the

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situation. All the Home Secretary is saying is that there have been

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representations from councils, that we have a huge duty to those

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children when they come in, and so we have to make sure that we get it

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right of who we bring in. APPLAUSE

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Briefly, if you would, because we have many questions. My council

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asked for volunteers to help with settling the refugee children and

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now they have told us that they are inundated with volunteers to help

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and they haven't got any children. Which council is that? Devon County

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Council. Really? Obviously, two points have been raised of great

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importance that need checking. We must go on, because we have many

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other questions. We're in Glasgow next week

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and the week after we'll be in Stoke-on-Trent, on the night

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of the by-election in that city. James Sharples, please. Is it fair

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to refer to people who back Brexit as Jihadis? This is Claire Perry

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sitting on my right here, this is her quote. The tone of these debates

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sometimes borders on the hysterical. I feel sometimes I'm sitting with

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colleagues who're like Jihadis in their support for a hard Brexit. No

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Brexit is hard enough. They are saying be gone your evil Europeans,

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we never want you to darken our doors again. Anne Widdecombe, what

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do you make of that? If there was anything hysterical, it was project

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fear during the Brexit campaign. APPLAUSE.

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There was a completely cynical attempt to scare people into voting

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remain. I'm very proud of the British people that they turned

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round and said, no, actually, we are going to go with what we believe is

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right and voted Brexit. I was a Brexiter, I still am. I do not

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consider myself any sort of Jihadi, but I don't believe that Claire does

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either. I quite agree. James, I mean, please, I'm really glad to

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clarify that this was a specific point made for colleagues who have

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fought a guerrilla war, if you like, on this for 40 years who now will

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countenance no conversation... Who were you referring to? I wouldn't

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dream of doing that, but the point is... I am sitting with colleagues

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who're like Jihadis, you said, and you won't say who they are? Using

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the phrase Jihadi, it was a long and heated debate, but given what they

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can and do in terms of atrocities, that was not a well chosen way to

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say it. We are all Brexiteers now, the country voted for it, there is

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overwhelming support for it. No thanks to you. Overwhelming support

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for the House of Commons. What do you mean, we are all Brexiteers, are

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we all Brexiteers now? No, we are not. The country voted for it, we

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are going to come out of the current relationship with Europe, but that

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does not mean in my view that we have given anybody carte blanche to

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come up with a dreadful deal for the UK. The problem with some who've

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campaigned for many years on this, is that they don't want to have that

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conversation. OK. Why is it 40 years of a guerrilla war instead of 40

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years of a steadfast campaign. There was a 40-year fight to abolish

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slavery, there was a 40-year fight to get out of Europe and there's

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nothing wrong with that. Billy Bragg? I'm not sure I would have

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used that turn of phrase but there is certainly a strain among the more

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convinced Brexiteers that the rest should shut up and just let 'em get

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on with it. I'm afraid I don't think democracy is worth the name

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democracy if it can't change its mind. I think when we voted on this

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in June, the prospect of leaving the European for those people who voted

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for them, but the prospect of leaving the European Union and going

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out on to the high seas, the seas looked relatively calm going out

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towards the US particularly, that seemed a relatively good idea. But

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now if Brexit means Trump as it may well do, I really think that... It

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means the world. ALL SPEAK AT ONCE.

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Brexit means the world. If the Brexiters let us speak, we might be

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able to possibly put our point of view across.

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My point is this... OK. Peter whittle? Can I just finish my point?

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Briefly. You've made it. As we look out across towards the Atlantic, the

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seas are becoming so rough that some levers are starting to feel like

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chief Brady in Jaws and they may be thinking, you know what, we need a

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bigger boat. The some point that the European relationship... Thank you,

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Billy. Peter? This is absolute nonsense. This is an alternative

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reality. The fact is, if you want real nastiness, if you want real

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viciousness, then you should have been on the campaign like I was. I

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was on the River Thames, if you remember, that famous incident where

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Bob Geldof came with his millionaire friends, he made signs and swore at

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fishermen who'd come because they were trying to protect their living.

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That was the real nastiness and extreme it. . -- extremism. The

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woman in the red dress? Something Anne said earlier. She said the

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British people said that they wanted Brexit, but when you say British

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people, I think you're missing out the amount of under 16s that

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actually didn't get a vote. I mean, I'm 17, I was 16 when the referendum

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happened. I really didn't want to leave the EU and it's still

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happened. People like me aren't very happy about it. If your side of the

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argument had won, you would be expecting us to accept that and to

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get on with it. APPLAUSE.

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Nigel Farage said if it was 52-48 against, the battle would have

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carried on. You would you would expect us to accept it. I expect

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them to accept it. Bill aye Bragg said democracy is about being able

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to change your mind and we did. There was a referendum in 1975. And

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I changed my mind. We should be able to leave. That doesn't mean it stops

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now. The point is democracy is an ongoing debate. Now that Article 50

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has been triggered, we are going to have a two-year debate about what

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kind of Europe we are going to be part of. Don't expect us to siton

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our hands and be quiet because you won. No, hold on. Owen Smith hasn't

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spoken yet. Owen Smith? Thank you. I was sat in the debate opposite

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Claire when she made her remark and I'm quite par tomorrow a bit of

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blunt speaking but even I blanched. She's apologised for it now. She

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has, it was in debate and it was meant to be a joke. The point she

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was make was well made in as much as this has been a 30-year Civil War

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within the Tory party. What about your party now? If you let me say a

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few words, the reason we have ended up with a referendum and the

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outcome, is the Tory party, it was to settle a war within the family.

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No, it wasn't. Unfortunately, we have ended up with the awful set of

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circumstances we now face which is either the rock hard Brexit, us

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being out of the single market and the customs union. Or worse, what we

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now now is likely to happen if we don't get a good deal, simply

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falling out of the European Union on world trade. It cost this country

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?45 billion, the last GDP. You said it was to solve a problem in the

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Tory party. Are you saying the 52% or whatever it was, the figure that

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voted to leave, that they shouldn't have had their voice heard, that it

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was only because of some problem in the Tory party that the issue arose

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and we would have been happy to carry on with 52% against what you

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were doing? I'm saying the reason we ended up with a referendum was David

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Cameron needed... We are not talking about the reason, what about the way

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people voted? You asked about whether we ended up with a

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referendum because of the Tory party, my answer to that is yes. I

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didn't say that, I said would you have ignored the feeling expressed

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if there hadn't have been a referendum? If Labour won the last

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election, we wouldn't have been having a referendum on this

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absolutely complicated, multifaceted incredibly important... Did you want

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a second referendum, you don't accept the result? We ended up with

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a choice that was bindery where a lot of people were lied to and let

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down by the nature of the debate. You are not in the House of Commons.

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You can't make a speech. But very briefly, why not a second

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referendum, you don't believe people got it right? I think Brexit will be

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a disaster for the economy and we need to think much harder about what

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it's going to look like for our children and for my constituents.

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Peter whittle? Owen, on this programme, last year, you said

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exactly, and I've got the quote here, that basically you would

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actually ignore the vote, you would absolutely ignore the vote. Again,

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we've got Claire here basically part of a political class is doing

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everything it can to delay and prevaricate and the fact is - let me

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finish... Everybody is asking to get in. Now you've got to be brief. Anne

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next? You are treating people like they are stupid, they knew exactly

0:24:000:24:02

what they were voting for. APPLAUSE.

0:24:030:24:09

This is a condescending argument we are having now. Anne? Owen's

0:24:100:24:14

position is very clear. We will have a referendum if you don't give us

0:24:150:24:17

the answer we want we'll have another one.

0:24:180:24:22

APPLAUSE. Claire? We have a mandate. We have a

0:24:230:24:28

process, we have a strong leader. Actually, as time goes on, I'm

0:24:290:24:31

increasingly convinced we can get a good deal. And by the way, the one

0:24:320:24:36

Ukip MP in the House of Commons hasn't bothered to speak on this

0:24:370:24:40

issue in any of the hours of debates we've just had. He doesn't want to

0:24:410:24:47

talk to politicians, he is not interested, it's grandstanding. The

0:24:480:24:51

woman in the second row, let us hear from some members of the audience,

0:24:520:24:56

and then you? I think we'll only get true democracy when we get out of

0:24:570:25:01

the EU. For thousands of years, Britain has ruled in a wonderful

0:25:020:25:06

way. We've been alighted to the world. Now that we are trying to get

0:25:070:25:12

out of this stupid EU organisation, all this sort of thing that Owen

0:25:130:25:17

Smith keeps saying which I'm absolutely sick of hearing, you

0:25:180:25:21

whinging all the time, accept it, Owen.

0:25:220:25:28

APPLAUSE. The Remoaner in Chief. My title

0:25:290:25:32

apparently. The woman sitting here? Thank you. Could I please just urge

0:25:330:25:36

everyone to stick to the question and practical ways that we can deal

0:25:370:25:40

with the situation that is inevitable. Brexit is happening and

0:25:410:25:46

I think on both sides I know you are doing fantastic points but please

0:25:470:25:50

could you not say that, oh, this is why Trump is in power or that...

0:25:510:25:55

It's ridiculous. Or go over the Brexit arguments again. Could we

0:25:560:25:57

focus on how we are going to do this.

0:25:580:25:59

APPLAUSE. All right. I'm going to move on

0:26:000:26:04

because we have got many other questions. Yes? We are going to have

0:26:050:26:09

a special programme about the negotiations I think - I'm not sure

0:26:100:26:13

yet if we can get the right people together - to talk about your point

0:26:140:26:17

about where we go from here. But it's 25 minutes into the programme

0:26:180:26:20

and we haven't mentioned the subject the BBC has been talking about all

0:26:210:26:23

week. I didn't want to do it at the top because all the news bulletins

0:26:240:26:26

seem to do it at the top, which is the NHS, but Sarah Bell, your

0:26:270:26:32

question? If one of your elderly relatives was rushed into hospital

0:26:330:26:38

tonight, how confident are you that they would get a bed or a stretcher

0:26:390:26:45

in a corridor? Owen Smith? Well, one of my elderly relatives was rushed

0:26:460:26:50

into hospital in Wales not that long ago and she's had excellent care and

0:26:510:26:54

I think the vast majority of people who go into the NHS - I was there

0:26:550:26:59

with my son a couple of weeks ago in A, he got excellent care. That is

0:27:000:27:02

not to say that everybody does and there is quite clearly a massive

0:27:030:27:06

crisis in the NHS, in particular in respect of A, we've got far too

0:27:070:27:10

many people waiting far too long in all parts of the UK. We've clearly

0:27:110:27:15

got a problem of under-funding in the NHS. It's going backwards. The

0:27:160:27:20

gap between our competitor nations across Europe, what they spend on

0:27:210:27:25

health versus what we spend, the getting larger unfortunately. That

0:27:260:27:29

is only going to be compounded, I'm afraid, by the extra costs we are

0:27:300:27:34

going to have in this country, in my view, as a result of Brexit. So I'm

0:27:350:27:38

not confident everybody gets a good deal but we need desperately to

0:27:390:27:40

invest in our NHS and turn it around. We could do that but we need

0:27:410:27:44

to get much more radical, in my view we need to start thinking about new

0:27:450:27:48

ways to find additional resources for the NHS, stop hearing the Tories

0:27:490:27:51

tell us that they have pumped in all this extra money - they haven't, we

0:27:520:27:55

are going backwards and we need to do something about it.

0:27:560:28:01

APPLAUSE. Anne Widdecombe, is it true that one

0:28:020:28:04

of the figures that emerged this week, that the NHS costs ten times

0:28:050:28:11

what it costs I think 60 years ago, in other words it just goes like

0:28:120:28:14

this and this and this? Yes. That is what I would like to address. You

0:28:150:28:17

have made my point for me. I didn't mean to do that. I really do want to

0:28:180:28:22

make the point which is this - it's high time that we had in this

0:28:230:28:27

country a mature debate about how we are going to fund health in the

0:28:280:28:30

future. APPLAUSE.

0:28:310:28:39

We really need a grown-up debate, no political cowardness or posturing.

0:28:400:28:44

The Health Service was set off on three completely false premises we

0:28:450:28:47

may seem silly now but did not at the time that, as we all got

0:28:480:28:51

healthier, demand would decline. That was the first one. That the

0:28:520:28:54

demographics would stay roughly the same. We have now got 15,000

0:28:550:28:59

centenarians. And that we'd be able to meet a very large proportion of

0:29:000:29:03

it from what was then called the stamp, the national insurance. All

0:29:040:29:07

those three principles have proved wrong. Now we've got a choice. Every

0:29:080:29:13

single Government with the exception of the Callaghan Government, every

0:29:140:29:16

single Government since the war has increased spending on the NHS in

0:29:170:29:20

real terms. We have committed another ?10 billion. And it's never

0:29:210:29:26

enough because demand heads towards infinity with each surge of medical

0:29:270:29:30

and surgical science. We need a grown-up debate. What the options

0:29:310:29:34

are, have a look at what some other countries do and all the spending

0:29:350:29:39

isn't public spending, Owen. Have a look at what other countries do,

0:29:400:29:43

debate what we could do, then we can debate out of those options the most

0:29:440:29:46

likely and then we can debate how to get there from here. I said all of

0:29:470:29:51

this in 1998 and if we'd started then we might have a different

0:29:520:29:53

Health Service now. Billy Bragg. I feel sure they would

0:29:540:30:05

get the best service possible, because I think the staff and NHS do

0:30:060:30:09

an incredible job under very difficult circumstances. We put them

0:30:100:30:13

in an invidious position where they have to make life and death

0:30:140:30:17

decisions and tell families that they are not where they should be

0:30:180:30:21

because we need better funding. You have to ask yourself what the

0:30:220:30:26

priorities of the NHS are. In Torbay, they have cut 32 beds from

0:30:270:30:30

Torbay hospital. There are 34 beds in the community hospitals in

0:30:310:30:37

painting, Dartmouth, bogey Tracey Ashburton. The reason given for

0:30:380:30:41

closing the beds in Torbay hospital was that they are sending the care

0:30:420:30:46

into the community, which is a good idea, but you'd think, at a time

0:30:470:30:50

when there is a lack of beds in the National Health Service, they would

0:30:510:30:54

do that but keep up the beds to take up the slack, but they haven't. So

0:30:550:30:58

is this just a cost-cutting exercise? If so, then we have to ask

0:30:590:31:07

ourselves why the British government spends a lower percentage of GDP in

0:31:080:31:11

the European Union average on health, less than Germany and

0:31:120:31:14

France. What do the French and Germans do that allows them to spend

0:31:150:31:19

more money than we do, despite the amount of money that has already

0:31:200:31:26

been spent? If an elderly relative went in, they would be part of the

0:31:270:31:31

unprecedented demand we have seen, 2.5 million more people went to A

0:31:320:31:36

this year. The NHS has never been busier and never had as much money,

0:31:370:31:41

and we will spend half ?1 trillion over this Parliament on the NHS. I

0:31:420:31:47

have to say, I am with Ann. For too long we have sat in our silos

0:31:480:31:52

shouted at each other. Clearly more money is important, and the NHS

0:31:530:31:55

asked for ?10 billion and they were given it, but we have too many

0:31:560:31:59

people going in the front door. We know that 30% of those going to A

0:32:000:32:04

could be held in a different way. And too many people stay in

0:32:050:32:07

hospital. One thing to be proud of is that your council has one of the

0:32:080:32:12

best rates in the country of not leaving people stuck in hospital.

0:32:130:32:19

What about pharmacies? What about GPs and social care? There is all

0:32:200:32:22

this money circulating in the system, and frankly it is time to

0:32:230:32:26

stop treating the NHS is like a political football and treated as a

0:32:270:32:35

precious national asset. You can't just keep spending to infinity. You

0:32:360:32:40

have to use that money wisely to make sure that those who really need

0:32:410:32:46

it get it. What I wish you would do if you were leader is come and have

0:32:470:32:50

a conversation about the right way. This is our most precious national

0:32:510:32:55

asset and we have doubled to -- we have to improve and protect it. The

0:32:560:33:00

truth is that the percentage of GDP went up under Labour from 6% to 8%,

0:33:010:33:06

and it's gone down. It has gone down. Has it not gone up? When

0:33:070:33:14

Labour came to power... Ann Widdecombe said there was never

0:33:150:33:18

designed to be this kind of service, and that's the problem. When Labour

0:33:190:33:24

came to power, 39 billion was being spent. When we left, it was 112

0:33:250:33:29

billion. And you haven't solved the problem. It's gone down as a net

0:33:300:33:38

proportion of GDP. That is what happens every time we talk about the

0:33:390:33:43

NHS. That always say they spend more, Labour say they don't. If a

0:33:440:33:52

pain in the butt. The truth actually is not in either of those

0:33:530:33:56

contentions. If you look at the figures, which I have looked at

0:33:570:33:59

every week, neither side is making the point accurately. The woman in

0:34:000:34:07

green. Yes, you. I am gravely concerned, as Billy was saying, that

0:34:080:34:12

we have the closure of four local hospitals. I grew up in Dartmouth. I

0:34:130:34:15

have many relatives that have been treated in that hospital. In Torbay?

0:34:160:34:23

Dartmouth cottage hospital, as they became elderly and need care. It's a

0:34:240:34:27

long way to travel for them to get to Torbay, a long way for relatives

0:34:280:34:32

to travel. Personally, I would be very keen on paying extra money in

0:34:330:34:38

to preserve that. -- extra money in taxes. You in the front. Obviously,

0:34:390:34:47

with elderly people moving down from everywhere else in the country,

0:34:480:34:52

coming down to Devon, shutting small hospitals is probably going to be a

0:34:530:34:57

big mistake. Obviously, they can't get too big hospitals, only small

0:34:580:35:01

hospitals in my grandad, who only passed away a couple of years ago,

0:35:020:35:05

could only get to Dartmouth because he couldn't make the journey to

0:35:060:35:12

bigger hospitals. To Torquay? Yeah, Dartmouth hospital. The only light

0:35:130:35:16

Dartmouth hospital so he wanted to go there. That was where the

0:35:170:35:23

treatment was. -- he only liked. The argument always is that, as

0:35:240:35:26

treatment gets more sophisticated, you need bigger and better

0:35:270:35:36

hospitals. You need both. Can I ask the lady who asked the question, you

0:35:370:35:41

said, would I be confident if an elderly relative, I had to take them

0:35:420:35:45

into hospital? I would be confident in the quality of service but I

0:35:460:35:48

think what you're talking about is the fact that we might have the --

0:35:490:35:52

we might have to face being on a stretcher in a hallway for a long

0:35:530:35:57

time because of the enormous strain. I have just been in Cumbria. They

0:35:580:36:00

are closing a maternity ward there of a hospital, which means that

0:36:010:36:05

women who are about to give birth are going to have to travel 40

0:36:060:36:09

miles. That could be a matter of life and death. I would say this.

0:36:100:36:14

Yes, the situation has changed in this country. People live longer, so

0:36:150:36:19

we've got to deal with it. We've got to adapt the National Health

0:36:200:36:24

Service. I mean, probably expand it. We need a properly integrated

0:36:250:36:28

National Health Service and social care service, integrated. And I

0:36:290:36:34

would say this as well. It is a matter of priorities in this

0:36:350:36:40

country. What I find at the moment morally reprehensible is that we are

0:36:410:36:44

facing a situation in this wonderful institution of the NHS at the same

0:36:450:36:50

time that we are sending abroad about 12 to ?16 billion a year in

0:36:510:36:53

foreign aid. I would like to see that going into the National Health

0:36:540:37:02

Service. So Ukip's policy is to abolish foreign aid? No, we would

0:37:030:37:09

reduce it. It is ring-fenced at the moment. It is done by an act of

0:37:100:37:12

Parliament, but you can repeal those. You have got that and you

0:37:130:37:18

have also got for getting on for ?2 billion in health tourism. These

0:37:190:37:21

things have to be looked at and clamped down on. Is Ukip's policy to

0:37:220:37:29

abolish overseas aid or not? Not completely, we would bring it down

0:37:300:37:33

to about the rug .2%, so part of it would go into the NHS, about 3

0:37:340:37:39

billion and rising. -- about 0.2% of it would go into the NHS. The rest

0:37:400:37:47

would go into social care. The NHS and social care should be

0:37:480:37:51

integrated, as I know from my own experience with my elderly parents,

0:37:520:37:55

when I was dealing with the NHS and the local authorities and it was

0:37:560:37:59

very bureaucratically difficult. You are looking dubious. Yes, you were.

0:38:000:38:05

The National Audit Office reported this week that the health and social

0:38:060:38:11

care integration is not necessarily the silver bullet that they say it

0:38:120:38:14

should be. They have invested 5 billion and they have lost money,

0:38:150:38:19

because, you know what? Admissions have increased and the savings

0:38:200:38:25

haven't been there. I have worked in the NHS for over 40 years. Saving

0:38:260:38:29

money, that's my job in procurement. We have got a wonderful procurement

0:38:300:38:35

group within the south-west of England, and we invest millions of

0:38:360:38:38

pounds back into the NHS, but the bureaucracy against us from getting

0:38:390:38:45

good value for money. -- the bureaucracy prevents us. Briefly,

0:38:460:38:51

how do you mean? There are so many layers of bureaucracy now. I have

0:38:520:38:57

been in the NHS for 40 years. Every year, especially since 1986, when

0:38:580:39:02

general management came into the NHS, management has increased layer

0:39:030:39:05

overlay. To get a decision made within this south-west area in which

0:39:060:39:11

I work takes months. Sometimes even years. So it isn't possible to get

0:39:120:39:19

that quote of efficiencies...? And do you think the answer is more

0:39:200:39:25

spending...? No. When Andrew Lansley reorganised, we were hopeful that he

0:39:260:39:32

would reorganise bureaucracy and eliminate. Instead, he has created

0:39:330:39:39

another wave. I don't think the man behind you is green. The problem

0:39:400:39:43

with the NHS is there is far too much money wasted spent an

0:39:440:39:48

administration, there is poor management, but also it is the

0:39:490:39:52

general public. You have people turning up at A that don't

0:39:530:39:55

necessarily need to be there. Not only that, as a country, since the

0:39:560:40:00

Olympic Games in 2012, we had this little part of the opening ceremony

0:40:010:40:05

going on about the Olympic Games. There was this wonderful parade of

0:40:060:40:08

people wandering around the Olympic ring. I tell you what, if we had as

0:40:090:40:13

many doctors and nurses on our boards as there were people parading

0:40:140:40:19

around that ring, that could be a problem solved. -- doctors and

0:40:200:40:22

nurses on our wards. The other thing is, why don't they start going

0:40:230:40:27

abroad, recovering some of the money? People coming over here for

0:40:280:40:31

cosmetic surgery, things like that, it's all going on. A lot of money

0:40:320:40:38

could be got back. You on the left. I'd like to divert this to the

0:40:390:40:42

deputy leader of Ukip. Paul Nuttall, your leader, said he'd like to

0:40:430:40:48

privatise the NHS. No, he didn't. This is total fantasy. He actually

0:40:490:40:54

praised the Tories for bringing a whiff of privatisation. All right.

0:40:550:41:03

Let him answer. Paul made some suggestions about certain aspects of

0:41:040:41:08

the NHS procurement and suchlike, a few years ago. Since then, first of

0:41:090:41:12

all, he has changed his mind on that. Secondly and more importantly,

0:41:130:41:17

we have never had that as our policy. In our 2015 manifesto, we

0:41:180:41:24

dedicated to the NHS being free at point of delivery. That has always

0:41:250:41:28

been the case with Ukip and it will carry being the case. The manifesto,

0:41:290:41:34

in 2015 considered the best, actually it was the only one that

0:41:350:41:38

was fully costed. The woman there and then we will move on. Even if we

0:41:390:41:45

cut foreign aid, for example, if we really want to integrate social care

0:41:460:41:50

along with the NHS, we really want to keep up with growing demand,

0:41:510:41:55

surely we have to raise taxes quite significantly in order to fully

0:41:560:41:59

costed this? From reading the Conservative manifesto, they are the

0:42:000:42:04

party of low taxes, so surely there will be an incentive for them not to

0:42:050:42:08

raise taxes and therefore not carry out these proposals suggested on the

0:42:090:42:13

floor. There is a fundamental problem we have to face with the

0:42:140:42:18

NHS, and it's to do with all of us. We have voted continuously over the

0:42:190:42:23

last 30 years for parties, Labour and Conservatives, I am afraid,

0:42:240:42:28

saying, we are going to have great NHS and great social care and low

0:42:290:42:32

taxes. We have kid ourselves. As soon as we wake up from that dream

0:42:330:42:36

and recognise we will only get the services we pay for, we can start

0:42:370:42:48

sorted out. No, you can't go first. Billy, taxes. 1p on income tax

0:42:490:42:55

raises? We are spending what on the NHS? And it's not going to solve all

0:42:560:42:59

the problems. You can do all that has been mentioned, more taxes,

0:43:000:43:02

reducing foreign aid, getting on top of health tourism, and you still

0:43:030:43:09

won't solve the problem, folks. We need a proper debate about the

0:43:100:43:13

long-term. How much does 1p on income tax rates? 1.5 billion. And

0:43:140:43:22

corporation tax, how much would be raised from that? All right, Claire.

0:43:230:43:32

The NHS in Wales is run by the Labour Party. Oh, come on... No,

0:43:330:43:42

wait. Political football! Offside! I don't want to see the NHS used as a

0:43:430:43:51

political football. Owen, that is the stay list political argument.

0:43:520:43:58

North of the border, the NHS is run by the SNP. In Britain, its run at

0:43:590:44:05

Westminster. Every seat in England, in every part of the UK, we are

0:44:060:44:10

facing the same pressures. We can argue all that we like about how

0:44:110:44:14

much money is needed, which party would spend more, who has got the

0:44:150:44:22

right numbers. Ann is right. If we want an NHS that will be there when

0:44:230:44:25

we all need it and works for the millions of staff who work in it,

0:44:260:44:30

sometimes working in horrific conditions, we have to grow up and

0:44:310:44:33

have a proper debate and stop waving party flags around. It will be a

0:44:340:44:41

miracle if it happens! I'm going to go on.

0:44:420:44:50

The chances of an unpolitical debate about the NHS is about as... Well, a

0:44:510:44:58

question from Justin Chan, please. Should Donald Trump be allowed to

0:44:590:45:02

address the House of Parliaments? Claire Perry? That's really unfair.

0:45:030:45:10

You are asking me to criticise the speaker commit Harry carry as he's

0:45:110:45:13

the person who can speak in the chamber. The question is, should he

0:45:140:45:19

be allowed to speak, you can do what you want with it? It's not Mr

0:45:200:45:24

Speaker's entire decision. I'm interested to hear what he's got to

0:45:250:45:28

say because I cannot imagine a person to be less fit to be the

0:45:290:45:34

leader, personally, but it's not my decision, I didn't vote for him.

0:45:350:45:38

It's my decision, I want to hear what he has to say. Maybe he will

0:45:390:45:42

think Parliament is a civilising influence. A motion has been put

0:45:430:45:47

down because John Bercow said he was strongly opposed to Trump speaking

0:45:480:45:50

and there's been a motion put down by one of your colleagues, a vote of

0:45:510:45:56

no-confidence because of his wholly inappropriate comments. How will you

0:45:570:46:01

vote? I have to say, Mr Speaker has done some incredibly important

0:46:020:46:04

things for Parliament. How will you vote... It's a much more modern

0:46:050:46:09

place. I don't know yet, I shall have a look at the motion. I think

0:46:100:46:13

for us to try to remove a speaker over something that he said would

0:46:140:46:17

actually be really rather drastic and he's entitled to his opinion,

0:46:180:46:20

perhaps he shouldn't have expressed them on this particular issue. Owen

0:46:210:46:25

Smith, the other MP here? I don't think Trump should be given the

0:46:260:46:28

honour of addressing both Houses of Parliament, I think it's very

0:46:290:46:31

unusual for him to be offered that in the first couple of days of his

0:46:320:46:36

presidency, normally US Presidents don't get to do that until they've

0:46:370:46:39

been in the job for a little while. To be honest, I think it's more

0:46:400:46:43

important than that, I wholly support what the speaker of the

0:46:440:46:46

House of Commons said this week, I think Trump is someone who has

0:46:470:46:50

unfortunately proved himself to be a racist and a misogynist and not in

0:46:510:46:54

favour of the rule of law and I think we are better than that and

0:46:550:46:58

therefore we shouldn't be affording him that honour.

0:46:590:47:03

You in the third row? I think it's really important for someone like

0:47:040:47:06

John Bercow who has a voice in this country to stand up for what is

0:47:070:47:10

right and to oppose racism and sexism. So I don't think he should

0:47:110:47:19

have a vote of no-confidence. OK. At the very back, the second row from

0:47:200:47:25

the back with the dark hair? No, don't look at him, it's you. I would

0:47:260:47:29

like to say, I completely disagree with Owen Smith and regardless of

0:47:300:47:32

what we think about Donald Trump, at the end of the day she the President

0:47:330:47:35

of the most powerful country in the world.

0:47:360:47:37

APPLAUSE. With whom we share a special

0:47:380:47:41

relationship and very briefly, I think it was John Stuart-Milne who

0:47:420:47:47

said if the whole world minus one were of the country opinion, the

0:47:480:47:51

whole world would have no right to silence that one person than that

0:47:520:47:55

one person would have the right to silence mankind.

0:47:560:47:59

APPLAUSE. Impressive. I'll use that in the

0:48:000:48:07

next debate on Brexit. Impressive. Follow that if you can. I'll try.

0:48:080:48:11

Very impressive. In answer to what you say, I'm not even sure that he's

0:48:120:48:15

actually expressed or the White House has expressed a desire that he

0:48:160:48:19

particularly cares about doing this. The question is about the speaker

0:48:200:48:24

really. I fundamentally disagree on two levels. The speaker is in a

0:48:250:48:28

great office of state, he's meant to be neutral. It's a bit like the

0:48:290:48:32

Queen turning round and saying I don't like the look of him, I don't

0:48:330:48:36

think I'll have him on a state visit. We wouldn't imagine the Queen

0:48:370:48:40

doing that. It's actually a very, very important point that he's

0:48:410:48:44

neutral and he's broken that. Also what I don't like is the fact that

0:48:450:48:50

of the sheer inconsistencies, because a few years ago, he welcomed

0:48:510:48:57

a man from Kuwait who bans Israelis and imprisons gays and all the rest

0:48:580:49:01

of it. We talk about racism and sexism and all the rest of it.

0:49:020:49:05

Basically, this sort of outrage we are seeing from the speaker and what

0:49:060:49:09

he said is extremely selective, so you either do it with everyone or

0:49:100:49:13

you do it with nobody, frankly I think...

0:49:140:49:15

APPLAUSE. OK. Billy Bragg? I agree with

0:49:160:49:23

speaker Bercow, I don't think you need to be a Monarchist to be

0:49:240:49:27

offended by the sexist remarks he made about Princess Diana, nor do

0:49:280:49:31

you need to be a Latin American to be offended by the racist remarks he

0:49:320:49:34

made about Mexican people. APPLAUSE.

0:49:350:49:40

One of the things that - I'm afraid it is the point Peter because...

0:49:410:49:46

Neutral. He's the speaker of the House of Commons. It's also his job

0:49:470:49:50

to decide, he has a veto on who speaks in the House. He doesn't. He

0:49:510:49:57

does actually. He was asked his opinion and, as John Stewart-Milne

0:49:580:50:02

said, he had the right to say what he's going to say. I'm going to

0:50:030:50:09

finish by saying that by inviting Donald Trump to address Parliament,

0:50:100:50:12

we are normalising that behaviour. I think if we are going to make a

0:50:130:50:16

stand on this issue, we have to do it as the people. I'm disappointed

0:50:170:50:20

that Theresa May went running over there, held his hand and offed him

0:50:210:50:23

to shake hands with the Queen. I think he's put her in an invidious

0:50:240:50:29

position. He's the President of the United States! It's ridiculous.

0:50:300:50:35

If we share values with Trump, we need to stand up and show him what

0:50:360:50:39

those values are that we all stand together for.

0:50:400:50:41

APPLAUSE. The man in the white shirt? You,

0:50:420:50:49

Sir? Well, there's clear inconsistency here because we had

0:50:500:50:55

the President of China here in 2015. What did he say about Princess

0:50:560:51:00

Diana, do you know? Pardon? What did he say about Princess Diana, do you

0:51:010:51:05

know what he said? The point I'm making is that if the President of

0:51:060:51:10

China can come here and he has an appalling record towards humanity,

0:51:110:51:16

why can't Donald Trump? Anne Widdecombe, please? Right, first of

0:51:170:51:21

all, the speaker should not have made the comments he made, John

0:51:220:51:25

Bercow can say anything he likes but the speaker is constrained by

0:51:260:51:29

commission and by the demands of his office.

0:51:300:51:33

APPLAUSE. And he has state visits are a matter

0:51:340:51:39

who the Queen invites on advice of her Government and John Bercow's

0:51:400:51:42

made it clear that he shouldn't have said what he said without at least

0:51:430:51:45

consulting the speaker of the Lords which he should do. This is both

0:51:460:51:49

Houses of Parliament, not just one, so I think John was and I'm not

0:51:500:51:57

attacking John, he's done a lot of things, I'm not sure modernisation

0:51:580:51:59

is one of them, he's done a lot of important things but he got this one

0:52:000:52:03

wrong. If somebody like the Chinese President, I'm very glad you

0:52:040:52:06

mentioned him because I was certainly about to, I mean who

0:52:070:52:10

actually you know imposed forced abortion and things like that? We

0:52:110:52:14

are not normalising that when we have the President here, so why are

0:52:150:52:18

we normalising what Donald Trump stands for? This is the

0:52:190:52:22

democratically elected President of the United States. Indeed. One of

0:52:230:52:27

our biggest allies. APPLAUSE.

0:52:280:52:31

You up there? Wasn't it around the fact that the Chinese are bringing

0:52:320:52:37

investment into Britain or Saudi Arabia were bringing investment into

0:52:380:52:40

Britain, isn't it that they want Trump's money in Britain. Hope so.

0:52:410:52:45

And so it isn't around whether or not people have a good record on

0:52:460:52:49

human rights, it's about bringing money into the UK. A good thing or

0:52:500:52:53

bad thing? It's not necessarily a bad thing. Life is what it is but

0:52:540:52:59

let's not be hypocritical. Hear, hear, well done. You've got a

0:53:000:53:02

president who's putting us at the front of the queue when it comes to

0:53:030:53:08

trade agreements. You are holding your nose when it suits you. All

0:53:090:53:17

right, fine. I have reservations about Trump, it's not really the

0:53:180:53:21

point. The point here is that he's very favourable to this country,

0:53:220:53:25

he's made it very, very clear, the guy before him said we were going to

0:53:260:53:28

be at the back of the queue, right, this one is putting us at the front

0:53:290:53:31

of the queue. That's a huge, huge opportunity. Lost money on

0:53:320:53:35

enterprise though. A last question from Melvyn Jones, please?

0:53:360:53:40

Does David Beckham deserve a Knighthood?

0:53:410:53:47

I have to say, in 2002, we had this same question about Mick Jagger. Has

0:53:480:53:54

he got one? He did get one, yes. I won't say what it said, it was very

0:53:550:53:59

scurriless. I don't know about David Beckham, let us go into this one.

0:54:000:54:03

Billy Bragg, I don't know what the issue is? The issue is honour, I'm

0:54:040:54:10

not in favour of that system anyway, I don't think anybody should get a

0:54:110:54:13

Knighthood. What does he want, he played for England, you know. I

0:54:140:54:19

mean, he scored a goal in 2001 against Greece when we were 2-1 down

0:54:200:54:24

deep into extra time. He scored with a free kick and got us into the

0:54:250:54:28

World Cup finals, what more does he want? I had to choose between those

0:54:290:54:34

things, I would go for playing for England. Don't we feel sorry for him

0:54:350:54:43

though having his e-mails hacked, I wish I could read these things out

0:54:440:54:48

but not on this programme! . I wouldn't mind if he gets a

0:54:490:54:53

Knighthood. I object to the fact that he wants it rather too much. I

0:54:540:54:57

think the great joy of the honours system is when Mrs Smith or Mrs

0:54:580:55:02

Brown opens that wonderful envelope, is offering her an MBE and she's

0:55:030:55:08

absolutely overwhelmed by it and never expected it and I think that

0:55:090:55:12

is what our honours system is. APPLAUSE.

0:55:130:55:18

You? The point is, who wants it more, David or Victoria? She got an

0:55:190:55:23

OBE. She wants to be Lady Beckham. What do you think? You don't have

0:55:240:55:28

strong views but you had your hand up? I have strong views, I just

0:55:290:55:32

don't believe in having honours because I think people do what they

0:55:330:55:35

do, they make money out of it and fantastic lives and all the rest of

0:55:360:55:41

it. MBEs, little people? Did he even write the e-mails because I don't

0:55:420:55:45

think he did. There is a lot of stuff going on around fake news and

0:55:460:55:48

half-truths and all of that. Do you think this is fake news? I don't

0:55:490:55:54

know. Do you think it is? I don't think it's fake news. Juliet Collie

0:55:550:56:00

wanted to know if anybody had been taken in by fake news or been the

0:56:010:56:04

victim of fake news? How would I know? Well, from what you might read

0:56:050:56:11

in the papers, you presumably know what is true about yourself and what

0:56:120:56:19

is fake? Let's not get extestential. I do actually agree with Anne about

0:56:200:56:24

the unsung heroes. That is terribly important for people to get honours

0:56:250:56:28

for the sort of work they do. Beckham we are talking about, with

0:56:290:56:33

60 seconds left. Actually yes I thinkth I think he should, basically

0:56:340:56:36

they are great ambassadors actually for this country, I really do. ? Do

0:56:370:56:43

you? Yes. 60 seconds, not just for you, but to split up. Owen Smith?

0:56:440:56:48

You get ten and you get 15. Go on? Yes is the short answer, he was a

0:56:490:56:53

great English captain, great English player, very cultured right foot. I

0:56:540:56:56

think he's also done loads for charity in the years since he left

0:56:570:57:01

and I think many other sports people who've done less have got

0:57:020:57:06

Knighthoods so why not? You in the multicoloured football shirt there?

0:57:070:57:08

I think people should be recognised for the work that they do, so I do

0:57:090:57:12

believe in the honours system but when stories come out about David

0:57:130:57:15

Beckham it does make a mockery of it. Because he complained about not

0:57:160:57:20

gelling one? Essentially he wanted it for publicity rather than the

0:57:210:57:25

work he does. It's a decision for the committee who take all that

0:57:260:57:29

stuff into account. One of the proudest stuff I get to do is

0:57:300:57:34

writing supports for people who've worked with children or animals for

0:57:350:57:38

a service where they can be recognised for honour. I think Anne

0:57:390:57:42

Widdecombe would be a marvellous addition to the House of Lords. I

0:57:430:57:49

do. I'm sorry. We need some more women.

0:57:500:57:53

In view of her pantomime career, she should be a Dame first. Straight to

0:57:540:57:58

Baroness. We need Lord Billy! Time's up!

0:57:590:58:01

APPLAUSE. . He'd never take it. This list of

0:58:020:58:12

flat trihas to sfop. Our hour is up. We are in Glasgow next week, then in

0:58:130:58:16

Stoke-on-Trent on the night of the by-election the week after that. If

0:58:170:58:19

you would like to come to Glasgow our to Stoke, there on the screen is

0:58:200:58:25

the address. You can write to the e-mail address or call us on that

0:58:260:58:28

telephone number. If you have been listening to all of this on Radio 5

0:58:290:58:33

Live, the debate goes on until the early hours on Question Time extra

0:58:340:58:37

time. But here, my thanks to our panel, to all of you who came to

0:58:380:58:41

Torquay from Dartmouth and wherever. Thank you all for coming and from

0:58:420:58:45

Question Time until next Thursday, good night.

0:58:460:58:47

David Dimbleby chairs topical debate from Torquay. On the panel are Conservative MP Claire Perry, Labour MP Owen Smith, deputy leader of Ukip Peter Whittle, musician and political activist Billy Bragg and former Conservative politician and novelist Ann Widdecombe.