19/03/2017 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


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19/03/2017

Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew is joined by head of NHS Providers Chris Hopson, Nick Clegg MP and Andrew Gwynne MP.


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It's Sunday morning and this is the Sunday Politics.

:00:35.:00:38.

She faces huge political fights over Brexit, Scottish independence,

:00:39.:00:41.

After a tumultuous political week, we'll analyse the PM's prospects.

:00:42.:00:54.

With chatter increasing about a possible early General Election,

:00:55.:00:56.

Jeremy Corbyn's campaign chief joins me live.

:00:57.:01:01.

NHS bosses warn health services in England are facing "mission

:01:02.:01:04.

impossible" and waiting times for operations will rocket,

:01:05.:01:08.

unless hospitals are given more cash this year.

:01:09.:01:11.

The chief executive of NHS Providers joins me live.

:01:12.:01:15.

And coming up here: Eight days to go until the deadline

:01:16.:01:17.

Plus, the view from Washington - a senior Congressman tells us

:01:18.:01:23.

All that to come before 12:15pm, and I'll also be talking

:01:24.:01:36.

to the former leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg

:01:37.:01:38.

from his party's spring conference in York.

:01:39.:01:41.

With me here in the studio, throughout the programme,

:01:42.:01:45.

three of the country's top political commentators:

:01:46.:01:47.

Tom Newton Dunn, Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards.

:01:48.:01:53.

They'll be tweeting their thoughts using #bbcsp.

:01:54.:01:55.

So, the political challenges facing Theresa May are stacking up.

:01:56.:01:58.

As well as negotiating Britain's exit from the EU,

:01:59.:02:04.

the PM must now deal with SNP demands for a second referendum

:02:05.:02:07.

on Scottish independence, backbenchers agitating against cuts

:02:08.:02:11.

to school budgets, and a humiliated Chancellor forced to u-turn on a key

:02:12.:02:14.

budget measure just one week after announcing it.

:02:15.:02:19.

Here's Adam Fleming on aturbulent political week

:02:20.:02:21.

Monday, 11:30am, TV crews gather in the residence of the First

:02:22.:02:38.

Minister of Scotland, who's got a surprise.

:02:39.:02:40.

She wants a vote on whether Scotland should leave the UK

:02:41.:02:42.

By taking the steps I have set out today I am ensuring that Scotland's

:02:43.:02:47.

future will be decided, not just by me, the

:02:48.:02:49.

Scottish Government, or the

:02:50.:02:50.

SNP, it will be decided by the people of Scotland.

:02:51.:02:53.

Westminster, 6:25pm the same day, MPs reject

:02:54.:03:03.

amendments to the legislation authorising the Prime Minister to

:03:04.:03:06.

The Bill ceremonially heads to the Lords where peers abandoned

:03:07.:03:20.

attempts to change it and it becomes law.

:03:21.:03:22.

But Downing Street doesn't trigger Article 50 as many had expected.

:03:23.:03:29.

Some say they were spooked by Nicola Sturgeon.

:03:30.:03:31.

We get an e-mail from the Treasury can the

:03:32.:03:48.

We get an e-mail from the Treasury cancelling

:03:49.:03:50.

the planned rise in National Insurance for

:03:51.:04:01.

the self-employed announced the budget.

:04:02.:04:02.

It's just minutes before Prime Minister's Questions at noon.

:04:03.:04:04.

The trend towards greater self-employment does create a

:04:05.:04:06.

We will bring forward further proposals

:04:07.:04:09.

but we will not bring forward increases to NICs later in this

:04:10.:04:12.

It seems to me like a government in a bit of chaos here.

:04:13.:04:16.

By making this change today we are listening to our colleagues

:04:17.:04:19.

fulfil both the letter and the spirit of our manifesto tax

:04:20.:04:23.

Thursday, 7am, Conservative campaign HQ and the

:04:24.:04:32.

Electoral Commission fines the party ?70,000 for misreporting spending

:04:33.:04:34.

But that's not what the Prime Minister

:04:35.:04:37.

Because at 12:19pm she gives her verdict on a

:04:38.:04:44.

We should be working together, not pulling apart.

:04:45.:04:48.

We should be working together to get that

:04:49.:04:50.

right deal for Scotland, that

:04:51.:04:52.

So, as I say, that's my job as Prime Minister and

:04:53.:04:57.

so for that reason I say to the SNP now is not the time.

:04:58.:05:00.

Friday and time for the faithful to gather.

:05:01.:05:02.

SNP activists at their spring conference

:05:03.:05:04.

Conservatives in Cardiff to hear the Prime Minister

:05:05.:05:15.

promote her plan for a more meritocratic Brexit Britain.

:05:16.:05:18.

At 11:10am comes some news about a newspaper that's frankly

:05:19.:05:21.

I'm thrilled and excited to be the new editor of The

:05:22.:05:27.

Evening Standard and, you know, with so many

:05:28.:05:29.

big issues in our world what

:05:30.:05:31.

good analysis, great news journalism.

:05:32.:05:36.

It's a really important time for good journalism that The

:05:37.:05:41.

Evening Standard is going to provide.

:05:42.:05:43.

There was no let-up yesterday as Gordon Brown launched proposals

:05:44.:05:50.

Under my proposals we keep the Barnett

:05:51.:05:55.

Formula, we keep the fiscal transfers, but we also bring the

:05:56.:05:58.

and fisheries back to the Scottish Parliament.

:05:59.:06:03.

And just think, all this and we're still counting down to the

:06:04.:06:06.

What a week in politics. It has been a torrid week for the government,

:06:07.:06:24.

Isabel Oakeshott, but does Theresa May shake it off, or is this a sign

:06:25.:06:28.

of worse to come? We may all be feeling a bit breathless after the

:06:29.:06:31.

events of last week and we are in for a a long war of attrition with

:06:32.:06:39.

the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon's strategy will be to foster over lengthy

:06:40.:06:43.

periods of time as much resentment and anger as she can in Scotland and

:06:44.:06:48.

try to create the impression that independence is somehow inevitable.

:06:49.:06:53.

Is Scotland the biggest challenge for Theresa May in the next year or

:06:54.:06:57.

so? I think it probably is because if you look at how relatively easily

:06:58.:07:00.

the Brexit bill went through on an issue where people could hardly feel

:07:01.:07:04.

more passionate in the Commons, and actually despite all the potential

:07:05.:07:08.

drama it has gone through quite smoothly. To go back to your

:07:09.:07:12.

original question, she just carries on. Don't underestimate the basic

:07:13.:07:16.

quiet and will towards Theresa May amongst the majority of Tory

:07:17.:07:21.

backbenchers. Yes, there are difficult little issues over school

:07:22.:07:25.

funding, sorry, it's not a little issue, it is a big one but she will

:07:26.:07:28.

get over that and treat each thing as it comes and keep pressing on.

:07:29.:07:33.

Has she not called Nicola Sturgeon's Bluff in that the First Minister

:07:34.:07:38.

said I want a referendum, here is roughly when I wanted, the Prime

:07:39.:07:43.

Minister says you're not having one. What happens next? She has done

:07:44.:07:47.

quite well and impact the progress Theresa May made this week in

:07:48.:07:52.

frustrating Nicola Sturgeon was evident when Nicola Sturgeon said,

:07:53.:07:55.

OK, maybe we can talk about the timing after. Nicola Sturgeon has

:07:56.:07:58.

already been the first one to blink. I would slightly disagree with

:07:59.:08:02.

Isabel Oakeshott, I don't agree Scotland will be the biggest hurdle

:08:03.:08:06.

for her. What this week showed as is Theresa May... It was a reality

:08:07.:08:11.

bites week. Theresa May is juggling four mammoth crises at the same

:08:12.:08:15.

time, Brexit obviously which I still think will be the biggest challenge

:08:16.:08:18.

to get a good deal, Trump left field who popped up at GCHQ on Friday and

:08:19.:08:24.

Scotland and the fiscal challenge, this enormous great problem, and it

:08:25.:08:30.

reinforced the point this is not an easy time in politics. The budget is

:08:31.:08:36.

over four years. That was one small problem, the immediate problem is

:08:37.:08:39.

how to fill the social care crisis and the ageing demographic. This is

:08:40.:08:43.

not normal times in British politics and Theresa May does not have a

:08:44.:08:46.

normal workload on her plate, hence why I think we will see more

:08:47.:08:50.

mistakes made as time goes on and as she has this almost impossible

:08:51.:08:56.

workload to juggle. How tempted do you think the Prime Minister is to

:08:57.:08:59.

call an early election? There is more chatter about it now. Is she

:09:00.:09:04.

tempted and if there is will she succumb? I will answer that in a

:09:05.:09:07.

second as Harold Wilson used to say. I want to agree, disagree with the

:09:08.:09:11.

rest of the panel about how she has out manipulated Nicola Sturgeon this

:09:12.:09:15.

week. I think Nicola Sturgeon expected Theresa May to say no to

:09:16.:09:19.

her expected timetable. It would be amazing if she had said yes. She

:09:20.:09:24.

expected her to say no but Sturgeon catalyst that will fuel support for

:09:25.:09:28.

her cause. There is no sign of that. The latest poll this morning shows

:09:29.:09:33.

66-44 against independence and only 13% think they would be better off

:09:34.:09:39.

with an independent Scotland and a clear majority do not want a second

:09:40.:09:44.

referendum. But the calculation of resistance from Westminster combined

:09:45.:09:47.

with Brexit which hasn't started yet, I think this is her

:09:48.:09:50.

calculation, she didn't expect Theresa May to say, sure, go ahead,

:09:51.:09:54.

I'm sure she expected Theresa May to say no, you can't have it at your

:09:55.:09:59.

desired timetable. On the wider point, I think Theresa May is in a

:10:00.:10:03.

fascinating position, she is both strong because she faces weak

:10:04.:10:06.

opposition and is ahead in the opinion polls. But faces the most

:10:07.:10:12.

daunting agenda of any Prime Minister for 40 or 50 years, I

:10:13.:10:16.

think. So it's a weird combination. I don't think she wants to call an

:10:17.:10:20.

election. I don't think she has thought about how you would

:10:21.:10:22.

manipulate it, what the trigger would be, and whether she's got the

:10:23.:10:27.

energy and space to prepare for and then mount a campaign was beginning

:10:28.:10:33.

the Brexit negotiation. Now, you could see the cause would be the

:10:34.:10:37.

small majorities that will make her life hellish, which it will do.

:10:38.:10:41.

Whether a landslide would help is another question, they can be

:10:42.:10:44.

difficult too. But I think the problems outweigh the advantages of

:10:45.:10:49.

going early. Do you think she would go for an early election? I don't

:10:50.:10:53.

and I think you have to look at the rhetoric coming out of No 10 which

:10:54.:10:57.

is so firm on this question, it is a delicious prospect for us as

:10:58.:10:59.

commentators to think there might be an election around the corner but

:11:00.:11:03.

they are so firm on this I can't see it happening. I agree, we are in

:11:04.:11:08.

unanimous agreement on this one. It is superficially attractive because

:11:09.:11:10.

she would love the big majority and she would get a lot more through

:11:11.:11:14.

Parliament especially with Brexit. The nitty-gritty of it makes an

:11:15.:11:17.

early General Election this year almost impossible. How do you write

:11:18.:11:22.

a manifesto on high Brexit versus soft Brexit, it opens up a Pandora's

:11:23.:11:27.

box of uncertainties. And there is enough with the European elections.

:11:28.:11:31.

The EU will say are we negotiating with you or the person who may

:11:32.:11:34.

replace you? How do you keep the Tory party united going to an

:11:35.:11:38.

election? How do you call one, with a vote of no confidence in yourself

:11:39.:11:43.

you may end up losing. Easy on paper but difficult in practice. We shall

:11:44.:11:44.

see. So if Theresa May did go

:11:45.:11:45.

for an early election this spring, The party's campaigns

:11:46.:11:48.

and elections chief Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne, the government, as we

:11:49.:11:59.

have just been talking about, executed one of the most

:12:00.:12:01.

embarrassing U-turns in recent history this week. It has been a

:12:02.:12:05.

torrid time for the Theresa May government. Why are the Tories still

:12:06.:12:09.

so chipper? The Labour Party has been on an

:12:10.:12:14.

early election footing since before Christmas and we are preparing

:12:15.:12:16.

ourselves for that eventuality in case that does come. That means that

:12:17.:12:20.

we've got to get ourselves into a position whereby we can not only

:12:21.:12:25.

challenge the government but we can also offer a valuable alternative

:12:26.:12:31.

for the British people to choose from should that election arise. So,

:12:32.:12:38.

would you welcome an early General Election? Well, of course, I don't

:12:39.:12:41.

want this government to be in power so of course if there is an

:12:42.:12:44.

opportunity to put a case to the British people as to why there is a

:12:45.:12:48.

better way, and I believe the Labour way is the better way than of course

:12:49.:12:53.

we would want to put that case to the country. So, would Labour vote

:12:54.:12:58.

in the Commons for an early election? Well, of course as an

:12:59.:13:02.

opposition, not wanting to be in opposition, wanting to be in

:13:03.:13:06.

government should the government put forward a measure in accordance with

:13:07.:13:10.

the Fixed-term Parliaments Act then that's something we would very

:13:11.:13:13.

seriously have to consider. I know you would have to consider it but

:13:14.:13:17.

would you vote for an early election or not? Well, of course we want to

:13:18.:13:22.

be the government so if the current government puts forward measures to

:13:23.:13:25.

bring forward a General Election we would want to put our case to the

:13:26.:13:28.

British public and that's one of the jobs that I've been given, together

:13:29.:13:33.

Labour Party organisation early into a position where we can fight a

:13:34.:13:37.

General Election -- organisationally. For the avoidance

:13:38.:13:42.

of doubt, if the Government work to issue a motion in the Commons for an

:13:43.:13:46.

early election, the Labour Party would vote for an early election?

:13:47.:13:50.

It would be very difficult not, Andrew. If the Government wants to

:13:51.:13:54.

dissolve parliament, wants a General Election, we don't want the Tories

:13:55.:13:57.

in government, we want to be in government and we want to have that

:13:58.:14:01.

opportunity to put that case to the British people.

:14:02.:14:04.

Are you ready for an early election? You say you have been on a war all

:14:05.:14:12.

but since the Labour conference last autumn, but are you ready for one?

:14:13.:14:15.

How big is the election fighting fund? We have substantial amounts of

:14:16.:14:18.

money in our fighting fund, that is true, because not only has the

:14:19.:14:22.

Labour Party managed to eliminate its own financial deficit that it

:14:23.:14:28.

inherited from previous election campaigns, we have also managed to

:14:29.:14:36.

build up a substantial fund in the off chance we have an election. We

:14:37.:14:40.

have also expanded massively operations at Labour HQ, we are

:14:41.:14:45.

taking on additional staff, and one of the jobs that myself and Ian

:14:46.:14:48.

Lavery who I job share with are currently doing is to go around the

:14:49.:14:52.

Parliamentary Labour Party to make sure that Labour colleagues have the

:14:53.:14:56.

support and the resources that they need, should they have to face the

:14:57.:14:59.

electorate in their constituencies. So you are on a war footing, ready

:15:00.:15:04.

for the fight, you say you would vote for the fight, so have you got

:15:05.:15:08.

your tax and spend policies ready to roll out? That is something the

:15:09.:15:13.

shadow Treasury team will be discussing. One of the things is, if

:15:14.:15:17.

there is an early General Election, the normal timetable for these

:15:18.:15:20.

things gets fast-track because our policy decision-making body, its

:15:21.:15:26.

annual conference, we have the national policy forum that creates

:15:27.:15:30.

policies suggestions. You have been on a war footing since the last

:15:31.:15:34.

Labour conference, that is what Mr Corbyn told us. So you must have a

:15:35.:15:38.

fair idea of what policies you would fight an early election on. How much

:15:39.:15:43.

extra per year would you spend on the NHS? Well, look, I'm not going

:15:44.:15:47.

to set out the Labour manifesto for an election that hasn't been called.

:15:48.:15:51.

I'm just asking you about the NHS. You must have a policy for that. We

:15:52.:15:56.

have a policy for the NHS. So how much extra? I will not set out

:15:57.:16:01.

Labour's tax-and-spend policies here on The Sunday Politics when there

:16:02.:16:05.

hasn't even been election called. You said you had been on a war

:16:06.:16:09.

footing and you are prepared to vote for one, so if you can't Tommy that,

:16:10.:16:14.

can you tell me what the corporation rate tax on company profits be under

:16:15.:16:19.

a Labour government -- tell me that. You will have to be patient. I have.

:16:20.:16:25.

And wait for Mrs May to trigger an early election. If there is an

:16:26.:16:29.

election on the 4th of May the rich would have to be issued on the 27th

:16:30.:16:33.

of March, so that's not long to wait. If that date passes we aren't

:16:34.:16:39.

having an election on the 4th of May and the normal timetable for policy

:16:40.:16:43.

development will continue. All right. You lost Copeland, I think

:16:44.:16:47.

you were in charge of a by-election for Labour, your national poll

:16:48.:16:51.

ratings are still dire, even after week of terrible times for the

:16:52.:16:57.

Tories. Sometimes you even lose local government by-elections in

:16:58.:17:00.

safe seats, including in the place you are now, in Salford. How long

:17:01.:17:05.

does Mr Corbyn have to turn this around? Well, look, the issue of the

:17:06.:17:10.

Labour leadership was settled last year. The last thing the Labour

:17:11.:17:14.

Party now needs is another period of introspection with the Labour Party

:17:15.:17:17.

merely talks to the Labour Party. We are now on an election footing in

:17:18.:17:24.

case Mrs May does trigger an early General Election. We need to be

:17:25.:17:29.

talking to the British people are not to ourselves. So any speculation

:17:30.:17:33.

about the Labour leadership might excite you in the media but actually

:17:34.:17:37.

for us in the Labour Party it's about re-engaging and reconnecting

:17:38.:17:41.

with the voters. Rather than being excited, I feel quite daunted at the

:17:42.:17:45.

prospect of an early election. So I wouldn't get that right. Normally,

:17:46.:17:51.

given the number of mistakes this government has made, and its

:17:52.:17:55.

mid-term, you would expect any self-respecting opposition to be

:17:56.:17:58.

about ten points ahead. On the latest polls this morning you are 17

:17:59.:18:04.

behind. There is a 27-30 point gap from where you should normally be as

:18:05.:18:09.

an opposition. Are you telling me that if that doesn't change, you

:18:10.:18:12.

still fight the General Election with Mr Corbyn?

:18:13.:18:18.

These are matters for the future. I believe the leadership issue was

:18:19.:18:25.

settled last year. We have had two leadership contest in two years.

:18:26.:18:29.

Would you seriously contemplate going into the next election, if it

:18:30.:18:34.

is early I perfectly understand Jeremy Corbyn is your man, but if it

:18:35.:18:39.

is not until 2020, and you are still 17 points behind in the polls, will

:18:40.:18:44.

you go into the next election like that? There is a lot of future

:18:45.:18:48.

looking and speculation there, I don't know what the future holds,

:18:49.:18:57.

where the Labour Party will be in 12 months let alone by 2020 summit

:18:58.:19:00.

cross those bridges when we come to it. My main challenge is to make

:19:01.:19:03.

sure the Labour Party is in the best possible place organisationally to

:19:04.:19:06.

fight an election, that's my challenge and I'm up for that to

:19:07.:19:09.

make sure we are in the best possible place to make sure Labour

:19:10.:19:16.

returns as many Labour MPs as possible. Thank you for joining us.

:19:17.:19:21.

And we're joined now from the Liberal Democrats' spring

:19:22.:19:24.

conference in York by the former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

:19:25.:19:26.

Good morning. In his conference speech today, Tim Farron lumps

:19:27.:19:34.

Theresa May with Vladimir Putin, Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump. In

:19:35.:19:40.

what way is Mrs May similar to Marine Le Pen? Of course he is not

:19:41.:19:48.

saying Theresa May is identical to Marine Le Pen, I think what Tim

:19:49.:19:54.

Wilby spelling out shortly in his speech is that we need to be aware

:19:55.:19:58.

what's going on in the world, the International settlement that was

:19:59.:20:04.

arrived at after the First World -- Second World War, that bound

:20:05.:20:11.

supranational organisations is under attack from characters as diverse as

:20:12.:20:15.

Vladimir Putin, Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump, and that by side in so

:20:16.:20:20.

ostentatiously with Donald Trump and pursuing this very hard Brexit,

:20:21.:20:24.

Theresa May appears to be giving succour to that much more

:20:25.:20:29.

isolationist chauvinist view of the world than the multilateral approach

:20:30.:20:33.

that Britain has subscribed to for a long time. The exact words he plans

:20:34.:20:38.

to use are welcome to the New World order, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump,

:20:39.:20:47.

Marine Le Pen, Theresa May, aggressive and teenage to, anti-EU,

:20:48.:20:52.

nationalistic. In what way is Mrs May fitting into any of that? In

:20:53.:20:56.

what way is she similar to Vladimir Putin? I'm not aware she has

:20:57.:21:03.

interfered with other people's elections. The clue is in the quote

:21:04.:21:08.

you just read out, which is the world order. The world order over

:21:09.:21:13.

the last half century or more, by the way a lesson I'm afraid we have

:21:14.:21:17.

to learn in Europe because of the terrible bloodshed of two world was

:21:18.:21:21.

in the space of a few decades, was based on the idea might is not

:21:22.:21:26.

right. Strong arm leaders cannot throw their weight around. What we

:21:27.:21:32.

have now with Putin, the populism across parts of Europe and Donald

:21:33.:21:38.

Trump who thinks the EU will unravel is a shift to a radically different

:21:39.:21:44.

view of the world. Mrs May doesn't think any of that. She is not

:21:45.:21:50.

antenatal, not anti-EU, she says she wants the EU to succeed. She's not

:21:51.:21:55.

aggressive as far as I'm aware so I'm not sure why you would lump the

:21:56.:21:59.

British Prime Minister in with these other characters. Let me explain, by

:22:00.:22:05.

choosing this uncompromising approach to Brexit, clearly in doing

:22:06.:22:13.

so she, in my view, maybe not yours or others, is pursuing a self

:22:14.:22:17.

harming approach to the United Kingdom but also pulling up the

:22:18.:22:21.

threads that bind the rest of the European Union together, in so

:22:22.:22:26.

ostentatiously siding with Donald Trump, somehow declaring in my view

:22:27.:22:31.

speciously that we can make up with the trade we will lose, she's not

:22:32.:22:40.

challenging the shift to a more chauvinist approach to world affairs

:22:41.:22:44.

that is happening in many places. You are at your party's Spring

:22:45.:22:49.

conference, I think we can agree any Lib Dem come back will take a long

:22:50.:22:54.

time. Would Tory dominance be more effectively challenged by a

:22:55.:22:59.

realignment of the centre and the centre-left? Are you working towards

:23:00.:23:04.

that? I missed half the question but I think you are talking about a

:23:05.:23:10.

realignment. As a cook a way to get over Tory dominance, would you want

:23:11.:23:15.

that to happen? Are you working towards that? My view is the

:23:16.:23:20.

recovery of the Lib Dems will be quicker than you suggest. People

:23:21.:23:24.

often forget that even the low point of our fortunes in the last election

:23:25.:23:29.

we still got a million more votes than the SNP, it's only because we

:23:30.:23:33.

have got this crazy electoral system... But the SNP fight in

:23:34.:23:41.

Scotland, you fight in the whole country! But I'm saying the way

:23:42.:23:48.

seats are allocated overlooks the fact that 2.5 million still voted

:23:49.:23:57.

for us. But my own view is of course there are people feeling

:23:58.:24:00.

increasingly homeless in the liberal wing of the Conservative Party

:24:01.:24:04.

because they are now in a party which is in effect indistinguishable

:24:05.:24:07.

from Ukip on some of the biggest issues of the day, and homeless folk

:24:08.:24:14.

on the rational, reasonable wing of the Labour Party. I would invite

:24:15.:24:18.

them to join the Liberal Democrats and I would invite everyone across

:24:19.:24:23.

parties to talk about the idea is that bind us because the Westminster

:24:24.:24:27.

village can invest a lot of energy building new castles in the sky,

:24:28.:24:32.

inventing new names for parties when actually what you want is for people

:24:33.:24:35.

on the progressive centre ground of British politics to talk about the

:24:36.:24:47.

ideas that unite them, from the dilemmas of artificial intelligence

:24:48.:24:52.

to climate change. Do you think in your own view, can Brexit still be

:24:53.:24:56.

thwarted or is it now a matter of getting the best terms? I think we

:24:57.:25:05.

are in an interlude, almost a calm between two storms, the storm of the

:25:06.:25:09.

referendum itself and the collision between the Government's stated

:25:10.:25:13.

ambitions for Brexit and the reality of having to negotiate something

:25:14.:25:17.

unworkable with 27 other governments. The one thing I can

:25:18.:25:22.

guarantee you is that what the Government has promised to the

:25:23.:25:33.

British people cannot happen. Over a slower period of time we will work

:25:34.:25:38.

out our new relationship with the European Union. Theresa May said she

:25:39.:25:42.

will settle divorce arrangements, and pensions, so one, negotiate new

:25:43.:25:48.

trade agreements, new climate change policies and so on, and have all of

:25:49.:25:53.

that ratified within two years, that will not happen so I think there

:25:54.:25:57.

will be a lot of turbulence in the next couple of years. Will you use

:25:58.:26:02.

this turbulence to try to thwart Brexit, to find a way of rolling

:26:03.:26:09.

back the decision? It's not about repeating the debates of the past or

:26:10.:26:13.

thwarting the will of the people but it is comparing what people were

:26:14.:26:18.

promised from the ?350 million for the NHS every week through to this

:26:19.:26:25.

glittering array of new trade agreements we will sign across the

:26:26.:26:29.

world, with the reality that will transpire in the next couple of

:26:30.:26:33.

years and at that point, yes it is my belief people should be able to

:26:34.:26:36.

take a second look at if that is what they really want. A couple of

:26:37.:26:41.

quick questions, would you welcome an early general election? I always

:26:42.:26:49.

welcome them, we couldn't do worse than we did last time. That is

:26:50.:26:55.

certainly true. You have a column in the Evening Standard, have you

:26:56.:26:58.

spoken to the new editor about whether he will keep your column or

:26:59.:27:05.

spike it? No, I wait in nervous anticipation. Can you be a newspaper

:27:06.:27:12.

editor in the morning and an MP in the afternoon? Do I think that's

:27:13.:27:19.

feasible? Sorry, I missed a bit. There is no prohibition, no law

:27:20.:27:25.

against MPs being editors. They have been in the past and no doubt will

:27:26.:27:29.

again in the future. He is taking a lot on, he is an editor, also

:27:30.:27:36.

wanting to be an MP, a jetsetting academic in the States, working in

:27:37.:27:40.

the city, I suspect something will give. It seems to me even by his

:27:41.:27:46.

self-confidence standards in his own abilities I suspect he is taking on

:27:47.:27:52.

a little bit too much. Very diplomatic, Mr Clegg, I'm sure you

:27:53.:27:55.

will get to keep the column. Thanks for joining us.

:27:56.:27:59.

Now, for the last six months England's NHS bosses have been

:28:00.:28:02.

warning the health service needs more money to help it meet

:28:03.:28:05.

But in his first Budget, the Chancellor offered

:28:06.:28:08.

no immediate relief, and today the head of

:28:09.:28:10.

the organisation representing England's NHS trusts says hundreds

:28:11.:28:12.

of thousands of patients will have to wait longer for both emergency

:28:13.:28:15.

care and planned operations, unless the Government

:28:16.:28:16.

Warnings over funding are not exactly new.

:28:17.:28:24.

Back in 2014 the head of the NHS in England, Simon Stevens,

:28:25.:28:27.

published his plan for the future of the health service.

:28:28.:28:31.

In his five-year forward view, Stevens said the NHS in England

:28:32.:28:34.

would face a funding shortfall of up to ?30 billion by 2020.

:28:35.:28:37.

To bridge that gap he said the NHS would need more money

:28:38.:28:40.

from the Government, at least ?8 billion extra,

:28:41.:28:44.

and that the health service could account for the rest by making

:28:45.:28:46.

The Government says it's given the health service more than what it

:28:47.:28:54.

asked for, and that NHS in England will have received

:28:55.:28:56.

That number is disputed by NHS managers and the chair

:28:57.:29:01.

of Parliament's health committee, who say the figure is more

:29:02.:29:04.

like ?4.5 billion, while other parts of the health and social care budget

:29:05.:29:07.

have been cut, putting pressure on the front line.

:29:08.:29:13.

Last year, two thirds of NHS trusts in England finished

:29:14.:29:16.

the year in the red, and despite emergency bailouts

:29:17.:29:18.

from the Government, the NHS is likely to record

:29:19.:29:21.

Meanwhile national targets on waiting times for A

:29:22.:29:26.

departments, diagnostic tests, and operations are being

:29:27.:29:28.

This month's Budget provided ?2 billion for social care

:29:29.:29:36.

but there was no new cash for the NHS, leading trusts to warn

:29:37.:29:40.

that patient care is beginning to suffer, and what is being asked

:29:41.:29:43.

And I'm joined now by the Chief Executive of NHS

:29:44.:29:48.

Providers in England, Chris Hopson.

:29:49.:29:54.

Welcome to the programme. Morning, Andrew. I will come onto the extra

:29:55.:30:01.

money you need to do your job properly in a minute but first, part

:30:02.:30:05.

of the deal was you had to make 22 billion in efficiency savings, not a

:30:06.:30:09.

bank that money but spend it on patient care, the front line, and so

:30:10.:30:14.

on. How is that going? So, last parliament we realised around 18

:30:15.:30:17.

billion of productivity and efficiency savings, we are realising

:30:18.:30:21.

more this year so we are on course to realise 3 billion this year, that

:30:22.:30:25.

is a quarter of a billion more than last year but all of us in the NHS

:30:26.:30:30.

knew the 22 billion would be a very stretching target and we are

:30:31.:30:34.

somewhat inevitably falling short. So it is 22 billion by 2,020.

:30:35.:30:41.

Roughly. That was the time. We are now into 2017. So how much of the 22

:30:42.:30:49.

billion have you achieved? We realised around 3 billion last year

:30:50.:30:54.

and we will realise 3 billion this year, Court of billion more, 3.25

:30:55.:30:59.

billion this year, so we are on course for 18-19,000,000,000. By the

:31:00.:31:04.

2021 period? You are not that far away. The problem is the degree to

:31:05.:31:08.

which demand is going up. We have record demand over the winter period

:31:09.:31:13.

and that actually meant we have seen more people than we have ever seen

:31:14.:31:17.

before but performance is still under real pressure. Let me come

:31:18.:31:23.

onto that. When you agreed on the 22 billion efficiency savings plus some

:31:24.:31:27.

extra money from the government, I know there is a bit of an argument

:31:28.:31:31.

about how much that is actually worth, had you not factored in this

:31:32.:31:36.

extra demand that you saw coming over the next three or four years?

:31:37.:31:40.

Let's be very clear committee referred to Simon Stevens's forward

:31:41.:31:45.

view and we signed up to it but the 22 billion was a process run at the

:31:46.:31:49.

centre of government by the Department of Health with its arms

:31:50.:31:52.

length bodies, NHS England and others and is not something that was

:31:53.:31:56.

consulted on with the NHS. But you signed up to it. We always said that

:31:57.:32:00.

the day that that Spending Review was announced, the idea that the NHS

:32:01.:32:05.

where customer demand goes up something like four or 5% every

:32:06.:32:09.

year, the idea that in the middle years of Parliament we would be able

:32:10.:32:13.

to provide the same level of service when we were only getting funding

:32:14.:32:19.

increases of 1.3%, 0.4% and 0.7%, and I can show you the press release

:32:20.:32:23.

we issued, we always said there was going to be a gap and that we would

:32:24.:32:28.

not be able to deliver what was required. The full 22 billion in

:32:29.:32:34.

other words? What we said to Simon Stevens at the Public Accounts

:32:35.:32:37.

Committee a few months ago, the NHS didn't get what it was asked for.

:32:38.:32:42.

Today the NHS, cope with the resources it has according to you.

:32:43.:32:49.

How much more does it need? Are reported is about 2017-18 and we

:32:50.:32:52.

estimate that what we are being asked to do, and again, Andrew, you

:32:53.:32:56.

clearly set it out in the package, we are a long way off the four-hour

:32:57.:33:02.

A target and a long way off the 92%. The waiting times and

:33:03.:33:06.

operations. How much more do you need? And we are making up a ?900

:33:07.:33:11.

million deficit. If you take all of those into account we estimate you

:33:12.:33:15.

would need an extra ?3.5 billion next year in order to deliver all of

:33:16.:33:19.

those targets and eliminate the deficit. That would be 3.5 billion

:33:20.:33:23.

on top of what is already planned next year and that would be 3.5

:33:24.:33:28.

billion repeated in the years to come too? Yes, Andrew it is

:33:29.:33:31.

important we should make an important distinction about the NHS

:33:32.:33:37.

versus other public services. When the last government, the last Labour

:33:38.:33:40.

government put extra money into the NHS it clearly said that in return

:33:41.:33:44.

for that it would establish some standards in the NHS Constitution,

:33:45.:33:49.

the 95% A target we have talked about and the 92% elective surgery

:33:50.:33:53.

we have talked about. The trust we represent are very clear, they would

:33:54.:33:57.

want to realise those standards, but you can only do it if you pay for

:33:58.:34:01.

it. The problem is at the moment is we are in the longest and deepest

:34:02.:34:06.

financial squeeze in NHS history. As we have said, funding is only going

:34:07.:34:10.

up by 1% per year but every year just to stand still cost and demand

:34:11.:34:15.

go up by more than 4%. There is clearly a demand for more money. I

:34:16.:34:20.

think people watching this programme will think probably the NHS is going

:34:21.:34:23.

to have to get more money to meet the goals you have been given. I

:34:24.:34:28.

think they would also like to be sure that your Mac running the NHS

:34:29.:34:32.

as efficiently as it could be. We read this morning that trusts have

:34:33.:34:36.

got ?100 million of empty properties that cost 10 million to maintain, 36

:34:37.:34:41.

office blocks are not being used, you have surplus land equivalent to

:34:42.:34:46.

1800 football pitches. Yes, there are a number of things that we know

:34:47.:34:51.

in the NHS we need to do better but let me remind you, Andrew, in the

:34:52.:34:56.

last Parliament we realised ?18 billion worth of cost improvement

:34:57.:34:59.

gains. We are going to realise another 3 billion this year, 0.25

:35:00.:35:07.

billion more than last year so these things are being targeted. But

:35:08.:35:10.

having that surplus land, it is almost certainly in areas where

:35:11.:35:13.

there is a demand for housing. Absolutely. So why not release it

:35:14.:35:19.

for housing? You get the money, the people get their houses and its

:35:20.:35:23.

contribution and a signal that you are running NHS assets as

:35:24.:35:27.

efficiently as you can? Tell me if I'm going to too much detail for

:35:28.:35:32.

you. One of the reasons as to why our trusts are reluctant to realise

:35:33.:35:36.

those land sales is because there is an assumption that the money would

:35:37.:35:40.

go back to the Treasury and wouldn't benefit NHS trusts. You could make a

:35:41.:35:44.

deal, couldn't you? That's part of the conversation going on at the

:35:45.:35:47.

moment. The issue is that we would want to ensure that if we do release

:35:48.:35:52.

land, quite rightly the benefit, particularly in foundation trusts

:35:53.:36:04.

which are, as you will remember, deliberately autonomous

:36:05.:36:06.

organisations, that they should keep the benefit of those land sales.

:36:07.:36:08.

Have you raised that with the government?

:36:09.:36:08.

Yes we have. What did they say? They are in discussions of it. We heard

:36:09.:36:21.

somebody who moved from one job and then to another job and given a big

:36:22.:36:26.

salary and then almost ?200,000 as a payoff. There is a national mood for

:36:27.:36:30.

the NHS to get more money. But before you give anybody any more

:36:31.:36:33.

money you want to be sure that the money you have got already is being

:36:34.:36:37.

properly spent, which for us, is the patient at the end of the day. And

:36:38.:36:42.

yet there seem to be these enormous salaries and payoffs. I've worked in

:36:43.:36:50.

a FTSE 100 on the board of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and I

:36:51.:36:52.

have worked in large organisations. I can look you completely straight

:36:53.:36:55.

in the eye and tell you that the jobs that our hospital, community,

:36:56.:36:58.

mental health and ambulance chief Executives do are amongst the most

:36:59.:37:01.

complicated leadership roles I have ever seen. It doesn't seem to me to

:37:02.:37:06.

be unreasonable that in order to get the right quality of people we

:37:07.:37:09.

should pay an appropriate salary. The reality is the salaries are paid

:37:10.:37:13.

are not excessive when talking about managing budgets of over ?1 billion

:37:14.:37:18.

a year and talking about managing tens of thousands of staff. There

:37:19.:37:26.

was a doctor working as a locum that earned an extra ?375,000. One of the

:37:27.:37:29.

problems in the NHS is a mismatch between the number of staff we need

:37:30.:37:33.

and the number of staff coming through the pipeline. What is having

:37:34.:37:36.

to happen is if you want to keep a service going you have to use Mackem

:37:37.:37:41.

and agency staff. Even at that cost? You would not want to pay those

:37:42.:37:43.

amounts. But you are. The chief You would not want to pay those

:37:44.:37:49.

Executives's choice in those areas is giving the service open or

:37:50.:37:52.

employing a locum. I'm sure you could find a locum prepared to work

:37:53.:37:57.

for less than that. What indication, what hopes do you have of getting

:37:58.:38:03.

the extra ?3 billion? The government has been very clear, for the moment

:38:04.:38:08.

it wants to stick to the existing funding settlement it has agreed. So

:38:09.:38:12.

there was nothing in the budget. Can I finish by making one important

:38:13.:38:17.

point. Please, finish. This is the first time the NHS has said before

:38:18.:38:21.

the year has even started that we can't deliver on those standards. We

:38:22.:38:26.

believe, as do most people who work in the NHS, that the NHS is on a

:38:27.:38:31.

gradual slow decline. This is a very important inflection point to Mark,

:38:32.:38:35.

this is the first time before the financial year starts that we say we

:38:36.:38:37.

cannot meet the targets we are being asked to deliver and are in the NHS

:38:38.:38:43.

Constitution. We have run out of time. Chris Hopson, thank you for

:38:44.:38:44.

being with me. It's just gone 11:35am,

:38:45.:38:45.

you're watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers

:38:46.:38:47.

in Scotland who leave us now Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics

:38:48.:38:58.

in Northern Ireland. The talks deadline

:38:59.:39:00.

is fast approaching. I'll be speaking to Alliance

:39:01.:39:02.

and the SDLP about the chances of getting Stormont up

:39:03.:39:05.

and running again. We'll hear from Washington,

:39:06.:39:08.

where a senior congressman is calling for an American presence

:39:09.:39:11.

at the current talks. A very positive influence over the

:39:12.:39:22.

years in the presence in the north to help keep people at the table.

:39:23.:39:24.

And I'm joined by commentators David Gordon and Fionnuala O Connor,

:39:25.:39:26.

with their views on another busy week on both sides of the Atlantic.

:39:27.:39:33.

So we're two-thirds of the way through the talks process designed

:39:34.:39:36.

to set up a new government in Northern Ireland.

:39:37.:39:38.

But are we two-thirds of the way to a deal?

:39:39.:39:40.

The noises from the British and Irish governments remain

:39:41.:39:43.

positive, though in the end it will be the local parties who sign

:39:44.:39:45.

I'm joined by the SDLP's Nichola Mallon and Stephen Farry

:39:46.:39:50.

We did invite the DUP, Sinn Fein and the Ulster Unionists to join us,

:39:51.:39:54.

Nichola Mallon, how optimistic are you that a deal can be done in the

:39:55.:40:09.

time frame we are looking at? We are hopeful and we are committed,

:40:10.:40:14.

playing our part. We believe we need to see an executive up and running

:40:15.:40:19.

and has genuine power-sharing and that is delivering for people and a

:40:20.:40:23.

rising to the challenges of Brexit and other critical issues. We are

:40:24.:40:27.

hopeful, but if we are honest, the past two weeks have been no more

:40:28.:40:33.

than shadow-boxing. We have been disappointed and frustrated that

:40:34.:40:37.

hasn't been in all round table call for all the parties and we are

:40:38.:40:41.

hopeful to see that tomorrow or as early as possible. Do you expect

:40:42.:40:45.

things to wrap up this week? We have a very real deadline of next Monday

:40:46.:40:48.

in terms of when the Assembly will convene. I am not necessarily

:40:49.:40:59.

hopeful because there are major issues in terms of the approach the

:41:00.:41:03.

parties are taking, but I am certain this can be done in the course of

:41:04.:41:06.

the week. We have been in even more difficult spots where things have

:41:07.:41:10.

moved over a shorter time frame than this in the past. Those issues have

:41:11.:41:15.

been around for some time and has been talked about a the parties.

:41:16.:41:18.

It's time for those parties to make a serious commitment to getting the

:41:19.:41:22.

institutions up and running properly and function on behalf of the common

:41:23.:41:26.

good of Northern Ireland. Some people might say it is a positive

:41:27.:41:30.

point, perhaps, that the DUP and Sinn Fein don't want to make public

:41:31.:41:33.

comment. They would rather see what they have to say behind closed

:41:34.:41:37.

doors. Do you read anything into the fact we have chosen not to be here

:41:38.:41:46.

this morning? No one is expecting them to come on here and reveal

:41:47.:41:48.

their hands in terms of the negotiating process but it's

:41:49.:41:51.

important there is a mechanism of informing the public. The public

:41:52.:41:53.

sent a clear message to all of us on polling day and they want to see as

:41:54.:41:57.

responding to it. It would have been helpful but it is their call to be

:41:58.:42:03.

here are not. Both of your parties and the Ulster Unionist Party are

:42:04.:42:06.

sitting on the sidelines watching the main action, which will be

:42:07.:42:10.

between presumably the Secretary of State and Sinn Fein and the DUP. AM

:42:11.:42:15.

on behalf of the SDLP because we have nothing to hide. We are keen,

:42:16.:42:23.

we have a smaller mandate pension vein and the DUP. They got us to

:42:24.:42:27.

this point, that is where the problem lies. That Israeli

:42:28.:42:32.

resolution lies, but the SDLP would be found wanting in trying to

:42:33.:42:36.

contribute to finding a lasting solution. The Alliance party is

:42:37.:42:42.

expected to as well. It is difficult to form the Government without the

:42:43.:42:47.

DUP Sinn Fein, but when you go into Government alone we don't get

:42:48.:42:52.

delivery or result, we get collapse. If you go back to fresh start, that

:42:53.:42:56.

was a false dawn. It was dominated by the two largest parties and

:42:57.:42:59.

governments. The other three parties have a lot to bring to the table. We

:43:00.:43:03.

have a lot of votes across Northern Ireland. That was a mistake on part

:43:04.:43:11.

of the Alliance party not to join the last executive when you are

:43:12.:43:14.

invited to take on the justice Ministry, a mistake he would meet

:43:15.:43:19.

again this time? Our actions are vindicated. All parties should

:43:20.:43:23.

aspire to be in Government, we idea to try and deliver our values. We

:43:24.:43:28.

turned it down, but we turned it down because we don't feel that in

:43:29.:43:33.

terms of how the executive are going to operate we don't have the

:43:34.:43:35.

confidence we are going to have a fresh start. Frankly, we could not

:43:36.:43:43.

have stayed in that executive. We saw abuse of the social investment

:43:44.:43:48.

fund. You said you couldn't go into it last time round because you

:43:49.:43:51.

couldn't give it your support. What happens if the same kind of deal you

:43:52.:43:55.

don't like, but you think will fall apart without you being in there? In

:43:56.:44:01.

terms of our current strength, we don't qualify. We haven't been

:44:02.:44:06.

invited. We're not getting too far ahead of ourselves. We have been

:44:07.:44:11.

clear, we have got the same conditions we set out last May.

:44:12.:44:15.

We're going to have to reinforce some of those. We asked for a proper

:44:16.:44:23.

strategy around paramilitaries. That has to have the clear. That has to

:44:24.:44:32.

be fixed. Stephen Farry makes the point that the Alliance party would

:44:33.:44:36.

be depended upon an invitation to join the executive but you could be

:44:37.:44:39.

there in the SDLP as of right, would you take that seat as of right this

:44:40.:44:44.

time round? We are very clear going into the selection that parties

:44:45.:44:49.

fight to be in Government. The SDLP has never shunted responsibilities

:44:50.:44:51.

when it comes to Government. We didn't take the decision lightly to

:44:52.:44:56.

not go in last time. Sadly the reasons for us leaving have come to

:44:57.:45:00.

pass and other parties are now up in arms about it. If we get fundamental

:45:01.:45:03.

reform of the executive in terms of how it does business, a shift in the

:45:04.:45:08.

relationships they are, programme Government that deliver, and agreed

:45:09.:45:13.

plan to deal with Brexit and issues like that, we would be found

:45:14.:45:17.

wanting. We wouldn't be going into Government just for the sake of

:45:18.:45:21.

going in and neither will be stay in opposition because we are

:45:22.:45:24.

politically point-scoring. Do you see any evidence that those issues

:45:25.:45:28.

are being addressed during the process so far and two to reach a

:45:29.:45:34.

positive outcome in eight days's time? We have had multiple meetings

:45:35.:45:38.

with each of the parties touching on these issues. We are taking people

:45:39.:45:41.

at face value, this is not about the SDLP getting its wish list, it is

:45:42.:45:46.

about getting the critical movement on issues that matter to people.

:45:47.:45:50.

Well we are all procrastinating, we have seen start-ups having to go to

:45:51.:45:57.

the wall. We need to stop playing politics, get the right deal and

:45:58.:46:02.

I'll get round the table. Things have to fundamentally change. What

:46:03.:46:06.

about issues like, for example, Brexit. We will talk about legacy

:46:07.:46:10.

any moment. Is there any sign of the joint approach on dealing with

:46:11.:46:14.

Brexit? Those two parties have very different world views after we are

:46:15.:46:17.

and where we need to be. There are some common ground between the

:46:18.:46:21.

parties going back to statement from the First Minister last August in

:46:22.:46:27.

terms of the Prime Minister, there was a recognition of some issues.

:46:28.:46:32.

There is a lot of uncommon ground. That is the much bigger problem.

:46:33.:46:38.

Unless we have an executive in place, we can't get a special deal

:46:39.:46:42.

for Northern Ireland. We have to have a recognition first of all for

:46:43.:46:46.

the local parties special deal and find a stronger common ground.

:46:47.:46:51.

Northern Ireland is a very particular and unique place. There

:46:52.:46:55.

is a major threat to the Good Friday Agreement for Brexit and it is all

:46:56.:47:00.

about putting in place barriers. The Good Friday Agreement is about

:47:01.:47:03.

people having a common ground. Unless they have the recognition

:47:04.:47:07.

from a UK perspective, we are seeing it in Scotland no, it could further

:47:08.:47:12.

destabilise this place. Particularly on Brexit, it's not just local

:47:13.:47:16.

parties, we need a UK Government particularly over the next week to

:47:17.:47:19.

come out with a clear statement, much more than they have done so far

:47:20.:47:23.

and recognise the real challenge being close to Northern Ireland.

:47:24.:47:29.

What chance to be deal on legacy? It is certainly one of the difficult

:47:30.:47:32.

issues and despite Stormont house which was announced with great

:47:33.:47:35.

fanfare, little to no movement has been made. The victim had been led

:47:36.:47:41.

up the garden path so many times and let down. Unless we do get to grips

:47:42.:47:45.

with the past, unless we recognise that no one has a monopoly on pain

:47:46.:47:49.

and suffering, and the victims deserve treatment from that, we're

:47:50.:47:52.

never going to move this please forward. Just a final thought, we

:47:53.:47:59.

had comments from the Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Washington he had a reached

:48:00.:48:04.

agreement with Theresa May that there would be no return to direct

:48:05.:48:08.

rule from London if the negotiations failed. Did that make sense to you?

:48:09.:48:14.

It make sense in that we have an abstract real deadline of Monday

:48:15.:48:19.

27th, after that point we are going into another election, which is

:48:20.:48:24.

fairly pointless, or any situation where the Government has to

:48:25.:48:28.

negotiate in some shape or form for some direct rule are taking an

:48:29.:48:32.

election of the table. Let's focus on getting a deal done over the next

:48:33.:48:36.

week and making sure it's a good deal that will be sustainable and we

:48:37.:48:40.

can stop the stop start politics destroying Northern Ireland. Do you

:48:41.:48:44.

think Enda Kenny oversold that? There is no mood among the public

:48:45.:48:49.

for an election. To rerun an election just because you didn't

:48:50.:48:53.

like the result, because you want to see more dominant Unionist or more

:48:54.:48:57.

Republican, it is completely wrong. ?5 million was spent on the last

:48:58.:49:01.

election, the public has sent us a message, it's time to get down to

:49:02.:49:02.

business and get the job done. Thank you both.

:49:03.:49:03.

Let's hear from my guests of the day, Fionnuala O

:49:04.:49:05.

Connor and David Gordon. What did you make of that? Does that

:49:06.:49:15.

make you more optimistic that some agreement can be reached in eight

:49:16.:49:20.

days are less so? It doesn't either. Both of those two are very able

:49:21.:49:25.

politicians, the presented the party positions off a well incidental to

:49:26.:49:28.

giving the view on what is happening, but they have been honest

:49:29.:49:32.

enough to see the don't really know and Stephen Farry says it could be

:49:33.:49:36.

done inside a week and Enda Nichola Mallon says has been a round table

:49:37.:49:40.

yet. Clearly the icing the don't know. Didn't exactly say that, they

:49:41.:49:46.

don't know what's happening between Sinn Fein, the DUP the Government

:49:47.:49:50.

but when it comes to the wider picture of what the Government's

:49:51.:49:54.

position is, which is the most interesting, we see more of their

:49:55.:49:58.

hand than we do of Sinn Fein and the DGP's and Enda Kenny's drastic

:49:59.:50:04.

overselling of what he was quickly slammed down by a Theresa May

:50:05.:50:08.

spokesman as having said there was an agreement, there would be no

:50:09.:50:11.

direct rule, is an indication the arrow at sixes and sevens. They've

:50:12.:50:16.

both got problems with their own at the moment. Until recently you were

:50:17.:50:20.

inside the executive tent. You have got a good understanding of what the

:50:21.:50:24.

thinking might be on the part of the DUP Sinn Fein on these matters.

:50:25.:50:28.

Would you regard yourself as optimistic that this issue can be

:50:29.:50:34.

resolved or are we heading into the great unknown? We're heading into

:50:35.:50:39.

the great unknown. We've got a sense of the scale of the challenge facing

:50:40.:50:43.

the talks and when Stephen Farry talks about the business going often

:50:44.:50:48.

different agreements on top processes, that has been part of the

:50:49.:50:51.

problem. Things have been kicked down the road in number of times and

:50:52.:50:55.

not sorted out. This time, this is the last chance to sort it out.

:50:56.:51:00.

Legacy is the big issue, not as for the politicians, it is for both

:51:01.:51:06.

committees. There is a lot to do any week leave got themselves into

:51:07.:51:12.

corners, Sinn Fein and the DGP, on issues like Arlene Foster being able

:51:13.:51:16.

to continue as First Minister. That is an interesting want to get into

:51:17.:51:20.

it before the talks process has begun. It is almost academic any

:51:21.:51:25.

sense we don't have an executive, it doesn't matter. Who is going to be

:51:26.:51:28.

First Minister, Deputy First Minister? How do you regard that

:51:29.:51:33.

situation? It did look like the DGP was trying not to paint a red light

:51:34.:51:37.

and then Jeffrey Donaldson earlier in the week was speaking to Stephen

:51:38.:51:43.

Nolan and suggested that was a red line and if Sinn Fein continued to

:51:44.:51:45.

insist she couldn't be First Minister than they would -- there

:51:46.:51:51.

would be to devolution? Jeffrey Donaldson, I will always remember

:51:52.:51:54.

for his walk-out at the very last minute when any agreement was about

:51:55.:51:57.

to be signed when David Trimble didn't know he was going. Jeffrey's

:51:58.:52:02.

position in talks is somewhat an exotic one. The other one is that

:52:03.:52:08.

for Sinn Fein to say that at the outset was an indication of what

:52:09.:52:12.

they were there for. The work they are, it kicked into action by the

:52:13.:52:16.

people, who didn't like it one bit what had been going on for a very

:52:17.:52:19.

long time, not just the last month so.

:52:20.:52:20.

Now with a look at the political week in 60 seconds,

:52:21.:52:23.

At Stormont, MLAs signed in, but their leaders still haven't sat

:52:24.:52:40.

together around the talks table. We make progress but it's very

:52:41.:52:45.

difficult to know how we can make overall progress if we are not

:52:46.:52:49.

sitting down around the table and the world is moving on around us.

:52:50.:52:54.

After meeting President Trump pressing Patrick's Day, the

:52:55.:52:58.

Taoiseach claimed there would be no return to direct rule. Have a clear

:52:59.:53:01.

agreement with the British Government that there will be no

:53:02.:53:04.

return to a hard border and there will be no direct rule brought back

:53:05.:53:08.

from London. The outgoing Ulster Unionist Party denies denied his

:53:09.:53:14.

election performance was down to him. That served as a lightning rod

:53:15.:53:21.

that incredibly energised nationalists and republicans. Sinn

:53:22.:53:25.

Fein MEP Martina Anderson not so politely told the Prime Minister

:53:26.:53:29.

will she could pick the border. Theresa May, your notion of a

:53:30.:53:34.

border, hard or soft, stick it where the sun doesn't shine.

:53:35.:53:39.

George Mitchell, Richard Haass, Mitchel Reiss - some big American

:53:40.:53:43.

names who have played significant roles in the Northern

:53:44.:53:45.

And now one US congressman wants to see another

:53:46.:53:50.

Joe Crowley was speaking to our correspondent,

:53:51.:53:53.

Shane Harrison, in Washington and they also discussed the ongoing

:53:54.:53:56.

But the Democrat started by stressing the positive impact

:53:57.:54:00.

the USA can have in Northern Ireland.

:54:01.:54:10.

The special convoy goes back to President Clinton's days and prior

:54:11.:54:20.

to that I was in the legislator and saw it come to fruition as one of

:54:21.:54:24.

the promises made when he was running for president. We have seen

:54:25.:54:28.

the positive affect the US President's negotiations in the

:54:29.:54:32.

north of Ireland between the north and south and the British Government

:54:33.:54:37.

have been a very positive influence over the years on the presence in

:54:38.:54:41.

the north to help keep people at the table. Gary Hart being the last and

:54:42.:54:47.

most recent, but George Mitchell and very high-profile Americans. Richard

:54:48.:54:56.

Howes -- Haas has been there as well. They have meant so much to the

:54:57.:55:02.

process of peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. I think it's

:55:03.:55:05.

important, especially now, given what seems to be a bit of an

:55:06.:55:11.

election that has taken place that really hasn't demonstrated much

:55:12.:55:16.

results in terms of what pretends that the future, whether there would

:55:17.:55:18.

be able to put together a Government and if not how long, if it goes back

:55:19.:55:24.

to Westminster, how long will be the before an election is called before

:55:25.:55:30.

they go back, we'll Arlene Foster stay, will she not? What is the

:55:31.:55:34.

presence of Michelle O'Neill have no in terms of Northern Irish politics

:55:35.:55:39.

moving forward? These are all interesting new questions. The

:55:40.:55:42.

Brexit issue, a hard border or a soft order, it is also something

:55:43.:55:48.

that people are asking questions about. We have had the Assembly

:55:49.:55:51.

election results. How important do you think it is that devolution be

:55:52.:55:56.

restored to Northern Ireland? I think it needs to be brought to bear

:55:57.:56:00.

to bring some resolutions to this. How that all pans out in the

:56:01.:56:05.

politics of the north is yet to be seen, we don't know. There has been

:56:06.:56:09.

a great deal of damage done to the DUP rant because of the campaign. In

:56:10.:56:20.

terms of people's confidence, it has been diminished, demonstrated by the

:56:21.:56:27.

polling results that took place. Really trying to find that balance

:56:28.:56:31.

of restoring the Government is critical for the continuance of the

:56:32.:56:36.

process. All of this is happening with Brexit as a backdrop and we are

:56:37.:56:40.

ready to pay ministers say they don't want to return to the hard

:56:41.:56:44.

borders of the past. How worried are you about the implications of Brexit

:56:45.:56:49.

for Northern Ireland? I would hope there are some type of accommodation

:56:50.:56:52.

that can be reached because I do believe that free access, free flow

:56:53.:56:59.

of goods, has had a positive impact on the development of Ireland as a

:57:00.:57:04.

whole, as well as the furtherance of peace in the north. It has not been

:57:05.:57:08.

perfect and or those who have yet to feel the benefits benefits of that

:57:09.:57:12.

peace process, many of whom are still struggling out of the culture

:57:13.:57:18.

of Ireland that has existed for a very long period of time. We now see

:57:19.:57:23.

a new generation of people from the Irish republicans, from the north of

:57:24.:57:28.

Ireland, who have lived in peace for a considerable amount of time now, a

:57:29.:57:32.

lengthy piece, and I think that is something that we can all look to in

:57:33.:57:35.

terms of pride and that we've all contributed to that but also as an

:57:36.:57:42.

anchor for a hopeful movement forward in this Brexit. What I also

:57:43.:57:46.

think is of interest is the movement in Scotland now possibly for another

:57:47.:57:51.

vote on devolution, independence for Scotland, what effect that will

:57:52.:57:57.

have. Knowing that Scotland and Northern Ireland voted in the

:57:58.:57:59.

majority to remain within the European Union. Do you think it hard

:58:00.:58:03.

border could threaten the peace process? Do the size of Ireland

:58:04.:58:11.

believe that all parts of Ireland, all provinces, every county is a

:58:12.:58:16.

part in all of traditional islands, I think that in the border counties

:58:17.:58:21.

that could create even more tension and stress. Economically when there

:58:22.:58:26.

are two separate economy is taking place that had an impact on terms of

:58:27.:58:32.

the disgruntled nature that had taken place. Aside from the

:58:33.:58:36.

nationalists issues coming into play, there are economic issues that

:58:37.:58:41.

come into play as well. We have seen a growth in the peace process. My

:58:42.:58:53.

hope is that we can come to some kind of agreement to prevent a hard

:58:54.:58:58.

border. My mother is from ten to Amat, I'm very familiar with the

:58:59.:59:03.

checkpoints and the soldiers, that added stress that added to the

:59:04.:59:06.

overall community. I would go back to that.

:59:07.:59:07.

Democratic congressman Joe Crowley emphasising his Irish credentials

:59:08.:59:09.

there, and listening to that Fionnula O Connor and David Gordon.

:59:10.:59:14.

Is that just another US politician auditioning for a job can we really

:59:15.:59:22.

expect a significant American presence in the talks over the next

:59:23.:59:27.

weeks and months? He could be auditioning, he sounds a reasonable

:59:28.:59:30.

man, he doesn't sound like a sure water. Which would be a good thing.

:59:31.:59:35.

Can we expect one? Perhaps it is very definitely quite high on the

:59:36.:59:39.

Nationalist agenda that James Brokenshire is not a legitimate

:59:40.:59:44.

chairman of talks. West Theresa May making it clear, re-emphasising, she

:59:45.:59:48.

is not treating the Irish Government as an equal partner which I think

:59:49.:59:52.

she is doing and playing down their role in the settlement. It's another

:59:53.:59:55.

reason for wanting somebody from outside. As to whether he would be a

:59:56.:00:00.

significant chair, that something else, we are past that stage. It is

:00:01.:00:05.

arguable the previous jurors were not that significant. Ian Paisley

:00:06.:00:10.

was in Washington and he was talking up the Trump interest in Northern

:00:11.:00:14.

Ireland, the significance of it, the way in which Trump and his people

:00:15.:00:18.

have a handle on what's happening here and there is a possibility that

:00:19.:00:22.

Northern Ireland could be on the agenda if he does indeed visit the

:00:23.:00:27.

UK. Do you buy all of that? Seanad Eireann Edward Lucie that. The whole

:00:28.:00:30.

point of Trump is America first, putting America first. Ian Paisley

:00:31.:00:41.

and back a long way. There is a fellow feeling there. The brutal

:00:42.:00:46.

truth is that we are pretty much on our own. To think that America is

:00:47.:00:55.

going to help us... If there's going to be a deal, it's going to be

:00:56.:01:01.

between the parties. Doesn't help anybody that Trump is apparently

:01:02.:01:04.

making a state visit to the UK and now he's been invited and accepted

:01:05.:01:09.

an invitation from Enda Kenny to visit the Republic? All know, of

:01:10.:01:12.

course it doesn't. He is such a lightweight in every other week in

:01:13.:01:16.

his position that you couldn't have any fees at all in what he might say

:01:17.:01:25.

or do when he's here. The two governments, the Irish and the

:01:26.:01:29.

British Government at the most worrying and missing link at the

:01:30.:01:34.

moment. If they were exerting pressure on Sinn Fein and the DUP

:01:35.:01:39.

that would be something else. For different reasons, they are not. It

:01:40.:01:45.

is the vacuum. When I said no previous cheers, I meant no previous

:01:46.:01:50.

envoys, had an effect. George Mitchell had a huge effect.

:01:51.:01:52.

That's it from us. Now back to Andrew in London.

:01:53.:01:52.

That's it from us. you both. Say goodbye. Goodbye. Back

:01:53.:01:54.

to you. So, can George Osborne stay

:01:55.:02:01.

on as a member of Parliament Will Conservative backbenchers force

:02:02.:02:03.

a Government re-think And is Theresa May about to cap gas

:02:04.:02:08.

and electricity prices? Whose idea was that first of all?

:02:09.:02:21.

They are all questions for the Week Ahead to.

:02:22.:02:27.

Let's start with the story that is too much fun to miss, on Friday it

:02:28.:02:32.

was announced the former Chancellor would be the new editor of London's

:02:33.:02:35.

Evening Standard newspaper, a position he will take up in mid-May

:02:36.:02:42.

on a salary of ?200,000 for four days a week.

:02:43.:02:47.

But Mr Osborne has said he will not be stepping down as MP

:02:48.:02:50.

for Tatton in Cheshire, a job he's held since 2001,

:02:51.:02:52.

Alongside these duties, he's also chairman of

:02:53.:02:56.

While being committed to one day a week at Black Rock,

:02:57.:03:02.

an American asset management firm - a part-time role that earns him

:03:03.:03:04.

Then he's polishing his academic credentials, as a fellow

:03:05.:03:10.

at the McCain Institute, an American thinktank,

:03:11.:03:12.

And finally as a member of the Washington Speaker's Bureau,

:03:13.:03:19.

he also earns his keep as an after-dinner speaker, banking

:03:20.:03:25.

around ?750,000 since last summer.

:03:26.:03:30.

So there you go. Nice little earners if you can get them. The problem,

:03:31.:03:39.

though, is he has put second jobs on the agenda and lots of his fellow

:03:40.:03:43.

MPs are not happy because they have got second jobs but not making that

:03:44.:03:48.

kind of money. No, and a lot of MPs on both sides actually are unhappy

:03:49.:03:53.

about it exactly for those reasons. I find it a very interesting

:03:54.:03:57.

appointment. We have got these people on the centre and centre

:03:58.:04:02.

right of politics who have been used to power since 1997, they have been

:04:03.:04:06.

on the airwaves today, Tony Blair, Nick Clegg, George Osborne, and they

:04:07.:04:11.

are all seeking other platforms now because power has moved elsewhere.

:04:12.:04:15.

So Tony Blair is setting up this new foundation, Nick Clegg refused to

:04:16.:04:18.

condemn George Osborne, Tony Blair praised the appointment. They are

:04:19.:04:25.

all searching for new platforms. They might have overestimated the

:04:26.:04:29.

degree to which this will be a huge influential platform. The standard

:04:30.:04:34.

was very pro-Tory at the 2015 election but London voted Labour, it

:04:35.:04:39.

was pro-Zac Goldsmith but they elected Sadiq Khan. It might be

:04:40.:04:43.

overestimating the degree to which this is a hugely influential paper.

:04:44.:04:48.

But I can see why it attracts him as a platform when all these platforms

:04:49.:04:53.

have disappeared, eg power and government. All of these people who

:04:54.:04:59.

used to be in power are quietly getting together again, Mr Blair on

:05:00.:05:03.

television this morning, George Osborne not only filling his bank

:05:04.:05:07.

account but now in charge of London's most important newspaper,

:05:08.:05:12.

Nick Clegg out today not saying Brexit was a done deal, waiting to

:05:13.:05:17.

see what happens, even John Major was wheeled out again today in the

:05:18.:05:22.

Mail on Sunday. They are all playing for position. I half expect David

:05:23.:05:25.

Cameron to turn up as features editor on The Evening Standard.

:05:26.:05:33.

Brexit and breakfast! With Mr Clegg, did he not? I do not think this is

:05:34.:05:37.

sustainable for George Osborne, I worked at The Evening Standard and I

:05:38.:05:40.

was there for three years, I know what the hours are like for a humble

:05:41.:05:44.

journalist, never mind the editor. If he thinks he can get at 4am

:05:45.:05:49.

everyday to be in the offices at 5am to oversee the splash, manage

:05:50.:05:53.

everything in the way and edited should he is in cloud cuckoo land.

:05:54.:05:57.

What this says to people is there is a kind of feel of soft corruption

:05:58.:06:02.

about public life here, where you see what you can get away with. He

:06:03.:06:06.

thinks he can brazen this out and maybe he can but what kind of

:06:07.:06:09.

message does that send to people about how seriously people take the

:06:10.:06:14.

role of being an MP? He must have known. He applied for the job. The

:06:15.:06:19.

Russian owner didn't approach him, he approached Lebedev, the

:06:20.:06:24.

proprietor, for it. He must have calculated there would be some

:06:25.:06:28.

kickback. I wonder if he realised there would be quite the kickback

:06:29.:06:32.

there has been. I think that's probably right. This hasn't finished

:06:33.:06:36.

yet, by the way, this will go on and on. How on earth does George Osborne

:06:37.:06:41.

cover the budget in the autumn? Big budget, lots of physical changes and

:06:42.:06:46.

tax rises to deal with the messages out of this week. You can see

:06:47.:06:50.

already, Theresa May budget crashes. It could be worse. She's useless!

:06:51.:06:57.

Or, worse than that, me, brilliant budget, terrible newspaper, I've

:06:58.:07:03.

never buying it again. He has hoisted his own petard. He has not

:07:04.:07:06.

bought it properly through. It's a something interesting about his own

:07:07.:07:12.

future calculations, if he wants to stay on as an MP in 2020 and be

:07:13.:07:16.

Prime Minister as he has or was wanted to be he has got to find a

:07:17.:07:20.

new seat. How do you go into an association and say I should be an

:07:21.:07:24.

MP, I can do it for at least four hours Purdy after editing The

:07:25.:07:28.

Evening Standard, making a big speech and telling Black Rock how to

:07:29.:07:35.

make a big profit. The feature pages have to be approved for the next day

:07:36.:07:39.

and feature pages are aware the editor gets to make their mark. The

:07:40.:07:43.

news is the news. The feature is what concerns you, what he is in

:07:44.:07:48.

your bonnet. That defines the newspaper, doesn't it? It is not

:07:49.:07:54.

over yet. Too much 101 on newspapers. And Haatheq at.

:07:55.:08:01.

School funding, the consultation period ends, it has been a tricky

:08:02.:08:08.

one for the government, some areas losing. I guess we are seeing this

:08:09.:08:13.

through the prism of the National Insurance contributions now, it is a

:08:14.:08:18.

small majority, if Tory MPs are unhappy she may not get her way.

:08:19.:08:23.

Talking to backbench MPs who are unhappy the feeling is it is not

:08:24.:08:28.

going to go ahead in the proposed form that the consultation has been

:08:29.:08:33.

on. No 10 will definitely have to move on this. It is unclear whether

:08:34.:08:37.

they will scrap it completely, or will they bring in something

:08:38.:08:41.

possibly like a base level, floor level pupil funding below which you

:08:42.:08:46.

can't go? You would then still need to find some extra money. So there

:08:47.:08:50.

are no easy solutions on this but what is clear it is not going to go

:08:51.:08:54.

ahead in its current form. Parents have been getting letters across the

:08:55.:08:58.

country in England about what this will mean for teachers and so on in

:08:59.:09:03.

certain schools. It's not just a matter of the education Department,

:09:04.:09:08.

the schools, or the teachers and Tory backbenchers. Parents are being

:09:09.:09:12.

mobilised on this. The point of the new funding formula is to allocate

:09:13.:09:16.

more money to the more disadvantaged. That means schools in

:09:17.:09:20.

the more prosperous suburbs are going to lose money. Budget cuts on

:09:21.:09:24.

schools which are already struggling. It comes down again to

:09:25.:09:27.

be huge problem, the ever smaller fiscal pool, ever greater demands,

:09:28.:09:33.

NHS, social care, education as well, adding to Theresa May and Phillip

:09:34.:09:37.

Hammond's enormous problems. Here is an interesting issue, Steve. There

:09:38.:09:41.

was a labour Leader of the Opposition that once suggested

:09:42.:09:47.

perhaps given these huge energy companies which seemed to be good at

:09:48.:09:51.

passing on energy rises but not so good at cutting energy prices when

:09:52.:09:54.

it falls, that perhaps we should put a cap on them until at least we

:09:55.:09:58.

study how the market goes. This was obviously ludicrous Marxism and

:09:59.:10:04.

quite rightly knocked down by the Conservatives, except that Mrs May

:10:05.:10:09.

is now talking about putting a cap on energy prices. Yes, I think if it

:10:10.:10:12.

wasn't for Brexit we would focus much more on Theresa May's Ed

:10:13.:10:17.

Miliband streak. Whether this translates into policies, let us

:10:18.:10:21.

see. That bit we don't know. That bit we don't know but in terms of

:10:22.:10:25.

argument her speech to the Conservative conference on Friday

:10:26.:10:29.

was about the third or fourth time where she said as part of the

:10:30.:10:34.

speech, let's focus on the good that government can do, including in

:10:35.:10:37.

intervening in markets, exactly in the way that he used to argue. As

:10:38.:10:43.

you say, we await the policy consequences of that. She seems more

:10:44.:10:46.

cautious in terms of policy in fermentation. But in terms of the

:10:47.:10:51.

industrial strategy, in terms of implying intervention in certain

:10:52.:10:54.

markets, there is a kind of Milibandesque streak. And there

:10:55.:10:59.

comes a time when she has to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

:11:00.:11:05.

They talk a lot about the just about managing, just about managing face

:11:06.:11:09.

rising food bills because of the lower pound and face rising fuel

:11:10.:11:13.

bills because of the rise in oil and in other commodities. One of the two

:11:14.:11:20.

things you could do to help the just about managing is to cut their food

:11:21.:11:23.

bills and the second would be to cut their fuel bills. At some stage she

:11:24.:11:27.

has to do something for them. We don't know what is going to happen

:11:28.:11:30.

to food bills under Brexit, that could become a really serious issue.

:11:31.:11:34.

They could abolish tariffs. There has been a lot of talking the talk

:11:35.:11:38.

and big announcements put out and not following through so I agree

:11:39.:11:42.

with you on that but lots of Tory MPs will have a big problem on

:11:43.:11:55.

this and the principle of continually talking about

:11:56.:11:58.

interfering in markets, whether it's on executive pay, whether it is on

:11:59.:12:01.

energy, at a time when Britain needs to send out this message to the

:12:02.:12:04.

world in their view, in the view of Brexit supporting MPs, that we are

:12:05.:12:06.

open for business and the government is not about poking around and doing

:12:07.:12:09.

this kind of thing. Of course, you could argue there is not a problem

:12:10.:12:12.

in the market for energy, it is a malfunctioning market that doesn't

:12:13.:12:14.

operate like a free market should, so that provides even Adam Smith,

:12:15.:12:17.

the inventor of market economics would have said on that basis you

:12:18.:12:21.

should intervene. I was in Cardiff to listen to Theresa May's latest

:12:22.:12:25.

explanation for doing this. By the way, we've been waiting nine months,

:12:26.:12:30.

this was one of her big ideas. You are right, let's see a bit of the

:12:31.:12:33.

meat, please. My newspaper has been calling for some pretty hefty

:12:34.:12:37.

government action on this for quite some time. For the just about

:12:38.:12:43.

managings? Yes and specifically to sort out an energy market dominated

:12:44.:12:47.

by the big six, which is manifestly ripping people off left, right and

:12:48.:12:48.

centre. Theresa May's argument ripping people off left, right and

:12:49.:12:51.

centre. Theresa May's argument in Cardiff on Friday morning which, by

:12:52.:12:55.

the way, went down like a proverbial windbreak at the proverbial funeral

:12:56.:13:00.

because Tories... You know what I mean Andrew, the big hand coming

:13:01.:13:03.

into from the state telling businesses what to do. They went

:13:04.:13:07.

very quiet indeed. They were having saving the union and Nato but there

:13:08.:13:11.

was no clapping for that. The point being, this is what she needs to do

:13:12.:13:16.

to prove her assault, to prove those first words on the steps of Downing

:13:17.:13:21.

Street. We await to see the actions taken.

:13:22.:13:23.

On that unusual agreement we will leave it there. The Daily Politics

:13:24.:13:31.

will be back on BBC Two tomorrow at noon and everyday during the week.

:13:32.:13:33.

And I'll be here on BBC One next Sunday at 11am.

:13:34.:13:36.

Remember, if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.

:13:37.:13:38.

Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

As the NHS in England warns of a severe financial crisis, Andrew talks to Chris Hopson, head of NHS Providers. He is also joined by former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg MP and Labour Party campaign and elections chair Andrew Gwynne MP.

On the political panel are the Sun's Tom Newton Dunn and journalists Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards.