12/02/2017 Sunday Politics South


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12/02/2017

Andrew Neil and Peter Henley are joined by Baroness Smith and Oliver Letwin. The political panellists are Janan Ganesh, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Steve Richards.


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Commons Speaker John Bercow is accused of compromising his

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impartiality by revealing he voted Remain in last year's EU referendum.

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The EU Withdrawal Bill clears its first Parliamentary hurdle.

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But will the House of Lords be quite so accommodating?

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Labour's Leader in the Lords joins us live.

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And we report from Stoke-on-Trent ahead of a crucial by-election

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later this month, where Ukip is looking to give

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In the South: Reorganising local government in Dorset -

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six of the councils are in favour of the plans but three are opposed,

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And with me a political panel who frequently like to compromise

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Steve Richards, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Janan Ganesh.

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I'll be trying to keep them in order during the course of the programme.

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So, Commons Speaker John Bercow has insisted his ability

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to act impartially is not damaged by reports that he voted to Remain

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The Sunday Telegraph reveals that Speaker Bercow revealed his views

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in front of an audience of students at Reading University

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This may not be popular with some people in this audience -

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I thought it was better to stay in the European Union than not,

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partly for economic reason, being part of a big trade bloc,

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and partly because I think we're in a world of power blocs,

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and I think for all the weaknesses and deficiencies

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of the European Union, it is better to be part of that big

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Speaker Bercow speaking at Reading University earlier this month. Does

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he not care is this I get that impression, he knows perfectly well,

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it states he has to be particularly -- Parliamentary neural. Whether

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there are going to be enough votes to force him out, the question, the

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last speaker wept out with the 20 vote against him. You yes to have

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the command of the support across the House. There is a Deputy

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Speaker, waiting, who would be superb. I think even the people who

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pretend to support Macis have had enough -- Speaker Bercow have had

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enough of his ways. The reason I ask whether he care, he didn't just tell

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the students that he voted to Remain, he then gave them a running

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commentary on all the issues that will be part of the Brexit

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negotiations, workers' rights, immigration, trade policy, everyone

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maternity leave got a hat tip from him. He would be a very well

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prepared Brexit minister if attendance needs a colleague --

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David Davis needs a colleague. I don't think this story makes his

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position untenable, what does is the wired pattern of behaviour of

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excessive candour on his political views, going back years, this is a

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guy who when the Queen visited Parliament described her as theical

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lied scope Queen. He had a running argument with David Cameron. We know

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his views on Brexit, we know his views on Donald Trump. . He has

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given interviews, none of the views are illegitimate but the candour

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which they are expressed with is scrupulous. Given Lyndsay Hoyle is a

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class accuse. He is the Deputy Speaker. And a fairly ready

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replacement, whether there is more of a movement to say, maybe not

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force Bercow out but acknowledge he has had a few years in the job and

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the question of successor ship comes into play. Has he concluded he is

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untouchable? What I can definitely say, is that he is determined to

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fight this one out, and not go of his own volition, so if he goes he

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will have to be forced out. He wants to stay. Which will be tough. It

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will be tough. Likely as things stand. I would say this, I speak to

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someone who likes the way he has brought the House of Commons to

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life, held ministers to account, forced them into explain thing,

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whenever there is a topical issue you know it will be in the House of

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Commons. He has changed that. He has. Time has been courageous, Ied a

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mire the way he has been a speaker. I would say this, during the

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referendum campaign, he asked me Nick Clegg, and Peter Hitchens to

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debate Brexit if his constituency. It was a packed out meeting. He

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chaired it. I said don't you want to join in? He didn't. He showed no

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desire to join in, he was impartial. He goes out to universities and kind

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of demyth GCSEs Parliament by speaking to them in a way, he

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doesn't gets credit for it and stays on after and drinks with them.

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Sometimes he, you know, it is clearly a mistake to have gone into

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his views retrospectively on that referendum campaign, I don't think

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that, did he try and stop Article 50 from being triggered in the House of

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Commons? That would be a scandal. Even that would be beyond him.

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Briefly, yes or no, could you imagine Betty Boothroyd behaving

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like that? Not at all. None of the recent speakers I could imagine

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doing that. It is good he is different.

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The bill that will allow the government to trigger Article 50

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and begin Brexit negotiations was voted through

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Many MPs were in a difficult position - unsure whether to vote

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with their conscience, their constituency,

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Europe, once such a divisive issue for the Conservatives,

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is now causing major divisions inside the Labour Party.

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So, let's have a look what happened in a bit more detail:

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Thanks to academic research carried out since the referendum,

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we now have estimates of how each individual constituency voted.

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It's thought that 410 constituencies voted Leave.

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On Wednesday night, the EU Notification of Withdrawal Bill

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was voted through by the House of Commons.

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The bill left the Labour Party divided.

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Jeremy Corbyn told his MPs to respect the result

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of the referendum and vote for the government's bill -

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But 52 Labour MPs defied Mr Corbyn's thee-line whip

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That's about a fifth of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

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Of those 52 Labour MPs who voted against the bill,

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the majority, 45 of them, represent seats that voted Remain.

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However, seven Labour MPs voted against the Article 50 Bill,

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even though their constituents voted Leave in the referendum.

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The Conservative Party were much more united.

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The vast majority of Tory MPs, 320 of them, voted for the bill.

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Just one Conservative MP, Ken Clarke, voted against it.

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His constituency, Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire, voted Remain.

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The bill will now go to the House of Lords -

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peers will start debating it on Monday the 20th of February.

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Joining me now is Matthew Goodwin, politics professor at

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He's got a book out next month called

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Brexit: Why Britain Voted To Leave The European Union.

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Welcome to the programme. Has Brexit, how you voted in the

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referendum and your continuing attitudes toward it, is that now

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becoming the new dividing line in British politics? I think it

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certainly is contributing to a new dividing line, in western politics

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more generally, we know over the last ten years, that the old left

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and right division has been making way for a new division, between

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essentially social liberals and Conservative, and Brexit was a, an

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incident a moment that really reflected that new dividing line, so

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it wasn't just the case that Brexit has cut across Labour's base, it is

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that dividing line, that deeper division is cutting across social

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democracies more generally. Is there a possibility, no higher than that,

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that it will reShane our party politics? I think it is too early to

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know whether this is a fundamental long-term realignment. If we look at

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what is happening in local by-election, what is happening at

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by-elections, pictures a bit mixed but if you look at how some of the

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Labour vote is responding, I think that potentially reflects the

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possibility of a terminal decline for the Labour Party, it is going to

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be incredibly difficult for Labour to win these voters back, these are

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traditional working class, socially Conservative voters who are leaving

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the party, don't forget, since the 1997 general election. It is not

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just because of the referendum. If that was the case, Labour would

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become more a party of the Metropolitan areas, and less of a

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party outside of these area, is that what you are saying? What we are S

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seeing across the west can social democracy that retrenchment into the

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cosmopolitan, Metropolitan city area, university towns, you can

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seeing in many European states populist right parties filling the

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traditional socialist area, why are they doing that? Because they are

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offering two message, economic and cultural protectionism. Social

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Democrats are clinging to that economic protectionism but not

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saying much about migration and multiculturalism and that sort of

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stuff. Are there deeper forces at work than Jeremy Corbyn? He often

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gets the blame for what is happening to the Labour Party now, but if you

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look the way the Greek socialist party has been wiped out. The German

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Social Democrats are in trouble. The Italian socialist party has lost a

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referendum. The French socialist are coming close to being wiped out on

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April 23rd, Labour's problems, are part of a much wider problem of

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social democracy S Jeremy Corbyn is a surface problem, what I mean by

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that is you could replace him tosh with another leader, they would

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still have this fundamental tension within the electorate. They are

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trying to appeal to two differenter reconcilable groups of voters who

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think differently about the key issues of the day. It is very

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difficult for any centre left party now to assemble the kinds of

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coalitionses we saw in the '90s with Clinton and Blair and Schroeder.

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Those days are gone. Does that explain why it is now Labour, rather

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than the Conservatives, historically the party divided over the European

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Union, does all of that help to explain why its Labour that now

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seems, disunited over the EU? I think so, I think also that the

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issue of Brexit, and the EU, is so immatly wrapped up with that issue

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of immigration, if you look at who has been abandoned Labour since 2015

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or the late 90s, the one thing those voters share is a rejection of the

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so-called liberal consensus on EU membership and mass immigration. It

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is difficult for any Labour lead eer co-bin or Clive Lewis on Dan Jarvis,

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to bring those voters back unless they are going to move on that

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cultural terrain. If they are not, they may not go to Ukip, they might

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go to somewhere more difficult for Labour which is political apathy.

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Thank you for that. Attention now shifts to the House

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of Lords where peers will begin scrutinising the EU Withdrawal Bill

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in just over a week. Brexit Secretary David Davis urged

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the Lords "to do its patriotic duty" and resist the urge to tinker

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with the legislation. Former minister Oliver Letwin

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went one further - mooting the possibility

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of the abolition of the Lords if it sought to frustrate

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the bill in any way. Here he is posing the question

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in the Commons on Thursday. Would he find time, in government

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time for a debate, should the other place seek to delay beyond the end

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of March the passage of our accession to Article 50, for this

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House to discuss the possibility of either the abolition or full-scale

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reform of the other place? And Oliver Letwin joins

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me now from Dorset. Welcome back to the programme Mr Let

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win. Before we come on to the Lord's, can I get your thoughts on a

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matter that has been making the news this morning and John Bercow's

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remarks about being a remain voter an giving something of a running

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commentary on various Brexit issues, has he sqloefr stepped the mark as

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speaker? -- overstepped the mark. I think this is slightly a fuss about

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nothing. Every person who thinks about politics will have had some

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opinion about great matters like Brexit, and I really don't see any

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particular reason why his opinion shouldn't be known after the fact.

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I, I was there throughout the five days of the Brexit debate, and I

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have to say, I thought he was pretty scrupulously fair in the way he

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handled the House, so, I, I don't really share the view that there is

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some terrible thing that has been revealed this weekend. Let me come

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on to what we are here to talk about, which is the Lords. Why have

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you raised the threat of the abolition of the Lord for doing its

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job of scrutinising what is coming out the Commons? Well, you know,

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Andrew, this question of the job of the House of Lords and scrutiny, has

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to be looked at carefully. There are all sorts of bills that come out the

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House of Commons which are detailed things that relate to, finance, and

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expenditure, and the criminal law, and all that sort of thing, and all

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of that, I admire the work that the House of Lords does, as you say

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scrutinising and we shouldn't use that word loosely, it means looking

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carefully at the detail, line by line of complicated legislation,

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hundreds of Paps in some cases, and spotting, using the considerable

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expertise many, not all be many of the peers have, in any given field,

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to identify things where the Commons has got it wrong in the sense that

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the legislation wouldn't achieve what the Government of the day is

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seeking to make it achieve. That is a serious proper role for an Upper

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House and the House of Lords performs it pretty

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Now this is a very different case. This is a two clause bill. The first

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clause which is the operative clause says the Prime Minister should go

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ahead and sign... I understand all that. We haven't got that much time,

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this is becoming a monologue. There is nothing to scrutinise, Andrew.

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There were plenty of amendments put before the Commons, none of them got

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through, it is true. There are eight Labour amendments in the Lords, are

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you resigned to this bill coming back to the Commons with amendments?

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No, it should not come back with amendments. There were hundreds of

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amendments literally put down in the House of Commons, they were all

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drunk. They were all trying one way or another to derail the process.

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This is a binary issue, should Theresa May sign the withdrawal or

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not? What should the Commons do? The Commons has now voted in favour of

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it. Node do should tolerate and unelected chamber forcing the

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British people... The people voted in a referendum and the Commons

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voted. The matter is now signed and sealed and should not be derailed by

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the House of Lords. On Labour amendment wants confirmation that

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when it is done, the potential Brexit agreement will be put before

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parliament before any vote in the European Parliament, that has been

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an agreed principle, what is wrong with that amendments? The government

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has already agreed there will be a vote, but actually, what the

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amendments were seeking was to give the Commons a further vote on

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whether we actually leave or not. That is already decided. Neither the

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House of Lords nor anybody else has a right in my view, despite the fact

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I was a remain, to what the will of the British people. Nobody should

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think an unelected chamber should now try to change the course of

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British history by asserting amendments in a very effective on

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clause bill which says go ahead and trigger Article 50. Are you

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concerned that amendments by the Lords which would then have to go

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back to the Commons for consideration, are you concerned

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that could derail or delay the Prime Minister's timetable for Article 50?

:18:41.:18:45.

Yes, exactly. That would be the result of a prolonged bout of

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ping-pong between the two houses, or much worse, if the House of Lords

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failed to give way and the Parliament act had to be used. It

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would really be intolerable. It is not good for our country. Those of

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us who voted remain would prefer for that not to happen. The whole

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country -- it is important for the whole country that this happens in a

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rapid way and allowing the government free rein to negotiate,

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that is surely in all our advantages? Deed think any efforts

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to abolish the House of Lords, an issue you have raised, does that

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make it easier because your friend David Cameron stuffed the upper

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chamber with donors, lapdogs and lingerie designers? I was among

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those who advocated for many years wholesale reform of the House of

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Lords, to turn it into a serious elected second chamber. I think we

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should have an upper house which commands legitimacy. This is a

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second issue. Here we have not got such a House and it seems to be very

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clear that it should not seek to derail on delay the action which has

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been mandated by the referendum, agreed by the House of Commons, and

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what we want to see now is a smooth orderly effect for this bill, so it

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becomes law and Theresa May can go ahead and negotiate on our behalf.

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One more question on the process, if the Lords to amend the bill and it

:20:16.:20:18.

goes back to the Commons and the Commons sends these amendments back

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again, take them out, how long could this ping-pong between the two

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chambers go on in your experience? It is a very, very interesting and

:20:32.:20:35.

complicated question with the clerks of the two ends of the Palace of

:20:36.:20:40.

Westminster not always agreeing about this. But through certain

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machinations of slightly changing amendments as they go, in my

:20:46.:20:48.

experience this could carry on for an awful long time if clever people,

:20:49.:20:52.

and there are plenty of clever people in the House of Lords, want

:20:53.:20:55.

to do that and that is precisely why I think we should not tolerate it.

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Oliver Letwin, thank you for joining us from Dorset.

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Joining me now is Labour's Leader in the House of Lords, Angela Smith.

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The Commons passed this bill without any amendments... There were

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changes, the government did concede a couple of points. But the

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amendments did not go through. Does that put pressure on the Lords to do

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the same? I think the Lords always feels under pressure to do the right

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thing. When I heard Oliver Letwin, I did not know whether to laugh or

:21:28.:21:33.

cry. We will not frustrate, we will not wreck, we will not sabotage. We

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will do what David Davis said was our patriotic duty. We will

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scrutinise the bill. We have at amendments from the Labour Party. We

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will look at those. It depends on the government response if we vote

:21:48.:21:50.

on those. There could be amendments asking the Commons to look again.

:21:51.:21:54.

That is normally what we do. It is not the wrong thing to do. But if

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you do this and make amendments, it then goes back to the Commons. If

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the Commons rejects the Lords' amendments, what do you think will

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happen? I do not see any extended ping-pong at all. It is perfectly

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legitimate. We are not talking about the outcome of negotiations, we are

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talking about the process. The process of engaging with Parliament

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and reporting to Parliament. It would be totally responsible for

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Parliament to say, off you go, Theresa May, have two years of

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negotiation and come back and talk to us at the end. The has to be a

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process where the government can use the expertise of parliament to get

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this right. But if you do put in some amendments, it has to go back

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to the Commons, they may well say they don't want those amendments and

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it may go back to the Lords, could that at the very least delay the

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Prime Minister's Brexit timetable? I don't think so. She said the end of

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March. Time has been built in for all the normal processes. I think

:22:58.:23:01.

Oliver Letwin and others are getting a bit overexcited. This is the

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normal process. Unless the government get things right the

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first time every time, the has to be this kind of process. These are

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reasonable amendments. This is a Labour amendment we are talking

:23:14.:23:17.

about here, you want a vote in the UK Parliament before any

:23:18.:23:30.

vote in the European Parliament if and when the Brexit deal is done,

:23:31.:23:34.

the Commons and the Lords get to vote on it first. But the government

:23:35.:23:37.

I think have already agreed to that so what is the point? It needs to be

:23:38.:23:41.

on the face of the bill. It is over well if the government have agreed

:23:42.:23:43.

it. Lord dubs had an agreement about child and look what happened to

:23:44.:23:47.

that. Does not sound as if you would go to the wire on that? It is

:23:48.:23:53.

important it is not just about the vote at the end, you have the

:23:54.:23:57.

ongoing engagement. If it is going to be a bad deal, we need to know

:23:58.:24:03.

long before we get to that stage? Is it something you would hold out for?

:24:04.:24:08.

I don't know yet. It is about how the House of Lords votes, Labour do

:24:09.:24:13.

not have a majority, we never had a majority in the House of Lords when

:24:14.:24:17.

we were in government. It is wrong to suggest that we cannot debate

:24:18.:24:22.

these issues... I don't think anyone is suggesting that. They are. It is

:24:23.:24:28.

not unfair to ask the government to ask the House of Commons to look

:24:29.:24:31.

again to look at those issues if that is what the House of Lords

:24:32.:24:36.

decides. Bit of the House of Commons says we looked, we are sticking with

:24:37.:24:40.

what we voted for, we rejected every amendment by at least 30 votes on

:24:41.:24:45.

all occasions, the Lords then have to buckle, is that what you are

:24:46.:24:49.

saying? Some point I think it is clear the House of Commons have to

:24:50.:24:53.

have its say. I think it is inconceivable that having had a

:24:54.:24:57.

referendum, which was not overwhelming, but it was a clear

:24:58.:25:03.

result, the House of Lords has no intention of sabotaging that but

:25:04.:25:05.

there are things which are not good about the process that we think

:25:06.:25:09.

could be improved. We have not just have the result of the referendum

:25:10.:25:14.

which voted to leave, but we have had the will of the Commons that

:25:15.:25:19.

passed this legislation by a majority of 372. And I am not

:25:20.:25:26.

contesting that for a second! Could you cite a precedent for the upper

:25:27.:25:30.

house amending a bill which passed by 372 votes in the Commons? Quite

:25:31.:25:35.

other things will come to the House of Lords with big majorities from

:25:36.:25:37.

the Commons and quite often the amendments we get, with that then

:25:38.:25:42.

forward and the government sees it could do better. Though not

:25:43.:25:48.

necessarily saying the government has got things wrong, but they could

:25:49.:25:50.

do things better. That happens time and time again and it is not

:25:51.:25:56.

unusual. If you were seen to thwart the referendum result and the vote

:25:57.:26:01.

in the Commons, the elected chamber of parliament, is the threat of

:26:02.:26:05.

abolition hanging over you? I think that is really ridiculous and

:26:06.:26:09.

absolute nonsense. We are not tying to what the decision of the House of

:26:10.:26:12.

Commons, we are trying to do better. It is a bit rich of the government

:26:13.:26:16.

and Oliver Letwin to complain about getting things through in time when

:26:17.:26:21.

the House of Commons spent -- the government spent three months trying

:26:22.:26:26.

to debate this issue. There have been some strong questions put to

:26:27.:26:29.

the government from the House of Lords on all sides. I don't know if

:26:30.:26:33.

the amendments have been passed or not. I think we have a good case for

:26:34.:26:42.

the government to get debate the point. If a traditional MP like

:26:43.:26:49.

Oliver Letwin is calling for the abolition of the hereditary and

:26:50.:26:52.

appointed chamber, and the Labour person like yourself was trying to

:26:53.:26:56.

defend that, that would not be a sustainable position, I would

:26:57.:27:02.

suggest! We saw this with the Strathclyde report as well, this is

:27:03.:27:04.

a government like no other. It is the first Conservative government in

:27:05.:27:07.

history not to have an automatic majority. They do not like challenge

:27:08.:27:13.

or scrutiny. But you get my point, Labour cannot go to the wire in

:27:14.:27:18.

defending and an elected second chamber, can it? Actually, Labour

:27:19.:27:21.

can go to the wire in saying the government does not get it right

:27:22.:27:24.

every time. House of Lords is going to normal processes and people like

:27:25.:27:31.

Oliver Letwin are really getting a little bit over excited, and people

:27:32.:27:35.

who have been anonymously briefing. Who has been anonymously briefing? I

:27:36.:27:42.

don't know, they are anonymous! I understand people want to make

:27:43.:27:45.

amendments, that is the role of the House of Lords, but can I just for

:27:46.:27:49.

the avoidance of doubt, is it still your case that whatever amendments

:27:50.:27:53.

to make, whatever may go back and forward, it is not your intention to

:27:54.:27:58.

stop Article 50 being triggered by the end of March? I have been saying

:27:59.:28:04.

that, exactly that for months and months and months. It is

:28:05.:28:07.

inconceivable that an unelected House will thwart the will of the

:28:08.:28:10.

House of Commons and a referendum on this issue. But that does not mean

:28:11.:28:14.

we will be bullied by Oliver Letwin and others. But the triggering will

:28:15.:28:19.

happen by the end of March? I very much suspect so unless Theresa May

:28:20.:28:25.

has second thoughts, I suspect that will happen. Thank you.

:28:26.:28:28.

Now, just because it's parliamentary recess next week

:28:29.:28:29.

There are two by-elections round the corner -

:28:30.:28:33.

one in Copeland, and another in Stoke-on-Trent Central

:28:34.:28:35.

where the former Shadow Education Secretary,

:28:36.:28:37.

Tristram Hunt, vacated his seat to take up a role

:28:38.:28:39.

as Director of the Victoria Albert Museum in London.

:28:40.:28:42.

But Labour are facing a fight to hold onto the constituency

:28:43.:28:45.

Seconds away, Ukip's new leader has stepped into the ring

:28:46.:28:51.

as their candidate in a by-election bout to see

:28:52.:28:53.

At the last election Ukip came second to Labour here

:28:54.:29:01.

But now they are confident they can land a knockout blow,

:29:02.:29:05.

because this place is packed with people that voted to leave the EU.

:29:06.:29:12.

70% of people voted to leave the European Union.

:29:13.:29:15.

I'm the only candidate standing in this election

:29:16.:29:23.

who is a true Brexiteer, who has always campaigned to leave

:29:24.:29:26.

the EU and therefore I believe I would be the best person

:29:27.:29:29.

But he has had to fight off allegations

:29:30.:29:31.

he wasn't living in the constituency when he entered the contest.

:29:32.:29:34.

Explain to me what is going on with this issue about your house?

:29:35.:29:37.

Well, we took up the lease the day before nominations.

:29:38.:29:40.

Everything we've done is perfectly legal and within the law.

:29:41.:29:42.

The Labour Party are trying to get off the real issues in this election

:29:43.:29:48.

and focus on something which is banal nonsense.

:29:49.:29:54.

And there's been trouble as well for the Labour contender.

:29:55.:30:00.

He's been labelled a Remoaner after he sent a series

:30:01.:30:02.

of anti-Brexit tweets, filled with words

:30:03.:30:05.

I can't believe I'm about to ask this question in a nursery

:30:06.:30:16.

on a Sunday morning TV programme, but did you really tweet that

:30:17.:30:18.

I tweeted many things about Brexit, that's tweet is out there.

:30:19.:30:23.

It was done quite after the referendum result and it

:30:24.:30:26.

was my way of showing my frustration at the fact that months

:30:27.:30:29.

after the result we hadn't had anything from the government.

:30:30.:30:34.

Theresa May had failed to produce any plan,

:30:35.:30:36.

she had failed to give any meaningful statement

:30:37.:30:38.

about what Brexit meant other than bland statements

:30:39.:30:40.

about Brexit is Brexit, and it's a hard Brexit, or a soft Brexit.

:30:41.:30:43.

The context of it was it was out of frustration.

:30:44.:30:47.

So you didn't mean to insult the 70% of the people who live here

:30:48.:30:50.

I never mean to insult anybody and you know,

:30:51.:30:53.

I've made it quite clear, if I'm elected as the member

:30:54.:30:56.

of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central, I will absolutely respect

:30:57.:30:58.

the wishes of the people of Stoke Central.

:30:59.:31:00.

I will make sure my vote in parliament is to trigger Article 50.

:31:01.:31:04.

While the Tories' man has done little bit of rebranding too.

:31:05.:31:07.

I voted Remain and I've been open about that, but my top priority

:31:08.:31:10.

is about the economy and to ensure we still have an

:31:11.:31:13.

Theresa May has set out clear proposal to ensure we develop

:31:14.:31:16.

a trade relationship with Europe and make that a success.

:31:17.:31:26.

It means the Lib Dems and the Greens are the ones battling Brexit.

:31:27.:31:30.

Well, when the Lib Dem candidate is actually here.

:31:31.:31:32.

The candidate is a consultant cardiologist.

:31:33.:31:38.

He is actually at work today doing very important heart surgery.

:31:39.:31:40.

He will be back tomorrow, back on the campaign trail working hard.

:31:41.:31:43.

30% of people voted to Remain and nobody else

:31:44.:31:47.

is representing them, so, you know, it is still a live issue.

:31:48.:31:51.

It is still something people care about.

:31:52.:31:52.

We are only at the start of the Article 50 process

:31:53.:31:55.

We are very a clear that we are standing up for those

:31:56.:32:00.

who want to remain in the single market, who want to protect jobs

:32:01.:32:03.

Labour have taken people for granted in this area for a great many years.

:32:04.:32:08.

Ukip, I'm afraid, all Ukip can offer to politics is division.

:32:09.:32:11.

I've covered a lot of by-elections where Ukip have come second.

:32:12.:32:13.

We'll find out if they really got Labour on the ropes this

:32:14.:32:16.

And here is a full list of all the candidates standing

:32:17.:32:36.

in the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election.

:32:37.:32:47.

They do atract lots of candidates. You can get that on the BBC website

:32:48.:32:56.

as well. I was trying to think back, here we have the main opposition

:32:57.:33:04.

party defending two seats in by-elections in the midterm of a

:33:05.:33:05.

government. All the speculation is where the

:33:06.:33:13.

opposition party can hold on, that is unprecedented. I can't give of an

:33:14.:33:18.

equivalent. You wouldn't just expect them to win seats they have held

:33:19.:33:24.

traditionally, you would expect hem to make inroads into seats held by

:33:25.:33:30.

the other party, I wonder if they fail to hold on to just one of

:33:31.:33:33.

these, whether it accelerates the momentum and criticism of the

:33:34.:33:39.

leadership of the moment. I think they are interesting constituencies.

:33:40.:33:43.

Matthew good win was talking about the left win coalition over the

:33:44.:33:49.

years, almost being too broad for its own good, including places like

:33:50.:33:56.

Primrose Hill and Hackney. Big university towns in Manchester,

:33:57.:34:00.

Bristol. Diverse ethnically and included places like Stoke which are

:34:01.:34:10.

more Conservative. With a small c. Less economically well-off, more

:34:11.:34:15.

diverse, can the left hang on to both bits of country. Recent

:34:16.:34:18.

evidence suggests it cannot and the opportunity for Ukip is to pick up

:34:19.:34:22.

the second of those two types of community, the Stokes and the cope

:34:23.:34:26.

lands. That what makes the by-elections interest I would

:34:27.:34:30.

suggest. It is not just about Mr Corbyn's future about which we hear

:34:31.:34:35.

too much, it is about this traditional Labour coalition, can it

:34:36.:34:39.

still survive, particularly in places like Stoke? Europe clearly is

:34:40.:34:43.

a test. I think it's a myth by the way that Labour are only split now,

:34:44.:34:51.

over Europe and it has always been a Tory problem, last time I was on I

:34:52.:34:55.

mentioned it. That is why we had a referendum in 75. That is why they

:34:56.:35:02.

had a round then. But they were in chaos behind the scenes over what

:35:03.:35:07.

they thought about the euro, skillful leadership can paper over

:35:08.:35:12.

the cracks, and to address the wider issue of whether we are now in an

:35:13.:35:16.

era where left right issues have disappeared, and there is more of a

:35:17.:35:21.

regional divide, if you take Europe out of the equation which you can't,

:35:22.:35:28.

but if you were able to, issues about health, transport housing do

:35:29.:35:31.

split more left-right than a regional divide, so I think there is

:35:32.:35:37.

still fundamental left-right issues, but Europe isn't one of them and

:35:38.:35:42.

Europe has to be managed by a Labour leader skill fully and evidently

:35:43.:35:46.

that hasn't happened now. How would you see the by-elections in the

:35:47.:35:51.

current political context? Labour should be walking them, it should be

:35:52.:35:56.

a sign of the March of the Labour Party taking on the current

:35:57.:35:58.

Conservative Government. I don't think they raise any questions about

:35:59.:36:01.

Corbyn's leadership because the people who put him in don't think

:36:02.:36:05.

that winning elections matter, you have to remember this will be the

:36:06.:36:10.

mainstream media, it will be our fault why any of those Labour

:36:11.:36:15.

candidates don't win, the thing that is interesting is whether there is

:36:16.:36:18.

is a role for Ukip. The argument after the referendum was Ukip has

:36:19.:36:22.

done its job, it got the referendum, nothing to see here, I remember

:36:23.:36:28.

speaking to put a Nuttall before he was Ukip leader, on the day after

:36:29.:36:34.

the battle and he said this is Year Zero, where Ukip starts now, and

:36:35.:36:38.

this, and this is the interesting thing, does, do we see this one

:36:39.:36:42.

particular party having a role in the future? And I think it is all to

:36:43.:36:46.

play for, they could not not have stood in this seat. They have to win

:36:47.:36:51.

it to be an electoral force. The Labour candidate in Copeland has

:36:52.:36:54.

made the NHS the issue for her in this, that goes into the left-right,

:36:55.:36:58.

are we spending enough, are we not? That will be a test of what you were

:36:59.:37:04.

saying to see if traditional left-right issue, which at the

:37:05.:37:07.

moment would play Labour's way I would suggest, are big enough to

:37:08.:37:11.

overcome all the things you have been talking about and Matthew has

:37:12.:37:15.

been talking about. Maybe at this particular junction they are not,

:37:16.:37:19.

but I don't think any of those issues will go away, and that is why

:37:20.:37:25.

I question whether we are see the end of a historic left-right divide.

:37:26.:37:31.

At the moment with Europe so prominent, clearly these

:37:32.:37:34.

by-elections are unusual. And they will be a test of leadership for

:37:35.:37:38.

Theresa May in the coming months if not at the moment, as they have been

:37:39.:37:42.

in a way that he hasn't risen to, for the Labour leader.

:37:43.:37:47.

We will be leave on BBC One on the night, February 23rd off back of

:37:48.:37:50.

this week, we will bring you the result of both these crucial

:37:51.:37:52.

It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics.

:37:53.:37:56.

We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now

:37:57.:37:59.

Coming up here in 20 minutes, the Week Ahead.

:38:00.:38:02.

First though, the Sunday Politics where you are.

:38:03.:38:09.

On today's show: Dorset council leaders this week asked

:38:10.:38:15.

the government to let them merge into two unitary authorities -

:38:16.:38:19.

A third of the councils oppose the plan, so where's

:38:20.:38:23.

First let's meet the two politicians who'll be with me

:38:24.:38:29.

Louise Goldsmith is the Conservative leader

:38:30.:38:32.

Paul Harvey is the leader of the Labour group on Basingstoke

:38:33.:38:38.

Local government finance was back in the news this week.

:38:39.:38:43.

When's it ever left it, you might ask?

:38:44.:38:45.

First we had Surrey County Council abandoning its plans

:38:46.:38:48.

for a referendum on a 15% council tax hike, amid allegations

:38:49.:38:52.

of a "sweetheart deal" being offered by the government to stop

:38:53.:38:55.

And then the think tank the Local Government Information Unit came out

:38:56.:39:01.

with a survey of local councils' finances in which one in ten

:39:02.:39:05.

believed they were in danger of failing to deliver core services.

:39:06.:39:10.

Councils are allowed to place a 3% precept on council tax

:39:11.:39:13.

Nine out of ten say it's not enough money, it won't make up the gap.

:39:14.:39:19.

Councils will retain 100% of the new business rates,

:39:20.:39:24.

half of councils tell us they will be worse off under

:39:25.:39:27.

The things they do want to do, increased powers over charging,

:39:28.:39:34.

ability to raise hotel taxes or other local taxes,

:39:35.:39:38.

revaluation of council tax bands, these things are off

:39:39.:39:41.

On that survey, Southern councils, fewer of them thought

:39:42.:39:47.

they would lose out on retention of business rates

:39:48.:39:50.

Surrey County Council, Louise, any discussions

:39:51.:39:56.

with central government about retaining business rates?

:39:57.:39:59.

Any memorandum of understanding, any deal?

:40:00.:40:02.

I will not talk about Surrey County Council.

:40:03.:40:05.

Your council tax people might ask why you haven't had a conversation.

:40:06.:40:09.

We have been working hard all year on our budget,

:40:10.:40:11.

we have had huge pressures on adult social care and children's social

:40:12.:40:16.

care, we are meeting those and will be going to council

:40:17.:40:20.

on Friday with a proposed increase of 3.95%.

:40:21.:40:25.

Which is about a ?50 rise for band E properties.

:40:26.:40:29.

It is asking people to pay more but then your costs are going up.

:40:30.:40:36.

Our costs are going up, as again adult social care

:40:37.:40:40.

We respect our residents, it is their money they are giving us

:40:41.:40:47.

and they are having pressures, they will have an eight or 9%

:40:48.:40:51.

increase in electricity and gas, an increase in car fuel

:40:52.:40:57.

and with the low pound, that will mean more money

:40:58.:41:00.

we are paying for our shopping and we are are aware of that.

:41:01.:41:04.

We did a survey that said people would accept 3.75 so we have

:41:05.:41:09.

We are a traditional Conservative council and live within our means.

:41:10.:41:18.

Would you have asked for 15 in Basingstoke?

:41:19.:41:22.

It shows about adult social care, if those are the pressures

:41:23.:41:25.

councils are facing, it's the same in Hampshire,

:41:26.:41:27.

?55 million cut coming in adult social care,

:41:28.:41:32.

then why is it that Surrey gets offered a secret deal?

:41:33.:41:36.

If that is how the government goes about its business it's shocking

:41:37.:41:39.

The texts are there for everyone to see.

:41:40.:41:46.

Sajid Javid said they are running a pilot on bringing forward

:41:47.:41:56.

the business rate tax in 2018, people will be invited to join that.

:41:57.:42:03.

It was clearly on the website, that was on offer.

:42:04.:42:11.

If this is how the Conservative treat social care, whether a deal

:42:12.:42:14.

This is a serious issue and needs to be treated properly.

:42:15.:42:20.

We are aware of that, we had a big debate in the county council

:42:21.:42:27.

in December across all parties, we need a real review

:42:28.:42:32.

I have had a letter back from Sajid Javid looking at how

:42:33.:42:40.

they can start working on that so there are things going

:42:41.:42:43.

on but we have had a high increase in demographics,

:42:44.:42:46.

a lot of pressures for us and that is being put on us

:42:47.:42:50.

at a time when we are having to look at costs.

:42:51.:42:54.

Are you going to lose votes over this?

:42:55.:42:56.

I think people understand we are trying to do our best

:42:57.:42:58.

and we will continue to deliver that.

:42:59.:43:04.

We are investing in adult social care but we are looking at how

:43:05.:43:07.

we deliver those social care services, how we deliver

:43:08.:43:09.

and a lot of this work is long-term preventative work with partners.

:43:10.:43:15.

But it doesn't bring the savings as quickly as we would like.

:43:16.:43:19.

Reorganising adult social care, I understand that, we want to see

:43:20.:43:22.

the NHS working alongside social care, but like in Hampshire,

:43:23.:43:26.

where a 16% increase in some residential care,

:43:27.:43:29.

that is a massive figure, ?100 a week some residents

:43:30.:43:32.

are being asked to pay more because of cuts

:43:33.:43:35.

A lot of the South-east, we have a strong economy getting

:43:36.:43:43.

workers into work in social care, it's a great industry to work

:43:44.:43:48.

in and we are encouraging recruitment but we have almost full

:43:49.:43:52.

employment here and that puts extra pressures on,

:43:53.:43:56.

so the South-east has some particular pressures which may not

:43:57.:44:00.

be quite so strong in other parts of the country.

:44:01.:44:03.

It sounds like a special case to be made to someone.

:44:04.:44:06.

We will keep pressing because this cross-party,

:44:07.:44:10.

You might remember a couple of weeks back we were talking

:44:11.:44:16.

about the new supposedly fairer funding formula for schools.

:44:17.:44:19.

Well, at PMQs this week several MPs brought up with the Prime Minister

:44:20.:44:23.

the unfairness of it, as they saw it.

:44:24.:44:26.

And a group of Oxfordshire schools were warning that with half

:44:27.:44:28.

of the county's schools set to get less money, it could mean

:44:29.:44:32.

bigger class sizes or cuts to teaching hours.

:44:33.:44:36.

Joining me now from our Oxford studio is Catherine Darnton

:44:37.:44:39.

of the Oxfordshire Secondary Schools Head Teachers Association.

:44:40.:44:43.

You have got some schools doing better, some schools doing worse.

:44:44.:44:50.

That's what happens when you sort out fairness.

:44:51.:44:54.

Unfortunately Oxfordshire has been one of the worst funded local

:44:55.:44:58.

authorities for many years, we have worked hard with our MPs

:44:59.:45:03.

to campaign through the f40 group for an increase in funding

:45:04.:45:07.

and I don't think it had crossed any of our minds until the proposals

:45:08.:45:11.

were published in December that the county would see such

:45:12.:45:15.

You weren't campaigning for fairer funding, just saying more money.

:45:16.:45:24.

We were campaigning for fairer funding.

:45:25.:45:26.

We were in the bottom quarter of authorities by funding.

:45:27.:45:29.

The range in the country was roughly 4500 per pupil to 6500 per pupil,

:45:30.:45:37.

so if we were in the bottom 40 we expected an equalisation

:45:38.:45:43.

so all pupils would receive roughly ?5500 each, but obviously with some

:45:44.:45:50.

weighting for pupils with deprivation and low prior

:45:51.:45:54.

attainment and additional needs receiving more,

:45:55.:45:57.

But on average in Oxfordshire, funding will increase,

:45:58.:46:02.

you have eight schools losing, 27 gaining or no change, according

:46:03.:46:08.

to the government's assessment, and three of those gained over 4%

:46:09.:46:11.

Those numbers are for the secondary schools

:46:12.:46:17.

Overall across the whole authority there are 130

:46:18.:46:21.

losers and 133 winners, but inflation is running at over

:46:22.:46:29.

1.5%, pay rises are running at 1%, schools are being given the same

:46:30.:46:34.

amount of money per pupil in flat cash terms since 2010

:46:35.:46:39.

and the National Audit Office said before Christmas that schools

:46:40.:46:43.

are facing an 8% real terms cut between now and 2020,

:46:44.:46:49.

so offering Oxford schools 1.5% more will hardly meet the cost pressures

:46:50.:46:54.

of just one year and we have already had seven years of cost pressures

:46:55.:46:58.

What are the consequences if you don't get the sort

:46:59.:47:02.

We have understood the need for austerity and since 2010 every

:47:03.:47:11.

year because of inflation and pay rises and increases

:47:12.:47:15.

in pension contributions and National Insurance,

:47:16.:47:17.

we have to provide the same education for less money,

:47:18.:47:23.

so the 20% of school budgets which are not to do with staff costs

:47:24.:47:27.

have been cut and cut and there is nothing more

:47:28.:47:31.

We have cut resources and IT, we have cut maintenance of buildings

:47:32.:47:36.

and are getting to the point where we can only cut people

:47:37.:47:40.

and if you are going to have fewer teachers, the only way you can

:47:41.:47:44.

manage is for there to be either larger classes

:47:45.:47:48.

We don't carry any slack, even in a secondary school,

:47:49.:47:57.

we carry about two thirds of the teacher slack to make

:47:58.:48:02.

the timetable build, we have nothing else and that is why

:48:03.:48:06.

you cannot ask us to cut any more without having a demonstrable impact

:48:07.:48:12.

on students' education and a consequent fall in standards

:48:13.:48:17.

and that is why it is so important to fight for Oxfordshire

:48:18.:48:20.

because we don't want to be a locality where we cannot go

:48:21.:48:23.

We have improved our schools well in the past few years

:48:24.:48:26.

These are proposals at the moment to sort out funding,

:48:27.:48:31.

you must be concerned that they will have to last

:48:32.:48:34.

for a long time and unless you get it right now you will be stuck.

:48:35.:48:39.

That's right, I think this is a once in my professional career

:48:40.:48:43.

opportunity for this to be sorted out right and it wouldn't be

:48:44.:48:48.

overstating it to say when I saw the proposals I was devastated.

:48:49.:48:53.

It hadn't crossed my mind that Oxfordshire wouldn't be

:48:54.:48:56.

substantially better funded to the tune of 8% or 10%,

:48:57.:49:01.

It's very hard when a proposal has been published which tells schools

:49:02.:49:08.

what they could expect under the new formula, to challenge that.

:49:09.:49:12.

They want to bring it in in April 2018 but we say they must

:49:13.:49:15.

The consultation closes on the 22nd of March

:49:16.:49:19.

and it is crucial that governors, teachers, headteachers,

:49:20.:49:22.

parents say this is not the model they want.

:49:23.:49:27.

Paul Harvey, you were also looking for fairer funding

:49:28.:49:33.

for rural schools in particular, so would you say the budget needs

:49:34.:49:37.

Yes, that is the reality teachers are saying.

:49:38.:49:41.

Even on this formula, on the increase that has

:49:42.:49:44.

been put on the table, it doesn't meet their cost

:49:45.:49:46.

Hampshire is looking at taking ?51 million off its education budget

:49:47.:49:51.

That is talking about teachers being sacked, schools cutting

:49:52.:49:58.

One of my local primary schools is facing ?100,000

:49:59.:50:02.

taken off its budget, a local secondary school is facing

:50:03.:50:06.

?390,000 taken off its budget, that means teachers in classrooms

:50:07.:50:11.

being made redundant and it is a huge issue

:50:12.:50:15.

if you want to keep the quality of teaching, which we all

:50:16.:50:18.

Louise, you campaigned for fairer funding.

:50:19.:50:22.

We did campaign very heavily and joined the f40,

:50:23.:50:28.

now we are campaigning to make sure it is fairer funding.

:50:29.:50:32.

We are about 35% worse off and like many Shire counties have

:50:33.:50:38.

similar issues to Oxford and I think we ought to have a Shire challenge

:50:39.:50:41.

like the London challenge, but the point being made by our MPs

:50:42.:50:48.

and teachers is that we want to go for the minimus, and that means

:50:49.:50:53.

all schools have a basic cost, whatever it is to run a primary

:50:54.:51:00.

or secondary school, the costs are pretty well the same

:51:01.:51:03.

across the country, then you add on extra costs,

:51:04.:51:06.

especially in an area with deprivation, that

:51:07.:51:09.

would be a fairer way, a lot of MPs are backing that.

:51:10.:51:14.

This consultation finishes on the 22nd of March so we have time

:51:15.:51:18.

to lobby and put the case and I know our headteachers

:51:19.:51:22.

I think this was a common theme across the Shire so hopefully

:51:23.:51:28.

We will need more money on the table, we will have to.

:51:29.:51:34.

Now, nine into two just won't go, say three of them.

:51:35.:51:40.

OK, that sounds like gobbledegook, but it's all about the row brewing

:51:41.:51:44.

over reorganising the nine Dorset councils into two larger

:51:45.:51:48.

unitary authorities, thus cutting the number

:51:49.:51:51.

of councillors and saving money, so it's claimed by those in favour.

:51:52.:51:54.

Only problem is - three of the nine councils actually aren t in favour.

:51:55.:51:58.

Our Dorset political reporter Tristan Pascoe takes up

:51:59.:52:01.

The idea is to merge Dorset's nine councils and create

:52:02.:52:11.

two new unitary authorities - and that's the basis of the bid sent

:52:12.:52:15.

But not all of the nine partner councils support the plans -

:52:16.:52:20.

so would it be democratic for the Secretary of State to ignore

:52:21.:52:23.

those opponents and to impose it on the county anyway?

:52:24.:52:29.

This is a very crude map of Dorset's current nine council areas,

:52:30.:52:33.

with the economic powerhouse of Bournemouth and Poole

:52:34.:52:36.

keen to merge with its neighbour Christchurch -

:52:37.:52:38.

and the other five councils all lumped together

:52:39.:52:40.

But recently, three small councils that butt up

:52:41.:52:48.

against the conurbation, Purbeck, East Dorset

:52:49.:52:52.

and Christchurch borough, voted no to being merged

:52:53.:52:57.

Despite the opposition of those three councils to being merged,

:52:58.:53:03.

the government has the final say and could foist the deal

:53:04.:53:06.

on the whole of Dorset - meaning those councils

:53:07.:53:10.

and councillors opposed could be merely tilting at windmills.

:53:11.:53:16.

And there has been considerable opposition.

:53:17.:53:20.

Cheers greeted the merger plans being rejected by Christchurch

:53:21.:53:23.

councillors and that may yet influence

:53:24.:53:26.

I don't see the Secretary of State imposing a decision

:53:27.:53:32.

against the will of three democratically elected councillors.

:53:33.:53:35.

He says he'll do all he can to thwart the plans.

:53:36.:53:41.

People want to keep control over their destiny.

:53:42.:53:45.

Bournemouth and Poole could join together and meanwhile

:53:46.:53:47.

we would have a combined authority which could deliver a strong

:53:48.:53:52.

Several schemes to devolve powers from Westminster to councils

:53:53.:53:59.

across the country have hit the buffers recently.

:54:00.:54:01.

Not least because the government appears to be fed up with councils

:54:02.:54:03.

and councillors unable to agree a deal between themselves.

:54:04.:54:08.

In Purbeck the council vote on the mergers was split 11-11.

:54:09.:54:12.

The plans rejected by the casting vote.

:54:13.:54:15.

A consultation showed support from more than 60% of Purbeck

:54:16.:54:18.

However, I couldn't find any on the beach.

:54:19.:54:23.

I don't think we'll be represented, Poole and bigger councils will get

:54:24.:54:29.

everything and we won't get anything done here.

:54:30.:54:32.

I don't know the benefits, I can't see what they are.

:54:33.:54:35.

I'm sure it will save money but at what cost to people?

:54:36.:54:41.

The challenges that will be met by councils somewhere

:54:42.:54:45.

like Weymouth will be different, I would imagine,

:54:46.:54:48.

Economically it's a good idea, over the long term

:54:49.:54:56.

it will save a lot of money, council money and buildings,

:54:57.:55:02.

but democratically it will cause a deficit.

:55:03.:55:05.

There will be less councillors so less representation

:55:06.:55:07.

of the people, perhaps less diversity within the county

:55:08.:55:11.

council and people will be less represented.

:55:12.:55:15.

What will it do for the political map of Dorset?

:55:16.:55:21.

It's likely to be a Conservative stranglehold, I'm not necessarily

:55:22.:55:29.

saying that's a terrible thing but it also freezes out

:55:30.:55:32.

But the man who may well end up leading the new Shire unitary

:55:33.:55:36.

This is not rocket science, it works well in Cornwall

:55:37.:55:40.

and Wiltshire, it is not a ground-breaking proposal.

:55:41.:55:43.

We are following the lead of some well-run authorities

:55:44.:55:45.

across the county in being as efficient as we can be.

:55:46.:55:48.

Given that three of the six district councils, a third of Dorset

:55:49.:55:52.

council have voted no, doesn't this make a mockery

:55:53.:55:56.

One of them was very narrow, it's right they should weigh these

:55:57.:56:00.

things up but I think we have to look at the bigger picture.

:56:01.:56:04.

Nine councils cannot be the best arrangement of delivering

:56:05.:56:07.

public service in a county the size of Dorset.

:56:08.:56:10.

Ultimately the final decision rests with the Secretary

:56:11.:56:18.

of State for Communities and Local Government,

:56:19.:56:20.

and if he says yes, there is a group of concerned residents ready

:56:21.:56:24.

to press go on a Judicial Review - and even calls from Greens,

:56:25.:56:27.

Lib Dems and Ukip councillors for a referendum to give

:56:28.:56:29.

the residents the final say on a decision that affects every

:56:30.:56:31.

single council tax payer in the county.

:56:32.:56:36.

It's the great hope for saving money.

:56:37.:56:42.

Somehow you can be more efficient with mergers or combined

:56:43.:56:44.

You think Sajid Javid will think he cannot make an omelette

:56:45.:56:50.

without breaking a few eggs and force it on them?

:56:51.:56:52.

I wouldn't know what he will be thinking but some of these councils

:56:53.:56:55.

are small, as finances get tight they will have to look

:56:56.:56:58.

We have a great model in West Sussex, they share costs, that is

:56:59.:57:08.

But there will always be somebody opposed to something like this.

:57:09.:57:13.

It would set a precedent if Dorset said enough of you are in favour

:57:14.:57:25.

the protest will have to go by the board.

:57:26.:57:27.

I think people are very sensitive to their place,

:57:28.:57:29.

their identity and if that can be protected and they have

:57:30.:57:32.

the reassurance of that, I think that would go a long way

:57:33.:57:35.

And at the moment it's rejected, are you saying come up

:57:36.:57:40.

with your own solution but it's not a veto.

:57:41.:57:42.

You need to take people with you on this.

:57:43.:57:45.

The point of being a councillor is you are accountable

:57:46.:57:47.

to your community and in Hampshire it's difficult when Wiltshire

:57:48.:57:53.

is so remote from Basingstoke, we see decisions being taken miles

:57:54.:57:58.

away that affect our residents and we want to make those decisions.

:57:59.:58:02.

But when it comes to issues like social care and education,

:58:03.:58:08.

those decisions do affect local communities.

:58:09.:58:16.

Hampshire are consulting now on closing one of our local

:58:17.:58:18.

secondary schools, that's being taken by a councillor

:58:19.:58:20.

from Gosport, so he will decide on a local school in Basingstoke

:58:21.:58:24.

and that is out of touch with residents who care

:58:25.:58:27.

So you want smaller sizes, not bigger sizes like people in Dorset.

:58:28.:58:35.

I am a passionate believer in unitary authorities where weak share

:58:36.:58:37.

Paul makes a point that sometimes it takes time to do consultation,

:58:38.:58:45.

if you look at Manchester that got it right with the associations

:58:46.:58:48.

Going slowly, having good conversations is the way

:58:49.:59:00.

Now our regular round-up of the political week

:59:01.:59:05.

Arrests in Portsmouth broadcast live on Facebook.

:59:06.:59:18.

Can you see what's happening right now?

:59:19.:59:21.

Protesters have been trying to prevent the City Council taking

:59:22.:59:24.

control of an arts centre in Victoria Park.

:59:25.:59:27.

Thames Valley and Hampshire Police are to use spit hoods

:59:28.:59:31.

despite opposition from human right organisations.

:59:32.:59:36.

When they stop spitting, the spit guard will be removed.

:59:37.:59:39.

Teachers are using body cameras in the classroom.

:59:40.:59:43.

Getting a child to look at their behaviour.

:59:44.:59:48.

I have a camera on my car, it's the same principle.

:59:49.:59:55.

But they're reducing technology with raw milk straight

:59:56.:59:57.

from the cow at Northville farm dairy in Buckinghamshire.

:59:58.:00:01.

From the shack to the shed, men's shed project near Andover

:00:02.:00:09.

offering man the working environment they might miss when they retire.

:00:10.:00:12.

Because they haven't anything else better to do.

:00:13.:00:18.

Absolutely not, that is why men's sheds, all but community

:00:19.:00:28.

where people can get together, we learn a lot from each

:00:29.:00:31.

other and that is a great side of human beings.

:00:32.:00:33.

The two things that scare me, Donald Trump's tweets,

:00:34.:00:40.

Politics, shaking hands, meeting people, talking about their issues,

:00:41.:00:43.

engaging face-to-face, that is where real politics is done.

:00:44.:00:45.

That's been Sunday Politics in the South.

:00:46.:00:48.

Thanks to my guests, Louise Goldsmith and Paul Harvey.

:00:49.:00:52.

We're off next week for half term but back in a fortnight

:00:53.:00:55.

For now, though, it's back to Andrew.

:00:56.:01:03.

After the excitement and late nights in the Commons last week,

:01:04.:01:14.

MPs are having a little break this week as we head into

:01:15.:01:17.

But there's still plenty in the diary in the near future -

:01:18.:01:21.

let's just remind ourselves of some key upcoming dates.

:01:22.:01:28.

There they are. We have the two by-elections on February 23rd. The

:01:29.:01:38.

budget is 8th March. That will be the last spring budget under this

:01:39.:01:41.

Government because it moves to the autumn.

:01:42.:01:56.

That round of French elections narrows the candidates, probably

:01:57.:02:02.

about eight or nine, down to two, the two who come first and second,

:02:03.:02:08.

then go into a play off round on May 7th. That will determine the next

:02:09.:02:15.

President. Steve, listening to Oliver Letwin and to the Labour

:02:16.:02:19.

leader in the House of Lords, is there any way you think that end of

:02:20.:02:22.

March deadline for Mrs May could be in jeopardy? No, I don't. Andrew

:02:23.:02:28.

Smith couldn't have been clearer with you they would do nothing to

:02:29.:02:33.

block not just Article 50 but that timetable, so I would be surprised

:02:34.:02:39.

if they don't make it. Given her, Theresa May's explicit determination

:02:40.:02:43.

to do so, not to do so would have become a problem for her, I think

:02:44.:02:48.

one way or another... No before this vote last week there was a vote nor

:02:49.:02:53.

the deadline, to agree the deadline by all sides. Plain sailing do you

:02:54.:02:58.

think? There is no serious Parliamentary resistance and it

:02:59.:03:00.

would be a personal embarrassment, I think for the Prime Minister to name

:03:01.:03:03.

the the end of March as the deadline and to miss it, unless she has a

:03:04.:03:10.

good excuse. I I reckon it will change the atmosphere of politics

:03:11.:03:14.

for the next two years, as soon as the negotiations begin, people in

:03:15.:03:17.

our profession will hunt for any detail and inside information we can

:03:18.:03:21.

find, thing also be leaked, I think from the European side from time to

:03:22.:03:25.

time, it will dominate the headlines for a solid two years and change

:03:26.:03:30.

politics. Let me just raise a possible, a dark cloud. No bigger

:03:31.:03:36.

than man's hand, that can complicate the timetable, because the Royal

:03:37.:03:39.

Assent on the current timetable has to come round the 13th. I would

:03:40.:03:45.

suggest that the Prime Minister can't trigger that until she does

:03:46.:03:49.

get the Royal Assent. If there is a bit of ping-pong that could delay

:03:50.:03:55.

that by receive day, the last thing the Europeans would want, they have

:03:56.:03:58.

another big meeting at the end of March which is the 60th anniversary

:03:59.:04:04.

of the Treaty of Rome. They don't want Article 50 to land on the

:04:05.:04:11.

table... It would infuriate everybody. My guess is she will have

:04:12.:04:16.

done it by then, this is between the Commons and the Lords, I mean Andrew

:04:17.:04:19.

Smith couldn't have been clearer, that they might send something back

:04:20.:04:26.

but they didn't expect a kind of a long play over this, so. The Liberal

:04:27.:04:31.

Democrats, they are almost an irrelevance in the Commons but not

:04:32.:04:36.

the Lords, they feel differently. Now, we don't know yet what the

:04:37.:04:41.

European Union negotiating position is going to be, we don't know

:04:42.:04:44.

because there are several crucial elections taking place, the Dutch

:04:45.:04:47.

taking place in March and then the one we put up, the French, and, at

:04:48.:04:52.

the moment, the French one is, it seems like it is coming down, to a

:04:53.:04:59.

play-off in the second round between Madame Le Pen who could come first

:05:00.:05:06.

in the first round and this Blairite figure, independent, centre-leftish

:05:07.:05:10.

Mr Macron, he may well get through and that, and the outcome of that

:05:11.:05:15.

will be an important determine napt on our negotiations. -- determinant.

:05:16.:05:20.

You o couldn't have two more different candidate, you have a

:05:21.:05:24.

national a front candidate and on the other hand the closest thing

:05:25.:05:29.

France could have you to a liberal President. With a small l. A

:05:30.:05:36.

reformist liberal President. It would be the most French thing in

:05:37.:05:41.

the world to elect someone who while the rest of the world is elected

:05:42.:05:48.

elitist, to elect someone who is the son of a teacher, who has liberal

:05:49.:05:54.

views, is a member of the French elite. It would be a thing for them

:05:55.:06:01.

to elect a man like that which I why I see them doing it. If it is Le

:06:02.:06:09.

Pen, Brexit becomes a minor sideshow, if it is Le Pen, the

:06:10.:06:13.

future of the European Union is? Danger, regardless of whether we are

:06:14.:06:20.

were in or out. I suggest if it is Mr Macron that presents some

:06:21.:06:24.

problems. He doesn't have his own party. He won't have a majority in

:06:25.:06:28.

the French assembly, he is untried and untested. He wants to do a

:06:29.:06:32.

number of things that will be unpopular which is why a number of

:06:33.:06:39.

people close to Mrs Le Pen tell me that she has her eye on 2022. She

:06:40.:06:47.

thinks lit go to hell in a hand basket under Mr Macron. He hasn't

:06:48.:06:53.

got the experience. What I find fascinating. It is not just all to

:06:54.:06:58.

play for in France, it is the fact what happens in France and Germany,

:06:59.:07:02.

not so much Holland I think but Germany later on in the year, how

:07:03.:07:08.

much it impacts what we are going to get. How much which ex #i78 panting

:07:09.:07:22.

on them. And at the time we are trying to, withdrawing ourself from

:07:23.:07:24.

European politics it is fascinating how much it will affect us. You see

:07:25.:07:28.

what Matthew was talking about earlier in the show, that what we do

:07:29.:07:34.

know, almost for sure, is that the socialist candidate will not get

:07:35.:07:37.

through to the second round. He could come firth but the

:07:38.:07:42.

centre-right candidate. If we were discussing that monthing a we would

:07:43.:07:46.

say it between teen the centre-right and the national fronts. We are to

:07:47.:07:51.

saying that. Matthew good win who spent a time in France isn't sure Le

:07:52.:07:55.

Pen will get into the second round, which is interesting. It is, I mean,

:07:56.:08:01.

it is going to be as important for the future of the European Union, as

:08:02.:08:08.

in retrospect the British 2015 general election was, if Labour had

:08:09.:08:11.

got in there would have been no referendum. That referendum has

:08:12.:08:14.

transformed the European Union because we are leaving and the

:08:15.:08:20.

French election is significant. We will be live from Paris on April

:08:21.:08:26.

23rd on the day France goings to the first round of polls. Tom Watson, he

:08:27.:08:31.

was on The Andrew Marr Show earlier today, was asked about Mr Corbyn,

:08:32.:08:32.

this is what he had to say. We had a damaging second leadership

:08:33.:08:37.

election, so we've got The polls aren't great for us,

:08:38.:08:41.

but I'm determined now we've got the leadership settled for this

:08:42.:08:44.

parliament, that we can focus on developing a very positive clear

:08:45.:08:47.

message to the British people So Julia, I don't know who are you

:08:48.:09:03.

are giggling. I find it untenable that, he is a very good media

:09:04.:09:08.

performer and he comes on and he is sitting there so well, you know,

:09:09.:09:11.

things are bad but don't worry we are looking at what we can do to win

:09:12.:09:16.

2020. The idea that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were sitting in their

:09:17.:09:22.

offices or on TV screens at this time in the electoral cycle thinking

:09:23.:09:26.

well I wonder if we can come up with a policy the British people might

:09:27.:09:31.

like. It is a nonsense, this is Tuesday night book zlufb. I am going

:09:32.:09:39.

to ask you the question I was going to before. I would suggest that he

:09:40.:09:46.

the right. The deputy Labour leader Tom Watson is violent the leadership

:09:47.:09:53.

is settled, with one caveat, unless the Corbynistas themselves to decide

:09:54.:09:57.

to move on Mr Corbyn, if the left of the Labour Party decides then it is

:09:58.:10:02.

not settled. Settled. If that doesn't happen that is That would be

:10:03.:10:06.

the worst situation if you are a Labour moderate. The Corbynistas

:10:07.:10:11.

would be saying the problem is no Corbynism, it is Corbyn himself, if

:10:12.:10:17.

we a younger person leading the process we can win the next general

:10:18.:10:22.

election, which means you have another itration of this, another

:10:23.:10:26.

five year experiment. And that is worst of all. If you are a Labour

:10:27.:10:34.

moderate, what you want is Jeremy Corbyn contest the next general

:10:35.:10:38.

election, possibly loses badly and then a Labour not moderate runs for

:10:39.:10:42.

the leadership saying we have tried your way, the worst would be Corbyn

:10:43.:10:47.

going, and a younger seven version of him trying and the experiment

:10:48.:10:52.

being extended. I see no easy way out of this. That is why he radiated

:10:53.:10:57.

the enthusiasm of someone in a hostage video in that interview.

:10:58.:11:02.

Maybe he has the Stockholm Syndrome now. The Labour moderates have had

:11:03.:11:09.

their day in the sun, two days in the sun and they lost. I suggest

:11:10.:11:12.

they are not going to try for the hat-trick again. Is there any

:11:13.:11:17.

indication that on the more Corbyn wing of the Labour Party, there is

:11:18.:11:24.

now doubts about their man. Yes, just to translate Tom Watson, what

:11:25.:11:29.

he meant was I Tom Watson am not going to get involved in another

:11:30.:11:35.

attempted coup. I tried it and it was a catastrophe. That is question

:11:36.:11:41.

enhe says it is set selled. It is because there is speculation on a

:11:42.:11:46.

daily basis. I disagree, Julia said I think this lot don't care about

:11:47.:11:52.

winning, I think they do. If the current position continue, one of

:11:53.:11:56.

two things will happen. Either Jeremy Corbyn will decide himself

:11:57.:12:00.

will decide he doesn't want to carry on. He half enjoys I it and half

:12:01.:12:07.

hates it. Finds it a strain. If that doesn't happen there will be some

:12:08.:12:11.

people round him who will say, look, this isn't working. There is another

:12:12.:12:17.

three-and-a-half years. There is a long way to go. I can't see it

:12:18.:12:23.

lasting in this way with politics in a state of flux, Tories will be

:12:24.:12:28.

under pressure in the coming two years, to have opinion polls at this

:12:29.:12:33.

level, I think is unsustainable. Final thought from you.? Yes, the

:12:34.:12:37.

idea it St another three-and-a-half years is just madness, but the

:12:38.:12:41.

people we are putting up at replacement for Jeremy Corbyn, and

:12:42.:12:47.

they have been focus grouping them. Most members wouldn't know who most

:12:48.:12:51.

of people were let alone most of the public.

:12:52.:12:55.

Angela rain? They are not overwhelmed with leadership

:12:56.:13:02.

potential at the moment. Very diplomatically put. Neither are the

:13:03.:13:06.

Tories, but they happened to have one at the moment. All right. That

:13:07.:13:08.

is it. Now, there's no Daily

:13:09.:13:11.

or Sunday Politics for the next week But the Daily Politics will be back

:13:12.:13:14.

on Monday 20th February and I'll be back here with the Sunday Politics

:13:15.:13:18.

on the 26th. Remember if it's Sunday,

:13:19.:13:22.

it's the Sunday Politics... Just back from

:13:23.:14:02.

a very long shift at work...

:14:03.:14:05.

Andrew Neil and Peter Henley present the latest political news, interviews and debate and are joined by shadow leader of the House of Lords Baroness Smith and Conservative Oliver Letwin. The political panellists are Janan Ganesh from the Financial Times, Julia Hartley-Brewer from talkRADIO and journalist Steve Richards.