The Daily Politics Conference Special

The Daily Politics Conference Special

Andrew Neil is in Manchester for the Conservative Party's annual conference, with Jo Coburn in Westminster with all the other top political stories of the day.

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Good afternoon. Welcome to the Daily Politics Conference special


live from Manchester. The sun has made an appearance on the


penultimate day of the Conservative party conference, perhaps in


defiance of Chancellor George Osborne's gloomy prognostications


yesterday. But whether you're gloomy or chirpy, it's fair to say


this has been a pretty uneventful conference so far. Business-like,


serious. A little apprehensive about how it's all going. No major


announcements, like last year's child benefit bombshell, except


perhaps the Chancellor's plan for credit easing, which few understand


and even his aides are struggling to explain. The conference will


continue its sober course today. But there will be substance. This


morning, Home Secretary Teresa May will take centre stage. It's


expected she will outline plans to re-write the immigration rules to


try to stop foreigners who commit crimes in the UK using the Human


Rights Act to avoid deportation. We'll be talking to her later in


the programme. We'll be taking a look at how the


coalition is fairing with an undercover Liberal Democrat MP and


an unhappy Tory backbencher. Last year I was roll up -- well received


at the Tory party conference. I even got a bear hug from Eric


Pickles. But now many Tory backbenchers are getting rebellious


so this time, I am going undercover. And that is not all! Our very own


Jo is in London. Yes, hello, Andrews.


Here in the capital, all eyes were on this morning's star turn, the


Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. A great favourite inside the hall and


already campaigning for re-election. But would the party turn to him if


ever Dave himself fell under the proverbial 88 from Clapham Common?


It is the halfway mark and I have had to get down on my hands and


knees because it was really close but now Boris is in the lead for of


We will talk about that later. We are nearly at the end of the


conference season. Three weeks of hard slog, hot rooms, overheating


white wine. Two days to go. But are we wilting? No! And look


we've found two fresh as a daisy journos to kick off the programme.


Back by popular demand... Their mothers have e-mailed me and asked


me to have them back on. Nick Watt from the Guardian and Sam Coates


from the Times. Welcome. Do you detect that this conference is flat


or am I imagining it? It is not surprised that people around David


Cameron say the Prime Minister would not be that upset if the


conference was reduced to one day, because really it is about one day,


his speech. Although there is the traditional parade of people


standing up to the podium behind me, not a lot of it matters. They don't


have debates, they don't have motions. I watched Jeremy Hunt


yesterday. It was like one of the programmes that will probably be on


his local TV! This whole conference season has been pretty dull. The


reason why it is that none of the party's have any leadership


challenges and although we have a coalition government, we know when


they let -- next election will be, spring 2015. But a dull conference


season. Out there, the world, the eurozone, is facing a very grave


crisis which could make the autumn of 2008 look like a party. They are


apprehensive about that. They are solidly behind George Osborne but


they have got both fingers crossed, probably their toes crossed as well,


because their political fate is in his hands. Absolutely. If you look


at the polling, eventually the public are stable and have not made


any big decisions. They are waiting to see whether the world ends, the


euro collapses, whether they will have jobs and money in two years,


or whether it will be fine. Yesterday you had George Osborne


who eventually gave a speech at Conservative Party conference aimed


primarily at the bond market, talking about securing money for


small firms, and that left a lot of people in the hall scratching their


heads. I was scratching my head as well! Dahl is good. We have just


had Boris Johnson. We were expecting a barnstorming


performance and it wasn't. It was not that exciting and it did not


set up the hall. He is looking to election in London next year and


possibly the leadership of the Conservative Party. Do you think


that Boris is a leadership contender? He is in his own mind.


Don't forget that he thinks that David Cameron is his intellectual


inferior. He would go around ten years ago saying, David Cameron is


just a PR man for Carlton TV, I and the classically educated editor of


the Spectator. Now we are 16 months into the government, it is quite


clear that George Osborne, the great rival, we think, for the


leadership, is slowly getting what could seem to be his team together.


He has a guard around him, a bunch of law real people. He is carving


out a distinctive personality. Disowning their early green stuff


that made David Cameron's name for him. You are starting to see the


early signs of a race between these two getting going, which is why it


watching one after the other is fascinating. I know the


Chancellor's speed got blown off because of all this Foxy Knoxy


business in Italy, but almost 24 hours after the speech, how does it


stand? Where does Mr Osborne's staters lie with his party?


great challenge could all -- a challenge for George Osborne was to


say he will promote growth for the economy but in a way that does not


involve moving from Plan A. That is difficult when you can no longer


control Monetary Policy. He has come up with credit easing that has


the flavour of a fiscal stimulus but does not involve spending money,


but also has the flavour of monetary activism. I was surprised


that the standing ovation was so short and lukewarm. He was barely


off the stage by the time they were filing out. It was not a speech for


the hall. It doesn't mean they don't like him but something did


not quite work. Either they just felt it was a serious speech for


series times and it was not designed to please them, but


alternatively there is a more worrying possibility. George


Osborne is the guy that must now protect Britain at one of the


biggest potential crisis, potentially, we have seen in the


last 30 years. I wonder whether people were thinking, crikey, is he


the man to do that? His strategy was to take the tough action, which


he did, and by now we should be seeing the beginnings of growth.


Hasn't happened. He is worried the economic cycle is going to be


longer than the political cycle. I heard on the radio this morning and


other European saying, we are not talking about a default on Greece,


that is not on the agenda. What plants are they on. We are running


out of time but I think that is what worries them. If the eurozone


does not get a grip, there is no way we can escape. When the finance


minister says there will not be a default, you can be pretty sure


there will be one. Thank you, gentlemen. Your parents will be


proud of you. They have not been behaving but I


will tell you about that later. The conference will not play a


formal role in developing party policy, so what is the point? What


does it do? Here is another conference jargon buster to find


out how the Conservatives run their The Conservative Party conference


is unlike its main rivals' party conferences in that in terms of


membership influence and policy- making, it has virtually no power


at all. Now it is all run by the conference committee, which is a


subsection of the party board, and though they have left the seaside


behind, it is more of an event for a gathering of like-minded souls


for things like contact building and big speeches. And as such, its


structure is far less rigid than other parties'. It can and has been


changed pretty much at whim, although the big final event is


usually fixed as the leader's speech. Although David Cameron has


also spoken at the beginning of conference when he felt like it.


Ordinary members to get to make their contributions, but they are


always drowned out. They do so by lining up next to the microphone on


a first-come first-served basis. But they do have to keep their


contributions short and they don't interestingly have a constitutional


right to have their voice heard. Housing minister, Grant Shapps, is


with us. Take these planning changes that the government wants


to put through. Very controversial. Not for me to say whether they are


right or wrong. There is a debate, even among people at conference,


but there has been no debate or vote. As with all conferences, the


best discussions take place in the fringes. That is where you find the


vibrant debate. Everyone agrees that planning needs to be faster


and less contradictory... There is a lot of country people here, a lot


of people living on the edge of the green belt, in villages, market


towns in the green belt. I think they would have liked it to be


debated properly. Yesterday I was doing question and answers about


growth and the economy... That was not a debate. There is no vote.


write. It doesn't matter in the end. We don't make those decisions on


the floor but yesterday, people were asking about planning reforms


and a lot of people backing the idea that it needs to be faster to


plan things. Do you think if you had a vote, you would have run?


Absolutely. We will never know. Are we seen evidence of backtracking on


your planning reforms? Are you wilting under the Daily Telegraph


campaign? No. I came from a conference fringe from one of the


Daily Telegraph writers who said they think the campaign itself is


rather misguided. The point is everyone agrees planning does not


work in this country so something has to be done. The document


reproduced is a draft and you want debate and, so in many ways, we


welcome the debate. Will there be substantive changes? We are clear


that what needs to come out is a faster and more efficient planning


system, where people get a sense of certainty and the debate has moved


from the planning inspectorate, which is what happens at the moment,


to the point where the local plan is put in place by local people, so


it shifts the debate. That is what we want to see happen. There is


some evidence you on the run. Bob meal, then local government and


planning minister, said their proposals will have to be improved


-- Bob Neill. He set me will be in a very different place by the end


of the year. There will be no point in sailing a draft cannot be


improved, by definition. -- in sailing. Bob meant that when all


sides sit down, and you look at the concerns put up by people like the


National Trust for example, you understand the relative positions


and everyone is in a different place... You have been criticised


in the letters column in the Telegraph and they are Tory voters.


I am pretty sure come the next election, the discussion of


conversation on the doorstep will not be a document which frankly


most people have never read called the national planning policy


framework. So "disgusted of Tunbridge Wells" does not hold


sway? I think this great document we are talking about, I hope it


will be a significant as some people would have you believe. It


is important but it is one small element of the overall picture of


trying to improve efficiency of the planning system and create growth.


The and at the core of that is a presumption in favour of


sustainable development. Define sustainable development. That has


been define since 1974 and widely used in legal terminology -- has


been defined. Give us a two sentence definition. OK. In my


constituency... One sentence. wet areas where they were trying to


put homes that were inappropriate and where the local authority


thought were good. The sustainable ones were the ones where it should


go. I apologise for being flippant, it is important. I would give you a


second chance. Give us the definition in an easy to understand


way of sustainable. What I am saying is local people will


understand what is sustainable in there every year. That is as long


as a piece of string. It is an issue for proper debate at a local


level because in my patch, we knew that the old Aerospace site was the


sustainable area and we knew it was not, for example, the green belt


between the two towns I represent. So it will mean different things


were different people. It is meaningless. You should just be a


presumption in favour of development. No. Sustainability is


best judged when you know at the lay of the land and guess what, the


people who know they lay of the land live locally and understand


how the Community operates. Sustainability should be judged at


a local level. Let's go on to housing. The record of the last


government was criticised because they did not build enough houses.


At one stage, when Mr Prescott was in charge, they built a few houses


then since 1924. Do you have a target and figure for how many


houses a year in the public and the private sector we should be


Yob but it is many more than we are building at the moment. We know


building at the moment. We know that for example, one measure


indicates something like 200 and 1,000-230,000. That suggests that


if we're only building 100,000, we are a long way short. -- 200,000-


230,000. 3 million homes by 2020, that was a big target. I can


remember something from this party, targets for building houses, and


actually, in the 1950s, they met them. Determined by this conference,


in a power that it never has today. Harold Macmillan, who was doing


your job then, as the Housing Minister, was overruled by this


conference, who told him to build more. You're not doing that. I know


it was very different times. I was not around them, but let's not go


there. You could do things like put up a lot of prefabs, which then


have to be taken down again, and you could create a lot of housing


very quickly, a post war. We are in a different world now. Can you give


us a ballpark figure? I mean, combined, council, social housing,


private, a ballpark figure. I can tell you that we will be


disappointed if we are not building a lot more. On affordable housing,


we have just announced plans for of 270,000 affordable homes in the


next five years. And as many homes in general as we can possibly get


built, to the right standards, and good quality. Our viewers who are


mark will have noticed there is not a figure in there. I am not going


to say a figure. Would you like a badge? This one is, I love the


coalition. Can I get a collection, and a mug as well? No, the team


will get you. Have this one, I love the coalition. And you should


definitely have this one, when the housing figures do not quite


measure up - don't panic. Let's go back live to London now. I hope


Grant Shapps is not running off with that mug. The uncontested


highlight of this morning's conference in Manchester was the


Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. He was first up this morning, always a


difficult slot, just as everyone was trickling into the hall. Behind


the scenes, the nerves were jangling. We're OK, I have just got


to concentrate on the very important message, for myself.


nerves at all, by the looks of it. He got a rapturous reception when


he came on stage, and he went straight into his theme, how to


prevent any repetition of this summer's riots across the capital.


I have spent a fair bit of the last two months travelling the streets


of London, talking to hundreds of people who were caught up in the


riots. People whose businesses were attacked, or who were just appalled


by what they saw. And I have got a pretty good idea of what Londoners


want. They want to make sure that nothing like it ever happens again.


So, I can tell you that as long as I am mayor, I will not allow police


numbers to fall below a level that I believe is safe or reasonable for


a great city like London. Police numbers are up by 1001 when I was


elected, and the number of special constables has doubled to more than


5,200. I pledge to you now that I am going to keep it that way. We


know that it is not all just about numbers, and the Londoners I have


spoken to also want the police to have the backing that they need to


deal with the thugs and the looters in the way that they need to be


dealt with. If you look at the record of the new commissioner,


Bernard Hogan-Howe, you can see how clearly he understands the


principal, that if you crack down on the small stuff, the big stuff


starts to take care of itself. 75% of the rioters and looters were


criminals. And lots of them, by the way, had 15 or more convictions. We


have got to recognise that 25% of them had no record, and I think


what Londoners want, talking to people, is for everyone together,


politicians, police, teachers, parents, to sort out the underlying


issues which encouraged these people to riot. One of the very


best things to have come out of this is the fierce desire of people


to help to bring communities together, and to show that those


looters and rioters do not stand for London. I can reveal today that


in the paddock Calais area of France, and the authorities have


decided that the region is to be re-baptised. Conference, I reckon


we have got a record to be proud of. We have effectively frozen the


council tax, we have effectively cut it, by 10% over three years. We


have delivered Oyster, we have delivered a 24-hour Freedom pass


for the people of London. The last bendy bus will leave our streets by


Christmas. In the new year you will see a new generation of


Routemasters-style buses, with an open platform, built in the UK,


with British Technology, the quickest, cleanest bus in London.


And after more than 450 years since it was lost, we have recaptured


Calais from the French, as the burghers of Calais have yielded to


the soft power of the Olympics. With me now, the Labour MP Stephen


pound. No wonder Boris is sounding confident, because despite the fact


that Labour is nearly 20 points ahead in the polls - Stephen Pound


- Boris Johnson is still eight points ahead of the Prime Minister,


why? One has a certain sympathy with the great Boris. That was a


pretty lacklustre performance, and received very poorly. Actually,


they seem to love Boris Johnson, as we will see. But first, let's just


look at his standing in London. If Labour is doing so well, why is


Boris Johnston outstripping Ken Livingstone by eight points? --


Boris Johnson. I would not have thought eight points was that much,


it can easily be caught up. At the moment, the glitz and the glamour,


he has even had a new haircut. The reality is that we have got a five-


day a-week Tube system which costs five times as much as it used to.


We have got major problems with the police. These numbers which Boris


talks about, what exactly does that mean? It is when Ken Livingstone


can actually show the substance, the real difference, and show that


London needs experience, but energy as well, and Ken Livingstone has


got both of those. Ken Livingstone has admitted that if it comes down


to confidence, he feels he would have a better chance, but at the


moment, it comes down to charisma, and that's the problem, Boris


Johnson is winning on personality. These polls also say that one in


five Labour voters say they will vote for Boris. You will not be


able to catch that up. I think we will. Last time, the polls were


wobbling around all over the place. It is a pretty volatile,


sophisticated city. But Labour are 20 points a head, the capital is


going your way. Labour on 51%, the Tories on 32%, but Ken Livingstone


is not translating that lead, so the problem is with him...


reality is that the volatility in London is so high, we are still a


fair way away from the election. Experience will start to tell. At


the moment, yes, gourami the marvellous bumbling person who


comes in and talks about playing with kids, throwers jelly around,


all of those things. But where is the District line on Saturday and


Sunday? Why are our fares going up? Those are the questions Londoners


asking. Did you agree with Ken Livingstone's response to the riots,


that it was all down to cuts, and therefore to some extent it was


going to happen? If he had said that, I would not have agreed.


you think that was right? No, I do not. Had he said that, I would have


disagreed. It was a whole multiplicity of things. 75% of


those people, as Boris said, had criminal records. We have got an


excellent opportunity in London to draw together some of the most


valuable empirical data we have ever had on this sort of activity,


which hopefully we can use to make sure it does not happen again. It


is all about giving people inspiration which will help. Back


to Manchester. Two weeks ago, at the Liberal Democrat Conference, we


got the Conservative MP and Sven lookalike Peter Bone to come along


and make a film for us. It was only fair that we brought the Lib Dem MP


here to see what he makes of his Conservative coalition partners.


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 45 seconds


Despite the colour, you would not see these in a Lib Dem conference.


I do not pretend to you that these are not difficult days, and that


there are not difficult days ahead. But together, we will ride out the


storm and we will move into calmer, brighter sees beyond. Thank you.


That was really strange. I actually agreed with nearly everything


George Osborne said, and yet, he was not assured in the way he


delivered it, and frankly, the audience did not seem to like much


of it. Well, I'm just doing a bit of homework at the moment. One year


on, what do you think about the role of the Liberal Democrats in


the coalition? They have been all right so far. They have been


working well with the Conservatives. There has not been anything that


major to disrupt anything. I think both parties are coming together.


think that as long as David Cameron is liberal and Nick Clegg is


Conservative, it will last. I think they have done a really good job in


terms of choking off the more right-wing Conservative elements,


so therefore, it is a benign effect. It is working particularly well. I


have got lots of admiration for many people in the Liberal


Democrats. The way that ministers talk about how they are working


together in teams seems very different from the impression that


we get when we read about it in the It is hypocrisy if the people who


can you to cut spending to get the deficit down are then imposing an


Rather amazing. The Labour Party says that the coalition government


is cutting too deep and too quickly. Now, we have got the right wing of


the Conservative Party saying we're doing it too slowly, and not deep


enough, which probably suggest we have got it about right. Boris


Taoiseach... I think not, but thank you. -- T-shirt. Well, it is the


end of the day, and they have all gone off to enjoy themselves in the


bar. I have certainly enjoyed myself. I had convinced myself that


I'm certainly not a Tory, but many of the Conservatives here seem to


think that the coalition is continuing to work well. So I did


Welcome back to the Daily Politics. Isn't this a bit embarrassing?


Everyone is so nice to you here and you lot did nothing but slap of the


Tories at the Lib Dem conference. In fairness, I told lots of jokes,


both about the Tories and the Lib Dems, but certainly we have been


swamped in kindness while we have been here and even the whipped up


fury about the European Union doesn't seem to have actually


gathered the imagination of the delegates, so it is all going


rather well. Why are they so nice, Peter Bone? I have no idea. Look at


all the things they called you last week. They accused you of sticking


kids up chimneys, of being the ruthless and reactionary, you were


the tea-party tendency... Which I am very proud to be. But that is by


the by. It is a compliment. So why is everybody being so polite, not


just to Don Foster, but about the coalition? The only thing that


really matters is the economy and from that point of view, working


together to get the economy right is so important. I think we went


overboard, I was feeling slightly sick at times. How it is nice to


have rational discussions with people from the other side, rather


than if you have discussions within the party it is not rational. Those


sorts of things, rather strange. They are not from the other side,


they are you coalition partners. they are from the other side. This


is a temporary arrangement. Is it the dockside? Definitely.


dockside? It is interesting how the Conservatives have accepted some of


the things the Lib Dems have brought, raising the tax threshold,


taking nearly 1 million low-paid people out of income tax, and the


work on the green economy, these have been accepted by many


Conservatives as real benefits from the coalition. They have equally


had to accept that we have had to swallow things, look at the beating


we got on tuition fees, the problem we had trying to get people to


support the Tory proposal with elected police commissioners. We


have had to swallow things as well. The Conservative side of the


coalition has not had to go through anything like tuition fees of stock


I don't know about that. I think the Liberal tail is wagging the


Tory dog. We have had to go back on so many things, you look in


particular. The bizarre thing about the coalition is that we both agree


there should be a referendum on the EU. Parliament will bring that


forward and that will be a binding decision from the Government.


don't rethink the Lib Dems are that keen on a referendum. -- I don't


really think. Never on this programme has a Lib Dems said to me,


we must have a referendum. And it would be absolutely wrong to do it


now given the mess in the eurozone. I am not saying do it now. We have


been cleared, we have said if there is any significant change between


the relationship between this country and the rest of Europe, the


British people should have a decision on that. We would go


further and say not just a referendum on the changes but that


is the opportunity to have the in or out referendum. But Parliament


before Christmas will have a vote on whether there is such a


referendum and it doesn't matter how the Government's spin it, then


they will have to have that referendum so it is no good what


the government or opposition think, parliament will decide. Do you


agree? If parliament voted for that, would it have to happen? There has


been many occasions when Parliament has voted of things that have not


happened. This is a new regime now. Labour would not vote for it, would


they? Who knows? They are opportunists. If it was a free vote


across Parliament, I think we would win. Is the Prime Minister going to


whip Tories to vote against it? I can't believe that. People are


voting who have never had a say on our membership to the European


Union. Clearly we have to have the weight of giving them that


opportunity but I don't think the time is right and I don't think you


Engineer it at a random time. mean when you get the results you


want. You are getting no red meat, you are not going to get a


referendum properly, you are not going to get the repatriation of


powers, ministers have admitted that on this show, this side of the


next election, and you are not going to replace the existing Human


Rights Act with the new British one. Listening to the Home Secretary,


things are moving in the right direction. The she is changing


guidelines. But her personal view is quite clear. She is a superb


Home Secretary and moving in the right direction. Would you like "I


love the coalition". Yes please. have got, let's get rid of the 50


pence badge. No, that one says "I love the 50 pence tax"! I know, up


"I love deficit-reduction". I will have that one. I knew he would like


that! Now do you remember the days when


every Tory Party conference was plagued by a leadership crisis? Had


become a happy days. -- happy, happy days. They seem long gone now,


and it appears that David Cameron is as safe as houses. But let's


think the unthinkable. He resigns tomorrow and takes a new post as


head of PR for Sky TV. Yes, it's back to the future for Mr Cameron.


So who would take his place? We sent Adam out with some fantasy


balls. If David Cameron did stand down,


who would be the best replacement? Boris Johnson or George Osborne?


Why don't we let the balls decide? At the end of the day, you have to


vote with your head, not your heart. I think we know who you are backing.


He didn't try as hard as other politicians to hide who he is. He


is who he is. I think that is a trustworthy way of politics.


Boris? He is much more of a character than Osborne. And you


have gone for him as well? connects better with people. Boris


is a fantastic party member and he gets the crowd going but in terms


of the international stage and seriousness, George has the


experience and he is also doing a difficult job as Chancellor and


that will give him great experience for the future, if we ever lose the


Prime Minister. He has got a better reputation than Boris because most


people think Boris is an idiot. think Boris is wonderful but I


don't think he will be leader of the Conservative Party. I think he


is a bit too high risk to be a You are going into the coalition


with Boris Johnson's Conservatives. You did not ask me that! You ask me


who I wanted to be leader at... Neither of them well. Backing the


bag. What we need to do is get some DNA from him and injected into


Boris and then we might have someone. I think that might be


against the law. He is a stand- alone, different, people like him!


Who would be the better leader? Don't be silly! I would need to


take two! It was worth a try! It is the halfway mark and I have had to


get down on my hands and knees because it was really close but now


Boris is still in the lead. There might be another contender!


would you like the third man to be? Or woman? Who would that be?


think Theresa May has got increasing popularity in the party.


David Davies. Why? I worked for him before. He has a better


understanding of real life. He stood up for the miners in the


north. Financially illiterate. Maybe skip a generation, someone


like great -- Grant Shapps. I would like to see a return to Washington,


watching the primaries and the leadership candidates, I would like


to see a televised debate. So although potential leaders of the


Conservative Party line-up and have a debate and actually involve the


Boris, thank you. Do you think he is already thinking about it?


think that he would be stupid not to. Because politics is about


opportunity and he is an opportunist. Rather than plastic


balls, today we have had crystal balls, looking into a future


leadership contest, and it looks like Boris would be the winner,


although not by a huge majority. There is still all to play for. I'm


joined now by the author and journalist, Toby Young, who tells


us he has a �15,000 bet with Nigella Lawson on Boris becoming


the next tory leader. Of the musings of the idle rich. We


couldn't get Nigella on but we've got her lookalike, Danny


Finklestein from the Times. Welcome to you both. Why would you do this?


Someone said they could not think of a better argument for the 50


pence tax rate. It was in 2003, Boris was my then employee at the


Spectator, Nigella and other people were being dismissive. It was an


act of slightly inebriated bravado. I was like, put your money where


your mouth is. But you are sticking at it? It looked like a week bet


then when he was just elected but I think it is safe for now. When does


it expire? 2018. Leader of the party. Is he a serious contender to


be leader of the Conservative Party? I would be very surprised, I


have to say. It is not impossible but I think that her baby's bet is


much safer -- and that Toby Young's bed is much safer sailing leader of


the party rather than prime minister. So you think he could be


leader of the party but unlikely to be Prime Minister? You can lose a


lot of money underestimating Boris Johnson. He has a lot of charisma.


But I think people would expect from the Prime Minister a better


grasp of detail than he demonstrates. He is a political


star, he has got charisma, he is a proven vote-winner. I have known


him since 1983 and people do not think... We were at Oxford at the


same time. People didn't think he had a chance of becoming mayor or


MP and you underestimate him at your peril. Is he serious though?


He may not be in the conventional political mould but is that what we


want? I went to a fringe meeting yesterday for Boris and there were


500 people there. William Hague earlier, 150. What is the case of


George Osborne? I was just laughing that this is the sort of


speculation one makes before a celebrity chef but not one that MPs


make. But do you think he has leadership potential? He is very


capable. Potential leader? question over that would be what


the public think of that and I really don't know... What does


Danny Finkelstein think? I would be happy of him as leader of anything.


Did you see his speech? No. There have been rumours, a particular


blog... The last time I was on this programme you asked me if I was


leaving my job. You have an eccentric line in questions. If the


Conservatives lose the next election, George will have to take


his share of the blame. David will fall on his sword and George would


not be the heir to that. Are we right in keeping the conversation


to these two? Theresa May's name came up. Grant Shapps, who we just


had on the programme. Do you think of him as leadership material?


is not for me to say but you clearly don't. No, I thought he did


quite well. Even David Davies. of the thing for David Davis and Ed


Miliband, it illustrates there is quite a big gap between being a


capable senior minister and the election as Prime Minister. William


Hague demonstrated that. I have a lot of admiration for him but when


it came to being a prime ministerial candidate, he just


could not... He did not have the expected. Boris has the X-factor.


If David Cameron wins the next election, your bet is groat. He


will be prime minister until 2020. He doesn't seem to invest that much


in been Prime Minister. He likes spending time with his family, he


would like another life. Maybe he will resign towards the end of his


second term. He can stand as an MP even if he is mayor, Boris! Thank


Let's have a quick catch-up of events on the conference floor this


morning. The big theme has been home affairs. We heard Boris


Johnson, and next up was the Home Secretary, Theresa May, on crime


and immigration. The Government is looking at a British bill of Rights.


I can today announce that we will change the Immigration rules to


make sure that the misinterpretation of article 8, the


right to a family life, no longer prevents the deportation of people


who should not be here. The right to a family life is not an absolute


right, and it must not be used to drive a coach and horses through


our immigration system. Our opponents will say it cannot be


done, that they will fight us every step of the way. But they said that


about the cap on economic migration, and we did it. They said that about


our student visa reforms, and we are doing them. As Home Secretary,


I will do everything I can to restore sanity to our immigration


system, and get the numbers down. She sounded pretty bullish there.


Joining me now from Nottingham is the Labour home affairs spokesman.


Do you back those plans to change the immigration rules? I thought it


was interesting what she said when she actually read out the article,


which showed that it was possible to balance the law under the


current legislation. Of course, if there is a need for clarification,


then we would support that. But what we're actually saying is that


the law as it stands appears to give that balance, it is the


interpretation by the courts. It does well in the hall, but outside


there, we wonder whether in fact the reality will match that


reception in the hall. Just to be clear, do you back her call? Do you


accept that at the moment, those human rights arguments have been


perhaps abused, and they should be changed to stop that happening?


What we have said is that if there is a need for a clarification of


the law, then of course we would support that. But Theresa May


herself read out the actual article, but alongside that, there is the


matter of enforcing the law. Just looking at Labour's position on law


and order, last year, Ed Miliband said clearly, we're not going to


criticise Ken Clarke over short sentences, we're not going to


criticise Theresa May when she says we should review stop unchurched


powers, and yet last week, Yvette Cooper said that the Government's


counter terror legislation should be reviewed. Labour is the party of


law and order. Are you? Of course. We are progressive on crime. If


you're cutting 16,000 police officers, weakening the law with


respect to DNA, and with respect to CCTV, if you're preventing the


courts from excluding somebody from London, for example, where you


think they might be prone to terrorist offences, then I don't


think there is other -- any other phrase you can use, other than weak


on law and order. I'm joined now in The Daily Politics bubble at the


Tory conference by the Home Secretary, Theresa May,. What can


you do if the judges decide to ignore your guidance? I have every


expectation that the judges will not ignore what we are saying, that


they will actually listen to what we have put into the immigration


rules, in terms of making sure that there is that interpretation.


they are legally obliged to do that? Parliament will set its


wailjick down in the statutory instrument, what we expect judges


to do, and as I say, I have every expectation that when they see...


You have seen how they have ruled before. I would expect that when


Parliament gives a very clear message, by saying, we are


emphasising this point, and it is of course in Article 8 of the


Convention on Human Rights. I was looking at that, because what you


want and the caveats in Article 8 are not quite the same thing. You


want the judges to take into account criminal offences, breaches


of the immigration rules, living on welfare, not working. But the


caveats in clause 20 are about the interests of national security,


public safety, or the economic well-being of the country, those


are not the same thing? No, it is rather broader than that. As you


look at the end of that, it talks about the rights of others. It is


not just very specific categories. It is quite general, in terms of


the ability of a public authority to say, actually, we need to


balance the individual rights of this person to a family life


against the rights of others in a variety of ways. One problem is


that it has always been a relative right in Article 8, rather than an


absolute right. But it has been interpreted over the years in that


more absolute sense. If the judges continue to rule in the way they


have, there is not much you can do about it. Well, if they do, and I


have every expectation they will not, then we will look at further


measures. Is it true that you said that one judge had ruled that


somebody could not be deported because they had a cat? Yes, that


was a case that has been reported. We have had a statement from the


judiciary saying that is not true. Well, it was identified and


reported. Your researcher may have got that one wrong. I have not seen


the statement which has come to you from the judiciary. Obviously, I


will look at any statement. We will see if we will get it round to you,


while we are honoured. Boris Johnson has boasted of adding 1,000


extra police to the London constabulary, and then said, I can


tell you that as long as I am mayor, I will not allow police numbers to


fall below a level that I believe it is safe or reasonable - how can


that be true for London and not for the rest of the country? I don't


think it is the case that it is only true for London. But you're


cutting 16,000. I'm sure you know this very well, but central


government sets funding for the police, the police then have a


precept power, to raise extra money locally, and then chief constables


will decide within that budget how many police officers they wish to


have. Obviously, the Mayor of London is, if you like, almost a


crime commission. We have to take some measures to bring them into


line. But as Mayor, he is able to make decisions about how his budget


is spent. He thinks that to keep Londoners saved, he needs 1,000


extra police, and he's going to keep it that way. -- safe. But


there will be a reduction in the rest of police -- numbers of police


in the rest of the country - you cannot both be right. I'm not sure


I follow your point. Every chief constable will be making a decision


about how their budget will be spent, in discussion with their


police authority. In London, there's a Mayor as well as the


Metropolitan Police Authority. And Boris will be making decisions


about how the budget will be spent, and what he wishes to do in terms


of police numbers. There are chief constables elsewhere in the country


who, despite the budget cuts, are making sure they have got more


police on the streets by changes their making. There is a Chief


Constable who's looking at recruiting more officers, outside


London. So, people are looking within their budget at how they


deploy resources in terms of the number of officers. Is it your


contention that these cuts can be made without a reduction in the


number of police we will see on the streets? It is my contention that


the cuts can be made without affecting frontline services. We


have heard chief constables up and down the country showing that that


is where they are putting the focus, in terms of... But will there be


more or fewer police on the streets, after these cuts? People want to


see more... I'm getting rid of some of the bureaucracy which will allow


police to get on the streets. will there be more or fewer police


on the streets after these cuts? want to get rid of some other


things which are tying up the police and preventing them from


getting out on the streets. We saw the impact of police numbers on the


riots. Since the riots, there was some anecdotal evidence that crimes


in places like Croydon have drastically fallen - do you have


information on that? I have not seen the latest crime figures for


those areas. But of course, what happened during the riots was that


a number of people have been arrested following the riots, and


some of those were taken into custody. Does that not suggest that


contrary to Ken Clarke's assertions, short sentences work? Actually, Ken


Clarke has been saying that actually we need a variety of


sentences, which can be applicable at different times. But if crime


has fallen because the bad guys have been put away, that would


suggest that prison does work. all think, in government, that


prison must work better. Ken was talking here at conference today,


and as he was saying, there is a big issue about reoffending. About


three-quarters of those people who were arrested in the riots had a


previous criminal record. A quarter of them have more than 10 previous


offences. That tells us we're doing something wrong in terms of dealing


with reoffending, which is what Ken has been talking about. You say you


do not know what has happened to crime in those areas since the


riots. If you were in New York, you would have daily figures on the


spikes and falls in crime - do you not get that? You get that daily in


new no,... You're actually now arguing for our policies on crime


commissioners. In New York, there is one person job and responsible


for policing in New York, and the equivalent is Boris Johnson in


London. Police forces will have different systems, and chief


constables up and down the country will be looking on a daily basis at


figures for crime in their area. immigration, the party's policy in


the election was to get net immigration down into the tens of


thousands. In 2008, it was 163,000. In 2009, it was more than 109,000.


In 2010, it was more than 230,000. Will 2011 see a reverse in that


trend? As you will know, it takes time for any changes in the


immigration rules to work their way through in terms of numbers. This


is the first year from April that we have got the full figures with


the cap on migrants from outside the EU. It will be a long while


until we get to tens of thousands. We are putting in place the


measures which are necessary to bring down that migration. We have


got the statement from the judiciary, it says, the basis was


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