05/07/2011 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Celebrities,


politicians. Now it's the phone of a murdered school girl. Where will


the phone hacking scandal end? We'll be speaking to the Chairman


of the Press Complaints Commission. Ed Miliband wants the right to


choose his own Shadow Cabinet but will it be enough to stamp his


authority on the party? And the government want to make it easier


to complain. But will it make any All that in the next half hour.


With us for the whole programme today is Conservative Peer and


Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, Baroness Peta Buscombe.


Now the shocking allegations that a private detective working for the


News of the World was involved in hacking the phone of murdered


school girl Milly Dowler. Detectives from Scotland Yard will


meet executives from the paper to discuss the claims this morning.


It's the latest in a string of stories about the activities of the


paper's journalists. We have the background. Yes, I do, Andrew.


After Milly Dowler's disappearance in March 2002 it's claimed that


Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator working for the News


of the World, illegally intercepted, and then deleted, messages from


friends and relatives left on Milly's mobile phone. He was


apparently trying to make room for more messages. It's claimed that


these actions gave Milly's family false hope that she might still


have been alive. The phone hacking story first blew up in 2006 when Mr


Mulcaire and the News of the World's royal editor, Clive Goodman,


were found to have hacked into the phones of members of the royal


household. Both Mulcaire and Goodman were jailed in 2007. Since


then dozens of other politicians and celebrities have claimed they


were illegally targeted by the newspaper. In January, the High


Court will hear claims from various test cases including Jude Law,


Labour MP Chris Bryant and interior designer Kelly Hoppen. These


developments raise tricky questions, not only for the News of the World,


but its owner, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which is planning


a full takeover of the broadcaster BSkyB. A matter currently being


considered by the government. The Prime Minister, who's in


Afghanistan, was asked about the matter this morning.


As for the issue of BSkyB, and the takeover issue, that has to be


followed in a correct legal way. The Government, on these processes,


is acting in a judicial way and it's quite right the Secretary of


State for Culture Media and Sport carries out his role in that manner


without any interference from anybody else in the Government and


that one of the reasons I had abstracted myself from this process


and want him to carry out his role in the way that he should under the


law. That was David Cameron speaking from Afghanistan. And the


Labour leader Ed Miliband has this morning called for the UK chief


executive of News Corp, former News of the World Editor Rebekah Brooks,


to step down from her current job. He also criticised the way the


industry is regulated. The current system does not work because these


abuses were going on when we had a Press Complaints Commission. Why


weren't they stopping this happening? That's why we need a


proper look at the proper practices of the industry so these things


never ever happen again. We have heard from the Prime Minister and


Leader of the Opposition. Let's now hear from Baroness Peta Buscombe.


Why is it, since the start of the biggest crisis in British


journalistic standards in living memory, you and the Press


Complaints Commission has been missing in action? That's not true.


We have not been missing in action. Words cannot describe how angry I


am with this. Totally angry. First of all, I have been working really


hard for the last two-and-a-half years since I arrived in 2009, to


further improve, work hard, but the reality is we have to be careful.


This is allegations going back to 2002. Two people went to prison in


2007, but what was happening Ben was totally and utterly appalling.


I understand. If you haven't been missing in action, can you tell me


what a useful thing you have done to bring the news of the world and


those doing the hacking to justice. We are doing it now. First of all,


in 2007, we put out edicts right across the industry demanding that


they introduced new guidelines and practices in terms of their


internal practices within their organisations. It made no


difference. Remember, these are allegations going back to what


happened to 2002. What have you done it that's useful. I want to


finish the question. I would like you to tell me, not issuing edicts,


what you said is, I wanted everything in my power to ensure


that does not behaving are brought to book. Tell me what you have done


which has brought anybody to book? We are doing all we can. But what


have you done? We set up a review. Following on from 2007-nine, we set


up a review of what took place over those past years. We are holding


the News of the world to account. In what way? There's only so much


weight. Your report in 2009... is a police investigation about


criminal activity. There are laws in place, statute is in place to


take care of this. Those laws were not in place in 2002 but are now.


We are doing all we can, given that there is a police investigation


going on. I understand that but you're not answering a single


question. Actually, I am not. You have not been able to tell me a


single thing. Let me ask you this. In at 2009, November, you actually


published a report that vindicated the News of the world. No, we


didn't. Your report went along with the news of the World claimed that


it was one of rogue journalist. You've indicated the News of the


world and you were completely wrong. We didn't vindicate them. We said


there was no evidence at that time and we doddered I personally, and


the PCC, are so angry because clearly, we were misled. We said


that very clearly and publicly. even attacked the Guardian a.


didn't attack the Guardian. warned the Guardian not to publish


things when you didn't have full evidence. But we didn't have the


evidence. You implied the Guardian was wrong. The media select


committee did not come up with any new evidence. You are the regulator,


they are not. Yes but is only so much you can do when people are


lying to us. Now we know. We didn't have the evidence them. I was not


being given the truth. Who knows if there are other newspapers who have


lied? But you are the regulator. You're meant to know these things.


Yes, but that's like saying, anyone who has committed a crime, judges


will know all the answers. That's not the case. This is what happened


back in 2002, 2003, the 1990s. What was the culture of news


organisations them? What was the ability of the PCC to regulate


that? 0. Because it is a criminal activity and the point is, we are


the regulatory body which has a hugely important role to play and


it fulfils an important role in terms of regulating the press but


we cannot cut across criminal activity. That said, we set up this


review at the beginning of this year. We are looking at all that


has taken place in the last few years. I have excellent people on a


review committee. I have police from Cambridgeshire, a professor of


media law. We will wait to see the results. We also talking to M I.


I'm not going to let you a filibuster this interview. Not only


did you implicitly attacked the Guardian, you then attacked the


lawyer who testified that 6,000 people had been hacked. I'm not


going into that. You had to apologise, pay damages and costs.


I'm not going into that. I want to talk about what we have done, which


is what you ask me in the first place. Why would you attack the


lawyer who testified to the Commons that 6,000 people had been hacked


and you told the Society of Editors that's not true. I didn't say that.


You are misquoting me and that is totally unfair. Did you have to


apologise and pay damages? I'm not going to comment on that. The PCC


takes all have this incredibly seriously. For the last 2.5 years,


I have been working exceptionally hard to beef up our sanctions and I


have now demanded the publishers, the proprietors, because I am


deeply unhappy about what has taken place. You have to understand that


this is your industry. It is the journalists... A Which are your men


to regulated. I'm going to ask you one more time. This is also...


would like to ask you this question. Do you not feel that having sided


with the news of the world, having attacked a lawyer who knew that


6,000 people had been attacked, could you tell me one a useful


thing that the PCC has done which is either exposing this cracking or


brought people to book? You haven't done it yet. We have beefed up our


sanctions, making more demands on the industry. I have demanded to


see all the proprietors and I'm asking each one individually and


the publishers what they had done in this area. Have you exposed any


of the hacking? In the last two- and-a-half years since I had been


on board, we have had one complaint about phone hacking which was


withdrawn. So you haven't? This happened back in 2002. Andrew, I


know it has been going on now but I didn't know that when I came on


board in 2009. Let me finish. truth is, a lot is coming out now


and I am so glad. I have to tell you, I have played a part. Tell me


one thing you have revealed. I, and the Press Complaints Commission,


were badly misled by the News of the world and I know you're


laughing at that for some so you have revealed nothing? This is a


criminal activity. There is a police investigation. I had a


review committee. You have told us that. I know. It's difficult for me


to explain. Let me ask you this final question. I cannot cut across


the police investigation. You know that, Andrew. You must sense my


frustration. That's not what our view was wanted. They want


effectiveness. I do too. The Calcot report said it self-regulation


didn't work, there would have to be statutory regulation. Is it


important to everybody that self- regulation has not worked and the


recommendation will have to be implemented? First of all,


statutory regulation now exists for this criminal activity. The Data


Protection Act,... You know what I mean, statutory regulation of the


press. Yes or no? We have to be very careful about the newspaper


industry regulator by the state. I am almost at my wit's end about


this but, at the end of the day, I also care massive leak about the


freedom of the press, responsibly, to be able to investigate


wrongdoing. I'm afraid we have to leave it there. Thank you. Labour


MPs are voting this evening on whether to deprive themselves of


the right to chose members of the shadow cabinet. At the moment when


a new leader is elected, he doesn't get to choose who sits beside him


on his front bench. Oh no, his MPs and Peers get to pick who makes the


grade in elections every two years. So what can we expect this evening?


Our Political Correspondent Iain Watson joins us now. It has been a


third of the Times, -- it has been said a few times, Iain, is this Ed


Miliband's Clause 4 moment? It is certainly not bad. The result is at


6:00pm. Party sources don't seem to be hanging on the edge of the seeds


over this one. They expect MPs to back Ed Miliband but the vote is


not binding. This is part of a much wider remit. Those reforms will


have to be approved by the party conference in September and today's


vote I think is the easy vote for Ed Miliband. We might stumble


across a cause for moment. One of those challenges is he wants to


water down the trade union influence in the party's decision-


making. That may be more controversial. He also has to


change the way the party leader is elected because, as you know, his


tale is constantly tweak by Conservatives because he was


dependent on trade union votes to beat his brother so that has to


change as well. Interestingly enough, in the shadow cabinet,


that's the easy bit. He a state guarantee existing Cabinet members


he would not reshuffle them as soon He needs to do something quickly.


According to a poll became out in the Independent yesterday, it is


not looking good for him. He is less popular than Ian Duncan-Smith


was when he was leader of the Conservative Party. He is more


popular the Michael Howard or Michael Foot. I think, at the


moment, there is a feeling around Shadow Cabinet members in the pit


of their stomach that something has to be done. Ed Miliband is not


punching through or getting enough impact. I think people want to see


him perform better. He can help out. I do not think in any stretch his


leadership is under threat. They should be doing better. We're


joined now by Michael Dugher, who's the newly appointed right hand man


to Ed Miliband, and by John Rentoul, chief political commentator for the


Independent on Sunday and a critic of the Labour leader. Research


published in the Independent today shows that Mr Miliband is more


unpopular than Ian Duncan-Smith in the same stage of his leadership.


We know what happened to him. has been leader for only nine


months. With the cuts, it does feel longer. He has been leader for nine


months. He inherited a situation where Labour suffered one of the


worst defeats in our history. He knows we have to work harder and


listen more. All our policies are being reviewed. He is determined to


drive through big changes in the party. He is saying let's get rid


of the elected Shadow Cabinet. I'm confident that will go through


along with other changes. It is one of many changes I think we'll see.


It is only the first step. At the Tory speech in Wrexham, the


outlined a number of changes about making the Labour Party look at


weird and not in word. His time running out for Ed Miliband? -- in


words. I think time ran out when he took the job. I welcome the


important changes he made. The Shadow Cabinet elections were


ridiculous when Labour MPs voted to keep them last year. I think it is


ridiculous they're voting to get rid of them today. It is not hugely


important. It does matter. Any leader ought to Beale to appoint


their own people. What is more important are the changes where Ed


Miliband has decided he is on the side of the voters when it comes to


crime and law and order. Let me bring Michael back in. Labour


people have not been for him themselves over to come out and


support Ed Miliband. Lord Goldsmith, when asked, does Mr Mellor band


still need to prove himself? He said, yes he does. -- Ed Miliband.


Is that the best Labour people can do? Most members of the Labour


Party would not know who look Goldsmith was. Look at what he has


done! You think his comment is of no virtue. It is not representative.


We had the U-turn from this government. He has turned us into a


very effective opposition. I think it is sustained pressure from the


opposition. I think we get a little help along the way. He wants to


turn this from an effective opposition to a future government


and that means big changes. fact is, as long as Labour stays


ahead in the polls, and this was not true under Iain Duncan-Smith,


his personal ratings are as bad as those of Ed Miliband. The Tories


are way behind Labour in the polls. As long as Labour has eight


consecutive months, they were not get rid of them. I do not think it


is to do with the opinion polls alone, it is to do with a lack of


an alternative. The only realistic alternative is the brother of Ed


Miliband. Ed Miliband is likely to lead Labour into the next election.


I think the Labour Party is have a terribly bad situation. It is a bad


for everyone who wants to see Labour win. How much comfort to you


take from the reassuring fact that your leader is slightly more


popular than Nick Clegg for --? real elections would real voters,


we have won four by-elections on the bounce, including some


difficult fights been in the Clyde. They have hundreds more councillors.


We need to do better in the south and Scotland. It is good work in


progress at the moment. You are a Tory peer. Do you share the view I


have heard express several times by leading Tories that Mr Ed Miliband


is the best asset you have. He is a remarkably good asset. He has taken


a risk in getting rid of elections in the Shadow Cabinet. He wants


people around him who he can trust and can work with. Why is there a


risk? It is a risk because of the power of the trade unions. They


play a hugely important role. has said, do not go on strike.


reason he got elected in the first place and beat his brother was that


he was put in there with the help of the trade unions. If he house


them in terms of them having a say in terms of who is in the Shadow


Cabinet, he is taking a risk. Maybe that risk is worth it. It is a very


tough choice. I do not quite see the Tory Shadow Cabinet ever being


elected but we leave it there. Are we any good at complaining in this


country? Oh, yes. Some of us are champions! I'm sure our guest of


the day, Peta Buscombe, chair of the Press Complaints Commission,


thinks we're too good. But when we do complain, do we get an adequate


response? The Government is currently consulting on how to make


it easier to make a fuss. Giles has been looking into this himself. We


Brits are not natural complainers. There was a generation, is


something was wrong, they would just say, we just won't come again.


But we have got better. We are complaining more and arguably it is


Mrs Peggy for Clarke wrote to us about her dustbin. It left with the


dust men one morning and it is still missing. They told me I could


have a bag or a sack. Other sooner have a been so went to bring it


back. Being able to complaint is a fundamental democratic right. It is


up to you to grasp the nettle and complain. Keep going! Why, oh why,


oh why? Most Brits will not still complaint unless it is something


that is really important because they do not think it would make any


difference. I think it is changing slowly. There are more channels. It


is easy to work of any male will send a tweet to an organisation


that has annoyed you. -- whack off an e-mail. People who e-mail are


nearly always happier than people who write in. I am being held in


ecus. Michael is extremely important to them, apparently. If


it were, Your coverage of person at the end of the phone. The real


problem is having a real person to complain to. In giant organisations,


you may have an e-mail address but there's no real person you can talk


to. You have a suspicion that you are hitting a bit of the computer


which gets a standard response. Thank you so much the of bread-and-


butter reply to my complaint. us an e-mail to this address and we


will send a standard reply back is about appearing to care. We do


think we're getting more angry as a society. We asked people and they


say, a no. If all else fails, I suggest to become a freelance


reporter for Horse and Hound and grin of the Press Office.


usually does have an effect. -- Even if you do not talk to a


machine, sometimes you talk to a person who is reading off a sheet.


They have prescribed answers. not ring up. You are going to be


listening to music for the long time. It is remarkable how long it


takes. The written word is far more effective. Who reads this? I


imagine they are piled underpins. You need to personalise the


complaint and find an individual to write to. Do not just write to the


chief executive, write to the financial director. How do you


respond to those letters which are addressed to you personally? I am


so pro complaints. You say I do not welcome complaints, that is what


the other full. I asked the question. -- what we are there for.


We put up a fantastic new advertising campaign to encourage


the public to come to us. It is easier to complain now, which is


good. It is channelled so people have the right outcomes. Sometimes


companies want to give you the appearance they are caring and


sharing. They pay lip service to the idea of complaining. London


Underground will give you a little token if you tick the boxes. That


is what they want you to do. I'll weep easily fobbed off? We are. --


are weep easily fobbed off? What we really crave is a dialogue with a


real human being. I am surprised to say that. You should see some of


the deters of the way that people complain to us. -- the details. It


is a public service, people come to us. We work closely with all sorts


of agencies. We resolve complaints to the satisfaction of most people.


We care about the harm and the hurt they have felt at the butt end of


the press. Someone watching us wants to complain about this


programme, what do they do? report came up last week saying


that the worst place in the world to complain to is the BBC for a


stub your complaints system is of rubbish. I would not e-mail, I


would not write in. Try and find an individual. I to take the point


that people do care. The managing director of Tesco and Marks &


Spencer does care about the organisation. Why don't I just


write a block where her moan about it? It gets tweeted. -- a block,


where I moan about it. The moment it is on the internet, it can be


inflammatory. Go back to an old- fashioned expression. I love a good


moan. If you want to complain, do not write to me, right to Anita.


Tamara is Prime Minister's Questions and we are on early. --


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