13/07/2011 Daily Politics


13/07/2011

With Andrew Neil and Anita Anand. The latest on the parliamentary response to the phone hacking scandal, including Prime Minister's Questions.


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Transcript


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Good morning and welcome to the Daily Politics, as the Prime

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Minister prepares to name a judge to lead two inquiries into phone

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hacking. MPs of all parties unite to urge Rupert Murdoch to drop his

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bid for BskyB. We'll have the latest.

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Up to 2,000 rank and file police officers will be descending on

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Westminster to protest against budget cuts and a pay freeze. But

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how much has the phone hacking scandal eroded any public sympathy

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for their position? And what about those issues which

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usually make the political weather? Could weak growth blow the

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Government's plans for the economy off course?

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And is a lack of runways in the South East putting the brakes on

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And before we all pack off on our hols, with us for the duration for

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the this last Daily Politics of the summer is the man who'll be getting

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us there, Transport Secretary, Phillip Hammond. And hitching up

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her Bailey Pegasus 514 is former Labour Minister and keen caravaner,

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Margaret Beckett. I thought that was a motorbike!

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The Prime Minister will attempt to get on the front foot over the

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phone hacking scandal. He'll be making a statement to MPs just

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after Prime Minister's Questions, on how the inquiry into phone

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hacking will be set up. That will be just after 12:30pm.

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And then later today, MPs will support en masse a Labour motion

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calling on Rupert Murdoch's News Corp to abandon its bid for BskyB.

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That will probably be in the early evening. If there is a vote. There

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will be about a three-hour debate. The government are having to run

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fast to keep up with public opinion and the opposition, isn't it?

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are very clear where public opinion is, and what our own feelings are.

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The government, unlike the opposition, and to some extent the

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media, is constrained by what the law requires it to do, what the

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legal processes are. We are now in a position, because Rupert Murdoch

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withdrew the assurances he had given around the BSkyB bid, we are

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in a position to refer that to the Competition Commission and that has

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been done. You will vote for the Labour motion tonight? If there is

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a vote, absolutely. I suspect all Members of Parliament will agree on

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this and nobody will be willing to shout no, and therefore it will go

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through by unanimity. That is by acclamation, but it doesn't count

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the votes. If you want to let Mr Murdoch know what our parliament

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really thinks of him, and his desire to get the rest of BSkyB,

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shouldn't you count the votes? think it is a really interesting

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question that you have put your finger on. There won't be anybody

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who wants to say, by shouting no, that there will be a vote.

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don't you shout no? Thanks! not? It would be a matter of

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twisting somebody's arm. People will be discussing whether that is

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the best way to go, or whether to say, there is so much unanimity,

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nobody wants to go, might be an even more powerful message --

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nobody wants to vote. The premise that has changed his tune several

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times, it took him a while to agree to having a judge lead inquiry. It

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was only when the story became too horrific to ignore that he agreed

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on that. He initially told the BBC he would do the debate tonight,

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then he said he wouldn't. He doesn't really know what he is

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doing. The Prime Minister said very clearly from the outset, there

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would have to be a judge Legg inquiry, he made that very clear

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last week. Excuse me, he made it clear last week but there have been

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calls for an inquiry long before last week. Once the story started

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to break, the Prime Minister was very clear there would have to be a

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judge lead inquiry. The question tonight, won the debate today, is

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about how best for everybody to have their say. -- on the debate.

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The Prime Minister will make a statement and that is the proper

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way for prime ministers to set out the Government's plans. There will

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then be a debate which is primarily a chance for Parliament to have its

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say, for backbenchers to have its say. Many more speakers have put

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their names forward than will be able to speak, so I don't think it

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will be helpful for a prime minister to again repeat what he

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has already said in his statement, chewing up time when backbenchers

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could be debating this issue. Miliband is having a bit of a field

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day. Most commentators think he has set the pace. He has led on this,

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completely. It is not through courage, is it? He only turned on

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Mr Murdoch after he was already doubtful but two weeks ago, he was

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paying obeisance at Mr Murdoch's summer party. He never raised any

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of that. He is kicking Mr Murdoch because he is not powerful. I have

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heard you say enough things about the Murdoch empire and about Rupert

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Murdoch's attitude to things. I thought that when Ed came out and

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said what he did about the BSkyB bid and the hacking, I thought it

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was a classic Yes Minister moment. You could hear Sir Humphrey in the

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background going, that is very brave. It was. It would have been

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braver to do it too was three years ago. Some of us were critical of Mr

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Murdoch when he had the power to strike back. Your leader has been

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critical now he has not got the power to strike back for a Ed was

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not the leader two or three years ago, he is now. He stepped forward

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when it was not clear how this was going to go. It was a very bold

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thing that he did and everybody else has had to follow. If he

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hadn't stepped forward, I doubt we would be in the position we are in

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today. What do you say to that? If Mr Miliband hadn't set the pace,

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even though the going was Elia -- was easier, we wouldn't be here

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today. I don't think this is getting us anywhere. Whether it is

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a lot, the viewers is -- will decide, what is the answer? I think

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the viewers will have decided, all politicians were too close to the

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Murdoch empire. We know the previous Labour administration were

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very close. David Cameron has been clear, he now sees that we were too

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close to the Murdoch empire, and we all now need to distance ourselves

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from the media. Would you like to answer this question or have 30

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seconds silence to contemplate? When Gordon Brown says, he never

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had a good relationship with News International. I think that is

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probably right, actually. Why did he go to Rebekah Wade's wedding?

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Let me give you a slightly different example. I have heard

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repeatedly, look how Tony Blair flew to Australia. I have always

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thought that was an issue that should be turned on its head. If

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you have an invitation to go to something and you say, certainly

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not, when you are in a position of being a political leader, whatever

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your party, you are uttering a deliberate public snub. Why did Mrs

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Brown invite Rebekah Wade to Chequers for a sleep over? Well...

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That sentence, never had a good relationship, cannot stand. He is

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talking about with News International, not individual

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journalists. He has said he had huge respect for Rupert Murdoch.

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Rupert Murdoch was at Chequers over the weekend that Gordon Brown made

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the decision to pull the 2007 election. If that isn't indicative

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of the closeness of the relationship, I don't know what is.

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Sometimes, 30 seconds silence works well stop lots of people go to

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up to 2,000 police officers are descending on Westminster this

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lunchtime. No, they're not all being questioned by MPs, but

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protesting at cuts to the police and a Government imposed pay freeze.

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I'm joined from their day of action by Simon Reed, who's vice-chairman

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of the Police Federation, who represent rank and file police

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officers. Thank you for taking time out for us. I wonder, in the light

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of this tacking scandal, how much it has heard your cause. Your

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reputation as the police is not flying very high -- hurt your cause.

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There are three profession to have been harmed by this. Journalists,

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politicians, police officers. We have a very few number of reach. I

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hear what you are saying, -- of each. I think you will find it is a

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very few number at the moment. It affects all three professions are.

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Do you know of any police officers who have taken money from

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journalists? No, I don't, not at all. Are you surprised that the

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practice went on? Yes, I am surprised. I imagine that

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yourselves as journalists are surprised, and politicians are

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surprised at their own professions. We are where we are. We have

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investigations going on. We can't speculate, we have to let those

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inquiries happen and see what outcomes they are. I won't ask you

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to speculate but react. Maybe you saw Andy Hayman, you could not have

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avoided hearing his submissions to the select committee. Were you a

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bit embarrassed by the kind of South we have certain views about

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what was said by all of them. are those views? We would love you

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to share them with us. What did you make of what you heard senior

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police officers saying to the select committee? Some of us were

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quite surprised at how inadequate some of the responses were. We have

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also got to accept, they are speaking from memory, they don't

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have notes, they have left the service. We have to put it in

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context. The majority of people I have spoken to were surprised at

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how poor Andy Hayman was. Let's talk about the protest today.

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Everybody is facing cuts, surely the police have got to take their

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fair share as well? Indeed, we have always accepted that. We said from

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a year ago, the 12% cut that Her Majesty's Inspectorate was saying

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is possible over four years, we accepted that, and we were prepared

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to help the government to do the 12% cut. But we have seen 20%, an

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additional �1 billion out of policing. That is what our concerns

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are. I wonder if it is wise to take such an aggressive stance. You are

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meant to be neutral but taking a very aggressive stance when it

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comes to the government. During a Police Federation conference in May,

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Theresa May had to sit through a video talking about cuts, and you

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had the music from the Kaiser Chiefs's I predict a riot, it is

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hardly a neutral stance. Why would it be a neutral stance? We work in

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a vacation we are proud to be part of. We know what is happening in

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terms of policing and what the cuts will mean. We know that there is an

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issue of crime and public safety. We need to get our message across,

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sometimes we do it in a robust way. We don't make any apologies for how

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Philip Hammond, they don't like you very much, and it is an odd and

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peculiar situation for a Conservative minister to be in,

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when you hear a policeman having such antipathy towards a

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Conservative-led coalition government. I should start by

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saying, we do like them, are great admirers and respecters of the

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police. They don't feel like to, they feel you are cutting service

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to the bone for us that they have to change, as other parts of the

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public service have to change. are talking about a 14% real terms

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change in police funding -- real- terms cut. We are talking about a

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service which still has some very considerable changes that it can

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make, in labour practices, in the amount of overtime used, that will

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make it more efficient and effective. Get more police officers

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out onto the front line and deliver a better service to the public.

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There is some fog over how many cuts will go into front line

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services and there was a leaked memo to the Guardian, predicting a

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:12:58.:13:04.

That is assuming there would be no contribution from local precepts.

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On the wider issue, how has the image of the police force been

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damaged by hack date, or as others are saying, everything gate. I hope

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that the public are drawing a distinction between the bobby on

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the beat, and the small Quatre of officers that appear to be

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implicated in this kind of activity. I don't think this will dent public

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confidence in their local police forces, who they see as

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tremendously important and part of their community. Are there a few

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rotten apples or is this endemic? think we are talking about rotten M

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-- rotten apples. I am sure the policeman hate that when someone is

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pulling out with the police, they will throw this in their face. --

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falling out. I also agree that most people won't think it is the police

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they deal with day-to-day. One of the most excellent things that has

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come out of our period in office is that we have this neighbourhood...

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People know the local police who on the beach, they have their mobile

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numbers and so on. They are not going to put those people in the

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same category. On the of it face of it, some good

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news on the economy this morning, with unemployment falling by some

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26,000. That is a measure which most economists -- economists think

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is the most accurate way of measuring unemployment. But at the

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same time, the number claiming Job Seekers' Allowance increased by

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almost the same amount and the Employment Minister, Chris Grayling,

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warned that the "road to recovery would be choppy." It's it may be

:14:45.:14:55.
:14:55.:14:58.

because of the government's welfare Questions about the growth of the

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economy, rather than unemployment or prices, are now taking centre

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stage. If there isn't growth, it could wash away the Chancellor's

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plans for reducing the deficit and getting the economy going. Anita

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has the details. Yes, just as Andrew is getting

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ready to hit Magaluf for the summer, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is

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also off to the seaside. But the ominous waves on the horizon

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threaten to destroy all his pretty work of rebuilding the economy.

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First, there's the growth problem. Last November, the Office for

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Budget Responsibility said growth for 2011 would be 2.1%. In March,

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they revised this down to 1.7%. But the average independent forecast

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has now fallen to 1.5%, and shows no sign of stopping there. And

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looking at the last three months, the NIESR think tank thinks the

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economy grew by just 0.1%. The Chancellor will get the official

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figure on 26 July, but with the economy stagnating over the

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previous six months, that would mean growth of just 0.1% in nine

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months - raising questions over how the Government can possibly cut the

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deficit. And the Chancellor will also be concerned about

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manufacturing. The accountancy firm BDO's optimism index has fallen by

:16:16.:16:22.

26 points from February to June. The problems in UK manufacturing

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have become synonymous with the Derby-based train-builder,

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Bombardier. They have said they will shed 1,400 jobs after missing

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out on the Thameslink contract. Today, union leaders met with the

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:16:46.:16:51.

Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, Philip Hammond, starting with

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Bombardier, on how did the meeting go? A meeting with the unions was

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primarily to discuss the reform agenda and the McNulty report. They

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asked if they could raise the Bombardier issue. I answered their

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questions. So there is no joy? procurement carried out was carried

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out properly within the narrow confines of what was set out in the

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procurement that Labour started in 2008. I did not have, and it does

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not matter how many opposition politicians assert that I did have,

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I did not have the flexibility to award... Just for clarification,

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the union meeting this morning has changed nothing as far as the

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contract is concerned? That is right. I wanted to talk with the

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unions about how I think, going forward, we can and must look at

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the way that we procure these big public contracts, to make sure that

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we give British business a fair chance. Margaret Beckett, my right

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in thinking that Bombardier is inure constituency? It is a big

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issue for the British economy and a big issue for your area, given the

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jobs and the skills involved. The Government's case is that the way

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in which the contract was constructed under the Labour

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government meant that it was a narrow contract and they could not

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take wider considerations into account, and they had to give it to

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Siemens in Germany. That is their case. But as Philip is well aware,

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there are quite a number of questions around that argument.

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From my point of view, I do not agree that this was done and dusted,

:18:48.:18:53.

cut-and-dried and there was no choice. Why not? Partly because it

:18:53.:18:58.

appears that the argument is that a lot of this was because of the

:18:58.:19:03.

finance. Siemens is now a bank. I have only recently realised this.

:19:03.:19:07.

It was able to put its balance sheet of behind this order and that

:19:07.:19:11.

may, rather than the quality of the trains, have been the thing that

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caused it. Was it? It was a factor. One of the things I have said to

:19:16.:19:19.

Margaret and publicly is that I do not think the way the procurement

:19:19.:19:26.

was structured was most helpful. Why should Siemens being a bank

:19:26.:19:32.

affect the decision? Because Siemens is a company with a very

:19:32.:19:35.

strong credit rating. It has a massive balance-sheet and it is

:19:35.:19:41.

able to borrow money more cheaply than Bombardier. Is that not an

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unfair situation? The contract was structured as a requirement for

:19:46.:19:52.

somebody to build the trains, or one and finance them over 30 years.

:19:52.:19:58.

The cost of financing was part of the structure. I am not blaming

:19:58.:20:01.

Labour politicians. I think this is about a culture in the public

:20:01.:20:07.

sector,... You don't blame them but to make it clear that the hands --

:20:07.:20:13.

your hands were tied, is that not right? We do not think it is.

:20:13.:20:17.

is what he is saying. I understand that. Philip is in the position all

:20:17.:20:21.

ministers are run. He is being given information by civil servants.

:20:21.:20:25.

If you look at the tender as it was drawn up, you can argue that was a

:20:25.:20:29.

poor process, and I agree we need a different one for the future, but

:20:29.:20:37.

within that, the Department for Transport kept explicitly the

:20:37.:20:40.

decision to handle financing separately. They had two

:20:40.:20:46.

opportunities to actually trigger that separate decision. Let me

:20:46.:20:50.

answer that. I have specifically looked at this issue. The ability

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for asked to intervene is only at the preferred bidder stage. We

:20:53.:20:58.

could say to Siemens that having appointed the preferred bidder, we

:20:58.:21:03.

do not like the package and we want to nominate banks to provide 50% of

:21:03.:21:06.

the financing. But that would not run to the preferred bidder status.

:21:06.:21:13.

I have looked at this. Certainly, it is a tragedy for the people at

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bomb RDA. A tragedy we are trying to avert. -- Bombardier. Let me

:21:19.:21:24.

look at the economy. Economic data out this week. If you look at what

:21:24.:21:29.

is happening in the Eurozone, the reason why the right these massive

:21:29.:21:35.

downgrades on the debt of Greece, Portugal and Ireland, and now Italy

:21:35.:21:40.

in trouble too, they have this massive debt but there are

:21:40.:21:44.

economies are barely growing. Some are actually declining, so the

:21:44.:21:47.

markets have concluded that they will not make the money to be able

:21:47.:21:52.

to pay back the debt. Britain has Floodline for six months, and a

:21:52.:21:56.

quarter that has just ended looks like it is going to be weak.

:21:56.:22:02.

Minister, are we not in danger of ending up in the same position? --

:22:02.:22:08.

Britain has a flat wind. There are two major differences. First of all,

:22:08.:22:12.

we are not in the Eurozone. We are able to adjust the value of our

:22:12.:22:17.

currency for. We have done that already. It is already down 25%.

:22:17.:22:22.

may happen again. You think it should go more? We do not make

:22:22.:22:26.

predictions on the exchange rate but Britain has a currency. The

:22:26.:22:30.

exchange rate can change to reflect the reality we are in. Greece,

:22:30.:22:36.

Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Spain do not. They are locked into a fixed

:22:36.:22:42.

exchange rate mechanism. The second point is that we have taken clear

:22:42.:22:46.

and decisive action to resolve the problems in the public finances in

:22:46.:22:53.

a way that the markets find satisfactory. Right now, Britain

:22:53.:22:59.

has a level debt which is similar to Portugal's in relation to GDP,

:22:59.:23:03.

yet we have interest rates very similar to Germany's. The market

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has given Britain the benefit of the doubt because they have seen

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that we have a credible plan and that we are determined to deliver

:23:09.:23:15.

it. If we waver in that determination, then the markets

:23:15.:23:19.

will start to struggle. So the position is there is still no Plan

:23:19.:23:24.

B. Regardless of the Kroll problems, what the minister says about the

:23:24.:23:31.

markets have been sunk confidence in the deficit reduction plan,

:23:31.:23:36.

based at bended judgment in the election campaign. -- they

:23:37.:23:39.

suspended judgement. They suspended judgment to wait until the campaign

:23:39.:23:47.

was over. The race no alternative to deficit reduction. Everybody

:23:47.:23:54.

agrees that there is no alternative. But by their scale? We do not

:23:54.:23:58.

accept that. Then you could end up in trouble. Well, if you look at

:23:58.:24:02.

sales of long-term gilts before the election, it was perfectly clear.

:24:02.:24:06.

Every time I hear this conversation about George Osborne, I think he

:24:06.:24:10.

was hoisted by his own petard. He was very responsible and

:24:10.:24:14.

competition -- in opposition. All that rubbish about us being in the

:24:14.:24:19.

same position as Greece, it was not true, but if the markets start to

:24:19.:24:24.

believe it, we will all suffer. markets would have believed George

:24:24.:24:28.

Osborne rather than Gordon Brown, who would have thought? Last night,

:24:28.:24:38.
:24:38.:24:39.

some lucky person here in the UK hit the jackpot. They did not win a

:24:39.:24:46.

Daily Politics mug, but they would have wanted to. They won �161

:24:46.:24:50.

million on the EuroMillions lottery. Isn't it good to live in a country

:24:50.:24:58.

where effort and hard work and application gets you on in society?

:24:58.:25:08.
:25:08.:25:09.

There are, however, some things which money cannot buy.

:25:09.:25:14.

Unless you go on eBay! I knew she was going to say that! To be in

:25:14.:25:18.

with a chance of winning, he will have to enter our Guess The Year

:25:18.:25:21.

competition. We will remind you how in just a

:25:21.:25:31.
:25:31.:25:40.

moment. First, can you remember We hope to create a shield against

:25:40.:25:50.
:25:50.:25:55.

aggression, and the fear of We shall also show that we are not

:25:55.:26:05.
:26:05.:26:13.

just the nation of shopkeepers. -- In these 49 cars is the heart of

:26:13.:26:23.
:26:23.:26:49.

A flurry of guesses here. To be in with a chance of winning, just send

:26:49.:26:57.

your answer to our special e-mail address: Full terms and conditions

:26:57.:27:02.

on our website. I think it was a very important

:27:02.:27:08.

year. Very important in my household. A very, very important

:27:08.:27:13.

here. Coming up to midday, Big Ben behind

:27:13.:27:16.

us. It can only mean one thing, Prime Minister's Questions is on

:27:16.:27:21.

its way. It is the final PMQs of the summer season. There will be no

:27:22.:27:25.

more until September, which means that we will not be seen Nick

:27:25.:27:29.

Robinson at this time of the day, but we do today. We were all

:27:29.:27:34.

assuming that PMQs will be dominated by the Murdoch scandal,

:27:34.:27:38.

but it does not end there. At 12:30pm, the Prime Minister will

:27:38.:27:44.

stand up again and tell us? We will get a statement from him and, in a

:27:44.:27:49.

sense, it battle for the control of the agenda. Ed Miliband has led the

:27:49.:27:53.

way with the motion that we will see afterwards, emotion which

:27:53.:27:57.

everyone will support. The Prime Minister is desperate. It looks

:27:57.:28:00.

like he, and not a Labour leader, is in the driving seat. He will

:28:00.:28:05.

announce the name of the judge who will lead this inquiry. It will be

:28:05.:28:15.
:28:15.:28:15.

one, not two inquiries. Two faces. The new approach to transparency in

:28:15.:28:20.

Minister's meetings with media moguls. At the moment, you only get

:28:20.:28:23.

that information if they have met on official premises but from now

:28:23.:28:27.

on, I think we will get something that suggests that even a meeting

:28:27.:28:32.

in the Prime Minister's flat for his constituency or a form of

:28:32.:28:39.

meeting at a party will be revealed publicly. That will be interesting.

:28:39.:28:42.

In Piers Morgan's diaries, it came out that the Prime Minister, Mr

:28:42.:28:47.

Blair at the time, had seen the editor of the miniature -- the

:28:47.:28:51.

editor of the male I think 65 times, which made a lot of people wonder,

:28:51.:28:56.

why are you seeing Piers Morgan 65 times? Is that has to become public,

:28:56.:29:01.

you will think about that. Not only that, but how will journalism work

:29:01.:29:05.

if every meeting asked to be made public? Things are said

:29:05.:29:09.

confidentially to journalists. What I do not know is whether there will

:29:09.:29:13.

be a distinction between people who control newspaper groups or own a

:29:13.:29:16.

newspaper groups and the journalists. The reason the Prime

:29:16.:29:18.

Minister did not spell this out is because instantly civil servants

:29:18.:29:25.

pointed out these problems, say if you see the economics editor, if

:29:25.:29:31.

you're the Chancellor, and you reveal that you had been meeting...

:29:31.:29:34.

You were after reveal that you saw the Chancellor of the day before,

:29:34.:29:41.

it is quite easy to work out where the story came from. Exactly. It is

:29:41.:29:47.

likely to be limited to executives but the trick that says, well, we

:29:47.:29:51.

met at a party or a country house, I think they will have to find a

:29:51.:29:55.

way of saying that that is dealt with as well. The political contest,

:29:55.:29:59.

who is in the driving seat? The truth is it is Ed Miliband. He will

:29:59.:30:04.

want to make questions about David Cameron. I expect we will see the

:30:04.:30:09.

question saying, what did you know and when about Andy Coulson? This

:30:09.:30:14.

business of two inquiries, two for the price of one, there is going to

:30:15.:30:19.

be an inquiry... I will have to hold that question because we can

:30:19.:30:27.

go straight over to Prime I had meetings with ministerial

:30:27.:30:30.

colleagues and others ant in addition to to my duties, I will

:30:30.:30:35.

have further such meetings today. Secretly deleting voice mails left

:30:35.:30:40.

for a missing teenager, buying the silence of public figures who would

:30:40.:30:43.

incriminate your business, and publishing confidential medical

:30:43.:30:47.

details of a disabled child who just happens to have a famous

:30:47.:30:52.

father. I ask the Prime Minister, I any of these the actions of a fit

:30:52.:30:58.

and proper person? My honourable friend makes an extremely powerful

:30:58.:31:01.

point in a powerful way. We have to be clear about what is happening

:31:01.:31:08.

here. There is a firestorm that is engulfing parts of the media, parts

:31:08.:31:13.

of the police, and our political system's ability to respond. What

:31:13.:31:17.

we must do, in the coming days and weeks, is think of the victims,

:31:17.:31:21.

like the Milly Dowler family, who are watching this today, and make

:31:22.:31:25.

doubly sure we get to the bottom of what happened and prosecute those

:31:25.:31:35.
:31:35.:31:36.

Mr Speaker, yesterday, I met the family of Milly Dowler, who have

:31:36.:31:40.

shown incredible bravery and strength in speaking out about what

:31:40.:31:45.

happened to them, the hacking of their daughter's phone, and their

:31:45.:31:49.

terrible treatment at the hands of the News of the World. I am sure

:31:49.:31:52.

the whole House will want to pay tribute to their courage and

:31:53.:31:57.

bravery. Does the Prime Minister now agree with me that it is an

:31:57.:32:01.

insult to the family, that Rebekah Brooks, who was editor of the News

:32:01.:32:06.

of the World at the time, is still in her post at News International?

:32:06.:32:09.

I made very clear, she was right to resign, that resignation should

:32:09.:32:15.

have been accepted. There needs to be root and branch change at this

:32:15.:32:18.

entire organisation. I think it is now becoming increasingly clear

:32:18.:32:24.

that while everybody, to start with, wanted to separate what was

:32:24.:32:28.

happening at News International and what is happening with BSkyB, that

:32:28.:32:31.

is simply not possible. What has happened at this company is

:32:32.:32:35.

disgraceful, it has got to be addressed at every level and they

:32:35.:32:38.

should stop thinking about mergers when they have got to sort out the

:32:38.:32:44.

mess they have created. Mr Speaker, I it thanked the Prime Minister for

:32:44.:32:47.

that answer and he is right to take the position that Rebekah Brooks

:32:47.:32:51.

should go. When such a serious cloud hangs over at News

:32:51.:32:56.

Corporation, and when the more systematic pattern of deceit we

:32:56.:33:01.

have seen, does he agree with me, and he clearly does, that it will

:33:01.:33:05.

be quite wrong for them to expand their stake in the British media.

:33:05.:33:09.

Does he further agree that if the House of Commons speaks with one

:33:09.:33:12.

voice today, and I hope he will come to the debate, that Rupert

:33:13.:33:17.

Murdoch should drop his bid for BSkyB, should recognise the world

:33:17.:33:22.

has changed, and he should listen to this House of Commons. I agree

:33:22.:33:25.

with what the right honourable gentleman said and I think it is

:33:25.:33:29.

good that the House of Commons is going to speak with one voice. As

:33:29.:33:34.

he knows, the government has a job to do, to act at all times within

:33:34.:33:38.

the law. My right honourable friend, the Culture Secretary, has to obey

:33:38.:33:43.

every aspect of the law, laws that were on the whole put in place by

:33:43.:33:47.

the last government. Yes, as the honourable member says, we should

:33:47.:33:51.

look at amending the laws. We should make sure the fit and proper

:33:51.:33:55.

test is right, we should make sure the competition and Enterprise acts

:33:55.:34:01.

are right. I think it is perfectly acceptable, perfectly -- to obey

:34:01.:34:05.

the law as a government but to send a message that this business has

:34:06.:34:10.

got to stop the business of mergers and get on with cleaning its

:34:10.:34:14.

stables will stop I look forward to debating these issues with the

:34:14.:34:17.

Leader of the House, who will be speaking for the government later

:34:17.:34:23.

in the debate. I know he is making a statement shortly about the

:34:23.:34:27.

inquiry, but can he confirm something we agreed last night?

:34:27.:34:30.

That we need to make sure we get to the bottom not just of what

:34:30.:34:35.

happened at our newspapers, but also of the relationships between

:34:35.:34:39.

politicians and the press. Does he agree with me that if we expect

:34:39.:34:43.

editors and members of the press to give evidence under oath, so should

:34:43.:34:48.

current and past politicians? agree with that. On this issue of

:34:48.:34:53.

the debate, we are debating now, and that is right. We will have a

:34:53.:34:56.

statement in the House of Commons. I will stand here and answer

:34:56.:35:00.

questions from as many Members of Parliament as want to ask them. I

:35:00.:35:04.

think we should focus on the substance. As the Leader of the

:35:04.:35:07.

Opposition said, we had an excellent meeting last night, we

:35:07.:35:11.

discussed the nature of the inquiry that need to take place, we discuss

:35:11.:35:15.

the terms of reference. I send those to his office this morning,

:35:15.:35:18.

we have had some amendments, we are happy to accept those amendments.

:35:18.:35:22.

They will still be draft terms of reference and I want to hear what

:35:22.:35:26.

the Dowler family and others have to say, so we can move ahead in a

:35:26.:35:29.

way that takes the whole country with us, as we deal with this

:35:29.:35:34.

problem. I also think, if we are going to say to the police, you

:35:34.:35:37.

must be more transparent and cut out corruption, if we are going to

:35:37.:35:41.

say to the media, you must be more transparent and cut out malpractice,

:35:41.:35:45.

yes, the relationship between politicians and the media has

:35:45.:35:49.

changed and we must be more transparent as well, about meetings,

:35:49.:35:53.

particularly with executives, editors and proprietors. I will be

:35:53.:35:57.

setting out proposals for precisely that in a minute or two. I want to

:35:57.:36:00.

thank the Prime Minister for those answers and they answers the whole

:36:00.:36:04.

country will have wanted to hear. Can I also ask him to clear up one

:36:04.:36:08.

specific issue. It has now been confirmed that his chief of staff

:36:08.:36:12.

and his director of strategy were given specific information before

:36:12.:36:15.

the general election by the Guardian newspaper. The information

:36:15.:36:20.

showed that while he was editing the News of the World, Andy Coulson

:36:20.:36:25.

had hired Jonathan Rhys, a man jailed for seven years for a

:36:25.:36:30.

criminal conspiracy, and who made payments to police on behalf of the

:36:30.:36:33.

News of the World. Can the Prime Minister tell us what happened to

:36:33.:36:40.

that significant information that was given to his chief-of-staff.

:36:40.:36:43.

would like to answer this in full and I need to give a very full

:36:44.:36:47.

answer. All these questions relate to the fact I hired a tabloid

:36:47.:36:52.

editor. I did so on the basis of assurances he gave me, that he did

:36:52.:36:54.

not know about the phone hacking and he was not involved in

:36:55.:36:59.

criminality. He gave those same assurances to the police, a select

:36:59.:37:03.

committee of this house, and under oath to a court of law. If it turns

:37:03.:37:06.

out he lied, it won't just be that he shouldn't have been in

:37:06.:37:10.

government, it will be that he should be prosecuted. But I do

:37:10.:37:14.

believe that we must be to the principle that you are innocent

:37:14.:37:21.

until proven guilty. Let me deal directly about the information

:37:21.:37:24.

given to our office by figures from the Guardian newspaper in February

:37:24.:37:30.

last year. This information was not passed on to me. Let me be clear,

:37:30.:37:36.

this was not some secret stash of information. Almost all of it was

:37:36.:37:39.

published in The Guardian in February 2010, at the same time my

:37:39.:37:44.

office was approached. It contained no allegations directly linking

:37:44.:37:47.

Andy Coulson to illegal behaviour, it did not shed any further light

:37:47.:37:52.

on the issue of phone hacking. It was not drawn to my attention by my

:37:52.:37:58.

office. What is more... I met the editor of The Guardian the very

:37:58.:38:03.

next month and he didn't raise it with me once. I met him a year

:38:03.:38:07.

later, he didn't raise its them either. I would ask, if this

:38:07.:38:11.

information is soap significant, why have I not been asked one

:38:11.:38:17.

question about it at a press conference, or in this house? The

:38:17.:38:22.

reason why, Mr Speaker, it didn't add anything to the assurances that

:38:22.:38:27.

I was given. Let me say once more, if I was like to, if the police

:38:27.:38:31.

were lied to, if the select committee was lighted, it will be a

:38:31.:38:41.
:38:41.:38:47.

matter of deep regret and a matter Order, order. Any body might think

:38:47.:38:54.

that there is orchestrated Nye's. Order! Order! The house will come

:38:54.:39:00.

to order. -- orchestrated noise. These exchanges will continue in an

:39:00.:39:04.

orderly way. Mr Ed Miliband. Speaker, the Prime Minister has

:39:04.:39:09.

made a very important admission. He has admitted that his chief of

:39:09.:39:13.

staff was given information before the general election, that Andy

:39:13.:39:19.

Coulson had hired a man jailed for seven years for a criminal

:39:19.:39:25.

conspiracy, who made payments to the police on behalf of the News of

:39:25.:39:31.

the World. This evidence casts serious doubt on Mr Coulson's

:39:31.:39:34.

assurances that the phone hacking over which he resigned was an

:39:34.:39:40.

isolated example of illegal activity. The Prime Minister says

:39:40.:39:44.

his chief of staff did not pass on this very serious information. Can

:39:44.:39:48.

he now tell us what information he proposes to take against his cheek

:39:48.:39:55.

of staff? -- is chief of staff. have given the fullest possible

:39:55.:39:59.

answer I could to the honourable gentleman. He can ask questions

:39:59.:40:09.
:40:09.:40:12.

about Andy Coulson. I can ask He can ask questions about my

:40:12.:40:17.

private office. I can ask questions about Damien McBride. Do you know

:40:17.:40:22.

what, Mr Speaker? I think the public, and the victims of this

:40:22.:40:27.

appalling scandal, want us to rise above this and deal with the

:40:27.:40:37.

problems that this country faces? Mr Speaker, he just doesn't get it.

:40:37.:40:47.
:40:47.:40:51.

I say this to the Prime Minister. He was warned by the Deputy Prime

:40:51.:40:57.

Minister about hiring Andy Coulson. He was warned by Lord Ashdown about

:40:57.:41:02.

hiring Andy Coulson. He has now admitted in the House of Commons

:41:02.:41:08.

today that his chief of staff was given complete evidence which

:41:08.:41:11.

contradicted Andy Coulson's previous account. The Prime

:41:11.:41:15.

Minister must now publish the fullest account of all the

:41:15.:41:19.

information that was provided, and what he did, and why those warnings

:41:19.:41:24.

went unheeded. What he should do most of all, he should apologise

:41:24.:41:28.

for the catastrophic error of judgment he made in hiring Andy

:41:28.:41:35.

Coulson. I am afraid, Mr Speaker, the person who is not getting it is

:41:35.:41:40.

now the Leader of the Opposition. What the public want us to do is

:41:40.:41:44.

address this firestorm. They want us to sort out bad practices at the

:41:44.:41:48.

media, they want us to fix the corruption in the police, they want

:41:48.:41:53.

a proper public inquiry, and they are entitled to ask, when these

:41:53.:41:57.

problems went on for so long, for so many years, what was it that

:41:57.:42:01.

happened in the last decade? When was the police investigation that

:42:01.:42:06.

didn't work? Where was the public inquiry over the last 10 years? We

:42:06.:42:10.

have now got a full un police investigation that will see proper

:42:10.:42:15.

prosecutions and I hope, proper convictions. We will have a proper

:42:15.:42:20.

inquiry, run by the judge, to get to the bottom of this issue. That

:42:20.:42:27.

is the leadership I am determined to provide. Order! Order! Order! Or

:42:27.:42:37.
:42:37.:42:41.

I say to the Children's Minister, tried to calm down, and behave like

:42:41.:42:46.

an adult. If you can't, if it is beyond you, leave the chamber, it

:42:46.:42:51.

get out, we will marriage without due. Mr David Ward -- we will

:42:51.:42:59.

manage without you. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Order, order. This is

:42:59.:43:03.

intolerable behaviour as far as the public... It is not fund it. Only

:43:03.:43:10.

in your mind, Mr Lawton, is it funny. It is disgraceful. Mr David

:43:10.:43:17.

Ward. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. In a case of the pot

:43:17.:43:20.

calling the kettle black, if we could have a pantomime interval for

:43:20.:43:24.

a moment. Is the Prime Minister aware that there are young people

:43:24.:43:31.

in Bradford being quoted, without convictions or claims, �53,000 to

:43:31.:43:36.

insure their first car. These ridiculous premiums are being

:43:36.:43:45.

driven by insurance companies selling fresh details of personal

:43:45.:43:52.

injuries. He my honourable friend is making a very good point about

:43:52.:43:56.

the problem of referral fees, that are driving up the cost of

:43:56.:43:59.

insurance for many people. right honourable gentleman, the

:43:59.:44:03.

Member for Blackburn, has made very powerful points about this. There

:44:03.:44:06.

was a report to the government calling for refer all fees to be

:44:06.:44:11.

banned. I am very sympathetic to this, the Justice Secretary is as

:44:11.:44:18.

well, and we hope to make progress. Will the Prime Minister, if asked,

:44:18.:44:22.

give evidence to the judge lead public inquiry that he is setting

:44:22.:44:28.

up today? Of course. The point about the inquiry, which I will be

:44:28.:44:30.

announcing in a moment or two, it will be judged lead, it will take

:44:31.:44:34.

its powers from the inquiries Act, it will be able to call people

:44:34.:44:40.

under oath. His there is the issue of police corruption, the issue of

:44:40.:44:45.

what happened at the media, and questions for politicians, past,

:44:45.:44:55.
:44:55.:44:55.

My constituents are increasingly concerned about the deepening

:44:55.:44:59.

problems in the Eurozone. Will the Prime Minister reassure me that he

:44:59.:45:05.

is doing everything he can to keep us out of it and to urge the

:45:05.:45:09.

Eurozone to Act? I think my Honourable Friend his right. We

:45:09.:45:15.

have to stay out of the Eurozone. A think being a member of the Euro

:45:15.:45:18.

would take away the flexibility we currently have, but we have to

:45:18.:45:23.

remember that 40% of our exports go to Eurozone countries, so we have

:45:23.:45:27.

to make constructive suggestions about stress tests for their banks,

:45:27.:45:32.

backed up with the recapitalisation involving the private sector, and

:45:32.:45:36.

earning fiscal credibility through concrete action to reduce excessive

:45:36.:45:39.

deficits. Basically, Eurozone countries have to recognise that

:45:39.:45:43.

they have got to do more together and faster. They have to get ahead

:45:43.:45:50.

of the market, rather than responding to the next crisis.

:45:50.:45:55.

Ashdown said he warned Number Ten last year of the terrible damage

:45:55.:46:00.

that it would suffer if Andy Coulson was appointed. Can the

:46:00.:46:06.

Prime Minister see how precisely he reacted to this powerful warning?

:46:06.:46:11.

The point I made before, of course, the decision to employ a tabloid

:46:11.:46:14.

editor meant that there were a number of people who said it was

:46:14.:46:19.

not a good idea, particularly when that tabloid editor had been at the

:46:19.:46:22.

News of the World when bad things had happened. The decision I made

:46:22.:46:26.

was to accept the assurances he gave me. As I have said, those

:46:26.:46:30.

assurances were given to the police, to a Select Committee and the court

:46:30.:46:34.

of law. If I or others were like two, that will be a matter of deep

:46:34.:46:39.

regret. We must make sure that we judge people at innocent -- as

:46:39.:46:45.

innocent until proven guilty. week I received another e-mail from

:46:45.:46:49.

a constituent regarding Meckel and cable theft, although this time it

:46:49.:46:53.

told me of an elderly lady who was at home and unable to raise the

:46:53.:46:57.

alarm because she had had a fall and the cables from the village had

:46:57.:47:01.

been stolen for the second time in as many weeks. This is a growing

:47:01.:47:06.

problem. The legislation relating to this dates back to 1964, please

:47:06.:47:11.

can we have a review to ensure that those scrap-metal dealers to accept

:47:11.:47:13.

the Still to come: Will are prevented from doing so and

:47:13.:47:23.
:47:23.:47:25.

prosecuted? I have every sympathy. I am being -- I'm trying to make

:47:25.:47:28.

sure that these crimes are taken very seriously by the police

:47:28.:47:32.

because they put massive costs on to voluntary services and charities

:47:32.:47:36.

and businesses. We must make sure it is not seen as a second order

:47:36.:47:44.

crime. It is a worrying crime. debate this afternoon will be vital

:47:44.:47:48.

because it shows that the House will be united in its revulsion at

:47:48.:47:52.

what has been done to Milly Dowler's family. Can I ask the

:47:52.:47:55.

Prime Minister to make urgent inquiries as to whether the

:47:55.:47:59.

families of the victims of 9/11 were similarly targeted by

:47:59.:48:03.

criminals and News International, and if they were, well you raised

:48:03.:48:08.

it with his counterparts in the United States? -- will he raised it.

:48:08.:48:13.

In the statement I will make, I will give figures for the amount of

:48:14.:48:19.

phones that the Metropolitan Police think were hacked. They pledge they

:48:19.:48:24.

will contact every single one. Paul Stephenson and thyme last night,

:48:25.:48:28.

and I sought further reassurances of -- about the scale of the

:48:29.:48:33.

operation. In what was a mixed appearance by police officers at

:48:33.:48:36.

the Home Affairs Select Committee last night, I thought that Sue

:48:36.:48:40.

Akers, leading the investigation, acquitted herself extremely well.

:48:40.:48:44.

We should have confidence that the Metropolitan Police will get to the

:48:44.:48:49.

bottom of this. With ambitions of being the greenest County, Suffolk

:48:49.:48:53.

is committed to a low carbon world with offshore wind farms, nuclear

:48:53.:48:58.

power and the recycling rate of over 60%. He is always welcome to

:48:58.:49:02.

visit but will he give his backing to our ambitions to enhance skills

:49:02.:49:07.

training so we can build a new job opportunities to be created locally.

:49:07.:49:10.

I think the honourable lady makes a good point and I congratulate her

:49:10.:49:15.

on branding Suffolk as the green coast. I think there is a big

:49:15.:49:18.

opportunity in light of what the Energy and Climate Change Secretary

:49:18.:49:24.

has sat, in terms of green jobs, renewable energy and nuclear. One

:49:24.:49:27.

of the things to encourage the inward investment we want is to

:49:27.:49:30.

demonstrate that we are going to build up our skills base, and that

:49:30.:49:33.

is where local Enterprise partnerships can create such a

:49:33.:49:39.

valuable role of. Can the Prime Minister tell the House whether he

:49:39.:49:42.

had any conversations about phone hacking with Andy Coulson at the

:49:42.:49:47.

time of his resignation, and will he place in the elaborate a lot of

:49:47.:49:52.

any meetings and phone calls between him and Andy Coulson

:49:52.:49:58.

discussing his resignation? As I said, perhaps before she wrote or

:49:58.:50:05.

had written her questioned, of course I sought assurances from

:50:05.:50:10.

Andy Coulson and I received those assurances. Those assurances were

:50:10.:50:17.

not just given at the time to me, but also given subsequently to the

:50:17.:50:19.

Select Committee and to a criminal case under oath. These were

:50:19.:50:23.

repeatedly given. Let me say, for the avoidance of any doubt, if

:50:24.:50:27.

these assurances turn out not to be true, then it is not just that he

:50:28.:50:31.

should not have worked in government, it is that he should,

:50:31.:50:39.

like others, face the full force of law. Can I raise a different case

:50:39.:50:43.

of hacking. The computer hacker Gary McKinnon. Whilst I recognise

:50:43.:50:47.

the Home Secretary has legal process to follow, does he share

:50:47.:50:52.

the concern for my constituent's nine-year nightmare as he feels his

:50:52.:50:58.

life is hanging on a thread, waiting to be cut by extradition?

:50:58.:51:02.

recognise the seriousness of this case. The Deputy Prime Minister and

:51:02.:51:05.

I raised it with permanent -- President Obama when he visited. It

:51:06.:51:10.

is not about the alleged offence, which everyone knows is very

:51:10.:51:14.

serious, and you can understand why the Americans feel so strongly

:51:14.:51:18.

about it, REALLY is in front of the Home Secretary, who has to consider

:51:18.:51:22.

reports about Gary McKinnon's Health and well-being. It is right

:51:22.:51:26.

that she does that in a proper, effectively and quartzite judicial

:51:26.:51:36.
:51:36.:51:41.

way. -- and the case really is. Can I ask the Prime Minister to

:51:41.:51:45.

justify the following expenditure, at the beginning of last month a

:51:45.:51:50.

servicemen from Northern Ireland a asked for a non urgent pair of

:51:50.:51:57.

boots. �45. They were dispatched from defence based best by private

:51:57.:52:02.

courier to Northern Ireland at a cost of �714. Is it not time that

:52:02.:52:10.

he got a grip of this? I know that former health ministers wanted to

:52:10.:52:14.

hear the rattle of every bedpan and maybe I should see the order of

:52:14.:52:17.

every pair of boots, but to recognise the point. One of the

:52:17.:52:20.

things we're trying to do in the Ministry of Defence is recognised

:52:21.:52:24.

that there is a huge amount of cost in terms of back-office costs and

:52:24.:52:28.

logistics. We want to make that more efficient so that we can spend

:52:28.:52:32.

money on the front line. The example he gives is a good one and

:52:32.:52:40.

I shall check it out. Can the Prime Minister assure the

:52:40.:52:42.

House that all the legal press activity under the last government

:52:42.:52:47.

will be investigated now, and that this will include the criminal

:52:47.:52:50.

conspiracy between the highest levels in that last government,

:52:50.:52:57.

with parts of the Murdoch empire, including blagging of bank accounts

:52:57.:53:03.

of Lord Ashcroft in a bid to undermine him and his positions, as

:53:03.:53:10.

laid out in dirty politics, dirty times. The point about the inquiry

:53:10.:53:12.

is that it will look at the relationship between politicians

:53:12.:53:17.

and media groups over the whole issue of that relationship as it

:53:17.:53:21.

relates to media policy. I think this is extremely important. The

:53:21.:53:26.

inquiry will have the ability to call serving politicians, previous

:53:26.:53:29.

Prime Ministers, to get to the bottom of what happened and how on

:53:29.:53:36.

healthy this relationship was. That is what needs to happen. One Monday,

:53:36.:53:42.

the MoD Permanent Secretary told the Public Accounts Committee that

:53:42.:53:47.

the Prime Minister himself locked the National Audit Office from

:53:47.:53:53.

accessing relevant Security Council documents. The audit is considered

:53:53.:53:57.

essential to assess whether decisions on the aircraft carrier

:53:57.:54:01.

in the Defence Review represent value for money. That refusal is

:54:01.:54:07.

unprecedented. In the interests of full transparency and

:54:07.:54:11.

accountability, will be Prime Minister now agree to immediately

:54:11.:54:18.

release the information? The short answer is we were following

:54:18.:54:23.

precedent, but a long answer is, if she wants me to come to a committee

:54:23.:54:27.

and explain what an appalling set of decisions by last government

:54:27.:54:33.

made on aircraft carriers, the delay alone by the government she

:54:33.:54:38.

worked for added �1.6 billion to the cost of aircraft carriers! If

:54:38.:54:42.

she wants me to turn up and not just tell you what we discussed in

:54:42.:54:46.

Cabinet, but lay out the full details of the waste that her

:54:46.:54:55.

government was responsible for, name the day. Following a question

:54:55.:54:58.

from me three-and a-half years ago, his predecessor, the right

:54:58.:55:02.

honourable member for Dunfermline and Cowdenbeath set up pilot

:55:02.:55:07.

schemes to provide sign language support for deaf parents and their

:55:07.:55:09.

children in Devon and Merseyside. These have now been completed and

:55:09.:55:14.

have been a success. Will he meet a delegation of deaf parents and

:55:14.:55:18.

children to discuss how this sign language support can be extended to

:55:18.:55:24.

all children and parents across the United Kingdom? We do a lot to

:55:24.:55:27.

support different languages throughout the United Kingdom and

:55:27.:55:30.

signing is an incredibly valuable language for many people in our

:55:30.:55:34.

country. These pilot schemes have been successful and I looked at

:55:34.:55:38.

what the last Prime Minister said when asked this question. I will

:55:38.:55:47.

certainly arrange a meeting for him. My question to the Prime Minister

:55:47.:55:51.

concerns the Translink real programme and the contract. He will

:55:51.:55:56.

be aware that with 20,000 manufacturing jobs at risk, it is

:55:56.:56:00.

right that it should be of concern. Can the Prime Minister confirm that

:56:00.:56:05.

no contract has been signed and that no contract can be signed

:56:05.:56:15.
:56:15.:56:15.

until the funding package itself is determined. --? Given that the

:56:15.:56:25.
:56:25.:56:28.

funding package... 20,000 jobs are at stake. Given that 20,000 jobs

:56:28.:56:33.

are at risk, will be Prime Minister look at holding the competition for

:56:33.:56:41.

that funding package... I think we have got it. What I would same to

:56:41.:56:45.

the honourable gentleman, I know he cares deeply about this issue, and

:56:45.:56:49.

bombard BAA is a great country if - - Bombardier is a great company. In

:56:49.:56:54.

this case, the procurement process was designed and initiated by the

:56:54.:56:59.

previous government. We were bound by the criteria they set, and

:56:59.:57:02.

therefore we have to continue with the decision made according to that

:57:02.:57:06.

criteria. We are looking at all EU procurement rules to see whether we

:57:06.:57:12.

can make better for the future issues like this. Will the Prime

:57:12.:57:16.

Minister join me in calling for the electrification of the crew Mach 2

:57:16.:57:23.

Chester realign? -- Crewe took Chester rail line, which will link

:57:23.:57:30.

us to High Speed Two? I am well aware of this campaign. I remember

:57:30.:57:35.

spending a lot of time at Crewe station during the last Parliament,

:57:35.:57:41.

normally accompanied by people dressed in top hat and tails. It is

:57:41.:57:45.

not in the current programme but we will look sympathetically. We know

:57:45.:57:50.

we want to see more electrification of railway lines in our country.

:57:50.:57:55.

His government said that university tuition fees would average 7005

:57:55.:58:03.

under pounds. In actual fact, the average �8,400. -- �7,500. How can

:58:03.:58:09.

you open the taxpayer to such a liability during this Parliament?

:58:09.:58:14.

There are only nine universities charging �9,000 for every student.

:58:14.:58:18.

There are 58 universities that will not charge �9,000 for any of their

:58:18.:58:24.

courses. If you look at further education courses, 108 out of 124

:58:24.:58:29.

will charge less than �6,000 for all their courses. But the point I

:58:29.:58:33.

make is that university degrees have not suddenly started costing

:58:33.:58:39.

7000, 8000 or �9,000. They have always cost that. The question is,

:58:39.:58:42.

do you last successful graduates to pay or do you ask the taxpayer to

:58:42.:58:48.

pay? We have made our choice and I think that the party opposite, that

:58:48.:58:54.

introduced tuition fees, has got to come up with an answer. Amid the

:58:54.:59:00.

turmoil in other European economies, is it not essential that this

:59:00.:59:04.

country should continue to take steps to reduce its debt and Steer

:59:04.:59:13.

clear of paying for any future EU bail-outs? It is not only the

:59:13.:59:16.

restrictions of the Euro, it is also the building up of

:59:16.:59:20.

unsustainable levels of debt. Although we are out of the Euro, it

:59:20.:59:24.

does not mean that we do not have to deal with debt. We do. But we

:59:24.:59:28.

have the opportunity of being a safe haven for people. You can see

:59:28.:59:31.

our market interest rates coming down because of the action this

:59:31.:59:35.

government has taken. We have to keep that up but recognise that the

:59:35.:59:39.

Euro is sorting out its own problems and that is in our edition

:59:39.:59:43.

-- that is in our best interests. We have to be helpful and

:59:43.:59:49.

constructive. Last week, I was approached regarding a fee paying

:59:49.:59:52.

debt management company that wanted to advise their clients to take out

:59:52.:59:56.

a remortgage to pay debts. The company paid �11,000 to creditors

:59:56.:00:01.

and went out of business, taking the rest of his money. I have many

:00:01.:00:06.

other examples like this. Self- regulation is not working with his

:00:06.:00:10.

industry. Will the Prime Minister look at regulating this sector and

:00:10.:00:14.

provide the OFT with the resources to take action swiftly so that

:00:14.:00:19.

vulnerable people are not continuing to be ripped off? I know

:00:19.:00:22.

that the honourable lady has not just constituency experience of

:00:22.:00:26.

this but managed a Citizens Advice Bureau centre herself, so has

:00:26.:00:31.

experience of seeing people coming in with debt problems. I would say

:00:31.:00:33.

that the Citizens' Advice Bureau was probably the finest

:00:33.:00:37.

organisation in our country for helping people with debt. I will

:00:37.:00:40.

certainly look at the suggestion she makes about whether the sector

:00:40.:00:47.

can be better regulated. And also, looking at the issue of credit

:00:47.:00:55.

unions and how we can lead to their expansion. The House will share the

:00:55.:00:59.

out rage that the right honourable member for Kirkcaldy and

:00:59.:01:02.

Cowdenbeath Express this week about the publication of private medical

:01:03.:01:07.

information relating to his son. He said when he was Prime Minister, he

:01:07.:01:15.

tried to set up a investigation into phone hacking. Can my -- can

:01:15.:01:18.

be Prime Minister save what detailed preparatory work he

:01:18.:01:23.

received? I have sympathy with the former Prime Minister about the

:01:23.:01:29.

blagging of his details. In public life, we are all subject to extra

:01:29.:01:35.

scrutiny. It is not fair one laws are broken. The fact is, we have

:01:35.:01:41.

suffered and we have been too silent. That is the problem. You

:01:41.:01:46.

hold back from dealing with these situations because you want good

:01:46.:01:54.

relations with the media. I did not inherent any work about the public

:01:54.:02:04.

inquiry. But the one we have set up will get the job done. The 45th

:02:04.:02:07.

International Children's Games will come to lecture at the start of

:02:07.:02:14.

August. When hundred 1012 to 15- year-old will participate in nine

:02:14.:02:19.

sports across the county. Will the Prime Minister congratulate two

:02:19.:02:28.

Labour authorities in Olsson the games and will he set a -- send a

:02:28.:02:38.
:02:38.:02:41.

representative of the Government to It sounds like an excellent

:02:41.:02:45.

initiative and I wish everyone the best of luck. Would the Prime

:02:45.:02:50.

Minister confirm that all witnesses will be required to give evidence

:02:50.:02:55.

under oath? As I will explain in a minute, it is going to be one

:02:55.:02:59.

inquiry with two parts, but led by a judge, and the judge will

:02:59.:03:03.

eventually agree the terms of reference, set out the terms it is

:03:03.:03:13.
:03:13.:03:18.

going to work, and be responsible In recent days, the whole country

:03:18.:03:22.

has been shocked by the revelations of the phone hacking scandal. What

:03:22.:03:26.

this country and this house has to confront is an episode that is

:03:26.:03:30.

frankly disgraceful. Accusations of widespread law-breaking by parts of

:03:30.:03:34.

our press, alleged corruption by police officers and as we have just

:03:34.:03:38.

discussed, a failure of our political system over many years,

:03:38.:03:43.

to tackle a problem that has been getting worse. We must, I think, at

:03:43.:03:48.

all times, keep front and centre, the real victims of this. Relatives

:03:48.:03:53.

of those who died at the hands of terrorism, war heroes, murder

:03:53.:03:56.

victims, people who have already suffered in ways that we can barely

:03:56.:04:01.

imagine. They have been made to suffer all over again. I believe we

:04:01.:04:06.

all want the same thing. We want press, police and politicians that

:04:06.:04:10.

serve the public. Last night, the Deputy Prime Minister and I met

:04:10.:04:14.

with the Leader of the Opposition. I also met with the chairs of

:04:14.:04:17.

Culture, Media and Sport, home affairs and justice and select

:04:17.:04:22.

committees to discuss the best way forward. I want to set out how we

:04:22.:04:26.

intend to proceed. First on the public inquiry, second on the

:04:26.:04:29.

issues surrounding News International's proposed takeover

:04:29.:04:33.

of BSkyB, and third on ethics in the police service and its

:04:33.:04:37.

relationship with the press. Before I do that, let me update the house

:04:37.:04:41.

on the current criminal investigation into phone hacking. I

:04:41.:04:44.

met with Sir Paul Stevenson last night. Be assured me the

:04:44.:04:48.

investigation is fully resourced, it is one of the largest currently

:04:48.:04:52.

under way in this country and it is being carried out by a completely

:04:52.:04:55.

different team than the one that carried out the original

:04:55.:05:00.

investigation. It is being led by Sue Akers, who I believe impress

:05:00.:05:04.

the select committee yesterday. Her team is looking through 11,000

:05:04.:05:11.

pages containing 3870 names, including around 4,000 mobile and

:05:11.:05:16.

5,000 landline phone numbers. They have contracted 170 people so far

:05:16.:05:20.

and they will contact every person named in those documents. The

:05:20.:05:23.

commissioner's office informed me that the team have made eight

:05:23.:05:27.

arrests and undertaken numerous interviews. Let me turn to the

:05:27.:05:32.

action that the government is taking. I set out our intention to

:05:32.:05:36.

establish an independent public inquiry into phone hacking and

:05:36.:05:39.

other illegal practices in the British press. We have looked

:05:39.:05:42.

carefully at what the nature of this inquiry should be. We want it

:05:42.:05:47.

to be one that is as robust as possible, that can get to the truth

:05:47.:05:51.

fastest, and get to work the quickest. And one that vitally

:05:51.:05:55.

commands the full confidence of the public. There are two pieces of

:05:55.:05:59.

work that have to be done. First, we need a full investigation into

:05:59.:06:03.

wrong doing in the press and police, including the failure of the first

:06:03.:06:06.

police investigation. Second, we need a review of regulation of the

:06:06.:06:10.

press. We would like to get on with both of these elements as quickly

:06:10.:06:14.

as possible, while being mindful of the ongoing criminal investigations.

:06:14.:06:18.

After listening carefully, we have decided the best way to proceed is

:06:18.:06:23.

with one inquiry, but in two parts. This inquiry will be led by one of

:06:23.:06:27.

the most senior judges in our country, Lord Justice leavers and.

:06:27.:06:31.

He will report to both the Home Secretary and the Secretary for

:06:31.:06:35.

Culture, Media and Sport. The inquiry will be established under

:06:35.:06:40.

the 2005 inquiries Act, which means it will have the power to summon

:06:40.:06:43.

witnesses including newspaper reporters, management, proprietors,

:06:43.:06:51.

policemen and politicians of all parties, to give evidence under

:06:51.:06:57.

oath. Starting as soon as possible, Lord Justice leaders and, assisted

:06:57.:07:02.

by a panel with relevant expertise in media, broadcasting, regulation

:07:02.:07:05.

and government, will inquire into the culture, practices and ethics

:07:05.:07:09.

of the press, their relationship with the police, the failure of the

:07:09.:07:14.

current system of regulation, the contacts made and discussions had

:07:14.:07:18.

between national newspapers and politicians. Why previous warnings

:07:18.:07:22.

about press misconduct were not heeded. And the issue of cross-

:07:22.:07:26.

media ownership. He will make recommendations for a new, more

:07:26.:07:29.

effective way of regulating the press, one that supports their

:07:30.:07:33.

freedom, plurality and independence from government, but which also

:07:33.:07:37.

demands the highest ethical and professional standards. He will

:07:37.:07:41.

also make recommendations about the future conduct of relations between

:07:41.:07:45.

politicians and the press. This part of the inquiry, we hope will

:07:45.:07:49.

report within 12 months. The second part of the inquiry will examine

:07:49.:07:54.

the extent of unlawful or improper conduct at the News of the World or

:07:54.:07:57.

other newspapers. And the way in which management failures may have

:07:57.:08:01.

allowed this to happen. This part of the inquiry will look into the

:08:01.:08:04.

original police investigation and the issue of corrupt payments to

:08:04.:08:07.

police officers. And it will consider the implications for the

:08:07.:08:12.

relationships between newspapers and the police. Lord Justice has

:08:12.:08:16.

agreed to these draft terms of reference. I am placing them in the

:08:16.:08:19.

library today and we will send them to the devolved administrations. No

:08:19.:08:23.

one should be in any doubt of our intentions to get to the bottom of

:08:23.:08:27.

the truth and learn the lessons of the future. Next, the issue of News

:08:27.:08:32.

International's bid to take over BSkyB. By the day, we are hearing

:08:32.:08:35.

shocking allegations. Allegations that royal protection officers were

:08:35.:08:39.

in the pay of the News of the World and they handed over the contact

:08:39.:08:43.

details of the Royal Family for profit. Allegations that the former

:08:43.:08:46.

prime minister, Gordon Brown, had his personal details black by

:08:46.:08:56.
:08:56.:08:57.

another News International title. - Serious questions must be asked

:08:57.:09:02.

about News Corporation's proposed takeover of BSkyB. News Corporation

:09:02.:09:06.

has withdrawn his proposed undertakings in lieu of reference

:09:06.:09:10.

to the Competition Commission. That is why on Monday, my right

:09:10.:09:13.

honourable friend, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport,

:09:13.:09:17.

referred their bit to the Competition Commission. The

:09:17.:09:19.

relevant independent authorities will have the time to take an

:09:19.:09:23.

exhaustive look at all the relevant issues and come to an consider

:09:23.:09:27.

decision on whether this takeover should proceed. -- considered

:09:27.:09:30.

decision. It will be up to the Secretary of State to make the

:09:30.:09:35.

final decision, in his quasi- judicial capacity. We must follow

:09:35.:09:39.

the law in respect of News International's proposed

:09:39.:09:43.

acquisition of BSkyB. Let me repeat what I said on Monday. In my view,

:09:44.:09:48.

this business should not be focused on mergers and takeovers but on

:09:48.:09:51.

tearing up the mess and getting their house in order. That is what

:09:52.:09:57.

the house will be voting on tonight -- Clearing up. The people involved,

:09:57.:10:00.

whether they were directly responsible for wrong doing,

:10:00.:10:03.

whether they sanctioned it all covered it up, however high or low

:10:03.:10:07.

they go, they must not only be brought to justice but also have no

:10:07.:10:13.

future role in running a media company in our country. Now let me

:10:13.:10:16.

turn to the issue of ethics in the police and their relationship with

:10:16.:10:20.

the press. Of course, it is important that there is a good

:10:20.:10:23.

relationship between the media and the police. Police often used

:10:23.:10:26.

newspapers and other media to hunt down wanted criminals and appeal

:10:26.:10:30.

for information. However, allegations have been made that

:10:30.:10:33.

some corrupt police officers may have taken payments from newspapers.

:10:33.:10:37.

There are wider concerns that the relationship between the police and

:10:37.:10:41.

the press can also be too close. When I spoke to Sir Paul Stephenson

:10:41.:10:47.

yesterday, he made clear that he is as determined as I am to -- that

:10:47.:10:49.

all aspects of the police Russia should with the media should be

:10:49.:10:54.

beyond reproach. Want -- police relationship. On the issue of

:10:54.:10:59.

improper payments, the Met Police immediately referred the case to

:10:59.:11:03.

the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Since then, the IPCC's

:11:03.:11:07.

most senior commissioner has been supervising the Met's work to

:11:07.:11:11.

identify officers we may have taken payments. As soon as any officers

:11:11.:11:15.

are identified, the commission has made clear that it will move to

:11:15.:11:18.

wear full independent investigation, drawing on all the available

:11:18.:11:28.

expertise necessary, so the public is reassured. -- moved to a full.

:11:28.:11:33.

It has the resources and full powers to investigate any

:11:33.:11:36.

wrongdoing they might uncover. The Home Secretary has commissioned a

:11:36.:11:40.

report from the IPCC on their experience of investigating

:11:40.:11:43.

corruption in the police service, and any lessons that can be learned.

:11:43.:11:46.

Their initial findings will be delivered by the end of the summer.

:11:47.:11:50.

I can also tell the House that in addition to the work of the

:11:50.:11:57.

judicial requiring, the -- inquiry, Sir Paul Stephenson is looking to

:11:57.:12:00.

invite a senior figure to advise him on the ethics that should

:12:00.:12:03.

underpin the relationship for his own force, the Metropolitan Police.

:12:04.:12:07.

This figure will advise him on how to ensure maximum transparency in

:12:07.:12:13.

public confidence on how the arrangement works. If we are

:12:13.:12:17.

calling for greater transparency from the police, it is only right

:12:17.:12:21.

we provide it in government and too. As I have said, one of the reasons

:12:21.:12:26.

we got into this situation, is that over the decades, politicians and

:12:26.:12:29.

the press have spent time courting support, not confronting the

:12:29.:12:33.

problems. I will be consulting the Cabinet Secretary on an amendment

:12:33.:12:36.

to the ministerial code, to require ministers to record all meetings

:12:36.:12:41.

with newspapers and proprietors, senior editors and executives,

:12:41.:12:45.

regardless of the nature of the meeting. Permanent secretaries and

:12:45.:12:49.

special advisers will also be required to record such meetings.

:12:49.:12:52.

This information should be published quarterly. It is a first

:12:52.:12:55.

for our country and alongside the other steps we are taking, will

:12:55.:12:58.

help make the UK Government one of the most transparent in the world.

:12:58.:13:02.

I will also discuss this with the opposition and perhaps we can adopt

:13:03.:13:08.

this on a cross-party basis. After this statement, I will be meeting

:13:08.:13:12.

the family of Milly Dowler. None of us can imagine what they have gone

:13:12.:13:18.

through, but I do know this. They, like everyone else in this country,

:13:18.:13:22.

want their politicians, all of us, to bring this ugly chapter to a

:13:22.:13:26.

close and ensured that nothing like it can never happen again. It is in

:13:26.:13:35.

that spirit that I commend this Can I start by thanking the Prime

:13:35.:13:38.

Minister for his statement, and the meeting last night? The revelations

:13:39.:13:42.

of the past week have shocked the whole country. The public now

:13:42.:13:46.

rightly expects those of us in this house that represent them, to

:13:46.:13:50.

provide not just an echo for that shock but the leadership necessary

:13:50.:13:54.

to start putting things right. That is why it is in the interest of the

:13:54.:13:58.

whole house that we move forward swiftly, comprehensively and

:13:58.:14:01.

wherever possible, on an agreed basis. Let me ask him about the

:14:01.:14:06.

timing, the nature and scope of the inquiry. Can I welcome the

:14:06.:14:10.

establishment of the inquiry today, and can the Prime Minister

:14:10.:14:14.

confirmed it will be staffed, and up and running, before the recess?

:14:14.:14:18.

Can he also confirm that from the moment the judge is appointed today,

:14:18.:14:22.

it will be an offence to destroy documents relating to this inquiry,

:14:22.:14:27.

and can he tell us was that he will be taken to preserve documents at

:14:27.:14:32.

Downing Street which might be relevant to the judge's inquiry. We

:14:32.:14:38.

welcome a number of aspects of the announcement today that we have

:14:38.:14:44.

been clearly dealing -- calling for. It must be judged lead if it is to

:14:44.:14:48.

get to the bottom of what happened, and when. Can he confirm it has

:14:48.:14:53.

been set up under the inquiries Act 2005, and will have the power to

:14:53.:14:58.

compel witnesses? Can he explain how he envisages the judge and the

:14:58.:15:02.

panel operating together? Turning to the scope of the inquiry, the

:15:02.:15:05.

Prime Minister set out a number of areas he envisaged being covered in

:15:05.:15:09.

his press conference last Friday, and he has gone further today. A

:15:09.:15:15.

think it is right the government had decided to follow our advice,

:15:15.:15:22.

and the Curia views... -- the Clear the use of the hacked off campaign

:15:22.:15:32.
:15:32.:15:32.

and the Dowler inquiry in acting And we come out of that exchange at

:15:32.:15:36.

the House of Commons. You can continue to follow it on the BBC

:15:36.:15:41.

Parliament shall. On a day where British politics is now totally

:15:41.:15:47.

dominated by what happened at the News of the World and the fall-out

:15:47.:15:50.

from that. Prime Minister's Questions, the front bench exchange

:15:50.:15:54.

was all about that subject. And the Prime Minister has just made a

:15:54.:15:57.

statement which means that for the foreseeable future, although it may

:15:57.:16:01.

not be in the headlines to the extent it is now, this issue will

:16:01.:16:07.

continue to rumble on for two, three, possibly four years as the

:16:07.:16:09.

inquiries that the Prime Minister has announced into the behaviour of

:16:09.:16:15.

the press over hacking and the police, and then they brought some

:16:15.:16:20.

inquiry into the nature of press regulation and press standards in

:16:20.:16:24.

this country takes place. -- a broad. One that will take place

:16:25.:16:28.

under a judge, under oath and in public with proprietors having to

:16:28.:16:34.

turn up as well as everybody else. Legal obligations to do so. We have

:16:34.:16:39.

15 minutes on this programme to go. These are big events. Your reaction

:16:39.:16:46.

first and then that of our panel. Strong reactions from you. John

:16:46.:16:49.

from Garden City: "Ed Miliband started with a strong hand but now

:16:49.:16:53.

he seems to be concentrating solely on Andy Coulson. He is in danger of

:16:53.:16:57.

posturing. The key issue is standards. It looks like David

:16:57.:17:02.

Cameron made just begin to start leading on this issue." Annie in

:17:02.:17:06.

Manchester: "David Cameron has demonstrated he will throw anyone

:17:06.:17:13.

to the wolves to say his -- save his own face.'s another

:17:13.:17:16.

viewer,"Presumably Andy Coulson was vetted before taking his position.

:17:16.:17:21.

Interesting to know whether the betting was completely done. If it

:17:21.:17:25.

was, did the Prime Minister ignored the advice? If not completely done,

:17:25.:17:29.

it needs to be looked into."Jacqueline Korn"David Cameron

:17:29.:17:36.

has been forthright. If Ed Miliband tries to make a with this, he

:17:36.:17:43.

should be demoted."Another one,"I wonder why Mr Clegg and Mr Osborne

:17:43.:17:48.

are not joining in the roars of the backbenches."And it would not be

:17:48.:17:55.

PMQs if we did not have a comment on the Speaker. Andrew:"The Speaker

:17:55.:18:01.

needs to come down."A full advice. I'm sure the Speaker will help it -

:18:01.:18:04.

- helpful advice. I'm sure the Speaker will take it. When are we

:18:05.:18:12.

now, Nick Robinson? On the one hand, we have the Prime Minister urging

:18:12.:18:15.

the opposition to come with him, saying that any future meeting

:18:15.:18:20.

between senior politicians and not only -- not ordinary journalists

:18:20.:18:23.

but their editors, managers or proprietors will have to be

:18:23.:18:29.

recorded. We do not know how. I suspect that they will give us the

:18:29.:18:32.

dates -- they will not give us the Danes, but I expect they will say

:18:32.:18:37.

that there were two meetings in the last quarter or so on. When you say

:18:37.:18:41.

recorded, not take it? It will be published, entered into the log

:18:41.:18:45.

book. Later, not bad day, but we will be told that the Prime

:18:45.:18:49.

Minister had a meeting with the likes of Rebekah Brooks, Rupert or

:18:49.:18:53.

James Murdoch or their equivalents in other organisations including

:18:53.:19:00.

the BBC. That is a very significant change. If you speak to the Prime

:19:00.:19:07.

Minister, will bat now be -- well that's now be out? I think he means

:19:07.:19:14.

the people who run the newspapers, so whether it would be the BBC's

:19:14.:19:17.

head of news or the Director General, who knows? It is not yet

:19:18.:19:21.

clear but it seems to me those meetings would be recorded along

:19:21.:19:25.

with those from newspapers as well. There does not seem to be a great

:19:25.:19:28.

problem with that but it is an important change. We will be able

:19:29.:19:32.

to see a pattern of whether politicians are seeing a particular

:19:33.:19:36.

paper or a particular -- particular proprietor in advance of important

:19:36.:19:42.

news stories and business decisions. In addition, we will get under off

:19:42.:19:46.

from a judge the exposure of what happened in the past between

:19:46.:19:50.

politicians and the media. And both Ed Miliband and David Cameron have

:19:50.:19:54.

now publicly said that there is quite a lot in their party's pasts

:19:54.:19:59.

that they regret and in David Cameron's case, his personal past.

:19:59.:20:03.

As it happens, Ed Miliband has had rather limited contact, something

:20:03.:20:08.

that was seen as a problem two weeks ago. Suddenly, having no

:20:08.:20:13.

friends and the media comes -- becomes an asset. That process of

:20:13.:20:18.

exposing who did what, who knew what. One other thing was not said

:20:18.:20:22.

in the statement, which are thought was terribly important. The Prime

:20:22.:20:27.

Minister said"We must look at amending the laws. The fit and

:20:27.:20:31.

proper test, the test that can be applied by the media regulator as

:20:32.:20:36.

to whether anyone is a fit and proper holder of the and

:20:36.:20:41.

broadcasting licence."The problem with that, politicians tell me, is

:20:41.:20:44.

that until there is a conviction, you cannot say someone is not fit

:20:44.:20:49.

and proper. The problem in this case is that the timetable for the

:20:49.:20:53.

takeover of BSkyB is quicker than the timetable for any prosecutions.

:20:53.:20:56.

Therefore, the decision has to be taken before you know whether they

:20:56.:21:00.

are fit and proper. One other thing, he suggested that competition law

:21:00.:21:06.

might have to be changed. The law was set up precisely to stop

:21:06.:21:09.

politicians picking and choosing between which businessmen they

:21:09.:21:14.

liked and which they did not like. Yet it leaves the Prime Minister

:21:14.:21:17.

and the Culture Secretary in a problem, saying, we do not want

:21:17.:21:21.

this to happen but we cannot stop it happening. That leaves

:21:21.:21:24.

Parliament in the extraordinary situation of voting, if there is

:21:24.:21:32.

every vote, and there may not be a vote because of procedural things,

:21:32.:21:35.

voting to stop things happening, but being unable to do so. Margaret

:21:35.:21:39.

Beckett, it looks like the Government has given Mr Miliband

:21:39.:21:47.

what he wanted. It sounds like it. If you go back a week or 10 days,

:21:47.:21:51.

we were calling for evidence on oath and a judge-led inquiry. You

:21:51.:21:56.

name it, and it appears to be all there. If there are any nooks and

:21:56.:22:00.

crannies, it will no doubt come out later. There may be an argument

:22:00.:22:06.

about Heinen -- timing issues. looks as though we have got 80 or

:22:06.:22:13.

90% of what we asked for. Were you struck by what I was struck by?

:22:13.:22:17.

thought there was a personal thing and will the Prime Minister

:22:17.:22:23.

said."The search your bins,"He said,"And you do not complain

:22:23.:22:25.

because you want a good relationship."I thought that was

:22:25.:22:29.

something that anybody on any side of the Commons could have agreed

:22:29.:22:33.

with. It seemed to go beyond the political. I was muttering that

:22:33.:22:38.

that was completely right. We have heard these changes. David Miliband

:22:38.:22:42.

-- Ed Miliband challenged David Cameron to publish retrospective

:22:42.:22:46.

details of meetings with newspaper proprietors. I expect that is

:22:46.:22:51.

because he is assuming that Mr Cameron has had more than Mr

:22:51.:22:56.

Miliband has had. It is confession day. Some people watching this will

:22:56.:23:01.

say that we are effectively in war -- at war in Libya, there is a

:23:01.:23:06.

European sovereign debt crisis gathering momentum and perhaps

:23:06.:23:12.

coming to the boil, and that there is no sign that growth is returning

:23:12.:23:19.

any time soon to this economy. But our political system is going to be

:23:19.:23:22.

dominated by investigations into the media. It is the wrong priority,

:23:22.:23:26.

some people will say. I do not think it is the wrong priority. It

:23:26.:23:30.

is clear the public feels a sense of outrage about what has happened.

:23:30.:23:36.

Listening to Nick, My senses that there is two parts to this. There

:23:36.:23:39.

is looking at the relationship between the police and the media

:23:39.:23:45.

and there is looking at the hacking episode. But there is also a

:23:45.:23:48.

broader context, the relationship between the media and the

:23:48.:23:52.

politicians, going back into the past. I expect that that will give

:23:53.:24:00.

you and your colleagues in the media many, many hours of copy and

:24:00.:24:04.

interview time over the years. It will dominate the political agenda

:24:04.:24:09.

far more than the Iraq Inquiry did. There is also we reason why it is

:24:09.:24:13.

not irrelevant when it comes to talking about Libby and the economy.

:24:13.:24:18.

Nick Robinson made the point about the thing of people going through

:24:18.:24:23.

bins, but the fact is that in any government, for as long as I can

:24:23.:24:27.

remember, making the right decisions about your policy choices

:24:27.:24:33.

is also influenced by how well the meatier -- influenced by how the

:24:33.:24:36.

media treats it and you. Anything that makes that healthier is good

:24:36.:24:42.

for politics. Well that every change, do you seriously think it

:24:42.:24:45.

will? Does it not happen in every democracy in the world you might

:24:45.:24:50.

yes, but it might become less poisonous. In a way, your policy

:24:50.:24:54.

was hijacked by Mr Murdoch and News International. Perhaps that will

:24:54.:25:02.

come out. I would suggest, Nick Robinson, that in the nest -- Nick

:25:02.:25:08.

Robinson, but in the rest of the media, the non National newspapers,

:25:08.:25:12.

they will be saying to Mr Murdoch, look what you have done to us, look

:25:12.:25:18.

what your behaviour has done. agree. I have a personal view, if

:25:18.:25:21.

you permit me. I have met people who were not in the News

:25:21.:25:26.

International empire who have been saying,"Isn't this great?". I have

:25:26.:25:30.

said, be careful what you wish for. This is an investigation that will

:25:30.:25:34.

expose practices that could empower people who want to hamper the press

:25:34.:25:38.

and the media, which could mean that people come for other people

:25:38.:25:42.

in the media. It is all that well to say, let us open it out, but no

:25:42.:25:48.

one knows quite where it will end. What is interesting is that when

:25:48.:25:52.

you go back to wide this was not reopened, John Yates has had lot of

:25:52.:25:56.

criticism but let us be honest, journalists like myself have had

:25:56.:26:00.

criticism for not taking it seriously enough a few months ago.

:26:00.:26:04.

Part of why I believe the police did not reopen the case, as well as

:26:04.:26:10.

other things that may be exposed, it comes to the root of your

:26:10.:26:14.

question, which is, or do not better things to be doing? There

:26:14.:26:17.

was a frustration that the political classes were dragging the

:26:17.:26:21.

police into dealing with their own dirty business and the view of the

:26:21.:26:27.

police was, sort yourself out, politicians. I have to stop you

:26:27.:26:31.

there because I have news for more important than anything you have

:26:31.:26:41.
:26:41.:26:41.

been talking about. Far more important and rather sad. Sad for

:26:41.:26:46.

us and our regular viewers. After three years, Anita is departing.

:26:46.:26:51.

She leaves behind a treasure trove of memories and great times but we

:26:51.:26:56.

have enjoyed together with the team. Here are some of them. -- that we

:26:56.:27:00.

have enjoyed. Let us see if you can remember when

:27:00.:27:10.
:27:10.:27:10.

this happened. Bon jour! That is French, don't you

:27:10.:27:15.

know? Repeat after me, argued David

:27:15.:27:21.

Lambie, happy to share a platform with me, Jo Swinson? Why you, David

:27:21.:27:26.

Lambie, happy to share a platform with me, Jo Swinson? -- are you,

:27:26.:27:30.

David Lambie. A healthy body needs a healthy mind.

:27:30.:27:40.
:27:40.:27:44.

A healthy body, needs a healthy mind.

:27:44.:27:54.
:27:54.:27:55.

I will do it again. Take two! I am talking nonsense.

:27:55.:28:00.

Are you taking over this interview, David? Let me answer another

:28:00.:28:10.
:28:10.:28:14.

question. Don't do that, it is not nice.

:28:14.:28:20.

Salut! How can you not be sad after seeing

:28:20.:28:24.

all of that. The flowers on the film was when Anita went off to

:28:24.:28:31.

have a baby. These are flowers for you, my darling. For our last

:28:31.:28:32.

programme. Thank you.

:28:32.:28:36.

What are you going to do now? I have a new show on Radio 5 Live

:28:36.:28:40.

and I will be popping up on Radio 4. You get to pick a winner.

:28:40.:28:48.

It is Josie. You were getting a mug. -- a Daily Politics mug.

:28:48.:28:54.

1945, the Euro was born. We will be back tomorrow night. I will be

:28:54.:28:58.

joined by Michael Portillo, Quentin Letts, Diane Abbott and Jon Snow.

:28:58.:29:02.

With Andrew Neil and Anita Anand.

As the Prime Minister prepares to name a judge to lead two inquiries into phone hacking, MPs of all parties unite will urge Murdoch to drop his bid for BskyB. We have the latest.

Up to 2,000 rank and file police officers descend on Westminster to protest against budget cuts and a pay freeze. But how much has the phone hacking scandal eroded any public sympathy for their position?

And was the government right to stop more runways being built in the South East of England? We hear from Baroness Valentine.

And to review the last PMQs of before the break, we are joined by Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond and Labour's Margaret Beckett.


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