13/07/2011 Daily Politics


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 13/07/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



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


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


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


bid for BskyB. We'll have the latest.


Up to 2,000 rank and file police officers will be descending 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 what about those issues which


usually make the political weather? Could weak growth blow the


Government's plans for the economy off course?


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


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


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


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


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


Margaret Beckett. I thought that was a motorbike!


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Murdoch empire. We know the previous Labour administration were


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


talking about with News International, not individual


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


of the Police Federation, who represent rank and file police


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


yourselves as journalists are surprised, and politicians are


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


peculiar situation for a Conservative minister to be in,


when you hear a policeman having such antipathy towards a


Conservative-led coalition government. I should start by


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


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


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


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


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


service which still has some very considerable changes that it can


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


make it more efficient and effective. Get more police officers


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


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


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


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


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


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


that the public are drawing a distinction between the bobby on


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


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


confidence in their local police forces, who they see as


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


has the details. Yes, just as Andrew is getting


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


deficit. And the Chancellor will also be concerned about


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


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


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


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


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


Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, Philip Hammond, starting with


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


in which the contract was constructed under the Labour


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


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


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


there are quite a number of questions around that argument.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


unfair situation? The contract was structured as a requirement for


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


within that, the Department for Transport kept explicitly the


decision to handle financing separately. They had two


opportunities to actually trigger that separate decision. Let me


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


markets have been sunk confidence in the deficit reduction plan,


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


suspended judgement. They suspended judgment to wait until the campaign


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


competition. We will remind you how in just a


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


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


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


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


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


on our website. I think it was a very important


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


here. Coming up to midday, Big Ben behind


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


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


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


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


assuming that PMQs will be dominated by the Murdoch scandal,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


newspaper groups and the journalists. The reason the Prime


Minister did not spell this out is because instantly civil servants


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


go straight over to Prime I had meetings with ministerial


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


have further such meetings today. Secretly deleting voice mails left


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


incriminate your business, and publishing confidential medical


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


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


and proper person? My honourable friend makes an extremely powerful


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


shown incredible bravery and strength in speaking out about what


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


entire organisation. I think it is now becoming increasingly clear


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Corporation, and when the more systematic pattern of deceit we


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


happened at our newspapers, but also of the relationships between


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


yes, the relationship between politicians and the media has


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


particularly with executives, editors and proprietors. I will be


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


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


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


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


and his director of strategy were given specific information before


the general election by the Guardian newspaper. The information


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


until proven guilty. Let me deal directly about the information


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


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


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


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


office was approached. It contained no allegations directly linking


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


staff was given information before the general election, that Andy


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


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


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


assurances that the phone hacking over which he resigned was an


isolated example of illegal activity. The Prime Minister says


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


today that his chief of staff was given complete evidence which


contradicted Andy Coulson's previous account. The Prime


Minister must now publish the fullest account of all the


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


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


for the catastrophic error of judgment he made in hiring Andy


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


insure their first car. These ridiculous premiums are being


driven by insurance companies selling fresh details of personal


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


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


insurance for many people. right honourable gentleman, the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


My constituents are increasingly concerned about the deepening


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


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


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


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


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


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


to make constructive suggestions about stress tests for their banks,


backed up with the recapitalisation involving the private sector, and


earning fiscal credibility through concrete action to reduce excessive


deficits. Basically, Eurozone countries have to recognise that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


sure that these crimes are taken very seriously by the police


because they put massive costs on to voluntary services and charities


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


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


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


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


Prime Minister to make urgent inquiries as to whether the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Akers, leading the investigation, acquitted herself extremely well.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


opportunity in light of what the Energy and Climate Change Secretary


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


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


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


is where local Enterprise partnerships can create such a


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


had any conversations about phone hacking with Andy Coulson at the


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


any meetings and phone calls between him and Andy Coulson


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


had written her questioned, of course I sought assurances from


Andy Coulson and I received those assurances. Those assurances were


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


House that all the legal press activity under the last government


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


conspiracy between the highest levels in that last government,


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


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


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


is that it will look at the relationship between politicians


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


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


inquiry will have the ability to call serving politicians, previous


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


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


the MoD Permanent Secretary told the Public Accounts Committee that


the Prime Minister himself locked the National Audit Office from


accessing relevant Security Council documents. The audit is considered


essential to assess whether decisions on the aircraft carrier


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


unprecedented. In the interests of full transparency and


accountability, will be Prime Minister now agree to immediately


release the information? The short answer is we were following


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


and explain what an appalling set of decisions by last government


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


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


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


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


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


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


honourable member for Dunfermline and Cowdenbeath set up pilot


schemes to provide sign language support for deaf parents and their


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


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


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


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


support different languages throughout the United Kingdom and


signing is an incredibly valuable language for many people in our


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


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


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


concerns the Translink real programme and the contract. He will


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


His government said that university tuition fees would average 7005


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


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


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


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


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


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


make is that university degrees have not suddenly started costing


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


our market interest rates coming down because of the action this


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that the honourable lady has not just constituency experience of


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


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


that the Citizens' Advice Bureau was probably the finest


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


certainly look at the suggestion she makes about whether the sector


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


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


out rage that the right honourable member for Kirkcaldy and


Cowdenbeath Express this week about the publication of private medical


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


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


be Prime Minister save what detailed preparatory work he


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


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


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


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


hold back from dealing with these situations because you want good


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


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


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


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


sports across the county. Will the Prime Minister congratulate two


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


representative of the Government to It sounds like an excellent


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


Minister confirm that all witnesses will be required to give evidence


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


issues surrounding News International's proposed takeover


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


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


on the current criminal investigation into phone hacking. I


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


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


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


different team than the one that carried out the original


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


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


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


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


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


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


arrests and undertaken numerous interviews. Let me turn to the


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


establish an independent public inquiry into phone hacking and


other illegal practices in the British press. We have looked


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


witnesses including newspaper reporters, management, proprietors,


policemen and politicians of all parties, to give evidence under


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


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


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


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


current system of regulation, the contacts made and discussions had


between national newspapers and politicians. Why previous warnings


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


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


effective way of regulating the press, one that supports their


freedom, plurality and independence from government, but which also


demands the highest ethical and professional standards. He will


also make recommendations about the future conduct of relations between


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


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


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


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


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


original police investigation and the issue of corrupt payments to


police officers. And it will consider the implications for the


relationships between newspapers and the police. Lord Justice has


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


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


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


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


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


shocking allegations. Allegations that royal protection officers were


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


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


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


another News International title. - Serious questions must be asked


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


has withdrawn his proposed undertakings in lieu of reference


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


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


referred their bit to the Competition Commission. The


relevant independent authorities will have the time to take an


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


decision on whether this takeover should proceed. -- considered


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


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


the law in respect of News International's proposed


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


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


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


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


whether they were directly responsible for wrong doing,


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


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


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


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


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


relationship between the media and the police. Police often used


newspapers and other media to hunt down wanted criminals and appeal


for information. However, allegations have been made that


some corrupt police officers may have taken payments from newspapers.


There are wider concerns that the relationship between the police and


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


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


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


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


improper payments, the Met Police immediately referred the case to


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


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


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


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


wear full independent investigation, drawing on all the available


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


It has the resources and full powers to investigate any


wrongdoing they might uncover. The Home Secretary has commissioned a


report from the IPCC on their experience of investigating


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


public confidence on how the arrangement works. If we are


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


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


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


the press have spent time courting support, not confronting the


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


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


with newspapers and proprietors, senior editors and executives,


regardless of the nature of the meeting. Permanent secretaries and


special advisers will also be required to record such meetings.


This information should be published quarterly. It is a first


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


whole house that we move forward swiftly, comprehensively and


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


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


establishment of the inquiry today, and can the Prime Minister


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


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


it will be an offence to destroy documents relating to this inquiry,


and can he tell us was that he will be taken to preserve documents at


Downing Street which might be relevant to the judge's inquiry. We


welcome a number of aspects of the announcement today that we have


been clearly dealing -- calling for. It must be judged lead if it is to


get to the bottom of what happened, and when. Can he confirm it has


been set up under the inquiries Act 2005, and will have the power to


compel witnesses? Can he explain how he envisages the judge and the


panel operating together? Turning to the scope of the inquiry, the


Prime Minister set out a number of areas he envisaged being covered in


his press conference last Friday, and he has gone further today. A


think it is right the government had decided to follow our advice,


and the Curia views... -- the Clear the use of the hacked off campaign


and the Dowler inquiry in acting And we come out of that exchange at


the House of Commons. You can continue to follow it on the BBC


Parliament shall. On a day where British politics is now totally


dominated by what happened at the News of the World and the fall-out


from that. Prime Minister's Questions, the front bench exchange


was all about that subject. And the Prime Minister has just made a


statement which means that for the foreseeable future, although it may


not be in the headlines to the extent it is now, this issue will


continue to rumble on for two, three, possibly four years as the


inquiries that the Prime Minister has announced into the behaviour of


the press over hacking and the police, and then they brought some


inquiry into the nature of press regulation and press standards in


this country takes place. -- a broad. One that will take place


under a judge, under oath and in public with proprietors having to


turn up as well as everybody else. Legal obligations to do so. We have


15 minutes on this programme to go. These are big events. Your reaction


first and then that of our panel. Strong reactions from you. John


from Garden City: "Ed Miliband started with a strong hand but now


he seems to be concentrating solely on Andy Coulson. He is in danger of


posturing. The key issue is standards. It looks like David


Cameron made just begin to start leading on this issue." Annie in


Manchester: "David Cameron has demonstrated he will throw anyone


to the wolves to say his -- save his own face.'s another


viewer,"Presumably Andy Coulson was vetted before taking his position.


Interesting to know whether the betting was completely done. If it


was, did the Prime Minister ignored the advice? If not completely done,


it needs to be looked into."Jacqueline Korn"David Cameron


has been forthright. If Ed Miliband tries to make a with this, he


should be demoted."Another one,"I wonder why Mr Clegg and Mr Osborne


are not joining in the roars of the backbenches."And it would not be


PMQs if we did not have a comment on the Speaker. Andrew:"The Speaker


needs to come down."A full advice. I'm sure the Speaker will help it -


- helpful advice. I'm sure the Speaker will take it. When are we


now, Nick Robinson? On the one hand, we have the Prime Minister urging


the opposition to come with him, saying that any future meeting


between senior politicians and not only -- not ordinary journalists


but their editors, managers or proprietors will have to be


recorded. We do not know how. I suspect that they will give us the


dates -- they will not give us the Danes, but I expect they will say


that there were two meetings in the last quarter or so on. When you say


recorded, not take it? It will be published, entered into the log


book. Later, not bad day, but we will be told that the Prime


Minister had a meeting with the likes of Rebekah Brooks, Rupert or


James Murdoch or their equivalents in other organisations including


the BBC. That is a very significant change. If you speak to the Prime


Minister, will bat now be -- well that's now be out? I think he means


the people who run the newspapers, so whether it would be the BBC's


head of news or the Director General, who knows? It is not yet


clear but it seems to me those meetings would be recorded along


with those from newspapers as well. There does not seem to be a great


problem with that but it is an important change. We will be able


to see a pattern of whether politicians are seeing a particular


paper or a particular -- particular proprietor in advance of important


news stories and business decisions. In addition, we will get under off


from a judge the exposure of what happened in the past between


politicians and the media. And both Ed Miliband and David Cameron have


now publicly said that there is quite a lot in their party's pasts


that they regret and in David Cameron's case, his personal past.


As it happens, Ed Miliband has had rather limited contact, something


that was seen as a problem two weeks ago. Suddenly, having no


friends and the media comes -- becomes an asset. That process of


exposing who did what, who knew what. One other thing was not said


in the statement, which are thought was terribly important. The Prime


Minister said"We must look at amending the laws. The fit and


proper test, the test that can be applied by the media regulator as


to whether anyone is a fit and proper holder of the and


broadcasting licence."The problem with that, politicians tell me, is


that until there is a conviction, you cannot say someone is not fit


and proper. The problem in this case is that the timetable for the


takeover of BSkyB is quicker than the timetable for any prosecutions.


Therefore, the decision has to be taken before you know whether they


are fit and proper. One other thing, he suggested that competition law


might have to be changed. The law was set up precisely to stop


politicians picking and choosing between which businessmen they


liked and which they did not like. Yet it leaves the Prime Minister


and the Culture Secretary in a problem, saying, we do not want


this to happen but we cannot stop it happening. That leaves


Parliament in the extraordinary situation of voting, if there is


every vote, and there may not be a vote because of procedural things,


voting to stop things happening, but being unable to do so. Margaret


Beckett, it looks like the Government has given Mr Miliband


what he wanted. It sounds like it. If you go back a week or 10 days,


we were calling for evidence on oath and a judge-led inquiry. You


name it, and it appears to be all there. If there are any nooks and


crannies, it will no doubt come out later. There may be an argument


about Heinen -- timing issues. looks as though we have got 80 or


90% of what we asked for. Were you struck by what I was struck by?


thought there was a personal thing and will the Prime Minister


said."The search your bins,"He said,"And you do not complain


because you want a good relationship."I thought that was


something that anybody on any side of the Commons could have agreed


with. It seemed to go beyond the political. I was muttering that


that was completely right. We have heard these changes. David Miliband


-- Ed Miliband challenged David Cameron to publish retrospective


details of meetings with newspaper proprietors. I expect that is


because he is assuming that Mr Cameron has had more than Mr


Miliband has had. It is confession day. Some people watching this will


say that we are effectively in war -- at war in Libya, there is a


European sovereign debt crisis gathering momentum and perhaps


coming to the boil, and that there is no sign that growth is returning


any time soon to this economy. But our political system is going to be


dominated by investigations into the media. It is the wrong priority,


some people will say. I do not think it is the wrong priority. It


is clear the public feels a sense of outrage about what has happened.


Listening to Nick, My senses that there is two parts to this. There


is looking at the relationship between the police and the media


and there is looking at the hacking episode. But there is also a


broader context, the relationship between the media and the


politicians, going back into the past. I expect that that will give


you and your colleagues in the media many, many hours of copy and


interview time over the years. It will dominate the political agenda


far more than the Iraq Inquiry did. There is also we reason why it is


not irrelevant when it comes to talking about Libby and the economy.


Nick Robinson made the point about the thing of people going through


bins, but the fact is that in any government, for as long as I can


remember, making the right decisions about your policy choices


is also influenced by how well the meatier -- influenced by how the


media treats it and you. Anything that makes that healthier is good


for politics. Well that every change, do you seriously think it


will? Does it not happen in every democracy in the world you might


yes, but it might become less poisonous. In a way, your policy


was hijacked by Mr Murdoch and News International. Perhaps that will


come out. I would suggest, Nick Robinson, that in the nest -- Nick


Robinson, but in the rest of the media, the non National newspapers,


they will be saying to Mr Murdoch, look what you have done to us, look


what your behaviour has done. agree. I have a personal view, if


you permit me. I have met people who were not in the News


International empire who have been saying,"Isn't this great?". I have


said, be careful what you wish for. This is an investigation that will


expose practices that could empower people who want to hamper the press


and the media, which could mean that people come for other people


in the media. It is all that well to say, let us open it out, but no


one knows quite where it will end. What is interesting is that when


you go back to wide this was not reopened, John Yates has had lot of


criticism but let us be honest, journalists like myself have had


criticism for not taking it seriously enough a few months ago.


Part of why I believe the police did not reopen the case, as well as


other things that may be exposed, it comes to the root of your


question, which is, or do not better things to be doing? There


was a frustration that the political classes were dragging the


police into dealing with their own dirty business and the view of the


police was, sort yourself out, politicians. I have to stop you


there because I have news for more important than anything you have


been talking about. Far more important and rather sad. Sad for


us and our regular viewers. After three years, Anita is departing.


She leaves behind a treasure trove of memories and great times but we


have enjoyed together with the team. Here are some of them. -- that we


have enjoyed. Let us see if you can remember when


this happened. Bon jour! That is French, don't you


know? Repeat after me, argued David


Lambie, happy to share a platform with me, Jo Swinson? Why you, David


Lambie, happy to share a platform with me, Jo Swinson? -- are you,


David Lambie. A healthy body needs a healthy mind.


A healthy body, needs a healthy mind.


I will do it again. Take two! I am talking nonsense.


Are you taking over this interview, David? Let me answer another


question. Don't do that, it is not nice.


Salut! How can you not be sad after seeing


all of that. The flowers on the film was when Anita went off to


have a baby. These are flowers for you, my darling. For our last


programme. Thank you.


What are you going to do now? I have a new show on Radio 5 Live


and I will be popping up on Radio 4. You get to pick a winner.


It is Josie. You were getting a mug. -- a Daily Politics mug.


1945, the Euro was born. We will be back tomorrow night. I will be


joined by Michael Portillo, Quentin Letts, Diane Abbott and Jon Snow.


Download Subtitles