11/08/2011 Daily Politics


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Morning folks. Welcome to this special edition of the Daily


Politics. In the aftermath of the riots of the past week MPs have


returned to Westminster for an emergency session of parliament to


discuss the violence, looting, widespread lawlessness that has


swept across most of England's major cities.


After four nights of disorder last night was much calmer, thanks to


large police numbers and heavy rain, while courts sat through the night


to deal with the hundreds of those arrested.


In half an hour the Prime Minister will outline more details of what


he's called the fightback against the riots when he addresses the


Commons. We will have his statement live here at 11.30am. And, as


markets tumble further over questions now about France's


economy, Chancellor George Osborne will be making a statement on the


global financial turbulence. So, all that to come before 1.00


this afternoon on this Daily Politics special. With me for the


duration Conservative Party chairman Baroness Warsi and former


Labour Home Secretary Charles Clarke. Welcome to you both.


Now, after four nights when the streets of England's cities became


the scene of riots and looting, sometimes unchecked by the police,


last night was that bit quieter. But if the immediate threat of


continuing riots appears to have died down the questions about


police tactics, police response, police numbers, and the political


argument over just why England has been riven by riot with areas given


over to anarchy for hour upon hour, well they're only just starting.


Speaking this morning Labour's shadow Home Secretary, Yvette


Cooper, told the BBC that the Government must reverse its


decision to cut police budgets. We've always said that we think the


scale and pace of the cuts to the police budget is too great. It's


unsustainable and is unfair on communities because it is taking


risks with law and order. I think the events of the last few days


have made it abundantly clear that if you have more officers on the


streets, if you have more police out and about it makes a real


difference. Speaking for the Government the Liberal Democrat


leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg rejected the idea that


the rioting was linked to cuts in police numbers. I think it's simply


ridiculous to say that people have been smashing windows, looting


shops, thiefing, stealing, because of Government policies or indeed


about cuts to some police numbers which haven't happened and all of


which we judge as a Government are entirely managable and will allow


the police in the future, just as they have today, to deploy large


numbers into areas where that is needed.


That's a taste of what we may hear more of in the Commons from the


coalition and the Labour opposition in just under half an hour. Charles


Clarke, are these riots, will they result in a watershed in British


politics? I think they'll be very substantial, at a whole set of


levels. Firsly, it tells you that there are consequences to what


happens and that means on economic policy, on policing policy and so


on, there are consequences. So, I would be very surprised if all the


Government - doesn't want to stop and think again about the various


policies they're pursuing. Secondly, I think the Prime Minister's


metaphor of sickness, which is an interesting one to use in some ways


a poor one to use, in my opinion, does raise the question what is the


sickness, who is sick, what's the diagnosis, what are the steps that


have to be taken in a variety of different ways, in particular areas


and so on? In that sense it's a debate worth having. There's a lot


to be said about it. Do you have this debate during the 13 years you


were in power? Absolutely if you... What went wrong? If you take the


sickness metaphor, we went through a set of programmes to recreate and


strengthen communities in inner cities. For example, the Sure Start


programmes, neighbourhood policing, anti-social behaviour, a range of


different things which were done to address this. Doesn't seem to have


worked, does it? The biggest failure, I think, was not have a


Coe here -- coherent enough approach to children, a group


alienated and that's a failure we had. Generally speaking we did


commit to solving problemss. Will this be a watershed for the


coalition, will it have to rethink its approach in a number of areas.


It will have to become more front- footed about some areas we have


been talking about. I agree with Charles, that this is a really


important debate to have. What is the sickness, where does it come


from, what are the underlining causes and what can you do to deal


with it? What I would define as a sickness is this culture, this


feeling of a lack of personal responsibility. People feeling that,


if I can I will. If you hear about some of the people going through


the courts these are not deprived disadvantaged or even young people


some of them, we heard about some people now in their 30s with jobs


who took advantage and it's this culture of I can take advantage of


this, I don't have to suffer consequences of my actions and


there is that underlining deep- seated cultural... Why does it take


a riot to make the political system face this? We have seen in this


country an underclass festering for 40 years and getting more and more


entrenched and yet on the left and the right you have effectively


looked the other way. When we have spoken and I have spoken about the


underclass in the past, I mean I have spoken about, for example, my


own working class roots and... That's very different. That's


different to what we see now as an underclass and we see it across all


communities and I have spoken about it in relation to specific


communities. When I have spoken about this or indeed when David


Cameron has spoken about this when he spoke about broken Britain,


there were a lot on the left and even the kind of intelligence on


all sides who were a bit sniffy about saying why are we talking


about this and maybe in some ways that important debate that David


was having and the the khrfs were - - Conservatives were having. Seems


to have dropped it recently. Despite much op significant from --


op session from people -- opposition not to talk about what


it means to have a strong society, to have strong parenting we managed


to continually talk about it and this highlights why it's important.


OK. Charles Clarke, you doubled public spending in the Labour


Government, you had massive amounts of money going into these areas,


yet it did not eradicate the core problem of a largely unemployed


underclass. It didn't eradicate it. It made massive impact on it and I


don't agree with your picture of 40 years of nothing happening in these


areas. We had an enormous range of programmes which were targeted


specifically at the inner city. For example, the parenting example. We


had massive support for parenting precisely to try and address some


of these particular problems. I will concede, of course, that we


did not solve the problems, that's definitely the case. But it's


certainly not the case it was broken Britain or this analysis


being described. Britain looks pretty broken to people abroad


today. You have a group of thousands of people who have been


doing this terrible action, creating fear and if you look at


the numbers from the Met, from the West Midlands, that's what it is,


thousands, not tens of thousands of people. All right. Thank you for


your initial impressions, we will go into more detail in a minute.


But let me remind you of how events have unfolded on England's city


streets over the past few days. Here is Adam Fleming.


Trouble first flared on Saturday night in the north London borough


of Tottenham. Police cars were attacked then set on fire, local


businesses damaged, homes destroyed. I was trying to get out of the


building, we were in such a panic and then we got outside and then I


saw the building. Flames going up the building. It started as a


peaceful sreupblgily by the -- vigil by friends and family of this


man, Mark Duggan who was shot a few days before. Then came the looting


at a nearby retail park, where clothes and electronics were stolen.


As the community counted the cost of a night of violence, messages


were circulating across the city on BlackBerry mobile phones calling


for more. That came on the following night. On Monday youths


fought battles with riot police in Hackney, south of the river in


Croydon a furniture warehouse that survived the two world wars was


burned to the ground. The affluent suburb of Ealing looked more like a


war zone and shops in Clapham Junction became targets for more


looting. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, flew back early from his


holidays, so too did the Prime Minister who called in


reinforcements for the under pressure met police. The Police


commissioner has said compared with the 6,000 police on the streets


last night in London, there will be some 16,000 officers tonight. All


leave within the Metropolitan Police has been cancelled. There


will be aid coming from police forces up and down the country.


That led to a night of relative calm in London, a city that felt


like it was in lockdown. But trouble flared in other places,


including Birmingham, elsewhere in the Midlands, Manchester, Salford,


Gloucester. An ever widening spiral of disorder that's led to hundreds


arrested, that's left politicians struggling to keep up and which has


stretched the police almost to the limit.


Adam Fleming with an overview of events of the past week. We can now


join him in parliament as MPs gather for this emergency statement


by the Prime Minister. It will happen at 11.30am.


Morning, Andrew. MPs are coming back from their holidays for this


emergency recall of parliament to listen to David Cameron's statement,


then there's going to be a debate lasting to about 7.00pm. I am


delighted to say I am joined by Priti Patel, the Conservative MP,


and Chuka Umunna, the Labour MP for Streatham in London, there was


actually trouble in your constituency at the weekend. Now,


how do you make sure this isn't a talking shop with people standing


up to condemn the violence and nothing gets done? Well, I think


the condemnation will come, that's inevitable, there's no doubt about


that. I think the questions will also come in terms of policing, in


terms of also the sanctions against these people that have committed


these crimes. Actually I think, certainly from my constituents and


I am sure others written to, that's what the public want to hear, that


action will be taken and importantly they want to know that


the state has regained control as well, particularly of our streets.


What sort of sanctions are you talking about? I think it's


punishments for those that are convicted of violence and


criminality. I have spoken this morning about this issue already. I


do think we have to look at taking away some of those -- where they


have been convicted of criminal acts. What does that mean for


sentencing reforms planned by Ken Clarke the just Secretary? That's


an open question. That's a piece of legislation going to go through the


Commons in the autumn. I think we got to look at the eninforcement of


punishment and this is also about welfare reform as well, another


piece of legislation, looking at housing benefits, for example and


some of the welfare benefits that people are currently getting. We


have to relook at that, where they have committed acts of violence and


criminality. There was disturbance in your constituency, do you have a


theory about the root causes behind all of this? The first thing I


would say I don't think we should engage in knee-jerk reaction to


what's happened, I say that as an constituency MP who has had an


constituency affected by this, it's not just a question of the law,


it's a question of the application and enforcement of it. Of course,


that brings in lots of issues, for example, police numbers. I mean,


there was points in my constituency at the time over the weekend where


we were just overwhelmed and so resourcing is an issue there. But I


hope today that we are not going to have a competition to see who can


express the most outrage and come up with perhaps the most punitive


sanctions, hang them and flog them tone of debate, I hope we don't go


down that avenue. Secondly, I hope people like myself and my


constituents, we are entitled to have a discussion about the deep


profound causes of what has happened without accusations that


we are somehow appeasing or excusing what went on, because I


tell you what, we are the ones who suffered from it. So if anyone can


see there is absolutely no justification for what has been


going on, it's people in my constituency and members of


parliament like myself who represent those that have been


affected. Do you agree with your Labour colleagues like khreufbg and


Harare har Ken Livingstone and Harriet Harman? I am not sure I


necessarily would put it that way myself. Partly because some of


those things have still to come through. But there clearly is


something that has gone profoundly wrong here. Even although I have


said time and again this was opportunistic behaviour, completely


inexcusable, we have to look at why is it that people behaving in this


way, why are they doing these things? Unless we look for an


explanation, unless we look to have a deeper understanding of what has


gone on, instead of engaging in a kind of armchair commentary based


on anecdotal-style debate we are not going to prevent it happening


again. I do not want the people I represent ever having to feel that


they can't go and walk on their streets at night ever again. Thank


you very much. An idea there I think of some of the things that we


will hear in the debate when they get to talk after the Prime


Minister's statement. Thank you. Indeed, that is a sense


of the mood inside parliament as MPs return and as they were


discussing the debate is focusing, part anyway, on police tactics and


police numbers. This morning the acting Metropolitan Police


Commissioner defended the way the capital's police forces acted


What I would like to do is pay tribute to the men and women who


went out on Monday night, when we faced unprecedented, unprecedented,


violence and damage and criminality and looting. They were so brave. I


was so proud of them, in terms of how they did stand up. Any


suggestion that the officers stood back is wrong. We are joined now by


the former Scotland Yard police commander Bob Milton. Good morning.


Welcome to the programme. Sayeeda Warsi, did increasing the numbers


of police on the streets on Tuesday night, particularly in London, stop


the riots? Yes, I think it made a material difference. So doesn't it


follow, therefore, that if you cut the police numbers, as your


Government is planning to do, we are more likely to get disorder?


what follows police officers should be out on the streets more. They


should be spending more of their time in frontline policing rather


than completing paperwork. There's a statistic which says the average


officer spends 14% of his or her time on patrol and spends 22 % of


their time completing paperwork. Are you telling our viewers that,


even though overall police numbers are being cut, that's inco


veritable, your Government admitted that, there'll not with a reduction


of police on the streets? That's exactly what I'm saying. And that's


a promise, a guarantee? The Home Secretary has been saying


consistently that visible policing, which is what made the difference


that night. I understand that. visible policing and the situation


of the last three days, that if God forbid a situation like that was to


arise we would have the visible police numbers to deal with it


after the cuts. So to be clear, whatever the cuts in police budgets


that are taking place, that will not lead to a reduction in police


numbers fon streets? It will note lead to a reduction in police


visibility on the streets. Police officers who currently maybe are


sitting... What's the difference between visibility in numbers?


actually be a police officer which is a statistic and part of the


number but not spend any time on patrol. We are very clear about


police visibility on the streets. In fact the reforms are about


saying we don't want police officers sat in back rooms. I get


the point. Charles Clarke, you are a former Home Secretary, according


to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, in many areas only


10% of the total police complement are in their -- are on the streets?


In principle it is possible. That's what we were doing about numbers on


the streets when I was Home Secretary and beforehand. A series


of measures, the most important of which was neighbourhood policing,


and establishing the police community support officers. The


paperwork Sayeeda refer to is necessary to bring about the


conviction of criminals. That's what police are engaged in doing.


The airwave radio system, designed to increase the number of people


going out on if beat. However, the core point is there's a cynicism


and a dishonesty in what both the Home Secretary is saying and what


Sayeeda just now said, with the suggestion that somehow you can cut


the police gucts the scale that's necessary and at the same time


retain the same or more police presence on the streets. I've


spoken to many Chief Constables about this and to Denis oh Conor,


it is simply not possible at this level. But if only 10% of police


are on the streets, why is it not possible, why are 90% elsewhere?


Because there's a whole set of patterns of policing, including


focusing on areas of particular need. The policing the other need,


that would mean there is much less police presence elsewhere. We


called off football matches for that purpose. I'm not contesting,


Andrew, that it is necessary to get a higher proportion of police time


on the street. Would say however, that was being done, is being done,


and cannot be done enough to justify the cuts in police numbers


which the Government is proposing. You are a former policeman. What do


you say? It is not simply how many police officers on the street, but


how they operate. The communities over the last few days have given


the Police Service a clear mandate. They do not want a Police Service


that panders to who shouts loudist, and they are monitored to death.


They want police officers going out there enforcing the law. Maybe they


want a police force rather than a Police Service. You could say that.


The point is that over the last 15- 20 years we've seen a slow erosion


of the authority of police officers on the street. What's happening now


is the shackles are being removed. We are seeing that large numbers of


police officers are not sustainable. Of course we can't keep 16,000. But


having police forces on the streets of London and the rest of the


country on a 24 hour basis has shown communities what can be done.


What do you make of reports in the media that the Metropolitan Police,


as these riots gathered pace, and before the show of strength on


Tuesday night, that ordinary bobbies in the riot gear and on the


streets were instructed, "To stand and observe" rather than take on


the rioters. There are two issues there. Can you confirm that?


can't confirm, that because I wasn't in the control room. No, but


you have contacts in the police. What I can say clearly is when you


have disorder, you have to stamp it out straight away. That means


getting sufficient people there early. Once you've done that the


problem goes away. We didn't get sufficient people there early,


because we didn't have sufficient police officers on the response


teams 24 hours ago. Police community support officers are a


good ideal. A good idea which hasn't worked. These officers


individually may be very good but collectively they can't deal with


this problem. They very expensive. They are not designed to deal with


this type of problem. We need to build up the 24 hour response teams.


We need to remove police officers from the offices. Concentrate on


police officers on the street who can deal with problems. The rest of


the criminal justice system needs to step up and support the Police


Service as well. Could you, as chairman of the Conservative Party,


could you advise Conservative candidates in Croydon, Ealing,


Battersea, all margin of seats which you could win or lose in an


election, to justify your Government's policy of cutting


police budgets by 2.5 billion and increasing overseas aid by �2.7


billion? They are two separate issues. But they are both parts of


the pot of money. Tell them how to justify that. Let me deal with the


two issues separately. In relation to the police budget cuts, let's


not forget this is about 6% in real cash terms. When we keep talking


about billions and trillions it is very important to work this out in


terms of what the police will be losing in real cash terms, and how


they can be sure that the police numbers... The Mayor of London, a


Tory.... He has every right to make a bid for more money, but that was


the decision that was taken. Internationally it is not


particularly popular and not particularly something that


everybody would support. Wouldn't people think it is time to give aid


to Croydon, Ealing and Tottenham and the inner cities of Manchester


and Liverpool? I think you are completely wrong to compare the


famine in Somalia, the floods in Pakistan, all the other programmes,


to what happened in Tottenham. These are two completely different


areas. I think as Conservative Party co-chairman one of the things


I am proud about is the fact that the Conservative Party is saying


that, as a party, we value the fact that despite being in tough


financial circumstances we should stand by the poorest in the world.


Bob Milton, have the police have a loss of confidence? Has there been


a problem of the events of the G20 summit and the policeman, where the


news agent was killed. Absolutely. And complaints about kettling


during the student demonstrations, even though some were quite


violent? Is there a feeling in the police force if we come down too


hard we get thumped, and if we stand back we get thumped?


Absolutely. I'm in contact with young police officers on the street


and they are fearful. They have to think three or four times before


making a decision. This this change this? I think it will. This is a


watershed. If politicians, leaders of the police force and communities


get together, there is an opportunity here to really change


the way we police London and the rest of the country. And the


Government is about to make it worse by getting Boris Johnson who


sacked Commissioners of police and eroded that morale. That is not


true, Charles. I'm sure some people in Ealing and Battersea and


Tottenham wish they had more control over the police on Saturday


night. But not Boris Johnson. leave that to Boris.


The debate about police tactics and numbers centre stage, but what


about the deeper questions, about why these looters and rioters, why


did they take to the streets in the first place? Was it opportunistic?


Yesterday the Prime Minister returned to his broken Britain


theme. He made a lot about nit opposition. He said, "There are


pockets of our society that aren't just broken but are frankly sick."


Harriet Harman struck a more sympathetic tone, citing youth


unemployment and the Education Maintenance Allowance.


She said young people feel they are not being listened to by the


current Government Boris Johnson chose the moment to fire an awkward


shot across the bows of the Government. He said this is not a


time to think about making substantial cuts in police numbers.


Ken Livingstone blamed the rioting on the Government's spending cuts.


The economic stagnation and cuts being imposed by the Tory


Government, he said, inevitably create social division.


So, the political blame game is now well under way. We'll probably get


more of it when we go to Parliament at 11.30. For the moment we are


joined by the BBC's Nick Robinson. Nick, good to see you in August!


Labour's line on this, I'm a little unsure what it is at the moment. It


seemed for a while they were emphasising the law and order


approach. Now we have Harriet Harman, put aside Ken Livingstone,


who is a law under to himself, but Harriet Harman talking about


Government cuts. I think Ed Miliband has been determined to


keep his party talking about one thing - public order. Which is why


he didn't back Ken Livingstone when he seemed to link wit the cuts. He


certainly didn't back Harriet Harman when she, in rather


difficulty language, and she insists she was misquoted by


Newsnight, she seemed to suggest there was a cut in Education


Maintenance Allowance, cuts in koulth services. Is it?


directly. You have to have policies to help aspiration. The idea that


the Government's policies are causing the action on the streets


is wrong. It doesn't help what's happening in inner cities but to


say these events took place because of a Government cut on EMA, that's


wrong. Who was in charge, Warsi works of the country when the riots


began on Saturday night? The Prime Minister was in charge. He was


informed constantly what was happening. He was in Tuscany.


was informed what was happening. The Home Secretary was aware of


what was happening and when he realised things were getting worse


he returned. People do want to know who was in charge. Even if the


Prime Minister was in charge, I understand about modern


communications, and he was only in Tuscany, not that far away, only an


hour's time difference. Where were you? I was in France, but I don't


run the country. Of course not. he was in charge, why did it take


until Tuesday night to get a robust response? Wing we can sit here and


we can talk who was where at what time? What's the answer to my


question? What is moist important is did we make sure that our


streets were protected. You didn't! Did the Prime Minister make sure


the situation was brought under control. Many people would say you


didn't. Why did it take until Tuesday night, so that people in


Tottenham and in Hackney and in Birmingham and Liverpool, Ealing


and so on, by then ordinary shopkeepers had been burnt out of


their premises. If the Prime Minister was running the country on


Saturday night, why did it take until Tuesday night? If you are


saying that if the Prime Minister had been in the country none of


that would have happened, which is what you are suggesting. No, I'm


not making the issue of where he was. I'm asking you, if the Prime


Minister as in charge of the country, why did it take until


Tuesday night? Because, if that's what you are suggesting that the


Prime Minister was not in the country. Just answer the question.


I'm not suggesting anything. are. I will ask it again. If the


Prime Minister was in charge of the country on Saturday night, why did


it take until Tuesday night, after which so much destruction and


ordinary people had their lives shattered y did it take until then.


You can keep eemphasising the question. This was a changing set


of circumstances. We have in the past had public disorder, looting,


robberies and burglaries. What we had on these nights were looting,


robberies and public disorder, widespread, in different areas at


the same time, with gangs using social networking sites, BlackBerry


Messenger and Twitter to get together quickly and move on to a


new area. I'm sure once our streets are safe, once we've moved on from


all of this, of course lots of people will look back at what could


have been done operationally, whether policing would coo have


been done differently. These will have to be answered. Let's admit


not forget the extreme circumstances we found ourselves.


It was right for the Prime Minister to say when he realised this was an


everchanging matter he was in the country and he made sure our


streets were protected. Sundaying morn there was anarchy in


Wood Green. Shops were being looted, people terrorised, with impunity by


Sunday morning it was clear something different was taking


place. Why was there no real This was a constantly changing


situation which the Prime Minister was aware of and when he felt the


matter had got worse, having been in contact constantly throughout


that period, he returned. He took charge and what we should look at


is how we then took charge, how he then made sure that the streets


were protected, the operational changes were made, and people felt


that their streets were protected. We can go over this over and over


again, or we can actually say right now what's the most important thing


is to make sure people feel safe on the streets of London and in other


cities and things get back to normal. People will now make up


their minds whether you have answered the question or not.


have. It's up to the viewer. It's not for me to decide or the you,


the viewers will decide and will let us know in these days of tweets


and e-mails. What's the mood on the Tory backbenches at the moment?


will discover, most of them have been away. I was in Wolverhampton


with the Prime Minister yesterday. What you were talking about there,


there was a debate in Downing Street about whether to bring the


Prime Minister back with some people inside Number 10 concerned


that the act of bringing him home would somehow make it appear more


of a crisis. Bear in mind there are always calls on senior politicians


to come back from holidays and always resistance from them and


their aides because the danger is you set a precedent and you do it


endlessly. There had been calls for the Prime Minister to return


because of the economic crisis before this happened but it's clear


that there are a number of people in Number 10 saying do not bring


David Cameron home, it will make it look worse and eventually those who


were in favour of persuading him to come home did succeed but they now


regret I think they didn't do it sooner. I was trying to raise the


issue of not whether or not the Prime Minister should have come


home or not, that's a matter of judgment, but if as the chairman


has told us the Prime Minister was in charge of the country from


Tuscany, with the help of others, why did it take so long to get a


response? That's an excellent question, the issue is about the


command and control mechanism which is not about where the Prime


Minister is physically. That was my point. The question is what was the


command and control mechanism. I don't understand why COBRA was


brought together over the Prime Minister returned. COBRA could have


been brought together on Sunday or Monday by the Home Secretary or by


another Minister as appropriate, not even necessarily Government


Minister, it could have been a senior official, if it was


necessary to bring together. Presumably the Prime Minister could


have joined by video or phone. easily. I believe the reason


actually is that the scale of the problem wasn't understood by the


Government, possibly even by the Metropolitan Police until as late


as about Monday lunchtime. Isn't there another factor here, which


you will know from your time as Home Secretary, part of the change


in the responsibilities for the Metropolitan Police means nobody's


sure who is in charge, not only do you have an acting Commissioner at


the met, he has two bosses, the Home Secretary and the Mayor of


London, who both happened to be on holiday. There seemed a lack of


clarity. And this was an operational matter and should have


been dealt with by the operational response of people responsible.


It's why I am concerned about the whole question of elected


Commissioners and so on. You have an absolutely clear operational


accountability, without that accountability being consistently


second-guessed, as Boris Johnson done with this police force in


London and led to a morale collapse at the top of the Met meaning a


real absence of leadership at a time when it was needed.


tactics clearly did change later in the week and changed after the


Prime Minister returned, chaired COBRA and the Prime Minister's not


in charge of it at all. You had Kit Malthouse, Boris Johnson's deputy


was in the country dealing with the police, then Boris Johnson returns,


in the end it did appear that tactics consciously changed after


the Prime Minister returned. Let me tell our viewers it's now just


coming up to 25 minutes to 12, you are watching a Daily Politics


special to coincide with the return of parliament. You should be able


to look at it there, it's a packed House. They've all come back from


holidays. We are waiting on the Prime Minister to make his


statement, it will be followed by a statement from the leader of the


opposition and then the Prime Minister will take questions from


backbenchers on both sides. Charles Clarke, a lot of talk about


the traditional forms of social deprivation that can cause social


unrest and so on. If you take Tottenham, I was looking at the


figures, where this all started, I am going to have to hold that


question... We go straight to the House.


The question is as on the order papers. The ayes have it. Statement


from the Prime Minister. Thank you Mr Speaker.


With permission, I would like to make a statement. First of all, let


me thank you Mr Speaker and honourable and right honourable


members for returning. When there are important events in our country


it is right that parliament is recalled and that we show a united


front. I am grateful to the leader of the opposition for the


constructive approach he has taken over the past few days. I have


tried to speak with many of the members whose constituencies have


been affected and I would like to pay particular tribute to the


member for Tottenham for his powerful words and actions over


recent days. What we have seen on the streets of London and in other


cities across our country is completely unacceptable and I am


sure the whole House will join me in condemning it. Keeping people


safe is the first duty of Government. The whole country has


been shocked by the most appalling scenes of people looting, violence,


vandalising and thiefing. It is criminality, pure and simple and


there is absolutely no excuse for it. We have seen houses, offices


and shops raided and torched, police officers assaulted and


firecrews attacked as they tried to put out fires. We have seen people


robbing others while they lie injured and bleeding in the street.


And even three innocent people being deliberately run over and


killed in Birmingham. Mr Speaker, we will not put up with this in our


country. We will not allow a culture of fear to exist on our


streets and we will do whatever it takes to restore law and order and


to rebuild our communities. First we must be clear about the sequence


of events. A week ago today a 29- year-old man named Mark Duggan was


shot dead by the police in Tottenham. Clearly there are


questions that must be answered and I can assure the House that this is


being investigated thoroughly and independently by the Independent


Police Complaints Commission. We must get to the bottom of exactly


what happened and we will. Mr Speaker, initially there were


peaceful demonstrations following Mark Duggan's death and


understandably and appropriately the police were cautious about how


they dealt with this. However, this was then used as an excuse by


opportunistic thugs in gangs, first in Tottenham then across London and


in other cities and it's completely wrong to say there is any


justifiable causal link. It is simply preposterous for anyone to


suggest people looting in Tottenham, days later in Salford were in any


way doing so because of the death of Mark Duggan. The young people


stealing televisions and burning shops, that was not about politics


or protest, it was about theft. Mr Speaker, in recent days individual


police officers have shown incredible bravery and worked in


some cases around the clock without a break and they deserve our


support and our thanks. But what came increasingly clear this week


there was simply far too few police deployed on to our streets and the


tactics they were using weren't working. Police chiefs have been


frank with me about why this happened. Initially the police


treated the situation too much as a public order issue, rather than


essentially one of crime. The truth is that the police have been facing


a new and unique challenge, with different people doing the same


thing basically looting in different places, but all at the


same time. Mr Speaker, to respond to this situation we are acting


decisively to restore order on our streets, to support the victims of


this terrible violence, and to look at the deeper problems that have


led to such a hard core of young people to decide to carry out such


appalling criminality. Let me take each in turn. First, restoring


order. Following the meetings of COBRA which I chaired on Tuesday


and Wednesday and again this morning we have taken decisive


action to help ensure more robust and effective policing. Because of


decisions made by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Tim Godwin and


other police chiefs up and down the country there are more police on


the streets, more people being arrested, and more criminals being


prosecuted. The Metropolitan Police increased the number deployed on


the streets of London from 6,000 to almost 16,000 officers and this


number will remain throughout the weekend. We have also seen large


increases in deployments of officers in other affected areas.


Leave in affected forces has been cancelled. Police officers have


been bussed from forces across the country to areas of greatest need


and many businesses have also quite rightly released special constables


to help and they performed magnificently as well. More than


1200 people have been arrested. We are making technology work for us


by capturing images of the perpetrators on CCTV so even if


they haven't been yet arrested their faces are known and they will


not escape the law. As I said yesterday, no phoney human rights


concerns about publishing photographs will get in the way of


bringing these criminals to justice. Anyone charged with violent


disorder and other serious offences should expect to be remanded in


custody, not let back on the streets. And anyone convicted


should expect to go to jail. Courts in London, Manchester, and the West


Midlands have been sitting through the night and will do so for as


long as is necessary. Magistrates courts have proved effective in


ensuring swift justice. Crown courts are starting to deal with


the most serious of cases. We are keeping under constant review


whether the courts have the necessary sentencing powers that


they need and we will act if necessary. As a result of the


robust and uncompromising measures that have been taken, good progress


is being made in restoring order to the streets of London and other


cities around our country. As I have made clear, nothing should be


off the table, every constingency should be looked at. The police are


also authorised to use baton rounds and while they would not be


appropriate now, we do have in place plans for water cannon to be


available at 24 hours' notice. Some people have raised the issue of the


Army. The acting Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police said to me


that he would rather be the last man left in Scotland Yard with all


his management team out on the streets before he asked for Army


support. That is the right attitude and one I share. But it is the


Government's responsibility to make sure that every future contingency


is looked at, including whether there are tasks that the Army could


undertake that might free up more police for the front front --


frontline. Everyone watching these horrific actions will be struck by


how they were organised by social media. Information can be used for


good, but it can also be used for ill so we are working with the


police, intelligence services and industry to look at whether it


would be right to stop people communicating via these websites


and services when we know they're plotting violence, disorder and


criminality. I have also asked the police if they need any other new


powers. Specifically on face masks, currently they can only ask for


these to be removed in a specific geographical location and for a


limited time. I can announce today that we are going to give the


police the discretion to require the removal of face coverings under


any circumstances where there is reasonable suspicion they're


related to criminal activity. And on dealing with crowds, we are


looking also at the use of the existing des%al powers and with


wider power of curfew is necessary. Mr Speaker, whenever the police


face a new threat they must have the freedom and the confidence to


change tactics as necessary. This Government will always make sure


they have the backing and political support to do so. The fightback has


well and truly begun. But there will be no complacency, and we will


not stop this mindless violence and thuggery is defeated and law and


order is fully restored on all our streets. Let me turn to the


innocent victims. No one will forget the images of the woman


jumping from a burning building, or the furniture shop that had


survived the blitz but now has been tragically burned to the ground.


And everyone will have been impressed by the brave words of


Tariq Jahan, whose son was brutally and tragically run over and killed.


Shops, businesses, homes, too many have been vandalised or destroyed.


And I give the people affected this promise: We will help you repair


the damage, get your businesses back up and running and support


your communities. Let me take each in turn. On repairing the damages I


can confirm that any individual home owner or business that's


suffered damage to, or loss of their buildings, or property as a


result of rioting can seek compensation under the riot damages


Act even if uninsured. The Whereas normally claims must be received


within 14 days, we will extend the period to 42 days. The Association


of British Insurers have said they expect the industry to be paying


out in excess of �200 million and have assured us that claims will be


dealt with as quickly and constructively as possible. On


supporting business, we are we are setting up a new �20 million


support scheme to help affected businesses get back up and running


quickly. And to minimise the cost facing businesses the Government


will enable authorities local to We will defer tax payments for


businesses in greater need. For houses and businesses that have


been most badly damaged we've instructed the valuation office to


stop liability for council tax and business rates. A specific point


was raised with me in Wolverhampton yesterday, that planning


regulations make it difficult for shops to put up protective shutters.


We will weed out unnecessary planning regulations to ensure that


businesses can get back on their feet and feel secure on our high


streets as soon as possible. On supporting local communities, I


can confirm that the Bellwyn scheme to support local authorities will


be parable. However, to support urgent funding we are establishing


a �2 million recovery scheme to support councils to make areas safe,


clean and clear again. The Government will meet the immediate


costs of emergency accommodation for families made homeless by these


disturbance. The Secretaries of State for communities, local


Government and business have made available to the House details of


all those schemes today. The situation continues to evolve and


we will keep any additional support under close review.


Finally, Mr Speaker, let me turn to the deeper problems. Responsibility


for crime always lies with the criminal. MEMBERS: Hear, hear..


These people were all volunteers. They didn't have to do what they


did, and they must suffer the consequences. But crime has a


context, we must not shy away from it. I've said before there's a


major problem in society with children Gloag up not knowing the


difference between right and wrong. This is not about poverty but


culture. A culture that glorifys violence, that shows disrespect to


authority, that knows everything about rights and nothing about


responsibilities. In too many cases the parents, if they are still


around, don't care where their children are or what they are doing.


The possibly consequences have been clear for too long without enough


action being taken. As I said yesterday there is no one step that


can be taken but we need a benefit system that rewards work and is on


the side of families. We need more discipline in our schools, action


to deal with the most disruptive families and a criminal justice


system that score as clear and heavy line between right and wrong.


In short, all action necessary to help mend our broken society. At


the heart of all the violence sits the issue of street gangs.


Territorial, hire ark cal and incredibly violent, they are mostly


composed of young boys, mainly from dysfunctional homes. They earn


money through crime, particularly drugs, and are bound together by an


imposed loyalty to a gang leader. They have blighted life on their


estates with gang on gang murders and proup volcanoed attacks on nebt


bystanders. There is evidence that they've been behind the co-


ordination of attacks on police and the looting that followed. I want


us to use the record of success against gangs from cities like bost


ston in the USA and Strathclyde Police, andened want this to be a


national priority. We've introduced gang injunction and I can announce


today we are going to use them across the whole country for


children and adults. There are further sanctions available beyond


the criminal justice system. Local authorities and landlords already


have tough powers to evict the perpetrators from social housing.


Some local authorities are already doing this. I want to see others


follow their lead. We will consider whether these powers need to be


strengthened further. The I've asked the Home Secretary to work


with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and other


colleagues on a cross-Government programme to act on gang come. We


should be looking beyond our shores to learn lessons, and that's why I


shall discuss further with the Commissioner of Police in Los


Angeles. The problem is not just gangs. There were people who saw


shop windows smashed and thought it would be OK to go in and steal. It


is not OK. These people too will have to face the full consequences


of their actions. Mr Speaker, in the past few days


we've seen a range of emotions sweep this country. Anger, fear,


frustration, despair, sadness, and finally a determined resolve that


we will not let a violent few beat us. We saw this resolve in the


people who gathered in Clapham, Manchester, Wolverhampton with


brooms to clean up our streets. We saw any knows that patrol in --


patrolled the roads. Those who protected the Southall temple to.


The law abiding people who play by the rules and are the overwhelming


majority in our country, I stay fight-back has begun. We will


protect you. If you've had your livelihood and property damaged we


will compensate you. We are on your side. To the lawless minority, the


criminals who've taken what they can get, I say this. We will track


you down. We will find you. We will charge you. We will punish you. You


will pay for what you have done. We need to show the world, which has


looked on frankly appalled, that perpetrators of the violence we've


seen on our streets are note in anyway representative of our


country, nor of our young people. We need to show them that we will


address our broken society. We will restore a sense of stronger


morality and responsibility in every town, in every street and in


every estate. And aee away from the Olympics we need to show them the


Britain that doesn't destroy but that builds. That doesn't give up


but stands up, that doesn't look back and always looks forward. I


commend this statement to the house. THE SPEAKER: Ed Miliband.


Speaker, can I thank the Prime Minister for his statement and


thank him for his suggestion to suggest to you, Mr Speaker, that


Parliament was recalled? Whatever dedisagree on, week by week, month


by month, today as a House of Commons we stand shoulder to


shoulder, united against the vandalism and violence we have seen


on our streets. The victims are the innocent people, who live in many


of our cities, who have seen their homes and businesses destroyed.


Their communities damaged. And their confidence about their own


safety undermined. There can be no excuses. No justification. This


behaviour has disgusted us all. It can't be allowed to stand. We will


not allow it to stand. I want to join the Prime Minister in mourning


the loss of life we've seen, including those killed in London


and Birmingham. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of


those who've died. With people like Haroon Jahan. We stand -- people


like Tariq gentleman gentleman. He is the true face of Britain, the


Britain of which we are all proud. I want to thank our brave policemen


and women for the work they've been doing on our behalf, and the


emergency services. We salute them for their courage, their dedication


and their willingness to put themselves in harm's way for all of


us and all our communities. Mr Speaker, thank to them a degree of


order has been re-established on our streets. But from all sides of


this House we know what the public want and are entitled to. A return


to normality as well as order. Normality does not mean shops


having to shut at 3.00pm because they fear looting. Normality does


not mean rushing home because you are scared to be on the streets.


Normality does not mean being fearful in your own home. They want


to have back the most fundamental of all liberties, the ability to go


about their business and lead their lives with security and without


fear. They have a right to expect it and we have a responsibility to


make it happen. Mr Speaker, to do this Parliament needs to do its job.


Uniting against the violence, and being the place where we examine


and debate all the issues involved. How we've got here, what it says


about Britain, and what the response should be. First on


policing, Mr Speaker, on the Army, I agree with what the Prime


Minister said, which is that this is a job for the police. Can he in


his response say what functions he thinks the Army might be able to do


to relieve pressure on the police? Can he also confirm that the


additional operational cost, which are significant, that police are


facing, will be funded from the trez reserve and not place


additional pressure on already stretched budgets? Can he also


confirm that the increased presence on our streets which he said would


remain in place until the weekend, will remain in place beyond the


weekend until the police can be confident that the trouble will not


recur? Mr Speaker, the events of the last few days have been a stark


reminder to us all that police on our streets make our communities


safer and make the public feel safer. Given the absolute priority


the public attach to a visible and active police presence, does the


Prime Minister understand why they will think it is not right that he


goes ahead with the cuts to police numbers? Will he now think again


about this issue? Secondly on criminal gist, the public are clear,


they want to see swift, effective and tough a to send a message about


the penalties and punishment from follow from the violence we've seen.


We must see swift progress from charge to trial in these cases. Can


the Prime Minister confirm there's a capacity within the courts and


among our prosecutors to deal with cases swiftly not just for first


appearance but throughout the trial process, including when people get


to trial. It is right the Crown Prosecution Service is taking into


account the aggravating circumstances within which is


horrendous criminal acts took place. Does the Prime Minister agree that


magistrates and judges need to have those circumstances at the front of


their mind so that those found guilty of this disgraceful


behaviour receive the tough sentences they deserve and the


public expect? As the Prime Minister said, we have also been


reminded about the importance of CCTV in catching those responsible.


So will he undertake to look again at his proposals on CCTV, has been


absolutely sure they in no way hinder bringing criminals to


justice? Third, we need all of our cities back on our feet and


operating as normal. That work began, and I pay tribute to the


heroism of the thousands of volunteers who reclaimed our


streets and showed the true spirit of our cities and our country. I


welcome what the Prime Minister said and the elements of help he


announced. Can he reassure us that the help that's provide Liberal


Democrat meet the need and there won't be an arbitrary cap on the


amount that he announced, if it turns out that further resources


are required? Can he assure us these funds will flow straight away


so that people can rebuild their lives and communities? Fourth, on


the deeper lessons we need to learn, the Prime Minister said in 2006,


understanding the background, the reasons, the causes. It doesn't


mean excusing crime but it will help to tackle it. Mr Speaker, to


seek to explain is not to seek to excuse. Of course these are


arguments of individual criminality. But we all have a duty to ask


ourselves, why are there people who feel they have nothing to lose and


everything to gain from wanton vandalism and looting? We cannot


afford to do this to let this pass, to calm the situation down only to


find ourselves in the same position again in the future. Mr Speaker,


these issues cannot be laid ti door of a single cause or a single


Government. The causes are complex. Simplistic solutions will not


provide the answer. But Mr Speaker, we can only tackle these solutions


by hearing from our communities. What the decent people I met on the


streets of London and Manchester told me, and will tell the Prime


Minister, is they want their voice to be heard. They want us to go out


and listen to them in thinking about the solutions that are


necessary. And before saying any of us we know all the answers, or have


simple solutions, we should all do so. The Prime Minister explain how


those in areas affect Liberal Democrat have their voice heard, as


the Government seeks to find solutions to the issues we've seen?


Will the Prime Minister agree there must be a full independent


Commission of Inquiry, swiftly looking at what happened in recent


days and the lessons that need to will be learned. Not an inquiry in


Whitehall but reaching out and listening to those affected, the


decent law abiding majority affected by these terrible events?


They deserve and need to be heard. Mr Speaker, we need look at and act


on all the issues that matter. The responsibility we need from top to


bottom in our society, including parental responsibility. And an end


to a take what you can culture which needs to change from the


benefits office to the boardroom. The Prime Minister is right, we


need a sustained efforts to tackle the gangs in our cities. Something


we did know about before the riots. Will the Prime Minister look


urgently at the Youth Justice Board report published last June which


had a whole series of recommendations about what the


Government should be doing to tackle gang culture? And of course,


Mr Speaker, as we look at the solutions we need, questions of


hope and aspiration are relevant. The provision of opportunities to


get on in life which don't involve illegality and wrongdoing. When we


talk about responsibility we must not forget ours. Not to the tiny


minority who did the violence but the vast majority of law-abiding


young people. They are a generation. This is not about any one


Government worried and their prospects, and we can't afford to


fail them. We can't afford to have the next generation believe they


are going to do worse than the last. They should be able to do better.


That's the promise of Britain they have a right to expect. Mr Speaker,


let me say in conclusion, successful societies are built on


an ethic of hard work, compassion, solidarity and looking after each


other. Ours must be one society. We all bear a share of responsibility


for what happens within it. It is right that we came back to debate


these issues. It is right that public order must be paramount. But


it is also imperative that even after order and normality are


restored we do not ignore the lessons. We can't afford to move on


and forget. For all the people who've been in fear this week, for


those who've lost loved ones, homes and businesses, we owe a duty to


ensure no repeat of what we've seen. That is our responsibility to the


victims. It is our responsibility to the country. And we on this side


will play our part in making it First of all, can I thank the right


honourable gentleman for what he said today and also what he said in


recent days and if I can say the way in which he has said it. He


made a number of points. First of all, he is right to praise the


emergency services and the work they've done. It's particularly


remarkable that in spite of the fact that fires have been started


in many cities across our country, there have been no casualties from


those fires and I think that speaks volumes about the professionalism


and brilliance of our firefighters nationwide. He rightly says that


it's important that as soon as possible we get our high streets,


our cities, our towns back to a real sense of normality. I would


say first of all that has to start with this increased police presence


so people feel the confidence to go out and to enjoy their towns and


cities and I believe that will happen so that our cities become


the great and bustling places we want them to be. He asked questions


about police, about courts, communities and the deeper lessons.


Let me say a word about each. On the police, what I said about the


Army, I choose my words carefully, none of us want to see a break away


from the great British model of policing where the public are the


police and the police are the public. But I do think that


governments have a responsibility to try and look ahead at


contingencies and potential problems and start asking potential


problems and difficulties in advance and that's exactly what


COBRA has done, in terms of simply asking if there were tasks for


instance, simple tasks that could be done that would free up police


for more frontline duties. This is not for today or even for tomorrow,


it's just so you have contingency plans in case it became necessary.


He asked about operational costs, the Treasury reserve is being used.


He asked about policing numbers beyond the weekend. Deployment must


be an issue and a matter for police chiefs. They will want to assess


the intelligence and the situation before making those decisions, but


as far as the Government is concerned they should feel free to


deploy as many police as they need for as long as they need. What


matters most of all, more than anything else, is restoring order


on our streets. He raised the issue of police budgets and I am sure


this will be debated. Let me make a couple of points. What we are


saying over the next four years, we are looking for cash reductions in


policing budgets, once you take into account the fact there is a


preset that helps fund the police of 6% reductions over the next four


years, I believe that is totally achievable without any reductions


in visible policing and - a growing number of police chiefs are making


that point. Let me make two additional points on this. Today we


still have 7,000 trained police officers in back office jobs, part


of our programme of police reform is about freeing up police for


frontline duties and that's why I can make this very clear pledge to


the House, at the end of this process of making sure our police


budgets are affordable we will still be able to surge as many


police on to the streets as we have in recent days in London, in


Wolverhampton, in Manchester, and I do think this is important people


understand that. He asked about the courts system and whether we are


able to surge capacity in our magistrates and Crown courts, yes


that is exactly what COBRA has been asking for in recent days. On


sentencing I choose my words very carefully, of course it's a matter


for courts to sentence, but if you look at what the sentencing council


says those people found guilty of violence on our streets should


expect to have a custodial sentence. He asked questions about CCTV, we


fully support CCTV. We want to regulate it to make sure it is used


properly, but it has been immensely valuable as I have seen for myself


in police control rooms up and down the country. He asked about in


terms of communities whether there would be any cap on the Monday


that's available for -- money available. Of course the Act


doesn't have any any cap and because we are allowing the 42-day


period people will be able to apply and the Government will stand


behind the police. When it comes to the deeper lessons, I think he is


right, he quoted a speech I made, I said it's explaining doesn't mean


excusing and he is right to say the causes are complex. I hope that in


the debates we have the causes don't immediately fall into a


tiresome discussion about resources, when you have deep moral fail


failures you don't hit them with a wall of money. It's right, the key


word that he used and that I used is the issue of responsibility.


People must be responsible for their actions, we are all


responsible for what we do. Finally he asked about the question of how


we will listen to communities and what sort of inquiry is necessary.


I think in the first instance, and I found this from talking to many


members of parliament on both sides of the House of Commons who are


deeply in touch with their communities, in touch with their


police forces and police chiefs, that one of the first things we can


do in this House is properly bring to bear all the information that we


are hearing from our communities and I understand that the home


affairs select committee is going to hold an inquiry and I think we


should try and ask a parliamentary inquiry to do this work first and


on - I thank him for the general tone of what he says and I hope we


can keep up this cross-party working as we deal with this


difficult problem. Why have our police been dispersing


these hoods so that they can riot in other vicinities, instead of


rounding them up? Does the Prime Minister remember that in 1971 at


the peak of the opposition to the Vietnam war in the United States,


that the US Government bought 16,000 troops in to Washington in


addition to the police, that they rounded up the rioters, they


arrested them, and they put 40,000 of them into the DC stadium in one


morning. Has he any plans to make the Wembley Stadium available for


similar use? I want the Wembley Stadium to be available for great


sporting events. It's important that as we get back to a sense of


normality those sporting events go ahead. Let me make this point,


because the right honourable gentleman does ask an important


point, which to be fair to the police and all of us should think


carefully before we start criticising police tactics when


they are the ones in the frontline. To be fair to the police, they now


say that I think to begin with they spent too much time concentrating


on the public order aspects and not enough on the criminal kpwreut as -


- criminality aspects and it's been the greater police presence on the


streets and the greater arresting of people that's helped to bring


this situation under control and I think the police themselves, one


chief said to me yesterday it's time to tear up some of the manual


about public order and restart it. He said we have done this many


times before in the police, we will do it again and we will get it


right. It's in that spirit that we should praise British policing.


Order. A great number of colleagues are trying to catch my eye. I issue


my usually exortation for briefity. Can I I welcome what the Prime


Minister said about the death of Mark Duggan and indeed about the


compensation for victims. 45 people have lost their homes in Tottenham,


burnt to the ground, running out of their homes carrying their children


in their arms and their cry is where were the police? We can have


this debate today, but it is no replacement for hearing from the


people themselves. Will the Prime Minister come to Tottenham and


speak to those victims and indeed to the independent shopkeepers,


hairdressers and jewellers whose businesses are lying in cinders?


And will he also commit to a public inquiry that looks at why initial


skirmishes were allowed to lead to a situation in which the great


Roman Road of Tottenham High Road is in cinders? I will certainly


take up the invitation to go to Tottenham and hear for myself. I


found in the visit I made to Croydon real anger on the streets


about what happened, about how it could be allowed to happen and yes,


a lot of questioning of the police tactics and the police presence. As


I said in my statement, to be fair to the police I think to begin with


because of the situation with Mark Duggan they were hanging back for a


very good reason. But they clearly understand and they accept that


that went on for too long and the police presence needed to be


greater and it needed to be more robust and needed to be protecting


people's homes and shops and people's houses. We will now do


everything we possibly can to get those people rehoused quickly, to


make sure that money is available, and I know my honourable friend has


been in touch with almost all the leaders affected. In terms of the


inquiry and what inquiries are necessary I think we should start


with the home affairs select committee inquiry and let's let


them do their work and let's take it from there.


Will the Prime Minister encourage media organisations to immediate


release -- immediately release all unseen footage of criminal


behaviour to assist the police in bringing criminals to justice?


will certainly do that. I was impressed in the control room of


the West Midlands Police and emergency services yesterday, how


amateur photographers have been sending in footage to help the


police to arrest those that were guilty. As has been said today,


everyone has a responsibility. Media organisations have a


responsibility too and I hope they will act on it. Mr Speaker, no one


disputes for a second the Prime Minister's determination to meet


what he describes as the first duty of Government to keep the streets


safe, but will he not understand that his repetition of what amounts


to Treasury lines about police numbers and police budgets and also


prison numbers sounds very complacent and could I beg of him


to recognise a reality that these cuts will lead to fewer police on


the streets, but also that he must reverse the softer sentencing plans


of his Justice Secretary and stop the ludicrous plan the Justice


Secretary has to close prisons when there is now patently an urgent


need for more prison places? First of all, I don't accept what he says


about police numbers and indeed neither do Chief Constables. Many


Chief Constables, if I take the Chief Constable of the Thames


Valley, what she said is what I haven't done at all is reduce the


number of officers who do the patrol functions, so the officers


you see in vehicles on foot, in uniforms on bicycles, we haven't


cut those numbers. I think one of the things that was demonstrated by


the last three days in the Met, where we have 32,000 officers, is


actually they could take the action to surge from 3,000 on the streets,


to 16,000 on the streets. I think that's a demonstration of using


what you have to maximum effect. While Metropolitan Police Officers


showed great courage and determination, will the Prime


Minister agree with my concern that there were reports that police


officers on several occasions were instructed to stand and observe


rioting and looting that was taking place? Would he agree with me that


cannot be acceptable behaviour and that if the police perhaps for


understandable reasons for concerned because of the


controversies after the G20 summit that they might be criticised for


overreacting, there is an urgent need for fresh guidelines so that


there is noam by tkpwaouity that's it's the police and not looters and


rioters that will control our streets?


He makes a good point. Obviously we will be looking again at the


guidance. Let me be clear, there was no instruction to police


officers to stand back but as I have said, and I think police


chiefs have been very frank about this, that the balance between what


is right for public order, and what is right for stopping criminality,


looting and thiefing, that balance wasn't got right to start with.


They admit that. They accept that. But they were, to be fair to the


police, who do this very difficult job on all our behalf, they were


facing a new set of circumstances. Yes, they've had riots before, yes


they've had looting before, yes there's been violence and vandalism


before but we haven't in our country before had the same thing


happening in different places with different people all doing it at


the same time. That was a challenge for them, a challenge I believe


they're now meeting excellently, but they didn't get everything


right to start with and they're the first to admit that. I am grateful


to the Prime Minister for his telephone call yesterday, but what


happened in Salford on Tuesday night was not about protest, it was


about deliberate organised violent criminality. Will the Prime


Minister give his full backing to the police to intervene in these


circumstances because it was the case that some officers had


instructions where they didn't have riot gear, where they weren't


trained, that they had to stand by and watch what happened. The effect


on public confidence is devastating. Will he ensure that the police have


that backing and that confidence, review that guidance so that never


again do we see the police fall back in the face of a violent mob


as we saw on our streets? She knows this issue well and


discussed this with the chief Chief Constable of Greater Manchester.


Khaoerl what happen -- khaoerl what happened was unacceptable. I expect


the gangs and criminals saw it as an opportunity to reassert


themselves. All these lessons must be learned. I know the Greater


Manchester police chief chief who I have spoken to, wants to learn


those lessons. It's not right ever to cede control of our streets to


hooligans which happened briefly in Salford but we have to judge, we


have to to wrest with the operational judgment of police


chiefs when they're on the streets but the time to learn lessons is


Can I commend the Prime Minister for his decision on action on


gangs? But I would like to raise another issue with him. He quite


rightly raised or told the House about the fact the whole country


was moved by the dignified words of the father of Haroon Jahan


yesterday. When the father made those comments he did so against


the background of ethnic tension and managed to calm the


circumstances then. There's a risk that evil-minded people will try to


use these conflicts to try to raise further ethnic conflicts in future.


Is the Government going to take action with the communities to make


sure that is not done? Government will certainly do that.


I was in Birmingham yesterday and joined a meeting of community


leaders from all religions, all creeds, all races, who came


together to make sure that the communities did not respond in an


inappropriate way to the dreadful events that had happened. I pay


tribute to the Chief Constable of the West Midlands forest, to the


leader of Birmingham City Council, and all those people who from their


meeting went to their communities and appealed for calm. The scenes


we saw on our television screens last night of communities coming


together in Birmingham to try to stop violence taking place was a


model of how these things should be done. What justification can there


be in the West Midlands, bearing in mind what the Prime Minister just


said, for very experienced police officers who have served 30 years


or more being forced to retire against their wishes because of the


cuts? Isn't at this time case, where there is no adequate police


presence, as has been the case once or twice unfortunately during the


last few days, it is the mob that takes over? I think the honourable


gentleman is entirely right. When I was in Wolverhampton yesterday,


what I heard was that the number of police officers was something like


doubling overnight compared with the previous night. I suspect the


same was happening in Walsall, West Brom itch and other parts of the


West Midlands. One of the lessons we need to learn is the ability to


surge the number of police officers rapidly in our communities when


problems arise like this. Let me say again. The police do a


difficult and dangerous job on our behalf. They learn from experience.


They are hugely experienced at dealing with difficult situations.


We must praise them when they get it right. We must say that some of


the tactics need to change, but not substitute our judgment for theirs.


That wouldn't be a sensible approach. My constituents and I


witnessed some shocking events in Enfield on Sunday and Monday. But


what was particularly shocking was the age of a number of the cull


In the incidents that Would the Prime Minister assure me that he


could ask the police authorities to work with the education authorities


in an attempt to identify many of the secondary schoolchildren who


were out there causing these crimes? I certainly think that's a


sensible suggestion, but over and above that we have to recognise


that the responsibility for the fact some of these children, and I


use the word children individualsedly, rests with their


parents. We need to have a sense that parents are going to take more


responsibility for their children, teach them the difference between


right and wrong and point out the that behaviour is unacceptable.


is undeniable that these criminals who looted, stole, rioted, caused


intolerable damage to the people who are the victims of this, must


be dealt with by the police by the justice system. What I want to ask


the Prime Minister is, do we regard these people, however abject their


acts, as ir reclaimable to society, at great cost to the police, the


justice system and prison system, or will we have positive policies


to try, if possible, to reclaim them for society? I agree with the


right honourable gentleman, we must never write people off, however bad


they are. We must try and build a stronger society where you can turn


people's lives around. I think one of the lessons from this is too


many people have been left for too long. We need much earlier


intervention. This is something where members on all sides of the


House have spoken about, so when we see children going wrong we


intervene earlier rather than leaving them to fall out of school


and lapse into a life of criminality. If these riots had


broken out in any city or town in Australia or America, the police


would have had at their instant disposal water cannon, plastic


bullets and tear gas. Across the UK British people watched on


television while police were instructed to stand back, while


shops were looted, homes or torched and cars set on fire. Does the


Prime Minister really believe that 24 hours' notice of the US of water


cannon is enough? Is it not that this is not about police numbers


but about police being given the troops to do the job? First of all


let me say to the honourable lady that the police do have access to


baton rounds and they are able to make that decision to use them. In


London they came quite close to making that decision. That must be


an operational decision for the police. On the issue of water


cannon, the very strong advice from the police is that, because on the


whole they weren't dealing with very large crowds but very mobile


crowds of people Hoare were intent on criminal behaviour, water cannon


wouldn't have been appropriate in these circumstances. That's the


police view. The point very made is that we should be ready for every


possible contingency in the future, so we should know how we would


answer future questions, which is why they are now available at 24


hours' notice. I don't agree with her, I think the greatest possible


deterrent to the sort of lawlessness we saw, is for people


to know if they do that looting or violence they will be pulled out of


that crowd, arrested immediately and be in front of a court that


night. That is the answer. The Dee that is more police on the streets,


so they are able to be more robust in the way that they intervene.


I welcome all the steps taken by the Prime Minister since the start


of these disorders and join with him and others in condemning the


criminality and also praising the police? I, like he, was out on the


streets of London yesterday. The key issue was police visibility. Is


he saying that, if a police force has to dip into their con tinge sis


in order to pay for what has been going on over the last few days


that the Government will reimburse all this money? Can I thank the


right honourable gentleman for what he said and the work his committee


will be doing in the coming weeks? The Treasury is standing ready to


assist police forces. The bill for the Metropolitan Police will be


large. If they continue to deploy in these numbers lit get larger and


the Treasury will stand behind that. Those of news the communities


affected give our thanks to the police and the emergency services.


But are conscious if the best deterrent is being caught, the


police have a minority of their officers trained and able to use


riot head gather and equipment. Can he look at that being reverse sod


most police officers can act and intervene, and make sure the full


force of the law doesn't good on the 50 per community, the serial


communities, but adults with children who were going into the


shops and nicking stuff, not just the children, to whom they are


meant to be sitting an dismal the first point, yes of course


there'll be a proper review in terms of what is the right balance


between riot police and nor borough police sog we meet these


emergencies were in future. In terms of prosecuting the guilty,


the police should go after everybody. They've got the CCTV


images. People all over the country are ringing up and explaining their


neighbour has I qired a new 42 inch Palace ma screen. I would ask more


people to do that. The people of Liverpool are united in their


absolute condemnation of the criminal acts that wreaked so much


havoc and caused so much fear in parts of Liverpool over the last


few days. But what specific arrangements has the Prime Minister


made to enable to city and indeed others who have suffered similarly


to be able to be assisted in a swift recovery? I pay tribute to


the honourable lady for speaking on behalf of Liverpool, which too


suffered in terms of this violent disorder. Liverpool will be able to


apply not only through the Bellwin scheme but through this new special


scheme which doesn't have a threshold you need to cross to


claim payments. The riot damages Act is effectively unlimited in the


claims you can make. The Home Office will stand behind police


forces. There'll be written statements in the House today so


she can see details and share them with her council leader. I know


Prime Minister will agree that we in Britain still have the best


police force in the world. However, will he agree with he that's time


that the police were refocused back to being crime fighters instead of


social workers? I think the police have the clearest possible message,


that we want them to be a police force, we want them to be focused


on crime. We don't want them fighting paper behind their desk.


They have had a clear message from the whole country this week that


people want visible policing and robust policing too. The Prime


Minister will be as pleased as I am there's been no rioting or looting


in South Shields. He has rightly praised the independence, the


professionalism of the Chief Constables why. Therefore does he


wants the get rid of them all and make them stand for election?


are not proposing to make Chief Constables stand for election. What


we are proposing is to have police commissioners stand for election,


replacing police authorities. The point I would make is this, that in


recent days, in recent days I think the argument that yes you have out


police Chief Constables, yes they have to be responsible for their


judgments, but it is important they are accountable politically.


There's a discussion that can take place between politicians and


police chiefs is a good one. Ealing town centre was badly smashed up on


Monday night. A man is critically ill in hospital, having been


attacked by a yob when he tried to put out a fire in a litter bin.


Morale was slightly lifted when the Prime Minister said that those big


enough to take part in the protests are big enough to take the


consequence. Can he ashaur that those found guilty will feel the


full force of the law, including prison sentences? Yes, can I give


her that assurance. I want to thank her for the briefing she gave me of


what had been happening in Ealing on Monday night. The sentences must


be a matter for the courts but the sentencing guidelines council is


clear that people taking part in violent disorder should expect to


go to prison. Can I invite the Prime Minister to join me and the


people of Walthamstow not only in putting on the record our gratitude


to the police who work sod hard to restore calm to our streets, but


the outreach and community workers Hoare have been out every night


talking too people to reduce the tension and restore order on our


streets, in partnership with the police? Can I invite him to meet


with those people to understand it is not tiresome and we must learn


from their experience in restoring order every day in our communities


across the country? I will certainly will happy to meet with


the honourable lady. The point she makes that reclaiming the streets


is not just an issue for the police but for everybody I think is


absolutely right. We've seen fantastic examples of that across


our country. The point I was trying to make about resources, of course


resources will be debated in the debate that follows later, but I


hope also we can have a debate about some of the culture, the


upbringing, the parenting and the deeper point that lie behind these


problems. Mr Speaker, frontline officers were telling me last night


they've been afraid to use a measure of physical force because


of concerns about criticisms by members of Parliament, which


they've seen before. When the Prime Minister said we'll be robust and


too whatever it takes, can he assure us that members of the House


will support the police if they have to strike be batons or kettle


them in? Force has to be met with greater force. I know the


honourable gentleman serves as a Special Constable himself. People


do want to have robust policing. Of course the police have to be


sensitive to things that have happened in the past. Sometimes the


pendulum can swing too far one way and too far the other. I'm sure


message is loud and clear, that when there is this sort of violent


criminal behaviour, people want a robust support. The Prime Minister


has talked about the role played by gangs and technology the disorder


that has taken place over the last week. Does he share my concern


about the popularity and accessibility of internet footage


glorifying gangs and knives? And what will he do to ensure that


these despicable videos are taken down? I think honourable lady


speaks powerfully for Lewisham, her constituency, and on this issue,


where frankly everyone has responsibility, not just members of


Parliament, police, parents but media companies and social media


companies, who are displaying these images. All of them should think


about their responsibilities and taking down those images. That's


why the Home Secretary is going to have meetings to see what more can


be done. Can he reassure me and my


constituents that we are not just going to see a temporary change in


police tactics and visibility but a permanent one?


I thank the honourable gentleman for what he did to introduce me to


some of the shopkeepers and affected home owners in his


constituency, some of whom have been made homeless. One of the


things that's been demonstrated is the importance of surging police


numbers quickly. There are 32,000 officers in the Met and having just


3,000 on the streets on Monday, - on Sunday, 6,000 on Monday, wasn't


enough, that's why action was taken to increase it and I am sure


lessons will be learned in that regard.


We are leaving the House of Commons now, if you want to continue


watching the debate and question and answer session you can do so by


switching to the BBC News channel or the BBC parliament channel. You


are watching a special edition of the Daily Politics here on BBC2 as


parliament has been recalled for an emergency session following the


riots in London and other English cities over the past few days. In


his statement to the Commons and the nation the Prime Minister had a


message for those who have been harmed by the riots, we are on your


side, he told the country, and for those who took part in the riots, I


paraphrase, he used a version of what Mr Reagan once said about


terrorists, you can run but you cannot hide. The Prime Minister


admitted that the police got the balance wrong at the start of these


riots, they should have gone in harderment he -- harder. He says


they admit that themselves but they're now on top of matters. The


leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband, responded with a number


of questions. It was a pretty bipartisan House that met today,


there wasn't a lot of party political points scoring. The only


sense of disagreement between both sides was when the Prime Minister


argued that you can cut police budgets but still keep the number


of police required on the streets without harming that. The leader of


the opposition said he wanted an inquiry into what had happened but


an inquiry that involved not listening to experts in Whitehall


but listened to those who had been victims and sufferers of violence


over the past few days. With me Conservative deputy chairman


Michael Fallon and Sayeeda Warsi had to leave us to listen to an


equivalent statement in the House of Lords. And we still have the


former Labour Home Secretary Charles Clarke and the BBC's


political editor Nick Robinson. Give me an overview of what you


have seen. I was struck, as you have said, by the tone really. I


expected it, I thought the House would want to send a unified


statement, but we have listened to a lot of contributions and I


thought by now someone might have raised a slightly discordant note,


they've not. What's striking is a shift in the mood about police


tactics and a shift in the mood about the desire for tougher


measures, so you have had criticisms from a former Home


Secretary, Jack Straw, echoing those made by by Charles Clarke


here and really you are hearing voices on Labour benches and


Conservative Party benches and even from Simon Hughes on the Liberal


Democrats benches which is surprising, essentially calling for


the police to act tougher, for the courts to sentence for longer, and


then that debate about police resources as well. After a moment


in which both frontbenches, Conservative and Labour, appeared


to take a more civil Lib tearian line, I think we have seen quite an


important shift. I wonder what the significance of this shift, we have


the Labour MP for Tottenham, David Lammey, bemoaning the fact the


police weren't there. We have had shopkeepers of all races and


colours, small shopkeepers who have built their lives from nothing,


many of them first, second, third generation immigrants saying where


were the police? There's no law and order in this country. I remember


covering the Brixton riots in the early 80s when the demand there was


the police had been too tough, police had no relations with the


community. This is a shift and it may, to put it in rather vulgar


language of politics, has this country shifted several notches to


the right on these matters? This is very interesting. I was a


councillor in Hackney in 19... Where that all happened at that


time and the issue was about the police being heavy-handed. There


was a shift towards community policing, I think a positive shift.


And over the last five years I would say on the civil liberties


issues, even on the Conservative benches, even David Cameron,


certainly David Davis were extremely Lib tearian against some


of the things we were trying to do. Opposing what we were doing. I


thought the tone of what the Prime Minister said was extremely


interesting and significant and I would say positive, in shifting


back towards giving the police the support they need to be able to


police properly. I think the police's morale has been seriously


weakened by all the issues around the subjects like kettling, around


the issues around Mr Tomlinson. the G20. The demonstration. Even


around some of the issues around Jean Charles de Menezes and the


issues around that. So, they've become very concerned about how to


act, where to act. There's been a widespread civil liberties lobby,


some parts of the Labour Party, large parts of the Conservative


Party, some parts of the media, and I thought the tone as you rightly


said and Nick also said, of this statement today signalled a change


in tone which is significant and important and I would say positive.


Are we seeing a move as a result of what has happened with all segments


of society calling for a tougher police response? The police getting


on the neck a few times there in parliament for not being there when


they were needed, other MPs saying they weren't there in Salford. Are


we seeing a shift in public attitude? I think we are. Also the


police have been honest about this. Those Chief Constables where they


did have an operational manual where if you didn't have the right


kit you were to stand back and observe and hope to catch them


later on CCTV, they've now admitted, as the Prime Minister said, they


got that balance between public order and criminality wrong.


the Conservatives get it wrong as well? I don't think so. Will we


hear more about hug a hoody? What you are getting now under police


reforms is elected police Commissioners and I don't think now


you are going to find Chief Constables saying it's sufficient


to observe. You are going to get local members of parliament and


councillors and so on saying directly to their police


commissioner why aren't they being more robust, it won't take the


Prime Minister coming back from holiday. We already have an elected


police commissioner, that's Boris Johnson, what he has done is to get


rid of one commissioner, undermined the morale of the senior leadership


of the force. Did Boris Johnson get rid of Paul Stevenson? He certainly


withdrew support directly and publicly, including on the Today


programme and without that support from the chairman - my point if I


can finish is that at the end of the day you need police who have


confidence and morale, not always being second-guessed on everything


they do in relation to civil liberties and elected police


commissioners will undermine the police directly. You also need 9


public public to have -- the public toffs confidence in the police --


public to have confidence in the police. They felt the police got


that balance wrong. The Prime Minister was honest about that.


Chief Constables have been frank about that. And that I hope will


now change. But the Government did not come to power saying it would


do any of this. This Government came to power, particularly the


Conservative side of it, questioning the need for CCTV to be


as extensive as it is, a hug a hoody speech where we must


understand where these people come from, rather than condemn them and


other civil liberty issues, which were top of Mr Cameron's agenda.


Has that now changed. Let me take that head on. First of all the


Government came to power saying we needed to free up the police to


deal with this sort of stuff on the streets, that was the whole point


of our police reforms to cut out the tasks being done in the back


office, to make sure more people were freed up for visible frontline


policing, to introduce the reforms which frankly they shied away from,


we don't want to be too political today, but they shied away from in


13 years, to free up officers to be deployed properly on the stroets


and to introduce -- streets and to introduce much tougher sentencing


powers which we are now doing. interesting, Nick, that the Prime


Minister quoted the Acting head of the Metropolitan Police saying he


would rather be the last man on the streets sort of thing before the


Army could be brought in. I take that, I am interested to hear your


view, that there's been a discussion about bringing in the


Army and the Prime Minister is not ruling it out. It's clear he didn't


rule it out. He seemed to say that they would play a limited role if


they played any role, sort of guarding a particular building,


allowing police to be on the frontline. I think policemen are


nervous, politicians are nervous about the symbolism of having the


Army take to the streets. I think I have my history right in saying the


last time they took to the streets in the capital was 100 years ago,


in order to deal with public order. Clearly, there... The Army was


brought in to Heathrow. Not parts of London. 19 11-12 when there was


industrial unrest at that time. There was unrest on - it's said


that gentlemen left their clubs carrying pistols. I thought it was


interesting today when both sides mentioned the issue of the use of


the Army, there wasn't a great hysterical reaction. It may be


there are some tasks they can do. That's a matter for the police and


Government to decide. As you - there was a real surprise in the


tone that people didn't raise these, but police cuts is clearly one


issue. The Prime Minister also interestingly mentioned Bill


Bratten who was chief of police in New York when Guilani became mayor


of New York and between them they fell out quite quickly, between


them introduced the zero tolerance approach to policing, which in New


York has reduced crime to the lowest levels since records began.


Is it your sense that the Prime Minister would like to consider Mr


Bill Bratten becoming chief of the police? I doubt he wants him to be


the chief, I think he does want to see the possibility of people


brought from overseas to either advise or be assistant


Commissioners in a way that's currently discouraged by police


structures. Remember, that we heard this from the Prime Minister after


the resignation of Paul Stevenson as head of the Met, he made it


clear then he wanted to see a shake-up in the assumption that


chief police officers had to start on the streets and work their way


up gradually, that he wanted people recrueltied from outside. --


recruited from outside. There's no doubt that people around the Prime


Minister and the Prime Minister himself are pretty scathing about


the quality of some of the Chief Constables and want to bring other


people in. When I was Home Secretary I met Bill and talked to


him, he is an interesting and inspirational police leader and


would have a lot to recommend it. It was interesting the Prime


Minister referred to that specifically in the context of gang


crime and that was the one bit of news which emerged from what the


Prime Minister said, of a focus on gang crime. He effectively declared


war on the gangs. And he should and the fact is that the problem about


gang crime is fighting gangs, it's almost entirely about intelligence


and establishing intelligence about what the networks are, which


immediately takes you to the civil liberties issues we were talking


about. Interestingly, he raised the possibility of going to internet


firms and saying social media should be stopped, blocked Facebook,


Twitter, BlackBerry messages stopped during this sort of unrest


which would be... A good way of reducing intelligence. He drew


attention to Strathclyde. Charles will confirm there's no...


really think Glasgow is a safe city, when were you last there. A few


months ago. There's no legal bar on somebody coming in from abroad. We


sent senior police officers to other police forces around the


world and I think this is one of the kind of reforms we need to


reinvigorate the leadership of some of our police forces. Let us bring


us back to the social conditions from which a lot of these rioters


emerge. We have had reports about a school assistant and a grammar


schoolgirl and the rest of it, but it's pretty clear when you look


it's a consequence of a biindication of our society, that


the old working class - a chunk of the old working class slipped into


an underclass which is different from a poor working class. Is our


political system - are our politicians across this? Do they


understand what's really going on? Let me ask you this, Tottenham at


the height of the boom when there were jobs aplenty, the unphreuplt


rate -- unemployment rate was 19%. Today, it's 20. I don't think


anybody could argue 1% has the explanation from peace to war.


agree completely. I would say the learning process began actually


when you were talking about earlier, when you were reporting these


matters 30 years ago. I think that was a total shock, the Brixton


riots, and so on, was a total shock to the system. I think all


politicians actually, Michael Heseltine did a great deal as


Conservative politician at that time and I would say the Labour


Government really tried to focus on these problems. But obviously we


have not succeeded in certain respects, in particular we haven't


succeeded at reaching those very, very small sections of the


population who feel completely excluded from what's going on and


what's important is to develop a society within which everybody


feels they have a stake in society and what we have seen in the


streets the last few days indicates we have failed. I can list a set of


programmes Labour put forward which were attempted to try and do that I


can also indicate certain failures where we didn't do it. What I think


needs to happen now for this Government is to say what's this


Government's analysis of your exact question, and what are the measures


we are ready to go forward with or not? The controversies about things


like education and maintenance allowances and so on is that we see


those as important issues of trying to provide as spiration for those


people which have been cut and this Would seem to be that the old


working class had a lack of money and a lack of opportunity. If you


gave them that they got on. This is a subset of society which seems to


be beyond normal political policy, and beyond the ken, to use a good


Scottish word, of the understanding of politicians. Have any three of


you seen a BBC programme called The Scheme? I know of it. It is a BBC


Scotland problem. Scheme in Scotland means council estate. This


is set in a particularly difficult council estate. It's been shown on


BBC One in England as well. I would love every politician in


Westminster to watch this programme and then consider what they talk


about, because often what you talk about has no relevance to what


these people are going through. remember, Andrew, when you say,


that and I don't mean this cynically, but as an observation of


fact, those people tend not to vote, so politicians tend not to spend a


lot of time trying to persuade them to vote for their party. As much as


they do vote it is in areas of safe seats for the Labour Party, and


there is not much focus on the two frontbenches which focuses on that


group. Because the lives of those people have now affected the lives


of everybody else, there may now be a demand from the population as a


whole to sort the problem, where before people were quite happy to


close their eyes and say, "It doesn't really affect me." The last


Labour Government did try, they chucked a lot of money at the


problem, but we still inherited this generation of youngsters who


have time on their hands. The reason they've got time on their


hands is because they are not skilled to get into the labour


market. They are completely excluded from it. We do need to


think again about the kind of skills they do need and the work


ethic they need to get up in the morning and do a job. If you come


to this country from Poland, Lithuania or New Zealand, you can


get a job in London tonight. They don't have the skills to do that.


Why is it that so many of these youngsters are unemployed, and yet


under the Labour Government, 2.5 million new jobs created, 80-90% of


those went to people outside the country who wanted to work, had the


skills, would turn up in the morning, would work hard and want


to get on? It is a complex, firstly the benefit system, everybody is


right in saying it needs reforming. Secondly illegal migration. Thirdly,


a question of the education and skills and the relationship between


the world of education and the world of work, which remains


extremely flawed, in my view. I do think, Michael, it is not


principally the absince of skills that are involved in this rioting,


but the commitment to society, commitment to the community, which


is where we need to build things together. I'm going back to the


debate in a second. Just a last thought. Ed Miliband did call for


an inquiry, but it was pretty clear the Prime Minister doesn't want any


such inquiry. That isn't what he said. He wants to wait for the Home


Affairs Committee, which is about to announce. There are a lot of


inquiries at the moment. You need an immediate inquiry into what


happened on command and control from last Thursday to this Tuesday,


something like that. And what orders were given. What decisions


were taken? There'll be an inquiry into the death of Mark Duggan,


carried out by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Then


the Home Affairs Committee will carry out its work. The debate


about the riots is continuing in the House of Commons. Let's look at


more of the exchanges that are taking place in the past few


minutes, starting with a question from a Labour MP, Diane Abbott.


was on the streets of Hackney at the height of the rioting on Monday


night. I know how frightened people are and remain. I believe the most


important thing is to regain control of our streets. But on the


question of the Army, let me say this to this House. I'm well aware


how attract tiv further militarisation of this situation is


to some members of this House, even to some of my own constituents. But


let me say this, he will be aware that Sir Hugh Orde, who has ordered


baton rounds and the use of water cannons in Northern Ireland, is


against the use of these things in the current situation. I say to


this House, whether it is a popular thing to say or not, the further


militarisation of the situation we face will not help, and may bring


things to an even worse level. First of all let me agree with what


the Ron rabble lady said about the fact this was -- the honourable


lady said about the criminality and how frightened people were. I agree


with Sir Hugh Orde and others who said now is not the time to take


these steps. Government has a responsibility to ask about con


tinge sis to work out what next, what if it got worse? Let's take


this opportunity to pay tribute to what the armed services do often do


in our own country when it comes to floods and other emergencies. They


play an incredible role and we should thank them for it.


Speaker, would my right honourable friend agree that at a time like


this and facing the circumstances that we face, it have a nonsense


that magistrates have to refer cases to the Crown Court because


their own sentencing powers are inadequate. Will he take immediate


steps to give magistrates courts the powers to deal with these cases,


so the perm traitors can be where they belong - behind bars? We keep


sentencing powers under review. Magistrates courts can sentence up


to six months. They've been passing sentences overnight and referring


cases to Crown Court. It is vital we make sure that there is enough


Crown Court capacity to deal with these cases quickly. Mr Speaker,


can I beg the Prime Minister to change his mind about a Commission


of Inquiry? This isn't going to go away. We could wish it to go away.


This is a complex, changing social phenomenon we've got to understand


in order to combat it. If he announced this week a Commission of


Inquiry, really at the roots of this, I'm a great supporter of


Select Committees, but it is not enough to leave it to a Select


Committee inquiry. We need a national inquiry. I think we should


have more confidence in our Select Committees in this House to do this


work. I think the Home Affairs Select Committee does an excellent


job. I don't rule these things out for the future. Let us start with


that. Sometimes commissions of inquiry have had to be ordered


because committees of this House haven't been able to get to the


information or people. I don't sigh why this should be the case in this


circumstances. Some cities have suffered hugely this week while


others have avoided violence. And have managed to squash any


potential trouble before it kicked off. When inquiries are established


will the Prime Minister ensure that we learn lessons not only from


those areas where violence was kicked off but from cities like


Cardiff and Sheffield where there wasn't any trouble? Maybe we can


learn lessons from what went right in those areas. She is right. Any


inquiry should do that. Prime Minister, may I thank you for


visiting Croydon earlier in the week, where you met our decent


citizens who had become victims, their businesses burnted down and


offices and shops trashed. The people in that Croydon war zone,


that is what it was, were making the plea, where was the police? For


hour after hour people were free to pillage and loot with no uniformed


officer to help. On behalf of the people I met in the last two days,


distraught and sad people, the people of Croydon North, the


victims, may I plead with the Prime Minister on behalf of my


constituents to think again about police numbers? The people of


Croydon and people of London want more police in London and not fewer.


Fewer would be precisely the wrong policy at precise through wrong


time for our society? With the right honourable gentleman the time


I spent in Croydon was incredibly powerful. To hear about the anger


and frustration that shopkeepers and householders and tenants felt,


but the problem was that the police weren't on the streets. The problem


wasn't about police budgets in four years' time. The problem was about


the availability of the police right now. There are 32,000


officers in the Met. We needed to get more on the streets more


quickly and more to Croydon. It is about now, not the budgets of the


future. That was the Prime Minister. The


exchanges are still going on in this special session of Parliament,


recalled for the first time in many years back to an August session. We


are coming to the end of our coverage here of this Daily


Politics special of Parliament being reconvened to discuss the ry


ots. Some final thoughts from our panel. Michael Fallon, Boris


Johnson once dismissed the idea of a broken society as "piffle". Can


there be any doubt in your mind that parts of our society are


seriously broken? Absolutely not. I think if the last few days have


shown us anything it is how right David Cameron was to address the


problems of the broken society and say we need to think of better


answers for it. We've inherited a generation of youngsters who have


never been in work, don't have the skills to get into work and don't


have the appetite to get into jobs. We need to tackle that.


Metropolitan Police, as Home Secretary, you once had


responsibility for them. They have had a bit of a battering, not just


today or recent da days but over several years now. Where do we need


to go to restore? We are used to this view of the police in this


country were the interest integrated and most admire of any


democratic society. It what be hard to argue that now. Where do they


need to go? The first and most important thing is to appoint a new


Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. For that person to be given


support and confidence by the political environment. I mean the


Mayor of London, the Government of London, the Government of the


country, in carrying through what's needed. Secondly is a set of


operational decisions that have to be taken about ensuring that the


Met is more effective in certain respects. Some decisions were taken,


to establish the borough commanders, neighbourhood policing, which is a


big step forward from what it had been. But there still remain a


series of reforms that need to take place. Thirdly, this question of


gangs is much more serious than people think and require as very


focused look by the police in conjunction, as the Prime Minister


said, with other said. And yet it took a riot. We have done items on


gangs. We've known about gangs. Our major cities are riddled with gangs.


I don't it is right that took a riot. People haven't been able to


get hold of these issues. Not easy to resolve. The question of the


civil liberties environment within which the debate takes place. To


the way the attitude of society is a major part of the turning point


we may see today. The right would like a much tougher line than even


the Prime Minister a outlining and those on the left, particularly on


the Labour side, who would like more emphasis on, "It's the cuts,


it is society, we are unequal" and the rest of it. We didn't hear from


them. We will particularly at the party conferences. Remember, the


moment at which our political leaders will have to try and, if


you like, inject a political narrative into the story of the


next week is in their party conference speeches. So we will see


first from Nick Clegg, then Ed Miliband and David Cameron. They


will come under enormous pressure from their own parties. David


Cameron I believe at his conference will come under vast pressure about


police numbers and resourcing, prison reforms and numbers, and to


be tougher. The Ed Miliband will come under pressure to talk more


ooct the cuts and the impact think have on communities. So how they


find a way through will define what it means. That's all to come I'm


afraid. The very to stop. That's it for today. We've run out of time.


Thank you for joining us on this Daily Politics special here on BBC


Two. Thanks to my guests, Charles Clarke, Michael Fallon, Sayeeda


Warsi and Nick Robinson our political editor. We thank you for


being with us on this August day. If you want to continue watching


proceedings in the House of Commons switch over now to the BBC News


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