09/11/2011 Daily Politics


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Morning, folks, this is the Daily Politics. Is Theresa May losing


control of Passport Control? The pressure is still firmly on the


Home Secretary today. Last night the head of the UK Border Force


quit claiming Mrs May had misled Parliament. He's also mounting a


claim for constructive dismissal. The Home Secretary is sticking to


her guns. The Government is facing a tough day in Parliament today


starting with Prime Minister's Questions. We will have all the


action live at midday. The party's over. Silvio Berlusconi


says he will step down. But only after he's pushed through economic


reforms. What next for Italy and for the eurozone?


Should you, me, every other taxpayer help political parties


with their fund-raising? We speak to a Liberal Democrat peer who


thinks state-funding is a jolly good idea.


As Presidents Obama and Sarkozy make a public boo-boo, we ask what


microphone gaffes really teach us about the true state of politics.


A boo-boo? Yes. Was Yogi Bear there as well?! LAUGHTER It will be an


action-packed 90 minutes of quality daytime TV here on BBC Two. It is


worth the licence fee on its own. One licence fee it's worth! With us


today to share in this feast of news are two of Westminster's


average-sized beasts. The Universities Minister, David


Willetts. They used to call him "two brains". Some say he's lost


one! One of the new members of Ed Miliband's Shadow Cabinet, Michael


Dugher. A crazy name, a crazy guy. I don't know what they call him!


Seeing as we have the Universities Minister here, let's kick-off with


that. Why don't we? Thousands of students are marching through


London today to demonstrate against higher university tuition fees.


They are planning to march to the City of London where a protest has


also been taking place outside St Paul's Cathedral. Last year,


student prosests resulted in -- protests resulted in violent


clashes right here in Westminster. They are authorised to use plastic


bullets if necessary. Mark Bergman is one of the students protesting.


He is a member of the NUS National Executive Committee. How confident


are you that there won't be violence? The threats of the police


of using rubber bullets of possibly using water cannons should mean


there should be public outrage amongst parents, the trade union


movement and amongst everyone who defends civil liberties in this


country. The threat of violence by the police is totally unacceptable.


What about violence on the side of the students protesting? Any


clashes... The students have shown over the last couple of months,


over the last 12 months, that they ultimately are defending our


democratic right, they are defending the welfare state and are


fighting for each and everyone under attack. What about in terms


of what you are precisely protesting against? Now we have


heard that one in five universities want to charge less in terms of


fees and bursaries. You must be pleased about that? Well, 75% of


all the universities now have agreed to set their fee levels at


�9,000. What we will see is a privatised university system which


on the one hand will provide courses such as philosophies and


humanities for the rich and we are seeing how London Metropolitan


University, an institution with more black students than the entire


Russell Group put together being stripped of its assets. What is


your response to this idea that now universities are reconsidering the


levels of fees and bursaries that they are going to charge? They are


probably going to charge less than that �9,000 fee that you have just


said? The students movement has always made it clear that we


principally stand on the basis of free education. The free education


is a principle that whether you are five, whether you are 15, or


whether you are 50, you should have the right to access higher


education and the fact that some universities are now turning around


and saying we will decrease our fees level just means they are


coming under increasing pressure to oblige to the market. Thank you.


You happy that the police could open fire on students today?


want to see peaceful demonstrations. People have a right to demonstrate


peacefully. The police have operational decisions to take.


After the events a few months back they will be concerned if there is


violence from protesters. I hope we can avoid that. Are rubber bullets


the right way to go about it? That has to be more than an operational


decision? That must be something the Government must have a say in?


I have to say what we want to see is peaceful protests...


understand that. Stkpwhri I'm very happy - the crucial thing is to --


I'm very happy - the crucial thing is... Education has to be paid for


by someone. It is going to be paid for by graduates when they are


earning more than �20,000 a year. I think we have a progressive


proposal. I would be very happy to carry on arguing that case in any


democratic forum. I understand that. This is a democratic and open forum.


You told this programme many moons ago that only a handful of


universities would charge the �9,000 top fee and that turns out


not to be the case - 50 of them are charging it? You told us that,


didn't you? We said that we were expecting universities to reach a


decision on what their fees should be, if they wanted to go above


�6,000 they would have to get agreement. We ended up with the


majority of students will not be facing fees of �9,000. The average


fee is �8,100. What is the difference from that �9,000 if you


are a student? For them, the crucial question is what their


repayments will be. They will be paying 9% of their earnings when


they are earning more than �20,000. On a Government website on the 9th


November 2010 it said the following: In exceptional cases


universities will be able to charge higher contributions, up to �9,000


limit. 50 universities are not exceptional cases. Wouldn't it be -


it may be right, it may be wrong. For the sake of plain-speaking and


the democratic debate, surely you should say, "We got that bit


wrong"? What we got right was expecting of universities that if


they want to go above six, they had to agree an access agreement. The


vast majority will not be facing fees of �9,000. Ed Miliband was


quite tempted to go out and talk to the protesters last time. Is he


going to go and dodge a bullet today? All of us want to see a


peaceful protest from the students today. We understand their real


concerns. One... Are you on their side? I'm against the fact that


tuition fees are �9,000. The Government could do more. You could


reduce the fees to �6,000, by a third, if you didn't give the


bankers the corporation tax cut this year, also if you charged a


little bit more interest for those earning over �65,000. There is


something you could do. The big worry is the fact that applications


from British students fell by 12% in this autumn and I think it's


obvious now that contrary to what the Government has said before it


is deterring people from going to university. These students are


marching for no fees. Are you on their side for no fees? No, we have


said there shouldn't be a �9,000... You said there should be �6,000?


The Government could step in and get that number down. Is that still


part of Labour policy? Of course. It is? It looked like an aspiration


last time? We have said that at the party conference. You think �6,000


would stop the marches? It would go a long way to help. The Government


said before that there wouldn't be a detrimental impact in terms...


Regardless of whether the fees are �6,000 or �9,000, it is the


repayment rate. Your proposal doesn't affect the monthly


repayments from graduates which will be lower under our proposals.


Jo? Our two guests probably know you shouldn't say anything you


might regret when you are in the vague proximity of a microphone.


Pity no-one told President Sarkozy and Obama who let slip some


unfortunate comments about the Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin


Netanyahu. Theirs... The French press got together to agree not to


make public. I went on two websites. Thank you, the French media. They


were asked not to put their microphones on because President


Sarkozy and Obama were going to have a private conversation. Here


is a reminder of some of the best Blair, what you doing? You leaving?


Don't speak before I call your name. Pretend... Pretend it was like the


Everything, she's the sort of It is very funny of course...


Sorry! LAUGHTER You are on air! does the President sound like


Schwarzenegger? It is funny. That gaffe is quite serious, isn't it?


In terms of diplomatic relations, that is a total breach of trust in


dealing with the Israeli Prime Minister? It can be very serious.


Serious for the poor so-and-so who works for them that forgot to


switch off the microphone. worked for Gordon Brown, of course,


but not at the time of the Gillian Duffy gaffe? I was in Barnsley


watching it on the telly at the time. Your heart sinking? You could


argue... Glad that I wasn't there. What did it do to Gordon Brown? It


had serious consequences for him? It did. I don't think it was the


fact that it was recorded, it is about what you say and I think that


was the problem in that instance. It is why Gordon immediately


apologised and it wasn't our finest hour. Yes. David Willetts, that is


the point. You can apologise, and it is embarrassing. Doesn't it


reveal the true nature of politicians in those private


moments? I don't think so. You get a different angle on politicians.


Is it the true one? In my experience, when politicians are


talking privately with the leader from another country, they don't


spend all their time bad mouthing foreign leaders. I don't think it


was a typical exchange. Is it then the only time we get to find out


what politicians are thinking? see a different side of them, don't


you? Often when you are just finishing an interview, that is the


point when people start relaxing, the microphones are still on and


they can be caught out. Everybody has to be allowed some opportunity


for some kind of private communication, some kind of


relaxation. We don't want politicians who are so straight-


laced they are permanently on guard. Is there a chance people might


think they are only human after all? I think they probably do. Most


people might make a comment about a colleague, you might say something


about Andrew that you wouldn't necessarily want broadcasting...


Never! I don't think that has ever happened! Have you ever been caught


out? Not yet. There's time. We are working on it. David? I was trying


to think - I am sure there is some terrible gaffe... You must have


said privately how dare all these universities go for �9,000 a year?


Sitting in my office occasionally, who knows, as one delivers these


exceptional higher education reforms. A thought of frus trace


might have passed -- frustration might have passed through my mind.


That is the closest we will get to the truth! Italian ten-year bonds


have reached 7%. The highest since the euro area was founded in 1999.


It is a significant benchmark and it puts Italy in real difficulties.


Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced he would resign yesterday


but only after Parliament passes urgent pwhudge et reforms. He's


also ind -- budget reforms. He's also indicated he won't stand in


any future elections. Meanwhile, an EU team is due in Rome today to


begin monitoring how Italy plans to cut its rising budget debt. I'm


joined by Bill Emmott, former editor of the The Economist.


Let's do the politics then go on to the significance of the Italian


bonds. Mr Berlusconi said he would go but only after the reforms are


put through. Should we be suspicious he really will go?


think Silvio Berlusconi is the kind of politician who thinks there's


always another chance. He has bought a little bit more time, he


thinks. He can talk to the people who he described yesterday as


traitors and tried to buy them back again and hope that the bond


markets reward him for saying that he is going to go, but I think we


see today, in the markets, they are not rewarding him. They want him to


go now. It is the message of James Cardle from the Clinton


administration, who said, when he died he really wanted to be


reincarnated not as the Pope, but the bond market, because it was all


powerful. Finally Silvio Berlusconi has met his match, the bond market.


It's only all powerful because the politicians borrow so much. If they


didn't borrow, they wouldn't matter to them. We are proceeding on the


basis that if Mr Berlusconi goes, Italy gets a fresh start. I would


suggest to you that that is not the case. And the bond markets have


already got that. They do know that, and the point is, it's like the old


Irish story, you wouldn't start from here. Ah yes we would!


only thing that makes me feel slightly sorry for Silvio


Berlusconi is he is not responsible for the debt as it was built up in


the seventies and eighties by politicians what are running


British-style budget deficits of 10 %, annually, year after year, but


the point about Silvio Berlusconi is that he has been in power for


nine years altogether out of the last 70, eight of the last 11 and


he has done nothing to reduce the debt -- the last 17. He has not


made any reforms. This businessman who was going to show you how to


run a country has done nothing except run the country in his own


interests. That is why he has to go. There is a great deal of faith in


Greece and Italy being put on a technocratic government, talk of


the former governor of the Bank of Greece coming back into Greece, and


talks of X EU commissioner Monte coming back to the Prime Minister


of Italy. I would suggest putting technocrats in it might seem fine


and they will know what they are doing, but they will have no


democratic legitimacy to do some very, very painful things. For I


think that is absolutely right. It's a very short-term solution.


For Commissioner Monte, or whoever else, it is a hospital pass. You


are basically being asked to do this because the politicians don't


won the unpopularity. That means it is short-term. It can only last six


or nine months at most, as it did in Italy in 1993 when the Governor


of the Bank of Italy was brought in as a technical governor and did a


lot of reforms in one year, but then the whole thing collapsed.


That is going to happen again, I would say. The significant point of


the 7% benchmark, that means that the debtor is expensive and they


have the biggest number of bombs after America and Japan in the


world. When Portugal and Greece hit this mark, they had to go for a


bail-out. I would suggest there are two problems with this now. 1,


Italy is much bigger and will need a bigger bail-out, and secondly,


whatever Mrs Merkel and Mr Sarkozy say, there is no bail-out fund.


There is no bail-out fund of this size, nor that the German, Dutch


and French voters will permit to take on liability for the Italian


debt. The real solutions after the Italian solutions. And the IMF


buying some time. You can buy time by rolling over the dead. Italy's


in a better position than Greece or Portugal is that the debt is in a


long immaturity. 300 billion of it becomes up for maturity next year.


It's only 300 billion! Less have a whip-round. Is it now British


government policy that given that there is no bail-out fund and the


financial leveraging, we've not seen the light of day of that. Is


it government policy that the ECB, the European Central Bank, contrary


to what the Germans want, should become the lender of last resort?


We want to see more serious progress, which could have -- into


the role for the ECB, but greater moves towards fiscal discipline in


the euro-zone. Is it Leiba's policy that the ECB should become the


lender of last resort -- Labour's policy. That would make it harder


to rescue countries like Italy. we want to see institutions like


the EC be stepping up to the plate, and Labour as well. This is


something that the Eurozone has to face up to. I think what you need


is the ECB honouring their responsibility. Should it be the


lender of last resort? I'm not asking about that. Is it your


polish sheet then it should be the lender of last resort? -- policy.


It should be the role of the member states in the EU. This is something


that the Germans and friends have to face up to. I am grateful to do


that -- or that but it has nothing to do with what I asked you. Do you


think the Germans will every agree to this? And it provoked the


Germans into changing their mind about their attitude to the ECB?


doubt it. I would not bet in favour of it. Germans will not vote for


the government that does this, that is the trouble. You never know,


Apocalypse Now, and you produce a new political environment, but now


they would not vote for it. Bill, thank you for that. We will have to


sign you up because they will be a lot of this going on. I think you


are right. Mr Berlusconi says he's going to retire and when that


happens you normally get a fountain pen or a carriage clock or a litre


of fine whisky in a critical -- crystal decanter. Edinburgh Crystal,


in fact. When you have been the President of Italy, actually the


Prime Minister, who writes the scripts? When you have been the


prime minister, the President is different from Mr Berlusconi.


Napolitano is the President, Berlusconi is the prime minister.


The confusing thing is that he is call the President of the council.


Maybe they were being clever. would probably either one be


showered with fountain pens, carriage clocks and bung a bunker


parties. So what would you want as a leaving present? How about a


Daily Politics mug? Yes, these little babies would not look out of


place at a poolside at one of these parties. So, Silvio, I am sending


Joe to Rome to hand deliver one of these. You lucky, lucky man. You be


careful with it. I once danger money for that. We will remind you


how to enter in a minute, but let's see if you can remember when this


How do you feel about the loss of the Times this morning? I will miss


One woman came in and asked for 20 a loads? Were you able to supply


To be in with a chance of winning a Daily Politics mug, send your


answer to our special quiz e-mail address - that's [email protected]


And you can see the full terms and conditions for Guess The Year on


our website. That's bbc.co.uk/dailypolitics. Now, it's


coming up to midday. Let's have a look at Big Ben. That means PMQs is


on the way. And Nick Robinson is here. Welcome to our programme,


Nick. Now, the row engulfing the Home Secretary is likely to be the


main thrust of the exchanges. And it doesn't look like the pressure


on the Home Secretary will end there. The Commons will debate a


Labour motion later today calling on the Government to publish all


the details that ministers gave to the UK Border Agency. Jo, just


bring us up to speed on who is saying what. Who's been in charge


at passport control? That's the question everybody at Westminster


is asking today. The Home Secretary said yesterday that she did


authorise a 'pilot' scheme to relax border checks for some passengers


arriving in the UK over the summer, but that she had not authorised


wider relaxation of controls, which only a minister could do. But she


was contradicted by the Border Force chief, Brodie Clark, who


dramatically resigned last night. He issued a statement disputing Mrs


May's version of events. He said, "The Home Secretary suggests that I


added additional measures, improperly, to the trial of our


risk-based controls: I did not." "The Home Secretary also implies


that I relaxed the controls in favour of queue management. I did


not". But Brodie Clark's boss, Rob Whiteman says Clark "admitted" to


him that he "authorised staff to go further than ministerial


instruction". But in his statement Clark also says that the measures


have been in place since 2008, which might just get him and the


Home Secretary both off the hook. David Willetts, in October of this


year, less than a month ago, 11th October, the Prime Minister said


"we will reclaim our borders. We will get a grip on immigration in


this country. Real limits, proper enforcement, real control over how


many people come here and who.". That was that you had already open


the borders to EU citizens. decision that ministers took was


the piloting a scheme to make a risk assessment of people coming


into the country and it was absolutely not opening of borders.


That was not any decision that the Home Secretary table. It took was a


pilot Why did you include every airport in the country? It was


being trial on certain groups of people and the aim was that the


people working at the borders agency should be able to exercise


some judgment in a very small number of the tests applied.


understand that, but if you say to a certain group of people it apply


to everyone in what we call the European economic Area, which is


all of the 27 countries in the EU, plus Switzerland, Norway and other


ones that I forget. It is a pretty the group of people. These people


could come in without proper checks, and yet, you're Prime Minister says,


even after all that has happened, we will reclaim Al borders. Real


control over how many people come here and who. That is absolutely


not what was being piloted. What was piloted was the use by border


agency officials of some risk assessment by them so that if, for


example, a school party was coming through they had some discretion


into which tests they applied and most of them were applied in those


cases. You were not applying the biometric tests, correct? They


could take a specific discretionary choice, the biometric data was one


thing and that it is only a second photograph. But that is not opening


up the borders, and that is precisely why the Home Secretary


was so shocked. She is the one who says she cannot tell us get in


illegally this summer. If that is not opening of borders, what is?


Not knock. Who's there? Coming. -- come in. We know that the pilot


actually increased by 10 % the number of illegal immigrants


detected. What a cause she cannot know, and I hope the investigation


will discover this, is what happened as a result of this


completely unlicensed decision by the guy running the borders.


Michael de deux, I'm not sure why you are making such a song and


dance. In 2008, under a Labour government, you did not suspend


what the Tories suspended, you suspended the warning index checks


on the people coming in. You did that, with people who were risk,


you suspended cheques. The reason why we are making a song and dance


about it is because we thought Theresa May was incredibly


complacent and out of touch when she could not tell us how many


people came in unchecked because of a decision she took. But you


suspended checked -- checks on 100 occasions. We had 1,000 more


immigration officers and every single year we tightened up.


suspended it over 100 times. introduce the biometrics on every


visa, more immigration officers. 2004, local managers at Heathrow


decided there would be all open controls and no checks whatsoever


made. That was under you. Every year we endeavoured to tighten up


the Czechs. The government took a decision to relax the cheques this


summer and then took a decision not to check it. You never relaxed any


of the checking? I was told by a former immigration minister he


would meet the scene like this in this case. There will be a lot of


ammunition to throw around. truth is, in terms of impression,


the government has paid a price. Look at the cartoonists today, they


show Osama Bin Laden wandering through passport control and they


have paid a price. The question is, is there a fatal fact. So far


bought a razor maker there isn't. Here is Prime Minister's Questions


He had already proved himself to be a dedicated and courageous soldier.


He has made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the British


people and we should send our deepest condolences to his family


and friends. This week, we will have lost their lives in defence of


our country so we can enjoy peace and freedom. We are humbled by the


sacrifice they have made. This morning, I had meetings with


ministerial colleagues and others and I shall have further such


meetings later today. May I add my tribute to the Prime Minister's


about the death of Private Matthew Haseldin of 2nd Battalion The


Mercian Regiment. Does he think telling 25 million workers they


have no job security will boost or reduce consumer confidence? Clearly,


what we have to do is make it easier for firms to hire people.


That is why we have scrapped Labour's jobs tax, that is why we


have taken a million of the lowest paid people out of tax. That is why


we have established new rules so you can only go to a tribunal after


working somewhere for two years and that's why we have introduced fees


for claims in employment tribunals to stop these claims. We are


apprenticeships all as a way of helping to give young people jobs.


THE SPEAKER: Ed Miliband. Speaker, can I join the Prime


Minister in paying tribute to Private Matthew Haseldin from 2nd


Battalion The Mercian Regiment? He showed immense courage trying to


protect local people and our thoughts are with his family and


friends. With troops serving in conflict overseas, it is more


important that we honour this weekend in Remembrance Sunday all


of those who have served our country and are indeed serving our


country today. Mr Speaker, can the Prime Minister tell us how many


people entered the UK under the Home Secretary's relaxed border


controls? The figures for the period between August 2010 and


August 2011 for the number of people who entered the country are


published in the normal way. The figures I do have is that the


number of people arrested was up by 10% and the number of drug seizures


was markedly up and the number of firearms seizures was up by 100%. I


think we should be clear about what did and what did not happen here.


First, the Home Secretary did agree a pilot for a more targeted


approach to border control, this was for people within the European


Economic Area. It allowed better targeting of high-risk people and


less for others, notably children. This did not compromise security.


This was an operational decision but one I fully back and think that


she was right to take. But, second - and this is important - decisions


were taken to extend this beyond the European Economic Area


nationals, this was not authorised by the Home Secretary. Indeed, when


specific permission was asked for, it was not granted. Let me just say,


this did not mean our borders were left undefended. Passports


continued to be checked. As this was an authorised action, as it was


contrary to what the Home Secretary agreed, it is right that the head


of the Border Force was suspended. I back that action completely.


Speaker, it is just not good enough. The Prime Minister can't tell us


how many people, how many millions of people were let in under the


relaxed border controls agreed by the Home Secretary. Mr Speaker,


isn't it totally unacceptable that the Home Secretary chose to relax


border controls in July and even yesterday she could not tell us


which airports and ports it applied to, how many took it up and for how


long. She provided those figures and the figures for the number of


arrests are as follows. Firearms, 100 increase in seizures. Illegal


immigrants 10% increase in arrest. Forged documents, 48% increase. The


simple fact that the right honourable gentleman has to accept


- and everyone has to accept - is this: Is the head of the UK Border


Agency, Rob Whiteman, who also didn't know that this unauthorised


action was taking place, he said this - it is very important for the


House to understand: Brodie Clark admitted to me on 2nd November that


on a number of occasions this year he authorised his staff to go


further than ministerial action. I therefore suspended him from his


duties. In my opinion it was right for officials to have recommended


the pilot so we focus attention on higher risk to our border. It is


unacceptable that one of my senior officials went further than was


approved. That is why he was suspended. That is why the Home


Secretary backed that decision. It is an important issue to understand


that Brodie Clark was suspended by the head of the UK Border Agency.


It was a decision quite rightly taken by him, backed by the Home


Secretary, backed by me. Isn't it utterly typical, Mr Speaker, when


things go wrong, it is nothing to do with them?


THE SPEAKER: Order. Let me emphasise there are members on both


sides of the House shouting their heads off. Members of Youth


Parliament last Friday... Order! Order! Who spoke brilliantly and


passionately disagreed with each other but they didn't shout at each


other. Mr Ed Miliband? Mr Speaker, what did the Home Secretary say in


the past when she was in opposition when things went wrong on


immigration? She said, "I'm sick and tired of Government Ministers


who simply blame other people when things go wrong." Now the Prime


Minister said yesterday in his evidence to the Liaison Committee


about the relaxation of border controls in the last few months,


"Clearly, it's not acceptable and it's not acceptable it went on for


so long." Mr Speaker, why did the Home Secretary allow it to happen?


On the one hand, he is trying to blame me for not taking


responsibility and quote my words "taking responsibility" and saying


what isn't acceptable. I have to say having a lecture in


responsibility from a party that trebled immigration, that let an


extra 2.2 million people into our country, that allowed everyone from


Eastern Europe to come here with no transitional controls, that built


up a backlog of 500,000 asylum claims and no apology about it.


Even today, when the Leader of the Opposition is asked whether too


many people were let into our country, his answer was very simple


- no. Mr Speaker, he's been the Prime Minister for 18 months. He


can't keep saying, "It's nothing to do with me." It is his


responsibility. A month ago, Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister gave a


speech on boarder controls called Reclaiming Our Borders. Mr Speaker,


while he was boasting about reclaiming our borders, his Home


Secretary was relaxing our borders. Doesn't the Prime Minister think he


should at least have known? pilot that the Home Secretary


introduced meant more arrests, more firearms seized, more forged


documents found. That is the truth of it. The fact is that officials


went further than Home Office Ministers authorised, that is what


is wrong, that is why someone had to be suspended. That was the right


decision. He asks what we have done. Let me tell him. We are completing


e-borders so every flight will be checked from next April. We got the


first six months of this year, we seized more drugs than in the whole


of last year. Last year, we rejected 400,000 applications for


visas. We turned away 68,000 people without the correct documents. I'm


determined we have tough border controls and finally we have a Home


Office and an Immigration Minister that want to cut immigration.


Speaker, anyone listening to the Prime Minister would think his


policy has been a great success. It is a fiasco! It is a complete


fiasco! Now the one thing he can't claim to know anything about is


cuts to the UK Border Force. Can he confirm how many UK Border staff


are going to be cut under his Government? By the end of this


Parliament, there will be 18,000 people working for the UK Border


Agency which is the same number as were working for the UK Border


Agency in 2006 when he was sitting in the Treasury and determining the


budgets. He asks about what we have done in 18 months in office on


immigration. Let me tell him. The first-ever limit on work visas from


outside the European Union. We have stopped more than 470 colleges from


bringing in bogus foreign students. We have cut student visas by 70,000.


Anyone who comes here to get married has to speak English. We


are ending automatic settlement rights and stopping the nonsense of


people misusing the Human Rights Act. In 18 months we have done more


to control immigration than he did in 13 years. Mr Speaker, the truth


is it's a fiasco and he knows it. That is the reality. It is a... Mr


Speaker, it is a pattern with this Government. Broken promises. Gross


incompetence. Blame everybody else. He's an out of touch Prime Minister


leading a shambolic Government. ever, he completely lost his way!


LAUGHTER I think he should spend a little more time listening to the


author of Blue Labour. He said this: "Labour lied about the extent


of immigration." Where's the apology? Thank you, Mr Speaker. On


Friday 3 Commando Brigade will be marching through the streets of


Plymouth on their homecoming parade. I know the Prime Minister will be


with us in spirit. Would he today like to send a message of support


to these brave and very professional Royal Marines of whom


we are all so very proud? I will certainly join my honourable friend


in doing that. I know that the whole of the South West and the


whole country is incredibly proud of the Marines and we are proud of


3 Commando Brigade who will be marching through Plymouth. I send


my very best wishes for the homecoming parade. We should put on


record what they have achieved in Task Force Helmand. They carried


out 37,000 patrols. They found over 400 IEDs. They have made a real


difference to the safety and security of that country and the


safety of our country, too. Does the Prime Minister think it is


right and proper and defensible that the Royal Bank of Scotland


which received massive bail-out during the crisis should be paying


over �500 million out in bonuses this year? No, I don't think it is


acceptable. It hasn't yet set its figures for bonus payments. The


British Government is a seriously large shareholder in RBS and we


will be making our views known. joining me in giving our


condolences to the relatives of the Red Arrows pilot killed at RAF


Scampton yesterday, will the Prime Minister acknowledge the overriding


need for safety and that our campaign to save RAF Scampton from


closure is not just based on sentiment for the historic home of


the Dambusters but on the overriding need for the safe


uncluttered skies above North Lincoln shirp which the Red --


Lincolnshire which the Red Arrows need to practice safely? It comes


on top of a second accident that happened in the Red Arrows. This


has been a very tragic time for something that the whole country


loves and I know the home to them in Lincolnshire is extremely


important. We must get to the bottom of what happened. I


understand why he wants to stand up for the airbase in his constituency.


Thank you. The trade unions yesterday published data showing my


constituency has seen the largest growth in youth unemployment in


this country. Given we won't have the opportunity to question the


Prime Minister on unemployment numbers next week, why is he


letting young people down in my constituency? We face a difficult


situation with unemployment including amongst young people,


right across the country and we need to do everything we can to


help people back into work. That is why there is record investment


going into apprenticeships, record investment going into the work


programme. The real need is to grow the private sector. It is a time


that whoever was in Government would be having to make reductions


in the public sector. He shakes his head. Any Government - look across


Europe at the reductions. We need to get the private sector growing.


That is what this Government is Developing considerable potential


for jobs in the energy sector is crucial for economic recovery in my


constituency as is providing skills to take on the jobs. Will the Prime


Minister ensure the government does all it can to fund the completion


of the new high-school in Lowestoft that will play such an important


role in giving young people the skills in a deprived area?


Honourable Friend makes an important point about this local


school and the skills it will bring. This year, Suffolk has an extra �33


million in capital funds and it is for the local authority to decide


how to spend money, but I would make the point that school capital


available throughout this Parliament amounts to �15.9 billion,


so money is therefore important This weekend the nation will pause


to remember paying tribute to hour war dead. At Cenotaph across the


nation we will pay homage to men and women who have paid the Supreme


sacrifice in conflict down the years. Would the Prime Minister


agree that whether it is in shops, schools, churches or on football


shirts, where there is a desire to display the tribute in a non-


partisan way it should not just be allowed, but positively promoted?


completely agree with the Honourable Gentleman and sense the


entire house does as well. I think it's a remarkable achievement of


the Royal British Legion and the country as a hole that over the


past years we have reintroduced the sense of the silence taking place


on the 11th hour of the 11th day. I think it is absolutely right and


appropriate in Northern Ireland where so many people have served so


bravely in our armed forces and from both sides of the border.


Whenever I visit the Royal Irish Regiment you are struck by how many


people from both sides of the borders have served in the armed


forces. Less family breakdown would reduce


the costs loaded onto Allah economy, so will the Prime Minister


encourage health authorities across the whole country to take part in


care for the pilot schemes where volunteer parents offer support to


new parents in the early years of their family life which is when


half of all break-ups occur. honourable friend has a great


record in pushing forward this vital idea. It is a tragic fact


that so many couples break-up after the arrival of the first child


because of the stresses and strains it brings. It is dreadful for the


couple's and dreadful for the children. We spend a huge amount in


the country of dealing with social breakdown and in my view we should


spend more to help keep families together and relationship advice


and support, as my Honourable On Friday, the UN Security Council


will consider the democratically conveyed Palestinian request for


full membership of the United Nations. Might the international


community not do more to advance the prospect of a to state solution


by doing more to create a to state processed and in that context,


would he insure that the UK representative casts a positive


vote on Friday and doesn't go for abstention? My Right Honourable


Friend the Foreign Secretary will make a full statement to the House


about this issue and a few moments. Let me say this. The British


government is fully behind the two state solution but I profoundly


believe that the way you get a to state solution is not through


declarations at the UN, the way you get it is through the two potential


States, Israel and Palestine, sitting down and negotiating. All


of our efforts should be put towards making that happen.


(WHITE)THE SPEAKER: (BLUE)(CAPNEXT). The winter fuel payment provides


valuable help with paying their bills. Individuals are free to


donate their payment to charity if they wish, but it must be a


decision for them. I thanked the Prime Minister for the question


answer and I'd like to congratulate Peter Whyman for coming up with an


idea where people can donate their winter fuel allowance where they do


not need it. Would the government try and include an option on the


letter sent to all of the over sixties about the winter fuel


allowance to allow the donation to be donated automatically to the


appeal? I will look at the suggestion she makes, but it is


very important that we keep the promises about keeping up winter


fuel and cold weather payments. I would not want to see any pressure


unnecessarily put on people to do something that might not be in


their own best interests. The operational instruction from


the UK Border Agency on 28th July says we might see checking under 18


year-olds against the warnings in this. Did anyone in the Home Office


clear that document, and given the conflicting stories between the


Home Secretary officials and her own version, will he publish all


the ministerial instructions to the UK order agency? He is trying


desperately to make up the ground lost by his leader, but he rather


lost the house in the process. The point I would make to him is that


there is going to be an inquiry carried out by the Chief Inspector


of the ordinary, so the chief inspector who found out what was


going wrong in terms of undertaking the didn't have the permission of


ministers and all of these issues On Christmas Day 1914, British and


German troops put down their weapons and played a football match


in no-man's-land. The following day the bloody hostilities resumed and


we today where the poppy in remembrance of our war dead. Will


the Prime Minister join me in condemning the outrageous decision


by Fifa or to refuse the home nations their request to wear a


poppy on their shirts this weekend as a simple mark of respect and


I think the Honourable Lady Nott speaks just the the whole house,


but a whole country, by being completely baffled and frankly


angry by the decision made by Fifa. If teams want to be able to put the


poppy on their shirt, as many teams do in our Football League, they


should be able to and national level whether it is the English


team or the Welsh team. I think this is an appalling decision and I


hope they will reconsider it. As poverty is rising, the Prime


Minister is removing the requirement for people to register


to vote in Britain, thereby removing millions of people's right


to vote. Is seen there for not taking their money with one hand


and taking their votes with another -- is the there for not taking


their money with one hand and taking votes with another and it is


a grotesque distortion of democracy to remove the voting power of the


most vulnerable? The point I would make is that we are introducing


individuals and I can understand why he does not support the idea of


making constituencies the same size, because his constituency only has


62,000 people in, where his Right Honourable Friend the Member for


East Ham represents 91,000 people. I do think it is a basic act of


fairness to have seats the same size. It was a demand of the


Chartists in the 1840s and I think it's time we introduced it.


Is the Prime Minister aware that there is growing evidence increased


abuse, intimidation and harassment on Park home sites across the


country and tackling needs these problem needs political will and


not a large sum of money. Will the Prime Minister give urgency to


addressing these issues so that vulnerable parts homeowners need


the protection that -- get the protection they need as soon as


possible? I have constituency cases myself where people have been


treated very badly by Park home owners. There are some extremely


good Park home owners to obey the rules and demonstrate


responsibility and compassion but there are friendly some who don't.


We are committed to providing a better deal to residents by


improving their rights and increasing protection from bad site


owners and double arrange for her to have a meeting with the housing


minister so they can discuss this urgent action -- I will arrange for


her. In these difficult economic times it is more important that our


politics are in touch with the people we represent. Would the


Prime Minister therefore welcome the first successful people on a


parliamentary Speakers placement scheme you are inspiring


individuals who would never normally get the chance to work in


politics. Would he agree to meet with them and listen to their views


on the relevance of the issues today and Perhaps how all of us our


doing in our politics? I joined the Right Honourable Lady in the point


she makes. She has made a huge impact on the impact of social


mobility and trying to help people who have not had good chances in


life and I applaud her. If there is time in my busy diary I will do as


she says. I do think there is an important opportunity for everyone


in the house to look at organisations like the social


mobility foundation that provide opportunities for internships from


inner-city schools to have the experience of working in Palmer. I


have used the scheme as other members of the Cabinet have, and I


think it is an excellent scheme to give people a good chance to see


what we do in this place, not just on Wednesday at 12 o'clock, but


Does my right honourable friend think it is right for Honourable


Members to take instruction from the GMB about how to vote on


amendments? I do think the Honourable Lady raises a serious


issue and I can sense a bitter resistance! That is perhaps not rip


-- surprising when 85 % of their money comes from the trade unions,


but the fact is when we discuss legislation in the house it should


be ringing our judgment an hour and ideas and not just picking up a


tired old free from a trade union - - Our Ideas. -- a tired old brief.


In my constituency there are over 3,000 people claiming jobseeker's


allowance for the latest figures show that there were only 300 job


vacancies available. Jobs are being lost in the public sector and the


private sector. How high does unemployment have to go before the


Prime Minister will accept that his economic policies simply aren't


working? Unemployment is too high today. I want to see it come down


from its already high levels. What we have to do in order to make that


happen is put resources into the apprentice scheme and put it into


the work programme, to make sure we do all the things that help


businesses employ people. That is what this government is doing. We


are cutting corporation tax and introducing enterprise zones and


doing everything we can to help businesses and we will do that in


her constituency and through the country.


Italian bond yields have jumped by more than a percentage point to an


unsustainable 8.1 %. Could the Prime Minister tell us what euro-


zone leaders must do to stop the contagion? I do think my Honourable


Friend makes important point. If you don't have credibility about


your plans to deal with your DEC's, and they will not lend you any


money. That is what we are seeing in countries like Greece and Italy


where the price of borrowing money is getting to a totally


unsustainable level. It is a lesson for us to have sustainable plans to


get on top of Our debts. In terms of Europe, as we look in Europe,


and with his -- decide on a decisive right down about the debt,


people look at other countries and Unita have in place the biggest


possible firewall. -- you need to have in place. Euro-zone leaders


urgently need to put flesh on the bones and figures on the size of


the firewall. Last year youth unemployment at Tameside stood at


an unacceptable 25 per smack - 20 %, one in five, and now stands at 34 %


which is frankly shocking. In light of this, does he still believe that


the decision to scrap the future jobs fund was the right one? Let me


make the point that under Labour youth unemployment went up by 40 %.


On the issue of the future jobs fund, the evidence we received on


coming into government was that the future jobs fund was three or four


times more expensive than other job creation schemes and in many parts


of the country including in the West Midlands the percentage of


jobs in the private sector was as low as two or 3%. It was right to


scrap the future jobs fund and put in its place apprenticeships, the


work programme and work experience which will make a difference to


young people. Mr Speaker, war is a failure of


politics. The people who go to war are not politicians, they are brave


service people who die in the service of the country. Could I


urge my Right Honourable friend to write to fever to point out that


the poppy is not a political symbol -- FIFA, it is a symbol that says


we respect the sacrifice that people have made on behalf of their


countries. I will certainly do as my Honourable friend says. It is


not just an issue of writing to FIFA, it is asking them and she


bodies, including the FA, to take a very strong line about this. As he


says, this is not of left or right, Labour or Conservative, we all wear


a poppy with pride. We all do it, even if we don't approve of the


wars people were fighting in. We do it to one of the fact that these


people sacrifice their lives for us. It is absolutely vital for FIFA to


understand it and a clear message going out of the house can make


them think again. Building on the last answer that


the Prime Minister gave, given the fact that Italy is now on an


incredible fiscal path, in the words of the Prime Minister, will


he assist the G20 finance ministers to meet and help create the


European financial stability package in such a way that helps


the Eurozone? The Honourable Gentleman makes an important point,


but the first responsibility for building is bail-out fund has got


to be with the euro-zone members. The problem with the G20 is, as we


discussed in the House, you cannot ask the g 20 and the IMF to do


things that the Eurozone members are not prepared to do. We do stand


ready to boost the IMF and we do want to help countries in distress.


We do not want to see our trading partners collapse. We understand


that even though we don't support membership of the euro, country's


falling out of the euro could be very painful for our economy. It is


their currency Doak and they have to sort out the problems. -- it is


their currency though. In reply to my Honourable Friend to


the member for Orpington referred to a firewall in these bail-out.


Would he accept that what we need is structural renegotiation of the


treaty's given the impact it is having on the United Kingdom and to


use a cricketing analogy, which she will be aware of, he would not be


sent in with a broken bat, he would be sent in with a new bat and the


There is a long history in my party of cricketing metaphors and Europe


ending and happily, so I don't think I will necessarily follow


down the park. -- ending unhappily. But we will defend our country and


we got something back in the treaty, which was to get back out of the


bail-out fund. If there a future treaty changes and some European


countries are pushing for them, we will make sure we will do a good


deal for Britain and protect the Prime Minister's Questions comes to


an end. It was not that difficult that the frontbench exchanges were


dominated by this row over Theresa May and what she did and didn't


order about border control in the pilot programme. A general sense


that I'm getting from the tweets - we will hear from Jo in a minute -


Ed Miliband didn't quite score the goal that he hoped to do. This


business of the England team not being allowed to wear poppies


during the match against Spain this weekend came up several times. I am


sure some of the questions were planted so the Prime Minister could


make a robust statement about it. That last question there from Bill


Cash was on the eurozone situation, given the enormity of what has been


happening in Greece and in Italy, and how the eurozone is still the


biggest threat to whether Britain goes into recession or not, it was


interesting that it did barely merit a mention. You sometimes


wonder if Parliament is tuned in to the big issues of PMQs. Yes, it is


about what gets MPs going. You are right, the performance of Ed


Miliband was the subject of the vast majority of the e-mails. Lots


of people felt it was the wrong subject for him to go on. "A clear


win for David Cameron today. Labour can never win on immigration just


as the Tories can never win on the NHS." This one: "Ed Miliband is


failing to consolidate the gains he made over the summer. Terrible


performance." This from Don Smith, "Ed Miliband was asking questions


that were answered yesterday by the Home Secretary." Alan Webb, "Ed


Miliband sank without trace today. He should have left the issue of


border controls well alone after the mess his own party made of it.


He should choose his questions more carefully." There were some in


favour. This from Ian, "Ed Miliband has outperformed the Prime Minister


again this week. He did very well to focus on the detail of the


borders issue." Ian, "Ed had an open goal today and he scored.


David struggled." Nick Robinson, where are we now on this? I have


changed my mind almost every day. I began by thinking Theresa May was


safe on this. By the beginning of the week, I thought it looked a bit


dodgy for her. Given the statement from the Chief Executive of the


Border Agency that Brodie Clark did say to him I'm going much further


than the Minister told me, it would seem that could be her get out of


jail card? That's right. If these sorts of stories become a he says


she says in which you struggle to remember the names and the job


titles and quite what it was, it is easier for a Minister. But if


Brodie Clark goes before MPs next week, on Tuesday, and produces a


piece of evidence that says that, "I can prove that the Home


Secretary told me to do this" then she would be in real difficulty.


That would be a game changer? is no indication in his statement,


the head of the union that represents him was on Newsnight, he


didn't suggest there was such evidence. So my instinct is it's


awkward for the Home Secretary. It's not been comfortable for her.


It will fuel anxiety about immigration that was anyway coming


up through the largely Tory supporting newspapers and because


there's another of these petitions that will put another motion on the


order paip probably of the House of Commons about a new limit -- Order


Paper probably of the House of Commons about a new limit. In part,


Ed Miliband didn't go for the detail. It was striking when Chris


Lesley stood up and said, "Will you publish some papers?" The Prime


Minister hasn't got an answer as to why he won't publish papers, other


than say wait for an inquiry which we know won't report until January.


It seems to me that would have been much more fruitful for the Leader


of the Opposition. He was allowing the Prime Minister to go through


the detail. The detail doesn't convict the Government yet. An open


goal but he stuck the ball over the bar? I don't accept that. Today


with very lengthy answers he justified entirely the actions that


were taken and praised the virtues of the process. Most people


watching who think that the Government's first responsibility


is to maintain its borders will think that is out of touch.


didn't say the pilot was unacceptable. He said the Border


Agency going much further than the pilot was unacceptable? The pilot


that covered all these ports, airports, every single person in


the European Economic Area, means the Home Secretary has no idea how


many people came in unchecked over that period and didn't bother to


find out. That was acceptable? I don't think so. I think people are


very worried about this. I thought Ed Miliband spoke to those worries.


The Prime Minister wasn't regarding the pilot as unacceptable, he was


regarding what Brodie Clark is claimed to have done as


unacceptable. He may be right, he may be wrong, but I don't see the


inconsistency between yesterday and today? Well, I think the public


will see his words yesterday where he said what had happened was


unacceptable. If he is saying today that it was only the extensions to


the pilot that were unacceptable, or is he saying the fact that you


have, we have no idea how many people entered the country without


proper checks from a huge area like the European Economic Area over a


large timescale? If he is saying that is acceptable, he is more out


of touch than we thought. It may or may not be acceptable. What


wouldn't be acceptable to this Government since it was obviously


acceptable to the last Government because you did the same? Year on


year, we tightened up security checks... There were times when you


opened our borders, that is accepted? We are talking about the


checks at borders. We tightened up... No, no. We introduced the


technology... There were periods when you opened our borders in a


similar way to this pilot? What do you mean? There were times when you


said you don't need to do this, the normal checks you have to do. There


were times at Heathrow Airport when you said don't look at those who


are on a possible wanted list. So it's happened before under both


governments? What we are saying is... But do you accept that?


What I accept is that all governments - and there was a


consensus on this - all governments, Labour and Conservative, wanted to


maintain and increase and tighten border controls. That doesn't


seem... That seems to have happened. The borders are not that tight.


They seem to be for reasons of expediency that you didn't want a


lot of people queuing to get into the country. Last summer, some


people were having to wait three hours at Heathrow to get in? What


we were doing on the pilot was getting proper judgment and risk


assessment by individual Border Agency officials. That is why it is


so important what the Prime Minister said, it increased the


number of illegal immigrants that were detected. It was telling the


staff you have to exercise some discretion, but it was not on the


scale that appears to have happened. Labour are making heavy weather of


it. There was a pilot. We believe... It was agreed by Home Office


Ministers? The pilot. You didn't know about it? It was a legitimate


operation. I didn't know about it. What then clearly happened was that


Brodie Clark went way beyond the agreed terms of the pilot and we is


now have a clear statement by the head of the UK Border Agency, he


has endorsed what the Home Secretary said. Nick? Let me


confess, I have been out of the country for a couple of days while


this story was brewing up. I was in Brussels. The slight curiosity is


we have the Prime Minister saying more people arrested, more guns


were found. Is this a policy a failure or a success? That is a


very good question. Both parties are desperate to show and sound


like they are tough. Of course, there is an element in which all


border controls are a balance between the consumer element which


is do people wait for hours and get very cross about it? There are


businessmen waiting, families with kids. Versus security. There is a


balance. Let me ask, was the pilot a success? The pilot has not been


evaluated. You have been boasting... The purpose of the pilot was to get


focus on people coming through the country's borders that were thought


to be potentially risky. Not have simply a tick in the box system and


you can be a seven-year-old on a regulated school trip or a 25-year-


old with something in your past and you are all treated the same way.


The purpose was to get the Border Agency officials to exercise some


judgment and focus on the people who they thought were the likely


risk cases. You got 10% more... That appears to be the reason why


we have more illegal immigrants. it was a success? The 10% is not a


proper evaluation? The pilot was agreed by Ministers and we stand by


the need to have a pilot. What we don't stand by was Brodie Clark


doing something different. I don't understand how you can claim it


caught out 10% more people than the old system and yet not be prepared


to say it was a success? We know those figures. We don't know.


we do know is the reason for the pilot - it is being suggested the


reason of the pilot was to weaken border controls. The purpose was to


strengthen and make more effective our border controls. The Prime


Minister had a teed up question on FIFA's ban on the England team


wearing poppies. He wants to say something strongly about it? Yes.


He's offering himself around to television companies to say


something. He thinks this is an issue he feels strongly about and


he knows the country will feel strongly about it as well. Should


the FIFA, should the England team defy the FIFA ban and walk out to


the pitch with their poppies on their chests? Yes, they should. We


should tell FIFA to go and take a running jump. When the whole


country comes together this weekend for remembrance, it is a complete


disgrace that England's national team would not be allowed to wear


the poppy with pride as everyone else does. Should the England team


defy the FIFA ban? I want to see the England team wearing their


poppies. They should. So they should? What I would like to see is


FIFA reconsidering what will still happen. Two for defying the ban.


will be looking. Nick, thank you. It was also mentioned today the


issue of party funding. A couple of weeks ago I asked Lord Levy what


his advice to Andrew Rosenfeld would be. Good luck was the answer!


One that betrayed the idea that raising significant cash for


political parties veers between hard and impossible. Once again,


the issue of state-funding and donation caps are being discussed


so Giles has been delving into what How political parties are funded


country is a murky issue. The Conservatives have been accused of


over-reliance on big-money donors like Lord Ashcroft. People do not


understand why people are giving large amounts of money to political


parties if they don't get something for it. Labour struggles on its


almost total reliance on the unions, who do expect some backing for


their buck. If you were to ask every trade unionist, do you want


to give the number to the Labour Party, significant numbers will say


no. So the minute you shine the light of transparency on the


process, the amount of money coming from trade unions will drop.


the Liberal Democrats to have always had significantly less than


the other two ended up with their biggest donor, Michael Brown, being


sent down as a crook. But it's Lib Dem leader and deputy Nick Clegg


who has asked for the standards of public life Commission to construct


a new format to go under approval, the 4th in seven years, the last,


the �50,000 cap on donation in the Phillips inquiry, which narrowly


failed. The proposals were fair to all sides, and �50,000 of that what


was something we could have lived with on the Labour side and the


others could have as well. I don't think either side particularly


wanted to succeed, and Labour less. The trade unions basically killed


the talks of behind the scenes. No matter what we said at the time,


that is what happened. Sorting party funding has always


traditionally been like fitting a tyre that is too small on a bike


wheel. It is hard. You think once you've tucked in and sorted the


problem with the unions and Labour, you have the donors and the Tory


problem. You try and sort that and that pops back out again. Sort them


both and you have the Lib Dems saying this disadvantages us. If


you sort out all three, you discover that what you have come up


with won't appeal to the public. It is actually very difficult and it


has never been done and it always leaves democracy campaigners more


deflated than pumped up. The trick is to devise a scheme for that in


return for parties accepting a cap on donation, they get state funding,


which exists a short money for opposite -- opposition parties.


This would either be block funding, cash per vote, or more likely, a


voucher system where we will tick a box for where we wish state money


to go, rumours are about �3. What we won political parties to do is


engage with the public and in -- earn their crust, if you like, and


then a voter ticking a box seems a passive relation between voters and


a political party. I think they should work harder for it, frankly.


All the party leaders will have to accept, if they don't do it, while


they are party leader will have to deal with the scandal affecting


their party and donations. If they are not careful their personal


reputation will be tarnished because, ultimately, the mix of


money and votes and parties is a toxic one. Joining the now is the


Liberal Democrat peer, Lord Russell. Joining me now is the Liberal


Democrat peer Lord Razzall. You would obviously support this


because you get more money with the three Band donation. We don't


support it, because even though we would get more money, we wanted


take this leaves out of British politics. All three parties could


trade insults and I don't think that is appropriate in this context.


The important thing about the proposals is they must be taken as


a package. You cannot just pick one bit without having the other. If


you're going to limit donations to the �50,000 talked about you have


to introduce some element of public funding to replace the money would


otherwise -- the party would otherwise lose. You mention Michael


Brown, and with what happened in him, does it show that the system


needs reforming? I think the parties could, with different


examples, but yes, I think it does. To have that amount of money given


by people, Michael Brown, and no one knows where he is, because he's


on the run, and the Sunday Telegraph says he's in the


Dominican Republic, he has suddenly popped up before the 2005 election


and said he would give us �3 million before the election for


though it was not apparent why he wanted it, but he did. We then


discovered a lot later that he was convicted for all sorts of


fraudulent offences. Just briefly, the state of finances or the


Liberal Democrats? A not bad, actually. There was also the part


of giving 10 % as a tide from your members. That is, along mode --


local council groups to give an allowance to the party. -- among


the local council bridge. It does sound sensible, so were due back?


think all the parties want to see reform in party funding. It is a


very tricky issue. The most important thing was alluded to in


the package, and the public really have to have a say in this. It is


OK for the political parties to get together and try and square the


circle but if you are going to move to something like state funding in


these difficult times you have to say to the public, is this


something you really want to see. So it is worth taking the time and


effort and talk to the public. would come back to whether they


would support the funding in that way, but what about your


relationships with the unions, bearing in mind Labour is so


reliant on the unions of funding, it would completely eradicated in


terms of the sorts of the size of money you get. We do not know what


the proposals are. Would you back the �50,000 cap? That would be


50,000 from each union. We would look at a cap, but it's a world


away from looking at an organisation like a trade union.


When we talk about trade union money we are talking about


individuals, low-paid, part-time workers, in unison, who choose to


give �3 a year through their political fund to the Labour Party


to support campaigns. That is what we are talking about. There is a


difference between a trade union donation what he's talking about,


where the union it is affectingly acting as a collecting agency for


membership and nobody is saying that should be attacked. But there


is a suggestion and has come from Conservatives claiming that in


terms of influence, the people will check with the unions before they


make amendments to bills. I think that is a nonsense. As


parliamentary numbers we get lobbied all the time, not just by


trade unions and why were we not listen to public sector workers and


manufacturing in the same way we get lobbied by charities and all


kinds of organisations. Don't forget, in February the


Conservatives were auctioning off jobs in the City, internships for


family members. At a Conservative Party fundraiser, this was. People


shouldn't really be throwing rocks at Labour on this. David Willetts,


in terms of a cap on donation, that would affect the Conservative Party


income. We accept the principle of a cap on donations. And �50,000?


we have to see what the proposals are, but if there were some


suggestions earlier of a cap at �10,000, then the trade-off you


face, if you go that low, you increase the need for public


spending instead to replace the money you have lost from donations.


I think we have to be very careful of anything involving higher public


spending and the taxpayers putting in more money. That is not what


people want to see happening when times are tough. So you would not


be in favour of going to the public to ask for more money? We have to


see the proposals, but we are sceptical of anything involving


more public spending when we are trying to get a grip on public


spending. It is a tiny amount, and as shown in your film, one way is


to get people to tick a box, but one of the other ideas around for a


long time is that it should match- up to funding so any political


party raising so much by a small donation should gets the same back


from the Treasury. We don't want to go to the West German system where


they are simply funded by the taxpayer irrespective of their


contributions made by individual voters. Something else that does


matter is that trade unions are individuals, they aggregated to buy


policies like the work agreement and there has to be tackled as a


priority in a funding proposal. I'm going to read this introduction


because Andrew's too busy tweeting. And rest assured, when you read


tweets from him they really are from him. But Twitter is awash with


imposters who are pretending to be celebrities from the world of


The Westminster village is all twittering about fake tweeters.


Steve Hilton spends all day thinking big thoughts and apart


from when he is apparently tweeting things like this when the Daily


Telegraph publish unflattering pictures of him drinking a cup of


tea. Total Mystique failed to! Launching an inquiry into Daily


Telegraph picks. Was rehearsing Dave X is in Number Ten with coffee


mug to talk to media. Electric! hoaxers Aviv and struck at


Buckingham Palace. How do you explain this tweed from the Queen?


One can confirm that the Olympic torch will visit Clarence house


where it will be used to light a cigarette for the Duchess of


Cornwall. Even fellow hacks have not escaped. Check out this tweet


posted from g 20 by a prankster posing as Daily Mail deputy


political editor Tim Shipman. me a taxi to the airport, airport!


We apologise immediately. And we're joined now, as we normally are at


this time on a Wednesday, by Conservative MP Peter Bone, who's


wife - the famous Mrs Bone - has her very own fake Twitter account.


Why do you think somebody could be to blame? Is it because you always


mention her? It is quite amusing. It said I never thought I would say


this, her rave from the Greeks. A referendum is good enough for them,


Mr Cameron... Baking scones to calm my rage. Does Mrs Bone have a


twitter account? Know. If she did, would she tweaked that? More


moderate than she would tweet. Do people think it is your wife? I was


alerted to it by colleagues in the House of Commons saying how funny


it was. What, I said, and at the moment it is very good stuff.


clean fun at the moment, not offensive, not bringing Mrs Bone


into disrepute? You would be in trouble if that happened. There is


a picture of her in her marigolds, so you wouldn't want to tangle with


her. Is it a real picture? The S, taken from the BBC, actually. --


yes. But of course the next post might say something racist or


unacceptable and people have got used to thinking it is Mrs Bone.


Then suddenly jumps at them. If it turned nasty, is there anything you


could do about it? Not really. I think you can in the States. People


can be sent to jail for five years, but here it is a real problem and


the way to overcome it is to be up front and say it is not Mrs boning


get that out in the public. I'm not really a great one for regulating


people. But as long as people know it is not her. How do people know?


By coming on shows like this, but there is a danger. For me it is not


so serious, but it could be for other people. Do you have a Twitter


account? Goodness gracious, no. you have the quill pen and pigeon


post? I am about at that stage. Your technology has improved. Do


you have a Twitter account? I have an official one. William Hague said


they were all written by the civil servants. A jolly good day for the


government today, etc. Do you have a Twitter account? I'd do, and


there has been a big change in the last year. A bunch of journalists


and politicians were talking to themselves, but in the last six


months lots more people from Barnsley are following May and they


are in little net works themselves and I think Twitter has changed


quite a lot. The chief executive of Twitter was in town earlier this


week and I discussed it with him. The point he made was that where it


played an important role, they can disguise their identity and he


thought that if people had been able to see who they were, history


might have been different. fakes Steve Hilton has just waited


to thank us for the free publicity. No doubt Mrs Bone will be doing the


same. Pick the winner. What was the year? 1978. Here we go. Let me have


a look. It is Jenny faster, you have one, Jenny Foster from Harvard.


That is it for today. Special thanks to our guests of the day.


Italian bonds have just hit 7.45 % yield which is probably be on the


point of low return for Italian finances. Berlusconi's shares have


slumped 10 % as well. We will be back at 11:30am tomorrow, a special


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