16/03/2012 Daily Politics


16/03/2012

Jo Coburn presents the latest political news, interviews and debate.


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Good afternoon and welcome to the Daily Politics. Another day,

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another big speech from Ed Miliband on the economy. Other job to

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promises from Labour's real job guarantees real? Harriet Harman

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joins us from the party's big gathering in Coventry.

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Has the relationship between the Conservative Party ever recovered

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from scenes like this? One Tory MP believes it is time to kiss and

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make up but are the unions up for The Tories have a new leader. David

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Cameron is still in charge in Westminster but there is a new top

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Tory in Brussels. He join us for his first interview since getting

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the job. And plans to charge �15 decline Big

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Ben have been shelved. -- to climb Big Ben. We speak to one MP that

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thinks that charges should still be applied.

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I am joined by Jackie Ashley and The Guardian's James Forsyth,

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hopefully. He is stuck in traffic. Labour are gathered for an event

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which is not their traditional spring conference. That has been

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cancelled. This looks like an accelerated version. They get

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together in Coventry. How is Ed Miliband doing? He is ahead in some

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polls, behind in others, but since his performances in PMQs, he seems

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to be sorting out his troubled leadership. Good use? Not so fast.

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His critical friend blogger at Dan Hodges says that he is losing his

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grip on the Shadow Cabinet. Let's see what he has to say. He has had

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improved performances at PMQs. Why don't you get behind him? Well,

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because I am his critical friend, as you save. Labour are doing

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better in at the polls. There was common consensus that in the

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recession, Labour would see double- digit poll leads and we are not

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seeing that. His own poll ratings are stuck in the basement,

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subterranean. He is stuck at minus 14 and the reality is you cannot be

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Prime Minister from that position. As you have said, we have seen this

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week the amazing spectacle of open revolt against the prospect of Ed

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Miliband's staff coming in. What is this open revolt? For the people

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out there, is it significant? very significant. We had a

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situation where from the most junior to the most senior members

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of staff on Monday people were standing up and being openly

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critical. Who? Obviously I am not going to embarrass people buy it

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naming them and I will not cost them their jobs. It has been

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reported not just by me but by other newspapers as well. Obviously

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there is always a reaction when changes are afoot. A isn't that

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always the case? It is not the first time that Labour has had an

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internal row over changes. No, and in any organisation, like the BBC

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or the Conservative Party, people are resistant to change. People

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will recall working under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. These are

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people that are used to very centralised control. They are not

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used to a laissez faire, let 1000 flowers bloom type environments.

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They will object to control from the consent of but they also object

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to a lack of control and lack of leadership. -- control from the

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centre. In terms of Ed Miliband's standing, do you think he is being

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unfair in the way that he is not supporting him and his slight

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improvement? Yes, I would question whether he is a friend at all!

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think we were being generous! slightly wonder what you and your

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cohorts among the bloggers want. Do you want Ed Miliband to be forced

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out? Do you think that David can come back? And if you are allegedly

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Labour why are you so down on him? For some people, whatever Ed

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Miliband does, it is wrong. There is this general derision and

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sneering. It does not help. What I want is the Labour Party in

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Government and I want a Labour Party Prime Minister and I don't

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think anybody that I speak to in the party of the record, among the

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general people in Westminster and outside, actually sees Ed Miliband

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as the future Prime Minister. you do want him out? No. Who do you

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want in? It is not for me to pick the leader of the Labour Party. It

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is for me to analyse where the leader of the Labour Party is at

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present. You are absolutely right, 12 months ago, early on, I was

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critical of his leadership. I was told that I have to wait and he

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worked introduce themselves to the electorate and people would love

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him. -- he would introduce himself. But they do not. Labour is ahead in

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the polls. The first, they are five points ahead. There was an

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interview with Peter Hain, his closest supporter, in which he said

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on the record that the Labour Party was not in a position to form a

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majority Government in the next election. That they were fighting

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for the largest single party. When was the last time we heard a senior

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member of a political party three years before an election say they

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cannot win it? What about the shadow members? Are they saying

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that Ed Miliband cannot ever be Prime Minister? In terms of Ed

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Miliband's authority within the Shadow Cabinet, to be honest that

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was week from the beginning, given the tainted mandate that he got in

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the leadership election. He won the leadership election! Get over it.

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Well, he won the leadership election but not among his MPs are

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or the constituents. He won and of the system that there is. I did not

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say he did not win. I am saying it was a tainted mandate, which it was.

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What do you think? Certainly some people will not accept that Ed

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Miliband dared to stand against his brother and they will do anything

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they can to make life difficult for him. Whether that will be good for

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the Labour Party in the long run, that they claim to support and want

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to see in Government, and the Lib Dem and conservative coalition, I

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don't know. Maybe they will wake up and realise what is going on.

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not just former supporters of David. Ed Miliband has not enjoyed the

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support and has not imposed his authority on the Shadow Cabinet.

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Thank you. Ed Miliband is focusing on youth

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unemployment this morning. The Labour Party has unveiled a new

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scheme to get work as young people into jobs. Here is how they say the

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real jobs guarantee will work. After 12 months of unemployment, or

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young people aged 18 to 24 will go on a six-month long paid job,

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preferably in the private sector. This would apply it to 100,000

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people currently. The Government would pay for -- for wages to the

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company for 25 hours per week, �4,000 per job. The company would

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cover the training and development of the young person for a minimum

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of 10 hours per week, and the money for this would be provided out of

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the backbone is tax allocation, �600 million currently. -- Bank

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Bonas tax allocation. Under Labour job is guaranteed paying at least

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the minimum wage for 16 months with real training. -- for six months.

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Real work, it real jobs, real prospects for our young people.

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Let me tell you, let me tell you, if I was the Prime Minister, I

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would be putting all my energy behind mobilising every single

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business in my country behind this programme. I would mobilise every

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single voluntary sector organisation behind this programme.

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I would never stand by. A Labour Government would get our young

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people working again. Ed Miliband. Joining me from Coventry is the

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deputy Labour leader, Harriet Harman. Thank you for coming on the

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programme. We have been hearing about the real jobs guarantee. You

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are guaranteeing any young person that has been jobless for a year

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and paid job. It is the job creation scheme? Absolutely. I

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think everybody recognises that there is a real problem with the

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number of young people that are unemployed and cannot get work.

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They realise it, their parents and grandparents realise that it is the

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problem and business realises it is a problem. It seems the only people

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that do not realise that it is the problem is the Government. We are

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saying that really something should be done about this. Many businesses

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have full order books but they cannot actually comply and fulfil

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those orders because the banks are not lending. Actually, therefore,

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they cannot take people on. It would help business to take people

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on and provide vital opportunities for young people. It is too

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dispiriting. You finish call, you go out to make your way in the

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world and you are told sorry. -- you finish school. But are they

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real jobs? Is it just a ruse to occupy people for six months? What

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happens at the end of that period? They are real jobs. As I said, many

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businesses have full order books but cannot comply with the orders

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because the banks are not lending. Therefore there is work that people

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could be doing if employers could afford to employed them. This is

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helping business and young people. This will help business generate

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more profits for the Revenue. What the Government is doing with their

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economic strategy is shrinking the economy back. And we want action by

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Government, not only to help people but not support the economy through

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this difficult time. -- but to support the economy. How many jobs

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will be in the private sector? think most would be. Who has signed

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up to it? Well, we would get business to sign up to it and we

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would invite them to sign up to it. If you say to business that their

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side of the bargain is to provide decent training, but we will play a

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proper wage, the national minimum wage, for this person, then that is

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a good opportunity for business. They would not have to be forced

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into it. I think many would come forward. I think many businesses

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have a sense of responsibility about this. They don't like the

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idea that there is a whole generation of young people that

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will be dispirited and demoralised and will lose their confidence.

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They will never be able to find their way in the world. OK...

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don't think business will be reluctant to come forward. But if

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they are... Harriet, if you do not manage to fill the jobs, and I am

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sure some businesses will come forward, then in effect the state

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will be playing for the jobs? The state will be employing them.

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will be playing? The people, out of the tax, and so there is

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responsibility that we want to see from those at the top. The bankers

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bonus tax would finance this. The bankers could well afford it. It

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should not just be business as usual. Their responsibility would

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be to pay the tax on the bank as bonuses and that would finance it.

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It would not come out of any other public services. The bankers bonus

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tax will rage how much money? -- rose how much money? I know that we

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have worked out that figure but I will have to get back to you. It

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would finance all those that have been unemployed the 12 months. It

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has been costed and it can be raised. What is the cost of the

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real jobs guarantee scheme? I have not got that figure to hand but I

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can absolutely assure you that Ed Balls, as our Shadow Chancellor,

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has sorted it, along with Ed Miliband. That is not an issue.

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costs are important. I thought I was just explaining to you how it

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would work. Oh, yes, the costs are important. People have to be

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reassured that it will raise enough money. At that the money will cover

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the real jobs guarantee, however much it will cost. I know that it

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will, I just have not got the figure at my fingertips and I

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apologise. There is no mystery about it. The other issue is that

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the bankers bonus tax will be committed to paying for other

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things, like... No, it has not been committed to other things. Ed Balls

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said it would pay for 25,000 affordable homes. That will also

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provide apprenticeships for young people. Are you going to be over

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committing this money that you think you can raise from bankers

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bonuses tax which is not certain in terms of how much you will raise

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and you already committing it to the real jobs guarantee, 25,000

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affordable homes and what else? are being very careful. I am sorry

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that I have not got the detailed numbers for you. But they are at

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hand, just out of reach here. It is a carefully costed programme. The

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alternative, which is what the Government is doing, is saying that

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as far as bankers and their bonuses are concerned, it is business as

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usual and the Government will protest but do nothing. Meanwhile

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we see young people feeling as though they are being thrown on a

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scrappy before they have begun. there will be sanctions, would

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there? Yes, I think they will have to take it. They cannot say they do

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not want to do a job. They would have to take the job or else there

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would be sanctioned, yes. But I think the truth is that young

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The costs of the scheme are important in terms of making

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spending commitments, and you do not want to be accused of saying we

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are addicted to state intervention and state paying for jobs real or

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not. They're going to run into trouble. It's a bit unfair this are

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far away from the election to expect specific costings. Harriet

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Harman is not a Treasury spokesman, so you were maybe being a little

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unkind there. Am I being unfair? It's a slightly novel strategy when

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you are a party trying to re- establish fiscal credibility to

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make a major announcement like this and go wanted to anybody want not

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have the figures. It's particularly damaging because the Tory attack

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this morning is they spent his bankers' bonus tax several times

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over. They treated as an unlimited pot of money. Labour have their own

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costings. The two parties disagree on the numbers. The costings to

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cover those two schemes. What is interesting is the sanctions. It's

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a sign of how far the welfare debate has moved, that the Labour

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Party are now saying, if you won't take this job at the minimum wage,

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you will use your benefits. they are being paid. That is the

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difference. And like the work experience programme. Tesco taking

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all of these people for nothing. But you say psychologically the

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Labour party... I think Liam Byrne sees this as a shift towards a

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tougher position on welfare. They are deeply concerned about being

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continually out plant by the Tories on this issue. This perception that

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the Labour Party were for people on benefits was extremely damaging to

:17:06.:17:09.

them. That polling shows they cannot win without being seen to be

:17:09.:17:13.

much tougher on shirkers. Lots of Labour supporters feel very

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strongly about that. They are working very hard, they are seeing

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their standard of living going down. They believe they are paying for

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these malingerers. There is an element of hype in that, but it is

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a real issue. Labour is right to move on to this territory. Will the

:17:30.:17:34.

scheme work? Despite the fact Harriet Harman is saying she is

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going to get private employers coming in to take these people on.

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Youth issue - that unemployment is a real issue. Undoubtedly. There is

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the fear of particularly women, the next generation, are going to have

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it worse than we have it. That is a real danger. Anything that talks

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about what Ed Miliband calls the promise of Britain, ensuring that

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the next generation does as well or better than we have, his

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potential... Where are these private employers who were

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desperately in need of these workers? We will have to wait and

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see who actually signs up to it. Stay with us. Nice to have you on

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the programme, well done for making it. 50p off not 50p, that is the

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question. We will finally find out next Wednesday when George Osborne

:18:25.:18:28.

announces his budget. But it seems the decision has already been taken

:18:28.:18:33.

one way or the other, or will be by the end of today. Our political

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correspondent joins us with more. Is it all going to be signed off,

:18:37.:18:41.

they had the meeting at the very top and they will decide on all

:18:41.:18:48.

those decisions today? What we know is today is the deadline for the

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Office of budget responsibility's scorecard. Something as important

:18:52.:18:56.

as a tax rate is going to have to be sorted out by the end of today.

:18:56.:18:58.

The Prime Minister and the Chancellor have both been off on

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that trip to the United States. They are due to have a phone call

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with the other members of the quad, with Danny Alexander and with Nick

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Clegg, to try and finalise this. But it's a very difficult issue.

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The Chancellor is under pressure from both sides. In his own party

:19:18.:19:22.

many are saying it is acting as a disincentive and they should scrap

:19:22.:19:25.

it. The Lib Dems are making it clear that if you are going to

:19:25.:19:29.

scrap this, then they are looking for other taxes on the wealthiest.

:19:29.:19:33.

It is a very difficult issue, but it looks as though they are going

:19:33.:19:37.

to have to reach some sort of conclusion by the end of today.

:19:37.:19:41.

We've had this being played out in public anyway. Everyone putting in

:19:41.:19:44.

their Penny's worth as to what's going to happen. That will continue

:19:44.:19:50.

over the weekend, now it's been nailed down today. That's right.

:19:50.:19:53.

The Prime Minister's spokeswoman today was saying this was a normal

:19:53.:19:56.

part of coalition politics, when you've got two different parties,

:19:56.:20:01.

you have different views on specific issues. Yes, the Liberal

:20:01.:20:05.

Democrats have been very open in saying, well, if you are going to

:20:05.:20:08.

scrap a tax on the highest earners then that has got to be replaced by

:20:08.:20:13.

some sort of other attacks on wealthy, if not a mansion tax,

:20:14.:20:18.

which was there before option, then this idea of making sure that the

:20:18.:20:22.

wealthiest pay a fair share of their earnings. Some sort of

:20:22.:20:25.

clampdown on tax avoidance. I'm sure we will be seen that in get

:20:25.:20:29.

any case. But there's a wider political difficulty here for the

:20:29.:20:32.

government. George Osborne and the Prime Minister keeps saying we are

:20:33.:20:37.

all in this together. There are many people out there on low

:20:37.:20:40.

incomes and those on middle incomes who are about to lose things like

:20:40.:20:44.

their child benefit, he may not take too kindly to be Chancellor

:20:44.:20:48.

who stands up and says, Well, I'm going to cut taxes for people

:20:48.:20:52.

earning over �150,000. It's a difficult issue but it's got to be

:20:52.:20:59.

sorted out today. Should he scrap the 50p top rate of tax? I think

:20:59.:21:03.

you should. It is clearly acting as a disincentive. It is also

:21:03.:21:07.

encouraging people to get to - not get into incredibly difficult

:21:07.:21:12.

situations. It's a great boom industry for accountants. The Ken

:21:12.:21:15.

Livingstone style companies of one person, all that kind of thing.

:21:15.:21:20.

Which is legitimate was Dot yes, perfectly legal and proper. But it

:21:20.:21:24.

causes problems for the Exchequer. The most interesting thing is

:21:24.:21:27.

George Osborne, last week at the Lib Dem Conference, the Lib Dems

:21:27.:21:31.

were saying in private that George Osborne, Nick Clegg and Danny

:21:31.:21:34.

Alexander have come up with multiple ways of scrapping the 50p

:21:34.:21:38.

rate, but the obstacle is the Prime Minister, who is very queasy about

:21:38.:21:41.

the politics of it. That is presumably because you think

:21:41.:21:45.

strategically and politically it's the wrong thing to do. He has two

:21:45.:21:47.

worries. The first is that it underlines the Tory party's

:21:47.:21:51.

reputation as being the party of the rich. The second is that if you

:21:51.:21:54.

do this, it will be the only thing that people notice in the Budget.

:21:54.:21:58.

You can do lots of other stuff for Business and growth but people will

:21:58.:22:02.

only notice the 50p rate decision because it does obsess the media

:22:02.:22:06.

and is so politically symbolic. Would a 45p top rate of tax being

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reasonable substitute, if that is one of the options being talked

:22:11.:22:15.

about? They think more people would perhaps pay that. Accountants and

:22:15.:22:19.

economists can argue forever about the figures. Some people would say

:22:19.:22:21.

it doesn't take into account the people that leave the country

:22:21.:22:26.

because of these punitive I tax rates. Who knows about the actual

:22:26.:22:29.

rate. It might well be the compromise Osborne comes up with.

:22:29.:22:32.

But in a way, that's a despise nobody because it's still giving

:22:32.:22:36.

the message that the Tories are the party of the rich. It doesn't

:22:36.:22:40.

please the Lib Dems and it has not cut it even up to satisfy the Tory

:22:40.:22:45.

right wingers. He almost can't win on this one. How much of a boost to

:22:45.:22:49.

do you think it will give to David Cameron and George Osborne in terms

:22:49.:22:53.

of Conservative backbench support if he does cut it? It will be

:22:53.:22:59.

massive. The point about the Tory party in coalition is it becomes

:22:59.:23:03.

fractious. Much of the goodwill that David Cameron created with the

:23:03.:23:07.

veto has begun to ebb away. His backbenchers are getting a bit more

:23:07.:23:10.

difficult and a bit more tricky. To do this would be a real sign that

:23:10.:23:13.

this is a government prepared to take the tough but economic the

:23:13.:23:16.

necessary decisions that are on the politically popular. It would send

:23:16.:23:20.

a big symbol out there that this is still a tax-cutting party. As Jack

:23:20.:23:28.

Lee said, the costs would also be high. -- Jackie. Is it still worth

:23:28.:23:32.

it in terms of getting that red meat to his own backbenchers and

:23:32.:23:36.

sacrificing whatever message he is hoping to dispel? There is an

:23:36.:23:39.

element whereby the Conservatives see that they've been losing out

:23:39.:23:43.

recently to the Lib Dems. Talk to almost any Conservative backbencher

:23:43.:23:47.

and Babel said the Lib Dems are winning on this, that and the other.

:23:47.:23:51.

He has to do something to steady the ship. What about things on

:23:51.:23:55.

child benefit? That's another big issue. I don't see much movement on

:23:55.:24:00.

that. Do you not think... I think they will raise the threshold. So

:24:00.:24:04.

you won't lose it if you earn �44,000. They will raise it higher

:24:04.:24:09.

than that. To 60,000, 80,000? still have anomalies that the

:24:09.:24:13.

double or single earner. I think they will raise it up by a bit more

:24:13.:24:17.

than we expect. What about the money that was supposed to be

:24:17.:24:20.

raised by his 50p top rate of tax? There's been a debate as to how

:24:20.:24:24.

much in terms of precise figures they were going to get. There's a

:24:24.:24:27.

report from Revenue and Customs saying how much the tax will raise.

:24:27.:24:32.

It will show that it raises less than it was projected to raise. It

:24:32.:24:36.

was projected to raise a few billion? It will show its rate in

:24:36.:24:41.

the low billions. That will be the justification. The argument will be

:24:42.:24:45.

that the measures we are putting in place, which will be dressed up as

:24:45.:24:48.

some of these measures that Lib Dems have talked about as part of

:24:48.:24:51.

their tight contracts, will ensure that the rich pay more than their

:24:51.:24:55.

current debate a. The attempt will be to say that the anti-avoidance

:24:55.:24:58.

measures they are taking, but things they are clamping down a

:24:58.:25:02.

will raise more than the 50p rate does. It will be interesting to see

:25:02.:25:05.

how far they go along with the Match Attax are not, or whether

:25:06.:25:08.

it's just the tycoon tax. doesn't sound as though that is

:25:09.:25:14.

going to happen. We will find out on Wednesday. We will be either

:25:14.:25:16.

pleasantly surprised to disappointed. There's been a

:25:16.:25:20.

leadership election this week. I hope you didn't miss it. If you did,

:25:20.:25:24.

I can help. Conservative MEPs have elected Richard Ashworth their new

:25:24.:25:28.

leader, after his predecessor, Martin Callanan, was appointed

:25:28.:25:31.

leader of the broader parliamentary group. British Conservative MEPs

:25:31.:25:34.

used to sit in the main centre- right bloc and the European

:25:34.:25:38.

Parliament. But since 2009, they've taken a more eurosceptic stance.

:25:38.:25:42.

Along with allies in a new group called the European Conservatives

:25:42.:25:46.

and reformists. Richard Ashworth has won the leadership after a

:25:46.:25:53.

nail-biting election. The 26 Tory MEPs were split 13-13, between Mr

:25:53.:25:56.

Ashworth and Syed Kamall. Ashworth has a hard act to follow. His

:25:56.:26:00.

predecessor, Martin Callanan, it was a known as an outspoken critic

:26:00.:26:03.

of much of the European project. But it's been suggested Mr Ashworth

:26:03.:26:07.

will take a more moderate line. Mr Martin Callanan opposed the bail-

:26:07.:26:11.

out of Greece and criticised the British government on going soft on

:26:11.:26:14.

EU institutions. He also said the UK should withdraw from the

:26:14.:26:18.

European Court of Human Rights, unless there are major changes.

:26:18.:26:23.

Richard Ashworth is with us now. You won the contest but it wasn't a

:26:23.:26:31.

resounding result, was it? We've always got a range of

:26:31.:26:34.

interests and a range of views in the party will stop this is all

:26:34.:26:39.

part of the democratic process. I am delighted to have one. It's been

:26:39.:26:47.

an open fight. Let's get it back to business and more of the same.

:26:47.:26:50.

sounds like it might be quite difficult because it was quite a

:26:50.:26:55.

tight contest. Would you agree that the group is pretty well split?

:26:55.:26:59.

We have a range of opinions, that's right and proper and healthy. But

:26:59.:27:04.

the one thing that Martin Callanan, my predecessor, particularly it

:27:04.:27:07.

took as a united group of people, working together to achieve a

:27:07.:27:11.

common goal. I don't think we are split. I think my job is to keep

:27:12.:27:16.

the whole group focused on the project which we have a head, and

:27:16.:27:19.

there's an awful lot to be achieved. I'm looking forward to getting down

:27:19.:27:24.

to business with them. One of the issues, people will remember the

:27:24.:27:28.

departure from the mainstream right of centre bloc, the EPP, because it

:27:28.:27:35.

was too federalist. Tory MPs joined the European Conservatives and

:27:35.:27:37.

reformists group. Are you minded to look at this issue again, talk to

:27:37.:27:42.

David Cameron about it? I'm not. Rather than being so simple as

:27:42.:27:49.

saying it is too federalist, which it is incidentally. We believe in

:27:49.:27:53.

reform of the European Union. We think there are massive global

:27:53.:27:57.

challenges with which we confront - - with which we are confronted. The

:27:57.:28:01.

world order is changing with the emergence of Far Eastern economies,

:28:01.:28:04.

which will challenge us in terms of competitiveness. Challenging in

:28:04.:28:08.

terms of energy secured, challenging in terms of food

:28:08.:28:11.

security. These are the issues the European Union should be focusing

:28:12.:28:16.

its fire on. Not the distractions we have now. Do you feel you are in

:28:16.:28:20.

the right position and group to do that? That is what David Cameron

:28:20.:28:24.

set the group up to do. That's the consistent message that both the

:28:24.:28:26.

British Conservative Start It All Over Again are you supportive of

:28:26.:28:33.

that as well? When David Cameron walked out of negotiations before

:28:33.:28:37.

Christmas over the fiscal contract, critics said it was because Tories

:28:37.:28:42.

went in the meetings in the main centre-right bloc with President

:28:42.:28:44.

Sarkozy and Angela Merkel, that these things went ironed out

:28:45.:28:49.

beforehand. Do you have some sympathy with that? No. Absolutely

:28:49.:28:55.

don't. By having our own distinct group now, we have our own voice.

:28:55.:29:00.

If you were a member of the EPP, the large centre-right Conservative

:29:00.:29:04.

group, it would be their appointed speaker who spoke, not us. No, we

:29:04.:29:08.

have our own voice and platform right now. We are articulating that

:29:08.:29:18.

message. You are part of this new group and a happy to be part of it.

:29:18.:29:18.

It has a sister organisation of Conservatives and reformists

:29:18.:29:20.

throughout Europe called the alliance of European Conservatives

:29:20.:29:25.

and reformists. You are not in that, are you? Personally or the group?

:29:25.:29:31.

First illegal stop no. Why not? Because I have a split loyalty.

:29:31.:29:34.

First and foremost, I'm a member of the budget committee of the

:29:34.:29:39.

European Union. I have a very strict view of life, there are

:29:39.:29:44.

three redline issues. One, the size of the European budget must be

:29:44.:29:49.

frozen. Any increase will be below the inflation level. It's a real-

:29:49.:29:53.

terms reduction in the European Union budget. Two, an absolute

:29:53.:29:58.

freeze on the UK net contribution. Three, the UK rebate is a red line

:29:58.:30:03.

issue. If I'm going to be particularly robust on that, I have

:30:03.:30:06.

to be a little bit hard on ourselves, when we look at the

:30:06.:30:10.

expenditure... But you can do that as an individual signed up to that

:30:10.:30:15.

group. You can, but the point that I'm making is if I want to go into

:30:15.:30:18.

the budget committee and say I want a reduction in the level of

:30:18.:30:23.

European expenditure, that means as, as well as everybody else in Europe.

:30:23.:30:27.

The parliamentary groups expenditure has been going up and

:30:27.:30:31.

up. I've got a point to make. The members of the European Parliament,

:30:31.:30:34.

look, economies and efficiency start with you. Set an example for

:30:34.:30:39.

everybody else. Most of your colleagues are signed up to it

:30:39.:30:44.

individually. I don't quite understand why it precludes you in

:30:44.:30:48.

that way. The Conservative Party is signed up to it. The chairman has

:30:48.:30:53.

spoken to it. Now your leader, isn't there an expectation that you

:30:53.:31:03.
:31:03.:31:03.

No doubt, but not before I have spoken to the party chairman about

:31:03.:31:07.

being consistent in our message. We want a reduction in European

:31:07.:31:11.

expenditure, and that means us as well as everybody else. Are you

:31:11.:31:15.

less euro-sceptic than the rest of the grid? I don't like being

:31:15.:31:23.

pigeon-holed at all. I take a hard- nosed view on the economy and

:31:23.:31:27.

agriculture because those are my jobs. Please don't pigeonhole me.

:31:27.:31:37.

Are you less euro-sceptic than York predecessor? I doubt it. You say

:31:37.:31:43.

you're your own man. Are you with people calling for withdrawal from

:31:43.:31:47.

the European Court of Human Rights? Let's be clear that the European

:31:47.:31:50.

Court of Human Rights is nothing to do with the EU. They are entirely

:31:51.:31:55.

different. The European Court of Human Rights came in 1948 and they

:31:55.:31:59.

did an honourable job. There are for th member nations. Actually it

:31:59.:32:09.
:32:09.:32:10.

is not fit for purpose now. -- 48 member nations. The treatment of

:32:10.:32:13.

minorities was an acceptable when it was created but today made his

:32:13.:32:18.

murder link in national law, the national conferences, overriding

:32:18.:32:28.

our own courts and that is not acceptable. -- today it is

:32:28.:32:32.

Madeleine in national law. Has he got a difficult job? I don't envy

:32:32.:32:36.

him. There is not a split between pro-Europeans and anti-Europeans.

:32:36.:32:41.

It is about how euro-sceptic you are. This debate was split between

:32:42.:32:50.

13-13. I think if your opponent had won he would have been happy to be

:32:50.:32:54.

pigeon-holed as a euro-sceptic. There is this divide in the Tory

:32:54.:32:57.

party over that. It will be interesting to watch over next

:32:57.:33:03.

couple of years. There is a big prize at stake. What will the Tory

:33:04.:33:07.

manifesto in 2015 say about the European Union? The coalition but

:33:07.:33:16.

certain -- puts certain limitations on what we can say about the

:33:16.:33:20.

European Union. I think there will be a big fight. That is not very

:33:20.:33:27.

generous towards David Cameron. We have moved on. But have you? The

:33:27.:33:30.

split shows something quite different. The message we are

:33:30.:33:33.

putting in council and in the European Parliament is that Europe

:33:33.:33:37.

has got to be relevant to the future. You have got to start

:33:37.:33:41.

addressing the really big issues that affect the people of Europe.

:33:41.:33:45.

There are 23 million people out of work in Europe today and stagnant

:33:45.:33:49.

economies. Let's focus on that and stop banging on about the

:33:49.:33:55.

distractions that we have. Start reducing red tape, encourage small

:33:55.:33:58.

businesses to flourish. That is what we should be doing and that is

:33:58.:34:03.

our message. That is why I think it is wrong to pigeonhole us as euro-

:34:03.:34:08.

sceptics. The trouble is, as James has said, you say you are your own

:34:08.:34:11.

man, but the Tory party at Westminster, which is what voters

:34:11.:34:17.

here are interested in, is very split. It is more euro-sceptic.

:34:17.:34:22.

is a question of how euro-sceptic you are. The us. They are not

:34:22.:34:24.

interested in reforming the institution. They are interested in

:34:25.:34:33.

these basic questions of being in or out. Are you sad to see Roger

:34:33.:34:38.

from the UK Independence Party go? Roger is a man of certain dues and

:34:38.:34:42.

if he feels that his political home is with the UK Independence Party,

:34:42.:34:47.

then I wish him well. I never have a party with people's political

:34:47.:34:52.

views, but I do have a problem with their behaviour. That is my opinion

:34:52.:34:57.

from now on. I do not discriminate against people but have an extreme-

:34:57.:35:01.

right or left wing view, that is right and proper and healthy. But

:35:01.:35:04.

at the end of the day we can only have one leadership and one

:35:04.:35:10.

discipline. Do you accept that if Roger had not gone to the UK

:35:10.:35:14.

Independence Party then you would not have won the election? I cannot

:35:14.:35:18.

possibly speculate on that. But it is probably true, with the figures

:35:18.:35:24.

being so tight. I really could not command. OK, thank you very much.

:35:24.:35:27.

If the post-war history of the relationship between Conservatives

:35:27.:35:32.

and the unions was strained, it was in the 1980s that it broke out into

:35:32.:35:36.

open warfare. The miners' strike of 1984 continues to resonate 30 years

:35:36.:35:42.

later. Is it time for the Tories and trade unions to move on? We

:35:42.:35:46.

will talk to the Tory MP that thinks it is time. First we

:35:46.:35:56.
:35:56.:36:03.

# Nobody told me there would be days like these.

:36:03.:36:09.

# Nobody told me there would be days like these.

:36:09.:36:15.

The miners' strike in 1984 lasted one year. It was a watershed in

:36:15.:36:19.

British politics. For Margaret Thatcher, it was unfinished

:36:19.:36:24.

business from a decade earlier. It was every bit an idealistic

:36:24.:36:29.

political struggle between left and right, as it was about management

:36:29.:36:36.

first is the workers. This is Coventry, and this was once the

:36:36.:36:43.

jewel in British Coal's crown. It is still operational today, just. A

:36:43.:36:47.

Labour MP in the 1980s recalls all too well that it was not only the

:36:47.:36:55.

miners that were beaten. One of the legacies of the miners' defeat was

:36:55.:37:00.

that you could not challenge the Government. The poll tax battle

:37:00.:37:07.

he's to that of because the ordinary people showed that you

:37:07.:37:17.
:37:17.:37:17.

could challenge the Government. They had to accept that Margaret

:37:17.:37:20.

Thatcher was right about many things, but would that have

:37:20.:37:24.

happened if she had lost the miners' strike? The victory of the

:37:24.:37:27.

Tories over the miners left the impression that nobody else could

:37:27.:37:32.

challenge the Public enemy, the leadership of the pro-market

:37:32.:37:35.

policies. That affected the Labour Party and it was one of the reasons

:37:35.:37:38.

why I left the Labour Party in the 1990s because of the changes that

:37:38.:37:42.

took place. That was absolutely the pay-off for Margaret Thatcher. It

:37:43.:37:46.

also meant there was a generation in some parts of Britain that has

:37:46.:37:50.

never been able to vote Conservative since. That is a

:37:50.:37:55.

problem for today's Tories. First because of energy policy. The

:37:55.:37:59.

strike and subsequent privatisation of the coal industry all but

:37:59.:38:04.

destroyed deep mining in Britain. It was this failure of an overall

:38:04.:38:08.

energy strategy that left the miners' and the pits marooned. And

:38:08.:38:14.

yet we have these fast coal reserves and we are only seeing now,

:38:14.:38:19.

with the possibility of developing the gas and the oil from shale, a

:38:19.:38:23.

new opportunity opening up. Just think how well Britain would be

:38:23.:38:29.

placed to develop something like shale and shale gas with clean coal

:38:29.:38:32.

if only we had kept all of our knowledge about deep mining in

:38:32.:38:39.

Britain. # Nobody told me there would be

:38:39.:38:43.

days like these. Today politics is more centrist,

:38:43.:38:49.

more consensual. Should David Cameron be reaching out to our

:38:49.:38:52.

seven million-strong trade unions, rather than letting them remember

:38:52.:38:55.

how much are a Conservative Government used to hurt back in the

:38:55.:39:01.

day? Robert Halfon, the Conservative MP

:39:01.:39:05.

from Harlow, and Karen Jennings, the assistant general secretary of

:39:05.:39:10.

Unison, join us. Welcome to the programme. Robert, Margaret

:39:10.:39:13.

Thatcher was committed to breaking up the unions. She wanted to break

:39:13.:39:17.

the power and the backbone of the unions. Did you support that?

:39:17.:39:21.

have to make the distinction. She was there to stop union extremism

:39:21.:39:26.

but actually what she did, there were 270 branches of trade

:39:26.:39:34.

unionists around the country when she was leader. It was one of the

:39:34.:39:38.

first organisations that she ever joined, Conservative trade unions.

:39:38.:39:43.

But ideologically it was not just dealing with the trade unions. It

:39:43.:39:47.

went broader than that, didn't it? The print unions in Wapping, it was

:39:47.:39:51.

about reducing power of trade unions generally. My grip that are

:39:51.:39:55.

always said we should use legislation to assist trade

:39:55.:40:01.

unionism. -- Margaret Thatcher always said. She was also trying to

:40:01.:40:05.

deal with extremism in the 1980s. Are you saying that she was

:40:05.:40:08.

misunderstood? You have to look at everything that she did and not

:40:09.:40:13.

just part of it. Why did she picked this fight with the miners? Was it

:40:13.:40:18.

just about extremism? Most people would accept that Arthur Scargill

:40:18.:40:21.

was fairly hard line and the unions had a significant amount of power

:40:21.:40:26.

at that time. What I am arguing in my paper is that we need a new

:40:26.:40:29.

relationship with the trade unions and we need to distinguish between

:40:29.:40:35.

the members on the ground and the union militants. What do you say to

:40:35.:40:39.

that distinction in terms of Margaret Thatcher's dealings with

:40:39.:40:43.

the miners and Arthur Scargill? Well, I was a nurse at that time

:40:43.:40:46.

and it was very difficult. The draconian legislation that came in

:40:46.:40:50.

on the back of Margaret Thatcher and John Major was hostile,

:40:50.:40:57.

actually hostile to trade unions. I don't share the same vision of

:40:57.:41:01.

Margaret Thatcher's relationship with the trade unions. Has it have

:41:01.:41:05.

irreparably damaged relations with unions, that memory of it? Even

:41:05.:41:09.

though it was a long time ago and one could arguably say it needed to

:41:09.:41:13.

be done in terms of dealing with militants. Has it irreparably

:41:13.:41:17.

damage relationships with the Government? Between the Tories and

:41:17.:41:22.

the unions, I mean. A think there is a lack of trust between the two.

:41:22.:41:26.

I suggest that is what you are trying to repair now, with the

:41:26.:41:30.

direction of travel of the writings that you have done. The Tories are

:41:30.:41:35.

back in Government. As a trade union we need to be talking to the

:41:35.:41:38.

Tories about what we can do for our members and how we can progress

:41:38.:41:43.

some of the social inequalities but still exist. You do want to build

:41:43.:41:47.

bridges. Robert, you would like to build those bridges because you

:41:48.:41:53.

have to, they are in Government. Yes, we have to work with this

:41:53.:41:59.

administration, with whoever is in Government. Even when the Labour

:42:00.:42:04.

party was in Government, we had our differences, but of course we

:42:04.:42:08.

believe that Labour holds the same values and printable us that we do,

:42:08.:42:15.

where is the Tory party, I think, has different values. -- values and

:42:15.:42:21.

principles. How to combat that image? You could argue that

:42:21.:42:25.

communities that suffered in the 1980s are not going to forgive and

:42:25.:42:30.

forget and that issue of trust is very important. 39% of your union

:42:30.:42:34.

members voted Conservative according to opinion polls. It

:42:34.:42:38.

shows that one-third of trade union members voted Conservative. My

:42:38.:42:42.

argument is that unions are community-minded and they get

:42:42.:42:46.

involved in the Big Society, but they also capitalist institutions

:42:46.:42:48.

and conservative in many ways because they get lots of

:42:48.:42:54.

Conservative support. Is it one of the problems that the rhetoric that

:42:54.:43:02.

we hear from the Conservatives leadership is union-bashing? --

:43:02.:43:07.

isn't one of the problems? That rhetoric is still there. I think

:43:07.:43:10.

there is a feeling on both sides that they are opposite side of the

:43:10.:43:14.

political divide, them and us. That is probably a problem for both

:43:14.:43:18.

sides. I am not suggesting we return to beer and sandwiches at

:43:18.:43:22.

Number 10. We do need to talk. You are underestimating what Margaret

:43:22.:43:26.

Thatcher did. She fundamentally changed the unions, they are much

:43:26.:43:31.

less powerful and union membership has gone down. She really destroyed

:43:31.:43:33.

the powerful unions and I think there is a different relationship

:43:33.:43:39.

to be built but it needs to be different in tone. Do not have to

:43:39.:43:43.

choose sides? When it comes to it, there have been strikes over

:43:43.:43:48.

pensions. If more action is taken by unions, you have to decide if

:43:48.:43:52.

you support the Government or the unions. Of course but we need to

:43:52.:43:56.

make a big distinction between union militants and the vast

:43:56.:44:00.

majority of millions of moderate trade union members, as many of

:44:00.:44:05.

them at work in all kinds of organisations... We forget that the

:44:05.:44:13.

numbers are there. Exactly. Your trade union advertises tax refunds.

:44:13.:44:16.

There are something like 3 million union members with private health

:44:16.:44:21.

insurance. 1 million trade union members went on strike. Actually

:44:21.:44:25.

most trade union members of very moderate people. Yes, but this is

:44:25.:44:30.

also a problem for Tories in the North. If they are going to build

:44:30.:44:36.

relationships with trade-union in the North, then that what rebuild

:44:36.:44:45.

issues with Conservative politics in the North. Yes, the miners'

:44:45.:44:51.

strike is still one of the major barriers to a Tory break through in

:44:51.:44:56.

the North. There is comfort is very interesting. But on public sector

:44:56.:45:04.

pensions, it will polarise relationships between the Tory

:45:04.:45:09.

party and the unions, I think. The Tory party will so that not many

:45:09.:45:15.

people voted to strike, and they will raise the threshold. -- will

:45:15.:45:19.

say that. There have always been Tories that recognise the value of

:45:19.:45:23.

trade unions. We talk about hawks and doves within the Tory party.

:45:23.:45:26.

Clearly we need to have a relationship and we need to

:45:26.:45:30.

negotiate on pay terms and conditions. In many ways we want to

:45:30.:45:34.

have partnerships. But that requires trust, confidence and

:45:34.:45:41.

respect. And all the while you have got Tories saying that taxpayers

:45:41.:45:45.

waste money on trade unions. We need a healthy relationship that

:45:45.:45:49.

respect of that trade unions have a role to play for their members,

:45:49.:45:51.

including those that fit for the Tory party and Labour, because that

:45:51.:46:01.
:46:01.:46:05.

is what we are there to do. -- a At the end of the debate, the House

:46:05.:46:09.

of Commons Commission decided to shelve the plan. Democracy in

:46:09.:46:15.

action - At last! The MP behind the motion opposing the new charges was

:46:15.:46:24.

Robert Helpmann. We will ask him Those who support the charges of

:46:24.:46:28.

you that Big Ben is not part of our democracy, simply an adornment, a

:46:28.:46:33.

luxury. I would say that this is patently not true. Big Ben is not

:46:33.:46:38.

only the most recognisable British icon in the world, but also the

:46:38.:46:44.

most recognisably parliamentary icon. We should not for a second

:46:45.:46:47.

interfere with the rights of our constituents to come and see how

:46:47.:46:51.

the democratic process works. That should be an absolute red line. I

:46:51.:46:55.

know both sides of the House would not allow that to ever be

:46:55.:46:58.

compromised. But I say to the house again, if we are to be taken

:46:58.:47:03.

seriously, if we are to show to the public that we mean what we say

:47:03.:47:06.

about the need for fiscal responsibility, sometimes that has

:47:06.:47:11.

to begin at home. I visited the school recently in my constituency

:47:11.:47:17.

and it was year three and you four. A teacher asked the pupils to

:47:18.:47:23.

prepare questions for me and to draw pictures about what they

:47:24.:47:30.

thought my job as an MP was. Almost every single picture contained Big

:47:30.:47:36.

Ben. Almost all the pupils thought I worked in Big Ben. I believe that

:47:36.:47:42.

this charge will carry on to schoolchildren. It is a curiosity.

:47:42.:47:47.

It is something of interest to do. It is a delight and a pleasure. But

:47:47.:47:52.

it is not at the heart of how we scrutinise the government or how we

:47:52.:47:59.

serve our constituents. The country needs to make savings. A charge of

:47:59.:48:05.

�15 on 9000 people a year who want to see a clockwork machine seems to

:48:05.:48:08.

me not unreasonable. I have listened very carefully to this

:48:08.:48:13.

debate. I have talked to those commissioners present. We have

:48:13.:48:18.

agreed that were the Honourable Gentleman to accept the amendment I

:48:18.:48:22.

have proposed, the commission would ensure there was no charge for the

:48:22.:48:30.

clock tower during the course of As well as Robert Halfon, we are

:48:30.:48:36.

joined by one of the MPs featured their. Thomas Docherty joins us

:48:36.:48:43.

from Edinburgh. You must be very happy with the outcome. The yes, I

:48:43.:48:47.

thought this action was completely wrong. Today, I met 15 kids from

:48:47.:48:50.

the Prince's Trust and took them to the clock tower. They would have

:48:50.:48:55.

had to pay �15 a head if I'd taken them there. But unaffordable at �15.

:48:55.:49:00.

Would it have been affordable at a slightly lower level? I thought the

:49:00.:49:03.

principle was wrong. I do not think people should be charged for going

:49:03.:49:08.

round the House of Commons. We pay forehead already through our taxes.

:49:08.:49:11.

You obviously disappointed. We are in a democracy, we saw that

:49:11.:49:15.

yesterday. We have to move forward. What I thought was quite

:49:15.:49:19.

astonishing about the debate was that some members, not Robert but

:49:19.:49:24.

some of his colleagues, seemed to me quite introducing this charge on

:49:24.:49:29.

less than 1% of those who visit the House of Commons, with some have

:49:29.:49:35.

put in a shroud over Big Ben. The hard reality is we have to make

:49:35.:49:38.

multi- million pounds savings. We didn't hear coherent alternatives

:49:38.:49:40.

through some of the Roberts colleagues yesterday about how we

:49:40.:49:45.

would do that. We will get to the coherent or incoherent alternatives,

:49:45.:49:50.

whichever way you want to put it. But people have equated it with

:49:50.:49:54.

saying this is the cradle of democracy so it should be free to

:49:54.:49:58.

go into all parts of the building. Do you not see any link or logic in

:49:58.:50:04.

that? I see a link. I don't think it's a compelling argument. As

:50:04.:50:09.

Jacob Rees-Mogg said, he was not a natural bedfellow of myself on

:50:09.:50:14.

these issues, this is not part of our democratic process. It is a

:50:14.:50:22.

timepiece. A very famous timepiece that is part of the building. We

:50:22.:50:27.

were talking about less than 1% of visitors. They visit the clock

:50:27.:50:32.

tower. You worry family are at -- a family in four in your constituent

:50:32.:50:38.

you would have to pay �60. Let's be clear on this one. If you went

:50:38.:50:42.

across the road to Westminster Abbey, you pay �28 for an adult and

:50:42.:50:46.

about �15 for a child. If you go to Buckingham Palace, where we

:50:46.:50:50.

definitely pay for that, you have to pay for those things. The other

:50:50.:50:54.

thing that is frustrating is the only people who get to sponsor the

:50:54.:50:59.

towers of the MPs. This was quite bluntly a perk for some of our

:50:59.:51:05.

colleagues. Not Robert, but some of his colleagues saw this as a perk.

:51:05.:51:09.

In the Times we are living in, cuts have to be made. That seems like

:51:09.:51:13.

quite a sensible one to make. You are still allowed to going to the

:51:13.:51:16.

Houses of Parliament for free. Why not charge their than instead

:51:16.:51:20.

bringing it in somewhere else? think it was an easy target to hit

:51:20.:51:24.

the British public. I identified that �469,000 worth of savings

:51:24.:51:29.

could be made. The Commons food bill, they could start by shutting

:51:29.:51:35.

the dining rooms which aren't used on certain days. The Commons Spence

:51:35.:51:38.

�65,000 a year on press cuttings. It could reduce that. We could

:51:38.:51:41.

slightly cut the budget on overseas trips. If you added up, there's

:51:41.:51:46.

loads of money that can be saved in other areas. But to hit the British

:51:46.:51:50.

public and try to discourage people from seeing our ancient Icon...

:51:50.:51:55.

many people go up? I don't know the full total but I've had 60 from my

:51:55.:52:00.

own constituency and 15 in today. People love it. We pay forehead

:52:00.:52:04.

already through our taxes. Although people do pay to see lots of other

:52:04.:52:07.

icons. We'd just be putting it on a level playing field with all sorts

:52:07.:52:11.

of other icons. This is different. It's our democracy and Parliament.

:52:11.:52:15.

People should have a right to go round it until -- free of charge.

:52:15.:52:20.

Would you like to see the debate reopened? I think we need to have a

:52:20.:52:23.

much bigger debate. Robert is right to say we need to look at how we

:52:24.:52:28.

spend money. I am delighted Robert will no longer be eating in the

:52:28.:52:33.

House of Commons. I am delighted he is making that of a today. More

:52:33.:52:38.

seriously, we have a proposal going into the commission in less than a

:52:38.:52:44.

fortnight. It says if we can take �2 million of print savings by

:52:44.:52:48.

giving MPs iPads and senior staff, that would be fantastic. That is

:52:48.:52:53.

the kind of thing we need to be going forward. It is time to catch

:52:53.:53:03.
:53:03.:53:04.

up with what has been happening in MP Eric Joyce was given a 12 month

:53:04.:53:08.

community sentence, fined �3,000 and banned from going into a pub

:53:08.:53:12.

for three months, after pleading guilty to four charges of assault.

:53:12.:53:16.

David Cameron left the cares of domestic politics at home, by

:53:16.:53:20.

jetting off to America. He enjoyed lavish hospitality and a trip on

:53:20.:53:24.

Air Force One to a basketball match. Not to mention a hot dog and a can

:53:24.:53:27.

of Coke. With the leader away, it was up to Nick Clegg and Harriet

:53:27.:53:31.

Harman to take the reins at Prime Minister's Questions. Veteran

:53:31.:53:35.

Labour MP Dennis Skinner was under no mood to give the PM stand in an

:53:35.:53:41.

easy ride. I will give him a chance to separate him from the ranks of

:53:41.:53:46.

Tories behind him. Come on! Miliband and Ed Balls set out more

:53:46.:53:51.

details of Labour's economic policy. They say the coalition has actually

:53:51.:53:56.

cut taxes for high earners. And the 140 id macro Archbishop of

:53:56.:54:00.

Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, announced he would stand down to

:54:00.:54:10.
:54:10.:54:12.

As we've seen, David Cameron's visit to the US has been one of the

:54:12.:54:15.

dominant stories of the week. But how does it play politically for Mr

:54:15.:54:23.

Cameron, and will it do anything for Barack Obama's chance for re-

:54:23.:54:27.

election? Has it done anything, has it been well covered in the States?

:54:27.:54:35.

Our people thinking, hey, Iraq - Matt Barrett a bomber has been

:54:35.:54:38.

cavorting with politicians and it will help him? It has been going

:54:39.:54:44.

well. In terms of the significance of this, it's really focused on the

:54:44.:54:47.

state to state relationship between the US and UK. That is what that is

:54:47.:54:51.

it is all about and that's what the focus needs to be in a situation

:54:51.:54:55.

like this. Do voters pay any attention in the States to this

:54:55.:54:59.

sort of thing? People who are going to vote will pay attention to this

:54:59.:55:03.

and any number of things. The state of Ohio, where the leaders visited

:55:03.:55:09.

on Tuesday, my home town in fact. They went to watch basketball my

:55:09.:55:13.

home town. I told my friends to make sure they mowed the lawn so!

:55:13.:55:18.

David Cameron doesn't understand basketball. There were big signs of

:55:18.:55:22.

saying, welcome, Prime Minister Cameron. He made a big fuss of

:55:22.:55:28.

David Cameron. Even we were surprised by how lavish it all was.

:55:28.:55:33.

What was the intention, apart from just being very hospitable?

:55:33.:55:37.

intention is to solidify and re emphasised the special relationship

:55:37.:55:41.

between the two countries. It's a relationship that is very old and

:55:41.:55:48.

works very well, a common culture, common heritage. I think it was a

:55:48.:55:52.

classic stitch-up. Barack Obama gets to inoculate himself against

:55:52.:55:54.

the charge that republicans are going to throw Wetton, that he some

:55:55.:55:58.

sort of left-wing radical. How can I be a left-wing radical Wenham

:55:58.:56:02.

such good friends with an English Conservative, centre-right Prime

:56:02.:56:06.

Minister. David Cameron gets to emphasise the stature gap of Ed

:56:06.:56:09.

Miliband. Can you imagine him there? Always difficult for a

:56:09.:56:13.

leader of the opposition in those circumstances. David Cameron get to

:56:13.:56:16.

portray himself as someone who is above party. I am on the world

:56:17.:56:20.

stage, I might be a Tory but I've got a good democrat friend here.

:56:20.:56:23.

They both did it to do over their opponents and it worked brilliantly.

:56:24.:56:27.

It's slightly more than that for Cameron. He is embarrassed by a lot

:56:27.:56:31.

of the Tea Party wing of the Republicans. He didn't meet any of

:56:31.:56:37.

them. Yes, he made a clear statement. Republicans, know.

:56:37.:56:40.

think it David Cameron decided he was going to meet even the

:56:40.:56:43.

Republican Speaker of the house, I don't think he would have got the

:56:43.:56:48.

full on treatment that he did from the White House. He is pretty well

:56:48.:56:51.

endorse, Barack Obama. You get the feeling David Cameron is banking on

:56:51.:56:56.

the fact is going to get the second term. Let's roll the clock back in

:56:56.:56:59.

terms of the comment about meeting the Speaker of the house. The US

:56:59.:57:03.

political system, it's not the role of the House of Representatives or

:57:03.:57:06.

the Senate to engage in international diplomacy. And our

:57:06.:57:10.

constitution, that's the role of the President of the United States.

:57:10.:57:13.

Giving some lavish entertainment to one of our most important allies in

:57:13.:57:17.

the world is his job. That's what he does for a living and I think he

:57:17.:57:20.

did it well. Although you wonder behind the scenes of the serious

:57:20.:57:24.

talks on Afghanistan and Iran. Some jokes are saying, I've lavished all

:57:24.:57:27.

this a new and we are pulling out of Afghanistan in the next six

:57:27.:57:31.

months, you'd better do the same. I'm sure there are any number of

:57:31.:57:35.

closed-door talks that we won't be pretty to, but everything we saw

:57:35.:57:39.

was very positive. Rowan Williams stepping down, will David Cameron

:57:39.:57:45.

be pleased? I think you'll be delighted. Replacement? Maybe the

:57:45.:57:51.

Archbishop of York. I think the Archbishop of York. The were you

:57:51.:57:56.

surprised? No, I've been for some time... It was said a few weeks ago

:57:56.:58:03.

that Rowan Williams was about to go. A terms of picking an ally, is it a

:58:03.:58:09.

dangerous position anyway? archbishop has to be his own man.

:58:09.:58:12.

The politics of this will play out. The gay marriage thing is going to

:58:12.:58:17.

be interesting. Whoever is the successor, it will put them in the

:58:17.:58:21.

spotlight on that issue. They are going to press ahead with that?

:58:21.:58:24.

think they are going to. They are completely relaxed about the

:58:24.:58:28.

opposition of the Church. They will try and keep the debate respect for,

:58:28.:58:32.

but I think they view this as a classic part of modernisation.

:58:32.:58:37.

will be following every step of the way in this campaign. That is all

:58:37.:58:41.

for today. The news is starting on BBC One now. Thank you to all of my

:58:41.:58:46.

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