02/05/2012 Daily Politics


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 02/05/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Good afternoon. Welcome to the Daily Politics.


The wettest April on record and flood warnings across the country,


but the threat of a severe drought remains. We'll ask the Water


Minister about claims we could be forced to use standpipes in the


street this time next year. What's behind the excessive queues


at our airports? As the Home Secretary convenes a summit with


airline bosses, is the answer more border staff, or a relaxation of


identity checks? It's the last day of campaigning


for tomorrow's local elections, with plenty at stake for all the


political parties. Jeremy Vine will be here with his comprehensive


guide to all the votes. And would you miss your local rag


if it went belly-up? Author and MP, Louise Mensch, on her campaign to


save local newspapers. All that coming up in the next hour,


and in case you were just tuning in to watch Prime Ministers Questions


I bring you sad news - there is no PMQs today. That's because


yesterday was the end of the Parliamentary session. The House of


Commons isn't sitting until the Queen's Speech kicks off the new


session next Wednesday. We'll have more on that later.


First though, it seems hard to believe in the current climate, but


the Government is warning that parts of Britain face a severe


drought next year. Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, has


told the BBC that radical action may be needed, including stand


pipes in the street, if we have a third dry winter in a row. Jo,


what's the background to all this? The Environment Agency has said


that more than half of England is now under drought conditions,


including the South West, South East, the Midlands and East Anglia.


At the moment, there are seven water companies implementing


hosepipe bans and threatening a �1,000 fine for those who don't


For the 20 million people affected, this means that they cannot use a


hosepipe to water plants, clean a car, fill or maintain a pond or


clean paths and patios. All this despite us enduring the wettest


April for 100 years. Nearly five inches of rain fell on average,


almost double the long-term average. But experts say it's not enough.


And it's come at the wrong time of year for stocks to be easily


replenished. The year leading up to April was, for England, the third


driest on record. Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, has


said that we need to think more about using grey water, or non-


drinking water for washing. And she has warned that unless action is


taken now, the consequences could Were it is most unlikely we will


have to have standpipes this year, if we have another dry winter, it


is more likely next year. Although we have had a wet April, it has not


solved the problem. We need a wet winter to get back to normal


conditions. Caroline Spelman, speaking to the


BBC's Inside Out programme which is on BBC One tonight at 7.30pm. We've


been joined by Richard Aylard, from Thames Water and Tony Smith, chief


executive of the Consumer Council for Water.


Can I come to Richard first? How can we have a hosepipe ban and


warnings of a drought when we have experienced something like an Old


Testament deluge? Although we have had one of the wettest April's on


record, the whole two years was the driest period ever recorded. In


terms of personal finance, the current account is healthy for a


couple of months. But the savings account is empty. Even with that


rain? We have had more rain than we have had in the last 100 years, the


reservoirs are 100% fall. 70% of your supplies come from reservoirs,


what is the problem? The reservoirs are filled from the rivers, driven


by groundwater. Which has seeped underground over the previous two


Winters. Those boreholes are still at the lowest levels ever recorded.


Some of this rain will work its way down there, but not very much. We


might forget about this rain quickly, and we are catching what


we can. But once the rivers have run off this little bit of rain,


they will be at rock bottom Lower Falls and that is what we have to


plan for. Like the way you say a little bit of rain. Are you going


to provide evidence to continue with a hosepipe ban? Yes, we have


reports from the Environment Agency and the levels in the boreholes and


the care for modelling we do based on previous years, which shows how


much water will be available. Because of these two dry Winters,


the levels of a low as they have ever been in some cases. Tony Smith,


do you accept that explanation, despite the reservoirs are full, it


is the underground water we are more reliant on? We have been


pushing on customers' behalf, the company needs to make the case for


the hosepipe ban and to prove they are doing everything they can to


avoid the effect. We will be asking three questions going forward. Do


you need to continue these hosepipe bans, and we don't want it to last


any longer than it needs to. The second question is, of the


companies doing what they can in terms of extra investments,


investments in leakage, in particular. But if there is a third


dry winter, there aren't a more serious problems next year? And the


third question, we will be asking the question as to whether the


regulatory system and the assumptions the companies make to


plan their long-term resource water management plans, on a fit for


purpose? We are seeing more frequent hosepipe bans. Customers


will ask, don't need to change the regulatory assessments -- system to


address the problem? Can you say the hosepipe ban can be lifted in


the next few months? You surely are not going to say it has got to stay


for the rest of the year? If we have average rainfall between now


and September we could lift the ban around them. Realistically, it will


have to stay in place before we get some solid, winter rainfall. What


about the investment? It is the critical thing that customers like


me who seeks in the local streets and left for days, and it would


help if companies like yours don't lose a quarter of the water you


pump. And they are not left for days. Anecdotally, they are.


company has hit six annual leakage the targets, and we are ahead of


the leakage targets. We put more money and investments in, bearing


in mind the company's profits? are many in that is needed to


secure supplied. We need to work out through the water resource


planning process, what is the best way to spend customers money to


provide the security of supply they need? I want you both to stay at


the end of this discussion, but Tony Smith, if we have another dry


winter, can we avoid standpipes in the street? I don't think there is


any need for standpipes. The companies need to demonstrate they


are putting that investment in, and not waiting for a third dry winter.


But they are proactive the getting in there and doing the right


investments at the right time. Friends from me, but please stay


with us. And we've been joined by the


minister in charge of water conservation, Richard Benyon, who


was listening to that. Eye you content Thames Water saying they


will keep the hosepipe ban? Richard made the point, the rain, although


Wellcome is not enough to solve the problems of groundwater. You are


content? Nobody is content about these measures. I did not a happy,


I said content. The reservoir in Sussex is only half full as we go


into the summer. The Thames Water reservoirs are full. The water we


use will come from the ground water levels which feed the rivers so


we're not out of the woods yet. Have you asked for the evidence


from Thames Water to justify these restrictions? We have talked to the


Environment Agency and they are dealing with this on a daily basis


and we are not imposing restrictions... Has your department


called for evidence from Thames Water? Yes, we have evidence


through the Environment Agency. you have considered? We have


considered this on a weekly basis through the drought group which is


chaired by the chief executive of the Environment Agency. One of the


reasons we have become more dependent from water on the ground


is because we have not built enough reservoirs. Why did your Government


block a reservoir Thames Water wanted to build in Oxfordshire?


Water companies have to take forward their long-term the swords


management plans. They have to be examined independent of governments


and the inquiry panel said they had not put enough evidence in place.


Can I give the public the reason? This reservoir has been talked


about since the 1980s. It you don't let them build reservoirs, here


Secretary of State said last year when she Blok this "there was no


immediate need for a new reservoir". We published last year, on long-


term vision to assist water companies. We said we wanted to


encourage more book trading of water between area so we will get


the flow of water as -- water between areas where it is plentiful.


When she said there was no immediate need for a reservoir, she


was wrong? When you look at long- term plans... This is a long-term


problem. The reason we rely on boreholes is because successive


governments have not allowed new reservoirs to be built. That is why


30% of water in the Thames region does not come from Reservoir


anymore. The Secretary of State cannot tell us, on the one hand we


could face standpipes next year, and then says there is no immediate


need for a reservoir. You're looking at reservoirs as the


solution. It is the Government getting a grip of water policy,


determined that we are planning for these will weather events into the


future. We said the way to do this is to in cent advise water


companies and trade water with their neighbours. You will see


water flowing from were it is plentiful to areas where it is not.


We know it can work. We have worked this through with the economic


regulator. This is the way forward. Yes, we need to look at building


new reservoirs. Were you look again at this reservoir? There is a


reservoir in East Anglia that has been expanded in size. I will look


at any measure to make sure we are not facing the kind of problems we


are facing at the moment. The Government has a grip of this.


cannot have a grip of it if we have a hosepipe ban in the middle of a


flood. How can you tell of you as you have a grip of it? When we came


into power, we published our water white paper just before Christmas,


which set out precisely how governments in the future can deal


with this. It is not good enough at the moment is it? It is only four


months after we publish the white paper. It is very clear how we can


help water companies, how we can help them. We are recognising we


have a different climate to what we had when this was last looked at,


much too long ago. Caroline Spelman says if we have another dry winter


we may need standpipes next year. How dry does the winter need to be?


It is not inconceivable we could have another dry winter. But how


dry? I cannot predict at this stage. I am not asking you to predict. I


am asking you to tell me and the viewers how dry the winter will


have to be? There are various What we can't predict is the


weather. I haven't asked you to predict the weather. What we will


do, if we don't get the kind of weather we need to replenish our


stocks bat be wasn't that long ago your government was telling us to


store petrol in jerry cans. don't need to do that now, you were


wrong on that. Should we use these jerry cans we all bought to store


water? Should we? We think households and businesses can play


a big part in reducing the amount of water we use. People from other


countries look at us in a bizarre way. They say, you're using


drinking quality water to wash your cars and gardens. We set out plans


in the future to see more innovation, more grey water systems,


more rainwater harvesting. Instead of rising water companies to do


precisely what happens in other countries. And yet you still


predict standpipes next summer. are trying to change the whole way


water is managed in this country. We have a vision which deals


precisely what these points. The government has got a grip on this.


You've said that. Viewers will judge. Richard Aylard, are you


happy with these incentives? People are happy. The planning process


sounds really dull, but it does mean that providing the ways


customers the border are looked at and round, so that those which will


cost customers least are the ones that get delivered first. We are


looking at the next 25 years, that could mean a new reservoir, it


could mean more water transfers schemes, it could mean other


measures. But we've got work this through. In the meantime, you are


making a false distinction between ground water and water coming into


reservoirs. It is all from water, because it is groundwater which


drives the rivers. Whether you tappets outbreak borehole pump it


out parade reservoir, it's the same watered. Is it your company's


policy to encourage water metering? We are going to be fitting more


water meters as soon as our water resource plan is signed off. We'll


be starting the first compulsory meters. Metering is the fairest way


to pay for water. Can you explain why I approached your company two


months ago to ask for a water meter and a company hasn't even bothered


to get back to me? I will check that out. Someone should have been


round to take a look at your property. A not only has nobody


been round, no one has even written to me or called back. We've had


nothing but silence. Your company told me that they couldn't get back


for 30 days. After 30 days went be changed that to 30 working days. Is


this an example of the kind of incompetence that your company is


now famous for? It's not. We are not famous for that. But we have


got a lot of people wanting metres at the moment because it is an


opportunity to cut down on bills. We are working through those calls


as fast as we can. Mr Smith, do you think at war water is being managed


properly? I think there's a lot of scope already within the existing


regulatory system that a company's -- for companies to look at what


they need to do too Boyd more serious problems next year if there


was a third dry winter. They can invest more in their networks. They


can invest in leakage. They should be thinking of doing that partly at


their expense. The regulatory system can allow that already. But


the other issue is longer term. If you keep relying on hosepipe bans


or more serious measures, over time the people's confidence in the


system will be reduced. That's why we need to look at the assumptions


on which we are planning water into the future, to make sure that we've


got enough water now and enough water in 25 years' time. We will


have to leave it there. It is election time tomorrow. Boating is


taking place across the country in local elections. And a series of


referendums on local mayors. Jeremy Vine has taken time out from


presenting his Radio 2 programme to guide us through what is at stake


tomorrow. Let me show you the map of England


that all the council's Kolodin. And then the ones in played for the


next 24 hours. An awful lot of blue for the Conservatives to lose. We


go to Scotland and see a very different effect. Black. That is


that colour the computer users but no overall control, a hung council.


Let's show you the most powerful party. Independent councillors, the


largest group in the north-west of Scotland, then the SNP very strong


here, yellow, Lib Dems, Orange, Labour is red in the conurbations


of Scotland and in the south, Conservative blue. In Wales, this


Conservative blue. In Wales, this is how the last council elections


left the nation of Wales. You can see in purple, independently


controlled council. They used to be lots more red down the bottom,


Labour being pushed back. In the north, Plaid Cymru in green.


north, Plaid Cymru in green. There's a fascinating graph which


shows performance by the Conservatives over Labour going


back a few years. Let's go back to But things change, Gordon Brown


comes in, David Cameron comes in for the Conservatives and by 2008,


the Conservatives have a handy lead. We stick on this year and take note


of the fact that this 18 % lead is the Conservative's lead over Labour


when the council seats that are up tomorrow were last fought. They


would need this kind of lead again just to stayed steady. That is


going to be hard because watch, gradually the Conservatives come


into government, Ed Miliband comes in and the Conservatives are left


behind Labour. Similarly, I will show you the Labour Lib Dem Grappa.


This is very worrying for the Lib Dems. 2005, Tony Blair again, this


time it was Charles Kennedy. Labour were ahead, 5%. They'd gradually


clawed it back, the Lib Dems. 2008, the crucial baseline year for these


elections. But watch what happens when the coalition government is


formed and Labour change their leader. You see this huge leap for


later -- Labour. Last time these seats were up, they were ahead of


Labour here and now, look at that Labour lead again. That will be


very worrying for Lib Dem councillors in areas where Labour


are pushing them. Other elections, let's not forget the London mayor,


Boris Johnson, Ken Livingstone, all the other candidates. This was the


result from 2008 on first preference vote. The Conservative


vote is squeezing Labour. Boris Johnson gets the suburbs again, he


may well win. There is a London Assembly election, took. Bring on


the map of England again. I will highlight the 11 towns and cities,


places like Birmingham, Doncaster, Sheffield, Manchester, where they


are deciding whether raw not to You can see more of Jeremy and his


fantastic graphics on vote 2012. We've been joined by a trio of top


flight political operators. The Foreign Office minister, Jeremy


Browne, Shadow Education Secretary, Stephen Twigg, and the Minister for


decentralisation, Greg Clark. Welcome. Can I start with you, Greg.


The Conservative Party had good results in 2008. What is it going


to be like from the electorate this time? We did have good results last


time and labour had disastrous results. But the message to the


government and the Conservatives from the electorate. I would like


to see these elections being about local issues. If in future we can


get them about local issues, that's all the better it. I think it's


very unfair to local councillors that these becoming referendum on


national issues. I would like them to be local. But I understand that


people do vote for national reasons. We are lower down and where we were


last time so it's going to be a typical night. How difficult do you


think it's going to be? I can see why you wanted to be on local


issues. Do you accept that nationally, things really are very


difficult post Budget? First of all, last time was a particularly good


year for the Conservatives. I think Labour had 24 % last time. We've


had a difficult few weeks. Frustrating though it is for me


that people do tend to vote on national issues, that is there is


something as we got to overcome. I think it will make a tighter


contests locally, which I think is important for every Conservative to


get out there and vote and not take it for granted. A touch of contest


with the Liberal Democrats. Whichever way you look at it, it


was pretty dreadful last year in places like some of the northern


cities, you lost all the seats that were being contested at the time.


What is your prediction? The one thing that you could say to sum up


the graphic that Jeremy Vine was just presenting, is that parties


and governments tend to have a harder time in mid-term local


elections than parties that are out of government. My party is in


government pretty much for the first time in living memory, so we


are in a different position and where we've been in the past.


you think it will be better? think we will do better than we did


last year. I think we are on an upward trajectory. I think we will


do better in the opinion polls. You see these are polls by Ugo of


giving the Lib Dems very low ratings. I think we will do better


than that tomorrow. I'm not saying it's not difficult for us. We have


very good councillors in tight contests, but I think we have


bottomed out. I think people respect a lot of the decisions we


make in government. I think we will perform a cave. You say you are in


government with the Conservatives, as everyone knows. Bedfellows


politically in that sense in government, but electoral enemies


when it comes to the doorstep locally. Is there campaigning and


should be campaigning remain clean between the Conservatives and


Liberal Democrats? I hope it will be clean between all parties. The


two parties are in coalition nationally, I won't rehearse the


reasons why. But the election should be about picking your local


councillors, your local team to run your community. And the different


parties, whether they are in coalition with each other or not,


are putting forward their own candidates and prospectors or that


area, people to pick the one that suits them best. Is it fair to


attack the Conservatives at local level on issues that affect local


areas? We can show this campaigning leaflets. This is on the pasty.


Stop the Tories taxing our pasties. Is that fair game? I would want the


leaflets to concentrate on the local issues that are being decided


in the electorate. Pasties are important in Cornwall. I think that


both parties in government need to take responsibility for the


policies of the government. There are parts of the government Mannus


Bairstow that are heavily influenced by the Lib Dems. -- the


government manifesto. On behalf of the whole government, we got


together and we take decisions for the whole country. Is that fair?


Jeremy is a fair man. He admitted to me on the Sunday politics that


it was unfair and he wanted to Your leader has spoken. I just said


that I think the government, both parties in the government, should


take responsibility for the Government's policies as a whole.


It is not the Tory pasty tax then, is it?


It is the Tories that of a problem. It is the pasty tax of the


government as a whole, including both the parties that are in it.


Chew on that for a moment. It's worth saying we are very used to


the Lib Dems saying one thing... Looking at the opinion polls, you


are in a more advantageous position nationally. You are ahead in the


polls and improving ratings and some opinion polls in terms of


trust with the economy. Why is it all going wrong in Glasgow and


London? We don't know what's going to happen in Glasgow and London.


They are behind them, why is that? Let's see. London will be close, it


was close last time. We are working very hard in London to remind


people that Boris Johnson is a Conservative candidate, he's on the


right wing of the Conservative Party, he may try to distance


himself. Ken Livingstone has a solid track record and are standing


on the issues that mattered to Londoners, public-transport and


crime. Why have there been some key figures in the party basically


saying that Ken Livingstone is not the right candidate for the Labour


Party? Even yesterday, Charles Clarke told me he didn't think Ken


Livingstone was the best candidate for mayor. We have Lord Winston and


Lord Sugar, that's not great in terms of Labour Party supporters


not backing the candidate. Charles is a friend of mine and has been


outspoken on all sorts of matters. The entire Labour Party has been


campaigning for Ken Livingstone. He was properly selected by Labour


Party members. In the end, tomorrow Londoners have a choice between a


Labour candidate and a right-wing Conservative candidate in Boris


Johnson. Let's have a look at some of the places where they are going


to have referendums to have a mayor. Turnout for local elections is


usually pretty low. Doncaster is voting on whether to scrap its


mayor because it's been a disaster. Why do you think people will want


another type of boat in class? think there's a big opportunity for


all of our systems. Our cities, places like Liverpool and its


elected mayor, Sheffield, Leeds, Bristol, Newcastle. They compete


with other cities around the world. Those cities have to buy for


investment. They, in my view, need someone who can speak for the whole


city internationally to get jobs and investment. It is also my view,


and I speak as someone who grew up in the north-east of England, I


think places outside London have to acquire it a voice in our national


affairs. To have someone to speak up for them in the way that


successive mayors of London have done, I think it's overdue. But you


can get someone rubbish. There's nothing to stop... Than that whole


You can at least vote them out. What is the point that when you


have only got 35-45% of people turning out to vote in local


elections. You have low turnout, a spread of candidates are not that


impressive. Look at London. London, I think has benefited from a mare.


We have had two difference ones in 10 years. The interest in London


politics. The debate between the London mayoral candidates have been


all over the country. I would like to see the debate for the Mayor of


Birmingham on Newsnight, on your programme, why should London have


it all? London is lukewarm, when they introduce the first one?


an MP in Liverpool and Liverpool council has decided to elect a


mayor. I think it is vital for Liverpool and cities outside of


London have a clear voice in national debate. We have 12


candidates and I am very confident Joe Anderson will be elected


tomorrow. Now, you may have noticed that there's no Prime Minister's


Questions today. That's because Parliament has - in the official


parlance - been prorogued. Yes, prorogued! I don't know what it


means either, but this is what it looks like.


Mr Speaker, the Lords who are authorised by virtue of her


Majesty's decision, to declare Royal Assent to Bills passed in


this Parliament and declare the prorogation of Parliament, desired


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 43 seconds


the presence of this Honourable We are commanded to deliver to you,


her Majesty's speech in her Majesty's own words. My Lords and


Members of the House of Commons, my Government's legislative programme


has been based on the principles of freedom, fairness and


responsibility. We do, in her Majesty's name and in obedience to


her Majesty's commands, prorogued this Parliament to the 9th day of


May, to the event here Holden and this Parliament is accordingly


prorogued to Wednesday, the 9th day of May.


The next episode of Gilbert and Sullivan will be next Wednesday


when the Queen opens Parliament. Why does the chamber have to be


summoned to the Lords for this? is tradition. Her baiting was


tradition, but we stopped that. Public hanging was tradition, but


we stopped that. There was a porky pie, these are not in the Queen's


own words. They were written by the Government, correct? I assume that


is the case. He launched reform will probably be in the Queen's


Speech. He is in favour of it, he is worried you won't support him.


think we need the Lords reform. Labour did a lot in Government to


reform the Lords, but they did not finish the job. It is not the


biggest issue at a time of this crisis. Are you encouraged by that?


Not really, Labour have been lukewarm on the issue. They are


blinded by their hatred of Nick Clegg, more than ambitious of what


reforms should be done. I think we should reform it. I almost wish we


had the hereditary upper house because it would then be a


constitutional appendix which has hung around for hundreds of years


and not been reformed. But we haven't Upper House made up of


hereditary peers, people who could not get a letter to the House of


Commons. People who were elected to the House of Commons, but were


rejected it and got elected to the upper house instead. No other


country estates, we must adopt this ourselves. That is the next term


coming up. As you look back on the first couple of years, did you try


to do too much or too little? need to get on with things from the


beginning, to give them time to work. Take the economy. The initial


budget, it was essential to do it at the beginning, to make sure you


could get confidence back of international investors so we are


on a trajectory. You did not think we would be back in recession by


the time of the next Queen's Speech did you? The Institute for Fiscal


Studies has said we would be in a worse situation. We will never know


that. Do you think you should have done more, or has it been a


struggle? You have had an number of private grief, the fiasco of the


NHS, the Planning Bill, pasty taxes, charity tax, the list is endless.


Did you bite off more than you could shoot? When you come into


Government, and you have a chance to change the country and do the


things you set out to do. The Academy's Bill, free schools, so


kids, and right now, this September and next will have the chance to go


to better schools. It would have been criminal to delay that until


the end of the Parliament. He took to be impatient to get on with


things, is the right demeanour. Education is the mishandling of


schools for the future, cancelling the school's partnership. It could


have been done under our legislation. It ran out of steam be


-- by the time he left Government because Gordon Brown was not that


keen on them. Can you clarify, one of the big changes is the free


schools programme. Schools financed by the state but free of local


Government control. You have been like a shuttlecock on this issue.


Are you for it or against it? voted against the policy. Some of


the schools being set up will be fantastic schools and no Labour


Government would close down fantastic schools. I believe some


of the good, free schools could have been established under


Labour's legislation. Is it your policy, if you get back into polls


-- power, will you close the free schools? Of course we won't. We


will want to ensure there is fair admissions, funding and I am


worried free schools open so far have fewer children from poorer


backgrounds. There is the woodpecker Academy in Enfield doing


a fantastic job. And we wouldn't close that.


Should airlines or even airline passengers have to pay for passport


checks at airports to prevent the kind of chaos we've seen at


London's Heathrow airport? The Government has said it will deploy


80 extra staff from tomorrow to try to cut queues, which are said to


have lasted as long as two-and-a- half hours for people with non-EU


passports. And with predictions of a summer of chaos unless ministers


get a grip on the situation, reports this morning say Number Ten


wants the airport operator to pick up the tab for extra staff ahead of


the Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. But the airlines


have been clear it's up to the Government to sort this out. Here's


the head of BA, Willie Walsh. it means sorting it out immediately.


I don't want to hear sounds about don't worry about the Olympics. We


need to get this sorted now, it is damaging the reputation of the UK.


Turning away tourists and business people the Government are trying to


attract into the UK to generate growth and jobs. It is having a


damaging effect on the UK. We need to address it immediately.


Airline boss Willie Walsh speaking yesterday. What a dreadful image


and welcome but people coming to this country. You travel through


airport all the time probably, but don't have to wait 2.5 hours, I


suspect? What impression does this leave to the rest of the world?


bad impression, and we need to get it sorted. I dispute that 2.5 hour,


and the Government is saying it took 1.5 hours, but it is still too


long. We need to get the balance right because people are concerned


about security. I have never seen a national newspaper campaigning for


less rigorous controls. We want to make sure our borders are secured.


But we want to be welcoming and don't want to look like we are


naturally suspicious of people coming on holiday, or coming for


business or the Olympics. Theresa May wrong to tighten up


those border checks, which must have that riveted to those it used?


I think you need to have rigger in terms of policing are boarders, but


we need the capacity, particularly if the people coming in and out,


are coming in and out in patterns that are harder to predict.


Something like the Olympics, Heathrow pretty much operates at


capacity already. We won't see a huge surge of extra people coming


through Heathrow at the Olympics, but more people coming into Britain


and we want to send out a message they are welcome here, so we need


to get it right. Is it a result as cuts in the number of border staff?


For too long, we have had queues at Heathrow. Willie Walsh said it has


been an underlying problem, but it has got particularly bad now and it


has coincided with cuts in the number of border staff. The figures


leaked by Labour said it has been cut by 10% since 2010. Are you


saying there is no correlation? Theresa may need to get people on


to the front line and out of back offices. What is the front line?


There are desk, anecdotally it says desks are empty at peak-time is and


must be a result as fewer staff. Otherwise why is Damian Green


bringing in new staff? It is the flexibility to respond when there


are sudden peaks and unexpected clutches of people who are arriving.


That is what is required. It is emphasising where we are before the


Olympics. It is not just the three weeks of the Olympics we need to be


concerned about. There is a security threat, a terrorist threat.


And no doubt people will be trying to infiltrate themselves into the


country now. It is important we need to be rigorous about our


borders. But we need to do it in a way to minimise the Jews. But it


cannot be done at the expense of security. How will you minimise the


queues, are part from bringing in more staff? It is how you deploy it.


There will be a team of people available at short notice to come a


man desks where they are needed and keep the queues down. The staff are


being brought in on a temporary basis. And there are 1,500 Mork of


cuts over the next three years to the border staff. There is an image


of chaos being presented by the Government. Dispute the premise


Labour comes up with whenever that Government makes changes, the more


people you have, the better service. You cannot say you're bringing


people in temporarily to solve it. If you have people sitting around


at quiet times, but not enough people at the Times, you can


redeploy people more effectively. It is about managing it better. But


the idea Labour goes back to, the more money and bigger deficit you


one up, the better public services will be, we tried it for 13 years.


I am not saying that. We have the Government suggesting the airline


up passengers should have to pay for this. Do you think it is right


the airline operator should put their hands in their pockets, pay


higher landing fees to sort out these problems and then that will


be passed on to customers? There is a responsibility on behalf of the


Government to mount an operation to process people properly. Should the


airlines pay for that? I don't think there should be an extra levy


to provide this service. It is reported as a Downing Street plan?


I have not seen that. He wouldn't support it? It is right the


Government has an obligation to look after the border, give decent


scrutiny to people coming in here. But for many years, it has been the


case people have had to queue for too long to enter the country.


On May 31st I will arrive at Terminal 5 at 6:30am. My have to go


through customs and immigration to pick a papers and then catch the


8:30am flight to New York. Will the Government make sure I get the


flights? Do you want us to do special favours? No, the opposite.


Will the Government make sure that border control is efficient enough


for me to be able to do that normal interlining? I do go to lots of


airports. You go through the VIP lounge? What's on airports abroad


are more modern than ours so there is an airport review in the South


East. I'm sure you'll have a very Would you miss your local newspaper


if it shut up shop all went from daily to weekly? Could you get by


without a daily dose of the local Gazette, Enquirer or pupil? An


increasing number are switching from daily to weekly editions,


putting more of their content online. -- online. But Louise


Mensch discovered this was happening to her local paper and


decided to fight back. She bought one instead of two copies. No, what


should the government do to help local papers? This is her soapbox.


Local papers on at the heart of their community. In another week


where the national press has been dominating the headlines at the


Leveson Inquiry, what's the most popular print medium in the UK?


Over 33 million people Amanda read their local paper. That is over 70


% of the UK's entire adult population. The internet is no


substitute for good local reporting. I'm a social media, but the best


local stories can't be summed up in a tweed. Anna Usborne iPad app,


that excludes two groups of people - the elderly and those on low


incomes. The biggest winners from decline of that daily local press


are going to be politicians. Who else is going to hold your local MP


your local councillors to account? A vibrant local press is vital to


the future of our democracy. If the pure profit motive doesn't work for


local newspapers, the government needs to look at alternative ways


of making it work. Just like footballers looking at community


support as Trust, the same model of community ownership is one that


could be viable for local newspapers. When we consider how


many things receive national subsidies that only have a minority


appeal, surely local newspapers at the heart of their towns and


villages deserve some of that government support as well. Local


papers are not only loved by people in their local communities. They


are the only vehicle that holds local politicians to account, and


they have an irreplaceable role in our local democracy. They can't be


replaced by the internet, and we have to look at community ownership


as a model going forward. We have to ask ourselves if some government


subsidies shouldn't be targeted towards something that people


really use, enjoy and knead on a daily basis. Louise Mensch, gone


from green to black, she joins us in the studio. Here is a product in


decline, if you are people buying it, it probably doesn't have a


future, and you want the government to subsidise it? When did you join


Michael Foot's Labour Party? No, I want a level playing field. Other


forms of local media are heavily subsidised. The biggest competitor


to local papers are council freesheets, which are funded


entirely by the ratepayer. The government is trying to get rid of


it... You got the Minister for decentralisation here. Surely that


should be an issue for people to determine themselves. The people of


London didn't like the sheep to very much, they voted for Boris.


Indeed, and they should be voting for Boris tomorrow as well. It is


because it is entirely difficult to vote one way on the things that


concern you about your local council, but say you are going to


withhold your vote because you deliberately deliver a freesheet.


Eric Pickles has tried to stamp down on these freesheets but many


councils are still doing them. And the plans for local television,


under the Government's plans they propose the BBC will be forced to


buy content for local television. That is clearly an indirect subsidy.


You've got the Department of Transport talking about pulling its


ads from local papers, that's revenue they need to survive.


have a reality check. Local newspapers are not declining


because some councils have propaganda freesheets. Yes, they


are. There is a diet rich -- they are a direct competitor. They are


some of the biggest cannibals of the market. But they've lost the


huge advertising market. Can I give you an example of one? Here is the


newspaper that comes out weekly in Tower Hamlets. It is a 40 paid


weekly newspaper. It has the TV listings here in great detail. It


is full of advertising. I think this is unfair. This is council?


It's the local council. I think it's unfair for the local council


to be using taxpayers' resource to put out of business what is very


important in every local community. The local paper is a vigorous


scrutiny of the council. A chilly as the minister for


decentralisation, that is up to the people of Tower Hamlets to the


sides. If you are using power to try to shut out and shut down in


some cases the only people who can hold you to account, I think that


is unfair. What we've said is it is fair for people to communicate


their services and what they do, the councils, but not to put out a


weekly newspaper. So you are telling people what the shape of


the ring should be. We are saying there is a code which would be


reasonable for no more than four Tynesider for a council to put out


a newsletter. Macro managing now. That is not very decentralised. Why


don't you go and hold their hand and tell them what to write? It is


a question of not using power and abusing power to actually


entrenched your grip on it. You have to have other voices, you have


to have diversity and competition. It councils are using public funds


to drive out businesses, I think that is wrong. Of course it is


wrong, but I agree it should be decided at a local level. I don't


think government should be intervening legally. I think Louise


has raised some important points today. Local papers are important


but they are under threat for lots of different reasons. There are


very few local authorities that publish something like that. It's


the first time I've seen it. I don't think that is the main factor


in the decline of local newspapers. In Liverpool, the Daily Post has


just gone weekly. Do you have something like that in Liverpool?


Not like that. I've never seen something like that. I know it is a


factor in advertising. I remember in Enfield, having it raised by


local newspapers there. But I think it should be decided locally.


agree with everything that Stephen has just said. I think Louise made


some important points. I think they are very important to local and


civic life. But I think the reasons they are declining may in part be


influenced by that, but there are wider factors at play. The only


thing that is going to hold a local council to account is being trodden


or Le Beau Bai that same local council. Most local newspapers, and


I started in local newspapers, is that they are in the pockets of the


local council. You don't get B-list journalism from most local


newspapers. I challenge that. I think local newspapers are there to


hold both MPs and their councils to account. Local newspapers didn't do


the expenses scandal. In order to carry out the sort of


investigations you are talking about into local councils, that is


expensive. I'm not saying that it is right that it shouldn't be there,


but it is expensive to do. Who will find that level, apart from the


idea of a big state subsidy, to fund high-powered local journalists


to do that? We do not need a big state subsidy, we need a level


playing field. We need the Department of Transport not to pull


their advertisements from the back of local papers. My local paper has


been holding the council to account. Let's move on to the issue which to


be more famous for. I'm sure you're getting good coverage in your local


Let me come back to this. There is a clear argument, you have said


quite clearly that this key phrase in the select committee report on


Murdoch, that he is not a fit person to run an international


company. I will come to international in a minute. Whereas


Mr Farrelly, a Labour MP of the select committee, said this was


discussed. You are quite clear it was not discussed. It was not


discussed. I've just seen Paul in the House of Commons, and he has


admitted that he got himself confused. The amendments were


tabled before Easter by Mr Tom Watson and never discussed at all


until they were brought up on Monday. I've confirmed this today


with Damien colleague -- with my colleagues. He said he was ambushed.


He was asked a straight question. He said he was caught unawares and


hadn't seen what I said on Newsnight. There is a difference in


saying and amend was -- an amendment was tabled and saying it


was discussed. It was not discussed until Monday. And no Labour MP


requested we discuss what has been the headline of the report, that


Rupert Murdoch was not a fit person. I told Tom it would be the headline


and that everything else would be overshadowed. I think he'd worked


that out. Paul Rees on the committee offered Tom our vote on


the report if he would take that out, but that was only discussed


after nine months of investigation on Monday. Or clarity, on the issue


of whether Rupert Murdoch is a fit person to run an international


company or any kind of major media company, there was no discussion.


No discussion until Monday, the final meeting we had. All of our


investigations, nine months on, it wasn't discussed. It was tabled


before Easter and not discussed until Monday. Thank you but


clarifying that. Every once in a while on The Daily Politics, we


hear from a politician so loyal, and we hear that often, he will


bravely agree with anything, absolutely anything his or her


leader has to say. They might consider jumping in front of a bus


if they thought there was a promotion in it, present company


accepted. I'm not sure about that!


But even Westminster's finest yes men could learn a thing or two from


the Australian Minister being interviewed him on Sky News


Australia. Do you think you should return to the Speaker's chair while


the civil claims are still being played out? I understand that the


Prime Minister has addressed this in a press conference in Turkey. I


haven't seen what she said. But let me say I support what it is that


she said. And on, you haven't seen what she said... But I support what


my Prime Minister has said. What is your view? My view is what the


Prime Minister's view is. Surely you must have your own a view on


this. No, it is such a general question. It is a specific question


about someone who should we turn back to the Speaker's chair while


facing charges of sexual harassment. There should be no tolerance for


sexual harassment. That is my view. On the other hand, these matters


have yet to be established and their support for our Prime


Minister has said. But you don't know what that is. I'm sure she is


right. I wish my children would say that! That was the Australian


Workplace Relations Minister. I will offer it to you, has that ever


happened to you? That has been brought over here by the whips


office as a training video. What about for you? What lessons do you


take away from that? I agree with that. It could get very confusing.


That is hilarious. But he knew what he was doing. He didn't stumble


into that. When we do this again, do you think he will have had a


promotion? He will be Deputy Prime Minister! His boss might not be


Prime Minister! That is it for today. Our thanks to our guests.


Download Subtitles