02/05/2012 Daily Politics


02/05/2012

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn with the latest political news including drought warnings, and chaos at the UK's airports. Guests include MPs Jeremy Browne, Stephen Twigg and Greg Clark.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Good afternoon. Welcome to the Daily Politics.

:00:42.:00:45.

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

:00:45.:00:51.

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

:00:51.:00:54.

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

:00:54.:00:59.

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

:00:59.:01:03.

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

:01:03.:01:06.

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

:01:06.:01:10.

identity checks? It's the last day of campaigning

:01:10.:01:13.

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

:01:13.:01:18.

political parties. Jeremy Vine will be here with his comprehensive

:01:18.:01:24.

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

:01:24.:01:28.

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

:01:28.:01:38.
:01:38.:01:44.

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

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

:01:47.:01:57.
:01:57.:02:05.

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

:02:05.:02:12.

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

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

:02:15.:02:22.

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

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

:02:25.:02:27.

the Government is warning that parts of Britain face a severe

:02:28.:02:36.

drought next year. Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, has

:02:36.:02:39.

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

:02:39.:02:47.

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

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

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

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

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At the moment, there are seven water companies implementing

:03:05.:03:08.

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

:03:08.:03:14.

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

:03:14.:03:18.

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

:03:18.:03:21.

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

:03:21.:03:25.

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

:03:25.:03:31.

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

:03:31.:03:34.

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

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

:03:38.:03:42.

driest on record. Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, has

:03:42.:03:45.

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

:03:45.:03:48.

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

:03:48.:03:58.
:03:58.:04:01.

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

:04:01.:04:06.

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

:04:06.:04:12.

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

:04:12.:04:16.

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

:04:16.:04:19.

conditions. Caroline Spelman, speaking to the

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

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

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executive of the Consumer Council for Water.

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

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

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

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

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

:05:02.:05:08.

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

:05:08.:05:15.

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

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

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

:05:27.:05:32.

by groundwater. Which has seeped underground over the previous two

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

:05:40.:05:44.

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

:05:44.:05:49.

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

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

:05:54.:05:59.

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

:05:59.:06:08.

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

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

:06:12.:06:17.

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

:06:17.:06:20.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:06:49.:06:53.

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

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

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

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

:07:10.:07:14.

companies doing what they can in terms of extra investments,

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

:07:19.:07:23.

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

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

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regulatory system and the assumptions the companies make to

:07:32.:07:37.

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

:07:37.:07:41.

purpose? We are seeing more frequent hosepipe bans. Customers

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

:07:49.:07:54.

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

:07:54.:07:59.

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

:07:59.:08:03.

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

:08:03.:08:09.

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

:08:09.:08:15.

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

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

:08:20.:08:25.

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

:08:25.:08:30.

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

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

:08:39.:08:44.

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

:08:44.:08:49.

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

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

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

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

:09:03.:09:09.

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

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

:09:13.:09:18.

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

:09:18.:09:22.

any need for standpipes. The companies need to demonstrate they

:09:22.:09:29.

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

:09:29.:09:32.

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

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

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with us. And we've been joined by the

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minister in charge of water conservation, Richard Benyon, who

:09:41.:09:49.

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

:09:49.:09:55.

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

:09:55.:09:59.

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

:09:59.:10:06.

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

:10:06.:10:12.

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

:10:12.:10:18.

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

:10:18.:10:22.

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

:10:22.:10:27.

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

:10:27.:10:33.

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

:10:33.:10:37.

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

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

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

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through the Environment Agency. you have considered? We have

:10:52.:10:56.

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

:10:56.:11:02.

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

:11:02.:11:04.

reasons we have become more dependent from water on the ground

:11:05.:11:10.

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

:11:10.:11:14.

block a reservoir Thames Water wanted to build in Oxfordshire?

:11:14.:11:19.

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

:11:19.:11:24.

management plans. They have to be examined independent of governments

:11:24.:11:33.

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

:11:34.:11:37.

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

:11:37.:11:47.
:11:47.:11:49.

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

:11:49.:11:54.

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

:11:54.:12:00.

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

:12:00.:12:05.

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

:12:05.:12:08.

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

:12:08.:12:14.

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

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

:12:20.:12:26.

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

:12:26.:12:31.

problem. The reason we rely on boreholes is because successive

:12:31.:12:36.

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

:12:36.:12:40.

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

:12:40.:12:45.

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

:12:45.:12:49.

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

:12:49.:12:53.

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

:12:53.:12:58.

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

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

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

:13:07.:13:11.

companies and trade water with their neighbours. You will see

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

:13:15.:13:20.

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

:13:20.:13:26.

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

:13:26.:13:31.

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

:13:31.:13:36.

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

:13:36.:13:40.

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

:13:40.:13:45.

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

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

:13:48.:13:54.

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

:13:54.:13:59.

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

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which set out precisely how governments in the future can deal

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

:14:09.:14:14.

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

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

:14:19.:14:23.

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

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

:14:29.:14:38.

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

:14:38.:14:42.

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

:14:42.:14:52.

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

:14:52.:14:57.

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

:14:57.:15:07.
:15:07.:15:09.

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

:15:10.:15:14.

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

:15:14.:15:18.

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

:15:18.:15:22.

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

:15:22.:15:27.

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

:15:27.:15:31.

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

:15:31.:15:36.

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

:15:36.:15:39.

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

:15:39.:15:43.

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

:15:43.:15:47.

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

:15:47.:15:52.

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

:15:52.:15:55.

more rainwater harvesting. Instead of rising water companies to do

:15:55.:15:58.

precisely what happens in other countries. And yet you still

:15:58.:16:03.

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

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

:16:06.:16:10.

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

:16:10.:16:18.

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

:16:18.:16:23.

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

:16:23.:16:28.

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

:16:28.:16:30.

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

:16:30.:16:34.

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

:16:34.:16:37.

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

:16:37.:16:40.

could mean more water transfers schemes, it could mean other

:16:40.:16:44.

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

:16:44.:16:47.

making a false distinction between ground water and water coming into

:16:47.:16:51.

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

:16:51.:16:55.

drives the rivers. Whether you tappets outbreak borehole pump it

:16:55.:16:59.

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

:16:59.:17:03.

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

:17:03.:17:07.

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

:17:07.:17:11.

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

:17:11.:17:15.

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

:17:15.:17:18.

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

:17:18.:17:22.

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

:17:22.:17:26.

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

:17:26.:17:30.

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

:17:30.:17:34.

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

:17:34.:17:38.

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

:17:38.:17:41.

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

:17:41.:17:46.

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

:17:46.:17:49.

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

:17:49.:17:53.

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

:17:53.:17:59.

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

:17:59.:18:03.

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

:18:03.:18:08.

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

:18:08.:18:11.

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

:18:11.:18:14.

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

:18:14.:18:18.

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

:18:18.:18:21.

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

:18:21.:18:28.

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

:18:28.:18:33.

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

:18:33.:18:36.

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

:18:36.:18:40.

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

:18:40.:18:47.

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

:18:47.:18:52.

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

:18:52.:18:56.

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

:18:56.:19:00.

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

:19:00.:19:03.

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

:19:03.:19:07.

tomorrow. Let me show you the map of England

:19:07.:19:11.

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

:19:11.:19:15.

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

:19:15.:19:20.

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

:19:20.:19:24.

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

:19:24.:19:29.

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

:19:29.:19:32.

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

:19:32.:19:38.

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

:19:38.:19:41.

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

:19:41.:19:43.

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

:19:43.:19:48.

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

:19:48.:19:51.

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

:19:51.:19:56.

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

:19:56.:19:59.

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

:19:59.:20:01.

shows performance by the Conservatives over Labour going

:20:01.:20:11.
:20:11.:20:13.

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

:20:13.:20:18.

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

:20:18.:20:23.

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

:20:23.:20:27.

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

:20:27.:20:31.

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

:20:31.:20:36.

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

:20:36.:20:40.

going to be hard because watch, gradually the Conservatives come

:20:40.:20:44.

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

:20:44.:20:48.

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

:20:48.:20:55.

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

:20:55.:21:00.

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

:21:00.:21:10.

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

:21:10.:21:14.

elections. But watch what happens when the coalition government is

:21:14.:21:19.

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

:21:19.:21:24.

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

:21:24.:21:27.

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

:21:27.:21:30.

very worrying for Lib Dem councillors in areas where Labour

:21:30.:21:35.

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

:21:35.:21:40.

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

:21:40.:21:46.

result from 2008 on first preference vote. The Conservative

:21:46.:21:49.

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

:21:49.:21:54.

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

:21:54.:21:58.

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

:21:58.:22:02.

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

:22:02.:22:11.

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

:22:11.:22:20.

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

:22:20.:22:23.

flight political operators. The Foreign Office minister, Jeremy

:22:23.:22:28.

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

:22:28.:22:33.

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

:22:33.:22:37.

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

:22:37.:22:41.

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

:22:41.:22:47.

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

:22:47.:22:50.

government and the Conservatives from the electorate. I would like

:22:50.:22:53.

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

:22:54.:23:00.

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

:23:00.:23:03.

very unfair to local councillors that these becoming referendum on

:23:03.:23:07.

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

:23:07.:23:12.

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

:23:12.:23:16.

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

:23:16.:23:20.

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

:23:20.:23:24.

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

:23:24.:23:30.

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

:23:30.:23:36.

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

:23:36.:23:40.

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

:23:40.:23:45.

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

:23:45.:23:48.

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

:23:48.:23:52.

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

:23:52.:23:58.

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

:23:58.:24:00.

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

:24:00.:24:04.

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

:24:04.:24:08.

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

:24:08.:24:13.

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

:24:13.:24:17.

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

:24:17.:24:19.

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

:24:19.:24:23.

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

:24:23.:24:26.

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

:24:26.:24:29.

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

:24:29.:24:33.

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

:24:33.:24:37.

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

:24:37.:24:41.

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

:24:41.:24:43.

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

:24:44.:24:48.

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

:24:48.:24:51.

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

:24:51.:24:55.

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

:24:55.:25:00.

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

:25:00.:25:03.

government with the Conservatives, as everyone knows. Bedfellows

:25:03.:25:07.

politically in that sense in government, but electoral enemies

:25:07.:25:11.

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

:25:11.:25:13.

should be campaigning remain clean between the Conservatives and

:25:13.:25:19.

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

:25:19.:25:22.

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

:25:22.:25:25.

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

:25:25.:25:29.

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

:25:29.:25:32.

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

:25:32.:25:36.

are putting forward their own candidates and prospectors or that

:25:36.:25:40.

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

:25:40.:25:43.

attack the Conservatives at local level on issues that affect local

:25:43.:25:50.

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

:25:50.:25:56.

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

:25:56.:25:59.

leaflets to concentrate on the local issues that are being decided

:25:59.:26:08.

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

:26:08.:26:11.

both parties in government need to take responsibility for the

:26:11.:26:16.

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

:26:16.:26:20.

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

:26:20.:26:23.

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

:26:23.:26:30.

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

:26:30.:26:34.

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

:26:34.:26:44.
:26:44.:26:45.

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

:26:45.:26:50.

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

:26:50.:26:53.

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

:26:53.:27:00.

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

:27:00.:27:05.

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

:27:05.:27:09.

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

:27:09.:27:15.

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

:27:15.:27:20.

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

:27:20.:27:25.

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

:27:25.:27:28.

polls and improving ratings and some opinion polls in terms of

:27:28.:27:33.

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

:27:33.:27:38.

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

:27:38.:27:44.

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

:27:44.:27:48.

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

:27:48.:27:52.

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

:27:52.:27:55.

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

:27:55.:27:58.

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

:27:59.:28:01.

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

:28:01.:28:05.

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

:28:05.:28:08.

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

:28:08.:28:12.

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

:28:12.:28:16.

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

:28:16.:28:19.

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

:28:19.:28:25.

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

:28:25.:28:29.

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

:28:29.:28:32.

campaigning for Ken Livingstone. He was properly selected by Labour

:28:32.:28:37.

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

:28:37.:28:40.

Labour candidate and a right-wing Conservative candidate in Boris

:28:40.:28:43.

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

:28:43.:28:47.

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

:28:47.:28:52.

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

:28:52.:28:56.

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

:28:57.:29:01.

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

:29:01.:29:06.

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

:29:06.:29:10.

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

:29:10.:29:15.

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

:29:15.:29:18.

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

:29:18.:29:22.

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

:29:22.:29:25.

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

:29:25.:29:29.

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

:29:29.:29:32.

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

:29:32.:29:35.

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

:29:36.:29:40.

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

:29:40.:29:50.
:29:50.:29:54.

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

:29:54.:29:59.

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

:29:59.:30:08.

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

:30:08.:30:14.

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

:30:14.:30:24.
:30:24.:30:24.

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

:30:24.:30:29.

politics. The debate between the London mayoral candidates have been

:30:29.:30:35.

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

:30:35.:30:41.

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

:30:41.:30:47.

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

:30:48.:30:54.

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

:30:54.:30:58.

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

:30:58.:31:02.

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

:31:02.:31:08.

candidates and I am very confident Joe Anderson will be elected

:31:08.:31:14.

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

:31:14.:31:18.

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

:31:18.:31:21.

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

:31:21.:31:26.

means either, but this is what it looks like.

:31:26.:31:33.

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

:31:33.:31:38.

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

:31:38.:31:43.

this Parliament and declare the prorogation of Parliament, desired

:31:43.:31:53.
:31:53.:31:53.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 43 seconds

:31:53.:32:37.

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

:32:37.:32:43.

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

:32:43.:32:47.

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

:32:47.:32:51.

has been based on the principles of freedom, fairness and

:32:51.:32:58.

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

:32:58.:33:04.

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

:33:04.:33:10.

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

:33:10.:33:20.
:33:20.:33:22.

prorogued to Wednesday, the 9th day of May.

:33:22.:33:26.

The next episode of Gilbert and Sullivan will be next Wednesday

:33:26.:33:31.

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

:33:31.:33:41.

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

:33:41.:33:46.

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

:33:46.:33:55.

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

:33:55.:34:00.

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

:34:00.:34:10.
:34:10.:34:12.

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

:34:12.:34:19.

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

:34:19.:34:23.

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

:34:23.:34:27.

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

:34:27.:34:34.

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

:34:34.:34:38.

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

:34:39.:34:45.

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

:34:45.:34:51.

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

:34:51.:34:56.

had the hereditary upper house because it would then be a

:34:56.:35:00.

constitutional appendix which has hung around for hundreds of years

:35:00.:35:05.

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

:35:05.:35:09.

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

:35:09.:35:14.

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

:35:14.:35:21.

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

:35:21.:35:26.

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

:35:26.:35:34.

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

:35:34.:35:39.

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

:35:39.:35:45.

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

:35:45.:35:49.

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

:35:49.:35:54.

could get confidence back of international investors so we are

:35:54.:36:02.

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

:36:02.:36:07.

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

:36:07.:36:12.

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

:36:12.:36:16.

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

:36:16.:36:24.

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

:36:24.:36:32.

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

:36:32.:36:37.

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

:36:37.:36:41.

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

:36:41.:36:49.

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

:36:49.:36:54.

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

:36:54.:36:57.

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

:36:57.:37:02.

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

:37:02.:37:10.

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

:37:10.:37:16.

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

:37:16.:37:25.

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

:37:25.:37:30.

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

:37:30.:37:37.

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

:37:37.:37:42.

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

:37:42.:37:46.

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

:37:46.:37:52.

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

:37:52.:37:56.

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

:37:56.:38:00.

Government would close down fantastic schools. I believe some

:38:00.:38:04.

of the good, free schools could have been established under

:38:04.:38:11.

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

:38:11.:38:16.

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

:38:16.:38:21.

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

:38:21.:38:27.

worried free schools open so far have fewer children from poorer

:38:27.:38:31.

backgrounds. There is the woodpecker Academy in Enfield doing

:38:31.:38:41.

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

:38:41.:38:43.

Should airlines or even airline passengers have to pay for passport

:38:44.:38:46.

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

:38:46.:38:49.

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

:38:49.:38:53.

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

:38:53.:38:56.

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

:38:56.:39:00.

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

:39:00.:39:03.

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

:39:03.:39:07.

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

:39:07.:39:11.

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

:39:11.:39:14.

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

:39:14.:39:23.

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

:39:23.:39:29.

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

:39:29.:39:34.

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

:39:34.:39:38.

Turning away tourists and business people the Government are trying to

:39:38.:39:42.

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

:39:42.:39:47.

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

:39:47.:39:54.

Airline boss Willie Walsh speaking yesterday. What a dreadful image

:39:54.:39:58.

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

:39:58.:40:02.

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

:40:02.:40:08.

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

:40:08.:40:16.

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

:40:16.:40:20.

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

:40:20.:40:23.

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

:40:23.:40:28.

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

:40:28.:40:33.

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

:40:33.:40:39.

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

:40:39.:40:44.

naturally suspicious of people coming on holiday, or coming for

:40:44.:40:48.

business or the Olympics. Theresa May wrong to tighten up

:40:48.:40:54.

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

:40:54.:40:59.

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

:40:59.:41:03.

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

:41:03.:41:08.

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

:41:08.:41:12.

Something like the Olympics, Heathrow pretty much operates at

:41:12.:41:16.

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

:41:16.:41:20.

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

:41:20.:41:24.

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

:41:24.:41:31.

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

:41:31.:41:37.

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

:41:37.:41:41.

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

:41:41.:41:46.

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

:41:46.:41:54.

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

:41:54.:41:58.

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

:41:58.:42:04.

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

:42:04.:42:10.

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

:42:10.:42:15.

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

:42:15.:42:20.

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

:42:20.:42:26.

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

:42:26.:42:30.

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

:42:30.:42:35.

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

:42:35.:42:40.

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

:42:40.:42:45.

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

:42:45.:42:48.

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

:42:48.:42:53.

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

:42:53.:42:58.

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

:42:58.:43:05.

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

:43:05.:43:10.

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

:43:10.:43:18.

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

:43:18.:43:25.

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

:43:25.:43:28.

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

:43:28.:43:34.

of chaos being presented by the Government. Dispute the premise

:43:34.:43:40.

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

:43:40.:43:48.

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

:43:48.:43:54.

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

:43:54.:43:57.

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

:43:57.:44:02.

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

:44:02.:44:08.

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

:44:08.:44:13.

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

:44:13.:44:17.

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

:44:17.:44:21.

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

:44:21.:44:24.

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

:44:24.:44:28.

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

:44:28.:44:33.

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

:44:33.:44:41.

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

:44:41.:44:44.

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

:44:44.:44:49.

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

:44:49.:44:54.

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

:44:54.:44:58.

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

:44:58.:45:02.

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

:45:02.:45:08.

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

:45:08.:45:15.

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

:45:15.:45:19.

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

:45:19.:45:23.

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

:45:23.:45:29.

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

:45:29.:45:33.

Will the Government make sure that border control is efficient enough

:45:33.:45:41.

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

:45:41.:45:51.

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

:45:51.:45:54.

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

:45:54.:46:02.

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

:46:02.:46:06.

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

:46:06.:46:12.

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

:46:12.:46:15.

increasing number are switching from daily to weekly editions,

:46:16.:46:21.

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

:46:21.:46:24.

Mensch discovered this was happening to her local paper and

:46:24.:46:29.

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

:46:29.:46:37.

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

:46:37.:46:41.

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

:46:41.:46:44.

where the national press has been dominating the headlines at the

:46:44.:46:48.

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

:46:48.:46:52.

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

:46:52.:46:57.

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

:46:57.:47:01.

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

:47:01.:47:06.

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

:47:06.:47:09.

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

:47:09.:47:14.

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

:47:14.:47:18.

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

:47:18.:47:22.

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

:47:22.:47:26.

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

:47:26.:47:28.

local newspapers, the government needs to look at alternative ways

:47:28.:47:33.

of making it work. Just like footballers looking at community

:47:33.:47:37.

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

:47:37.:47:39.

could be viable for local newspapers. When we consider how

:47:39.:47:42.

many things receive national subsidies that only have a minority

:47:42.:47:46.

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

:47:46.:47:50.

villages deserve some of that government support as well. Local

:47:50.:47:53.

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

:47:53.:47:57.

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

:47:57.:48:00.

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

:48:00.:48:04.

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

:48:04.:48:09.

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

:48:09.:48:11.

subsidies shouldn't be targeted towards something that people

:48:11.:48:18.

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

:48:18.:48:24.

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

:48:24.:48:27.

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

:48:27.:48:31.

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

:48:32.:48:37.

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

:48:37.:48:41.

forms of local media are heavily subsidised. The biggest competitor

:48:41.:48:44.

to local papers are council freesheets, which are funded

:48:44.:48:48.

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

:48:48.:48:52.

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

:48:52.:48:57.

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

:48:57.:49:01.

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

:49:01.:49:09.

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

:49:09.:49:14.

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

:49:14.:49:18.

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

:49:19.:49:22.

withhold your vote because you deliberately deliver a freesheet.

:49:22.:49:26.

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

:49:26.:49:30.

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

:49:30.:49:34.

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

:49:34.:49:38.

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

:49:38.:49:41.

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

:49:42.:49:46.

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

:49:46.:49:50.

have a reality check. Local newspapers are not declining

:49:50.:49:54.

because some councils have propaganda freesheets. Yes, they

:49:54.:50:01.

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

:50:01.:50:05.

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

:50:05.:50:11.

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

:50:11.:50:15.

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

:50:15.:50:25.
:50:25.:50:26.

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

:50:26.:50:30.

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

:50:30.:50:34.

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

:50:34.:50:40.

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

:50:40.:50:44.

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

:50:44.:50:48.

scrutiny of the council. A chilly as the minister for

:50:48.:50:51.

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

:50:51.:50:57.

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

:50:57.:51:00.

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

:51:00.:51:08.

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

:51:08.:51:11.

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

:51:11.:51:16.

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

:51:16.:51:19.

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

:51:20.:51:23.

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

:51:23.:51:28.

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

:51:28.:51:33.

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

:51:33.:51:38.

a question of not using power and abusing power to actually

:51:38.:51:41.

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

:51:41.:51:46.

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

:51:46.:51:49.

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

:51:49.:51:53.

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

:51:53.:51:57.

think government should be intervening legally. I think Louise

:51:57.:52:01.

has raised some important points today. Local papers are important

:52:01.:52:04.

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

:52:04.:52:07.

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

:52:07.:52:10.

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

:52:10.:52:14.

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

:52:14.:52:19.

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

:52:19.:52:24.

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

:52:24.:52:28.

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

:52:28.:52:32.

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

:52:32.:52:37.

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

:52:37.:52:42.

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

:52:42.:52:45.

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

:52:46.:52:53.

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

:52:53.:52:58.

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

:52:58.:53:01.

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

:53:01.:53:05.

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

:53:05.:53:09.

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

:53:09.:53:14.

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

:53:14.:53:19.

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

:53:19.:53:24.

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

:53:24.:53:27.

investigations you are talking about into local councils, that is

:53:27.:53:31.

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

:53:31.:53:34.

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

:53:34.:53:40.

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

:53:40.:53:44.

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

:53:44.:53:47.

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

:53:47.:53:54.

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

:53:54.:53:59.

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

:53:59.:54:06.

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

:54:06.:54:16.
:54:16.:54:22.

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

:54:22.:54:29.

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

:54:29.:54:31.

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

:54:31.:54:37.

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

:54:37.:54:41.

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

:54:41.:54:45.

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

:54:45.:54:49.

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

:54:49.:54:52.

admitted that he got himself confused. The amendments were

:54:52.:54:56.

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

:54:56.:55:00.

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

:55:00.:55:10.

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

:55:10.:55:13.

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

:55:13.:55:16.

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

:55:16.:55:20.

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

:55:20.:55:25.

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

:55:25.:55:28.

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

:55:28.:55:33.

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

:55:33.:55:37.

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

:55:37.:55:41.

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

:55:41.:55:45.

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

:55:45.:55:49.

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

:55:49.:55:52.

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

:55:52.:55:57.

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

:55:57.:56:02.

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

:56:02.:56:06.

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

:56:06.:56:13.

before Easter and not discussed until Monday. Thank you but

:56:13.:56:17.

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

:56:17.:56:21.

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

:56:21.:56:24.

bravely agree with anything, absolutely anything his or her

:56:24.:56:27.

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

:56:27.:56:30.

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

:56:30.:56:34.

accepted. I'm not sure about that!

:56:34.:56:39.

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

:56:39.:56:43.

the Australian Minister being interviewed him on Sky News

:56:43.:56:48.

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

:56:48.:56:52.

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

:56:52.:56:56.

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

:56:56.:57:02.

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

:57:02.:57:07.

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

:57:07.:57:11.

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

:57:11.:57:15.

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

:57:15.:57:23.

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

:57:23.:57:27.

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

:57:27.:57:31.

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

:57:31.:57:34.

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

:57:34.:57:38.

have yet to be established and their support for our Prime

:57:38.:57:42.

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

:57:42.:57:48.

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

:57:48.:57:51.

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

:57:51.:57:58.

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

:57:58.:58:03.

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

:58:03.:58:11.

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

:58:11.:58:16.

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

:58:16.:58:21.

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

:58:21.:58:26.

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

:58:26.:58:36.
:58:36.:58:39.

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

:58:39.:58:44.

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