16/05/2012 Daily Politics


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Morning folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. On the show today...


Torrential rain, lightning and even snow - Europe's economies are being


blown off course. So how will Britain navigate the storm? Managed


to get info on the plans for tomorrow, although absolutely


illegal. David Cameron predicted it would be the next big scandal


waiting to happen. Now it's happening, so will the government


regulate the lobbying industry? had a mini re-shuffle of his pack


yesterday. Today, geared up by positive polls, Ed Miliband faces


the Prime Minister in PMQs. We'll bring it to you live. Ban the


packed lunch and provide free school meals for all children. Kick


boxer, reality TV star and political hopeful Alex Reid gives


us his prescription for improving children's health. All that to come


before 1pm. And with us for the duration two politicians with a


future so bright, I might need to send for my shades. Who wrote this?


A except there is no sun! Cabinet Office minister Mark Harper, and


shadow secretary of state for Scotland Margaret Curran. Welcome


to you both. Now, Theresa May has been addressing the Police


Federation annual conference in sunny Bournemouth. It's a rite of


passage for most Home Secretaries, but when you're pushing through 20%


budget cuts and some of the most radical reforms for decades to


forces in England and Wales, it's perhaps no wonder that relations


between government and the police are so frosty. We are waiting to


hear from Theresa May, she is just about to get on her feet at that


conference. The chairman of the Police Federation was on the show


earlier, we expect that is still him speaking there, in fact, he has


been speaking so long, we cannot It is a bit of a rite of passage


for any home secretary when you appear in front of the Police


Federation, but when you are carrying 20% of the budget you can


expect a bit of a mauling I suspect. Why is a Conservative-led


government being criticised for being "on the precipice of


destroying the police service"? are having to make tough decisions


about the funding going into the police and 80% of spending on the


police is on pay, so clearly we have to take tough decisions on pay,


but two you pay freeze along with the public sector and tough


decisions on pensions. But police officers after this will still end


up well-paid, with some of the best pensions in the public sector and


the Windsor reforms do not take money out of the service, they are


about making sure hard-working officers get paid for the jobs and


skills they have. Is it really your contention that 20% could be cut


from the police budget without any deterioration in front line


services? HMIC said you could take out at least 12% without any change


in front line services. They did not say at least. So of the extra


savings we are making on paid do not affect frontline services but


also we want policing to be more flexible. As a government we have


produced some of the red tape and bureaucracy so you can have a


larger percentage of officers on the front line rather than in the


back office. I understand that, you are attempting to make it more


efficient. But my question was are you saying that by doing that, by


going for efficiency as well as a 20% cut you can really do a 20% cut,


cut the number of police officers and leave the front line untouched?


It is the budget being cut, not the number of police officers. We think


you can still deliver a very good for online services, still keep


driving crime down. We have not had a big fall in numbers for --


numbers. It is still falling. You leave it up to individual


authorities and Constable's to make the individual decisions based on


local circumstances but we are confident they can continue to do


that. Does Labour support police opposition to changes in pay and


conditions? Their position has been there is always a case for reform


in any service at any time, that is the nature of government and public


services so what did not take opposition to anything. But we are


saying the government has got it wrong. Who would have thought a


Tory lead government would have such a severe relationship with the


police, were you have 30,000 police officers demonstrating last week?


That is unheard of. I understand that. You would have any cut by 12%,


you say? That is in line with the report but do you support major


changes in the pay and conditions of the police service? I think


changes in pay and conditions must be properly negotiated with the


police and you have to have the conscience of the service with you


and the government's approach has been wrong. That is the kind of


thing he said. Let me be specific... Should there be an end to automatic


retirement after 30 years? You would have to talk to the police


force about that? What is your view? You would not talk to them


about a Anne Lesley daughter should be done. Not at the moment I do not


think it should end. Have some of the payments being too generous?


Not necessarily. It would not be proper for a government or shadow


minister to say they would select... Hang on, let me make my argument.


The nature of negotiations between public service officers and


government is when you look at a package of change and when the


confident of that change. I would negotiate what to change with the


service. What would you change? would not pick one thing out.


you would not change? In terms of the public services, funding for


them, the 12% cut, which most of us would want to go through...


understand that but you cannot say one thing you would change. I would


have a better relationship with the police and negotiate with them.


Labour has supported our changes. When we put these to the Police


negotiating Board we accepted the tribunal's judgment and Yvette


Cooper made it clear she supported it, and wrote to Paul Likido and


said it was a difficult decision but Labour supported it. They


accept our savings and the changes we are making. We say there is a


case also Evans, told the scent is a more viable Cup but could be made,


you can detect fun run services and you would not make police officers'


pay for your cups. There was a big fall in crime when Labour was in


power and ran the police service. Well, at least the sun's out in


Westminster today. His is still out? It is. Apologies if it's still


raining where you are. There's little else to be cheerful about.


The governor of the Bank of England has just downgraded growth again


and revised upwards his forecast on inflation again. The Treasury's


blaming our problems on the eurozone of course, they've let


their frustration be known this morning urging Brussels to make a


decision either way on Greece and do something to make Europe more


competitive. Here's Jo. Welcome to this special Olympic race for


growth. And as the starting gun for 2012 is fired, the UK host has got


off to a bad start. Our 0.2% backward step in the first quarter


contrasted with 0% growth figures for the eurozone published


yesterday. But the stronger German performance of 0.5% is credited


with preventing the eurozone from slipping back into recession. The


UK trainer, Mervyn King, this morning revised the Uk's chances


down from a 1.2% growth forecast for 2012 to 0.8%. -- UK's. Growth


is expected to zig zag throughout 2012 due to events such the Queen's


Diamond Jubilee with an additional bank holiday. And we found out


today the rate of inflation is expected to remain above the 2%


target "for the next year or so". There is one piece of encouraging


news for Team UK - unemployment has fallen by 45,000 between January


and March to 2.63 million. The detrimental impact that the


eurozone crisis could have on a worsening economy is shown by trade


figures yesterday that show Britain still sends half its exports to the


eurozone and only after 3% to fast growing China. Andrew, William


Hague is come around the corner. Look busy! We're joined now by


Allister Heath, the Editor of City AM. The Governor has had to revise


upwards its inflation forecast, it is not falling as fast as he said


it would. The significance of that, I would suggest to you, is that it


means the squeeze on real living standards still continues and that


is the major reason why the economy is not growing, people are not


spending. I think that was one of the most important figures to come


out today, this gulf between inflation and pay rises. Pay rises


are virtually nothing when Pate -- bonuses are included. The country


is going through a national pay cut, this has been going on for a couple


of years, people are becoming poorer. Savings are going down in


real terms, so a house prices and so on. -- prices. In a way there is


nothing anybody can do about that because wages are high compared to


the size of the economy. But the government could have been doing


more on inflation, they could have done something about inflation but


unfortunately it has beaten the target of the court. It follows


from this inflation upgrade and the effect of the squeeze on spending


it has that he has then downgraded his growth forecast as well?


course. There is a drag on spending from this inflation. People's in


comes are falling by 2% every year, much more than the real terms


public spending cuts. Public spending is falling by about 1% a


year, but wages are falling about two at the cent a year, as our


savings, so that is the drag. The eurozone plays a role and other


factors, but let's not forget that according to official figures the


eurozone did better than the UK in the second quarter. Because of


Germany? Yes, in other words, you could say the UK is dragging down


the eurozone. I would not go that far but Germany is a powerhouse and


everyone else is in crisis. Did I hear right this morning when he


said the economy might not recover to its 2007, 2008 level for --


until 2018? That is plausible now because the economy is still about


3% smaller, it is shrinking again, we are stuck here, much poorer than


they were a few years ago and we have wasted several years of


progress. How does it feel to preside over a lost decade? One of


the problems was that the peak of economic output that happen under


Labour was at the scent, the largest fall from peak to trough in


the developed world and we are still recovering from that. We


never told anybody it would be fast, dealing with the deficit is a


necessary condition of growth. Excuse me, you did tell people, in


20th June 10 in the Chancellor's first Budget you told us about the


sum of 2012, -- by the sum of 20 told that economy would have grown


We did not say we would recover from the deficit and debt problems


we have. You just told this programme but nobody told us the


economy was going to grow fast but your first set of projections of


the government was that it would recover. We never said we would


recover from the big drop quickly. Since then the problems in the


eurozone have happened. One of the things the Governor said this


morning was that the problems in the eurozone was the single biggest


risk to economic growth in this country, which backs up some of the


things you were saying the Treasury were telling you this morning, it


is a big risk because we export 50% about put to the eurozone.


output. You never told us at any stage that by the time you come up


for re-election that the economy will still be smaller than it was


in 2007. I challenge you to give me any time you told us that.


economy is not going as well as hoped, we have set out the reasons


why. This was always going to be difficult to recover from a big


drop in output and inheriting the worst deficit we have had in


peacetime. More difficult when you thought, right? Absolutely.


Business will have to help us, we saw good output of cars yesterday,


for example, we have a surplus on that since 1976. Exports of cars


grew 20% so There is a sign of our manufacturing business is


If he if more debt was the solution, this would be a tiger economy and


yet Labour's proposals is more debt. In fact, we have more debt because


of the plans... First of all the Government said categorically we


are out of the danger zone when clearly we were not. The it was


pre-emptive, to put it mildly. Their actions are making the


economy worse, it's not just that they are engulfed by forces beyond


their control. It is their lack of intervention. How would more debt


help us? It's a balance, you've got to get it right. They are cutting


too far and too fast. How much do you think they are cut so far?


of the police force for example. How much have they cut so far?


Across the whole economy? Yes. Overall spending. 10% of something


like that? 1%. So, if you don't know the answer to my question, how


can you say they are cutting too far and too fast when you don't


know how much they have cut? you can't do at policy by policy.


The macro economic impact is the overall total. You didn't know how


much they had cut, so how can you say they are doing it too fast?


out, all of that is unemployment is No, it's going down. Overall


unemployment is falling. When unemployment was falling, it's now


long-term unemployment increasing. It's a different matter. Part-time


jobs have increased. And it is the whole economic impact they are


having because they are not getting the balance in the economy by two.


Let me come to the eurozone. I think we are being agreed, it's the


biggest threat to the UK economy at the moment. You follow these things


more closely. There was a real mood shift in the European elite over


the weekend and in the German newspapers and magazines close to


the Government. And what is happening now is they are preparing


to let Chris go now. It's looking likely, yes. -- Greece. It looks


like there will be a new set of elections which was confirmed


yesterday and the anti- austerity parties are in the lead, so it


increasingly looking likely that in a few weeks' time we have an anti-


austerity government in Greece thumbing its nose is that the


Germans and the EU and saying, you were too scared to let us go from


there eurozone, so give us some money and let us go away. You can't


accept that if you are a bank. It's looking likely they will go and


people have started to plan for that. I was alarmed when I spoke to


sources in Berlin who said one of the reasons they moved to this view


of they thought there was a big enough firewall in place to stop


contagion. Greece was 2% of the EU GDP, and they had a firewall in


place. Now, when I last looked, there wasn't one in place. That is


utterly implausible. It is a concocted mechanism with very


little cash in it and a lot of public-relations spinner. I'm


worried everybody will start to look if Greece goes for the other


countries could leave and that could be the solution and therefore


there will be a domino effect but in the short term I think they


could leave earlier than we think. We haven't got much time and if you


can't answer it, I would argue just say, but would it be better now if


Greece left the road? I don't think it sensible for me to speculate.


You don't want to speculate? I do don't think so. We shouldn't blame


the ordinary Greek people. It's a problem of the lead rather than the


people. I don't think it would be good for Greece to go. I think it's


better if we see this as a European problem and solution and we


shouldn't be the powerhouse economies. We have to be concerned


about all the people of Europe, not just those doing well. It will be


on the agenda for quite some time. Before the last election David


Cameron said that lobbying was the "next big scandal waiting to


happen". That followed an expose of former Labour ministers saying they


could influence government decisions. The Coalition Agreement


included a promise to introduce a statutory register of lobbyists but


there was nothing in last week's Queen's Speech. In recent months,


though, there's been no shortage of new revelations, including details


of links between News International's chief lobbyist,


Frederic Michel, and the office of Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.


Here's a reminder of what Mr Michel reported to his boss James Murdoch.


Managed to get some information on the plans for tomorrow. Although,


absolutely illegal. What do you make of that? I thought was a joke.


The! Makes it a joke. Is it? It was completely unethical, wasn't it?


And not so sure. I'm really not familiar with the ins and outs of


Westminster protocol. I know the rules around lobbying and those


bits and pieces are of some debate. James Murdoch. Debate, we will come


on to that a moment. But yesterday, Lord Leveson annouced that Frederic


Michel and Jeremy Hunt's former special adviser Adam Smith will


give evidence to the inquiry later this month. Let's get back to the


issue of lobbying. Last year, you promised there would be legislation


in the second session of this Parliament on the register but it


wasn't in the Queen's Speech, was it? We did a consultation from


January through to April, it closed a couple of weeks ago, and we said


we will take the results of that, produce a white paper and a draft


Bill which will be put out for pre- legislative screening. We're not


going slow on this. I think everybody assumed because it was


such a key issue, particularly raised by David Cameron, it would


be in the Queen's Speech. No, we want to get this right. I did a


number of meetings with both the industry, pro transparency groups,


and a lot of people didn't like what was in our initial proposals,


so running off and doing this in a hurry, coming up with something


badly drafted people don't think a sensible and will solve the problem,


is not sensible. What people will want us to do is to listen to the


consultation, draw up some sensible well thought-through ideas, make


sure they will solve the problem and then introduce legislation and


get it done. What is so complicated? If you want to


introduce a statutory register of lobbyists, what is so difficult


about that? The scope of such a register, one of the debate is, do


you just include lobbying companies, those who lobby for third parties


for money question up if you don't include in house people, people


like Frederic Michel would be included. Do you include trade


unions? If you do that, how do you stop legitimate lobbying which is


help for, and making sure its transparent. If you don't think it


through, we will have lots of unforeseen consequences and then we


will be back in a year or two and you will say to me, why didn't you


think it through properly and get it right? Can you see why people


are looking at the sceptically? David Cameron said there was an


issue which exposes the far too cosy a relationship between


business, government and money, a scandal we have got to do something


about. And now, you are saying lobbying is a very legitimate


practice will that do we really need any legislation on this? If


people are transparent, elected officials right down and report the


meetings they have, do we need to register? Well, we've said


ministers are transparent with who we meet and we need a cab to people


who lobby for third parties, where it's not clear who they are


lobbying for. Lots of people, the industry, from the charitable


sector, think it needs to go much further, so this clearly


controversy. There's no point rushing on to do something. Our


initial proposals, we could have a narrower, just excluding enhanced


lobbyists. If ministers meet people from in-house lobbyists for its


other, we say who we are meeting with, published information so that


transparent but people responded to the consultation in meetings are


held and don't agree with us. Clearly this and controversy.


you confident that special advisers for government ministers know what


the rules are? Well, I would hope so. I think if they didn't, the


events of the last few weeks and what happened to Jeremy Hunt's


special adviser will make them run off... Mark, but mention trade


unionists for the do you think you should be broader and should


include trade unions bearing a man they have so much in evidence in


the Labour Party? I do think the problem with this is the Government


is hiding behind events because it's not just the Jeremy Hunt and


Leverson Inquiry, but Adam Verity, and Liam Fox. I do think all


politicians have to be not just a party thing, but can see questions


and who are these people, who are the special advisers? Labour had


plenty of time to do something about this, too. It does look like


after the MP's expenses, David Cameron properly said this could be


the new wave of accountability and transparency that we need. And I


think the Government are trapped by these events rather than guiding


them. No, I think it's important to get it right. Obviously. The does


it just applied to the Government, for example. Should have applied to


just ministers or appears or ministers? If we get it wrong, I'll


be back on his programme in a year's time... You will be saying


why did you get it right? Why didn't you listen to people?


long as we are not seen to be dragging our feet. Now if you were


watching yesterday you will have seen the Transport Secretary


extolling the virtues of mode shifting. That's civil service


speak for walking to work rather than taking the train or car. Where


do they get this language from? We've had literally several


requests for more of the same from viewers. Well, you're in luck.


There's an absolute treasure trove of public information films from


the Department for Transport available at the click of a mouse.


And to save you even that bother, here's the Transport Minister


Norman Baker. Hello. Thank you for asking me along to a conference


today. It will be good to meet you all in person. My virtual


appearance arise be to demonstrate that if the mode of transport. We


also have a further option, alternatives to travel. I wonder


what they are? Great production values. I think we produce it,


didn't we? Joke! And Mr Baker's always happy to send you one of


these recorded messages for your conference, wedding or Bar Mitzvah.


Whatever you want, he will send one and you can show it to your friends.


Alternatively, pay attention for the next couple of minutes and


we'll send you something much more valuable. We'll remind you how to


enter in a minute. But let's see if # God only knows what I'd be


And # And no, don't bring me down, I beg of you, darling.


# Baby, everything is all right. It was in this quiet street, almost


identical houses, whoever helped him to escape last Saturday, dumped


# Wild Thing, you make everything Wild Thing! Thank you. That's the


best introduction you have given me for a while. I am a blushing. We'll


remind you how to enter in a minute. To be in with a chance of winning a


Daily Politics mug, send your answer to our special quiz email


address. And you can see the full terms and conditions for Guess The


Year on our website. It's coming up to midday here. Just take a look at


Big Ben and that can mean only one thing. Yes, Prime Minister's


Questions is on its way. There hasn't been one since the end of


April. Speaking of Wild Things, here is Nick Robinson. Economy,


economy, economy, stupid. Yes, a battle about two arguments. Ed


Miliband will want to say Britain is in recession when the eurozone


is not, Britain's economic problems are created in Downing Street and


not in Europe. David Cameron will say, held on a second, at the


unemployment figures. Much better than Europe, comparable with


America. It's an argument they have to have. The Prime Minister as a


big speech on the economy tomorrow because it will define it not just


the next few months, but the battle at the next election as well.


getting tougher for the coalition. There's no good economic news


around apart from the unemployment. No, particularly because the cut in


real wages. Even unemployment is a statistic. You either like it or


fear it. What is not a statistic for real people is when you say, I


have got less money than I had a year ago and bills are going up and


that sense of wage cuts is a phenomenon which is incredibly hard


for a government to get up from underneath. A Stormer looming


across the channel which, despite the Treasury review this morning,


will be of no control. The only thing which helps the Government


politically is the governor -- Governor of the Bank of England


clearly blames the return for that. He said was the same problem we've


had for the last 2.5 years and Europe had to make his mind up.


Interestingly, he said it was not about whether they were in or out


of the euro but said it was about imbalances, basically the wealthier


countries had to take up some of the slack from the poorer countries.


It had to be dealt with rather than having an argument about Greece's


future. Let's go straight over to I am sure the house will join me in


paying tribute to the servicemen killed on Saturday. Corporal Brent


McCarthy and Lance Corporal Lee Davies from first Battalion Welsh


Guards. Our condolences are with their families and loved ones. They


were courageous and highly respected men who were engaged in


the important work of training and mentoring the Afghan police. Their


service to our nation must never be forgotten. This morning I had


meetings with people and I will have further such meetings later


today. They associate myself for the Prime Minister's correct


tribute to Al-Faw and servicemen? It is the right thing to do. Can I


also welcome the fall in unemployment we have seen today and


perhaps more importantly, the rise in employment. Can the Prime


Minister assure me he will continue to invest in the apprenticeships,


the work programmes and the other schemes that get my constituents


and all constituents back to work? I find my honourable friend for


what he says about the scheme's we are putting forward. It is welcome


that we have had the largest rise in employment for over one year.


The number of people at work since the last election is up by 300 and


some 2000 and private sector jobs are now up by over 600,000. We are


not remotely complacent about this because although there is good news


about youth unemployment and the claimant count coming down, there


are still too many people in part- time work he won full-time work and


we still have the challenge of tackling long-term unemployment.


We're not complacent, whereas the flexible new deal took four years


to put in place the work programme has been put in place in 12 months


and is targeted at helping be difficult to help and long-term


unemployed who we want to help back Can I join the Prime Minister in


paying tribute to Corporal Brent McCarthy from the Royal Air Force,


Lance Corporal Lee Davies from first Battalion Welsh Guards? They


both showed the utmost bravery and courage and our thoughts are with


their family and friends. We need to make sure the welcome reduction


in unemployment today is sustained by economic growth. Can the Prime


Minister tell us what discussions he has had about a great plan for


Europe with the new President of France? -- Growth Plan. Many


welcome the fact that on this occasion he has welcomed the fall


in unemployment. It is not just that unemployment has come down, so


has the claimant count and it is worth saying that the number of


people on out-of-work benefits has fallen by 70,000 since the election


but there are still challenges, we must go on investing in


apprenticeships and in the work programme. I had a brief discussion


of the President of France after his victory. I look forward to


having a longer bilateral with him before the G8 starts this weekend,


and specifically to discussing what more we can do to help in terms of


European growth. Together with the Italian Prime Minister and other


prime ministers we have put forward steps that can help the European


economy to move, let's complete the energy single market, the digital


single market, the services single market, these things could


seriously at to growth in Europe. That is what we should be focused


on and I look forward to discussing that and more with the French


President. It is a shame he did not sue the French President three


months ago when he was in the UK. - I am sure a text message and Ella


well go down well! -- LOL will. This government needs a proper


growth plan, which -- plan, as does the UK. Does he really agree with


the Foreign Secretary that the problems of our economy is that


British business is not working hard enough? I have to admit


perhaps I have been over using my mobile phone but at least I know


how to use one rather than just throwing it at the people who work


There will be common ground between the British view of what needs to


happen in Europe and the French view, I note that the French


President, when asked how he would stimulate growth, he said the means


cannot be extra public spending since we want to rein it in. So it


is interesting that the French President does not back the Labour


view that the way out of a debt crisis is to borrow more, spend


more and add to your debts. I think in Britain we need to have the low


interest rates that we do, because when this government came to power


we have the same interest rates as Spain, today, ours are below 2%,


where Spanish rates are over 6%. To the Shadow Chancellor, who was


saying from a sedentary position that this was delusional, let me


remind him what he said... The simplest measure of monetary and


fiscal policy credibility is long- term low interest rates. Those were


his words. That is what Britain has and what we must not lose.


totally failed to answer the question about the Foreign


Secretary who is saying the problem in our economy is that British


businesses not somehow working hard enough. I notice he is now trying


to claim the President of France is There is one group of people that


we know are losing their jobs, the police. 30,000 of them marched on


the streets last week. Can the Prime Minister tell us how many


frontline police officers have been lost since he came to power?


not surprised he wants to rush of the economy after the first few


questions. Let me remind him what the government is doing to boost


the economy... We cut corporation tax, boosted enterprise zones,


investing in building an infrastructure, but because we have


a plan to deal with the deficit we have the lowest interest rates


where as he would give us the highest interest rates. -- whereas.


A majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary have found police


forces are planning to increase the proportion of police officers and


staff working on the front line. So they are taking people out of the


back office and putting them on the front line. Let me say this to the


honourable gentleman... Both parties are committed to making


cuts in police budget. He is committed to a billion pounds of


cuts, but the point is this, we are reforming allowances, cutting


paperwork, freezing pay, reforming pensions. He would not do any of


those things, so his cuts will be deeper because he does not have the


courage to do the right thing. the economy, we are in double dip


recession, a recession made in Downing Street, made by the two of


them. That is the reality. On policing, everybody will have


noticed his answer. He is sucking so many police officers from the


back of this, but what is happening to the number of frontline police


officers? 5,000 fewer frontline officers, fewer 999 responders,


fewer neighbourhood police, fewer traffic police. What was his sales


pitch? They were elected for the promise of more police officers! No


wonder they are losing the elections. What was a sale pitch


just before the election? -- his. Any Cabinet minister who says to me


here on my plans, they involve far my reductions, will be sent


straight back to their department to go away and think again. Is it


any wonder the police are furious with his broken promise? Oh dear,


he is having a bad day. Whoever was standing here right now would have


to cut police budgets, they accept that, we accept that. But if you


don't have the courage to deal with allowances, paperwork, pay, you


I'm extremely calm! This is what his own police spokesman said, he


was asked the question aren't you accepting the need for a freeze on


police pay? That is what Yvette Cooper has said recently. No it. So


they don't accept a freeze on pay, the pension reform, they would not


do the paperwork cuts, they would be cutting the police more deeply.


That is that the slick -- their position. No policy ideas. I know


he will have extensive training before he goes before Leveson. I


have got a suggestion... I think it should include anger management. It


would be good for him. It is not just policing when he broke


promises, we all remember the promises three years ago to the


nurses. He told the conference there will be no top down


reorganisation. He did not go back to the Royal College of Nursing


conference this year, I noticed. Can the Prime Minister tell us how


many fewer nurses there are some see came to power? The number of


clinical staff in the NHS has gone up. The reason for that is because


this government has put more money into the NHS every year! What is


his commitment? His commitment is that spending on my chest is


irresponsible. -- the NHS. What is happening in the NHS is the lowest


number of people waiting for 18 weeks in our NHS, that is because


we have more doctors, more clinical staff and fewer people who what


Eurocrats working in the NHS. Hill of bureaucrats. Back to the


bunker with that I'm afraid. There are fewer nurses now. They could


not even get the figures right on the radio, they could not tell us


how many nurses. All because he has diverted billions from patient care


to it top-down reorganisation that nobody voted for and nobody wanted.


I know he does not like being reminded of his words but that is


because he broke his promise. That is the problem with this government,


they cut taxes for millionaires and cut services for the rest of us. I


know they don't like hearing about it but what did the honourable


member for Cleethorpes say, we cannot convince voters we are on


their side when we give top earners a tax-cut, leaving Mr and Mrs


Average reeling. That is the truth of this government. They are unfair,


out of touch and they stand up for the wrong people. This government


has delivered a tax cut for every single working person in the


country. We froze the Council Tax we're every household. We have


taken 2 million people out of tax in our country. But what is the big


decision? -- at that the lead at it this week? He did the person who


said they had to be serious about the deficit, about welfare reform,


the person who told us they had run out of money and they replaced him


with a policy chief who thinks Labour's problem is they are not


close enough to the trade unions. That is his big decision. I often


wonder whether his problem is whether he is weak, or left wing,


Perhaps we can now make some progress with short questions and


Does my right honourable friend supposed that the Chancellor Merkel


now regrets that she did not take the advice which he gave her last


October about the big bazooka? If she had fired at them, it would


have spared the European Union from its present crisis. I can't quite


give a direct answer to that. What I would say is the eurozone has to


make a choice. If it wants to continue as it is, then it has got


to build a proper firewall, it has got to take steps to Secure the


weakest members of the eurozone, or it's going to work out it has to go


in a different direction. It either has to make up or looking at a


potential break-up. It's a choice they have to make and they can't


put it off. Mr Speaker, if Andy Coulson was not vetted, why did he


attend secret briefings and what documents did he see? Isn't this a


mess? I know the honourable lady is desperate to find a smoking gun but


I absolutely tell her this is absolutely not it. We took a view


on coming to office that, in the past... Order, order. The question


has been put and the answer must be heard. We took a view they had been


too many people who had been cleared at the highest level and it


led to some of the problems in terms of Alastair Campbell.


Actually, when it came to it, Andy Coulson was in the prices are being


development vetted, so there is absolutely no mystery about this at


all and I would ask it to go and look somewhere else. Britain has


just posted its first quarterly trade surplus in cars since the


1975 nationalisation of British Leyland by one of the last Labour


governments before last. Will the Prime Minister welcomed the news


that Britain has not only cut its deficit, by 25% over the last two


years, but is, once again, a huge car exporter? My honourable friend


makes an extremely good point and the party opposite do not want to


hear the good news. He's absolutely right that, while we're taking


difficult decisions, the deficit has now been reduced by one quarter,


so we are on our way to balancing the budget and dealing with our


problems but on the issue of motor- car manufacture, it is encouraging,


the first time since 1976 we have a surplus in car manufacturing. It's


because of the Hardwick people have put in at the various companies --


hard work. It extremely good news that it's taken this long to get


back to a surplus in car manufacturing and Britain is a real


home for manufacturing. Two years ago during the general election,


your press reported not to bring in VAT increases. Has the Prime


Minister considered if he were to honour that pledge, and reverse the


VAT increase, it would put money in people's pockets, stimulate the


economy, and get Britain out of a double-dip recession made in


Downing Street? The reason we had to put up VAT is we were left to


the biggest budget deficit anywhere in Europe, bigger than Spain,


Greece, Portugal. The complete mess left by the party opposite, we now


know from reading a former Chancellor's memoirs, he was going


to put up VAT, too. Mr Speaker, you may be aware this is adult learning


week and Gosport's inspirational read and grow charity has received


a lottery funding. Can I invite the Prime Minister and the education


team to visit to see for themselves how this could be rolled out to run


the rest of the country to benefit people? I think she's absolutely


right to raise this issue. It's a tragedy there are too many adults


in our country who don't have proper reading skills. It's vital


we put that right through initiatives like the one she


recommends in terms of adult learning week, but we have got to


do better in our schools in the first place to make sure no one is


that behind. You can teach reading so no child gets left behind


through the phonic scheme the Secretary of State is leading. And


we must make sure it's available for every child in every school.


The police service in Northern Ireland has revealed that between


1960 and 2005 it kept body parts and tissue samples of 64 cases of


suspicious deaths without notifying families concerned, many in my


constituency and other police forces in England have done the


same. The whole House will sympathise with the families


concerned and obviously the shock which has been felt throughout


Northern Ireland today. Will the Prime Minister demand a speedy


answer as to what happened in these cases so that families can no was


quickly as possible? Does he want an independent review to explain


exactly how this practice went on for so long right across the UK?


thank him for his question. I speak for everyone in the House to


express sympathy for the families who found out this terrible news


about their loved ones. It must be a time if you'd anguish for them. I


am extremely sorry this report has been leaked because was going to be


announced properly on Monday when they could be a proper statement at


explanation about what has gone on. I'm sure the Secretary of State for


Northern Ireland will listen carefully to the inquiry but first


of all let's publish the information on Monday so everyone


can see what went wrong and why this happened. Growing up in a


council house, I remember how proud people in my timidity were to be


the first in their families to own their own home. That people in my


I think my honourable friend makes an important point. The right to


buy your council house was a hugely important social and economic


change which gave people a stake in their society, the community, and


led to a huge improvement in many housing estates up and down the


country. It's very sad that, under the last government, discounts were


allowed to go away. We are going to increase the discount rate away to


�75,000, which, in some cases, will quadruple the available discount


for for years of Labour neglect. Hopefully we can get council


In recent weeks, we have had Britain back into recession, a


botched Budget, crazy advice from the Cabinet Office to stop our


petrol at home, -- stock. Which of these dizzy think has caused the


collapse of his reputation for competence -- does he think? Today,


unemployment is falling, more people are in work, yes, we had a


difficult economic situation, but he listens to the Governor of the


Bank of England this morning, and he would have heard we are coming


up with a textbook response to what needs to be done to clear up the


mess made by people like him. Businesses and homeowners in my


constituency of my Derbyshire are having a tough time at the moment.


It would be worse if it wasn't for consistently low interest rates.


Under Labour, they were the same as Spain are full of this week we are


at a record low under 2%. Spain's are at 6%. Will the Prime Minister


assure the people of my Derbyshire he will do nothing to put the


situation into jeopardy? She makes a very important point which is


that for every increase in interest rate of 1%, it will add �1,000 to


the typical family mortgage. British interest rates are below 2%


because the world has confidence that, in spite of our economic


difficulties, we have a plan to deal with a deficit. You can see


from that and around Europe what happens if you don't have a plan,


interest rates go up and is bad for business, homeowners, the economy,


and that's what we would get if we listen to the party opposite.


agencies led down their children involved in the Rochdale sex-abuse


cases. The whole house must agree that children need a safe place to


live. In that context, given the wide scope concerns about the


private children's homes operating in this area, will the Prime


Minister look at having an inquiry into whether they are properly


funded and have properly trained staff? Will he make sure they work


effectively? It I'm glad he bases this issue for that a truly


shocking case for the we need to look carefully at what went wrong.


I've asked my friend the Secretary of State for Education, to do this,


and he has asked the Children's Commissioner to do a piece of work


on it. We need to look at why information was not passed more


rapidly from children's homes to please, what action was not taken


more rapidly and I think there are issues about inspections, and why


action was not taken and I think it's very important we get to the


bottom of a truly dreadful case. Huddersfield Town at fans are


celebrating today having won a place in the League One play-off


final at Wembley. But also, winning in my constituency are local


manufacturing businesses who are winning new orders, creating new


jobs and apprenticeships. Will the Prime Minister agree with me that


the record number of apprenticeships in the UK is a


clear sign that this government is committed to getting Britain


working? I'm grateful to my honourable friend. I wish


Huddersfield Town or the best although that might be a prime


ministerial curse. On apprenticeships, we achieved


457,000 starts last year and are hoping to achieve another similar


figure this year. The budget has been increased. They should deliver


250,000 more apprenticeships across Parliament than where planned by


the party opposite. There is a lot more to do to make sure these are


high quality apprenticeships and we are targeting young people who need


help most. My honourable friend, a member for Manchester Central, made


reference to the case and situation in Rochdale. I want to speak about


the girls in that case, who went to hell and back in terms of what they


experienced and a tribute to their bravery in coming forward and


standing up to their abusers. They did it to get justice and to stop


it happening to others. Of Honourable girls like this are


don't usually get heard by politicians. -- a vulnerable. They


don't get access to influence. How will the Government responded to


these terrible crimes and will the Prime Minister's support a serious


case review? Can I pay tribute to the honourable gentleman because it


has been absolute divide to say they have been brave to come


forward and tell their stories and all the difficulties it involves


but also he, himself, has talked about people who have come to his


constituency surgeries, and of course this is a problem across


communities, but there are particular problems in particular


communities and he has been brave to say that. In terms of what he


asked, about a review, I will have a look at that. The children's


commissioner will come up with recommendations within one month


and I understand Rochdale borough has conducted a review of child sex


exploitation which will be published but the issue of a


serious case review, I'm prepared to look about as well. Next year,


Camborne academy will become the first ever British School to host


international students science fair, welcoming schools from around the


world. Does he agree with me that if Britain are to prosper in the


future we need to lead the world in science and technology and we


should support the efforts of schools like this leading the way?


I think is absolutely right to highlight this issue and the school


in his constituency which is clearly doing a good job. If they


want to compete in a competitive global market, we need more science


teaching, more science graduates, and encourage science graduates


back into the classroom to train at the next generation of scientists


and engineers. There has been and 80% increase in the number of


students taking science GCSEs since 2010 and the second is that the


education has put in place some a bursary schemes to encourage our


top science graduates back into the classroom -- Secretary of State for


Education. It is now clear that the Government does not have a


comprehensive long-term strategy for care. So does he agree that the


sharp increase in home care charges released in figures today is the


result of his cut of �1 billion from local council budgets for


older people? A I'm afraid I don't think the honourable gentleman's


figures are right. In the spending review, we put �2 billion extra


into adult social care. We have inherited a situation where there


is not a clear strategy for social care for that we need to deliver


one. That's why it is going to be a white paper coming forward this


year. It has got to look at... They had 13 years when they ducked


decision after decision. Royal commissions were held, nothing was


done. Within two years, we have done far more than they did in 13.


Summer 2000 highly-paid public servants have been exposed for


avoiding their fair share of tax. Would the Prime Minister agree,


whenever somebody has paid a salary using taxpayers' money, the


Government should insist that they are on the payroll, pay full income


tax and national insurance? Up I agree with what she says. We have


been shocked by the level of this problem. The Treasury is looking at


it closely but the principle she announces, if you are paid by the


public, you should pay tax properly, is spot on. Will the Prime as it


takes for the Severn barrage project, entirely private finance,


the biggest renewable projects in Europe, and does he accept with a


flat economy in Britain, this private investment is a no-brainer


I heard him waxing eloquent on this project and I think it has many


advantages. There is a huge amount of renewable energy to be delivered


through this barrage. There's lots of problems and environmental


groups have been divided but I'm happy to listen to his views as he


takes for this important piece of work and there are many


opportunities to look at energy connectors and co-operation,


particularly between England, France and other northern European


countries. Both the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts


Committee have praised the work programme for getting off the


ground in an very air in stark contrast to the four wasted years


it took for Labour's programme to get off the ground. What further


help can the Prime Minister give to my striving jobseeker's in Tamworth,


where unemployment figures are falling to find the work they want?


I think the honourable gentleman makes an important point because


not only has the work programme got up and running quickly, but it has


helped 519,000 people and will help over 3 million people in total. The


key difference between it and previous programmes is payment by


results so we are paying providers more money for the more difficult


people who have been out of work for a long time and had serious


challenge is about getting back into the workplace are like the big


users programme, not just to help people who have fallen out of work


recently, but in a totally lost connection with the labour market.


In April last year the government announced successful bids in round


one, I was pleased to be included, it means 500 jobs, rescuing people


from some of the poorest housing conditions in the country. 13


months later it not a penny of that regional growth fund money has


materialised. Will the Prime Minister tell me why and if he


cannot, will he find out and ensure this money flows before the summer


recess? I will look at the case. Around half of the projects are now


under way, serious amounts of money are being disbursed. In terms of


comparison with the regional development agencies the overhead


costs of 3 million compared with 240 million so we can pour more


money into these projects but I will look at his specific project


and write to him shortly. We come The economy dominated those


exchanges. Plenty to talk about. The eurozone did not feature that


much. We heard Greece will have new It takes place at a time where the


Left Party are in the polls at around 28% so it will be


interesting to see another round of elections -- if another round of


elections resolves anything. Now we will hear about the e-mails you


have been sending. There was a feeling people thought Ed Miliband


did not land a big enough blow on David Cameron bearing in mind


difficult economic news. This from Karl... He said he was eloquent and


direct, David Cameron never answers questions and reverts to futile


jokes. David Cameron turns Prime Minister's Questions into a farce.


He spins his answers, no credibility, nobody believes for


the coalition says, the NHS will be the coalition's downfall. Colin in


rugby... There is something amiss with Ed Miliband. Despite the


plight the country is in he does not seem able to land any telling


blows on David Cameron, I don't see how Labour can win a general


election with him as leader. This from Martin Bristol in


Wolverhampton... A growth plan is that more borrowing to do with the


growth crisis, Ed Miliband needs to understand British business does


not want more borrowing. There must be concern in government about the


Bank of England downgrading growth, many people, including myself,


wonder if not 0.8% is optimistic. We have these foul winds blowing in


from Europe, whatever happens it will be a drag on the British


economy for the foreseeable future. We are not in a great position to


weather that. Strategically the coalition must feel it is in a


dodgy position at the moment? think it feels vulnerable but


politically feels it can at least say to the country it is over there,


not here. Politically that takes a bit of the heat of them. And maybe


why Ed Miliband did not really land blows. He did find, but it was one


of those sessions that did not seem to change much, it did not really


get anywhere. But the debate going on inside the Commission is


interesting. -- coalition. We are still not having a debate where


parts of the Liberal Democrats begin to peel away and Seychelles


we changed plants? The anxiety I hear at the top of the coalition is


how to realise things they have already announced, had to get bank


lending, the Lib Dems have always believed the banks would probably


not deliver that and the way to do it would be to use either one of


the nationalised banks to force them to lend money. So that


argument is going on behind the scenes, about what you do to force


banks to give money. The other is how to get infrastructure spending


spent quicker and on projects that would realise growth. I thought


underlying it, you got a glimpse of two interesting new strategies. Ed


Miliband wanted to ally himself directly with France's President,


where the Tories can always say you messed it up, he wants to have a


new alliance with the new man in town. The Tories had an interesting


new strategy, too. David Cameron said on police cuts look, you are


with us, Labour, in identifying cuts but if you resist what he


called the difficult choices on pay, pensions, then surely you are


actually cutting more staff than we the coalition would do. So post-


election a was seen both parties looking for new political


strategies and messages. So even though it did not make fireworks it


was one for my notebook. Miliband saw the new kid on the


block when he came here, but David Cameron and Angela Merkel did not


see him. It was the first time either of them had met yesterday,


which is interesting. There is a big test coming up and it is


difficult to know which way Francis Holland will go. If so Reza do well


in these elections and get 50 seats added on and it you add in other


left-wing parties you could see a big enough coalition, an anti-


austerity coalition, and anti- Brussels package coalition. What


does Labour then do? Back at? think Mr Holland is perhaps a get-


out clause for Angela Merkel because it does seem the austerity


drive in Europe has not really worked, it has created political


and economical crisis and a new approach is needed. The thing now


the British public are coming round when we see the proles -- polls.


You series the same Angelina -- Angela Merkel will say we will redo


the package? -- are you seriously saying. Flexibility was a word


being used yesterday, we need a more flexible approach, add new


ingredients in, I don't think they would just say tear up the previous


plan and let's start again, but I think they will use the election as


a way to say we need new approaches and that might give breathing space


for some new approaches. When you go be on the rhetoric and look at


what is being proposed there are even parts of this that the Tory...


Euro bonds, for example, the idea you can pay for infrastructure in a


new way and get it moving. Or more funds for the European Investment


Bank, for example, a whole series of measures which may be good,


Mirabad, may make a difference. What they don't really effect is


the debate about whether Greece cuts as much, or whether France


does. I can see Mr Cameron standing up and we know what will happen. It


is quite clear the fiscal pack will be untouched. Angela Merkel is


adamant about that. But they have - - but they are not keen on euro


bronze. -- bombs. -- bonds. It makes no difference to Greece's


situation. We did not say business also working hard enough, we said


we will get out of this problem by business going out warning orders.


As at some parts of the world are growing very fast and our job as a


government is to make our business able to succeed in his part of the


world which is why we are putting this it into UK trade and


investment, making our Foreign Office network... I understand that.


You can say historically under both parties the elite was far too


obsessed the durable Jay's -- is a declining part of the world. And


not enough effort into the emerging markets. But that is a systemic


long-term strategy, it does not get you growth this side of the next


election. It does because the rest of the world is growing a bit you


have the country's growing by up to 9%, if you can get your business to


go and win those markets you can start delivering growth now. That


is what William Hague was talking about. A under Labour we exported


more to Ireland and China, Brazil, India and I think Russia combined.


We have to make the -- meet these challenges. But growth is now the


word being used and that was their Aardman before because before with


the Tories it was austerity was the word, deficit-reduction were the


words. But growth is part of the answer and the thing that is the


sort of step change we are beginning to see. The problem is


growth is like world peace - everybody wants it but nobody knows


what it means. They thought it would produce growth but so far it


has not. An interesting moment will come at the G8 meeting, the first


chance that going back to the original idea of G8 meetings, a


fireside chat, away from cameras and microphones, a chance to retort,


there is a moment where a new French President will be surrounded


by it not just Angela Merkel and David Cameron, but also Barack


Obama, and a look round the room I suspect of come on guys, this has


to be sorted. There is a meeting coming up in a couple of weeks in


June of the G20 which will give the Chinese, Indians, Indonesians the


chance to put on the pressure that comes after these new elections.


There is a whole series of pressure points where other leaders will


push people to do more. Let's see what reaction at the Home Secretary


got in Bournemouth. I think it was Home Secretary. I believe you're a


disgrace. We had a sound problem there. He got applause! I think it


was quite a hostile question to the home secretary, she got silent


treatment, then he asked a hostile question and they all erupted. Do


you think the Conservative Party is happy that as a government you now


spend more on overseas aid than on the police? We don't spend anywhere


near as much as the public think we do on overseas aid. We are not...


We're not going to balance the books on the back of the poorest.


Coming back to the police, that guy that asked the question, of course


the police are finding a pay freeze and reductions in their pensions


tough but we are still going to leave them with the most generous


pensions in the public sector. They have to play their fair share that


everybody is going to have as well. By 2014, 2015 according to the


government's projections on public spending, the Total Home Office


budget is 8.8 billion, including all spending on the police in


England and Wales, and the foreign A lot of the spending on the police


does not come from the Home Office. The Government is spending more.


More than overseas aid. But it doesn't come from the Home Office.


But it comes from a government. not disagreeing with you. But you


just did. So, you accept, but your Conservative-led government will


spend more on overseas aid than the police? If that's what you're


telling me, I don't have the fact. We like to help. It's what public


service broadcasting is all about. Andrew, always here to help.


have to move on. Thank you very much. Now, despite numerous


campaigns by an array of celebrities, school dinners are


still being criticised for being unhealthy. Jamie Oliver first


targeted them in 2005, where he came across the infamous Turkey


Twizzler. Despite improvements and education programmes, the UK now


has the highest rate of childhood obesity in Europe. Well, now


another celebrity is having a go. This time it's Alex Reid, the


former cage fighter and actor, and winner of Celebrity Big Brother.


I want to find a solution to the problem of healthy school food for


all children. I'm about to be a father and I really don't want my


little girl growing up in an unhealthy environment, at school,


I visited schools across the country and was horrified to see


that some of the children were eating chocolate and crisps for


lunch. It's affecting their ability to concentrate and their behaviour


in class. And making them very beasts. You know what, I've got a


radical solution to the problem -- obese. Let's get big businesses to


sponsor school children. Let's get the supermarkets, banks, corporate


giants to by marketing in return for investment in the scheme and in


return, they will find help the school dinners for all the children


rather than putting the burden on To do this I need to raise �1


billion a year. I think it's something these wealthy and


powerful corporate giants have a responsibility to do. You know,


they can and would still make a profit under my scheme. Essentially,


I like to make school meals compulsory and banner packed


lunches. Sounds radical. It's going to stop all the junk marketed at


I was a chubby kid and a fussy eater. Eating a healthy turned my


life around so let's get behind us and let's do lunch. It doesn't get


up there than this. OK, let's do lunch then.


And we're joined now in the studio by Alex Reid. You said you were a


chubby kid and deducts per you want? Yes, I got lots of nieces and


nephews and in my family, some of my brothers are feeding their


children have bleak and how they perform in school, and the others


are naughty. -- held belief. Is it down the packed lunches? I had


packed lunches. School dinners were not very nice. You can't regulate a


healthy packed lunch, so if we can provide free help the school meals


it's going to be fantastic. On that aspect, have you had any interest?


It's a lot of money, a billion pounds. It would pay for every


child at school to have a free school meals. Yes, I haven't got


the exact statistics but that's the starting point. Jamie Oliver had


500 million and couldn't achieve, unfortunately. He started the


battle so let's try to carry on from there. His was about the


school meals people are having rather than raising money. Who are


you talking to? Major supermarkets also look what happened with


McDonald's. Their plan is to have a McDonald's four minutes away from


every person on the planet. If we get somebody like that behind this,


McDonald's was a treat for me when I was a kid, but now kids want to


go there all the time. If we could get them to go behind us and do


healthy food, it's the marketing force of what do you think of the


idea? One of the flaws there is you could have school meals but you


can't make people have them. One of the issues is about educating


parents and educating young people. One thing which is very good in my


own private schools, in my constituency, if you get the


children to understand healthy eating, growing their own


vegetables, they actually then, the past apart argument, they are due


to their parents to have helpings. -- they are due to their parents to


This less likelihood they would go out and buy the sweets. You have


got to persuade people so they don't just do this at school but


when they leave school they are in to help the team for the rest of


their lives for the would you like to see big business stump up cash


for this project? I'm not sure about that for I have to


congratulate youth. You probably have a connection with young people


that we don't. Glasgow is a particular difficult place. It's a


huge issue. We're only beginning to understand the impact of food and


the significance of it. Marketing is right. I think the whole debate


is really interesting for the is lukewarm of political support here.


This is exactly what I want to do, to get the discussion going. I went


to schools last year for the bed- and-breakfast campaign across the


country, and the standard of the meals was atrocious. The parents


don't know. The parents need educating. My plan, we have a


healthy, I'm getting tongue-tied and excited... In some schools


where they had help the school meals they had their health the


shepherd's pie for lunch and they never knew what a shepherd's pie


was when they went home. That would inspire the adults to, mum, we had


this at school today. Just before you go, though, what about your


political ambitions? I probably know as much about politics as you


I am passionate. I was a soldier because I believe in fighting for


what was right. I would go for Labour. I don't know. The policies


that hand-in-hand with the things I believe in but I'm not ready for


that. Not ready yet? I will talk to later on. The maybe one day. Is it


true in Glasgow curry and chips is the healthy option? You should know.


I have not been there for a while. I just wanted to check. Now, it's


not just the shadow cabinet reshuffle. Westminster is ablaze


with speculation about another series of crucial appointments.


It's a bit a exaggeration! Tonight backbench Conservative MPs will be


choose which colleagues should represent them on 1922 committee.


The 301 group of MPs has put forward a full slate of candidates.


Their success though hinges on the support of the 20-20 group of MPs.


What influence the 40 group will wield is still unclear. If they


abstain they could end up helping the 101 group's candidates win


through. What do you mean you're not following me? Now, I'm told


there are even some Conservative ministers who don't know their 301s


from their 1922s. So here's a little quiz for you, Mark. Lucky


you! Which of these MPs are members of which backbench grouping? Your


MPs are: David Morris MP. Brandon Lewis MP. Alec Sherbrooke MP. Henry


Collingridge MP. Your groups are: The 40 Group. The 2020 Group. The


301 Group. The 101 Group. First of all, Henry Collingridge is not an


MP. I know the other three. I couldn't tell you which was in


which group. Elections today for the 1922 Committee is a matter for


backbenchers also. I don't know which groups they are end and I'm


not even sure all of those groups exist. Let's see if Mark's got the


answer right. He doesn't know any of the answers, so no change there,


frankly. David Morris is in 40 Group. Whatever that is. Brandon


Lewis a member of the 2020 Group. Alec Sherbrooke a 301 man. And


Henry Collingridge is not a real MP. He's a fictitious MP, a fictitious


Prime Minister indeed from the drama House of Cards. And the 101


group. That's a not a real conservative backbench grouping


either. We made that up. You got two right. What do you say to Mark


Pritchard, one able colleagues, but Downing Street should spend more


time trying to fix the economy and less time trying to fix the 1922


elections. It's about backbenchers and I don't believe everything I


read in newspapers. They are not just at backbenchers. Ministerial


aides had been allowed to vote. it was a decision by the 22


executive. I'm going to let my backbench colleagues make the


decisions today. You don't get to vote. No, quite right too. Graham


Brady presents the user back benches to the Prime Minister.


up 301 group of loyalists, they have been wined and dined in


Downing Street to vote the right way. That's what they say in the


papers also that's what they say. Are you in it? I have talked to


them about government policy. It's good that there are so many groups


of Conservative colleagues. It's a very vibrant parliamentary party.


We discuss issues. You are divided, aren't you? No, all Conservative


MPs are united. We want to win an overall Conservative majority.


good news is, we have enough Conservative MPs to have a range of


groups. We want a Conservative majority government up the next


election to love and the right policies. That deliver the right


policies. Just time to put you out of your misery and give you the


answer to Guess The Year. The answer was 1966. You could tell


that because nearly all the footage was black and white before we had


colour TV. This is the red button. If you push that, you will get the


winner. Mary, in Lincolnshire. Alex, thanks very much for being here.


Thanks to the two of you for joining us today. Thanks to our


guests. The One O'Clock News is starting over on BBC One now. Jo


will be back tomorrow at noon with all the big political stories of


the day. You won't be joining me, will you? No, I have other things


to do tonight, I'm afraid. I will be back on BBC One later. I'll be


joined by music impresario Harvey Goldsmith. And we'll be discussing


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