04/07/2012 Daily Politics


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Good morning. This is The Daily Politics. Who and what will the


banking scandal hit next? Yesterday, it claimed its biggest scalp, Bob


Diamond. He claimed he was hounded out by politicians, regulators and


the Bank of England. This afternoon, it could be payback time, when he


gives evidence before the select committee in the Commons. We can


expect other parts of the establishment, not least Labour


politicians, in government at the time, to be engulfed. We can expect


events in the Square Mile to dominate PMQs, with David Cameron


and David Miliband are attempting to make political capital. We will


have all the action. Britain's biggest rail enthusiast will be


telling us why a High Speed 2 should not hit the buffers. We must


build High Speed 2 - simple. And we will be discussing why matter


matters. All that to come before one o'clock today. And a very


special welcome to the new director general of the BBC. He is a very


nice man. A very, very very nice man, I would say. He would be even


nicer if he could get the wi-fi to work in the studio. Anyway, Mr


Redwood's, welcome aboard. You have no idea what is in store for you!


Anyway, with us today, two beams of parliamentary protons that will


hurtle around the studio at close to the speed of light. I speak of


course of Grant Shapps, the Housing Minister, and Caroline Flint, the


Shadow Energy Secretary. But first, from the origins of the universe to


the masters of the universe... Did you see what I did there? Bob


Diamond resigned yesterday as chief executive of Barclays. Mr diamond


will be interrogated, at least I think that is the word, by the


Treasury Select Committee this afternoon. How did we get to this,


Jo? The crisis began last Wednesday, when the FSA handed down a record


�290 million fine to Barclays for attempting to manipulate the LIBOR


rate by lying about the interest they were paying on loans. Notes


taken by Bob Diamond show that during a telephone conversation in


2008, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England allegedly


encouraged Barclays to lower their submissions for the LIBOR. Just


after that, the submissions plummeted. The fixing is thought to


be much more widespread than just Barclays. Other institutions will


be under the spotlight as well. At the weekend, the chairman of


Barclays, Marcus Agius, was the first victim of the crisis. He was


joined yesterday by chief executive Bob Diamond, who announced he, too,


was resigning following pressure from politicians and from the Bank


of England. David Cameron initially ruled about a snap inquiry, but


changed his mind this week, announcing a parliamentary inquiry


into rate rigging, to begin as soon as possible. But Labour says this


is not enough, it wants a broad, judge-led inquiry. MPs will vote on


the decision tomorrow. We will be joined in a moment by the business


editor of the Times. And here in Westminster, we will be joined by a


Labour's John mam, a member of the Treasury Select Committee. He has


taken time out from preparing for the session this afternoon -- John


Mann -- his questioners for Bob Diamond. What will be your first


question? What is the difference between Barclays and dead fish?


Both Worton from the head. The bank will go unless this rotten core is


sorted out. So, you're looking for a cull of all the top people at


Barclays? The entire culture of the bank has to change. But what do you


want to find out from Mr diamond? want to find out why the culture


was there, what were the other banks doing on this, because he is


in a position to name other banks? And I want to hear from him what he


thinks should happen to make sure that there are proper sanctions to


stop him and others doing this again. Will you be asking him why


the Bank of England gave him a very strong steer to lowball the LIBOR


rate? That is one issue which will come up. It is a big issue,


particularly for your party. It is a big issue for everyone. You were


in power at the time. I can assure you, next week we will be calling


in the Bank of England and others about this. What about Gordon


Brown? We will be more than happy to call in politicians are as


necessary. Whoever needs to be called in... I am just trying to


work out who you will call in. First, we have got to hear what Bob


Diamond has to say, and then, without question, we will bring in


the Bank of England. But this record fine was up until July 2008,


and Bob Diamond will not get away this afternoon with shifting the


blame elsewhere. He led this bank, and this is all about what happened


for three years. There will be criminal prosecutions as well as


huge civil cases. This has got enormous implications for this bank


and all British banks. You would appear to be curiously incurious


about wanting to know who the senior Whitehall officials were,


who were urging the Bank of England to urge Barclays to reduce the


LIBOR rate. Don't worry, we will call in everyone who needs to be


called in. I am certain the Bank of England will be there. But one


thing at a time. We do not want the politicking to get in front of


sorting out the crisis in British banking. The entire existence of


Barclays is at stake. That is the complaint against the Government,


that you're playing politics with this. It is quite clear that from


Cameron and the Chancellor down, you have Brown, Bulls and the


others in your sights. It is a political revenge match. We need to


find out how far it went and whether indeed it was directed from


Whitehall, at least to some extent. All of those questions need to be


answered, and we need to do something about it. We have got a


Banking bill going through the House of Commons at the moment. We


can be legislating within six months. The issue for the Tories is,


who were the senior Whitehall figures? The one that we have been


briefed on non-stop would be that question. I don't think the


Treasury committee would want to sidestep that issue. But we know


that the other banks are all being investigated, it is their turn next,


there is no mystery in this at all. Which is why we have said that it


should be a joint parliamentary committee of both Houses, which is


why we want them to report quickly, and that is why we want to change


the legislation, so it cannot happen again. Let me go to the


business editor of the Times now. Can you hear me? No? There is a


danger that this is going to rebound badly on Labour. I think we


have been clear that we made mistakes in government. Whilst we


brought in regulation, more than we had in the 1980s, it clearly was


not enough. The truth is that all politicians have to answer for that.


At the time, George Osborne was saying we were being too tough. I


have to say in response to your question to John earlier about


Labour politicians at this time, Alastair Darling, Ed Balls, Lord


minor and the Baroness have been absolutely categoric, they did not


have conversations... They have not been absolutely categoric. No, she


is absolutely clear that they did nothing to have conversations


regarding meddling with the rate of LIBOR. Would you agree that if


Labour politicians or their advisers were found to be complicit


in the low balling of LIBOR, that would be a huge scandal? All the


people I have mentioned have categorically said that was not the


case. They have not. If we found out that they were not telling the


truth and Labour was found to be low balling LIBOR, would that not


be incredibly serious? This is why Labour has said we need a judge-led


inquiry, which has more disclosure powers than a parliamentary inquiry


would have. That would mean everybody concerned, including the


people that John has mentioned, a judge-led inquiry, like we have


seen with Leveson, can get to information which other forms of


inquiry cannot. Politicians, bankers, regulators, should then


come before that board to answer questions. Let me see if we can get


through to the Times now, we usually get through to Baghdad


quite quickly! If you were on the Treasury Select Committee this


afternoon, what would you be asking Bob Diamond? I think you would want


to know whether Paul Tucker told him who are these senior figures


within Whitehall actually were. The ones that told him to lowball LIBOR,


that is the key question. But it is unlikely, is it not, that Paul


Tucker would have told him? He makes it clear from the


contemporaneous note that he is getting a lot of calls from a very


high level within Whitehall about Barclays' LIBOR submissions being


too high. We know that immediately after that conversation, Barclays'


LIBOR submissions fell off a cliff, something had happened. Exactly. It


is quite clear, as we now know from the documents that Barclays


released yesterday ahead of the select committee today, the person


who was running the rates desk at Barclays Capital at the time, Jerry


del Missier, assumed from the e- mail he had received from his boss,


Bob Diamond, that the Bank of England had given the go-ahead to


submit lower LIBOR rates than had been the case. Is it your view that,


assuming the contemporaneous note is accurate, and we have no reason


to believe it was not accurate, it was done at the time - is it your


view that it was government policy at the time to make sure that LIBOR


stayed as low as possible? I think we have to go back to the events of


October 2008. Quite frankly, everybody would have been doing


this, as Bob Diamond makes clear. That is clearly what was discussed


between him and Paul Tucker at that time. Bob Diamond made it clear


that everybody was low balling LIBOR rates, it was not just


Barclays. So, would that have been done with the connivance of


Whitehall? Who knows? But it should probably not be a hanging offence


in any case. Potentially the alternative would have been a


collapse of the banking system. Don't forget, Lehman's had gone


under in the state's one month earlier, right had needed to go in


to rescue HBOS in a merger, and it is quite possible that had the


market taken fright, there could have been a run on Barclays as well.


So I think it is the lesser of two evils, to be honest. The LIBOR rate,


the London Interbank Offered Rate, is very important, because it sets


the rate at which banks borrow from each other, and what banks borrow


from each other then determines the rates they charge us. It is an


important thing, and the whole world, other interest rates, take


their lead from the LIBOR rate. But if other banks were low balling


LIBOR, and Barclays wasn't, because its rates had been market-driven,


and if Bob Diamond gets a steer from the Treasury and the Bank of


England that they should fall in line with the other banks, then


government and regulators are complicit. Yes, they absolutely are.


Without question. It is a series of IFS, but absolutely, which is a


major issue. But let's not forget the other major issue, which is


Barclays traders under Bob Diamond profiting by fiddling the rates.


Those are two issues, both huge issues, we should not ignore either


of them. Quite right, there was a separate issue happening earlier of


the traders themselves low balling, or raising, LIBOR, depending on how


their books were closing at the end of the day. Is it your contention,


the contention of the Government, that senior Labour figures were


involved in this? We simply do not know the answer to that. We need to


wait until this inquiry has taken place. If you look at the notes, it


makes it very clear that senior figures within Whitehall were


responsible - by the that is politicians or officials, we do not


know. We do not have all the notes. The Bank of England refused to give


the notes to me today. How could they do that, John? Do you want me


to have a word with them? I will have a word with Mervyn and Paul


Tucker. Ed Balls has been categorical, that he had nothing to


do with it whatsoever. Let's just run a club of him now and see what


he had to say this morning. At no point did I have any conversation


with Mr Tucker at all, at any time when I was a Treasury minister or


adviser, or subsequently to that, when I was a Cabinet minister. I


had no conversation with anybody about the LIBOR market during any


of those periods, and at no point in any of the time when I was a


minister or adviser were concerns That's pretty clear, Grant Shapps?


He's one of the individuals. I don't know. He was not in office at


the time. Let's not try to put words into anyone's mouth. We don't


know it's the case. It's correct to have an inquiry. What we do know


from the note is that senior figures within Whitehall were


putting pressure on. George Osborne has thrown mud around and hoped


that it will stick. Actually, that is really unhelpful. That's why we


do need something which has some authority and why a judge-led


inquiry means everyone is held to account. Chris Leslie on 6th March


asked Mark Holborn about LIBOR. He said nothing. There are a series of


questions to eke out what your government did or did not do in the


last two years, when it's been your watch, to actually get a grip on


some of the situations. We all have to, as politicians, take


responsibility. Do you think the Conservatives have been


manipulating LIBOR? No, but what they may have done is avoid some of


the issues, where we have mechanisims and clearly at Barclays


and others, despite the regulations, they've broken those and stepped


across the line. We all, as politicians, have to deal with this,


because whether it's MPs with expenses, whether it's the media


and the banks, these are institutions that we have to work


to make sure the public trust. agree. One thing we know for


certain, one of the first things that Gordon Brown did was to create


the tripartite system of regulation, which made it very, very difficult,


whether the FSA, the Bank of England or the Treasury, who were


doing the regulation in the City and that's where a lot of the


problems come from. Ian King, Bob Diamond, love him or loath him, he


did create the only decent global investment bank Britain's ever had,


all the rest have been Pygmies. The only one to take on the Americans,


will we miss him? I think he will. He's an undoubted talent. He'll be


snapped up by someone on Wall Street fairly quickly, should he


wish to continue working. He's a man who put Barclays on the world


stage. A lot of people in Wall Street really respected him for


that. Also, respected the name of Barclays in the process. Thank you


very much. I'm glad we got the communications there to the distant


time zone that is Wapping. Thank you very much for taking time out


John, we look forward to this afternoon. I've Now, in January


last year, Caroline Spelman announced Government plans to sell


of parts of the Uk's public forests. Booked my seat. The announcement


sparked outrage and over 500,000 people signed a petition calling on


the Government to scrap the plans. The Environment Secretary spent


weeks defending the idea, but what a difference a few days make. The


panel set up by the Government to look into the policy published


their final report today, saying that public forests must not be


sold off. I'm sorry, we got this one wrong, but we have listened to


people's concerns. It's quite clear from the early responses to the


consultation that the public and many honourable members are not


happy with the proposals we set out. The panel published their report


today, saying that they must not be sold off. The Government says it


accepts the recommendations and this morning confirmed it would


halt plans to set off state-owned forests. The Right Reverend James


Jones, Bishop of Liverpool, headed the report and he joins us now.


Trees are essential to life and part of common heritage. People


love the forest, but what we have to do now is value them for the


other things that they give us, clean air, clean water, carbon


storage and protecting our wildlife. Couldn't that have been done and


I'm sure many would agree, in private ownership too? It's not


being done. 82% is in private ownership. Only 81% -- only 18% is


public forests but they deliver over 40% of the access and 60% of


the timber supply. That's a remarkable testimony to the public


forest. It's quite a small proportion. People forget when


there was the row, it's only one fifth, I think it works out. Who


will pay in terms of the future upkeep? It will be the taxpayer to


keep them going? We are talking about �22 million. Nine kilometres


of carriageway costs �160 million. It's a no-brainer by comparison.


What we are saying is if there are public benefits then that's a


legitimate call on the public purse. Until we find another way of paying


for them and the Government is set up two important committees, the


Natural Capital Committee and a Task Force and they are working out


how you might pay for the public benefits. It's difficult to put a


price on it, isn't it, in terms of the value? It's hard to do when you


are talking about forests? course it is, but the moment your


home is flooded, you'll be asking questions why it is happening and


trees are an important protection. Grant Shapps, do you think it was


all a waste of time putting forward the proposals? Was it misguided or


misconstrued? It taught ministers a lesson that I've certainly taken


forward, which is be careful what you put in the consultation. It was


one of the options in consultation. It was massively and clearly


unpopular and I think you have to think twice before you list a set


of options, even if it's not going to ever be the one that goes


through. The other to say is it was never about money. Everyone thought


it was, but in fact it wasn't. It's not for the public benefit that


comes from it, it's not an enormous sum of money and nothing to do with


keeping that department's budgets right. It wasn't required for that


reason. It was just looking at whether there were better ways to


manage the forests and in fact I think the report today is terrific.


It's got all the right ideas in it and it's smart stuff to follow.


you think lessons were learnt, but was the consultation wrong, or was


it just that there was such an outcry about the idea of so-called


privatising the forests? It's an emotive issue and it's clear to me


that sometimes the Commission do need to sell bits to buy others and


I think you reflect on your report today. It's very emotive. People


get enormous benefit and pleasure from the forests and in terms of it


being instructional, it makes me think carefully about any of the


options that I outline in consultations to make sure I would


genuinely be happy with any of the ones that came out the other end.


What happens now? You have got the two reports or the two studies


being done. When will we hear from them? Caroline Spelman and I think


she should be given credit for doing the right thing and putting


it out to an independent panel. She has today said she will respond in


January. We are having a stakeholders' meeting and 100


people signed up to this. A huge public debate needs to continue


about the value of woods and forests and I hope the Government


will respond in the light of that debate. Thank you very much. Next,


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There's nothing delicate about the To be in with a chance of winning


the mug send your answer to our e- mail address: you can see the full


terms and conditions on the website. It's coming up to midday. We'll


look at Big Ben. There it is behind me. For those of you who haven't


switched across, there will be a lot of drums across the Thames,


because it's the Prime Minister's questions, the Bob Diamond edition.


Nick is with us. It will be one way or another, won't it? Absolutely,


because there's a who done it in terms of Barclays. Yes, we know


that there's an issue of who did it in the bank and who knew. Yes


werbgs know thanks to a memo yesterday, that he was suggesting


that the Bank of England were pressureising Barclays to sort out


the LIBOR. But we also know that the same memo says that senior


Whitehall figures, not named, not specified whether ministers or


officials, were putting pressure on the Bank of England to put pressure


on Barclays to do it. From a high level? What is intriguing is the


speed with which people have been rushing to the cameras, who were in


the last Labour Government to say, whoever did it it wasn't me.


Alistair Darling says, "It wasn't me." I don't imagine anybody in the


treasure could have done it, that's what he is saying. Lord Myners was


saying, "I didn't know anything about it." Baroness Vadera in the


House of Lords, was effectively Gordon Brown's fix-it woman for the


City. Former banker who gets enormous credit from officials, we


ought to say, for sorting out many of the problems when the credit


crunch happened in 2008. She said, "Yes, I was involved in all sorts


of conversations about the LIBOR rate, but those were policy


decisions, trying to make credit work in the economy. They certainly


weren't about rigging the system." In other words, the Conservative


Party are saying, where was Ed Balls in all of this? He regards


this as a cheap smear. They regard it as a legitimate series of


questions about a guy who was very close to Gordon Brown and knew


where a lot of the bodies were buried, because he was a former


City minister. When you see them clash at Prime Minister's questions,


in a sense you can almost forget the details unless you love them.


What is going on is a battle for credibility and reputation. The


Tories want to destroy Labour. They want to make the debt crisis the


equivalent of the winter of discontent at the end of the 70's.


Very high stakes? Indeed. If we remind ourselves of the context at


the time in the autumn of 2008, this was a Government and a Bank of


England that had basically dined out on cheap credit. The cheap


credit had become the motif of the authorities and of the Government.


It is also time when the interbank markets, the lending between banks


was in danger of drying up. At the two together and it stands to


reason that Government wanted to keep LIBOR low? That that was the


policy? Absolutely. The great fear, what we tend to think of was a


banks crisis was a credit crunch. The fear was that the banks


couldn't lend to each other and therefore couldn't lend to you and


me and businesses to keep them alive or get them to expand. Yes,


of course, Government, Treasury, Bank of England, banks wanted to


find a way to bring the costs down in order to get more money out of


the door. People keep saying that is different from rigging it.


Rigging it in order for some rich bankers to say, "We've made a fast


buck. I'll do a favour." As in one of the e-mails. These things are


different. Remember, there were two kinds of rigging of this key


interest rate. There was the earlier rigging by Barclays'


traders, to make their books look better, to bank a profit at the end


of the day. For themselves. Yes. A lot of people think not only have


the traders been fired, but a lot of them think it's criminal and


they should be collared. That's one set. That is different from the


bank committing a LIBOR rate. Again, we had a Government and bank that


wanted to keep the rate low and you had others that were obliging. The


one that didn't was Barclays, that set the rates by the markets. And


suddenly they are lent on to say why don't you fall in line with


everybody else. Critically, Barclays, but boasting at the time.


They said they didn't need Government help. Over to the


I'm sure the whole House will wish to join me in paying tribute to the


three British servicemen who were killed in Afghanistan over the


weekend. We send our heartfelt condolences to the families of the


people who were killed in this tragic, appalling incident. They


will never be forgotten by our nation. This morning I had meetings


with ministerial colleagues and others, and I shall have further


I'm sure at the whole House will want to associate ourselves with


the Prime Minister's remarks, as well as sending our deepest


condolences to the families of the crew from RAF Lossiemouth who were


lost earlier in the week. Mr Speaker, food prices rose by more


than 4% between March last year and this year. I understand why, so,


can the Prime Minister spare me the lecture and tell the House what he


is doing about food inflation. I join the honourable leader -- the


Honourable Lady about what she said about the tragic accident involving


the crew from RAF Lossiemouth. The circumstances remain uncertain,


that it is clearly a very serious incident. More details will be


released by the RAF in due course. It is a reminder of the risk that


our service personnel take not only one on active service, but when


undergoing vital training for that service. On the issue of inflation,


with food, I would make a point that inflation is now falling in


this country, which is extremely good news. In terms of food


inflation, it is obviously absolutely vital that the prices


faced by people in the shops are not too hard on their budget. But


the way to keep inflation down is to have a responsible Monetary


Policy, which is what we have. Nicholas Soames! Mr Speaker, would


my Right Honourable Friend agree with me that whilst these serious


banking difficulties must be dealt with, it is vital that we retain


the central importance of the City of London, in recognising that any


reforms must be proportionate, and not damage such a brilliant asset.


I think my Honourable Friend makes an important point. We have got to


get to the bottom of what happened, but in doing so, we should bear in


mind the remarks of Richard Lambert, who ran the CBI successfully for


many years, and who carried out an investigation for the party


opposite, and he said that the LIBOR scandal means that the


required changes have to be tougher, which is the argument for a short,


sharp enquiry. Going back to square one would be a serious mistake, he


says. Nothing could be more urgent than a stable banking system, he


says. We must get to the truth, but we should listen to these expert


opinions as well. Mr Speaker, Cannes join the Prime Minister in


paying tribute to the three servicemen who died in the most


tragic of circumstances. Our hearts go out to their family and friends.


I also join the Prime Minister in the remarks he made about the


incident at RAF Lossiemouth. The banking scandal has revealed


traders cheating, the misselling of insurance to small businesses, and


it comes on top of other scandals in the banking system and the


continuing bonus merry-go-round. How can the Prime Minister convince


people that a parliamentary inquiry is a better way of restoring


people's confidence than a full, independent, forensic and open,


judge-led inquiry? First of all, let me say, on the substance of the


issue, there is no disagreement between us. This banking scandal is


appalling. It is outrageous, frankly, that homeowners may have


paid higher mortgage rates, and small businesses may have paid


higher interest rates, because of what was probably illegal activity


in the City. People want to know that crime in our banks and


financial services will be pursued and punished like crime on the


streets. As well as that, I think people want rapid action to make


sure this cannot happen again. In my view, the most important thing


about any inquiry is that it is swift and incisive, set up as fast


as possible, gets going as fast as possible, reports as fast as


possible, transparent and open at every stage. That is why I favour a


republic, parliamentary inquiry rather than a judge-led inquiry. I


want us to legislate on this, starting next year. Mr Speaker, I


understand his concerns about speed, but there are concerns also that


the inquiry which is being talk about is far too narrow, focusing


just on the scandal of Flyball, when we know the problems go much


wider regarding the culture and practices in the City. But I


believe there is a way forward we can agree upon, a to part, judge-


led inquiry, which is instructed to report by Christmas on LIBOR, and


the second part of it reporting over 12 months regarding the much


wider area of the culture of the industry. That satisfies his


requirement for speed, but also the necessary requirement to look at


the wider practices of the City - will he agree to my proposal?


always look and listen carefully to proposals from all sides of the


House. On the issue of the structure of banking and the future


of banking, of course, we set up the vicar's inquiry, which reported,


and we are going to implement the Vickers Report, which will for the


first time separate investment banking from retail banking. That


is a major step forward. Secondly, the parliamentary inquiry we are


proposing is wider than he says, it is going to look at the culture of


banking. Thirdly, clearly, the Serious Fraud Office are still


considering whether to launch a criminal investigation. While that


is happening, there are dangers in opting for a judge-led inquiry,


which might not be able to get under way. So, as I say, if you


want to do this as fast as possible, to get action as fast as possible,


I think the way we suggest his right. But we clearly heard the


vote in the House of Lords last night, where they voted against a


public inquiry. We have made time available on Thursday, which has


not happened before, for an opposition motion to be debated and


voted upon, and then a government motion to be debated and voted upon.


Frankly, what matters more than the process is the substance, getting


on with it. So, I hope we get acceptable results on Thursday.


Speaker, we were in a jacket the same position a year ago, when


initially he rejected the idea of a judge-led inquiry into the press


scandal -- we were in exactly the same position -- where he changed


his mind. He said, I do not believe there is any better process than an


inquiry led by a judge. He went on - with the whole thing pursued by a


team of barristers who are expert at finding out the facts. Mr


Speaker, why is it right to have this judge-led approach to the


scandal in the press, but wrong for the scandal in the banks? I think


there is a profound difference between the circumstances of the


Leveson Inquiry, and the circumstances with this inquiry. Of


course, the Leveson Inquiry followed a whole series of


unsuccessful and failed inquiries. On this occasion, we have had a


very successful inquiry from the Department of Justice in America,


and the Financial Services Authority, which have uncovered the


wrongdoing. Now, what is required is swift inquiry, swift action and


swift legislation, and that is what you will get from this government.


Mr Speaker, I don't think the Prime Minister has understood the depths


of public concern, the depths of the lack of confidence there has


been. He says that the inquiry he proposes can be completed within


essentially four months, but that it can go as wide as it likes. It


is simply not realistic. I say to him that I have listened to his


concerns and I have proposed a way forward. I ask him again, a two-


part inquiry, with a judge, completing on a turntable set by


the Chancellor, by Christmas, on LIBOR, and then looking at the


wider issues about the culture and practices of the City. I do


understand the public concern about this issue, which is why I want us


to get on with it. Frankly, it is this government which is going to


legislate to split the bank -- to split the banks, as the Vickers


Report suggested. It is this government which has introduced the


bank Levy, and we have also introduced the most transparent


regime for pay and bonuses in in the financial centre anywhere in


the world. As evidence that this House of Commons is getting on with


it, we're going to see Bob Diamond questioned upstairs by the Treasury


Select Committee, this afternoon. I would say to the Honourable


Gentleman, we are having a vote in the House of Commons tomorrow, a


vote on his motion, and one on the government for ocean. Clearly, if


the opposition motion wins, there will be a full, independent public


inquiry. I would urge him to say now that if the government motion


is carried, he will co-operate with a full parliamentary inquiry.


Speaker, I do not think the Prime Minister gets it about the depth of


public concern. I hope he will reconsider his position. But he


mentions the Vickers Report, and he says they are implementing it. I


say this to him - the Vickers Report said this about one


important issue which has come out in the last couple of weeks, about


the way in which high street banks had sold dodgy product to small


businesses. They said that should never be allowed to happen again.


But after lobbying by the banks, the Government rejected this very


basic recommendation of the Vickers Report. In the light of the recent


scandal, with small businesses damaged, will he know U-turn and


implement Vickers Report in full? First of all, I am not going to get


a lecture in getting it from a party that was in office for 13


years, when all of these things took place. On his specific


question about the Vickers Report, let me repeat, this inquiry was set


up by this government, and it will be implemented by this government.


Under it, complex derivatives will be included in the ring-fencing for


investment banking, they will not be part of the retail banks. But


let me say this to him - if he wants a quick resolution to this,


he must accept the outcome of a vote in the House of Commons. I am


prepared to do that, why isn't he? Order! Government backbenchers who


have been here for some years ought to have grasped by now that it his


time for them to pipe down and try to be good boys if they can.


Speaker, if he wants a history lesson, this is what he told the


City of London on 20th March 2008 - as a free-marketeer by conviction,


it will not surprise you to hear me say that the problem of the past


decade is too much regulation. Doesn't it say it all about the


double standards? And whenever these scandals happened, he is slow


to act, and he stands up for the wrong people. The question people


are asking is, who will act in the national interest rather than the


party interest? His is a party bankrolled by the banks. If he


fails to order a judge-led inquiry, people will come to one conclusion


- he simply cannot act in the national interest. I have to say,


Mr Speaker, everybody can see what is happening here. Order! Members


must come down. I said it to government backbenchers, I now say


it to opposition backbenchers - that the answer be heard. The party


opposite want to talk about absolutely everything apart from


their record of 13 years. I have to say, Mr Speaker, we may have found


the Higgs boson particle, but Labour have not found a sense of


Today is hugely significant for British scientists with the


announcement of the Higgs Boson discovery. 6,000 scientists worked


on it, 700 from the UK, with a major contribution from the north-


west, a constituent of mine, head of particle physics at Liverpool


university led the ATLAS. Can the Prime Minister confirm this


Government's commitment to science and institutions in the north-west?


I think the honourable lady is right, to raise this issue and the


immense British contribution there has been to the extraordinary


breakthrough, not least Higgs himself and extraordinary works,


done in the north-west. It's a very big step forward and congratulate


everyone involved. This Government's commitment to science


is without any doubt, not least because while we have made


difficult cuts, we have preserved the science budget. In the last 15


days we have witnessed chaos in the Ulster Bank. Direct debits continue


to be removed and the bank is owned by RBS. We, the people, have an 82%


share, therefore the Government has a major say in what happens in the


bank in Northern Ireland. Can the Prime Minister give an assurance to


the 100,000 Ulster Bank customers that they will have a direct input


from the Prime Minister and Government to address this issue?


quite understand why he raises this. What happened isn't acceptable.


Clearly, it's an operational matter for the bank, but the Financial


Services Authority has been monitoring this very closely. The


Secretary of State for Northern Ireland spoke yesterday to the


chairman of RBS. The lessons must be learnt, but I can tell him that


RBS has said it will reimburse any customer for penalty charges or


overdrafts fees, anything incurred from these difficulties. To be


blunt, my constituents in Lancaster and Fleetwood in businesses are


losing faith in their banks. What they need from the Prime Minister


is a reassurance that there will be no more political skeletons in the


cupboard left by the Labour Party. What matters for his constituents


and frankly everyone in this House is that we get to the bottom of


what happened as quickly as possible. We have had a vote in the


House of Lords. We'll have a vote in the House of Commons. Then we


need to get on with it. We are sent to the House to hold the inquiries,


to find the facts, to pass these laws. Let's get on with it.


Yesterday, 117 manufacturing jobs were lost in my constituency on a


rising trend of unemployment in North Wales. Could the Prime


Minister confirm to the House that the GDP figures last week showed


that the Government's performance was worse than expected? It


requires change and actually is the cause of his Government's policies?


No, I very much regret any loss of jobs, including in his constituency,


particularly as it comes at a time when since the election we have


seen 800,000 extra jobs in the private sector. I'm very concerned


about the economic performance in Wales, which over the last decade


or more, has actually fallen further behind the United Kingdom


and I think we need to work very, very hard with the Welsh Assembly


Government to try to make sure that we are making Wales more


competitive. A key part of the Health Bill is that clinical change


must be led by clinicians and patients. In my own hospital in


Eastbourne, the majority of consultants have said they have no


confidence in the proposed clinical change by the Trust, by the vast


majority of the public and they share that lack. Will the Prime


Minister confirm that the local trust has to listen to all these


people in Eastbourne? I can absolutely confirm that. Clearly,


changes shouldn't go ahead unless there's proper listening to local


clinicians and local people. That's how the Health Service should


operate. The Health Secretary will be making an announcement shortly,


but the good news is if you look across the Health Service,


inpatients and outpaish ept waiting times are down and we have the best


-- outpatient waiting times are down and rates of infection are


down and the Health Service is doing well. The Prime Minister will


be aware that the Crown Office in Scotland has confirmed it's been


carrying out investigation led by the serious crime division in


allegations that several banks, including state-owned RBS has


provided false information to financial markets. Does the Prime


Minister back that investigation and given the scale of the crisis,


given the scale of public anger, will he back the need for a full,


independent judge-led inquiry and crucially will he give us a free


vote in the House tomorrow? I think there are two important things here.


First, we should allow all of the investigative authorities to carry


out their investigations and take them wherever the evidence leads


them. That is true for the Serious Fraud Office and for the Financial


Services Authority. We need to make sure they have the resources


necessary. We have to consider the nature of the inquiry and the


problem, I think, with the suggestion, is as these


investigations are on going it's easier to hold a rapid


investigation within Parliament than to set up an investigation


outside Parliament. What message would the Prime Minister send to


the emergency services, local authorities and communities across


the north-east that swung into action so effectively when the


region was hit by flooding last week? The first thing I would say


is a huge congratulations and thank you to the emergency services. I


saw for myself, not in his area, but when I was in West Yorkshire,


the work that was done there. I think the other thing to note is


whenever these things happen there is an incredible coming together of


community and social action to help people who have been flooded out of


their homes and I'm sure everyone on all sides of the House will want


to thank people for what they've done on other's behalves. On the


question of a European referendum, is it the policy of the Prime


Minister to be indecisive or is he not sure?! I wonder how long in


front of the bathroom mirror that one took?! The point is this, I


think there are two things that wouldn't be right. First, to hold


an in and out referendum now. That's not the right approach.


Second, to rule it out for all time. I've no idea what his party's


policy is. Would my Right Honourable friend agree that


central to any reforms of banking must be the point of view of


ordinary punters two things, first, the proposals which we are already


working up to ensure people can move accounts quickly, cheaply and


easily and secondly, an absolute guarantee that governments never


again will bail out banks? I think my friend makes two very important


points. On the first, being able to move your bank account, that will


be in place later this year. On the issue of bailing out banks, what we


need to do is put in place mechanisims so that banks can fail


without calling on taxpayers to support them. That resolution


regime, which for 13 years was left untouched by the party opposite,


has been dealt with by this Government. The euro now has a


solid record of destroying jobs and democracy throughout Europe. The


Prime Minister is failing to repatriate any powers or resources


to this country. When is he going to stop dithering and allow the


people in this country to have a referendum on the euro -- on the


European Union, to decide whether to -- stay in or get out of that


mess? Firstly, we have actually repatriated one power, which is we


have got out of the bail out that the last Government put us into.


That is saving us billions. I think if he takes that view he should be


sitting on this side of the House rather than that side. I want to


draw the attention from banking for one moment and to the opposition,


to more important matters. Children's lives in my constituency.


Five children in my constituency have been involved in an accident


in a crossing outside St Peter's school in Heysham. I know it's a


County Council matter, but I would like the assistance of the Prime


Minister to help me trying to get a crossing outside the school.


think he's entirely right to raise such a case, where so many people


have lost their lives. I will certainly look at what he says and


as he says, it's a matter for the County Council, but if I can help


him to put his case, I will be pleased to do so. Leicester is


feeling the brunt of the Prime Minister's double-dip recession


with the sad news today that yet another business is going under


with the loss of local jobs. In this context, was the Prime


Minister as disappointed as I was at the figures last month that


showed lending to small businesses down by 1.7 billion and is it now


not clear that the Chancellor's credit easing policies aren't


working? Firstly, the credit-easing policy is going to make available


�20 billion of extra loans. Some of that money is already available.


The Merlin scheme saw lending to small businesses go up in 2011.


There is a difficult situation when you've got banks that are very


nervous about the economic situation. But the Treasury and the


Bank of England and through the Merlin agreement, we are doing all


we can to get money out of banks and into hard-pressed businesses.


If, as a result of this shameful banking crisis bank executives are


dismissed or forced to resign, and the boards of their banks fail to


act appropriately, will the Government do it's best to try to


ensure that the delink wepbts are not able to walk awhat -- the


delink wepbts are not able to walk away with their pay? It would be


wrong if people were leaving under these circumstances were given some


vast payoff. It would be completely inexplicable to the British public


and I very much hope that doesn't happen. In terms of what the


Government can do, what we are going to do is legislate so that


all pay deals are put to shareholders in a binding vote and


those deals should include any severance payments. Again,


something the party opposite 13 years to do, we'll do in two.


the richest 1,000 persons in Britain made gains of �155 billion


in the last three years of austerity, why won't the Government


charge those gains at capital gains tax rates, which would bring in


around �40 billion? Enough without any increase in public borrowing at


all to generate a million or more jobs, which is a better way to cut


the deficit through growth rather than through the Chancellor's


failed slump. I hate to remind the Right Honourable gentleman, but he


was a minister in the Government where the last Government's capital


gains tax rules meant that people in the City were paying less in tax


than their cleaners were paying in tax. What we have done is actually


lift the rate of tax to 28%, so actually we have a fairer system.


Pupils I met recently at Horsham primary school told me in their own


creative ways that they liked to learn together. But they know that


many children in other countries never get that chance. As the chair


of the UN's high-level Panel on the Millennium Development Goals how


will the Prime Minister restart efforts to make sure all girls and


boys around the world get to go to school? He raises an important


point, which is that send my friend to school campaigns that many of us


will have seen in our quepbss is a brilliant way of teaching young


people the importance of showing responsibility for others on the


other side of the world. Our aid is currently supporting 5.3 million


children in primary education and by 2014 we hope to up that to 9


million people, so the Government is playing its part, but we want


all of civil society, schools, parents and teachers to join us


with this great effort. In addition to what the Prime Minister said


earlier in relation to the Ulster Bank crisis in Northern Ireland,


where households, individuals and businesses are denied even basic


banking facilities, can the Prime Minister, along with the Chancellor,


talk to the HMRC to ensure that some flexibility will be shown to


households, individuals and businesses in terms of liabilities


there, so people can be helped through cashflow problems that may


exist as a result of problems they didn't create? I will look at what


the honourable gentleman says. RBS have said that they will make sure


people don't lose out in terms of banking charges, but the point he


makes about the HMRC I'll discuss with the Chancellor. I welcome the


Government's commitment to women and girls the heart of its


development policy, as the toibgio conference on the future of


Afghanistan approaches, will the Prime Minister -- Tokyo conference


on the future of Afghanistan approaches, will the Prime Minister


make the aid conditional on the protection of hard-won rights of


women and girls, which he knows are under attack? She makes a very


important point. What we see in Afghanistan is whereas in 2001


there were less than one million children attending school and there


were no girls attending school in 2001, today, we have got 6 million


children regularly attending school in Afghanistan and two million of


them are girls. I will is listen carefully to what she says about


our aid programme and discuss it with the Secretary of State. It's


important that we attach conditions and have real transparency and


proper results from our aid. I it's the only way we can take people


with us as we continue to expand our aid budget at a time of


economic difficulty at home. She is absolutely right to raise this


issue, because if we want a stable and prosperous Afghanistan and a


safe Afghanistan, we need an Afghanistan where the role of women


is properly respected. Can I give the Prime Minister the opportunity


to answer the question put to him a few moments ago by my friend from


Glasgow Central? If the Prime Minister believes in the


sovereignty of Parliament, will he confirm tomorrow will be a free


vote across the House? There was a vote last night in the House of


Lords when Labour peers were heavily whipped to vote for the


Labour position. I have a clear view. The Government has a clear


view, but the whole of the coalition has a clear view about


the right way ahead. There will be a motion for the Labour Party,


which you can vote for. And a motion for us, which we can vote


for and I hope and let me put this one more time to the Leader of the


Opposition, I will be bound by any a vote for a full public inquiry,


will he be bound if the House votes for a Parliamentary one? If he


can't answer that question people will take a very dim view of an


opposition party that stands in the way of an inquiry because they


don't want their dirty washing done in public. Thank you, Mr Speaker.


The Olympics are a great opportunity to bring our nation


together. Therefore, does the Prime Minister share my dismay at the


plans of some union leaders to disrupt the summer's events?


think he makes an important point. London. The Right Honourable


gentleman likes to talk about standing up to vested interests.


What have we heard from him on the trade union movement? Absolutely


nothing. The whole country will be listening to that. We want a


strike-free Olympics and Labour should talk to their pay masters


about it. We all witnesses the storms last week across the country.


In my own village it hit the headlines, because of floods. We


are all grateful to the police, the fire brigade, the County Council,


and the mountain rescue service, but will the Prime Minister confirm


that the Government will be there with real money? Of course we will


be there to do that and we are investing around �2 billion in


future flood defences. Of course, all the emergency services have


done an excellent job and they remain ready to carry out further


work if necessary. I also think the Government should lend a very


sympathetic ear to those local councils and local organisations


that are in particular setting up hardship funds to help families,


perhaps who don't have insurance or perhaps cannot avoid the excess


when it comes to actually dealing with the problems that they have. I


have said to the Department of Communities and local Government,


we should be generous in helping people get their lives back


together. Would the Prime Minister join me in welcoming the news that


over �1 billion has been raised in the last six months to startups in


our science sector? More than in the last three years. This is a


massive statement of confidence in our policies to make Britain a


place to do business? I think my honourable friend, who has a close


interest in the industry, he knows a lot about what he speaks, one of


the successes with the EU patent court coming to London, is that the


patents that cover life sciences, pharmaceuticals and those


industries, that is going to be in London too and that is actually


tens of many, many jobs and millions of pounds of investment


into this industry and our capital Metrical Bob Diamond was dominating


PMQs there. -- naturally. First of all, let's hear what you thought


about it. Yes, all of the e-mails talking about that issue. This one


says, nothing but a scramble for the higher moral ground from Labour.


Ed Miliband is playing the only card they have, say it enough, and


people will start believing it. This one says, wasn't Ed Miliband


an adviser when the banks were let off the leash? This one says, Ed


Balls was remarkably quiet today. This one says, Ed Miliband is wrong,


we do not need an inquiry, we need action. Let the serious Fraud


Office pursue any criminal action immediately. This one says, we do


not need a cover-up, we cannot trust this to the politicians. It


is vital to clean the decks, we need to get rid of the dirt. And


this one says, I can fully understand the reticence regarding


a judicial inquiry. Mr Cameron has got himself into an awful muddle


over this, and has been completely outflanked by Ed Miliband today,


with this two-speed review proposal. Miliband comes across as


increasingly statesmanlike and honest.


Towards the end of the exchanges, they got to the kind of, I will


take no lectures from you, but most of it was dominated by another


argument about process, about what kind of inquiry to have - how do we


proceed on this, will the vote in the Commons determine it? That's


what David Cameron was trying to find out, will Labour go along with


the parliamentary inquiry, even if they lose the vote? Of course, the


opposition is extremely likely to lose the vote, on Thursday. Those


exchanges were lower key, a more substantive, Ed Balls was not


shouting out, George Osborne on the other side was lower-key than he


often is. It follows, I can reveal, a conversation which happened


yesterday on the telephone between the Prime Minister and the Leader


of the Opposition. The Prime Minister rang the Labour leader to


discuss this inquiry. Ed Miliband, I am told, essentially said, if you


want a cross-party consensus, you're going about it a pretty


funny way, because Labour were angered, really, by the attempt to


put Ed Balls in the dock, for failing to regulate the banks. What


was interesting, I thought, was that the Prime Minister was trying


to sound none parties and, I will listen to your suggestions. -- non-


partisan. And Ed Miliband was trying to respond to what he had


heard. He was saying, you say it has got to be quick, so I will


suggest a to party inquiry. It was only at their end that you saw the


raw politics. -- two-part inquiry. The Tories are determined to


portray Labour as the party that failed to regulate the bankers.


Both sides are being pretty brutal. What will Labour do if it loses the


vote in the Commons? At the moment we're focusing on the case for a


judge-led inquiry. We will just have to see tomorrow what happens.


I will not be dragged into speculating. The Prime Minister has


said that if the House votes for a judge-led inquiry, which is what


you want, then there will be one. So, if the House votes for a


parliamentary inquiry, will you co- operate? We will have to see.


will know tomorrow. And will say this, if that is the decision of


the House tomorrow, we will never believe that a parliamentary


inquiry would have been as good as having a judge-led one.. I know


that, but I am trying to find out what you will do. You will probably


lose the vote, so, what we you do? Well, we will have to have that


discussion. At the moment, you do not know? At the moment we are


focusing on the most important part of the debate, a judge-led inquiry.


I have asked you and you will not answer, that's fine, maybe you have


to speak to Mr Miliband, maybe he does not even know. Clearly, labour


is worried because they were in power at the time, and there was


clearly manipulation of the LIBOR rates, and government could have


been complicit. But if you look at where we got to by then, you had a


set of regulations which were loose and carelessly -- and clearly did


not work, come the crisis. In the record, I can find no official


Conservative statement of you calling for the regulations to be


tightened - can you give me one? One thing which most concern this,


and it is on the record, is the fact that the regulation of the


banks was split up in a very complex way across the Treasury,


the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority. And


back then, we said, this is going to lead to trouble, and we pulled


them back together. But that is about the structure of the


regulation. I understand that he did not too much like the structure


of the tripartite arrangement, but even given that, Mr Miliband is


able to produce a file of your party calling for even light of


regulation. You were wrong, weren't you? I don't think the issue is...


If you will let me answer the question. And just saying, it is


true, isn't it? He has already asked me the question, you do not


have to ask me as well. What we're talking about here is good


regulation, it is not about a light touch or not. Good regulation is


about not having the tripartite system. I thought the Exchange


today was fascinating. Ed Miliband is calling for a judge-led inquiry,


I suspect whilst desperately hoping that it is a parliamentary one.


Because what will be under investigation here is what your


ministers were doing. That is completely not true. He must be


hoping that we can have a Parliamentary Review, secretly.


Where do we go with this? I suspect the public just want an inquiry,


they do not really care what kind it is. There was a poll last night


which suggested the public wanted a judicial -- a judge-led inquiry.


But where does Westminster go on this? You will get a vote. You will


get two votes tomorrow. Because of the parliamentary system, Labour


will lose that vote. They will then have a simple choice - do they vote


against it in the inquiry? If they do, the man asked to chair it says


he will not carry on with that job. Every instinct tells you that


Labour will try their best but in the end they will go along with the


parliamentary inquiry. But there is still an interesting question -


what do they vote for it or do they abstain, in a theatrical statement,


which says, this is not what we wanted, but we will not allow you


to accuse us of trying to block an inquiry, because that is not oppose


an objector. My last thought is, there must be a tiny little thought


in Ed Miliband's head, that I could really bring the house down. In


other words, Labour could vote against it. He will probably see


that as a trap set for him by the Tories. But each day this has gone


on, what has been really striking to me is, Ed Miliband has hardened


his position, not softened it. He thinks he is on a roll, he thinks


he has got David Cameron in the wrong place, he thinks public


opinion is on his site, so he could still press that button. Now, to


something a little different. Kylie, Rick Astley, Bananarama, Mel and


Kim - no, not our next guests, but all acts which were helped into the


top 10 by our next guest, Pete Waterman. Jeremy get in behind the


Government's controversial plan for a new high-speed rail line between


It seem I life I have loved railways. In fact, I started my


career in 1962 at Wolverhampton in the steam depot. It was not until


that closed in 1963 that I considered the music industry as a


career. I have always believed in public railways. In 1968, British


Rail introduced a new electric train service into Euston from


Birmingham. The time was one hour and 20 minutes, coming down from


two hours. I lived in Coventry at the time and I was just joining the


record industry. I did it in 58 minutes. The new high-speed train


service will be in Birmingham in 45 minutes - that's progress. You do


not need to be a railway enthusiast to believe in HS2, because railway


innovation and economic growth go hand in hand. Gone will be the


North-South divide, because land sipping -- because HS2 will change


the United Kingdom for ever. What happened the last time we built a


brand new railway? The Industrial Revolution. As a northerner, I am


not insensitive to the problems of building a brand new railway,


particularly for the people but lose their land and their homes.


But we simply can't put no more trains on our network, we are full.


The country must go forward, we must build HS2 - simple. The


current HS2 deal is proposed to go from Birmingham straight to


Manchester with no stop. Where we would like to see it modified is a


stop at Crewe, which would open up the whole of the north-west, and 6


million more people. You could then get a high-speed train to Lancaster,


Preston, Liverpool, North Wales and Chester. So, Prime Minister, put


that on your route map. Pete Waterman joins us now. We are also


joined in the studio by the leader of Buckinghamshire County Council,


Martin Tett. He is also the chairman of the 51m group of


councils are opposed to the new nine. It is going to cost �32


billion, and much more to buy the trains and pay for the running


costs, all of this to save 35 minutes - is it worth it? It is not


about time, it is about history. This will change Britain once-and-


for-all. It is as simple as that. You cannot look at railways in


military terms. We never have, we never should do. So, it is not


about money or saving time, it is about an Industrial Revolution,


about moving forward? I respect Pete Waterman, but when you look at


spending �30 million -- �32 billion on a railway line, to save 25


minutes for wealthy businessman, I'm not sure that is good value for


money. I can remember when people were just as passionate about


Concorde, about the Millennium Dome - but you have got to have a good


business case. The business case for this has absolutely fallen


apart since January. What do you say to that? It has never had a


business case, you do not need a business case, it is only


politicians need business cases. You build railways, they change the


world. I lived in Coventry, it used to be one hour and 20 minutes,


which went down to 58 minutes. Would you feel like that if you


lived in the Chilterns? I live in Cheshire, and I have got the M56


less than a mile from my back garden. I live there because I can


get to Runcorn or Warrington station in 10 minutes. Respect, but


if you are going to spend �32 billion of taxpayers' money, at a


time of austerity, when, as a local councillor, I am having to make


tough decisions, seeing libraries closing, hospital wards reduced,


these are really tough decisions to defend on the doorstep, so you need


to have a business case for spending this amount of money. The


business case of this project has absolutely collapsed. But even at


the Transport Select Committee, the chairman concluded that High Speed


2 could be a catalyst for economic growth, helping to rebalance the


economy and to bridge the North South divide, that would be part of


answering your concerns, would it not? The Government has tried to


cost that in in the numbers they are producing, what they call their


cost-benefit analysis. When they first announced it, they were


saying that for every �1 invested, you would get more than �2 in terms


of benefits. That has gone down to 1.6, and further down to 1.2. And


if you come to the latest forecasts, it is well down below one. This is


not just about the speed or the business case, it is as simple as


this - we have not built railways at a substantial level since the


Victorian times. This country now has a massively bigger population.


The railway system will be completely full by 2020, we need


another line. We support High Speed 2. The first one came under Labour,


down to the channel, that was a good decision. But I am worried


that the Government will be stepping back from making sure it


goes beyond the Midlands, further up, and the point is that we should


have warned bill which brings these together. And it is about that all


South divide. As a Yorkshire MP, I want to make sure we have a fair


chance to get to be balanced economy, and the railway system is


The Government's argument moves around like jelly. Once it was


about speed and now capacity. It can be about both, but the speed


argument falls apart if you accept that businessmen spend time working


on trains. The issue on capacity is interesting, because we have been


trying to get the details from the DFT about what the factors on the


trains are and they've consistently refused to tell us. If they have an


argument on capacity, if Grant will give a commitment they'll release


the information on what the load factors are, then they've got a


case. I run trains and let me tell you, I cannot get timings from


Network Rail for a steam train until the night before, so I run a


steam special and on the day I don't know if I've got a path.


about capacity? We need the project in this day. If we want to build an


economy is action fit for the 21st century and enables us to be a


better, bigger economy, to help our citizens grow our way out of the


global problems, you cannot do that without significant investment in


infrastructure and that is something we need. If the DFT would


give us the information. It's all fascinating. What you can't


disagree with is significant infrastructure hasn't been built


for many, many years and it's time to do something. Grant shapz, two


things, you say it's definitely going to go ahead. How can you


allay fears about it? It was never planned for the Queen's Speech. It


will come in next year. The other thing, HS2 was sold by your party


as a way to get rid of more runways in the south-east. The Government


seems to be changing its mind on airport capacity. Does that mean we


won't need HS2? You need two. You need to have ports in and out of


the country, because we are a trading global nation. We also need


to move people around within the country. We need more airport


capacity in the south-east. Make the decision to make sure it's


going into the north as well. We need the jobs starting in the north


as well as the south. I know. should be extended beyond both.


It's to extend and go up both sides of the country. Two builds. These


things take a long time to build. I'm going to have to leave it there.


I'm sure we'll meet up again. Gentlemen, thank you very much.


Paul tucker from the Bank of England said he now is anxious to


appear before the Treasury Select Committee as quickly as possible,


because he has some very important things he want to say. Now, this


morning a very important announcement was made. At a seminar


in CERN1, the ATLAS and CMS experiment teams presented their


preliminary findings in the search for the long-sought-after Higgs


particle. Both experiments observe a new particle in the mass region


around 125-126 GeV. They say they've observed in their data


clear signs of a new particle at the level of five sigma. The


results, we must stress, are preliminary, but they say it is a


boson and not just that, it's the heaviest boson ever found. The next


step is to find out if the properties are as expected, or if


they are the final missing ingredient in the standard model of


particle physics. Or could it be something more exotic altogether?


Well, we can speak now to the most intelligent man in the Commons, the


former scientist, Julian Huppert, to tell us just what exactly that


all means, as I haven't got the foggiest! It's the fundamental


particle that gives everything mass. It's taken 45 years to see it in


action. It's a very exciting time for science. Thousands of people


have been working on, many from the UK. It's nice to make a theoretical


prediction and find what you are looking for. What is it called the


God particle? Because it does have this amazing role in making sure


that everything has mass, that things fall and are attracted to


each other. It's one of the key things that means that matters


behaves the way we are all used to. Thank you very much. Good to get


straight answers from a politician. Just bash that. Caroline, hit it.


There's the winner. The year was 1986. I've got to apologise,


because we put the wrong film up on the website. It didn't correspond


with what we showed in the programme. Apologies. On the day we


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