12/09/2012 Daily Politics


12/09/2012

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are joined by the Universities Minister David Willetts and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander. Includes Prime Minister's Question Time.


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Good morning. This is The Daily Politics. The President of the

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European Commission has called for the EU to be turned into a

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federation of nation states. In his annual address to the European

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Parliament, Jose Manuel Barroso also called for a eurozone banking

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union, a mechanism for all 6,000 banks in the eurozone. It will

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probably put him on a collision course with the City of London.

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The families of the Liverpool supporters who lost their lives in

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the Hillsborough stadium disaster have begun examining thousands of

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previously unreleased documents, which they hope will challenge the

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official version of what happened. The Prime Minister will address the

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Commons on the issue while we are on air. And spare a thought for Mr

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Cameron - Boris appears to have stolen his thunder. Will Ed

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Miliband do the same at PMQs? And we have sent Adam to the tower.

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That's what makes the pendulum swing.

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So, all that and more coming up in the next 90 minutes of pure TV gold.

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Joining us for the duration, a couple of chaps of undisputed

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integrity and standing - at least, that's what it says here. David

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Willetts, the Universities Minister, and Douglas Alexander, the Shadow

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Foreign Secretary. It also says they have an advanced understanding

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of markets, and good economic knowledge. Well, actually, it does

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not say that of them. This is the advertisement which is going to

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appear on Friday in the Economist for the job of Governor of the Bank

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of England. Fancy that, either of you? I think it is great that we

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are opening up the process of recruiting for this post. We are

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barely into the programme, and you answer a totally different question.

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Of course, if you might wish to apply yourself, you could give it a

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go. It was a Scot who founded it. And it was an Englishman who

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founded the bank of Scotland. Do you fancy it? I am happy in my job,

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although I would like to lose the title Shadow. Very well paid.

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feeling more interested, but I think actually I should stick with

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government. Complete waste of time, that. Let's see if we can do better

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on transport. Later today, the new Transport Secretary, Patrick

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McLoughlan, will be giving evidence to the Treasury -- to the Transport

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Select Committee. He will have a lot to talk about. A runway or not

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at Heathrow? The West Coast Main Line - should Mr Brunson hold on to

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it? And the little issue of the high-speed rail line. Joining us to

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talk about all of that and a few other things, we have the former

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Welsh secretary Cheryl Gillan, who was in the Cabinet until last week,

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and who indeed sat beside David Willetts. We have got Mr Alexander

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keeping your part, for health and safety reasons! We normally have a

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Oliver Letwin between us! Before I come on to some of these issues,

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leaving the Cabinet - do you think you were treated unfairly? Not at

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all. The joy of being a Prime Minister is that you can decide who

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you have in your Cabinet. There is no secret, David has always said

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that he wanted a Welsh MP to be the Welsh Secretary. I had done the job

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for seven years in opposition. He also knew the difficulty that I

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have with this project, HS2. I have nothing to regret, quite the

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reverse. What was the conversation? I am not going to go into all the

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tittle-tattle surrounding that. is interesting. Why did he say he

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wanted you to go? He said he had always known that he wanted a Welsh

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MP eventually, which is white. Don't forget, we have had

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tremendous success in Wales, building up from no MPs at all to

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three, and then eight. We topped the polls in the European elections.

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We have proved that we can see Labour off in Wales. Labour has had

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a stranglehold on Wales for a long time. Was he's sipping a glass of

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wine when he fired you? Listen, I have answered so many questions on

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this, I am not going to discuss... I am not going to discuss anything

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that went on in my exchanges with the Prime Minister. I have always

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been a good number of our party, and of the Cabinet, and I have no

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intention of talking about those things which are between a Prime

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Minister and an ex-Cabinet minister. It is my job to try. I have no

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doubt it will come out one day. I am not that sort of politician,

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either. I am not really that sort of politician. What does the future

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hold for you now? Is your political career now simply condemned to

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being on the backbenches, or even worse, the House of Lords? Well,

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first of all, you're not necessarily condemned to the

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backbenches. Quarter to the longest serving woman on our benches, only

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the sixth woman Cabinet minister that the Conservative Party has

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produced.. Only six? Does that include Mrs Thatcher? It does!

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Under was the youngest woman minister in John Major's government.

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That is quite an amazing statistic. And I am only 60, and I mean only

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60. I think If you're going to say that women are on the scrapheap

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when they get to 60, then there will be a lot of us that will

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disagree with that. Absolutely! question was not to do with gender,

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it was about what happens to a politician like you when you're no

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longer in the Cabinet, and probably will not be again. Well, you never

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say never. But secondly, I think you have got to remember that every

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MP represents a constituency, and unlike in Wales, where a

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constituency MP has a first-past- the-post Assembly member, and all

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of those list Assembly members to do the same job, there is plenty to

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do. HS2 is of course, really key. It is planned to go through your

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constituency. Absolutely, right through the middle. What do you

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feel? Do you think HS2 will go ahead? I very much hope it will not.

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There are two reasons - first of all, it is not a good value for

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money project. Secondly, by the time it will be built, not only

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will it have destroyed some precious environment, but I think

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the world of work and the way we do business will have changed. We are

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talking 2026-36. Therefore, I think at the moment, particularly with

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the current economic conditions in this country, and it looks as

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though we're going to be in this economic downturn for quite some

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time, I would like to see the money and the efforts which we are

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expanding on that put in too much quicker things, better projects,

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for example, the project that I pushed for in Wales, the

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electrification of those lines down to Swansea, which will mean so much,

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and that link into Heathrow. I would like to see the new Transport

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Minister, who was a good friend of mine, giving a fresh think on this.

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Do you think he will? I hope so, we shall see. He is giving evidence at

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2:30pm. The challenge for Patrick McLoughlan is to come in and have a

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fresh approach. There have been stories that the Government is not

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quite as committed to this as has been made out, what do you feel?

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watched the Chancellor yesterday, and I tweeted, lukewarm. I detected

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less certainty about this project. It has been one of the flagship

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project, it was a Labour project. I was in as fast as I could do object

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to it when Labour announced it. I discussed it at length in

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opposition with the then Shadow Transport Minister, and I was quite

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convinced that it would either not go ahead, or it would go ahead on a

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different route. There is no value to constituencies such as mine,

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because there is no stop in Buckinghamshire. If it was going to

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Milton Keynes, maybe there would be a different attitude, although

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ultimately, I have to say that if we go to designate something as an

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Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, I think we should be looking after

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that. Is the Government completely committed to this?

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Yes, it is. I respect Cheryl Gillan's constituency issue, I

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understand it. But this is exactly the kind of infrastructure we need

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to be investing in for the future of our country. Why? Because I

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think that people, however advanced the economy is, people want to move

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around, to meet physically. In terms of the future of our great

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cities, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, this is absolutely crucial.

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But I can get to Manchester in 90 minutes. -- I can get to Birmingham.

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I like the 90 minutes, it gives me a chance to have a cup of coffee

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and read the papers. Indeed, I might not have to go to Birmingham

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so often if you gave me a proper broadband, the kind of broadband

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the South Koreans have - why do you not give me that instead? We can

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put you in a siding for half-an- hour if you wish! But the evidence

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is that this does not reduce the need for people physically to meet,

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all that carries on. I have to say, really, for the great cities

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outside London, this really is essential. The Public Accounts

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Committee looked at this project, and one of the things that was

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really interesting was that nobody has yet sturdy what would happen

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the �32 billion, at 2011 prices - it is going to be a lot more than

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that - what would happen if that money was spent on things like

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super high-speed broadband? We have proved that people can survive

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without travelling too much. We have kept people out of central

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London throughout the Paralympics and the Olympics very successfully.

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His Labour still committed to this? It is. Let me try to answer both of

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these points. One of the difficulties of sinking that kind

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of capital into broadband is that frankly, the technology has changed

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rapidly over the last decade, in terms of how to deliver a super

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broadband. Secondly, the future is that the West Coast Main Line is

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simply filling up. We face a choice - are we going to do what has been

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the traditional British approach, of patching up and mending, like we

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did to the West Coast Main Line, basic are performing open-heart

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surgery on a Victorian railway? Or do we recognise that we have got a

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challenge for the cities of Manchester and Leeds...? You will

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be on the benches of the House of Lords by the time this happens.

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years! If we are serious about rebalancing the economy, we need

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that investment. Why does it help the North making it easier for

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people to travel to the south? It will just make it a huge suburb of

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London? No. Frankly, it connects these areas to the rest of Europe.

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Frankly, all of the economic studies indicate greater

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connectivity is going to be one thing which Britain needs in the

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future. We will have to leave that subject there. Earlier this morning,

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the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, appeared in front of the

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education Select Committee, where he was being grilled about the GCSE

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grading fiasco. The Welsh Government has ordered the

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regrading of English papers following a review, something

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English students will not be getting. The Education Secretary

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said this was a big mistake by the Welsh government.

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I think the decision by the Welsh Education Minister is irresponsible

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and mistaken. I think he has undermined confidence in Welsh

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children's GCSEs, and I think he should think again, after having

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made what I regard to be a regrettable political intervention

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in what should be a process free from political meddling. Why is it

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a mistake from the Welsh government? I think it could be,

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because, if there is no regrading by an independent organisation,

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such as Ofqual, I think people will look at this cohort of Welsh

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students and say, there was something not quite right, not

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comparable with English students. I think Leighton Andrews has always

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been quick out of the stocks to attack the Westminster government,

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but let's face it, Labour has been in charge for 13 years in Wales,

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and educational results have been going down and down. You said

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regrading, are you suggesting by another body, you would like to see

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that? I would not like to see regrading of all of those exams. I

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tend to agree with Michael Gove, because I think they should be left

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as they stand.. What about the misery for the students who feel

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their chances have been harmed? don't think they have. I think

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right across the board, if they were treated in the same way, that

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would be a different matter. But to separate out English and Welsh

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students, there are already difficulties over comparing the two,

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and this will make it worse for those Welsh students. But children

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have been treated differently already with grading happening

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during the year. It has been a shambles. Michael's comments this

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morning revealed that he does not understand devolution. The Welsh

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Education Minister has the right to make this determination. Secondly,

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I think it reinforces the urgency of there being much greater clarity

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as to who ultimately holds the responsibility. In opposition,

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Michael was at pains to say, it is ministers to decide. At the moment

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he is seeking to shelter behind Ofqual, and suggest this is a

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matter without any political involvement. But is it not a matter

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I'm going to have to leave ill there but thank you very much

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Cheryl Gillan. A pleasure. Today is a day of important

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announcements about the euro. This morning the German Constitutional

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Court gave its backing to the European Stability Mechanism,

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saying it wasn't unconstitutional. It will be used to support

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countries in the eurozone that get into trouble - plenty of candidates

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there. The President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel

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Barroso, set out the EU's plans on banking union across the eurozone.

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That's not all. He's also called for a small matter of a federation

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of European states. What can he mean? Let me try to explain. One of

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the main causes of the crisis in Europe has be that smaller

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countries have been overwhelmed by the bad debts their banks have

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built up. The European Central Bank will take over many of the

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responsibilities that individual countries's central banks had. The

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idea is that the massive resource of the ECB will be enough to put

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out the fires. It also means that other powers will be centralised.

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President Barroso wants the European banking authority to

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become the principal regulator of banks in the eurozone. Britain will

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not be directly involved, because it doesn't use the euro, but bank

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ers in London are worried that the newly empowered ECB will mean more

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meddling from Europe. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George

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Osborne, says he favour as banking union as long as Britain isn't part

:17:12.:17:17.

of it, but can he make sure the City of London isn't damaged? In

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his annual State of the Union address President Barroso explained

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what the EU was doing. Today the commission is proposing legislative

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proposals for a single supervisery mechanism for the eurozone. This is

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the stepping stone to the bank union. The crisis has shown that

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while banks became transMarshall rules and oversight remained

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national. And when things went wrong it was the taxpayer who is

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had to pick up the bill. Over the past four years the EU has

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overruled the rule book for banks. But mere co-ordination is no longer

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adequate. We need to move to common supervisery decisions, namely

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within the euro area. But he didn't limit himself to talking about the

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proposed banking union. He also set out ambitious plans for the future

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of the EU. The present European Union must evolve. And let's not be

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afraid of the words. We will need to move towards a federation of

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nation states. This is what we need. APPLAUSE A deep and genuine and

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economic monetary union can be started under the current treaties,

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but can only be completed with changes in the treaties. So let's

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start it now, but let's have the horizon for the future present in

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our decisions of today. So the President of the European Union

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calling for a federal Europe. Are you up for, that Douglas Alexander?

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It certainly seems to indicate a change from the language

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historically used by the President of the Council and the commission

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about closer union. We need to find out what Jose Manuel Barroso, the

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other members of commission and indeed yore leaders of the European

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nations see as the way forward. If it does suggest a move away from

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the theology of ever-closer union, that does suggest there may be a

:19:17.:19:22.

Will be of significance I don't understand that. Surely a federal

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union and closer European are the same things? He is using the

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language of confederation. didn't. He used the language of

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federation, which is very different. It is completely different from

:19:35.:19:40.

ever closer union. Let's be clear what he means. The responsible

:19:40.:19:46.

course is not to jump to our own conclusions gou see what he says

:19:46.:19:50.

and other European leaders say. We've had indications from

:19:50.:19:54.

Chancellor Angela Merkel that change will be necessary. Let's see

:19:54.:19:59.

what emerges in the months ahead. But no-one is proposing a single

:19:59.:20:04.

unitary European superstate. That's never been on the cards. And the

:20:04.:20:09.

Rome treaty of ever closer union never implied that. Many Euro-

:20:09.:20:13.

sceptics would argue that that is the case. That's up to them but I

:20:13.:20:18.

know from history. That part of the Treaty of Rome was drafted by

:20:18.:20:23.

federalists. They want ever closer union. I don't understand why you

:20:23.:20:29.

think that what he is calling is for in anyway delivering a closer

:20:29.:20:33.

union of a federal state. You don't rule out being part of this?

:20:33.:20:37.

not clear what you are asking is, to rule out. Could you see Britain

:20:37.:20:42.

being part of a federal Europe? not clear how he is defining her

:20:42.:20:46.

terms. Are we proposing to leave the European Union? No. Is the

:20:46.:20:51.

European Union going to change? I expect. So is there any appetite

:20:52.:20:54.

among the political parties for further integration of the European

:20:54.:20:59.

Union? There is frankly not. said he is not calling for a

:20:59.:21:04.

superstate - he would say that - but a federation of nation states

:21:04.:21:10.

to tackle our problems. You could say the fact that he is stating

:21:10.:21:13.

nation states recognises the reality, which is that Britain

:21:13.:21:19.

doesn't want to see itself integrated into a European

:21:19.:21:23.

superstate. Nor do many other countries. If he was to get his way

:21:23.:21:27.

the treaties would have to be renegotiated. What would you do?

:21:27.:21:32.

Exactly. My heart sinks when I hear. This euro has to sort out the

:21:32.:21:35.

eurozone. Where there are things we can work together, like the

:21:35.:21:41.

environment, we should. The last thing we need is another agonised

:21:41.:21:45.

debate on all this theology about federalism. Why don't they do the

:21:45.:21:49.

things they can do, get out of the things they shouldn't be doing, and

:21:49.:21:54.

give us break about the continuous debate about how Europe is

:21:54.:21:58.

organised and its constitution. Floss appetite for that in Britain.

:21:58.:22:02.

The real crisis in the eurozone and its finances. All its efforts

:22:02.:22:08.

should be on that. Isn't it likely that Mr Barroso, who doesn't speak

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for anybody expect the politician, he wasn't elected by anybody, isn't

:22:11.:22:19.

it likely he may not get his way with all the EU members, but the

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logic of Economic and Monetary Union for the eurozone members is

:22:22.:22:27.

that they will become much closer and much more integrated? I think

:22:27.:22:32.

that is likely. The only difficulty I would have with David's

:22:32.:22:35.

characterisation is this. There may be genuine and profound

:22:35.:22:39.

consequences to that greater integration within the eurozone for

:22:39.:22:42.

the other members, the non-euro members of the European Union. If

:22:42.:22:46.

you have a country of Germany's standing saying we want fundamental

:22:46.:22:51.

treaty change across the whole of the European Union, of course that

:22:51.:22:55.

has implications do. We regard that as a priority in of course we don't.

:22:55.:23:00.

On the other hand it may be coming towards us. That is why we need to

:23:00.:23:04.

understand where the commission is and the other countries are.

:23:04.:23:08.

European-wide banking regulations which are proposed, not popular in

:23:08.:23:16.

Germany. Legislation will go before the Parliament in Strasbourg. That

:23:16.:23:19.

doesn't cover us legally, but it is bound to affect the City of London.

:23:19.:23:23.

What are you going to do about that? It is very important that we

:23:23.:23:31.

protect the interests of the City. We've a, it's a big thing that for

:23:31.:23:36.

the eurozone to work it needs a banking union. One of the many

:23:36.:23:38.

reasons the Conservative Party said we should stay out, they didn't

:23:38.:23:43.

want to be part of that. They need to make it work. Our job in Europe

:23:43.:23:48.

is to protect the principles of single market, so it applies across

:23:48.:23:52.

the European Union, including countries like ourselves not in the

:23:52.:23:55.

eurozone. You have this massive regulator on the other side of the

:23:55.:24:01.

Channel regulating the banks of the biggest economies in Europe. All

:24:01.:24:05.

part of the eurozone. In economies where our banks operate. And yet

:24:05.:24:09.

you will have almost no say on what those bank regulations will be.

:24:09.:24:13.

They will have to decide what they do for the eurozone. On anything

:24:13.:24:16.

that affects us the single market will apply. I have to say, one of

:24:17.:24:20.

the reasons why I'm optimistic that we can continue to protect our

:24:20.:24:24.

interests is that it is so clearly in the interests of the free

:24:24.:24:30.

trading members of the eurozone, Germany and some of the northern

:24:30.:24:33.

European countries in particular, for the single market to include us

:24:33.:24:37.

and for us to be a voice of the free markets. It is clear. They

:24:37.:24:40.

want our voice at the table of the single market and we are not part

:24:40.:24:45.

of the eurozone. In legal terms what matters is the relationship

:24:45.:24:50.

between the European Central Bank and the European Banking Committee,

:24:50.:24:53.

which continues to affect the City in a profound way. In political

:24:53.:25:00.

terms the real question, is do the European countries talk demust a

:25:00.:25:10.

way that if we can legally defend - - do the European countries caucus

:25:10.:25:15.

in a way that if we can legally defend our status. From there

:25:15.:25:19.

Friday we'll be bringing you Daily Politics Europe, giving you the

:25:19.:25:24.

latest news and views on what's going on in the corridors of power

:25:24.:25:28.

in Brussels and Strasbourg. I have to stay here and Jo gets to go to

:25:28.:25:35.

Strasbourg. Didn't he do well? Just come back

:25:35.:25:43.

from New York. Andy Murray's first Grand Slam this week, beating that

:25:43.:25:47.

other Scot, Novak Djokovic. LAUGHTER Yes, it was an all-

:25:47.:25:54.

Scottish final. It was in the bar around the corner. Forget about

:25:54.:25:57.

leaping the net and climbing into the crowd or other showy acts.

:25:57.:26:02.

"Muzza" paused only to grab his watch, so he could comply with his

:26:03.:26:08.

rather large sponsorship deal with a certain maker of timepieces. Not

:26:08.:26:13.

to be outdone our Daily Politics mug this week is sponsored by Andy

:26:13.:26:23.
:26:23.:26:23.

Murray. You can see his true Brit side is displayed, patriotic Ilkley

:26:23.:26:33.
:26:33.:26:35.

-- patriotic ally. If you are from Dunblane or Dagenham we'll give you

:26:35.:26:44.

full sovereignty over this mug. Who are you calling a mug! Let's

:26:44.:26:54.
:26:54.:27:27.

see if you can remember after all Everybody wants to know who shot

:27:27.:27:37.
:27:37.:27:58.

How do you feel about Mr Mugabe's victory? I think it stinks and the

:27:58.:28:03.

British stink with it because you've just give an victory to

:28:03.:28:13.
:28:13.:28:22.

A bit of Abba there. To be in with a chance of winning a

:28:22.:28:26.

Daily Politics mug, send your answer to our special quiz e-mail

:28:26.:28:29.

address. You can see the full terms and

:28:29.:28:38.

conditions on our website. I've just been told there is no

:28:38.:28:42.

WiFi on standard class on the trains.

:28:42.:28:45.

Is that because you are not in standard class?

:28:45.:28:51.

Maybe shoe look at that before you invest in high-speed trains. Can

:28:51.:28:56.

let's look at Big Ben. Prime Minister's Questions on its

:28:56.:29:02.

way at noon. James Landale is with us. Hillsborough dominating the

:29:02.:29:07.

news this morning. Events in Libya also making it. Lots of economic

:29:07.:29:10.

news around as well, some of it heavily to the coalition, like

:29:10.:29:16.

unemployment. Some of it not at all helpful, in that debt is on the

:29:16.:29:21.

rise again. A tricky one for Ed Miliband today. Because of the tone

:29:22.:29:24.

of Prime Minister's Questions, afterwards the statement for

:29:24.:29:28.

Hillsborough, so I think there'll be a temptation for him to choose a

:29:28.:29:31.

subject which perhaps is less confrontational than usual. He

:29:31.:29:35.

could talk about the situation in Libya, Afghanistan. There are

:29:35.:29:39.

foreign themes he hasn't looked at recently. He could go back on the

:29:39.:29:43.

growth front. Debt. This is the continuing theme, the economy.

:29:43.:29:48.

know the Autumn Statement is going to be 59 December. And there is

:29:48.:29:50.

obviously this question this morning about whether the

:29:50.:29:55.

Government is going to meet its target for reducing debt by the end

:29:55.:30:00.

of the Parliament. He might wait until he gets the latest figures,

:30:00.:30:04.

which are out soon. This is the kind of day when you choose

:30:04.:30:08.

something left of field. Maybe something on health. Maybe

:30:08.:30:12.

something on the universal credit, another thing that Labour have been

:30:12.:30:18.

pushing hard on this week. I would expect him to go in an unexpected

:30:18.:30:23.

condition. The usual hammer and tongs would be tricky, if you know

:30:23.:30:28.

that in just 20 minutes you are going to have to be statesman like

:30:28.:30:33.

and talk about a serious issue. this issue of spending is, you give

:30:33.:30:43.
:30:43.:31:05.

this regional development fund �1.5 These were courageous man. We are

:31:05.:31:13.

for ever indebted to them. I'm sure the renaming of the clock tower

:31:13.:31:21.

today, following the campaign led by my friend, as the Elizabeth

:31:22.:31:26.

Tower. This morning, I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and

:31:26.:31:35.

others. I will have further such meetings in this House today. I,

:31:35.:31:41.

too, pay tribute to our troops who have died. It is far braver people

:31:41.:31:51.
:31:51.:31:52.

than we who were have died. The statistics out today show that the

:31:52.:31:57.

number of female redundancies is rising over the last few months. In

:31:57.:32:01.

addition, we now have nine government departments, with not a

:32:01.:32:05.

single woman minister. I know the Prime Minister likes to think of

:32:05.:32:15.
:32:15.:32:19.

himself as much... -- as butch... He told us so last week in this

:32:19.:32:24.

very House. But what has the Prime Minister got against women? First

:32:24.:32:29.

of all, what I would say to the Honourable Gentleman is that the

:32:29.:32:32.

unemployment figures today have a number of very encouraging figures

:32:32.:32:37.

in them, including the fact that women's employment, the number of

:32:37.:32:44.

women in employment is actually up by 128,000 this quarter, which is

:32:44.:32:48.

up to 150,000 compared with the time of the last election. I think

:32:48.:32:52.

that is encouraging. Obviously, the way that we have treated public

:32:52.:32:56.

sector pay, and the public sector pay freeze, protecting low-paid

:32:56.:33:00.

people especially, that has actually helped women. But do we

:33:00.:33:05.

need to do more to help women to work? Yes. Do we need to do more to

:33:05.:33:09.

help with childcare? Yes. Do we need to encourage more women into

:33:09.:33:16.

politics? Yes to that as well. Local businesses and the

:33:16.:33:25.

industrious people in my constituency, South Ribble, are

:33:25.:33:30.

doing their bit in helping the economy to recover. Will the Prime

:33:30.:33:35.

Minister join me in condemning the irresponsible threats of Co

:33:35.:33:39.

ordinated strike action by the trade unions, which do nothing but

:33:39.:33:44.

undermine the efforts of my constituents? My Honourable Friend

:33:44.:33:48.

is absolutely right to speak up for her constituents, who work hard and

:33:48.:33:53.

do the right thing. Today's figures show an extra one million private

:33:53.:33:57.

sector jobs since the election, which shows our economy is

:33:57.:34:02.

rebalancing. She is right to say that the trade unions provide a

:34:02.:34:08.

threat to our economy. The party opposite has received �12 million

:34:08.:34:12.

since the Honourable Member became leader of the party from the three

:34:12.:34:16.

unions who are now threatening a general strike. I have to say to

:34:16.:34:21.

him, they have threatened a strike to stop our fuel supplies, to

:34:21.:34:24.

disrupt the Olympics, now, they threatened a strike to make the

:34:24.:34:29.

economy. When he stands up, I think it is time for him to say he will

:34:29.:34:39.
:34:39.:34:40.

take no more money from the unions while they are making these threats.

:34:40.:34:49.

Mr Speaker, can I join the Prime Minister in paying tribute to the

:34:49.:34:55.

two servicemen. Both of them showed the utmost courage and bravery, and

:34:55.:35:00.

our thoughts are with their family and friends. Can I also join him in

:35:00.:35:04.

celebrating today the renaming of the clock tower as the Elizabeth

:35:04.:35:08.

Tower. It was done with all-party support. It is a fitting tribute to

:35:08.:35:13.

the service that Her Majesty the Queen has shown to this country. Mr

:35:13.:35:18.

Speaker, the fall in unemployment today is welcome. But all of us

:35:18.:35:21.

will be concerned that the number of people out of work for more than

:35:22.:35:27.

a year stands at 904,000. That is its highest level for 17 years.

:35:27.:35:31.

Does he agree with me that this is a particularly troubling statistic,

:35:31.:35:34.

because the longer someone is out of work, the harder it is for them

:35:35.:35:39.

to get back into it, and the more damage is done to them, their

:35:39.:35:43.

families and to the economy? agree with him about the dangers

:35:43.:35:47.

and the threat of long-term unemployment. It is what to put in

:35:47.:35:51.

front of the House the full figures today. Unemployment is down by

:35:51.:35:59.

7,000, employment is up by 236,000 over the quarter. It is significant,

:35:59.:36:04.

because it is a real time, live figure, the claimant count, which

:36:04.:36:09.

was down 15,000. And as I have just said, when you look at the private

:36:09.:36:12.

sector jobs number, which is vital when we think we need to rebalance

:36:12.:36:17.

the economy, there are more than one million net new private sector

:36:17.:36:21.

jobs over the last two years. The long term unemployment figure is

:36:21.:36:26.

disturbing, that is what the work programme is designed to deal with.

:36:26.:36:30.

We got that programme up and running within a year. It has

:36:30.:36:38.

already helped 690,000 people. The key part of it part -- Two part of

:36:38.:36:42.

it is that we paid training providers more to help the long-

:36:42.:36:51.

term unemployed into work. He talks about the work programme, but not

:36:51.:36:53.

only is long term unemployment at its highest level for nearly two

:36:53.:36:59.

decades, but over the past 12 months, we have seen a 247%

:36:59.:37:02.

increase in the number of young people on the dole for more than a

:37:02.:37:08.

year. That is happening throughout the country. Mr Speaker, is this

:37:08.:37:11.

not the clearest evidence so far that his work programme just is not

:37:11.:37:16.

working? I do not accept that. On the youth unemployment picture, it

:37:16.:37:21.

is disappointing that youth unemployment is up 7,000 over the

:37:21.:37:25.

quarter. But the youth unemployment figures include young people in

:37:25.:37:30.

full-time education. If you look at the picture of the number of -- of

:37:30.:37:34.

the number of young people actually in work, that figure is actually up.

:37:34.:37:39.

In terms of the youth contract itself, that is now up and running.

:37:40.:37:44.

65,000 young people have taken part in work experience programmes,

:37:44.:37:48.

which were criticised by some people sitting opposite and some

:37:48.:37:53.

trade unions. But actually, within 21 weeks, half of them have been

:37:53.:37:58.

taken off the unemployment register, by finding proper work. I think

:37:58.:38:02.

that is very encouraging, it is about 20 times more cost-effective

:38:02.:38:07.

than the Future Jobs Fund, which it replaced. I have to say, to all of

:38:07.:38:10.

the young people looking for work around the country, that sounds

:38:10.:38:16.

like a rather complacent answer. The reality is that because of his

:38:16.:38:21.

failure on long-term unemployment, borrowing - the key test he set

:38:21.:38:28.

himself - is up 25% in the first four months of this year. He is

:38:28.:38:30.

borrowing �9.3 billion more in the first four months of this year than

:38:31.:38:40.
:38:41.:38:46.

last year. That's �1.6 million in this up mack of PMQs. And we gather

:38:46.:38:51.

today that the Government may miss the overriding economic test which

:38:51.:38:55.

he said himself, which is that debt will be falling at the time of the

:38:55.:39:00.

next election. Isn't the fact that he is failing the very test he set

:39:00.:39:04.

himself the surest sign yet that his plans are just not working?

:39:04.:39:07.

First of all, there is absolutely no complacency in this government

:39:07.:39:11.

about the issue of youth employment or long term unemployment. That is

:39:11.:39:14.

why we're putting so much energy into the apprenticeship programme.

:39:14.:39:19.

We have seen 457,000 apprenticeships starting in the

:39:19.:39:23.

last year, a record figure, and something we want to build on in

:39:23.:39:27.

the years ahead, with �1.5 billion invested. He raises the issue of

:39:27.:39:31.

borrowing. In the last two years, this government has cut the deficit

:39:31.:39:35.

by a quarter. If he is concerned about borrowing, why does he have

:39:35.:39:40.

plans to put it up? There are many ways you can reduce borrowing. The

:39:40.:39:43.

one way you cannot reduce borrowing is to increase spending and

:39:43.:39:49.

increased borrowing, which is what he tells us to do! Mr Speaker, the

:39:49.:39:53.

reality that this Prime Minister cannot get away from is that for

:39:53.:39:58.

2.5 years, borrowing is rising on his watch. That is the reality,

:39:58.:40:08.
:40:08.:40:09.

borrowing is up. It is up 25%. �9.3 billion in the first four months of

:40:09.:40:14.

this year. When he gets up to reply, maybe he can tell us whether the

:40:14.:40:17.

reports this morning that the Government is not going to beat it

:40:17.:40:23.

-- its target that debt will be falling by the end of this

:40:23.:40:29.

Parliament is correct? The it is this government which has cut the

:40:29.:40:33.

deficit we inherited by a quarter. That's what we have done in two

:40:33.:40:37.

years. Normally, Mr Speaker, at this stage in the proceedings, I

:40:37.:40:41.

say that the party opposite has not got any plans. But on this occasion,

:40:41.:40:45.

I can reassure the House, they have got some plans. They have got a new

:40:45.:40:51.

plan, it is called pre-distribution. I think what that means is that you

:40:51.:40:56.

spend the money before you actually get it. I think you will find that

:40:56.:41:06.
:41:06.:41:08.

is why we are in the mess we are in right now. Mr Speaker, I will tell

:41:08.:41:12.

him what it is about - it is an economy which does not just work

:41:12.:41:19.

for a few at the top, but works for everybody. And it is not about a

:41:19.:41:22.

Prime Minister who cut taxes for millionaires while raising taxes

:41:22.:41:28.

for everyone else. And perhaps when he gets up to reply, he can answer

:41:28.:41:33.

the question which he so far has not answered - is he going to be a

:41:33.:41:38.

beneficiary of the 50p tax cut? This is an economy which has

:41:38.:41:45.

generated one million new private sector jobs. I know he does not

:41:45.:41:49.

want to talk about pre-Distribution, but I have done a little work, Mr

:41:49.:41:56.

Speaker. I can tell him about his new guru. His new guru is called, I

:41:56.:42:02.

am not making this up, the man who invented free distribution is

:42:02.:42:08.

called, I am not making this up... Order! Members on both sides need

:42:08.:42:14.

to calm down. I am surprised they do not want to hear from their new

:42:14.:42:24.
:42:24.:42:24.

guru. He is called Mr J Hacker. And his recommendation is that we spend

:42:24.:42:29.

an extra �200 billion, borrow an extra �200 billion, in this

:42:29.:42:33.

Parliament. I have discovered his new book, which is published by

:42:33.:42:43.
:42:43.:42:43.

Princeton University Press, and it is called, The Road To Nowhere. He

:42:43.:42:48.

does not need to read it. He is there already. That may complement

:42:48.:42:58.
:42:58.:43:01.

the Prime Minister on such a butch answer. And what a week it has been

:43:01.:43:08.

for Mr Butch. He has briefed against the former Transport

:43:08.:43:12.

Secretary. He was knocking back the claret whilst asserting the Welsh

:43:12.:43:15.

secretary. And when it came to the environment secretary, she was

:43:15.:43:21.

sacked because she was too old, and replaced by a man who was older.

:43:21.:43:25.

The reality is this - the Prime Minister is going to have to answer

:43:25.:43:29.

between now and April, and he did not answer the question, as to

:43:29.:43:34.

whether he is going to get that top rate tax cut, a tax-cut for

:43:34.:43:38.

millionaires by millionaires. The reality is this - their plan is

:43:38.:43:42.

fading, they stand up for the wrong people. Plan A is not working, he

:43:42.:43:48.

should change course. On a day when we hear that this

:43:48.:43:52.

economy has created one million net new private sector jobs, all we

:43:52.:43:56.

have learnt from the Labour Party is that they have learnt nothing.

:43:56.:43:59.

They are still committed to the spending, the borrowing and the

:43:59.:44:02.

debt that got us into this mess in the first place. That's the truth

:44:02.:44:09.

and they cannot hide it from the British public.

:44:09.:44:19.

This year is the tenth anniversary of breast cancer campaign's Wear It

:44:19.:44:25.

Pink Day. But there is still much more to be done, including early

:44:25.:44:30.

identification of this disease, at all ages. Will the Prime Minister

:44:30.:44:34.

meet with the chairs of the parliamentary groups and the

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

leading charities for further We've made big leaps forward in

:44:45.:44:49.

terms of advancing the action on breast cancer. There is still more

:44:50.:44:53.

to be done. I payen tribute to the thousands up and down our country

:44:53.:44:58.

who not only wear those ribbons but take part in so much campaigns, so

:44:58.:45:02.

much fundraising and awareness raising. I would be delighted to

:45:02.:45:11.

have her at this meeting. Rochdale is proud of its link with the Royal

:45:11.:45:16.

Regiment of Fusiliers. The decision to act the Battalion was taken by

:45:16.:45:22.

Ministers, not the professional leadership of the Army. Morale at

:45:22.:45:26.

an all-time low in the armed forces why won't the Prime Minister

:45:26.:45:33.

reconsider? These are very difficult decision as we move

:45:33.:45:43.
:45:43.:45:45.

How best to structure that Army to maintain as many cap badges and

:45:45.:45:48.

historic regiments as possible in all the United Kingdom. We defend

:45:48.:45:52.

those decisions but if people want to come forward with alternatives

:45:52.:45:57.

we will always listen to them. Would the Prime Minister agree with

:45:57.:46:02.

me that the improvement in the balance of trade figures are

:46:02.:46:07.

welcome and demonstrate we can balance our economy by expanding

:46:07.:46:10.

our trade with the rest of the world as well as Europe. The trade

:46:10.:46:16.

figures out yesterday showed the biggest cash decline in the trade

:46:16.:46:21.

deficit for 20 years. As I have said many times, we do face great

:46:21.:46:24.

economic difficulties in this country and across Europe. But we

:46:24.:46:27.

are seeing a rebalancing of the economy, a growth in terms of

:46:27.:46:30.

private sector employment that I've talked about. Manufacturing now

:46:30.:46:35.

accounting for a growing share of the economy rather than a shrinking

:46:35.:46:40.

share. A big increase in exports, particularly to the fastest growing

:46:40.:46:45.

parts of world. We need more of that alongside small business

:46:45.:46:50.

creation and entrepreneurs in order to rebalance our economy and make

:46:50.:46:56.

it stronger for the future. Before the election, the Prime Minister

:46:56.:47:01.

promised a moratorium on hospital closures. Last year he told me

:47:01.:47:05.

Ealing Hospital would not close without the support of doctors and

:47:05.:47:11.

patients. So why are the doctors and patients having to march on

:47:11.:47:16.

Saturday to keep our hospitals open? Let me say again to the

:47:16.:47:19.

honourable gentleman, who quite rightly raises this issue, there

:47:19.:47:22.

are no plans to close Ealing Hospital. I understand the trust is

:47:22.:47:28.

planning a capital programme of �4 billion for 2012-13, which includes

:47:28.:47:32.

refurbishing some wards. It proposes a merger with north-west

:47:32.:47:39.

London hospitals is a matter for the trusts them. It is clear that

:47:39.:47:42.

reconfiguration of frontline services is a matter for the NHS.

:47:42.:47:47.

As he knows, any proposed changes to clinical services has to be

:47:47.:47:53.

subject to the foretests of support from GP commissioners, strengthened

:47:53.:47:56.

public engagement, clarity on the clinical evidence base and support

:47:56.:48:01.

for patient choice. He is right to raise this issue but this is how it

:48:01.:48:11.
:48:11.:48:12.

should be approached. THE SPEAKER: Nick Gibb. CHEERING

:48:12.:48:18.

Thank you Mr Speaker. My constituent has crumbling vertebra

:48:18.:48:24.

and is in constant pain and can only walk short distances. She is

:48:24.:48:29.

87. She applied for the renewal of her Blue Badge but like many others

:48:29.:48:33.

was turned down due to the way the new national Blue Badge improvement

:48:33.:48:36.

service is implemented locally will. The Prime Minister intervene to

:48:36.:48:40.

ensure that the scheme is being implemented fairly and

:48:40.:48:45.

appropriately across the country? will look very carefully at the

:48:46.:48:48.

case that my right honourable friend mentions, because I think it

:48:48.:48:52.

is important that this reform is carried out properly. I think all

:48:52.:48:57.

of us as constituency MPs get two sorts of complaints. Sometimes from

:48:57.:49:02.

people who see people have the Blue Badge who don't merit it, but also

:49:02.:49:09.

those who want the Blue Badge, do deserve it and can't get it. Can I

:49:09.:49:12.

pay tribute to my right honourable friend for his long work on

:49:12.:49:15.

educational standards and believing in true rigour in schools. He seen

:49:15.:49:18.

many of his ideas mutt into practice and that's what we come

:49:18.:49:27.

into politics to achieve. The Adam we areity affair should

:49:27.:49:30.

have taught important lessons to Ministers about becoming too close

:49:30.:49:35.

to their outside advisers. Now it appears his climate change Minister

:49:35.:49:40.

may be making similar mistakes. Given media reports today, does the

:49:40.:49:45.

Prime Minister have the same complete confidence in his climate

:49:45.:49:49.

change Minister as he had in his former Defence Secretary?

:49:49.:49:53.

climate change Minister is doing an excellent job. I want to put that

:49:53.:49:59.

on the record. I've consulted with Cabinet Secretary over this issue.

:49:59.:50:02.

The Permanent Secretary at the Department of Energy and Climate

:50:02.:50:04.

Change has commoned this issue. The Cabinet Secretary has examined it

:50:04.:50:09.

too and I don't see a need for a further inquiry on that basis. The

:50:09.:50:13.

key point I would make is that the individual in question was hired by

:50:13.:50:23.
:50:23.:50:37.

civil servants after a properly run Mr Speaker, this month marks the

:50:37.:50:42.

40th anniversary of the expulsion of Asians from Uganda by Idi Amin.

:50:42.:50:45.

They came to this country with nothing but the clothes on their

:50:45.:50:50.

backs. But they picked themselves up and soon integrated they'll into

:50:50.:50:53.

the fabric of Britain. Will my right honourable friend the Prime

:50:53.:50:59.

Minister join me in commending this community and also the Conservative

:50:59.:51:03.

Government of the time, which had the courageous decision to let them

:51:03.:51:06.

in, notwithstanding the enormous amount of opposition both in the

:51:06.:51:11.

House and in the country at large? I think my honourable friend is

:51:11.:51:15.

absolutely right to raise this. The Asian who is have come from Kenya

:51:15.:51:18.

and Uganda have made an extraordinary contribution to this

:51:18.:51:22.

country. It was an absolutely right decision to welcome them here as

:51:22.:51:28.

happened in the 1970s, and those that opposed it I believe were

:51:28.:51:33.

profoundly wrong. I would say to him, who is from that background,

:51:33.:51:37.

what an incredible achievement for someone from that background to get

:51:37.:51:41.

within a generation to come to Parliament and make such a

:51:41.:51:44.

distinguished contribution. Speaker, last week's reshuffle was

:51:44.:51:48.

clearly a painful experience for many, but can the Prime Minister

:51:48.:51:55.

advise us why he recommended knighthoods for five of his

:51:55.:52:00.

redundant male Ministers but there was no nothing like a Dame...

:52:00.:52:04.

actually take the view that when people come into public life and

:52:04.:52:08.

work hard in opposition and in Government and make a contribution,

:52:08.:52:14.

that is something that we should recognise. It shouldn't only be

:52:14.:52:17.

Permanent Secretarys that receive these honours. We should also be

:52:18.:52:23.

prepared to honour Ministers should have worked hard and served their

:52:23.:52:28.

country as well. Our armed forces... THE SPEAKER: Order! The honourable

:52:28.:52:34.

member must be hear. Our armed forces are always willing

:52:34.:52:39.

to do what we ask of them, without complaint, but there'll be a

:52:39.:52:43.

detrimental impact on individuals' training, deployment opportunities

:52:43.:52:47.

and R&R if we ask them to keep this country going in the face of

:52:47.:52:51.

strikes. Isn't this another reason why those unions should think

:52:51.:52:55.

again? I think my honourable friend makes an extremely good point. I do

:52:55.:52:58.

hope that these trade unions who are meeting and discussing this

:52:58.:53:02.

appalling idea of a general strike think again and think of the go

:53:02.:53:08.

good of our economy rather than their selfish interests. She makes

:53:08.:53:12.

an important point about our armed forces. I want to put on record

:53:12.:53:16.

again what a fantastic job they did with the Olympics and Paralympics,

:53:16.:53:20.

stepping up to the plate. From everything I saw from the Olympic

:53:20.:53:26.

Games our armed services were pleased to play that role. There

:53:26.:53:30.

are times we can call on them and they'll be pleased to serve. Many

:53:30.:53:37.

of us are shocked and sad and that child poverty in the UK is so

:53:37.:53:42.

severe and widespread that Save The Children have felt it necessary to

:53:42.:53:46.

launch their first ever appeal for British children. Members opposite

:53:46.:53:49.

attacked Save The Children and even accused them of publicity seeking

:53:49.:53:52.

will. The Prime Minister take this opportunity to distance himself

:53:52.:53:57.

from those comments, and support the report which led to this

:53:57.:54:00.

appeal? I'm a strong supporter of Save The Children. They do an

:54:00.:54:04.

excellent job. Look, as long as we recognise that the sort of poverty

:54:04.:54:08.

that we tragically still have in Britain is very different from the

:54:08.:54:15.

poverty of people surviving on $1 a day in sub-Saharan Africa, as long

:54:15.:54:19.

as we respect the differences between those types of poverty it

:54:19.:54:26.

is right that GGOs and charity groups campaign in TUC as well as

:54:26.:54:30.

overseas. In a Commons debate last year on rural broadband I

:54:30.:54:33.

highlighted how poor the service is in pend approximately, including in

:54:33.:54:38.

the village of New Church, which might be unique in the country for

:54:38.:54:42.

having particularly poor service when it rains. Does the Prime

:54:42.:54:52.
:54:52.:54:53.

Minister share my joy at plans to cut the red tape which is holding

:54:53.:54:57.

back fast broadband? I join my honourable friend in his campaign

:54:57.:55:00.

to make sure all our communities have access to from fast broadband.

:55:00.:55:03.

It is not just an issue of money, and this Government is putting the

:55:03.:55:07.

money in. There are planning issues, because some councils have held up

:55:07.:55:10.

giving permission to the necessary cabinets and other things which

:55:10.:55:14.

have to be put at place at street and village level. That's why our

:55:14.:55:16.

planning reforms announced by my right honourable friend the

:55:16.:55:23.

Communities Secretary are going to sweep away that rocks I -- sweep

:55:23.:55:28.

away that bureaucracy. Despite the Prime Minister's Valient efforts,

:55:28.:55:31.

does he not realise that denying thousands of our disabled

:55:31.:55:35.

constituents adequate levels of benefit is merely underlining the

:55:35.:55:42.

fact the Tories really are the nasty party? I simply don't accept,

:55:42.:55:46.

even the premise of the right honourable gentleman's question. We

:55:46.:55:49.

are not cutting the money that's going into disability benefits..

:55:49.:55:55.

The question is is how best to reform those disability benefits so

:55:55.:55:59.

disabled people get access to the benefits that they require. Anyone

:55:59.:56:04.

who has looked at disability living allowance or has had to fill in

:56:04.:56:08.

those forms knows it needs reform. The reform has been led by many

:56:08.:56:12.

disability groups who want to see something much more related to

:56:12.:56:16.

people's disability and faster to access as well. Will my right

:56:16.:56:19.

honourable friend join me in celebrating a major inward

:56:19.:56:26.

investment by the Chinese firm Huawei, who are investing �1.3

:56:26.:56:31.

billion over five years to create 700 jobs in the UK and encourage

:56:31.:56:41.
:56:41.:56:41.

them to come to Wycombe? I welcome the investment by Huawei. I met the

:56:41.:56:45.

chairman yesterday in Downing Street. I'm afraid to say some of

:56:45.:56:50.

the jobs from going to be created I very much hope in Banbury, but with

:56:50.:56:52.

investment of this scale I'm sure there'll be opportunities around

:56:52.:56:56.

the rest of the country. They are coming here I believe not for the

:56:56.:57:00.

weather but because we've got highly trained engineers, excellent

:57:00.:57:03.

universities, a leading floel the telecoms and mobile industries and

:57:03.:57:11.

they think this is a Government that's open for business. Can I ask

:57:11.:57:17.

the Prime Minister to explain why in the previous Parliament members

:57:17.:57:21.

of either House who were shown to have deliberately abused the

:57:21.:57:27.

expenses system were quite rightly forced to face the full rigour of

:57:27.:57:31.

the law, but why is it in this Parliament the same proven

:57:31.:57:35.

dishonesty flults the restoration of ministerial office and a seat at

:57:35.:57:43.

the Cabinet table? I think if the honourable gentleman is referring

:57:43.:57:47.

to my right honourable friend the Minister who is attending Cabinet,

:57:47.:57:50.

and is a Minister of State in the Department for Education, he made

:57:50.:57:55.

very clear the mistakes he made in terms of the expenses system. He

:57:55.:57:59.

resigned from the Government. Speaker order! The Prime Minister's

:57:59.:58:09.
:58:09.:58:12.

As I have said in the past, I do think it is right to give someone a

:58:12.:58:15.

second chance. Does my right honourable friend agree with the

:58:15.:58:20.

managing director of euro craft in Dudley who contacted me about the

:58:20.:58:23.

Government's plans to sweep away unnecessary health and safety red

:58:23.:58:28.

tape, that at least years of regulation are being replaced bay

:58:28.:58:35.

single concept called common sense. Isn't it common sense to remove the

:58:35.:58:41.

head an ache for low listen risk businesses and won't this

:58:41.:58:45.

deregulation help businesses to grow? We've got 3,000 regulations

:58:45.:58:50.

in our sights that we believe can be radically scaled down or reduced.

:58:50.:58:53.

We've made good progress already. We believe there is more we can do

:58:53.:58:58.

to exempt particularly small firms from regulation. I think the new

:58:58.:59:01.

Minister in the business department will be pressing ahead with the

:59:01.:59:04.

full support of the Secretary of State down this very important

:59:04.:59:10.

agenda. Four years ago the Prime Minister

:59:10.:59:15.

gave the support to High Speed 2 as provide an alternative for short-

:59:15.:59:21.

haul flights and therefore a third runway at Heathrow. As he is

:59:21.:59:27.

dithering over Heathrow, is he dirting over H is 2? No, I fully

:59:27.:59:33.

support HS2 and I believe it is something that needs to go ahead

:59:33.:59:37.

for the benefit of our country. Following the reshuffle there's

:59:37.:59:40.

been speculation in the press that some new appointments indicate a

:59:40.:59:47.

shift away from our green agenda. Would my right honourable friend

:59:47.:59:53.

like to take this opportunity to Scottish these scurrilous

:59:53.:59:56.

allegations and reaffirm our commitment to being the greenest

:59:56.:00:03.

Government ever? Can I first of all congratulate the

:00:03.:00:07.

honourable lady on her new role The Treasury she has every ability to

:00:07.:00:10.

make sure this Government delivers on its green commitment. What I

:00:11.:00:15.

would say to her is that this Government that has set up a Green

:00:15.:00:21.

Investment Bank, with �3 billion to spend. It is this Government that's

:00:21.:00:27.

committed 1 billion to car ban capture and storage. We have the

:00:27.:00:35.

first incentive scheme for renewable heat. The mass roll-out

:00:35.:00:40.

of smart metres and we are the first Government to introduce a

:00:40.:00:45.

carbon price. Thank you Mr Speaker. In 1993 the chairman of the

:00:45.:00:50.

Conservative Party Norman Fowler said if the �365,000 given to the

:00:50.:00:55.

Tories by Asil Nadir was stolen, that money will be returned now

:00:55.:00:58.

that Asil Nadir has been convicted of theft does the Prime Minister

:00:58.:01:01.

agree with his party's former treasurer that it is tainted money,

:01:01.:01:05.

it shames the Conservatives, they have a moral duty to give it back?

:01:05.:01:10.

When is the Prime Minister going to go in his pocket and get the

:01:10.:01:20.
:01:20.:01:22.

What I would say to the Right Honourable Gentleman is, what about

:01:22.:01:27.

that �12 million that his party has taken from the trade unions, who is

:01:27.:01:29.

threatening to bring the country to threatening to bring the country to

:01:29.:01:39.
:01:39.:01:39.

its knees?! Order. This government does indeed

:01:39.:01:45.

aspire to be the greenest government ever. With that in mind,

:01:45.:01:49.

can the Prime Minister assure me that before any decision is taken

:01:49.:01:59.
:01:59.:02:02.

to extract shale gas from Fylde, a full investigation and assessment

:02:02.:02:06.

will be undertaken to ensure that the environment is protected?

:02:06.:02:09.

Studies have been done regarding the tremors which we had in

:02:09.:02:13.

Blackpool last year. A full, independent review has been carried

:02:13.:02:18.

out. But I can assure him that any future shale gas production would

:02:18.:02:23.

have to meet stringent environmental standards. It would

:02:23.:02:26.

have to follow deep consultation with local communities, and it

:02:26.:02:36.
:02:36.:03:12.

would have to fit within overall This came from one viewer - the

:03:12.:03:16.

Prime Minister is in a funny land, if he thinks there are more jobs

:03:16.:03:20.

now than when he came to office. I am unemployed, and on the much

:03:20.:03:24.

heralded work programme. The only jobs are part-time or temporary. My

:03:24.:03:29.

employment plan is a joke. This one says, when his David Cameron going

:03:29.:03:33.

to answer questions, instead of passing off lists and spin in his

:03:33.:03:38.

party's favour? But this one says, Ed Miliband is once again wrong-

:03:38.:03:44.

headed. Debt would have been far worse had Labour won in 2010, we

:03:44.:03:49.

would have had to have borrowed more. David Cameron is right,

:03:49.:03:59.
:03:59.:04:03.

Labour's pre- distribution is nonsense. This one says, is butch

:04:03.:04:09.

the only retort Miliband can come up with? And this one says, why

:04:09.:04:15.

didn't David Cameron answer the question about the top rate tax?

:04:15.:04:20.

David Willetts, there is no growth in the economy, there has not been

:04:20.:04:24.

for three quarters. Real living standards are still falling. And

:04:24.:04:30.

once again, the deficit is rising - is there anything left of Plan A?

:04:30.:04:34.

There is an absolute commitment to bring down government borrowing,

:04:34.:04:39.

which we are delivering. We are 25% of the way through that. You are

:04:39.:04:45.

not, that is not correct. You cut the deficit by 25%, compared to the

:04:45.:04:50.

previous year last year. The deficit is now rising. The first

:04:50.:04:53.

four months of this year, you borrowed more than you did in the

:04:53.:04:57.

first four months of last year - the deficit is rising again. Let's

:04:57.:05:03.

see what the new figures are in the Autumn Statement. But I think the

:05:03.:05:07.

challenge of course is to get growth at a time when the whole

:05:07.:05:12.

world economy is suffering. Today, you had both the overall statistics,

:05:12.:05:16.

the one million new jobs, and you also had a great example of how we

:05:16.:05:21.

can attract inward investment with the massive �1 million investment

:05:21.:05:24.

we have just secured. We are rolling up our sleeves to do

:05:24.:05:28.

everything to keep the economy growing, in a hostile economic

:05:28.:05:33.

environment. But part of Plan a, part of the reason why we have to

:05:33.:05:36.

go through all of this pain, was that come the next election, you

:05:36.:05:41.

could begin to see not the deficit, which would already have been cut,

:05:41.:05:47.

but actual total debt begin to fall. You had projected that debt would a

:05:47.:05:55.

fall between the financial year ending 2015 April and 2016 April,

:05:55.:05:59.

debt would be falling as a percentage of GDP. All the latest

:05:59.:06:03.

forecasts are that that is not going to happen, and that was the

:06:03.:06:07.

fundamental part of Plan A. fundamental part of plan a was to

:06:07.:06:11.

make sure that we have low interest rates and did not get into the kind

:06:11.:06:14.

of financial crisis that we have seen across the eurozone. When we

:06:14.:06:22.

were elected, our interest rates were the same as Spain's. Now, our

:06:22.:06:27.

interest rates are down below 2%, compared with 6% in Spain. This

:06:27.:06:31.

affects families and businesses. We will be projecting government

:06:32.:06:38.

borrowing and debt again in the Autumn Statement. Let's wait for

:06:38.:06:43.

the Autumn Statement. You say that Plan A is the reason why interest

:06:43.:06:46.

rates are so low - I would suggest to you that the real reason has

:06:46.:06:52.

been because of the Bank of England and quantitative easing. 36% of all

:06:52.:06:56.

the debt issued by this country is now sitting on the balance sheet of

:06:56.:07:01.

the Bank of England. The Bank of England's credit card has bought

:07:01.:07:07.

the Government's credit card, is that not right? Quantitative easing,

:07:07.:07:10.

we can have an active monetary policy because at the same time,

:07:10.:07:14.

the markets know that we have got a grip on the public finances. They

:07:14.:07:17.

cannot do quantitative easing effectively in Spain or Italy,

:07:17.:07:20.

because people do not have confidence that the government

:07:20.:07:24.

there has got a grip on the finances. You are buying your own

:07:24.:07:30.

debt. The Government is responsible for the Bank of England's balance

:07:30.:07:34.

sheet. At the end of the day, Her Majesty's Treasury stands behind

:07:34.:07:37.

the balance sheet of the Bank of England, and you have placed 36% of

:07:38.:07:44.

total debt, your debt, and you are then responsible for that balance

:07:44.:07:48.

sheet. It is like me saying, here is my Mastercard, I have got �5,000

:07:48.:07:54.

on it. What I will do is, I will transfer it to my American Express.

:07:54.:07:58.

It is absolutely the right thing, having the Monetary Policy which is

:07:58.:08:01.

active and energetic, it is the right thing to do in these

:08:01.:08:05.

exceptional circumstances. But one reason why we can have that active

:08:05.:08:08.

military policy is that people can have confidence in what we're doing

:08:08.:08:15.

in the public finances. The two things go together. Yes, absolutely,

:08:15.:08:18.

when the economy is facing these challenges, getting the money out

:08:18.:08:22.

into the economy, holding down interest rates. And the danger for

:08:22.:08:27.

Labour's position is that you do not know what the tipping point is.

:08:27.:08:31.

Your policy is to expand the deficit and to get a bit more of a

:08:31.:08:36.

Keynesian stimulus, but you have no idea how much you can do before

:08:36.:08:43.

interest rates start to soar. In these circumstances, the tipping

:08:44.:08:50.

point, it is not a great nation, rates could suddenly shoot up.

:08:50.:08:54.

we do know is that confidence is haemorrhaging in the fundamental

:08:54.:08:57.

judgment which was made at the beginning of this Parliament By

:08:57.:08:59.

George Osborne. You cannot deal with the deficit if there is no

:08:59.:09:05.

growth in the economy. You're right, there is a judgment between taking

:09:05.:09:08.

demand out of the economy, whilst sustaining growth. I think it was

:09:08.:09:11.

the one decision adopted by the Government at the beginning of the

:09:11.:09:14.

parliament effectively to talk down the prospects for the British

:09:14.:09:18.

economy, which, at the time, was growing, and unemployment was

:09:18.:09:23.

falling, and to draw immediate comparisons with Spain, Greece and

:09:23.:09:28.

Italy. We now have only two European economies, Italy and the

:09:28.:09:31.

United Kingdom, who have suffered a double-dip recession. We can be

:09:31.:09:34.

certain that the approach of the Government, which has been the

:09:34.:09:39.

centrepiece of the strategy, is failing, and has failed. That

:09:39.:09:43.

requires, I believe, the Government to take a different approach, and

:09:43.:09:47.

it may be, as we have seen in The Guardian this morning, that the

:09:47.:09:51.

expectation of reaching -- breaching the fiscal mandate will

:09:51.:09:54.

cause them to think again. But at the moment, an emblem it is too

:09:54.:09:59.

high, there is no growth, and as you have said, �9 billion more

:09:59.:10:02.

borrowing in the first quarter of this year than last year. That is

:10:02.:10:08.

not a plan which is working. James, is their increasing concern in

:10:08.:10:12.

government circles about the economic strategy? This economic

:10:12.:10:15.

strategy was meant to have delivered some results by now.

:10:15.:10:20.

Growth was meant to have returned. And by 2014, we were meant to be

:10:21.:10:27.

growing, the pain would be over, and we're off to the races in the

:10:27.:10:33.

2015 election. That whole electoral-economic strategy is gone.

:10:33.:10:38.

Absolutely, and I think the Government recognises that, which

:10:38.:10:42.

is why the entire agenda now is growth, growth, growth. They know

:10:42.:10:45.

that more has to be done. The problem is, whenever you speak to

:10:46.:10:49.

somebody in government, and you say, you are still banking on some

:10:49.:10:53.

growth returning at some point, hoping that the third quarter

:10:53.:10:56.

figures will be more positive, they always say to you, once the GDP

:10:56.:10:59.

figures change, the political figures will change, too.

:10:59.:11:06.

Everything will be sorted out. they are running out of time.

:11:06.:11:09.

Whenever I ask ministers, what is it which is going to turn the

:11:09.:11:13.

corner, what is actually going to change? I have to say, it is not a

:11:13.:11:17.

question to which you get a satisfactory answer. This is why we

:11:17.:11:21.

saw in PMQs, the Prime Minister was asked twice, is happily going to

:11:21.:11:26.

meet its debt target? And twice he failed to answer that question. I

:11:26.:11:30.

think his failure to one so that question, and to reaffirm it as the

:11:30.:11:36.

Government's target, will allow that to carry on running. Douglas

:11:36.:11:39.

Alexander, you were out at the Democratic convention in North

:11:39.:11:48.

Carolina, and you wrote an article with David Miliband, about the

:11:48.:11:51.

lessons to be learned from Barack Obama and the Democrats. It was

:11:51.:11:56.

quite a long article, but I did plough through it. I would not say

:11:56.:12:02.

800 words is particularly long. seem a lot more than that! Surely

:12:02.:12:07.

you could have summed it up - the real lesson from the Democrats is

:12:07.:12:11.

the importance of a charismatic leader. I don't think so. There

:12:11.:12:16.

were many lessons, as I tried to draw out in the article. But one of

:12:16.:12:19.

the corps troops between British and American politics is that the

:12:19.:12:23.

economy is front and centre, right now. But in Britain, we have an

:12:23.:12:27.

economy which is contracting, the Americans have got an economy which

:12:27.:12:31.

is growing. That is the central challenge, which, as well as other

:12:31.:12:35.

lessons, will continue to be the centrepiece of our conversation

:12:35.:12:41.

which is, how to get growth in the economy. Would you accept that the

:12:41.:12:44.

Democrats would be in a much worse position for this coming election

:12:44.:12:49.

if they did not have someone with the charisma of Mr Obama leading

:12:49.:12:55.

them? To be honest, the talk in the bars in Charlotte was that actually,

:12:55.:12:59.

former President Bill Clinton had actually... But he is charismatic,

:12:59.:13:07.

too. So, I would not draw that central reach. What Bill Clinton

:13:07.:13:11.

did, very effectively, was to destroy the claim on the right,

:13:11.:13:14.

which we see both in the British Government and in some

:13:15.:13:18.

Conservatives supporters, that actually they have got a fiscally

:13:18.:13:24.

credible strategy. The Shadow Foreign Secretary does not think

:13:24.:13:27.

President Obama is charismatic, but apart from that, what came across,

:13:27.:13:31.

I thought, was that it takes more than four years to sort out the

:13:31.:13:35.

mess when you have lost control of the public finances. That was the

:13:35.:13:38.

central argument put by Bill Clinton - you need more than four

:13:38.:13:44.

years to sort it out. I think that was a very powerful argument.

:13:44.:13:53.

need the right strategy, not the wrong plan. You said Mr Clinton's

:13:53.:13:56.

demolition of the economic credibility of the Mitt Romney plan

:13:56.:14:00.

was a masterclass - who could do that in Britain for you? I think

:14:00.:14:04.

the facts in Britain are speaking for themselves. You have just said

:14:04.:14:08.

it - the economy has not grown for three-quarters, the deficit is

:14:08.:14:13.

rising, not falling, the debt target is not go to be met. All of

:14:13.:14:15.

us have a responsibility to give the facts to the British people,

:14:15.:14:20.

that Plan A has failed.. Rather than me, should that not be Ed

:14:20.:14:29.

Balls? He did it to the TUC only yesterday. He got booed. I would

:14:29.:14:33.

have thought you would have been intrigued that when he said we

:14:33.:14:40.

needed rigour and discipline in the public finances, certain delegates

:14:41.:14:46.

chose to boo. The I personally think he was absolutely right to

:14:46.:14:52.

say what he said. I applaud Ed Miliband for having the courage to

:14:52.:14:56.

say that in front of the TUC, as well as in other organisations.

:14:56.:15:00.

Keeping the American analogy, as you know, there is a major school

:15:01.:15:05.

teacher strike on in Chicago at the moment, the first time in a

:15:05.:15:12.

generation, and the man who runs a Chicago is a former Chief of Staff,

:15:12.:15:15.

he is out to reform the teaching unions, and to reform education in

:15:15.:15:20.

the city, which has got an appalling education system - it is

:15:20.:15:24.

a big embarrassment to Mr Obama, who has not said a word, but how

:15:24.:15:34.
:15:34.:15:36.

big a potential this winter to the In terms of the position, Ed

:15:36.:15:41.

Miliband has been clear in saying he doesn't want these strikes. I'm

:15:41.:15:44.

happy to repeat that today. We don't believe it's the right

:15:44.:15:48.

approach for the trade unions to anticipate strikes, but we are

:15:48.:15:52.

deeply concerned from some of the noises we are hearing within

:15:52.:16:02.
:16:02.:16:08.

Government that along with the snow, the Royal Wedding and the... It is

:16:08.:16:13.

for trade unions to decide what lines toe use. I don't want a

:16:14.:16:18.

labour strike. Is there any grounds for a general strike? I don't think

:16:18.:16:25.

the case has been made in Britain, no. How relishing is the Government

:16:25.:16:30.

over the public sector union outcry? I think it's a double-edged

:16:30.:16:36.

sword for them. They like the politics, the fact that makes tough

:16:36.:16:40.

questions for Labour. Equally they know they don't want to get into a

:16:40.:16:43.

fight where it feeds the narrative of this is the Government that

:16:43.:16:47.

can't do things, that it is not sorting things. They know that the

:16:47.:16:52.

idea of restraint within the public sector is electorally popular with

:16:52.:16:55.

many people, particularly those who work in the private sector. But

:16:55.:17:00.

equally there are many within the coalition, remember one or or two

:17:00.:17:02.

Liberal Democrats formed this coalition too. They don't want to

:17:02.:17:06.

get on the wrong side of public sector voters, students and others,

:17:06.:17:09.

who've traditionally voted for them as a party. There's a nervousness

:17:09.:17:12.

about it but I think there is no question of any doubt within

:17:12.:17:17.

Government this is what they are going to do. Is it not hypocritical

:17:17.:17:22.

for the Government to say that if the unions do go on strike and

:17:22.:17:25.

cause disruption that you are going to bring in the military, just at a

:17:26.:17:28.

time when you are savaging the numbers in the military, cutting

:17:29.:17:34.

the Army down to 373,000 from 106,000? Are you serious about

:17:34.:17:39.

that? As the Prime Minister said at Prime Minister's Questions, there

:17:39.:17:45.

is as we know the military will come in and serve. There are no

:17:45.:17:50.

plans to change the arrangements with the military. I thought James

:17:50.:17:55.

was overanalysing this. People don't want a general strike. It

:17:55.:17:59.

would be outrageous for the public sector for a general strike. Of

:17:59.:18:06.

course we value public services but when you look at the pay in the

:18:06.:18:08.

public services, I think really it would be completely wrong for them

:18:08.:18:13.

to go on strike. That's a strong feeling across the country. We

:18:13.:18:18.

understand it and the Labour Party don't. You were not allowed to

:18:18.:18:26.

criticise James on this programme. He is a national treasure, Mr James

:18:26.:18:34.

Landale. We are going to release you now, my little treasure. He is

:18:34.:18:38.

going to stay actually. Just for today. In the last few minutes,

:18:38.:18:42.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, had apologised to the families of

:18:42.:18:45.

the 96 people who died at the Hillsborough stadium. He said on

:18:45.:18:50.

behalf of the Government and indeed of our country, I am profoundly

:18:50.:18:53.

sorry that this double injustice has been left uncorrected for so

:18:54.:18:58.

long. Although he did say the report had found no evidence that

:18:58.:19:02.

the Government tried to conceal the truth about reports. An independent

:19:02.:19:08.

report condemns the responses of the police. Mr Speaker, over all

:19:08.:19:12.

these years questions have been raised about the role of Government,

:19:12.:19:15.

including whether it did enough to uncover the true. It is certainly

:19:15.:19:18.

true that some of the language in the Government papers published

:19:18.:19:22.

today was insensitive. But having been through every document and

:19:23.:19:26.

every Government document, including Cabinet minutes will be

:19:26.:19:29.

published, the panel found no evidence of any Government trying

:19:29.:19:34.

to conceal the truth. At the time of the Taylor Report the then Prime

:19:34.:19:40.

Minister was briefed by her Private Secretary and the defensive and I

:19:40.:19:45.

quote, close to deceitful behaviour of Yorkshire officers was

:19:45.:19:51.

depressingly familiar. It was clear that the then Government thought

:19:51.:19:56.

that the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire should resign. As the

:19:56.:19:59.

honourable member has rightly highlighted Governments then and

:19:59.:20:03.

since have not done enough to challenge publicly the unjust and

:20:03.:20:09.

untrue narrative to sought to blame the fans. Third and perhaps most

:20:09.:20:14.

significantly of all the Bishop of Liverpool's report casts new

:20:14.:20:22.

evidence which casts doubt over the original evidence. The coroner

:20:22.:20:29.

believed victims suffered asphyxia leading to unconsciousness within

:20:29.:20:34.

seconds and death within minutes. As a result he asserted that beyond

:20:34.:20:39.

3.15pm there was no actions that could have changed the fate of the

:20:39.:20:44.

victims. By analysing post-mortem reports the panel found that 28

:20:44.:20:49.

people did not have obstruction of blood circulation and 31 have

:20:49.:20:52.

evidence of heart and lungs continuing to function after the

:20:53.:20:58.

crush. This means that individuals in those groups could have had

:20:58.:21:03.

potentially reversible asphyxia beyond 3.15pm, in contrast to the

:21:03.:21:10.

findings of the coroner and a subsequent judicial review. James,

:21:10.:21:13.

first of all the apology. Very clear. How significant is that do

:21:13.:21:17.

you think for families? I can't prejudge how the families are going

:21:17.:21:21.

to respond to this but clearly the Prime Minister has gone as far as

:21:21.:21:27.

he was able, making it clear that he makes as Prime Minister a

:21:27.:21:31.

profound apology. For two things. One element was the behaviour of

:21:31.:21:35.

the emergency services and the police and others while it was

:21:35.:21:41.

happening. That last shocking fact, that there were people there who

:21:41.:21:47.

could have been saved, with reversible asphyxia and perhaps not

:21:47.:21:51.

enough was done on that front. The second point is the scale of the

:21:51.:21:57.

cover-up. He talks of 164 official statements being changed. Of the

:21:57.:22:00.

police taking blood samples from dead children to see if there was

:22:00.:22:06.

alcohol in their system. To see if that could in anyway transfer the

:22:06.:22:11.

blame to them for behaviour on that day. The impression is that the

:22:11.:22:14.

Prime Minister's given a shocking account of what this report says

:22:14.:22:18.

and from the Government's point of view, a total apology, but not for

:22:18.:22:23.

any Government actions. We heard that in his statement. No. He was

:22:23.:22:26.

clear, they hadn't concealed any of the evidence. But deeply

:22:26.:22:30.

distressing, those are the words of the Prime Minister and the

:22:30.:22:34.

testimony, but what the families want is justice. What does justice

:22:34.:22:40.

look like? We've heard now this evidence that statements were

:22:40.:22:44.

altered. What do you think justice looks like? We'll see what has

:22:44.:22:51.

emerged. The families got sight of this documentation at 9.30am. We

:22:51.:22:57.

pay tribute to the families of the 96 who in the face of an apparent

:22:57.:23:01.

disengagement of politicians from all political partys in the past

:23:01.:23:05.

kept going and showed persveefrpblts I hope they feel a

:23:05.:23:09.

sense of vindication today for a more than two decades-long struggle.

:23:09.:23:13.

It will criticise the Prime Minister every day of the week if I

:23:13.:23:17.

think he is getting it wrong. I think he got it right today in

:23:17.:23:20.

offering a comprehensive apology. What the families have maintained

:23:20.:23:25.

is that today is about truth. What they want next is justice. What

:23:25.:23:30.

that may mean is the re-opening of the inquest. There was a deadline

:23:30.:23:37.

set that the inquest would only look up until 3.15pm on that

:23:37.:23:41.

afternoon. I would expect it may well be that people will say we

:23:41.:23:45.

need the re-opening of the inquest. That's matter for the families.

:23:45.:23:48.

Prime Minister did hint at that. He said the Attorney General is going

:23:48.:23:52.

to have another look at this and dropped a hint that was his view

:23:52.:23:56.

that the inquest should be re- opened. What about the emergency

:23:56.:24:01.

services and the police? It reflects very badly on the police

:24:01.:24:07.

as an institution doesn't it? don't know what's in the report but

:24:07.:24:11.

it is clearly a powerful report. I agree with what Douglas Alexander

:24:11.:24:16.

said. We have to understand the importance of the families today.

:24:16.:24:22.

They have all of our respect for the persistence they've showed. The

:24:22.:24:25.

Bishop of Liverpool and the excellent work he's done. There are

:24:26.:24:31.

lots of lessons from. This as people now have for the first time

:24:31.:24:34.

the ul evidence, which have not been shown before, there'll be a

:24:34.:24:44.

whole range of issues that get opened up. This is a very

:24:44.:24:48.

chastening incident for the entire nation. We do all need to learn the

:24:48.:24:52.

lessons. Do you think, Douglas Alexander, that someone will be

:24:52.:24:58.

held to account in that sense? You are right, today is about the

:24:58.:25:02.

families and their response and uncovering the testimony we haven't

:25:02.:25:07.

seen before. Or sit now, has the time passed and it has all been

:25:07.:25:15.

laid to bare and that will be enough? One of the mothers of the

:25:15.:25:19.

victims said for us justify is accountability. We've seen the hope

:25:19.:25:22.

of the families that it will lead to greater accountability. Like

:25:22.:25:27.

David, I can't prejudge where this will now go but I do think there's

:25:27.:25:31.

a strong possibility that the inquest will be re-opened. Whether

:25:31.:25:35.

there are other procedures that follow on from that I don't know,

:25:36.:25:39.

but I welcome the fact hopefully the families will feel today that

:25:39.:25:44.

at least the search for information is over T search for justice may

:25:44.:25:48.

well continue. In terms of this never happening again, a cover-up

:25:48.:25:54.

like this couldn't, could it? hope not. That's one other

:25:54.:25:58.

important thing from. This this is also about openness and

:25:58.:26:02.

accountability. I think all of news our different ways in public

:26:02.:26:06.

service, we do need to remember that we are held to very high

:26:06.:26:09.

standards that. Must include open access wherever possible to

:26:09.:26:15.

decisions we take and why we took them. James? It wouldn't be

:26:15.:26:19.

possible, as today everybody has mobile phones. As we've seen in

:26:19.:26:21.

recent riots and demonstration this is incident would have been covered.

:26:21.:26:26.

The amount of film of what had happened would have been

:26:26.:26:30.

instantaneous. It was a different era. You are right. One of the big

:26:30.:26:34.

criticisms at the time or in the initial report was that Liverpool

:26:34.:26:38.

fans were criticised and the blame was pushed on to them, that they

:26:38.:26:42.

had come in this a drunk and disorderly fashion, that they had

:26:43.:26:47.

pushed into the terraces one or two tickets. We would have almost

:26:47.:26:51.

video... I can't think of another example in our public life where it

:26:51.:26:54.

appears that the establishment came together and blamed the victim

:26:54.:26:58.

force a tragedy. That's been the root toifpb justify felt on

:26:58.:27:02.

Merseyside for two decades. It is not just they wanted to understand

:27:02.:27:06.

the appalling sequence of events. They also wanted the narrative of

:27:06.:27:09.

what happened that afternoon to change. Hopefully that will change

:27:09.:27:14.

as a result of today. James. Thank you very much. Pleasure. We'll see

:27:14.:27:18.

you soon. Not soon enough.

:27:18.:27:22.

At this point of the programme we had hoped to speak to a

:27:22.:27:26.

representative of the Respect Party about the news that their leader

:27:26.:27:32.

has resigned, blaming a breakdown in trust at senior levels. However,

:27:32.:27:35.

George Galloway's office refused and the press office wouldn't

:27:35.:27:39.

return our calls. We know when we're not wanted. We always like to

:27:39.:27:42.

think the best of people on this programme. We always give people

:27:42.:27:47.

the benefit of the doubt. We don't always, but sometimes we do.

:27:47.:27:52.

LAUGHTER We are sure Respect aren't just trying to shut this story down,

:27:52.:27:58.

so I would like to invite on air a representative from Respect to come

:27:58.:28:03.

on our show tomorrow. We look forward to hearing for you.

:28:03.:28:08.

The answer to Guess The Year was 19806789 David, just bash that big

:28:08.:28:18.
:28:18.:28:20.

red thing there. David Fouracre from balm, you win

:28:20.:28:30.
:28:30.:28:31.

this fancy Andy Murray mug. -- from Birmingham. I don't know

:28:31.:28:37.

what kind of mug you are getting. Thanks to all of our guests.

:28:37.:28:41.

There'll be more coverage of the Hillsborough statement and reaction

:28:41.:28:44.

in Liverpool on BBC One with the one o'clock news.

:28:44.:28:48.

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate. They'll be joined by the Universities Minister David Willetts and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander. The Guess the Year competition closes at 12.30pm during the live broadcast of this programme.


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