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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. In the words of
Monty Python, he's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy! Or is he?
Boris Johnson has hit Birmingham. The City has not seen anything like
it since Ken Dodd played the Hippodrome in 1965! We will be
speaking to the man himself, Boris, not Ken Dodd!
The attention has apparently not been good for his ego but we
thought we would add to the further anyway. He has got everything, he
keeps the crowds, he makes us all happy.
We will be talking to this man about how he will keep the health
service healthy. He is not from the FA, he is the Health Secretary,
Jeremy Hunt. And burglars beware - householders
in England and Wales will soon be able to defend their home and
family without fear of prosecution. As Nick Robinson said, we have gone
from hug a hoodie to bash a burglar in under two years.
All that is coming up in the next hour, with us for the duration the
former Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Forsyth.
Let's talk about the economy, Michael Forsyth takes a big
interest. It dominated conference yesterday, until Boris Johnson
arrived! A report from the International
Monetary Fund, the IMF, did not make happy reading for the
Chancellor this morning. Its latest World economic Outlook, the IMF
says it expects UK economic output to shrink by 0.4% this year, and
that will be followed, it says, by a rise of just over 1% in 2013.
That is also a downgrade. This is what the Prime Minister said.
Obviously these are difficult times for the economy, and what the IMF
report is doing is coming into line with other forecasters who have
already said growth will disappoint right across Europe this year. We
know that. But the IMF also say we should not abandon our plans of
making reductions in government spending and also, regrettably in
some cases, putting up some taxes to get on top of our debt and
deficit. We do not new palm be, what we are doing is making sure
that every part of plan A is firing on all Senate -- cylinders.
The Prime Minister. Contrary to some reports, the IMF
does not say to the government you have to change the plan now, but it
says if growth continues to be as bad as it is now, you will have to
change? That is embarrassing? have not read the report, but
usually they are pretty hedged about, I am not surprised there are
nuances. I think we have got fixated with reducing the deficit,
of course we have to, but the way to reduce the deficit is to get
growth going again. I think what was lacking in a speech from the
Chancellor was any indication other than the scheme for equity and
small businesses, any indication of how he will get smaller and medium-
sized businesses running ahead. That is the only way forward.
does not, in a sense, have strategy for growth? It feels a bit like Mr
Micawber, he hope something will turn up when the numbers come out.
I think we have to be more radical, looking at tax reductions and
finding ways to finance them. Instead of putting off the spending
cuts, we should perhaps look at other ways of making reductions in
public expenditure, it seems to me. On overseas aid where there is a
37% increase planned, even if they still wanted to go ahead, why not
defer that rather than cutting people's benefits? Similarly, if
the Government believes that we should reward people in work and
not those on benefit, what were they doing increasing benefits by
5.5% when what we should be saying is that benefits will be increased
in line with the growth and wealth of the country, and that means that
we will not be able to do RPI. It does not seem as if there is any
appetite in the Treasury, or in 10 Downing Street, for a radical
supply of reforms? The traditional Tory recipe would be to say, look,
let's make the taxes flatter, let's cut them and get rid of all the
complications, all the loopholes - which, by the way, is what the tax
avoiders use. It is so easy to be a tax avoided because the tax code is
now so complicated. But I see none... I agree with you, and when
we were in opposition and I did the Tax Reform Commission, he said to
me, I want a simpler, flatter, fairer system. But he has
complicated the system and has not done, as you have described, he has
not taken the action necessary to broaden and lower the tax base.
There was a very good passage in his speech when he defended the 45%
reduction, arguing it would mean more money and less pressure on
poorer people. The same argument could have been done for lowering
it to 40%, and the same argument applies to those being pushed into
paying 40% tax, the middle earners. The result will be you will get
less revenue and that will make the deficit worse.
He made the tax code more complicated yesterday by announcing
that if you are prepared to give up employment rights, or most of them,
and you are a new work in a company, you can get shares in the new
company and will not pay capital gains on them. What did you make of
that? I couldn't work out what problem he was trying to us all. If
the problem is that people want to take on workers but they are not
sure, particularly young workers, whether they will perform and
whether it will be very expensive to fire them because they will
threaten to go to a tribunal, with enormous legal costs, I don't see
how do having a scheme of giving them shares in the business to give
up their employment rights will be in the interest of employer or
employee. They end up in shares with a company that they can't deal
with... They can't sell... incentive apparently is you will
not have to pay capital gains tax, but everyone has a �10,000 capital
gains tax allowance before they have to pay any, so that does not
see much of an incentive. I just wonder what problem he is trying to
solve. Other than I have to say something to the Tory party
conference? I forgot that. People can get up to �50,000 in shares,
but for many companies it would be a lot lower. You might get �10,000
worth of shares, any capital gain you get is tax free, but even if
the value of the shares doubled you would not have paid tax anyway?
if you are starting a business the last thing you want to do is give
away equity, because if the business grows, that is their way
in which she will race money. If you have given it to a load of
people you have subsequently hat -- sacked and who hate you, you have a
big problem. I don't think this is addressing the issue, the cost of
taking people on and if it does not work reaching an agreement with
them to leave. Similarly, it seems the big problem we have and the
economy at the moment his confidence, and taking away
employment security from people is not a way of increasing confidence.
Wasn't it at one of the things in the report? A suggestion? I read in
the newspaper to date that he said it was one of his ideas, but I have
not seen it. Ruth Davidson is currently Leader
of your party in Scotland. She said yesterday it is staggering a public
sector spending makes up 50% of Scottish GDP. But only 12% are net
contributors, so the average Scottish household consumes over
�14,000 more in public services than it pays in taxes. These
figures may be true, but was that her Mitt Romney moment? Deadliest
governor Ron the only insulted 47% of Americans -- at least governor
Mitt Romney only in some third. think it could have been phrased
better. She is right that there is a high dependency on public money
in Scotland, but the way forward is to encourage more small businesses
and enterprise. I think to accuse people on the public sector pay
roll of being dependent on the stage, we are talking about doctors,
nurses and so one, they spend money and pay VAT, I think it is an
unfortunate way of presenting it. Mitt Romney said he had expressed
himself inelegantly, we will file that under eye for inelegant.
she is saying that public expenditure is unsustainable in
Scotland, that is a good thing. This was very public, I don't think
she could get away with it! Let's cross to the Conference and speak
to the political editor of brats the magazine and the editor of the
Spectator. The speech from George Osborne was sombre and serious,
there was a muted response, was it the right speech for the moment?
think he had to make a feel bad speech for two reasons, obviously
you knew the IMF reports was coming and it would have looked odd to fly
over Birmingham scattering �10 notes from a helicopter. But he is
preparing for a year ahead which will be focused on a spending
review, cutting billions from public spending, I think he is
seeking positive agreement and warning people what is coming.
Surprisingly, he resisted the temptation to say that things are
tough but we will make them better. He was seeming to say that there is
not much we can do, we will make things worse for some other be able.
Fraser Nelson, how did that sentiment go down with the
grassroots Tories? Lots of them would have liked to have heard a
progress message, and George Osborne's main announcement of the
rather peculiar employee share capital gains thing has lots of
flaws which Michael just detailed, it did not have them skipping down
the aisles in delight. George Osborne has no good news. If he had
a serious announcement he would say that until December. He has a Pre-
Budget Report. Normally everyone likes to light up the Conference
with a big gismo but it is currently bear. Often people will
feel they are heading for defeat because there has not been a
recovery and there has not been a recovery because George Osborne
could have done better with the growth strategy. There are no
prospects. I suppose you could credit him with honesty? But it has
been lit up by the arrival of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
There is a media mania around him, is that all it is or is he an does
he pose a threat? I don't think it is just whipped up by the media. I
think Boris is the perfect contemporary politician in some
ways, a politician for a time when we hate politicians. He taps into
the electoral bone that Nick Clegg did last time, we do not regard him
as one of them, he gets away with things other politicians do not.
Who else could get away with making jokes about the Soho sex industry
and calling Michael Gove AJA cloth?! He has a sense of humour
which is incredibly disarming and diffuses hostility. He is a massive
consumer of oxygen at the conference, but I think we all know
what happened to Cleggmania. What does it do to David -- to David
Cameron and his standing? We have a strange dynamic, Cameron and Boris
both admit the tension between them, Boris said the other day it is
somehow good for the Conservatives because it stops people talking
about Ed Miliband. It is a morale- booster, at least. You should see
their faces in the hall, the audience reaction is more telling
than Boris's speech, they are smiling as they queue, smiling as
they listen, smiling as they are on their way out. Somebody has to give
them a morale-booster. It is like a Shakespearean tragedy when you
bring in a comic figure halfway through to cheer the audience, that
is Boris's role. Cameron needs that to make the Conference a success. I
don't think anyone could look at this beach and say he was sticking
a knife into Cameron. It was good, it did what it had two and David
Cameron after smiling like everyone else. It must have lifted all the
spirits. What about the response to Ed Miliband? Have they answered the
One nation slogan, an attempt by Ed Miliband to move onto the centre
ground or to move the centre to the left? Both parties now say they are
formally on the centre line and you cannot move for mentions of one
nation here. They don't agree about where the centre ground is, Labour
thinks it has shifted left and the Tories think it is to the right.
What we saw from Boris was a response in terms of... Are not
going on endlessly but talking about the bread and butter issues
which most of the people are interested in. Thank you both.
It is David Cameron's birthday! # Happy birthday to you!
So we have prepared a birthday quiz. The question for the day is what
has Samantha Cameron promised the Is it a game for his iPad, a curry
dinner, a night out with Herman van Rompuy, that is what I have always
wanted, or a Boris Johnson voodoo I think I know the answer!
Now, it is not about him. He doesn't want to be Prime Minister
and all the attention is bad for his ego. Who am I talking about? No,
not not Simon Cowell, you numpties, Boris Johnson, of course. Do the
Tory faithful really want BoJo as their next leader. Only one man,
our Adam, has the balls to find out. There is no indication David
Cameron is going anywhere, if the Tories did need a new leader who
would they turn to Boris or anyone but Boris? Probably Boris.
Why? Because he has a great personality and people like him.
Great. Our first Boris fan. It has got to be Boris. He is very
popular. Fair enough. He did do that thing
about Hillsborough, the article about Hillsborough. It would have
to be anyone, but. Boris Boris's past is coming back
to haunt him. He is not a statesman, he is a
fabulous person for the party, but I can't see him being a statesman.
He has got everything. He has got honesty. He makes us all happy. Yes,
Boris. Thank you very much.
The vodka party is on Tuesday evening.
That old ambassador's trick. I must practise... I must practise
my Boris more. He is not actually Russian, is he Turkish? Yes, he is
Turkish actually. You have got similar hair to him.
Are you part of the family? I could I am a fan, but it is not anyone,
but Boris. Future leader? Someone else.
I would vote for Grant. If it were between Boris and anyone else,
Boris or anyone but Boris, I would back Boris. Boris or anyone but.
She doesn't like Boris. I love Well, I just popped into the
exhibition hall because I hear somebody has stolen our idea. Look
at this! Oh well, back to the less exciting
balls. Who do you have as a future leader, but Boris or anyone but?
All I can say is that Boris is a wonderful man to work for and I
enjoy what I do for him enormously. Well, Boris, you have got a fair
few detractors, but the majority of people are happy to have you as the
future leader of the party if anything should happen to David
Cameron! I think you are cheeky and
troublesome and just appealing to people's nature by doing this. It
is very entertaining, but I bet you haven't had one MP put anything in
there. You would be surprised. That's the
best review I have ever had. should be very flattered.
"Cheek Y and troublesome" some of us live for reviews like that.
Boris has been speaking to the conference this morning. Let's get
a flavour. You showed that we can overcome a
Labour lead and win even in places which Ed and the two Eds are so
cocky as to think they own. If we can win in the middle of a
recession and wipe out a 17 point Labour lead then I know that David
Cameron will win in 2015 when the economy...
APPLAUSE Where is Dave? There. There you are,
Dave. I know that Dave will win in 2015 when the economy has turned
around and we are already seeing signs of progress. When people are
benefiting from jobs and growth and the firm leadership you have shown,
the tough decisions you have taken. Happy birthday by the way. Happy
birthday by the way. APPLAUSE
I was pleased to see that you have called me a blond haired mop in the
pages - well a mop is what I am. Well, if I am a mop, Dave, you are
a broom, a broom that's that's cleaning up the mess left by the
Labour Government. I con I congratulate you and your
colleagues and your colleagues George Osborne, the dustpan and
Michael Gove the jay cloth and William Hague the sponge. But it is
the function of Conservative Governments to be the household
instruments to clear things up after the Labour binge has got out
of control. Well, it is only fitting that the
Brillo pad should interview the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
I thought we would be helpful and allow you to to clear up a few
things. Let me begin. Go on. Do you rule outstanding for
Parliament before the end of your term as London mayor in 2016?
As I've said many times since the election and many times before the
election, the job of mayor is an engrossing one. It is the most
wonderful job in British politics and London has elected me for four
years to deliver jobs and growth, to do everything I can to get the
city growing again and growing strongly and keep fighting crime
and deliver my manifesto. I had a nine point plan I'm going to
deliver. It is going to take four years, plus we have got to get the
benefits from the Olympic investment.
So do you rule outstanding for Parliament?
Yes. It goes without saying that it is not possible to do, you know, I
have got to sell the people of London.
If any Tory constituency approached you to be their candidate before
2016, the answer from you would be a categorical no? I think your
chances Andrew, which have always been excellent in my view of being
approached by a Tory constituency as their potential saviour are
better than mine. OK. It is not going to happen.
But... The you were chairman of the Scottish young Conservatives.
No, you were wrong, but you have been wrong several times on that.
Coming back to my question... always makes me cross... Can I just
be clear if a Tory constituency approaches you between now and 2016,
to stand to be their candidate, your answer is a categorical no?
is and I've said that before and I have got a wonderful job to do and
I want to do it. When you seize to be London mayor
in 2016, will you run again for Parliament? Well, by that stage it
is really very difficult to say what I will be doing and what I
want. So three or four years time, that's a long time in politics.
What I I want to do and Ken Clarke for all his sort of slightly
intestimony pratt language made a good point about things that are
needed in in London. People want to see crime being brought down. They
want to see jobs and growth and that's what I want to do.
OK. You say you are, these are your words, "Healthy competition with Mr
Cameron." What are you competing with him about?
I thought those were his words, but anyway, I think the point is the
difference is not important. What matters is the public don't feel
that I am just going to sit on my hands if there is something
important that London needs to get done or some important interest of
the city that I need to get across even if it means that the plaster
comes off the ceiling in Downing Street or elsewhere across
Whitehall. There are controversial proposals that we have seen for
mansion taxes from the Lib Dems, extra wealth taxes which would
affect London and Londoners. We have got a real problem now with
aviation capacity. I want to push ahead with solving that problem in
particular. There will be arguments inevitably for any Mayor of Any
great city is going to have with the Government in charge and I
wouldn't wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't put those points across
as forcefully as I can. The best thing for - the point I always make
here, is the best thing for the UK economy as a whole is to invest in
London. Build more homes in London. Invest in London Transport and you
will drive the rest of the UK economy.
Do you support an in/out referendum on Europe now?
I see no particular reason to have an in/out referendum now. What I
certainly think you cannot do is go forward to amendments to the EU
fundamental constitution to the, to create a fiscal union as it is
loosely called using the Brussels institution, the commission, the
Luxembourg court, the Parliament, using those institutions which are
held in common without putting that reform to the people of this
country. We cannot go ahead in my view to a political fiscal union in
Europe without that being remitted for proper public debate and a
proper vote in this country. That's what I support.
So what should the choice be? Should it be, "Here is a new
settlement we have negotiated with Europe? You can have that are you
can leave Europe?" What would the choice be? Well, what I would like
to see - it depends what, where we are at. What I would certainly
advocate is a no vote to further moves to fiscal integration, Andrew
because I don't think... understand that. I don't think
those are sensible and you will appreciate that point. I think if
if following that, following that it may very well be that people say,
"Well, what is the British relationship with the EU?" Where do
we really stand? At that stage I certainly think that it would be a
good thing to have a systematic repatriation of some powers and
there is no earthly reason why that cannot be done. There are all sorts
of variable ge om tee that abouts been set-up over the years within
the wider European area. There is no reason why Britain shouldn't
benefit from a new relationship. Do you support a cut in the top
rate of tax to 40% now? Well, I think it is politically
very difficult to deliver now and I understand the objection that are
raised by everybody and I can see that it would not be easy at a time
when people are suffering, when you are trying to cut welfare bills and
cut welfare schemes and all the rest of it. That is absolutely
plain. But would you still like to do it?
Let me, what you can't do endlessly is allow Britain to be competing
with one hand tied behind our back compared to other tax jurisdictions
which are extremely challenging for us at the moment. They are going
ahead with all sorts of things that we are not able to go ahead with
and I don't want to see us charging more in tax than all our main
rivals. Why should we pay more tax in Britain than in France, than in
Germany, Switzerland, I think even in Italy? We are starting to get to
a situation where we tax uncompetitive and that really needs
to be addressed and it is a difficult argument. I accept that
people won't like to hear, but it has got to be made. Again, that's
the kind of point that you have got to make as Mayor of London that
isn't necessarily welcome in Number Ten.
Do you agree with the ring-fencing of the big London banks to separate
retail from investment banking? Well, there are, what I'm generally
opposed to are measures that are taken, unilaterally and you would
have to look at the detail of whatever Vickers is suggesting. I
am opposed to measures that disadvantage UK financial services.
Is that what ring-fencing does? have we have being going through a
long period of bashing financial services. Two million people work
in business and financial services around this country. It is a huge,
huge proportion of the economy and we can't endlessly keep bashing it
for political reasons. I would be wary of measures that shoot
ourselves in the foot and aren't replicated across-the-board.
Do you agree as a good Tory that even as defence spending is being
axed, spending on foreign aid should be rising by billions?
You know, I don't, I am not responsible for either of these
budgets, but what I would say... Well, you are not responsible for
the 40% tax? London is a city of huge range of people's
nationalities, 300 languages spoken in our city, many of them, of
course, have contact... What's the answer to the question?
With people around the world and I do think that it is important that
we do what we can to give people in the developing world access to
hygiene, sanitation. I understand that. Should we be
adding billions to foreign aid when defence is being cut. I will ask
again, should we be adding billions to foreign aid when defence is
On defence spending, you could argue the toss on each individual
line. I'm asking for the principle. I'm in the convinced it should be
sacrosanct and you need to spend money on this or that but on
overseas aid, I think you are making a poll emical comparison. On
overseas aid, I think there is an argument. You should look at how
the money is spent. I don't want to see money being taken from poor
people in rich countries and Given to rich people in poor countries.
wanted a yes or no. It was a complicated question, if I may say
so. I thought it was simple. Maybe foreign aid wasn't top of the
ageneral d at Eton. Should David Cameron have sacked Andrew
Mitchell? I say! Say it again. Should David Cameron have sacked
Andrew Mitchell? I think that was a matter for the Prime Minister.
know that, but what is your view? Between him and Mr Mitchell. He has
plainly apologised and cleared the matter up. Frankly, that story went
on for quite long enough. Should very been fired? If one of your top
people have done it, would you have fired them? Well, you know, I don't
propose, with the best will in the world to get dragged back into a
story that I have already commented on extensively. I have said before,
I don't think it is right to insult police officers. I think people
should be arrested for it. understand that. That wasn't what I
was asking. It is a free country. didn't have the opportunity to
interrogate Mr Mitchell myself. That was something the Prime
Minister did. It is a free country, if you don't want to answer the
question, you don't have to. Let me move on. What has been the toughest
decision you have taken as London Mayor? There have been several
difficult decisions, but I suppose I would single out the decision to
ask the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police service to
think about what else he could do and to give others the chance for a
new leadership at the Met. There are all sorts of difficult
decisions you have to take. doesn't sound that tough, does it?
I think, as my owe pon sent never tired of pointing out during the
election campaign -- opponent, I have been owe bliedged to take
tough decisions on the cost of transport -- have been obliged.
asked for the toughest. There you go. Thank you for that. When you
are at the centre of the media circus as you are and have been in
Birmingham, who is it that whispers in your ear, momento mori? Memento.
We never knew how the Latins pronounced it. Who puts in your ear
that you are plainly mortal? Look, there are plenty of people to make
that point. Who? I go back to what I have been saying. Abundant people
in this very conference. Who? you know, all these people standing
around me. I think most don't know Latin. Let me move on. For the
aindividualance of doubt - -- aindividualance of doubt - after
you have been Prime Minister of Britain, do you rule out being the
President of the United States? -- avoidance of doubtment Andrew this
is getting beyond satire. You don't rule it out? No, but you are asking
me... You could be, you were born an American. My chances of becoming
Prime Minister are as I always say - about as good as me being
reincarnated as ang olive. My chances of being the President of
the United States after being Prime Minister, I think, you know, no
better than yours, let me put it that way and probably considerably
worse. Constitutionly I couldn't run as President since unlike you I
wasn't born in the United States. You could get a green card. Stop
filly bustering again. The most important question of the day -
what have you bought David Cameron for his birthday? Well, I think the
most important thing that any of us here can do is just to point out
that this is the right Government for this country... No, what have
you bought him? They are going in the right direction. What have you
bought him, Boris? What have I... I think I hope you will - I don't
know whether you had a chance to watch what I had to say, I was able
it wish him a happy birthday and a hope for many years in office to
come. I haven't yet lashed out on a present that's bus like you...
you telling the people of Britain, Mr Mayor, that you have not bought
the Prime Minister a birthday present? Is austerity so bad?
Andrew, I will if you will. I'm not allowed. Wait. I tell you what, I
did give him a present, it popped fortuitously into my head. I was
able to give him a preb. I will send you won as well, Johnson's
Life of London available in all good bookshops, a fantastic read
which I'm sure you will enjoy. Now out in paperback. Excellent. I have
always regarded you as a modern Bosswell with a funny accent. Thank
you very much. We will now work out how many questions you answered.
They were very difficult. That's what I got paid for. The last time
I looked you got paid to answer them. Whether you did is another
question I did my best. It is always interesting to interview the
mayor, isn't it? How many did he answer? I thought he did pretty
well, actually. You obviously spent the entire morning thinking of all
the beastly questions you could ask him. The point is... The point is
that he comes across as completely authentic, which is why he is so
popular in the conference. He doesn't hedge about. He answered
your questions as well as he could. Well if he has got ambitions beyond
being Mayor of London, will he not have to - he will have to learn to
do more interviews like that, which I know we had a bit of fun at the
end, but the stem of the interview was on serious issues, and he will
have to learn to answer them seriously as well. And I think he -
I thought he did that brilliantly. He was amusing and then when we
came to the serious questions like Europe and so on, he gave you a
very clear idea of what was required. Really, what did he say?
He said that... He didn't want in and out. He didn't want in and out
referendum. But if there was going to be a federal Europe that the
British people had the right to have a say on whether they wanted
to be part of that and that the Government had to look to bring
some powers back from Brussels. British people won't be asked if
they are going to be part of a federal Europe. The Government will
try to do a new deal which will be different from a federal Europe. So
what will the question then be: we have a new deal, we have a new
arrangement, a more arm's length arrangement with a federal Europe,
so we could have that or we could leave, isn't that the question? Or
could we have that and be a full federal union, what is the answer?
Well I agree with that. I agree with that. I think you have to have
a renegotiation. It is that or it is out. I think if you are
negotiating, the people on the other side need to know that's the
alternative. That's not where the Government is. I got a strong
impression he is not in favour of the Government policy of ring-
fencing the retail operation of the banks from the investment or what
the politicians sneer at, the casino element. I think that's one
of his strengths. Did you get that impression Yes. I think he said he
doesn't want to let the City of London be disadvantaged compared to
other competitors. I think it is brave of him to say that and I
think it is because he says things like that, that they like him. I
call it the Blair system, it went through the system, when politics
are what people want it hear and people say that. He doesn't do that.
He does it in an amusing and an easy manner. During the elections
for the GLC a youngster said to me - are you going to vote for Boris
Johnson. I said "Of course I am he is a Conservative." He said, "Oh my
God is he a Conservative as well, that's marvellous." Could you see
him as Prime Minister? Yes, I could. So you could see him as the next
leader of your party Well if we lost the election, it is a
possibility. Do you believe him when he says he won't run for
Parliament before his term as mayor ends? I think he was right to say
that three years is a very long time away. It doesn't the most
categorical reply I had. It was the only reply he could give you, if he
had any sense at all. All right. Thank you to that. Are you Are you
looking forward to your book? will see if it is that or another
broken promise from the mayor. Later this afternoon the Justice
Secretary, Chris Grayling, will announce that home owners in
England and Wales, who attack burglars will not face arrest or
prosecution unless they use grossly disproportionate violence. I
managed to speak to Mr Grayling earlier and began by asking the law
needed to be changed? We keep getting this debate each time an
incident happens.Er if tune ately they are not that common but they
do happen from time to time. Each time they happen we have this
debate about the law all over again. The current test is, is your
behaviour reasonable? I want to raise the bar, in recognition of
the fact that people do hit out in high pressure situation and that
the law needs to, I think, treat people who are in that position, as
the victims of crime, not the perpetrators of crime. What happens
all too often is they are arrested and put in the police cell and
there is a lengthy debate about whether they should be charged or
not. I think from moment one people should act that unless they act in
way that's grossly disproportionate, the law should be on their side.
You say they are prosecuted and put in jails. What are the numbers? How
many people have been prosecuted and put in jail for using
disproportionate force? Over the years, thankfully, these cases are
rare. You do get people going to trial, and getting sent to jail and
then released because the courts decided they should not have been
put in jail. But I think the spopbt that people who face an intruder in
their homes are victims not perpetrators of crime. There is a
debate about prosecuting them, they may be brought before the courts
and acquitted but the point is to raise the bar so that the natural
assumption in the Criminal Justice System is that the law is on their
side, unless they act in a way that's grossly disproportionate.
For example if the burglar is out cold in the kitchen floor and you
get a knife and carry on stabbing them, that would be grossly
disproportionate. Short of that I want people to feel confident they
have trite protect themselves in their homes. But the law according
to Lord Chief Justice and Ken Clarke would, cover for that. The
Lord Chief Justice said "You can phrase it in different way bus the
reality is that the householder is entitled to use reasonable force to
get rid of the burglar." Even if you set the bar higher, that will
still be the same? I have talk to the Lord Chief Justice about this.
I'm grate to him for the comments made. A strong signal coming from
the judges is a big help. He says you don't need to change the law.
What he said actually is that the householders' rights should be
clear and strong. He said it is. I'm raising the bar, so there is no
question about this any more. said yourself the numbers are very
small about householders being prosecuted and sent to jail, it is
not a big problem you have said that yourself. The Lord Chief
Justice has made it clear that he is happy with the law as it stands.
This is just about good headlines. The Lord Chief Justice didn't say
he was happy about the law as it stands. What he said, is what they
need as judges, is to send a strong message. That's right and proper.
I'm saying, as a politician, is that I think we need to set the bar
higher than it is at the moment, so there isn't a debate about whether
someone's action were reasonable in the situation, and so they are not
in a danger of being put in a police cell rather than being
treated adds witnesses and victims to the crime I'm saying only in an
event where the actions are grossly disproportionate, should there
really be a debate about whether it was disproportionate or not.
September 2008 there were two brothers who were convicted for
chasing after an intruder and beating him with a cricket bat.
Would you count than as "disproportionate force, but
wouldn't be prosecuted under your suggestions?" Look, I'm not going
to get into applying this principle to individual past cases. This is a
past case. Why not? I don't think it would be sense I will. I'm
looking to the future and saying we have had over the years numerous
cases where there has been a significant debate about what is
permissible and what is not under the law. Would that have been
permisable, Chris Grayling? I'm not going to apply - because I didn't
sit through that particular case, I don't know the exact circumstances.
It wouldn't be right for me to say db this is exactly how the law
would have applied in that case. -- thiss exactly how the law would
have applied. I'm setting a bar which says to the police and
prosecuting authorities, that the default should be that you are on
the side of the householder, that the householder isn't charged,
doesn't come before the courts, unless they use grossly
disproportional force in response He couldn't tell me how the law
would be applied. I think each case has to be looked on its merits by
the court and they have got to look at the circumstances and I'm
looking forward to seeing the drafting for the legislation he
proposes because I think it is very difficult to write down in
legislation something which will cover the range of cases of which
you gave examples. But he is following the sentiments of the
country that people feel they should be able to act reasonably in
their own homes, but the examples you gave of chasing somebody down
the street with a baseball bat that is clearly not a reasonable way to
behave. Under the law as he is suggesting
that would be allowed. You would be allowed if you felt that was
disproportionate, but not grossly disproportionate? The would have to
say it would be disproportionate. What he is trying to do is send a
signal so the judges will give guidance to the courts and that's
sensible, but whether you can actually write it down in
legislation, I think the principles are clear and have been clear for
sometime now. Do you think it is headline
grabbing? It certainly gets headlines.
But not a lot more than that. The argument here is really the Lord
Chief Justice is saying it won't change from what the law is now.
Each case will be looked at individually, whatever Chris
Grayling says and wherever he wants to set bar, it will not change
anything? But I think if people are arrested because they acted
reasonably in their own homes and put in the cells, that is
unreasonable behaviour, but that's a matter for guidance rather than
legislation. Thank you. The Government has planned to
reform the NHS in England proved controversial and politically
difficult and claimed the scalp of Andrew Lansley. Junt has been a--
Jeremy Hunt has been addressing conference and we will speak to him
shortly. This is what he had to say. So let me start by saying about
Andrew Lansley's reforms. They are brave. They are right and they will
make our NHS stronger. Andrew is here.
APPLAUSE The centralised structures make it
the fifth largest organisation in the world. Smaller than the Red
Army, but bigger than the Indian railways. Conference, we will never
meet the challenges we will face with over one million people trying
to meet 1,000 targets to satisfy one Secretary of State sitting
behind his desk in Whitehall. We know what happens when you do that,
don't we? We had the perfect case study under Labour. 48-hour GP
appointments targets, that made it harder, not easier, to see your GP.
Billions wasted on NHS IT contracts. To believe in the NHS is to believe
in its reform. Not my words, but those of Lord Darzi Labour Health
Minister under Andy Burnham. Now he is in opposition, Mr Burnham sings
a different tune. Let me try out a little quiz on you. Last week at
the Labour Conference, Andy Burnham complained about foundation trusts
setting their own employment conditions in the south-west. But
guess who was Health Minister when the Act enthis Rhining those power
got Royal Assent. Guess who was it? Andy Burnham. He went on to
criticise private sector involvement in the NHS, but who was
the Health Secretary who ensured that a private company would run a
district general hospital for the very first time? Who was it? Andy
Burnham. He railed against so- called cuts, but whilst we are
increasing the NHS Budget by over �12 million, who was the Health
Secretary who went into the last election saying it would be
irresponsible to increase the NHS budget. Who was? Andy Burnham. The
first rule of opposition, Andy Burnham, criticise what the new lot
do, not what you do yourself. Jeremy Hunt joins us from
Birmingham. Mr Hunt, a newly appointed minister said the
Government had screwed up the presentation of the NHS reforms.
What will you do differently? Well, I think I made it very clear.
Good afternoon, Andrew, by the way. I made it clear in that speech that
I am a very big supporter of Andrew Lansley's reforms. He will be seen
as the architect of the modern NHS and I am a big supporter of them,
but what we need to do, having had a debate about structures, is to
talk about how those structures can deliver, improved outcomes for
patients and what I was doing this morning was talking about some of
the things the improvements in the way we look after people with
dementia for example. The improvement in survival rates for
cancer and other diseases where we are below the European average and
those new structures will help help deliver improvements that people
can see on the ground. So we are moving into a different phase now
where we talk about what people can see changing in the service they
get from the NHS. But the Chief Executive of the
King's Fund told us in a year or two's time, the Health Service will
do very well indeed just to maintain its current standards of
patient care. So if we don't get your improvement, there will be no
improvement on the presentation? Well, we have got to do both. The
public want the NHS to deliver more and better, but they want it to
maintain its current standards, but the King's Fund are right, we have
the massive challenging of an ageing population as I mentioned in
my speech, there are more more pensioners than children. We have
two-thirds of the people who are getting consultant care in hospital
are over the age of 65. That's a big challenge for the system. The
reforms will help us, but we need do other things as well because we
are living longer. It is good news, but that brings with it, a host of
other really, really big challenges. But there are reports that one in
ten accident and emergency areas are closing and labour wards are
closing at that rate too. If that is happening, that is hardly going
to help your presentation, is it? That's a presentational disaster.
Well, there are parts of the country where local doctor groups
are saying that they want to run services differently because they
think they can get better outcomes for patients and we have a system
that we test whether those changes will improve patient choice,
whether there is good evidence to show they will improve mortality
rates, whether there has been proper consultation, whether it is
what local doctors want and then in certain cases if it is high-profile,
it will end up on my desk and I will take independent advice about
them. Those changes are parts of the system saying we want to do
things better. It is not about cuts. We are putting �12 billion more
into the NHS over this Parliament than the last Government did...
that in real terms or nominal terms? Well, in real terms NHS
spending is going up, but by a small amount.
Yes. This is the point the King's Fund
are making, the demand on the system is going up by 4% a year.
Yes. That's because of the factors that we were talking about. So in
order to stand still if you like we have to have productivity
improvements of 4% a year and I think these new structures and
reforms will help that, but I want to raise our standards, I think we
should be the best in Europe for dementia care. So the fact is that
your �12 billion of extra spending is a propaganda figure because it
doesn't take into account inflation. This year health spending will be
lucky to rise by 1% in real terms from �103.1 billion to �102.8
billion. Next year, how much will health spending rise as planned
next year in real terms? Well, what we have done... No, how much?
no, no, let me answer your question if I may. You suggested it was
propaganda. We have protected the NHS bug, Labour, Andy Burnham said
that that it would be irresponsible to increase the spending in the NHS.
We are increasing it, but effectively not by a huge amount,
we are protecting the NHS budget and that is when the rest of
Government spending overall, we are cutting spending by 19% across all
Government departments. That is a huge commitment that this
Government is making to the NHS because we know how much health
matters to every family in the country. Mr Hunt under your
Government's pro projections, health spending next year in real
terms will rise by �60 million. �60 million on a budget of �103 billion.
How much is that percentage wise? You are increasing the budget by
0.05%. It is peanuts. In the context where there are
public spending cuts in every other Government department, it is
incredibly significant that in real terms this Government made a big,
big choice to protect the NHS budget because we know how much it
matters and you know... You said you would increase it every year?
Well and we are increasing it by... By 0.5%. Well, I think
You never told us that. The point that we are we are making
is when we are having to make cuts when cuts across the world are
having to make cuts in public spending, the one area we have
taken a choice to protect is the NHS. That is because it matters to
the British people. It means that other Government departments had to
have deeper cuts and it is a choice that Labour wouldn't make. Indeed,
in Wales, whether Labour run the show, they didn't make that choice
and the NHS budget has been cut. If we're going to get the outcomes
that I was going to talk about this morning, we are going to improve
our survival rates from cancer, for example, from liver disease, from
respiratory diseases then we need to show that commitment in the NHS,
but we've done it because we think it is what people want.
Wheng -- when you were the Sports Minister, you trained as a linesman
and we have seen you doing that recently. Now that you are the
Health Minister, what are you going to train as? You are are you going
to try to be a brain surgeon? think that might ablittle bit
optimistic. I don't know what you think. I agree with you.
I will probably leave that one, but I am incredibly thrilled to to do
the job I am doing and I want to throw myself into the NHS which is
a fantastic system. I hope you come back. We had more
questions, but we are sadly coming up to one o'clock. I hope you will
come back and see us during the week or on a Sunday when when we
can go through the health figures carefully.
Did David Cameron do the right thing in promoting Jeremy Hunt to
Health Secretary? He is a good communicator and he will deal with
a difficult brief. The problem is that the demands in the Health
Service are going to outstrip the resources and yes, you can make it
more efficient, but we are going to have to look at other ways of
bringing income into the NHS and I am afraid, I mean I have free
prescriptions in Scotland. Why have I got free prescriptions? It is
unaffordable and I think he has got a tough, tough job ahead of him.
He was brought in to take the heat out of this issue after Andrew
Lansley, putting through the ri forms -- reforms. Will he be able
to do it? I thought he got off to a ropey start by starting an abortion
about the abortion limits because that irritate his colleagues in the
House of Commons. It over shadowed the preconference
coverage. The Government is not intending to do anything about this.
It was an unfortunate row. I think what he has to do, he has has to
spell out what the priorities are in the Health Service and take
people how it is as we have to on the economy. We have to level with
people. You can't have all these things and at the same time not
have any money. No. All right. Well, it is just
time to find out the answer to our quiz. What has Sam Cam promised
Dave for his birthday, a new iPad game, a curry, a night out with
with Herman Van Rompuy or voodoo doll? I think a curry.
Certainly not the night out with Herman Van Rompuy!
Thank you. Thank you for being with us today.
Thank you to our guests, the One O'Clock News is starting now on BBC
One, but remember today at conference tonight with James
Landale. That's after Newsnight. Tomorrow, we are on at 11am. It is