12/10/2012 Daily Politics


12/10/2012

Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate live from Westminster.


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Good afternoon. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Could Gategate yet

:00:41.:00:46.

claim the scalp of Andrew Mitchell? He is meeting the police union this

:00:46.:00:50.

afternoon to give his side of the story but will he survive?

:00:50.:00:55.

We have gone from hug a hoodie to bash a burglar. Does this signal a

:00:55.:01:00.

change of direction for the Tories? Will last the standard-bearer of

:01:00.:01:03.

white van conservatism. A massive hike of energy prices

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from British Gas, can the Government to anything to ease the

:01:07.:01:12.

pain for hard-pressed consumers? And we visit Nick Clegg's Sheffield

:01:12.:01:15.

constituency. He told his party to go back to their constituencies and

:01:15.:01:25.
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prepare for the trail. Well, he should know. Judas, man! Judaists!

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-- Judas. Politics is a rough game. All that in the next hour. With us

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for the programme is Sue Cameron from the Financial Times and Nick

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Watt from the Guardian. Starting with the fate of Andrew Mitchell,

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the Chief Whip, this morning the Telegraph joined the Sun in calling

:01:45.:01:50.

for his resignation. As a mention this afternoon, he is meeting

:01:50.:01:53.

representatives of the police confederation in his constituency,

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who want to hear a full account of what he said two officers at the

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Downing Street gate and whether he used the word, pleb. We will be

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talking to one of those attending the meeting. Nick Watt, imagine the

:02:08.:02:15.

scene next Wednesday. Prime Minister's Questions. Andrew

:02:15.:02:19.

Mitchell, their ears, very close to the Prime Minister. How will that

:02:19.:02:23.

be handled when he stands up, the Prime Minister, and has to face

:02:23.:02:30.

questions? Andrew Mitchell has modelled his career on France's her

:02:30.:02:35.

cart, the great Chris Wood -- Chief Whip played by a Ian Richardson. If

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he was here, he was say the position is difficult. I think it

:02:39.:02:45.

is very difficult. He is determined to hang on. Downing Street is

:02:45.:02:48.

determined. They say he asked to hang on and the individual officer

:02:48.:02:54.

is not watching a complaint. It is the police confederation that are

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driving at. He denies having said there were pleb but if he did say

:02:58.:03:03.

that, that is toxic for the Conservatives. -- having said the

:03:03.:03:07.

word pleb. I have to apologise, Sue Cameron at the Telegraph. I have

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just been reminded. Picking up on backbenchers, how has his authority,

:03:14.:03:21.

or if it has been eroded, been eroded in the eyes of backbenchers,

:03:22.:03:25.

when he has to manage them? I think what will happen is that he has to

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be given a few months to see if he can establish the respect and

:03:29.:03:35.

authority that he needs to be a good Chief Whip. At the it would be

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absolutely disastrous for him to go now. -- I think it would be

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absolutely disastrous. It would damage the Prime Minister. However

:03:43.:03:47.

rude he was, and clearly he should not have said whatever he said,

:03:47.:03:51.

even he would acknowledge that, I do not think that it is a

:03:51.:03:54.

significant reason -- sufficient reason for a Cabinet minister to

:03:54.:04:00.

resign. The police have got their own agenda. The Telegraph is keen

:04:00.:04:07.

for him to go, because there is a view that he is toxic when he stays,

:04:07.:04:15.

too. I still think, personally, that he should stay on for a while.

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I do think that they will look very weak if they let him go. And also,

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Cameron, to be fair to him, there is an element of lynch-mob about

:04:24.:04:30.

all this. We're going to get him, we're going to get him. If the

:04:30.:04:33.

Prime Minister gives into that, that is dangerous. You mentioned

:04:33.:04:43.
:04:43.:04:46.

the word pled. Not the first person to focus on that. -- pled. Some

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people in focus groups said that it was the "Know your place" line that

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was more harmful. In a way, doesn't that queer the pitch for the

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Conservatives, trying to say they're not worried about class

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warfare? And yet here we have, allegedly, one of their tribe

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saying that a policeman should know his place. This is why the timing

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is so spectacularly awful. David Cameron is aware of the dangers. In

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his speech last year he said he was in favour of privilege and of

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spreading privilege to everyone. It is absolutely toxic. Know your

:05:22.:05:26.

place, that plays into that agenda. It is important to say that Andrew

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Mitchell denies the words attributed to him. That meeting

:05:31.:05:36.

this afternoon will be interesting. This week, David Cameron's

:05:36.:05:38.

Conservatives showed their tougher side. The Tories may have been

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meeting in Birmingham but as far as the way forward is concerned, the

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only way is Essex. Out go fruit smoothies, windmills on Number Ten,

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hugging hoodies and huskies. And gay marriage did not get a mention

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in the Prime Minister's speech. David is driving a new brand of

:05:57.:06:01.

white van conservatism. And this tabloid Toryism has some stark

:06:01.:06:09.

messages. Ken Clarke focused on reducing the prison population,

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reducing the prison population, replaced with Chris Grayling

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talking about other sentences. The Chancellor told Conservatives but

:06:17.:06:20.

those on benefits would lose �10 billion in the next round of

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austerity. The message of work, not welfare, was underlined in the

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welfare, was underlined in the Prime Minister's speech. We do not

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preach about one nation but practice class war. We get behind

:06:32.:06:42.
:06:42.:06:53.

people who want to get on in life. A's -- APPLAUSE.

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That is right, the jurors, the risk-takers, the young people who

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dream of their first pay cheque, their first home. Those people who

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are ready and willing to work hard and get those things. While the

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other intellectuals might Spear at people who want to get on in life,

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we salute you. They cost the party of the better-off. No, we are the

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party of the want to be better off, those who strive to make a better

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life for themselves, and we should never be ashamed of saying so.

:07:22.:07:27.

was the Prime Minister. With us is the self-styled white van

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Conservative MP, Robert Southam, and Ryan Shawcross from a

:07:32.:07:35.

Conservative campaigning group. First of all, you could say gay

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marriage, the green agenda, hug a hoodie, all noticeably absent from

:07:39.:07:45.

the speech. As the modernising agenda been dumped? This is the

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mistake commentators have made. You can be strong and compassionate at

:07:48.:07:52.

the same time. When I talk about white van conservatism, I'm talking

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about the person who wakes up at 5:00am to go to work and comes back

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at 5pm or 6pm and his wife goes out to work as well. They are doing

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that to keep their heads above water. We have to help them, the

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people who are striving, working hard and playing hard. Do you think

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those other issues are sidelined? Better to dump it at this stage?

:08:14.:08:19.

You can be strong and compassionate at the same time. Why not mention

:08:19.:08:25.

it in the speech? We used to hear so much about blue going green, we

:08:25.:08:28.

used to hear a lot more about the gay marriage issue, and hugger

:08:28.:08:32.

hoodie. If you look at the Prime Minister's speech, it is strongly

:08:32.:08:40.

about public Conservatives. -- public services. We care strongly

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about the public sector. We can be strong and compassionate, it is not

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one or the other. Do you think the modernising agenda has been dumped,

:08:47.:08:53.

Brian? I do not think it has. In fairness, there is only so much

:08:53.:09:02.

David Cameron can say in his speech. Modernisation has always been a

:09:02.:09:08.

problem. It is not just about green issues and gay issues, but in fact

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I was working for the Tories and their manifesto was full of issues

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about education and health, and it has always been a broad package.

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These things are important, gay marriage is an issue, and things

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about welfare and education. you did not win the election.

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did not. With those issues or that broad-spectrum. Is that why Robert

:09:29.:09:35.

is right to vote for more on striving and aspiration? I do not

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accept the premise of the question which is bad somehow the strivers

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are not bothered about green and gay issues. They are very

:09:42.:09:46.

compassionate, for four people. They care about those things and

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they care about the cost of living and childcare, education. It needs

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to be a broad package. I accept that we did not win the election

:09:55.:09:59.

and that is because people do not trust the Tory brand. They think we

:09:59.:10:03.

care about spreadsheets and Jaguars. But actually we are motivated by

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our hearts as well as our heads. the base of that, being the party

:10:09.:10:14.

of the rich, does it appeal to aspirational Tories and the white

:10:14.:10:19.

van man to cut the top rate of tax? The question is, how much money

:10:19.:10:23.

does the Government get? It is not about who you take the money from,

:10:23.:10:27.

it is about how much money goes into the Treasury. If you can get

:10:27.:10:30.

the rich to pay more, that is a different issue. What aspirational

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people want is law tax for earners. That is what we have done. They

:10:34.:10:38.

want apprenticeships, and we have invested in 100,000 of them. They

:10:38.:10:47.

want academies, good schools. Those other things that attract voters.

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The issue is how much money the Government gets. The government say

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they can get five times more money in by cutting the band for very

:10:54.:10:58.

rich people. We have cut taxes for low earners by raising the

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threshold and it would like us to go further and restore the 10p rate

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for lower earners. We have to show people that, to use a Blairite

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phrase, taxes for the many, not the few. David Cameron spoke about his

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background, and from the criticism put forward by a Labour. You have

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said that white van Conservatism triumphs over Metropolitan

:11:22.:11:26.

intellectualism. But David Cameron and George Osborne came out of the

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Notting Hill lead. I was talking about the Labour Party. In the two

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years I have been an MP, not one person has ever asked me what

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school David Cameron came from. No one ever cares about that. It is

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the issues of the Notting Hill elite, rather than the background.

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What about the issues they were focused on, are the slightly out of

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touch with what people outside of the metropolitan elite are focused

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on? Those issues are what the commentators focused on. What the

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Prime Minister and the coalition has focused on, as I say, his lover

:12:00.:12:03.

taxes for lower earners, apprenticeships and better schools.

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-- is lower taxes. Brine, what do you think? The Environment

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Secretary is spec -- sceptical about the environment, what message

:12:15.:12:22.

does that send out to voters? Commentators talked about a shift

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to the right. Chris Grayling is very, very sophisticated on public

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service -- the public service side. He has been in the Department for

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Work and Pensions, doing -- developing this programme. But he

:12:36.:12:40.

will work in the same way on justice. What about what Jeremy

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Hunt said about climate change and abortion? I think he was talking in

:12:43.:12:47.

a personal capacity. Is it appropriate? I do not agree. I do

:12:47.:12:51.

not think we need to cut the limit from 24 weeks. A big the evidence

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suggests that where it is at the moment is right. It is his personal

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take and we should respect that. Owen Paterson has personal beliefs

:13:00.:13:04.

on climate change and we should respect that. There is a Department

:13:04.:13:07.

for energy and climate change which she is not in, headed by other

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Tories who were very passionate about the climate change agenda.

:13:10.:13:15.

That will be moving forward. It is a right -- it is right to have a

:13:15.:13:19.

mix of use. Does that fit with the battle to occupy the centre ground?

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The centre ground is broad. You are talking about being right of

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centre? I am not. Scrap the left and right. It is about addressing

:13:31.:13:35.

issues which are meaningful for the population. Yes, they want to be

:13:36.:13:38.

tough on crime but they care about the marriage and the environment.

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It is about doing both. Is there a danger that some critics will be

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able to label the Tory party as the nasty party? Even if it is rhetoric,

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if you think of further welfare cuts to the tune of �10 billion,

:13:58.:14:04.

the continued freeze in public- sector pay. Isn't that the danger

:14:04.:14:12.

for the voters? The danger is not a great. It is the age of austerity.

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-- not that great. From the beginning, the coalition won the

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battle to convince people we had to cut the deficit. I think one of the

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strong things about David Cameron's speech in particular was that it

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gave a narrative to a lot of the reforms that they are doing, and

:14:27.:14:32.

put them in the context of ordinary people, not just the toffs, but the

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reason they are trying to improve education standards, cut down on

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scroungers, which is very popular with voters. All the polls show

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that. The reason for that is to help those who aspire for a better

:14:45.:14:51.

life. The reason the speech was so successful, one of them, was that

:14:51.:14:55.

he managed to humanise it and to explain that there was a purpose to

:14:55.:15:00.

austerity other than just cutting for the sake of it. I think giving

:15:00.:15:04.

hope to ordinary people. Policy- wise, there was not much policy, if

:15:04.:15:10.

any, in David Cameron's speech. It was not the time, that was the

:15:10.:15:14.

narrative. In terms of moving to the right, and the absence of those

:15:14.:15:18.

other issues he used to talk about, is that just the passage of time or

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is a deliberate? I c lurches to the right, we make talking about

:15:22.:15:27.

Britain becoming a foreign land. This is not a lurch to the right. -

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- William Hague are talking about Britain. It is certainly a

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repositioning. The important thing is that the Conservatives are not

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scared of the Labour Party. They looked at Ed Miliband's speech at

:15:37.:15:40.

the thought it was good but the fundamentals have not changed. They

:15:40.:15:44.

are not scared of him and they do not feel that they need to do what

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David Cameron did when he was scared of Tony Blair, and therefore

:15:46.:15:55.

he can be talking but these core issues. But another important thing

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about William Hague is that his lurch to the right was about

:15:58.:16:03.

shoring up his position within the Conservative Party. Every single

:16:03.:16:07.

word he is up to run, it is going through Andrew Cooper, the director

:16:07.:16:12.

of strategy. -- what he is uttering. Everything goes through him.

:16:12.:16:15.

Everything will have been polled and they will say they are on the

:16:15.:16:24.

money. On the issue of gay marriage, should that be quietly dropped?

:16:24.:16:34.
:16:34.:16:38.

$:/STARTFEED. The Government are right to focus on aspiration and

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helping strivers. If we're talking about a campaign from the centre,

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though, Ryan, hasn't an incident like Andrew Mitchell's gate-gate

:16:48.:16:50.

retoxified the brand? Andrew Mitchell was very rude. He's

:16:50.:16:54.

apologised for that. It could be seen as very damaging. However, I

:16:54.:17:00.

wasn't there. I didn't see what happened. People want to situation

:17:00.:17:05.

to rest now. You say people want it to rest. Who? Politicians want it

:17:05.:17:10.

to rest. People probably until there is no new evidence about

:17:10.:17:16.

what's happened shouldn't come to a judgment. We shouldn't quickly come

:17:16.:17:19.

to a judgment. Has this affected Andrew Mitchell's position within

:17:19.:17:23.

the party? You could say the same when Gordon Brown called an old

:17:23.:17:27.

lady a bigot. Sure. People did carry on hounding him the rest of

:17:27.:17:32.

his life. The fact is he apologised for calling her a bigot. Andrew

:17:32.:17:36.

Mitchell has apologised with what happened to the police. It's time

:17:36.:17:42.

to move on. He hasn't apologised for the pleb bit. Has it hindered

:17:42.:17:48.

his ability to move on as Chief Whip? I think it's time to move on.

:17:48.:17:51.

He's apologised in the same way Gordon Brown apologised for what he

:17:51.:17:57.

did. Gordon Brown went on to lose the election. Is it a possible

:17:57.:18:00.

standing amongst your colleagues? think his apology is welcome. It's

:18:00.:18:04.

time to move on. Very few people have talked to me about this on the

:18:04.:18:08.

street. This is not the thing people are concerned about. People

:18:08.:18:14.

are much more concerned about the cost of living. Thank you very much.

:18:14.:18:17.

Given all the Prime Minister's efforts to appeal to the striving

:18:17.:18:24.

classes, the Mitchell affair must be proving to be more than an ir80

:18:24.:18:30.

distraction. He's due to meet members of the Police Federation.

:18:30.:18:35.

Kailai, who will be at the meeting, joins us from Birmingham. What do

:18:35.:18:39.

you want to hear? Good afternoon. We simply want to ask Mr Mitchell

:18:39.:18:45.

exactly what he said outside the gates of Downing Street eight weeks

:18:45.:18:49.

ago. There has been a lot of talk about the language issued. Our

:18:49.:18:52.

concern is that of integrity, both of police officers and Cabinet

:18:52.:18:55.

Ministers. Someone in this incident isn't telling the truth, and we'd

:18:55.:18:59.

like to find out who it is. course, it could either be Andrew

:18:59.:19:03.

Mitchell or the police officer involved who took down the so-

:19:03.:19:07.

called transcript of that encounter. Yes, the police officers involved

:19:07.:19:10.

made notes of what happened at the time. Mr Mitchell, of course,

:19:10.:19:16.

although he has apologised - that's been accompanied by repeated

:19:16.:19:19.

denials of the language used, but he won't tell us exactly what he

:19:19.:19:23.

said. As I say, that's one of the questions we'll be asking him.

:19:23.:19:28.

have been discussing it. He has apologised and actually the police

:19:28.:19:32.

officer who bore the brunt of the outburst has accepted that apology.

:19:32.:19:39.

What right have you to keep on at this issue? I have to stress I

:19:39.:19:43.

don't represent Metropolitan police officers but we think the issue of

:19:43.:19:46.

integrity is significant. Society demands police officers are honest.

:19:46.:19:49.

They should expect the same standards of Cabinet Ministers.

:19:49.:19:52.

That's what we have to resolve. Somebody here isn't telling the

:19:52.:19:57.

truth. Is this becoming a political exercise on your behalf? We have

:19:57.:20:02.

spent days and days on this issue about who said what. People have

:20:02.:20:08.

apologised. It has been accepted, and yet here we are weeks later

:20:08.:20:12.

still discussing the minutiae of what was said, not to diminish

:20:12.:20:16.

words that were bandied about, if they were bandied about at the time,

:20:16.:20:21.

but are you now at risk of become accused of being political about an

:20:21.:20:25.

issue that's really been gone over enough? This is absolutely not a

:20:25.:20:28.

political campaign of any sort, I have to stress. This is about the

:20:28.:20:35.

integrity of police officers. We have officers' notes that are being

:20:35.:20:38.

described by a Cabinet Minister as not being accurate. I would like

:20:38.:20:44.

that issue resolved. It really is as simple as that. If you're not

:20:44.:20:46.

satisfied with Andrew Mitchell's account, what happens next? We have

:20:46.:20:49.

detailed accounts from police officers. Unless Mr Mitchell is

:20:50.:20:54.

going to accept they're accurate - we believe they are - I don't want

:20:54.:20:58.

to prejudge what happens tonight. We're going to push him for an

:20:58.:21:00.

explanation of what happened outside Downing Street three weeks

:21:00.:21:04.

ago. You have prejudged it because, as you have said, he's denied the

:21:04.:21:07.

account by the police officer, so unless Andrew Mitchell says, "I

:21:07.:21:13.

made a mistake. I did say those words," then what action are you

:21:13.:21:19.

going to take subsequently? We want him to explain what he said outside

:21:19.:21:22.

Downing Street. He's consistently refused to do that. If he refuses

:21:22.:21:27.

again or doesn't quite meet with what you were expect, what are you

:21:27.:21:34.

going to do? In this case, he has to resign. Do you think this is a -

:21:34.:21:39.

- there is a risk this is becoming a political exercise? Of course it

:21:39.:21:44.

is. On the question of pay and integrity, I think it's a bit rich

:21:44.:21:47.

because only this morning we have had Hillsboro, police covering up

:21:47.:21:53.

for 23 years. There is going to be an investigation. The inquire yous

:21:53.:22:00.

are going to look at them committing manslaughter perhaps. We

:22:00.:22:10.

have only just gotten over that baton-waving bobby who hit poor Ian

:22:10.:22:13.

Tomlinson, to when died. He has been left. There is also the

:22:13.:22:16.

question of what the police were doing. I don't think it was the

:22:16.:22:20.

people on the gate. I am told it was more senior officers leaking

:22:20.:22:23.

what was in their notebooks because what was in a police notebook - I

:22:23.:22:27.

don't think it applies here, but potentially can be used as

:22:27.:22:31.

evidence... Ken, what do you say to that? Lots of issues raised there.

:22:31.:22:34.

Let's take the Chief Constable of Cleveland. He lost his job only a

:22:34.:22:39.

week ago largely through dishonesty. He went through the discipline

:22:39.:22:43.

process and was dismissed as a result. We cannot change the

:22:43.:22:48.

standards - IPCC has announced today there will be discipline

:22:48.:22:51.

inquiries into what happened at Hillsboro - and rightly so. And we

:22:51.:22:55.

want to see the same sort of standards applied to what happened

:22:55.:22:59.

outside Downing Street. I mean, a cover-up for Hillsboro is not on

:22:59.:23:04.

the same par in any sense with a Cabinet Minister, wrongly of course,

:23:04.:23:09.

but losing his temper. It's not on the same planet. What do you say to

:23:09.:23:12.

that? Some people say this was an outburst of temper and nothing more.

:23:12.:23:20.

Yes, again, but it is the question of Mr Mitchell denying what the

:23:20.:23:24.

officer's account is correct. It is an issue of integrity. Now, that is

:23:24.:23:30.

massively significant for us. do you say? It is hilarious to hear

:23:30.:23:32.

the Police Federation saying they're not a political

:23:32.:23:35.

organisation. They're an intensely political organisation. They're a

:23:35.:23:40.

trade union. They paid for posters to be put up outside the political

:23:40.:23:43.

party conference last week. Of course they are. What I find creepy

:23:43.:23:47.

about this is the idea that the police should decide who is in the

:23:47.:23:50.

Cabinet. I tell you who decides who is in the Cabinet. It's the Prime

:23:50.:23:54.

Minister who is elected by the people, not by the police. If Mr

:23:54.:23:57.

Mitchell did say all of these things, of course his position is

:23:57.:24:01.

difficult, and of course, he's going to face a real fight, but

:24:01.:24:03.

Parliament and the Prime Minister will decide, not the police. You're

:24:04.:24:08.

going to lose support over this, aren't you? In the end, the public

:24:08.:24:11.

who did support the line and feel that police officers should be

:24:11.:24:15.

treated with respect, you'll lose this in the end, and you'll lose

:24:15.:24:19.

face? I don't think we will. We have seen The Daily Telegraph

:24:19.:24:23.

online poll today - 10,000 people have responded to that over 9,000

:24:23.:24:27.

think Mr Mitchell has to resign. That's an indication of the public

:24:27.:24:34.

interest in this, and the view that the public have. All right. Thought

:24:34.:24:37.

that meeting obviously take place this afternoon.

:24:37.:24:41.

Now with the night drawing in and winter almost upon us, it's time to

:24:42.:24:45.

wrap up warm and turn up the heating. In recent years energy

:24:46.:24:55.
:24:56.:24:56.

price rises have become a regular feature of the changing seasons.

:24:56.:24:58.

Today, British Gas announced that they will be raising gas and

:24:58.:25:01.

electricity prices by an average of 6% on November 16th, meaning an

:25:01.:25:04.

average price increase of around �80 per household. Earlier, the BBC

:25:04.:25:07.

spoke to the Energy Minister Greg Barker and asked him what the

:25:07.:25:10.

Government is doing to reduce energy bills. Here's what he had to

:25:10.:25:11.

say. We're taking practical action to

:25:11.:25:14.

help people in the short term. We're legislating to reform the

:25:14.:25:17.

electricity markets. We're also about to roll out the biggest home

:25:17.:25:21.

efficiency programme ever seen in this country. The roll-out of the

:25:21.:25:25.

Green Deal will transform the energy efficiency of people's homes,

:25:25.:25:29.

and although that won't help bring prices down, it will mean that

:25:29.:25:33.

consumers use less energy, so their bills should come down. Joining me

:25:33.:25:40.

now is Richard Lloyd, Executive Director at consumer group Which?

:25:40.:25:44.

Can the Government actually do anything about this? White House

:25:44.:25:48.

rises have been going on now for year, and they can't make them come

:25:48.:25:52.

down. Well, what Ministers will say is, we're reforming the energy

:25:52.:25:57.

market. We're doing things to help people save money. But that's such

:25:57.:26:01.

a poor answer to people today hearing they're going to be

:26:01.:26:04.

clobbered by this inflation rise from British Gas. I wouldn't be

:26:04.:26:07.

surprised if later today or perhaps in the next couple of days we hear

:26:07.:26:11.

more of the big six energy companies announcing similar price

:26:11.:26:16.

rises, so the question for the Ministers is what are you doing to

:26:16.:26:21.

make this market competitive so it works for consumers so there is

:26:21.:26:24.

competitive pressure on those big, lazy companies to be more efficient

:26:24.:26:34.
:26:34.:26:34.

and keep their price down? The answer is the public don't believe

:26:34.:26:37.

Ministers will do anything about it. They have to get their act together

:26:37.:26:41.

on this one. Are they in the process of getting it together? Are

:26:41.:26:45.

they in the process of opening it up? Everything seems long term. As

:26:45.:26:50.

you say, people are struggling and they will struggle now. They're in

:26:50.:26:55.

a bit of a dilemma because on one hand they're trying to attract �2

:26:55.:26:59.

billion of investment into rebuilding our ramshackle

:26:59.:27:04.

infrastructure. It is in a complete mess. On the other hand, they need

:27:04.:27:09.

to protect the consumer's interests here. There is no need to get

:27:09.:27:12.

private investment in if consumers can't afford their bills. They have

:27:12.:27:15.

to strike a balance. What we need to see is much more pro-consumer

:27:15.:27:20.

reform of the market so it is genuinely competitive at the same

:27:20.:27:24.

time as attracting this investment into rebuilding infrastructure.

:27:24.:27:28.

It's a difficult balance, but this is what Ministers are for surely.

:27:28.:27:31.

We have heard from British Gas who are saying their profit margins are

:27:31.:27:35.

far lower than they were, they are putting that money into investment.

:27:35.:27:39.

We can't see any of that on our bill, how much goes into investment,

:27:39.:27:44.

and of course, they go on time and time again about the White House of

:27:44.:27:47.

wholesale energy, that that is what's making them put the price up

:27:48.:27:53.

for the consumer. I don't think anyone believes that when British

:27:53.:27:55.

Gas's parent company Centrica is announcing very, very healthy

:27:55.:27:59.

profits and there is this capacity - this lack of transparency about

:27:59.:28:03.

how the business works and when wholesale prices are going up, your

:28:03.:28:07.

domestic bills are rocketing up. When they fall, somehow our

:28:07.:28:11.

domestic prices don't fall quite so fast. They're not being straight

:28:11.:28:17.

with us? The consumers tell us at Which there's complete lack of

:28:17.:28:20.

transparency about what's going on here. It doesn't seem fair to

:28:20.:28:23.

people their domestic prices are going up so fast when the parent

:28:23.:28:28.

company is announcing such profits. If we had a more competitive energy

:28:28.:28:35.

market there would be more pressure on British Gas to keep those prices

:28:35.:28:40.

down. One of the things viewers complain about all the time is the

:28:40.:28:44.

Government's green prices and how much they're costing consumers and

:28:44.:28:48.

why can't we see it on the bill? The Government would argue this is

:28:48.:28:58.

going towards people's long-term - but they don't know how much it's

:28:58.:29:03.

going subsidise people's green subsidies. It is really hard to

:29:03.:29:06.

figure it out. What we have been saying to the companies is if

:29:06.:29:09.

you're going to blame British Gas and the Government for some of this

:29:09.:29:13.

price increase, spread it out. Tell us in our bills in a summary

:29:13.:29:17.

exactly what this price is composed of, whether it's social policy,

:29:17.:29:20.

environmental policy, wholesale price, your profit? Surely, it's

:29:20.:29:25.

not beyond you to spell that out, so there's bit more transparency in

:29:25.:29:30.

here. Sue, how can the Government go on appealing to the aspirational

:29:30.:29:33.

voter, to the striver who is working hard when they can't seem

:29:33.:29:37.

to do anything about rising energy prices, rising petrol price and

:29:37.:29:42.

rising food prices? Probably the three most important things to the

:29:42.:29:47.

average consumer. I think on the energy front, I can - you can quite

:29:47.:29:52.

see why consumers get upset when Centrica has made big profits, but

:29:52.:29:56.

you have to remember Centrica are the parent company of British Gas.

:29:56.:30:00.

They're a global company. Its profits come from other countries.

:30:00.:30:05.

And if, for instance, they were making big profits here, then using

:30:05.:30:08.

them to subsidise the Americans, everybody here would go mad. They

:30:08.:30:11.

can't do it the other way around. I think British Gas is having to

:30:11.:30:15.

invest a lot in the grid. We don't want to have black-outs. They're

:30:15.:30:21.

having to pay more for gas. Do you think the prices are justifiable?

:30:21.:30:23.

think it's very difficult. There has been stories that the

:30:23.:30:28.

Government is going to encourage the use of building of new gas

:30:28.:30:33.

power stations, which might help to bring down price. But let's - let's

:30:33.:30:38.

see if that happens. But is Government impotent? That's the

:30:38.:30:43.

point. Is Government impotent... Pretty much it is. Let's be honest.

:30:43.:30:47.

Energy prices are massively and incredibly sensitive to the good

:30:47.:30:51.

old supply and demand. We face in this country two real problems that

:30:51.:30:55.

aren't going to go away. One is North Sea gas and oil prices are

:30:55.:30:59.

heading downwards. What is heading upwards is demand for energy in the

:30:59.:31:02.

developing countries of China and India. That is only going to go up.

:31:02.:31:05.

If you have demand going up and supply going down, guess what

:31:05.:31:10.

happens? The price goes up. There is nothing you can do about that.

:31:10.:31:14.

You have to admit these are big, bloated formerly public sector

:31:14.:31:17.

companies that have very little competitive pressure on them to be

:31:17.:31:23.

efficient... Not for a moment - I'm not for a moment defending the big

:31:23.:31:26.

six, and Ed Miliband has made fantastic speeches criticising them

:31:26.:31:30.

saying they should be more efficient. But energy prices are

:31:30.:31:34.

decided on the global market. There is not much we can do about

:31:34.:31:37.

it. Everyone expects and knows energy prices are on the way up

:31:38.:31:41.

because of commodity prices, but are consumers in the end being hit

:31:41.:31:46.

unfairly and unfairly hard at a time people can least afford it?

:31:46.:31:50.

have a feeling you might be back on if the set on this in the future.

:31:50.:31:52.

Thank you. The Government's plan to reform the

:31:52.:31:54.

NHS proved hugely controversial, politically difficult, and of

:31:54.:31:57.

course, their creator, Andrew Lansley, has been moved from his

:31:57.:32:00.

job as Health Secretary. The Bill did, however, make it on to the

:32:00.:32:04.

statute book, but when will you and Notice any difference, and when

:32:04.:32:06.

will we know whether or not it's working?'' The independent and

:32:06.:32:10.

highly respected think-tank The No-holds-barred assessment of the

:32:10.:32:20.
:32:20.:32:23.

potential impact of those reforms - The aim was simple. A radical

:32:23.:32:27.

reform of the NHS designed to increase efficiency, promote choice

:32:27.:32:31.

and deliver the best possible care for patients. Yet less than six

:32:31.:32:35.

months after it came into being, its architect, Andrew Lansley, was

:32:35.:32:41.

sacked as Health Secretary. To say that independent experts have set a

:32:41.:32:44.

low pass for success is putting it mildly. Success for the Government

:32:44.:32:48.

will involve keeping the show on the road, maintaining good

:32:49.:32:53.

standards of patient care, freeing up money from areas that are

:32:53.:32:58.

wasteful at the moment and finding them -- finding the resources to

:32:58.:33:01.

invest in new priorities. If the Government is able to drive those

:33:01.:33:05.

improvements, then the rationale for reforms will be justified. At

:33:05.:33:10.

this stage, no one can tell whether that will be the outcome. The NHS

:33:10.:33:14.

insists that it will be able to cope with any glitches that arise

:33:14.:33:18.

from the reforms. We will intervene if we believe things are going off

:33:18.:33:24.

track. Obviously, to protect local populations and patients, so we can

:33:24.:33:29.

do anything from putting other people into the group to run it, on

:33:29.:33:36.

our behalf, so we have those powers, and we will use them. Jeremy Hunt,

:33:36.:33:40.

have you got the Health Secretary job? Jeremy Hunt may have more than

:33:40.:33:45.

the future of the NHS in his hands. It is the biggest privilege of my

:33:45.:33:50.

life. The political stakes -- the political stakes are really high.

:33:50.:33:55.

It is hard to exaggerate the importance of the NHS for the

:33:55.:34:02.

Government. The challenge is damage limitation -- damage-limitation. To

:34:02.:34:05.

persuade staff that there are benefits of these changes even

:34:05.:34:11.

though there is deep scepticism. believe in the NHS is to believe in

:34:11.:34:18.

its reform. Not my words, but those of Lord D'Arcy, the Labour health

:34:18.:34:23.

minister under Andy Burnham. Now he is in opposition, Andy Burnham

:34:23.:34:27.

sings a different tune. Would things really be that different

:34:27.:34:31.

under Labour? Labour could go back on these reforms and there is a

:34:31.:34:34.

clear commitment to repeal the gargantuan Health and Social Care

:34:34.:34:39.

Act, and to go off in a different direction. That implies another

:34:39.:34:43.

major reorganisation of the Health Service and Labour has said it does

:34:43.:34:47.

not want to promote structural change. It is going to be hard to

:34:47.:34:51.

fulfil that promise and repeal the Act at the same time. According to

:34:51.:34:54.

the Professor, the biggest challenge is not the reforms

:34:54.:34:58.

themselves, it is the economic Times where working in. And his

:34:58.:35:03.

message is stark. I think in a year or two, the health service will do

:35:03.:35:08.

very well indeed to maintain current standards of patient care.

:35:08.:35:13.

Declining rates of hospital been acquired infections, many areas of

:35:13.:35:17.

care have improved. -- hospital acquired infections. But the

:35:17.:35:22.

funding pressures are huge. We have never had a period like this before

:35:22.:35:25.

and if they Health Service is still able to maintain the standards in

:35:25.:35:30.

two years, it will be a miracle, frankly. To battle it out on the

:35:30.:35:36.

health policy, Diane Abbott is here, and Dr Dan Poulter is in our

:35:36.:35:41.

Ipswich studio. First of all, we heard Professor Ham saying it would

:35:41.:35:44.

be a miracle if in a your two, the Health Service maintains its

:35:44.:35:50.

current standards. -- in a year or two. That is a damning indictment.

:35:50.:35:56.

This is not a new criticism. We have had the same concerns raised

:35:56.:36:04.

for the last five or 10 years. Each year, the NHS does well in

:36:04.:36:09.

maintaining quality patient care. As it not been able to do that

:36:09.:36:12.

because of vast amounts of money and investment into the health

:36:12.:36:16.

service? As a result, we are seeing shorter waiting times, a reduction

:36:16.:36:21.

in hospital acquired infections. That rate of investment will be cut

:36:21.:36:24.

dramatically even if there is a slight increase, and you will be

:36:24.:36:27.

blamed. This government is continuing to make sure that we

:36:27.:36:35.

protect the budget and continue to invest. But at a law degree. -- a

:36:35.:36:39.

law degree. The Labour party have never confirmed that they would not

:36:39.:36:42.

do the same. We're doing the best to make sure we continue to invest

:36:42.:36:46.

in patients. The question is, what does good health care look like in

:36:46.:36:49.

a few years' time? People are living a lot longer, with multiple

:36:49.:36:54.

medical conditions, diabetes, dementia, heart disease. We have to

:36:54.:36:57.

make sure we have a health service that is in a better place to look

:36:57.:37:00.

after those people. That means that more care has to be delivered in

:37:00.:37:05.

the community, to keep people well at home rather than picking up the

:37:05.:37:09.

pieces when they get on well. These reforms will put us in a better

:37:09.:37:13.

place. So you will challenge Professor Ham when he said it will

:37:13.:37:17.

be a miracle if those standards are maintained? You can categorically

:37:17.:37:21.

say that the current standard, using waiting times and infections,

:37:21.:37:29.

for example, they will be maintained? Absolutely. We have had

:37:29.:37:32.

the same challenge has, historically, and each year, the

:37:32.:37:38.

NHS continues to meet those challenges. Of these reforms will

:37:38.:37:42.

put us in a better place to look after that a challenge that we face,

:37:42.:37:49.

how we look after all the people. - - that big challenge. He seems

:37:49.:37:53.

pretty confident that nothing will change. He sounds pretty callous,

:37:53.:37:57.

to me. It is not good enough to say that we have had tough times before

:37:57.:38:01.

and the NHS staff have struggled through. My mother was a nurse and

:38:01.:38:05.

I can tell the doctor that NHS staff are tired of these top-down

:38:05.:38:09.

reorganisations. There are very frightened about the financial

:38:09.:38:13.

situation. Staff should not be expected to struggle through. This

:38:13.:38:18.

government should never have imposed a top-down reorganisation,

:38:18.:38:21.

which will cost �3 billion and caused chaos at a time when,

:38:21.:38:26.

inevitably, they're going to have to find savings. Andy Burnham

:38:26.:38:29.

saying he will repeal the Health and Social Care Act, that will

:38:29.:38:33.

trigger another top down reorganisation, surely? Why not?

:38:33.:38:39.

What is Labour asking for? We are asking to repeal part three of the

:38:39.:38:46.

Bill, if the part of the bill -- the part of the Bill... It is not

:38:46.:38:54.

about reorganisation. The thing about all this jargon, we're not

:38:54.:39:00.

going to reorganise again. What we're going to do is limit the role

:39:00.:39:05.

of the private sector. This government is poised to have the

:39:05.:39:08.

private sector run ragged. All hospitals will be able to add up to

:39:08.:39:12.

49% of the reactivity in the private sector. We will reintroduce

:39:12.:39:16.

the powers of the Secretary of State for Health so it is a Jemma

:39:16.:39:21.

Lowe and National Health Service. Without it costing anything? Yes. -

:39:21.:39:26.

- genuine National Health Service. The powers of the city-state do not

:39:26.:39:31.

have a cost attached. We were never opposed to having GPs more involved.

:39:31.:39:35.

You could have done it quite easily by putting more GPs on PCTs.

:39:35.:39:38.

problem is the Government has alienated sectors of the health

:39:38.:39:42.

sector. As a former doctor, what is your impression of the relations

:39:43.:39:47.

between doctors and ministers? still intends to keep practising in

:39:47.:39:54.

the NHS. You have prematurely retired! It is important that we

:39:54.:39:58.

have ministers. Ministers to understand what frontline

:39:59.:40:02.

professionals are thinking and saying. But they said they did not

:40:02.:40:06.

like it. We know that under the previous government, we had a

:40:06.:40:09.

government determined to impose things on the healthcare profession.

:40:09.:40:12.

This government is saying that it is down to doctors and nurses and

:40:12.:40:15.

health care professionals, people who understand the needs of

:40:15.:40:20.

patients. Why did they not support you? We have many doctors and

:40:20.:40:24.

nurses getting on with these reforms, just as I speak and we are

:40:24.:40:27.

speaking now, who believe that having clinical leadership running

:40:27.:40:33.

the NHS is a good thing. And making sure that we face up to that a

:40:33.:40:38.

challenge, how we better look after older people. And we're getting on

:40:38.:40:41.

with that and delivering that today and that is something we need to

:40:41.:40:45.

face up to and recognise, that the NHS is going to be in a better

:40:45.:40:50.

place to look after patients in the years ahead. Do you agree with your

:40:50.:40:52.

colleague when she says that the Government had screwed up the

:40:52.:40:57.

presentation of these changes? think what we sob was that we had

:40:57.:41:02.

very good reforms that will cut out waste and bureaucracy. But what

:41:02.:41:07.

about her quote that "Screwed up the presentation of the changes".

:41:07.:41:11.

have made it very clear, and Diane Abbott just made the point that we

:41:11.:41:16.

have been worried about the four private sector being involved in

:41:16.:41:21.

the process. Why was she, then, part of a government which used the

:41:21.:41:28.

private sector? You may not have been part of the government but you

:41:29.:41:32.

are part of the Labour Party and Labour did introduce that. Full

:41:32.:41:36.

disclosure, I was never a minister under Tony Blair. But you did start

:41:36.:41:42.

that process. When we used the private sector, it was managed and

:41:42.:41:46.

limited. We're talking about 49% of activity. But Dan Poulter is

:41:46.:41:51.

ignoring the fact that the latest Ipsos MORI poll puts us 30 points

:41:51.:41:54.

ahead in terms of managing health care. Doctors and nurses do not

:41:54.:41:58.

have confidence in what they're doing and the public do not. Every

:41:58.:42:02.

single, nearly every single Royal College came out against these

:42:02.:42:05.

reforms because they will be a mess and they will make it harder to

:42:05.:42:08.

make the changes we need to make. And Andy Burnham and Labour will

:42:08.:42:12.

make this a big issue at the 2015 election. It is going to be very

:42:12.:42:15.

uncomfortable, isn't it, however much the Tories say they are the

:42:15.:42:19.

party of the NHS, to make this positive. They will make it

:42:19.:42:23.

difficult because the NHS, whoever is in government, is having a

:42:23.:42:29.

difficult time. We're talking about David Nicholson's challenge, �20

:42:29.:42:36.

million of -- �22 billion of savings. Any party in power will

:42:36.:42:39.

face those challenges. The problem for the Conservatives is that the

:42:39.:42:42.

introduced to these reforms and there will be difficulties. Labour

:42:42.:42:47.

and others will say, "We know why we have these changes". About the

:42:47.:42:51.

Budget, the reason the NHS budget has to be higher than the general

:42:51.:42:53.

level of inflation is that inflation within the health

:42:53.:42:58.

service... But Labour will want to protect it. If you were in power,

:42:58.:43:05.

you would have the same pressures. But top-down... Because of the way

:43:05.:43:12.

the reforms were done, which were totally unnecessary, there is

:43:12.:43:17.

general agreement with doctors and nurses. No problem about that. What

:43:17.:43:25.

is going to happen, when problems arise with the cutbacks, never mind

:43:25.:43:29.

the cutbacks, everyone will bring the reforms and that will be bad

:43:29.:43:32.

for the Government. -- blame the reforms. The result was a problem

:43:32.:43:37.

at election time. It is always going to be blamed on the Tory

:43:37.:43:44.

reforms. What do you make of your boss's comments on abortion? Every

:43:44.:43:50.

MP is entitled to their own opinion. Was it appropriate for the Health

:43:50.:43:53.

Secretary to give his personal opinion on a 12 week limit? He has

:43:53.:43:57.

been on record before on this issue. Of but he was not Health Secretary.

:43:57.:44:02.

The Government's position is that we're not changing the rules for a

:44:02.:44:06.

portion. It is important and I know that it is important for the 1967

:44:06.:44:10.

Act, which was introduced for a reason, to protect women and look

:44:10.:44:13.

after their best interests. We should not force women, whatever

:44:13.:44:17.

the moralities are, to suffer the indignity of a backstreet abortion

:44:18.:44:21.

and the health consequences that that has. The abortion law is

:44:21.:44:26.

staying as it is. No vote on the issue? No. Where you stand on the

:44:26.:44:31.

time limit for abortion? -- where do you stand. I have given you my

:44:31.:44:33.

position and the position of the Government. That is also your

:44:33.:44:38.

position? Absolutely. We need to protect women and remember why the

:44:38.:44:44.

1967 Act was brought in, regardless of the moral act -- moral the

:44:44.:44:47.

arguments. That Act was brought in to protect the indignity of women

:44:47.:44:50.

having to seek backstreet abortions because they have found themselves

:44:50.:44:53.

in difficult circumstances and making sure that when it comes down

:44:53.:44:59.

to it, actually we look after the medical interests of women. The

:44:59.:45:02.

Prime Minister has made it very clear that we are not changing the

:45:03.:45:05.

Government's position on the time limit for abortions. That is pretty

:45:05.:45:10.

clear, Diane Abbott. Jeremy Hunt has expressed his views but it will

:45:10.:45:14.

not change government policy. Jeremy Hunt is trying to calm

:45:14.:45:18.

things down. The first thing he does is release and in century

:45:18.:45:22.

statement. Of course Dan Poulter will take his position, because

:45:22.:45:25.

that is the position of the Royal College of gynaecologists. They

:45:25.:45:35.
:45:35.:45:44.

know a tiny bit more about this and MPs will return to Westminster

:45:44.:45:48.

Monday. Nick Clegg was seen to have had a good one, answering his

:45:48.:45:52.

critics over his leadership and direction of the party but were his

:45:52.:45:54.

constituents in Sheffield impressed?

:45:54.:45:59.

MUSIC He was working as a lekturer in a

:45:59.:46:03.

politics department when the residence of Sheffield Halam met

:46:04.:46:08.

Nick Clegg. It all started so well. He was elected as their MP in 2005.

:46:08.:46:12.

The residence of this constituency, one of the most affluent outside of

:46:12.:46:17.

the south-east of England - made him feel at home. He even took part

:46:17.:46:22.

in the local pantomime. I'm Clegg, a slightly witless Prince. Come the

:46:22.:46:26.

2010 general election it seemed everyone agreed with Nick Clegg.

:46:26.:46:30.

During the Prime Ministerial debates he kicked Dave and Gordon

:46:30.:46:37.

into next week, suddenly seeing him down the Broom Hill tavern was as

:46:37.:46:42.

cool as seeing one of the arctic monkeys. But a professor says

:46:42.:46:46.

success came at a price. There's the general pressures from being in

:46:46.:46:49.

Government - all politicians find out that winning office is very

:46:49.:46:54.

easy to governing but then he's got an added issue that before the

:46:54.:46:58.

election he made a very explicit, public plem about no tuition fees.

:46:58.:47:02.

He tolds a student seat, then he went back on his word. Nick Clegg

:47:02.:47:07.

told his party conference to go back to their constituencies and

:47:07.:47:13.

prepare for vitriol and abuse. And he should know. He's had dog mess

:47:13.:47:17.

put through the door in his old home in his constituency. He's even

:47:17.:47:25.

been spat on and heckled in the street. You're a Judas. Judas!

:47:25.:47:32.

Clegg, the Judas. The lead singer of the Sheffield band Reverend and

:47:32.:47:36.

the Makers supported the Lib Dems in the last election. I just feel

:47:36.:47:42.

used. As a northern working-class person that the same people run

:47:42.:47:46.

things - and really it seems like the Liberal Democrats have

:47:46.:47:50.

facilitated that. Some people in Sheffield do still agree with Nick.

:47:50.:47:53.

Paul Scriven, the now former Lib Dem leader of Sheffield City

:47:53.:47:56.

Council lost that job when the control of the council went to

:47:56.:48:01.

Labour in 20 Len. In the last local elections, he even lost his council

:48:01.:48:05.

seat. What I do know about Nick is this - he can go to bed every night,

:48:05.:48:09.

look at himself in the mirror and say, I'm doing this for the country,

:48:09.:48:12.

and I'm doing the right thing rather than the short-term

:48:12.:48:15.

political thing. That kind of integrity will see him through.

:48:15.:48:19.

Nick Clegg has got a majority of just over 15,000 here in Halam,

:48:19.:48:22.

making it one of the safest Lib Dem seats in the country. Based on the

:48:22.:48:26.

last general election results, Labour would need a swing of about

:48:26.:48:31.

18.5% to unseat the Deputy Prime Minister - difficult but not

:48:31.:48:35.

impossible. In fact, the Lib Dems took the seat here in '97 with an

:48:35.:48:40.

identical swing that will give a lot of people a lot of interest and

:48:40.:48:44.

as soon as the seat becomes known as it's contestable, particularly

:48:44.:48:49.

if aing I big-name independent decides to go for it, it might enbe

:48:49.:48:57.

that Nick Clegg decides I won't even bother playing this game.

:48:57.:49:03.

Nick Clegg's Nick Cleggs believe - singing "I'm sorry" might not be

:49:03.:49:08.

appropriate. "Don't you want me baby" might be more appropriate. As

:49:08.:49:11.

the song goes - # It's me who put you where you are

:49:11.:49:16.

# I can put you back there too # Carefully chosen music there, and

:49:16.:49:22.

the Lib Dems' former campaign director is with me now, Chris

:49:22.:49:25.

Renard. We heard there a majority of just over 15,000 for Nick Clegg,

:49:25.:49:29.

but that could be very difficult to sustain in 2015, the election. Is

:49:29.:49:31.

there any chance of Nick Clegg stepping down before that rather

:49:32.:49:36.

than the risk of losing his seat am sure not. That was clear in the

:49:36.:49:40.

conference this year. I think the nature of the apology he made over

:49:40.:49:44.

tuition fees is clear he's going to lead the party in the next election.

:49:45.:49:51.

Look at the local election results in the constituency in 2012 were

:49:51.:49:57.

very difficult for the party but good for them in the Halam

:49:57.:50:01.

constituency. It reflects the different results in seats held by

:50:01.:50:06.

Liberal Democrat MPs. By and large they did well. Can you still appeal

:50:06.:50:09.

effectively to the anti-Tory vote? Yes, but it depends whether you're

:50:09.:50:13.

chosen between what we have at the moment or an overall Conservative

:50:13.:50:17.

majority. An overall Conservative majority wouldn't be interested in

:50:17.:50:20.

protecting the vulnerable, wouldn't deliver a fair society, wouldn't

:50:20.:50:23.

deliver tax cuts for people on middle and low incomes, wouldn't do

:50:23.:50:26.

anything for the environment. I think perhaps a coalition is

:50:26.:50:29.

difficult but a majority for the Conservatives or Labour would be

:50:29.:50:33.

much worse. You agree with Nick Clegg who said when asked whether

:50:33.:50:38.

he'd accept �10 billion of further welfare cuts and taking housing

:50:38.:50:43.

benefit away from under 25s, "I knock both ideas on the head?"

:50:43.:50:46.

Absolutely but a Conservative majority Government would be doing

:50:46.:50:50.

just that. He'll be associated with that, won't he? If those are the

:50:50.:50:53.

proposals put forward isn't the problem for Nick Clegg that he's

:50:53.:50:57.

associated with it, whatever he says in a run-up to an election?

:50:57.:51:00.

The worse thing would be if we were making tax cuts for very wealthy

:51:00.:51:03.

people which the Conservatives would like to do. That's what

:51:03.:51:07.

they're doing into the -- going into the next election saying. They

:51:07.:51:11.

say they want to reduce the tax burden for the richest in the

:51:11.:51:17.

country the Liberal Democrats will go into the next election saying we

:51:17.:51:22.

should protect the most vulnerable. You have lost votes - I don't know

:51:22.:51:26.

the number - to, primarily because there will be Labour voters who

:51:26.:51:29.

associate you with a Tory-lead Government, particularly in the

:51:29.:51:33.

north and in Scotland, you're being wiped out by Labour at a local

:51:33.:51:38.

level. That doesn't bode well for national politics. Some people have

:51:38.:51:44.

joked the Lib Dems have waited 90 years for mid-term Government

:51:44.:51:48.

unpopularity other parties have experienced on many occasions.

:51:48.:51:52.

it has been decimated, the seats you have fought so hard for - at

:51:52.:51:56.

the peak of the next election - they're going to be wiped out

:51:56.:52:00.

That's not right. The midterm poll position is generally a good

:52:00.:52:04.

election. You go back the last five Parliament and the midterm poll

:52:04.:52:06.

election is different to the general election. There are two

:52:06.:52:09.

sides of the coin. Yes, it's difficult for the Lib Dems at the

:52:09.:52:12.

moment in midterm in seats where we're facing the Labour Party, but

:52:13.:52:15.

Lib Dem MPs facing the Conservatives have been doing well

:52:15.:52:21.

in the local elections, and even this May which was a bad set of

:52:21.:52:27.

local elections for us we made gains with MPs, Lib Dem councils

:52:27.:52:32.

and where we face Conservatives. think obviously they have a problem

:52:32.:52:35.

as to what they can, do but I think what Chris just said is important.

:52:35.:52:42.

The thing about Sheffield Halam, Nick Clegg's seat, is historically

:52:42.:52:47.

it has been a very, very strong Tory seat. A safe Tory seat? Not in

:52:47.:52:51.

that seat. It is in other parts of the country, but not there. It

:52:51.:52:56.

seems to me inconceivable - I mean, in 1997 they voted Lib Dem because

:52:56.:53:00.

they couldn't bear to go over to Labour. So I mean, why would they

:53:00.:53:03.

now vote - revert to being Tories? Because it was Tories that forced

:53:03.:53:10.

Nick Clegg to do tuition fees - do a turnaround on tuition fees. The

:53:10.:53:14.

Tories - they're not going to vote Tory. No chance of Nick Clegg

:53:14.:53:17.

losing his seat? The people of Sheffield were deciding whether

:53:17.:53:20.

colleague leg would remain an MP he'd lose because it's a Labour

:53:20.:53:24.

city. It's not the people of Sheffield but the people of Halam,

:53:24.:53:29.

which is a formerly a Tory seat, and they detest the Labour Party.

:53:29.:53:34.

He has a good chance. This big question of will he stand at the

:53:34.:53:38.

next election? Of course he will. The question is whether he be

:53:38.:53:41.

leader of the Liberal Democrat at the next election? Clearly, if

:53:41.:53:45.

things don't improve over the next year or so, his position might be

:53:45.:53:48.

difficult. I don't think so. Of course he will be. A lot of people

:53:48.:53:53.

are saying they'd like Vince Cable to be Chancellor of the Exchequer.

:53:53.:53:58.

There is a case for saying he'd be a better Chancellor than Ed Balls

:53:59.:54:02.

but if they think that they need to vote for him next time. We have 57

:54:02.:54:06.

seats in Parliament and the Conservatives, 307. Thank you very

:54:06.:54:11.

much. Cameron versus Bojo, a failed

:54:11.:54:15.

merger in aerospace and accusations of political misogyny in Australia.

:54:15.:54:21.

Who would have thought it? Here is the week in 60 seconds.

:54:21.:54:26.

David Cameron opted for the traditional lectern for his big

:54:26.:54:30.

speech to the Tory faithful on Wednesday. For some, it went down

:54:30.:54:36.

rather well. It's the messiah that Britain needed. Cameron is the

:54:36.:54:40.

messiah? It's the messiah Britain needed. Some think this chap is the

:54:40.:54:45.

Messiah. Others think he's just a naughty boy. But the so-called

:54:45.:54:48.

blond-haired mop was on his best behaviour. Well, if I am a mop,

:54:48.:54:53.

Dave, you're a broom, a broom cleaning up the mess left by the

:54:53.:54:59.

Labour Government. Fantastic jab you're doing. Elsewhere merger

:54:59.:55:06.

between BAE and EADF crashed and burned causing embarrassment for

:55:06.:55:10.

politicians. Australia's Opposition Leader was forced to endure a

:55:10.:55:13.

dressing down from the Prime Minister. I was offended when the

:55:13.:55:16.

leader of the opposition went outside in the front of Parliament

:55:16.:55:26.
:55:26.:55:28.

and stood next to a sign that said, Stand up for yourself, lady. Now,

:55:28.:55:32.

if all that wasn't exciting enough, we have learned the European Union

:55:32.:55:40.

has won the Nobel Prize. Norwegian Committee has decided

:55:40.:55:44.

that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 is to be awarded to the European

:55:44.:55:48.

Union. With us is someone I know who would like to offer his

:55:48.:55:52.

congratulations, the leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage. Here is your

:55:52.:55:55.

opportunity to congratulate them on winning that prize. Astonishing,

:55:55.:55:58.

isn't it? I suspect the Nobel Prize will be brought into disrepute by

:55:58.:56:05.

this. A few days ago Angela Merkel went to Athens to be greeted with

:56:05.:56:09.

Molotov cocktails, a violent demonstration and unbelievably

:56:09.:56:16.

people dressed up in Nazi uniforms. The Germans are being rude about

:56:16.:56:20.

the Greeks and vice versa, so we're seeing disharmony caused by this.

:56:20.:56:24.

So peace breaking out everywhere - defend this prize. He should go and

:56:24.:56:29.

accept this award on behalf of the European Union. Would you go and

:56:29.:56:33.

accept it, Nigel Farage? I think I would struggle to accept that, no,

:56:33.:56:40.

it will be Mr Van Rompoy or - the one thing I can be certain of is

:56:40.:56:47.

the person who picks up this award will be someone unelected and in

:56:47.:56:55.

support of the nation states abroad. It really devalues the currency.

:56:55.:57:00.

Honestly! I have to apologise for Sue's language. I missed that.

:57:00.:57:05.

is 50 years too late. When they gave it when the Treaty of Rome was

:57:05.:57:09.

signed saying you're going to solve your problems on the battlefield

:57:09.:57:12.

not at the conference table as David Cameron said in his speech,

:57:12.:57:16.

great the problem is there has been disaster since then. What happened

:57:16.:57:22.

in Europe's backyard? The war in the former Yugoslavia. It took the

:57:22.:57:25.

United States bombing Bosnia to get the Serbs to the table, not the

:57:25.:57:30.

European Union. Isn't the lesson of Yugoslavia if you artificially try

:57:30.:57:33.

to bring people together and impose a new flag on them without consent

:57:33.:57:37.

it leads to civil war, and tragically the European Union is

:57:37.:57:42.

doing the same thing. Barroso was clear last month - nation state

:57:42.:57:45.

democracy must go. It must be transferred to people like him.

:57:45.:57:49.

Fine, you can do that if if the people want that but there is no

:57:49.:57:55.

evidence... Isn't the attempt to say that the people of Ireland,

:57:55.:58:00.

Portugal and Greece want to stay in the euro and somehow

:58:00.:58:05.

psychologically this will help them? It wasn't the Nobel Prize for

:58:05.:58:08.

economics. They certainly wouldn't get that under any circumstances.

:58:08.:58:12.

Do we get any of it, the prize money? I don't know what'll happen

:58:12.:58:18.

to it. If you divide it up across the people of the nation states you

:58:18.:58:22.

get 0.002... Think of all of those underpaid bureaucrats in Brussels.

:58:22.:58:27.

They could do with some help. they could help pay off my fine,

:58:27.:58:31.

having been rude to... How much was that fine? 3,000 euros, just for

:58:31.:58:38.

saying... Have you paid it? Yes. Just for saying the chap had the

:58:38.:58:43.

charisma of a damp rag. Don't say it again! You'll be fined. That's

:58:43.:58:47.

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