18/10/2012 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. David Cameron heads


to Europe for yet another the EU summit, and maybe a bust-up on


banking regulation. The French President has already told Britain


to butt out. The Prime Minister says he will


change the law to force energy companies to give customers the


best deal, but his energy department couldn't explain how it


would work. Is this an omni-energy- shambles?


Should MPs have to come clean on whether they are paying rent to


another MP? The Speaker is reported to be blocking disclosure amid


concerns about security. And as the SNP conference begins in


Perth, how would an independent Scotland defend itself? Should it


be part of NATO, or continue to base British nuclear weapons at


Faslane? All that in the next hour, and with


us for the duration, former Conservative Party leader, Michael


Howard. Welcome to the programme. Let's start with the continuing


saga of the embattled chief whip, Andrew Mitchell. It's four weeks


now since he had that row at the Downing Street gates in which he


was reported to have sworn at a police officer and called him a


pleb. Mr Mitchell, of course, denies using the P word, but has


apologised to officers for the incident, but the story just seems


to refuse to go away. After being the butt of jokes at PMQs, he was


at the receiving end of criticism from his Conservative colleagues at


the 1922 Committee last night. Our political correspondent joins me


now. Nine at that meeting, a number of his colleagues were prepared to


speak up and openly criticise him, but no sign yet that his toast, to


use Ed Miliband's would? That's right, MPs spent half an hour


behind closed doors are discussing Andrew Mitchell's future. But he is


not just any MP, he is a Cabinet minister. And he is not any Cabinet


minister stare, he is the chief whip, the man who is supposed to be


in charge of party discipline, and yet MPs were prepared to call for


him to resign. Others were more supportive. And others said it is


too late now. But there are some MPs who say we do have to draw a


line under this and rally around the prime minister, who has decided


to stick by him. Many feel frustration that the damage has


been done. It does look as though it David Cameron will try and hold


on to him. They don't want to give a scalp to Labour and the press,


but his Andrew Mitchell becoming his own worst enemy? At Prime


Minister's Questions yesterday, when Ed Miliband accused him of


using abusive language against the police, and instead of being quiet,


Andrew Mitchell muttered "I didn't swear", and ignited the row over


again. On fortunately, the TV cameras did not pick up Andrew


Mitchell saying that, but there are several witnesses including its Ed


Miliband who say he did then say he did not swear. There are also


rumours that his deputy was threatening to resign. He said he


could not work with him. So there is potentially a problem within the


whip's office, and this is a headache for the Prime Minister. He


needs his troops to respect the whip and he needs them to behave at


a time when they have a lot of problems. The frustration from Tory


MPs is that they have enough going on without this kind of own goal,


which reinforces an image of the party being out of touch. That was


why Andrew Mitchell was put there in the first place.


Michael Howard, for Labour, this is the gift that keeps on giving.


trying to get my head around the concept of "any old cabinet


minister", the phrase that Vicky Young used. That really set me


thinking. Look, his apology was accepted. It has not been accepted


by the wider political system. It has not even been accepted by a lot


of people on your own side. For Labour, it is the gift that keeps


on giving. Her of course Labour will try and keep it going. I


understand that the majority of Conservative MPs supported him. We


all get het up from time to time. We all perhaps say we should not.


But Mr Mitchell keeps on giving the story legs himself. He shattered in


the Commons yesterday when the Labour leader said it, you swore at


the police, he said no, I didn't. And yet in previous statements, he


said, I did swear at the police, but I didn't call them plebs. Who


do we believe? Everybody will be looking for everything they can


find to keep the story going. that is a huge thing - he said he


didn't, and now he says he did. was not caught on camera. The best


witness Vicky could come up with was Ed Miliband. We ought to get on


to talk about the things that really matter. He has apologised.


am bored with it. I am happy to move on, but it is not going away.


I am sure your viewers are bored with it, too. What do you say to


the idea that the Police Federation are the ones stirring it up to keep


it alive, because they have their own agenda against the government?


I don't want to get into any arguments with the Police


Federation. Do you fear them? at all. I have worked with them in


days gone by. As far as I'm concerned, the matter is over.


just have to convince the rest of your colleagues. Not my job. He is


not bothered. Shall we do a quiz without Andrew Mitchell in it? It


is hard. The question for today is, yesterday, the Conservative trade


minister Lord Marland told reporters he was off to keep the


sun tan up. But where was he off to? Was at his local tanning salon,


Mozambique for ministerial business or the north Cornwall coast? At the


end of the show, Michael will give us the correct answer. Maybe he can


tell us why anybody should care. care, because he does have an


excellent job. I am delighted that he is continuing to bang the drum


for Britain. Are you glad you asked?


For now, at PMQs yesterday, the Prime Minister again indicated that


Britain needed a new relationship and that any new deal would need


popular approval, which is meant to be seen as a nod in the direction


of a referendum. But he has not explicitly promised one, and he is


vague about the timetable or exactly what the choice would-be.


Today Mr Cameron heads to Brussels yet again, probably for some more


bruising battles with his EU colleagues. This time, the fight is


over a banking union, and at a time when many, especially the Germans,


are fed up with British feet dragging.


Earlier this week, the German magazine Der Spiegel compared the


British position in Europe to Statler and Waldorf from the


Muppets, always carping from the sidelines. The magazine is said to


be close to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the French


President Francois Hollande has also said to be frustrated by


Britain's approach, saying that those outside the single currency


should avoid "telling us how the Eurozone should be run". So how


have things got so bad? David Cameron is heading to Brussels for


a two day summit that is expected to be dominated by proposals to


create a banking union for countries who use the euro. The


hope is that this will help protect the bags inside the Eurozone by


putting them all under one monitoring system and having a


joint deposit scheme. The British government is in favour of this,


but is worried that our own financial system could also end up


under European control. They want legal safeguards to prevent the


Eurozone countries out voting Britain and others who don't have


the euro. The discussions could get nasty. One EU Commission official


has already said it would not be legally possible for the UK to


secure a veto. We can speak to Mats Persson, a director of the think


tank Open Europe. Is that true? Can be to ensure that its own banks are


outside this banking union? I think you can. There are two parts to


this proposal. In theory, yes, it is possible for Britain to get some


pragmatic solution which it can be comfortable with to ensure that


Britain and British banks have a good relationship with the Eurozone.


What are the dangers to the City? Are their exaggerated in terms of


negative impact on the City from these new banking union


regulations? The City of London is a bit divided, actually. On the one


hand, the like the idea of a banking union as a stabilising


factor. At the same time, they are worried that the Euros and 17 will


start to write rules for the 27 member states, with Britain having


a limited ability to block the rules if they are not suitable to


the City of London or the UK. So they are a bit two-faced. Yes,


there is a legitimate concern here and Cameron is right to look at


safeguards. But is there a risk that Britain will cut off its nose


to spite its face? They want the banking union. The Chancellor said


that anything that will stabilise the banks that are in crisis in


Europe would be a good thing. If AV to it, the whole thing might


collapse. I agree. There is a bit of inconsistency in the British


diplomatic position at the moment. I have some sympathy with the


Germans. But I think the British have a point, because this has an


impact on them. Our interests need to be safeguarded as well. Everyone


is looking out for their national interests, and so must Cameron. So


I have sympathy with the German position, but Britain needs to look


out for its own interests as well. A head of these summits, there is


always a lot of rhetoric and foot stamping. Hasn't a lot of the


ground now been agreed? British officials will have been talking


about this banking union. When I was at the European Parliament,


they were already discussing it. Hasn't a not been done already?


Some has been done already, but there is still a huge number of


disagreements lingering, not only between Britain and the Eurozone


members, but amongst the Eurozone members themselves. The Germans are


still keen on ski -- keeping of the scope of the agreement limited to


the biggest banks, whereas others want to extend the agreement to all


EUR6,000 and banks. So there is a lot of disagreement between Britain


and the Eurozone members, but also within the Eurozone block itself.


There is a lot of negotiation still ahead.


Let's stick with this story. We are joined by the European Council


spokesman Richard call but, and Michael Howard is still with us. Mr


Corbett, can you clarify an issue for us here? If the UK does not


like the shape of this banking union that is being proposed, does


Britain have the power to veto it? As Mats Persson said, yes, there is


one element that needs unanimous agreement of all the EU member


states to be enacted. But once these negotiations have concluded


and if there is not a veto, what power would Britain have over an


operational banking union? Britain chooses not to join the


banking union, if that is done at the level of the Eurozone or the


Eurozone plus others who wish to join in but Britain does not wish


to join in, there would be some supervisory aspects. They would


only be supervising Eurozone banks. Britain is worried about something


slightly different, that that spills over into the area of


regulating banks, and that regulations will be adopted, with


Britain being outvoted by a block of Eurozone countries. It is


worried about that, but historically, other European


countries recognise the importance of the City of London for the whole


of the European Union, and try to get Britain on board for any


legislation in this sector. It is unusual for Britain to be outvoted


in the adoption of such legislation. But you are referring to the


European Banking Authority, which exists at the moment. I was


speaking more widely, actually. my understanding is that the


British fear is that under this proposal, the European Central Bank


will represent the Eurozone on the European Banking Authority. The ECB


could vote as a block, 17 votes, so any major banking regulatory issues,


Britain, with by far the most important financial sector in


Europe, could lose out. On the point of the banking authority,


that is indeed Britain's fear. As I said, most other countries would


not normally want to do that. We are looking at safeguards in the


voting procedures to say, for instance, whether you might need a


double majority of those in the Eurozone and does not in the


Eurozone. Those things will be yet explored and I am sure a compromise


$:/STARTFEED. Michael Howard, what would you do a keyword Mr Cameron


going to Europe? Let's be realistic about this. The main argument that


is taking place today is going to be between France and Germany. They


have hugely different views about what sort of banking union it


should be. All we are saying, perfectly legitimately, is we think


it is a good idea to have a banking union, you decide what kind of


union and make sure what you have decided his set-up in such a way


that it does not disadvantage Britain. I am entirely in favour of


this. This is yet another example of the kind of flexible Europe I


would like to see created. Not every member state has to accept


every edict that comes out of Brussels. Some member states are in


the euro-zone and some are not. Some are going to be in the banking


union and others are not. We had our opt-out from the Social Chapter


and tell it was given away by the last Labour Government. We ought to


have the kind of European structure which allows us to say to our


European partners, we do not want to stop you doing what you want to


do as long as you do not make us do what we do not want to do. Is that


realistic? In essence Mr Howard is right to say Britain is not part of


the euro-zone and since banking union is being set that essentially


for the euro-zone if Britain does not want to take part, it does not


have to. But there are some who would say this ought to be a matter


for the single market, all 27 member states. We have a single,


financial markets and banks work across frontiers and ownership. Is


it not better to have a common set of rules for that common market and


common supervision for the whole of the single market? Britain says no,


so it is going ahead without Britain, but that is Britain's


choice. What is the view in Europe? We read in Der Spiegel that for


Angela Merkel she is getting fed up because everything that is proposed


a Britain drags its feet and slows down everyone else. Is there a


growing feeling in Europe that Britain should make up its mind? If


you are not part of the programme, get out of the way. You hear voices


saying that more and more, on the other hand people can point to


other policy areas where Britain has been in the lead. In recent


years it was in the lead on climate change, for instance. Quite often


it is in the lead on foreign and security policy issues. It is not


in the lead, obviously, in things relating to the euro because


Britain is not part of the euro. Let me ask you, the position of the


Conservative Party is they want to renegotiate Britain's arrangements,


Britain's settlement with the European Union. They want to


repatriate a wide range of powers back to London. Is there any


appetite for the major European powers to agree to that? Up to now


the British Government, as opposed to any political party, has not


asked for any such renegotiation. You know what I am saying. If that


happened, it would need a treaty change agreed for the most part.


understand that as well, but I am asking you is there any appetite on


behalf of the French, the Italians, the Dutch, to agree to a major


repatriation of powers to Britain, powers that would not be


repatriated to Berlin, Paris, Rome or the Hague? I have not heard of


any enthusiasm for such a thing! not go away. At last, Andrew, you


have been trying hard for the last 10 minutes to get some kind of


issue you can get your teeth into it and at last. What is your answer


to it? He has just said there is no appetite to repatriate powers.


answer is this. There are a number of signs that the core members of


the European Union are moving closer together, they are moving


closer together to a federal union. If they continue to move in that


direction, they are likely to need a treaty change. If they need a


treaty change, that would present an opportunity for the Government


of the United Kingdom to move in the direction I was talking earlier.


To be my semi-detached. I would not say semi-detached, we are never


part of the core, but to create a more flexible kind of structure for


the European Union in which not every member state has to sign up


to everything. So they would have to repatriate powers back to us?


would not say they have to, it would be a process of negotiation.


They would once certain things which needs our agreement. What


sort of things? You have a process of negotiation. They want things


from us and we will want things from them. We have a civilised


discussion and that would present us with a great opportunity. I will


give you the final word, Mr Corbett. Give me your reaction to what


Michael Howard has just said. that a serious or probable likely


way it will pan out? The further deepening relates to the euro-zone


which we are already not part of. It could deepen further by means of


a treaty or an amendment or it could deepen further by a treaty


among themselves. It is not certain this further deepening in an area


in which Britain is not involved in any way, that that further


deepening would imply opening other areas of the treaty. Why should


deepening mean that Britain should opt out of justice and police


matters? It does not necessarily follow. That is very interesting.


Come back and talk to us and we are on once a month and we do politics


Europe, and we hope you join us on that as well.


At the moment secret recordings made by the police or MI5 cannot be


used in court and the security services would like to keep it that


way, arguing it could compromise their intelligence-gathering


techniques and ruin ongoing operations. But the law has been


called into question after the death of Mark Duggan, the man shot


dead by police last year in an operation filmed here by a member


of the public. His death in Tottenham's sparked days of rioting


across England. An inquest has been set for January, but it has been


warned that it may not be able to go ahead because some of the


evidence will be heard in secret. The Tottenham MP David Lammy joins


us from the Central lobby in the House of Commons. Expand for us a


little more as to why the inquest will be delayed. We are in the


extraordinary situation where following four days of rioting and


the death of Mark Duggan because they may have have been the use of


intercept evidence, there will have to be a closed inquiry. I think


you're viewers will understand that in Britain when someone dies in


mysterious circumstances, certainly at the hands of the state, you need


a jury at a coroner to determine the truth of what has happened.


That is the law. They cannot do that, coroners cannot do that.


the moment coroners are not allowed to hear cases that may involve


intercept evidence. Indeed, courts are not allowed to hear cases that


may involve intercept evidence. This has been knocking around


parliament since 2005. The Home Office do not like it and Theresa


May now needs to act and amend the law. Explain why that is important


because of the police claims about the background to Mark Duggan in


the lead-up to that shooting? think it is important, obviously


for Mark Duggan's family, but it is important for the country to


understand the circumstances surrounding the shooting, what


happened in the lead-up and why he was shot outside his car where he


was in broad daylight. And obviously the consequent emotions


that followed in those ensuing days. That is very important for this


country to fully understand. This is the first major domestic case, I


think, where this use, or non-use of intercept evidence is thwarting


justice and that is why we are bringing it back to the House of


Commons. Do you have much support? I am joined by David Davis, a


former spokesman for the Conservatives on home affairs, and


other backbenchers across parties that are concerned about intersect


thwarting justice in this country. Every other major country in the


world they use intercept evidence you would not be able to jail


people if you did not have intercept evidence in court. It is


an anomaly that we here in Britain stand in the way of this in the way


that we do. It has the support of the police and the Metropolitan


Police Commissioner. Absolutely and the Home Secretary has said she


would like to change the law and is waiting on the Chillcott inquiry to


look at this again. But they have looked at it seven times since 2005,


so I think because of its impact on domestic cases, I think because


really in the end we need an open, democratic justice system and we


need an amendment that enables a judge or a coroner to look at the


material. I do not think we should know the means by which this


evidence is got because, quite rightly, we need an intelligence


service that can do that. Michael Howard, why should the law not be


changed? David Lammy has put forward a very powerful case and is


joined by other figures mentioned to have the use of intercept


evidence. I am in had -- inhibited by what I can say because I am a


member of the Chillcott committee. We will very shortly be giving our


file advice to the Home Secretary. What I would say is this, I am on


record in the past as being in favour of the use of intercept


evidence. I started off from a principle similar to the one David


Lammy has just put forward. All I can say is it is a great deal more


complicated and a great deal more difficult than might at first sight


appear. The Home Secretary will have to decide and the committee


will give her our advice. Why is it more complicated? I do not want you


to go into detail. The simplistic view is it is the security services


to do not like it. They have to protect sources. Allies like the


Americans will not give us information. In a word, or in a few


words, David Lammy tried to make a distinction between the content of


the evidence and the source, the way in which you obtain that


evidence. That sounds like a very neat distinction. But the truth in


the real world is that very often you would be able to tell from the


content of the evidence how it was obtained. That leads you into great


difficulties. I do not think I'd better go any further. Do you think


the Home Secretary's own native a little bit when it comes to siding


with the intelligence services when they become the Home Secretary?


I do not, I think she will reach a balanced view and take all the


advice she is given into account. Now there has been the unmistakable


sound in Westminster of a prime ministerial announcement


unravelling at full speed this morning. It dominated the lobby,


the off-the-record briefings as the Government tried to clarify what


the Prime Minister said yesterday. This is what David Cameron told the


House of Commons yesterday. I can announce, which I am sure he will


welcome, is there that we will be legislating said that energy


companies have to give the lowest tariff to their customers,


something Labour did not do in 13 years even though the leader of the


party could have done. That sounds pretty good to you and me, doesn't


it? Diligent journalists checked the details of the announcement


with the Energy Department, which you would think would be fully


across this, they would have got the draft and the wording right,


but they could not offer any details. There were suggestions it


could even increase the costs for consumers or break competition laws.


This morning, the energy minister, John Hayes, was called to the House


to answer, not surprisingly, an urgent question. Following the


Prime Minister's announcement yesterday, I am pleased to confirm


we will be bringing forward legislation to help energy


consumers get the best deal. We have already regulated and have


plans to improve competition, simplifying tariffs for the retail


market and we will improve liquidity and competition in the


wholesale market through the energy bill in weeks rather than months.


There are a number of options being considered. For example, the


voluntary agreement in April secured a number of measures which


will be evaluated to make the legislation binding. This is a


complicated area and we will discuss with the industry, consumer


We wanted to speak to him Minister about this on your behalf, but we


were told, surprise, surprise, that none was available. But undaunted,


we are joined by Stephen Fitzpatrick of Ovo Energy, never


heard of them, crazy name - and the shadow energy minister, Luciana


Berger. I have just seen an open goal for you to kick the ball


through. Let me come to you first. Do you know what government policy


is on this? 12 months ago, I was in a meeting with David Cameron and


the heads of the large energy companies. And they agreed to write


to their consumers and say, you could be paying less. And I


suggested it might be better if you just got the energy companies to


charge them less. A year on, having seen that nothing much has changed,


the Prime Minister has decided it is time to take action. It is a


brave move. Except that what the Prime Minister said yesterday was


that energy companies should give consumers the lowest tariff, not


offer them the lowest tariff, just give it to them. On the briefings


we have since had, from what Mr Hayes said, that is not what the


Government policy seems to be. The word offer was much softer than


"give". We will wait to see what comes out in the energy bill.


you don't know what the policy is. Nobody knows what the policy is


until we see it. The intention is to force the big six to treat


customers fairly. I understand that, and I understand that you are in


favour of that because you are a smaller energy company which would


like to take on the Big Six. I know the Labour leader and others have


been trying to encourage people to be given lower tariffs. But what do


you think of the prime minister's idea for these energy companies to


give the lowest tariff, not ask or offer, but just to say, it is


yours? This is another shambles from the prime minister. We have


established that. Don't milk it. I have milked it. I am sorry your


video did not big enough up of the cackles of laughter. I have never


heard such a farce. People thought it was the most entertaining half-


hour of Parliament they have ever heard. I can assure you, that is


not true. I am sorry that the Secretary of State Ed Davey did not


grace us with his presence. I know it is an open goal. You have kicked


the ball in the back of the net. What is the answer? Were don't want


to see tinkering with the edges, we need an overhaul of the energy


market. But I would like an answer to my question. I take the point


that you don't want tinkering. But the Prime Minister is saying energy


companies should give customers of the lowest tariff. That would be a


major change of policy. Would you favour that? We have said the


Labour Party would favour giving over 75s the cheapest tariff. They


are the most likely to suffer from the cold and the least likely to


have access to the internet. they suffer from rising fuel bills.


And cold winters. And they are least likely to have access to a


bank account. And then? We have not yet seen any detail of this policy.


Their prime minister announced it yesterday. There is nothing in the


forthcoming electricity market reform bill... That bill relates to


wholesale markets. The retail reform bill relates to the retail


market, which is what we are discussing. But could the


Government simply mandate that the energy companies to give everybody


the lowest tariff? The easiest change to policy with the biggest


benefit is to say that for any given payment method, whether it is


direct debit, cash or cheque or pre-payment, you automatically put


every customer on to the cheapest tariff. And if they want to opt out,


they can. If in case they want to pay more. For 15 years, the energy


companies have relied on apathy and confusion. And it has become more


confusing. The energy companies have relied on this apathy. They


write to customers saying, you could pay less, but why not write


to them and say, we are going to charge you less? We need to take a


step up the backwoods. Why not for what? I do not want to wait until I


and 75. We know that when the wholesale price of energy goes up,


N G companies are quick to put their prices up. It is an important


point to make. I understand that. More competition is the answer.


are in the delicious position here, Luciana Berger, of the prime


minister proposing defectively and administered price, a government


mandated administered price. Whereas you and the Lib-Dems are


talking about more competition. it would be the energy companies


setting that price. Energy companies don't pass on a changes


in wholesale prices to their customers. They are very slow to


put them down. Michael Howard, you don't have to be on-message for


every question I ask you. I think most people watching think this is


a good idea, even though the Prime Minister is running away from it


now. What would be wrong with having a law that said to the major


energy companies that they have to put you on the lowest, most


beneficial tariff? It is a good idea. Luciana Berger has just said


that Labour will have a comprehensive overhaul, of which


the major feature is that over 75s will get the benefits. Why just


them? Exactly, everybody should get it. How long have you got to go


until 75? I am almost there. That was just one element of that. We


also had Ed Miliband an ounce but what we would like to get rid of


Ofgem and replace it. That is a good idea. We think there should be


a separate regulator for the wholesale market and one for the


retail market. If it is right to give the over 75s at the lowest


tariff, and if that can be done, and presumably you think it can,


why not give it to the rest of us? I come back to the point about


doing that in isolation. If the energy market is broken and the


energy companies are setting prices too high anyway, you can look at


tinkering around the edges, but that will not fix the energy market.


I talked about replacing the regulator. We would also like to


see the big six energy companies but in the energy they generate


into a pooled so that all entrants can have access to that market.


are the UK's leading independent energy supplier, and we are


confused about this from the Labour Party. Most people listening will


think, great, somebody is in our corner. But usually, it is the


energy companies that lose out or, I am sorry to say, the opposition


have not been bold enough in their point of view. We will have to


leave it there. We could have a Howard energy policy here.


Right, according to today's Daily Telegraph, the world is about to


find out which MPs and former MPs are renting their properties,


presumably bought with taxpayers' money, two other parliamentarians,


who are renting at our expense. The Telegraph reports that an attempt


by the Speaker to block the publication of these after a


Freedom of Information request has failed. Some MPs have expressed


concern that the release of this information could compromise


security. One of those is the New Forest MP, Julian Lewis. And he is


with us. Why is it a security threat? In just a question of


putting together pieces of a jigsaw. In 2008 and 2009, Parliament


decided that MPs' home addresses should never be revealed in


response to Freedom of Information request. At the time when people


are nominated for elections, the law was changed. Some don't agree


with that, but that is the situation and there are good


arguments for it. But isn't this going to get you into this a to


trouble that all MPs ran into over expenses? People see it as a lack


of transparency again. I have not even got to where I want to get. It


is a complex matter. The law is that MPs' addresses will not be


revealed. If you reveal the name of a landlord, and if you reveal the


first part of an MP's home address postcode, so you can see if people


are flipping addresses, if you then put that into a search engine, the


first part of the postcode, together with the name of the MP's


landlord, that can often give you a full postcode which will give you


the address either of the MP themselves where it is a small


landlord, or of a house close to the MP's address. If that happens,


that undermines what Parliament has decided, which is that MPs' home


addresses should not be revealed. There are other ways of doing this,


but this is not the right way. what is the other way? People might


say, how about we just get the name of the landlord? As I understand it,


they are just doing the name of the landlord. But if you Google the


name of the Landlord and that those three letters of the MP's addresses,


you get the two. If I were the Daily Telegraph, and I think there


is a public interest in knowing if MPs are renting to each other,


would be to ask how many MPs are renting two other MPs. When you


have got the answer, the answer is to take it up with the body


concerned and say, how come you are allowing this to happen? At the


moment, the Speaker is attempting to block the publication of MPs'


addresses in order to prevent at that link being shown. That is how


it will seem to viewers. The Dilnot the Speaker attempting to block the


publication of MPs' addresses. Everybody accepts that MPs'


addresses must not be revealed, by law. The Speaker is just trying to


stop a way of publishing landlords' names which will reveal details and


could lead to the undermining of the existing legal position, which


is that the MP's personal address should not be revealed. Michael


Howard may not like it, but that is how it is. Michael Howard, there


are good security reasons, and we have heard the complicated way of


building of the jigsaw, but are they valid reasons? I was against


the law to which Julian referred. We have had this argument before.


My constituents knew where I lived, and I did not have a problem with


that. It also has to be said that transparency and disclosure are the


best disinfectant to the kind of concern we have seen. But to be


fair to Julian, in relation to the particular issue we are talking


about it, MPs renting from each other, he has suggested a way


forward. It would achieve that objective. So I lost the argument


with him in the Act of Parliament, because it is on the statute book.


To be fair to him, he has suggested a way forward which would meet the


objectives the Daily Telegraph want to meet. What do you think of MPs


renting to each other? I have not kept up with all the changes in the


rules since I left the House of Commons, but apparently, it is


specifically allowed. A but is it right? Julian will know more about


this than I do. But bearing in mind the background, is it right that


MPs should be able to rent to each other? They will then be busy


building up a nest-egg, as many think. A few had the kind of


transparency, which one way or another can be achieved, you would


find out whether Members of Parliament themselves thought it


was right. Julian, do you agree that MPs should be allowed to rent


to each other? It is one of those practical problems. If they didn't


rent to each other, they were probably rent to a member of the


public. In many cases, MPs have acquired flats, and then the rules


changed and said their mortgage interest payments could not be met


from public funds. So they would either have to sell the flat or


rent it to somebody, so they rented it to somebody. But I think it does


not look great for MPs to be scratching each other's backs in


this way. But in that case, the fault lies with the regulator. It


is up to them to change the rules. I hasten to add that I do not rent


from anybody. But I would say that those MPs would have some reason to


say to the regulator, we asked you in good faith and you said it was


How do we get more bright kids from poor backgrounds into our top


universities and into the top jobs and the top professions? In the


moment we will be talking to the Government's social mobility


minister, Alan Milburn. He says universities need to work more


closely with deprived schools in deprived areas and encourage pupils


to apply to the best institutions. We put a lot of time and effort


into working with schools. If you go down to Imperial College you


will find Robert Winston, a fantastically inspired academic,


working in his lab with sixth-form students from a school in a


deprived area in London, trying to help them get higher grades in


their chemistry A-levels. We are very hands on in trying to help the


schools in tackling what we think is a big challenge for them. We all


need to help, but universities cannot do it by themselves. We need


help from a whole range of stakeholders. The group


representing the top Big yin -- research universities. And welcome


Alan Milburn back to the programme. You have been keeping yourself busy.


That is a compliment. If the state schools produce poor exam results,


why is that the responsibility of the universities? It is the


responsibility fundamentally of the schools, but the universities


generally want to grow the group of talent. The best way of a kid


getting into university is to do well at A-level. Universities are


spending a good deal of money trying to ensure that happens there


with summer schools, outreach programmes and mentoring and so on.


My plea to the universities is to become more focused about that. We


know that whatever the problems are with City academies, they have


improved standards in disadvantaged areas. That is why Michael Gove is


continuing the programme Labour began. I would like to see more


universities sponsoring City academies so they can work with the


communities and teachers and pupils in those disadvantaged communities


and raise their expectations and aspirations as well as the


standards. But in some cases is it not too late for the schools Quetta


and Mark big gap begins to start very early on Ant is full of


complicated associate economic factors. A off course and there is


no magic, silver bullet. There are a lot of factors. Family, cultural,


economic, but we know that if there is one thing that makes the biggest


difference for social mobility, it is education that unlocks


everything. That is the most important thing. Performance in


school and attainment at A-level is a guide to what happens later on in


life. Let me put this to you to get your reaction. I remember going too


hard in the United States and they go around the country looking for


bright kids. They have a huge team of people doing it, but in LA they


had a choice. They had two kids, one had gone to a very good school


in a posh area. The other came from East LA, a black kid, a single-


parent mother in the ghetto where the riots were. Her grades were not


quite as good as the boy's, but they gave the place to the single-


parent mother on the basis that it had grades were that good going to


a pretty poor school, it she had gone to the same school, she could


have done Betty -- are better. universities here are taking


contextual data into account. They are doing it very quietly. The top


universities do it, but in a quiet way. And that is a good thing?


is a good thing because what a higher education should be about,


admission to university should be about the potential benefit. A-


levels are a great guide, but they are not foolproof. You are not


comparing apples and pears. If a child has gone to a disadvantaged,


failing school and has got freebies and you compare that to a kid at


Eton with three A's. Who has had to work harder? Nobody pretends it is


easy, it is a trade-off. Have they learned from America about doing


this? The interesting thing about the States, the Ivy League, the top


universities, it is they all do it. They priorities -- prioritise


equity. You here with the Russell group St if we do it with equity,


we have to compromise excellence, but they do not do that in the US.


I am immensely sympathetic. I am worried about whether today a boy


growing up in Wales going to a state school could get into


Cambridge as I was lucky enough to do. The grammar school I went to is


no longer there. I hope my concerns are necessary, but I worry about it.


The problem is in the schools. That is why what Michael Gove is doing


is so immensely important and that is why I agreed. Universities have


got to look for potential. A-level results are a very good guide, but


they are not the only guide. I want to make one other point. I was very


start this morning hearing somebody say on the Today programme is we


hear a great thing about teenagers going to universities to see what


they are like and there are children who cannot afford the


money to go to an Open Day. Universities ought to be helping


children from those families. Should more began at 16 to keep


pupils on? To build on that, I think that is right. One of the


things that is regrettable was the abolition of thick educational


maintenance allowance. I do not agree with that type of argument.


We are running out of time. Is the Government listening to you? They


have asked me to do this, so I never know it. I take it at face


value, I have produced a report and I have spoken to Michael Gove. I


hope it is something they are serious about. If they are serious


about social mobility, they need to get into this area. The Scottish


National Party are gathered for their annual conference in Perth.


The good news is the deal with Westminster over an independence


referendum. The less good news is a debate that might prove awkward.


For many years the SNP have wanted Scotland to leave NATO and that is


closer than ever, but they have changed their minds.


This is the most advanced air defence warship in the world. The


British destroyer on radar looks the size of a fishing boat. The


Govan shipyards on the Clyde have been the makers and maintainers of


the sharp end of British naval power. But ironically defence is


the one area where an independent Scotland provides politically


something of a problem for the SNP. You see Britain, and at the moment


Scotland, is a nuclear power within NATO. In Faslane outside Glasgow it


is where our nuclear arsenal resides. For 30 years the SNP's


stance has been independence would mean being neither Nuclear non in


NATO and that could be about to change. The Scots do not want to be


neutral sitting out in the North Atlantic in the big rush for wrong


materials and trade routes. Scotland needs to be in a group of


other countries with collective self-defence, NATO. And also an


independent Scotland that walked out of NATO would be upsetting all


of our closest neighbours. Alex Salmond now wants his party and


country to stay in NATO, but have Scottish and non-nuclear state has


written into any constitution. For opponents of the U-turn that is not


enough, it is about whether you are anti- nuclear weapons, not just


anti-nuclear weapons on Scottish soil. My concern about Scotland


continuing to be in NATO is twofold. Firstly, it is whether or not we


can reasonably expect to get rid of nuclear weapons and continue to


shelter under an organisation of a first strike policy. Also there is


the wider issue of what the force is for in the wider world. Many


will look across the water to Norwich who are in NATO, but not


nuclear fought a compromise. But for a summit does not bridged the


gap. Let's look at Sweden, Finland, Austria, all countries in Europe


are not in nature and they do not feel the need to be in NATO and


that is the same for Scotland. There is a practical point about


the nuclear weapons on this Clyde. It would take a long time, a very


long time to move those nuclear weapons submarines to England in


the event of independence. It might take 15 years, maybe longer at


quite considerable cost. Both sides say the debate is healthy and will


abide by the boats. But who would risk embarrassing a leader just


when they are closer than ever to delivering what their party exists


to achieve? It is funny what Scottish institutions pop up when


you are looking in the film archives. Three years ago... Here


is that blip at the end of that cell?


He should never be allowed on television!


He looks very familiar. Michael Howard, stop laughing.


Raymond Buchanan joins us from the SNP conference in Perth. An


independent Scotland for most Scottish Nationalists would have


meant not being part of NATO. It is an issue for the SNP, and the idea


that the UKIP brief prepared to abandon that, how big an issue is


that? Can you hear us? I was struggling, but I heard most of the


report at. That is about the big dividing line in the conference


between those who believe the SNP should stick to their traditional


anti-Nato policy and those who wish to follow the leadership, the


charge led by Angus Robertson, the leader of the MPs at Westminster


for the SNP, who says the vast majority of people in Scotland


believe an independent Scotland should remain a part of NATO. They


are trying to build up a credible argument for a defence. They think


it is the time to change of that traditional policy and go for


something which gets rid of nuclear weapons, but also ensures the


majority of people in Scotland get their way and this country, post-


independence, stays in NATO. Will they get it through the leadership,


yes or no? I do not think Raymond can hear us and we have not got


that answer. You have stunned him into silence,


bat is the nature of your interviews.


Let's go back to that young chap and get the answer.


That is all I needed to know. It gives us time to find out the


answer to our quiz. Yesterday Lord Marland told reporters he was off


to keep his suntan up. But where was he after? Mozambique. What is


the answer? It is. Do I get a trip there as


well. Yesterday we did not have time to


pick guess the Year when there's and the answer was 1963. Michael, a


press that buzzer. Who is it? Anyway, whoever you are, you have


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