26/11/2012 Daily Politics


26/11/2012

Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate. She is joined by Tanni Grey-Thompson.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Good afternoon, welcome to the Daily Politics. Much of England is

:00:43.:00:47.

under water, vast areas of the south-west and north-east are knee-

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deep in floods, and there are alerts in Scotland and Wales.

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Should we worry when we hear that talks between the government and

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insurers are on the brink of collapse?

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Nigel Farage will be talking about the decision in Rotherham to remove

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three children from a foster family because the parents were members of

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UKIP - he is not pleased, to put it mildly.

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And after the highs of the Olympics, are attempts to get us all doing

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more sport coming a cropper because of a lack of local facilities?

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All that in the next hour. With us today is the legendary athlete and

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member of the House of Lords Tanni Grey-Thompson, welcome. If you have

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any thoughts or comments on anything we are discussing you can

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send them to [email protected] or tweets

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your, and using #bbcdp. -- tweeted your comments. There has

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been misery as flooding and torrential rain hit this weekend.

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More than 800 homes were deluged and more is under way as the rains

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keep coming. The Met Office has issued an amber warning for North

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Wales and the north-east of England. The Environment Agency says there

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are currently 204 flood warnings on their website. Scotland is at risk

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and it has emerged this morning that some people may find their

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homes uninsurable as talks between the government and the Association

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of British Insurers have failed to reach agreement.

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The Government is committed to improving flood defences and in

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return insurers are obliged to provide cover for high-risk

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properties. This morning Nick Starling of the ABI said it was not

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about tax payers footing the bill. We've had two years since the major

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flood summit held by the Government, two years to sort this out. The

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industry has put a lot of work and money into creating a model and it

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is not right to say it would burden the taxpayer. The model develops a

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fund, and into that front go a high risk premiums and the small levy.

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In circumstances where there is a major flood and not enough within

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the fund to pay the claims, we ask for a temporary overdraft to be

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paid the next year. It is wrong to say it is a burden on the taxpayer,

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it is an elegant solution enabling us to move on and it would be a

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world leader in flood insurance. We are joined now by Richard Benyon,

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the minister in charge of tackling floods. Can we pick up on that, has

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the Government rejected a deal that would ensure that those at high

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risk of flooding would continue to get affordable premiums? We are not

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in the deadlock position which some people are reporting. That is not

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what he says. There was a very good meeting towards the end of next

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week and -- last week and we expect more meetings in the next few days.

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I must register disappointment that it has been done and the backdrop

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of pretty tragic floods in large parts of the country. I don't think

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it is the time to raise it, although it is an important issue

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for households. Households want to have certainty, those people living

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in high-risk areas, that there is some sort of deal that means they

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can get affordable premiums. Whether you are in a deadlock, or

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you don't see it that way and the insurers do, is very deal that can

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be do in the next few months? -- is there a deal that can be done in

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the next few months? We want universal insurance for Flood Risk

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Homes, which is not done at the moment, and the key would be at an

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affordable level for households on low incomes. Premiums will have to

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go up? At the moment there is no measure in the current agreement

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that says anything about premiums or excess charges, which is a big

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worry for householders. We want to bring that into the arrangement

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that will follow one from the statement of principle which ends

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in June next year. We are representing the tax payer and it

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is really important we have a good deal for households who have many

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burdens on their incomes, we want something affordable, but most of

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all we want to concentrate at the moment on dealing with floods right

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up and down this country, in some cases they have had tragic

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consequences. Finally, there is a specific issue of a guaranteed

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overdraft which is what being so it -- the Association of British

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Insurers is talking about. Will you agree to provide a guaranteed

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overdraft to fund any emergencies in the first two or three years,

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while the scheme is being built? would be wrong for me or any

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minister to be negotiated over the airwaves. We have had good meetings,

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and will continue to have good meetings, with the insurance

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industry and I will simply not do that in public, it would be quite

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wrong. We are representing the hard-pressed taxpayer to make sure

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we are getting the best deal for them for households that are really

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worried about this as quickly as possible. Tanni Grey-Thompson, what

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do you think? It sounds as if the row was going on about whether a

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premium should go up, the insurers wanted to go up to cover these

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emergencies, do you think it should? They probably have to,

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which is quite unfortunate. For people trying to pump water out of

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their houses, it is almost impossible to associate. I think

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the public expect there to be support for these people

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experiencing really difficult times. One of the things are flood

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defences themselves, what do you say to residents in Worcestershire

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who were flooded despite a �1.7 million flood defence system which

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failed to work? I feel desperate for them. That money was wasted?

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it failed because a pump did not kick in. Somebody has been sitting

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overnight to make sure it did. I think it is a pity that people have

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concentrated on one scheme that failed, one of a 26,000 homes, as

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of last night, were protected by a recently built flood schemes that

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have worked. I feel desperate for those people. I think it is

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important that we concentrate on the many thousands of homes that

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have not bloody its because really good, well-thought-out schemes of

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taxpayers' money have been spent properly. Should there be more of

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them to prevent the people who have been flooded, who will be dishing

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the water out? We are spending �2.17 billion in this period on

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building new... Produced will see those endless images of people just

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being devastated. -- but you still see those endless images. There are

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5.2 million homes at some sort of bloodless, we want to concentrate

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on those most at blowed was, communities who get up every

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morning, they see it raining and they worry. We have got another �72

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million on what we are spending from other schemes, trying to get

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these up and built. Our insurers being a bit irresponsible

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discussing this in public? -- our insurers being? We are disappointed

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it has been discussed today when people are wading about in wet

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houses. We are working with them and we want a solution, that is

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what people want. This morning two of the main

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political stories concern UKIP. It emerged over the weekend that

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officials working for Rotherham council removed three children from

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foster parents because the parents were UKIP members. The director of

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Children's Services at the council, Joyce Thacker, said these children

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are from EU migrant backgrounds and UKIP has very clear statements on

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ending multiculturalism. Rotherham Council is Labour-controlled

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Lambeth council has ordered a report into the case, which

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apparently they are looking at as we speak. Joining me from Rotherham

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is the BBC Yorkshire political editor, Len Tingle. They are

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discussing Match report and I heard you say there has been a meeting

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between Joyce Thacker, the leader of the council, and the Chief

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Executive? That ended about half- an-hour ago. Literally two minutes

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ago, popping into my Inbox here was a statement from the council. Tries

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Back came out of this meeting, walked right past us, I asked if

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she felt under pressure, whether she thought she was still in a job.

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-- Joyce Thacker came out of this meeting. A couple of minutes later,

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the Labour leader of the council... You will probably hear behind me we

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are in the middle of a by-election, everything happening at once. I

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don't think it is entirely coincidental that Respect have

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pulled their truck up behind me. But as far as this particular she

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was concerned, we are hearing from the council in their statement that

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they have ordered a further inquiry, they are not talking about any

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disciplinary action against any members of the council. They want

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to know more. They say the interest of the children is paramount, they

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are sending a report to the Secretary of State and that is as

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far as they have got this morning. They are not expecting the council

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to give a statement. The leader of the council said this is probably

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one of the councils with more Labour councillors on it than any

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other in the country. I think there are only four councillors that are

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not Labour. The leader, a veteran leader, walked past us without

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making any statements are tall. sounds the nobody is talking at the

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moment. -- without making any statement at all.

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Thank you, Len Tingle. Elsewhere, the Conservative Party

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vice-chairman Michael Fabricant has called for an electoral pact with

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you coup. He thinks David Cameron should promise to hold them in-out

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referendum on the youth -- on the EU if UKIP promises not to stand

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against Conservative candidates and 2013. He said it could mark the

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final rapprochement between warring brothers. The UKIP leader tweeted

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in response, Olympic and Paralympic Games Task and Finish Group. We

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will hear from Michael Fabricant a little later, but I am joined by

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the UKIP leader Nigel Farage. You wants heads to roll? What has

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happened is an outrage, I think that is shared by the vast majority

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in the country. These couple have fostered for seven years and done

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an impeccable job. But on the basis of their views, that they support a

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party that thinks we should not be in the EU and we should control

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migration into Britain, this has been done to them. I want them to

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be pardoned, I want the children to be returned, and heads should roll.

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Whose heads? Joyce Thacker? Without a shadow of the doubt, she should

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go. This is not the first time that Rotherham have done badly in

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protecting children. What is the party policy on multiculturalism?

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We don't want to spend state money encouraging further division in

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society, which is what we did for 40 years in pursuing

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multiculturalism. Trevor Phillips on the Prime Minister now agreed.

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We think if people come here legally, we have to make sure they

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all speak English and integrate. You don't like councils promoting

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the idea of multiculturalism? As an observer, what is your reaction to

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the stir the -- story, looking at it from a human perspective? That

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the children were taken away apparently on the basis of them

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being members of UKIP. headlines are very stop and

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worrying. The children need to be protected. If there were concerns

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about the family, the children should not have been there in the

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first place, that is terribly disruptive. I don't think being a

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member of a party should be a bar to fostering, it should probably be

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encouraged because they are more understanding about society. I

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would like to see if there is any more behind it rather than just

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being a member of UKIP. Joyce Thacker, who defended their

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position at the weekend, has said that the children, who were from EU

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migrant backgrounds, had been removed to protect their cultural

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and ethnic needs from UKIP's strong views and apparent opposition to

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multiculturalism. She says she is legally obliged to fulfil that

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requirement. We don't buy that. What did you buy? She was

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backtracking. Initially the couple were told the children were being

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removed because UKIP was viewed as a racist party, that is what they

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were told and why the children were removed. Joyce Thacker is now

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backtracking slightly 4th of the truth of his it -- truth of it is

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these three children were singing nursery rhymes in their native

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language and doing the same in English, surely that shows they

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were in a very good environment indeed? Just that there,

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backtracking or not and rightly or wrongly, feels that she is only

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during what she proposed to do legally -- Joyce Thacker,

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backtracking or not. Judges in sit -- insist that children from ethnic

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minority backgrounds are placed in homes to promote ethnic and

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cultural minorities, which UKIP does not believe in. The children

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were not being told to forget their background or give up their

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language, far from it. But can you understand it Joyce Thacker's view?

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It might be wrong, as far as you see it, but a logical train of

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thought is this family were not right because they would not want

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to promote those things because it is not what UKIP believes in?

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and everyone has moved on it recognises that the way we were

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doing it was a mistake. -- virtually everyone has moved on and

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recognises. So what has Joyce Thacker done wrong? Sent officers

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in and removed three children from a loving environment on the basis

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that they were members of a racist party. She was wrong. You say you

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want the children removed -- disciplinary action will take place.

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What are you going to do? children have been uprooted again,

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the couple are in limbo, heads will clearly not role. I am worried that

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the inquiry is just kicking the camp down the road. If we will not

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get redress from the council, we will have to consider other members

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like the legal route. On the basis... That they have been

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discriminated against. You could argue that whoever the official was

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in Rotherham is not the only person to be disparaging about UKIP. In

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2006, David Cameron said that members of UKIP, mostly, but not

:15:50.:15:55.

all, where fruit cake alone -- fruit cake and rubies and closet

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racists. On Saturday from Ed Miliband to Michael Gove we saw

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virtually every one say it was wrong because UKIP is not racist.

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Joyce Thacker said she thought UKIP was not a racist party on Radio 4,

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more backtracking. The only person that chose to abuse UKIP and imply

:16:15.:16:19.

that somehow it was racist was David Cameron again, and we are

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appalled. What would you say? What would you do? I think that links

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into the next story, Michael Fabricant has an idea that somehow

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they will buy us off by offering me a job and UKIP will pack up its

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tents and go wrong. The trouble is, Mr Fabricant, it is very difficult

:16:38.:16:43.

for us to believe anything David Cameron says, because he gave us a

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cast-iron guarantee, if you remember, that we would have a

:16:46.:16:53.

referendum, and it has not happened. I mentioned earlier that the

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Conservative Party vice-chairman Michael Fabricant had written a

:16:55.:16:59.

report calling for a pact between his party and UKIP at the next

:16:59.:17:04.

I spoke to Michael Fabricant earlier and I asked him about it.

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Apart from some action on Twitter last night, with Nigel Farage, I

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have had absolutely no dealings with UKIP. This is an internal

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discussion document. I have published it because I think it

:17:17.:17:20.

deserves full debate. If we ever chose to implement it, and that

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would not be my decision, that would be done in 24 months' time.

:17:25.:17:31.

Guess, but it would be an electoral pact. You are saying you would not

:17:31.:17:35.

put UKIP candidates up in areas where Tories are standing. That's

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right. We are living in an era of electoral pacts and coalitions. Who

:17:40.:17:43.

would have thought that the Conservatives would have entered

:17:43.:17:48.

into a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats? But they did

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that after the result, not as part of a packed beforehand. So, it

:17:52.:17:56.

looks as if you are worried about the result of the 2015 election,

:17:56.:18:00.

you do not think you will get an overall majority unless you get

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into a packed with UKIP. exactly. I do not know what the

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situation will be like in 24 months' time. It could be that we

:18:08.:18:12.

could win an election outright, and in fact I am pretty confident that

:18:12.:18:16.

we might do just that. What I am doing is saying, but we should have

:18:16.:18:20.

a number of strings to our bow, and this might be one of them. It all

:18:20.:18:24.

comes about because it was Nigel Farage who said in his party

:18:24.:18:29.

conference speech that he would entertain such a pact. I know that

:18:29.:18:34.

last night, on Twitter, he said, no, we are at war with the

:18:34.:18:39.

Conservatives. I gather this morning he was coming back from

:18:39.:18:43.

that a little bit. I understand that you have got him on the

:18:43.:18:47.

programme possibly, and you will ask that question. But this is not

:18:47.:18:52.

a bed -- this is not a debate that we will be having with UKIP until

:18:52.:18:56.

possibly 24 months from now, and that debate might not be necessary.

:18:56.:19:01.

But if he is saying, this is war, you are left with egg on your face.

:19:01.:19:05.

But he keeps changing his mind. He said he would do it at the party

:19:05.:19:08.

conference, then he said last night, this is war, and I gather this

:19:08.:19:12.

morning, he is saying, there is a possibility. At the end of the day,

:19:12.:19:17.

we should all keep our powder dry. I do not make up strategy. That

:19:17.:19:20.

will be the decision of Number Ten Downing Street in 24 months' time,

:19:21.:19:25.

or whatever, if they choose to explore this further. In the

:19:25.:19:30.

meantime, I just want to get a debate. What could you promise him,

:19:30.:19:34.

to entice him back? You say he is vulnerable to changing his mind, so

:19:34.:19:38.

what could you offer him in terms of government? It would not be me

:19:38.:19:43.

for a start.. But could you see Nigel Farage in Cabinet? It would

:19:43.:19:48.

be a decision for David Cameron. I think Nigel Farage has got a lot of

:19:48.:19:52.

talent. We bring in people from other parties to do things in

:19:52.:19:56.

government. But that will be a decision for David Cameron and

:19:56.:20:01.

George Osborne, and those who make up a strategy. I still say that if

:20:01.:20:05.

people want a good deal in Europe, they would be better off voting

:20:05.:20:10.

Conservative. The problem is, they do not always do so, they vote UKIP,

:20:10.:20:14.

and that can cost boat's. Do you agree with Nigel Farage that David

:20:14.:20:17.

Cameron has lost everybody down on the issue of a referendum on

:20:17.:20:24.

Europe? -- that can cost votes. Not at all. There has been a great deal

:20:24.:20:28.

of deception about this issue. David Cameron said that if the

:20:28.:20:33.

Lisbon Treaty were not put -- was not endorsed, was not made into a

:20:34.:20:37.

full treaty by the time of the last election, we would have a

:20:37.:20:41.

referendum on whether we signed it. A lot of your colleagues feel they

:20:41.:20:44.

have been marched to the top of the hill and then straight back down

:20:44.:20:48.

again. I don't think so at all. David Cameron made it very, very

:20:48.:20:51.

clear that if the Lisbon Treaty were already signed by the time we

:20:51.:20:55.

got in, it would be closing the stable door after the horse had

:20:55.:21:01.

bolted. What are you promising UKIP, if they did agree not to put

:21:01.:21:04.

candidates up against the Conservatives, what are you

:21:04.:21:08.

promising them? What I am saying is that we would have to give, and

:21:08.:21:13.

this is based on Nigel Farage's speech, a cast-iron guarantee that

:21:13.:21:22.

after the general election, there would be a straight referendum, in-

:21:22.:21:27.

and out, or Europe. Is that actually achievable, to give a

:21:27.:21:32.

cast-iron guarantee? Nigel Farage said it would have to be signed in

:21:32.:21:37.

blood. If we feel in 24 months' time that we want to deal with UKIP

:21:37.:21:41.

- and as I said, it may not be necessary, it may not be

:21:41.:21:46.

advantageous - I will donate a pint. Good for you. But Downing Street

:21:46.:21:50.

have distanced themselves from you today, having called for an

:21:50.:21:56.

electoral pact with UKIP. Number 10 Downing Street said, Michael

:21:56.:22:00.

Fabricant does not speak for the party on this issue. Quite right.

:22:00.:22:05.

They say really, you should shut up on this issue. Mine is a discussion

:22:05.:22:09.

document, and I wanted discussed. I do not want it discussed yet with

:22:10.:22:14.

UKIP, as I say, it is something which might have to be decided in

:22:14.:22:19.

24 months' time. That decision will be made not by me, but by David

:22:19.:22:22.

Cameron and George Osborne and their advisers. Should David

:22:22.:22:27.

Cameron retract his statement about some UKIP members being loonies and

:22:27.:22:32.

closet racists? I heard the interview yesterday on the BBC

:22:32.:22:38.

website. It was an interview which was done back in 2006. The truth is,

:22:38.:22:43.

some UKIP members are. I will be very controversial and say, I think

:22:43.:22:47.

some Conservative members might be, and some Labour members and some

:22:47.:22:52.

Lib Dem MPs. But David Cameron has not said it about Labour and Lib

:22:52.:22:57.

Dem MPs. He has specifically said it about some UKIP members - should

:22:57.:23:00.

he retract that? I heard the interview, I do not think it needs

:23:00.:23:07.

retraction at all. Nigel Farage is an intelligent man. He will do what

:23:07.:23:11.

he thinks is best for the country in its relationship with the

:23:11.:23:14.

European Union. Let's see what happens in two years' time, if it

:23:14.:23:22.

is necessary. In the meantime, I have got the debate going. Let's

:23:22.:23:25.

put it to Nigel Farage - are there any circumstances in which you

:23:25.:23:32.

would sign up to an electoral pact? I did say in our conference that if

:23:32.:23:34.

Ed Miliband or David Cameron were to make a clear promise that the

:23:35.:23:37.

country would have a full referendum about the continued

:23:37.:23:41.

membership of the European Union, and wanted to come and talk to us

:23:41.:23:43.

about that, and about how the election should be managed, we

:23:43.:23:48.

would sit and talk around the table. The difficulty of course is how we

:23:48.:23:52.

could trust any such promise. a good enough deal, I suppose, for

:23:52.:24:00.

you, that it might be worth trusting them. You could save

:24:00.:24:03.

yourselves all of those lost deposits. We would need to believe

:24:03.:24:06.

that it is actually going to happen. But what has changed over the

:24:06.:24:11.

course of this weekend is that it is all well and good speaking about

:24:11.:24:14.

the 2006 interview, in which Cameron was abusive about UKIP, but

:24:14.:24:19.

he did it again on Saturday. In the wake of this Rotherham scandal, he

:24:19.:24:23.

did it again. It is very difficult to see how you could do a deal with

:24:23.:24:27.

somebody who has consistently rude about you. Do you think they should

:24:27.:24:31.

be considering deals and contract like this? That is a really

:24:31.:24:35.

difficult one. I am not sure. I think for people interested in

:24:35.:24:39.

politics, this is all quite amusing. There was a bit of navel-gazing, to

:24:39.:24:43.

be honest. For people on the outside, they were just think this

:24:43.:24:46.

is politicians going on as they usually do. I do not see the point

:24:46.:24:49.

of having a discussion document when they are not actually

:24:50.:24:53.

discussing with UKIP. It seems like a bit of hot air, to be honest,

:24:53.:24:59.

delaying any decisions on Europe. He is sort of saying that they

:24:59.:25:02.

would offer me some kind of position, and the rest of the party

:25:02.:25:06.

would pack up its tent and go home. Is there something you would like

:25:06.:25:09.

in government? Yes, I would really like for there to be the most

:25:10.:25:13.

enormous all-night party, after we get the result, and Britain has

:25:13.:25:17.

left the European Union, and we are back governing our own country.

:25:17.:25:21.

That is what I am in politics full. You are cross with David Cameron,

:25:21.:25:27.

so which potential Conservative leader would you trust? Well, this

:25:28.:25:31.

means that Cameron would not be leader of the party. Because he is

:25:31.:25:37.

the major obstacle. If he went, who could you do business with?

:25:37.:25:40.

Cameron went, and somebody pragmatic, grown-up and sensible,

:25:40.:25:44.

like Michael Gove, was leader, then you might think, we could sit

:25:44.:25:48.

around the table and have a discussion. Have you spoken to

:25:48.:25:52.

Michael Gove privately about these things? No. But he would be the

:25:52.:25:57.

kind of person? Yes, open-minded, does not throw abuse around, thinks

:25:57.:26:00.

things through, he would be the right kind of person. Because there

:26:01.:26:05.

are things which you have in common, even beyond the question of the

:26:05.:26:10.

referendum? Not really. We support grammar-school, they do not.

:26:10.:26:13.

They're obsessed with covering the country with windmills, we are not.

:26:13.:26:23.
:26:23.:26:27.

The list goes on. I did not say we would sit down, -- we would stand

:26:27.:26:34.

down, I said we would sit around a table and have a conversation.

:26:34.:26:37.

do you need in order to be persuaded that you could trust the

:26:37.:26:41.

Conservatives? It is going to be very difficult if David Cameron is

:26:41.:26:43.

still the Prime Minister, to believe that he would keep that

:26:43.:26:51.

promise. One issue which concerns me would be a referendum on Europe

:26:51.:26:55.

- do you feel it is something which the people would like to see?

:26:55.:26:58.

would be quite concerned about having a referendum, because I do

:26:58.:27:01.

not think most of the British public understand enough about

:27:01.:27:06.

Europe, about what it means to be there. I think a referendum at some

:27:06.:27:09.

point would be a good idea, but I think there needs to be an awful

:27:09.:27:14.

lot more education. Would you like a straight referendum on in or out,

:27:14.:27:18.

or would it be something else? think ultimately, it would have to

:27:18.:27:21.

be in or out, but at the moment I would not agree to have one,

:27:21.:27:26.

because people do not know enough. But it is not difficult - do you

:27:26.:27:31.

wish to govern your own country or be governed by Herman Van Rompuy?

:27:31.:27:38.

It is not difficult? You have a very firm stand point... That is

:27:38.:27:41.

the classic view that I here in Westminster. When we are canvassing

:27:41.:27:45.

and campaigning, every single small business in Britain knows exactly

:27:45.:27:49.

where their laws come from. based just saying they would like

:27:50.:27:55.

to have a look at the relationship? -- are they just saying? They

:27:55.:27:58.

understand that Europe is not just an economic debate, something which

:27:58.:28:02.

happens in Brussels - it is something which happens in this

:28:02.:28:05.

country and affects people's lives. Many people do not believe in it,

:28:05.:28:08.

but to say that people are not ready to have a referendum, I do

:28:08.:28:12.

not agree.. As we mentioned earlier, there is a by-election taking place

:28:12.:28:19.

in Rotherham this Thursday, and you can read a full list of the

:28:19.:28:23.

candidates on the BBC Sheffield and South Yorkshire website. It was

:28:23.:28:27.

quite a summer. The Olympics helped lift the gloom and made us all feel

:28:27.:28:31.

a bit proud to be British. But have we managed to turn that golden

:28:31.:28:36.

feeling into a lasting legacy, not just for sport, but also for that

:28:36.:28:40.

sense of community which we enjoyed just a few short months ago.

:28:40.:28:44.

Interest in sport is on the up, and this programme has learnt that the

:28:44.:28:49.

police are hoping that some of the volunteers who made the Olympic

:28:49.:28:53.

Games happen might become special constables. But long-term, are we

:28:53.:28:56.

doing enough to make sure the spirit survives? David Thompson

:28:56.:29:06.
:29:06.:29:11.

An unforgettable summer. Quite simply, Britain at its best. The

:29:11.:29:15.

Olympics did not just change our view of London, it changed the way

:29:15.:29:19.

the whole country looks at itself. Some said it was a living example

:29:19.:29:23.

of the Big Society, with thousands of people coming together to make

:29:23.:29:27.

the Olympic Games work. It is the feel-good factor still with us, and

:29:27.:29:31.

has the enthusiasm for volunteering been harnessed? For many people,

:29:31.:29:36.

the real stars of the show were the Gamesmakers, an army of 70,000

:29:36.:29:40.

volunteers who made everything tick. In fact, they were such a striking

:29:40.:29:44.

example of public spirit that I understand the Metropolitan Police

:29:44.:29:47.

is considering trying to sign some of them up as special constables.

:29:47.:29:52.

But has it really inspired others? The Olympics has had a significant

:29:52.:29:56.

effect on volunteering for our organisation. We have had the

:29:56.:30:00.

numbers of inquiries more than doubling, since the Olympics, up to

:30:00.:30:04.

the current day, and it seems to be holding up. I think the reason is

:30:04.:30:07.

that it has suddenly raised volunteering into consciousness..

:30:07.:30:11.

And it looks as if our summer triumphs have given sport a boost

:30:11.:30:16.

as well. British Cycling say their membership is up 50% since the

:30:16.:30:20.

heroics of the summer. Bookings for beginners' courses have doubled in

:30:21.:30:25.

fencing, and in archery, novice classes are also booked up into the

:30:25.:30:32.

new year. But it is not all good news. Research found that while the

:30:32.:30:36.

Olympics had inspired almost 80% of young people questioned to take up

:30:36.:30:39.

some kind of exercise, less than a quarter had actually been able to

:30:40.:30:48.

In disadvantaged areas there are not enough sports opportunities,

:30:48.:30:53.

and where there are they are often at the wrong style, praise or

:30:53.:30:56.

location to suits need. So there is a problem about a lack of

:30:56.:31:01.

opportunity. The sports and recreational

:31:01.:31:05.

alliance surveyed almost 500 clubs in the UK and found many were

:31:06.:31:10.

expecting more people to take up some form of exercise as a direct

:31:10.:31:13.

result of the Games, but almost three-quarters said the Government

:31:13.:31:18.

had not done enough to create a sporting legacy for the public.

:31:18.:31:24.

In a time of austerity, how should ministers keep the flame burning?

:31:24.:31:27.

Up and down the country there are really good quality local delivery

:31:27.:31:34.

projects for sports at the right time, place, style, price. They are

:31:34.:31:37.

on the doorstep of youngsters who say they want to get involved but

:31:37.:31:42.

don't know how. I think it is finding ways to invest in them and

:31:42.:31:47.

empower them and that then take forward to the legacy spirit.

:31:47.:31:50.

are pretty good of closing ceremonies, too. The trick now is

:31:50.:31:54.

to make sure this was the end of the games and not the end of the

:31:54.:32:03.

dream. -- the end of the Games. Councillor Stephen Castle from the

:32:03.:32:07.

Local Government Association joins me, he is chairman of the Olympic

:32:07.:32:10.

and Paralympic Games Task and Finish Group. And Paralympic gold

:32:10.:32:14.

medallist Tanni Grey-Thompson is still here. You said and our

:32:14.:32:17.

programme at one stage that you were worried that the fairy dust of

:32:17.:32:21.

the Olympics and Paralympics might disappear. I don't think it has

:32:22.:32:26.

gone but it has definitely pushed back. Everybody talking to each

:32:26.:32:30.

other on the true bad games time has disappeared, but it was never

:32:30.:32:34.

going to completely change the culture of participation. It has

:32:34.:32:38.

encouraged people to go to sports clubs, which we expected, but we

:32:38.:32:42.

have to do more. There are some issues with local sports provision,

:32:43.:32:48.

it is a postcode lottery. Local authorities are under pressure,

:32:48.:32:50.

some are closing sports facilities because it is not seen as a

:32:50.:32:57.

priority. We have to come back to physical education in schools,

:32:57.:33:01.

sport is a perfect opportunity to signpost young people into being

:33:01.:33:04.

physically active and unless we get it right we have missed a huge

:33:04.:33:09.

opportunity. Taking the point about the schools,

:33:09.:33:12.

do you think the Olympic dream has not really harnessed a generation

:33:12.:33:19.

in that sense? It was there and it has gone? It was never going to.

:33:19.:33:23.

Many politicians felt it would undid should. All the statistics

:33:23.:33:26.

from previous games have shown it is like the Wimbledon effect, you

:33:26.:33:31.

get a spiking participation but there has to be something behind it.

:33:31.:33:37.

For me, we could look at women. 80% of women don't do enough physical

:33:37.:33:41.

activity to be healthy, which has massive implications on society.

:33:41.:33:45.

Mums are much more likely to encourage their sons to play sport

:33:45.:33:51.

than their daughters. What would encourage women to do more sport?

:33:51.:33:55.

If having of local, accessible, not making it frightening going into a

:33:55.:34:01.

gym. -- having it local, accessible. A is it possible when there are

:34:01.:34:06.

cuts? Local government has had a tough time, as has the entire

:34:06.:34:13.

public sector. But I think the Government has taken the magic dust

:34:13.:34:17.

of the game's end used it to build partnerships, to get new

:34:17.:34:21.

organisations involved in supporting sport and delivering

:34:21.:34:24.

opportunities that tied together clubs and local authorities and

:34:24.:34:29.

schools. The health agenda is an important one in bringing funding

:34:29.:34:33.

into sport. With a new public health responsibility given to

:34:33.:34:38.

local government there is a huge opportunity to tire that into

:34:38.:34:44.

delivering sporting opportunities. Jessica Ennis's home town of

:34:44.:34:47.

Sheffield is looking for a 20% reduction in the swimming pool and

:34:47.:34:52.

leisure budget. Sheffield has some of the best sporting facilities in

:34:52.:34:57.

the country. In places like Essex, where historically we did not have

:34:57.:35:01.

had... Did not have, we have used the magic dust of the Games to bend

:35:01.:35:05.

budgets to make things happen. Seven to local authorities have

:35:05.:35:10.

closed at least one sporting facility and 126 have reduced

:35:10.:35:17.

provision. Looking at Basildon, they have close two or three very

:35:17.:35:21.

ageing sports facilities and invested money in a world class

:35:21.:35:24.

pool and gymnastics centre up. Basildon is one of the most

:35:24.:35:28.

deprived parts of Essex and participation is going up. I get

:35:28.:35:32.

the impression that money is being put into sport but these are big,

:35:32.:35:36.

showcasing Olympic arenas or stadiums that are not going to

:35:36.:35:41.

persuade women who live in the local area to go to be gym? They

:35:41.:35:45.

are part of what is going on in Essex. We did not have world-class

:35:45.:35:49.

sporting facilities. Now we are seeing the athletes who got medals

:35:49.:35:53.

in the Olympic Games From Basildon gymnastics club are inspiring

:35:53.:35:59.

youngsters in Basildon to see what they could achieve. Lord Moynihan

:35:59.:36:02.

said he wants new laws to force councils to ring-fence money for

:36:02.:36:08.

leisure provision, do you agree? Yes, because it is that just about

:36:08.:36:12.

elite sport, which looks after itself, but having a fitter and

:36:12.:36:15.

healthier nation. If we don't do something now, we will spend more

:36:15.:36:19.

on the health budget. I would like to see the Department of Health,

:36:19.:36:22.

DCMS and the Department of Education get together and work

:36:22.:36:27.

closely. I don't think council budgets should be ring-fenced. What

:36:27.:36:31.

councils are really good at is working out what is good for their

:36:31.:36:35.

locality. Dame Tanni is right, the big spenders are local government,

:36:35.:36:39.

education and potentially health. If the Government can send a clear

:36:39.:36:44.

message, diving Jeremy Hunt in health, there was a big supporter

:36:44.:36:49.

of the Games and the School Games, could get investment in sport and

:36:49.:36:53.

physical activity. We do a great job with Sport England, working at

:36:53.:37:00.

the DCMS, but the departments of health and education, we could do

:37:00.:37:06.

more with them locally. The austerity era could last until

:37:06.:37:10.

2018 if the economy does not pick up soon, according to a leading

:37:10.:37:14.

think-tank. The Institute of Fiscal Studies warns that the Government

:37:14.:37:17.

may miss its target of starting to reduce the national debt by the

:37:17.:37:22.

time of the next election. Gemma Tetlow is from the IFS. Thank you

:37:22.:37:28.

for joining us. Why is this important? It is very important

:37:28.:37:32.

that the UK gets its public finances back into balance over the

:37:32.:37:36.

medium term. At the moment we spend far more than be raised in tax

:37:36.:37:39.

revenue and can't continue with that indefinitely because we would

:37:39.:37:44.

be left with debt rising inexorably. Over the medium term we need to get

:37:44.:37:47.

back to a position where tax revenues are sufficient to cover

:37:47.:37:52.

spending needs. Over the last few months since the Budget, the

:37:52.:37:56.

outlook for economic growth has become somewhat worse than was

:37:56.:37:59.

thought in March and tax revenues are coming in more weekly than the

:37:59.:38:03.

OBR expected in March. If these are permanent rather than temporary,

:38:03.:38:06.

that could mean the Chancellor would need to announce further

:38:06.:38:11.

fiscal austerity, possibly in the next Parliament, to get the public

:38:11.:38:16.

finances back into balance. What sort of figures are you putting on

:38:16.:38:22.

that? If the weakness we have seen over the last six months or so is

:38:22.:38:31.

permanent, and that is one possible scenario, he could require around

:38:31.:38:37.

�23 billion of tax increases and spending cuts to come in by 2017/18.

:38:37.:38:42.

That is a very big figure. Do you say that the Government has not get

:38:42.:38:45.

a credible plan to deal with the public finances, the deterioration

:38:45.:38:50.

of them? Buyers of the March Budget, the Chancellor has set out a plan

:38:50.:38:55.

consistent with meeting both fiscal targets. He has won fiscal mandate

:38:55.:38:59.

requiring up by the end of the forecast to rise in taxes should be

:38:59.:39:02.

sufficient to cover non investment spending after adjusting for

:39:02.:39:06.

temporary ups and downs of the economic cycle. His supplementary

:39:06.:39:10.

target requires that there should be falling as a share of income

:39:10.:39:17.

between 2014/15 and 2015/16. 0 last few months, we have seen it looks

:39:17.:39:22.

like borrowing this year will be higher than forecast in March. That

:39:22.:39:26.

could be sufficient to mean that, without further action, he could

:39:26.:39:31.

miss his supplementary target. However, the supplementary target

:39:31.:39:36.

in itself is not particularly good at insuring public finances are

:39:36.:39:38.

Roma sustainable course in the medium term, so the Chancellor

:39:39.:39:43.

might be better advised to abandon that target rather than employment

:39:43.:39:47.

policy to continue meeting it. I've been joined by the rest of the

:39:47.:39:50.

show by the Labour MP and a Reynolds, Liberal Democrat Stephen

:39:50.:39:54.

Lloyd and the Conservative Crispin Chubb. Welcome to you all, a pretty

:39:54.:40:03.

grim precursor to the auction's the Autumn Statement? The IFS is a

:40:03.:40:07.

respected body but like the rest of us it does not have a crystal ball

:40:07.:40:12.

or know what is in the forecast. But it is clear that we face

:40:12.:40:15.

difficult economic times. The eurozone challenge means export

:40:15.:40:19.

markets are not as good as they could be, so we have to deal with

:40:19.:40:22.

that. But the fundamental that people who lend us money every day

:40:23.:40:29.

will look at is the direction of travel. International creditors are

:40:29.:40:33.

prepared to lend us money at a low rate of interest, meaning the man

:40:33.:40:36.

in the street, the mortgage holder or small businessman, has to pay

:40:36.:40:41.

less in mortgages and loans. By the end of the air, borrowing may be

:40:41.:40:46.

higher than this time last year and the Chancellor should maybe just

:40:46.:40:50.

admit he will miss his target for debt to fall as a share of national

:40:51.:40:56.

income between 2014 and 2015. Should he do that? We have reduced

:40:56.:41:01.

the deficit by a quarter in two years under difficult circumstances.

:41:01.:41:07.

But should he abandon it? Let's see what he says in a week or so.

:41:07.:41:10.

The IFS report says that if the current tax receipts are permanent

:41:10.:41:14.

the chance there will need another �23 billion of tax rises or

:41:14.:41:20.

spending cuts. Which would Labour choose? We are not agreed with the

:41:20.:41:24.

overall debt targets set out, but he is clearly missing his own

:41:24.:41:27.

targets. It is very worrying that the reason they are missing the

:41:27.:41:33.

debt target over the longer term is because the economy is not growing.

:41:33.:41:37.

Successive business organisations have said that the Government need

:41:37.:41:41.

real policies to get the economy back on track. That should be the

:41:41.:41:46.

priority. The IFS says even if there is growth, it is likely to be

:41:46.:41:50.

weak, it would still lead to at least �11 billion worth of by the

:41:50.:41:55.

tax rises or spending cuts. What would you rather Labour went for?

:41:55.:41:59.

If there were to be that rise, we would rather that those with a

:42:00.:42:03.

broader shoulders bear the heaviest burden, but this Government is

:42:03.:42:07.

doing the opposite. The cuts are falling on the lowest and middle-

:42:07.:42:11.

income earners harder than anyone else at the same time as they are

:42:11.:42:19.

giving a tax cut to the millionaires in the country of

:42:19.:42:22.

about �40,000 next year, they are making it harder for pensioners and

:42:22.:42:27.

those on low incomes to make ends meet. The IFS says if you take the

:42:27.:42:31.

amount that needs to be cut it would be equivalent to increasing

:42:31.:42:37.

the main rate of VAT from 20% to 25%. Already standards of living

:42:37.:42:41.

are dropping because of the rise in the cost of living, so why do not

:42:41.:42:45.

think we would advocate that. you agree that at the moment lots

:42:45.:42:50.

of the costs of -- cuts are falling on those who can't afford to pay?

:42:50.:42:54.

It is nonsense. The middle and lower incomes are best protected,

:42:54.:42:57.

more money has been taken from the rich by this Government than the

:42:57.:43:01.

previous. I checked the bond markets when I was coming up this

:43:01.:43:06.

morning. We are the second lowest bond interest rates in the EU after

:43:06.:43:10.

Germany. It is difficult and the IMF conclusions are disappointing,

:43:10.:43:14.

but even their report says there is a worst case and a best-case

:43:14.:43:17.

scenario, we have to see what the numbers are in the next few days.

:43:17.:43:22.

Do you think the policy has been too narrowly focused unsatisfying

:43:22.:43:26.

credit rating agencies? If we did not satisfy the bond markets and

:43:26.:43:31.

credit rating agencies, people would be paying more. If we don't

:43:31.:43:36.

keep interest rates low, we would fall off a cliff, no doubt. Even if

:43:37.:43:40.

the IFS has said the deterioration in public finances may mean that

:43:40.:43:44.

you will have to go into the next election saying there will be

:43:44.:43:48.

austerity to the tune of �23 billion to 20 a team? If that

:43:48.:43:54.

happens, because we have had the worst recession since the late 20s,

:43:54.:43:58.

if that is the reality then so be it. We have a million new jobs, the

:43:58.:44:04.

lowest interest rates, highest employment since 1971. The path is

:44:04.:44:07.

working and the people out there know that. The IMF has said that

:44:07.:44:11.

the reason interest rates are low is primarily because growth

:44:11.:44:16.

expectations are so low. The idea they have created low interest

:44:16.:44:20.

rates is farcical. The OECD also say that unless we are prepared to

:44:20.:44:25.

take our medicine early, we will have to swallow a bigger and harder

:44:25.:44:28.

pill later. The Labour policy is still to borrow more and more and

:44:28.:44:33.

more. You have not learned from your mistakes between 1997 and 2010.

:44:33.:44:37.

We have seen by the failure of this Government that without growth you

:44:37.:44:44.

cannot bring the deficit down anyway.

:44:44.:44:45.

look at the political stories on the radar over the next week.

:44:45.:44:49.

After washing all his own shirts, I'm sure, the Prime Minister faces

:44:49.:44:53.

Commons to report back on the EU summit. And the failure to agree a

:44:54.:44:57.

seven-year budget. On Tuesday a new clause is expected

:44:57.:45:01.

to be introduced into the Crown Court Bill to fulfil the Justice

:45:01.:45:05.

Secretary's promise to give householders the right to deploy a

:45:05.:45:07.

disproportionate force in defending their homes.

:45:07.:45:12.

On Wednesday consultation paper will be launched to give a

:45:12.:45:15.

framework about introducing a minimum unit price for alcohol.

:45:15.:45:20.

On Thursday, Lord Leveson finally publishes his report on the role of

:45:20.:45:22.

the press and the police in the phone hacking scandal.

:45:22.:45:27.

And on Saturday there is the final of I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of

:45:27.:45:29.

Here, but we have just learned that Nadine Dorries, the MP, who was

:45:29.:45:33.

voted off first, has already packed her bikini and arrived back at

:45:33.:45:43.
:45:43.:45:44.

Heathrow, no doubt to be welcomed We can speak now to Isabel Hardman

:45:44.:45:48.

from the Spectator, and Kevin Maguire, from the Daily Mirror.

:45:48.:45:53.

Kevin Maguire, David Cameron is in a tight spot, as everybody

:45:53.:45:56.

positions themselves, before Lord Leveson publishes his

:45:56.:46:02.

recommendations, and he has said he will accept those proposals? Yes,

:46:02.:46:05.

he is certainly in a tight spot, caught between a rock and a hard

:46:06.:46:10.

place. A sizable proportion of his party is against any statutory

:46:10.:46:13.

regulation of newspapers. Michael Gove and William Hague has spoken

:46:13.:46:18.

out publicly, and David Cameron has got Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg on

:46:18.:46:22.

the other side of the argument, seeming to want to embrace whatever

:46:22.:46:25.

Leveson comes up with, so it is really difficult for the Prime

:46:25.:46:29.

Minister. The only set that inquiry up because he was in a very

:46:29.:46:33.

difficult position, with Andy Coulson having been his press

:46:33.:46:40.

secretary. But he must regret creating the hearing now. What can

:46:40.:46:44.

David Cameron do on this? I think this is the most difficult issue

:46:44.:46:48.

which David Cameron is facing at the moment. It does not denigrate

:46:48.:46:52.

the other issues, it just shows how difficult Leveson is. The main

:46:52.:46:58.

problem is that his party is split. There is actually 70 MPs who are in

:46:58.:47:02.

favour of some kind of independent regulation. They would join Labour-

:47:02.:47:06.

run the Lib Dems in any vote. So, it could be extremely difficult for

:47:06.:47:11.

him if the House votes in favour of statutory regulation. I suppose the

:47:11.:47:16.

option for him defeat to maybe backed the proposals from Lord Hunt,

:47:16.:47:21.

the chairman of the PCC, a kind of beefed-up self-regulation, with

:47:21.:47:24.

powers to investigate some of the areas which the PCC did not have

:47:24.:47:28.

before. So, he could go for that, with the threat of statutory

:47:28.:47:32.

regulation hanging over the newspapers if they do not clean up

:47:32.:47:37.

their act. What do you say to that, Kevin Maguire? This idea that the

:47:37.:47:40.

papers cannot be trusted, or the industry cannot be trusted to

:47:40.:47:45.

regulate itself, however much it protests otherwise, and actually,

:47:45.:47:49.

the problem with the Press Complaints Commission was that it

:47:49.:47:54.

and therefore did not have to abide by the code? Yes, Richard Desmond

:47:54.:47:58.

did not sign up to it. As an investigator with body, it failed

:47:58.:48:02.

abysmally, when it did not really look into what happened at News

:48:02.:48:07.

International, and phone hacking. You get even newspapers like The

:48:08.:48:10.

Guardian and the Independent, which have been exposing the phone

:48:10.:48:14.

hacking, warning against a statutory control, because it is

:48:14.:48:18.

the thin end of a big wedge, but there is a huge argument to be had,

:48:18.:48:21.

and David Cameron knows it will be tricky for him. We are told he will

:48:21.:48:26.

make a statement to the House of Commons at about 2:30pm on Thursday,

:48:26.:48:31.

after the Leveson report is published. You cannot keep playing

:48:31.:48:35.

for time. Harriet Harman, the Labour Deputy Leader, is looking

:48:35.:48:40.

for statutory regulation. She has spoken about tabling an amendment

:48:40.:48:43.

to the communications bill as a way of forcing the issue. It will end

:48:43.:48:53.

up as one hell of a political fight. On her -- on a fight of the

:48:53.:48:59.

difficult nature, Nadine Dorries, who has arrived back at Heathrow.

:48:59.:49:02.

think the problem for Nadine Dorries, and for the leadership, is

:49:02.:49:05.

that there is a lot of personal tension between Nadine Dorries and

:49:05.:49:09.

Cameron. Even though there could be a very good case for disciplining

:49:09.:49:12.

her, in the same way that you discipline a naughty child in a

:49:13.:49:16.

class to stop the rest of the children going back, actually, they

:49:16.:49:20.

need to be very careful. This could look like a personal backlash from

:49:20.:49:24.

Cameron. Is that not the point? You have got to be pretty sensitive,

:49:24.:49:28.

because it could backfire quite badly, couldn't it, on the

:49:28.:49:32.

leadership, not just because of the history which but -- which Isabel

:49:32.:49:37.

Hardman is talking about, but also, in not wanting to be inconsistent

:49:37.:49:42.

in the way you deal with naughty MPs? Absolutely, I'm sure the Home

:49:42.:49:46.

Secretary, to Reyes a May, will be sacked for allowing her back into

:49:46.:49:50.

the country, and not having the border staff turn her away! Some

:49:50.:49:55.

MPs get longer to go on business trips, to do legal cases, people

:49:55.:50:00.

who are lawyers and so on. She will make that case very hard. If she is

:50:00.:50:04.

going to be disciplined, I suspect Downing Street will wanted to be

:50:04.:50:07.

done by her local party in Bedfordshire. If she is going to be

:50:07.:50:12.

kicked out of parliament, she will want -- they will want them to

:50:12.:50:19.

disown her. But you could not even discussed the possibility of her

:50:19.:50:27.

tottering off to UKIP. What do you think Nadine Dorries will do when

:50:27.:50:32.

she gets back? She has already started tweeting a list of MPs who

:50:32.:50:37.

have spend more time away from the Commons then she has, to go on I'm

:50:37.:50:40.

A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!. I think we will probably see lots of

:50:40.:50:43.

newspaper and television interviews, and she has already given a radio

:50:43.:50:48.

interview about why she went on the programme. I think if they come

:50:48.:50:52.

down to her than her -- too hard on her, from the point of view of the

:50:52.:50:56.

leadership, it could become quite unpleasant. She has got friends in

:50:56.:50:59.

Parliament who could support her and who could say some

:50:59.:51:03.

uncomfortable things for Guess the Year. Thank you both of you. We

:51:04.:51:12.

will be feeling that this afternoon. -- uncomfortable things for Cameron.

:51:12.:51:16.

This is going to be very difficult for Jaffa. Having spent vast sums

:51:16.:51:19.

of public money on the Leveson Inquiry, surely the Prime Minister

:51:20.:51:23.

has got to accept the recommendations? Let's see what he

:51:23.:51:26.

says. There have been suggestions that it will be a monster report,

:51:26.:51:30.

which will take quite a bit of reading. But on that point, having

:51:30.:51:35.

set it up, having responded to questions that unless it is bonkers,

:51:35.:51:38.

he will accept those recommendations, does he not have

:51:38.:51:42.

to do exactly that? Well, he has to read it and then make a decision.

:51:42.:51:46.

He set up the inquiry and he will look at its conclusions. My

:51:46.:51:50.

personal view is that I am uncomfortable with any form of

:51:50.:51:53.

statutory regulation. We have not had that in this country for the

:51:53.:51:58.

press for about 300 years. It seems to me, what we really need to do is

:51:58.:52:03.

to beef up the PCC, which everybody accepts has failed. We need to give

:52:03.:52:07.

it powers to fine, which is what Lord Hunt recommended. It needs to

:52:08.:52:13.

be able to impose real penalties on newspapers.. Is that really going

:52:13.:52:16.

to do it? We have heard time and time again, when you look at the

:52:16.:52:20.

stories, like the McCann family, or Christopher Jefferies, is this

:52:21.:52:24.

really going to prevent that happening again? No, I do not think

:52:24.:52:27.

it will make the slightest bit of difference. It is interesting about

:52:27.:52:31.

the statutory regulation. The press have gone crazy about it, loss of

:52:32.:52:36.

freedom and all of this. In Denmark, they have an independent regulatory

:52:36.:52:40.

framework, and it works perfectly well, and nobody has told me that

:52:40.:52:43.

Denmark has been taken over by the politicians. The politicians are

:52:43.:52:48.

not the issue. The problem is that sections of the press have behaved

:52:48.:52:52.

disgracefully. Nearly Dowling, the John Obi Mikel family, the list is

:52:52.:52:55.

endless. It will keep going on unless there is some proper,

:52:56.:53:05.
:53:06.:53:19.

independent regulation. -- Milly Dowler in, -- Milly Dowling and the

:53:19.:53:27.

McCann family. There are already laws about hacking, about driving

:53:27.:53:31.

public officials, but that is why senior journalists now find

:53:31.:53:34.

themselves inside police stations more often than they would like. I

:53:34.:53:37.

do not think going down the route of regulating the press, inhibiting

:53:37.:53:41.

its freedom to do proper, investigative journalism, which

:53:41.:53:47.

could be the outcome... This is not what we want. You could put in a

:53:47.:53:51.

particular cover, which says, investigative journalism in the

:53:51.:53:54.

public interest should be allowed under any circumstances. It is very

:53:54.:53:58.

important that we really look closely at what the people opposing

:53:58.:54:01.

this are the same, and what the press are saying. There is no

:54:01.:54:05.

reason we cannot have an independent regulatory framework,

:54:05.:54:09.

with a particular clause written in, which says, if it is for the good

:54:09.:54:12.

of the nation or of the public, then it can be done. It is terribly

:54:12.:54:17.

important. Do you agree that if there is some kind of statutory

:54:17.:54:22.

regulation, there is a risk that content could be interfered with,

:54:22.:54:28.

that there will be that pressure on newspapers? Not necessary. If you

:54:28.:54:32.

have an independent regulator, like you have in many other professions

:54:32.:54:36.

- lawyers, doctors - that does not mean that there will be political

:54:36.:54:40.

interference. I think the truth is that the Press Complaints

:54:40.:54:45.

Commission has failed spectacularly to stop the hacking scandal, to

:54:45.:54:48.

prevent the media intrusion which we still see in some people's lives.

:54:48.:54:53.

So, we need a much better system, which is mandatory and independent.

:54:53.:54:57.

It is hard to see how we would have that without some kind of statutory

:54:57.:55:01.

underpinning. So Labour's position is too wholeheartedly accept the

:55:01.:55:08.

Leveson recommendations, if he proposes an statutory underpinning?

:55:08.:55:12.

Yes, and if his proposals, as Ed Miliband has said in The Guardian

:55:12.:55:21.

today, are reasonable and proportion. -- proportionate. If

:55:21.:55:27.

that is the case, then, yes, we want to work on a cross-party basis.

:55:27.:55:31.

We do not want this to be a political issue. But you have got

:55:31.:55:36.

Michael Gove, Eric Pickles and others are saying, they must not be

:55:36.:55:41.

any statutory regulation of the press. We will only have cross-

:55:41.:55:44.

party agreement if we are on the same lines. You cannot set up an

:55:44.:55:48.

inquiry like this and then ignore its recommendations. There is

:55:48.:55:51.

cross-party agreement that regulation may be the wrong way to

:55:51.:55:56.

go. David Blunkett is leading up to 50 members of parliament across the

:55:56.:56:04.

divide in Westminster, saying that regulation is not the way to go.

:56:04.:56:08.

They are saying that the proposals of Lord black and Lord Hunt are the

:56:08.:56:13.

best way to go. What about regional media, do you think they will be

:56:13.:56:18.

affected? I do not think they should be. The newspaper in the

:56:18.:56:21.

West Midlands did not do anything wrong. They did not have anything

:56:21.:56:24.

to do with giving the police backhanders. West Midlands police

:56:24.:56:28.

did not doing anything wrong. -- did not do anything wrong. These

:56:28.:56:31.

are lessons which need to be learned by the national press, and

:56:31.:56:38.

it has nothing to do with the regional press. Are you pleased

:56:38.:56:41.

that Nadine Dorries is back from the jungle? I will not be rushing

:56:41.:56:45.

to Heathrow to pick up her bags, because she is capable of doing

:56:45.:56:49.

that by herself. She is a force of nature. She certainly is, by going

:56:49.:56:53.

to the jungle. She did not last that long, but was it a good idea

:56:53.:56:58.

for her to go? I would not have done it myself, but as Kevin said,

:56:59.:57:04.

I agree with the Daily Mirror on this issue, it is a matter for her

:57:04.:57:07.

local association to decide what should be done. Should she not have

:57:07.:57:11.

gone? I would not have gone and I do not think she should have gone.

:57:11.:57:15.

It is a matter for her local association to decide the best of

:57:15.:57:20.

the action. Lots of MPs go on lovely trips to the Maldives, paid

:57:20.:57:23.

for by the taxpayer - what is wrong with this? It is an absolute

:57:23.:57:28.

disgrace. She showed contempt for her constituents. And I would say

:57:28.:57:33.

that whatever party she was from. But Kevin is right that the Prime

:57:33.:57:38.

Minister probably needs this like a hole in the head, so I do have

:57:38.:57:42.

sympathy for David Cameron. But her behaviour was disgraceful. Was it,

:57:42.:57:47.

really? What about the idea that she would be broadcasting to people

:57:47.:57:53.

who would never be interested in politics? What about the people who

:57:53.:57:59.

elected her? This was not a visit in which she was doing any politics

:57:59.:58:03.

or representing her constituents in any way. She was on some celebrity

:58:03.:58:07.

programme which had nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with

:58:07.:58:10.

representing her constituency. Two of her neighbouring MPs had to take

:58:10.:58:15.

her surgeries for her. And now she is bragging that she was not a way

:58:15.:58:19.

that long, but it is only because she was kicked off early. It is

:58:19.:58:22.

ridiculous. She will have made lots of your colleagues very angry, I

:58:22.:58:27.

think. MPs across the board think this is not the way for MPs to

:58:27.:58:34.

behave. She did get permission from the then Chief Whip. But I gather

:58:34.:58:44.
:58:44.:58:45.

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