13/02/2013 Daily Politics


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Good morning, this is the Daily Politics. Today's top story: It is


not just the Romanians putting horsemeat in our burgers, two


British companies were raided last night. The authorities are


promising a, quote, relentless investigation - as they would! And


politicians are talking about systemic fraud.


We will be going to the House of Commons in half-an-hour for Prime


Minister's Questions. Will Ed show some beef, will Dave get kebabed?


The Bank of England says prices will continue to rise faster than


the 2% inflation target for years to come. What will that do to our


pay packets and our living standards?


And in our weekly soap box, find out why the former BBC newsreader


Alice Arnold says we simply don't have enough women on TV. I want to


see two women on every panel, I want to see equal representation of


women, meaning at least 50%. Speaking on behalf of the minority


here today, all of that is coming up in the next hour-and-a-half of


public service broadcasting at its finest.


Joining us for the duration, the Business and Equality's Minister,


big title, Jo Swinson, from the Lib Dems, and Labour's Shadow Attorney


General, Emily Thornberry, -- Emily Thornberry.


But news has broken from the High Court where Renault alliance of


schools, councils and teaching unions have lost their appeal


against the grading of last year's GCSE English exams. They have


claimed that the raising of the mark required for a grade C between


papers taking in January and June was unlawful. But the court


disagreed. The regulators and the exam boards have been successful in


maintaining that they put up the boundaries to protect standards.


Did the high courts make the right decision? The court has made its


decision. Do you agree? It shows why GCSEs needed to be reformed,


which is what we are doing. Everybody feels for those pupils


who had studied hard and got to the situation where they thought they


would get a particular grade and did not achieve that, we all


understand that and I understand why they went to court. But the


court has made its decision. So you backed the decision to say that


Ofqual and the exam boards could mark papers in a more tough way


than they did in January? They have obviously had the advantage of


looking at all of the issues and evidence put forward. They have


come to that decision. I think the whole case underlines the problems


that were inherent with the GCSE system of too much reliance on


majority, all of which we are now changing to make sure standards are


protected but there for there will be also more certainty for pupils


and teachers preparing for those exams. So tough luck to those


students who missed getting a C grade and will have got a D grade


all our, they have missed their places at college and an


apprenticeship courses. It is tough? I understand it is very


difficult for them, but it is important that we have exams with a


particular standard that employers can rely on, that they know when


they take on somebody with a GCSE in English at a particular grade


that it means a particular standard. That is why we need to sort out the


GCSE system. The Government is doing that. Emily Thornaby -- Thom


Berry, standards have to be maintained, the High Court back


that? If they had a chase between simply taking the GCSE in January


or again in June, they would get kids with two different standards.


Or if they would to employ somebody from England as opposed to Wales,


because in Wales they have let these kids have their GCSE grade C.


I have not read the judgment yet, but from what I have learned, the


court has said, first of all, they were right to take the case to


court because there is a lot of uncertainty, and in the end they


have taken the least worst option in terms of what to do. But it is


extremely unfair on these kids, it is a baseline when it comes to


getting a job or going further into education. What could have been


done instead? The difficulty is about... Jo talks about majority,


meaning you can do assessments during the time going up to a GCSE.


We need to make sure there is a level playing-field for everyone.


What should have been done in this case? If they had, as in Wales,


said they would we grade those exams, that would have meant


standards would have differed from the previous year and perhaps the


following year? The social question is why there was a variation in the


first place. Why was it that pickets take the exams in January...


Why was it seemed more necessary to make it more difficult for the kids


in June? -- why was it seemed to be one necessary? It is not fair to


say it is about assessments. If we want to find out who is good at


English and who is not, assessments are important. You need a mixture


of assessments. I'm good at exams but it is not fair that other kids


who are probably brighter than me who were not good at exams ended up


with a worse grade. Why couldn't we have had a situation where Michael


Gove said we would recreate the results? In Wales the Welsh exam


board was ordered by the Welsh education minister to recreate the


results. As an export, there was no easy and fair way to do this. -- as


we explored. In January, papers were graded differently. To say to


those January kids, you were graded too generously, that would not have


seemed to be fair. But why did we not to regraded those people with C


grades so that they do not lose out? It would effectively be unfair


on people the following year. Because there was the problem in


January, a genuine and dust -- injustice took place, there was no


easy or simple way to deal with that. So the courts have come out


with his judgment and they have been in a better place to look at


the evidence. The more important political point is about


politicising GCSEs. People need to have confidence in GCSEs. Michael


Gove has undermined GCSEs, said he would introduce something else,


then he has not. Mixed economic news this morning,


the Bank of England has predicted that inflation, running at above


its 2% target rate for months and months and months and a few more


months will actually continue to do so for another two years at least.


It might even hit 3% or more by the summer. Because this is much higher


than the rate at which earnings are increasing in the public or private


sectors, it means living standards will continue to be squeezed each


and every year of this Parliament. The outgoing Governor of the Bank


of England Mervyn King was more cheery than usual. He said there


were grounds for cautious optimism that the British economy would


manage a slow and steady recovery despite the disappointing negative


growth figures of the last quarter of 2012. Growth is likely to be


weak in the near term, but further out a continued easing in domestic


credit conditions, supported by a one of the programmes of the Bank


and the funding for lending scheme, together with a strong will global


backdrop, underpinned a slow but steady recovery in output. The hour


to cut -- the outgoing Governor of the Bank of England, he has a few


more months before he is replaced by the Governor of the Central Bank


of Canada. Jo Swinson, it looks like for every year this coalition


is in power, living standards will have fallen every year? It is an


incredibly difficult time for the economy, recovering from a massive


economic recession where we saw more than 6% wiped off the value of


our economy. It is a slow process to get back. But we want to build a


stronger economy and a more fair society, which is where we have


record low interest rates which is helping people struggling with


mortgage repayments, it is important that we retain that. And


also we need to create a fairer tax system. As Liberal Democrats we


have prioritised a tax cut for ordinary working people, more than


25 million of them, and the 2 million lowest paid people have


been taken out of income tax altogether. Can you name any other


major economy where living standards will have fallen for five


years in a row, as they will have by 2015? I don't think it is milk


and honey in other countries. you name another one? We have


thankfully got unemployment coming down, lower unemployment than


France, the eurozone or the United States. We have the same


unemployment rate as the United States, don't get carried away. And


let me bring you back to living standards, could you name and other


major economy where living standards... They started falling


in 2008 in the last two years of the Labour government, can you name


another economy where living standards will have fallen for


seven years in a row? I am not an encyclopaedia of inflation rates in


every other country around the world, but I'm also not suggesting


that this is not a difficult time for British families. That is why


we are trying to help people with the cost of living, for example not


having the planned increases in fuel duty, by cutting income tax on


people on low and middle-income start but living standards are


still learning. If you are on an average or below-average income,


your living standards will have fallen relentlessly since 2007, and


will continue to fall, if the Governor of the Bank of England is


right, for the foreseeable future. The economy had a massive heart


attack in 2008, there is no quick and easy way out of that. Following


Labour plans would mean massive rises in interest rates and


hundreds more pounds of with -- of mortgage repayments for people.


There is no easy way out, whoever was in power would probably be


presiding over a fall in living standards? There is not an easy way


out, of course there is not. But I think there is a limit to what you


can do when it comes to monetary policy. I think the Bank of England


is doing their best, I think there is not much more to be done. I


think the important thing is about fiscal policy, how much the


Government is prepared to spend, what we will do about the


infrastructure, how can we kick- start the economy and how can they


be kick-starting the economy by giving a tax cuts to millionaires?


It is nonsense. I don't understand why the Liberal Democrats after two


years in government still don't understand what tax credits are,


why they work and why it is that ordinary families are being


undermined when they are in work because the taxman is not giving


them as much as they were getting before in tax credits. We are


cutting income tax bills for people on low and middle incomes. Emily is


right on capital investment, investing in structure, that is why


the Government announced at the Autumn Statement another �5.5


billion of investment in things like schools, transport and


science... Only one in five of the project has been started, why


aren't doing it? Things don't begin overnight, Emily. Can you give an


example of where substantial spending on infrastructure has


kick-started growth? After a Second World War. Is that the best you can


do?! It is a very big example. best thing you can do is a post


Warwick Avenue, with no comparison to today! -- a post oil economy. It


was not coming out of war when we were taking 40% of our GDP being


spent on defence in 1945, we had a massive switch back into the


defence economy. And we build homes... Give me a modern example.


If you build homes you are giving someone somewhere to live. We have


so many people in housing waiting lists in London and the south-east.


Give me another example? Give me a modern example. You won't let me


use the best example. We have to go back to 1945? Because it is the


best example. Setting up the NHS, building homes. Have you got


another one? No, take that one, it is then -- it is a good one.


Government said something today, which you are both culpable off,


one of the reasons why inflation is high is because of your policy


which she supported and Labour, as did the Conservatives, to investing


green energy, which the governors said was, quote, a self-inflicted


goal in terms of the damage done to real take-home pay. At a time when


living standards were under difficulty, fuel bills were rising


because of world fuel prices, you make it even worse with you green


We have to govern for today and we have to govern for the future.


though this middle-class obsession with comfortable living is raising


energy costs for ordinary working people at the worst possible time?


This is something that it will affect everyone if we don't deal


with it. The report which was commissioned under the previous


Government, should the costs of reacting climate change away the


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 57 seconds


How was horsemeat labelled as beef in Britain?!


Last month, food inspectors and Ireland found traces of DNA in


beefburgers bound for the UK. 10 million suspect burgers were taken


of British and Irish shelves, including Tesco, Lidl, Aldi and


Iceland. Last Thursday it was revealed that some Findus lasagnes


sold as beef were found to contain up to 100% horsemeat. Comigel, the


French supplier of the Findus lasagnes, said it had traced the


source of the horsemeat to Romania. After meeting with food industry


heads on Saturday, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson warned of


an international criminal conspiracy. The next twist came


closer to home last night, with the Food Standards Agency suspending


work at the Peter Boddy Slaughterhouse. Both companies deny


any wrongdoing. This is what the FSA said. We have found horsemeat


produced at the plant in West Yorkshire being sent to a location


and wealth Wales. We entered the premises yesterday. We spoke to the


staff and we seized the products and found that horsemeat had been


used as though it was beef in kebabs and burgers at that promises.


We can now speak to the political correspondent Chris Major -- Chris


Mason and Central Lobby. Does the Government have control of


this crisis? This is being asked not least because it is a problem


here rather than a problem over there. Given the raids in West


Yorkshire and west Wales. There are plenty, not least the shadow


environment secretary Mary Creagh, trying to make a winning honours.


She has given me some written parliamentary answers that she


requested. Let's give you some insight into their scale of the


horse meat slaughtering industry in the UK, 14,000 horses slaughtered


at six registered abattoirs around the UK last year, and specifically


on that haul row about the horsemeat and whether it is safe


and whether any of this chemical could have got into the human food


chain, we have found from a written answer from the Department of


Health that it nine samples tested positive last year. It keeps the


focus for the Environment Secretary, who is heading to a Brussels this


year, there are plenty, not just in the Labour benches but some in the


Conservative fold, wondering if he has been as proactive as he could


ever been in handling the crisis. Will now joined by the Conservative


member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. He spent


many years as a farm and he should know about this. Before the weekend,


government ministers were saying that one way to avoid this is to


buy British. Is that still a way to avoid it? I think it is to buy Farm


Assured Products, it is a shame that we still have this in


Yorkshire and Wales. It is fair and proper that we can slaughter horses


in this country. Some doing their slaughtering, provided the horses


are healthy, are not acting illegally. It is the people who are


taking this meat and processing as beef and stamping it as beef. One


of the issues has been we have not been able to trace processed


products properly, we have not known where it has come from and


where and how it has been... You do not do the testing. It is not just


the testing. One of the problems is that for years, 10 and more, it has


only been a paper trail. I agree we need more testing but this is a


wake-up call, not only about the testing but about what is on that


In 2012, under your coalition Government, at least 796 samples


were tested for me to identification. Testing for other


meat species. As part of the local authority sampling programmes. Some


of the samples were unsatisfactory, but none had been tested for the


presence of horsemeat. We have had evidence before the select


committee and what the FSA have argued is, they have been acting on


information and they did not have any information to say that


horsemeat was there. I don't think they have tested for horsemeat,


rightly or wrongly since 2003. Those putting the horse meat into


the beef are not going to tell you! We need to do more testing. We need


to be clear, it is not the people who are slaughtering the horses. It


is the people doing the processing and acting illegally. That is why


we are testing. I accept the opposition is only doing their job


by bringing this to the forefront, but this is not happening overnight.


It has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years. We know that


under Labour, you didn't test for horsemeat since 2003? We also know


that once this blot got in, they split the FSA into three and the


past responsible for testing was put into the Department of


Environment, and they did not do any testing. We raised this a few


weeks ago... Labour and Conservative have a lot to answer


for? Once we are alerted by the Irish, and is it unfortunate we get


alerted by the Irish and not at home. David Cameron has not taken


the issue seriously and has been talking about an international


conspiracy and has not brought in the police. I believe the Secretary


of State has got a grip of it. If you overplay this, you immediately


create a food scare and that is in nobody's interest. Then there is a


food scare. The food scare is the fact people have been eating horses,


when they should have been eating beef. It is wrong. The bigger issue


is making sure any horse meat that has entered was healthy to enter


the chain. If you don't know it is there in the first place, how can


you do that? In hindsight we can all be clever over this, but we


have to put the situation right now. You don't have to be particularly


clever to work out that it you are not testing for horsemeat, you


won't discover horsemeat. You don't need to be the Brain of Britain to


do that. In the last year, you have seen a collapse in the price of


horsemeat and beef prices very high. That is where we were slow in


working out the fact that perhaps people are substituting it. But


they are acting illegally. It comes back to the decline in living


standards. People on below average salaries are having to buy the


cheaper things in the supermarket to put food on the table for the


family. It is the cheaper stuff that has been most hurt by this.


Would you eat processed meat at the moment? I have had some very


recently. So you would? Yes I would. The issue about the labelling is


the important one. People eat horsemeat happily in other


countries. The problem is, people not knowing what is on the label.


Problem is... If it has been snuck into the food chain. In France you


can eat a horse steak in a restaurant, but that is up front.


Because it has been done secretively, we don't know the


province of these horses and what they may have been suffering from.


And criminal acts of not having what is supposed to be in the


product, what is on the label. I have a very serious nut allergy, I


rely on labelling to keep rely. It does Demi there is not that


confident. Winnie to make sure the people responsible are feeling the


full force of the rule. Why did you cut 450 trading standard jobs?


These are the people who do the testing? Local authorities make


their own budgets. We have made sure there is regional and national


co-operation. They can co-operate across authorities. There has been


a 24% fall in enforcement visit since the cuts. We have had the


discussion about the economy. I won't say there is some magic way


where we can cut the deficit without there being any cuts.


this is more dangerous than the result? Potentially? I don't accept


this has to be the case. We are making it easier for national and


regional authorities... There is no reason why we cannot produce a


valued beefburger in this country. We have had people who have been


cutting corners and acting criminally to make money. Let's be


blunt about this. An assured Burger at a reasonable price is safe to


eat and you have beef in it. It is a criminal elements in the


slaughter industry that are to blame for this and we have to have


it put right by the police. beef burgers are on you tonight?


They are. Prime Ministers Questions coming up


in just a few minutes. Which reminds me to tell you about a


Valentine's Day treat tomorrow. Yes, don't bother booking a fancy


restaurant and flowers. You can stay in and watch a five-hour


special themed event night on BBC Parliament instead! For it is the


50th anniversary of Harold becoming leader of the Labour Party. Ah yes,


Jo remembers it well. And it is proving to be quite a controversial


broadcast, with rumours swirling round Westminster that modern-day


political correctness means there won't be any photographs of the


great man wielding his famous pipe, just in case millions of


impressionable teenagers are watching BBC Parliament on


Valentine's Day and feel the need to race out and light up


There will be no pictures of Harold Wilson's smoking cigars, which he


only did behind-closed-doors with brandy.


And talking about cheap, political gimmicks it's time now to tell you


how you can win our weekly Daily Politics mug! Yes, Harold had his


pipe, Winston had his cigar, Maggie had her handbag. And I've got a


cheap bit of porcelain with a sticker on it.


We'll remind you how to enter in a minute, but let's see if you can


I don't think he will ever forgive any of us for leaving the party


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 57 seconds


To be in with a chance of winning a Daily Politics mug, send your


answer to our special quiz e-mail address: And you can see the full


terms and conditions for Guess The It's coming up to midday here, just


take a look at Big Ben. That can mean only one thing! Yes, Prime


Minister's Questions is on its way. And that's not all, Nick Robinson


is here. The Governor of the Bank has opened the door for Mr Miliband


to come in and have a go at the Prime Minister on the economy in


general and living standards in particular? Although the Governor


is saying growth is coming, he is saying inflation will be above


target over the next two years. What does that mean? A squeeze on


living standards. It is and how most people experience the economy.


They experience it in terms of what can we afford to pay for? The


shrinkage in their real earnings caused by no economic growth and no


pay increases. I think that will help Ed Miliband at Prime


Minister's Questions. I think he will want to do it because he has a


big speech on the economy tomorrow. I had meetings with ministerial


colleagues and others and in addition to my duties in his house


I will have further such meetings today.


My constituent, Constable Philippa Reynolds is being buried this


afternoon having been killed on duty with the PSNI in Londonderry.


I am sure the House will join me in expressing sympathy to her family


and acknowledging her dedicated service. A horsemeat scandal has


not only undermined confidence in the safety of the food we eat, but


threatens a very successful meat industry. Can the Prime Minister


assure me this Government will follow every leader until each


individual person or business responsible for any criminal or


fraudulent act, has been called, exposed, prosecuted and then


expelled from ever again having any part in the UK food industry?


I support what he has said. Let me join him in praising Constable


Reynolds. She died going about her job, keeping people safe in the


community she loved. As well as wishing the two others injured


officers a full recovery, I sent my deepest condolences to her


colleagues and loved ones. On the issue of this appalling situation


quickly bulk-buying beef products in supermarkets are finding out it


could be horsemeat, let me say this, on 15th January it was, the Irish


authorities identify problems in a number of beef products. On 16th


January, I said to the house I had asked EFSA to conduct an urgent


investigation. Now there has been more testing and tracing and has


led to the results from Findus and others about not just contamination,


but in some instances horsemeat been passed off as beef. It is


unacceptable and that is why it is right the Secretary of State has


led these meetings. We have agreed a tougher inspection regime and we


have asked Hospital, schools and prisons to test their products with


their suppliers will stop the police and the Ed Husain raided two


premises, one in West Yorkshire, the other in West Wales. If there


has been Criminal Law Act to the tee, there should be the full


intervention of the last Tilstock we also asked for a meaningful


tests from retailers and producers and those will be published in full.


I am delighted to discover that I now represent a Midlands


constituency. Can we celebrate a county which touches both sides of


the Scottish border by celebrating Cumbria day? I am looking forward


to joining my honourable friend at the celebration of Cumbria day in


the House of Commons. He is incredibly fortunate to represent


one of the most beautiful and brilliant constituencies in the


House of Commons. I remember particularly the time we spend at


an outstanding poll been a very beautiful part of our world in his


constituency. -- an outstanding Can the Prime Minister tell us


whether, at the end of this Parliament, living standards will


be higher or lower than at the beginning?


What we are doing is helping working people by taking 24 million


people and giving them a tax cut this year, and living standards


will certainly be higher for those people on the minimum wage working


full-time whose income tax bill has already been halved under this


Government. A Mr Speaker, it was ever such a


simple question and I just want a simple answer. In 2015, people will


be asking, am I better off now than I was five years ago? What is his


answer? The answer is people will be a lot


better off than they were under Labour, with a record deficit, with


an reformed welfare, with a busted banking system. They will have seen


a government that has got the deficit down, cut income taxes,


dealt with the banks. And as the Governor of the Bank of England


said today, is on the road to recovery.


Or he shows is how out-of-touch she is. He is even out of touch with


his own Office of Budget Responsibility -- all he shows his


heart out of touch he is. Those figures show that by 2015 people


will be worse off than in 2010, because prices have been rising


faster than earnings under him. Why is this happening? Because he told


us the economy would be growing. He told us the economy would be


growing, but the truth is it has been flatlining. Will he


acknowledge that it is his failure to get growth which means we are


having falling, not rising, living standards in this country?


He's says prices are rising, I would remind him that inflation is


low under this Government and we inherited from Labour, it has been


cut in half from its peak. But it has question is, have you had to


take difficult decisions to deal with the deficit, to get on top of


the problems faced, to reform welfare and clean up our banks, you


bet we have! But no one in this country is in any doubt about why


we have had to take difficult decisions, because of the mess that


he left. First of all, the deficit is going


up, not down, under him, because of his economic failure. Secondly, we


have a flatlining economy, this will be the question of the next


two years, declining living standards as a result. Amidst


falling living standards, there is one group for whom the good times


will come as April. Mr Speaker, can he just remind us what the thinking


was when he decided to provide an average tax cuts of �100,000 for


everyone earning over �1 million in this country? He should be familiar


with the figures. When he put the top rate of tax up to 50p,


millionaires paid �7 billion less in tax. That is what happened under


his plans. But I will tell him what will happen in April, every single


taxpayer in this country, all 24 million of them, will see a tax


cuts as we raise the personal allowance and get close to the goal


that we have of being able to earn �10,000 without paying any income


tax at all. The biggest tax cuts has been for the hard-working


people on a minimum wage going out to work day after day, who have


seen income tax bills cut in half. That is who we stand for and who we


are helping. No matter how much he blusters,


will be he knows the truth. He has cuts tax credits, raised VAT and


people are worse not better off. Last week he attended the Tory


party wins the ball. He auctioned off a portrait of himself for


�100,000... LAUGHTER. And then, Mr Speaker... JEERING. And then he


declares that the Tories were the party of privilege no longer, with


no hint of irony! You could not make it up! We are turning up --


talking about people earning �20,000 a week. What is it about


them that made him think that, this April, they needed extra help to


keep the wolf from the door? May I remind him that this government has


helped working people by freezing council tax, cutting petrol duty,


cutting tax for 24 million people and legislating so they get below


his tariff on energy bill. That is what we have done was having a top


rate of tax higher than any year he was in the Treasury. He talks about


important political events and speeches, perhaps he can confirm


this. I have an invitation. He is going to make a major speech


tomorrow, and I have the invitation. This is the invitation. Ed Miliband


is going to make a major speech on the economy on Thursday. It won't


have any new policies in it. JEERING.


Mr Speaker, Mr Speaker... Let me tell him, he would be most welcome


to attend and you might learn something. And every week that goes


by, the evidence mounts against him on the economy. There is a living


standards crisis for the many, and all he does is stand up for review


at the top. We have a failing Prime Minister, he is out of touch and he


stands up for the wrong people. Once again, nothing to say about


the deficit, nothing to say about welfare, nothing to say about


growth. And now he will make a speech tomorrow which she kindly


invites me to, but if there aren't any policies, what will be the


point of coming? -- which he kindly invites me to. Let me refer him to


his policy guru, the honourable member for Dagenham, responsible


for the Labour manifesto. He says this, simply opposing the cuts


without an alternative is no good. That is right, the whole friend --


front bench opposite is no good. Thank you, Mr Speaker. The welfare


state and the NHS are there to support our constituents when they


call on difficult times -- fall on difficult times. Will you assure


the House that he will not allow them to be abused by illegal


immigrants and nationals coming here as benefit tourists? I think


he makes a very important point. Britain has always been an open and


welcoming economy, but it is not right to power systems are being


abused, and that is why yesterday I chaired a Whitehall committee


meeting which are the minister for immigration is leading, where we


will look at every single one of our systems - housing, health,


benefits. And to make sure that we are not a soft touch for those who


want to come here. I think it is vital we get this right. There are


many parts of our current arrangement which do not pass a


simple commonsense test in terms of access to housing, access to the


health service, access to justice and other things which should be


the right of all British citizens but are not the right of people who


just come here. If he is really serious about


tackling and the serious problem of misleading labelling and the


contamination of products, what possible future is there for the


future of his coalition with the The coalition must be clearly


labelled at all points. But he references this important point,


retailers, I think, beret real responsibility. At the end of the


day, they are putting products on their shelves and they have to say


that they are really clear about where the meat came from, what it


was, who it was supplied by. It is up to them to test that, it is


vitally important. Will he confirm that with the plans


to cut social care bills at �75,000, we are finally starting to defuse


the ticking timebomb of residential care... MEMBERS SPEAK OVER HER.


I think the honourable lady makes an important point and, frankly, I


would have thought that every member of parliament has heard this


from her own -- their own constituents and in groups with age


-- in meetings with groups like Age Concern etc. It seems unfair that


the fickle finger of fate can pick you out for dementia or Alzheimer's


and you lose the house you have invested your lifetime savings in.


It is not there. This government has come up with the money to put a


cap on what any family has to spend. It is the biggest pro and HET --


pro Inheritance move that any government has made in 25 years.


The intention is not that people should have to spend �75,000, but


because we have put a cap in place there should be a proper insurance


market. I don't want anyone to spend anything, that is what these


reforms will help achieve. The Prime Minister is right for a


shock that many revelations that food products may contain 100%


horse. Does he share my idea that, if tested, many of his answers


contain 100% boar? It is a very good line, but this is


a serious issue. I hope it... People are genuinely worried about


what they are buying at the supermarkets and I think we have to


get a grip rather than making jokes. I will think of another one by the


Does the Prime Minister take a dim view of people who say one thing


and then do another question mark or a. We must hear the honourable


lady. Like campaigning against greenfield developments and then


voting for it as the Liberal pulled Democrat candidate in Eastleigh has.


All reporting to support fan ownership of football clubs while


under minding the community buy-out with Pompey? First of all, can I


wish her well in her campaign to help Portsmouth Football Club. On


the issue of the Eastleigh by- election, and I hope all my


honourable friends will be joining me on the campaign trail. What I


would say, if you want a straight- talking candidate, that does


exactly what it says on the tin, Maria Hutchins is a local mother, a


fantastic campaigner and will make a wonderful member of Parliament.


May I ask the Prime Minister for his help, because I have to say to


the house, I am defeated in my attempts to get a response from


south-west London NHS on behalf of my constituents, who has pulmonary


hypertension, chronic lung disease and heart disease. There won't


respond to my correspondent as to whether they will agree to look at


allowing Professor Madden, in his prescription for his treatment. I


can get no response and my constituents may die should he not


get a decision. I am happy to take up the case she quite rightly


raises. If she gives me the details I will see what I can do to get a


better answer from the health authorities. Each year many dozens


of my constituents have to sell their house in order to pay for


social care. It is random and unfair. Would the Prime Minister


agreed to proposals announced last week will start to mitigate this


issue? He makes an important point. As he says, it is random who can


end up suffering from dementia and then suddenly find because they


could be spending five, 10 or even more years in a care home, it wipes


out all of their savings they have carefully put away through a hard


working life. To cap the cost for the first time is a major


breakthroughs. It is a progressive move and it will help hard-working


families that one to save and pass on their house to their children.


It will be this Government that has made it possible. Since the


coalition came to power, 350 libraries have closed. The


community Secretary has dismissed those campaigning to save local


libraries, those parents hoping to teach their children to read, those


who want to study history and literature, as just a bunch of


luvvies. What happened to the big society? I strongly support the


libraries. In my own constituency, we were very hard to make sure


libraries will be staying open, and they will be staying open. He asks


about the big society, I think part of the answer to keep library is


open is to tap the community to volunteer to keep them open. And I


am sure that he will welcome the report this week that volunteering


is up, charitable giving is up and I think the big society has a big


role to play in keeping libraries are open, sometimes in the teeth of


opposition from Labour councils. Saturday I spoke at an event in my


constituency organised by Clift -- charity gave. Would he agree we can


do much more to combat this problem by encouraging countries to do


their own assessment collection and also companies to be transparency


of profits and taxes made in each country operation? He makes an


important point. There were we have done or what some are less


developed countries has seen their taxpayers sometimes as much as


trouble. We need to do more in all these countries. It is a vital part


of development. The issue he raises regarding tax transparency, I also


agree with and that is why I we're putting it ahead of the G8 agenda


for the G8 meeting in June in Northern Ireland. This agenda


blinkers to go the developing and developed countries. -- brings


together. The Prime Minister gave the house and update on the EU


talks on the budget. The Prime Minister will know that a regional


aid which comes on the EU plays an important role so some of the


regional assemblies, when it comes to attracting inward investment.


Can he give the house and up days on the continuation of regional


aid? What I say to him, the outcome of the Budget leaves the overall


regional aid Britain will be receiving, broadly similar to the


last period at around 11 billion euros. There are changes in the


definitions of regions because of the transition region that has come


in. What we need to do is sit down as the United Kingdom and workout


how best to make sure the money is divided between Wales, Northern


Ireland, Scotland and England. There are transition regions in


England looking to benefit. I'm sure we can have fruitful


discussions and come to a good conclusions will stop his he amused


the leader of the opposition and the Deputy Prime Minister are both


trying to claim credit for his brilliant move to achieve a real


tattoos cut in the EU budget? he hope there will follow his lead


and both call for a referendum to be put to the British people?


hope that first of all they will convince their MEPs to vote for the


budget reductions. I think that it would be helpful. I hope we can


make some progress on his referendum issues. The shadow


chancellor, who is shouting as ever, was asking the question would


Labour support any referendum. MPs said Carmel "it depends on how


stupid we are". He went on to say, "we have not ruled out a


referendum". But the leader said they do not want a referendum.


According to a Freedom of Information and so there were 4,000


fewer uniformed police officers on London's streets after the Prime


Minister's first two years in office. With the percentage of


crimes in London been sold down as up, why has the Prime Minister


broken his promise to protect frontline policing? Crime is down


by 10%, not just generally but specifically in his area in Harrow


Community area. It is a greater reduction than for the whole of the


Metropolitan Police area. The number of neighbourhood police


officers is up to 3418 and there are few officers in back-office


jobs. In 2010 the 1346 of them, and now there is less than 1004 Stock


what we have seen is a reform agenda for the police, there have


been spending reductions but crime is down and visible policing is up.


Up with Japan, of the eurozone and Switzerland all talking down their


currencies despite the statements by the G7 yesterday, does my right


honourable friend a Greek the most important aim of the G20 meeting in


Moscow this coming weekend, should be to establish means to prevent


competitive devaluation. Which, in the 1930s... Aaron was


Which in the 1930s, as I can remember from my father's


experience... Queers widespread unemployment and the protectionism


that goes with it. -- career as the stock and would like to confirm he


was not only alive in the 1930s, he was absolutely thriving.


What he says is important. No one wants to see a string of


competitive devaluations. What happen to sterling as a result of


the deep recession here was a depreciation. I don't think you


depreciate your way to growth, what other country you are. What you


should do is use the benefit when there is a structural change to


make sure you increase your competitiveness, and that is what


Britain needs to do. Can I say to the Prime Minister in relation to


care for the elderly, he cannot have it both ways down to delivery


and quality, and at the same time council cuts. In Coventry, an extra


28 million has to be cut from the budgets. Birmingham, 600 million


plus an early 1000 jobs over a period of two to three years in


Coventry. Can we have a fair deal for the elderly, and can we have a


fair deal for Coventry? What I would say, at the start of this


Government when we made the decision not to cut the NHS, we did


put NHS money into adult social care in local Government. We


recognise the importance of that budget will stop I would also


argued the move this week to caps social care costs, of course it


does not solve the whole problem, but if you can create a cap and


more people will be charged, you can in -- a greater assurance


market of people can protect themselves against a loan to UN


cost of social care and that should see more money coming into this


vital area. Will a Prime Minister John knee in a welcoming figures


from the Council of Mortgage lenders which shows the number of


first-time buyers has hit a five- year high? I'll certainly join Mike


honourable friend of. It has been a problem that has dogged the economy


over the last few years. No one wants us to go back to 110%


mortgages we had during the boom times. But we need to make


available to young people, the chance that both earning a decent


salary, to be able to buy a decent flat or decent house with a


mortgage that does not require a massive deposits. That has not been


possible for people in recent years. The Bank of England moved on the


refund for lending scheme is feeding through to the mortgage


market and making available on mortgages at a decent, long-term


Further to the exchange by the leader of the opposition earlier,


were the Prime Minister tell the house he will personally benefit


from the millionaire's tax cuts to be introduced this April? I will


pay all the taxes that are due in the proper way. The point I made to


him is that all the years he sat on the side of the house, there was a


top rate of tax that it was lower than the one we are putting in


place for star I did not hear any grinning from him then. A typical


council taxpayer in my constituency will pay �124 more than they did in


2010, because the money made available to the was Government has


been used by the Labour Government's in Cardiff to fund


their pet project of the assembly. Does the Prime Minister share the


concern that hard-working families in Wales a funding Labour bought


policies in Cardiff Bay? On he makes an important point. This


Government has made available money for its angst -- council tax freeze.


People in Wales and know who to blame if they council tax is not


for us and. It is the Labour Assembly Government in Wales. They


are to blame and they are charging hard-working people more for their


council tax. Last October we remember the Prime Minister


promising to legislate to falls energy companies to put customers


on the lowest tariff. Can he tell us why his energy bill contains no


such commitment and why he has broken that promise? He is


completely wrong, of the energy bill does exactly what I said in a


house. It is legislating to force companies to give people the lowest


tariff. Up all do it, or duck. is discourteous opera-house to


I have called the good doctor, let's hear from him! Schools in


Cambridge have been underfunded for decades by that government and the


previous one. Pupils in Cambridgeshire get �600 per pupil


per year less than the English average, the worst in the entire


country. Does he agree that this is unfair? Will he plan to end this


discrepancy in this Parliament? will look at what he has said.


Obviously we have protected the school's budget so the per pupil


funding is the same through the parliament, so headteachers come


plan on that basis. By encouraging academy schools and free schools we


are making sure that more of the education money goes directly to


them. The IFS described the Chancellor's


tax changes and benefit cuts as giving with one hand and taking


away with many others. Does the Prime Minister think that this is


fair on hard-working families where, at the same time, he is giving to


millionaires with both hands? I don't agree with the honourable


lady that that is what the IFS says. As I quoted last week, the ifs


point out that the highest increase in terms of tax payments has come


from the better off, and the changes the Government has made a


particularly helping hard-working people on the minimum wage, who


will see their income tax bill cut in half. That is what we are


dealing. We won't forget the abolition of the 10p tax rate which


helped every hard-working family in this country.


I know the Prime Minister is a wet about the Community exchange


happening on Friday, which is a meeting between 50 businesses and


50 charities and community organisations -- I know the Prime


Minister is aware about the Community Exchange. I know he will


congratulate one company who have offered 150 hours of their time to


help local charities. I hope the Prime Minister will really


encourage all colleagues and ministers to initiate these


proceedings in their constituencies, because it is the Big Society in


action. I think my honourable friend was


absolutely right. A very large parts of the Big Society was


businesses coming to help voluntary groups and charities. I think it is


excellent he is doing that good work, I pay tribute to those


joining him. As I said earlier, it is good news that volunteering is


up, charitable giving us up, the Big Society was getting bigger.


he still eating processed beef? am following very carefully what


the Food Standards Agency as saying, and what did Food Standards Agency


say is there is nothing unsafe on our shelves. -- what the Food


Standards Agency say. A review into the procedures at the northern


Lincolnshire and Goole Hospital Trust is being carried out because


of a high mortality rate. This is of considerable concern to my


constituents. Can he assure them that whatever recommendations come


out will be implemented in full? Certainly. It is important we get


to the bottom of any hospital with an unnaturally high mortality rates.


It is important these investigations are properly carried


out and we all learned the investigations of the Mid Staffs


inquiry report. Order.


Prime Minister's Questions comes to an end. Ed Miliband went on exactly


what this programme was talking about in the run-up to PMQs, the


squeeze on living standards looks like continuing and therefore


living standards by election year, 2015, are likely to be lower than


in 2010. Mr Miliband questioned the Prime Minister Ahmad, and he had


difficulty in answering. It turns out Mr Miliband is not the only


person watching the Daily Politics. Apparently David Cameron watches it,


because he quoted John credits from the Daily Politics saying that


Labour can't just go on opposing cuts unless we have some


alternatives, so it is good to see the Prime Minister and leader of


the opposition taking note from us. We would expect no less! It was a


difficult PMQs for the Prime Minister, because the living


standards issue is difficult for the coalition government. There was


much mention of the Eastleigh by- election coming up in February --


later in February. A full list of the candidates appears on the BBC


website. Gary Mitchell said, of course


living standards are falling, it what happens when reality strikes


after a decade of living high on the hard on borrowed money. Any


suggestion that things would be different under Labour is laughable.


But Jacqueline says, my standard of living has declined almost monthly.


Food is ridiculously high, fuel is extortionate, I am cold for most of


the day. Helen said, I could write Ed


Miliband's major speech on the economy tomorrow, never allow


Labour to govern the country again. And this e-mail, the Prime Minister


said that every taxpayer would pay less tax from April, I won't be


paying less tax because I am over 65 and there are no increases in


age-related allowances. And this e-mail, the body language


says it all. Ed Miliband addresses the questions directly to camera


and looks at him. Cameron turns half sideways and does not address


the question asked. He has done this for months, is he frightened


of being stabbed in the back? I think he is frightened of being


wonder by Ed Balls, who is always teasing him? Labour have talked


about how he loses his temper and go as red in the face. This is a


guess, but I suspect this is a technique. People forget that the


House of Commons is very small. When you while the Prime Minister,


the leader of the opposition is about as close as I am to Andrew, a


small number of feet away. When at his side is Ed Balls, who shared


start but what he does, is he does that. That is a flatline symbol. He


does it every week, and it annoys Enough from our independent


observers, let's hear from Nick Robinson! We watch it on a very big


screen. It is noticeable, he is stopping himself looking directly.


Every time he is looking one way or the other because, frankly, I think


it helps him to keep his temper and also to remember that he is not


just talking to people in there, he is talking to people out here. When


you're watching television, you forget that the microphones used


are very direction or in there, meaning they pick up the sound


around the microphone that is put on by the sound engineers, not the


wall of noise. If you are standing at the dispatch box, it can feel


like being at a noisy football ground at times. Sometimes you hear


this because they lauded and you think it is not that noisy, but it


is extraordinary. -- is sometimes you hear the Speaker say or do.


There is a difference between what people think in the chamber and


outside. I was looking at tweets, the view of my colleagues in the


press gallery thought that can run effortlessly rode Ed Miliband's


questions. -- thought that David Cameron effortlessly road. But the


front page to of the Evening Standard tonight talks about the


squeeze in living standards. That is very powerful for Labour to run


with the. It gets away from deficits and growth figures, as it


were, statistical things which people don't feel. I thought the


Prime Minister was on the robes because it is hard to come up with


a convincing reply to that. -- was on the ropes. I can't think of


their time in modern politics including, even, post-modern, going


back Emily's favourite, the Second World War, when a government was in


power for five years and then went to the people with living standards


are low at the end of the five years than at the start when it


came into power. I think the Macmillan government in the 50s and


60s, under Wilson, rising living standards, even the 70s were up and


down but at the end of the decade standards were higher than at the


start. You can argue, as I'm sure you will, that it is unprecedented?


It is not easy, life is very difficult out there. People are


struggling and it is not straightforward. There is no


straightforward answer. It a different coloured government had


been in power, do you really think that living standards would not


have been squeezed? We will never know. It is hard for both of you.


When we look at the PMQs discussion about the economical Thames and


policies put forward by Labour, there is not really... And I can


tell you if you want to hear! Borrowing a lot to put up interest


rates does not help living standards more than the investment


the coalition is making infrastructure and trying to keep


income tax bills low. It is difficult when you have rising food


and energy prices etc. If you look at other countries in the world,


they face similar challenges. You just need to look at the eurozone.


I think we would much rather be in the situation of the UK economy


than in many others in Europe. not sure that German or American


living standards have fallen over a five-year period. It is also not


true in France, although we will see what Mr Miliband's friend


Francois Hollande managers, because the French government is in trouble.


The interesting thing for Labour, Your recent opinion poll was much


stronger, they are where you would expect an opposition to be in mid-


term with an unpopular government, but on the economic issue, your


leader is not great. In some ways you are still behind. It may be


enough in these unprecedented circumstances for the coalition in


2015 to say it is terrible but it is now getting a bit better.


don't think it will be enough, I don't think it will get better


enough. I hope it does, but I genuinely think they are on the


wrong course and I think the longer they are in government and the


longer they do what they're doing, the more long-term damage they will


do. You just need to look around and see what they are doing. They


simply should not be bleeding were patient because the patient is


lying on the ground. The more they do it, the worse it gets? You'll be


improperly a loyal in front of the camera, but you and I know... --


you are being properly or oil in front of the camera, but you and I


know... I think it is an honest answer. There is concern in the


Labour high command about Labour's economic position? There is real


anxiety given that there has been no growth, why is it that the


ratings and economic competence are about even Stevens in most of the


polls? That is a real source of anxiety, one of the reasons the


Labour leader is giving a speech tomorrow. It was not a Labour press


release that said there was no new policies, but it is someone well


connected with the Labour Party who has been a candidate and to pick


that up behind the scenes and said there is an important speech but


there are no new policies, it was linked to the Guido Fawkes block.


But the speech tomorrow tells you something about selling anxiety


which means weak -- about an -- about an anxiety. They have really


struggled about this. The big political event before the summer


is the Budget on March 20th, it went appallingly for the coalition


last time. It was the turning-point in the polls, it became known as


the omnishambles Budget. And the pressure is on the Chancellor not


to look impotent in the face of bad economic situation. What is


intriguing is when you look at what the Government's are saying, and


the Governor of the Bank of England was saying, the figures are not


showing it but the economy is recovering. There must be an


argument in the Treasury, do you do nothing...? I covered and was a


White House correspondents for the 1980 American presidential election,


and what's was asked was this question, do you feel better today


than you did in 1976? That won it for Reagan. Overwhelmingly, the


Americans did not feel they were better off. That might be your


problem and 2015. One of the statistics going in the right


direction is unemployment, which really matters to people, whether


they, their children and friends and family are able to be in work.


But the question is overall, it worked for Reagan and it could work


for Mr Miliband. In terms of the economy that is key to people's


everyday lives. I think the other key question is would you trust


Labour with the economy? And many people just don't. I think we have


had difficulties over the last couple of years, and because we had


a new government with a lot of interest in it being a coalition,


let's see how they are doing, we got very little space to be able to


put forward our alternative. During those two years the coalition did


very well with this line, we are clearing up the mess left by Labour,


which is simply a lie. There was an international crisis. We need the


time to put forward our case. We usually seen Nick Clegg sitting


alongside David Cameron. But he has gone to Mozambique. Judging the


reception he got during yesterday's buyout of Deputy Prime Minister's


Questions, he won't be missing the Commons one bit.


In May 2010, but there were 735 Peers. As of yesterday they were


810 and the Deputy Prime Minister has indicated he wants to maintain


the coalition agreements soon maintained a number of peers to


vote at the next General Election tiles stop we had before was a


proposal to make the House of Lords smaller and more legitimate which


did not make progress. With all due respect to the Deputy Prime


Minister, he is talking absolute rubbish that stop the second


reading of the House of Lords Reform Bill got the biggest


Parliamentary majority of this Parliament. It was because the


Deputy Prime Minister did not want to put scrutiny through this House


that he did not go on. It was his decision to abandon the Bill.


know the big reforms the Deputy Prime Minister had plans have


broadly failed. There are, across the country, numerous public


servants there with the busier in trays and the Deputy Prime Minister,


who had been laid off. With savings to the economy, isn't it time to


mothball his department until he has something significant to bring.


If we're going to rejuvenate the British economy, we have to breathe


life back into local communities by letting go of some of the powers in


Whitehall. We have to embark on political and economic or


decentralisation, the likes of which the Labour Party did not do


in 13 years of Government. Nick Clegg is in charge of


constitutional reform. The Lib Dems came to power in this pop Fenebahce


coalition St, "we are urgently needs fundamental, political


reform?. Labour puts paid to that stop we need changes to lobbying


and transparency. The right to recall MPs when they had been


accused of wrongdoing. We have proposals for electoral


registration. And there has been some progress. What have you


achieved? I would have much preferred to have changed the


voting systems will we got a house of Commons people voted for and we


had a Democratic elected House of Lords. We had one in 10 MPs in


Parliament, so without the other parties, and in the case of the


coalition sticking to the agreements and Labour sticking to


saying what they want to achieve in terms of constitutional reform, we


wouldn't achieve it on our own. What's a mark would you give


yourself? I would give the Liberal Democrats 10 out of 10 were trying


to push reform. There is still so much we want to achieve. In-house


of Lords reform, you could not carry a coalition partners with


that and Labour made it difficult. Creating fewer and more equal size


constituencies. His is on the statute book so we could come in


the next Parliament. Urinate on that. The power of recall for


disgraced MPs. He is still being worked on. You lost the case of the


alternative vote referendum? put it to the country and we live


in a democracy but stock we are cutting income tax for people on


low incomes, investing more money to help the poorest pupils in


schools and kick-starting the Green economy with green investment banks.


Some of the issues on constitutional reform, we have not


been able to do. You could have done the boundary changes on the


merits. You had the votes. You could have out voted Labour. Nick


Clegg was talking about the broken scales of democracy. That is how he


described the current bank redistribution to stop but in the


end, you voted for the broken scales? We have a constitutional


reform package and are conservative partners did not stick to their


side of the deal. You cannot have one side deciding to run off and


pick bits of it's an odd to the other bits without its being of


consequence. It he said in November, there is no prospect of securing in


real terms cut in the EU budget? You were going to tell me. You tell


me, that is how it works. I don't know where the quote comes from.


It's his Nick Clegg, now he is taking the credit Laurie real-terms


cuts. The to be fair, the impact he has with his European counterparts


in building relationships to get to the situation we did at the


European Council, does not happen overnight. He said the Prime


Minister had no friends. He said the Prime Minister had no friends


in Europe. The deputy Prime Minister does have friends in


Europe. So he deserves the credit? He has worked alongside many other


countries. His Westminster, is its selling Nick Clegg or buying Nick


Clegg? Liberal Democrats do not argue this, there has been a


constitutional reform under this Government, but did not involve a


law. It is called a coalition. As observers, we don't stop often


enough and say, none of us predicted a coalition, and none of


us predicted it would be stable. Whether you like it or loathe it,


people who write political history and people who analyse politics


will say, the coalition is probably here to stay as a feature of


British politics. We had fixed-term parliaments, that is one


constitutional reform. The reason nobody remembers it, there wasn't a


debate. It just happens, like changing lightbulbs. Now, you may


have noticed that our two guests of the day are both female. Does that


matter? Is it a good thing? Or something we should be doing more


Just under a quarter of MPs are women. The media and the BBC in


particular, have been criticised for not having enough female voices.


Alice Arnold was until recently, one of those voices heard reading


the news or the shipping forecast on Radio Four. Here's her take on


why there aren't enough women on I play a bit of golf. Occasionally


I'd play in corporate golf days - I know, a woman in a man's world.


Sometimes I am the only women surrounded by 100 men hitting the


ball in different directions. They are not always the best golfers,


but they are up there. Why are they there? Because they had been


invited. Research has been done into the lack of representation of


women in the media. I want to know what changed, if anything.


Last month, the BBC ran the women experts training day. The women


were brilliant. From space scientists to architectural


historians. The argument that women experts don't exist was blown out


of the walk up. With only room for 30 women on the course, there were


2000 applicants. This is a dangerous time. It is a dangerous


time because we have done a little bit. I can seek producers all of


the country congratulating themselves because there is a woman


on the panel. I don't want to see a woman on the panel, I want to see


two on every panel. I want to see equal representation of women, and


that means at least 50%. That is how to get the best people. It is


not that women don't know how to play the game, they just haven't


been invited. I don't like slow late. In golf or in white. I one


change, and I want it not. No more excuses. I am not looking for a


birdie, a solid Park would Booth. - And Alice Arnold has come in from


that very cold golf course and joins us now. You want equal


representation, the 50%, how do you suggest it happens? It would be


small, little steps that are not working. More research has been


done and the results will come out in April. It has not been published


yet, but it looks like there has been very little change over the 18


months since the last shocking research results were revealed. The


only way to do it is to have quotas, but temporary time, but to say we


are going to say we will make sure we have 50% representation and then


see how it catches up in the future. We should have quotas in order to


change? I think we need to make sure we have women on programmes.


How do you do it? We and producers are inviting people on, they know


who on men and who are women. They should invite according Leasowe


what is presented to the public is equal. In terms of ethnicity and


background. We don't have enough of that stock is the assumption that


because you have a woman, the gendered it is done. What about the


Liberal-Democrat MPs? There are hardly any women? I want there to


be more women. What's I am saying, saying it is one thing, but in need


to have quotas to achieve it? the last election, it we had quotas


we would have ended up in the same situation we have got. Even if we


had quotas, we would have been in a similar situation. You still have


to make sure women get elected. It is quicker and easier to change the


guests you have on the media Parliament and getting women into


Parliament. What do you think? Should there be quotas introduced


to try to guarantee representation in the media? It started to work


for us in the Labour Party. I was elected -- you were elected on a


women's shortlists? There were 42 of us going for my seat. There are


lots of women out there. We had 26, 27% of the Parliamentary Labour


Party who are women. There is still a long way to go, but to get up to


50% Rhydian need to continue to have an all-woman shortlist. What


happened to meet, it wasn't just about the party taking you see


Risley, but people were saying to me, have you thought about being an


MP. I started to think back myself more seriously because of that.


said the pool is bigger than people think. Often the argument is put


forward that the reason we don't have more women represented on


panels or women MPs is there isn't the pool to choose from. Is there


an enough evidence to say there are qualified women in business, and


media to pick them? 2000 women applied to go on the women Experts


workshop. It was a shock to everybody pulls up the women I


worked with on the workshop were incredible and highly qualified.


The these ladies Arthur Lee pushy, do we need to have more women who


are prepared to push themselves? am not sure it is a quality you


should encourage. Why should you have to be pushy? Should we not be


encouraging people to ask them? It we don't do that, the next


generation coming up below us, the children now watching are still


seeing the same proportion of women will stop not if they're watching


today it will stop this is pretty unusual. It has taken 100 years to


get 22% of women MPs. We have got OK, that's all for today. Thanks to


our guests. The One o'clock News is starting over on BBC One now. We'll


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