01/03/2013 Daily Politics


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Afternoon. Welcome to the Daily Politics. I hereby declare that


Michael Douglas Thornton is duly elected member of Parliament for


Eastleigh. Thank you. The Eastleigh is beastly for David Cameron, the


Liberal Democrats hold the constituency, the Conservatives are


pushed into a humiliating third place. UKIP come second recording


their best ever by-election performance picking up almost a


third of the vote and proving they are a serious threat to the


Conservativeings.. 6 There is no Southern Comfort for Ed Milliband


as Labour fails to increase its share of the vote, coming a poor


fourth. We will bring you the reaction to a vintage style by-


election. All that coming up, with us for the


duration today, Gabby hins live, political editor at large. Andrew


Pierce, consultant editor at the Mail. Who consults you? I consult


the editor. To find out what to do? Yes. That is how you keep your job.


Welcome to the programme. It was the result David Cameron was dread,


there was a time only a few weeks ago when the Tories thought they


could win Eastleigh. They didn't. Worse, they came third. It the sort


of seat the Tories have to win if they are ever to win an overall


majority in the common, so this morning there was nothing left to


do, but to wheel out the brave face. It's a disappointing result for the


Conservative Party, but it is clear in mid-term by-election, people


want to register a protest, but I am confident that at the general


election we can bin these people -- win those people back bishop


demonstrating we are delivering for everyone who wants to work hard and


get on. We are devoting most of the programme to discussion of last


night's result. So for now one thought from both of you about the


significance. The moment for you? It is the moment we learned yet


again how much people hate mainstream politicians, not just


because you have the UKIP surge, people are fed up with both parties


of Government and opposition, how low an opinion of politicians do


you have to have that your local MP is headed to jail and that doesn't


put you off voting for the party? It is an interesting thought. Is it


going to be, as the Liberal Democrats would like it to be, lots,


hundreds of local by-elections, at the next general election, rather


than the national view? That is what they will hope. I suspect it


won't work like that, this was a classic Liberal Democrat victory.


For the Conservatives say it disaster, because they, it shows


they have massively failed to connect with their grass roots


supporter, their core supporters have been alienated by David


Cameron and they staid at home or voted for UKIP. UKIP pose a danger


to the Tory party as the SDP did to the Labour party. Not a great night


for Labour. You can't come fourth and that is a great night. A lot of


voters very fed up with the government, looking for someone to


blame. Looking for someone to register a protest and they didn't


choose Labour, that is worrying for Ed Miliband. You wouldn't want to


be Mill's strategist from last nights. Anyone's from last night.


There is no chance of that. Now, at the start of this campaign, as I


said the Tories thought they were in with a chance they threw the


kitchen sink into the constituency, but somehow the Tory campaign never


took off, what did take off was UKIP, which surged through taking


votes from the Liberal Democrats and from the Tories and after three


week, although not quite enough of a surge to win, it was enough to


throw the Tories into third place. Tell us more. Eastleigh son the


Conservative's list of target seats they must win in 2015 to form a


imagine si Government. Last night's by-election results make grim


reading for David Cameron. The qifrts optimistic at the start.


Liberal Democrat minister Chris Huhne vacated the seat after


pleading guilty to perverts the course of justice. The Liberal


Democrats have had consistently poor national poll ratings, then


the troubles surrounding former Liberal Democrat Chief Executive


Lord Rennard emerged. Despite these problems the Liberal Democrats held


the seat. Albeit with a much reduced majority. Not that Nick


Clegg will care today. Even more troubling for the Conservatives


though, is UKIP's performance. Nigel Farage's party finished


second, with 25% of the vote. Their biggest ever share in a by-election.


And they got 1,000 votes more than Maria Hutchings the Conservative


candidate who finished third. That was a result that we asked senior


Conservative backbench David day vabtsd on Wednesday's programme.


You come second or maybe terrible suggestion, third, I suggest you


again, crisis for Cameron? If we came third it would be a cry stha,


is the case, but, if it is a close second, with UKIP on our tail, it


will be uncomfortable. Let us be clear, this is not going to


dislodge David Cameron, he will be will to the next election, it will


make things more uncomfortable. we are joined by Anna Soubry.


Welcome to the programme. 2.20am March 1, 2013 all Tory hopes of an


overall imagine any the Commons died? You think so I think we all


have to get real about by-election, especially in a seat held by


Liberal Democrats, and for give me, I have fought two marginal seats so


I think I come at at it from a different perspectives. I know


about helping out. The Liberal Democrats, especially in a seat


like this where they have been for many year, they started off with, I


think almost every single borough kounslo, I know from my own


experience the huge power that gives you, when you that


entrenchment many your community, I know because I have fought marginal


seerbgts you need the when you are up against, in a marginal seat.


to get a majority you need to win 20 Eastleigh, they are all like


that, the last time. I don't think it saz simple as that. The last


time you won an overall majority it was Eastleigh. You have not won an


overall majority, you couldn't win it in a by-election. Can I explain


why. When you are fighting Liberal Democrats who are well entrenched


who operate in a way that is Admiral, you can't knock their


machinery, when you are up against that, especially when you have a


very sensible, home-grown candidate like they had, I am not saying the


others weren't very good. All the candidates were very good, the


quality, apart from Labour's but that is me making a quick sharp


point. It is not that sharp. It is not that clever, really. They


selected an outstandingly good candidate for them and what they


needed to do and they pulled it off. Privately, because you don't say it


publicly at the start of a campaigns privately we knew it


would be almost impossible, not withstanding the circumstances of


the by-election, to win it, because we know how well entrenched they


have been in that constituency over decades now. So let us get this


right. You always thought you couldn't win the constituency, even


though this was a by-election being fought as a result of the sitting


Liberal Democrat MP... Going to prison. Probably going to prorpbgs


and then a sex scandal, being a Liberal Democrat... I didn't know


that. A sex scandal which became a crisis of the leadership for Mr


Clegg, and you still couldn't win. Because you have to understand, as


I am sure you do, a number of factor, one yor, you have the


Liberal Democrat factors secondly you have the by-election factors


and I thought some of the points Michael Gove made on the Today


programme were absolutely on the money, got it absolutely right.


About an increasing number of the electorate, ordinary people who are


fed up with all of us, and you have the protest vote, which you always


get in by-election, that used to go to the liberals, which is why they


are successful, going to UKIP, for reasons I can understand, then you


have got to factor in the fact that the Liberal Democrats held almost


every single seat on the borough Cowen sism I am, this isn't a


criticism, why would you know this? Unless you have fought a marginal


seat as I have done, unless you understand how those seats work,


and the importance of good local councillor, you can't understand


why you get the results like Eastleigh. You are right. We


haven't fought a marginal see. It maybe important but on this result


are toast. This is a majority... toast? I Amor than well aware of my


slender majority, I understand why it is the small numbers it S I


fought an encumbent, one of the great things that came out of the


2010 election was an of the power of that. My brilliant colleague


Jessica Leigh, I won't try to put her down, got a fantastic result


and a fantastic swing. One of the reasons that she did so well, as


did Mark, I can't remember his name, Mark Spencer in Sherwood, they


weren't standing against incumbents, if you speak to Mark, if Paddy


Tipping, if the Labour endumb bent had stood like mine, Mark would be


the first to say Paddy would have won. You saw it where Vernon Coaker


did stand... Are you going to mention any names we haven't heard


of? It is good bluster but let us get to the chase. I want to ask you


a question. You have had a good say, you are not going to filibuster


your way out, your election strategy, your party's election


strategy involves winning 20 seats like Eastleigh to get an overall


majority. Forgive me I think we have a Liberal Democrat list and a


marginal. Everything you have just said, about not winning Eastleigh


is why you will not win the other Liberal Democrat seats as well,


therefore you get no overall majority. The point I was going to


make, I think we have a list of Liberal Democrat seats swre, a


target Liberal Democrat seat list and a target Labour Tory marginal


list and one that is overall. I am not sure where Eastleigh is on that.


16 on both. On the combined or on the Liberal Democrat? 16 you have


to win from the Liberal Democrats. When you drill down into it. We do


do that, we look at the personalities, especially in


Liberal Democrat seats. You need to win the 20 to have any chance of an


overall majority.. I agree with you in your analysis, when you factor


in the by-election, then, it takes on a tote, you take it out of


context, that is what I am trying to say. You couldn't win it at a


tpwhrebgshurpbgs you can't win it at a by-election, you can't win. I


would suggest to you, that you have no chance, no chance of winning


Eastleigh in the 2015 general election. You might be right,


because it is a Liberal Democrat seat. It is one you have targeted


that you need the win. Yes, but then as we also know as you go into


a general election, the complexities of a general election


change almost from one constituency to another because of this


encumbency factors I would say to all kphenta to, and you heard them


talking about the encumbency project, where they understand and


recognise the huge power now of that, you saw that in the borough


council elections as well. Forgive me, I hate to say it, everything


you say, it means it is Mission Impossible to dislodge 20 Liberal


Democrats to give you an overall majority, in that is the case, what


is Mr Cameron perceived as such a loser? I don't believe he is.


has never won an election. Hang on, forgive me, I will not sense and


will not allow it, you are entitled to say it, but you are wrong,


fundamentally wrong. I am wrong he has never won an election?


suggest that the backbenchers do not support the Prime Minister is


wrong. Really? There maybe some that don't but the over


Westminstering majority of MPs in the Parliamentary party... You are


so divided, you wouldn't appear with Mark Pritchard. No, I have


never, no, I have never ever gone blue on blue, and anybody will tell


you the same thing as well. None of us will do it. Because you are


divided? It is not good for the party a divide party never wins the


respect of an electorate. wouldn't do it is a signal of howdy


vieded you are. It has never been any different in the way I will


operate, I will not do blue on blue. You can have the final word. I


presume we are giving up on winning Liberal Democrat seats at all. The


logic if you can't win a seat with a Liberal Democrat, you can't win a


seat with an incumbent you will end up with the same number of seats.


On Tuesday, there was an opinion poll in one of the papers putting


the Liberal Democrats on 8%, the lowest ever they have ever had


nationally. And yet still they You have played a straight bat and


England may be calling on you to open the batting. In England is not


that desperate! I thought we were doing well in the cricket. England


is doing well, unlike the Conservatives.


We are joined now by Ben page of the polling firm Ipsos MORI. How


great was that win for the Liberal Democrats? As Andrew Pierce said,


they were polling badly nationally. Yes. Most pollsters, including me,


believed the Liberal Democrats would do much better than their


current rating in the national polls for a general election,


partly because of their incumbency and also because the Liberal


Democrats, when it comes to a fight, are ferocious. They did of course


lose a lot of share in this vote, but given the size of their


majority, he enough to hang on. They got 23% of the vote in 2010.


It will go down, but not to 9%. It might go down to 16%. This seems to


confirm that theory. It is not brilliant news for them. They lost


14% of the vote -- if they lost 14% of the vote in many other seats,


there would be out. But it is much worse for David Cameron, and Ed


Miliband might have hoped to do better. By what about you could?


They did not win the seat, but they will no doubt say they were the


winners of the night. They were certainly the surprise of the night.


I was not expecting them to do quite so well. 1000 more than the


Conservatives. They are still an unknown quantity. They are not


winning lots of councillors in local elections. They are almost


like the Liberal Democrats used to be, the people you can vote for in


by-elections because it will not make much difference. They


represent a constituency in British politics, which is people who are


fed up. Their boat is very concerned about things like


immigration. They tend to be older. There is a whole range of people


out there, but those they most threaten our of course David


Cameron and his chance of a Conservative majority in 2015.


damaging is it for David Cameron? Again, with by-elections, you need


to be careful about making generalisations. It is more


problematic for David Cameron in terms of party management. This


will be crying out to many people on the right of his party, there


will say, if only you had tacked right, things would be better. But


Cameron's brigade will say, we tribe that in 2005 with Michael


Howard and it did not work. The Conservatives may become divided as


they try to read the runes of this, but it was a by-election.


Labour MP said it was a disaster for Labour. In it certainly was not


good news. This was not ever going to be a Labour seat, but Ed


Miliband should have been hoping the One nation message was somehow


cutting through. John O'Farrell is a great comedian. Whether he is the


right candidate for this type of seat is another matter. But this is


not brilliant news for Labour, who think they are surging back into


middle England. They do need to be there.


We are joined now by a Tory backbencher Mark Pritchard. What


mood are you in this morning? Are you going to tell us what you


really think, or have you swallowed a loyal to Bill? Well, it is


clearly a disappointing result, but it is the mid-term blues, by-


elections are unpredictable and many of us always thought this


would be a difficult by-election to win. So the loyalty pill has kicked


in. I am one of the most loyal Tory backbenchers. It just happens that


on the EU referendum and the Budget, I disagree with the Prime Minister.


David Davies told the Daily Politics that if the Tories came


third, it would be a crisis for Mr Cameron. Do you agree? I don't


think it is a crisis. This is a difficult period for the


Conservative Party. I don't think this result, extrapolated to the


general election, will necessarily be the same. We are making progress


on education and welfare reforms and deficit reduction. On


immigration, we have had excellent numbers over the last few days,


perhaps not in time for this by- election. If we continue to make


progress on those issues, people will see that we are a party that


can deliver and hopefully deliver more if we have an outright


Conservative majority. But prior to the by-election, Your leader came


out front in out referendum. He moved to appease the Euro-sceptic


wing of his party. You chose a Euro-sceptic candidate, someone who


said she would vote to leave unless a lot of powers were repatriated.


Much good it did you. Well, UKIP are now the natural party of


protest. The Liberal Democrats have lost that crown. There are


challenges ahead. But once the message off our welfare reforms,


education reforms, making progress on immigration, ones that get out


over the next two and a half years, people will look again. One good


thing is that people will hopefully now begin to scrutinise what you


could stand for. If you look at their manifesto, they are pretty


much offering champagne all round. They want tax cuts for everybody. I


don't say we should not learn lessons from this, but it is more


of a political tremor rather than an earthquake. The but it is a


problem for you, because if you really want to leave the European


Union, you vote UKIP. If you want a tough line on immigration, you vote


UKIP. If you are against gay marriage, you vote UKIP. If you are


in favour of grammar schools, you vote UKIP. You don't vote Tory.


That is the lesson of Eastleigh. The Prime Minister is the first


British Prime Minister to offer an in-out referendum on the European


Union. That is a significant step. Those people who are Euro-sceptic


within UKIP don't want to see a pro European, someone who is against a


referendum, against giving the people a choice, against taking


back British sovereignty. That person is Ed Miliband. The real


problem on Europe is for the Labour Party. We are the and the party of


potential government that can offer an in-out referendum. The Labour


Party are not offering that. If people want to vote UKIP and


getting a pro-European Ed Miliband as prime minister, they are


entitled to. The at given that you could's appeal is on more than just


Europe - back UKIP's appeal is on more than just Europe, it is on the


other issues I mentioned. The centre-left vote was split in the


'80s between the Social Democrats and the Labour Party, giving your


party over a decade of large majorities. You are now split on


the right, with a strong party on the right picking off your right


wing flank and splitting the centre-right vote. That is why we


need to make the case for lower immigration and set out our message.


The figures are down from 247,000 the year before last. What about


the Romanians and Bulgarians? hope to have a backbench business


debate on this issue. Their controls end at the end of December


this year. Those policies need to be realistic and achievable. The


Prime Minister is chairing a cross- party group on this. There is a


weakness in what Mark is saying. It is very easy for UKIP in the by-


election. The Government will not say how many Romanians and


Bulgarians they think will come into Britain next year. Ministers


refused to answer the question. UKIP can then say, if you vote for


us, none of them will come in, because we will take Britain out of


the European Union. Labour were saying this morning as well that


they need to address immigration more seriously. They say that after


every by-election. The only people with a clear answer to this are


UKIP, whether you agree or disagree. They say, we will not be in the


union, so we will control our borders. I am not sure if every


party can move to where you could is. A but you cannot stop the


Romanians and Bulgarians. They have a right to come to this country


under the rules of the EU, just as we have a right to go there. You


can't change that. I would like to see control of our borders. That


does not mean we shut the borders to everybody. We need a sensible


immigration system. But you can't do that as a member of the EU.


is why I am pleased we are having an in-out referendum in 2018.


late. They will all be here! agree. And they could be a huge


asset, just like the Poles who came. Five years is too long to wait to


can -- to take control of our borders. You would like a


referendum soon know? Absolutely. Keep taking the pills.


Now, let's turn to the big winners from last night, although they did


not win the seat. UKIP leader Nigel Farage joins me now from Eastleigh.


It was an impressive performance, but as the Liberal Democrat


President has said, you did not win. It was an average second. It was


quite an impressive second, really. A very short by-election, called


with three weeks' notice, very sudden. We did not have time to get


to the postal voters, and still we went from 3.6% to 28% of the vote.


That is a significant surge by anybody's standards. The three


other parties are absolutely stunned by it, but it is because we


are connecting with ordinary families. They can see the impact


open-door immigration has had on jobs and housing in constituencies


like this. All the rubbish we have heard in the last week from Cameron


and everybody else that they will get tough, the fact is that if we


want to control our borders, we cannot do that as members of the


European Union. I think that penny has dropped with the electors of


Eastleigh. But you still did not win. There is no UKIP MP. When is


there going to be one? We have just had our best ever by-election


result. We have run the Liberal Democrats close. On the day


yesterday, we actually won. In terms of the people who voted on


polling day, we did not have the ability to reach the postal voters.


But never again can people say UKIP is a wasted vote. Never can people


say we are splitting the vote. And never can people say that somehow,


UKIP can't win, because we came ever so close to winning in this


by-election. In by-elections to come, we will achieve victories.


This is not just some mid-term protest, this is a clear trend. We


have seen it in by-elections in Barnsley, Middlesbrough, Rotherham


and now here. Isn't it a protest vote? You took votes from all the


parties, not just the Conservatives. That would be classic protest


politics. You took votes from the Liberal Democrats and Labour, too.


When it comes to the general election, the line from the Tories


will be simply that a vote for UKIP will give the seat to Labour.


Conservatives in a general election will vote Conservative. But no one


will believe that. This Tory idea that you could just takes votes


from the Tory party is rubbish. One of the most significant sections of


people voting for us yesterday were people in Eastleigh who had not


voted for anybody for 20 or 30 years, and they voted UKIP


yesterday. That is a vote by people saying, I like what this party says.


They have the guts to stand up and campaign on tough issues while


everybody else tries to push it under the carpet. Are you the new


Liberal Democrats in terms of winning by-elections in the future?


Over the last two years, we have gone from getting 2% in by-


elections to 15% to 20% and now loony 30%. -- nearly 30%. Nobody in


Westminster was to recognise it. There is a closed shop in British


politics amongst the parties, the media and the public companies, but


something will is happening. People are going out and vote in UKIP, and


I believe that trend will continue. Judge me on May 3rd. We have the


English council elections coming up on 2nd May. Judge me on 3rd May.


That will be an important test, because you have not won lots of


council seats in the past. You have said to me yourself, you have not


got that local base, so it will be a big test. Very much so. When the


Liberal Democrats were winning by- elections in the '90s, they had


already built up a base at district and county council level. We have


not done that yet, and to have come as close as we did to winning


without a single councillor in Eastleigh makes that score last


night even more remarkable. We have to make breakthroughs Indies may


county council elections. UKIP already has a candidate for every


seat. We have the European elections coming up in June 2014.


If what happened last night was a tremor in British politics, next


year in the European elections, we Do you regretted not standing?


I don't. Firstly we had an excellent candidate. If I had stood


and done well, you would have said this just reinforces the fact UKIP


is a one man party. No-one is going to say that any more. Thirdly, as


leader, I want to be a candidate that leads the party into the


European elections next year, because I believe we have a


realistic chance of topping the poll, across the United Kingdom.


Gabby, do you want to ask anything? .If you don't come top, can we


conclude you are a busting flush? If we come second, nationally,


indeed as we did back in 2009, I would be disappointed. Not to have


won. Listen, I am not contemplating that, I think we can really do it


next year, because vague promises at referendum in five years' time,


or whatever it may be, simply isn't good enough. I think the fact that


on January 1st next year we are opening our door, unconditionally


to 29 million poor people from Romania and bull -- Bulgaria, it is


something most people say enough is enough it is time we got control


back op of our borders and our country. What did you drink to


celebrate? Sadly, not enough! I didn't get back to the hotel until


4.00 and I was doing my first television interview at 6.20, but I


intend, now, after this interview, to go and catch up. I feel so sorry


for you, what a tough night it has been. Go and celebrate. He won't be


seen until Monday now. I don't think all 29 million are going to


come. A lot might come but I don't think 29 million. I may be wrong


but I don't think so. One of the reasons that the Liberal Democrats


are pretty cock-a-hoop this morning is not just they won, but they won


even though it has been a pretty torrid ten days for them in the


run-up to last night's vote, so no surprise, it was a mightly relieved


Nick Clegg who appeared at a victory rally in Eastleigh this


morning. This has been a by- election we have had to fight, in


exceptionally difficult circumstances. Our opponents have


thrown everything at us. We held our nerve, we stood our ground, we


worked as a team, we went out and campaigned on every doorstep, we


overcame the odds and won a stunning victory. And we are joined


by the Liberal Democrat whip in the House of Lords Dick Newby. Welcome


to the Daily Politics. Now you won the seat, impressive victory, many


think, but of course your share of the vote dropped more than the


Conservative share of the vote dropped. Would you put that down to


the Chris Rennard controversy or the Chris Huhne confrov? I think


there were a number of head wind we were battling, a governing party at


this point when the economy is not doing well, is going to be in


difficulties. The Chris Huhne con-- controversy lost us some votes and


no doubt the Chris Rennard controversy lost us some more, I


think if you had asked virtually anybody yesterday, Liberal Democrat


or anybody else, would we win by over 1700 votes they would have


said no. You exceeded your expectations you think? It exceeded


mine, having been done in Eastleigh. Was there any time in the campaign


when you thought, this might be going bad for us? I think the, the


thing that slightly surprised and worried me about Eastleigh was the


way in which people, for whatever reason, had a difficulty with the


Liberal Democrats, whether it was about Chris huerpbgs as one person


had, or it was about the economy, which another person had, they had


decided that they were going to -- Chris Huhne, they were going to


vote a protest vote and they all vote one way, they vote for UKIP.


One of the interesting things to me, is that none of them voted Labour.


As far as I can tell. They all vote UKIP. Not very many. Not many


Liberal Democrats went to Labour. UKIP did pick up people who were


dissatisfied about anything. And it was obviously an impressive


performance, but that was my concern. Looking back, the two main


features of the campaign, one was the Tory campaign never seemed to


take off. They began in a good position, then it got worse for


them. What did take off, and gathered momentum as it went was


UKIP. It became a surge, some senior Liberal Democrats who were


down campaigning there said the real, the wise thing the Liberal


Democrats did was having this on the 28th. Having a short campaign f


this had been on for another week the UKIP surge could have been big


enough to win. I don't know. I mean, the UKIP did have a surges but


equally, UKIP weren't exposed to the kind of debate and scrutiny


they would have been if people had been anticipating a UKIP surge, so


they, at one level had an easy ride, but equally they had momentum going,


as you know, in by-elections, momentum can often be very


significant over a very short period. One way or another. I think


we could have pulled it back and had a better result, but equally,


it is very volatile times. Americans in primary campaigning


call it is big Mo. We have been the Ben officialry of it in the past.


If you go back to a by-election like Darlington, some time ago, we


have been the losers when we started fauf a strong position and


the surge has worked against us, for us, the great relief is we


fought the by-election on local strength and national competence. A


very significant proportion of people went with that, despite the


head wind we have been talking about. Where does this leave


relations inside the coalition, does it on the one hand reassure


Liberal Democrats that they can stay in the coalition and still win


and don't face a wipe out, is that the view now, or is there some


resentment that Tory allied in the press, made all the running they


could, probably encouraged behind the scenes by Tories, to make it as


grim as possible for Mr Clegg, in the middle of the Chris Rennard


crisis? The way that the press have behaved is completely predictable,


so we are not going to be phased by the fact that the Daily Mail


behaves like the Daily Mail. Relations in the coalition are good,


I am involved in making it work in the House of Lords. It has not


always been that good as Tam Strathclyde told news the House of


Lords. Within and between parties, there are arguments and


disagreements... Is there some resentment at the way some Liberal


Democrats have said to us, they felt the story -- Tories were


whipping up the row over Chris Rennard, and pinning it on Mr Clegg.


I don't think, so because I think we think, or I think, that it


wasn't the Tory high command whipping it up, it were a small


number of newspapers who were using it, explicitly in some case, to try


and stop the Leveson proposals going through. They said it in


their... We have that newspaper here, the Daily Mail. I would like


to point out, this story broke on Channel 4, the Guardian newspaper


if you like of the airwaves. They continue to make a lot of head way


on that story, and more and more of these women came for warned talked


to newspapers. I know Nick Clegg thinks it is not the job of the


I think it is our job that and we will continue to do so. Whether it


is Tory, liberal or Labour. We have a properly appointed detective


looking at it. If it was left to you it wouldn't have. The women


involved decided to go to the police. It happened because they


decided to go to press because they had gone to your party and got no


satisfaction. A number of the women who have come forward hadn't gone


to the party. A number have and didn't get any satisfaction that is


why we have set in place an investigation and why the police


are looking at it. Gabby?. I wonder how you think this will affect


coalition relations in another way. The Tories are under pressure to


move towards UKIP, move towards European immigration, do you think


that will put strain on the coalition in a different way, you


will find yourselves pulling in a direction you don't want to go?


They cause stresses and strains but both sides went into it for five


years to sort out the economic mess, there are stresses and strans and


that is what we will attempt to do, as best we can. Were you aware of


the years of the accusations of being made against Chris Rennard?


was not aware of any specific allegation about Chris Rennard,


until very very recently. What about general accusations of his


behaviour? Well, there are, there are rumours about most people in


politics, in my experience, and most of them, proved to be


unfounded. I never was aware of any serious allegations against Chris


Rennard, until recently. You had heard of rumours of his behaviour?


There was some about. Turned out to be more than scuttle butt. Neither


I or most people, if not virtually everyone were wear of the exact


nature of the complaints against Chris. I wasn't. Do you regretture


partyty did not do more at the time snfpblts I think it should have


done, more, yes. -- done more, yes. One party appears to be trying to


lie low, but what does last night's result mean for Labour? Their


celebrity candidate John O'Farrell finished fourth, with just over


4,000 votes and just under 10% vote share, while the combined


Conservative and Liberal Democrat share of the vote fell by 28%,


Labour were hardly the beneficiaries. Their share of the


vote increased by just 0.2%. Speaking earlier, Labour leader Ed


Miliband said it was disappointing for Labour. 6 I would have


preferred to get more votes than we did. This was going to be a tough


fight for Labour. It's a seat we have never won, but all it convince


me of is we need to redouble or evidents to reach out to every part


of the country, including areas where Labour hasn't been strong.


This us with a disastrous night for the Conservatives and David Cameron.


What we want to hear is a recognition people are deeply


unhappy the direction of the country and he is going to listen.


Labour leader Ed Milliband. We asked the Labour Party for an


interview and we have been busy all morning, we can vouch for that


asking MPs to come on to the programme. Must have been through


every one of them, none were available. Sorry about that. Not


even Diane Abbott? No, it seems. Gabby, the question that I would


have put to Labour s that if you have had a fall in the combined


share of the vote of Liberal Democrats and Conservatives of 28%,


and as the Labour Party, you increase your vote share by 0.2%,


something has the gone wrong.Ly my best to answer this, yes, it is


a disaster, I don't think, I don't think the Labour Party can take any


comfort from this result at all, so much for one nation Labour, really.


. They were going to be squeezed but they didn't have to be squeezed


that far, Labour has to be careful That badly when it comes to the


crunch something is wrong, that lead is as soft as marshmallow.


we had been focuses on what the Conservatives have to do to win an


overall imaginety, Eastleigh would have been a target seat, Labour has


to make inroads into southern heartlands, it can't rely on


increasing its vote share, in seats its already has. It is right. There


is no progress at all. I think John O'Farrell was the wrong candidate,


for various reason, he unravelled rather some stuff he had written


about Margaret Thatcher, he wish she had died in The Brighton Bomb


and he didn't think Britain shouldn't have won the Falklands


war. A lot of the task force ships set sail from Southampton, so he


was a bad candidate, still, the Labour message is not playing on


the doorstep, and Labour MPs, I saw a couple last night. They said they


heard they would be in fourth, they were unhappy about it. And the


record on the economy, is that still the problem, is that


narrative playing with the electorate from David Cameron and


George Osborne swag are blaming Labour for what happened? You get a


sense Michael Gove said he thought the primary reason for Tory voertsd


going was feeling very squeeze, skint, annoyed with Government and


the ve, in which case why don't they move to party complaining


about austerity. The fact they didn't people think the previous


Government screwed up the economy and they voted for the only people


who haven't had a chance to screw it up yet, that suggestings people


have not forgiven and moved on. you think they didn't try hard


enough, Labour, was there is a sense of let us let the internal


grief between the coalition partners play out John O'Farrell,


right, wrong candidate? We don't care. I think they fought and that


is why Ed Miliband went. They threw a lot at it and put John O'Farrell


everywhere, no, they wanted to do well there. Is it not likely, that


in a general election, Labour would do better in the south and although


they wouldn't pick up seats like Eastleigh, they could, I Anna


Soubry said... They can't take her seat. They are likely to do better.


Eastleigh is not a good guide. It is an unusual Liberal Democrat held


marginal. Their main worry is taking seats off for fli, that they


should do better than in Eastleigh. It is not a complete guide but it


should worry them none the Les. is that one nation Labour going


down, did anybody quote that to you? I don't recall hearing it. I


think lit go the same way as David Cameron's big society. Does anybody


mention that any more. Haven't heard it for a whie. Isn't the


Daily Mail not one of the losers? It is the biggest read newspaper in


the Eastleigh constituency. You have the biggest circulation of any


daily newspaper and you ran day after day, against Mr Clegg, on the


front-page, and they still won. don't think we are a loser at all.


I think the voters in Eastleigh ig nored the noise off and decided


they would vote on local issue, they are good at it, the Liberal


Democrats, Anna Soubry had a good point. I think if we had our time


again the Mail would have done it again. Nick Clegg behaved badly in


So, an exciting by-election in Eastleigh last night, but where


does it fit into the pantheon in this country - not all countries


have by-elections, but this country has by-elections, and we have had


many great by-elections in the past. As we say at the Oscars, this film


contains flash photography. So say bye-bye, Eastleigh by-


election, because it is not pie-in- the-sky to say you will miss it.


You see, these are isolated political contests, soaring outside


the confines of the general election cycle, can make, briefly,


a tiny place you had never heard of funds will -- characters you had


never seen before front page news. They can test the political waters,


signal a sea change and hand you the unexpected. Sceptical? Let me


refresh your memories. From sheer surprise, Orpington in Kent, a


safely won Conservative seat in 1959, a by-election in 1962 saw a


massive 22% swing to the Liberals, who had been down-and-out in 1951


at 2.5% of the vote. Not bad for Eric Lubbock, a local councillor


who was only the candidate after the Liberal who had stood in 1959


was forced to step aside after admitting bigamy. Orpington man


would not have approved. Baroness today, Shirley Williams back in


1981 took Crosby with a similar Shockwave as the SDP, newly-founded,


found it had an MP. There is not a single safe seat left in the


country. A higher mark for the SDP, but nine years later in brutal


after a merger of the Liberals and most SDP members as the Lib Dems,


those who had stayed separate had a nasty shock as the News of the time


pointed out. The other fragments of speech after the Lions who


disagreed with the merger were represented in Bootle.


The Liberal least avoiding the indignity suffered by the SDP, who


were beaten by the Monster Raving Loony Party. Screaming Lord Sutch


immediately offered an electoral pact to the SDP. One of the biggest


swings in by-election history was Bermondsey in 1983, won by Lib Dem


Simon Hughes against Labour's Peter Tatchell, a fight that has become


as famous for the controversial nature of the campaign as for the


margin of victory. The tragedy of this election is


that prejudice and bigotry triumphed over tolerance and


compassion, and smears and lies triumphed over truth and reason.


has not been a dirty campaign as far as we are concerned. We fought


a straight campaign from the beginning on the same issues before


they chose their candidate. In 2008, Labour activists in Crewe and


Nantwich, defending the seat held for so long by the late and


formidable Gwyneth Dunwoody, struck up a jolly wheeze to paint the


Conservative as rather posh. Most observers now suggest that it


helped boot the well heeled Timson into Parliament and signalled what


was to come for Gordon Brown. have sent a message, loud and clear,


that Gordon Brown just does not get it. Firmly enough, posh did come


back as a campaign tactic after David Cameron got into power. But


in Bradford West, they were never going to win. It was Labour


territory and most strategists assured us that Labour would hold,


which is why Labour were a bit surprised by this. This, the most


sensational result in British by- election history, bar none,


represents the Bradford spring. This is an uprising.


George Galloway, ending their report dramatically.


Now, is the BBC too wasteful? Some politicians think it is and one


Conservative MP is introducing a bill to make the BBC publish any


invoice over �500 and hand over all its accounts to an independent body.


In a moment, we will speak to Alun Cairns about his private member's


bill. First, let's look at how a lack of information from the BBC


has frustrated some MPs on the Public Accounts Committee back in


November. I hope he will understand why this


exchange is unsatisfactory. Many of the questions I am asking you, we


would already have the answers to if the National Audit Office were


able to operate the way been -- the way they normally operate. We would


have understood all this and be further ahead. I understand your


frustration. Good, because we have been trying to make this point.


understand the frustrations and to do with the weight things operate


for everyone. It is what it is, and I have to work within that. I am


trying to be as helpful as I can be. I am happy to go on as long as you


need me here. The problem is that we can't ask the right questions,


because we don't have the right data on which to base those


questions. I come back to the conflict of interest. You are in


essence the deal-maker, the regulator, and you are also


controlling both information. That seems a conflict of interest.


have had this discussion many times. Actually, it is down to Parliament


to decide it does not want to have a royal charter arrangement with


the BBC. It is in your control to change the arrangements, not mine.


Let's speak to Alun Cairns about his bill tackling accountability in


the BBC. What do you want to know? You will recall that after the


change of government in 2010, all local authorities were expected to


publish every invoice in excess of �500. That has changed habits


within local authorities across the UK. I want the same to happen to


the BBC. But is the BBC like a local authority? The BBC spends


public money. The licence fee is the greatest regressive tax in the


UK. It raises �3 billion, and we have a right to know where it is


being spent. Many examples have been exposed by the Daily Mail and


other papers, where maybe 170 staff are sent to cover US presidential


elections. Fortunes are spent on accommodation or taxi fares or


hospitality or retirement parties. We have a right to know how much is


being spent. The BBC would say it fully complies with public


procurement rules. It does appear before select committees on a


regular basis. Talent pay is published annually. Critics would


say you are just trying to pick at the BBC here. And not at all. BBC


journalists rightly scrutinised the expenditure of every MP, local


authorities and departments of government. It is right that that


is done. But I also think the public have a right to scrutinise


public money, �3 billion of it, and to establish where the waste is. It


would help the BBC. There is an expectation from the public to


analyse, and I am doing this as a friend of the BBC. Good to know! In


terms of what you are trying to gain from this waste that use


exists in the BBC, what are you looking to cut out? How much do you


think the BBC is wasting? That is precisely the point, because we


don't know and will not know until the data is published. Then we can


make an informed choice. At the moment, we are left to make a


judgement about 170 staff going to cover presidential elections. That


may or may not be the right number. We also have competition sometimes


between journalists, where they will not share resources when they


could. If we see every invoice in excess of �500, we can make a


judgment and that might concentrate the mind more among the BBC


managers. Do you accept that the BBC does operate in a predominantly


commercial sector? It could be placed at a competitive


disadvantage with commercial rivals if they had to publish everything


over �500. They obviously negotiate deals which could be better value


for the taxpayer. I think transparency would drive that


further, where by a competitor who could provide a similar service


could see how much was being paid and say, I could undercut that. It


is standard practice to be transparent these days, and the BBC


is the only organisation that is not transparent as other


departments off. A bit not be expensive and bureaucratic to


publish every invoice over �500? local authority did it on a


voluntary basis and it has changed the habits and save them an awful


lot of money. Before, they travelled first class. Now they


think, does it need to be that way? Before they take a taxi, they


question the way they go about business. Do you think, as a


journalist, would you like to know? I am sure it would be fascinating


to sift through every �502 invoice. No. You would end up with a lot of


invoices for �499.99. Secondly, what would shock me about BBC


spending would not be those kinds of numbers. It is when you pay


people six figures to leave the BBC. It is the huge pay-offs, the amount


of money spent on every on-air talent. Obviously, the amount spent


on you, Andrew, would not shock me. A BBC talent issue is brought.


Viewers would accept that BBC talent are the main presenters and


so on, but it goes beyond that. And because that is not subject to


transparency rules, it is something they can hide. It does not go far


enough. Auditing is the second part of the bill. The BBC is the only


public sector organisation that sets the terms of investigation by


the National Audit Office. If any other government department wanted


to do that, journalists would rightly complaining. We are purring


with pleasure and the Daily Mail. We think this is a tremendous idea.


Tell me something I don't know! wonder if we can find out how many


people the BBC employees. If you put the question to them, they


can't tell you. I around 24,000, I think. We don't know, that is the


point. The BBC needs to accept standards where the public sector


is expected to be transparent so that people can make their own


judgment. There might not be inefficient expenditure, but we


simply don't know. Alun Cairns, you are a friend of the BBC's(!).


Here are my invoices for over �500 from 2012. I am impressed. That now


satisfies me that there is no waste on the part of Andrew Neil. But you


have not seen mine. Now, anyone remember political life


before last night's by-election? I don't know. Here is the rest of the


week's political news in 60 seconds. To play - not a Scousers saying


hello, it is the credit rating the UK used to have until the ratings


agency Moody's downgraded us. The Chancellor said it was proved his


economic strategy is working - eh? The allegation of harassment


against Lib Dem Lord Rennard, who has always denied it, turned into a


leadership crisis for Nick Clegg, when he struggled to explain what


he knew, when. These concerns about Lord Rennard's inappropriate


behaviour were circulating at the time. And we found out who will


form the next government of Italy - no one. Everyone got a few votes,


but the star was comedian cum politician Beppe Grillo. Finally to


City Hall, where procedural shenanigans led to Boris Johnson


almost being checked out of a committee meeting. The mayor was


his usual understated self. Are you saying they haven't the guts to put


questions to me? Supine invertebrate jellies.


He is the Beppe Grillo of British politics. We have run out of time.


Thanks to both of you for being our guests of the day. The One O'clock


News is starting on BBC One. More on the fall-out from the Eastleigh


by-election. I will be back on BBC One on Sunday with The Sunday


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