01/07/2013 Daily Politics


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The sun is out here at Westminster, so join us as we discuss a huge pay


rise for MPs. Yes, it looks like the poor things will have one


forced upon them by the independent authority they set up to decide


such matters. But is it right in a time of austerity? Meanwhile, the


Tories want a married couples tax allowance. They are hinting at an


announcement in the autumn. But why wait? Croatia became the 28th


country to join the European Union at midnight. We will talk to the


leaders of a new campaign to fight British withdrawal. And can we


still trust the police in the wake of just too many bad headlines


about corruption and undercover All that in the next half hour. And,


with us for the duration, the former Shadow Home Secretary, David


Davis. But first, as I'm sure David will be delighted to learn, is the


thorny issue of MPs' pay. Louise Stewart is with us in our newsroom.


They get paid �66,000 a year. The proposal is they should get paid 10


basil pounds more? Is that right? The proposal is from the body that


sets these things was a -- tent �1,000. They should have an


increase to �70,000 and then increases on top of that. It has


always been a controversial issue. It was decided MP should not decide


and set pay levels, it should be done by this independent body. They


have suggested what David Cameron has said is unthinkable in the


current climate, unless they cut the cost of politics elsewhere. He


wanted to cut the number of MPs, which was vetoed by the Liberal


Democrats. Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband are saying that, at a time


when public sector workers - nurses, teachers, doctors, etc - have been


limited to a 1% pay rise until 2016, it would not be right. Should you


get a whopping pay rise? At the moment, it is madness, frankly.


private sector has come under huge pressure. It is barking mad. It set


is out of touch with reality. going to be forced on you. That is


ridiculous. Parliament can make its mind up about whatever it wants.


The Government may have to legislate to stop it. That would be


ridiculous, wouldn't it? I do not think when they started down the


road they thought that we would be in the powerless state we are


economically and that they would come up with a proposal like this.


We do decline to accept it? I would actually propose a motion to stop


it. -- which you decline? The public at large will not see the


point of this. That is the real issue. If you would put forward a


motion to stop it going ahead - she would not say whether you would


decline to accept it - is that because in principle, you think the


timing is wrong with public sector pay being frozen - in principle, do


you think MPs should get paid more? Given the time. This is the wrong


time. There is a massive issue about trust in public services


generally. Trust in MPs is not at an all-time high. This will do huge


damage to the bond between the public and every one. What is


proposed really is almost symbolic - it is not very much. It is long


overdue. The simple truth is that raising children - the purpose of


marriage in the day - his best in a stable household and the most


stable are married couples and we should encourage it. Is it a


priority for now? I would not wait. There is an autumn statement coming


up. Should it be means tested?The thing about the tax allowance is it


bites into whatever income you have. A tax allowance is a tax allowance.


Test something like that and it becomes very complicated. Despite


the problems with child benefit. Look what happened when they are


assessed that again. Is this a quid pro quo? I hope not. It is about


restoring stable families and married families. Tory backbenchers


at the moment feel they have a government that is not quite Toria


enough. This would help a bit. right. Thank you. Last night,


Croatia officially became the 28th member of the European Union. For


many Croats, it was a moment for celebration. Flags were waved,


fireworks set off and lots of people put on rather scary wolf


heads. But, whilst Croats are celebrating joining the EU, British


MPs will vote for the first time this week on a Bill, which could


eventually see the UK leaving. And even those who support continued


membership argue that the EU is in need of serious reform. A lobby


group, Business for a New Europe, is today launching a manifesto for


reform of the EU with the backing of MPs from all three main parties.


It says the EU should be streamlined - cutting down on


regulations and reforming the Common Agricultural Policy. That it


needs to focus on free trade with the rest of the world. And that the


single market should be extended to all sectors of the economy. The


group also has a warning for euro- sceptics. The manifesto argues that


Britain will achieve more of what it wants if it gets stuck in rather


But is that precisely what MPs are about to do? Another cross-party


group is today stepping up the campaign for a referendum on


Britain's membership of the EU. And, on Friday, MPs will have their


first chance to vote on a Referendum Bill, which calls for a


public in-out vote in 2017. It's a Private Members Bill being


sponsored by Conservative backbencher James Wharton. He has


David Cameron's backing but it could not be brought forward by the


Coalition Government because Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems won't


support it. And as for Labour... They say the Bill is a Conservative


Party stunt and that they will stay away. But Ed Miliband is also under


pressure from some of his own MPs to commit to a referendum before


the next election. Joining us now is the chairman of Business for New


Europe, Roland Rudd. Unless there is the threat of Britain pulling


out of the you can make you do not stand a chance of getting any


reform. I could not disagree more. We have a great chance of reform.


When you go around the Continent and talk to ministers from


different countries, they all say, we're hugely supportive of the


British competitive agenda. Regarding arguments in respect of


what is best for Europe and not just Britain and you will achieve


more. That is what we have done for our manifesto for a more


competitive Europe. No one would disagree with that. What about this


great chance of reform within the EU? I agree with what he wants to


do. Absolutely. Except the European Union. We have been making these


arguments for two decades, in my memory. I was making some of them


myself two decades ago in precisely those terms - it was good for


Europe. We had the odd alive. The Germans were on our side, the


French never were. -- ally. What has happened in the past two


decades has got worse. More regulation and more out of touch


with the public at large and more unpopularity. That is true to an


extent but right now is our opportunity. We had a senior German


minister and supporter at the launch. He did what you said,


saying how much he wants to see the things we want to happen in Europe.


It is not just Germany. When you go to Spain and Italy, the Italian


Prime Minister will be hit in July and he will be supporting the same


sort of reforms we put forward. He is in a strong position. When you


look at Spain, it has 10% of the current account deficit of GDP and


today it is zero. They have the cheek that through increased


competitiveness. You are talking about increase competitiveness.


Most people to agree with that but you said the EU does not. Let's


look at unilateral opt-outs. Who agrees with Britain to have them?


do not think unilateral opt-outs on the right way of phrasing the


argument. The Government has stopped talking about repatriation


and is starting to talk about reform. That is more achievable.


That is the way to get through on a competitive agenda rather than


getting one or two things will Britain alone. William Hague talked


about the red card. -- for Britain alone. He is making a good point.


One problem we see now, let's put trade to one side for a second. In


the Eagle/judicial area, European arrest warrant and 140 other issues,


largely we do not want to be part of. We have an opt-out on those.


They impinge on us in a way that no one foresaw 40 years ago. If you


listen to the police commissioner, or any of the security services,


they like the European arrest warrant. That is not an argument in


favour in my view. I think it is incredibly important to catch these


people. Their arguments are very clear. If you are going to do


without them, it is beholden upon us to say what we will use instead


Foster we have not put that argument yet. I would not be in


favour. -- instead. We have not heard specifically from the


Government of the other opt-outs which they are campaigning for. Do


you feel the rhetoric is being turned down at the very top? We


have not heard the word, repatriation, but will it be to do


with the Criminal Justice System? David Cameron, William Hague and Co


are setting a hurdle for themselves to leap. The higher they set their


Hurdle, the more likely it is that people will turn around in a few


years' time and say, he did not do it, we should leave. David will say,


I want to argue in favour of staying in. There is a real


conundrum at the core of government policy. Lawson pointed this out.


That is why you need to start the process now. If you wait until


after the next election, you have waited almost too long. The need to


build allies and reform now, try to achieve some of this now.


trouble is that there are just too many vested interests inside Europe.


Institutional, bureaucratic ones which will resist this. We need to


have believer. Without this referendum, we have no leader.


become too pessimistic. -- lever. It brings us to the politics of it.


There is not the agreement over what needs to be negotiated and


reform. The politics comes first. The Private Member's Bill is being


called a publicity stunt by Labour. Only Tory MPs will be voting on


Friday. If they do not turn up, that will be their choice was that


if they thought it was a publicity stunt, they could do a deal with


the Liberals but they do not have the nerve for that. What they are


talking matters calling for a referendum next year. If they did


that, they might well succeed. A lot of Tory MPs are on their side.


What do you think about Labour's discussions? They have not said


anything but they could actually call for a referendum next year and


get support from probably a fair and sizable chunk of the


Conservative Party and that would be that. It would be ill-advised. I


said if there were another treaty change which transferred power to


Brussels, there would be another referendum. I would not have had


one but I understand the party renegotiation of the relationship. I


think that if you back out of the referendum it gives you more power.


As the Irish, the Danes and Dutch have shown in the past. The police


have been in for a tough time of late as allegations of wrongdoing


continue to emerge. The latest being that there was an undercover


campaign to dig up dirt on the friends and family of Steven


Lawrence as they fought for justice for the murdered teenager. Today a


House of Commons Select Committee has recommended police officers


should have their pensions docked in serious cases of misconduct and for


a new code of ethics to set out what is and is not acceptable behaviour.


How badly damaged has the reputation of the police in England become and


can it be restored? David Thompson reports.


Steven Lawrence, Hillsborough, even Blebgate, a series of events some


believe have eroded trust in one of Britain's great institutions - the


police. I was a police officer for over 30 years. I am ashamed of what


my colleagues were up to back in the day. I think trust has eroded in the


police over the last few years and these allegations coming out at the


moment really don't help. The police have two very big problems. The


first is that they're not very good at talking to people, particularly


groups of people like young people that they're getting distanced from.


The second big problem they've got is they're just not good at


confessing. They're not good at saying this is the truth, we stand


by it, we are sorry about it and it is the whole truth. Are things as


bad as they seem? In a poll taken this year but before the Steven


Lawrence allegations suggested that 65% of the public do still trust the


police to tell the truth. That's behind doctors and teachers but


comfortably ahead of MPs and indeed journalists. But it's the


allegations surrounding people like Duane Brooks that will be hardest


for the police to overcome. It's claimed they were the targets of a


failed smear campaign and even covert recording. Some believe that


if true that had to be authorised from very near the top of the Met's


chain of command. My understanding is that the covert recording of the


meeting between the police, Duane Brooks and his solicitor was


actually signed off at a very senior level. One can only assume that the


other activities to undermine the Lawrence family were also sanctioned


at a similar level. The public should be very concerned if these


allegations turn out to be true. That at a senior level the police


were authorised to undermine the family, covert record meetings,


because those are the senior officers who were at the same time


publicly saying that you can trust the police, that we are going to


have a new regime, a new culture in the police that treats people with


dignity and respect. Many of the allegations against the police go


back to previous regimes, but it's the people in charge at the Met and


other forces now who have to regain public trust. Clearly the


commissioner and other senior officers have to say that things are


different now but of course are we going to believe them? What we need


to see is a clean record for a number of years before the public


will again trust what senior police officers say. With us now is the


chairman of the Hampshire Police Federation John Apter. We heard


about things that have scarred the police reputation over recent weeks,


smear campaigns against victims, including the Lawrence family and


Hillsborough. The list is not great for the reputation of the police.


What's gone wrong? I think many of these cases are historic cases, if


you look at Hillsborough and the Lawrence investigation, whilst there


are new allegations that have come to light recently they're all


historic cases and the Police Federation and the 135,000 police


officers who we represent would say that the victims from Hillsborough


and indeed the Lawrence family deserve a - and must have justice


and that must be seen to be done but these are historic cases which make


it appear that policing is broken and that's just not the case.


it a case of better transparency and the fact now that the police are


finding it more difficult to hide some of these historic cases or some


of the injustices that have gone on and there will be more of these


coming to light? I have been a police officer for 20 years. I have


seen the changes, the real positive changes across the country from


cases such as the Stephen Lawrence murder. Those great examples of


progress must not now be hidden. More importantly, the police


officers we represent, 135,000, as I say, there is a shadow over their


integrity because of the actions of a very, very small minority. We must


not allow them to dominate the headlines which sadly is happening


on a daily basis. How bad is it? Well, it is bad. He is right, he has


a very large number of members who are good upstanding public servants


committed to protecting the public. Let's get that clear before we


start. But the reason some of these are historic is because it takes 20


years to expose them. That itself is a disgrace and it's a disdpras on


the police force, I am a-- disgrace on the police force, I am afraid.


Some of it is not historic. Blebgate, Operation Alice and this


indicates it's still systemic. Some of those are about filling of logs


logs... When there is a transparent thorough investigation many times it


is shown that the police who do have difficult job in difficult


circumstances are shown to have been within the law and done what was


expected of them. I would expect that to be 100% of the time. The


problem with - you can't say look it's just 5%. 5% is massively too


many. Half a percent is too many. agree but police officers, they're


not robots. They're human beings. We are the first to say that they will


make mistakes. If police officers break the law they deserve rightly


to face the full force of the law. Indeed they do on many occasions.


They have, that's the problem, it's been to years to happen. -- 20 years


to happen. It's a small number of cases, significant but minor. I


could tell you daily dozens if not hundreds of cases where acts of


bravery, compassion, professionalism happen every day. One of the things


about saying they're and do act police officers with integrity and


professionalism is it's undermined by these cases. People do not trust


the police in the way they did. think it's wrong to say that the


public don't trust the police perse I said they don't just trust them in


the way they used to. Recent events have been damaging and it's up to


the Police Federation and ACPO and politicians to say this is a


minority. This is a minority. They must be held to account, they must


be -- there must be full transparent investigations. I think it's very,


very important to the relationship of the police and the public but


it's important to the upholding of law and order in this country. I


think it's time for a new era in British policing and a lot of things


need to change from the original standards through. Changing regimes


isn't necessarily changing the culture of the police and you


mentioned the federation but I interviewed the Police Federation


over the so-called Blebgate affair and there was a feeling that the


federation were defend defending police officers' actions before


knowing the full facts. Do you accept that needs to change, that


sort of standing together before even knowing what is necessarily


going on has to change? With plebgate there is an investigation.


Of course. I am using it as an example of... It's a representative


body that represents officers across the country. What we are seeing now


is there is an independent review into the Police Federation which I


welcome and that will see, I am sure, significant positive changes.


Some of the representatives told lies, bluntly. That's not yet been


found. It's clear enough... There is an ongoing investigation. Let's look


at some of the changes, some of the recommendations. Should officers be


fined for misconduct? Ironically they used to be and in 2008 the -


Would you like them brought in? an option for the panel members to


impose a fine which could be an alternative to something else.


pensions docked? Already happens. Does it? Indeed it does.Will that


make a difference if that already happens fine, but bringing back the


idea of finding? Just the penalties are not enough. This goes back to


the core of some of the ways some policing is done, the way logs are


kept, rules that are applied, the way that investigations are done.


Take plebgate as you call it, the Downing Street affair. That's what -


nine months now, you could have a baby faster than The Met has set


about solving a simple operation that took 45 seconds. Investigations


are complex and protracted. I would rather them be quicker, the IPCC,


some investigations can go on for years, not months. That's damaging.


All right. Thank you very much. Let's have a look at the week ahead.


This issue of MPs' pay is bound to run. An independent report is


expected to say they should get thousands more. But the Prime


Minister is urging restraint. As will the debate within the Tory


Party about whether to -- about when to recognise marriage in the tax


system. There is pressure from the Conservative back benches on David


Cameron to do so earlier rather than later. And Europe will feature


heavily with James Wharton's private member's bill being voted on this


Friday and joining us from a sunny College Green are Kate Devlin from


The Herald and James Forsythe is The -- from The Spectator. How big a


problem is MPs' pay going to be? Parts of what has happened is that


the public has not forgotten and not forgiven the furore over MPs'


expenses. The independent body that was set up to try and take these


issues about pay and pensions away from MPs really hasn't been


successful in separating MPs from the process. The public still think


they're in it for all they can get. This kind of process there's been


for the last couple of years to take them away from the process just


hasn't worked. If large increases do go ahead, MPs will get the blame


from the public. What can David Cameron do, because as Kate rightly


says this is an independent recommendation, or would be, the


idea is MPs won't vote on this, that they should accept the


recommendation? When they set it up it was meant to be independent. As


Kate says it was meant to stop the controversy over MPs' pay and


expenses by demrit sizing it. -- depoliticising it. David Cameron has


a difficult problem. A lot of MPs say we have fallen behind in sal


salary terms behind civil servants, senior civil servants ap other big


public sector professionals, people who run health trusts and they say


we should be paid more or you are going to end up with a parliament


with already people already wealthy or backed by a trade union can


afford to be in it but David Cameron knows the public would revolt over a


large rise for MPs at a time of austerity and it's going to add to


problems with his backbenchers, a lot say it's all right for you,


David Cameron, you inherited money, your wife earns a small fortune


every year, we don't. We need this cash. That will be something for him


to chew over in the next few weeks. Let's look at the bill on Friday


being voted on, on Europe. What impact Duke will have -- that impact


do you think that vote will have? couple of things it will do and I am


not sure what impact to be honest it will have in the end. It will be a


great set-piece, it will placate for a short time a lot of what have


wanted to see this. The cracks are starting to emerge. Already


questions about asked about what this means. Would it actually mean a


referendum? Basically, the problem starts to become if it's just a


set-piece without anything behind it, will there still be problems for


the future? All right. James, very briefly. It's a bonding exercise for


Tory MPs. They're going to have this barbecue on Thursday night and then


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