10/07/2013 Daily Politics


10/07/2013

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are joined by Nick Herbert and Hilary Benn to discuss the latest political news, including Prime Minister's Questions.


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Transcript


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Politics. Ed Miliband tries to distance himself a bit from the

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unions, but will the plan work and please voters, but leave the Labour

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Party penniless? Tell Sid, or should it be tell Pat. Will it see off

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opposition? What does the Queen think about press regulation? We can

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only speculate. The Privy Counsellors are to meet the Queen

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over a Royal chaverTer to keep their house in order. -- charter to keep

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their house in order. Could the legal profession be the next public

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institution to fall from grace? You mean it hasn't already?

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officially! All that to come. Some of the very finest public service

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broadcasting your licence fee can buy. To prove that, with us for the

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duration, the man who used to have two jobs, justice and Home Office

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minister, but he now has none. Nick Herbert is in good company, because

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we have another ex-Government employee, former Environment

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Minister and some how Shadow community secretary, Hilary Benn.

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Good to see you both. We like to help out the jobless. Our very nice!

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A mixed reaction for Ed Miliband's proposals to mend not end the

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party's relationship with the unions. Yesterday he said that

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Labour would no longer accept affiliation fees unless union

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members had specifically requested to contribute to the Labour Party.

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But this would, we think, we think, still leave unions political funds

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in tact to spend as the union leaders wished. Has he done enough

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to bring Anned to the party's troubles over union influence? Who

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should we ask? Of course, Kjo. course. 24 hours and many of the big

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guns have given their reaction to the speech. Tony Blair, a Labour

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leader who relished taking on the left-wing said this is a defining

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moment and I think it is bold and strong. He said the proposals were a

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reform of the Labour Party that is long overdue and frankly I should

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have done when I was leader. Confounding expectations, Len

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McCluskey, the General Secretary of Unite, the trade union at the heart

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of the controversy in Falkirk, because also supportive. He told the

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BBC the current status quo isn't acceptable and therefore a new

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relationship is something I'm very comfortable about. Not all trade

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unions were as emollient. Paul Kenny, the boss of the GMB said the

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proposals are as close as you can get to ending the union link. Mr

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Kenny said the reforms could see a 90% drop in the number of members

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affiliating to the party and equally severe funding drops could see

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donations drop from �2 million to around �300,000. That's from his

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union alone. Andrew. Thank you. Hilary Benn, it's all rushed? Ten

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days ago Mr Mel band -- Miliband had no intention of doing this, but now

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he's ending up copying the policy of Stanley Baldwin, Conservative Prime

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Minister in 1927? I don't think you quite got that right, because the

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current rules for setting up political rules and for members

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deciding whether they want to opt out of making a payment were put in

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place by a Conservative Government in the 1980s. What Ed has done

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yesterday is to set out a bold set of proposals, because since he

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became leader he has talked about opening up politics. People look,

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including at what happened in Falkirk and think they are a small

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group of people arguing about something and what does it have to

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do with us? To say to individuals to pay the levy, we want you to make a

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conscious decision to afailiate to Labour, to say to Londoners who

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support Labour, we would like you to play a part in selecting our

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candidate for the Mayor next time around. This is about opening up

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politics and the test of a leader when a crisis strikes and there's

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been a problem, is to try to sweep it under the carpet, or do you seize

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the moment? That's what he has done. If it's not rushed then and it's

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well-thought out, then we'll pale away -- peel away the proposals.

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Unite, if you are a member you pay a levy of �8. Is that the bit I'm

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allowed to opt out of if I want to? Under the law currently, when you

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join a union you can decide whether to opt out of paying the levy and

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that is not going to change, because that is the law that the

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Conservatives put in place. What will change is party will say to

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affiliated unions, for the members who want to affiliate to Labour,

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they must make a conscious decision. That is the change, that Ed has

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proposed. Of the �8, to use the Unite example, only �3 of that goes

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to the Labour Party. Is that the bit I'm opting out of it? No, members

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would be deciding that they want to opt in to affiliation to the Labour

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Party. Now, unions will still have funds. As you know that, they

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continue to use those. I'm trying to clarify, because the details are

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interesting. They are not clear. I'm not allowed to opt in to the

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political fund, that is part of union membership? No, you are wrong.

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I'm not right or wrong then. You are wrong. I'm asking you questions.The

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law is very clear. Unions have to ballot on the political funds and

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member when they are joined are asked, do you want to opt out of

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paying the levy and that's been the law for a number of years and that

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won't change. If you don't want to pay it you tick the box and you

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don't pay it. The whole �8?Whatever the political levy is. The �3 of the

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�8. No, you don't pay - whatever the levy that is set by the individual

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union, then unions decide currently how many members they affiliate and

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for that we want those union members who have agreed to pay the levy to

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decide. We want to make a conscious decision to be members of Labour,

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because we want to increase membership and bring working people

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who are members of trade unions into membership of the Labour Party.

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don't opt in specifically for the �3 of the eight to go to Labour, do I

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get it back? No, because you've - you have already decided to pay the

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levy and that remains with the unions. The consequence of this

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could be that the union leaders will end up with a bigger fund than they

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have now? They may, depending on how many choose to opt in. The second

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thing that we are proposing and Ed made the proposal last year, we want

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a cap on donations from unions and businesses,ed Conservative Party get

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-- gets a huge amount from businesses and individuals. At the

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moment the Conservative Party hasn't responded and David Cameron has

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indicated he wants a much, much higher cap on donations. We'll come

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to that. We need to take money out of politics. I'm trying to unravel

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what is being proposed here. We have accepted that the consequence of

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this, indeed it could be a major one, because a lot of union leaders

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think not many people will opt in to paying the Labour bit of the levy,

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is that union leaders will have a bigger political fund to back Labour

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candidates that they want to back? Unions will continue to have a

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political fund to make donations, but we are also proposing that there

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should be a cap on donations. Ed has proposed there should be a cap on

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expenditure limits in selections, but what this is really about is

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saying we want to open up politics and we want more people to get

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involved. You have said that.I know, but this is the important

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selling point. We are getting down to the detail. We want people to get

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involved. We are proud of the links with the unions. There would be

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nothing to continue to stop Unite doing what it's doing now, indeed it

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could do it with an even bigger political fund of identifying over

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40 constituencies in the country, where it wants to put its man or

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woman and put money behind these people, correct? Unions can of

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course make donations to the party centrally and to local

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constituencies. It's funds to back its own people? As to parties

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locally. Andrew, we are also arguing for a cap on donations. That is the

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really big prize and change and David Cameron is not responding.

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I'll get to that in one moment. Two final points. Will this mean the end

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of the privileged position of unions and voting for your party's leader?

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Ray Collins has been asked to look at what the consequences of this

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change are. We are going to wait for his report. We don't know the

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answer. We don't, because he'll advise on further changes he thinks

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might be able. Final question on this particular area, will it mean

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the end of the unions' privileged voting position at conferences?

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is also something that Ray can look at. We are taking the proposals that

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are being put forward. It's radical. We are seeing what Tony Blair had to

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say about them. He said he wished he had done that. This is a significant

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moment. Ed is probably the first party leader in history to say, "I

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want to make a change and it might result in us... ." He didn't want to

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make the change. It's about the leadership you show when a cry

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erupts. Ewants to make a change because it's the right thing to do.

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It may result in less money, but he thinks involving more people is even

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more important than that in politics. It doesn't affect you

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because you have have take taken from hedge fund managers and private

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equity guys and people who earn a tonne of money Anned -- and don't

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pay much tax? There is the question of the cap that should be re-opened.

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It was the Labour Party's res fusal to broker any notion that the unions

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should be reformed that stalled those discussions. What we have

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heard, there is a limit into how much will change in the Labour

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Party. Yes, apparently now provided the unions agree, if you weren't

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automatically enrolled as a member of the Labour Party if you are a

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union member, but you will still be in the political fund unless you

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decide to opt out. The automatic position where actually you are put

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into the political funds still applies and that means the unions

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can make donations to the Labour Party and constituencies if they

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choose to. What about the cap?I support the cap. I think it should

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be there. What should it be?The original discussion was �50,000.

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Would there be a cap on unions? course. It is perfectly reasonable

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to discuss it. How much?Ed said a year ago �5,000. Kelly recommended

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10,000. David Cameron has said 50. That means over five years an

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individual or business could buy �250,000 to the Conservative Party.

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It would apply to unions and to individuals and businesses. Why are

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the Tories not supporting that? in favour of a cap. We can discuss

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the level. We are. What do you think it could be? Could you persuade

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David Cameron? We'll hear what the Prime Minister has to say. I think

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there should be a cap, but I don't speak for him. There is a

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distraction from the undue influence that unions were having on Labour

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Party policies which extends to the whole areas. You say there should be

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transparency, but I was looking at the way you have the money into the

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run-up to the election and because one individual didn't can't to be

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seen to be giving a lot of money, he gave a tonne of millions, but it

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wasn't millions, but then you look down the small print and it turns

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out the wife gave money, the sons gave money, probably the cat gave

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money as well. You add up how much the family gave and it came to

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around �4 million. I don't know whether you can frame a law that

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stops a family from donating money as individuals. It means that one

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family gave almost 50% of what the whole of Unite has given. You've

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been able to work that out. The donors have to be named legally.

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That is absolutely right. It took a long while to get to that. Fine, but

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the point is that each donation has to be declared. If you can frame a

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rule that prevents family members from - His rule would. It would

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apply to individuals too. We'll come back to this. Thank you for that.

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It's interesting to get more details. I hope they're right.

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Remember this - Sorry, mate got to go. British Gas shares. They

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couldn't be easier to do. Phone this number. Place your information on

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how to apply. If you see Sid, tell him, won't you? It's two decades

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since the last large-scale public offering of shares. The most

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memorable being the sell-off of British Gas. Today, the Government's

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announcing the privatisation of Royal Mail, with shares made

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available to the public. There will be no big publicity campaign this

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time around, but shares will be handed out for free to 150,000 Royal

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Mail staff. Joining us now from Liverpool is Bailey haze, General

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Secretary of the Communication Workers' Union who oppose this.

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Welcome to the programme. Will you conditions. But when you say you are

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defending your people's conditions, I mean, those in favour say the

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commercial benefits from privatisation of the Royal Mail will

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help secure the postal service's long-term future?

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That's just nonsense. The post services are currently in profit.

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Its profits went up by 60%. It needs investment, it can borrow money on

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the open markets like Network Rail does and we've got an efficient

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postal service in the public sector. This is going to destroy postal

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services. You talk to anybody who 's using any utilities. The

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privatisation is an old-fashioned idea and will make matters worse.

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Why will it destroy the postal service? That's a slightly

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apocalyptic view. Why wouldn't it enhance it in terms of technology.

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The investment, wouldn'tn't it be better to get the money from private

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investment, rather than from taxpayers?

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Well, you see, currently the Government allows, for example, it's

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just allowed the Greater London Authority to borrow �1 billion for

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the improvements in the Tube service, the extension of the

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Northern Line. It could do the same for Royal Mail, it could borrow

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money on the open markets. Network Rail is currently borrowing �27

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billion on the open markets and it's looking for �50 billion. That

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doesn't go on the public sector borrowing requirement. We are talk

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youing about investment here in the company. The last argument they've

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got for the people who want to privatise Royal Mail is, it needs

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money for investment and we agree. How much? My estimate is something

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like �2 billion over five years. Network Rail borrows �27 billion

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currently. Borrowing money on the open market and it doesn't go on the

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public sector borrowing requirements. Let us can check your

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reaction to what Ed Miliband said. Do you agree with Paul Kenny of the

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GMB that the union reforms that have been suggested are as close as you

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can get to ending the union link? agree that it's a set of proposals

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that are completely muddled. For example, in the open primary that's

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been discussed for the Mayoral London elections, will the people

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afilliated to the Labour Party and members of our union be allowed to

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vote in the London Primary? I mean, listening to people talk about the

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proposals, I mean, it's about as clear as mutted to me -- - mud to

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me. All credit to Andrew Neil for muddling through. Nobody knows what

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the proposals are about, but I think what it's about is posh people's

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politics. The idea that ordinary working people which Trade Unions

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represent need to be excluded from politics because they're somehow or

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other saying it's dirty money, that's completely nowt the case.

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What do you say to Billy Hayes? opposite of that. It's about

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encouraging the union members to come and join Labour to participate,

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including in the Primary which we want Labour supporters to do as

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well. This is about opening up involvement in politics, it's about

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welcoming people at work who're Trade Union members participating in

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the life and the decisions of the Labour Party in a bigger way. I

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think it's a great opportunity, one that should be seized. That's why

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others have said they welcome this. Billy Hayes, back to you. What is

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your reaction to that? Well, youent think he's answered the questions

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about the mayoral elections in London. Where people hope to stay

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with Labour, will they be allowed to vote in the London elections? They

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have more right to vote given they've paid the political levy and,

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you know, support the Labour Party. Will they be allowed to vote? I'm

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all for opening up politics. The whole of the political process in

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this country feels as if it's stuffed with people who spend their

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whole lives in politics, as a special adviser or this or that, and

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it feels the same in all the institutions. I'm all for opening up

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politics. What we have got in this country is posh people's politics.

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Andrew Neil no less identified that and it was Peter Mandelson who

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blamed the Trade Union for not getting more people involved in

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politics. We'll leave it there. Thank you for that. Let me come to

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you, tonne privatisation of the post office. Why is your Government not

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taking the opportunity to do a Tell Sid on this? In other words, to

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spread the shares in the Royal Mail? It's our Royal Mail after all? To

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spread the shares acorrosion the country? The announcement's just

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coming, isn't it. But from what we have seen of it, it looks as though

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the proportion of the shares were... Shares for post office workers?

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Whether it should be spread more widely. We are told there 'll not be

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a Tell Sid campaign. That's right. It won't be a big

:19:54.:20:00.

publicity campaign. Here was a chance to spread the

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shares to people at advantageous prices. You are meant to believe in

:20:09.:20:13.

popular capitalism. This time it looks as no ethe big institutions

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will only be automobile to buy? will also be the workers.

:20:17.:20:22.

talking about the people who use it? The rest of us who don't work for

:20:22.:20:26.

the Mail, but own the Mail at the moment? There will be the

:20:26.:20:30.

opportunity reports But they are not going to do that? You are talking

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about whether there should be a marketing campaign. Let's look at

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the principle. Private ownership gives access to capital and allows

:20:40.:20:44.

the Royal Mail to compete. It's losing market share at so rapidly a

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rate. But something has to be done. It's not going to be a people's

:20:49.:20:51.

capitalism and it's not just marketing. The British Gas share

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price was set at a price. The pricing was key, because the frozery

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wanted a higher price but they took the decision to try and spread the

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shares as wide as possible to set a competitive price. You are not going

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to do that. It will be the big institutions. You have to take a

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decision in setting the price in terms of what the market will pay

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and to ensure the you can is Cesc of the floatation. You can't just take

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the view that you can offer it at a price that's a give-away, you will

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be criticised for that as well. It's important this is a successful

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privatisation for the future of Royal Mail which will protect the

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universal service. Thank you for that. Yesterday, she

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was enjoying the sunshine, sailing down the river on her Royal barge.

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Today, she's meeting the Privy Council to talk about press

:21:39.:21:43.

regulation. Yes, it's the varied life of a modern Monarch, but one

:21:43.:21:47.

former minister who won't be taking his place on the Queen's Australian

:21:47.:21:50.

shent advisory body today is Lord Prescott. He's resigned over its

:21:50.:21:55.

handling of press regulation. He's on College Green and he's joined by

:21:55.:22:04.

Trevor Kavanagh from the Sun. Welcome, gentlemen. Trevor Kavanagh,

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you have pushed ahead with your own regulator. Are you trying to hand

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out a fait accompli? We didn't set out to outflank them, simply went

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ahead with a plan we feel is worth looking at at the highest level

:22:17.:22:21.

while they sat on their hands for months and did nothing to actually

:22:21.:22:24.

get together a plan that they could put before the Privy Council.

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Doesn't it seem odd to you that ministers have ended up second in

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line for the Privy Council when Parliament expressed its will

:22:32.:22:36.

clearly back in March? It asn't actually. The leaders of the various

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parties have ganged together to stitch up the press with a 2 am

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pizza conference. There's never been a debate about this at all in the

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House of Commons, Jo, so this is not something Parliament has agreed.

:22:52.:22:55.

John Prescott, haven't they got every right to pip you at the post?

:22:55.:22:59.

Wait a minute, it's not right. I have a copy of the draft put in in

:22:59.:23:04.

March 18th. You can't can't say that. Every detail is in there.

:23:05.:23:09.

Parliament decided by 500 votes to put this. They didn't debate it.

:23:09.:23:13.

They could a second debate on it. This is the one that's ready now.

:23:13.:23:19.

The Prime Minister said it will go to the May Privy Council. They

:23:19.:23:22.

didn't put it to maismt I believe they are not putting it to July.

:23:22.:23:26.

They could put it today if they want. That will mean November. The

:23:26.:23:29.

Privy Council is being used to delay the whole business. That's how

:23:29.:23:37.

they've defeated it before. So now, it's being abused and I don't want

:23:37.:23:40.

to be any part of it. So I've resigned.

:23:40.:23:45.

John Prescott's taken a stand there, Trevor Kavanagh. It looks as if you

:23:45.:23:51.

are pressing ahead by using underhand tactics? In what way is it

:23:51.:23:55.

underhand, Jo? We have simply produced an alternative to the Royal

:23:55.:24:02.

Charter that we don't accept which is basically a statutory operation

:24:02.:24:05.

with underpinning. Whichever way you look at it, that's political

:24:05.:24:11.

interference in the process of the media which has been sacred against

:24:11.:24:16.

us for three centuries. Not all the papers agree with the charter.

:24:16.:24:23.

Nearly all. It isn't the Guardian, the Independent... Part of the

:24:23.:24:28.

hacked off operation. It's not a United one. Doesn't even fit with

:24:28.:24:31.

the independence by Leveson. So why is the Government... It's exactly

:24:31.:24:40.

what Leveson spelled out. ALL SPEAK AT ONCE

:24:40.:24:46.

Parliament's word against these press guy who is want to Dutch us.

:24:46.:24:50.

-- dump us. David Cameron and Nick Clegg from told the Commons they

:24:50.:24:53.

didn't have any choice, that they were advised by lawyers that the

:24:54.:25:01.

press had to come first. No, he said when we did the March 18th, when we

:25:01.:25:04.

produced Parliament's report, he said it would go to the May

:25:04.:25:08.

commission. He said it didn't go because it took legal opinion.

:25:08.:25:12.

No-one's seen the legal opinion, but theirs is a divided one. Why is it

:25:12.:25:17.

that they are only just putting the press won first which would talk us

:25:17.:25:20.

up to the election. Delay, delay, delay, is what the press have always

:25:20.:25:25.

done to defeat the last seven. is your party going to do about it,

:25:25.:25:29.

John Prescott? We are making it clear, they are unto the charter.

:25:29.:25:33.

The charter is a kid. They are entitled to make their view as

:25:33.:25:36.

leaders, I'm John Prescott, I'm not running the Labour Party, but I'll

:25:36.:25:41.

tell you this, if you go on like this, you will end up being kidded

:25:41.:25:44.

by the Royal Charter. And by the way, it will be controversial. You

:25:44.:25:48.

are going to involve the monarchy fighting Parliament because

:25:48.:25:52.

Parliament's clear. It has a view. Thank you both very much.

:25:52.:25:56.

John Prescott briefly on Ed Miliband's speech, the relationship

:25:56.:26:01.

with the units, Tony Blair's praised it as being brave and wished he'd

:26:01.:26:05.

done it, although he was never accused of being in with the unions.

:26:05.:26:12.

Billy Hayes says it's clear as mud? Hang on, all the arguments on one

:26:12.:26:16.

member one vote, under clause IV under Tony Blair changing the voting

:26:16.:26:22.

system. They were controversial, we debated it. Now we don't talk about

:26:22.:26:26.

Ed being weak, all the papers are saying he's strong. He's going to

:26:26.:26:30.

have the debate. Len McCluskey said I'll get the vote. That's the nature

:26:30.:26:35.

of the party. It gits controversial. It's about change, but at least this

:26:35.:26:38.

man's shown the framework he wants to work with and people should

:26:38.:26:42.

recognise he has the courage to do that. Is it the courage you say to

:26:42.:26:45.

end the link with the unions? doesn't want to, he's made it clear.

:26:45.:26:52.

I don't want to see it ended. Billy and all those opposed to clause IV

:26:52.:26:55.

change and one member one vote, but we made the changes. Gentlemen,

:26:56.:27:02.

thank you very much. Was that Michael Portillo standing

:27:02.:27:07.

behind them? ! I think it was! be, or one of the union members in

:27:07.:27:13.

disguise. We are good at winning things, the rugby, the tennis, and

:27:13.:27:19.

now the cricket starts today, the Ashes at Trent Bridge. It's not been

:27:19.:27:24.

a brilliant start, 31 for one. Still all to play for. They'll slog it out

:27:24.:27:31.

for the next five days. For what? An urn containing the Ashes of a

:27:31.:27:37.

cricket bale. Not even a bat, a bale. Isn't it about time they found

:27:37.:27:41.

a more fitting receptacle? We think it is. If you are feeling lucky, you

:27:42.:27:49.

too could be a winner of the Daily Politics.

:27:49.:27:53.

Mug. See if you can remember when this

:27:53.:28:03.
:28:03.:28:20.

Satisfactory peace... # Swing low, sweet Lord

:28:20.:28:30.
:28:30.:28:48.

to the Scottish people and to their king.

:28:48.:28:53.

It's an all-northern Cup Final as Blackburn and Newcastle take the

:28:53.:29:03.
:29:03.:29:18.

# Unforgettable... # To be in with a chance of winning

:29:18.:29:28.
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that Daily Politics mug, send your website.

:29:33.:29:38.

Do you think anyone's ever read them? I have!

:29:38.:29:43.

Doesn't get out a lot! Coming up to midday. There's Big Ben, a beautiful

:29:43.:29:47.

summer's day here in London. It means Prime Minister's Questions and

:29:47.:29:56.

Nick Robinson. A veritable ucopia of things to discuss at PMQs?

:29:56.:30:00.

Miliband will do party funding and will quote my guest, genuine guest,

:30:00.:30:06.

Sir Christopher Kelly's report from November 11 which said �10,000 cap

:30:06.:30:11.

on party donations if Labour agrees to end the system of Trade Union

:30:11.:30:14.

relationships they currently have. That is what he proposed yesterday.

:30:14.:30:19.

So I've no doubt he'll claim I've moved, rth will you move, Prime

:30:19.:30:22.

Minister. My guess is that the Prime Minister will say, we've heard you

:30:22.:30:26.

say that you have moved, but we are baffled about what it will mean in

:30:26.:30:30.

practice, as are indeed all the Trade Unions who've appeared on the

:30:30.:30:34.

programme. John Prescott department seem to have a clue either about

:30:34.:30:37.

what it would really mean, other than he was broadly in favour.

:30:37.:30:43.

see. Will it all be on the issue of process? I think so. I think David

:30:43.:30:46.

Cameron thinks he created the speech we saw by the Labour Leader

:30:46.:30:49.

yesterday. He'll want to talk about it and he believes he's making the

:30:49.:30:54.

weather. Let's find out. Here is the Prime Minister at PMQs.

:30:54.:30:58.

I'm sure the whole House and country will wish to join me in

:30:58.:31:03.

congratulating Andy Murray on his historic Wimbledon success. To

:31:03.:31:08.

become the first British player to win Wimbledon for 77 years is

:31:08.:31:12.

fantastic and it will go down in our history books. This morning, I had

:31:12.:31:17.

meetings with ministerial colleagues and others and in addition to my

:31:17.:31:27.
:31:27.:31:34.

duties in this House, I shall have The government is setting out plans

:31:34.:31:44.
:31:44.:31:58.

to modernise the Royal Mail and to allow modern people to own 10% of

:31:58.:32:03.

the shares. Could the Prime Minister tell us what support he's expecting

:32:03.:32:09.

to see for this measure? I think there will be widespread support

:32:10.:32:15.

around the country to modernise this great public service and to get new

:32:15.:32:18.

capital into this service and to make sure that 10% of the shares

:32:18.:32:23.

will go to the people who work for the Royal Mail. What is remarkable

:32:23.:32:26.

is it was proposed by the Labour Party when they were in Government,

:32:26.:32:31.

but of course, because the trade unions now oppose it, they have to

:32:31.:32:35.

oppose it too. Fresh evidence today that they are still in the pockets

:32:35.:32:45.
:32:45.:32:49.

of their trade unions paymasters. Let me first join the Prime Minister

:32:49.:32:55.

in paying tribute to Andy Murray, for his fantastic victory following

:32:55.:33:01.

Virginia Wade's victory in 1977. It was a fantastic achievement. He

:33:01.:33:04.

showed extraordinary determination and the whole country is incredibly

:33:04.:33:10.

proud of him. As the Government considers the issue of party funding

:33:10.:33:14.

reform, can the Prime Minister tell the House how much his party has

:33:14.:33:24.
:33:24.:33:29.

received in donations from hedge funds? I'm not surprise surprised -

:33:29.:33:34.

THE SPEAKER: Order, the Prime Minister will want to answer - I'm

:33:34.:33:38.

sure he will - I know he will want to answer the question that has been

:33:38.:33:42.

put to him and we must hear him do so. The Prime Minister. I'm not

:33:42.:33:47.

surprised he's got this sudden interest in party funding. However,

:33:47.:33:51.

let's be frank, every donation to the Conservative Party is fully set

:33:51.:33:57.

out and public. Let's be clear what this real scandal is about. It's

:33:57.:34:01.

about trade union fixing of political appointments to this

:34:02.:34:08.

House. That's what it's about. When he gets to his feet let's hope he

:34:08.:34:13.

addresses the 40 seats that Unite have fiddled and let's hope he

:34:13.:34:17.

publishes the full report and let's hope he tells - they don't want to

:34:17.:34:24.

hear! THE SPEAKER: Order, order. I'm

:34:24.:34:28.

always concerned about the rights of backbench members and they will be

:34:28.:34:32.

heard and if we run over for the purpose, because of this sort of

:34:32.:34:36.

conduct, so be it. They will be heard. Please, let's have a bit of

:34:36.:34:41.

order and some answers. The problem is they're paid to shout and they're

:34:41.:34:47.

doing nothing about it. I don't think he wanted to answer the

:34:47.:34:55.

question, did he? Let's give him the answer. The Conservative Party has

:34:55.:35:05.
:35:05.:35:10.

received 25 million from hedge funds. Now, next question. In the

:35:10.:35:18.

Budget, the Chancellor gave hem funds �145 million tax cut. Can the

:35:18.:35:23.

Prime Minister tell us was it just a coincidence? The tax raid under this

:35:23.:35:27.

Government is going to be higher than it ever was under his

:35:27.:35:33.

government. But let me tell him this important point. There is a big

:35:33.:35:37.

difference between donations to the Conservative Party and donations to

:35:37.:35:43.

the Labour Party. And the difference is this - donations to the Labour

:35:43.:35:47.

Party buy votes at your conference and candidates and MPs in this House

:35:47.:35:52.

and pay for the votes that gave him his job. They pay their money and

:35:52.:35:56.

bought their votes and put him in his place and that hasn't changed a

:35:56.:36:03.

thing. I'll tell him what the difference is, six pence a week in

:36:03.:36:10.

fees from ordinary people up and down the country. I guess the party

:36:10.:36:19.

funded by a few millionaires at the top.

:36:19.:36:22.

THE SPEAKER: Mr Ellis, you find it so difficult to control yourself.

:36:22.:36:27.

I'm sure you didn't when you were practising at the Bar. Calm it man,

:36:27.:36:33.

get a grip of the situation. What is shameful about it, he doesn't even

:36:33.:36:37.

know about the extra tax cut he gave to hem funds. Now, he says he wants

:36:37.:36:41.

reform. He says he wants reform. So I've a proposal for him. I'm

:36:41.:36:49.

willing, as I've said before, to have a �5,000 limit from unions and

:36:49.:36:52.

businesses and individuals as part of a reform in the way the parties

:36:52.:37:02.
:37:02.:37:03.

are funded. Is he willing to do that? Firstly, let me deal with six

:37:03.:37:07.

pence a week. THE SPEAKER: Order. We have to

:37:07.:37:14.

listen. Here are the figures since he became leader. 8 million from

:37:14.:37:19.

Unite, 4 million from GMB, 4 million from Unison. They bought the

:37:19.:37:25.

policies and the candidates and they bought the leader. I have long

:37:25.:37:29.

supported caps on donations. I think we should have caps on donations and

:37:29.:37:33.

they should apply to trade unions, to businesses and to individuals.

:37:33.:37:43.

But let me say this - THE SPEAKER: Order. Order. There is

:37:43.:37:51.

still far too much shouting. It's on both sides. The Prime Minister, I

:37:51.:37:59.

think is concluding his answer. me be frank with him, there is a

:37:59.:38:09.
:38:09.:38:11.

problem with a �5,000 cap and it's this - it would imply a massive

:38:11.:38:16.

amount of taxpayer support for political parties. Frankly, Mr

:38:16.:38:21.

Speaker, I don't see why the result of a trade union scandal should be

:38:21.:38:30.

ever taxpayer in the country paying for Labour. So there we have the

:38:30.:38:38.

truth. THE SPEAKER: Order. Mr Miliband.

:38:38.:38:42.

He's ducking reform. That's the truth. He's ducking funding reform.

:38:42.:38:47.

He doesn't want it to happen. Look, let's test his willingness to reform

:38:47.:38:54.

in this House. Current rules allow MPs to take on paid directorships

:38:54.:39:03.

and consultancies as long as they're declared. It's in the Register of

:39:03.:39:07.

Members' Interests. Members on both sides abide by those rules. I say,

:39:07.:39:11.

in the next Parliament, and this will affect both sides of this

:39:11.:39:17.

House, MPs should not be able to take on new paid directorships and

:39:17.:39:21.

consultancies. Does he agree? think what matters is that

:39:21.:39:26.

everything is transparent and open. Those are the rules. Look, he made

:39:26.:39:31.

me an offer - THE SPEAKER: Order. I said one

:39:31.:39:34.

moment ago, the Leader of the Opposition must be heard and he must

:39:34.:39:39.

be and the Prime Minister must be heard. He made me an offer. Let me

:39:39.:39:44.

make him an offer. If he wants change, I make this offer, there is

:39:44.:39:49.

a Bill coming to this House next week covering trade unions. If he

:39:49.:39:54.

wants to legislate to move from opting out to opting in, if he wants

:39:54.:39:58.

to give union members the chance to choose whether to donate, if he

:39:58.:40:02.

wants to allow union members to vote on whether they should give to

:40:02.:40:06.

Labour, we will legislate. Will he accept that offer of legislation?

:40:06.:40:16.
:40:16.:40:17.

Yes or no. Mr Speaker, I've got to say to him he's got to do a lot

:40:17.:40:22.

better than that and answer the question on second jobs. He has to -

:40:22.:40:26.

let me just tell the Prime Minister and all the members opposite,

:40:26.:40:30.

between now and the general election they will be subject to this test.

:40:30.:40:37.

Do they support second jobs, new directorships? Yes or no. That is

:40:37.:40:45.

the test. Let's try him on another test. I say

:40:45.:40:48.

THE SPEAKER: Order. The question must be heard and people that I

:40:48.:40:52.

might have thought about calling to ask a question, who are shouting

:40:52.:40:56.

from a sedentary position, might just as well leave the chamber.

:40:56.:41:04.

say this as well, as well as ending new direct orships, there should be

:41:04.:41:07.

a limit on earning on top of the salaries as they have in other

:41:07.:41:12.

countries. The public would expect nothing less from that. What does he

:41:12.:41:18.

say? What is interesting, he doesn't want to talk about the trade union

:41:18.:41:21.

stitching up Parliamentary selections. He doesn't want to

:41:21.:41:26.

address that. That is what this scandal is about. Let us ask what

:41:26.:41:29.

has actually changed since yesterday? Will the unions still

:41:29.:41:32.

have the biggest vote at the conference? Yes. Will they still be

:41:32.:41:36.

able to determine the party's policy? Yes. Will they still have

:41:36.:41:41.

the decisive vote in voting for the leader? Yes. That is the fact. They

:41:41.:41:49.

own you lock, stock and block vote! This is a man owed by a few

:41:49.:41:56.

millionaires at the top of the pile and everyone knows it. Here's the

:41:56.:41:59.

difference between him and me, I want action on second jobs, he

:41:59.:42:04.

doesn't. I want party funding reform, he doesn't. I am proud that

:42:04.:42:11.

we have links with ordinary working people. He's bank rolled by a few

:42:11.:42:17.

millionaires. The party of the people, the party of privilege.

:42:17.:42:22.

not the party of the people, it's the party of Len McCluskey. Those

:42:23.:42:26.

are the facts. THE SPEAKER: Order, we cannot just

:42:26.:42:30.

have a wall of noise. What we need is questions and answers. The Prime

:42:30.:42:34.

Minister. We are the party of the people. You are party of Len

:42:34.:42:39.

McCluskey. They buy the candidates. They buy the policies. They buy the

:42:39.:42:44.

leader. What is their policy on the Royal Mail determined by the

:42:44.:42:47.

communications union? What is their policy on health? Determined my

:42:48.:42:54.

Union. What is their policy on party funding? Determined by Unite. No

:42:54.:43:04.
:43:04.:43:05.

wonder he thinks that bud that. He wants to be reincarnated and come

:43:05.:43:14.

back as a proper leader. THE SPEAKER: Order, the question,

:43:14.:43:18.

however hong it takes, will be heard. Thank you very much. Three

:43:18.:43:21.

quarters of a million British people suffer from heart failure, a

:43:21.:43:26.

condition which uses one million hospital beds every year. Recent re

:43:26.:43:29.

research says low levels of air pollution can significantly increase

:43:29.:43:33.

this Is are being. Will the Prime Minister commit to meeting European

:43:33.:43:37.

standards on air quality, which if implemented could increase life

:43:37.:43:43.

expectancy by up to eight months? makes an important point about air

:43:43.:43:46.

quality. We have seen real improvements in recent years. It

:43:46.:43:48.

makes a genuine difference to public health there are important

:43:48.:43:51.

discussions on going, particularly about car emissions and I'll perhaps

:43:51.:44:00.

write to him about the conclusions. The Government has diverted EU

:44:00.:44:03.

regeneration funds intended for South Yorkshire to benefit wealthier

:44:03.:44:10.

parts of the UK. The Chair of Sheffield City have said that

:44:10.:44:14.

arguments of loeBgsals have been ignored and the decision will have a

:44:14.:44:18.

hugely negative impact on the area. Why has he ignored local business

:44:18.:44:25.

leaders? How can the Prime Minister justify allocating 34% more per head

:44:25.:44:33.

to Cheshire than South Yorkshire? have done a very fair assess

:44:33.:44:36.

assessment between the nations and the regions in the United Kingdom

:44:36.:44:39.

about how to distribute this money. We have distributed it in a fair way

:44:39.:44:44.

and I note if you look at Yorkshire and Humber you see enployment up

:44:44.:44:48.

11,000 this quarter and employment up 86,000 since the election. But as

:44:48.:44:51.

he is a member of Unite, it's not surprising he doesn't mention that

:44:52.:44:59.

fact. Does the Prime Minister welcome last Friday's vote to give

:44:59.:45:04.

the British people a say on their relationship with Europe? A vote

:45:04.:45:09.

with a stark contrast where the party opposite chose to stay away,

:45:09.:45:19.
:45:19.:45:27.

to squabble within themselves over this side of the House from the

:45:27.:45:30.

Conservative Party. What was noticeable is, even though there was

:45:30.:45:34.

a 19-page briefing from the Labour Party, which like every other bit of

:45:34.:45:37.

paper now refind lying around the House of Commons, they couldn't

:45:37.:45:41.

actually make up their mind which way to vote. Pf

:45:41.:45:46.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Does the Prime Minister agree with the former

:45:46.:45:51.

Conservative treasurer that the Munsefed from Azin Nadir is tainted

:45:51.:45:54.

and they have a moral duty to give it back and, will he return that

:45:54.:46:01.

money? The fact should start with the fact

:46:01.:46:06.

that his party's taken �1. 6 million, not a �5,000 cap, but �1. 6

:46:06.:46:11.

million from Mr Mills and advised him how to dodge the tax!

:46:11.:46:14.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Under the last Government, communities like

:46:14.:46:21.

Thanet were left and aJuan donned on benefits. Was the right honourable

:46:21.:46:26.

gentleman impressed by the thousands of jobs created? This Government is

:46:26.:46:31.

putting people back into work. Well, my right honourable friend is

:46:31.:46:35.

absolutely right and I was impressed on visiting Thanet to go and see the

:46:35.:46:40.

jobs being created by the London Array because it's jobs in shipping

:46:40.:46:45.

and for seamen, in terms of engineering and apprenticeships. A

:46:45.:46:48.

really important investment for the UK and we hope to see more.

:46:48.:46:53.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Is the Prime Minister aware about

:46:53.:46:58.

the importance of investment in infrastructure and widespread

:46:58.:47:02.

agreements about its job-creating potential. Can he tell the House why

:47:02.:47:06.

after three year, in office, the employment in the construction

:47:06.:47:13.

centre has fallen by 84,000 people? The employment in construction's

:47:13.:47:18.

currently rising. The recent news on construction has been very good.

:47:18.:47:22.

That is because we have an infrastructure plan, a fifth of the

:47:22.:47:26.

projects are under way, we have got road-building at far higher levels

:47:26.:47:32.

than it ever was under the Labour. They electrified five miles of

:47:32.:47:36.

railway line, we are going to be electrifying hundreds of miles of

:47:37.:47:41.

railway line. I know he doesn't mention the fact that he's been

:47:41.:47:45.

paying rent to Unite in his constituency office. Normally it's

:47:45.:47:50.

money from Unite to Labour, on this case it's money from Labour to

:47:50.:47:57.

Unite. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Is my right

:47:57.:48:00.

honourable friend aware that after yesterday's surrender of powers by

:48:00.:48:05.

the Home Office to the European Union by bringing the European Court

:48:06.:48:11.

of Justice into the arrest warrant, the Commission has welcomed it as

:48:11.:48:15.

pragmatic? Has bra thattively overtaken the Prime Minister's

:48:15.:48:21.

popular desire to repatriate powers? What I would say to my right

:48:21.:48:24.

honourable friend is that the Home Secretary's announcement yesterday

:48:24.:48:30.

represents the repatriation to the UK of 98 powers. There were 133

:48:30.:48:34.

items on the justice and Home Affairs list and that's a mattive

:48:34.:48:38.

transfer of power back here to the UK which I think my right honourable

:48:38.:48:42.

friend should welcome. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

:48:42.:48:47.

-- massive transfer. A career and her husband with Parkinson's disease

:48:47.:48:52.

were moved to a two-bedroomed property because he found it

:48:52.:48:56.

impossible to sleep when sharing a room. The cumulative effect means

:48:56.:49:01.

she'll have to find an additional �1,000 a year. Evidence has been

:49:01.:49:04.

published which says discretionary payment schemes are only actually

:49:04.:49:10.

benefitting one in ten. That's the scheme that Government ministers

:49:10.:49:15.

frequently pray in aid. Was it his intention that nine out of ten

:49:15.:49:20.

careers should face eviction, debt, arrears and bailiffs? Well, first of

:49:20.:49:23.

all, let me make clear that Disability Living Allowance, the

:49:23.:49:27.

main benefit received by disabled people is being uprated by inflation

:49:27.:49:31.

and excluded from the welfare cap. When it comes to the spare room

:49:31.:49:35.

subsidy, anyone who needs a career sleeping in another bedroom is

:49:35.:49:39.

exempt from the spare room subsidy. Of course, also there is the

:49:39.:49:43.

discretionary payment. Members opposite shake their heads. The fact

:49:43.:49:48.

is, they have opposed each and every one of our welfare savings. It's

:49:48.:49:51.

their poll sill to adopt our spending plans -- policy. They can't

:49:51.:49:56.

go on accepting the plans but criticising at the same time.

:49:56.:50:00.

It's one year since the Government suspended aid money that goes

:50:00.:50:04.

directly to the Kagame regime in Rwanda over the role they played in

:50:04.:50:08.

supporting warlords and militia gangs in the Congo. Recently, the UN

:50:08.:50:12.

confirmed Rwandan Army officers are still involved in such activities.

:50:12.:50:15.

Does my right honourable friend agree with me that these actions are

:50:15.:50:19.

unacceptable for a Commonwealth nation and, will he work with the

:50:19.:50:22.

international counterparts by ensuring those committing war crimes

:50:22.:50:27.

are brought to justice? The war crimes should always be brought to

:50:27.:50:33.

justice. I've raised the issue for support with President Kagame on a

:50:33.:50:38.

number of occasions. We need to bear in mind that fact. We should also

:50:38.:50:42.

recognise, and this goes across parties in this House, that British

:50:42.:50:46.

investment in aid in Rwanda has created one of the great success

:50:46.:50:49.

stories of African development over the last decade and we should

:50:49.:50:53.

continue to invest in that success and lift people out of poverty while

:50:53.:50:59.

delivering a clear message to President Kagame at the same time.

:50:59.:51:04.

Prime Minister, how many job jobs (inaudible)

:51:04.:51:11.

All members of Parliament have the cleers possible duty to their

:51:11.:51:16.

constituents. But let me make this point. Do I think the House of

:51:16.:51:20.

Commons benefits from people like the honourable member for Blackburn?

:51:20.:51:23.

And his experience? Do I think the House of Commons benefits from the

:51:24.:51:27.

honourable member for Sheffield Brightside who comes to this House

:51:27.:51:31.

with his experience? I think we do benefit. I'm not sure we benefit

:51:31.:51:35.

from my immediate predecessor, but there are honourable members

:51:35.:51:41.

opposite who give good service to this House.

:51:41.:51:47.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, we are all celebrating Andy Murray's

:51:47.:51:51.

historic victory this week. The Prime Minister may not know that

:51:51.:51:56.

history was also made in 1954 when Dave Valentine, a Scotsman, was the

:51:56.:52:01.

first man to lift the Rugby League World Cup trophy for Great Britain.

:52:01.:52:06.

With the 14th Rugby League World Cup happening this year, the first major

:52:06.:52:11.

sporting tournament on these shores since last year's wonderful London

:52:11.:52:14.

2012 Olympics and Paralympics, will the Prime Minister give full support

:52:14.:52:19.

and come to one of the games? wasn't aware of that important piece

:52:19.:52:23.

of history and I'm grateful for him bringing me up-to-date on that. I

:52:23.:52:26.

strongly support the fact we are holding this tournament and will

:52:26.:52:31.

give it all the support we can. We have the small issue of the Ashes

:52:31.:52:37.

which is very important as well. Thank you, Mr Speaker. When the

:52:37.:52:42.

Prime Minister entertained the hedge fund owners of Circle Health, the

:52:42.:52:46.

private hospital company, to a dinner for donors in Downing Street,

:52:46.:52:54.

what did he promise in return for their �863,000 donation to the Tory

:52:54.:53:01.

party? Let me give him the figures. �8

:53:01.:53:07.

million from Unite, �4 million from GMB, �4 million from unison. And the

:53:07.:53:12.

difference is this - those donations, they buy your leader.

:53:12.:53:22.
:53:22.:53:23.

They buy your policy. They buy... THE SPEAKER: Order, order!

:53:23.:53:27.

Does the Prime Minister agree with me that it's welcomed that 2,500 out

:53:27.:53:31.

of workhouse holds in London can no longer claim more...

:53:31.:53:36.

THE SPEAKER: Order. Mr Lord's question must be heard!

:53:36.:53:41.

Mr Lord? These out of workhouse holds can no longer claim more than

:53:41.:53:49.

the average work family earning, a welfare reform opposed by the party

:53:49.:53:53.

opposite? The party opposite have opposed

:53:53.:53:57.

every single welfare change we've made. �86 billion in total, and

:53:57.:54:03.

people in this country, including Trade Union members, will find it in

:54:03.:54:06.

xplicable why the party opposite think you ought to be better off on

:54:06.:54:10.

benefits than in work. Shows that they have the wrong relationship

:54:10.:54:14.

with the unions and have the wrong values too.

:54:14.:54:19.

Can the Prime Minister tell the House (inaudible)

:54:20.:54:24.

THE SPEAKER: Order. Some basic manners would suggest

:54:24.:54:31.

that the question be heard. Just as I said about Mr Lord, so too Cathy

:54:31.:54:35.

Jamieson will be heard. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

:54:35.:54:39.

Perhaps the Prime Minister could tell the House whether the donations

:54:39.:54:42.

to the Conservative Party had any influence on the Foreign Secretary's

:54:42.:54:47.

intervention in his company's tax dispute?

:54:47.:54:51.

The donations to the Conservative Party do not buy votes at our Party

:54:51.:54:56.

Conference. They don't buy votes for our leader. They don't mean you can

:54:56.:55:00.

select candidates. That is the unhealthy relationship in British

:55:00.:55:07.

politics. They can say all they want, but they've been found out in

:55:07.:55:10.

Falkirk and are being found out across the country.

:55:10.:55:17.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Every Shropshire child receives

:55:17.:55:21.

�4,612 per annum for their education. In other parts of the

:55:21.:55:30.

country, that figure is as high as �7,000 to �9,000. This is completely

:55:30.:55:34.

unjust and puts Shrewsbury children at a disadvantage. Will the Prime

:55:34.:55:37.

Minister do all he can to help the Education Secretary to change this

:55:37.:55:41.

funding Meg name before the unions try to block it? We agree the

:55:41.:55:43.

current system is unfair and my right honourable friend gave the

:55:43.:55:47.

figures. We have committed to consulting on how best to introduce

:55:47.:55:51.

a national funding formula for 2015-16. We'll consult widely with

:55:51.:55:55.

all of the interested parties to get this right. We'll obviously include

:55:55.:55:57.

all Members of Parliament and I know that my right honourable friend, the

:55:57.:56:01.

member for Shrewsbury, will campaign very hard on that issue.

:56:01.:56:06.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Tory chair of the Treasury

:56:06.:56:10.

Select Committee's described the Government's banking reforms as

:56:10.:56:16.

falling short and, in some respects, virtually useless. Is this the pay

:56:16.:56:23.

off for all the millions the bank banks... (Inaudible) Is this

:56:23.:56:26.

Commission that commissioned the Vickers Report, committed to a

:56:26.:56:30.

ringfence around retail banks, it's this Government that's legislating

:56:30.:56:33.

to have criminal sanctions against bankers. What did the last

:56:33.:56:39.

Government do? What did those two do when they were sitting in the

:56:39.:56:45.

Treasury, when Northern Rock were handing out 110% mortgages? They

:56:45.:56:52.

were knighting Fred Goodwin. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

:56:52.:56:58.

Mr Speaker, on Friday, the town centre of Bury will fall silent as

:56:58.:57:06.

the people of Bury lead the nation in paying respects to drummer Lee

:57:06.:57:09.

Rigby, so horrifically murdered on the streets of Woolwich. Will the

:57:09.:57:14.

Prime Minister join with me in paying tribute to all his family and

:57:14.:57:19.

friends and his comrades in the Fusiliers for their calm and

:57:19.:57:24.

dignified response to their loss and thank all those in the church, Armed

:57:24.:57:29.

Forces, police and Public Services who've been engaged in the planning

:57:29.:57:34.

and preparation for the funeral? My right honourable friend speaks

:57:34.:57:37.

for the whole country and the whole House when he talks about this

:57:37.:57:41.

issue. We should all pay tribute to drummer Lee Rigby for his service to

:57:41.:57:47.

our country. I heard about it at first hand when in Afghanistan and

:57:47.:57:50.

meeting members of his regiment. We should pay tribute to his family, to

:57:50.:57:53.

all the pain and difficulty they are going through. I'm sure it will be a

:57:53.:57:58.

very fitting and moving service on Friday and the whole country will be

:57:58.:58:03.

mourning with them. I have a JCB factory in my

:58:03.:58:07.

constituency and I represent their Parliamentary interests as part of

:58:07.:58:11.

my Parliamentary duties. Will the Prime Minister tell us how much the

:58:11.:58:17.

Foreign Secretary was paid by JCB whilst he was in opposition?

:58:17.:58:21.

JCB is a Great British company that exports all over the world. Instead

:58:21.:58:26.

of trying to take it down, we should be celebrating it. It's opening

:58:26.:58:30.

businesses, creating employment, it's training apprenticeships, it's

:58:30.:58:34.

backing our academy programme. How typical of the party opposite. All

:58:34.:58:42.

they want to do is talk down Great British businesses.

:58:42.:58:48.

Does the Prime Minister agree that what this Government does, as it

:58:48.:58:53.

helped us save the Medway Insolvency Service is represent the interests

:58:53.:58:58.

of ordinary, decent Trade Unionists who too often are lions led by

:58:58.:59:01.

donkeys? I absolutely agree with my right

:59:01.:59:05.

honourable friend. Can I pay tribute to him for his work in saving the

:59:05.:59:10.

Medway Insolvency Service. This is important and the fact is, the party

:59:10.:59:15.

opposite is in hock to union leaders and that is why they refuse to

:59:15.:59:19.

investigate the scandal of these rigged appointments. That is what

:59:19.:59:29.

this is scandal is about and that's what they refuse to talk about.

:59:29.:59:34.

Major contributors to Conservative Party funds... . Could the Prime

:59:34.:59:37.

Minister say what role will be played in Conservative Party

:59:37.:59:40.

planning policy? As a member of Unite, she speaks

:59:40.:59:44.

with great authority on this subject. Let me explain again - when

:59:44.:59:48.

people donate to the Conservative Party, they are not buying votes for

:59:48.:59:52.

the leader, they are not buying policies, they are not buying votes

:59:52.:59:56.

to the Party Conference. The reason the right honourable gentleman has

:59:56.:00:01.

his job is that Trade Unions bought votes in the Labour Party and put

:00:01.:00:06.

him where he is. That doesn't happen in any other political party. If

:00:06.:00:09.

they've got any sense at all, they'll realise it's profoundly

:00:09.:00:15.

wrong. I'm sure the Prime Minister will

:00:15.:00:21.

agree with me that there's no better way to build a stronger economy and

:00:21.:00:28.

a fairer society than through apprenticeships. In Solihull, the

:00:28.:00:31.

number of apprenticeships has nearly doubled already and I'm on a mission

:00:31.:00:37.

to build on the success by working with local businesses to create 100

:00:37.:00:41.

new apprenticeships in 100 days. Will the Prime Minister support this

:00:41.:00:46.

objective? I certainly support her campaign, as

:00:46.:00:52.

I would to all members to encourage to take up apprenticeships. It's

:00:52.:00:56.

about encouraging young people and businesses as well. In the West

:00:56.:01:00.

Midlands, we have Jaguar Land Rover powering ahead taking on many more

:01:00.:01:05.

employees and investing heavily in apprenticeships. Thank you very

:01:05.:01:11.

much, Mr Speaker. This morning I had a person threatening to commit

:01:11.:01:16.

suicide because they were so depressed from the effect of welfare

:01:16.:01:21.

reform. I would like to say this was unique, Mr Speaker, but it wasn't.

:01:21.:01:24.

Can the Prime Minister tell the House today what is Government is

:01:24.:01:29.

doing to analyse the effect of the welfare re reform and how he will

:01:29.:01:34.

react to it? As I said many times, I'm always happy to look at

:01:34.:01:39.

individual casings, but the fact is, we badly need to have welfare

:01:39.:01:42.

reform, the system was completely out of control. Housing Benefit was

:01:42.:01:48.

out of control. DLA had gone up by over a third. We need reforms and

:01:48.:01:53.

it's no good the Shadow Chancellor gesticulating. He now is in favour

:01:53.:01:57.

apparently of welfare reform. The only problem is that he opposed all

:01:57.:02:07.
:02:07.:02:13.

86 billion of the reforms that we'd made. Engineering work is under way

:02:13.:02:16.

to finance Swindon. Does the Prime Minister agree with me that it's a

:02:17.:02:21.

good example of Spencible investment in infrastructure leading to

:02:21.:02:23.

economic growth for Gloucestershire? My right honourable friend is

:02:23.:02:27.

absolutely right. Investing particularly in some of the branch

:02:27.:02:30.

lines, single track lines like some of the ones that serve my

:02:31.:02:34.

constituency and turning them into double, makes the service far better

:02:34.:02:38.

and we can get more people on trains and out of cars and use the service

:02:38.:02:48.
:02:48.:02:52.

like that. What I said to the honourable gentleman is that he

:02:52.:02:56.

needs to examine again this relationship between the unions and

:02:56.:03:00.

the Labour Party. That that's the problem. They do this, yes, they

:03:00.:03:04.

give you the money, they buy the votes, they buy the leader. That's

:03:05.:03:14.
:03:15.:03:17.

how it works.let oo Prime Minister's Questions comes to an end. It was a

:03:17.:03:22.

noisy rum bustious PMQs. Hasn't been that noisy for a while. It was all

:03:22.:03:30.

about party funding in the exchanges between the two frontbenches. Mr

:03:30.:03:34.

Miliband depicted Mr Cameron as being financed by millionaires and

:03:34.:03:37.

hedge fund magistratements and Mr Cameron depicting Mr Miliband as

:03:38.:03:43.

being in the pockets of the union leaders as some things never change

:03:43.:03:53.
:03:53.:04:03.

in British politics. This is one of scaring the people into voting for

:04:03.:04:11.

them. Dave, you have UKIP breathing down your neck. Jill said, as usual

:04:11.:04:14.

they accused each other of being corrupt. The sad part is they are

:04:14.:04:22.

both probably right. Helen said Ed's predictable today. Amazing how he

:04:22.:04:26.

wants to change the debate when they are trying to fix the candidate

:04:26.:04:30.

voting system. They must think we were all born yesterday. Isabel

:04:30.:04:36.

says, "It's giving me a sore head listening to the constant shouting.

:04:36.:04:46.
:04:46.:04:46.

They're like children in the playground." Class wear fair never

:04:46.:04:52.

dies in this country, does it, Nick? I just sometimes wonder whether this

:04:52.:04:59.

argument about process not about how to build homes or grow the economy

:04:59.:05:03.

or make society fairer, whether it doesn't just go over the heads of a

:05:03.:05:08.

lot of people? The other thing it may do is convince people to say

:05:08.:05:12.

well they are all as bad as each other and they're all corrupt in

:05:12.:05:17.

some way. Labour did to David Cameron what the Tory backbenchers

:05:17.:05:21.

had done last week to Ed Miliband. They were organised and they all

:05:21.:05:24.

this questions about hedge funds who had been to dinner at Downing Street

:05:24.:05:28.

and given a lot of money. Last week it was all about Unite. What is the

:05:28.:05:33.

impression? Remember, largely because we no longer have a Lib Dem

:05:33.:05:37.

voice, the leader was able to pop up and he would have been able to

:05:37.:05:43.

playing on both your houses. The result was you just get this wall of

:05:43.:05:47.

noise and it's worth saying to viewers watching, they may think why

:05:47.:05:52.

does the speaker keep popping up. You honestly wouldn't be able to

:05:52.:05:57.

hear them in there. It's because the microphones are directional and they

:05:57.:06:01.

are programmed to get the sound close to the speaker and you need to

:06:01.:06:04.

get a sense of quite how noisy it is, but as you say, we have the

:06:04.:06:08.

claim on the one hand from Labour, they are the people's party against

:06:08.:06:11.

the party of privilege and the claim from the Conservative Party that

:06:11.:06:15.

Labour have been bought lock, stock and block vote as the Prime Minister

:06:16.:06:21.

put it by the unions. The funny thing is that report I mentioned

:06:21.:06:27.

before, Sir Christopher Kelly, they posed a cap on donations, agreed by

:06:27.:06:32.

all party leaders. The argument is about the level. He says 50 K a year

:06:32.:06:36.

and Ed says five. He also said that was only possible if Labour moved

:06:36.:06:40.

way from a system that they have, exactly what Ed Miliband announced

:06:40.:06:43.

he intended to do yesterday. The people are automatically signing up

:06:44.:06:47.

to the Labour Party. If you came down from Mars and you read the

:06:47.:06:52.

report and you would think there was the makings of a deal. There was a

:06:52.:06:56.

five between five and 50, but there should be a deal. That gives you the

:06:56.:06:59.

impression there is not the slightest chance. The Prime

:06:59.:07:09.
:07:09.:07:12.

Minister's claim is that whereas that union donations by influence --

:07:12.:07:16.

buy influence, that rich folks' donations buy no influence on policy

:07:16.:07:22.

on the Conservatives. Is that really credible? People who make major

:07:22.:07:25.

donations to the Conservative Party wine and dine regularly with

:07:25.:07:28.

Conservative leaders and Cabinet ministers. They have special dinners

:07:28.:07:33.

at party conferences, where all the Tory leaders turn up and they see

:07:33.:07:40.

them regularly. Are we really meant to believe that all of that social

:07:40.:07:46.

meeting that follows major donations has no influence at all? He was

:07:46.:07:49.

drawing the contrast between formal influence, where there is a formal

:07:49.:07:56.

input over the policy process, which is what happens to the Labour Party.

:07:56.:07:59.

Ed Miliband wouldn't be there and what happens when someone makes a

:07:59.:08:03.

donation to the Conservative Party, they can seek to influence, but in

:08:03.:08:08.

the end it's transparent and they have no formal say over policy.

:08:08.:08:14.

unions are transparent too. There are plenty of people who have

:08:14.:08:19.

expressed dissatisfaction with the policies. Plenty of individuals have

:08:19.:08:22.

expressed that. Doesn't it pass the smell test for ordinary viewers if

:08:23.:08:27.

you give a couple of million to the Conservative Party and then that

:08:27.:08:32.

gets you all sorts of access to social occasions and even working

:08:32.:08:36.

dinners with leaders of the Conservative Party that the

:08:36.:08:39.

Conservatives are not in anyway influenced by these people? That's

:08:39.:08:45.

why there needs to be a cap on donations. Nick is right, that has

:08:45.:08:49.

been agreed. They do have an influence? Of course, and it would

:08:49.:08:53.

be better to have a cap. The Prime Minister is wrong when he says they

:08:53.:08:58.

don't have an influence? I think it's just playing with words. What

:08:58.:09:02.

we need to have is confidence in the system. There should be a cap. I go

:09:02.:09:06.

back to the fact that as the former General Secretary of the Labour

:09:06.:09:11.

Party admitted in his book, the talks collapsed or were collapsed by

:09:11.:09:14.

Labour, because they wouldn't move on union funding. The view that was

:09:15.:09:18.

taken by the others at the time is you can't have a cap on donations

:09:18.:09:22.

and yet allow millions of pounds to flow through from the unions to the

:09:22.:09:26.

Labour Party. If the Labour Party will agree that not just the

:09:26.:09:30.

affiliation fee but the political fund as well is covered by all of

:09:30.:09:34.

this, that people should have to opt into political fund too, then yes,

:09:34.:09:38.

of course, we can go back to the position and talk about a cap. That

:09:38.:09:41.

would be better. There is transparency on donations. People

:09:41.:09:45.

can look to see who is donating. They don't have an influence over

:09:45.:09:54.

the formal policy. They don't. What about Adrian Beacroft. He lobbied

:09:54.:10:01.

David Cameron on workers' rights and got to write a report on it and the

:10:01.:10:09.

document became Government poll -- policy. What about JCB. They've

:10:09.:10:12.

lobbied on various matters and commissioned a report by the Prime

:10:12.:10:18.

Minister on industrial policy. They have bought direct access to the

:10:18.:10:22.

Conservative Party. The central recommendation of the report was

:10:22.:10:25.

rejected by the Government. Many others were accepted. It's a public

:10:25.:10:29.

report. You can judge the merits on it. Here was a businessman who

:10:30.:10:33.

advised on competitiveness. I cannot think of a better person than to

:10:33.:10:40.

advise on industrial policy than Sir Anthony Bamford who is leader of

:10:40.:10:46.

JCB. He is a word leader. Every single pound of his money is

:10:46.:10:49.

published and it's apparent and people can make their judgment. I go

:10:49.:10:52.

back to the fact, we are not disagreeing about the fact that

:10:52.:10:57.

there should be a cap. Why should it be? That is, as the Prime Minister

:10:57.:11:00.

said, a matter for discussion. It was the Labour Party who walked away

:11:00.:11:05.

because they refused to accept the fact that the unions would not be a

:11:05.:11:09.

part of it. That is where the focus should lie. The unions now seem to

:11:09.:11:13.

be a part of it. The point though that the Prime Minister made is

:11:13.:11:18.

probably correct, isn't it, Hilary Benn, that if you go down to a

:11:18.:11:21.

donation as low as 5,000 being the cap in the end the taxpayer will

:11:21.:11:26.

have to stump in and finance your parties? I don't think there's a

:11:26.:11:29.

public appetite for that. No.For reasons I think all of us

:11:29.:11:35.

understand. Look, the Prime Minister was - The last report, I'm sorry to

:11:35.:11:42.

interrupt, but the last report did say that if you went to a cap double

:11:42.:11:48.

that, �10,000, every Westminster vote would then get �3 given by the

:11:48.:11:54.

taxpayer to political parties and therefore a euro election vote would

:11:54.:11:57.

get �1. 50 as a piece of information. Sure. Look, I think

:11:57.:12:02.

what the public wants, they want to rereform of the system and the fact

:12:02.:12:06.

that why did the head funds get a large tax cut in the budget? The

:12:06.:12:09.

Prime Minister couldn't answer that. He wasn't prepared to say what he

:12:09.:12:13.

will do in answer to Ed Miliband on a cap on donations and we have

:12:13.:12:19.

moved, as you've acknowledged, and that is what Ed did. Because you've

:12:19.:12:26.

had to. You refused to talk before because you didn't want the unions

:12:27.:12:30.

to be affected. You've oenT moved because you had to, because of the

:12:30.:12:34.

scandal of Unite trying to buy influence in the party in not just

:12:34.:12:37.

one Parliamentary selection, but 40 of them and you still haven't

:12:37.:12:42.

answered questions about that. the case. - You have a Unite

:12:42.:12:47.

official leading the inquiry. case has been referred to the

:12:47.:12:52.

police. A crisis arose and what Ed decided to do was lead from the

:12:52.:12:57.

front and make a profound change, which everybody has acknowledged.

:12:57.:13:01.

The Prime Minister wouldn't answer on paid directorships and the like.

:13:01.:13:06.

Nick, you know, see the grainy footage that we've been suspected to

:13:06.:13:09.

as members of Parliament have been discussing how much they might

:13:09.:13:12.

charge in response to businesses that approach them. The fact is that

:13:12.:13:17.

shouldn't have a place in Parliament, which is why Ed Miliband

:13:17.:13:20.

said today that they shouldn't be allowed. What is the Prime

:13:20.:13:27.

Minister's position and yours on that? Quick response. I don't know.

:13:27.:13:35.

Blunket, Straw, Brown, who are the biggest earners outside the --

:13:35.:13:41.

blunket, Straw, Brown, who are the biggest earners outside the party.

:13:42.:13:48.

The danger here is the sum of the proposals will lead to the wholesale

:13:48.:13:51.

professionalisation of the parties, where there is no outside interests.

:13:51.:13:55.

If you are a minister you give all up, but there is quite a big

:13:55.:13:58.

question whether for instance you are a director of a family company,

:13:58.:14:02.

or whether you are a solicitor, if you have some outside experience or

:14:02.:14:06.

interest, whether you should not be allowed to have that at all. I

:14:06.:14:10.

wonder if that's whether the public want that. I agree.You are putting

:14:10.:14:15.

this down as a smokescreen to deflect. I'm not talking about

:14:15.:14:23.

experience. It's people because they've been elected as a MP. -- an

:14:23.:14:28.

MP. I'm talking about new ones. No ones that they bring in. If they've

:14:28.:14:32.

founded a family firm, it's different. It's people who are

:14:32.:14:37.

approached once elected to come on the boards and what Ed Miliband is

:14:37.:14:46.

saying it's stopping now. I need to hear from Nick Robinson. I do

:14:46.:14:50.

sometimes despair. The one view I'm allowed to have as BBC political

:14:50.:14:53.

editor I believe in politics. I think it's a good thing. The slight

:14:53.:14:58.

feeling of despair I have to say that I have today is that with a

:14:58.:15:01.

recommended pay rise for MPs tomorrow, being made not by them,

:15:01.:15:05.

but being made by aned pent body, it will be less than �10,000 a year,

:15:05.:15:11.

but it will seem like a fortune to many watching this. There is not a

:15:11.:15:14.

lot these guys can do about it. They would have to overturn that. But

:15:14.:15:17.

with that, with Labour saying the Tories are corrupt as they take

:15:17.:15:22.

money from the rich and the Tories say their corrupt with the unions

:15:22.:15:25.

and now we are talking second earnings. I have a horrible feeling

:15:25.:15:29.

that the only impact on most people will be to say a playing on all of

:15:29.:15:35.

you and we don't trust any of you. The increase will be vast and it

:15:35.:15:39.

won't compensate people for some change to outside earnings, so

:15:39.:15:42.

simultaneously, members of the public will be outraged and members

:15:42.:15:46.

of Parliament will feel they are now in danger of earning less than they

:15:46.:15:56.
:15:56.:16:00.

ever did. It's a self-generated and ever did. It's a self-generated and

:16:00.:16:02.

very painful political story. Hilton, one of the Prime Minister's

:16:02.:16:05.

senior advisers reportedly said British bureaucracy masters the

:16:05.:16:10.

politicians. It's not unusual to hear ministers complain the Civil

:16:10.:16:13.

Service machine is not up to the job. There are plans for a big

:16:13.:16:18.

shake-up of the way Whitehall has been working. Francis Maude spoke

:16:18.:16:25.

earlier. We think the current system where we have an impartial Civil

:16:25.:16:31.

Service capable of serving any Government with equal enthusiasm and

:16:31.:16:35.

dedication and passion and commitment is a very important part

:16:35.:16:40.

of how Britain can be made to be really successful and win in the

:16:40.:16:44.

global race. But actually, it whats to be the case that ministers need

:16:44.:16:49.

to feel that their offices are their offices, not the department's office

:16:49.:16:58.

and that's the change that will will be put in place. You said one thing

:16:58.:17:01.

you discovered is that civil servants don't work for you. Is it

:17:01.:17:05.

really that bad a problem? Imagine you were asked to do a job, say that

:17:05.:17:08.

you were asked to be chairman of a company but none of the people in

:17:08.:17:11.

the company worked for you, you can't vary or alter their pay

:17:11.:17:14.

according to performance, the Chief Executive doesn't actually work for

:17:15.:17:19.

you, would you take the job? Nobody would. That's what we ask ministers

:17:19.:17:24.

to do. Real questions now do arise about accountability. I strongly

:17:24.:17:28.

welcome what the Government has announced today, which I think is a

:17:28.:17:31.

sensible step forward that enhances the accountability of a system of

:17:31.:17:35.

the permanent Civil Service, for instance by saying that the

:17:35.:17:40.

Permanent Secretaries should not suffer a long-term more than five

:17:40.:17:44.

years and allows ministers to have extended offices to bring in people

:17:44.:17:47.

and make use of civil servants as well with real policy expertise.

:17:47.:17:52.

That happens in other Parliamenty democracies. It was recommended by

:17:52.:17:55.

the IPPR, it has been endorsed by the Institute for Government and I

:17:55.:18:00.

think it's a very good foreword to make sure that it's equal to the

:18:00.:18:04.

task of delivering a modern Government. Will it make civil

:18:04.:18:09.

servants equal to the task? Obviously, Whitehall's been painted

:18:09.:18:13.

as this independent institution that puts into place Government policy.

:18:13.:18:18.

Is the Government in danger of blurring that line, or is it the

:18:18.:18:20.

pragmatic way forward? You have to make sure there are proper

:18:20.:18:25.

safeguards and the fact that we have it independent. We haven't got the

:18:25.:18:28.

American system. You get a President elect and everybody goes and there's

:18:28.:18:31.

chaos for three months while confirmations take place. I've been

:18:31.:18:36.

a Cabinet Minister for seven years, and in the end, you are the person

:18:36.:18:39.

responsible and it's important that the people you are working with are

:18:39.:18:44.

properly accountable to you. That's about the clarity you give, the

:18:44.:18:49.

extent to which you are on top of the job. When I reflect to my time

:18:49.:18:58.

as deputy council lead leader, we took part in electing electing ours.

:18:58.:19:04.

I think it's fair, frankly, that Secretary of States should be able

:19:04.:19:09.

to bring in other outside expertise to assist them. We have seen that

:19:09.:19:13.

under both Governments. You get specialist advise advisers

:19:13.:19:17.

recognising that we are politicians, as well as holders of the office of

:19:17.:19:21.

state and we come with a particular perspective and view and it's

:19:21.:19:24.

important that that's reflected in the decisions that the Government

:19:24.:19:30.

makes. That sounds like consensus for it, at least certainly the

:19:30.:19:35.

direction ofle - travel. You have a group of people hand picked by the

:19:35.:19:40.

minister, one of you two, whose job will depend on that minister, to

:19:40.:19:44.

some extent staying in office. That will become more political? There is

:19:45.:19:47.

an emerging consensus but the reforms are sensible. What we are

:19:47.:19:51.

not talking about is hugely increasing the number of political

:19:51.:19:54.

advisers. Are you sure that just won't happen as a consequence

:19:54.:19:59.

though? There 'll be loads more paid special advisers? But I think what

:19:59.:20:06.

the proposal is talking about, people of expertise, there is a

:20:06.:20:09.

desire to bring in people of calibre and experience and expertise and to

:20:09.:20:13.

make use of them from within the existing Civil Service. That happens

:20:13.:20:17.

in other comparable systems. If you look at the support that a minister

:20:17.:20:22.

in Australia or Canada receives, it's far greater. They have much

:20:22.:20:26.

bigger offices than our own ministers who're under supported and

:20:26.:20:30.

I don't think the system is sufficient to do what we now need to

:20:30.:20:36.

do. We need a different kind of Civil Service today. If it's about

:20:36.:20:40.

winning the global race, we need a better skilled Civil Service with

:20:40.:20:44.

very strong commissioning skills. We have seen failures with things like

:20:44.:20:48.

the West Coast Mainline, so there needs to be a shake-up. Do you think

:20:48.:20:53.

that civil servants should be made for publicly accountable? I think

:20:53.:20:58.

the accountability arrangements are unsatisfactory because ultimately,

:20:58.:21:01.

ministers are accountable for everything. Because they can't be

:21:01.:21:05.

accountable for the minutiae, the reality is that nobody is

:21:05.:21:08.

accountable. In the West Coast Mainline, it wasn't just the

:21:08.:21:13.

minutiae, there was the sense that ministers were perhaps blaming civil

:21:13.:21:17.

Searle have beens -- civil servants. Is that a case of ministers saying,

:21:17.:21:23.

I'm covering my back here? I don't think you can have a working

:21:23.:21:27.

relationship if you are going to blame the civil servant colleagues.

:21:27.:21:31.

Your job is to take responsibility. That's what happened here? ! I take

:21:31.:21:35.

the blame for everything. You have to be on top of staff, but it's

:21:35.:21:40.

right and proper that, as Cabinet Ministers, you are able to call in

:21:40.:21:45.

other expertise and support to help you through. Nike's -- Nick's

:21:45.:21:50.

thought about this. It's a typically pragmatic British compromise.

:21:50.:21:55.

fudge? Well, no, it's not a fudge. It is after all, special adviser

:21:55.:21:59.

were created as a body and it recognised, we bring politics, views

:21:59.:22:08.

and values into our job. You could have a French system of an interim?

:22:09.:22:12.

It'sle an extended ministerial office because there should be

:22:12.:22:16.

guards built around it, I agree. But it works well in other Commonwealth

:22:16.:22:20.

countries. The secretary has to be someone you have confidence in.

:22:20.:22:25.

you should select? I certainly took a decision about who would be a

:22:25.:22:28.

private secretary because it's about a working relationship, not about

:22:28.:22:33.

politics. I remember that bit of France from

:22:33.:22:40.

my science class. Here is a test for you, name we once

:22:40.:22:43.

Great British institution which hasn't fallen from grace in recent

:22:43.:22:48.

years? Not even the dear old BBC. It's been through the ringer whosmt

:22:48.:22:51.

will be the next focus of public derision. Ross Clarke's got his soap

:22:51.:23:01.
:23:01.:23:16.

backs to argue that it's time we put We've done bankers, politicians and

:23:16.:23:20.

even journalists. But what about the one group of professionals which has

:23:20.:23:25.

never been reformed? Lawyers. Even the coalition's attempts to tripe a

:23:25.:23:30.

mere 10% from the hideous legal aid budget has run into the sand. As for

:23:30.:23:39.

the chronic overcharging on nonlegal aid cases, it goings on -- goes on,

:23:39.:23:44.

unabated. Critics of legal aid reforms like to damn the idea of

:23:44.:23:47.

cheaper legal services as Tesco justice, but the reality is that

:23:47.:23:52.

legal costs are spiralling out of control. Even a junior counsel in

:23:52.:24:00.

the Leveson Inquiry was paid �218,000 for a few months' work.

:24:00.:24:05.

To use the courts, you need to be either very rich or very poor. If

:24:05.:24:09.

you are very rich, you can behave like Robert Maxwell, threatening

:24:09.:24:13.

anybody who crosses you with ruinous legal costs. If you are very poor,

:24:13.:24:17.

you might qualify for legal aid, if which case the taxpayer picks up the

:24:17.:24:24.

tab. But I have an idea of how we could create a level playing field.

:24:24.:24:28.

Why not allow anybody involved in a court case to set a cap on the cost

:24:28.:24:32.

which they will claim from the other side in the event of them whipping.

:24:32.:24:35.

The cap could work both ways and serve as a limit on the costs which

:24:35.:24:41.

the other side can claim from you in the event of you losing.

:24:41.:24:47.

-- winning. Wealthy litigants could still pay for fancy law, but they

:24:47.:24:54.

wouldn't be able to frighten their poor opponents into submission.

:24:54.:24:58.

Go into court and it's not cheap, but there's no reason why it should

:24:58.:25:04.

have to cost you your shirt or even your house.

:25:04.:25:07.

Ross Clarke joins us now. Do you think any Government of the left or

:25:07.:25:12.

the right will ever take that on? The big problem is the House of

:25:12.:25:19.

Commons is stuffed with lawyers. This is true. When see set out to

:25:19.:25:23.

reform education, you don't put a teacher in charge. You don't put a

:25:23.:25:27.

doctor in charge of reforming the NHS. An attempt at legal reform, we

:25:27.:25:31.

always sealp to get a lawyer to do it. It's a difficult one to get

:25:31.:25:36.

progress? For that very reason, yes, the vested interests. Hilary Benn,

:25:36.:25:40.

if you look at the, never mind the public sector, take the private

:25:40.:25:43.

sector, look at the huge changes blue collar workers have gone

:25:43.:25:49.

through in the car industry, in the newspaper industry, in broadcasting,

:25:49.:25:55.

all of them are bywords for restrictive practice and overmanning

:25:55.:26:00.

and inefficiency. All gone, all state-of-the-art doing all these

:26:01.:26:05.

things now. Yet, the white-collar professions are still mired in the

:26:05.:26:11.

restrictive practices of overmanning and absurd costs. Why? I think Ross

:26:11.:26:16.

has a point. One of the last things we did when in Government was to

:26:16.:26:20.

reduce the criminal legal aid fees that could be charged and there was

:26:20.:26:27.

quite... Outcry.Indeed. The introduck shufr of no-win no-fee was

:26:28.:26:31.

in part an attempt - we strengthened it - the previous Government began

:26:31.:26:38.

the change. But in an attempt to enable people to get access to law.

:26:38.:26:42.

You make a very fair point. If you are talking about access to civil

:26:42.:26:46.

justice, it's either the very rich and before some of the changes the

:26:46.:26:49.

current Government's made, or those on very low income who is 'ed have

:26:49.:26:52.

the opportunity and for most of the rest of the country tlfrksn't any

:26:52.:26:59.

access to justice. Look at the outcry. Mr Grayling suggested some

:26:59.:27:04.

people may regard things as modest reforms. Huge outcry, after

:27:04.:27:07.

listening to well-spoken judges saying it's the end of life as they

:27:08.:27:13.

know it and he's had to Iran back already? The criminal legal aid

:27:13.:27:20.

system is too expensive. If you look at comparable systems of legal aid.

:27:20.:27:27.

Our system is twice as expensive as New Zealand. I think in n all the

:27:27.:27:30.

reforms you have to separate what's in the public interest and in the

:27:30.:27:33.

producer interest and those are not necessarily the same thing. So you

:27:33.:27:37.

have to separate out when lawyers are saying this is all appalling and

:27:37.:27:42.

so on, actually is that an access to justice argument, whether it's right

:27:42.:27:47.

to protect access to justice or is it about defending a particular way

:27:47.:27:51.

you are working. Medicine is a classic example. If you capitulate

:27:51.:27:55.

too much to that producer interest, you, as happened in the previous

:27:55.:28:00.

Government in relation to the GP contract, then what happens is the

:28:00.:28:03.

patient interest suffers. If the Labour Party supports the

:28:03.:28:08.

Government, it would be good, on the legal aid reforms. Ross, this sounds

:28:08.:28:11.

a tough mountain to climb. Are you going to continue your campaign?

:28:11.:28:16.

shall do, yes. I'm amused by the idea the High Court judges slam any

:28:16.:28:20.

reform as Tesco justice, but I'm sure that the point of Tesco and

:28:20.:28:23.

other supermarkets is, they come up with this brilliant compromise

:28:23.:28:26.

between quality and price and the law seems to think it should be

:28:26.:28:29.

immune from that. Ross, we'll leave it there. Keep us

:28:29.:28:34.

posted. What was the year? I'm going to tell you. Time to put you out of

:28:34.:28:40.

your misery. The year was 1951. We need to have a winner. Press the

:28:40.:28:48.

red button, Nick, Hilary, anyone! Even a lawyer could do it.

:28:48.:28:53.

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are joined by Nick Herbert and Hilary Benn to discuss the latest political news, including Prime Minister's Questions and a look at government plans for the privatisation of Royal Mail. The Guess the Year competition closes at 12.30pm during the live broadcast of this programme.


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