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Afternoon folks, welcome to the Daily Politics Conference Special.


It's Ed Miliband's big day in Brighton, as he prepares to make his


keynote speech to party members. We'll bring you that live from 2.30


this afternoon. We're told he'll make big policy


announcements on housing and tax. He'll also unveil a book he's


written, spelling out his approach to politics.


In the next hour, we'll talk to Labour frontbenchers Chuka Umunna


and Sadiq Khan. And discuss whether Labour frontbenchers Chuka Umunna


the public are listening to what the Labour leader has got to say. Can I


just talk to you about Damian McBride? Mr Brown?


And Gordon Brown won't discuss him, but we've got him here in the


studio. We'll talk to Mr Brown's former spin doctor Damian McBride


about his shadowy past. With this for the duration, Baroness


Prosser, former president of the TUC and former deputy general secretary


of the transport and General workers union. I had voted against the


merger and by the time we joined, the AWB you had merged itself with


other unions. With the electricians. I'm an ex-Labour correspondence.


Welcome. I enjoyed that. Let's start by discussing Ed Miliband 's


relationship with the unions. This morning the Labour Party Treasurer


told conference of her concerns about Mr Miliband's plans to change


the way union members are affiliated with the party. As your party


treasurer, hope everybody bears in mind that everybody needs to stick


to the finance strategy. While finances are not the reason we are


in politics, we all know we can't get the change we want without


finances. As your elected treasurer, I will ensure that the commitment in


the interim report to manage the organisational and financial


implications is carried through. We cannot and must not jeopardise the


hard-won financial stability of this party. When the treasurer is worried


about the financial stability you have to take it seriously, don't


you? You do because the party can't operate it hasn't money coming in. I


know the feeling. Indeed. It's written large with a political


parties, the amount of money required. This is a big issue but


there needs to be a discussion. We were just jesting about how this


there needs to be a discussion. We union merged with this union and


that union etc. Unite is made up of 24 unions at which 15, 18 years ago


it would have been individual bodies, most of whom would have been


affiliated with a party. Most of whom would want the party to


succeed, of course, but there would be nuances, differences between ways


in which they wanted to speak, they wanted to emphasise things. And now


of course that's one big conglomerate. I don't think that's


healthy. Sunday Politics to the survey of councillors up to the


Labour Party conference. They found that fewer than one in ten Labour


councillors think Labour is too close to the unions. And indeed 25%


wanted them to be even closer. That isn't the way Ed Miliband is taking


things. Well, I mean, you have to differentiate, I think, between what


is said, and what gets reported and the emphasis which is put on that


reporting, so, immediately, Ed Miliband says Willie to consider our


relationship with the unions, everybody at the start saying,


goodness me, he wants to distance himself etc. And I don't think it's


about that, at all. Clearly, Labour can't deliver its programme without


the working people who the unions represent. The unions can't deliver


their programme without good legislation. But comes from a Labour


government. It's very much intertwined. Unite are boycotting


tonight gala dinner and Ed Miliband is the guest of honour. What you


make of that? It's a bit childish, to be truthful. I mean, as the


already paid as money? Good question. You should be treasurer. I


was treasurer for five years indeed. question. You should be treasurer. I


When you had money. We did have money, actually. Not a great deal. I


think are going to go to Brighton. I wouldn't pass up on a good meal.


Let's get a sense of the mood at conference and talk to Fraser


Nelson, editor of the Spectator. And Polly Toynbee who writes for the


Guardian. Welcome to the Daily Politics. First of all, Polly, it


has many great summer for Ed Miliband if you believe everything


which has been stated by the polls, although I believe this one this


morning which looks better in terms of the gap between Labour and the


Conservatives. Has there been any move in terms of opinion at the


conference about Ed Miliband's leadership? I don't think so because


there isn't any kind of challenge anyway. All of the polls are


virtually had showed that if there was an election tomorrow, he would


still be not only the largest party, but actually have a majority


in the House of Commons. It has been slumbering, very worrying. Today,


after his speech, Labour last has the full set of policies and that's


what people have been waiting for. What do you stand for? He has been


difficult in interviews because he hasn't really said. He said we are


looking, thinking, reviewing, and now we get the whole set. We get a


million new homes and that an important bedrock policy. Abolishing


the budget and tax which is highly symbolic. We have already had that


they would keep Tory spending plans for the first, have a cap on


benefits, and that's pretty much repealing the NHS privatisation act,


that pretty much a full set, and plenty for Labour campaigners here


to feel they can at last go out on the doorstep and say, this is what


we would do. Whether or not he makes a good or bad speech, the point is,


the beef is there. Let's talk about that. There's been criticism Labour


hasn't come forward policies. They are in opposition. We are quite a


long way away from the election. Why should they spell out a shadow


budget for 2015? Do those policies Polly has just outlined, make for a


broader narrative of the public will understand? Well, yes, if returning


to the 1970s is the kind of narrative. It's not just this, but


repealing the Tony Blair reforms and going back to the Frank Dobson era,


the rhetoric he is coming out with. There is substance behind it which


is definitely a big shift from what we had before, but it's really


quite, it's bringing back socialism. The question is whether there's


enough appetite in Britain for that. Certainly nobody can deny he is


being bold and radical going against the orthodoxy in this, selling to


Britain something Neil Kinnock failed to do in the 80s. That's not


quite right because it's within a tight envelope. There's none of the


bargain is in the Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock error about how much


are you going to borrow, they have asked for there to be scrutiny of


the manifesto to show they are thinking about the current spending


plans of this government so what it will be about his priorities. In


terms of spending. Taking money, for instance, from big businesses and


helping the small businesses, who really are the main employers and


the great start-ups. Spending much more money on housing. Labour didn't


build many houses and this government built even fewer. We know


House building is a huge generator of jobs and a huge stimulator of the


economy. The question is, which policies will people like best? The


economic box has been set. Fraser, on the cost of living, if we are


looking at the alternative Osborne and Ed Balls presentation, this idea


Ed Miliband will echo to some extent and Ed Balls presentation, this idea


what Ronald Reagan said, do you feel better off now than he did five


years ago? That is quite a fruitful line to pursue. Is it too early?


No, I think Ed Miliband's has strong ground here. The big problem with


the economic recovery is that the average voter is not feeling it.


Wages are way down from where they were before the crash. And it


doesn't make any difference if the GDP metric does, if you're not


feeling it in your household, and they are not, then Ed Miliband's


called resonate. Britain is not used to having five years variables wages


don't improve. This is an odd recovery and Ed Miliband is


absolutely right to point to the problem, but when he falls down is a


lack of a solution. I don't need any Conservatives should dismiss the


very serious problems that he points to hear in the economy. Let's talk


briefly about Damien McBride. People have said not many people, not many


delegates... Is it having any impact on the mood at conference? It


certainly reminds people of the most dark days and they were. Damien


McBride was fired in 2009, quite a bit of time ago. Plenty of people


here, by no means all of them young, will remember very well the


appalling Tony Blair and Gordon Brown rows and counter briefings and


briefings and, in a way, it reminds people it's very different. People


may think Ed Miliband is strong enough, but nobody actually thinks


he's nasty or that he sticks knives in people. Except perhaps his


brother. He's just not that kind of manner. I don't think even the Tory


press could attack him for all types of thing but could put this kind of


dirt on him. OK, enjoyed a speech later on. I love the idea a dozen


steak knives into Babel except his brother. Fairly ruthless on that


level. How transformational can his speech be? Well, there has been a


lot of critical talk over the last 18 months or so that nobody knows


what Labour stands for. Nobody knows what they are going to do and,


today, as we understand it, we are going to hear North a lot about what


Labour's programme is, so it will be transformational in that sense. At


least people will say, OK, we know what is in their minds. The whole


idea of getting to grips with a what is in their minds. The whole


housing shortage, I think it's absolutely vital. It's led to all


kinds of major issues. Major problems. We will be talking to


Sadiq Khan about that shortly. Now it's the moment you've really been


waiting for. Yes, it's our Guess the Year competition with a conference


twist. Jo will remind you how to enter in just a moment. First


though, can you work out when this happened?


There are some of us, Mr Chairman, who will fight and


There are some of us, Mr Chairman, again to save the party.


I am not concerned about Mr Gaitskell but I'm more concerned


about what will happen to the Labour Party. # I don't want you to be no


slave... # I don't want you to work all day... # But I want you to be


true # And I just want to make love to you...


# Shaking all over. # Just the way that you say goodbye to meet


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


to our special quiz email address: Entries need to reach us by 12.45


today. You can see the full terms and conditions for Guess The Year on


our website. It's been all go at the Labour


conference. So much so that there's a whole new policy to report since


we've been off air. Yes, that's right, a policy! We've had some


advance details of what Ed Miliband is going to say in his speech. So


what do we know? Last night, Labour briefed the media


that they would reverse a planned business rate rise due in April


2015. But that's bad news for big business, as Labour would pay for


this by scrapping a planned 1% cut in corporation tax for big


companies. Labour estimates the move will help 1.5 million small


businesses, saving them £450 on average over two years. But 80,000


large firms will lose out. The Institute of Directors says the


policy is "tinkering at the edges", and will only benefit very small


firms. We're also told that Ed Miliband


will announce in his speech that he's asked former local government


big cheese Sir Michael Lyons to chair a commission on house


building, with the aim of building 200,000 homes a year by 2020.


Let's talk about all of this now with Labour frontbencher Sadiq Khan.


Welcome to the Daily Politics. On housing which is the big


announcement we are expecting today. Given Labour 's lacklustre


housing record when it was in power, why should we believe you can


pull off these enormous figures. I accept your criticisms we didn't


build enough houses when we were in government. Not enough. We spent


lots of money bringing up to a decent standard of social housing


there was. What we have learnt is that was one of our failings. What


we will do is give local authorities more powers. If there is land


banking taking place, developers with permission, we will say use


that permission or visit. We have a target of 200,000 new houses between


2015 and 2020. There will be other announcements, not just housing, and


the good news for small businesses. Housing is so important, Margaret


Prosser talked about it. In 2007, your green paper set a target of


200,000 new houses a year. Then 240,000. The biggest demand for new


homes is in the south of England, and the south-east. Which is under


the control of Tory councils. If they say, we do not want to free the


land to build these homes, what they say, we do not want to free the


would a central Labour government do?


We aren't going to make Conservative councils build. We have asked


Michael Lyons to spend 18 months looking at what we can do to get


more houses built particularly in London and the south-east. In


London, the council leaders I have spoken to today have welcomed this


announcement. Most of those homes will be in London and the


south-east. Most council leaders of all parties recognise local


residents want homes for their children. Most local residents with


grown-up children who are sofa surfing, want those houses.


It may be a popular way of getting re-elected. If you speak to parents


who own their homes with adult children who have come back home or


who are renting, the average age of a buyer is 38 in London. Half of


who are renting, the average age of Londoners are renting. We have a


housing crisis. This announcement goes part of the way to solving


housing crisis. This announcement that. Michael Lyons will give us the


solutions to address the housing crisis.


The key thing, despite this target, you will not make local authorities


make land available for housing? Local authorities will have the


power to compulsory purchase. I am talking about central government. If


you look at the last three years, the lowest number of houses built


you look at the last three years, since the 1920s. We have announced


new powers to local authorities who want to do the right thing by their


local residents. Michael Lyons will want to do the right thing by their


look at all of the options to make a sea change for new houses. Across --


for those who aren't -- first-time buyers.


And the work concerning energy bills. Those have risen. Given your


record, why should we believe you would be better. The average weekly


household spent on energy bills has doubled over the last Labour


government. Ed Miliband was the Energy Secretary. Let me remind you


government. Ed Miliband was the during our time in government we did


not have a cost of living crisis. Over the last three years, energy


companies have made huge profits, a cartel by the big six do a great


deal but where people are paying above inflation in their bills.


deal but where people are paying will hear this afternoon what we


will do as a one Nation Labour government. Liam Byrne has said the


cost of living squeeze started in 2005.


Under you. The worldwide banking crash...


2005, that was well before the crash. We have said these squeezed


middle is a phenomenon which has been going on for decades. It is


different from the cost of living crisis. Where hard-working


families, mums and dads working, can't afford Tube fares, gas bills,


by their first property. That has got worse over the last few years


because if you people have benefited the most from George Osborne's


so-called recovery. You say there is a living standards


squeeze. It did start in 2005 on your watch. The polls say they blame


Labour. Twice as many people blame Labour. Twice as many people blame


We can continue with this Punch and Judy stuff. It's a shame you're not


here. Not only is the weather great, this is it. We are recognising the


problems ordinary Britons are facing and looking for solutions. You will


see examples of policies to address the cost of living crisis people are


facing. You were brought into government by


Gordon Brown. Were you aware of what his acolytes were up to?


I have never met Damian McBride. Its journalists reading his book, not


MPs. I have never been involved in any briefing against colleagues.


That kind of politics is poisonous. This Labour Party is a million miles


away from the party Damian McBride was involved in.


Thank you for joining us from Brighton.


The big announcement in Ed Balls's speech yesterday was a surprise


shift in Labour's position on HS2. He said the project would


shift in Labour's position on HS2. reviewed in 2015 if Labour wins the


next election, and could be cancelled if it's not thought to be


good value for money. cancelled if it's not thought to be


The new year slog back to work. The first commute on a dark January


morning. The nasty 's shock awaiting commuters, third year in a row of


inflation busting fare rises. It can't be right that the cost of


commuting is going up so much faster than wages. Often more than the


mortgage or rent. Let me say this to the train companies. You make


hundreds of millions a year in a system that pays out more in


subsidies than you pay back to taxpayers. So, when fares rise again


in January, do the right thing. Involuntarily capped fare rises


since ministers won't, do your bit to ease the cost of living crisis.


If you choose not to act, then a one Nation Labour government world. We


need a new deal for passengers as well. No more stretching peak time


when it is actually about stretching off it. No more confusing tickets


say you get fleeced because you got the wrong train. Stick the exact


times you can use a ticket on the ticket. It's not difficult really.


Let us free up space for new commuter services by moving the


growth in longer journeys on to a new north-south rail line, producing


journey times, getting more freight off our roads. That's why we support


HS2. Unlike the Tories, we will insist on building the new


North-South rail line creates thousands of new apprenticeships for


our young people. But, as Ed balls has rightly said,


there can be no blank check for any government project. So I say to


David Cameron, get a grip on this project. Get a grip on its budget.


And get it back on track. Maria Eagle. She said we are


supporting HS2. Which side of the tracks do you fall?


I am rather glad she has spoken as she has. Yesterday, I think it must


come as a bolt out of the blue when Ed balls said he wasn't certain


come as a bolt out of the blue when about the whole thing. And also, you


have to feel sorry for all those people who are going to be affected


by the development of the line. Is it coming, is it not coming? It has


a major impact on their lives. Also, we just heard Sadiq Khan building


more houses, that is excellent. But there is a big north -south divide


in this country. You think it should go ahead? Whatever the cost?


Obviously you have to be sensible and keep an eye on these things. One


of the reasons these projects get out of hand is because politicians


keep poking their noses in and changing the specs. Doesn't it look


indecisive? Absolutely. Doesn't Labour look indecisive now they are


indecisive? Absolutely. Doesn't hedging their bets? One hand is not


talking to the other. Maria Eagle is responsible for transport policy. It


seems like she knows where she is going. How do you think Labour


councillors in Manchester or anywhere along the line to the


north, how do they feel? The leader of Manchester council has


been quoted this morning as being very cross. It is bad enough to have


a divide in this country between the haves and have-nots, which is


getting wider. To have that also between the north and south getting


wider, it isn't helpful to social cohesion for the future.


Except, it does Ed Balls think it makes him and Labour look fiscally


responsible? He has to look his believe is possible and I truly


believe he is. I am glad you do! As was said


earlier, the office for Budget Responsibility has been asked to


look at costing the ideas put forward. That is a really sensible


idea. For all the policy announcements,


the main topic of conversation, at least for journalists at the Labour


Party conference, has been the revelations in Damian McBride's new


book which is being serialised in the Daily Mail, about his time


working as an adviser to Gordon Brown. But are normal party members


interested? And, do they want to read the book? Adam has been finding


out. It is said to be the biggest


political book of the year, probably not quite the size of this poster.


Do Labour delegates want to buy the memoirs by Damien but bride or bid


it? Aren't you even curious about the gossip in it?


I have seen some of the extracts in the Daily Mail. He has really sold


his soul. I am absolutely not going to buy his book. Are you going to


read someone else's copy? I have better things to read.


Buy it or bid it? Bin it. Not even out of curiosity? This is Alistair


Campbell's new novel. Even size it for you if you ask nicely. Let us


see the signature. What does that say about the size of his ego?


So far people haven't wanted to admit it on camera, buying his


book. I wonder why that is? You are the first person who would admit it.


They were the really bad days for the party and its crucial we don't


go back and the more people know about what happened, the better, so


we can learn from it. I've had a look at it in the Guardian, and I


we can learn from it. I've had a couldn't even stomach that. Not a


Damien fan? You are a former spin doctor, and is this book an accurate


reflection? I have not read and I'm not going to read it. I'd not even


read the extract, I'm not interested in anything Damien McBride has to


say. Let's go and check out the book shops and see what's happening


there. How big a seller is it going to be? Huge, a lot of people have


been asking about it. We have got it one day before everybody else, as


well. OK, our people open about buying it because I've found people


are nervous about buying it. People have spoken about it with their


hands over their mouth. You are being a bit of Mr fire as well,


aren't you? Any publisher who has a sense of commerciality would publish


at this time, because this is one would get publicity, so it's not


designed to stare at the Labour Party conference. If I had Andy


Coulson like man was I would also publish it now. Will there be a


movie? A very good idea. Who would play him? You have a similar face.


What come around? I think it was obvious and very early on how this


would go, people saying they would rather be in the book banned by it,


although, looks like he might sell 24 copies here. Adam, you look


nothing like Damien McBride. And Damian McBride is here now. You were


a civil servant before you became practised in the dark practice of


a civil servant before you became spin doctoring. Who tortured us, Ed


Balls, Gordon Brown, both of them? -- who taught you this? My behaviour


became worse and worse the longer I was in the system operating as a


special adviser. They allowed you to behave badly. The first time I had


contact with a journalist, I was a naive innocent person who said


something stupid about fuel duty to the Daily Telegraph, and when you


something stupid about fuel duty to have a few of those harsh lessons,


you speak a lot to journalists about how things work, and what I found it


I was able to build very strong relationships with journalists


across the spectrum, and they didn't see me just as a Labour person or a


left-wing person. Over time, I started to sustain and maintain


those relationships by pushing the boundaries of what I should be


doing. Building relationships with journalists is one thing. Doing what


you did is another matter and you are doing it for Gordon Brown. He


used to go on about his moral compass, which guided him, and


leaders of new Labour at the time, they strutted around as if they were


characters from the West Wing. Thanks to people like you, it is


more like the Sopranos, wasn't it? I behaved ultimately, in a way which


was fitting that. It fitted that idea of some people operating in a


way which people took exception to because it's like gangsters. Yes,


all too often, when we go back to the history of new Labour, we are


effectively, from 1997, 1994, until 2007, Labour was the only show in


town and, unfortunately, politics needs conflict. It needs opposition.


So you fight amongst yourselves instead? Exactly. What does it tell


us about Gordon Brown that he employ someone as immoral and despicable as


yourself? He only knew me when he first employed me as a civil servant


and all I'd ever delivered for him was extremely effective and popular


tax policy reforms, so that's the person he employed. Except that he


knew what it was getting, the most senior of civil servants, Gus


O'Donnell, warned about your character and conduct twice in 2005


and 2007, and he stuck with you because he wanted somebody to do his


dirty work. I'm talking about when we started. In 2003, when Gordon


recruited me, Gus O'Donnell regarded me as a Treasury high-flyer. He then


warned Gordon Brown who ignored the warnings about you. The warning he


gave Gordon Brown was that this guy is no longer a pleasant civil


servant but is operating in a political way. It wasn't necessarily


a warning that I was operating in a gangster way, but clearly that this


guy is too political to consider as a civil servant. Did you have an


unhealthy fixation with Mr Brown? No. Is there nothing you wouldn't do


unhealthy fixation with Mr Brown? for him? I didn't enjoy being woken


up at 5am by Gordon complaining about what was on the television or


something like that. It wasn't like I work at everyday thinking my


master is calling and I must leap into action. I found working for him


a frustrating experience but also rewarding. Did he ever tried to rein


you in? Well, I think the clearest time came after the party conference


in 2008, when he removed me from the press briefing job because it was


getting 70 complaints. Including Ed Miliband. By then you are done the


dirty work. Well, he was in power by them. There were times when Gordon


said to meet, he would be told I had done something and he would put it


to me that Tony Blair says you have done this thing, John Reid says have


done this thing. My attitude was, I would lie to him effectively. He


knew you were lying. He didn't know the reality of what was happening


and... He knew we were up to no good. He knew, if I walked out of


the room saying, look, I do what I have to do, I don't know whether


stuff comes from, why are you accusing me? Tessa Jarrell says


Gordon Brown knew what you were up to in his name. She says, it's


inconceivable he didn't know what Damien was doing. Damien felt it was


implicitly sanctioned. The things I have omitted to do in the book,


which appeared in the extract the Daily Mail, a series of quite select


things, John Reid, Ivan Lewis, Charles Clarke and others. I would


never put Gordon into any of those, Gordon wouldn't have known it. But


that's what I consider Terry does for the beauty of the Godfather away


from the dirty stuff. -- conciliatory. There's no way he


from the dirty stuff. -- could have known I was doing that


stuff. Charles Clarke, for example, I orchestrated what looked like a


briefing but Louise Casey were not convinced by what happened. If


they, who actually knew what was convinced by what happened. If


going on, thought that was happening, why was Gordon Brown


supposed to know any different? He would have assumed just as Charles


Clarke did, that it was. You are claiming to be open, honest,


apologetic. The truth is, you are still spinning, on to question what


you're taking great care not to implicate Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband,


Ed Balls in your dirty work. I'm not going to ask them to take the blame


for things I did. I'm admitting what I did. You and the two Eds, you are


part of a politico motivated group of acolytes around Mr Brown. It's


inconceivable they didn't know what you were getting up to. You might


inconceivable they didn't know what find it inconceivable but it's true.


There were things I got up to, as I say, in those dozen circumstances


where I did things which were beyond the pale, which they did not know.


The proof is in the pudding. You said Ed Miliband was best friend the


four years. He was a friend. He knew nothing? For the most part, I was a


civil servant, head of two indications in 2003, that's when I


got to know him. He was there for a lot of the bad stuff as well. Up to


2008. If you want to be honest with us, you should tell us. I am telling


you, what happened in 2007, when Ed Miliband felt he was a victim of


those briefings, he was quite prepared to call me out on it and


saved to meet, I believe you were doing this briefing, and complained


to Gordon Brown about it. After five years. People who worked with you in


Downing Street, we have spoken to, and they said you often drunk from


heavy drinking the night before. Maybe you just don't remember. No, I


was usually not in the office because I was usually out with


journalists establishing that contact. When you say they must have


assumed you were doing this kind of thing, the truth is, Gordon Brown,


Ed Balls, Ed Miliband and other people in Downing Street assumed


that the reason I had these close relationships with journalists and


was able to influence what came out of the media was just because of


investing time in those relationships. I was willing to


spend all afternoon in the pubs with journalists in the hope of producing


good stories. They did not know that they would not spend their bar tab


on me unless I fed them stories. That's the way of the world but it


on me unless I fed them stories. depends on what kind of stories.


Party critical and John Reid Maca boss personal life is two different


things. You need to black and those who sees enemies. You say, when


Douglas Alexander talks about unity, I draw the line. What you


mean by that? For Douglas to say he's never engaged in any kind of


divisive and destructive briefing, I he's never engaged in any kind of


don't think it's accurate. That's what I mean. Ed Balls and Ed


whenever involved in destructive things? I've never known it. There


is a specific example in the book that there was a damaging story


which came out about Gordon Brown seeking five separate meetings with


President Obama and that story came from Douglas Alexander. I don't know


whether he knew. You see my point. You're willing to tell tales on Mr


Alexander but not on the people you worked with. If I had a similar


Alexander but not on the people you example I would be happy to share


it. You admit to being involved in political assassinations of


prominent Labour figures. It was political assassinations of


never the Tories but always labour. Nearly always. Where you also


involved in the 2006 coup orchestrated by Tom Watson to force


Mr Blair to resign? No, indeed, one of the bits of evidence is how


brilliantly conceived it was, and how well executed it was, lots of it


came as genuine surprises. You never know he was going to Scotland to see


Gordon Brown? The first I knew about that was when I went into Gordon


said, there is a journalist on the phone saying did he pop in at St


Andrews last week? That was the first I knew of it. I don't think


the St Andrews. That's another matter. It was. Here you are doing


political assassination for Gordon Brown. Your whole reason was to get


Gordon Brown in as Prime Minister, and to destroy anybody who could be


a challenger, and yet, come the coup, you don't do anything about


it? You got to look of dynamics. Backbenchers and people like Tom


Watson, junior ministers, were being told that if they put their in


Gordon Brown to deliver a transition, it would happen. They


were told, don't agitate, and these people had friends which had lost


seats in the Midlands, in the 2005 election, large majorities lot of


them, because many people were not election, large majorities lot of


prepared to vote for the Labour Party as long as Tony Blair was


leader the Iraq war. And so, what happened at the time, after Tony


Blair said I'm going for a third term, that provoked a huge anger and


resentment amongst that group and they launched this coup. Alastair


Campbell told this programme that he thinks it was your behaviour and


people like you that contributed to Labour going down to its worst


defeat in living memory in 2010. Lets see what he had to say. I've


always said this about Gordon, I think he had unbelievable strengths,


and, actually, possibly in a different age, would've been an


amazing Prime Minister and I think he was a great Chancellor and


handled international crisis well, but he had a real floor for this


need for truly horrible people to be around him doing truly horrible


things in politics and giving him and the Labour Party and politics a


bad name and that's why I'm still angry about Damien McBride. What is


your reaction? He has got his view. A lot of people decide not to vote


for the Labour Party in 2005, they might feel Alastair Campbell was


something to do with that. Gordon Brown knew what you were doing when


you were leaking of the EU budget. No, we were in Brussels. He knew you


were doing that. You know very well it is perfectly acceptable for


politicians to use leaks that they get to the press to expose plans the


European Commission has and therefore be able to oppose them.


Not only would Gordon have agreed with me leaking that, and


effectively gave me the instruction by the British people would agree


with that. I'm not sure people want to pay the salary of someone who


does leaking. Even for the EU budget? I think they think you


should be working on our behalf. Not on your own agenda. Saving taxpayers


money. We are paying you to smear people. You were smearing people on


the tax well and we had to pay for it. Thank you for answering my


questions. You are in the sackcloth and ashes doing the studio rounds,


admitting to smearing and undermining and destroying people


who were meant to be on your side, too. They were on your side.


Labour's side. They remain smeared, undermined, destroyed. And you get a


huge cheque for your apology. Is that fair? I paid a big price in


huge cheque for your apology. Is 2009 when I got caught out for that


kind of activity. And I found myself sort of thrown out, discarded,


without a penny, from Downing Street after giving 13 years to the


government and the Labour Party. That's what happens when you've done


something wrong. It is. Other people haven't done anything wrong. Well,


as I've said, I'm sorry about those things I did. But they don't get a


cheque. They can write their own memoirs. Damien McBride, thank you.


We can talk now to the Conservative MP Alun Cairns who has asked the


police to investigate Damian McBride.


Welcome to the programme, what law is Damian McBride alleged to have


broken? One is the computer misuse act, and the official secrets act.


In the Daily Mail on the 20th of September, he voluntarily says he


used to access the then Chancellor Gordon Brown's e-mail account. Not


his personal account but the e-mail account with Cabinet painters --


papers and announcements, and potentially would leak them. That is


a breach under the computer misuse act and the official secrets act.


But you could argue he may have had permission to look at those


documents, even on someone else's computer. Damian McBride has plenty


did not leak anything confidential, in fact he made up a lot of the


stories that may have been tied to those documents. So what is the


point? We do not know he had permission,


the hint is he did not. The then Chancellor did not know about it. If


someone was rooting in my e-mail account, I would like to know. It is


important we get to the bottom of this. I am a politician, not an


important we get to the bottom of expert in this field, but the police


are. I would expect the chief of expert in this field, but the police


police at Scotland Yard to show an interest in the evidence which has


been volunteered. And to get to the interest in the evidence which has


bottom to find out how far it goes and what others knew. Ed Balls was


tightly associated with it, as well as Ed Miliband, let's find out what


they knew. Damian McBride said last as Ed Miliband, let's find out what


night he would happily talk to the police and I hope that would extend


to Ed Miliband and Ed Balls. Margaret Prosser, do you believe


Damian McBride when he says that actually Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband


and Ed Balls did not know what he was doing?


I do not know, all I do know is... I was quite closely involved with the


party at that time. And it was clear to everybody that there was really


bad behaviour going on, that it was nasty. The idea that people like


Damian McBride worked to throw out a sitting prime minister, and put in


place somebody who it was clear to anybody with half an ounce of sense


was never going to make a good prime minister, I absolutely accept what


Alistair Campbell said. A good Chancellor, but he wasn't a team


player, no way was he going to be a good prime minister. All this work


in the background struck me as vindictive. I have to say, I give


you credit, you haven't lost your skills as a spin doctor. Because you


are now presenting yourself as the person who is doing us all a favour.


Last night, virtually what you said was, this has come out, this book,


to save the Labour leadership from itself. You should be a stand-up


comic. I thought that was hilariously funny. I nearly fell off


my sever. What do you say? I refer to the


other comment made on the programme.


approaching general election or, well, out for the count? His


conference speech last autumn was pretty well received, but he has


taken a few hits since. We asked Mark Ferguson, editor of the


grassroots network LabourList, for his take on how Ed has been doing


over the last year. And, to give him space, peace and time to make a


considered assessment, we sent him boxing!


It's a tough fight, politics, you pick up a lot of bruises on the


way. It's also a game of strategy and Ed Miliband has managed some


surprise punches. A year ago he addressed a conference on fighting


form. The man his opponents call red Ed through -- drew historical


inspiration. One nation, where everyone has a stake. One nation,


where prosperity is fairly shared. That is the Britain we must become.


When Baroness Thatcher died, his reaction was statesman-like. Whilst


not alienating his party. He has begun to land some real blows in


Parliament. When the government abandoned minimum alcohol pricing.


He asked. Is there anything he could organise in a brewery?


But he still needs to answer the crucial question. What will you do


in government? Or the more tricky version, why should people bother to


vote labour, and how would the Labour government be any different


this time? He has struggled to prove he is 100% fighting fit. Two areas


where he needs to make it count is the economy and welfare. Labour has


laid out some of the building blocks for a new economy. A mansion tax, a


return to the 10p tax rate, a welfare cap of sorts, cracking down


on zero hours contracts. All part of a cost of living push. But the party


has a declining lead in the polls despite years of slow or no growth.


If Labour hasn't won the argument on the economy so far, how will they


win over the economy -- the public now the economy is growing? Ed


Miliband has emphasised the key to getting young people into work. If


the party is to be successful, the public must be convinced Labour can


be trusted with their money. One of them big battles has been


with the trade unions. It has been presented by some in the leadership


as an opportunity for him to weigh in as a heavyweight. His reforms


were triggered by accusations of wrongdoing in a parliamentary


selection in Falkirk. Although the party concluded there was no


wrongdoing, the changes are going ahead. This is a defining moment. It


is bold and strong, it is real leadership. Maybe. The decision has


cost the Labour party financially. The GMB cut its affiliate fees by £1


million a year. Syria has been seen as a defining issue for Ed Miliband.


Some accuse him of opportunism, others are bending to the will of


his MPs. His opposition to action was a principled position. Based on


a need for evidence and planning, supported by his party and the


population at large. The question remains, is he ready to vote for a


walk if or when his criteria are met? There is one rule in a


political contest. You cannot disappear in the middle of a fight.


As Ed Miliband learned this summer, going on holiday can lead to


As Ed Miliband learned this summer, trouble, especially when most of the


shadow cabinet go quite as well. It led to criticisms of a policy vacuum


with backbenchers questioning the party direction and leadership. It


wasn't long before the media turned against him again, fuelled by his


low personal opinion ratings. All party leaders get egg on their face


from time to time but over the next year, he really needs to get on the


front foot. Conference speech will be important but we need to see some


serious policy messages and detail. He needs to show he can be a winner,


and a bold one, in the next 12 months. That Labour are up for the


fight. Wouldn't it be nice to turn up to conference next year and not


have it described as make or break. There is a risk if we are saying


that, Labour could be on the ropes. Chuka Umunna joins us now from


Brighton. Let's look at some of the policies.


It's sunny here. The policy of cutting rates for small businesses


has already been slammed by a number of business groups as robbing Peter


to pay Paul. Explain how a cut in business rates the smaller firms


being offset by delayed production in corporation tax will help growth?


Well, at the end of the day, small businesses create around two thirds


of private sector jobs, and half of private sector growth. It has been a


difficult time for all businesses, most acutely felt by small


businesses. The issue with the corporation tax cut which the


government is planning, bringing it down from 21%, to 20%. That is not


going to benefit 98% of businesses in this country. But if you divert


it to cutting business rates in 2016, and freezing, 2015, sorry, and


freezing it in 2016, that will help over 1 million small and


medium-sized businesses. You didn't mention all of the business groups


and organisations who have come out and said this is a good thing, the


Federation of small businesses, I have been speaking here on a


platform with representatives from Kingfisher who own big companies.


They have welcomed this. Do not ignore the people talking about


this. We have had a tweet from the


Federation of small businesses who have said that the much bigger


problem is actually cash flow. They want to know what you would do to


actually help people pay on time to small businesses, because that is


the cause of businesses going bust. Not just a cut in interest, business


rates. We have never said it is just due to business rates that you see


businesses struggling. We have won praise from the


Federation from the work we have been doing around the need to clamp


down on late payments by large businesses to their small business


suppliers. In government, we set up the prompt payment code which this


government is taking forward. And legislation to help people recover


interest from those who don't pay on time. We are looking in the context


of our policy review how we use time. We are looking in the context


government power for public procurement to ensure people pay on


time. And government suppliers ensure there is prompt payment all


time. And government suppliers the way down the chain. I


time. And government suppliers this when I addressed the Federation


's conference this year. We are working with them.


But, are you disappointed that, although you have had support from


the Federation of small businesses, that you have got the British


Chambers of commerce, the Institute of directors, all saying this policy


of cutting business rates for small businesses is divisive. Playing one


set of businesses off against another. They feel this is not the


time to divide the business community.


No, we're not seeking to do any form of division in the


No, we're not seeking to do any form community. Of course there is going


to be a mixture of views in the business community. Of course not


everyone is going to be welcoming this. What is in the natural


interest and who we need to prioritise, that is important.


Businesses want us to ensure we manage public finances in a fiscally


responsible way. I am sorry, we had to stop you


there. We are almost at the end of the programme.


Let's give you the answer to our Guess The Year competition.


The correct year was 1960. That's all for now, but don't go away.


We're taking a short break, but we'll be back here on BBC Two in an


hour's time with live coverage of Ed Miliband's speech. See you then.


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