07/10/2013 Daily Politics


07/10/2013

Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With MPs Stephen Dorrell, Hazel Blears and Simon Hughes.


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Good afternoon, welcome to the Daily Politics. The political

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reshuffle comes of age. David Cameron has been tweeting who is in

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and who is out. The biggest scalps Cameron has been tweeting who is in

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so far is the Scottish Secretary, Liberal-Democrat Michael Moore.

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Labour is expected to reorganised their team this afternoon. We will

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have all the comings and goings. The 80s are back. This postman

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wanted you to buy shares in British Gas, now at the Royal Mail is up

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for grabs, but are the terms of the sale wrong?

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Could Government help for poor and has proved to be David Cameron's

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biggest nightmare at the next general election?

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And as MPs return to Westminster after the conference season break,

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it will be asking the grassroots if politics has changed one jot.

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All that in the next hour. With us today we have a pal of MPs who will

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be checking their Twitter accounts hoping for a direct message from

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their party leader. Alice they had taken your telephones away. From

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the Conservatives' Stephen Dorrell, from Labour, Hazel Blears, and

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Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes. Let's start with the

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news a ministerial reshuffle is under way. The big announcement

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this morning is that Michael Moore, the Liberal Democrats Secretary of

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State for Scotland, has been sacked. He will be replaced by a Alistair

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Carmichael, the Lib Dem Chief Whip. Last night two Conservative

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ministers resigned, Chloe Smith who was a minister in the Cabinet

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Office, and John Randall, the Deputy Chief Whip. On Friday the

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transport minister Simon Burns stepped down and announced he

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wanted to stand for the vacant job of Deputy Speaker of the Commons.

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Let's get the latest from our deputy political editor, James

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Landale. At this stage of the game we are in the middle of a reshuffle,

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and as we know they do not always run to plan. There is always a

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minister who says no and a Cabinet minister who refuses a junior

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minister being foisted on him. There are cock-ups. I am always

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slightly cautious before being definitive about these things. As

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far as we know, only one Cabinet change. But if you think we are now

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less than a year away from the referendum on independence in

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Scotland and the Liberal Democrats referendum on independence in

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have chosen to change their Secretary of Sheikh -- State for

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Scotland. Michael Moore was a more consensual figure and he was needed

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to establish the groundwork for the referendum, to agree the rules for

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the referendum. He outmanoeuvred Alex Salmond on several occasions.

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But now they are into the campaign proper they need to have somebody

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who is willing to cross the road and have a fight with Alex Salmond.

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What about the fact this is a reshuffle of a difference because

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it is being done on Twitter. Does that mean we are not going to see

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all those comings and goings in Downing Street? Four years of those

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ministers have been largely sat behind closed doors. The ministers

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the Government wants to flag up and show they are allowed to walk up

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and down the street. Sometimes they were co-ordinated to walk up in

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twos and threes to have individual pictures to make individual points,

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such as more women coming to the Cabinet. Topic of women, is that

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not one of the things David Cameron is considering in this reshuffle?

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There would be more women and more northerners? That is what we are

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told. I can remember when Tony Blair had his first reshuffle in

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1998 with Margaret Jay and Patricia Hewitt. Most prime ministers failed

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to make as much of an impact as they want. I have bumped into the

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junior welfare minister and she refused to say anything, but she is

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looking very happy. The Prime Minister rates her, she is a woman

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as she is on the north of England. The Prime Minister wants to have

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them in ministerial position so they can get on to the telly. David

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Cameron has only carried out one proper reshuffle as such. Does he

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not like doing them? No, he hates them. Tony Blair used to say they

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were Glass Lake. The reason they do not like them is that although it

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is extreme moments of power it is the one time in the Prime

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Minister's calendar when they can say do this, and it happens. It is

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pure power. They do not have to worry about Parliament and

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regulations. But because of that the risks are huge. You had to the

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pool of the discontented, the overlooked, the unhappy, the sacked.

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The risks are almost always higher than the potential gains. David

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Cameron could say, we have got new faces and new women and he could be

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very happy. But this is not the last reshuffle. This is a holding

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pattern from the Conservatives. This will not be the whole team

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that will be fighting the election in 2015. Enjoy the comings and

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goings. Simon, let's talk about Michael Moore. But, first of all,

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are any of you expecting a call? Certainly not. I have not got my

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mobile with a. First of all, Simon, Certainly not. I have not got my

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why do you think Michael Moore has been sacked? They must think the

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campaign is in disarray. I think it is unfair when you say, somebody

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has got the chop. Nick Clegg said at the beginning he wanted to give

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people various opportunities of having a chance. Michael Moore has

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done a fantastic job to make sure we keep Scotland as part of the UK.

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I have seen the work he has done, there is no criticism of him. But

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maybe they want somebody who is a bit more pugilistic. His Alistair

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Carmichael cover? I know him because I have had dealings with

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him a few years ago and he might seem a tougher opponent. That may

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be true and that may be the perception. But if you are the

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chief whip, you are silent. It is quite an unfair job to be given

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because you can never speak out on matters that affect your

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constituents and you issues. It gives Alistair Carmichael a chance

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to re- emerge and be there speaking for Scotland. I do not know whether

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Michael will get another job or not. I think we should say thank you,

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you have done a great job, but change is a good thing with a year

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to go until the referendum. It is a long time coming. Is that a sign of

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weakness or David Cameron shying away from it? Or has it been a

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virtue? A virtue. The point you're making in the introduction that

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reshuffles cause many more problems than they solve, there is always a

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tendency for a Government in problems to have a reshuffle, and

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it always brings in new problems. I think David has been entirely right

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to appoint people he trusts, to wait and then to stick with it and

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allow them to get on and do the job. Do you think they need to be more

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women? Having them more visibly at minister of state level and

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spreading them geographically to get away from the accusation that

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the Tory party is full of posh southerners? David Cameron made it

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clear he wanted a Government where the third of the Government were

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female and the current numbers do not meet that standard. I am sure

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he would be looking for opportunities to do that. But he

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would also say the people he appoints to ministerial office are

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the people best qualified to do the job. Critics will say this is all

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about politics, you have to move certain people, certain people need

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to have a turn. You have to spread around ministerial privilege. Shock,

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horror. Politicians engaging in politics! Did the best people get

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the job? All prime ministers have to balance a whole series of

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factors. But if out of this reshuffle there are more females,

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including those who speak with accents outside the South East of

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England, that would be a good thing from the Tory party's. A pupil

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stock you would be right there in this ministerial reshuffle. Your

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application would be considered favourably. You are not expecting a

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call? No, I am not. I have been delighted to have a bit of freedom,

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to perceive things I really care about. Being a minister is

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fantastic, it is an immense privilege, but the shackles that

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bind you sometimes, it is really hard work. What is it like being

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reshuffled? Tell us the stories. It is amazing. My heart goes out to

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people who are waiting by the telephone or waiting for a tweet.

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People will be so desperate, particularly if you are on your way

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up. This could be you one chance to do something that is exciting and

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it is a privilege to be making policy for the country. I remember

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when I was a very junior health minister at the time, at the bottom

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of the pecking order, and it was a reshuffle and I had not got a phone

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call. I went to Cornwall and I was in the middle of a field,

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surrounded by cows, and the Prime Minister rang me up. I said, I

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cannot talk because there was a cow Minister rang me up. I said, I

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about to chase me. The Prime Minister gave me 10 minutes to get

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out of the field. I did not lose the job. What about the cock-ups

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that James Landale is talking about. How much of that goes on behind the

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scenes? We have heard of people saying, no I do not want to move.

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We heard rumours about Iain Duncan Smith. Does a lot of that go on? It

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certainly went on in John Major's Government. I remember going into

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Number 10 and being put in a room and I had to wait. I do not think I

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had anything to read. I was walking up and down, looking over Horse

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Guards Parade, waiting to be called in to the Prime Minister, he was

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sorting out whether he had a vacancy. There is not a lot of room

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for manoeuvre for the Liberal Democrats in a coalition. That is

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another reason for not doing it so often. If there was a job, what

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would you go for? I am not going to answer that question. We did a deal

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at the beginning of the parliament that it was probably a good idea

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that the deputy debt should not be in the Government so the party

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thought it has somebody at the top of the party not locked in. But

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that has been a criticism levelled at Nick Clegg, that he lost some of

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the influence he might have been able to exert. This was the first

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coalition Government since the war. I do not think everything was done

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perfectly, but it was done in five days under huge pressure. It

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delivered a firm coalition from the beginning and will stay the course.

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It will show that coalitions can work when the electorate vote in

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that way. It is much better than a work when the electorate vote in

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minority Government. It shows we are willing to step up to the plate

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and take difficult decisions. The criticism in the past wars, why

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should we vote for you because you have never been in Government? My

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understanding is that in the coalition both party leaders have

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been clear they want to change within their own defined ranks. Did

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they talk to each other? They could have been hardly any crossover at

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all. Appointments are technically made by the Prime Minister and he

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will talk to Nick Clegg, but Nick Clegg will make the nominations

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appropriately. You will see some changes across the Department

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between the two parties. Don Foster is Lib-Dem Chief Whip. Thank you

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very much. Replacing Alistair Carmichael. Voices are coming into

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my head. The Liberal Democrats were very much the junior partner and

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here they are horse-trading on Cabinet positions without a mandate

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from the electorate. This is a decision behind closed doors. I

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think it is very important. Answer that. The Prime Minister has made a

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change with the support of the Lib Dem leader. The Liberal Democrat

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Party did not win sufficient votes Dem leader. The Liberal Democrat

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and here they are with a whole series of Government posts.

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You negotiate a coalition. I would prefer a majority Labour government.

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It is not likely to happen. When you lost power and did not make a

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majority, the logical conversation was to serve the Liberal Democrats.

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It is worth saying that at the time the coalition was formed, everybody

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said it would break down within a year and it has not. It is has a

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majority in the House of Commons and the majority of people have voted

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for it. It has carried through a programme that has put us in a much

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better place economic leave. -- economically. Hazel! Hazel! No harm

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in that. We will come back to this. Chloe Smith, who we mentioned at the

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beginning, we said it was her decision to go and that is why she

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resigned, she was not purged. I do believe that. She made it clear she

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wanted to do other things with our lives. She has a marginal seat and a

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big fight in Norwich. Politics, gosh. It could be a red letter day

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for owners of Royal Mail shares when the company is officially floated on

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the stock market next week. There's been a last minute dash by

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stockbrokers in the City to buy up the shares, as a number of firms and

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individuals believe the company is significantly undervalued. The

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Government announced last month that shares in the company would be worth

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between £2.60 and £3.30 each, after the company was valued at £3.3

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billion. But analysts at City firm Panmure Gordon said the company was

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worth up to £4.5 billion, with Labour's Chuka Umunna also warning

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the company is being sold off on the cheap. Investors have until midnight

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on Tuesday to apply for the shares, which is expected to be

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oversubscribed as many of the sell-offs in the '80s were. There

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will then be a three day period of "conditional trading" when City

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institutions can buy and sell the shares between each other. The final

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price will then be announced on Friday and shares in Royal Mail will

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be traded on the London Stock Exchange from Tuesday next week.

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That could mean investors making up to 40% profit in just a few days.

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Labour are warning the sell-off should be halted so that it offers

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better value for the taxpayer, and doesn't end up in a bonanza for the

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City. I'm joined now by former City trader David Buik. Welcome to the

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programme. Is the Royal Mail undervalued? Yes. Good. You are

:17:58.:18:12.

talking about the company being worth more than £1 million more than

:18:12.:18:17.

it was estimated as. You need to look at the small print. It is easy

:18:17.:18:24.

to criticise the government. Labour have had an enormous problem trying

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to get Gordon Brown to agree with Peter Mandelson. Things are very

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much better and more scaled down now. The great thing we have had

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with initial public offerings is that they have tended to agree on

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getting the price right. You drain every last sense then there is no

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nickel and dime for every person that comes in. The real problem with

:18:50.:18:54.

trying to evaluate the Royal Mail is the question of what importance you

:18:54.:18:59.

attach to what I call a pretty free and light touch regulation. The

:18:59.:19:05.

regulators have given Royal Mail the opportunity of moving prices for as

:19:05.:19:10.

many as 29 million people. To date, the profit margin of Royal Mail has

:19:10.:19:15.

been 3%. Over the next five years or so, if they get the opportunity to

:19:15.:19:19.

remain competitive, they could increase their margin of

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profitability by 10%. That significantly gives them the

:19:25.:19:28.

opportunity. You never know quite what the likes of FedEx or TNT or

:19:28.:19:37.

other people who have been in business on an international basis

:19:38.:19:44.

will do. It is difficult for Vince Cable but I think he has done a

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fantastic job and he should not be criticised for undervaluing eight

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grossly. If you give people the encouragement to support businesses

:19:53.:19:56.

like this you get a good shareholder register. Are investors set to make

:19:56.:20:05.

a big buck? I think they are. The issue is likely to be ten times

:20:05.:20:13.

oversubscribed. Whether it is the 70% of institution shareholders or

:20:13.:20:21.

others, we will be disappointed with what we get. It gives us a good

:20:21.:20:31.

shareholder register. It could easily be £3 85. Is the Royal Mail

:20:31.:20:40.

undervalued to the tune of £1 billion? I am not an expert. Are you

:20:40.:20:47.

worried? Of course. The government should always try get maximum money.

:20:47.:20:52.

The Post Office struggled and Royal Mail struggled over the years

:20:52.:20:56.

because it had pension liability which has been sorted. It was making

:20:56.:21:00.

loss after loss. The government has delivered a policy which means we do

:21:00.:21:06.

not have closures of Royal Mail services like we have had in the

:21:06.:21:13.

past. The issue for me is whether, in the end, the private sector has

:21:13.:21:20.

the majority or not of the shares. Are you not convinced about the

:21:20.:21:24.

privatisation? I support our manifesto which was 10% employees

:21:24.:21:30.

and is not a majority for the private sector. A combination of

:21:30.:21:35.

government and employees. I hope that is what we end up with. This

:21:35.:21:40.

sounds like a dream for the hedge fund managers and investors. We need

:21:40.:21:44.

to remember that investors in this fund managers and investors. We need

:21:44.:21:49.

context means pension funds. It is the man and woman in the street,

:21:49.:21:54.

through their pension funds. The second thing to remember is that by

:21:54.:21:59.

far the most important argument for transferring Royal Mail into the

:21:59.:22:05.

private sector is to allow it to compete against FedEx and other

:22:05.:22:10.

companies. The male market has changed. We communicate by e-mail

:22:10.:22:14.

and the letter post has declined dramatically. It is a parcel service

:22:15.:22:20.

with a lot of competitors and by moving it into the private sector we

:22:20.:22:25.

have allowed it to take on its competitors in the UK market and to

:22:25.:22:31.

look beyond the UK market so that it becomes a proper competitor in a

:22:31.:22:36.

global business. That is the argument for doing it but you must

:22:36.:22:40.

accept that the Royal Mail is profitable at the moment. I think it

:22:40.:22:43.

is a good thing that it is profitable because that is what

:22:43.:22:53.

allows it to take on global competitors and deliver value to

:22:53.:22:56.

shareholders, the vast majority of whom are men and women in the

:22:56.:23:04.

streets contributing to their pensions. Do you think it is too

:23:04.:23:12.

high? It is quite a lot. Wherever you put a cut off, it reduces the

:23:12.:23:18.

number of people who can participate. What we need to

:23:18.:23:20.

number of people who can remember is that everyone of us

:23:20.:23:24.

participates through our pension funds and life insurance. What about

:23:24.:23:29.

you? Are you in favour of the sell-off? The number one concern of

:23:29.:23:34.

government is to protect the public interest. That means if you go down

:23:34.:23:40.

this route... Are you in favour? We would not have done this. Peter

:23:40.:23:46.

Mandelson would have done it! He is long gone! We would not have done

:23:46.:23:52.

this in the way it is proposed now. The important thing is about

:23:52.:23:54.

regulation and public interest. If this is going cheap then I want to

:23:54.:24:02.

see the interests of the taxpayer protected. The public are concerned

:24:02.:24:08.

that the public get a good deal. If this goes ahead then we will protect

:24:08.:24:13.

the universal service obligations so people get a proper service. We will

:24:13.:24:18.

regulate prices because they have gone up by 30% in the last few

:24:19.:24:23.

years. You are talking about people who see the Royal Mail as essential

:24:23.:24:29.

and we need to see that it is affordable. If it is overvalued then

:24:29.:24:33.

that is a big issue of money not coming into the public purse. Are

:24:33.:24:34.

you comfortable that the public is coming into the public purse. Are

:24:34.:24:40.

being protected? Every day there will be a delivery to wherever you

:24:40.:24:46.

live, whether it be in Bermondsey the Shetlands. It is protected

:24:46.:24:51.

legislation and it can only be changed by legislation. There is no

:24:51.:24:55.

will in any party to change that. As I said earlier, the price is going

:24:55.:25:01.

to be determined by the market. If you want more money then the

:25:01.:25:05.

argument for selling shares is valuable, and you sell it on the

:25:05.:25:11.

open market. If there is a market then you sell it for the price you

:25:11.:25:15.

can raise. These shares are going to be oversubscribed by ten times. You

:25:15.:25:20.

not think it is too low? No, I do not. If the guy from Panmure Gordon

:25:20.:25:25.

had gone on he would have said is not. If the guy from Panmure Gordon

:25:26.:25:29.

they would have difficulties getting it on. They did seem to say that

:25:30.:25:35.

they had done a great job in getting the valuation right. There is the

:25:35.:25:38.

world of difference between getting the valuation right. There is the

:25:38.:25:42.

rid of something and something being oversubscribed. The Royal Mail is

:25:42.:25:46.

profitable and is in the right position and I want to make sure

:25:46.:25:51.

that the public is not ripped off by these shares being sold at the

:25:51.:25:58.

Varsity reduced price. Can I ask you about strikes? That is still on the

:25:58.:26:01.

table, and do you think it can be justified? The trade unions have to

:26:01.:26:06.

protect the interests of their members. I am not in favour of

:26:06.:26:11.

strike action on a utility like this because people depend on it, but the

:26:11.:26:16.

trade unions have a legitimate job to do to make sure their members are

:26:16.:26:24.

protected. The NHS has always been a crucial

:26:24.:26:27.

issue to voters and the political parties who woo them - but perhaps

:26:27.:26:31.

never more than at the next general election. The union Unite believes

:26:31.:26:34.

it has identified 11 English marginal constituencies - currently

:26:34.:26:36.

held by the Conservatives, but only by a handful of votes from Labour -

:26:36.:26:40.

where failings in the health service locally mean they're ripe for the

:26:40.:26:43.

taking, with voters blaming the Coalition for the problems. And

:26:43.:26:46.

Unite claims these seats could be key to Ed Miliband's chances of

:26:46.:26:49.

winning the next election. David Thompson reports.

:26:49.:26:51.

The NHS is an election battlefield and in a dozen corners of England it

:26:51.:26:58.

is a decisive one. The Unite union have identified constituencies where

:26:58.:27:04.

Tory MPs are facing defeat because of problems with the health service,

:27:04.:27:08.

and they say that as a golden opportunity for Labour. If these

:27:08.:27:13.

seeds go to Labour then that could swing the election. That is good

:27:13.:27:18.

because the Shadow Secretary of State for health has said in the

:27:18.:27:23.

first queen's speech that he will repeal the health care act which is

:27:23.:27:30.

costing a fortune and nobody wanted. It is fragmenting our NHS and worse

:27:30.:27:35.

still, it is handing it over to private sector companies. The

:27:35.:27:41.

marginals include direct in Essex. Hospitals have been criticised by

:27:41.:27:46.

health-care watchdogs. The seat is held by Jackie Doyle Price with a

:27:46.:27:50.

majority of 92, but she's coming out fighting. I think Unite are of beam.

:27:50.:27:58.

They have identified that there are a lot of places in the country with

:27:58.:28:02.

health service problems which are represented by Tory MPs but they

:28:02.:28:08.

have interpreted that as being a problem for us. It is not. People

:28:08.:28:11.

have interpreted that as being a have been grappling with these

:28:11.:28:14.

problems and we have put these issues on the desk and the Secretary

:28:14.:28:19.

of State has taken action. Far from highlighting weaknesses of the

:28:19.:28:23.

Coalition Government, Unite are highlighting the fact that I have

:28:23.:28:27.

been on the front line fighting for better care. Unite believe that if

:28:27.:28:33.

it comes to a choice between trusting politicians and trusting

:28:33.:28:37.

health care professionals, they are on the right side of the argument.

:28:37.:28:46.

80% of us believes are GP. 17% of us believe Cabinet members. GPs are

:28:46.:28:54.

saying that the funding for the NHS in England is catastrophic. Whatever

:28:54.:29:03.

the rights and wrongs of the claims by Unite, the future of the NHS will

:29:03.:29:07.

be a key part of the campaign and whoever wins that argument may win

:29:07.:29:13.

the election. Do you agree with that analysis?

:29:13.:29:17.

Is held a crucial issue? It is always a crucial issue in a general

:29:18.:29:26.

election campaign. What's Unite is saying is that there are marginal

:29:26.:29:31.

seats, yes, and the NHS operates in marginal seats. I do not think that

:29:31.:29:35.

has advanced the argument. The reality is that in every seat in the

:29:35.:29:40.

country, voters care about the quality of care delivered by the

:29:40.:29:44.

health service and everyone of us needs to answer questions about it.

:29:44.:29:50.

In those marginal constituencies those issues become more critical

:29:50.:29:54.

and there has been a big reorganisation. On the doorstep,

:29:54.:29:55.

have these reforms been popular or The issue will be whether we are

:29:55.:30:13.

able to change the health service that can meet the needs of the

:30:13.:30:20.

elderly for joined-up, health care services. The irony is it is the

:30:20.:30:25.

piece of legislation that created health and well-being boards which

:30:25.:30:30.

provide the basis for building a more joined-up health care service.

:30:30.:30:36.

You are behind that? Stephen always tops a great deal of sense on this

:30:36.:30:40.

issue. The biggest challenge is their health care of the elderly,

:30:41.:30:48.

particularly those with dementia. Stephen has long campaigned on that.

:30:48.:30:54.

We need to get more results from the money we have got to spend. But

:30:54.:30:59.

there is an issue about disqualified provider where people

:30:59.:31:03.

are genuinely worried about people coming into the health service

:31:03.:31:06.

simply to make money. That goes against the grain of what most

:31:06.:31:11.

people think the health service is far. Tony Blair started those

:31:11.:31:16.

reforms when he was prime minister. Let's look at it from a minority

:31:16.:31:22.

seat perspective. This could be rich pickings for the Liberal

:31:22.:31:27.

Democrats. You could do something completely different. Everybody

:31:27.:31:33.

will fight for good, local health services. Many years ago we had the

:31:33.:31:39.

Battle of Guy's Hospital being closed and St Thomas's survived

:31:39.:31:44.

with a campaign. In the neighbouring borough in Lewisham

:31:44.:31:48.

recently there was a big battle I supported. Because of other

:31:48.:31:56.

people's failings, not Lucienne, we fought so they did not lose their

:31:56.:32:00.

accident and emergency and maternity units. However, the

:32:00.:32:06.

challenge is how you get very good, specialist care, which you cannot

:32:06.:32:10.

have in every town in the country, but secondly, how you have really

:32:10.:32:14.

good community care which means you are not in hospital unless you

:32:14.:32:18.

really need to beat. It is not good enough. Are you signed up to the

:32:18.:32:23.

idea some hospitals have to close? It would be better to have bigger,

:32:23.:32:29.

more specialised units? That seems to be the way medical officials

:32:29.:32:34.

would like to go. Nobody was a hospital shack in their

:32:34.:32:38.

constituency. Of course not. Are they going to stand by it even when

:32:38.:32:43.

the services are bad? People do not go into that for bad services. It

:32:43.:32:48.

is the quality of service that is delivered to the individual patient.

:32:48.:32:53.

It is not just the clinicians. The National Audit Office has just done

:32:54.:32:58.

her review and reckons that 30% of people should not be in hospitals

:32:58.:33:03.

if we had proper joined-up care. That is why we need to take

:33:03.:33:09.

resources away from picking up the pieces and invest more into

:33:09.:33:11.

community-based services and prevention. How much damage has the

:33:11.:33:18.

accident and emergency crisis had on voters? It is one of the ways of

:33:18.:33:23.

the health service gets into the headlines, but it is a

:33:23.:33:27.

manifestation of this issue, that we do not have a system that

:33:27.:33:31.

intervenes earlier and supports people to avoid unnecessary

:33:31.:33:35.

attendances at accident and emergency. But it has happened and

:33:35.:33:39.

do you think you will be blamed for that? Governments are accountable

:33:39.:33:44.

for what goes on in the health service. The way you deal with it

:33:44.:33:48.

is not by focusing on the departments, they are the symptom

:33:48.:33:53.

and not the cause. Andy Burnham was a target, rightly or wrongly,

:33:53.:33:58.

because of what went wrong when he was Health Secretary, looking at

:33:58.:34:02.

the target culture. Is it time at four Andy Burnham to go? No, I do

:34:02.:34:08.

not. This whole issue has become extremely personal and that is bad

:34:08.:34:13.

for politics. Let's talk about acute care, community care, people

:34:13.:34:18.

with dementia, that is what the public care about. It is not a good

:34:18.:34:23.

idea to turn it into a personal vendetta. How do you think it has

:34:23.:34:31.

been challenged and handled? A on besides there is more politics and

:34:31.:34:36.

policy and voters are more interested in policy. Would it

:34:36.:34:41.

defuse the issue if Andy Burnham was moved? You could say if he was

:34:41.:34:46.

moved, he was caving in to what Jeremy Hunt wants to see happen. I

:34:46.:34:50.

think we should talk about the issues. That research shows many of

:34:50.:34:56.

those areas in the airport are whether hospitals are in special

:34:56.:35:01.

measures. Let's sort that out and get the health service to the point

:35:01.:35:06.

where it can look after people. The issues over the last five years

:35:06.:35:11.

have been policy and many hospitals have been unable to deliver quality.

:35:11.:35:17.

Local GPs have not been able to open when people want to go to them.

:35:17.:35:21.

It is now time to look at the political agenda. It is a busy week.

:35:21.:35:27.

Tomorrow nominations open for the post of Deputy Speaker in the

:35:27.:35:31.

Commons. Also on Tuesday, the Lobbying Bill has its report stage.

:35:31.:35:36.

On Wednesday the Privy Council is expected to meet to decide whether

:35:36.:35:43.

to improve proposals for a royal charter poor press regulation. On

:35:43.:35:47.

Wednesday the Business Committee holds a one of hearings on Royal

:35:47.:35:52.

Mail privatisation. On Thursday Lord Justice Leveson gives evidence

:35:52.:35:57.

to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Turning us from the

:35:57.:36:04.

green is Kieran Stacey of the Financial Times and Alastair Little.

:36:04.:36:11.

Are you excited by the reshuffle? More than I can possibly say. It is

:36:11.:36:18.

ongoing as we speak. Some journalists have to admit they will

:36:18.:36:22.

struggle to recognise the names involved in the reshuffle. We are

:36:22.:36:27.

getting a few hints and we have not had the whole of it yet. We are

:36:27.:36:34.

fascinated by it. I can tell. Let's not do any tests of whether we

:36:34.:36:41.

recognise the faces. But I can tell you that estimate the bay has been

:36:41.:36:44.

promoted, but we do not know to what. Do you think this will build

:36:44.:36:52.

a stronger team even if it is not the last reshuffle going into the

:36:52.:36:57.

election? I do not think it will be the last reshuffle. We are

:36:57.:37:01.

expecting a more substantial reshuffle sometime next year,

:37:01.:37:05.

probably after the European elections, when he can assess what

:37:05.:37:10.

he needs to do for that final push to the election. He is moving a few

:37:10.:37:14.

people up to the level below Cabinet so they are ready for that

:37:14.:37:19.

final push. That is if she was to bring in more women -- if he wants

:37:19.:37:29.

to bring in more women. Let's look at the reshuffle in Labour's team.

:37:29.:37:34.

That will be more substantial. There are very clear signals of

:37:34.:37:39.

where Ed Miliband once his team to go. As the guests were discussing,

:37:40.:37:45.

there is a huge interest in Andy Burnham's future. At the moment the

:37:45.:37:51.

betting is on him remaining as a shadow Health Secretary. Of course,

:37:51.:37:56.

I could be 100% wrong on that one. Andy Burnham has raised the stakes.

:37:56.:38:03.

As scandals emerge about the NHS that took place under the last

:38:03.:38:07.

Labour Government, Andy Burnham inevitably has to spend a lot of

:38:07.:38:12.

time defending his own and his Government's record rather than

:38:12.:38:15.

getting on the front foot and attacking the Conservative policy.

:38:15.:38:20.

But I think if Andy Burnham was moved, a lot of people would say it

:38:20.:38:26.

is a skull for the media, which Ed Miliband would hate. Yes, indeed.

:38:26.:38:32.

Let's have a look at press regulation. Is this all going to be

:38:32.:38:37.

signed and sealed? I was talking to some campaigners and they were

:38:37.:38:41.

absolutely convinced this was going to be signed and sealed at the next

:38:41.:38:46.

meeting of the Privy Council. They thought it was done. They always

:38:46.:38:50.

wanted press regulation of the press. I am not so sure. Just

:38:50.:38:57.

before the summer or they were being pretty slow about consulting

:38:57.:39:01.

on the various options. There are two options on the table. There is

:39:01.:39:06.

one that the cross-party agreement has put forward and there is one

:39:06.:39:10.

that the press has put forward. Neither side likes the other one's

:39:10.:39:15.

proposal. We have not come to a stage where either side has managed

:39:15.:39:19.

to get over that. We could just do it anyway and say to the papers,

:39:19.:39:23.

here it is. I do not think they would do that. I think there will

:39:23.:39:29.

be more stagnation. None of the parties want to make this a big

:39:29.:39:33.

issue right now a. Do you agree with that? I think it is a

:39:33.:39:38.

compelling argument and we will all be looking forward to seeing Lord

:39:38.:39:43.

Levison appear. He is a member of the Privy Council ironically, but I

:39:43.:39:47.

gather he will not take part in the discussions on it. A bit of revenge

:39:47.:39:54.

I feel. The Conservative backbencher Adam Afriyie told the

:39:54.:39:57.

BBC he does not like creating a stir. He has got a funny way of

:39:57.:40:00.

going about it. His latest bid to stir. He has got a funny way of

:40:00.:40:05.

help the party leadership is to call for an end-out referendum next

:40:05.:40:11.

year, saying many voters are not convinced David Cameron would be

:40:11.:40:16.

able to deliver the vote in 2017 as promised. Here he is. The only

:40:16.:40:22.

struggle I have had is not a fight with my party, but a fight with my

:40:22.:40:24.

struggle I have had is not a fight conscience as to whether or not we

:40:24.:40:26.

struggle I have had is not a fight give Parliament and the British

:40:26.:40:30.

people the opportunity to have their say in 24 it in. I wanted

:40:30.:40:36.

people to have that opportunity. It is for each individual MP to search

:40:36.:40:42.

their souls. You decided it would get you in the headlines again, so

:40:42.:40:47.

you would do it. You are so cynical. I have no ambition in that

:40:47.:40:51.

direction, I am not a publicity seeker. I would not be able to

:40:51.:40:56.

sleep that night if I did not bring forward this opportunity for

:40:56.:41:01.

Britain to have its say. We have left it far too long. Nobody under

:41:01.:41:08.

the age of 56 has had a save. That was Adam talking to Andrew

:41:08.:41:13.

yesterday. We can speak to the Conservative MP behind the Commons

:41:13.:41:18.

Bill designed to ensure there is a referendum by the end of 2017. He

:41:18.:41:23.

has wrestled with his conscience, so he is doing your party in favour.

:41:23.:41:28.

He is sincere in what he is bringing forward, but I also think

:41:28.:41:34.

he is wrong. I got a bill through that will guarantee their

:41:34.:41:40.

referendum by 2017. This amendment could derail that. It will cost

:41:40.:41:43.

time and it will make it more difficult to deliver the bill. I do

:41:43.:41:48.

not doubt Adam's reasons are genuine, but he should reconsider.

:41:48.:41:54.

But he is not alone in thinking it would be better to have a

:41:54.:41:58.

referendum sooner rather than later. There are not many colleagues I

:41:58.:42:01.

have spoken to who are keen to support it. Then maybe one or two.

:42:01.:42:08.

The Conservative Party is united behind the bill. There are

:42:08.:42:13.

differences of opinion. Some people agree with the policy that we

:42:13.:42:17.

should get the best possible deal. Some MPs do not want a referendum

:42:17.:42:23.

at all. All this does is play into the hands of those who do not want

:42:23.:42:27.

a referendum. Is he a publicity seeker? I think he has certainly

:42:28.:42:31.

had the predictable effect of seeker? I think he has certainly

:42:31.:42:36.

taking headlines. I am a co-sponsor of James' Bill and agree with

:42:36.:42:38.

everything James has said. I am a of James' Bill and agree with

:42:38.:42:43.

strong supporter on the principle of a referendum, but before you

:42:43.:42:47.

have a referendum it is a good idea to know what the question is.

:42:47.:42:54.

Labour could support Adam Afriyie's amendment and then see what happens.

:42:54.:42:59.

I am not in charge of deciding our policy position. I would say this,

:42:59.:43:05.

here we are again squabbling about Europe and what the public see is

:43:05.:43:08.

they are interested in jobs, the economy, the NHS and here we are

:43:08.:43:14.

again within the Conservative Party. You cannot get your act together to

:43:14.:43:19.

sort it out. Labour is not united on this. There would be some end

:43:19.:43:23.

sort it out. Labour is not united Labour's Wrens who would dearly

:43:23.:43:26.

like to sign up to Adam Afriyie's amendment. There will be a debate

:43:26.:43:32.

on this as there is in all political parties. Because Labour

:43:32.:43:38.

is split. I look forward to the day that Labour announces they will

:43:38.:43:40.

support the Bill because there would be a national consensus about

:43:40.:43:46.

the need to negotiate a new settlement for Britain in the EU.

:43:46.:43:51.

Personally, I think there is a very strong case for giving people a say

:43:51.:43:56.

on something as big an issue as the pupil stock rock the boat, he is a.

:43:56.:44:04.

You want me to support a Tory Bill? You are kidding. A cross-party Bill.

:44:04.:44:12.

But I genuinely think, here you are again squabbling about Europe. Stop

:44:12.:44:17.

it and deal with the issues the public want to talk about. One

:44:17.:44:22.

Conservative MP has come out and said, I think it should be

:44:22.:44:26.

different. Everybody else is united behind this Bill. You are not

:44:26.:44:34.

worried at told that Adams said in five weeks support will start to

:44:34.:44:37.

come for the amendment and as you say, that could wreck your bill

:44:38.:44:41.

altogether. Are you totally relaxed he is not going to get it? I am not

:44:41.:44:48.

relaxed at all. If it gets selected by the Speaker, that will have to

:44:48.:44:53.

be debated and that would take time. It is not going to get past and he

:44:53.:44:58.

will not get the support from the Conservative Party, but it is

:44:58.:45:02.

putting at risk our chances of delivering the referendum. People

:45:02.:45:07.

are not convinced. What happens in 2015, we do not know. David Cameron

:45:07.:45:15.

might not be prime minister. You could pass legislation to undo it.

:45:15.:45:20.

That is why some people are saying, let's go for it now.

:45:20.:45:28.

we need to negotiate a new settlement for this country and seek

:45:28.:45:37.

the support of the public for that new settlement. How likely is it

:45:37.:45:40.

that you will get new powers back and there will be this great new

:45:40.:45:47.

settlement? There may be some chance if we can get renegotiation. There

:45:47.:45:54.

may be some change. We have not remembered that within this

:45:54.:45:57.

Parliament we have legislated to provide for a referendum already.

:45:57.:46:05.

Our view has been that that is the time to do it rather than picking an

:46:05.:46:10.

arbitrary date such as 2017 or next year. It is better to do it when

:46:10.:46:17.

there is a process. My fear is that a lot of people are looking at a

:46:17.:46:27.

celibate argument. I am clear for my constituents and everywhere else in

:46:27.:46:33.

the country, coming out of the EU, in jobs terms and in investment

:46:33.:46:37.

terms, will be the worst thing for Britain. I understand that we can go

:46:37.:46:43.

alone but in terms of real jobs, real trade and real investment, we

:46:43.:46:50.

are clear that the referendum will be arguing towards staying in the

:46:50.:47:01.

EU. I'm a campaign with you! I will have to finish it there.

:47:01.:47:08.

MPs return to Parliament tomorrow after three weeks of knocking back

:47:08.:47:12.

the ginger ale at the party conference season. Now, by all

:47:12.:47:14.

accounts, probably theirs, David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg

:47:14.:47:17.

have all had 'a good conference' with no major mishaps. But just how

:47:17.:47:21.

happy are party members with their political leaders? I'm joined from

:47:21.:47:24.

College Green by Conrad Landin from Left Futures, Gareth Epps, from the

:47:24.:47:27.

Liberal Democrat Social Liberal Forum, and James Joshua of

:47:27.:47:33.

Conservative Grassroots. Welcome to all of you. Can I start with Gareth?

:47:33.:47:39.

Did you hear what you wanted to hear from Nick Clegg? I think some of the

:47:39.:47:46.

party will be happy with what he said but there is a difference of

:47:46.:47:51.

opinion amongst the Lib Dems from those who want us to go into the

:47:51.:47:55.

next election campaigning loudly on Liberal Democrat principles and

:47:55.:48:06.

those who want to adjust their positions with regards to short-term

:48:06.:48:08.

expediency. There is a mix of opinion. There are some who will be

:48:08.:48:17.

happier than others. What about you? Were you happy? Personally speaking,

:48:17.:48:26.

I would like more differentiation. What epitomised it was over the

:48:26.:48:33.

economy where we had a debate, and we have seemed to have ended up with

:48:33.:48:41.

a situation where we have a dangerous initiative in the housing

:48:41.:48:44.

market being brought forward. It runs the risk of taking us back to

:48:44.:48:49.

the days of Gordon Brown with a housing bubble fuelled by debt. We

:48:49.:48:53.

want to see real investment going in. James Joshua, there was a

:48:53.:49:03.

consensus that the speech of David Cameron was a holding speech and did

:49:03.:49:07.

not set the world on fire. Do you agree? I think the Prime Minister

:49:07.:49:15.

states his positions very well. There is time until the elections

:49:15.:49:19.

and he has set out policies. He is now focusing on getting through the

:49:19.:49:27.

next two budgets and I think he has set things in motion. We are heading

:49:27.:49:30.

in the right direction in terms of policy. We need to start creating a

:49:30.:49:36.

clear dividing line between us and the other parties so we can have a

:49:37.:49:43.

vision for the future. Do you think the marriage tax allowance did

:49:43.:49:47.

that? It is a step in the right direction but I do not think it went

:49:47.:49:55.

far enough. There is more that needs to be done. Conrad, Ed Miliband was

:49:55.:50:02.

criticised for being in visible over the summer. Do you think he seized

:50:02.:50:09.

the initiative? Yes, I do. I think he made a good speech overall and it

:50:09.:50:13.

shows that Ed Miliband is not only a strong leader, and not only can he

:50:13.:50:20.

challenged the government on their disastrous record, but he can set

:50:20.:50:28.

the agenda. When he made his announcement on energy prices,

:50:28.:50:32.

empower changed their website so it said, why wait for Ed? They offered

:50:32.:50:39.

customers the opportunity to set their energy prices there and then.

:50:39.:50:45.

I think, for some years, Labour Party activists have been saying

:50:45.:50:50.

that we need bold policies and the front bench have been saying, no, we

:50:50.:50:56.

need caution and we cannot afford to make a commitment at this point. I

:50:56.:51:00.

think the party activists and the party grassroots have been proved

:51:00.:51:04.

right. There is an opportunity for the Labour Party. We have been very

:51:04.:51:09.

unpopular privatisation of Royal Mail that is about to happen, and at

:51:09.:51:16.

the party conference I was very pleased that the party unanimously

:51:16.:51:20.

agreed to renationalise the Royal Mail after a general election win.

:51:20.:51:27.

My message to the leadership is, no, do not ignore that and do not

:51:28.:51:32.

undermine that and accept that the party grassroots will pledge to

:51:32.:51:44.

renationalise. James, you were concerned by the threat of UKIP. I

:51:44.:51:51.

think, at the grassroots level, we are concerned by the threat of UKIP.

:51:51.:51:58.

I speak for myself and not the Conservative grassroots, but I am in

:51:58.:52:03.

favour of local linkups with UKIP. It will not split the centre-right

:52:03.:52:12.

vote, and in my view that would be disastrous for the country. We had

:52:12.:52:15.

13 years of Labour and we have a mess we need to clean up now. It

:52:15.:52:19.

would be unrealistic to go back to that mess. Thank you, gentlemen.

:52:19.:52:27.

Thank you for joining us. Local linkups. Let's pick up on that

:52:27.:52:36.

issue. Nigel Farage said it could be done on a local level. What you

:52:36.:52:41.

think M I am not in favour with the UKIP party or the Lib Dems or any

:52:41.:52:46.

other party. I think the Tories should go into the election and aim

:52:46.:52:51.

to win a majority. On your big question about party conferences, I

:52:51.:52:52.

to win a majority. On your big think we have a bigger division

:52:53.:52:57.

coming up. The key point from Ed Miliband was about price control.

:52:57.:53:06.

David Cameron enabled us to see rising standards and I think the

:53:06.:53:12.

party can win a majority without support from other parties. There is

:53:12.:53:16.

clear water between Labour and the support from other parties. There is

:53:16.:53:19.

Conservatives, is there not? There is no doubt about it. The activists

:53:19.:53:28.

who are knocking on doors will be happy with the way the party is

:53:28.:53:34.

going. I you happy that socialism is back? I have been knocking on doors

:53:34.:53:39.

for the last two months. We had two by-elections and I am delighted we

:53:39.:53:43.

have tangible policies to talk about. It was time to talk about

:53:43.:53:48.

it. I think what Ed Miliband bid was clever but heartfelt. It was about

:53:48.:53:55.

standing up to vested interests and acting on behalf of the public, the

:53:55.:54:00.

little guy, if you like. The energy companies have behaved

:54:00.:54:05.

irresponsibility, I think all parties would agree with that. Good

:54:05.:54:12.

politics and Bonk economics, somebody said. I do not think the

:54:12.:54:20.

public would feel that. 25 experience -- 25 years of experience

:54:20.:54:25.

of this. They understand that moving a freer economy delivers better

:54:25.:54:30.

living standards. You also need good regulation to stand up for the

:54:30.:54:36.

public. Interesting words from Gareth who said he would like more

:54:36.:54:42.

differentiation. He felt and feels that Nick Clegg and the Liberal

:54:42.:54:45.

Democrats are far too close on that Nick Clegg and the Liberal

:54:45.:54:49.

spending cuts to welfare, for example. Look, I think there is

:54:49.:54:56.

differentiation. The key policy from this government came from our

:54:56.:55:02.

manifesto which was raising the tax threshold. It was our policy and the

:55:02.:55:07.

Conservatives agreed to it. We wanted people to be less oppressed

:55:07.:55:13.

and keep more of their money. We wanted to collect more money from

:55:13.:55:16.

people at the top. We need to do more. What would you like to see? I

:55:16.:55:25.

want it to continue in that direction and to lift the minimum

:55:25.:55:33.

wage level. On energy, very quickly, we had a real failure by the

:55:33.:55:39.

regulators. When Labour win government, the energy supplier did

:55:39.:55:45.

not do the job properly. I do not think that Vince Cable would argue

:55:45.:55:50.

that price control is the best way. I must stop you. More details are

:55:50.:55:55.

emerging of the reshuffle. Michael Moore has been given his reaction

:55:55.:56:02.

from moving as Secretary of State for Scotland. I am disappointed to

:56:02.:56:06.

be moving away from this office. I am pleased about what I have

:56:06.:56:10.

achieved, in particular with regard to the constitutional Scotland. This

:56:10.:56:16.

big decision we are taking as a Scotland is bigger than one

:56:17.:56:20.

particular individual and 1-party. I look forward to playing a role in

:56:20.:56:23.

the constitutional debate in the next 12 months. Let's get the latest

:56:23.:56:28.

from our political correspondent. What more can you tell us? A few

:56:28.:56:34.

more bits and pieces. Esther McVeigh who qualifies as a woman, moves up

:56:34.:56:43.

to a minister at state level. I cannot see any other women or

:56:43.:56:50.

Northerners. Mike Penny, born in Luton, he moves over to DWP. Greg

:56:50.:56:57.

hands moves up to the whips office. There are no women at the moment. We

:56:57.:57:07.

are promised there will be. The big story is the removal of Michael

:57:07.:57:14.

Moore. A bit of feedback on it. A lot of people are questioning it.

:57:14.:57:19.

They wanted a more abrasive approach, some people. A lot of

:57:19.:57:26.

feedback I have been getting is that Michael Moore pitched its just

:57:26.:57:30.

right. He did not allow Alex Salmond is to pitch it as an anti-Scotland

:57:30.:57:34.

campaign. Though some questions about whether it was the right

:57:34.:57:39.

move. They want somebody to take on Alex Salmond day today. We are

:57:39.:57:49.

seeing pictures there of Nick Clegg. That is done. Sadly Davitt has been

:57:49.:57:56.

appointed as the Secretary to the Prime Minister 's financial

:57:56.:58:01.

concerns. We no longer have the walk of shame. If you lose your job you

:58:01.:58:06.

no longer have to remove it and people will not shouted you! If you

:58:06.:58:16.

get a job, you get a walk of joy. Esther McVeigh went in, Greg hands

:58:17.:58:22.

went in. If you walk up the street, you are going to get promoted.

:58:22.:58:29.

Everybody else, it is a no-go. If you see people walking up the

:58:29.:58:35.

street, Norman, it makes the job a bit easier for you! I hope your day

:58:35.:58:38.

is not too long. Thank you for bit easier for you! I hope your day

:58:38.:58:42.

joining us. Have we got a few seconds more, briefly? It does not

:58:42.:58:47.

sound that dramatic, does it? Apart from Michael Moore. That is the big

:58:47.:58:54.

story this afternoon. Later on, maybe the women will emerge, I do

:58:54.:59:00.

hope so. We need more women in government.

:59:00.:59:02.

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