23/10/2013 Daily Politics


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Morning, folks. The future of Scotland's biggest oil refinery and


petrochemical works is in the balance. The company that owns the


huge Grangemouth complex is a key part of Britain's industrial


infrastructure has announced that the petrochemicals complex is to


close with the loss of hundreds of jobs. The decision follows a bitter


row between management and unions over cost-cutting. The future of the


oil refinery is also in the balance. Remember John Major? He used to be


the Prime Minister. Yesterday, he had a whole host of advice for


Number Ten's present incumbent, including a windfall tax on the


energy companies. Will the former Prime Minister's


words come back to haunt David Cameron at PMQs? We will have all


the action live at midday. Would you want some of these in your


back garden? We will be talking to one Tory MP who does not.


We have a responsibility to future generations to protect the


countryside. The local community does not want 300 acres of solar


panels in our back yard. All that is coming up. Great British


Bake Off eat your heart out! We made these.


Jo did this with me as her able assistant. The Daily Politics is


where it's at! We have cakes, muffins, apple turnovers, something


French and fancy on the programme today.


Who is that? What about rough puff? Some kind of strange drug, I think.


We have two contestants who have promised me they have never suffered


a soggy bottom, the Conservative Party Chairman, Grant Shapps, and


the brand-new Shadow Transport Secretary, Mary Creagh. Breaking


news. It is grim for Grangemouth. The decision by INEOS, a Swiss-based


company, to close its petrochemical site at Grangemouth in Scotland has


shocked everybody. It follows a pay dispute over pay and conditions and


what needs to be done to secure new investment to keep the


petrochemicals plant going. Let's get the latest from our Scotland


correspondent, Laura Bicker. Laura, I guess the unions can now be in no


doubt that the company is not bluffing? Exactly. That is what the


main owner of INEOS, the main shareholder in INEOS said at the


weekend in a Sunday newspaper. He said he would close down the plant


and he warned workers if they voted the wrong way, there would be no


happy ending at this plant. Workers filed into a canteen this morning.


They were told at 10.00am that the petrochemical element of this plant


would close. That's around 750 workers, we are told. They filed out


very unhappy, very angry. They are not sure about redundancy payments


currently. We have heard from the INEOS company, the chairman of the


site here, he said there was only ever going to be one outcome to this


story and we continued to lose money. INEOS says it is losing ?10


million a month at this site. They say the proposed strike action,


which was called off, has cost them ?20 million. The Scottish Government


yesterday intervened. He said it was discussing a potential buyer. It


says it was looking at other players when it came to this plant. I


understand that union officials are talking to both the Scottish


Government and the Government at Westminster to try to come to a deal


when it comes to this plant. We will hear from the unions within the next


hour. But real shock here for the workers as they head home and wonder


what their future holds. Let's stick with the petrochemical complex to


begin with. The petrochemical complex feeds off the oil refinery.


Stick with petrochemicals to begin with. INEOS is out of this now. This


isn't going to change. They are gone from the petrochemical complex. They


have called in the liquidators? That's exactly what they have said


in their statement this morning. Certainly, that is what they have


told the workforce. They do not want to keep hold of the petrochemical


plant. They said that they have no choice but to call in the


liquidators. They say that, "We will struggle to comprehend what has


happened here. The employees were offered a chance to secure


substantial new investment in the company, preserve their jobs and


keep their salaries. . Sadly, this will no longer be the case." They


offered workers a deal whereby they would offer workers a cut in pay and


in pensions in return, they said, that would help keep the plant


running. They said without that, the plant would have to shut by 2017.


So, this morning, they say this should come as no surprise to


workers after the vote, after that ballot where workers, around half of


them, decided not to take that option, the survival plan. They say


that this was the only outcome after that ballot. Alright. Final


question. The oil refinery has not been closed. It's not operating, the


oil refinery has still been shut down. Do I take it from that... The


oil refinery... That could also be under threat? Well, the oil refinery


has been shut down for a week as part of a health and safety. INEOS


need to close down the plant ahead of any planned strike action. It's


not been started today. The oil refinery has not been restarted,


which is something we expected to hear about. They say it will not be


restarted until unions give them a guarantee that there will be no


strike action. Unions have already given them that guarantee. They said


they gave them that guarantee last week. But they want to discuss these


new terms and conditions that they say is being imposed on their staff.


We are still at a stalemate when it comes to the oil refinery. Its


future again is being discussed. Thank you very much for bringing us


up-to-date. We are joined now by the Labour MP for the Grangemouth


constituency, Michael Connerty. Have the unions made an existential error


here? They have been set up. It is quite clear this company prepared


for this conflict quite well. They are bringing in petrol in tankers.


The company made it clear if you can't agree to this new deal, which


will bring ?300 million in new investment, then it's off? The


difficulty was the way they did it. I have never seen a negotiation like


this. I have represented this place for 21 years. We have lost thousands


of jobs. It's now down to 1,300. That is true of all petrochemical


works? Exactly. I remember the $10 when crude was only getting $10. Now


it is $113. The feed stock is hugely expensive. The unions said they were


willing to negotiate all of this. We will give you a no strike agreement,


not just to the end of the negotiations, but as long as it


takes. They wouldn't withdraw this ultimatum. If you had seen the


letter... I have seen the letter. The company is losing ?150


million... They have two problems. They are paying huge amounts for the


feed stock and the refinery is losing money hand over fist. They


lost ?110 million on the refinery. They are locked into a deal that BP


made them sign when they bought the plant to say they will take all the


gas that comes off. They have to take all of that to 2017. It's now


full of... It's a basket case? It is not a basket case. What they are


doing in Norway, and in Grangemouth, was to bring in ethane from the


States. Sure. They said to me in 2022 and beyond, there is a lot of


money to be made here and they wanted to take ?50 million out of


that plant. They are talking not just about the workers, they are


talking about shutting the plant... I know. They want to bring in ethane


from the States because it is a lot cheaper. Correct. It's a stand-off.


To do that was going to cost ?300 million in new investment to build


the port facilities to bring in this ethane from the United States, where


it is a lot cheaper. And they wanted new conditions in terms to go ahead.


The unions said no. It seems like this petrochemical plant is going to


close unless someone else comes to buy it. Who is going to buy it? That


is still a serious prospect. Who? I think anyone who looks at this - the


figures said 2022, we will break even. Who? I think the chemical


industry is still viable. Let me finish, Andrew. 30% of the ethane


that goes down the pipeline comes from Grangemouth. They are going to


turn that tap off. It means there is a demand for... There is a world


surplus and it can be made more cheaply elsewhere. If you think


someone else can buy this, give me a name? I don't know who is in the


frame. Let me give you two names. I will tell you why they are not going


to do it. Dow Chemical, reinvesting in the United States. BASF, German,


has told the German government unless energy prices come down, we


will move to America as well. Who would buy Grangemouth in these world


conditions? I think at the moment we have to look at whether the


Secretary of Fps of the Scottish Government says he is looking to


find new buyers. I know that. Who? The biggest problem for us is do we


say that because of the decision of this company not to negotiate - you


said it wasn't a question of sharing the future, it was a case of we want


all of this for us after 2022. It seems sensible to me to pay back the


debt and then make a lot of money, then they should share it with the


people in the company. Did they set out to do this because they got


beaten in 2008? That is a very dangerous way to run a company. Will


there be calls to nationalise it? I don't think there will be a call


from this present Government... I wasn't thinking of that, I was


thinkingior party? You could lumber the taxpayer with this loss-making


business? This is the company - they briefed me for an hour-and-a-half


about how they would make all of this money. They seem to want to


beat the union down. That is not a good way to go forward. In the 21st


Century, are we wanting to have a situation where you have to beat the


workers down and make people hate you to get more profit more quickly?


I don't think so. What is the Westminster Government doing about


it? There will be an urgent statement this afternoon from Ed


Davey. He will be outlining the next steps, working with the Scottish


Government. For people watching this who are not experts in the industry,


all of these detailed discussions real boil down to - there are 750


jobs here. If the Government can do anything to help them, we will. In


the end, this needs to be a business which stands alone as a profitable


business otherwise clearly it can't buck the economics of the market.


The Government's already offered some treasury guarantees on raising


the money that is needed for this investment. What else can the


Government do? I'm concerned about the future of the oil refinery and


in terms of the resill generals of the UK's fuel supply. We have seen a


plant already shut down. We are still waiting for that report. Of


course, it is not just the jobs being lost today. There are many


more jobs dependent in the supply chain. I well understand. The


company had asked for that guarantee. What do you want the


Government to do? We want to see a strategic review of what we are


doing about the fuel because what we don't want is to add to the


cost-of-living crisis by seeing petrol prices rising. A strategic


review? People's jobs are at stake here. Absolutely. How You have


called for a strategic review while you did nothing when you were in


power? There are a whole series of costs in the industry. And the


future is bright, it is the bridge to the future that is the problem.


The future is grim. What is happening - well, Michael has


described if the port changes can be made, if shale gas... He is a


politician. He is not putting a penny up. You haven't got the money.


I don't have the money. So it is irrelevant. I have confidence in my


constituents. I know... I understand that. I worked in that industry when


I was a student. I know the industry. I'm well aware of that.


There is money to be made. That bridge can be crossed. Can you... I


remember Timex in Dundee, the same union under a different name. They


said this is a good factory, there is a future here. But we need a


change in working practices. The union didn't agree. Then they left


Dundee. Will we see the same in Grangemouth.


I hope they are going to get somebody else to run the plant.


Thank you. We will wait and see. It's a tough time for your


constituents. Very worrying. Keep in touch with us because it is a big


story. As part/ Mac a Parliamentary hat,


Charles Dickens was a guest. -- as a parliament Rehak.


If you could just sit down a moment! Where was I? Margaret


Thatcher has been there. I haven't. There's still time. I am talking


about the Press Gallery Lunch. It usually an excuse for some House of


Commons claret. Yesterday, John Major spoke. They got more than they


bargained for. He certainly seems to be on fine


form yesterday lunchtime. As the last Conservative leader to win a


general election, his views will have been listened to carefully at


Conservative HQ. He told the journalists that George Osborne


should impose a windfall tax of this winter on the energy companies who


are raising prices and making massive profits. He also once more


help for the silent have nots who are being overlooked. Too many


people, he said, were falling behind through no fault of their own. He


also had words of warning for Iain Duncan Smith, saying he should


listen to some of his critics on welfare reform rather than just the


bean counters who obsess over abuse in the system. On Europe, the former


Prime Minister said he was opposed to James Warton's bill for an EU


referendum by 2017. He backed the idea of a referendum, although he


says Britain will vote to stay in the EU and that will end the debate


for a generation. He had to say to the BBC will stop I think there is a


real chance -- to the BBC. I think there's a real chance the government


will be forced to provide more help to people. It would be entirely


reasonable for the Chancellor then to recoup the money back from the


energy companies in a one off in past given the scale of their


profits. John Major. I'm joined by two men who never turned out a lunch


invitation. They are journalists! Tim Shipman from the Daily Mail and


Kevin Maguire from the Mirror. Tim Shipman, John Major seems to


surprise everybody in the press gallery. Did he surprise number ten


with his announcements, particularly on energy? He did a bit. He


surprised journalists. I cover anybody ever making so much news as


John Major yesterday. -- I can't remember. Does it mean, Kevin


Maguire, that he not only made these dramatic announcements but he then


went on to the cameras afterwards, which sort of looked planned,


choreographed, and surely there must have been some conversation going


on? I think the great man of British politics burst into colour and he


said, look, I am free, I can say what they like. You thought, he's


still a Tory but he sounds like he has a Labour manifesto. He can say


what he likes. They windfall tax. Go back to 1987, that was a Labour


policy. Margaret Thatcher had a couple of windfall taxes in the


1980s. He is free, and as he said, he can say what he likes. He


actually believes it on energy. Because he is the last Conservative


leader to win an overall majority, is he a man worth listening to? A


lot of MPs will think years. Don't forget, John Major got millions of


votes in 1992. A local Tories in marginal seats might think he has


something to say. When Tony Blair turned up yet -- last year, he said


he would only be there to see if he can still do it. John Major seems to


want to get involved in the polity is going on. Not only did he talk


about energy prices, he gave the Prime Minister a hard time about how


Tory MPs don't seem to care about the poor. For me, that was almost


more striking. It sounded like a bit of a warning to both parties. Yes,


no doubt more for the Conservatives in tone. It was all quite laden with


political overtones, Kevin. It was. He says, I know these people, I was


brought up with them. No doubt, when you have three bowling boys at the


top of the Conservative party, there was a comment in there. You cannot


say that Ed Miliband was dragged up in Yorkshire. His father was a


famous academic. John Major, he is old school. It is hard now to see


somebody like him getting to the top of British politics, possibly. Thank


you both very much. Grant Shapps, is John Major worth listening to?


Fanelli. He is right in terms of... He is right in terms of themes. You


have got a recession that we now discover was the biggest the country


ever had. The economy strength by the last election. It has taken a


long time to start to rebuild the growth, turn the corner. We're not


even back yet. As a result, there are lots of people whose cost of


living pressures are enormous. John Major is right to remind not just


the government but the country that those are the biggest challenges we


face. On the windfall tax on energy companies, why is it a bad idea? We


said it was interesting rather than a bad idea. A euphemism. We need to


ensure that is more competition in the marketplace. Things like that


?19 billion investment announced yesterday on Hinkley Point, that is


really important. We have got to have a mix of measures. The idea


that we can simply declared that everybody will pay less in energy


prices, as Ed Miliband has tried to do, in the knowledge that they were


put up the prices in advance... Or that we can somehow punish the


industry for not being competitive enough... Hold on. Yesterday was the


second biggest investment in the world. It is not going to do


anything about energy prices now. Heating or eating. John Major really


expressed it in those stark terms. He seemed to be pointing the finger


at the Conservatives, saying, you just don't understand the number of


people out there who are suffering. Absolutely we understand. He is


making a good point, which is that because of the failure to invest in


power plants over the years, over a decade, we have ended up in a


situation where we have ludicrously expensive power in this country.


This is something you can only address by building more, for which


you need the investment. One thing not to do is put people off


investing power in this country, or you make it more expensive for the


consumer in future. Let's go to Mary Creagh. Ed Miliband was tweeting


that John Major was making Labour's argument. But he did say that the


energy freeze wasn't workable. He is wrong. It is hugely embarrassing for


David Cameron to have a former Prime Minister break his self-denying


ordinance and speak out in this way and say the Conservative party is


out of touch. I am asking why you think his energy freeze cannot work.


What we have heard from Grant Shapps is more hot air. We have an energy


policy from this government which is basically, put on a jumper. That is


not sustainable. Investment in green energy has more than halved since


your government came in. It is down to ?3 billion. All of the community


schemes that were in the pipeline have been messed about because of


the solar tariff messed up. You didn't commission a single nuclear


power station in 13 years. Nothing was made or agreed. We put the


climate change act into action, which created the playing field


which said we want to move towards cleaner, greener energy. That has


more than halved under your government. We are having a cost of


living crisis where people are having to make, as John Major said,


the choice between heating their homes and eating. He knows it


because that is where he has come from. There will be a big gathering.


Somebody will drop something to somebody else's head. There may be


tears and screaming. Not PMQs. I'm talking about Prince George's


christening. The third in line to the throne is being welcomed into


the Anglican Church today in a short ceremony at St James's Palace.


Prince George is nicknamed Tips. You could call him PG Tips. Other brands


are available. Sounds like a good excuse to toast the big day in the


Daily Politics away. In honour of Little George and we have given our


DP mark a bit of a make over. -- our DP mug. Look at that. Very soon to


be on sale in every rubbish shot in the country. Surely the knighthood


must be in the post-ex-macro we have done this and you can win this piece


of royal memorabilia. -- in the post!


Here is JoCo to tell you what to do. Let's see if you can remember when


this happened. Even as the Israeli Prime Minister


talked to Mr Wilson, shells were falling on her country from across


the Jordan border. I, Charles, Prince of Wales, to


become your lease, of life and limb. -- do become your legion.


I Richard Nixon do solemnly swear...


Thanks for the musical complement. I will remove that pen from your hand


in a moment. Send your answer to our special quiz e-mail address. You can


see the full terms and conditions of Guess The Year on our website.


Just you try. It is, up to midday. There is Big Ben behind me. -- is


coming up to midday. It means Nick Robinson is in the studio. Energy I


was sure would come on in PMQs. Even that could be overshadowed by


Grangemouth. I think that's right. The number of jobs involved directly


and indirectly means that it has to be a question that will come up at


question time. It has to be a source of anxiety. I will be amazed if Ed


Miliband can resist quoting John Major. David Cameron will cloaked --


quote John Major back at Ed Miliband. The language about excess


profits, about the need to do something, frankly, is more helpful


to Ed Miliband. John Major spoke about people in a way that David


Cameron couldn't. He spoke about his kind of people, the nearly poor, the


people behind lace curtains who don't shout out. It was quite a


devastating implicit indictment of the existing government. It was


particularly of Iain Duncan Smith. There is form here. John Major


doesn't much like Iain Duncan Smith. He led the destruction of any chance


of the Conservatives being elected in 1987. -- 1997. John Major said,


when you are targeting strongest -- scroungers, a lot of people are


struggling. I have at the transcript. There was an implicit


attack on the bedroom tax. Let's go straight to the House of Commons.


Thank you Mr Speaker. It is clear from the tributes that he was a


highly talented and professional soldier. Our thoughts are with his


family, his friends and colleagues at this very difficult time. He has


made the ultimate sacrifice and we must never forget him. On a happier


note, I'm sure the whole House will join me in celebrating the


economiesening of baby Prince George later today. -- the christening of


baby Prince George later today. Mr Speaker, could I join my right


honourable friend in his tribute to Corporal Brynin. And also in his


applause for the christening of Prince George this morning. Could I


ask my honourable friend, does he think it's a good time for an


apology from those regional branches of the Police Federation who so


reduced the Member for Sutton Coldfield and also from the Leader


of the Opposition? Let me start by saying on behalf of the whole House


and everyone in the House that we should put on record what an


incredible job the police do on our behalf every day. I see that at very


close hand. And the Leader of the Opposition and I saw that at the


Police Bravery Awards last week. The former Chief Whip gave a full


explanation what happened. The police said he gave no explanation


so it is now clear, reading the IPC C report, that the police do need to


make an apology. The officers concerned and the Chief Constables


are coming to the House today and I hope they will give a full account


and a proper apology to the Home Affairs Select Committee. It is, as


I think a moment for us all to consider what we said at the time


and I hope the Leader of the Opposition will do the same thing.


THE SPEAKER: Mr Ed Miliband. Mr Speaker, can I join the Prime


Minister in paying tribute to the Lance Corporal, who died on his


second tour of duty in Afghanistan. He was a brave professional soldier


and I send our deepest condolences to his family and friends. I also


join the Prime Minister in celebrating the christening of


Prince George later today and send best wishes to the Duke and Duchess


of Cambridge. The Prime Minister said that anyone who wanted to


intervene directly in energy markets was living in a Marxist universe.


Can he tell the House how does he feel now that the red peril has


claimed Sir John Major? We are intervening. We are - I'm not


surprised he wants to quote the last Conservative Prime Minister and also


forget the mess that the people in between made of our country. Let me


be clear, though. I do believe in intervening in the energy market.


That is why we are legislating to put customers on the lowest tariff.


Where John Major is absolutely right is that bills in this country have


reached a completely unacceptable level. We need to take action on


that. We need to help people to pay their bills and we also need to help


to get bills down. This is where we need a very frank conversation about


what it is that is putting bills up. We are prepared to have that


conversation. He is employed in cynical ploys and gimmicks. Mr


Speaker, John Major was a Conservative Prime Minister who won


a majority, unlike this Prime Minister. But, Mr Speaker, I think


the Prime Minister said something rather interesting. He obviously now


does believe, he does agree with Sir John Major that the energy price


increases are unacceptable. If we agree that they are unacceptable,


what are we going to do about it? The former Prime Minister says,


given the scale of their profits, we should recoup that money. That is


the quote from him. He wants to do it through a windfall tax. I say we


need a price freeze. What does the Prime Minister want to do to recoup


that money for the consumer? Let me answer that question directly. We


need to roll-back some of the green regulations and charges - yes, yes.


We all know who put them in place. We all know who put them in place.


THE SPEAKER: Order. The House is very overexcited. I want to hear the


answers. Let's hear the Prime Minister.


First of all, he talks about John Major winning election. And he is


right. He beat a weak and incredible Labour Leader. Isn't this rather


familiar? John Major also said - and he is right - the first thing he


said was that Labour's policy was unworkable. He is absolutely right.


So what we need to do is recognise there are four bits to an energy


bill, there are the wholesale prices, which are beyond our


control, there are the costs of transmission and the Grid, which are


difficult to change, there are the profits of the energy companies and


there are the green regulations. It is those last two that we need to


get to grips with. I can tell the House today that we will be having a


proper competition test, carried out over the next year to get to the


bottom of whether this market can be more competitive. I want more


companies, I want better regulation, I want better deals for consumers.


Yes, we also need to roll-back the green charges that he put in place


as Energy Secretary. Mr Speaker, he really is changing his policy every


day of the week. It is extraordinary. His Energy Secretary,


who is in his place, says it is nothing to do with "green" taxes.


60% of the "green" taxes were introduced by him. Who is the man


who said vote blue to go green? It was him! I'll tell you what is weak,


Mr Speaker, it is not standing up to the energy companies and that is


this Prime Minister all over. He talks about the big six energy


companies. Who created the big six energy companies? When Labour came


to power, there were 17 companies in the market. Now, there are just six.


Mr Speaker, I can help members opposite. I have the briefing that


backbench Labour MPs have been given about their own energy policy. They


might want to listen - yes - they might - in case they haven't read


the briefing, they might want to read it. Question seven - what would


stop the energy companies just increasing their prices beforehand?


Absolutely no answer. Question six - I think - let me share your briefing


with you. How will you stop - question six - how will you stop


companies just increasing their prices once the freeze ends? Here we


have the great Labour answer - the public would take a dim view. A dim


view. How incredibly brave(!) Let's have question nine. This says it


all. Labour's briefing - this is what it says - Ed Miliband was


Energy Secretary in the last Government. Isn't he to blame for


rising bills? We all know the answer - yes, he is. I'll tell him what


happened. When I was Energy Secretary, energy bills went down by


?100. Since he became Prime Minister, they are up by ?300. Let's


clarify where we are. The Prime Minister says these price rises are


unacceptable. He says he wants to act. Now, he is the Prime Minister.


I know - I sometimes forget this. He is the Prime Minister. He can act. I


have a suggestion. He should implement Labour's price freeze.


There's an Energy Bill going through the other place. We can amend that


and we can bring in that price freeze right now. Two parties


working together in the national interest. Let's do it. Mr Speaker, I


think he's been following too much of his own advice wearing too many


woolly jumpers and getting a bit overheated. Let's do it. We can


bring in this price freeze right now. He knows perfectly well it is


not a price freeze, it is a price con. He admitted it was a price


conthe very next day because he cannot control global gas prices.


The truth is, prices would go up beforehand, he wouldn't keep his


promise and prices would go up afterwards. It ask a -- is a cynical


ploy from the Energy Secretary who wrecked the market in the first


place. Mr Speaker, I'll tell him what is a con. Telling people last


week that the answer was to switch suppliers. Let me ask the Prime


Minister, what does he say to someone who took his advice last


week to switch from British Gas only to discover that NPower was raising


its prices by 10%? It is worth people looking at switching. You can


save up to ?250. We want a more competitive energy market. He left


us a market with just six players. We have already seen seven new


energy companies come into that market. So we need an annual audit


of competition to make this market more competitive, something he never


did when in office. We need to roll-back the costs that have been


imposed on people's energy bills part of which he was responsible


for. One of the first acts of this Government was to take the ?179 that


he was going to put on to energy bills because of his renewable heat


initiative. He put bills up. He's trying to conthe public. We will


deliver for hard-working people. Mr Speaker, John Major said what we all


know - we have a Prime Minister who stands up for the energy companies,


not hard-pressed families. Many people face a choice this winter


between heating and eating. These are the ordinary people of this


country who this Prime Minister will never meet and whose lives they will


never understand. The difference is John Major is a good man, the right


honourable gentleman is acting like a conman. That is what we are


seeing. He is promising something he knows he can't deliver, he knows he


can't deliver because he never delivered it when he was in office.


THE SPEAKER: Mr Andrew Stevenson. Thank you, Mr Speaker. In the town


where I live, unemployment is down and small businesses are


flourishing. However, serious traffic congestion is holding back


the economic growth of the area. Will the Prime Minister join with me


in welcoming the start of a six-week consultation on a bypass that would


address this problem and boost job creation? I welcome what my


honourable friend says. He is right. The need for building bypasses and


roads in our country. That is why we are spending ?3 billion on major


upgrades. I welcome the consultation on this bypass. It comes at the same


time of very good news on unemployment. Thank you. On this day


20 years ago, the Provisional IRA brutally murdered innocent men,


women and children on the Shankill Road in Belfast. Will the Prime


Minister join with me and my right honourable and honourable colleagues


in ensuring that no-one is in a civilised society will ever equate


innocent victims with guilty murderers? I join the honourable


gentleman in commemorating that appalling act and the appalling loss


of life that took place that day. We all remember that. Of course, no-one


should ever glorify in any way terrorism or those who take part in


terrorism. What he knows and what I know is that everyone in Northern


Ireland has to try to come together to talk about a shared future and to


try to leave the past behind. Rural Post Offices are vitally important,


but they need more Government work to survive. They have to continue to


pay pensions and benefits and are ideally placed to provide banking


and identity check facilities. Will the Prime Minister encourage all his


Ministers to give more Government work to Post Offices? We all want to


see the Post Office network survive and thrive. Unlike the last


Government, who saw nearly a third of the rural Post Office network


close, we have committed that no Post Office will close in this


Parliament. So I absolutely hear what he says. The current


arrangements for collecting pensions and benefits will remain in place at


least until 2015 and the Department for Work and Pensions and the Post


Office are discussing an extension to 2017. Mr Speaker, 1.5 million


people in the UK are addicted to drugs. I know of one individual who


has been on these products for over 45 years - his total life ruined.


They are not drug misusers. They are victims of the system of repeat


prescriptions. Will the Prime Minister advise the Department of


Health to give some guidance to the clinical commissioning groups to


introduce withdrawal programmes in line with the advice from the


professor who is the expert in this field to give these people back


their lives? I know he has campaigned strongly on


this issue over many years. I join him in praising Professor Ashton.


This is a terrible affliction. They are not drug addicts but have become


hooked on tranquillisers. The Minister for Public health is happy


to discuss the issue with him. As he says, the relevant guidance is an


issue. I know the Prime Minister is well


aware of the concerns that many of our people have on rising energy


prices. Will he therefore acts to reduce the effect of Chris


Hughton's unfortunate legacy by cutting the carbon reduction policy,


elongating circuits that targets and relieving the burner -- burden on


business people? We have to have an honest discussion on this. On energy


bills is ?112 of green taxes and regulations. We need to work out


what is necessary to go on winning overseas investment into the UK. It


simply is the politics of the conman to pretend that you can freeze


prices when you are not in control of global energy prices, but the


proper approach is to see what is driving -- driving a bills. SPEAKER:


The word conman is on Parliamentary. Order, order. -- not Parliamentary.


The Prime Minister is a man of great versatility in language. It is below


the level. We will leave it there. Yesterday, the Independent reported


the government's failure to close the Eurobonds tax loophole, which


could be losing the Exchequer ?500 million per year. As the Prime


Minister ever been lobbied on this loophole? And will he pledged to


close it immediately? I have never been lobbied on this issue. I looked


at it this morning. The Treasury has listened to the arguments and made


the decisions for the reasons she knows. Over 300,000 new businesses


have been registered in the UK over the last three years, a record


figure. The key priority in supporting these businesses over the


difficult first few years of trading is to make sure we bear down on


regulation. Much has been done. What more can the government do to


support these risk-takers at this difficult time? I'm grateful to my


honourable friend for his question. The news out today is that we now


have the largest number of companies in our country that has ever


existed. Over the last three years, we see 400,000 extra companies


become established. We have to help them in every where we can. The most


powerful thing we are doing is cutting the national issue runs they


will have to pay by ?2000, starting next year. That will be a boost to


small businesses. Also, the red tape they are threatened with, we are


dealing with at every level, including the European Council this


week. It is an agenda right across the board to help small businesses.


New research shows that his government is scrapping low learning


-- lower earning aspirate benefits -- aspiring parents on benefits.


Isn't it time for a rethink? Labour want unlimited benefits for


families. There are no longer the Labour Party. They are the welfare


party. It is clear from the questions they ask. We think it is


right to cap benefits so that no family can earn more out of work


than they would earn in work. Evidence issuing this is encouraging


people to look for work. For a party that believes in hard-working


people, that is good news. For the welfare party, that is bad news. The


Prime Minister will be aware of the business model and Welsh water,


which is a not-for-profit company responsible to its consumers and not


its shareholders. Does the Prime Minister agree that such a company


in the energy supply sector would introduce real competition? We want


more competition in the sector, whether it come from private


businesses, cooperative businesses, or, as he says, charities. We want


an open energy market. What we were left was the big six, a six letter


asked by the party opposite. We were also left an Ofgem where the Leader


of the Opposition had appointed five of the nine people. It will take


approximately seven years to rehouse the 1400 tenants who wished to


downsize because they can't afford to pay the bedroom tax in my


constituency. Will the Prime Minister and advise them to move to


private rented accommodation, increasingly welfare bill, or should


they save money by turning down the heating and wearing a jumper? What


is fair about removing the spare room subsidy is that it makes the


situation fare between private sector rented accommodation and


council sector rented accommodation. It is that fairness we want to see


in our country. The party opposite have opposed every single welfare


reduction that we are proposing. ?85 billion they would have to find for


opposing every single thing we have done to get this country back on


track. The positive outlook for Osborne construction in my


constituency this year, with increased turnover and a strongly


increased forward order book is in the real economy all over the


country, not just my constituency. Will the Prime Minister undertake


not to be diverted from the long, hard slog of writing the public


finances and using the burdens on business so that plan a can continue


to enable businesses in my constituency to put our economy


right for the long-term? I'm glad to hear that the company is working his


constituency, as it is about the country. That is worthwhile. I take


this opportunity to pay tribute to him as a constituency MP standing up


for people in businesses in Reigate. More businesses, more jobs, turning


our country around. Fixed odds betting machines around -- and allow


the user to stake ?100 every 20 seconds for up to 30 hours per day.


They have transformed the local bookies from places where you can


have a flutter on the horses into high-street diddle casinos. Will the


Prime Minister consider banning these addictive machines, as has


recently happened in Ireland? This is an issue I have been repeatedly


lobbied on. I think it is worth having a proper look at this issue


to see what we can do to make sure that, yes, we want to have a


bookmakers that are not overregulated, but on the other hand


a fair approach and a decent approach that up -- prevents problem


gambling. Last year, 130 parents come on teachers and staff in


Bedfordshire were disappointed when their free school application file.


The Federation is now under investigation. We'll be Prime


Minister please use his good offices to ensure that the failed free


school application in mid-Bedfordshire is incorporated


into this enquiry? I'm grateful to look at my honourable friend's


suggestion. We need to have a proper policy of making sure that proposals


for free schools are ready to go ahead. When you look at the free


schools in our countries, two thirds have been judged good or


outstanding, which is a higher proportion than schools within the


state sector. I think it is worth not just continuing with this policy


but putting rocket boosters on it. I've visited Liverpool earlier this


year to launch the International Festival for business 2014. I


discussed with the mayor the prospect of obesity in terms of


overseas investment and the importance of this international


festival. -- the prospect of progress. Support to local govern


should be restricted to need - does the government agree? How does he


explain that households in our region have lost ?40 over the UKIP


years, where's households in his constituency in Game six? -- over


the past two years. The spending per dwelling in his area is ?3122, where


as in Oxfordshire it is less. I fully accept the need is greater in


his area. But I would argue that of a relatively fair balance between


the two. Following decades of underinvestment and hollow


promises, the Coalition's decision to fully work on the 811 is


inspiring confidence. -- the age 11. He is right. The ?100 million we are


investing in the road is an important part of that. This is


going to be completed in 2014. This will cut congestion on the route


between Cambridge and Norwich. The Shadow Chancellor wants to go and


watch the Canaries. He will be able to get their -- get there quicker.


Two weeks ago, the head of the Security service warned of the


extent of Islamist extremism. This week, two individuals have been


charged with serious offences. What is the Prime Minister going to do in


January, when some of those that the same -- Home Secretary has judged


hydrogen security are released? -- when some of those that the Home


Secretary has judged pose the biggest security risk are released?


We have had repeated meetings, including yesterday, to set out a


series of steps to counter the extremist narrative. We will be


blocking sites online. Facebook have reversed the decision dated


yesterday to show beheading videos online. We will take all the steps


and many more to take -- keep the country safe. Following the


Guardian's reckless handling of the Edward Snowden leaks, will be Prime


Minister join me in paying tribute to the men and women of our


intelligence services who have no voice but who do so much to keep the


country safe? He is right. It is a great privilege of this job to work


with our intelligent and securities services and to meet some of the


people who work for them. He is right to say they don't get thanked


enough because of the job they do. But I am convinced the work that


GCHQ and others do our behalf of the country helps to keep us safe. We


have seen that again this week with the arrests that have taken place.


Once again, we and police and intelligence work. We cannot praise


these people too highly. -- brilliant police and intelligence


work. The reality of work formally ends of people, low pay, short time,


a dizzy exploitation, were exposed on TV this week. Did the Prime


Minister see it -- did the Prime Minister CE? Everybody wants to see


living standards increase. That is why we have cut taxes for the


typical working person by ?705. Let's make the point about zero


hours contracts. The proportion of people in those contracts in 2012


was the same in the year 2000. The number of people employed and zero


hours increased by 75% between 2004 2009. That is when that lot were


government. Businesses in Crawley are creating hundreds of new jobs,


leading to unemployed falling to 2.7% last month. Does my honourable


friend agree with me that the way to raise living standards is to


increase the policies of economic growth rather than the discredited


policies of get? He is right. What we have seen is business confidence


is rising, consumer confidence rising, exports increasing,


manufacturing is up, we see a big road in terms of employment. -- a


big growth. We want to do more to help people feel better off by


reducing taxes, which is what we are doing. All of this will be put at


risk if we give up on reducing the deficit. That is what the party


opposite would give us, a 11 E of higher mortgage rates and taxes.


Does the Prime Minister think it is fair that a sacked a pregnant woman


will not have to pay ?1200 to take a maternity disk image and Katie the


planning tribunal? The one thing we have done is to make sure people


don't earn those rights until they work for a business for two years.


Thanks to the Chancellor's policies, unemployment in Burton fell by 10%


last month. It is now at its close level since September, 2008. Many of


those jobs were created in small businesses. They now have the


confidence to invest. My honourable friend is right. I implement in the


West Midlands fell by 14,000. I wrote to you onleth May about --


on 8th May about the possible involvement of Lynton Crosby in


health matters. I raised it again in the summer adjournment debate. I


have served in in House under four previous Prime Ministers who replied


to members' letters. THE SPEAKER: This question will be


heard with some courtesy as I expect of all questions. It is very simple


and very straightforward. I have served under four previous


Prime Ministers who replied to members' letters. Why won't you? I


will certainly reply to his letter. Let me give him the reply. Public


health responsibility is a matter for the Department of Health. Lynton


Crosby's job is the destruction of the Labour Party and he is doing a


good one. STUDIO: That brings us to the end of


Prime Minister's Questions. It is remarkable that Grangemouth wasn't


raised at all during PMQs. Sometimes people are reluctant to raise issues


coming up with urgent questions. Neither frontbench chose to mention


it. That is something I think that the Nationalists won't let go.


Remember, energy is a reserve power in many aspects to Westminster, yet


it didn't come up at that part of the House of Commons which is


broadcast on network television to the nation. That was a dog that


didn't bark. We got one that did and that was Mr Cameron making a U-turn


on the Tory attitude towards green levies. He was on the back foot, the


Prime Minister a lot of the time, he announced that the Government was


now going to review the green levies, ?112 in an average dual fuel


bill, he said. They will look at ways to cut that.


We will speak about this new Conservative policy in a minute.


Let's find out what you thought about PMQs.


There were a few comments towards the end of PMQs about the dog that


didn't bark. This from Mike, "This disaster is not at the top of David


Cameron or Ed Miliband's list. Surely a great advert for


independence." The e-mails were of course on the energy debate and in


response to John Major's comments yesterday. Our viewers gave a win to


Ed Miliband. "John Major has given Ed Miliband an easy introduction to


PMQs this week." Another one, "I'm no fan of Ed Miliband, but a good


performance from him today largely due to David Cameron's inability to


deal with the energy bills issue." Lorna says, "I think it was out of


order for David Cameron to infer that Ed Miliband is a conman."


This from Ray, "Following yesterday's news from NPower about


the increase in energy prices, yet again a large number of consumers


are going to take a hit on their energy costs. Let's not worry too


much. This is the Labour Party's contribution to the cost-of-living


crisis. Mr Miliband's premature announcement has to be the worst


thought-out policy announcement in modern sosh economic history."


Normally, I would go to Nick to ask some questions. But want to come to


Grant Shapps this week because of this announcement on green levies


that is the Prime Minister is reviewing. What green levies will


you look at and take off the electricity bills? That will be part


of the review, of course. It is fair to say the levies are starting to be


a significant amount of money. For example, Ed Miliband trumpeted the


idea of having a cut of ?125, but we know he had also signed up to a new


green levy which would mean ?100-something would be added to the


energy bills so we need to look at the total now that... You voted for


these green levies? We voted in different times. No, you voted for


ALL the green levies. You, the Conservatives, voted for ALL the


green levies that Ed Miliband introduced in the 2008 Climate


Change Bill? But, bear in mind, that energy prices have gone much, much


higher than they were at the time of the last Parliament when these were


being voted through. The consumer is really hurting. Now, the answer is


not to do nothing and nor is it to lock the market and say force the


market to give you a discount that can't be sustainable. The answer is


to bring online more supply, nuclear power, fracking through shale gas,


and look at the extra costs which are adding to the energy bill of


which renewable is starting to become a significant amount of


money. Energy prices were beginning to rise fast because there became a


world shortage of gas. Of the ?112 that we pay on our dual fuel bill


towards green-related levies, how much has been added by the


coalition? I don't have the number on that. 50%? OK. So you have added


50% of the levies we now pay and now you are saying you are going to take


them away again? When we came in 2010, wholesale gas prices weren't


what they were now. They were rising fast? Circumstances change so it is


right to go back and look at whether these things were right. It's not


has happened up until now... I thought you were going to be the


greenest Government ever? We will be. How can you be the greenest


Government ever if you are taking away green levies? We are building


homes now at code level four, it means that the amount of Co2 emitted


from homes is far less. You don't do that to do with putting additional


costs of people's energy bills... Do you now... Hold Hold on, you can


still be the most green Government in history. You can build things


like homes which emit 20% of the country's Co2... Do you regret at a


time of rising energy prices you added to this rise by putting on


these levies? I would love to know... You were told at the time.


Hold on. We were chatting about the strike prices, that is the price at


which you can build a new nuclear power station. This Government


ending years of delay has agreed to a contract which is essentially at


?95... Twice the wholesale market price? Interestingly, by comparison,


to a price that Labour could have got had they made this agreement


when they were in power. I told you that during PMQs. Are you reducing


your arguments to things I tell you... That was a very good point.


You didn't know? In which case, it does bring us back to the big


question of why did they not invest all of those years ago. I didn't


know that. Fascinating. Why aren't the investments made? This is not a


further education class for you! Have you squared the Lib Dems on


this? This Government will have to go forward together on these


policies. Have you squared the Lib Dems? They will have to be part of


this. The Lib Dems are going to agree to reductions in the green


levies? The Lib Dems understand that people are hurting and rather than


coming up with gimmicks, cons, what you have to do is do the things that


will bring down the price of fuel. One of which is to look at the green


levies. We will get this in the Autumn Statement? It will be coming


out very soon. December 1st, no, 4th, live Daily Politics special.


You will be getting a bill from me shortly! This is quite remarkable,


is it not? I thought Grant Shapps chose his words quite carefully. He


didn't claim they were squared, he said that they would be part of


whatever was done. I'm sorry, forgive me. They are not squared?


The Tory source I have been talking to online does claim that the


Liberal Democrats have been in conversations in the past week about


what could be done. Curious, this, I was talking to a senior Cabinet


Minister who insisted that the very thing we have just announced was not


going to happen. I'm one of these people that refuses to score PMQs.


It is not a football match. I will break the habit of a lifetime. That


was a nightmare for David Cameron. He has been forced week after week


to change his position on the issue of energy prices. He's now made a


concession on policy which isn't clear what it will mean for


consumers. It is very much work in progress. We are told there will be


a statement in the Autumn Statement about the detail on green levies. We


are told that various authorities, Ofgem, the office for fair trading


and the new competition authority, the CMA, will look at the way the


market works. This is policy being made on the hoof. Right. However, if


the Prime Minister pulls it off, and it is a big if, he could have shot


your fox. You are promising to freeze prices. If they cut green


levies, they will be cutting electricity prices? That is


unlikely. If they can do it, they will? He's announced something the


OFT doesn't know anything about. And the OFT is not... Is it Ofgem...


Office of Fair Trading. That's conceding Ed Miliband's point that


the energy market is broken. We have heard about the end of green levies.


What do they pay for? They pay for people to replace their boilers and


home insulation, to keep people warm. We have seen the home


insulation industry collapse under this Government. They paid for


incentives for people to invest in green energy which is local,


community... At the moment, what you are doing, under the policy that


they have inherited from you, is you are making people on average on


below average incomes in their fuel bills pay for the insulation of the


poor. Surely, it would be much fairer if we are going to do that at


all to put that on general taxation? What we have got... Wouldn't it? The


insulation has collapsed... No, that was your policy. Address the point


that I'm making that it was your policy, it was outlined in various


Government Acts that you would put on to ordinary people's fuel bills


green levies that would be used to insulate the homes of the poor. Why


would it not be fairer if you want to do that to put it on to general


taxation? We took the decision in the Climate Change Act that that was


the way to go. I know that. We couldn't predict the future. But


also, what we have got now is a situation where businesses are


hurting and people are hurting. What is the Government doing about that?


Week after week, David Cameron is coming back and he has nothing to


say. The green energy supply of this company is frozen. That is a big


problem. But there are billions being spent on offshore wind at the


moment? Well, ?3 billion over the last three years is not... There's


one further down between Wales and the West Country. Angela Knight said


?11 billion had been invested in that. Offshore wind at three times


the current wholesale cost of energy. It is higher than the


nuclear deal his Government has agreed. Nick? One is that ?112 that


the Prime Minister referred to, that is the amount that he says comes


from these green levies and other regulations and note the word "other


regulations". It's made up of lots of different elements. There's no


suggestion that you can abolish the ?112. I looked at the possibility


that the Treasury would take it on to their books, in other words what


you were saying to Mary Creagh, the taxpayer pays. The estimate is ?2.5


billion. That is ?2.5 billion the country hasn't got unless it wants


to do what John Major... They always seem to find money when they need


it. That is a small amount of money in a budget of ?56 billion? They


have to pay for free school meals, they have to pay for marriage tax


allowance... They found ?2 billion to do that. Your point is valid, but


it's a little bit - and they add up. There is another target for 2013


that Ed Miliband has signed up to four more new renewables. What we


are saying is, let's look at all of that. Are you, not Mary Creagh's


government, are you the government that set the carbon price? You set


it higher than the proposal by 2020. Rather than steam-roll ahead, when


the wholesale price was lower, circumstances have changed since


then. Grangemouth. This is highly relevant to Grangemouth. Both your


governments have loaded onto heavy industry enormous energy costs. A


factory in Cheshire has been closed because of energy costs. A


petrochemical plant in Grangemouth can't compete because of costs. It


was to bring in cheaper gas from America. Both of you have created


this problem. Today is an admission that it is time to look at some of


these costs. It was interesting that Grangemouth wasn't raised. I'm


surprised nobody asked a question. I was at pub two fox biscuits. -- at


Fox biscuits. They said it adds to the viability issue. Did you buy any


biscuits? Otherwise you are not coming back! I'm giving you cake.


I'm giving him facts. We have got to get something back. A final word


from Nick Robinson. I think you were saying, Grant Shapps, the government


will stop subsidising wind power. Were you? I am saying it is time to


look at the risk. These are the figures, even if they did, that is


?30 of the average bill. Less than 2%. But it is off. It is off. It


will be welcome. This argue it is going to continue. Just before we


move on, we were hoping to speak to the finance minister of the Scottish


government in Edinburgh. We have been told that the Scottish Cabinet


has gone into an emergency session because of events in Grangemouth. If


we hear more, we will bring it to you. For a change we are going to


talk about energy bills. As we have been discussing, the prime and is


has opened a debate about Queen levies. -- the Prime Minister has


opened a debate about green levies. The government has given the


go-ahead for solar production. But there is huge opposition, not least


from Conservative MPs, including Brooks Newmark. The campaigns and


gains a solar farm in his constituency. -- against. Here is


his soapbox. My constituency has some of the most beautiful


countryside in the country. We have an area of outstanding natural


beauty, an area known as Constable country. It is now under threat.


Although it's hard to imagine, a solar panel farm is being considered


behind me. It is not just a solar panel farm over a few thousand feet


or even one acre. We're talking 300 acres of prime agricultural land


being covered with solar panels. This is something you might expect


to see at the Tate modern in London. It is certainly not something I


would expect to see here in this part of Essex. I am known in the


will stop I understand the need for -- I am no NIMBY. I understand there


is a need to reduce costs in energy. But this is not the solution. Surely


it is better that we use Brownfield sites rather than prime agricultural


land? What is happening today is that playing -- planning revelations


are being abused. You can build a solar panel farm here and you can


graze sheep weaving in and out of the solar panels and say it is not a


change of use of the land. Planning regulations today say you don't need


environmental impact assessments for solar panel farms. Yet for a house


to my left, they wanted to build a garage and were told that given the


impact it has on the local environment, they could not build a


garage. Yet for some reason, building a 300 acre solar panel farm


you don't need an environment for assessment for. I don't blame the


local farmers. They stand to make millions. But we have a response


ability to future generations to protect the countryside full stop --


responsibility to future generations to protect the countryside. We do


not want solar panels in our backyard. Looks new mud joins asked


now. It was fairly Claire -- Brooks Newmark joins me now. It was fairly


clear how you feel. We have a responsibility to protect our


countryside. There are a number of Brownfield sites we can use. But


they are not appropriate. They are in parts of the country where there


is not enough sunlight. That is what the body for responsible --


responsible said. There are plenty of places in Essex where there are


Brownfield sites. Now disused airfields, commercial properties


with rooftops, loads of other places. -- there are disused


airfields. I want to see 300 acres of solar panels. -- I do not want to


see. Times are changing. There is a difference between a TV aerial on a


house and 300 acres of panels covering the countryside. Do you


have sympathy with that? These are decisions for local people. His


point about the environs impact assessment is not the 70 Val.


Actually, what we know from -- his point about the environmental impact


assessment is not a valid. It could be a positive benefit to the


biodiversity of Essex. It is not necessarily a win-lose situation.


The visual impact is clearly something that local planning


authorities need to look at. You are focusing too much on statics. You're


absolutely right. -- aesthetic. We are covering 300 acres of some of


the most beautiful countryside in panels. Are the planning laws up to


scratch? No, they are not. There are holes in the laws. The planning


officers say yes, but there is the biodiversity argument, and as long


as the farmer can come up with a read -- reason such as insect life


weaving in and out between the panels, that would be all right. To


me, that is ludicrous. The second point I would make is, the chap


wanted to build a garage. He had to have an assessment. To build 300


acres of SS -- panels, you don't need an assessment. But you need


clean energy. I support that. I support energy diversity. Everybody


says that! There are certain areas in the country that are designated


as areas of outstanding beauty. They are beautiful and we want to


preserve them. Name some other parts of the country where they should be.


The desolate North? I don't want them in rural areas. We could use


disused airfields. There are fired in my area. I'm not saying we


shouldn't have them. -- there are five in my area. How confident are


you of success? I am lukewarm, to be honest. I hope to get a more robust


letter of support. I don't have the same extreme reaction. I think we


need a mix of energy. I don't know about that particular location,


there are some proposed in my own constituency. I have had letters


about it. You're right about needing to cut CO2. Yesterday we had a big


investment in nuclear that produces no CO2. There are other ways to do


it. It was 16 billion yesterday. Give or take. I will always rely on


your research. You can continue the discussion afterwards! At least we


are building something. Your reaction to the PMQs announcement?


Energy bills will be brought down by green levies? There are huge


disincentives for a lot of industries that are feeling the pain


of these green levies. When they were brought in, the price of energy


was different. We have to be defensible in government. When


things change, we must learn to adapt. -- we have to be flexible in


government. So, thumbs up from me. Thank you. I to the dispute over the


giant Grangemouth complex in Scotland, where the owner has said


they will close a petrochemical plant. -- back to the dispute. It


has put the future of the oil refinery in doubt as well as the


petrochemical complex. The energy secretary has been speaking in the


House of Commons in the last few minutes. The government is saddened


by this move, particularly because of the uncertainty it will bring for


the workforce and all those who indirectly over their livelihood to


the Grangemouth petrochemical plants. The government doesn't


underestimate the plant's importance both for the local community and the


Scottish economy. While respecting the right to make this decision, it


is regrettable that both parties have not managed to negotiate a fair


and equitable settlement that delivers a viable business model for


the plant. Even at this late stage, government urges them to continue


dialogue and we will for all possible help with this. Very much a


holding statement there. It doesn't take as far. Watch this space. It


will be covered all day. Before we go, time to put you out of your


misery. The answer to Guess The Year. It was 1969. The giveaway


should have been the black and white footage of Mr Nixon being sworn in


for the first time in January, 1969, as president of the US. Grant


Shapps, I have not told them the winner. You can whack that button


and make somebody a happy bunny. Neil Kemp from Reading. Well done.


That is it for today. Thanks to both our guests for being such good


sports. The BBC News is starting on BBC One. I will be back tomorrow


with all the big political stories of the day. Will Hutton will be with


us. From all of us here, have a good afternoon. Goodbye.


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