04/11/2013 Daily Politics


04/11/2013

Jo Coburn is joined by French MP Axelle LeMaire to discuss the latest political news, including a discussion on whether Europe is good for British business and sexism in politics.


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tell us why he disagrees. Police officers accused of misleading MPs

:00:34.:01:01.

over Plebgate will be hauled before Parliament and told to apologise or

:01:02.:01:04.

risk jail. We'll speak to the Committee chairman. Ed Miliband says

:01:05.:01:09.

he would offer firms a 12-month tax break if they agree to pay the

:01:10.:01:13.

so-called "living wage" - so would that cut benefits? Or cut jobs? And

:01:14.:01:24.

which country has the most sexist Parliament?

:01:25.:01:33.

All of that in the next hour. And with us today is Axelle Lemaire -

:01:34.:01:40.

she's the French MP for our very own constituency here in...Northern

:01:41.:01:41.

Europe. constituency here in...Northern

:01:42.:02:09.

saying they approved of him. Why is he is so unpopular? I wish I knew

:02:10.:02:14.

the answer W would tell him! I would, of course. The left in power

:02:15.:02:20.

has implement it reforms which had not been done in the past, and maybe

:02:21.:02:25.

that only ask could do without having the country demonstrating in

:02:26.:02:28.

the streets. We are reducing the public ever sit, we are changing

:02:29.:02:33.

schools, we are reforming the labour market, bringing more flexibility,

:02:34.:02:37.

we are reforming the pensions system, which is terrific tricky and

:02:38.:02:45.

difficult. But people do not see the results, what they see is their

:02:46.:02:51.

taxes going up and a president who has great capacities to compromise,

:02:52.:02:52.

but when it has great capacities to compromise,

:02:53.:03:12.

second day of his term, wasn't he, his popularity just died. Is it

:03:13.:03:18.

because of his programme of tax rises? Farmers have protested, and

:03:19.:03:25.

truck drivers, over the eco-Mac tax, for example, and they want to see

:03:26.:03:29.

more of a balance, with public expenditure getting cut. You have

:03:30.:03:33.

got the wrong programme? Well, we are discussing the finance bill at

:03:34.:03:37.

the moment. When you look at the budget for 2014, 80% of the budget,

:03:38.:03:46.

of the savings, will be in cuts in public expenses, it is only 20%

:03:47.:03:52.

coming from tax rises. So, the public perception is clearly wrong.

:03:53.:03:56.

Also, people do not make the differentiation between local taxes

:03:57.:04:01.

and national taxes. So, last year, it was the opposite, it was two

:04:02.:04:21.

and national taxes. So, last year, have had to scrap higher levies on

:04:22.:04:23.

individual savings because of protests, a potential strike in top

:04:24.:04:29.

football clubs protesting at the 75% tax levy on incomes of more than 1

:04:30.:04:33.

million euros, these are big Rob 's. But I think it is in the

:04:34.:04:38.

Financial Times today, describing this as a U-turn, but we are in the

:04:39.:04:42.

process of discussion over the budget. To me, as an MP, I see it as

:04:43.:04:48.

Parliamentary democracy. -- these are big problems. We are just saying

:04:49.:04:54.

what we think should be improved, so it is a discussion. But in the end,

:04:55.:04:58.

in a couple of weeks time, the budget will be voted on. What about

:04:59.:05:03.

this idea of consensus as you said yourself that he is not going for

:05:04.:05:06.

the headlines, but he is described as a man of indecision, U-turns are

:05:07.:05:12.

mentioned, that he cannot make a decision without speaking to

:05:13.:05:13.

everybody decision without speaking to

:05:14.:05:34.

market, it was not an easy task. But he spoke with all the unions, all of

:05:35.:05:39.

them, and they came up with a solution, which was the first time

:05:40.:05:43.

in 30 years that an agreement could be breached. But then people do not

:05:44.:05:49.

necessarily see that. But I assume that in the long-term, the results

:05:50.:05:53.

will be positive. I am sure you will hope so, before the next election,

:05:54.:05:58.

of course. Looking at elections, what about the threat from the

:05:59.:06:01.

right, from the national front, who seem to be gaining in support in

:06:02.:06:05.

some of the national by-elections, that is as a result of Francois

:06:06.:06:13.

Hollande's policies, isn't it? This is a phenomenon that we see across

:06:14.:06:17.

Europe, I am afraid, the rise of populist parties, of extremism. But

:06:18.:06:23.

it is particularly true in France, and especially at the

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it is particularly true in France, people are racist. We think

:06:43.:06:44.

immigration is positive for the country, when it is well controlled.

:06:45.:06:48.

The other thing is to have an economic and social agenda, and

:06:49.:06:52.

prove that we can help raise living standards, help put growth back into

:06:53.:07:04.

the economy. We are out of recession for the last two months, I think,

:07:05.:07:11.

and the rise in unemployment is decreasing, at least. So, we aren't

:07:12.:07:15.

starting to see the first positive results of what we are trying to do.

:07:16.:07:19.

And you think that might turn it around? What about his relationship

:07:20.:07:30.

with Angela Merkel? It is, as the Financial Times says, a bit of a

:07:31.:07:32.

one-woman show, isn't it? Financial Times says, a bit of a

:07:33.:07:53.

is a very well-balanced relationship, with all of the

:07:54.:07:56.

different ministers. For example, the economy minister, he is on the

:07:57.:08:00.

phone every single day with his German counterpart, and we work

:08:01.:08:04.

together very well. So I think between what we read in the press

:08:05.:08:08.

and the reality of the negotiations, there is quite a difference.

:08:09.:08:15.

You will not have forgotten, if you are a regular viewer of the

:08:16.:08:18.

programme, that Britain could be on the way to a referendum on our EU

:08:19.:08:22.

membership after the next election. Whether the relationship is good or

:08:23.:08:25.

bad for Britain is an issue that divides politicians, the public and

:08:26.:08:28.

businesses. Well today, the largest business group, the CBI, is holding

:08:29.:08:31.

its annual conference and it has decided that the country is better

:08:32.:08:35.

off inside the EU than out. The group says that the net benefit of

:08:36.:08:38.

EU membership to the UK could be more than ?62 billion, that's ?3,000

:08:39.:08:42.

a year to every household, because membership has opened up trade with

:08:43.:08:43.

the EU and But industry isn't exactly full of

:08:44.:09:09.

starry-eyed Europhiles, and the CBI also says that if we do stay in then

:09:10.:09:15.

"reforms are urgently needed". This assessment has already been

:09:16.:09:17.

challenged, with UKIP leader Nigel Farage saying...

:09:18.:09:26.

Well, joining us now from the CBI conference in London is Michael

:09:27.:09:31.

Rake, the president of the CBI and chairman of BT. Welcome to the

:09:32.:09:41.

programme. You were sharing a platform with the Prime Minister

:09:42.:09:46.

earlier. Is the CBI's view on Belgrade ship the same as David

:09:47.:09:52.

Cameron's? Based on a huge project we have carried out over the last

:09:53.:10:12.

Cameron's? Based on a huge project engaged. Have you accurately being

:10:13.:10:15.

able to gauge the level of euro scepticism amongst your members?

:10:16.:10:28.

Well, no, in the business community, it is very clear, we want to remain

:10:29.:10:34.

in the European Union. We have to be competitive. It is a hugely

:10:35.:10:38.

important trade area with many bilateral agreements, including some

:10:39.:10:42.

extremely important ones coming up. We understand the frustrations of

:10:43.:10:46.

businesses small and large about unnecessary regulation, whether it

:10:47.:10:49.

comes from Brussels or London. Whilst we need regulation, it needs

:10:50.:10:54.

to be effective and it does not need to be burdensome, particularly when

:10:55.:10:57.

we have the beginnings of a recovery, and we have to make sure

:10:58.:10:58.

this recovery is sustainable. recovery, and we have to make sure

:10:59.:11:23.

should be a referendum is a we in the CBI are very clear... Is it not

:11:24.:11:27.

a question for business as well? If you are saying it is critical, and

:11:28.:11:32.

John Cridland said there is no credible alternative to being in the

:11:33.:11:36.

EU, so surely business has got to make a play in political terms to

:11:37.:11:42.

stay in the EU? I am sorry, I can hardly hear you, but I think you

:11:43.:11:47.

were asking about alternatives. In the work we did, we have looked at

:11:48.:11:51.

alternatives, and we think the regional example, the Swiss

:11:52.:11:55.

example, would not work, we would be to remove, we would have to bear the

:11:56.:11:59.

costs of compliance without any influence. We do not think that is

:12:00.:12:03.

the way to go, when we are trying to come out of this very long downturn.

:12:04.:12:08.

We want to create conditions for investment and trade in the European

:12:09.:12:14.

Union and across the world. Whether it

:12:15.:12:31.

Union and across the world. Whether business must simply state what the

:12:32.:12:38.

obligations might be. Michael Rake, thank you very much. Sorry you could

:12:39.:12:43.

not hear us but we could hear you loud and clear, which is always a

:12:44.:12:46.

bonus. We're joined now by the UKIP leader Nigel Farage - and Axelle

:12:47.:12:52.

Lemaire is still with us. Well, that is a bit of a blow, isn't it,

:12:53.:12:57.

because not only does he say the majority of his members, businesses,

:12:58.:13:00.

backed the idea of staying in the EU, but that it is absolutely

:13:01.:13:05.

critical, and it would be a huge mistake to leave? Let's remember,

:13:06.:13:10.

the CBI is big business, it is corporatism, it is effectively an

:13:11.:13:14.

arm of government. Most of the firms in the CBI love the EU. It is

:13:15.:13:19.

fantastic for them. They go to the commission, they help the commission

:13:20.:13:23.

draft rules, and those rules stop small competitors

:13:24.:13:41.

draft rules, and those rules stop to throw a few small businesses in,

:13:42.:13:45.

knowing that when another poll was done, more than 1000 firms, with a

:13:46.:13:50.

genuine spread of large, medium and small businesses, half of them

:13:51.:13:55.

said, the costs of the single market outweigh any benefit. This CBI,

:13:56.:13:59.

these were the same people 12 years ago saying we should join the euro.

:14:00.:14:02.

They were wrong about that and they are wrong about this. So you are

:14:03.:14:06.

dismissing the 240,000 businessmen buzz of the CBI, then, does their

:14:07.:14:13.

voice not matter? Again, what is interesting is that even within the

:14:14.:14:16.

CBI, the cracks are beginning to show. There is a significant

:14:17.:14:21.

minority of members who Digby Jones, who was the Director-General

:14:22.:14:25.

a few years ago, has now come to the view that reform is impossible

:14:26.:14:29.

within this European Union, and the sooner we have a referendum on it,

:14:30.:14:33.

the better. Is it not true, Axelle Lemaire,

:14:34.:14:52.

the better. Is it not true, Axelle to pay for membership? They bring it

:14:53.:14:56.

is stronger with Britain in. It is this old debate sounds surreal to

:14:57.:15:00.

me. If I wanted to be cynical, I would say please, leave this, we

:15:01.:15:04.

will help the French business, because you run with of our main

:15:05.:15:08.

competitor, if you are out you are out of the picture. We are your

:15:09.:15:14.

biggest export market. The British market is absolutely crucial for

:15:15.:15:17.

France, and for Germany, we are the biggest export market in the world

:15:18.:15:20.

for those two countries and we will go on, doing business, regardless

:15:21.:15:24.

whether we are in a political union. That an argument for reform which is

:15:25.:15:28.

David Cameron is saying, if as you say we are so important from a trade

:15:29.:15:32.

point of view, that is, that is the leverage for reform. It could be but

:15:33.:15:37.

the only way a negotiation is would work you walk in carrying a big

:15:38.:15:43.

stick and you say give me X, y and Z or we are leaving. The

:15:44.:16:02.

stick and you say give me X, y and Z thedown you nay say they have looked

:16:03.:16:05.

at the trading alternative, they have looked at Norway, Switzerland

:16:06.:16:09.

and the benefits of leaving just aren't that good. We would have no

:16:10.:16:15.

influence and we would have the costs Nay talked about the rest of

:16:16.:16:19.

the world, and the Swiss model. Switzerland has got more trade deals

:16:20.:16:23.

with other parts of the world than we do as members of the European

:16:24.:16:28.

Union. It took nine years for them to renegotiate access to the single

:16:29.:16:32.

market. Nine year sas long time. Switzerland are rich, they have got

:16:33.:16:37.

more trade deals globally and the Swiss have recognised that Europe is

:16:38.:16:41.

not if economic future of the world. We have to be global not just

:16:42.:16:43.

European. What do you say to that? On reform,

:16:44.:16:50.

what I hear here in this country, is that we need to put to tackle the

:16:51.:16:52.

red tape, put down that we need to put to tackle the

:16:53.:17:13.

more developed. What is the problem with e-commerce at the moment, we

:17:14.:17:20.

have 28 different states, applying their own regulations, so Europe is

:17:21.:17:25.

good in the sense it brings agreement. It was used for

:17:26.:17:28.

environmental legislation and the reality is we finished up with

:17:29.:17:32.

thousands of new laws, coming over the course of the last few year,

:17:33.:17:36.

some Governments interpret them rather more fully and wholly than

:17:37.:17:40.

others, but the fact is the source of legislation is Brussels. Do you

:17:41.:17:46.

disagree, and can you, you don't have to, but can you point to the

:17:47.:17:51.

fact that this ?62 billion in net benefit from EU membership, they are

:17:52.:17:56.

confident about that figure. I have never heard such rubbish. You can't

:17:57.:18:03.

say the CBI... They are discredited because they wanted us to join

:18:04.:18:22.

say the CBI... They are discredited can't guarantee there wouldn't be

:18:23.:18:26.

tariffed on 90% of exports If Mr Hollande wants French unemployment

:18:27.:18:31.

to rocket he can consider tariffs. The German car industry is powful

:18:32.:18:37.

within lobbying, they wouldn't allow Angela Merkel to contemplate

:18:38.:18:40.

tariffs. Do you think that is true? I think you are missing the point.

:18:41.:18:45.

Our priority is to be in a strong position enough, top negotiate a

:18:46.:18:50.

good transatlantic partnership with the United States, and we are very

:18:51.:18:56.

conscious we wouldn't be able do that these as a single country. It

:18:57.:19:01.

is Europe with its 500 million customer, in one single market, in

:19:02.:19:07.

faith of the US that can negotiate in a proper position. Switzerland

:19:08.:19:10.

has done that with China. Iceland has done a free trade deal with

:19:11.:19:12.

China and they have 300,000 people. China and they have 300,000 people.

:19:13.:19:32.

the particular situations on the type of goods, the whole... You are

:19:33.:19:37.

right the rules would change. We could scrap a whole load of

:19:38.:19:41.

employment regulations on small industry, we could look at

:19:42.:19:44.

environmental legislation more sensibly. Companies need stability.

:19:45.:19:49.

You would re-open the whole book of negotiation and rules, it would

:19:50.:19:56.

bring so much uncertainty. When productions fallen by 50%, is

:19:57.:20:00.

stability being suck in a currency that is 20% overvalued for France

:20:01.:20:04.

now? If that is stability I don't want it. If we are the fifth biggest

:20:05.:20:09.

power, you are the six St. On that, oh dear. They always do. Don't they.

:20:10.:20:14.

Thank you very much. Now, officers accused of giving

:20:15.:20:20.

misleading accounts of a meeting with Andrew Mitchell are facing an

:20:21.:20:22.

investigation by the police Watchdog. They will be called back

:20:23.:20:24.

investigation by the police I have seen in 25 years and I have

:20:25.:20:45.

been a Select Committee chairman myself. It hinges on the not telling

:20:46.:20:51.

of the truth, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is

:20:52.:20:55.

central to our judicial system and is the core of policing, and on two

:20:56.:21:00.

occasion, these police officers have plainly not told the truth. So that

:21:01.:21:03.

is why they have been recalled, which is unusual, to say the least,

:21:04.:21:10.

and that is why I think the IPCC has takesen over the inquiry -- taken

:21:11.:21:14.

over the inquiry and said it was fine but the conclusions are wrong,

:21:15.:21:18.

and we are going to prejudge them. I am joined by the chairman of the

:21:19.:21:21.

Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz. Welcome to the programme. You

:21:22.:21:25.

believe these police officers lied to you and your committee It is

:21:26.:21:28.

important they come before the committee, and explain why the

:21:29.:21:31.

evidence they gave to us did not -- sergeant. He did not

:21:32.:21:53.

disclose the fact he has 13 previous allegations of misconduct, and in

:21:54.:21:58.

respect of DC Hinton when asked about a reference to Teresa May he

:21:59.:22:03.

said the transcript contained type graphical error, so what that

:22:04.:22:06.

affected of course was the credibility of the answers they gave

:22:07.:22:11.

us and therefore in effect it might affect the credibility of what they

:22:12.:22:14.

said previously. So we are talking about their credibility, you are not

:22:15.:22:19.

expecting them to radically change what they said, with regard to the

:22:20.:22:23.

meeting they had with Andrew Mitchell. We will have to see what

:22:24.:22:26.

they say, of course they are at liberty to say to the committee

:22:27.:22:29.

anything they want to, about what happened at that meeting, but as you

:22:30.:22:36.

know, we recommended specifically that there should be a case to

:22:37.:22:40.

answer, for misconduct, the IPCC has worked with great speed to make sure

:22:41.:22:42.

that there is going to be a hear, worked with great speed to make sure

:22:43.:23:01.

hear from these officer, we will hear from the IPCC, because of

:23:02.:23:05.

course when they came before us, they said we can't look at this

:23:06.:23:09.

again, they then looked at our report and decided they could look

:23:10.:23:13.

at it again, we want to know why. Do you think we will get to the bottom

:23:14.:23:18.

of this? After all these Select Committee hearings, the Independent

:23:19.:23:21.

Police Complaints Commission, now saying they will look at this

:23:22.:23:25.

particular case, we still haven't had a response, of course, from the

:23:26.:23:30.

CPS over the actual altercation and incident itself. To the lay man, it

:23:31.:23:35.

must seem ridiculous in terms of testify time and resources that have

:23:36.:23:40.

gone into this? Absolutely. When the police can conduct a murder

:23:41.:23:45.

investigation very very quickly, one of the forces was the West Midlands

:23:46.:23:51.

Police who centsly investigated a person -- recently, a person

:23:52.:24:10.

Police who centsly investigated a third of a million pounds and

:24:11.:24:13.

hundreds of police officers have been involved. Yes, I hope we will

:24:14.:24:17.

have closure, as far as the Select Committee is concerned, we have a

:24:18.:24:22.

degree of closure, we felt it was important that this should be done

:24:23.:24:25.

independently and now the IPCC will be conducting this investigation.

:24:26.:24:30.

What will happen if the officers don't take your, take up your kind

:24:31.:24:36.

offer of apologising or saying they did mislead the committee. We will

:24:37.:24:41.

refer them to the House for contempt proceed, that has a particular

:24:42.:24:45.

approach, and that has a particular procedure, they will be asked to go

:24:46.:24:49.

before the House and the House will take a view on it. So it will go out

:24:50.:24:53.

of the hands of the Select Committee, and into the hands of the

:24:54.:24:57.

House itself, which has happened only rarely, so I hope they will

:24:58.:25:01.

take the opportunity of putting the record straight tomorrow. Because of

:25:02.:25:03.

this threat, record straight tomorrow. Because of

:25:04.:25:23.

very much this is a big opportunity for them to come before the

:25:24.:25:28.

committee, to explain why we were misled to put the record straight

:25:29.:25:32.

and to closure. That is the ultimate sanction? It is within the remit,

:25:33.:25:35.

isn't it, so we are clear? At the end of the process, yes, that is the

:25:36.:25:39.

case, but this will not happen tomorrow. This will be an

:25:40.:25:42.

opportunity for them to put the record straight and the Select

:25:43.:25:45.

Committee hopes very much that will happen. Watching this, I am sure you

:25:46.:25:51.

have vaguely been aware of the plebgate saga, what is your view? I

:25:52.:25:55.

can't comment on this specifics of the care, but by am impressed by the

:25:56.:26:00.

roles played by the Select Committee, this one in particular,

:26:01.:26:03.

but Select Committees hear in -- here in this country in if they are

:26:04.:26:08.

a real counter power to the executive, and we with real powers

:26:09.:26:13.

of inquiry, so I think that is a kind of model for the

:26:14.:26:31.

spring to mind when you think of the UK Parliament which is no strange

:26:32.:26:35.

irto controversy over the treatment of female member, it seems we are

:26:36.:26:38.

not the only ones with problems over sexism. Take a look at this. The

:26:39.:26:44.

National Assembly in France earlier in month, a French MP is making a

:26:45.:26:49.

speech. You can't really hear on this recording but a male MP is

:26:50.:26:54.

making clucking noises. Don't call me a chicken says

:26:55.:27:00.

Veronique Massonneau, in France it means airhead. Let us go to the Dale

:27:01.:27:05.

in Ireland where they are about to vote on a motion on abortion. Watch

:27:06.:27:12.

what happens next. Cue #lapgate. A speech by the then Australia Prime

:27:13.:27:18.

Minister Julia Gillard went viral when she got fed up of sexist

:27:19.:27:23.

remarks. I was offenced when he went out in the front

:27:24.:27:42.

day from this leader of the opposition S That went well. Her for

:27:43.:27:49.

mentor Tony Abbott runs the country now.

:27:50.:27:57.

I am joined Bihar ret Baldwin. What did you think of that played round

:27:58.:28:02.

the world of Julia Gillard in the Australian Parliament? I am in full

:28:03.:28:07.

empathy and I was sitting in the National Assembly when this incident

:28:08.:28:12.

happened, to my female colleague who was considered as a chicken, by...

:28:13.:28:19.

With the clucking going on. I think if you ask any female MP, at least

:28:20.:28:25.

in France, I don't know in other country, she will have personal

:28:26.:28:28.

stories to tell, I can give you mine, I have plenty, but one of them

:28:29.:28:31.

is I was, I was asking mine, I have plenty, but one of them

:28:32.:28:53.

why don't you go and breastfeed your children? Lady, what do you think of

:28:54.:29:00.

that? Well I would say that our Parliaments are supposed to

:29:01.:29:04.

represent the real world. We would be naive top think it doesn't exist

:29:05.:29:09.

in the real world. In the workplace, I speak as someone, I would say

:29:10.:29:15.

Parliament is more civilised than other working environments. How do

:29:16.:29:19.

you respond to that, or do you respond? We do represent the people,

:29:20.:29:24.

as you said, so we have to set an example, and I think it also, we

:29:25.:29:28.

have to do it through the number of women sitting in Parliament, in

:29:29.:29:34.

France we are at 26%, which is one in four, not equal, but not as bad

:29:35.:29:40.

as here I think it is 22. It is not as bad as here. We have an equail

:29:41.:29:44.

Government, 18 as bad as here. We have an equail

:29:45.:30:02.

by the Prime Minister. A phrase that would never have been used to a man.

:30:03.:30:09.

He claims he was doing it from the advert, Indeed. Anyone can judge. It

:30:10.:30:13.

is an issue of representative take, it is slightly shocking, that of the

:30:14.:30:18.

women in Parliament, here, although Labour is in the opposition, more

:30:19.:30:21.

than half of the women in Parliament are Labour. We only four women in

:30:22.:30:26.

the Cabinet, we have something like 42% on the Shadow Cabinet. We have

:30:27.:30:30.

need to get the voice of women in leadership positions if we are going

:30:31.:30:35.

to deal with this issue. Our party had a woman Prime Minister and she

:30:36.:30:38.

was Prime Minister for 11 years and was regardeds as one of the greatest

:30:39.:30:42.

the country has had. I do agree that in terms of the at mo fear in

:30:43.:30:48.

Parliament. You can't go into politics unless you are prepared to

:30:49.:30:52.

put up with the insults that go your way, they go in the direction

:30:53.:31:13.

put up with the insults that go your with that? Do you think it should be

:31:14.:31:19.

enshrined in law, or should there be 50% of candidates being enshrined in

:31:20.:31:28.

law? In law, politicians are exempt from the Sextus commendation act, so

:31:29.:31:31.

you can positively discover late in favour of women. I think we should

:31:32.:31:35.

all aspire to have half of our politicians being women. -- from the

:31:36.:31:41.

sex discrimination act. I think it can be a slow way to change things,

:31:42.:31:46.

but I am strongly against all women short lists, because I would like to

:31:47.:31:49.

say that I am here on my merit, rather than... I am here on my

:31:50.:31:55.

merit, but I was selected from an all women short list. All women

:31:56.:31:59.

short lists have transformed Parliament, and transforming

:32:00.:32:02.

Parliament by getting more women into its changes what we do. I

:32:03.:32:22.

Parliament by getting more women you brave, rather than just talking

:32:23.:32:27.

about the size of the bombs on the bullets that you use. So, there is a

:32:28.:32:32.

cultural shift, a different tone of conversation, from having women

:32:33.:32:36.

there, but if, as it is enshrined in law in France, and have a certain

:32:37.:32:40.

representation, you still get those incidents in Parliament, of people

:32:41.:32:45.

being rude to you, so in a way, that in itself does not change, does it?

:32:46.:32:54.

So is it just something you have to put up with? No, but in the

:32:55.:32:57.

long-term, it creates an environment. Men who use that kind

:32:58.:33:03.

of behaviour will be seen as violating, and doing gender

:33:04.:33:10.

discrimination. When you look at the number of Tory candidates selected

:33:11.:33:13.

so far, out of 51, only 15 are women. My

:33:14.:33:32.

so far, out of 51, only 15 are if they do not respect the law on

:33:33.:33:37.

putting an equal number of candidates in elections. I think you

:33:38.:33:43.

cannot put a law on women wanting to come forward and be politicians.

:33:44.:33:47.

Apparently about a third of the people who put their names forward

:33:48.:33:50.

in the Conservative Party are women, and about a third of them get

:33:51.:33:53.

selected proportionately. So there is nothing to suggest that it is

:33:54.:33:59.

disproportionate to the number of people who aspire to become an MP.

:34:00.:34:04.

Isn't one of the reasons why fewer women aspire because they see fewer

:34:05.:34:08.

women in politics? And one of the things that we, as women

:34:09.:34:11.

politicians, have a responsibility to do, is to end this macho

:34:12.:34:19.

environment in which women work, which puts off young women from

:34:20.:34:23.

wanting to stand, from wanting to lead. Caroline Flint, a Labour

:34:24.:34:25.

minister at lead. Caroline Flint, a Labour

:34:26.:34:43.

strong as Julia Gillard never has to go through the horrible experiences

:34:44.:34:46.

that she enjoyed before she made that brilliant speech. Thank you

:34:47.:34:50.

very much, all of you. Thank you, Axelle Lemaire, for being my guest

:34:51.:34:56.

today. Now for a look at The Week Ahead. The cost of High Speed Rail

:34:57.:35:00.

two comes under scrutiny tomorrow by Parliament's Treasury Select

:35:01.:35:02.

Committee, with evidence to be heard from economists and infrastructure

:35:03.:35:05.

experts. Later in the day, MPs on the Defence Committee will hear from

:35:06.:35:08.

the Secretary of State, Philip Hammond, on Future Army 2020, the

:35:09.:35:11.

strategic plan for the UK's armed forces. Wednesday is Prime

:35:12.:35:16.

Minister's Questions. Will energy prices return as the issue of the

:35:17.:35:23.

day? It is a subject which has dominated in recent weeks. There

:35:24.:35:26.

will be no PMQs next week as Parliament will be in recess. On

:35:27.:35:30.

Thursday, the heads of the three UK intelligence agencies will appear

:35:31.:35:32.

before the Intelligence and Security Committee in Parliament.

:35:33.:35:56.

And we are joined from College Green by Kevin Schofield from the Sun, and

:35:57.:36:08.

the Guardian's Rowena Mason. On HS2, first of all, David Cameron is

:36:09.:36:11.

trying to make a clear dividing line from Labour, saying that people will

:36:12.:36:16.

see Labour as betraying the north of England if it withdraws support for

:36:17.:36:21.

HS2, so it is this a clever tactic? Yes, well, today coming he set out

:36:22.:36:27.

plans in a speech at the CBI to ask Sir David Higgins, the chairman of

:36:28.:36:33.

HS2, to cut costs on the ?42 billion project. It comes after Labour has

:36:34.:36:38.

turned the screws, really, on the Tory party, over HS2, saying that it

:36:39.:36:42.

will not give the project a blank cheque. It

:36:43.:36:45.

to pull support because that money could be spent better elsewhere?

:36:46.:37:11.

Yes, it is fairly tempting, I think, for Ed Balls, when we are talking

:37:12.:37:17.

about ?42 billion, and for a party which is struggling to shake off its

:37:18.:37:23.

spendthrift tag, if it was to say, we're not going to spend this money

:37:24.:37:27.

on this project, we are going to spend it on other things, like maybe

:37:28.:37:30.

house-building or bringing down the national debt, it must be very

:37:31.:37:34.

tempting, which is why Ed Balls has thrown out a few feelers, and given

:37:35.:37:40.

very broad hints that he is thinking about pulling Labour's support for

:37:41.:37:46.

it. I think there is tension between him and Ed Miliband over whether or

:37:47.:37:49.

not Labour will ultimately support HS2. What is your prediction? I

:37:50.:37:55.

think when push comes to shove, I think when push comes to shove, I

:37:56.:38:13.

not to. It is going to be a tight one, but when push comes to shove, I

:38:14.:38:17.

think Labour will probably just support it, with extreme caveats.

:38:18.:38:23.

Let's turn our attention to Falkirk, and allegations of vote fixing.

:38:24.:38:30.

Rowena Mason, there is now a twist in the story that one of the

:38:31.:38:32.

complainant is apparently did not withdraw evidence, as had been

:38:33.:38:39.

claimed, so what do you make of it all? It is still very confusing.

:38:40.:38:44.

There are lots of claims and counterclaims, and we have not

:38:45.:38:46.

really had a full explanation from the people in the middle of the

:38:47.:38:50.

story, who originally complained, about exactly what has gone on. An

:38:51.:38:56.

interesting twist this morning is that Johann Lamont, the Scottish

:38:57.:39:01.

Labour leader, seemed to open the door to possibly Labour

:39:02.:39:05.

reinvestigating the allegations, and so

:39:06.:39:22.

reinvestigating the allegations, and to publish the internal report. Tom

:39:23.:39:24.

Harris, the former label transport minister said last night that...

:39:25.:39:36.

They are probably right, insofar as the Labour Party would not normally

:39:37.:39:39.

publish internal reports, however, given the ongoing controversy about

:39:40.:39:44.

this issue, basically, it looks as though they have got something to

:39:45.:39:47.

hide, unless he does choose to publish it. It is starting to

:39:48.:39:51.

reflect quite badly on the Labour leadership. Thank you both very

:39:52.:39:56.

much. I have been joined by Labour's Anne Begg, Malcolm Bruce from the

:39:57.:40:01.

Liberal Democrats and by the Conservative MP Anne McIntosh, for

:40:02.:40:04.

the rest of the programme. Welcome to all of you. As we have been

:40:05.:40:09.

hearing, the saga around the Labour selection in Falkirk has once again

:40:10.:40:13.

raised its head. Yesterday's Sunday Times includes

:40:14.:40:32.

raised its head. Yesterday's Sunday union, at the centre of the

:40:33.:40:35.

controversy, gave his reaction. The truth of the matter is, this is a

:40:36.:40:40.

trap being laid by Tory central office. Of course it is! They are

:40:41.:40:43.

the ones who are making the demands, and of course, the media, the Daily

:40:44.:40:47.

Mail, the Sunday Times, are you telling me they are not the

:40:48.:40:50.

Conservative mouthpiece in the media? They are laying traps for Ed

:40:51.:40:54.

Miliband, and Ed Miliband should not fall into those traps. Anne Begg, is

:40:55.:41:02.

this just a conspiracy of what Len McCluskey calls the Tory press, and

:41:03.:41:05.

Ed Miliband is falling into the trap? Well, I do not think the Tory

:41:06.:41:10.

press will help, but I think this is a problem of our own making. It is

:41:11.:41:14.

not our finest hour. Having said that, it is very much an internal

:41:15.:41:19.

matter for the Labour Party. It is for the Labour Party to get to the

:41:20.:41:23.

bottom of this, to make sure that whatever happened in Falkirk does

:41:24.:41:24.

not happen again. whatever happened in Falkirk does

:41:25.:41:45.

MSP who had to stand down because he was found to be a wife beater in the

:41:46.:41:49.

courts. And there was no call at that time for the SNP to publish any

:41:50.:41:53.

internal reports. Or would it help lay this to rest? I do not know,

:41:54.:41:59.

because I am not party to this. In fact, most people are not. A lot of

:42:00.:42:04.

it is speculation in the newspapers. But I think it is an issue for the

:42:05.:42:08.

Labour Party. It is something they are going to have to look at and

:42:09.:42:12.

continue to look at, both to make sure that this is laid to rest, but

:42:13.:42:17.

also, we need to get on and get a good candidate select it, for the

:42:18.:42:23.

people of Falkirk. In your view, has the Unite union abused its power in

:42:24.:42:27.

Falkirk? I think they did things which were over the line in terms of

:42:28.:42:31.

what they were allowed to do. In terms of what? Interestingly

:42:32.:42:52.

what they were allowed to do. In they have joined the Labour Party.

:42:53.:42:56.

It should be agreed by them! It is in those circumstances that I think

:42:57.:43:00.

the Unite union have overstepped the mark. Because they are using

:43:01.:43:04.

bullying and intimidate three tactics as well? There was coercion

:43:05.:43:11.

and fraud and vote rigging. They were cleared of wrongdoing, of

:43:12.:43:21.

course. We do but if somebody was saying that they wish to make a

:43:22.:43:24.

witness statement, and they were not heard... But that is a matter for

:43:25.:43:32.

the police. My understanding is that the Labour Party had not seen the

:43:33.:43:38.

e-mails. Those have been handed over to the police. So, if there is

:43:39.:43:41.

corruption and wrongdoing and illegality, and that is a matter for

:43:42.:43:43.

the police. illegality, and that is a matter for

:43:44.:44:02.

was dropped on the basis that people at the centre of the case withdrew

:44:03.:44:10.

their evidence, so now, should it be reopened? I want the party to get to

:44:11.:44:15.

the bottom of what exactly happened. Whether it should be published is a

:44:16.:44:18.

different matter. But obviously I think there is an issue for the

:44:19.:44:22.

party, which must get to the bottom of it. It is only by doing so that

:44:23.:44:25.

they will make sure this does not happen again. Will that be enough,

:44:26.:44:30.

Malcolm Bruce? First of all, I think it is a problem for the Labour

:44:31.:44:34.

Party, in terms of its public perception. Any party which may

:44:35.:44:38.

appear to be a partially owned subsidiary of another organisation,

:44:39.:44:45.

like a trade union, has a problem. It is treating the voters with a

:44:46.:44:50.

degree of contempt. I think what Labour have got to address is, if

:44:51.:44:54.

they want to be a national party, they have

:44:55.:45:12.

reinforces that belief. I think if that was true, then Malcolm is

:45:13.:45:18.

right, but as I said, the unions, in regard to the individual selection

:45:19.:45:21.

of candidates, have much less power than they have ever had at any time

:45:22.:45:25.

in history, partly because of one member, one vote. This is why they

:45:26.:45:29.

have resorted to this tactic of trying to get more members who they

:45:30.:45:33.

think will vote that way. But actually, Labour Party members are

:45:34.:45:36.

very good at making up their own mind, and they can be quite contrary

:45:37.:45:44.

at times. The perception is that the unions are up to their old dirty

:45:45.:45:48.

tricks again. The unions would say it is the fault of the Tory press

:45:49.:45:54.

who are making it up. The press pick up a story, you can't blame them.

:45:55.:46:02.

The Tory press were not to blame. You are seeing an, a dispute

:46:03.:46:04.

The Tory press were not to blame. finest hour, it has shown us in a

:46:05.:46:23.

bad light. That is why they have to get to the bottom of it and make

:46:24.:46:29.

sure it doesn't happen again. Moving on quickly, plebgate, are you happy

:46:30.:46:35.

the officers are coming back before the Select Committee? Yes I am happy

:46:36.:46:37.

that the Independent Police Complaints Commission is looking

:46:38.:46:42.

into allegations of misleading a House of Commons Select Committee

:46:43.:46:45.

and also the public, on a number of issues, I think the whole incident

:46:46.:46:50.

is highly regrettable, and the sooner we can put this to bed the

:46:51.:46:57.

better, both for the British public and Andrew Mitchell himself, for his

:46:58.:47:01.

own police authority at the -- authority at the time to question

:47:02.:47:04.

his intelty. Would you like to see him back in Government? Yes in a

:47:05.:47:09.

very senior position. How does it make the police look? My committee

:47:10.:47:14.

was shadowing or monitoring Andrew Mitchell so I got to

:47:15.:47:32.

was shadowing or monitoring Andrew lied about, so if that is the case,

:47:33.:47:35.

clearly, we have to get to the bottom of it and the Select

:47:36.:47:37.

Committee is determines to do so, that is why they have called the

:47:38.:47:41.

police back presumably. Most police do a fantastic job but it doesn't

:47:42.:47:47.

help their reputation... One of my colleagues said not even who has the

:47:48.:47:52.

resourced that Andrew Mitchell had. Let us leave it there Ed Miliband

:47:53.:47:55.

has confirmed that a future Labour Government would offer businesses

:47:56.:48:00.

tax breaks if they paid the living wage, that is the benchmark based on

:48:01.:48:03.

the amount an individual needs to cover the basic cost of living.

:48:04.:48:09.

Private firms would be able to claim back a third of the cost. Not all

:48:10.:48:13.

Labour supporters are fans of the plans. We are joined by John

:48:14.:48:17.

McTernan who was Tony Blair's political secretary. What isn't it a

:48:18.:48:23.

good idea? The national minimum wage, which the Labour

:48:24.:48:25.

good idea? The national minimum London is ?8.80 an hour which is a

:48:26.:48:45.

40% increase or more on the national minimum wage, I don't think you can

:48:46.:48:49.

increase wages that much without destroying jobs and there is a study

:48:50.:48:54.

by the Resolution Foundation who say if you implement it across the

:48:55.:48:59.

country, it would lead to 300 thousand gloung people losing their

:49:00.:49:03.

job, and I don't think we can afford that. Is that because you don't want

:49:04.:49:09.

to take the leap all in one go? It is something you would say

:49:10.:49:12.

politicians should d pyre to, to that level of living wage over time?

:49:13.:49:16.

The minimum wage has been allowed by the coalition to fall in value and

:49:17.:49:19.

it should be increased. There is no doubt there is a case for that, but

:49:20.:49:24.

the living wage is, is a campaign which on the one hand we are told by

:49:25.:49:28.

the. Ka painers it is wrong to pay people at that level, on the other

:49:29.:49:35.

hand if you say it will cost some businesses to

:49:36.:49:53.

hand if you say it will cost some this. I think Brown and the Tory

:49:54.:49:56.

Governments before this got this right, some people have low wages

:49:57.:49:59.

and they should be topped up by the Government through tax credits or

:50:00.:50:04.

through family credit or through as dung proposes through Universal

:50:05.:50:09.

Credit. That is the right way to reward people in low paid work

:50:10.:50:13.

rather than force them to become unemployed. Anne McIntosh, do you

:50:14.:50:18.

agree with that? Is it better that people, some people just say and

:50:19.:50:22.

accept those lower wages and the state, funded by the taxpayer

:50:23.:50:27.

subsidises that low pay with benefits? What we have done is taken

:50:28.:50:33.

25 million people out of tax so they don't pay tax until ?10,000 so you

:50:34.:50:39.

can earn ?10,000 from April next year. Would you rather not have the

:50:40.:50:44.

living wage and continue to top up with benefits? I

:50:45.:51:03.

living wage and continue to top up now, not to lose people, but not to

:51:04.:51:06.

replace people when they leave their work. Hasn't that been the economic

:51:07.:51:12.

reality, the low wage part-timer, it has been better than loosing your

:51:13.:51:15.

job, if John McTernan is right and he uses the figures there would be

:51:16.:51:20.

300,000 job lost. The same argument was used with the introduction of

:51:21.:51:24.

the minimum wage, and it didn't come to pass, but I think Anne has missed

:51:25.:51:30.

the point, the government is paying out to supplement the incomes of

:51:31.:51:36.

these people. Anybody who is paying tax is not the group we are talking

:51:37.:51:39.

about. So people are getting paid less, that get it topped up by the

:51:40.:51:46.

state. But what if the business can't afford to carry... Well, at

:51:47.:51:50.

the moment, the people who are carrying it are the British

:51:51.:51:52.

taxpayer. It is the cost of carrying it are the British

:51:53.:52:13.

to supplement people? Surely Liberal Democrat, the onus should be on the

:52:14.:52:16.

employer, more should be on the employer so the state doesn't have

:52:17.:52:24.

to keep paying. The problem is... What about the Liberal Democrats? We

:52:25.:52:28.

are in favour of the living wage in principle. We think large companies

:52:29.:52:32.

should be transparent. My own council is committed to it. You

:52:33.:52:36.

can't confuse the minimum wage with the living wage, one is a legal

:52:37.:52:40.

requirement, the other is an aspiration to recognise, that is the

:52:41.:52:43.

sort of money people in full-time work would hope to have, to have a

:52:44.:52:47.

live wage. People should be encourage to pay it. The Labour

:52:48.:52:51.

Party's ideas are worth looking at but you shouldn't confuse the two.

:52:52.:52:55.

There was a lot of reaction against the minimum wage at the time. Some

:52:56.:53:00.

small businesses will say we can't afford to employ people that the

:53:01.:53:02.

level. Some Biggs businesses are afford to employ people that the

:53:03.:53:23.

people living in poverty have an adult in work, that is not right. We

:53:24.:53:26.

need do something about it. The best thing to do is introduce the living

:53:27.:53:32.

wage. That in a single policy decision can actually make sure that

:53:33.:53:36.

people who are in work, actually are lifted out of poverty. At the moment

:53:37.:53:40.

that is not happening. It is important not to confuse the two.

:53:41.:53:44.

There is one thing that all our three guests have in common. Well,

:53:45.:53:48.

apart from all being huge fans of the Daily Politics, who writes these

:53:49.:53:54.

scrips? . They all chair Parliamentary skit tis. It is an

:53:55.:53:59.

increasingly high profile role. First, let us remind ourself of

:54:00.:54:06.

recent Select Committee moments. I suggest you can give an apology for

:54:07.:54:11.

spinning a yarn to the press to get someone out of high public office,

:54:12.:54:14.

that is what you were motivated to do,

:54:15.:54:32.

following the laws that are there. How can the profits be fair when

:54:33.:54:37.

people can't afford to pay for their energy? Do you accept that you are

:54:38.:54:45.

responsible for this whole fiasco? What point did you find out

:54:46.:54:50.

criminality was endemic at the News of the World? Committee will note

:54:51.:54:56.

you have had to apologise given you claim not to have seen a document

:54:57.:55:03.

which you I believe authored, so... I think. To draw an inference... We

:55:04.:55:09.

immediate to take it with a pinch of salt. Feisty stuff. Let us get the

:55:10.:55:14.

thoughts of our chairs. Let us put you under the spotlight. Malcolm

:55:15.:55:19.

Bruce how come they have improved so much, the reputation of the dusty

:55:20.:55:23.

Select Committee, it seems to have gone? I think all Select Committees

:55:24.:55:25.

have a gone? I think all Select Committees

:55:26.:55:43.

they want to be there, they have something to bring to the table.

:55:44.:55:47.

That makes us much more effective and beyond the reach of Government.

:55:48.:55:51.

So we are more independent. That added a lot to our strength and

:55:52.:55:54.

indeed the impact of what we do. Does it result in any real change

:55:55.:55:58.

though? Yes, I think the right reforms in the last Parliament which

:55:59.:56:02.

have been introduced this Parliament, give us not more power,

:56:03.:56:09.

and therefore a more prominent national platform. We have the power

:56:10.:56:13.

to amend legislation, so prescrutiny you get a detailed idea, I have to

:56:14.:56:19.

say as a member of a coalition, the prominent coalition party, it can be

:56:20.:56:23.

uncomfortable sometimes in screws nicing a department which is so

:56:24.:56:26.

important to my constituency, to try and help them to get the policy

:56:27.:56:33.

right, but gps Does that mean you have to ask tough questions? No

:56:34.:56:52.

right, but gps Does that mean you and enforced. Let us take that

:56:53.:56:55.

issue, do you think it easier to be a member of a Select Committee if

:56:56.:57:00.

you are not the party in power? I don't know because I have never been

:57:01.:57:05.

in that situation. But, of course, the majority on the committees from

:57:06.:57:08.

the Government party, but I say to them, and it is the position I took

:57:09.:57:13.

as a backbencher, I want my Government to get it right, and if

:57:14.:57:17.

there is something the Select Committee can illustrate or point

:57:18.:57:22.

to, that could be a disaster in the making, sensible Governments and

:57:23.:57:25.

sensible departments will listen, I hope to some of the things. Do MPs

:57:26.:57:31.

Grandstand? Do you have to watch if some of you committee members start

:57:32.:57:35.

taking over and become a celebrity? It is worrying if you have a high

:57:36.:57:39.

profile witness like the Secretary of State they might be exposed.

:57:40.:57:41.

Really we now have the opportunity of State they might be exposed.

:57:42.:58:05.

we reach decision by consensus. The most effective Select Committees are

:58:06.:58:08.

the ones who are able to put the political different, leave them at

:58:09.:58:13.

the door and work together. We try to aVoight voting in the committee.

:58:14.:58:19.

There have been fairly high profile case. An amendment comes along where

:58:20.:58:25.

something disagrees and you negotiate it. The department will

:58:26.:58:29.

often wait for a committee report before it finalises a policy and

:58:30.:58:33.

accepted the reputation, because it is based on objective evidence, not

:58:34.:58:37.

the prejudice of 11 member, we brought that evidence in from

:58:38.:58:41.

outside. Who is the best chair in the business? It is difficult to

:58:42.:58:51.

say. They are all our favourites as Bruce forsite would say. Thank you.

:58:52.:58:55.

I will be back tomorrow with all the

:58:56.:58:56.

Jo Coburn is joined by French socialist MP Axelle LeMaire to discuss the latest political news, including a discussion on whether Europe is good for British business and a focus on sexism in politics.


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