20/11/2013 Daily Politics


20/11/2013

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are joined by MPs Grant Shapps and Michael Dugher. There's also live coverage of Prime Minister's questions.


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Transcript


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Good morning, this is the Daily Politics. Plans to re-organise the

:00:36.:00:39.

army come under fire from conservative backbenchers. The

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Defence Secretary's less than happy. He thinks they're putting the army

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at risk and flirting with the enemy. We'll be talking to the Mutineer in

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Chief. Shocking revelations this week about

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Labour. No, I'm not talking about the Chairman of the Co-operative

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Bank. The two Eds have never been to the pub together.

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Most people want to play the property game. Trouble is, a lot

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can't afford to. We'll be talking to one man who thinks cutting stamp

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duty could help. And we'll be explaining why the good

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people of Hull are celebrating. All that and more in the next 90

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minutes. Including Prime Minister's Questions. And with us for the

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duration, two men described as Westminster's fiercest attack dogs -

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Conservative Party Chairman, Grant "Rottweiller" Shapps and Labour's

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own pit bull, Michael Dugher. They look quite cuddly to me. Not as

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cuddly as Molly. Welcome to the Daily Politics kennel. Now, first

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this morning, let's talk about the army because Conservative MP John

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Baron is a leading a small troop of fellow Tory MPs in a rebel amendment

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to the Defence Reform Bill aimed at halting plans to increase the size

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of the reservist force from 19,000 to 30,000 by 2018. The Government

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wants to increase the number of reservists to help fill the gap

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created by cuts to the regular army, which is being shrunk by 20% over

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eight years. It is going down from around 102,000 to around 80,000.

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This morning Philip Hammond had this warning for anyone wanting to pause

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the recruitment of reservists. If it was carried, it would prevent us

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from rolling out the offer that we are making for reserve first stash

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better pension, allowances and training, investment in kit, and

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that would be damaging. I am very much up for a debate about how we

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are managing the reserve list programme. Parliament is interested,

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I would expect to be scrutinised, but I do not think that pausing that

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programme in anybody's interest. we hope to speak to the Tory rebel,

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John Baron, but we seem to have lost him at the moment. So I will come to

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you, Grant Shapps. Isn't the problem that the Government has started to

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cut the size of the regular army but not yet increased the size of the

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reservists, reservist recruitment is falling. There is a ?38 billion

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black hole in the defence budget, when we came to power, you have to

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do something about it. There is an argument between you about the size

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of the black hole, but that was capital spending. To keep the troops

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is current spending. We have to run the country and afford what we are

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doing. We might have the fourth biggest defence in the world, but

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these days you need drone 's, technical equipment, things like the

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massive aircraft carriers, which are massive investments in themselves.

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Wars are not necessarily fought in the same way with boots on the

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ground, but increasing number of reservists, which used to be called

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the TA. Now is not the time to have a vote in the Commons which prevents

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the second part, which is all the vote would do, prevent us from

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recruiting the reservists, which would be. We know you can cut the

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army, governments of both political persuasions have done that for

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years. We have no way of knowing that you can increase the

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reservists, particularly because you will be asking them to do more and

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be better trained than the old Territorial Army, meaning employers

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need to give them more time. You can't guarantee you can deliver.

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There are no absolute guarantees in life. The army can be an incredible

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career. For reservists, they can be of enormous benefit to the

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businesses employing them. I think businesses want the skills that

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allow releasing them to be reservists will bring back. This

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vote today is completely the wrong thing, simply for the reason that we

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are set on this trajectory, the Army has accepted it, they have already

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scaled back... the Army has no choice but to accept it, we live

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under democratic control. It is not Labour policy to keep the regular

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army at 100,000? We built it up to over 100,000. Grant Shapps was a

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little confused. The government themselves have said they are not

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making these changes for reasons of finance but for proper defence

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reasons. We support these reforms, but all that is happening today, and

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I think Philip and has mishandled this, all of us in Parliament have a

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duty to the armed forces and defence, to make sure these

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important changes go through and are manageable and feasible. It is all

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right, but it is boilerplate. Under Labour, there would still be a curt

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of around 82,000 in the Army, you would it attempt to hire these

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reserve lists. -- there would be a cut to around 82,000 of the regular

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army, and you would attempt to hire these reservists. We are getting

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political criticism for doing this. It would be much more convenient

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just to let it go through. But your Conservative former Defence

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Secretary, only a couple of years ago, in my view, rightly, said you

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cannot basically cut of the regular forces without having a very clear,

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robust, transparent policy... You are saying the same thing. You are

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voting against your own policy. Philip Hammond has refused to come

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to the house to provide assurances... We have not had those

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reinsurer service, that is all we are asking for -- we have not

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heard... Had those reassurances. Since U2 are dancing on the head of

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a pin, let's go over to somebody who disagrees with you. -- since new two

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are dancing. John Baron, what are you trying to achieve? Paws on the

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Army recruitment plans generally, because we want time for Parliament

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to scrutinise the cost effectiveness and viability of these plans. Time

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to pause, it needn't be a long delay, but the bottom line is,

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pause, because so many things are going wrong. We have to check

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whether the plan stacks up. We have widening capability gaps, rising

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costs, reservist recruitment targets being badly missed, and that is

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before we talk about the Herculean assumptions within the plans to make

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the Army reserve ironwork. What you to Philip Hammond 's response to

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what you are doing? He says you are doing down morale against the

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reserve forces, and as a former Army officer you should know better than

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most that any pause will leave a serious hole in our defence? There

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are no shortage of scare stories. We have been told we are trying to

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scupper the plans, we are trying to create Victorian age armies. All

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untrue. Two years ago there was a very simple plan. Hold on to the

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regulars until these reservists can take their place. Now it has

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changed, we have an increasing capability gap between letting the

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regulars go and recruiting reservists. With these amendments,

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if successful, we are saying, let's pause and re-examine the plan, let's

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make sure it stop up -- stacks up. When you say you want to re-examine

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the plans, is that because you want to stop cuts to the Army's forces?

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The debate today is about the reserves. At the regulars to one

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side. A great bar of them have gone already. Recruitment of the regulars

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is much easier than recruitment to the reserves stop let's pause on the

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Army Reserve plans for a short period, examine these rising costs,

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which could lead to false economies, examine the poorer recruitment

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record which could lead to widening capability gaps. Parliament should

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be scrutinising decisions that increasingly look flawed and that

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they might lead to false economies. That is what we are trying to do.

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How much support you have? About 25 colleagues had signed on the

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Conservative side. I understand Labour will support this amendment.

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They have supported our previous debates on this, general debates.

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There was a general debate only three or four weeks ago at the

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Government could not muster one single vote on it side because it's

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refused to answer questions. They have not come up with the answers,

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that is why we are in this position. We have asked them to put a stop to

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their plans for a short period while Parliament scrutinises things and

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plans carefully on behalf of the taxpayer but also on behalf the

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country. Thank you very much. You couldn't make it up even if you

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were a fiction writer. The scandal that has been unfolding this week

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about the former Co-op Bank chief, the Reverend Paul Flowers, embroiled

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in a rent boys and drugs scandal involving the bank, the Methodist

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Church and the Labour Party. But that is not the only thing that has

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been troubling Labour this week. Trouble's brewing at Labour HQ at

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Brewers Green. Every home brewer knows that getting the fermentation

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right is key to success, No extremes or variations. Everyone working

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together. But Labour are not getting it at all right at the moment.

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Leaked e-mails show that there's trouble at the top between the two

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Eds, Miliband and Balls. And then there's the shocking news that

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they've never even been to the pub together. What do they do? Pint of

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bitter, anyone? So will the new head brewer, Spencer Livermore, serve up

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an enticing mix? He's taking charge of Labour's general election

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preparations but his appointment effectively sidelines the party's

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general secretary, Iain McNicol, who's so unhappy he's apparently not

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talking to Ed Miliband. Add to the keg the ales of Paul Flowers, the

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former Chairman of the Co-operative Bank, and it's no surprise that the

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Labour party are struggling to come up with a brew they can palate

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themselves, let alone sell to the general public. So is it worse than

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flat. Is it downright bitter? Joining me now is Atul Hatwal, the

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editor of Labour Uncut. Welcome to the programme. How bad is

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it between the two Eds? It is not at the level of Tony Blair and Gordon

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Brown, but it is difficult and deteriorating. The personalities are

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bashing, are substantive policy differences. This is quite a serious

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fault line. It is an open secret that they do not agree on

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everything. If they can't find agreement over substance, is this

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more important than agreement on personality? You have to get on with

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the people you work with, you don't have two get on with them but you

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have to have a decent working relationship. There is an open

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secret that the teams, more than the individuals, are at loggerheads. One

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of the things Ed Miliband wanted to do at the start of his leadership

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was to express contrition for what he perceives as one of the past

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public spending stakes for the last Labour government. Ed Balls was not

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his first choice. Ed Balls has vetoed this, absolutely not, the

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focus has to be on the Tories are not on the public spending plans.

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That is a... An important distinction. Despite everything with

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Cameron and Osborne ahead of Miliband and balls in the polling, I

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think the fallout from that disagreement is coming through. Does

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that mean he is trying to shore up his side and support his team by

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bringing in Spencer Livermore? Spencer Livermore is a very

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interesting appointment. There was a very famous falling out in 2007 over

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the election that never was. Spencer Livermore 's appointment says that

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Ed Balls will be on the outside loop during the general election

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campaign, and particularly interesting is that if, when looking

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at the succession for the Labour Party and who might be the next

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leader, Yvette Cooper is the current favourite, Ed Balls' Y. She

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potentially won't have a prominent role in the election campaign that

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she might have done otherwise. The Spencer Livermore campaigners Ed

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Miliband taking control of Labour HQ. Let's go back to the Co-op

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Bank. When Labour knew the real reasons Paul Flowers had to resign,

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why did it not inform the Co-op group? Well, I'm not aware that we

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did know what was going on. The Labour Party in Bradford discovered

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it and in London they knew about it. I knew it was part of a

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deteriorating situation. I'm not sure that is correct, I don't know

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if Labour nationally new one -- what had gone on. We were shocked when we

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saw the reports, which is why we acted immediately to suspend him. Is

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there not a case for investigating a cover-up, because Mr Flowers was

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instrumental in staffing Labour's coppers with Josh? -- coffers with

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dosh? He meets Mr Miliband on March the 6th this year and in April, 1.2

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million is given to the Labour Party at a very good interest rate. And

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then end of a 1.2 million at the same time is given from a trust

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which is effectively part of the Co-op Bank. You telling me there is

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no connection? We've had a relationship with the Co-op movement

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for 100 years. We bank with them. Thousands of businesses and he was

:17:16.:17:17.

watching this programme bank with them. But you are happy to be cosy

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with a man who by this time was clearly a flawed character. This was

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a man who to all intents and purposes was a method minister --

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Methodist minister. The Tories were all over the Co-op is like a cheap

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coat six months ago. We took the sky at face value. He was a church

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minister. You had a cosy relationship will stop -- with Paul

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Flowers. Why did Ed Miliband put him on their business Council when it

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was clear he had no knowledge of business? He was chairman of a

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bank, we didn't know about his allegations of criminality. He was

:18:23.:18:28.

chairman of a bank who did not even know what the balance sheet was. But

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we didn't know about any of these allegations. This appeared in a

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select committee. When asked what was on the balance sheet, he said 3

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billion. Turns out it was 47 billion. Why would you put someone

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on an advisory council for business like that? We have all kinds of the

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ball on these councils. I would rather have a relationship with the

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Co-op Bank then all these shadowy businesses. The Co-op is now owned

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by hedge funds, 70%. You cannot compare the Co-op Hank historically

:19:08.:19:13.

to those banks that destroyed the economy. You are talking about the

:19:14.:19:22.

serious allegations this weekend - the moment we were aware of that we

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acted and we suspended him from the party. And now you have a bank

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account owned by hedge funds. Egg balls got ?50,000 as well. An

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unprecedented amount. How is that unprecedented? He got ?50,000 to his

:19:47.:19:55.

office. We've not had anything from the Co-op Bank in over a year, by

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the way. Nothing like the scale that was going to conservative offices

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before. It was consistent with the rules. People get donations all the

:20:06.:20:13.

time. Who else has got 50,000 from the Co-op? I'm not aware, but what

:20:14.:20:23.

is your point? There is no significance to it. Why did Mr

:20:24.:20:29.

Miliband's office regarded as a nightmare? This was adapt e-mail

:20:30.:20:35.

from someone you should have known better. -- a daft email. I lived

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through the interesting relationship between Gordon Brown and Tony

:20:46.:20:49.

Blair. You cannot compare it. I work with Ed Balls and Ed Miliband very

:20:50.:20:55.

closely and they get on extremely well. They have a good working

:20:56.:21:00.

relationship. Do they agree with absolutely every aspect of policy or

:21:01.:21:03.

time? Of course there are discussions, as there will be

:21:04.:21:06.

between George Osborne and David Cameron. They didn't agree over HS2,

:21:07.:21:16.

did they? That is not true will stop -- that is not true. They don't

:21:17.:21:23.

agree over the third runway at Heathrow. You are asking between

:21:24.:21:33.

their relationship now. Mr balls is in favour of the third runway and Ed

:21:34.:21:37.

Balls threatened to resign over a third runway. You cannot get a

:21:38.:21:45.

cigarette paper between them on policy. This is Miss chief. --

:21:46.:21:57.

mischief. I work with both closely and they get on extremely well.

:21:58.:22:07.

People like you told me exactly the same thing about Mr Brown and Mr

:22:08.:22:11.

Blair any time we raised it. Is it add? You would always play it down.

:22:12.:22:20.

Of course, it turned out that it was much worse than even we bought. I

:22:21.:22:26.

think people knew exactly what the relationship was. Forgive me for

:22:27.:22:37.

being a bit quizzical about it. How other Tories?

:22:38.:22:43.

Now, are the Tories out of touch? Does the party detract young voters,

:22:44.:22:47.

like you and me? Does it have a problem with its image? Surely not!

:22:48.:22:53.

Here's what one of your colleagues had to say yesterday. Nick Bowles

:22:54.:23:02.

has always been one for regional board. I don't agree with him. I

:23:03.:23:14.

travelled around the country all the time working hard with people all

:23:15.:23:18.

across this country will stop we are unequivocal plea backing the

:23:19.:23:24.

north-south rail line which does not have the support of Labour. A member

:23:25.:23:34.

of your own Government says voters think conservatives like you are

:23:35.:23:40.

aliens from another planet. I just don't agree with Nick on this. In

:23:41.:23:44.

the end, you have to appeal as a party, as a Government, as people

:23:45.:23:50.

who want to run the country. You have to appeal, which is why we are

:23:51.:23:58.

looking to win seats everywhere. I confidently addict we will win in

:23:59.:24:06.

Berwick-upon-Tweed next year. -- confidently predict. The fact is, in

:24:07.:24:18.

Scotland, in northern cities, in much of Wales, you are aliens. In

:24:19.:24:25.

Wales, we have been winning seats back. We have far more now than we

:24:26.:24:31.

did in the previous parliament. In Scotland, I was just talking

:24:32.:24:38.

yesterday too, admittedly, one MP, and we have a number of seats in

:24:39.:24:41.

Scotland which have been coming our way. We've seen that in elections

:24:42.:24:47.

for the Scottish Parliament. You got the same percentage of the boat as

:24:48.:24:52.

you did in 1997. Well, as you know, percentage of the vote is not what

:24:53.:24:57.

determines Parliamentary constituencies. Andrew, I'm not

:24:58.:25:06.

trying to spin use online. You are no longer a national party. You are

:25:07.:25:15.

a party of the South. That is not true. In my map of the country, we

:25:16.:25:23.

are to win more after the next general election and I can hope for

:25:24.:25:36.

a 300% increase. I will bet you now you will be lucky to hold on. You

:25:37.:25:41.

will be lucky to win two more seats in Scotland. 50 quid. You're on. In

:25:42.:25:48.

the north of this country, in Wales, when I look at the map of the

:25:49.:25:52.

country, we have many constituencies, we have lots of

:25:53.:26:00.

places where we very much hope to win next time. Our message is

:26:01.:26:05.

simple. If you are the kind of person who works hard, wants to get

:26:06.:26:09.

on in life, this is the Government for you. Conservatives on your side.

:26:10.:26:19.

"Buenos dias a todos mis amigos". Good morning to all my Spanish

:26:20.:26:22.

friends. We, at the Daily Politics, are a friendly lot. And we've been a

:26:23.:26:26.

little disturbed by this disruption to European harmony.

:26:27.:26:43.

That's Spain's RV Romon Margalef being challenged by the Royal Navy

:26:44.:26:48.

in what officials say was a "significant incursion" into

:26:49.:26:52.

Gibraltar's territory. Well, we would like to calm these choppy

:26:53.:26:55.

diplomatic waters with a bit of news for the Foreign Office. Lean closer.

:26:56.:27:02.

They're only after one thing. Yes, "la taza de la politica cada

:27:03.:27:09.

dia!" They must have spotted one in our Gibraltar office. Well, sadly,

:27:10.:27:16.

we'd like to help the diplomatic situation, but tough - there's only

:27:17.:27:20.

one way we'll cede control of one of these beauties. And that's to listen

:27:21.:27:31.

to Senora JoCo. We'll remind you how to enter in a minute, but let's see

:27:32.:27:35.

if you can remember when this happened. What you have failed to

:27:36.:27:44.

observe, which I must point out in all modesty, is that they would be

:27:45.:27:51.

the first person in Number Ten to have a science degree will stop --.

:27:52.:28:16.

A dialling tone. And that's quite an achievement. It's one thing to dial

:28:17.:28:43.

a conversation, it is another to translate accurate digital

:28:44.:28:44.

information. I don't know why they used a clip

:28:45.:29:07.

with my co-presenter! I did one on telephones as well.

:29:08.:29:13.

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

:29:14.:29:17.

to our special quiz email address - that's [email protected] And you can

:29:18.:29:19.

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

:29:20.:29:30.

I did just give the name the way, didn't I? BBC compliance will be all

:29:31.:29:44.

over it. Anyway, we still have to pick the names out of a hat. Let's

:29:45.:29:54.

have a look at what is happening at Big Ben. Yes, Prime Minister's

:29:55.:30:00.

Questions is on its way. If you'd like to comment on proceedings you

:30:01.:30:03.

can email us at [email protected] or tweet

:30:04.:30:05.

your thoughts using the hashtag #bbcdp - we'll read some out after

:30:06.:30:14.

PMQs. And that's not all - Nick Watt from The Guardian is here. What is

:30:15.:30:22.

going to happen? Well, Nicolas Bowles, the son of Jack Bowles, said

:30:23.:30:27.

Tories are still seen as a party of toffs. His father was decked --

:30:28.:30:35.

director of The National Trust. And then obviously the embarrassment of

:30:36.:30:41.

this e-mail sent by Ed Miliband's chief economic adviser describing Ed

:30:42.:30:44.

Balls as a nightmare. Those are the gags. One substance, if I was Ed

:30:45.:30:50.

Miliband I would want to get back to the main theme - cost of living.

:30:51.:31:34.

I am sure we would all want to associate ourselves with the Prime

:31:35.:31:42.

Minister's tribute. We will always remember their service to our

:31:43.:31:46.

country. MPs from across the house will have grave concerns about the

:31:47.:31:52.

nightmare unfolding at the Co-operative Bank. Does the Prime

:31:53.:31:59.

Minister share my sense of disbelief that a person such as reverend

:32:00.:32:04.

flowers, responsible as he was for such large sums of money, was ever

:32:05.:32:12.

appointed chairman, and what can he do to find out how on earth that

:32:13.:32:19.

happened? Constituents across the house will have people who hold

:32:20.:32:24.

Co-op bonds read about what will happen to their investment. The

:32:25.:32:27.

first priority is to safeguard this bank and make sure it is safeguarded

:32:28.:32:34.

without using taxpayers' money. That must be the priority. The Chancellor

:32:35.:32:40.

will discuss with the regulators what is the appropriate form of

:32:41.:32:44.

enquiry to get to the bottom of what went wrong. But there are lots of

:32:45.:32:50.

questions to be answered. Why was reverend flowers judged suitable to

:32:51.:32:55.

be chairman of the bank, why won't alarm bells rung earlier? -- why was

:32:56.:33:01.

Reverend Flowers judged suitable? It is important that anybody with

:33:02.:33:07.

information provided to the authorities.

:33:08.:33:14.

I joined the Prime Minister in paying tribute to warrant Officer

:33:15.:33:19.

Ian Fisher of 3rd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, who died serving

:33:20.:33:23.

his country and all of our thoughts are with his family and friends. Can

:33:24.:33:27.

the Prime Minister tell us how his campaign is going to save the

:33:28.:33:38.

Chipping Norton children centre? -- children's centre? I support

:33:39.:33:41.

children's centres across the country, but in spite of difficult

:33:42.:33:46.

decisions made across the country, the number of children's centres has

:33:47.:33:52.

reduced by around 1%, and like all MPs, I fight very hard for services

:33:53.:33:58.

in my constituency. They are going around saying that children's

:33:59.:34:02.

centres are safe and there is no threat to them. But things are so

:34:03.:34:08.

bad he has even signed a petition in his own area to save his local

:34:09.:34:19.

children's centre. Is the petition addressed to his local Tory

:34:20.:34:22.

council, or is he taking it right to the top? There are more people using

:34:23.:34:29.

children's centres than ever before in our country. The figures are,

:34:30.:34:33.

because he does not want to give them, there are 3000. The point I

:34:34.:34:38.

will make is this, the government can hold its head up high because we

:34:39.:34:43.

are increasing the money that is going to local councils for

:34:44.:34:47.

children's centres, that is what is happening under this Government. We

:34:48.:34:57.

all wish him luck in his fight as a local MP. Imagine what he could

:34:58.:35:00.

achieve if he were Prime Minister of the country. I think we have

:35:01.:35:06.

established these double standards in Oxfordshire. Let's take another

:35:07.:35:10.

example. In Tory Essex, their proposal... I know they don't care

:35:11.:35:15.

about children's centres, but they should listen. In Tory Essex, their

:35:16.:35:20.

proposal is to cut it 11 centres and downgrade 37, with the hours they

:35:21.:35:27.

stay open falling from 50 week to as little as five. So fewer centres,

:35:28.:35:35.

fewer staff, few hours. How is that doing what he promised before the

:35:36.:35:38.

election, to protect and improve sure start? For the first time

:35:39.:35:49.

ever, 15 hours of childcare for every three and four year-old in

:35:50.:35:54.

this country. That never happened under Labour. Free childcare hours

:35:55.:36:00.

for every disadvantaged two year-old, that never happened under

:36:01.:36:05.

Labour. And tax free childcare under this government is coming, that

:36:06.:36:10.

never happened under Labour. And we have upgraded the child tax credit

:36:11.:36:16.

by ?420. That is what is happening. Let me be clear, one policy we won't

:36:17.:36:21.

adopt, labour's policy of funding more hours through the bank levy. I

:36:22.:36:26.

will tell you why. They have already spent its ten times over. There it

:36:27.:36:34.

is. Jobs guarantee, VAT cuts, more capital spending. This isn't a

:36:35.:36:40.

policy, it is a night out with Reverend Flowers!

:36:41.:36:53.

Mr Speaker... Mr Speaker... Let's talk about the people he associates

:36:54.:37:03.

with. Let the house, down. I am concerned, as always, about

:37:04.:37:08.

backbenchers, and backbenchers who wants to speak should be

:37:09.:37:13.

accommodated. -- left the house calmed down. He has nearly taken

:37:14.:37:20.

five -- he has taken nearly ?5 million from a man whose company

:37:21.:37:22.

raked and they are just the people I can

:37:23.:37:43.

talk about. Didn't the Planning Minister have it right yesterday

:37:44.:37:49.

when he said this, the single biggest problem facing the

:37:50.:37:53.

Conservative Party is being seen as the party of the rich? How

:37:54.:37:59.

extraordinary that, on today of all days, he wants to talk about the

:38:00.:38:03.

people he associates with and takes money from? This bank, driven into

:38:04.:38:12.

the wall by this chairman, has been giving soft loans to the Labour

:38:13.:38:17.

Party, facilities and donations to the Labour Party, trooped in and out

:38:18.:38:20.

of Downing Street under the Labour Party, still advising the leader of

:38:21.:38:25.

the Labour Party, and now we know that, all along, they knew about his

:38:26.:38:30.

past. Why did they not bring to the attention of the authorities a man

:38:31.:38:36.

who has broken a bank? I think we can take it from that answer that he

:38:37.:38:42.

doesn't want to talk about his Planning Minister. Where is the

:38:43.:38:47.

Planning Minister today? Only last January, he was praising him to the

:38:48.:38:52.

rafters, saying he was leading the debate. I think the House should

:38:53.:38:57.

hear more from him. He says the Tory party stand for people who work for

:38:58.:39:01.

private equity and make a tonne of money. He is right, isn't he? We

:39:02.:39:05.

have finally found a public enquiry he doesn't want. He comes to this

:39:06.:39:11.

house and asks for enquiry after enquiry into the culture and

:39:12.:39:14.

practices of those and bad, but when it comes to the Co-op Bank, he is

:39:15.:39:23.

absolutely frightened of it. An interesting week to talk about

:39:24.:39:27.

people on the front bench. He has referred to his own Shadow

:39:28.:39:33.

Chancellor as a nightmare this week. I'm sorry, I hate to say I told you

:39:34.:39:37.

so, but I have said this for three years. That is not the most

:39:38.:39:43.

interesting thing in this fascinating exchange of e-mails.

:39:44.:39:49.

Labour's head of strategy - yes, they have one! - replied, when did

:39:50.:39:55.

built to last become part of our thing? Their policies, I agree, are

:39:56.:40:00.

built to self-destruct in about five seconds. What he has shown

:40:01.:40:09.

comprehensively today is he has no answers on the cost of living crisis

:40:10.:40:13.

facing families up and down the country. That is the truth. His

:40:14.:40:17.

close friend the Planning Minister is right.

:40:18.:40:33.

He says, many people don't like the Tory party and don't trust their

:40:34.:40:39.

motives. He says the Prime Minister is not the man to reach them. What

:40:40.:40:43.

he is really saying is that this Prime Minister is a loser.

:40:44.:40:52.

What this proves, Mr Speaker, he can't ask about the economy because

:40:53.:40:55.

it is growing. He can't ask about the deficit because it is falling,

:40:56.:40:59.

he can't ask about the number of people in work closet is rising. He

:41:00.:41:04.

can't even ask about banking because he is mired in his own scandal.

:41:05.:41:13.

Order, the answer must and will be heard. Too weak to stand up to his

:41:14.:41:25.

trade union paymasters, and his Shadow Chancellor. We know it would

:41:26.:41:31.

be a nightmare, that is why we are dedicated to making sure that the

:41:32.:41:36.

British people do not have to live through it.

:41:37.:41:45.

My right honourable friend will recall visiting the London Gateway

:41:46.:41:51.

ports in Thurrock, but is he as upset to hear that I am that Unite

:41:52.:41:55.

are picketing the potential clients of that port, and encouraging sister

:41:56.:42:00.

unions to block ships that will dock there. Is this not more evidence

:42:01.:42:08.

that they cost jobs, not save them? Visiting the London Gateway port is

:42:09.:42:10.

one of the most compelling things I have seen in recent years about

:42:11.:42:14.

Britain's industrial relations, it is an extraordinary investment which

:42:15.:42:23.

will be of huge importance, bringing jobs directly and indirectly. She is

:42:24.:42:26.

right about union intimidation and bully boy tag X. It is right that

:42:27.:42:32.

Unite and the Labour Party take part in that review. -- bully boy

:42:33.:42:38.

tactics. I am sure he will agree that the victims of terrorism

:42:39.:42:41.

deserve not just sympathy with our full support and help and must be at

:42:42.:42:45.

the core of any process dealing with the past in Northern Ireland. Even

:42:46.:42:49.

the very worrying statement by the attorney general for Northern

:42:50.:42:52.

Ireland overnight, made on his own account and behalf and without

:42:53.:42:56.

consultation, does he agree that there can be no question of an

:42:57.:42:59.

amnesty for any terrorist atrocities and crimes, and that all victims of

:43:00.:43:07.

terrorism deserve truth and justice? Let me agree with what he said,

:43:08.:43:12.

which is the words of the Northern Ireland attorney general are very

:43:13.:43:16.

much is own words, not at the behest of anyone else. The Government has

:43:17.:43:22.

no plans to legislate foreign amnesty for crimes committed during

:43:23.:43:26.

the Troubles. Richard Haass is currently consulting with all the

:43:27.:43:30.

Northern Ireland parties on issues from the past, as well as the

:43:31.:43:37.

atrocities. The General Synod is meeting today

:43:38.:43:41.

and will hopefully find a way to enable women as soon as the to be

:43:42.:43:47.

consecrated as bishops in the Church of England. If this is successful,

:43:48.:43:54.

will my right honourable friend and the Government support amendments to

:43:55.:44:02.

the Bishops' Act, to ensure that women can be admitted to the House

:44:03.:44:06.

of Lords as soon as possible rather than new women bishops having to

:44:07.:44:09.

queue up behind every existing diocesan Bishop before we can see

:44:10.:44:15.

women bishops in Parliament? He follows these matters very closely.

:44:16.:44:20.

His question is extremely important. I strongly support women

:44:21.:44:24.

bishops and I hope the Church of England takes this key step to

:44:25.:44:28.

ensure its place as a modern church in touch with society. There is a

:44:29.:44:33.

seniority rule for bishops going into the House of Lords. The

:44:34.:44:36.

Government is willing to work with the church to see how getting women

:44:37.:44:41.

bishops into the House of Lords can be achieved as soon as possible.

:44:42.:44:45.

Does he believe that the proposal from the conservative free

:44:46.:44:49.

enterprise group, supported by 42 of his MPs, to put VAT on food and

:44:50.:44:56.

children's clothes, shows the true face of the party he leads? I don't

:44:57.:45:09.

support that policy. I recently joined a credit union in my

:45:10.:45:12.

constituency which will help a lot of people to ensure they don't have

:45:13.:45:20.

to go to payday lenders. What more can the Government do to encourage

:45:21.:45:25.

credit unions and anybody who has a few pounds to spare to put away, to

:45:26.:45:30.

take the trade away from all four payday lenders? I'm grateful to my

:45:31.:45:36.

honourable friend for raising this issue. The Government thinks credit

:45:37.:45:40.

unions are a very big part of the answer to the problems of payday

:45:41.:45:44.

lending. We've invested a lot of money into credit unions. We are

:45:45.:45:50.

also regulating properly for the first time payday lending through

:45:51.:45:53.

the new regulator and we are prepared to look at all the steps

:45:54.:46:02.

that can be taken will stop --. The Prime Minister will be aware that

:46:03.:46:06.

save the children has highlighted the importance of early years of

:46:07.:46:09.

children's development. Does the Prime Minister accept that the

:46:10.:46:16.

closure of sure start centres is having a negative impact? I would

:46:17.:46:24.

challenge those figures. The pot of money for children's centres was 2.3

:46:25.:46:29.

billion in 2012 but it is going up to 2.5 billion in 2014. There are

:46:30.:46:38.

3000 children centres open. Only 1% have closed. I think the Government

:46:39.:46:41.

has an excellent record on this front. Now that the changes to

:46:42.:46:53.

Enfield A and maternity services has been given a green light by

:46:54.:46:56.

local GPs, can the Prime Minister confirm that Enfield is getting

:46:57.:47:02.

increased primary care funding and that the hospital is getting 20 47

:47:03.:47:12.

access to urgent care? 24/7 access. I understand the strategy has been

:47:13.:47:20.

implemented and the hospital will provide a service that gives access

:47:21.:47:24.

to GPs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Increases in primary care

:47:25.:47:32.

funding is part of our plan to expand the NHS. We'll Prime Minister

:47:33.:47:41.

join me in congratulating the good people of Hull for winning the city

:47:42.:47:49.

of culture 2017? I'm absolutely delighted to join with the

:47:50.:47:54.

Honourable Gentleman and everyone in Hull in celebrating this great

:47:55.:47:57.

award. I think it is a very exciting opportunity. We will be able to

:47:58.:48:03.

celebrate the birthplace of Wilberforce. Philip Larkin was the

:48:04.:48:19.

librarian. Peter Mandelson is the hype -- high Sheriff, but everybody

:48:20.:48:29.

has their cross to bear! I'm sure it will be a huge success for Hull and

:48:30.:48:40.

for Humberside more generally. 600 new business start-ups have

:48:41.:48:46.

registered last year. In preparation for small business Saturday on the

:48:47.:48:51.

7th of December, would my right honourable friend meet with me to

:48:52.:48:54.

discuss a review of business rates to encourage future growth,

:48:55.:48:57.

especially in London where rates are very high? I'm very happy to discuss

:48:58.:49:05.

this issue with my friend who always stand up the small businesses and

:49:06.:49:10.

enterprise. I think it is a real success story, an excellent 4000

:49:11.:49:19.

businesses are running. We are running a Government scheme which

:49:20.:49:23.

has got off the ground very quickly. There are concerns about business

:49:24.:49:26.

rates and I am happy to discuss those without. May I encourage all

:49:27.:49:30.

colleagues to take part in small business Saturday? It is a brilliant

:49:31.:49:35.

initiative which worked very well in the US. Does the Prime Minister

:49:36.:49:46.

agree with his planning minister back when modern Britain looks at

:49:47.:49:49.

the Conservative Party, they see old-fashioned monolith? We've had

:49:50.:49:56.

interesting interventions from front bench is past and present. A tweet

:49:57.:50:04.

has just come in from Tony McNulty, the former Labour security minister,

:50:05.:50:09.

saying, the public are desperate for a PM in waiting who speaks for

:50:10.:50:14.

them, not a leader of the opposition indulging in partisan Westminster

:50:15.:50:19.

Village knock-about is. So, I would stay up with the tweets. I referred

:50:20.:50:28.

to the House of registers of members interest. Order! I want to hear the

:50:29.:50:41.

words being spoken. I referred the House to the register of members

:50:42.:50:45.

interests that I recently returned a delegation to Israel. On both the

:50:46.:50:51.

Israeli street and in the corridors of power, Iran remains a number-1

:50:52.:50:56.

issue of concern. The French president visited Israel earlier

:50:57.:51:01.

this week to discuss this matter with Israeli counterparts and

:51:02.:51:03.

appears to a clearly understood the legitimate concerns. When will our

:51:04.:51:10.

Prime Minister be visiting Israel to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue

:51:11.:51:16.

and other regional concerns? First, I thank the Honourable Gentleman for

:51:17.:51:20.

his question. I know there are many in his constituency who care deeply

:51:21.:51:25.

about this issue. I will never forget the visit I made as leader of

:51:26.:51:29.

the opposition and I look forward to visiting, I hope, next year. When I

:51:30.:51:36.

went to Israel, I also visited not only occupied East Jerusalem is but

:51:37.:51:44.

other areas of Palestine as is proper. But I do understand the

:51:45.:51:47.

concern is ready to have about the potential Iranian nuclear weapons.

:51:48.:51:52.

That is why I spoke to the President last night to make clear that we

:51:53.:51:57.

want an outcome to bees talks which takes a run further away from the

:51:58.:52:06.

nuclear weapons. -- these talks which takes Iran further away.

:52:07.:52:13.

Surely there is some merit from the Northern Ireland Attorney General

:52:14.:52:17.

that rather than a occurring -- rather than incurring huge expense

:52:18.:52:23.

and effort chasing crimes committed decades ago where the evidence is

:52:24.:52:28.

difficult to establish, the justified grievances of victims

:52:29.:52:32.

should be addressed in other ways so that Northern Ireland can move on

:52:33.:52:40.

from its hideous past. I have great respect for the right Honourable

:52:41.:52:45.

Gentleman's views on this issue. I do think it is important to allow

:52:46.:52:49.

Richard to do his work on parades and flags and dealing with the past.

:52:50.:52:54.

Clearly, the dealing with the past part is the most the gold of the

:52:55.:52:59.

three will stop -- the most difficult of the three. The police

:53:00.:53:09.

should be able to bring cases if they can. It is dangerous to think

:53:10.:53:12.

you can put some sort of lock on that. But we are all interested in

:53:13.:53:18.

ways for people to reconcile and come to terms with the past so they

:53:19.:53:21.

can bring together a shared future for Northern Ireland. The people and

:53:22.:53:27.

businesses of Suffolk are driving economic growth in the East of

:53:28.:53:36.

England Show. But they are increasingly fearful that the

:53:37.:53:42.

proposed A14 road toll will put it at a serious disadvantage compared

:53:43.:53:48.

to other counties. Can I ask my honourable friend if he will

:53:49.:53:51.

seriously be considered the current proposal? -- seriously reconsider.

:53:52.:54:07.

The important point is, we want new roads to be built. There are

:54:08.:54:09.

shortages on capital expenditure will stop that is why I think the

:54:10.:54:16.

idea of having a toll for some new roads is an idea properly work --

:54:17.:54:29.

worth looking at. People coming to terms with their loss have no terms

:54:30.:54:33.

or rights in this country to paid employment leave. Many other falls

:54:34.:54:38.

back into work party soon after the death of a child. Will the Prime

:54:39.:54:45.

Minister look into extending to give parents the legal right to have time

:54:46.:54:52.

to grieve? I'm very happy to look at that. Having suffered this

:54:53.:55:00.

experience myself, as a member of Parliament it is possible to take

:55:01.:55:03.

some time to stand back and have a look at what has happened because

:55:04.:55:06.

colleagues are ready to step in and do what they can. This is a very

:55:07.:55:10.

important point, let me look at it and get back to him. As I told my

:55:11.:55:21.

honourable friend when I last looked at this issue, if we want a proper

:55:22.:55:25.

deterrent, we need the best, that means a permanent at sea gesture.

:55:26.:55:37.

May I realise -- reassure my right honourable friend that excellent

:55:38.:55:39.

answer will remain on my website for as long as it takes the pledge to be

:55:40.:55:46.

filled. I notice he uses the words "conservative only". Only reassure

:55:47.:55:50.

the House that never again will the Dems allowed to obstruct or delay

:55:51.:55:57.

the signing of the contract, and will he undertake to sign those

:55:58.:56:00.

contracts at the first possible opportunity? Firstly, investment in

:56:01.:56:08.

our nuclear deterrent has not ceased. We're taking all necessary

:56:09.:56:12.

steps to make that main gate decision possible. We've had the

:56:13.:56:17.

alternative study which did not come up with a convincing answer. I don't

:56:18.:56:23.

think I would entirely satisfy my honourable friend even if I gave him

:56:24.:56:28.

a submarine to park off the coast of his constituency. I rather fear that

:56:29.:56:43.

is true. If the Prime Minister aware that,

:56:44.:56:46.

according to the Economist, Britain is now 159th lowest in the world in

:56:47.:56:53.

terms of British -- business investment, just behind Paraguay and

:56:54.:57:03.

what Marla? -- and Guatamala? Can you please tell how is when, under

:57:04.:57:09.

his esteemed leadership, Britain can expect to catch up with them? I can

:57:10.:57:19.

only conclude the right Honourable Gentleman has been out on a night

:57:20.:57:26.

with the reverend flowers. In the first six months of this year,

:57:27.:57:29.

Britain has received more investment than any other country anywhere in

:57:30.:57:45.

the world. Has my right honourable friend taking the advice opposite,

:57:46.:57:49.

what would have been the impact of fuel and the impact this would have

:57:50.:57:59.

had on families? If you look at the cuts and freezers in fuel duty that

:58:00.:58:05.

we have made, fuel duty would be 30p a leader -- a litre higher. It would

:58:06.:58:17.

be a nightmare. His own education Department says he has closed 578

:58:18.:58:22.

children centres. How is this protecting sure start? Well, I gave

:58:23.:58:32.

him the figures. There are 3000 such centres ( -- open and only 1% have

:58:33.:58:46.

closed. Ashton Manor Brewery in my constituency has invested ?10

:58:47.:58:48.

million in creating lots of jobs. The OECD has upgraded the forecast

:58:49.:58:55.

for Britain while downgrading the global forecast. Is it my honourable

:58:56.:58:59.

friend's view that reducing debt is the way to get the economy moving,

:59:00.:59:04.

not getting more debt like the party opposite? I'm grateful to my

:59:05.:59:11.

honourable friend and what he says. If you look at the OECD forecast out

:59:12.:59:17.

this week, you see a massive increase in the forecast for UK

:59:18.:59:20.

growth over the next couple of years. The party opposite don't want

:59:21.:59:25.

to talk about the economy. Because they told us we were then to lose a

:59:26.:59:29.

million jobs. We gained a million jobs! The nightmare of the Shadow

:59:30.:59:40.

Chancellor wants to talk about everything else! Let me just remind

:59:41.:59:47.

him of this important point. This is relevant to the issue of debt. Ken

:59:48.:59:54.

Livingstone said this: Gordon Brown was borrowing ?20 billion a year at

:59:55.:59:58.

the height of the boom in order to avoid having to increase taxes

:59:59.:00:01.

because he wanted to increase public spending. It was an act of

:00:02.:00:15.

cowardice. That is the daymare. We are also hearing ranting from the

:00:16.:00:46.

nightmare! Order! Order! The Honourable Lady has a right to but

:00:47.:00:52.

her question and to be heard when she does so. That is what is going

:00:53.:01:00.

to happen. The Housing Association is landlord to some of the poorest

:01:01.:01:04.

in my constituency. It recently voted its chief executive in

:01:05.:01:09.

noncontractual redundancy payoff of ?397,000. Will the Prime Minister

:01:10.:01:14.

join me in condemning the board's action and asking it to be repaid

:01:15.:01:18.

and invested in much-needed tenant services? I'm very happy to look at

:01:19.:01:25.

the case because some of these payoffs are completely unacceptable.

:01:26.:01:29.

We need to make sure local authorities properly take

:01:30.:01:33.

responsibility for stopping such payoffs. In other parts of the

:01:34.:01:38.

economy, we are making sure that if people are re-employed having taken

:01:39.:01:41.

these payoffs, they have to pay back the money. Does my right honourable

:01:42.:01:52.

friend agree that a key element of the success of the plan for the

:01:53.:01:57.

reserves would be if my right honourable friend could join

:01:58.:02:01.

together with the leader of the opposition and inspire employers

:02:02.:02:06.

that the success of this plan, because there is no other plan, is

:02:07.:02:12.

in the national interest? I completely agree with my right

:02:13.:02:16.

honourable friend. This is an important programme for the future

:02:17.:02:21.

of the country. I understand concerns about this, but if we pass

:02:22.:02:26.

the amendment, that would simply stop is investing in our reserves

:02:27.:02:31.

and improving our reserves rather than changing the overall stance. I

:02:32.:02:35.

have noticed Labour are staying Dashti Burdett a statement today -

:02:36.:02:46.

-- they put out a statement today that they are not calling that any

:02:47.:02:51.

specific programmes to be shelved. I think it is naked opportunism. Can

:02:52.:02:57.

the Prime Minister explain to this House why he deleted his pledge from

:02:58.:03:06.

the website? What we promised is we would not cut the NHS and we

:03:07.:03:11.

haven't. We made absolutely clear before the last election we would

:03:12.:03:14.

have to make difficult decisions, but it is because of those difficult

:03:15.:03:20.

decisions deficit is coming down, employment is growing, our economy

:03:21.:03:24.

is doing better, and if we followed the advice of the party opposite we

:03:25.:03:27.

would have more spending, more borrowing, more debt. Order!

:03:28.:03:43.

The questions came from all over the place. We got to name-calling about

:03:44.:03:51.

who bankrolled the parties and the people they mix with. We got an

:03:52.:03:58.

historic first, the first tweet to be tweeted during PMQs actually read

:03:59.:04:04.

out in almost real time. Former Labour minister Tony McNulty

:04:05.:04:10.

tweeted... It was slightly critical of Mr Ed Miliband. Lo and behold,

:04:11.:04:15.

the Prime Minister had a copy. Obviously somebody is in their

:04:16.:04:19.

monitoring between. Somebody handed it to the Prime Minister. We will be

:04:20.:04:26.

quoted, next week! The viewers agreed, it was a bit all over the

:04:27.:04:31.

place. John in Leeds said, Ed Miliband has been driven into a

:04:32.:04:35.

corner with the questions he can ask, he is unable to talk about the

:04:36.:04:39.

economy because it is improving, if he speaks about the banks he is on

:04:40.:04:44.

dangerous ground. Will from Oxfordshire, just awful. The team at

:04:45.:04:49.

choreographed David Cameron's performance must realise it is

:04:50.:04:52.

getting worse and worse. Jackie in Bristol says that those men should

:04:53.:04:58.

grow up and stop throwing stones at glasshouses, what a pointless

:04:59.:05:02.

exercise. No wonder nobody wants to vote and Russell Brand never has.

:05:03.:05:06.

Another e-mail says could somebody tell the Speaker to stop ruining the

:05:07.:05:12.

atmosphere of PMQs by rudely interrupting party leaders in full

:05:13.:05:18.

flow? Geoffrey says the fact that Ed Miliband and Ed Balls have never

:05:19.:05:21.

been to the pub together shows what chaos there would be if Labour came

:05:22.:05:26.

to power. I thought it was interesting the number of issues

:05:27.:05:29.

that came up that we had already discussed, it was like a replay of

:05:30.:05:33.

the Daily Politics! Nick, what did you make? It was a bit all over the

:05:34.:05:40.

place, but there was a very important announcement by the Prime

:05:41.:05:44.

Minister saying there will be an investigation into what went on at

:05:45.:05:51.

the Co-op. You have the chairman of the bank, approved by the FSA, who

:05:52.:05:56.

did not note the size of their assets. He thought it was ?3

:05:57.:06:00.

billion, it was ?47 billion. The Co-operative Bank is part of the

:06:01.:06:08.

co-operative movement which is part of the Labour Party. Ed Balls got

:06:09.:06:16.

money from the movement. Reverend Flowers' appointment was approved by

:06:17.:06:22.

the FSA, which was set up by the last government and is no longer in

:06:23.:06:27.

existence. It didn't even go to a second interview. The person

:06:28.:06:33.

involved in improving Reverend Flowers got a job on the Co-op

:06:34.:06:42.

board. I think he had a pretty rigorous interview to get onto the

:06:43.:06:45.

board, but not to be made chairman. He is intelligent but does not know

:06:46.:06:51.

much about banking. Rather than going on who is bankrolling whom,

:06:52.:06:54.

they should stick with living standards?

:06:55.:07:01.

He asked about Sure Start. David Cameron confirmed there are just

:07:02.:07:06.

over 3000 Sure Start centres, he did not say that around 578 have been

:07:07.:07:12.

closed and he promised not to close Sure Start centres. That is a cost

:07:13.:07:17.

of living issue. The cost of nursery places has gone up 30%, families are

:07:18.:07:24.

on average ?1600 a year every year... It is a cost of living

:07:25.:07:30.

issue. What can you tell us about this enquiry into the Co-op? The

:07:31.:07:36.

Prime Minister will ask the Chancellor to work with the

:07:37.:07:39.

regulatory authorities. People trust this bank. It has always been the

:07:40.:07:45.

bank which claims to do ethical banking. It now transpires that they

:07:46.:07:52.

were doing very seemingly unethical loans at low interest rates to

:07:53.:07:57.

organisations. Organisations without the balance sheet or the assets to

:07:58.:08:03.

support alone. Clearly there is a question to answer. If this is the

:08:04.:08:09.

mess that Labour R.N. With their own banking arrangements and facilities

:08:10.:08:15.

and between Ed Balls and Ed Miliband, can you imagine what it

:08:16.:08:17.

would be like if they were running the country? -- if this is the mess

:08:18.:08:23.

that Labour is in with their own banking arrangements. I assume it

:08:24.:08:27.

will not be a party political enquiry? It is very important for

:08:28.:08:32.

people who invest with that bank and bank with them know that a bank

:08:33.:08:36.

which seems to have gone off track is brought back on, to reinsure

:08:37.:08:46.

interest is -- reassure investors. The people who bail it out will help

:08:47.:08:50.

would capitalise the balance sheet and will end up owning 70% of the

:08:51.:08:55.

Co-op Hank. After what has happened this week, these hedge funds may say

:08:56.:09:01.

that the bank is tarnished, the brand is in real trouble,

:09:02.:09:03.

particularly since its unique selling point was the ethical nature

:09:04.:09:08.

of its business. If these hedge funds do not proceed with the

:09:09.:09:14.

recapitalisation, which is about ?1.5 billion, the Bank of England

:09:15.:09:18.

will have to they lit out? I don't want to preserve the Tate further

:09:19.:09:22.

issues for the bank, but it is clear that rings have gone wrong -- I

:09:23.:09:28.

don't want to precipitate. The takeover of Britannia, it then

:09:29.:09:35.

seemed to go into further difficulty. How do you end up with

:09:36.:09:40.

leading figures as Reverend Flowers, as it turns out, seems to have known

:09:41.:09:47.

nothing about banking. We need to understand that. I don't think you

:09:48.:09:58.

are a Co-op MP, you are a Unite MP? I am a member of a trade union, like

:09:59.:10:04.

many people, some of whom vote Tory. I bank with the Co-op. The party has

:10:05.:10:11.

historic relations with the Labour Party, questions need to be asked.

:10:12.:10:16.

If it is not to be a political enquiry, there is a really good

:10:17.:10:19.

story from the Guardian, the Co-op Bank have had around 30 meetings

:10:20.:10:23.

with one of your ministers, Mark Hoban. Presumably it will involve

:10:24.:10:34.

that content? Reign I don't far -- I don't think Mark Hoban has taken

:10:35.:10:40.

huge loans. The Britannia deal did not work well. Then it went for the

:10:41.:10:52.

630 Lloyds branches. That is what Mark Hoban was meeting them about.

:10:53.:10:57.

Then we discovered this huge hole, Lloyds discovered it. When Lloyds

:10:58.:11:02.

started the due diligence process at the early stages, can this bank

:11:03.:11:05.

afford these branches? It discovered it couldn't. The Portuguese chief

:11:06.:11:11.

executive of Lloyds Bank discovered there was a huge hole in the balance

:11:12.:11:21.

sheet. Labour is on the defensive on the Co-op, its funding and so on,

:11:22.:11:26.

but why do so may hedge funds give you money? We ask people to support

:11:27.:11:31.

the party. Thousands of ordinary people join up, but also businesses

:11:32.:11:38.

and investors. Why? Because they want to see this country being

:11:39.:11:44.

pro-business, pro-jobs, and growing. It does not matter whether you give

:11:45.:11:50.

is ?1 or ?1 million, you don't get... You don't buy a policy, you

:11:51.:11:58.

don't... Hold on a second. You don't buy dinner at Downing Street? You

:11:59.:12:03.

don't get to choose candidates or the leader. So you get nothing for

:12:04.:12:12.

it? Let me take you up on that. The hedge funds give you millions of

:12:13.:12:15.

pounds, but you say it does not buy policy, but you then cut the tax on

:12:16.:12:23.

hedge funds. We have introduced a... Why did you do that? We have

:12:24.:12:28.

introduced a ?2 billion annual tax levy on banks, more than you guys

:12:29.:12:37.

did. You say they cannot buy policy. I am not saying there is a

:12:38.:12:41.

correlation, a causation, but I look on the one hand that you are getting

:12:42.:12:45.

millions of pounds from hedge funds, and earlier this year you cut the

:12:46.:12:50.

tax on hedge funds. Ordinary people will think, hey, there has to be

:12:51.:12:58.

something going on? This is a big business in Britain. Hedge funds,

:12:59.:13:02.

the City, all of that. We have been very clear that banks need to pay

:13:03.:13:07.

and contribute more, they are paying ?2.5 billion more each year. By and

:13:08.:13:13.

large, banks do not give you money. You only RBS, you are not getting

:13:14.:13:18.

money from Lloyds and Santander. I was asking about hedge funds. You

:13:19.:13:22.

said you can't buy policy. If I am hedge funds, I give you ?1 million,

:13:23.:13:27.

a few months later, I am off to the races, you cut my taxes. You can't

:13:28.:13:33.

buy policies by giving money. There was the tax cut. That is different

:13:34.:13:39.

from a system where you select the leader, install candidates... Unless

:13:40.:13:45.

you are the person who was the head of JCB, unless your name is Adrian,

:13:46.:13:51.

the venture capital who wrote a report on hiring and firing. What

:13:52.:13:56.

the Prime Minister was doing was giving an opportunity to donors to

:13:57.:13:59.

write report that were then being considered for policy, in many

:14:00.:14:07.

cases. If you are telling me that companies like JCB, an enormous

:14:08.:14:11.

British success story, don't on their own accounts disburse...

:14:12.:14:19.

Deserve... Their helicopter is put at the disposal of the Prime

:14:20.:14:25.

Minister. I think we will have to leave it there. Nick, I will see you

:14:26.:14:30.

on Sunday morning on the Sunday Politics. Your cheque will be the

:14:31.:14:34.

post, blank as usual. Not the Co-op! Fatboy Slim and some rather nice

:14:35.:14:37.

fish and chip shops. Philip Larkin, John Prescot, and the

:14:38.:14:40.

Humber Bridge. Would Hull ever get the international status it

:14:41.:14:43.

deserved? This morning, the people of the city chewed their collective

:14:44.:14:46.

fingernails, hanging on the words of Culture Secretary Maria Miller as

:14:47.:14:49.

she announced who would be chosen as the UK's City of Culture 2017. It

:14:50.:15:01.

was Hull. So were they pleased? RAUCOUS CHAIRING. -- CHEERING. I do

:15:02.:15:21.

think they might have been pleased. And Hull's most famous MP, former

:15:22.:15:24.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson, joins us now from Central London. Sorry,

:15:25.:15:30.

John Prescott! It is good to see you in the daylight, Alan! Wider using

:15:31.:15:39.

Hull got it? It was a terrific bid. It was not just detailing all the

:15:40.:15:44.

great cult shall heritage, whether Andrew Marvell, Larkin, the Hull

:15:45.:15:50.

Truck Theatre, The Beautiful South or any of that, but it is focusing

:15:51.:15:55.

on the future, how City of Culture can create jobs and regenerate the

:15:56.:16:00.

city. Hull has not had it easy recently? It was the biggest port in

:16:01.:16:06.

the world, and the fishing industry collapse. They have been struggling

:16:07.:16:12.

back from that. It is good in its own right to be a city of culture,

:16:13.:16:17.

but you think it is a contributor towards the economic regeneration of

:16:18.:16:21.

the city and the surrounding area? It is part of a plan. Whether we

:16:22.:16:27.

have it or not, this would go on. A gallery, bringing HMS illustrious

:16:28.:16:32.

into the city, the fruit market is being regenerated in terms of arts

:16:33.:16:36.

and crafts at that rep. I think this is why the judges unanimously

:16:37.:16:42.

supported Hull, it fits into that plan. We did not just bid for City

:16:43.:16:46.

of Culture and there is nothing out there, it is a real vision for the

:16:47.:16:52.

future. We have a little test, let's see how up you are. I think you will

:16:53.:16:58.

do all right. Which poll it was the librarian at the University of hole

:16:59.:17:04.

for 30 years? Philippa log in. -- Philip Larkin. Which pop and top the

:17:05.:17:10.

charts in 1986 with their single Caravan Of Love. Housemartins. Which

:17:11.:17:22.

Hull born actress is probably best known for being on the BT adverts?

:17:23.:17:32.

Maureen Lipman. I hope... Hope Michael Portillo is watching! You

:17:33.:17:36.

can see the personification of culture in the person before you.

:17:37.:17:48.

Which New Zealand novelist won this year 's man Booker prize? Eleanor

:17:49.:18:04.

Catton. Who painted three studies of louche and Freud recently sold for

:18:05.:18:16.

?142 million? -- of Lucian Freud. That was Francis Bacon. They became

:18:17.:18:23.

the first woman to conduct the latter night of the BBC Proms this

:18:24.:18:34.

year? Marian Alsop. And which star of the only way is ethics is

:18:35.:18:38.

appearing on this year 's I'm a celebrity? It's good to know pop --

:18:39.:18:49.

politicians have their finger on the pulse. Apparently his name is Joey

:18:50.:18:59.

Essex. Did he change his name by deed poll? Who knows. Alan, are you

:19:00.:19:05.

going to get stuck into this city of culture? Yes, in a sense, the hard

:19:06.:19:12.

work starts here. We had look what has happened in Londonderry and we

:19:13.:19:23.

will try to emulate that. Now, buying a new home is an

:19:24.:19:25.

expensive business what with mortgage fees, moving costs and

:19:26.:19:29.

legal costs, not to mention the cost of the House itself. But if you're

:19:30.:19:32.

buying a place for ?125,000 or more then you'll also have to write a

:19:33.:19:36.

cheque to the Treasury to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax. Home owners have to

:19:37.:19:40.

pay a percentage of the total purchase price, but as the value of

:19:41.:19:43.

properties rise, many are finding themselves with a bigger and bigger

:19:44.:19:47.

Stamp Duty bill. The think tank the Taxpayers' Alliance wanst to see it

:19:48.:19:50.

cut. In this week's soapbox, their chief executive, Matthew Sinclair,

:19:51.:20:02.

explains why. You can't buy a real House with

:20:03.:20:05.

Monopoly money. It often takes years to assemble and deposit. So why does

:20:06.:20:14.

the taxman make it that much harder? Stamp duty used to be 1% of

:20:15.:20:19.

the value and only paid on above average properties. Now, people have

:20:20.:20:26.

to pay 3% on ordinary family homes, not just made their mansions. --

:20:27.:20:36.

Mayfair mansions. With rising House prices, more of us are being stung

:20:37.:20:40.

by these higher rates. Purchasing a little greenhouse of our own is

:20:41.:20:47.

becoming more unaffordable. It is the largest cheque we will ever

:20:48.:20:51.

write but it does not raise a lot of revenue. It is only about 1% of the

:20:52.:20:59.

taxes the Government takes in one year. The reason is obvious. Fewer

:21:00.:21:08.

people move as costs rise. So you could cut stamp duty with very

:21:09.:21:13.

little impact. Even in the most affordable parts of the Monopoly

:21:14.:21:18.

board, like Old Kent Road, punitive rates still apply. Stamp duty makes

:21:19.:21:23.

it much harder for young people to buy a home and start a family. It

:21:24.:21:27.

discourages elderly people from downsizing. It distorts the House

:21:28.:21:32.

market so much that two major recent reviews of the tax system called for

:21:33.:21:37.

it to be abolished. It makes it harder for people to move to new

:21:38.:21:42.

places for new jobs. In this game, the only winner is the taxman.

:21:43.:21:47.

Increase the threshold, reform the structure, or simply cut the rates.

:21:48.:21:52.

However he does it, it is time for the Chancellor to cut this unfair

:21:53.:21:58.

double tax. Let's pick up on your point about public finances. I think

:21:59.:22:05.

people would argue that points. ?6.9 million collected last year, ?7.7

:22:06.:22:11.

million predict this year. It is not going to pay back all the deficit,

:22:12.:22:15.

but in austerity times, it is a lot of money. But it is a tax on

:22:16.:22:20.

transactions. The more people move, the more get paid. Therefore, what

:22:21.:22:31.

we've done by putting in place high rates is discourage people from

:22:32.:22:34.

moving. There was powerful new evidence coming out that shows

:22:35.:22:41.

higher stamp duty rates mean lower numbers of transactions. That means

:22:42.:22:45.

they undermine their own revenue. The higher the rates get, the fewer

:22:46.:22:49.

the transactions, the more you are trying to take a big chunk out of a

:22:50.:22:55.

smaller pie of transactions. The impact on revenue would be much more

:22:56.:23:00.

limited. Those figures are billions not million. I looked at this when I

:23:01.:23:08.

was housing minister will stop in order to try to find out whether it

:23:09.:23:12.

was possible to encourage enough additional activity that the

:23:13.:23:17.

Treasury still got the money. The truth is, 6 billion is not small

:23:18.:23:23.

change. What about the point that if you lowered it, you would get more?

:23:24.:23:27.

When we modelled it, we never found that that was the case. I think

:23:28.:23:34.

there are lots of taxes that we would rather get rid of, but the

:23:35.:23:38.

truth is we have to do that by cutting expenditure and carrying on

:23:39.:23:43.

the programme of deficit reduction. Since you were housing minister, we

:23:44.:23:50.

have for the first time in all its evidence to give us a concrete sense

:23:51.:23:55.

of how the number of transactions responds really strongly to the

:23:56.:24:00.

stamp duty rate. Given that there are so many other things people do

:24:01.:24:03.

when they move, so many purchasers, so many other transactions that

:24:04.:24:08.

create tax receipts, it does not mean there will be no cost of doing

:24:09.:24:15.

this. But there are loads of ways... We think ultimately it should be

:24:16.:24:18.

abolished. But in the meantime, there would be nothing wrong

:24:19.:24:22.

whatsoever with increasing the threshold and cutting the rates,

:24:23.:24:28.

reforming the crazy structure. It was a big issue with the

:24:29.:24:30.

Conservatives before the last election. George Osborne promised to

:24:31.:24:36.

abolish stamp duty for almost all first-time buyers. I think this was

:24:37.:24:45.

the 2007 policy. The previous Government brought that in and then

:24:46.:24:49.

ran for a while. Actually, we found it was costing the Treasury quite a

:24:50.:24:53.

lot. One interesting thing is that things like the Help To Buy scheme

:24:54.:25:00.

coming in which is helping people get onto the housing ladder, that

:25:01.:25:06.

has a much higher impact. Whenever we modelled it we've not managed to

:25:07.:25:09.

show that the Treasury would still collect the money. It is an

:25:10.:25:22.

interesting issue. A year ago, one option we had was to do something

:25:23.:25:25.

around stamp duty for first-time buyers will stop if we're honest,

:25:26.:25:31.

this is a symptom of something that is wrong with the housing market. We

:25:32.:25:36.

need to bask increase supply. That is the thing. But while we're

:25:37.:25:43.

waiting for that to come along... Well, house-building completions are

:25:44.:25:50.

now at their lowest peace building levels since the world war. They've

:25:51.:25:58.

gone on 29% in the last year. When George Osborne told the Cabinet,

:25:59.:26:01.

we're going to have a nice at all housing price boom - we don't want a

:26:02.:26:05.

House price boom, we want a house-building boom. It is not true

:26:06.:26:13.

to say we are building fewer houses. Actually, this does happen

:26:14.:26:19.

to be an area I know something about. Remember all those e-mails

:26:20.:26:28.

that came out? 150,000 new homes have been built and planning

:26:29.:26:36.

permission is up. The 1920s lowest holding level was the level from

:26:37.:26:42.

your Government beforehand. I agree we need to build more and that is

:26:43.:26:47.

something we are doing. You did not have a great record in 13 years.

:26:48.:26:51.

Most Labour politicians would agree that you did not build enough. Back

:26:52.:26:58.

chaps, can we expect any movement on this in the autumn statement? --

:26:59.:27:08.

Grant Schapps. There is a very practical Help To Buy scheme so that

:27:09.:27:12.

now people don't have to stump up ?60,000. They can get a deposit with

:27:13.:27:21.

?10,000. Where going to tax people and then were going to say, but you

:27:22.:27:24.

can borrow more money from the bank to work up for it. It is of long way

:27:25.:27:32.

from taking responsibility. We need to do something about this cost.

:27:33.:27:41.

Thank you. Now, it's time to put you out of your misery and give you the

:27:42.:27:45.

answer to Guess The Year. It was 1979. Grant, would you press that

:27:46.:28:03.

red button now, please. Ken Clarke! But with no last letter on there.

:28:04.:28:14.

Here is Andrew in 1976 talking about the breaking up of written.

:28:15.:28:21.

It is not quite as simple as the budding tartan shapes would make us

:28:22.:28:28.

believe. Who is that? OK, that's all for today. Thanks to our guests. The

:28:29.:28:33.

One O'clock News is starting over on BBC One now. We'll be back tomorrow

:28:34.:28:37.

at noon with all the big political stories of the day. We'll be joined

:28:38.:28:40.

by Nicola Horlick, the business woman who was once described as

:28:41.:28:46.

Superwoman. So do join us then. Bye bye.

:28:47.:28:51.

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are joined by MPs Grant Shapps and Michael Dugher to discuss the vote on army reservists and Labour's woes. There's also live coverage of Prime Minister's questions. The Guess the Year competition closes at 12.30pm during the live broadcast of this programme.


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