26/02/2014 Daily Politics


26/02/2014

Andrew Neil introduces live coverage of PMQs and is joined by Chris Grayling and Margaret Curran. The Guess the Year competition closes during the live broadcast of this programme.


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Morning, folks. Sorry seems to be the hardest word for Harriet Harman.

:00:36.:00:43.

But should she be uttering it at all? She certainly doesn't think so

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even though the Daily Mail is saying she should have done more to sever

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links between a civil rights lobby she worked for in the 1970s and a

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paedophile rights group. Everyone wants lower energy Bills, including

:00:55.:01:01.

British industry. The former Chief Executive at Grangemouth will be

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here with a possible solution. Will this German Chancellor manage to

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appease Conservative Euro-sceptics? Angela Merkel's in town this week

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and "Call me Dave" certainly hopes so. And it's PMQs at midday. But do

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you love it? Or loathe it? We've carried out the most extensive

:01:18.:01:20.

scientific research known to mankind. I love it! Why? No blows on

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both side of the House. Mr Speaker! Mr Speaker! A man of taste and

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distinction. Yes, all that and more coming up in the next 90 minutes of

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public service broadcasting at its cheapest. And with me for the

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duration, because I'm all on my lonesome today, we've hired for a

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pittance, in fact for absolutely nothing at all, the Justice

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Secretary, Chris Grayling and the Shadow Scottish Secretary, Margaret

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Curran. They're worth every penny. Every penny we have not paid!

:02:06.:02:13.

Charming! Welcome. Now, first today let's talk about two stories that

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have dominated today's front pages. In a moment we'll be talking about

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John Downey, a former IRA member who walked free from court yesterday. He

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was a prime suspect for the murder of four soldiers by the IRA in 1982,

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but was effectively given immunity from prosecution by police and

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officials as part of the peace process. But first on the front page

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of the Mail today - the death of 40-year-old Andrew Young, who was

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punched in the street and died. His killer, yesterday, pleaded guilty to

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manslaughter and was sentenced to four years in prison. Chris

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Grayling, is that a fair sentence? This is a repugnant crime, a

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horrible situation, and my heart goes out to the family of Mr Young.

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Most of the public will feel that justice has not been done. I always

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ask people to be careful because none of us have sat through the

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court hearing and heard the circumstances. It is quite a simple

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case. This man sees a cyclist on the pavement. We are talking about

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Bournemouth, not Glasgow! He says to this man, it is a bit dangerous to

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ride your bike. A friend of the cyclist comes from nowhere and

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punches him, he falls, he dies, and the man gets four years. You have to

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be careful about forming a view of a case that we have not sat through.

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In this particular case, I think it is right that the Attorney General

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considers whether this sentence is too lenient. Let me clarify that.

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The Attorney General is determining whether this case is too lenient?

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Yes, that is correct. He is considering whether to launch a --

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an appeal. He can go back to the courts and appeal against the

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sentence and seek a longer sentence. That was the case with Stewart Paul

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-- Stewart Paul. He may choose to do that in this case. I cannot say what

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he will do but I think it is right and proper that consideration is

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given. You promised that, quote, under this government, offenders are

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likely to go to jail for even longer. That is the case. Not here

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it is not. If you can punch someone in the street so hard that you can

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kill them and then end up, in effect, serving two years, I am

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afraid that the quote does not stack up. What do you say to the mother of

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Mr Young? She calls the sentence a joke. One of your backbenchers calls

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it outrageously lean. Under this government, more people are going to

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prison and going for longer. What I would say to his mother, apart from

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how desperately sorry I am for the situation... She does not want your

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pity or sorrow, she once justice. She does not think this is enough.

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You have also said that, quote, we are all angered by dangerous

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criminals. This man will be released halfway through his jail sentence.

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Is that right? He falls under the legislation we have before

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Parliament at the moment. We are legislating at the moment and my

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natural instincts tell me that ten years should mean ten years. I

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cannot move to that in one go and I do not want a situation where people

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who are a danger to the public are released automatically halfway

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through their sentence. We are currently legislating so people

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cannot be released before the end of their sentence. That is unless the

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parole board judges they are not a threat to the public. I'm aware of

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the difficulties but I would suggest to you that this is where the

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Westminster elite disconnects with ordinary people. I cannot speak for

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Chris Grayling but this situation is astonishing. It is astonishing that

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it could happen in our community. As I understand it there may be a

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mental health situation in all of this. The mental health situation is

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on the side of the... Victim. We do not understand societies sometimes.

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It shows you that we have do understand public opinion and the

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outrage that people will feel over this, and the huge injustice. That

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should be the imperative thing. Chris Grayling, egg give me a brief

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reaction to the John Downey case. -- can you give me a brief reaction?

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Something has gone badly wrong. The family is furious and do not think

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that the justice system works in their favour. What happened was

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horrible and terrible, but Northern Ireland, thanks to the efforts of

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politicians over the last 20 years, is a much better place. We have

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achieved a degree of stability in Northern Ireland. It is a better

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place than it was. Now to Harriet Harman who's been having a bit of a

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rough ride this week. She, her husband jack Dromey, and former

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Labour Minister, Patricia Hewitt have been, at least they would

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argue, the victim of a smear campaign by the Daily Mail. The

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paper says all three of them should have done more to sever the

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affiliation between the National Council of Civil Liberties - which

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they all worked for - and the Paedophile Information Exchange.

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Harriet Harman had this to say yesterday. Nothing I have done in

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secret, there is nothing hidden to be discovered about me. I have been

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in public life for more than 30 years and all of those years have

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been about protecting the vulnerable, protecting women and

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children, and that is why I find it unfair and offensive that the Daily

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Mail should put smear and innuendo on me, as it somehow I have

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supported those people that I have fought against. I think they are

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wrong to be doing that and that is why I am speaking out. Please do not

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keep asking me to apologise. I stand by it and fought to protect the

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vulnerable. It was a vile organisation and regret the fact

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that it ever existed. I supported laws to protect children and stand

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by what I have done. And we're joined now by the Daily Mail's

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Andrew Pierce. What has she done wrong? She said that the Paedophile

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Information Exchange was swept away and was not influential with the

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National Council of Civil Liberties. That is not the case. In 1979, a

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year after Harriet joined, the chairman of the Paedophile

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Information Exchange was serving as a councillor on National Council of

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Civil Liberties. What has she done wrong? She was the legal adviser at

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the time. She never made any attempt to sever the links between that body

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and an organisation that was seeking to abolish the age of consent

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altogether. I think it is extraordinary that she cannot admit

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that it is wrong. I think she should apologise for it. She should feel

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profoundly guilty that she was associated with it. They were taking

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money from an organisation that was advocating sex with four-year-olds.

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Are you saying that she should apologise for giving succour to

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paedophiles? I am saying that the Paedophile Information Exchange, by

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being affiliated to a respectable campaign organisation, helped to

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promote a climate where paedophiles could flourish. Did she ever defend

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it? I do not know. What she has ever done -- never done is called for the

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links to be severed. Is there any evidence that the organisation

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influenced what she stood for? Did she trials through -- did she try to

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water down child pornography laws? I do not know. Everybody on the left

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was looking for a more relaxed approach to pornography in the

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1970s. Many people were. I am not sure that that meant that they

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wanted a more relaxed approach to child pornography. Do you have any

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evidence that Harriet Harman wanted a more relaxed approach to this? She

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signed a document in 1970 which said there should be no prosecution

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unless the child had been damaged. Is not every child damaged this?

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This is... Look, the National Council of Civil Liberties, in

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retrospect, she did not run its, and clearly, being associated with the

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Paedophile Information Exchange was a stupid thing, but I am not sure

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where Harriet Harman has do carry the blame for this. This is, surely,

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just a tenuous smear campaign. We have asked Patricia Hewitt about

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this. The police returned to Paedophile Information Exchange...

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Who was the MP who were calling for the BBC to be more open question

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what Harriet Harman. Sorry, I am desperate to get in. Can I say one

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other thing? She now runs Liberty which succeeded National Council of

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Civil Liberties. She said she was ashamed and disgusted by what the

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National Council of Civil Liberties bid by being affiliated to a

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paedophile organisation. I think what the Daily Mail has done is

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outrageous. Harriet Harman has an outstanding record of 30 years'

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work. Every member of the public would say that Harriet Harman stands

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up women's' right. There is not a shred of evidence. Why did she not,

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in her interview, simply say that it was clearly a mistake for Paedophile

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Information Exchange to be allowed to affiliate with the National

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Council of Civil Liberties? She was given so many chances and

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opportunities to do so. At the time, Paedophile Information

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Exchange were associated on the extreme margins... They had people

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on the committees! There was a debate in the National Council of

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Civil Liberties about freedom of speech. You can argue the mechanics

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of that organisation, but they are saying, in them Mail, that there is

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a link between Harriet Harman and the Paedophile Information Exchange.

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you are saying that because of the mechanics of the structure of that

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organisation there is complicity on Harriet Harman's Park. Are you

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saying she was in any way complicit with PIE? I am saying that by not

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disaffiliated from that organisation, they got rid of PIE a

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year after Harriet Harman left, she showed as a campaigner for women's

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rights... Let's accept they should never have let PIE affiliate in the

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first place, let's accept they were too slow to get rid of them, but do

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you have any evidence that she was complicit with anything that PIE

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stood for? We have never suggested Harriet Harman supports paedophilia.

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In any way complicit is the key question. Has she been in any way

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complicit? Do you have any evidence? Anyone who was running the

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organisation at the time in a sense was complicit for not disassociating

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with that group which supports paedophilia. That could be regarded

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as an error of judgement, but it does not mean complicity. For which

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I think they should all apologise. For what? For an error of judgement.

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It is an error of judgement to sit on a committee with a man who was

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locked up for paedophilia. A year after she joined the organisation

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the chairman of the Paedophile Information Exchange was locked up.

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It is like saying you should not be with the BBC because Jimmy Savile

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was at his most rampart when he was in the BBC. You should not be with

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the Daily Mail because that supports Hitler. You have made the

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charge that Harriet Harman is complicit by some degree with

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paedophilia because she was part of an organisation, that some extreme,

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vile, terrible people have said... I have never suggested that Harriet

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Harman in any way supported paedophilia. I think you should

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apologise for that. You talk about the sexual exploitation of children.

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It is a photograph. I will take no lessons from you on moral outrage.

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Harriet Harman has clearly got issues to address. I do not think it

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is right for me to get into those. Quite clearly back at that time the

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National Council for Civil Liberties was infiltrated and influenced by

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somebody with views most of us would find utterly repugnant. There is a

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real danger in this country in a world where there is a bit of a

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pressure culture where it becomes easy for groups to be hijacked with

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people with their own agendas. Politicians and the media should be

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much more scrutinising about who these groups are, and what the

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agendas of individuals in them are. These are not people who are whiter

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than white. We have put in it there. Where is your editor? Why are you

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doing these interviews? He is busy editing the newspaper. I always

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appeared to defend what I put on the front page. I will tell him you

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missed him. Now, how do you like your PMQs? Sombre and serious? In

:19:31.:19:34.

bed with a cup of cocoa? Feisty, fun and ferocious at midday on the Daily

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Politics? Perhaps with a pina colada and a sardine sandwich? Well, the

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event of the Parliamentary week has been getting a lot of stick lately

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and last week the speaker himself wrote to Messers Cameron, Clegg and

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Milliband urging them to clamp down on "yobbery and public school

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twittishness". Mr Bercow said the tone of debate was putting the

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public off. So does he have a point? Who better to find out than Giles

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with his balls. So, we have brought the mood box to East London where it

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borders two constituencies, one Lib Dem and one Labour to find out if

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they like PMQs and all that argy-bargy. Do they like it or

:20:19.:20:24.

loathe it? You don't mind the shouting? It is not hurting anybody.

:20:25.:20:31.

Shall I put a bowl in Love it? Love it. They are not talking about the

:20:32.:20:43.

British people are tall. It is a nuisance. Are you put off because

:20:44.:20:49.

they shout at each other? Not really, no. They can have a good

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debate, but not on camera. Do you never watch it? It is a load of

:20:59.:21:05.

rubbish. The same as him, a load of rubbish. Who does she mean? If it

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gets to the point, it is fine, but if not, they are being pompous. How

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often do they get to the point? Not very often. The sun is not shining

:21:21.:21:27.

on Parliament or me today, it is raining on our parade. I love it,

:21:28.:21:37.

but I hate it as well. Prime Minister's Questions, do you watch

:21:38.:21:43.

it and like it or loathe it? I watch it every now and then, but it is all

:21:44.:21:50.

about personalities so I loathe it. It is about even Stevens and the

:21:51.:21:55.

rain is coming in. It is rubbish. They are rubbish. Do they just shout

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at each other? Exactly and they do nothing. I love it, trading blows on

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both sides of the house, Mr Speaker, Mr Speaker. And the backbenchers.

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You do not want it to be polite? No, just as it is, just as it is. I love

:22:20.:22:28.

the headgear. Sometimes you have to listen to other people. That is the

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verdict from the market. When it comes to PMQs more of them love it

:22:36.:22:41.

and loathe it and the San Francisco out as well. And Nick Robinson has

:22:42.:22:49.

come to the party early. Why has the Speaker decided to make this

:22:50.:22:57.

intervention? I think he genuinely feels that PMQs has got out of

:22:58.:23:02.

control. One day I ended up in my old seat sitting above the House of

:23:03.:23:06.

Commons in the press gallery and even I was shocked. I could not

:23:07.:23:11.

hear. Occasionally you will see members of Parliament leaning back.

:23:12.:23:18.

In the press gallery you have to lean forward and I had to do this to

:23:19.:23:22.

hear what people were saying because it was that noisy. There was a sense

:23:23.:23:29.

before Christmas that it was out of control. This is not new territory

:23:30.:23:34.

for John Bercow. He made the comparison with the Bighorn that

:23:35.:23:39.

used to play in the World Cup and he said it was as loud as that. Plenty

:23:40.:23:43.

of people in the House of Commons think it is his fault, that he does

:23:44.:23:48.

not have the respect of people on both sides of the house, so people

:23:49.:23:52.

do not respect him when he stands up to tell them to shut up. Does he

:23:53.:23:59.

have support among backbenchers? Or do they like PMQs the way it is?

:24:00.:24:05.

There have always been two different cultures. There are some people who

:24:06.:24:09.

believe the bearpit atmosphere is something that other countries envy.

:24:10.:24:14.

As you travel the world with any prime minister the people around

:24:15.:24:19.

them often say, we never a got our guys to say what your guys have

:24:20.:24:25.

said. I have heard it in France and Germany. Leaders around the world do

:24:26.:24:29.

not get scrutinised. On the other hand, there are other members of

:24:30.:24:33.

Parliament who will say it looks like a rowdy, boys' club and it is

:24:34.:24:39.

off-putting to people who do not have the self-confidence to take

:24:40.:24:43.

part. It is off-putting to women who are there and they are shouted at in

:24:44.:24:49.

the way that is not a part of normal dialogue. Women can do a lot of

:24:50.:24:55.

shouting as well. Every leader says they will change it. David Cameron

:24:56.:25:00.

talk about a Punch and Judy show and he discovered if he did not play

:25:01.:25:05.

Punch and Judy, his backbenchers felt let down and people in

:25:06.:25:08.

television would often not put him on the TV. There is an awful lot of

:25:09.:25:14.

the processes at Westminster which are measured, sensible, intelligent

:25:15.:25:20.

debate the kind people would want to see happen in Parliament and it gets

:25:21.:25:25.

zero coverage. The only time the cameras turn up is at PMQs. I will

:25:26.:25:32.

challenge you on that and this is an John Bercow's favour. Because he has

:25:33.:25:36.

dragged ministers into the house to do urgent questions, when the news

:25:37.:25:41.

comes up he says they have to explain what goes on, we are putting

:25:42.:25:45.

more of that sober stuff on television. The select committees

:25:46.:25:54.

are alive now. I accept some of the criticism from Chris, but when and

:25:55.:26:00.

if the House of Commons is discussing what the country is

:26:01.:26:05.

talking about, it gets on the television. There is a growing

:26:06.:26:08.

distinction between the natural kind of debate and the pressure debate at

:26:09.:26:15.

PMQs and the organised operation that sometimes they have too much

:26:16.:26:21.

shouting down. I think that is different. There is a bit where it

:26:22.:26:27.

is high octane and people are under pressure and everybody likes that

:26:28.:26:31.

excitement, but there is a difference when you get to the

:26:32.:26:34.

orchestrated shouting down and you do not get to the debate and there

:26:35.:26:41.

is a shift towards that. It is Wednesday and it is nearly 12

:26:42.:26:49.

o'clock and it is PMQs! No, it is Crackerjack. Crackerjack! Mr

:26:50.:26:57.

Speaker, what on earth are you up to?

:26:58.:27:01.

They have got some broomstick handles and they have got to get the

:27:02.:27:05.

rings onto the handle, as many as possible at one time and put them on

:27:06.:27:11.

the post at the end. There is John, Philip, Nicholas and Christian.

:27:12.:27:20.

Ready, steady, go. Oh, you must work in a curtain shop. Look at him, that

:27:21.:27:27.

is the quickest ever done. He has done it. There is a prize for you,

:27:28.:27:36.

and for you and your prize is a Crackerjack pencil! Crackerjack! No

:27:37.:27:47.

Crackerjack pencils. He was the small lad who we first saw on the

:27:48.:27:52.

camera. He looked kind of cute. But if you want a Daily Politics mug,

:27:53.:27:58.

you have to be in it to win it. Let's see if you can remember when

:27:59.:28:13.

this happened. # Baby, give it up... You realise you are breaking

:28:14.:28:22.

the law? Yes, I do, I better put it on. # Daddy is going to buy you a

:28:23.:28:35.

dream to cling to... Modernise, work. # You were a war baby. This

:28:36.:28:57.

means war, baby. You are watching the first edition of BBC

:28:58.:29:14.

television's breakfast time. # I thought I heard your words... To be

:29:15.:29:22.

in with a chance of winning, you can send your answers to our quiz e-mail

:29:23.:29:29.

address. You can see the full terms and conditions on our website. It is

:29:30.:29:43.

coming up to midday, there is Big Ben. It can only mean one thing,

:29:44.:29:49.

Prime Minister's Questions is on its way. Would I be right in saying a

:29:50.:29:57.

lot of people have turned anti-coalition this week? It is very

:29:58.:30:01.

fashionable. The Daily Telegraph had a story that David Cameron might

:30:02.:30:09.

rule out another coalition. But David Finkelstein said it was

:30:10.:30:19.

lunacy. The story or the idea? But Ed McCluskey said Ed Miliband should

:30:20.:30:25.

do the same. But it is not actually up to politicians what the election

:30:26.:30:35.

result is. Should he ruled out a coalition? Our sole interest is on

:30:36.:30:42.

winning an election and right. But should he rule it out? I do not

:30:43.:30:49.

think that story is true. The only way this country gets what it once

:30:50.:30:53.

is to win the election. You will not get from David Cameron or anyone

:30:54.:30:59.

else except determination to win and you are not going to see a start a

:31:00.:31:06.

debate about coalition. If you rule out coalition it is saying what you

:31:07.:31:11.

have done for the last four years is the wrong thing. It is possible one

:31:12.:31:15.

of these parties could come close and need the support of the

:31:16.:31:20.

Democratic Unionists. There are all sorts of complicated setups that may

:31:21.:31:24.

happen after an uncertain general election result. If you write down

:31:25.:31:30.

no, never, will not do it, you are making life difficult. If Labour was

:31:31.:31:37.

the largest party and a couple of votes shy of an overall majority

:31:38.:31:41.

they would rather stick as a minority Government in the hope that

:31:42.:31:47.

all the other smaller parties would rarely ganged up against a Labour

:31:48.:31:55.

Government. I am fairly confident we will get a majority. What we will

:31:56.:32:02.

not get is a German style grand coalition. Let's go over to PMQs.

:32:03.:32:11.

I had meetings with colleagues and in addition to my duties in the

:32:12.:32:18.

House, I will have further duties today. I rang the Prime Minister for

:32:19.:32:25.

his answer but we should congratulate Team GB on their

:32:26.:32:29.

success in the Winter Olympics. HSBC have announced that bonuses of ?2.3

:32:30.:32:38.

billion will be paid to the Chief Executive. When ordinary British

:32:39.:32:43.

families face a cost of living crisis, is it not time for this

:32:44.:32:47.

government to listen to Labour and tax bonuses to get the young people

:32:48.:32:55.

back to work? Let me join the honourable gentleman in

:32:56.:33:00.

congratulating Team GB for their best medal performance since 1924 at

:33:01.:33:05.

a Winter Olympics. It was a huge honour to welcome them to Downing

:33:06.:33:10.

Street to have an explanation of how skeleton and curling works. On the

:33:11.:33:17.

issue of bank bonuses, they are well down from the appalling situation

:33:18.:33:21.

that was left by the last Labour government. What we need to see is

:33:22.:33:26.

the proper control of all form of pay. What I do not want to see and

:33:27.:33:31.

what I think we will get from the party opposite is focusing only on

:33:32.:33:41.

bonuses. You can claw-back bonuses but you cannot claw back pay. Does

:33:42.:33:49.

the Prime Minister recognise that it is part of the job of church leaders

:33:50.:33:53.

to challenge government about policy. Will he discuss with them

:33:54.:34:05.

measures to get out of poverty? There is nothing particularly moral

:34:06.:34:13.

about pouring borrowed money into systems that can trap people in

:34:14.:34:22.

poverty. I think my right honourable friend, who was a church man

:34:23.:34:26.

himself, talks perfect sense. There is nothing immoral about running up

:34:27.:34:31.

deficits, out-of-control welfare Bills, and if we do not deal with

:34:32.:34:35.

the problems, the whole country will be poorer. We should listen to the

:34:36.:34:39.

former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, who said that the

:34:40.:34:46.

church should be wary of the dangers. I think serious politicians

:34:47.:34:54.

have to engage in this and this should go for everybody. Mr Speaker,

:34:55.:35:02.

I joined my honourable friend and the Prime Minister in congratulating

:35:03.:35:04.

Team GB on their brilliant performance. As the threat of floods

:35:05.:35:11.

passes, there are still thousands out of their homes, the Somerset

:35:12.:35:15.

Levels are underwater, and farms are struggling to recover. The committee

:35:16.:35:23.

on climate change has said that the government investment in flood

:35:24.:35:26.

defences has fallen. In light of this, does the Prime Minister think

:35:27.:35:32.

it is right to revisit the plans for investment in flood defences? We

:35:33.:35:36.

will look carefully at this. We set out spending figures all the way out

:35:37.:35:42.

to 2020, which are major investments in flood defences. As the waters

:35:43.:35:49.

reside, and as the Environment Agency look at what happened, we can

:35:50.:35:53.

review it and see what new measures are necessary. Let me repeat the

:35:54.:35:58.

point. In this four-year period, overall float spending has gone up.

:35:59.:36:14.

-- flood spending. This is what the UK Statistics Authority has said:

:36:15.:36:18.

Government funding for flood defences was lower in real terms

:36:19.:36:24.

during the current spending period than the last. The only way you

:36:25.:36:30.

claim otherwise is by ignoring inflation and by claiming credit for

:36:31.:36:33.

the money that other organisations spend. Why does the Prime Minister

:36:34.:36:40.

not admit it? They have cut flood spending and he has been caught out!

:36:41.:36:46.

If you take the period 2010 to 2014, the spending has been 2.4 billion

:36:47.:36:52.

more than the 2.2 billion in the previous four years. If you take the

:36:53.:37:02.

five-year period of this Parliament that the spending has been higher

:37:03.:37:06.

than the previous five years. I think having this debate is slightly

:37:07.:37:11.

pointless. The whole country should be coming together to deal with

:37:12.:37:15.

flood defences. The fact is that from the moment he turned up in a

:37:16.:37:19.

flooded village with a Labour candidate beside him, he has missed

:37:20.:37:24.

judged the mood of the country. -- misjudged. First of all, if it is a

:37:25.:37:37.

simple choice between the UK Statistics Authority, people will

:37:38.:37:44.

believe the Statistics Authority. The question of how much to invest

:37:45.:37:48.

in flood defence depends on the assessment of risks posed by

:37:49.:37:52.

man-made climate change. He said this: It is easy to do the softer

:37:53.:37:59.

things like riding your bike, visiting glaciers, and rebuilding

:38:00.:38:04.

your House to make it green. It is only clear you mean it when you do

:38:05.:38:08.

the tough things as well, like telling the truth about climate

:38:09.:38:12.

change. What is the truth about climate change? The truth is that

:38:13.:38:19.

this government has eight programme to reduce carbon right across the

:38:20.:38:23.

economy. -- a programme to reduce carbon. We have started! Compared to

:38:24.:38:32.

the government he left, the carbon emissions are down 14%. Let me

:38:33.:38:38.

return to this issue of floods defence spending. The people of this

:38:39.:38:42.

country will want to know this. He is committed to a 0% Spending

:38:43.:39:00.

Review. That means a a 0% well not match the spending in 2016, 2017 or

:39:01.:39:14.

all the way to 2018! What total nonsense and he knows it! It is very

:39:15.:39:23.

interesting because someone who is in opposition wanted to talk as much

:39:24.:39:27.

as he could about climate change is now wanting to get off the subject!

:39:28.:39:34.

Will he just set out, for his party and the country, his views about

:39:35.:39:40.

man-made climate change? I believe man-made climate change is one of

:39:41.:39:44.

the most serious threats that this country and the world faces. That is

:39:45.:39:50.

why we have the world's first green investment bank here in Britain.

:39:51.:39:55.

That is why we are building the first nuclear power station for 30

:39:56.:39:59.

years in this country. That is why we have cut carbon emissions by 40%

:40:00.:40:05.

since we came to office. That is why we set out carbon budgets in this

:40:06.:40:10.

country. They talk a good game about it, but it takes people to come in,

:40:11.:40:16.

govern effectively and deal with it! Excellent. We are getting somewhere.

:40:17.:40:21.

I agree with what he's said about the importance of climate change.

:40:22.:40:28.

The reason this matters is because there are people in the most

:40:29.:40:30.

important positions in his government, going around,

:40:31.:40:36.

questioning climate change. This is what the Environment Secretary said:

:40:37.:40:40.

People get very emotional about this. People should accept that the

:40:41.:40:44.

climate has been changing for centuries. The energy minister, when

:40:45.:40:51.

asked about climate change, said this: You are not going to draw me

:40:52.:40:57.

on that. I have not had time to get into the climate change debate. He

:40:58.:41:02.

is the energy minister, Mr Speaker! Will the Prime Minister clarify, is

:41:03.:41:08.

he happy to have climate change deniers in his government? You come

:41:09.:41:15.

to the House of Commons and praise the Prime Minister for his

:41:16.:41:23.

commitment to climate change! I like the new style. This is refreshing.

:41:24.:41:28.

This government has a solid track record of cutting carbon, investing

:41:29.:41:34.

in nuclear, having the biggest renewable energy programme in this

:41:35.:41:38.

country, and for the first time in a long time we are on track to meet

:41:39.:41:49.

our renewable targets. The whole country will have heard that he

:41:50.:41:54.

cannot answer the question about whether you need to believe in

:41:55.:42:00.

man-made climate change to be part of his government. He has gone from

:42:01.:42:07.

thinking it is a basic part of his policy to a matter of individual

:42:08.:42:12.

conscience. He would say it was his passion above all else. Order! The

:42:13.:42:21.

questions and the answers will be heard however long it takes. Those

:42:22.:42:26.

who are exercising their vocal chords should calm down. There was a

:42:27.:42:35.

long way to go. If we are going to protect the people against the

:42:36.:42:39.

dangers they face, we cannot have doubt and confusion in his

:42:40.:42:46.

government. They need to rediscover their past convictions and get real

:42:47.:42:52.

on climate change! You can measure the courage of convictions by the

:42:53.:42:58.

act in government. There is the investment in renewables, there is

:42:59.:43:01.

the investment in nuclear. He talks a good game but did not achieve

:43:02.:43:05.

anything when he was in office. Mr Speaker, the most serious form of

:43:06.:43:19.

denial, is the denial of renewables. What is the plan for long-term

:43:20.:43:24.

investment? That is the requirement for climate change. Nuclear power.

:43:25.:43:30.

Long-term investment like fixing our economy. That is what this

:43:31.:43:34.

government is doing. All he does is get up and deliver a lot of hot air.

:43:35.:43:42.

Can I ask my right honourable friend 's if he can return to public

:43:43.:43:48.

concern at work? Can he get advice on the whistle-blowing report, and

:43:49.:43:56.

see whether he can bring people together in government and look at

:43:57.:44:00.

their recommendations and stop people being persecuted before the

:44:01.:44:12.

Baby P case? The public interest the closure act 1988 protects most

:44:13.:44:16.

workers from being unfairly dismissed when they report a matter

:44:17.:44:23.

of concern. We have strengthened this in 2013 and we will always

:44:24.:44:27.

backed whistle-blowers when reporting poor standards in large

:44:28.:44:31.

organisations. We are happy to make sure that he discusses with the

:44:32.:44:35.

relevant ministers any further step we need to take in this direction.

:44:36.:44:42.

Does the Prime Minister understand the depth of the hurt among Vic

:44:43.:44:48.

Tims' families and the deep sense of public outrage across the country as

:44:49.:44:51.

a result of the outcome of the John Downey case? He needs to understand

:44:52.:44:59.

that for a official letter to trump shoe protest process is deeply

:45:00.:45:09.

offensive to the public in this country. Willy now scrap these get

:45:10.:45:14.

out of jail free letters immediately, and will he do

:45:15.:45:17.

everything in his power to reverse the despicable decision in the John

:45:18.:45:22.

Downey case so that justice can be done for the family of the breed? --

:45:23.:45:35.

First of all, I understand the deep feelings of the families feel and

:45:36.:45:41.

the fact that the person responsible is not going to be tried. Our first

:45:42.:45:47.

thought should be with those 11 soldiers and their families and

:45:48.:45:51.

friends. It may have happened 32 years ago, but anyone who has lost

:45:52.:45:56.

someone in a situation like that will mourn them today as they did

:45:57.:46:02.

all those years ago. It was a dreadful mistake and a mistake we

:46:03.:46:08.

need to have a review of to make sure this cannot happen again.

:46:09.:46:12.

Whatever happens, we have to stick to the principle that we are a

:46:13.:46:15.

country and a Government under the rule of law. My right honourable

:46:16.:46:24.

friend has taken swift action to help communities and I welcome the

:46:25.:46:28.

?10 million flood relief fund for farmers. But some are at risk from

:46:29.:46:36.

Environment Agency scaremongering to reduce land drainage and reduce

:46:37.:46:42.

pumping stations. Can my right honourable friend ensure it the

:46:43.:46:48.

growers in my constituency that the necessary protections will be given

:46:49.:46:54.

to their land and in order to react properly, this Government is

:46:55.:46:58.

planning for the long-term security of this industry. I am glad she is

:46:59.:47:03.

advertising to have farm is the availability of the ?10 million fund

:47:04.:47:08.

that will be available to those who have lost the use of productive

:47:09.:47:12.

land. The point about farmers and landowners being nervous about

:47:13.:47:18.

dredging their land because of rules is a good one. The pendulum swung

:47:19.:47:23.

too far against dredging and that will change. It is not the whole

:47:24.:47:27.

answer to the problems she discusses, but it has a proper part

:47:28.:47:32.

in properly managing the landscape. Mr Speaker, the tragic death on a

:47:33.:47:40.

Birmingham Street of Sarah Childs devastated her family and shocked

:47:41.:47:44.

the community, a much loved sister and daughter. She was killed and her

:47:45.:47:50.

sister Claire, who was pregnant, was severely injured by a speeding

:47:51.:47:55.

driver doing 64 miles an hour who got four years in prison. Does the

:47:56.:48:00.

Prime Minister agreed the time has come to look again at the sentencing

:48:01.:48:06.

of those who kill with a car? First of all, my heart goes out to his

:48:07.:48:12.

constituents and the family of the constituent who was tragically

:48:13.:48:16.

killed. I think it is right to look again at motoring offences and the

:48:17.:48:21.

penalties that are given. I have discussed with the Secretary of

:48:22.:48:25.

State and I am sure he will be listening carefully to what the

:48:26.:48:31.

honourable gentleman has said. The response of NHS Wales to Sir Bruce

:48:32.:48:43.

Keogh's e-mail about a video response. Is the Prime Minister is

:48:44.:48:48.

astounded as I am that NHS Wales thinks the cheap medical director of

:48:49.:48:53.

England and the Royal College of surgeons' views are not legitimate?

:48:54.:48:57.

Will he worked with the leader of the opposition to try to get his

:48:58.:49:03.

party in Wales to reverse this decision? It could save lives. The

:49:04.:49:08.

honourable lady makes a very important point. Sir Bruce Keogh's

:49:09.:49:13.

views should be respected and listened to by the NHS in Wales. The

:49:14.:49:19.

Royal College of surgeons are saying there are people on NHS waiting

:49:20.:49:23.

lists who are dying in Wales because the waiting lists are too long

:49:24.:49:28.

because the NHS is not being properly managed and funded and

:49:29.:49:32.

reformed in Wales. That is a matter for the Welsh assembly Government.

:49:33.:49:41.

Will the Prime Minister accept the overwhelming humanitarian case for

:49:42.:49:48.

guaranteeing long-term support to victims and survivors of terrorism?

:49:49.:49:52.

If so, will he agreed to meet with me, Colin Parry and survivors of the

:49:53.:50:00.

7/7 London bombings who have benefited from the services of

:50:01.:50:08.

survivors for peace programme which is now faced with imminent closure?

:50:09.:50:14.

In doing so, will he remember his pledge that survivors of I am very

:50:15.:50:52.

It is a unique charity and it does an extraordinary job. We want to

:50:53.:51:00.

make sure that all these institutions can continue their

:51:01.:51:02.

excellent work and I am happy to hold this discussion with her. We

:51:03.:51:08.

all want to see a more balanced economy. Does the Prime Minister

:51:09.:51:14.

agree that today's stonking upward rise in business investment, over

:51:15.:51:19.

9%, shows that British entrepreneurs are rising to this challenge? My

:51:20.:51:26.

honourable friend makes an important point. Right across this house, and

:51:27.:51:31.

many experts have been saying what we need is a balanced recovery, one

:51:32.:51:37.

that sees increases in exports as well as consumption, one that sees

:51:38.:51:41.

increases in investment from business and the upgrading of the

:51:42.:51:46.

GDP figures showing an increase in exports and a very large increase in

:51:47.:51:50.

business investment is hugely welcome for our country. Given

:51:51.:51:58.

yesterday's court revelations of a secret scheme, does the Prime

:51:59.:52:02.

Minister believed that as well as the parties in Northern Ireland

:52:03.:52:09.

progressing the elements following the hardest talks that there is a

:52:10.:52:14.

need for transparency regarding the confused and shabby ways that the

:52:15.:52:20.

past was dealt with, and remembering that Downing Street was involved in

:52:21.:52:27.

this matter. The talks made good progress and they were trying to

:52:28.:52:32.

deal with difficult issues in Northern Ireland in terms of flags

:52:33.:52:34.

and parades and the most difficult issue of all, the past. She wanted

:52:35.:52:43.

to point the finger apparently at Downing Street. I would argue that

:52:44.:52:47.

when it comes to dealing with things like the bloody Sunday inquiry, that

:52:48.:52:51.

Downing Street is very happy to play its role in helping to bring parties

:52:52.:52:56.

together and make sure that we continue with peace in Northern

:52:57.:53:01.

Ireland. Given what the Prime Minister has called the leader of

:53:02.:53:05.

the opposition's new approach and Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit

:53:06.:53:08.

tomorrow, does he think there is something we can learn from her

:53:09.:53:12.

about an even broader base approach to coalition that would unite the

:53:13.:53:19.

whole country? In circumstances he would have to give red meat to them

:53:20.:53:23.

and read meat to us, it would mean we could leave the Liberal Democrats

:53:24.:53:33.

where they belong. My admiration for Angela Merkel is enormous. There are

:53:34.:53:38.

many things she has achieved that I would like to copy, not getting

:53:39.:53:44.

re-elected. But the one thing I do not want to copy is I think the idea

:53:45.:53:49.

of a grand coalition is a bit too much for me. What steps will the

:53:50.:53:56.

Prime Minister and Government take to insist the National Crime Agency

:53:57.:54:11.

assist the people trafficking police? The National Crime Agency do

:54:12.:54:15.

not have free rein in Northern Ireland. The honourable gentleman

:54:16.:54:21.

makes an important point. I have been impressed by the work the

:54:22.:54:26.

National Crime Agency is doing. It has got real strength and numbers in

:54:27.:54:31.

terms of being able to tackle organised crime. It is bad for

:54:32.:54:35.

Northern Ireland that it is not able to properly operate there. I hope

:54:36.:54:40.

that over time it will be possible to make progress and it would be

:54:41.:54:44.

good for Northern Ireland and good for our fight against organised

:54:45.:54:50.

crime. May I take this opportunity to congratulate you on your new role

:54:51.:54:56.

as Chancellor of Bedford University? In the last three

:54:57.:55:06.

years... In the last three years, 99 brave soldiers have given their life

:55:07.:55:11.

for this country in Afghanistan. In the same period of time 264 British

:55:12.:55:18.

women have been murdered at the hands of men and over three quarters

:55:19.:55:22.

of those women were stalked before they were murdered. Will the Prime

:55:23.:55:27.

Minister give a guaranteed that this Government will introduce

:55:28.:55:30.

legislation to protect women from that fate in the future,

:55:31.:55:34.

particularly given the ease that stock was have to begin their

:55:35.:55:39.

stopping activity by social media and the Internet? I am grateful for

:55:40.:55:45.

what might honourable friend says. Stocking is an appalling crime and

:55:46.:55:48.

it can destroy lives and we have to crack down on it. We have introduced

:55:49.:55:53.

a new offence to make absolutely clear the view we take of it. The

:55:54.:55:59.

new laws are equally applicable to online cyber stalking and

:56:00.:56:02.

harassment. And the CPS has published guidelines regarding

:56:03.:56:09.

information sent by social media. I am happy to write to her with the

:56:10.:56:13.

detail of all the things we are doing and to see if there are

:56:14.:56:18.

further steps we can take. When the Prime Minister was asked about the

:56:19.:56:22.

bedroom tax last March he said, what we have done is to exempt disabled

:56:23.:56:27.

people who need an extra room. Now that we know that people with

:56:28.:56:31.

terminal illness who cannot share a room, those who have to store

:56:32.:56:35.

equipment, such as dialysis machines, and families with severely

:56:36.:56:38.

disabled children who need occasional respite are all subject

:56:39.:56:44.

to this pernicious tax, would he like to revise that answer and to

:56:45.:56:48.

apologise to the disabled people to whom he gave false hope? This is a

:56:49.:56:55.

basic issue of fairness, that people who are renting in the private

:56:56.:56:58.

sector do not get additional money for rooms they do not use, so it is

:56:59.:57:04.

not fair to have a different set of rules in the social sector. But we

:57:05.:57:09.

have a large discretionary payment system in order to help families

:57:10.:57:17.

like the ones she mentions. Does the Prime Minister agree with me that

:57:18.:57:21.

the increase in jobs, or stopping increase in jobs, in the private

:57:22.:57:27.

sector is leading the UK's economic recovery and helped by the range of

:57:28.:57:33.

engineers, manufacturers and retailers who are employing people

:57:34.:57:35.

and sending their exports around the world? My honourable friend is

:57:36.:57:43.

absolutely right. We have now got 1.6 million new private sector jobs

:57:44.:57:48.

and there are 1.34 million people employed in our country. We have

:57:49.:57:54.

seen a growth in employment in every region in the country. Some are

:57:55.:58:00.

growing faster than others. But one of the indicators of economic

:58:01.:58:03.

success is weak in, week out, the leader of the Labour Party comes to

:58:04.:58:09.

the House of Commons and cannot talk about the economy or jobs and

:58:10.:58:13.

investment and growth, because all the things he said would never

:58:14.:58:20.

happen are happening in our economy. Could the Prime Minister focus on

:58:21.:58:27.

the fact that the company doing the work capability test was to give up

:58:28.:58:32.

and could it not be changed back to the medical evidence of the

:58:33.:58:36.

consultants of those who are applying? It costs money for

:58:37.:58:48.

appeals. The contract was awarded by the last Labour Government. Of

:58:49.:58:53.

course we are now discussing and debating with the company had this

:58:54.:58:58.

should be taken forward. But we need in this country a way of determining

:58:59.:59:03.

whether people are fit for work or not. When it comes to the issue of

:59:04.:59:08.

sanctions in our benefit system, it is right people who are offered a

:59:09.:59:13.

job and do not take a job face a sanction. That will be the toys at

:59:14.:59:19.

the next election. One party in favour of hard working people and

:59:20.:59:23.

another party obsessed by bigger and bigger benefits. Britain's Armed

:59:24.:59:29.

Forces are the best and as we are witnessing taking essential action

:59:30.:59:36.

in flooded areas. Prime Minister, please recognised the folly of

:59:37.:59:41.

reducing the size of the Armed Forces and stop sucking full-time

:59:42.:59:46.

service men and women. This gives me the opportunity of praising the

:59:47.:59:49.

extraordinary role that armed services personnel have played

:59:50.:59:55.

during the floods in our country over the last week. What we have

:59:56.:00:00.

done is removed the ?38 billion black hole that we were left. That

:00:01.:00:06.

meant taking difficult decisions over the size of the Army, navy and

:00:07.:00:13.

air force. We now have a top-flight defence budget in terms of spending

:00:14.:00:16.

anywhere in the world and we are coming to the end of all the

:00:17.:00:21.

redundancy schemes so we can point loudly to the extraordinary

:00:22.:00:25.

investment we can be making a new aircraft carriers, in hunter killer

:00:26.:00:30.

submarines, in aircraft, in the best equipment that any Armed Forces

:00:31.:00:37.

could have anywhere in the world. I met a man called really, who is 24

:00:38.:00:44.

years old. He lost his job a year ago and had to resort to going

:00:45.:00:49.

through supermarket skips to find out of date food so he could eat. --

:00:50.:00:59.

belief. -- belief. Why will the government not offer him a job? What

:01:00.:01:04.

we are doing for Billy and thousands like him is offering jobs and hope.

:01:05.:01:12.

Honourable members opposite come here week after week to try and say

:01:13.:01:17.

that this country is poorer or worse off under this government. Let me

:01:18.:01:20.

remind hope what it was like in 2009. There were a million more

:01:21.:01:26.

people in poverty, 500,000 more children in poverty, 150,000 more

:01:27.:01:33.

unemployed people, and 750,000 more people claiming benefits. Yes, there

:01:34.:01:39.

is more to do but we have a proud record of giving people jobs and

:01:40.:01:54.

hope. Just over a week ago, I joined school pupils and asked them what

:01:55.:02:02.

they would like to ask the Prime Minister, and one of them wanted to

:02:03.:02:06.

know why the government keeps on making so many new laws. Could the

:02:07.:02:14.

Prime Minister tell my young constituent what he is doing to

:02:15.:02:21.

reduce the burden of legislation? I think he has a promising future in

:02:22.:02:24.

this place, that is the attitude we need. This is going to be the first

:02:25.:02:30.

government since the war that leaves office, at the end of its term, with

:02:31.:02:35.

fewer regulations in place than at the beginning. That is because of

:02:36.:02:39.

the excellent work by the business department who has done a brilliant

:02:40.:02:46.

job of taking legislation of business. There has not been an oral

:02:47.:02:54.

statement to the House about the future of Stafford Hospital, given

:02:55.:02:58.

that it is expected that the University Hospital of North

:02:59.:03:01.

Staffordshire will take on the running of the site. Will he accept

:03:02.:03:10.

that there was a funding gap of ?39 million capital costs, ?4 million

:03:11.:03:16.

revenue cost, and make sure that there will be the opportunity to

:03:17.:03:20.

question the government and that these changes will not go through at

:03:21.:03:24.

the expense of the health of the people of North Staffordshire? A

:03:25.:03:28.

statement is being made today about the future of the hospital. It has

:03:29.:03:33.

been a difficult issue to deal with, the appalling situation that we were

:03:34.:03:38.

left with. I am sure there will be opportunities to debate within the

:03:39.:03:41.

House, but I think she will see that there are good steps being made, and

:03:42.:03:47.

hard work will be put into make sure it is possible to continue with

:03:48.:03:54.

consultant led maternity services so people can have their babies

:03:55.:03:57.

delivered in Stafford Hospital. That is what I want to see and the Health

:03:58.:04:02.

Secretary will set out the proposals later. There will be opportunities

:04:03.:04:09.

to debate this and the failures of Stapp -- Stafford Hospital. Millions

:04:10.:04:15.

of Londoners were inconvenienced earlier this month by the

:04:16.:04:19.

underground strike which was only supported by 30% of the union

:04:20.:04:23.

members. Will my right honourable friend agreed to conduct a review to

:04:24.:04:29.

increase the threshold so pointless strikes are outlawed? My honourable

:04:30.:04:35.

friend makes a good point. When you see how many people rely on these

:04:36.:04:40.

essential services, the time has come to look at what changes we can

:04:41.:04:45.

make. One of the problems we have seen is that despite requests, the

:04:46.:04:57.

party opposite have not condemned the strike. We were told, Mr

:04:58.:05:03.

Speaker, that they were heading for divorce, but I think they are going

:05:04.:05:10.

to renew their vows! That brings us to the end of Prime Minister's

:05:11.:05:15.

Questions. While it was taking place, we have learned that the

:05:16.:05:22.

president of the Russian Federation has put his forces on alert. He did

:05:23.:05:29.

this act 2pm Russian time. That is according to the Russian defence

:05:30.:05:34.

minister. We understand that Vladimir Putin has ensured the

:05:35.:05:42.

combat readiness of his forces in Russia. This is different to the

:05:43.:05:48.

full-scale mobilisation that it could lead to that. -- but it could

:05:49.:05:57.

lead to that. This is obviously due to events in Ukraine. Nick, I want

:05:58.:06:04.

to come back to why this was not raised in PMQs, but what do you know

:06:05.:06:14.

is happening in Russia? This announcement was made by the defence

:06:15.:06:21.

Minister. According to Reuters, it is not the first time this has

:06:22.:06:25.

happened. There have been a number of these. When you hear it

:06:26.:06:30.

initially, people think, my goodness, but it could be sabre

:06:31.:06:31.

rattling. The Government's National Security

:06:32.:06:51.

Council met and was discussing the issue of Ukraine. On the one hand

:06:52.:06:55.

you have got the European countries worry about funding for example and

:06:56.:06:59.

have to try and get the democratic process back on step, led largely by

:07:00.:07:07.

the Germans. On the other hand, I am told, the Government ministers were

:07:08.:07:12.

at that stage discussing Russia's options. One option they discussed

:07:13.:07:16.

was the possibility Russia would send in troops to protect Russian

:07:17.:07:24.

speakers. There are a large number of Russian speakers in the Crimea.

:07:25.:07:32.

He also has a port there. Also they could pull the plug on the financing

:07:33.:07:38.

of the Ukraine. They have frozen the 15 billion. Does it not strike you

:07:39.:07:51.

that it is a parochial nature that Ukraine was not raised once during

:07:52.:07:57.

Prime Minister's Questions? I appreciate that this news broke

:07:58.:08:03.

while it was going on, but we are taking a major forum policy

:08:04.:08:09.

position, and we are being asked to step up to the plate and provide a

:08:10.:08:15.

lot of money. -- foreign policy. Why would not a single MP raise this as

:08:16.:08:20.

an issue in Parliament? It goes back to the discussion we were having

:08:21.:08:27.

about the nature of PMQs. It is increasingly backbenchers playing a

:08:28.:08:30.

party game so that everybody things they are on the side of their party

:08:31.:08:36.

leader to try and get over that day's partisan points. People stop

:08:37.:08:41.

thinking for themselves. There was, to be fair, a big statement by the

:08:42.:08:45.

Foreign Secretary on Ukraine. This is PMQs, live on network

:08:46.:08:59.

television. That is right. Surely on that, the first thing to say is that

:09:00.:09:04.

we had a long statement on Monday in front of a full House. You are

:09:05.:09:08.

talking about serious issues. The Leader of the Opposition, the man

:09:09.:09:14.

who wants to be Prime Minister, surely the question to be asked is

:09:15.:09:19.

why was he having a bizarre conversation about climate change

:09:20.:09:24.

when, actually, there are bigger issues to discuss? There was a major

:09:25.:09:30.

international issue that confronts Europe and it is an issue that

:09:31.:09:37.

involves our foreign policy, the European foreign policy, and because

:09:38.:09:41.

we contribute to the IMF and the EU, which is money is being asked for

:09:42.:09:46.

through these institutions. That is right. Just because it was not

:09:47.:09:55.

raised at PMQs, I do not think people do not understand the gravity

:09:56.:10:01.

of the situation. Flooding should dominate PMQs as well. We can say

:10:02.:10:06.

for sure that flooding has been pretty well covered. This is not an

:10:07.:10:15.

either or argument. No, I do not want to do that. I am sure they will

:10:16.:10:19.

come back to it in another statement. I do think that the UK

:10:20.:10:27.

Parliament has looked at the issue and will continue to do so. I think

:10:28.:10:35.

we need to be careful. Do we have a view? Do the MPs have of view? Do we

:10:36.:10:44.

have a view under what conditions we should lend Ukraine money and what

:10:45.:10:48.

assets we should demand as security? They are talking about 30

:10:49.:11:03.

billion or so. I would not read into the fact that it did not come up

:11:04.:11:10.

today. There was some discussion around George Osborne's

:11:11.:11:17.

discussions. The economic interest of Ukraine, we must intervene in

:11:18.:11:24.

that to protect the interests of the country and look at the geopolitical

:11:25.:11:28.

balance that is now emerging as one of the big issues. Events are moving

:11:29.:11:33.

so we have to be temperate in how we deal with matters. You agree with

:11:34.:11:39.

the Prime Minister? Climate change is one of the most serious threats

:11:40.:11:46.

facing mankind. The truth is that what Ed Miliband was trying to do

:11:47.:11:50.

today was drive wedges between those who believe strongly in climate

:11:51.:11:55.

change and those who are unsure. I asked you if you are in agreement

:11:56.:12:00.

with the Prime Minister that climate change is one of the most serious

:12:01.:12:06.

threats? It is clearly an issue for us. Is it one of the most serious

:12:07.:12:12.

rates for mankind? Around the world, it is having a major impact on

:12:13.:12:18.

different societies, and therefore, investment on things like flood

:12:19.:12:23.

defences... But do you believe that man-made climate change is one of

:12:24.:12:33.

the most serious threats facing mankind? It is an issue. The price

:12:34.:12:42.

of bread is an issue! Why does he think that anybody cares outside the

:12:43.:13:01.

Westminster Circle? John Hayes. He uses these toxic phrases like,

:13:02.:13:11.

denier. What is a denier? Somebody that does not recognise that climate

:13:12.:13:15.

change is one of the most significant challenges we face as a

:13:16.:13:19.

country, and that governments have to take action now to protect us. If

:13:20.:13:31.

the government was to say that there is no question that the climate is

:13:32.:13:36.

changing and man is contributing to that change, would that be a denial?

:13:37.:13:45.

Somebody who denies that it is a global challenge... That is not what

:13:46.:13:51.

I said but would it be a denial but Mark if you are sceptical about

:13:52.:13:55.

man's involvement in this, is that a denial? Yes, that is a denial. If

:13:56.:14:10.

you say, I am in no doubt that the Prime Minister is warming -- on the

:14:11.:14:17.

planet is warming up, that I am not sure by how much it is warming up,

:14:18.:14:21.

and the predictions may be alarmist, is that a denial? Yes. The key point

:14:22.:14:29.

that Ed Miliband was making and one that is relevant is the fact that

:14:30.:14:34.

the environment will not take a briefing on climate change experts

:14:35.:14:37.

in his own department. He will not receive official briefing. We know

:14:38.:14:50.

already that there is no scientific do not think that the scientific

:14:51.:14:57.

Minister... Do not think he should take a meeting from his officials? I

:14:58.:15:03.

think it is relevant. Your final thought? One thing that is important

:15:04.:15:11.

is the court case that the Prime Minister was asked about to do with

:15:12.:15:16.

the bombing. The two representatives of the Democratic party said there

:15:17.:15:21.

should be no more of these. He did say he understood their anger and

:15:22.:15:25.

thought it was a mistake but when he was asked to say that they should

:15:26.:15:28.

not happen in the future, he clearly did not say it. He took a tougher

:15:29.:15:37.

line on strikes and implied there may be a change in the law on the

:15:38.:15:42.

number of people who vote in essential services. The cost of gas

:15:43.:15:47.

and electricity has been a big political issue ever since Ed

:15:48.:15:49.

Miliband said he would help consumers with their bills by

:15:50.:15:54.

capping prices. But it is also a problem for industry, particularly

:15:55.:16:00.

energy heavily intensive industry. Tom Crotty from INEOS, which owns

:16:01.:16:08.

Grangemouth, says the high prices are damaging the industrial sector.

:16:09.:16:19.

This is his soapbox. Welcome to Grangemouth, one of the biggest

:16:20.:16:24.

industrial sites in the UK. The plant uses more energy than

:16:25.:16:28.

Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen combined. This piece of kit, the

:16:29.:16:39.

cracker, is at the heart of the site and it produces basic raw

:16:40.:16:44.

materials. These chemicals are the basic building blocks of everyday

:16:45.:16:48.

products. But industry like this is threatened. The UK has some of the

:16:49.:17:00.

most expensive energy in the world, not helped by Government taxes. It

:17:01.:17:05.

is making Grangemouth uncompetitive. Heavy industry in the

:17:06.:17:09.

UK spends much more on energy costs and our counterparts in Europe.

:17:10.:17:17.

Paying more for our energy than our rivals is simply not sustainable

:17:18.:17:22.

long term. In Germany, industrial energy costs are capped. 20 years

:17:23.:17:27.

ago in the UK and Germany, manufacturing accounted for 23% of

:17:28.:17:33.

GDP. In Germany it is the same, but in the UK it has fallen to 11% and

:17:34.:17:40.

much of this is accounted for by our uncompetitive energy costs. There is

:17:41.:17:44.

one other possibility for lower energy prices in the UK and that is

:17:45.:17:50.

shale gas. It is cheaper than other energy sources and it is driving a

:17:51.:17:54.

manufacturing boom in the United States. There are over 1 million

:17:55.:18:00.

Shell gas wells and the USA will be self-sufficient in energy by 2020.

:18:01.:18:07.

The UK has got to embrace shale gas. We at INEOS will be the first

:18:08.:18:12.

company to import shale gas from the United States and this area will be

:18:13.:18:20.

filled with shale gas from the US. But it is not enough. We need to be

:18:21.:18:25.

able to produce shale gas and we have huge reserves of it. If we do

:18:26.:18:30.

not address the heavy costs for industry, we will not have industry.

:18:31.:18:38.

Tom Crotty is with us. Let me put your point to these politicians. You

:18:39.:18:44.

are always talking, both of you, all parties, we need to rebalance the

:18:45.:18:50.

economy and go back to manufacturing and look after heavy industry. What

:18:51.:18:56.

do you say? That was an interesting film, but in principle we need to be

:18:57.:19:02.

careful about shale gas. I would not rule it out. We need to look at the

:19:03.:19:08.

regulation of it. He is making the general point that because of

:19:09.:19:14.

policies both of your parties have pursued, including the Lib Dems,

:19:15.:19:19.

which have forced energy prices up ever since the 2008 climate change

:19:20.:19:25.

act, you are making life difficult for heavy industry that employs over

:19:26.:19:31.

800,000 people in this country. I could provide a list of the savings

:19:32.:19:37.

that could be given to Scottish and British business as a result of the

:19:38.:19:44.

energy freeze. Give as an example? I have not got that in my hand, I do

:19:45.:19:50.

not have that recall, but they would save as much energy as household

:19:51.:19:59.

would. He is just freezing it. If the costs increase, he will save

:20:00.:20:06.

something. What do you say? Wii I am a strong supporter of lower tax, and

:20:07.:20:10.

I want to see tax cuts for businesses. He will know the scale

:20:11.:20:13.

of the challenge we are dealing with. The solution to this is what

:20:14.:20:26.

he has described. I want us to move ahead with shale gas. It has

:20:27.:20:31.

transformed the situation in the United States. We have got huge

:20:32.:20:37.

reserves, it is inexpensive for industry and the public and it will

:20:38.:20:40.

take pressure of businesses and pensioners struggling with their gas

:20:41.:20:45.

bills. What do you say to them about the existing tax and the Green taxes

:20:46.:20:52.

and the extra costs, the closing down of cheap coal stations, what do

:20:53.:20:59.

you say to them? Where we are is as a result of a lack of industrial and

:21:00.:21:04.

energy policy over a long period of time. In Germany they had through

:21:05.:21:11.

the last 25-30 years that it would protect its heavy industry come what

:21:12.:21:17.

may. But at the cost of households. The cost of electricity is going

:21:18.:21:21.

through the roof, Germans say it is a luxury good. They know how

:21:22.:21:27.

important heavy industry is, but ordinary Germans are paying through

:21:28.:21:33.

the nose. During winter 300,000 of them get cut off. There are

:21:34.:21:38.

undoubtedly trade office. Germany has chosen to say what we need is an

:21:39.:21:42.

industry that supports our economy and through that we can support our

:21:43.:21:45.

people and those people can afford to live. Do you think Shell gas

:21:46.:21:52.

avoids that trade-off? Let's come to shale gas. It can give you a

:21:53.:21:59.

security of supply because it is under our own ground, but unlike

:22:00.:22:04.

America where the gas market is a separate, hermetically sealed market

:22:05.:22:09.

where they can set their own prices, we are part of a world

:22:10.:22:15.

market and our gas would be at world prices, it would not be cheaper. I

:22:16.:22:22.

agree entirely. This is not about suddenly we get cheap gas. This is

:22:23.:22:27.

about having abundant supplies. We cannot get the gas we need today.

:22:28.:22:32.

The North Sea does not have the right sort of gas we need to make

:22:33.:22:37.

chemicals. For the chemical industry this is transformational. The US

:22:38.:22:43.

industry is currently investing $71 billion in new plant and that is the

:22:44.:22:47.

sort of transformation it could bring about. You have got to have

:22:48.:22:53.

chemicals and steel and aluminium. Thank you for that. They are rolling

:22:54.:22:58.

out the red carpet for Angela Merkel tomorrow. She is going to address

:22:59.:23:01.

both Houses of Parliament and have tea with the Queen. That will

:23:02.:23:09.

probably be in German as well. Compare that to the pie and a pint

:23:10.:23:12.

given to the French president Francois Hollande last month. We

:23:13.:23:16.

have seen the difference. Chancellor Merkel is being treated as a VIP

:23:17.:23:20.

because David Cameron sees her as his best chance to renegotiate the

:23:21.:23:26.

European Union treaty. Mrs Merkel does want reform although in part

:23:27.:23:29.

she wants closer integration to protect the euro zone from any

:23:30.:23:35.

future financial crisis. It has been reported, however, that she is

:23:36.:23:38.

willing to give Mr Cameron some concessions. There could be limited

:23:39.:23:41.

opt outs on certain EU regulations like the Working Time Directive and

:23:42.:23:44.

the treaty could be revised to ensure those countries like Britain

:23:45.:23:48.

who do not have the euro are protected in the single market.

:23:49.:23:53.

Finally, EU regulations could be implemented in a less prescriptive

:23:54.:23:56.

and intrusive way, although that all may not be enough for some. Earlier

:23:57.:24:03.

this week Mrs Merkel's chief spokesman was quoted as saying, "The

:24:04.:24:06.

expectations in the press are clearly too high." And he meant the

:24:07.:24:17.

British press. With me now is John Jungclaussen from the German

:24:18.:24:22.

newspaper Die Zeit. That quote is right, isn't it? She may want to

:24:23.:24:29.

help Mr Cameron, but she can fulfil the Eurosceptic expectations? That

:24:30.:24:35.

is absolutely true. The problem one -- is one of timing and diplomacy.

:24:36.:24:41.

Remember when Gordon Brown arrived late for the signing of the Lisbon

:24:42.:24:47.

Treaty... Intentionally. Intentionally. Now the Brits cannot

:24:48.:24:52.

get out of the treaty quick enough. For someone in the club who wants to

:24:53.:24:56.

rewrite the rules, they may have support, but to do it within a time

:24:57.:25:01.

frame they have set that is unlike any time frame the EU would ever

:25:02.:25:10.

met... 1917, sorry 2017, 1917 was a while ago! 2017 is the problem. It

:25:11.:25:23.

cannot be done in that time. The last thing Mr Cameron wants is

:25:24.:25:28.

another referendum in the same year as an election. The other problem is

:25:29.:25:34.

her new Foreign Secretary, who, when he saw William Hague, made it very

:25:35.:25:41.

clear he was essentially a more committed European than Angela

:25:42.:25:43.

Merkel and less likely to pave the way for an agreement. Having a grand

:25:44.:25:50.

coalition with the social Democrats is a constraint on Mrs Merkel as

:25:51.:25:57.

well. Absolutely. But Angela Merkel has some challenges in the old

:25:58.:26:01.

Franco German alliance which was at the core of Europe since the Treaty

:26:02.:26:05.

of Rome is fraying at the edges. There is a big question over whether

:26:06.:26:11.

the French economy stays with Northern Europe or drifts of and

:26:12.:26:17.

becomes a Club Med economy leaving Mrs Merkel with Northern Europe. She

:26:18.:26:23.

would like Britain to be there. Absolutely. Increasing

:26:24.:26:30.

competitiveness, essentially German and Britain followed the same model

:26:31.:26:35.

and Britain is recognised as an important partner. But if you

:26:36.:26:40.

approach the table and sit down in a grumpy mood and say, we have to

:26:41.:26:45.

change now and very quickly, then that is not seen as being very

:26:46.:26:51.

helpful. We are being told the First Minister of Northern Ireland, Peter

:26:52.:26:58.

Robinson, will resign because of the judicial review case over the IRA

:26:59.:27:04.

bomber. Francois Hollande does not want to give you anything and Mrs

:27:05.:27:09.

Merkel will not be able to give you as much as she would like because

:27:10.:27:14.

she is in coalition with the German Labour Party. This is the start of a

:27:15.:27:20.

process. The reality is the European Union is changing. As a result of

:27:21.:27:24.

the Europe presses, the European states are going to have to take

:27:25.:27:28.

significant steps toward integration in order to deal with the crisis.

:27:29.:27:32.

Britain is not part of that and we are not part of that process, but we

:27:33.:27:41.

are in the EU. But it cannot all be done by 2017. If we are in power

:27:42.:27:46.

there will be a referendum in 2017 and if we have not got to a position

:27:47.:27:51.

where there is a new relationship, the British public will have the

:27:52.:27:56.

freedom to vote to leave. The choice will be for our European partners

:27:57.:28:00.

who they want to accept the nature of the changes that are taking place

:28:01.:28:04.

and find a way for Britain to coexist with a euro zone area that

:28:05.:28:10.

is becoming more integrated? Or do they want to leave it to our

:28:11.:28:14.

electorate to decide? I am confident we have to win the election first

:28:15.:28:20.

and we then can make good progress. We have made progress because we

:28:21.:28:24.

have run out of time. I had so much to say. Time to put you out of your

:28:25.:28:32.

misery for Guess The Year. It was 1983, the year of the election.

:28:33.:28:37.

Margaret, you get to press the button. The winner: Thank you for

:28:38.:28:52.

joining us. Thank you to our guests. The one o'clock News is on BBC One

:28:53.:28:59.

and we will be back tomorrow night and tomorrow also with the Daily

:29:00.:29:01.

Politics. Goodbye.

:29:02.:29:05.

Andrew Neil introduces live coverage of Prime Minister's Questions and is joined by justice secretary Chris Grayling and shadow Scotland secretary Margaret Curran.

The Guess the Year competition closes during the live broadcast of this programme.


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