07/04/2014 Daily Politics


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Good afternoon. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Should she stay or should


she go? The Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, is under fire from all sides


of the House. She's had to don a hard hat! Even the Tory grass roots


are baying for her blood. Her boss, the PM, wants her to stay. Will he


get his way? Flying the flag for EU


renegotiation. We'll be talking to the Europe Minister David Lidington.


The London riots caused mayhem but they produced an unlikely heroine


who now has major political ambitions. She will be here to tell


us about them. And can this baby bring new life to the Commonwealth?


They don't look too happy to see him.


All backed in the next hour. With us for the first half of the programme


is Pauline Pearce, otherwise known as Heroine of Hackney. After an


impromptu speech on the streets of East London during the riots in


London almost three years ago, she is now a campaigner for the Liberal


Democrats and is running for party president. We will start with


welfare. Iain Duncan Smith will today outline reforms of the welfare


system, announcing that from this month, claimants will have to


prepare a CV and have weekly meetings with an adviser before


receiving benefits. Should it be more difficult for people to sign on


for unemployment benefit is Mac I think it is difficult enough for


people who have two sign-on. The amount of paperwork that has to be


done, every time they go to sign-on, they have to make a


two-week progress of what they have done and how they have gone about a


job search and present it to their agent when they arrive at the job


centre. A CV to sign-on? How ridiculous is that? A CV will make


sense for a job, but to get benefit and keep your life going, things


that you should be entitled to if you are on low income or need help.


Iain Duncan Smith would save people on unemployment benefit should


prepare for the world of work. My argument is too dear Iain Duncan


Smith, we have so many arguments about people should be getting


work. There is the argument of where is the work? When I go to Tesco


supermarket, IC six counters with one person standing behind. It is


self-service. These jobs have been taken. We have to move forward with


technology. They claim the jobs of their but maybe they are not evenly


distributed. Getting on the bus, you swipe a card. We have lost the


conductor. He were jobs. People not so educated can go for certain types


of jobs. You have to have qualifications for stacking shelves


now. What about finding -- finds the welfare cheats? I can go with that.


There are people raking in money through welfare cheating. There are


people whose money has been stopped the disability, for one reason or


another and they are not getting what they should. Somebody who is


more capable are not quite getting the help they need. The Liberal


Democrats, in government, have broadly signed up, completely signed


up, to a tougher welfare regime. Was it right for the party to do so? I


do not feel we should have had a tougher regime. I understand why. We


are in deficit and they need to recoup the money. They have to find


the little avenues where we can find it. We are in a coalition. We are


not totally in charge. Every job has a boss. It goes in layers. You start


from the shop floor, to the management, to the boss, to the


owners and directors. We will look at David Cameron as being the


director and Nick Clegg one of the men just below him. We have to try


to make things balance. Some things we have decided on might not be


quite right but I feel we have achieved a lot. It is time for the


quiz and it is about Michael Gove. According to a story in yesterday's


newspapers, the Education Secretary recently explained why so many


entrepreneurs are coming to London. What is the reason according to


him? The favourable tax environment, the art galleries, the modern


English cuisine, or, the hot sex? That will keep people tuned. Stay


tuned until the end of the show to find out the answer. It's a story


that's just not going away, however much David Cameron might want it to.


The expenses scandal engulfing his Culture Secretary Maria Miller rolls


onto its fifth day with fresh claims in this morning's Daily Telegraph


that she might be liable for tens of thousands of pounds of capital gains


tax on a London property she sold two months ago. On Thursday, Maria


Miller was ordered to pay back ?5,800 in wrongly claimed mortgage


payments on her second home in Wimbledon, and was found to have


broken the ministerial code for failing to cooperate fully with the


enquiry. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards had


conducted the original investigation and ruled she should repay more than


?45,000. This was reduced to less than ?6,000 once the standards


committee, which is made up of MPs, issued it's final ruling on the


Culture Secretary's expenses. The Culture Secretary officially


apologised to MPs last week. But a number of senior figures, including


cabinet colleague Iain Duncan Smith, say the current system is equivalent


to MPs marking their own homework and needs to be overhauled.


Meanwhile, Maria Miller appears to have very few friends even within


her own party, with Norman Tebbit saying she had behaved arrogantly


and called on her to resign. Today Mrs Miller is facing new claims that


she may face a large capital gains tax bill on her Wimbledon house


sale, if she told HMRC it was her second home for tax purposes. Number


ten has denied the story. But with a poll of Tories showing that 78% or


them want her out of a job, how much longer can Maria Miller survive? I'm


joined now by Conservative MP and member of the Culture Committee


Therese Coffey and Labour MP John Mann who made the original complaint


against Maria Miller. Welcome. What is the difference between the


allegation in the Daily Telegraph that Maria Miller may be due to pay


capital gains tax and the flipping of homes that caused controversy in


2009 and led to MPs stepping down in 2010? I am not her tax accountant.


The house was sold in February. I expect she has not started to do her


tax return and I expect she will pay the same amount of tax and HMRC will


scrutinise her return as they do all MPs. What about the flipping of


houses? She changed what was her main home to the second home, the


Wimbledon property in London and a rented home in Hampshire. Is that


acceptable for a Cabinet Minister? I do not know the details of flipping


homes, I only know the allegation about tax and no taxes due yet on


the sale of that house and it will be when her return is completed in


this tax year. It was only sells three months ago. What is the


problem? She attempted to intimidate the independent commission of the


standards. She had to pay back money. A special adviser, try to


intimidate in a national newspaper. And she has a seat in the heart of


government. She is unfit for office, obviously. I have a suggestion, to


reuse coffee trying to defend her and doing her best. Put Therese in


the job and debt Maria Miller out and the country will be happy. The


essential allegation that she was using taxpayers money to subsidise


her parents has been thrown out. The issue is that there are lay members


on the standards committee. While they do not have voting rights they


have the power to give a different opinion and on the report published


they did not give a different opinion. It is MPs marking their own


homework. I do not see it is. They disagreed with the Commissioner on


standards. As did the lay members. A difference between her saying 45,000


should be repaid, for that Bill to be reduced. Having looked at the


request extra information they took a different decision. There were


three lay members on the committee. They took the view that was same as


the MPs. Do you believe Maria Miller has behaved admirably? Many people


said she obstructed the investigation. Do you think it was


an admirable way to behave? I think this incident is going back 20 years


when she bought the house. I have not spoken to her. I presume she is


being tetchy about it because she was caring for her parents nine


years before becoming an MP. I think she has reacted in that way. What I


do not pretend to know her mind inside out and I expect she was


careful to get legal advice. She was cleared, John Mann. She was cleared


of fiddling expenses. Not by the Commissioner. You seem to know what


happened in this committee. She is unique because the rest of us do not


know because it met in secret. It is in the minutes. The recordings and


votes have not been published. Self-regulation of MPs by MPs is


truly dead because this committee overturned the independent


commissioner. That should change immediately. Maria Miller should


resign. Do you act sets there is an agenda, perhaps by the press,


bearing in mind Maria Miller was the Cabinet Secretary presiding over


press regulation, and from grassroots Tories, some of them who


will be angry about gay marriage? I do not. People across the country


are shocked and horrified that someone in the cabinet at the heart


of government is prepared to try to intimidate the independent


commissioner, to intimidate the press, has to pay back money, and


has not got the good grace to resign, not even as an MP, but from


Cabinet. I cannot find anyone in the country who backs her in doing that.


It is incredible she has survived. What is going on? This is bad for


Parliamentary democracy. The minutes are there. There was no


intimidation. There was back and forth, I accept that. The committee


chastised her for being legalistic. We are where we are and the point is


that she was cleared of the central allegations. Why are so many people


against her? Norman Tebbit saying she should resign? The party


chairman, not robust in his defence of her. She has the support of the


Prime Minister but critics say it is because he cannot afford to lose a


woman in the Cabinet. Maria Miller has taken two pieces of tricky


legislation through the house and frankly Norman Tebbit was calling on


members against David Cameron. You do not think it is David Cameron


cannot afford to let her go? He trusts her. She has dealt with


tricky subjects. Both of which I take a different view one. I am in


favour of second chances. I had a second chance. I have been to jail


and been involved in a colourful past. But that is the past. How many


people in their jobs do not go home with packages of paper or the odd


pen from the office? It is still differ or do in some way. Give the


woman a second chance. We have named and shamed her, make her pay back


the correct amount of money. Is that the smaller or bigger amount? I am


looking at the bigger amount, but that is my opinion. I am grateful


for people like John, who, if he brings 1000 people forward every


year, it is right somebody looks out for people doing no good. Sadly,


less fortunate people in society, they are seen as the baddies but it


shows it goes on at the top end of the scale. Is there a higher


standard for someone in public office who is presiding over


legislation? That they do not get a second chance and many MPs ended up


in jail? Many people will be saying, sent her to jail. But if she is


doing a good job, she has not gone into a bank and stolen money, she


has not killed anyone, she knows what she has done and is aware of


it. This is the same committee and they got evidence against James


McShane. 78% of Tory voters think she should resign. If I read and


believe what was in the Daily Telegraph, I would have the same


view, but am not. There is a sense of justice. This is why I became a


member of Parliament. To defend Maria Miller? Known to have a sense


of justice and defend people taking difficult decisions on unpopular


things. She was cleared. We have to remember she was cleared of the


central allegation. Know she was not. She was cleared by the


committee of fiddling her expenses, she was cleared of that and she was


innocent of that. When you are making your claims, legitimately or


not, about why you think she should or should not go, she was cleared of


that. The allegation made was she was potentially doing the same thing


as another MP and that should be looked into. That was the case that


was taken against her and the conclusion made by the independent


commissioner was she should pay back over ?44,000. You obviously have not


read the complaint that was made. I have. A former MP bought a house


after being elected and then moved out. She was forced to pay back


money by the committee and she overruled the commissioner, she


should go. We are going to leave it there. Last week Nick Clegg and


Nigel Farage battled it out over Europe. Clegg called for


cooperation, whilst Farage cried out for freedom. But now it is the turn


of British business who have come out to bat for Brussels. The head of


the trade body for British manufacturing said the case was


clear. Britain should be concentrating on the economic


benefits of staying in. Access to international trade deals, the free


movement of labour and capital and so on. The message from British


manufacturing and British business is very clear, we stay in and we


drive the agenda from within. We can speak to Tim Aker sport UKIP. It is


pretty categorical. The EU is good for business and for Britain and we


have to stay in. We could have a trading relationship. If we leave it


within 24 hours, we have a simple trading relationship. People thought


they were joining a common market, not political union. If we were


given the choice now to join the European union which costs us ?55


million a day, I do not think we would do so. But why are these trade


bodies saying they want to stay in the European Union and they are the


ones who want to know? I can imagine the EU lobbyists going into


overdrive. All British businesses are bound by EU laws and


regulations. If you want a flexible relationship, you have to leave


because the European Union is only going in one direction. Every time


we have objected, we have been over ruled. If the Conservatives believed


in their position of reform and negotiation why are they too scared


to debate this? Are you saying the British manufacturing industry is


wrong? We can have a simple trading relationship. We have only started


debating this. Nigel Farage has been waiting for 20 years to have these


debates. We have got serious figures like Lord Lawson saying the EU has


passed its sell by date. We can have a simple trading relationship and a


flexible relationship. They export more to us than we export to them


and we would be in a powerful position to negotiate. And the


Europe minister is with us now. A simple trading relationship. Norway


has something like that, and it means they have to implement all the


EU rules will stop they are not at the table and they have no vote and


they have no say. What we need is a programme to reform the European


Union and make it more competitive and more growth friendly than it is


today. That is what David Cameron is pushing for, that we get the


benefits of the single market, pulling outside investment into the


UK, the biggest share than any other country in the common market and we


get an EU that is much more focused on growth, job creation and more


power is exercised at national rather than Brussels level. So


Britain would be economically much worse off if we left? They would be


definite costs if we were to leave. That does not mean I would say you


sign up to a United States of Europe, some closed federal model,


you have to get the balance right. At the moment the EU is not


competitive and it is to centralise. Often business said it medals too


much in things that ought to be left to individual businesses. In 2017 if


the Tories are in power and there is that referendum and that


renegotiation has not taken off to a certain extent, will you vote to


stay in order to go? We will vote on the basis of the situation in 2017.


You said the renegotiation would be very important. I start from the


basis that the process of reform is underway. If David Cameron wins the


next election it will gather pace. Look at a ban on discarding fishing


in the fisheries, delivered under this Government. Getting proud of


the Eurozone bailout which the last Government got us into. But even you


have admitted the renegotiation will not start until after 2015. The real


work is already underway, for example negotiations on a free-trade


deal across the Atlantic with the US to match the one we have got with


Canada. David Cameron was a reform process that goes further which


includes elements of treaty change and political and legal change,


which is what we are seeing already. The treaty change is one area of


difficulty and debate. Let's look at the debate. Who do you think one? It


is entirely a matter for the supporters of those two people. You


must have the winner in your mind. If you look where the British people


are, they are saying they would like to have a new deal in Europe. The


polls are saying Nigel Farage one. If you ask people the kind of Europe


they want and how they would vote if David Cameron comes back with a


renegotiated deal with a more localised EU, that is what they


would endorse by a huge majority. But the polls after the second


debate showed a clear win for Nigel Farage whose only objective is to


pull out. In your mind you think...? If you look at that debate


you had people take the opposite view and it is not the mainstream of


British people. Do you think it was right for Nick Clegg to do the


debate? I feel he needs to get out there and let people know what we


stand for and what we will put up with and what we will not. I believe


in a fairer society and to have that we need to remain in the EU.


Reformed or not, that is debatable. If we do pull out, there will be


jobs lost, businesses will be broken down and there will be so much lost


in the whole thing. I think Nigel Farage needs to go back to basics. I


am not a rocket scientist and I may not be the brightest brick in the


block, but I do note that to remove ourselves from the EU will be a


catastrophe. So why do so many people believe Nigel Farage and they


say that we can be like Norway and we can be part of a different


relationship and not have the financial burden and cost of


unnecessary regulation and still be able to trade with a big partner. A


lot of people I have spoken to, I think a lot of people get it twisted


with what Nigel Farage is saying. Some of them are the BP side of


things who think we do not want any foreigners in this country at all,


but it was OK when we needed to rebuild our economy after the war.


We had to bring these foreigners over here and we used them to build


up our economy. Now it is all up to a certain level get them all back


home. It is not acceptable. I agree, to a certain level I do not


feel Nigel Farage one because I think he got loud and in getting


loud it makes it sound more forceful. Did the debates harm the


Conservatives' position? You had one who was very pro the EU and one who


was wanting to pull out. The more nuanced the position of the


Conservatives and Labour, do you think they lost out? I do not think


they lost out. But David Cameron needs to emphasise we are the only


party who will give people the final choice on whether to stay in Europe


or not and that has got to be resolved by a popular decision, to


settle this issue for a generation definitively and to push to the


successes we have already achieved and to what we want to do next. Will


you worried British people will vote to go out? You have to trust the


people. It is not just in the UK, but you see a huge sense of


disaffection with decisions being taken in a remote, bureaucratic


fashion, so we need the EU to change to respond to that. What do you say


to the group of Tories who say we should pull out? What I say to the


split views in every political party... It is clearer in the


Tories. The answer is you put it to the British people. You agree to


accept the view of the people and make your case in that campaign. We


are representing the people, so if you are talking about who decides in


the end it is the people. And like the Liberal Democrats who only want


to have a referendum if there is a major bit of powers ceded to


Brussels. The latest poll shows that UKIP is second to Labour and they


are predicting UKIP will take the lead by election day. How big a


catastrophe will it be if the Conservatives come third? Inevitably


when you take difficult decisions and Government, you get a


clobbering. But let's continue to campaign. The opinion poll that


matters is the one on the day. You are saying it does not matter? What


I am saying is when people come to elect a Government in general


election Day focus upon what the choice is, who is going to be in


Number Ten, who will be taking the legislation through and that is when


people focus on the choice of who will be in charge. Some Tory MPs may


worry. David Liddington, that you very much. Our guest of the day,


Pauline Pearce, the heroine of Hackney, made that name during the


London riots two and a half years ago. Our intervention was not


planned, just an outburst of frustration, against members of the


community who seemed to be turning against each other. That was a long


way away from mainstream politics, but that is just what she is doing,


God help her. In August 2011, a year shy of London hosting the largest


sporting event, the Olympics, in the wake of a police shooting and to the


amazement of many, London erupted in violence and looting. It spread to


all sorts of areas and caused untold damage and destruction of


livelihoods. What really stand was the willingness of some to join in a


protest that had no game. In street like this one in Hackney the


everyday norms transformed into a battlefield. It is a quiet afternoon


on Clarence Road, but two and a half years ago on a Monday, August


afternoon, this was another one of the spots around London which


erupted in riots and most people watched it and thought, how is this


happening and why is there not more of a response? It was only in the


aftermath that people watched someone who took a stand and it came


from an unexpected quarter. She is working hard to make her business


work. And you want to burn it up, for what? This is about a man who


was shot in Tottenham. Get it real, black people. Do it for a course.


Let's fight for a cause! Local resident Pauline Pearce, sometimes


finger, one-time jailed smuggler, DJ and community radio presenter stood


in front of a crowd of looters and did what many people wanted to,


shouted them down with angry disappointment. She became an


instant symbol. Next morning, she told her community TV colleagues she


was not alone. There were people here trying to stop others getting


hurt. There were people genuinely here to support others. There were


also people here for the looting, to get in the mix-up. Today, Clarence


Road has people going about their business and Pauline Pearce, also,


but in her case she has found a home, politics. Snapped up by the


Liberal Democrats. One of the most important things people can do


before they get involved in national politics is to become a focal point


of your own community and somebody that people turn to. Whether you


want to be a counsellor, an MP, or, the Prime Minister, ultimately what


you are is somebody who takes responsibility for helping other


people in the community. And shouting down an angry mob who seem


to have lost their heads is pretty good training for the House of


Commons. Very brave. The Labour MP for


Tottenham joins us. Almost three years after the riots, do people


recognise you as the woman shouting? My whole life has changed.


I cannot just go into the market and by the fresh fish like I used to. I


will be ordering something and people will say I know that voice.


Somebody will say it is the woman from the telly. I am noticed


everywhere. You are infamous? Not intentionally! You told the rioters


that they made you ashamed to be a happy person, is that still the


case? Not now. I would never be ashamed of Hackney. Part of the


social cleansing does get on my nerves but we will not go into that


now. People from Hackney are diverse, creative, energetic. This


is a borough that is sought-after now. The amount of new faces moving


to Hackney, it is like the riots have made Hackney famous almost. It


is trendy and everything happening. It is a good thing, but also not in


some ways. For me, personally, watching the journey, we have


improved. People are community minded. They are observant of what


is going on. Would you agree the community has changed? I would not


go that far. You are a Tottenham man. After the riots the government


spoke to people and came up with 63 recommendations. Only 11 have been


implemented. How much has changed? In Hackney, in Tottenham,


unemployment is still high. There are real pressures and the


underlying causes... It takes a spark, but the underlying causes are


present across the country. The Mark Duggan shooting triggered other on


rest. It seemed to symbolise feelings that were beneath the


surface. The majority of young people did not participate but there


were people who had no shame and had no stake in society, such that they


did. Those are the questions you have to answer and they have been


forgotten. You must be careful what you say. It was not just people who


have nothing going on. I said they had no shame. There were


millionaires' daughters and teachers involved. They have a stake in


society. You cannot say it is just bad social conditions. Some of the


issues. A lot of it, but not all. At the time, there were no police


around and people filled the vacuum. Underneath the worst riots we have


seen in which many shopkeepers lost livelihoods, failure to get


insurance for those poor shopkeepers and the underlying causes which the


government said they would look into, quietly forgotten. Is Hackney


still divided as a community? You talk about it being diverse, but is


it a divided community? To be honest, yes. The social cleansing in


Hackney is so evident, it is unbelievable. What do you mean? We


are between Stamford Hill and Shoreditch. We are the lesser...


Hackney was looked down upon. Now we have found that Shoreditch is moving


further into Hackney. We have the retro bars and cafes. We have trendy


places going on. Some people are being left behind? A lot of people.


Our condition is still there, that, with the right circumstances, or


wrong set of circumstances, you could have another riot? This is


about personal character, but I do not think you riot if you have a job


and house. You cannot find a job in London, you cannot buy a house, you


cannot rent a place. Wings are hard for groups of people in London and


when you get that spark -- things are hard for groups. And when you


get that spark we have to make sure people make the right choice. Could


Pauline Pearce make a good party president for the Liberal


Democrats? I wish you the best of luck within the Liberal Democrats


but I do not want you to beat my Labour colleagues. I will tell you


why the Liberal Democrats. When this happened, I found out I was courted


by a Conservative, by the Green party, by the Socialist party and by


Ed Miliband. I was invited to go to Parliament. I met them. I told what


was going on with me and people were turning up at my homes. There was a


newspaper sting saying I was selling drugs at my home. I had a dodgy man


from my past. The paper revealed where I lived. He came to my home


and film to be. It ended up that when I got in touch with the other


parties, nobody wanted to know any more. Labour did not want to know


any more. This is the truth. I got in touch with the Conservatives and


I did not hear any more. But the Liberal Democrats, who did not run


after me after the riots, they came along and said you are not the


person who you were before and you stood up in the riots and defended


people. You have turned your life around and they believed in second


chances. Many people need the second chance I was given. In the end it is


what we stand for. The Liberal Democrats rejected the riots panel


set up. Part of the unemployment in Hackney, you are in the wrong party.


Join Diane Abbott in Hackney. She hates my guts! Let me tell you


stories about what has been going on, really. We will give you a


second chance, come back next time. The political week kicks off with


Iain Duncan Smith giving a speech on jobs and the labour market. Tuesday


brings the first-ever state visit by an Irish head of state. Windsor


Castle will play host to President Michael D Higgins. We have our usual


helping of PMQs on Wednesday. Which is just before Parliament wraps up


for Easter recess on Thursday. But if you're still hungry for more, the


Conservatives and SNP are hosting conferences this weekend. Not


together, mind. On College Green are the Sun's Emily Ashton, and the


Spectator's James Forsyth. James Forsyth, will Maria Miller


survived? The chance of Maria Miller going in the reshuffle are


increasing. She handled this badly. David Cameron, he does not want the


media deciding who is in his government so I think he will be


reluctant to lose her before the reshuffle. In terms of the special


adviser to Maria Miller, how much impact has backed conversation, that


she had with the Telegraph, with Lavis and brought up, how much


impact will have that on her future? -- Leveson. She talked about


flagging up the enquiry and that did not go down well. It feeds into us


against them mentality, MPs and advisers gathering around two


shields the minister from the public glare. This will delight


antiestablishment UKIP, who are fighting for European elections and


local elections, saying, look, that is what they are like, the three


main parties. Do you think it is partly due to a newspaper campaign


against a minister because of press regulation and her role in


legislation over gay marriage? It touches a nerve in the political


system. A lot of the success in UKIP comes from the sense that the


expenses scandal created, that MPs are in it for themselves. One of her


problems is she has not explained that what she is in trouble over is


a system that has been reformed twice. On Thursday, she could have


said I am glad we have changed the system because I now see it was


wrong. It is her failure to apologise that put her in a


difficult position. Is it a mistake the prime minister backed her so


forcefully? I think he was always going to back her personally and I


think he hopes she will ride it out until the reshuffle. Now he is


moving towards reforming the system of MPs marking their own home work


and the standards committee deciding what punishments MPs should get,


rather than the Commissioner. He is looking at the independent members


on the committee getting a vote, hoping to shift the argument,


blaming the system rather than individuals. What about welfare


reform, how much traction will the latest reforms get? I think this is


an attempt to spread a more positive message. The speech is not about


welfare cuts, it is about reform is getting people into work. Jobs is


the great success story of his government. It is the great symbol,


that the benefits of recovery as Labour claim are not just going to a


Schubert to more than 1 million people who have found a job. That is


something the Tories will be talking about more, jobs. But the line is it


will be a tough message on welfare? Yes, if you are a job-seeker you


might have to go monthly and do -- weekly rather than monthly. It is


about getting people into work rather than slashing benefits for


the sake of it. Joining me for the rest of today are some wannabe MPs.


Three prospective parliamentary candidates. The Conservative, Andrea


Jenkyns. She'll be fighting Ed Balls for his seat at the next election.


Labour's Polly Billington. She's fighting in Thurrock. And from the


Liberal Democrats, Julia Goldsworthy. She's already been an


MP, but her lost her seat, Camborne and Redruth, to the Conservatives at


the last election. Welcome. Polly Billington, is


expenses still an issue on the doorstep? It is when you find a


Cabinet minister owes 45 thousand pounds and is not prepared to pay it


back. That is a puzzle, why Maria Miller is still in her job. If


people had found themselves in the situation of claiming that money and


did not give it back, they would have lost their job. She was cleared


of the central allegation. Should she go? It is a bigger issue. It was


prior to 2005, when this happened, anyway, and there are new procedures


now. The big issue is there is a disconnect between politicians and


the general public. I would like to see the committee... We need more


name members and they need voting powers. There is more transparency


in the current system because everything is online. And I think it


needs to go further. Will it make it more difficult for you on the


doorstep? I found that people are not talking to me personally about


that, they are talking about an employment, schools and local


issues. -- unemployment. You go into politics to make a difference and if


you put your head above the parapet, you have to take it. Why go through


it all again? The things that got me involved in politics affect me now,


it is about my home constituency, I would not want to stand anywhere


else. It is about voter engagement and helping people is rewarding. I


had an opportunity to demonstrate what is motivating me as an unpaid


candidate. But there is a massive disconnect between politicians and


the public. The expenses scandal was the touch paper but there are many


things that need to be reformed. People send these are politicians


getting into the system with jobs for life who think they cannot be


touched. What is the core motivation to become an MP? I got involved in


community politics with the Liberal Democrats. Now they are in


Government. I felt the opportunity to make a contribution to my


community and that demonstrates what the Liberal Democrats want to


deliver. 35,000 people in Camborne and Redruth are getting a tax cut


and we are delivering the number one thing on our manifesto in 2010. We


are saying these are the things we are delivering to you which is


making a difference. What is the driving force for you? I got


involved in politics when I was 15 when the schools where I lived were


emerging and I got together with other young people who felt that


this was an injustice and we worked out what to try to do about it. I


have been trying to tackle injustice ever since. Eventually you find out


if you want to be able to make a difference, you have to stand up and


be accountable and that is important about being elected. Is it better to


do that by being an MP? Many people will think they do not have that


much influence and it is not until you become a minister or join the


opposition that you have that. What will afford you that amount of


influence? It is a choice and there are other ways you can make the


world a better place. This is not the only way to do it. But when I


have looked at what I have tried to do and tied to achieve things in my


community, I have looked at where the power lies and said that might


be the best way of me being able to stand up for the people I care


about. Let's leave it there. Can I say why I got in? Yes, you can. In


my mid-30s I thought if you cannot beat them, join them. It is OK being


an armchair politician and complaining, but the big turning


point was my dad when he went into hospital and he went in for an


routine operation and he died. The hospital was filthy and there was


such a lack of care and it made me realise you have to be in a position


like this in order to make a difference. That is one of the


driving forces for me. Writing in today's's independent Ed Miliband


states that the cost of living and living standards is the greatest


challenge of our age and will be at the heart of Labour's general


election manifesto. He also rejected calls from within his own party to


change strategy because the economy is improving. The Tory strategy


seems clear enough. The economy is on the mend and if you don't want it


broke, don't vote for Labour. 12,000 jobs for Asda in this country and it


comes on top of 1.3 more that 1.3 million more people in work in this


country and that is good news for Great Britain. Is the cost of living


still working as a message on the doorstep when growth is predicted by


almost everyone to keep on growing and wages will outstrip prices


sometime later this year, it is a diminishing ever? That is not what I


find when I am talking to people. The first thing people say is how


difficult they are finding it to manage because costs are going up.


What sort of people? Squeezed middle? Absolutely. The people vary


from people who struggle at the bottom of the income scale right up


to the people who commute into London every day who think they are


on big salaries, but they are struggling with big mortgages and


expensive travel costs and childcare costs. The Tories and Liberal


Democrats will say of course people are struggling as a result of the


recession and this is the way out. The recession would not have been as


long if it were not for the decisions they made. They failed on


their short-term plans. They are going to fail to end the deficit by


the end of this Parliament and they will end up spending more on debt.


This is a failing Government for ordinary people who want to have


more hope. The cost of living must be a big issue on the doorstep for


you in your constituency. Has Labour got it right? There is an element of


truth. Of course we are recovering from one of the biggest economic


crises this country has ever seen and it will take a long time to


recover from that. But to say it is possible to do that whilst still


continuing a deficit is ridiculous. You can only have a fairer society


if you have a strong economy as well. You have to sort the economy


out and take decisions that are responsible. You have to take


decisions that focus on helping our people are on lower incomes. We have


been focusing on the regional growth to rebalance our economy, and a


whole series of things which recognise the pressure people are


under and which also are doing that because we cannot put a burden of


debt on the generation to come because that is taking money away


that could otherwise be spent on public services. There is nothing in


the current economic plan. In terms of business as usual, going back to


a pre-crisis situation is exactly what the Tories and the Liberal


Democrats are doing. In terms of house prices? In terms of financial


services and house prices and I would like to point out for Andrea,


the Tories wanted to deregulate the banks even further. We have got a


financial crisis. Is that the line you are going to use, Labour broke


it. We cannot get away from that fact. It was the worst economy we


have seen for generations. It was an international crisis. Absolutely. At


the end of the day we cannot get away from that and we need to get


away from this blame culture. We have got good news with 1.7 million


extra jobs being created in the private sector and 26 million people


have been taken out of income tax altogether. That was the Liberal


policy and you did that under duress. We all want the best for the


country. We are getting through the economy and we need to drop this


Labour fold rhetoric which is pulling down the fact that we are


moving forward and there is light at the end of the tunnel. In 2010 it


was Ed Miliband who said, we did underestimate the effects on the


standard of living of people. If you look at the OECD figures that have


come out they have shown it was actually the cost of living in


respect of paying for food and being able to live. And energy bills. It


was worse in 2007 than it is today. This is about messaging and you are


talking about the cost of living and you are talking about jobs. Youth


unemployment is still a serious issue. People cannot get the hours


they need and they want to work. Part-time workers who want to go


full-time, or many people who have not lost their jobs who are forced


onto part-time work, that is not security for the future? Things are


moving forward, it has been a massive journey and we are the ones


with the long-term plan and we are moving in the right direction. Do


you think you will unseat Ed Balls? I am not concentrated on him I am


concentrating on being in the constituency. Let's have a look at


the divide in the country. You are accused of a negative narrative when


the economy is recovering and starting to recover. Is that going


to sustain until 2015? Andrea might be very complacent, but when she is


talking to people in the same way that I talk to people, you will find


they are not in a position to say, it is working, because it is not


working for them. If they are not on zero hours contracts they are on


four or six or 12 hours contracts and people are having to subsidise


that low pay. That is not the way we want to develop the economy. A cost


of living crisis might be now, but for the future we need to have a


different economy. What policy have you got? We would spend the money on


a bonus tax on a jobs guarantee and up to 5000 people would benefit in


direct and create new jobs. The bonus is being spent on a dozen


other things? That is not true. I have to leave it there for the


moment. It is tough being an eight-month-old prince. You don't


get any time to enjoy your youth before you are expected to accompany


your mum and dad on their royal duties. Yes, Prince George has


arrived in New Zealand, with his parents obviously, at the start of a


three-week tour of that country and Australia. But despite the obvious


enthusiasm for the Royal visit is it time to call time on all this? The


former deputy minister of New Zealand thinks so. He is a chap


called Bob McKinnon. He says it is inevitable that his country will


become a republic. The current Prime Minister, however, thinks enthusiasm


for the Royal family has actually increased in the last decade, so


just how important is the Commonwealth and the monarchy's


place at the head of it? Julia, do you think William and Kate are going


to save the monarchy? It reminds me what a shared history we have.


Regardless of what New Zealand does, we will always have that history.


They are an attractive couple, they have a gorgeous baby and there is a


lot of interest around them and we will have to see how the visit goes.


I've a popular enough to push New Zealand towards not wanting a


republic? It is a voluntary organisation and people can be a


part of it and it helps and support to spread democracy. Look at


Zimbabwe. It is a voluntary organisation and we have countries


coming on board who are part of our regional Commonwealth. I would like


to see things continue personally. But they have to make their own


decisions. Are they the biggest asset the monarchy has? I think the


crisis 17 years ago when William's mother died when there was talk in


this country about a republic, there has been a transformation of the


fortunes because they have learned lessons about making sure they are


in touch and these are a good example of that. What happened in


New Zealand is up to them. Would it matter if they broke away? If they


chose it so the British monarch was no longer their head of state, they


would have to start thinking of the implications for the Commonwealth.


Very quickly, just before we go, the quiz. According to Michael Gove, why


are young entrepreneurs flocking to London? Because of the favourable


tax environment. The art galleries. The modern English cuisine. Or the


hot sex. Does anyone know the correct answer? I am not sure I


would like to hazard a guess. Another reason why Michael Gove is


so embarrassing. It is the hot sex, apparently. That is all for today.


The one o'clock News is on BBC One now.


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