07/04/2014 Daily Politics


07/04/2014

Jo Coburn has the top political stories of the day.


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

:00:41.:00:45.

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

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

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

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get his way? Flying the flag for EU

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

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The London riots caused mayhem but they produced an unlikely heroine

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

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

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They don't look too happy to see him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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prepare a CV and have weekly meetings with an adviser before

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Iain Duncan Smith would save people on unemployment benefit should

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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of jobs. You have to have qualifications for stacking shelves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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newspapers, the Education Secretary recently explained why so many

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

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

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

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

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

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The expenses scandal engulfing his Culture Secretary Maria Miller rolls

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

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

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

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

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

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broken the ministerial code for failing to cooperate fully with the

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enquiry. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards had

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conducted the original investigation and ruled she should repay more than

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

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

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Culture Secretary's expenses. The Culture Secretary officially

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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joined now by Conservative MP and member of the Culture Committee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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problem? She attempted to intimidate the independent commission of the

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

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

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

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

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

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essential allegation that she was using taxpayers money to subsidise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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request extra information they took a different decision. There were

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

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

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said she obstructed the investigation. Do you think it was

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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truly dead because this committee overturned the independent

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commissioner. That should change immediately. Maria Miller should

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

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bearing in mind Maria Miller was the Cabinet Secretary presiding over

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

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

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

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of government is prepared to try to intimidate the independent

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

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

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

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

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Parliamentary democracy. The minutes are there. There was no

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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legislation through the house and frankly Norman Tebbit was calling on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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standard for someone in public office who is presiding over

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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of justice and defend people taking difficult decisions on unpopular

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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was taken against her and the conclusion made by the independent

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

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

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

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money by the committee and she overruled the commissioner, she

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

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Nigel Farage battled it out over Europe. Clegg called for

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

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

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the trade body for British manufacturing said the case was

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clear. Britain should be concentrating on the economic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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overdrive. All British businesses are bound by EU laws and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:19:51.:19:56.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:20:36.:20:40.

benefits of the single market, pulling outside investment into the

:20:41.:20:45.

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

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

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power is exercised at national rather than Brussels level. So

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:22:22.:22:28.

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

:22:29.:22:32.

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

:22:33.:22:37.

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

:22:38.:22:41.

includes elements of treaty change and political and legal change,

:22:42.:22:46.

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

:22:47.:22:52.

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

:22:53.:22:58.

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

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

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

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

:23:20.:23:23.

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

:23:24.:23:27.

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

:23:28.:23:34.

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

:23:35.:23:37.

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

:23:38.:23:43.

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

:23:44.:23:49.

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

:23:50.:23:54.

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

:23:55.:24:00.

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

:24:01.:24:05.

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

:24:06.:24:10.

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

:24:11.:24:18.

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

:24:19.:24:24.

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

:24:25.:24:28.

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

:24:29.:24:34.

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

:24:35.:24:38.

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

:24:39.:24:44.

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

:24:45.:24:49.

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

:24:50.:24:53.

relationship and not have the financial burden and cost of

:24:54.:24:57.

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

:24:58.:25:04.

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

:25:05.:25:10.

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

:25:11.:25:15.

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

:25:16.:25:20.

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

:25:21.:25:23.

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

:25:24.:25:30.

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

:25:31.:25:35.

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

:25:36.:25:40.

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

:25:41.:25:44.

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

:25:45.:25:53.

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

:25:54.:25:59.

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

:26:00.:26:02.

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

:26:03.:26:09.

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

:26:10.:26:13.

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

:26:14.:26:17.

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

:26:18.:26:21.

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

:26:22.:26:26.

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

:26:27.:26:32.

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

:26:33.:26:38.

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

:26:39.:26:43.

disaffection with decisions being taken in a remote, bureaucratic

:26:44.:26:47.

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

:26:48.:26:54.

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

:26:55.:27:01.

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

:27:02.:27:07.

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

:27:08.:27:10.

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

:27:11.:27:17.

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

:27:18.:27:23.

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

:27:24.:27:26.

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

:27:27.:27:32.

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

:27:33.:27:38.

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

:27:39.:27:41.

catastrophe will it be if the Conservatives come third? Inevitably

:27:42.:27:46.

when you take difficult decisions and Government, you get a

:27:47.:27:52.

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

:27:53.:27:57.

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

:27:58.:28:03.

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

:28:04.:28:07.

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

:28:08.:28:12.

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

:28:13.:28:16.

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

:28:17.:28:27.

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

:28:28.:28:31.

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

:28:32.:28:36.

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

:28:37.:28:41.

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

:28:42.:28:45.

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

:28:46.:28:51.

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

:28:52.:28:58.

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

:28:59.:29:02.

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

:29:03.:29:08.

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

:29:09.:29:13.

all sorts of areas and caused untold damage and destruction of

:29:14.:29:17.

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

:29:18.:29:21.

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

:29:22.:29:26.

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

:29:27.:29:32.

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

:29:33.:29:37.

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

:29:38.:29:41.

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

:29:42.:29:46.

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

:29:47.:29:51.

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

:29:52.:30:10.

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

:30:11.:30:14.

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

:30:15.:30:22.

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

:30:23.:30:42.

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

:30:43.:30:49.

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

:30:50.:30:52.

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

:30:53.:30:56.

shouted them down with angry disappointment. She became an

:30:57.:31:05.

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

:31:06.:31:09.

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

:31:10.:31:14.

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

:31:15.:31:19.

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

:31:20.:31:26.

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

:31:27.:31:31.

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

:31:32.:31:37.

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

:31:38.:31:44.

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

:31:45.:31:48.

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

:31:49.:31:55.

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

:31:56.:31:59.

you are is somebody who takes responsibility for helping other

:32:00.:32:03.

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

:32:04.:32:08.

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

:32:09.:32:12.

Commons. Very brave. The Labour MP for

:32:13.:32:18.

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

:32:19.:32:22.

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

:32:23.:32:30.

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

:32:31.:32:34.

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

:32:35.:32:39.

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

:32:40.:32:45.

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

:32:46.:32:52.

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

:32:53.:32:58.

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

:32:59.:33:02.

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

:33:03.:33:08.

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

:33:09.:33:14.

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

:33:15.:33:18.

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

:33:19.:33:25.

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

:33:26.:33:32.

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

:33:33.:33:37.

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

:33:38.:33:42.

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

:33:43.:33:49.

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

:33:50.:33:58.

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

:33:59.:34:03.

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

:34:04.:34:08.

unemployment is still high. There are real pressures and the

:34:09.:34:13.

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

:34:14.:34:18.

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

:34:19.:34:25.

rest. It seemed to symbolise feelings that were beneath the

:34:26.:34:33.

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

:34:34.:34:38.

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

:34:39.:34:43.

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

:34:44.:34:48.

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

:34:49.:34:54.

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

:34:55.:34:58.

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

:34:59.:35:05.

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

:35:06.:35:13.

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

:35:14.:35:21.

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

:35:22.:35:25.

seen in which many shopkeepers lost livelihoods, failure to get

:35:26.:35:31.

insurance for those poor shopkeepers and the underlying causes which the

:35:32.:35:34.

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

:35:35.:35:40.

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

:35:41.:35:47.

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

:35:48.:35:51.

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

:35:52.:35:58.

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

:35:59.:36:09.

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

:36:10.:36:15.

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

:36:16.:36:23.

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

:36:24.:36:32.

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

:36:33.:36:35.

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

:36:36.:36:43.

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

:36:44.:36:51.

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

:36:52.:36:56.

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

:36:57.:37:01.

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

:37:02.:37:09.

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

:37:10.:37:15.

Pauline Pearce make a good party president for the Liberal

:37:16.:37:20.

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

:37:21.:37:23.

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

:37:24.:37:28.

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

:37:29.:37:35.

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

:37:36.:37:44.

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

:37:45.:37:53.

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

:37:54.:37:59.

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

:38:00.:38:04.

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

:38:05.:38:10.

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

:38:11.:38:15.

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

:38:16.:38:20.

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

:38:21.:38:25.

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

:38:26.:38:30.

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

:38:31.:38:34.

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

:38:35.:38:39.

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

:38:40.:38:43.

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

:38:44.:38:50.

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

:38:51.:38:56.

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

:38:57.:39:04.

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

:39:05.:39:12.

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

:39:13.:39:21.

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

:39:22.:39:25.

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

:39:26.:39:28.

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

:39:29.:39:31.

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

:39:32.:39:35.

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

:39:36.:39:38.

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

:39:39.:39:42.

Conservatives and SNP are hosting conferences this weekend. Not

:39:43.:39:45.

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

:39:46.:39:53.

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

:39:54.:39:59.

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

:40:00.:40:04.

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

:40:05.:40:08.

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

:40:09.:40:11.

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

:40:12.:40:16.

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

:40:17.:40:25.

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

:40:26.:40:28.

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

:40:29.:40:39.

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

:40:40.:40:43.

against them mentality, MPs and advisers gathering around two

:40:44.:40:50.

shields the minister from the public glare. This will delight

:40:51.:40:57.

antiestablishment UKIP, who are fighting for European elections and

:40:58.:41:00.

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

:41:01.:41:07.

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

:41:08.:41:13.

against a minister because of press regulation and her role in

:41:14.:41:20.

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

:41:21.:41:25.

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

:41:26.:41:29.

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

:41:30.:41:34.

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

:41:35.:41:38.

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

:41:39.:41:44.

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

:41:45.:41:48.

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

:41:49.:41:53.

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

:41:54.:41:59.

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

:42:00.:42:02.

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

:42:03.:42:09.

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

:42:10.:42:12.

and the standards committee deciding what punishments MPs should get,

:42:13.:42:19.

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

:42:20.:42:23.

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

:42:24.:42:26.

blaming the system rather than individuals. What about welfare

:42:27.:42:32.

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

:42:33.:42:40.

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

:42:41.:42:45.

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

:42:46.:42:49.

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

:42:50.:42:55.

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

:42:56.:43:00.

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

:43:01.:43:03.

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

:43:04.:43:11.

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

:43:12.:43:17.

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

:43:18.:43:21.

about getting people into work rather than slashing benefits for

:43:22.:43:31.

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

:43:32.:43:34.

Three prospective parliamentary candidates. The Conservative, Andrea

:43:35.:43:37.

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

:43:38.:43:39.

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

:43:40.:43:42.

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

:43:43.:43:45.

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

:43:46.:43:48.

the last election. Welcome. Polly Billington, is

:43:49.:43:51.

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

:43:52.:43:58.

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

:43:59.:44:04.

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

:44:05.:44:13.

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

:44:14.:44:15.

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

:44:16.:44:20.

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

:44:21.:44:31.

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

:44:32.:44:41.

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

:44:42.:44:44.

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

:44:45.:44:50.

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

:44:51.:44:54.

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

:44:55.:45:00.

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

:45:01.:45:05.

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

:45:06.:45:10.

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

:45:11.:45:17.

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

:45:18.:45:22.

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

:45:23.:45:29.

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

:45:30.:45:34.

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

:45:35.:45:38.

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

:45:39.:45:43.

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

:45:44.:45:48.

candidate. But there is a massive disconnect between politicians and

:45:49.:45:53.

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

:45:54.:46:00.

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

:46:01.:46:03.

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

:46:04.:46:12.

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

:46:13.:46:19.

community politics with the Liberal Democrats. Now they are in

:46:20.:46:24.

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

:46:25.:46:28.

community and that demonstrates what the Liberal Democrats want to

:46:29.:46:32.

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

:46:33.:46:38.

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

:46:39.:46:43.

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

:46:44.:46:48.

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

:46:49.:46:53.

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

:46:54.:46:57.

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

:46:58.:47:01.

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

:47:02.:47:05.

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

:47:06.:47:11.

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

:47:12.:47:16.

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

:47:17.:47:23.

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

:47:24.:47:28.

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

:47:29.:47:31.

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

:47:32.:47:37.

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

:47:38.:47:40.

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

:47:41.:47:46.

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

:47:47.:47:51.

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

:47:52.:47:56.

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

:47:57.:48:02.

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

:48:03.:48:11.

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

:48:12.:48:15.

an armchair politician and complaining, but the big turning

:48:16.:48:21.

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

:48:22.:48:31.

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

:48:32.:48:35.

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

:48:36.:48:38.

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

:48:39.:48:47.

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

:48:48.:48:50.

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

:48:51.:48:54.

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

:48:55.:48:59.

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

:49:00.:49:05.

change strategy because the economy is improving. The Tory strategy

:49:06.:49:09.

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

:49:10.:49:15.

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

:49:16.:49:22.

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

:49:23.:49:26.

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

:49:27.:49:33.

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

:49:34.:49:36.

almost everyone to keep on growing and wages will outstrip prices

:49:37.:49:42.

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

:49:43.:49:47.

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

:49:48.:49:50.

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

:49:51.:49:56.

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

:49:57.:50:05.

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

:50:06.:50:09.

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

:50:10.:50:14.

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

:50:15.:50:19.

expensive travel costs and childcare costs. The Tories and Liberal

:50:20.:50:23.

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

:50:24.:50:29.

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

:50:30.:50:33.

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

:50:34.:50:39.

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

:50:40.:50:43.

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

:50:44.:50:48.

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

:50:49.:50:53.

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

:50:54.:50:57.

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

:50:58.:51:04.

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

:51:05.:51:08.

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

:51:09.:51:13.

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

:51:14.:51:17.

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

:51:18.:51:22.

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

:51:23.:51:28.

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

:51:29.:51:31.

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

:51:32.:51:39.

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

:51:40.:51:43.

whole series of things which recognise the pressure people are

:51:44.:51:49.

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

:51:50.:51:53.

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

:51:54.:51:58.

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

:51:59.:52:05.

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

:52:06.:52:10.

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

:52:11.:52:13.

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

:52:14.:52:19.

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

:52:20.:52:24.

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

:52:25.:52:33.

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

:52:34.:52:39.

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

:52:40.:52:45.

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

:52:46.:52:51.

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

:52:52.:52:56.

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

:52:57.:53:01.

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

:53:02.:53:07.

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

:53:08.:53:11.

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

:53:12.:53:16.

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

:53:17.:53:23.

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

:53:24.:53:27.

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

:53:28.:53:32.

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

:53:33.:53:39.

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

:53:40.:53:43.

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

:53:44.:53:48.

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

:53:49.:53:57.

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

:53:58.:54:00.

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

:54:01.:54:05.

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

:54:06.:54:09.

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

:54:10.:54:13.

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

:54:14.:54:19.

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

:54:20.:54:24.

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

:54:25.:54:28.

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

:54:29.:54:35.

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

:54:36.:54:38.

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

:54:39.:54:44.

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

:54:45.:54:49.

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

:54:50.:54:56.

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

:54:57.:55:00.

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

:55:01.:55:06.

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

:55:07.:55:11.

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

:55:12.:55:17.

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

:55:18.:55:23.

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

:55:24.:55:27.

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

:55:28.:55:33.

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

:55:34.:55:39.

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

:55:40.:55:45.

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

:55:46.:55:51.

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

:55:52.:55:56.

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

:55:57.:55:59.

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

:56:00.:56:02.

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

:56:03.:56:05.

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

:56:06.:56:09.

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

:56:10.:56:12.

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

:56:13.:56:16.

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

:56:17.:56:21.

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

:56:22.:56:23.

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

:56:24.:56:26.

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

:56:27.:56:29.

just how important is the Commonwealth and the monarchy's

:56:30.:56:40.

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

:56:41.:56:49.

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

:56:50.:56:55.

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

:56:56.:57:00.

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

:57:01.:57:04.

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

:57:05.:57:11.

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

:57:12.:57:16.

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

:57:17.:57:19.

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

:57:20.:57:29.

Zimbabwe. It is a voluntary organisation and we have countries

:57:30.:57:34.

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

:57:35.:57:38.

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

:57:39.:57:43.

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

:57:44.:57:49.

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

:57:50.:57:54.

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

:57:55.:57:57.

fortunes because they have learned lessons about making sure they are

:57:58.:58:02.

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

:58:03.:58:07.

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

:58:08.:58:13.

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

:58:14.:58:17.

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

:58:18.:58:22.

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

:58:23.:58:25.

are young entrepreneurs flocking to London? Because of the favourable

:58:26.:58:27.

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

:58:28.:58:33.

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

:58:34.:58:40.

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

:58:41.:58:46.

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

:58:47.:58:54.

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

:58:55.:59:02.

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