28/04/2014 Daily Politics


28/04/2014

Jo Coburn with the latest political news and debate from Westminster, including an expected Commons rebellion over High Speed 2 and a round-up of the European elections campaign.


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Transcript


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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. MPs return to the

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Commons today, fresh from their Easter break. Just as well, as a

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whole host of elections lie before them, local and European, and they

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will need every ounce of energy campaigning on the stump.

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UKIP's had a bad week in the press. Some say the party's a "nastier

:00:54.:00:56.

piece of work". That is not reflected in the polls. They are

:00:57.:01:00.

Will MPs derail High Speed 2? Parliament debates the project

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today. The Government insists it will bring "regeneration on a grand

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We are Englishmen and not common market stuff.

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And politicians have been making a song and dance about Europe since

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the advent of technicolour. We will be bringing you the highlights.

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All that in the next hour and with us for the duration, the Daily

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Politics' answer to The Three Musketeers: the Conservative MP,

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Cheryl Gillan, Labour's Tessa Jowell and the former Liberal Democrat

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leader, Ming Campbell. Welcome to you all. Now, without further ado,

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let's start with those looming elections, coming up next month.

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Here is the lowdown on what is at stake. On 22 May, there will be

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elections for local councils as well as European Parliament elections.

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All 32 London boroughs, 36 metropolitan boroughs, 74 district

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councils and 19 unitary authorities in England will be elected. There

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will also be shadow council elections in Northern Ireland for

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new super councils. There are also five mayoral elections in Hackney,

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Lewisham, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Watford. Results will be known from

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Thursday evening and into Friday. For the European elections, all 751

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members of the European Parliament will be elected across Europe. These

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elections take place every five years. 73 MEPs will be elected by

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people living in the UK. For the European elections, most of the

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results will not be announced until Sunday, 25 May, after voting has

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closed throughout the 28 member states of the EU. We are joined now

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Welcome back to the programme. Let's start with UKIP. They have dominated

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the news ahead of the elections, and not for all the right reasons. Let's

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pick up on one of your local election candidates, who said the

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actor and comedian Lenny Henry should emigrate to a black company.

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Is that acceptable? No, it is not, and we as a party or a non-racist,

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nonsectarian party. We expected our members to uphold

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those values. Where things were brought to our attention that those

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values were not upheld, we examine it and take a decision. And it is

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often to expel or suspend party members. I will not have the

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impression in the media that this sums up who UKIP are. I have been

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around the country, particularly the Eastern counties in recent weeks and

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months, and the people I meet who are UKIP members and supporters are

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superb people who care about their communities, their families and

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their nation. So what will happen to him? We have a disciplinary process

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that has been swift compared to some of the others. But any party could

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be examined to the degree of scrutiny we are under, which I do

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not complain about, and horrible things would come to light. Were you

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shocked by the statement? We have more than 2000 people standing in

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the local elections. It does not particularly shock me that some of

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those will have said unpleasant things on social media, because UKIP

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have a big dossier of elected councillors from the other parties

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have said. At some point, it will be adjusting to see if the media is as

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interested in those. Equally, as you say, you have to accept the scrutiny

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if you are going to get that much of a profile. You will get equal

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amounts of scrutiny. But it is not equal, it is much more. We will come

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to that in a second. Will he still be a candidate? We have disciplinary

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processes in place. I am not going to prejudice that by coming onto

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television and talking about one particular case. My job as

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communications director for UKIP is to keep the big ideas advancing in

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the campaign. When will we know what will happen to him? As you say, it

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is not acceptable for one of your candidates to say that. How quickly

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will we know what will happen to him? If you say it is unacceptable,

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it seems that he cannot stand. We have rules for standing at local

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elections which make it all but impossible not to throw people off

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ballot papers. But we deal with incidents swiftly and the police,

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and we are anxious to uphold our reputation as a non-racist,

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nonsectarian party. Let's ask the other panel members. Is the party

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racist, Ming Campbell? I am sure it isn't. On the other hand, it appears

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to have attracted a number of supporters and candidates who

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demonstrate attitudes which I frankly find very uncomfortable

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indeed. But do you accept that all the parties will have characters who

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say those sorts of things? Not necessarily those sorts of things.

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All the parties have candidates who sometimes they things the leadership

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would prefer they did not say. But the point about UKIP is that it is

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riding high in the polls at the moment. It offers it self, through

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Mr Farage, a kind of Teflon leader. The problem with Teflon is that

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eventually, it wears out. If you have a series of allegations of the

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kind we have seen over the last few days, there can hardly be complaints

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about the fact that the scrutiny is now rising. As I have said on this

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programme before when talking about UKIP, welcome to test match cricket.

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This is a serious business. It is not a joke or a protest, it is

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serious and you must expect serious scrutiny. What about the posters,

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Tessa Jowell? Hard-hitting posters that were launched with donations

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saying that the British workers are hit by foreign labour. With a good

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posters or were they racist? The message of those posters was

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perfectly clear, that foreigners are putting your jobs at risk. I thought

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they were extremely unpleasant. Incidentally, on that candidate's

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comments, Lenny Henry's tweet was the best last word. He said, I come

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from the Black Country, I come from Dudley! Which is a glorious rebuttal

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of the kind of decency of him, and the decent country that all of us,

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in different ways, try to serve. If I can jump back in, on Ming

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Campbell's point, there is a Liberal Democrat councillor who we are

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making famous within UKIP. He was convicted of racially aggravated

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assault. That is not someone saying something intolerable or unpleasant,

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but is somebody doing something unpleasant. I would say to Tessa

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Jowell that the front of the Times today shows that we are speaking to

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a large number of people who would have once voted Labour. I don't know

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about a particular case, but if somebody was prosecuted, then that

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is a proper exercise of the judicial system. I would be satisfied that

:08:23.:08:30.

everyone in UKIP with opinions of that kind will be dealt with in the

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same way. The difference with UKIP now is that it is purporting, and

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the opinion poll support this, to be a party which will do very well in

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the European elections. On that basis, there is no room for

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complacency about some of the people who have been attracted to support

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you. On that point, the Conservatives particularly, never

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mind the bad publicity in some of the papers, they are still riding

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high in the polls. Why? I think they are a party which appears to me to

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always preach hatred, down to the lowest common denominator. It is

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very easy to whip up a dislike about groups of people or types of people

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from other countries, and that appears to be the message from

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UKIP. The sad thing is that many of the people who are currently

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thinking about voting UKIP are actually good and decent people. I

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have always maintained that if they took a closer look at UKIP and their

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policies, they would not like what they see. I would much rather fight

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elections, Patrick, and I am sure Tessa and Ming Campbell would as

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well, on positive messages. We have differences between our parties. We

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are long-standing parties with long-standing differences, but the

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differences I would sit down with Tessa and Ming Campbell on would be

:09:48.:09:52.

on policies where we agree to push a positive agenda. Let's look at

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immigration. Nigel Farage talks about quality and quantity. That

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seems to be the basis of that poster campaign, and yet he was asked by

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one of my colleagues about the fact that he employs his German wife as

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secretary. Isn't that a contradiction in terms? Isn't that

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the sort of thing we are getting, UKIP saying one thing, that

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representatives from other parties, the voters do not trust them and

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they are not transparent, and yet here we have UKIP saying one thing

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and doing something different 's seeing as you raise it, I thought

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that was an extraordinary way for the BBC political editor, during the

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launch of a major party's election campaign. But you take the point.

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There was another example of using one of the party's assistance, and

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trying to portray her as an ordinary citizen when she works for the

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party. Not to mention the Irish immigrant... Every party uses actors

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in their election communications. You said UKIP would be different. We

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are different, because we are offering the British people and

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immigration policy which controls immigration and were not give an

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open door to more than two dozen neighbouring countries. Then what is

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a quality immigrant? Someone who has skills, investment, can create

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employment and subscribe to British values. At the moment, we have a New

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Zealand brain surgeon or an Indian engineer who will struggle to get

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into Britain, while a down and out from Eastern Europe has carte

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blanche to come. But all the other parties are saying we need to

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control immigration as well. But they can't, within the EU. We are

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members of the European Union. We have open borders, as do our other

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European partners. It is a two-way flow. Almost as many people leave

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the UK to go and work in Europe as people come from other parts of

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Europe to work in the UK. What has happened is that we have seen a lot

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of peddling of myths that decent people have accepted about the

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proportional migrants on benefits, feeding this sense that migration

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takes from the people who have lived here for generation after

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generation. So why have labour apologised for the immigration

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policies when they were in power? Well, I don't actually think an

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apology was necessary. I mean, what Ed Miliband has said is that had we

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known now what we knew then, the numbers, although we proceeded with

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care in trying to predict how many would come, the numbers went astray.

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Now, we would have put in place transitional controls. Do you think

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UKIP's take on the Liberal Democrats' position as a protest

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party makes things difficult for you? I am sorry we did not get onto

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UKIP politics. They are against Same Sex Marriage Bill they are for

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bankers' bonuses. It is that is their substance... Then why are they

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doing well in the polls? Because they are novel. As the Liberal

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Democrats used to be! Mr Farage purports to be a non-establishment

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figure when he went to a public school and worked in the City and

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looks like someone straight out of country life. So far, he has got

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away with it. But this is serious business. You must expect serious

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scrutiny. The real flaw with UKIP is that it is a one-man party. Nobody

:13:44.:13:47.

can name anybody else in the party, other than for really bad stories.

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There is a huge weakness there. It is dog whistle politics. We will see

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when the results come. Now it's time for our daily quiz.

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Today, it's about Nick Clegg's shelflife. The Lib Dem leader was

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speaking to one Sunday newspaper magazine yesterday about how long he

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wants to serve as Deputy Prime Minister. So how long does he think

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he can stay fresh? will no doubt give us the correct

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answer. I can do it now! It will spoil the choreography of the

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programme. As you can probably tell from the show so far, we love a good

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election. We like them in every shape and size. But the big focus in

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May will be the performance of the parties in the elections to the

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European Parliament. And because you may have missed most of the parties

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launching the European campaigns recently, don't worry, we sent Adam

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to work to bring you up to speed. Everyone is so excited about the

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European elections that they are actually dancing in the street. They

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are in this video, designed to get youth interested. The Tories'

:15:19.:15:27.

campaign took first with David Cameron going to Manchester airport

:15:28.:15:30.

to say that only he can reform the youthful. If you want real change in

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Europe that works for you and for your family that works for your

:15:36.:15:39.

business, then the Conservative Party is the only party that can

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deliver for you. And eyebrows were raised when we got an e-mail to that

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effect from Lynton Crosby the party's shadow we election genius

:15:50.:15:53.

from Australia. Talking of geniuses, Labour have hired Barack Obama's

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former right-hand man, David Axelrod, for a 6-figure sum. Labour

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Party is at the forefront of dealing with the cost of living crisis. I am

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not sure if he will be that interested in their campaign for the

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local elections launching this week. In Sheffield, Nigel Farage unveiled

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UKIP's campaign, the drink hard-hitting posters claiming that

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foreigners are stealing our jobs. It went swimmingly until Nigel met

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Nick. Your wife is German. She is your secretary and she is paid for

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by the British taxpayer. She came here as a skilled person earning a

:16:30.:16:33.

high salary. It all goes to show that nobody must think we are... Is

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she taking someone else's job? Body else would want to be in my house at

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midnight going through e-mails to be briefed for the next day. In Essex,

:16:44.:16:48.

Nick Clegg reminded everyone that the Lib Dems are the party of in.

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Not in trouble in the polls but emphatically in Europe. Just because

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Ed Miliband and David Cameron have decided to not talk about the issue

:16:58.:17:00.

that is not going to stop us will stop we think that there is so much

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at stake. And here is what they are fighting for. 73 seat in the

:17:07.:17:10.

European Parliament, spread over 12 bustard constituencies.

:17:11.:17:17.

-- 12 vats to constituencies. And there is even more to get excited

:17:18.:17:21.

about because there are also elections in England and Northern

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Ireland. I don't not what they have been

:17:28.:17:31.

taking in that video but I want upbeat. Let's look at the party that

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have dominated the first discussion. The Tories face coming third in the

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elections and that would be disastrous. I will make note

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addictions until we have seen the results. It is very dangerous this

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far out. -- no predictions. You think the Tories' fortunes could

:17:52.:17:54.

change? I think the message, if we build on it, we are after all the

:17:55.:18:01.

only party that is offering a referendum on our relationship with

:18:02.:18:04.

Europe. How is the renegotiation going? It has been making strides.

:18:05.:18:10.

Where? There is no doubt about it, with Angela Merkel and the

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Netherlands, both countries that accept that there needs to be a

:18:14.:18:17.

changed relationship, not just for the UK, but between the countries of

:18:18.:18:22.

Europe. You only have to look at what happens to the euro countries.

:18:23.:18:26.

There is an appreciation in Germany that there needs to be a change in

:18:27.:18:29.

the relationship between the countries. The message is clear from

:18:30.:18:34.

the Conservatives. We are the leading party in the coalition, and

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we are realistically able to offer the country a referendum which

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cannot come from any other parties. The Lib Dems do not want to. But

:18:44.:18:49.

that is on a renegotiated relationship and you have said that

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they have made strides. Sure, but have been positive noises from

:18:55.:18:57.

Angela Merkel. Tell me one thing that has been actually achieved in

:18:58.:19:03.

terms of the renegotiation? I think you are setting false barriers for

:19:04.:19:06.

people to leap over. As everybody knows, one of the things you have to

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do in Europe when you have such a large number of countries involved

:19:10.:19:13.

is negotiate and look at the best shape of Europe for the future. I

:19:14.:19:19.

think there is a growing acceptance amongst many countries, particularly

:19:20.:19:24.

those countries that have come in from the former Soviet Union, that

:19:25.:19:29.

they do not want a European Union. So why are you not doing better in

:19:30.:19:32.

the polls if this is such a strong and clear message? A lot of your MPs

:19:33.:19:38.

do not believe that either. There are many reasons for that. I would

:19:39.:19:40.

agree that the polls are disappointing. I would not be right

:19:41.:19:45.

to sit here and preach that we were going to come third when I think

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that our message is going out there consistently. What I think we need

:19:49.:19:53.

to do is engage with the electorate because as far as I'm concerned, any

:19:54.:19:57.

people do not even know when the election is going to be and are not

:19:58.:20:00.

even capable of naming the MEP. That is the contradiction. The result

:20:01.:20:06.

this chat about Europe but people do not know the basic points. Should

:20:07.:20:11.

Labour rethink the whole strategy in terms of offering a referendum? No.

:20:12.:20:18.

We have a clear position which basically says that if the treaty

:20:19.:20:23.

changes, we would... But that is the government's position. It is our

:20:24.:20:34.

position. The difference between our position and the government's

:20:35.:20:37.

position is one where we are very clear about the way in which,

:20:38.:20:41.

through negotiation with our European partners, Europe needs to

:20:42.:20:47.

change. For instance, the ECB becoming a growth bank, and new

:20:48.:20:54.

focus on grog creation -- job creation that the single market can

:20:55.:21:01.

bring to the member countries. If you do not hold a referendum, how

:21:02.:21:09.

will you put any pressure on the European partners? Having negotiated

:21:10.:21:12.

a lot in Europe, that is the last way that anybody listens to you. If

:21:13.:21:18.

you go around issuing threats, flying to Berlin or wherever else it

:21:19.:21:23.

would be, and coming home and announcing Europe, basically the

:21:24.:21:27.

other member states will turn their back on you. You have to do it by

:21:28.:21:31.

engaged negotiation. And that is what we will do. If you look at the

:21:32.:21:37.

polls, the Lib Dems looked as if they are going to perform extremely

:21:38.:21:40.

badly. That must be a realistic worry for the party. There is not an

:21:41.:21:45.

violation, but it is pretty derisory. The polls do not look good

:21:46.:21:49.

but as has been pointed out, let's wait until we see the results. Can

:21:50.:21:52.

pick up on the point about Angela Merkel? Tessa is absolutely right.

:21:53.:21:59.

You make progress in Europe by engagement. That is why the fact

:22:00.:22:02.

that the Conservatives withdrew from the Conservative group still rankles

:22:03.:22:04.

among others with Angela Merkel. the Conservative group still rankles

:22:05.:22:09.

among others with When she came to the House of Commons and address to

:22:10.:22:12.

both Houses of Parliament or maybe other day, it was clear that she

:22:13.:22:17.

supports reform but not reform which has the effect of undermining the

:22:18.:22:21.

principles upon which the European Union is based. No treaty change,

:22:22.:22:29.

because it would inevitably legally require... Allow me to finish.

:22:30.:22:32.

Treaty change would require unanimity. And that is a matter

:22:33.:22:42.

where the 28 countries... The indication is that it would not

:22:43.:22:46.

happen. Precisely. You are the party of Ian, clearly and proudly. Why not

:22:47.:22:51.

have a referendum? As we said in the coalition agreement, if there is any

:22:52.:22:55.

transfer of powers from London to Brussels, which affects the

:22:56.:23:00.

constitutional nature of the relationship, the should be a

:23:01.:23:03.

referendum and I'm pleased to see that that is the position adopted by

:23:04.:23:07.

the Labour Party. What about the debates with Nigel Farage? Was it

:23:08.:23:11.

worth while for Nick Clegg? A move to nothing in the polls and he was

:23:12.:23:15.

deemed to have lost. There are several views about that. Let's

:23:16.:23:18.

stick to the purpose of these debates which was to set out that in

:23:19.:23:23.

this extensive debate about Europe, the Liberal Democrats are on about

:23:24.:23:27.

Lee and unashamedly the most pro-European of the parties. Since

:23:28.:23:31.

that was the accusation that was made against us, it was a great deal

:23:32.:23:37.

of political sense to say that of course we these are the reasons why.

:23:38.:23:41.

3 million jobs, the fact that politically the more unity in

:23:42.:23:45.

Europe, against the possibility of reserve and Russia, the better it

:23:46.:23:49.

will be for the United Kingdom. I want to bring your attention to the

:23:50.:23:54.

YouGov Paul. 43% of people said they would vote to stay. -- YouGov poll.

:23:55.:24:00.

36% of people said they would leave. Despite the fact that you may be

:24:01.:24:04.

riding high in the polls, when it comes to the big question, you are

:24:05.:24:09.

losing. We will see on May the 22nd. But on that question, when people

:24:10.:24:11.

are asked specifically, But on that question, when people

:24:12.:24:36.

are many people living there. I think the

:24:37.:24:36.

are many people living there. I pretty much roadkill under the UKIP

:24:37.:24:36.

battle bus already and we for labour because we think that if

:24:37.:24:42.

we could beat Labour, for labour because we think that if

:24:43.:24:48.

proposition that he proposed to fight the general election on, to

:24:49.:24:53.

ask the people to trust him but not the people. The point here is that

:24:54.:24:58.

at home, whether the people. The point here is that

:24:59.:24:58.

people's principal focus is not on the people. The point here is that

:24:59.:25:00.

Europe. People's principal focus is on fear emigration, fairer welfare

:25:01.:25:03.

and the kind of changes that on fear emigration, fairer welfare

:25:04.:25:10.

their children a better chance in the future. The practical thing is

:25:11.:25:10.

that the British people have not the future. The practical thing is

:25:11.:25:17.

a vote on the European Union for 40 years and it has changed a

:25:18.:25:23.

a vote on the European Union for 40 relationship from the Conservative

:25:24.:25:24.

Party. I'm going to leave it there. relationship from the Conservative

:25:25.:25:29.

What is in store. It is back to work for the MPs but it is not just

:25:30.:25:34.

clocking on. The government's help to work scheme just a

:25:35.:25:40.

the long-term unemployed find jobs. Tuesday heralds a copyright when

:25:41.:25:45.

the long-term unemployed find jobs. will continue a debate on the

:25:46.:25:45.

the long-term unemployed find jobs. brings a chance to let off steam

:25:46.:25:49.

with the return of PMQs. Joining us from college green, Jason Groves

:25:50.:25:55.

from the Daily Mail and a representative from the New

:25:56.:25:59.

Statesman. Let's look at the work programme. Is it working? Certainly,

:26:00.:26:04.

fewer people are unemployed than Labour were saying might be a couple

:26:05.:26:10.

of years ago. The labour market appears to be a good news story for

:26:11.:26:16.

the government in headline terms. Labour will say that too many of

:26:17.:26:26.

those people are in insecure work or part-time

:26:27.:26:26.

those people are in insecure work or more jobs. In terms of how much of

:26:27.:26:31.

those people are in insecure work or that is to do with government policy

:26:32.:26:31.

and how much is to do with an uptake in the

:26:32.:26:36.

moot point. But it seems that Number Ten and the Department for Work and

:26:37.:26:46.

Pensions Ten and the Department for Work and

:26:47.:26:47.

they have a good news story to tell on welfare and jobs and they have

:26:48.:26:47.

Labour on the defensive will stop on welfare and jobs and they have

:26:48.:26:55.

think the figures, which showed that the money spent had not produced the

:26:56.:27:04.

think the figures, which showed that that the work programme got off to a

:27:05.:27:15.

great start. that the work programme got off to a

:27:16.:27:15.

sound. The idea of helping more people back into work. Encouraging

:27:16.:27:27.

them to get out and get experience of work, find out

:27:28.:27:27.

them to get out and get experience to see why anybody is against that

:27:28.:27:35.

idea. Let's move on to Cyril Smith. There's been

:27:36.:27:35.

idea. Let's move on to Cyril Smith. much damage to the Liberal

:27:36.:27:43.

Democrats? It is obviously not great when a senior

:27:44.:27:43.

Democrats? It is obviously not great horrendous crimes. They are terrible

:27:44.:27:52.

Democrats? It is obviously not great allegations and it is a small party.

:27:53.:27:52.

The suspicion is that allegations and it is a small party.

:27:53.:27:52.

it. Although I think that the allegations and it is a small party.

:27:53.:28:01.

issue here is going to turn into a question of who

:28:02.:28:01.

issue here is going to turn into a justice system, when the result one

:28:02.:28:01.

big and important. justice system, when the result one

:28:02.:28:08.

generally say to victims, frankly, you have no chance against this big

:28:09.:28:12.

figure, and there's nothing you can do? That is where the

:28:13.:28:17.

figure, and there's nothing you can There is a sense that if the

:28:18.:28:21.

individual is part of the centre of the party, they are immune from

:28:22.:28:28.

things that they should not be immune from. Do you think it is

:28:29.:28:32.

right to pursue these cases because it is what the public would like to

:28:33.:28:37.

CQ magnet is it is what the public would like to

:28:38.:28:37.

and more about the victims. Allegedly, Cyril Smith has a

:28:38.:28:41.

significant number of victims who deserve justice. In terms of the Lib

:28:42.:28:46.

significant number of victims who Dems, Tim Farron has come out and

:28:47.:28:49.

said that they have serious Dems, Tim Farron has come out and

:28:50.:28:53.

questions to answer and I cannot put better than that. They should answer

:28:54.:28:59.

them. Looking at UKIP, while they are riding high in the polls, there

:29:00.:29:05.

is still bad publicity. Any publicity is good publicity for a

:29:06.:29:08.

party positioning themselves as the insurgent against

:29:09.:29:10.

party positioning themselves as the There are specious elements of that

:29:11.:29:13.

party positioning themselves as the goes Nigel Farage is public school

:29:14.:29:18.

educated and a former city trader, so how antiestablishment can he be?

:29:19.:29:23.

That if you are being attacked by the mainstream press and the other

:29:24.:29:23.

parties, the mainstream press and the other

:29:24.:29:29.

save that all the people you despise are against us so by extension, you

:29:30.:29:36.

are on our side. The big question is are against us so by extension, you

:29:37.:29:36.

whether this is coming up in the run-up to a Parliamentary election

:29:37.:29:40.

-- run-up to a Parliamentary election

:29:41.:29:40.

which is traditionally a free hit against the incumbents. Will

:29:41.:29:46.

which is traditionally a free hit Peter out when you come towards the

:29:47.:29:51.

general election next May? For the time being, as long as

:29:52.:29:51.

general election next May? For the noise and light and heat generated

:29:52.:29:56.

around UKIP, that plays to Nigel Farage's advantage. Thank you both.

:29:57.:29:59.

Menzies Campbell, let's talk about the Cyril Smith

:30:00.:30:03.

Menzies Campbell, let's talk about your party. You have been in

:30:04.:30:09.

Menzies Campbell, let's talk about your party. You have party for

:30:10.:30:09.

Menzies Campbell, let's talk about suspicions? I was not. Not until

:30:10.:30:13.

Menzies Campbell, let's talk about allegations and suspicions that have

:30:14.:30:15.

emerged. I think what is clear is that there were a variety of

:30:16.:30:20.

institutions who may or may not, because these are allegations, have

:30:21.:30:25.

played some part. That is why it seems that the only rational

:30:26.:30:30.

played some part. That is why it proceed is to allow the police to

:30:31.:30:30.

continue with their enquiries. You proceed is to allow the police to

:30:31.:30:35.

will be aware that there was a press conference taking place today in

:30:36.:30:41.

which the police have their enquiries are now being

:30:42.:30:46.

extended to consider whether a not was any form of corruption in

:30:47.:30:46.

Rochdale town council in relation to the way in which it handled

:30:47.:30:52.

Rochdale town council in relation to that is the right way to proceed.

:30:53.:30:59.

But before I'd finish, that is the right way to proceed.

:31:00.:30:59.

allegations and they deserve to be seriously investigated. If young

:31:00.:31:04.

people have been seriously investigated. If young

:31:05.:31:04.

improper behaviour of the kind we are discussing, then that is

:31:05.:31:08.

improper behaviour of the kind we matter for me at least, of

:31:09.:31:11.

considerable progress. What about the party's reputation as a

:31:12.:31:15.

consequence of these allegations and who knew what other time? Well, it

:31:16.:31:23.

does not help stop but as was pointed out objectively by the two

:31:24.:31:27.

independent voices here from those two journalist is, people are

:31:28.:31:30.

independent voices here from those concerned about it, but they are

:31:31.:31:33.

more concerned about the bigger issues. So long as there is an

:31:34.:31:35.

indication of a serious attempt to establish the truth, I believe that

:31:36.:31:41.

will have the effect, not of staving off responsibility, but of showing

:31:42.:31:44.

that the Liberal Democrats, and indeed the police and any other

:31:45.:31:46.

organisations involved in indeed the police and any other

:31:47.:31:49.

matter, are taking the allegations seriously. I would not take the view

:31:50.:31:53.

some have that because this is seriously. I would not take the view

:31:54.:31:58.

in the past, it should be brushed under the carpet. Of course, for

:31:59.:32:06.

this particular reason, that if you are a victim, the consequences

:32:07.:32:08.

continue long after. Thank you. Now, depending on who you

:32:09.:32:16.

choose to listen to, today's, and is -- Commons vote on the high-speed

:32:17.:32:20.

rail link will either be a resounding vote in favour of HS2 or

:32:21.:32:24.

a sizeable Tory revolt. Actually, it will probably be both. The

:32:25.:32:29.

government will win the vote now that Labour has come out in support

:32:30.:32:36.

of the project, for now. However, various reports suggest that as many

:32:37.:32:41.

as 40 Conservative MPs could if I the party whip and vote against the

:32:42.:32:44.

bill. One of the leading rebels is our guest, Cheryl Gillan. The

:32:45.:32:48.

proposed route for HS2 goes through her constituency of

:32:49.:32:51.

proposed route for HS2 goes through Amersham in the Chilterns. We will

:32:52.:32:55.

get her thoughts in a moment. First, our political correspondent is on

:32:56.:32:59.

College our political correspondent is on

:33:00.:32:59.

your sense of the size of the Conservative revolt? As you say, it

:33:00.:33:04.

depends who you ask. Over the weekend, Radio 4's the world this

:33:05.:33:12.

weekend did a ring round of about that about 30 of them would either

:33:13.:33:16.

vote against the government or abstained. Broadly speaking, that is

:33:17.:33:20.

vote against the government or the ballpark we are talking about.

:33:21.:33:23.

As morning in the lobby briefing for what Mr reports, there was an

:33:24.:33:28.

acknowledgement from Downing Street that there will be some MPs who have

:33:29.:33:29.

engagements elsewhere, who that there will be some MPs who have

:33:30.:33:34.

have found a good excuse not to vote this evening. Six ministers have

:33:35.:33:40.

constituencies among this evening. Six ministers have

:33:41.:33:41.

line for HS2. All six of them have been reluctant to

:33:42.:33:47.

line for HS2. All six of them have The Europe minister is one of them.

:33:48.:33:47.

line for HS2. All six of them have He happens to be in Estonia, quite a

:33:48.:33:47.

useful diary for him. He happens to be in Estonia, quite a

:33:48.:33:51.

fully signed up to HS2, no questions asked? It would seem so. For months

:33:52.:33:54.

on end, Labour appeared asked? It would seem so. For months

:33:55.:33:57.

best about HS2. I kept asked? It would seem so. For months

:33:58.:34:03.

phrase that there would be no blank cheque for the project. He felt the

:34:04.:34:08.

bill was cheque for the project. He felt the

:34:09.:34:14.

further north. They are now a lot warmer

:34:15.:34:14.

them to still use that phrase, no blank cheque, because who would be

:34:15.:34:17.

pro-handing out blank cheques for any project? They have stopped short

:34:18.:34:25.

of saying they are for it, but the costs and the timeline are huge for

:34:26.:34:28.

HS2. 50 billion quid is the bill. costs and the timeline are huge for

:34:29.:34:34.

billion quid just on the trains. So this high-speed turbo-charged Thomas

:34:35.:34:37.

the Tank Engine does not come cheap. More than a bit of loose

:34:38.:34:42.

change. Cheryl Gillan, you have been labelled as chief rouble

:34:43.:34:46.

change. Cheryl Gillan, you have been Before we get onto the politics, can

:34:47.:34:50.

you tell us again come what is your objection to HS2? Firstly, I think

:34:51.:34:54.

this project is completely being at the wrong way round. If you want to

:34:55.:34:59.

improve the north-south divide, which is where it started, you

:35:00.:35:01.

improve the north-south divide, should start looking at it in the

:35:02.:35:06.

north and how you connect the northern cities to each other before

:35:07.:35:09.

you start to connect Birmingham to northern cities to each other before

:35:10.:35:11.

London. This is also an astronomically costly project. It is

:35:12.:35:14.

50 billion at the moment. That does not include the costs for connecting

:35:15.:35:24.

this new, shiny railway into the existing infrastructure. So I think

:35:25.:35:27.

we have gone about it in the wrong way. We are even building it so that

:35:28.:35:36.

it does not connect directly to the Channel Tunnel

:35:37.:35:36.

it does not connect directly to the direct link to Heathrow. Indeed we

:35:37.:35:39.

are building it before we know where direct link to Heathrow. Indeed we

:35:40.:35:41.

our south-east airport capacity is going to be. On the connectivity,

:35:42.:35:47.

why not just connect those northern cities to each other? Because it is

:35:48.:35:52.

the harsh reality that the engine room of the economy is the

:35:53.:35:57.

south-east. If you are a northern city, you may find yourself with the

:35:58.:36:01.

same problems as a neighbouring city. But the way this is to be

:36:02.:36:06.

resolved seems to me by having a greater degree of connectivity. In

:36:07.:36:11.

addition, we know this is not an either/or situation. The government

:36:12.:36:15.

is committed to ?46 billion of investment over the next period to

:36:16.:36:20.

improve these very communications which Cheryl Gillan says are an

:36:21.:36:24.

alternative to HS2. We can have both. Do you accept that your

:36:25.:36:28.

argument has been knocked down? Always beware of politicians saying

:36:29.:36:35.

you can have your cake and eat it. Do you accept that point? Every

:36:36.:36:39.

you can have your cake and eat it. economic study you look at, when you

:36:40.:36:42.

connect smaller cities to the major hub, London in this case, it

:36:43.:36:47.

attracts more business into London. Ming Campbell is right in many

:36:48.:36:51.

ways. London will probably gain more business than the regions.

:36:52.:36:55.

Connecting Birmingham to London first makes that more likely. Even

:36:56.:36:59.

as late as this morning, the Institute of Economic Affairs has

:37:00.:37:03.

come out with a report casting enormous doubts on the business

:37:04.:37:10.

benefits that are claimed for this railway. Cheryl is doing what she

:37:11.:37:18.

has to do, which is fighting like a tiger for her constituents. But I

:37:19.:37:24.

disagree with her. She knows that, and I have disagreed with her ever

:37:25.:37:30.

since HS2 was conceived. But is she wrong? I think she is wrong, because

:37:31.:37:34.

the driver of the UK economy is London. And why the northern

:37:35.:37:41.

neighbours want their cities connected so that the journey to

:37:42.:37:46.

London is quicker is that so that some of that growth impact can be

:37:47.:37:51.

spread. But the important thing now about HS2 is, we have got the best

:37:52.:37:58.

people running this. David about HS2 is, we have got the best

:37:59.:38:00.

has been right through the project. There has been a assurance on the

:38:01.:38:06.

costs. There has been assurance on the scope. Now the most important

:38:07.:38:13.

thing for this is certainty. And certainty across parties that

:38:14.:38:17.

between now and 2026, this line is going to be built. Except that it is

:38:18.:38:23.

not done and dusted. How many rebels are there 's eye don't know. To put

:38:24.:38:27.

a number would be dangerous. Going are there 's eye don't know. To put

:38:28.:38:30.

against your party's policy is a big are there 's eye don't know. To put

:38:31.:38:34.

thing. I am not a natural rebel. But I am convinced. The point is, let's

:38:35.:38:43.

put this in perspective. We are asking the taxpayer and the public

:38:44.:38:45.

to spend the largest amount of money asking the taxpayer and the public

:38:46.:38:52.

on any project that any government has spent in living memory. The

:38:53.:38:56.

government has already suppressed the reports into it which would show

:38:57.:38:56.

government has already suppressed the risks. If you are going

:38:57.:39:01.

this, the government should have published those reports and shown

:39:02.:39:06.

this, the government should have how they deal with the risks. If

:39:07.:39:06.

this, the government should have Tessa is right and I

:39:07.:39:13.

although I don't think it is black and white, those reports should have

:39:14.:39:13.

been out there. But had a twin track approach. I have

:39:14.:39:19.

tried to persuade my government that I think there are better ways of

:39:20.:39:26.

spending this sort of money on projects that bring wider benefits.

:39:27.:39:30.

But if it is going to go ahead, for goodness sake, let us protect our

:39:31.:39:36.

environment and let us compensate those people whose lives and

:39:37.:39:37.

businesses are affected. Today's Guardian reports that you are

:39:38.:39:43.

backing new proposals for a 15 mile tunnel through the Chilterns, which

:39:44.:39:49.

is your backyard. I am on board for proper compensation. I don't know if

:39:50.:40:01.

I am on board for the tunnel. But I am in favour of disproportionate

:40:02.:40:05.

attention to the people who are most disrupted. That was the essence of

:40:06.:40:16.

keeping to time on the Olympics. Our engineer that has been working on

:40:17.:40:22.

the tunnelling proposals is somebody who has worked with David Higgins,

:40:23.:40:30.

who did do a good job on the Olympics. He

:40:31.:40:30.

who did do a good job on the engineering team has come up with

:40:31.:40:33.

this because it is important that we protect a nationally designated

:40:34.:40:37.

site. Would you be on board for HS2 protect a nationally designated

:40:38.:40:42.

with the tunnel? I will always be a sceptic about this project, I'm

:40:43.:40:42.

afraid. But if it is going to go ahead, that is what democracy is

:40:43.:40:49.

about, then I want the best deal for our environment. If you like, that

:40:50.:40:53.

about, then I want the best deal for could be enough to bring you some

:40:54.:40:55.

way on board. I am not unreasonable. But is the tactic now

:40:56.:41:02.

a delay in one? Is the idea that you bogged down the whole process? It

:41:03.:41:07.

will not be completely signed off until the next Parliament. This has

:41:08.:41:12.

never been a question about destructive politics. Over the next

:41:13.:41:18.

two days, we will set up a hybrid Bill committee. There is a

:41:19.:41:23.

petitioning process which is arcane and very complicated. I will try

:41:24.:41:26.

petitioning process which is arcane guide people through it. We will try

:41:27.:41:31.

and make guide people through it. We will try

:41:32.:41:36.

petitioners to the hybrid Bill committee to make changes to what

:41:37.:41:36.

the government is proposing to committee to make changes to what

:41:37.:41:40.

the best possible deal. That could go on the two or three years. You

:41:41.:41:42.

say that support is certain from Labour. Is it unconditional? Has the

:41:43.:41:47.

blank cheque caveat disappeared? And if Labour were to win the next

:41:48.:41:51.

election, would they support it? Yes. It is important that that

:41:52.:41:58.

certainty exists. It is also important, to take Cheryl's point,

:41:59.:42:06.

that every single one of these public pounds works much harder.

:42:07.:42:16.

40,000 jobs, apprenticeships, and to take the point about building

:42:17.:42:21.

vibrancy into the cities rather than sucking out growth potential, that

:42:22.:42:27.

also has to be done. You can't rest everything on this project, but this

:42:28.:42:33.

project unlocks potential that will never be realised without it. What

:42:34.:42:37.

about the opposition in Labour boroughs in London? What do you say

:42:38.:42:43.

to people in Camden, who do not want HS2 because of the disruption? I

:42:44.:42:48.

have talked to David Higgins about this. I think the HS2 team have got

:42:49.:42:52.

to be closely engaged with Camden on mitigation and compensation and

:42:53.:42:59.

moving quickly where families are faced with the prospect of having to

:43:00.:43:04.

sell their homes when house prices all around are going up and so

:43:05.:43:09.

forth. There will always be winners and losers. There will always be

:43:10.:43:16.

disruption. The alternative is to say, we are never going to renew our

:43:17.:43:18.

industry. It has to be handled in a sensitive way. The environment large

:43:19.:43:23.

and is, in my view, are extremely persuasive. But we should remind

:43:24.:43:27.

ourselves of what the benefits would be. The number of seats leaving used

:43:28.:43:35.

and go from 11,300 in the peak hour to a map of central capacity of

:43:36.:43:37.

35,000. The number of trains leaving Euston go from 16 to 30 per hour.

:43:38.:43:43.

Just think of the impact. Remember, the most overcrowded lines in London

:43:44.:43:51.

are not going into Euston, those are the least.

:43:52.:43:54.

Now, back to those European elections. This morning, it was the

:43:55.:43:58.

turn of the Green Party to launch their campaign, unveiling their

:43:59.:44:02.

manifesto, they have made some eye-catching pledges, promising to

:44:03.:44:06.

scrap tuition fees, renationalise the railways and put in place a

:44:07.:44:12.

living wage. They are hoping this platform will help them treble their

:44:13.:44:16.

living wage. They are hoping this number of MEPs to six. Here is their

:44:17.:44:19.

leader, Natalie Bennett, explaining earlier what makes the Greens

:44:20.:44:23.

different. When voters vote Green, they get green. We don't just

:44:24.:44:23.

different. When voters vote Green, highlight the problems, we provide

:44:24.:44:27.

lasting solutions. So this is an election about choice. There are

:44:28.:44:32.

three choices. There is the politics of fear. That is UKIP. There is the

:44:33.:44:38.

politics of this as usual. That is the three currently largest parties.

:44:39.:44:43.

Or there is the politics of hope, which is the politics of the Green

:44:44.:44:50.

Party. The Green Party offers real change that improves the life of

:44:51.:44:55.

everyone, real change for the common good. And the leader of the Greens,

:44:56.:45:06.

magically, is with us now. You said you were planning to fight the

:45:07.:45:12.

elections as the anti-UKIP party. What does that mean? It means that

:45:13.:45:18.

we are the party that is standing up to UKIP, saying that

:45:19.:45:21.

we are the party that is standing up tackle this dangerous race to the

:45:22.:45:24.

bottom in terms of immigration rhetoric. The largest parties have

:45:25.:45:27.

been chasing UKIP, trying to out UKIP UKIP. We need to try to stand

:45:28.:45:31.

up to them and say it is dangerous and damaging. It needs to stop, in

:45:32.:45:34.

terms of and damaging. It needs to stop, in

:45:35.:45:41.

change is real and we need to take action. The Green voters and UKIP

:45:42.:45:41.

voters are not the same people. action. The Green voters and UKIP

:45:42.:45:51.

are not battling for the same boat. But we are seeing them, for example

:45:52.:45:56.

a man in Manchester last week who said he did not want to touch

:45:57.:45:56.

politics because it was such a mess, but now after the

:45:57.:46:01.

politics because it was such a UKIP, he says he cannot sit on the

:46:02.:46:06.

fence any more. If someone is concerned about immigration

:46:07.:46:06.

fence any more. If someone is effect of the European Union on the

:46:07.:46:13.

UK, they will effect of the European Union on the

:46:14.:46:13.

think when you talk to people, if you say

:46:14.:46:22.

think when you talk to people, if about? People are concerned about

:46:23.:46:22.

low wages and that is a failure of government policy. The minimum wage

:46:23.:46:28.

is not enforced. There housing, which is a failure of

:46:29.:46:28.

policy. There is an issue with housing, which is a failure of

:46:29.:46:32.

crowded schools and hospitals. When you talk to people and I'm picked

:46:33.:46:37.

their concerns, often they are not concerned about immigration. It

:46:38.:46:41.

their concerns, often they are not because society is not working for

:46:42.:46:41.

their concerns, often they are not the common good. Let's look at these

:46:42.:46:46.

policies. Scrapping tuition fees and the common good. Let's look at these

:46:47.:46:51.

prescription fees, renationalising the

:46:52.:46:51.

prescription fees, renationalising Introducing a living wage. How much

:46:52.:46:54.

will that cost? If we take those, winning the railways back into

:46:55.:46:58.

public hands, which Caroline Lucas has before the house, it does not

:46:59.:47:04.

cost anything. You wait for the operating contracts to lapse. And

:47:05.:47:09.

cost anything. You wait for the it now runs. If you take tuition

:47:10.:47:16.

fees, you look at the fact that as people to pay back loans that they

:47:17.:47:23.

do not burn the money to pay back has

:47:24.:47:23.

do not burn the money to pay back the money. We need to get companies

:47:24.:47:29.

do not burn the money to pay back You would increase income taxes?

:47:30.:47:33.

Very much for the wealthiest. The policies in 2010, we had a fully

:47:34.:47:36.

costed manifesto. 95% of people were better out. The 50p tax rate started

:47:37.:47:41.

at ?100,000. Is that what it is going to be? We will be doing the

:47:42.:47:46.

figures for another costed manifesto in 2015 and I would expect

:47:47.:47:50.

figures for another costed manifesto rate of tax will be higher than 50%.

:47:51.:47:55.

Although rate of tax will be higher than 50%.

:47:56.:47:56.

would not get the sort of money and rate of tax will be higher than 50%.

:47:57.:48:01.

revenue that Labour said he would rate of tax will be higher than 50%.

:48:02.:48:02.

get under 50p for incomes of ?150,000. White Dee me

:48:03.:48:11.

get under 50p for incomes of their money from. Do they draw

:48:12.:48:19.

get under 50p for incomes of my colleague on my right is that if

:48:20.:48:19.

get under 50p for incomes of you are going to do well and aspire

:48:20.:48:19.

to improve your session, you are going to do well and aspire

:48:20.:48:27.

UK, do not do it under the Green you are going to do well and aspire

:48:28.:48:32.

Party. We under national policies. I'd

:48:33.:48:33.

appreciate that the Green Party is supporting me against HS2. However,

:48:34.:48:38.

I am afraid that cannot subscribe to anything you are saying. This

:48:39.:48:41.

election is about offering people a choice on Europe and I do not think

:48:42.:48:48.

you do that. You are in favour of an in-out referendum? We do.

:48:49.:48:50.

you do that. You are in favour of an in democracy and if it is good

:48:51.:48:54.

enough for the Scots it is good in democracy and if it is good

:48:55.:48:54.

enough for the rest of us. in democracy and if it is good

:48:55.:49:04.

would campaign to stay in Europe. But

:49:05.:49:04.

would campaign to stay in Europe. are against the free trade deal. It

:49:05.:49:07.

is absolutely disastrous for democracy and absolutely disastrous

:49:08.:49:09.

in terms of the situation where US governments can sue the EU. I'm glad

:49:10.:49:16.

we got to that. When I was reviewing the green policies, that once

:49:17.:49:19.

we got to that. When I was reviewing out. Is it argued that it is against

:49:20.:49:25.

the interests of the United Kingdom to enter into a free trade with

:49:26.:49:26.

the interests of the United Kingdom North America? I mean, it is

:49:27.:49:29.

extraordinary. I'm fascinated by the notion that you can renationalise

:49:30.:49:37.

the railways and it will not cost anything. What about the running

:49:38.:49:38.

costs thereafter? Will pick these up? The taxpayer does now. And the

:49:39.:49:42.

costs thereafter? Will pick these other point, I understand that the

:49:43.:49:46.

Greens rejected any question of a reduction in the EU budget. At a

:49:47.:49:50.

time when everyone agrees that there is an element of redundancy in the

:49:51.:49:53.

budget and that it should be reduced. In order to ensure that we

:49:54.:49:59.

get value from money. No value for money? There are a lot of issues

:50:00.:50:04.

there. The free-trade deal is the most important. First of all,

:50:05.:50:06.

there. The free-trade deal is the focus on the fact that negotiations

:50:07.:50:11.

are being conducted in secrecy. MEPs are not being told about that. If

:50:12.:50:17.

that is the case, why can we not do this democratically? We're talking

:50:18.:50:20.

about harmonisation of regulations. In the US, you can wash chicken

:50:21.:50:23.

carcasses in bleach and sell them In the US, you can wash chicken

:50:24.:50:27.

the public. That is against EU In the US, you can wash chicken

:50:28.:50:32.

rules. Beef and other meat laced in hormones are sold in the US.

:50:33.:50:35.

European governments could be hormones are sold in the US.

:50:36.:50:36.

if they create regulations to protect the public. This is the way

:50:37.:50:43.

that negotiations are carried on in private. Able make that kind of

:50:44.:50:47.

point in public. The public should not know about these things? They

:50:48.:50:51.

will be eventually presented with a package that contains the details.

:50:52.:50:56.

will be eventually presented with a grandstanding which we have just

:50:57.:51:01.

seen. And you want to go from two to six? A swing to 2% would allow us to

:51:02.:51:04.

trouble the number of MEPs. Hands up who knows who their MEP is.

:51:05.:51:06.

Anyone? Anyone? It's fair to say that this side

:51:07.:51:10.

of the channel our views of the European project have always

:51:11.:51:13.

been a tad cooler than those BBC online has been going back over

:51:14.:51:16.

the archives looking at our often tempestuous

:51:17.:51:20.

relationship with the European project, and they're putting some

:51:21.:51:22.

gems up on their website. # Not, not common market, not common

:51:23.:51:25.

market scum. More results since we have come on

:51:26.:52:11.

the air. Yes is showing at city 7% and the no vote at 33%. We not

:52:12.:52:19.

asking the community money, it is asking the community to have our own

:52:20.:52:24.

money back. We wanted at the European Parliament to be the

:52:25.:52:28.

democratic body of the community. We wanted the commission to be the

:52:29.:52:32.

executive and he wanted a council of ministers to be the Senate. No, no,

:52:33.:52:42.

no. The government has concluded that Britain's best interest is

:52:43.:52:46.

served by suspending our membership with the exchange rate mechanism.

:52:47.:52:52.

What people are saying is get Britain out. Watch the Portuguese

:52:53.:53:00.

Prime Minister's lips as he greets Mr Miliband? The Prime Minister is

:53:01.:53:05.

on his way as we speak. He is not locked away.

:53:06.:53:19.

That is known as the political culture order. Good to see Gordon

:53:20.:53:24.

Brown rocked up eventually. If that whetted your attitude, -- appetite,

:53:25.:53:32.

check out our politics section where you can access the material like

:53:33.:53:34.

that which you have seen. We're joined now

:53:35.:53:41.

by the Daily Mail's sketchwriter What does that mean? It is French,

:53:42.:53:53.

you know. A YouGov poll recently found that 95% of the British public

:53:54.:53:57.

could not name the MEPs representing their area. Whose fault is that? I

:53:58.:54:02.

think it is the fault of the system. Possibly. I was thinking, as I was

:54:03.:54:07.

walking along here today, do I know mine? Anthea McIntire I think. Do

:54:08.:54:12.

not think it is the fault of the individuals. If it was the

:54:13.:54:16.

individual's fault, we would no more of them. There would be more

:54:17.:54:21.

exceptional people doing it. I think it is the fact that they do not have

:54:22.:54:28.

obvious powers. Also, the fact that they sit in Brussels. Perhaps it is

:54:29.:54:32.

the fault of the press. Perhaps we ought to report from Brussels more.

:54:33.:54:36.

And I'm told you are right on your MEP. Well done. Congratulations. You

:54:37.:54:43.

are in the 5%. There is this contradiction... It would be

:54:44.:54:47.

worrying if I did not know! There is a contradiction. We top about Europe

:54:48.:54:51.

and if an item but no one knows their MEP. Why? I have only ever

:54:52.:54:56.

done two sketches for the mail from Brussels. It was a terrific route to

:54:57.:55:03.

go there. It makes for lots of Tamil. Rich pickings! Perhaps it is

:55:04.:55:10.

our fault. Why do not go more? Because it costs a bit of money and

:55:11.:55:14.

there is a limit as to how many jokes you can make about blokes

:55:15.:55:18.

speaking Polish. Perhaps that is the reason. We are to be more involved

:55:19.:55:24.

in the minutiae. I do not see many readers leaping around as a result

:55:25.:55:30.

of that. What is it about the European elections that leave the

:55:31.:55:34.

electorate called? Be quite enjoy the chants -- they quite enjoy the

:55:35.:55:39.

chance to cast a vote that does not matter so much. That is why UKIP is

:55:40.:55:42.

doing so well at the moment because it may be a chance to show a protest

:55:43.:55:47.

against the other parties. And why are the elections, local and the EU

:55:48.:55:53.

elections, attracting, how can I put it, more colourful characters? I

:55:54.:55:58.

believe is for standing in the European election if they are going

:55:59.:56:02.

to get a ?175,000 payoff the matter what happens? What a scandal. I hope

:56:03.:56:05.

you will try to whip up opposition to that. But I think that the

:56:06.:56:11.

elections, at general election time, the loonies tend to get drawn to the

:56:12.:56:15.

Prime Minister or the leader of the opposition seats. Tony Blair's seat

:56:16.:56:21.

in the old days, there was always a bloke that looked like Boss Hogg.

:56:22.:56:24.

And now he turns up in Witney, and who knows where he might go next.

:56:25.:56:30.

They go where the media is. Do you have a favourite colourful figure?

:56:31.:56:37.

David Icke once stood against David Davis, and he had a press conference

:56:38.:56:42.

which was an otherworldly event. If you remember, he was convinced we

:56:43.:56:45.

were all aliens. That was a party that once stood, they were called

:56:46.:56:51.

let's throw a blancmange down Terry Wogan's underpants party. Pamela

:56:52.:56:55.

Stephenson was there as a candidate. I think she lost. Great material! It

:56:56.:57:03.

was so stupid that it brings the election process into disrepute. As,

:57:04.:57:07.

arguably, does the rope turnout in some of these European elections. I

:57:08.:57:13.

think that Quentin is onto something. In that these are not

:57:14.:57:22.

elections that engage real voters with the things that most matters.

:57:23.:57:25.

They do not feel a sense of urgency. They do not feel compelled

:57:26.:57:30.

to go out and vote except to register a protest against the

:57:31.:57:38.

established politics that they feel. And that is why it is a rebuke to

:57:39.:57:48.

all of us. The fact that you cannot honestly, from everything we have

:57:49.:57:54.

heard this morning and read, and Cheryl is absolutely right about

:57:55.:57:57.

this, the people who say they are going to vote UKIP, the people I

:57:58.:58:01.

have met canvassing, they are angry. They do not know anything much about

:58:02.:58:06.

what UKIP stands for. And that could be dangerous. It is a good gate, as

:58:07.:58:12.

Quentin says. A terrific cake. Nick Clegg, of course, was a famous MEP.

:58:13.:58:17.

He was there for some time and made a substantial contribution. But Tess

:58:18.:58:22.

is onto something, this question that being a rebuke to all us. There

:58:23.:58:27.

was just time before we go to find out the answer to the quiz.

:58:28.:58:30.

The question was how long would Nick Clegg like to serve as Deputy PM?

:58:31.:58:34.

On and on. No, it is until 2020. Anyway, I'm going to say thank you

:58:35.:58:48.

to all our guests. He is feeling bad now. On that age over experience,

:58:49.:58:54.

thank you very much. Goodbye. BBC Radio 5 live

:58:55.:59:08.

is where news comes to life. And this week on 5 live Breakfast,

:59:09.:59:12.

we're travelling across the UK to explore the stories

:59:13.:59:16.

that matter to you.

:59:17.:59:19.

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