14/05/2014 Daily Politics


14/05/2014

Political news with Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn. Includes live coverage of Prime Minister's Questions. With policing minister Damian Green and shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh.


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Morning folks, welcome to the Daily Politics.

:00:38.:00:41.

A prominent youth member of UKIP quits

:00:42.:00:42.

the party claiming it has descended into a form of "racist populism."

:00:43.:00:46.

Sanya-Jeet Thandi, seen here in last year's UKIP

:00:47.:00:47.

election broadcast, says the party's direction is "terrifying."

:00:48.:00:49.

We'll speak to UKIP's Director of Communications.

:00:50.:00:51.

At one time he was ahead in the polls and a win

:00:52.:00:55.

So has Ed Miliband's electoral strategy gone a bit flat?

:00:56.:01:00.

Who will be on the front foot at Prime Minister's Questions?

:01:01.:01:03.

We'll have all the action live at midday.

:01:04.:01:05.

And, no it's not a B movie, it's a campaign video from

:01:06.:01:08.

Their leader will be here to explain all.

:01:09.:01:47.

And with us for this televisual feast are two

:01:48.:01:53.

subterranean creatures that don't often see the light of day.

:01:54.:01:57.

The Policing Minister, Damian Green and the Shadow

:01:58.:01:58.

Now another day, another UKIP headline.

:01:59.:02:07.

A prominent Asian youth member has quit the party claiming that it has

:02:08.:02:10.

descended into a "form of racist populism."

:02:11.:02:12.

Sanya-Jeet Thandi, who's 21, wrote on a blog for the Guardian website

:02:13.:02:16.

that the party was turning the election into a game of us and them.

:02:17.:02:19.

Three years ago Miss Thandi was described by Nigel Farage

:02:20.:02:24.

Here they are appearing together in an official UKIP video.

:02:25.:02:36.

You are 18 and a rising star in the party. One of the other things that

:02:37.:02:45.

has often been said and in the early days of UKIP's existence, the BBC

:02:46.:02:51.

encourage this, we start out with this idea that if you believe in the

:02:52.:02:56.

United Kingdom and leave we should not governed from Europe, that this

:02:57.:03:04.

was white only? People say it is white only, it is ridiculous. We

:03:05.:03:07.

have Greek members, and Turkish. With is us now is Patrick O'Flynn,

:03:08.:03:15.

UKIP's Director of Communications and a UKIP candidate in the East of

:03:16.:03:19.

England in the forthcoming European This is your rising star? She was on

:03:20.:03:36.

Channel four News singing the praises of UKIP's policy saying it

:03:37.:03:44.

did not discriminate people from EU countries and other countries around

:03:45.:03:49.

the world. I am curious about that. Young people are free to join and

:03:50.:03:57.

leave parties as they want. I do think it is a bit shabby of her to

:03:58.:04:03.

be one week did bend our immigration policy and then throw the racist

:04:04.:04:13.

words in the mix. Have you asked her what has turned her? I have never

:04:14.:04:19.

had a conversation with her in my life, I did send a tweet

:04:20.:04:22.

congratulating her on Channel four News. I thought she was one of your

:04:23.:04:30.

rising stars? She was a prominent member, she has been concentrating

:04:31.:04:35.

on her studies. As recently as last week she did seem to be singing the

:04:36.:04:40.

praises of our immigration policy. Maybe you have been neglecting her.

:04:41.:04:48.

You do have priorities in life and our priority is the European

:04:49.:04:56.

elections. You are in here having to talk about it, the media on the

:04:57.:05:01.

left, the right and the Centre are talking about it. It follows from a

:05:02.:05:07.

coast of people saying inappropriate things in your party. It follows

:05:08.:05:13.

from you trying to make out you had a moment last week when you had

:05:14.:05:16.

members from various grounds all showing. It was a nice picture, this

:05:17.:05:23.

has blown it out of the water. Did you see the poll at the weekend

:05:24.:05:26.

which showed in the European elections, 16% of people from

:05:27.:05:29.

non-white backgrounds will be voting UKIP. I'd ain't we are making great

:05:30.:05:36.

strides in the ethnic community. Why can't you hold onto this bright,

:05:37.:05:42.

young star of which is politics? You can hold onto these things on an

:05:43.:05:49.

individual basis. You have chosen a candidate who has rather strange

:05:50.:05:58.

views on homosexuality. Those views are evolving. He said it in 2012,

:05:59.:06:07.

not that long ago, not the dark ages of the 50s. I think it was when he

:06:08.:06:14.

was a conservative, now he is in UKIP he is more relaxed. You have

:06:15.:06:20.

chosen another former Conservative to run in Grimsby who once said she

:06:21.:06:23.

wanted to send all of the immigrants back home. You are talking about

:06:24.:06:30.

Victoria it -- Victoria Ayling who said she wanted to send away the

:06:31.:06:38.

illegal immigrants. There has not been an announcement of the

:06:39.:06:47.

candidate. It is death by 1000 cuts. The polls say we are rising.

:06:48.:06:53.

Politicians tell me there is only one poll that matters. They do look

:06:54.:06:59.

at these polls very carefully. But every time you tell us it is just a

:07:00.:07:06.

couple of rotten apples and you are getting rid of them, something else

:07:07.:07:11.

jumps out to cause you major embarrassment. Our party has more

:07:12.:07:17.

than doubled the membership. We are on 37,000 and will have more to say

:07:18.:07:21.

on benchmarks soon. We have what Drew pulled our voting intentions.

:07:22.:07:30.

We have growing pains. I know it is something novel in British politics

:07:31.:07:34.

pause these guys have shrinking pains. She said in the Guardian that

:07:35.:07:41.

the reason she supported UKIP stemmed from liberal I hear, smaller

:07:42.:07:47.

taxes, and on immigration policy that was fair equal opportunities.

:07:48.:07:51.

Maybe she should have joined the Conservatives. But you have not

:07:52.:07:56.

delivered either. Sounds like she is eminently qualified with sound

:07:57.:08:03.

instincts to join the Conservative Party and I encourage her to do so.

:08:04.:08:10.

Have you had talks with her? Nope, I first learned of her existence over

:08:11.:08:16.

the past few months. So the Tories... I am only saying I

:08:17.:08:22.

haven't. Far as I know she has done this on her own. Would you like to

:08:23.:08:30.

have talks with her? I am interested in talking to people. Every time a

:08:31.:08:38.

UKIP councillor, MEP or candidate opens their mouth there seems to be

:08:39.:08:45.

another problem. Godfrey Bloom accusing women being sluts for

:08:46.:08:50.

failing to clean behind the fridge. His flatmate in Brussels has told us

:08:51.:08:55.

what he thinks of women. Patrick excuses the views on homosexuality

:08:56.:09:00.

with the excuse he is 70. What age has got to do with it. He is

:09:01.:09:08.

entitled to have his views. What has age got to do with it? Demographics

:09:09.:09:14.

show that older people are less comfortable with homosexuality. The

:09:15.:09:22.

point he is making, and it is fair enough, no matter how often these

:09:23.:09:26.

things happen, how often we in the media pounce on them, UKIP's ratings

:09:27.:09:36.

are not being touched? Patrick has talked about its growing pains

:09:37.:09:42.

because they are going from a small base to a less small base. They are

:09:43.:09:46.

attracting people, former members of the National front who are joining

:09:47.:09:56.

UKIP. Patrick was the director of communications when Andre Lamb

:09:57.:09:58.

picks, whose vile views were exposed on Twitter. They do not have a

:09:59.:10:05.

conversation with him as well? No one outside of UKIP either in the

:10:06.:10:09.

media or in other parties understand why all of this debt can be thrown

:10:10.:10:13.

at them but they are still doing well.

:10:14.:10:22.

Now, new figures released this morning show that a total

:10:23.:10:24.

of 140,000 Romanians and Bulgarians were being employed in the UK in the

:10:25.:10:27.

That number is down slightly on the total number being employed

:10:28.:10:33.

However, there has been a rise in the numbers

:10:34.:10:36.

These are the first set of employment figures since Bulgarians

:10:37.:10:41.

and Romanians gained the same rights to work in the UK as other EU

:10:42.:10:45.

Here's David Freeman from the Office of National Statistics speaking

:10:46.:10:49.

The number of people born in Bulgaria and Romania working in the

:10:50.:11:10.

UK is 140,000. We compared these figures from a year ago and last

:11:11.:11:15.

year there were 112 thousand Romanians and Bulgarians in

:11:16.:11:22.

employment. If you look at the total number of people born abroad who

:11:23.:11:26.

work in the UK, that increased to 172,000. The main impact on that

:11:27.:11:33.

change is from the eight countries that joined the European Union in

:11:34.:11:43.

2004. UKIP have said when the gates were opened in January two

:11:44.:11:48.

Bulgarians and Romanians on January the 1st they would come

:11:49.:11:54.

thousand. You got it very wrong? Nope, we didn't. The figure is down

:11:55.:11:58.

on Nope, we didn't. The figure is down

:11:59.:12:05.

doubt, Sir Andrew Green's central projection of about 50,000 more a

:12:06.:12:09.

year. Nigel Farage said this in his debates with Nick Clegg, he wasn't

:12:10.:12:13.

talking about debates with Nick Clegg, he wasn't

:12:14.:12:24.

400 million people. If you look at workers from

:12:25.:12:30.

400 million people. If you look at the year. From the eight other

:12:31.:12:33.

countries, 74,000 were in the first quarter of the country alone. It

:12:34.:12:38.

countries, 74,000 were in the first out of control. Nigel Farage, on

:12:39.:12:38.

question out of control. Nigel Farage, on

:12:39.:12:43.

doors, we are talking about when the restriction is lifted, the emphasis

:12:44.:12:49.

was put on that, he said opened the doors to 29 million vulgarians and

:12:50.:12:56.

Romanians. It is only 4% came, that with the over a million people.

:12:57.:13:02.

Romanians. It is only 4% came, that number is down. Since those

:13:03.:13:04.

restrictions were lifted because that is what UKIP talked about. You

:13:05.:13:10.

restrictions were lifted because were wrong. Based on one

:13:11.:13:17.

restrictions were lifted because benchmark. We are

:13:18.:13:18.

restrictions were lifted because predicting a very big, long-term

:13:19.:13:20.

rise in Romanian and Bulgarian rise in Romanian and Bulgarian

:13:21.:13:33.

David Cameron cannot fulfil his promise of getting net migration

:13:34.:13:37.

down. It is just going to go up and promise of getting net migration

:13:38.:13:40.

that is a betrayal of the British people.

:13:41.:13:44.

that is a betrayal of the British answer that in a minute. But on the

:13:45.:13:50.

that is a betrayal of the British have hundreds and thousands of Olga

:13:51.:13:55.

Aryans and Romanians. That was wrong. We are going to have hundreds

:13:56.:14:00.

and thousands of them. He is ignoring it. They started

:14:01.:14:06.

scaremongering in the run-up to January the 1st. They have been

:14:07.:14:10.

proved wrong and decided to go for broke and continue to

:14:11.:14:15.

scaremongering. They are not scaremongering from the number of

:14:16.:14:25.

immigrants from the eight countries. When the previous government did not

:14:26.:14:30.

have transitional controls, that is the lessons we learned. That is why

:14:31.:14:36.

we put controls on Romania and Bulgaria and we have not had a

:14:37.:14:42.

similar problem. Underlying this, it comes out as part of the

:14:43.:14:45.

unemployment statistics, we have more people in work than ever before

:14:46.:14:51.

and 75% of the new jobs are being taken by British citizens. That

:14:52.:14:56.

figure was 55% at the end of the Labour government. We will have to

:14:57.:14:57.

leave it there. Now, we've talked a lot

:14:58.:15:02.

on this programme about ?gurus?. Oh yes, we keep up with all

:15:03.:15:06.

the hot political trends. This week Labour's new guru is

:15:07.:15:07.

in town. He's called David Axelrod

:15:08.:15:09.

and he helped Barack Obama win two He's been hired to give Ed Miliband

:15:10.:15:12.

strategic advice between now But judging by the latest polls

:15:13.:15:18.

on this side of the pond he might have his work cut out performing the

:15:19.:15:21.

same magic for the labour leader. As always at times like this

:15:22.:15:25.

JoCo is on hand to explain why. chief -- former campaign chief David

:15:26.:15:57.

Axelrod has arrived in the UK. With a year to go until the general

:15:58.:16:00.

election, Labour is watching its once healthy lead in the polls

:16:01.:16:06.

slowly narrow. The BBC's poll of polls up until April, shows April

:16:07.:16:09.

now only four percentage points ahead.

:16:10.:16:23.

One of those polls found that Miliband's leadership rating

:16:24.:16:29.

was lower than Nick Clegg's. Whilst that's miserable reading

:16:30.:16:34.

for Miliband's election man it's still not good enough

:16:35.:16:37.

for a successful Cameron campaign. For the Conservatives to gain an

:16:38.:16:40.

overall majority it's thought they need to be 11 percentage points

:16:41.:16:44.

ahead of Labour by the election. There is however a big electoral

:16:45.:16:48.

wildcard - Scotland, where Labour currently have 41 out of 59 MPs.

:16:49.:16:53.

If Scotland votes yes to independence it would force everyone

:16:54.:16:55.

to radically recalculate their electoral mathematics.

:16:56.:16:59.

Let's speak now to Joe Twyman, he's director

:17:00.:16:59.

of political research at YouGov. Welcome to the programme. If you

:17:00.:17:10.

were David Axelrod, what would you be thinking? I would think I have

:17:11.:17:17.

got an awful lot of money and I have got a big job to do. This time last

:17:18.:17:21.

year, Labour were ten points ahead and now it is pretty much neck and

:17:22.:17:25.

neck depending on which poll you look at. But both parties are only

:17:26.:17:30.

on 34% of the vote and you are not going to win a majority in the

:17:31.:17:33.

general election with that share. That could lead to a very

:17:34.:17:37.

interesting situation come this time next year when Labour win the most

:17:38.:17:42.

seats but the Conservatives win the most votes in a hung parliament. And

:17:43.:17:50.

then who knows what happens. Do you think these two latest polls which

:17:51.:17:52.

put the Conservatives two points ahead, is that part of a pattern

:17:53.:17:55.

which will increase or will it go back, do you think, let's look at

:17:56.:18:00.

the Sunday Times poll at the weekend which found Labour ahead? Individual

:18:01.:18:05.

polls are interesting but what is really important is the long-term

:18:06.:18:09.

trends over months or years. Some people will say it is the European

:18:10.:18:14.

elections coming up so polls are always slightly odd, but what we are

:18:15.:18:18.

seeing in terms of longer term trends going back to the election,

:18:19.:18:24.

is the decline of that gap. And the Conservatives moving ever closer to

:18:25.:18:28.

Labour. That is worrying if you are Labour strategist because that has

:18:29.:18:31.

to be changed if you're going to be successful at the ballot box. Thank

:18:32.:18:34.

you. And thanks, John-macro. --

:18:35.:18:38.

John-macro. Mary we find out that Mr Miliband's

:18:39.:18:54.

personal ratings are below Gordon Brown's. What is going on? Polls go

:18:55.:19:00.

up and they go down. We do not pay too much attention to polls. You

:19:01.:19:06.

do, you spend a lot of money in the Labour Party. I do not know what

:19:07.:19:13.

David Axelrod does but I know Ed Miliband's leadership has inspired

:19:14.:19:15.

thousands of people to join the Labour Party and to rejoin the

:19:16.:19:20.

Labour Party. We have thousands of people out talking to people on the

:19:21.:19:26.

doorstep. I think there is a UKIP effect. What would that be? A vote

:19:27.:19:33.

for UKIP is a vote for none of the above, it is a protest vote. I think

:19:34.:19:38.

we will not see that affect as strongly at the general election.

:19:39.:19:42.

There is no doubt at the European elections that UKIP has sent a mass

:19:43.:19:47.

mailing out to people. I can see why that would affect the state of the

:19:48.:19:51.

parties if you are right, but I do not understand how that would affect

:19:52.:19:58.

the public's assessment of Mr Miliband as a leader. We have had

:19:59.:20:01.

Taylor advised debates, Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg -- televised debates.

:20:02.:20:09.

People have seen a lot of those people. When people meet Ed Miliband

:20:10.:20:13.

and they listen to his policies and when they meet him and they see him,

:20:14.:20:20.

people see his charisma, see his leadership... His charisma? Yes, his

:20:21.:20:27.

charisma, he's charismatic. When you look at the trend in these polls,

:20:28.:20:33.

the more the British people see Ed Miliband, the less they like what

:20:34.:20:38.

they see. His poll ratings have got consistently worse over the last two

:20:39.:20:44.

years. When people look at the policies Ed Miliband has formulated

:20:45.:20:49.

for our party, whether it is 25 hours a week for childcare to help

:20:50.:20:53.

working people get a job and help their families, whether it is the

:20:54.:20:58.

gas and electricity price freeze, derided by the Conservatives and now

:20:59.:21:03.

imitated by them... Each of these policies on Rome, they are pretty

:21:04.:21:08.

popular in the country, so why therefore has Labour's poll lead all

:21:09.:21:14.

disappeared? There is an argument about whether it has disappeared. It

:21:15.:21:24.

has certainly narrowed. There is a coalition government, there is a

:21:25.:21:28.

media focus on David Cameron and Nick Clegg. That is where most of

:21:29.:21:32.

the media attention is focused. The great media personality is Nigel

:21:33.:21:38.

Farage who has never knowingly photographed without a pint of beer

:21:39.:21:42.

and a cigarette in his hand. Is Ed Miliband charismatic? He is. Mrs

:21:43.:21:54.

Miliband thinks he is charismatic. I do. People like him,

:21:55.:21:59.

Miliband thinks he is charismatic. I him, he is sincere. It just may be

:22:00.:22:05.

that your fundamental pitch is not gelling with the British people. But

:22:06.:22:10.

when you talk about a cost of living crisis, and I emphasise the word

:22:11.:22:14.

crisis as opposed to cost of living problems, people think times have

:22:15.:22:19.

been tough, it is not easy, we have to tighten our belts but it is not a

:22:20.:22:26.

crisis. It is a crisis. When you have a million people relying on

:22:27.:22:30.

food hand-outs, when you have children and elderly people being

:22:31.:22:33.

thrust into poverty, people look around them in their towns and

:22:34.:22:36.

cities and they think, my child will not be able to go to university with

:22:37.:22:40.

the tuition fees, they will not be able to afford their own home and

:22:41.:22:44.

they see a government that is interested in tax cuts for the very

:22:45.:22:48.

rich at the top, not helping people at the bottom to have a hand up. We

:22:49.:22:57.

have just had yet again very good unemployment figures coming out, it

:22:58.:23:00.

is at the lowest in Europe after Germany, if there is a cost of

:23:01.:23:07.

living crisis, why are retail sales in the shops so strong and why is

:23:08.:23:13.

every consumer confidence index rising? If you are one of the

:23:14.:23:18.

850,000 young people who has not got a job, there is a crisis. We know

:23:19.:23:23.

the scarring effects of long-term unemployment and older women and

:23:24.:23:31.

young people. Hold on, almost 300,000 of those people are

:23:32.:23:36.

university students. These consumer confidence indices and retail sales

:23:37.:23:39.

are driven by people on average incomes. So if there is a cost of

:23:40.:23:44.

living crisis for the average person in this country, why are retail

:23:45.:23:47.

sales so strong and why figures are the figures, there may

:23:48.:23:59.

be students but they are trying to pay their way through university to

:24:00.:24:03.

minimise the debts they will come out with after university. And our

:24:04.:24:08.

confidence question, people in the south-east of seeing the house

:24:09.:24:13.

prices rise. There is an issue about consumer spending is being fuelled

:24:14.:24:16.

by people who feel they are richer because that house price is going

:24:17.:24:18.

up. That is not the case. These are national and they break them down

:24:19.:24:23.

regionally and national and they break them down

:24:24.:24:26.

every region. No people in national and they break them down

:24:27.:24:32.

Tamworth that I have been speaking to, do not feel confident. They are

:24:33.:24:39.

not splashing a load of cash and consumer durables. It is not a

:24:40.:24:42.

recovery being felt across consumer durables. It is not a

:24:43.:24:45.

United Kingdom. It is interesting if that is true that it is not being

:24:46.:24:50.

reflected in the polls. The best you can hope for is to be the largest

:24:51.:24:56.

party again, isn't it? No, Labour had a lead of 16%. You think you can

:24:57.:25:06.

have an 11% lead over Labour? Well the polls move. They do not move

:25:07.:25:11.

like Krakatoa! You really think you can get an 11% lead? What are you

:25:12.:25:18.

one these days? I am looking at the economy. I am looking at the figures

:25:19.:25:22.

we have had today. Falling youth unemployment. Mary has a cheek to

:25:23.:25:28.

dog at 850,000, I spent days in opposition talking about a million

:25:29.:25:34.

people under the age of 24. 150,000 fewer of them are out of work than

:25:35.:25:38.

they used to be. You could get that 11 point lead, it would be

:25:39.:25:43.

conceivable if it was not for something called UKIP and you do not

:25:44.:25:46.

know how to handle UKIP. Every time you come up with a policy or an

:25:47.:25:50.

approach or a policy or an approach or strategy towards them rises in

:25:51.:25:55.

the polls. We have seen what has happened in the run-up to the

:25:56.:25:59.

European elections. People traditionally use European elections

:26:00.:26:03.

as a free kick. We have seen the Green Party get 15% in the European

:26:04.:26:10.

election and more or less disappear for decades. People behave

:26:11.:26:14.

differently than general elections. I do not think it is a great

:26:15.:26:16.

predictor of a general election. OK. Now as you know here

:26:17.:26:23.

at the BBC we like to cover all the Yesterday Jo had an opera singer

:26:24.:26:27.

performing some arias in the studio. But we also like to reflect the

:26:28.:26:31.

fringe pastimes that might still The government's been thinking

:26:32.:26:35.

about one such event - something The top minds at the Home Office

:26:36.:26:40.

have written a report looking at the benefits of keeping the pubs open

:26:41.:26:46.

during this competition, which is Are you sure you don't mean

:26:47.:26:49.

the Olympics? Anyway, the report says England has

:26:50.:26:56.

a 54% chance of getting past the group stage,

:26:57.:26:59.

whatever that is, and an 11% chance So it sounds like the England team,

:27:00.:27:05.

whoever they are, won't be bringing They do however have

:27:06.:27:13.

a good chance of winning the Cup And you won't have to go to Brazil

:27:14.:27:23.

to do it. We'll remind you how to enter

:27:24.:27:34.

in a minute, but let's see if you can remember when this happened -

:27:35.:27:37.

and just a warning there is some Nice music. I liked it. To be in

:27:38.:29:26.

with a chance of winning a mug, send your answer to our e-mail address.

:29:27.:29:32.

Full terms and conditions are online.

:29:33.:29:34.

It is coming up to midday here. Big Ben is behind me. I love that shot!

:29:35.:29:43.

And in front of me is Nick Robinson of the BBC here for Prime Minister's

:29:44.:29:46.

Questions. They are becoming quite rare these days because I think

:29:47.:29:49.

after today there will not be one next week because Parliament has

:29:50.:29:53.

nothing to do. They are all off to the seaside. Then it is the Whitsun

:29:54.:29:57.

holiday so they will get two weeks. And then when they come back there

:29:58.:29:59.

will be the week go now. I have had meetings with ministerial

:30:00.:30:31.

colleagues and others and in addition to my duties in this House,

:30:32.:30:35.

I will have further meetings later. The UK has 104 billionaires, London

:30:36.:30:42.

has 72 billionaires. Wes Brown Wales and the valleys is in the top

:30:43.:30:57.

poorest regions in Europe. Why is Lord Mandelson intensely relaxed

:30:58.:30:59.

about people getting filthy rich. What is worthwhile is the massive

:31:00.:31:05.

fall in unemployment and the increase in employment we have seen

:31:06.:31:07.

across the country. In terms of Wales, unemployment has fallen by

:31:08.:31:16.

5000 in the last quarter and fallen by 25,000 in the last election. In

:31:17.:31:22.

terms of making sure the richest in our country pay their taxes, we see

:31:23.:31:28.

the richest 1% paying a greater percentage of income tax than ever

:31:29.:31:33.

they did under Labour. What we are seeing is abroad based recovery and

:31:34.:31:39.

I want to make sure everyone in our country can benefit and that is why

:31:40.:31:44.

we are cutting taxes and keep people from paying income tax. At the end

:31:45.:31:56.

of November, a director of the Stagecoach company acquired Manston

:31:57.:31:59.

airport in my constituency for ?1. On budget day, she announced she was

:32:00.:32:05.

going into consultation with the view to closing an airport which is

:32:06.:32:11.

worth hundreds of jobs, and major diversion field and a search and

:32:12.:32:14.

rescue base. Since then we have sought to find a buyer. Last night

:32:15.:32:18.

the river oak company, who already have airport interests put in a

:32:19.:32:26.

realistic offer to keep the airport open, save jobs and develop the

:32:27.:32:33.

business. At present the owners are reluctant. I don't expect my right

:32:34.:32:37.

honourable friend to engage in commercial negotiations, but will he

:32:38.:32:48.

ensure that the CAA operating licence remains open, the airport

:32:49.:32:56.

remains open and further discussions are held and will he encourage those

:32:57.:33:02.

discussions to take ways? I know my honourable friend has been fighting

:33:03.:33:04.

hard with the honourable member about the future of Manston airport

:33:05.:33:05.

and recognise it has played an important role in the local economy.

:33:06.:33:06.

The future of the airport remains the responsibility of the owner, but

:33:07.:33:11.

I think it is important the government is engaged. I know the

:33:12.:33:15.

Transport Secretary is engaged and will be talking to the owner about

:33:16.:33:20.

this issue and contacting the potential purchasers. In

:33:21.:33:24.

this issue and contacting the they had to make a commercial

:33:25.:33:25.

decision but the government will do everything it can to help.

:33:26.:33:38.

I welcome the fall in unemployment. For all of those people who have

:33:39.:33:47.

found work it is good for them and good for their families. Following

:33:48.:33:57.

the appearance of Pfizer at the select committee yesterday, can the

:33:58.:34:01.

Prime Minister tell us what assurances he is seeking from them

:34:02.:34:08.

and their takeover of AstraZeneca. These are jobs he predict did would

:34:09.:34:12.

never come to Britain and would never be there all stop but it is

:34:13.:34:18.

important because what we see is the largest quarterly increase of people

:34:19.:34:25.

in work, 280,000. We see unemployment is coming down, youth

:34:26.:34:28.

unemployment is coming down and long-term youth unemployment coming

:34:29.:34:36.

down with long-term economic plan working, we see the number of

:34:37.:34:39.

vacancies going up. Honourable members may be interested to know,

:34:40.:34:48.

three quarters of the new jobs over year have gone to UK nationals and

:34:49.:34:51.

also, the employment of Romanians and Olga Aryans went down in the

:34:52.:34:53.

first three months of this year, following the lifting of the

:34:54.:35:00.

controls, which I think is notable. In terms of Pfizer and AstraZeneca

:35:01.:35:10.

this government has been cleared to get stuck in to seek a possible

:35:11.:35:13.

guarantees on British jobs, investment and British science. We

:35:14.:35:17.

discussed this last week and one of the most important things is the

:35:18.:35:21.

right honourable gentleman was asked for a meeting with Pfizer, but said

:35:22.:35:26.

he was too busy politically campaigning. He put party politics

:35:27.:35:34.

ahead of the national interests. I am not going to take any lectures

:35:35.:35:44.

from the guy who was negotiating with Pfizer over the heads of the

:35:45.:35:50.

board of AstraZeneca. Pfizer does not need a PR man, they have got the

:35:51.:35:58.

Prime Minister. Now, for all sides of the House, the appearance of

:35:59.:36:03.

Pfizer at a select committee raises more questions than answers about

:36:04.:36:09.

so-called assurances. The head of Pfizer said there would be a fall in

:36:10.:36:13.

research and development spending as a result of the takeover. Has the

:36:14.:36:21.

Prime Minister got assurances these cuts will not take place in the UK?

:36:22.:36:27.

What is the way of getting those guarantees? Is it getting stuck in

:36:28.:36:31.

with Pfizer and AstraZeneca, battling for the British interest?

:36:32.:36:38.

Or, is it standing back like he has done, doing nothing apart from

:36:39.:36:40.

playing politics. I am clear what the British interest is, it is

:36:41.:36:47.

British jobs, British science, writ -ish research and development and I

:36:48.:36:53.

will do our bit link I can to receive those guarantees. 175,000

:36:54.:37:02.

employed in life sciences in our country because we encourage

:37:03.:37:09.

investments. Companies have chosen to come and invest here because it

:37:10.:37:13.

is a great country to come and do business. The problem is, his

:37:14.:37:20.

assurances are vague, have caveats and are inappropriate. Not my words

:37:21.:37:27.

but the words of the Presidents of the Royal Society. His assurances

:37:28.:37:29.

are useless and there is no guarantee on research and

:37:30.:37:35.

development. The head of Pfizer said yesterday, " there will be job cuts

:37:36.:37:41.

somewhere". Has he got an assurance these job cuts will not take place

:37:42.:37:48.

in the UK? We have assurances on the percentage of research and

:37:49.:37:53.

development that will happen here, investment in Cambridge, investment

:37:54.:37:57.

in Macclesfield. If he is arguing, do we want further assurances? Yes

:37:58.:38:01.

we do. Do we want to make sure those jobs stay here? Yes we do do we want

:38:02.:38:08.

more investment in British universities and science? Yes we do.

:38:09.:38:15.

I say, get stuck in, negotiate hard, fight for Britain. He says, play

:38:16.:38:21.

politics and put that before the national interest. His negotiations

:38:22.:38:29.

aren't working. They are worthless. On research and development, on

:38:30.:38:33.

jobs, he has no answers. What about the possible carving up of the

:38:34.:38:39.

merged company? Nobody wants a company to be bought, split up and

:38:40.:38:42.

sold off. Has he got assurances that won't happen in the course of this

:38:43.:38:48.

takeover? We want a good out, or British investment and jobs. We know

:38:49.:38:53.

what happens if you take the approach of the Labour Party. Let's

:38:54.:38:59.

remember Kraft and Cadburys. We had wonderful speeches about locking

:39:00.:39:06.

investments and then complete and abject surrender and the closure

:39:07.:39:09.

plans under Labour. We have learned the lessons of the mistakes Labour

:39:10.:39:15.

made. We are operating under the framework they left us, which he

:39:16.:39:19.

wrote while he was at the Treasury. We will get results for British

:39:20.:39:24.

science and investment by being engaged rather than standing off and

:39:25.:39:32.

playing politics. He sold off Royal Mail at a knock-down price and the

:39:33.:39:37.

Chancellor's Westman made a killing. That is what happens with his

:39:38.:39:41.

assurances. The truth is, he cannot give us a guarantee because the

:39:42.:39:50.

chief executive says, " he wants to conserve the option a la tea of

:39:51.:39:54.

splitting up the company and flogging it off". Last week the

:39:55.:39:59.

Prime Minister said he would judge the takeover on British jobs,

:40:00.:40:01.

British investment and British science. But he cannot offer

:40:02.:40:08.

assurances on any of those things. Isn't it obvious we should have a

:40:09.:40:12.

proper test of the public interest and if the deal does not pass, we

:40:13.:40:18.

should lock it. He raises this issue about the public interest test.

:40:19.:40:22.

Which party, which government and which individual, when he was in the

:40:23.:40:28.

Treasury writing the rules, got rid of that test? It was the right

:40:29.:40:31.

honourable gentleman. That is what we see on a day when unemployment is

:40:32.:40:37.

down, when more people are in work. He will try any trick, rather than

:40:38.:40:47.

to talk about what is happening in our economy. The country is getting

:40:48.:40:55.

stronger, he is getting weaker. He may not think it is important to

:40:56.:40:59.

talk about a company that is 2% of UK experts and which 30,000 jobs

:41:00.:41:01.

depend. It is crucial to our national interests. And the truth

:41:02.:41:06.

is, he is not powerless, he is the Prime Minister. He can act on a

:41:07.:41:10.

public interest test. We're talking about one of our most important

:41:11.:41:16.

companies. Nobody is certain about his assurances and he is calling

:41:17.:41:20.

back on the old idea that the market knows best and does not need rest.

:41:21.:41:26.

From Royal Mail to AstraZeneca, this is a Prime Minister whose ideology

:41:27.:41:32.

means he cannot stand up for the national interests. If the things

:41:33.:41:36.

these companies are important, why didn't he meet with them rather than

:41:37.:41:42.

go canvassing. He put his own party political interest ahead of the

:41:43.:41:46.

national interest. He fails to understand with measure British

:41:47.:41:51.

interest in British science, jobs and investment. But we measure it on

:41:52.:41:55.

us being a country open to overseas investment. There is a reason

:41:56.:42:00.

companies are coming here to make cars, build trains, make new drugs

:42:01.:42:05.

in our company is because we cut taxes, welcome investments, we are

:42:06.:42:11.

growing our economy and we have more people in work. We will not take a

:42:12.:42:18.

lecture from the party that brought this economy to its knees. I am sure

:42:19.:42:27.

the honourable gentleman is delighted to be greeted. The sun is

:42:28.:42:34.

shining and people are preparing to come to Cornwall for their holiday.

:42:35.:42:40.

When they arrive they will see some of the recent storm damage still has

:42:41.:42:45.

not been put right. Cornwall doesn't just need a long-term, economic

:42:46.:42:51.

plan. We need help today. Will he meet with me to see what more can be

:42:52.:42:57.

done? I am happy to go on discussing with Cornish MPs and with the

:42:58.:43:01.

council to make sure we do every thing to help Cornwall back onto its

:43:02.:43:06.

feet after the storms. I have said the money is under the scheme, so

:43:07.:43:10.

all of the emergency funding that Cornwall had to spend, it had

:43:11.:43:15.

claimed back. It still has time to work on that claim. We have

:43:16.:43:20.

increased the amount of money going through the Environment Agency to

:43:21.:43:24.

repair storm damage. There is an opportunity for Cornwall to have

:43:25.:43:29.

somebody as well. I am sure people are preparing to go to Cornwall and

:43:30.:43:32.

when they get there they will have a very good time. This week the Public

:43:33.:43:37.

Accounts Committee criticised the MoD for failing to account for a one

:43:38.:43:43.

2p underspend, and went on to say this might result in higher spending

:43:44.:43:48.

in future years. Does the Prime Minister think he is right he has

:43:49.:43:54.

balanced the books at the MoD? I remember coming government where we

:43:55.:43:58.

were left with a 38 William pounds black hole. If the criticism is the

:43:59.:44:02.

Secretary of State is careful with the pounds and the pennies and

:44:03.:44:06.

making sure there is an underspend, that can be carried forward into

:44:07.:44:09.

further investment to make sure we have the best investment for the

:44:10.:44:13.

troops, I suspect he may plead guilty. Stevenage continuously the

:44:14.:44:27.

economic recovery. It shows our long-term economic plan is working.

:44:28.:44:32.

economic recovery. It shows our Will the Prime Minister join with

:44:33.:44:34.

economic recovery. It shows our in congratulating the

:44:35.:44:37.

economic recovery. It shows our institutions and businesses in my

:44:38.:44:38.

constituency that have increased apprenticeship starts to over 800

:44:39.:44:47.

apprenticeship starts now? My honourable friend is right. In

:44:48.:44:51.

Stevenage unemployment has fallen by 24% over the last year which shows

:44:52.:45:03.

our economic plan is working and every one of those people is not

:45:04.:45:38.

just a They have zero hour contracts which do not pay enough to pay the

:45:39.:45:44.

rent. Unemployment in Stockton has fallen over the last year. If he

:45:45.:45:49.

looks at the unemployment figures, he will see that the number of

:45:50.:45:52.

people in part-time work he will see that the number of

:45:53.:45:57.

full-time work has fallen increasingly. People are able to

:45:58.:46:00.

find the full-time work that they want. There is an increase in people

:46:01.:46:05.

claiming housing benefit because there is an increase in people who

:46:06.:46:08.

are in work. That is what is happening in our country, we are

:46:09.:46:14.

getting people back to work. Mr Speaker, thousands of people in

:46:15.:46:18.

my constituency are forced to use the NHS in Wales said they will be

:46:19.:46:23.

concerned about yesterday's report which showed serious failings in the

:46:24.:46:31.

care of fail older people at two NHS hospitals in Wales -- frail older

:46:32.:46:36.

people. Don't the people of Wales and my constituency deserve better?

:46:37.:46:40.

As I understand it these are very concerning reports which do need to

:46:41.:46:44.

be studied because the NHS in Wales is not in a good state. We have had

:46:45.:46:50.

an 8% cut in the budget. The last time A targets were met in Wales

:46:51.:46:56.

was in 2009. The last time the urgent cancer treatment target was

:46:57.:47:01.

met was in 2008. We really season problems in the NHS in Wales and

:47:02.:47:05.

frankly the Labour Party are chatting to each other on the front

:47:06.:47:09.

bench and they should be getting a grip of this issue and sorting out

:47:10.:47:13.

the NHS. The Pfizer boss did give assurances

:47:14.:47:17.

to the business committee yesterday. He gave an absolute

:47:18.:47:22.

assurance that any takeover of AstraZeneca would result in a fall

:47:23.:47:26.

in research and development into new drugs in the UK. The AstraZeneca

:47:27.:47:33.

boss said it could put lives at risk. How can any Prime Minister

:47:34.:47:37.

worth the title not immediately conclude that the right thing to do

:47:38.:47:40.

in the national interest is to call this in? As I explained to his right

:47:41.:47:46.

honourable friend, we are operating under the legal framework put in

:47:47.:47:50.

place by the Government he was a member of. I actually think, when he

:47:51.:47:53.

looks at The Record of what was said yesterday, I think you will find

:47:54.:47:56.

that the quotes he gives are not accurate. Does the Prime Minister

:47:57.:48:04.

agree that the building of vital roads like the A5 M1 link Dunstable

:48:05.:48:10.

Northern bypass will create even more jobs and that continued

:48:11.:48:13.

infrastructure investment like this is a key part of our long-term

:48:14.:48:22.

economic plan? I agree. I have spent some time in his constituency stuck

:48:23.:48:27.

on the A5 and I know how much it does need this remedial work done.

:48:28.:48:32.

It is absolutely vital for this part of our country. We are investing

:48:33.:48:37.

more in our railways since any time since the Victorian times and we are

:48:38.:48:42.

investing more on our roads since the 1970s. It is keyed to the

:48:43.:48:46.

success of our long-term economic plan.

:48:47.:48:49.

Is there a good reason why the promised will not condemn the tax

:48:50.:48:54.

affairs of Tory supporting Gary Barlow as morally wrong? I could not

:48:55.:48:59.

be clearer that I condemn all of these progressive tax avoidance

:49:00.:49:02.

schemes. And more than just condemning them, this government has

:49:03.:49:07.

taken legislative action to say to people, to coin a phrase, we want

:49:08.:49:12.

your money for good. Mr William Cash. Order, order! Lets

:49:13.:49:21.

have a respectful silence for Mr William Cash.

:49:22.:49:29.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. My right honourable friend will know that my

:49:30.:49:33.

international do on gender equality act came into force last night. Will

:49:34.:49:40.

he note that this will protect women and girls throughout the world and

:49:41.:49:46.

furthermore that particularly in places like Nigeria and Syria, it

:49:47.:49:51.

provides an opportunity to be able to do whatever we can to relieve

:49:52.:49:55.

their tragedy. Will he be good enough to have a word with the

:49:56.:50:00.

secretary of the, our excellent Secretary of State for International

:50:01.:50:03.

development and do whatever we can to use that act to help those people

:50:04.:50:08.

who are being severely afflicted? I am sure the whole house will want to

:50:09.:50:14.

join me in amending this honourable gentleman for his bill and getting

:50:15.:50:17.

this important measure on the statute book. This year, Britain is

:50:18.:50:22.

taking some huge steps forward, using the power of our aid budget to

:50:23.:50:27.

really try and drive change in our world, to end forever the scandals

:50:28.:50:33.

of forced and early marriage and female genital mutilation. We are in

:50:34.:50:37.

a really strong position to drive change on this. He mentioned Nigeria

:50:38.:50:41.

and I can announce today that we have offered Nigeria further

:50:42.:50:45.

assistance in terms of surveillance aircraft and the team to work with

:50:46.:50:50.

US experts to analyse information on the girls' location. As I said last

:50:51.:50:55.

week, this is an act of pure evil, the world is coming together not

:50:56.:50:59.

just to condemn it but to help the Nigerians find these girls.

:51:00.:51:06.

50,499 ambulances have been waiting in queues of at least half an hour

:51:07.:51:12.

at accident and emergency units up and down the country. What is he

:51:13.:51:17.

going to do about it? What we are doing about it is making sure the

:51:18.:51:21.

?12.7 billion extra that we are putting into the NHS, unlike the

:51:22.:51:27.

Labour NHS cut in Wales, is going to good use and we can actually see in

:51:28.:51:33.

our NHS, we have 1.2 million more people attending accident and

:51:34.:51:36.

emergency and over this winter period, we met our targets for

:51:37.:51:41.

accident and emergency. I remember the last time the Labour leader

:51:42.:51:46.

raised our hospitals at Prime Minister's Questions. It was back in

:51:47.:51:51.

November. He has not had a word to say about it since! He predicted a

:51:52.:51:55.

winter crisis, he sat there day after day dying for it to happen. It

:51:56.:51:59.

did not happen because we have a strong NHS with more doctors and

:52:00.:52:09.

nurses serving our country. The Prime Minister is well aware of

:52:10.:52:13.

the wonderful work done by the Royal British Legion centre with our brave

:52:14.:52:18.

servicemen and women who have been injured in conflict through adaptive

:52:19.:52:23.

sports and adventurous training. At the end of this month, I will be

:52:24.:52:28.

joining a team from the centre with the honourable members for Bass

:52:29.:52:33.

North, chat and Aylesford, to raise awareness of this wonderful work and

:52:34.:52:36.

will the Prime Minister wish us every success in this aim? I will

:52:37.:52:42.

certainly wish the honourable gentleman from across the House, the

:52:43.:52:49.

honourable gentlemen and ladies. I wish them well. The Royal British

:52:50.:52:53.

Legion plays a key part in standing up for our veterans and their

:52:54.:52:57.

interests and making sure we raise money and serve them properly. We

:52:58.:53:00.

work very closely with them in government. The Battle Back centre

:53:01.:53:08.

is an extraordinary facility. I wish you well and hope the fundraising

:53:09.:53:12.

goes well. When the Prime Minister goes up to

:53:13.:53:16.

Scotland this week, when he explained to our agricultural

:53:17.:53:19.

producers in rural countries, wide by 2019 we will be receiving the

:53:20.:53:24.

lower-level -- lowest level per hectare, not only of any country in

:53:25.:53:32.

the UK but in the whole EU? What I will be explaining on my trip is how

:53:33.:53:39.

Scotland is better off inside the United Kingdom, that we have all of

:53:40.:53:43.

the negotiating power of the UK around the table to get a good deal

:53:44.:53:47.

for Scotland, whereas an independent Scotland would have to queue up

:53:48.:53:51.

behind other countries to get back into the European Union and

:53:52.:53:55.

specifically on agriculture, because of the hard work of my right

:53:56.:53:58.

honourable friend the agriculture secretary, we're actually making

:53:59.:54:02.

sure that there will be extra support for Scottish farmers

:54:03.:54:05.

absolutely in line with what the Scottish

:54:06.:54:07.

absolutely in line with what the for. Richard Harrington.

:54:08.:54:14.

According to the Watford Chamber of Commerce, this year Watford will

:54:15.:54:16.

benefit from a total of ?1.5 Commerce, this year Watford will

:54:17.:54:20.

in new investment. Already started, we have got a new road, two train

:54:21.:54:26.

stations, two secondary schools being refitted and we have a

:54:27.:54:31.

brand-new UTC. To cap all of that, today that has been an announcement

:54:32.:54:37.

that unemployment is 667 less than a year ago. But I am very concerned

:54:38.:54:43.

that this continues. I would like to ask the Prime Minister what his

:54:44.:54:45.

strategy is to make sure this continues. If he takes my advice, Mr

:54:46.:54:48.

Speaker, he will continues. If he takes my advice, Mr

:54:49.:54:56.

something that is one long-term, two economic. First of all, can I say to

:54:57.:55:02.

my honourable friend how well commit is that unemployment in Watford over

:55:03.:55:07.

the last year has fallen by 30%. We are getting the people of Watford

:55:08.:55:13.

back to work and cutting unemployment. What he says in terms

:55:14.:55:16.

of the important investment with the rail link and the two new stations

:55:17.:55:20.

and re-building new schools are absolutely vital. The long-term plan

:55:21.:55:24.

is not just about jobs and cutting taxes, as important as those are, it

:55:25.:55:29.

is also about supporting business and small business in particular, by

:55:30.:55:34.

building the infrastructure we need. Because we have taken difficult

:55:35.:55:37.

long-term decisions, we have been able to put this investment into our

:55:38.:55:40.

roads and railways. able to put this investment into our

:55:41.:55:49.

able to see a GP within 48 hours was not a priority. Does this Prime

:55:50.:55:56.

Minister regret this? If you listen to the Royal College of GPs, they

:55:57.:56:01.

are saying there is something like 40 million more GP appointments

:56:02.:56:06.

since 2010. The patients survey always quoted by Labour ministers

:56:07.:56:11.

when they were in government says 93% of people say appointments in

:56:12.:56:14.

the GP system are convenient. Frankly, I want more. As the father

:56:15.:56:19.

of three young children, I know how important it is to get timely GP

:56:20.:56:24.

appointments. That is why we are training 5000 more GPs. We have

:56:25.:56:28.

named GP for frail and elderly people. We have a thousand GP

:56:29.:56:33.

centres which now open 8am to 8pm and at weekends. I tell you what I

:56:34.:56:38.

do regret. I regret the fact the last Labour government signed a

:56:39.:56:41.

contract with GPs which meant they did not have to offer a service out

:56:42.:56:45.

of hours or at weekends. Because of the investment we are putting into

:56:46.:56:50.

the NHS, actually, we are providing better services. If he is wondering

:56:51.:56:55.

about the idea of a 48-hour target, he might ask why Labour scrapped one

:56:56.:57:02.

in Wales. Nigel Evans. Ribble Valley Council has recently

:57:03.:57:07.

approved its core strategy. Will he reassure local councillors that this

:57:08.:57:11.

will now give them extra power to protect those areas within the

:57:12.:57:16.

Ribble Valley that are not already earmarked for development. And will

:57:17.:57:19.

he come and visit the Ribble Valley and see for himself why the Ribble

:57:20.:57:23.

Valley is consistently voted one of the best places to live in the

:57:24.:57:26.

United Kingdom and why local people want to keep it that way. I look

:57:27.:57:34.

forward to visiting my honourable friend's constituency and broader

:57:35.:57:36.

constituencies in Lancashire as well. I think the assurance I can

:57:37.:57:41.

give him is this. When local councils put in place their local

:57:42.:57:44.

plan, they will have far greater ability to determine how much

:57:45.:57:48.

housing, what sort of housing and where it goes. That is what we are

:57:49.:57:51.

trying to put in place and the faster local councils can put

:57:52.:57:54.

implants the more power and responsibility they will have.

:57:55.:57:59.

As the Prime Minister has acknowledged, the number of people

:58:00.:58:02.

who are in work but have to claim housing benefit to make ends meet is

:58:03.:58:06.

growing, but the cost of that will be an extra ?5 billion over the

:58:07.:58:10.

course of this Parliament. Does the Prime Minister consider that a sign

:58:11.:58:15.

of success? The most important thing we have done in respect to housing

:58:16.:58:18.

benefit is to put a cap on it. When we claim to office there were

:58:19.:58:24.

families claiming 60, 70, ?80,000. When we put the cap on housing

:58:25.:58:28.

benefit, what was the Labour reaction? It was to vote against it.

:58:29.:58:32.

When we said housing benefit should not be paid in respect of spare

:58:33.:58:36.

rooms that people are not using, what was Labour's attitude? To

:58:37.:58:42.

oppose it. The good news from his seat is, here is something which is

:58:43.:58:46.

not going up, it is unemployment and it is down 31% in his constituency.

:58:47.:58:53.

Some of those people in work are claiming housing benefit but because

:58:54.:58:56.

of this government's long-term economic plan, more of his

:58:57.:58:59.

constituents are in work and earning. Mr Andrew Percy.

:59:00.:59:07.

Extra flood defence funding for the Humber area following the tidal

:59:08.:59:11.

surge in December was most welcome but many of my constituents are

:59:12.:59:14.

still out of their homes and there is concern that we get the 300

:59:15.:59:17.

million which is needed over the next five years. MPs are working

:59:18.:59:22.

across party on this. Will the prime Minster meet with us so we can meet

:59:23.:59:29.

with him to discuss the high risk of flooding? I had an experience of

:59:30.:59:36.

very positive and good meetings with members of Parliament for Humberside

:59:37.:59:40.

on a cross-party basis. We worked very hard to make sure the Siemens

:59:41.:59:44.

investment went into a hole which is going to bring not just jobs to that

:59:45.:59:49.

factory but a whole new industry and supply chain into the area --

:59:50.:59:54.

investment went into Hull. I will make sure we do all we can to

:59:55.:59:59.

protect people's homes and businesses.

:00:00.:59:59.

While I welcome the I hope you enjoyed that because you

:00:00.:03:06.

will not be getting another one for a long time. The two frontbenchers

:03:07.:03:10.

went backwards and forwards over Pfizer. Not a single new fact was

:03:11.:03:17.

introduced in the exchanges. They just repeated what we have heard

:03:18.:03:25.

many, many times before. Viewers did not engage and the subject matter.

:03:26.:03:33.

Actually, what they did engage and was the performances of the party

:03:34.:03:37.

leaders. Colin in Rugby said I do not know what scale politicians used

:03:38.:03:43.

to measure charisma, but it did it matter if it is the Bofors scale, Ed

:03:44.:03:48.

to measure charisma, but it did it air or possibly hot air.

:03:49.:03:54.

to measure charisma, but it did it the wild applause

:03:55.:03:57.

to measure charisma, but it did it for Ed Miliband was from the

:03:58.:03:57.

Conservative MPs. for Ed Miliband was from the

:03:58.:04:07.

long-term economic for Ed Miliband was from the

:04:08.:04:13.

but those and zero hours contracts do not think it is working. Terry

:04:14.:04:19.

Casey from Liverpool says the Prime Minister does not understand the

:04:20.:04:20.

rich are earning a lot more Minister does not understand the

:04:21.:04:29.

hence the rise in the tax. And some else accuses Ed Miliband of playing

:04:30.:04:34.

politics, if you get to me. I got lost on that one. You can explain to

:04:35.:04:44.

me later. Or all three main Westminster party is going to take

:04:45.:04:48.

the view that the European elections do not say anything about the future

:04:49.:04:54.

course in politics? The Greens did very well in 19 18, in the 1980s

:04:55.:05:03.

when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, UKIP did well in the past

:05:04.:05:07.

and another leader, Robert Kilroy silk. But if there is a big turnout

:05:08.:05:37.

or whether there is a protest vote. I thought what was striking today is

:05:38.:05:44.

Ed Miliband with news on a difficult wicket, a couple of the polls have

:05:45.:05:50.

shown Labour behind and employment figures are very good. What he

:05:51.:05:56.

wanted to avoid before an election is David Cameron pointing it out and

:05:57.:05:59.

him pointing out he was scared to talk about the economy. It is better

:06:00.:06:09.

than Manning crisis polls which have turned in the wrong direction. You

:06:10.:06:18.

can talk about this long-term sustainability, but it looks like

:06:19.:06:22.

this coalition government will go to the polls in a benign economic

:06:23.:06:28.

atmosphere. The governor of the Bank of England is forecast for this

:06:29.:06:36.

year, three point -- 3.4% growth and they have raised 2015, up 3%. No one

:06:37.:06:45.

on the left or the right sort that would be a kind of background to the

:06:46.:06:53.

run up to the election? We hoped for growth earlier and when we left

:06:54.:06:57.

government growth was rising, unemployment was falling and so was

:06:58.:06:59.

inflation. All of those things changed around 2010. We had three

:07:00.:07:07.

wasted years when we did not have growth. But growth for who? Where is

:07:08.:07:12.

the recovery being felt? It is being felt in London and the south-east

:07:13.:07:16.

and we have talked about House prices. But working people are on

:07:17.:07:22.

average ?1600 worse off with council tax bills going up, food going up

:07:23.:07:31.

and rent going up. Putting a ceiling on rent rises, these are the

:07:32.:07:45.

policies people are calling out for when we go out on the doorstep. So

:07:46.:07:48.

it is a recovery for the South. Labour said if you follow these

:07:49.:07:49.

policies, they won't be growth, there won't be recovery. We are now

:07:50.:07:57.

seeing strong growth. We have cut the deficit by a third. Unemployment

:07:58.:08:03.

coming down. There is clearly a palpable recovery going on across

:08:04.:08:08.

the economy. Helping young people, at least the young unemployment

:08:09.:08:13.

figures are coming down. And the long-term economic plan is working.

:08:14.:08:20.

You say nobody predicted this would be the background to the election,

:08:21.:08:24.

George Osborne predict did it. He said we would need to go through the

:08:25.:08:27.

pain of austerity. He predict did things with a better, he did not

:08:28.:08:35.

predict 3.4% growth, which is what the banks predicted because he has

:08:36.:08:40.

to depend on the OBR figures for growth and they are consistently

:08:41.:08:47.

wrong. The OBR is not the Treasury either. George Osborne sensibly

:08:48.:08:54.

set... You know when you speak to senior Conservatives they will

:08:55.:08:59.

surprise the economy is growing by over three and a half percent. We

:09:00.:09:05.

are not surprised the economy is growing because that was the purpose

:09:06.:09:09.

of the plan. I am talking about the volume of the growth which I think

:09:10.:09:15.

has surprised all of the Westminster establishment on the left and the

:09:16.:09:19.

right. The monetary policy committee meeting this morning, which is more

:09:20.:09:26.

important than anything that happened at Prime Minister's

:09:27.:09:28.

Questions. As the bank is telling us if the economy is growing by over

:09:29.:09:35.

3%, it is a return to normality. 3% is the growth rate you get coming

:09:36.:09:39.

out of a recession and at last we have reached that. So when do

:09:40.:09:43.

interest rates return to normal? Has anybody given the thought too, the

:09:44.:09:51.

closest we get to an election, does it not become a political move for

:09:52.:09:55.

the Governor of the bank to start to change interest rates. In America

:09:56.:10:00.

the Federal Reserve tries to avoid it in a presidential year. People

:10:01.:10:08.

are stretched on their mortgages and can only afford them because

:10:09.:10:10.

interest rates have been low for so long. While growth will help lots of

:10:11.:10:16.

people, the rise in interest rates will help savers but will hurt

:10:17.:10:24.

people with mortgages and push some over the edge. The governor was

:10:25.:10:29.

signalling interest rate rises would come sooner than he originally

:10:30.:10:35.

thought, but they will be gradual. I suspect if he thinks it has got to

:10:36.:10:40.

be done, they will try to do it slowly and steadily rather than

:10:41.:10:46.

waiting and waiting and doing it at one go. But it will be a big event,

:10:47.:10:57.

even if it is only 25 basis points, it is the turning of the cycle, the

:10:58.:11:00.

day he does that. What I cannot work out is, will he really do that this

:11:01.:11:09.

side of voting day? The hint is, he is given the upgrading of economic

:11:10.:11:15.

forecasts. But the interesting thing is, compared with him and his

:11:16.:11:23.

predecessor, Mervyn King, he was a politician first. He was a Canadian

:11:24.:11:27.

politician before he ran the Canadian central bank. He will be

:11:28.:11:33.

aware of the political sensitivity of putting up interest rates. But if

:11:34.:11:40.

the Bank of England concludes it has got to be done, I suspect it will

:11:41.:11:45.

be. I suspect he will hold off, not just for political reasons but the

:11:46.:11:48.

external pressures coming in on Britain at the moment are

:11:49.:11:54.

deflationary. The strength of sterling, the spectre of deflation

:11:55.:11:57.

in the Eurozone. I have just come back from Italy which has been hit

:11:58.:12:05.

by Italy, so has Greece, Spain and Portugal. Even Sweden, in the north.

:12:06.:12:13.

And this overcapacity in China, which will more than likely be

:12:14.:12:17.

dumped on Europe, these goods will come in cheaply. I suspect because

:12:18.:12:22.

of these deflationary pressures will not allow him to raise interest

:12:23.:12:28.

rates for a while? He will not want to do anything to choke off the

:12:29.:12:34.

recovery. And become political. We don't want to see people defaulting

:12:35.:12:38.

on their mortgages. Damien talks about a recovery but when we have

:12:39.:12:44.

half a million people on 0-hours contract 's, a million part-time

:12:45.:12:46.

workers who would like to move to full-time work but can't because

:12:47.:12:52.

their employers are not offering, or they cannot get the child care they

:12:53.:12:58.

need. It is not a recovery fully spread across all parts of the UK

:12:59.:13:03.

economy. It is spreading across all parts. One of the interesting things

:13:04.:13:09.

about this recovery is how balanced it is, it is not just a consumer

:13:10.:13:13.

recovery. Business investment as well. If it is not just consumers

:13:14.:13:20.

and businesses have got somewhere else to go, what else is it? It is

:13:21.:13:28.

exports as well. Overall, exports throughout the coalition's life have

:13:29.:13:36.

been a negative on growth. But they are coming in the right direction

:13:37.:13:39.

now. Manufacturing is doing better than people thought. A very low

:13:40.:13:51.

base? The base actor the recession was extremely low, it has now

:13:52.:14:00.

recovered under this government. And also the big issues leading up to

:14:01.:14:07.

these elections is immigration. The Prime Minister squeezed in a mention

:14:08.:14:11.

of it. You can look at the figures that show a big increase in the

:14:12.:14:15.

number of people coming from the EU as a success story. Jobs are being

:14:16.:14:17.

created and there is a record number of British people in jobs. If you

:14:18.:14:19.

are UKIP, you can say, we did not get it right about Romania and dog

:14:20.:14:23.

area but there is still a surge of people coming from the EU. It is

:14:24.:14:30.

whether the data can be read in more than one way. Do these figures that

:14:31.:14:34.

came out today, Vince Cable saying, I told you so. Or is Nigel Farage to

:14:35.:14:44.

save I don't care which bit of Europe came from, they are still

:14:45.:14:46.

coming. I suspect if they had gone on that it would have been more

:14:47.:14:52.

interesting. We will not see you for a few weeks. Just go and do some

:14:53.:15:01.

gardening, nothing else to do. We will see you on June 18. We will be

:15:02.:15:08.

counting the days. The weather will be nice, what ever

:15:09.:15:11.

you decide to do. How do you know that?

:15:12.:15:21.

I believe the BBC weather forecast. LED lights are becoming more

:15:22.:15:26.

popular, not just as flickering indicators are machines but for

:15:27.:15:29.

vehicle headlights, industrial lighting and even illuminating

:15:30.:15:33.

homes. They are seen as more efficient and longer lasting than

:15:34.:15:38.

traditional lamps. It is perhaps for this reason they are also being seen

:15:39.:15:42.

as an alternative option for street lighting by some councils. For soap

:15:43.:15:48.

box this week, we hear from Simon Nicholas who is a leading campaigner

:15:49.:15:53.

against LED street lighting in Trafford in South Manchester.

:15:54.:16:09.

and spreading across Britain. Now councils up and down the country

:16:10.:16:13.

want to use LEDs to light up our streets at night. Here in West

:16:14.:16:19.

London they have already made the switch. Here in West London they use

:16:20.:16:27.

them. They claim to use less energy. The cost of the PFI contract to

:16:28.:16:33.

install these is unknown. In my own borough of Old Trafford, the cost

:16:34.:16:38.

was similarly shrouded in secrecy. There is a question about how

:16:39.:16:44.

cost-effective it really is. In order to achieve savings over

:16:45.:16:46.

traditional lights, they must be supplied with a very high colour

:16:47.:16:52.

temperature omitting high levels in the blue spectrum. There is an

:16:53.:16:56.

increasing research which supports the view that blue

:16:57.:17:02.

bad for health and the environment. A number of studies suggests the

:17:03.:17:06.

blue lighting leads to the suppression of melatonin, a hormone

:17:07.:17:13.

which leads to sleep. A report in 2009 recommended caution before any

:17:14.:17:20.

widescale move to lean sodium lighting and broad-spectrum

:17:21.:17:22.

lighting. Here, people have complained the new lights have

:17:23.:17:28.

disrupted their sleep and they have had to use cardboard on the windows

:17:29.:17:31.

to block the lighting. I believe we need to halt and reverse the spread

:17:32.:17:38.

of LED lighting until wider research has been explored in the cold light

:17:39.:17:43.

of day. And Simon Nicholas is with me now.

:17:44.:17:49.

Let's look at the impact on health and sleep deprivation. How much

:17:50.:17:52.

evidence have you got to support the claims made in that film that LED

:17:53.:17:56.

lighting does have a negative impact? There is a lot of

:17:57.:18:02.

multinational research which have been published to support that. It

:18:03.:18:06.

is well acknowledged that blue light at night does affect sleep. And

:18:07.:18:10.

also, the whole issue will blue light in the environment affects not

:18:11.:18:15.

just human beings but also ecosystems of other animals and

:18:16.:18:19.

plants. It is not a naturally occurring to have blue light at

:18:20.:18:26.

night. There is a number of research that has been published. People are

:18:27.:18:30.

not going to be sleeping under the lights. It is not as if you are

:18:31.:18:35.

getting direct exposure, as if it was inside the house with you? I

:18:36.:18:40.

think you do get exposure if it is coming through your living room

:18:41.:18:44.

window in the evening and also, if you have a crack in the curtains, it

:18:45.:18:49.

can come through and liked the room. Also it has been suggested that you

:18:50.:18:53.

can get up in the middle of the night and walk into a room which

:18:54.:18:56.

does not have the curtains closed and it can trigger your body clock

:18:57.:19:02.

by just doing that. Is it true that even with the curtains closed, if

:19:03.:19:06.

you are standing in the bedrooms, if you have an LED light facing your

:19:07.:19:10.

house, you would have it streamed through the window? Guests. I went

:19:11.:19:19.

to a gentleman's house last night and he has a downstairs flat and it

:19:20.:19:22.

is streaming in almost like a floodlight from across the road into

:19:23.:19:24.

his bedroom. It does last longer than some of the traditional

:19:25.:19:28.

lighting that is used and is more efficient in terms of energy

:19:29.:19:31.

consumption. Is that the reason behind using them? It is more

:19:32.:19:37.

efficient but only if you tune it to omit a large amount of blue light.

:19:38.:19:46.

There are other issues as well such as glare. They are extremely bright.

:19:47.:19:52.

And also Flickr. There is concern and I have spoken to public health

:19:53.:19:57.

England about this, that different types of streetlights operating at

:19:58.:20:04.

different frequencies might cause problems in terms of seizures and

:20:05.:20:08.

that sort of thing. Have you actually won your battle in

:20:09.:20:14.

Trafford? In a sense, gas. They were in denial for a while about the

:20:15.:20:18.

issue of health. They have gone away and given me a commitment that they

:20:19.:20:25.

will not fit high colour temperature LEDs in Trafford. If more than -- is

:20:26.:20:32.

more benign specifications do not stack up financially, they will not

:20:33.:20:43.

be suppressed. I am worried about councils turning off the lights

:20:44.:20:46.

altogether. As somebody who regularly site 's home later

:20:47.:20:55.

tonight, there is research in a large amounts of accidents when the

:20:56.:20:59.

lights are turned off. Eric Pickles says people should not be doing

:21:00.:21:02.

aerobics at three o'clock in the morning. I do not think we want

:21:03.:21:05.

lessons from Eric and aerobics but I think it is important that we have a

:21:06.:21:11.

safe lighting system. Do you think this is? No, I think LED lights in

:21:12.:21:16.

Salford, they have installed them, they have cut their bill, it is a

:21:17.:21:21.

low-energy way of lighting the streets, councils are under pressure

:21:22.:21:25.

and a price freeze would reduce that but I do think blue light, it is the

:21:26.:21:35.

blue light which is most likely to keep us awake is staring at our

:21:36.:21:39.

hand-held phones and our computers and we do that voluntarily. What you

:21:40.:21:44.

say about the claim of Tory councils wanting to switch off the lights to

:21:45.:21:47.

save money. Eric Pickles says he loves them being switched off at

:21:48.:21:51.

night because it saves money and helps and sleep. Councils saving

:21:52.:22:01.

money is not sensible if they are not saving on essential things. The

:22:02.:22:08.

thing to do it is in areas where it does not make a difference. Having

:22:09.:22:11.

full streetlights on at three o'clock in the morning inroads where

:22:12.:22:18.

nobody walks down is not a sensible use of taxpayers' money. Is that

:22:19.:22:22.

stops a fatal car crash. Cars have headlights. Public health England

:22:23.:22:29.

has said that they are not convinced, there is research showing

:22:30.:22:34.

that they can cause problems. Public Health England is not convinced by

:22:35.:22:40.

that. The research on crime generally is almost perverse. It

:22:41.:22:44.

shows that crime goes down if you switch the lights off. I made that

:22:45.:22:48.

face as well when I heard that but it is fair to say that on the house

:22:49.:22:53.

aspects and the crime and safety aspects, the research is at best

:22:54.:23:00.

inconclusive. There is also environmental issues as well. Royal

:23:01.:23:05.

commission report said it advised government to do some research and

:23:06.:23:12.

not to rush into LED street lighting until the full environmental impact

:23:13.:23:15.

had been considered. Thank you and come and tell us what Trafford

:23:16.:23:26.

decide to do in the future. A crack team of researchers has been

:23:27.:23:32.

on to the House of Commons and they tell us that last year there was a

:23:33.:23:38.

PMQs after the Queens speech I stand corrected! But now there is some

:23:39.:23:42.

doubt about it. There are several anti-EU groups

:23:43.:23:53.

in each electoral region, including ex-UKIP MEP Mike Nattrass and his

:23:54.:24:00.

"An Independence from Europe" Party. Let's have a look

:24:01.:24:04.

at their election broadcast. No one would have believed that in

:24:05.:24:24.

the first years of the 21st century, Britain's affairs were being watched

:24:25.:24:30.

and scrutinised by an alien world. With our three political parties who

:24:31.:24:34.

lie to the public about their intentions, minds more Eurocrat than

:24:35.:24:41.

ours, slowly and surely drew their plans against us. And then it came.

:24:42.:24:49.

The hideous body of the EU, smashing our democracy and destroying our

:24:50.:24:55.

laws. Plotting to annihilate our currency and sucking up our pension

:24:56.:25:00.

funds. And Mike Nattrass is here in the

:25:01.:25:06.

studio. Welcome to the Daily Politics. There is the United

:25:07.:25:09.

kingdom Independence party and now there is the An Independence From

:25:10.:25:15.

Europe party. It is a bit like the people's Judaean front and the

:25:16.:25:20.

Judaean front... Traditionally in British politics, it was the far

:25:21.:25:24.

left that went into endless factions. I think there were 16

:25:25.:25:28.

different Trotskyite groups. Are you not in danger of doing the same? No,

:25:29.:25:35.

we are not the same. We are to the left of UKIP. We do not believe in

:25:36.:25:40.

privatisation which is being bandied around by Nigel who does tend to

:25:41.:25:44.

wreck policy on the hoof. We are against privatisation especially in

:25:45.:25:48.

the National Health Service but of course we want to get out of Europe.

:25:49.:25:54.

That is our main policy. By referendum? Not necessarily. Our own

:25:55.:25:59.

sticky issue and does not need a referendum. It really needs MPs with

:26:00.:26:04.

a backbone to get us out. They need a referendum because otherwise they

:26:05.:26:09.

are scared to do it. Am I right in thinking the main motivation of this

:26:10.:26:14.

party is to get Nigel? There is no personal animosity? No, there is...

:26:15.:26:27.

Do you despise him? Jelena I would rather stay away. Of the 12 MEPs he

:26:28.:26:33.

had, there are now six. Where you kicked out of UKIP or did you leave?

:26:34.:26:39.

I resigned when I found that he was trying to change the members' ballot

:26:40.:26:41.

when he trying to change the members' ballot

:26:42.:26:46.

order of the list of candidates. I walked out of a meeting in

:26:47.:26:50.

Strasbourg where he was gerrymandering the list. Your

:26:51.:26:54.

election broadcast seems rather similar to one that UKIP had. It was

:26:55.:27:03.

mine, I own it. I paid for it. In the early 2000s I think I did four

:27:04.:27:09.

broadcasts for UKIP. I was the deputy leader at the time. Do you

:27:10.:27:15.

have problems as UKIP has had that people are saying rather outlandish

:27:16.:27:23.

and Ed Jepson of all things. -- and objection all things. Not so far. I

:27:24.:27:27.

have had some amusing telephone calls. Mostly people ringing up and

:27:28.:27:35.

saying good luck. Have you had any far right problems? I do not think

:27:36.:27:41.

so. You have somebody from the Dutch Freedom party. They left the Dutch

:27:42.:27:45.

Freedom party for that reason. In the same way that some people from

:27:46.:27:50.

UKIP have distanced themselves because he has joined a group in the

:27:51.:27:54.

European Parliament which is probably obnoxious. You both want to

:27:55.:27:58.

leave Europe, you differ on privatisation but what other

:27:59.:28:03.

distinguishing characteristic you have other than you are not Nigel

:28:04.:28:09.

Farage? I am a grammar school kid, I did not go to public school. Just

:28:10.:28:16.

one policy, quickly. We think assemblies should not exist in their

:28:17.:28:20.

present form. Regional assemblies. They should be occupied by MPs who

:28:21.:28:24.

break from Westminster, it leaving the English to deal with English

:28:25.:28:29.

matters in the English Parliament. Very well. We have to leave it there

:28:30.:28:35.

but thank you. We have to pick who won guessed the year. -- the winner

:28:36.:28:40.

is Ruth Duffy from Lancashire. We'll be back tomorrow

:28:41.:28:46.

at noon with all the big political We'll be joined by pensions expert

:28:47.:28:52.

Ros Altman, so do join us then.

:28:53.:28:57.

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn with the latest from Westminster including live coverage of Prime Minister's Questions. With policing minister Damian Green and shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh. The Guess the Year competition closes at 12.30pm during the live broadcast of this programme.


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