14/05/2014 Daily Politics


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Morning folks, welcome to the Daily Politics.


A prominent youth member of UKIP quits


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


We'll have all the action live at midday.


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


Their leader will be here to explain all.


And with us for this televisual feast are two


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


The Policing Minister, Damian Green and the Shadow


Now another day, another UKIP headline.


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


descended into a "form of racist populism."


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


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


Three years ago Miss Thandi was described by Nigel Farage


Here they are appearing together in an official UKIP video.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


did not discriminate people from EU countries and other countries around


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


illegal immigrants. There has not been an announcement of the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


delivered either. Sounds like she is eminently qualified with sound


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


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


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


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


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


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


another problem. Godfrey Bloom accusing women being sluts for


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


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


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


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


show that older people are less comfortable with homosexuality. The


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


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


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


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


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


UKIP. Patrick was the director of communications when Andre Lamb


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


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


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


at them but they are still doing well.


Now, new figures released this morning show that a total


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


That number is down slightly on the total number being employed


However, there has been a rise in the numbers


These are the first set of employment figures since Bulgarians


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


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


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


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


year there were 112 thousand Romanians and Bulgarians in


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


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


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


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


Bulgarians and Romanians on January the 1st they would come


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


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


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


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


talking about debates with Nick Clegg, he wasn't


400 million people. If you look at workers from


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


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


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


question out of control. Nigel Farage, on


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


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


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


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


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


restrictions were lifted because were wrong. Based on one


restrictions were lifted because benchmark. We are


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


rise in Romanian and Bulgarian rise in Romanian and Bulgarian


David Cameron cannot fulfil his promise of getting net migration


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


that is a betrayal of the British people.


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


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


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


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


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


proved wrong and decided to go for broke and continue to


scaremongering. They are not scaremongering from the number of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


in town. He's called David Axelrod


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


strategic advice between now But judging by the latest polls


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


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


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


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


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


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


now only four percentage points ahead.


One of those polls found that Miliband's leadership rating


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


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


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


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


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


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


If Scotland votes yes to independence it would force everyone


to radically recalculate their electoral mathematics.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


you. And thanks, John-macro. --


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Farage who has never knowingly photographed without a pint of beer


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


university students. These consumer confidence indices and retail sales


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


regionally and national and they break them down


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


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


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


recovery being felt across consumer durables. It is not a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


European elections. People traditionally use European elections


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


election and more or less disappear for decades. People behave


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


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


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


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


fringe pastimes that might still The government's been thinking


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


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


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


the Olympics? Anyway, the report says England has


a 54% chance of getting past the group stage,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Full terms and conditions are online.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


poorest regions in Europe. Why is Lord Mandelson intensely relaxed


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


fall in unemployment and the increase in employment we have seen


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


of November, a director of the Stagecoach company acquired Manston


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


honourable friend to engage in commercial negotiations, but will he


ensure that the CAA operating licence remains open, the airport


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


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


hard with the honourable member about the future of Manston airport


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


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


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


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


this issue and contacting the potential purchasers. In


this issue and contacting the they had to make a commercial


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


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


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


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


Prime Minister tell us what assurances he is seeking from them


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


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


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


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


unemployment is coming down and long-term youth unemployment coming


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


guarantees on British jobs, investment and British science. We


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


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


he was too busy politically campaigning. He put party politics


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


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


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


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


Pfizer at a select committee raises more questions than answers about


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


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


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


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


with Pfizer and AstraZeneca, battling for the British interest?


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


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


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


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


employed in life sciences in our country because we encourage


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


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


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


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


are useless and there is no guarantee on research and


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


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


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


development that will happen here, investment in Cambridge, investment


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


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


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


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


politics and put that before the national interest. His negotiations


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


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


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


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


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


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


remember Kraft and Cadburys. We had wonderful speeches about locking


investments and then complete and abject surrender and the closure


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


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


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


science and investment by being engaged rather than standing off and


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


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


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


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


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


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


British investment and British science. But he cannot offer


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


national interest. He fails to understand with measure British


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


increased the amount of money going through the Environment Agency to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


economic recovery. It shows our in congratulating the


economic recovery. It shows our institutions and businesses in my


constituency that have increased apprenticeship starts to over 800


apprenticeship starts now? My honourable friend is right. In


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


claiming housing benefit because there is an increase in people who


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the NHS. The Pfizer boss did give assurances


to the business committee yesterday. He gave an absolute


assurance that any takeover of AstraZeneca would result in a fall


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Northern bypass will create even more jobs and that continued


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


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


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


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


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


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


success of our long-term economic plan.


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


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


be clearer that I condemn all of these progressive tax avoidance


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


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


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


have a respectful silence for Mr William Cash.


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


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


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


furthermore that particularly in places like Nigeria and Syria, it


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


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


secretary of the, our excellent Secretary of State for International


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


and I can announce today that we have offered Nigeria further


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


servicemen and women who have been injured in conflict through adaptive


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


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


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


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


certainly wish the honourable gentleman from across the House, the


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


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


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


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


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


goes well. When the Prime Minister goes up to


Scotland this week, when he explained to our agricultural


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


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


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


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


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


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


behind other countries to get back into the European Union and


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


honourable friend the agriculture secretary, we're actually making


sure that there will be extra support for Scottish farmers


absolutely in line with what the Scottish


absolutely in line with what the for. Richard Harrington.


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


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


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


stations, two secondary schools being refitted and we have a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


building the infrastructure we need. Because we have taken difficult


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


roads and railways. able to put this investment into our


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


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


are saying there is something like 40 million more GP appointments


since 2010. The patients survey always quoted by Labour ministers


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


in Wales. Nigel Evans. Ribble Valley Council has recently


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


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


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


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


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


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


forward to visiting my honourable friend's constituency and broader


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


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


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


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


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


implants the more power and responsibility they will have.


As the Prime Minister has acknowledged, the number of people


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


constituents are in work and earning. Mr Andrew Percy.


Extra flood defence funding for the Humber area following the tidal


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


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


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


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


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


very positive and good meetings with members of Parliament for Humberside


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


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


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


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


protect people's homes and businesses.


While I welcome the I hope you enjoyed that because you


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


to measure charisma, but it did it the wild applause


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


Conservative MPs. for Ed Miliband was from the


long-term economic for Ed Miliband was from the


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


Casey from Liverpool says the Prime Minister does not understand the


rich are earning a lot more Minister does not understand the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


government growth was rising, unemployment was falling and so was


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


important than anything that happened at Prime Minister's


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


are stretched on their mortgages and can only afford them because


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


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


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


signalling interest rate rises would come sooner than he originally


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


external pressures coming in on Britain at the moment are


deflationary. The strength of sterling, the spectre of deflation


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


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


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


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


of these deflationary pressures will not allow him to raise interest


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


you decide to do. How do you know that?


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


popular, not just as flickering indicators are machines but for


vehicle headlights, industrial lighting and even illuminating


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


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


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


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


against LED street lighting in Trafford in South Manchester.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


increasing research which supports the view that blue


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


blue lighting leads to the suppression of melatonin, a hormone


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


widescale move to lean sodium lighting and broad-spectrum


lighting. Here, people have complained the new lights have


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


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


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


of day. And Simon Nicholas is with me now.


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


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


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


multinational research which have been published to support that. It


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


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


just human beings but also ecosystems of other animals and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


England about this, that different types of streetlights operating at


different frequencies might cause problems in terms of seizures and


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


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


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


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


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


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


altogether. As somebody who regularly site 's home later


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


inconclusive. There is also environmental issues as well. Royal


commission report said it advised government to do some research and


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


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


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


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


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


doubt about it. There are several anti-EU groups


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


funds. And Mike Nattrass is here in the


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


kingdom Independence party and now there is the An Independence From


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


when he trying to change the members' ballot


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


Strasbourg where he was gerrymandering the list. Your


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


European Parliament which is probably obnoxious. You both want to


leave Europe, you differ on privatisation but what other


distinguishing characteristic you have other than you are not Nigel


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Ros Altman, so do join us then.


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