16/05/2014 Daily Politics


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It's set to be one of the hottest days of the year.


But the temperature ahead of next week's European and local election


Most MPs are off on the campaign trail.


But back here at Westminster, one senior MP tells us he's fed up


of waiting for the Iraq War inquiry, now four years overdue.


The Police Federation is also getting it in the neck over claims


How much damage have they done to the reputation of the Old Bill?


It's the live TV debate that electrified Europe.


The main candidates to be European Commission President have been


And, speaking of voters, just how much does anyone really


And with us for the duration, two top political columnists.


Sue Cameron from the Telegraph and Zoe Williams from the Guardian.


Sue specialises in writing about the civil service.


Zoe also gets to review restaurants for one of the Sunday magazines.


I'll leave you to decide whose job is more fun.


Let's start with the Police Federation.


That's the group that represents rank and file police officers


It's the subject of a scathing select committee


report this morning, with the Home Affairs committee saying it's


accused of levels of bullying to rival any popular soap opera.


And urgently needs reform, including full disclosure of its finances.


MPs also criticised the role of the Police Federation in the Plebgate


affair which led to the resignation of chief whip Andrew Mitchell.


Here's committee chairman Keith Vaz speaking earlier.


This is a big opportunity at Bournemouth for the federation to


move on if they change the way in which they have been doing their


business. We want an end to the bullying that we were shocked to


hear was happening at national headquarters. We want full


transparency. Every police officer in England and Wales to get a rebate


for their subscriptions and we want this to be what it should be. The


representatives of the finest police force in the world.


We asked to speak to the Police Federation this morning


He was giving PR advice to local police federations at the time


He's been singled out by the select committee.


It said he cynically tried to exploit the allegations


against Andrew Mitchell to publicise the Police Federation's campaign


And the MPs said "the consequence was a lowering of


Welcome back. You are paid by the Police Federation to advise three


officers now under investigation for stitching up a Cabinet Minister. Did


you know, did you encourage them to be economical with the truth? No, I


wasn't paid to advise them to stitch of a Cabinet minister. I was paid by


Police Federation in the Midlands and across the country as well as


being paid by the National Federation. Coming to the Midlands,


they'd already planned them are going to have a campaign during the


Tory conference full for the Andrew Mitchell things fell into their lap.


I gave the media training and got involved in that as well. When it


comes to the meeting you are referring to, you must remember, of


course, all three of them are now having a review about whether they


can reopen the case, but no, I didn't advise them to stitch up


Andrew Mitchell. Andrew Mitchell wasn't the target for the digital


they were providing misleading evidence? No, I wasn't in the


meeting. No, but you practice for it. Personally, I was amazed Andrew


Mitchell accepted invitation. I was asking about the evidence to the


Home Affairs Select Committee. No, I was no longer working for them. You


prepped them for the Andrew Mitchell meeting? What do do for your money?


Lots, caps on the front page of newspapers for four weeks. Now


coming back to haunt you. The reputation the Police Federation...


Do you want me to answer the question? The reputation of the


police has never been poorer. The reason is because it's due to one


police officer who lied. The reason is because it's due to one police


officer who lied. He was there when he wasn't. I have never represented


that police officer or the Metropolitan Police for that if I


had done, I would've told him not to do it. He brought into disrepute and


the leadership of the Police nationally, who were completely


rudderless during this campaign, but going back to what I did, we kept on


the front pages of newspapers for four weeks. I have absolutely no


regrets about it. The target was not Andrew Mitchell. We were not trying


to get rid of him. It was a political campaign and I think


you'll find police officers in this country, unlike Ukraine, have


exactly the same rights to free speech and expression as any other


individual. They cannot strike, take industrial action, but they can


protest and have their say if they feel these cuts were unjust and


that's what my clients felt and my job was there to get it in the


papers which I did successfully. The fact their reputation is in the dirt


is all down to one person? Don't a three who gave misleading evidence


to the home select committee? I'm glad you are so confident you think


it's misleading information. I wasn't in the meeting, Andrew. The


chair of the committee says it is now clear... If there is the same


man who walked out of my evidence 50 minute into Keith Vaz? Have you


watched the video? No. I will be happy to. I did ask your research is


to ask you to watch it last night because 50 minute injured, Keith Vaz


leaves. Yeah, yeah, yeah, never mind that. I'm asking you about the Home


Affairs Select Committee. I'm talking about it. The chairman said


it clear they missed that the committee, possibly deliberately,


and if they don't come back and corrected, they will be in contempt


of Parliament. You're saying it's all down to one man? If you let me


answer the question, I think the Police Federation is the methods are


now bigger of one police officer who and because it was legal and the


present chairman, Mr Williams, invited me to work on it. The Home


Affairs Select Committee, I don't know for the those officers went


back and apologised. You now know the IPCC want to investigate them


again. It's no subject to judicial review. We have to wait and see. I


didn't brief them to go before the committee or had anything to do with


it. The entire episode of the Federation no credit at all. It must


think more carefully in the future mother nature of its public


campaigning. We do not think this contract, the one I had with you,


was appropriate, and don't think the work of the brothers Gaunt helped


the police board the consequence was a lowering of the reputation for


that. I can answer that, if Keith Vaz had listened to my evidence plea


didn't, there was a conclusion at the end. The deputy chair said we


have consulted on this. There was no time for consultation. They've


clearly made their minds before I went in there. The report was


clearly written before I gave my evidence but I will go back, the


lowering of the Police Federation is down to the officer who lied not


what we did. Keith Vaz and his committee have a perfect right to


say they think my campaign wasn't very good but the timing of this


report is very interesting. On the eve of the conference, this is a


political move by the political establishment to cower the Police


Federation. The leadership by the way, is rolling over and let them do


it. How much did they pay you? It's all on the record if you want to go


back to it, the interview you haven't watched. All the evidence is


there, Andrew. I'm not going to go into it again. I'm asking you. You


haven't done your research. The ?15,000 a month with other national


contract. Individual contract... So you were on it? My company was, yes.


Do you think they will ask for their money back given the reputation is


on the debt now? I don't think so. Would you give it back to them? Of


course not, what a ridiculous question. My job is to give the


media training and I did it. I then worked with the regions. If you had


watched the Home Affairs Select Committee, which you have failed to


do. Let me bring in Zoe Williams. What is your view? The Police


Federation is a union to represent its members so the idea it shouldn't


be political and anything that goes against the government is political


is really strange. It is there to lobby on behalf of its members. The


Mitchell affair is unfortunate. What about you is that a to further its


campaign? Jews think they were doing that? That's do you think? It was an


open call, wasn't it? It was irresistible, that story. It


should've been resisted. One of the problems with the police, it isn't


just Plebgate. It is Mark Duggan, Hillsborough, it's that poor man who


was bludgeoned to death. And the reputation of the police, all the


police, is absolutely down. It's no good you being self-righteous and


saying, Keith Vaz doesn't listen to my evidence. He couldn't read


afterwards. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter? It doesn't matter


they came to the conclusion? Let her finish. There were loads and loads


of really good, hard-working and very, very courageous police


officers who don't support the report. 91% of police officers...


The Normanton report show that it doesn't agree with a national


leadership for the correctly for the 91%, National leadership. The


absolutely right, the police had taken a hit on a lot of things and


rightly so. Hillsborough, rightly so. The Police Federation is a


professional body to lobby for the rights. -- the rights of the police.


If separate authoritarian. We have to leave it there.


Ed Miliband's guru, called David Axelrod, is in town this week


At the end of the show we'll see if Zoe and Sue can give us


Now it was way back in 2009 that Gordon Brown set up an


Five years later and the man in charge, John Chilcot, still isn't


The delay is being blamed on a disagreement over whether to publish


classified correspondence between former Prime Minister Tony Blair and


This programme has learned that the chairman of the Public


Administration Select Committee, Bernard Jenkin, has written to


Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood and Cabinet Office minister Francis


Maude, warning them that he may call them in front of his committee


Here's Eleanor Garnier's report which does contain


It was Winston Churchill who coined the phrase the special relationship.


He was something of an expert at forging friendships with US


presidents like Franklin D Roosevelt. And since Churchill's


day, Britain's oration ship with America have been pretty much


accepted by all US presidents and British prime ministers. But there


is something lurking that is threatening to turn that special


relationship a little bit sour. It is the Chilcott enquiry. What? Can I


explain what it is? Yes, I can. The Chilcott enquiry is an


independent... The Chilcott enquiry is an independent investigation into


the invasion of Iraq back in 2003. Good morning and welcome to the


Iraqi enquiry's first day of public hearings. Sir John Chilcott is a man


in charge. His enquiry started in 2009. Two years later, it was still


taking evidence from key witnesses but the findings still haven't been


published. The delay is being blamed on discussions between the enquiry


and the Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood over the publication of


top-secret notes and conversations between the then Prime Minister Tony


Blair and former US President George Bush. The Prime Minister's patients


are said to be running out and there's frustration from senior Tory


MPs. It's very serious that this report is now at least four years


overdue. So we have written to the Minister to ask for explanation as


to why these delays occurred and what is holding up the publication


of the report? And how these issues will be resolved on the basis of


that, we may call for the Minister or indeed for the Cabinet Secretary


to come and give evidence to explain how they will sort this out. They've


already had a full investigation surrounding the Iraqi war including


the Hutton affair and Butler enquiry. The former Minister from


Tony Blair 's government to the classified correspondence shouldn't


stop this latest report from being published. My experience of chairing


the intelligence and security committee was that we published


very, very sensitive material but we did it by ensuring that those


agents, informants, who might be under threat of death, where


protected by adapting certain sentences so blacking out certain


references, and I don't see why Chilcott enquiry can't do this and


then he will be able to publish as document and we will look at it. The


report is likely to give an indication as to the depth of the


special relationship between Tony Blair and George Bush. So, that is


the situation surrounding the Chilcott E enquiry. Seeing as you


are such good friends, I will leave you chatting while I find out what


is happening. We're joined now by the former


Lib Dem leader Ming Campbell and Anyone who is liable to criticism


gets to see the passage that might criticise him or her. Sir John


Chilcott has not been able to embark upon that process because he is


still in dispute with the Cabinet Secretary as to whether or not there


can ultimately be published the exchanges between George W Bush and


Tony Blair in the run-up to the war. Why are these important? They are


important for this reason. The decision to take military action


against Saddam Hussein was the most serious form of policy blunder


probably since Suez or maybe before that. This particular thing which


says exchanges like that are confidential, it is in the public


interest. The public interest now is overwhelmingly in favour of


understanding the political journey which the Labour government, under


Tony Blair, reached the decision to take military action. That is why in


my view, said John Chilcott is absolutely right and the Government


should acknowledge those requests. There are certain conversations that


should be left to history. Private conversations between leaders can be


blue sky thinking. I do not think what we could gain from theirs. It


was not a policy decision, it was said in a conversation. We would


gain if we knew from the start we were going to war. That would be


important, given what we knew in the run-up. He told us all he had to do


was give up his weapons of mass destruction and there would be no


war. If he told Mr Bush is something very different, that would be


germane. I think it was an offhand conversation. I do not see what we


will learn from it. Do promise you will take this country to war is an


offhand conversation? Do you know it was an actual promise? That is the


whole point. The question is timing. When did Tony Blair commit


the United Kingdom? Was he aware that the argument in favour of


regime change was one which laid very strongly behind the American


position, behind George W Bush? Did he understand that Article two of


the United Nations Charter opposes regime change? We really need to


know how it was that the political thinking developed. Another thing,


which is pushed to one side often, what was the attitude of the Cabinet


towards this? They have been described as supine. Some say the


topic was never properly discussed. That may have been because


commitments had already been given in private conversations. The


American president is covered by executive privilege. Just as if you


had a conversation with your own lawyer. It is a very important


concept. Leaders need to get free and open advice. With Mr Nixon, the


Supreme Court overruled his right to executive privilege, so it is not


necessarily watertight. If I was sitting down with my lawyer and he


wants some crazy ideas to blue sky think, I want him to have the


opportunity of free speech, to get it through the Crucible and


throughout the bad starts. -- stuff. I think that is a different thing.


The point is, if the conversations are going to become public in living


memory, all within the contemporary period of the events, that they will


find another way all closed down that kind of communication? This is


not normal course. That is the point. This is the decision...


Remember a million people walked past this door outside protesting


against this. You cannot find anyone who was in the Labour Cabinet or the


Labour government at the time the decision was made who is trying to


defend now what happened. The consequences were far beyond what


had been anticipated, deeply damaging to Iraq and deeply damaging


both to the United Kingdom and the United States. There seems from what


Menzies Campbell is saying, that there seems to be a stand-off


between Chilcott and the Cabinet Secretary. How does that get


resolved? With difficulty is the answer. I suspect what has to happen


is the pressure needs to be kept up. It seems to me, I absolutely agree


with what Menzies Campbell has said. Normally, civil servants, advisers,


ministers Presidents need to discuss these things will stop I think it is


absolutely in the public interest. I think that Bernard Jenkins saying he


would call Sir Jeremy Heywood in and Francis Maude but it is Jeremy he


would call Sir Jeremy Heywood in and Francis Maude but it is Jeremy who


is the, they must not be allowed to get away with continually saying, it


is difficult. I am told it is the lawyers, as you suggested, saying it


would set a precedent. It should not be left to the lawyers. Executive


privilege would only work as an argued if, in this case, Tony Blair


were not already held to have behaved wrongly. I think it would


work in his favour to have those conversations released. There is


nothing they could release that people do not already say about him.


We all think he had given... It is a different issue. We all think that


he had made an agreement with George Bush we do not know about. All it


could do is either confirm that or deny it and I do not think he is


doing his own case a favour by trying to keep it private. He is


making it worse. People are saying, Michael Dobbs the other day, this


has all happened because Blair is putting the pressure on. I do not


think that is true. Cabinet secretaries are close to whichever


ministers they are working with. Mr Blair Brown what was subsequently


called a sofa government. At that time, he was permanent secretary at


number ten. When it looked like there might be coalitions and we


asked whether the civil service was ready for a coalition government, he


said, we're not even ready for a change of government. Where do we go


from here? It seems from what you say, this is still an unresolved


argument. Even when it is resolved .com -- when it is resolved, it goes


back to Robert Maxwell. He was criticised and now he could have


been entirely right but that is a different debate. This is not going


to happen before the election, is it? There are those who believe that


this delay, among other things, as its purpose, kicking this into the


long grass until after the election. Where this to be published in the


run-up to the general election, it would become part of the campaign.


Why would the Conservative government or conservative and


Democrat government be reluctant? Not the current regime. I think


there were 25 who did not agree. Ken Taylor, Douglas Hurd and others.


Labour would take the biggest hit. I think Labour would benefit from


having an open Anne Frank discussion about who thinks what an saying,


this is what we stand for. -- Anne Frank discussion. The danger is that


American presidents will be wary of this. If you want a current version


of this deal, look at the Benghazi scandal. I can understand it.


it's the debates between the five main candidates for the post


There are some similarities with Eurovision though.


Last night was the grand finale and it was shown on 49 TV stations.


We have to invest into the economy but a greener economy cars we need


to create sustainable jobs, jobs that will still be there in a couple


of decades. Jobs that give good quality of life. Apple wants to


start with a new product for the bigger to the four main operators


and start immediately to start a new product. If we had to do it, we need


100 operators in 28 different countries. That is why they have


Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft. They are all American


companies and we still need to do that. The biggest deficit in Europe


is a democratic deficit. Citizens stay away. They do not believe their


vote will make a big change to the strategy and direction of Europe as


it currently is. In the past, the European elections were boring.


There was no confrontation. Secondly, it was abused for mid-term


election of national governments. I think the debate here shows we are


changing in the European Union, to more democracy, more controversial


debate, Porter 's bouncy. This is a step forward. I would like a Europe


that does not cultivate divisions. I would like to put an end to


divisions between north and south, young and old member states. I would


like a Europe of consensus, of wise compromise. I would like a Europe


which allows the Europeans to fall back in love with Europe. I'd bet


you are disappointed you missed that.


Joining me now from Brussels is our correspondent,


Duncan Crawford, who soaked up every minute of the debate.


Why are these debates happening? They are taking place to drum up


support for what is going on in the European Parliamentary elections and


also to put a face to the party to try to end the democratic deficit


the European Commission has. You have the five main party group


candidates. You saw them speak there. They believe that if their


party group gets the most MEPs in the European Parliamentary


elections, they should be the one to head up the European Commission. It


is a big job for the European Commission president. It is the only


institution in the EU which can propose legislation. He or she,


whoever gets that post, will be able to influence the direction which


Europe moves in for the next five years. So, they have the debate. It


was polite at those times. They did not disagree that often. There were


a few jibes at each other and some disagreement. Largely on the big


economic matters, trying to get people out of unemployment and into


jobs, tackling youth unemployment and immigration, illegal


immigration. There was a lot of consensus. I understand that despite


the opened transparency of the debate and whoever is the largest


group can choose the president of the commission from the European


Parliament, it could still be done in a backroom deal by the leaders of


the nation states. You are right. Basically, historically, it always


has been done that way. David Cameron, Angela Merkel, their


predecessors in the past, they would have gone behind closed doors and


work out who they would want to have the top job of the European


Commission president. This time around, it is different because of


the Lisbon Treaty. It says that EU heads of member states say they need


to take into consideration what the European Parliament wants. Certainly


the potential for some institutional deadlock in Brussels over this.


David Cameron will have concerns about the five candidates involved


in this debate last night. Most likely they will be viewed as too


federalist, two in favour of integration in Europe. If David


Cameron wins the next general election, he wants to renegotiate


Britain 's relationship with the EU. Before we get to that, I want to get


a brief wedding about Scotland. I understand there was a mention of


Scotland last night. What did they say about this argument that if


Scotland The general answer was they shouldn't get involved, it wasn't a


thing for the EU to comment on at this stage, it is up to the member


states are bad, that said, Martin Short, the Socialist candidate who


is currently the European Parliament president, said the procedures could


be followed suggesting that Scotland, if it became independent,


could join with the EU and the Green candidates, she talks about


welcoming Scotland into the EU. Would they have to reapply? They


didn't say they would have to reapply. They basically ducked the


question is that it wasn't their place to comment. The Green


candidate was talking about welcoming Scotland into the EU,


independently, about as positive as it got, really, for Alex Salmond.


Thank you very much. Does this make the European elections more


interesting? I give them half a small cheer for shuffling towards


something slightly more democratic. But otherwise, no. Ultimately, if


the heads of individual countries decide who to have, then that's


almost certainly going to be who it will be. It could be very


interesting, the row between them, but I bet that is smoothed over and


deals are done behind closed doors. Neither are the frontrunners, are


coming anywhere near here in this country. We are not going to see


site nor sound of them. Labour and the Lib Dems will be happy with that


because both are very staunch federalists. I know why they like


Scotland, because it's so windy. The Green party is fit in favour of


independence. More windmills, more wind farms. It's the jewel in our


green crime. O. Then you are unlikely to be acceptable to the


Prime Minister is the Irish prime ministers. It's very difficult. Even


though socialist doesn't mean the same thing, if you are voting


socialist, you would be voting for somebody on the left. It's


federalism Mr Cameron is objecting to. They all are. Maybe that's not


why they're coming here. The interesting thing is, the impetus in


Europe this towards greater federalisation because that's the


only way they would get out of the Euro crisis. And avert another


crisis. Nothing David Cameron does Canada reflect what is best for


Europe. OK, let's move on. So that's one attempt to get voters


engaged ahead In case you'd forgotten,


although that would be pretty tricky if you're a regular viewer


of this show, next Thursday is And if you live


in England or Northern Ireland you could also be voting in local


and mayoral elections. The turn out for these types of


election are usually pretty poor. But with the EU never far


from the headlines will this year be Adam's been out to find out


if people are feeling switched on, Do you know what's happening next


Thursday? Do you know how many MEPs will be elected next Thursday? 50.


60? 120. 100? 73. Tell your friends. Where are you from? Belgium. Will


you be voting next week? Yes, Belgium has compulsory voting. What


happens is be done to vote? You could get fined. Do you know the


European Parliament is? Brussels? And? It's in France. It's gone.


Strasberg. Yes. How much of your councillors up for election? I don't


know. I don't know what proportion is up for election. I think we had


about six candidates. That's all I know from the voting form. Do you


know what voting system they use for the European elections? It's a form


of proportional representation. An open list or a closed list? It's a


party list system. Do you work for a party? I am a candidate, yes. I


thought using suspiciously familiar. And well-informed. I think that's


the only reason he knew the answer. And we're joined now by Katie Ghose


from the Electoral Reform Society. As the name suggests, they campaign


for reforms to the electoral system. It's interesting the more power


that's gone to the European Parliament, the lower the turnout in


the election has been. That's right, and without expecting a turnout for


the year rose or the locals to be higher than the low 30s, which is


where it has remained stubbornly low and also we not saying that although


Europe is all over the headlines, that's not translating into a huge


public appetite to go to the polls and it's also not leading people to


take part in local democracy more. This is a long-term problem. People


have been tuning out from formal party politics from long time and I


don't think there's a quick fix to that. In the Euro election, the


first time in 1979 with 62%, which seemed quite healthy but by 2009, it


dropped to 43% and it's probably going to be lower this time. People


don't think it matters very much? People feel it's very remote. People


feel national MPs are increasingly alien from their concerns. Whether


that's fair or not. You take the European Council, it feels even more


remote. Actually, these politicians and decision-makers have a say and


influence over jobs and homes and security but people don't feel it to


be that way. On the local elections, I was covering the local elections


in France. The turnout was pretty impressive both in the first round


and the second round. One of the reasons for that is that it matters


in France who the Mayor is. It matters who the local councillors.


They have real power. In many ways, I live in France for part of the


year, and it's more important to me who my local French Maher is done


the president is. -- French Mayor. You've hit the nail on the head. If


there were more meaningful powers and budget held locally, people


might feel it was worth going to the polls but we've also got a very


outdated system which means there are loads of uncontested seats.


Between 2011-14, two .5 mil in people didn't have a save -- say


because only one party going for it in the award, uncontested. And also


the party thought, I'd better put my resources elsewhere. We are


disenfranchising millions of people. No wonder people are thinking with a


platter of uncontested seats, if not is worth my while. In Scotland, the


referendum there, even very hard and nonvoters are saying and going to


give my damnedest to this and I'm going to vote in the referendum. You


think the turnout on September 18 will be very high? Yes. It's going


to be really-I'm not going to have a stab at it. I've had discussions


with Scottish people who don't normally vote and they say this is


the future of my country and 16-year-olds are going to be voting


for the first time and this is very exciting. I think they will be very


engaged and it's only a matter of time before we have young people


developing the voting habits for life. Maybe this is another problem


here, the European Parliament for the London region. The whole of


London? Yes, the London region. You vote only once by putting across in


the box next to your choice. I thought the system was proportional


representation? You don't have much choice as as a closed system. This


gives the names, people on this list of been chosen by the parties. They


have behaved themselves. Yes, and parties are too much control. If we


want to breathe fresh life into politics, we need to respond to


modern voters who want choice. Do you know who your MEP is? When I do


it, you have got to shock me but an informal vote swapping system.


Across the country. There is somebody I want to vote for in the


south-west. I could sever the Facebook page and it will be trust


based. You can't enforce it but you can say, you vote was so-and-so and


in return, I will vote for your party. I think that's going to be


quite unusual. Do you know the name of your MEP? I'm afraid I don't. I


don't. If I saw it, it would ring about.


LAUGHTER The fact people have to think about


tactics shows we have a pretty old-fashioned system that's not


working. People like these two don't know who the MEPs are, what hope for


the rest? That's the problem. Also three quarters of British people


feel their voice doesn't count in the European Union, so it's the


thing is not being heard. I just wonder, I know what you're saying,


but in some places, please, the controversy and the impact of UKIP


isn't going to put off the turnout. I think it could happen. Newark is


very soon after if you kept us very well in these elections. I will def


to the other five I have got. Thank you for being with us.


Now, in America, politicians quite regularly say they


are driven by their Christian faith to take public office.


Over here MPs tend to be more reticent about discussing religion


And when they do, it can cause a bit of a kerfuffle.


Ahead of Easter Sunday, David Cameron wrote in the Church Times


that Britain should be proud of its status as a Christian country.


Plenty of secularists disputed that, and the former Archbishop


of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams said that Britain was


a post-Christian country because so many people have given up


One small group called the Christian People's Alliance is hoping to prove


him wrong and make an impact at next week's European elections.


They want to leave the EU, but in the meantime they want to bring


What they describe as their key moral issues include the importance


The leader of the Christian People's Alliance, Sid Cordle joins us now.


If you have a Christian Prime Minister who says we live in a


Christian country, why do we need your party? Because basically this


government has not pursued Christian policies. There are a lot of reports


because this is a European election, coming to the European Parliament on


issues like abortion, one of the proposals is going to take away the


right of the doctor to refuse to conduct an abortion. Other proposals


are saying they want to dictate what is taught in schools on sex


education. The Conservatives have abstained on all these reports.


There is no opposition coming from the Conservative Party. But there


are strong Christians on both sides of the house. For people who think


like you, would they not be more progress? More likely to influence


the debate if you concentrated all votes on getting people elected


rather than your own people? You and I both know you're not going to win


any seats. No, I don't accept that. This is a tremendous opportunity for


us. There are an enormous number of Christians who have left the


Conservative Party over the issue of same-sex marriage. Sadly, too many


of them have gone to UKIP. But I think they are beginning to find


that in UKIP, it's not a natural home for Christians. This issues of


racism in UKIP. They have made life difficult for you, haven't they? You


would be doing better if they didn't exist? Not necessarily. UKIP brought


the whole issue of Europe onto the agenda and they provide an


attractive alternative which hasn't really existed before. It's only


existed fairly recently, but people need to see that, actually, I don't


believe the majority of people in this country want to live under a


UKIP government. Frankly. I think there would be happy to live under


Christian People's Alliance government. Do you? Absolutely. The


Pope said last, if the person is gay and six God and has good will, who


am I to judge? Would you welcome though some gay people? Of course,


don't judge people because of their lifestyle. When not against people


but the principles on which we stand. Earlier this year, UKIP


councillors said the floods in Britain were due to gay marriage.


You wouldn't accept that? the way he said it was completely wrong. What


about the substance? All Christians believe that God does things with


nature. Because he is gay? He supports gay marriage? A lot of


Christians believe that God is angry at gay marriage. Where David Silva


Esther was wrong is to be adamant this is the case. If he thinks it is


possible this is the case, the majority of Christians, I certainly


would agree with that. You tweeted that if the head of the Environment


Agency, Chris Smith, one of the most openly gay politicians in British


life, if he resigned the floods would stop. If he resigned, the


floods with stop. You said it is like Job. If he resigned p, I am


sure the floods would stop. I not know quite where that quote has come


from. That is from your tweets. One of the problems on Twitter is you


only have a very few words to say. It is quite clear what you said. If


gay people could change the weather, wouldn't that make them God 's


anointed people? I think, quite honestly, we are delving into an


area which is quite honestly not of interest to the majority of people.


You are socially conservative, aren't you? What I would say


categorically is, as a Christian, I believe God is involved in every


aspect of society. He is very interested in marriage. Marriage is


a pillar of society and vitally important to us. I believe children


need a mother and a father and they need that stability. Breakdown of


marriage is costing this country some 46 billion. That will rise to


49 billion. We need to do something about it and it does matter. In


America, that would be regarded as the socially conservative Christian


view. That is what you represent in this country, am I right? What he


said on gay marriage and whether children should be brought up by two


parents in the same sex and so on... I would say I am a Christian.


A Christian is a follower of Jesus 's teaching. That is clear and I


have no problem whatsoever in following that teaching. We are


grateful for you coming in and explaining that. We will have you


back. If you've been watching the BBC


during the early evenings or sometimes late


at night over the last month, Not just how The One Show is really


just a pale imitation of the Daily Politics but a rash


of party election broadcasts. Since the early days of BBC radio,


the political parties have been given a slice of airtime to


communicate directly to the voters Let's have a look at some


of the most recent crop. I believe you have the right to have


your say on Europe. When we have finished renegotiating Britain 's


relationship with the European Union, we will give you the final


decision with them in /out referendum by the end of 2017. Let


open all the doors and batten down the hatches. Sky 20 million


immigrants. That is why, when it comes to Europe, the answer is


simple. On 22nd of May, take the right choice and vote for...


Something else. The last two generations have been robbed of


voting on the EU yet it has a great impact on our everyday lives than


anything else. We need to put this issue to bed now and not leave it


for another generation. I'm asking you to vote for the Liberal


Democrats, the party of in. In for the sake of British prosperity and


jobs. If I allow energy companies to raise their prices, you will defend


it? You will keep your mouth shut about huge profits? Yes. Jolly good,


well done you. We are joined by the man who designed how much airtime


parties will get. Welcome to both of you. Do people enjoy watching these


party election broadcasts or can you see a switch off when they come on?


Definitely. You switch on for Phil Mitchell and you get David Cameron.


He is in EastEnders. That is a small programme on BBC One! I think it can


have a counter-productive effect. People can be turned off. They want


to watch their favourite programme and there is a politician. I wanted


to get away from those guys, I have just watched the news and here they


are again, trying to ram ideas down my throat and I do not like that. It


plays into the idea of political apathy. Voting levels are down. Do


you think it was that kind of fear that led Labour to make this


controversial TV about the shrinking... ? First of all the fear


of showing Ed Miliband. He is not in it. Labour is mentioned in the last


really second of it. David Axelrod has been brought in to try to


improve his TV profile. His three advisers are all from newspapers. He


is perceived as a turn-off. Voting, their poll in the internal pressure


groups and their little focus groups that they do, are suggesting that


people think he is a bit of a geek. Do not put him on your TV. I think


it is a very bad idea to go negative. You're going to send


people into the warm embrace of UKIP. You are saying all politicians


are the same and it is extremely cynical. Let's have a look at some


of the rules on this. What are the rules when it comes to PEB is? How


do parties qualify for getting airtime and how do you decide how


many slots they get? Thank you for that one. The starting point is how


many candidates they are putting up. It is different in different sorts


of elections. Let's take the European elections. If you have a


full slate of candidates in England, you get a single broadcast. There is


a second criteria which is parties that can demonstrate electoral


support will get additional broadcasts. Traditionally, three


broadcasts were Labour, Tory, UKIP, the Lib Dems. The Greens have two.


It is based as a starting point for 2009. The smaller parties will get


one broadcast and the bigger parties will get more in the Europeans. In


the locals, they'll get one. When they demonstrate support, the polls


relevant? Can be. You take that into account. We take that into account


in our editorial coverage. The process of deciding this is, the


starting point, it is candidates. Largely it is what happened in the


last equivalent election. A lot of our viewers have wondered, and even


complained, about why UKIP is getting so much time? They get three


broadcasts, as they did in 2009. If you look back at the previous


European elections, in 2004 they did pretty well. That is why they got


the same number of broadcasts in 2009. They came second in 2009. It


would be quite reasonable for them not to get the same number of


broadcasts as the bigger parties. Some also think they are getting too


much time on programmes like this. Is there a formula for how much time


they all get in the run-up to the they all get in the run-up to the


elections? Formula is too strong a word, it implies you


elections? Formula is too strong a that you do it with good judgment.


You look at the fact that UKIP did well last time. It makes sense for


them to have the same kind of coverage and scrutiny that the


bigger parties are getting. You do take that into account. You have got


to take account as well of things that may have happened since,


subsequent elections. They have had a very strong run in the opinion


polls. The polls can be relevant. UKIP have been running ahead of the


Lib Dems for getting on for two years. People often wonder why Nigel


Farage appears so much on current affairs broadcasts where somebody


like Caroline Lucas does not. UKIP has no MP and make do point out that


opinion polls of the Mirror the picture you see on current affairs


broadcasts. If you are often represented, some would say in


excess of their real representation... I think the mirror


thing does not work. You look at the opinion polls and it is a really


robust trend. What has happened in the past two years in terms of


support for UKIP, if you look what happened in the local elections last


time, UKIP had no background in the councils and they shot towards 20%.


If you look at by-elections in local councils, UKIP have been, not just


an opinion polls, but real votes have been getting around 17 to 20%,


ahead of the Lib Dems. You get a small boost, more coverage and then


more boost. Firemen cut we have to give them coverage if people are


giving them support. -- we have to give them coverage if people are


giving them support. Natalie Bennett will be on the Sunday Politics. It


is not random. It is by looking at objective figures on how people


vote. What do you make about the idea of hosting a TV debate online?


The Wild West of the internet! You might put an audience that seems to


be totally uninterested in politics at the moment. I mentioned before,


voter apathy. It is strong among the younger people. They think, these


people are not speaking for us. They are all middle-aged men in suits and


they are not speaking for me. If you put them on a forum where they might


achieve in, I do not think that is a good idea. Sky one advantage of it,


to a greater extent it cuts out the political class that the


broadcasters, the politicians... There would be far fewer rules and


regulations which politicians often used as an excuse for not doing TV


debates. We would love to do them but the rules, we cannot abide by


them. The other thing is... You can use, I think... There will be


opportunities to use Skype and video to bring in a far greater number of


people asking questions directly instead of the traditional studio.


It is not either/or. As you saw there,


the American political guru, David Axelrod, who's fast becoming a bit


of an obsession here at Westminster, has been in London meeting senior


Labour figures this week. So let's find out the answer to


our quiz. We asked what's wrong with


this tweet from Mr Axelrod? He's spelt the Labour leader's name


wrong and, in doing so, Thanks to our back on BBC One


on Sunday with an elections feast on the Sunday Politics,


with Sajid Javid, Simon Hughes Female artists have rocked the world


for centuries. Not only did she impress and surprise


Michelangelo, in her nineties,


she won the homage of van Dyck. So just how did they push the


boundaries and flout convention?


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