26/06/2014 Daily Politics


26/06/2014

Andrew Neil with the latest news and debate from Westminster, including the fallout from the phone hacking trial.


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LineFromTo

Morning, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics.

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Cameron's in the dock for apologising over Andy Coulson.

:00:42.:00:43.

The judge says the PM - and other leading politicians -

:00:44.:00:45.

could have scuppered the rest of the phone-hacking trial.

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We delve into the head of Jean-Claude Juncker, who looks

:00:52.:00:53.

set to be the next president of the European Commission,

:00:54.:00:56.

And want to get beach fit for the summer?

:00:57.:01:03.

Try Adam's London tour of European think tanks and pressure groups.

:01:04.:01:09.

This is the office of a very Eurosceptic group inspired by

:01:10.:01:15.

Margaret Thatcher's speech from the 80s. It is next door to the Calvin

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Klein shop, which is appropriate, because they think Europe is a load

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of pants. And with us the duration is

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Mats Persson Mats here doesn't want Britain to

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leave Europe but wants big reform Now, first today, let's talk about

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the phone hacking trial because yesterday the judge presiding over

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proceedings strongly rebuked Are asked him and my chief of staff

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asked him whether he knew about phone hacking. We accepted his

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assurances. That was the basis on which I employed him. I was always

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clear I was giving someone a second chance. He had resigned from the

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News of the World because of the bad things that happen there. I accepted

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his assurances and gave him a job. It was a second chance and turned

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out to be a bad decision and I'm extremely sorry about that. But I

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would say that he didn't, in the work he did for me before I became

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Prime Minister or as Prime Minister, people have complained about that

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work. But still, employing someone when they gave false assurances was

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the wrong decision. I'm profoundly sorry about that. I always said that

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if this turned out to be the case, I would not be found wanting in giving

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a full apology. I'm sorry about that. It was a bad decision. I

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shouldn't have made it. He apologised on Tuesday. Mr calls and

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was found guilty of conspiracy to hack phones. The only problem was

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that the jury was still considering other verdict in the trial.

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The judge, Mr Justice Saunders, said he was "very concerned" about

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the Prime Minister's intervention and accused Mr Cameron of launching

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an "open season" on the defendant, who was still facing two charges of

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conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

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Well, joining me now is the Labour MP Tom Watson

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and the former Solicitor General, the Conservative MP Edward Garnier.

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Can clock so that the problem was that the Prime Minister wasn't a

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lawyer but it turns out he had the Attorney-General in the room giving

:03:46.:03:49.

him advice. Did the Attorney-General give the wrong advice? Depends what

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advice he gave them. Add voice to speak out, clearly. We don't know

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that. We do know that. The Prime Minister would not have spoken out

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like that without taking legal advice. What we do know is that the

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political imperative for the Prime Minister to make some statement was

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there. I accept that the judges extremely concerned that he made the

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statement when he did but if you consider the timetable - there had

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been verdict given, though I appreciate there were several more

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to come. The following day was going to be Prime Minister's Questions. It

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was inevitable that Miliband was going to go on this. If we think the

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Speaker would have stopped Mr Miliband from asking questions about

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it even though the jury was still out, we are living in a different

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country, not least because he allowed the Chancellor to be

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questioned by the shadow chancellor. Should the judge have

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given more explicit guidance after the first set of verdicts came out,

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knowing there were two other verdict? He could have put a blanket

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no reporting order until all verdicts were returned. But bear in

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mind this trial had been going on for eight months and a number of

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people had been acquitted. I think they were entitled to have those

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acquittals made public as soon as possible. Why didn't he deliver the

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verdicts altogether? He could have done but the jury were entitled to

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come back and say that they had decided on some but not on others.

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Having acquitted a number of people, who have been in the dock

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for eight months, I dare say the judge thought that the acquitted

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people had a right to see their exoneration is out there as soon as

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possible. The Attorney-General clearly gave the Prime Minister one

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piece of advice - that he could go ahead and make his apology, call Mr

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cool son a liar -- Andy Coulson a liar. I don't know what advice the

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Attorney-General gave the Prime Minister but the short point is,

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what effect would it have. I researched around for advice and the

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advice came back from the deputy as a kid, please do not comment until

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the verdict. Tom Watson says nothing is news in itself. Would you have

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commented at that point? I know you wouldn't have done. You're a very

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able lawyer. That's kind of you to say so. I'll give you my telephone

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number. I'm very expensive. You need to be careful. The problem that the

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Prime Minister faced was that he had a media storm already building up.

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We know the circumstances. I'm just wondering what advice he would have

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given the Prime Minister. I'm not going to say because I wasn't there

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to give it. Would you have commented? I haven't commented. You

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said in July 2011 that Rebekah Brooks was not only responsible for

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wrongdoing at News International but that you believed she knew about a.

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Do you accept that is wrong? Rebekah Brooks is not guilty. She has been

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found not guilty of conspiring to hack phones in a court of law. She

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is innocent. I wish her well with her life. Do you apologise for

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saying she knew about it? I'm not going to apologise. The club against

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a very powerful company that a court case has exposed for having

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potentially 5000 victims of phone hacking. If you remember, back then,

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there were many public institutions - the police, the criminal justice

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system, past prime ministers - who were not standing up for families

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like the Dowlers. I was shaking the tree. The tree has been shaken but

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you said the story of Rebekah Brooks being far from events was simply not

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believable, when a jury of her peers found it very believable. At the

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time, I thought that an editor would be on top of those stories. She is

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now said that the staff under Hurd took the decisions without her

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knowing. She basically said she knew nothing about it and she wasn't the

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editor that I thought she was. I do accept that she has been found not

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guilty and I hope she goes on to do something productive with her life.

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It was said in court that you hated her. I don't hate anyone. Not even

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Tony Blair, although I'm not very happy with him at the moment. I

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don't hate anyone and it wasn't personal. It was about trying to

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expose criminality at News International. Six people have

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pleaded guilty or been found guilty, very senior editors. We have an

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eight-month trial, estimated to cost ?100 million, and we've had seven

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defendants and one charge out of 14. That's because five of them

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pleaded guilty. But the real cost was in the trial. There were huge

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costs at pre-trial. They pleaded very late. If they had dropped the

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one rogue reporter defends in 2006, as we now know Andy Coulson now knew

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that was the case -- could not be the case because he was played a

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phone hacked message in 2004, we wouldn't have had any of this cost.

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About 40 descent of the annual budget of the Met's homicide

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division was being spent on this. -- 40% bracket one charge out of 14 has

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been held up. The Murdoch family's net wealth has almost doubled and

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the sun has hailed it as a great day for red tops. -- the something

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aggro. If the whole organisation was criminal, the aim was to bring it

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down. The aim was to expose wrongdoing and if the alternative is

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just to let the journalists carry on hacking the phones of abducted

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teenage schoolgirls, do you think that is right? The alternative would

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be to make sure we got ?100 million worth of justice by perhaps getting

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better than one charge out of 14. I wasn't a prosecutor. Maybe you

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should have been. But is that the right measure? Lots of people are

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acquitted when the jury considers the evidence. Lots of people are

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convicted when the jury considers the evidence. An acquittal is not a

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failure of the justice system. But it isn't a great track record for

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the CPS. The point I'm making is that the justice system is there to

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try people. Your leader, Mr Miliband, has dined out on his claim

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that he is the man who took on Murdoch when all around him would.

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You, as well as I, know that isn't true. -- would not. He only turned

:11:05.:11:11.

on Mr Murdoch after the Milly Dowler scandal became public. In a day that

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I will never forget, he got up in the chamber and said Rebekah Brooks

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should resign and BSkyB should be shelved. I owe him a great debt of

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loyalty for that because I'm not taking away anything from the other

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people that run for leader of the Labour Party but I think he's the

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only candidate, other than Diane Abbott, who that decision. He

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decided to take it on. I think the others would have taken a different

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path. But it was only after Milly Dowler broke and by then it became

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toxic. The week before, he'd been sitting champagne with Rupert

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Murdoch at a summer party. Some reports say he was one of the last

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to leave. Well, I wouldn't have done that but he did do the right thing.

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But only after it was like shooting trout in a barrel. What would you

:12:03.:12:08.

like me to say? You took on Murdoch before Milly Dowler. He did the

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right thing and I stand by him for that. I would liken to commit the

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Labour Party to permitting the Leveson proposals in full, which

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would you deeply. It doesn't upset me at all. You commit the Labour

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Party to what you want. What I think is not the issue. What did you think

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of a man who boasted taking on Murdoch being pictured reading the

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Sun? I was very embarrassed. Why did it not dawn on him what he was

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doing? I suspect because he is head of press thrust the paper in front

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of him. He is the Rubiks cube kit. Has he not got a brain to think for

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himself? I haven't been in that kind of job where you have things coming

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at you from all sides. I was his performance in the Commons are so

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poor yesterday? He had an open goal against David Cameron and drew less

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blood than Luis Suarez. I'm not sure whether the position David Cameron

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took will hold because Leveson is not over. There is a second part of

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Leveson, which is the bit that, as Leveson said, should show who did

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what to whom and when. I think he was asking legitimate questions

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about what David Cameron knew when he took Andy Coulson into Downing

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Street. He didn't quite make it. David Cameron had a single, robust

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line of defence, not answering the questions. It doesn't mean the

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questions will go away. Isn't it just time to park it? We've have

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this massive case. There are still scores of journalists still under

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bail. They don't know what their future is and some will be waiting

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four years until they get to trial. There am many occasions where I wish

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we could have this behind us and I actually do feel very sorry for

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those junior journalists who were part of a big corporate culture that

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expected these things to happen. They have my sympathy. One of the

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things I hope can happen is that the newsrooms of the tabloid newspapers

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say to their proprietors, "get the self-regulatory proposals in place,

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let journalism move on, and let's hope that at some point we can ask

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whether there is a public interest in continuing with these cases". Did

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you think it was right in these cases but scores of Claude Rampage

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-- scores of policeman Rampage into your house in the middle of the

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night as if they were dealing with terrorists or gangsters? They had a

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reasonable suspicion that evidence was being destroyed. That's what

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they said in the court case. No, they weren't terrorists, as far as I

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know. I don't make anyone has ever accused Rebekah Brooks or Charlie

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Brooks of terrorism but the police had a reasonable suspicion that they

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needed an element of surprise. What do you make of all this? It's MS,

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isn't it? But in other countries, the security services, or others,

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record and tap politicians then leak it to the press. I wouldn't

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encourage anything! How interesting is the public in this in the long

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run? -- interested. Thank you. The Prime Minister appears to be

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on the verge of failure in his efforts to prevent the former

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Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean Claude Juncker, from being

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nominated as the next president EU leaders begin gathering

:15:54.:15:56.

for a two day summit today - first David Cameron is demanding that

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a vote take place at the summit - he wants other leaders to have to

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justify their support for Mr Juncker But, barring any last-minute

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disasters, Mr Juncker looks set to become one of the most

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powerful figures in Europe. And why is Britain

:16:19.:16:21.

so vehemently against him? Mr Juncker was Prime Minister

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of Luxembourg from 1995 to 2013. He was forced to resign after

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becoming embroiled in a wiretapping scandal involving the country's

:16:36.:16:37.

intelligence service SREL. He belongs to Luxembourg's

:16:38.:16:49.

centre-right Christian Democrat But he's suspicious

:16:50.:16:51.

of always pursuing free-market solutions and has been described

:16:52.:16:54.

as "the most socialist From 2005 to 2013 he chaired

:16:55.:16:56.

the Eurogroup of finance ministers At the heart

:16:57.:17:00.

of EU decision-making for so long In May 2011, he told a meeting

:17:01.:17:12.

of the federalist European Movement that he often "had to lie" and that

:17:13.:17:16.

eurozone monetary policy should be It's also well known that Mr Juncker

:17:17.:17:19.

is partial to a glass of wine and the odd cigarette, even leading him

:17:20.:17:29.

to deny that he had a drink problem. In March the centre-right grouping

:17:30.:17:35.

in the European Parliament the EPP chose him as their candidate to be

:17:36.:17:43.

the next President of the European He has pledged "to give

:17:44.:17:48.

an answer to the British question." But he says,

:17:49.:17:56.

"My red line in such talks would be the integrity of the single market

:17:57.:18:00.

and its four freedoms." Well, joining me now is Dirk Hazell,

:18:01.:18:05.

leader of the 4 Freedoms Party or UK EPP - it's a pro-EU, centre right

:18:06.:18:11.

party which contested the recent And we're also joined by one

:18:12.:18:16.

of UKIP's new MEPs, Tim Aker. It's all a bit confusing! You should

:18:17.:18:33.

make your name is a bit more different so we could see exactly

:18:34.:18:38.

what you are. I think it's fair to say Mr Younger has not had the best

:18:39.:18:41.

of the British press. Are we all wrong about him? The fact of the

:18:42.:18:47.

matter is that we have a treaty framework which was agreed by the

:18:48.:18:51.

British Parliament. We've had a European election conducted under

:18:52.:18:56.

that treaty framework. All the serious EU parties were clear about

:18:57.:18:58.

that and he is the winning candidate. Having both been in the

:18:59.:19:03.

Conservative party when Mr Cameron was selected and in the EBP when Mr

:19:04.:19:09.

Younger was selected, Mr Younger's selection process was at least as

:19:10.:19:15.

clean and democratic as Mr Cameron's why would you pick a man

:19:16.:19:18.

who had to quit as Prime Minister after being involved in a scandal

:19:19.:19:28.

and has had to lie? The decisions on monetary seizure shouldn't always be

:19:29.:19:31.

conducted in the full light of publicity, according to Mr Juncker.

:19:32.:19:38.

I think he has a point. He was talking about when issues become

:19:39.:19:44.

serious. He said you have to lie. And we have no lies ever from

:19:45.:19:48.

British politicians, do we? You can't ask me that doing this

:19:49.:19:52.

programme. But why would you have someone who says that sometimes you

:19:53.:19:56.

have to lie and thinks that most things should be in secret, dark

:19:57.:20:01.

debates. Some of this is very difficult. He has been confronted

:20:02.:20:04.

once or twice about English, which is not his native language. But he

:20:05.:20:10.

is, in person, engaging and formidable. And the really relevant

:20:11.:20:16.

point is that he stood on a very transparent 5-point action

:20:17.:20:20.

programme. What should have been happening over the last month,

:20:21.:20:24.

instead of these spinning techniques coming out of Number Ten, we should

:20:25.:20:29.

have had a very firm focus on getting British people in the right

:20:30.:20:33.

places in a Juncker commission to see through the 5-point action plan,

:20:34.:20:37.

which is focused on getting millions of people back into work. Tim, you

:20:38.:20:49.

must be quite pleased. It's business as usual over there, isn't it? It's

:20:50.:20:53.

a sign that David Cameron's renegotiation efforts have the first

:20:54.:21:02.

real test of getting European ministers to sign up to his

:21:03.:21:04.

programme and it looks like they've turned against him. At one point it

:21:05.:21:08.

looked like he was getting them on side and there might be a rival

:21:09.:21:12.

candidate but now it's fallen apart around him and Juncker seems to be

:21:13.:21:19.

the favourite to go forward. Cameron said that if he becomes the

:21:20.:21:22.

commission president, it could lead to the UK "drifting towards the

:21:23.:21:28.

exit". I think there's political symbolism in this, the fact that

:21:29.:21:33.

Cameron has been unable to block a candidate that represents what most

:21:34.:21:36.

Brits would consider wrong with the EU in the first place. There are tee

:21:37.:21:44.

separate issues. On the one hand, it is personality. Juncker may be as

:21:45.:21:48.

unhelpful as any other commission president that has been a candidate

:21:49.:21:53.

who has been taught about. That's the substance but the principle, the

:21:54.:21:58.

president, is not very good. This idea that Younger is -- Juncker is

:21:59.:22:04.

on some kind of democratic mandate is silly. 9.7% of the European

:22:05.:22:10.

electorate voted for parties that were, in theory, affiliated with the

:22:11.:22:14.

centre-right political European Parliament. Most opinion polls show

:22:15.:22:20.

that a minority of them actually knew who Juncker was. In Germany, 7%

:22:21.:22:27.

could identify Juncker. More Germans believe in ghosts than that. The

:22:28.:22:33.

opinion polls drifted in Germany as awareness group. The trouble is,

:22:34.:22:38.

with the way Mr Cameron has mishandled this... That's your

:22:39.:22:46.

opinion. It has had the effect of greatly strengthening the strength

:22:47.:22:49.

of opinion behind Juncker, which has made it very much more difficult.

:22:50.:22:59.

What choice did he have? I've been amazed that you managed to find

:23:00.:23:02.

someone who is pro-Juncker. He has no legitimacy in this country. The

:23:03.:23:11.

Lib Dems back the other guy and the Tories are not part of the EP P who

:23:12.:23:18.

nominated. That is precisely my point because the real issue... He

:23:19.:23:26.

had no choice. The real issue, as you have admitted in print, is that

:23:27.:23:32.

Cameron left the EP P. If Britain is going to be in the EU, the three

:23:33.:23:37.

main parties should be in it. What lessons do you take from all this?

:23:38.:23:45.

It's Christmas early for you! Yeah, it's Christmas come early. A

:23:46.:23:48.

federalist who thinks more Europe is the solution. What you've been

:23:49.:23:53.

talking about with Juncker and the 5-point plan... UKIP coming top in

:23:54.:24:00.

the European elections means that your agenda is way off course. We're

:24:01.:24:07.

heading for the exit door. There we are. We'll see if you're right.

:24:08.:24:08.

Thanks for joining us. Now, do you you know your Centre

:24:09.:24:11.

for European Reform from your centre Your European Policy Centre

:24:12.:24:14.

from your European Policy Forum? But fear not,

:24:15.:24:18.

our reporter Adam lives, breathes and quite often hangs

:24:19.:24:20.

around outside some of the many, Come with me. No need to go to

:24:21.:24:36.

Brussels, when there's so much Europe a short stroll from your

:24:37.:24:43.

office. Behind this tour, you'll find the centre for European reform,

:24:44.:24:49.

a Europhile think tank. Just round the corner, above the Faith Society,

:24:50.:25:01.

you'll find Open Europe. They have a team of multilingual researchers who

:25:02.:25:03.

translate all the European press so you don't have to. Just down the

:25:04.:25:09.

road, you will find Business For Britain, which is pro-reform and

:25:10.:25:19.

pro-Britain. Under all this scaffolding, under the new campaign

:25:20.:25:23.

group called British Influence, which describes itself as a

:25:24.:25:27.

cross-party pro-EU membership organisation. Time to head further

:25:28.:25:31.

afield. In these offices, you will find the

:25:32.:25:43.

extremely pro-EU group Business For New Europe, Either? Run A Europhile

:25:44.:25:53.

Businessman. On Regent Street, The Office Of The Very Euro-sceptic

:25:54.:25:58.

Bruges Group, Inspired By Margaret Thatcher's Speech Of The 1980s. Then

:25:59.:26:08.

there are groups that are no longer with us like Britain in Europe,

:26:09.:26:14.

which united big names in support of the euro, or its antithesis,

:26:15.:26:19.

Business for sterling. I didn't have time to visit some, but now to the

:26:20.:26:29.

better off out campaign, an offshoot of the freedom association, a bunch

:26:30.:26:33.

of libertarians. Their offices on that vote. -- their office is on

:26:34.:26:43.

that vote. I've heard there is a bar on board stop don't make the mistake

:26:44.:26:49.

as me. How are you different from Get Britain Out? They put their

:26:50.:26:56.

case, we put our case, but we look to emphasise the positives.

:26:57.:27:01.

And finally, the EU has its own presence here, in the form of Europe

:27:02.:27:05.

House, where you can get all sorts of literature. And no peace would be

:27:06.:27:10.

complete without pointing out that this used to be Tory central office.

:27:11.:27:16.

Adam is now lying down in a dark room to recover. Here is a test for

:27:17.:27:22.

you. Which is the odd one out? Open Europe, centre the European reform,

:27:23.:27:26.

friends of Europe or the Bruges group? Open Europe because of those

:27:27.:27:32.

groups we get the most things right. No, the Bruges group because it is

:27:33.:27:36.

the only one that advocates withdrawal from the union. What have

:27:37.:27:40.

you achieved in ten years? We've moved the debate. We were right on

:27:41.:27:45.

the euro. We said it would be a mistake for Britain to join and we

:27:46.:27:49.

were right. In many ways, everyone is now where we were several years

:27:50.:27:52.

ago, which is talking about the need for reform and in that sense we set

:27:53.:27:57.

the terms of the debate. On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate Mr

:27:58.:28:03.

Cameron's chances of getting some real repatriations? On a scale of

:28:04.:28:09.

one to ten, between a six and a seven. You think he might do it?

:28:10.:28:14.

Absolutely. It depends on a number of factors but Mr Juncker is not the

:28:15.:28:21.

main match. It is the warm up. There is a lot still to come in this

:28:22.:28:29.

Europe debate. We will have a lot of business in future. That's it for

:28:30.:28:42.

today. I'll be back with This Week tonight. That's after Question Time

:28:43.:28:48.

on BBC One tonight. I'll be back tomorrow at 11am with all the big

:28:49.:28:52.

political stories of the day and on Newsnight tomorrow on BBC Two.

:28:53.:28:53.

Goodbye.

:28:54.:29:00.

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