21/07/2014 Daily Politics


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Afternoon folks, welcome to the Daily Politics.


David Cameron pushes for tougher sanctions against Russia


over the passenger jet crash in Ukraine and calls on other EU


countries to restrict the export of defence equipment to Moscow.


Labour party bigwigs agree the basis for their next election


manifesto, insisting the plans are for big reforms not big spending.


The former environment secretary Owen Paterson takes to Twitter after


Could fallen Tories cause a few headaches for the Prime Minister?


And we'll hear from the man who really runs the House of Commons .


I am the corporate officer, which means I own all the property and it


also means I am the person liable if anything goes wrong.


All that in the next hour and with us


for the whole programme today is the lord mayor of London, Fiona Woolf.


Thank you. David Cameron appears to have made peace with Jean Claude


Juncker. They were pictured at the EU summit greeting each other with a


high five. Jean Claude Juncker was all smiles to Pike -- despite David


Cameron's attempt to prevent him getting the job, but never to have


to get down to business, and in a concession to the UK, Jean Claude


Juncker says he is not opposed to repatriation of powers from


Brussels, a key demand of David Cameron. Yesterday the new Foreign


Secretary Philip Hammond said he would still vote to leave the


European Union and Leicester were significant reform in Brussels. Here


he is, speaking to Andrew Marr -- unless there were significant


reform. I am preparing for the renegotiation over the next nine or


ten months, and then we will carry out the renegotiation, and when we


get to the end of the process and we see what is on offer, what is on the


table, we will make our recommendations. Let's be clear. Two


years ago you thought if you did not get the renegotiation, you should


leave. Have you changed your mind? I have not changed my mind. If there


is no change at all in the way Europe is governed, and no change in


the balance of competencies between the nation states and the European


Union, and no resolution of the challenge of how the Eurozone can


succeed and coexist with countries outside the Eurozone, that is not a


Europe that can work for Britain in the future, so there must be change.


The Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, sticking to his guns. We


have been joined by the UKIP financial affairs spokesman, Stephen


Moore. Fiona, first to you. How helpful as it do here in


intervention for the Foreign Secretary that he would vote to


leave as it stands now -- is it to here? The city is pro-Europe, but it


is also pro-reform and it would like to see more focus on the growth in


jobs agenda, completion of the single market, less red tape. I


think it is helpful to be focused on reform, but of course, you have to


understand the city has a lot of headquarters of foreign companies


that are here because we are in Europe. And for them, access to the


single market is important. Is it helpful to the debate to almost


threaten that the UK will leave the EU if those powers are not


repatriated to Brussels -- from Brussels to the UK? It increases the


uncertainty in people's minds, obviously. And that might have some


sort of chilling effect on investment and doing business with


the city. You have heard Fiona saying that the Cities pro-EU, and


they should know that they are a centre of finance globally, so they


will know what is best for finance for jobs and business. I think they


are certainly the one that knows what is best for finance and for


jobs in the City but I don't agree that the city is pro-the EU. I think


it is pro-European in terms of trading with European partners but


if you look at recent polls you will see that the majority of business


leaders are saying that they do not want to be part of the European


Union and they want a referendum, and that is a widespread view. And


there are many individuals in the city who have said if we jump out of


the European Union we would have an economy that grows faster than Hong


Kong or Singapore. Are you wrong to say that the city is pro-EU? We can


argue over the stats and facts. Our surveys have come in at 84%, and the


CBI have come in at roughly the same sort of level. And again more recent


surveys say that 90% see it as an advantage to be part of the single


market. We are not here to debate the stats and facts, but I am sure


there are grounds for agreement about the reforms. What reforms


would you like to see primarily? Which powers would you like to see


brought back from Brussels to the UK? What we have put into the


balance of competencies review has focused on the powers, and the


conclusion has been more about overregulation, red tape, about the


nature of the decision-making being slow and cumbersome. About the


ability of the European commission to make up agendas that are not on


the growth in jobs. Perhaps looking for short-term is. So if those were


achieved, to some extent, business leaders would be happy and they can


do that without leaving the EU. We all want growth and greater in


Europe -- greater employment, but being in the European Parliament for


a short time, it has confirmed my view that they are opposed to the


Anglo-Saxon method of trading on the way we look at the City. And the way


we consider the influences really concerning. You see a socialist in


charge as the president, a socialist vice presidency, and the majority of


the committee I work to the financial services sector which is


essential for the country near to succeed because of the millions of


jobs we have in the amount of money in there. What you don't see, the


important part, is the lack of influence we have in the Council of


ministers where the major decisions have been made since 1973, we have


gone from over 20% to below 8%. We have no influence. Stephen claims we


have no influence but you would disagree with that. How important


would a free-trade deal with America be? It would be extremely important


and useful if especially financial services were part of it. That is


really all about achieving much more regulatory coherence on either side


of the pond. And you would agree with that but that would never


happen if Britain was not part of the EU? We would not be part of the


deal. Here is where I fundamentally agree with Fiona, that we need to


have a free-trade arrangements with the US but we also need one with


other countries. Could we get that with the US if we were not part of


the EU? Absolutely. Really? Iceland has a free-trade arrangement with


China, so why the six largest trading nation -- six largest


trading nation on the globe could not have one with the US is beyond


me? I'm not sure that the US would bother to get on to a serious


conversation about regulatory coherence with us, and financial


services, if they were only dealing with us and not the rest of the EU.


But they have negotiations with the grams 20, and we work with them at a


national level. You are using anecdotal evidence that there could


be some corporate -- sort of agreements made at that you're


convinced it would not happen, Fiona? You can never be convinced of


anything in life. But there is a bigger prize on both sides for an EU


and US trade agreement. What about a referendum? Would you like to see an


in and out referendum? What I would really like to see is substantial


progress on the sorts of reforms that we are all agreed on. It's not


just that we agree amongst ourselves on reform, but we talk to the


industry bilaterally, and all the other countries, wherever we go. We


have had conversations with all of them in the last year or so. And


they agree that we need a growth in jobs agenda. It's a fairly


straightforward agenda we can agree on. And the amount of representation


we have in the EU has halved over the last ten years, so we are not


punching the right way. We only have 4% of influence in the commission,


which says it all. You can see the way they are treating Lord Hill and


there is a suggestion he would be the only Commissioner, and that


shows a lack of influence the UK has in the European Union.


We'll give you the correct answer at the end of the show .


David Cameron is pushing for tougher sanctions against Russia


over its response to the crash of the Malaysia Airlines jet


EU foreign ministers meet tomorrow to try to agree new sanctions.S


So far the EU has imposed travel bans and asset freezes on


Only last week President Obama approved a new round of sanctions to


target Russian defence companies, banks, and energy companies.


David Cameron, who will make a statement to MPs


later today, is calling on other EU leaders "to consider further


The Government thinks EU sanctions ought to include companies


and banks that are seen to facilitate the conflict in Ukraine.


But there is more reticence in other parts


Energy imports from Russia to Germany, for example,


The Chancellor, George Osborne, warned that fresh sanctions could


have an impact on the UK's economy but "


We are getting together with other European countries to discuss


further sanctions. Of course, sanctions could have an economic


impact, but the economic impact of not having respected international


borders and economic impact of what you see with the terrible tragedy


with the airline, these are greater things. We are doing this to protect


our economic security as well as our physical and national security.


We can talk now to our political correspondent Ben Wright.


Lots of tough sounding talk, but will David Cameron persuade his EU


colleagues and counterparts? There has been a lot of talk about


sanctions for months and the prospect of toughening them up.


Britain has actually been one of the most vociferous in arguing that


sanctions should be tougher on Russia over several weeks, but it


now feels that this is a different moment. Even before this disaster,


last Wednesday, the European Council agreed to widen the legal framework


underpinning possible sanctions and agreed, in principle, that they


could start to attack companies and individuals close to Vladimir Putin


and the Kremlin, not just those directly involved in what is


happening in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. In principle, it took a


step last week and that the meeting in Brussels what we will see is


Britain urging other countries to nail down the names of companies and


individuals, cronies close to Vladimir Putin. The question is


whether they can sign that off as soon as tomorrow. We talked about a


frank exchange, frank conversation with Vladimir Putin, that is a


euphemism in diplomatic speak for David Cameron being angry. How angry


is he? Britain is not alone in being angry and exasperated with the way


Moscow has approached this over the last three or four days. There was a


similar tone to the reading out of discussions between the French, the


German, the Australian governments. People are infuriated at the


reluctance by Moscow to put pressure on the rebel separatists where the


plane went down, to allow the site to be secured, to allow proper


investigations to begin, and, of course, to allow access to the


bodies and the repatriation process to begin. There is fury and


discussed the way Moscow have gone about it and it's interesting that


this morning there was the statement issued by Vladimir Putin, a video


statement, where he seemed to soften his stance quite a lot and said that


he wanted to seek a UN led investigation up and running as soon


as possible and for the site to be secured. He got quite a rollicking


from other leaders over the weekend and it feels like he may have


responded to some of that pressure. With us now is the former


Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne, and joining us from our


Bristol studios is David Clark, who chairs the Russia Foundation and was


formerly a special advisor to Robin We have seen militia picking over


the crash site and independent investigators still don't have


access, just more evidence that Russia is acting with impunity? I


think so, clearly they want to cover their tracks. They know they are in


a bad position. It is imperative that the international immunity is


clear and united in its resolve to ensure access to the site and that


there is a proper investigation, and responsibility is appropriately


allocated. But it needs to continue, the international community has to


be very firm in making it clear to Vladimir Putin that they have to


enter the activities they have been sponsoring inside western Ukraine,


co-operate in bringing stability to the country and to stop meddling.


It's absolutely essential that everyone understands this is not a


domestic Ukrainian insurgency, not a civil war, it is a funded and armed


intervention by Russia and they bear direct responsibility for what


happened on Thursday even if they didn't mean to shoot down this


particular aircraft. They certainly met to shoot something down and they


knew lives would be lost. They are the instigators, they are the people


who need to stop and there has to be a step change in the western and


European response. The inference that the West just has not been


tough enough with Vladimir Putin and here we are. I agree with everything


David said and I agree with the position the government has taken.


We in Britain have been leading the push for a robust response to what


the Russians are doing in Ukraine. A lot of other European leaders have


shown inadequate leadership. We hear a lot that the European union is a


great forced magnifier around the world and it gives us greater clout


in global affairs. That is potentially true but it doesn't mean


anything if when we have incidents like this European leaders are not


willing to put their name to something forceful and I am hoping


that is what they will do. Do you blame the British public for being


cynical? They may have thought this is the sort of tough talk that


should have been in play months ago. I think it should have been in play


months ago. It is a source of regret that a lot of European leaders...


No, I think we have been at the forefront of pushing for something


robust, but others have been looking for stimulation because they are


reliant for Russia on energy supplies, and we have put ourselves


in a good position of being less reliant on the Russians than some


other countries. Let's talk about specific sanctions. How much tougher


would they be? David Cameron has talked the talk, but how much


tougher would they be in reality if they are agreed by the EU? The


current proposals, the previous proposals for restrictions on a


handful of people travelling were inadequate so they could be


extended. It is important that we don't just think of it on an EU


level. The Japanese, South Koreans and others would give it greater


bite if they were to participate in a wider co-ordinated set of


sanctions. Do you think that will have an effect? If tougher sanctions


are agreed, and there is no guarantee that they will be when


they meet, in Brussels, but do you think that would have a meaningful


impact on Vladimir Putin? I think it would, provided the European Union


will move beyond symbolic wrist slapping, asset freezes and travel


bans against a handful of individuals... That is not going to


work, we need to move beyond that and have sanctions against


particular companies, banks and entire sectors of the Russian


economy is necessary to get the message across. Russia is very


dependent on its place in the world, its international linkages, it is


very embedded in the process of globalisation. It is not an economy


that can shut itself off. They need investment very badly, capital


flows, they need trade access. The West is in a position to deny them


that I shutting them out of the international financial system, for


example, that would be damaging. Russia is already teetering on the


brink of recession. If Latimer Putin thought there would be a serious


economic downturn as a result of this, and it would affect his mystic


popularity, which it would, he would think twice. -- mystic policies. Do


you think they should be sidelined from the international financial


centre? It's through that Russia has become something of a hub for trade


investment. Do you regret that? In a sense, we are what we are. We don't


regret the trade and investment that comes from wherever it comes from.


We are not in a position to stop it because we are in a market,


international market. We never thought of asking for special


treatment to protect the city's interests. Would you be prepared...


? It is a matter for our government, European governments to get together


and devised a scheme that we have been talking about. Bearing in mind


what has happened, Fiona Woolf, have you or any of your colleague ever


lobbied ministers or civil servants against the imposition of financial


sanctions against Russia? Absolutely not. Don't forget, the market has


voted with its feet. The reports we are getting from our Moscow


offices, this situation has had a chilling effect on trade and


investment already. And many plans for investment have simply gone on


hold. Do you think the City of London is too close the Russian


financial interests? Do you think they have allowed too much Russian


money to come into London? Not necessarily. It depends what you


mean by too much Russian money. Is the relationship to close? People


are accusing Russia of being a rogue state. City of London is arguably


the pre-eminent global hub, we are going to trade with people right


around the world. We are not going to just trade with the nine liberal


governments. But it is important that the Russians understand there


has to be some sort of order. -- benign liberal governments. They are


actively intervening in Ukrainian affairs in a way that is not just


damaging to the Ukraine, but as we see with this plane shot down,


damaging the people across Europe and the world who have had friends


and relatives killed in this deliberate attempt to shoot down a


plane. We do have to be mindful of that, and as the Chancellor said


yesterday on television, there may be some economic consequences to us


of having serious sanctions but there are economic consequences of


having a country as large and powerful as Russia acting with


impunity in world affairs. Do you think the City of London has


embraced Russian money and Russian financial interest in a way they


shouldn't have done in recent months? I do. The way that we


allowed oil assets to be floated on the stock exchange, the way in which


flows of personal wealth come into this country to buy up property and


inflate the London housing market in a way that is very harmful to


Londoners, apart from anything else... We haven't been


discriminating enough. The lesson that Vladimir Putin and others have


drawn from this is that when it comes to dealing with his corrupt


and authoritarian model of governance, the West puts its own


financial interests before its values. They see us as bribe a


ball. When Russia gets into a tight spot, they will always be able to


buy their way out of it. The message has to be that that is no longer the


case. -- they see us as bribeable. The financial interests and the


values are a huge hot topic in the City of London anyway. Whether it is


possible in a fast transaction, global market to look behind every


transaction and stop it... Isn't that your responsibility? It's


dealing with it as a whole. You can argue this anyway that you like, but


the fact is, as you said yourself, there are no particular measures


that you can apply when you actually stop something. It's really


important that London is the global financial centre... Not at any


price. We are seen to run a discriminate ship as regards to some


of our values, and if we lose sight of that with our dealings with


Russia, China or others, and we don't have self-confidence in our


own values as a country, we become diminished not just ourselves but in


the eyes of the world as well. Jeremy and David, thank you very


much. Powerful, wealthy and representing


the interests of the powerful and wealthy, the Corporation of London -


the body that runs the City - But what is its role,


what does it do, and can it help rebuild the reputation of


its financial giants in the face of Giles has donned


his pinstripe to find out. Explaining the oddities of the City


of London to a stranger to the city that IS London might send


them a bit blurry. It's run by a corporation, but not


in the sense of the word that In the modern sense.


It's a City inside a city. It's not a local authority


but it has many of their powers. The Lord Mayor of London ISN'T


the Mayor of London. It's only a square mile of land


but it runs Epping Forest, Hampstead Heath and the animal


reception centre at Heathrow. So to shed some light on this,


from the ancient seat of the Corporation's power, the man


who helps run things explains. The corporation is a very odd body,


you would not invent it today, it goes back 800 years but it is not


bound by tradition. It wouldn't still be around a bit stuck with the


past. The work we do to promote London as an international business


centre benefits the whole economy. That might sound peculiar


when it celebrates for example the Car registration


for the times before cars. But driving the interests


of 8,000 residents and 300,000 workers who daily come


into the Square Mile's financial There is still a impression that


financial services is about people who work in shiny towns in Canary


Wharf or the City of London. Most financial services are around the


whole UK, or bury people in every town and high street looking after


the needs of customers, individuals or small businesses. -- ordinary


people in every town. The message we have to get across is that the city


brings wealth into the country but it does not stay in the city, it


moves across the whole UK, powering the economy and helping businesses


to grow. Well, that may well be so, but over


the last five years the reputational damage to this sector, over banking


scandals, executive pay, bonuses, mis-selling and market manipulation,


has tarnished the industry which in the UK is, by any standards,


a global leader. We have got a lot of scandals still


coming. We need to draw a line under the past. The important thing is to


recognise the importance that financial services have, we have to


make sure the banking system works for us, not just for the great


invisible imports that come to the City of London and other parts of


the UK because of global finance, but of course we also need an


opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises to benefit


from what banks should be doing, which is lending money. We need to


get that right. The Corporation has deep pockets,


it sponsors the Barbican, runs schools and housing, covered a chunk


of Cross Rail and other ventures. But its corporate focus draws


criticism that it's a closed shop, We have no wish to be secretive. I


am told we have secret bank accounts but they are so secretive no-one has


told me about them. We have no wish be secretive.


Nonetheless, it might be some time before


the public see the City as anything more than greedy grey-suited hims,


Markfield, Conservative MP, saying there are still scandals the


service. -- surface. Are there? There are still investigations going


on. This is something that is taking a while to get to the bottom of. We


can't condone activity... Certainly that pushes into the criminal


field. We can't begin to condone that. This stuff is not helpful for


me in my role, which is promoting financial and business services, and


London as a place in which to do business. How difficult has it been


since the financial crash? As you know, public anger was at its site


and has been over the last few years, and the city's reputation was


trashed to a certain extent. Has the culture in the City of London, in


the banking world, changed in your mind? They are working on it. They


are very sensitive about it. There are a lot of initiatives going on


from the professional bodies bringing in ethical training and


standards, Sir Richard Lambert's banking standards review commission


is now being established at high speed. So they are wanting to make


the world a better place. How would you describe the role of the City of


London in modern Britain? It is there to be a good force, using


heritage and a dowry, and making people pay to cross their bridges


for centuries. But my role as Lord Mayor of London is not one about


presiding at council meetings, although I do do that, it is


actually getting out and about to attract trade and investment and


jobs to Britain, and to promote exports and taking people with me.


In fact, I think I am here because in the 1990s I travelled with the


Lord Mayors overseas visits for their door opening powers, and


disabled -- enabled me to export my firm all over the world. So more


than just a pressure group are high finance, which is what critics would


say, that you use the lobbying power and money to promote your interest


to that end? Well, I'm not really in a hugely lobbying role. Maybe a


little bit of soft power around the edges, but it's really more about


making it easy for people to do business, and particularly I receive


as many inward visits which takes up as much time as my overseas travel,


and I will be away for 100 days per year. Fiona, thank you very much.


There's an end of term feel to things as MPs get ready to head back


to their constituencies for the summer recess.


Here's what's coming up in the week ahead.


The Commons rises tomorrow for the summer recess.


MPs will not be expected back until the 1st of September.


It's also the final cabinet before the summer break.


On Wednesday the Commonwealth Games will begin and David Cameron is


expected to attend the opening ceremony at Glasgow's Celtic Park.


And on Friday the latest GDP figures will be released.


Will this leave the Chancellor in a good mood for his holidays?


So, to give their end of term assessments I'm joined now


by Laura Pitel of The Times and by Tamara Cohen of the Daily Mail.


Tamara, where do you think the parties are placed as we stand here


almost at the end of term? It's interesting. It's been a very


eventful year but we are in a similar position to last summer. The


Tories are full of confidence since the budget and they have a top team


in place and the economy has recovered better than they could


have expected, yet they are still three or four points behind Labour


in the polls, so they will hope over the summer that they can hammer home


their messages about the economy, about welfare, about Europe and by


the time of the party conference they can hopefully take the lead.


Labour will be on the attack over the summer. They are ahead in the


polls but people are not sure that Ed Miliband is in the right place to


be Prime Minister. So they will spend the summer having pushed the


Shadow Cabinet out and about to improve their standing. Laura,


looking at it now, will anything changed dramatically between now and


the election in terms of the polling, or will it go on as it is?


That is the big question. The Tories will be hoping to overtake Labour in


the polls sometime between now and the autumn and if that does not


happen you wonder that they might get more jittery. We will be in a


holding position over the summer and then they will make some new


announcement. There's only two months to go, so it's a huge focus


of attention by both parties and it's obviously a difficult one for


the Conservatives. They only have one MP in Scotland and it will be


making his annual trip to Balmoral as well as attending the


Commonwealth Games. He will try to make the emotional argument about


Scottish independence. We have heard a lot from the Better Together


campaign about the economic arguments, about jobs and oil


revenues, but I think both parties will be keen to go up there and make


the emotional argument, and I'm sure Alex Salmond will be using every


opportunity he can to make capital from that. What about the Liberal


Democrats? We expect the reshuffle from them when we come back in


September. Yes, there has been some speculation that Joe Swinson, one of


the up-and-coming female stars might swap places with the Scotland


Secretary after the Scottish referendum -- Jo Swinson. They will


want to bed down, and it was described as every man for himself


by one MP, and they will wonder if there will be any Liberal Democrat


MPs left to form a coalition. Do you think that the lines on the economy


will stay very much the same, that you will hear from the coalition


that unemployment continues to come down, that they are battling against


the deficit and growth has returned, and these are promising


economic foundations, and the Labour Party will still, against that, talk


about the cost of living and the fact that not everyone is feeling


the recovery. I think so. Labour has had some criticism for the cost of


living argument is that as the economy grows, people will feel


better off and by the time of the election it could be a lot less


persuasive, but they will have to stick with it. They are hoping that


the Tory party will continue to talk about the long-term economic plan


and jobs, and having the fastest growing economy in the G-7. Labour


can make a good argument around things like rail fares and energy


prices and they talked at the National policy Forum about some of


the offerings they would make the party conference. But the key


challenge for them is to turn it into something. Jon Cruddas said


that the policy perhaps don't add up to a narrative about the country and


that is what Labour need to develop in the coming months. Just finally,


Laura, how the Tory MPs feeling at the end of term after the


reshuffle? Well, the ones who have been sacked feeling OK. One of the


themes of the last few months has been the almost unsettling quiet


amongst Tory MPs after quite a rocky period in the run-up to the European


elections. Things have actually been quite quiet. They will go away


feeling not quietly confident, but OK and they will want to bed down


and hang on in there and see if they can make it happen in May 2015.


David Cameron's big reshuffle last week promoted some new faces to the


Cabinet but he also sacked some people who are now on the


backbenches with more time on their hands and the potential to cause Mr


Cameron one or two headaches. Take for example the former


Environment Secretary Owen Paterson. looking for someone to run my new


office, but I seem to have lost That's a reference to the former


special advisor to Michael Gove, who since leaving the department for


education has very publicly attacked Then there's the former attorney


general, Dominic Grieve. He was asked by Sky yesterday


whether Mr Cameron had sacked him because of his view that Britain


should remain a signatory to the Mr Grieve said,


"It's certainly possible. There's certainly been a lot of


background to this over some time". And Ken Clarke has also


been giving interviews. Talking to The Observer about the


chances of a Conservative majority in the next election, Mr Clarke


said, "I belong to a Conservative Party that used to be able to win


elections", and that winning a majority in May next year is


a "mountain to climb" I have been joined by Diane Abbott


and Margot James and Laura Liebert for the Liberal Democrats. And here


is Diane, who can join us. We were just talking about the big beasts


who have escaped from the confines of ministerial offices, so who are


you most worried about? We have to look positively and see that there


is a new government in terms of people being brought on. I was


pleased to see the number of women brought into the Cabinet and into


government for the first time. Why won't you brought in? There are


always more people than jobs and I have to take it on the chin. I was


disappointed but I've got over it and I'm looking forward to the new


term and helping to see a Conservative majority government


elected next May. What job would you have liked? I have a business


background and I've been working on the trade and investment brief for


three years, so I was hoping to be able to make more of a contribution


on the business side. Or on the foreign affairs and International


development side. But in the meantime I am now free to speak in


those areas where I was before because I was I am now able to make


more of a contribution on the other areas. One of your former


colleagues, Louise Mensch, tweeted over the weekend and said it was


insane not to promote shoot and it must be galling when so many were


promoted -- promote you. I think Mr Cameron missed a trick by not


promoting Margot as she is an excellent Conservative MP. I have


already answered that question. He made a mistake then? I said I was


disappointed and I got over it. You will not be causing trouble on the


backbenches as other colleagues perhaps might. Well, we don't know


what the future holds, but the economy is going very well indeed.


There is a lot of other good news. If we get the right result in the


Scottish referendum, we will be well placed for the next election. Diane,


welcome to the programme, better late than never. Well done for


making it. From the backbenches, you know something about shouting from


the sidelines, so who do you think is the biggest threat from the


departed ministers? He is a very, very nice and gently spoken man, but


I think Dominic Grieve, he is trying to tell them that they cannot


legally and constitutionally do what they want to do, which is step away


from the European Court of Human Rights. He's tried to tell them the


truth is a law officer and they thanked him by sacking him. Although


there might be some short-term political advantage and what they


are doing, they are wrong and Dominic knows it. You were upset


about the departure of Dominic Grieve, and Kenneth Clarke, who


would describe himself as the biggest Europhile in the Tory ranks.


He is quite liberal as well in his views, so we are disappointed to see


him go, as well as Dominic. Of the new appointments, the best gloss I


can put on it is the number of women that he has promoted, some very


talented, sparky women, but this lurch to the right to try and


appease the right wingers who will never ever be appeased because they


will always want more, unfortunately, and that is a shame


he has done that. That's what it looks like two critics and


opponents, that losing both Kenneth Clarke and Dominic Grieve is a sop


to UKIP. It is fear, and trying to reconcile the right of the party. I


don't think that is the case. Ken Clarke, it has been widely trailed


that he has stepped down from his own decision after so many years.


What about Dominic Grieve? I was very sorry to see Dominic go as


well. I think he has been a fine Attorney General changes have be


made. And within time for a general election. But this is just changing


the face, this is a clear signal that they want to move away from


their commitment to the Convention on human rights which is a serious


thing. Does it worry you if there is a move away? Dominic Grieve was seen


as a block on debate about withdrawing from the European


Convention on human rights. Would you be worried about it? I would be


worried if the alternative proposals would not enshrine all the


principles of the Convention on human rights into a British Bill of


Rights. That is the proposal. Yes, I was concerned by what Dominic had to


say yesterday but we will see how that develops. I just think it would


be a complete disaster. Britain has been a flagship for human rights,


and if we withdraw from the European convention on human rights, what is


that going to say to all of the dictators around the world? What


will it say to Vladimir Putin? It's a horrible example to set. It hasn't


happened yet. But that is the way it's going and that's why we are


both anxious about it. Message discipline is always important. And


you said to the leadership that you were probably let go by Ed Miliband


because you weren't quite on message. Could you be recalled if


there is a reshuffle? I was sacked because I was one of the first


people to express opposition to the war on Syria and I don't regret a


thing. Who Ed Miliband has on his front bench is a matter for him.


When he sacked me, he said, do you think I'm doing the right thing? I


said you are, it's your reshuffle. It's always the right thing. I am


happy backbencher. I can say to Margot, she can be a happy


backbencher as well. Leave it there. What's your idea


of a fun summer weekend? How about being cooped up in


a conference room in Milton Keynes, hammering out policy agreements with


200 of your closest colleagues? No? Well,


that's how Ed Miliband and his team spent last weekend, at the Labour


Party's National Policy Forum. Here's what Ed Miliband said


at the event. Britain still has a deficit to deal


with and a debt to pay down, so we commit to balance the books in the


next Parliament. We will deliver a surplus in the current budget. But I


want to say to you today that there is an even bigger reason why we need


a new direction, rooted in Labour values. It comes from our experience


in government. Higher spending is not actually the answer to the


long-term economic crisis that we together have identified over the


last four years. So those on the left, who wanted to


see a bit of old-fashioned anti-austerity tax and spend,


are likely to be disappointed. But the man who delivered New Labour


to office has also had been speaking about Labour's policy direction this


morning. Diane might be upset to know that


the third Way is here to say. It isn't a programme, it is a


philosophy. Its essence does not lie in a particular set of solutions.


But in a way of thinking. For that reason, it's not time-limited, it's


perpetual. But because it is about modernisation, it is, therefore,


also dynamic and not static. Tony Blair, delivering a speech 20 years


since being elected as leader. Higher spending is not necessarily


the answer. Do you agree? Not necessarily. A lot of people will


vote Labour because they are hoping that they will reverse the coalition


cuts. Using the money differently is one thing, but would you like to see


Labour promising to spend more in general on public services?


Train-macro it's not what I would like to see, people -- it's not what


I would like to see, people will vote for us or the Lib Dems because


they want to see some of the spending reversed. Were you


disappointed with what Ed Miliband had to say, that it would be


business as usual, keeping the spending cuts? It doesn't surprise


me that they want to keep within the spending envelope. The question for


us as a party is how do we spend that money? We think we can spend it


better than the Tories. Were you disappointed to hear it? They have a


long way to go. For a start, they have only committed to matching the


plans for a year. They can do a hell of a lot of damage in the four years


after that is up. People would argue you have done damage with the


terrible welfare cuts. We inherited an economy where we were spending ?5


for every ?4 we were earning. You seem to have forgotten about the


collapse and the international financial crisis. The previous


Labour government started borrowing to spend in 2001, years before the


collapse. So the investment was wrong into the National Health


Service and education? A lot of money was basically borrowed and


when the chickens came home to roost and this country was suddenly facing


the same sort of banking crisis as the rest of the world, we were more


exposed than any of the other G-7 countries. That was the legacy we


had to deal with and which we are still dealing with, and there is


more to be done. What Labour have come out with over the weekend is


wholly inadequate. Do you think it is believable? No, they have opposed


every single reduction in our spending that the coalition has had


to settle on. Every single one. Who do you agree with? Is Diane Wright?


Some of the benefits cuts are extremely unpopular. -- is Diane


correcter macro? I don't have a great deal of sympathy for Diane's


position. It seems Ed Miliband is saying, look, we crashed the economy


before but please do trust us because we won't do it again. I


don't see any evidence... You go out there next year campaigning to


defend Tory cuts and see what that does for you. Do you defend the


cuts? Do you defend the idea of more cuts post-2015? Yes, I think we have


to stay solvent as a country. We have found that what happens when we


are on the brink of economic disaster. We have to be sensible. I


have sympathy with the idea of spending differently. Where would


you spend differently? Each party has their priorities. We have


announced there are certain things we want to change. There will be a


whole manifesto... Suddenly discovering it is a bad thing, three


years on... We're not saying the bedroom tax is a bad thing. Are you


calling it a bedroom tax? A spare room subsidy. We are saying the


implementation has not been done successfully and that is why we have


changed it. We still agree with it. Diane, you are looking at Lorely


quizzically, but you could be in coalition. Some of the ideas have


been taken straight out of the Lib Dem manifesto, mansion tax,


localism, devolution, these are all things you agree on. Acting on the


question of free school meals years before Labour discovered it... Why


didn't you do it then? We did it in local authority is where we have the


power to do it, in case you didn't notice. We were not in power so we


couldn't implement it. Yes, many of the things Lib Dems talk about, we


have been talking about for years. There are policy matches between


yourself and the Lib Dems. More than ever. There is always going to be


policy overlap when both parties are vaguely to the left of the Tories.


So there is an overlap. Labour moving closer to the Lib Dems


because they see the only possibility is of a coalition? It


will be in the coalition's hands whether we see a coalition. It is


not for me to second-guess. Ken Clarke has said it would be a


mountain to climb for the Tories to the largest party, never mind have


an overall majority. It's a challenge for any party to get an


overall majority when you see reduced voting for the main two


parties, that is an electoral fact we have to deal with. In addition,


we didn't get the boundary changes through. It still takes a lot more


conservative votes to elect a government than a Labour government.


In terms of our progress on the economy and the polling of the Prime


Minister's support against Ed Miliband's support, which is


massively in favour of the Prime Minister... You are still four


points behind. At this stage. I don't think politicians who have


been three points behind with a year to go... Technically, you have got a


recovery, but it is a vote less recovery because people don't feel


better off. You might have thought it is


the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow -


but you'd be wrong. In fact, the Clerk of the House


of Commons is really in charge. He's also chief executive


of the House of Commons Service. The current holder of the post,


Sir Robert Rogers, is retiring after I popped over


the road to meet him last week. cheering us with his good humour,


Sir Robert has been unfailingly helpful, patient and courteous. He


has brought formidable intellect, his insight and his great sense of


humour. Sir Robert's appearance belies an intellectually adventurous


mind, and a considerable radicalism in terms of this place.


Robert Rogers, you are part of the houses of parliament. One of the


most interesting things about your role, you are the legal owner of all


these amazing buildings. How come? Well, I am the corporate officer,


which means I own all of the house's property and it also means I


am the person liable if anything goes wrong. To preserve something


like this for future generations I think is a really worthwhile


endeavour. It's absolutely amazing. People around the world know it, but


it also looks a bit ecclesiastical and fusty so we have to run a modern


parliament inside that building. One of the most important roles in your


job is to give advice to the Prime Minister and other ministers, but do


they ever take your advice? Giving advice, absolutely partially, to


government, ministers, wherever they are in the house, members of any


party, no party... Of course we advise them, but it is always in


confidence. It is always rigidly impartial and vice. Is this where


you bring ministers and Prime Ministers, to talk to them? Is this


your chambers? If it was the Prime Minister, I would go and talk to


him, although he happens to be two doors down. This is my office. This


is where any member who wants to come and consult me can come and


find me. Lets go and have a look. You the 49th clerk the house. Is it


important to know each individual member? Absolutely vital. I do, and


all of my colleagues do. When I am walking around the estate, I always


greet members individually, stop and talk to them about something they


are doing. The House of Commons is a small community. A newcomer to the


houses of parliament, never been here before, how would you describe


what you do? Two aspects do my job. Principal constitutional adviser to


the house, advise on all its procedure and business. I have a lot


of extremely able people to help with back. The buck on those is used


to stop with me. The other part of the job, which only two or three of


my predecessors would recognise as it is now, is being Chief Executive


of the House of Commons service, which is getting on for 2000 people.


Imagine you are going into the chamber. What would you do just


before you go in? A lot of God to put on. Yes. --


gramsarb. It's a dignified framework of the


chamber. A lot of people outside this place like it. It's a dignified


framework that allows the hurly-burly of politics to go on


within it. I am not worried about signs of times past. History should


be our inspiration, not our jailer. How old is that weaker? Quite old!


We are ready to go. Off we go. Thank you. Sir Robert


Rogers, who has retired. A great character. Did you meet him? Yes, I


did, I went to him for some advice on procedure. He was just the most


charming guy that you could ever wish to meet. I was reflecting on


what he was saying about history being our inspiration, not our


jailer. Perhaps both colleagues... We could have an outbreak of


agreement that we do need some modernisation in the House of


Commons. I just think he would be in the hearts of so many people for a


long time to come. There's just time before we go to


find out the answer to our quiz. The question was:


who is Ed Miliband meeting today? Tony Blair, Barack Obama,


Jean Claude Juncker, Angela Merkel? Diane? Barack Obama? Yes, what could


possibly go wrong! Because it has never gone long before. Can you


describe what the brush buyer will mean? Gordon Brown had to go in the


kitchen and Barack Obama literally brushed by him there. The


scholarly! Do you think that is what they call it? An important moment?


Yes, an important step towards May 2015 when he gets elected... I


shouldn't have given you that opportunity! Thank you to the three


ladies for being my guests. The one o'clock News is starting on BBC1. I


will be here tomorrow with the last daily politics. Goodbye.


Imagine the number of women this industry supports.


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