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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


My Lords, they have voted, contents 289, not contents, 272.


Unelected peers are accused of committing


a "constitutional outrage" as they frustrate the will


of the elected Commons on cuts to tax credits.


George Osborne says the Lords will have to be "dealt with" - but how?


The Chancellor also says he's in listening mode


But can he save face - and money - whilst softening the impact


Jeremy Corbyn cedes some control of the Scottish Labour Party -


can it help turn around the party's fortunes?


We'll be talking to the party's leader in Scotland, Kezia Dugdale.


And it may have an appalling human rights record, but is Britain's


relationship with Saudi Arabia too important to put at risk?


All that in the next hour and with us for the whole of the programme,


the journalist and writer Toby Young.


Someone who loves causing outrage, constitutional or otherwise. Welcome


to the programme. Good afternoon. In the past few minutes, the


Chancellor has faced the Commons, and the first time since last


night's defeat, at Treasury questions. Let's listen to some of


the exchanges. On five occasions in the last decade have the House of


Lords blocked a statutory incident, never on a financial matter, and we


had a whole range of opinions from Lord Butler to constitutional


experts telling us yesterday that this was unprecedented. It is


something we are going to have to address, the Prime Minister has made


that very clear and that is what we are going to do, in order to make


that very clear and that is what we sure the elected House of Commons is


responsible for the tax and spend decisions that affect the people of


this country. This is not a constitutional matter. They will


lose ?1300 a year. Given what happened in the other place last


night, can I reassure the Chancellor that if he brings forward proposals


to reverse the cuts to tax credits fairly and in fall, he will not be


attacked by this side of the House. Indeed... Indeed, he will be


applauded. But can he assure us that whatever proposals he brings


forward, he will not support any that an independent assessments


demonstrates will cause any child to be forced to live below the poverty


line? John McDonnell ending that piece.


With me now are the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Owen Smith and


David Davies, what do you want to George Osborne to do precisely in


his Autumn Statement to mitigate the impact of the tax credit cuts?


Directly or indirectly to stage this change. The problem is what George


wants to do is to have the increasing minimum wage,


wants to do is to have the wage, take on the burden from the


taxpayers. The trouble was, all of the


taxpayers. The trouble was, all of national minimum wage does not get


to its proper peak until the end of the parliament. Just put them in


step, it is simple, the parliament. Just put them in


would be satisfied and you think your colleagues would be satisfied?


Broadly, yes, that's right. Do you agree with that, or do you want


something more radical, some sort of reversal in the tax credit cuts


themselves, not just an extra bit of money or a staging of the transition


to mitigate the impact of those cuts? We have argued for repeal of


them and we will be voting against in a couple of hours' time for


repeal and the reason is, David is right, it will mitigate part of the


change, even if George Osborne were to raise the national minimum wage


to ?9 20, his excellent ambition, by 2020, even if you were to do that


immediately, people on average would be worse off as a result of the


cuts. It won't offset the amount of money the average family is set to


lose as a result of the tax credit changes. Throw in the childcare


allowance, throw in the personal tax allowance, add them up and they will


still be, on average, worse off, so it is a bit of smoke and mirrors. So


there is a divergences in what you want to see changed. I rest my case


that it is complicated. This is a very complicated system and we have


got some fine tuning to do but the simple truth is the staging will


deal with most of the problem. Was this really the way to do it, to


take on George Osborne and the Government in this way? I mean, he


had already said, or rather he had sent out people representing him to


say he was in listening mode. Wouldn't it have been better to hear


what he had to say? That was quite late on. I voted against this back


in September and the difficulty was we had a statutory instrument. It is


very technical again, but it is put to the House of Commons in take it


or leave it form. If you really want to reform it, there is a


Parliamentary procedure, an act of Parliament and you go through


reform. You don't say, here it is and I will think about it after the


event. It is too difficult important and complex. That was a mistake, a


tactical and strategic error, if you are just looking at it from up a


little Parliamentary terms from George Osborne's perspective, to


give the House of Lords room to say this is not a piece of legislation


that we are forced to vote on because it is a money matter, we can


take it as a welfare matter. It wasn't announced in the manifesto,


we can vote against it in all good conscience. The Conservatives did


say in the manifesto that they would find ?12 billion of savings from the


working age welfare bill, so I don't think you can say it wasn't flagged


at all. This is what the Lords will say. It was clearly right to get


this change through as quickly as possible because George Osborne need


to reduce the welfare bill if he is to meet his deficit target of


bringing the books into balance in this Parliament. It may have been,


in retrospect, quicker to include it in a Finance Bill but I think that


is because he didn't anticipate that the House of Lords would behave so


outrageously. And this judgment on his part? -- a misjudgement. And


this judgment perhaps, but he probably didn't think they House of


Lords would try and supplant the Labour Party as Her Majesty's


opposition, which it effectively had to do because the Labour Party has


abdicated from that role. Toby, one issue here, this is not coming into


effect until April, there was plenty of time to take it through. You


probably would have tried to have an end a Finance Bill. That is my job.


Frank Field motion on Thursday only asks the Government to reconsider


the impact, and that is what they have agreed to do in the Autumn


Statement, so why ask them to do something they have agreed to do?


They have not said anything specific. Stage it, is what I am


asking. You will find a number of Tory MPs standing up in that debate


talking about the sort of thing they want to see, it should be productive


for a Government. It seems needlessly rebellious given that the


Chancellor has conceded and will reconsider the impact of the changes


on the low paid in the Autumn Statement. This is the House of


Commons, it is our job to represent our constituents. Some of them will


lose quite a lot of money out of this, people who can't afford to, so


it is not just, yes, we will do something, it is what you are going


to do, what the detail is, what the grand strategy is. You will hear on


Thursday Tories and Labour, I suspect, all parties, we want to see


the deficit dealt with in this Parliament and there are ways to do


this which don't have that effect and that is the proper way to do it.


Toby, let me put a question to you, because in the end, George Osborne


and it seems you are blaming the Lords, calling it a constitutional


outrage, but actually, this is what a lot of Tory MPs felt, they had


stood up and made it very clear that they had a real problem with this


tax credit cuts because of the impact on their constituents. We


heard from David Willetts, even the Sun newspaper was criticising the


Government, so in the end, the Lords did the deed but it was some people


feel what a lot of people felt. If Conservative MPs felt they could not


support this particular statue statutory instrument, they had three


opportunities to vote against it, which is why it is outrageous that


the unelected chamber has rejected it. All bills are voted on three


times before they get to the House of Lords, it is another bogus


argument. The House of Lords spoke for the country yesterday and 60% of


people in Britain think George Osborne has got this wrong and we


should not be penalising hard-working people for working


hard, not balancing the books on their backs, which is why the House


of Lords was dead right to reject this and the constitutional crisis


is a total smoke screen. The House of Lords didn't straightforwardly


rejected, they just said let's see if they plan to ameliorate it impact


the first three years of its light, make the reforms to the tax credit


system but don't let them kicking for three years, effectively nearer


the election and have a greater penalty on the Conservatives. Would


George Osborne be wrong to lessen the impact and should he stick to


his guns? I think if he can find the way of meeting his deficit reduction


target, finding those savings in the welfare budget that his party said


they would find... And ameliorate the impact on those hardest hit, of


course, but it is easier said than done. Do you think politically he


should just stay firm, which is what some people are advising? It depends


what you mean by state firm. He has already said he is going to look at


way of ameliorating the impact on the hardest hit in the Autumn


Statement and I don't suppose they will introduce another statutory


instrument or include these measures in the Finance Bill until after the


Autumn Statement. Which is the spot academics smart way to do it but the


true that the moment is we don't know -- the smart way to do. The


Treasury have never publish the interim figures and I have asked


them several times. If we have those numbers, we can make a proper


judgment and at the moment, we can't. There is one thing from a


timing point of view and I will come to you in a moment, want ministers


to delay the tax credit cuts or put in some sort of transitional stage.


Over three years or in three years' time, that will be a year until the


next General Election which will be then when the next cuts coming, it


will be very difficult your party... I don't read the motion that way, I


read it as changing year by year. In other words, each time the national


minimum wage or the living wage goes up, you cut back on tax credits a


bit more. That is why it is complex, but it is year by year, you can have


a changing every year, that is one of the difficulties, but that


doesn't put it all in for the General Election. John McDonnell


said Labour would not make political capital out of this if George


Osborne changed his mind. So we are not going to hear any criticism or


mocking from the Labour Party since George Osborne has said he is going


to do something about it? All you are going to hear from me is


delighted that George Osborne has effectively admitted that he does


need to revisit these plans, that it is going to hit the hard-working


people of this country much harder than people had appreciated, that


George Osborne and David Cameron lied to the British public when they


said they weren't going to do this before the last election. That is


why the House of Lords felt so strongly that they were able to make


this statement. Is that making political capital out of it in the


way the John McDonnell said he wouldn't? I am stating the truth.


When a Prime Minister says on network television that he wasn't


going to do something and then does it the other side... You are shaking


your head. He was talking about child benefit. No, child tax


credits. Did he lie? Do not talk over each other. David Davis, did he


live? I don't think so, one of the problems was the Government started


eliminating too many things and left a very small number of things to


cut, that is where we ended up, but... Like pensions? I would prefer


him to cut are things like free travel for pensioners. A lot of


pensioners these days are quite well. We will have this conversation


another time. Now the Mayor of London Boris


Johnson not with George Osborne, his rival


for the Conservative leadership - And he resisted the opportunity to


have a sly dig at the Chancellor when he was asked about


the tax credits defeat. I think George Osborne is absolutely


right to want to reform a system that basically subsidises


huge corporations, to the tune of billions


of pounds of taxpayers' money. He is right to want


to reform a system because what happens is they get


their tax credits withdrawn as soon as they earn just a little


bit more, and I think it is wrong of the House


of Lords to get in the way of the sovereign expression


of the will of Parliament. We're joined now by the


Conservative MP Oliver Dowden, who, before the election, was one


of David Cameron's closest advisors Welcome back. You may have heard


David Davis talking about what he thinks the Chancellor should do,


what do you think he is going to do to mitigate the impact of these


cuts? I think the Chancellor has been very clear that first of all we


need to stick with this overall direction of tax credit reform. We


have to continue to reduce the deficit, both of which we promised


during the election campaign. We promised to cut ?12 billion worth


from welfare and get into a surplus but he has accepted there is a need


appropriate time to do that is but he has accepted there is a need


the Autumn Statement. You said he has been listening but he only acted


after the defeat last night. It is interesting, this discussion.


The measure was approved three times by the House of Commons than we had


the extraordinary spectre of the Liberal Democrats, remember


the extraordinary spectre of the fought against them in the election


campaign, won the argument on welfare, they were reduced to eight


MPs then welfare, they were reduced to eight


legitimacy to use their welfare, they were reduced to eight


the House of Commons to welfare, they were reduced to eight


something introduced by a majority welfare, they were reduced to eight


Government which was promised and clearly signalled


Government which was promised and campaign. Are you


Government which was promised and MPs were completely happy with the


tax credit proposals MPs were completely happy with the


opposition from people, from David MPs were completely happy with the


Davis to David Willets, two backbench MPs and the Sun newspaper,


that there backbench MPs and the Sun newspaper,


your own site? Of course there was reservation to


your own site? Of course there was properly debated in the House of


Commons. We debated and opposition Day motion, the points were


considered, but the considered view of the elected representatives,


people who were elected by the electorate to go and represent them


on matters of tax and spending, decided by a majority to endorse it


and then unelected peers representing two parties, brand to


be defeated in the last election chose to overturn it, and it is


he giving you? The Chancellor has he giving you? The Chancellor has


said all along he will listen, but he will not give in... Rightly or


wrongly he has been forced to give in, he has pretty much accepted


that. You will have to wait and see what he says in the Autumn


Statement. He has been clear that we have a problem here, and the problem


is that people on low pay have been paying tax on the minimum wage,


having it recycled through the welfare system and then used to


top-up their wages. So why doesn't he stick to his guns and take on the


House of Lords? I think you will find he is sticking to his guns, to


the principle that we have to reform tax credits. We cannot have this


crazy situation where spending has gone from ?6 billion to ?30 billion.


We need to deal with it and I think you will find he will deal with it.


He said he would not budge and David Cameron said, we think the changes


we have put forward are right, higher pay and lower taxes, but we


-- but he has accepted they have to do something so he is, to some


extent, not on the broad principle, going to have to give in and fold in


what he wanted to do because of the defeats. Again, you made the point,


which is that on tax credits we have a clear programme for reform. There


are questions about the transition which the Chancellor has said he


will address but on the fundamental principle, we promised to fight ?12


billion of savings from welfare, ?4 billion from tax credits, we have


defined it from there because if we do not it will be cuts to spending


on health, maybe high taxes or Labour's position, which seems to be


carrying on borrowing forever. I don't think you will find the


Chancellor would embrace that. It was as a result of pressure put on


him, it seems he made a mistake in the light of what has happened. It


is a bruising defeat for the Chancellor personally, isn't it? As


I said, it is a defeat from the unelected house, the House of


Commons, the elected representatives, have endorsed him


on three occasions. This is a major problem that the unelected house is


designed to overturn us on a measure of tax and spend, going back to


principles of no taxation without representation. That is why the


problem comes from. If those unelected Labour and Liberal


Democrat peers had not voted against the Government, this would be law


now. But it is a bruising defeat all the same. He had a programme, he was


confident about it, he said he would not change, the Treasury were public


consistently in saying they would push ahead with this despite


resistance before last night from within the party, and he is having


to change tack. At a personal level, you know him, this is difficult for


him? Nobody wants to lose a vote in parliament, and that is what has


happened. As I said, it is a vote in the Lords, but I think you will find


the Chancellor remains absolutely committed to what we promised in our


election manifesto, which is to move from a low wage, high tax, high


welfare economy to a high wage, lower tax and lower welfare economy,


and the Chancellor will absolutely stick to that, and I would imagine


he is more determined than ever, seeing the way in which unelected


members of the House of Lords... Was he always intending to make changes


in the Autumn Statement? The Chancellor has said all along he


will listen to people and the appropriate moment to take on board


those concerns is the Autumn Statement. So he always had it in


mind that he would perhaps spend some money somewhere, ease the


transition to these tax credit cuts in the Autumn Statement? He, in your


mind, had already decided he would do that? Members of parliament


raised somebody to make concerned about transition measures. The


Chancellor said all along he would listen to those concerns, and I


think he will bring forward measures to deal with that. Right, do you


think, then, that he should have come out himself to say that more


clearly? He sent out his emissary is, if you like, at the weekend, we


heard from Nicky Morgan talking about this, would it have been


better if George Osborne himself had stood up and said, I am going to do


something? You saw him speaking in the house today... Know, before. The


House of Lords seemed pretty determined to abuse their powers to


frustrate the Government willy-nilly. There would not have


been any different if George had come out. We will never know, of


course, but do you think it would have been better for Tory MPs to


have heard George Osborne stand up and say, I will deal with this in


the Autumn Statement? I think we will see on Thursday, won't we? We


will see what happens with Frank Field's motion on Thursday. I think


it is unlikely. On that listening point, I remember being at the 1922


committee where he stood in front of Conservative MPs last week and said


he was listening so it is not true to say he has not signalled he will


listen. Although that was not public, it was a private meeting.


What do you think this does to his leadership ambition? David Cameron,


I'm glad to say, has said he will remain Prime Minister until the


end... We all know what he has spoken about. Does it damage it for


him? What people will see is a Chancellor that is determined to


deliver on promises to reform welfare, and if we don't give it


now, we have rapid growth in wages, falling unemployment, and national


live in wage, future generations will not thank us for not grasping


the nettle of welfare reform. The Chancellor will grasp that metal and


people will thank him for it. The elections for the new leader of the


Conservative party are a very long way off. That is true. Thank you.


The question for today is, which celebrity peer was flown in


from New York to vote in last night's debate?


Was it Alan sugar, Julian Fellowes, Fluellen Benjamin or Andrew Lloyd


Webber? At the end of the show, Toby will


give us the correct answer. Now, the Government has said that


there are clear constitutional issues that they say will


"need to be dealt with" after the series of votes in the Lords last


night which included two defeats. The first vote last night was on the


Lib Dems' fatal motion rejecting the This was won comfortably by the


Government - just 99 voted in favour Next was an amendment proposed


by a crossbench peer, Baroness Meacher, to delay the cuts and send


the proposals back to the Commons On this, the Government suffered


its first defeat with the motion Finally,


peers voted on Labour's amendment to stop the cuts until the Government


designs a compensation scheme for This motion was also passed -


the Government losing narrowly with 289 votes for the motion


and 272 against. The Conservatives are well short


of a majority in the House of Lords with just 249 peers out


of a total of 816. The Lords have been increasingly


rebellious in recent years - the coalition Government suffered


almost 100 defeats in the Lords And the new Conservative Government


has already been defeated 19 times in the Lords in the five months


since the general election. But this is the first time


in 100 years that the second Chamber has voted down a financial package


backed by the Commons. Here's a taste of yesterday's debate


in the House of Lords. I have been to see the Chancellor


this morning at Number 11. And I can confirm that he would


listen very carefully were the House ..in the way that it is precedented


for us to do so. My motion clearly leaves the matter


in the hands of the elected House. The justification for


a delay is that the House of Commons will have a full-day debate on


these issues, as I said, on I understand that dozens


of Conservative backbenchers are urging the Chancellor to adjust


the tax credit reforms to protect Yes, there have been three votes


on tax credits in the House of Commons won by the Government, but


Conservative MPs, not me, say they did not have the information they


needed when they voted for the I hear that many


of them are now livid about this. The fact is there was a vote in


the other place last week, there was a clear majority and not a single


Conservative member voted in the The point is this was


a budgetary matter and budgetary matters are the prerogative of the


elected House, and that is a most This was designed to reduce


the budget deficit, which everybody agrees has to be


eliminated on all sides All those arguments pale


into insignificance when compared to the greater argument, the argument


that the general public, millions of people outside of this


House are considering today. That being statements given


during the course of the And, in particular, Mr Cameron,


who deliberately misled the British public, and the British public would


regard what he said now as a lie. It's not a constitutional crisis,


that is a fig leaf possibly disguising tensions in the Commons


between members of the Government. My Lords, we can be supportive of


the Government and give them what they did not ask for, financial


privilege, or we can be supportive instead of those three million


families facing letters at Christmas telling them on average they will


lose up to around ?1,300 a year. I say to the Government that these


proposals are morally indefensible. OTHER MEMBERS:


Hear, hear. It is clear to me


and I believe to very many others that these proposals blatantly


threaten damage to the lives A flavour of last night's debate


in the Lords Vernon Bognador, is talk of a


Paul Tyler Vernon Bognador, is talk of a


constitutional crisis over Vernon Bognador, is talk of a


problems, firstly with the Lords rejecting a financial


problems, firstly with the Lords which, as you said a few moments


ago, which, as you said a few moments


years. But secondly the question over whether the fact Labour and


Liberal Democrat peers outnumber the Conservatives enabled the Lords to


become no longer a revising chamber but an opposition chamber, which is


not appropriate for an unelected house. It is not appropriate, you


have changed what the basic role of the House of Lords is? The chance


bungled this. If he wanted to keep it as a financial measure he could


have, as David Davis said a few minutes ago here, he could have


amended the Finance Bill, which minutes ago here, he could have


would have remained firmly in the Commons, or introduce a tax credit


Amendment Bill, and it was made clear during our debate yesterday.


What he did was try to get a short cut to put it into secondary


legislation, which we had every right in the House of Lords,


repeated endlessly, it does not matter what the subject matter is,


we have every right to vote down and SI. How do you argue with that? It


is not unlawful for the Lords to reject regulations but they do it


rarely because the Parliament act, which restrict the powers of the


Lords, does not apply to regulations. When it was passed in


1911 there was very little secondary regulation. Precisely because the


Lords have this supreme power in regulations, they ought to use it as


an unelected chamber very, very rarely. It is a kind of nuclear


option and in fact, until recently, the 1960s, the Lord never rejected a


regulation, and since then very, very sparingly, and it makes it even


more serious when it is a financial matter on which the privilege of the


Commons is absolute. In terms of reviewing the Lords, this rapid


review that is being used by the Government, what are the options


available? There is talk of swamping the Lords of Conservative peers but


I think that would be foolish, especially when the Government is


thinking about reducing the size of the House of Commons. It would be


odd to reduce the elected chamber and increased the unelected


chamber! The right thing would be to put the convention into statutory


law so things were precluded -- so the Lords were precluded by law from


doing what they did last night. Do you support that and agree it would


not be a good look to swamp the House of Lords with 100, 150 Tory


peers to end the fact they do not have a majority?


It is the nuclear option. The difficulty the Government faces is


if it decides in to pass primary legislation to limit the Lords'


ability to delay legislation, to include statutory instruments, then


the Lords could then vote against that, they could use the Labour and


Lib Dem majority to vote against it and the Government would have to


invoke the Parliament act and the whole thing could take two years and


in the meantime, the Government's legislative programme for which it


has won a clear mandate, would be frustrated by the unelected chamber.


So do you think drastic action should be taken? I think it remains


to be seen. The Lords, it is not just what they did yesterday, last


week they breached the Salisbury Convention as well when they


rejected the proposal to end subsidies for onshore wind farms


which, again, was unprecedented. That is nonsense. The Salisbury


Convention was killed off in 2006. The joint committee said it was


obsolete and boathouses agreed. We keep hearing about the unelected


Lords. The coalition Government brought forward a Bill to deal with


this issue and as killing bag of loot Ken Clarke has said, the


obvious thing to do is, we have heard this, unelected chamber,


unelected chamber, Ken Clarke says the 2012 Bill, which has a large


majority in the House of Commons but was stymied by a combination of


Labour and Tory rebels... So are you effectively admitting you are taking


advantage of the situation to advance a Lib Dem proposal that was


rejected in the last parliament? It wasn't the Lib Dem proposal, it was


the coalition Government, supported by the Prime Minister and the


Chancellor. At the insistence of Nick Clegg. Not at all, it was in


the Conservative manifesto. We ought to be having a review of the


relationship between the two houses. This particular issue, as I


have just explained, is because entirely the Chancellor is trying to


take a short cut. OK. But we should use the opportunity to think better


about the relationship. Until the House of Lords becomes an elected


chamber, if that is what you want, how can you justify something that


was clearly in the manifesto, something like abolishing the


onshore wind farms. That is not the issue, the issue was


is it important that the House of Lords as the House of Commons to


think again, which is critical to the Constitution. The whole idea of


having two Houses of Parliament is they should be a second look on


issues of this sort. Is it an issue that Tory majority governments are


not necessarily used to having a case where they are not the majority


in the House of Lords? I understand that during Tony Blair's time, there


were quite a lot of the beats and there certainly have been fatal


motions in the past to kill of legislation is -- quite a lot of


defeats, but this is the real politic of having two houses on the


right to flex their muscles. Let's have a look... Let's forget about


what it is for, that is how it works. The Conservatives were very


careful not to abuse it when there was a Labour Government in order to


not undermine the validity of the House of Lords but Labour and Lib


Dems have not been like that. Because we have independent members


of the House of Lords who are not members of any party, one of the


successful amendments was a move by a crossbencher, Lady Meacher. But


your leader Tim Barron has described the Lords as wholly undemocratic you


are not democratically accountable, as you have said yourself, you want


an elected chamber, but you are frustrating the will of an elected


Government. That in itself appears hypocritical at the very least. It


is the fact is political life, that is our job, what is the point of


having a second house? With these particular responsibilities, we are


supposed to be there to look at these issues were now put before us.


In the Chancellor did not want that, he had other routes he could


take and he bungled it. Are you overstepping the mark and


overreaching yourselves and in the end, you will bring about a head-on


collision with the Commons? It will be extremely important that Mr


Cameron, who has kept his counsel on what would be the effective way to


deal with this issue, how he will come forward with proposals for the


long-term reform at the House of Lords. Any tinkering would be absurd


at this stage, we have to do what they themselves committed themselves


to into elections, and that was wholesale reform of the House of


Lords. Do you agree with that? I think Paul Tyler is right that this


raises the whole issue between the House of Commons and the Lords and


whether we should have an elected House of Lords. An elected House of


Lords would have powers that the unelected House of Lords doesn't


have but that would not solve the constitutional problems and could


worsen them. In Australia, you had a huge constitutional crisis between


the elected Senate and the elected lower house in 1975 because the


elected Senate refused to give the Government funds, and it ended very


controversially when the Governor general sacked the Prime Minister.


The question is, do we want these kinds of conflicts here and on what


basis would the upper house be elected? Liberal Democrats say it


would be on a federal basis but Britain isn't really a federal


state. We have parliaments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland


but not in England. Do you think the Government has the appetite for


that, again, the sort of programme of reform to the Lords? I think the


likeliest way in which they will deal with these troublesome Lords is


to introduce a bill in which they limit the powers of the Lords even


further and of the Lords reject that... You can understand why


because it wasn't just yesterday, there have been other examples and


you are putting forward another fatal motion this evening which


kills off the legislation. We asked -- we are asked specifically by


Parliament specifically to do so. It is different to last night, it is


our job to do this by law, in statute. Is that true because this


is to do with individual electoral registration and there is a fatal


motion on cuts to asylum seeker benefits. Is it the right of the


unelected house to do this? The Lords can survive only if it


exercises a sense of self restraint. It can ask the Government to think


again, that is absolutely right. But if they determined Government wants


to proceed, the Lords has to give way, it shouldn't go beyond that.


There is a great danger I believe now that the Labour and Liberal


Democrat peer are using it as a chamber of opposition, having lost


the election, trying to frustrate Government policy through the upper


house. What do you say to that? That is what it will look like, eight


MPs, no standing in the House of Commons in terms of exerting


opposition, this is where you can do it? The practical politics is it is


our job. Are you doing it with such relish because you can? No, I was


involved with the House of Lords before this Government and we have


had to do this job regularly, but with a coalition Government and


previously. I think you can look forward to more of those. You are


saying you have just asked the Government to think again and if it


does and comes back with more of the proposal to reform it, will you


accept it? I don't think it will come to it, because it will be dealt


with with some amendment to some specific bill. Coming back to the


finance aspect, the Treasury were briefing last week that the House of


Lords should be suspended. Frankly, the last person who tried to stop


the House of parliament doing its job was King Charles I. I think a


little respect for history would show it wasn't a clever thing to do,


he lost his head. That wasn't reasoned, of course, but thank you


very much for that slightly ominous N.


Jeremy Corbyn has struck a deal with the Scottish Labour


leader, Kezia Dugdale, allowing the party in Scotland more autonomy.


It's a controversial plan to turn around


the party's fortunes in Scotland after they lost all but one of their


Kezia Dugdale addressed Labour MPs at their weekly meeting


in the Commons last night, and our Scotland political correspondent


What did they say? Well, she certainly got polite applause at the


beginning and the end of the address. There were some questions


during get from MPs that were concerned that autonomy of the


Scottish Labour Party may mean that the United Labour Party, the


Unionist Labour Party, comes to an end. She says that is not the case


and this is about devolution and not a division of the UK party. There


were also questions from some MPs about the policy diversions that


this may mean in future, for instance on issues like defence, the


nuclear deterrent, for one, and taxation, which is another issue


which may it, in the end, mean that Scotland and the rest of the UK


Labour Party have different policy positions. Now, the MPs that emerged


from the meeting did not seem entirely convinced that they had


heard everything that they needed to about this, but Kezia Dugdale's


pitch to them was that if Labour's fortunes are to be turned around in


Scotland in time for next May's Scottish elections, she needs more


autonomy for the party and she needs to be able to set policy positions


to decide on candidates and not be a branch office of London, which, of


course, one of her predecessors accused the party of being. If the


changes are to go ahead, how would it


changes are to go ahead, how would terms of setting up, if you


changes are to go ahead, how would rest of the UK's


changes are to go ahead, how would Dugdale, I think, will argue it is


not a Dugdale, I think, will argue it is


a devolution of the party, it wouldn't be completely independent,


she says, but it would have control over its affairs over policy


positions, that it would be able to depart actively to decide at Party


Conference, positions that may be different to a UK party. She says we


will have to go to the NEC, the Scottish executive, and a special


conference before it is approved, but she signed the deal with Jeremy


Corbyn, a statement of intent and they say that is the road down which


they think they want to go, despite the concerns of some in the party.


Tim, thank you. And the Scottish Labour Leader,


Kezia Dugdale, Kezia Dugdale, just listening to


that, you want more autonomy for the Labour Party in Scotland. Has that


been prompted by the Labour Party swapping one North London leader for


another? No, I would say it has been caused by the fact that we lost all


but one of our seeds in the General Election and it is my job as new


leader here in Scotland with a huge mandate to turn around the fortunes


of my party to listen to that very strong message the people of


Scotland sent us. There is a perception, fair or otherwise, that


were too long the Scottish Labour Party was run for London by


Westminster and it simply has to change. That is why I have made the


case of a more autonomous Scottish Labour Party, said decisions around


policy, directions we take, are made here in Scotland by me and my team


and I think that is what voters in Scotland would act rapidly to


expect. I had taken it to the Labour Parliamentary party to say this is


not an Independent Labour Party, I didn't spend two and a half years to


campaign for a no vote in independence referendum for a


separate party, this is about devolution, the Labour Party


devolving power within its own structures and I think it is high


time we took up that opportunity. We will come up to some of the policy


decisions that you might have to go your separate ways on, but sticking


with Jeremy Corbyn, he has been the MP for Islington North since the


early 1980s. You would accept he is hardly going to be any more popular


in Scotland than Ed Miliband was, he doesn't really have any connection


to Scottish Labour, does he? I think you have made a very rational


judgment about Jeremy Corbyn. Both Jeremy and I want our respective


leadership contests, the party membership in Scotland is on the


up, we now stand at 30,000... Do think that as a result of Jeremy


Corbyn? It is a result of both was putting forward radical suggestions


to change the fortunes of our party and I look forward to working with


him. The reality is I have to set out a different pattern here in


Scotland to determine the Pappas and the Scottish interest and it is


about strengthening the UK Labour Party. Tim Reid referred to the


strong difference between something that is an act of devolution and


something viewed as division. This is entirely about the principle of


devolution, the idea of getting more power into Scotland so we can


determine our own fortunes. Do you agree with your predecessor Joanne


Lamont that Scottish Labour has in the past been treated like a branch


office? As I said in my opening remarks, there is no doubt that that


is a very strong perception people have in Scotland. It is not about


what politicians thing, it is what is happening on the doorsteps in


communities around the country. We were sent a thumping message in May,


we have to get that message, we have to reform and renew our party and I


won the leadership election here with 72% of the boat with a mandate


to do exactly this, to make a more autonomous Scottish Labour Party --


of the vote. But I also promised to re-democratise the party and we go


into the conference this weekend with a lively programme to do things


differently and I am excited about that. I am also excited to lay out


my radical platform for how I intend to transform this country. Let's


talk about policy issues, what happens when you disagree with


Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell on a policy over a non-devolved issue.


On Trident, for example? What happens? I have a mandate from the


party membership here to re-democratise our conference and I


am welcoming the prospect that there might be a debate on Trident this


weekend. What happens if you end up with two different policies question


mark come next election, voters are a Scottish MP are faced with a


Labour candidate that will be standing for a party with two


different positions on a key policy, how does that work? I do understand


this question and I have faced this over the last few days. You are


focusing on a hypothetical which we may face bore or five years down the


line but let me answer it specifically. We are going to create


the space for our party membership to have a debate on this particular


issue this weekend. Should it be the case that in five years' time,


hypothetically, that we are in a different position to the rest of


the UK party then like many other countries across Europe that operate


the federal type solution, there will be a process for working


through it. It is not new in terms of being a concept. It is new for


the Labour Party. I signed the statement of intent with Jeremy


Corbyn yesterday about the direction of travel, the relationship between


the Scottish Labour Party and the UK Labour Party. There is now, I have,


prospect for debate across the whole of the movement about what might


happen in Wales, across England and other parts of the country. The end


point of this would be next year's Party Conference, when any real


changes might take place, that is 11 months where various stakeholders,


MPs, MSP is, party members, unions, can come to the fore and talk about


how we might want to resolve the rare occasions where positions might


be conflicted. You say they are rare occasions and


you have time, which is true, but did you put pressure on Jeremy


Corbyn and John McDonald to change the fiscal charter? I spoke to them


and put forward my views on that. I don't profess to save that my view


was the thing that made them change their minds. I paraphrase, but you


say something like if they did not change their mind it would be


explosive as far as you are concerned in Scotland and the SNP


would make a? I did not use those words. I made the case about strong


anti-austerity measures. That it was not their position, was that? A few


machinations around that and it wasn't exclusive to the Labour


Party, but let me put it this way, I have regular conversations with


colleagues and friends across the Labour movement, I am in direct


contact with Jeremy Corbyn, Tom Watson, the rest of the team, all


the time. We are part of one movement, we are determined to turn


around the fortunes of the Scottish Labour Party and build a Labour


Party fit for the future. It is a massive opportunity. The principle


of devolution must apply. You say there are rare instances, which


areas of policy do you think you will need the freedom to disagree


with the National party? Look at the example that we will face in the


next few weeks around tax credit and welfare reform. Soon we will know


which of those powers are coming to the Scottish parliament but I would


like the position to set out those new powers and design our welfare


system and security system in Scotland that protects the people in


Scotland based on their needs. I will have the freedom to do that, it


is a good thing. But when you disagree with the leader of the


Westminster party, how will Scottish leaders vote in parliament? This is


an 11 month process, we will look at how to work through things when


there is complete. But the principle is sound, it is fundamentally about


devolution. The Labour Party has had different positions on education for


16 or more years. These are devolved issues, it is really where these


things are... But the principle is the same. It is different with a


non-devolved issue. Looking at your predecessors as leader of Scottish


Labour, Wendy Alexander, Johann Lamont, Jim Murphy, they presided


over the party during a period of decline. What makes you different? I


understand how big a task there is ahead. I was not unaware of that


when I put my name forward for the job, but I love my party and I


believe it has a bright future. The values of the Labour Party are as


relevant now as they have ever been. The challenges and


opportunities of the future can be realised and that is why I put my


name forward, because I want to turn around the fortunes of my party. I


have worked with a number of Labour leaders at close quarters, I have


seen these events close hand and have learned from that. All of those


people you name I would still call friends and close colleagues who


provide me with advice, and I know I am not alone, I have a strong team


of MSPs in the Parliament, a growing movement of party members and


supporters across the country who believe in the party and our values


and beliefs we have the answers to nationalism and will set out those


bright ideas for the future this coming weekend at the party


conference. I am upbeat and optimistic about my party's future.


Isn't it the reality that voters in Scotland, having experienced


devolution, see the SNP at far more effective at bashing the Westminster


Government and getting more the Labour and will continue to vote in


the SNP in Scotland and, well, differently down in Westminster,


obviously, but that will be the situation? What a travesty to assume


the one purpose of the SNP is to bash the Government in Westminster.


We sit in an incredibly powerful parliament just 500 metres from


where I am sitting now. A ?30 billion budget, powers over health,


education, welfare powers, tax powers, powers to transform the life


chances of people the length and breadth of book and treat and after


eight years of the SNP Government the gap in other schools between the


richest and poorest pupils is the widest it has ever been. A flagship


hospital in Scotland where one in four people which more than four


hours to be seen in A The record of the SNP Government has to be


exposed and understood across the United Kingdom, it is about far more


than Westminster obedience. Kezia Dugdale, thank you.


The problem that the Corbyn fans have is they said during his


campaign that the reason Labour fared so badly in Scotland in May is


because they did not embrace the same anti-austerity politics that


the SNP did. Actually, now that Corbyn is leader, it does not look


like Labour will fare any better in the Scottish regional elections next


year. Well, we will have to see. The Tories don't really have anything


either. It looks like Labour will wipe out, Corbyn will make no


difference. To me, it feels like advanced damage control, we are


intending to devolve power to the Labour Party in Scotland, let Kezia


lead that, it is not our fault. The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn


isn't short of critics - in the right-wing press, in the


left-wing press, in the Conservative And now


he's got some in the Middle East. the Ministry of Justice scrapped


a ?6 million deal to provide prison Here's the message Jeremy Corbyn


delivered to David Cameron during ..threatened


with the death penalty for taking part in a demonstration


at the age of 17 and, while you're about it, terminate that bid made by


our Ministry of Justice to provide prison services for Saudi Arabia,


which would be required to carry out the sentence that would be put


down on Ali Mohammed al-Nimr. Although many might agree with


Mr Corbyn, is it unwise to upset one Middle East? Conservative MP Alan


Duncan think so, but journalist James Bloodworth says we should not


be shy about human rights. They join me now.


Did Jeremy Corbyn influence the Prime Minister's decision to cancel


the present contract? Prime Minister's decision to cancel


I do think so but I Prime Minister's decision to cancel


stuck with the contract because I think if we can be


stuck with the contract because I reforming their present it is a good


thing. We had someone who was supposedly going to be lashed, I


don't think it was going to happen but that is what our local headlines


said, and if we were part of it we would be in a better position to


influence the judicial decisions. The bigger issue, though, is that


the whole of the Middle East is a mess and if you just have this


megaphone self-righteousness you risk making it messier, and the


Saudi regime is far more moderate than their own people, and if you


want to bin the regime and replace it with a sort of non-democratic


Isis all over Saudi Arabia, you would very, very quickly regret


having done that. Do you think it risks making it messier, the


situation of relations with Saudi? It depends how far you go. We should


not advocate overthrowing the Government in Saudi Arabia but I


would like to see less of the obsequious treatment of the Saudi


royal family by the Government. We had to be half flying of the British


flag when King Abdullah passed away. Saudi Arabia is the largest arms


market for British arms companies. I think Jeremy Corbyn is right to draw


attention to that. But at the same time I think he has his own problem


with a lack of consistency in that he stands on platforms with outfits


supported by the Iranian Government, and is also soft on Putin's Russia,


so it is about consistency. Sticking with Saudi Arabia, you say this


megaphone politics is not anything that could prevent the abuse of


human rights, all the lashings of a young boy, or a grandfather. Isn't


anything that stops that a good thing? I'm not saying one should not


talk about it, discuss it, tell them what you think in private. All I'm


saying is that simplistic grandstanding like we heard from


Jeremy Corbyn, let's intervene to stop the lashing, is total fantasy.


What you have got to be here is realistic, you have to be realistic


about the nature of resumes in that part of the world, their history,


what you can and cannot change, and what would replace what is there now


if there were a vacuum that needed to be filled. Aren't you tiptoeing


around the regime here, somewhat? No, you need a lot of understanding


about the nature of Saudi society, the people themselves but also the


regime, where they rule with a measure of consent in the sense that


if they don't have collected approval by quickly replaced. There


is quite a lot going on now within the regime which we will not know


about which is straining a lot of the stability we are seeing. What


sort of relationship should we have with Saudi Arabia? I have many of


the same reservations as James about human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia,


the fact women are not allowed to drive, bloggers are routinely


prosecuted, in some cases flogged and so forth, but the risks of


withdrawing from our relationship with Saudi Arabia is that we lose


any possible positive influence we might have, and I think there


should, qualified response is better -- Margaret and I think a measured,


qualified response. Was it right to drop the prison contract? I think it


was, considering how unjust it is. People would have read it as us, if


you like, being involved, even at a distance, to some of the abuses that


go on in the presence? It is a difficult decision of whether to


become involved or not with a regime like that. When I was a minister we


try to have a lot of processes with regimes like that, you could say,


don't go near them because it is a messy process, or try to make it


better. It is a difficult moral call, and absolutism in these


issues, and I agree with Toby, is actually a bad position to hold.


James, would things change dramatically under a Jeremy Corbyn


leadership? I think so. If he does win, which is unlikely at this


point, if he does win a general election things would change, but I


think the danger is it would go to buy the other way, so you would lose


cooperation with Saudi Arabia on things like Bashar al-Assad, on


terrorism, but Jeremy would be too soft on countries like Iran and


Russia, which is another side of the human rights abuse coin, I think.


You have worked in oil producing countries in the past, Saudi Arabia


is the biggest, does it come back to oil and money? Oil if it viable


commodity, it does not matter what we say to Saudi Arabia, if prices go


up and down it is the same for everybody so there is no direct


benefit that comes from talking about oil with Saudi Arabia, no


special flow or supply at a special price. It is equal misery. So what


is the point of flattering them and keeping them onside? The point is


the Middle East matters to us. Of course oil does matter, try doing


without it! But for us to be in the mix with golf countries and


roundabout, like Yemen and the nearer Middle East with Palestine


and Israel, it is essential, I think, that we are a respected voice


in the mix, and if we withdraw by saying, you are all bad, Little


Britain becomes even smaller. Does it make a difference on terrorism? I


think it does, we are not privy to all the information, but at the same


time Saudi Arabia spreads messages across the world... I have to


quickly get to the quiz. Can you remember the question?


The question was, which celebrity peer was flown in from New York


Andrew Lloyd Webber. It was. I love the idea of him being flown in all


the way from New York, it has a sort of glamour about it. People have


criticised him, saying he has gone to great lengths to vote for the tax


credit cuts, but the Conservatives had a whip in operation, they had to


do that in response to the whipping of the Lib Dem and Labour peers. You


got it in! That is it from us, goodbye!


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