Jo Coburn is joined by former Labour minister Alan Johnson. They discuss NHS funding ahead of the spending review, and look back at yesterday's announcements on defence spending.
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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.
A Russian fighter jet is shot down by Turkish warplanes
Moscow denies the plane was in Turkish airspace.
We'll have the latest on this developing story.
George Osborne boosts funding for the NHS in England
by ?4 billion - but can the health service deliver huge
efficiency savings AND deliver David Cameron's promise of a 7 day NHS?
The SNP forces a vote in the commons on the renewal of the
UK's trident nuclear deterrent, as the government confirms the cost has
And Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage go head-to-head
over Britain's membership of the EU at an Oxford Union debate.
When I worked in the EU it took 15 years for them to sign the
definition of chocolate. Anything that takes a decade and a half to
decide is no sinister superstate. And with us for the whole
of the programme today, the former Labour Secretary Alan Johnson,
who is now heading up Labour's Yes So,
this morning the Turkish government confirmed two of its warplanes
shot downa Russian fighter jet which it says was flying in Turkish
airspace on the border with Syria. Turkey says its pilots warned
the Russian plane ten times in five The Kremlin denied the plane was
in Turkish airspace, and says it's a 'very serious
incident' but that it's too early to Let's talk now to our Moscow
Correspondent, Sarah Rainsford. A couple of, contradictory versions?
The Turkish and the Kremlin have both sought to undermine but they
say is the fact that this Russian plane didn't enter Turkish airspace,
the statement we have got from the Defence Ministry earlier today said
that the plane was in Syrian airspace at all times and said it
could actually prove that, it said there was objective information and
proof of that, we haven't yet seen that. It also said that unlike the
Turkish military, which is saying this Russian plane was shot down in
the sky by the Turkish jets after violating its airspace, Russia is
saying that it believes the plane was shot down from the ground,
suggesting it is rebel air forces in Syria that brought down the plane.
So keep points of contradiction, the picture is starting to emerge. The
key question is how Russia responds. We haven't heard from resident
putting yet, we may hear from him later, he is meeting the King of
Jordan today -- President Putin. We understand there is a meeting of
Nato being convened to discuss the issue so the response of Russia will
be critical now in what is a delicate situation. The fate of the
pilot and crew will be critical as to whether this situation
escalates? I think it will. Certainly one of the key elements in
terms of Russia's response. We understand from videos that have
emerged that at least one of the pilots who ejected from the plane as
it was brought down was killed, whether on the ground or whilst
injecting, or when the plane was struck, the fate of the second pilot
is still unclear. Officially speaking both pilots's fates are
unclear. Russia says it is working to establish the circumstances. But
the suggestion that two pilots may have been killed will contribute to
the whole discussion and the fervour around what happens next. Russian TV
has been quite belligerent in its response so far, one channel is
talking about the need for retribution. President Putin may
come at this from a position of trying to calm things down, but
certainly it complicated the situation around Syria, where I
think Russia had been hoping for increased cooperation with the
coalition against Islamic State targets, Russia had been targeting
them for almost two months. They had been hopes that campaign could be
co-ordinated with the US-led coalition, this obviously
complicated that situation further. We're joined now
by the foreign affairs analyst, Tim Marshall and by Colonel Bob
Stewart, a former British army officer and a Conservative member
of the defence select committee. Obviously this is hugely sensitive
and potentially very dangerous because we're talking about two
countries that aren't exactly mad about each other, particularly over
the border area between Turkey and Syria, but the Russians have not
gone so far as to blame anyone yet and they are saying it's too early
to draw conclusions, is that a note of optimism? Very much so. There are
reasons to believe this will play out diplomatically over a few days,
it will be a huge dramatic row but it is, where was that plane? It was
over a border town, which is right on the border, they are both going
to claim the opposite. Crucially, the Turkish Foreign Minister Lavrov
will be meeting his opposite number tomorrow, and all the noises coming
out of Moscow say they will try and deal with this diplomatically. That
is why they need call heads, if people say and do the wrong things,
this type of incident can spark a war. At the moment the signs are
that it won't. There is an extraordinary meeting of Nato at the
moment, how do you think that will be handled? Very carefully! The fact
is, I agree with what Tim has said, it makes the urgency of coordination
of the air assets above Syria something that perhaps Nato will be
talking about. You have coalition jets in the skies and also Syrian
jets, so this is very important, the imprecations are, we have to get it
together. We will come onto how it might affect David Cameron making
case for air strikes on little later. But let's get back to this
border area because the reports coming out say that there was
already unhappiness because there is a Turkish minority on the border
area, they were feeling pursued by Russian air strikes, they weren't
hitting I S necessarily, but the rebel groups. Is that the
background? Whether that is directly related and they took the plane down
from the ground, we will find that out. The Syrian top men are several
thousand, they are of Turkish origin but they are Syrian. -- the Syrian
Turkmen. They are in a stronghold area of the government, there has
been a lot of heavy fighting, the Russians have been putting in air
strikes against them, they are absolutely furious about it, they
would regard it as in their interest to bring down the Russian plane. If
the pilot or both of them with the Syrian Turkmen and there is footage
of some Turkmen advancing up a hill to trees with a parachute in it,
that is the next question. What will they do with the pilot and what will
the Russians do about that pilot? That is the background, it is the
Syrian Turkmen part of Syria where this has happened. The airspace has
become more crowded since the Russians intervened, how does that
intervene making a case for British air strikes in Syria? It's
potentially damaging but with the way this was panning out, resolution
20 to 49 of the UN Security Council, David Cameron due to
response to the Defence Select Committee on Thursday, it depends. I
agree, it looks as if Russia is not going to make a big deal of that,
certainly we need Turkey and Russia to be working together, not at odds
with each other. What do you think it will do, will it make David
Cameron's case on Thursday more difficult? I don't think it'll have
much impact. I think it will have impact but it will be seen... We had
to get real. If this threat from Daesh is touch the great deal -- is
such a great threat to our country, we now have 22 and 49 resolutions
which say, nations of the world, understand this is a real threat. We
are going to have to start thinking about who else we might have to deal
with, and that does include President Assad's Syria, we may have
to deal with him and others in that area to deal with such a great
threat. Is that how you see it? If we are talking about rules of
engagement, because this will focus minds on those rules and how we
would be able to participate if and when the boat happens? I am not
entirely with him, in public opinion and the wavering opinion in the
house, those who are thinking, I'm not sure if we should get involved,
it will concentrate minds. The Americans and the Russians talk to
each other about how not to crash into each other, the French and the
Turkish have been part of the process and of the British get
involved, they will have to get involved by Nato. Basically you ring
each, my plane is here, your plane is there, did that happen today?
Possibly not. It's a very dangerous situation. The French and the
Russians have been getting together increasingly closely, for almost a
joint military action. That will also complicate the talks. Everybody
has got to talk around the same table and that's what I do agree on.
They have to talk to the Syrians, they are flying as well. It's a
mess. Just before we go on, Al Jazeera are reporting by pilots are
dead, so I will come to you for a response on that -- both pilots. Is
it a mess that Labour MPs are going to want to vote in favour of,
British air strikes? Like MPs across the house, Labour MPs will be
looking at what David Cameron's plan is. This is very different to August
2013. What happened in Paris is obviously a game changer, the UN
resolution makes it clear that we would... I want to know what happens
after this, because you won't win this from the air, there has to be
ground forces going in afterwards. Not British or American, they should
be led by Syria. This is where Bob's question comes in, who is our
enemy here? Assad or Isis? Can't fight them both at the same time. Do
you think Jeremy Corbyn is right to be cautious and not back air
strikes. He is right to be cautious, MPs across the house will be
cautious, this will not be a parade for Cameron. He hasn't laid up the
ground yet. Maybe he will but he hasn't done it yet. That's the
pilots being dead change things? A tragedy but frankly, they are in a
martial profession, in diplomatic terms, it won't make much difference
if President Putin decides to soft-pedal on it. If they died as
they came down, it actually makes things less complicated. That there
is no hostage or prisoner of war situation. If they were killed on
the ground, the Russians might feel they need to respond.
In just 24 hours, George Osborne will get to his feet
in the House of Commons to deliver his Spending Review - covering
But today he has announced a big chunk of his review in advance.
This morning the chancellor confirmed that front line NHS
services in England will get an extra ?3.8 billion above
Those able to cast their minds back will remember the Conservatives made
a pledge to give the NHS ?8bn by 2020 over and above inflation to
The Chief Executive the NHS England has asked for it to be front-loaded
and the increase in funding forms part of the spending review to be
unveiled tomorrow. This follows weeks of intense negotiations with
NHS bosses who are concerned that NHS trusts in England are on target
for a ?2 billion deficit this year. The medicine may leave a bitter
taste in the mouths of nurses as the Chancellor is expected to phase out
publicly funded bursaries and replaced them with student loans.
The extra money also comes at a price. It must be used to contribute
towards the government's goal of a seven-day NHS and the service must
still make agreed efficiency savings of ?2 billion. -- 22 billion.
We promised that the people's priority would be this
In this spending review, we are making a huge ?10 billion commitment
We are giving the money up front so the NHS can implement its own plan
There have to be savings elsewhere in Government spending to pay
for this but it just goes to show you can only have a strong NHS
Joining us now from Nottingham is Janet Davies,
Chief Executive General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing.
Do you welcome this injection of cash?
Absolutely. We know trusts are struggling at the moment, and there
is a need for investment in our NHS and we welcome that injection of
cash we are hearing about. But we are concerned about other things
where we have no details, that student nurses themselves may be
paying for some of that by losing their bursaries and going for loans.
What impact would that have? A number of things, student nurses
are not the same as others, 50% of their time is spent in clinical
practice. They have longer terms, a longer year. Not able and money in
bars etc because of their clinical commitments. The second concern is
we do not want some of the lowest paid professional groups to be
landed with a huge debt at the end of training.
In fact, if we look at salaries for nurses, it may not say too much
because unless the Government is intending to give a large pay rise
to nurses, then they will never pay that back, they will never earn
enough to pay the loan back. One of the big concerns is whatever scheme
we are looking at, not only can we increase the number of student
nurses which we need to do and not put them off, but we take account of
the age of student nurses. The average age is 29. Many people come
into nursing as a second career and we should welcome that, people with
life experience offered on a second career. Compassionate, intelligent
individuals. Many of these people would not be able to access a loan
under the current system because they have done a degree, accessed
other courses or had a loan. We do not want to restrict access. We have
worked for years to widen access. Thanks you for talking to us about
the impact that could have if money is taken away from student nurses in
terms of bursaries. We're joined now by the Conservative
MP Dr Dan Poulter, who was a health minister in the coalition
government. Welcome back. We have seen an angry
reaction from junior doctors in terms of the offer being made by the
Government. What about this reaction from nurses if their bursaries are
going to be taken away, lowest paid in the NHS? It is difficult to make
these vacation until we know what the Chancellor says tomorrow.
The important thing is to welcome the huge funding to the NHS, ?3.8
billion is much needed. Important when we have an NHS increasingly
struggling with finances that we put this money in upfront.
It gives the NHS breeding time to put in place the efficiency savings
on procurement, back office savings. The money being put in is
probably a minimum amount the NHS needs to get through a challenging
period. How much should it be to see the NHS through the next years?
The Government has committed ?10 billion. The key is to make
efficiency savings. Is that doable? It will be
challenging. To make it possible, to realise those efficiencies, it is
important to prime the NHS with money now to get through a difficult
winter. And allow breathing space to invest in mental health services,
primary care, make sure the money goes where...
Stretching the pot of money beyond the realms of imagination.
If it is correct that actually bursaries for nurses will be cut, is
it right to take the money out of the pockets of NHS workers to pay
for this? We have to see what the Chancellor says.
It is difficult to speculate in advance. The challenge with nursing
was there was difficulty getting people to enter the profession, one
reason why bursaries were introduced, mostly because nurses
generally tend to be older, or have family or financial commitments.
Bursaries were introduced for this reason.
In your experience, would this be a major blow to nurses?
It would. We had a problem with midwives, when the birth rate
suddenly came up again. We have a problem with agency workers who are
very expensive. Growing our own workforce is an essential part of
planning ahead. Bursaries are a major part. Janet was eloquent in
the short time she had available, most people think of students as
being 18-25. Having time available to work in pubs and bars while they
are studying. Student nurses cannot do that.
It would be a hugely retrograde step.
Dan can't speak frankly but I think he would feel the same.
He is smiling. I was fairly frank. I know as
Secretary of State you looked at some issues and one challenge was
facing nursing and that a free is older people are entering these
professions with financial commitments and it was a challenge,
part of the reason the bursaries were introduced. The impact of this
on what that will mean for recruitment had to be carefully
evaluated. A traditional recruitment of overseas nurses has reduced in
busy years which means it is more important to focus on getting a
stream through from Britain. Let us talk about the funding.
This money will give the NHS enough time to make the savings, ?22
billion savings, do you think that is doable? A welcome investment.
I cannot understand why in an error when we had a defence spending
Review the Government is committed to 2% of GDP on defence, 0.7% of GDP
on international development, but the 9% of GDP spent on health has
disappeared. In our time in the early days of the Labour Government
we were committed to raising the average we spend on health, the
amount, to the European average. That has suddenly gone. I am not
sure where we are now but I guess it is around 7%.
It is, 7.4%, and it will fall from that.
Why do we as a commitment from the nation, as we're doing it on
development, why not one help? Even with the extra money, public
funding for the NHS will fall as a share of GDP, can that really be
done when we have got rising population, more medicine, higher
bills, can it be done if we are not going to commit even to the amount
of spending other European countries do?
In the long term, I agree with Alan, there is a rising demand on the
health service, which comes from an ageing population, where by 2018 who
will have 3 million people with long-term conditions to care for.
That is a human challenge and very expensive. There are some
efficiencies that can be made. On procurement, buying in bulk,
economies of scale. Not enough to deal with a bigger
financial challenge. Trusts are ?1.6 billion into the red in the first
six months of the financial year, the worst on record.
A challenging situation, no doubt. Does there need to be more money?
The Chancellor has made an announcement to give the NHS
breathing space. Important investment needs to be
made and some of that will need to go into technology which could drive
about ?10 million of efficiency and deliver better care to frail people.
Some say that needs to be a fundamental change. On local
authorities being able to increase council tax to plug the gap in
social care funding, is that the right way to go in terms of trying
to shift the association with the tax increase on two local
authorities? Local authorities have a responsible for local services so
there is an argument to say that it allows local authorities to make a
case to raise more money. They say 2% would be enough. There is no
doubt that you cannot differentiate between health and social care, it
is one system, and unless we properly fund the social care system
be that through local or national means, it will have a knock on
effect on vulnerable people and NHS. Thank you.
Yesterday we had updated figures on the cost of replacing Trident,
when the Government published its Strategic Defence And
The latest estimate is that manufacturing four replacement
submarines is likely to cost a total of ?31 billion. That's
an increase on previous estimates, which put the cost at around ?25
In case costs overrun, the Government will also set aside
another ?10 billion. The first submarine will enter service
in the early 2030s, later than originally planned.
The Government said the new cost plan reflected
a "greater understanding" about the design and manufacture
This is the SNP defence spokesman in Parliament. What do you hope to
achieve from the opposition debate today?
When we were elected in May, we were elected on three platforms, one was
to get the maximum devolution of power to Scotland and delivery. And
to oppose the austerity agenda. The third was to oppose Trident renewal.
Within the first six months of us being elected, we have fulfilled
that promise we made to the Scottish people. The motion has no legal
force, it is sure to be defeated. You are just playing politics, you
just want to expose the divisions within the Labour Party?
I am astonished that you think we would have to take this boat to the
House of Commons in order to expose the divisions within the Labour
Party. Those divisions are there for all to see.
You want to make them more evident. This is an entirely legitimate
motion to take to the Scottish Parliament, to the House of Commons.
Scotland has spoken very strongly against Trident, the Scottish
Government has opposed Government, the Scottish parliament is opposed.
It is not a devolved issue. The Scottish chart watchers are
opposed, the SNP, Green party -- Scottish churches.
We have a legitimate right to come here and put forward the case
against Trident. There is a consensus in Scotland and we are
articulating that. Alan Johnson, they are not playing
politics, they have a right to hold this notion, it is not exposing
divisions which are there for all to see.
Of course they can put down as the motion. We will abstain. It will not
have the slightest effect on the renewal of Trident. In 2007 when we
were in Government, we had a vote on the principle of whether we should
renew Trident. I was one of those marching through with my colleagues
and it was over well. The next stage in between Grzegorz Krychowiak is
the main gate. No manufacturing. On a replacement until we have gone
through the main gate, that is the big decision next year. I can't
understand why the Government are not confirming whether there will be
a vote. That is where Renton and all elected MPs will have a meaningful
say. We know what the SNP, where they stand.
Whether the mud stands, and labour policy is to renew Trident. The
leadership was to review that decision. If that wrong? To review
it? Perfectly sensible to review it. We do not know where Labour stands.
We do. We do not stop they may be reviewing it, our current policy is
determined at conference has not been changed, we are in favour of
multilateral nuclear disarmament. Brendan and I would agree, the
question is how is it best to proceed to a non-nuclear...
What I would say is I don't see how you can hide behind a fig leaf of
multilateralism while committing to spend 167,000 million pounds on a
new generation of nuclear weapons. How much? You cannot argue we make
the world a safer place by investing that amount of public money on more
weapons of mass destruction. That cost has gone up. ?31 billion, not
?100 billion. Let us take those figures it has gone up by ?6 billion
with ?10 billion as contingency. The lifetime costs of Trident, 167,000
million pounds, the lifetime cost. That is ridiculous, that includes
decommissioning. It has gone up from ?25 billion. ?625 million a year
over a 50 year life span. It is expensive. It is not excessive.
Rendon asked... This is the thing with the unilateral side, they
question the integrity of anyone who dares suggest that we are safer as a
country if we have a nuclear deterrent. I have seen no argument
to suggest it is safer now than in 2007. We took a decision in
Parliament to begin the process of Trident renewal.
security is I would argue vehemently that Trident undermines our national
security, because it's not a defensive weapon, it's a political
weapon. It is there to secure the UK's place at the top table of the
UN Security Council. It is a vanity project, and incredibly expensive
and ultimately worth vanity project, because these weapons can never and
will never be used. Your party is in favour of remaining part of Nato, so
you just don't want nuclear weapons on the Clyde? Not at all, we want
rid of nuclear weapons. If you are accusing us of hypocrisy, I suggest
you go around just about every other member of Nato and do the same.
You've got to start disarmament somewhere, and we're not even asking
the Labour Party to agree to disarm, we're asking them not to renew, not
to spend 167,000... It's not that... Hang on, Brendan. Allen, isn't it a
problem that we won't know where Labour stands for a long time,
because... We know where Labour stands now. It could change. The
Labour Party had a policy, has a policy as you say, it could change
and we're not going to know and the voters want no until there has been
this long process. Political parties review their policies... This is a
key decision! It is but our policy is we are in favour of retaining
Trident. We are reducing the number of warheads and our nuclear
capability... Scottish Labour are against it. They decided they were
against it, the National party decided not to... Brendan, what is
your party's position on supporting military action in Syria? Very
briefly. If we are led to believe, as we were told during the
referendum campaign, that we are a family of nations, and this
particular section of the family says, they do not want Trident
nuclear weapons, and you say, too bad, we're going to foist them upon
you, it's unacceptable. Brandon, can I just ask you, what is the SNP
position on supporting military action in Syria? We have set
unequivocally, that there has be a chapter seven resolution, that the
government cannot come back and offer up what they are offered up in
the past and expect us to meekly accept what they offered up, there
has to be a chapter seven resolution and there after we will look at what
the government has to say. You weren't satisfied with the human
resolution passed on Friday? I don't think you can accept that the
enabling resolution on Friday was a green light or has given legal
legitimacy for military action, it has to be a chapter seven
resolution. Yesterday, the Prime Minister
announced ?12 billion worth of extra defence funding as part
of the Government's Strategic He plans to spend the money on two
5,000-strong strike brigades, additional F35 jets, maritime patrol
aircraft and high-altitude drones. Here's a reminder of the PM's
statement, Over the course of this Parliament,
our priorities are to deter state-based threats, to tackle
terrorism, to remain a world leader in cyber security, and ensure we
have the capability to respond To meet these priorities, we will
continue to harness all the tools Coordinated through the
National Security Council to deliver This includes support for our
Armed Forces, counter-terrorism, international aid and diplomacy, and
working with our allies to deal with At the moment, this country's
overwhelming focus is on the threat we face from terrorism, and how we
can best ensure the defeat of Isil. Labour supports
the increased expenditure to strengthen our security services
announced to protect However,
faced with the current threat, the public will not understand or accept
any cuts to front-line policing. We are naturally focused
on the immediate threats today, but it is disappointing there is
insufficient analysis in the national security strategy, of the
global threats facing our country, Inequality, poverty, disease,
human rights abuses, climate change, I have no idea why members opposite
find food security such Most of his statement was
about the importance The importance of shipbuilding
on the Clyde. The importance of having high
morale amongst our Armed Forces. "Why do we have to be able to have
planes, transport aircraft, aircraft carriers, and everything else to get
anywhere in the world, why?" Is it the same honourable gentleman
sitting opposite us thinking of all these uses for our
Armed Forces when, a few months ago, What did you make of Jeremy
Corbyn's performance there? It wasn't his finest hour but it's
difficult to respond to these issues. I think the general issue
about Jeremy is he believes very strongly in the issues he has been
involved in in the past, whether it is stop the War, CND, and he's not
could change, he was elected as leader with all of that and he's not
going to change overnight. It might cause in the difficulty at certain
debates across the dispatch box, but by and large, it was a refreshing
change. Towards the end, when I was watching yesterday, there were
hardly any Labour MPs on the benches behind Jeremy Corbyn at one point,
and the Conservative benches were chatting all the way through, they
weren't really listening to what Jeremy Corbyn was saying. Is that
the profile you want for the leader of the party? Suspect that the
expectation was that the Defence Secretary was going to announce the
result of the spending review and that Vernon Coker would have been
responding so it was a surprise to me that the Prime Minister did it
himself, that means Jeremy as Leader of the Opposition would have to do
it. But it looked to me as if Jeremy was the last minute trough did in...
It wasn't an issue he would have been steeped in, as I am not
either,... You are not the leader of the Labour Party. There were some
issues, I think it was) to raise. His general point was, you can
defend your country, of course, with new weapons and replacing weapons,
but the issues that cause wars or in ration the food and hunger and water
security. Why are some of the parliamentary colleagues in the
Labour Party surprised by Jeremy Corbyn? Theistic into his
principles. He hasn't changed his views. -- he is sticking to his
tentacles. Yet there are Blairite MPs who have openly defied him in
the House of Commons on things like shoot to kill, on the fact he said
Jihadi John should have been arrested and not killed by a drone
attack. Is it right openly defied a leader in the house? I think he's
the last person to talk about MPs defining leadership, that is part of
what he has been doing for 30 years. -- defying the leadership. Whoever
won the leadership election, this will be a tough time in terms of the
new leader... Is it right for MPs like Ian Austin and Emma Reynolds to
stand up... It is right for them to stand up at parliamentary Labour
Party meetings and state their views. What about in the Commons?
You are referring to the statement the Prime Minister made last week,
and in fact, Jeremy Corbyn changed his comment on shoot to kill, I
think a lot of people were making it plain in the light of the Paris
attack, that yes, we must ensure that our security services are
properly equipped. So Jeremy Corbyn was wrong? He was wrong to say that
shoot to kill for Jihadi John, as he was termed was wrong. Are you
worried about Labour trailing so far behind in the polls? The latest one
has them 15 points behind. There was another one that showed us only two
points behind yesterday. The polls get interesting as you get closer to
a general election. At the moment I don't think anyone should be driven
by the polls. I want Labour to be back in power, we are seeing what
has happened lost the election. I think anyone who was elected leader
in this last election would be given a period of two years, there was
talk about people only standing for a certain period and having another
election. I think the party would be reluctant to go into another
election with a leadership that didn't look as if they could win
that general election and that would have counted if Liz or Andy or if it
had won it. Does it work having a section of the party at total odds
with the leader of the party? Whether it be defence, national
security. It is very difficult, you have to have confidence in the
parliamentary Labour Party to lead the Labour Party. There are some
people who believe that the answer to that is to change the
parliamentary Labour Party, that isn't going to happen. You have to
have the confidence of the political party you are leading in Parliament.
Margaret Thatcher resigned because she got close on 200 votes in the
first round but went because she didn't have sufficient support.
We've been joined now by Simon Hardy, a spokesman for the Left
Unity Party which, over the weekend, voted to suspend its plans to stand
in next year's elections, and support Jeremy Corbyn instead.
Tell us why. We've set up three or so years ago in response to the fact
that a lot of people... Labour Party was in standing up for the values
they wanted. Now with Jeremy Corbyn, it is beholden on anyone who shares
his values and principles to get stuck in and make sure he can make a
good job of being leader. You're confident he will be able to remould
the Labour Party in his image? I think he absolutely has to. The fact
that so many in the Labour Party, the core voters are leaving the
party, 70 of their strategists think the only way they can win elections
is by being a shadow of what the Tory party are saying, Jeremy Corbyn
is the best hope to try and turn that around, win back those people
and put principles of social justice at the mainstream of British
politics today. Do you agree, you have been a light version of the
Tory party? It is the kind of rubbish I have heard spouted all my
political life. He needs to be in a difficult and macro different
political party. The accusation goes, there is arms of the Labour
Party should be... Jeremy Corbyn never went off onto forming
organisations to stand against the Labour Party and fight them. This
guy despises the Labour Party and has no place in the Labour Party.
What do you say to that? I'm not a member and I certainly don't despise
the Labour Party that Jeremy Corbyn represents. The Labour Party that
this country needs... He's a middle-class intellectual. I know
that you are bitter because you can do that didn't win the election but
you need to let me speak because you're being a bit rude. The point
is that Jeremy Corbyn is a mainstream politician, against
austerity, against the war, against racism, against nuclear weapons...
We are all against that. A lot of people are responding to the
message, thousands are joining the party now, not because of Yvette
Cooper, if people like you were to get behind Jeremy and the politics
he represents, the Labour Party might have a fighting chance on a
national and local level of changing this country for the better, that's
rubbish, that's common sense. I have been with Jeremy all the time, he
never went off on one of these flights of fancy. He never agreed
with you. We introduced sure start, we reduced child poverty, we
attacked pensioner poverty, we gave trade unionists the right to be
represented, the right not to be sacked for going on strike you have
done none of that. All you have done is print out your leaflets despising
the Labour Party and suggest that over here is a plausible
alternative. You have added doesn't work so you would come into the
Labour Party and you won't be welcome.
If he is saying trade unionists, activists around the country... Are
not welcome in the Labour Party, that is a very...
I am an anti-racist, what makes you different?
But the principles at heart of the Labour Party, they have always been
the principles. All this Tory light rubbish.
Have you been welcomed into the Libby Path -- Labour Party?
I haven't joined... Have you been welcomed by Jeremy
Corbyn? I haven't had an official response
but I know Jeremy Corbyn has said he welcomes people with the same values
as him, similar to my values, joining the Labour Party and
fighting to make it the kind of party that can win the election in
2020. The response by Alan is indicative of the kind of
undermining going on by some people in the Labour Party and the right
wing press attacking Jeremy or casting doubt on him because I am
not sure they are really behind the 60% of the Labour Party members who
voted for Jeremy Corbyn to become leader.
Are you undermining? Should some of your colleagues stop undermining
Jeremy Corbyn? We should back our elected leader,
that is what we should do. Right. No more undermining. But we
shouldn't allow people to suggest that antiracism is somehow the
preserve of some left wing students union group who have now decided to
join the Labour Party. Thank you very much.
Now, much has been written on how the Conservatives secured
But the lurid accounts of one element
of that campaign will be making for increasingly uncomfortable
The Road Trip 2015 scheme saw a volunteer army of young Tories
bussed into marginal seats to campaign on the ground.
But Mark Clarke, who ran the scheme, has since been banned
from the party after accusations of bullying, harassment and blackmail.
But how exactly Road Trip 2015 was run, and who knew how much and when,
has seen the party's chairman, Lord Feldman,
and former co-chairman Grant Shapps facing awkward questions.
Giles has been looking into the story.
Give us the background, who has been accused?
Mark Clark has been banned for life by the party which is interesting.
The 2014 brainchild, a former 2010 Conservative candidate in tooting, a
successful in winning his seat which was a surprise to some. He had been
dubbed as going to the top by Tatler.
Shortly after losing, his then girlfriend came out and said
publicly he was not fit to be an MP and he did subsequently get removed
from the candidate list. In 2014, he came back with road
trip, bussing in Young Conservatives into marginal constituencies in the
campaign and get them campaigning vigorously on the ground. The party
was happy with that, it was sanctioned and part funded by
Central office. Funding was livid with the blessing of the co-chairs
Grant Schatz and Lord Fellman. On the ground, Mark was in charge. 38,
in charge of a lot of activists in their 20s over weekends bust into
these areas. There is another dimension to this
story. This idea was about securing seats for the Conservatives but
transparently and joked about as a rehabilitation tour for him. I put
that point to him face to face in June, his answer was, it certainly
did not hurt. Where are we now with this? Big
problems. They are starting to come to the
doorstep of senior figures in the party, particularly Grant Schatz.
There are lurid headlines of sexual impropriety, blackmail, bullying.
That aside, what we know, one of the things which is tragic, we probably
would not know this if it hadn't been for the death in September of a
Young Conservative Elliot Johnson who in a note after his death named
Mark Clark and accused him of bullying him. Johnson had also
accused Clarke of pinning him to a chair in a pub, and recorded
secretly Mark Clark him threatening him. Edit Johnson saying he had
properly done this before. We know now a lot of other people thought
that. There is a heated e-mail exchange from August, one month
before edit Johnson died. I have this here, between Paul Abbott and
Mark Clark. Whilst explaining, a nasty exchange, about how much he
has had to do with road trip and keep it on the road, and defending
Mark Clark when in fact their work he says people in CC HQ only to shut
it down, he says this included dealing with all the complaints made
about road trip and your behaviour from associations, activists, MPs,
candidates, of which you are well aware. It shows the aid was well
aware of existing complaints which had been made. Grant points at the
moved on from the chair when major allegations were made. Lord Feldman
who said he did not know about these allegations until August, has been
criticised and countered by a new MP who told Newsnight he knew about
them much sooner. The problem is coming closer to senior members of
the party. We will keep coverage on it, thank
you. Think of the famous fights
in history. But who could forget
Clegg versus Farage? The then Deputy Prime Minister
and the leader of Ukip went head-to-head over
Britain's membership of the EU, in a TV debate during the campaign for
the European elections last year. They must have missed each other
because, last night, they staged a rematch at one
of the world's most famous debating And, just to let you know,
the dress code was formal. Here, they queue for five hours
in the cold to get In the 1930s, the Oxford Union
became world-famous when students here voted not to fight in a war
for King and country. Tonight, they are grappling with
another generational issue, As usual, the audience is full
of politicians in training. I want to be a Prime Minister, and,
if not, an adviser to the I addressed the General Assembly,
like, 12 times in my life. Here come the former president
of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso,
and Nick Clegg speaking in favour. Opposing is Tory MP Bill Cash
and Ukip leader Nigel Farage. It appeared the Eurocrat strategy
is to love-bomb the UK. The single market, or internal
market as we sometimes call it, in fact to a large extent was pushed
by Britain, by Margaret Thatcher. We had a great European Commission
president such as Roy Jenkins. Enlargement, the fact today, the
Czech Republic and central European countries are members, that was
very much a project of Margaret Things got tetchy when Bill Cash
raised the Paris terror attacks. The important point
about the question of the Over the past 20 years,
90% of terrorist acts committed in European lands were committed
by domestically-born European No one is denying
the fact that that is the case. What I'm saying is the Schengen
arrangements, and the border issue, has created the circumstances
in which these people came in. Nick Clegg lost an election,
but has gained a sense of humour. When I worked in the European Union,
it took 15 years for the European Union to decide
the definition of chocolate. Anything that takes
a decade-and-a-half to decide I don't want my little children to
grow up in a United Kingdom which is broken apart, and
the remains of which are drifting That is not a proud future I want
my country, for my children, for my country,
not the proud future I would argue Yes, Nick Clegg being applauded
by a group of students. Nigel Farage, on the other hand,
went for I want you, please, to think
of Britain and the EU being In the early days,
it was pretty good. But it's been getting increasingly
rotten over the last 25 years. Of course, a lot of people said, no,
you must stay with him. I know he makes all the rules
and the laws in the house. I know he forbids you
from making your own friends. Then, the votes, done in the same
way as they do it in Parliament. The Oxford Union voting that Britain
and Europe are better together. And we've been joined by the
Ukip MP Douglas Carswell. Is this what it is going to be like,
debates like this? More evenhanded than yesterday.
Does this excite the voters? When people realise that we have been
part of this club for 40 years, it costs us ?350 million a day, enough
to build a new hospital every week, people will realise we could change
this and open ourselves up to the world and be an international
player. Rehashing these arguments, maybe
there are no new arguments to be made, but if we are looking at 18%
of undecided, is that what will sway them?
The extraordinary thing is how close both camps are. I will be interested
in Alan and his view. About the third have made up their
mind they are in favour of saying, but 30% going the other way.
Everything is to play for Hutcheon of staying.
Pragmatic, sensible economic debate is what is needed from our side to
win. More than half the public according to a recent poll Hutcheon
recent poll want to leave the European Union, the first time in
that monthly survey. That does not subvert -- surprise
me. A lot of people on my side of the
debate thought this would be a walk in the park. It won't be.
There are awful lot of people who will focus on this over the coming
months. I believe Britain is stronger and safer in Europe, better
off. That debate will happen to be had. I hope we can ignite the same
excitement as in Scotland. Britain, if we leave the EU, in Scotland,
where every vote counts, not like Parliamentary elections, including
Northern Ireland, I hope we can generate that enthusiasm. You talked
about the economics being Central, what about immigration?
That poll was done in light of the Paris attacks. Do you think that is
inflection of public anxiety? It would be unfortunate if anyone
used scare tactics... Has Nigel Farage done that?
We must make certain we do not say things that appeal to our worst
instincts. The way to win is to show people we can be a better country,
more international, we can control our borders but we're not going to
close them. We are part of a club which has lost control of migration
and monetary policy. If we take back control, that is the sensible thing.
We can be an international country, outward looking, open to the world,
but in control of our destiny. That is the tone we need to strike.
Douglas is the sensible voice of this debate and Nigel isn't. We
still have free movement outside the EU, we will be weaker.
Thanks to all my guests, especially Alan Johnson.
'..Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, East Forties,
Jo Coburn is joined by former Labour minister Alan Johnson who is now in charge of Labour's referendum campaign to stay in the EU. They discuss NHS funding ahead of the spending review, and look back at yesterday's announcements on defence spending. There is also a preview of the SNP debate on Trident.