30/11/2015 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


It's set to be a big political week, with the government poised to hold


a Commons vote on whether to extend air strikes into Syria.


The position taken by Jeremy Corbyn and Labour could prove decisive.


He's against military action and is about to meet with


But with many MPs thought to back air strikes, can he find


The Conservative Party chairman Lord Feldman -


a close ally of the Prime Minister - comes under fire over


the handling of claims of bullying, blackmail and sexual harassment in


Is it the job of the government to tell people how


As a committee of MPs backs a tax on sugary drinks, we'll be asking


I'm normally against tax, but you see these fat kids, and one glass of


non-Diet Coke is the equivalent to about eight spoonfuls of sugar, I


probably got that wrong! And we'll be looking at those MPs


hoping to make the cut and win by a whisker - yes, it's the annual vote


to find parliament's best beard. All that in the next hour and with


us for the whole of the programme today the Conservative MP Neil


Parish and the Labour MP Rupa Huq. So first today let's talk


about whether the UK will extend The RAF is already carrying out


bombing raids against the so-called Islamic State


in Iraq, and the government has been making the case that British jets


should also be able to target Ministers have spent the weekend


trying to persuade wavering MPs to back a possible government


motion to approve the bombing. They've continued to insist they


will hold a vote on air strikes only if it is certain


it has the clear support of the Commons, which means winning


the backing of many Labour MPs. Let's have a listen to


the defence secretary Michael Fallon, who yesterday took to the


Andrew Marr Show to make his case. We've already got permission to deal


with Isil in Iraq at the edges, helping


the Iraqi government push back Isil, but it makes no sense simply to be


dealing with Isil in Iraq. When Isil is headquartered in


North East Syria. Now, Isil is not just


a threat to Iraq and Syria. Isil is a very direct


threat to this country. Let me put it this way, last year


there were 15 Isil-related attacks worldwide, and this year there


have already been 150 attacks. We've seen this recently,


not just in Ankara and Beirut, we've There is a very direct threat to


this country from letting Isil Rupa Huq, has David Cameron and


Michael Fallon convinced you have the case for air strikes against


Isil in Syria? Need them have been on the phone to me, as has been


reported, that Labour MPs have been phoned by conservatives the


weekend, none of them have got me on speed dial. Would you like a call


from them? This is a very difficult decision, and there is no right


answer, what ever happens it looks like blood will be shed and lives


will be lost, it is a difficult question. You will be asked to make


a decision, what is your thought at the moment? We need the least bad


outcome, I need to look at what I'm presented to vote on, but at the


moment I'm not minded to vote for targeted air strikes on Syria. Can


you be persuaded? It is unlikely, we have a messy civil war with at least


six different sides, and tragic as the events of Paris were, and they


are sickening and shocking, but a 3 figure number of people lost their


lives going to a pop concert, and I'm not sure there is a direct


correlation that we should start bombing now as a result of that.


What about your colleagues in the Labour Party? Most of the people


I've spoken to are very sceptical about air strikes right now. Most of


your Parliamentary colleagues? There are 232 of those, I speak to most of


the new intake and there is not a big appetite for it, I don't think.


In your mind, Labour MPs, their views against air strikes are


hardening? The figure of 70,000 Free Syrian Army troops who are waiting


for us to join them, that does not seem credible for many people. Even


Julian Lewis, very respected defence expert, the chair of the select


committee, and a conservative, he said that, in the house on Thursday.


They are too many unknowns. Where do you stand? I will back the Prime


Minister and I believe we need to do with Isil in Iraq and also in Syria


where their headquarters are, and we have had some good effect in


rolling back some of their territory. The more territory they


have, the more money they get, the more potential they have two cores


grieve to ourselves and our allies -- two cores grieve.


grieve to ourselves and our allies complex situation, but as Liam Fox


said on Thursday, Isil dislike and fight against everything we


represent in the way of free speech and freedom and they want to destroy


us, so we have got to take action. If they can be heard a


us, so we have got to take action. dentist, her only crime was to deal


with female patients as dentist, her only crime was to deal


deal with these people, and making it out to be complex, that does not


give the excuse not to take action. Pretty much every military expert


has said without grand -- ground troops, Isil cannot be defeated. Is


there one ready to move in? There are troops there, it is a difficult


situation, we probably have got special advisers and special troops


there, who can help, and I think we will need to do more there. I don't


think any of us at this stage want to put ground troops onto the


ground, but we do accept that you will need those troops in order to


get rid of Isil, but we will weaken them, we have got some very smart


weapons which will actually help. Hilary Benn, the


weapons which will actually help. Secretary is convinced that, as


well. That the advances of Isil in Iraq have been restricted,


well. That the advances of Isil in same could be said of Syria. There


has been bombing for the past same could be said of Syria. There


and arguably Isil have grown and got stronger, and so I'm not convinced.


Where? In Syria? I'm stronger, and so I'm not convinced.


a year now, stronger, and so I'm not convinced.


current mission -- the original coalition for bombing, they don't


have the same aims, we are getting into some tricky situations. The


world is not perfect, these people will destroy the very fabric of what


we believe in, we have got to take action against them, in this


imperfect world. Those people who did the Paris thing, they were


Belgian and French nationals, I don't see how bombing Syria... Their


resources come from the Middle East, very much from the ordeal which Isil


is selling. They are linked. -- very much from the oil. Where ever they


are national song, they are still linked to Isil and we have got to


deal with them -- where ever they are nationals from. Bombing is


indiscriminate and there are always unintended consequences, I have had


representations from a British Arab group which said World Heritage


sites will be destroyed. Many of them have been destroyed already.


Isil have destroyed them. Let's hold it there for a moment, you


articulating the difficult arguments and decisions which MPs are going to


have to make on this issue if a vote comes forward. The Labour position


on whether to comes forward. The Labour position


strikes into Syria will prove decisive this week.


But it could also prove decisive for the future of Jeremy Corbyn's


party, because a major split has developed between Mr Corbyn and many


of his MPs over whether to support or oppose further military action.


The Corbyn-supporting grassroots group Momentum spent the weekend


emailing Labour Party members, urging them to lobby MPs to support


Mr Corbyn has said he will not support British air strikes,


but that's not the position of much of his Shadow Cabinet.


Deputy leader Tom Watson and Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn


are just two of the senior party figures in


After criticism of Mr Corbyn's stance by some Labour MPs, Unite


general-secretary Len McCluskey suggested public dissenters were


guilty of trying to exploit disagreements over Syria to try and


oust Mr Corbyn - something he said would "sicken all decent people".


The debate now comes down to whether or not Labour MPs receive


Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has made it clear he supports allowing


all MPs to vote freely, according to their conscience,


as a decision to go to war should be "above party politics".


But this morning shadow international development secretary


Diane Abbott said that the party membership, and the


country, wants to see Labour oppose the air strikes, and that that would


On Sunday, Jeremy Corbyn said that despite Labour tensions he wasn't


going anywhere, and that as leader it was up to him to decide


if the party should collectively oppose action in Syria.


Well, in about an hour Jeremy Corbyn will meet his shadow cabinet,


so it's set to be a turbulent day for the leadership and the party.


Our deputy political editor James Landale can tell us more.


Has significant is today for the Labour leader and be party? Hugely


significant. Essentially the inconsistencies that have existed


since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party will come


to a head, this is a crunch point. What we are seeing, a power struggle


about where authority lies within the Labour family. It Jeremy Corbyn


decides to whip his MPs and said they should follow him and oppose


extending military action to Syria, is argument will be will be that he


has a mandate from his party, he's newly elected, and this is the


decision a leader makes, and he will give evidence through an e-mail, and


we are assuming he will say there is a fair amount of support for his


position, and he will present the Shadow Cabinet with a position,


saying, this is my point but I'm going to be a leader, I will make


that decision. And then the Shadow Cabinet will have to make a decision


as to whether they will challenge that. What is coming to a head, the


power struggle which has been lingering for some weeks between the


Shadow Cabinet and Jeremy Corbyn. They could choose not to resign, but


that would leave Jeremy Corbyn asserting his power over the Shadow


Cabinet in that instant, in order to keep the party together, the Shadow


Cabinet together at the very least. No one is issued and there will be


mass resignations, it is possible for members of the Shadow Cabinet,


they could decide to vote against the party and then almost challenged


Jeremy Corbyn to sack them -- no one is assuming they will be mass


resignations. That is one potential option, and others, the members of


the Shadow Cabinet could decide to resign beforehand, but if a decision


is made today, do they resign immediately? Do they wait on to a


motion is put before the House of Commons? There is no point in them


resigning now, if David Cameron decides to not do a vote in 48


hours, that's a possibility. James, thanks.


To discuss this we're joined by Dan Hodges of the Daily Telegraph, and


Rachel Shabi, who is a contributing writer for The Guardian.


And of course our guests of the day Rupa and Neil are still here.


Rupa, should the party be whipped to that view? There is a good argument


of having a free vote, Jeremy Corbyn has often voted against the whip,


and so it would be part of his open inclusive top-down leadership, and


given the range of opinions with the Labour Party, that is a good idea.


John McDonnell has said that he does not think Jeremy Corbyn is minded to


that, would you think it is a mistake if he puts his win on the


Shadow Cabinet? The only people who like the stories about a split


party, that is the Conservatives, but the headlines in the Tory press


would be more obvious, if it was a whipped vote. This is an issue of


conscience, and there is a point when it goes above party politics. I


was with Ken Clarke last week, the Conservative who held many great


offices of state under many governments, he said he was against


the Iraq war, and sometimes these are conscience decisions which are


above party politics. Yes, we know some of them already, is it a matter


of conscience, or is it, as Diane Abbott has said, oppositions of war


and peace, you have got to have an agreed position and if you are Her


Majesty 's loyal opposition? The Labour Party will be asked to fulfil


its primary function as the official opposition, and to pass judgment on


whether the country should go to war and clearly they are going to fail


in their obligation to do that one way or another, we will not have a


coherent position within the Labour Party and that is a shameful


situation, but that is the reality of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.


It is clear that Jeremy Corbyn is minded to whip his party. He is


going into that meeting intending to whip the shadow candidate. We heard


Diane Abbott saying on his behalf that a free vote would be to hand


the victory to David Cameron. I think Jeremy Corbyn has misjudged


his Shadow Cabinet. I think he felt over the weekend that the bullying


we have seen from groups like Momentum and the pressure he was


putting on the Shadow Cabinet would bring them into line. I think when


he goes into that meeting he will find out it has not been success.


Has Jeremy Corbyn mishandled it so far? Dan Hodges calls it bullying


tactics from the likes of Momentum, letter sent out to MPs saying that


they must consult their constituents, and pressure will be


brought to bear if they did not come back with a view against air


strikes. I don't know if it is bullying if you are being asked to


consider carefully a significant decision which the Conservatives


have failed to make a case in favour of. And I don't want to do a -- I


don't want to diminish this, but this is not about the Labour Party,


it is about Syrians and Iraqis and really quite damaging consequences,


potentially, for the rest of Europe. And I think what Jeremy Corbyn is


trying to do is change the flavour of the politics that we are having,


and that is one of the reasons he was voted for so overwhelmingly, and


that is why he has this mandate from the Labour Party faithful who oppose


air strikes because, again, there has not really been a convincing


case in favour of those strikes. It's clear that we should do


something about Islamic State but it's not necessarily clear that the


something should be bombing. There are plenty of other alternative is


not being discussed. Does he not better reflect Labour Party members


and many constituents in Labour constituencies around the country


with blue it is not the job to reflect Labour Party members, it


is. -- it is not the job to reflect Labour Party members, it is to


reflect the country. There is a very large plurality. You can't possibly


say that. Let down finish and I will come back to both of you. In support


of military action. The important thing has to be said, the opponents


of war are trying to construct this is a debate about people of


principle who oppose war against these Blairite warmongers, that is


not the case. There are people on both sides who have very strongly


held convictions. And as we've seen over the weekend and as we've seen


in terms of the nature of the debate as has come from the Jeremy Corbyn


camp, it is actually the Corbin supporters making it into a


political issue, and the Corbynites turning this into a loyalty test to


the leader of the Labour Party and that is absolutely shameful. Isn't


that true? Len McCluskey made his statement, Diane Abbott made her


statement this morning. There were veiled threats to those in the


Shadow Cabinet and other MPs who do not follow what the line will be


from Jeremy Corbyn when he knows that they are at odds with his own


Shadow Foreign Secretary, his own deputy leader, isn't the fate of the


Labour Party important in this, too? Here we are talking about Jeremy


Corbyn politicising the decision by politicising what he is doing. If


you heard him talk on Andrew Marr on Sunday he was presenting the case


against air strikes. I'm not saying that the people who support air


strikes are unprincipled, and just saying they have failed to make a


convincing case. We need to have that conversation and that's what


he's trying to do, and that's why he's asked for MPs to go back to


their constituents and have that conversation. With respect, he is


entitled to do that, but a large number of the people in the Labour


Party disagree with him from a point of principle. They think there will


be a threat to this country if we do not intervene. The difference


between the camps is that Jeremy Corbyn is allowed to put forward his


view, the opponents of Jeremy Corbyn are being told that if they disagree


with Jeremy Corbyn they will face deselection. Now that is bullying.


with Jeremy Corbyn they will face Well, Len McCluskey


with Jeremy Corbyn they will face said that, he said they will be


playing with fire. The director of Momentum has published, who also


edits the website, published an article


edits the website, published an deselection. You are not seriously


sitting there... They have no constitutional process. You are the


one turning this into a schoolyard debate, we are trying to have debate


about whether to go into Syria or not. Let him speak. Are you


seriously saying that there are not letters going round, there is not


pressure being brought to bear on your colleagues to be deselected if


they don't do what Jeremy Corbyn your colleagues to be deselected if


does on this issue? I've not heard of a real MP who has had that.


You've not heard it? of a real MP who has had that.


one myself, I voted for Yvette Cooper for leader. What about


threats of deselection? Some of this is just media hot air and in reality


this is bigger than Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, this is about going to


war. Has he or his supporters made it an of loyalty? Has it really come


out of the ether in that sense, or is it as a result of briefings on


both sides? In the end, if there is not a free vote, which you are


calling for, which John McDonnell is calling for, would you expect Shadow


Cabinet members to stick to their guns and defy what would be the will


of the leadership? The thing is, it should be of no surprise that Jeremy


Corbyn is anti-war, it has been country be consistent for 35 years.


You nominated him, didn't you? So did 35 other people. Did you regret


it? No, I did not want a contest of three people saying the same thing,


I wanted all wings of the party reflected. Do you think that Shadow


Cabinet members who, as a matter of conscience, would like to vote for


air strikes, should resign if there is a whipped vote by Jeremy Corbyn?


It's not for me to tell them whether they should resign. Would you expect


them to on a matter of conscience? I expect them to do what their


conscience tells them they should do. But we are trying to shift the


conversation away from an orthodoxy that for decades has had a military


interventionist take on the fight against terror. We are trying to


change that. One of the reasons Corbyn was elected was to change


that, so let's have that conversation. And he has support for


it. Shouldn't it be dissenting MPs come if you like, Dan Hodges, who


have been accused of trying to plot and out Jeremy Corbyn, who should


fall into the line that Rachel Xavi says is prevalent? To answer your


question, if there is a whip, it is quite clear that members of the


Shadow Cabinet that wish to vote against it should resign, they have


a principle of collective responsibility. Jeremy Corbyn is


doing everything he can to destroy that principle. Perhaps they are.


Again, I'm very sorry, I know this is difficult for you to understand.


I know it is difficult for you to understand! It may come as a shock


to you that there are people of conviction and principle that


disagree with you. That's fine. I know that is a shock. There are


people out there who genuinely believe if we do not act against the


Isis threat we will see 200 people dead in London, and you may disagree


. They are convinced of their view without the same kinds of threats


and intimidation. You keep saying it is Corbyn that has created the


politics of this, that is my issue with you. Well who has, Father


Christmas? It is not about whether people should have a principled


opposition to him, that is fine, but let's have the debate without


getting distracted into this schoolyard brawl that you are trying


to create. You are letting your hate for Corbyn blind your judgment. With


respect, it is the hatred of the Corbynites for those who have any


different view to them, which is why we saw the comments from Len


McCluskey, why we have had the threats from Momentum and continuing


threat of deselection. Both of you will have to leave it there but we


will of course keep you updated in what happens on BBC News.


The question for today is all about beards.


Nice change of tone, there. Yes, you came appropriately attired in that


sense, Dan. Which hirsute Member of Parliament


is tipped to win the Parliamentary beard of the year


for a record sixth time? Is it Paul Flynn, Stephen Crabb,


John Spellar or Jeremy Corbyn. At the end of the show Neil and Rupa


will give us the correct answer. One of the lesser-noticed proposals


in George Osborne's spending review last week was the decision to cut


what's known as short money. It was introduced


by the then-Leader of the House It was designed to help opposition


parties "more effectively fulfil The bill for the taxpayer


this year is ?9.3 million. The amount each party gets depends


on how many MPs they have and how many votes they got


at the last election. So most of the money this year,


nearly ?5.8 million, And the SNP also get


a sizeable chunk - they've received So cutting taxpayer funding


for politicians is bound to prove popular with many,


but it hasn't gone down well with others including the


Labour Party - and shadow Commons Hello, how are you? I'm fine, and


you? We will come onto that. Every part of the political sector --


public sector is making a contribution to cuts. The short


money is there so that all parties can do a proper job of criticising


the government. The government has the whole of the civil service, and


a budget to be able to go and visit whatever institution, so for


instance the prisons minister can visit prisons, surely so should


opposition portfolio holders like the shadow ministers be allowed to


visit prisons as well. But shouldn't there be a contribution from


opposition parties or political parties in general to tackling the


deficit? I would be right behind that if it weren't for the fact that


what the government has done in this same period is increase the number


of special advisers party political appointees have gone up from 79 to


103. An extra cost of ?2.5 million every year all going to party


members. And George Osborne has got ten special advisers. And they did


say they would reduce that bill, they said that in 2010 and they


didn't. But on principle you would not be against a reduction in the


amount of short money? I'm happy to see, if we are considering the whole


cost of politics, but on top of that the government has added ?2.9


million per year by appointing more members to the House of Lords, 240


more members, the fastest any Prime Minister has ever appointed


ministers, all again for party political covers, and I think that


is a problem. In the end we have a constitutional settlement in this


country which is that Her Majesty 's loyal opposition play a vital part


in making sure the government does a good job. It is wrong for the


government single-handedly and unilaterally to cut that money. If


you were to win in 2020 of course you could say it would be the Tories


that would have less short money. That's very unfair because when we


were in government we introduced it in the first place, and in 1997 when


the Tory party thought it was down on its knees and never going to


recuperate, we travelled short money. They claimed ?45.7 million.


We have been honourable in this and the government is being utterly


despicable and dishonourable. So, despicable and dishonourable? I


would not go as far as to say that. We have cut back the civil service


by about ?2.5 billion. What about special advisers? They have not been


cut as much as they should have been, they have gone up, I access


the figures. I believe that overall we have taken the right decisions to


reduce the cost of government. I think people out there in expect


opposition parties to raise money, to fund themselves to a degree we


had to do that. You took ?45.7 million. That does not fund the


political party. Naturally the Labour Party takes a great deal of


money from trade unions and we get money from other sources as well.


But I don't think people necessarily expect taxpayer money to fund


politics. That may be, but why is it that the number of special


advisers, the number of paid appointments by the government has


gone up, if this government is so committed to trying to reduce the


amount of money that is spent by taxpayers on this particular area?


Why is it that we have seen large numbers of people brought into the


House of Lords? It is growing in some areas. Let me deal with the


situation vis-a-vis the House of Lords. When we came into government,


after ten or 12 years of Blair government, we actually had 28% of


the members of the House of Lords. Therefore there is a really good


reason. That's a good way of deflecting. You have appointed...


I'm not going to take you on the nose. You have appointed people into


the House of Lords, the Prime Minister has appointed ten times as


many barren since he became Prime Minister than there Runnymede, and


yet he goes on about democracy. He wants to cut the number of elected


MPs but increased the number of unelected figures. Dent or shout


because nobody can hear you. Chris, go ahead. Another interesting


thing, the government has decided, there is also cram more money that


goes to opposition parties, it has decided to not cut that because they


do not have a majority in the House of Lords, so they will let that go


on. It is utterly reprehensible, the way the government is behaving. It


is unconstitutional, and quite a lot of Tory MPs, and to be honest I


think Neil agrees, he is smiling, he is going to go back and tell them.


Your lips are sealed, is the expression. But your top lip is


sweating, I think that means you agree with me.


Is opposition for democracy? Yes, it


is. We have just enough time, to discuss... It is one of those hidden


measures, it is not get headlines the way that splits do. The Shadow


Cabinet meeting is at o'clock, what are you going to be saying? It


depends on what Jeremy Corbyn says, are you going to be saying? It


but it will be on my conscience, is there was another attack by Isil and


British targets in this country -- on British targets in this country,


we will not have on British targets in this country,


in Syria, when the French president is in favour and the United Nations


is in favour, when we are already bombing Isil in Iraq. It should be a


free vote? I would prefer it to be a free vote. If it isn't, and Jeremy


Corbyn says, I am the leader and I will decide, I'm whipping by Shadow


Cabinet to vote against, what will you do? I'm not sure whose decision


it is to make, but I've had this conversation with you many times


before on this programme, hypothetical questions begin with


the word is. Diane Abbott, we speak to her, about the representative


that she seems to be of Jeremy Corbyn, she says it should be a


whipped vote, and a whipped vote against air strikes, and if that is


the case, are you going to vote against question not every time you


put the word if Janette -- every time you put the word if in, it is


hypothetical question. If I vote against military action against


Isil... Someone said May, could we not appoint a negotiator to


negotiate between Isil and Rouble? That is dangerously naive. -- Isil


and us? I would prefer a free vote. I have not come on this programme to


talk about that, I came to talk about something else, and I would


prefer to have that conversation privately in the Shadow Cabinet. But


you have asked the question and I have tried to answer this as


straightforward as I can. It feels like Civil War. Maybe it does, but


I'm very focused on, if a constituent of mine worked on


holidays somewhere, and there was a attack, would I have failed in my


duty by refusing to countenance military strikes? I know all of the


dangers, not always convinced by David Cameron and all the rest of


it, but in the end, would I have failed that person? Right,, Chris


Bryant, thanks. David Cameron has joined other world


leaders in Paris today to try and negotiate a new global deal


on climate change. Jeremy Corbyn will face his MPs


tonight in a meeting Junior doctors will walk out


on strike tomorrow morning unless the Government and the BMA can reach


a last-minute deal in talks On Wednesday it's PMQs of course -


with a vote on airstrikes in Syria expected this week we can expect


a fiery encounter. It could be another chance for


Jeremy Corbyn to quiz the Prime Minister over air strikes in Syria.


Thursday sees the first major electoral test for Labour since May


It's a safe Labour seat but Ukip are expected to make a strong showing.


We're joined now from a windy College Green by


Stephen Bush from the New Statesman, and by Harry Cole from the Sun.


Stephen, this should be a safe Labour seat in Oldham West, 14,000


majority was left by MIchael Meacher, what is going on there? The


picture from Central office, they say it looks good and the numbers


are holding up and they think they will win it by 2000 votes, but


everyone who has been down to Oldham, comes back with a face like


thunder, and they say that Jeremy Corbyn's remarks and shoot to kill


not going down very well with the white working class boat, but if


they can get out enough of the Asian population, they will probably be


able to hold the seat. Harry Cole, John McDonnell says Ukip is an evil


force within our society, admitting that the margins of the by-election


will be very narrow, how will that go down? That says much more about


John McDonnell compared with Ukip. The Ukip voters were voting not that


long ago for Labour, and so that as an attack on former Labour voters,


if anything. This is one of those pressure points, everyone sought


next May's local elections and the London mayor elections as the first


chance to see Jeremy Corbyn's impact, but we are seeing this now.


It is shaping up to be the most remarkable week for a very long time


in British politics. We have the slow drumbeat to war, on one side,


and the divisions this is causing in Labour, and you also have the Tory


party imploding themselves, for the horrendous cover-up scandal.


Regarding the story which has engulfed the Tory party, these are


claims of bullying and harassment which were not dealt with properly


allegedly, a Conservative Central office. -- at. There are now calls


for an independent inquiry, is that going to happen? It will have to, it


seems inevitable by the end of the week, that the previous chairman of


the Conservative Party and the incumbent will have to have stood


down, you cannot have a situation where the chair is marking its own


homework, as it were, and so there will need to be and above inquiry.


Do you agree with that, Harry Cole? Grant Shapps has already resigned.


There was the hope and feeling within number ten that if Grant


Shapps was to resign that might take the pressure out of the scandal, but


if anything it has done the opposite. It has heaped huge


pressure on Lord Feldman, why, when Grant Shapps says it was a joint


decision to hire Mark Clarke, Lord Feldman's name was on the checks,


and do not forget he was the party chairman who has overseen the last


few months, including the tragic suicide of a young activist. The


questions must be piling up for Mr Feldman. Thanks to both of you.


Let's pick up on a story we've just been discussing, that's


the pressure on the Conservative chairman Andrew Feldman over


the handling of complaints against a Tory activist called Mark Clarke.


We've been joined by the executive editor of the Conservative Home


Do you think Lord Feldman should resign? Yes, his position has become


untenable for a number of reasons, not least because Grant Shapps


resigned, he recommended this decision, that the approach to Mark


Clarke was the way to go. Grant Shapps could suggest things, but


Lord Feldman had to sign them off, and approve them, and so I think his


position has become untenable. He's very close to the Prime Minister and


has been for time, is this costly to the Prime Minister? It is personally


costly, Lord Feldman is a long serving and I and he has done many


good things as the party chairman. -- long serving ally. He made many


of the decisions, positive decisions come which did work in terms of the


party's ground war which helped to win the general election. You don't


think the Prime -- you don't think that he can survive, then, do you


think this needs to be fully independent, the inquiry? Yes,


absolutely, we reported on our website, Conservative Home, there he


is a call for an independent inquiry, and it is not good enough,


that employees of the Conservative Party should go to a statement,


effectively enquiring of their own boss, and then they passed that on


to be checked by Clifford chance, that is not good enough, we need an


independent inquiry, to open the doors come to investigate this


properly, and then the findings have to be published. Regarding the


findings and what will be investigated, you match -- mentioned


the baroness, she has agreed to look into a new campaign, regarding Mark


Clarke, who is at the sense of these allegations, she is accused of


leaking the names to Mark Clarke, that would be part of the


investigation, but what else? Who knew what about Mark Clarke and


when, before he was brought back into the fold and we need to know


after he was brought back into the fold, what complaints were formally


made and who received them. Baroness Warsi said she made a complaint.


Indeed. Other complaints have been made, as alleged victims. We need to


know exactly what happened to those complaints, we also need to know


things like, what are the safeguarding procedures for young


people involved in the Conservative Party's activities? It is important,


if you care about Conservative values and you are interested in the


same things as the party, you should be able to go out and campaign for


those things, and that should be encouraged, but people need to be


safe while they do it. Mark Clarke has denied the allegations made


against him, what is your view about Andrew Feldman? I don't usually go


at this stage, but there has to be a proper inquiry and whether that


needs to be independent... For the family, who had a great loss, if I


had lost a son, I would expect nothing more, and I think we have


got to make sure that we handle this properly and this is not just about


justice, it is about justice being seen to be done. It is not


altogether about whose head should roll, it is about making sure we


investigate thoroughly what happened to stop it ever happening again.


There needs to be accountability? Yes, and Grant Shapps has taken that


in many ways. That was the right thing to do? I think it was. It is


for the Prime Minister and Lord Feldman to decide on his particular


fate, but I also think it is for the Conservative Party to make sure that


we do thoroughly investigate but also that it is open and people


actually believe us and the family believe us and we stamp out the


problem. There is no point whatsoever, it would be Das Dudley


to cover it up in any shape or form, so I would suggest that it will be


much more open than it is at the moment, I suspect. Thanks.


151 heads of state and other world leaders have arrived


in Pairs this morning ahead of a global climate change summit, which


organisers say makes it the largest meeting of its kind in history.


Most of the discussions are expected to centre on an agreement to limit


global warming to 2C, but the last such meeting ended in failure.


Let's listen to UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon.


The national climate plans, summited by more than 180 countries


as of today, cover close to 100% of global emissions.


But we need to go much faster, much further, if we are to limit the


We need a universal, meaningful and robust agreement, here in Paris.


We need a universal, meaningful and is likely, but will this be enough?


We need a universal, meaningful and Will it be enough to tackle climate


change and global warming? We have had the summers before, Copenhagen,


that was had the summers before, Copenhagen,


remember, there has got had the summers before, Copenhagen,


political will, and a change of behaviour -- have had these summits


before. Our reliance on fossil fuels and cars and all those things, we


need to look at that. Under the Tory subsidies, renewals have been


slashed and onshore wind farms have been opposed, what ever happened to


the greenest government ever? If you come to Devon, I will show you,


there are many solar panels, we are producing electricity, you cannot go


on covering more manned with solar panels, just in order to have a


feeding tariff to do that -- covering more land. We now need to


make sure, as Britain and those major economies, help the developing


world, to reduce their carbon. But what about the developed world? We


do, but with the developed world what about the developed world? We


the very developing world like China, we have got to make sure that


it is not just Europe, and America, it is also China, the Far East,


because in the end, we have got to play our part, but it is global


warming, and if we are going to do any real good introducing global


temperatures we have got to tackle this right across, and I don't think


our government's record on delivering renewables is bad at all


can we have tidal power in the River Severn, and also in the channel, and


we are building up a nuclear power station at Hinkley point which will


reduce our needs for electricity. Therefore, we are doing our bit.


Why should the UK and other developed countries being the only


ones playing their part in trying to reduce global warning if we don't


have some of the big developing nations on board who are some of the


biggest polluters as well, it will be worthless. It does take political


will from all sides. This government has had an extra good. Pre-election


it was going to be the greenest government ever, and wasn't Cameron


reported as saying "cut the green stuff" after he was elected. This


government has had Owen Paterson, who was a climate change denier. How


is that going to stop a global agreement being reached, doesn't it


have to be global? It isn't just about what the UK does, otherwise we


are doing it when others aren't, you are not achieving your goal. I do


agree, and it is a global problem, and in the Times of globalisation it


requires a global solution. Prime Minister Modi has said that it


shouldn't all fall to third world countries either. Do you think the


Conservative Party now is more sceptical about needing to tackle


this in the way they perhaps thought? There are some sceptics


within the party, and I think we've got to be careful that we don't


blame every hurricane, everything on climate change, because there are


patterns as well. But if you look at actually our record in government on


delivering on green energy it is actually good. But there hasn't been


consistency, has there? I also really buy into what the Prime


Minister wants to do and that is help the developing world help


themselves on climate change. Many of us have visited China. You do not


see the sun in Beijing. That is the level of pollution. We have got to


get that dealt with. Is an agreement at two Celsius enough when there are


developing countries who say, at that level, if that is the deal,


that will still wreak havoc on large parts of the developing world, the


impact will hit the poorest, do you accept that? My view is that if we


can get 2% agreed across the globe, then it will do a great deal of good


toward stopping global warming. We are not going to stamp it out


completely, we've got to slow it down. And I think we've got to be


very practical. You can talk about figures as much as you like. Until


we get people like the Chinese government reducing their cars, the


type of cars they've got, producing more electric cars, bringing in all


the things that we also need to do here, I accept that, but unless we


do that across the globe and influence it, we will not really


dramatically reduce the temperature. Before we move on there is just some


breaking news, the Labour Party has put out, 75% of Labour Party members


oppose air strikes in Syria. It doesn't surprise me.


Now is it the government's business whether you want to eat


Well a Commons committee thinks it should be, and today they've backed


a whole series of measures they say will help tackle obesity including


So does this represent a sensible measure to improve the health of


our children, or is it an unwelcome intrusion from the nanny state?


We gave Ellie a couple of cans of pop


I could really do with a sugar boost.


Don't some MPs want to put a 20% tax on sugary drinks?


# "Sweets For My Sweet" - The Searchers


You only have to look left right and centre to see that people are


struggling from being overweight and the consequences are dire


People should know what is good for themselves, and the government


You have an opinion on most things, don't you?


Sugary drinks, should there be a tax?


I'm normally against tax, but you see these fat kids now and,


what is it, one glass of non-Diet Coke is the equivalent


You have a fabulous looking very green drink.


Do you think there should be a tax on sugary drinks?


Maybe less advertising, that is probably more powerful.


I look at some fat people and think, God,


This is a problem of behaviour, not of price, this is a socialist


And do you drink a lot of sugary drinks?


Do you know there is nothing sweeter than a mood box on a Monday morning?


We've got people's opinions all fizzed up


and it would seem the majority think a sugar tax is a good idea.


So that was the view of commuters in London this morning.


Well, the chair of the Commons health committee


This is the nanny state gone mad, for a Conservative politician? It is


not the nanny state gone mad. If you let at the scale of the problem, a


quarter of the most disadvantaged children are leaving primary school


not just overweight but obese. It opens up a huge gap in health


inequality and it is something we can do something about with a range


of sensible measures. Not one single thing to solve this, we need a range


of policies to tackle it from a range of angles. But it is very


unlike the Conservatives to tax sugar, as you said, only one part of


a strategy that would tackle obesity, but in itself it won't


actually do what you wanted to do. We know in Mexico for example it


reduced consumption by 6% and in the heaviest consumers I 9%. So it does


make a difference. Nobody needs to pay this tax, but it is about


nudging people to make more sensible choices. It is not a tax on more


sugar, not in biscuits, crisps, or the sugar you buy on the shelf, it


is just fizzy drinks. And that matters because a of children who


are teenagers, there should be in take is coming just from fizzy


drinks. If you have a small price differential, what it does, it


nudges people to buy the diet product. It takes at a stroke a


significant chunk of these wasted calories out of people's diet. Alan


Duncan called it a socialist solution. I disagree with him. Go


and look at the evidence and say, are we comfortable as


Conservatives? The really regressive thing for me is that we are failing


the most disadvantaged children in our society. We could put every


penny raised from this into a really exciting programme that would be


targeted specifically at the most disadvantaged communities and


schools. I think you can do an enormous amount of good with this


money and nobody needs to pay it, so that's not regressive. So it's not


regressive and it is a Conservative policy that will help the most


disadvantaged? I have great difficulty in disagreeing with


Sarah, being the chair of the select committee. But on this occasion I


will. We've got to work with the drinks industry, as we have been, to


reduce the content of sugar all the time. What we've done over the years


is we've developed tastes for more and more sugar. We've got to wean


people off of that. The problem I've got with the tax is, if we're not


careful, it will be the poorest people having to pay it. Well they


don't have to buy it? But in many respects they will because they have


got used to buying it and their children will still be wanting it.


And I just think we would be better off changing their taste. How would


you do that? Literally by taking the sugar out of the drink. And that is


being done. But we need to do it much faster. The food and drink


industry have said that. They need more pressure, I think. Is that


where the pressure should be? They more pressure, I think. Is that


should be pushed to reduce the 11 spoonfuls of sugar in the drinks?


should be pushed to reduce the 11 Self-regulation has not helped on


its own. And Sarah is not really a conservative, I


its own. And Sarah is not really a since May. But on things like


assisted dying on the Juniors since May. But on things like


against it are people like the BMA, since May. But on things like


British Heart Foundation, all the British Heart Foundation, all the


people who know what they are talking about oppose this. Do you


mean oppose it? I mean oppose the idea to have sugar. You can have


free formulation at the same time, but it has taken ten years for us to


gradually down regulate the amount of salt in our food. I'd say we


would be failing a whole generation of children if we did not take the


decision to do both. Isn't it a failure of governments that have cut


public health campaigns and the money that goes into them? We had


extremely effective ones on drink-driving, an


extremely effective ones on campaigning. You are having to


substitute, if you like, the fact that your government won't pay for


those effective campaigns, by taxing the product itself? I'd say that's


certainly the amount we the product itself? I'd say that's


public health campaigns is dwarfed by the powerful messaging from


industry driving people in the other direction. However I would say it is


a mistake to think that education direction. However I would say it is


alone can do this. The interesting thing about education campaigns is


alone can do this. The interesting taken up more by people who are


already healthy. Paradoxically you end up widening the gap. When you


already healthy. Paradoxically you that are backing this idea of a


sugar tax, and you look that are backing this idea of a


of obesity, despite the fact there that are backing this idea of a


London published some research that obesity levels


London published some research that levelling off, but the cost of


obesity to the taxpayer and the national health service, and type


obesity to the taxpayer and the two diabetes is huge, surely


something like this has to be done? I don't disagree with you. But I


would say what we have to do, and Sarah makes the point, we are taking


far too long, we have got to put much, much more pressure on the food


and drink 's companies to reduce the amount of sugar in the drink. And


that, in the end, amount of sugar in the drink. And


much more effective than a sugar tax. The problem with a sugar tax is


much more effective than a sugar that it will affect the people who


can least afford to pay it, and in the end won't amount to a great deal


of money, and what we need to do is put the onus back on those food and


drink companies to deliver that drink without sugar. We will have to


finish it there, but thank you very much.


Now it's time to find out the answer to our quiz.


Which hirsute Member of Parliament is tipped to win the Parliamentary


beard of the year for a record sixth time?


Is it Paul Flynn, Stephen Crabb, John Spellar, or Jeremy Corbyn?


I think it should be Jeremy Corbyn because loads of Labour MPs seem to


have grown beards, even Dan Hodges. He is not a Labour MP of course. But


he now has a beard and I think that is the Corbyn effect. Do you agree?


I will go the Stephen Crabb. Well it is actually Jeremy Corbyn, as you


might imagine. Well, as you might imagine


Jeremy Corbyn is the man to beat having won the award no less than


five times in the past. And the man behind the competition,


Keith Flett of the Beard Liberation Tell us about this competition? It


has been running for almost 15 years. We run a separate one for


MPs, so they don't dominate the wider competition. It has been


running 15 years. It is a genuine online vote. So I'm afraid be have


to mobilise their supporters, you only vote once. We will see. Jeremy


Corbyn must be the man to beat? Yes, he has won it five times. Why?


What's so great about his beard? Back in the day it was relatively


rare for an MP to have a beard, and he spoke occasionally on beards in


the house and generally had a very high-profile beard, shall we say? It


speaks for itself. What about Stephen Crabb? He could be the first


beard in the Cabinet. Yes, relatively new last year. He has


been around a bit longer, his name is better known. I would think it


will go down to a whisker, shall we say, between them. It's going to be


razor-sharp right to the end, isn't it? The excitement is killing us


all, I'm sure. Thank you very much for coming in.


The 1pm news is starting over on BBC One now.


Andrew will be here at noon tomorrow with all the big


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