07/12/2015 Daily Politics


07/12/2015

Jo Coburn with the latest news from Westminster including Storm Desmond and the fallout within Labour from the vote on air strikes in Syria. With Neil Coyle and Andrea Jenkyns.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.

:00:37.:00:39.

Thousands of homes remain without power in North West England

:00:40.:00:41.

and Scotland following some of the worst flooding seen in years.

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The Prime Minister, who's been chairing an emergency

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meeting of the crisis committee, Cobra, will visit some of the worst

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More armed patrols on Britain's transport network

:00:57.:01:04.

following a suspected terrorist knife attack at the weekend.

:01:05.:01:06.

Should the number of Bishops in the House of Lords be cut to make

:01:07.:01:10.

We'll be finding out who's managed to bag Cartoonist of the Year.

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All that in the next hour and with us for the duration two new MPs,

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Conservative MP Andrea Jenkyns caused a bit of a shock

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when she un-seated Labour's Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls.

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And Labour's Neil Coyle un-seated Liberal Democrat MP,

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and Justice Minister, Simon Hughes in Southwark and Bermondsey.

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Jenkyns, Andrea Marie, the Conservative Party candidate,

:01:45.:01:52.

Coyle, Neil, Labour Party 22,000... CHEERING.

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What is it like toppling a big political beast? I am pinching

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myself still, seven months later. I can't believe I'm wearing the same

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jacket is then. No one would have noticed if you hadn't said

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anything. What does it feel like though? It's amazing, really. That

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night of the election, my mum, I walked in at the weekend and she was

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playing it over again. It's such a privilege. It's a great honour to be

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here and I'm loving every moment of it. Did you speak to Ed Balls? Heard

:02:59.:03:04.

from him since? He was very gracious on the evening. He was, on the

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night. What about you? Simon Hughes was very much part of the furniture

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in Southwark and Bermondsey. He had a solid reputation for doing

:03:16.:03:18.

casework and they were big boots to fill and I've had more than 4000

:03:19.:03:22.

people approach me since May, and it feels a long time ago already. You

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are thrown in at the deep end to get on with the job casework arrives and

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you have to do it. Does the shadow of your predecessors haunt you

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because they were so associated with the seat? A little. It is not even a

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shadow. I still see Simon out in the constituency. There is a reality to

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who is not wanted. And all of the casework has been handed over, so

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there is a continuation for some of the people who you was helping you

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now see me. The number one issue closes to your heart? Health, that

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is the reason I went into politics. What do you want to try and achieve?

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Having lost my heart father through eight hospital infection, and

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antibiotic resistance has been on the agenda. Two weeks ago I launched

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a hands hygiene campaign and there is a shocking statistic that 25% of

:04:16.:04:23.

commuters in London have PCs on their hands. So hand hygiene is

:04:24.:04:31.

important to stop infection -- faeces on their hands. We will leave

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it there. It is time for the daily quiz.

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The question for today is who does our guest of the day Andrea Jenkyns

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c) Christine Lagarde or d) current Miss World, Rolene Strauss?

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At the end of the show, Neil and Andrea will give us

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Now to the floods, which have left a trail of devastation

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And with more rain forecast for the North West and Scotland,

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there appears to be no immediate end to the misery.

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Thousands of people remain without power and many have had to spend

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With many transport links still cut, health care will be restricted

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today and some schools will stay closed.

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David Cameron will visit some of the worst affected areas this afternoon.

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He's been chairing a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergencies

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Let's talk now to our correspondent, Carole Walker.

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Give us the latest in terms of response from Cobra. As you say,

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David Cameron chaired the meeting, bringing together the relevant

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ministers and representatives of some of the emergency services who

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joined it down the line from some of the badly affected areas. What the

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government is doing is focusing on the immediate crisis, so that is

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about checking to make sure that everyone is safe. If there are

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people in their homes you need to be evacuated that they are taken to

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safety. Looking at problems with transport links on the roads and

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bridges that have been cut. On the railway lines, what more can be done

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to restore some of those vital links. Looking as well at the issue

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of power. We know that tens of thousands of homes were cut off at

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some stage. Some of those supplies have been put back on, but not all

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yet restored. The government is trying to see what more it can do on

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that because it creates huge problems for hospitals, care homes

:06:37.:06:40.

and the like. We will then move into the second phase, which is looking

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at what more needs to be done to help some of those communities which

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now have to cope with the terrible mess and aftermath of the flooding.

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When Liz Truss makes a statement in the House of Commons we will hear

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more details about. Beyond that, we are told the government will look at

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the basis for its planning of the flooding, a review of the

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assumptions made. We heard from Rory Stewart, the environmentalist,

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saying -- environment Minister, saying some places at their highest

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ever rail fall in a short space of time. They are trying to save the

:07:19.:07:24.

basis of planning is the right one or it needs to be prepared for more

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incidents like this. The criticism, as you know, is that despite the

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money spent after the last round of severe flooding, they really could

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not withstand this deluge this time round. Clearly the flood defences,

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even the new flood defences put in place, in many places they were

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quite inadequate with the flood waters so high that they came over

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the top of the defences. The government is saying some of those

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flood defences did make a difference and gave householders and businesses

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longer to prepare and evacuate. But there was still huge amounts of

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damage and difficulty course. Yes, local communities and council

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leaders are already saying they need more defences and more money spent.

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The government says it is spending ?2.3 billion over this parliament on

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flood defences. The question is whether it is being spent

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flood defences. The question is and whether the government needs to

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look again at the sort of defences it is building. Carroll,

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Westminster, thank you. Let's talk now to the

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Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, Tell us your experiences over the

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weekend because you were really caught up with it, along with many

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constituents. Yes, I don't think I had an experience as bad as many

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people here. I am stood on the street by the bridge, no distance

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from a seer, and businesses are deluge and out of business potential

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it -- no distance from us here. Hundreds of families are out of

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their homes, probably the Christmas and it is heartbreaking. My

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experience is pretty limited in the context. It is a real reminder that

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the weather is changing. It certainly appears to be. And we are

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not getting once in a hundred years deluge is, they are happening on an

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annual basis. That is something we need to mitigate against. Let's turn

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to how you would do it. In some ways the level of rain was unprecedented,

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but you say we are seeing more of this sort of climate extreme. Would

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you agree it's impossible to protect against such extreme weather events?

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First of all, a bit difficult to hear you, but I think I got it. In

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the end, very cautious about pointing the finger at anyone. The

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reality is that this was extreme weather, but the problem is we are

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getting more extreme weather more often. This is Cumbria and we are

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used to challenging and difficult weather conditions. We are made of

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tough stuff up here. But this is an incredible thing, which has taken

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everybody by surprise. The question we need to ask ourselves is, whether

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it was right to cancel some of the funding for flood defence schemes

:10:18.:10:21.

over the last few years. The last three governments bear some

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responsibility for that. Knowing that if you can protect against

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these extreme circumstances, then the amount of money you save and the

:10:29.:10:33.

amount of misery you prevent is infinitely greater than the outlay

:10:34.:10:38.

of spending money on the schemes. Which schemes specifically? You said

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they were promised up the previous floods and then they will shelve and

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should have been funded, that would be during the coalition time, so

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which one specifically? There were around 300 across the country which

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I protested against at the time, and they included one on the River Kent,

:10:57.:11:00.

just yards away from us over to the left. If you spend money in advance

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on these things, then obviously, if you get extreme weather, then as a

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consequence you are preventing billions of pounds of damage, not to

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mention the human misery that those things lead to. I absolutely buy

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that climate change is happening and this is a consequent change, and

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it's a consequence of activity over decades, so where do I point the

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finger? At all others, humankind is responsible. Even if you don't

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believe it is human created, it is clearly climate change. This is

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happening more and more often, so the investment in flood defences is

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necessary and a wise investment. It depends how it is spent, I suppose.

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Five years ago Carlisle got a ?35 million flood defence scheme and now

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it is one of the worst affected areas. In a sense, it has obviously

:11:56.:12:00.

been spent in the wrong way or there isn't any amount of money that can

:12:01.:12:03.

protect against that sort of freak weather. To an extent, you are

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right. It is freak weather and I'm very cautious about pointing the

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finger at anyone. The main job is to put an arm around people. Because it

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was the government the Liberal Democrats were involved in last

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time? No, on these schemes, I pointed the finger then and

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criticised those schemes in 2012. But the point I'm making, if you

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look at individual schemes, some will have been overwhelmed even with

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this weather. But some have actually succeeded. A few years ago here in

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Kendal, about 500 yards away from where I am stood, that was the part

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that flooded all the time and we spend ?1 million on a flood defence

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scheme and it is an area which has been broadly protected in this awful

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weather. So flood defence schemes work. If you think about the

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insurance claim is not being paid out because of that scheme, as an

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individual one, and the human misery not caused because the scheme has

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been built, it is worth every penny and it is the back. Actually, the

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scale of investment that we need to be thinking of is that much greater

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-- and it is paying back. Briefly, on insurance, what sort of situation

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are people in in terms of claiming for the widespread damage that has

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been done? Some people have had great response from their insurers,

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many others have had a poor response, a delayed response. And

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others, frankly people who often have no money whatsoever, they find

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themselves in a situation where they have chosen not to insure the

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property because they had no cash to start off with. For those people, I

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feel desperately sorry and we need to get alongside those people. There

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are people who will be out of their homes at Christmas and have nothing

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at all and no prospect of anything coming back in terms of insurance.

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This is a human catastrophe and we have to stand with those people.

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Tim, thank you very much. There were schemes that were cancelled, Andrea

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Jenkyns, under the Coalition Government, between 2010 and 2015.

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Was it a mistake? It's a difficult decision of any government to make.

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We were recovering from the worst recession in peace time, so where do

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you put the money? Whichever department it is, you cannot money

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-- magic money out of thin air. Whichever one you take it from, it

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leaves another one short. I am pleased we have this ?2.3 billion

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investment. My heart goes out to the community and its devastating

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families. It wasn't that long ago, 2009, there were similar. When you

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say you have to find the money or take it from another department,

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what Tim Farren is saying, is that you could prevent the spend that has

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to come to repair the damage. The government has a long-term economic

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plan and we see short-term measures that have long-term costs and

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consequences down the line. The flood prevention budget was cut by a

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third when the coalition took office in 2010.

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It was cut although the government argues it was up to local

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authorities to do some of the spending, but could they really are

:15:27.:15:29.

forced to deal with that sort of devastation we are seeing here? It

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was unprecedented, the amount of rain. The big thing is, we have ?2.3

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billion of investment. Over the course of Parliament. Last week,

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Darfur announced a cut to the flood prevention and coastal erosion

:15:47.:15:51.

budget. Is that short-sighted? The Environment Agency Chief Executive,

:15:52.:15:55.

out and said that they have adequate funding, now. Going forward, the

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chief executive, we are going in the right direction. My heart goes out

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to the people here who does not get help from that. We need to learn to

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be better next time. The Environment Agency said the flood defences put

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in place in 2010 they could survive a 1 in 100 year event, 2 years

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later, they are breached. Is Tim Farron right that Labour would have

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to pledge as much money because these things are happening all the

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time, they are not won in 100 year event is? What is genuinely

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long-term? Too often from Conservative ministers we see

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numbers in a column that are supposed to add up and they don't.

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Would Labour commit? If they went government, would you like to see

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them commit vast sums of money? Committed to protecting communities

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and make sure that flood prevention is save money is a sensible

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measure. The Environment Agency had a 20% staff lost since 2010. Right

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now, we are seeing the threat and closure of five fire stations in

:16:57.:17:00.

Cumbria alone, these are not sensible measures that protect

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communities long-term. What would you do different as the Labour

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Party? Team announced the review, ?2.4 billion, what specific measures

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protect communities long-term? If we are saying infrastructure needs to

:17:17.:17:19.

be put in place now, let's get on with it rather than, as we have had

:17:20.:17:24.

from this covenant, cuts to budget that have long-term consequences. We

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have had long-term investment which the Environment Agency said is good.

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They do not have the resources when faced with .net cuts. It is about

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how you spend it, which is what Tim Farron was saying, not just money.

:17:39.:17:41.

Insurance, that must be a nightmare for people. How are they getting

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insurance? Lots of viewers would ask how can you get insured if you live

:17:47.:17:52.

in a flood areas? I lived in Boston, Lincolnshire for five years. That

:17:53.:17:56.

was the same insurance, difficult in the Fens. Something has to be done.

:17:57.:17:58.

Should the government but the Fens. Something has to be done.

:17:59.:18:02.

on insurance companies to still give people a reasonable package of cover

:18:03.:18:06.

in areas where these sort of things will happen? We need to look into

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it. Better correspondence with those organisations. People need

:18:14.:18:16.

insurance, it is their lives, what they have built up. The government

:18:17.:18:19.

needs to focus on prevention and making sure insurance is available.

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Insurance companies need to pay up quicker. We had flooding in

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Southwark, businesses and residents found it difficult to get payments

:18:28.:18:31.

as quick as they needed to move on with their lives and keep their

:18:32.:18:34.

businesses open. We will leave it there.

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Extra uniformed and undercover police,

:18:36.:18:36.

backed by a growing number of armed officers, have been drafted in to

:18:37.:18:39.

protect London's transport network, after a suspected terrorist-related

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Let's talk now to our Security Correspondent, Frank Gardner who's

:18:42.:18:45.

Frank, do you think now lone wolf attacks, which this seems to be,

:18:46.:18:58.

seen as the most likely ongoing threat? How do the police prepare

:18:59.:19:03.

for it? I want to just pre-faced this by saying I will put some

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distance between what I am saying and the incident you referred to. I

:19:07.:19:10.

will talk in entirely generic terms. There is an ongoing threat.

:19:11.:19:18.

Because of the incredible volume of very slick propaganda videos coming

:19:19.:19:24.

out of Syria, out of Isis. Which is aimed at a vulnerable and

:19:25.:19:26.

impressionable people, who perhaps feel they are not part of society,

:19:27.:19:32.

no great loyalty to Britain. A lot of this propaganda is very effective

:19:33.:19:38.

at radicalising and turning people. And encouraging them to carry out

:19:39.:19:42.

attacks in countries like France, Belgium, Britain, etc. Basically,

:19:43.:19:46.

countries that are part of the correlation that are confronting

:19:47.:19:50.

so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. -- part of the coalition. This

:19:51.:19:56.

has increased since the Paris attack. The air strikes are

:19:57.:20:00.

definitely hurting Isis. They are hemming them in, hurting their will

:20:01.:20:04.

supplies, their sources of revenue. Their way of hitting back is to

:20:05.:20:09.

encourage people to do so called... Lone Wolf, I don't like that

:20:10.:20:13.

expression, there is always some kind of connection. The police and

:20:14.:20:17.

the security services are most concerned about the people who they

:20:18.:20:23.

call SVEs spontaneous violent extremists. People who are

:20:24.:20:28.

call SVEs spontaneous violent of any network or plot, they don't

:20:29.:20:29.

necessarily need to have gone to Syria. But they have served a lot of

:20:30.:20:35.

violent extremist propaganda online and have decided to do something in

:20:36.:20:40.

response to it. The former First Minister of Scotland at the weekend,

:20:41.:20:43.

Alex Salmond, said none of the seven foiled plots by the security

:20:44.:20:47.

services was directed from Syria, he claims. Underlining your claim that

:20:48.:20:52.

actually, this is something connected to what is going on, but

:20:53.:20:58.

is home-grown. Yes. Just because it is not directed by them, there is no

:20:59.:21:03.

evidence that San Bernardino with the murder of 14 people in

:21:04.:21:08.

California, was directed by them. But the fact is, it is inspired by

:21:09.:21:13.

them and what is going on. People who carry these things out are doing

:21:14.:21:18.

it in the name of Isis. Even if Isis doesn't even know they are doing it.

:21:19.:21:23.

That is what is worrying. It gives the psychopathic violent, murderous

:21:24.:21:26.

people, with criminal intent and sometimes criminal background, some

:21:27.:21:35.

kind of cloak of a bigger, some sort of, bigger, higher aim. Actually,

:21:36.:21:39.

what they are doing is just murdering innocent people. Boris

:21:40.:21:43.

Johnson has entered the debate on the military side, the conflict

:21:44.:21:47.

aside, do we have to let the Russians back President Assad's

:21:48.:21:50.

boots on the ground to defeat Isil. In a way, is he not stating the

:21:51.:21:54.

obvious, the unspoken that Britain has two, to some extent, gone in on

:21:55.:22:01.

that side, in order to defeat Isis. I would disagree with that. There is

:22:02.:22:05.

very little fighting between Isis and the Assad regime. The President

:22:06.:22:10.

Assad regime have mostly for the non-ISIS rebels, which is why when

:22:11.:22:13.

Russia came in with their air strikes, look at the map of those

:22:14.:22:18.

air strikes. Almost all of them, the vast majority, over 80% of them,

:22:19.:22:22.

have been hitting the rebels, non-ISIS rebels, closest to Assad's

:22:23.:22:27.

forces. Identify the Russians want boots on the ground. They have

:22:28.:22:31.

probably in excess of 1000 people now, some special forces, but most

:22:32.:22:36.

of them force protection, to protect their warplanes and their bases,

:22:37.:22:42.

their camps. They don't want another Afghanistan type ground campaign and

:22:43.:22:45.

Britain does not want to get involved in that, if we can avoid

:22:46.:22:52.

it. Thank you. The yell from a passenger, has rather You Ain' tNo

:22:53.:22:56.

Muslim Bruv captured social media. -- has rather captured.

:22:57.:22:59.

The more people who recognise that, they have nothing to do with Islam,

:23:00.:23:06.

the better. It is something incredibly accurate. What about the

:23:07.:23:13.

police presence? There was a huge furore over claims that George

:23:14.:23:16.

Osborne was going to cut back on police numbers. He didn't, in the

:23:17.:23:20.

end, probably as a result of that pressure, are you happy with the

:23:21.:23:24.

police presence on the street? We need to say that the police are

:23:25.:23:28.

doing a great job. It is not easy for them. We need to commend them

:23:29.:23:35.

for their bravery. Are there enough police on the street? Crime has gone

:23:36.:23:39.

down. But with this threat? With this threat?

:23:40.:23:43.

I think it is a joined up... Approach that we need. It is all the

:23:44.:23:53.

services. I mean, I was... This threat has been going on a while. I

:23:54.:23:59.

was in Bali, ten years ago and I just missed the Harley bombs, by 20

:24:00.:24:05.

seconds by jumping into a taxi, that has left an impression on me, my

:24:06.:24:09.

parents and I almost got blown up -- Bali bombing. We have got to pull

:24:10.:24:15.

together. Cross-party. And defeat it. We are doing the right thing.

:24:16.:24:19.

The fact that the police were there within a few minutes and they

:24:20.:24:25.

captured him... In order to be cross-party, we need consensus. In

:24:26.:24:30.

Southwark, only 16% of knife crimes last year have been solved.

:24:31.:24:34.

Inexcusable to pretend that crime is a sensible or reasonable level. The

:24:35.:24:37.

police do not have the resorts is they need. We have lost 200 police

:24:38.:24:44.

and PC SOs since 2010. As usual, with the budget, we have had smoke

:24:45.:24:48.

and mirrors. Because of the amount of extra money going into

:24:49.:24:50.

counterterrorism, we will still lose all of the PCSOs in London who

:24:51.:24:56.

provide front-line intelligence. There is a target. We have aborted

:24:57.:25:00.

seven attempts in the last 12 months, the police are doing a

:25:01.:25:05.

fantastic job. That is also the security services. If you want to

:25:06.:25:08.

increase levels of police on the cheap network, you need the police

:25:09.:25:16.

to do it. -- on the tube. Are there community relations which are

:25:17.:25:18.

strained in your constituency? When I met with arms to talk about the

:25:19.:25:24.

rise of Islamophobia, they talked about the additional measures. To

:25:25.:25:30.

tackle the radicalisation. -- imams. Those relationships will be

:25:31.:25:34.

strained, the more we lose police in the borough. It prevents the passing

:25:35.:25:39.

on of information on individuals that imams have become concerned

:25:40.:25:45.

about. That is a real risk. There is already an arrest every other day in

:25:46.:25:47.

London at someone suspected... Watched a bishop contribute

:25:48.:25:49.

in the House of Lords recently? Maybe you even remember Archbishop

:25:50.:25:54.

Geoffrey Fisher crowning Queen My guests and myself were too

:25:55.:25:56.

young. But is it right that

:25:57.:26:06.

in modern Britain, Christianity A new report by the Commission

:26:07.:26:08.

on Religion and Belief in British Public Life is calling

:26:09.:26:12.

for significant changes in the role of Christianity

:26:13.:26:14.

in our multicultural society. The report contends that British

:26:15.:26:18.

institutions need to change to reflect a "general decline"

:26:19.:26:20.

in Christian affiliation. It says a "new settlement"

:26:21.:26:24.

is needed to reflect the fact that almost half the population doesn't

:26:25.:26:27.

identify with any religion. The Commission says faith schools

:26:28.:26:33.

are "socially divisive" and that selection of pupils based on

:26:34.:26:35.

their faith should be phased out. It calls for acts

:26:36.:26:42.

of faith worship in assemblies to be ended, and replaced with a

:26:43.:26:45.

"time for reflection". And in the House of Lords,

:26:46.:26:50.

the number of Anglican bishops should be cut to make room

:26:51.:26:53.

for leaders of other faiths. Major national and civil events,

:26:54.:26:55.

such as the coronation of the monarch,

:26:56.:26:58.

should be reformed to give them more And the government should re-focus

:26:59.:27:00.

anti-terrorism legislation to promote freedom of speech,

:27:01.:27:12.

particularly on campuses. The National Secular Society has

:27:13.:27:16.

said the report is full of "handwringing,

:27:17.:27:18.

but no concrete solutions". But the Church of England says the

:27:19.:27:19.

Commission "misunderstands" the role of faith schools, and says most

:27:20.:27:22.

public opinion is opposed to the And the vicar and religious

:27:23.:27:25.

commentator, Giles Fraser is with us It gives us ace shot on where we

:27:26.:27:53.

are. Christianity down, other religions up -- eight snapshot.

:27:54.:27:59.

Secularism at. What do you do in that context? That is correct. That

:28:00.:28:05.

is exactly what is happening. How do you get your national institutions

:28:06.:28:08.

to reflect that reality? That is important. What it doesn't do is

:28:09.:28:13.

that it doesn't get the fact that religion is becoming not something

:28:14.:28:15.

about the great and the good any more. It is becoming something much

:28:16.:28:19.

more on the street, something much more fractured and diverse. That is

:28:20.:28:25.

why it is growing. Right. That is something that this commission

:28:26.:28:28.

doesn't really get to. It doesn't get too... It is still talking in

:28:29.:28:36.

terms of established religion, how you perform the various different

:28:37.:28:39.

institutions. At the same time, there is a sort of bottom up growth

:28:40.:28:43.

of religion, in a different way which is not being addressed. But

:28:44.:28:47.

not organised religion. Disorganised religion. Disorganised religion. If

:28:48.:28:54.

the report says and you agree, that Christianity is going down and other

:28:55.:28:57.

religions are going up, does that and should that necessarily

:28:58.:29:01.

correspond with the deep Christianisation of public life?

:29:02.:29:10.

De-Christianisation. One has to be specific. Bishops in the House of

:29:11.:29:14.

Lords, my personal view is that I completely agree. You would say yes.

:29:15.:29:18.

I would get rid of bishops in the House of Lords. Their role is widely

:29:19.:29:22.

seen as not having a sort of mandate. From religious communities.

:29:23.:29:29.

What about having Christian assemblies and singing hymns in

:29:30.:29:32.

schools, should that stay or go? Here is the problem. The problem

:29:33.:29:38.

with it becoming a moment of reflection, it becomes so

:29:39.:29:42.

generalised that it ends up having no contact whatsoever. It becomes

:29:43.:29:45.

even more boring than it can be already. It is too sanitised. It

:29:46.:29:54.

becomes a sort of mushy spiritualism where there isn't really any

:29:55.:29:58.

content, that is my problem. I would prefer to have lots of different

:29:59.:30:06.

forms of contribution. But not a sort of Esperanto of religion, which

:30:07.:30:11.

is rather dull. You would like to see a plurality of representation,

:30:12.:30:16.

religion, but still religious as opposed to nonreligious? As you

:30:17.:30:18.

argued, many people are not religious at all. I take your point

:30:19.:30:22.

about it being ground roots, although I am not sure in what form

:30:23.:30:26.

that takes. Does this report is not reflect the vast numbers of people

:30:27.:30:29.

who just don't think religion, in any sense, is important? It is

:30:30.:30:37.

important, but not in the way the report describes it. Most of the

:30:38.:30:41.

news items we have at the moment are the affect of religion and

:30:42.:30:44.

religiosity on the world and politics. And that is essential,

:30:45.:30:50.

that we up our religious literacy. It's pretty low in this country and

:30:51.:30:54.

it's part of the reason we don't understand the world. If you look at

:30:55.:31:01.

places, towns in this country that have high religious literacy they

:31:02.:31:04.

often have good relationships between different faith communities.

:31:05.:31:07.

Leicester is a really good example. Places like that are good. Do you

:31:08.:31:13.

think the UK should still be thought of as a Christian country? When

:31:14.:31:18.

people claim that... That is the bases, the history, the attrition --

:31:19.:31:26.

tradition. It claimed to be a Protestant country to keep the

:31:27.:31:30.

Catholics out from France, and so forth, and when people say it, I get

:31:31.:31:34.

nervous. I think they are trying to usher in something. When the far

:31:35.:31:37.

right say they are a Christian country, they mean they are not a

:31:38.:31:42.

Muslim country. When people say not in my name, I agree with that. Would

:31:43.:31:47.

you say it is still a Christian country? In the main, I would. Giles

:31:48.:31:53.

is one of the vicars who read my bands at my wedding. Would you,

:31:54.:32:01.

Andrea? I think there is the other element. Why is religion important?

:32:02.:32:05.

Surely it is about finding your place in the world and the

:32:06.:32:09.

community, and white are we looking for differences rather than

:32:10.:32:15.

commonalities -- why are we? What about in schools? Faith schools are

:32:16.:32:20.

divisive. People laud the fact that they get good results but you're

:32:21.:32:23.

going in on the basis of your religion. In Northern Ireland they

:32:24.:32:27.

have been trying to move away, unsuccessfully, in some instances

:32:28.:32:31.

from segregation on religious lines. Are they a good thing? Yes, and for

:32:32.:32:36.

this reason. We are different and we believe in different sorts of

:32:37.:32:41.

things. The idea that we impose a similarity and command and control

:32:42.:32:44.

of ethics and religion from the top is ridiculous. We need to have that

:32:45.:32:48.

diversity in the education system. Tony Blair was a huge fan of the

:32:49.:32:54.

faith school system and it really started under him, but if successive

:32:55.:32:58.

governments are trying to have an egalitarian school system, is it

:32:59.:33:03.

desirable? The scrutineers what they are teaching and how the students

:33:04.:33:10.

come out. But bishops are less than 3% of the members of the House of

:33:11.:33:13.

Lords and we should look at involving other religions in the

:33:14.:33:17.

House of Lords rather than the hereditary peers. I think it's bad

:33:18.:33:24.

religion. You think it is bad for the state, but I think it's bad her

:33:25.:33:27.

religion for us up to the establishment. I think it takes off

:33:28.:33:33.

the edge for us to be more concerned with dressing up and speaking out.

:33:34.:33:37.

That is the problem with bishops in the House of Lords. The Church of

:33:38.:33:41.

England says if the law on collective worship were repealed,

:33:42.:33:46.

schools would risk losing a reflection of the full breadth of

:33:47.:33:53.

human experience. Are they right? It is a nonsense of particular brand of

:33:54.:33:56.

Christianity to be imposed on people. No one obeys the law. That

:33:57.:34:02.

is clearly a nonsense that has to be changed. I prefer to see it go and

:34:03.:34:08.

it become a mushy spiritualism. What about religious studies as a subject

:34:09.:34:13.

at school? It has been compulsory up to GCSE level. Should it stay? I

:34:14.:34:19.

would be happy for it to be opened up for the study of non-religions

:34:20.:34:23.

and atheists and secularists. So many people are put off religion at

:34:24.:34:28.

school. I would like there to be a living playing field and people be

:34:29.:34:31.

put off atheism as well. -- level playing field. You are going to the

:34:32.:34:39.

lowest common denominator then. The report also wants more nonreligious

:34:40.:34:42.

slots on thought for the day on Radio 4. Does that make sense? My

:34:43.:34:47.

problem is this. It does seem a bit like getting people who want to say

:34:48.:34:53.

they hate football going on match of the day. It is a religious slot and

:34:54.:34:56.

I think it should stay that way. But the sum onto, and rubbish religion

:34:57.:35:02.

-- for someone to come on to rubbish religion would be nonsense on songs

:35:03.:35:05.

of praise, and also one Thought Of The Day. What about more separation

:35:06.:35:10.

between church and state? Are there other ways you would like to see it

:35:11.:35:16.

happen on the basis of this report? You have the choice of swearing in

:35:17.:35:20.

when you enter Parliament. Should you keep all of that? I would,

:35:21.:35:26.

personally. No one tells you you have to turn around during prayers,

:35:27.:35:29.

that was a surprise. It is to protect those behind. You turn

:35:30.:35:36.

around and face the back of the benches. Nobody tells you before

:35:37.:35:39.

this first time in the chamber. There are some strange customs. Are

:35:40.:35:45.

you offended by them in any way? I haven't met anyone offended by it.

:35:46.:35:49.

You have a choice not to be there if you are offended by that practice.

:35:50.:35:53.

The truth is the disestablishment is coming in the future of the country

:35:54.:35:57.

and nobody will give at the Parliamentary time it requires. The

:35:58.:36:00.

MPs have more interesting and important things to do, but it will

:36:01.:36:02.

come. Giles Fraser, thank you. Now let's take a look at what's

:36:03.:36:04.

in store for us this week. David Cameron is today announcing a

:36:05.:36:07.

major expansion of the government's shared-ownership scheme, which he

:36:08.:36:10.

says will allow nearly 200,000 The European Council President,

:36:11.:36:12.

Donald Tusk, is writing to EU leaders today to set out his

:36:13.:36:18.

position on Britain's renegotiation. He'll say that plans to strip EU

:36:19.:36:22.

migrants of their benefits could be On Wednesday, Jeremy Corbyn will

:36:23.:36:25.

face David Cameron for The decision on whether to build

:36:26.:36:30.

a third runway at Heathrow airport A cabinet committee formed to help

:36:31.:36:42.

make the decision is due to meet And Jeremy Corbyn says he will

:36:43.:36:46.

attend a fundraising dinner on Friday, organised

:36:47.:36:49.

by the Stop the War Coalition. This is despite some of his own MPs

:36:50.:36:51.

calling on him not to attend. Let's talk now to Isabel Hardman

:36:52.:36:55.

from the Spectator and Rafael Behr Welcome. Are we going to get this

:36:56.:37:10.

decision on Heath Row, or the direction of travel? First week

:37:11.:37:14.

heard it would be delayed until next year but now we are told it will

:37:15.:37:18.

happen before the end of the year. The official spokeswoman for the

:37:19.:37:21.

Prime Minister said today we would get the clear direction by the end

:37:22.:37:24.

of the year which sounds to me a little different to a clear

:37:25.:37:28.

decision, but she did say we should not get too worried about semantics.

:37:29.:37:33.

It may be that some sort of holding statement is issued. But we are

:37:34.:37:36.

assured that there are meetings taking place over the next week that

:37:37.:37:40.

means we will get a direction, whatever it means. It's going to be

:37:41.:37:45.

difficult because the cabinet is split, and certainly the reports of

:37:46.:37:49.

the delay would be centred around problems of pollution and air

:37:50.:37:53.

quality. It's all a bit embarrassing, really. You remember

:37:54.:37:56.

the Chancellor's Autumn Statement the other week and he said that we

:37:57.:38:01.

are the builders. Such an important part of the agenda on paper that

:38:02.:38:05.

they get off with infrastructure and are retooling the country, but we

:38:06.:38:08.

have known for a decade that Britain, in theory, needs new

:38:09.:38:12.

airport capacity and as soon as possible and the reality is that

:38:13.:38:18.

there find political reasons why it's difficult to put it at Heathrow

:38:19.:38:23.

Airport because our MPs near Heathrow Airport and then wanted

:38:24.:38:26.

because their constituency don't want the noise of the overflights.

:38:27.:38:30.

And one of those MPs wants to be the Mayor of London, Zac Goldsmith, so

:38:31.:38:33.

it's hard to disentangle what is a practical and abroad strategic

:38:34.:38:38.

reason to put it at Heathrow Airport or Gatwick, and what is just sort of

:38:39.:38:42.

tactical calculations to avoid a split in the Conservative Party.

:38:43.:38:46.

That is just a bad look for the government when they're trying to

:38:47.:38:50.

suggest they have broader strategic infrastructure. We look forward to

:38:51.:38:53.

hearing what the direction of travel is. It sounds like a fudge term.

:38:54.:39:00.

Let's turn to the EU renegotiation, talking of potential fudging and

:39:01.:39:04.

Donald Task and the letter going out to member states. The sticking point

:39:05.:39:08.

is the same, that the one that could bring support the Prime Minister is

:39:09.:39:13.

this moratorium on in work benefits. It is problematic to say the least.

:39:14.:39:18.

This is why he has let the timetable slip. He had originally said that he

:39:19.:39:22.

would hope to present his plan and agree it with EU leaders at the EU

:39:23.:39:27.

Council summit in December but admitted last week that he cannot do

:39:28.:39:30.

this and he will be looking at the February meeting to do it. As

:39:31.:39:35.

Raphael says, the government keeps saying it is a government that

:39:36.:39:38.

delivers, not just on infrastructure but also on renegotiation. At the

:39:39.:39:43.

moment, you can see the Eurosceptics rubbing their hands with glee at

:39:44.:39:47.

this being a government that does not seem to deliver on the

:39:48.:39:49.

renegotiation as well as airport decisions. How will he be able to

:39:50.:39:54.

dress up the renegotiation on the basis of the broad areas he wants a

:39:55.:40:00.

deal on when Eurosceptics will say that there is no substance and he

:40:01.:40:02.

hasn't achieved anything substantial? Some of them are almost

:40:03.:40:08.

in the bag. There is the big symbolic point about exempting

:40:09.:40:13.

Britain from closer union, which makes it sound like some great

:40:14.:40:16.

federalising project. The signals we are getting from other continental

:40:17.:40:20.

leaders is you can probably find a way around it. It does come down to

:40:21.:40:24.

the specific point about migrant access to benefits, and the

:40:25.:40:27.

technical problem with that is that you probably have to go to the

:40:28.:40:32.

Lisbon Treaty and that can't be changed because it's about the fair

:40:33.:40:35.

treatment of workers across the European Union. People have other

:40:36.:40:39.

things to deal with on the continent, the migrant crisis,

:40:40.:40:43.

Syria, and it's not on anyone's agenda to have a treaty

:40:44.:40:46.

renegotiation, and if you do have that, other country leaders and

:40:47.:40:50.

other populations will say, if we are all putting in the bid to change

:40:51.:40:55.

the way the EU works, we have a few grievances of our own. What the

:40:56.:40:58.

Prime Minister has to do is somehow turn around and say, I got a deal

:40:59.:41:02.

and it's brilliant, now let's move on and discuss the wider issue of

:41:03.:41:05.

whether Britain should be a member of the EU and that is a tricky bit

:41:06.:41:12.

of footwork to exercise. Let's talk about Jeremy Corbyn attending a Stop

:41:13.:41:17.

the War meeting despite advice not to do so. -- to do so. There does

:41:18.:41:23.

seem to be a rift that is not going to go away within the Labour Party

:41:24.:41:29.

any time soon. Both sides are becoming steadily more defiant, so

:41:30.:41:32.

if Jeremy Corbyn were feeling weak, he might have decided he had a hot

:41:33.:41:36.

date with his allotment that meant he could not have attended but he

:41:37.:41:40.

says he will keep going. His critics have been very outspoken on the

:41:41.:41:47.

airway, that they have been encouraging the abuse of MPs on

:41:48.:41:51.

social media. They wrote an ill-advised post about the origins

:41:52.:41:54.

of Islamic State which suggested that their worldview is not

:41:55.:41:56.

necessarily something the Labour leader would want to align himself

:41:57.:42:01.

with, but he is happy to. There is the broader point about the Labour

:42:02.:42:05.

moderates, as they see themselves, what they want clarity, is whether

:42:06.:42:09.

or not Jeremy Corbyn is happy for people who simply aren't in the

:42:10.:42:13.

Labour Party to become part of the party by osmosis. There is party

:42:14.:42:18.

differences. Obviously there will be some that don't have use MPs like,

:42:19.:42:22.

but they want the sense Jeremy Corbyn that he is the leader of the

:42:23.:42:25.

Labour Party and there is a boundary Way you support Labour MPs and

:42:26.:42:31.

around the campaign there are other hard left parties, the Socialist

:42:32.:42:36.

workers party, and Liberty, who have traditionally not been the Labour

:42:37.:42:40.

Party. If Jeremy Corbyn is happy for them to dictate terms to Labour MPs

:42:41.:42:44.

as part of an extra Parliamentary whipping operation on the hard left,

:42:45.:42:48.

that's a big change in the structure of the Labour Party and the

:42:49.:42:51.

moderates want clarity on whether that is part of the Jeremy Corbyn

:42:52.:42:54.

agenda. On the point about showing strength here by not going for the

:42:55.:43:00.

date with the allotment, is that what it is? Does Jeremy Corbyn feel

:43:01.:43:06.

stronger to do that? Certainly. The old by-election at the end of last

:43:07.:43:10.

week where expectations were low and I joined in those low expectations,

:43:11.:43:14.

the fact that the Labour Party managed to hold a seat quite

:43:15.:43:17.

uncomfortably and a lot of people turned out, there is a feeling that

:43:18.:43:20.

punctuated the end of a difficult week and few weeks for the Labour

:43:21.:43:25.

leader and now they can say, OK, we have proved that people will still

:43:26.:43:29.

turn out for us and now other MPs who don't like Jeremy Corbyn, get

:43:30.:43:33.

back in your box and let's make it work. That's the mood around the

:43:34.:43:36.

operation of the moment. He is disinclined to yield to that

:43:37.:43:41.

pressure right now. Thank you to both of you. Have a good week.

:43:42.:43:42.

Well, let's talk a little more about Jeremy Corbyn and Stop the War

:43:43.:43:45.

Joining us now from Momentum, the campaign group closely associated

:43:46.:43:49.

Before I come to you, should Jeremy Corbyn step back from his

:43:50.:43:59.

involvement with stop the war? We should not be snobbish about

:44:00.:44:03.

allotments. But given some of the misguided statements about Paris

:44:04.:44:10.

reaping the whirlwind and the disruption outside the Labour Party

:44:11.:44:12.

office while we were trying to campaign to win the by-election.

:44:13.:44:17.

There are concerns there. It is not my place as a backbench Labour MP to

:44:18.:44:20.

dictate to the leader what he chooses to do. Some MPs have been

:44:21.:44:25.

saying to Jeremy Corbyn that he should not be involved with the

:44:26.:44:29.

organisation that says things that you outline. Everyone has to make

:44:30.:44:33.

those choices. Jeremy's strategy seems to be the same as Ed Miliband,

:44:34.:44:37.

reach out to the left, rather than the centre. It means engaging with

:44:38.:44:42.

Stop The War more than the business community and I'm nervous that we

:44:43.:44:46.

end up in the same position in Twenty20, which would be deeply

:44:47.:44:49.

unfortunate for my constituents who need a Labour government. Listening

:44:50.:44:56.

to both Neil Coyle, this is an organisation that is not the Labour

:44:57.:44:59.

Party, so should the Labour leader B is closely involved with something

:45:00.:45:00.

like Stop The War? I have come on here to speak about

:45:01.:45:11.

Momentum first of all. We will come onto that. It is an interesting

:45:12.:45:16.

discussion, Jeremy Corbyn or Ed Miliband should have reached out to

:45:17.:45:20.

the business community, rather than grassroots organisations. The idea

:45:21.:45:25.

that reaching out to the hard left and that whole terminology... He

:45:26.:45:31.

said to the left, not hard left. It is to the people. Over the summer it

:45:32.:45:36.

was mass mobilisation of people who felt disenchanted with the

:45:37.:45:39.

increasingly unequal society. Increasing levels of homelessness,

:45:40.:45:43.

poverty. A lot of the values in our society, young people in particular

:45:44.:45:47.

feeling they are not tapping into what represents them. There is a new

:45:48.:45:52.

mood. To present this in a dichotomous way is a

:45:53.:45:54.

misrepresentation. Perhaps it is being presented that way because MPs

:45:55.:45:58.

like Neil Coyle have come in for quite a lot of abuse and

:45:59.:46:07.

intimidation. Talk us through what happened last week to you. Before

:46:08.:46:10.

the vote on Syria there was abuse and threats that came through. I

:46:11.:46:13.

don't hold Jeromy or Momentum momentum responsible -- Jeremy.

:46:14.:46:20.

107,000 people e-mailed the Labour Party. Less than 1% of those e-mails

:46:21.:46:24.

were read. Encouraging that tell your MP what to do atmosphere I

:46:25.:46:28.

ended up with people who felt they could dictate to me what I should do

:46:29.:46:32.

in Parliament. I have 107,000 constituents, less than 1000

:46:33.:46:37.

supporting against the war. Some people felt they could tell me what

:46:38.:46:43.

to do. Amongst those people, some threatened to stab, others

:46:44.:46:47.

threatened to slap me. Because of my brilliant constituency, more people

:46:48.:46:50.

offered to buy me a drink and I have had people who have offered security

:46:51.:46:54.

on a voluntary basis. Is that the role of the people you have talked

:46:55.:46:59.

about? To do that to MPs, put them under pressure in that way because

:47:00.:47:02.

they don't agree on this issue over Syria? Absolutely not, I was

:47:03.:47:08.

completely condemn abuse on the internet, trolling is horrible and I

:47:09.:47:12.

am sorry you had to experience that. Taking the lead from Jeremy Corbyn

:47:13.:47:17.

of making it about substance, politics, not about personalities

:47:18.:47:19.

and not being personal ad attacking people, I would not condone that at

:47:20.:47:25.

all. But, do you think that if Labour MPs are not representing the

:47:26.:47:29.

views of their constituents or members of Momentum, this grassroots

:47:30.:47:34.

organisation that is closely aligned on the left wing, if you like, of

:47:35.:47:38.

the Labour Party, do you think there should be pressure for those MPs to

:47:39.:47:41.

go and have people that better reflects the views of people in

:47:42.:47:45.

Momentum? To answer your question about Momentum's role in providing

:47:46.:47:50.

that, did someone think that providing a tool to say if you want

:47:51.:47:53.

your voice heard on an issue which really matters, where people will

:47:54.:47:58.

die as consequences of air strikes, to say if you feel strongly about

:47:59.:48:03.

this issue, you can lobby this MP, your MP respectfully. Using a tool

:48:04.:48:08.

provided by Momentum and you should explicitly keep it... It hasn't been

:48:09.:48:14.

all respectful. A lot of it has, but not all of it. Of course. Internet

:48:15.:48:17.

trolling is something that predates Momentum. It exists across all sorts

:48:18.:48:25.

of society and the misogyny associated is unpleasant. Let's talk

:48:26.:48:28.

about this deselection and reselection. Do you think MPs like

:48:29.:48:33.

Neal who don't agree with you should be deselected as somebody else

:48:34.:48:39.

reselected? -- Neil. That is not our responsibility. Lots of people have

:48:40.:48:44.

said that Momentum would not campaign for deselection but it does

:48:45.:48:48.

not try with the report about a Momentum event which was attended by

:48:49.:48:51.

John McDonald, the Shadow Chancellor. The Lambeth branch

:48:52.:48:55.

launch in Chuka Umunna's constituency. The leaflet given at

:48:56.:49:02.

entry said Socialist party, formerly militant. We call for a vote of no

:49:03.:49:06.

confidence in Chuka Umunna. Mandatory reselection is only a

:49:07.:49:09.

challenge to those who refuse to carry out the wishes of the people.

:49:10.:49:13.

Momentum Does support reselection and deselection of candidates.

:49:14.:49:18.

Absolutely. I was not at the event on Thursday. This was from

:49:19.:49:22.

conservative home, Mark Wallace. He is a conservative. He was there

:49:23.:49:27.

clearly. Do you deny those leaflets were being handed out? I was not at

:49:28.:49:30.

the event on Thursday but my understanding from speaking to

:49:31.:49:33.

people who were, is that it was an event hosted by Momentum. Lambeth.

:49:34.:49:40.

Some Socialist party people turned up. They were not invited.

:49:41.:49:45.

Momentum's goal is for Labour to win the election in 2020 and build the

:49:46.:49:50.

Labour Party and engage with grass roots. If a small section of people

:49:51.:49:53.

came in, which I believed it happened... They were handing out

:49:54.:49:58.

leaflets at the door. Are you saying it was hijacked? That is my

:49:59.:50:02.

understanding. Do you condemn those leaflets and what they are saying

:50:03.:50:07.

about entry into the Labour Party? It is not the place for non-Labour

:50:08.:50:12.

Party members to campaign on the selection or deselection of

:50:13.:50:15.

candidates. If those Socialist party people... What will Momentum do to

:50:16.:50:20.

prevent other non-Labour Party taking over your event in future?

:50:21.:50:24.

This is one example, but they are doing it all over the country. I

:50:25.:50:27.

have been to many Momentum meetings and there is by and large a positive

:50:28.:50:31.

and inclusive atmosphere where people are doing politics

:50:32.:50:33.

differently. We have groups where someone is beating at the front

:50:34.:50:37.

often and there is facilitation into small groups -- is speaking. It is

:50:38.:50:42.

generally positive and inclusive. New Labour Party members often,

:50:43.:50:46.

people who were previously disengaged or people of the Labour

:50:47.:50:50.

Party. Answer the question, what is the aim? Walthamstow Labour

:50:51.:50:56.

councillor. Stella Creasy Labour MP. She reports about intimidation to

:50:57.:51:00.

her office staff. If Labour councillor suggested any MP who

:51:01.:51:03.

supported the killing of innocents in this way should automatically go

:51:04.:51:08.

through a ballot for reselection, is that councillor Ron? That is not

:51:09.:51:12.

Momentum's position. We understand that, we have had Momentum on

:51:13.:51:17.

before. But what are you doing to try to de-escalates what seems to be

:51:18.:51:21.

happening at the behest of momentum Momentum Momentum events. It is a

:51:22.:51:29.

tiny minority of what is going on, if you go to those events. Going

:51:30.:51:34.

forward, there will be... Momentum Is a new organisation. It has come

:51:35.:51:38.

out suddenly off the back of a campaign which mobilised a lot of

:51:39.:51:42.

people. It is taking a while to build up that organisation. There

:51:43.:51:47.

will be a clear statement about attendance of meetings and events

:51:48.:51:49.

that are open to the public, open to everyone. These may be teething

:51:50.:51:56.

problems. It may be a case, Tom Watson said Momentum were a bit of a

:51:57.:52:02.

rabble, I will ask you if that is there or not. This is an

:52:03.:52:04.

organisation who wants to make the most of the new members, new young

:52:05.:52:08.

people engaged in politics. Which standard politics hasn't done. When

:52:09.:52:14.

Jeremy won, I was hopeful that a lot of the momentum created by Momentum

:52:15.:52:19.

would be carried forward and they would be genuine debate and

:52:20.:52:22.

discussion. Unity in purpose. At the moment, that is not what we are

:52:23.:52:26.

seeing. Labour councillors, not just MPs, the local level, Jeremy Corbyn

:52:27.:52:32.

at local level is Labour councillors. They are being told

:52:33.:52:34.

they need to set budgets for Momentum in Lewisham. Momentum Need

:52:35.:52:39.

to do more to tackle those who pretend to represent Jeremy Corbyn

:52:40.:52:43.

when they are actually another political party. You looked

:52:44.:52:48.

surprised, are you surprised? I am not sure about that particular

:52:49.:52:52.

incident. You are not aware of what Momentum are doing at local level? I

:52:53.:52:57.

don't believe it was Momentum. It was widely reported, you do not seem

:52:58.:53:00.

to know what is happening within Momentum, that is worrying.

:53:01.:53:05.

Everything seems to be reported as Momentum and we are about mass

:53:06.:53:08.

mobilisation, popular power. Would you accept you have not got control

:53:09.:53:11.

of what is going on in your name? Not my name. No, Momentum. It is

:53:12.:53:19.

growing as an organisation. We have set in place structures which will

:53:20.:53:24.

ensure... You need to get on with it. This point about popular power

:53:25.:53:29.

is interesting. Labour councillors are elected by the general public.

:53:30.:53:32.

Labour MPs are selected and elected, it is not Momentum's place to say

:53:33.:53:37.

that we are the representative of people, that is not who you are.

:53:38.:53:42.

Momentum Is enabling people to come together and campaign on issues

:53:43.:53:46.

which affect them. And also to aim towards building a more

:53:47.:53:49.

compassionate, just and equal society which doesn't involve

:53:50.:53:51.

trolling people, bullying people. society which doesn't involve

:53:52.:53:55.

is more inclusive and representative. We will leave it

:53:56.:53:56.

there on that positive note. Now this may be news to you,

:53:57.:53:58.

but abuse and intimidation in In fact, before a West Yorkshire

:53:59.:54:01.

by-election in 1872, people couldn't vote in secret, and this meant they

:54:02.:54:06.

were often pressured to back And one

:54:07.:54:09.

of the original ballot boxes used in that by-election is on display

:54:10.:54:12.

in Pontefract, as Ros Ball reports. The historic market town

:54:13.:54:21.

of Pontefract in West Yorkshire, famous for its old castle,

:54:22.:54:23.

the site of many sieges during the 17th century English

:54:24.:54:28.

Civil War and where King Richard II And, of course, Pontefract

:54:29.:54:32.

cakes made from licorice. But this town's 1872 by-election

:54:33.:54:41.

also deserves a place in history. to vote, could do so in a private

:54:42.:54:49.

booth, much like we do today. Before the introduction,

:54:50.:54:54.

the Ballot Act, that year, Either by a show of hands,

:54:55.:54:56.

by making your choice out loud or This left the electorate wide

:54:57.:55:01.

open to bribery and intimidation. At Pontefract Museum, they have the

:55:02.:55:09.

real star of that 1872 by-election. This is one of the five original

:55:10.:55:18.

boxes from the by-election. We have two in the museum service,

:55:19.:55:21.

here. This one on display in the

:55:22.:55:25.

Pontefract Museum is somewhat taller On the top you can see the red wax

:55:26.:55:28.

seals, which were used to prove using the stamps used to make

:55:29.:55:39.

Pontefract cakes. I understand you want me to cast

:55:40.:55:55.

a vote? We have a small ballot paper here

:55:56.:55:57.

to find out who your favourite In case you were wondering,

:55:58.:56:01.

Liberal MP Hugh Childers Hmmm...

:56:02.:56:05.

Which candidate? The BBC's own self-styled

:56:06.:56:17.

Paisley interrogator? Or the smooth, daytime velvet

:56:18.:56:20.

glove that hides an iron fist? Sorry, this is a private booth,

:56:21.:56:24.

check your 1872 Ballot Act! I would have said there was no

:56:25.:56:43.

contest, who would you have chosen in the secret poll? Whoever lets me

:56:44.:56:47.

keep this mark. That is a good answer, you have been thinking about

:56:48.:56:51.

that. Voter registration, are you worried? Not enough people will be

:56:52.:56:56.

signed up for voter registration? I am not, personally. I know the

:56:57.:57:00.

government had the campaign in the lead up to the 20 15th election.

:57:01.:57:04.

There are more people registered. With the new registration, 96% have

:57:05.:57:11.

been registered. The other 4% will be called nine times. There are

:57:12.:57:17.

measures in place. There is a lot more money going into local

:57:18.:57:21.

government. Are you reassured? I am not sure there is more money going

:57:22.:57:25.

to local government but Southwark Council have done a lot to make sure

:57:26.:57:29.

people are still on the ballot. We have 17,000 students and young

:57:30.:57:32.

professionals moving in and out of the constituency, that is the big

:57:33.:57:36.

risk. For the government to write off 1 million people off the ballot

:57:37.:57:38.

paper just before the boundary review is very political. It is

:57:39.:57:46.

propaganda. Briefly. We want complete transparency. If people can

:57:47.:57:51.

move home and sort out... Why not have automatic registration? If

:57:52.:57:55.

people can sort out their gasp, electric bill and council tax, it is

:57:56.:58:00.

easy online, it is simple. Let's go to the quiz.

:58:01.:58:02.

There's just time before we go to find out the answer to our quiz.

:58:03.:58:05.

The question was, who does our guest of the day

:58:06.:58:07.

Is it a) Margaret Thatcher? b) Enya?

:58:08.:58:10.

c) Christine Lagarde? or d) Current Miss World, Rolene Strauss?

:58:11.:58:13.

The answer is: b) Enya.

:58:14.:58:15.

Andrea is a singer and songwriter and has compared herself to Enya

:58:16.:58:18.

# There is only one choice # We must unite

:58:19.:58:29.

# As one voice # We shall gain #

:58:30.:58:36.

Have you ever had a number one? I haven't. I am releasing a song for

:58:37.:58:42.

the Royal British Legion next year. You are still singing at least. For

:58:43.:58:44.

charity, anyway. I won't ask you to sing, but I will

:58:45.:58:45.

not ask. I'll be here

:58:46.:58:50.

at noon tomorrow with all the big

:58:51.:58:55.

Jo Coburn with the latest news from Westminster including the floods caused by Storm Desmond, the fallout in the Labour party from last week's vote on air strikes in Syria and discussion of what role religion should play in public life. With Jo throughout the show will be Labour MP Neil Coyle and Conservative Andrea Jenkyns.


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