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It's the final PMQs of 2015, so all eyes on the House


With both David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn wanting


to give their troops something to cheer about before the Christmas


break, no doubt David Cameron will bring up another drop


in unemployment, down over 100,000 this morning.


The PM's then off to Brussels, where he'll be attending a dinner


Britain's membership of the European Union.


We'll be asking if Prince Charles should be given access


to confidential documents so that he's properly briefed.


And there's another reason to stay tuned because we'll be giving away


a special edition festive Daily Politics mug.


Yes, the season of goodwill is upon us.


We've even dusted off the Daily Politics Christmas tree


to add a bit of festive cheer to proceedings.


With us for the duration, we've bagged two of Santa's little elves.


In charge of children this Christmas - that's a tough job -


And in charge of Santa's grotto, the Shadow Housing Minister,


MPs will decide today whether fracking should be allowed


under National Parks and other protected sites.


Campaigners have accused the Government of a U-turn after it


promised an outright ban on fracking in environmentally sensitive areas.


Earlier, I talked to the Liberal Democrat leader,


I asked him since the regulations governing fracking won't see it


happening in the National Parks, what's the problem? The point is it


will start close to National Parks. The fact it is happening underneath


them would be a huge reputational risk when it comes to the marketing


and promotion of Britain's most significant National Parks. I'm


bound to have an interest in this given that two of them are in my


patch, but across the country it will be problematic. I have to say


it also comes on the back of a couple of weeks ago, the Government


ending the carbon capture and storage programme. That is the


programme which made to some people at least shale gas tolerable. The


reality is that shale gas without carbon capture and storage is not a


long-term runner, either environmentally or in a business


sense. What we are seeing today is the kind of landscape issue, issue


that will be damaging to the visual landscape, and indeed to our


National Parks' integrity. The government proposal would not


destroy or spoil the aesthetics of the landscape in the way you've


described. National Parks. Begin at a wall, generally speaking they


evolve. You drive up the M6and up to my constituency and it is not urban


sprawl and suddenly appears Windermere. It is beautiful


mountains, hills and lakes and beautiful landscape. And then the


National Park begins. And it gets even more beautiful, dare I say.


Doing this a kilometre outside a National Park is pretty outrageous.


We're not just talking about National Parks, areas of outstanding


beauty, allsorts of sites that are culturally all visually, or in terms


of biodiversity significant. This is damaging to our natural environment.


It also comes on the back of the government undermining the business


and environmental case for shale gas and I will vote against it. I take


the point about carbon capture, but are you not persuaded by the


chairman of the task force on shale gas Chris Smith who said it could


cut reliance on coal and reduce emissions. He also said since the


ending of the carbon capture and storage scheme that that is not the


case now and we are in a situation where shale gas's attractiveness


from an energy point of view and indeed from an environmental point


of view has been completely dismantled by George Osborne's


removal of the funding for carbon capture and storage. It is very


clear that it was thought that shale gas was potentially a less damaging


fossil fuel than some of the ones we are using. Without cc yes it's in


the same place and it's not a long-term bet. Any business person


thinking to make a long-term investment in shale gas would not


sensibly do that now. -- CCS. Amber Rudd told the House of Commons


there would be an outright ban on fracking in National Parks, sites of


special interest and areas of outstanding natural beauty. What has


happened? Strategically we are in the same place. We believe that


shale gas is a bridge to a low carbon future. It's going to make


sure we have more secure imagery and be great for the economy. -- secure


energy. What has happened to the outright ban? There will be no


fracking under National Parks as a result of the regulars and is we are


voting on in Parliament today. They will be close to National Parks. --


regulations. We're making it very clear, rather than scaremongering


Tim Farron is trying to engineer. There will be no fracking under


National Parks. Strategically we are in the same place and this is good


news in terms of having a secure energy future. Has this ban been


overturned? Has this been a U-turn? Tim Farron has had a lapse of


memory, it was Amber Rudd who wanted to do what the Government is now


doing. They were only stopped by Letta, making sure legislation was


changed to put the proper safeguards for the environment in. Personally


I'm not against fracking in principle -- Labour's. As long as


you have Ian Brown mental safeguards. There should be no


fracking in or under National Parks. We debated that in January and it


should not be changed. So in that sense this is an about turn Aggers


there will be fracking near National Parks, and the way Tim Farron has


described it, you are going to see evidence of drilling when driving


towards areas of outstanding natural beauty. I have a constituency that


has areas of outstanding natural beauty. We will have in this country


the best environmental safeguards around fracking and the extraction


of CO2 gas. That should give comfort there will be no fracking under


National Parks. We will take the best safeguards to make sure the


environment is protected. You have axed funding for carbon capture and


storage technology which was seen as crucial for building a shale gas


industry that would be acceptable. You are clueless and confused on


energy policy. You have not got carbon capture and storage policy


under way and kicking the legs from underneath the solar industry.


Clueless and confused? The Labour Party wants it both ways, on the one


hand they say they support the bridge to the low carbon future, but


on the other hand they are trying to vote against this, which is about an


outright ban. This is carbon energy, you want to give the green light the


full go-ahead to fracking in the week that the last coal mine in


Britain closes on Friday. Are you in favour of fracking? I said earlier


on I'm happy to see fracking some honest there is sufficient... You


have not put the proper safeguards in place. What safeguards do you


want? You have not put in place yet the sort of rewards that have to


come to the areas that have to put up with fracking in the future.


Let's deal with carbon capture. Why would you axed the funding for


carbon capture and storage technology if you want to go ahead


with fracking and creating a shale industry? The most important thing,


as I said, is we have the best environmental regulations that we


can have. That is where we will end up. Strategically we are in the


right place as we should be. I have not heard from the opposition


parties anything other than the usual scaremongering over how to go


ahead with building this energy security future. There is a panic by


the government, faced by the National Grid last month telling


industry users to scale back what they are using because they are


worried about the lights going out, not having enough power in the


country because you haven't got a clear enough plan or the investment


to get the new energy generation online. That's the real problem.


In just a few minutes, it'll be the final PMQs of 2015.


Doesn't time fly when you're having fun.


And don't panic if you don't feel up to political speed -


maybe you've been aboard the Space Station for the last 12


months and have only just landed back on Planet Earth.


As a special treat, our JoCo here has the Daily Politics review


I liked that introduction. It's the most sought-after stocking filler of


the season, The Daily Politics review of 2015.


Remember January - David Cameron and Nick Clegg


were still running the country together but revving up


The polls pointed towards a hung parliament -


It was the Conservatives who emerged with the overall


The Lib Dems were reduced to a rump of just eight MPs.


Nicola Sturgeon's tartan army conquered Scotland.


Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage all resigned,


although the Ukip leader later un-resigned.


And the surprises kept coming after the election,


as backbench outsider Jeremy Corbyn swept to victory


And since then, the Government has made some big decisions.


They decided to cut tax credits, only to be pushed into a U-turn


They decided not to make a decision on expanding Heathrow Airport.


And it's been a year of Euro headaches for David Cameron,


as he's struggled to renegotiate Britain's relationship with the EU.


He's off to Brussels tomorrow for the final European Council


Let's talk about Europe since there is a big summit meeting coming up


tomorrow. Sam Gyimah, clarify what is the status of the Government


demand that there should be a four year curb on in work benefits for


migrants, where are we with that? It is still very much a demand, still


very much on the table for negotiation. The Prime Minister is


at a meeting tomorrow in Brussels to talk about this but that's not going


to be the final showdown as it were. There is another in February. I know


that. It is contrary to rumours and very much on the agenda as the Prime


Minister said in his letter to Donald Tusk only in November that


using this as a way to curb migration is very much a key part of


the renegotiation plan. And if looks likely you don't get that, as Poland


has said it won't go along with it, as have others, but Poland in


particular, what will you do? Let's be clear what we are asking for. We


are asking 4-for years before migrants are entitled to benefits.


We think that is ambitious but realistic. If you don't get that


what would you do? I'm quite confident that in the spirit of


negotiations Poland has said no. If Poland says no that's the end of it.


We have not finished negotiating. If Poland says no, as have others, you


don't get it. Do you say, that is a deal-breaker? Or do you fall back to


something else? As has been said this morning there is going to be


known to the meetings tomorrow. This will be raised, this is the only


thing on the menu. I'm confident the Prime Minister will be able to


deliver an outcome. If he doesn't what is the fallback? The big thing


for all of us, MPs and the public, at the end of this there will be an


in-out referendum and we can make up our minds. I understand that, you


are playing for time. Back to the question, if you don't get the four


year curb what is the fallback position? What would be acceptable?


We have stated it is something we are going to be negotiating for very


hard. You don't have a fallback position? The Prime Minister will


negotiate, I'm not going to second-guess the Prime Minister in


an a TV studio. Prime Minister said he was fixable on the issue. If


someone comes up with another way of achieving it, obviously we would


look at it. Curbing migration by looking at a pull factors is very


much a part of our renegotiation plan. And one alternative that has


been raised is what has been called an emergency brake, that there will


be times when governments, because of the substantial influx of


immigration, you could say, hold on there are too many coming in to cope


with at the moment from elsewhere in the EU and we will put an emergency


brake on it for a time-limited period. Would you accept that if


that brake could only be committed with Brussels's approval that would


not be acceptable -- only be permitted. I've stated what our


objective is, if someone can come up with another way of achieving it we


should look at it. I'm looking at one, emergency brake has been a


possible fallback position, it has been mooted in Brussels and talked


about. If a British government could only put the brake on with the


approval of Brussels, would that be acceptable? I don't want to answer


hypothetical questions, you can come up with four, five, six hypothetical


questions about what if, what if, but what is clear is we have stated


our position and the Prime Minister is still in negotiations and we


should allow him to finish. What economic evidence and research


evidence can you produce that shows that even if you got the four year


curb on migrant benefits that it would have more than a marginal


impact on immigration? I don't think it is just a question of economic


benefit, it's a question of what the British people want. I was saying


what economic research evidence is there that even if you got what


you're for it would have any noticeable impact on EU migration to


this country? What I think about as an MP is to reflect what my


constituents want. I'm not asking about your constituents. That's


fine, that is important to you but I'm looking at the substance of the


issue, regardless of what anybody wants. Is there any published


evidence that shows that this would have a material impact on numbers


coming to this country? The point is as a point of principle saying that


people should contribute before they can access... Let's say you are


right on the principle, can access... Let's say you are


evidence it would have the impact you think it would have? I think it


is something we should be looking to do if the British public want that.


This is not about arguing the toss between economists, this is about


going into a negotiation and reflecting what the British people


want, in terms of a reformed European Union. So you have put out


the centre piece of jewellery negotiation strategy and issue on


which you cannot cite a single piece of research, which shows it would


have an impact? We have put out a centrepiece of our negotiation


strategy what the British people want, action on immigration, an end


to an ever closer union... But you cannot cite to me what impact it


would have because there has been worked on it at. I am sure there


will be one piece of evidence the other would-be -- the other way. You


don't know whether it has an impact or not? Is there any negotiation in


history where you have made a major demand and you have no idea what the


impact, even if you got your way, would be? You know that it is one of


four demands, firstly a stop to an ever closer union, I think that is a


big demand, making sure that not being part of the Euro we are not


penalised, that is a big demand, competitiveness is a big demand and


ultimately the referendum will be about our future prosperity in 50 to


100 years' time, so it is not the only plan. Brussels is launching


this idea of a paramilitary border force, which could going to


countries and man the border is whether the southern state once it


or not, are you in favour of that? I have no idea of whether it will work


or not. It is a new idea, think it is a measure of how desperate they


are to try and do something to do with the huge flows. The real action


that is required is to try and stop some of these flows of migrants at


source. That is a long-term plan. I come back to this issue, there will


be a 2500 border force, a German idea, it will be equipped with


helicopters, they will be armed, they will have droned, coastal boats


and they could go in for example to Greece where a lot are coming,


whether the Greek government asks for it or not. Are you in favour of


it? They have been talking about doing this and Britain has tried to


be a part of it to stop smugglers from northern Africa, it seems to me


a sound idea. It is a sound idea. In the end, it won't work unless we


deal with some of the root problems of why a lot of the refugees... I


understand, nutrient you come up with how to do that now, it would


take a long way to see. Nobody can wave a magic wand over the troubles


in the Middle East. Should Britain be part of this border force? I


don't we have an obligation to be part of it. I know, but should we?


Since you are asking me, we are debating this the first time, we


have no obligation, we are not part of the Schengen agreement. If we


want to make a contribution as good members of the European Union, the


government should consider that. Should we? Identity we should be.


Our main alliance in terms of border security is with Nato and I think it


should remain so. The Prime Minister has said we will take part in it. I


think in terms of where we are, we are out of Schengen, and if Schengen


countries want to operate in a certain way to send a border force


to Greece, that is up to them. In terms of our security and Borders


sits with Nato, in terms of our security we have more control over


our borders. Andrew, forgive me, in a way this is all detail. The


serious thing is we who we are a mess over the negotiations. At the


moment the lead ship of the argument for Britain's place in Europe is


going by default. It should be led by David Cameron and he is not doing


it. Now should the heir to the throne be


given access to confidential documents so that he's


properly briefed? Well, a Freedom of Information


request from the campaign group Republic has found out that that's


exactly what is happening. And they're not best


pleased about it. They've even dubbed Prince Charles


"essentially a minister Let's talk now to their chief


executive Graham Smith. Caucus to your campaign to get the


information released. It is a fairly routine Freedom of information


request -- talk us through your campaign. While Cabinet members


tried to resist disclosure of what is called the precedent but,


essentially the manual for the Cabinet on how they manage the


Cabinet and deal with Cabinet papers, and buried in that document,


and they have only released first four chapters so far, buried in that


is this revelation that as is routine, all papers are sent to


Prince Charles. Is it a great revelation? The Queen gets this


information as head of state, he is the heir to the throne, so will


people be that surprised, will they care? I think there are a number of


problems, because firstly Charles is not the head of state, even the


monarchy's own website says he has no constitutional position as such.


He is covered by very privileged secrecy laws, completely exempt from


Freedom of information commie has unique access not only the ministers


but also to all of their Cabinet papers, and we know that he wants to


lobby ministers to change public policy on a range of different


issues. You say you know that, hang on, give me some examples of where


policy has changed, if you know it, as a result of his interference? One


other very quick point and then I will come onto those examples. We


also believe there is reason to believe that he also influences laws


to affect his own interests as Duke of Cornwall. A lot of the course,


there are still a lot of publicity around the monarchy. According to


the Guardian, we know that he is lobbying ministers, we know from


former ministers that have spoken to the BBC last year that he is seeking


to change public policy. Very difficult to pinpoint specific


policies that are under change because it is all under wraps. As


you said, you made a claim that he has influenced policies that


directly affect him and the sovereign, but a statement from


Buckingham Palace on the matter, he has not affected any. If you believe


that statement, they have not turned down anything come in terms of Bill


or legislation. Bedene two because what happens is the Duke of


Cornwall, Prince Charles, is able to directly influence the legislation


process at the very early stages of those discussions, and that is why


there is a long list of laws that specifically exempt or privilege the


Duchy of Cornwall on whether it is land ownership, planning,


environmental protection, a whole host of laws that give them specific


privileges for which there is no legitimate reason. So clearly there


are some influence going on behind closed doors.


Thank you berry much. Your reaction, is it regrettable that this has been


made public? I think it is much do about nothing, it is long


established practice that the Queen as head of state... Yes, the Queen.


And in this case the heir to the throne does do, and I think that is


a long established practice and I don't see the problem. Are you


pleased it has been made public? It is good it has been made public,


personally I can see little justification for this but little


harm in it as well. Should Prince Charles have access? I can see


little harm in it, the question comes when he actively uses his


access to influence particular policies, and this is why Freedom of


Information Act and provision is so important, and I would be against


watering them down as your government now wants to do.


Now, have you finished all your Christmas shopping?


Still struggling with what to get that special person in your life?


It's OK, JoCo - I've already got your magnum of sparkling


Of course, if you're stuck, there's always the special gift that


And this week we have a special one-off Christmas edition.


This little number could be worth zillions on eBay come the New Year.


But that's not all we're giving away today, oh no.


We're also giving our lucky winner the number one best-seller


And, to see how it works, John and Sam have one too.


If you get bored during PMQs, you know what to do.


To win this mug though, and that book, first you'll have


MUSIC We can never be free in Brent until South Africa is free too.


The world is watching, and we have got something to show them.


To be in with a chance of winning this Christmas Daily Politics mug


and the Jeremy Corbyn colouring book, send your answer


to our special quiz email address - that's [email protected]


Entries must arrive by 12.30pm today, and you can see the full


terms and conditions for Guess The Year on our website -


Generous, aren't we? It is not like you have anything else to do, just


read the terms and conditions! LAUGHTER


It's coming up to midday here - just take a look at Big Ben -


Yes, Prime Minister's Questions is on its way.


And that's not all - Laura Kuenssberg is here.


Let's talk about the European summit coming up tomorrow night, the big


dinner. What do you know? You know what has been really interesting to


me in the last 24 hours, obviously we have been trying to talk to


people close to what is going on, there is a sense to me that there is


almost a set of nerves that the domestic political situation, David


Cameron has put himself on this book over this benefit promise, but the


rest of the negotiations, there has been progress. They are not done,


signed off or sealed. The Europe Minister David Liddington said the


technical talks are complete, but it is my understanding that is a


technical interpretation of where things are out. Yes, there is sound


and fury around the benefits issue because the public rightly cares


about it. One of the tangible issues as well. Indeed, and it was in the


Conservative manifesto. For Eurosceptics it is an ideal stick to


knock David Cameron around the head with, but there is from, sessions I


have had with people, a bit of concern that most people would say


countries within the Euro and outside the Euro, big fundamental


economic questions about how that works for the next ten, 20, 30, 50


years, and that is not quite getting the political bandwidth that maybe


it deserves. There has been progress there but it is not done. But it


also cannot be fully answered, because we know that the German


Chancellor and the French president want to move to a more integrated


Eurozone, but they are not going to do so before either of their


elections in 2017. Until we see the nature of the Eurozone it is hard to


find the relationship between the Eurozone and the rest of us.


Absolutely, this is all like juggling water. There are so many


machinations, and not only just the number of countries involved, not


only the number of issues involved, not only the fact that EU regulation


and law as it exists is already showing competitive but there is a


juju amount of crystal ball gazing. The number of potential machinations


are strawberry. Also of course in a negotiation process we might find


that one bit in one of the hideously named baskets gets exchanged for


another bit that is in one of the other hideously named baskets.


Basket swap! Maybe that is the new thing the 2016. We heard political


cross trussing, maybe baskets swapping will be the next thing. The


complexities of this are enormous. How far they get in benefits is not


the best representation of where this debate is and it is very fluid.


But the political focus, that is right there, and there is a huge


guessing game going on as to where we will get in all of that. Have you


had any guidance as to what the Prime Minister hopes to achieve at


this dinner? The big thing for Downing Street it is it is political


momentum. Officials have been working very hard trying to get some


things on all of these issues and there has been some progress. The


technical official bit has gone as far as you can go before the bosses


say actually I will agree to that bit. You sort out the


technicalities. Wren what David Cameron is trying to do the next 24


to 36 hours is create a sense of political momentum that can unblock


the difficult logjams on this. If you think each lido will have in


front of them a sort of menu of options, as many as ten options I


understand in each of the different four categories. So that is 40. That


is a long night. That will give me something to say in the next couple


of days, 40 different things, and they will sort of essentially agree,


or start to agree a pick and mix. I see. So I could do that bit about I


couldn't do that bit, but there are shreds of information coming out


here and there, a good source in the European council yesterday suggested


to me that a six-month benefit ban was a starting point. We will now go


over to the final Prime Minister's Questions of 2015. Here is the Prime


Minister. We all watched his exciting take-off


yesterday and is the first Briton to visit the International Space


Station it signals a landmark in this country's involvement in space


exploration. I'm proud the government took the decision to fund


it and we wish him the best of luck. This morning I had meetings with


ministerial colleagues and others, and in addition to my duties in this


House I will have further such meetings later today. Richard


Graham. I welcome today's falling on a month the -- unemployment.


Stalking is a horrible crime. AGP in Gloucester and resident in


Cheltenham was harassed for several years by a stalker who slashed her


tyres, hacked her water pipe, cut off her gas and put via items in her


letterbox. She and her family suffered. The judge said if he could


give more than the maximum five years he would have done. My


honourable friend for Cheltenham has raised sentencing guidelines with


the Justice Secretary. Would my Right Honourable friend the Prime


Minister today give his support for greater flex ability where it is


clear a stalker is a real menace? -- flexible itty. I agree with my


honourable friend that stalking is a terrible crime. We have introduced


to Muqrin you stalking offences during this parliament and I will


make sure the honourable member for Cheltenham has his meeting with my


Right Honourable friend the Justice Secretary. I cannot comment on the


case without looking at it in more detail but we are taking the


necessary action and will continue to do so. On unemployment I'm sure


the whole house will want to welcome the fact there are half a million


more people in work in our country in the last year alone. We have had


wages growing above inflation every month for a year. The claimant count


is at the lowest level since 1975. I'm sure this will be welcomed right


across the House. SPEAKER: Jeremy Corbyn.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. Could I start by wishing you, and all Members of


the House and all of the staff here and major Tim Peake, who is not on


the planet at this time... LAUGHTER


A very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, the number of days that


patients are being kept in hospital because there is nowhere safe to


discharge them to has doubled since the Prime Minister took office. On


the 4th of November I asked him if he could guarantee there would be no


winter crisis in the NHS this winter. He didn't answer then, I


wonder if he would help us with an answer today.


First of all let me join the Right Honourable gentleman and be clear I


don't want to wish him the season's greetings, I want a full happy


Christmas for the Right Honourable gentleman and everyone in the House.


He asked specifically about the NHS and let me answer specifically about


the NHS. The average stay in hospital has fallen since I became


Prime Minister from five and a half days, to five days. One of the


reasons for that is we kept our promise is on the NHS, we put an


extra 12 billion in in the last Parliament and we will be putting


?19 billion in cash terms in the NHS in this Parliament. Jeremy Corbyn.


Just for the record, Mr Speaker, I did say happy Christmas. But maybe


the Prime Minister wasn't listening at the time. As always! If he is so


happy about the state of the national health service, could he


explain why he's decided to cancel the publication of NHS performance


data this winter? There was a time when the primers to was all in


favour of transparency. It's not that long ago. In fact, it was 2011


when he said," Information is power, it lets people hold the powerful to


account, giving them the tools they need to take on politicians and


bureaucrats. Is it because the number of people who have been kept


waiting on trolleys in accident and emergency has gone up fourfold that


he doesn't want to publish these statistics?


First of all, the data he quoted in his first question was not published


before this government came to office. That's right! And let me


quote him some data about the NHS: let me take an average day today


compared with five years ago when I became Prime Minister. On an average


day in the NHS today there 4400 more operations. There are 21,000 more


outpatient appointments. Yes, there are challenges in a any but there


are 2100 more people seen within four hours today than five years ago


-- challenges in A There is more data published in our NHS and there


ever was under Labour. Mr Speaker, there are huge pressures


on the NHS and they are largely due to the pressures on the adult care


system which is under enormous pressure at the moment but there has


been huge cuts in adult social care because of cuts in local government


funding. The NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens has called for a


radical upgrade in prevention of public health. With the Prime


Minister agree with me that cutting these crucial services is indeed a


false economy? First of all, we are increasing the


money that is able to go into social care by having the 2% precept on the


council tax so that local councils can spend more. But I notice that


the Right Honourable gentleman mentioned Simon Stevens, our NHS


plan is Simon Stevens's plan, the NHS for the first time got together


and wrote their plan. They asked us for ?1 billion, we are committed to


the plan, unlike Labour in the last election and we funded it upfront


and that is why we see a bigger and better NHS -- ?8 billion. None of


this would be possible, including the action on social care we are


taking with the Better Care Fund, none of it would be possible without


the growing economy we have and the more jobs being created.


Mr Speaker, the problem is to do with adult social care for stop this


morning the NHS Confederation said on BBC Radio 4, and I quote, "Cuts


to social care and public health will continue to pile more pressure


on hospital and will worsen deficits in the acute sector." What was


announced on social care in the Autumn Statement falls well short of


what was needed. The health foundation estimates a funding


shortfall of 6 billion will be in place by 2020. How is the Government


planning to me that shortfall? I'm glad the Right Honourable


gentleman listens to the Today problem, he might bother to go on it


one day. A bit of cans bouncy would be welcome. If he wants to swap


quotations -- transparency. This is what the chairman of the Local


Government Association says, the Local Government Association has


long called for further put civility in the setting of council tax, and


today's announcement will go some way to allowing a number of councils


to raise the money needed. -- flexible at evil stop 1.5 billion


more in the Better Care Fund announced today is good news. It is


this government that funded the NHS, they didn't, it is this government


that set up the Better Care Fund, they opposed it, this government at


the strong and growing economy, and I note that question four and still


but they welcome for the unemployment figures.


Mr Speaker, the issue of adult social care and cuts in local


government spending are very much the responsibility of central


government. Can he confirmed that NHS trusts are forecasting a deficit


of 2.2 billion this year, and indeed I understand that the Prime Minister


as part of the Oxford anti-austerities movement will be


concerned about this, but his own local health care trust is


predicting a 1.7 million deficit. There is a problem of NHS funding.


Has he forgotten the simple maxim that prevention is cheaper and


better than cure? How can he possibly complain about


NHS funding when his party didn't commit to fund the Stevens plan? We


are spending ?19 billion more on the NHS, money that wouldn't be


available if we'd listened to the Labour Party. He says that social


care is a responsibility of government. Everything is a


responsibility of government, but in fact it is local councils that


decide how much to spend on social careful stop with the Better Care


Fund they have more to spend. But I challenge him again, how do we pay


for the NHS? We pay for it by more growth, more jobs and more people


having a livelihood. Is he going to welcome back at Christmas time, or


doesn't he care about the reduction in unemployment? SPEAKER: Jeremy


Corbyn. Mr Speaker, I have a question from


Abby. Abby wants to train to be a midwife and she says, I'm 28 years


old, this year I left my successful career to go back into university to


retrain as a midwife. I already have a debt of 25,000 from my first


degree, well over half of my cohort have studied a first degree in


another subject and many of my fellow colleagues have children and


partners with elderly parents and mortgages. Many people were put off


by the lack of financial support and massive debts. In the spirit of


Christmas, will the Prime Minister have a word with his friend the


Chancellor who is sitting next to him, it could be done very quickly,


to reverse the cuts in the nurse bursary scheme so that we do get


people like Abby training to be midwives which will help all of us


in the future? First of all I want Abby to train as


a midwife and I can guarantee the funding will be there for her


training. There are thousands more midwives operating in the NHS today


than when I became Prime Minister. He mentions the question of nurse


bursary is. The truth is today two out of three people who want to


become nurses can't do that because of the constraints on the system and


our new system will mean many more doctors and many more nurses.


Already we have got 10,000 more doctors in the NHS since I became


Prime Minister and 4500 more nurses. At all of this is happening, Mr


Speaker, because the economy is growing, because the deficit is


falling, unemployment is coming down, you could fill up a tank of


gas at less than ?1 a litre, wages are going up, Britain is getting


stronger as we go into Christmas because our economy is getting


stronger too. Anne-Marie Drozdz thank you, Mr Speaker. Yesterday


colleagues from across the House formed the Armed Forces covenant


scrutinising the support of the government's fulfilment of support


to servicemen and their families. With the primaries to join me in


praising the bravery of With the primaries to join me in


Forces especially in my constituency at this festive time when many are


separated from their loved ones. And can he reaffirmed his personal


commitment to the House for delivering his Armed Forces Covenant


in practice and in full? I thank my honourable friend for her question.


It is right, as all of us get ready to spend time with our families this


Christmas there will be many in the brave armed services who will not be


able to because they are serving abroad or at home. We should wish


them the very best as Christmas comes. In terms of the military


covenant it is one of the things I'm proudest of that we did in the last


five years, putting that into law, and every year adding to the


military covenant, giving veterans priority in health care, increasing


funding for veterans' mental health service, prioritise and school


places for children. Every year we've made progress on the Armed


Forces Covenant and every year I stand at this dispatch box and will


continue to do so. Angus Robertson. The Prime Minister will meet shortly


with heads of state and governments of the European Union. Will he heed


the advice of John Major and stop flirting with leaving the European


Union, which would be in his words very dangerous and against our


national interest? I will be getting the best deal for Britain. That is


what we should be doing. This government was the first to cut the


EU budget and veto a treaty and bring back substantial powers to


Britain. We have a great record on Europe and will get a good deal for


Britain. We were reminded that there is a very strong majority in


Scotland to remain within the EU. The Prime Minister has failed, I


know his side doesn't like to hear it, but he has failed to give any


guarantees that Scotland won't be forced out of the EU by the rest of


the UK. Does he have any idea of the consequences of taking Scotland out


of the EU against the wishes of voters in Scotland? This is a United


Kingdom and this is a UK issue. I would say to him, why is he so


frightened of listening to the people and holding this historic


referendum, passed through both of these houses in the last week. Get a


good deal for Britain and trust the people. The Prime Minister has


visited RAF Waddington in my constituency and would wish all the


service personnel and their family well as they carry out operations


throughout the Christmas period. Given we are now conducting air


strikes over Syria, why is our country now not at the highest level


of threat? Let me join him in praising those at RAF Waddington who


are doing such a vital work. As he will know, the threat level is set


in this country not by politicians but by the joint terrorism


assessment centre. They set it at severe, the second-highest level. I


confirm what I said on 26 November, the UK is in the top level of


countries threatened by Daisy Makro. The highest level is that we believe


an attack is imminent. But that would be for JATAC to set and not


ministers. Last night, Donald Trump reiterated that one of the


communities would not be allowed into America because of religion,


seemingly unaware of how divisive this is. We have legislation that


stops people entering the country if it is not believed to be in the


public good. Should we be making exceptions for billionaire


politicians? Let me join the honourable lady in being proud of


representing a country which I think has some claim to say we are one of


the most successful multiracial, multi-faith, multiethnic countries


anywhere in the world. There is more to do to bring opportunity and fight


discrimination. I think it is right that we exclude people if they are


going to radicalise and encourage extremism. I disagree about Donald


Trump. I think his remarks are divisive, stupid and wrong. If he


came to our country, it would unite as all against him. By the time the


house next meets, many people will have started their New Year 's


resolutions. For many that will be to give up smoking. Given that


Public Health England has recently stated that e-cigarettes are 95%


safer than tobacco and half of the population is unaware of that, will


he highlight the role that e-cigarettes can play in helping


people give up tobacco? As somebody who has been through this battle a


number of times, eventually relatively successfully, lots of


people find different ways of doing it. For many e-cigarettes are


successful. We need to be guided by the experts. We should be looking at


Public Health England. It is promising to see that 1 million


people are estimated to have used e-cigarettes to help them quit. We


should be making clear that this is a very legitimate path for many


people to improve their health and the health of the nation. During the


referendum, the Prime Minister pledged to deliver carbon capture


and storage at Peterhead, reiterated in the Tory manifesto. On the eve of


the Paris climate talks, he pulled the plug. Which is the greatest


betrayal, of Scotland, of the manifesto or of the entire planet?


The greatest success is the Paris climate change talks. I would like


to pay tribute to the Secretary of State who was one of the key


negotiators who helped deliver this global goal which is so much better


than Copenhagen and better even than Kyoto. On carbon capture and


storage, in government you have to make tough choices and decisions


about technology that works and technology that isn't working. We


are spending the money on innovation and energy storage, an small nuclear


reactors and other things, energy heat systems for local communities


that will make a difference. We made the right choice. This Friday,


sadly, sees the closure of Britain's deep coal mine in my constituency.


Will my right honourable friend join me in thanking the hundreds of


workers who will be working there final shift this Friday. Also,


praise the thousands of workers whose bravery and hard graft over 50


years has helped warm our homes, power factories and keep our lights


on? I think my honourable friend speaks very strongly for his


constituents. I join him in thanking people who've worked so hard at that


mine and elsewhere. It is a difficult time. As part of the


closure process we have ?80 million to ensure that the miners received


the same package as the recently closed mine at Busby. Can I just


tell the honourable members opposite, this is the official


policy of the Labour Party. We must take action to keep fossil fuels in


the ground. That is their policy. We have also seen they have a policy of


reopening, is. Are they going to open a big Colin the ground and sit


there and do nothing? What a metaphor for the leadership of his


party? -- to open a big hole in the ground. Alison Pulis. The Prime


Minister promised during the election campaign that he would not


restrict child benefit to to children. Not only has he reneges on


that, he has been asked a number of time and has not been able to


explain how he will do this. Will he dropped this and the rape laws?


There is no question that anyone who has a child through rate losing


their benefit at all. Is my right honourable friend aware


that thanks to the Chancellor's detection of the police budget, 108


more police officers are being recruited to protect the people of


Hampshire. While there is more to do in tackling crime in Rowell areas,


would he agree that this is an important step in prioritising the


front line and the Home Office and Hampshire Constabulary have made


real progress in making our police more effective and resilient? It was


the right decision to make sure we have this


the right decision to make sure we By the end of the spending


settlement it is an increase of ?900 million in cash terms by 2020. I am


delighted there will be more officers on the street in Hampshire.


You cannot find the NHS, the Home Office, the police unless you have a


growing economy with more jobs and people paying taxes. A strong and


stable economy. That is what is happening in Britain today. In his


farewell speech, the outgoing director of the British museum said,


the British Museum is perhaps the noblest dream that Parliament has


ever dreamt. A collection free to all, native or foreign, where every


citizen has the right to information and were all enquiry will be outside


political control. Does the Prime Minister agree that the partnership


working with museums and like those in Birmingham, will not happen


unless museums and galleries continue to be funded properly? Let


me join her in paying tribute to the British Museum, a jewel in the


cultural crown, and also to Neil MacGregor, who gave it such


extraordinary leadership. Given her heritage, she might be amused by the


fact that when they took that brilliant exhibition on Germany, I


took Angela Merkel, and later on they poached Neil MacGregor to look


after their museums. I do want to see the British Museum Comp Lea to


all of its partnerships, not just across the united kingdom and also


internationally. She will have seen in the Autumn Statement that they


got a funding settlement with which they were rightly pleased. According


to Oxfam, the UK has donated a generous 229% of its fair share of


aid in support of Syrian refugees. The highest proportion of the G8.


Worldwide, only 44% of what is needed has been donated. Does the


Prime Minister agree that it is critical that other countries step


up to the plate as the UK has more than done? Would he update the house


on progress in support of Syrian refugees? I agree with my honourable


friend. Written is doing its moral duty in terms of funding refugee


camps. We are holding a conference bringing the world together to make


sure there is more funding in future. In terms of the number of


refugees we have resettled, I promise to resettle 1000 by


Christmas. I can confirm today that we have met our commitment. The


charter flights arrived yesterday at Stansted and Belfast meaning that


over 1000 have been settled. Another flight is coming today. We're making


sure that these people get health care and education and I want to


thank all those who have worked so far, including the right honourable


member for Watford, because I said Britain would do its duty and with


these 1000 we have made a good start. Three years ago, the Prime


Minister couldn't have been clearer, his EU renegotiation would mean


retaining control over social and employment law, is he still seeking


that? I always find it hard to satisfy the honourable gentleman. He


joined the Conservative Party when we weren't committed to a referendum


and left after we had committed. I'm not surprised that he is giving his


new boss as much trouble as he gave me. With that, I wish them both a


very festive Christmas. Thank you, Mr Speaker. The triumphant Star Wars


saga began life at Elstree Studios in my constituency. It continues to


produce hits... SPEAKER: the honourable gentleman is banging on


eloquently about Star Wars and I want to hear it. Will the Prime


Minister join me in pledging support to the thriving film industry making


such a valuable social and economic contribution in my constituency and


across the United Kingdom? He raises an important point. This is not only


very exciting for children and parents who are looking forward to


this film but it is being made in Britain with many British actors and


technicians showing the strength of the British film industry. Also,


backed by the British government and taxpayers with excellent resources.


Let me say, as I have worked with him in so many ways, I know that he


will never join the dark side. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Resign! Despite


ongoing efforts of the Scottish steel task force, my constituents


are starting to receive redundancy notices. Will the Prime Minister put


pressure on the EU now to reach a quick decision on permitting the PII


compensation scheme and if this permission is granted, will be also


commit to implement the scheme as soon as possible to provide


breathing space for our steel sector and to give hope for my constituents


this Christmas? The honourable lady is absolutely right to raise this.


We are working hard to try and get the energy in sensitive industries


plan, firmed. As soon at is cleared, money will be available for British


still making companies. We expect this to be in place no later than


April 2017 but it should be much earlier than that and we are working


around the clock to try and help it happen. I'm sure the house will want


to send condolences to those involved in


As my honourable friend's constituency neighbour I was shocked


by what happened in Abingdon and my heart goes out to the family of


those who suffered. She is right to ask the question about offensive


weapons and how available they are and I'm happy to look at that. I


also think with that attack and the Leytonstone attack, although


unrelated, it is right also to look at the resources that are police


have in terms of equipment they have. There is a very different


usage pattern for tasers across the country and this is something the


Home Secretary, Metropolitan Police and I are discussing. There is


nothing I believe more passionately than in the union, and yet with


Scottish National is, English votes for English laws and various


powerhouses and city deals and the creation of numerous other measures


that may threaten the union, what is the Prime Minister's vision for that


union and holding the four countries together. Would he please come and


speak to the union all-party group at some stage in the future. But


even more importantly, would he help with the campaign throughout the


union because we are better together?


Like the honourable gentleman I'm passionate about our United Kingdom


and I believe we can make it stronger by accepting that it is a


partnership of nations and a partnership of nations where we


should treat each other with respect. I don't want to listen to


the SNP. They don't want a partnership, they want a separation.


At one of the things that is so strong about the United Kingdom and


that I think other countries frankly are quite jealous of is we have


demonstrated that you can have multiple identities, you can be


proud of being an Ulster man and a Britcom you can be proud of being a


Hindu and a Scot, you can be proud of being both Welsh and British ball


so we've solved one of the problems the rest of the world is grappling


with and that's why we should keep our United Kingdom together. Mr


Speaker, as we approached the festival marking the birth of


Jesus... SPEAKER: There was some noticeably eccentric jesty chelation


from you, Mr McNeil but calm yourself. We must hear the


honourable gentleman and he will be heard. Mr Speaker, as we approach


the festival marking the birth of Jesus Christ, may ask the Prime


Minister send out a message of support to those millions of fellow


Christians around the world who are suffering persecution. May I also


remind him once again to remind British people that we are a country


fashioned by our Christian heritage, and it is that heritage which has


resulted in our giving refuge to so many of other faiths over 70


centuries. But we will not tolerate those who abuse our freedom to try


to inflict their alien and violent fashion is upon us here,


particularly in the name of Islam? First of all let me join him in


saying we should do everything we can to defend the rights of


Christians to practice their faith the world over. That is an important


part of our foreign policy and let me commend also Justin Welby, the


Archbishop of Canterbury, for the excellent work he does on the basis.


I believe that Britain is Christian country and the fact we


have an established Christian country and the fact we


understand the place of faith in our national life makes us a more


tolerant nation and better able to accommodate other faith groups in


our country. That's why as I said earlier in this session I think we


should be proud of the fact that this is one of the most successful


multiethnic, multi-faith, multi-religion democracies anywhere


in the world, and that is not in conflict with our status as a


predominantly Christian country, I think it's one of the reasons we


have done it. Prime Minister, I know the Prime Minister is aware of the


flooding that has taken place in my constituency and the damage to the


town of Cockermouth. I've had a call from a constituent this morning to


say insurance companies are refusing to pay or help my constituents until


they have paid the excess in full. Does he agree with me that this is


absolutely outrageous? Some of the excesses are up to ?10,000, and what


can be done to ensure they fulfil their operations to my constituents?


She's absolutely right to raise will stop the Minister for


government policy of the Right Honourable member for West Dorset,


had meetings with the insurance companies to make sure this sort of


practice doesn't happen. That's the first point. The second is we have


announced putting money into the community funds that will form


hardship funds to help people potentially who don't have


insurance. The third and vital thing is the establishment of a flood


decision made by the last government to make sure people have insurance.


We have come to the end of the final Prime Minister's Questions of 2015,


no more until the first or the second Wednesday, I think it's the


first Wednesday in January will stop you will have to wait until then.


A more traditional PMQs for the season of tradition, Mr Corbyn the


Leader of the Opposition went back to asking a series of questions also


only in his final question did he crowd source it to Abby but it was


within his theme because she is a midwife and his questions had been


about the NHS. Removed from the bed blocking crisis, the lack of social


care, the cuts in social care, whether the increase in the local


government precept would be enough to make up for the cuts. He thought


not. There was some detailed questions from Mr Corbyn we didn't


quite get full answers from the Prime Minister. Donald Trump got a


mention as well, not very popular in the House of Commons. He lost in the


Supreme Court his appeal to try and stop the offshore wind, the


Aberdeenshire golf course he has built, the reaction to that is he


called the Scottish Government foolish, small-minded and with a


parochial mentality. Given what he called the Mexicans the Scots have


got off quite likely! What did our viewers make of it? They were not


quite so insulting, our viewers. Noel on Twitter said Shirley David


Cameron -- Jeremy Corbyn can't wish me Corbyn Americus was without his


words being distorted. Did Diane Abott go to sit by Jeremy Corbyn for


moral support? On the substance Jeremy Corbyn was weak. To argue the


NHS is underfunded when not committing his party to fund it is


pathetic. Labour relying on the magic money tree and not hard


choices. Jo says politicians cannot all be wrong and nor can they all be


right but by listening to David Cameron one would think the NHS has


no problems at all. Jeremy Corbyn comes over as more believable, and


surely has ended 2015 on a winning note. And this from Luke on Twitter,


this is the first Cameron-Corbyn PMQs I properly watched. Have to say


Cameron is bossing it, Corbyn seems out of his depth also when many


people saw the rise of Mr Corbyn this summer and his subsequent


victory but this was an interregnum, a short, brief period in British


politics before a return to more normality. When you have seen that


today it doesn't look like it's true, does it? This is the shape of


British politics now. Certainly for some time that it depends on who you


talk to post up one MP said to me the other day they are


characterising this year as having been a completely extraordinary year


in politics and allsorts of things happened that were unpredictable. He


went on to say that next year, maybe what he described as a year of the


unthinkables where we might have something completely unexpected on


the European Union, which would have consequences in the way that Angus


Robertson suggested, if UK decided to leave. There are people inside


the Labour Party who are planning for a leadership contest, they are a


minority. Not much on the paper you would call a concrete plan but that


is under consideration by people. There is a sense somehow that the


last few months have been extraordinary, but next year maybe


equally extraordinary. We are at a sense that is not an interregnum, it


seems to have settled down a bit. I don't think we should love ourselves


into a sense that next year things will carry on as they have done.


Presumably, we focus very much on Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership and


understandably so. One thing we said during the election is it is about


competence versus chaos and that was derided in some quarters. What we


have seen is the Labour Party descend into chaos immediately post


the election. Ukip is a party of chaos. Whatever configuration we are


in next year I'd see a scenario in which Labour moves from being a


party of chaos to a party of competence, Corbyn or no Corbyn.


What do you say to that? You may competence, Corbyn or no Corbyn.


have the best insight into that but some people's chaos is other


people's recognition of differences. Recently we had the free vote on


Syria which reflected differences of view widely held in the public,


including in your party. That was part of what we were saying about


politics and needing to be done differently. I think it has been


welcomed. I think today we saw again quite an understated style, and I


think by not being so combative, to being more reasonable, one of your


viewers said he was believable. I think that has allowed him to make


some headway, particularly when he does quote from ordinary people it


reinforces the sense that he is in touch, he's expressing what people


are really feeling. He's doing OK at Prime Minister's Questions and


winning on things like tax credits for single climb-down and


backpedalling because of that sort of approach. One of the interesting


things if you stand back from the weekly joust between those two men,


David Cameron hasn't really looked under very much pressure since the


General Election. This government is doing lots of things not


particularly well. They have had some individual successes and some


individual huge problems like the mess over tax credits that they got


into. But there are a lot of areas where in a more traditional era they


might be under real pressure. Today, for example, David Cameron is in a


high-stakes renegotiation trying to do something nobody has really


managed to do before with the rest of the EU. It's not going entirely


according to plan and yet he got through that session and the last


few days and the last few weeks relatively un-rattled by all of


this. As an observation, the Government is not doing everything


brilliantly well and have taken some big risks, they don't look under


pressure really. Are we right to think that Mr Cameron and Mr


Osborne, they would quite like to get the referendum out of the way


next year rather than wait until 2017? There is no question about


that, they desperately want to get this, in June if they can. That is


their preferred date. They think that is still possible, because they


hope and it does look feasible that they could be a deal in February.


That would give them the four months required to have a decent period of


debate. Could they have it in June? I was told the ritual commission


didn't like the idea of a referendum campaign taking place while the main


elections in local government in England, the Scottish Parliament and


the Welsh assembly and Northern Ireland. It would certainly be


complicated. But that is their hope, their preferred option. To do it in


June? To do it in June. Even with the polls narrowing as they have?


They sense that the longer they leave it the more they risk it is.


They want it in June before next summer's migrant crisis gets


underway. Indeed and other European leaders want its too because then


you get into the convocation of French and German elections in 2017


-- complication. There is a desire to do it quickly. It is pencilled


into the diary as a political hope in as far as this government is


concerned. Given the complexities of it all that we were discussing


before Prime Minister's Questions there is nothing certain about it


happening. If there is another migrant crisis September could be an


even worse time because you have the whole summer of these same pictures


again. Were you surprised to learn, that the hospitals are running up a


deficit of 2.2 billion and the Government's response to that is to


force them to borrow the money? The demands on our health service are


immense. The starting position is committed to fund the Stevens plan,


that is not a plan generated by the Government, it is the independent


chief executive of the NHS, which we have done. Except they are in a


deficit of over 2 billion now and 21 NHS trusts and ten foundation


Hospital trusts have had to borrow ?500 million from the government.


Traditionally this was done as a grant, it was done through the


public dividend capital, but they are now having to borrow and pay


interest to be able to pay this month's doctors' salaries, this


month's nurses' salaries and this month's administration salaries. Is


that sensible? We fully funded the Stevens plan. If there is a need to


get short-term capital and there is a proper structure in place to do so


by all means that is fine. It's not capital, its running costs. Doctors


a bust of the salaries are not capital. They need extra funding --


doctors' salaries. They are borrowing money and they will have


to pay it back. Is that feasible? What the Prime Minister said in


Prime Minister's Questions, we should be looking to fund this,


there might be short-term pressures in which case we should put in place


the appropriate structure for them to get together the funds they need


so that they can treat all of those people in winter who need care


immediately and that is what we should be doing. The Government must


hope that it is absolutely right about climate change and that this


winter stays as mild as it is. Because, if we had a severe winter


like four or five years ago with already a deficit of over two


billion and the deficit would soar in the NHS.


There is no question there is an enormous strain on the health


service and the figures that Jeremy Corbyn was bringing up, some


hospitals having to phone the bank manager... The bank manager being


Jeremy Hunt. The central problem is that, if you talk to ministers, they


believe that the Simon 's plan, put together by the boss of the NHS,


will, in two or three years, in theory, start to deliver the money


back as well as making a system that should be more joined up, function


better, where you don't have crazy things like an elderly person being


stuck in hospital because there is nobody to take them home or make


sure they are OK in their own house. The crunch is the time lag. If the


savings you can get from the NHS and quite significant reforms that most


people in government would say it have to happen, if they can't be


delivered for three or four years, there will be a tricky point in the


interim. We shall keep an eye on that. Merry Christmas. I was meant


to bring mince pies but I didn't have time. Can I have a colouring


book was to mark you didn't bring mince pies! I think you will find


that is the prize, before you give it away. OK. I will get Jo one for


next year. Happy Christmas. Should motorists over


the age of 70 be retested Currently those over 70 must fill


in a self-assessment form every three years to renew their licences,


however Benjamin Brooks-Dutton, whose wife was killed by an elderly


driver who mistook the accelerator for the brake, has started an online


petition calling for over-70s to be It's received over 200,000


signatories, here's his soapbox. And our cars reach a certain age,


they have to have a regular MOT, so why don't we? -- after our cars. In


the court case against the 83-year-old driver who struck and


killed my wife three years ago, his defence barrister admitted that in


this country we don't have a system to properly check the fitness of


people to continue to drive over a certain age. His barrister stated


that the driver was on a three-year licence renewal and his doctor did


ever suggest he shouldn't continue to drive, a fact which amazed the


court. He was actively encouraged to continue doing so. When drivers turn


70, they have to reapply for their driving licence every three years


simply through assessment. Nobody checks a person's ability to


continue to drive, nobody checks their hearing, eyesight, skills or


ability to stop. In fact, when a person has passed their driving


test, their decision to keep driving into old age is mainly self


regulated. Those suffering heart rhythm problems have two inform the


DVLA but those who suffer heart attacks do not. It is family and


friends who carried the burden of explaining to relatives that


potentially they are a risk to themselves and others. It is never


easy to tell somebody you love that they should probably stop driving


and it can be very damaging to relationships. I want the law to


change. I want this issue relationships. I want the law to


shifted from personal to policy. It is time to drop self-assessment and


introduce official retesting for drivers over 70. Nobody wants to


cause death on the roads and nobody wants to damage a relationship with


somebody they love. It's not that big and ask. Motorists over 70


already have to reapply for their driving licence every three years


and our cars have to have an annual MOT, so why not drivers?


What has been the response to your campaign? It has been overwhelming,


with over 200,000 signatures within a couple of weeks. The most


important thing is that so many people over 70 have got in touch.


After the first response of saying, I don't want to have to take a test,


and they have read the book into it, a lot of people have said, I think


this is a good idea, I want to know I am safe on the road, I don't want


to cause an accident, I don't want to take it that far before my


fitness to drive is judged. What about politicians, in terms of green


-- in terms of agreeing to be test? You are the first two politicians I


have spoken to. Would you sign up to what Benjamin is calling for, a


proper test for the suitability to drive for over 70s? I am sorry about


what you have had to go through and congratulations on your campaign.


You have 200,000 signatures which I believe means your issue has to be


debated in Parliament, which will happen by the minister responsible


in the transport department. I will speak to him directly. I think you


deserve it constructive engagement. So you will speak to the Minister


responsible? I will speak to the Minister responsible. And you will


be in touch with Benjamin. We will have to check about whether 200,000


signatories qualifies for a debate. I'm not sure. Certainly... I welcome


that. Would you support it? I will do the same without Shadow Secretary


of State. That a very serious report that you did. You have been through


a hell of a lot with this so good on you for picking it up. There has to


be a strong case for this. Something I think would benefit from a wider


public debate, Parliament, public debate and possibly proposals from


government for doing that. Whether 70 is the right limit, whether 80 is


the right limit... But the principle that people lose their faculties


when they get older, and the fact that they're so many horror stories


about experiences like yours, suggests that this is something we


should look. A significant number of over 70s have got in touch with


Benjamin saying that they themselves would not like to be judged on that


basis. Are you surprised it is self-assessment, just happy to fill


in a form, and your eyesight isn't tested? Not really, because people


of all ages become complacent after they passed their driving test. They


don't drive as well as they should. Perhaps they lose faculties. I think


this is a particular case for a group of older people, which is your


argument, and I think we should take a Sirius look at it. Benjamin you


alluded to the fact that it might not be popular with people being


told that they have to have a test or they may not be physically


suitable for driving after 70. Also, it could be isolating for old


people. This is something that guarantees their independence. And


70 isn't old any more. That is not old these days. What I have done


with the case I put forward is completely mirroring what is in


place with the DVLA. At the moment, you have to reapply for your driving


licence every three years from 70. I have to assume there is a good


reason for that. A paper recently suggested shifting that 80. The


biggest reason I could find was because it might save ?1.8 million a


year, which isn't much if you look at how the state is to care for


people like me and my son when we have been through this. I am


mirroring that at the moment. This is open to debate. It is a big issue


and I think it can't be just an isolated thing. There are many ways


to retest people. At the moment, nobody is arguing against


self-assessment every three years, so it is just making it a more


thorough version of that. I don't see why people would have an issue.


Who do you think should pay for it? Should it be drivers themselves or


the government? There are many creative ways to look at this. If


you look at the price comparison industry, insurers, they all look,


they all pay for the acquisition of those customers. There are ways and


means but it needs to be debated. Do you think it would be unpopular with


elderly voters? It is a new regime. John made the point about what


really is the limit, 70, 80, whatever. We have to go through all


of those. If it is done in the right way, and that is why there should be


a discussion, something could be done. Thank you.


Now, before PMQs, you may remember we set John and Sam a little task -


we gave them copies of this and asked them to get


Well, let's see how seriously they took their task.


Some looked confused at the start but John got cracking. It didn't


take long for the creative juices to start flowing. Sam decided Jeremy


Corbyn's bid was read. Even our esteemed political editor got in on


the act. A lovely treatment of the picture involving lots of real


balloons. As you can see, there was a lot of thinking as our guests not


to grips with the task. The result was a veritable cornucopia of


colour. Towards the end, Laura got a bit bored and started playing with


her phone. Probably doing her Christmas shopping. She knows what I


want. We are joined now by the illustrator


behind the Jeremy Corbyn colouring book. Welcome. Why Jeremy Corbyn? I


can clear up the thing with Laura and her phone. She was using the


Jeremy Corbyn Which is also available. You revealed her great


secret. Why Jeremy Corbyn? When it was Cameron King or Corbyn,


unfortunately I am an illustrated of long standing but I can't quite get


Cameron King. I have long standing but I can't quite get


jacket potato and put a tie on him. Have you attempted to capture things


about him in this colouring book? We have tried to move away from the


image of him... A lot of suggestions earlier on was that he has terrible


dress sense. We have done a page to dress Jeromy, the option... Oh, well


done. You have got him a superman. You have the bullying uniform, you


can have a pearly king, you can win the Scottish vote with a kilt. --


you have the Burlington uniform. Has it been selling well? 'S very well.


You will be getting one of those in your stocking. That is next year's


Christmas presents sorted. There's just time to put you out


of your misery and give Sam, push that big red buzzer


and pick the lucky winner. It is Peter rain bird from


somewhere. I think you need is to get in touch with us to tell us


where so we can send you the prize. Somewhere in the country of nowhere.


The News at One is starting over on BBC One now.


I'll be here at noon tomorrow with all the big political stories


Jo's off Christmas shopping in Strasbourg.


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