18/12/2015 Daily Politics


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Welcome to the Daily Politics Christmas special.


David Cameron's been out wining and dining with his European chums.


He claims "really good progress" was made during talks about the UK's


relationship with the European Union.


Other leaders in Brussels demured, but spoke


of a willingness to look for compromises.


This man, against all the odds, became Labour Party leader.


And only this morning calls for this man's face to be replaced


Yes, we'll be asking who's had a good year and who's had a bad?


We sent our intrepid reporters out to find out what YOU think.


This is like a really rubbish version of Top Gear.


Hello boys and girls. I am Santa from the frozen far north, I have


come to see who in the whacky world of the Daily Politics has been nice,


but more important to me, who has been naughtty.


The Prime Minister trying to nudge his way into the programme. Trying


to up stage Santa. You have to wait your time. Why has the Santa guilt a


Swedish accent. I thought he was from Lapland. I think it is called a


disguise. I have been a good boy Santa, I know some people who


haven't been so good. Who is that? More is coming up in the next hour.


And look who we found in the Daily Politics


Helen "I want a game for Christmas" Lewis from the New Statesman.


And Danny "The Lord" Finklestein from the Times.


The Prime Minister insists he has taken a "big step" towards a better


After a four-hour dinner with EU leaders in Brussels last night,


a path in place to renegotiate the terms of the UK's EU membership.


But he accepts securing a deal by the next key summit in February


Let's listen to what the PM had to say last night.


Prime Minister it is now your turn to say something.


I knew that was going to happen. I would say the good news


is that there is a pathway And I am confident of that,


after the discussion we had. But the truth is this,


it will be very hard work - not just hard work on welfare,


but actually hard work on all of the issues


we have put forward, because they are substantial,


they involve real change, and they will need real


decisions by all 28 members I think you can see


from the conclusions published tonight, the nature of the progress,


the conclusions make very clear that the European council agreed


to work closely together, to find mutually satisfactory


solutions in all the four areas at the European council meeting


on the 18th to the 19th That was the Prime Minister. Third


Third time lucky but we got there in the end.


And joining us now from Brussels, UKIP leader, Nigel Farage.


We can see you, can we hear you? I hope so. You are loud and clear,


that is a relief. The Prime Minister seems to be


getting somewhere, he has four baskets of demands, three of them


seem to be going along pretty well. They are quite important, if vague,


and he is still negotiating on the fourth one, that is not a bad result


so far A path ray to progress, you couldn't invent. It look, there is


only one demand here, that needs any real action, the rest can be


promises on a piece of paper. He wanted a cut, migrant benefits for


up to four that the eastern Europeans won't


agree to it, nowhere overnight, and so we will


come back here, on the 11th nowhere overnight, and so we will


February, for a special summit, at which there will be a deal. The deal


will be, that will restrict migrant benefit bus we will restrict


benefits for British citizens who have lived abroad for a period of


year, that is what the deal will be. But we haven't talked about any of


the big stuff. You remember the Bloomberg speech, the big


renegotiation of Britain's relationship with Europe,


questioning whether we could control the border, all of that is out the


window, it is down to one basic demand, which he can't get, without


British people paying some of the price too. If the people had gone


for a deal which involved free trade with the European Union, but


released us from many of the political obligations but we stayed


inside the EU with free trade, would you have supported staying in in


Would I support deal with our European neighbours, where we that


had a free trade deal, where we had reciprocity on student exchanges, a


format and forum in which we could agree common minimum standards but


the supremacy of our own law in our own Parliament and control our


borders, of course. If we stayed within the European Union. You can't


stay inside a political union who since 1957 have insisted upon the


supremacy of European law and do those thing, what it goes to prove


is that actually what Harold Wilson did 40 years ago was deliberately


lie, to the British public, and I don't think we are going to be


gulled again. Danny, what do you say to Nigel Farage, many of the really


big issuesness the Conservatives have been concerned about control of


British borders, getting out of all the European regulation, out of the


CAP, all of that, just free trade agreement, none of that is really on


the table? I don't think the relationship will be completely


transformed by the negotiation, I think Nigel is correct. In the end


Eurosceptics like me will have to make a difficult choice, between a


European Union that does have probably more power than we would


like to see, that isn't I think in the regulatory way everything would


want, versus what I regard as paying a higher cost, than Nigel thinks we


will play for not being inside... Are this renegotiations peripheral


or imagine natural? I can only speak for myself, you know, if I look at


it I am certainly very interested to know whether the European Union is


willing to agree that there should be no closer union. Nigel may say


that is pointless, to me I think it will be, if the European Union were


to refuse to agree to that demand. Do I think that this will mean that


the decision is fundamentally different? No, I hoped originally, I


think, that this would coincide with the eurozone's own constitutional


decisions and therefore it would become the negotiations would make


it even clearer for me, but in the end, you know, we will be left with


the balance and it is a striking a different balance. I think that the


relationship with other European nations and how we reduce for


example trading barriers and costs of regulation, is more easily done


inside a European single market and we can't create that all by ourself,


we have to pay some attention to what others think. Helen, how


strongly will Labour, as the Labour Party, campaign to stay in They have


got a problem which is that Jeremy Corbyn is much cooler on Europe that


many of his MPs. I don't think there is a problem with the exception of


the occasional pure Eurosceptic, Who are well established. The The party


is united. Alan Johnson is leading the Labour campaign, he is so


well-respected a lot of them wish he were leader. Will Mr Corbyn pub the


Labour machine we hind the stay in? All through the leadership is this


the hill you want to die on, is is something he is willing to concede


to people. He has been willing to concede this is not an issue he


wants to stamp his foot and have a fight with the party. Nigel Farage


don't go, stay, we have more to talk to you about. Let us move on the


polls. So the polls on Europe -


should we stay in or leave - So as a festive treat we sent,


not one, not two, but three Daily Politics reporters out


with the most unscientific instrument known to mankind -


the Daily Politics mood-box - to spread a little bit


of Christmas cheer. I don't know about you,


but the topic of discussion at my Christmas dinner


is going to be - EU, Are you going to be


voting in or out? When it comes to the EU referendum,


are you going to vote in or out? Just my knowledge is not that great,


but the financial benefits I like being able to travel


there without any problems. What language


are you speaking? I feel if we left we would be


all alone, we would be Pop a ball in the inbox


for me, would you. It seems a bit stupid


to be on your own. Out, out, I am an Englishman


not a European. So hopefully people will think it's


some sort of modern art. Do you not discuss politics


round your Christmas dinner table? Well, we have given up and come


for gluhwein instead. But as you can see, the result


is overwhelmingly for in. It's very unscientific,


but it's a very Merry How do you read the polls at the


moment? Think the momentum has shifted, since the May 7th general


election and there is no question that the energy and the excitement


has been on the side, of those of us who want to leave behind the


European Union and move on to something more positive and better,


but you are right, obviously, if we took the Lord Ashcroft poll which


showed the leave side 8 points ahead we might get terribly excited. There


is long way to go. I think this, the big scare factor, the idea if we


weren't part of the European Union, they wouldn't buy our goods, I think


that really is deminute Iraning as a fear factor, I think people


understand that trade takes place, all over the world, between


countries who very rarely have political union, I think the migrant


crisis and the sheer numbers of people coming to Britain, and some


very big questions today, about are the figures we have had since 2004


the right ones or indeed are they much higher, I think that concern,


add to that now, fears about security, fears about terrorism, and


I think this argument that we should be controlling our borders, will in


my view become the central part of this referendum campaign. So it is


your view then, that immigration, the migrant crisis, that will become


the dominant theme of the in-out referendum? The question is, I think


in the end the question is this, is Britain safer and more secure being


part of the European Union, or taking part control of our own


lives? I think increasingly, there is an argument that actually,


controlling your borders, being as far away from a common European


asylum policy, that frankly is inviting terrorism, to come into


Europe, is the right and sensible place to be. Of course many people


on the other side will say the exact opposite, that at a time of


terrorism and insecurity, and danger, we need to be inside the


European Union, we need to work with our European allies, to combat


terrorism, as we did with the French, after the attacks on Paris


and as we are doing with the Germans too, that the argument of security


will be used as a reason for staying inside the


Thank we want to deal with cross-border crime of our European


neighbours, people trafficking and terrorism, we can do that as


sovereign governments, through Interpol. The point I'm making is


that of the 1.5 million people who have settled in Europe this year as


part of the EU's common asylum policy, barely a single one of the


McBean security checked and, increasingly, we are seeing the


Greek being used by jihadists as a means of getting into Europe. But


there is no doubt and once they have German passports, or French


passports in three or four years' time, they can all come to Britain


and that becomes a really important fundamental argument. All right. A


lot of issues there which we will have plenty of time to talk about in


2016. For the moment, if the deed is done, some dealers done in February,


at the next summit, it raises the opportunity of having the referendum


in June though there could well be a number of hurdles in the way of


doing that and if not June, September. Let


doing that and if not June, questions. Do you think it will be


now in 2016 and if so, when? It'll questions. Do you think it will be


certain. -- in June. questions. Do you think it will be


go to France that day for questions. Do you think it will be


be. From the Prime Minister 's perspective, the possibility


be. From the Prime Minister 's and 17-year-olds getting the


be. From the Prime Minister 's could delay the whole process by six


months, that type the way. Secondly, the Prime Minister will look at next


summer and maybe even more migrants will come into Europe across the


Mediterranean and through the Western Balkans. Thirdly, he will


calculate that the outside divided. He will see that there is boat


leave, leave EU, the peace negotiations have failed and, hey


presto, on the very morning the Prime Minister looks as most


presto, on the very morning the vulnerable renegotiation, a senior


presto, on the very morning the rumpus there. For all those reasons,


he will go in early, not late. Very interesting. Get that in my diary.


That's that trip to France kibosh. Nigel, stable is one more time,


please. After UKIP dramatically won


the European elections last year, Mr Farage warned the political


establishment to expect an upset But it turned out that the self


styled "People's Army" didn't have quite as much firepower as he had


hoped, winning only one seat. Since then the party has been


fraught with division and infighting and in the latest volly,


the party's only MP Douglas Carswell told the BBC that UKIP needs a fresh


face as leader, with an optimistic I've been brought up around fish,


but it weren't for me, I'd be one of those flavours that


some people adore and others find and get diagnosed with HIV and get


the retroviral drugs. I don't break my word,


so I shall be writing to the UK Ukip National Executive in a few


minutes, saying that I am standing Every single one of our major donors


came out publicly in support character, in the terms


of the way he is perceived. I've never heard so much


twaddle in all my life. I'm gay, you can't get more gay


than me, and I'm the leader of Ukip And I do hereby declare


that Jim McMahon is duly elected as the member


of Parliament... Nigel Farage, all the good and bad


bits there. It's been an eventful year. Had it been good or bad


overall from your perspective? In 2014, four .5 million votes and won


the European elections, and that was amazing. In this year 's general


election we still got 4 million votes. That was deemed to be a


failure. Here we are now, seven months on from the election, our


supporters 25% higher than it was in the general election but I have


never in over 20 years of Ukip Sena party that is more solidly united


around policy, direction and leadership than it is today and what


we have had, ever since that general election, is one individual, mostly


in private, but today, in public, criticising the leadership. That's


fine. Since you mentioned him, and is the season of goodwill for


Douglas Carswell, although he may did not get the message from your


office, he has not held back. Let's hear him.


Sometimes a start-up needs to change gear and change of management


And the Oldham by-election to me said very clearly that I think


That doesn't sound much like unity, Nigel Farage, but... As I say to


you, I have the unanimous support of the Ukip National executive, the


MEPs and, amazingly, 91.4% of Ukip voters in recent opinion polls


support my leadership so my position has never been secure. More secure.


There's one person who does not agree with this. He managed to get


elected sub is quite important. He did but so what? He's one person. We


cannot have one individual, every single time better Ukip conference,


it finishes with a story of disunity and it's all being caused by one


person and, frankly, I think it's going to have to rent. How will it


have to rent? He's going to have to put up or shut up. -- to end. Either


he have to say Ukip are unified behind leadership and deal with


immigration is a fundamental issue in British politics, and not


something we should shy away from, either he's going to have to accept


that or do something different. Leave the party? I do know what he


wants to do. In the end, it will not be me that makes this decision. It


will be Douglas. We know he agrees with us on the question of European


membership. The difficulty is, we think controlling immigration,


having an Australian side point system is the right way forward, he


seems to think and feel it's too awkward to talk about. Do you regret


him joining Ukip? No, of course not. That was a big part of building our


momentum, winning the by-election, Rochester, all of that was part of


our journey and actually, the People's Army is growing. He's been


part of that. He must decide whether he wants to continue. Otherwise, in


your mind, you should leave? We cannot have, I don't think our


national executive will allow one individual to give an impression to


the country that Ukip is divided when, actually, it's very united.


Have you spoken to him? When did you last speak to him? A week ago, ten


days ago. How was that? He wanted to vote for the intervention in Syria,


but we, as a party traditionally, have been low interventionist in


things like this. I can live with that. His criticisms over the


by-election frankly pretty invalid. If 2.5 years ago we got a quarter of


the vote, in a Northern by-election, people would have said it was


phenomenal and it was democratically an easy feat. OK, thank you. Danny,


what say you? They have a Parliamentary party of one and they


are split. Funnily enough I'm on his side in this. There was a base for


Ukip and it is people who share Nigel Farage's view basically on


immigration. I don't belong to that base and Douglas Carswell doesn't.


Douglas Carswell is a libertarian who believes in halving the


expenditure on health service, privatising education, National


Health Service, and he thinks that the country should have a liberal


immigration policy. It does not fit with Ukip. The limits on Ukip not


set by Nigel Farage, but are set by the fact Ukip takes a strong opinion


which is acceptable to a group of people and will never go beyond it


so intrinsically cock in my view, the Ukip project is limited and will


never be successful. The interviews we have done with Douglas Carswell,


there has been a bit of a division on key issues between Douglas


Carswell and the rest of the party but in terms of disunity, it hasn't


just been about Douglas Carswell. There has been in fighting with


Suzanne Evans and Patrick Flynn. How do you see them progressing in 2016?


As a fight for Nigel Farage to get as enemies out of the party. It's a


mirror of what's happening in the Labour Party except on a tiny scale.


It could be resolved with an arm wrestle basically and one would be


in charge of the other. That's a huge problem, there's been a


persistent question about what is Ukip doing with Nigel Farage? Nick


Clegg stood down from Ed Miliband stood down, there was no question


dollar so did Nigel Farage be changed his mind. There was no


question their parties would not manage without them. His resignation


was rescinded within 48 hours. Is it possible it has peaked? I think the


big difficulty would be whether what happens to Europe or the EU


referendum, I think Nigel Farage is right, the way to fight membership


of the European Union is on immigration and Douglas Carswell and


a number of other people don't agree. After the European referendum


they will have a serious problem after that. Remember, it's the third


week of June. Douglas Carswell is Ukip but it sounds like Nigel Farage


wants to be an independent candidate. England are playing Wales


on that day in the US 16 on the third Thursday of June. Ever living


and playing Australia at Lord's, I would understand it. That would be


Though Ukip's gene For the ral election


squib, they weren't the only upstart party looking to light a fire under


the British political establishment in 2015.


The Scottish National Party, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru


all had high-hopes, though the traditional third party,


the Liberal Democrats, could only cross their fingers


and wait for their worst which turned out to be far worse


For me, it's about making Scotland's voice heard.


What are you looking at doing is basically...


Plaid Cymru will not apologise for speaking up for Wales


And the other parties, the Liberal Democrats


If this exit poll is right, Andrew, I will publicly eat my hat


Caroline Lucas is duly elected as a member of Parliament.


And therefore I announce I will be resigning


as leader of the Liberal Democrats.


The new leader of the Liberal Democrats,


And to look back over the year, we're joined by the SNP's Culture,


Media and Sport spokesperson, John Nicolson MP.


you do all of that. Simultaneously and in reverse order, too. An


amazing year for the SNP. and in reverse order, too. An


another amazing one coming up. and in reverse order, too. An


year, too. What have you achieved since May?


year, too. What have you achieved different things. The first thing


year, too. What have you achieved is, as working MPs, I think there is


a general acknowledgement the is, as working MPs, I think there is


speaker no less saying a couple of times who was impressed with the


work ethic of the SNP and the Queen is said to have said they are a lot


more Scots in Parliament on these to be. And around, it's just that we


all turn up and get involved. Unlike a lot of previous Scots on the Tory


side, you've also got Scottish accidents. Indeed, although the


Scottish Tories do now have Scottish voices. They used to talk


Scottish Tories do now have Scottish Malcolm Rifkind and now they roll


their Rs like no tomorrow. Like what? I thought were just broken all


the rules of daytime television! How do you handle the widespread


expectation in do you handle the widespread


the UK that you are going to do very well in the Hollywood election in a


Scottish Parliament elections in May. How do you handle these


expectations because, in a sense, if you don't do incredibly well, the


narrative will be they did all right but didn't do as well as they


thought. Behave naturally. All these rules


about talking up and down expectation, they can seem very


forced and false, so either you lay out your manifesto, you debate, you


fry to be open and transparent, and you ask for the people's mandate.


You will be disappointed, of course, if you don't get another overall


majority in Edinburgh. Of course. The polls suggest you will


comfortably:? The polls suggest the SNP will do as well as they did last


time and it did very well last time. Viewer might not know the whole


system was set up to prevent anybody, because the worry of the


time devolution was set up from the smaller parties at the time was that


Labour, especially west coast Labour would dominate, and so there was a


commission that was set up to device an electoral system that would allow


the smaller parties a look in. It was never meant to happen, the


overall majority, the SNP has been in Government for eight years. Is


Let us assume that you win comfortably, so there is no real


threat, but who is second? Who is the longer term potential threat,


Labour or Conservative? This is interest. You would think it is the


Labour Party, but we are seeing something interesting that happening


in Scotland which is the Conservative Party is tacking to the


left. They have a very articulate leader in Ruth Davidson, she is a


breath of fresh air, many people think, and she is clearly trying to


position herself as the champion of unionism. From a centrist type


position? Precisely. I know myself I found on the doorstep some people


telling me they have always voted Labour, they are not in favour of


Scottish independence, and they are going to vote Tory next time round.


I have never heard that before. That is is a big jump for people. They


used to of course. They were the last party to get more than 50%.


1955. Not many people remember that. This is becoming a narrative for


today. I thought I would throw in a bit... It was called the cultural


cringe where Scots felt that hay to affect that particular, also, you


would get that Kelvinside accent. The morning side. Do you feel we are


intruding here? Mussolini was a wonderful man you know. Exactly.


Exactly. Is it not possible, listening to what John has to say


there, and thinking that it is possible, that the Liberal Democrat


recovery may not be as such? Now the Scottish Labour Party as John is


saying may not recover that much either. We may look back on 2015 as


watershed in our politics. The Scottish Labour Party has a big


battle ahead. I can conceive of them coming third. My question is,


isn'ting with being an SNP MP boring? You are so on message, so we


have talked about, I agree it can go to ware and are you end up in a Ukip


situation. You are slightly robotic. I find, that is on message to say


robot, robot, every time you talk to an SNP MP. We have had this


conversation before. Many times. We were told the problem with the SNP


MPs was they were a rabble, uncontrollable. Clapping, and


behaving in an odd way. Braveheart. Precisely, with bode, I think a lot


of the -- wode. A lot of them were surprised to discover we spoke


English, and the narrative has changed. From being uncontrollable,


to being to controlled. You cannot ea seriously look at Tommy Shepherd,


me, Dr Phillipa and say we are clones. We are very different people


with different backgrounds, and... I did go to your party conference and


it was new Labouresque. I take my hat off to you. I would be


interested to know what Andrew thinks, I think it is an


extraordinary thing, the party tends to agree with the policies. But also


it is early days. It is. We have more ground to cover there, because


we need to find out what is happening with our three wise


reporters. Remember, we've sent them out


with a tinsel-trimmed This time I think they are asking


whether Labour's been bad So, my little reindeers,


shall we do Labour, Labour, have they had


a good year or a bad year? Who would have thought


they had a good year? So, you don't even want to know


what the question is? The Labour Party, did


they have a good year or a bad Take a ball, pop it


in the box you think. This year, I don't think they did


well in the election and I don't think they've done themselves any


favours with Corbyn. I just met five Corbyistas who don't


want to be filmed because they don't But I think people are expecting


quite a lot and I don't know Haven't seen anyone in a Christmas


jumper for a while. I think they'll do well


in the future hopefully. Happy New Year then


for Jeremy Corbyn. Has it been a good year


in politics for you? Yes, our member of Parliament voted


against bombing Syria. So the winter weather has


got the better of us. But Labour seem to have had more


people think they've had a bad year And with us now the Labour


MP, Tulip Sadiq. How would you describe Labour's


year? V it has been surprising. Elaborate. An understatement? There


were lots of people saying I will eat my hat if Jeremy Corbyn gets


elected as leader. I hope they are enjoying their hats right now. A lot


of hats have been digested. You nominated Jeremy Corbyn, is that


what you wanted, has it turned out the way you expected? When I


nominated Jeremy, who I have known for a long time, I never expected


him to win. I never thought Jeremy Corbyn would be leader of the Labour


Party, and I voted for Andy Burnham but I nominated Jeremy. No, I didn't


expect it in all honesty. Is it what you want or wanted? I like the fact


we have so many new member, we have a thousand new new Labour members in


my constituency. I like that. Do I like the infighting? Probably not.


It has been pretty bad. If you have a marginal seat like mine, you


concentrate on your seat and the issues that are important to your


constituents. I will admit the PLP meetings haven't been pleasant. Do


you blame one side or the other. I don't blame anyone in particular,


after a big election like this the surprising result, there is going to


be some kind of fall out. Even if my constituency when I stood against


other people, there was always a fall out afterwards, that is what we


are seeing at the moment. I don't blame anyone. It has been difficult


for anyone. Danny, after Oldham, do you think that been a turning point


for Jeremy Corbyn, I mean, do you any in a sense they were able to say


then, you are going have to give I us a bit more time? His position is


fundamentally strong. If you win the leadership election with 60%, your


position is strong. He has a strong thesis about how the Labour Party


can win again, which I happen to think is ridiculous, but he believes


it coherent and he would imagine I would think it ridiculous. I


wouldn't be phased by that. He has a clear view, clear support for


activist, in my view he has a problem in the Parliamentary party.


Has to bring the party behind him and recognise it is him or them.


They won't conciliate with them, the internal fighting will not cease and


therefore he has to either win that battle or lose the leadership. Is


that how you see it? Does he have to beat the side, the par part of the


Parliamentary party that doesn't support him and is rumoured to be


moving against him at some future point, or does he need to reach out


to them? I think he did reach out. There were very few Corbyn voters in


that Shadow Cabinet. He made an effort. There have been things that


undermined that. The problem is when is the crisis point. There are


undoubtedly MPs who want to do that. It is very possible that is a deke


Khan could win the mayoral election. The demographics could work. And And


Scotland, if that is a horror hoe for Labour, nobody will be


surprised. There is blow that everybody will say the voters have


spoken and we know this isn't going to work for 2020. That was Madame


Mao's line last night. Otherwise to work for 2020. That was Madame


known as Diane Abbott. She said May elections are important but they are


not make or break. They might be horribly undermined. As we saw with


Ukip they were expecting to do very well and were undermined.


Ukip they were expecting to do very destabilising for a party. Does that


wing of the party have to just accept it, or will they go? In terms


of accept it, or will they go? In terms


that has been going on for influencing and taking over parts of


the Labour Party that could choose new candidates after boundary, is


that how it will happen? The best option is for them to conciliate


him, and deed with him n the process make him look weak and make the


activists disaffected because he is moving to the centre, then they


activists disaffected because he is could move against him on the ground


he isn't competent and get a slightly left-wing leader.


he isn't competent and get a tackle him head on he will gain and


strengthen. Est talks about Syria, you voted against air strike, in


line with Jeremy Corbyn but it was a you voted against air strike, in


street. Do you think that there should be a free vote or other


issues like Trident. I didn't vote in line with Jeremy Corbyn. I voted


with my conscience, it was the most difficult decision I have made. It


is not about changing your recycling from Monday to Thursday. This is


about lives, this is about the feature of Syria, war, I thought


long and hard about it. I didn't think I am voting against, it wasn't


like that, I looked at the reasons David Cameron put forward and I


didn't feel he had a compelling case, based on evidence. In terms of


a free vote. Just imagine going back to your constituency and saying I


voted for war because I was whipped to do so. I think it sounds


ridiculous, I think you should have a free vote on something like this,


not on everything but on Syria I agreed with the free vote. On other


key issues like Trident? Trident is another one we will have to debate


and see, but for example high speed rail 2 is one of those where I would


like a free vote because I am going to vote against. You want free votes


on a lot of issues not necessarily a matter of life and death. I have


been an MP since May, not very long, for me a free vote does appeal. I


don't know if it appeals to people who have been in politics for a long


time, to me it does. Is that sustainable, when you are Her


Majesties loyal opposition, but in the past we have expected, because


of history and tradition, that parties are whipped a certain way,


that leaders persuade their party, or most of then. I think it is


sustainable. It is a perfectibly reasonable thing to have more free


votes in parliament the, it will make it more difficult to govern and


to govern party, but there is nothing wrong with it. One has to


remember of course Jeremy Corbyn didn't want a free vote. One of the


problems with the analysis is they want people to vote with their


conscience and have free votes. On the other hand they want to vote


with the membership. They clash. You select MEP Members of Parliament


whose conscience is the same of the member, that leads you down only one


route. What about the voting public, you touched on the elections next


year, does Jeremy Corbyn have cut through with some of these remarks


that have certainly been labelled in the media as tonne wise, rightly or


wrongly. Things like shoot-to-kill, or Jihadi John. Is that the sort of


thing that the public gets? I think from what I have heard from people


who have been up to Oldham, not singing the National Anthem was one,


shoot-to-kill was another. The other thing to remember is most people


aren't that interested in politics, they don't have the pleasure of


doing it full-time, but so my worry for what will happen over the next


year is people will become board of the idea that Jeremy Corbyn is not a


centrist leader, he doesn't have a broad appeal, that will become that


is received wisdom. It doesn't stop it being true, however, Jeremy


Corbyn has a great appeal to the Labour membership. Membership. It is


yet to be proven he can build a winning majority, in Parliament.


Christmas is all about overindulgence, so let's have


another instalment of our festive moodbox with our top


This time Dasher, Prancer and Dancer are asking whether it's been a good


Do you think it's been a good year or a bad year


I vote Conservative and I'm quite happy with a lot of the measures


The Conservatives have they had a good year or a bad year?


We've only been here for two months.


We are facing redundancies so as far as I'm concerned it's bad


I think maybe a good year but I think mainly


because they surprised people at the start of the year and I don't


think anybody thought they were going to have quite


They still have obviously cuts to social security to carry out.


And they've got the referendum and they've got the resurgent


Labour Party, so they've got a lot on their plate.


They won an election against all the odds.


And the Labour Party is falling apart in front of its eyes,


so I suspect the Conservatives are very happy at the moment.


Scrooge, bah humbug, don't really care, not good for me.


Would you say the Conservatives had a good year or a bad year.


I hate Labour, let's put it that way.


They got elected, so a good start, I suppose.


A good year or a bad year for the Conservative party?


Who has got the best Christmas jumper?


No, this is a lady who expressed a view that she wanted me to pop it


in because she's late for work.


This is like a really rubbish version of Top Gear.


Adam, Giles, my little Christmas elves, move aside


Pretty 50-50 but actually just about a good year.


And with us now the Tory MP, James Cleverley.


Welcome to the programme. Most Tories will believe that had a


pretty good year, 2015. Do you think next year will be so good? It's fair


to say when you win a general election against expectations, it


can be a good year. Next year will be a more complicated year. We are


likely to have a referendum. Conservatives on both side about and


that will make it interesting. There's a number of things which


have not gone quite right and a number of things which could


continue to go wrong in 2016. Tax credits is a huge U-turn. There's


been the bullying issue at Tory Central office. The House of Lords,


do keep on losing there. You have the eager negotiations. Syria is an


unfinished story and we have no idea how that could end. And he throw,


not exactly the smack of firm government. Anyone that thought


running a government with a microscopically small majority was


going to be easy or getting business to the House of Lords was going to


be easy needed their bumps felt, quite frankly. But actually,


certainly in terms of the government side of the list, I think we are


still making good progress even though there have been bumps on the


road and on the internal party matters, it's always difficult. I


think the party leadership is getting ahead of that now. Danny,


what is the risk of the Tories ripping themselves apart over Europe


next year? Assuming the referendum next year. Do you think, there will


be divisions obviously, Mr Cameron will still manage to keep the show


on the road? The danger will come after the European referendum


regardless of the result. If David Cameron wins the referendum and


decides to be on the main side, the people on the Leeds side may have


more of a split and obviously, if you were to lose the referendum


having recommended it, you would have a serious problem. His


leadership would be on the line is prime and stuff. Yes, I would think


so. It could be very difficult but in advance of it, during it, the


referendum itself will mean that it won't cause a huge problem. That was


one reason why David Cameron decided to have one. If he was to come back


and get most of what he's looking for, and there was some kind of


agreement on the migration issue, do you think he could carry the


Parliamentary party on that? Some people in the party who are going to


campaign to leave come what may and there are some people who will stay


come what may. A lot of people in the middle are willing to see what


comes back with. I think the centre of gravity is probably towards the


remain but I think there is a very big majority of Conservative MPs who


will campaign to leave. Do you think in the black to abandon the


campaign, collective responsibility? He will have to let Eurosceptic


ministers go their own way as Harold Wilson did. I think there is a


numbers issue there. We have the slots of government which need to be


filled. We have a relatively modest Parliamentary party and by the time


you take people on the wrong side of referendum campaign, you're not


going to have people spare. It'll be the pragmatic thing to do and,


whilst this is a really important issue, it's not the only issue we've


got to worry about. There could be many other issues too. How serious


is this bullying scandal among what was the youth wing of the


Conservative Party but it seems to go on, involving Grant Shapps


resigning, Andrew Feldman, the existing chairman, his involvement


as well. Hugely significant as regards the people involved and the


activities of the pace. By the next general election, it will not


feature politically in the general election, it will not


all in my opinion but that does not mean to


all in my opinion but that does not and important I suspect in


all in my opinion but that does not there will be some serious


allegations revealed by the individuals involved with it


directly. It will not be so serious individuals involved with it


for people in the indirect socialised with it. Grant Shapps has


already resigned so it serious enough.


already resigned so it serious they suddenly have


already resigned so it serious Telford, Lucy Allen,


already resigned so it serious manufactured a death threat, I think


it was, on twitter. She said she conflated two e-mails. If she wants


to see death threats, she should look after my twitter, she wouldn't


have do manufacture them. Now there is a bullying story that we have


these recordings in the London standard


these recordings in the London messages. That


these recordings in the London taken particularly seriously


these recordings in the London of the other allegation. It is also


the case by the way what you said about social media, the whole


question of about social media, the whole


media will become a story this year and even bigger and how you do that


will become more and more. . . She's now bullying on old-fashioned voice


mail. It certainly sounds like an important issue to investigate, yes.


We tried to contact her this morning but we could not get hold of her. If


you would like to give her side of the story on this programme in


January, we would be very accommodating. Has it got


significance beyond the Tory party? It is a juicy juicy story but it's


about a lot of people mostly but not heard of. Yes, Jeremy Corbyn talks


about the right-wing press and they have pursued and followed the story


even though it's extremely inconvenient for David Cameron


because Lord Feldman is a close friend of his. All parties have


these problems, people care about small things and get worked up about


them. Labour has its own problems and allegations of abuse some SNP


MPs are overenthusiastic with their tweets. We have to leave it there.


Merry Christmas to you. Now we like to think


that the Daily Politics has launched Who can forget David Cameron's


Big Board extravaganza, or George Osborne's special slot,


Parliamentary Doctor? He advised people how to avoid tax.


HMRC. And we're sure this Secret Santa


appearance eventually propelled one backbench Labour MP


onto much greater things. The first clue is that


he's a Labour MP. He's been a member of Parliament


since 1983 for the smallest He was one of just 12 Labour


MPs to back Plaid Cymru in the Scottish National Party's


call for an enquiry into the war Finally, he chairs the Parliamentary


wing of CND and described Gordon Brown's backing


for Trident as sad and upset. Du think that helped him become


Labour leader? Yes,. Different year, 2015.


The Daily Politics Secret Santa 2015.


Welcome. Now you couldn't guess who it was at the beginning, have a go


now. Who do you think it is? This MP has worked as a bus conductor. A


London MP. A season-ticket holder. A season-ticket holder at Fulham FC.


Another of his passions of collecting comics. He was first


elected in the Blair landslide of 1997. Have a guess. I resolved my


watch that clip of Jeremy Corbyn I would never guess. This is like


asking how old someone looks. The potential for offence. Don't worry


this London MP is very difficult to offend. I'm refusing. He won the


presidency of the student union LSE and defeated his rival, Danny


Filkins dying. I recognise him. Steve Pound. It is Stephen Pound.


You can reveal yourself within reason. You can take it off. You are


sweltering, I know. Have you got any presence? There he is, I should


stay. It is Stephen Pound. It's not the real Santa Claus. I hope no


children are watching. What gave it away? Even from the beard, the nose,


I know him. Sorry. You didn't disguise yourself well enough. Had


about any presence for us? Indeed I have and well done Finkelstein. I


have a little something in my sack for you. Danny, I should've given as


two years ago. The sack? Andrew, a front bench opposition MP could not


get you anything. That's the quality... He has forgotten his


lines. I have something rather special for you. That sounds


ominous. Shall I whip it out? Grope around in there. Thank you very


much. I know what this is. Sorry, I have got to say goodbye. Happy


Christmas. A happy Christmas and a peaceful


and joyous New Year to you all. It cannot be true, Holmes!


It cannot!


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