01/02/2016 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


"No deal" was the conclusion of the EU council president


Donald Tusk when he left Number 10 last night.


David Cameron says there's been progress and he still hopes


to secure an early renegotiation of Britain's EU membership.


Number 10 claims it all comes down to the next 24 hours.


MPs looking into the collapse of the charity Kids Company aren't


impressed - they accuse everyone from the founder down


of an extraordinary catalogue of failures.


Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own banknotes -


should Wales get its own for the first time


we'll be asking who wants to read about politicians, anyway?


Why did you not like it? I den think they are that interesting, to be


honest. -- I don't think. LAUGHTER


Controversial! All that in the next hour


and with us for the whole of the programme today I'm joined


by three MPs who haven't yet had a book written about them,


authorised or not. But they've told me they're


very open to offers. It's the Conservative


Anne-Marie Treveylan, Matthew Pennycook for Labour


and the Lib Dem and former minister First today let's talk


about the prime minister's renegotiation of Britain's EU


membership, as what are being billed as crunch talks between the UK


government and EU officials roll on. The European Council president


Donald Tusk met David Cameron for dinner at No 10 last night,


and over a meal of salmon, beef and pear and apple crumble,


they tried to reach an agreement that Mr Tusk could then put before


the other EU leaders ahead Well, after the meeting


Downing St said there had been a "breakthrough" on restricting


benefits for EU migrants. Mr Tusk tweeted: "No deal yet.


Intensive work in next 24 crucial.". So what chance of a deal -


well, our political correspondent Any more progress on this deal? We


have come from an hour-long lobby briefing, from


have come from an hour-long lobby official spokeswoman with


journalists, and they sound official spokeswoman with


upbeat. What they are emphasising comment we need to be careful, when


upbeat. What they are emphasising we talk about a deal, the deal will


take place if it does at the February summit of EU leaders. What


we are likely to get, some February summit of EU leaders. What


document from Donald Tusk tomorrow, possibly, and a discussion document


regarding the proposals which he thinks can


regarding the proposals which he deal, but there will be more


discussions deal, but there will be more


Street are careful to say that this is a significant breakthrough, the


idea that is a significant breakthrough, the


admitting that the is a significant breakthrough, the


migration coming into the UK mean that


migration coming into the UK mean emergency brake, and again we have


to be emergency brake, and again we have


of talks about many different breaks emergency brake, and again we have


we are talking about and what the proposal is from the Prime Minister


is that proposal is from the Prime Minister


things like tax credits and housing benefit, for four years from the


time they arrive, that might not benefit, for four years from the


what other EU leaders want. They might say, over four use


what other EU leaders want. They what you like, but then we return to


normal, so that is up what you like, but then we return to


negotiation -- over four years. We do look like we might have some kind


of document, a detailed document, but not the final product, in the


next 24 hours. Regarding the hours you have mentioned, regarding


migrants and the emergency brake specifically, it is not clear if the


European Commission is going to unilaterally say that Britain, you


are allowed to have an urgency break of so many years on benefits to


migrants, that would have to be ratified by the other 27 countries,


is that how you think it will have to be? The question everyone is


is that how you think it will have asking, whose foot is on the break,


can the UK decide from this moment on, that we cannot give any more


benefits to migrants? The UK Government sees this as a Paul


factor which is encouraging migrants to come here rather than go to other


countries, but I have to say, we don't know, we are not at the stage


where we know and they will still be disagreement over this about exactly


how it works. Is it the European Commission saint of Britain, we


accept for the next seven years that you can restrict benefits? -- saying


to Britain. Or is it David Cameron saying all migrants who come here,


in the first four years, they can receive those kind of benefits?


There is a big difference. The Prime Minister is not going to accept


alternative to his proposal, that is what Downing Street are saying,


unless it is as powerful and as effective as the one that he thinks


he is proposing. A busy day to you, I feel. Anne-Marie, have you been


won over? No, I haven't. If you are heading for a car crash, having a


emergency brake is all very well, but I would like to be in charge of


the steering wheel and what this feels like is EU technocrats


controlling decisions. The point of having a referendum, the frustration


of the British people is that more powers seem to come from Europe and


we need to be in charge of these decisions. The primers that has been


frustrated by those who do not understand how important this is for


the British people -- the Prime Minister. There is nothing he could


come back with which would satisfy you? He has not asked for much in


the first place, and my frustration is that he is not even getting


about, and I would like him to at least get through to those


technocrats that this is about the British people and their


frustrations, but they are not hearing that and that is a tough


call all round. Anne-Marie does not think it adds up to very much, but


symbolically, if you were presenting voters with a deal which included an


emergency brake on access to in work benefits from EU migrants, without


not be pretty powerful? I agree with Anne-Marie, this is pretty trivial,


taken in the round, you have got to set aside, the political theatre


which surrounds the negotiation. We are talking about pretty small


staff, which I do not think we'll have much of the impact -- stuff


which I do not think we'll have much impact. You would not support it? We


do not know what it entails, there is so much uncertainty, who presents


the break, what are the circumstances which mean that we


qualify as being in an emergency situation which might give us


certainty about when it applies in future. The European Commission is


broadly in favour of agreement with David Cameron that there could be an


emergency brake if there is an emergency brake on those benefits


for four years, would Labour support it? We would be set auditing to stay


in the EU -- we would be supporting. So it doesn't make a difference? Not


really, it is about whether our future is in or out, and this is


pretty small stuff in terms of the big picture. Are you in favour of it


as a principle, restricting access to benefits? I have no difficulty


with this, this is a reasonable proposition, but it is a damp squib,


really, this is a sideshow. The big issue is, is our destiny and future


in Europe or do we choose to retreat from that? If you think about the


big issues which we confront, migrant flows and international


crime, climate change, issues like tax evasion by companies like


Google, much better able to confront those issues if we are working


together internationally in the European Union rather than on our


own. In terms of what else is being negotiated, what are the


difficulties? One of the stumbling blocks is about the two tier Europe


and the French disagreeing with the idea of safeguards being put in


place for non-Eurozone countries, is that a good idea? I think that is


rather important, yes. There is no prospect of us joining the euro any


time soon, and probably never. We have to make sure that we and other


countries outside the euro are safeguarded and that those countries


within the euro cannot railroad things against our national


interest. That is a substantial issue which I think does have to be


resolved. This is what Steve Baker from conservatives for Britain had


to say yesterday about the negotiations. Family Tory MPs are


going to campaign for out? -- how many. About a fifth have made up


their minds, and there has been a hardening, and I would expect


between 50-70 with in that group. No more than 50-70 Tory MPs campaigning


on your side of the referendum to leave? That would be my expectation


at this stage. Are you disappointed gridlock only 50-7


-- are you disappointed? Only 50-70 Tory MPs to campaign against. That


is what I would expect. There is a core group that will want to leave,


and there are those that would like to stay, and there is a big group in


the middle. It is not many. I'm quite surprised, but this is just


one of many issues, and therefore this is something they will


consider. They have a valid point, this is a referendum for the people


and how politicians choose to cast their vote is only one part of the


process. Do you think the campaign to leave is lacking? If you have


50-70 Tory MPs, you do not have a cabinet minister who is going to


come out, so far, anyway, batting to leave the EU, so it is floundering?


I think it is developing well, there's a broad set of voices on


this referendum, and as it develops, and be Prime Minister reaches


conclusions in the middle of feathery, we will move forward, and


I think voices will become much stronger -- the Prime Minister


reaches conclusions in the middle of February. Which voices are you


hoping to hear from? Do you think some of them will vote to leave but


they will not declare? I think some of those who will chair their


constituency arenas and not put themselves into the firing line, and


I think that is OK. This is a referendum for the people, but they


have got to have the information to make their decision, which makes it


a very important issue. Are you expecting any Cabinet minister to


declare? Chris Grayling but the leader of the house. I don't have


conversation, though, they are all very loyal to the Prime Minister and


that is how it should be at the moment. -- the leader of the house.


What did Tory MP Jacob Rees Mogg warn yesterday might be threatened


At the end of the show we'll see if the panel know


A report by a group of MPs into the collapse of the charity


Kids Company hasn't pulled its punches.


Its founder, trustees, government ministers,


auditors and regulators all come in for strong criticism


We'll speak to its chairman in a moment.


But first, let's remind ourselves of the background to the story.


The charity aimed to provide practical, emotional and educational


support to deprived and vulnerable inner-city children in London,


Its founder, Camila Batmanghelidjh was a high-profile figure,


and it had supporters from across politics,


The charity closed on 5th August last year after facing a series


of claims about its financial management and administration.


In June, the Permanent Secretary of the Cabinet Office,


Richard Heaton, wrote to ministers Oliver Letwin and Matthew Hancock


The grant was awarded a week before the charity closed,


despite Mr Heaton's advising against the move.


In the wake of the closure, Batmanghelidjh and Kids Company


chairman and ex-BBC executive Alan Yentob were called before


the Commons Public Administration Committee.


Today, that committee has published a report roundly criticising


the charity's trustees and the Charity Commission


for an "extraordinary catalogue of failures".


Camila Batmanghelidjh herself is to appear in a documentary


on BBC One on Wednesday, in which she denies any wrongdoing.


I am not sorry I gave the kids money.


I am not sorry I bought the kids nice things.


The only thing I am sorry about is, I didn't raise enough money.


Well, we're joined now by the chairman of the committee


He's the Conservative Bernard Jenkin.


Your report described it as an extraordinary catalogue of failures,


laying blame at the door of the trustees. Why haven't government


ministers received more blame for overriding the advice of civil


servants? We do look closely, actually, at ministers and I don't


think they scape from our scrutiny. You used the word blame. We do not


use that word. Why not? There is no point in finding blame. What we want


to know is why this accident occurred and what can be learned


from it. It is not about blame. There are lessons for the Charity


Commission. They could have been much more proactive. They could have


scoop top stories in the press. Why many more people did not take their


concerns to the Charity Commission is a big question for the Charity


Commission. They need more resources to support trustees in these


charities than they have. There is lessons for the advisors. Why didn't


the accountants ring the alarm bells more vigorously? There is lessons


for the government. Why were ministers overriding civil servants'


advice, went to some extent they were conflicted? This charity had


become an emblem of something the governing party wanted to project,


and I have to say, ministers of all parties were captivated by the


charisma of Camila Batmanghelidjh, blinded away from their usual sense


of judgment. This happened to the blinded away from their usual sense


trustees, too. And it is the trustees who are accountable. Either


they knew what was going trustees who are accountable. Either


did not do something about it, or they didn't know what was going on,


and they should have done. But in terms of blame, why shouldn't


ministers be blamed for overriding civil servants, when they allowed


millions of pounds of civil servants, when they allowed


to be given to charity without civil servants, when they allowed


due diligence or taking any notice of what was being presented to them?


This is something about the philosophy of the way I lead this


committee. I think too many select committees are interested in putting


people up against the wall and just shooting and. It just creates a


climate of fear around shooting and. It just creates a


the public service so that people find it even more difficult to deal


with the issues. I know that this is disappointing may be for the BBC and


the media. But actually we wanted to learn the lessons. Disappointing for


the public, too. It is about accountability and transparency. It


is not me saying this at the BBC. We spoke to Paul Flynn, a member of


your committee, and he has accused the committee of political timidity


in not going further in investigating the links between Kids


Company and the government. As you yourself have just said, they were


captivated. We put that in the report. But why didn't you summon


some of these ministers? We did, I am afraid you have not been briefed


properly. I did watch the sittings. I'm afraid, Oliver Letwin came


before the committee and we gave him a severe investigation. Maybe the


liaison committee will summon the Prime Minister to explain himself in


respect of this matter. That is a decision for all the select


committee chair people, not just me. Should Camila Batmanghelidjh have


had that unique, privileged access to top tiers of government? And we


say she shouldn't. If she did she should not have used it in the way


she did, to obtain money at the expense of other charities. One of


our recommendations is that there needs to be new procedures in place


so that when ministers become effectively conflicted between their


political work with the charity and what they want to project


politically from that, and applications from grants, straws are


the last people who should be overriding civil servants' advice.


Absolutely. In my time as a minister I was aware of an extraordinary


process that you have to go through if you were a charity applying for


government money. It was a really tight, proper process. Here, they


just ride roughshod completely over it! The final payment of 3 million


quid, I think... Which was only a week before it actually closed. It


is outrageous. And surely there does have to be political accountability


here. Should the ministers, Matthew Hancock and Oliver Letwin, made the


decision against the advice of senior civil servants, to pay that


money over. It is a total waste of public money. Looking at this


report, and you will no doubt have followed the committee interviews


that were done with Alan Yentob and Camila Batmanghelidjh herself -


would you have liked to have seen more ministers being grilled in the


way Oliver Letwin was? I am on the Public Accounts Committee and we


looked at this very closely from the financial point of view. We are


there to manage value for money for the taxpayer and to highlight when


it has failed. In this case, absolutely we did not get value for


money, the British people were not supported. And we grilled the


permanent secretaries, of which there have been a few over the


course of the life of Kids Company, about how they had continued to


accent that money should be, and it was only in the last tranche but


they asked for a letter to hand over this money, but actually they were


allowing funds to go to a charity which was not meeting... It was not


a national charity, it was very localised, there were so many areas


where it was being overridden. We have looked at it in some detail and


we need to make sure that there are much more rigorous systems in place


within the civil service, so that the taxpayer knows that... There are


many charities in the north-east which would have been thrilled with


that 3 million. We could have done a great deal for many children in the


north-east. And the total given of course was much greater. 42 million,


yes,. Under all governance, I have to say. Absolutely. It had failed to


meet government standards which would have got other charities the


money, several times over. For work which was very worthwhile in some


areas, but not in others. Is there any truth, Bernard Jenkin, in the


allegation that Camila Batmanghelidjh herself was the sort


of poster girl of the big society, that in a way it could not be


allowed to fail, but that was the political imperative, which is why


they seemed to turn a blind eye to what was going on financially? And


that that is why in the end the Government let it happen, and the


allegation that you were too timid? You're absolutely right, that is


exactly what we set out in our report. I don't think we have been


timid at all. What are you expect us to do beyond what we have put in our


report? The fact is, you're exactly right, you have nailed it. You have


read our report and you are repeating back to me what we have


got in our report. A lot of money was spent in the pursuit of


political objectives. It happened under the Labour Party and the


coalition as well. This is something which has got into the political


culture. Just skate booting one minister, if I may say, for signing


a letter, is not the answer. We need everybody to take this on board. I


will be raising this with the Prime Minister this afternoon. And will


you come and tell us...? Probably not! Just thought I would ask!


Talking of Oliver Letwin, he has released a statement saying he still


believes it was the right thing to do to give this charity one last


chance to restructure. Was he wrong? I'm afraid he was, and we say he was


wrong in our report. Do you agree? I think the trustees were really not


doing their jobs properly. I have been on many charity boards, and


sometimes you have to take ethical decisions and you have to cut your


cloth. They did not do that. Interesting that Bernard Jenkin is


says the culture had already existed under Labour, do you accept that? I


think he is right that this goes beyond one particular government. It


is a problem with charismatic individuals and charities which are


held up to be special cases, in that then it becomes very difficult in


how government deals with it. There are clear lessons from the report in


how government hands out noncompetitive grants. But while


learning the lessons from this particular case, we have got to be


careful not to slander the whole charity sector. Lots of trustees


work extremely hard. Very professional, and if anything, need


more support. There was at least one trustee who really did try and stick


up for what should have happened. He resigned in March last year. And I


think there were others. But the real question here is, how did this


happen, and is it happening in other charities? Trustees reading this


report needs to see for themselves and ask themselves, how do you get


the conversations going which are not being had? How do you get people


to tell you stuff that they are frightened of telling you because


there is a powerful person in the organisation who does not want you


to know? These are very difficult questions and indeed they apply to


the BBC as well. There is a concern which we express in our report that


Alan Yentob, his removal from his job, or his resignation, brushes


under the carpet a question about attitudes of senior management in


the BBC, which the trustees have not quite got a grip on. Have there been


the conversations at the top of the BBC about how it was possible that a


senior person in the BBC with a great reputation should finish up


standing over the shoulder of a BBC producer while Camila Batmanghelidjh


was being interviewed? Echoes these issues of conflict need to be


discussed. It took a very long time for this even to be raised properly


in the BBC. -- because these issues. I will leave that for you to


investigate and pursue further. It shows that these issues of


governance stretch into all... And indeed into the private sector. Yes.


Before we let you go, on the EU renegotiation, we could not let you


go without asking you about this... Everybody has resisted it this


morning! Well, I am not going to! Are you now happy with the status of


the campaign? I am supporting the campaign. Will you resign from the


board if Dominic Cummings continues as its campaign director? Dominic


continues and I continue to support it.


England, Scotland and Northern Ireland can issue their own bank


Plaid Cymru are calling for the new notes to put Wales


on an equal footing with Soctland and Northern Ireland,


and to allow Welsh figures to be represented on bank notes.


In the 19th century, Wales did have their own notes,


printed by small local banks, which could be used


Here at the Daily politics we like to be helpful, so we've come


The former 14th century Prince of Wales Owain Glyndwr,


famous Welsh Prime Minister David Lloyd George,


or if you wanted to be more current, how about


Joining me now is Plaid Cymru's Hywel Williams.


Another famous Welshman! What has brought this on? Well, there is a


change, there is devolution, there is... It has been around for a


while. Indeed but there are further changes.


while. Indeed but there are further is for the watchers. And of


while. Indeed but there are further there is the thing that Scotland and


Northern Ireland are able to do this. So why did Wales not continue


with its own banknotes? Because we are part of that mythical being,


England and Wales. Inc before the Bank of England was set up. And of


course, the rights issue notes were stopped in the middle of the


19th-century. Scottish and Northern Ireland banks actually derive some


value from this, there is economic benefit from it as well. Is there


much demand for it, benefit from it as well. Is there


it is symbolic of changed times. But is there a demand for it? Suddenly


there is. My colleague Jonathan Edwards will be making that demand


this afternoon. Apart from you two! Can


this afternoon. Apart from you two! It you are the


this afternoon. Apart from you two! already there in some respects.


this afternoon. Apart from you two! is not a matter of principle. It is


actually to reflect the is not a matter of principle. It is


future settlements with Wales. That is not a matter of principle. It is


support for it - do you think people care enough about it? If you were to


ask a person on the street in Cardiff or Carmarthen, I am sure


they would say Cardiff or Carmarthen, I am sure


What about the extra cost? It would be minimal. Would it? Absolutely. Do


you know what the cost would be? I have no idea. But it is a matter of


the design and... Do you support it? I have no problem with it.


the design and... Do you support it? notes in my wallet as often as


the design and... Do you support it? have English notes. I have got no


problem with it in principle. And who would you have on the notes? Who


would I have? I will come back to you. What about you? I think


identity is important and I understand. But I want a Norfolk


note. That is not what I meant! Aneurin Bevan. Ryan Giggs.


note. That is not what I meant! you like to see on the note? I think


I would stick with Owain Glyndwr or possibly Michael Foot. Just before


you go, would you worry about difficulty as I have experienced


with Scottish notes sometimes coming home and then retailers will not


accept them even though they are home and then retailers will not


technically legal tender? Yes, it is a matter of popularising the image


of the UK as four equal partners I think. When newsagents and others


realise this, there will be no problem at all.


Let's take a look now at some of the events likely to be making


Registration for campaigners in the EU Referendum opens today -


and they must start recording all donations and loans above ?7,500


to the Electoral Commission from today.


Tuesday now seems the likeliest day for


European Council president Donald Tusk to circulate a letter


to EU leaders setting out what progress has been made


on the UK's membership renegotiation - assuming he and David Cameron


On Wednesday after Prime Minister's Questions,


Labour will try to keep the spotlight


by holding a Commons debate on multinational companies


On Thursday, a Syria donors' conference is being held in London


to encourage participating countries to give more to tackle


the humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict in Syria.


And Saturday sees the first meeting of the National Committee


of Momentum - that's the grassroots organisation set up in the wake


So, a busy week in politics, and that means a busy week


for journalists like Lucy Fisher from The Times and Rafael Behr


from The Guardian - they're in College Green.


How much damage has been done to the reputation of George Osborne over


the Google tax row? A great deal of damage has been done, the Business


Secretary Sajid Javid yesterday said this is not a major success, as


George Osborne said, he says this is not a glorious moment, and Sajid


Javid said he shared the sense of injustice that many companies feel.


Also we had Google's spokesman Peter Barron himself on the airwaves


saying that we need reform of tax laws, and in the light of that


George Osborne should be very red cheeked. Obviously, a fruitful


stream for Labour to pursue, and we will show our viewers the tax return


that John McDonnell has published. Not sure what it says, but will this


put more pressure on George Osborne and David Cameron to publish their


own tax returns or pursue more transparency? It is a nifty device.


To some degree it does put the pressure on, it says he has nothing


to hide as the Shadow Chancellor, but I think it will have limited


traction, because for a device like this to build up a head of steam you


need other people do say, yes, we all want to do this, as well. In the


wider sphere of power around the Chancellor and Prime Minister, there


are not many people who are desperate to publish their tax


returns and newspaper editors are not in a hurry and so I'm not sure


this campaign will have much momentum, but it keeps the spotlight


on this issue. There are Conservatives who are starting to


appreciate that just being behind all business and commerce regardless


of what it does, that is not action is such a great look for the


Conservative Party, and if this does come to put more pressure on the


Chancellor, it will be Conservatives saying they are getting on the wrong


side of public opinion more than necessarily the things the Labour


Party can do. What more can we actually hope will be revealed,


Lucy? We have heard Peter Barron said there is no sweetheart deal


which was struck with HMRC, and they are paying their share of


corporation tax at the same level as everybody else. There might be an


inquiry from a Parliamentary committee, but are we talking about


a new tax regime for big multinationals? Back conversation


needs to be had. There are more revelations to come which will keep


the pressure in place, and I think the pressure will stay up there.


People are saying, do we need to overhaul corporation tax and have a


different levy on sale so people cannot structure their profits so it


goes to tax havens like Bermuda? The principle is the main problem,


people say these are private individuals, tax is not negotiable,


but if you are a multinational corporation you can wrangle with


HMRC and aside the tax you are going to pay. There has to be some


measures proposed. -- and decide. The Shadow Chancellor John O'Donnell


said by the end of the century national borders would be an


irrelevance, what do you make of that? Quite interesting. He did say


by the end of this century, so we have 85 years. It is quite


revealing, it almost shows the Marxist training, eating is about


these great historical forces in terms of historical destiny -- he


thinks about. What people want from the Labour Party is someone who will


talk about what a Labour government would do in five years' time, not 85


years. Even though he might have unearthed some interesting


discussion about globalisation and the world shrinking and people


moving around and Borders dissolving, that is maybe an


academic and people wants to have, but the Labour Party needs to


reassure people that the Labour Party in government would have


control over the borders which we do have at the moment, which some


people do not think they care enough about at the moment. It might be a


valid academic I'd meant to have, though. Thanks for joining us. --


valid academic argument to have. It's been called the war


the world forgot. The ongoing conflict in Yemen has


seen thousands of deaths and millions of people


internally displaced. A coalition of nine countries


led by Saudi Arabia has been bombing rebel targets in support


of the government, and the coalition yesterday announced it will form


a "high-level independent committee" to investigate UN allegations that


bombing raids have deliberately Back in the UK, questions have been


raised about the role of British military advisers


in the bombing campaign. One of those raising the questions


is Shadow International Development What would you like this independent


committee to verify exactly? We need to be clear first of all where the


government stands in relation to law and in relation to arms treaties,


because ministers have said there has been no deliberate humanitarian


outrage, but it does not say it has to be deliberate, it says if there


is a risk of humanitarian outrage is happening, and we can see that in


Yemen there have been a series... There have been a four hospitals


bombed, and we believe that the government might be in breach of


treaties which it signed and that is what we should be looking at. You


are worried about British personnel and British government being in


breach of international law, what is it that you think British personnel


have been involved with? We have been told that they have been


helping the Saudis with targets to make sure there is no breach of


humanitarian law, but they are clearly not being very successful.


The accounts are that civilians have been hit, as you say, targeted or


not. But as you say, British personnel have been involved, you


think, in trying to minimise civilian casualties, is that not the


point? We know they are involved, but we don't know what they are


doing, and I think we need transparency. We also need an


examination as to whether we are actually in breach of arms treaties


which we have signed. Are the Saudis, the Saudi led Karen Isham,


have they committed war crimes? -- Saudi led coalition. These are


important things we have got to look into, but at the moment the United


Nations says that Yemen is on the edge of a humanitarian crisis and a


food crisis but so clearly that Saudi led coalition has created


havoc in what is the second largest country in the area. People will be


surprised here that British military personnel have been involved in


assisting this Saudi led coalition in targeting rebels, as they would


particular against the government. That is Britain involved in the war


in Yemen? -- as they would put it come against the government. We need


the review, to get an understanding of what the British involvement is.


We have important long-standing relationships with the Saudis and


supporting the work of democratic governments across the region, we


need to be clear with our military personnel and the government, they


are keen to make sure that there has not been any breaches and I


support... Are you worried that British personnel are trying to


assist, even if they are minimising civilian tragedies? I have no


expertise in this area, but I want to make sure that we really are


checking that they are there to do what is right and


checking that they are there to do are not reaching any area of


international law. -- preaching. Should they be there in the first


place? -- breaching. Should they be there in the first


world. We are all across the world. What do you make


world. We are all across the world. government? It needs to be


investigated, I want a review of our relationship with Saudi Arabia, this


is a country which has been involved with the system breaches of human


rights in a serious with the system breaches of human


own country -- with this system. with the system breaches of human


targeting civilians is a very serious allegation, and if we are


involved with that campaign, we ought to know exactly what the role


has been. There should be total transparency. Why is the government


continuing to grant transparency. Why is the government


sales to a regime which is guilty of attacks on civilian


sales to a regime which is guilty of sales. I hope that is what the


review will stab. This also highlights, Britain's involvement


across the Middle East, the extent of our involvement, it highlights


some fundamental issues about our role in that region and we need


clarity about what those troops are doing and whether their role is


direct or indirect, how many there are and whether their advice is


being listened to. The Foreign Office minister says that people are


naive to think that Britain cannot sell weapons systems to allies. This


is the reality. I'm a fried. He has not read the treaties, we


is the reality. I'm a fried. He has be selling arms to regimes where


there is a possibility they will be be selling arms to regimes where


-- I'm afraid. But we don't be selling arms to regimes where


the moment, the committee has not reported. The law is about risk, not


in town. It is actually about risk, and the risk is very clear. -- not


intent. There is a very serious risk which this government is turning a


blind eye to and we should not be colluding in humanitarian outrage is


in Yemen. Who is to say it is right to continue to do it, just because


we have always done it? Sometimes we have got to question the impact of


our foreign policy. There is the reality on the ground, though.


People in Yemen desperately need aid and they need help and working with


the Saudi led coalition might be the only way to get that aid to them. Or


it might be that the bombing and the deaths of thousands of people is


making a humanitarian catastrophe worse, that is my view. We should


suspend the sale of arms aren't we are clear that it is not our side


and that we are not making the humour to situation worse. Would you


back that call? We need to see the review, and then we can make a


decision. Would you suspend sales of arms to Saudi Arabia while that is


going on? We have got to make sure that we are not breaching


international law. Yes, we should. Jeremy Corbyn may have had


a political career spanning four decades, but up until his election


as Labour leader, it was safe to say that publishers hadn't


taken much of an interest Well, that's changed,


with several new books vying for your attention -


including one out today. But how many people actually want


to read books about politicians? We've sent our Ellie


out to see if she can, the new biography


about Jeremy Corbyn. Now, people in the


Westminster village love That is the question I'm


asking this morning. I love a lot of biographies


and autobiographies, Because I'm following


what they say on a daily basis, so I don't feel I need


an extra layer of information. Political biographies,


are you interested? Erm, depends who has


written it, I suppose. I would be happy to


read that one on Anne Jeremy Corbyn, interested


in any of these Yes, but not right now.


OK. Do you want any of them?


No, I'm good, thanks. Sure, you can take them.


I'm fine. Do you want a book?


No, thank you. I read mostly poetry and fiction,


being a literature professor. And since my time is limited


for contemporary politics, I would confine myself mainly to


American politics. Fair enough.


So this would be a waste of time. Spoken like a true


professor, thank you. I am a chef, so I read


more books about cooking. You can have a little look,


see if there is anything Erm, if I need to buy it,


yes, I will buy it. But you have to promise


you will read it. Yes?


He is a fascinating character. Thank you very much.


You have made your morning. Thank you so much.


Have a lovely day. So, they have not exactly


flown off the shelves. In fact I have not


really been able to But maybe people should not judge


books by their covers. # Can't judge a book


by looking at the cover... And the author of a new book


about the Labour leader, Comrade Corbyn, is Rosa Prince


of the Daily Telegraph Were you heartened by that?! Now,


here is the book. I have got it here. Why was Jeremy Corbyn not the


first choice for the left as a representative in the leadership


contest? Well, I think nobody expected him to want to run. He had


been in Parliament for such a long time and had had all sorts of


interests, mainly to do with foreign affairs, and no-one thought he was


up for it, really. Then they looked around and found that no-one else


wanted to do it, and thought, why don't we try Jeremy? So it was


literally going around the table to say, whose turn is it now? In a way.


Diane Abbott, who was just here, she had run before. There were not that


many lefties still left in Parliament to do it. What about Jon


Trickett or Clive Lewis? Clive Lewis was a new MP. I think that was


probably his problem. Jon Trickett I think quite a lot of people wanted


him to run. I chatted to him about, I think his view was that he felt he


had worked for Ed Miliband, he had actually also worked for Gordon


Brown and Tony Blair. He felt it needed someone a bit more


anti-establishment. His sense was that he was a bit too associated


with what had gone before, that they needed someone completely would be a


breath of fresh air. I don't think even the people who wanted Jeremy in


the end thought that he would prove so popular and that it would take


off like it did. I am sure they are all thrilled. What was your


impression of the man at the end of the book, having done all this


research, did it change dramatically? It did even though to


the extent that I had been in the lobby for ten years... And you will


have known him, like I did, he was always there. Always in the


background, always taking up these issues which were very important to


lots of people, but perhaps slightly on the periphery. He was not a


leading light in Parliament and certainly he did never want anything


to do with people like me, lobby journalists. He was a columnist on


the morning Star. I did not know him very well. He was quite


one-dimensional figure to me. Now I have learned that he has an


absolutely fascinating back story. For any biographer, you want to have


an interesting childhood and used, and he certainly had that. There


were lots of things that I learned in that respect. I came away


thinking that he is a very good man, a very decent man. It is what a lot


of people say about him on both sides of the House. Yes, he cares a


lot about people and he wants to do good. I think he genuinely puts


other people first. And so I came away liking him and respecting him.


Perhaps like lots of people, I had issues on various parts of his


political stance, but as a man he is fascinating. In terms of whether he


really wanted it, you said yourself he did not particularly think about


it before he was sort of children. And there has been some talk that he


would not enjoy it, that he would find it hard work being thrust into


the centre, having been as you say an MP who had pursued his own pet


policies - has that changed? I sense he is enjoying it a little bit more,


only from observing him on screens and on radio. I think so, too. When


he began his journey, at the start, he was very focused on trying to get


onto the ballot. When he did do that, he was pleased, obviously. But


a day or two later he had a panic, he was really worried about what the


attention would be like for him. He is very private, he does not like


talking about his family. He hates that his family are now in the


public eye and he has a problem with that. And yet as time went on, think


back to last summer, going to those wellies and appearing in front of


thousands of people who think you're absolutely fantastic, it must be


totally intoxicating. I don't know! Me, neither. I am sure I'm not sure


-- I am sure anyone would enjoy that. Then we went back again and


you get to the beginning of his leadership, the knock-about, the


Shadow Cabinet, I think that is all quite difficult. And I think he had


that process all over again. At the beginning it was like, oh gosh, what


have I done? And now, I think he enjoys it. Do you know him? I have


met him a couple of times. I do think he is starting to enjoy it


more. He is a very decent man. I think if you are a Labour Party


member or MP, or if you care about the Labour Party and its future, I


think you have to admit that we're not where we need to be. We need to


be doing more to hold the government to account and more to talk about


what people out in the country are talking about. While I think Jeremy


has a huge mandate, not just from a Phil Yates and supporters but from


members, and deserves a chance to lead as he sees fit, with that


mandate comes responsible to. Responsibility not just to win


elections in May and beyond, but I think to start talking about the


things that people out there care about, and coming up with solutions


and answers for problems in the country today and in the future, on


welfare, immigration, housing and other issues. The London mayoral


election is seen as a big test, do you think, for Jeremy Corbyn and his


leadership? Everybody reads into this what they want. People who are


supporters of Jeremy would see a victory in the London mayoral


election as a vindication of his leadership. I think London has got


and he its own political culture. William


and he candidate. Michael Douglas says he


has got 99 days - do you agree with him? I'm not sure. We have got 4.5


years until the election. But him? I'm not sure. We have got 4.5


will be a very clear signal as to how we are doing out in the country,


and whether Jeremy Corbyn's politics are resonating. That was the big


pumice of his campaign, that we could pull back voters in Scotland


and in parts of the country where people have not voted Labour. Have


you had a goodly reaction from Labour activists? I have had a bit


of nervousness from the Labour Party. And I think that as they read


it they will be a bit Party. And I think that as they read


because they did not want to have a muckraking, salacious read, and the


first muckraking, salacious read, and the


is not that. The muckraking, salacious read, and the


there, poised to jump on me if it was that. Hopefully when they read


it, they will learn that it is not. It really isn't. It is an


examination of Jerry Corbyn as a man, and a biography, discussing


what happened over the summer, and how he


what happened over the summer, and impossible feat. Will you


what happened over the summer, and Yes, it sounds very interesting! You


cannot say no! And actually I think progressive politics in our country


faces an enormous challenge. I wonder whether the Labour Party


faces sort of two camps which are wonder whether the Labour Party


ultimately irreconcilable. We wonder whether the Labour Party


been through our own near death experience. And in the interests of


democracy, it is critically important that the government has an


effective, credible tonnage of. I desperately want a liberal,


progressive force in this country which can take on the Conservative


garment. Will you read it? I certainly will, I shall


garment. Will you read it? I from the library, if that is all


right! You're very brave to say that! I think he is a very


interesting man. They are quite an intellectual group. I think


governments should have a credible opposition. Quite often they are


thinking, 85 years hence, which is all very well. But actually it is


about what they would do, and the British people need to know. They


have got a long-term economic plan, dare I say it!


You may have noticed it's a presidential election year


Rather a lot's been said before a single vote has even been cast,


but overnight tonight Democrat and Republican voters in the state


of Iowa will cast their ballots at the start of the process


which will see the two parties select their candidate


The BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan is there, and she's been out to see


how many candidates she could meet in a day.


It is just after nine in Des Moines, Iowa,


All the candidates are trying to crisscross the state to get


as many votes as they can in the caucuses.


So, I've got a list of where the candidates are going to be


and I'm going to see how many of them I can meet.


He is doing a coffee and bagels meeting.


Just over there, we will see that we can get a word with him.


Do you think you have a shot in this race?


We've been in the car for two hours and we finally arrived at the place


where we are hoping to catch the next candidate, but we're late.


You have the right to exercise your Second Amendment rights.


Are we allowed to place restrictions on that?


Only in the most extreme circumstances, like if you're


That was Chris Christie, the second candidate of today.


Stop No 3 for a Bernie Sanders event.


We're talking about making public colleges and universities tuition-


We only had to drive a short way from our last one.


We've met three candidates and there is a long queue


for the next person we're going to see.


It is 5.30 in the evening and we've driven all across this state


searching the candidates and we're now in a place called Wilton


and we're going to see one more candidate.


And it protected the Second Amendment right to keep and bear


So, we've travelled 350 miles and we've met four candidates


and one former president who is married to a candidate.


It made us realise that we're exhausted, so imagine


what the candidates are going through on a daily basis


I am exhausted just watching it! What you make of the presidential


contest so far? It is really interesting, I think. Is that a


euphemism? Horrified! For what I know, Iowa is a very different


primary from the others. But the whole thing says to me, on both


sides, just the rise of populism and the attack on traditional political


elites, it is happening around the world but in America seems to be in


its rawest form. Are you worried, horrified, as Norman Lamb said, or


excited? More worried than excited. I think there is some extraordinary


combinations which could come out of this. I think Iowa will not reflect


what we will see over the next few months. It is a kick-start to a


whole run of events but it is used as the straw poll to cushion what do


you think will happen at this stage? I hope that ultimately, Hillary


Clinton will prevail. It does not mean I am a great enthusiast. But


ultimately I think in a democracy you want someone who can inspire


people but also politics based on rational judgment and evidence. When


you hear Donald Trump talking, I mean, it is just, it is a nightmare.


The idea that the free world as it is called could be led by someone


like him... We keep the making assumption that he will fall and


crash but it does not happen. I don't think we can make any


assumptions about the outcome of this. On issues of fairness and


clarity in this programme, we showed a copy of John McDonnell's tax


return, and I said I was not sure what we could see from it. Just to


be clear, his office have called to say that the whole tax return has


been published, and you can go and find it if you want to. Just time to


find out the answer to our quiz. The question was, what did Tory MP Jacob


Rees Mogg warned might happen? Was it...? Anyone know the correct


answer? It was biscuits. It was. Stopping the trans fats being used


to make Al biscuits delicious. Well done! That is it for today. Bye-bye.


to the decline and fall of a charity empire.


The Government thought it was the right thing to do.


They're going to make me the demon of Peckham.


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