12/04/2016 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


After the Business Secretary Sajid Javid says


the Government is willing to co-invest in the Port Talbot


steelworks to keep it open, MPs hold an emergency debate


on the crisis facing the UK's steel industry.


as the new Work and Pensions Secretary.


We'll assess the challenges he faces on welfare reform.


The Government's ?9 million pro-EU leaflet


starts dropping through letterboxes across the UK - and provokes


a wave of hostility on the Conservative backbenches.


And the most unlikely star of musical theatre - Jeremy Corbyn.


We take a peak at Corbyn The Musical, which opens tonight.


# I didn't sell out, I didn't live in


# You need a hero, you got Corbin #. All that in the next hour


and with us for the whole of the programme today is the former


Conservative MP and Work What's life like on the outside?


It's not quite 24/7, seven days a week, so slightly more time back to


myself, but pursuing things that I want to do with a view, which I've


always said, to go back into the housing 2020. Obviously I love


place. You must've been surprised at the time. There can't have been much


time to plan for life outside because this was a night when the


Tories, your party, did better than most people expected but you lost


your seat. It wasn't a surprise. If you followed the Merseyside


election, the fact that it's taken me ten years to win their... It was


always going to be a difficult seat for a Conservative minister to win


on Merseyside. But interestingly, I did actually increased my vote by to


present from when I won in 2010. I got 2000 extra votes. So it was


interesting, the tactics that Labour used both in rural western Chester,


the only two seats they won, and that was that the Greens aligned and


did a deal with Labour not to stand in Wirral West, otherwise I would


have won because I would have taken 3%. It was a couple of hundred


votes. It was very, very close because it went to a recount or sub


I think you asked for a recount on the night. I didn't ask but it did


go because it was so close. We won actually on the vote but it was the


flood of postal votes that came in that changed it and hence there was


a recount. You must be missing the place if you want to be involved


again in politics? I said on the night that I wanted to come back.


There I was, part of the government that had delivered 2 million more


people into work, part of their team and I'd had a wonderful time there.


I'd taken ten years to get into politics because I wanted to go back


to my home turf, Merseyside, which, for anybody, is a tough place to be,


but you got to love the area, love the place, so yes I do aim to be


back in 2020 but it's a long journey and a tough journey so we'll see


what happens. In the meantime? Taking up most of my time at the


moment is an organisation that I'm working with with the British


Transport Police authority and I work with inner-city children on


careers, an role models, on how to get their foot in the door, so


supporting people with career options and that is something I've


done for 15 years and I'm able to carry that on. It's good to have you


here, Esther McVey, and we'll talk more about your previous brief.


And today we're giving you a different kind of teaser -


I said to him he didn't write off the mortgage of the won the


taxpayers were helping to pay for at Oxford.


I didn't receive a proper answer then.


That was the Labour MP Dennis Skinner speaking in the House


At the end of the show Esther will, I'm sure, give us the correct


In the next hour, MPs will begin an emergency debate


on the UK steel industry, after Tata Steel announced a month


ago that they would be selling their UK plants.


Yesterday, the company confirmed the sale of its Scunthorpe plant


to Greybull Capital for a token ?1, and the Business Secretary


Sajid Javid told the Commons that the Government was working very


hard to find a buyer for the Port Talbot


Among options being considered, he said, was the possibility


of co-investing with a buyer on commercial terms.


Last month, Tata announced its intention to sell the plant


and its wider UK assets, rather than to close it.


Since then, I have continued to meet with its executives


I've been joined in this by my right honourable friend the Secretary


of State for Wales and my right honourable friend


And we've secured assurances that Tata will be a responsible seller


and will allow appropriate time to find a buyer.


The formal sales process begins today.


I've been in contact with potential buyers,


making clear that the Government stands ready to help.


This includes looking at the possibility of co-investing


We've been joined from Central Lobby in the Houses of Parliament


The Port Talbot steelworks are in his constituency.


And we did ask the Department for Business for an interview


with a minister about this, but none was available.


Stephen Kinnock, watched you make of Sajid Javid's statement yesterday?


Were you surprised by his suggestion of co-investing in the Port Talbot


plant? Well, it left more questions than answers. I think we need


clarity on what that means. We pushed the Secretary of State in the


debate for more clarity and it didn't really come. I think we


should just be absolutely clear that we need to do everything that we can


now to get a good buyer for the business but if that doesn't work,


the Government has to be ready to step in with a time bound, costed


nationalisation, just to ensure that enough time is in place for a good


buyer to come forward. What does co-investment mean to you, then? Is


that really fulfilling some of the objectives that you've just ate it?


There would perhaps be some time bound investment by the government


until either a full-scale buyer could be found or, at least, it was


becoming profitable again? There's a range of actions they can take, from


giving a soft loan to Tata Steel to helping with energy cost, with our


rent D, even to stepping on the pension. -- with research and


develop. This lack of clarity is not helping the sales process. We need


to ensure that we maximise the attractiveness of the deal for


potential buyers and the shambolic approach that we've seen from the


Government so far was compounded yesterday by what the Business


Secretary said. We need that clarity and in the debate today we need to


see a really clear statement. What does he mean by co-investment? What


is the Government prepared to do? What is it not prepared to do?


Potential buyers out there need to know and the customer base that they


currently have for the Tata Steel business really needs to know. How


long do you think this process can go on for, this search for a buyer?


There will come a point, weren't there, when Tata will say it's


enough? My understanding is that they are offering two blocks of


eight weeks now, so a total 16 week process with expressions of interest


in the first period and then Judah the gems on preferred buyers in the


second. If you look at the sale of Long kart product in Scunthorpe,


that took nine months at least from end to end. This 16 week process is


very tight and one of the reasons it is so tight is because the


government has been asleep at the wheel and has been having the


conversation is an advance that it should have been having, knowing


that a possible so was coming. Sajid Javid should have been with me in


Mumbai. Instead, he was jetting off to Australia, so I think that shows


the priorities were not right and they have been asleep at the wheel.


But it did come as a bolt out of the blue. Nobody was expecting the


announcement from Tata Steel. Well, hang on. Yesterday sided Davitt said


both the all-party group and in the debate that he was one that


persuaded Tata Steel not to close but to go for a sale. -- Sajid Javid


said. How can he say that it came as a bolt out of the blue and then try


to claim the credit for something yesterday, waste on long-term


negotiations? Something in this just doesn't add up. But what's also


worrying is that I pressed the Secretary of State yesterday. What


is he doing to daughter Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover, Honda, the key


customer base that is the lifeblood of the Port Talbot steelworks and


all of the steelworks across the country? The answer was very


wishy-washy. He needs to pick up the phone and start reassuring that


customer base and his lack of action on that was very worrying. But how


do you make this industry appear more attractive, as you said? How do


you make it attractive to a potential buyer if, in the


long-term, it's just not going to be viable? What evidence do you have


that it will ever be viable if there was going to be a continuation of


cheap Chinese steel imports? On the cheap imports, what we also need is


a government that is prepared to stand up. The, rather than roll out


the red carpet for Beijing. They have been blocking the European


Commission's attempts to make anti-dumping measures more


effective, so there is one big problem there. The trading... There


isn't a level playing field and that's because the British


Government have been blocking that. But in the broader picture, steel is


a cyclical industry. If you look at the weakness of the pound, that's


already helping the numbers to go on the right direction for the British


Steel industry. The energy intensive industries compensation package is


also helping. So this ?1 million a day figure that gets bandied around


is no longer the case. We're moving in the right direction. We've got a


fantastic workforce, making the best steel that money can buy. We've just


got to back the industry, give it a level playing field, a chance to


compete, and it will. If you talk to customers like Jaguar Land Rover,


Honda, Nissan, they are getting the best service and the best product


money can buy but we need the Government to help in an -- step in


and make that happen. Has the Government been asleep at the wheel?


Did Sajid Javid not do enough, early enough, to stop this happening? From


what I know about Sajid Javid, he's a very shrewd operator and if he


says that it was a surprise what was announced in Mumbai... Cos, yes, he


had been dealing... Should he have been there? That's for him to


decide. I don't know what he was doing in Australia that could have


been bringing in work to the country. But I think it's important


that those words are vague to a degree, and I'll tell you why. He's


got to be very careful that Europe doesn't intervene, say this is state


aid and then rule out a deal, so the fact that he's said co-ownership on


a commercial basis... He has got to say those things. The fact that he


will be on the phone constantly, saying who is interest rate? What


can we do? And keeping those words vague to attract as many people as


possible. Should this steelworks be saved, what may, because it's such


an important part of our manufacturing? What you do whenever


you go into any deal is say, how do we make it work? What are the things


we need? We need something for the local community, something for the


industry, we need to make sure it is workable, and how do we get the best


deal for everyone? That is the Government, taxpayers, all of the


supply chain, whether it's the car industry, British Aerospace, but


first and foremost you think, what do we do to stabilise the situation?


What do we do to attract as many people as possible to want to buy


this and go forward? Should they do something about pension liability?


Should they be doing more, the Government, to bring down energy


costs, which is what labour and the industry have been calling for?


There are many layers to that. The 2008 climate change but was brought


in, which is now making these energy bills so onerous, that Labour


brought in, because was looking at climate change. You have to look at


flexible to. You have to look at tariffs. We can't have Chinese


dumping cheap steel in the UK. Should there be tariffs put on


Chinese imports? I think that's something we have to look at, as we


look at the flexibility for everything. Stephen Cain, Labour has


called for this debate. What more are you hoping to achieve? --


Stephen Kinnock. We are looking for clarity on what co-investment means.


We are looking for a proper U-turn on this position on anti-dumping is


the Government simply hasn't done enough on that, and we're looking


for a real extension of support to Tata steel to get them beyond this


16 week period, because I don't think that it's long enough. What we


need really, overall, is a sense that the Government is actually


stepping up to the plate and standing up for British Steel,


rather than rolling out the red carpet for Beijing. Stephen Kinnock,


thank you. Now, Work and Pensions


Secretary Stephen Crabb will give his first major speech


in the job this afternoon. He took over from Iain Duncan Smith,


who resigned over proposals in the Budget to cut the personal


independence payment What are the main issue Stephen


Crabb has to deal within his new role?


The new Work and Pensions Secretary has already


dealt with one major issue at the top of his in-tray.


Last month he confirmed that controversial disability cuts


to personal independence payments would be scrapped.


That leaves a ?4.4 billion hole in the budget -


but will he resist more cuts to welfare?


Then there's Universal Credit - his predeccessor Iain Duncan Smith's


The project aims to streamline existing working-age benefits


into a single monthly payment - but it is six years behind schedule.


And critics say "salami slicing" of the project leaves it at risk


of failing to achieve its key aim of incentivising people into work.


Crabb is expected to use his first speech today to outline


plans to tackle "the root causes of poverty".


But does this mean further changes to the welfare system?


I'm joined by Owen Smith, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary.


Before I come to you, Esther, do you share the concerns of Iain Duncan


Smith around salami slicing? Has it been cut too much? What we are


looking at is the juxtaposition between what all the changes are. I


think that is the right position. How can you have extra taxes for


some people and benefit cuts for others. What is affordable for the


whole country? Other departments are looking for money. Whether it was


the Department of Health wanting more money, transport, the arts, you


have got to say how do we get the best deal for those people looking


at the budget? In the context of the budget, George Osborne was wrong for


more money to be taken from the welfare budget when tax breaks were


given to better off people, do you think? He stated clearly in the


manifesto going into the election which people voted on and delivered


a Conservative government on, they knew there were going to be these


changes to the benefit system. Actually, the government and the


country voted on that and elected a Conservative government on the back


of that. You said you didn't think it was fair in that overall


envelope, the juxtaposition, was the word you used, making more cuts to


some disabled payments when as you said in the manifesto it said there


were going to be tax breaks. Was Iain Duncan Smith right? Then the


government came back and said, actually, hence you had George


Osborne and Stephen Crabb coming to the house and saying we are going to


relook at this. We have changed our mind. That is how democracy works,


how grown-ups were, they had the strength of character to come


forward and say we are going to change those things but be mindful


of the fact that country had only just voted in a government on those


pledges that they had put forward merely months before. Grown-up


politics by the government? They made a mistake, they said, and they


changed it. They changed it in respect of the PIP cuts, and that is


very welcome and that is largely because of the fast we made of it.


And Iain Duncan Smith's resignation? If he had really been concerned


about the plight of disabled people, he could have resigned on many


different occasions. He put through millions of pounds of cuts for


disabled people. Esther is right that the Tory party said they were


going to cut ?12 billion for disabled people, they didn't say


they were going to cut universal credit for people out of work, 10


billion coming from them, the other big losers have been the disabled


and I don't think that was clear to the country. Nor have they succeeded


in getting down welfare spending, it has gone up under the Tories. Did


you know where those cuts were going to be? We couldn't get any minister


to say where the axe would fall. Did you know? You wouldn't know. That is


when you come forward with all of the plans. I wouldn't and I didn't


know the specifics on that. Did you ever feel under pressure? Iain


Duncan Smith said, too often my team have been pressured to make cuts.


What you do at a time when there are more outgoings than there is money


coming into the country, like in any business, household, government, you


say, how can we make our budget work? Every department, including


DWP, would have been asked what the options were to get the spending


down. You would have looked at where the money was needed into the


support. We got 2 million people extra people into work when I was


working there. Where you ever pressured as part of that team to


make cuts to working age benefits? Pressured? You say, what are the


options and the whole team sets about giving a whole array of


options. Some of these you would say, these make the numbers work but


we don't want to do these. Right the way across to what you can do. Every


department would have done that and every department would be


challenging for more money. Health, transport, education, you have to


sit in there and justify your stance. Iain Duncan Smith did


incredibly well for the duration you was there, fighting on behalf of


disabled and unemployed people to get the best deal. Remember, we were


left as a government without any money, as we so well know. Do you


think people would trust a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn to


tackle the welfare budget? Yes because we would tackle the


underlying problems. Low wages, high rents, inability to get into decent


jobs. The living wages coming in. But it will not offset the cuts for


low paid people brought by cuts in tax universal credit. It is going to


offset by five times any uplift for a full-time worker on the new


national living wage. So you wouldn't support any cuts? You would


look at the underlying causes of poverty. I certainly wouldn't be


cutting the budget for disabled people. I would be reversing the


bedroom tax. That has been a pernicious and discriminatory policy


and I would be looking to make work pay in this country and get back to


the fundamentals that universal credit was meant to address and has


been undermined by the cuts. It is revealing that Esther, a minister in


the DWP, didn't know that ?12 million of cuts were going to fall


on working people and the disabled. I am incredulous that she didn't


know that. What do you say to that? You know how budgets are done and


you go forward with a whole array... You go forward with a whole array of


ways which you are going to do that. Obviously, that was in the budget


the year later, what was going to happen. Can I just say that what we


did the entire time was balance up the support that went people to get


into a job. You said it was a mistake to make the cuts that were


proposed by George Osborne into disability benefit. The budget was


always going up, the only difference was in the rate. It was just not


increasing at the rate it was. I listen to the words that are bandied


about carelessly, that wasn't what happened. Looking at universal


credit, can still work? What they are setting out, what they are


intending to do, yes. This will be Stephen Crabb's position to go


forward and make sure it works. The whole narrative and motivation to


get people back in work. It is six years behind schedule and it no


longer incentivise is people to find work. The Office for Budget


Responsibility has significant concerns about the scheme. It feels


like a fell project before it has got underway. It was always a very


slow roll-out and started at the end of the last parliament. It is not


six years behind. The premise of what it is about, how it is going to


be rolled out, obviously, the combinations of different people's


lies, has to be worked through. You are confident it is going to be


rolled out in the way you envisaged under Stephen Crabb? I am not there


now, ... You have an expertise. You would need the people involved to


explain where it is going. Do you think it will happen? I hope that it


does and I will be cheering on Stephen Crabb all the way. You have


root and branch review of universal credit. What does that mean? I went


to old, at the heart of the biggest experiment, 30,000 people have been


an universal credit for a while. It is clear that, talking to people on


it, it is not working. The system is not perfect by any means. But it is


a good idea. I fundamentally support the notion that you simplify and get


rid of disincentives. The problem is, it was meant to be a better


resourced system than the current one. It was meant to be ?2 billion


more generous than what we had. It is now ?5 billion less generous.


They got rid of some of the cliff edges, at 16 weeks for example, but


anybody... 16 hours, rather than weeks. There is always going to be


imperfections. They have got rid of some minor problems around 16 hours


but everybody is going to be worse off, on average, ?1500 per year


worse. Single mothers in particular are going to be even bigger, 2.5


?3000 worse off per year. Iain Duncan Smith said some cuts would


the justified if they could protect some pension benefits? He is wrong


to say that the Labour government didn't do even more than they


proposed. It is a false choice. There are other ways we can improve


the system. They didn't have to take the decision to cut corporation tax,


cut capital gains tax, those things cost billions of pounds and they


could make different decisions. Instead, they can't yet say, PIP and


it tells you everything you need to know about their priorities. Stay


with us. The tax returns of our leaders have been put under the


microscope. The Chancellor and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn released


their tax returns yesterday just as Jeremy Cameron -- just as David


Cameron faced Parliament for the first time since the Panama papers


were published. Mr Speaker, I accept


all of the criticisms for not responding more quickly to these


issues last week. But as I said, I was angry about


the way my father's memory was being We should think carefully before


abandoning completely all taxpayer confidentiality in this


House, as some have suggested. If this were to come


in for MPs, people would also ask for a similar


approach for those who ask us questions, those who run large


public services or lead local government or, indeed, those


who edit the news programmes or The Prime Minister has attacked tax


dodging as immoral but he clearly failed to


give a full account of his own involvement


in offshore tax havens until this week,


or to take essential action... Or to take essential action to clean


up the system, whilst at the same time blocking


wider efforts to do so. We risk seeing a House of Commons


which is stuffed full of low achievers,


who hate enterprise, hate people who look


after their own family and who know absolutely


nothing about the outside world. The biggest multinational


company earns more income in a single week


than the combined incomes Now, the Prime Minister has spoken


about transparency before and today and that is why many of us


across this House, from all parties, want to make sure that the country


by country information that multinationals will be obliged


to provide to HMRC should be put Has David Cameron succeeded in


putting this issue to bed? I don't think it will be put to bed for a


long time because people do want to know that your thoughts, words and


deeds all aligned. Talking about trust and integrity and


authenticity. What we have got here now through technology is the


ability to find out some of these things. Therefore, transparency and


being able to justify what you are doing and saying will be at the four


and I don't see that going for some time yet. It is a national motion to


want to know what you're saying is really what you are doing.


Transparency will be the most important thing for a little while,


I think, going forward. Do you think it is right for anybody who wants to


be prime ministers Chancellor to publish their tax returns? I think


it is probably the way of the world going forward. We won't be like King


Canute on the shore saying, hold that back. I am a conservative if


you look at market forces, it is probably the next market force


coming forward is transparency. You can't run, you can't hide, this will


be the shape of things to come. Did they miss handle it with the drip,


drip effect of number ten giving one statement that David Cameron had to


clarify and expand. Was it a mistake?


He said that himself. He said wasn't his finest hour. He's done


everything right. Is done every been legal. But equally, it was a big


shift that he was introducing in a relatively short base of time, that


no Prime Minister before him has had to do. He changed that. I can see


the reticence and he said he was defending his father but, as he


says, it wasn't his finest hour and he should have been quicker doing


what he did. What does it say about politicians' ability to govern by


publishing their tax return? Not a lot, I think, is the truth. I've


heard lots of suggestions that Churchill's tax returns and affairs


were pretty murky. I'm sure many readers through the ages have not


been great at managing their personal finances and yet managed to


have a public role that stands up to scrutiny. I think it's a


destruction, to be honest. I'm happy to publish mine if I need to but I


think it is truly a destruction from the wider issues that this affair


has exposed about the way in which our tax system internationally has


become divorced from nation states. Taxes are there in order to be able


to allow us, as politicians, to gather in the money to run essential


public services, and if we've got a supranational set of tax rules and


tax dodgers and tax avoidance, tax havens at the heart of these, and


Britain at the heart of organising that, we are undermining our ability


to the services that people in the or Pontypridd need or want. So I


think there is a massive cultural issue at the heart of this. But the


genie is out of the bottle. Do you think Labour should really be


pressing this further, so that we do, and have seen now, the


Chancellor's tax return, Jeremy Corbyn's found and published his.


Should we be seeing every senior politician? Calls by the SNP for the


Cabinet to publish theirs. Do you want to see that? I don't think that


would add a huge amount. The newspapers would love it and there


would easily be public interest in it. Would you constituents like it?


My only income is my Parliamentary salary so if I publish mine, it


would be extremely tedious for everyone. You could work it out


right now. I've got no problems with doing it. But I think that is a


destruction and some in the Conservative Party might like it to


be a distraction from the bigger question we're trying to address.


The newspapers might like it to be a bigger destruction. Let's get down


into the weeds about to file their returns on time or who earned a


little bit extra. But, actually, that is distracting from the much


bigger question about how we reform internationally our tax system, such


that countries can run properly and governments can govern properly. Is


it a problem if you have a government that is imposing


austerity, which you are busy supported as part of that


government, and then revealed in their tax returns that maybe they


are benefiting from tax planning or minimising their taxes? Is there a


contradiction at the heart of that? First of all, what I was about and


what the Conservative Party was about is living within your means,


so it's not all stared at it. It's if you can't afford that, how way


you going to bring more money into the country to be able to afford it,


or how you going to do without it? Service austerity, it wasn't that.


It was, how do you live within your means? This government has taken 4


million people out of paying tax, those low earners. That's right. At


the same time, they have brought in more money from people and companies


paying into the tax system and that's right. The top 10% now are


paying more than they've ever played. They are now paying 50% into


the system. It might not be going as quick as people might like and there


might still be more money that could be brought in but it is a process


from start to finish and this government has done a lot in getting


more taxing from those people who can afford it and those who can't


not having to pay tax. I think S2 is doing a good job of trying to defend


the indefensible. The two big issues are this cultural problem of tax


avoidance and crucially, the other thing... What is the difference


between tax avoidance and tax planning, as somebody said


yesterday? ISA our tax planning, rather than tax avoidance. Where do


you draw the line? You have to understand that there have to be not


what we've got right now, which is one rule for people who may be put a


few quid into an ice or into their pension, and one rule for the


super-rich, like the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.


These are the very people who benefit from having the wherewithal


and the skills on the money to take advantage of this nexus of tax


havens across the world and we've got to address that. Which is legal.


Perhaps that's the problem. That we have allowed to grow up like Topsy


this combo gated web of tax avoidance and people like the Prime


Minister, the super wealthy, can take advantage of it and ordinary


people in my constituency could never dream of it. Just one thing.


What he did was correct and he paid his tax on what was a unit trust


and, actually, unit trusts are not only used by the trade unions but


also by the guardian, pension funds, so careless words... I'm not care


less, I'm careful. You weren't because this was about saving money


and he's paid all his tax. Should the system need to change? Yes,


that's what we are doing. He is trying to make sure there is greater


transparency, that people with beneficial owners are now being


exposed but this is something that will take time and I agree with you


- people who can afford to pave more money into the tax system to support


people who can't is the right way to go and that's what Conservatives


believe in as well as the Labour Party. Thank you.


Conservative backbenchers have called it an "insult" to voters,


and an action worthy of Robert Mugabe.


The decision by David Cameron to authorise a Government leaflet


to be sent to everyone in the country, setting out why


the Government backs Britain remaining in the EU.


We'll discuss the ?9 million leaflet in just a moment.


First, though, here's a flavour of the debate in the House


Whether the United Kingdom should remain in or leave


the European Union is a huge decision for this country.


It is right that this should be a decision for the British


people as a whole and, equally, it is right that people


have the facts in front of them and understand the reasons


for the Government's recommendations before they go to the poll.


Does the Minister agree with me that some of the reaction to this


publication has been more about trying to silence


the arguments for remaining than trying to counter them?


Does my right honourable friend agree that it is an absurd


proposition that the government of the day is not entitled to form


an opinion or policy on the role of the government


in the modern world, or is not allowed to communicate


the reasons for having that policy to the electorate?


Does the Minister accept that this is not so much Project Fear


as Project Slightly Worrying, because it's been dumbed down?


But isn't it an abuse of public money, an insult to the electors,


and does he realise it's going to drive many more


The Minister will try as hard as he can to bluster this


but the reality is that the public will see through it


and they will realise that this is deeply, deeply unfair.


Furthermore, I was very fortunate enough to get my copy of the leaflet


this morning and I was slightly disappointed that it was printed


Had it been printed on something a bit more absorbent,


then at least my constituents would have been able to put it


As a member of the Council of Europe, part of my responsibility


is election observing and I go round and I have a look


at the conduct of the campaign prior to polling day,


and if I witnessed in any of the countries that I go


to the sort of spiv Robert Mugabe antics that I've seen by this


government, then I would condemn the conduct of that election


We've been joined now by the Conservative MP Nigel Evans,


who you saw there at the end of those clips, and by James


McGrory, chief campaign spokesman for Britain Stronger in Europe.


Welcome to both of you. So there is the leaflet. Not really for


absorbent purposes. But why shouldn't the Government explain


their official position? Well, we hear that David Livingstone is


saying 85 is under the public want more information for stock they want


more information from both sides, not just one of the sites. When he


says the Government is giving its view, part of the government is in


favour and part of the government actually wants to leave. There are


six Cabinet ministers campaigning to leave the EU. There are a lot of


ministers and half the Parliamentary backbenchers want to leave the EU.


But those Cabinet ministers that you mentioned are voting against the


Government's position and that's the official position, isn't it? As I


mentioned in that piece right at the end, and I toned it down, as you may


have seen. I was very, very calm. Calmer now. I'm a member of the


council of Europe. I will be very shortly going to Serbia to observe


their Parliamentary elections and I'll be looking at the run-up to the


election, as well as how the conduct of the poll takes place on the


Sunday. And if things come to my attention whereby the Government is


promoting itself, spending money on pushing itself, as opposed to the


other side, then I'm not going to say it's fair. And that's what it


all comes down to. People want more information but they wanted from all


sides so why didn't the Government just allow both sides to have more


money to spend instead of, I've got to say, spending ?9 million of


taxpayers' money, when I've got potholes into the row. That's where


the money should be going, not on this. ?9 million is an awful lot of


money and there will be an awful lot of taxpayers who will say, I didn't


want it spent on that. It works out at about 30p per household. Believe


campaigns will get money to spend on their own leaflets. -- the Leave


campaigns. The Government has a right to articulated position. The


Government is firmly on the side of remaining in the EU. But did they


have to do it in this leaflet here, which is a fairly weighty, you might


call it, in terms of leaflets, anyway, spelling out that the


government believes are voting to remain in the EU is the best


decision for the UK. It's a fairly weighty issue. At an important


issue. There's a lot to the issue. Jobs, the economy, our place in the


world, security. There's a lot to get through and it's a relatively


small leaflet when you think of the big debate we're having in this


country. People want to hear from their government on a range of


things. The Government spends millions of pounds communicating


with the public, whether it's on welfare, health, Home Office


policies. They're doing it on what I would argue is the biggest issue


facing the country today. It's not worthy of Robert Mugabe, though, is


it. Was that not an overreaction? Absolutely, but it was emphasis to


make a point, which is that it is loading the dice, and part of the


problem is that if it is a tight result in favour to remain, a lot of


people are going to say, "Hold on, this was an unfair election and the


dice was loaded in favour of the Government". They are tried to make


out that these are all facts. They're not. They are opinions.


There is no mention in this document that we've got a ?60 billion deficit


with the rest of the EU and that's one of the reasons they will want to


carry on trading with us. There is not a hope in hell that Angela


Merkel is going to say, we don't want to sell Britain BMWs and


Mercedes. Did you complain about it when they did it in the Scottish


referendum. I didn't realise they were doing it for the Scottish


referendum but I understand why the Scots felt so angry about it. They


did it twice and I didn't see any Conservative MPs complaining them


because you were on the same side of the argument. You don't like the


fact that your Conservative government has taken a different


position from yourself. They should be allowed to to give it that the


people. Why not give ?9 million to the other side to do the same?


Because the Government is a neutral. The Government has a clear position.


Nigel doesn't like it. What about the issue of fairness? In the


campaign, both sides get an equal amount of taxpayers' money to spend.


But you've got an extra 16 page leaflet. Because the government


isn't a neutral actor. The Bank of England... I don't spend ?9 million


in doing so. I don't mind Cameron come the dispatch box and saying, "I


want to stay in," but what I do resent is the dispatch box and


saying, "I want to stay in," but what I do resent is the spending of


?9 million. If you weren't making outrageous claims about your own


government, comparing them to Robert Mugabe, when they did it in


Scotland... You say that this looks as if they're giving facts and you


disagree with some of the facts, but this has also been put through


people's letterboxes, UK and the European Union - the facts. And,


actually, when you read it, in very small print, which I could hardly


read, it's been sent by vote leave. This also gives the impression that


that that is a factual document was top they should have made it clearer


that it was from Vote Leave. I haven't read that. You can have that


copy as a gift from me. You are still doing the same thing as you


complain about on the other side. Vote Leave paid for this, taxpayers


paid for that. But is the crucial difference. If you feel so strongly


about taxpayers' money being used, would you say that the Leave side


shouldn't take a grant for their own leaflets? It's not ?9 million. If


it's being delivered to every person... How can it be cheaper? Why


don't you allow the Leave campaign to raise a further 9.3 million from


subscribers and then they'd be able to use that to get the message out?


It's not really in my gift. Would you do it? Of course not because he


wants it loaded for the Remain side. Is this about the process all the


arguments? It's about the process of getting the units across. People


need the information. I agree with that. There are people sitting at


home without the faintest idea whether we should be in or out. They


probably feel a bit perplexed that a Prime Minister who, just a few weeks


ago, said that if he didn't get a deal he would be believing the --


leading the cannot relieve campaign, and now Armageddon if we leave. Does


the Government have a right to be putting leaflets out like this? I


was surprised that a couple of facts were left out, like the deficit with


Europe, and also the cost of membership, so for something that


was meant to be a fact sheet, I would've thought those two key


points should have been there. They were omitted because they wouldn't


have gone in the camera crew remain campaign's favour but I think


individuals want a sense of fair play. If the polls are as tight as


people say they are, 50% would have wanted some more information. When


you were at the DWP, you didn't articulate the opposition's position


in your press release. There wasn't a referendum. There was an


opposition who was doing exactly the same and we had the exact same


period of time. You pulled out. You've put out an extra leaflet.


Comfortingly, we've got weeks and weeks of this to go. You can take


that with you, Nigel. Thank you very much.


Most new MPs in the 2015 intake have settled


returned to parliament after taking time off to fight breast cancer,


with which she was diagnosed shortly after her election


The Labour MP over-turned a majority of 11,000 to win her Bristol West


Here she is in action on the campaign trail.


If you didn't know, my name is Thangam Debbonaire


and I'm the Labour candidate to be the member


I've got to say, this is one of the most exciting cities to live


Any newcomers in the audience today, that's you guys at the back,


I can really recommend this fantastic city.


Now, she is here with us. You've been back a couple of weeks. How


have you been settling in? My hair doesn't look like that any more! I


wouldn't say it has been painless because I am still suffering


post-operative pain but I have had a warm welcome from colleagues and


members of staff across the house. It is a little difficult because I


don't know the entrances and exits but I am getting there. How


different is the atmosphere from June last year? I was caught up in a


very strange environment having won a seat with a reasonable majority


but discovering we weren't the party of majority in parliament. That was


just as I discovered I had breast cancer. I carried on working as I


was being treated but all in the constituency. How supportive have


your constituency and Parliamentary colleagues been? Brilliant. I think


I've had the time to read all the briefings about all the debates.


There were times watching debates I thought I was the only person who


had watched all the debates and read all the briefings and the Daily


Politics every day. Who was the most helpful? I had help from all across


the house. I wouldn't want to pick one single person out. I really was


quite overwhelmed about how good a place it was to working with a


serious illness. Do you think remote working from Westminster can be


done? I think it can be considered. I'm hoping that in the process of


changing premises we consider things like voting and in second and -- and


in certain circumstances I could have voted, having read everything


about the issue and the only thing I couldn't do was to vote. It was


frustrating that there was no mechanism. Having that degree of


time to study all the topics as serious as they are, do not think it


should be an option that if people are not able to come, they could do


it remotely? The technology is there. You followed all the debates


and had the information to hand, so I think it should be an option. I


would also say in defence of doing it in person, when I was there, I


asked why we were still doing it. It is your only time to see all of the


secretaries of State, the Prime Minister, etc. But if you are happy


to give that up because you want to do it because it is so important to


be at home, then you can. It is the 21st century, we should find


different ways to meet with our colleagues. I was able to pick up


the phone and call and e-mail colleagues. I do believe in debate


in the house but I think it is an issue and I would like it to be


considered as part of parliamentary reform. Can I just say, what a huge


inspiration, they you are, everybody welcome you back. Just as a woman


coming back, living through that and being in parliament, all credit to


you. And you were actually promoted to Shadow Minister for culture,


media to, -- and sport. I am doing the art and culture bit because I am


not familiar with sport! My constituency is a very arty area. I


am a professional cellist. I come from a family of musicians. I am


going to enjoy it. I think it was a good move to appoint someone to a


brief lecture you know something about it. A revolutionary idea! It


is great to have you back. Nice to meet you.


It's Jeremy Corbyn as you've never seen him - an all singing,


all dancing sensation on the London stage.


We're not talking about the man himself - of course -


but the actor who plays the lead role in Corbyn, the Musical,


a new off-west end musical comedy about the Labour Leader's


supposed motorbike holiday through East Germany


Here's Giles with a sneak peak ahead of tonight's opening night.


If I don't hear back, I'm going to go to the council


and have the lleylandia ripped down and shoved right...


# They said I couldn't do it, they said I couldn't win


# There'd never be a PM called Jeremy Corbyn


# Now I am in power, the clouds will disappear


# The sun will shine upon us, hope will conquer fear...#


A satire about Jeremy Corbyn, his fans should like this.


# The world's in my hands, sleep safe at night


# Now you're with the left, we're getting it right


# I didn't sell out, I didn't give in


# You needed a hero, you got Corbyn.#


# Taking on big business, I'll supertax the banks


# I've got rid of the bedroom tax and cancelled all the tanks


# I don't live at Chequers, my palms are never greased


# I've opened up the state rooms to migrants from the East.#


Whilst Labour is the focus, no party or person escapes ridicule.


# Women only carriages, a manifesto vow


# All children have to learn about the works of Chairman Mao


# My career was always stalling, now I am in the driving seat


# Today the red flag's flying above ten Downing St.#


It has Diane Abbott, President Putin, and Jeremy Corbyn


portrayed and it always helps if you pick a lead actor who,


# You needed a hero, you got Corbyn.#


I don't really have such a big beard but I've got...


I think I'm a little more handsome but, who knows?


But here's the key, he's no fan of singing the praises of one


side and bashing the hell out of the other.


No one is safe, everyone is getting some stick from somewhere.


Whether you're in power or you're not in power.


I think the most important thing is that it will,


But it's worth noting that some of the characters are, in real life,


political characters, so how do you avoid caricature?


I've studied a lot of how Diane speaks, her mannerisms,


funnily enough, I think we share a few, so...


Yeah, it's been a really interesting process trying to put


And, on top of the music, there are the odd video inserts.


Mr President, what does this have to do with, sexuality?


Here's the bizarre thing, I'm not only covering it for


the Daily Politics, somehow I'm in it.


And if you're remotely interested in my fate,


And we've been joined by the two writers behind this production -


Why, Jeremy Corbyn the musical? I don't think there is anybody else in


British politics who would justify it. The reaction was astonishing. We


sold out all the tickets in record time. I think it may be because of


the subject matter. What gave you the idea, making it a musical, as


well? Very few politicians have such a colourful back story. Jeremy


Corbyn travelled a lot, went abroad with Diane Abbott, allegedly, to


East Germany. It is very interesting that the young Jeremy Corbyn


probably found it a fitting place to be. How long did it take to write?


About six months. The plot outline took about 20 minutes but then an


awful lot of work after that. Putting the flesh on the bones.


Exactly. It was really quite intense. We didn't realise quite how


much work it would be. Here we are, the day we start this evening,


opening night, we are running off to continue doing things


behind-the-scenes. It is a huge amount of work. You have finished


it? It is not like a Budget Statement? Yes, but there was time


to put in a joke about Jeremy Corbyn finding his tax return. Are you


going to see it? I think I will. It looks fantastic. Is it a comedy. A


fun night, people will go. A few years ago, I went to see Tory Boys,


by the National youth Theatre and that was a fantastically


entertaining night. We have invited him. It pokes fun but it is not


mean. He didn't even reply which wasn't very kind. He might once he


has seen an interview. It could be lit a suicide for him to come so he


could come in a couple of weeks. It is described as James Bond meets the


Kama Sutra, why? We had to Celtic it's! There is a nuclear plotline


and a bit of romance. -- sell tickets. We also invited Diane


Abbott but she hasn't been in touch either. We would be delighted to


send over tickets on a motorbike courier. Any chance of it being


transferred to the West End? We would love it and this is our first


play and we don't really know what we are doing. If you know how to do


it, given as a call. You know who to write to. Giles had a cameo role.


Was he right? I couldn't possibly say. He isn't here today, I think


that says everything. There's just time before we go to


find out the answer to our quiz. The question was -


what happened next? He didn't write off the mortgage of


the one the taxpayers were helping to pay for at Oxford.


I didn't receive a proper answer then.


Well, he wouldn't withdraw dodgy from dodgy David, so obviously John


Burke, the Speaker of the house, it was in the first time he's been


injected, so he left the chamber, not to be able to return for the


rest of the day. I must ask the honourable gentleman


to withdraw the word... Under the power given to me


by standing order number 43, I order the honourable member


to withdraw immediately from the House for the remainder


of this day's sitting. Were you surprised? Were you


surprised that he refused to retract it? No. He is one of the great


characters of the house. He is formidable and he's not going to


change. He's in his 80s and he's not going to change and doubt. That's


what happened. If you say something that isn't acceptable behaviour in


the house, then you will be sent off. Card. Off you go. He was never


going to retract it. The speaker did seem to send him away with sadness


rather than anger. He is always so thoughtful when you have to deliver


something like that so precisely. Thank you


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