21/04/2016 Daily Politics


21/04/2016

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are joined by Green Party leader Natalie Bennett. Plus an interview with schools minister Nick Gibb on academies.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Afternoon folks, welcome to the Daily Politics.

:00:38.:00:39.

The Conservatives have admitted failing to declare tens of thousands

:00:40.:00:41.

of pounds in election spending in key marginal seats.

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The party blames an "administrative error" for a failure to declare

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all the expenses relating to its General Election 'Battlebus'.

:00:50.:01:02.

The Government vows to press ahead with plans to force all schools

:01:03.:01:09.

in England to become academies, despite fierce opposition

:01:10.:01:11.

from Labour and a growing number of Tory MPs.

:01:12.:01:13.

But do robots present an opportunity or a threat to our livelihoods?

:01:14.:01:18.

Labour's deputy leader is a cautious fan - he joins us live.

:01:19.:01:23.

And, as the Queen turns 90, we talk to the former MP who used

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to give her a daily account of all the gossip among her loyal

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Do you think we will be replaced by robots. I don't know what you're

:01:30.:01:49.

talking about. The microchip has landed.

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All that in the next hour and, if you're watching, Your Majesty,

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a very happy birthday from all of us here at the Daily Politics.

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Joining us on this auspicious occasion is Natalie Bennett,

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Natalie, of course, is a staunch Republican and she once said

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that the Royals should be evicted from Buckingham Palace and moved

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But we won't be reminding her of that at all today.

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First today the Conservatives have admitted failing to declare ?38,000

:02:12.:02:16.

The party has blamed an "administrative error"

:02:17.:02:20.

for failing to register the accommodation costs

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of activists involved in its 'Battlebus 2015' operation.

:02:22.:02:30.

The admission follows an investigation by Channel 4 News

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and their political correspondent Michael Crick joins me now.

:02:33.:02:38.

Welcome to the programme. You have been on the story for some time, I

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get the impression that every time you go back to it it gets bigger?

:02:46.:02:52.

Yes we keep finding more stuff and the Electoral Commission is having

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to widen its investigation. The key thing is, is when they conclude that

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investigation, because there is 12 months after that the candidates

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report their expenses, just a month after the election, so in other

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words something has to be done by the beginning of June when the 12

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months is up for there to be prosecutions relating to the

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declaration of expenses. There are two lots of declaration, locally and

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nationally. Locally each candidate can spend about ?15,000. There are

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national expenses which is just under ?19 million for the

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Conservatives. What we found is that there is all sorts of campaigning

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been going on involving these battle buses, where clearly we are taking

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activists to constituencies, putting them up in hotels and they were

:03:49.:03:52.

supporting the local individual candidates. Now the Electoral

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Commission guidelines say if you campaign in support of individual

:03:59.:04:02.

candidates, that counts as a local expense. The The cost has appeared

:04:03.:04:10.

on the national returns, but the cost of the hotels has not appeared

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anyone and that is what the Conservatives have admitted, because

:04:15.:04:18.

of this error should have been on the national returns and they're now

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going to rectify it. Where will they put it? They will put it on the

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national returns. I would argue it should be on the local returns,

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because they were staying in local hotels to support local candidates

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in the South West, tonight we will report on how the battle bus went to

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the Midlands and the north. Most of the candidates there became MPs and

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in most cases if the costs are apded to their local returns, then they're

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over the limit and they're in trouble in theory. The accommodation

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was booked, let me be kind, in an elliptical way? It was booked

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centrally, but sometimes it was booked through individuals, rather

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than through the party. This is a pattern we uncovered a few weeks ago

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in the three by-elections, you remember the big by-elections in

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2015 when the Tories were determined to thwart Ukip and in the South

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Thanet constituency where the Tories were determined to beat Nigel

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Farage. It is all sorts of expenses that the Conservatives claim should

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be national expenses, or they haven't been on any expense returns,

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which should be attributed to their local candidate. It is hard not to.

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If you turn up to a help a local candidate, it is not like helping a

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political broadcast, but if I'm helping a local candidate that cost

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must be for the local candidate. Yes, it is better than that in terms

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of proof, the people that were on the battle bus were proud of what

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they were doing and they were tweeting about it, putting it on

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Facebook and pictures of them and their candidates and we have

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obtained the scripts that they went around with, hello, I'm Mikel --

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Michael crick calling on behalf of your local candidate. And it will

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not surprise you we contacted the Conservative Party this morning.

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This what is they told us: Are they saying the battle bus we

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can charge to the national campaign. That is arguable. But we admit that

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the overnight accommodation or whatever it was, should have been a

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local? Yes, they say that was an administrative error. They argue

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that should be a national expense. We would say, hang on, you stayed in

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that hotel to fight in that seat and that hotel. So they're still trying

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to put it on the national ledger? Yes on the national ledger they were

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bnd 3.5 million under the limit. So if it is a local expense and if it

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was attributed to these seats locally, in most cases they would be

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over the limit, the candidate would have spent too much. The limits are

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important, in order to create a level playing field. Don't go away.

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Well we're joined now from Bristol from the former

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Liberal Democrat MP Tessa Munt, she lost her seat in Wells

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What is your reaction? It is an extraordinary reaction, the idea it

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is an error is tosh. The constituents in my area were

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completely foxed by the fact that they had millions of leaflets

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through their door. My agent said probably something like a quarter of

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a million pounds worth of paper was delivered through doors and all the

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leaflets referred to the fact that this was a campaign that all about

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23 seats, of which mine was one and 23 seats does not make a national

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campaign. We have photographs of people being briefed, there were

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people who didn't know who my successor, what my successor's name

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was, they couldn't pronounce his name, but they were knocking on

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doors campaigning. So we have local campaigning that is being masked as

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national campaigning. It is utter rubbish. Do you feel cheated? No,

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but I think my constituents should feel cheated. Because actually what

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we have in this country, we have been watching the American

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elections, what we have to make sure we don't get is some sort of

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ludicrous money-buying votes. That is what has happened. And when you

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look at my election returns, all of the spending is accounted for, we

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are clear and transparent about the way we have done everything. You can

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see every leaflet and the invoice from the printer and all of the

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information is there. It seems that this is not the way that the other

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parties have chosen to fight the campaign. Thank you. Michael Crick,

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is the question whether the commission allows to put it on the

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national register or it is on the constituency and they will be over

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the limit. I don't know entirely. They're trying to put it on the

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national ledger, but the commission is investigating what we have

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reported and what we said last night and it is not clear whether the

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admission by the Tories results from that investigation, whether they

:11:07.:11:09.

basically have been forced to say that, by the commission, but the

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Electoral Commission, the impression we get is they're being hardline,

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they have a reputation for being a feeble body. On this they realise

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something has gone wrong. The question is whether they will

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recommend to the police before the June deadline that there should be

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prosecutions, or the alternative would be to allow under the law a 12

:11:31.:11:34.

month extension for further investigations. Whether they go that

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far or whether they say, look, there was clearly misinterpretation of the

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rules and the rules need tightening up and they may go down that avenue.

:11:45.:11:52.

More on Channel 4 tonight? Indeed. We will tune in. And they say

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investigative journalism is dead. They're wrong.

:11:57.:11:59.

The question for today is: in a radio interview this week what did

:12:00.:12:04.

Hillary Clinton say she always carries around with her?

:12:05.:12:12.

c) A copy of Donald Trump's book

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At the end of the show we'll see if Natalie

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David Cameron says he will press ahead with plans to force every

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state school to become an academy despite increasingly vocal

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opposition, much of it from within his own party.

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One Tory MP has labelled the plans "Draconian,

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Academies were introduced by Labour and extended

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Currently, under Education Secretary Nicky Morgan,

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55% of secondary schools and 18% of primaries are academies -

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Last month George Osborne unleashed his big Budget idea -

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forcing all schools in England to become academies

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Nicky Morgan fleshed out the plans, which include ending the obligation

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to have parents as governors, scrapping qualified teacher

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status and giving schools taken over by a new head

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But, much like else in this Budget, opposition to the Chancellor's plans

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came swiftly and from all corners, including his own.

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More than a dozen Conservative MPs have so far raised

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concerns about the plans, including Stewart Jackson,

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who said the plans were "Draconian, heavy handed and top down".

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Critics even included a former Education Minister, Tim Loughton,

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who said he supported academies in principle, but was unhappy

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with a "compulsory and arbitrary" timeline being set.

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The Local Government Association said ministers needed to "consider

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the wishes of parents, communities, teachers

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and councils before imposing any new education structures".

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And a National Union of Teachers poll of its members found just 7%

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of schools leaders supported the forced academisation plans.

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But yesterday David Cameron defended the proposals

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at Prime Minister's Questions, saying it was time

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This is something started by the Labour government,

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given rocket boosters under this government.

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We see massive improvements in our schools because of academies

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and we say let's get on with it, finish the job, and give all of our

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I'm joined now by the Education Minister Nick Gibb.

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Are you going to rethink these plans? No the vision I set out is

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for all schools to become academies and that is the vision we will

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proceed with. It is about ensuring we have good schools in every part

:14:51.:14:54.

of the country and in every local authority area, because good schools

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that become academies can spread best practice to underperforming

:15:00.:15:05.

schools and underperforming schools get strong sponsors to improve edge

:15:06.:15:10.

kalgs. It is improving schools so when a parent drops off their child

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they can be confident the school is of high quality.

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You are not going to listen to the strength of feeling within your own

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party from elevated levels saying that Conservatives should be schools

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choice rather than imposing an arbitrary line, ideally any in

:15:35.:15:39.

principle but not the compulsion? We are listening and talking to

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colleagues in the House of Commons and local authorities and the

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teaching profession and we want schools to have flexibility and

:15:47.:15:51.

choice in how they might become academies, standing alone or not. We

:15:52.:15:57.

are talking about a period of six years and as a government we have to

:15:58.:16:02.

know where we are going to be in six years when increasing numbers of

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local authorities have 80% or 90% of academies. This is about giving

:16:10.:16:14.

professionals control of their school so they can raise standards

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of reading, maths, academic standards, and improve behaviour,

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and it is working. 350 pupils in schools that are sponsored academies

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that were underperforming and are not. Does the government have a

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mandate to do this? Six years is a fairly long timeline. Obviously not.

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There was no mention of this during the election. This is further

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privatisation, taking a public asset and putting it into private hands

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away from the control of communities. We believe all schools

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should be under local democratic control. We want to get rid of these

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schools and academies. There is simply not the evidence to say that

:17:09.:17:11.

academies Asian in itself improve standards. Schools around the

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country over recent years have fought off academies Asian and local

:17:18.:17:23.

communities have said they might do not want to be academies and it is

:17:24.:17:32.

being imposed. Many Tory MPs echoing those sentiments. One says,

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academies have little accountability or parental environment. --

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involvement. There is greater accountability. He is wrong? Yes. We

:17:46.:17:57.

take swift action when schools that are academies underperform. There

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are many examples of underperforming schools that stay underperforming

:18:03.:18:05.

every year. That cannot happen with the academies programme because we

:18:06.:18:11.

intervene swiftly to move academies and transfer them to better

:18:12.:18:16.

performing schools. 30 Tory MPs against this compulsion element of

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academies. We also have leading Tory councillors who have expressed anger

:18:31.:18:36.

and are calling on you to rethink the policy. Someone saying if it is

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not broke do not fix it. The Tory leader of Hampshire County Council

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urging the government to focus on dealing with schools where there are

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problems not win they are performing well. Schools that are performing

:18:54.:19:00.

well have a duty not just to sit as islands, we have to take the

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expertise of those strong head teachers and spread it to the

:19:04.:19:09.

underperforming schools. Even in Hampshire a quarter of secondary

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schools are not good or outstanding. It is not the fault of the people

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who are outstanding. We want them to collaborate to make sure that every

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school is high performing. You have failed to sell this policy. There is

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a lot of Tory strength of feeling against that. That is my fault. We

:19:33.:19:40.

need to do more to make the case. It is about ensuring there are no

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underperforming schools in our system and that is what parents

:19:45.:19:51.

want. Not a school that has been in special measures. We are talking

:19:52.:19:59.

about schools that are outstanding. Tristram Hunt the Shadow Education

:20:00.:20:05.

Secretary says you are in danger of not providing choice to parents. The

:20:06.:20:10.

whole point of the academy programme under Labour was to give parents a

:20:11.:20:14.

choice of schools and you want to take them all back under local

:20:15.:20:19.

authority control. Choice involves schools competing against each other

:20:20.:20:22.

seeking pupils that will give them the best results. The problem is

:20:23.:20:26.

Jerry picking of pupils and pushing out of pupils who they think will

:20:27.:20:34.

not perform. Our academies allowed to cherry pick? The local secondary

:20:35.:20:42.

school in my area takes from the same catchment area it did under

:20:43.:20:49.

local authority control. We have a whole philosophy education based on

:20:50.:20:52.

schools competing against each other line to get the best for themselves

:20:53.:21:02.

not for every pupil. What we saw in Brighton and Halls was getting

:21:03.:21:04.

schools to coordinate together to get the best possible result for

:21:05.:21:09.

every pupil in the area and that is what should be the foundation of

:21:10.:21:14.

education. Is this going to be in the Queen's Speech? We are hearing

:21:15.:21:19.

this is not going to be a piece of legislation. We never say what is in

:21:20.:21:24.

the Queen's Speech until the Queen's Speech. We are pressing ahead. That

:21:25.:21:35.

implies you are. We do not announce in advance what is in the Queen's

:21:36.:21:42.

Speech. An underperforming school, fewer than half getting five GCSEs,

:21:43.:21:48.

an academy took it over and nearly three quarters of children are

:21:49.:21:53.

getting five GCSEs or more. Could you look at an exception for rural

:21:54.:21:57.

schools who are doing brilliantly who do not want to be landed with

:21:58.:22:03.

the burden of helping other schools? Rural schools have a better chance

:22:04.:22:07.

of survival under a trust model that under the local authority because

:22:08.:22:13.

they can share back offices, cut costs. No exception from them being

:22:14.:22:21.

forced to academies? No. We want all schools to academies. We set out in

:22:22.:22:27.

their manifesto that we wanted academisation to continue. We have

:22:28.:22:36.

had to look six years ahead. We have authorities like Bournemouth won 87%

:22:37.:22:42.

of schools today are academy. Where are we going to be in five or six

:22:43.:22:47.

years? You must have known that when you were drying up the manifesto. We

:22:48.:22:52.

said we were going to continue with the academisation process and that

:22:53.:22:54.

is what we are doing. Now it's fast approaching 12:30pm,

:22:55.:22:58.

which is usually the time that the Queen likes to take her gin

:22:59.:23:00.

and Dubonnet while watching We know this from Buckingham Palace

:23:01.:23:03.

sources. And perhaps today she might make it

:23:04.:23:13.

a double because, in case you hadn't In the last hour or so the Prime

:23:14.:23:16.

Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have been leading

:23:17.:23:21.

the tributes in the Commons. As the sands of culture shift

:23:22.:23:24.

and the tides of politics ebb and flow, Her Majesty

:23:25.:23:28.

has been steadfast. A rock of strength for our nation,

:23:29.:23:36.

for our Commonwealth, and on many As her grandson Prince

:23:37.:23:39.

William has said, time and again, quietly and

:23:40.:23:42.

modestly, the Queen has shown us all that we can confidently

:23:43.:23:45.

embrace the future without compromising

:23:46.:23:47.

the things that are important. Whatever different views

:23:48.:23:48.

people across this country have about the institution,

:23:49.:23:53.

the vast majority share an opinion that Her Majesty has served

:23:54.:23:56.

this country and has overwhelming support,

:23:57.:23:59.

with a clear sense of public service and public duty, as the Prime

:24:00.:24:03.

Minister just indicated. She has carried out that duty

:24:04.:24:06.

with enormous warmth. We know that the Queen is popular

:24:07.:24:21.

but is the monarchy's popularity guaranteed?

:24:22.:24:24.

Joining me now is Tom Mludzinski from the polling company ComRes.

:24:25.:24:28.

Nothing has danger, has it? Politicians cannot get near the

:24:29.:24:36.

favourability and approval ratings for the Queen. This gets close to

:24:37.:24:44.

some of the Royal Family members, Prince Charles. The popularity of

:24:45.:24:49.

the marquee is fairly steadfast. There have been blips along the way

:24:50.:24:54.

around the time of Diana's death and the management of that but it has

:24:55.:25:00.

been fairly rock solid in terms of whether people want to keep the

:25:01.:25:06.

moderately or move to a republic. 75% have said they might want to

:25:07.:25:11.

keep the monarchy. There is not a difference between the Queen's

:25:12.:25:16.

personal popularity and the monarchy in general? The Queen is probably

:25:17.:25:20.

slightly more popular but so are the young royals, Prince Harry, Prince

:25:21.:25:26.

William and Kate Middleton are extremely popular, almost as popular

:25:27.:25:31.

as the Queen in many respects. It is the intervening period. Prince

:25:32.:25:35.

Charles is below his mother and his children. People are less keen on

:25:36.:25:39.

Prince Charles than Prince William so that will affect people's views

:25:40.:25:45.

towards succession. That is right but most people think it is right

:25:46.:25:48.

that Prince Charles should take over from the Queen and become king. Much

:25:49.:25:55.

depends on housekeeper forms on the roll and what sort of duties he

:25:56.:26:01.

takes on. The public profile he takes on when he is king.

:26:02.:26:06.

We're joined now from central lobby by the Conservative MP Adam Afriyie,

:26:07.:26:09.

So I guess the Queen is one of his constituents.

:26:10.:26:16.

As I mentioned earlier she is a republican.

:26:17.:26:23.

Are you going to be celebrating the Queen's birthday? I certainly will

:26:24.:26:34.

be. Can I correct you? She is not my constituent, I yam her subject and

:26:35.:26:40.

she is a resident and she is a very welcome resident. What is the

:26:41.:26:46.

difference? A resident does not have the right to vote. I yam her subject

:26:47.:26:51.

rather than her MP. Are you happy being her subject? I always find it

:26:52.:26:58.

quite churlish even better of those with the academic view that we

:26:59.:27:04.

should move from having a monarchy because in practice the Queen is a

:27:05.:27:09.

figurehead, head of state, she generates world peace and creates

:27:10.:27:16.

social cohesion so she is doing pretty much what we want to do

:27:17.:27:20.

though it seems churlish and bitter to say she should be removed as the

:27:21.:27:27.

monarch. That was not my question. I wondered whether on the 21st-century

:27:28.:27:31.

we should be regarding ourselves as subjects rather than citizens. It is

:27:32.:27:36.

a technicality in the wording. It means quite a lot. We are a

:27:37.:27:43.

democratic nation and it is the elected people like myself who form

:27:44.:27:48.

governments. The thing I have noticed about the Queen is she is

:27:49.:27:53.

always positive, optimistic, pulling people together and holding them

:27:54.:27:58.

together. Weight often we create laws about social be -- and trying

:27:59.:28:05.

to pull things together and she has played a greater role than many of

:28:06.:28:13.

us politicians. Today I am not celebrating the Queen's birthday, I

:28:14.:28:15.

am focusing on the election campaigns coming up. Why? I would

:28:16.:28:23.

congratulate the Queen as an individual for her many decades of

:28:24.:28:29.

service. She has done a huge amount of work, a huge job. In politics we

:28:30.:28:34.

are focusing on the upcoming elections. You could not have a

:28:35.:28:40.

toast? It would only take a few moments. I would have joined you in

:28:41.:28:50.

a drink of course! It is really important we think about the

:28:51.:28:53.

problems with our Constitution which were brought up in the elections

:28:54.:29:00.

pending story. In our first past the post system we have a problem in

:29:01.:29:05.

that the huge amount of focus is on swing voters in swing seats so... We

:29:06.:29:13.

are talking about the monarchy. We are talking about constitutional

:29:14.:29:18.

reform. What the Green Party's focus would be is on the House of Commons.

:29:19.:29:23.

You do not want to get rid of the monarchy? I am happy to retain the

:29:24.:29:32.

ceremonial monarchy like Sweden. What role does the Queen in this

:29:33.:29:38.

country have that the king of Sweden not have? She has the power to form

:29:39.:29:45.

the government. That is what the King does. There it is ceremonial.

:29:46.:29:57.

We have seen it in Belgium as well. The King brings various parties

:29:58.:30:01.

together. The Queen cannot give us a government we do not want. That is

:30:02.:30:04.

clear. FORCEDWHITE We have a constituency

:30:05.:30:18.

that relies on the her redry system. So does Denmark and Belgium. I want

:30:19.:30:23.

to start with House of Commons of the House of Lords. It is clear from

:30:24.:30:27.

all the polls and public sentiment that as long as the Queen is alive

:30:28.:30:35.

the monarchy is safe. No one, even Natalie Bennett has an appetite to

:30:36.:30:38.

do anything as long as the Queen is arrive. Does it come under more

:30:39.:30:47.

danger when she dies and Prince Charles comes to the throne. It is

:30:48.:30:52.

not a day to talk about death on her birthday. There is a danger of

:30:53.:30:56.

having a monarch that may not be in tune with the people. But what the

:30:57.:31:01.

Queen and Prince William have demonstrated that they recognise it

:31:02.:31:04.

is about being in tune with the nation. But Parliament is supreme

:31:05.:31:08.

here and at the end of the day if there were a situation which needed

:31:09.:31:14.

addressing it would be addressed. I get upset with the comments that

:31:15.:31:19.

smack of being sour when there is no practical matter that needs to be

:31:20.:31:22.

dealt with. The Queen is doing wonderful work for the country and

:31:23.:31:26.

the Government and the people and the common wealth and holding the

:31:27.:31:37.

nation together. Don't get sad. What do you say to a historian who said

:31:38.:31:47.

the Queen has done nothing that people will remember, unlike queen

:31:48.:31:51.

Victoria and she sees the role as just a job and she won't give her

:31:52.:31:59.

name to an era. I say thank you Mr Starkey, that is the point, that is

:32:00.:32:04.

why we have had a harmonious nation and government for at least 90

:32:05.:32:10.

years. If you had a referendum now, because it is the only way you could

:32:11.:32:15.

get rid of her, you would have to have a referendum, you would lose at

:32:16.:32:23.

the moment wouldn't you? We are not calling for that. We are calling for

:32:24.:32:30.

a referendum on proportional representation. We had one to change

:32:31.:32:36.

the voting system. You know that alternative vote is not proportional

:32:37.:32:40.

representation. We had that vote and you lost. That is a non-row

:32:41.:32:46.

portional system. Since this is the queen's birthday, we are not going

:32:47.:32:50.

to discuss proportional representation. Have you passed a

:32:51.:32:55.

law. Has she agreed to it. We will be together later in the evening, we

:32:56.:33:00.

will have to see about that one. Natalie Bennett twice in one day!

:33:01.:33:02.

Thank you for joining us. With Scottish, Welsh,

:33:03.:33:06.

local and mayoral elections coming up in just two weeks,

:33:07.:33:08.

the Green Party are hoping to turn what they term the green surge

:33:09.:33:11.

into votes at the ballot box. But despite achieving a record

:33:12.:33:15.

3.8% of the vote in last year's general election,

:33:16.:33:18.

the Greens failed to win any extra parliamentary seats,

:33:19.:33:20.

so will it be different this time? Our guest of the day

:33:21.:33:25.

Natalie Bennett thinks so. Here she is speaking at the party's

:33:26.:33:27.

local election campaign These are really exciting elections

:33:28.:33:29.

for the Green Party. We have more than 1,500 candidates

:33:30.:33:33.

up and down the country. Many of them will be out today

:33:34.:33:38.

knocking on doors, out delivering People are doing the hard

:33:39.:33:41.

work to turn that If you look back a bit

:33:42.:33:45.

to 2015, we outpolled You contrast that to 2010

:33:46.:33:53.

and we outpolled them in one. Natalie Bennett is here. Your

:33:54.:34:12.

counter parts in Scotland are set for a bumper election, some suggest

:34:13.:34:17.

they could win eight seats. Why is the party flat lining in England and

:34:18.:34:21.

Wales? I don't think that is true. What we have in England and Wales

:34:22.:34:26.

where we have proportional representation, the London Assembly

:34:27.:34:30.

and the Wales Assembly, our leader in Wales did a brilliant job in the

:34:31.:34:38.

first leader debate. But the Welsh party has dropped to 3% of the

:34:39.:34:44.

regional vote and that is down from 3.4% at the last Assembly election.

:34:45.:34:48.

Party membership in England and Wales has dropped from 66,000 to

:34:49.:34:54.

63,000 last year. You're going the wrong way? What we are seeing is

:34:55.:35:01.

63,000, contrast that with 12,000 when I became leader. But it is

:35:02.:35:06.

going down. I find there is two groups in the council elections,

:35:07.:35:11.

there is places like Sheffield, Liverpool, Oxford and of course

:35:12.:35:14.

Bristol, where in Bristol west we got close to winning our second

:35:15.:35:19.

Parliamentary seat. Places where we have been strong we are looking to

:35:20.:35:24.

become stronger. That is the thing, you're going to try and extend your

:35:25.:35:30.

presence and your vote in those areas, but you won't improve your

:35:31.:35:34.

standing in places where you're not. Where we are growing is the other

:35:35.:35:39.

group of councils where we are making an impact where we have a

:35:40.:35:44.

chance to win our first seats and I have been travelling around the

:35:45.:35:49.

country where even a couple of years ago there may not have been a Green

:35:50.:35:53.

Party. Now we have a chance to win our first councillor. People like

:35:54.:35:58.

the message that says we are tired, we are not happy with the council

:35:59.:36:04.

performance and we want a new Green broom asking questions and

:36:05.:36:08.

challenging. That is a message striking home in many communities.

:36:09.:36:13.

What about in London, the mayoral candidate polled as low as 2% in an

:36:14.:36:19.

opinion poll. That is down from 4.5% in 2012. What we seeing as the

:36:20.:36:26.

mayoral election heightens up and people are hearing what our

:36:27.:36:30.

candidate is saying, her slogan is the power of good ideas. She has

:36:31.:36:36.

good ideas that will translate into votes in the mayoral and the London

:36:37.:36:42.

Assembly, where we have already had two representatives and we have a

:36:43.:36:45.

chance to grow that representation here. What impact will the results

:36:46.:36:50.

have on your future leadership, will you stand for re-election as leader?

:36:51.:36:55.

Well as I have said, at the moment there is only one election I'm

:36:56.:37:00.

focussed on, which is the elections in May and the referendum. These are

:37:01.:37:03.

the elections the democratic elections for the whole people of

:37:04.:37:08.

England and Wales. Because you haven't made a decision? No the

:37:09.:37:14.

Green Party, it comes up every two years. At the moment I'm not

:37:15.:37:18.

thinking about that. People say if you're planning to stand again, you

:37:19.:37:23.

wob able to say so now, are you waiting for the results of election

:37:24.:37:28.

first? No I think it would be a distraction if I were to say

:37:29.:37:32.

anything. If you said you were standing again, why would that be a

:37:33.:37:38.

distraction? We want to focus on electing our first green councillor

:37:39.:37:43.

in Exeter and Newcastle. I'm not talking and anything else. You're

:37:44.:37:47.

taughting about -- talking about it. But it is coming up and people may

:37:48.:37:51.

want to know why you couldn't say yes. We have elections. Let's focus

:37:52.:38:00.

on the local elections where people debate local elections. We have been

:38:01.:38:06.

heading to an a presidential style of election and that is not right we

:38:07.:38:13.

should focus on the local elections. The Scottish green leader said

:38:14.:38:17.

greens believe in bringing power closer to the power, wouldn't a vote

:38:18.:38:22.

to the leave the EU bring power closer. Well we are campaigning to

:38:23.:38:32.

stay in. Jenny Jones isn't. Last year about 95% backed a remain

:38:33.:38:36.

campaign. The Green Party has people with different views. But we have no

:38:37.:38:39.

problems with that, because the Green Party doesn't whip. So we are

:38:40.:38:43.

comfortable with people having different views and as Jenny did,

:38:44.:38:48.

state her position and stating the Green position that we believe we

:38:49.:38:51.

need to work together on the joint problems that we face. We need to

:38:52.:38:55.

make decisions at the right kind of level. If we are thinking and

:38:56.:39:01.

pollution and workers' rights, we need to work at a European level.

:39:02.:39:03.

Thank you. Now, they're pre-programmed,

:39:04.:39:06.

are told what to say, and aren't No, I'm not talking

:39:07.:39:08.

about politicians. And they're getting

:39:09.:39:11.

smarter all the time, With technology advancing at speed,

:39:12.:39:14.

what will the rise of the robots mean for us mere humans

:39:15.:39:22.

and the jobs we do? Here's Tom Watson, the deputy leader

:39:23.:39:24.

of the Labour Party, Robots used to be the stuff

:39:25.:39:26.

of science fiction, but they're In his budget last month,

:39:27.:39:43.

George Osborne announced that driverless cars will be trialled

:39:44.:39:54.

on our roads as early as next year. A development that will have huge

:39:55.:39:58.

ramifications for the haulage industry, cab drivers and possibly

:39:59.:40:02.

the rail industry too. Management consultants Deloitte say

:40:03.:40:09.

that 11 million jobs will go when robots do the work that

:40:10.:40:12.

humans do today. The age of automation will unleash

:40:13.:40:21.

forces as profound and destructive as the Industrial Revolution did

:40:22.:40:23.

300 years ago. Our question has to be -

:40:24.:40:31.

do we make technology our friend I think we have to embrace it

:40:32.:40:34.

and I want the Labour The last machine age led

:40:35.:40:41.

to the Industrial Revolution From the factories and the railways

:40:42.:40:51.

to the town halls and public squares But it also left a terrible

:40:52.:40:59.

legacy of inequality, disease, slums, poverty,

:41:00.:41:05.

child labour and it took a combination of capitalist

:41:06.:41:10.

philanthropy, municipal leadership and the power of organised

:41:11.:41:14.

labour to change that. Despite their rhetoric,

:41:15.:41:25.

the Tories don't have a proper Because their ideology dictates

:41:26.:41:27.

that the market alone must We believe in harnessing the power

:41:28.:41:32.

of the enabling state to everyone gains from the benefits

:41:33.:41:43.

automation brings us. We are entering the second machine

:41:44.:41:57.

age, a new era of automation. It sound like science fiction,

:41:58.:42:03.

but this isn't the stuff of HG Wells, it is happening

:42:04.:42:08.

in Tonbridge Wells right now. We did ask to speak to a robot, but

:42:09.:42:30.

none was available. A bit like Conservative ministers. You

:42:31.:42:35.

mentioned this statistic that robots will claim 11 million jobs, isn't it

:42:36.:42:40.

in the nature of the reports that they're always wrong? Generally. But

:42:41.:42:44.

it points in the right direction. Deloitte said there a is high

:42:45.:42:50.

probability of 11 million jobs and a possibility it could be 19 million.

:42:51.:42:53.

If you look at analysts, there was a report from the Bank of America that

:42:54.:42:58.

say they think half of global manufacturing jobs will be

:42:59.:43:03.

automated, the jobs that are done by humans that would liberate $9

:43:04.:43:12.

trillion of labour costs. So there are big changes, technological

:43:13.:43:15.

advance is getting quick and that state of flux is greater and you can

:43:16.:43:21.

only deal with that change if you are prepared to put the empowering

:43:22.:43:27.

state at the heart, working with employers and workers to deal with

:43:28.:43:33.

the disruption. I can see the role of state skilling people for the

:43:34.:43:38.

changes, but governments, and it is also clear that you can see what

:43:39.:43:42.

jobs existing jobs could be in danger. The one thing governments

:43:43.:43:47.

can never do is see what new jobs will come. You can equip people to

:43:48.:43:56.

be ready to move. If youI were sitting here in 1994, we would never

:43:57.:44:01.

have seen all the jobs that the internet was going to create. That's

:44:02.:44:06.

right. But if you just say let's leave to it fate, let's leave it to

:44:07.:44:12.

the goods of the market, as as state you will miss opportunities. My

:44:13.:44:17.

argument is we need to institutions that bring the state together in

:44:18.:44:21.

partnering up workers and employers to make sure we are investing tax

:44:22.:44:28.

dollars in the right way. What else would it do? It doesn't predict the

:44:29.:44:33.

future. As I said, I see the point of making sure the people of the

:44:34.:44:37.

country have the best skills to be able to move which ever way the jobs

:44:38.:44:44.

are. But you risk huge investments in areas that don't turn out. The

:44:45.:44:50.

French Government did this in the pre-internet age and invented its

:44:51.:44:56.

own pre-internet technology. It doesn't exist now. You're to let

:44:57.:45:01.

entrepreneurs develop technology, but how you skill the workforce. If

:45:02.:45:10.

you look at the NHS, people are now wearing wearable medical devices,

:45:11.:45:13.

measuring their own health. We scowled have a revolution in health

:45:14.:45:20.

diagnostics creating a new generalers are of clinicians. We

:45:21.:45:25.

can't even digitise health records yet. We spent 12 billion failing to

:45:26.:45:33.

do that. We are good at fail, because on the left you have a sense

:45:34.:45:36.

of people go to protectionist measures and on the right there is

:45:37.:45:40.

the sense you can't plan ahead, because the state does haven't a

:45:41.:45:46.

role. You need sensible pragmat tichl.

:45:47.:45:54.

There is the Luddite tradition. Has that gone? In the British Retail

:45:55.:46:04.

Consortium a third of retail jobs would go in the next generation

:46:05.:46:10.

because of warehouse technology. They work very closely with

:46:11.:46:14.

employers to make sure that new jobs are created and the workforce are

:46:15.:46:21.

supported. You think particularly the union wing of the Labour Party

:46:22.:46:24.

which often oppose new technology in the 60s and 70s, these days are

:46:25.:46:31.

gone? They have an interest in protecting the interests of their

:46:32.:46:36.

workers. You cannot stop technological advance and you have

:46:37.:46:42.

to make it your friend or enemy but you can provide a safety net for

:46:43.:46:48.

workers in industries in transition. All of those poor journalists

:46:49.:46:52.

affected by the destructive power of technology, you have to find new

:46:53.:46:56.

ways to support information in the hands of citizens. There have been a

:46:57.:47:00.

lot of other journals jobs created in different ways, which often do

:47:01.:47:06.

not pay as much. How would you judge the performance of the Labour Party

:47:07.:47:12.

in the various elections in May? Certainly not doing interviews with

:47:13.:47:23.

you won I talk about 200 wins or whatever. Expectation management. I

:47:24.:47:28.

have no idea what the outcome of the elections in May will be because

:47:29.:47:33.

they are easy ways of separate elections and the local campaigns

:47:34.:47:36.

and local government elections are going to be unique. You are not

:47:37.:47:41.

going to give us a yardstick? I do not have one. How are relations with

:47:42.:47:49.

your leader? You support Trident. You want to curb the influence of

:47:50.:47:56.

some of Jeremy Corbyn's supporters. If that was the price it would be

:47:57.:48:02.

disastrous. We get on very well. I just wondered how you were getting

:48:03.:48:07.

on giving your various positions. Very positive. We have struck up a

:48:08.:48:12.

close personal friendship which allows you to have different views

:48:13.:48:17.

of the world than manage that. If Labour was to lose the London

:48:18.:48:21.

mayoral election I would suggest your performance in Scotland, Wales

:48:22.:48:31.

has been hemmed in, but would there be another leadership crisis? That

:48:32.:48:36.

is another way of getting me into expectations management. I spoke to

:48:37.:48:42.

Labour Party members. They hoops Jeremy and me as leader and deputy

:48:43.:48:48.

leader and it is up to them if they want to express their dissent. A big

:48:49.:48:55.

issue you have been associated with, then it will be 2012 you said there

:48:56.:49:00.

was a clear intelligence suggesting a power powerful paedophile network

:49:01.:49:08.

linked to parliament and Number 10. No one has been arrested much less

:49:09.:49:13.

charged. Operation Midland has been closed down. You were wrong? A

:49:14.:49:18.

number of people have been arrested and some of them convicted. Not to

:49:19.:49:23.

do with a paedophile ring connected to Parliament and Number 10. There

:49:24.:49:29.

is a public inquiry looking at that and various criminal inquiries that

:49:30.:49:33.

are not complete. There have been no arrests of a powerful paedophile

:49:34.:49:39.

ring involving fee is a Number 10. It was the information exchange. We

:49:40.:49:49.

know that. I did not know that. Used and by that statement? There have

:49:50.:49:56.

been no major political public figures charged as a result of this

:49:57.:50:03.

investigation. When you are a parliamentarian you have to see

:50:04.:50:08.

where you can make a difference. We have criminal inquiries and

:50:09.:50:11.

investigative journalism and a public inquiry and we have to let

:50:12.:50:15.

them do their work can see where the outcome comes. Come back and talk to

:50:16.:50:19.

us about this. I would be delighted. How does the Queen know

:50:20.:50:26.

what her loyal MPs are up to? But she also has other

:50:27.:50:29.

ways of finding out. One of the government whips,

:50:30.:50:33.

the Vice Chamberlain of the Household, writes Her Majesty

:50:34.:50:35.

a dispatch every evening to tell In the first year of the Blair

:50:36.:50:41.

government, this task fell to Janet Anderson,

:50:42.:50:46.

who has just published her missives BBC Radio 4 has dramatised a small

:50:47.:50:49.

selection of Janet's Wednesday 8th of April,

:50:50.:50:52.

your Majesty, last day before the Easter hols,

:50:53.:50:56.

so suffice it to say that honourable At 3pm Madam Speaker announced

:50:57.:50:59.

questions to your Prime Minister, only today it was your

:51:00.:51:06.

Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for the Environment,

:51:07.:51:09.

Transport and the Regions. Two million jobs being lost from our

:51:10.:51:13.

manufacturing sector... When John Bercow, a rather odious

:51:14.:51:19.

little Tory MP from Buckingham, tried to provoke your

:51:20.:51:24.

Deputy Prime Minister, This was the man, he boomed,

:51:25.:51:27.

who had been chairman of the National Federation

:51:28.:51:36.

of Conservative Students when Norman Tebbit closed it

:51:37.:51:38.

down because it was... Michael Fabricant is,

:51:39.:51:40.

the Conservative MP for Mid Staffs, who looks for all the world

:51:41.:51:51.

as though he wears a wig but won't admit it,

:51:52.:51:53.

could be described as... Your Majesty, your Secretary

:51:54.:51:55.

of State for Social Security, Harriet Harman, was first up

:51:56.:52:01.

for questions today. It is almost impossible

:52:02.:52:03.

to see her in action without recalling the hatchet job

:52:04.:52:17.

done on her by the Observer One really does wonder

:52:18.:52:19.

whether she is going to recover. Janet Anderson MP with humble duty

:52:20.:52:23.

reports Tuesday 9th of June 1998. Your Secretary of State

:52:24.:52:25.

for Social Security Harriet Harman was even spotted in the smoking room

:52:26.:52:28.

buying rounds of drinks, I can assure your Majesty this

:52:29.:52:30.

is not a regular occurrence. Mr John Bercow introduced a ten

:52:31.:52:36.

minute rule bill to prevent anyone who does not pay income tax

:52:37.:52:48.

or is resident outside the country Seems rather sensible,

:52:49.:52:51.

but what a shame it had to be introduced by such

:52:52.:52:57.

a tiresome little man. Bercow constantly bores us

:52:58.:53:01.

with his attempts to be more 11% of average earnings

:53:02.:53:04.

in the United Kingdom by contrast So irritating had this become

:53:05.:53:09.

in a recent debate on sport that Labour's Stephen Pound from Ealing

:53:10.:53:19.

was moved to comment, personally I would rather

:53:20.:53:26.

have a sex life. Janet Anderson is with us now,

:53:27.:53:35.

and we're also joined by the current occupant of that role,

:53:36.:53:39.

the Conservative MP Kris Hopkins. It is racy. What will you writing

:53:40.:53:52.

those things to the Queen for? I thought she could read Hansard if

:53:53.:53:56.

she wanted a parliamentary report. I got the sense she had a good sense

:53:57.:54:01.

of humour when I met her. I thought she might appreciate some of the

:54:02.:54:05.

gossip, what went on in the bars and the tearoom and what everyone was

:54:06.:54:09.

saying about each other. I think she did. Did she give you feedback? Not

:54:10.:54:16.

directly, but the Prime Minister did. Also her private secretary

:54:17.:54:25.

Robert Fellowes said to me how much she had enjoyed it. She used to read

:54:26.:54:34.

it every evening before dinner. As an aperitif before the main course.

:54:35.:54:40.

You going to write these daily digests to fill in the Queen what

:54:41.:54:46.

has been happening in Parliament? Janet perhaps adopted a radical

:54:47.:54:50.

approach. Are you going to do the same? I have been doing it for a

:54:51.:54:56.

year. The content remains private. It is a great privilege to write to

:54:57.:55:01.

our Majesty. I understood it was against the official secrets act to

:55:02.:55:06.

publish these so there may be space in the tower for you. You get taken

:55:07.:55:15.

hostage by the Queen. It is dramatic. I am picked up by a and

:55:16.:55:20.

said a biscuit and a cup of coffee. Is that as torturous as it becomes?

:55:21.:55:29.

There was a problem a few centuries ago when one member of the Royal

:55:30.:55:33.

Family came to the palace and did not return, so I am a hostage and

:55:34.:55:39.

win the Queen comes back I return. You are safely returned. I remember

:55:40.:55:50.

as they were leaving for Westminster Prince Philip said to me, if we do

:55:51.:55:54.

not come back safely, you get shot or something, don't you? He said, we

:55:55.:56:01.

will not be able to do that because you are going to ban handguns. They

:56:02.:56:07.

Bulls have a very good sense of humour. They were great company. The

:56:08.:56:12.

Queen is very adept at making you feel at ease. I remember my first

:56:13.:56:17.

morning in Buckingham Palace thinking, if my mother could see me,

:56:18.:56:22.

but she is so good and so skilled, and if we think of the hundreds of

:56:23.:56:26.

thousands of people she has to make small talk with almost daily, she

:56:27.:56:31.

makes you feel she is interested in you, she wants to hear what you have

:56:32.:56:38.

to say. Are you enjoying her birthday? Absolutely. Do you get a

:56:39.:56:48.

uniform? Morning suit, top hat. A wand of offers. You can perform

:56:49.:56:57.

magic tricks? It feels like that. When I was asked if I would consider

:56:58.:56:59.

taking the job my only rule was no ties. Do you get paid more? The

:57:00.:57:20.

role? The role comes as part of the government Whip roll. What is wrong

:57:21.:57:31.

with John Bercow? John would be the first to say he could be quite

:57:32.:57:37.

difficult when he first came in, but he is much more popular and I think

:57:38.:57:43.

he is a very good Speaker. You might want to re-edits some of those.

:57:44.:57:48.

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

:57:49.:57:51.

The question was: In a radio interview this week what did

:57:52.:57:54.

Hillary Clinton say she always carries around with her?

:57:55.:57:56.

Was it a) An American flag b) Hot sauce c) A copy of Donald Trump's

:57:57.:58:00.

So, Natalie, what's the correct answer?

:58:01.:58:04.

I do not know the answer. I was going to guess Donald Trump's route

:58:05.:58:13.

because it might be cathartic to have the punching session. The most

:58:14.:58:18.

logical answer would be coffee. It is hot sauce. I think she likes to

:58:19.:58:26.

add it to whatever she is eating. The Department for Education say

:58:27.:58:32.

that it is 66%, not 55%, of secondary schools that are

:58:33.:58:33.

academies. 5655 schools in total. You look like you've

:58:34.:58:53.

just seen the Grim Reaper. Well, it was a lot to take in,

:58:54.:59:07.

wasn't it?

:59:08.:59:10.

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are joined by Green Party leader Natalie Bennett to discuss the upcoming elections and latest news from Westminster. Plus an interview with schools minister Nick Gibb on academies and discussion around the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations.


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