Jo Coburn is live from Westminster with the latest on the EU referendum. Guests include Liam Fox, David Lammy and Rachel Johnson on her campaign against 'iceberg basements'.
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Hello, and welcome to the Daily Politics.
Just one month to go until Britain votes in the referendum on EU
membership, and both sides are turning up the volume.
The Prime Minister and Chancellor are warning of a "DIY recession"
lasting a year, should we vote to leave.
Their opponents say their forecast is "fantastical".
Meanwhile, Leave campaigners continue to push their message
that the NHS would be better off out of the EU, despite claims
from some senior figures within the health service.
Questions over the Conservatives' election spending continue.
We'll speak to the SNP MP who's reported the Tories
And, the journalist Rachel Johnson will be here to tell us
about her campaign to change the planning laws, and stop
her wealthy neighbours digging down to create
And, with us for the whole of the programme today, two MPs
who are going to spend the next month arguing over Britain's future,
But we know they like each other really, underneath!
It's the former Conservative Defence Secretary and Leave
And the Labour MP David Lammy, he's supporting a vote to Remain.
So, in four weeks' time, voters will be going to the polls.
And, as we pass that landmark, the claims and counterclaims
The might of the Treasury machine has been brought to bear
by the Remain camp this morning, with their latest warning
While their opponents in the Leave camp are pursuing their own favoured
messages on the potential benefit of leaving for the NHS, and
So, let's take you though some of those big claims.
David Cameron and George Osborne have released a Treasury
report warning that Britain would enter a year-long, so-called
DIY recession, with the economy
Meanwhile, Leave campaigner Penny Mordaunt has launched
a new push highlighting the possible risks of Turkish accession
to the EU, focussing on David Cameron's call to "pave
the road from Ankara to Brussels."
The fight this week will also centre on the role the EU plays in the NHS,
with its chief executive Simon Stevens yesterday
claiming exiting would cost staff and resources.
Those campaigning to Leave have launched a new TV advert
which argues the reverse, saying health service could benefit
by up to an extra ?350 million a week after a Brexit.
In Wales, the leaders of Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru
have put aside their differences to back Remain.
Carwyn Jones and Leanne Wood said that Wales was "stronger,
safer and better off in Europe".
But one friendship appears to have hit the buffers,
with David Cameron's policy guru Steve Hilton today arguing that
So, those are some of the big campaign issues.
Let's begin by talking about one of them, and that's the possibility
Gentlemen, if you look at the vote the poster, Turkey, population of 76
million is joining the EU. David Lammy, will that happen?
Historically, the Germans and French have been against it. We are
certainly lukewarm about it. It came up in discussion in relation
to the refugees in the last few months, and a deal that was done
that is seen to put this way into the long grass, so it is not
reality. I might say my constituencies, with
the largest Turkish speaking publishing in Britain, 18,000
Cypriots from the 2011 census, 50,000 Turkish speaking former
Kurds. They are really contributing to our economy. This is whipping up
a storm. To get a debate about immigration, not the EU, I
suspect... If it was on the table because talks
are supposed to have been energised, would you be in favour of Turkey
joining in the next five years? Not as of today. That is
scaremongering, Project Fear by your side?
The aim is to get Turkey into the European Union. The European Union
game. And Britain? British Government
policy to support Turkish policy of the EU. The Gwent has always been
that it would help push the Turkish political process towards the norms
of the EU. But, how do you get a country of 80
million people into the EU while used to have free movement? And the
problems that could have caused with mass migration inside the EU? That
risk is still there, it is not being addressed. We have not stand the
concept of free movement of people, that is the biggest roadblock to
their membership. Because of the veto which Penny
Morduant incorrectly said we didn't have, the likelihood of Turkey ever
joining the EU in the foreseeable future is off the cards?
Turkey was able to use the migrant crisis to its benefit. It hasn't got
Visa free movement yet. You see the influence Turkey is
wielding. And you see the risks that if Turkey were to join along with
wielding. And you see the risks that Albania and others, that principle
of free movement would mean potentially huge migrations across
Europe in search of work. David Cameron was
Europe in search of work. yesterday Britain does have a veto,
which he exercised it? If you look back at his track record, he has
been in favour as Liam Fox has said of Turkish accession, he championed
it. I am confident, as of today, he
would, because of the situation in Europe finds itself in. Alongside
him would be the Germans who are clear they don't want Turkey coming
into the EU, and the French. It isn't going to happen, it was
doubtful before the crash, very doubtful as of today.
It is doubtful. So you are because of a British Government
veto, even if you doubt David because of a British Government
I don't believe it is out of the question for Turkey to join, it is
clear question for Turkey to join, it is
Once we have decided to stay in the EU and we are locked in, it is 41
years since we last had a choice, who is to say we won't have all
these countries in number four way are given another say.
And the year 3000... David Cameron said... Did you not believe him?
They think they can predict these numbers far out. It is the
Government policy to see Turkey come in, and the EU.
Every expert over the weekend in terms of EU put it said it is
unlikely. Alongside the poster, Leave campaigners claimed Britain
will open the doors to high levels of mergers, terrorists and
kidnappers from Turkey, is that responsible?
You need to look at the whole position.
That claim... I wouldn't use those exact words.
You can see that there are commuter seen what has happened in recent
days with those coming into the EU. We don't know whether they are
economic migrants, refugees, sympathises with terrorist
movements. When they get citizenship, the point is, of any EU
country, they have a right to settle in the UK.
You support those words to mark the problem is that you would not know
who got citizenship. That could be a real fear, opening
the door to people, you don't know who they are and they do.
I think, more night, less heat. It is not imminent, it is not
happening. We are whipping up a storm about the problem is not on
the cards. Turkey would like to come in but it is absolutely cleared the
three major countries in Europe do not want them.
On the wider point you have just raised, we know there are millions
of migrants entering the EU, we don't know who they are. When they
are given citizenship. They are entering the Schengen area,
not Britain. How many years does it take for
someone to get citizenship? Between two and three. I think you
will find it is seven or eight, if you look at the list.
Not two years. But when they do, they will have a right to settle in
the UK. We have no means of stopping them. If we vote to stay, we have no
means of controlling our border in terms of which EU citizens have a
right to settle in the UK. That is the fear many people have.
Immigration has been something the Leave campaign will focus on.
Remain on the economy. Another area opening up fierce debate is the NHS
over the weekend. Simon Stephens, entered the fray in favour of
Remain, while David Owen said the NHS would be better if Britain left.
Let us listen to both of them. When Mark Carney says that the risk
of a slowdown in economic growth, possibly a recession,
if we end up exiting the EU, if Mark Carney is right,
then that is a severe concern for the National Health Service,
because it would be very dangerous if, at precisely the moment the NHS
is going to need extra funding, actually, the economy goes
into a tailspin, and that funding If there is any danger to the NHS,
it is in staying in, with all the elements of the NHS
which are now involved with the EU. For most of the first 20
years of our membership, the Common Market, we had no
involvement with the NHS at all. Now, the NHS procurement policy,
the NHS competition policy is all impacting because we started
to marketise the NHS It continued under the coalition
with the Liberal Democrats and this And it has continued under this
Conservative Government. Liam Fox, Simon Davies rejects the
idea suggested by your side that extent would free up money that
currently goes to Brussels. At best he said it would fund the NHS the 19
days a year. Any extra funding would be helpful
and Simon Stephens has been overseeing the biggest deficit in
the NHS. Rather than involving himself in...
The figures imply something different, you say. It wouldn't
necessarily all go on the NHS. It is up to Government to decide how
we spend that money, money is available. At the moment we are
sending that to Brussels, ?10 billion a year we send net to
Brussels. You don't think we could spend that money better ourselves on
our own parities rather than handing it over to the bureaucrats in
Brussels? What the Vote Leave campaign is
doing is offering governments in the future far greater freedom.
Simon Stephens may not think ?10 billion a year or a share of that
would help. He is running a ?2.5 billion deficit in the NHS this
year. If you would think that money would be better spent removing that
deficit... You might think he would have a good
idea of what is going on in the NHS. With the biggest deficit in the NHS
has one he might be better spending his time on that and getting
involved in the referendum campaign. It is a lot of money. Even if you
take your version of the figures that would not be going to Brussels,
it would be a lot the Government could decide and it would be up to
then to decide to spend on different priorities and the NHS could be one.
Simon Stephens, for Labour and the Conservatives, he has rubbished that
figure. He said it amounts to about 19 days spending. Anyone looking at
the NHS objectively can see that mental health, particularly, is in
collapse. Can see there are real problems in primary care in our
country. There are still lots of surgeries and GPs struggling.
Against that context, he said quite rightly, if there is a recession,
the NHS gets a serious cold, we don't benefit at all from leaving.
That is completely reasonable. He is impartial, careful about his
comments. A man who has worked for successive governments and knows.
You are part of a party and Government which said consistently
the NHS relies on a strong economy. Are you saying that is wrong?
We have a strong economy and continue. I think we will whether we
are in the EU or not. The point is we are sending a net ?10 billion a
year to Brussels. That figure has been rubbished. That
is the Treasury figure. That money would be better spent on
our priorities in Britain and the priorities of the EU bureaucrats.
Those cannot be guaranteed priorities.
You don't understand my point. That is net.
Would you be able to guaranteed to those areas with subsidies they
would get the same money if we left the EU?
But, what about the terrorists that would be imposed on our
pharmaceuticals and companies as a consequence of leaving?
That would bloat the NHS budget. I don't believe that, there is no
logic. Before we go on talking about this,
At the end of the show, Liam and David will give us
David Cameron and George Osborne have been giving a joint press
conference this morning as a DIY store in Eastleigh.
So, what are the numbers from the Treasury analysis today?
An economist looked at two scenarios.
One where Britain experiences a shock, the second,
And under both scenarios, here are the results.
This is what happens if Britain leaves.
The economy shrinks, the value of the pound falls,
inflation rises, unemployment rises, real wages are hit, so too are house
prices, and, as a result, Government borrowing goes up.
The central conclusions of today's Treasury analysis are clear.
A vote to leave will push our economy into a recession.
Let's speak now to Gerard Lyons, he's one of the economists
Do you accept that there will be a short-term shock if we leave the EU,
as the Treasury says? I do believe there will be a shock. I
as the Treasury says? I do believe same about two years ago. I
as the Treasury says? I do believe detailed analysis. But the reality
is that even though there might be a temporary shock, the outcome for the
UK economy with Brexit is positive. But I find surprising about today's
Treasury analysis is how pessimistic it is. They have assumed a far
deeper and longer hit, and they have portrayed the figures in a bizarre
way. They have said the hit to the economy is down 3.6% over two years.
They have not pointed out whether that means the economy is bigger or
smaller, because as we that means the economy is bigger or
Budget a few months ago, the independent OBR said the economy
would be 4.4% bigger after two years. So it is difficult to
would be 4.4% bigger after two things in perspective. The Treasury
has outlined three areas where they think the economy would be hit. One
of the three, I agree with. There would be an uncertainty impact.
Secondly, they said there would be a financial impact. But there you can
turn the Treasury's argument on its head. They said the pound could be
down up to 15%. When the Chancellor was talking about the march of the
makers, he said the fall in the pound would help exporters, and a
fall in the pound would basically bring it down to a level where a
couple of years ago, the Chancellor said that was good for the economy.
The third point of the Treasury is their assumptions about the
so-called transition effect. They suggest that leaving the EU and
embracing Brexit means we would both keep the regulations and keep up
high tariff barriers. You can question that significantly. I agree
with the fact that there might be a temporary short-term impact, but the
Treasury's analysis is far too pessimistic. But you do agree that
there would be a short-term shock. The question is, if you cannot
quantify it and you don't know how long that shock will last, you can
see how people might vote to stay in. You can quantify it and you can
make assumptions. I did a detailed analysis a couple of years ago which
also had independent forecasters look at it, and we found with a
Brexit scenario, cutting tariff barriers and becoming global, I was
looking at the London economy. Brexit added 900 jobs to London
economy over two business cycles and an additional 200,000 jobs --
900,000 jobs, compared to 200,000 jobs if we stayed in the EU. What is
the evidence that you know better? I am saying that in every economic
debate, there are two sides, and of the three points the Treasury has
assumed, I agree with one of their assumptions about the uncertainty
effect. But the financial effect would be positive. A weaker pound in
a low inflation environment would allow interest rates to remain low.
That is positive. I disagree with the assumptions the Treasury made
about the likely policy scenario outside in terms of tariffs and
regulations. Ahead of Black Wednesday back in 1992, I took a
very different view and people criticised my view. I said the pound
would leave the ERM and it would be good news for the economy. At that
time, the Treasury said if the pound left the ERM, inflation would rise
and the economy would shrink. Of course, the opposite happened. I am
not afraid to have a different view. But I can understand where the
Treasury is coming from in that there would be a shock. But I would
argue that they are far too pessimistic and they have made some
unrealistic assumptions. We are now joined by the Treasury minister,
Harriet Baldwin. So, unrealistic and pessimistic assumptions from Gerard
Lyons in terms of the Treasury analysis? Actually, Gerard Lyons is
one of the eight economists that the Brexit campaign has found in the
entire world to support the case that we would be better off if we
left. He is saying he agreed that there would be uncertainty. And
there is a great deal of economic analysis that shows that when there
is uncertainty in the world, businesses put investment decisions
on hold. They freeze their decisions to hire additional people, and it
leads to an economic shock. We have spelt out today not just the
uncertainty effect, but also the transition effect, the one where we
are moving to a worst trade deal. We know that whatever we move to will
be worse than what we currently have. That means the transition to
being permanently poorer. People and businesses would have to adjust.
Thirdly, there would be a financial shock. We have agreed on a cautious
set of assumptions. What is the evidence that GDP could grow by 3.6%
less than currently predicted, which goes up to 6% less if, as you claim,
there would not be a deal for access to the single market for the UK if
it left the EU, that house price growth would be hit by 10%, going up
to 18% in the worst scenario? These figures sound like they have been
plucked out of thin air. These are cautious assumptions. We have taken
the core scenario, the OBR forecast if we remain, because the government
wants us to remain. It is an important, permanent decision that
the country is making and we think strongly that the country will be
better off if we remain. But where is the evidence for these figures?
Your viewers will be able to see the common-sense case that where there
is uncertainty, we know the process of leaving is a two-year negotiation
process. Businesses and consumers would not know what they would end
up with, but we do know that all of the different trade arrangements,
all of the different deals that have been cited, like Norway and Canada,
are worse than what we have. But Britain is different and we are in a
different situation to those countries. Are you saying people
should rely on the Treasury for getting its analysis right with its
track record? There are lots of other sources of analysis on this,
whether it is the IMF, the OECD, or a range of different academics from
different universities or whether it is our own Bank of England. There
has been a huge number of different estimates and they have all agreed
that the range of possible shocks to the economy would be between bad to
very bad. You have just heard Brexit's an economist saying there
would be a short-term shock. We say 500,000 jobs fewer would exist in
the economy during a two-year period and interest rates would go up for
people who want to borrow money. That is wholeheartedly bad for the
British economy. You heard Gerard Lyons saying he agreed that there
would be some shock to the economy and some uncertainty, but that that
would correct. Bearing in mind that this is a vote that is supposed to
settle the matter for regeneration, are you asking people to base their
vote on the future of the UK's relationship with the EU on what
could happen over a two-year period rather than what might happen in a
30 year period? The UK Government thinks we will be better off not
only in the short term, but also in the long term. That is because the
single market is the gold standard of trade agreements.
The Leave campaigners have said they don't want to be in the single
market. They have not been clear about what kind of trade arrangement
they would see. All we can say is that all other trade arrangement are
worse than the current arrangement. The single market gives businesses
in this country access to 500 million consumers. Let's look at one
of the predictions. Carolyn Fairbairn of the CBI says the claim
that families would be better off if we stay in the EU are not accurate.
She says that is not a correct figure that she would use. How
confident can people be figure that she would use. How
other figures? I think figure that she would use. How
economic expertise people listen to, the UK would be economically worse
off. Businesses and individuals would be worse off. Is accuracy
important in would be worse off. Is accuracy
are, it is hard for us in the Treasury to be able to compare what
is being Treasury to be able to compare what
They can't agree amongst themselves what they would like to have. But we
do know the single market is what they would like to have. But we
over the last decade, we have had ?1 billion
over the last decade, we have had ?1 country in foreign direct investment
that creates jobs. And it is thanks to access to the single market. Let
me bring in Liam Fox. There is an admission now I quite a few of those
leavers on your side that there would be a short-term shock. Why
should this country expose itself to a short-term economic shock, which
we don't know how long it would last or how deep it would be, just to
we don't know how long it would last come out of the EU? There will
obviously be a period of uncertainty, during which time the
government will have to negotiate the best terms for the UK. The
Treasury have not been consistent. In 1992, they said a collapsing
market confidence would bring a In 1992, they said a collapsing
damaging rise in interest rates. If we cut loose from the ERM, the pound
will dive. What did happen after we left the ERM? Interest rates came
way down, and inflation was stable. But interest rates shot up in the
immediate aftermath. Before we left the ERM, we had 18% interest rates.
It was the beginning of growth in our economy. But there was a shock.
There was a short-term period of uncertainty, but if we vote to leave
on the 23rd of June, we are likely not to actually leave until 2019.
The Treasury assumption is that the government is unable to get any
trade deals and there are no other factors that attract business to
Britain other than being in the EU, which is wrong. I am disappointed to
see my colleagues spouting a misused Treasury model. We normally get a
central prediction. We get a downside prediction and an upside.
All we are getting here is the downside. There is no attempt to
look at whether there might be benefits. Let me put that to
Harriet. You would usually have a variety of scenarios, best case,
worst case. In this case, it is bad or worse. Yes. Because the central
assumption is that the government wants us to remain for the good of
the economy. Then we compare all the other trade arrangements to that,
and we know that they go from worse to very much worse. So we have
chosen a cautious analysis of how bad things could be. There is a
severe shock scenario which is considerably worse than the one you
are highlighting. This is a cautious analysis about the loss of jobs and
the uncertainty that could occur if we were rash enough to do a DIY
recession. Liam Fox, on the economic arguments, do you agree that you
don't have many economists or economic institutions batting for
you when it comes to having statistics that would support your
claims of being better off outside the EU? When people are against
840,000 jobs lost in two years according to the Chancellor, youth
unemployed up by 10%... These are made up numbers. Well, can you say
that when the Treasury has put together these numbers? Well, they
are made up on assumptions. They are not facts. And your facts are? I
think this referendum is about getting control of our laws and
borders. The assumption that the only way to trade for Britain's
prosperity is inside the European Union, how a single biggest trading
partner is the US. We operate under WTO rules with the US. Why is that a
hindrance to the UK economy? Are there no economic risks to staying
in the EU, Harriet? Bearing in mind that we have had a long recession,
the treatment of Greece has been seen as very damaging by many within
the EU. Are you saying it is plain sailing if we stay within the EU? I
think what we have within the EU is the best of both worlds. We don't
have the euro, which is clearly causing a lot of difficulties, you
mentioned Greece. It has been difficult for many countries in the
southern Mediterranean. So we don't have that, and we do have access to
the single market, which is 500 million customers, tariff free, for
our UK economy. So we have the best of both worlds in terms of the
economic arrangements. We will not be drawn into any Eurozone bailouts.
It is a very good outcome, and none of the alternatives, particularly
the WTO arrangements, would create anything other than a huge economic
crisis, with no agreement from the leavers as to what they want.
Is it edifying, and correct for the Treasury that it is coming out so
firmly on one side of the debate? I am so sorry, I am going to ask David
Lammy. It would be extraordinary if the
Treasury of the country did not do its best to come to a measured view.
Liam concedes that there would be uncertainty. The question for the
British public, at a time when there are more northern young people
coming to London because there aren't jobs in the north, when
growth is 0.4%, where public borrowing was ?91 billion last year.
The economy is fragile. Of course, if you exited, there would be a
shock and there are consequences. They have laid back out. Liam has
said there is a period of uncertainty.
If you are unemployed comic young, in the north of Britain,
manufacturing sluggish, it is not fine, it is deeply worrying. There
is a risk attached. It would be the have-nots hit
hardest. I do not believe that.
The collapse in the European economy as a result of the euro is causing
ever increasing numbers of young Europeans particularly from the
south to migrate to the UK. And our growth? Growth has been
great. Clearly, our growth is strong, the eurozone is very weak.
As long as there is free movement there will be increasing numbers
coming to the UK. It is the same issue, the collapse of the euro zone
economy. The very low levels of growth, massive and implement, 50%
of young Spaniards unemployed. Most of them came, the biggest numbers,
to the UK. We are not immune. Our budgetary
contribution is dependent on how our economy is growing in relation to
the rest of the EU. The more of British taxpayers's
money will go to Brussels. On the issue of Turkey, are you
clear about written using its veto if the issue of Turkey, Turkish
accession, came up. Certainly it would if it came up
accession, came up. today. There are 27 other countries
who think along those lines. I grew up in Cyprus and ancestors Cyprus
will veto Turkish membership. I don't think that is an issue likely
to arise in any of our lifetimes. You think it is as far away as that.
British foreign policy is clear it is something that should be and
would be considered? British foreign policy for a number
of decades has been to welcome countries that wanted to come,
liberal, open democracies with free press, mature economies, into better
trading arrangements. I think that has been something that has enhanced
economic progress across the continent and social progress. But
it is clear to everyone not only do we have a veto in
it is clear to everyone not only do membership, but lots of other
countries do. membership, but lots of other
They are nowhere near ready. Should David Cameron stop
They are nowhere near ready. Should about how he would welcome Turkish
accession? It is clear this has been brought
into the campaign discussions as the reddest of red herrings.
into the campaign discussions as the Lammy was saying is correct, the
decision on the 23rd of June is Lammy was saying is correct, the
in the UK. We have published an analysis showing there would be
500,000 job losses, many across the regions. That
500,000 job losses, many across the will vote to Remain.
Speaking on the half of the Government, as a Government
minister, she Government, as a Government
Turkish accession today. Government, as a Government
It is a hypothetical question, as you know. They
It is a hypothetical question, as secured one out of
It is a hypothetical question, as you know, it is not an issue even on
the table. Thank you very much.
As you can probably tell, it's going to be a big week
of the highlights, and a few other stories that might
This campaign's already got more buses than Piccadilly Circus.
But, today, two more are revving their engines.
Nigel Farage hops aboard the Ukip referendum bus.
And comedian Eddie Izzard takes to the road in support
MPs will continue to debate last week's Queen's Speech.
And, on Tuesday, they'll be talking about the controversial subjects
On Wednesday, at Stormont, new ministers are expected to be
appointed to the Northern Ireland Assembly, following the elections
And Business Secretary Sajid Javid is expected to be in Mumbai,
ahead of a board meeting where we may find out more
about the potential buyers for Tata Steel and its
On Thursday, the BBC's first referendum debate gets underway,
with Victoria Derbyshire hosting an event for younger
And, on Friday, restrictions come into force preventing the Government
It's known as purdah, and means big announcements,
like today's warning from the Treasury,
We're joined now by Lucy Fisher from The Times, and Jason Groves
We think they may be the last political journalists in Westminster
not to be sent away on a battle bus of some description!
They had a lucky escape. What impact will purge have? It will
be a very interesting time. The Government have planned for this. We
have seen the main cost benefit analyses come out like the Treasury
document, a week before this starts. The effects will last. Now these
figures are out, we will be talking about them into that period.
Will we notice any real difference? In the campaign, we will. Far fewer
of these documents. The reason we have seen this Oleg is because the
postal ballots go out on Friday. Both sides are clear these documents
do have a short-term impact on the poles and are hoping to make the
most it. Let us talk about Tory infighting,
Liam Fox and Harrods Baldwin representing different sides of the
argument. Lucy, is it getting difficult to see
that reconciliation in a cabinet of all the talents being put together
after 23rd of June. If we presume that Remain wins,
because if Brexit wins I don't think Cameron and Osborne won't survive.
It will be difficult to see how the Conservative Party comes back
together. There are two issues. The first is
the cabinet. The many ministers on the pro-Brexit site, it is hard for
us to see a way back. Penny Morduant suggested the Prime Minister needs
to build trust with voters after the Panama papers and concerns about his
finances. It is difficult to see how she will survive.
The Government will need a clear at reshuffle. Some who have been loyal
on the Brexit side like Chris Grayling who hasn't really
criticised Government policy, he is likely to remain.
On the second issue, policy issues will need to reunite people. Like
Trident. Or keep to uncontroversial policies
like that is in the Queen's Speech. David Cameron has said it would be
an opportunity post June the 23rd, to bring together both sides. You
would need to give some big jobs if Remain were to win, to those who had
campaigned to leave? If anything, Lucy is optimistic
about what will happen after June 23.
It will be extraordinarily difficult to bring the party back together. It
is quite possible the Prime Minister will face a vote of no confidence
from his own MPs. I think he would win that. But he will have to face
the fact 80 of them want him gone. With a majority of 12, it is
difficult to do anything even vaguely controversial.
He will try to patch things up by giving people like Boris Johnson a
good job. I think his prospects for governing
in the longer term are going to be damaged.
What about the papers? In terms of finding it difficult to decide which
way to go? I think we know which way most
papers fall today. A new Reuters Institute study showing 45% of
articles in the last two months have been for Brexit, 27 cents for
Remain. It is not clear from the methodology
how that works. The way the papers are covering it
is interesting. The leading world figures,
institutions, are on one side, Remain, largely.
For the Daily Mail, the Times newspaper, we have two slightly
adjust to that bias towards the biggest Jewish and is being behind
Remain, to give some providence to the Brexit debate. We need to do our
fact checks. Thank you to both of you.
Now, yesterday, the Prime Minister said the Conservative Party had "not
done anything wrong" over its expenses at last
may have been "mis-declared" or "left out".
A number of police forces are investigating whether tens
of thousands of pounds spent campaigning in 29 marginal seats
should have been declared locally rather than centrally.
I am very confident that the Conservative Party
is gripping this with the chairman, Andrew Feldman.
Lots of political parties have these bus tours.
Buses that go around different constituencies, and that
But this is all now in conversation with the electoral commission
and these other investigations, so we should let that
But I'm confident the idea of a bus that is a national bus that
visits constituences, the Labour Party has done that,
Well, yesterday, the SNP MP Pete Wishart wrote
to the Metropolitan Police, to call for a wider investigation
into whether the Conservatives attempted to subvert
the Representation Of The People Act.
And Pete Wishart joins us now from Dundee.
There are already ten separate investigations into the Conservative
Party's election expenses, what is the point of another one?
Those ten investigations are right and proper and will take their due
course. What I have asked for is the
Conservative Party as a national outfit to be investigated by the
Metropolitan Police. We know this was organised, these battle buses,
accommodation expenses, what we have to see if if there was a systematic
attempt to try to pass off candidate is the future as national
expenditure. The Prime Minister has conceded this. He tried to say this
was a minor, trifling issue of something left out. We are talking
about the integrity of an electoral system to make sure elections are
fair. It looks like because of the party have broken those laws.
There is some admission of administrative error which is not
the same as what you are suggesting, a deliberate intent. Do you not have
confidence in the police investigations because they will be
looking at exactly that? The current police investigations
will be looking at local issues, CAD itched expenditure in particular
constituencies. I want something different, for the Conservative
Party to be looked at. It is clear from the Prime Minister yesterday
that the law was not adhered to. This is not an optional extra, this
is a fundamental exercise in ensuring the integrity of our
elections. Something has definitely gone on. There is a concession from
the Conservative Party. Let us leave the police to look at this
the Conservative Party. Let us leave Do you know what form the
investigation will take? I wrote to them yesterday.
investigation will take? Not yet. We are looking at several
cases. I think this is on a par with the cash for honours which blighted
the Tony Blair Government. An attempt to dismiss casually the way
the law should be applied in these attempt to dismiss casually the way
things. This has been bubbling away for such a long time. I
things. This has been bubbling away the statements from the Government
and we have heard nothing. Let us put that. Similar to a cash
for honours scandal. We are talking about a large number of marginal
seats. We don't know about a large number of marginal
might or might not have changed that result. The
might or might not have changed that reason. If it is found the party has
overspent or declared local spending at a national level in order to push
their campaign locally, what would you say?
The party was always clear you say?
basic issue it believed it was operating from the rules and having
a national bus operating from the rules and having
promoting candidates in those constituencies, promoting the
Government's Central case. The electoral commission is looking at.
There are police force is looking into individual candidates and their
returns come in each individual is responsible for that. The
Metropolitan Police have better things to do dealing with crime than
an SNP political stunt given these investigations are underway.
You don't think it is important for the Metropolitan Police to pursue?
It is important that these investigations take their course.
Except that they are focusing on whether expenses came under the
national battle bus. There is also a question mark over accommodation
costs that could have been put under the national costings total. That
would also be against the rules. That is what the Metropolitan Police
would look at, whether it was centrally controlled in terms of
directing expenses locally to the national budget. The Conservative
Party admitted that those figures should have been declared. They have
gone to the electoral commission and the electoral commission will make a
judgment on that and whether rules were infringed. In fact, the actual
number would not have made difference to the overall accounts.
But why, when these investigations are going on, involve the
Metropolitan Police? It is a waste of money and a political stunt. I
will come back to you in a moment, Pete Wishart. But first, isn't it
always the case that parties blur the distinction between what is
local and what is centralised spending in elections? No. Actually,
we have really hard rules about election expenses. And it is because
we do not want political parties buying elections, spending billions
like we see in the United States. If you look at the last general
election result, the real conversation was the Lib Dem
collapse. If you look at these marginals, many in the south-west,
the accusation is that these elections were stolen. This is a
very serious inquiry. It should have much more discussion in the
Westminster village. Yes, of course the Met should look at what went on.
And what about labour battle buses? Should the police investigate
whether Labour party used a battle bus? At the moment, there is no
suggestion of labour fraud. There is a suggestion in 29 seats that you
"mis-declared" your spending. That is a serious act queues Asian and it
would go to the Conservatives -- that is a serious accusation. They
are allegations. Before we let you go, these accusations fly on all
parties. It has been alleged that Nicola Sturgeon's helicopter tour
included some local campaigning. Are you confident that the costs were
properly declared? Listen, I want David Cameron to come to Scotland...
Are you confident it was properly declared? They're always what if
questions. This is about the fact that the Conservatives bust loads of
conservative actors in and tried to pass that off as local spending. The
cavalier attitude of Liam Fox and the Conservative Party on this, I
think, does a great disservice to the many people throughout this
country who are concerned about this, who are looking at
Conservative Brexit election results and think they might have been
bought. -- now looking at Conservative election results and
think they might have been bought. Now to Austria, where presidential
elections are on a knife-edge. The job is mainly a ceremonial one,
but the contest is being closely watched because it could see
the election of the EU's All the direct votes have been
counted in the contest between Norbert Hofer
of the far-right Freedom Party and Alexander Van Der Bellen,
the former leader It now rests on the hundreds
of thousands of postal votes, the result of which will be
announced his evening. Let's get the latest
from our correspondent What is the latest? We are still
waiting for those postal votes to be counted. Austria is waiting to see
who the next incumbent will be of the presidential palace behind me.
Whatever the result, whether it be president turns out to be the far
right candidate Norbert Hofer or Alexander Van Der Bellen of the
Green Party, this vote has shown how deeply split Austria is. Those who
feel they want to go in a more nationalist and Eurosceptic
direction, people who are worried about the influx of migrants because
of the migrant crisis, and those who support the green candidate, who say
they want to be more open to Europe, they want a more federal system and
our sympathies are with the migrants who have come in. On Norbert Hofer,
you talked about in nationalist platform. Has that made up his
campaign platform? Is that what he has been talking about? Very much
so, but it is not just about the migrant crisis. A lot of observers
here say it is about the failure of the centre, the and parties that
have dominated politics here for many decades. Their messages are not
reverberating with the population any more. There has been a lot of
concern about what people see as failure to move forward on key
reforms here, and there is also a debate about what it means to be
part of Europe. Go on. This could be a signal for the rest of Europe,
because there are other populist nationalist movements that are
watching this result closely. No doubt the BBC will report on that
result later. Now, have you heard
of an iceberg home? It's not a house where the central
heating isn't working, but the trend in certain
parts of the country - but particularly in the capital -
for extending homes under the ground, with the extra space
used for private cinemas, Not everyone's a fan,
including the journalist I have lived in London's
Notting Hill, famous for its communal gardens,
ice cream coloured stucco terraces, and celebrity residents
like Richard Curtis and, most recently, my newest neighbour,
Hugh Grant, for three decades. Many of the houses are
delicate, Jerry-built, But not even media moguls' mansions
are big enough for some. The Royal Borough Of Kensington
And Chelsea receives hundreds in my book, to transform properties
like this into bigger, deeper houses, by excavating
deep underground, sometimes increasing the number
of floors by two or three storeys. We are living in the age
of the double or triple basement, the "iceberg house",
and the neighbours from hell. I don't blame residents who want
to make the most of their space, and live in airless,
subterranean lairs like trolls. But there is a world of difference
in a householder making improvements or creating an extra room,
than there is in a property owner creating an iceberg house
where there is more below These houses are simply quite
unsuitable for deep, subterranean excavations,
and all the attendant noise, traffic movements, disruption,
structural damage, and environmental impacts they cause for up to years
at a time. Of course, home owners should
have the right to do what they want, And they were framed over 100 years
ago, when nobody even thought This means councils
are powerless to refuse repeated It is time for a national planning
framework to ban almost all deep excavation in built-up areas,
otherwise this is just going to be # Our house, in the
middle of our street.# And Rachel Johnson joins
us here in the studio. Would you agree that this is a
fairly niche issue? Not really. They're almost 4500 of these
basements planned or being dug They're almost 4500 of these
London, which is a lot, especially if one is next door to you. How
disruptive is it? Incredibly disruptive. As you saw in the little
piece I did, opposite my house there is a basement that is being dug
underneath the middle of the street and it has been going on for two
years so far. Sadiq Khan, though, has said he is going to row back on
this. Various bills have been put through the Lords, but nothing has
happened. You talk of setting up a national framework. Is that
necessary, or do you think you could deal with it locally with issues
where it is really afflicting one part of the country? I would like to
see the presumption being against anything that goes below one story.
It is not only incredibly disruptive, it is also structurally
very dodgy, because it means you are honeycomb in the subsoil. The
average depth of Ireland and foundation is something like 12
inches, nothing. -- the average depth of a London foundation. Sorry
to be so boring, but you don't know what you are doing in terms of
sewerage and getting other services disrupted. Do you have any sympathy
for Rachel's pursuit of this issue? I think there is a tension here
between the right of individuals to do what they like with their own
property, against the impact on public utility. And that needs to be
resolved. There need to be clear guidelines on that and if we don't
have guidelines in our planning law, because it was never considered when
those laws were being introduced, they do need to be updated. We need
to have clarity so that people know where they are and so that people
who might want to invest in building a big basement know where they would
stand, as do the neighbours. So if clarity is required, we should have
it. But our iceberg home is a big problem in your constituency? It has
never, ever come up in Tottenham! But I do agree with Rachel that
there is a collective hole. You cannot just have people willy-nilly
digging down. This is a problem of the super wealthy. It is a problem
sometimes of the overseas buyers in the London market. So it does need
regulation, but it is not number one. Is it also a problem of people
in London not being able to afford to move, because it is cheaper to
stay where you are, and is that a fault of government policy? I don't
think people in Kensington who are building two floors down have a big
problem with their family incomes. You may be right, but it is an
issue. If people are not moving, do you blame things like the changes to
stamp duty? They have also made it easier to begin prudence on your
house. So there are two reasons not to move, higher stamp duty, and I
have relaxed the laws surrounding things like extensions and
basements. I want to give credit to Kensington and Chelsea. Then number
of applications has halved since they limited development is to only
one for underground. There was one guy next to the French ambassador
who was doing a 6-storey extension with the carousel for his vintage
Ferraris. We can only dream! Thank you for coming in.
There's just time before we go to find out the answer to our quiz.
The question was who, according to this morning's Times,
Tony Blair, Steve Hilton, Raul Castro or Ed Miliband? What do you
think? I am going with Ed Miliband. You might be right. Do you think
that is a good idea? Ed Miliband, who lost the last election, helping
Jeremy Corbyn? Give the guy a job. He is talented, why not? What is
your reaction? I think Jeremy Corbyn can't get enough advisers.
The one o'clock news is starting over on BBC One now.
I'll be here at noon tomorrow with all the big political stories
People were afraid of her political convictions -
Dear Mama, last night we had nearly four inches of rain.
People can be seen going about fetching bread and other things
on floating sofas or wooden bedsteads.