07/07/2016 Daily Politics


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Morning, folks, and welcome to the Daily Politics.


It was a damning indictment of his conduct.


But, after the Chilcot Report, Tony Blair insists we would be


in a worse position if he hadn't taken us into the Iraq War.


But is his reputation damaged beyond repair?


Morning, thank you so much for coming.


Do you think Mr Blair should be prosecuted?


Silence on the issue from Jeremy Corbyn this morning.


So, can Labour get over its Iraq legacy?


Conservative MPs are voting to decide which two leadership


candidates will be be put to the party's membership.


Will Gove or Leadsom survive the day?


Alcohol has oiled the cogs of politics for as long


But does it help or hinder the machinery of Government?


Cheers! What do you think?


And sitting here in the studio stone-cold sober for a whole hour


today, how will we cope, is the former Conservative MP


Tony Blair was not on trial and Sir John Chilcot does not


the headline writers have made their own mind up this morning


The Chilcot Report is perhaps the most comprehensive account


of the build-up to a war, its conduct and its


So, what do its 2.5 million words say about the role of politicians,


the intelligence services and the military?


Sir John Chilcot's report spans almost a decade of UK


Government policy decisions between 2001 and 2009.


On military action, Sir John said the UK chose to join the invasion


"before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted".


Tony Blair wrote to George W Bush eight months before the Iraq


invasion to offer his unqualified backing well before UN


weapons inspectors had complete their work,


saying: "I will be with you, whatever."


On weapons of mass destruction, the report found that judgments


about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass


destruction or WMD were made "with a certainty


On the legal case, the circumstances in which it was decided


that there was a legal basis for UK military action were "far


On military preparedness, Sir John found there was "little


time" to properly prepare three military brigades for


The risks were neither "properly identified nor fully


exposed" to ministers, resulting in "equipment shortfalls".


On the aftermath, despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the


invasion were underestimated. The planning and preparations for Iraq


after Saddam Hussein were wholly inadequate.


I'm joined now by Labour MP Ben Bradshaw.


Tony Blair said yesterday, I made the right decision and the world is


better and safer, do you agree? Yes, I do. If we had left Saddam


Hussein in place and his sons, the most brutal dictator the world has


seen since the Second World War, who had used chemical weapons, who had


invaded two neighbouring countries, the last group that went in off


inspectors said he would reconstitute his weapons programme,


Tony is probably right. At the same time, we need to learn the lessons


just outlined, many of which are serious and critical.


How can the world be safer when the whole Middle East is in chaos? And


spawning terrorist groups that threaten all of us.


You know as well as I do, Islamic terrorism goes back far beyond Iraq.


It has never been worse. Long before 9/11. Look at Syria...


Appoint Tony was making was these judgments are always really


difficult. In the end, prime ministers have to make judgments.


Those who do not agree with those judgments need to reflect on what


the alternative would have been. Saddam Hussein was not behind


Islamic extremism. You are right. The context at the


time, soon after 9/11, was not just about whether he supported Islamic


extremism, it was about the danger of weapons of mass destruction.


But he didn't have any. We now know that. But the consensus of all the


intelligence agencies, not just our own, but across the western world,


Germany, France, was that he did. They moan more equivocal.


-- they were. We knew from the UN he had no nuclear programme, that could


be rolled out. There were reports he had some chemical capability, that


turned out to be false. Where was the threat it is true Iraq was not a


land of Islington liberalism when he was there. Nor was it a threat to


us. It is possible to argue that there have been far more deaths and


far more misery in Iraq since the invasion than before it.


We know there were millions of deaths before. That he invaded two


countries. He had used chemical weapons. He murdered the Kurds in


the north, the Marsh Arabs in the south.


What Sir John Chilcot made clear yesterday, one of the allegations


levelled at Tony, was that there was some fabrication or deceit around


the intelligence. That has been put to rest.


Chilcott says the intelligence should have been challenged.


And it was but not enough. Not challenged by Mr Blair. That is


not what he said this morning. In the end, we rely on our intelligence


services to give us accurate intelligence that they have tested.


You are right the intelligence was wrong but we have known this since


the Butler report. The intelligence was across the


developed world. We took it on good faith and made that decision on good


faith. The other allegations made against


Tony that somehow the Cabinet was misled or there was a secret prior


agreement to go to war, all those things in the report had been laid


to rest. I put it to you the Cabinet was not


involved. At no stage did it take a decision to go to war.


I am sorry, the Cabinet was involved in discussions. I wasn't a member so


I wasn't there. There was a parliamentary vote and for the first


time in British history the Prime Minister gave Parliament a vote.


Knowing what we know today would you still have voted the way you did?


Yes. With the benefit of hindsight, I am not one of those people...


That is a cop out. Explain that. The motion that took us to war was full


of references to WMD and the threat of those. We now know today there


were no weapons of mass destruction. How could you have rated given what


you know today, voted that motion? Because my prime motivation for


voting to that motion was a humanitarian one, to uphold the


integrity of the UN. You are going against the UN, they


didn't back you. There was a record 17 mandatory


resolutions against Saddam Hussain, unique in modern history.


But, I am amazed that you say you would still vote for emotion full of


references to the threat of WMD even though you know now there was no


WMD. People will find that bizarre. You may find it bizarre. I am not


the only one. Many people including my colleagues, good people, who have


spent their life time focusing and working on Saddam's abuse of human


rights, who would have done exactly the same. Their main motivation, if


you look at the debate on that day, it did not focus on the intelligence


but on the UN resolutions and upholding the integrity of the


resolutions. Even though you couldn't get a


resolution through paving the way to war which is why the French wouldn't


go for it. Even though the report shows you


haven't exhausted the options for war, there were other options.


That there was no proper post-war planning for the aftermath.


No WMD. And we didn't equip our army properly to fight. Despite all that,


you would still proceed with what you did then.


Those last three criticisms are legitimate and should be taken on


board. But I do not agree with his finding. If you listen to what Sir


Gerry Greenstock said today, do I agree there was somehow more time we


could have given Saddam -- Jeremy. We could have given him more time?


30 days to comply and he hadn't complied.


Sir John Chilcot himself said we might have had to go to war. It is


easy for him to say that but when you are Prime Minister and faced


with this decision, the decision you take is based on a judgments. Given


the history of Saddam Hussein, all the games he played with the UN, and


his record, that was the decision Tony Blair faced, and I still think


you took the right decision based on what we knew at that time in good


faith. After the invasion of Kuwait when


the collision kick him out, much of his army was broken. We now know he


ended his attempt to have WMD. His status in the region was in decline.


If we hadn't invaded, in what way would Saddam Hussein have been a


threat? Look at what has happened in Syria


as a result of non-intervention, where you have a similarly brutal


dictator, where far more people have died. We have the biggest refugee


crisis since World War II. We can't be sure that would have happened.


Given Saddam's record and what happened in the Arab Spring...


In what way would Saddam had been a threat to our allies in the region


or to us? If he had stayed in power? We know from the last report of the


Iraqi inspection group he would have tried to redevelop his nuclear


weapons of mass to programme. You know what they found, one disk.


But they talked to people in his regime, and it was quite clear from


their report, it is in the Chilcot Report if he had stayed, he would


have done this. He had done it before. The idea if we had left him


in place, Iraq would have been some great, peaceful...


No one is saying that. You are asking me to say with certainty what


would have happened in Iraq if we have left Saddam in place. The


closest parallel is what we have seen in Syria. That is why we must


learn the lessons of this report but please let us not learn the wrong


lessons which is that it is never right and justified to intervene.


Matthew Parris? Listening, I get some sense of why the Labour left


and the Jeremy Corbyn faction are so angry, of what drives them at this


denial of a total catastrophe. I was against the Iraq war from the start.


But it was not a crime. It was worse, a huge blunder, a chapter of


miscalculations and incompetence. Two charges laid against Tony Blair


go too far, however. That he knowingly lied. I don't think he did


and I didn't think the Chilcot Report suggests it. And that he had


private understandings with the US president, I don't think it is wrong


for statesmen to have private understandings with other statesmen,


even if in this case they lead to a catastrophe.


The wedding, I will be with you what ever. But... Remember, at that time,


Tony's priority was to get the US to go down the UN route. We did go down


the UN route. There were no caveats to the word,


what ever. What follows in that memo is the need to get a wider coalition


together. Nope caveats to, I will be with you, what ever.


Any fair-minded person reading the rest of the note would see it in the


context of a British Prime Minister trying to persuade the American


Government when we knew that Donald Rumsfeld wasn't interested in going


down the UN route, and it did happen.


But he did say, if we don't get UN support, I am not with you.


In a further note from Bush, he made quite clear that if the UN route


succeeded there would be no military action. That was the context in


which Tony Blair was persuading the Americans.


Stay with us because there are developments in this attempted slow


motion coup in the Labour Party. Len McCluskey, the biggest union leader


in their country was questioned about reports


asked Owain Smith and Angela Eagle to hold off a leadership challenge.


we are seeking time, we are asking people to give us time. There is no


haste here, no rush for anybody to declare. We are asking people to


give us a little bit of time to see what we can do. It looks like they


have agreed to that, so this isn't just a slow motion coup, it's a coup


without a leader. I would not call it a coup when the majority of your


Shadow Cabinet and people who have served you loyally for ten months


have decided you are not the right person to lead the party. It's more


like a strike. I hope he succeeds for the sake of the country.


Succeeds in asking Jimmy Corrigan to stand down? Absolutely, we need a


competent and well lit progressive centre-left party to speak for the


48% of the population who voted to remain. Why won't anyone step


forward? I think what people are trying to do is give Jeremy that


space to be persuaded... I don't get the feeling Len McCluskey will try


to tell Jeremy Corbyn to step down. It was said that talks have been


productive and they need more time to reach a resolution over the


weekend and you must be hoping that Len McCluskey says it is time to go


to Jeremy Corbyn. It sounds to me that Len McCluskey is thinking they


could build bridges? We are trying to read the mind of Len McCluskey


which is not always the easiest thing. The vast majority of those


colleagues, Labour MPs who have worked very hard with Jeremy to try


to make this work would like and hope that he can persuade Jeremy to


do the right thing for the party. If somebody doesn't step forward we


have a dysfunctional opposition don't we? I have no doubt this can't


go on for much longer and if somebody doesn't... If Jeremy cannot


be persuaded to step down and do the right thing there will be a


challenge. It would drag on indefinitely. Is it not remarkable


that even though after the referendum the Tories formed a


circular firing squad and behaved in a way that made even the Oxford


University will up that they may resolve, they will probably resolve


their leadership problems before your party? That wouldn't be for the


first time, the Conservatives tend to be much more effective and brutal


in how they deal with their leaders and settle leadership contests. Ben


Bradshaw, thank you very much for being with us.


Earlier this morning, Tony Blair expressed regret


that he didn't challenge intelligence about Saddam


Hussein's supposed weapons of mass destruction.


But he insisted he still believed he was right to overthrow


He was speaking on Radio 4's Today Progamme.


I agree completely when you go back over it, for example


on intelligence, yes, in retrospect, it would be


I understand the mistakes of planning, there are lots


of things I will take responsibility for and express deep regret for.


It was the biggest decision I ever took in Government.


But, sometimes, the problem is that I feel, until I say to people, OK,


I wish we had not joined the American coalition,


that we had not got rid of Saddam, until I say that, people will not


I can regret the mistakes, many things about it.


But I genuinely believe not just that we acted out of good motives


I sincerely believe we would be in a worse position


These are incredibly difficult judgments.


Why don't they just see the disagree? Tony Blair this morning,


they should turn that into a TV show.


I'm joined now by the George Galloway, the leader


The Chilcot report has been described by many as robust and even


damning, do you share that judgment? Utterly damning and even more so


because it came from the heart of the establishment. When it was


appointed I described it as a parade of establishment flunkies which they


did not turn out to be, but they the establishment. John Chilcot has


performed a National Service and in the neck of time, the British state


was rocking after Brexit, the expenses scandal. I would say give


him a knighthood but Tony Blair already gave him one, Sir John


Chilcot has pulled some iron is out of the fire for us. He has recovered


some national honour although as we have been listening to their are


some like those Japanese soldiers who used to be found on the mort


islands coming out of a Vauxhall still declaring their undying


loyalty to the Emperor. There are such people still around and one has


just been on your programme. But the will of the people is that John


Chilcot was right and with all the Augusta language and demeanour that


he displayed yesterday it seems to me utterly damning and no road back.


Do you therefore accept that Chilcot does not show or claim that Tony


Blair lied? You can only know what is in somebody's heart and mind if


you are the mighty. The fact is whether he was the idiot or a nave


the same results. I think it has opened up now and I am sure as we


are speaking lawyers are working on it. Joshua Rosenberg wrote in The


Guardian this morning, it opens up the door for Tony Blair having to


appear in court. What would be the basis for that since Chilcot does


not opine on the issue of whether this was an illegal war? Perhaps it


does not provide evidence that it was an illegal war, what would be


the legal basis of the walk in charge? Misconduct. I don't think it


would be war criminal charges, it would be misconduct in public


office. There is plenty in Chilcot to demonstrate that the use of his


primer studio towers were reckless. To establish a case of misuse,


misconduct in public office. I am sure the wide, mothers, fathers and


even children of those who fell in the British forces are examining and


exploring these options. You think the war, no road which many on the


left have talked about, that that is pretty much for closed at misconduct


in public office could still be a legal route to pursue? Yes, the ICC


doesn't have the power to punish aggressive war, even unlawful war


although I have asked the Pope to punish it today. It is established


in Chilcot that Tony Blair waged what we call on just war, the


catholic teaching is very clear from Saint Thomas on this. Unjust war


where all other options have not been explored. You are bringing the


Pope into this? Yes, I think Catholics all over the world deserve


the holy Father to opine on this but that's perhaps are rarefied issue


only for Catholics. But the ICC cannot because its statutes don't


allow it to prosecute war prior... It does not define what an


aggressive war would be. What do you make of, not the war, no road, many


will not be happy until he is, what you make of the misconduct in public


office route? I think if proceeding on the basis of only partial


evidence, not giving the electorate or the media the whole story


amounted to misconduct there is hardly a Prime Minister who would


not be guilty of misconduct in public office. Not with the same


scale of cost. Ben Bradshaw's statement, Tony Blair's statement


that the world is safer because of what he did does not even past the


straightfaced test, never mind any legal test. The world is in flames,


fanatic extremism cascading everywhere, exploding everywhere


even in our own streets. Iraq is in pieces, Syria is in pieces, Libya,


Yemen, Saudi Arabia may soon be. The idea that the world is saved her now


because of these jokers is utterly ridiculous. The cost of this


misconduct is far greater than getting the marginal rate of income


tax wrong or the DVL regulations. What are the foreign policy


implications? Let me put a point I pity somebody else yesterday, we


intervened in Iraq and occupied Iraq, it's a mess. We intervened in


Libya but we did not occupy and it's a mess. We did not intervene or


occupy Syria and it is a mess. What are the foreign policy implications?


They were afraid to repeat the Iraqi experience. Which would have


happened if they had occupied Libya. It's flying in the face of the


reality, it almost leaves one speechless. Al-Qaeda in Iraq was a


response to the invasion of Iraq, they moved into Syria and became


Isis. You ask about foreign policy implications, I think they are about


containment is often a better way of dealing with dangers in the world


than trying to go in and destroy and remove people. In the memo, the


whatever memo he does say we could go for containment. Incidentally the


next word is not but as Ben Bradshaw wrongly stated, there are a series


of caveats but not the word whatever and it isn't but. Where does foreign


policy go from here? It is in a dreadful mess, the policy options we


poor sued -- we poor sued -- per sued it's hard to see how we put


these pieces back together. One thing ought to be a lesson, that


supporting dictators like Saudi Arabia and Iraq before it, because


the Iran war was fought with our weapons and our taxpayers gave


export credit guarantees. British weapons? British weapons, German,


American. Remember the super-gun. That was a con. What British


weapons? British arms companies work heavily involved in supplying Saddam


Hussein. I don't know which particular calibre of gun but they


were definitely... When I was in Iraq all the weapons were Soviet. Of


course the Soviet Union supplied a Lot. They denied, they blamed Iran


464 months after it. -- for six full months after it. The moral authority


of these people is gone, a period of ashamed silence would be in order.


George Galloway, thank you for being with us.


Yesterday, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn apologised


on behalf of the Labour Party for the disastrous decision to go


to war but he did not attack Tony Blair personally.


Politicians and political parties can only grow stronger


by acknowledging when they get it wrong, and by facing


So, I now apologise sincerely on behalf of my party


for the disastrous decision to go to war in Iraq.


Apologies are owed first to the people in Iraq.


Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost and the country


is still living with the devastating consequences of the war,


They have paid the greatest price for the most serious foreign policy


Apologies are also owed to the families of those soldiers


who died in Iraq or who returned injured and incapacitated.


They did their duty but it was in a conflict they should


We're joined now by the Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry.


Should Jeremy Corbyn have cited and condemned the actions of Tony Blair


personally? No, I think that would be a mistake,


the lessons from the Chilcot Report are much wider. We have to be very


careful not to get ourselves into traditional scapegoats mode. If we


focus on Tony Blair, and say he made all the mistakes, then we don't, the


lessons are so much wider. And they apply today, two actions in the


future. We cannot take a short cut. The Chilcot Report is very


challenging for all of us, we have decisions to make on Libya coming


up, on Syria. Those decisions should be informed by the report.


But will the supporters of Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party, a lot of


the membership will have been disappointed not to have heard his


direct condemnation of Tony Blair. You can't blame one man, but he was


the thread running through this whole report.


The thread running through was that we went into war without thinking it


through properly. The failure was a collective


failure. My question was about the supporters being disappointed.


I think they understand Jeremy is a thoughtful man. He does think these


things through and he speaks the truth as he sees it.


Does this go to the root causes of the divisions you are experiencing


now in the Labour Party in terms of Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters,


people like you, and the other MPs who would like to see Jeremy Corbyn


stand down. Does this still divide the party?


No, I don't think it does. When Jeremy apologised on behalf of the


Labour Party yesterday, I think he did apologise on behalf of the vast


majority. Not so Ben Bradshaw. Nor for Austin who shouted at him to


sit down. We are a collision on the left,


there will always be dissenting voices.


He spoke on the vast McCutcheon on behalf of the vast majority, and


generally. Does this still infect the Labour


Party at times when it is imploding? We need to think carefully about


intervention. One of the things we have did -- Heated debates.


On domestic policy there is little disagreement in the Labour Party.


There is a difference of interpretation in foreign policy,


whether we should or should not intervene.


You saw that in the vote on Syria. On domestic policy, we are much more


united. The idea that it still doesn't still


divide the party? It does.


It is a fatal stain if one can have a fatal stain on the Labour


moderates, their involvement with that part of Blairism for invading


Iraq. They have as it were diminished themselves by that. Some


of them like Ben Bradshaw are still sticking by it.


I am interested in your view that you take collective responsibility.


You don't talk about individuals. But he was Prime Minister, Tony


Blair. Are you saying any Labour leader would have behaved in the way


Tony Blair did? No, you know I'm not saying that.


But it was a collective decision, and we need to look at the


intelligence. Why did they get it so wrong? Why did it end with


parliament being misled? Whether it was done on purpose or not doesn't


matter. The fact is Parliament was misled.


How did it happen? Why was evidenced not looked at more carefully?


Why was there and not more collective decision-making?


That is Sir John Chilcot. We don't have to go through that again.


I am re-emphasising. Tony Blair was in charge but these


things are collective decisions. Sir John Chilcott said these things


must be collective. From a point of view of your own


internal therapy I can see you don't want to point fingers. For the rest


of the world we are still quite interested in whether Tony Blair


made some very serious mistakes. He has apologised for making


mistakes. Clearly he made mistakes but he was not the only one.


Still the Labour Party is in stalemate, can it carry on for much


longer? Yes, the Labour Party can carry on.


We have enough people with good will to find a proper future. The country


is crying out for a proper opposition.


Can you carry on where there is a case of the bulk of the Parliament


tree party still at odds with Jeremy Corbyn being leader?


As I said last time I was on, we have two sort something out.


Should there be a leadership challenge?


We have a great advantage of having had quite senior people whose


professional job is as negotiators, Len McCluskey...


How did you read Len McCluskey's comments earlier about talks with


Jeremy Currin. Owen Smith has said he is there will be a resolution,


will it be that Jeremy Corbyn stand down?


The best way of conducting negotiations is to do it behind


closed doors in an of trust. Do you understand the resolution is


he will go? The resolution is we need to talk


together and find a collective decision.


Is that what Len McCluskey is negotiating?


I have not been directly involved, it is not for me to comment or


second-guess. I know Len McCluskey is going in without a predetermined


outcome. He wants to draw people together.


Owen Smith says he is reassured, he is one of those who considered


challenging Jeremy Corbyn, that is the outcome he wants. Should Angela


Eagle challenge for the leadership and get this going?


I think it is a good idea to allow Len McCluskey to have time to


conduct discussions properly. We need to back off and be sensible and


see where this takes us. You may be back on the programme


before too long. We have a bunk bed in the corner for


you! Saves you from going home.


Now, Conservative MPs are voting in their party's leadership contest.


Theresa May, Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom.


The candidate with the fewest votes after today's round


The final two being put to a ballot of the entire Tory membership.


This morning, Andrea Leadsom has been making a final pitch


She spoke to us about criticisms that she had embellished her CV of


her experience in the City before becoming an MP.


None of my colleagues have misrepresented I was managing


investments on behalf of pensioners and savers. I was not a fund


manager. I have been very clear, I have


worked in the markets, I have worked in banking, I have worked in funds


management as head of corporate governance working closely


with the chief investment officer. You don't regret how your previous


experience has My CV as I have presented


it is exactly accurate. My CV is accurate that


I have set out with the We're now joined by the Conservative


MPs Daniel Kawczynski And Matthew Parris doesn't


have a vote any more but, if he did, We have all candidates covered.


Heather, let us talk about that CV. Had she overstated her experience of


her CV? It is incredible that here we are a


week into everything and the dirty tricks have started. Of course not.


She is Constable with her CV. I am comfortable she is the fresh start


our party needs. Let us look at the claims. The Times


reported Andrea Leadsom had no role in managing funds or advising


clients during ten years from 19 at 9-2009. Is that the case or not?


I have no idea, I wasn't in the City on that side, I was in the insurance


side. She has answered it clearly. You believe her and the experience


she put down on that CV is true. I am appalled the dirty tricks have


started. Who is responsible? You will have to


ask another person. Is that coming from the Michael Gove


camp? All I am interested in is who will


be in the final Dawlat. It is important it should be Michael Gove


and Theresa May. I have been supporting Michael Gove because of


the leadership he showed over Brexit but I am comfortable with either as


our next Prime Minister. And the responsibility for dirty


tricks, are you as appalled about this?


The contest could have been done in a better way, with maybe fewer


personal attacks and dirty tricks, of course. Unfortunately, when there


is a lot at stake, of course, tempers will fray. People are very


emotional. We are doing a very important thing, selecting the next


Prime Minister. This isn't student politics, this is


incredibly important. Also, it is incredibly important,


and trust is important, so is accuracy in terms of personal


details. To return to the CV again, Andrea


Leadsom said she was a managing director at her brother in law's


investment fund. When you look at companies house documents, she is


referred to as marketing director. Is it important she is accurate? Her


spokesman said they updated the CV to prevent any further


misapprehension. Misapprehension or misconstruing.


That is done. The team have explained what happened.


I am comfortable with that. We need to talk about the policies and why


Andrea will be the fresh start our country needs.


People don't know who she is. She is and is tested.


Her speech was superb. -- She is not tested.


It is about policy which is why the speech this morning was important. I


hope the BBC will show all of that speech.


In terms of tempers running high, emotions out there in the Tory


party, is that why Nick Boles sent a text message to fellow MPs


suggesting they vote tactically to stop Andrea Leadsom being in the


final Dawlat? That is regrettable and he has


issued an apology for that. He has stated Michael Gove was not aware of


that initiative? I am glad he has apologised, that was inappropriate.


Is there something frightening about Andrea Leadsom as he says?


An important point. I would like to tell you there are members of my


association in Shrewsbury who have approached me, senior members, who


have genuine concerns about Andrea Leadsom becoming Prime Minister


because of the lack of experience. Highly competent but only an MP for


six years. She has never held a senior position in Cabinet.


She has more experience than David Cameron when he became Leader of the


Opposition. What is her experience? Two years as


a minister, she has been at the dispatch box goodness knows how many


times. David Cameron going the Leader of


the Opposition, as opposed to Prime Minister, does that make a


difference? Absolutely not. She is a lead -- She


is a lady of steel. Michael Gove is running scared.


We are not running scared. We want to reflect what our own members are


saying to us. I spent last week in my constituency


of Shrewsbury listening to my executive Council and members. They


want two alternatives to be put to them from different perspectives but


they want experience. By members have said to me they are concerned


that this lady, very competent though she is, does not have the


experience of running major Government departments, to be


catapulted into becoming our Prime Minister.


I hope this process ends with her getting a very senior position.


What would you like to see in a Michael Gove Government?


That is something for him to decide if he becomes Prime Minister. She is


a raw talent, she ought to be utilised. She is not yet ready to be


Prime Minister. Isn't that patronising? I wonder


whether the good old boys are having a go.


She is not part of the metropolitan elite, but a Midlands MP. How


refreshing would that be, to lead the country?


You think it is student politics, why?


Such is the atmosphere of intrigue and mistrust, I even begin to wonder


whether Nick Boles and his text was a loose cannon straying off brief,


or whether it is one of those, because it was only Nick Boles, it


can be denied by the Michael Gove camp.


Can you imagine Michael Gove being involved?


He might have guessed it would be helpful and was careful not to ask


for permission. Does it fit with the Machiavellian


view of Michael Gove? My experience of Michael Gove was


when he was Chief Whip and I think he's one of the most dependable and


articulate politicians I have come across. That is not what I asked.


The media have tried to perceive him, show him as... We did not make


up that he stabbed Boris Johnson... I have heard two versions of this


story and only those in that dispute will know the truth. The media loves


disputes of this nature. My own experience is he is dependable and


trustworthy. Matthew Parris, Theresa May riding high out in front, what


do we know of her outside the Home Office? Not very much, she has stuck


to her brief and colleagues say she does not open intervene in areas of


government outside of the Home Office so we don't know much. We


know she is what you might call a fairly progressive conservative who


thinks the party needs to appeal more broadly. Remarks about the


nastier party have been endlessly... They have dogged her for years. What


about her stance on the future and security of EU foreign nationals


living here at the moment? Has it been a mistake? I think it's been


phrased mistakenly, I think what she should have said was that it was her


fervent wish and she was pretty confident she could achieve it, that


foreign nationals here would be able to stay but this must be a matter


for negotiation when we have our own nationals on the continent to thank.


That would've been a better way of putting it. It has been condemned by


the others saying they shouldn't be bargaining chips. Everything is a


bargaining chip in politics. We have just been interviewing the Foreign


Secretary and it's right that the government has too privatised


British citizens living in the EU but there are 800,000 Polish people


here, hard-working and dedicated people and they need to have the


reassurance they will be allowed to stay in the UK as soon as is of


thank you to all of you. A senior Labour MP said the move against


Jeremy Corbyn is finished according to reports. After a lengthy


discussions between Tom Watson and union officials failed to solve the


impasse. Now, the Government was defeated


last night after an Opposition debate in the Commons calling


for them to commit to giving EU nationals currently living


in the UK the right to remain Conservative MPs were whipped


to abstain on the vote. But the Government tried to make


clear that they had no intention to some of the exchanges


during that debate. Let me start by inviting the House


to join me in sending a very clear message to the EU nationals


living in the UK that You are truly valued


members of our society, I think it is absolutely right


to issue the strongest possible reassurance to EU nationals in this


country, not just for moral or humanitarian reasons, but for very


sound economic reasons as well. They are welcome,


they are necessary, they are a vital part of our society


and I would be passionately We fully expect the legal


status of EU nationals living in the UK and that of UK


nationals of EU member states will Given that both the UK


and the EU want to maintain a close relationship,


we are confident that we will work together and that the EU and British


citizens will be protected through Joined by Nick Ross and, and


emigration lawyer, welcome to the programme -- an immigration lawyer.


If Parliament votes to give everybody the right to remain here


who is already here and in EU national isn't that it, it is done?


It should be, there will be more complicated issues about


transitional arrangements once the UK leads the EU, about people who


are here or just arriving. There will be complexities around that. If


there is a decision to allow all those EU nationals already here from


a certain date to stay then that's the end of the story because when we


leave the EU, EU rights cease and it's just a matter of national law.


Do we have any idea what the rates of EU nationals would be as


currently constituted if we were leaving? We know what the rates are


if we are in the EU, they have the same rights as we have effectively,


to be here, what happens if we leave? It depends on what the


statisticians now under EU law and how that's recognised in British


law. Typically, as James Brokenshire said yesterday, in EU national who


has been here for five years can in principle apply for Premarin


residence and get confirmation, that is in EU law status but it's very


similar to the UK status of indefinite leave to remain which you


would get here if you are living here for five years. It also has


legal implications that are very similar to indefinite leave to


remain in terms of access to British nationality, access to benefits and


other things. If individuals have acquired that status and can show


that they have obtained it over five years, they would carry that status


board and I am sure it would be respected beyond the UK leaving the


EU. Certain protections, no one is ever quite sure how strong they are,


the Vienna Convention has been called into this argument but also


the EC HR and the UN are clear on being opposed to collective


expulsion so you can just kick a whole category of people out?


Absolutely, I think it's unthinkable to think we would get to that stage,


it just wouldn't happen. But Joe Reitz, it is not allowed under


international law, if there was collective expulsion or even


individual expulsion, based on whether you meant certain


requirements it would be so complicated to try and unravel what


are the right people have, they may own property, they may have allsorts


of rights to property under international law and the dreaded


word, human rights that you would accrue over a period of time would


complicate any sort of attempt to try and send you home. I think it's


unthinkable we would get to this stage where there would be any sort


of individual deprecation or mass deportation. It would seem to me


there is an overwhelming majority in the House of Commons to give those


already here continuing rights to be here on the same basis. Yes and to


that extent this is a little bit of a storm in a teacup. I can't imagine


Parliament ever voting to expel EU nationals who are here but there is


a lot to discuss, Theresa May is right about that. The axis of 1


million or so British people in Spain to the Spanish health system,


these things have to be negotiated. We will leave it there, thank you


for being with us. Now, international events,


political ideology, personal animosity,


all these can change I never touch the stuff, of course,


but I'm told plenty of alcohol is consumed here at Westminster


and it's a help to some politicians # Hey, bartender,


give that man a drink! I was enjoying a drink in the Red


Lion when Tony Blair phoned me Obviously, I couldn't speak


to the Prime Minister in a pub. Even now, I can't say


what he said to me. That is the sweet taste of remaining


in the European Union. Mr Joyce had been drinking,


and look possessed and completely out of it,


according to one witness. After shouting, there are too


many Tories in this bar. The former Labour MP told police


officers that he nutted a guy. Not everyone who drinks


get involved in fights. I don't gossip about


people over lunch. I don't go drinking


in Parliament's bars. And we're joined now


by the political correspondent Ben Wright who has just written


a book about politics and drink for which, I am told,


he conducted extensive research! He has only just got out of


hospital! Are lots of this you see politicians drinking pints of beer,


it's a photo opportunity, to show I am a man or woman of the people,


Harold Wilson used to do it in public and he had a pipe, the minute


he got into his private quarters out came the cognac and the cigar. Yes,


politicians love being pictured with pints because it sends a signal that


they are like them, they share their vices. They have been doing it for


as long as we have had politicians, go back to Hallgarth in Georgian


England, he will be depicting elections awash with booze. You


couldn't bribe voters by buying the drinks back then, now they just go


behind the bar, pull pint and hold it to the camera. Nigel Farage is


not putting it on. He is also seen drinking wine at times which the


other politicians would rather not. It is said the drinking culture, and


still is one in parliament, but it's not as bad as it was is that right?


The book I have written is largely a story of drinking decline certainly


amongst senior ministers, Prime Minister's and the House of Commons


and the bars are not as packed as you might remember. 20 or 30 years


ago the smoking room, the strangers bar where a rant, and they are


tribal as well, strangers rammed full of Labour MPs. Now it feels


like that on a Thursday night because of the change in hours and


an awareness of the damage that drink does and the fact that MPs are


working much harder it means they are not renting might be used to. I


was on the terrace for research purposes a couple of days ago one


evening and it was rammed. Drink fuelled gossip, everyone talking


about the labour and Tory leadership races. A conveyor belt of drinks


coming from the bar. Does politics need it, does it need that in order


for the wheels of political chat and debate and discussion to continue? I


think it has always been and remains a very important ingredient in the


way politics works. Among MPs on the bar of an evening but also for a


Prime Minister relaxing at the end of the day. Margaret Thatcher having


a glass of bells with his friends and advisers, it's the same for


American presidents. FDR had Martini hour every evening for an hour on


the oval office desk. It's important to them. It can go too far when I


was in the House of Commons I took Sheila Faith, the MP for the


adjoining constituency to mine, I took her into the Kremlin as we used


to call it, she was teetotal and hadn't been in and and want to go in


on her own. So we went in and she had a lemonade and a Labour MP whose


name I will not die vulture got down onto the floor and pretended to be a


dog -- whose name I will not die vulture. He started barking and


biting her ankles until she beat a hasty... I'm not surprised! Don't


miss out on that book. The 1pm news about to start on BBC One, and have


now because we are off a little earlier. I will be back.


And I will be back tonight for This Week with Michael Portillo.


David Lammy, Isabel Hardman, Omid Djalili, Douglas Murray,


Depending on the football timings, we should be on around


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