21/09/2016 Daily Politics


21/09/2016

Jo Coburn is joined by former Labour minister Chris Mullin to discuss the future of the party as voting for the leadership closes and Theresa May's speech to the UN.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to The Daily Politics.

:00:36.:00:38.

The Government should cut the numbers of EU workers allowed

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in to Britain to 30,000, once we leave the bloc.

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So says the campaign group Migration Watch.

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But opponents say the plan will damage the economy.

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Voting in the Labour leadership contest has ended -

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the result will be announced on Saturday.

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But the stalemate between the party's warring factions

:00:57.:00:58.

The fragile ceasefire in Syria looks all but dead after the US accuses

:00:59.:01:07.

Russia of involvement in an attack on an aid convoy.

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Meanwhile, a group of MPs criticises the Government's

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AS MARGARET THATCHER: Betrayed by my one-time

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friend and colleague, Sir Geoffrey Howe.

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We speak to the characters of a play focusing on the man

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All that in the next hour, and with us for the whole

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of the programme today, the former Labour MP

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First today, Theresa May delivered her big speech at the United Nations

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It was her debut set-piece appearance on the world stage.

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She used the opportunity to send a message that Britain was very much

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open for business in the wake of the EU referendum.

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British people voted to leave the EU.

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They did not vote to turn inwards or walk away from any

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Faced with challenges like migration, a desire for greater

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control of their country and a mounting sense that

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globalisation is leaving working people behind,

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they demanded a politics that is more in touch

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with their concerns and bold action to address them.

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But that action must be more global, not less, because the biggest

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threats to our prosperity and security do not recognise

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or respect international borders and, if we only focus on what we do

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at home, the job is barely half done.

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Theresa May. Chris Mullin, isn't there a contradiction at the heart

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of what she says, that, while she recognises many people in the UK

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felt left behind by globalisation, she said our response needs to be

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more global, because current problems don't recognise

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international borders. That's what people voted against. Whether they

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voted against it or not, and there are many reasons why people voted as

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they did, she is right. If you take climate change or global migration,

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these things don't stop at borders. One of the ironies is that those who

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are most against admitting more refugees or migrants are also the

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very same people who don't want us to spend anything on overseas aid

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but actually, one of the things we do with international development

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aid, is help people stabilise their countries to make them habitable

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again or, indeed, contribute to maintaining the camps in Jordan

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Lebanon to stop people coming here. She wants to do more of that. Yes, I

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agree. As you say, people voted for all sorts of reasons, of course, but

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there was a theme running through the Brexit vote according to

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politicians like her, which is that people felt left behind by

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globalisation, ignored. How is she going to address that? That brings

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us to the discussion we are going to have later about controlling the

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number of migrants. That is what I think people did vote for, whether

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it is good or bad. We can have an argument about the extent to which

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our economy needs qualified or unqualified people in the years to

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come and what the numbers should be but I think people did vote for

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having some limit on it, for better or worse. Perhaps frivolously, she

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was compared to Gordon Brown. That was for dithering on issues like

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Hinckley and airport expansion, couldn't make a decision and nor

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could he, according to the journalist John Redwood. Do you

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think that is fair? I don't think so because, let's face it, she got

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elected rather sooner than she thought she would. There were a

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number of big decisions in the intro and she asked for a few months to

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give it further thought was given the size of the decision and the

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implications for the future, I thought it was perfectly rational to

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have a look at it before she settled in.

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Now it's time for our daily quiz. The question for today is...

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In his speech yesterday, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron

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voiced his admiration for Tony Blair, but which music

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band did he compare the former Prime Minister to?

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At the end of the show, Chris will give us the correct answer.

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A tough permit scheme is being recommended to Theresa May

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to limit the number of EU workers coming to Britain after Brexit.

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Migration Watch UK want to cap the number of skilled workers

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which they say would support UK economic growth by ensuring British

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employers get the staff they need while putting the brakes on years

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Just 30,000 skilled EU workers a year

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should be allowed into Britain, according to the group

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which campaigns for tighter immigration controls.

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Migration Watch UK said a tough permit-based plan would keep

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out unskilled workers, who make up up to 80%

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of all new arrivals from the European Union.

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Net migration - those arriving minus those leaving -

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from the EU is estimated to stand at around 180,000 a year.

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And Migration Watch said a cap on unskilled workers would cut it

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The campaign group said there should be no restrictions

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on tourists, business visitors, students or retired people coming

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To discuss this are Alp Mehmet from Migration Watch UK

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and James McCrory, the Executive Director of Open Britain.

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Welcome to both of you. Let's look at the figures first of all. The

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current annual net EU immigration figure, those arriving minus those

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leaving, is 180,000. Your proposal would take 100,000 from that net

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figure, leaving 80,000. 30,000 of the 80,000 are skilled workers. Who

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is making up the other 50,000? What we've got at the moment, when we've

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looked at those who come in over the last ten years, 1.25 million have

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come in to work. If you compare them to those who come in from outside

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the EU and how they have had to qualify, then you've got the

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percentages you've described. 20% come in to the sort of jobs that

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require a degree level sort of qualification and 80% don't. We've

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got to get numbers down. That's what the government is mandated to do.

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Saying it and being able to achieve it requires a forensic look at the

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figures as to who is coming to do what sort of work. If you are saying

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there should be no restrictions on tourists, business visitors,

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students or retired people coming to the UK from the union, do they make

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up the remaining 50,000? No, no. There are no restrictions on

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tourists, business people, students, the retired, unlike the Times, who

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got it wrong today. We are saying there shouldn't be restrictions on

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those people. That will continue. We want the minimum of disruption. We

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are not coming out of Europe, we're coming out of the EU. What we are

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proposing will bring numbers down significantly. We reckon, in the

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medium term, by about 100,000. Do you agree? No, not surprisingly. I

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think it would be damaging for our economy, because it would guarantee

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that we leave the single market and it would also restrict UK businesses

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from employing the skilled and semiskilled Labour they need. This

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report suggests that people who come over who are not highly skilled, not

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engineers, people taking graduate roles, are not making an important

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contribution to our society, care workers, hospital porters, bus

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drivers. They are not degree qualified but there are lots of them

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in this country making a huge contribution, paying taxes, working

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hard, keeping the economy going and benefiting society. We have had a

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big report today on the crisis in the care industry. Even ministers

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who have worked in the area say, if we lost the EU workers in those

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industries, it would collapse. We've got to get numbers down. That has to

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happen. This is a sensible and reasonable way of doing it. With

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regard to care workers in that report, that was saying there was

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going to be a shortage in years to come. Whatever immigration we have.

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What I would suggest is, having been involved with parents and in-laws

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having care over the last ten years, what they could do is pay people a

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bit more, change their conditions of service so it's more attractive

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rather than look for the cheap option, the option they can push

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around and go for overseas workers. Do you accept this is about getting

:10:22.:10:28.

numbers down? If you take the main point, that there has to be a

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reduction in the number of people coming here from the EU and even

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from outside it, as a result of the Brexit vote. I accept that people

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want to see free movement reformed, but just having a crude number, just

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saying, 30,000, that'll do, isn't the way forward. You get to a Dutch

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auction on numbers which I do think it's healthy for an open and honest

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debate. We have looked at the numbers over the last ten years and

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those who have come in with the sort of skills that industry says it

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needs only consisted of about 20% of the 1.25 million. Do you accept that

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figure? Last year alone, the qualifications required to meet

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Migration Watch's target were larger than the 30,000 they have put the

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cap on, it was 33,000 even by your estimate. 25,000, and we've added

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5000 to allow for growth. It's still a small number, when you take

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180,000. There will be an argument to say, why would you plan to cap

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the number of migrants Britain needs, in terms of skills, whether

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it is high skills for engineering or slightly lower skilled in other

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areas, but you want to have limitless numbers of students?

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Students from the EU go. We don't know that, we don't know how many

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people leave the country. Our analysis shows that EU students

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leave. Non-EU students tend to come and stay. That's a separate issue.

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In terms of getting the numbers down, there has to be an attempt at

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taking radical action so people will see the evidence of fewer people

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coming. I think you can look at reform of free movement as a whole,

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set specific emergency brakes, tying it to the free movement of Labour,

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for example. But not a crude thing, 30,000, and if we get one more

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engineer in November he can't come in. What I think is damaging is that

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this suggests that, unless you are very highly skilled, you have no

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role to play in our economy. People who work in our agricultural

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industry, people in the hospitality industry, people driving buses and

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working in hospitals and care homes, this report says these people

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shouldn't be allowed to come to this country and make a contribution and

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pay their taxes. I can't agree with that. You are talking about manpower

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and planning. Do you have businesses to set these figures for? Why don't

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we hear from them? From non-EU, for the last six years, we've had a

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limit of 20,700 visas, work permits per year. At no point has that

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figure been reached on an annual basis. Never. Occasionally, one

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month to another, there have to be carry-over numbers. We know that we

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are able to bring in the sort of skills that businesses say they

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want. We have had businesses on here who say they would have liked to

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bring more people over from outside the EU and they were stopped from

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doing so, which has meant certain industries have suffered. Why will

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you not have industries setting the figures? What are you afraid of? I

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don't think... Turkey being given the opportunity to say whether or

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not we have Christmas or not is the right way to do it. It's not the

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approach. What we are saying is they will be up to choose whoever they

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want so long as it is within certain limits, and we believe those limits

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are perfectly reasonable. Even Stephen Kinnock, writing in the

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Guardian yesterday, said we've got to manage migration from the EU in

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some way. This is a reasonable and generous way of doing it. Both of

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you agree it's got to be managed, it's about the numbers and how many

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people we are talking about. If you're not keen for business,

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turkeys voting for Christmas, to set the limits, at least open to

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businesses in agriculture about the number of farm workers they need to

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pick the fruit, for instance, in seasonal weather? All of those who

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are here doing those jobs now are not going to suddenly disappear

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overnight. That isn't going to happen. But it's about guarantees.

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We know it isn't going to happen. Going back to what I said earlier,

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we need to pay people a bit more and look after them a bit better, then

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perhaps we will attract from within our own labour force market rather

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than going overseas. What do you say about the limit on skilled EU

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workers? It an arbitrary figure but nobody knows how it work out. I

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assume that Migration Watch isn't wedded to it and if it doesn't look

:15:30.:15:32.

like it is working out, perhaps, let's wait and see, they will agree

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to adjust it. The interesting thing is what the impact will be an

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unskilled and low skilled areas. I do actually agree that's one thing

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that should happen is we should start enforcing the minimum wage and

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protecting British citizens already doing those jobs and making those

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jobs more attractive to British citizens.

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You asked about business a moment ago. One of the things business has

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been doing at the lower end of the trade is recruiting in the far east

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or in Eastern Europe. Without even making the jobs available, here.

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They aren't even on the market here. Then you've got people living, ten

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people into rooms, and they'll be able to undercut British bus

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drivers. And that's where the undercutting happens. It's the fact

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the living costs are so much blubber, they can afford to charge

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less than those jobs whether they are builders or plumbers and that is

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where the low skilled end of the jobs market suffers for Brits. I do

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think anyone is against raising wages in any sector particularly

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amongst the low paid. It's enforcing it, though. I completely agree that

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adverts that only advertise in foreign countries before in Britain

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first, that should be banned. Look at how the relatively low rates of

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unemployment. The idea we are not benefiting from EU workers in low

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skilled jobs in agriculture, hospitality and public services is

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just not true. These people are making a very valuable contribution

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and to suggest we aren't going to need any of them in the future is

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ridiculous. If the government listening to you on this? I hope so,

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yes. Do you have confidence Theresa May will deliver Brexit? She said

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that in China not so long ago. I believe she will deliver Brexit,

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yes, absolutely. In a way here we are arguing about the referendum

:17:43.:17:47.

debate, really. What was going on. What we're talking about now is a

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situation but we are going to leave the EU. What we are proposing is a

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sensible and measured way of controlling numbers coming in work.

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Thank you. Let's turn now to the situation

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in Syria, because the United States has said it holds Russia responsible

:18:00.:18:02.

for a deadly attack on an aid convoy in the Syrian city

:18:03.:18:05.

of Aleppo on Monday. The attack left around 20 civilians

:18:06.:18:08.

dead and has further complicated efforts to maintain a ceasefire

:18:09.:18:10.

in the ongoing civil war. Meanwhile, here, the House

:18:11.:18:14.

of Commons Defence Select Committee has criticised the Government's

:18:15.:18:17.

strategy for combating the so-called The UK has been taking part in air

:18:18.:18:20.

strikes against Islamist militants in Iraq since 2014 and Parliament

:18:21.:18:26.

authorised their extension But one of the main points

:18:27.:18:30.

in the Committee's report is the disparity between the number

:18:31.:18:36.

of UK air strikes between The report says that,

:18:37.:18:38.

since December 2015, UK air strikes have been

:18:39.:18:46.

predominately in Iraq, with 550 attacks, yet just 65 UK

:18:47.:18:50.

airstrikes have happened in Syria In the first two weeks of September,

:18:51.:18:53.

there have been nine UK air strikes in Iraq,

:18:54.:19:01.

mostly near the Iraqi town of Qayyarah, with attacks also

:19:02.:19:03.

in the Iraqi regions There have been two UK

:19:04.:19:07.

air strikes in Syria, at a Daesh strong point in the east

:19:08.:19:14.

of the country and also over In a statement, the Ministry

:19:15.:19:18.

of Defence said: "We have conducted over 1,000

:19:19.:19:25.

airstrikes, which is second only to the US in both countries,

:19:26.:19:27.

and have helped train more As a result, Daesh is losing

:19:28.:19:30.

territory in Iraq and Syria." Let's speak now to our defence

:19:31.:19:39.

correspondent, Jonathan Marcus. What are the main criticisms in the

:19:40.:19:51.

report? Essentially the main criticism is that they point out

:19:52.:19:57.

that this can't be won by military means alone. The fear is that whilst

:19:58.:20:02.

Di Esch, so-called Islamic State, is being pushed back particularly in

:20:03.:20:07.

Iraq but also to an extent in Syria, the fear is that if there isn't a

:20:08.:20:11.

proper political transition in place in both countries then of course,

:20:12.:20:15.

the victory if you want to call it that could be squandered and there

:20:16.:20:19.

will be a vacuum and other, maybe more extreme groups, could take

:20:20.:20:23.

over. There is a clear difference between a rock and Syria and it

:20:24.:20:27.

actually underlies why the overwhelming predominance of air

:20:28.:20:31.

strikes have been in Iraq. In Iraqi have a functioning government, for

:20:32.:20:36.

all of its faults. You have Armed Forces and so on. There it is very

:20:37.:20:40.

much a question of bolstering but the Iraqis are doing, trying to

:20:41.:20:45.

persuade them to be less corrupt and more inclusive, to pursue the sorts

:20:46.:20:48.

of policies their Western allies would like. In Syria it's completely

:20:49.:20:53.

different, not only are you trying to push back Islamic State but you

:20:54.:21:01.

are also trying to remove the Assad regime and back the formation of a

:21:02.:21:05.

new so-called democratic, Western leaning government in the country.

:21:06.:21:08.

But as we've seen through the past few days, the failures of the

:21:09.:21:13.

putative ceasefire and so on, is a hugely tall order. That's what the

:21:14.:21:17.

committee is particularly concerned about. There are difficulties in

:21:18.:21:21.

Iraq but the situation in Syria seems to lack an overall clear

:21:22.:21:27.

political strategy altogether. Does the report then have any suggestions

:21:28.:21:30.

in terms of what the endgame should be as far as Syria is concerned with

:21:31.:21:35.

the civil war raging there? It doesn't have any clear answers and I

:21:36.:21:39.

suppose to be fed to the British government, Britain although it's

:21:40.:21:43.

the second largest contributor of air strikes is clearly a small

:21:44.:21:46.

player compared to the United States. I do think anybody has any

:21:47.:21:51.

clear idea what can be done in Syria. The move at the moment has

:21:52.:21:56.

been to try and get a ceasefire, to stabilise the situation, to relieve

:21:57.:22:00.

some of the besieged areas. And then perhaps in the wake of that to try

:22:01.:22:05.

and get some political and diplomatic dialogue going. The

:22:06.:22:09.

difficulty of course is that the underlying Western aim has all along

:22:10.:22:13.

been essentially the hope that the Assad regime would be pushed aside.

:22:14.:22:18.

Almost a year ago now, the Russian intervention with its airpower and

:22:19.:22:22.

also to some extent operations on the ground, has really altered the

:22:23.:22:26.

dynamics and made sure that the Syrian regime is very much in place

:22:27.:22:30.

for the foreseeable future. Thank you very much.

:22:31.:22:32.

We did ask the Ministry of Defence if a minister

:22:33.:22:34.

was able to talk about this, but no-one was available.

:22:35.:22:37.

Joining us now in the studio is the chair of the Defence

:22:38.:22:40.

Welcome. Just listening to Jonathan there, having a sort of double aim

:22:41.:22:52.

of trying to get rid of Assad and tried to deal with Daesh, which

:22:53.:23:01.

should we be prioritising? There are differences of view. My personal

:23:02.:23:05.

view all along has been that there is no third way in Syria. That is

:23:06.:23:10.

not the view it must be said of the committee as a whole. I believe that

:23:11.:23:17.

the reason why we find so few air strikes, and it's right that there

:23:18.:23:21.

should be few air strikes if we are not sure of the target and who we

:23:22.:23:23.

are supporting, the reason why there are so many in Iraq and so few in

:23:24.:23:31.

Syria, nine to one is the ratio, is that in Iraq we know what we're

:23:32.:23:35.

doing, there is a government we are content to see victorious, there are

:23:36.:23:38.

forces fighting on the ground that can benefit from our air strikes. In

:23:39.:23:46.

Syria we not only want Daesh to lose, we also want Assad to lose as

:23:47.:23:50.

well, and the great dispute about the time when we voted to extend the

:23:51.:23:57.

air strikes from Iraq, which was uncontentious and voted through with

:23:58.:24:02.

a huge majority, into Syria which was much more contentious, was

:24:03.:24:07.

whether there was a third force of 70,000 moderate fighters who would

:24:08.:24:09.

benefit from the air strikes. If there are tens of thousands of

:24:10.:24:13.

moderates, why aren't we doing more air strikes? Do you have a list of

:24:14.:24:18.

who these people could be? Or the government say they are trying to

:24:19.:24:22.

connect with? We repeatedly asked the government to let us have a list

:24:23.:24:28.

of these groups. The government took the view, and a majority of

:24:29.:24:32.

committee members agreed with it, which is that if the government were

:24:33.:24:36.

to confirm which groups we are helping, that would somehow endanger

:24:37.:24:48.

them and assist Assad or I. -- assist Assad or Isil. The report as

:24:49.:24:57.

a whole did conclude that by not naming the groups it casts a degree

:24:58.:25:01.

of doubt as to how real this third force of tens of thousands... You

:25:02.:25:06.

don't believe they exist, do you? I don't. I believe we are in an

:25:07.:25:11.

analogous situation in Syria to what we were in Libya. I voted for the

:25:12.:25:16.

Libyan one because I was told it was air cover to protect the citizens of

:25:17.:25:22.

Benghazi. Had I been told it was to remove the dictator, atrocious

:25:23.:25:27.

though he was, I'd have voted against it just as I did in Syria.

:25:28.:25:30.

The committee of the whole takes the view it would be helpful if we could

:25:31.:25:34.

have more information about this because that would add credibility

:25:35.:25:37.

to the government's position. You take away from this report that we

:25:38.:25:42.

are not actually doing anything in Syria, it really is a fig leaf to

:25:43.:25:46.

the Americans. We are doing this because we are in a rock, it's not

:25:47.:25:50.

actually achieving anything. That has been my view all along. I agree

:25:51.:25:58.

with Julian's analysis. I don't see there are three ways, I think there

:25:59.:26:02.

are two. We surely have learned by now but when you take the lid of one

:26:03.:26:07.

of these regimes, be it a rock, Libya Syria, you take the lid of the

:26:08.:26:13.

fires of hell. Here we are yet again trying to remove an admittedly

:26:14.:26:15.

dreadful regime and perhaps really... There may eventually have

:26:16.:26:23.

to be some sort of division of the country and safe zones for those who

:26:24.:26:28.

are of a different persuasion to the regime. We don't want to see more

:26:29.:26:32.

massacres. The Turks are doing something like that along the

:26:33.:26:35.

border. Do you think the latest fallout from the attack on the aid

:26:36.:26:39.

convoy near Aleppo which the Russians say was not down to the --

:26:40.:26:47.

not done to them, the US said it was. How does that relate to that

:26:48.:26:54.

situation? In relation to that disastrous attack and the other

:26:55.:26:59.

disastrous attack which killed 62 Syrian army forces, which apparently

:27:00.:27:03.

the West was responsible for, those sort of attacks are precisely the

:27:04.:27:07.

result of the fact we haven't basically faced up to the fact that

:27:08.:27:12.

it's hard enough to intervene in a civil war to get one side to win and

:27:13.:27:16.

one side to lose. When you want both sides to lose, you've got to be in

:27:17.:27:20.

dead trouble. Until we can get an agreement with Russia over exactly

:27:21.:27:25.

what we are going to do in Syria, incidence of this sort on both sides

:27:26.:27:30.

are likely to be repeated. Unless you were to send in ground troops?

:27:31.:27:34.

There's no support for that but is that the only way you could deal

:27:35.:27:37.

with the situation which of course we didn't do in Libya? No, that

:27:38.:27:41.

would be entirely the wrong thing to do. The wrong thing that unites all

:27:42.:27:49.

of these Muslim factions against us is to have infidel boots on Muslim

:27:50.:27:55.

territory. The answer is, you can intervene, you can do support, in

:27:56.:28:00.

support of indigenous local forces. That's why it's working in Iraqi but

:28:01.:28:07.

in Syria. Because of course apart from the magical 70,000, who we

:28:08.:28:13.

can't seem to find anywhere, the moderate forces we can't seem to

:28:14.:28:18.

find, apart from that either Assad's side or someone like him is going to

:28:19.:28:23.

win, or the Islamist is going to win. One thing the report does say

:28:24.:28:28.

is the fact that we say we mustn't get too hung up just over this

:28:29.:28:36.

group. Because the al-Nusra Front is if anything a more dangerous threat.

:28:37.:28:41.

We hadn't heard of Isil a few years ago. Once they are disposed of don't

:28:42.:28:45.

think that's the end of the process, there's plenty more out there. Thank

:28:46.:28:46.

you. Now the polls have just closed

:28:47.:28:49.

in the Labour leadership race. But with Jeremy Corbyn the clear

:28:50.:28:52.

favourite to defeat Owen Smith and be re-elected on Saturday,

:28:53.:28:54.

many are focusing instead on the ongoing power struggle

:28:55.:28:56.

between the Labour leader Rule changes proposed

:28:57.:28:59.

by Mr Watson were discussed at a marathon meeting

:29:00.:29:02.

of Labour's National Executive The proposals included a possible

:29:03.:29:04.

return to Shadow Cabinet elections. But, after almost eight-and-a-half

:29:05.:29:07.

hours of talks, the meeting ended So which side holds

:29:08.:29:12.

the upper hand today? Our reporter Mark Lobel has been

:29:13.:29:16.

finding out and joins us now. You spent much of the day outside

:29:17.:29:30.

that meeting. Has any side won it? Tom Watson's attempt to put the band

:29:31.:29:36.

back together it a bum note. The main offer on the table, elected

:29:37.:29:42.

shadow cabinets, seen as a way of bringing dismayed MPs back into the

:29:43.:29:46.

party, a more respectable way for them to return if they were elected,

:29:47.:29:50.

has been kicked into the long grass. There will be another attempt on

:29:51.:29:55.

Saturday night at the NEC meeting at the Labour conference to vote on

:29:56.:29:58.

this, but an attempt to make that the final vote, the knife edge vote

:29:59.:30:04.

was lost by the anti-Corbyn wing of the NEC rather than the pro-Corbyn

:30:05.:30:08.

wing. It looks like that could go on for some time. Many were looking for

:30:09.:30:13.

this measure for party unity, and it goes to show you how important the

:30:14.:30:17.

balance of pro-and anti-Corbyn MP 's are. There was some good news for

:30:18.:30:22.

the anti-Corbyn members, because representatives from the Scottish

:30:23.:30:26.

and Welsh Labour parties are likely to be given two new places on the

:30:27.:30:30.

committee, which will be seen as anti-Corbyn members, which would add

:30:31.:30:35.

to the vote for that site. But we recently had elections at the NEC,

:30:36.:30:41.

so two new pro Corbyn members are about to come in. We are left with a

:30:42.:30:46.

divided ruling body. So do you think that peace will ever break out in

:30:47.:30:51.

Labour? The ballot has just closed in the election and we have just

:30:52.:30:56.

learned that 630,000 people voted in the election, an electorate of

:30:57.:31:04.

640,000, so that turnout is enormous. It's widely expected that

:31:05.:31:07.

Jeremy Corbyn will win. I was talking to the anti-Corbyn wing of

:31:08.:31:13.

the party, so-called centrists, and they were saying the leadership

:31:14.:31:16.

contest should never have been held this early in Jeremy's tenure. They

:31:17.:31:21.

were saying that many of the members have seen this as the Parliamentary

:31:22.:31:25.

Labour Party stabbing Jeremy Corbyn in the back, so it's self-defeating

:31:26.:31:29.

for them. They say they are hearing on the doorsteps that many Labour

:31:30.:31:35.

members now want to see Labour MPs making party unity is a priority, so

:31:36.:31:40.

there will be a lot of pressure on who work counter Corbyn in the party

:31:41.:31:44.

to come into his tent. I am told by the Corbyn camp that we should

:31:45.:31:48.

expect an olive branch to be held out at the conference if he wins

:31:49.:31:52.

next week, and we will be very surprised, I'm told, by the type of

:31:53.:31:56.

people they are asking to come back into his tent. I am waiting with

:31:57.:31:58.

bated breath. Well, we can hear now from someone

:31:59.:31:59.

who was at that marathon meeting. Darren Williams is a member

:32:00.:32:02.

of Labour's NEC and Also here with me in the studio

:32:03.:32:04.

is Luke Akehurst, a former member of the NEC and now secretary

:32:05.:32:08.

of the Labour centrist Luke Akehurst, Jeremy Corbyn has

:32:09.:32:19.

won, presuming he is going to win the leadership. That would be my

:32:20.:32:23.

assumption, that he is going to win on Saturday. And he has won for

:32:24.:32:29.

control of the party as well. I don't think so. I think the decision

:32:30.:32:33.

yesterday that the rule change to give seats on the NEC that are

:32:34.:32:40.

specifically for Wales and Scotland is unlikely to produce people that

:32:41.:32:44.

are his supporters, which throws a spanner in the works of the quite

:32:45.:32:47.

outrageous plan that seems to have been patched to try and sack the

:32:48.:32:53.

general secretary and key staff members. That won't happen. In terms

:32:54.:32:59.

of conference, we already know that, for instance, there won't be a

:33:00.:33:04.

debate on Trident, so none of the big overseas that Corbyn supporters

:33:05.:33:07.

would like to change are going to change for another year, and the

:33:08.:33:14.

delegation -- the conference make-up is quite good for the anti-Corbyn

:33:15.:33:20.

members. You voted against this change, to give the NEC votes to

:33:21.:33:24.

representatives from the devolved administrations in Scotland and

:33:25.:33:30.

Wales. Why? I voted against it because, as far as Wales is

:33:31.:33:35.

concerned, it's an workable. The idea that a front bench Assembly

:33:36.:33:38.

Member or any Assembly Member would be able to go to an NEC meeting in

:33:39.:33:42.

London on a Tuesday when the assembly is sitting and we only have

:33:43.:33:49.

29 AMs is an workable. There is a practical problem. I'm in favour of

:33:50.:33:54.

the principle of Scotland and Wales having ring-fenced representation,

:33:55.:33:59.

but those people should be elected by the ordinary members. You wanted

:34:00.:34:02.

them to be elected by ordinary members. Does that tip the balance

:34:03.:34:07.

of power away from Corbyn and his supporters, that it isn't going to

:34:08.:34:14.

happen? Other proposals are under discussion is -- discussion that

:34:15.:34:19.

were too contentious to be agreed yesterday, but they will be

:34:20.:34:21.

discussed after conference, which will potentially change we made up

:34:22.:34:27.

of the NEC. So I don't think we should see it is just adding two

:34:28.:34:32.

more people for Scotland and Wales. There is more to be done. So it

:34:33.:34:37.

isn't going to throw a spanner in the works in terms of getting rid of

:34:38.:34:42.

the general secretary of the Labour Party, Ian McNicol. Nobody is

:34:43.:34:46.

talking about getting rid of the general secretary. Yesterday, there

:34:47.:34:49.

was a general message that there should be no threat to sack or

:34:50.:34:55.

anything of that nature. Well, there you go. It's been widely reported

:34:56.:34:59.

that there was a meeting at Unite's offices in Esher to plot the removal

:35:00.:35:06.

of key members of staff, and even when an assurance was made at the

:35:07.:35:10.

NEC, Jeremy Corbyn needs to make that very publicly that he has

:35:11.:35:15.

confidence in the general secretary, whose behaviour, I think, has been

:35:16.:35:19.

impeccable during the leadership campaign, trying to uphold the rule

:35:20.:35:23.

book in difficult circumstances. That is what discussed at that

:35:24.:35:28.

meeting in Esher, wasn't it, that there were discussions about getting

:35:29.:35:32.

rid of people who hadn't been legal -- and been loyal to Jeremy Corbyn,

:35:33.:35:38.

including Ian McNicol. I wasn't at that meeting, Jeremy was. He told

:35:39.:35:41.

the meeting clearly yesterday that that wasn't part of the discussion.

:35:42.:35:45.

Do you think that Ian McNicol should stay? Luke Akehurst presented that

:35:46.:35:53.

there is no question about decisions made by officials during the

:35:54.:35:56.

election. A lot of the decisions were controversial, such as the

:35:57.:36:01.

decision to challenge the High Court judgment about members

:36:02.:36:03.

disenfranchised by the six-month freeze date. I don't think you can

:36:04.:36:07.

simply say that every decision made by party officers, with the

:36:08.:36:14.

involvement of... Should he stay or should he go? It's not for me to

:36:15.:36:21.

say. But you have a view? That decision has to be made in the round

:36:22.:36:25.

by the NEC if there are concerns about actions made by party

:36:26.:36:30.

officers. I would not get into talking about individuals. Last week

:36:31.:36:34.

you said the changes to constituency boundaries presented an opportunity

:36:35.:36:39.

to replace Labour MPs with other candidates more in tune with the

:36:40.:36:42.

views of ordinary party members. Can the party come together when senior

:36:43.:36:45.

members like you are effectively calling for a selection? I was

:36:46.:36:53.

saying that, in my view, we should be in a position where elections

:36:54.:36:56.

should be as open as possible and members have a genuine choice. --

:36:57.:37:02.

selections. I was not suggesting a purge of anybody who differs with

:37:03.:37:06.

Jeremy Corbyn. It's a decision for members in every constituency to

:37:07.:37:11.

make. Members in each constituency, when a selection contest comes up,

:37:12.:37:15.

should be able to change from the widest range of candidates. Given

:37:16.:37:19.

the evident disconnect between the views of many of our MPs and

:37:20.:37:22.

ordinary members that we have seen emerging, it would be a positive

:37:23.:37:26.

thing for that choice to be made available. It's not that a purge or

:37:27.:37:31.

a witchhunt, it's about wider democracy. Actually, what he is

:37:32.:37:34.

described is a purge or a witchhunt. It's to frighten MPs into not voting

:37:35.:37:39.

or speaking according to their conscience. And saying, you could

:37:40.:37:45.

sacked by activists, and he can dress it up in whatever technical

:37:46.:37:48.

language he wants, but this is effectively a call for mandatory

:37:49.:37:55.

reselection for every MP. It's a recipe for chaos. How can Jeremy

:37:56.:37:59.

Corbyn be expected to lead the party when there are groups like Labour

:38:00.:38:03.

First actively organising to get rid of him? It's the right of people in

:38:04.:38:10.

a democratic party to want to change the direction of the party it is

:38:11.:38:14.

exactly what left-wing groups like the Labour representation committee

:38:15.:38:17.

did all the time when they disagreed with the direction that Blair or

:38:18.:38:22.

Brown was going in. People cannot put their conscience on ice and not

:38:23.:38:27.

speak up about the fact that they think that Jeremy is leading the

:38:28.:38:32.

party in a disastrous direction. We have a duty, if we believe it is

:38:33.:38:37.

going in the wrong direction, to say so, and he should have listened when

:38:38.:38:43.

MPs no-confidenceed him. We are in this situation because he didn't do

:38:44.:38:47.

the right thing and step down after that vote. What do you say to that?

:38:48.:38:53.

I think that's a very arrogant position. Jeremy Corbyn has the

:38:54.:38:56.

biggest mandated in any leader's history. I am confident he will get

:38:57.:39:01.

a similar mandate as a result of this vote. 172 Labour MPs tried to

:39:02.:39:09.

overturn that mandate. I think we are going to see that their views

:39:10.:39:13.

have been rejected. To return to what Luke Akehurst was saying,

:39:14.:39:16.

nobody including myself is suggesting that anyone who differs

:39:17.:39:21.

from Jeremy Corbyn on matters of policy should be regarded as... But

:39:22.:39:25.

that is what is said publicly, but privately when you speak to people

:39:26.:39:29.

these things have been set in meetings. Of course it isn't the

:39:30.:39:33.

public statement of Jeremy Corbyn or any of those around him, but you

:39:34.:39:38.

have to accept these things have been set in individual constituency

:39:39.:39:42.

meetings. There is an important difference between disagreeing with

:39:43.:39:46.

the leader of the party on policy, nobody is suggesting, as Luke

:39:47.:39:49.

Akehurst was saying, that people shouldn't be true to their

:39:50.:39:52.

consciences. Those disagreements have to be aired. Jeremy Helan did

:39:53.:39:56.

clear that he feels there is room for a wide spectrum. -- Jeremy has

:39:57.:40:04.

certainly made it clear. Where MPs have been consistently and publicly

:40:05.:40:09.

disloyal and hostile, briefing against him in the media and openly

:40:10.:40:13.

plotting against him, I think if I were a party member in those MPs'

:40:14.:40:19.

constituencies, I would be interested in alternative

:40:20.:40:25.

representation. The party membership at the moment is completely

:40:26.:40:28.

unrepresentative of Labour voters, let alone the voters we need to win

:40:29.:40:32.

over to win a general election, so we have people that demographically

:40:33.:40:36.

and politically are not a representative sample of the public,

:40:37.:40:40.

that have lumbered us with a leader who frankly is unelectable and it

:40:41.:40:44.

looks like they want lumber us with unelectable MPs as well. Chris

:40:45.:40:50.

Mullin, we have just had a report which says that Owen Smith, the

:40:51.:40:54.

challenger to Jeremy Corbyn, as appeared to concede repeat. Asked in

:40:55.:40:59.

an interview whether he would serve in a Jeremy Corbyn Shadow Cabinet,

:41:00.:41:03.

Mr Smith at -- Mr Smith said he would not be serving but he would do

:41:04.:41:07.

what he had always done, he would vote Labour lawyerly and served from

:41:08.:41:13.

the backbenches. Should people like Owen Smith, if Jeremy Corbyn has won

:41:14.:41:19.

it, which we expect, go back and served in a Shadow Cabinet? Should

:41:20.:41:22.

those MPs who said they had no confidence serve him? That up to

:41:23.:41:27.

them but they shouldn't spend the next year or two trying to undermine

:41:28.:41:33.

him. -- backed up to them. I respect Jeremy but I am not a Corbyn

:41:34.:41:37.

supporter. I think it's unwise to elect a leader who has the support

:41:38.:41:40.

of perhaps only 10% of the party. But we have now had two elections.

:41:41.:41:47.

If he wins twice, that result has to be respected for the duration. Last

:41:48.:41:52.

time, when he won it by a considerable margin, the plotting

:41:53.:41:55.

and scheming against him started within 24 hours. I just despair if

:41:56.:42:00.

that is going to start all over again. We can't go on like this. The

:42:01.:42:04.

party needs to get its guns facing outwards. There are all sorts of

:42:05.:42:11.

open goal is to be kicked out -- at that require a functioning

:42:12.:42:17.

opposition. Do you believe these claims of entryism, that the people

:42:18.:42:22.

supporting Jeremy Corbyn are not true Labour Party supporters? There

:42:23.:42:26.

might be a bit of it but it doesn't account for the huge numbers that

:42:27.:42:29.

have joined. There has always been a bit of it but it is not a decisive

:42:30.:42:31.

factor. When it comes to internal strife

:42:32.:42:33.

in the Labour Party, Chris Mullin has been there,

:42:34.:42:35.

done that and probably got Ellie Price has been

:42:36.:42:37.

delving into the archives. 22-year-old Chris Mullin stood

:42:38.:42:42.

against the Liberal leader I wouldn't ever want to fight

:42:43.:42:47.

an amorphous slab like perhaps Hull where I lived before,

:42:48.:42:53.

and this strikes me as a very lovely way of beginning

:42:54.:42:56.

a career in politics, But he had to wait another 17 years

:42:57.:42:58.

to start that career as a Labour MP. So in the meantime he set

:42:59.:43:03.

about becoming a journalist, It took him to conflicts in places

:43:04.:43:08.

like Vietnam and Cambodia, and to war zones closer

:43:09.:43:12.

to home like the one waging in the Labour Party

:43:13.:43:16.

in the early 1980s. Chris Mullin was a leading Bennite,

:43:17.:43:19.

and edited Tony Benn's speeches when he stood against Denis Healey

:43:20.:43:22.

to become deputy leader. He also wrote a pamphlet entitled

:43:23.:43:26.

How To Select Or Reselect Your MP. It was fundamentally

:43:27.:43:31.

about democracy, no doubt we were a bit over the top at times,

:43:32.:43:32.

but it was about making leaders When the deputy leadership bid

:43:33.:43:36.

failed he became editor of Tribune, Shifting its direction

:43:37.:43:41.

further to the left, falling out with senior party

:43:42.:43:46.

members along the way. The tradition of Tribune's

:43:47.:43:49.

rebelliousness, which is correct and must be maintained,

:43:50.:43:53.

has moved to the point where it has simply become a vehicle

:43:54.:43:57.

for opposition to another I think what has happened

:43:58.:44:01.

in the last two or three years is it began to enjoy rather a too cosy

:44:02.:44:08.

relationship with the establishment. We suddenly found ourselves

:44:09.:44:11.

in danger of becoming part And I certainly am not keen that

:44:12.:44:13.

that should be the case. It's not good for a campaigning

:44:14.:44:18.

paper, I don't think. But in 1987, Chris Mullin did become

:44:19.:44:25.

part of the establishment, elected as an MP

:44:26.:44:28.

for Sunderland South. It might be a good idea

:44:29.:44:32.

if the United States called By the time Labour got

:44:33.:44:34.

into government in 1997, Chris Mullin was signed up

:44:35.:44:39.

to the New Labour project. He even served as a minister

:44:40.:44:41.

in three departments. His journey from the Bennites

:44:42.:44:45.

to the Blairites is a different approach to that of one

:44:46.:44:49.

of his contemporaries. This picture of the newly-elected MP

:44:50.:44:51.

Jeremy Corbyn was taken in Chris Mullin's garden three days

:44:52.:44:54.

after the 1983 election. Jeremy is a saintly figure

:44:55.:45:00.

of enormous personal integrity, and a man who lives his life

:45:01.:45:04.

in accordance with his beliefs. So for example, if you run into him

:45:05.:45:09.

on a train, as I have done on one occasion,

:45:10.:45:13.

he'll immediately get out his box of sandwiches, which are vegetarian

:45:14.:45:16.

of course, and cut them in half Do you see him as electable

:45:17.:45:19.

as a Prime Minister? You hesitated there but you do feel

:45:20.:45:44.

he is not the right man to lead the party? I do, yes. As I said a moment

:45:45.:45:51.

ago, it's a high-risk strategy in a system that is a parliamentary

:45:52.:45:56.

system to elect a leader who has the support, for good reasons of bad, of

:45:57.:46:00.

only 10% or so of the Parliamentary party. It is a recipe for problems.

:46:01.:46:10.

But actually, isn't this what you've always wanted? A leader who wants

:46:11.:46:14.

party members to be more involved, to have more democracy in the party,

:46:15.:46:19.

that they would make the decisions about who is appointed, who is

:46:20.:46:23.

sitting on the National ruling executive? Why aren't you supporting

:46:24.:46:29.

Jeremy Corbyn? I still support reselection. I'm still a member of

:46:30.:46:33.

the campaign for Labour Party democracy. I've consistently voted

:46:34.:46:38.

to get rid of nuclear weapons. I haven't changed as much as you think

:46:39.:46:44.

I have. But I do think we ought to be in a position to form a

:46:45.:46:47.

government and I am in favour of that. One of the reasons I supported

:46:48.:46:55.

Tony Blair in 94 is, having lost four general elections in a row, my

:46:56.:46:59.

feeling was that we couldn't even take a little punt on the outcome of

:47:00.:47:03.

a fifth general election if we wish to remain relevant. So why is Jeremy

:47:04.:47:08.

Corbyn doing so well? If you cite that he can't win an election and

:47:09.:47:17.

somebody like Tony Blair, but he won elections? He's one internal

:47:18.:47:21.

elections in the party. One thing we have learned is to be popular in the

:47:22.:47:25.

party doesn't necessarily translate into votes in the country. And

:47:26.:47:29.

actually what ordinary punters complain about is not whether

:47:30.:47:32.

somebody is left or right, on the whole they're not that bothered

:47:33.:47:37.

about that. But if you are disunited, they say you are fighting

:47:38.:47:41.

each other, how can you function as a government? That's a reasonable

:47:42.:47:46.

point. You read this pamphlet about the reselection of MPs and you stand

:47:47.:47:50.

by that but isn't the truth now that that is used as a weapon and it's a

:47:51.:47:56.

weapon to oust centrists, in this case, rightly or wrongly, who are

:47:57.:48:02.

deemed disloyal to Jeremy Corbyn. As Len McCluskey has clearly said, that

:48:03.:48:06.

it's not for making the party more democratic, it is a weapon. Both

:48:07.:48:11.

sides have always tried to occasionally undermined their

:48:12.:48:15.

opponents. But actually I was new Labour ahead of my time. Safe seats

:48:16.:48:20.

for life is old label and a contract renewable every five years is new

:48:21.:48:26.

Labour. This situation has not been brought about by people in the

:48:27.:48:30.

Labour Party, it's been brought about by the government's

:48:31.:48:38.

determination to have a boundary is reorganised. That is what has given

:48:39.:48:42.

the opportunity and inevitably some Labour MPs will lose out. But it

:48:43.:48:49.

could be used as a weapon, to take this opportunity... If you look back

:48:50.:48:53.

all of these points were made in the 1980s. Very few people were

:48:54.:48:58.

deselected for ideological reasons. I can think of two in the 1980s.

:48:59.:49:04.

Despite the hysteria in the media, two is all I can think of. Is this

:49:05.:49:09.

situation now worse in your mind than the 1980s or the same? Slightly

:49:10.:49:20.

worse. Nobody ever doubted that Benn was capable of governing. Aren't we

:49:21.:49:23.

supposed to be talking about my memoirs? Go on then, tell us about

:49:24.:49:30.

it. The Hinterland. It's all a thread through, your political

:49:31.:49:33.

journey. You made a political journey, are you saying Jeremy

:49:34.:49:37.

Corbyn hasn't made that political journey? There's no doubt about

:49:38.:49:42.

that. It's about my life, for better or for worse. I believe that the

:49:43.:49:47.

most useful MPs are the ones who have done something before they get

:49:48.:49:52.

elected. Young people come up to be sometimes and say, I'm interested in

:49:53.:49:57.

Parliament, what's your advice? My advice is go away and do something

:49:58.:50:02.

first, and then you might be useful if you get elected. I was 39 when I

:50:03.:50:10.

got elected. I'd been a reporter in Vietnam and travelled all over.

:50:11.:50:13.

Taken part in a major battle against the establishment it about

:50:14.:50:22.

correcting miscarriages of justice. The trouble is there the cult of

:50:23.:50:25.

youth in politics although it has come to a rather grinding halt with

:50:26.:50:31.

the election of Jeremy, hasn't it? Theresa May isn't in her 30s either.

:50:32.:50:35.

Not to say that she's old, of course. Yes you could say leaders

:50:36.:50:40.

are a bit older rather than younger. I'm not against that. The route that

:50:41.:50:47.

happened lot under New Labour, you went to Oxford, studied PPE, got a

:50:48.:50:52.

job working for a minister. You then used your contacts to be levered

:50:53.:50:56.

with patronage into a safe seat and jewel on the front bench or indeed

:50:57.:51:01.

in government by the age of 30. By the time you were in your late 30s

:51:02.:51:06.

very often you burned out. Whereas you are an example of how a career

:51:07.:51:11.

can span the decades! Things are not yet so desperate that they are

:51:12.:51:18.

saying, send for Chris Mullin! As we get used to political life under our

:51:19.:51:23.

second female Prime Minister, memories of our first abound.

:51:24.:51:29.

Not least how she too had Europe to blame for many

:51:30.:51:32.

Her divisions with former Chancellor and Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe

:51:33.:51:35.

are revisited in a play currently touring the country.

:51:36.:51:37.

In a moment we'll talk to the playwright Jonathan Maitland.

:51:38.:51:40.

But first Mark Lobel got the hot ticket to

:51:41.:51:42.

Sir Geoffrey Howe, Mrs Thatcher's longest serving colleague

:51:43.:51:46.

throughout her years in power, turned on her in the Commons today.

:51:47.:51:48.

It's rather like sending your opening batsman to the crease only

:51:49.:51:51.

for them to find the moment the first balls are bowled

:51:52.:51:54.

that their bats have been broken before the game by the team captain.

:51:55.:51:57.

I never expected him to say what he said in the way that he did.

:51:58.:52:02.

The surprising events that brought Margaret Thatcher down are closely

:52:03.:52:05.

examined in writer Jonathan Maitland's play.

:52:06.:52:06.

It depicts how the man Denis Healey once compared debating with to being

:52:07.:52:09.

savaged by a dead sheep - the title of this political drama -

:52:10.:52:12.

went on to deliver one of the most effectively brutal Commons

:52:13.:52:15.

Or, as Thatcher, played by Steve Nallon, who provided her

:52:16.:52:18.

voice for Spitting Image, might have put it...

:52:19.:52:21.

AS THATCHER: It was about how I was betrayed, betrayed,

:52:22.:52:24.

by my one-time friend and colleague, Sir Geoffrey Howe, aided and abetted

:52:25.:52:29.

I was stabbed, stabbed in the back and the front.

:52:30.:52:39.

AS SELF: The physicality helps to create the voice,

:52:40.:52:41.

so it's actually much better to be wearing the frock.

:52:42.:52:44.

I'm dressed like this now for rehearsal, but it is good to get

:52:45.:52:47.

What's unique about this play is that it puts Geoffrey Howe

:52:48.:52:51.

centrestage after he finds an increasingly Eurosceptic Thatcher

:52:52.:52:53.

AS THATCHER: Monsieur Delors said that he wanted

:52:54.:53:00.

the European Parliament to be the democratic

:53:01.:53:01.

body of the community, that he wanted the Commission to be

:53:02.:53:04.

the executive and the Council of Ministers to be the Senate.

:53:05.:53:08.

AS SELF: Those three words a story tell.

:53:09.:53:15.

Dead Sheep depicts the moment Geoffrey Howe delivered his

:53:16.:53:17.

resignation note to Thatcher, highlighting their

:53:18.:53:18.

AS SELF: He is divided between loyalty to the values

:53:19.:53:30.

that his wife holds and also to his country and party

:53:31.:53:33.

The production's three-month UK tour will arrive in Birmingham

:53:34.:53:40.

next month, coinciding with the Conservative

:53:41.:53:41.

When you heard Theresa May's first Prime Minister's

:53:42.:53:45.

Questions, did you hear the voice of Thatcher?

:53:46.:53:47.

Mrs Thatcher, towards the end, used to use her glasses to lean

:53:48.:53:51.

She didn't like wearing glasses, so she used take them off and lean

:53:52.:53:58.

Theresa May didn't exactly do that, but she put a hand on the dispatch

:53:59.:54:05.

But, with Europe dominating the agenda once again,

:54:06.:54:16.

this drama reminds us that a Prime Minister should take care.

:54:17.:54:20.

It even brought the Iron Lady down in the end, with a little

:54:21.:54:23.

And the man who wrote the play, Jonathan Maitland, joins me now.

:54:24.:54:37.

Fantastic mimicry going on of Margaret Thatcher. Why a man for the

:54:38.:54:44.

role? He was the best person for the role, actually. It was famously said

:54:45.:54:49.

she was the best man in the Cabinet. He is unbelievable, it's pure

:54:50.:54:58.

Stanislavsky. He's got the 1981 voice, the 1984 voice... He changes

:54:59.:55:04.

with her! One might say, surely we know all of this drama in terms of

:55:05.:55:07.

Margaret Thatcher and Geoffrey Howe, and how she was brought down,

:55:08.:55:12.

there's nothing left to say. You might know it, Jo, but I'm not sure

:55:13.:55:16.

everyone else does. There's been lots of plays and films about her.

:55:17.:55:20.

When I had a chat with John Sergeant he said, you are wasting your time,

:55:21.:55:24.

everyone knows it. But actually I think the Geoffrey Howe 's story is

:55:25.:55:29.

the best bit of the tale. He was the mouse that roared and he ended up

:55:30.:55:37.

stabbing her in the back. He went from being the world's worst speaker

:55:38.:55:39.

to making one of the greatest speeches of all time. Also, his wife

:55:40.:55:42.

couldn't stand Mrs Thatcher and she couldn't stand her. You've got this

:55:43.:55:47.

podgy bloke in between two powerful women. The Iron Lady films treated

:55:48.:55:52.

Geoffrey as a walk one pompous buffoon, he was much more than that.

:55:53.:55:57.

It was devastating in the House at the time. You are saying it makes

:55:58.:56:01.

for great drama. These political events do make for fantastic stage

:56:02.:56:05.

plays? Judging by the reaction of the audiences it makes for great

:56:06.:56:10.

drama and break comedy as well. You've got Margaret telling Geoffrey

:56:11.:56:15.

to shut up in front of Cabinet and he keeps on humiliating her. It's

:56:16.:56:21.

interesting because there were tragedies along the way. The glue

:56:22.:56:26.

that bound them together was the late Ian Gow MP for Eastbourne. In

:56:27.:56:30.

the play he dies which is what happened. He was assassinated by the

:56:31.:56:36.

IRA. You've gone from a seen before whether they are laughing about

:56:37.:56:40.

being at school together, to this terrible tragedy. You had a front

:56:41.:56:46.

row seat to this. Not quite on the front row but I was there, yes. It

:56:47.:56:51.

was a dramatic moment. If you read Jonathan Aitken's biography of

:56:52.:56:57.

Thatcher, it documents how she treated... Actually it's true of

:56:58.:57:01.

Charles Moore as well, it documents how she treated Geoffrey Howe. It

:57:02.:57:06.

was her who humiliated him and this was the payback. She said in front

:57:07.:57:10.

of civil servants, that paper you submitted is twaddle! And the

:57:11.:57:14.

private conversations are interesting. That's the point. I

:57:15.:57:19.

like to think the play personalises politics because politics is all

:57:20.:57:23.

about personalities. I am trying to make the political personal.

:57:24.:57:32.

Geoffrey was quite every man, he was like a plump country solicitor with

:57:33.:57:35.

a really good brain. It's the quiet once you've got to watch! Thank you.

:57:36.:57:39.

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

:57:40.:57:42.

The question was which music band did the Lib Dem leader

:57:43.:57:45.

Tim Farron compare former Prime Minister Tony Blair

:57:46.:57:47.

to in his conference speech yesterday?

:57:48.:57:48.

I am going to go for the Stone Roses. That was a good and educated

:57:49.:58:08.

guess. It is right. I'm not just a pretty face! What do you think about

:58:09.:58:12.

Tony Blair deciding he's going to give up the money, or give up making

:58:13.:58:21.

any more money? To be honest, he runs four charitable trusts, that's

:58:22.:58:24.

where quite a lot of the money has gone. I never see that point made.

:58:25.:58:29.

Yes, he's earned himself a lot of money... Grudging, here! I'm saying

:58:30.:58:39.

he employs something like 180 people and that's where the money has gone,

:58:40.:58:41.

it hasn't all gone into his pocket. Andrew and I will be back at midday

:58:42.:58:52.

tomorrow. From all of us here, goodbye.

:58:53.:58:56.

Jo Coburn is joined by former Labour minister Chris Mullin to discuss the future of the party as voting for the leadership closes and Theresa May's speech to the UN, including the calls for a cap on skilled workers coming into the UK.


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