Andrew Neil is joined by Diane Abbott and Baroness Chakrabarti at the Labour Party conference, plus a review of the first US presidential election debate.
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Welcome to Liverpool, and day three of the Labour Party conference,
where there's been angry debate this morning as left and right
wrestle for control of the party's ruling executive.
Hello, and welcome to the Daily Politics.
The Labour Party's official policy is to renew Trident, so why
was their Shadow Defence Secretary's attempt to say the policy wouldn't
90 million people are said to have watched the debate.
No, I'm not talking about the one here in Liverpool
We'll ask who won the first big televised debate of the US
presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?
Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is not a big problem.
That was the conclusion of an independent
report by human-rights lawyer Shami Chakrabarti.
Was a Labour seat in the House of Lords her reward?
This is more fun than the conference!
And, don't like the old tunes they're playing at conference?
How some rebel Labour MPs got a ticket to ride to perform
All that in the next hour from the conference centre
And enjoying the fabulous Liverpudlian hospitality
are the journalists Polly Toynbee and Steve Richards.
Welcome back. What struck me in the past 24 hours, John MacDonald made
the Shadow Chancellor speech designed to get the party onto big
policy issues. Overshadowed by the row over Clive Lewis on Trident.
This morning there will be major announcements on child care,
education, more issues for the Labour Party, but they got worked up
on the composition of the National Executive Committee. Discuss. That
is what is really going on. The fight possibly to the death for the
heart of the Labour Party for controlling, the NEC controls the
rules. If the Corbyn side of the party can get control of it, which
they have not, they one vote short, they can change the rules in future
which means in future the party will always be captured by their side of
the party. The other side of the party is fighting hard to prevent
rule changes. Let's give viewers a flavour of the debate this morning.
We need to be debating policies to put them into place,
to take them forward and make us look like a Labour government.
I shouldn't have to to support what is essentially
This party should make its rules at its conference, one by one,
We have the eyes of the country on us here.
And a country that is desperately looking for solutions
And it makes Labour look pretty self-indulgent and quite frankly
dysfunctional if all we're doing is having a debate about even
Colleagues, to take a show of hands to see...
Listen, we're going to go to a show of hands.
Can I see all those in favour of accepting the report.
That was a flavour, there was a lot of passion but not passion about
being against Grumman schools -- Grammar schools, how we defend the
nation, how we improve social care, it was about how you choose the NEC.
Takes you back to the 70s and 80s when these things happened all the
time at conferences. Incidentally in periods when they won elections as
well as losing them so it does not automatically mean they are doomed
because they are having these things. The reality is a power
struggle so these things come to matter. The policy-making bodies
will influence the future direction of the party, so although it seems
parochial and insular, it will have consequences, as they used to do in
the 70s and 80s when that bodied ruled everything. Tony Benn became
chair of the home policy committee on the NEC. No one outside would pay
attention. It was a massive power grab in the 70s and 80s. That is why
these things matter. I don't think it means in itself this deeply
dysfunctional party is doomed, because they were dysfunctional in
the 60s and 70s and still won occasionally. We understand the
centrists won the motion and that's the idea is a Scottish and Welsh
representative will go on the NEC, they will be appointed, more likely
not to be Corbynistas. It seems Mr Corbyn's movement has not yet got
control of the NEC. Not yet, but it is not clear because what will come
up at the next meeting will be the idea there should be a special
conference called about rule changes, in which they will hope,
particularly if it is a vote among members, that they can change the
rules in ways... The most important one, could they changed the rules
for triggering the selections of MPs? If they change that rule and
make it easier, a vote of the local party instead of the complicated
system now in which various groups get a vote, it would make it easier
to sweep away. It is not clear because the trade unions on the NEC,
some go this way on one subject and that way on another Anne -- and on
any particular issue it is difficult to call. I read the unions were the
key to this. The swing vote on the NEC and they could determine the
direction of policy, which is interesting to know, but also
interesting that in 2016, the unions would be the pivotal force. It is
one of the things so dated about the Labour Party and has been for a long
time. They are a pivotal force and might still be a pivotal force if
for example as I think is likely that the Conservative government
will be in crisis over Brexit within 18 months. If the Labour Party is
25% then, I think some of those unions might have a pivotal role in
changing things perhaps at the top of the Labour Party. There will be
space at some point in this Parliament. The rebels, so-called,
made a big mistake in going for him this summer. You agree with that? It
did not work, the -- it must've been a mistake. There is much blame
floating about amongst the non-Corbynistas. They are not
coherent and cannot decide whether they would or would not go back into
the cabinet. Should they insist he lets them elect themselves to go
back in the Shadow Cabinet. Corbyn has given nothing away since his
victory. He has not been magnanimous. It is interesting to
see. Thanks for getting proceedings off live today.
There's been a lot of talk about party unity at this
conference, but it was looking in rather short supply yesterday
when the Shadow Defence Secretary Clive Lewis apparently had part
of his speech relating to Trident rewritten at the last minute
by an aide to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Mr Corbyn, of course, doesn't want to see
the nuclear-weapons system replaced, or renewed
Clive Lewis was thought to be planning to tell conference
that he wouldn't seek to end the party's commitment
to renewing Trident, because it was crucial
"I am sceptical about Trident renewal, but I am clear
that our party has a policy for Trident renewal."
But while waiting on stage before his speech, he reportedly found out
was "And I wouldn't seek to change it,"
and had been removed from the autocue at the last
by Jeremy Corbyn's director of communications Seamus Milne.
Mr Lewis was not happy, appearing visibly perturbed
Reports circulated that he vented his frustration
afterwards by punching a wall and throwing his phone.
Later, however, he seemed to confirm his original commitment,
telling the Guardian, "I won't be coming back
to conference between now and the next election
to try to undo the policy we have on Trident."
Well, as you may remember, Clive Lewis was due to appear
on this programme yesterday after his speech, but we were told
he couldn't appear as he went to the leader's office.
We don't know if he was there to discuss the disagreement over
But he was keen to downplay the whole
episode as he left the conference centre yesterday.
Every speech is a collective process and I think you guys...
You guys are trying to trip me up and upset me.
I'm really happy where we are and I think...
Was your autocue changed at the last minute?
My speech is a collaborative process.
That's all I can say and all I will say.
I'm pleased my speech is out of the way, and,
you know what, I just want to get on with the conference.
Well, we asked to speak to Clive Lewis again today,
but we so far haven't been able to reach him.
Maybe when his mobile phone hit the wall it screwed it up and it is not
working. But I'm pleased to say
we are joined now by his Shadow Cabinet colleague,
the Shadow Minister Welcome. You have heard what we
think happens. What do you think happened? I don't know, that is the
most comprehensive report I have seen or heard so far into what went
on. I think he delivered a good speech, he is an eloquent public
Speaker. He stated the policy of the party is to maintain a independent
nuclear deterrent, which was voted on by party conference over the
years and went into the manifesto. I don't know what has gone on behind
the scenes with the press secretary apparently changing things, I have
no idea. I know Clive stated the position of the party yesterday. The
words I think -- we think were removed, we can put them on the
autocue. The words, I am clear our party has a policy for Trident
renewal and I would not seek to change it. We think these are the
lines. Would you be prepared to say these lines? I would be prepared to
say it is clear our party has a policy for Trident renewal and I
would not seek to change it? Yes. Members of the body, including
affiliated members, are affected by this decision and I understand the
future of submarines has to be debated across the party. I think
that is a sensible approach. Although Mr Lewis has doubts about
Trident renewal he recognises it is party policy and that he does not
have any stomach for changing it this side of the next election, why
would he not say these words? I don't know if they were in the
original draft. It is speculation they were in the original draft.
Jeremy Corbyn, our leader, and when Emily was Shadow Defence Secretary,
launched a review into the future of the nuclear deterrent. My
understanding is we will discuss these matters across the party,
involving members and unions who represent the workforces involved
and we will come to a decision but at the moment the policy is to
maintain Trident. Do we know when the defence review will be
published? The interim report was published a couple of months ago and
there are discussions of the policy. We have to have a national policy
forum. No doubt we will come to future conferences with a new
position. It is possible, working on the assumption of 2020 election, the
policy could change by that election? Is possible. I think it
unlikely, but it is possible. You seem doubtful. It is clear Mr Corbyn
wants to change the policy, can we agree on that? Jeremy is a lifetime
unilateralist. I think the party can unite around the position of
multilateralist. I think we can find consensus. We represent thousands of
workers who make the submarines at Barrow and elsewhere who are
represented by the GMB and Unite and they have to be part of the policy
discussions on these matters, as well.
Are you not dancing with shadows here? And taking the British people
for a ride? Jeremy Corbyn has said that if Prime Minister he would
never use the nuclear deterrent, at all. So whether the party is in
favour or not is irrelevant. If the Prime Minister is not going to use
it, it is a waste of money. But we will get a position for our
manifesto and go to the country with it. Whatever the position, if your
leader says that the will not give any instructions under any
circumstances for the deterrent to be used, it is irrelevant. It is
not, because we want to implement our policies and when we win the
election they will have a Labour Cabinet who will want to safeguard
the security of the country. But the Cabinet does not the side, it is the
Prime Minister's job. Whoever becomes Prime Minister, they have to
give written instructions to the submarine commanders, it is done in
a special way, locked in a safe, for use in the eventuality of an
Armageddon situation. If he does not do that, the nuclear deterrent would
have no idea in a Jeremy Corbyn Government how to respond. These
things would have to be discussed. I believe that the Labour Party will
not take any risks with the security of this nation. That is our
priority. I am sorry to harp on, I don't understand how you can say
that and be backing a leader who says that he believes that we should
unilaterally scrap the deterrent, and even if we still have it when he
comes to power, he would never use it. Jeremy is a believer in the
democracy of the party. If the party arrives at the position to maintain
the deterrent, he would not want to be out of tune with the decisions of
sovereign conference. Why are you staying in the Shadow Cabinet? The
Labour Party is elected -- has elected Jeremy is the leader, we
have a duty to scrutinise the Tories. I believe some of us need to
be on the front bench doing that, and I believe we have to get Labour
elected, because the Tory party are making a number of fundamental
mistakes which need to -- which we be to exploit. You say it gives you
and your side of the party a seat on the NEC? What is my side of the
party? Clearly not Jeremy Corbyn's. My side is the unity side. I don't
believe Jeremy Corbyn is the enemy of any party member, nor do I
believe that MPs who get pointed to on Twitter are enemies. The Tories
are the opponents. What has Jeremy Corbyn done to reach out to you? To
me personally? To your side of the party. I believe we should now look
at some form of elected Shadow Cabinet, not the whole Shadow
Cabinet, but an element of it, and it would encourage colleagues to
serve on the front page. Do you believe Jeremy Corbyn would like to
go down that road? He is listening to people, his team are in
discussions with the Chief Whip and the chair of the parliamentary
party. Let me come back to my previous question. What has Jeremy
Corbyn done to reach out to you since he got re-elected? He says he
wants to pull people together and unite people and get everybody
working together. Every politician says that. No party leader says, I
want to does unite by party. He is engaging in discussions. His team
are engaging in discussions. His supporters stopped the appointment
of the Scottish Labour leader and the Welsh Labour leader onto the
NEC. That was not reaching out to you. I was in favour of the Scottish
and Welsh leaders coming on the NEC. I have been coming to NEC meetings
for 12 years,... You are looking well on it! I have never known so
much interest in the NEC! I have wanted the Scottish and Welsh
leaders on the NEC. We have the leaders of the European Parliament
three party and the local Government, so we should have the
leaders of the Scottish and Welsh parties. Why was there such emotion
about this this morning, trying to stop that? I don't know. I don't see
why it is such an unreasonable thing that they are represented on the
NEC. We had some interesting NEC meetings this week, and eight and a
half hour one last week, lots of good discussions and debate, very
comradely. It is a sensible move. Is there not a danger that those who
would remove Jeremy Corbyn lost quite spectacularly, it was not the
best organised of attempted coups, but having lost out, I do not now
trying to win the process by all of the emphasis on the NEC? Nobody
outside this hall, or even some people inside the hall, listening to
you. Even in the city of Liverpool, one of our great socialist cities,
99% of Liverpudlians could not give a monkeys of. I cannot move around
this without a journalist stopping me to ask me about the NEC. You
debated it this morning, we are following your agenda. Not our own
agenda. We always have rule changes on the Tuesday morning of the
conference, they don't normally get this much interest. Are you
comfortable that the Shadow Chancellor's economic programme
would seem to be involving the borrowing of perhaps up to ?500
billion? People want to spread that over a number of years. I do believe
we need to make an argument about investment in the economy. When
interest rates are so low, there is room for extra borrowing, so long as
it is spent on infrastructure. It is not 500,000,000,001 go. It would
take our national debt to ?2 trillion. It is already 1.6 trillion
under George Osborne and now Philip Hammond. Are you comfortable that it
could soar to over 2 trillion? We will see what projections will be
when we have seen the books. Philip Hammond has not told us what his
fiscal rules will be, when he will try to reach a surplus. We have to
look forward to the Autumn Statement, then we will be clearer.
You are the second Labour MP in 24 hours that has answered my question
about John McDonnell by answering about Philip Hammond. Is this a
trend? It is what politicians do, you know that. I do, to my cost! I
am only 35, but this is how I look! 12 NEC years, you are as young as
can the! 37. Not a day over 25! Now, it may have been
the most-watched political No, I don't mean
yesterday's Daily Politics. Or even Diane Abbott's speech
to conference this morning, But the first televised debate last
night between Presidential candidates Donald Trump
and Hillary Clinton. Some of us here in Liverpool,
me included, were hardy enough, you might say foolish enough,
to stay up until the If you didn't, here's a flavour
of the exchanges between the two candidates, who appear to be
in a dead heat in the race We think at least 90 million people
in America watched this debate, the biggest televised political event in
history. Two candidates who appear to be in a dead heat.
His cavalier attitude about nuclear weapons is so deeply troubling.
That is the number one threat we face in the world and it becomes
particularly threatening if terrorists ever get their hands
So a man who can be provoked by a tweet should not
have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes,
as far as I think anyone with any sense about should be concerned.
That's getting a bit old, I must say.
Secretary Clinton doesn't want to use a couple of words
If we don't have it, we're not going to have a country.
By the end of this evening, I'm going to be
blamed for everything that's ever happened.
Just join the debate by saying more crazy things.
She tells you how to fight Isis on her website.
I don't think General Douglas MacArthur would
At least I have a plan to fight Isis.
No, no, you're telling the enemy everything you want to do.
See, you're telling the enemy everything you want to do.
No wonder you've been fighting Isis your entire adult life.
Please, the fact checkers, go to work.
I was the one that got him to produce the birth certificate
Now everybody in mainstream is going to say, that's not true.
He has really started his political activity based on this racist lie
that our first black president was not an American citizen.
There is absolutely no evidence for it, but he persisted.
I think my strongest asset, maybe by far, is my temperament.
The other day, behind the blue screen, I don't know
who you were talking to, Secretary Clinton,
I said, there's a person with a temperament
OK! The consensus seems to be that Hillary Clinton got the better of
Donald Trump. But not by much. And perhaps not by enough to be a game
changer. You can decide for yourself, you can watch the full
debate on BBC Parliament at 12:45pm. Not want to go. We prefer if you
wait until the end of the Daily Politics before you switch over. Not
much happened in the first 15 minutes!
From our studio in Brussels, we're joined by former Ukip
We're joined now by the Labour MP Jamie Reed.
He's a keen supporter of Hillary Clinton and was
Donald Trump did not quite sparkle enough last night.
It was unsurprising, Hillary Clinton is a professional politician,
trained, scripted, good boys, but very little warmth. Donald Trump,
the nonprofessional politician, not least to this format, did in the
early part, the first third, on the economic, positive stuff. Overall,
the commentator will say it was Hillary Clinton that edged it
marginally, the real question is, did that debate last night change
the minds of any undecided voters? I would say no. I would say in ten
years, 20 years, we will not remember a single exchange from last
night, and we have got Louisiana and Vegas to come. How do you think
Hillary Clinton did? She was excellent. Going into the debate she
was clearly characterised as being almost sterile, difficult to like,
robotic, and she came across very warm and confident and, even, fairly
sassy. These e-mails continue to haunt her. Donald Trump, when they
were arguing about his tax return, he threw the e-mails. He said, I
will show you my tax return if you show me the deleted e-mails. They
still haunt her, that is the nature of American politics, both
candidates have long histories in and outside politics. In terms of
shifting the needle, I think Donald Trump's tax returns have the
potential to shift it far more than any e-mails. It was suggested last
night in the debate, which was a delicious prospect, he did not deny
that the reason he is not publishing his tax returns is he does not pay
any federal income tax, he may be so overloaded with debt, it is all
packed that the he not pay any. He did not deny that, he just said, it
would make him smart. That is not credible for a multi billionaire to
pay no federal tax, is it? As you say, a different tax system
and culture, but you are right, it is a question, I think, that he will
need to answer. I suggest he needs to point out, aged 70, how much tax
he has paid over the last 50 years, not what he paid last year.
Companies have up years and down years, borrowings. He needs to
answer back and that was the 1.I thought Hillary made that put him on
the back foot, as indeed the e-mail question she can't answer. I think
he needs to come up with an answer to say he has paid his fair share
over half a century. You are the only British politician I think who
has shared a platform with him in this run. Are you telling him today
he should publish some tax returns? My advice is he needs to deal with
the question Hillary put. He has said clearly, I will show you mine
if you will show me yours. She has already published her tax returns.
Both her and Bill Clinton have published their tax returns. The
point made was that there is still this incredible secrecy around these
e-mails. These arguments will go back and forth. What is more
interesting is when we get to Louisiana, the debate will move on
to immigration, open borders and terrorism. I think that, either way,
will probably be the game changer for this presidential election.
Perhaps Mrs Clinton's biggest problem is that in an America, you
were in Mississippi, you will know there is an antiestablishment mood
in America. There is also an anti-politician mood in America.
There is an anti-continuity and Mrs Clinton represents the
establishment, the political establishment and continuity. I
think that is true and I would expect to see those charges levelled
against the Clinton campaign until polling day. Where Nigel is wrong
and it feeds into the point you are making, it is the thing for the
candidates to publish their tax return. In the midst of the worst
crash since the great depression, that it is all right for the US
presidential candidate not to pay taxes in that period, that destroys
charges about not wanting a continuity candidate because that
demonstrates a cavalier attitude towards public office. Did you
believe Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, when he claimed that he had what is
known as the controversy, the argument over whether President
Obama was actually born in America. I say argument but the facts are
pretty much overwhelming, if not unanimous that of course he was born
in America. Mr Trump kept it alive for five years. I have seen endless
video of him questioning whether Mr Obama was worried and was that a
dangerous thing to do, not just because of the absence of evidence,
but because this was the first black president and to question whether he
was born in the US was as Mrs Clinton said, effectively racist, a
racist line of attack. When it comes to racist lines of attack against
President Obama I suggest people look at Hillary's campaign team and
what was said in 2008. This becomes a score draw in the end. Hold on,
Hillary Clinton did not get involved in that. Some of her campaign team
may have. She never indoor Stitt, she never used it and never carried
on for the next five years saying they was still an argument about
this. As I have learned myself, if employees or people in your team say
and do inappropriate things, you have to act and there was no
evidence she did. On the birth stuff, clearly Donald Trump was
wrong and so the dangerous thing would be to maintain that line but
he has changed his position on it, sensibly. These arguments about the
personal failings of either candidate will go back and forth.
This is about, do you want to vote for the establishment, business as
usual, or do you want to vote for change? That is what this election
is about and I do not think last night moved us forward on that.
After last night, do you think Mr Trump will still win? Mr Trump's
voters are like Brexit voters, they believe in it, have enthusiastic and
passion. He is the one with momentum, I still think he will win.
I think when we next see Nigel trying to make a comeback he will
have to explain why he has tried to defend Donald Trump's racism. It
will be a tight contest. I expect Hillary to win but it could be
tighter than people expect. You both expect your person to win. I heard
Nigel Farage saying that Donald Trump had the backing of momentum!
Who knew that? Thanks to you both. We will get to speak to you again as
the US campaign goes on. Does the Labour Party have a problem
with anti-Semitism? Well, what was billed
as an independent report on the issue concluded
that it was not "overrun" And at the fringe event
run by Jeremy Corbyn campaign group Momentum,
it was claimed that the problem has been "exaggerated
for political purposes." It's a subject that's been debated
at conference this morning. Let's have listen to Mike Katz
from the Jewish Labour group. I don't want to be here,
because I wish there hadn't been an upsurge in anti-Semitic,
Islamophobic, misogynistic and homophobic vile hate
speech in our party. Against this backdrop
is there any wonder, conference, that support for Labour amongst
British Jews is said The party of Manny Shinwell,
the party that has done more than any other to promote
tolerance and equality. The party to which the Jewish Labour
movement has been affiliated since 1920 is not seen
as a welcoming home for Jews. Are you disappointed your enquiry
has not closed down this issue? I think my findings have yet to be
fully implemented that I was delighted to hear a few days ago the
NEC of the Labour Party has adopted certain aspects of my report. The
recommendations of language and conduct and stereotyping. There are
procedural recommendations that have yet to be implemented. Not least
greater resource for discipline and an in-house counsel. At the
conference leaflets have been handed out calling for the expulsion of the
Jewish labour movement. A Labour peer has resigned over anti-Semitism
and a Jewish MP has had to employ personal security to come to
conference. I would suggest it is a big problem. There are issues and we
cannot run away from them. They are serious. They are serious issues and
more needs to be done but I was heartened to hear a re-elected
Jeremy Corbyn uses now greater mandate to be clearer than he has
ever been with people across the party, including people who claim to
be his friends. He has been crystal clear this will not be tolerated and
I think that is incredibly important. No part of our society is
immune from anti-Semitism and from racism as we saw in the referendum
campaign. It seems to be prevalent in the Labour Party. I am not going
to get into the competition of virtue and victimhood. In British
politics we lost a bright MP in that toxic summer. This is what you and
Jeremy Corbyn have done, you tried to generalise the anti-rather than
sticking with the issues. A Jewish peer left because he described your
report as an anaemic whitewash. I regret that and I am sorry to see
him go. I would urge people to read my report. I have read the report. I
do not think there is any whitewash. I said difficult things to the
party. I was not able to name and shame individuals still pending
discipline. I understand that, but have you spoken to parry Mitchell? I
have not spoken to Lord Mitchell. Would it be worthwhile to reassure
him? I spoke to him in the run-up to the report and I know his concerns
and when I am back in London and Westminster I will try to speak to
him again. The Jewish board of deputies of the most important
Jewish organisation, describing the report as a white wash for peerages
scandal. A particular person described it in that way. I would
say no community is a monolith and know one person speaks on behalf of
an entire community and I had a lot of solidarity and gratitude and
welcome and support from other members of that community. A leading
Jewish charities said the report was a shameless kick in the teeth. I am
sorry that not everyone agrees with everything I wrote. What leading
Jewish organisations have supported your report? I have had support from
a number of people in the Jewish labour movement, from rabbis. I did
not ask about individuals, I asked what leading Jewish organisation has
supported the report? I wrote the report mostly for Jewish members of
the Labour Party who felt threatened and unwelcome and interestingly they
cross the political spectrum. But what may be leading Jewish
institution has backed your support? I am not doing this for institutions
but for people. I know what it is like to receive racism and I have
been aware of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and in the country all
my life and that motivated me to do this work and it is what motivates
me still. Why did you join the Labour Party to do this report? We
have known you have had Labour leanings, but for the wider public
that wanted to be reassured this was an independent report, why join the
party to do the report? Because in my view, if you want to achieve
change and tell people difficult things about themselves and about
their party, it is better to do that honestly from within. People respect
you as an independent voice. That is left-leaning but not in anybody's
pocket. I am not doing anybody's pocket. I might have my suspicions
about your leanings as a broadcaster but I do not doubt you are
independent and I am independent. People respected you as independent.
Would you not undermine that by joining the party? This was a report
for the party, about saying to fellow Labour members we have to
look at ourselves in the mirror. This party instituted every piece of
equality legislation this country has known and we have to live up to
those values ourselves. Would it not have garnered more weight in the
country and among people in the Labour Party if it was seen to be
done by an independent outsider? Parties often bring in independent
outsiders to review processes, usually a lawyer and you are a
lawyer. That is one point of view. But another, and mine, it is if you
want to say hard truths to any family and want to tell people they
are falling down on values, sometimes it is better to do that
from within. A lot of people do not think you told hard truths. You had
minor criticisms but not hard truths. I do not think it is a minor
criticism to talk about epithets used within the party nor to talk
about the way in which the Holocaust has been used in vain. People have
used Nazi stereotypes and anti-Semitic stereotypes. It is in
the report as his criticism of the disciplinary process and I hope and
believe now this toxic summer and this civil war is coming to an end.
People from all strands of the party will get behind the report and we
can do better. When was the prospect of a peerage first discussed with
you? I have dealt with all of these questions. Just indulge us. It is
the first time we have had to chat. The report was published on June 30.
When was the prospect of a peerage first discussed, not the offer, the
prospect? After the report. No discussion beforehand? It was after
my report. It was part of the Prime Minister's resignation honours, I
understand. There was no discussion of a peerage with anyone in the
Labour Party before the report was published? I have been approached
for peerages and third... Will you let me finish the answer to your
question? I have been approached. I have been approached by senior
politicians. I am talking about this peerage. This peerage, the only one
I have ever owned, was offered to be after the report as part of the
Prime Minister's resignation list. Was it discussed before the report
with anybody in the Labour Party? And when were you offered the
peerage, when did Mr Corbyn or his office suggest they put you up for
that? It was around the time of the Prime Minister's final PMQs. I
believe that is when the two men had the conversation. And you had no
inkling he would be offered a peerage? I have heard all sorts of
rumours and all sorts of people have suggested I entered Parliament as an
MP, that I work for the party. Do different things. Because I joined
the Labour Party. I have had these smears all summer. They are not
smears, they factual questions. And I have answered. Would it clarify
everything, a former head of Liberty and a in transparency, if you
published your correspondence with the Labour Party and yourself on
this matter? Yes, except there isn't any correspondence. Not at all? This
was an offer that was made to me over the telephone by Mr Corbyn. He
made it first? He made it over the telephone personally and there might
be people in his office who have notes of that.
Would you be interested in serving in the Shadow Cabinet? It would be
completely presumptuous of me to be making job applications on national
television. I was not asking for that, but what I am saying is, if
asked, would you be interested? It is not appropriate for me to do
this. Issues around the composition of the Shadow Cabinet are incredibly
sensitive at a time when the party needs to unite behind Jeremy Corbyn.
That is the priority. There are 16 vacancies. He needs some fresh
talent, everybody would agree that you can be filed under fresh talent.
Would it not be part of the Unity Project to join his team? I will try
and help this party and help the Unity Project. I am trying to now by
sitting here. I will do everything I can to be part of the solution and
not part of the problem, but the best way for me to help is for other
people to decide. Now, a proposal to have
a debate on Brexit here But we're helpful folk
here at the Daily Politics and wanted to allow delegates
to have their say. So what better way to do
that than to get Adam They are not having this debate on
the conference hall, so let's have it here. Brexit, embrace it or fight
it? The people have spoken, 52%, it would not be democratic to deny
them. I would say embrace it. Scotland has two accept their result
in 2014, we have to accept our result in 2016. Embrace it or fight
it? I have gone for the wrong box! We have to be careful what the terms
are, but absolutely embrace it, because it was democratic. What does
your hair look like when you wake up in the morning? It is all over the
place on it is a wonder to behold! Thank you. Fight it. We should have
another vote. People were lied to. The man himself. That is what I
tagged it as when I posted it on Facebook. 30 likes so far. Neither.
Pretend it does not exist? I would like to fight it, but we have to
make the best of it. Somebody thought it was embrace IT! We all
have to embrace IT! Can things turn out OK? If it was the Labour Party
and Jeremy sorting it out, yes, but I would not trust the Tories. We
don't have to take these top-level European commissioners' word, you
can do your own thing. It is not working for working people.
Everybody sees midday from their own doorstep. What does that mean? It is
a French saying. You speak multiple languages? What is Spanish for this?
And embrace is... Can I do this for the 10pm News one
night? We can do it tomorrow! I thought I could do it. That's fine!
The unscientific result, it is pretty close, but there are more
embrace of fun fighters. And we're joined now by Shadow
Health Secretary Diane Abbott, You told a fringe meeting last night
that people who voted for Brexit wanted to see less foreign looking
people on their streets. Is that right? You get the sense there were
a variety of reasons for voting for Brexit. One was the long-standing
issue of sovereignty and Brussels bureaucracy. A lot of my colleagues
have said that many of their voters voted for it because they were
concerned about immigration. How many of the 17 million who voted for
it wanted less foreign looking people? I can't say, but we have
seen some horrible attacks both on Eastern European and people of any
colour when you get far out of London. That speaks to even if it is
a tiny minority people who are motivated badly. Have you
established these attacks are related to Brexit? You did not have
this flurry of attacks on polls and Eastern European. I have a friend on
the south coast, she has had abuse shouted at her, she is a black
woman, and they say, we voted for Brexit. I voted to remain. You were
quite Brexit minded. I was Euro-sceptic about the economic and
financial arrangements, but in the end remaining was the right thing to
do. You are not one of the 17 million who want less foreign
looking people around? I am not saying they were all motivated by
that, but the evidence suggests that someone. The theme of your approach
to the health service is to reverse the privatisation of the NHS. We are
seeing a rise, a small rise, but steadily, in the amount of NHS
funding going to Private organisations. What percentage?
Think it is less than 10% at the moment. 6.5% of the whole budget. It
is rising more slowly than it did under the last Labour Government.
There is concerned about the fragmentation of the health service.
And whether this will make it easier to privatise. You don't think it is
the Government's policy at the moment to privatise it? The health
and social act makes it easier, makes it easier for hospitals to
have a higher proportion of being patient. What does it mean to
nationalise the health service? Most GP practices are privately provided,
they don't work for the state. Most hospital CT scanners are privately
provided, buildings, beds, bandages and Lou Rawls, all medicines are
privately provided. Do you want all of that to be provided by the state?
Since 1948 we have had doctors who were private contractors and most of
our pharmaceuticals were purchased in the private sector. I am not
seeking to alter that dispensation, I am trying to say that there is a
concern about more contracts going to the private sector, and what
happens to the data and the privacy of data we do give that to private
sector organisations? Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell seem to be
concerned that the drugs the NHS uses comes from the private sector.
Are you? We have always purchased some from the private sector. The
state does not make drugs in this country. They want to bear down on
the costs of our drugs bill and use more generics, which has been done
in other parts of Europe. Do you object, pig farmer spends ?4 billion
on research and develop an investment. Internationally they are
more and more than anything new drugs by purchasing smaller
companies rather than investing. They still spend ?4 billion a year
on research and element in this country. Is that a bad thing? It is
not in itself, but we have to look at the profit margins on some of
those drugs. Despite the level of investment, we believe that the
ongoing profit margins that these companies put is not acceptable.
Junior doctors, and look like they are calling off their strike. Are
they right to do so? It is not for me to say. I am asking for an
opinion. They have concluded that the issues of patient safety were
overriding, and they were always going to put that first. They are
the doctors, if they say that safety is compromised, they are doing the
right thing. Now, they've been "talking
about a revolution" here at the conference centre
in Liverpool, and tired of telling left-wing activists to "get back
to where you once belonged". Some Labour MPs have taken
the "long and winding road" to the the city's Cavern Club,
where Adam joined them. The Beatles, Cilla Black and dumber
for one afternoon only, the former shadow culture secretary plays the
cavern club. He blagged a spot on the sacred stage thanks to a Labour
member of the Lords, who is a Scouser. Let's hear some music.
Guess what, he is really good. # Take these broken
wings and learn to fly In the audience, some bemused
tourists, a smattering of MPs, and Labour's Chief Whip. It was
brilliant. Is he allowed time off to do this? Special dispensation for
Michael, obviously! He has been a vocal critic of Jeremy Corbyn. He is
not in the Shadow Cabinet anymore. But this was all about the music.
Thank you. Well, mostly. This is more fun than the conference!
And we're joined by the former shadow Culture Secretary
Michael Dugher, who you saw performing there.
What Beatles lyrics define the state of the Labour Party? For one or two
of the people screaming at us, back in the USSR! That was too easy! I
would like to think come together would be good. I don't want to spoil
the party. Which songs did you choose yesterday? Get Back. What not
a political song? A Beatles song! I would like to hear you play. Play is
out. # Blackbird singing
in the dead of night # Take these broken
wings and learn to fly # You were only waiting
for this moment to arrive # Blackbird singing
in the dead of night # Take these broken
wings and learn to fly # You were only waiting
for this moment to arrive # Into the light of
the dark black night # Blackbird singing
in the dead of night # Take these broken
wings and learn to fly
Andrew Neil is joined by shadow health secretary Diane Abbott and Labour's Baroness Chakrabarti at the party's conference in Liverpool, plus a review of the first US presidential election debate.