18/10/2016 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


Ukip's trapped in a death spiral, according to the man who once


looked like becoming the party's next leader.


Steven Woolfe says he's resigning following that famous


Can any of the candidates still in the running hope to stop


We'll have the latest on the battle to retake the Iraqi City of Mosul


from the so-called Islamic State, in what could prove to be


a turning point in the fight against the militants.


MPs have been debating the future of England's pharmacies,


after claims that government plans could see thousands close.


And now that David Cameron's gone, who will mourn the passing


We'll be looking at the end of a successful political cliques.


We'll be looking at the end of a successful political clique.


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


of the programme today, it's the Conservative MP Nick Boles.


He's been Planning Minister, Skills Minister, but he stood down


He once described himself as an attendant


Which makes him aristocracy in our book - welcome to the show.


Let's start today by talking about the battle to retake


the Iraqi city of Mosul from the so-called Islamic State.


British aircraft were involved in coalition airstrikes


against the group in the area yesterday, and Iraqi forces are this


morning "ahead of schedule", according to the Pentagon,


The jihadists overran Mosul in 2014 before taking control of much


This is the area controlled by the militants in January last


year when Islamic State had spread across Iraq and Syria.


At its peak it's thought that 10 million people lived


But it is thought to have now lost about a quarter of that territory,


and Mosul is the jihadists' last major urban stronghold


Well, we can speak now to Edgard Jallad from


So, this is going to be an extremely important stage in the fight against


IS, because Mosul is symbolically some important to them? Yes, this is


a turning point as you mentioned. This is the capital of the caliphate


and if you look deep into the philosophy of the so-called Islamic


State, it is based on ruling people on a piece of land. And if they


start losing the land, they are losing their raison d'etre, so they


have to change their strategy in the future and this is what many of the


experts in jihadist groups are analysing now and saying what could


be the next step for them if they lose Mosul and they are left with


Raqqa only. So most of them think they will change their tactics, they


will change radically their strategies to something similar to


Al-Qaeda, from controlling land to targeting specific targets in the


West, or even in the region where they are operating. So we have to


wait and see. This is a long battle and it will take some time because


it did not start an engagement between the Iraqi forces and the


so-called Islamic State fighters didn't start yet. So so far they are


trying to tighten up around their defences which are concentrated in


the western part of the Mosul city. So far the battle was taking place


mainly in the eastern part. Are they going to stay and fight? There has


been some talk that maybe they would flee the IS fighters? They will


continue to fight because they have no other options. Some people


thought they might flee and there was some psychological pressure from


them by throwing leaflets and trying to persuade them to leave for the


western part of the country, because there is still a corridor open to


them, taking them to Syria, to rack, and it was left on purpose it seems.


And what about civilians being protected? We have seen pictures


from Mosul earlier today. How will they be protected when they battle


starts? Is the most difficult part and the concern of the international


community about hundreds of thousands of civilians who are stuck


inside these areas. So far, the Iraqi government and the coalition


just dropped leaflets asking them to stay in safe places or to leave


before the start of the battle. Definitely the civilians will play


the highest price in this battle. The second worry of these citizens


is the sectarian problem of the country. We all know that Mosul has


a Sunni majority and the Iraqi army has a Shia majority. This was the


element that was delaying this battle for a long period of time, so


this is the biggest challenge of the Iraqi government to prove they are a


government for all Iraqis and not a sect of them only. Thank you.


And we're expecting a statement on events in Mosul from a defence


minister in the Commons in the next hour or so.


One presumes that if Mosul is retaken by the Iraqi army, what will


that do in the minds of British voters and parliamentarians, in


terms of the debate in our involvement in foreign wars? I think


it will be at Mendis Lee important step because Iraqi is a democratic


government, it is an ally of the West and it has been an appalling


state of affairs that effectively a huge portion of the country was not


in control of the Iraqi government and was in control of Isil, and it


will be psychologically a hugely damaging blow to Isil, across the


whole of the rest of the Middle East. People who might have thought


of supporting them, indeed, some of our own population who might have


thought of joining them or supporting them, are less likely to


be attracted to them when they see they are actually on the back foot


and losing territory in this way. Do you think it will rewrite the story


of Iraqi, when we go back to the original water and the millions who


stood and marched against that intervention in Iraq and here we are


in 2016, if IS does have to fall back and it does look like a victory


in an overall defeat against IS, will that bolster people into


thinking it will be a good thing to intervene? I think it will be hard


to shift those views. They have been well entrenched over many years and


there is a huge passion between them -- behind them, but I hope people


will stick by our Iraqi allies. They are a democratic government and they


asked us to help and we are right to do so.


Now Ukip likes to style itself as the People's Army,


but it's been showing anything but military discipline


Last night the man who once seemed a shoo-in as the party's next


leader, the MEP Steven Woolfe, announced that not only would he not


be standing but that he was resigning from the party.


Mr Woolfe, who spent days in hospital after an altercation


with a fellow MEP, said the party is now trapped in a death spiral.


Steven Woolfe said his altercation with fellow MEP Mike Hookem


at the European Parliament in Strasbourg had left him


Describing the incident, Mr Woolfe said he asked Mr Hookem


to leave a heated meeting of Ukip MEPs for a "man to man" chat


which he never intended to become physical.


Mr Woolfe then maintains that Mike Hookem rushed at him


Mr Hookem has consistently denied assaulting Mr Woolfe,


saying "there were no punches thrown" and he acted


Responding to Mr Woolfe's resignation, Mr Hookem said


Steven Woolfe's career had effectively ended "once he showed


disloyalty to the Ukip party" when he


Mr Woolfe may be out of the running but the party's ruling body -


it's NEC - says a new leader will be in place by 28th November.


Nominations open today and will close on 31st October.


There will be a series of hustings


So, who is likely to be in the running?


Ukip MEP Bill Etheridge is standing, as is former Nigel Farage aide


And former London Mayoral candidate Peter Whittle has also


But what about potential front-runners Suzanne Evans


So, far neither have put their hat in the ring.


Expect announcements from them - and others - in the next week.


Let's have a listen to Mr Woolfe speaking to the BBC's Alex Forsyth.


There is something rotten at the heart of Ukip,


rotten between its MEPs who have an internecine warfare,


the National Executive which has caused sides to fight.


The way that some of them forced out Diane in making sure


that she wasn't able to do the job that she would have


The way that they challenged me during the previous election


in trying to stop me from standing, releasing personal information


to the press, suggesting I wasn't even a member and all that has done


to me has made me realise that I can no longer be a part of Ukip.


We're joined now by the Ukip MEP Bill Etheridge.


He's in Brussels and as I said he's standing for leader,


and by the NEC member and former leadership hopeful Liz Jones.


Welcome to both of you. First of all, Bill Etheridge, Steven Woolfe


has left the party, should Mike Hookem follow him out of the door? I


believe the NEC have full enquiry results to look at and they will


take a judgment from that, so it will be wrong of me to make any


further comment. I trust our NEC and the party to do the right thing. It


is very unfortunate that Stephen has taken the action he has. You don't


think that Steven Woolfe should have resigned from the party altogether?


Well, Steven was elected due to the hard work of Ukip activists and


voters putting him where he is today. Then he decides because he is


disappointed about some things he will sit on his own as an


independent. Not really the right choice in my opinion. Perhaps he


should roll the sleeves up and put things right. Isn't it the


honourable thing to do and should Mike Hookem do the same? He is


choosing to bow out after this embarrassing altercation? I don't


believe there is anything honourable at all. You are elected under the


party banner, not as an individual. The really honourable thing to do


would be to stop being an MEP and let someone else from the party


takeover. Quite frankly, I'm disappointed with what Sam-macro --


Steven has done but now it is time to look to the future. You were


first on the scene, what did you see? I did not really see anything


at the time. Soap Steven Woolfe has misremembered? Not at all. Did he


misremembered? I haven't a clue and frankly, what he says is irrelevant


to Ukip. He has left. We have to get on with our important work of


pursuing Brexit. Steven Woolfe says Ukip is in a death spiral and there


is something rotten at the heart of the party. Is he right? He is


completely wrong. Do recent events demonstrate he is wrong? Certainly.


We're looking at the headline activities of MEPs who are elected.


As Bill rightly says they are elected through the list system


where you merely vote under the party banner. You do not vote for


the individual. Meanwhile, while we have all this hullabaloo,


Hartlepool, we have won a councillor, 49%, Ashford, we have


won another councillor 42%, the grassroots of Ukip are continuing


with their excellent activism and pushing forward the message of


Brexit. But people have defected and even Steven Woolfe is reported to


have talked to the Tories. There are reports that donors are withdrawing


their money from the party. There is party infighting. Which part of


Steven Woolfe saying it is innate death spiral is wrong? All of it.


There is only one donor who said he may possibly cease funding to the


party and that is Aaron Banks. He did not say for certain he would be


ceasing funding. That is one donor. We have an array of donors. I'm sure


once they get behind a balanced steady leader we should move forward


and funds will come. Is part of the instability part of the NEC's fault?


It stopped some candidates from standing last time and allowed the


divisive Neil Hamilton into the party. If there is party infighting


it is down to you? Not at all. The processes by which Steven Woolfe's


leadership application where processed were at highly aboveboard


and appropriate. He did not reveal a criminal conviction when he entered


into the Police and Crime Commissioner 's election. He had not


revealed that to us. Is that why you stopped him, not because he got his


papers in late? It is a punitive effect. We had the issue of not


disclosing a criminal conviction. Then we had the issue of the late


paperwork. Then we have the issue of the somewhat tired and emotional


incident on his birthday, he was 49, that happened between him and Mike


Hookem. It sounds personal. I don't know what the relationship is


between him and Mike Hookem. No, I mean between you, the NEC and Steven


Woolfe. Order has to be maintained and rules have to be followed


because all rules have to apply to every single member, whether you are


grassroots or an MEP. Can this party function without


Nigel Farage? Of course it can. It will flung again. There are some


that say it's not functioning at the moment. He is there as interim


leader. Does it need Nigel Farage, is the only person to lead the


party? Of course it isn't. Nigel is an inspiration to us and he will


always be someone we always look to and glad to have around but of


course we don't just need one man. We have very many number of talented


people here who can lead this party, it just needs some grit and


determination and bringing order to the situation which we are going to


do. We will get back to business as normal. There will be no problem.


Why would you want to do it at this point? We have just had this


discussion. I cannot see anything that would be deeply attractive for


a prospective leader. Well, the reason I want to do it because I


believe in this party and I believe in what we can bring to the people


of our country and frankly if it's allowed to drift then we may well


get to a situation where things start going badly wrong. It's time


to get a grip of the situation and I think one of my skills that I can


bring is the fact I am a tough nut. And we need someone now who is firm,


steady and can take control of the situation, get us back on track and


back actually fighting the other parties and fighting for freedom and


Brexit and I think I am the guy. Let's go back to the NEC. At the


moment you are the one that is trying to keep the party together.


You changed the rules to make sure any leadership candidate had been a


party member for five years. Then two years, now it's 28 days. Why do


you keep changing the leadership rules? We keep changing the


leadership rules because that was decided at the NEC, it was


considered that in order to stop various conspiracies coming to


light, in order to stop mistrust, let everyone stand. 28 days'


membership and anyone can stand. Right it hasn't exactly led to a


consistent approach. Are you going to stand? I don't know at the


moment. The bar is rather high now, you have to get 20% of the vote in


order to have your deposit returned which is ?5,000. You have to pay an


immediate administration fee of ?500 and a further fee of ?1,000 in


order... So too expensive for you? Maybe not, it's cost benefit


analysis. Will I recover and get more than 20%? Probably unlikely. So


cost benefit analysis. Bill, you are laughing there, what are you


laughing at? Well, I think it is rather expensive. I like the way


that Liz puts these things. She's got a certain turn of phrase.


Frankly, you know, it's worth it for the party's sake. I think Liz is a


good person, I would like to think she would vote for me but I am being


cheeky there. But the main thing is we get this sorted as soon as


possible. Will you vote for him, if you don't stand it doesn't sound


like you are minded to at the moment, will you vote for Bill I


will reserve judgment on that until I know what the full... Are you


holding out for Suzanne Evans and Paul Nutall. I don't know who else


is going to come out of the woodwork. Would you like those two


is to stand We would like as many people as possible to stand. Would


you like to see those two stand? Absolutely. We want the best field


of candidates possible. I think it's time that a few things were settled


and that we got on with business as usual afterwards. Yeah, bring them


all on. Let's have a good proper debate. Settle the scores peacefully


perhaps in the future. Yes, good luck to you. Always, always. Thank


you for coming in. There are not one but two


parliamentary by-elections Yesterday we were in west


Oxfordshire, where the departure of former Prime Minister David Cameron


has created a vacancy. But today Adam's been


to the Yorkshire constituency of Batley and Spen, where voters


are preparing to go to the polls four months after the killing


of the Labour MP Jo Cox At the train station, the way this


constituency wants to be seen, courtesy of a mural


in the underpass. The place is dotted


with towns and villages It's home to some famous brands


like Johnstons Paints. It used to be home to


the Frontier Club which played host to people like Shirley Bassey


and Louis Armstong in the 50s, Here you will find the HQ


of Fox's Biscuits. In Batley itself there is a big


Asian community And, it's also home


to Batley Bulldogs But there is also a tribute


to Jo Cox, a reminder of why this At the cafe next door to her office


the mums still remember A lot of kids were crying


and everyone was upset and when we got the text message


from school saying they were locking the school down until further


notice it was scary. You just want to be able to pick


them up and bring them home It means there is hardly


any by-election buzz. Have you even noticed


anything is happening? Not in Batley, being


truthful, not at all, no. I don't think anybody realises it's


happening to be fair. That's because the party leaders


at the time didn't just leave flowers after Jo Cox's death,


out of respect David Cameron said the Tories wouldn't stand,


neither have the Lib Dems, Chatting to voters most understand


the sentiment but a few Of the ten candidates


who are standing several are from the Smaller right-wing


and they've been accused of trying And there's been a controversial


leaflet. It purports to be from


the Britain Stronger in Europe Because it doesn't say


who it's really from, In normal times we'd find out


if a constituency that voted to leave the EU would return


a candidate who voted to remain. How a re-elected Jeremy Corbyn goes


down with actual voters, how the parties are faring


in the Brexit era but these are not normal times


here in Batley and Spen. As Adam said, the major parties


are not fielding candidates in Batley and Spen out of respect


for the death of Jo Cox, but for a list of the candidates


who are standing for election on Thursday, you can


visit bbc.co.uk/politics. The parliamentary system


for allowing backbenchers to get their own laws


onto the statute books is 'broken and discredited',


according to a report today. The Commons procedure committee


wants to stop private members bills being blocked by MPs talking them


out, and says the government Here's Ellie with a reminder of how


it all works. The ballot for private members'


bills in the present session It's a big day if


you're a backbencher. The lottery to decide which MPs


will get the chance to put It can be a cause they've long


championed or one they've been And some could capture


the country's attention. Mr Speaker, it is an honour for me


to put forward a bill which has at its heart,


the heart of our democracy. This private members' bill


was eventually defeated in the Lords, but it shows just how


high profile they can be. Legislation to abolish the death


penalty and legalising abortion started life as private


members' bills. It's really only the first seven


that stand any chance of getting anywhere,


that's because they've got the most Of those seven, far fewer


are expected to succeed. In fact, last year,


just four got through. One of the reasons is that under


current rules there is no time limit on speeches and no guarantee


of a vote at the end the debate so opponents can simply talk


out or filibuster bills There is also a very big


geographic inequality. Deputy Speaker, this speaker has


already been speaking for one hour It is no mean feat but it is also


one of the ways critics say And we're joined now by the chairman


of the procedure committee, I should say we have been in touch


with the Government for a response to MrWalker's report and they


promised to get back to us shortly. Should I hold my breath? Are you


expect one shortly? We will get a response and I hope it's a positive


response. The private members' bill system is just a farce. It's a


charade most of the time. The real problems centre on the ballot.


Because it's like a roll of a dice. 440 MPs put their name into the


ballot, 20 are drawn out. You have a one in 20 chance of really one in 22


chance of being one of the lucky winners. That absolutely militates


against people investing serious time in developing legislative. Do


you agree I do, in life, generally hard work should be rewarded and you


by and large don't want random chance to determine who is actually


going to take forward an idea and propose it to the House of Commons


as legislation. You want somebody who's really worked at it and talked


to relevant people and researched it and prepared the ground and that's


what would be ensured by the system he is proposing. Do you think the


Government's dragged its feet on reform I think the Government's got


a lot else on its plate at the moment and we have a new Government


and it's fair enough. But I think I agree with Charles that the response


of the last Government to proposals for reform were somewhat


disappointing. We have a fantastic new leader of the House of Commons


in David Lidington and I am very hopeful that he will take a positive


approach. What about the quality of the legislation and the proposals,


isn't that the problem rather than the random nature of how they're


selected? The key recommendation is up to the first four bills under our


new system, chosen by the back bench business committee. That would allow


serious minded legislators to spend a year, two years, working across


the House, working with permanent Secretaries, Ministers, Shadow


ministers and experts to work out a properly thought out proposition.


The current system is the name comes out of the ballot, you go oh my


word, what the hell am I going to do? The Chief Whip of the


Conservative Party will say here is Government handout bill, do this. If


you are an opposition member with no support you get a worthy charity,


take this piece of legislation through and actually in the main


that piece of legislation is poorly thought out and drafted and


shouldn't become law. The problem is with the quality of the proposed


legislation or the proposed bill that's coming from MPs and I


underline the point not coming from the Government in this particular


instance. If it's not a very worthwhile piece of legislation,


whoever is choosing it, it's not going to get enough parliamentary


support, is it? That may be the case. In a sense I think the process


and including the filiBuster process, would be less objectionable


if you thought that the bills that were getting the greatest chance of


success were ones where the back bench business committee had taken a


view as to the level of preparation and the thought throughness of the


legislation. Because actually, you know, my dear colleagues they do


actually - they are open to persuasion when an idea is really,


really good and has huge support. That says it's not the system that


is broke, it is just the quality of what is being put forward. No, it is


the system. If the name comes out of the ballot you have three weeks to


come up with a legislative proposition, three weeks to get


something on the table. That is just simply not long enough to craft a


thought out, well thought out piece of legislation. Right, except you


can have party MPs working around the person who has been pulled out


of the ballot with an important piece of legislation, we saw James


Wharton there with the EU referendum bill. That wasn't quite a Government


bill, because the Lib Dems were in Government then. That was Jaime


Wharton's, his life would be made misrain if he said I want to do my


own thing. He would still be trying to get back to earth! One of the


points surely of this referendum that we have been through and I was


on the Remain side in this campaign, but one of the reasons why people


voted to leave is because they wanted parliament to assert itself


and parliament to be the source of legislation. Like having a vote on


the terms of the negotiation No, on the strategic priorities for the


negotiation discussed in parliament. But the point is they didn't mean


they want the Government to have a bigger role, they want parliament to


assert itself and one way is for backbenchers to assert themselves in


a cessible way. It is a modest change we are proposing. It sounds


fairly sensible. Let's see what the response is going to be. On


filibustering, that seems like a deliberate device to talk out bills


that people are opposed to, as we saw Philip Davis doing. Is it also


an opportunity to expose flaws in legislation that might not otherwise


be explored? Under the current system I am sad to say if the


Government isn't willing to kill off a bill itself you need people on the


back benches to talk it out. The most unattractive thing about the


system is when you see a Government Minister welcoming a legislative


proposition, while at the same time Government whips are working on the


back benches organising a filibuster. If the Government wants


to kill off a bill it should dip its hand in blood. It should not get the


whips doing another thing object the back benches. You are nodding in


treatment agreement I am shocked! Yes, I can see how authentic and


genuine that shock is! If we get a response from the Government we will


tell our viewers. The government's decision on airport


capacity will be made by a subcommittee next week. We had


thought it would be this week. It was reported there would be a cause


for Cabinet ministers to express their views but which Cabinet


ministers views we don't know on airport expansion. Ministers opposed


to the decision will be allowed to express their personal views for a


limited period. So we will have a third runway at Heathrow, is that


what you are expecting? I hope so. We have Stansted down the road so I


think many of my constituents will be delighted to see a third runway


at Heathrow. On that, we will say goodbye.


MPs have been debating the future of pharmacies in England


following the suggestion that as many as 3,000 could be


forced to close by cuts to Government funding.


Labour used an urgent question in the Commons yesterday to warn


the plans were a false economy, while ministers said it was too


early to talk about pharmacies shutting their doors.


Ministers have been, frankly, all over the place.


We've had mixed messages and false hope.


The Government announced a pause to these cuts.


Isn't there now a compelling case that we must make this


Mr Speaker, he hasn't got any mixed messages from me.


There was a pause that was announced because the original consultation


gave the intent to go ahead with this on 1st October


With a change of Government, the change of Prime Minister,


new Chancellor, new Ministers, we took the opportunity


to have a look at this again to make sure that we get it


right for the patients, for the NHS and for


We're joined now by the Labour MP Kevin Barron, who's chair


of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on pharmacies.


Welcome to the Daily Politics. The government says the final savings


package is still to be announced. We just heard a new Health Minister


consulting on the changes. Is talk of thousands of farmers is closing


an exaggeration? That started with the civil servants, quite frankly.


It was a chief pharmacy officer who said that to us that it could


between -- could be between one and 3000. It yesterday what the minister


said was it is peppered with too many pharmacies. There might be


34-macro pharmacies within a few hundred yards of each other but that


community might have some very difficult health problems and


deprivation as well. It seems to me that has to be a plan if we are


going to talk about running down the local pharmacies. You don't want to


see any pharmacies closed? I wouldn't say that and it is an


all-party group that wheelchair. We believe this change does come a long


it should be changed that is accepted for the good of the


community. It sounds like a false economy. Previous governments have


long held the pharmacy are somewhere for local people to go so they don't


have to visit their GP and clog up the services they are so surely we


should be putting more money into pharmacies not less? No one wants to


jump to conclusions that there is no savings but I represent a very rural


constituency and I would be very troubled if some communities were


left completely unserved and people to be requiring a nonexistent local


bus service to travel for long distances to go to pharmacy. Some


people don't know this but they can advised people on minor ailments so


you can keep people out of the GP 's surgery rather than going to A


They are not rushing into it. There was a lot of concern expressed on


the Conservative benches as well. I'm sure it will be looked at


carefully. Let's come back to the issue of savings and money. As you


know, the NHS is being asked to make ?22 billion worth of efficiency


savings by the end of this Parliament, so surely pharmacies


will have to take some of that on board? The chief negotiating body


offered, the SNC, the pharmaceutical negotiating committee, they looked


that this issue and they have been looking at it for a long time. This


was announced in December last year. They said they could make savings


but all the savings would not this is thoroughly be made in the


pharmacy budget. Their view is that is being turned down because of


that. It seems to me there is a need for more pharmacies. We are looking


now at people with long-term conditions, managing their medicines


and things like that. This is a area is where we should be looking. 70%


of NHS expenditure is on people with long-term conditions. That is what


we should be attacking. We did to somebody from the


Department of Health and they won was available. No doubt they will


respond to further following the discussion in the House of Commons.


If there were savings made, couldn't they make savings without actually


closing? There is a potential they could do that. I guess pharmacies


will favour have to cut hours and things like that. We have some 100


hour pharmacies which are contracted to open for 100 hours per week. This


is problematic unless there is a plan somewhere which will protect


the interests of the communities and patience. I'm not sure there is. The


SNC give the impression they don't think there is. What would be the


impact if one of the pharmacies in part of your constituency closed? It


all depends on whether there is another pharmacy which is equally


accessible. If there is it might be something that is accessible and it


is important that the NHS makes savings in the sort of non-care and


bits budget. When you look at the scale of the budget... You have to


look for savings everywhere. But what would not be acceptable is this


whole communities were left unserved and that is one of the things which


is worrying a lot of people. Would they look at where there are areas


where there are perhaps clusters of pharmacies, then you could perhaps


close one or two. I am not suggesting they do but they should


look at that proposal not getting rid of one. It was mentioned that


they could merge as well but my understanding is the rules about


merging have not gone through Parliament. There is an impact


assessment going to be made. It is being made now we're seeing, but


they will publish that when they publish the results of where the


savings are going to take place. That might be the cart before the


horse. I would like to see an impact assessment, how could we mitigate


this on behalf of patience and pharmacies. If some small pharmacies


have to merge then I am sure the regulations will be in place before


that goes ahead. At this stage it is out of car. Come back and tell us


when you get a response. Thank you. Now our guest of the day here had


a busy summer during his party's You may remember it ended up


with all the contenders other than Theresa May deciding


to pull out. Nick initially backed


Boris Johnson's bid for the top job, but then switched and became


Michael Gove's campaign manager. You may also remember that


Mr Gove pulled the rug from underneath Mr Johnson


by dramatically announcing that he, not Boris, was up to the job


of being party leader Let's just remind you of what Mr


Gove had to say in those heady days back in June.


I have to say I never thought I'd be in this position.


Indeed, I did almost everything I could not to be a candidate


I was so very reluctant because I know my limitations.


Whatever charisma is, I then have it. Whatever Glamour may be, I do


think anyone could associate me with it.


Well, Michael Gove being very self-deprecating. Did you persuade


Michael Gove to stand? No, I did try to before and that is well


advertised. There were a lot of people who tried to persuade him to


stand, but he did have deep reluctance and so ultimately, things


followed a different course. It would have been much better if we


had been successful, but it is all water under the bridge now and we


have got on with it, and we have a great new Prime Minister and Foreign


Secretary say Michael and I are supporting her. I will not let you


off that easily, it was not that long ago. What was the thought


process is going through yours and Michael Gove's minds? You are old


friends. What made him do it? I'm sorry, I am not going to go into all


that detail. It is not the basis on which you asked me to come onto this


show and I am not willing to discuss it. It was a mistake them? It was a


mistake for Michael not to run in the first place? He accept that and


I will always regret it. The reality is that unlike other parties we have


been discussing today, the Conservative Party gave the country


a new Prime Minister with all of the qualifications to do the job within


a matter of weeks, and that has been profoundly good. I accept that, but


at the time it was a very turbulent time indeed. Even Michael Gove said


the move sent him crashing into a brick wall. Do you agree with him?


We didn't have much time, people were very tired and people were


quite caught up in the aftermath of the referendum, the resignation of


the Prime Minister, so it was a fraught time. The decisions were


made for the reasons they were made. Ultimately, it did not work out, and


now we are all getting on with the situation we have which is


profoundly good to the country. Do you regret sending that message to


your fellow MPs urging them to thwart Andrea Ledson? No, but you


did not ask me on the show to talk about this. You knew we would ask


about it. You asked me to talk about Brexit. I am not happy to disinter


the leadership election which is long past. But this was about you.


Whatever reasons we got you on the programme, we do want to discuss


what happened in that very difficult time, and on that, was it because


you were right in the middle of what was such a heady time, in those few


weeks, that you wrote that and didn't realise the impact it would


have, at least on party grassroots? If you want me to stay on the


programme... I do! We will have to move on. OK. Have you and Michael


Gove discussed where the Tory party is now and where it is going?


Absolutely. He is my closest friend in life as impolitic, and both of us


share genuine MPs he asked them for the direction that Theresa May is


taking the government. I thought her party conference speech was super.


It moved us into a territory where we are focusing on those people for


whom the British economy, and British society has not been working


for in some cases decades, and that is hugely welcome and her


willingness to intervene assertively in the economy, in other spheres of


life, to ensure that the country delivers for people who have been


failed, is something that Michael spoke about in his speech when he


was launching his leadership bid. It is what motivates me and him for


decades, arguing for reform in the Conservative Party, so we are both


entirely enthusiastic and supportive of the government's direction. Fine,


but you were on the Remain side as was Theresa May. Do you accept there


is a new division for those who campaigned for Leave and want a hard


Brexit, coming out of the single market, and remain as who want to


stay in the single market? There are some people who are very troubled by


the idea of leaving the single market? Most of them and the most


vocal of them are in the opposition parties. But they are in the Tory


party as well. I think the difficulty they face is that both


sides of the debate, in the referendum campaign, discussed the


vote for the single market and both David Cameron and others and myself


included said it would be a disaster to leave the single market which


would be marred by a Leave vote, and equally the Leave campaign, which


was quite controversial at the time, made it clear that we were not


proposing where we move into a position like Norway's where we were


in the economic area, they were proposing to leave the single


market. It is hard for people who have lost the referendum vote, and I


am one of them, it is hard to say it is an open question about whether we


should leave the single market. But you talked about attempts to block


Brexit as nauseating and you mentioned Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg


from the opposition parties, do you think the Chancellor Philip Hammond


is the same? I think what turns my stomach is when two individuals who


have practically destroyed their political parties, in one case


delivering it into the hands of Jeremy Corbyn and his peculiarly


unattractive followers, and in the other case, decimating, literally


decimating their numbers in the House of Commons, it was them I


found a bit stomach churning. But he is also accused of being a block on


Brexit and wanting curbs on migration Esmat he may be a lot of


things without them being true. Philip Hammond is a superb


Chancellor who quite rightly have made the point in his conference


speech that nobody voted to become poorer. His job as Chancellor is to


ensure that the arrangements that we have, that takeover from single


market membership, the free trade agreements that we reach our ones


that are insured. These are Tory MPs. Some feel fill


limb Hammond is putting the brakes on or trying to. The Prime


Minister's spokesman had to say they have full confidence in... You love


to stir it up... I don't think it's up stirring it up. Philip ham manned


has not said anywhere I have seen that it's somehow essential we


remain in the single market. What he has said and I entirely agree with


him, is that we must reach a set of agreements that ensure that people


are not worse off, that we must have a very, very full set of free trade


agreements covering, not just goods, but services and including the city.


He's absolutely right on that. I happen to know that the Prime


Minister agrees with him on that. And that's what the Government will


be seeking to achieve. All right, we will leave it there.


Now, are our diplomats equipped for the modern world?


Tom Fletcher was our man in Beirut and Britain's youngest


He argues that the digital revolution can transform


the diplomatic service and the way they promote


My name is Tom Fletcher and I am a recovering Ambassador,


an ex-Excellency and although I no longer work for the Foreign Office,


I care deeply about diplomacy and I am worried that people


And when I say diplomacy I don't mean the maps and chaps,


the stereotypes, the summits and soundbites and the protocol


I don't even mean the Ferrero Rocher.


I mean the stripped back, raw diplomacy that goes all the way


back to the first caveman who persuaded his fellow


Neanderthals to stop clubbing him and go out and hunt together.


We live in an age of massive technological change,


of people on the move, of distrust of authority.


Trump, Brexit, the rise of extremism, these are all


symptoms of the uncertainty that these trends create.


In previous times of massive technological change,


the industrial revolution, the arrival of the printing press,


the nations that lost were those that turned inwards.


The nations that won were those that turned outwards


to find new partners, new ideas, new markets.


In the 20th century, we knew where the dividing line was.


In the 21st, it's not between East and West, between North and South,


between rich and poor, between Christianity and Islam.


It is between those who believe in co-existence and those


None of these great challenges will be solved by building bigger walls.


All around the world people are connecting in new ways,


through Facebook, through Twitter, through Instagram, with each other


Diplomacy is going to have to evolve.


Diplomacy is going to have to get digital, to use its extraordinary


smartphone superpower to reach out, to network, to connect and to take


But while Ministries like this are working hard


to change and to evolve, they can not win this argument


What we now need is for everyone to think like citizen diplomats,


working hard offline and online to get their voices


heard in the corridors of power and beyond.


Diplomacy is now much too important to be left to diplomats.


So I say over to you, your Excellencies.


And Tom Fletcher joins us in the studio now.


You present a very optimistic vision, your vision in your soapbox


about diplomacy. But if you look at recent events, Ukraine, Syria, the


refugee crisis, hasn't diplomacy all but failed? Absolutely and I was


part of that failure on Syria specifically as ambassador in


Beirut. For me those are better reasons, stronger reasons for us to


improve what we are doing and I don't think - if diplomacy didn't


exist we would have to invent it. We do need people out there trying to


provide the lubricant in the system as countries interact. Does that


soft power still have an impact in terms of relations and world events?


Absolutely. I was just this morning with a bunch of the creative


industries federation. It's our fasters growing sector. In an


Embassy you realise how much power that gives you. I used to often go


to universities and people would talk about British foreign policy


but wearing Premiership kits. That great leveller. Really a West Ham.


Let's not get into teams we support. How would this work? We see them


around us every day, many of our professions, there are citizen


diplomats everywhere. For me it's anyone working for co-existence and


against the intolerance, this growing intolerance we see around


us. Take, for example, citizens in Munich, the companies now providing


places for Syrian refugees, that for me is a frontline of real diplomacy


now. In that sense, do you think it is the end really because we talked


earlier about British military intervention, that really in the


world we are in and we look at IS, perhaps look at some of the cyber


espionage, is it all about soft power? No, you also need the hard


power and we seeing that in Syria, if you don't have a credible threat


it's harder to get your way when you are playing poker with Putin, you


still need that hard power element but increasingly to succeed in the


21st century the soft power will need to be a larger component than


the past. How did you react when you heard Boris Johnson telling


parliament he would like to see demonstrations outside the Russian


Embassy, this is over their actions in Syria? Well, I think that's one


element really and of the overall approach to Russia and to Syria. I


think there is a lot you can do through mobilising the public and I


tried to do that in Lebanon, connecting with different people in


society to take on big arguments. I have some of my best arguments


online with the Russian Embassy in the UK. The sectarian issues must be


difficult to deal with from your perspective? Absolutely and you are


conscious as an ambassador or diplomat tweeting if you get it


slightly wrong you could start world war three, you have to be very


careful. There are big risks. But the biggest risk is not on there at


all. Of course Theresa May says she's not giving a running


commentary on Brexit. What did you think of Boris Johnson's comments?


One of the former diplomats was upset, said it would endanger staff


who are abroad in some of these embassies and in a way it wasn't the


most beligerrent of comments, Duke it was dangerous The point -- Do you


think it was dangerous The point was Stop The War only wants to stop wars


when either the United States or Britain is involved and has


absolutely nothing to say about wars prosecuted by Russia in Ukraine or


by Russia and allies... But he is the Foreign Secretary. He holds more


weight in that sense. I understand that but that was his main point. I


think that the general argument is is a strong one and in a sense if


you wanted to think of the best example of your citizen diplomats,


it would be the Olympic medallists who we saw in Manchester. What they


have done for Britain's standing in the world, not just our own sense of


it, but other countries' sense of it. They think of us differently now


they see that actually we are the third biggest medal winner in the


world. You have been in Lebanon and clearly that has been a good example


of a sort of British export, if you like, our Olympians, what's the view


of Britain there now? I think people see us as magnetic and I think


that's a quality that we should be proud of. We shouldn't be chasing


students away, we should be chasing after students to come here. People


are fascinated by the Royal Family. They love the Premiership as I


mentioned, our creative industries, from Beckham to the Beatles to Adele


to bond. All of that, it has a real talismanic power and we should be


prouder of that. They're curious, they enjoy London, they see us as a


dynamic trading outward looking nation. The biggest threat to us at


the moment is we turn our back on that key part of our DNA as a


country and turn inwards. History tells us that's when you lose. Tom


famous as the setting for the hugely successful romantic


But for Westminster-watchers like us, this affluent part


of the city also gave its name to a very successful political


clique, which at one point ruled the Conservative


But with the departure of David Cameron as Prime Minister


and the arrival of Theresa May, the so-called Notting Hill set isn't


# It's amazing how you can speak right to my heart.


I won't be back until 9.00pm tonight.


# Without saying a word you can light up the dark.


# What I hear when you don't say a thing.


# The smile on your face let's me know that you need me.


# There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me.


# The touch of your hand says you'll catch me wherever I fall...


We're joined by the Evening Standard's Joy Lo Dico who's written


in today's paper about the death of the Notting Hill Set.


And, by good fortune, our guest of the day, Nick Boles,


A bit player! No, don't demote yourself. Come on, you were part of


that. How are relations since the EU referendum? In my own case very good


with everyone. Obviously it has caused strain on relationships, not


just within that group, but in families and in friendship groups.


It's been an extraordinary issue in our times. I think for the first


time in my life I understand what people say about the Spanish civil


war, the way it actually separated whole communities and families and


this has come close to that. I hope that as we now move away from it


people can come back together. Right. What do you think, how do you


see tensions at the moment in what is the Notting Hill set? Having


spoken to a number of people about it, it's got to a level where there


are confrontations going on in the street... Between? I think it would


be impoll tick to say at this point in time. There are dinner parties in


the area looking at guest lists carefully thinking, should I invite


this section or not invite that section? David Cameron still has a


court there as does George Osborne. So, there are also Brexiteers there.


There was an article in The Times at the weekend that said it was agony


at the moment socially with various groups, bearing in mind what Nick


said that's going to happen post such a divisive contest as the


referendum. Michael Gove, not having double crossed anybody, has become


this idea of the outsider who wants something different and Notting Hill


is built largely on this idea of kind of open, multicultural, you


know, outward looking sort of media and literary society with


politicians added in. The rest of the country has rejected it and


there is Michael Gove wandering around as what was leader of that


movement. There is even talk and suggestions that you have made today


he might be moving out of the area. That's what a couple of the locals


have been saying. I don't know whether that's wishful thinking or


not. It certainly is a little awkward. They were Godparents to


each other's children, they were doing school runs together, it's


impossible to go through Notting Hill without bumping into somebody


you know in these classes. Most sort of politicians, Prime Ministers,


have sets around them. Has Theresa May got a set? Well, I was trying to


think whether she and Amal Clooney and Heston Blumenthal, that would be


a marvellous dinner party to report on, I don't think that's going to


happen and I feel she doesn't have a set other than her local


Conservative Party association. Probably by design. Part of the


reason a number of people lost their jobs was an objection to that W also


11 insiderness. I have to say goodbye to our set here. Thank you


to Nick Not too offended I hope by the end of the programme.


The one o'clock news is starting over on BBC One now.


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