03/03/2017 Daily Politics


03/03/2017

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Theresa May tells Nicola Sturgeon, stop obsessing with independence

:00:38.:00:45.

and focus on improving health and education in Scotland.

:00:46.:00:49.

We'll hear from the Secretary of State for Scotland

:00:50.:00:55.

and the SNP on the tussle over a second independence referendum.

:00:56.:00:57.

Vote counting is underway in Northern Ireland in the snap

:00:58.:01:00.

election called after the collapse of the power-sharing administration.

:01:01.:01:05.

Plaid Cymru hold their spring conference in Newport,

:01:06.:01:13.

with a call to "rebalance Wales" as we head for Brexit.

:01:14.:01:16.

The party's leader, Leanne Wood, joins us live.

:01:17.:01:20.

There are over a hundred of them in the UK government,

:01:21.:01:22.

We've got the lowdown on what makes an effective government minister.

:01:23.:01:34.

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

:01:35.:01:37.

of the programme today, the Political Editor

:01:38.:01:39.

of the Financial Times, George Parker, and Claire Fox

:01:40.:01:41.

Let's kick off with the latest twist in the story of

:01:42.:01:47.

Donald Trump's Attorney General, and conversations he had

:01:48.:01:49.

with the Russian ambassador to Washington last year.

:01:50.:01:52.

Yesterday Jeff Sessions announced he would excuse himself from an FBI

:01:53.:01:57.

probe into alleged Russian meddling in the US election after mounting

:01:58.:02:04.

pressure from all sides over allegations he'd lied on oath

:02:05.:02:06.

about his contacts with Russian officials.

:02:07.:02:07.

I have now decided to recuse myself from any existing or future

:02:08.:02:23.

investigations of any matter relating in any way to the campaigns

:02:24.:02:26.

Mr Sessions went on to describe the nature of his meeting

:02:27.:02:34.

We talked a little bit about terrorism, as I recall.

:02:35.:02:40.

And somehow the subject of the Ukraine came up.

:02:41.:02:44.

I had had the Ukrainian ambassador in my office the day before

:02:45.:02:50.

and to listen to him, Russia had done nothing

:02:51.:02:55.

that was wrong in any area and everybody else was wrong

:02:56.:02:58.

It got to be a little bit of a testy conversation at that point.

:02:59.:03:08.

That is the US Attorney General under some pressure at the moment.

:03:09.:03:15.

What exactly is wrong with him having met the Russian ambassador?

:03:16.:03:18.

The context is everything, which is that it seems extraordinary that is

:03:19.:03:24.

so much hysteria about the fact that somebody has met the Russian

:03:25.:03:28.

ambassador and it would seem to be, that seems to be what diplomacy is

:03:29.:03:33.

about but the context is a toxic, nasty, vicious atmosphere of almost

:03:34.:03:40.

McCarthy read under the bed and the Russian sentiment. This time being

:03:41.:03:45.

led by the left whereas McCarthy was on the right. And also it is not the

:03:46.:03:49.

soviet Union, it is a different regime. But if you ever say you have

:03:50.:03:55.

talked to anyone from Russia now in America, presumably you are a bad

:03:56.:03:58.

guy will stop and it is not just that, the fact of the meeting but

:03:59.:04:03.

the cover-up. It is always the cover-up that get you in American

:04:04.:04:06.

politics and the fact that he appeared before Congress and said he

:04:07.:04:10.

did not have them. He was asked a convoluted question, not a clear

:04:11.:04:14.

question, in the cause of the campaign did you meet the Russian

:04:15.:04:19.

ambassador? It was a more complicated... His answer was still

:04:20.:04:24.

not convincing but it is open to nuance. He would have expected

:04:25.:04:28.

questioned about his contact with the Russians and it would have

:04:29.:04:30.

helped if he was frank and upfront about it but the question of perjury

:04:31.:04:34.

which has a vision is a hard charge to make stick in America. -- which

:04:35.:04:40.

has arisen. The cover-up is one thing but because the atmosphere is

:04:41.:04:46.

so the pro in relation to this issue, the indication is that Putin

:04:47.:04:53.

is pulling the strings of American politics which I think is the thing

:04:54.:04:58.

which is dangerously conspiratorial and a very defensive way of trying

:04:59.:05:01.

to explain why Tom got elected rather than the fact that he did

:05:02.:05:05.

because he won the election -- white Trump got elected. Do you think it

:05:06.:05:10.

is conspiratorial, you think the Russians were not hacking? I am sure

:05:11.:05:16.

the Russians wanted to interfere in the political process but I think

:05:17.:05:21.

that the reason why Donald Trump won is because, for example, Hillary

:05:22.:05:25.

Clinton led the most uninspiring campaign. The issue is not if the

:05:26.:05:36.

Russians were trying to interfere in the campaign, the intelligence

:05:37.:05:39.

agencies are sure that they were, the toxic issue is if the

:05:40.:05:43.

Republicans were complicit in this attempt to interfere. That is why

:05:44.:05:52.

the Attorney General's, to put it lightly, nuanced answer to Alf

:05:53.:05:56.

Rankin's question is now such a big issue. That is the trouble, he has

:05:57.:06:00.

already lost his national security adviser. And Toulouse two... And

:06:01.:06:09.

this is the tip of the iceberg because reducing himself might draw

:06:10.:06:13.

a line under this for now but Congress had got their teeth into it

:06:14.:06:20.

-- and to lose two. He has rightly said and others have said, he was on

:06:21.:06:25.

the armed services committee and members that meet ambassadors, that

:06:26.:06:32.

is what they do. We have a former Republican congressman saying that,

:06:33.:06:36.

Senator Claire McCaskill has tweeted as well and she said that she hadn't

:06:37.:06:42.

and then it turned out she had met several times with Russian

:06:43.:06:45.

ambassadors. If you watched the performance of the Attorney General,

:06:46.:06:49.

all of it, I would suggest it does not engender confidence. If doesn't

:06:50.:06:53.

but not because of the relationship with the Russians. But you wonder

:06:54.:06:58.

why he is Attorney General. That is a different point. There might be

:06:59.:07:05.

queries about the statesman-like, judicious choices of the Trump

:07:06.:07:07.

administration and if you want to talk about that, it's fine but doing

:07:08.:07:11.

it all through the prism of this Russian question... The only reason

:07:12.:07:15.

I refer to that, there is this idea that is being put about that the

:07:16.:07:19.

Russians have also altered the result of the Brexit vote and we are

:07:20.:07:26.

all being brainwashed. That is a bit of a stretch. I'm concerned there is

:07:27.:07:29.

a broader thing which would mean that if anybody said to you in a

:07:30.:07:33.

position of authority in America, have you ever met a Russian

:07:34.:07:36.

ambassador, that you go, no, possibly... That is not healthy. The

:07:37.:07:41.

French political elite is in no doubt they are trying to implement

:07:42.:07:47.

the French presidential election. There are stories on the website of

:07:48.:07:53.

Mr Macron that it has been hacked 4000 times. What would you expect

:07:54.:07:56.

the Russian intelligence services to be doing? If there is an American

:07:57.:08:03.

election where one of the candidates is pro-Russian in the case of Trump,

:08:04.:08:06.

of course you try to include it and the same with the French elections,

:08:07.:08:17.

Fillon is pro Russian. It is not just a straightforward, we like the

:08:18.:08:22.

Russians, it doesn't even have depth in relation to Trump's relationship

:08:23.:08:27.

with it, there is a big admiration, critical of Nato. We have to move

:08:28.:08:31.

on, Mr Trump has treated in favour of it as general, probably in favour

:08:32.:08:38.

of the reasons you give. We will see if it helps.

:08:39.:08:39.

announced plans to recruit new staff with a tap on the shoulder

:08:40.:08:46.

to try to help them avoid a workforce dominated by white,

:08:47.:08:49.

or d) The Department for Exiting the European Union?

:08:50.:09:07.

Or the BBC?! I just add about myself!

:09:08.:09:11.

At the end of the show Claire and George will about

:09:12.:09:14.

So, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, was in Glasgow this morning,

:09:15.:09:19.

telling the Scottish Conservatives' spring conference that the SNP

:09:20.:09:21.

should stop obsessing with independence and concentrate

:09:22.:09:22.

on improving Scotland's public services.

:09:23.:09:24.

The PM's speech comes as the First Minister of Scotland,

:09:25.:09:27.

Nicola Sturgeon, continues to suggest she will demand a second

:09:28.:09:31.

Earlier this week, Nicola Sturgeon said a second referendum would be

:09:32.:09:38.

a "legitimate" and "almost necessary" step, unless Scotland

:09:39.:09:41.

is able to secure its own special relationship with the EU.

:09:42.:09:46.

She added that it would be a "gross betrayal" if Theresa May does not

:09:47.:09:49.

devolve powers over fishing and farming that will be

:09:50.:09:52.

repatriated to the UK as part of the Brexit process.

:09:53.:09:58.

And in a newspaper article, she said that if there is a second

:09:59.:10:01.

independence referendum, it will be the result of "sheer

:10:02.:10:03.

intransigence" on behalf of the Conservative government.

:10:04.:10:05.

And it's not just pro-independence politicians.

:10:06.:10:10.

Tony Blair said in a speech last month that the case for Scottish

:10:11.:10:13.

independence is now "much more credible" after the Brexit vote.

:10:14.:10:18.

But the Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson,

:10:19.:10:21.

accused the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon of manufacturing a "synthetic

:10:22.:10:23.

And in her speech this morning, Theresa May has hit out at the SNP

:10:24.:10:30.

She also said that public services in Scotland are being "neglected"

:10:31.:10:36.

by the SNP government, because of their "obsession with

:10:37.:10:38.

Here's some of what the Prime Minister had to say.

:10:39.:10:49.

As Britain leaves the European Union and we forge a new role

:10:50.:10:52.

for ourselves in the world, the strength and stability

:10:53.:10:54.

of our union will become ever more important.

:10:55.:10:56.

We must take this opportunity to bring our United Kingdom

:10:57.:10:59.

Because the union which we all care about is not simply

:11:00.:11:05.

It is a union of people, affections and loyalties.

:11:06.:11:16.

It is characterised by sharing together as a country

:11:17.:11:19.

the challenges which we all face, and freely pooling the resources

:11:20.:11:22.

The existence of the union rests on some simple

:11:23.:11:29.

but powerful principles - solidarity, unity, family.

:11:30.:11:40.

The Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, joins

:11:41.:11:42.

Nicola Sturgeon says that you are showing intransigence in the UK

:11:43.:11:57.

Government's attitude towards Scotland's relationship with Europe.

:11:58.:12:01.

I know you have talked a lot but what policy concessions made to the

:12:02.:12:06.

Scottish Government? We have been very clear with the Scottish

:12:07.:12:11.

Government that we take the document they produced seriously and that is

:12:12.:12:14.

why we are engaged in such detailed discussions with them all stop but

:12:15.:12:19.

the Prime Minister, for example, when she made her Lancaster House

:12:20.:12:22.

speech, highlighted the fact that education and research was one of

:12:23.:12:27.

the issues that became a priority in her speech because of

:12:28.:12:30.

representations that had been made from Scotland. As you know, that is

:12:31.:12:35.

a really important area here in Scotland. So we are listening, we

:12:36.:12:39.

want to engage with the Scottish Government, we want them to work

:12:40.:12:43.

with us so that we can get the best possible deal for Scotland and the

:12:44.:12:47.

whole of the UK as we leave the EU. You say you are listening, that you

:12:48.:12:51.

are engaged with the Scottish Government so that we ask again, in

:12:52.:12:55.

this process, what concessions have you made to the Scottish Government

:12:56.:13:03.

in policy terms? It is not a case of making concessions, it is a case of

:13:04.:13:06.

understanding the very large areas of common ground we already have in

:13:07.:13:13.

terms of workers' rights, in terms of security and criminal justice

:13:14.:13:20.

issues, and looking at what the end point that both sides want rather

:13:21.:13:24.

than focusing on the means. The Scottish Government wants to the

:13:25.:13:27.

access to the European single market, we want easy access... They

:13:28.:13:33.

want to remain members... Let me just ask again... You are dancing

:13:34.:13:39.

around this, you have listened and listened but you can't give me one

:13:40.:13:44.

example in which you have acted, one example which you have met a policy

:13:45.:13:49.

position of the Scottish Government. I think I said in my opening

:13:50.:13:54.

remarks, Andrew, that education and research and the importance to be

:13:55.:13:59.

placed on that in the European negotiations with a direct result of

:14:00.:14:02.

representations made from Scotland. I have also set out areas like

:14:03.:14:07.

workers' rights and criminal Justice and security where we are in

:14:08.:14:10.

absolute agreement with the position that the Scottish Government has. We

:14:11.:14:15.

are also clear that we both want to see businesses from Scotland trading

:14:16.:14:18.

in the European single market, we both want to see people still being

:14:19.:14:27.

able to come to Scotland to take up job opportunities here. It is just

:14:28.:14:30.

how you go about doing that that is the important thing. So you would

:14:31.:14:32.

not have made education and research a major priority in the negotiations

:14:33.:14:35.

it had not been the Scottish Government? What we have recognised

:14:36.:14:41.

is that it's a priority and vital area here in Scotland. One of the

:14:42.:14:48.

areas where representation, of course we didn't need the Scottish

:14:49.:14:52.

Government... So it's not a concession... What we wanted to do

:14:53.:14:57.

was to work with them to take on broad issues and concerned that they

:14:58.:15:00.

have raised and that is what officials are in a very detailed

:15:01.:15:04.

dialogue. But do we believe that Scotland should have a separate and

:15:05.:15:09.

different arrangement? No, we have not been convinced of that. We are

:15:10.:15:13.

still open to that argument but we don't see the issues around access

:15:14.:15:19.

to the market or migration as being a particularly Scottish issues,

:15:20.:15:21.

these are issues that affect the whole of the UK and we believe that

:15:22.:15:26.

still working on a United Kingdom -based is it the best way forward.

:15:27.:15:33.

So let me get this clear, as things stand at the moment, you are not

:15:34.:15:39.

minded to look at the possibility of Scotland remaining a member of the

:15:40.:15:44.

single market as the rest of the UK leaves? Is that correct?

:15:45.:15:50.

I don't see a basis in which Scotland can remain a member but I

:15:51.:15:58.

see a basis in which Scotland can achieve the sort of access

:15:59.:16:00.

businesses in Scotland want to that single market. That is what I think

:16:01.:16:05.

ourselves and the Scottish Government should focus on. The S NP

:16:06.:16:11.

manifesto, which won them the Scottish Parliamentary elections,

:16:12.:16:17.

says, should there be significant and material change in

:16:18.:16:22.

circumstances, which of course, the EU referendum was, we have the right

:16:23.:16:27.

to hold another referendum. She says it's a cast iron man date. Why is

:16:28.:16:34.

she wrong? I have always said there could be another independence

:16:35.:16:37.

referendum. The debate and the argument is, should there be another

:16:38.:16:42.

independence referendum? The people of Scotland are quite clear at this

:16:43.:16:46.

time they do not want another divisive referendum. We had one less

:16:47.:16:52.

than three years ago. It had a decisive outcome. What we need to do

:16:53.:16:56.

is seek independence taken off the table at this time as we go forward

:16:57.:17:00.

in the Brexit negotiations and ensure we work together to get the

:17:01.:17:04.

best possible deal for Scotland and the whole of the UK. If the Scottish

:17:05.:17:10.

Government does call for another referendum, what will the

:17:11.:17:15.

Westminster government say? We know what the process is for a

:17:16.:17:18.

referendum. There would have to be the equivalent of the previous

:17:19.:17:24.

Edinburgh Agreement. That is not on the table. What proposition is not

:17:25.:17:30.

on the table? Another referendum. The proposition for a request for

:17:31.:17:35.

another referendum. It could be by the end of this month. Nicola

:17:36.:17:42.

Sturgeon says it is very likely, very, very likely. What if that

:17:43.:17:48.

happens? She has not made a formal approach to the UK Government. If

:17:49.:17:53.

she does, what with the attitude of the British Gutmann B? Our attitude

:17:54.:17:56.

is very clear. We do not think there should be another referendum. --

:17:57.:18:02.

government be. You would say to the Scottish Government, it could not

:18:03.:18:06.

have a second referendum? That is not what I said. You are perfectly

:18:07.:18:11.

aware of that. As I said in my earlier remarks, that could be

:18:12.:18:15.

another referendum between do not believe there should be. We will

:18:16.:18:19.

continue to make the case there should not be won and Nicola

:18:20.:18:24.

Sturgeon should not bring forward a case for another referendum. Things

:18:25.:18:32.

may be moving on on this. We will find out from Nicola Sturgeon later

:18:33.:18:37.

this month. What I want to ask you is this... If Nicola Sturgeon says

:18:38.:18:44.

we will have a second referendum, would the Westminster government be

:18:45.:18:48.

prepared to allow that to happen before the Brexit negotiations have

:18:49.:18:57.

concluded? We are going to continue focusing our argument in line with

:18:58.:19:01.

what the people of Scotland want. That is the independence issue is

:19:02.:19:06.

taken off the table and we are not subjected to a request for another

:19:07.:19:12.

independence referendum. That is an interesting answer but it does not

:19:13.:19:16.

relate to the question I asked. Let me try once again. With the

:19:17.:19:22.

Westminster government contemplated Green to a second referendum before

:19:23.:19:25.

the Brexit negotiations are concluded or would you tell the

:19:26.:19:29.

Scottish Government they could not have one macro until Brexit was

:19:30.:19:36.

concluded? We're in a position where there was a process for requesting

:19:37.:19:40.

another independence referendum. That would be a matter for the

:19:41.:19:44.

Scottish Government to determine whether they make that request. We

:19:45.:19:48.

will continue as the Prime Minister has today to focus our efforts on

:19:49.:19:52.

making the case there should not be such a request and there should not

:19:53.:19:57.

be a second independence referendum. The people in Scotland are quite

:19:58.:20:01.

clear, they do not want another referendum. Thank you very much for

:20:02.:20:07.

joining us live from Glasgow. Let's get some reaction now from Angus

:20:08.:20:12.

Robertson. I do not think he could hear the interview but let me go

:20:13.:20:18.

straight into this. If the Scottish Government, the British government,

:20:19.:20:24.

sorry, as was indicated, does not think that Scotland can remain a

:20:25.:20:30.

member of the single market in the Brexit negotiations, does that

:20:31.:20:33.

trigger a second referendum in your mind? Thank you very much for having

:20:34.:20:39.

me on the programme. My reaction to the Prime Minister's beach is one of

:20:40.:20:43.

disappointment. We are running at the time to get an agreement between

:20:44.:20:48.

the gods -- Scottish Gutmann and the British government before Article 50

:20:49.:20:54.

is triggered. Scotland voted to remain in the European Union and

:20:55.:20:57.

they are well aware we have a government in Scotland elected with

:20:58.:21:03.

more votes than the Labour Party. What is the answer? We have limited

:21:04.:21:08.

time. You're asking me to get ahead of the triggering of Article 50. Be

:21:09.:21:13.

in no doubt. If the UK Government does not negotiate with the UK

:21:14.:21:16.

Government to try to protect the interests of Scotland and Europe,

:21:17.:21:20.

the Scottish Government will have to look very seriously at using its

:21:21.:21:24.

cast mandate it got in the Parliamentary elections to hold a

:21:25.:21:28.

referendum to protect our place in Europe? The major issue is the

:21:29.:21:36.

Scottish Government's request, demand, policy, that even if the

:21:37.:21:40.

United Kingdom leads the single market, Scotland should remain a

:21:41.:21:46.

member of the single market. All the mood music, you're based in

:21:47.:21:49.

Westminster for a big chunk of the week, is the British government will

:21:50.:21:56.

not agree to that. It is a key SNP demand. If they do not, does that

:21:57.:22:01.

trigger a second referendum? You have been reporting on the Prime

:22:02.:22:06.

Minister's beach was she was talking about how important the union was.

:22:07.:22:10.

How important it is we respect different nations the UK. If she

:22:11.:22:16.

does not give you the single market, will there be a second referendum?

:22:17.:22:22.

If the Prime Minister is to be taken at her word, as a Democrat, surely

:22:23.:22:27.

she will recognise that she has a problem given that Scotland has

:22:28.:22:31.

voted to remain in European Union. We will respect the fact the rest of

:22:32.:22:36.

the UK voted to leave. The Scottish Government has put forward a

:22:37.:22:41.

compromise paper and the UK Government has come back with

:22:42.:22:44.

absolutely nothing to deal with the challenge of how to protect

:22:45.:22:56.

Scotland's plays in the single market. If there is no compromise,

:22:57.:22:58.

will you call a second referendum? If the UK Gutmann cannot reach an

:22:59.:23:01.

agreement to protect Scotland's interests, there will be another

:23:02.:23:07.

referendum. The UK Government want Scotland to remain a member of the

:23:08.:23:11.

single market, even if the United Kingdom is leaving the European

:23:12.:23:18.

Union. What major EU figure agrees with your position? This is an issue

:23:19.:23:23.

that needs to be negotiated between the member states. That would need

:23:24.:23:27.

to be the UK Government and other partners we have not heard a single

:23:28.:23:31.

member state of the European Union saying this is not possible. They

:23:32.:23:39.

have not said it is impossible for Scotland. The Secretary of State

:23:40.:23:44.

said if the UK leaves the single market, the whole UK will leave the

:23:45.:23:50.

single market. There is only one negotiator. If the UK negotiates on

:23:51.:23:56.

behalf of Scotland in Europe it is an outcome that can be pursued if

:23:57.:24:02.

the UK leaves Scotland, that is true. You were saying leaves the

:24:03.:24:06.

single market for the back is why we are trying to persuade the UK

:24:07.:24:10.

Government to argue Scotland's case to protect interests in Europe. If

:24:11.:24:15.

the UK Government says that Scotland is a partnership of equals who

:24:16.:24:18.

respect one another, that is great. Do it. The people who are being

:24:19.:24:23.

intransigent on this question are the UK Government. They have not

:24:24.:24:35.

agreed to a single thing in the negotiations. I'm moving on now to

:24:36.:24:37.

find out who supports the Scottish position within the EU. Has anybody

:24:38.:24:39.

in the commission supported your position? Has anybody in the council

:24:40.:24:44.

of ministers supported you? Nobody has said it is possible for Scotland

:24:45.:24:49.

to remain within the single market. The head of the Spanish delegation

:24:50.:24:54.

of MEPs in the majority EEP party has said it is not possible. He has

:24:55.:25:00.

said it is not possible. Scotland, while part of the United Kingdom, is

:25:01.:25:05.

to be the same as the UK. We are not going to accept Scotland in the

:25:06.:25:08.

single market without the rest of the UK.

:25:09.:25:20.

It is clear. Which head of state or government has said that? Not an

:25:21.:25:23.

MEP. The Spanish Prime Minister has also made it clear he does not think

:25:24.:25:26.

you should have a special single market status. Which government has

:25:27.:25:29.

ruled out a possible at is gotten remaining in the single market? I

:25:30.:25:35.

ask the questions. You said an MEP has said. The head of a Spanish

:25:36.:25:40.

delegation of MEPs, the Spanish Secretary of State for the European

:25:41.:25:44.

Union has said so, the Spanish Prime Minister has said if the United

:25:45.:25:47.

Kingdom leads, Scotland leaves Square he has said that in the

:25:48.:25:52.

context... Any number of quotes from the previous European president has

:25:53.:26:01.

said... He is not that any more. You cannot name a single head of

:26:02.:26:05.

government. You are the one with the policy. Tell me a single ally you

:26:06.:26:10.

have in trying to get Scotland to remain a member of the single

:26:11.:26:14.

market. Not a single government has said this is not possible to do.

:26:15.:26:18.

That is why it is imperative on the UK Government to work with the

:26:19.:26:21.

Scottish Gutmann to make our case in Europe. If they are not prepared to

:26:22.:26:25.

do it, we will have to get on with it ourselves. What would you do, Mr

:26:26.:26:31.

Robertson, if a referendum is called. All right, you can have the

:26:32.:26:36.

second referendum but you cannot have it until the Brexit initiations

:26:37.:26:41.

are concluded. I do not think that would be fair, would it question if

:26:42.:26:45.

the intention is to try to find a way for Scotland to remain in the

:26:46.:26:50.

single market before the UK finalises and leaves the EU, that

:26:51.:26:54.

would obviously will allow Scotland's position of having

:26:55.:26:57.

continuity in a European context. That would not be fair with what the

:26:58.:27:02.

majority of people of Scotland have voted for. If it believes the UK is

:27:03.:27:10.

a partnership of equals and we respect them, if that is true, the

:27:11.:27:13.

UK Government will respect the cast-iron mandate the Scottish

:27:14.:27:19.

Government has and respect the 62% vote in Scotland of remaining in a

:27:20.:27:23.

European context, and will, as Democrats agree, as they did in the

:27:24.:27:28.

run-up to the 2014 referendum, that it should take place on the mandate

:27:29.:27:32.

that was approved by the Scottish parliament. Still a lot to go on

:27:33.:27:38.

this story. Thank you for having me on. What do you make of all of this?

:27:39.:27:42.

You can tell the British government does not want to have this

:27:43.:27:50.

referendum and I'm not sure the -- the SNP are all that sure. Activists

:27:51.:27:58.

want a referendum. They have cause for a second referendum and that is

:27:59.:28:01.

Brexit. The circumstances for winning a referendum could become a

:28:02.:28:05.

lot harder. When out of the European Union, Scotland may be forced to

:28:06.:28:10.

adopt the euro. There could be an external border. They may have to

:28:11.:28:17.

say at some stage they would accept the euro. Sweden still has not got

:28:18.:28:21.

the euro and so on. There is a problem here for both the British

:28:22.:28:28.

government, which does not want a second referendum, and the Scottish

:28:29.:28:32.

Nationalists, who do. If the British government says, no... It will not

:28:33.:28:39.

say you cannot have one but the Scottish people need to know what

:28:40.:28:42.

Brexit looks like before they can make a choice of staying in the UK

:28:43.:28:46.

or trying to get back into the EU. The danger is that Nicola Sturgeon

:28:47.:28:53.

would then have a referendum in which it would take Scotland out of

:28:54.:28:57.

the UK but could not guarantee it would go back into the EU. I thought

:28:58.:29:03.

the argument, oh, no, that wouldn't be fair, we must have it before we

:29:04.:29:08.

know the Brexit vote. What we would be discussing in the referendum

:29:09.:29:11.

period would be the single market. This is hardly Braveheart. Suddenly

:29:12.:29:18.

the whole issue around Scottish independence has become quite narrow

:29:19.:29:21.

and technical and about the market in that way. I do not think that was

:29:22.:29:25.

a very inspiring answer on his part stop Scotland want to go it alone,

:29:26.:29:30.

which I completely disagree with. It is galling to keep hearing this

:29:31.:29:37.

Scotland voted to remain. There is something disingenuous about that.

:29:38.:29:41.

The UK had a referendum. On the figures, it is still less

:29:42.:29:47.

numerically. It did vote differently. It voted differently in

:29:48.:29:52.

the sense it was a different place but it is not a constitutional

:29:53.:29:53.

mandate. We will move onto the SNP conference

:29:54.:29:59.

on what the minister will say. The Scottish Conservatives aren't

:30:00.:30:04.

the only party to be holding In Wales, Plaid Cymru members

:30:05.:30:07.

are gathering in Newport to hear their leader's keynote

:30:08.:30:10.

speech this afternoon. Like the Scottish Nationalists, you

:30:11.:30:19.

also want Wales to remain in the single market as a member, not just

:30:20.:30:27.

access. It looks like that ship has left the harbour and you will not

:30:28.:30:33.

get that. You may be right, but that doesn't stop us advocating the best

:30:34.:30:38.

interest of Wales and it is in our best interests, we firmly believe,

:30:39.:30:43.

and the Welsh government agrees with us, for our relationship with the

:30:44.:30:50.

single market to continue. There are 200,000 plus jobs reliant on our

:30:51.:30:53.

relationship with the single market and that is why we are saying very

:30:54.:30:58.

strongly that we should remain a member. And countries like Norway

:30:59.:31:03.

are outside the EU and in the single market so it doesn't mean that we

:31:04.:31:09.

cannot see through Brexit, but it is the way in which we see through it

:31:10.:31:14.

and I am certainly determined to try to put the case for Wales as

:31:15.:31:18.

strongly as I possibly can. I understand, but isn't your position

:31:19.:31:24.

weaker than the Scottish Nationalists' because, unlike

:31:25.:31:26.

Scotland, Wales did vote to leave the EU? You are right. It is more

:31:27.:31:34.

difficult for us in Wales because of that but there are reasons for

:31:35.:31:40.

people voting to leave the EU. I have been knocking on doors ahead of

:31:41.:31:43.

the local elections where we expect to make some gains in May but people

:31:44.:31:49.

on the doorsteps are talking about their concerns and they feel left

:31:50.:31:51.

behind under the Labour government here. We have an imbalanced country,

:31:52.:32:01.

and an equal country, where the capital, Cardiff, is over congested

:32:02.:32:07.

in the city centre, and we want to see investment and prosperity

:32:08.:32:09.

throughout the country and I don't think that is too much to ask. Let

:32:10.:32:12.

them onto some of the issues you have been raising in the local

:32:13.:32:17.

elections coming up in early May in Wales. You have talked about

:32:18.:32:23.

rebalancing Wales, which would seem to mean moving to economic activity

:32:24.:32:27.

and jobs away from Cardiff so how is that going down in Cardiff? Cardiff

:32:28.:32:33.

is very important to us, of course, it is the capital city and we want

:32:34.:32:38.

to see it thrive. But we want to see other parts of Wales thrive as well.

:32:39.:32:43.

We have in the pipeline big Cardiff City deal which is excellent

:32:44.:32:47.

investment for Cardiff and the surrounding areas. What would you

:32:48.:32:54.

like to move away? We want to see the work start the furthest point

:32:55.:32:58.

away from the city centre and work back in so that those places that

:32:59.:33:02.

have been left behind for such a long time now feel some benefit from

:33:03.:33:06.

the investment coming to Cardiff. One of your assembly colleagues said

:33:07.:33:14.

it was shameful that was government based on new tax office near

:33:15.:33:17.

Cardiff. Is that your attitude as well? The new Welsh revenue

:33:18.:33:23.

authority will be based ten miles north of Cardiff and for that

:33:24.:33:31.

community it is very good and other communities have lost out of course

:33:32.:33:34.

but when I asked the First Minister about the availability of local

:33:35.:33:38.

labour to fill those posts, he told me that we don't have the skills in

:33:39.:33:44.

Wales to fill them from Wales and we will be looking to recruit expertise

:33:45.:33:49.

from London. From the First Minister who is responsible for skills, I

:33:50.:33:52.

think that sells a lot about their ambition for Wales, don't you? I

:33:53.:33:58.

don't know, we're only talking about 40 jobs is hardly an existential

:33:59.:34:04.

crisis. At the moment. It is 40 jobs at the moment but we are expecting

:34:05.:34:09.

that to expand with time and of course, 40 jobs in a town like

:34:10.:34:16.

Porthmadog or another rural town would have a much bigger impact than

:34:17.:34:20.

a town close to Cardiff but the point is that jobs are coming from

:34:21.:34:22.

London anyway and that is the problem. We will see. The

:34:23.:34:30.

rebalancing, that would suggest you take something from one area and

:34:31.:34:34.

give it to an area that doesn't have as much. I would say again, what do

:34:35.:34:40.

you want to take from Cardiff to put elsewhere? I'm not about splitting

:34:41.:34:48.

up and dividing communities and having different areas fighting

:34:49.:34:51.

amongst each other for different developments. But in the future, in

:34:52.:34:57.

future capital investment, when you have 21% of the population in the

:34:58.:35:02.

north of Wales for example, the only see 17% of the capital investment

:35:03.:35:07.

and that is what has got to change. You are pretty much in local

:35:08.:35:11.

elections a distant second to Labour in terms of the number of

:35:12.:35:14.

councillors you have, you don't have an overall control of a single

:35:15.:35:18.

council in Wales. After these elections, will you? We are

:35:19.:35:26.

currently leading four local authorities in Wales and we are

:35:27.:35:29.

looking to increase the number of councillors after that election. It

:35:30.:35:33.

is very difficult to say at this point because we don't know who else

:35:34.:35:37.

will be elected and in all likelihood we will have to work with

:35:38.:35:41.

others to take control of councils. But there are opportunities for us

:35:42.:35:45.

in many places in these local elections and I'm looking forward to

:35:46.:35:48.

maximising those opportunities. We will see how you do. Thank you for

:35:49.:35:51.

joining us. Counting is under way

:35:52.:35:52.

in Northern Ireland's assembly election

:35:53.:35:54.

which was called after the power-sharing administration

:35:55.:35:56.

fell apart following It's the second time voters

:35:57.:35:58.

in Northern Ireland have gone to the polls to choose a government

:35:59.:36:05.

in ten months. We'll get the latest

:36:06.:36:10.

from Belfast in just a moment. First though, Ellie Price profiles

:36:11.:36:12.

the new leader of Sinn Fein, Michelle O'Neill, who

:36:13.:36:15.

could soon be running Northern Ireland in partnership

:36:16.:36:17.

with her Unionist opponents. If anyone had ever said to me that,

:36:18.:36:21.

at some stage in the future, you'll be leading Sinn Fein

:36:22.:36:24.

in the North, I probably For me, being a Republican

:36:25.:36:27.

is a way of life. It's truly the biggest honour

:36:28.:36:31.

and privilege of my life. I feel an enormous responsibility

:36:32.:36:39.

on my shoulders and while I don't underestimate my task,

:36:40.:36:44.

given the changing political world, locally, nationally

:36:45.:36:46.

and internationally, Martin McGuinness said

:36:47.:36:49.

Michelle O'Neill's appointment was part of a generational change

:36:50.:36:55.

within his party and, unlike her predecessor,

:36:56.:36:58.

the 40-year-old has no past But that doesn't mean

:36:59.:37:00.

she is immune from controversy. Speaking to the BBC

:37:01.:37:04.

during the election campaign, Michelle O'Neill defended her

:37:05.:37:07.

decision to speak at I attended the commemoration

:37:08.:37:10.

of four young fellas who I knew and grew up with,

:37:11.:37:15.

four young fellas who found themselves

:37:16.:37:18.

in extraordinary circumstances. But they were also four young men

:37:19.:37:20.

who were involved in an IRA attack And we'll always have a different

:37:21.:37:24.

narrative on the past but that's where we need to get to in society,

:37:25.:37:28.

where we actually understand So is Sinn Fein's first female

:37:29.:37:30.

leader, who has already been a minister for agriculture

:37:31.:37:35.

and for health, really In a sense she is a fresher,

:37:36.:37:37.

maybe happier face of Sinn Fein that other people can

:37:38.:37:43.

actually engage with. On the other hand, the guys in dark

:37:44.:37:47.

suits are still around and the rest of the party hasn't quite changed

:37:48.:37:51.

so she is sort of leading from the front but whether or not

:37:52.:37:54.

she has the power... There will be a worry

:37:55.:37:56.

that she is perhaps a puppet and she doesn't actually

:37:57.:37:59.

have the authority that goes with her role and that she will

:38:00.:38:01.

receive instructions and it may take time for her to kind

:38:02.:38:04.

of get her elbows out and actually become the leader rather than just

:38:05.:38:07.

the spokesperson at the front. Michelle O'Neill's leadership

:38:08.:38:10.

will be tested from the outset. Her first challenge will be to find

:38:11.:38:12.

some solution to the deadlock with the DUP that led

:38:13.:38:15.

to the election in the first place. There is nothing like being thrown

:38:16.:38:18.

in at the deep end. Let's get the latest from Belfast

:38:19.:38:21.

now and speak to the BBC's political correspondent,

:38:22.:38:27.

Enda McClafferty. He is at the count. We here at the

:38:28.:38:38.

turnout has been relatively high, 60% compared to 55% last time. Does

:38:39.:38:44.

that higher turnout did any particular group and advantage? It

:38:45.:38:51.

does feel as if we have turned the clock back here in Northern Ireland

:38:52.:38:54.

some ten or 15 years, looking at the level of interest in this particular

:38:55.:38:59.

election this time round. In some constituencies, Michelle O'Neill for

:39:00.:39:05.

example, the turnout is up 13 percentage point and the average is

:39:06.:39:10.

ten percentage points. There are two factors for the botched energy

:39:11.:39:13.

scheme which has brought us to this situation and triggered the

:39:14.:39:16.

circumstances that led to the election. This is the first time

:39:17.:39:19.

voters are getting a chance to have their say and give their verdict on

:39:20.:39:23.

how everything has unravelled and how that botched energy scheme was

:39:24.:39:27.

managed by our politicians. The second and most significant factor

:39:28.:39:31.

is that this campaign was fought along tribal lines, very much the

:39:32.:39:35.

two larger parties using fear tactics are people to get them out

:39:36.:39:39.

and we know in the past in Northern Ireland, nothing motivate voters

:39:40.:39:41.

more than the fear of the other side. It looks like those are the

:39:42.:39:46.

buttons that were pushed and they have worked for the DUP and Sinn

:39:47.:39:49.

Fein in terms of getting people out. We are waiting on the result, we can

:39:50.:39:58.

see the people counting behind you but if the result, it may be

:39:59.:40:02.

different but not materially different from the assembly that

:40:03.:40:07.

went to the polls. Talk us through what happened next. When we know the

:40:08.:40:11.

result, what happens next in Belfast? Before I do that, the

:40:12.:40:18.

crucial factor here is that there are 18 fewer seats to go around in

:40:19.:40:22.

this election so it means business about damage limitation for the

:40:23.:40:27.

politicians, not about making gains but managing their losses because

:40:28.:40:30.

they know at the other end of this that their parties are going to be

:40:31.:40:33.

smaller in Stormont and they will not be able to wield as much power.

:40:34.:40:38.

In terms of how they restore the institutions here, we have a

:40:39.:40:43.

three-week period before we decide if we need another election or if we

:40:44.:40:48.

have put... Another election?! That is the option available. If there is

:40:49.:40:53.

no agreement after three weeks and no government in place and no thirst

:40:54.:41:00.

or debit the first Mr, they can trigger another election. -- Deputy

:41:01.:41:05.

First Minister. They might pass some emergency legislation to cut the

:41:06.:41:09.

Stormont institutions into cold storage and bring back direct rule.

:41:10.:41:13.

The parties know that the language they have been using was asked to

:41:14.:41:16.

change radically in the three weeks after the election if they are to

:41:17.:41:19.

find some kind of common ground and be able to come together and cobble

:41:20.:41:24.

some kind of agreement to allow the institutions to be restored but we

:41:25.:41:26.

are a long way off that and the indication seems to be that we are

:41:27.:41:30.

heading for a long period of stalemate here after the election.

:41:31.:41:35.

And part of the stalemate as I understand it is that Sinn Fein has

:41:36.:41:41.

been saying that they want -- they won't work with Arlene Foster as

:41:42.:41:45.

First Minister who was at the centre of the renewable energy scandal.

:41:46.:41:50.

Will they stick to that now the election is out of the way? Is it

:41:51.:41:54.

really a deal-breaker that they simply will not work with Arlene

:41:55.:42:04.

Foster of the DUP? Sinn Fein have backed themselves into a corner on

:42:05.:42:08.

that because they have been explicit in saying they will not work with

:42:09.:42:12.

her while there is a cloud over her harassment in the botched energy

:42:13.:42:15.

scheme. We know there is an enquiry to set up and look at that and Sinn

:42:16.:42:19.

Fein seem to indicate that until that inquiry returns it findings and

:42:20.:42:22.

there is a clean bill of health for Arlene Foster, they will not do

:42:23.:42:27.

business with her. Although it has been suggested in the final weeks of

:42:28.:42:30.

the election that there is some talk of a caretaker First Minister being

:42:31.:42:34.

brought in to allow us to get over this difficult phase. One thing is

:42:35.:42:38.

for sure, Sinn Fein will be in a difficult position because they have

:42:39.:42:46.

to decide if they want Arlene Foster in charge or if they want the

:42:47.:42:48.

Conservative government in Westminster in charge through direct

:42:49.:42:51.

rule and that does not sit easily with their voters. You better tell

:42:52.:42:54.

them not to be tabled away even after the count, they might need

:42:55.:43:03.

them again! Talking is through what might happen. This is the issue of

:43:04.:43:09.

what is on the British government's lap, which is Brexit, which is

:43:10.:43:13.

enormous on its own, and now the possibility that some would say the

:43:14.:43:17.

probability, of a second Scottish referendum which would be enormous

:43:18.:43:23.

on its own. And a potential political crisis in Northern Ireland

:43:24.:43:28.

continuing, coupled with the issue of how open will be with the Irish

:43:29.:43:32.

Republic. These are three huge things to have on any government's

:43:33.:43:37.

plate. And the Northern Ireland situation is vexing people in

:43:38.:43:40.

government and in Brussels. It is one issue people have been unable to

:43:41.:43:43.

resolve. I was speaking to a minister and asked if it had any

:43:44.:43:49.

idea about the border. Trying to sort that out is a big problem and I

:43:50.:43:53.

think we will end up with the reintroduction of direct rule. We

:43:54.:43:56.

had that dilemma facing Sinn Fein, if they go in with the DUP or back

:43:57.:44:01.

to direct rule and in some respects they could get more of what they

:44:02.:44:04.

want by going back to direct rule because there is disagreement about

:44:05.:44:09.

same-sex marriage with the DUP, the status of the Irish language and

:44:10.:44:12.

there is a view that Sinn Fein could get more out of Westminster than out

:44:13.:44:21.

of the DUP. The broader issue, does the Theresa May government have the

:44:22.:44:26.

breadth and depth to deal with three major got additional issues at once?

:44:27.:44:31.

There is a query on that and we should be wary of seeing it also

:44:32.:44:36.

negatively -- major constitutional issues. No doubt that Brexit has

:44:37.:44:41.

created this but in some ways it is the implosion of a political

:44:42.:44:43.

alliances of old that were unravelling anyway both the innate

:44:44.:44:51.

-- power-sharing has always been under the factory and has

:44:52.:44:53.

consolidated sectarianism in some ways. Best unsatisfactory. There is

:44:54.:45:01.

no identity politics thrown in and it is a bit gruesome. I don't think

:45:02.:45:07.

direct rule would be the same as in the past even though it would be

:45:08.:45:12.

feared by many in the nationalist community. There is a generational

:45:13.:45:17.

thing. I have been to Derry and I know many people see Michelle

:45:18.:45:21.

O'Neill in a different way. It was interesting in the package you

:45:22.:45:24.

showed that somebody said that she is a puppet which is a bit

:45:25.:45:30.

patronising. But a puppet of whom? She is her own woman as well. She

:45:31.:45:37.

won the position but also, you can see they are tired with the old

:45:38.:45:40.

parties, people want a new arrangement. And on your question

:45:41.:45:45.

about if the government can handle several constitutional crises at the

:45:46.:45:48.

same time, I have been asking that myself and I looked at how Theresa

:45:49.:45:52.

May when the government which is a centralised operation and big

:45:53.:45:54.

decisions have to go through the centre and so far has been fined

:45:55.:45:57.

because they have dealt with Brexit but I have always wondered how they

:45:58.:46:00.

will be able to cope in a centralised operation if you have to

:46:01.:46:03.

or three big things happening at the same time.

:46:04.:46:09.

Speaking of whether they are competent or not to handle the

:46:10.:46:12.

issues... There are over a hundred of them,

:46:13.:46:15.

and they're responsible for driving the machinery of Whitehall

:46:16.:46:18.

to deliver the But Government ministers are not

:46:19.:46:19.

like normal managers. They're hired and fired

:46:20.:46:22.

at the discretion of So, what makes someone good

:46:23.:46:24.

at being a minister? The Institute of Government has been

:46:25.:46:28.

beavering away at this subject and this week produced a report,

:46:29.:46:31.

including a handy six-point guide First on the list,

:46:32.:46:33.

the IFG recommends having The former Conservative Climate

:46:34.:46:42.

Change Minister, Greg Barker, told researchers, "you are there to drive

:46:43.:46:47.

a political agenda". Chris Huhne, former Secretary of

:46:48.:46:52.

State for Energy and Climate Change, recommends identifying a "very

:46:53.:47:00.

limited number" of priorities - Even when limited information

:47:01.:47:03.

is available, decisions must be made Fourth, they recommend encouraging

:47:04.:47:11.

teamwork and being prepared Former Minister of State

:47:12.:47:27.

for Pensions Steve Webb says Fifth, it is important to win public

:47:28.:47:37.

support for your actions and be As Mark Prisk, former Minister

:47:38.:47:40.

of State for Communities And last, but not least,

:47:41.:47:48.

earn the respect of Parliament - That is the tips. Nicola Hughes is

:47:49.:48:20.

the author of the report. Let me be unkind and say, you could file all

:48:21.:48:25.

six of these points just under a file called the bleeding obvious. I

:48:26.:48:31.

think one of the things is it is remarkable with ministers, they do

:48:32.:48:34.

these incredibly difficult busy jobs. They are thrown straight into

:48:35.:48:40.

them. You get a call from Number 10 and a car ride down to a Department

:48:41.:48:45.

and then that is it. You are in charge of a big department.

:48:46.:48:49.

Ministers do not have a lot of time to pause and think, how could I be

:48:50.:48:53.

good at this job and what does it involve? One thing we are saying is

:48:54.:48:57.

it is worth ministers listening to people who have done the job before,

:48:58.:49:02.

to get some advice, think about what they will do. Are there any training

:49:03.:49:08.

programmes for prospective ministers? Politicians are pretty

:49:09.:49:12.

resistant to anything that looks like corporate H R. If we compare

:49:13.:49:17.

that to CEOs of a big company. You would not expect a chief executive

:49:18.:49:22.

in the corporate world not to do any training or induction. There are

:49:23.:49:29.

ways that ministers can, if not to fall on HR training, at least take

:49:30.:49:35.

some time out. That is one thing we do at the Institute, to think about

:49:36.:49:38.

roles and learn how Whitehall works. If you were a backbench MP, we would

:49:39.:49:48.

go, you have got ambitions. Damian Green, the Work and Pensions

:49:49.:49:52.

Secretary, he said, ministers should be treated like company managers and

:49:53.:49:58.

subjected to corporate appraisals and hired or fired according to

:49:59.:50:02.

achievement levels. Doesn't that make the classic mistake to think of

:50:03.:50:06.

a minister as a corporate chief executive? They may need executive

:50:07.:50:12.

responsibilities... Competence. They may need to know how to run things

:50:13.:50:17.

being the chief executive of the company is very different from being

:50:18.:50:22.

a government minister. Absolutely. Ministers are pulled in all sorts of

:50:23.:50:26.

different directions. To be a good minister you do not just have to be

:50:27.:50:31.

a good policymaker and executive leader, you also have to be good on

:50:32.:50:35.

the media and come on to programmes like this and not make gaffes. You

:50:36.:50:39.

are still a politician when you are a minister. You still have your

:50:40.:50:45.

constituency to think about and work political networks. You are held to

:50:46.:50:49.

much more account than chief executives. Chief executive is of

:50:50.:50:54.

companies hardly ever give interviews. I cannot remember the

:50:55.:50:58.

last one was that they made do the odd business niche programme but

:50:59.:51:02.

they are never subjected to the kind of interviewing that politicians

:51:03.:51:05.

are. Some interesting interviews we have done have been business people

:51:06.:51:11.

who have come into the Government as ministers. They said about the

:51:12.:51:18.

pressure of the 24/7 operation and being in government is quite

:51:19.:51:23.

overwhelming. What are you take of the IOT advice? Great anecdotes.

:51:24.:51:29.

Well worth reading. I have read it. Thank you. What makes me nervous is

:51:30.:51:33.

we are already dominated by technocratic elite in politics.

:51:34.:51:37.

Anybody who is kind of suggesting that our corporate appraisals and

:51:38.:51:44.

goals. If they have ever worked in the corporate world, they will know

:51:45.:51:50.

what a load of smoke and mirrors that is in the corporate world. I

:51:51.:51:55.

have a dread of well-trained, very smooth people who do not believe

:51:56.:51:59.

anything when you say about a clear sense of purpose, knowing and

:52:00.:52:06.

believing in your brief. Politically. The worst ministers are

:52:07.:52:11.

the ones who think they do not want this job. There are a few where you

:52:12.:52:15.

think, they did not want this job but they got it as the minister. You

:52:16.:52:19.

want them to get into it but they also need a broader, political

:52:20.:52:24.

vision. That cannot be trained into someone and is the problem is

:52:25.:52:27.

slightly with the emphasis... I understand where you're coming from.

:52:28.:52:31.

One of the things we tried to reflect in our work is, as I was

:52:32.:52:36.

saying before, these are not managers elsewhere. The political

:52:37.:52:45.

instincts is developed from opposition MPs and on campaign trail

:52:46.:52:51.

without all very good skills. But you can learn about some of these.

:52:52.:52:55.

If you are a minister you might be a really effective opposition MP, a

:52:56.:52:59.

really effective campaigner. Going into a huge bummer when you are

:53:00.:53:02.

overseeing big operations, huge amounts of people, it does help to

:53:03.:53:06.

know how Whitehall works. Whatever we think about the

:53:07.:53:20.

policies, Michael Gove and George Osborne, they all had a clear vision

:53:21.:53:24.

and got on with it. I wonder how important the much fabled special at

:53:25.:53:29.

Pfizer is to be able to deliver that political vision. They are much

:53:30.:53:37.

criticised. -- special visions. Special advisers have a bit of a bad

:53:38.:53:44.

reputation in the media. We'll think of The Thick Of It. There have been

:53:45.:53:50.

incidents of bad behaviour by special advisers but the secretaries

:53:51.:53:53.

of state we interviewed found special advisers as a helpful way of

:53:54.:53:59.

getting political advice in these big department is full of civil

:54:00.:54:03.

servants. It is an ear to the ground and away to stay connected to the

:54:04.:54:09.

party. They can be challenged by ideas. Often when special advisers

:54:10.:54:14.

are appointed, it is summer may have a good, trusting relationship with

:54:15.:54:17.

and they can say, that is a terrible idea. Gerald Kaufman wrote a book

:54:18.:54:23.

about how to be a good minister. How have things changed since the days

:54:24.:54:27.

when he wrote that book? One thing is what you alluded to before. Media

:54:28.:54:32.

scrutiny has always been part of the role. To say we have a 24/7 media

:54:33.:54:40.

operation, a gaffe on telly or misplaced tweet could ruin a

:54:41.:54:45.

ministerial career pretty quickly. Aren't the most successful ministers

:54:46.:54:49.

those who have clear policy objectives and a clear road path to

:54:50.:54:53.

achieving them, and they leave the management of the Department to the

:54:54.:54:59.

civil service? That is not the job of the ministers. Civil servants are

:55:00.:55:03.

paid to manage. It is a minister prospect job to determine the

:55:04.:55:08.

policy. I remember Peter Walker, when he became the first Secretary

:55:09.:55:12.

of State for the environment when he began every morning meeting his

:55:13.:55:15.

political advisers. Civil servants were not allowed in. That is where

:55:16.:55:23.

he established the political priorities and then expected the

:55:24.:55:29.

civil servants to do that. Civil servants who are decisive and will

:55:30.:55:34.

set out a vision, or make the decisions and the calls and the

:55:35.:55:38.

civil servants will follow that. A minister who get involved in the

:55:39.:55:42.

micromanagement of the executive side of the department is not

:55:43.:55:45.

focusing on the right things. They are often not equipped to do it

:55:46.:55:46.

either. Y. If you've been too busy

:55:47.:55:50.

this week to stay up to speed with political

:55:51.:55:52.

developments, stay tuned. We've got our handy Daily Politics

:55:53.:55:54.

recap of the political A voice from the past

:55:55.:55:56.

was worried about the future. A little more charm and a lot less

:55:57.:56:04.

cheap rhetoric would do much to protect the interests

:56:05.:56:08.

of the United Kingdom. Critics derided Sir John

:56:09.:56:14.

Major as a bitter man. The Shadow Chancellor identified

:56:15.:56:18.

a new form of insurrection, a soft coup, and said there was one

:56:19.:56:21.

afoot to unseat Jeremy Corbyn. Nothing soft about the machinations

:56:22.:56:26.

within Ukip as ex-leader Nigel Farage turned on the party's

:56:27.:56:28.

only MP, Douglas Carswell. He has tried to undermine

:56:29.:56:34.

everything we have stood Retail tycoon Sir Philip Green

:56:35.:56:36.

is to spend ?363 million filling Good news for the pensioners

:56:37.:56:42.

but will it be enough And the Lords inflicted their first

:56:43.:56:47.

defeat on Government plans Ministers will resist the changes

:56:48.:56:52.

when the bill ping-pongs We are now entering the famous

:56:53.:57:18.

ping-pong period between the Lords and Commons over Article 50. Do you

:57:19.:57:24.

think that because Labour's heart is not quite in it, there will only be

:57:25.:57:30.

one round of ping-pong thing? I would suspect the Lords would amend

:57:31.:57:36.

the bill to protect the rights were nationals and get a vote for

:57:37.:57:42.

Parliament over EU negotiation stop it will go back to the House of

:57:43.:57:46.

Lords and that will be it. That is why we have heard so John Major

:57:47.:57:51.

speaking out, almost to despair at the lack of Parliamentary opposition

:57:52.:57:55.

going on. On the issue of EU nationals, I agree with the Lords on

:57:56.:57:59.

this but I do not think the Lords have any right to amend the bill. I

:58:00.:58:02.

might agree with them back, who the hell are they? How many more people

:58:03.:58:11.

are saying things like, who are the Lords? They are undemocratic. BBC

:58:12.:58:20.

documentary was an eye opener. One of the good things is people are now

:58:21.:58:24.

talking about democracy the whole time, partly because so many people

:58:25.:58:28.

have been anti-democratic in response to the vote. I must

:58:29.:58:37.

interrupt you. I must give you the answer to the quiz.

:58:38.:58:41.

Which Government agency has announced plans

:58:42.:58:42.

to recruit new staff with a tap on the shoulder -

:58:43.:58:45.

to try to help them avoid a workforce dominated by white,

:58:46.:58:47.

Thanks to Claire, George and all my guests.

:58:48.:58:56.

I'll be back on Sunday at 11am on BBC One with the Sunday Politics.

:58:57.:59:01.

Andrew Neil is joined by Financial Times political editor George Parker and Claire Fox from the Institute of Ideas to discuss Theresa May's speech to Scottish Conservatives and the continuing row over the Trump administration's alleged links to Russia.


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