06/03/2017 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


Unions seek government assurances about the future of 4,500 jobs


at two Vauxhall car factories, after the company is bought


Jeremy Corbyn publishes his personal tax return and insists he's paid


Should all political leaders have to follow suit?


Ahead of Chancellor Philip Hammond's first Budget on Wednesday,


just how reliable are the economic forecasts used by the Treasury


to work out the UK's tax and spending plans?


And after Donald Trump accuses Barack Obama of being a "bad or sick


man" over claims the former US president tapped his phones, we'll


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


of the programme today I'm joined by the Business Minister


Margot James, and the shadow Treasury Minister Jonathan Reynolds.


Let's kick off with the mini-media storm over


Yesterday the Labour leader published details


of his income for 2015/16 - amounting to ?114,342.


But his return didn't appear to list additional income he's entitled


to as Leader of the Opposition, something his office later cleared


up by explaining it was listed under the heading "public office".


Speaking on the Andrew Marr show yesterday, the chancellor


Philip Hammond said it was all a bit of a gimmick.


He was asked if he would be willing to publish his tax return.


Just for the record, my tax affairs are


all perfectly regular and up-to-date.


This demonstration politics isn't helping


to create a better atmosphere in British


politics and I note the Labour Party is now


proposing a policy that anybody earning over


a ?1 million, which I as a cabinet minister certainly am not, will have


to publish their tax returns, make them public.


That is likely to drive away talent and investors that


Britain needs to create the global future that we are trying to build.


If he hasn't got anything to hide, why shouldn't he publish it? He is


abiding by all the rules, his tax affairs are up-to-date and it is a


private matter between him and the revenue and I think he is absolutely


right. It has gone wrong for Jeremy Corbyn. It was not clear up what his


tax return was stating and whether it included his salary for being


Leader of the Opposition? His tax return is correct. There was some


confusion when it was first reported but it is correct. This shows why


transparency is a good thing. If there is any confusion than having


it out in the public domain is a good thing. For the Chancellor, you


are in charge of the tax rates for a whole range of things and I think


people do want to know that it is transparent and it is the right


thing for the Chancellor to publish that. Looking at this policy of


people earning over ?1 million should also publish their tax


return, wouldn't people be reassured about is people


earning whatever they are earning have a proper relationship with HMRC


which doesn't include any favours and as far as HMRC are concerned it


is transparent between the individual and the tax authority. I


think the Chancellor has a good point that people have all sorts of


legitimate arrangements involving their children and other matters of


that nature if they are earning that sort of money and I think we should


respect their privacy as long as we have faith with the tax authorities


to apply the law evenly which I think after several reforms under


the last government, we will now have.


That policy is gesture politics, it is symbolic, a gimmick? How much


money we raise? It is not about raising money, it is about


transparency. There is a lack of trust in politics and people playing


by the rules of their very powerful or if they are earning a lot of


money. In Scandinavia it hasn't had any of the negative consequences


that Philip Hammond mentioned when he was asked about it, if there is


best practice in other countries, shouldn't we look at that and have


of that and say they have more transparent systems, why can't we


apply that he? I think that gimmick does more to undermine trust in


politics. Why? Rushing out this policy that everyone earning over a


certain amount has got to publish their tax returns says there is


something wrong with the system and HMRC are going after everybody, I


think trying to make out that unless you have published your tax return


there is something wrong with the system is merely trying to whip up a


lack of trust which I think is completely unnecessary. But those


concerns do exist already. If you do reduce tax avoidance than that will


be a different thing. You have admitted it would not raise any


money by doing it because these tax returns are verified by HMRC sir


Howard it reduced tax avoidance? I think anything that is more


transparent makes it harder to be involved in tax avoidance. That is


an obvious point to make. Really it is about public trust. It is a shame


that public trust is lacking in politicians and how the tax system


works. There are concerns from individuals and businesses as well.


Would all MPs in your mind have to publish your tax returns? In my case


there are not many MPs who earn over ?1 million that if they are involved


they should be treated the same way as individuals, but clearly, ?1


million would be a starting point. There would be a review on what goes


on in other countries, particularly Scandinavia. If there are things to


learn then we must be willing to learn them. No MPs are allowed to


earn that money but some ministers have outside money which ministers


are not allowed to engender. I think the Labour Party are clear, they


want other people to publish their tax returns, entrepreneurs and


business people but not politicians. I don't think that does anything to


further public trust? Philip Hammond could publish his. But he is not


going to so I don't think you will have much luck there.


The former Shadow Chancellor and Strictly contestant hinted


yesterday that he was thinking of a new job,


so our question for today is, what is he toying with doing?


At the end of the show Jonathan and Margot


The future of 4500 jobs at two Vauxhall car factories in England


are the centre of a huge business deal confirmed this morning. The


parent company of French car-maker Peugeot, PSA, has confirmed it will


by the European operations of the US firm General Motors, in a ?2 billion


deal. The leader of the Unite union Len McCluskey was asked what he


wanted to see the government. Simply be there, simply make certain


that whatever debates and discussions are taking place,


whatever the French Government and the German Government are offering


in terms of incentives, we should also be looking at that and of


course the Government's talk about an industrial strategy, well, now


they have to demonstrate it is more than words, we have to make sure


there is proper government-led Speaking in the last hour


the Business Secretary Greg Clark Well, Vauxhall is a very important


company, it is a successful company and the conversations


that the Prime Minister and I have have had with both GMA


and PSA tell me they plan to safeguard the plant, honour their


commitments and look to increase the performance


and the sales of cars. So we want to hold them to those


commitments, but the messages we have had leave me to be


cautiously optimistic. Our assistant political editor


Norman Smith joins me now. Greg Clark is cautiously optimistic


but there is a lot at stake here, not just the 4500 jobs but also the


suppliers which are connected to those car plants? That is right.


Estimates of up to 25,000 additional jobs are at risk. The position is in


the short-term ministers are fairly confident now that production will


continue in the UK. They have received reassurances from PSA he


recognised that Vauxhall is an iconic brand and so on. The


difficulty becomes after 2021 when decisions have to be made about


where future car production will be based and in particular, from the


middle of next year, positions will have to be made about future


Vauxhall car lines. That is where I think it gets difficult. We are


right slap bang in the middle of the Brexit negotiations. Although Greg


Clark was trying to play down the impact of Brexit, I don't think


there is any getting away from it. That creates an element of


uncertainty. We do not know what our future trading relationships will


be. It could be advantageous for PSA to retain a manufacturing base in


Britain. On the other hand, it could be so difficult and problematic, the


trading relationships, that they don't want to. But I think the real


difficulty is the politics of this. Very obviously, we will be involved


in a 3-way wrestling match with the French and German governments. PSA


is partly French owned state company. They will fight tooth nail


to keep their come please open. Angela Merkel is the big beast of


the EU. She will use every bit of influence she has got to keep the


German car plants open, and the real danger is do we lose political


leverage outside of the EU? In that sense, Vauxhall could well be a test


case of our economic prospects after Brexit. Fighting with the French and


Germans if you like over whether future of these car plants should


be. We also know the Peugeot boss Carlos Tavares is a renowned cost


cutter, that is his reputation. If he wants to consolidate can we


assume there will be fewer plants and therefore the decision you are


talking bout will happen post-2021? The consensus in the car industry is


that he has 24 plants at the moment. There will be a rationalisation. I


think there is some comfort in government that Barral some strong


economic if not political reasons for keeping production in the UK, in


part because Vauxhall is such a big product here. 16% of total car


sales, so why would you want to relocate production? Secondly, it is


argued that we are at the forefront of leading car technologies, be it


an electric cars, no carbon, battery storage. In other words, there is a


massive incentive to have car production here. It is even


suggested it could be a good idea to bring some Peugeot production here


to expand on the Peugeot market. The difficulties are whether the


economics are trumped by the politics Post Brexit. Norman Smith,


thank you. Jonathan Reynolds, what impact do you think this will have?


The automotive industry is the jewel in the crown of the British economy.


It has been exported and a huge story. The Vauxhall brand is strong


in the UK but now everything that has moved to the UK will no longer


count as being a single market product for exports from the EU. I


grew up in Sunderland next to the Nissan car factory. I'm very proud


of what British workers can do but the government has got to address


some uncertainty. The government has got to fight hard for the car


workers. What incentives should the government be offering to show? The


government has had a lot of discussions with Peugeot, with the


French government and unions. Both Greg Clark and the Prime Minister


have met Carlos Tavares, the CEO of Peugeot. And we can be cautiously


optimistic. Until about 2021? The reassurances we have had have not


been likely given and Peugeot recognises that Vauxhall is an


iconic brand and that it is fundamental to the British car


market, in which they are investing. But of Britain comes out of the


single market and the customs union then everything changes? Not


everything changes. The fundamental performance of the automotive sector


does not change. Ellesmere Port is one of the most competitive car


plants in the whole of Europe. We are continuing to invest in the auto


sector. The industrial strategy has fantastic plans in the future to


make sure that Britain is at the epicentre of battery development, of


vehicle emissions and all of those things. But there will be changing


relationships once Britain comes out of the single market and the current


trading relations that exist and whatever deal is done? There will be


that the industrial strategy is quite clear. We want to make Britain


play to its strengths and that will be included as a top priority within


the Brexit negotiations. The furtherance of our auto sector as


well as top sectors within our economy. It could be that Peugeot


decide to put more of their focus on plants in the UK? There would be


some argument for that. That is why I wish the government would give us


more detail. Some of these car plants make cars in seconds. You


cannot possibly foresee how any delay at customs or even with a


database of getting products from one country to another could impact


on those in a way which would keep them productive. I do resent that


when we ask in Parliament how was this going to happen that we are


accused of being against business. How do you guarantee that trade at


customs points? We have established that the sectors


are top priorities when the Article 50 is triggered and the formal


negotiations start. It will be impossible to give any guarantees at


what is a two-way process of negotiations that will last at least


two years. But we are putting those sectors of the economy at the


forefront in terms of a good trade agreement with our neighbours and


indeed the negotiation of free trade agreements around the world. Thank


you. Now on Wednesday the Chancellor will


stand up and present the Budget. But before he announces any


new spending promises or tax cuts, Mr Hammond will read out


the economic forecasts This is the Government -


and other independent bodies - scanning the horizon to try


and predict what will happen to the key economic indicators


such as economic growth, But not everyone is convinced these


forecasts are useful guides. And now the Taxpayers' Alliance has


produced research showing just how wide of the mark some


of the numbers can be. The TPA has looked back to 2010,


when George Osborne was Chancellor, to see whether the five-year


forecasts made then When it came to predictions


on economic growth, The forecast in 2010 was for the UK


economy to be worth ?1.9 trillion. And in 2015 it came


in at ?1.88 trillion - But on the deficit, the Government


failed to anticipate choppy waters, assuming borrowing would be cut


to ?20 billion. In fact in 2015 the deficit


was almost four times Meanwhile, it didn't see the black


clouds massing around government revenues,


thinking income tax would raise In the end, the take was a fifth


less than what had been expected. But with employment,


the weather turned out to be better than predicted,


with 200,000 more people in work I'm now joined by Alex Wild


from the Taxpayers' Alliance, who compiled the figures we've


just been looking at. It is hardly surprising that


five-year forecasts aren't completely accurate, isn't the point


the Government uses rolling forecasts and events change things.


Yes and there have been a lot of policy change with income tax,


personal allowance has gone up and corporation tax has come down. Even


on GDP, you said it was plain sailing and they were just about


right, but the path to getting there has been different to what was


initially forecast in 2010. But the point of exercise is ahead of


budget, any wind fall that comes to the Chancellor, it is a ridiculous


concept, when we're borrowing so much. We have got to be careful we


don't spend all this wind fall, because things, this is very


difficult to predict and the OBR has a difficult job. So fuel duty it is


policy that fuel duty will go up with inflation. But nobody expects


them to do that. But that is the constraints they're under. Are you


saying predictions should be dumped. How would governments be able to


plan if not for some sort of guideline, however difficult it is.


I'm not saying they should be dumped. But I'm saying we,


politicians, journalists, etc, should be sceptical about these


things. Some are easier than others. If you look at the GPD numbers being


OK. If you look at exports, business investment and earnings growth, that


is the almost pin the tail on the donkey and they have got to be


careful with this. Do you agree it is often pinning the tail on to the


donkey. If you look at the previous forecasts and Paul Johnson said


there is uncertainty and the forecasts are not worth the paper


they're written on. I the fact the economy is roughly the size the


former Chancellor predicted. But the deficit is far higher. They said


they would eliminate it. The new Government came in and put back the


time at which we would be living within our means to 2021 and I think


that there are some, sometimes some sensible decisions that need to be


need as you go through a period that may involve more spending, but


sometimes revenues are beyond the Chancellor's control. If you're


basing policies, isn't that the point, on the predictions and you


believe the deficit would come down and you are trying to plan, you're


going to be way off the mark? No, your adjusting it on an annual basis


and determining the decisions based on current forecalveses, not


forecasts -- forecasts. You mentioned the jobs miracle and it


has been a miracle. We were all warned that when the public sector


had to come under control in terms of spending that people would lose


their jobs and unemployment would mount. The opposite happened and we


have a million more businesses operating since 2010. That was one


of the predictions that Labour got wrong? When warning about high


unemployment figures, it didn't happen. There is a variability about


forecasts and each year you see people arguing against things that


they were in favour of the year before when the forecalveses are


different. Forecalveses were -- forecasts were different. So the we


have to make political choices and the government makes bad ones. And


if you look at social care, the Chancellor will be forced to throw


additional money to ameliorate the effects of policy changes, because


they were the wrong ones? No, I think that any way we have got to


wait until Wednesday, I don't know what the Chancellor will do. There


have been comment, I would add anything to what you have said. You


understand that will happen? No, I don't know what will happen. But


there has been newspaper comment that those areas, but there has been


comment there will be investment in technical education and in


productivity with the national productivity council with more


money. So there has been some announcements that we shouldn't


overlook. Wonder where those comments came from? I can't imagine.


You accept the Government do need to have some kind of estimates to work


off. What are you suggesting as a sort of alternative. I'm not


suggesting any alternative. It is important that I think when we look


at budgets we look more at what the policy decisions are, rather than


the forecasts. It seems a lot of coverage centres around the


forecasts. At the last, the autumn statement, there were sort of some


reporting of we found out what the cost of Brexit is and it is 59


billion, that is crazy, we have no idea, well we have some idea, but it


is difficult to tell. Last week there was numbers from the


resolution foundation about inequality and poverty. But in 2011


there was numbers projecting child poverty numbers which have been been


way wide of the mark. So we have or the kabful. Are I you saying you


don't believe the predictions that say if the benefit cuts are


implemented and the poorest 15% of population will have lower incomes


in five years time, because of that freeze in benefits? What I'm saying


is I don't believe the predictions from 2011. What do you think of


these? I'm sceptical about it. A lot 06 this hinges on, wage growth and


the forecasts for that have been all over the place. But mostly on the


negative side. You will use the figures and predictions as


ammunition to fire at the Government, but don't you share the


scepticism if they were worried about the poverty indicators in 2010


are you sceptical now? I'm not saying there is anything better to


go on. Well that is not very helpful. You have to use the figures


that are available. Do you use the ones that support your political


narrative. We would like them to analyse our plans and clarify health


spending to see how much money it needs. We are in favour of more


independent scrutiny. Why haven't you got any costed spending plans?


We have spoke on the members of Shadow Cabinet who said they would


spend the money on the NHS and social care, but there are no


costings. That is not true. If you look at the tax cuts that are


programmed, it is ?70 billion. That figure is disputed and you're


respent the money you say would be saved from corporation tax cuts


There is the cut to capital gains tax and we are at the point if you


would tackle the deficit and have money to spend to address social


care and the NHS and the cuts to disability benefits. The Chancellor


can't hide and say he can't tackle the problems. If the tax reseats


have been more promises, should that go to alleviate the suffering caused


by cuts in social care. I don't accept what Jonathan said about the


NHS. We are spending more on the NHS year on year and the Conservative


was the only party that committed itself to funding what the Chief


Executive of the NHS said was needed. I don't accept. Answer my


question about social care. Should the ?12 billion that has been found


should that go in to plug the funding gaps in social care? I think


the Chancellor may have something to say on social care, I don't know.


But I think that we to be careful, we we have still got a deficit and


need to bring that down to keep maintain, the confidence of


investors. And we have got to do a job to make sure that British


business is competitive. So it is a mistake to look at pots of money and


say we should divert it here. That is a mistaken way at looking at what


we expect from the Chancellor. After last week's Stormont elections


in Northern Ireland, party leaders in Belfast are today


getting down to the business of trying to negotiate


a new power-sharing deal - which could see the Democratic


Unionist Party and Sinn Fein working together again


in the Northern Ireland Executive. Let's talk now to the BBC's


Northern Ireland Political Editor Mark Devenport who's outside


Stormont House where If you were a betting man, do you


think they will agree a deal that means they could work together


again? I'm a bit sceptical as to whether they will be able to agree a


deal within the three weeks that is set aside at the moment under the


time table. I think it is possible that he will try and play for time


and stretch out that deadline maybe into April, in the hope of providing


some common ground. At the moment the stand off between the two party


is whether Aileen Foster can continue as First Minister, will the


green energy scheme scandal has not been solved, Sinn Fein say they


won't work her her. What the is balance of power now? Historically


it has been a blow to unionism. Stormont was a by word for unionist


rule and this is the first time since the creation of Northern


Ireland state that it does not have a unionist majority. The balance of


power is held by the non-aligned people. What impact do you think


that will have in terms of balance of the debate. If the unionists have


lost their power of veto, within the power-sharing Government, what


impact will that have on the negotiations? One thing to bear in


mind is Stormont doesn't operate like a normal democracy, although


the others hold the balance of power, the nationalists and


unionists have a veto and you need a cross community vote. So a bit of a


recipe for stalemate. The question that has to be sorted out is whether


there will be a new Stormont, because at the moment, there is


still a stand off over that position of Arlene Foster. We don't know


whether he may nominate a care taker. Do you think there is any


movement that would suggest that Arlene Foster would step aside for


Sinn Fein to accept going back to power sharing? Well we are hearing


some talk from within the DUP and some politicses are unhappy about --


political politicians are unhappy about Arlene Foster. But the


question is whether that concern within the DUP ends up with her


maybe making that offer to put in a care taker First Minister or whether


the DUP simply rally around her and say because it is a Sinn Fein demand


they won't bow to it. It is hard to second guess this one. Thank you.


Three weeks has been given for some sort of timetable, do you see Arlene


Foster as being the sticking point here? James Brokenshire will be


talking to politicians today. And they have also been talking to the


Republic of Ireland Premier. I think it is for them to sort out who will


be leading the Northern Ireland Assembly and who should not be.


People have voted, they have exercised their democratic right.


They are in the same situation? You will still have the two main parties


of the DUP and Sinn Fein, does not solve anything. It is up to those


parties to work together and maybe the independents will help them to


work together and James Brokenshire as Northern Ireland Minister will be


doing his best to bring them together. They have to work


together. The prospect of direct rule is hanging over Stormont. Do


you think the secretary of state should play a more interventionist


role to try and bang heads together? It is difficult. The system is


designed to make the two blocks cooperate. That is why the


power-sharing agreement is in place. Direct rule is not an option. The


Conservative Party is dependent on some unionist votes for Brexit in


the House of Commons. In the rest of the UK we have become complacent


about the politics in Northern Ireland. Not just in Westminster,


I'm talking about whole country. People were not really interested in


the impact of Brexit Northern Ireland. I think the rest of the UK


has to be aware that they cannot be as complacent as that. They are


important for this country and we must take it more seriously. We will


see what happens. Let's take a look at the main


political events this week. This afternoon, MPs will gather


in Westminster Hall to debate whether it should be made illegal


for companies to require women This comes after a petition calling


for a change in the law was signed The European Union Withdrawal Bill


is back in the House of Lords Peers will consider further possible


amendments to the Bill, including giving parliament


a so-called "meaningful vote" on the final deal that is agreed


between the government and the EU. On Wednesday, Theresa May


and Jeremy Corbyn will face each other for Prime Minister's


Questions. Immediately after PMQs, Philip


Hammond will present the Budget. He'll set out his tax and spending


plans and we'll also get new economic forecasts


from the This is due to be the


last Spring Budget - after today, budgets will take


place in autumn. And EU leaders will be in Brussels


on Thursday and Friday for a meeting On their minds will be the fact that


Theresa May's deadline for triggering Article 50


and beginning the Brexit negotiations is now less


than four weeks away. We've been joined on College Green


by the Guardian's Rowena Mason, and James Forsyth of


the Spectator magazine. Welcome to both of you. First of


all, Rowena, tomorrow the Lords will vote on giving Parliament and


meaningful vote for the end of Brexit negotiations, do you think it


will make Tory MPs vote against the government? That is a possibility


that the government will be worried about and perhaps that is the reason


why they have explained in a little more detail today why Theresa May


doesn't think this meaningful vote will take place. What they are


saying is they think it could incentivise other EU countries to


give the EU a bad deal and therefore scupper the UK's chances of leaving


the EU. That is the argument they will be presenting tomorrow but it


does still look pretty likely that the House of Lords, on a cross-party


basis will vote to pass that amendment. And if it is passed there


will be limited ping-pong do you think between the two houses? The


government hopes there will only be one round of ping-pong. But if the


government strips out the amendments then it will go back. Without Labour


and the ability of the -- without Labour, the ability of the Liberal


Democrats to create mischief is quite high. A meaningful vote could


be one where they send back the deal and say revise it or improve it. I


do not think they will be worried about the Lords voting for it. There


is the second round of ping-pong in the Lords and we think Labour will


probably back down. The risk for the government is that more Conservative


MPs in the House of Commons joins together with Labour and the Lib


Dems to force it through at that stage, and we don't really know what


will happen after that, that could delay things a lot longer. Either


way Article 50 will not be triggered by the time Theresa May goes to the


summit in Brussels. What sort of reception will she get there, do you


think? I think things are less frosty than they were but I think


the European Union has stuck to its line of no negotiation until


notification. That is why the rights of EU residents in the UK and UK


residents in the EU cannot be sorted out because the EU says we're not


doing any negotiation until you tell us you are formally starting Article


50 process. Do you think that the initial theory is dying down


somewhat? I think there is a degree of that. At the moment we are in


this strange limbo process where Theresa May is attending the summit


but she doesn't really have a great role to play. I think what she's


going to be aiming on Thursday is not to look like a billy no mates


and the odd one out and to have nothing to do. The EU during this


period where we have not triggered Article 50 yet says absolutely there


will be no start of negotiations. It is difficult for her at the moment.


And she doesn't want to seem to be being cold shouldered. Meanwhile,


August talk of a Brexit war chest of some substantial size? Thing that


just means that Philip Hammond will not spend the money that we have not


borrowed. It is a funny kind of war chest. I think what it shows is


there is such uncertainty at the moment. Even though Philip Hammond


has been more upbeat and optimistic about Brexit in public, I think in


private he thinks there will be some kind of economic slowdown and he


wants to have something in reserve if that was to happen. And that has


been a lot of talk about plugging some of


the funding perhaps ameliorating some of the impact of the business


rate changes, and bearing in mind the Tory manifesto commits the


government to not raising income tax of VAT, we are presuming there will


be stealth taxes on the up? That is an idea which has been mooted quite


a lot over the weekend and I wonder how some of the right-leaning press


will respond to that, if it does look like there are tax rises. The


fact is, that he is, the Chancellor is probably going to have to do


something about social care, given the clamour among Conservative MPs


as well as Labour MPs for the pressure on councils to be eased and


then this issue of business rates as well will have to be dealt with.


Won't it be strange for a Conservative government to increase


taxes on the self-employed, for example, to try and get some more


money into the coffers? I think there will be some unease on the


Tory benches. I think what Hammond will portray any move like that is


we have to deal with the new nature of the economy, with far more people


being self-employed and also being self-employed but working for big


corporations, Uber being a classic example. You have to find some way


of adjusting so you don't erode the tax base through self-employment.


His reputation is Spreadsheet Phil. Will he stick to that in this


budget? I think he is more likely to produce a spreadsheet from a hat


than a rabbit. We look forward to that excitement! Do you agree,


Rowena? I do agree. One of his aims is to make this a boring budget. He


does not want to make waves. He has already said he will make the autumn


fiscal event the big event of the year and he will keep his powder dry


for now. Thank you. Muslims in the UK are becoming


increasingly victimised, that's according to the journalist,


campaigner and Muslim She argues that there


is an increasingly toxic narrative against Muslims,


caused in part by the rise of right wing nationalism across Europe,


here's her soapbox. Europe's new far


right is on the rise. to Denmark, Holland,


France, Germany, there has been a rapid growth


of right-wing parties over As a white woman from


a working-class background, that makes me a target


for their vote. I'm a Muslim, one of nearly


three million in the UK, and that Here at the former Byker Grove


studios, where Ant and Dec rose to fame in Newcastle,


windows have been smashed and a pig's head was dropped


just here, only after it emerged that the building was going to be


transformed into an Islamic Academy. Hate manifests itself


in many different ways. Women are reported as having


their hijabs pulled off. One pregnant woman was kicked


in the stomach And another veiled woman


who was wearing Islamic dress was stabbed many times at the university


campus where she was studying. There are fears we


are standing at the head of the same street our Jewish


cousins were dragged down in the 1930s, and we all know


where that ended. The far right are using the weapons


of fear, nostalgia and resentment against mainstream


politics to galvanise voters. This in turn is fuelling anxiety


and unfounded fears of terrorism, which in turn is fuelling demands


for tougher immigration policies. It's a simple enough message


and one that worked so well for Donald Trump in America,


but when people fear that they are not being listened to, they will


head to the lure of the populists, who will trade


on their fears instead. Even if the far right doesn't win,


they've already changed the political landscape in Europe,


forcing mainstream parties to adopt These extreme views are now


being perceived as normal. And Yvonne Ridley is here,


and we're also joined by You talked about the fact that some


of the far right's policies and rhetoric is now being adopted by


mainstream parties. What evidence is there that policies are being passed


by mainstream parties which are anti-Muslim? Just recently we had in


Austria our European government minister there saying he wanted to


ban the macabre. The reality is that the niqab was warned by a few


thousand women in Austria. The headlines were that it was right


across Europe. There is a big story at the moment brewing in Germany in


one particular school where Muslim pupils have been praying and the


school is having a difficult time with the large congregations. Peter


Whittle, Yvonne Ridley said in her film that the political rhetoric


from some far right parties and other politicians has fuelled hate.


Nigel Farage said Germany's open-door policy to a million


migrants from fought on Syria opened the doors to Isis and extremism. Do


you think that is the sort of rhetoric that fuels the hate it


Yvonne Ridley is talk about? First of all we're not far right. I did


say other politics. I think this has been borne out by recent events the


difference is that he was to radical Islamist, extremists who want to do


us harm. He was therefore not opening out to a general attack on


Muslims. Of course he wasn't doing that. To accept there a difference


about talking about Isis and extremism and ordinary Muslim


families? I think sometimes politicians from all parties can be


extremely vocal about Muslims in a negative way and you get cases that


I talked about where a pregnant woman in Milton Keynes was kicked in


the stomach. But that is an anecdotal incident. It definitely


happened. She lost her babies. Another goal was stabbed to death.


These happens because politicians say things and they trigger idiots


out there who are listening to them. I know you can't legislate for


idiots, but you know with the rhetoric, if it can just be toned


down and said in a thoughtful less hateful way.


What we have seen is a narrative of a rise in hate crimes, which if you


look at the figures does look like that on paper, the problem is the


way they're reported is almost unique in the sense that no evidence


is required. It relies on the perceived or the alleged victim and


what they think happen or anybody else. Which means that someone


watching this programme could report us, this is a hate crime f they


thought it was. Are you denying there wasn't a spike in hate crime


after the Brexit vote. There was a narrative that people were


determined to make fit their theory. The police claim the figures are


borne out. If you look at the figures of hate crime and that is


all hate crime, the amount that amount to a prosecution is something


like 35%. In other words, a fraction of the figures. The problem is as


soon as you report it, it immediately becomes a hate crime


statistic and it is reported by the press. That is pretty much unique,


you don't have any other crime with that situation. Looking back when


Nigel Farage unveiled that vile poster of Syrian refugees. They were


not all refugees, many were economic migrants and he was talking about


Europe, a poster was around Europe. Don't you regret that? No? No the,


the whole narrative is somehow Brexit unleashed this hate. Some


people would like everybody who voted Brexit to be made you know...


Culpable of a hate crime. This is ridiculous and I think as well that


it does a rude service to people who are the least racist in the world.


Now Margot James, one study looking at terrorist-related incidents had


looked at data from the national police chiefs council that said the


number of far right refer rals has increased. Do you think the threat


of far right extremism has been ignored? That might have been the


case a few years ago, but the Government have caught up with the


far right threat and taken steps to deal with it. I represent a Black


Country constituency and almost every year we have our way of life


totally abused by far right people who come and march in the centre of


Dudley. All the shops have to close. People's well being is threatened


and in particular the Muslim population. So it is right that the


Government have cracked down on it and it is necessary and I agree with


Yvonne there has been a rise in hate crime and it should be dealt. There


has been a rise in reporting. I represent a constituency and part of


a wider area I can see it and I have individual reports and I also would


argue with the point with you based on the fact that the hate crime that


goes unreported. I have people come to me to talk about instances and


they want don't to go to police. I don't agree with your argument. Can


I comment. In terms of spike in hate crime, much was directed at eastern


Europeans, rather than Muslims, do you accept all politicians have a


role to play in the language they use, how much do you think the focus


on Islamic extremism has fed into a fear if you like of the Muslim


community? It is absolutely every politician's responsibility. If you


look at the history of prejudice it was Irish people and Jewish people


and now the Muslim community is receiving the threat. I do not


believe that senor people in Ukip are interested in a serious


discussion about immigration. What do you say to that? It is


outrageous. One of the biggest rises in hate crime has been anti-Semitism


against Jewish teemest people. People -- people. People are


reporting them and the police have to take them at their word, so that


basely base economy it comes to that. It won't have any party linked


with the rise in hate crime. It is outrageous. Can I put to you, you


have said, Yvonne, this has been fumed by irrational fears over


terrorism, but you must accept the attacks, some of the high profile


attacks like Woolwich and 7/7 have been driven by Islamist ideology.


Yes can I fear some of fear. Is it irrational? Having lived in London


for 20 odd years, and seen the and experienced the... Irish troubles


and the Irish situation. The fears towards Muslims is irrational, you


know we went in this country through more than 30 years of so-called


Irish troubles. You can understand why people feel worried? Yes,


because you look at the news stands and the headlines and the words from


the politicians. They whip up fear... Yvonne this is an altern


Nate reality, you're in. You didn't say that yes those attacks were down


to a form of Islamist ideology, you didn't accept that. That speaks


volumes. Lee Rigby was killed near where I live. The 7/7 was an


Islamist ideology. I'm not in denial and I would refute what you say, but


we had more than 30 years of Irish terrorism and dealt with it in a


calm way, not th hysteria that you bring to it. Thank you both very


much. Let's take a look now


at the latest developments Over the weekend, President Trump


made allegations that his predecessor Barack Obama had ordered


a wiretap to be carried out On Saturday morning Donald Trump


tweeted: "Terrible! Just found out that Obama


had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower He then compared it to Watergate,


writing "How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones


during the very sacred Obama's spokesman Kevin Lewis


strongly refuted the allegations, tweeting "Neither @barackobama nor


any WH official under Obama has ever ordered


surveillance on any US Citizen. Any suggestion is


unequivocally false." We've been joined by


Charles Kupchan, who's a professor of international affairs


at Georgetown University in Washington and who's just arrived


in the UK to deliver a talk in parliament on the


Trump presidency. As wove explained, Donald Trump said


his phone was hacked, something President Obama has denied. Why


would he tweet such a thing if he didn't have proof? Trump seems to be


someone who doesn't act according to script. He may wake up in the


morning and be in a bad mood and he pops off with these tweets that in


many cased -- cases are not based on fact and create some media spin that


takes the conversation away from where he doesn't want it to be,


which is on Russia. That seems to be the only explanation. In your mind,


it is a diversion tactic, which is what it looks like, because he has


not got the evidence to back up his claims. I think it is a combination


of diversion as a strategy, but also using things that are not based in


fact to keep everyone off balance and turn the system upside down, so


we don't know what is true and what is not and he seems to be president


who revels that in kind of uncertainty. It is a chaos theory,


while everyone is running around trying to prove or disprove his


claims, it takes up people's time. It chaos theory that wedded to his


political brand and he has been elected by people who think the


system doesn't work for them. He is challenging the establishment and


the intelligence communities and the press to say, hey, I represent you


disaffected people. Does it Is it that thought out to say I will


challenge the establishment? I don't think it will work, if you look at


the poll numbers, they're the low nest history for a new president and


the average working American doesn't want disruption, he or she wants


more income and Trump needs to deliver on that and he has not given


us any detail. But he says he will deliver on that promise that he will


make jobs and bring back Josh -- jobs to the rust belt states. Don't


the people like that he is challenging the establishment


authority? There is a core Trump base that is enjoying this. Whether


that enjoyment stays there, I am doubtful, because at the end of the


day people will get tired of this and want a sense of normalcy. Is


this a water shed moment? If there is no evidence, if we have had the


FBI reject it, it is a moment at which there is a turning point for


what Donald Trump does on social media. I don't think we are there. I


I think we need something that sticks. My own sense is that as we


investigate what is going on in the Russia file, there is more to be


had. That story has not come to an end. Whether there is information


there that could fundamentally damage Trump, compromise the


presidency, we don't know. But I think that right now is his most


vulnerable flank. What do you think it is doing to America's standing in


the world? Well it is damaging, spats between the president and the


Security Services in the United States are worrying for all of


NATO's members. And we just have to hope that the situation improves. He


said he doesn't like the mainstream media, it is a way of challenging


the media using social media? It gets people's attention. After he


tweeted the claims, he tweeted something about The Apprentice.


Imagine discovering a Water gate level scandal and then forgetting I.


But this is causing damage to American and causing uncertainty.


The real story is the Russian link. There is a stand off between the


media and the White House, ow sustainable is that conflict? It is


going to be bloody, because the New York Times and others are out for


him. And banned. Banned from coming to a briefing. This is still heating


up. I think the one silver lining is that he has appointed people around


him that are adults. The Secretary of State, the Secretary of defence.


We have a serious national security advisor. If he listens to them and


that is a big if, he could push them in the right direction. But we don't


know. Thank you. There's just time before we go


to find out the answer to our quiz. The question was what job


is Ed Balls considering next? He is quite good on the piano. He


said never say never about a return to Westminster. I think there is a


job there. That is the right answer. From all of here today good bye.


Were back tomorrow at 1 o'clock.


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