20/03/2017 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


Theresa May has named the date - she says she'll trigger Article 50


That will fire the starting gun on our departure


from the EU and begin two years of intense negotiation.


Here's what else is coming in today's programme...


Labour's Deputy Leader Tom Watson accuses left-wing supporters


of Jeremy Corbyn of plotting to seize control of the party.


Mr Watson says the grassroots Momentum group is in cahoots


George Osborne insists he can still be an MP and edit


But the Ethics watchdog says rules on MPs' second


Should people with learning disabilities be allowed to work


The businesswoman and campaigner Rosa Monckton says the rules


are an obstacle to some, rather than a protection.


And are the Cornish at risk of ethnic oppression?


The Council of Europe, which upholds human rights,


says the Government needs to do more for Cornish people.


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


of the programme today, two giants of the Westminster


scene - former Cabinet minister Eric Pickles,


and the former Labour minister Caroline Flint.


Some breaking news in the last hour - the Government has announced


that it will trigger Article 50 on Wednesday 29th March.


Let's talk to our political correspondent Vicki Young.


So what is going to happen? It seems a long time since the


referendum in June but Theresa May always said she wanted to trigger


article 50 by the end of March and she will do that. After Prime


Minister's Questions next week she will make a statement to the House


of Commons and then formally send a letter to Donald Tusk, the president


of the European Council. That is what happens, of course many other


questions then about the negotiations themselves. It means


there is a two-year clock ticking before the UK leads the European


Union, and in that time both sides will try


to get a deal. What it involves, of course, is open to some speculation,


but I think at this point Theresa May getting her way, fulfilling the


timetable she said she would, despite some bumps along the way,


the Supreme Court of course made the Government bring dinner bill, it


went through Parliament, changes were made by the laws, but in the


end she will get her way and trigger Article 50 by next Wednesday.


You mentioned the letter she will send to the European Union, take us


through a bit of a process that will happen on the European Union site?


We have had some words dropped saying the commission is ready to


begin the Brexit negotiations, because both sides want to say they


are in control. Absolutely, until now Theresa May


has been in charge of the timetable but as soon as she sends a letter,


in many ways attention turns to Brussels. Donald Tusk has said they


may be ready to give some response to the letter within 48 hours or so,


it will be the European Union Council who gives the negotiating


mandate to the commission to set forward their priorities, so we will


get to know more about the priorities on both sides. Both sides


have talked about things like the right of UK citizens -- EU citizens


in the UK, Brits living abroad, but there are things they do not agree


on, the so-called divorce bill, for example, will Theresa May be handed


a huge bill, saying this is what the UK owes and unless you agree to pay


it we will not have talks at all? Will they discuss the extricating of


the relationship alongside the future relationship, the trade deal,


for example? All these questions unanswered but the 27 other European


countries will have a summit in the next few weeks then negotiations can


start, although people pointing to things like the French and German


elections which may delay it, but the timetable is not that long. Two


years sounds like a long time but the person in charge of negotiations


for the EU has already said he thinks the re-met needs to be made


by October 2000 and 18. Eric Pickles, this is a big moment


whether you were in favour of it or not. Your reaction to the fact that


a date has now been set? It is a massive moment, I'm pleased we are


getting on with it, it is right that they act was unamended, but if we


know anything about our friends in the European Union it is a five to


midnight organisation so I'm not as confident that everything will be


sorted out so quickly. Do you agree that it could be one of those


marathon, last days of the negotiation timetable in two years'


time, it will be a marathon talks between all sides before a deal is


done? My view is that over the next two years there will have to be a


lot of work done and that the excitement starts in some respects,


the detail, but I think at the end of the two years we are only likely


to have the headlines. I think after those two years, there will be maybe


five, six years of transitioning into every area of policy, which is


why even Theresa May before now has mentioned a transition period. I


think you are right, there will be a lot left until five to midnight but


don't think it will be over in two years' time, they will be discussion


for years to come. In terms of a reflection on the Labour side,


should there have been more opposition? I feel the Labour


position is the right one, it happens to be the one that I


believe, but we have to accept the result of the referendum. At the


same time I believe our position was right during the discussion of the


bill to raise concerns about the fact that EU nationals working here,


paying their taxes, do not know what will happen to them, and I think now


that we have got a date next week for the letter to be sent, I hope


Theresa May will stand by her word, which is to give that particular


area of policy priority. Do you agree


that we are unlikely to get beyond what Caroline calls the headline,


the divorce settlement, and in terms of having a free-trade deal there


will have to be interim proposals so that there is no cliff edge? I think


all the things your reporter talked about, the eventual bill, the


working out of a trade agreement, the working out about the new


relationship, if it will be meaningful, has to take place


roughly at the same time because all three are interrelated. But I do


think it is going to be very complex and I do think it is going to take


an awful lot of time, but I do think that we might not see people fully


engaged in this on the continent within the European Union until well


into the autumn of this year. We will leave it there, but that is the


date that will fire the starting gun on the two years of negotiations of


Britain leaving the EU, that is March the 29th, that is next


Wednesday, a week on Wednesday is when Theresa May, the Prime


Minister, will trigger Article 50. Labour's deputy leader, Tom Watson,


says left-wing supporters of Jeremy Corbyn are involved


in a plot which could destroy Mr Watson was reacting to claims


that the grassroots Momentum group is planning a takeover in a secret


deal with the boss of the Unite Yesterday's Observer newspaper


published a recording of the chair of Momentum,


Jon Lansman, in which he claimed that Unite would affiliate


to Momentum if Len McCluskey Let's have a listen


to that recording. Tom Watson has been touring


the studios this morning. He says the intentions


of Momentum are clear. I think Jon Lansman's secret plan


threatens the very electoral existence of the Labour Party,


which is why I'm speaking out, We're facing an early general


election, and yet you've got a very powerful faction leader saying


we need to take control That's not going to get us


anywhere on the doorsteps, We're joined now by Momentum


activist Rachel Godfrey-Wood. You have heard Tom Watson's words,


that there is a secret plot to take over the Labour Party. What did you


say as a member of Momentum? I find this pretty disappointing, all


Momentum has done since we came into existence is to encourage new Labour


members to be as active as possible in the party and build up a party


capable of providing a general alternative in this country, and it


is disappointing when you get figures from the established Labour


hierarchy basically talking about this total nonstory. You say it is a


total nonstory but Tom Watson is claiming, and deep you listen to Jon


Lansman of Momentum, he says Unite, a big union, will affiliate to


Momentum and fully participate in Momentum as for the Communication


Workers Union. Is that not going to happen? I have no knowledge


whatsoever of any discussions, obviously we are a left-wing


organisation, we want to work with trade unions because we are one of


the most fundamentally unequal countries in the world... So you


cannot rule it out? I think it is the wrong focus, trade unions are


being under attack, we have the most repressive trade union laws in the


country, people in those trade unions want to work with Momentum


and to me that makes total sense and think it is disingenuous to portray


that is there is something out of line about it. You say it would be


logical for a union like Unite to affiliate its upward Momentum, this


grassroots organisation within Labour. But why would Unite and the


Communication Workers Union want to divert their political funds away


from the Labour Party's organising for local and general election


campaigns towards Momentum, which we know is aiming to fight within the


Labour Party? Obviously it is up to trade unions within Unite to take


these types of decisions, but I suspect there will be people who


understand there is a relationship between defending the industrial


interests of those workers and also a political struggle which means


having a Labour Party which can genuinely fight for workers' rights,


and unfortunately that is not what has existed in the past,


particularly when people like Tom Watson had an awful lot of influence


in the party. What have you got to be worried about? Isn't this just


the case of a union affiliated itself to a grassroots movement in


Labour that wants to fight on behalf of the workers? Can I just say Tom


was elected at the same time as Jeremy Corbyn, so if Tom is an


establishment figure then so is Jeremy. I think Jeremy and others


will be concerned from what they have heard on the tape because what


is being said by Jon Lansman goes totally against what he promised


would happen within Momentum. It was promised that anybody who was not a


Labour Party member would not be part of Momentum, and what is quite


clear from that tape is Jon is saying, we are not going to get with


people from Trotsky and other fringe parties in the country, and that


goes against everything he promised Jeromy and others, and I have to say


what he be reassured Len McCluskey about. The worrying thing is to have


a movement like Momentum which has Labour Party members in it but also


a ragbag of other people from different parties and different


priorities and what our priority is, which is trying to win a general


election, which again Jon Lansman I understand that is getting in the


way of their planning, planning to do what? Basically to take over the


Labour Party. This is the statement from Unite. They say, they make


clear it is exclusively for our executive Council to determine which


organisations we affiliate to, there are no plans for Unite to affiliate


to Momentum and, for the record, the general secretary Len McCluskey have


never met Jon Lansman. Is this a nonstory by Tom Watson? It is a


capable Jon Lansman has said at a meeting and for me the most worrying


aspect is that Jon Lansman and others in Momentum promised to


change the organisation to be one in which only Labour Party members


could be part. Rachel has heard the tape, Jon Lansman goes against


everything he promised and that must be absolutely disappointing for Jon


and the Jeromy and others who have supported Momentum. I am


disappointed along with them. What do you say to claims? Momentum's


rules are totally clear, non-Labour members will not have membership


rights, they cannot vote in elections, they cannot hold key


positions. People in local Momentum groups can campaign and take part in


broad campaigns in which you might have people in other parties, that


is up to them. But you heard the tape, he is saying, I'm not going to


kick anybody out, we have a plan, the general election is getting in


the way of our planning. That doesn't sound, to me, like


someone who has first and foremost caught the interest of not just the


Labour Party but the people we seek to represent. What is the plan Jon


Lansman is talking about? I don't know, I don't think this is


fundamentally about plots or plans, this is about a organisation that


wants to bring people into politics, get them engaged, because that is


the only way the Labour Party will re-establish itself as a genuine


power. Also in the tape Jon Lansman said the group should take control


of regional Labour Parties and change selection rules for MPs and


councillors. The party, as it stands, is fundamentally


unbalanced... So that is the plan? On the National executive council


you have 30 odd people and only six are democratically elected by the


members, that is not particularly democratic so I think it is


understandable but a lot of Labour members and Momentum members want to


rebalance that, that is totally legitimate part of Labour Party


politics. Isn't that what other groups do? John McDonnell was asked


about this, the Shadow Chancellor, and he said that's what Progress


does, what other Labour influencing groups do, they try change the


direction of the party, isn't that what Momentum is doing? There is


nothing wrong with different groups, we have lots of groups linked around


environmental policy, health policy, to try to influence the party, but


this is a very different nature, Progress you can only be a Labour


Party member, we do not have parallel branches in our communities


of Progress. What we have in Doncaster and elsewhere are Momentum


groups and whether these people are members or not, and it is


questionable now the Jon Lansman tape has been heard, there is entry


is through Momentum into our party to influence from far left


Trotskyist groups who could not get elected on their own platforms but


are seeking to come to the Labour Party and this goes against


everything that was promised to the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy


Corbyn. Do you deny that has been entry is into the Labour Party or


attempt to control regional parties and change the candidates that are


standing? The problem is organisations like Progress which


have opened it up to the kind of big scale business which has no


interest... That is ridiculous, Rachel. No interest in what the


Labour Party have historically stood for. Are you wanting to change the


leadership rules at conference? Would you like to see a change where


it is, instead of 15% of the Parliamentary Labour Party, people


like Caroline Flint can nominate people who go on the ballot, it


would be 5%, thereby people perhaps on the right wing side of the Labour


Party would have a left-wing candidate guaranteed on the ballot?


We live in one of the most unequal countries in the world, in Momentum


we would like to have leadership campaigns where the candidates can


challenge those inequalities and I don't see why members of the


Parliamentary Labour Party like Caroline should have


Why should you have the right? We are a mainstream political party, we


are not a Trotskyist party. I think it is important that members of


Parliament have a say because at the end of the day it will be the person


they will follow who will lead them in the chamber. To reduce it down to


5% is quite ridiculous. What will you do about it? Tom Watson said


it's a battle for the future existence of the party and he's


sitting in a Shadow Cabinet meeting now to discuss it with John


McDonnell. What would you be able to do? I think both John McDonnell and


Jeremy Corbyn should be worried and concerned by what has been said by


Jon Lansman reportedly over the weekend. I joined the Labour Party


in 1979. I've been through the Labour Party through thick and thin.


Its first and foremost my priority to win a general election. That's


what we need to focus on. You mentioned a general election and at


the weekend we spoke to Andrew Gwynne, the Labour coordinator. He


said he would welcome a snap general election.


If the government was to issue a motion in the Commons


for an early election, the Labour Party would vote


Well, it would be very difficult not to, Andrew.


Because if the government wants to dissolve Parliament,


wants a general election, we don't want the Tories


We want to be in government, we want to have that


opportunity to put that case to the British people.


Is Labour ready for a snap general election if one were to be called?


We should be ready for an election. We are getting ready for local


council elections in May. For Theresa May, she may find herself in


a difficult position because she might make the same mistake as


Gordon Brown. Gordon Brown was still in gang dallying over an election


and when it came to it, she lost. Like Gordon Brown, and I say this


with respect, Theresa May does not have a mandate. We have seen


policies on grammar schools, changes to policies on tax not in the Tory


manifesto. She has Brexit to deal with. Theresa May should seek a


mandate. It would make it much easier for her if she thinks she can


gain seats at an election. I think she has a mandate from the people


from the referendum. I think once Article 50 is triggered, I think the


possibility of a general election disappears for at least two years.


There can't be a snap general election because of the fixed


Parliament act. Even if the Labour Party agreed to it, it would take


some time. It wouldn't come if they voted in favour. I don't think at


the moment they would want to be able to stop it. I think there are


further reasons. I think Theresa May is driven by duty. She sees her


primary duty to get a smooth transition out of the EU. If it


comes, I'm very glad the Labour Party is ready for it, but I don't


think there will be many of them left. I think everyone is ready for


it. on Standards in Public Life has said


he will look again at whether rules on MPs having second jobs need to be


changed in light of Mr Osborne's new role at the London


Evening Standard. MPs are allowed to have second jobs,


but the Commons Code of Conduct states that they must not act


as a "paid advocate". They do have to declare any payment


for employment outside Parliament in the Register of Members'


Financial Interests. The rules also state that Cabinet


members must wait three months before they can accept any kind


of paid employment, and they should not lobby existing ministers


on behalf of any organisation that has employed them for two years


after leaving office. The Parliamentary Commissioner


for Standards - currently Kathryn Hudson -


is tasked with looking The commissioner then reports any


breaches of the Code of Conduct to the Committee on Standards -


currently chaired by Labour's Kevin Barron -


which then decides on a course of action to take against an MP,


including recommending suspension from the Commons,


if this is necessary. But it is up to the Committee


on Standards in Public Life to advise the Prime Minister


on ethical standards, and the chair of that committee,


Lord Bew, told a Sunday paper this weekend that they would have


to "look again at our rules" in light of George Osborne's


appointment as editor Eric Pickles, Mr Osborne now has six


jobs. Not just two, but six. Can he really effectively represent his


constituents? I think that's a matter for him and it's a matter for


his employers and his electorate. What do you think? I was as


open-mouthed and gobsmacked as the rest of the country with the


announcement. But if anyone can make it work, I suspect George can do so.


He's a young guy. LAUGHTER I can't look you in the face! I


can't see a reason why he can't do it whatever his age, six jobs! We


know he's accepted this job as the editor of the Evening Standard. He


has accepted a post as the adviser for US asset management Blackrock


for ?650,000 per year. He also earns money on speeches and conferences.


He is also a fellow at the Washington -based McCain Institute


think tank, as well as being an MP. However young and energetic, is it


possible to do all of those effectively and represent your


constituents? Both politics and running a newspaper are pretty


cut-throat. If he it will be apparent. I'm interested that there


will be an enquiry. There are hundreds of MPs lining up to become


editors of newspapers. I think this is actually a pretty unexceptional


thing and I think the committee has had this on the stocks for a long


time, they are looking for an excuse and this is the perfect excuse to do


it. Has he broken any rules? I don't think he has broken any, but he's


not working within the spirit of the rules. It's like when we discuss


tax, people working in the spirit of it, and they get away with it. I


don't think he can do the job. Which job will suffer? I think being an MP


will suffer. I have come down this morning on the train from Doncaster.


I was in the office for 10am. The idea that you are only working when


Parliament is sitting and you turn up for a debate is not the case. I


think he has done a huge disservice by his actions, actually. It's not


like he needs the money. He's loaded, as we all know. I think he's


done a huge disservice... Do you think it will affect other MPs with


second jobs? I think it is a huge disservice to the perception of MPs


and what we do with our time. I think he's back in British politics.


He has been an important voice in the Conservative Party for 15 years.


It's a different thing. If it's all about him and positioning himself in


the politics of the future, whatever that might be, future leader of the


Conservative Party, or future candidate for Mayor of London, I'm


not concerned. Is it a conflict of interest in that case? How can you


edit a newspaper like the London Evening Standard and be a politician


at the same time cost and blue at that Sarah Samson didn't see it as a


part-time job. Let's hope he gets the same amount. There is a world of


difference between editing this programme and editing a newspaper.


Public broadcasters have to remain impartial. One thing about the


British press is that it's a very partial organisation. It has views.


So it doesn't matter he's not independent because he will be


lobbying for the Conservative Party through the newspaper. Don't get


bitter about it! I still have hope for you. Is it true? I suspect he


will run a successful paper and there is a tradition of journalists


becoming politicians and politicians becoming journalists. I'm not


advocating, I'm not saying it's a wonderful thing, but I'm saying I


don't think it's as important or significant as perhaps you are


making it out to be. Eric Pickles talks about bitterness. Caroline


Flint, is that your issue, if he was to edit a paper that was more


favourable to the Labour Party, you wouldn't have as big a problem? That


hasn't crossed my mind at all. I read Evening Standard when I'm in


London and I actually think it's pretty fair in terms of where it


dishes at plaudits and the brickbats. But what is terrible is,


it's like being an MP is not the most important job in George


Osborne's life. That's a disservice to other MPs and it's just not right


he should operate in this way. I think you should stand-down. Like


Tony Blair, like David Cameron, when they decided to step away from their


jobs, they left Parliament. You think he should leave Parliament, do


you think he will leave Parliament in the end? They will be so much for


Rory around this. Will it undermine public trust in MPs? Plenty of


Conservative MPs feel that. Ultimately we will have to see


whether he can do these two very exacting jobs. That's up to his


electorate. What his electorate will have is a very powerful person as


their member of Parliament. I'm not advocating him remaining in


Parliament and I'm not advocating him going. I just think


circumstances will determine this ultimately. In terms of the conflict


of interest, he's running a paper with business pages, they will be


dealing with companies. He will still be an adviser to asset


management firm Blackrock, that will lead to serious questions on whether


he can do that and be an MP. I think that the more important of the two


questions, if you'll forgive for saying so. That could be easily


dealt with if he laid down proper, what we call Chinese walls, so the


business editor had complete autonomy over those matters. Would


you trust that enough to inoculate and protect? The consequences of


breaching that would be beyond imaginable. But there is no


transparency or accountability. Who will decide about whether he is


doing his job as an MP more than he does his job as the editor? The


truth is that the constituents do not have any say as far as I know in


terms of recalling. He was Chancellor of the ex-Jet, I imagine


that's more daunting than being the editor of the Evening Standard. --


Chancellor of the Exchequer. I don't believe constituents suffered as a


result. Up to 15 new Bills, on top


of the Great Repeal Bill, That's according to a new report


from the think tank The report also warns that


Parliament is unlikely to have much time for legislating anything


non-Brexit related, and may have to find alternative ways


of achieving policy aims. We are joined now by Jill Rutter,


who co-authored the Institute Welcome to the daily politics. Do


you think Parliament will struggle with the bills it as to push


through? This is a huge, big additional workload for Parliament.


The great repeal bill itself is in many ways the least interesting of


the pieces of legislation, but it's a massive task. David Davis himself


said potentially thousands of pages of secondary legislation coming


through. We have major new bills that will need to be put in place.


The new migration and customs regimes and a new agricultural


policy. MPs will want to get stuck into those. None of these were


planned when the Conservatives ran for government in 2015. What will


that do to non-Brexit legislation? We estimate, the figures we have


heard say there will be 10-15 of Brexit bills of varying sizes and


the great repeal bill. When you take that into account and you have these


sessions, 5-8 bills in each of those sessions and loads of secondary


legislation, normally in Queen's speech you get 20 bills being


introduced. You could say up to around half of your conventional


legislative programme might to be displaced. You want secondary


legislation might be used to amend primary legislation. What we call


Henry VIII clauses. This would mean less parliamentary scrutiny, so will


we see more rebellion against the government as a result?


We have seen the Government try to take him with yet eight hours before


and Parliament revolted against that. Parliament needs to be clear


that all it is trying to achieve in the great repeal bill is putting


existing European law into UK law, it should resisted the temptation to


make lots and lots of changes. There is lots of times that after Brexit.


Where it needs to change things, it needs to do that through primary


legislation and it needs to give Parliament the to make decisions in


advance, draft legislation if feasible, proper impact assessments


Parliament can understand what it is being asked to do. Thank you very


much. We're joined now by the Ukip


MP Douglas Carswell. You have no doubt seen the report's


conclusions and listened to the interview, but the Government will


have a fairly complex, time-consuming few years ahead of


it, navigating Brexit. Are you surprised? Self-government takes


energy and effort and if anyone in white Minster -- Whitehall


Westminster the it is too much effort they should not be in the


business of making public policy. The institute has done a good job of


outlining some of the things we need to consider and I think the basic


principle, which I hope we can get cross-party consensus on, is that no


one should really make changes to public policy, and this Great Repeal


Bill should become a great transfer bill. If people want to make changes


to public policy, I would love to see higher environmental standards,


but that in Europe 2017 general election manifesto, get a mandate


from people, don't do it on the sly. Do you think that would work? It be


take that blueprint, do the Great Repeal Bill, bring things into law,


then spend more time bringing in legislation to perfect agriculture


etc? Because it is called Great Repeal Bill it sounds like we are


starting with a blank piece of paper! Because many of the laws we


have we put forward to the EU, it will be about asserting that we want


others and there is time down the road for any political party to put


forward their own changes in the future, and Theresa May in her 12


objectives said she wanted to keep things like employment protection,


and she also said an handset, but that mean she can accept what we


already have in terms of the issues around employment rights. Do you


accept there will be bills and areas of legislation that cannot just be


adopted, to use Caroline's term? Let me just give an example, the


Institute of Government has said different systems need to be set up,


so if we have an immigration system, one that we have not had before


because we were guided by EU principles, then we will need


primary legislation and that will take time. There are 15 of those


bills, will that be done in two years? As I said, self-government


takes time and effort. I'm asking if it will be done in those two years.


I think it will, the Institute for Government have highlighted


important things but they tend to reflect the priorities but I think


they over exaggerate the complexities. Let's take their point


of view, is the Government preparing for the legislation? I'm sure it is,


forgive me for slightly correcting, Henry VIII powers are not about


secondary legislation, it is when the Secretary of State is granted


powers to do them without reference to Parliament. Secondary legislation


takes place all the time in Parliament, morning, afternoon and


evening, and sometimes it is a devil of a job to get people to serve


though so it has to be done in a reasonable way, and we are going to


need to make some slight changes, it will have to take place there. But


there were revolts from the Government try to use those sort of


clauses to change legislation and it had to be dropped. Would you be


happy, Douglas... Henry VIII clauses are not normal but secondary


legislation is. Are you happy for less Parliamentary scrutiny over


what could be important pieces legislation? In terms of


transferring the status quo, transferring it from EU to UK status


quo, I don't see the need for a great deal of debate before the next


general election. There are three stages by which an idea like Brexit


is accepted by the status quo. Number one, where the Institute of


Government was six months ago, it is eight it is unthinkable. Number two


is to get to where they are now, which is to say it is impractical.


Stage three is for them to say it was their idea all along. The


Institute for Government and others are making the journey toward


accepting this radical idea. Do you think it will offer more


opportunities for rebellion and consent if this is the way


the Government has to push through legislation? There will be areas


where it will be the consensus because we are just adopting into


our Bill Watt with EU law. What they will identify are the points of


contention and no doubt on that there is likely to be different


views, not just across the chamber but maybe within Conservative


benches as well. It will be a hard slog. And it will be done in the two


years? Oh, yes. We don't know, sitting here, but if there is that


amount of pressure being put on Parliament, we haven't even talked


about domestic legislation aside from Brexit, could it delay the


whole process of leaving the EU? Let's be frank, over the last couple


of years Parliament hasn't introduced much in the way of


flagship legislation, the tail end of a Cameron coalition, I think MPs


could cope with a bit more work. Often MPs have been passing the


clarity legislation to look busy. You think Parliament has been lazy


in terms of what it has had to do? The last couple of years has been


clarity and I think this is the big change, it will involve bringing all


legislation that, so we are going to be busy, we're going to be busy all


the time. But what about domestic legislation? Aside from Brexit, will


there be any time or room for any of that? This is domestic legislation.


I mean aside from Brexit. First and foremost it will be the priority and


in the last parliament we had one line whips, not discussing primary


legislation and that was lazy Government. On domestic policy the


problem we have got at the moment is domestic policy is being made up,


like grammar schools, like the stuff on tax the other week, and that is


not a problem Brexit, that is a problem... I must let Eric answer


that, that policy is being made up. I don't accept that, but I do think


there is a case for Parliament to sit for five days a week for the


next few years to get this thing through, if necessary. What do you


think about that? Fundamentally, the grown-ups are back in charge, for


the first time in 20, 30 years, grown-ups are running the Government


and it can be done, it is a big ask but with grown-ups in charge we are


getting there. When are you going back into the Conservative Party?! I


give condiments to ministers when they are necessary, it is my job.


What about sitting five days a week? Fantastic. What about you, Caroline?


Some others do not live in London, some of us live with our


constituents. The days when we are in London, too much of it is one


line Whip days, too much of it is not sorting out Government business


and we should make sure this area of policy gets the time it deserves and


we could do that if we looked at... How will George Osborne Poke those


other jobs if he has to sit five days a week? He will cope. Is that


your answer? That is my answer. Now let's take a look


at what else is happening The Foreign Secretary is off


on his travels again this afternoon. It's back to the land


of his birth for Boris, who has a series of meetings


with the Trump administration. Tomorrow, the Scottish Parliament


starts a two-day debate on having On Wednesday, it's the Theresa


versus Jezza show - and you can catch PMQs live


on the Daily Politics. Wednesday also sees the end


of consultation on the Government's controversial proposals


on new national funding Jeremy Corbyn makes a speech


to the Federation of Small Business And on Saturday, EU leaders meet


to mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome,


which marked the start We're joined now by Laura Hughes of


the Daily Telegraph and George Eaton Welcome to both of you. George, what


is happening in the Labour Party with Tom Watson saying there is a


battle for the future of Labour, that Jeremy Corbyn didn't know about


this battle within Momentum, saying they need to rebalance the Labour


Party? Labour currently, as it often has in recent times, resembles a


fight club more than a political party and what the current battle is


really about is who gets control of the party after Jeremy Corbyn is


gone. All sides are preparing for another leadership contest and the


key issue of dispute is the so-called McDonnell Amendment, that


would cut the number of nominations you need to get on the ballot from


15% of MPs to 5%. What Jeremy Corbyn's supporters fear is that


after him they will not be able to get a left-wing success on the


ballot and it is precisely that that Jeremy Corbyn's opponents, Tom


Watson among them, want to prevent. How does this play out, if it is a


battle for succession, who comes after Jeremy Corbyn at whatever


point? We have the Unite leadership election going on at the moment


between Len McCluskey and Gerard Coyne, what happens next? The


interesting thing in mentioning the succession is that John McDonnell


has come out today, pretty extraordinary, and attacked John


Watson -- Tom Watson in his own Shadow Cabinet and said he is


interfering in Unite's leadership contest. I think what Tom Watson is


doing and what other Labour MPs are doing is they want to inform Labour


members, this is what it will mean, if you change the rules on selection


for the leadership, you will end up with somebody else like John


McDonnell, someone else in Jeremy Corbyn's close circle, and that is


not what they want, so that is probably what this is all about.


George, let's talk about another front that Theresa May is fighting


on, she has announced she will trigger article 50 to trigger Brexit


a week on Wednesday, the 29th, but Nicola Sturgeon has also released


the text on a motion on a second independence referendum to be


debated on and decided tomorrow, on Wednesday. How does that play out?


There is going to be a vote in the Scottish parliament and it will pass


the SNP with a majority if you include the Independents in the


Scottish parliament. Nicola Sturgeon will use this to bolster the case,


she has already been mocking Theresa May saying that she has a mandate, I


don't think Nicola Sturgeon was taken by surprise when Theresa May


refused to grant her a second referendum bites spring 2019, I


think her calculation is that the anger that this will cause among


Scots will ultimately help the cause of independence when that second row


-- that a second referendum happens. As George said, Nicola Sturgeon


probably wasn't surprised that Theresa May rejected the timing of


autumn 2080 or early 2019 but she has repeated it in imagine, though


she said it would be most appropriately between those two


dates. Does it indicate any flexibility on the SNP side? Maybe,


over the weekend there were murmurs that Nicola would be more flexible


but it is interesting they have used that word again in this motion that


has gone out today. I don't know how flexible, she has to appear like she


is taking a strong stance because over the next two days where we have


this debate in Scotland the Unionists will make a case that


Nicola Sturgeon doesn't really have a plan for what would happen if


Scotland did become independent. What currency would they use? How


would they get rid of the ?15 billion deficit? Questions like that


still have not been answered so she has to stick them on something and


perhaps it will be the key date. Law reviews and Georgie Dibaba thank


you both very much. Before we leave the week ahead, this idea of a Green


paper on capping energy prices, is this deja vu for you and Ed


Miliband? It does feel a bit like that Groundhog Day moment and we had


a debate in Parliament last week in which Jessye Norman was not


unfriendly to what some of us have been saying for some time which is


that we need to do something about this market because people on


standard variable tariffs are paying over the odds, and finally actually


in the speech Theresa May made at the weekend, she acknowledged the


energy market isn't working so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we


will get progress. Tell our viewers this is slightly different to you


and Ed Miliband proposed a few years which was a cap, the difference that


in the worst and best deals? Relative gap is what John Penrose is


suggesting, I don't agree with that, I think basically what we should


have is a protective great that the regulator provides for those people


on the standard variable tariffs and what it would mean is if their bills


-- is that their bills cannot go above a certain level and it would


be regulated because since about 2012 they have spent more than 8


billion more than they needed to. Do you agree something needs to be


done? We have seen huge hikes in energy prices in the last few


months. There have been spectacular hikes and I think some consumers


feel they have been taken for risk, so we will see what this Green paper


says and it it pragmatically means we have to adopt some of this then


so be it. You would be broadly in favour of looking at the idea of


capping prices? I want to see what it looks like, we have seen a shift


in energy prices but nothing that would reflect the shift in prices


consumers have paid, so I want to see that... So you think the market


is broken in the late Caroline things? That is what Theresa said at


the weekend. Markets sometimes can be skewed.


Now, from April the minimum wage will rise to ?7.50 an hour.


That's as part of the government's plan to take it to more


But is it harming at least one group more than it helps?


The businesswoman and campaigner Rosa Monckton thinks


that the minimum wage is preventing employers from hiring more people


with learning disabilities, because their output simply can't


Is it just for the money, or to have a role in society,


Almost 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability,


but of those, just under 6% are in work.


My daughter Domenica has Down's syndrome.


Last year I started a charity for people with learning


This is the training cafe where our young people can


hone their practical and social skills before trying


Something that makes it increasingly difficult to get people


with learning disabilities into work is the sharp rise in


the minimum wage, soon to go up to ?7.50 an hour.


Most people think this is only a good thing.


But if it costs more for a company to hire someone


than the value of their output, then that person will


For those people, the minimum wage doesn't raise their


Yet it's considered profoundly controversial to even raise


the subject of a therapeutic exemption of the minimum wage for


Policymakers seem to live in an abstract world,


more concerned with the rhetoric of human rights and equality,


rather than what might benefit real human beings.


People with a learning disability may still live at home.


Often they have no understanding of money.


They want to work so they can have a fulfilled and purposeful


life, and make friends rather than be alone in front


For those people, we need to focus less on their right to a minimum


wage, and more on their right to the dignity of a paid job.


Do you accept that this is a very difficult issue for politicians to


grapple with when they talk about disabled people and what they are


worth in terms of work? I don't understand why it should be. Because


the mistake that's being made is that people are being judged by the


financial worth. This is not about that. It's not about money. It's


about what you're worth is as a human being, and it's about the


dignity of going to work, the psychological and social benefits of


being included. Caroline Flint, do you accept that for people with


learning disabilities the minimum wage rules have become in some way


an obstacle and is not a protection in terms of them being offered and


getting jobs. I don't personally have evidence of that. I think


probably before the minimum wage rules came in it wasn't any easier


for these young people to find work either. When it comes to disability,


physical or mental or learning disabilities, there are such a range


of different people that are part of those groups. I understand part of


what you are saying, but to say there should be a different level


for the minimum wage is probably not the right way forward. There has to


be something else. When I was a minister at the WP, often employers


were just excluding people because they weren't sure how to work with


people, it wasn't to do with pay. -- at the DWP. That requires the


government and others to be more involved in getting that right. The


employers I have seen over the years who employ people with various


disabilities say to me, we wonder why we didn't do it before because


it's been great for our company and workforce. The problem is that when


ministers and politicians look at the laws, if they were to set


different standards all levels, wouldn't it devalue the work of all


disabled workers potentially, because as Caroline Flint said,


there is a great degree of variation. No. We are talking


specifically about people with learning disabilities. I can't


emphasise that distinction enough. There already exists within the


national minimum wage a therapeutic exemption for peace workers, who are


unusually slow in their output. I would suggest to politicians that


you look at people in the support group of employment support


allowance. I think there are about half a million people there. Many of


them might not be able to work anyway. But introduce assessments,


introduced as a pilot the therapeutic or minimum wage for that


particular cohort. Could you see that happening? We remember Lord


Freud saying something similar a couple of years ago. He was a


minister at the time. He ended up in a lot of trouble. I understand why


politicians are reluctant to look into this. It's important about that


idea of worth. You have to recognise that the person with learning


disabilities and the employer both need support. You need to offer


support to the employer as well as the employees. The point being made


is that these are perfectly good, perfectly able employees who can get


the satisfaction of work, and enhance the environment for other


co-workers. You referred to Lord Freud, who at the time said, when he


was discussing this very issue, there is a small, there is a group,


and I know exactly who you mean, when you say they are not worth the


full wage. It might have been clumsy speech, but were you offended by it?


Certainly Labour politicians were and many organisations who felt they


were offending people and what they're worth was. You're making the


mistake of talking about the financial worth. You need to speak


to parents who have adult children with learning disabilities sitting


at home and not able to go to work because their economic output isn't


worth the minimum wage. I have had the most appalling trolling online


since I wrote this article in the Spectator. Unbelievable. But I am


sustained by all the e-mails I have received from parents, from siblings


saying, please hold your head up above the parapet. We need our young


people to get into work. 1.4 million people in the UK have a learning


disability, and 1.3 million of them are unemployed. Surely any steps


similar to what Rosa Monckton is suggesting, would go some way to


encouraging employers to take on more people with a learning


disability. The statistics are appalling. I would say that they


were probably just as appalling before we had the minimum wage as we


do today. Part of the question for me, it is about worth, in terms of


individuals themselves feeling like they are contributing and engaging


with others. We have seen a huge amount of services that supported


young people with learning disabilities and older people, and


you mentioned this in your article, they have been shut down and they


don't have places to go any more. It requires a wider look. To be honest,


going for the minimum wage, I don't think first and foremost it's the


biggest problem, but there is certainly something that needs to be


addressed, because lots of these young people will be living longer


than they did a few decades ago. That's something we need to face as


a society for these young people. Eric Pickles suggested more support


for employers to encourage people to take on more people with learning


disabilities. Mencap, who don't agree with your stance, say it's


important for companies to take on more roles for people with learning


disabilities. It's one way of looking at it, but businesses are


not charities. They need an incentive to take young people with


learning disabilities into the workplace. Eric Pickles, if there


was a situation where you could talk about different standards and levels


of pay, do you think there would be any political weight behind an idea


like that? I hesitate to disagree with Rosa, but in the present


climate if a government tried to do that, it would be howled out before


any good could come of it. I recognise what Caroline says. I


would be very much in favour of fundamentally looking at ways in


which can get more people with learning difficulties into


employment. I think offering support to the employer, offering support to


the employee at the same time, a route. But in the modern world it


would simply be hounded out, as Lord Freud was hounded out. But it


shouldn't be. I know that. Everybody wants to feel like they belong


somewhere. All these young people who have been brought up, in


mainstream schools, they have been brought up to believe they are part


of society and suddenly they are not any more. Maybe there's another way,


what is it to incentivise employers? Personally I would say, don't reduce


the minimum wage. There are other ways. Employers get all sorts of


other things with tax credits here and there and other bits of support.


For many things that I don't think are worthwhile, but this could be


something different. That's what we do our centre. We have people in


employee are supportive positions and we hope they will be offered


full-time and part-time jobs at the end of it. One of our candidates


last week was offered 12 hours per week at the minimum wage because


she's worth it, with support. Another was not. They looked at it


very scientifically and said, this person can do 70% of the job. As a


company we cannot justify paying the national minimum wage. For the sake


of clarity, I accept that, but I was talking about somebody working


alongside them in the work itself. But there are people, there is the


access to work funding from the government to pay for somebody for a


year to be with that person. A lifelong learning disability is


exactly that, when that person pulls away, what will happen then?


Rosamund Pike, thank you for coming in. -- Rosa Monckton, thank you for


coming in. Are the Cornish at risk


of ethnic oppression? The Council of Europe -


not to be confused with the European Council -


have condemned the Government The Cornish were formally


designated a minority in 2014, but the Council says the Government


has failed to maintain Let's talk now to the leader


of Mebyon Kernow, But what say you, Eric Pickles, have


you been neglecting your duty and obligation to the people of


Cornwall? I'm the guilty man, I gave money to the Cornish language when I


was secretary of state. I gave it in order the Liberal Democrats wouldn't


block I think half ?1 billion of savings. So it was a bribe?


Absolutely! I can't fool you for your honesty. I think it was half a


billion in worth. But what about the government helping Cornish people.


The government 's help should be to the people of Cornwall, the industry


and education in Cornwall. I'm not entirely sure. I would like the idea


that Cornish would continue in some form or another, but after all, most


of that went into people learning the language, which I'm sure is very


beautiful. Do you think it's right, even though Eric Pickles says he


only did it so the Liberal Democrats would do not do something the


Conservative Party did or didn't want, that the Cornish up entreated


the way they should have been. It's not a bad thing to recognise the


diversity we have in the United Kingdom. The culture and languages


of our great country fine. That's what I said in my press release.


What I do find in all of this, I think they are calling for an


independence for Cornwall. I don't go down that route. I think


something at the general election that this party, who got less than


2% of the vote, just four councillors in the whole of Cornwall


from this party, I think we could reduce things to such a level that


it gets a bit ridiculous. But culture and language and making sure


that isn't lost and supporting it in different ways is a good thing. But


there's no point if you are not going to do anything about it. You


might put the money in but you haven't backed it up. Somebody said,


what kind of idiot funded this in the first place, and I said, that


would be me! You have just reinforced that on the programme. We


don't often get yes ounces from politicians. But thank you for that.


That's all for today. Thanks to our guests.


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


I'll be here at noon tomorrow with all the big political stories


of the day - do join me then. Bye-bye.


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