18/04/2017 Daily Politics


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I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet where we agreed


that the government should call a general election to be


So in the past hour Theresa May has called a general election -


we'll bring you the latest from here at Westminster.


Reaction from all the parties and - of course - the best analysis...


So - Westminster taken completely by surprise this morning


with the announcement from the Prime Minister of the early


General Election that she had insisted would not happen...


Let's listen to what Theresa May has to say.


I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet where we have agreed


the Government should call a general election to be held


I want to explain the reasons for that decision.


What will happen next, and the choice facing the British


people, when you come to vote in this election.


Last summer, after the country voted to leave the European Union,


Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership


Since I became Prime Minister the Government has


financial and economic danger, since the referendum we have seen


Economic growth that has exceeded all expectations.


We have also delivered on the mandate that we were handed


Britain is leaving the European Union and there


As we look to the future, the Government has the right


plan for negotiating our new relationship with Europe.


We want a deep and special partnership between a strong


and successful European Union and the United Kingdom that is free


That means we will regain control of our own money, our own laws,


We will be free to strike trade deals with old friends


and new partners all around the world.


This is the right approach and it is in the national interest.


But the other political parties oppose it.


At this moment of enormous national significance,


there should be unity here in Westminster.


The country is coming together but Westminster is not.


In recent weeks, Labour has threatened to vote


against the final agreement we reach with the European Union.


The Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the business


The Scottish National Party said it will vote against the legislation up


formally repealed Britain's membership of the European Union.


Unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us


Opponents believe that because the government 's majority is so small,


they can force us to change course. They underestimate our determination


to get the job done. I am not prepared to let them


endanger the security of millions of working people


across the country. What they are doing jeopardises


the work we must do to prepare And it weakens the Government's


negotiating position in Europe. If we do not hold a general election


now, their political And the negotiations


with the European Union will reach their most difficult


stage in the run-up to the next Division in Westminster


will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit and it


will cause damaging uncertainty We need a general election


and we need one now. We have, at this moment,


a one-off chance to get this done while the European Union


agrees its negotiating position I have only recently and reluctantly


come to this conclusion. Since I became Prime Minister,


I have said there should be no Now I have concluded that the only


way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead


is to hold this election and seek your support


for the decisions I must take. And so tomorrow I will move a motion


in the House of Commons, calling for a general election to be


held on the 8th of June. That motion, as set out


by the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, will require a two thirds majority


by the House of Commons. I have a simple challenge


to the opposition parties. You have criticised the Government's


decision for Brexit, challenged our objectives,


threatened to block the legislation This is your moment to show you mean


it, show you are not opposing the Government for the sake of it,


to show that you do not Let us tomorrow vote


for an election. Let us put forward our plans


for Brexit and our alternative plans for government and then let


the people decide. And the decision facing the country


will be all about leadership. It would be a choice between strong


and stable leadership in the national interest with me


as your Prime Minister, or weak and, unstable,


coalition government led by Jeremy Corbyn,


propped up by the Liberal Democrats, who want to reopen the divisions


of the referendum and Nicola A vote for the Conservatives


will make it harder for opposition politicians who want to stop me


from getting the job done. Every vote for the Conservatives


will make me stronger when I negotiate for Britain


with the prime ministers, presidents and chancellors


of the European Union. Every vote for the Conservatives


will mean that we can stick to our plan for a stronger Britain


and take the right long-term It was with reluctance that


I decided the country It is with strong conviction that


I say it is necessary to secure the strong and stable leadership


the country needs to see us So, tomorrow, let the House


of Commons vote for an election. Let everybody put forward


their proposals for Brexit and their programmes for government


and let us remove the risk of uncertainty and instability


and continue to give the country the strong and stable


leadership it demands. Theresa May having delivered that


very dramatic statement that no one was expecting, except we were told


that there would be a statement from Theresa May outside Number 10 but


there was no government logo on that lectin which was an indication that


she might be calling an early General Election.


Joining me in the studio now is former Conservative


Leader Iain Duncan Smith and the Shadow Energy


We are also joined by Laura Kuenssberg. Before I get reaction


from you gentlemen, take us through the hour before she walked those few


paces from the black door at Number 10 to the podium. This is a very


significant turnaround from her. No question. For months there has been


speculation, always killed off by her team, always killed by senior


minister said she does not want an election and we are not going to do


it yet this morning, around 9:30 a.m., there is going to be a left


turn moment. They are huge moments. There was all sorts of speculation,


as you can imagine, first day back from the Easter holidays, everyone


is full of vigour, looking to get going. Rumour mill goes into


hyperdrive, mysteriously, senior sources in government, their phones


and text were not been answered and the news was we have to wait and see


that the Prime Minister says. Shortly after 11 o'clock, one of my


contacts told me it would be a General Election on June the 8th.


She even came I'd earlier than expected and she confirmed that. She


has changed her mind, if we are to believe that. There is an element of


trust here, she has said repeatedly, she would not call a snap election,


it would lead to uncertainty and instability and now she is doing


exactly what she promised she wouldn't and she is calling a


General Election. I think she was right. She said she reluctantly came


to the conclusion and I think it is a balance, all these things are a


balance of decisions about greater instability lies. Do you try and


press on a small majority, get through the biggest single thing any


government has had to do since we joined the European Union? You have


got the negotiations and the European Union to take place where


you need to have a very strong showing and a strong mandate and the


second part is domestically, but also the bill and I was here for the


Maastricht Treaty and I have to tell you, the bill, weather was no chance


we would ever be allowed to vote it down, that took ages to get through,


because every device was used. I use them to slow it down. That was


because the small majority. In the last few days, the polls have


confirmed, in her mind, that there is an opportunity here, Labour is 20


points behind, that is a massive gap not seen since the mid-19 80s. Like


anything else, you want to know you have the chance of having a strong


mandate. The most important poll was not about party polling, it was one


that came out that showed nearly 70% of the public now want to just get


on with it. They don't really want to continue to discuss the Brexit


issue, but they want to see the government make progress and I think


the key point they do not get is the Parliamentary mess that is likely to


happen and I think that is the bit and she really does need to do this,


I know what it is like with the government with a small majority


trying to do that, it is difficult. If you do not have a strong mandate


with a strong vote in Parliament, it makes it more difficult to get this


through. You can hardly blame Theresa May when you look at the


polls and Labour has been digesting them, over the last few weeks and


months, it is an ideal chance for her to capitalise on that and


increase her majority and at the same time in her statement, Blaydon


Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish Nationalists but their


opposition to Brexit negotiations. She must be the first Prime Minister


ever to begin a General Election campaign with a U-turn. That is the


first thing. That is quite extraordinary, quite extraordinary.


You say, well she is blaming the opposition in Parliament for being


so weak and if we are so weak, wide to she need a bigger mandate? If in


fact she is saying that it is because of the chaos in Parliament,


the key thing and the key poll, the weekend was not about the questions


on the polling on the votes, I think it was on the policies. Every


Conservative candidate and every Conservative canvasser will have to


answer three questions. They will have the answer why is it that today


the average earnings are 10% lower in real terms than they were in


2007, why is it today that 1.8 million people are not being seen


within four hours in a and D, when in 2010, that number was 350000 and


why is it today, that we have 200,000 fewer home owners in this


country under a Conservative government. These are the policies


that I am confident resonate with the voters out there. The polls at


the weekend showed that they did. What we have been saying about


carers allowance, what we have been saying about free school meals for


all primary school students, these things are actually popular. Before


we get to the policies, what about the Labour position on the General


Election? We have had a statement from Jeremy Corbyn and the author


that they will vote in favour of the motion that will be put to the House


of Commons to bring on this General Election. The sooner we can get rid


of this Conservative government the better. She says she wants to put


this on Brexit, we know that they want a hard Brexit, it is one that


actually is turning this country backwards and what we want to be


able to articulate and I think what the public actually wants is a


positive Brexit that enables us, yes to have the new relationships that


we need with other countries around the world, but that still maintains


the access and movement of people that is necessary to keep our


business wheels turning. Isn't there a danger of framing this General


Election, presuming everything passes through and it will, isn't


there a danger of framing it along the lines of Brexit and the argument


would be repeated? Absolutely and that was one of the


reasons articulated by people privately close to Theresa May is


they did not want to have an election all about Brexit. That was


one of the arguments in the negative column for not having a general


election and waiting until the deal was finished by 2020. You have had


the pros in one column and the cons in another. The polling suggests


having an election would be advantageous for the Conservatives.


The state of the Labour Party has been in real turmoil in the last 12


months is also in the positive column. In the negative column is a


threat of instability. The idea of going back on her words after she


said she did not want to have an election. But at the end of the day


the political logic, the appeal of looking at polls that puts her so


far ahead of Jeremy Corbyn and the appeal of her having her own mandate


is what has won out. One reason for that is Theresa May in a strange


way, as we saw during the referendum campaign, is not one of those Tory


members who got up to have an argument about the European Union.


She is more interested in the domestic agenda. She was on the


remain side. Yes, she was called the submarine for trying to stay out of


the debate. She has always wanted to do a lot on the domestic front,


grammar schools and changes to social care. The only way she would


be able to do that is where her own majority and this would be one of


the factors that pushed her. Having her own mandate is clearly


important. What is amazing when you talk about Westminster and the


gossip machine is how they managed to keep this under wraps and secret


because nobody knew it. It is one of the features of Theresa May's team.


She has a small circle of people that she trusts. Very small. That


was her at the Home Office and she has taken that into Downing Street.


She has been criticised for that, but it means they have been able to


keep things tight as a drum. There is a fascinating anecdotes in her


biography. Andrea Leadsom told Theresa May two hours before she was


pulling out of the leadership race that she was going to do it. She


told her, you will be the PM, I am off. Theresa May did not even tell


her husband that within a couple of hours she was a dead cert to be


moving into number ten. That is quite a capacity for keeping


secrets. But it also tells us something about her, which is her


vulnerability. Ministers did not know about this idea until this


morning. She has not been cancelled by that many people. A very senior


minister who would be heavily involved in the election told me a


couple of weeks ago there had not been a single conversation with the


Prime Minister about having a general election. Strain is keeping


secrets, but it does not mean the Tory party is very well for this. Or


anybody else. Or anybody else. We will let you go because you have got


weeks and weeks to fill. Thank you for coming in. Let's turn to this


issue of her changing her mind on something fundamental. Was she wrong


initially to rule it out? She ruled it out repeatedly in endless


interviews, saying it was not the right thing to do. Let's hear what


she said to our very own Andrew Neal on this subject.


When you do the deal, when it's clear the terms


with which we will leave the EU, why would you not take that


to the country either in a second referendum or go to the country


in a general election and get the people to vote


What I have said is when we have the deal there will be a vote


Of course there will be votes in parliaments across Europe


because they will need to be a ratification process.


I believe that is the right way to do it, to say to the UK


Parliament this is your opportunity to vote for this deal.


Well, I'm confident we are going to get a deal that is going to be


The British people have basically said to us go on and get on with it,


we want to leave the EU, go out there, get on with it,


Iain Duncan Smith, she went back on her word. She said in a statement


you saw earlier on, and I am a bit like this, a reluctant convert to


the idea of a general election, and she was as well. A few things have


changed over the last couple of months. The first is that getting


that four lying bill through demonstrated how tough it will be to


get this very complex legislation through. It is really complex. This


makes Maastricht looked like a picnic. This will be very big and


very detailed. The Lords is in a peculiar position. You do not have a


majority. We do not, the Liberals are disproportionately represented,


100 Liberals in the Lords and nine members of Parliament. But the Lords


will react to a strong mandate from a general election. They know when


the game is up and they know their limitations. At the moment they have


been able to argue, particularly from the Liberals, but also Labour,


that you do not have a mandate, you were not elected as Prime Minister


and this government was not elected to see this thing through. There has


been a lot of kind of let's have some kind of election. She has


reached a conclusion in the sense that there is a window of


opportunity to do this. France has an election that will not complete


until June. While we have that election they will not be any great


negotiation taking place. Practically this window works. If


you are going to do it, now is the time to do it. Looking at the polls,


the Conservatives will increase their majority and it will make life


much easier for Theresa May to push through the type of Brexit she wants


to say. I admire Iain Duncan Smith's attempt to spin what is clearly a


polling advantage into high principle. It is not. Let's not


pretend it is. You are right, the polls have had an influence in what


she is doing here. But is it in the best interest of not just this


country, but look at what is happening in the world at the


moment? Is it in the best interest of the country when we have a


two-year window to negotiate this deal? Only two years. Nothing will


be done in the German and French elections. She ignored it. She said


the negotiations can go on and they will not be able to go on for two


and a half months as we have an election. No, no, they will be. They


will not be in control, they will be out on the streets. The first stage


of this is negotiation about the overall political... We were talking


about polling and whether that is in the end what changed Theresa May's


mine. Let's talk about it a little further with John Curtice who is in


Edinburgh. First of all, your reaction, general election on June


the 8th. I have to admit I am very surprised. Like Laura Kuenssberg I


took the Prime Minister at her word that she did not want to call a


general election in June. Calling one is not so straightforward. You


will not do that again. The person who really has a decision to make is


Jeremy Corbyn. Despite what Barry Gardiner has been arguing about, the


Labour Party is in favour of an election and we will have one. If


Jeremy Corbyn said no, Theresa May could not have her election, so


Jeremy Corbyn is also making a big decision today as well as the Prime


Minister. And what about the polls? We have already discussed the


headline that Labour is 20 points behind the Conservatives. Some of


the opinion polls suggest Labour's position is as bad as it has been


any time since 2009 in the worst days of Gordon Brown's


administration. But if you take all of the polls, we are looking at a


Conservative lead of around 15 points, 22-27, and if that was to


transpire in the ballot boxes it would result in a majority for the


Conservatives. But we should be careful about talking about a


landslide. These days not only is Northern Ireland out of the frame as


far as the UK wide scene is concerned, but so is Scotland. I


would be surprised if the SNP do not hang onto most of the seeds north of


the border. Dire though Labour's position is, it does have a lot of


very safe seats and getting a majority of 100 is possible, getting


a majority of 170 like Tony Blair got in 1997 could be beyond the


Conservatives. If the poll lead does begin to fall, let's say Jeremy


Corbyn surprises us all and fights a good campaign and the Tory lead goes


down to seven or eight points, Theresa May could discover she does


not have much of a majority than she does already and she might even lose


a few seats to the Liberal Democrats. You can see the


temptation placed in front of her, despite what she said because Labour


had been behind the Conservatives over a long period of time. But it


seems in the last few days something has crystallised in her mind and


pushed her to do this you turn to change her mind and it must be that


massive gap. The opinion polls clearly provide a very substantial


temptation. The interesting thing is what she has not done is to wait for


the results of the local elections on the 4th of May. If you remember


what Margaret Thatcher did in 1983 and 1987 when we were all


speculating about an election, and she decided to call an election. We


will now be intensely looking at the results of those elections and even


in Scotland and Wales, but the dye will already have been passed. What


about voter fatigue? Everyone has been taken by surprise and Laura


Kuenssberg mention people will not be prepared in politics, but also


they will not have been expecting it in the country. Will they thank


Theresa May for this? One of the thing opponents will use against


Theresa May is the fact that you have said she was opposed to the


idea of a general election and the opposition will use that to say, you


cannot trust the Prime Minister at her word. But at the end of the day


that probably is not something voters will be too concerned about.


In so far as the election does focus on the issue of Brexit, given that


we have got a 71% turnout in the referendum, which is relatively


high, I am not sure we should be too concerned about the level of


turnout. I think we will see some reiteration of the arguments about


Brexit and its merits and hard versus soft for much of the campaign


and the question is whether voters will feel that is sufficiently


important and responding by turning to the polling station. The Prime


Minister has announced her intention to call a general election on the


8th of June. So, now the Prime Minister has


announced her intention to call a General Election for 8th June,


what process needs to happen before The Fixed Term Parliaments Act -


introduced under the Coalition government and enshrining


the timescale for elections to be held every five years -


allows two methods for calling The first would be if


two-thirds of MPs backed a motion calling for one -


that would be 434 This is the method Theresa May


has said she will use, and that she will introduce a motion


to parliament tomorrow. The other option is if Parliament


passed a motion of no confidence in the government,


and no other government If the Prime Minister fails to get


the two-thirds majority required in the Commons to call an election,


there are two other The Fixed Term Parliaments Act


could be repealed, which would only require a simple majority of MPs


to vote for it, a lower threshold Or the government could enact


a new law, amending the Act and setting a date


for the next election. Labour this morning confirmed


they will support the motion for an early general election,


meaning it will pass with the two-thirds majority


needed in the Commons. Their election coordinator,


Andrew Gwynne, had told Andrew Neil So as an opposition not wanting


to be in opposition, wanting to be in government,


so should the government put forward a measure in accordance


with the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, then that is something we would very


seriously have to consider. If the government was to issue


a motion in the Commons for an early election,


the Labour Party would vote It would be very difficult not


to 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.


Andrew Quinn, Labour's election coordinator, but you could not say


anything else apart from welcome a general election, otherwise you


would be running scared. The nice thing is we do welcome it and also


the government recognises that the Labour Party will support it. They


have known that, we have made our position very clear. Which is why


she could gain confidence from that. And that is why she is able to do


it. Now she has to work out what is her pitch to the British people? We


have come out with eight very clear, new policies that are very popular


and opinion polls at the weekend showed that. We have come out with a


very clear policies. The government is not running on a new policy


agenda. It is running on a record that has not resolved the economic


problems the country has faced. It has precipitated a crisis within the


health service. We have seen the BMA and the junior doctors dispute. We


have got a crisis in social care and all these problems that the


government has to now come out with manifesto commitments on and there


was nothing of that in her speech. The opposition parties will make it


difficult in terms of the Brexit negotiations, you have reflected on


how hard it was during Maastricht, but is now but this General Election


will be about? Will not be about a domestic agenda on the critical


issues that Barry Gardner has been talking about? It will only be


serving what the Conservative Party seems to be interested in at the


moment and that is the Brexit negotiations? The Conservative Party


is not that interested in the Brexit idea. The vote has been taken and we


have triggered Article 50. That process is in place and that is all


about negotiation and discussion and that is mostly now the government


going out... Why is she calling our General Election? It is about


domestic issues. The fact is she needs a mandate, that this her view,


to get the Brexit legislation through domestically, which is


hugely an issue of numbers in Parliament and the second element is


there is a domestic agenda and she wants to get that through. That was


not mentioned in her statement. We have been announcing that through


the budget and the statement she made in Downing Street. Today, we


talked about the business strategy, the industrial strategy, those are


the things she wants to take forward. They are all part of it.


The fact is the government deals with foreign policy and domestic


issues and as Europe strives both of those, it will be part of it. There


is a really important point. She wants a mandate to be able to govern


with the government that is strong enough in numbers to get their


legislation through, after Brexit, Brexit changed everything. The vote


to leave the European Union changed everything. The public now will face


a choice, do you want a government with a clear and strong leader or do


you want a government that is at war with itself as the Labour Party is,


led by Jeremy Corbyn, that most of his MPs do not want and which has


been foisted on them by the party at large and a Coalition between a


messy Labour Party and the Liberal party that wants to reverse the boat


on Brexit. She did say she would be able to get a good deal for the UK


and on the basis of that good deal, then we could have the General


Election in 2020. Let me come to Barry on that point, she did frame


in her statement that it would be Labour propped up by the Liberal


Democrats with an anti-Brexit tone to the whole campaign. You happy to


painted in that way? If you are seen as the party, with the help of the


SNP and the Liberal Democrats, who will frustrate something that the


Tories keep referring to as the will of the people? We are not


anti-Brexit, we have said that now the referendum has taken place, we


are leaving the European Union. Let us kill that one. Ian has said, it


is a week Labour Party and weak opposition in Parliament, but the


Prime Minister is saying that the reason she is calling this is that


she needs a bigger mandate because of all the problems. The law you are


overrepresented in the Lords and in a wet and you will frustrate...


Barry, finish point. It shows the weakness. The point I'm trying to


make is this an if we are as weak as he says we are, then she does not


lead to increase mandate in the Commons. You know that everything


will go through the Lords eventually because the Lords will respect the


Commons, they always do, but she cannot have it both ways, we cannot


be so weak that she needs a bigger mandate or if she needs a bigger


mandate, it is because she fears that we may be able to influence


legislation and her legislative programme in way she does not want.


We want to see a softer Brexit, not the Brexit that she wants to take a


stand. Let's get more reaction. Theresa May has announced that she


is calling a General Election to take place on June the 8th. She made


the announcement outside Downing Street just after 11 o'clock this


morning to the surprise of everyone. Jeremy Corbyn has been giving his


reaction to the announcement of the Prime Minister.


This is left NHS problems, left her is underfunded and let so many


people uncertain. We want to put a case out there to the people of


Britain of a society that cares for all, an economy that works for all


and a Brexit that works for all. Jeremy Corbyn.


We're joined now by Tom Newton Dunn of the Sun and Paul Mason.


Tom, your reaction to the announcement. I am really surprised


but I am not the only one, so is everyone in NSW won at the moment,


not least because Theresa May said she did not want to do this and


their huge amounts of good reasons for that, not least, they have not


passed the boundary changes which gives the Tories 20 more seats and


takes 20 from Labour so why not wait until October 20 18th of that. What


does it say to the EU? You're going into and credibly complicated


renegotiation not knowing which Prime Minister will be around the


table. We note that this is what Theresa May wanted to avoid and the


question remains, why has she changed her mind? To me, that is not


clear. My best bet would be, on top of the Brexit problem she already


has, she was aware of the lack of parliamentary majority months ago is


the domestic legislation, it is things like grammar schools, her


reforms to corporate governance and even possibly her energy reforms,


she may not have had a majority for that the monster of MPs and perhaps


that is a very good reason, unspoken reason why she wants to do this.


Your thoughts on why she has changed her mind? Is it the polls that put


Labour so far behind? Is at the domestic legislation? There is a


whiff of panic and incompetence in the decision. It is not the polls,


whatever you want to pick, that will be panicking Theresa May, it is the


fact that she has kicked off Article 50 without a plan and on first


contact with the opposition, the EU 27, finds that the EU 27 are


prepared to absolutely destroy her negotiating position. Of course she


needs a mandate, I hope she does not get it and that the British people


will give a mandate to the Liberal Democrats, SNP and Jeremy Corbyn to


engineer and minimal soft, socially just format to Brexit and I think


Theresa May may be about to find out that Turkey just do not vote for


Christmas. Looking at the figures, 48% Remain, 52% Leave, if this


campaign turns out to be a rerun on that referendum, what is the best


she can hope for? It will turn into a rerun of the referendum, because


it will be what type of Brexit and it is unclear where the country


stance on that. Some of the West Country MPs are really unhappy about


this, the Tories have their wafer thin majority simply because they


cleared out the Liberal Democrats in the South West in areas that were


really quite Remain and have a strong Liberal Democrat vote. 20


Tory MPs could be in trouble, so the gamble clearly is, Labour is in such


pieces at the moment, Theresa May would hoover up far more Labour MPs


than the one she would lose to the Liberal Democrats. This is really


unclear at the moment which is why there is an element of risk. Having


your own mandate is the key. That was always going to be the


difficulty for her, that things could be thrown at her as Prime


Minister because she had not won a General Election and with both


domestic policies and the Brexit negotiations, she will be stronger,


psychologically, if she wins a General Election on her own terms?


We need to see what those terms are because there are now people on the


Tory backbenchers saying that they want to use the so-called Great


Repeal Bill to actually tinker with the regulatory situation in Britain


right now. The Tories did to come forward now with a manifesto, not


just say we are going to kick-start article 20 and in two years' time we


will tell you what the outcome is, we need to know what the


Conservative hard Brexit programmers and my prediction is that the


majority of British people will reject it. We need to find the


organisational form for that to happen. I support a Progressive


alliance between Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP and the other


nationalist parties to prevent this kamikaze Brexit. We have to scramble


fast to make it happen. What about the preparedness? You have not had


much time to talk to MPs, it has only been announced in the last


couple of hours, but what is the general impression and reaction that


you are being met with at Westminster? They are stunned, we


all are, not least because the Prime Minister said she did not want to do


this. Paul is right to the extent that the Prime Minister will now be


pressed by Labour to define precisely what type of Brexit she is


going to go for because the truth is, she cannot do that because she


has not got a clue. She has got what she likes, her best but that is what


you will put to the polls, but we will not get more detail. There are


enormous issues, like the immigration system, we will not get


any more detail on what immigration system the country will get, over


the next four weeks or eight weeks. I think Theresa May's gamble is,


although no party is prepared for this, she is just a tiny bit more


prepared than Labour is, who really cannot unite around anything at the


moment. I will stop you there. Thank you for your thoughts today. It is a


gamble, it will allow a really hard Brexit, perhaps of the type that you


would be a fan of, to go through, if you win the General Election. I


don't know what they look like. I just know Brexit. It is all very


well for people talking about hard versus soft, they do not know


either. Negotiations are coming up and you want to get the best deal


possible for the UK and that is what she wants the mandate for to make


sure she is seen as a strong leader at home.


We're joined now by the Labour backbencher and Jeremy Corbyn


Do you welcome this General Election and will you be supporting it? It


shows that the Conservative Party is in disarray. Theresa May is trying


to duck the issue by having an election now before she gets to the


point where the damage or more of the damage comes through after the


final agreements. Are you firmly square behind Jeremy Corbyn and the


leader's offers? Any Labour minister is better than a Conservative one


and will do more for constituencies like mine and focusing on jobs and


the NHS, I know he will make a better Prime Minister. You have been


a very staunch critic of him. The last few days have seen one private


e-mail I sent to Jeremy become the focus of office politics rather than


the focus it should have been on. I said we need a communications agenda


that delivers on things like policing and the police in


Bermondsey do not have the resources they need. We are not focused to


much an education. We want those to be the focus of the agenda and that


is what I was asking for and instead I got reported to the Chief Whip. I


think that nonsense will end. Which is nonsense? The Labour Party


leadership nonsense? The internal silliness of reporting an MP to the


Chief Whip for asking for a better communications agenda. Isn't it the


internal infighting that is not going to put you in a good position


for the General Election? I will be fighting as the Labour MP for my


constituency and I hope my electors do not have a short memory and


remember there was a Liberal Democrat before he voted for their


bedroom tax and tuition fees, I think those issues will have


salience with voters. There is nothing like a General Election to


focus the mind of MPs, but with the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, it needs


a majority of MPs to vote it through and I presume you will be voting in


favour of it? There was also the option of a vote of no-confidence


and then having an option for a different Prime Minister altogether.


Theresa May said she would put a motion tomorrow for MPs to call for


a General Election, Barry and Jeremy Corbyn said they would support that,


will you? I don't know because we have not seen the detail of the


statement. I apologise if that is not good enough for you at this


stage. I have not seen it. When I see what is on the table tomorrow, I


will make my mind up then. It is straightforward, if two thirds of


MPs in the House of Commons call for an early election, it will happen.


If that is the motion that goes tomorrow, to you and your colleagues


will you vote in favour? It is not clear and there is a vote of no


confidence as a possibility as well. If that is what she wants, Theresa


May is taking a big gamble, we lost David Cameron and they lost


Goldsmith in London because London and I oppose Brexit. This is a


gamble on the part of the Prime Minister. I take your point but if


that is what Theresa May asked for, will you vote in favour of it? I


have not seen much she is asking for, so this is just speculation.


Let us see what comes up tomorrow. My vote will be recorded in the


public domain. Barry, it seems fairly straightforward, you will be


supporting it and Labour said that they would. Absolutely. I have been


in the position that Neil has been meant for I have not seen a motion,


it caught us all by surprise and I understand his position that says I


will wait and see, but the position of the party is clear and that is


that we welcome the opportunity to get rid of this Conservative


government and to put our policies in front of the electorate.


Will the internal fighting stopped? He has been reported to the Chief


Whip. That took place prior to this morning's announcement. Based on


what we have seen, the party has come back together and we had those


two leadership elections and they are past history. The front bench


has come back and it is operating properly and people are getting out


there, doing the job both for the local elections and now for this


general election. It is about putting policies there and


persuading the public this is in their future best interest. That is


what Neal and I will both be doing. We can now the Liberal Democrat


leader Tim Farron who is in true row and he joins us now. Welcome. First


of all, your response to Theresa May's statement. It is a fantastic


opportunity for British people to change the direction of our country


and vote against a hard Brexit and vote to keep the United Kingdom in


the single market, something that was not on the ballot paper last


year. But it is also an opportunity for Britain to vote for a strong and


decent opposition, something they do not have under Labour, but something


they could have under the Liberal Democrats. The Liberal Democrats see


this as our moment, a moment where Britain could change the direction


of our country. Will people thank you for wanting to rerun the


referendum and the whole idea of Brexit in this general election?


Well, I think the biggest issue of a generation is hardly not going to be


discussed during this general election. It seems to me that given


that membership of the single market was not on the ballot paper last


year and people being for or against leaving the European Union, there


seems to be a majority who think being in the single market would be


good for our economy. To put that front and centre of our campaign


seems to me wise and showed real leadership to bring the country


together. Iain Duncan Smith, how worried are you by the threat of the


Liberal Democrats? I was down in the south-west during the last election


and there seemed to be a huge sense that the time had been and gone and


we one all the seats down there. We won on issues of who do you want to


govern you? I think my colleagues in the South West will have a very


strong election campaign and win. To be fair, the Liberals have been very


clear about their position on this. It is their opportunity to put this


case for a second referendum. If that is what they want to stand on,


let them put it during the general election. That is the point. It will


be over on June the 8th and we will end up with the British mandate the


British people want. Listening to Neill coil it was interesting, the


Labour Party is divided. Some want to have the general election because


they want to get rid of their leader and others want to have it because


they want to win with their leader. Iain Duncan Smith, I think we are


letting you go. Thank you for joining us today on this programme.


A dramatic announcement from the Prime Minister. Tim Farron, what do


you say to Iain Duncan Smith who is not worried about a Lib Dem


challenge in the south-west? He would say that, wouldn't he? The


result in the by-elections in the last ten months here have been


spectacular. Interest in membership has doubled, so there is great


energy down here. But in the last referendum whether people supported


or did not support the outcome of the vote, they want to see a Britain


that does not isolate itself from the rest of the world, but does not


bode to make itself Pura. That is why being in the single market is


critically important and it is one of the things we will campaign on in


the election. It is about changing the direction of our country so it


is open, United and tolerant and it is an opportunity to have a decent


opposition. People favourable to the Conservative Party will agree we


need a stronger Liberal Democrat voice during this election, given


that the Liberal Democrats have been a decent opposition. We are joined


in the studio by Ukip's deputy leader Peter Whittle. What do you


say to Tim Farron saying this is the opportunity for those people who


want to have a Brexit negotiation where we stay in the single market


for those who are not in favour for a hard Brexit leaving the EU. The


challenge is on in this general election. What you do know about the


Lib Dems is basically they are standing essentially on an


anti-democratic platform. They simply will not accept the result


and whichever way Tim Farron dresses it up, if you want to basically go


against democracy, that is the best way to do it, vote Lib Dem. Why is


it against democracy? They have never accepted the actual referendum


result. Whether you say you want to have a referendum on the eve of the


negotiations or a second referendum, this is not accepting a democratic


mandate. Do you think it was right of Theresa May to call for a general


election? It is utterly cynical, it is putting party before country,


there is no question about that. The Scottish Nationalists were told it


was wrong to hold an independence referendum, independent during


Brexit negotiation, but somehow it is right to have a general election.


We are having one now and my party is excited about it. Will you win


any seats? You have not done well up until now. Two years ago we got 4


million votes. We have done a lot of organising since then. We have not


been quiet and just sitting on our hands. Why vote Ukip if it is framed


around Brexit? I huge amount. With this government people are getting


more worried, even though she is having a honeymoon, they hear


nothing about what the government is doing on migration. All they hear is


that migration might well go on at the current levels for another ten


years. This is still the number one issue. People know where my party


stands on this issue. We have other issues, multiculturalism has failed


in Britain. We have problems with radical Islam and extremism. Before


we go to the Green Party's co-leader, what do you say about


migration and multiculturalism? Ukip say that they will hold the Prime


Minister's feet to the fire in a way you have not until now. It may have


been a slip of the tongue, but you said it was the single biggest issue


and then you said it was not the single biggest issue. Immigration is


of great concern for most people, but the country other faces huge


problems that none of the other parties talk about. The key thing


people will look to vote on is what is going to happen in terms of the


economy? What is going to happen in terms of their livelihood and their


jobs? If they feel the sort of Brexit you and the Conservatives


want to take us down the road of, this hard Brexit that will stop free


movement of people, stop immigration entirely... That is what they voted


for, an end to free movement of people. By all means continue to


talk, but I have a right to reply. They will vote for their future jobs


and security. At the moment this is a government that has given people


the likelihood is that they had back in 2007 10% worse in real times.


That is the key issue that most people will vote on. They did not


just vote on economics, they voted on cultural things as well. We must


talk to the Green Party co-leader who has been waiting patiently. You


excited about the prospect of a general election on June the aid?


Really excited. We think this is long overdue, she should have done


this before. We are a party that is offering bold alternatives and an


alternative to cuts in fighting the government's programme of austerity


and we will protect the environment. We are the antidote to Ukip. There


is so much to vote for in the Green Party. Were you surprised by the


announcement? Yes, we were surprised, but we have been calling


for it. She did not have a mandate to force through extreme Brexit. She


needed to get the consent of the British people for what she is doing


because this is not on the ballot paper. On the basis of the polls


with Labour so far behind if they are to be believed, it would improve


Theresa May's position to go ahead with the Brexit she wants, rather


than the opposition parties. If the last two years have taught us


anything, it is that things can happen very quickly and there can be


seismic changes very rapidly. We are polling more highly than we were at


the time of the 2015 general election and we would have had 25


MPs under the basis of a fair voting system under that. We want true


representation of the British people in Parliament. We are willing to


work with other parties and we could see an interesting outcome in seven


weeks' time if those parties commit to working together. We are


different from Labour and the Liberal Democrats and we are making


that clear. You have just one MP at the moment, Caroline Lucas, and she


will vote in favour of the pit term parliaments Pratt said there can be


an early election -- fixed term Parliaments at. What more can you


do? Caroline Lucas won that in 2010 and 2015 and we have got more seats


than Ukip. Once people see as debating and see the policies, we


note in general elections our support goes up when we get fair


exposure in the media and across the BBC. We will have that problem,


democratic process where people can see what we stand for and we are


optimistic about making gains. Well, you have had your fair hearing here


on the BBC. Let's continue getting reaction from all the parties. Let's


hear what Nicola Sturgeon had to say. Is is a big U-turn in recent


political history, but it is clear the Prime Minister's announcement


today is all about the narrow interests of her own party and not


the interests of the country overall. Clearly she sees the


opportunity, given the total disarray in the ranks of the Labour


Party to crush all opposition, to get rid of people who disagree with


her and to give herself a free hand to take the country in an


increasingly right-wing direction. That would mean not just the hardest


possible Brexit, but more austerity and deep cuts. Now is the time for


Scotland's voice to be heard and for people in Scotland to stand up for


the type of country we want Scotland to be and that is the campaign I


look forward to leading in the weeks ahead. Everyone is an election


footing. Before we go, time to get the latest odds from Jessica Bridge


of Ladbrokes. Take us through the odds. As Christmas come early? We


are looking at the most seats and the Tories are 1-10 favourites. You


need to place ?10 to win just ?1 in return. That is how sure we are with


that. Can Jeremy Corbyn spring the second political upset of his


career? Frankly, no. Labour are 7-1. This represents a huge opportunity


for the Lib Dems and Tim Farron at 33-1. They think they can steal some


seats. Still a big prize, but not as big a prize as for Ukip at 100-1.


The bet down here which a lot of punters will think is nailed, and


1-5 is generous, Jeremy Corbyn to be replaced as leader of the Labour


Party this year. Those odds will probably be 1-10 by the time I have


finished. Jeremy Corbyn doesn't look like he will get much past June as


far as the odds are concerned with a Tory victory. Let's get reaction to


that. All of this is a great bit of fun and people will no doubt have a


punt. But this is not a presidential race. This is not America. We do not


do things like America in terms of presidential and personality. This


is about policy. What every Labour MP and counsellor and member will be


doing is going out on the doorsteps and making sure that we get across


the policies that we have been talking about that this weekend were


shown to be popular with people because they thought those were the


things that really spoke to their lives. You are focusing everything


on policy and not on Jeremy Corbyn as leader? Not at all, do not forget


it is under Jeremy Corbyn that those policies have been put forward that


found so much favour with the public this weekend. We are talking about


carers' allowance, parents in schools, all of these things are


important in this general election. Thank you for being with us right to


the end, the last man standing. The one o'clock news is starting


over on BBC One now.


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