24/04/2017 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


Jeremy Corbyn takes his campaign north of the border,


but can he reverse Labour's fortunes in Scotland?


Meanwhile, the Labour leader is criticised for appearing


to question his party's policy on Trident.


The Conservatives dub him a risk to national security.


Are the Conservatives planning a tax bombshell in the next Parliament?


The 2015 manifesto promised not to raise VAT, income tax


The polls might make it look clear, So why is everyone talking


It's Macron and Le Pen in the final round of the French Presidential


election as voters say au revoir to the established


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


of the programme today the Shadow Defence Secretary,


Nia Griffith, and the former Conservative minister,


First today Jeremy Corbyn is heading to Scotland today to address


He will reaffirm Labour's commitment to repeal what he calls


the "vicious" Trade Union Act and will say the party will "never,


ever apologise" for its close ties to the unions.


Let's talk to our correspondent, James Shaw, who's in Aviemore.


We know what he is expected to say, is it going to do anything to


Labour's political fortunes in Scotland? That is the question. What


I think I know this from the bullet points we have heard from what


Jeremy Corbyn is going to say, there didn't seem to be anything that was


differentiated specifically for Scotland. Note policies tailored to


Scotland. It is the message we expect Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour


Party to put out across the UK. We have to wonder if it is the right


strategy because Scotland is a very different policy than the rest of


the UK. Different things matter here and there are different political


threats. The most obvious of those threats, as far as Labour is


concerned is Nicola Sturgeon's Scottish Nationalists party. What


are the voices saying in labour north of the border? It has to be


said, they don't look particularly good. We only have to go back to


2015 and the fact Labour lost all but one of their 41 MPs in Scotland.


Things really haven't improved since. They got worse during the


Scottish elections last year, where they dipped below the Conservatives,


so they are, according to the polls, in third place. He would think there


would have to be a serious effort by Labour to make a distinctive and


persuasive offer to voters in Scotland really for them to make any


improvement in the polls they have at the moment. Although there are


factors like Brexit, which might make some people lean back towards


labour, whereas they happens in the past. As you say, it puts a


different I mentioned to the selection from Scotland. To steal a


phrase from Ruth Davidson, the Tory leader in Scotland, has the Tory


party reached its peak, in other words, it is only downwards for the


SNP Web both the Tories and Labour could pick up seats and the Liberal


Democrats? Ruth Davidson will make that case throughout this campaign.


She has suggested the election in 2015 is that is when sentiment in


favour of independence was at its strongest and she hopes it is ebbing


away. There are a couple of seats in Scotland where the Conservatives are


second to the SNP and they will be fighting very hard to try and get


into first place, to try and claw back some MPs in Scotland, so that


Ruth Davidson can make the case that they have peaked and there is less


of a case for an independence referendum. Less of a case for


Scottish independence, she would argue. James, thank you very much.


The Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, says


Jeremy Corbyn would put Britain's security at risk if he wins


the general election and becomes Prime Minister.


Mr Fallon, who has been in Bristol this morning


at the headquarters of Airbus, attacked the Labour leader


for calling into question Labour's commitment to the Trident nuclear


weapons system and for suggesting he would be reluctant to authorise


a drone strike on the leader of the Islamic State terror group.


Labour want to be the next government.


himself forward seriously as the next Prime Minister


somebody who would not authorise strikes against terrorists, who


wouldn't support our nuclear deterrent, and who would undermine


So it is very important we do point out this is somebody who


could be Prime Minister in six weeks' time.


Mr Fallon was responding to Jeremy Corbyn's appearance


As well as being asked about how he would deal with Islamic State,


the Labour leader was also asked if the party's manifesto


would include a commitment to renew the Trident nuclear missile system.


The Shadow Defence Secretary, our guest Nia Griffith,


had previously said the manifesto would include such a commitment.


We haven't completed work on the manifesto yet,


as you would expect less than 100 hours into this


No, no, we're having that discussion within the Labour Party


and we will produce our manifesto early in May.


Do you think killing the leader of Isis would be helpful


I think the leader of Isis not being around


would be helpful and I'm no supporter or defender in any way


whatsoever of Isis, I'm sure you would see,


but I would also argue that


the bombing campaign has killed a large


number of civilians, many of


whom were virtually prisoners of Isis so you've got to think about


Jeremy Corbyn. Nia, we're number wiser as to whether the renewal of


Trident will be in the Labour Party manifesto?


It will be in the manifesto because that has been our policy and it has


been confirmed time after time that the Labour Party is committed to the


Trident policy. Have you made it clear to Jeremy Corbyn? I have, and


it has been agreed it will be in the manifesto. So are you surprised


yesterday he said the Labour policy on this might not be in the


manifesto, in fact he said it hadn't been written. It is firmly our


policy and it will be in the manifesto. But the Labour Party


leader doesn't agree with you that yet isn't in the manifesto so it


throws doubt on it. But the important thing is, we have


reaffirmed clearly, it is part of our policy and we are firmly


committed to the nuclear deterrent. What was your reaction when you


heard that yesterday? We know Jeremy Corbyn has had his own personal view


on these issues. But this is something we have been committed to


for a long time. In 2007 we set the ball rolling for the renewal of the


Trident and we are clear what our policy is. You have had these


discussions with him presumably, and he is still opposed to it, is that


sustainable during an election campaign that his views are at odds


as to the Labour Party policy on this issue? When people vote they


will be voting for a political policy and it is important they know


what that policy is. Our policy is clear, we are committed to the


nuclear deterrent. This would be the first time Labour leader didn't


agree with something in its own party manifesto? I am setting out


what our policy is and exactly where we stand on it for the manifesto.


Should people not be voting for Labour if they want to see Jeremy


Corbyn as Prime Minister. The important thing is, we are a team,


we are working as a party and it is not a presidential election, it is


about who is in government and an election between political parties


in this country. How can it be a deterrent if Jeremy Corbyn as Prime


Minister has stated he would never use it in any circumstance, it is no


longer a deterrent? We are prepared to use it. It is important we are


clear that you also deal with countries and potential enemies by


being clear from the outset that you are prepared to use force, that you


have forced to back up your negotiations. Nobody wants to use


force as a first option. Everybody wants to negotiate first, try to get


peaceful settlements. But if you have the option of force,


conventional forces initially, but the ultimate deterrent as well, you


are more likely to actually sustain peace and security at the end of the


day. New have said you would use it as a last resort, but Jeremy Corbyn


has said he won't. And if you win the election, he will be Prime


Minister, and it will be him pushing the button, or on this case, not


pushing the button. What he said, he will not use a first strike. What we


have to be clear about, is we are prepared to use the nuclear


deterrent and we are prepared to use it. How is it going to look to


voters when you have a party leader who is sticking to the line he has


always had and you have a different approach? It is party policy and the


overwhelming membership of our party support this policy and that is


where we are. It doesn't matter about party policy if the leader


will not enact and uphold that party policy? It is important we set out


what our party policy is so that people do know. But he wouldn't use


it? It is important people know that we are fully committed to the


nuclear deterrent. It doesn't really matter, does it in this instance? We


know what Jeremy Corbyn's views are, this is a matter of last resort and


nuclear weapons will probably never be used? Nia has done a remarkable


job, as she does all the time honestly trying to put the point of


view of where the party is. But it doesn't stack up. You have


circumstances where the Prime Minister is required to make


decisions. The Prime Minister alone has to make those decisions. You


cannot go into election with a party policy is one thing or the would-be


Prime Minister's stated views are another in circumstances such as


this. The only deterrent a country has is those who might


oppose or threaten the country knows exactly where its leadership is in


times of crisis. We do not know that, we cannot know that as long as


Jeremy Corbyn leads the Labour Party and says what he says. Nia. It is


important people know where we stand on this and it is important we have


that deterrent. Are you reassured by Jeremy Corbyn who would be head of


this country's national security and defence as if Labour wins the


election? We are committed to the deterrent and it is our policy and


in the manifesto. Presumably, he would scrap the Trident renewal as


Prime Minister? The important issue is we are committed to the nuclear


deterrent and we will have a review with the spending commitments in the


defence budget and we will have to look carefully, as has every


government who have come in before. He did have an opportunity to say


that the Trident would stay in place because it is already there, he


refused to say that. But I am saying the Trident programme will stay in


place and of course we will look at all the other spending commitments.


He said he wouldn't necessarily be prepared to use drones to strike on


the head of Isis, as the Lee Markham and he has been criticised for that.


You are a Foreign Office minister and you have to admit when you look


at the Middle East now, we have had coalition air strikes, drone attacks


on Jihadi John, there hasn't been a removal of the threat of Isis or


peace in Syria? There has been significant depletion of the


leadership of Isis overtime. They are still there. Significant figures


have been killed. If someone poses a threat to the United Kingdom and you


have an opportunity to remove that threat, it is incumbent on a leader


to do that. Of course, all the other things about seeking peaceful


solutions go without being said. We know that, that is what the process


of diplomacy does all the time. But there are occasions in a conflict


situation where something arises and an immediate decision is needed and


something that can affect what is happening on the battlefield and the


the safety of innocent people can be done, can be achieved. That is why


the policy of removing leaders of Isis and Al-Qaeda it in the Arabian


Peninsula, that is wider policy is being followed. It is not a policy


on its own, it is a policy with other things. Let's move on.


The Conservative Party chairman, Patrick McLoughlin, has appeared


to contradict the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, over


Last week The Chancellor said that commitments made


in the 2015 manifesto had constrained his "ability to manage


Mr Hammond was referring to the so-called tax triple lock


in which the Conservatives promised not to make any rises


to National Insurance, VAT or income tax.


Mr Hammond recently had to drop a planned rise in Class 4


National Insurance Contributions because it appeared to contradict


Mr McLoughlin was asked about this by Andrew


Philip Hammond, the Chancellor said this week that your election promise


in 2015, it was in your manifesto, not to raise taxes, had


tied his hands when it came to managing the economy.


The simple fact is, what we've got to do,


is we've got to do the best things for the economy and we will be


setting out in our manifesto in a few weeks, what the policies


You don't agree with your Chancellor?


What Philip was saying is some of the areas he wants


What the party will do, in its manifesto, it will set out


all the issues which we are fighting on, and it will set out very clearly


the choice we have in this country and that's the important thing.


Alistair Burt, should there be the triple tax log in the Conservative


manifesto? I think there should be considering


protection for pensioners, whether it should remain the same in new


circumstances, I don't think... Djurdic be explicit in the way it


was in the last manifesto that a Tory government will not put up


income tax, VAT or national insurance contributions -- should it


be explicit? If you are looking for the next manifesto to be exactly the


same as the last... On that issue, should it be there, that explicit


commitment? I'm quite sure that what will be in the manifesto is


protection for pensioners in the way in which a new government seized


that likely. I don't know if the triple lock will be there. I'm not


asking you about pensioners, and asking you about taxpayers. The


triple tax lock, the commitment that the Conservatives made not to


increase VAT, national insurance... I would have flexibility. You drop


it. I would have flexibility because that is what a Chancellor needs but


the circumstances from this manifesto are different from 2015


and I don't make taxation policy so I would like a policy that is right


for the country and what the government and the Chancellor will


propose will set it out in the context of where the economy is


going. If it is a contest with any terms of low tax, this is a lower


tax party. We will come to the record... You try to put up national


insurance contributions which was in direct contravention of the last


commitment. The average pay pays ?1000 less than when we came into


office, 31 million people have the production altogether. Interns of


tax policy, we are absolutely the right place. If it is going to vary


from what it was in the past, that is fine. You have made it clear you


want flexibility do you agree with Philip Hammond, you don't want that


triple tax lock, but you would like to see it dropped but that it would


give you flexibility to put up taxes. Flexible the in an economy


which would still be a lower tax economy under the Conservative


Party. You could put them up. It would give us flexible team in all


the centres you need for an economy is growing where growth feeds into


revenues. You cannot say at this stage that everything we had in the


previous manifesto must automatically be... I'm not saying


should be. I'm asking you what is the most effective policy as far as


you are concerned in the Conservative policy and you think


the triple tax lock was a mistake. I don't think it was a mistake, it was


right for that manifesto and it has been followed through but a new


manifesto and situation with an election gives a chance for the


party to say something. Do you think you could roll out there being any


increases in VAT, income tax... Of course I can't. So you can't claim


you could be the lower tax party because you could put up taxes. I


think if you were to try and assess who might be the lower tax party,


you might look at the record and are we not a lower tax party that our


rivals and those who would seek to take power? When did you last put up


VAT? I can't remember. It was in 2011 and you said you would not do


it, but it went up. If the average for those of basic rate income tax


lower now than it was in 2010? It is lower, you know is. You promised not


to put taxes up, that was the point of the triple tax lock, to promise


you would not put up those income taxes. Tax policy has got to take


account of what is happening in Ikeme as a whole any government has


got the opportunity both to raise and lower element of taxation but it


is direct or indirect in order to produce... So it was a mistake in


the last manifesto. The Chancellor always need the ability and that


constraint it. That policy worked for the time and it was important


but of course you want the government that has the ability to


change. I understand what it is... It's about trust. I agree with that


but if circumstances change and people need to make changes, it is


explained and you are able to move forward. If everything is always


pinned down, this was in the manifesto, it must never change in


the future, we have a new manifesto and we can be judged on that but


also on overall tax policy over the past few years which is indisputably


lower tax than it was. Let's leave it there for the moment.


Now, tactical voting along Brexit lines is the talk of the town


The Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall, suggested yesterday that his party


may not stand against some MPs who are "good Brexiteers".


He gave as examples the Conservative MP David Nuttall


And this morning, the Ukip branch in Bournemouth West have said


that they will not stand against the sitting


They said that because Mr Burns is pro-Brexit, it "does not make


Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, said yesterday


that there are "no circumstances whatsoever" in which his party


would enter a coalition with either Labour or the Conservatives.


But senior Lib Dem Vince Cable has called the only Green


MP, Caroline Lucas, a "good progressive".


And he urged Liberal Democrats in Brighton Pavilion to support her.


The Green Party supports a so-called "Progressive Alliance" and they've


said that they won't stand against the Remain-supporting


Labour MP, Rupa Huq, in Ealing Central and Acton.


And the former Labour Prime Minister, Tony Blair,


He has said that it is a big issue than party allegiance.


Joining me now is Matthew Goodwin, professor of politics


It is going to be a significant issue? It could be if you look at


that you could promise to stand out against good Brexiteers. That could


have consequences. If Theresa May wins back half of the YouTube vote,


it could bring the 40 or 50 Labour seeped into play -- half of the Ukip


vote. The Lib Dems are gambling on the Leave voters do not turn out to


take advantage of Remainers. You talked about it being as significant


in terms of Ukip not standing against good Brexiteers but some


people might say they are all about Brexit and this issue so why


withdraw from a seat because the sitting MP is pro-Brexit if they


have a whole other manifesto? I suppose what they are returning to


is the 2010 fact that Lord Pearson essentially made with the


Conservatives which was driven by the goal of ensuring the House of


Commons is packed with as many Eurosceptics as possible and Ukip up


worrying that if they took 15% of the vote in Chester, for example,


they could keep Labour in that seat. I thought they were supposed to be


about more than just Brexit. I guess they are. They have been trying to


get some traction with this anti-Islam issued in the last few


days and talking about electoral reform but the reality, most Ukip


followers would concede that their share of the national vote will go


down as six or 7%. For Theresa May that has massive consequences, for


the Labour Party, in the last three years they have been panicking about


the rise of Ukip but I think they have too worried about the collapse


of Ukip because those votes going back to the Tories will have all


sorts of repercussions. What about the progressive alliance between the


greens, the Lib Dems and Labour? Will that only function at a local


level where individual agreements are made? I imagine so but I'm not


sure it will function at all, we're not seeing the kind of unity you


need for that kind of pact to take place with less than 50 days until


the election. It is complicated, but if you take the Lib Dems as an


example, they are hoping they can give the Tories a bloody nose in the


south-west but look at some of the seats. Some have a majority Leave


vote so how are they going to get traction in seat where voters are


saying, my voting tactically for the Lib Dems or what I really want and


what I voted for in the referendum which is Brexit? I'm not sure this


is going to be a massive realignment, I think the evidence is


mixed. I think we will go from one region to the next thinking, how it


did playing out? Has Ukip hit the Tories in more northern seat where


voters view the Conservative Party is toxic or the Labour Party in


southern seats where they are shifting from Ukip to the


Conservatives? Are these suggestions of tactical voting from a position


of weakness and desperation or come up with social media, could there be


quite a impact, not just the split between Ukip and the Tories but in


the left as well? My own view is that it is a big, exciting debate


that we get into before an election but it never materialises. A bit


like 18 to 24-year-olds turning out to vote to change history, it never


really happens. We will have this discussion after the election and


find that there was very minimal tactical voting generally. We will


see a shift from Ukip to the Conservatives, not so much tactical


but expressive, traditional social conservatives coming home if you


like, I don't think that is tactical. The Labour Party may find


itself getting hit on multiple fronts a really bad day, the


desertion back to Theresa May, perhaps a drift to the Lib Dems in


some seats but also another tactical decision, I'm staying at home. We


will talk more about that. Thank you for coming in.


What did you make of Tony Blair saying that the issue but Brexit is


more important than party allegiance? I think this election is


about many things at the economy will feature strongly, taxation


policy will figure strongly and we are clear we will not hit lower and


middle income earners. It will be the everyday things as much as


anything, I don't think Brexit will be the only topic by any means.


Tactical voting could help you, the greens have said they will not stand


against the Labour MP, Rupa Huq, and you must welcome that. It is very


important that it is only the Labour Party can make an alternative


government to the Conservatives and if people want to vote for a


possessive -- Progressive party, they have to vote Labour because


that is the only way we can deliver change that people want. What about


in seat where it might help if you allowed the greens or the Lib Dem


and it not be a Tory candidate winning? You would not be in favour


of that? It is important people have the choice to vote Labour and we


represent the whole country. We have an opportunity to stand in every


constituency and we will do. One of the greens keep target seat is


Bristol West where the the sitting MP is pro-Remain soap would you then


back some sort of pact like that? It is important that people who vote


Labour are voting for a Labour government. Green MP does not have


enough MPs to make a mini party in Westminster. It is important people


understand that Westminster at 650 MPs and you can only have a


significant impact and form another government is if you have a large


political party. But you could have more seats if you did deals with the


Lib Dems and with the Green party and kept Theresa May out of Downing


Street. . It is important that we are determined to win the election


and as Labour. What do you make about the tactical voting that is


being talked about? I agree with Matthew, his talked about an awful


lot because it is interesting stuff and part of the democratic process


but when push comes to shove, people first weekend to vote in our system


knowing that only a vote for their candidate is the most likely thing


to get them elected. We have eight straightforward system, the more


that your candidate gets, the more likely they are to win. People talk


about pacts of the major parties have a vested interest in saying


clearly, vote for us. I agreed that people have to realise that the only


alternative government is a Labour Party want and that is why they had


to vote Conservative to make sure that doesn't happen. We are clear on


what people should be doing, they should be voting for us if they want


strong, stable leadership which is what we offer. You will welcome the


Ukip called the sake you should not stand against good Brexiteers? I


welcome the thing that helps a Conservative be elected. We are all


very fixed now, now the referendum is out of the way, we are working to


make this success, so whether you voted Remain or not, it doesn't


matter, what we have to do is commit ourselves as the Prime Minister has


said, to making sure that leaving the EU is in the best interests of


all of us and that is where the Conservative Party is. I think some


people find it difficult to get their heads around that. How


difficult will it be for Remain Labour MPs who are in areas where


there was a high turnout for Leave? It is very clear what our policy is


that we voted for in Article 50 because we of the Democratic vote in


the referendum for Brexit but we want to get the best deal we can to


ensure we can protect jobs. We want a good rapport with our European


neighbours so we can export our goods and keep our factories here


and make sure we protect jobs. A Ukip government would explicitly


ban Sharia law in Britain. The party has been giving more


detail of its integration agenda this morning,


after the leader, Paul Nuttall, revealed yesterday that a pledge


to ban the burqa would also be Here's the Ukip deputy


leader, Peter Whittle. No parallel system should ever be


allowed to impinge on the integrity There must be no tolerance


of systems which deny The rights of women,


for these are the most effected by such practices,


should and must extend to all parts of our society regardless


of religion or ethnicity. Now the public are


rightly alarmed at the growth in Sharia courts


and the apparent unwillingness of the political powers to face


up to this. I am joined by Margo Parker, Ukip's


equality spokesperson. Banning sharia law and sharia


courts, they don't have any standing under the British legal system so


how are you going to ban them, will you go round and stop them taking


place? When we sit down and put this together, which will be part of our


manifesto, this will be part of not allowing women to be second-class


citizens so they will be represented fairly and only one law of the land.


The one law of the land is absolutely supreme. It is supreme.


It needs to be clarified. Women that are, for example, perhaps not as


loud to have a share of a home, all sorts of things because they are


disadvantaged. We must explore this, it has got to be done. How will you


do it, how will you stop sharia courts sitting. Today was just a


press conference with some small sound bites to tell you this is why


we want more integration. We don't want women to be second-class


citizens. But all women in this country are under a legal system we


all share, whether or not there is a parallel court system that deals


with domestic issues like divorce. If they are to be underlined in


public in Britain, it has to go through our legal system, so I don't


know what will change? A lot of women are disadvantaged by sharia


law and we have evidence of that. So we have to make sure women are not


subject to being second-class citizens. Paul Nuttall has called


the burqa a barrier to integration but wouldn't it be a barrier to a


multicultural society? No, you don't have people completely covering


their faces working for the BBC. You are against religious freedom? Not


at all. Women didn't and were not subjected to cover their faces in


Iran, then they have a revolution and women cannot be High Court


judges and then they have to cover their face. In Britain when women


choose to wear the headscarf, it is their choice. But let me remind you


what happened in July the 7th. A man dressed as a woman covered his face


and got all the way to Rome so there is a security issue. It is not a


barrier to integration? I think it is a barrier to integration. If it


is about people'sfaces being covered on CCTV footage, what will you do


about people wearing balaclavas, helmets or masks? They cannot in


banks. Face covering is banned in France already, it is going to be


banned in Germany. It is pending regulation in Austria. Does that


make it right? I think it does, I think we are ahead of the curve


here, standing of the women and saying, you don't have to do this if


it is oppressive just because a man has told you to do it. You are


wanting to ban it. Yes we are. Will you be telling women what to do? No,


I will be saying that this is religious freedom, you don't have to


cover your face because this is what men in a religious order has told


you what to do. He want to ban women wearing the veil, you want to ban


sharia courts and sharia law, in which way is it not anti-Moslem? It


is not anti-Moslem. You could ban the courts the ultraorthodox run but


you haven't called for that or any other expressions people might use


in terms of their religion, the cross? We have called for


integration and not segregation. Their ARC immunities around the


country where women are segregated. They don't integrate in society.


Perhaps they are not necessarily allow to speak the language. We have


all sorts of instances where women are held back. We want them to


realise their potential. Alistair Burt, would you support banning the


burqa? No, in every society he would not tell people what to wear. There


are places where it is part of the procedure where a woman would not be


able to be fully covered in court, for example and in other security


situations, but you cannot get integration if you tell people what


to wear. I agree with Alistair and rather than imposing and dictating


and telling communities exactly what Ukip thinks they should do, we are


proud we have some Muslim MPs and they are working with the


communities. This is on the side of women. Women who have had to have


their vote done for them. You have seen this throughout the country


where there have been pockets where they have not been allowed to


integrate. We have FGM, and a situation for any woman or young


child to go through. It has got to stop. There has been no


prosecutions. The law is very clear in making sure... Why haven't we


prosecuted anybody? The law is there to protect all others and that is


the point. Why have we had no prosecutions, they do in France. On


the issue of FGM, as I understand, you are proposing the parents of


girls who are forced to have that are also prosecuted. That law was


extended by David Cameron in 2015. So what are you proposing? Beef it


up and make sure you do have prosecutions. It cannot carry on


like this. It is shocking that young women are brutalised. How would you


go about getting prosecutions? Doctors and health visitors have got


to have an examination. There are no prosecutions. The evidence hasn't


been brought to court. A couple of weeks back, in the West Midlands


there had been a series on television about FGM. On Twitter,


somebody from the West Midlands Police said we don't like to


interfere with the family system, even though we know this might have


happened. It was outrageous. I wrote to the West Midlands Chief Constable


and I got a letter back. They must prosecuted vigorously, these


actions. It is akin to where domestic violence used to be. It is


a domestic, people said. On acceptable. It cannot be right if


the law is being broken that any police force allows that to happen.


Is it been followed through? When you look at the numbers, they are


very high. David Cameron quoted something like over 130,000. It does


seem incredible there haven't been prosecutions. Is enough effort being


made to follow through? I sincerely hope to. It has risen in public


prominence, people were not aware of it a little time ago, so it has to


be out there. The answer is make sure people can feel can come


forward and not stigmatise them. That is what we need to get the


evidence amid the prosecution. What about banning sharia courts and


sharia law, so there isn't a parallel legal system in this


country? It is not recognised in our law. So the important thing is that


we work with the Muslim communities. We have some excellent women Muslim


MPs in the Labour Party. So let's make sure that we are working


together and we are making sure discrimination in all its forms is


eliminated. It absolutely vital we do so. Women's rights must be


indivisible in any part of the United Kingdom. Thank you very much.


So, we might have our own election to occupy us, but until Theresa May


made the surprise announcement last Tuesday, much of our attention


was focused on events across the Channel.


Last night the 11 candidates in the French Presidential election


were whittled down to two: the centrist candidate


Emmanuel Macron will face the leader of the Front National,


Marine Le Pen, in the final round in a fortnight.


Here they are after last night's result.


TRANSLATION: Today, Sunday the 23rd of April,


As the country is going through an unprecedented


moment in its history, marked by terrorism, economic


challenges, social suffering of workers and urgent environmental


problems, they have responded in the most beautiful way,


TRANSLATION: We've made the first step which will take


the French people to the Elysee Palace.


It confers on me the immense responsibility of defending


the French nation, its unity, its security, its culture,


He works here in London and is a supporter of Marine Le Pen.


Surely it is over her, Fillon is endorsing Emmanuel Macron. If enough


of the voters go Emmanuel Macron, he has got it? It is not that clear. We


have seen French voters change their minds very quickly in the primary


and the Republicans. There is still two weeks to go and there is going


to be a debate in about one week where Emmanuel Macron will have to


explain his project for fans in front of Marine Le Pen. French


people will get a chance, after five years of waiting, to decide if they


want to go forward with defending their identity. You are a banker,


and some people will say, how are you, who has obviously benefited


from globalisation, supporting a woman who is anti-globalisation? I


had to leave my country to find my work. It is a minority, there has


been millions of jobs destroyed in France. Thousands of women raped and


this is the price French people are not prepared to pay. With Marine Le


Pen as the President you can go back to France and have a job similar to


the one you have here? I will be able to have a decent live in


France. I have an education that has been paid for and it doesn't matter


how rich I am. You are in favour of her protectionist views and


policies? With all this competition from countries with lower social


systems which don't respect the work's rights as we do, it is


essential we have a state to protect us. One of the things that is


interesting, the two candidates have gone against the mainstream


candidates, they are painting themselves as the non-establishment


candidates. But in a way, Emmanuel Macron doesn't even have a party,


isn't he the populist who will ride the wave more than remain the pen


who has become more established? It is interesting because I watched the


speech of Emmanuel Macron and he painted himself as trying to change


the system. I think if you look at the facts, he has been a minister


for two years, during which unemployment increased and before


that he was an adviser of President Hollande. So his policies were


directly inspired by him. The train yourself as an anti-system candidate


is hard. You could argue Marine Le Pen has been part of the system for


years, as has her party, she has representation at local town hall


level and is very much part of the establishment? Do you know any other


establishment member who has had their House bombed? No, but I'm


trying to say she is part of the political establishment in France,


do you not think she is? She is always trying to put the French


people ahead of the system, that is why I support her. Were you


surprised at how both Francois Fillon and the Socialist candidates


are out, the mainstream parties have been voted against? Yes they have,


it is an extraordinary situation with the country as apparently as


divided into four parts as we have seen from the results. It is not for


an outsider to pronounce in terms of individual parties, but the sense of


uncertainty in France because of the process, the almost even split


between the major blocks. But the two main establishment parties have


not gone forward. But we suspect the establishment parties, because of


their interest on the issues that they consider important for France


may come together and support Emmanuel Macron. It was a terrible


showing for the Socialist party in France, you must have felt low


watching that? The French system is, they vote once and they can almost


experiment, if you like, and see if their candidate can come anywhere.


That is what we have seen. The socialist candidate got 6%. They


have been looking elsewhere, looking clearly for Emmanuel Macron in this


case. I think we will see a coalescence of people coming


together to back Mr Macron because he can appeal both to the more


left-wing socialist side and also to the business minded right-wing side.


I think he will go forward. Thank you for coming in.


So let's see what else is happening in The Week Ahead.


As we've already heard, both Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon


are addressing the Scottish TUC conference today.


Wednesday is a big day in the Prime Minister's diary,


as it's the last PMQs before parliament dissolves next week.


She's also playing host to Jean-Claude Juncker


in Downing Street and possibly the EU's chief Brexit


Thursday is "Prorogation" or the formal end of


It starts the period between the end of one session and the State Opening


Not to be confused with dissolving parliament when an election


is formally called, which will be next Wednesday.


And the week rounds off with the European Council meeting


on Saturday where EU Heads of Government are set


to agree on the negotiating terms of Brexit talks.


We're joined now by Fraser Nelson from the Spectator and Kate Proctor


Welcome to both of you. We heard Tony Blair calling for voters to put


party allegiance aside and focus more on backing candidates who are


Andy Hodd Brexit. How much is tactical voting is going to be


present in this election -- antique hard Brexit. Not so much in England.


In Scotland there will be a lot of tactical voting anti-nationalist


voting because there is another referendum on the cards and anybody


who's does not want it is likely to vote for a candidate most likely to


stop the SNP. Scotland is where the tactical action will be. Do you


agree that this is being done from a position of weakness rather than


strength? Tactical voting comes up every time but there is something


serious behind this and I think in England it will be the way forward


for a lot of people. Speaking to people over the weekend, they are


making it their agenda to choose a party they would not normally


choose. In terms of the issues, we talk about tax and security, but in


last week's PMQs Jeremy Corbyn focused a lot on the debt and


deficit. If the economy still going to be centre stage? Not to the same


extent. The Conservatives are moving to the left economically, Theresa


May is stealing Ed Miliband's plans for up energy ice cap and wants to


clear the way for more tax rises as they did in the last budget. The


pledge not to raise taxes will vanish in this manifesto for the


Tories and they will move towards the Labour Party is economically. I


don't think there will be as big a battle ground. She will be teased


for stealing Miliband's policies but she will say, if you don't like


that, you are you going to vote for? And on energy, she will be teased


for that, but in your mind are they literally stealing some of the


proposals from Labour? They even said state intervention in the


energy market would be a terrible thing. They seem to be doing that a


lot at the moment, it is about positioning. I know Theresa May is


unlikely to think that Jeremy Corbyn is much of a threat but if you hark


back to Miliband's policies, that is where the crossover between Cameron


and an Miliband existed previously and Theresa May will go after those


policies to get back some of those voters. One of the other policies


Labour is committed to is the triple lock on pensions which some people


might be surprised about but we're talking about a group of people who


do vote. And the Conservatives are yet to confirm that. Will it be in


the manifesto? I don't think so, it is a very expensive pledge and it


was only in there to bribe pensioners at the last election and


it worked and they got a majority but now Theresa May does not need to


bribe anybody with Labour as weak as they are. Expensive badges like that


and other promises to pensioners will vanish. -- expensive pledges.


And it also has done its job. There was a time when pensioner income was


below that of the working age but now disposable income is almost the


same for pension houses and working age houses so it's time to abolish


it. And raising the state pension age is something on the agenda.


Interesting to see if that comes up in the manifesto or if it will be


kicked into the long grass because raising the state pension age, there


was meant to be an announcement on that. Were you surprised that the


Labour Party has committed itself to keeping the triple lock on pensions?


Not at all. It is hugely expensive and it sounds like the kind of thing


they think is a good idea and it is a vote winner, especially those over


55 and 16 onwards. It is hugely popular but as evidence has shown,


it is financially in viable -- 55 and 60. It will be difficult for


them to see it through. And PMQs on Wednesday, what are you expecting?


Theresa May is in good form and seems to be relishing this election


and she will try to handbag Jeremy Corbyn as much as possible. He might


attack her from the right, we have had this effective Tory tax


bombshell line from Labour and he might try that again is the strange


to see him resorting to it but he does not have that much ammunition.


Thank you very much. Enjoy the campaign.


Now, on Friday's programme, Laura Perrins from the Conservative


Woman website claimed that the Shadow Brexit Secretary,


Keir Starmer, sent his children to private school.


Keir Starmer says his children go to a local state primary in Camden,


Laura Perrins has since issued an apology and we're also happy


Now, with the election every political party


will be taking a long, hard look at their priorities


As they write their manifestos, they'll be trying to decide


where to be generous, and where to make savings.


When it comes to a government's first duty, the defence


of the realm, we spend what is the Nato target -


But the writer Andrew Sabisky argues that isn't enough,


and is challenging the parties to commit to trebling -


This London memorial, honouring the thousands of


airmen who died flying Bomber Command in the Second World


War, is a magnificent reminder of our glorious


But here in the present, decades of funding cuts have


But the problem is not just recruitment.


We are building aircraft carriers but without the escorts needed


The Army has fewer than 200 main battle tanks left and


we've lost the capacity to build more.


In Iraq and Afghanistan our troops fought bravely but lacked the


resources to defeat the insurgencies they faced and had to be bailed


At the moment we spend 2% of our national


But if we want to be a truly global power, then we


And that means increasing the military's budget.


On our doorstep, a weak Europe faces the


terrifying threat of a resurgent Russia that could conquer our


allies, Estonia and Latvia, in just 60 hours.


And our Ministry of Defence is not equipped to deal with


We are far too reliant on the US, with the unstable


A dangerous and uncertain world calls


Now that there's an election, I'm challenging the parties to commit to


trebling our defence expenditure from 2% to 6% of GDP.


Protect our nation, save our military, and spend the six.


Well done for timing it with the procession. Why 6%, why not four or


five? Could we have lost so much capability over the last few decades


and particularly since 2010, the Defence Select Committee report in


2016 that since then we had lost 20% of our conventional capabilities.


I'm not saying we should spend 6% for ever but maybe for the next five


years, a really big boost, some heavy equipment buying and then


taper down toward a long-term target of 4%. Let's get reaction to that,


do you back that? We are absolutely committed to the 2% spending that


Nato requires. That will be in the manifesto. Definitely. Does Jeremy


Corbyn support that? He does and has talked about it at the dispatch box


and we have talked about in treating B 2% but what we will be doing is


not fiddling the figures in the way that I have to say that the


Conservatives have done. How have they done that? Trying to include


things like pensions as part of that 2%, we want it to be as we can delay


did it in 2010 but Andrew highlighted the point that we have


spending slashed since the 2010 defence review and that is the


problem we have got. You indicated you would like to spend more than


2%? How much more? I said we're looking carefully at what we would


need to spend and we would want a proper review to look at some of the


gaps that Andrew is highlighting and where we might need to put in more


money. That might not be enough for you, not even America spends that


much of GDP, 6%. White should we? Again, I'm not saying we should do


it for ever and it is not a partisan issue, there is plenty of blame for


the last Labour government as well as the Tories but because of the


capabilities we have lost and we urgently need to restore, such as


the fact that we don't have the airborne capabilities to patrol our


season against submarines, it is gone. The figures when we get down


to it, we spend around 50 billion on defence now, that would put it up to


150 billion and it would be bigger than the NHS budget. Where does that


extra ?100 billion come from? Are you comfortable with the defences as


they are now, particularly as outlined? I'm comfortable that from


the time of the last election we increased the commitment to that 2%


of GDP and we said the cuts were done and we have an investment


programme in machinery and the goods people need and it is stable in


company with partners and Nato to go to the sort of figures you are


talking about I think is impractical. We have to work with


others for our defence capability. It would mean massive cuts to other


parts of public spending. It would mean a few. I think certain


sacrifices may have to be made particularly by the older generation


who are currently recipients of extremely expensive pledges like the


triple lock, free NHS prescriptions and so on. In order to fund defences


but are you saying we are in a more dangerous world than in the Cold War


for example? I wouldn't say it was necessarily less dangerous given the


highly unpredictable and unstable leadership in Russia, North Korea


and of course the Middle East is a powder keg. You would agree with


that? We are living in a dangerous world, whether as dangerous as the


Cold War, and there were cuts to defences. You're been accused of the


figures. I don't think we did that at all but what we said at the last


election was those cuts came to an end, we would go back to the 2% and


we make that pledge which people said we would not do but we have


done and it means more money is coming into the forces now. It is


essential we keep up our defenders and work with others and you need a


strong economy to do that. I don't think you would get it by trying to


put in as much as you are suggesting. I'm afraid we have run


out of time. Thank you for coming in and to you two. From all of us here,




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