Chris Williamson and Nadhim Zahawi join Jo Coburn to discuss the reaction to the latest terror attack in London and look ahead to the start of the Brexit talks.
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Hello, and welcome to the Daily Politics.
One person has died and ten people have been injured after a van
ploughed into pedestrians outside a mosque in north London.
The attack is being treated as a terrorist incident.
A 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder
Theresa May has chaired the Government's emergency
Brexit Secretary David Davis arrives in Brussels for the start of formal
But has the Government's negotiating strategy changed since the election?
The police confirm that 79 people are now dead or presumed dead
Theresa May is due to chair a meeting of the taskforce
co-ordinating the Government's reponse.
But how damaged has she been by her handling
And with us for the whole of the programme today
are the Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi, and the Labour
First today, a man has died and ten people have been injured after a van
was driven into a group of worshippers outside
the Muslim Welfare House on Seven Sisters Road in north
According to eyewitness accounts, the alleged attacker was held down
by members of the public before being later arrested by the police.
This morning, the police confirmed that they're treating the incident
Here's how those on the scene described events unfolding.
There was a man laying down on the floor who had,
I think, a heart attack, and there were two, a couple
of people there, giving him CPR, trying to talk to him,
Within a minute, me and friends we were there, and within a minute,
And then there was people underneath the van.
And it was shocking, and then he came out
from the van, running, he was saying, "I want
to kill more Muslims, I want to kill more Muslims."
And then other people were running behind him,
we got him down to the ground, tackled him down to the ground,
we managed to make him down until the police came.
Neil Basu, senior counter-terrorism officer for the Metropolitan Police,
said the incident had "all the hallmarks"
No matter what the motivation for this attack proves to be,
This is being treated as a terrorist attack.
The Counter Terrorism Command is investigating.
This was an attack on London and all Londoners.
We should all stand together against extremists
From 21 minutes past midnight this morning,
police received a number of calls to Seven Sisters Road following
a van having collided with pedestrians.
Officers were in the immediate vicinity at the time
and as the attack unfolded, and they responded instantly.
Additional officers were on the scene within ten minutes.
One man as I said was pronounced dead at the scene.
Eight others are in hospital and two more were treated at the scene.
All the victims were from the Muslim community.
I would like to praise the police officers who immediately responded
and gave life-saving treatment at the scene.
But also very much those members of the public who assisted before
Let's talk to our correspondent Sima Kotecha who is at
I know you have been following this for several hours.
Can you bring us up to date? Here is a synopsis. We know this
attack took place just after midnight, a van rammed into a group
of Muslim worshippers, they were just coming out after doing their
nightly prayers when a van rammed into them.
Ten people were injured, eight of which were taken to hospital. One
person has died but it is not clear whether that fatality is down to the
attack or something else. Police are investigating. A
48-year-old Mike white man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted
murder. We have been speaking to locals, there has been a multi-faith
gathering, priests, vicars, imams, bringing the community together,
saying they are here to relate a message of solidarity and say they
are here to give people reassurance they will not be divided as a
community. Speaking to Muslims, some are very
angry. I have covered the last three attacks, speaking to Muslims up and
down the country. During that time, they have been saying to me, we feel
vulnerable, we feel under attack, these people committing these
attacks are allowing people to paint us all with the same brush. There is
that vulnerability coming through, and a feeling of anger and
frustration. You say faith leaders have been on
the streets at the scene of the attack, trying to comfort to people.
What about the political reaction? Such is the Communities Secretary
was here in little while ago, he went to the site where the van
rammed into those people coming he was talking to locals, speaking to
multi-faith leaders, saying, we have two come together. He said it makes
him happy to see people from different religions here today,
telling each other they love each other and care.
He said there would be extra security around mosques in the
country. We heard Amber Rudd say ?2.5 million
is available for extra security. Jeremy Corbyn is coming here around
1pm. He is the local MP. He sent a tweet he was shocked and saddened by
what had happened. We are expecting him here this afternoon.
There are rumours Theresa May might be here this afternoon but I must
stress they are just rumours at the moment.
Thank you. Theresa May chaired a meeting
of the Government's She left that meeting
a short time ago. It is a reminder that terrorism,
extremism and hatred take many forms, and our determination
to tackle them must be the same As I said here two weeks ago,
there has been far too much tolerance of extremism
in our country over many years, and that means extremism of any
kind, including Islamophobia. That is why this government will act
to stamp out extremist and hateful ideology,
both across society and on the internet, so it is denied
a safe space to grow. It is why we will be reviewing
our counterterrorism strategy, and ensuring that police
and security services And it is why we will establish
a new commission for countering extremism as a statutory body,
to help fight hatred and extremism in the same way
as we have fought racism. Because this extremism is every bit
as insidious and destructive to our values and our way
of life, and we will stop And here's what the Labour
leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is also the local MP,
had to say when he visited We have had some attacks
on Finsbury Park Mosque in the past. We have had some threats made to
the Muslim Welfare House and other An attack on a mosque, an attack
on a synagogue, on a church We have to protect each other's
faith, each other's way of life and that is what makes us a strong
society and community. We're joined now by Miqdaad Versi
from the Muslim Council Of Britain. And my two guests are still here.
Are you happy this is being treated with the seriousness it deserves?
Many were concerned it wouldn't be but that is. The Prime Minister is
taking it very seriously with a Cobra meeting, the Mayor of London
getting extra police to reassure Muslims concerned at their local
mosque. Amber Rudd coming out very forcefully.
This is a good first step. We have to recognise, however, many
Muslim communities have been talking about the rise in hate crime against
Muslims for many years. Unfortunately there has not been the
action we expected. What we want now is that there can be no tolerance
for this form of extremism wherever it comes from. Which has been
spreading far too much. Do you think there hasn't been
enough recognition of Islam phobia which has been going on in the past
through -- few years? The Prime Minister was right, during
the campaign when we had the attack on Manchester and on Borough market,
to say we will be intolerant of intolerance, innocent people who
have broken fast, going to pair, coming together to prepare in the
early hours before sunrise, being attacked, that is equally not
acceptable in our society. We must not leave any safe spaces for it. It
is far too easy. There are criminal elements who hijack the religion of
Islam, who attack innocent girls going to a concert in Manchester, it
is equally bad to have someone attacked the Muslim community. It is
far too easy to say sometimes we focus on one but not the other. The
Prime Minister is right to say this commission will focus on all types
of extremism. Has it come too late in terms of
facing up to people feeling angry in the Muslim community, feeling
vulnerable and under attack? We are having to deal with this.
This extremism issue is something the whole of Europe is dealing with,
not just the UK. The more we attack Daesh who had
been taken out of Iraq almost completely in the last few weeks,
the more they will lash out. The more you have captions people like
the English Defence League and Tommy Robinson.
We have to go after those just as hard.
Do you think Theresa May has dealt with this quickly and seriously in
the weight as I said it should be? We need to look at the context, the
way in which the tabloid press deal with this, they demonise the Muslim
community, and I welcome the comments about being intolerant of
intolerance, I would welcome intolerant of the tabloid media, who
have been absolutely shocking. This is another truly appalling incident
on the streets of London, and we have to do more to tackle that, the
intolerant of the way the gutter press demonise Muslim communities,
and it means reviewing the Prevent strategy, and it also means
reversing many of the funding cuts we have seen in public services,
which can help to address some of these issues. Youth services have
seen massive reductions, and it is not just about funding police
properly, although that does need to be done, but we need to look at
other public services. You have made a lot of points, let's deal with the
here and now, what about increased security outside mosques, is that
necessary? Many Muslim curve unities are very worried and feel unsafe to
some extent, they are worried that large numbers of people will be
attending, and that might result in being a potential target. Having
police on the street is something that might be very helpful and
reassure people. Sadiq Khan has done that very well. I would like to pick
up on a point that has been made earlier, many parts of the media
have really spread this kind of hate. We have talked about hate
speech, how it is an acceptable, not tolerated, and now we know that the
BBC and many others will not have Anjem Choudary and others on the TV,
despite having had them in the past. What about the same people on the
right? What about Douglas Murray, who on the show said that less Islam
is the answer to terrorism. Even within a show like this, giving a
platform to people like that, to spread their hate, is unacceptable,
and we should not tolerate it. Do you think they should be a
clamp-down on looking, -- looking at far right extremists. The murder of
Jo Cox was considered a terrorist incident by somebody who had signed
up to the Nazi ideology. My parents were immigrants to this country, and
they came because of the values of tolerance, freedom, democracy, rule
of law. Anyone who decides to preach hatred and extremism against those
values should be called out. At either extreme. But has it been done
enough? The point being made, has the Government's aye been taken off
the ball because of its focus on Islamic extremism? Has there been a
tendency to ignore what has been going on on the other side, on the
far right? I do not think there has, I think in the UK, if you look at
the difference between the UK and France, where the National Front has
done so well, we have effectively pulled the rug from under the
extremists. But the number of incidents has gone up dramatically
in the last few years. I don't disagree, and we have just heard
someone talking about the BBC, or other media outlets. We all have to
examine our conscience and content. If you put a headline out that
demonise is a particular part of our society that we care about, we have
seen rabbis and priests coming together today, what message are you
sending to those who could be radicalised on the right extreme or
the Islamism or the jihadism? That is only part of the answer, but if
that alone does not work, you need to look at the massive funding cuts,
I have already made his point, in relation to youth services, policing
and so on. I saw a security expert on Newsnight suggesting that not of
the constabularies, other than perhaps the Met, are geared up
enough in terms of tacklers -- tackling terrorism. But what about
dealing with the ideologies at source? You have mentioned cuts to
the police... The counterterrorism budget has been protected... There
was a security expert on Newsnight suggesting that none of the other
constabularies around the country is geared up. But look, it is not
enough, dealing with the source, but you can help to tackle that by
reversing some of these funding cuts, neighbourhood policing, as I
have mentioned, youth services. What about Prevent? Labour wanted to
review it, but many felt it did a good job. We have seen terrorism
incidents, and it puts far too much emphasis on the Muslim community,
and we have got to look much wider than that, clearly this appalling
incident yesterday is proof of that point. We have had people who said
that a lot of the work Prevent did, the de-radicalise is an strategy put
forward by the Government, has had a lot of success, but people have only
focused on the failures, do you accept that? There will always be
successes, but what is worth recognising is whether it is human
rights groups, free-speech advocates, United Nations, European
Union, Muslim organisations, the royal college psychiatrists, all of
these different groups saying that Prevent is not working or that there
are serious concerns about it. It is worth recognising, I am of the
opinion that Prevent needs to be reviewed, like David Anderson, the
previous reviewer of terrorism legislation, so let's have a view,
let's engage with Muslim communities, because we need to work
together. Should the Prime Minister go to the scene of this attack
today? I think she will go to the scene of the attack, Sajid Javid as
Secretary of State for communities went first thing this morning, I
think it is right to demonstrate to the Muslim community, in the month
of Ramadan, this is a sacred place, as she rightly pointed out. It is
right for her to be seen in solidarity with the Muslim
community. She should do more than just visit the scene, but they need
to be doing more, reviewing the things I have talked about. But you
would like to address the community. I think it is absolutely right. Very
much so. So today marks the start
of the formal negotiations on the UK leaving the EU,
with Brexit Secretary David Davis travelling
to Brussels to begin talks. He met Michel Barnier, and both men
promise they've positive tone to discussions.
But after Theresa May failed to secure a majority
in the general election, there have been calls
for the Government to water down its demands on Brexit.
Yesterday, Chancellor Philip Hammond,
who supported the Remain campaign, confirmed that the Government
would continue to seek to leave the single market
But he indicated that "some kind of transitional structures"
will be needed to smooth the UK's exit.
And while he said no deal would be "a very, very bad outcome,"
he said a worse outcome would be a deal
that is "deliberately structured to punish us."
For Labour, Shadow Brexit Secretary Kier Starmer
also ruled out remaining in the single market
but said the UK could stay in customs union.
And he refused to confirm which way Labour would vote
which would transfer existing EU law onto the UK statute books.
We are joined now from Brussels by the German MEP and chair
of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, Elmar Brok.
He will be part of the EU parliaments negotiating team. Elmar
Brok, welcome to the Daily Politics, does the UK in your mind considered
Theresa May's negotiating position to have been weakened by the
election result in the UK? I think we would prefer to have a
strong government with a broad majority which would be able to do
compromises. We are afraid that the weak Prime Minister with a weak
government and a lack of authority will have more difficulties to do
proper compromises which we need to come to a successful end. What sort
of compromises are you talking about? , we have to talk about the
right of citizens, about British obligations, about the Irish issue,
but then we have to find a way to negotiate a free trade agreement,
because Britain until now has said that they do not want to stay in the
internal market and the customs union, and for such a negotiation
for a free-trade agreement, is very difficult, which as many
complications, we need to have compromises. We want constructive
solutions, non-Brexit is the really hard Brexit, back to WTO, this would
be very costly for all of us, but more for Britain, because of the
different size of the two entities. But do you agree with Chancellor
Philip Hammond that there would be a transitional period where the UK, to
some extent, would remain in the EU while that transition is going on,
so he said there would be more of a slope than a cliff edge coming out
of the EU? I think that is true, we negotiate first the divorce
agreement, which must be ready until the 29th of March 2019. This, for
example, a free-trade agreement will need a little bit more, and in order
to avoid hard Brexit we will need a transitional arrangement until this
is really finished and negotiated and ratified in parliaments, and
therefore I think this idea of a transitional period is also part of
the negotiation guidelines of the European Union, and I welcome this
idea by Philip Hammond. You talked a little bit about the fact that the
EU would have preferred to be negotiating with a strong leader,
someone who had a convincing win in the election on either side - does
that results change the strategy of the EU in these negotiations, are
they going to change their stance? No, we have no reason for that. 27
amber countries, Parliament, commission and Council have agreed
on the mandate, and I have never seen such a broad understanding
between the different players, and we wait now for the British
position, which we do not know yet so precise as we have publicised it,
and we hope that we will find here the basis that we can start the
negotiation point by point. But you make it sound, Elmar Brok, as if
there will be a change from the position that the government here
has set out, Theresa May position in the Lancaster House macro speech,
which is that the UK will be the single market and the customs union,
and there will be an end to freedom of movement, so in that sense,
changed. No, that has not changed - if that is the real point for the
negotiations. But we have so many voices in the last days and weeks in
the United Kingdom, discussing the way of the customs union and so on,
that this might have led to confusion. But nothing of that has
been put on us, because our position is ready, and we wait for the
position of the United Kingdom in the negotiations. Too many voices,
Elmar Brok has said, in the UK - that has led to confusion, do you
agree? Yes, I do, and I will tell you for why. In the last Parliament,
on the Foreign Affairs Committee, we had an inquiry into what would
happen if there was no deal, and the last commissioner came before the
committee, and I asked him, what should we do? This was an arch
Remainer, and he said we must get behind the Prime Minister and to
allow her to negotiate on our behalf and have a formal position that we
all agree on. I am really saying that Labour are in confusion about
that... We will come to Labour, I am talking about within Tory ranks. I
am talking about Parliament, this is a national interest issue now,
entering the negotiation, we must align behind our negotiating team to
get the best deal, otherwise our interlocutor is on the other side
watching, and they will exploit any weakness or confusion that there may
be. So my plea to Labour colleagues is get behind the Prime Minister in
the national interest. The national interest is not being served by the
Prime Minister. My theory is that she is happy to walk away with no
deal and turn Britain into an deregulation offshore taxation, and
that is what we have got to guard against. What has given you the
evidence to think that? Look at the ideology that underpins where the
Tory party are coming from, look at what they have done over the 18
years in government, look at the way they deregulated the labour market,
financial services - we have manufacturing... Labour also
deregulated the financial sector. They bought into that consensus. We
did make mistakes, yes. What about the customs union? Yesterday, Keir
Starmer, representing Labour in terms of the Brexit negotiations,
said we could remain in the customs union, is he right? We have got to
negotiate the best possible deal in terms of ordinary people, it may do,
but we have to make sure that anything that we negotiate works in
the interests of ordinary people, not the kind of people at the top of
society, the 0.1% at the top will have done incredibly well out of
neoliberalism. Can I come back to this confusion on the Labour side?
Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell said we would leave the single
market in the customs union, Keir Starmer says we can, doesn't Labour
need to have a clear voice on this? We will hold the Government to
account, we will push for the best possible deal... Everybody wants the
best possible deal. Are we in or out of the customs union?
In the end we had to secure tariff free access to the market. We have
Toyota, a big investor, one of the biggest we have seen in this
country, the danger is we will have to start paying tariffs on the goods
we sell... So, it sounds like... The Great
Repeal Bill, all these regulations which is do all these good things...
We need to reassure workers in our country.
With the trade union act! Are you going to support that repeal
bill? We will come back to you on that.
Can I just say, could the UK leads the single market and still say in
the customs union? There are limitations for the UK.
They cannot have every country in the trade agreement, some agreements
have to be fulfilled and if they are ready to do so we are happy.
The German Foreign Minister seemed over the weekend to suggest a
reduced jurisdiction for EU judges over Britain and continued access to
the single market, in return for some freedom of movement in the UK.
Is that a viable option do you think?
I think I have not totally understood what it means, half of it
and half of it not. If you have legal jurisdiction you must have
full legal jurisdiction, I do not see how it would work in the
practical sense. If you want to be a member of the
internal market you have to fulfil the conditions for everyone.
Switzerland and Sweden, except free movement of labour. If there is no
reason to do so we will have problems with the integrity of the
internal market which is of utmost importance.
Does there need to be an exit bill and if so how much should it be in
your mind? I do not know, I would not call it a
bill. It is a divorce agreement. When
European civil servants have worked for 45 years for the UK, then we
believe it is only fair that the UK takes the share of the pensions of
these people, for example. If we have decided certain projects
together to finance it, then everyone should take its share for
that. I think it is only fair. How much it will be is another question.
He has a point, why should the UK pay up for that share of
obligations? Clearly obligations are there, we
haven't said we won't. But, when you start spinning numbers like 100
billion that the UK would pay, I don't know where that Amber comes
from. We have to look at the real numbers. At the end of the day,
negotiation is about making sure we address our obligations to our
partners. We remain European. We inject 60
billion of demand into the EU 27. You agree a price has to be paid.
Some in the Conservative Party sake there is no legal obligation to pay
up. But you agree there is some obligation.
If we made that commitment, we need to make sure the numbers are robust
and we can fulfil our obligations. Should the Government position now
be able sign up to the suggestion the divorce bill is settled first?
I would like to make sure we settle the issue of European citizens
living in the UK. As far as British citizens living in Europe.
Then we can look at the financial obligations, as well as, as the
Spanish Foreign Minister suggested, look at free and unfettered access
to the single market for the UK. We can do that in good faith. What
is more important, the economy or reducing immigration?
We need to take control of our borders and our laws, and make sure
our economy remains open and robust. JL la has announced further 5000
jobs in the UK. They wouldn't be doing that unless they think this
Government can negotiate a good deal in the EU. I think we will forget
behind them. But we need to honour our
obligations. There are people... People in the Conservative Party say
we shouldn't pay anything but if we are going to get a decent deal, then
we have obviously got to honour our obligations.
Thanks you very much. I'm sure we will speak to you again over the
next few years! Meet the obligations, then get a
good deal. That is what Michel Barnier once. --
wants. As we've been discussing,
formal negotiations on the UK's exit from the EU start today
between the EU's Michel Barnier and Brexit Secretary
David Davis in Brussels. Tomorrow, Chancellor
Phillip Hammond and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney
make their annual Mansion House speeches on the state
of the British economy. On Wednesday, it's the State
Opening of Parliament which outlines the Government's
agenda for the year. there's a European Council
meeting in Brussels, issues including migration,
security and Brexit. We're joined now by Laura Hughes
from the Daily Telegraph Welcome to both of you. Laura
Hughes, Brexit negotiations, will David Davis signal a softening in
turn to his European counterparts? He already has, today is about the
talk about talks, building trust, becoming good friends. We have seen
weeks of tension between both parties but today is about coming
together to make this work. The context is interesting, David
Davis thought he would be walking into negotiations with Theresa May
behind him and a huge majority. He doesn't have that. People in
Brussels are worried what will happen to our Prime Minister. As you
said, we are seeing Germany softening the tone, saying, let us
give them a bit more than what we would have done, otherwise Theresa
May will come under serious pressure from both sides and if she leaves
the whole talks could crumble. Her leadership is under pressure for
a variety of reasons, how badly does Theresa May need success in these
talks? I don't think early success as a
concept is available. Both sides will be keen to emerge from today
and signal there is an accommodating culture.
The reality is, Theresa May went into this process thinking it would
be a continuity narrative from before the election. There is now
known strategic concept from the UK side.
She asked for a bigger mandate and didn't get one.
Specific questions about membership of the single market, customs union,
jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, there is no majority in
parliament, so it is not clear Theresa May has the support of
cabinet. Ultimately, we talk about success in this country as a
presentational idea, the idea that the Prime Minister's authority will
be upheld. Is there authority in the UK to do a deal that will stand up?
It seems clear from the outside there isn't.
Let us turn our attention to Grenfell Tower, shocking pictures of
the weekend of inside the building. The police have issued a statement
today saying 79 people are feared dead, presumed dead. How much will
this tragedy come to define Theresa May's Government?
We saw from Wednesday morning she was under serious pressure. Images
of Jeremy Corbyn, the Queen and Prince William going there before
the Prime Minister did. She didn't meet with the victims. At
the weekend she said the initial response was not good enough. Why
did it take until Saturday for her to sit down with victims to come to
that conclusion. If it wasn't good enough in the beginning, she would
have known that. It doesn't look good. People are saying she lacks
humanity. In terms of human response, people
have said it was found wanting. What do you think is going to be the
impact in terms of changes to regulation and the reviews, and
looking at the buildings that are still the high-rise tower blocks
that could still be covered in cladding that may be combustible?
There aren't two political challengers, the performance element
of Theresa May showing empathy, a one track issue.
And the broader question, the apparatus of conservative ideology
seems to be unravelling. The regulation, health and safety
culture, that this was an obstruction to the economy. The idea
of stripping away regulations seems to have been exposed as introducing
risk to society. People will say, hang on, what was the system that
was keeping people safe in their homes? We will now be looking at
buildings, school buildings, high-rises where people are living,
questioning whether our approach to Government and the state has been
negligent. Theresa May has a bigger problem than whether she can
demonstrate warmth with individuals on the ground.
The police have confirmed that 79 people are missing, presumed dead,
Commander Stuart Cundy also said that all criminal offences are now
being considered, as detectives, fire-safety experts and the Health
and Safety Executive recover evidence into how last week's fire
started and, crucially, why it spread so quickly.
a minute's silence was held in memory of the victims.
For the victims of the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower.
Theresa May has faced criticism for her response to the fire, or lack of
it. Is that criticism fair? I am an
immigrant to this country. Many of those living in Grenfell Tower will
have been from from North African, Syrian immigrant community, who came
to the UK because of all its great values.
The Prime Minister was right to say the reaction wasn't good enough.
People getting ?10 on the ground, who have lost everything.
The speed at which the whole machine of Government, local or central,
wasn't up to speed. But, turning our Prime Minister into
a human punchbag just because she doesn't cry in front of people. You
heard from the Reverend who went to see the victims, she welled up... It
is wrong to politicise this. Let us get the evidence, there is a
criminal investigation. Government says that particular cladding was
illegal in the UK for buildings as tall as Grenfell Tower...
We will come onto that. You said you think it is unsightly
for her to be used as a punchbag. Even she admitted it was a
lamentable response, ?10 offered to people who had lost everything.
The tower looks like a war zone, devastating. The response as she
admitted was too slow in terms of an emergency fund and offering for
people to be rehoused. Jeremy Corbyn, even the Queen
managed to go down personally to empathise, just to be seen to give
some sort of solidarity with the people who were affected.
Why couldn't Theresa May do that? Well, she went to the site. She
talked to the amazing fire men and women who were the first responders.
She has put into place a response now, ?5,500 for each and every
family, immediately available, housing within three weeks. It
wasn't good enough at the beginning. Of course it wasn't! I am not going
to insult your intelligence to say that, of course it wasn't. Questions
have to be asked, why isn't that we did not respond in the same way as
to flooding disasters in our country for these poor souls? Also, the
image that could well stick to the Conservative Party for some time is
the majority did back drop people, many of them immigrants, dying in
one of the richest boroughs of the country. We need to understand what
happened, why a refurbishment can take place in such a building that
can make it such a fire hazard when millions of pounds were spelt on the
building, but not properly. Do you accept that there has been some sort
of politicisation? It is a political issue too, but has Labour exploited
this. This is symptomatic of a broken system, poor people died in
that horrendous incident because of a political system which has
systematically failed to invest in our public services. I was calling,
in 2011, for sprinkler systems to be installed in high-rise blocks. But
your own government... Let him finish and we will come back to you.
We have a broken system where, you know, the private sector and the
Conservative Party see public services as a cash cow. How can we
make money out of these public services? I don't think anyone is
making money in that sense. The point is that we see privatisation,
not run by local authorities, why wasn't it invested in? Because it
has been external eyes to an arm's length organisation, and they are
penny-pinching. -- externalised. It is all down to this obsession with
neoliberalism which was brought in by Margaret Thatcher. Nadhim Zahawi,
to use your words, is this a broken society... A broken system. Based on
an ideology associated to the Conservatives? 2015, the
Conservative government launched a cutting red tape initiative, which
boasted cutting fire regulation is. David Cameron said the Conservative
government would kill the health and safety culture for good. As your
party's obsession with the need to cut red tape come what may put lives
in let's get one facts straight, so that we can have a proper discussion
about this issue. The people running this building was the local tenant
management association made up of residents and councillors. These are
local people who should have done their job properly. That is
incredibly unfair! The local authority is also responsible. But
the point here is what happened... There were blogs about the tenant
manage organisation not doing its job properly... By question was
about the Conservative obsession about cutting red tape? There is a
difference between red tape that is stopping businesses doing their work
and a difference between us wanting to cut fire safety. You have closed
fire stations, let's be honest about this. York government did not follow
through on sprinklers... We didn't close fire stations, like you have
been doing. We can have a two and fro about this... Let's talk
about... It is not true about us cutting fire safety. What about
these bring the you talked about it, the Labour government not act
quickly enough to review building regulations. -- what about these
sprinkler systems? This is talking about the Lakanal House inquiry, the
Government ignore the regulations. There was an earlier report that
said similar things, both governments, Labour and
Conservative, have failed. Why weren't the systems fitted
retrospectively? The Government said all councils were advised to do so
after a bad fire in Camberwell in 2013. These are the sort of
questions the inquiry must look into. Why is the recommendation that
any building over a particular height, sprinklers would make a
difference, why didn't the Labour government not react to it? We will
find that out very quickly. Is it to do with the culture of cost-cutting?
I do not think that is where it comes from. If you look at the early
evidence that has come out, it is marginal, the numbers, between what
the cladding... If people who were rich were living in that flat, they
would have had the sprinkler system, and they would not have died. This
is a class issue, it seems to me, where poor people are victimised and
cast aside. You say that Labour are not exploiting this, not trying to
turn this into a class war, but your Shadow Business Secretary said
Bernard neoliberalism, not poor people. So you agree with him? I do.
Do think that is appropriate? Neoliberalism is the problem, it has
got far worse in the last seven years, this culture that we have
spoken about, cutting red tape. I used to work in the building trade
is, I nearly died and a building site, but the Conservative Party
wants to get rid of health and safety because it betters business.
They will external eyes wherever they can, privatise... This idea of
arm's-length organisations, all of these powers given to them, to this
management company, does it have to stop now. I was a councillor in
Wandsworth for three terms, and I think it is a good idea to have
tenants managing their own businesses, but you have got to
manage it properly. The blogs was saying that the TMO were not
actually... You have to take responsibility. Some of these
organisations were set up by Labour, and the current Labour MP actually
sat on the board of the management company. These arm's-length
organisations, lots of organisations were set up as a way of accessing
additional financing, and we need to get back to simple local authority
houses... If this was run by the Council, the chances of this... We
will never know. When they were run by local authorities, we saw decent
investment going into our housing, and we didn't have the crisis that
we now have across the country under the Conservatives, we have seen a
culture where they look at it and say, how can we make money out of
it? A vice I must let Nadhim Zahawi answer that. That is absolutely not
true, this is the ugly part of this tragedy, people going out and
spinning lies to pursue their political... It is not a spin! To
let him finish. Chris, your manifesto was to nationalise
everything. Your leader's hero is Hugo Chavez, everything there has
crashed, and if you are sick in Venezuela, you die, because there is
no medicine. By spending and spending and nationalising
everything... Nobody is saying nationalise everything. Gentleman!
Gentlemen, we have to end it. It should be about public service, not
private profit. Now, could identity cards help keep
us safe from terrorist incidents, An ID card scheme was introduced
by the last Labour government but then dropped by the incoming
coalition government in 2010. But former Labour Home Secretary
Charles Clarke ID cards have always
been controversial. But I think they're
just plain common sense. Good morning,
my name's Charles Clarke, I've come to apply
for a voluntary ID card, please. Here at CitizenCard, they've been
issuing voluntary ID cards - often for young people
to act as proof of age - To date, 2.2 million people have
applied for one of their cards. We already have a large number
of identity cards They help us travel, to work,
to get into our workplaces, to be able to cross borders,
to be able to access our finance details so that only we can get
to our bank accounts. We've got a whole range of different
types of identity cards already. And they would help
with immigration, so we can be confident that everyone in this
country is entitled to be here, everyone using our NHS
is entitled to use it, everyone getting a social security
payment is entitled to receive it, and that everyone voting
in our elections The police and security services
fighting organised criminals, like people traffickers and drug
dealers, and terrorist networks like those who committed
the appalling attacks on our cities in recent weeks, need to be
able to prevent them using false or stolen identities
in preparing their crimes. Our identity is
our most precious possession. We should do everything that we can
to protect it. A system of national
identity registration based on our own individual
physical characteristics, and using the most
up-to-date technology, Your card, sir.
Thank you very much indeed. It looks great, even the photograph.
Thanks very much. Theresa May was wrong to abolish
the identity card scheme in 2010. It was her first act
as Home Secretary. We need to re-establish
the national identity scheme And Charles Clarke is in the studio,
welcome back to the Daily Politics. When ID cards were introduced,
hugely controversial, they were scrapped by the coalition
government, what makes you think they are less controversial now? I
am sure they are still very controversial, and they are
controversial because although people can see many benefits, people
are worried about civil liberties side of it, and that comes from the
right and the left, concerned that somehow our civil liberties are put
up thread. I don't think that is the case. I think ensuring we can
protect our identity against identity fraud, against all kinds of
efforts to take away our identity, and the police and security
services, I think, gain from having the capacity to stop the identity
theft which gangs of various kinds used to prosecute their task. How
much support do you think they have? I haven't got that any recent
polling, but it was always quite large, and then when we legislated
for it, the majority of people, but it at the opposition within some
parts of the Labour Party, and some parts of the Conservative Party.
Were you deeply opposed? I was, I think there are civil liberties
issues and concerns, which Charles has identified, but I don't think it
will work, frankly. I don't think the cards would prevent the kind of
horrendous incidents that we have seen. Why not? Because the
terrorists were home-grown, the fact that they have an identity card is
not going to prevent them hiring a van and mowing into people on
Westminster Bridge. Chris is right, they are not a silver bullet. Some
people claim that if you brought them in, you could stop all terror
attacks of the kind we have seen. I have never thought that is true, but
what I do think is that it makes it more difficult for criminal
organisations, not just terrorists, but also drug dealers and people
traffickers, to be able to travel around the world, which is what they
do, with impunity, so I don't argue, just to be clear, that if you bring
this income you can solve all these problems. I do think it is an
additional weapon. What was your view at the time? Was Theresa May
Rob it was before my time. I have a couple of questions for Charles, one
is, they have got ID cards in France, and it hasn't helped deal
with the terrorism problems in that country. We have got biometric
passports now, technology getting better and better, so why try to
replicate a double ID card? I think the cost of the time was about ?1
billion that you had earmarked for this project, wouldn't we be better
off spending ?1 billion in a better way? Well, not everybody has
passports. There are elements of using the passport scheme to issue
the ID cards. The cost wasn't very substantial in the end, it cost me
?25 for that card. The total cost of 1 billion was before you took out
the income you got from it. But the main reason for the ID cards scheme
was to enable you to have, instead of all the types of ID cards that
you now have in your wallet, and in your pocket at this very minute, a
simpler system to be able to understand how we can protect the
data that is so important to all of us.
I can't see how another layer would actually...
It becomes a replacement rather than another layer.
Can I ask for your response whether you feel the Government response
this morning has been serious and quick enough to what has happened in
Finsbury Park Mosque mark they have given public announcements which are
clear, I am not convinced the commission on its gyms and will make
any difference on the process. -- commission on extremism.
The more serious issue is whether the Government had already weakened
our capacity to combat the terrorists we saw in Manchester and
London bridge. That is a more serious aspect.
Theresa May as Home Secretary didn't only stop the ID system, she got rid
of the control order regime... I am going to have to stop you
there. Thank you. That's all for today,
thanks to our guests. What makes you two different
from each other?
Labour's Chris Williamson and Nadhim Zahawi from the Conservatives join Jo Coburn throughout the programme to discuss the reaction to the latest terror attack in Finsbury Park in north London and look ahead to the start of the Brexit talks with the German MEP Elmar Brok.
Also former home secretary Charles Clarke says why he thinks we should now introduce ID cards.