05/09/2017 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


MPs return to Westminster where they will get their say


on Brexit this week, but will they be able to disrupt


the process by inflicting any defeats on this minority government?


A re-invigorated Theresa May is going nowhere says her deputy


and we'll be hearing more from her about policies


But how long will Conservative MPs allow her to stay in post?


The Maduro government in Venezuela has been condemned


after a deadly crackdown against political opponents.


Is Jeremy Corbyn taking a hard enough line with the South American


And the First Dog enters the Elysee Palace -


why is it so important for a French President


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


of the programme today is the chairman of the 1922


Committee - the so-called shop steward of backbench Conservative


Now, there's been plenty of government business over


the summer with Brexit negotiations continuing in Brussels last week.


Today though MPs return to Westminster and on Thursday


they'll debate the EU Withdrawal Bill.


There are certain to be critical voices, but when it comes to votes


is the Government likely to suffer any defeats?


The Government currently has a working majority of 13 thanks


There are however nine Labour MPs who supported Leave


If these Labour MPs support the bill, this would give


the Government a larger Brexit majority of 31.


That means the Opposition would need around 16 Conservative MPs to rebel


Former Business Minister Anna Soubry said yesterday that she had given


Theresa May an "absolute assurance" that she and other would not vote


There could be closer votes as the Bill advances


One point of controversy in the Bill is expected to be


so-called Henry VIII powers, clauses which give Ministers


the freedom to make changes to the law with less parliamentary


In a moment I'll be talking to Liberal Democrat Leader,


Vince Cable, but first let's talk to our Political Editor


Welcome to the programme. So Parliament is back! Yes. You're


back. It's lovely to be back. Looking forward to the months ahead.


Theresa May is fighting on as she said over the summer, but there are


dangers, big dangers ahead potentially, let's talk about that


EU withdrawal Bill with a small majority how difficult could Tory


rebels and Opposition parties make life for her? Well, they could make


it very hard and very painful and very grumpy and very fractious.


There isn't however a sense at this point that on the Tory backbenchers


those who supported Remain have got any desire to somehow sink the


Government to bring it crashing down. The numbers are so tight that


a really small number of them could actually do so if they really felt


like it and with a working majority of 13, it would only take six Tory


rebels, just six of them, to defeat the Government on any of it. But


although they have got real concerns about the Henry VIII powers and a


whole variety of issues around the withdrawal Bill there isn't at the


moment an appetite to really, really do the Government damage. Are they


going to make it difficult? Are they going to try and make demands?


Absolutely, but are they going to try and carry out a succour punch on


Theresa May at a time when she is fragile, not at this stage. The


challenge for the Government is to work out what's just grand standing


because there will be a lot of that, it's Westminster after all and where


are there genuine attempts to make this a better bit of legislation.


Cabinet Ministers acknowledge they will have to budge in some areas.


Brexit is the dominating issue for many people. There is a domestic


aagained da and it seems that Number Ten wants to remind voters and us


that they are still going to pursue a domestic agenda and perhaps park


their tanks on Labour's lawn? I think that's certainly the case for


two reasons. One when Theresa May moved into Number Ten she was


obviously visibly more passionate about the changes she wants to make


this this country that the European issue. I think that's quite clear.


She has never been one of the Tory politicians to be obsessed by the


European agenda. But here she finds herself having to do that as the


biggest piece of business. So she herself personally wants to get


things done. She wants to make changes to education and she wants


to make changes in mental health, a variety of issues. The second reason


is, the huge Tory election disappointment for that party also


reminded them if they are to be in a position again of being a winning


and convincing party, they've got to talk to the public more about things


that they actually care about. Including lifting the public sector


pay cut? Well, here we are in June and July after the election that was


a continual source of speculation. Messages from parts of Government,


Cabinet Ministers who made it clear around the Cabinet table after the


election, they wanted to see movement. But we will see. It is up


to the chancellor in a few weeks time to write a letter to the SSRB,


the independent... They have the remit? Exactly. It is one of these


strange issues this public sector pay. It is independently set by


independent bodies who guarantee their independence, who guard it


very carefully. But there, of course, operating in a political


context. And it was interesting the first example of this we actually


had after the election where you had Cabinet Ministers saying we've got


to do something about this, a whole load of noises off, the first


independent body that came back, the teachers review body, came back


sticking to the 1%, but making it very clear they had only done that


through gritted teeth because ministers made it clear they


wouldn't be able to do anything else.


Let's talk to Vince Cable. You have called for an exit from Brexit. It


is tougher language than we heard from your predecessor you accepted


the referendum result, you don't? We are not talking about accepting the


referendum result. We are talking about having a new referendum. You


can call it a first referendum on the facts once we know what the


outcome of the negotiation is, we are in a different position from


where we were when the referendum took place and the public should


have a choice then. Do they want to proceed on the basis which they know


the Government has secured or do they want an exit from Brexit? So


you have become the Remain party? We are e-Six Nationsly the Remain


party, that's right. There are many who say you haven't accepted the


first referendum whatever you want to call it which did say that we


should leave the EU? If it emerges that leaving the EU is so messy and


complicated and so damaging, I think as David Davis once put it in a


democracy people have the right to change their minds, and we'd like to


give them that right. What do you say Graham Brady? The danger that


what Vince Cable is advocating is the possibility that we go interest


a rather tricky, complicated couple of years of uncertainty to another


referendum followed by more years of uncertainty followed by another


referendum to say whether or not we accept the outcome of that. This is


a never ending process. The country made a decision. We need to get it


right for the good of the country. Why are you thwarting it? We're not


thwarting it. We think there are a hole lot of problems coming down the


track. I think the process of leaving the European Union will be


far more difficult and far more costly and far more messy and the


Government are clearly not ready for it. And we think there needs to be


check. To a degree, I accept this point, the never endum world, I


would rather we never got into this, but we are we are and that's where


we started. We need to know what the facts are, and where the country has


got to and then we can have a rational decision on whether we are


to jump off a cliff or stay where we are? Do you accept the EU withdrawal


Bill? In other words the adoption of all the EU legislation into British


law? No, we don't accept it as it is. And there are two basic points


here. I mean one is the process issue the so-called Henry VIII


clause... We will come to that in a moment, but the substance of the


Bill, you don't support the fact that by adopting EU legislation that


will allow continuity and certainty when the UK leaves? Well, that would


be fine if it were just adopting everything that currently exists


automatically, but of course, once you take away from Parliament


supervision of legislation and institutions as you give the


executive power there is nothing to stop them for example, let's just


take a random case. Air quality and environment. They may just adopt the


European standards as they are and that's the end of it, but it maybe


in translating it into British law, they wish to dilute the standard. So


the issues around process and substance are not completely


separate. Why are you supporting the idea of giving more power to the


executive? You are a champion of backbenchers and less power to


Parliament? I am. I think this is a really tricky point. What we need to


do now is an enormous amount of legislative change in a short period


because we want that continuity, we want that clarity that the laws are


going to be the same and that businesses and individuals can rely


on that... But you don't know they are going to be the same. The


executive could decide to dump some rights and keep others. The


Government made it clear that the standards will be the same or


higher. We, of course and it is a nonsense to suggest these are the


only opportunities that Parliament will have to hold the executive to


account. There are so many vehicles to do that. If they were to break


faith we could bring them back to Parliament and stop it from


happening. You are happy to give up the Parliamentary scrutiny that you


have always said along with many of your colleagues on the backbenches


is so critical to actually making the executive accountable? The


Government is doing the right thing in keeping faith with a promise


which is the repeal of the European Communities Act will be followed by


the replication of all of that law in British law. That can only be


done through this mechanism and I think if Vince tried to change the


mechanism we would miss the deadlines that are involved. What


difference can you actually make though, Vince Cable with 12 Liberal


Democrat MPs? With our 12 MPs and our rather larger number of peers,


we can make an intervention, but it is clearly... A wrecking sort of


intervention? Not wrecking. My phrase is constructive opposition


and that's where I want us to be! But we will be working with people


in other parties who share our concerns both on the constitutional


issues which Graham has acknowledged exist and the issues of substance


staying in the single market and the customs union where the jobs and the


economic future is. Who are you going fob working with in the other


parties because it is not clear in the Labour Party how big the


appetite is in terms of supporting the philosophy that you've outlined.


Yes, they have said they want to stay in the single market and


customs union during a transition period, and John McDonnell and


Jeremy Corbyn are not enthusiasts for remaining in the single market?


You're right. There is a wonderful lack of clarity about what the


Labour Party want. You see can't rely on them to help your 12 Liberal


Democrat MPs? They have moved a bit and an important way. They have


accepted that if there is a transition, it has got to be within


the single market and the customs union, but you're right, the Labour


Party are all over the place in telling us where we go after that.


Right, so you can't rely on them in terms of support... We maybe able to


vote with them collectively or with large groups of backbenchers who are


unhappy about it with some Conservatives. Have you spoken to


some Conservative backbenchers? Parliament is a collegiate place, we


are not totally tribal. Which amendments are you going to plan to


put down when it comes to the committee stage, which is the stage


after the second reading and the vote next week? We will see whether


the Speaker takes that and whether it is voted on, but beyond that, we


will be proceeding through the detail as it comes. What do you say


to your Tory colleagues, Anna saoub bury said she won't be voting down,


she said the second reading, but when it comes to cut knee and the


powers that we've talked about, she will be looking at amendments,


that's her job? And they need to make their own judgements and that's


something that I think it is a difficult and complicated job being


a member of Parliament because you have to balance these issues of


scrutinising legislation and standing up sometimes for your


party, especially if you're in Government and Anna and others have


sor fan been clear that they are striking a balance in this. They


don't want to damage the Government. And thet don't want to set in train


a course of events that would be harmful to the country. Did the


former Brexit minister speak out of turn when he said she really needed


to look at where her loyalty lies? For all of us our loyalty is to our


country, but we are in a very delicately poised Parliament with


small majorities involved in all sorts of important things. Of


course, people need to think carefully about how they vote. Why


do you think there is any support for your position when you look at


the general election result. The polls haven't moved. There isn't


much evidence of buyers remorse and your vote share went down in the


general election. Why are you pursuing a strategy that isn't going


to be a vote winner for you? We don't know what's going to happen in


the next two years. The general election was in a very different


context, the process of negotiation hadn't properly started. There was a


lot of debate about what soft and hard Brexit actually meant. I think


a lot of people took our second referendum commitment as re-running


the last one. Do you think people haven't understood the issues? The


economic consequences are just beginning to become apparent through


the exchange rate and it is affecting people's living standards,


but it hasn't been dramatic one way or the other, but this will


gradually emerge over time. The come Paralympicsities of extricating


ourselves, things like the open skies agreement, all of this will


start to hit people in a direct way that affects their lives.


So you are hoping that everything will go wrong? No, I hope that the


country is in the right place eventually and I believe that what


is right for the country is that we stay within the institutions like


the single market, the customs union, collaborative research, the


good environmental standards which have served this country well. Vince


Cable, thank you very much. The question for today


is which of these politicians At the end of the show Graham


will attempt to give As business get underway


here in Westminster, Scotland's First Minister,


Nicola Sturgeon, will be launching her programme for Government


at Holyrood this afternoon. Let's speak to the BBC's Scotland


Editor, Sarah Smith, who is there. Sarah, a disappointing election


result for the SNP, is this something of a relaunch? They will


not call it that but yes, an attempt to seize the agenda once more and


get to the business of governing Scotland with powers that the


Scottish and already has. So much Scottish politics in the first six


months of the year was governed by another referendum, and the time


spent talking about that led the SNP political opponents to say they were


neglecting their day job. Saying that they were not spending enough


time passing legislation and introducing reforms to Scottish


schools and hospitals. Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister, is


grabbing initiative with her most ambitious plan yet, she will


announce a huge raft of legislation, at least 16 new builds on top of the


11 going through the Scottish Parliament and it will be a busy


session, to make it clear that they are getting on with the day job.


This is about saying she is in charge and running Scotland. It has


obviously hit home that criticism of her, as you say, you neglecting her


day job. Especially on the issue education? She has said that she


wants to be judged on her record on education, on her government's


record on education. She is inviting voters to pass judgment and they


have not delivered. Scottish school standards are declining in reading


and writing and maths. So, they've got to get an ambitious reform


programme on the books if she is not going to be judged, as she invited


voters to do, and wanting on education. And what about the


independence issue? Has it been put on the back burner? It is firmly on


the back burner. What was announced at Holyrood in a few months ago was


that there would be a reset on the timetable and the First Minister was


now willing to have another referendum before the UK left the


EU. It is difficult to see how things change dramatically, it could


happen before the next Scottish election in 2021 and then, if the


SNP win an overall majority at Holyrood, then a referendum could be


possible. Getting voters to trust the SNP on the economy, that is


crucial as it could allow them to win the next 2021 elections and then


take forward their plans for another referendum. It sounds like a busy


session, Sarah Smith. Thank you. Now - my guest Graham Brady


is dressed smartly in navy today - but the 1922 Committee -


of which he is of course chair - is often referred to


as 'the men in grey suits'. They're a mysterious group of Tory


backbench MPs with the power to tap the party leader on the shoulder


and make them stand down. And exactly who and what


is the 1922 committee? The 1922 Committee was set up in


1923, in 1922 the Conservative leader Andrew Bona Locke pulled out


of what was the Liberals, and election followed, and a number of


new Tory MPs. It was started as a forum for them but then all


backbenchers were allowed to meetings and by the end of the


Second World War it became the norm that Conservative leader 's work, on


occasion, invited along to give account of themselves. That still


happens today. Its importance has grown markedly over the years,


influencing policy. Not making policy but influencing policy


through the representations that are made. Made either red meetings --


made at meetings. There is a hugely important task that was entrusted to


the 1922 Committee since the 1960s, of overseeing the election of the


leader of the Conservative Party. Voting 75 in favour of Mr Duncan


Smith's leadership of the party. 1390 of not confident. The committee


has the power to force a vote of no-confidence in a leader, which is


what happened to Iain Duncan Smith in 2003. The Parliamentary party has


spoken and the announcement has been made. I will stand down as leader


when a successor has finally been chosen. Ladies and gentlemen, I have


two announced that nominations for the leaders of the Conservative


Party closed at 12 noon today. There was one valid nomination, that of


the Right Honourable Michael Howard, member of Parliament for Folkestone


and highs. Michael Howard led for just over two years, although he


never became Prime Minister, he says it is always important to have the


committee on side. Ultimate power resides with the backbenchers of


Parliament, of the governing party. Certainly in the Conservative Party,


because if you are only Prime Minister because you can command


confidence of the House of Commons, you are unlikely to command the


confidence of opposition parties in the House of Commons. So if you do


not command the confidence of your own party, you don't command the


confidence of the House of Commons which is what Parliamentary


democracy is about. Conservative leaders should learn to keep the


1922 Committee suite, something Margaret Thatcher lost sight by the


end her leadership. -- suite. It's often been a force for stability


within the Conservative Party but there can be occasions where one


thinks tremendous divisions over Europe in the 1990s, under John


Major, they were -- the 1922 Committee could not perform the


valuable role of bringing greater stability to the affairs of the


conservative party in parliament as the divisions were so great. They


were called the men in grey suits, the current chairman of the 1922


Committee sporting dark blue here, shows how things can change that


Theresa May owes plenty to her backbenchers.


And the current Chairman of the 1922 Committee is still here...


Graham Brady, Michael Howard said that ultimate power resides with the


party, and Theresa May had said that she would stay as long as the party


still wanted her. How long would you like her to stay on as the leader?


Well, I think she did a good thing last week in making it clear that


she is around for the long and isn't about to cut and run. Of course,


it's true that it is always subject to be supportive colleagues. There


are two weighs any Prime Minister goes, their own party can choose to


get rid of them or the electorate. You are happy for her to lead you


into the next election? If she is, I am. We are solidly behind Theresa


May and we know that she's got a big job to deliver. There is a


complicated set of things to make progress on, not only brakes or some


other domestic challenges which are really important. We want her to


make progress. We had a general election just now. We did not get


the result we wanted but we won. We got a share in the boats, and a


number of those which propelled Tony Blair to landslide result. It was a


disaster, she lost the majority and she thought she would get a bigger


majority and she called a snap election when she promised


faithfully not to do that. I think the election result was not what we


would have wanted and a lot went wrong... What went wrong? Almost


everything, in my view. Including significantly the fact that it was


all focused as a presidential style campaign. It didn't work for Theresa


May's style. I think she was getting across to the public well, before


that as someone who could relax into the role and was becoming more


obviously in tune with people more able to deal with that. She is the


leader and she makes the decisions in the end. One of the complaints


from your colleagues was that she did not communicate outside her


coterie of two advisers, how big a problem was that? I think we have


seen important changes in structure and personnel, one which is really


important issue brought in more people around her who are closer to


Parliamentary colleagues who are good at dealing with colleagues...


Are the channels of communication open? They are always open with me


but with far more colleagues, they are part of the process. You were


always in contact with her, were you? Ahead of the election, head of


the campaign. Things change in an election campaign. My position is


predicated on me chairing the Parliamentary colleagues and when we


get to an election campaign, Parliament is not sitting. There are


no members of Parliament. Is the reason why you are so supportive of


Theresa May because you are a Brexiteer and you think that she is


the best bet in terms of delivering a Brexit you would like to see? The


majority of your committee is meant to represent all Conservative


backbenchers, people like you, Nigel Evans and Bernard Jenkins. What


about those who are not Brexiteers? Who decided to remain, and still


are, unlike Theresa May who did decide to remain but changed her


mind? It's a representative body and has people representing all strands


of opinion in the party. Now does it represent Anna Soubry, Nicky Morgan,


Dominic Grieve, who are sceptical about their plans? It is important


to us in doing our job, whether it be communicating with the leader of


the party, dealing with the Chief Whip, the party chairman, who


represents positions that we have on the board of the party. We need a


spectrum of opinion to make it happen and we have. Is there a


chance that it looks to summon' that you are representing the government,


to backbenchers, rather than the other way around? I do not think it


is the case, I think I have been elected as the chairman of the 22,


an annual opportunity for election, for the last seven years because


people think I'm prepared to say it how it is and stand up and be


counted. Many colleagues came on here to talk about the leadership,


how angry were you with the ministers, many in post? I think we,


as a committee, this was generally the view of backbench colleagues, we


were very keen that having come through the general election we


should be able to make progress in government and the Prime Minister


should be able to get on with the job and it is very important that we


are not bogged down with internal discussions. It's not what the


country expects. They elect people to get on with the job and, having


come through a general election... She did not win the election in that


sense of the word, strictly... You have a minority and a deal done with


the DUP for ?1 billion, were you happy with that deal? There are


responsibilities that fall to those in government to make sure they can


do the job and serve the national interest. Were you happy with the


deal? That is what we are seeking to do and governed with the support of


the DUP, or, as you said in your package, there are nine Labour MPs


who voted in favour so far of... And you are counting on them! More would


be welcome... The deal with the DUP, would you have supported that


advocated it? Having the security and ability to predict what is going


to happen in government is quite important. Having that arrangement,


which of course does not deal with matters of controversial domestic


legislation in Northern Ireland, that is really very important for


the good of the governors of our country. And would it be important


for the governors of the country, since that ?1 billion was


miraculously found, to secure that deal with the DUP in Northern


Ireland, that actually it is right now for Theresa May's government to


advocate and suggest to Depay bodies that the 1% cap on the public pay


sector should be lifted? This needs to be dealt with cautiously. Why, do


you support it or not? There is a tricky balance to be struck. Simply


letting public sector pay take off without control does not do any


favours. It does not do favours for lower paid people working in the


public sector as there are economic consequences which impact tax


revenues, and in mortgage rates, and so on. It is right to be cautious


but it is also right that we do not seek to give people the impression


that a decision that was taken in 2010 by the coalition government for


very good reasons is going to be something which stays in perpetuity.


There must be a point where there is some flexibility. So far, all of the


recommendations of pay review bodies have been met in full. And they will


continue to be. They only recommend on the basis that the Treasury


suggests that to them, is that good for nurses and low-paid workers to


get a pay rise? It is good for everybody to have a pay rise as long


as it does not prejudice the sound economic management to the country.


One of the things that has been dropped because of Theresa May's


result in the general election is the expansion of grammar schools.


You passionately campaign for that, how upset were you about that? I'm a


practical person, I am pragmatic in politics. I think people should be


free to have the kinds of schools that they want to have and that


includes grammar schools. It is a shame, we would like to see some


expansion as well. Now - this morning MPs have been


debating the continuing political Protests have led to more than 120


dead since April, with thousands President Nicolas Maduro declared


victory in elections last month - which critics have described


as a sham. The country's opposition


leaders are hoping to drum up support from governments


in Europe and yesterday met with French President Emmanuel


Macron. Over the summer, the Labour leader


was asked if he condemned What I condemn is the violence


being done by any side, Violence is not going


to solve the issue. The issues are partly structural,


because not enough has been done to diversify the economy


away from oil. That has to be a priority


for the future. But we also have to recognise


there have been effective and serious attempts in reducing


poverty, improving literacy and improving the lives


of many of the poorest people. We're joined now from parliament


where MPs have been debating the crisis in Venezuela


by the Labour MP and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group


on the country, Graham Jones. And in the studio, Ben Chacko from


the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign. He's also editor


of the Morning Star. Welcome to both of you. Graham


Jones, has the party gone far enough in condemning the situation in


Venezuela and the government led by Nicolas Maduro? I think we made a


strong statement at the start of the summer, with one of my neighbours.


They put out a strong statement on behalf of the Labour Party and I


thought it was acceptable but we need the opposition and the


government who need to come together to condemn the regime in Venezuela.


More needs to be done and we have all seen the television pictures and


hear those stories. It is a tragic situation there. Has Jeremy Corbyn


led from the front in condemning the government in Venezuela? He has made


a statement that it is more about the Labour Party, it is an


unequivocal but strong statement and we need to move on from that. Why is


it down to the Labour Party? He said that he condemned violence on all


sides. It sounded like Donald Trump condemning all sides in


Charlottesville. Should he be condemning in fairly singular terms


the impressive regime in Venezuela? You have the powerful and powerless,


I do not conflate the two. Their risk responsibility in the regime


and it is incumbent on all of us. To condemn the Venezuelan regime for


human rights abuses, and how it is treated, democracy in Venezuela,


there are various things, including trafficking drugs. Then, do you


condemn the government in Venezuela? I think it was a very one-sided


affair this morning, your television clip earlier showed, as many of the


images that we have seen showed, many of these protesters are armed,


they have home-made mortars, they are throwing Molotov cocktails,


there are paramilitaries in August, there was an attack on the Supreme


Court, everybody is talking as if these are peaceful protests and they


are not. I do not deny that the government, there have been police


officers who killed protesters and they have been arrested and charged


but there is violence on both sides and everybody is talking as if the


opposition are peaceful. Is it the opposition who have become more


violent as the UN human rights watch have said as people in Venezuela are


starving. Opposition politicians and protesters are being beaten,


tortured, jailed and killed and it is being done by Nicolas Maduro's


government with impunity? I do not think that is right at all. These


are official lines from the UN human rights watch, that is their report,


ready for their eating in Geneva? The majority of the deaths in the


Venezuelan protests have not been caused by security forces and where


they had been involved, they have been arrested and tried and police


officers have been jailed for those incidents. It is a violent uprising,


one of a succession by the Venezuelan right, to overthrow the


presidency before the elections next year. If they were so confident that


the president was unpopular, why can't they wait and win the election


next year against the president? And what about holding a one-sided


debate that has not fairly reflect the violence on the side of the


protesters? I don't think there is many people


hold that view. Some people signed Early Day Motions. If you're


sympathetic, there is plenty of opportunity for the Venezuelan


solidarity movement to garner the support of MPs to come and debate.


The fact that they weren't there probably speaks volumes about what


is right and what's wrong. So is it really responsible for the Labour


leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who has heaped praise certainly on Maduro's


regime in 2014, 2015 saying that actually it had success in policy


areas like health and education, saying these were a cause for


celebration? I think the current situation is not a cause for


celebration. I don't think there is anybody that would agree with that


and I have not heard Jeremy say anything to the extent he supports


what is going on in Venezuela. He did in 2014. Should he just cut his


links with any campaign that Maduro is involved in in Venezuela? I am


not aware that he has any links with the current regime. It is a clear


case that is a militaristic authoritarian regime, communist


regime, I'm not surprised the Morning Star supports and is


undermining the lives of the people in Venezuela. The economy has


collapsed and that's why people have taken to protesting. The economy has


collapsed. Inflation has soaredmed people are starving. There is


anecdotal reports of peopleAgeing in bins and eating their own pets. Can


you be surprised by the level of protest? People aren't prepared to


wait as you said for another year for elections and they've been


accused the Maduro of rigging the elections that have happened? I


think that's an absurd allegation that the elections were rigged. That


constituent Assembly was summoned because of the economic crisis,


because there is an economic crisis. Whose fault is the economic crisis?


And who was in charge of Venezuela in terms of squandering the oil? Do


you believe that when a Government makes mistakes in its economic


policy that gives a right to the Opposition to overthrow that


Government? No, it doesn't. The Opposition, since winning the


majority in the National Assembly which they did in 2015. But they


claim those were rigged. They won the majority so I don't see why they


would claim they were rigged. Since then there has been the opposition


controlling the Parliament and control by Maduro and they have


failed to work together. This was summoned as an attempt to get


through the deadlock. The opposition boycotted the talks and boycotted


the Assembly. They don't want to move forward on this. They don't


want dialogue, they want to take to the streets to attack the police and


overthrow the regime. What evidence is there to suggest that a Labour


Government would follow any of the policies of the Venezuelan regime?


Well, there seems to be a sneaking admiration on the part of Jeremy


Corbyn... I don't think it is necessarily sneaking. Well, thank


you. There is lots of evidence that Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell,


the people running the Labour Party, actually have seen the Venezuelan


Government as a model for economic policy. Now the fact that the


Venezuelan Government has destroyed the economy of a country that should


have been one of the wealthiest countries in South America and is


therefore made the lives of its people a misery really ought to make


people pause for thought and reflect on whether people like Jeremy Corbyn


and John McDonnell are really people who could be trusted with the


economy of our own country? Should the Government be working harder


with the opposition parties then in Venezuela to do something about it?


We should make it clear that we dep pri kate any Government that fails


to allow proper political freedom in the way it does and the way it is


dealing with the protesters. I think we have to condemn the complete lack


of political freedom in Venezuela, but we have to be realistic about


what we can do. The starting point has to be that we don't give them


support. We don't support that there is a body of opinion in the United


Kingdom of any significance that is on their side. All right, gentlemen,


thank you very much for joining us. Now, what's the most


effective way for parties Some people think the Conservatives


need a new strategy to counter Jeremy Corbyn's success at appealing


to young people during Some Conservative activists think


they've found the answer. They've set up a new


organisation designed "Activate" - as it's called -


is not officially affiliated to the Conservative Party -


but many are already describing it But polls suggest the party


have their work cut out One recent YouGov poll gave Labour


a whopping 52 point lead among Labour also enjoy big


leads on policy issues. Only 4% of young people thought


the Conservatives were best on issues like housing,


compared to 44% who favoured So how are the Tories trying


to turn this around? George Freeman - who chairs


the Prime Minister's Policy Board - is organising a festival later this


month that has been branded as "Tory Glastonbury",


saying "Why is it the left who have Meanwhile


the new Activate organisation say they aim to "engage young people


in the right of centre politics and make a case


for what Conservatism can offer." The group hasn't formally launched


yet but it's had something of a rocky start since it got up


and running online last week. Membership is priced


between ?5 and ?500 - prompting claims it is too exclusive


and out of touch with Activate also issued an apology


after messages from a WhatsApp group apparently used by young


Conservative activists were published by the


Guido Fawkes website. It included controversial comments


about "gassing" chavs and carrying And last night Activate's announced


on their Twitter account that they were calling


for Theresa May to resign and endorsing Jacob Rees-Mogg


to take over as leader, but it wasn't clear if the group had


been the victim of a hack. We're joined now from Nottingham


by Sam Ancliff who is involved in the Conservative "grass roots"


youth movement, Activate and from Glasgow by Rhea Wolfson


who's been an organiser Welcome to the programme. Now,


apparently, you're no longer affiliated with the group that


you're supposed to be associated with, are you, or aren't you? So I


have seen the same tweet which I imagine you're referring to and I am


very much still part of the group and still the official spokesperson.


What we are a victim of as you said earlier is a hack that's taken place


on our Twitter. It has been an on going situation since Thursday and


we are working with the police and with Twitter to get it resolved and


we hope we will have access within the next 24 hours. Are you a member


of the Conservative Party? I am a member, yes. Have you always been a


member of the Conservative Party? Only in the last 18 months or so.


Right. On the point of the Twitter announcement, just to clear up any


confusion, right, you say that this recent tweet saying that you are no


longer affiliated with Activate has been hacked basically, so it is a


fake tweetment but what about the Twitter announcement calling for


Theresa May to stand down and endorsing Jacob Rhys Mogg for


leader. Is that Activate's position? Certainly not. You drew the par


parallels between us and Momentum. We are not about any one politician.


It would be wrong of us to endorse one candidate. We are about to


helping engage and unite young Conservative voters and that's


separate to any one politician. But as you say, it got off to a fairly


tricky rocky start. You have had to clarify that you are part of


Activate and their spokesperson and you have had your Twitter account


hacked and you are saying you don't support Jacob Rhys Mogg or any Prime


Minister, it is not going well, is it? We haven't officially launched.


We were setting up our Twitter accounts and have been thrust into


the public eye which is something we are happy to be in. We're


interviewing on several platforms across the country. So we're getting


great publicity from this. We have had teething problems because we


weren't fully established and we were getting set-up and as soon as


the teething problems are sorted out then I'm looking forward to a


message that we can spread. As you rightly said, we don't support any


one politician. What we do, we support the Conservative Party and


we support the Government in their aims. Right. And whoever is at the


head of that will always have our support. Do you have some sympathy


with Sam, acsakeses of chaos, factional insfiting and accusation


and counter-accusation, it sounds familiar to you, doesn't it? I think


any parallels will fall flat on their face quickly. Just in the


things that Sam expressed about having a youth organisation that


brings people together to support the Government, that is entirely the


opposite what Momentum was trying to do which was create a Labour Party


and an opposition party that was ready to govern, but was going to


engage people in the pliical realities of day-to-day life.


Activate is off to a bad start just looking to appeal to young Tory


voters because there aren't many out there. If they want to have success,


look at how you can inspire young people. That was what Momentum was


about. It was about a platform that was already putting forward a


popular policy, that was reaching out to young people and saying the


reality around you is terrible. You are getting a terrible deal. The


Labour Party is the way to challenge that. Right. If Labour were in


Government would you not be supporting them then? It's not about


whether we would be supporting the Government. The Labour Party has


transformed in the past two years into something that's really an


incredibly exciting thing to be part and a huge part of is that is to do


with Momentum, Momentum saying these are the things that people want,


we're listening to people, but putting forward best practise.


Momentum played an important role in the general election by utilising


online tools that the Labour Party hadn't and showing they can be


successful and now it will be a process of integrating that into the


party. You had terrible teething problems too and there was


infighting between groups on the left particularly a tempted coup on


John Landsman who was one of the founders, you sympathize with Sam as


he tries to set up Activate? I don't know what the internal workings are


of Activate. There will be wrangling and always in Labour Party groups


because people care passionately about what we do. Does this warm


your heart? Does this fill you with joy Graham Brady that you could


think about associating yourselves with a group like Activate? I don't


think we are thinking about associating with Activate. We are


careful about affiliating and associating with particular groups.


I listened to Sam being interviewed and he made it clear that he and


others have been treated unfairly and this is a story that is about


somebody hacking their account and sending out messages that aren't


coming from them at all. I don't think it would be fair to tar him


with that brush. Right. Except there have been other whatsapp comments


Sam that come out. Reportedly this was used as a precursor to Activate


and it was, "Can we release compulsory birth control on chavs?"


Did you support those comments. The whatsapp group in question was one


of potentially hundreds out there. I know of a few that existed, but they


are looking to maybe set something up. I do know that a couple of our


members including myself was in that whatsapp group. I don't deny not


being in there. I never saw that conversation take place until it


came to light in the media, but they are disgusting comments. I come from


a little town, a former mining town in Ashfield. I lived in a council


house my whole life. I would probably be tarred by the same brush


as these people are saying. I found out that one of the three people who


are saying those disgusting comments is one of the people leaking to the


media which brings to question the credibility of those comments. It


makes it difficult to set up a group like this and the sort of thing


you're trying to do and to appeal to young people for right of centre


politics. What about the price range between ?5 or ?10 and ?500? It seems


random in some ways, never mind expensive for young people to join?


Our membership fees are ?5 for under 25, ?10 for anyone over that age. On


the website, we are still in the early stages of setting up the


website and getting it already. The platform we are using to take


members as a shock platform so people can dine -- donate more. It


will not be changing the future, it is not a huge priority, it is


numbers on a web page. And do you think you need your own Momentum in


the Conservative Party? I think Momentum is a little worrying and we


should be concerned about what it has done to the Labour Party in


making it more extreme and supporting a shift to the hard left.


I would not want our own Momentum but I would like us to have the


policies which help us connect to younger people and if that is by


organising a Tory Glastonbury, fine! Get your tickets now! Thank you to


both of you. Now, in this dog eat dog world,


what do you do when the polls are bad and your approval


rating is slumping? You don't roll over -


you get yourself some good PR with either animals or children -


that's the approach taken by the He's recently acquired himself


a new labrador cross - called Nemo - perhaps in the hope


of boosting his ailing ratings. So can politicians win us


over with their pooches? Let's have a look back


through the archive. # And they call it puppy love


# I guess they'll never know... # How the young hearts really feels


# And why I love her so # And they call dead puppy


-- and they call it puppy love Lerma just because we are in our teens


# Please tell them it isn't fair # To take away my only dreams


# I cry each night # Might here is for you -- might


cares # I hope and I pray


# That maybe some day # You will be back in my arms once


again # For all of you dog lovers out


there... We're joined now by the French


journalist Marie Le Conte, who has written about President Macron's


dog, Nemo. Do you think it is enough to save


his poll ratings? Probably not quite but it is definitely a start. French


people love dogs, but also there is a tradition in France of the


president having a dog and having a black labrador. There is definitely


a strong start there. Why the black labrador, why the tradition in that


breed? I'm not sure, there was one dog who followed the previous leader


everywhere. There is a full volume autobiography by her! Of course! And


following that, presidents decided to get their own black labrador,


including Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy. Shouldn't he be


striking out and getting a different breed? He had a dog, an Argentinian


mastiff called Figaro, what happened to him? He is staying with one of


his wife's children. And actually, one of Emmanuel Macron's problems at


the moment is that, if anything, he has been too ambitious and done his


own thing. It's a way of showing that he can do things in a


conventional way. Has he gone up in your estimation is now he has a


black labrador? I think that's rather a British kind of a dog and


possibly a Tory kind of a dog. Perhaps it is a fifth columnist that


we've got! And here, Prime Ministers, they do not tend to


favour cats but they tend to have cats on Downing Street rather than


dogs. Is that safer? Rather than going for the dog? I don't really


know, I think someone did have ducks before, Emmanuel Macron has brought


his back, they did have ducks in the garden. And what house can he do to


boost his poll ratings, aside from just deflecting attention onto his


new pooch? I think he needs to stop having the image of playing at being


president, he needs to be more serious and focused, and try and


take it step-by-step rather than decide to have sweeping reforms all


at the same time. Thank you for being our correspondent and reporter


on the new dog for President Emmanuel Macron. We will be watching


him and his ratings as a result of the labrador!


There's just time before we go to find out the answer to our quiz.


The question was which of these is the odd one out?


Jeremy Corbyn, Kerry McCarthy, Chris Williamson,


I certainly do not have the answer, but I am prepared to guess. My guess


is that maybe Jeremy Corbyn is the odd one out. Why? I'm wondering if


all of the others are already a beacon and Jeremy Corbyn is just


thinking about it. You are so smart, aren't you? -- vegan. Remi Corbyn is


thinking about becoming a vegan, he is already a vegetarian. This might


have given you a clue about diet. And we're joined now by one


of those politician-vegans - Labour MP Kerry McCarthy


and Nora Bergman who is I presume that you made all of


these. I can see the eyes of the studio crew are thinking, which 1am


I going to have? What is a vegan diet? So, the vegan diet means that


you do not consume anything that comes from an animal. Not meat,


dairy, eggs, and not funny. -- and no honey, so you need to find


substitutes for everything, especially as a vegan chef. How


difficult is it? Actually, it's not. In this world we are very advanced


and we can find everything everywhere, even in local shops. So


it isn't difficult and it is better for our planet. It is better for our


health and important for animals. Have you been working on Jeremy


Corbyn to become a vegan? I have not directly lobbied him! There are a


couple of other MPs I have won over. I have been with Jeremy, he gave me


a sandwich once when we were in Cumbria looking at flooding, and he


assured me that it was vegan. It was very nice. Then he went and bought a


cheese and onion pie because there was nothing I could eat there! I


have been one for 20 or 25 years and it was a lot more difficult. Do you


just eat cake? People think you only live on lentils and macrobiotic


beige stuff but the danger is now, in the past, there were only healthy


options but now you can get vegan junk food everywhere! It's


tempting! You have been a vegan for two years? Two and a half Men is. Do


you have a political star as a potential recruit? I just want... As


many people as possible? And what would you say to Jeremy Corbyn to


convince him to become a -- become a vegan? Be compassionate


for animals. I have the vegetarian Society in my constituency. That


does not mean that you are a vegetarian! I have eaten magnificent


vegetarian food but I also like to eat meat. It is a small step to go


towards being a vegan and it is not that difficult. Do you cope? I do.


-- do you cook? Is there any politics in this at all? I think he


was saying what he feels, he has been vegetarian for a long time. I


think he just said that he was eating more vegan food and it is


because there are more options around now. I'm not sure he will


take the final plunge but it is good. Any step in the right


direction is a good thing. You will continue the campaign. Did in any


time as we are about to do the closing headings. The studio staff


are saying do not touch it! The one o'clock news is starting


over on BBC One now. I'll be back at 11:30 tomorrow


with Andrew for live coverage Experience the power


of the BBC Proms.


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