23/10/2017 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to The Daily Politics.


The UK's five biggest business lobby groups call for an urgent Brexit


transition deal that mirrors existing arrangements,


or risk Britain losing jobs and investment.


A government minister says the only way of dealing


with British Islamic State fighters is to kill them


Does this represent a toughening of the Government's line?


The Mayor of London introduces a new charge on the most polluting


cars, and says poor quality air is causing a "health crisis".


And - should we tax rich property owners who keep their houses empty?


One Daily Mail columnist argues it is time for radical action.


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


of the programme today are the Conservative


MP Johnny Mercer and the Labour MP Preet Gill -


First today, is the Government going to reduce the six-week wait


time for universal credit claimants to get their first payment?


Yesterday, the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, described


the wait time as "grotesquely ignorant" - but the Government says


the scheme has been working well in pilot areas.


Well, the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams


was on the Sunday Politics at the weekend.


She was asked why Labour were only calling for a pause


in universal credit, and not planning to


Because we always agreed with the principles around simplifying the


social security system and also ensuring that work pays. However


there are a number of fundamental flaws and on top of that the cuts.


We have also had administrative issues, so we are calling for a


pause. Labour backs the idea of Universal


Credit in principle, there was a Commons vote last week to pause it


and it was won by Labour but that had no binding effect, so what can


Labour do now but are we the fact that we secured a debate and then a


vote in the Commons has been really important. In what way? Because I


think it gave the government the opportunity to listen to real case


studies. It talks about pilots but those with single people, not


families. I raised the concern about my constituent who has a shortfall


in housing benefit, she has had briefly to his telling her that she


has been offered different payments. At least in the legacy benefits,


when one was stopped, you still carried on getting the other


benefit, and in this case you. Don't about half of people on universal


verdict are reliant on advanced payments. I understand that example,


but I ask again how will Labour halt this process? Look, we've had a vote


and I think lots of people felt that the party in power needs to come and


tell the Commons and the House in respect of the democracy that we


have here what it is going to. Do and I think a lot of people on the


other side of the House agree that we need to pause it in order to fix


it. When are you expecting the government to heed your warning to


shorten the waiting time? I'm not asking them to pause and fix, I


don't think that would be the right thing to do. Are you asking them,


though, to shorten the waiting time? There is an element of this which is


out of kilter with the modern caring Conservative Party and that is the


seven-day wait which is built in. And I think we've got to be


realistic. People getting paid in arrears is more like being in work


and a lot of people receiving this benefit will be in work so I agree


with paying it in arrears but there is a seven-day wait which I do not


think is necessary. I think it is too long and I think we should do


something about it. So how long would you like to see it shortened


to? I'm happy for it to be in arrears, like I said, that is the


workplace environment... Should it go from six weeks to one months? I


believe the seven-day wait should go and it should be a four week in


arrears payment like any other job. Have you said that two the Prime


Minister? What I say to the Prime Minister is a private conversation


between me and. Her my view has not changed. Do you think the change


will happen in the next few weeks? I have no idea whether it will change.


I've said the government is listening, and actually the Prime


Minister has said that - the government IS listening, we want to


get this right. Do you think there should be a pause in the roll-out?


No, I. Don't this is one of the best policy fighting tools that we have


two renovate a system which did not work and encouraged people to be in


state welfare and which in areas like mine has had a devastating.


Effect so you're not going to get assistance from the other side of


the House in terms of backing your calls for a pause, so it is


difficult to see how you're going to enact that change the government


persists with going ahead - would you like to see the Universal Credit


increased? Absolutely, at the end of the day, the government heard at the


debate how many errors exist in the current system... In terms of the


payments that are made to people receiving Universal Credit? I think


people should be able to receive them straightaway. I'm talking about


the amount that they receive. Debbie Abrahams talked about increasing the


amount that claimants receive - how much would you like it to be? It has


to be whatever work pays. At the end of the day the government is saying


that people have got savings that they should rely upon and that's why


there is a delayed response. To many people are having to rely on food.


Banks there are lots of areas in terms of how the money is worked out


any that's the problem, that there are far too many areas which have


been raised which the government does need to pause and fix, because


it is their moral duty to do that. What happened next in this meeting


of Emmanuel Macron with some At the end of the show,


Johnny and Preet will give Now, it's another busy


week in Westminster, so let's take a look at what's


in store over the next few days. This afternoon, the Prime


Minister will make a statement to MPs about last week's


European Council meeting. No doubt she will be asked


about leaks in the German press that she appeared "tormented"


and "despondent" at a supposedly private dinner with


Jean-Claude Juncker. And this afternoon,


the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU,


David Davis, will make a dash for Paris to meet


the new French foreign secretary On Wednesday, David Davis,


ever a busy man, will be back in Westminster to give


evidence to the Commons select committee on progress


in the negotiations. And of course, you can


watching the weekly session of Prime Ministers' Questions right


here on the Daily Politics with coverage from


11.30 on Wednesday. Finally, on Thursday,


it's the Daily Politics' highlight of the political calendar,


the Westminster Dog Well, the Foreign Secretary has been


making a speech on global Unsurprisingly, he was asked


about the progress of Brexit talks. The reality is that we think, I


certainly think that the Prime Minister in her Florence speech gave


a fair account of how we want to proceed on citizenship, on finances,


on rights and privileges, the UK has made what we think is a pretty good


offer. I'm lad that at the council in Brussels, they seem more positive


frankly than I thought they were going to be to judge by some of the


anticipatory drum roll of that council. They have given a fair wind


to the idea of themselves now discussing the new trade deal,


however they want to proceed. I suggest humbly to our friends and


partners in Brussels that now is the time to get on with it!


To discuss that and more, I'm joined now from College Green by


Kate McCann of the Daily Telegraph and Henry Mance of


Kate McCann first of all, there's a lot to pick up from the last few


days on Brexit, but what is the fallout do you think from the leaked


dinner conversation between Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker, where


he is reported to have described Theresa May as begging for help?


Well, I think at the back end of last week it looked like Theresa May


had won the council so we came away from that conversation, which Boris


Johnson said this morning the government was expecting to go quite


badly thinking that actually some progress had been made. Angela


Merkel was willing to walk and talk with Theresa May, but of course last


night we have seen there of the conversation and accusations this


morning about who might be behind that, and at really doesn't look


very good for Theresa May. But actually it is all about how she


looks - how she looks tired and not really having authority. And anyone


of us who have been watching the negotiations could have told you


that. To be missing from this leak is really any substance. There's not


much in it that we did not know, although it does not look good for


the Prime Minister. And this follows another dinner conversation between


the two same people, also leaked, to the same newspaper in fact, Henry


Mance, so what do we make of this, because of course it is John Torode


Juncker's man who is being blamed? Yeah, he has denied that on Twitter,


which is quite unusual for one of the most important men in Brussels.


The tone of the leak is completely different. John Torode Juncker is


not being accused of saying that Theresa May is in a different galaxy


this time, but I think it does raise a question of trust. It had been


said that they would not have the trust to come to a trading deal, and


equally I think the British side can say, if we're going to have dinner


and details are going to appear in German newspaper,, that undermines


our trust. But there is something about politicians complaining about


leaks because we know that it is a normal fact of life on this side of


the channel and on that side. But what about all of the advice that


the Prime Minister is getting? She's being pushed and pulled on all.


Sides and we've just heard the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson,


saying, come on, we have got to get on with it? In some of the stuff


which came out of the council, particularly last week, it seemed


that the prime and Mr was pushing this idea of her domestic relations


at. Home we have seen Cabinet splits over Brexit, that's not new, but for


the Prime Minister to go to Brussels and to use that as part of her


bargaining narrative, to be saying, you might not like what we are


asking you to do, but imagine if it was somebody else... There's been


lots of conversations in the press about how Boris Johnson really is


figuring in all of this, and that might be something Theresa May was


playing. Up there was a question about how Theresa May was saying, I


have got people on my back on all sides, and you're going to have to


help me sell this to my citizens and you're going to have to sell it to


yours. There is still deadlocked on the amount of money the UK will have


to pay back to the EU, and that's something which hasn't changed,


despite all of these reports and all of the looking cosy on. Camera but I


think she trying to shift the tone to say, you've got problems, I've


got problems at, but it could be far worse. Although there were various


commentators saying that whatever is going on in Britain really is not


their issue unless of course it is the case that the implication is


that they might get something worse than Theresa May. So, flowing from


that, business is putting pressure on Theresa May - tell us about the


letter? The CBI letter this morning, so, this is not something new, we've


seen business is urging the Prime Minister to give them clarity,


because businesses have to plan ahead and they don't want to get


into a situation where they are planning for one agreement on Brexit


and then another comes along and they're not prepared for it.


Businesses fear a no deal Brexit. I think the discussion is interesting


because it is not something we were really talking about seriously even


a month ago, and now it is on everybody's lips. The Labour Party


are also saying that this is no deal conversation helps them because the


moderate Tories are also frightened of it, a bit like business groups,


and really don't want to see it happen. So we are seeing no deal


being mobilised by different people more and more. That's what this


letter is saying - tell us what's going to happen, give us some


clarity so that we can make sure that all of our bases remain in the


UK. What impact do you think the letter will have?


They feel they are very close to getting over the line. They are


nudging the British government towards the position where they have


at least a couple of years of breathing space. Henry and Kate,


thank you. Let's pick up on that letter from the business lobby


groups. With me is the co-chair of the group Leave Means Leave. They


are pretty big organisations, the CBI, the British Chambers of


Commerce, the Institute of directors, the engineering employers


Federation. If they say that their members are reviewing investment


plans, should we listen to them? We're delighted these organisations


have come round to our way of thinking. We've been saying that the


government either need to agree a transition deal or give the clarity


and say, we cannot reach a deal so we are moving to a different type of


deal, which is WTO. We came up with the expression that no deal is


better than a bad deal. The reality is the WTO is a different type of


deal. It is how most nations operate. What these groups are


saying is we only want change once, but we need that clarity. Sword you


would support these organisations in their call for a status quo


transition deal. We stay in the transition market -- the single


market. The government put that forward. The key difference, during


that period we need the flexibility, bearing in mind we are paying, to be


able to sign and implement trade deals because that is a key benefit.


If that is not part of that transition deal, would you support


it? That is where we would differ. Let's be clear, Leave Means Leave


would support these businesses in extending the status quo. As long as


we have stability and it is fixed for two years. We worry that they


want to remain there, we cannot get the benefits. Is that what you think


these groups really want? We're pretty confident that is what they


want. They represent the vested interests, the big multinationals


who voted for remain. It suits them. It is protectionist. Do their views


not count? Everybody's views count. You seem to be saying that they want


to thwart Brexit and so they should be ignored. Ultimately it is the


people's thought that counts. Witnesses do not have a vote. But


they do have an influence in policy-making and thinking. It is


right to only have one change. What is wrong is to ignore the will of


the people and disguise this. Do you see that as the tactic? That this is


a disguise to remain forever in the single market? I would not say that.


People are getting fed up of the negativity coming out of the


European Union. We need to get on with this. This was a democratic


result, a vote to leave the European Union. The people are the boss. We


need to deliver that. I can see what people are trying to do. People are


getting pretty fed up and we need to get on with where we are going. How


much longer should Theresa May pursue the negotiations to get a


trade deal? They've been given a task and we need to fall in behind


them so they can get the best possible deal. That is not how


negotiations work. The British people voted for this and they will


be seen off. When should David Davis walk away from these negotiations?


To allow proper preparations for the alternative plan, our view is


Christmas. Different deal. The mischief makers are saying it means


you crash out. You don't. You go for another type of deal. So you would


like him to walk away if there's not been any progress. Do you agree that


there is not a cliff edge? We've made it clear, even the Home


Secretary said, it is unthinkable to think about no deal. We need to


listen to businesses. It is great that they've come out and written to


the government and I don't agree that they want a permanent Brexit.


We need to give them an opportunity to address concerns about access to


the single market and listen to them. Members of the cabinet like


the Home Secretary have said it is unthinkable to walk away without a


deal. Why was she wrong? She's really saying there is a strong


preference but if you cannot reach that agreement you've got to prepare


for the alternative. The worst thing in the world is that we let this


drag on and we get trapped into a really bad deal because we are


desperate, because we haven't done the preparation. We end up being


trapped in a really bad deal. Do you back Labour's proposal to block no


deal? Absolutely. Whatever deal has got to be good for the economy and


for consumer rights, with the bill we are supposed to be discussing at


this week but it has been delayed. Phase one of the negotiations have


been put back to December. We need to be clear it is not about time, it


is about the detail. Do you think a transition deal is vital? If you're


not prepared to walk away from negotiations you will be completely


sealed off and we've got to abide by that. People saw the vision of what


Brexit is and we've got to deliver it. If you say we will take whatever


you give us it will not work out. I think we need to get on with


delivering it. Would you like to see a transition deal in place? Whatever


works for anyone around the table. What people are asking for is to get


on and do it. If we need to then fine. Let's have a clear direction


of travel and let's get there. One of the things that makes deliver


that deal is the UK Government saying that there is more money that


can be put onto the table to guarantee that. If that makes it


happen would you support the government doing that? This is the


fundamental challenge we are facing and we need to get on and deliver it


because people expect it to be done. In recent years, hundreds of Britons


have travelled to fight for so-called Islamic State


in Syria and Iraq. While some have returned to the UK,


the head of MI5 confirmed earlier this month that many had


been killed, and yesterday, one In recent years, hundreds of Britons


have travelled to fight for so-called Islamic State


in Syria and Iraq. While some have returned to the UK,


the head of MI5 confirmed earlier this month that many had


been killed, and yesterday, one government minister fuelled


the debate about how to deal with UK foreign fighters, saying that


converts to so-called Islamic State believed in an "extremely hateful


doctrine" and should Yesterday, International Development


Minister Rory Stewart told the BBC's Pienaar's Politics that "the only


way of dealing with them will be, to have travelled to Iraq and Syria


to fight for IS, of which almost As prime minister, David Cameron


authorised drone strikes against Britons who fought


for IS in Syria. Earlier this month, the head of MI5,


Andrew Parker, confirmed that around 130 of those fighters


had been killed. Amongst them is British


IS recruiter Sally-Anne Jones, known as the White Widow,


who is reported to have been killed Following her death,


Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said British IS fighters in Syria


and Iraq had made themselves who could end up on "the wrong end


of an RAF or USAF missile". But the independent reviewer


of terrorism legislation, Max Hill QC, argued that Britons


who join IS through "naivety" should be spared prosecution


if they return home, and instead be supported


to reintegrate into society. Joining me now is Rafaello


Pantucci, a counter-terrorism expert from the Royal United


Services Institute. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Rory


Stewart, the minister we were talking about, has backed off a


little bit from the comments he made yesterday. Did he overstepped the


mark or was he for a single government thinks but cannot say? I


think he's expressing a view which is the easiest solution for these


individuals. If you look at individuals who have gone to fight


alongside so-called Islamic State, you are looking at individuals


participating in an organisation that has repeatedly stated that it


wants to launch attacks in the West. With these individuals, when they


come home, there is not necessarily a case that can be made against


them. These people come back and it is not like the information around


them comes from secret of sources. People should be prosecuted when


they come back. If that case cannot be built then security services have


got to do a very difficult job of monitoring someone for a very long


period of time. In many ways he is stating the easiest solution. We


need to remember that this should not be the prescriptive approach.


We've got to bear in mind that with these individuals they are


individual cases they've got to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.


Do you expect to see an upsurge in targeted killings? We've seen the


administration in the United States has stepped up targeted strikes.


We've seen the UK has openly started to say it has been targeting


individuals. We can see that the trend has been in that direction


already. It is not a particularly novel statement. Now that we're


seeing so-called Islamic State shrinking back, the number of


fighters are dwindling and the question is, what ends up happening


with these individuals? Andrew Parker says 130 UK nationals have


been killed whilst fighting for Islamic State. How significant is


that number? The official number that is coded as around 850. You're


talking about six or seven of that number confirmed dead. It's possible


that number is higher. I think you're looking at a fairly


substantial number. What we don't know is exactly what these people


are doing next. It is unclear about what is going on in the battlefield.


People picked up by the Kurdish forces, these people are sitting in


jails. What will happen to them? Are they requesting advice? How are they


being tracked within the system? Not everyone who went out there went to


fight alongside Islamic State. A lot of individuals went out to fight


against the Al-Qaeda group. The issue is that we don't have a grip


on exactly what has happened to these individuals, how many of them


are out there, and what they are doing next. Thank you for joining us


today. Johnny Mercer, what was wrong with what Rory Stewart said


yesterday when he said the only way of dealing with them will be to kill


them? Absolutely nothing at all. Why did he have two clarify his


statement? Some aspects of the media will say that he is advocating


breaking the law. There is a clear case. Some will be reconciled. But I


don't buy this about naivete. These people want to die and they have


actively gone against our country, and ultimately I'm a patriot. These


people expect us to deal with them. For some of them, the only outcome


is to target them whilst they are away from the UK so that we can keep


people safe. That the first duty of government and I support that 100%.


You stand by the comments your colleague made and that is the


government line. That is not something I can comment on. I can


comment on the right thing to do and that is to keep people safe at home


and those with a dedicated ambition to bring down this country have


given up their right to freedom is that we enjoy in this country and


should be targeted. If you go and fight for a foreign power and are


committed to killing British troops then you lose any rights at all and


you should expect to be targeted. I don't agree. The 350 that returned


back into the country, only 101 of them have been convicted of any


criminal activity. We know lots of people at risk of radicalisation, of


grooming. The government agenda has not worked. It does not empower


communities to address the issues. I'd like to know what has happened


with the 200 plus people who were not convicted, what work has been


done, how do we know what has been done so we can prevent it from


happening again? All these efforts to counteract people, you've got to


have a hardline we are individuals who actively try and endanger


citizens of this country are prosecuted. Where that is a targeted


strike, anything we can do, we have to do that. We cannot become this


soft nation. Ultimately this death cult, it's


totally wrong. And that is what Rory Stewart has been saying. But how do


we know they have committed a crime bottle for example? Nobody gets


targeted simply because they go to Syria, they get targeted because


they build up an intelligence profile which is very clear. Some of


these go up to the Secretary of State. The idea that somebody could


have just gallivant it off to Syria and get drowned is just completely


wrong! You have to have built up a significant profile to get targeted.


Isn't that what Rory is saying, but if you have gone out of there, than


you can expect to be killed? Because the vast majority would have gone


there with the explicit intention of joining Isis and targeting the


United Kingdom and of all the rest of it. That's what has to be


defended. That's what Rory is talking about. 250 who have not been


convicted, who have come back, we need to understand what's been


happening. I understand there is a counter-terrorism strategy but some


of this is about preventing people going out and understanding what it


is. And the Home Office is working really hard on that, you look at


what they. Do around Prevent but what I'm saying is these individuals


take up arms against this country and yes, we go out and kill them.


Let's talk about Max Hill QC, because he says that the authorities


have looked at a number of people who have come back from Syria and


decided that they do not justify prosecution and really we should be


looking at reintegration and moving away from any notion that we're


going to lose a generation from this travel. Is he right? In individual


cases, clearly he is right. I wrote a paper about reconciliation and


whether or not we can reconcile these people. In the tier one


targets I'm afraid you cannot reconcile them and Rory is right,


they want to die and we should do that. Is he being soft? There is not


a soft or bad element about this - we need to do the right thing for


people. Vulnerable people who have been turned into jihadists and so


on, I don't buy the premise that people wander out there and do not


know what they're doing, everybody knows what Isis is about and I'm


afraid people who make that serious decision, they have got to take


responsible achieve for it. Why should the British governance spend


time and resources trying to sift through varying degrees of


commitment to Islamic State via it is based on being young and naive or


whether you're fully signed up to the project, when they are


concentrating on security here? What Max Hill QC is talking about is,


we've got to apply the UK law in terms of what it actually says, if


somebody has committed a criminal acts then they must be. Prosecuted


but is this actually going to address the longer term strategy


about radicalisation? No, it's not. That's why we've got to do a lot


more in terms of understanding why people feel the need to go out and


what are the mechanisms - social media platforms, computer games...?


But you said there was a significant number of people doing out there who


were naive teenagers who did not know what they were going out to do?


I think people are radicalised from different reasons, and the fact that


these people who came back, which Max is talking about, we have to


understand what their family were thinking, how they feel about it,


what information they are able to give us, we've got to work with.


Them just to say they should lose their citizenship is not right.


Young girls who went out to become jihadi brides, should they be


treated differently, should they be targeted as well? Each one is a


different case. This is not a mass exercise of killing everyone who


went to. Syria it is all done strictly according to the law. To


conduct these strikes is really, really difficult, to get all of the


intelligence lined up, to get it authorised. Those who break the law,


yes, they must be prosecuted. We talk about it in Westminster all the


time - these freedoms are hard-fought and this is part of it.


Should we be withdrawing citizenship from people who fight for Isis,


whatever the motivation? Well, I think we need to look at the


evidence, and that is the crux. Have we got the evidence to say that


actually they did directly go to fight? What else would they be doing


out there? There are lots of people who did not really know the extent


of the issues. They need a lot more support, their families may not be


happy with what's happened. They might change their mind once they


are out there and realise, this is not what I signed up for. They


should be given a second chance? They should be given the


opportunity, yes. At her conference speech last month,


Theresa May said that solving the housing crisis


was going to be her Well, the Daily Mail


columnist Stephen Glover thinks the prime minister should put


new taxes on the many empty homes that are owned


by super-rich investors. This building here was


a working Tube station once. It was also a war command centre


under Winston Churchill. The Ministry of Defence sold it


in 2014 for ?53 million. It's hardly surprising in this part


of London, you may say. But what's really shocking


is that it has been It's a similar story in many


parts of central London. Earlier this year, in the wake


of the horror of Grenfell Tower, figures from Kensington and Chelsea


council showed that 1,652 properties in just that one very wealthy


borough were listed as unoccupied. Of these, 603 were recorded


as having been empty And unlike Jeremy Corbyn,


I certainly don't believe that empty But let's tax the empty


houses of the super-rich. The local authorities in England


are already allowed to charge a premium of up to 50% on council


tax if properties have been empty and unfurnished


for more than two years. But in Kensington and Chelsea,


the maximum extra charge would amount to around


?1,000 a year. For a billionaire,


that's chump change. Instead, the Government should


encourage councils to slap on a much It should also review stamp duty


and council tax bands. It can't be right that


in Kensington and Chelsea, the owner of a property worth


?325,000 pays the same top rate of council tax as a billionaire


in a house worth ?50 million. These changes might not bring


in a great deal more revenue, or stop the super-rich from buying


up much-needed housing stock. But they would signal that


Theresa May's Tory government has the right moral priorities


and that its heart And Stephen Glover joins us here in


the. Studio you said that councils in England already have powers to


increase council tax on empty properties, so what are the new


taxes that you are calling for? In the first place, in the case of


Kensington and Chelsea, if property is vacant for more than two years


they can slap on an extra council tax but ?1000 a year is so


negligible for a billionaire. I cannot give you an exact figure but


I want a tax which is much more swingeing and makes a very rich


people think twice. So you would like to see amounts of money raised


in order to add as a deterrent to people being able to buy those


properties and leave them empty, but you admit that at the moment any new


taxes probably won't raise large amount of money or solve the housing


crisis but it could look as if the government had its heart in the


right place, is this more about that? Is not just about that. Any


more money the government can get without punishing ordinary people,


ordinary voters, is a good thing, but but it is also to show that the


government has its sense of moral priorities. Theresa May has been


going on about it again and again, reaching out to third just about


managing. These people are amazed that somebody can have a house like


that in London and leave it empty for years and pay a few thousand


pounds in council tax. Would you support new, much higher, taxes on


these MC properties bought by investors that only the thing is


with tax, is, getting the most amount of money you possibly can


into the. Exchequer if that is going to contribute and not keep people


out of the country... Are you worried that it would? There is


always an element that if you increase taxes on higher earners,


they will go elsewhere if it ultimately the NHS and the public


services will suffer, so I don't think it is quite as simple as that.


But if this would improve the housing market then I would support


it. This is targeted at people with empty houses, it's not... It's about


people who are not occupying them. As I say, I don't think they're all


going to disappear from the country. If they don't even live here and


they don't contribute to the country, then absolutely. You would


be in favour of that. On those conditions. What about allowing


councils to be able to borrow substantial amounts to build homes?


This is Sajid Javid's comments yesterday. I think we have got to do


more on housing. I'm really pleased Theresa May has taken this up, but


we haven't done anything about it for a long. Time for my generation


to get on the housing ladder now is extremely tough, and we have to do


better. So would you like councils to have the ability to borrow to


build homes? Yes, people want to own their own homes but a lot of people


want good quality social rented accommodation, and politicians it is


our job to provide what people need. I understand about owning your own


house, absolutely, and that is a great thing, but in the meantime if


we can't we have to do better on social housing and I would support


that. So, 5000 council homes a year, announced by Theresa May? There's a


lot of detail to be gone into on that. There is a review on housing


being done at the moment. Is this important politically, are you


trying to head off Jeremy Corbyn and Labour making further inroads on


issues like housing? Yes, it is partly that. Housing is at toxic


issue and many people feel very aggrieved, because housing is so


expensive. And this one measure which isn't talking about is not


going to solve everything, there are other measures which will do that,


but it will show that government knows that people rightly feel


outraged that a house can lie empty for two years, which is worth ?30


million and the person who owns that house is not there. Would you


support higher taxes on into properties? Absolutely. We've got a


housing crisis and we've got to make sure that developers are not just


seeking international investment, especially in London, because lots


of people just cannot get into the housing market at. All I think we


need to look at the longer term strategy. Building 5000 homes a year


is just not good enough. Labour councils are building thousands of


homes a year already and we need to be clear about the shortage in the


housing market. Taxing these properties is one way of doing it,


and other would be to requisition the empty properties - do you


support that? What happened with Grenfell Tower, what a Jeremy Corbyn


said was absolutely right in terms of an immediate position. In the


longer term what do we do, that's more. Complex but I do believe there


are too many empty homes in London, and we need to maybe look at what we


do around those and how we tax them. But should empty properties going


forward be requisitioned to help with the housing crisis? Why not? It


could be a short-term thing. I think there is an opportunity to look at


it, we shouldn't just ignore it, because the government is not giving


us any other proposals. That would be a radical policy and it would go


further than what you're suggesting? Too radical, we must respect


property rights. Somebody who owns a house worth ?10 million has the same


rights as somebody who owns a house worth half ?1 million, it is a


principle of law and you can't go around houses if you feel it. How


would you do this legally as a short-term measure? You've got to


look at the UK law and what the provisions are. But there are not


provisions for it at the moment? In London, for example, why could we


not have a lease agreement to acquire some of it and use it for


housing? I think we've got to be creative about this. So you would


like to look at the legal aspects of taking back properties owned by


wealthy investors? Why can't, when we've got a housing


crisis, we look at short-term leases so that we can use it as temporary


accommodation and bring it up to standard? We need to be really


careful, it is the rule of law. I've spoken at a Conservative Association


and started talking about housing. I've bought my house now but I


didn't before that. People are fed up with being demonised. We have to


build more houses if we're going to tackle this. It is not as as


requisitioning. We've got to go on a revolutionary house-building drive.


From today, drivers using the dirtiest cars will have to pay an


extra ?10 a day to enter central London.


Most of the cars affected will have been bought before 2006 and will now


be subject to a ?21 charge in the city's congestion area.


The policy is aimed at reducing the impact of air


pollution which a study by the Lancet Commission


on Pollution has linked to up to fifty 50,000 premature deaths


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, welcomed the measure as one of ways


This is what he had to say this morning.


We have a health crisis in London caused by poor quality air. More


than 9000 died because of bad quality air. There are children with


underdeveloped lungs because of it, there are adults who suffer from a


variety of conditions linked to the poor quality air so today's charge


is the toughest charge in the world for a very good reason. We need to


have the most polluting vehicles off the streets of London. Joining us


now... From Brighton, specialist in respiratory medicine. Sadiq Khan


talks about a health crisis. Would you agree with him? I do not think


there is a health crisis. There is a long-term problem, we know that air


pollution is not good for you, it has been difficult to say whether it


is all that bad for you. This issue about the number of deaths it


causes, it is misrepresented. In what way? The Lancet commission says


it is costing 50,000 premature deaths per year. Is that wrong?


Completely. Anybody who says that either has not read the paperwork or


is misrepresenting this for whatever reason. The issue is, in 2008, the


committee worked out there was a certain number of days lost from the


population as a result of air pollution. It works out at 20-30


days. It is not 40,000 people who die. It is a lot of people who lose


a little bit of life. If you top that up, you can say it is


equivalent to 40,000 lives. There are no premature deaths you can


measure as a result of air pollution. Do you agree those


figures are wrong to say that they die as a result? It is definitely


prematurely. If you die from a heart condition or a lung condition, our


pollution may have had an effect on that. We know what effect it has on


children. We work with a range of experts, the Royal College of


physicians, paediatrics, British Heart Foundation, they all say it


has an impact on your health. Is he right to say there is not a direct


causal link, you don't have it put on your death certificate? That if


pollution does not directly kill, they have an impact on people


suffering. Yes, it is a statistical model in the same way they calculate


deaths from smoking. I think we find it better to talk about the impact


on your daily life. We've just had a baby, he is four weeks premature and


we are going to hospital through one of the most polluted roads in


Europe. That is terrifying, as a parent. You can taste, when you


stand in Oxford Circus, a level of air pollution. It is not a good


thing. Anything that combats that must be advantageous. You would


presume. There is clearly a lot less pollution in London compared to the


1970s, we have seen a 70% decline, 60% since 2000, and we are on track


to meet our self-imposed target. Much of this argument is about


certain specific areas in the country. We want to take additional


action. We don't know for sure... That would be a good thing. It


would, but the question is how much benefit you are going to see from


it. If you're talking about this charge, it targets a very small


number of vehicles. But actually, the oxide in London, if you look at


London roads, 60% comes from traffic, a quarter from diesel cars,


a quarter from buses, a quarter from HGVs. Another from elsewhere. You're


talking a total of 15%. If you take out the small number of really


polluting cars you're still left with a lot that are efficient but


produce more nitrogen oxide. You won't see any tangible change. Will


you not see any tangible change? Is it going to make a big difference?


The charge is an essential step. As a package of measures it is


essential. We have those smog is that we could see, if I could just


finished my point... We had the clean air act, that cleaned up the


air. We have a similar thing today. It is diesel cars causing this


pollution. We need the same action again with these vehicles. It is


madness we are driving vehicles that harm our health in this day and age.


Why are you so reluctant to support measures that, even if they have a


small impact, will be a help in combination with other factors


brought into play? They could reduce the number of people dying


prematurely. It is not nitrogen oxide, it is particles which are


killing people. In relation to this, it will probably make a 1%


difference to the amount in London. That is the sort of figure. It will


target for people who drive older cars, at the moment it is taking the


bottom out of the second-hand car market, which means people with a


post-2006 diesel car will find it difficult to sell their car and


switch across. I think as a policy measure it is misguided. Is it


misguided, either better things that could be done? Things that would


solve or mitigate it? It is definitely not misguided. We need a


range of measures to help people switch to cleaner forms of


transport. It is not their fault that they are driving these


vehicles. People on low incomes, we should have targeted scrappage


scheme. Other countries are doing it. We should be doing it. This is a


good first step. Thank you, both of you. If you've been looking at


photographs on Instagram you might think that Clapp has a new MP. He


appears to be an exemplary public servant doing all the things a good


MP should like catching up with his constituents. Talking to local


businesses. Campaigning and knocking on doors. He's even been schmoozing


the political elite like Ed Miliband. It looks like he's been


catching up with the current Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn. Very


impressive. Is everything as it seems? Joining us is Patrick


O'Donnell, the self-proclaimed MP for Clapham. What are you doing? It


started a few months ago with my friends, we would take photos


spontaneously randomly, so they have a political theme and relate to


politics and feature me pretending to be an MP with lots of political


staged things such as launderettes complaining about the high price of


laundry for students. So it's a bit of fun, it's tongue in cheek. Why


would you want to pretend to be an MP? There is the fun, silly side,


and also what I found when I did these, it is quite a serious issue


in terms of the high cost of the laundry. Some important things are


raised such as young people being engaged in politics. One thing I


focused on was the need for young people to vote. Lets see if you know


all the things a good constituent MP should now. Do you know the cost of


a pint of milk? About 45p. What is it? About that. Johnny is nodding


hopefully. What about state pension, what is the basic state pension?


I've no idea but probably not enough. It is about 140. It used to


be 125. Definitely agree with that. It is not as high as that, 115. That


doubles if you're married. What is your favourite biscuit? Custard


creams. Dark chocolate McVities. You've all managed to do that. Do


you have a genuine ambition? I definitely want to get involved in


politics in some way. I'm only 18 so it is quite early to say. They want


to get younger people involved. You're looking at yourself. How did


he do? Should get involved straightaway. He's a natural. Thank


you very much. There is time to find out the answer to our quiz. What


happened next in that meeting. Do you have any idea what happened when


Macron was with his ministers? I have seen it. Lets have a look.


Well, that is what the dog thought of that meeting. How embarrassing.


He has the right idea. That is it for today. Thank you for being our


guests of the day. I will be back tomorrow.


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