03/11/2017 Daily Politics


03/11/2017

Jo Coburn is joined by Rachel Shabi and Iain Martin to look at allegations of harassment in Westminster and to discuss a bill giving 16 and 17-year-olds the vote.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to

the Daily Politics.

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Former Shadow Cabinet Minister

Kelvin Hopkins is suspended

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from the Labour Party

following allegations that he

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behaved inappropriately with one

of the party's student activists.

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How much did Jeremy Corbyn know

about these allegations when he

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appointed him to the Shadow Cabinet?

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Further allegations

emerge about the conduct

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of the Defence Secretary,

Michael Fallon.

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But has the choice of

Gavin Williamson as his replacement

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just exacerbated concerns

about Theresa May's handling

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of sexual harassment claims?

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It's the anniversary of the 1917

Russian Revolution -

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a seismic historical event -

but is it one that should be

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celebrated or just marked?

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And 2017 has been a pretty big year

in British politics.

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We'll look at how cartoonists

have chronicled it.

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All that in the next hour, and with

us throughout are Iain Martin -

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he edits a website called Reaction -

and the left wing

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commentator Rachel Shabi.

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Welcome to both of you.

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We'll talk about the latest

revelations concerning Labour MP

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Kelvin Hopkins in a moment,

but first new allegations have

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emerged about former

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon.

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According to the Sun and the Mail,

Mr Fallon made lewd

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comments to Andrea Leadsom,

the Leader of the House

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of Commons, six years ago.

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He is also said to have made

derogatory comments about other MPs

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and members of the public.

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The papers claim Mrs Leadsom went

to the Prime Minister and her Chief

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of Staff Gavin Barwell

with the information

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after Downing Street refused

to investigate Sir Michael

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for inappropriate behaviour.

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A source close to Michael Fallon

"categorically denies" the claims,

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and Andrea Leadsom has

declined to comment.

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In the last few minutes Downing

Street has issued a statement saying

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the Leader of the How's Andrea

Leadsom did not and has not asked

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the Prime Minister to

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position of Sir Michael Fallon when

he was Defence Secretary. Iain

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Martin, let's try to undertake some

of this, if we can.

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If we take Michael Fallon, who

resigned over allegations of

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impropriety, do you think Andrea

Leadsom's comments were the tipping

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point in that resignation?

The

situation is extremely murky but

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that seems to be the case, and if it

now imagines the Defence Secretary

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Michael Fallon was removed on the

say-so of operations coming from the

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Chief Whip and not directly from

Andrea Leadsom to the Prime Minister

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we are in extremely strange

territory. That is why Conservative

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MPs asking fundamental questions

about the role of the Chief Whip and

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remember one of his chief jobs is to

collect intelligence on the

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parliamentary party.

Is the Prime

Minister, Theresa May, responsible

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for installing party discipline, and

in that role, she knows things about

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MPs and senior members of the

Government, and would have been in

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possession, one would assume, of

those comments alleged against

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Michael Fallon. It does mean

questions are going to be asked,

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further questions.

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Gavin Williamson is being someone

with very little experience is now

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running a key department in the

Cabinet.

There are lots of questions

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to answer and people keep mentioning

house of Cards, the drama, and it

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seems that Gavin Williamson regarded

it not so much as fiction but as an

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instruction manual.

Do you think

apart from resigning that Michael

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Fallon may be forced to, you know,

be suspended?

I think that is

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possible. There is even talk of a

by-election. Things are moving so

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fast, and there are so many

allegations about other people that

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it is difficult to say, but I don't

think by-elections can be ruled out.

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Rachel Shabi, the word witch hunt

has been used. Do you think that is

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fair when it comes to investigating

complaints made about sexual conduct

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of MPs

no, it is not remotely fair

and also an extraordinarily

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inappropriate word to use given the

origins of the word witchhunt, and

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this has been horrifying, this

couple of weeks. And, you know,

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there are people who are going to

feel anxious about it, but fine. You

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should feel anxious about it. There

are going to be allegations about

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abuses of power, and that will make

people in power feel uncomfortable,

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but that is not to say that those

allegations shouldn't be made and

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should not be taken seriously. Of

course they should. Something has

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gone fundamentally wrong for a long

time. There has been not only an

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abuse of power, with the sex abuse

and harassment in itself, but as we

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are now ceiling, there has been an

abuse -- as we are now seeing there

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has been an abuse of keeping and

attaining power and that will come

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to light in the next few weeks, who

knew what and when and what did they

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cover up in the pursuit retention of

power?

It is these allegations of

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power and perhaps -- allegations is

90 but both parties that these

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things were not properly

investigated. How much do you think

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political loyalty has trumped proper

investigation of sexual misconduct?

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That is the real thing and we are

seeing it and I would emphasise it

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is a cross-party thing. We cannot

single any party out for it, but the

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IDR, what we saw with the

revelations over the weekend that

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Theresa May was briefed about

people's various abuses and

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instances of harassment, so the

extent to which these issues were

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known about. And that is the thing.

It is not only the abuse and

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harassment which obviously is

excruciating enough, but the idea

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that you know about it but don't do

anything about it. You are sending

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out into society and message of

acceptability, that not only is it

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OK but people might actually be

rewarded for it. That is the bit

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that is really toxic and dangerous

in our society.

And people feel

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public servants should be above, be

expected to behave in a way that is

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sending out a message, whether

criminal or moral behaviour we are

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talking about. If we look at the

Government, though, and the impact

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it is having on whether Theresa May

is really getting a grip of this

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situation, and we will talk about

Labour in a moment, comparisons are

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being made between this Government

and John Major's. Tweets have been

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going out from within Westminster,

fin de siecle, back to basics. Is

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that fair?

There are certainly

echoes and parallels. What concerns

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me, while I agree with much of what

you see, and there are really

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serious allegations and something

really wrong with the culture around

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Westminster for decades, I think my

colleague on the Times, Philip

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Collins, put it rather well this

morning, saying that the term

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witchhunt is completely

inappropriate, if you go back to

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where that comes from. Arthur

Miller, the Crucible, the Salem

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witch trials, an extraordinary play.

The point is there were no which is

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and this time there are.

Of course,

but the difficulty is, and I think

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this is why the due process matters,

in among those allegations which are

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very serious, on these lists

circulating or stories which are

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really the currency of Westminster

rumour, some of them denied by both

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parties, some of them involving

consensual behaviour between single

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adults, and to lump Paul of that

together and to rely on the tyranny

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of the list, it is not a witchhunt

but it does take us into Isaac

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extremely dangerous territory --

lump all of that together.

Some

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people's lives could be rude over

this and allegations vowed to be

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absolutely false. Careers, rather.

You are absolutely right. There has

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been a conflation of things that are

harassment and things that are

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consensual and frankly none of

anybody's business, but I think we

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really need to be wary, when we are

talking about a backlash, already we

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are seeing a backlash against women

who have speaking out. Imagine the

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extraordinary degree of bravery and

courage you would need.

And young

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men.

And young men, then they are

just berated and face this Barrett

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of abuse including from some of our

national papers for doing so, so

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there is this culture of blaming

women, even when they are the

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victims -- this barrage of abuse.

Moving on, on Gavin Williamson,

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former Chief Whip, now the new

Defence Secretary, why such a fierce

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backlash from his own side?

Jealousy, snobbery?

I don't think

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so. There is some snobbery involved.

He is a conference of educated boy,

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certainly not the case as far as I

am concerned. -- he is a state

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school educated boy. Has alienating

some of his colleagues, which I

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don't think his friends realised.

Part of this was to do with the

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following Lee McCulloch to the

general election, which he was

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closely involved with, he went off

back to Belfast to handle the

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discussions with the DUP which were

really quite badly botched

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initially. A lot of questions were

asked about the way in which he

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handled that. He has also not really

made a secret of his ambition, which

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is quicker dangerous thing to do in

politics. He made a speech at the

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Conservative Party conference where

most Tory watchers would say that is

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highly unusual for a Chief Whip, to

put himself out front and centre,

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presenting the brilliant new Tory

intake and almost presenting

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himself, some people thought, as a

potential leader, so he has made a

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lot of enemies and I think it's

probably discovering that and

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probably rather surprised, I would

guess.

As is Theresa May, in

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appointing?

Yes, and as you

mentioned at the beginning of the

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programme, it is all unscrambled and

I think it will get even more.

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So, as we've been discussing, there

are more allegations concerning MPs

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published this morning.

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Labour are facing criticism

that they failed to act over

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an allegation of sexual harassment.

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So what are the details?

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The Daily Telegraph has published

claims that the MP for Luton North,

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Kelvin Hopkins, acted

inappropriately to university

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activist Ava Etemadzadeh in 2015.

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She says she complained

to the Whips' Office

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after the incident.

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But was told she "couldn't

take anonymous action."

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It's thought Mr Hopkins

was reprimanded at that point

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for the alleged incident.

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But six months later

Kelvin Hopkins was was asked

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to join the Shadow Cabinet,

as a promotion, as Culture

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Secretary, after dozens of Labour

frontbenchers quit in the wake

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of the EU referendum.

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Ava Etemadzadeh got in touch

with the Labour Party again,

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this time with the Leader's Office,

but no action was taken.

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Last night Kelvin Hopkins

was suspended from the Labour Party,

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pending an investigation.

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He hasn't made any comment

on the allegations, despite repeated

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attempts by the BBC to contact him.

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Ms Etemadzadeh told the BBC:

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"I'm disillusioned by the party not

just not doing anything,

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but then promoting him afterward.

They ignored it."

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This morning our cameras

caught up with the Labour

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leader, Jeremy Corbyn -

he didn't have much to say...

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Good morning, Mr Corbyn.

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Good morning.

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Nice to see you.

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Did you know about Kelvin Hopkins...

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Good morning, nice to see you.

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Thank you for coming to my road.

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Goodbye.

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Did you know about Mr

Hopkins' behaviour before

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you promoted him, Sir?

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Were you aware of

allegations against him, Mr

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Corbyn, before you promoted him

to the Shadow Cabinet?

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Thanks!

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Were you aware of the allegations

against Mr Hopkins, Sir?

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Goodbye.

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Well, reporters following Jeremy

Corbyn given short shrift by the

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Labour leader when asked about these

allegations of sexual impropriety.

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I'm joined now from Central Lobby

by the Labour MP, Stella Creasy.

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Stella Creasy, welcome to the

programme. Do you think Jeremy

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Corbyn and the Leader's Offers where

we about these complaints about

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Kelvin Hopkins?

I have no idea, I

wasn't aware of it, but I think it

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is a fair question people are asking

and I hope the leadership will come

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forward to respond to that concern.

Ava Etemadzadeh who is the

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university activist he said she

first complained about him in 2015,

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Kelvin Hopkins, yet he was promoted

to shadow culture secretary six

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months later. Should he have been

promoted?

I was not involved in how

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they managed this, but I don't think

any

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of the young men or women involved

in these cases should have to go to

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the media for people to look at it

and ask, is this the appropriate

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response? That is why a lot of us

are calling for an independent

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third-party system to be able to

properly investigate these instances

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and make sure the victims are able

to be confident if they come forward

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that they will be believed, until

there is any evidence to the

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contrary, and that the appropriate

action will be taken.

Was she dealt

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with properly in this case?

I can't

tell you, Jo, because I was not

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involved in this particular incident

but I understand why people are

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concerned, and I can hear Ava's

concern and she is incredibly brave

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to have come forward and be in the

public domain to what I am

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frustrated by is that at the moment

this is what seems to be happening

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without a proper system to

investigate these things, and that

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anybody, whether a member of staff

or a volunteer, can feel confident

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it will be taken as easily.

Clearly

it was not taken seriously enough in

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her mind, and that she couldn't make

an anonymous complaint, why not?

We

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don't have, as I say, an independent

third-party system, but...

But why

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couldn't you make an anonymous

complaint to the Labour Party at the

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time?

We don't have a system in

place with these complaints can be

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investigated independently of people

who may know... As Bex Bailey said

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when she came forward, she was

offered career's advice, and clearly

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the situation has to change and the

question is what is the right

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change. For me and all of us we are

saying we need an independent system

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so there is no question of anybody's

friendship with anybody or career

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will come into it and it is all

about allegation.

When you look at

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it, as you say, these are the

questions being asked. Rosie

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Winterton was Chief Whip at the

time, and surely the Chief Whip, the

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head manager of the party, and its

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activities, would have called the

Leader's Offers about the

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allegations against one of its MPs?

I was not involved directly in the

0:16:440:16:46

management of it and my

understanding from what Ava said is

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she was unhappy with how rosy manage

the situation, but you would have to

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ask the leadership. What I am

saying, rather than having

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individual show trials and

particular examples, we need to get

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this right. We can't keep waiting

until we have a proper process to

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investigate these things properly,

and yes, there are sanctions, and

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you might have heard me already say

there is a good case location for

0:17:020:17:06

bringing back recall. I voted for it

before. I think there are cases

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where members of Parliament can

bring Parliament into disrepute.

You

0:17:100:17:14

are doing interviews, but why isn't

the leadership? Why is Jeremy Corbyn

0:17:140:17:23

running away from reporters when

Labour is claiming it is being open

0:17:230:17:26

and transparent on this, and yet he

was very brusque with a reporter

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just asking about sexual propriety

within the party?

From what I do

0:17:280:17:31

know Jeremy and his team have taken

this incredibly seriously this week.

0:17:310:17:34

Those of us coming forward asking to

change this, there have definitely

0:17:340:17:37

been a lot of meetings. You will

need to as Jeremy and his team...

We

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tried, that is the point.

I am a

backbench Labour MP who is

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determined there needs to be change

coming out of this.

0:17:450:17:53

This is something men and women have

to learn to cope with. It is

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damaging to everyone.

Would you like

Jeremy Corbyn or one of the senior

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team to be doing interviews and to

say that Labour is taking this

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seriously?

Are you trying to give me

a job in the Labour Party press

0:18:060:18:09

office?

It sounds like they needed.

We have to show as a party of

0:18:090:18:15

equality that we take these matters

seriously, but I also recognise that

0:18:150:18:20

this is being taken seriously by the

Labour Party. As someone who has

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been involved in conversations about

what change looks like, I'm

0:18:230:18:27

confident that people recognise that

the status quo cannot continue. It

0:18:270:18:30

cannot appear that anybody is

treated with favours.

If we look at

0:18:300:18:36

the allegations that have been made

against the MP Jared O'Mara, making

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historical sexist and offensive

remarks, Bex Bailey, who you

0:18:430:18:46

mentioned, allegations that she was

raped and then discouraged from

0:18:460:18:49

reporting it by a Labour official,

James greenhouse, who was an intern,

0:18:490:18:54

was sexually assaulted by Labour MP.

And he said he couldn't make an

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anonymous complaint. Now these

allegations with Kevin Hopkins. Are

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you embarrassed by your party?

I

feel we have let these young people

0:19:010:19:06

down. I was working with Bex Bailey,

try to raise concerns about how we

0:19:060:19:12

got a process in place, not knowing

of her personal experience. So I am

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heartbroken when I hear these

stories. That is why this has to

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change. That conversation is taking

place. Many of us will push to make

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sure we get the best independent

third-party report in process, so

0:19:280:19:33

there are proper sanctions and

everybody can be confident that when

0:19:330:19:35

an allegation is made, it is treated

seriously.

You say you will

0:19:350:19:44

guarantee that this will be

independent...

A lot of us recognise

0:19:440:19:48

how serious this is and we are

determined to see it change. We are

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trying to come up with the

processes. Show trials in the media

0:19:530:19:57

will not change the process so that

people can come forward. We need a

0:19:570:20:04

proper and independent process.

But

people have had to come to the media

0:20:040:20:07

to get these things brought to light

in the first place. The Labour

0:20:070:20:12

leadership are not willing to answer

basic questions on an issue that

0:20:120:20:15

they say they are addressing.

Yesterday, I had Dawn Butler, your

0:20:150:20:19

colleague, the shadow women and

equalities minister, saying we had

0:20:190:20:23

put robust policies in place, but

couldn't tell me what they were. Who

0:20:230:20:27

do you go to in the Labour Party if

there is a new system to complain?

0:20:270:20:32

Who is the third-party personal?

That is not there at the moment.

So

0:20:320:20:39

there are not robust procedures?

That is what we are pushing for. A

0:20:390:20:43

hotline staffed by people who know

those you want to complain about

0:20:430:20:47

probably isn't good enough. We need

somebody independent who can deal

0:20:470:20:52

with anonymous concerns and can

support somebody. Someone with an

0:20:520:20:56

independent sexual violence advice

experience.

Was it right that these

0:20:560:21:06

people could not make complaints

anonymously at Labour Party and is

0:21:060:21:11

it credible that the leader's office

could not have known about this

0:21:110:21:14

complaint against Kelvin Hopkins.

On

the first point, I agree with

0:21:140:21:19

Stella. It is absolutely not right.

The idea of someone like Bex Bailey,

0:21:190:21:24

bad enough that she was raped, but

then to be told not to talk about it

0:21:240:21:29

is appalling and should not happen

in any party. The idea that if

0:21:290:21:36

something like that happens to you,

you have to talk about it to someone

0:21:360:21:39

who is potentially your superior or

a colleague who knows the people

0:21:390:21:44

involved is so transparently

ludicrous that obviously, that has

0:21:440:21:50

to go, for all the parties. You

can't have a situation where that is

0:21:500:21:54

the procedure. It is not a robust

procedure and I hope all the parties

0:21:540:22:00

introduce some kind of independent

system whereby people who are facing

0:22:000:22:05

any kind of abuse or harassment are

able to talk about it.

Should Kelvin

0:22:050:22:09

Hopkins have been promoted when this

allegation had been raised with the

0:22:090:22:13

Labour Party?

With hindsight,

clearly not, but I don't know how

0:22:130:22:17

that situation arose. Obviously, the

leadership is not going to talk

0:22:170:22:21

about it now because there is an

investigation.

But shouldn't they be

0:22:210:22:26

answering questions about these

allegations and what they are doing

0:22:260:22:31

about it?

I don't think they can

answer the question of the

0:22:310:22:34

allegation while there is an

investigation in place. But

0:22:340:22:40

definitely, the entire party should

address the issue of getting robust

0:22:400:22:43

procedures in place urgently.

Let me

go back to Stella Creasy. There was

0:22:430:22:48

another report by Jo town on the

Conservative side, talking about an

0:22:480:22:55

experience she had in one of the

bars, with drinks being spiked. Is

0:22:550:22:59

this what is going on? Do you know

of other people who have had their

0:22:590:23:05

drink spiked in bars in the Houses

of Parliament?

I know of countless

0:23:050:23:09

women who have had their drink

spiked in society.

But in the Houses

0:23:090:23:14

of Parliament?

I don't know of

another example. What Jo has

0:23:140:23:18

reported is horrific. That is why

this has to change and we have to

0:23:180:23:23

take it seriously. Frankly, people

who say they will deal with it

0:23:230:23:29

internally, that is not good enough.

And that is a cross all political

0:23:290:23:35

parties and across society. The only

thing that is different in

0:23:350:23:38

Parliament is that it is behaviour

which if you did in other

0:23:380:23:40

workplaces, there would be a proper

HR function and it would be a

0:23:400:23:46

disciplinary offence, rightly. That

is not in place and that has to

0:23:460:23:48

change.

Stella Creasy, thank you. We

hope to be a interview with Ava

0:23:480:23:58

Etemadzadeh, the victim of Kelvin

Hopkins' alleged behaviour, later in

0:23:580:24:00

the programme.

0:24:000:24:02

The October revolution ushered in 70

years of Communist rule in Russia

0:24:020:24:05

and across vast swathes

of Eastern Europe and Asia.

0:24:050:24:09

Those events have shaped

politics across the globe

0:24:090:24:12

and are still used to define

political allegiances and dogma.

0:24:120:24:14

There were no cameras there to film

the moment the Bolsheviks stormed

0:24:140:24:17

the Winter Palace in St Petersburg

100 years ago, but this

0:24:170:24:20

is how the great Soviet

film-maker and propagandist,

0:24:200:24:25

Sergei Eisenstein, chose to portray

the events in his film

0:24:250:24:27

October:

Ten Days That Shook the World.

0:24:270:24:37

And we can talk to Rob Griffiths

from the Communist Party of Britain.

0:25:050:25:10

He is in St Petersburg. There were

two revolutions in Russia in 1917,

0:25:100:25:18

the one in February, a popular

uprising which brought to power a

0:25:180:25:21

socialist government, and the

second, which was a clue, the

0:25:210:25:26

Bolsheviks, which was achieved by

armed force and consolidated through

0:25:260:25:28

terror. Should that be celebrated?

Yes, it should, because the

0:25:280:25:34

revolution transformed the lives of

millions of people for the better

0:25:340:25:39

over the following 60 or 70 years.

In what way did it improve it for

0:25:390:25:45

the better?

Provided education and

health services for entire

0:25:450:25:49

populations that had not previously

received them. It gave them low-cost

0:25:490:25:54

housing, public transport. It gave

them great advances in every field

0:25:540:26:00

of life.

Bet against a backdrop of

fear and punishment. The secret

0:26:000:26:05

police were set up. Elections were

all but abolished. Everything was

0:26:050:26:10

done by force, wasn't it? They

basically said it was their way or

0:26:100:26:14

the highway.

Can you still see me?

You have just disappeared. Did you

0:26:140:26:24

pull the plug? Can you hear me? No.

I think we have lost Mr Griffiths

0:26:240:26:30

temporarily in St Petersburg.

Putin

and the Kremlin do not want to

0:26:300:26:37

celebrate the Russian Revolution, so

it is mysterious that it has

0:26:370:26:41

disappeared!

Not just a power cut!

Should be celebrated or just marked,

0:26:410:26:46

Rachel Shabi?

To have a one note

response to the Russian Revolution

0:26:460:26:51

would be wrong. It was so many

things. I am not about to celebrate

0:26:510:26:57

the violent, authoritarian murderous

and of Stalin. But because of

0:26:570:27:04

Stalin, I am not going to discount

the hope and the cause and the

0:27:040:27:09

popular uprising in which the

October revolution began. It is

0:27:090:27:14

complicated. It has significance in

lots of different ways and it would

0:27:140:27:20

be nice if we could explore all of

those instead of just asking to be

0:27:200:27:25

put in one category or another.

But

it was a regime of terror to a large

0:27:250:27:30

extent. In the end, did the means

justify the ends?

Of course not, but

0:27:300:27:35

that doesn't detract from how it

began and what the sentiment that

0:27:350:27:45

began it was, and the defiance and

audacity of what they pulled off in

0:27:450:27:49

the early days. I don't think there

was an inevitability to it, although

0:27:490:27:54

that is something historians are

still discussing.

But began with

0:27:540:27:58

Marxism, which is one of the worst

ideas in human history and has

0:27:580:28:01

failed everywhere it has been tried.

The cry of the far left is always,

0:28:010:28:07

well, it has never been tried

properly. But it has been tried and

0:28:070:28:11

is responsible for the deaths of 100

million people, potentially. It

0:28:110:28:19

should not be commemorated. It

should not be seen interims of being

0:28:190:28:24

marked. It should be lamented in the

same way we lament the Holocaust is

0:28:240:28:29

one of the great catastrophes of

human history. It unlocked the door

0:28:290:28:35

to tyranny, to the Gulag, to an

extraordinary degree of repression,

0:28:350:28:42

and the price was paid across the

world by the victims of the

0:28:420:28:47

Communists.

Do you think the victims

of the camps and the purges, in some

0:28:470:28:55

ways and the play because of the

horrors of the Second World War and

0:28:550:28:57

the Holocaust? What happened once

the Iron Curtain had fun than

0:28:570:29:04

before, do you think there has been

underplayed in history?

I am not

0:29:040:29:10

about to start comparing the October

revolution to the systematic

0:29:100:29:16

extermination of 6 million people.

Has it been underplayed? I think all

0:29:160:29:19

sorts of things have now re-emerged

and been we discussed. --

0:29:190:29:25

re-discussed. But I would not want

to compare the predetermination of a

0:29:250:29:30

historical event with an ideology.

Marxism was bad, therefore

0:29:300:29:35

everything was bad about the

revolution? I don't think that is a

0:29:350:29:38

helpful analysis.

The root of the

Marxist analysis is essentially the

0:29:380:29:46

abolition of the basic means of

exchange, the junking of the market

0:29:460:29:50

system. In every case where this is

tried, those who then object to that

0:29:500:29:57

economic analysis must be contained

and ultimately cracked down on. This

0:29:570:30:03

is what happens every time, to

varying degrees, because it has at

0:30:030:30:07

its root if false historical

economic analysis, which is a

0:30:070:30:12

catastrophe and has never worked

anywhere.

0:30:120:30:18

There is a rejection of an economic

system, capitalism, that doesn't

0:30:180:30:23

necessarily lead to

authoritarianism, which is what you

0:30:230:30:25

are implying. I think that is very

naive...

That is why what is

0:30:250:30:29

happening now in the Labour Party is

so significant. The Democratic

0:30:290:30:35

Socialists and the mainstream left,

who have always controlled the

0:30:350:30:39

Labour Party and took the decision,

in the 1920s, to make Labour a

0:30:390:30:46

parliamentary force rather than a

revolutionary force, did something

0:30:460:30:50

so important and patriotic, which is

why the Labour Party has throughout

0:30:500:30:53

its history until now been a

mainstream bulwark against the far

0:30:530:30:58

left...

Just to be clear...

For the

first time in its history the Labour

0:30:580:31:03

Party is now being controlled by the

far left and people...

So you're

0:31:030:31:08

saying, just to be

clear, the people

now in the Labour readership, they

0:31:080:31:13

are pretending to support the NHS

and, you know, free tuition fees,

0:31:130:31:17

but actually they want to get into

government so they can overthrow

0:31:170:31:21

government, ie themselves? They want

to overthrow themselves, that is

0:31:210:31:24

what you're saying? It doesn't make

any sense!

It is how the Bolsheviks

0:31:240:31:29

operated, if you look at the

history...

Self-proclaimed

0:31:290:31:33

democratic socialist, I think the

clue is in the the parliamentary

0:31:330:31:39

system. They are not? Just in your

opinion.

Based on evidence the

0:31:390:31:42

people of their association, the

Communist Party of Great Britain,

0:31:420:31:45

their writings in defence of Stalin,

their defence of the October 1917

0:31:450:31:52

revolution, there is a very smart

group around Jeremy Corbyn, much

0:31:520:31:57

smarter than the Labour leader, who

have taken control of the Labour

0:31:570:32:01

Party. It is a historically

significant event. I think what the

0:32:010:32:05

danger then is, and what worries

mainstream Labour people and

0:32:050:32:09

mainstream Labour voters, if they

get in, what then follows is the

0:32:090:32:14

Government can do quite a lot

without legislation, quite a lot...

0:32:140:32:18

Why have so many people bought it --

why are so many people voting for

0:32:180:32:24

Jamie Cording?

-- Jeremy Corbyn.

Said a small group have taken

0:32:240:32:30

control.

You agree with that,

Rachel, that there is a small

0:32:300:32:34

revolution being planned around

Jeremy Corbyn, that he is surrounded

0:32:340:32:37

by people who would like to see

something much more extreme than

0:32:370:32:41

socialism?

I think that is

conspiratorial to the point of

0:32:410:32:44

hysteria. We are not even talking

about state ownership. This is a

0:32:440:32:48

party that clearly supports a mixed

market, they support an increase in

0:32:480:32:53

taxation for the very highest level

of earners in society, they support

0:32:530:32:59

some renationalisation of utilities,

they support investment in the

0:32:590:33:03

welfare state, none of these things

are a revolutionary! By definition,

0:33:030:33:07

none of any of these things are

revolutionary.

Controls... When

0:33:070:33:11

there is a run on the country...

Don't answer the question with

0:33:110:33:16

another question.

When wealth leaves

the country and essentially

0:33:160:33:19

everything that is not nailed down

please, do you think John McDonnell

0:33:190:33:26

as Chancellor will have to introduce

capital control to stop money

0:33:260:33:29

leaving the country -- nailed down

flees.

Do you think getting the

0:33:290:33:32

levels of corporate tax to the

levels that currently exist in the

0:33:320:33:36

rest of Europe would cause

businesses to flee the UK, and if

0:33:360:33:41

so, to where?

I think the cleverness

of the manifesto, McDonnell is a

0:33:410:33:46

very smart guy, and that is a really

rather brilliant document, to con

0:33:460:33:50

people in that way, when you just

have to look at what he has said

0:33:500:33:53

before he was Shadow Chancellor.

Asked who his greatest influences

0:33:530:33:57

were, he said Marx, Lenin and

Trotsky.

Just briefly, fascinating

0:33:570:34:05

though this discussion is from an

ideological point of view, Rachel,

0:34:050:34:08

can you name a successful Marxist

Communist regime that exists today?

0:34:080:34:12

No! And not talking about... I'm not

even saying this is support for

0:34:120:34:19

Communism. We started by saying what

can we take away from the Russian

0:34:190:34:23

Revolution? One of the things you

can take away from that is that, you

0:34:230:34:28

know, people who believe in

supporting workers' struggles might

0:34:280:34:31

choose to do that through

parliamentary means, through

0:34:310:34:34

democratic socialism.

And finally,

on that, do you think by using your

0:34:340:34:40

critique of the October Revolution,

which you say should be lamented, it

0:34:400:34:44

is actually unfairly staining the

credible cause of socialism in many

0:34:440:34:48

people's Maine's?

I don't think it

has. I'm just really old-fashioned.

0:34:480:34:51

I just want the proper old stream

Democratic Labour Party back, Gordon

0:34:510:34:58

Brown, Tony Blair, and for once the

far left has managed to steal the

0:34:580:35:02

Labour Party.

You support of the

Labour Party then, did you, Iain?

I

0:35:020:35:09

was raised in a Labour household!

0:35:090:35:18

LAUGHTER

0:35:180:35:18

Now, should peers in the House

of Lords be restricted to a 15-year

0:35:180:35:22

term, rather than being given a seat

for life as is currently the case?

0:35:220:35:25

That was the proposal

from the Lord Speaker's

0:35:250:35:27

Committee on Tuesday.

0:35:270:35:28

This latest bout of introspection

has been prompted in part by claims

0:35:280:35:31

from the former Lord Speaker,

Baroness D'Souza, that many peers

0:35:310:35:33

were abusing this system -

she made her comments

0:35:330:35:35

in a documentary broadcast

earlier this year.

0:35:350:35:37

There is a core of peers who work

incredibly hard, who do that work.

0:35:370:35:41

And there are, sad to say,

many, many, many peers

0:35:410:35:43

who contribute absolutely nothing,

but who claim the full allowance.

0:35:430:35:45

I can remember one occasion

0:35:450:35:47

when I was leaving the House quite

late, and there was a peer,

0:35:470:35:50

who shall be utterly nameless,

who jumped out of a taxi just

0:35:500:35:59

outside the peers' entrance and left

the engine running.

0:35:590:36:02

He ran in, presumably to show

that he had attended,

0:36:020:36:04

and then ran out again

while the taxi was still running.

0:36:040:36:07

I mean, that's not normal.

0:36:070:36:08

But it is something that does

happen, and I think that we have

0:36:080:36:11

lost the sense of honour that used

to pertain,

0:36:110:36:13

and that is

a great, great shame.

0:36:130:36:23

And the current Lord Speaker,

Lord Fowler, is here now.

0:36:240:36:33

Do you think there will be enough to

restore confidence in the House of

0:36:340:36:38

Lords, when they have a perception

it is full of old men who turn up to

0:36:380:36:41

speak, or not, and spend a lot on

expenses?

I don't think that is a

0:36:410:36:46

true perception. I don't think that

clip you should from my predecessor

0:36:460:36:50

is the true position as far as the

House of Lords is concerned. We were

0:36:500:36:53

never given the opportunity of

actually replying, which I think is

0:36:530:36:57

the case with all the rules of the

BBC.

What would you say in response

0:36:570:37:05

now?

I would say there may be some

who do what she alleges, but most

0:37:050:37:09

actually work rather hard. We have

over 300, 330, who sit on the select

0:37:090:37:16

committees, who work, you know, each

week on select committees, and what

0:37:160:37:19

we are doing now is to try to bring

the numbers down, and for the first

0:37:190:37:24

time in history we are going to have

a cap on the numbers of peers in the

0:37:240:37:30

House of Lords. It has never been

done before in this country. I think

0:37:300:37:34

it is universal overseas, but never

been done before.

And the number is?

0:37:340:37:39

It will come down to under the House

of Commons and 600 from about 820,

0:37:390:37:47

so we are getting rid of the

quarter, and if I may say so, there

0:37:470:37:50

are not that number of organisations

who buy their own volition decide to

0:37:500:37:57

reduce themselves by almost a

quarter...

You said yourself there

0:37:570:38:01

are a few passengers in the current

House. Will they be the first to go?

0:38:010:38:04

I think that is very likely. It is

what the process will be, that the

0:38:040:38:09

party groups will decide the process

by which, you know, existing members

0:38:090:38:16

go, and they know who the passengers

are. Much better than anybody else,

0:38:160:38:21

and I can't believe that someone who

has made next to no contribution

0:38:210:38:27

will act to survive.

Even though

some of those in defence say, well,

0:38:270:38:32

it is about people to take round the

Houses of Parliament, ambassadors,

0:38:320:38:35

do you believe that?

I believe we

should be ambassadors but I think

0:38:350:38:39

one of the troubles there have been,

and again we are tackling this,

0:38:390:38:43

peers when they are first appointed,

they are not actually told what is

0:38:430:38:48

expected of them. I think this is a

most extraordinary mission. And

0:38:480:38:53

what...

Couldn't they find out

themselves?

I can think of cases,

0:38:530:39:00

again, one case in particular, where

someone who had just been appointed

0:39:000:39:05

was having doubts, literally, within

days, you know, this is ridiculous.

0:39:050:39:08

What we are doing is to have the

commission saying to people, now,

0:39:080:39:15

look, this is what is expected of

you. If you don't want that then,

0:39:150:39:19

you know, don't...

There is the

door, right.

0:39:190:39:22

LAUGHTER

In the past figures like Gordon

0:39:220:39:24

Brown have called for the Lords to

be replaced by an elected Senate

0:39:240:39:28

alongside a more federal UK

structure. What you think of that?

I

0:39:280:39:31

think the idea of a Sennett is

right. In other words, we are

0:39:310:39:35

looking and reviewing what the

Commons is doing. The Commons is the

0:39:350:39:43

elected chamber, and they have the

final say. Whether you want two

0:39:430:39:48

elected chambers, side by side, I

think is quite another matter. At

0:39:480:39:51

the moment we accept the elected

Commons is superior. If I go in as

0:39:510:39:57

an elected peer, my whole attitude

changes and I will say my vote is as

0:39:570:40:05

good as the man next.

They are doing

quite well at scrutinising what

0:40:050:40:09

legislation there is at the moment

in the House of Lords?

We are, but

0:40:090:40:13

we very rarely come to bunfight at

the OK Corral with us trying to

0:40:130:40:20

insist by our ways -- we very rarely

come to a gun fight at the OK

0:40:200:40:24

Corral. We accepted as the House of

Commons who have the final say, and

0:40:240:40:30

that is right, but I think we have

the constitutional duty of actually

0:40:300:40:34

checking what the Commons do.

Let's

talk about regeneration in terms of

0:40:340:40:40

the building itself. You are a fan

of that, broadly speaking. He

0:40:400:40:45

recently visited Ottawa were

Canadian MPs and senators have moved

0:40:450:40:49

out of the existing parliament

building to facilitate maintenance

0:40:490:40:51

work. I don't know if it is on the

same sort of scale we are speaking

0:40:510:40:54

about here in the Houses of

Parliament. Would you like to see

0:40:540:40:57

that happen here for the maintenance

work needed?

Yes. They are moving

0:40:570:41:03

out, to be fair. By this time next

year in Ottawa.

Yes, we can see the

0:41:030:41:08

pictures I think being shown right

now.

Both the Commons and the Senate

0:41:080:41:13

will have moved out, all the members

will have moved out of the main

0:41:130:41:16

parliament building, and the

contractors will go in, and that has

0:41:160:41:19

been decided, and they will be out

for some years, and I think that is

0:41:190:41:24

by far the most effective and

efficient way of doing the repairs,

0:41:240:41:29

and doing the reconstruction. The

situation in the House of Lords by

0:41:290:41:36

any stretch of the imagination is

not good. I mean, we have over 1000

0:41:360:41:42

asbestos sites, over 1000. We

actually don't know how many

0:41:420:41:45

precisely we have got. We have

electric fault all over the place.

0:41:450:41:49

We employ 24 full-time fire

inspectors, 24 hours a day, going

0:41:490:41:56

round checking for any fires, and

there are, and there have been, and

0:41:560:42:01

this is ridiculous. No other

organisation does that.

Right, but

0:42:010:42:05

you still need agreement, don't you?

From the Prime Minister, and all the

0:42:050:42:10

parties?

From the House of Commons.

Do you think that is good to be

0:42:100:42:14

forthcoming?

I very much hope so. I

think there was a pretty good

0:42:140:42:20

agreement in the Lords this should

be done. I think we will have a

0:42:200:42:23

debate, hopefully, before Christmas,

and presumably a motion will be put

0:42:230:42:28

on the table on this. The Government

is setting up a committee now to

0:42:280:42:34

look at the exact costs, and that is

fine.

Costs are potentially huge?

0:42:340:42:39

That is what they are looking at to

find out and I think it is very

0:42:390:42:43

difficult to tell. If you see the

costs are, for example, £4 billion,

0:42:430:42:48

no one will write that check. It is

over a period of a decade probably

0:42:480:42:53

your speaking.

If that doesn't

happen and the Commons don't agree,

0:42:530:42:57

and you don't move out, what are the

risks?

I suppose we would have to do

0:42:570:43:03

it some other way. We would be

building around, and there would be

0:43:030:43:07

the risk something would go wrong. A

fire, something fell down the other

0:43:070:43:12

day...

There are dangers to members, the

0:43:120:43:18

staff, and actor to the people who

come. I don't think anyone is in any

0:43:180:43:22

doubt at all that something needs to

be done. It is not a question...

I

0:43:220:43:27

think they agree that but there does

not seem to be a way of finding

0:43:270:43:31

agreement, we have done so many

interviews about this, no one has

0:43:310:43:34

moved out and the one looks like

they are going to in the near

0:43:340:43:37

future.

You know, one just hopes

common sense prevails on this. It is

0:43:370:43:43

much better and more effective to

have and allow the contractors and

0:43:430:43:46

all those people to come in and do

the whole thing, rather than doing

0:43:460:43:49

it, you know, there was one

suggestion we should do it over the

0:43:490:43:53

space of 20 years. It will also cost

about ten times as much! In politics

0:43:530:43:59

there are not too many issues you

see are no-brainers but this does

0:43:590:44:03

seem to be one of them.

It is good

to know things move quickly in this

0:44:030:44:06

regard. But to go back to the

beginning on tapping the numbers, is

0:44:060:44:10

that a good thing?

I think so. I

would be bolder than that. I think

0:44:100:44:16

we need post Brexit a complete

rethink of the constitution and I

0:44:160:44:19

would rethink the role of the second

chamber and possibly even the

0:44:190:44:22

Commons becoming an English chamber.

There are all sorts of ways you

0:44:220:44:27

could do it without subdividing

England into lots of regions, as

0:44:270:44:31

Gordon Brown suggested, but the move

I think an opportunity is also

0:44:310:44:35

missed to go outside London, and I

think MPs and peers should be as

0:44:350:44:42

bold as possible.

Where would you

suggest they went

Leeds, for

0:44:420:44:48

example. In light of the disrepute

in which the Commons is held and the

0:44:480:44:57

reputational problems parliament

has, I think Parliament has to

0:44:570:45:00

completely rethink its relationship

with the country.

What about going

0:45:000:45:03

to somewhere like Leeds?

If it was

going to go anywhere I would go to

0:45:030:45:07

Birmingham, but just to make the one

essential point about the proposals,

0:45:070:45:12

we are doing this without

legislation. Everything you are

0:45:120:45:15

talking about requires legislation.

I mean, we haven't got... The only

0:45:150:45:19

thing we can do is to actually

reduce numbers, basically. It is up

0:45:190:45:23

to the Government to introduce

legislation. I haven't regrettably

0:45:230:45:27

got that power.

Rachel Shabi, when

it comes to an elected second

0:45:270:45:32

chamber, this argument that the

primacy of the Commons would be

0:45:320:45:37

undermined, do you agree with that?

There is something about that, yes.

0:45:370:45:42

It would change the tone of the

second chamber, and there would be a

0:45:420:45:47

problem there, potentially. With the

perception of independence and

0:45:470:45:52

allegiance and so forth, but I'm...

I think this conversation is to be

0:45:520:45:56

encouraged.

0:45:560:46:02

I also think the conversation about

why the second chamber exists is one

0:46:020:46:06

that we need to have, because that

seems to have been lost or Brexit,

0:46:060:46:11

the function of the second chamber

and Wyatt is a necessary part of our

0:46:110:46:17

democracy -- why it is a necessary

part of our democracy seems to have

0:46:170:46:22

been eroded.

When Michael Fallon

resigned, he said that some of his

0:46:220:46:28

behaviour fell below standards that

are acceptable today, the

0:46:280:46:31

implication being that they might

have been acceptable 15 years ago.

0:46:310:46:34

Do you agree?

Not really. The case

with Michael Fallon is not entirely

0:46:340:46:46

clear, but I think the kind of

sexual harassment were talking about

0:46:460:46:53

was not acceptable 15 years ago and

certainly is not acceptable today.

0:46:530:46:58

What we have to do now is,

particularly with the people working

0:46:580:47:02

for members, we have to find a way

whereby complaints that they make

0:47:020:47:06

are taken seriously and are acted

upon. This is a much more serious

0:47:060:47:13

issue than some of the things we

have had in the past where someone

0:47:130:47:17

has been having an affair with

someone else. That is not what we

0:47:170:47:21

are talking about. This is

harassment.

I suppose if there were

0:47:210:47:29

allegations of sexual impropriety,

someone might come to you. Have you

0:47:290:47:34

ever had anyone report it to you?

No. We have a good system in the

0:47:340:47:39

Lords for looking after staff and

staff complaints. As far as I know,

0:47:390:47:46

there have not been any in recent

years. But certainly, no one has

0:47:460:47:50

come to me. But you are right, if

John Bercow and myself can help in

0:47:500:47:58

this way of stamping the whole

process and being independent, we

0:47:580:48:02

would be happy to do so.

Norman

Fowler, thank you.

0:48:020:48:06

I know there are two months

until the end of the year,

0:48:060:48:12

but if you're a cartoonist, you've

already missed your chance to get

0:48:120:48:17

into this year's Compendium

of the best political cartoons.

0:48:170:48:19

Mind you, it's been a bumper year,

what with that snap general election

0:48:190:48:22

no one thought would happen,

the surprise result, and all the fun

0:48:220:48:25

of those drawn-out divorce

negotiations with the EU.

0:48:250:48:27

Here's Ellie with the top five

political cartoons of the year.

0:48:270:48:31

At five, Christian Adams pokes fun

at the three-week summer holiday

0:48:310:48:35

Theresa May took walking

in the Swiss Alps.

0:48:350:48:38

Critics say the fact

that she was away so long

0:48:380:48:41

without appointing a deputy

at a crucial moment in the Brexit

0:48:410:48:43

negotiations was a bit cuckoo

when the clock is ticking.

0:48:430:48:48

At four, Jeremy Corbyn was depicted

as being lost at sea when the Labour

0:48:480:48:51

election campaign launched,

attacked left, right and centre

0:48:510:48:55

by sharks in the guise

of Theresa May, Rupert Murdoch

0:48:550:48:58

and fat cat lobby groups,

or so it seemed.

0:48:580:49:01

Of course, he did manage to secure

that bigger vote from the jaws

0:49:010:49:05

of catastrophic defeat.

0:49:050:49:07

Who knows what could happen

if there were a sequel?

0:49:070:49:10

At three, the Observer's Chris

Riddell imagines Labour's 2017

0:49:100:49:13

manifesto as an irresistible sweetie

shop,

0:49:130:49:16

with the PM as Cruella de Vil.

0:49:160:49:19

If she doesn't scare you,

no evil thing will, or maybe that's

0:49:190:49:22

just the cartoonist's take

on her policies on immigration,

0:49:220:49:24

Brexit and foxhunting.

0:49:240:49:28

The runner-up at number

two, the powerful image

0:49:280:49:31

from Peter Brookes

0:49:310:49:32

of tower blocks portrayed

as tinderboxes in the wake of

0:49:320:49:34

the devastating Grenfell Tower fire.

0:49:340:49:40

The event caused a backlash

against Tory cuts amid accusations

0:49:400:49:42

that the Government didn't care

about residents' welfare.

0:49:420:49:45

And coming in at number one,

Ben Jennings' depiction

0:49:450:49:48

of the rather complex workings

of Boris Johnson's conscience.

0:49:480:49:52

When the Sunday Times published

the draft pro-EU article BoJo had

0:49:520:49:55

written before the referendum,

people began to wonder -

0:49:550:49:57

did he really support leaving

the EU, or had he backed Brexit

0:49:570:50:00

merely for his own political gain?

0:50:000:50:03

Angel or Machiavelli?

0:50:030:50:10

And just imagine the

lexiconic nightmare

0:50:100:50:11

of having two Borises

whispering in your ear.

0:50:110:50:16

Joining us now are Tim Benson,

editor of Britain's Best Political

0:50:160:50:20

Cartoons and Martha Richler,

a cartoonist who uses

0:50:200:50:22

the pseudonym "Marf".

0:50:220:50:29

What makes a great political

cartoon, Martha?

It should be

0:50:290:50:34

truthful and funny. In equal parts.

Some of the most powerful political

0:50:340:50:41

cartoons draw on some funny story

and some truth more all in one. I

0:50:410:50:49

don't think it would be possible to

draw a cartoon and then try and

0:50:490:50:52

think about caption. It comes all

together to the cartoonist's

0:50:520:50:58

imagination.

Do you agree?

And no, I

don't. I don't see how all cartoons

0:50:580:51:04

can be funny when they cover very

serious subjects on occasion. Can

0:51:040:51:08

you make terrorist attacks funny?

No. So they can be funny. They can

0:51:080:51:14

ridicule and satirise those who

deserve it. But again, political

0:51:140:51:18

comment doesn't always have to be

funny.

Let's pick a particular

0:51:180:51:23

favourite that you have, Tim.

They

are all my favourites.

But talk us

0:51:230:51:30

through one of the ones you like,

this one.

This is on the front cover

0:51:300:51:38

of the book. It encapsulates the

mess we are in over Brexit. I always

0:51:380:51:48

worried about putting a cartoon on

the front cover about whether it

0:51:480:51:51

would loses topicality by the time

it comes out.

But you are not

0:51:510:51:56

worried in this case! What do you

think, Martha? Do you like it?

I do,

0:51:560:52:03

and by the way, I don't think this

is a competition like a race. I

0:52:030:52:09

would not be cartooning if I didn't

think I could add something to the

0:52:090:52:12

mix, but if I can, I will look at

cartoons all day. I used to get

0:52:120:52:17

attention in school for doing that.

All I am ingested in is making sure

0:52:170:52:26

we are seen and heard. I think Tim

Benson's selection is immensely

0:52:260:52:32

valuable, but there will be a

companion volume and another. It is

0:52:320:52:40

a continuing story. I want to get

away a bit from the male-female

0:52:400:52:45

opposition if you don't mind. Part

of my issue with Tim Benson to do

0:52:450:52:53

with his lack of enthusiasm for

online publishing. A lot of women

0:52:530:52:58

are publishing online. I published a

serious political cartoon on sexual

0:52:580:53:07

harassment at Westminster, as you

are discussing earlier. And it is

0:53:070:53:12

very serious, but it has elements of

humour. Everyone has to laugh at

0:53:120:53:16

that detail in the mail online about

the minister with a proclivity for

0:53:160:53:22

boys wearing women's perfume.

Is

this sort of thing one should laugh

0:53:220:53:28

at? Cartoons are supposed to trigger

thought. They are supposed to be

0:53:280:53:32

thought-provoking. Are these things

funny?

They can be, when done well,

0:53:320:53:39

like Peter Brooks or Christian

Adams. It depends on your political

0:53:390:53:43

viewpoint, of course. I am not a fan

of Steve Bell's work, but I do think

0:53:430:53:50

there is a great revival happening

with political cartoons.

If you went

0:53:500:53:54

back to ten years ago as a

journalist, one of my concerns was

0:53:540:53:57

that the art would die out because

newsprint was fading away. But

0:53:570:54:01

actually, things like the iPad have

given it a great boost because they

0:54:010:54:05

are backlit and they look fantastic.

I disagree.

Martha's point is that

0:54:050:54:11

we have to look broader than the

newspapers, because there has not

0:54:110:54:16

been a woman among the six full-time

political cartoonists working for

0:54:160:54:21

newspapers to stop isn't this

another way of bringing cartoonists

0:54:210:54:24

and cartoons to the national diet,

if you like, without having to rely

0:54:240:54:31

on the newspapers?

I don't think it

has anything to do with gender bias.

0:54:310:54:34

I think in political cartooning, if

you are good enough, you will get

0:54:340:54:38

there. The cream always gets to the

top.

I disagree that this has

0:54:380:54:47

nothing to do with gender. The idea

that talent rises regardless of

0:54:470:54:50

gender is just absurd.

It is

idealistic.

It does in political

0:54:500:55:00

cartooning.

There are all the

invisible obstacles and privileges

0:55:000:55:04

in operation.

I see it that

newspapers are archaic and wonderful

0:55:040:55:12

in some ways. Traditionally, a

cartoonist who began drawing would

0:55:120:55:19

continue drawing and die in his

chair. Jack died in his chair 50

0:55:190:55:23

years after starting as a

cartoonist. And his successor

0:55:230:55:29

started the morning after. So there

is a kind of continuity that is

0:55:290:55:33

wonderful. It is not to replace the

Jacks of this world.

Cartoonists

0:55:330:55:42

don't employ themselves.

We have to

leave it there, because I think we

0:55:420:55:52

are going to be able to bring you

part of the interview from the lady

0:55:520:55:55

we were talking about earlier who

made a complaint against the Labour

0:55:550:56:00

MP Kelvin Hopkins. And we can play

that to you now.

The first instance

0:56:000:56:13

happened on campus. He hugged me

very tightly and rubbed himself

0:56:130:56:19

against me. It made me feel

extremely uncomfortable, and it was

0:56:190:56:29

a revolting act. The second incident

was in Parliament, when I went to

0:56:290:56:35

have a conversation with him and he

told me, let's not talk about

0:56:350:56:40

politics, do you have a boyfriend?

And he also said that if nobody was

0:56:400:56:45

in his office, he would have taken

me there. I was shocked.

You have

0:56:450:56:50

brought your phone. You have more

than one text message, tell me about

0:56:500:56:56

that.

Yes. A few weeks after I

refuse to respond to his calls, he

0:56:560:57:00

left that message saying I am an

attractive, lovely young woman and a

0:57:000:57:10

man would be lucky to have me as a

lover and if he was young... But he

0:57:100:57:15

is not.

And how did you feel?

Again,

I was shocked. I was not really

0:57:150:57:22

expecting that. I think someone who

is representing the people in

0:57:220:57:26

Parliament should act like that. It

made me feel extremely

0:57:260:57:30

uncomfortable. This is why I decided

to do something about it.

This is

0:57:300:57:34

Ava Etemadzadeh, who has made

complaints against the Labour MP

0:57:340:57:39

Kelvin Hopkins. He has declined to

comment, but he has been suspended

0:57:390:57:44

by the Labour Party. How does it

make you feel listening to this

0:57:440:57:47

young woman, Rachel?

It is

excruciating to hear these stories

0:57:470:57:52

again and again. This woman is so

young. Nobody should be exposed to

0:57:520:57:58

what she is exposed to. Every time

you hear these stories, these women

0:57:580:58:03

are so brave for coming forward.

They have all my respect as well as

0:58:030:58:09

my sympathy for what they are going

through. But every time you hear

0:58:090:58:13

these stories, you realise how much

women are held back by these things.

0:58:130:58:20

There is another person whose

ambitions, hopes, energy and talents

0:58:200:58:24

may have been hindered by these

unwanted acts of harassment that

0:58:240:58:31

have a terrible and long-lasting

effect. If you think of all the

0:58:310:58:34

women who have been hampered in this

way, it is awful to think of all

0:58:340:58:39

that lost ambition as well as the

disrupted lives.

Rachel Shabi, thank

0:58:390:58:45

you. We have come to the end of our

programme. Thank you to both of you

0:58:450:58:49

for being my guests of the day.

0:58:490:58:52

The one o'clock news is starting

over on BBC One now.

0:58:520:58:57

We will be back on Sunday with the

Sunday Politics. Bye-bye.

0:58:570:59:01

Jo Coburn is joined by writer Rachel Shabi and Iain Martin from the Times. They look at the latest allegations of harassment in Westminster and discuss a bill currently being debated in parliament about giving 16 and 17-year-olds the vote, with Labour's Tulip Siddiq.


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