Jo Coburn is joined by journalist Matthew Parris for the latest news from Westminster, including an interview with Home Affairs committee chair Yvette Cooper about hate crime.
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Hello and welcome to
the Daily Politics.
The Cabinet are meeting to discuss
what Britain's relationship
with the EU should look
like after Brexit.
It looks like it's all smiles
for now but are there big battles
ahead for the Prime Minister?
Are social media companies doing
enough to combat abusive
comments posted online?
We'll be joined by the chair of
the Home Affairs Select Committee.
The House of Lords debates cutting
itself down to size.
So will the ermine-clad
turkeys vote for Christmas?
If you want some last-minute
Christmas ideas for the political
geek in your family, we're
Parliament's favourite bookworm on
hand with his festive holiday
reading list. All that in the next
hour. With us is Matthew Parris. He
was a Conservative MP once upon a
time. Welcome to the Daily Politics.
The Justice Secretary,
David Lidington, says he wants
to see a "more diverse" judiciary
but has ruled out targets
for appointing more black
and minority ethnic judges.
Mr Lidington has been responding
formally to a review carried
out by Labour MP David Lammy
in to the way in which Black,
Asian and minority ethnic
people are treated in
the criminal justice system.
Among the 35 recommendations
is a proposal calling
for a national target to ensure
there was a properly
judiciary and magistracy.
But Mr Lidington says
targets aren't the answer.
I think that is the wrong way to go
about it. The judges today we are
recruiting people who joined the
legal profession 20 is a guess you
need people with a lot of experience
before they start to become a judge.
I think a target is self-defeating.
And it brings in to question the
independence of judges which is a
very important principle. The top
judges are committed to a more
diverse judiciary. We need to
identify and encourage and mental
brightening and women from black and
Asian communities, who are lawyers
and say, do you want to become a
judge one day? This is how you go
Has the government ducks
what would have been a radical
Yes, I think they have.
It's all very well saying it'll be
20 is until someone is a judge but
we could start now. What goes in at
one end of the pipeline will come
out the other end and I don't see a
particular reason why we are going
to have target of any kind the law,
the judiciary should be exempt from
The figures are quite startling
and the review concluded there was
bias within the judicial system and
one way of changing that would be to
make it more representative of the
people they are serving.
that's right and I'm sure the bias
is unconscious. I'm sure nobody is
consciously biased and nobody is
writing rules to stop the
diversification of the judicially.
It is unconscious. Where you have
unconscious buyers, you need to meet
quotas and targets to reverse it.
How long do you think it will take
to eliminate that buys in the system
and therefore reduce the figures
that seemed to see far more people
from minority backgrounds facing a
People need to see black
faces on the bench, actually on the
magistrates bench that has happened
to some degree but further up, the
Whigs, you don't see black faces
often in judges wakes. If you did,
if people did, it would be an
inspiration to younger men and women
from ethnic communities saying,
people like you and me are judges.
How else can you think the
government can tackle this
underrepresentation and also bias
within the system, conscious or
otherwise? David Lidington says we
will reform if we cannot explain
I don't think it means
anything but I think he is just
dodging and fudging as he is obliged
to do. It's hard to know how you do
it. The government doesn't choose
judges and we don't want politicians
choosing judges but I think there
are always, behind-the-scenes, ways,
committees of whose names we've
never of Hurd, meetings wouldn't
know about that our
behind-the-scenes in which you can
slowly encourage change. It would be
slow but we should start.
let's leave it there. Some other
breaking news today.
The Electoral Commission has today
fined the Liberal Democrats £18,000
campaign finance rules
during the EU referendum.
Almost all of that fine comes
from the Lib Dems having failed
to provide acceptable
invoices or receipts.
The Electoral Commission said
the rules were clear
and it was "disappointing"
the Lib Dems didn't
follow them correctly.
We asked the Liberal Democrats for
an interview but no one was
The party says mistakes in this case
were a result of human error
and and that steps were being taken
to ensure that they weren't
repeated in future.
Now it's time for our daily quiz.
Jeremy Corbyn has given an interview
to Grazia magazine in which he said
he believes he will "probably" be
Prime Minister within the next year.
The question for today
is what was else did we learn?
Was it a) that he's going to be
eating stuffed marrow
for Christmas dinner?
b) that he's allergic to dogs.
c) that he's "an accidental
because of his dedication
to normcore clothing?
Or d) that he'd secretly like to be
a stand-up comedian?
At the end of the show Matthew
will give us the correct answer.
Theresa May has been holding
a meeting of her full
Cabinet this morning.
Yesterday was a trimmed down
Top of the agenda is the UK's future
relationship with the EU,
the first time the Cabinet has given
the issue formal consideration.
Yesterday, we reported on some
of the major dividing lines among
the Prime Minister key ministers,
we'll talk about that
a little more in a moment.
But first let's take a look at how
the Brexit negotiations
are likely to proceed.
Theresa May says her government
will "aim high" in the next
stage of EU negotiations.
She wants a "bespoke and ambitious"
trade deal with the EU after Brexit.
But the EU's chief negotiator
Michel Barnier has been playing down
the idea of a bespoke deal.
In an interview published today,
he said that Britain
will not get a special deal
for the City of London.
Which is at odds with
Brexit Secretary David Davis' plans
for a "Canada plus plus plus" trade
deal, or, in plain speak,
a tariff-free area between the UK
and the EU which explicitly
includes financial services.
At the same time, newspaper reports
suggest Michael Gove will use
today's meeting to argue for Britain
to pull out of the EU's
Working Time Directive.
The Directive restricts
the working week to 48 hours,
and Gove and others think scrapping
it would allow British workers
to top up their pay.
But other Cabinet members believe
scrapping the Directive
would weaken employment rights.
Let's talk to our correspondent
Ben Wright who's in Downing Street
where the Cabinet has been
meeting this morning.
So, have you had your it to the door
to hear whether they are all singing
from the same hymn sheet, as I think
Boris Johnson once said?
, I imagine
the message coming out of various
rabid ministers via their special
advisers will be one of unity around
the table. In fact, this morning,
Philip Hammond tweeted, and he
doesn't tweet very much, saying he
disagreed with the report in the
Telegraph suggesting there are big
disagreements in the subcommittee
yesterday and that he was in a
lonely minority arguing for close
alignment with the EU after Brexit,
so he stresses there is harmony.
That is exactly the message they
will want to send out from Number
Ten today. The Cabinet broke up 20
minutes ago, so they have gone back
to their departments. The issue of
the working Time directive would not
be on the agenda today. And was keen
to stress the government plans to
maintain and enhance workers' rights
after we've left the EU. I think
what to do's meeting was all about
was discussing the broad principles
of the sort of trading arrangement
the UK hopes to get with the EU
after Brexit. I don't think they got
into specifics, pretty broad brush,
and I imagine the Prime Minister was
telling her cabinet they should aim
high and they can get the best of
Does that mean that
after the recess, both sides, one
that wants closer alliance and one
that wants divergences, will be
plotting how to secure that Brexit
in time for January?
because the window is tight. We know
that the EU want to nail down the
terms of the transition agreement
early in the New Year and I think
they will come forward with their
negotiating guidelines for
discussing the second phase and
their idea for how the trading
relationship should work with the UK
after Brexit. They want those
guidelines in place by March and we
expect the Prime Minister to make a
big speech early in the New Year
along the lines of her Florence
speech, setting out the sort of aims
and priorities she wants from that
huge trade relationship. In the next
five or six weeks, this is going to
be argued intensively on the
question needs to be settled so the
harmony wheeze will hear about will
be tested once they get into the
detail of how they envisage this
relationship working in the future.
I think what is going to become
abundantly clear early on is that
the number of red lines the
government have already spelt out,
leaving the single market, no big
money for the EU limits the kind of
deal the UK can get. And the
consistent message from the EU is
that the UK just cannot view the
single market as some sort of buffet
to grace from, picking the best
bits. This comes with very clear
obligations and costs, and if the UK
wants to move away from that, it
will lose a significant amount of
access and I think that is where the
discussion in the cabinet is going
Thank you very much. Brexit
has seen a boon for one tribe, the
political think tank.
Joining me now are two
of their number, Victoria Hewson
from the Legatum Institute
and Tom Kibasi from IPPR.
Welcome to both of you. Starting
with you, Victoria, do you agree
with Ben that having read lines, so
many of them politically, that will
limit the real?
It sets out some
parameters. Once the policy was
formulated that we would be leaving
the customs union and the single
market and also leaving the direct
jurisdiction of the European Court
of Justice, then that guides you in
a certain direction of working
towards a free trade agreement
albeit a very deep and comprehensive
free trade agreement that should
realistically be able to go much
further than any free trade
agreement before simply because we
start from such a position of
openness towards each other's
Or does mean there's red
lines will turn pink racing?
the government was prepared to
compromise on its redline so having
told the EU they could go whistle
about the divorce Bill, having
resisted the role of the European
Court in the protection of citizens
rights, the government caved on
every single one of its red lines.
There is no reason to think they
wouldn't cave on their red lines in
this next phase of negotiations.
you want full divergences from the
EU, you are happy to some extent
with what has been set up publicly
by Theresa May. What would that look
like, for our viewers?
I think full
divergences probably not the right
way to describe it. I think having
the right to diverged from EU
legislation is extremely important
but when we talk about divergences,
we don't mean... A full reform and
repeal. Or even reforming and
repealing everything over a time. It
will be a pathway towards doing
things differently and reforming
things where the government of the
day thinks that a particular reform
or change is the best way for the
And you're talking
about the body of regulation?
it will be coming to force in the UK
and it is a pathway of gradually
reforming to make the economy more
competitive and to improve various
things in the context of
international trade as well.
you'd like to see something called
the shared market, what is it?
a fresh proposal for a new model to
govern our relationship with the EU
and based on aligning ourselves in
terms of regulation but allowing for
the possibility of divergences time.
I don't think we want to diverged.
It is a very odd position. It is
both anti-business and anti-worker.
It is a strange position to have so
we propose we should be aligned
because that is in our interests,
the interests of businesses and
Why do you see it is
anti-business and anti-worker?
one of those things that sounds
persuasive but what most businesses
will tell you that what they want is
a simpler life, they want fewer
regulations, not more. Soap proposal
for regulatory divergences a
proposal to create even more
regulation for business.
Is that how
you envisage it?
Not at all. Most
businesses in this country only
trade domestically in the UK market.
Any business exports will always
meet the regulatory requirements of
its export market. And, so, the
opportunities for improving
competitiveness in our own economy
and also introducing more
competition by way of third-party
trade deals is where the real games
are to be found.
Think about it from
perspective of a business operating
in the UK, dealing with one set of
regulations at home, another set of
regulations to trade into the single
market, this makes no sense at all,
it is bizarre.
Bizarre, says Tim,
obviously, tom-tom I should say,
food is not agree with your vision.
-- Tomba, I should say. -- Tom. What
is the risk to employees, then you
may fear that your regulation may
roll back on gains that have been
It is not on my list of areas,
where I would like to see
divergences occur at all, but
ultimately, that will be a question
for the government of the day, and
any government which seeks to make
changes will be judged at the ballot
If we cannot have as good a
deal as some people would see it, as
Tom sees it, you would also like to
replicate that kind of relationship,
what is wrong with full diverging?
Why not go for a full cutting point
with the EU? Well, I think, between
what Tom and what Victoria says, you
see the grounds for possible
agreement, and that is, you may call
it the divergences of parallels.
Not another term(!) LAUGHTER
The agreement is that we stay as we
are for the moment, we stay a
aligned, but we retain the right to
diverges we want to, my guess is we
would not want to, in the end it
would not make sense, 40% of trade
is with the EU, but there you have
the sort of fudge that I could see
sticking, if I can stick to one
is that the fudge you
To an extent that is correct,
we would only diverged, just because
you can, does not mean that you have
two, and you would automatically
embark on a programme, bonfire of
red tape, the hyperbole that is
often used, in this debate. It will
simply be where there is a good
reason to change something, the UK
Government will be able to do so,
and it will do that by balancing the
downside risks of any frictions that
will then result in trade with the
EU, against trade with the rest of
the world, against the domestic
market. So many areas that are ripe
for reform, the Treasury, for
example, produced an 80 page report
last year about areas in financial
services regulation where they could
make improvements and improve
competitiveness, to make it more
proportionate, and less costly and
bring it up to date with
achievable when Michel Barnier says
we will not get a bespoke trade
deal, which allows us to pick the
bits we would like and discard the
rest, particularly around financial
His comments on financial
services, as I understand them, from
the papers this morning, that they
are never OK with any free trade
deal, is not true, they are included
They were not in Canada.
They were, there is a whole
chapter... What it does not do is
give mutual recognition of your home
state, you would still have two
apply for a licence. But, a starting
point with Canada, we are much
further advanced, so there was
certainly a lot of scope.
just a starting negotiating position
from Michel Barnier, and the EU will
move when it comes to securing a
trade deal, because they need us, as
so many politicians claim, as much
as we need them, if not more.
78% of Europe's capital markets are
based in London, it is really
important for the whole of the
single market, but we should look
carefully at what Michel Barnier has
said, he has not said there can be
no bespoke arrangement, one he has
said is there can be no cherry
picking, that means, you cannot have
the benefits without the
obligations, that should be obvious
to all of us. What they are saying
is, there is more room for
compromise but the compromise cannot
be one-sided, cannot be that we want
all the benefits and will not take
any of the burdens, have your cake
and eat it, that is not a tenable
position for either side.
burdens would you be prepared to
accept, in order to get the full
combo offensive deal that you think
would be good for Britain?
example, if we are to benefit from
regulatory development of the
European Union, we should make a
contribution towards that, we need
to continue some form of financial
contribution, that is a reasonable
situation, we cannot so we want all
the benefits of institutions and
frameworks and rules but we are
simply not prepared to pay the fare
You would accept paying into
an EU budget beyond the Clemente
Sinn on transition period, we are
going to be paying into a certain
extent, but paying substantially
more in order to have the benefits?
Let's see what a fair contribution
is, it is not one of those things
you can put a number on but you have
to commit something if you want to
Freedom of movement, one of
the other key pillars of the single
I find the rhetoric
around the indivisibility of the
four freedoms slightly ridiculous,
it is not the holy trinity... The EU
may say it is but they have
compromised on freedom of movement
in the past, contra Mize in with
Lichtenstein, in terms of the number
of people going in, they have
compromised on Switzerland, certain
sections, there is high and
deployment, they get preferential
job applications... And the deep and
, offensive free trade agreement
with Ukraine. -- compromised with
Liechtenstein. They have contra Mize
in the past.
The new sense of
optimism that Theresa May has, do
No, she has found another
cul-de-sac to go up. She has
agreement on phase one, by saying
that we will stay in the single
market, and the customs union, until
we can think of a way of not having
a hard border in Northern Ireland...
But she is keeping afloat, in
politics, keeping afloat is often
the first thing you have to do.
terms of what will fly, with those
who voted leave, do you think there
will be an acceptance around
continuing to pay into EU budget, if
there was a good enough deal in the
end of it?
I think that would be
fine, as Sam has suggested, if you
wish to continue to participate in a
particular programme it is perfectly
reasonable to pay a cost towards
that. There will be several agencies
where, actually, it will be of
reciprocal benefit because the UK
has contributed greatly to financial
services regulatory bodies, where it
will be very useful for the EU as
well to continue having access to
We have a few moments
to discuss this, thank you very
And for more reporting
and analysis of Brexit,
check out the BBC News website,
Now, it used to be a truth
universally acknowledged that
you could only win elections
in Britain from the centre ground.
But was the recent General Election
a return to the traditional battles
between left and right?
Let's just a look at the pitches
from both Theresa May
and Jeremy Corbyn back in June.
And I believe we can and must take
this opportunity to build a great
meritocracy here in Britain.
Now, let me be clear
about what that means.
It means making Britain
a country where everyone,
of whatever background,
has the chance to go as far
as their talent and their hard
work will take them.
A country that asks not
where you have come
from but where you are going to.
It means making Britain
a country that works not
for the privileged few,
but for everyone.
Labour's mission over the next five
years is to change all of that.
Our manifesto sets out how.
With a programme that is
radical and responsible.
A programme that will reverse our
and put the interests
of the many first.
We will change our country
while managing within our means.
And we will lead us
the preservation of jobs first.
Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May
launching their respective
manifestos earlier this year.
But does the traditional left-right
divide explain what's happening
in British politics right now?
Or is there something else going on?
To explain we're joined
by our favourite psephologist
Professor John Curtice from Glasgow.
Is it no longer about left and right
It is still about left
and right but the crucial thing is,
in the wake of the election, it is
no longer just about left and right,
because the truth is, despite the
creative ambiguity in which both
parties engage the election campaign
and frankly have continued to engage
thereafter on the question of
Brexit, voters themselves seem to
have decided that Brexit still
matters and also that they reflected
their reviews of Brexit in the way
in which they voted. The
Conservative Party quite clearly
lost ground, among those who voted
remain, who want a soft Brexit, who
are not concerned about immigration.
They gained ground among levers and
those who wanted a hard Brexit.
Labour gain some ground among
levers, among hard Brexit years, but
they gained much more from Remainers
and soft Brexit and those not
concerned about immigration. --
Leavers. Attitudes towards Brexit is
not a left right issue, going back
to what happened in the election, in
the referendum, in June, 2016,
whether or not you are left-wing or
right-wing, made virtually no
difference at all to your chances of
voting remain or leave. Rather, that
referendum, with immigration the
central issue, was where one instead
the crucial division was between
social liberals and social
conservatives, broadly speaking,
those people on one hand who are
happy with a relatively diverse
society where we have multiple
languages and multiple religions and
people do not necessarily all agree
on the social mores to which we
should adhere. In contrast, social
conservatives think we need a much
more cohesive society and much less
comfortable about these things. If
you are a social conservative, you
voted leave in the referendum, a
social liberal voted for remain.
Because people were reflecting views
about Brexit in whether they were
swinging to or from the
Conservatives and whether or not
they were likely to go to labour,
therefore, that distinction between
social conservatives and social
liberals became much more marked
whether or not people voted Labour
or Conservative in June, left and
right did not matter so much as it
had historically. The movement is
rarely explained by whether you are
a social liberal or socially
conservative, not whether you are
left-wing or right-wing.
for you, the whole EU referendum was
extremely important, would you say
that was more important than your
traditional left right politics?
Yes, I have gone slightly mad(!)
Over Brexit, a lot of people
have, I dream about it and think
about it all the time, I have found
myself feeling I could much more
easily be friends with someone in
the Labour Party that was against
Brexit than with somebody in the
Conservative Party that was in
favour of it.
Have you thought about
I have thought about
it, but not with Jeremy Corbyn as
leader, that brings us back to the
topic you introduced at the
beginning, I think Labour have with
great success mind the possibilities
of attracting support from the
extreme, from the left, and the
Tories have with great success, mind
the support they thought they could
get from the right.
But they both
dominated the results are they must
also have been taking from in
Yes, and in order for one
to gain a distinctive advantage over
the other, it must be to the centre
they look for the new support. --
Do you think
that this is a bubble, that this is
a temporary state of affairs, in
terms of the way people are voting
in their allegiances, to social
liberals and social conservatives,
or do you think that this is going
to be sustained, that it is going to
We will probably be talking
about "Brexit" this time next year
and the year after that. The
stimulus seems to have brought it
about, the EU referendum, as long as
we are arguing about Brexit we will
see this distinction between social
liberals and social conservatives,
and frankly it creates difficulties
for both political parties. Matthew
is not alone, bearing in mind, the
Conservative Party now has a very
strong, very pro-leave electorate,
whose views of running the economy
is primarily protectionist, and very
much at odds with what you might
regard as traditional centre-right
Conservative voter who runs a
business. As you can now see, there
are views about how the economy
should be run are very much at odds
with those of the Conservative
Party. Meanwhile, the Labour Party
has a tension, in winning over
remain voters, it has won over young
graduates, and it has won that
community much more successfully
than working-class voters but it is
working class voters who the Labour
Party feel they should be
representing. Both parties have
elections as a result of this
process which is at odds of
traditional conceptions of where
their core support lies.
parties change their offer to bridge
the divide? Within their own
political tribe? Or, will they just
stick to the vaguely traditional
offer that both these parties make
to those sets of people in the hope
that once we get through the Brexit
negotiations, normal business will
It is going to be difficult for the
parties because we are reaching the
point in the Brexit negotiations
where the hard choices will have to
be made and where what Brexit
actually does mean becomes more
apparent. For example, if in the end
the Conservative government actually
does and secure annex it from
freedom of movement or something
that looks like it, it will be in
trouble because that is what it is
electret expects. Meanwhile if the
Labour Party ends up looking too
hard on Brexit, it will put up risk
that young voters will not vote for
it. These next few months will be
important because Brexit is likely
to be the central issue, it will be
difficult for the parties to
triangulate over these various
divides. They are going to have to
take a position.
And now for a special Christmas
treat, here is some proper
Because this morning the House
of Lords has been debating the...
House of Lords.
Yes, you heard that correctly.
Specifically the Lords have been
debating a proposal to reduce
the size of the so-called upper
chamber to a mere 600 peers.
Let's have a listen.
The committee have been encouraged
by the response of noble Lords and,
indeed, to those outside the house
as well. For their part the
government have made clear they are
interested in finding out whether
the committee's inclusions command
widespread support in the house. And
I hope in today's debate, as which
we can see involves almost 100 noble
Lords, this will serve that purpose
and demonstrate the proposals have
I'm joined now by Baroness Taylor -
she was on the Committee which has
produced the report calling
for a reduction in the size
of the House of Lords.
Welcome to the Daily Politics.
Reducing it by a quarter, 15 year
terms, minimum 15% crossbenchers.
There's a great deal of
pressure and criticism of the House
of Lords because it is so large. A
lot of people don't appreciate the
work the Lords does. They see us in
the chamber, the picture you've got
there in everybody in their ermine.
You look so lovely in it.
realise the work goes on. Heck of a
lot of really good work goes on in
the House of but it is large. Prime
ministers have used the House of
Lords to give rewards to friends and
colleagues, and if we carry on like
this there will be no end to the
size of the House of Lords are what
we're trying to do is not only
reduce the size of the House of
Lords now that actually make sure
there is a sustainable reduction and
that is why we are suggesting a cap
The proposals are being
debated. How will you progress
forwards on this?
The idea that it
is long-term, we should aim at 600,
we should say that from now on any
new pier should survey capped time
of 15 years. And that will allow
existing members to retire and for
every two that retired, only one
person can be appointed. So, that
will allow existing members to serve
out their term. They were promised
life peerages and they can keep them
but new members can only served for
15 years. And we are also seeing the
Monica News their power to create
non-sitting peers so if you want to
recognise some tea for public
service, you can give them a peerage
but not a seat in the House of
Is this radical enough or
All peers should be
non-sitting. What is my lord, my
lady, and ermine got to do with the
House of Lords legislative job? They
shouldn't be called Lords. We just
need 300 people who really know
their subject, who were once -- were
not once great doctors or engineers
but who are great right now. You'd
need a body not in control of the
Prime Minister. Somebody said one
queue or for admiring the House of
Lords is to watch it.
surprised how many people do watch
the House of Lords.
But do they
admire it when they watch at?
letters and e-mails saying we watch
this debate, what about this, what
about that. It is good quality
It may be but you can still
retain good quality debate with 200,
We did originally when we
had the report from the Labour
Party, we suggested 450 on the basis
of numbers necessary to fill the
committees and we're not saying 600
and that is it forever, that is what
we are suggesting and the house onto
a smaller number. Baroness Boothroyd
said a significantly smaller number,
she wants to be hundred 50, as you
would. What we are trying to
establish as the direction of
travel. We're not going to be
changed by legislation.
will not get it through?
because of that but also because any
legislation that gives the House of
Lords a legitimate democratic
mandate will challenge the house of
commons more and the last thing we
want is to elected chambers at
loggerheads with each other.
agree with that?
I do. We should
have a grand revising committee and
it should be an honour to serve on
the committee and you shouldn't
serve more than five years, you
should be chosen according to
qualifications rather than according
to who you were once acquainted with
in politics or elsewhere and you
shouldn't have all the trappings,
toss it all out, all the old
I think they speak very
highly of you, to!
I think he is
auditioning for a position.
Do you think the public would
support of getting rid of the
trappings and having it as a
professional body that scrutinises,
so no cafes, no bars, no ermine?
Most workplaces have tea rooms.
you know what I mean. I've no
problems getting rid of the ermine.
I've got no problem with the title
but what we are trying to focus on
is what is the role of the House of
It is to be the second
chamber, the second chamber, to hold
the government to account, and we
want to do it any more focused way
and if will reduce the numbers, we
well have more respect for the house
and people understand its role and
see the actual value added it gives
to the country.
What about the
political aspect of it? In terms of
how they are appointed to this grand
committee that you have thought
about, would they still be political
appointees? Would it represent the
House of Commons?
I'd say not. I
don't include need more than one
legislature, one elected legislature
and what you'd be looking for in a
grand revising committee would be
expertise. I'd have thought your
political inclinations should have
very little to do with it.
agree with that?
I think you do need
expertise and we have a good deal of
expertise and we need tactical
There are too many of
There are, and we sing let's
reduce it and make it more
manageable, see it is more focused
and get more public respect too many
of you are people who once did
There are too many oness,
that is what we need to get rid of.
As someone who is still there, some
of us get revised. You've got to
have government ministers in the
House of Lords.
Do you have to have
as many of them? To have to have as
many people who did once have a job
in government as an adviser or
working for a party?
It is a
question of balance and what we've
said in this report is that the
crossbenchers should be 20% and I
think we recognise the rule of
crossbenchers and we appreciate
their role but you do need the
reality that comes from political
experience as well.
One of the
controversial elements of the report
as it makes no recommendations to
change the status is in election of
the hereditary peers or 26 bishops.
Why not? I'm committed to supporting
any legislation that gets rid of the
hereditary by-elections and I'd like
to see the situation with the
bishops change. It is rather strange
that we have one group of religious
people that and not Catholics and
dues and Hindus and Muslims but that
when change without legislation. The
bishops say they will accept the
spirit of the report and they will
cooperate in any way if the house
wants to go in this direction so
there is scope for change and who
falls a got a private members bill
which actually would end the
hereditary by-elections which the
hereditary people are not against.
The Countess of Maher said if you
have a hereditary by-election,
you're making it all male because
there are no women coming up through
that route. There is the build-up of
support for getting rid of the
hereditary by-elections but this
committee couldn't look at
legislative changes because the
government said they wouldn't
support any at this stage.
very much for coming in.
Now, yesterday the Speaker
of the House of Commons,
John Bercow praised Mp's
for being "dedicated, hardworking,
committed public servants".
They were debating harassment
in public life following last weeks
report from the Committee
on Standards in Public Life.
Much of the abuse MPs receive
is on social media platforms
and the Home Secretary Amber Rudd
said the government will look
at proposals to create
new legislation to protect people.
Here's a flavour of
Everybody should be
treated with tolerance,
decency, and respect.
Which party and MP stands for how
they choose to vote, campaign,
or present themselves should not be
met with vitriolic and disgusting
that they should be hung in public
or get what's coming to them,
or perhaps, most unacceptable
of all, that their unborn
child should die.
The report makes recommendations
for government, for political
parties, social media companies,
the media, law enforcement
and everyone in public life.
This reflects the fact that tackling
abuse is a joint responsibility.
We will consider the recommendations
in detail and we will respond
to them in due course.
When politicians get death
threats as a result of how
they vote in this house,
that is not the primary
responsibility of social
If anyone is responsible,
it is the headline writers
who accuse judges of being enemies
of the people, and elected
members of parliament
as mutineers and saboteurs
when all they are doing
is exercising their civil right
to cast their vote in
this House of Commons.
In voting as you think fit,
on any political issue, you,
as members of Parliament,
are never mutineers...
You are never traitors...
You are never malcontents.
You are never enemies of the people.
You are dedicated, hard-working,
committed public servants doing
what you believe to be right.
I'm joined now by the Chair
of the Home Affairs Select
Committee, Yvette Cooper.
She's had representatives
from Facebook, Google and Twitter
before her committee this morning.
Welcome to the programme. You've
spoken to representatives from those
companies and you asked them about
taking down abusive tweets, and to
Google about offensive videos. Are
you satisfied with the actions?
I think they have done more
competitive last time we took
evidence from them back in February.
They have appointed more staff, they
are starting to increase their
standards and to search for things
so that is progress. However we have
had too many examples of things we
had raised with them before which
they clearly recognised, which were
either illegal or breached community
standards, where action wasn't taken
fast enough or at all and that
included anti-Semitic tweets. It
included far right, national action,
video. I had to go to YouTube, to
the top, to make sure it was taken
What is their explanation for
not doing it?
We are working on it,
they say, we are doing better than
we were before. And they are than --
they have huge reach and power and
wealth and resources which is why we
are going to keep pressing them to
do more because in the end public
safety is at risk here.
suspended accounts related to
Britain first. Do you think that is
because they were going to come
before your committee that they got
around to it?
Obviously, you depend
on... You shouldn't rely on
Parliamentary hearings for
organisations like Twitter or
Facebook or YouTube to do the right
thing. They should do it on the end
without a deadline of a
parliamentary hearing. It is welcome
they've taken action. We questioned
Facebook why they haven't taken some
action and on the way in which we
need to look at the off-line and
online activities, if what they are
doing is breaching standards.
listened into some of the hearing
this morning and get the impression
they are trying to introduce new
technology to deal with it because
new Twitter accounts have already
appeared representing characters in
Britian First said in a way are you
ever going to get these companies to
do what he wants them to do in terms
of banning these accounts
altogether? New ones will always
There is always a question
about the pace of technology. I
think it is clear they can do more.
We found too many examples of where
they simply will not moving fast
enough and also where if it was the
Home Affairs Select Committee
reporting things to them, in the end
they did respond but, actually, if
it was people just responding,
pressing the button and clicking,
often Alternaria complains were not
addressed enough. And was another
which concerns me is some of the way
in which the technology is promoting
extremism. If you go on one far
right racist site, actually they
will recommend more. There is
effectively a process of bringing
that can take place through
technology and if it is taking place
for the far right extremism we were
challenging, the fear is it is also
taking place on some of the Muslim
extremism as well.
inevitable of the printing press. As
long as somebody can spread around
what they think about some deals,
whether they do it by word-of-mouth
or pamphlet, whether they do it in
letters... All my life in politics
and the media, I have received
horrible letters from people,
calling me the most appalling
Has it got worse?
the letters were filed, I'd open,
laugh and throw them away. If people
are busily on social media, I don't
read it. You can't stop people doing
these things except by a system of
censorship and you'd have to have
hundreds of thousands of sensors on
Google and Twitter the rest actually
pre-approving everything before it
was put up.
Is registration the
I don't think this is about
preapproval at all, I think that
there is a difference between
promoting free speech and making
have a criminal line that needs to
If it is against the law,
And line against motoring
extremism, and things that become
terrorism. National action, it is a
banned organisation, because of its
danger and the government assessment
of the terror threat...
legislation to enforce these
companies to do it.
We will be
looking at that, the select
committee will be looking at that,
what other measures are needed, we
recommended there should be fines
against social media companies
simply not removing a legal
dangerous content fast enough, and
not responding, but we also want to
look more widely at other
legislative proposals, something
must be done.
You would support sums
legislation making them be seen as
publishers, not platforms, then they
would be liable?
We have asked them
for more evidence, committees have
made the proposal, we have not
looked at that yet and we want to do
so. In the end, this is about
promoting democracy and free speech,
it is about making sure that
nobody's voices are drowned out by
racism or by extremism, and about
making sure that all voices can be
heard. Social media is the new
forum. For discussions. It is really
important everyone should feel part
of that and you do not get some
people drowned out by extremism...
Nobody is drowned out by extremism
but... Illegal, I agree with you, if
it is illegal, people should be
stopped, but I am suspicious of your
word dangerous, I have known so many
politicians with so many different
ideas of what might be dangerous. If
it appeared in print. The law is the
law, the law... The law should be
adhered to, but I think I wide range
of opinion, including offensive
opinion, including violent opinion,
so long as it does not incite
breaking the law, I really don't
think that once you start trying to
distinguish between what is free
speech that people are allowed and
what is free speech people are not
allowed, it is a slippery slope.
have laws about incitement.
course you need a very robust
debate, you need people challenge,
people will be offended, there needs
to be those robust debate,
especially when it comes to holding
politicians to account.
putting off politicians entering
public life, that was the point made
by the committee on standards in
public life, that social media was
the most significant factor driving
abuse and harassment during the
general election and it reached a
tipping point and would put people
off entering politics. Blue nobody
who does not want to be abused
sometimes in unfair term should
enter public life. Because you
always will be.
People should not
face death threats, they should not
find there is a threat that their
children and their staff start to
become fearful. That is the kind of
thing we have seen, the targeted
harassment and bullying, that kind
of threat, which can mean people do
not speak out. It is our job to
speak out in a democracy and we want
more people speaking out, we should
be able to do this in a way that
does not involve the kind of poison
that can end up undermining
democracy. We have to stand up for
democracy and not let it be
Diane Abbott brought up
the issue of headlines calling
people new to nears and traitors, do
they have a responsibility to regard
and look at those headlines. --
They do not, of course, I
think the Daily Mail is stupid to
talk about enemies of the people!
The Daily Telegraph is stupid to
talk about mutineers but a newspaper
has every right to characterise
those people whose political
opinions it disagrees with in any
way they like that is not illegal.
Do you think they have a responsibly
With rights come
responsibilities, nobody is talking
about legislation... There is a
responsible at on those
organisations to recognise if that
then leads to death threats, if it
leads to consequences. They have a
responsibility to take very
seriously and most editors do, they
do take very seriously the
cannot be calculated to consider to
be led to a death threat.
Photographs, targeted photographs.
We know what they were trying to do,
which is to undermine debate on a
really important issue that needs to
be widely debated.
should take responsibility for that.
Thank you for coming in.
There's concern over government
proposals to change the way that
women's domestic violence
refuges are funded.
In future it could mean
the accommodation is no longer paid
for mainly from housing benefit.
Instead, refuges would be
funded from ring-fenced
grants given to councils
but these grants would also
have to cover
a number of different
Charities warn it could mean refuges
will have to close their doors
to some vulnerable women.
Here's Emma Vardy.
Women's refuges provide safety and
time to adjust for women who leave
abusive partners. But under new
proposals, the government plans to
remove refuges and other forms of
short-term supported housing from
the welfare system.
welfare system detected some of the
refuge funding from any local
authority cuts. This will not. The
government will say, we are passing
the exact same amount of money
down... But it will back fill what
councils were spending.
government is looking at giving
grants to councils, which will be
used to pay for all sorts of
short-term housing. As well as
refuges, it will cover accommodation
for other individuals, too, such as
ex-offenders and those with drug
addictions. The problem, some fear,
is that because many women in
refuges come from outside a local
authority's area, councils may
direct more money to other
vulnerable groups, such as people
who are homeless or those who are
Where these contracts are
decided one-year in advance, what it
means, by November, if a local
authority has run out of money, and
100 more women turn up around
Christmas who need beds, what will
happen in those circumstances?
government is consulting on
proposals. One Conservative MP who
has expressed concerns told us he is
urging the government to consider
One of the things
that I want to make sure, the
government keep their focus on
change, but understand that two
thirds of women actually seek refuge
outside of their local area, for
obvious reasons, they are running
away from something, they want safe
haven. But also, the local
authorities, whereas they may be
best placed to understand the need
and demand, they may not be best
placed to deliver that, that support
that is needed, because refuges are
not just a bed for a night, they are
told us the number of spaces
available in refuges has increased
by more than 300 since 2010. And it
says that it will make sure that no
victim of domestic abuse is turned
away from the support they need. £40
million of funding has been
committed until 2020, but charities
say that unless the money is
properly directed to the refuges
where it is needed, then a postcode
lottery for victims could mean the
difference between life and death.
Now, how are you all getting
on with the dreaded
Well, if you're in need of a few
more stocking filler ideas
Westminster's resident bookworm,
Conservative MP Keith Simpson,
has compiled his annual
Christmas reading list.
Someone's got to do it!
For those of you who enjoy a bit
of political history,
there's been a couple of books
on Churchill published in recent
months, and Keith's favourite
is six Minutes in May:
How Churchill Unexpectedly Became
Prime Minister, by
Another acclaimed title
Fall Out: A Year
of Political Mayhem,
by Tim Shipman, his follow-up
to last year's All Out War.
This offering from the Sunday Times
journalist tells the inside story
of Theresa May's 2017 struggles,
from the election to her attempts
to secure a Brexit deal.
ITV Political Editor Robert Peston's
take on the extraordinary
events of the last 18 months,
WTF, I hope I don't have to spell
out what that stands for(!),
asks how we got here,
and perhaps more importantly, how
we move forward to sort it all out.
Former Cabinet Minister Oliver
Letwin's Hearts and Minds explains
how the central ideas and policies
of the modern Conservative
party came into being,
while also charting his own journey
from childhood to Margaret
Thatcher's policy unit,
into the very centre of government.
And Auntie's War is an account
of the crucial part the BBC played
in informing the nation
what was happening during
the Second World War,
by our very own Radio 4 presenter
I promise we're not naval-gazing,
this is Keith's list!
And Keith's with us now.
I see that you have got this one in
front of you... You have Auntie's
War in front of you.
I had to bring
my copy in, you did not have it!
I was discussing it with
somebody before coming on. Very nice
man indeed, you have the official
history of the BBC, and what he does
is, he brings alive the development
of beans the tuition but also the
amazing talented people, both the
regulars and others. I think the BBC
we know and like, or do not like,
today, is largely based on that, and
he writes well. It is the kind of
thing I can imagine, after Boxing
Day, exhausted, you want to read a
This would be it.
It is very
good, Auntie's War.
A rich selection
of books, Christmas, into the New
Year, I suppose that that arduous
events over the last 18 months have
fuelled these books.
Yes, the book
by Tim Shipman, fallout, that is the
second volume, I'm frightened
that he is going to have the right a
third volume, probably called
something like All Out, that covers
the election of Theresa May, the
awful general election, and the
events after that, and it is based
almost entirely on dozens of
interviews that he has done. I spoke
yesterday, to a very close colleague
of Theresa May.
She said, it is not
what he has put in, it is what he
has left out! I have got to tell
you, it does make The Thick of It
look mild in comparison, if I was
the joint chiefs of staff, Tim and
Fiona, I would not want to be
watching that... I would not want to
be reading it...
Does not take my
fancy, also very unpleasant, that
sort of stuff, I think some of them
have watched the thick of it and
think that is how you have do talk
these days, it is not edifying. --
The Thick of It. An awful lot of
navel-gazing near, my book would be
David Coulthard, and is to educate
and, in Zimbabwe, during the short
coalition period. He rescued
Zimbabwe's education system, rescued
closed schools and teachers were not
being paid, there were three
assassination attempts by the
governing party on him. He survived
all free. That is politics, that is
what politics is really all about.
Not all this stuff about who said
what to do.
On a note of that,
Churchill. Jack Gill is always the
centre... The subject... Of some
book. Matthew has nicely brought it
in. -- Churchill.
A couple of books,
Nicola Shakespeare, his six minutes
is about the time, in the thousand,
and, to vote, and it is about the
famous debate, the adjournment
debate, in which Chamberlain loses,
need is not, knee has a majority of
80, but down from a majority of 250.
And he brings alive Churchill. --
Nicholas Shakespeare. And then you
have the darkest hour...
is a film of that.
I have seen it...
It is brilliant! I'm quite looking
forward to it.
There's just time before we go
to find out the answer to our quiz.
The question was Jeremy Corbyn has
given an interview to Grazia
magazine in which he said
he believes he will "probably" be
Prime Minister within the next year.
But what was else did we learn?
Was it that he's going to be eating
stuffed marrow for Christmas dinner,
that he's allergic to dogs,
that he's "an accidental fashion
or that he'd secretly like to be
a stand-up comedian.
So Matthew what's
the correct answer?
I know that he does not like cats,
it is quite likely he is allergic to
No, fashion icon! Just like
all of us here(!) LAUGHTER
There is Jeremy Corbyn, thank you
very much to all of you. Thank you
for bringing in the box. We will
make sure reread some of them. --
Jo Coburn is joined by Times columnist Matthew Parris for the latest news from Westminster, including an interview with Home Affairs committee chair Yvette Cooper about hate crime. Also, reducing the size of the House of Lords, Brexit, and Conservative MP Keith Simpson discusses his popular Christmas reading list.