Jo Coburn is joined by Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng and shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith to discuss Theresa May's Cabinet reshuffle.
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Hello and welcome
to the Daily Politics
and Westminster, where
Theresa May is reshuffling
her team of ministers.
Several new faces are expected
around the Cabinet table,
although big figures
like Philip Hammond and Boris
Johnson are predicted to stay put.
Labour says it's a desperate PR
exercise, so does it have any
chance of rejuvinating
the Mrs May's Government?
MPs are back at Westminster
and they've got a busy workload
with plenty of new Brexit
legislation on the way,
we'll be taking a look
at what's on their plate.
Hospitals are under huge
pressure this winter
with overcrowded A&Es,
a lack of beds and
queues of ambulances.
Is now the time for politicians
to agree on a new approach
to funding the NHS?
The United States is just one
country heading to the polls this
year in what's set to be another
busy political year,
we'll bring you our guide
to elections around the world.
All that to come in the next
hour of low-calorie,
alcohol-free political discussion.
Yes, it's our first show of 2018,
and joining me for all of it,
two MPs who made a New Year's
resolution to appear more often
on the Daily Poilitics -
who knew it was so easy -
it's the Shadow Defence Secretary,
Labour's Nia Griffith,
and the Conservative Kwasi Kwarteng.
Welcome both of you.
It will be a cheery start
to the new working year
at Westminster for some
Conservatives - other than Kwasi
that is, he's always cheerful -
and a miserable one for others,
as they find out who's been promoted
or demoted in a reshuffle
which will see Theresa May give some
a leg up the ministerial ladder,
and others a friendly shove
down the greasy pole.
It has been painted as a show of
strength she will reshuffle her
Cabinet, but it is not a show of
strength. She's been forced into it
because of high-profile resignations
There were two
things. Both were right. Yes, it
wouldn't have happened necessarily
if Damian Green had stayed. What
people were saying after the
election, was that nothing happened.
It was a minimal, low-key reshuffle
and people were saying the Prime
Minister wasn't strong enough.
Today, the beginning of 2018, we'll
have a wide reshuffle. As you said,
there are a lot of new faces. I
think that is a show of strength.
Yes, we have already heard that the
party chairman is leaving. We have
heard one or two other Cabinet
ministers resigning, not because
they were sacked, but because of
health and other personal reasons.
There'll be a lot of new faces
around the table. That is a good
thing. It is something which parties
do, Governments do, from time to
time. And it can refresh and sharpen
It may be, but she may
seize the opportunity as a result of
Damian Green leaving before
Christmas, or deciding to. You
mentioned Cabinet ministers leaving
for health reasons. We know about
the former Northern Ireland
Secretary. Are there others then who
are resigning for health reasons?
didn't know the exact reasons but I
was told the announcement would be
made. You have been let in on the
secret and we all know about that
You mentioned Patrick
McLoughlin. Who would be a good
I think there are
many good communicators. People like
bran Dan Lewis is very effective.
There are a lot of other people.
What about Chris Grayling, who is
the current Transport Secretary?
is highly effective. He was the head
of Theresa May's campaign for the
leadership, which was effective. It
was successful. He is a good, strong
communicator. He's been at Cabinet
level for a while now.
to be a certain amount of confusion,
because the Conservative Partying
accidentally congratulated Chris
Grayling on his apaintment and then
de-- appointment and then deleted
I have not seen what is going
on. I am not the person to ask about
high-level appointments like that.
If we are talking about a position
of strength for the Prime Minister,
she has U-turned on another
manifesto pledge. She did that
yesterday n the broadcast with
Andrew Marr. This time on
fox-hunting was an issue which came
up a bit in the election. It is
something which people felt wasn't
really strictly a priority. It
shouldn't be a priority and the
Prime Minister has adapted the
message to that. The fact is we have
a hung parliament. So many of the
things in the manifesto will have to
be a subject to compromise. That was
one of them.
You could say she won
the election even with a reduced
majority. Why is she abandoning
manifesto pledges, whether it was
grammar schools and now it is
fox-hunting. What else will she
We have a hung
parliament. We have the most
extensive legislative programme
given the Brexit, given the EU
withdrawal and there are provisions
of time. There is not enough time to
get everything you put in the
manifesto. Things have to give. I
think the Prime Minister is showing
flexibility on that.
of speculation. All is not yet
clear. Let's look at what we know so
If Theresa May keeps the position,
which was seen as her deputy,
speculation is it could go to Jeremy
Hunt or to the Justice Secretary,
David Liddington. This morning,
Northern Ireland Secretary resigned
from the Cabinet, citing health
reasons. Patrick McLoughlin also
relinquished his role as
Conservative Party chairman. Amongst
the names is Transport Secretary
Chris Grayling. Those who are
believed to be facing demotion, or a
side-ways move include Justine
Greening and Leader of the House,
Andrea Leadsom. The top jobs are
expected to remain broadly the same,
with Philip Hammond staying on as
Chancellor. Boris Johnson as Foreign
Secretary Amber Rudd at the Home
Office and David Davis as Brexit
secretary. Michael Gove is also
likely to stay on as Environment
Secretary. The changes could provide
an opportunity for others, which
former nurse Anne Milton tipped to
take over as Health Secretary,
should Jeremy Hunt move. And Brandon
Lewis, Dominic Raab and James
Cleverly expected to receive a
promotion. Steve Baker may see his
position elevated if he is invited
to attend Cabinet meetings as the
minister for no deal. Well, I think
we can find out more on what Fleet
Street makes of this reshuffle.
with Tom Newton Dunn from the Sun
and Lucy Fisher from the Times.
We had the resignation, there is
fevered speculation about the role
of party chairman. Will this
reshuffle turn out to be more
wide-ranging than anticipated?
unclear. I don't want to make myself
a hostage to fortune. Something
which needs to be said is with Boris
Johnson and Philip Hammond in place,
this will be more about what the
Prime Minister isn't able to do as
much as what she is able to do. The
party chairman role is something
everyone is looking closely at. The
huge shake-up which needs to come,
following the election disaster. A
lot of mistakes, mishaps in the
party conference last year, the
appointment of regional chairman,
how they try to get the membership
up. That will be a big issue.
will talk more about rejuvenating
the party and how the Government
intends to do that. But Tom Newton
Dunn there has been talk about
Jeremy Hunt replacing Damian Green
as the de facto deputy. How likely
is that now?
I am told it is
probably unlikely, simply because
there will not be a like-for-like
replacement. There probably will not
be a First Secretary of State, which
is the job that he had. The problem
with reshuffle days is you can get a
line from number ten and people
close to the Prime Minister early on
because they have their battle plan.
The battle plan comes into contact
with the enemy, as all decent
battles to and it starts to fall
apart when ministers don't go in the
same direction you want them to and
get upset about the jobsed they are
offered. My -- jobs they are
offered. My feeling was that Brandon
Lewis, who we have seen going to
Number Ten is going to be the new
party chairman and a dynamic,
younger character, is he annual
probably good for the -- is he
probably good for the job. I will
put a fair bit of money on Hunt
going to business. Jeremy Hunt has
been speaking about the need to
revitalise the economy and get the
nation shipshape in terms of
rebalancing the trades and
industries that used to exist, maybe
not as productive away from the
European Union. The whole big tech
build up. The country needs to
change considerably to compete on a
different playing field, which is
what Brexit is all about. Hunt to
business will be the big star of the
day. To revitalise what has been a
woeful Tory Party election machine.
Lucy, taking on the point that
battle plans don't always go to plan
and you may have a lovely grid
worked out with how you'll reshuffle
the pack of cards. Is that why there
was a tweet from the Conservative
Party, who seem to accidentally
publish that Chris Grayling, the
Transport Secretary was going to
become the new chairman - in fact,
there it is. Congratulations to him
following his appointment. We have
just shown that on screen and then
it was quickly deleted. Does that
show confusion and chaos in terms of
this reshuffle, if, as Tom says, it
will be Brandon Lewis?
That is what
it points to. Confusion from where
the tweet came. I think if it turns
out to be wrong, and that message
come from the official Conservative
Party account, really it is the
perfect example of why they need a
major shake up. With Labour have
good use of video and they are
lagging in that aspect of
campaigning and yet another priority
that the new party chairman will
have to take on.
The new party
chairman role will have an impact as
far as the Government and the
Conservative Party is concerned. But
what about the wider impact, Tom? If
there is no movement of the
Chancellor or the Foreign Secretary
or Home Secretary, how significant
is this reshuffle?
I think you can
do quite a lot with the second
order. A new secretary to reshape
the country or bring the country up
to speed for a post Brexit future is
a big thing to do and you can
capture a lot of headlines. Perhaps
a new Education Secretary. I would
be surprised if we didn't have a new
Education Secretary by the end of
the day. That is a new mission to
take on some of the reforming zeal
we saw with Michael Gove and the
coalition Government which has been
lacking a little bit. Take on the
Prime Minister's more free schools,
more academies. Maybe return to the
grammar schools agenda. What knows?
Perhaps a new Health Secretary as
well. Which you could build some
fresh bridges. There is workman-like
stuff you can do with this. And you
can recast agendas on stuff which
matter to the Prime Minister, like
education, skills and industrial
strategy. What you cannot do is
completely change the direction of
your Government, which are occupied
be I the big beasts. Philip Hammond,
Boris Johnson, Amber Rudd - the
three Titans of the Cabinet at the
moment. Lucy is right. The reason
why the Prime Minister, I agree, I
think she would want to move two out
of the three. Amber Rudd who has
impressed universally over the last
year in that job. She can do that
because as Lucy says, she is not
strong enough. She will come under
threat from a faction behind a
faction behind Philip Hammond, the.
If she removes the two people who
are seen to be pivotal to that sort
of wing of the party.
Thank you very
much for your insights. I will let
you go. No doubt there'll be plenty
of people to chase after or on
That is the bottom line, isn't it?
If Theresa May was in a position of
power and strength and could shape
her top team the way she wanted to,
then she would move Boris Johnson
and Philip Hammond. She would look
at the big Cabinet posts?
what Tom says is completely wrong.
Not all Cabinet reshuffles move the
big beasts. I was an MP during the
coalition Government. For four years
we had the same Chancellor. William
Hague was Foreign Secretary.
a coalition. You had to negotiation
with your coalition partners.
Cameron was very strong. This idea
that you change a big beast, big
jobs every year is ridiculous. The
Budget last autumn was very
successful. There wasn't a hair on
it. It was well received. It would
be crazy for the Prime Minister to
move the Chancellor at this point. I
think what Tom said is wrong. If you
look Foreign Secretaries often
staying in the same position where I
did agree with Tom is this business
about the Business Secretary. That
Would you be pleased
if it were Jeremy Hunt?
I think he
could do a lot of jobs. He's a very
He is the longest serving Health
Doesn't mean he's good.
He knows the job inside out and if
he stays that would be good but if
he moves I understand that and it
wouldn't be surprising.
welcome this reshuffle and this
change at the top?
Really it's about
moving chairs around on the Titanic.
What people really want to know was
what they will do about the
stagnating economy, the shortage of
housing, young people facing
escalating housing costs and student
debt. These are everyday issues and
people want answers. This is a
deeply unpopular Conservative
government and I'm not convinced at
all that any amount of reshuffling
will make any difference unless they
radically change their policies.
think Nia is right, it is the media
that obsesses about positions and
So you agree...
I agree the
main battle, the main debate should
be about these core issues in terms
of housing, in terms of how the NHS
is funded under the economy, where I
think the Government has a story to
tell. And Labour would be completely
Do you think there
should be a cabinet minister for
Housing, for example?
very significant, it sits within
DCLG and Sajid Javid has been
pushing lots of ideas.
there be a minister, that would be a
Again, I think we are
fixating with people and
institutions, not looking at policy.
The main thing that will help people
is the right policies.
Let's take a
break for a moment and go to Norman
Smith in Downing Street. Can you
tell us any more about this
Some of the movements -
Brandon Lewis, the Immigration
Minister, is the first person into
Number Ten. Speculation, that will
be to take the party chairman post.
Shortly after then, Patrick
McLoughlin came out of Number Ten,
the existing party chairman, and
went off down Downing Street, didn't
say anything, but looks like a man
who was walking out of government
after a long time on the front
bench. Then the Parliamentary aide I
think to Brandon Lewis arrived at
Number Ten. This is guesswork but I
think all of these changes are
centred around Central office. You
could have Brandon Lewis as party
chairman and maybe James cleverly
would be his number two in an
attempt to reinvigorate the
Conservative election machine which
of course failed in the last
election and is viewed generally as
being off the pace, certainly
compared to labour when it comes
down to recruiting new members, when
it comes down to social media,
digital campaigning and that sort of
thing. There's a clear desire to
shake up Central office and I think
that's what the arrival of Brandon
Lewis and James Cleverly was about
this morning. Unconfirmed though,
just my best effort at a guess.
thank you. We were just hearing from
Tom Newton Dunn speculating on
Jeremy Hunt moving, and there
wouldn't be a like-for-like
replacement of Damian Green as de
facto secretary to Theresa May. Is
there any confirmation on any of
No, all that is possible.
Jeremy Hunt is a business
background, would you want to move
him in the current pressure on the
NHS at this precise moment? Maybe
not. In terms of the Damian Green
post, I think it is correct there
won't be a formal Deputy Prime
Minister with all of the bangs and
baubles Damian Green had but I think
Mrs May will want someone who can
act as her eyes and ears in
Government sitting on the
innumerable committees Damian Green
sat on, her fixer within government
so there will be someone who takes
up that post even if they may not be
formal Deputy Prime Minister.
have been talking over the last few
months about Brexit and how much it
has dominated the agenda but do you
think the reshuffle today will
answer or Theresa May will try to
answer the criticism about
government policy regarding key
public services like the NHS, like
the railways, and the economy?
honest, I think it's beyond any
reshuffle to address those sort of
issues. Most people frankly couldn't
care who is appointed to whatever
post, they probably don't even know
who they are and why should they. So
reshuffle will not provide a
solution to the difficulties the
Government may face on railways,
health or whatever. I think the aim
of the reshuffle is more
constrained, designed partly in
terms of party management to give
younger, newer MPs their chance to
shine. There's been pressure
building there, and also to present
a more diverse image of the
Conservative Party with more women,
more MPs from ethnic minorities. I
would suggest Mrs May's ambitions
are more limited in terms of what
she hopes to achieve from this
Norman Smith in Downing
Street, thank you. Parliament is
getting back to work and it is set
to be packed to them for MPs, not
least on the subject of Brexit.
So as negotiations continue
in Brussels, what exactly
will MPs be debating?
This week the Commons
will see the second reading
of new trade and customs bills.
Those will implement a new framework
for an independent trade
policy after Brexit.
Next week MPs will vote on the next
stage on the over-arching
EU Withdrawal Bill.
The bill has already been
amended numerous times
and currently more than 20 further
amendments have been
tabled for this stage.
If it clears the Commons, the bill
will go on to the Lords for further
consideration at the end
of the month.
One key piece of legislation that
hasn't yet been published
is the new immigration bill
to establish new national policies
on immigration once the UK
ends free movement of people
from the European Union.
Well, the SNP is of course the third
largest party in the Commons,
and over the Christmas break they've
been urging Labour to join forces
to keep the UK in the single market
and the customs union after Brexit.
And the party's Europe spokesman
Stephen Gethins joins
us from the Commons.
Welcome to the programme, happy New
Year. You invited Jeremy Corbyn to
this cross-party meeting, he wrote
back to say he wasn't going to
attend. Is it worth having this
meeting if the Labour leader isn't
Obviously it is disappointing
Labour won't participate, especially
in the Parliament of minorities when
you have a situation whereby parties
need to work together to get the
least worst option for what is a
pretty catastrophic Brexit process.
I think Ian Blackford did the right
thing, to write to the parties, put
aside our differences because
maintaining the customs union and
single market is one worth having.
Do you think it says Jeremy Corbyn
doesn't support the idea of
remaining in the single market and
I think it says
Jeremy Corbyn has failed yet again
to take an opportunity to try and
get the least worst option is out of
Brexit which will help save jobs and
help the economy. We're not talking
about the best option, that is
staying part of the European Union.
It is disappointed at a time when we
could be working together that
Jeremy Corbyn seems to be the best
ally the hard Brexiteers have the
Is that what he is?
Stephen Gettys needs to get real. We
accept the referendum went in favour
of Brexit and we are doing our best
to get the Government to see sense
on this. We want to protect industry
and jobs is much as we can therefore
have the best possible relationship
with the single market, the customs
union, and we want the Government to
realise they will clearly not get
everything done by a year in March
and they need a transition period.
But there will be. So what's the
difference between the optician...
We were clear last August we wanted
a proper transition period so
business can plan now. They are
already planning for a year hence
and many planning for ten years
hence. There have been questions
about whether to have this
transition period so that's the
first thing we would say. Secondly,
we are clear any Brexit negotiations
must protect jobs in this country
and that means trying to negotiate
the best deal we camped in terms of
access to the single market, in
terms of a form of customs union.
still don't see the difference
between your position and the
Government's position because the
Government is seeking a transition
period and that will be debated.
It's not just the SNP
that is critical in your stance of
not going to the meeting, so does
Tony Blair. What do you say to his
remarks - if Labour insists on
leaving the single market, the
handmaiden of Brexit will have been
the timidity of Labour.
important thing we are standing
What would you say to Tony
We don't want a second
referendum, that would undermine the
process, we respect the result but
we clearly want the best deal for
Without being part of the
single market or customs union?
have to have a form of customs union
and the point being that a country
on its own cannot decide those. We
have 27 other countries to negotiate
with and we want to create the best
rapport, not shouting from the
hilltops or walking out of talks but
have the best rapport with the 27 to
get the best deal we can.
Gethins, Labour will plough its own
That's a very disappointing
response from Nia and one that a lot
of her colleagues disagree with. The
best option for jobs and the economy
is membership of the single market.
That is best for jobs and the
economy. We have said we will
compromise and that's why we work
together with other parties but
Labour's chaos on this is letting
Tories off the hook when they are
making a mess of this and we have a
responsibility to save as many jobs
out of this as we can. We know from
economists and others that
membership of the single market is
the least worst option at the
Without Labour, what are you
hoping to achieve?
I already tried
to work with a number of Labour MPs
but we are trying to reach out to
members, look at where we can get
common ground. With these key bits
of legislation coming up, let's look
at some of the amendments we can do.
No one party has the majority of
wisdom soaks speaking and listening
to one another is a good start.
are at a bit of a dead-end. You can
reach out as much as you like, I
mean even the EU has moved on in
terms of negotiations, Labour is not
willing to come to your meeting for
whatever reason, and Michel Barnier
once things signed off by October.
We have had a compromise now for
well over a year that we have set
out, it wasn't just one we came up
with, but it was an existing plan of
businesses and economists as well.
It's not what we would have wanted,
but critically on the single market
and this is important - people like
Dan Hannan, Brexiteers who provided
what little intellectual heavy
lifting there was to be done for
Brexit argued for staying in the
single market. Ruth Davidson argued
after the referendum we should
retain membership of the single
market. If those promises are kept,
you will have a majority in favour
of staying in the single market but
Labour need to start getting stuck
into this Government on this issue.
Before I go back to Nia, there is a
splitting cabinet about power line
and Britain should be as we move
towards these negotiations. Do you
favour closer alignment to the EU?
don't accept the promises of your
question. I think there's a debate,
I don't think it is in the binary
battle between close alignment or
Closer to the status quo
or moving away?
I've always been a
Brexiteer, but it is not a binary
thing. We will be able to diverged,
that is what I want to do, I want to
control the borders of this country
and keep more of our money, and I
want to have...
But the time frame
is fairly fluid.
I want Parliament
to be sovereign. I don't think the
time frame is that fluid, but we
have got to show flexibility and we
have. We now have a two year
implementation period which we
didn't have. We are leaving the
single market and customs union, I
hope, but I think it is a process.
Do you expect to have an agreement
on the transition period by the end
of March this year?
confident we will get a very good
deal with the EU.
All right, that's
not an answer to the question.
Stephen Gethins, thank
You might remember that
in October last year,
three of the UK's leading remain
supporters - Ken Clarke,
Nick Clegg and Andrew Adonis -
went to Brussels to meet
with Michel Barnier,
he's the chief Brexit negotiator
for the European Commission.
They were criticised
by some who claimed
they were seeking to undermine
the British Government's position.
Well, Mr Barnier said
his door is always open
to senior political figures,
and this morning he had a visit
from the former Ukip leader
Nigel Farage, who says
he was there to speak
for the 17.4 million Brexit voters.
So, what did they discuss?
Well, Mr Farage joins
us from Brussels now.
So did he welcome you with open
He was very polite, he offered
me coffee which surprised me.
did you think he was going to offer
Believe me, if you are invited
into a meeting and coffee is not
offered you are probably going to
get the sack in life so this was a
positive start I thought! Who was
very cordial, he always is to be
fair. I've met him many times in the
European Parliament and Strasbourg.
I started off by asking him, did he
really understand what the key
drivers were behind us voting for
Brexit? And it was very clear he
didn't. He started to talk about
economics and what the disadvantages
may be. I said this is way beyond
economics. It's about controlling
your own borders, making your own
It was a major driver of the Brexit
vote. And the answer was, no, he did
not. I thought what was interesting
is I'd gone there. You are right
when I saw Lord Adonis, Kenneth
Clarke and Nick Clegg it drove me
bonkers. I thought the real
collusion is between the British
elite and Brussels.
And now you are
But I am not a colluder.
Believe me. If you believe, as I
believe, and all polling research
backs up, that immigration was a key
driver of the Brexit result, the
disappointing thing is that clearly
nobody from the British Government
has explained that to him and
progress has been made on that
That is your view, isn't
it? You are a sort of self-appointed
representative of the 17.4 million
Brexit voters. The Government say
they respect the result of the
referendum. Labour say they respect
the result of the referendum. What
makes you the expect when Ukip did
rather badly in the election to know
what was in the mind of all those
There is something
called political science, there is
something called polling, all of
which shows you before and during
the referendum that one of the key
drivers was getting back control of
our borders. When I said I would
represent the view it was justified.
When I saw the income prewhention in
his face this was a key issue. I
don't doubt Mrs May will take us out
of the European Union. But this big,
key issue that everybody finds too
awkward to discuss. They would
rather brush it under the carpet it
is out there in the country. People
do care about it. Is it any wonder
we have an NHS crisis when we have
population growing by 500,000 a
year. Wherever we are, immigration
has not yet been discussed.
you say in response? Nigel Farage
says he knows what the main driver
was behind the 17.4 million who
voted for Brexit?
immigration was a portion of it. In
my constituency it came up. I think
it is simplistic to say that was the
only thing. But there were other
issues. There is sovereignty. Nigel
mentioned it might be a good idea to
make our own laws. There was a sense
that our political culture, our
institutions were things that people
valued and didn't want to be part of
a United States of Europe, which is
where people think the UK is
I know Nigel. I think
he's a very persuasive guy. Good
luck to him.
Will Nigel Farage help
the negotiations from the British
point of view?
Michel Barnier knows
who the Government is and he's
obviously keeping his door open to
allow others to speak to him. You
know, he will understand fully what
the position is at the moment. He
can see quite clearly we are not
actually making very good progress
at the moment. We have rather a
last-minute deal botched together in
December. It wasn't clear on the
Ireland situation, not on EU nations
or the amount of money that will be,
it will be a last amount of money.
The EU wouldn't have said they would
move on - but there are things which
are unresolved. That is true. Nigel
Farage, you had questions which were
tweeted to your e-mail to give to
Michel Barnier. They were not all
from leave supporters were they?
a broad cross section of people
asking questions. The first one I
asked was one of the questions sent
in. Did he understand the reasons
for leaving? The most interesting
part was phase two. I think in phase
one we have given too much money,
too much jurisdiction to the ECJ,
but let's look ahead to 2018. What
is really interesting is that
Barnier... Oh, yes, of course we are
very happy to have a trade deal on
goods, you know on the basis of
Japan or on the basis of Canada.
Well, of course they sell us 80
billion Euro-s worth of chocolate,
cars and wine every year, more than
we sell them. When I mentioned
services and financial services, as
being part of this package, I saw
his whole body language change. He
stiffened up and said, no, that
simply can't be. Now, if we are
going to enter a period of
negotiations where given the amount
we've conceded in phase one, if he
is not prepared to make some
concessions on that, then I think
the big change in the Brexit debate
which will come in 2018 is you will
start to see very big voices in
business say, let's not waste years
and years on this. Let's actually
move to WTO rules and do so quickly.
Was no deal part of your discussion
with Michel Barnier?
What did he say? How
much did that dominate your
Well, you know, he
said it would have bad consequences
for both of us. I said in the
short-term that is absolutely right,
but actually it would hurt Europe
far more than it would hurt us. Not
only do they sell us more goods than
we sell them. The truth is our
financial services we are the
investment bankers for the whole of
the rest of Europe. I would rather
somebody who spent 20 years in
business before getting involved in
politics, I would rather for the
short-term we reach the sensible
compromise deal. The British
Government has given a hell of a lot
already. It is now time for Barnier
to give something. He wasn't in that
mood this morning.
Finally, on Ukip,
a Ukip councillor has called on
Henry Bolton to resign because of
things in his private life. What say
I say a man who passed out as
top cadet in Sandhurst, won a
bravery reward in the police, did
outstanding things in Afghanistan.
Got an OBE for services to
international security, none would
have been talked about or written
about. He has a fling with a
25-year-old and it is front-page of
some of the Sunday newspapers. While
short-term it may be uncomfortable
for him, the truth is people know
now his name.
Thank you for that,
Nigel Farage, after his meeting with
Michel Barnier. For more reporting,
check out the BBC News website.
The Prime Minister has
The Prime Minister had to defend
the Government's handling
the Government's handling
of the NHS yesterday,
after the unprecedented call
in England for a month's worth
of non-urgent operations
and appointments to be postponed.
As stories of patients enduring
long waits in ambulances
and on trolleys in A&E mount,
is it time to look at
a radically different way
of running our health service?
Here's Kate Andrews
from the Institute
of Economic Affairs,
with her soapbox.
All nonurgent operations
and outpatient appointments
in England are put on hold
because of mounting
pressure on the NHS.
I want to apologise for the fact
we have had regrettably to postpone
the number of operations.
I know it's frustrating,
I know it's disappointing
for people and I apologise.
The philosophy of the National
Health Service is that good
healthcare should be accessible
to all regardless of wealth,
but it's not available this month.
50,000 appointments have been cut
from the schedule and -
more accurately put -
50,000 patients, many
of whom are waiting in pain,
are being forced to wait even longer
for their hip replacements
and knee surgeries.
All because the NHS is ill-equipped
to deal with winter flu.
If this isn't the definition
of system failure, what is?
We all know deep down that hard
truths are being buried
to protect the sacred cow,
but if doctors are now speaking out
about the Third World
conditions in the NHS,
isn't it time that politicians
and commentators follow suit?
The NHS ranks in the bottom third
of international comparisons
for health system performance.
It rates far below the social health
insurance systems of Europe
and other systems further abroad,
which outperform the UK on crucial
aspects of health care,
like A&E waiting times
and cancer treatments.
If the UK were to consider
a different approach to health care,
there would be no need to compromise
on the core philosophy that care
should be available for all.
Contrary to popular belief,
most of the developed world offers
universal access to health care.
From Switzerland to Hong Kong,
these systems provide coverage
for everyone and they aren't toppled
over by flu outbreaks.
No one outside the UK
envies the NHS.
Many people, including
the Health Secretary this week,
cite the Commonwealth Fund study,
a rare report that ranks
the NHS best overall,
to suggest that they do.
But when you break it down and look
at the health outcome
section of the study,
the NHS plummets from the top
of the chart to tenth out of 11.
The Guardian summed the study up
perfectly when the 2014
version was released,
noting that the only serious black
mark against the NHS was a poor
record on keeping people alive.
You can keep the three letters
if you wish but it's time
for a radical change to create
a better patient-centric system.
And Kate Andrews joins us now.
You set out some of the problems.
What should the solution be?
It is a
combination. Funding should be
talked about but that is a secondary
issue for me. It was tweeted in an
article over the weekend from 2000.
It was highlighting all the same
problems with the NHS. It was
reported in the Telegraph that we
didn't have enough beds, that the
winter crisis was coming. We had to
get people from overseas to take up
vacancies in the NHS. We are dealing
this 18 years later. This highlights
that on the left everybody says we
need more money. Well, that might be
part of the solution.
Not just on
A lot of people do. A lot
of people are saying this Government
has underfunded the NHS. I reject
that. If you look at Australia and
Israel, they are actually putting
less money into their health care
systems and getting better patient
outcomes. On the right, often you
have a lot of people say we have too
many immigrants in this country
using up resources. Like 2000, like
now, you are more likely to be
treated by an immigrant rather than
to have them holding up the queue.
For me, it is about looking to
Europe, looking at other systems
getting this right. Not the US, but
others which are fit for 2018.
social insurance scheme, where
people pay in at different levels as
they do in Germany and then you get
the health service at different
I think that would be a
great system to look at. It is not
just that people are paying out of
their own pockets, the Government
ensures everyone has access or they
will top you up or give you credit
to make sure you can afford it.
is changing the core fundamental
principal at the heart of the health
service, that it is point at the
point of -- that it is free at the
point of delivery. Are you able to
Absolutely not. The
NHS will celebrate its 70th birthday
this year. There is full support
among the public for the NHS. If you
ask in a poll what would they like
to see their money spent on, they
put NHS first. They understand that
any of us can be hit by a very
serious illness and when the NHS is
given proper resources it has
standards second to none in the
How much are you prepared to
put into it?
We said very, very
clearly in our manifesto for the
election this year that we would put
in an additional £37 billion over
the next five years in. We need that
level of funding. We need to ensure
we can deliver. If I may make the
point about 2000, we did an enormous
amount between 1997-2010 to bring
down waiting lists, to fund the NHS
better than it has been in the last
seven years that the squeeze on
funding has gone back in the other
Let's talk about the fact
that it is politically still
unpalatable to talk about getting
rid or getting rid of that principal
of it being free at the point of
The UK came up with the
principal of universal access, free
at the point of use. No-one is
abandoning that. Every other country
in the world looked at that, apart
from the United States. It is a
great principal, be but they
implement it in a terrible way. That
is why the NHS is not replicated
anywhere else in the world. They
have different principals. We are
not talking about abandoning it. I
appreciate that point. My question
to you would be, if you didn't want
to put more money into the NHS,
where is -- if you did want to put
more money into the NHS where is it
coming from? What will we cut? What
will we prioritise to put more money
into the NHS?
We funded everything
we said we would in our manifesto.
We are talking about making sure...
That manifesto borrowed a lot of
fundleded funded all the promises we
have made. Cutting corporation cut
have put holes in this Government's
budget. The fact of the matter is
people want the NHS funded. We said
we would not get rid of that 50% tax
rate for the top taxpayers. We said
we will not impose further tax
burdens on the rest of the
population. We are very clear we can
fund it from changes that we would
make in the top taxation and
And there is a crisis
in the NHS that goes beyond previous
crisis. Nai makes the point that
satisfaction in the NHS was high
when Labour led office and into a
few years into the coalition. Now,
on your watch you are presiding over
a crisis in which nonurgent
operations have been cancelled for a
month. Theresa May says the NHS is
better prepared because they have
cancelled the operations ahead of
time. There hasn't been such a
crisis and that is on a Conservative
I completely disagree. You made an
assertion about this being an
unprecedented crisis and I'm
rejecting that because ever since
I've been in politics and before
that, the NHS has always been centre
of the political debate and people
have said there is a big problem,
and ongoing problems with funding.
That's a much more mature way of
looking at it than simply saying
this is the worst crisis we have
I'm not saying it. NHS'
England Professor said it was the
worst he'd seen since the 1990s.
Professor Susan Mason has on patient
safety is being compromised. Then we
have anecdotal evidence that goes
beyond previous winters, talking
about people waiting in corridors,
on trolleys, not even being able to
be taken out of ambulances. Theresa
May would not have apologised if she
didn't think it was a crisis.
have a problem because we have lots
of demand and smaller resources,
there's a pressure on resources, we
know that, we are running a deficit
as we have done for 17 years. We
have got to try to balance the books
and stabilise the economy. I think
the Labour route would be
disastrous. That's not going to help
the NHS. Similarly what Kate was
saying about insurance and other
models, that's interesting, that is
part of the debate. I was in a
government with people like Nick
Clegg and others who had written
books about this. They wrote the
orange book 12 years ago suggesting
we need to look at bits of
insurance. I'm totally committed as
Nia is to an NHS free at the point
of delivery but also open-minded
enough to look at other countries.
So you would look at the ideas of
The idea we have a
long -- monopoly is an arrogant
It has been suggested people
over 40 should pay more tax to fund
the NHS, is that something you would
No, I don't see why people
Perhaps only people over
40 who could afford it.
lots of people over 40 who are not
earning lots of money. It's not as
if there is a scale. There are rich
So you reject that
suggestion. You talk to politicians
about this regularly off the camera,
is there more...
I'm thrilled to
hear Kwasi Kwarteng say he would
look at other ideas because many are
burying their heads in the sand is
saying the NHS is the envy of the
world. So I appreciate it so much.
think the problem is, I'm in between
both of you. It is easy to run down
the NHS, it is a huge success but
what I am open to, you know, I write
and edit books, and I'm interested
in debate, that is important.
will have to leave it there, but
thank you. 2008 team will be a
hectic year when it comes to
elections, with Vladimir Putin
running to yet another term as
Russian president, UK local
elections, and the US mid-term is
providing a litmus test for Donald
Ali has taken a look for us.
reckon it is likely to end up in
another coalition government. A
couple of weeks after that on the
18th of March all eyes will be on
Russia. Vladimir Putin wants another
term as president and let's be
honest he is so popular it will
probably be handed to him a bit like
this cute puppy. In fact he has been
in power so long that if he wins he
will be the longest serving leader
since Stalin. The selection leader
has been formally banned from
standing because of embezzlement,
but if something closer to your home
is your cup of tea. On May the 3rd
151 councils with about 4400 seats
are up for grabs including every
council seat in London, where Labour
have big plans, as well as five
mayoral elections in the capital.
November the 6th could be a day of
fire and fury in the US as President
Trump faces his first nationwide
test when all 435 seats in the House
of Representatives and 33 of the 100
seats in the Senate will be
contested. Plenty of critics point
to the victory of Democrats Doug
Jones over the Republican Roy Moore
as a sign of things to come. But he
had, shall we say, some unique flaws
so as ever it is difficult to
predict the outcome of this US poll.
Before that weren't enough, hungry's
victor Orban will seek a third term
in April, while voters go to the
poll in Iraq in May and some time in
the spring in Egypt.
already, and we have Tim Marshall
with us in the studio so let's talk
about the Italian election on the
4th of March. The country is in the
midst of domestic problems and has
been for some time.
Post-war, some might say. What are
I think the drift to
the extremes will continue right
across Europe. Mr Orban will get in
in Hungary. In Italy you usually
think it doesn't matter who wins the
election because next year there is
usually a one. This time I think it
is not an extremist movement but not
a centrist movement. I think the
problem is Italy is not holding
together. The Northern league part
of it has already said it might
campaign on getting out of the
European Union so I'm going to watch
Italy to see how deep are the
fissures pulling Italy apart. Who
will win that election, I can tell
you who will win lots of elections
but not that one.
So do you see
Italy as the prism through which we
should see Europe as well?
the far right will continue to grow.
I constantly argue against this
narrative that in EU elections they
keep putting back the far right, I
think it's the other way round.
Marine Le Pen increased her vote,
the Dutch, and Germany AFG came in
with dozens. That will be replicated
this year again, the far right has
And briefly on Germany,
Angela Merkel is still struggling to
form a government, isn't that
they still haven't got a coalition
government. She's deep in
negotiations now with social
Democrats. If they can't get the
coalition together probably this
week, firstly she is probably
finished, and secondly they will
have new elections. Without the
Mutti as they call her, Germany will
start to drift. Again, the EU, we
still see the splintering. If they
can get the coalition together, you
will see Mrs Merkel give in on some
of the immigration policies, and the
open door policy is finished in
Germany, which is also part of the
drift to the right. She will have to
compromise with the right and close
What about local
I have absolutely no
idea, it's a foreign country to
What can we expect from them?
What should we expect? It
What can we expect from them?
What should we expect? It.
all the boroughs will be up for
contest so it will be a very mixed
picture. I think the Government
perhaps could do well but mid-term
elections notoriously are difficult
for governments, we know that.
you would have to improve at local
election level if you're going to be
seen as the opposition preparing for
the next government.
I think people
are deeply unhappy with many things
this Conservative government are
doing, and in particular delivery of
local services. They can see social
care budgets being slashed, school
budgets, health service, and simple
things like collecting rubbish. They
can see the effects of austerity
over seven years now and I think
that will have a significant impact
on the way people vote in the local
elections this spring.
You are the
foreign affairs analyst, not the
local elections analyst. Let's have
a look at Donald Trump in enough
trouble of his own making to some
extent but the midterms are
considered a litmus test. Will they
be or are we still looking at the
core support for Donald Trump
The latter, that's a
guess. In the Russian election,
Vladimir Putin will win. I suspect
the Republicans will hang on to both
houses. That's extremely important
because if the Democrats don't win
back the Senate, and that's going to
be close, if they don't have control
of it they cannot move ahead with
impeachment. I've always argued I
don't think he's going to be
impeached, I've never seen any solid
evidence against him. I've said this
before to you that we still look at
him through the prism of our
distaste, and that's not a good
template. Unemployment down, tax
reforms May kick in and may have
more money. The Senate and the house
are different beasts to Trump. I
accept they flipped Alabama...
that not a big signal?
It was but
look at the candidate the Democrat
was up against, the chap on the
horse and they rode him out of town.
Alabama is not up this year but if
it was it would be reversed back to
the Republicans. The Republicans are
only defending eight seats in the
autumn, the Democrats are defending
24th. I think they will hang on and
I think Mr Trump, if you look at it
from inside America, he's not doing
anywhere near as badly as we think
All right, let's go to Norman
Smith in Downing Street. Can you
give us any update?
Fact one is me know Patrick
McLoughlin has now left government,
not a huge shock given the Tory
election woes and the fact he's been
on the Government front bench since
Mrs Thatcher. Fact two Brandon Lewis
is the new party chairman, the
Immigration Minister steps into the
party chairman role. And I suppose
the hope will be he will grab the
party machine by the lapels and give
it a good shake up because it was
clearly found wanting at the general
election campaign and we are
expecting a lot of new people to be
brought into party headquarters to
try and match Jeremy Corbyn when it
comes to recruiting new members.
Fact he is the Northern Ireland
Secretary is standing down on health
grounds and he has spoken about
having to have surgery for a lesion
on his right lung, there will be the
recuperation period and he thinks
you will need to run with the energy
and time to take on this sensitive
And briefly, we are expecting
more tomorrow, aren't we?
going to get a much bigger shake-up
of the middle ranks tomorrow and
that's when we are expecting new,
younger female MPs from ethnic
minorities to be brought on board.
Norman, thank you. I hope you are
not standing there the whole day but
you probably will be. Thanks to all
of our guests. The one o'clock news
Ideas for living well
in the new year - no fad diets...
Jo Coburn is joined by Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng and shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith to discuss Theresa May's Cabinet reshuffle. Plus an interview with Nigel Farage on Brexit.