Jo Coburn is joined by Conservative MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Labour MP Emma Reynolds. They discuss the liquidation of construction company Carillion.
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Hello and welcome to
the Daily Politics.
Its employees clean our hospitals
and maintain our railways.
Construction and outsourcing firm
Carillion goes bust -
where does that leave the people
whose wages they pay and the public
services they provide?
Ukip leader Henry Bolton
ditches his girlfriend as he tries
to cling on to the leadership
of his party.
Should her racist messages
cost him his job?
Jeremy Corbyn's grip
on the Labour Party tightens
as allies win key positions
on the party's governing body.
What does it mean for the direction
of the Labour party?
And could anything really be more
important for Europe than Brexit?
Not everything is about you, Great
Britain. Europe isn't out to get
you, we have other things to think
about on the continent, not just
All that in the next hour,
and with us for the whole
of the programme today
are the Conservative MP
and Brexiteer Ann-Marie Trevelyan,
and Labour's Emma Reynolds
who was a firm Remainer.
First this morning, the construction
giant Carillion has announced
it is going into liquidation.
It comes after talks
between the firm, its lenders,
and the Government failed to reach
a deal to save the company.
But what next for the almost 20,000
employees the firm has in the UK,
and for all the services
they're currently providing?
Carillion is a construction
and facilities contractor,
which the Government pays around
£1.7 billion a year for a wide
range of provisions.
For example, the firm is the second
biggest supplier of maintenance
services for Network Rail.
It maintains 50,000 homes
for the Ministry of Defence.
And it manages part
of the contract for HS2.
The firm's debt pile
of roughly £900 million -
and that excludes hundreds
of millions of a pension deficit -
stems partly from three major
building the Midland Metropolitan
Hospital in Birmingham,
the Royal Liverpool University
Hospital, and the new
The Government's facing questions
about why it contracted Carillion
for more services after the firm
posted the first of several
profit warnings last July.
Even after the share price
plummeted, the Government awarded
Carillion part of a contract
with two other companies
to work on HS2 - a contract
worth £1.4 billion.
The Government also granted the firm
further contracts to work
on military sites and railway lines,
collectively worth hundreds
of millions of pounds.
Despite crunch talks
to save Carillion from going under,
it announced today it didn't
have the financial backing
to continue operations.
Cabinet Office minister
David Lidington said the firm's
staff would continue to be paid,
and that services would continue
to be provided either "in-house"
or by alternative contractors.
Well, earlier, David Lidington
was asked why the Government had
continued to award contracts
to Carillion even after the company
issued profit warnings.
Each department operated
on the basis of the publicly known
legal rules that govern the award
of Government contracts,
and, in the way that
I've just described,
if you look at those central
Government contracts that
were agreed which involve Carillion
post-July 2017 you will see
that they had joint-venture partners
who are there to take up the slack,
and so that risk was covered.
To get the latest on this,
we're joined by our business
correspondent Jamie Robertson.
Jamie, you heard David Lidington
there, he said Karelian's debts came
primarily from the non-public side,
is that correct?
It seems to be at
the moment. A lot of the debt was
involved in a lot of the public
projects but where the problem
comes, beside the company having
debt, but a lot of the problems come
from the fact that they were not
getting payments, payments were
being delayed on many foreign
contracts, particularly in the
Middle East, it appears. So they
have a cash probe problem weather
cannot finance their debt, then the
bank, they asked for an extra £300
million, the banks have basically
said no, and that is how we find
ourselves in the situation we are in
at the moment.
If the Government had refused
further contract back in July when
the profit warnings were posted,
what would have been the outcome?
think the crisis would have happened
even earlier. One of the problems
you are faced with when you have a
profit warning, how do you get out
of it? One of the best ways is to
have new profitable contracts to
give you better cash flow and some
way of financing your debt, if you
don't get those contract you will
not be able to, it will become more
difficult to finance that debt. So
in a way the fact that they were
getting new contracts with the way
of helping them but it simply wasn't
enough, the black hole, as it were,
in terms of financing the debt, was
The Number Ten spokesperson
this morning has said that
contingency measures were put in
place once that first profit warning
was released and I take your point
saying that what they needed were
new contracts to keep afloat but
clearly the contingency measures
that the Government said were in
Yes, it is not so much
the contingency measures in terms of
keeping the project going, we will
have do see now how effective they
are at picking up the slack, picking
up the collapsed contracts, how the
Government can pick them up and how
the private sector can pick them up.
The real danger, I think we will
find, is the hiatus that occurs
between these contracts ceasing, as
it were, and being taken over either
by the public sector or private
sector, and what happens to those
subcontractors who were contracted
to do much of this work? Will they
get paid on time, will they get paid
at all? I think that is where the
problems, we simply don't know how
big a problem it is giving to be,
but we are talking about here supply
chain with something like £3 billion
a year in terms of contracts both
here in the UK and abroad, and for
of these companies who are providing
services to Carillion, being paid on
time becomes extremely important and
if you have a hiatus, a delay which
goes on for several months, you will
see some of these companies getting
into real problems.
Thank you very
We're joined to discuss
this by the leader of
the Liberal Democrats,
Sir Vince Cable.
On that one point, before I go to
Ann-Marie Trevelyan, £3 billion in
the supply chain, what will happen
to those companies while they wait
to see what happens?
optimistic outcome is the Government
takes some of these contracts
in-house, Reid tenders, the
workforce is kept together, I think
a lot of the highly skilled people
will be saved but there is
potentially massive disruption. I
think one of the things we ought to
be looking at, the Government ought
to be looking at, we have the
British bank, it is there to provide
flows of credit for small business
and trying to put in place supply
chain finances, something the
Government could and should be
Is there going to be a
significant cost to the taxpayer
well this process is going on?
is going to be a significant cost to
the taxpayer not least because the
taxpayer has taken on the pension
protection fund liabilities which
are massive, 600, 800 billion, the
pensioners themselves will take a
cut from that, the Government is on
the hook. What will anger people so
much is the taxpayer is going to
finish up paying a substantial bill
for this collapse while at the same
time I think the hedge funds have
pocketed 300 million effectively
gambling against Government
decisions. The chief executive of
the company whose misjudgements
caused all of this pocketed 6
million in bonuses, still being paid
a full salary. That is the kind of
injustice that does get people very
angry about the way that these
public sector contracts are run.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, are you angry
about the fact that the taxpayer
will shoulder the burden for what
has gone wrong?
We have the pension
protection scheme to ensure that
when a private company does for
Labour we can protect pensions, that
is really important. The challenge
we have got and what concerns me,
and I have had constituents who run
subcontracting firms over the
weekend, is that we make sure that
the cash flow does not mean that
those working for Carillion
directly, those jobs will be secure,
and we must make sure and the
Government is working incredibly
hard to look at that bigger picture
and understand what the official
receiver will need in terms of
practical support to ensure those
contracts can be rolled out and that
jobs are not at risk further down
So you will be looking
for guarantees from Government on
The Government has
said this morning they will do
everything to support the official
receiver with the official
Government contract in place, so
there will be disruption, I'm sure,
but those projects are still needed
and those jobs will be supported and
financed accordingly and we will be
paying, as we were paying Carillion
before, the official receiver will
now be the person the Government is
What do you say to
those employees whose pensions are
going to be cut?
That is one of the
great frustrations when a private
sector company does fail, but the
fact there is the pension protection
scheme means 85% of the pension is
protected, it is one of the great
frustration and something the Prime
Minister has talked about so much,
she wants to make sure that business
works well and shareholders are
allowed to stand up to
directors when they are making poor
decisions for their employees and
So should the
Government have continued to Brad
contracts, quite a significant
number of contracts, to Carillion
after its first profit warning in
As your business correspondent
said, the challenge for business, it
is an enormous business where cash
flow becomes a problem for some
reason and some of the Middle East
and contracts seem to be the cause
of it, continuing to work your way
through that can often work when you
bring in new contracts, providing
good service, so I think the
Government did make sure the
contingency framework was in place
because contracts brought up since
that point last summer have been in
joint venture arrangements at the
risk is mitigated.
That is the
Government's justification and we
heard our business correspondent
saying that by providing more
contracts to Carillion lustre like
it did actually keep the company
going, it would have just collapsed
I don't really buy that,
you asked whether Ann-Marie was
angry, I am angry on behalf of the
taxpayer and the 20,000 people up
and down the country whose jobs are
at risk, including 400 in
Wolverhampton at the HQ and as you
know I am a Wolverhampton MP. I
think there are serious questions
that need answers about why they
were grunting more contracts when,
in July, there was a profit warning,
but also the Government has a right
to appoint a crown representative to
monitor what is going on in
companies such as these, this is a
company that has over 450 Government
project, it is a huge company and we
are now seeing the result,
unfortunately, not only of
incompetence of the company itself
but incompetence of the Government
in the way they have handled these
Do you accept some of
these employees could have lost
their jobs earlier if in fact
Carillion had collapsed back in July
after that first and second profit
Who is to know exactly what
could have happened, but why didn't
the Government have a better grip of
what was happening within the
company after the profit warning?
They could have appointed this crown
representative that they have every
right to do, as far as I am aware
they did not, so they should have
known more than they did, or they
did no more and they are not telling
so we need an investigation into
what they did know.
contingency measures, as they asked
Vince Cable, should they have been
more robust because it was clear
that the company was struggling, and
was it corrected to award the large
number of contract after the profit
The Government has been
clear, David Lidington and Chris
Grayling have set up of the contract
were joint venture arrangement after
the profit warning to the risk was
mitigated in that framework and that
is something that I have no doubt
the Government and official receiver
will move forward is to make sure
those contracts can roll out in a
new format but there will be
frustration which is frustrating for
everyone, particularly for those for
whom there is a lack of certainty in
the week that.
Let's look at the
broad philosophy of these contracts,
is it correct now, should the
Government continued to award these
sorts of contracts to companies like
Well, they can do a
certain amount in house, and
probably should do, I suspect that
the outsourcing revolution has gone
too far and as a result we are
getting in situations of this kind.
But when the Government cannot seem
to do its tendering properly it is
difficult to imagine it can run
these companies properly so we are
going to have to have a relationship
with the private sector, many very
good private companies that did not
have that kind of extreme leveraged
that Carillion had, and the
Government is going
to have to work out how to work with
them but the basic principles have
got to be that we cannot have a
situation where companies make
profit in good time and off-load
losses when they fail, we cannot
have companies that are too big to
fail, those are the basic
principles. Tendering should
probably operate more on the
principle of allowing in directly a
lot of the smaller subcontractors so
we are not overdependent on big tier
one companies of this kind.
that was the case during the
coalition Government as well. You
think it now should be reduced. Do
you agree? Jeremy Corbyn says it is
unsustainable that there should not
be big private companies like
Carillion awarded these contracts,
should they all be brought in house
and publicly run?
I think it is a
question as to whether they should
all be publicly run but we should
view quite how many are tendered out
and we have to look at how this is
done. I have reservations about, for
example, Vince was talking earlier
about the level of remuneration that
was granted to the upper echelons of
this company at a time when it was
in dire straits, and it is the lower
paid people down the chain who will
suffer, and yet the former chief
executive who provided over this
mismanagement was given a 1.5
million pay-out and then there was
even more on top of that, so there
are big questions to answer as to
what exactly is taxpayers' money
going to, is it going into
remuneration for the chief
executives but then we are not
seeing services provided?
some of that salary package be
clawed from Carillion? £660,000
salary paid over 12 months, £28,000
of benefits, and even more money
into his pension?
The Prime Minister has raised the
question of those huge salaries.
Should he have been paid it though?
If the shareholders are agreeing,
within the private sector framework
we have and the laws that exist at
the moment, that is an acceptable
thing for a company to do. I think
the question of whether it is enough
and whether shareholders feel they
have enough to stand up and disagree
with that, if they feel... Someone
doing a great job for a huge
organisation, running a complex set
of projects, well remunerated, I
Can you justify it to
your efficients that he continues to
get that -- constituents that he
continues to get that money now the
firm has gone bust?
He won't now it
has gone bust. The official
He's receiving 12
months' pay, should he get all that
It is a question for the
receiver to identify.
What do you
Honestly, I don't think
people should be rewarded for
failure. The contact he set up is
one they have to honour at the time.
The question is whether the
shareholder empowerment is strong
Should the bonuses will be
I should think so. In
principal it is an absolute outrage
that that you have rewards for
It is taxpayers' money.
Let's go back to whether whether all
private-public contracts should be
brought back in house. You said
some. You disagree with your party's
leadership that they should come to
I don't know whether the
Government has capacity to provide
all of the services that are, you
know, currently contracted out. But
I agree with Jeremy Corbyn. At the
moment, what we are doing, is we are
taking the risk from the public
sector and we're putting it into the
private sector and there are some of
these companies who are taking on
this risk and see what happens in
the case of Carillion. That is not
the case for every company that's
taken on cob contracts from the
Government. Yes yes, I think this
needs looking at. I do think that
the taxpayer should be rightly angry
about what has happened in this
It is how you reward these
contracts and who you reward them
Do you think it should be
reviewed and many of these contracts
should be brought back in house?
Government needs to be robust. There
are these huge complex contracts.
The Government has proven itself
over decades never to be the best
organisation to run these things.
What is your solution?
private sector lead on those, you
know, is a good relationship where
it works. The question here of
whether the risk management within
the company and the directorship
failed to what was needed, it is one
we need to think about as Government
and make sure that the Government's
arrangements and the directors are
held to account early on, so that
these sort of risk failures can not
happen. That is a cash flow question
and it is one that we see. In this
instance it is a company that has
collected over a number of years an
enormous amount of Government
Now it's time for our daily quiz.
The question for today
is which political dining
establishment is attempting to win
a michelin star?
A - Granita in Islington,
scene of the Blair-Brown pact.
B- Maidenhead Spice, a curry house
in Theresa May's constituency?
C - The House of Commons restaurant?
Or D - Archway Kebab, Jeremy
Corbyn's favourite falafel joint?
At the end of the show Emma
and Anne-Marie will give us
the correct answer.
It is an easy one!
Now, can you name all
the people who have led Ukip
since the referendum?
No, it's not just another quiz,
because we may be about to see
its fifth or is it seventh leader
since the EU referendum.
Henry Bolton, the current incumbent,
is hanging on for now,
but calls for the 54-year-old
to resign have grown louder
since racist messages sent
by his 25-year-old girlfriend,
Jo Marney, were published
in yesterday's Mail On Sunday.
Mr Bolton has said
that the "romantic side"
of his relationship with Ms Marney
has now ended, and he defended his
position on the Today
programme this morning.
I have been accused of poor judgment
when four days into a relationship I
didn't know what she was putting out
on direct Facebook messages and on
Maybe the poor judgment
was taking up with her in the way
you did as publicly as you did and
as quickly as you did.
happened the way that it did. There
was no intent to deceive anybody.
Indeed, the day that we realised
that we'd been photographed together
we immediately made a statement
because I had no wish to deceive
anybody or hide anything.
And we're joined now
from Shropshrie by the former
deputy chair of Ukip,
Welcome. Should Henry Bolton go?
Unfortunately, I think he should. I
say that with a very heavy heart
because the last thing we need is
another leadership election. We had
great hopes for Henry Bolton. He
promised us he'd be the safe pair of
hands after a very rough journey
over the last couple of years with
so many different leaders.
Unfortunately, he wasn't, was he? I
don't think he has much choice. I
think it would be better for him if
he were to resign. If he doesn't, I
fear that the special meeting that's
been called on Sunday of our
National Executive Committee, where
I gather there'll be a voice of no
confidence tabled, I suspect that
vote will be won.
You say he should
go because he's not been sensible
either. What has he actually done
wrong in your mind?
I think he's
brought the party into disrepute.
Certainly people have been kicked
out of the party for that in the
past. I think he's shown, as was
questioned on the Today Programme
this morning, I think he's shown an
astonishing lack of judgment. I
understand when he was involved in
the leadership campaign he portrayed
himself as a family man, a capable
man, a man who would do the right
thing. And I think many of us are
questioning, notwithstanding the
fact that politicians have the right
to a private life. I think if you
put yourself in the public eye, you
are held up to higher standards. I
think he has left his wife,
apparently, for a woman who is
younger than his youngest daughter,
who has turned out to hold some very
reprehensible views. I wonder what
he means by saying he's ended the
romantic side of their relationship.
Does this mean he will carry on
taking her counsel on matters? The
mind rather boggles. I think it is
all rather embarrassing. It has once
again brought the party into
disrepute. It is deeply upsetting.
What will it achieve having another
leadership contest? If he goes as
well, that will be four leaders
since the referendum, not counting
the interims. Does it just show that
you cannot get a sensible person to
run the party, to use your words?
absolutely dispute that. I am sure
we can. I think the problem has
actually been that Nigel Farage has
had too much influence in choosing
successive leaders of Ukip. He was a
great leader. He never really had a
successor, he's backed several
candidates. In fact he's backed all
the candidates in the last four
leadership elections we've had,
candidates who have failed. That is
a shame. His influence has meant the
wrong have been selected. We had
Diane James, who lasted 18 days and
it got worse. That.
Do you think if
he didn't have as much influence you
might be the leader of Ukip now?
think I might have been, yes. I
think that's right. But you know,
Nigel Farage decreed that I should
never be leader of Ukip.
will not stand if there is another
no point. Absolutely no point. For
the reasons I have just outlined. I
think it cost £5,000 to stand in an
election leadership for Ukip. I have
lost it once. I am not prepared to
lose it again. I have better ways to
spend my money. I think it is a
disagree for a party of the people,
so called party of the people to
charge so much for somebody to stand
in a leadership election.
remember that Nigel Farage might do
another U-turn and stand again?
might well. If there were a vacancy.
I gather he's ruled it out at the
moment. He'd have to weigh up his
own pros and cons. He's losing his
job as an MEP shortly. On the down
side he'd have to give up the media
career he's tried to forge for
Why are you still in the
Well, you know, Jo, I don't
quit just when the going gets tough.
I still think there is a need for
Ukip in British politics. I want to
make sure we get out of the European
Union properly. Not just in name
only. That we actually do fully take
back control and lead properly. I
think we need a party like Ukip to
keep snapping at the heels of the
Government who don't always seem to
grasp the nettle and capitulate to
the EU for mine and most Ukipers
liking. It is important to keep
fighting that fight.
Thank you very
Now, we've had an election result
within the last hour -
three candidates have been elected
to sit on Labour's National
which is the party's ruling body.
The three winning candidates
were all backed by the pro-Jeremy
Corbyn group Momentum -
and it's thought could change
the balance of power on the NEC
in favour of left of the party...
There were a total of nine
candidates running for three
new places on the National Executive
The three winning candidates
were Jon Lansman, the founder
of Momentum, and two other
by the organisation -
Yasmine Dar and Rachel Garnham.
It's thought that the balance
of power on the NEC has now been
shifted decisvely in favour
of Jeremy Corbyn and
the left of the party.
Separately, there is also an ongoing
review into the internal democracy
of the Labour Party,
which is being carried
out by Jeremy Corbyn's
close ally Katy Clark.
The first set of proposals
from the democracy review will be
discussed by the NEC next week.
I am joined Do you think this will
shift the party further to the left?
I don't think it will do anything
other than reflect what the party is
doing. The results are reflective of
what the people think already.
has taken up a lot of time and
With such a huge membership
now. 600,000, it was necessary to
have more representation of Labour
members on the nek. That is
something -- on the NEC. That is
something important to all in the
Do you accept that?
Absolutely. The Labour Party has
always been a Broadchurch. We have
more unity of purpose, getting this
Government out of office, than we
have for some time. I had people
helping me in Wolverhampton from
across the spectrum of the Labour
Party. We all get on extremely well
and we all have a single mission and
that is to have a Labour Government
in this country rather than a Tory
You are happy it is
reflecting the membership at large?
There was an election. There were
three new members, as Michael
explained because of the extent of
the membership, we've had more
members join than ever before. I
accept that. These people have won
places on the NEC. Three out of 39
places, by the way. Let's not
over-egg the pudding. I know the
media likes to always shine a light
on the Labour Party and its
So you don't think it
will have a significant impact?
remains to be seen. We have a unity
of purpose that perhaps we didn't a
year ago. I think that is only a
Is it something to cheer
about in your mind that there are
more people who are very much behind
Jeremy Corbyn's view and vision for
the Labour Party?
Well Jeremy Corbyn
has done better at the election than
many thought. We didn't win the
election. Obviously we lost the
election. We ran the Conservatives
very close. Now they have to rule
with the DUP. So, as I have said, I
think the election brought us
together as a party and a political
movement and I think that can only
be a good thing.
Jon Lansman, the
founder of Momentum said there's no
reason for any hard-working MP who
campaigns hard with their
constituents and the members of
their local party to feel nervous
about anything. That implies that
there will be a judgment made about
some MPs on mandatory reselection.
Jon has made it clear he's not in
favour of that across the board. We
should take about how we hold MPs
accountable. As Jon made clear, if
MPs engage with their constituents
and have the support of the people
they represent, which is vital in a
functioning democracy then they have
nothing to worry about.
don't reflect the views of Labour
Party members perhaps from Momentum,
do they still have a right to stay
as an MP?
As far as I am concerned,
it is up to constituents in each
constituency to decide who
represents them and how.
there be a debate about mandatory
reselection? Although Jon Lansman
may not want a broad based
reselection, is calling for it in
parts of London. He thinks parts
should be re-run?
I disagree with anyone who is
calling for mandatory reselection of
MPs. We have always been a broad
church and the bitterness that we
have seen over the last couple of
years and some of the rows we have
had, we need to put that behind us
and we need for the parliamentary
party, the membership and leadership
to work together, because actually
this Government is on the ropes and
that is what we should be focused
on, taking the fight to the Tories,
rather than obsessing about internal
procedures and introducing things
which will only create a division
and bitterness, so I don't think
there should be mandatory
I can't say it either!
We did have progress from another
wing of the party who feel that this
is an attempt to take over the
I hope that it
isn't, and I hope that the review
that is going on will not conclude
that we need mandatory reselection
because I think that will be very,
very bad for the sense of unity of
purpose I have talked about that has
been created during the election
campaign and since.
Jon Lansman also
wants the threshold for the next
leadership contest nominations to be
lowered, do you agree?
I think that
the current threshold is about
right. I do think that the leader of
the Labour Party needs to have the
confidence of his or her MPs, that
Do you think that or
do you agree with Jon Lansman that
it should be lowered below the 15%
to 10%, 5% or in his case scrapped
As far as I'm concerned,
Labour MPs are there to reflect
their constituents, I would like to
see a threshold in place which means
no wing of the party is kept out...
They haven't been, have they?
close with Jeremy Corbyn the first
time round. If it is left as it is,
in the future MPs on either side of
the party are left out, to me that
is important, they are there to
represent their constituents. I
think the democracy is in three
stages, we have only just had the
first, which looked a women's
membership, BME and Young Labour,
areas where we can agree more work
needs to be done, and I don't know
what is to be senior, as far as I am
concerned the 600,000 members Labour
have need to have more of a say in
the way the party functions whether
that be policy or selection of MPs,
whether it be community engagement
around the country, the more of that
the better, and I think that is what
the review will see, but whatever
happens in the review it will not be
signed off by Jeremy Corbyn, it will
go to the Labour Conference next
year and the membership at the
Conference will decide what happens
The Tories have a lot to learn
about swelling the ranks of their
membership, bearing in mind,
although we cannot get a clear
figure, the Tories are probably
fallen well below 100,000 members?
With Brandon Lewis committed party
chairman, his focus is to grow that
base but also something we have seen
with Labour is that you have brought
in people who have been activists
into the membership, is something,
certainly I have hundreds of people
who are activists with me in
Northumberland but probably only 100
of them are party members, it is not
perhaps something if you support
Conservative causes you feel the
need to be part of the party to
support it in different ways, but
what is interesting in the
north-east, personally I'm not a
great fan of the hard left of Labour
and I would support a balance in the
Labour Party, I have many, many
hundreds of thousands of people
voting for me in the north-east,
Labour voters who are really not
supporting the Jeremy Corbyn
project, and that tells me something
about how you need to carry on if
you are serious about taking us on
but the reality is that voters are
frightened by that hard left
position that Jeremy Corbyn and John
McDonnell are driving forwards.
do you say to that?
Well, we took
Canterbury from the Tories, nobody
saw that coming, we took many seats
that were not predicted so I think
the Tories need to reflect on that.
Thank you very much.
Now, the Government has a target
to reduce net migration -
that's the difference
between the number of people leaving
and the number arriving in the UK -
to less than 100,000 a year.
The figure currently stands
at 230,000, and yesterday
on the Sunday Politics
the new Immigration Minister
Caroline Nokes was asked
whether the Government
was still committed to that target.
Why have this target of reducing net
migration to under 100,000?
There are lots of Cabinet ministers
who'd like to get rid of it.
You could have left it out
of the 2017 manifesto and got rid
of quite a headache.
You know, we had a referendum
in 2016 which sent us
a very clear message,
that people want to see
that target remain.
They want to see us reducing
immigration to sustainable
levels and we're doing exactly that.
It was there in the manifesto.
So that is the direction of travel.
We're joined in the studio now
by Sunder Katwala whose think
tank British Future has been
involved in conducting a series
of focus groups around the country
on public attitudes to immigration.
Welcome to the Daily Politics, what
did you find?
We have been to 60
places around the country, the
largest exercise in public
engagement, we went to Wolverhampton
last year, going to Berwick in the
spring, we want to get all the
different kinds of places and while
we know some people are very pro-or
anti-immigration, we hear that
online and in the media, most people
are balanced, most people think of
the pressures on public services,
think there are games for the
economy, we have big decisions to
make now, how do you strike the
balance between what the economy
need and what the public are
confident about how what it is
managed to have a system in the
When you spoke to people
across the country in the focus
groups you were doing, was the
impression that they want
immigration to come down
The biggest issues
for people are a lack of confidence
control and management about
immigration and integration and a
lack of public voice in how you have
your say about that and who listened
and how it is heard. Some people
would strongly reduce immigration,
most people would say, I might
reduce some things but not other
things. Almost no people would
reduce the number of students, very
few would reduce the number of
people doing highly skilled jobs, it
is moreover division politically
about controlling low skilled
immigration and not reducing other
work. People think they want to
protect refugees but they are not
sure how well it works in practice,
what the system is like, what
integration is like, it is not one
size fits all.
Do you think the
characterisation of millions of
people voting Leave that their sole
reason behind it was to bring down
immigration, that it was wrong?
Immigration was definitely important
for a lot of people, of issues like
sovereignty were important, but
those people for whom immigration
was an issue, only a minority are
saying shut the Borders, still less
send them all back, everyone agrees
that the people here should stay.
Then there is a debate about what
control looks like. The current
target has always been missed, it
has not worked well, but can we
involve the public in what kind of
target are clear and accessible,
give them the kind of controls they
want, and can we deal with the local
impacts, which are different
everywhere about the pace of
immigration and whether it has been
listening to that, is there any
point in having the target that has
been repeatedly missed going forward
The point of having a target
is having something to focus on and
Caroline Nokes made that clear...
She did, but do you agree, bearing
in mind you missed it time and time
again to bring it down to tens of
Vicky, as a Brexiteer
who spent a very lot of time last
year campaigning for Brexit,
absolutely the message was a level
of control about immigration so we
can talk to people directly about
how it is exactly right, that lived
experience in our communities, the
need for highly skilled specialists
who are global, that is not in
question, it is understanding how we
can support, and key is to meet the
skills gap, there is a skills gap in
the UK, we must not be afraid to say
so, we must work hard investing in
that, this year the year of the
How do you explain, if
it is about bringing back control,
the Government missing the target
from non-EU immigration, they have
not even been able to bring that
down to the levels that would have
fitted the target?
That fits with
the skills gap question, but really
by having this focus and making sure
that if a key part...
You have had
this focus for years.
But whilst we
were still in the EU it was less
focused on Bennett needed to be,
that maybe one of the reason why so
many people chose to vote Leave,
having the question of who is here
is important to the British people.
Do you accept that the public, as
Sunder says, do not want to replace
something for nothing, they want a
target in terms of bringing back
control, if you write?
Sunder is right that people have
gotten much more nuanced view
than is often explained, that there
may be two groups of people, one
very pro-immigration and one very
anti-immigration but the bigger
group of people are somewhere in the
middle. I think the Government is
wrong to focus on the number, and I
tell you why, because the more that
they missed the target, and people
do care about it, they will create
even more mistrust about whether
they can manage immigration when
they could not even hit the target
for Don EU migrants, as you pointed
out, so I think this should be a
much more nuanced conversation with
the British public than a number,
and the problem with a number is
that it creates mistrust if you
don't get that.
So he would not have
a number? You would not have a
I would not have a number
and a target and I would say to
people that we have to manage the
local impacts, made sure there are
families comedian whose children
don't have English as their first
language that we need to give
schools more money to cope with
that, I would say that, actually,
and I think Sunder has done some
work on this, that when it comes to
low skilled, even with the approach
and attitude to low skilled workers,
there are nuances.
Is that white
Leave won the recommend, because
people like you are promising to
stay in the single market where
there would be no control over
immigration and you would not
control it at all?
I do not remember
saying any of that.
You said you
don't want a target.
different saying I think the
Government should manage the system.
Would you have a level for net
I would not have a target
that I would miss year on year for
seven years in a row that people do
not have confidence in, no, because
it is a record of failure, setting
yourself up for failure and for even
more distrust within the public.
you think that will lose more trust
from people, not having a target?
think you have to involve the public
now in the approach we set. Arguing
about this target now, we have to
design the system, that is what
matters. People felt this was very
important that they got to have
their say, they felt it was overdue,
they felt it was cathartic. When he
said the referendum is the end and
the Government will sort it out, one
of the important things is let's do
this every year, let's have an
annual immigration report like the
budget, that is a structure,
conversation around the country,
refer to NHS trusts and businesses
who want immigration, we have heard
about people worried about the
change, here is how we are striking
the balance, so the referendum must
not be the end of the public
involvement, we must involve the
public in the new targets.
involve the public in setting the
It is an interesting
question of having an annual report
because that is what people choose
to make sure they have a way to be
heard and clearly if Government can
find a system that works and there
is a balance it would be
If they said, we would
like 150,000, for example, like Andy
Street, in fact, who was your
conservative would you take that on
We are going to take control
of all of our immigration policy and
how we manage this...
So how haven't
you managed non-EU migration when
you do have control?
It is a
question of getting the framework in
place, I like the idea of that
annual stamping of where Government
is that going forward is because it
will be ours to determine without
external influences and to set that
out very clearly so that the public
can understand how Government is
thinking and how business and public
sector is feeding into the system.
Sunder Katwala, thank you for coming
Now, perfidious, petulant perhaps -
but has Brexit also revealed
the British to be pompous?
Here's German journalist
John Junclaussen's Soapbox.
Hear the British lion roar.
And of course when you're not
as dignified as the Queen
or as funky as Meghan and Harry,
rest assured the rest
of the world is listening.
But when it comes to politics,
and more specifically to Brexit,
I think it's quite clear it's
the British lion who has
to do some listening.
I spend half of my life in this
country, but Brexit has brought out
something in the Brits that I hadn't
encountered before, a kind
of national egotism and a vanity.
Everywhere there's talk about the EU
wanting to punish Britain.
What's that all about?
You leave the club.
But if the rest of the member-states
then want to decide among
themselves what to do next,
you think they're out to get you.
You talk about 'no deal'
until the cows come home.
But if the EU only mentions 'no
deal' the Brexit Minister gets all
flustered and writes angry letters.
This is not just about you, Britain.
This is about the future
of Europe, too.
In the last 18 months,
endless line-ups of pompous
Brexiteers have warned German car
manufacturers that 'no deal'
would mean armies of newly
unemployed workers in Stuttgart
and Wolfsburg, as UK sales plummet.
What a load of nonsense.
You know what, these markets are far
more complicated than such black
and white scenarios imply.
Not everything is about
you, Great Britain.
Europe isn't out to get you.
They have other things to think
about on the continent,
not just Brexit.
So you should just get over yourself
and stop being so self-obsessed.
And John Jungclaussen joins
us now in the studio.
Protecting himself on my left. Are
you a pompous Brexiteer. I am half
French. I am a great lover of all
things European. For me it is about
trading relationships and a
different relationship with our
European neighbours. But I will
continue to love them all, as I
always have done. Has it been
self-obsessed the argument going
forward and totally miss
characterises the rest of Europe is
I don't know. When I am in
European countries I talk very
honestly about the view I would like
my country no long tore be in the
EU. That does not negate the other
Aren't you being rude
- pompous, you are saying we are
In a charming way.
Last summer, when after the Paris
bombings, the EU introduced new
security measures. Every single
newspaper and media article,
including the BBC were convinced
that the Europeans were doing this
that thousands of Europeans were
happily standing in queues at
airports to punish the Brits. That
is a self-obsession.
I wouldn't say
anyone would... No-one ever wrote to
me complaining about that.
you feel? It was an issue,
deliberately punishing Britain
because of Brexit. Do you think the
EU is, through these negotiations,
That is a very
strange perspective. It is the...
is not just the media. Politicians
lined up, too.
I wouldn't have done.
I think the reality is everyone
understands the security threat...
What's the problem, the agreement
made it difficult for European
countries to manage their security.
Certain politicians made the point
that you are making now.
it is very sad. As someone who
travels a lot, I have noticed the
fluidity between borders. I I think
it is sad if that use of those
changing, particularly when it is
security environments, have caused
those aggressive commentary, when
that is not what it should be about.
There are people who would say, why
shouldn't... You have an apology
here on air. Some may say why
shouldn't the EU punish Britain. If
Britain wants to leave, these are
negotiations. Shouldn't they be
making it difficult?
Think I the
EU's starting point is if you no
longer want to be a member of the
club, you will no longer enjoy all
of its benefits. I think that is a
rational starting point. If you are
a member of a golf club or a
political party you have certain
benefits derived from that
membership. I certainly think they
want to discourage other
member-states from going down that
particular track. But I also agree
with John that there are different
things in Europe. For example, in
Italy, where there is a general
election coming up, there is big
talk about the refugee crisis and
how it has affected Italy. In
Germany, the discussion has
obviously been, how do they form a
Government, which has been the
number one priority.
So they have
other things to think about.
is a priority here because there is
a lot of uncertainty for business
and there are risks to our economy
if we get the wrong deal and if we
cast ourselves adrift from our
closest trading partners.
Labour pursuing a let's have our
cake and eat it policy, so that is
the policy they are trying to pursue
by not being clear about membership
of the single market or the Customs
My view is that the economy
has to come first and we are more
deeply integrated with the rest of
the European economy than any other
economy around the world. For
example, Airbus make planes. The
wings are made here in the UK. They
are taken over to France, where they
are put together with parts from
Germany. We have integrated supply
chains. If there is disruption to
those supply chains that could cause
us great difficulties for jobs,
investment and the wider economy.
This is not scaremongering. These
are issues that companies have been
raising, with the Government and
others for some time now. It is
something we need to get a handle
What did you think when Jeremy
Corbyn said, leaving the EU means
you leave the single market?
not necessarily, factually I don't
agree with me.
Because you would
cite Norway, for example?
rejected Nicola Sturgeon's plea,
which is saying this is the way to
go forward for a least damaging
Brexit. Should he be in talks with
I think the SNP are
ploughing their own Pharaoh to be
It is one you agree
Yes, but one of the things
that the SNP want to do is to have a
different agreement for Scotland
than for the rest of the UK.
Scotland, thankfully, is still part
of the UK. Therefore, they will be
part of the UK deal, because that is
Should he have rejected
those meetings out of hand, Jeremy
That is up to our party
leader and I respect his decision if
he has other things that are
pressing. As I say, I do think the
SNP have their own priorities. And
they are different to ours, with
regards to trying to create a
situation whereby they have their
own arrangements, which I think is
untenable, given they are part of
They are clear about what
Yes. She has been clear.
She's always clear about what she
Has Jeremy Corbyn been
totally clear about Labour's policy?
I would like to see a different
approach, but I respect the approach
he's taking. I think there is some
discussion, I mean, in the Labour
Party right now, as to exactly what
our approach should be. I don't
think we should take thing things
off the table. That is my position.
What do you think about the idea of
a second referendum n the way that
Nigel Farage entertained?
We had a referendum.
It was in our manifesto. The British
people gave a resounding vote. 14.4
million people voted to leave. The
Government has taken that message
very clearly and is driving
forwards, leaving the EU, which is
what we're doing. Members, you know,
of Parliament are speaking, I think
one of the interesting things about
having a much more balanced House of
Commons than perhaps was expected,
following the June election, is that
voices are genuinely being heard
from across the House and the deal
will reflect the British people in a
way that we actually should be
really proud of. I am very
comfortable. We do not need to do
anything. We are driving forwards
what was asked for last year.
think Brexit will actually happen?
Yes. I do.
In term oss the second
referendum. Emily Thornberry said
90% would have to swing behind a
second referendum. Is that too high
I agree with her that I
don't think there is a public
appetite for a second referendum. It
was quite a scaring experience. It
was quite a divisive thing. And I
certainly don't want to see more of
Nigel Farage on telly.
Right. That is fairly clear. What do
you make of the sort of spectacle,
if you like, of different British
politicians all lining up
politicians all lining up Barnier,
and some way to influence him in
That is part of
the British, the aim was to divide
and conquer, I guess. There are 27
member-states. 27 Parliaments have
to ratify whatever agreement they
reach in the end.
reach in the end. And of course
Are you telling me off for
He's not got
perhaps the strongest set of
characters facing him
across the table from the set out
wider is sensible.
There were impact
assessments and then minister.
Let me break this up. Would you like
to be a fly on the fall when your
colleagues go to see Michel Barnier?
I am sure he will be thrilled to
hear their perspective.
Now, it's already shaping up to be
a busy week in Westminster -
and it's only Monday.
Here's our guide to what's
happening in The Week Ahead.
This afternoon, Cabinet Office
Minister David Lidington will make
a statement on the liquidation
of construction company Carillion.
Tomorrow, the EU Withdrawal Bill
returns to the Commons
for its third reading,
where a number of amendments
on the so-called Henry VIII
powers will be debated.
On Wednesday, Theresa May will face
questions from Opposition leader
Jeremy Corbyn and other MPs
in Prime Minister's Questions.
On Thursday, Theresa May will host
the 35th UK-French Summit
when President Macron arrives
in the UK.
It's his first visit to British
shores since being elected.
And, also on Thursday,
the latest NHS England figures
are released showing A&E waiting
times and bed availability.
We're joined now from College Green
by Emily Ashton from Buzzfeed
and Chris Hope from the Telegraph.
Sheltering there under that large
umbrella. Thank you for waiting.
It looks likely that the Justice
Secretary will order a judicial
review into the Parole Board's
decision to release John Warboys.
How usual is it for him to challenge
his own department in this way?
don't normally hear these things so
loudly. He's throwing himself into
it. There's been a lot of political
pressure over this. It is such a
political case. The main problem is
he was prosecuted over a number of
cases that was far below the actual
number of cases that are thought to
exist. So, we don't know what the
Parole Board decision, what was
behind it and perhaps a judicial
review is the way forward.
said we don't know the evidence that
was presented to the Parole Board.
One of the big problems is that they
didn't inform, it seems many of the
victims. Is that also going to be a
key factor, Chris?
Yes, it will be.
In terms of politics, it will be. It
will not be a key factor whether he
is retried or goes back to prison.
We are blind to whatever the reasons
were the Parole Board came to. We
have no idea what they are. The
politics here is there's been
increased disclosure for the reasons
letting these criminals out of jail
and the victims are not told they
are being let out.
Let's move on to
the EU Withdrawal Bill. What is
happening this week?
It seems to
rumble on forever. I feel half my
life is taken up with it. Tomorrow
we have the report stage. Then the
end of the report stage and the
third reading. After that it will
pass to the Lord's at the end of the
month. I don't think we will see big
rebellions like we saw Christmas.
You will see pressure from Labour
and pressure from Scottish MPs about
devolution. The third reading is
likely to pass without the
rebellions we saw before Christmas.
We have more Tory MPs going over to
see Michel Barnier?
Quite what they
say when they meet, don't forget he
met with Nigel Farage last week. It
looks like he's reaching out to
parties. What David Davis thinks
about this, I don't know. We will
hear later what is said.
the NEC, the Labour elections, what
do you make of the win by Jon
Lansman and two of his colleagues?
The NEC is not a household name in
many households. It does matter to
how Labour is run and managed and
decisions going forward with
selection of candidates. So we
expected with three new places on
this board, that they would go to
the left of the party. Corbyn
supporters. Jon Lansman, the founder
of Momentum is thrilled to have got
a place. And you will see that
perhaps taking shape...
depends on how he uses that power.
So the clear left were in control of
the NEC for the first time in a
Thank you very much. Go and
shelter from the rain. There is time
to find out the answer from the
There's just time before we go
to find out the answer to our quiz.
The question was for today
is which political dining
establishment is attempting to win
a michelin star?
Parliament. It is good enough.
Thank you to all of our guests.
Thank you for being our guests of
the day. I will be back morning with
all the political stories. Join me
Jo Coburn is joined by Conservative MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Labour MP Emma Reynolds. They discuss the liquidation of construction company Carillion. Also includes the results of Labour's National Executive Committee and the latest on the UKIP leadership.