Jo Coburn is joined by the former chair of the Conservative Policy Forum, George Freeman MP, to discuss Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's call for more NHS funding.
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Henry Bolton says he won't stand
down, promising to fight
on and "drain the party swamp".
We put one of his supporters up
against one of his critics.
And we speak to the controversial
left-wing activist Jackie Walker,
who says her suspension
from the Labour party
is a witchhunt.
She's calling on the party's
newly constituted ruling
body to let her back in.
All of that in the next hour -
and with us for the whole
of the programme today
is the Conservative
MP George Freeman -
a former minister and,
until November, the chair of
the Prime Minister's policy board.
Welcome back to the programme.
First today, the BBC understands
that Boris Johnson is using today's
meeting of the cabinet to push
for an extra £100 million a week
for the NHS in England after Brexit.
Here is the Foreign Secretary
arriving for that
meeting this morning.
He was unusually tight-lipped
when challenged by reporters
in Downing Street.
Our political correspondent
Norman Smith is in Downing Street.
Do you want to be the Chancellor,
Foreign Secretary, or perhaps Health
That £350 million on the
side of the bus of the Leave
campaign! Is this about Boris
Johnson trying to save his
reputation, Norman Smith?
I think a
part of it is Boris Johnson seeking
vindication, justification, for that
hugely contentious claim during the
referendum campaign about the extra
£350 million of. Although you will
be saying, hang on, he is now
promising only 100 million,
nevertheless that is roughly the net
figure once you subtract from a £350
million all the cash we get back
from the EU. My understanding is
that Johnson is deal the £350
million offer to become government
policy Jeff Heath thinks it can
inject a bit more positive energy to
the rather dour Brexit process. More
than that, I'm told that he visited
his local Oxbridge hospital, along
with the Health Secretary, Jeremy
Hunt, not so long ago and was very
concerned about what he saw in terms
of the pressures on staff and the
state of morale. And he thinks there
is now a pressing case to get extra
funds for the NHS. But you have to
say, it is all very odd. Sometimes
we get Cabinet ministers briefing
what they've said in a cabinet
meeting, we don't really get cabinet
briefing what they're going to say,
and on a subject area which is
nothing to do with their particular
area, Boris Johnson being the
Foreign Secretary, not the Health
Secretary. And that prompted this
rather tart puts down from the
Chancellor as he arrived in Brussels
Mr Johnson is the
Foreign Secretary. Mr Johnson is the
I gave the Health
Secretary an extra six William
pounds in the budget. More details
will be in the spending review, when
that takes place.
And the timing of
this could scarcely be more awkward
for Theresa May, because it chimes
with a whole load of backbenchers
sniping that has been directed at
Mrs May for her lack of radicalism,
lack of big ideas, lack of really
new thinking and, I suppose, Boris
Johnson will argue, here's a big
idea, an extra £100 million for the
NHS every week. It fuels the
narrative that Mrs May is far too
George Freeman, do you
support Boris Johnson's call for
£100 million extra per week to be
spent on the NHS?
I think we all
want more money to be spent on the
NHS, and Philip Hammond is right,
that is why we put a lot more in
just a few weeks ago. The real
challenge is, can we make Brexit a
moment where we increase our rate of
growth so that business generates
more money for the public sector,
and secondly, the integration with
care. I think the Prime Minister has
signalled a real commitment on this
issue to make sure that we really
build care and health together.
she has not actually moved the funds
to the health department, so its
It is only one week in at
yes, we need to see some really big
thinking about the NHS in the 21st
century. That is the real challenge.
So, you support Boris Johnson making
this public school - should he have
done it through the newspapers when
he is the Foreign Secretary, not the
I was quite
surprised to read it in the papers.
It is really important that the
Cabinet works behind closed doors,
it is the highest council in the
land. It is really important that
the public have faith that the
Cabinet is able to do its job behind
closed doors, not in the newspapers.
Everyone is deal to make sure that
their issues are being heard. But I
think it is important that Cabinet
collective responsibility holds.
he overstepped the mark?
I was quite
surprised to read in advance of the
meeting what was going to be said.
So he has breached Cabinet
Cabinet collective responsibility is
about sticking to policy decisions
that have been made. But the point
is, I think it is really important
that people can see that Cabinet is
working behind closed doors.
if everybody did that in the Cabinet
it would be mayhem, if everybody
spoke right across their briefs.
What should Theresa May do to rein
in Boris Johnson but big yearning it
is quite difficult to rein in Boris
Johnson because he is Boris Johnson,
here's something of a loose cannon,
that is his whole political
character. I think what the Prime
Minister has to do is to show that
she and her team are absolutely
serious about integration with care.
Yes, more money but also old
thinking about the NHS in the 21st
I have called for some
really long-term, cross-party
thinking. Jeremy Hunt has done a
brilliant job taking politics out of
the NHS. I think we should go
further and signal a commitment to
make it a National Health Service,
not a hearty health service.
the Prime Minister wrong to dismiss
this cross-party commission on the
It is not that she has
dismissed it out of hand.
thanks, no thanks, really.
is a discussion which is ongoing.
There are many people who are
strongly supporting it. A royal
commission would take a decade or
more. I think a lot of us feel that
if you take someone like, say,
Norman Lamb, Conservatives like
myself, people on the Labour benches
who agree about much of this, we can
take out a lot of the politics and
then identify the big question is
where we have to have a big debate,
and I think that will do as a
Do you understand the
frustration of people like Sarah
Wollaston, who is calling for
Theresa May to be bolder, and
others, saying that she needs to be
bolder on this issue?
I said similar
things. The challenge is that she
leads a government which is almost
totally preoccupied, inevitably,
with Brexit. The challenge is to
find the bandwidth and the capacity
to do the big thinking. That's why I
have called for her to set up a
commission, like Churchill did in
the war, beyond Brexit, how to make
this a moment of inspiring national
renewal to to make the imagination
of people who largely did not vote
Do you accept the idea that
Labour has won on the issue of the
NHS and as a result the Tories
should just focus on other issues?
absolutely don't. I think Jeremy
Hunt has done an amazing job taking
the Labour Party's claim to be the
only hearty of the NHS out.
Everybody knows it needs more
funding and better integration with
care. The challenge is, are we going
to be bold in really owning a vision
of the NHS in the 21st century? More
local, more integrative, letting
local leaders run it. We have to be
Now it's time for our daily quiz.
The question for today is?
Which former politician
was photographed at Disneyland Paris
while his wife was attending
meetings in the French capital?
a) David Cameron?
B) Ed Balls?
C) Nick Clegg?
Or d) Barack Obama?
At the end of the show, George
will give us the correct answer.
Now, what do the business
lobby group the CBI,
the Labour frontbench,
pro-Remain Tory backbenchers
and reportedly some cabinet
ministers all have in common?
They think we should
at least consider staying
in the EU's customs union,
or, as some people prefer,
in A customs union with the EU.
Let's take a look...
All 28 EU member states are formally
members of the custom union.
And the EU also has custom union
agreements with other
countries, like Turkey,
Andorra and San Marino.
The customs union means that no
tariffs or duties are charged
on goods being traded
inside the union.
And members of the customs union
are required to place the same
tariffs on goods coming
into the bloc from
And the EU also negotiates trade
deals on behalf of all members.
Countries inside the customs
union are not allowed
to strike their own bilateral trade
deals with other countries.
At her Florence speech in September,
Theresa May said...
But last month, the Chancellor,
Philip Hammond, wrote that Britain
woud "seek a new customs
arrangement" with the EU.
It's unclear how similar such
an arrangement would
be to the status quo.
Meanwhile, Labour's Shadow Brexit
Secretary, Keir Starmer,
says that the UK entering
into "a customs union" with the EU
should be an option on the table
in the negotiations.
And yesterday, the lobby
group the Confederation
of British Industry said that
staying in a customs union
with the EU is "part of a practical,
real-world answer" to the problems
thrown up by Brexit.
But the Foreign Secretary,
Boris Johnson, wasn't
impressed by that suggestion.
I'm joined now by the Conservative
MP Jacob Rees-Mogg,
who was recently elected as chairman
of the influential European
Research Group, made up
of Brexit-backing Conservative MPs.
Welcome to The Daily Politics. Just
before I come to you, Jacob
Rees-Mogg, George Freeman, should
the government now listen to the
CBI's calls to stay inside a customs
union after we leave the EU?
the key is that we have a business
friendly Brexit. Most of my
constituents when they voted for
Brexit wanted as out of the
political union at actively trading
as a part of what they were sold in
So, remaining in the
The problem with the
customs union is that it prevents us
ultimately from signing trade deals.
In the short-term industry in this
country would like to remain in as
predictable than the arrangement in
terms of trading in Europe as they
can. If Liam Fox came back and said,
I've got a huge trade deal ready to
sign with Africa with America, then
I think the balance of proper
dinners teak wood swing and people
would say, let's go for it.
the absence of that, do you think at
the moment all things being equal
that Britain should heed those calls
and remain in a customs union with
Some of those calls I think
are designed to stop us implementing
Brexit at all, and I don't agree
But should Britain remain
in a customs union?
I would like us
to negotiate a heap trade agreement
with the European Union in which we
have that free customs union, so
that the Northern Ireland border
works, so that we can sell our
goods. I think the only point of
difference with Jacob is that he is
a sovereignty hawk would prefer us
to be out at the end of March next
year even if we don't have a customs
agreement. I would like us to have a
customs agreement, and if we didn't,
paying the price of another year or
two while we negotiate those trade
deals for me would be a small price
to pay. But we agree ultimately that
we want to be able to do those local
trade deals, and that means coming
out of the current customs union.
But at the moment if the price is to
stay in the customs union until in
the future trade deals are struck,
or could be struck, you would be
happy for that and you support that?
The keyword is THE customs union. A
customs union, yes. But I think we
negotiate a customs agreement which
means we can sell across the
European market. That is what my
constituents voted for.
pretty well what is currently the
arrangement of staying in the
customs union, that actually all of
the regulations would remain the
same and the status quo would
continue - do you agree with George
Freeman on that?
CBI and received
many millions of pounds in the
European Union between nine and 15,
not the independent body, it is
backing inefficiency, a lack of
competitiveness and wants to remain
in the European Union. Campaign for
the euro, the change rate mechanism
and against Brexit, it is not
representing small business all the
consumer, it is the consumer wants
to help and I want to get out of the
customs union as soon as possible.
Specific example: 11.8% tariff on
clothing coming into this country
from outside the EU, but where is
11.4%. That hits and humid in the UK
to very little benefit of UK
manufacturers because we do not make
many textiles or shoes anymore.
Counterexample, aerospace industry,
we are a major player.
There is no
tariffs on that.
There are other
industries, life sciences, 60
billion, I don't want to in have two
arrange individual deals. I agree
with Jacob here, we need to access
Michel Barnier, and
president Emmanuel Macron have both
said we can have a free-trade deal
with the European based on Canada,
Would you agree with
that, would you accept that, Canada,
the Canada deal, on goods?
the Canada deal, on goods?
That is on the table, does
not need for us to stay in the
customs union, and this is where I
do disagree, we will not be able to
get the other trade deals because
the other countries will not think
it is worthwhile doing deals with an
I understand that, our
only difference, is avoiding the
cliff edge, I want the businesses
that I know are raising the money
that will pay for the NHS to have
confidence that there is no cliff
edge in 15 months' time. I'm not
surprised they want to know. For me,
continual membership of a customs
union while we get the trade
agreements in base is a price worth
I want because people to
have cheaper food, clothing and
footwear the day that we leave the
EU, it will affect the standard of
living for the poorest in our
society the most erratically, the
customs union is about protecting
inefficient European businesses,
inefficient European businesses, not
for anything else.
There is a
discussion about Britain remaining
in a customs union, something
similar to what we have now, because
the evidence has not been produced
by Whitehall that new bilateral
trade deals will outweigh the lost
trade from the EU.
I think the trade
seal issue is a bit of a red
herring, the biggest individual
national trading partner is the
United States with whom we have no
trade deal. Our biggest earner, net
earner, is financial services. By
and large, they do not have trade
deals, are not subject to the trade
deals you get with manufactured
goods. What we want is to open up
the market to lower prices and make
the UK more competitive and
efficient and use that as a lever.
Would you see it as a betrayal if
Britain remains in the customs union
or in a customs union?
If we stay in
the customs union, we have not left
the European Union, it would be a
failure on behalf of the government
if that happened.
And on, he just
said, actually, the main reason to
come out of the customs union is to
be able to do trade deals. That is a
You cannot do them
unless you are out.
They are much
overstated, they are a useful thing
to have, but the biggest single
training can ease the United States,
with whom we have no formal trade
deal. Arrangements but not a deal.
How is it you know better than the
CBI, about what is best for the
The CBI has a
history of getting things wrong.
Take it as a
commentator, it got the art am
wrong, the euro wrong, it backed
remain and it is funded by the
European Union. -- it got the RM
wrong. Though it is representing is
not the consumer, I am arguing for
my constituents, I want them to have
lower prices and better quality,
that can be brought in from outside
the European Union. The CBI is a
spokesman for vested interest.
you agree? Do you think it is a
spokesman for vested interest and
the government should not listen to
Jacob is right in that it is
the corporate end of the ladder,
representing bigger companies, but
Not just me, a lot of
people agree with me.
Does he know
better? He's wrong to dismiss this
soap casually, I am reconciled to
"Brexit", it has to be pro-business,
I want us to be not just
pro-business as a government but
more businesslike, on the board of
Great Britain plc I would say, I
understand the customs union
prevents us from doing a trade deal,
have we got anything lined up?
not, I would say, right now, that is
a step too far. If we can get the
trade deals then I see the argument.
You are not convinced that you will
be able to get the trade deals or
that it might replace...
said trade deals are a distraction.
We will come onto that, because I
I thought that was the
whole point of Liam Fox's job.
spoke with people at the time, you
were chairman of the policy ball
before Christmas, in cabinet,
ministers, Tory MPs, is this being
actively considered, Britain
remaining in the customs union
arrangement with the EU?
think at that level of detail, most
colleagues, and most constituents,
reconciled to Brexit, want us to
make a success of it, wanted to be
pro-business, on the doorsteps they
said, we voted to join a Common
Market, not a political union, we
have come out of the political
union, and stayed in a trading brock
-- trading block.
Is there the
possibility the government will
We make the go shaded,
we may get a full trade deal with
Europe, full movement of goods and
This is not about the
customs union, they may be listening
to some pro-remain Tory
backbenchers, like Ed Vaizey, at the
weekend he said, free-trade deals
will make as the out of Brexit
unscathed, that is the birds, he
said, they take years and years,
they and the domestic audiences.
They don't always take years and
years, the US and Australia did one
in ten or 11 months, it has been
very powerful. Trade deals, a
distraction, this is important goal
on the real benefit we get is from
lifting tariffs on goods that come
into the country, nontariff
barriers. That makes the UK more
competitive, makes good for
consumers cheaper. Unilateral free
trade has worked in every country
that has tried it historically.
Trade deals are an ad benefit, if
you open up your market, and go to
people and say, we have opened up
the market, do you want to open up
yours, that helps trade even
further. The benefits you get by
reducing your input costs and the
costs of consumption for voters
across the country is very
has Liam Fox being put in this
position to seek out and scope
free-trade deals which has been sold
to the British public as a core part
of the "Brexit" operation, part of
being ace swashbuckling free-trade
negotiation, it is striking out on
Singapore is completely
open but does trade deals on top
because it wants to be as
encouraging to people to be as open
as it is. It is in the interests of
the world to have as much free-trade
as possible and if we can be a
catalyst, that is very exciting, if
deals can lead to that, that will be
of benefit. The key benefit is
lifting tariffs and making goods in
this country cheaper, both
manufactured inputs for industry but
also, making goods cheaper for
The big challenges
transition, we are geared towards a
European market, we cannot do that
overnight, at the end of March next
year, we need some transition.
And for more reporting
and analysis of Brexit,
check out the BBC News website,
Has the Prime Minister been too
cautious in setting out her big
vision for government?
Earlier we heard that
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has
demanded more money for the NHS,
and he's not only
one voicing concern.
Let's have a look at some
of the calls to action coming
from the backbenches.
Last Friday, former business
minister Nick Boles tweeted
that there was a "timidity and lack
of ambition about Mrs May's
Government, which means it
Ed Vaizey, the former culture
minister, joined in the criticism,
calling for "big, bold and radical
ideas" to attract votes,
warning against what he called
a "safety first approach"
when he appeared
on Peston On Sunday.
Speaking on The Westminster Hour
on Sunday night,
former Tory Party chairman
Grant Shapps said:
Veteran Tory MP Nicholas Soames
tweeted yesterday morning:
He added the hashtag,
#wheres the bold and brave
so far its dull dull dull
What do you say that it is dull
mechanics are a little bit dull,
He is talking about all the
He is talking about
the overall government message, the
challenge we face, that the PM
faces, for the next 15 months, the
government will be largely
preoccupied with negotiating this
very important deal. How then do we
set out the bold ideas to make
Brexit a moment of national renewal
that it needs to be to succeed, not
least to capture the imagination of
the young who did not vote for it?
That is why I have called for a
commission outside the government,
like Clement Attlee and Winston
Churchill appointed beverage at the
end of the war, to look at bold
You were chairman of the
policy board until November, what
are the ideas?
A lot of us have big
ideas, I will give you a view.
are you taking on, the flagship
policy, apart from Brexit?
is NHS and care, big commitment to
that commitment that has been done
How? Jeremy Hunt is...
You have already conceded that will
not include money, it sticks with
the CLT and he has it as a title,
how has he going to get to grips
with it? -- DCLG. I have not said
that at all, it is the beginning of
a bold process of commitment to real
integration. What is it in practical
terms, what is the government
pledging to do.
Well, firstly tackle
the problem that has bedevilled it
for decades, social care has been
funded through local government and
underfunded, and health has been
solely the preserve of NHS England
and the Department of Health.
says it will spend money now, the
Conservative government says it will
do it by 2021.
We put in 6 billion
in the autumn, we put in more money
every year, we put in 6 billion in
the Autumn Statement, but the
challenge is what is the NHS looked
like, designed in 1947, not fit for
purpose in the 21st-century. I have
worked in the NHS and I have been
the health Minister, it is how we
support it with digital technology
to give them power over their own
health, go from being a provider
organisation to an empowering
Isi Gabsa the
leadership of the party to do this?
Both, -- is it down to the
leadership or the party?
I think the
party needs a role in shaping abroad
big agenda beyond the mechanics so
that people can be inspired, quite
difficult to do that in a government
where every department is looking
through its new relationship with
Has she indicated she will
do that, give it to the party to
shape the ideas?
We will have do
wait and see, I have not heard that,
that is part of what Nicholas Soames
and Ed Vaizey are signalling.
that because she lacks the
leadership and vision to do it
I think it is more because,
she takes her duties as Prime
Minister of a country negotiating
"Brexit" very seriously, and I think
she and the team do not see the need
to have a more inspiring vision.
They believe that competence,
administration, delivering Brexit,
will be enough, that is where we
disagree, a whole lot of voters out
there take that for granted, they
want to see why the Conservatives
should carry on and govern, do we
have the vision.
How frustrating is
it to work in that environment, when
Ewart share of the policy board?
is politics under Theresa May. It
has been true of all leaders,
Parliament is full of ideas, and
backbenchers driven with ideas to
make the world a better place and
the Prime Minister must pick a team.
The frustration is, under David
Cameron's leadership, under the last
ten and 15 years, and Theresa May,
as party chairman, the party has
modernised and come to term with
modern Britain, it has led in
showing it has a vision. The danger
of Brexit if we don't tackle it is
that it may look to a generation
under 40 like backward step, we have
to make sure we have a vision for
making Brexit a moment of looking
forward, with Europe.
Is it time to
abandon austerity altogether?
called for a new approach, first
seven years of belt tightening, from
the top, in London, I think, morale
and confidence in public services is
now quite low. I think we have do
single that we have a bold vision
for public services, support public
services, that is why I have called
for and the Chancellor is enacting a
leadership Academy and a new set of
funding, those heroes who have
turned around schools and hospitals.
You have admitted morale is low in
the public services and the
Conservatives have been in
government since 2010, should they
Morale is a
difficulty post crash. It was a big
crash and people were saying this
will take ten or 20 years to pay off
these debts. No surprise that seven
years in, people are weary, and I
think the challenge for us, on big
ideas is, do we have a vision of
public services in the 21st-century,
more locally rooted, more locally
led, ending command and control from
Whitehall and giving incentives back
to places to tackle health in their
localities? To run a more integrated
model of public services, that is a
Among 18 to 29-year-old,
the vote shares slumped, with one
pollster finding only 8% of them
voted Conservative, 69% voted
Labour, you yourself have said that
the crisis is intergenerational,
have you lost the youth vote for
Not for ever, but it is
serious, there is a massive question
over this administration and this
government and this Conservative
Party, that is why have spoken with
the urgency I have, there is a whole
generation, under 40, actually,
under 45, who have picked up a lot
of personal debt through the crash
and the crisis, come into a new
chair workplace of huge job
insecurity, cannot afford to buy
houses, and they worry that Brexit
may be the final insult, turning our
back on the world they are excited
by, unless we set out a vision for
how we make Brexit the opposite, a
moment of inspiring renewal, where
we embrace global opportunity and
gives them a chance to go from
wherever they are in Britain into
the world, then I fear we may well
lose their generation.
Give me free
policies that will get young people
voting for the Tories.
Have the government take an
Not yet, but number one,
every school or college leave and
not going into a job or higher
education, work experience on the
front line of international do, so
they get out around the world and
see emerging markets. Number two, a
lifelong learning digital skills
passport, so that everyone in this
country recognises that we have two
keep reskilling all the time. And
number three, give all mayors the
ability to raise it local
infrastructure bonds. Asset backed
by local economies, three big ideas
that would drive out working for
Let's see if they get
accepted and taken on by the
If you like a fizzy drink, you'll
soon be paying more to enjoy it,
because the sugar tax comes
into force in April this year.
The government will be taxing
producers and importers of sweet
drinks to help cut obesity,
especially in children.
But how should we spend
the money that's raised?
And will it really do anything
to change our habits?
Here's Emma Vardy.
In the 2016 budget, the former
Chancellor George Osborne introduced
plans for attacks on sugary soft
drinks to get those of us with a
sweet tooth to cut back on these and
make healthier choices.
make healthier choices. The tax
applies to drinks containing more
than five grams of sugar per 100
millilitres. It means you will see
the price of some drinks on the
shelf go up by around 20p. It has
been welcome by health
professionals, but for those in the
industry it has left a rather so, a
We have always felt that the
softs drinks industry levy was an
inappropriate way to address an
issue which stems frankly from
overall diet and levels of exercise,
so picking on one particular product
and one particular tax of this sort
is the wrong way to address the
challenge that we all face, and
admittedly there is a serious
challenge in relation to childhood
So, what are we going to do
with all these extra taxes raised
from sweet drink lovers hammered the
MP Frank Field has a private
members' bill with cross-party
support calling for the money raised
to go to school holiday breakfast
When George Osborne finally
gave in to having a sugar tax, he
had resisted on the basis that it
was regressive, in other words
poorer people would pay more. Now,
if you use some of this revenue to
feed poorer children and have fun in
the holiday and maintain their
educational improvements recorded
during term time, it seems to us a
really good way by which the
government could make sure that the
sugar tax was not regressive but
Drink manufacturers are
adapting to the new tax in different
ways. Coca-Cola said it will cut the
size of its bottles while also
putting up the price. Other
manufacturers like Ribena have been
taking on the tricky challenge of
reducing sugar in their products
while trying to maintain a flavour
that will satisfy customers.
consumers have told us they want
this sugary product...
probably harder than it sounds.
Considerably! The Treasury had
originally estimated the tax would
raise more than £500 million a year.
But now it is thought it bring in
much less. The forecast revenue has
diminished substantially. Originally
this was going to raise more than
£500 million. They are now saying
that it is going to raise £275
million. And we still think that is
an overestimate. But I simply say
again, this is not the best way to
It is expected that
the true impact on the businesses
that make these ducts will not
become clear for some time. Experts
believe it will take even longer to
really see whether it delivers the
health benefits the government is
We're joined now by Kawther Hashem -
a nutritionist and spokeswoman
for the campaign group
Action on Sugar.
Look into the programme. Tax is
aimed specifically at high sugar
fizzy drinks, excluding things like
milkshakes and other fruit juices,
so doesn't go far enough in your
I think it does in terms of
trying to get the manufacturers to
reduce levels of sugar. It is kind
of different to what other countries
have done. It is basically trying to
encourage the companies to
reformulate their products.
your colleagues, George, will say
that this tax is bad for consumers
and bad for the economy - are they
I think they are. I called
for the sugar tax, another big idea!
Was it taken non-public when did you
first suggest it?
2014. But I think
the truth is, two things. We don't
want to punish people for having
drinks. We have got to incentivise
the industry so that these things
taste the same but they don't make
UOB said that is perfectly doable. I
exercise, it is about schools... Not
to me it isn't. It is about an
enlightened state taking its
responsibility is to its citizens
are seriously, and particularly the
most vulnerable. Childhood obesity
is a really big problem, it is a
time bomb in our society along with
diabetes and dementia. The two are
linked, and diet is really
important. It will bankrupt the NHS
if we don't tackle it on behalf of
our most vulnerable young citizens.
But it is a huge problem, we know
that, we have politicians like
George Freeman telling us. So why
does a tax on just fizzy drinks go
far enough, it is not go to solve
the problem of childhood obesity?
is part of a solution. There are
many other things that government
should look at doing, for example,
the promotions on this type of
products, which is constantly
happening all the time. We can
incentivise the industry to reduce
the levels of sugar but then there
are other products which are heavily
promoted, on discount all the time,
advertising during family TV time,
we need to look at these other
Would you be happy for that?
Yeah, and I think we need to look at
much more sport in schools. I don't
mean the tyranny of the few of us
who were not very athletic civil
everybody doing exercise built into
the school day. I would like our
planning system to build exercise
into the community. We are still
building housing estates designed
for three cars. Building exercise
into the fabric of our society.
about the evidence that the tax will
actually work in terms of changing
habits and reducing obesity?
countries who have already had an
increase in tax and in price, it has
had an impact in reducing levels of
drink Spearing consumed.
Mexico, for example, and
particularly in the socially
deprived areas, because they ended
up having less of those. And they
kind of incentivised those consumers
to go for the lowest sugar options,
water and the others.
But was the
evidence conclusive in Mexico? I
understand that after a year or so
the levels at it to go up again in
terms of consumption of fizzy
No, I think the first stage
of evidence suggests there is a 12%
reduction in intake.
decreased their sizes of bottles and
increased their pricing?
So, this is
one of the reasons, one of the ways
that those companies are going to
try and retrieve the cost of the
levy, by increasing prices.
Initially, when this lovely was
going to come into play, it was
actually not necessarily going to be
price hikes. And it is not
necessarily a negative thing that
sugary drink Speaker more expensive,
because they are having a huge cost
The Treasury downgraded
their forecast of the money that
would be raised from more than £500
million to £380 million, you think
that is good news, but it is less
money to be spent on for instance
It tells you the
industry is adapting very fast. One
worry is the government taxing
things and getting keen on the
revenue. I did not want the
government dependent on a sugar tax.
Even if it is going to promote more
sport in schools, which is what you
said should be part of the holistic
It is part of the next.
But I think the fact that revenues
from the sugar tax are dropping is a
sign that the industry is very
quickly adapting. The British drink
industry is highly adaptable, it is
one of the jewels in our crown. Lets
use the text to incentivise sugar
substitution but also recognise that
it is only one to.
Where would you
like the government to use the
It could be used on
the NHS, on school sports. The aim
of it is not necessarily revenue
raising, it is to incentivise the
industry to reduce levels of sugar.
The emphasis has been on drinks, on
fizzy drinks, but confectionery
accounts for quite a substantial
amount of young people consuming
sugar. If you wanted to solve the
obesity crisis, would you, George,
be in support of extending the tax
to sweets and chocolates?
want to look at the evidence. I
think potentially. But it is
absolutely crucial that we're not
denying people a bar of chocolate.
People like chocolate. It is part of
But you want to
deprive them of fizzy drinks?
want them to buy something which is
not putting pounds on them.
Something which is a pleasure. We
mustn't become puritans taking
pleasure out of life. But if we took
the calories out so that you get the
pleasure without the fat and the
obesity, that's surely a good thing.
Well, when you find a solution to
that, do let me know, because I am
partial to a bar of chocolate!
The Ukip leader Henry Bolton has
said he will not stand down,
despite facing a wave of party
resignations in protest
at his leadership.
On Sunday, Ukip's National Executive
Committee declared that it had lost
confidence in Mr Bolton
about his private life.
But Mr Bolton has hit back
saying he in turn has lost
confidence in the NEC.
Here he is speaking
to reporters yesterday.
I shall respect the next steps in
the constitutional process, and will
therefore not be resigning as party
leader. I shall repeat, I will not
be resigning as party leader.
Instep, during the next four weeks,
I shall be calling for the
coordination and mobilisation of all
Leave campaigns to ensure that the
government delivers full
independence from the European Union
in all areas of government at the
administration. And I shall be
calling for the party itself to
mobilise in order to support that
effort. This is the most pressing
matter facing our nation. And I am
determined not to allow the NEC to
distract the party away from
participating forcefully in the
giving that press statement
David Allen is Ukip's
spokesman on electoral reform
and is a supporter of Henry Bolton.
Peter Whittle is the former
deputy leader of Ukip,
and has called for Mr Bolton
to stand down.
What was your reaction when you
heard he was going to fight on?
Depressed, actually. Because the
fact is that basically one man's
vanity is basically spooling this
thing out over and over, the party
is being made to look ridiculous. If
in fact he had been supported by the
NEC, we would not be hearing about
all of this stuff about electoral
reform in the party and the NEC. It
is a massive distraction to get away
from what is the real problem, and
that is that Henry Bolton should go.
I've just come from actually talking
somebody back from leaving the
party. This is what one is dealing
with everyday now.
you're a supporter of Henry Bolton,
the party is imploding, more than 15
people have stood down, surely he
has to go?
Certainly there is a bit
of a herd mentality about it. I tend
to think they're following the wrong
scent of. The reason why I am
supporting Henry Bolton is exactly
the same reason that I supported him
in the leadership campaign. I stood
in the leadership campaign, as
repeater, and I stood down to
support Henry Bolton because
firstly, his agenda for reforming
the party was something that I
strongly believe in. And secondly I
thought he would win. Now, you have
to recognise that for a long time
there has been a huge disconnect
between the leadership of the party
and the mothership at the
Peter Whittle, even
Nigel Farage says that the party is
run by a bunch of amateurs, and that
it is hardly surprising that there
has been this massive fallout?
Because Nigel has got a thing about
the NEC, fair enough. He is entitled
to that. The point is, Henry has
been in since September. He stood on
reform and all the rest of it -
nothing has happened. There has been
no communication, there has been no
reform, virtually no media presence,
until we get this kind of media
presence, which of course makes us a
laughing stock. It is simply
Before this all blew
up, what great political direction
was Henry Bolton taking the party in
the 11 of the things that Henry
Bolton wants to do is to introduce
an inclusivity agenda so that we
would involve membership in policy
making. Because there's been a huge
gap between the leadership and the
membership in the party. Peter says
that's not happening - it is,
because I have already put my group
together and we had our first
meeting last Friday. Have already
drafted a manifesto commitment for
Ukip in the area of electoral
reform. Are the things which are
changing our work to repair the IT
system. We have an e-mail system,
for example, which arbitrarily
leaves out a third of the members
every time we send an e-mail. Are
these things going to save Ukip?
fact is at the moment, we are going
through an amazingly important time
with Brexit. It is an open goal for
us. It's all very well going on
about e-mail systems and the rest of
it, which basically will mean
nothing to anyone outside. We should
be making the argument, we have been
absolutely absent for the past four
months, and as I say again, the
first time people actually hear of
our new leader is because he has
just left his wife and kids just
before Christmas to go off with some
woman who has basically texted
things which are almost beyond
What do you think about
that? That is what has caused this
latest row - has Henry Boldon cut
off all relations with the person
responsible for these tweets?
not privy to that, you will have to
ask Henry. My understanding is that
she has resigned from the party,
which is right. Also that Henry was
unaware of these tweets, which were
made before they met. Be fair if it
were marital breakdown is always to
stressing. It is often acrimonious.
And if you enter a new relationship,
your first conversation is not going
to be, hello, darling, two years ago
I think I sent a tweet which might
be offensive. So, Henry didn't know
about that. Henry Bolton hasn't done
anything wrong. But what he has been
doing is travelling the country
speaking to members, introducing
reform produced as prettily needed.
Why is his private life of so much
It is not a question of
morality. I think that the racism,
yes, is important, actually. This
party, particularly, and I have been
on this show talking about it,
fights these kind of accusations all
the time, we're always trying to
show people that we are not racist
and then along comes something like
this. And since it has happened it
has been the sheer ineptitude with
which Henry Bolton has gone on the
media, seemingly wanting to dig a
bigger hole for himself every single
day. What worries me is that this
party is a great party which has
moved political mountains. I do not
like to see it being made to look
silly and at the moment it is being.
Do you think it is in the death
throes? But is it? At the moment
things are looking grave, I what
does not help at all, is that we
have to go through something through
A huge amount of money, all
the rest of it, at the very time we
should be fighting what is happening
with this government and the inept
handling of Brexit.
general meeting happening, Willis
before the members to decide? Can
you win it?
This is interesting,
because of a quirk in the
constitution, what the NEC has done
is the equivalent of pistols at
dawn! It is either Henry Bolton
those, or, the NEC goes.
be the end of the party? Executive
Know, the NEC is a
consistent obstacle to reform the
party for as long as I have been in
it, we talk about Nigel, but then
there is Diane James, then there is
Paul Nuttall, all these battles with
the NIC -- NEC, we are on the fourth
leader, third leadership contest,
and apparently Peter wants a fourth
I do not.
might as well pencil in the fifth,
for next year.
No, no. What if he
stands down, there will be another
leadership contest. The last thing
we need, yes, we need an interim
leader, I have said for a long time,
get us through the May elections,
should be talking about the May
elections, talking that Brexit,
instead of talking that tinkering
around with an e-mail system and the
rest of it. If Henry Bolton had a
shred of personal pride, he would
have gone after the NEC...
this the case, that this is a vanity
project, the face of everything
collapsing around him, in terms of
all his team designing, all this
publicity, bad publicity, getting
there, pretty well, 15 or so, that
he should do the decent thing and
One of the things that a
political party leader needs is
resilience. Now, in Ukip, you
probably need resilience doubled.
Henry Bolton certainly has that.
What is happening now, is we have
just under 4000 people are letting
him as leader, only 3.5 months ago,
that cannot be overturned. By 13
people. It will go to a next
ordinary general meeting and what is
that Henry Bolton will win this, the
NEC will resign, a new NEC will be
put in place, we can then move
forward to change the constitution
and the structure.
Will you accept
the result, if Henry Bolton is
elected if the EGM supports the
leadership, will you accept it?
but it will not happen, I don't know
what world you are living in that
every single day is getting
resignations, whole branches are
going, over the past four months,
people do not even know what Henry
even thinks about certain political
issues, they have no idea where the
party is going. They are quite right
to be frustrated and they are faced
with all of this.
I have a feeling
it will continue for a few days and
weeks at least. Thank you for coming
Now, Labour's ruling body,
the National Executive committee
Not normally a major
news event I grant you.
But it's the first meeting
of the NEC since the election
of three new members,
most notably the Momentum
founder Jon Lansman.
So what does it all mean?
is outside Labour HQ.
What is being discussed?
things that are on the agenda, what
is not being discussed, this
demonstration behind me, people
against expulsion from the Labour
Party, we can talk about that in a
moment. What is on the agenda,
Labour officials are stressing,
mainstream political issues like the
state of the NHS, the collapse of
Carillion, other issues on the
agenda as well, report back from the
first phase of Labour's democracy
review. It is a long-term review
looking into how the party organises
at a level, reports from the Labour
Party conference. Some speculation
about it being used as a vehicle to
deselect sitting Labour MPs. That is
not officially part of the remit.
Any discussion that takes place
would be outside of the official
democracy review. That may well
change to magically. What the Labour
Party does in terms of organising at
grassroots level in due course. --
that may well change dramatically.
Also, talk about whether there can
be transgender candidates on all
women short lists, this is being
discussed in subcommittees, it is
controversial because some people in
the party believe men should not be
allowed to self define as women and
get onto all women short lists, and
in their view should have two
produce gender recognition
certificate. Others say that is
dissemination and we expect a
statement from the Labour ruling
body later on this afternoon. The
first sign that the political
balance has shifted to the left,
cannot think of any more evidence
from the official agenda.
about this campaign, Labour against
the witchhunt which has been
The campaign which has
been launched a few months ago, they
are lobbying the NEC to try to stop
the expulsions of people they say
are being thrown out of the party
for having effectively left-wing
views. People to the left of Labour
in the past, then wanted to come
into the Labour Party, generally
would say to support Jeremy Corbyn
and are now being chucked out
because of views they have expressed
in the past. Under mental do this is
the question of anti-Zionism against
anti-Semitism, the items they make
is that the issues have been
conflated and some people accused of
anti-Semitism in order to get them
expelled from the Labour Party. I
will be speaking with one of them
very soon, it is coming up at the
national constitution committee.
They will be deciding whether there
will be any expulsions.
will be any expulsions.
today's NEC meeting to demand an end
to what they call a witchhunt
against the pro-Corbyn left in the
Labour Party, the group is called
Labour Against the Witchhunt. Jackie
Walker is among them - she was
suspended by the party in September
2016 following allegations of
anti-semitism. She joins me now. One
of the things that resulted in your
current suspension of your Labour
Party membership, he said, I still
haven't heard a definition of
anti-Semitism that I can work with.
The Labour Party has adopted the
International Holocaust Rembrandts
Alliance definition of
anti-Semitism, do you accept that as
a definition you can work with?
is not clear what it has accepted.
-- remembrance Alliance. It has
accepted a headline definition, we
have been told. Anti-Semitism as a
certain perception of jurors people
that could be seen as hatred against
Of course we would accept
that but not the following
definitions which as far as we are
concerned linked to much criticism
of Israel, with racism, with
-- Jewish. Rhetorical
and physical ... The accept what has
been said by this body?
As far as
I'm concerned, and I'm saying this
as an anti-racist train of some
years, as somebody who has been on
the barricades against fascists, I
like to stick to the nice simple
definition of anti-Semitism, used
hatred against you
hatred against you is -- hatred
against Jewish people because they
are Jewish. We are going into cloudy
waters. We have had counsel opinion
which says that those following
definitions will not hold up in
Shouldn't parties be able to
set their own definitions and rules,
they may be a broad church, as the
Labour Party always says, but they
have the right to suspend people who
do not sign up to broad principles
and aims, including you. Absolutely.
That is what they have done, so what
is the problem?
They have the right
to do that but of course, what I'm
saying is they have not accepted the
That is what the
Labour Party has said, they have
accepted that as the definition, if
you don't sign up to that, do you
I do not access that what
you are saying is correct. As a
member of Jewish voice for Labour
and other jewel Jewish Labour
organisations. We have been told
something very different.
something you need to take up the
The reason having this
conversation, under the leadership
of Jeremy Corbyn, we have seen a
rise of a nasty, violent, outrageous
language on social media,
campaigning in the last election
against conservatives and others,
anti-Semitic language, racist
language, Clive Lewis Sein gets down
on your needs at the conference...
Don't use that word...
A once great party...
I think what you have said is
outrageous... Coming from a party
who has a Foreign Secretary who has
made racist statements about the
former President of the United
States, Barack Obama, and called
people of African descent picking
anys with water well and
smiles -- "pickannines with
That is not
racist. We are seeing the research
and is of nasty, vitriolic politics.
Women who were targeted because they
are women, horrible things written
on houses and windows.
Do you know
what has been said about me?
the claims that have been made, they
are not just me by George, they are
games made by elements within
momentum and within the hard left,
do you accept that it exists?
accept exists at the moment is a
very dangerous atmosphere and
culture on social media, if I could
tell you how many threats and abuse
I have had, including from people
who claim to be Tory members, and
these have been threats to have me
hanged, to have me burned alive, to
have me rape...
If they are Tory
members, they should be dealt with,
but they are not.
Will you send them
I will, this is happening to
women and black women. Diane Abbott,
if you remember, has had more abuse
And we know, and we
have talked about that but talking
about your suspension, you have
called this a witchhunt, all of this
has happened while Jeremy Corbyn has
steering committee removed you as
vice-chair, calling your behaviour
irresponsible and remarks offensive,
cannot be a politically motivated
witchhunt, these are the people you
Can I say one thing about
this, I must be careful what I
Will you answer the question?
My case is just about to go through
a hearing, I am not allowed to
answer particularly on headbutt...
You are calling a witchhunt. It is
not coincidence that it happened as
Jeremy Corbyn became a leader of the
Labour Party, because, of course, he
is the only national figure that has
risen to that prominence it has been
a supporter of the Palestinians.
the Labour Party is not one set
dictated peace of organisation.
We have run out of time. The answer
to the quiz, who was photographed at
Disneyland Paris while his wife was
having meetings in the French
"Yes," Cameron confirms
in a message to Politico.
He was wearing a flat cap, not easy
to recognise him.
"It rained a lot so I bought a hat!
I haven't joined the Peaky Blinders,
or become Bob Crow,
just trying to stay warm and dry."
Jo Coburn is joined by the former chair of the Conservative Policy Forum, George Freeman MP, to discuss Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's call for more NHS funding, the future of Ukip and what progress has been made to introduce a sugar tax.