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Hello and welcome to
the Daily Politics.
The Prime Minister's country retreat
is the scene for a gathering
of Theresa May and some of her key
as they meet
to thrash out
a negotiating position on Brexit.
Net migration to the UK has
fallen but is still well
above the government's
target at 244,000.
We'll be looking at the detail.
We know Michael Gove loves animals,
but which party is winning
the policy battle when it comes
to pets and animal welfare?
And text messages are old hat,
we'll be looking at the latest
for MPs who want to keep
their plots private!
All that in the next hour
and with us for the whole
of the programme today
She's an economist, writer,
activist and director
of a think-tank called the Centre
for Labour and Social Studies.
Welcome to the show.
The EU Exit and Trade
(Strategy and Negotiation)
sub-committee is the snappy
for the meeting of Theresa May's
cabinet ministers today
to hammer out an agreed
approach to Brexit.
Key ministers who don't always see
eye-to-eye on the issue,
like Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson
and Chancellor Philip Hammond, will
be closeted in the wood-panelled
of the Prime Minister's country
retreat of Chequers.
And there's clearly
something in the air.
Because we also hear this morning
that Jeremy Corbyn is planning
to set out Labour's new position
on Brexit at a speech
early next week.
Exciting times for people
like our assistant political
I am sure you would like to be a fly
on the wall but will Unity break out
at the end of this marathon summit?
It may not be peace in our time but
there will have to be in agreement,
the option of no deal is so
catastrophic for the government, is
it would suggest divisions are so
profound, that any sort of agreement
is beyond Theresa May, and the
message it would send out to EU
negotiators is frankly, we are all
over the place and have not a clue
what we want, so there must be some
sort of arrangement, over the past
few weeks, gradually, slowly,
incrementally, she has been seeking
to whittle away the areas of
disagreement, to refine and refined
those areas where ministers are
seemingly locked in conflict. That
said, I'm pretty sure that at the
end of the day, it is going to be a
deal that involves some fairly high
wire verbal gymnastics to keep all
parties on fold. The gap is the
schism that we have seen since the
referendum, those that believe the
absolute priority in negotiations
must be trade and securing continued
access to the single market, without
vast amounts of border controls and
tariffs. And those who have
prioritised sovereignty, taking back
control, giving ourselves the
freedom to straight a trade deal,
that tension still remains. There
will have to be some form of
language to try to bridge that.
Let's talk about the labour
position, we have been told there is
going to be a speech by Jeremy
Corbyn, how much can we expect in
terms of a new line, a
clarification, on Labour's position
position is somewhat fluid is the
honest truth, and work in progress.
When you talk to Shadow Cabinet
members they all seem to be of the
view that gradually, slowly,
incrementally, the Labour Party is
heading off towards the land called
customs union, in other words, it
will end in a position where it will
back the customs union or a customs
union, the key difference between it
and the Conservative Party. They are
not there yet, key and and
influential figures like John
McDonnell do not like the idea, and
Jeremy Corbyn has not signed up on
the dotted line to that, but that is
the view that that is inevitably
where they will end up and why that
matters is, that is a position which
Tory Remainers could back, there is
plenty of Tory Remainers who think
it is daft of Theresa May to roll
out the option of a customs union
remaining in a customs union. --
rule out. If Labour backed a customs
union and Tory Remainers backed a
customs union, then Theresa May
could yet be defeated on the issue.
Thank you very much.
We're joined now by two MPs
with rather different view
of life after Brexit,
it's the Conservative
Let's look at the fallout from the
transition debate and what will
happen to EU citizens, what do you
think will happen to the status of
EU citizens who arrived in Britain
after we have left in March, 2019.
days until we leave this dreadful
European Union superstate.
We decided that anybody here before
the referendum has the right to
stay, and that we would have a new
immigration policy afterwards, now
it seems to transpire that it will
be people who arrived after the 29th
of March who will be subject to new
immigration policy which we have not
yet decided in Parliament what that
Theresa May has said that
it will differ, rights of those will
differ but the EU has rejected that
and is asking for full rights for
any EU citizens who arrive after
March, 2019. Would you accept a
A few things about the
referendum which we know work eat,
one of the top ones, ending free
movement, making our own laws in our
own countries, not giving billions
of pounds each year to the EU, if
any of those are broken, we have
lost faith in the British people. I
don't think that is the case, I
think the Prime Minister has said
there will be a registration scheme
and new arrangements will apply in
During that transition
period, that is what we are talking
about, a government source is quoted
as saying, expect the UK to back
down on different rights for EU
citizens who arrive after March,
2019, in the face of resistance from
Brussels. Would you accept and
expect a climb-down from the
government for EU citizens during
spokesman... What has he said on the
record? A government source
quoted... Yes, and those things...
(!) would you accept a climb-down?
It is there then... They have voted
to end free movement. Yes we cannot
have free movement.
deal is one thing, the Labour
position, what are you expecting
Jeremy Corbyn to say when he gives
his speech on Monday?
I don't know
what will come from his mouth. There
will be a speech on Monday. A
transition period is responsible and
sensible, Labour called for that,
there has been a change overnight,
sneaked into the ministers red
boxes, now, the government wants a
different appearance... The EU has
rejected not only the freedom of
movement... The government is now
saying no changes to freedom of
movement, and they want 18 months.
The period of this transition is
changing. It shows how weak and
divided they are. The fact this away
day is happening at all is to bang
their heads together.
On that basis,
what... What is Labour's position?
We are not fixated by an exact
number of months or time period but
we think it should be as long as
necessary, I think it should be as
long as necessary, businesses want
The customs union, should
Labour be saying clearly, Britain
has to stay part of a customs union
if not the customs union.
something that replicates the
benefits of a customs union, I would
like it to be the customs union, but
the leadership position is that we
want something that is the
Saying you want the
benefits of remaining part of some
sort of alignment with the EU is not
the same as saying we want to remain
and would negotiate to remain with a
customs union, John McDonnell has
said all options will be open.
Cutting off our nose to spite our
face, these options are still on the
table... Yes, same with the single
market, we want to retain the
benefits of that.
benefits, would you like the Labour
leadership to say we should be part
of the single market?
yes, there are some technicalities
about whether we go down the EFTA
route or not, the minister replying
in the debate yesterday said that
they will not change course, they
will not consider alternatives even
if there was no deal, so they are
carrying on with this crazy position
that we have which is quite unclear.
You are close to the leadership,
would you like to hear Jeremy Corbyn
and John McDonnell state clearly on
Monday or at some point soon, that
Labour will back strain in the
single market and the customs union?
I think the place where we start on
this is what it means for people and
inequality between regions and jobs
and in that case, the customs union
makes a lot more sense. The single
market is tricky, we will not have a
seat at the table, there is a big
issue about people voting to have
more control. It is more of a tricky
issue but the customs union, in
terms of the impact on people's
lives, and I am glad that Jeremy
Corbyn has come out and said the
support of a customs union as well
but I think it is completely
practical and logical to think about
what is the end point, and that is
what the Labour leadership is doing
You would not accept
Britain being part of a customs
union, with the European Union, but
to go back to that transition period
before we get back to the end state,
what did you make of the phase, --
phrase, transition will take as long
as it takes.
We might like to call
it a period of implementation.
long should it take?
The Primus has
said that the implementation period
will be time limited but if it can
be shortened, so be it. If we can do
things earlier, and it suits us and
the European Union...
If it goes
over two years?
The Prime Minister
has said that it will be
It could still be over
in a two-year period?
I think it
will be the end of the budgetary
period, the end of 2020, which is
what the EU once, if we can do it
If you were at
Chequers, what would you be saying
to the Prime Minister?
I would be
congratulating them on what they are
doing and I would tell people to be
a little more upbeat and cheerful.
The Chancellor, for example, he's
such a dour, sort of fellow, trying
to get all of the figures right. He
should be much more upbeat and
saying, this is a great thing for
Britain, he coined the phrase, we
are all Brexiteers now. A little
If you think the Prime
Minister has done well, why hold a
It is quite a good idea,
when you have cabinet government, to
involve the government(!) and get
agreement? And move things on. I
know that we are on the 21st
revision of the Labour Party policy,
you cannot even...
We have been
Credit to Jeremy Corbyn, he
has resisted those people that want
to try to rerun the referendum, the
situation is, what the government is
doing, all its timescales, made the
Why the summit, if
it is all going so well, and if
there has been so much progress, why
is there a summit where ministers
will be locked in together all day
It is going to go on late.
When you have a cabinet, you talk
about things, it might not be... Why
not at Chequers, nice house, give
them tea and Puffy, they will be
very happy. Will you be disappointed
if Jeremy Corbyn does not set out
how to stay in the customs market on
Monday, what will you do? -- give
them tea and coffee, they will be
At the moment, what we
have, we are not in government, we
have the worst of all worlds, if you
are leave, these arrangements have
been lengthened and lengthen, and we
were not really that much in the EU
in the first place, not in the
single currency, only 60% in. It is
the worst of all worlds, if you are
a remain, they have sold out the
soundings you have had that there
will be a shift?
They're already has
been a shift, we are opposing the EU
withdrawal bill, it gives carte
blanche, it is a rubbish piece of...
You are stopping EU laws being made
into British laws, to come into
effect immediately after we leave
the EU, trying to block the current
legislation from coming in, that was
an absurd position, did not make any
sense whatsoever. It was done by
Party political reasons.
her respond. Lord Carlile in the
Lords said, we are heading into the
non-impact assessment feature.
non-impact assessment feature. He
said that it is a suicide note, this
non-assessed impact future that we
are going into...
The Labour Party
view is that this is a suicide note?
62 of your colleagues supported
this. Holding a gun to her head, the
whole country, disturbing that it
was the government's anti-corruption
champion who headed that up.
Carlile is now a crossbencher.
Former Lib Dem... Just for
clarification. Thank you very much.
Now it's time for our daily quiz.
The question for today
is all about reports that the group
messaging application WhatsApp
is falling out of a favour
among Conservative MPs
because their messages
are finding their way
into the papers.
So what are some of them said
to be using instead?
Is it a) Invisible ink?
b) A pager?
c) A "military-grade
encyrption" app called Confide?
Or d) passing messages to each
other in St James's Park?
At the end of the show Faiza
will attempt to give
us the correct answer.
The latest migration figures have
been published this morning -
as usual, they tell a number
of different stories
about the number of people coming
to and leaving the UK,
so let's look at some
of the numbers.
This time last year,
net migration stood at 273,000.
Now, it's fallen to 244,000.
Now, it's fallen to 244,000.
But the decrease of 29,000
is classed by the ONS
as statistically insignificant.
Net migration from the EU
is currently at 90,000.
And from outside
the EU, it's 205,000.
A total of 52,000 British
nationals left the UK
in the year to September.
The new immigration statistics come
hot on the heels of a new release
showing a marked slowdown
in the final quarter
of 2017 in the growth of EU
nationals working in the UK.
But the figure still grew
by 101,000, to total 2.35 million EU
nationals working here.
By the last quarter of 2017,
there was an absolute fall of 53,000
in the number of working nationals
from the EU Eight countries,
like Poland, that joined in 2004.
And an absolute fall
of 68,000 non-UK and non-EU
nationals working here.
Well, to dig into these numbers,
let's talk to the BBC's head
of statistics, Robert Cuffe.
of statistics, Robert Cuffe.
Thank you for joining us. Can you
explain how reliable these figures
They're based on a survey with
all of the uncertainties that it
includes. A migrant is somebody who
is going to stay in their new
country for at least a year and the
ONS ask people at random coming
through the airports and ports where
they come from, how long they plan
to start for and why they're coming.
So it is a survey, just like an
opinion poll, so there is a margin
of error, around us or -40,000 on
the headline figure. That is why the
degrees of 29,000 is not
statistically significant. There is
also a question of definition. A
migrant is someone who is going to
stay for a year. We ask them how
long they are planning to stay - and
plans change. The survey is checked
back against the census and national
insurance and visas and other
things. But it is still best not to
read too much into just one quarter
of data unless the number is really
striking or is consistent with a
pattern we have seen over while.
That basis, what Amir Khan we read
Well, there is no real
change in the headline figure, but
that is masking something more
interesting underneath. What we are
seeing is a different picture for EU
migrants and non-EU migrants. For EU
migrants since the Brexit referendum
we have seen a decline which is
continuing apace. It is down from
about 106 to 5000 to 95,000 net last
year. And that is statistically
significant. That is being slightly
masked by an increase in non-EU
migration, which is up by about
40000 and if you add them together
they cancel each other out a little
bit. But there is different things
going on for each of them. It is a
consistent pattern overtime for EU
migration but for non-EU, the ONS
say it came down a little bit last
year to do with rebel studying at
not being scrubbed up in the visas,
and is now back up to the level it
was at before, so it is hard to know
whether that is going to be a trend
into the future.
Thank you very
We're joined now by Alp Mehmet,
the vice-chair of Migration Watch
UK, and of course my guest
of the day, Faiza
Shaheen is still here.
Her think-tank have just published a
report arguing Britain is an
overworked and underpaid nation.
This country has added a population
almost the size of a city of the
size of Southampton last year - is
that a problem?
It is really hard
for me to get involved in this about
the mum numbers because I think
there is a broader issue here of
immigration and immigrants being
scapegoated year after year for a
number of problems. We often hear
issues of wages blamed on
immigration, issues of housing...
And the truth is it has been bad
government policy and more employer
exportation of workers.
But do the
numbers matter, are they not
important, if you are a government
or even if you are a member of the
voting public, you want to see the
figures of what is going up and what
is coming down?
We have made the
numbers matter because we have told
people for so long that this is the
crown as to... If you stop
immigration, then other problems
will get sorted. So we have told
people they matter so we fixate on
them, so that is no surprise. It is
actually, attracting talent to this
country is possibly the sign of an
economy which is inviting people.
But the end point here is, we need
people in certain sectors. We have a
history in this country of both, and
it's looking in that historical
There has been too much
focus on the numbers and the
government has made it that way in
order to fit a political narrative -
should they be more focus on fixing
the problems of increasing
population numbers as a result of
I would argue that
there hasn't been sufficient focus,
frankly. You can't ignore the
figures, a quarter of a million net,
which has come down from over
300,000. It is what that adds over a
period to population, an increasing
population at the present rate,
we're talking about another 10
million people in 25 years, 90% of
which will be the result of
immigration. You cannot go on that
way. Going back to the figures with
regard to EU nationals coming here
to work, yes, the scale has come
down, but there are still many more
arriving than are leaving. And in
fact, if you look at the numbers who
were given national insurance cards
last year, of half a million, the
fall is really where they have come
to look for work rather than come
And you want to turn
hundreds of thousands of them away?
I don't want to turn anyone away who
has not a right to be here, or
indeed doesn't qualify to come here.
I am not about closing the doors and
the gates and pulling up the
But you want the numbers
to come down by hundreds of
We want reasonable...
Even coming down by 100,000 we're
still way above where we were 15-20
years ago. If you look at the net
migration figure from the new, of
90,000, the latest one, that's
actually double - double - what it
was in 1997 overall.
Do you agree
with Diane Abbott that immigration,
and the debate around immigration,
she says, is still being used as a
euphemism for race?
No, no,, no. She
is wrong now and she has always been
People like me, people
who take heart in your programme
daily, we're either first, second or
third generation immigrants.
Immigration will not stop. It is not
racist to be concerned about the
rate of migration.
That is not what
she was saying, though. I think the
point is that too often, the way in
which these immigration debates...
And we hear it, scaremongering,
these people are coming for abroad,
often these people are cooking and
cleaning and caring for our parents.
No-one is saying that, you are
That is what we hear
just how would you explain, then,
around the Brexit campaign and
afterwards the uptake in the number
of xenophobic racist attacks, for
But there is not
necessarily the evidence to back
Actually there is a lot of
evidence... Is disputed.
But what I
would say... There is no evidence at
The evidence about
that is disputed. Are you choosing a
political narrative that fits a
policy, you agree with Diane Abbott
that immigration is a good thing for
this country and should continue at
the levels that we have now? She
said yesterday that in some
political quarters, it is used,
concern about immigration, as a
euphemism for race - do you agree
Yeah, sometimes I think
some people, not all people, use it
as a way, the Nigel Farages of the
world, as a way to play in and get
to people's prejudices and to stoke
that up. And that is not OK. The
conversation we should be having is,
given that we have shortages in some
areas, given them a graphic changes,
an ageing population, is how the
demographic is of our society will
change and how they have changed up
to today and the positives of that,
a multicultural society and
something which reflects the Empire.
Because the reason that people like
me are here because of those
historic links. So, this is not a
conversation about being precise
about this number or that number of
that think about what this country
needs, and work from that.
exactly what we're saying just what
we are also saying, though, not at
the present scale, that is not in
any one's interest. And I have to
say that what Diane Abbott is saying
is a device that has been used all
along to close down debate on
immigration. And that cannot happen.
I mean, are you thinking about, for
instance, and I have done research
on this, the ways in which Eastern
European immigration was exploited
by employers who would play them off
amongst the existing population -
that was not the fault of the Polish
people coming in, that was how
temping agencies were using this
device. So, what can we do about
employers, agencies, allowing this
exportation to happen?
Romanians and Bulgarians were going
to have free access to our
employment market, that we were told
would be a small number coming in,
as we were in 2003. In fact, we
forecast around 50,000, which is
exactly what it is at the moment.
You cannot say it's not going to
happen, not plan on it and then when
it does happen... Of course. And
then say, oh, but it is a good
Looking at the scale, you say
that immigration can't continue at
the scale it has been at, but what
do you say about the figures? They
are mixed I accept about the number
of nurses and health workers from
the EU, they have fallen - are those
not people that we need?
also have people that we need,
including nurses, and there is no
reason why they should not continue
But the number is falling
the number of EU nurses and health
Not because anybody is
sending them away.
You were talking
about whether we need immigration -
do we need that number of nurses?
should also be thinking about
training our own nurses and doctors
in a way that we haven't done.
prejudice, Faiza, to want any
restriction on immigration?
are not in a situation where we can
suddenly have open borders, given
the inequality in the world more
people would come here, and we have
to manage that. But my point is that
we fixate on a particular part of
the equation, the evidence shows
that the reasons why wages have been
driven down in some sectors, why we
have issues of housing, immigration
is not the number one reason for
that. And even people doing the
research at the OECD or the World
Bank will tell you that again and
Migration plays far more into
that then we have been given to
No, it is the lack of
That has been
successive governments. How do
governments plan for large numbers
of people which you can't predict
necessarily coming to Britain to
work, how could you build all of the
schools and hospitals in time for
waves of immigration?
I agree that
they didn't expect so many people to
come after access they planned for
that quite badly. And then they made
the migration impact fund, which was
the right thing to do to help those
communities. We know that people
were coming and paying in quite a
lot in taxes but the communities
were not ready with the schools etc.
But that impact fund was cut by the
Conservative government, and that is
exactly the sort of thing that we
need to do. But over time, even if
we leave the EU, when we make trade
deals with China and India at such
a, we're still going to have
No impact fund would
ever be sufficient to cater for the
sort of numbers that are coming in
at the moment.
Briefly, do you think
there has been a Brexodus since that
That is one thing which very
clearly HASN'T happened. Some have
left but that was always happening
anyway. When you look at the
figures, more in fact are arriving
than are leaving. If you look at
those who are applying for British
citizenship, at the moment it is
something like 45,005 and 50,000
applying last year, so clearly
there's a lot of people who don't
want to leave.
As you're a viewer of this show,
you're probably very observant,
so you might have noticed in recent
months that the political parties
have been talking quite a bit
about animal welfare.
So, is there a pattern to these
Here's Ellie Price with her guide.
There's a new turf war happening
in British politics,
and it's furry and cute.
The Tories have been talking about
this sort of thing rather a lot
since the election, looking at
whether a ban on third-party puppy
sales would be a good idea.
Meaning you could get
a dog directly from a
breeder or a dogs' home,
but not from a pet shop.
The party also announced tougher
sentences on those who
As well as cameras in
every UK slaughterhouse.
And a new bill to ensure that
animal sentience -
the idea that animals feel
pain and suffering -
is considered in all
include wild animals.
areas of domestic policy, and does
include wild animals.
Labour was accused of playing
catch-up last week when it
announced 50 policies
it hoped would appeal
announced 50 policies it hoped
would appeal to people
who owned cats and dogs,
but not necessarily
their own home.
The party would look at plans
to allow tenants to keep pets
in rented accommodation as a given,
unless landlords said there was
evidence that the animal
is causing a nuisance,
and that might include
some care homes, too.
It would also look
at ways of helping people on low
incomes with vet bills, and require
motorists to report an accident
where an animal had been injured.
Oh, and one more thing
that could hit some
voters in the stomach -
a total ban on foie gras.
Both parties have a raft
of other measures dealing
with wild and farm animals
that our furry and feathered
friends might be very
grateful for - who said dog whistle
politics was a bad thing?
We're joined now by
the Conservative MP David Amess,
he has a long track record
of campaigning on animal welfare.
And Luke Pollard, who is part
of Labour's shadow environment team.
George Orwell wrote a whole book
about when animals get involved with
about when animals get involved with
socialism(!). Did not end well.
can do if politicians make the right
choice, my postbag is full of animal
welfare, it is right that we have
combines a policy that looks at the
full range of animal welfare
concerns raised by members of the
public, that is what we are
consulting on at the moment.
vision of Jeremy Corbyn for cats, if
we could call it that, free
veterinary care for the poor, is it
kind of a feline NHS?
It is about
recognising there is an awful lot of
people that cannot afford basic pet
care, that is leading to animal
-- Corbynism for cats.
are trying to find out what can be
done to make it more affordable, pet
care, especially those on low
income, so that we do not see animal
suffering baked into society.
the Conservatives support this? I
celebrate that after 35 years, at
long last, parliamentarians are
genuinely interested in animal
welfare. Were they not interested
Not consistently, it was a
small group of people, now, I am
very glad that we are focusing, not
just turning up for photo
There has been a
Damascene conversion... Is that
because Labour has been setting the
For 13 years, Tony Blair who
took the money from the animal
welfare organisations in 1997, he
promised an animal commission, a
Royal commission, he promised so
much, the only thing I reckon he
ever did, in his life, was banned
So it is you who has
been playing catch up?
been the party of animal welfare
since... Come on! Look at what has
happened since the election, last
eight years, we have seen headlines
but no consistency since the
election, is publishing a full,
That is not
We published it on the Labour
Party website and had 1600...
was it published?
Think of February,
The Conservatives say
they have been doing this since the
election, they may have...
been killing badgers.
badger culling, come on.
Micro bees have been banned, ivory
has been banned.
We are doing
something about puppy farming, and
the Labour Party are catching up and
because they do not want to leave
the European Union they are not
going to be able to do all the
things they are telling people. --
What about the badger
cull, can you ever be a
compassionate Tory party when it
comes to animal welfare if you
continue with this?
I'm not in
favour of the Carl, Lorraine Platt,
Conservative animal welfare
foundation, she has actually been
changed perceptions in general. --
The right to own a pet
in rented property, is that about
falling home ownership or something
more it is a recognition, it is
harder and harder to buy homes, that
ownership is reserved for those that
can afford their own home and so
what we have said is that we will
work with accommodation providers,
and look at under what circumstances
there can be a pet accommodation, if
damage is done it should be paid by
the tenant. How have landlords
And awful lot of landlords
want pets in their accommodation.
Have you had any response from
Correspondence are in favour and
against, they have said all these
things, I think, when Michael Gove
gets in trouble, new Nancy 's animal
welfare policy, to make the
headlines. We have published this to
ask for opinions. -- he announces
animal welfare policy. We will have
a good cross-party consensus about
Michael Gove does
not have to promise anything, he is
a Secretary of State who is
delivering and if the Labour Party
is genuine about animal welfare,
they should not partisan reasons
oppose everything he does, they
should get behind him. It is
fantastic what he is doing, after 35
years, I am glad that the House of
Commons is focused on this, we
should not be partisan about animal
welfare, for goodness sakes, many
people out there, animals are
everything, animals are faithful,
and they ask for nothing, other than
a bit of love.
Would you support
tenants rights to own pets?
much supports tenants owning pets,
we can all think of examples where
someone moves out of property and
cannot take their dog with them, for
people on their own, animals are
Do you think that is the
case, action on lobsters, Foy Gras,
fur farming, the rearing of game
birds, do you think that is all a
bit class war? -- Foie gras.
an animal loving nation, it makes
sense, the thing is, the main thing
that we take from the Conservative
Party, because of the manifesto last
year, is that they were going to
potentially bring back fox hunting,
and that is the big thing people are
hearing right now, it is
Huge mistake, and over
60 of my colleagues would have
So it was a mistake to
make it part of the manifesto?
Talk about class war,
that sent a big signal.
the pet passport with Brexit?
is one of the uncertainties, we
simply do not know at the moment.
What you think should happen to the
I think it has been
incredible, allowing people to be
able to take their pets and animals
over borders, something we should
look at keeping but actually, quite
a lot of the detail that matters
around animal welfare, pushed over
by this government, we need to get
into the detail.
Tell us about
animal centres, in what way do the
Conservatives say they did not
They did not want to
include it in the EU withdrawal
bill, cross-party levels of support
for including animal sensor in the
withdrawal bill, hastily published
animal sentence bill has been
criticised by the rural affairs
committee, which is led itself by an
MP. We need long-term comprehends it
policy. -- animal sentience.
why Tony Blair supported animal
testing when he was Prime Minister,
as far as animals healing pain, of
course they feel pain, but it was a
Labour trick to amend a bit of
legislation to make this stick you
need primary legislation and that is
what the Conservatives are going to
do, primary legislation.
entire sentience debate clumsily
I don't want to attack the
colleague who dealt with it at the
time, perhaps he was not feeling
right, in hindsight, we made it
crystal clear that we need primary
legislation and that is what we are
going to get.
Does Labour look as if
it is using animal rights for
Animal welfare is
an issue that all members of
Parliament are concerned about to an
You brought it out
only in February.
We have created
together the policy, and published
more policy for publication, this
can range of approaches one that all
parties should adopt, I hope the
Conservatives will cut and paste, we
want to see a comprehensive...
Because the Conservatives now are
truly seen as a party representing
Well... I like the
idea of cutting and pasting each
other's policies! LAUGHTER
Thank you very much for coming in.
Before working for the Class
think-thank, our guest of the day
used to work
for Save the Children,
which is in the headlines
at the moment following complaints
of inappropriate behaviour
by their senior executives
Justin Forsyth and Brendan Cox.
Save the Children has said it had
commissioned a "root and branch
review of the organisational
culture" of the charity.
An investigation by Radio 4's PM
programme makes uncomfortable
reading for the organisation.
One woman said...
"You start to hear
rumours about some
of the directors, but of course
until it happens to you,
which it did, you don't
really appreciate how hard
it is to deal with."
Another former employee
told the programme...
"The centre of this
crisis was not in Haiti or Chad.
It was in London.
Young professional women
at Save the Children felt unsafe.
They felt that their careers
could depend on ensuring
to unwanted attention
and to bullying."
You worked at Save the Children at
the same time as Brendan Cox and
Justin Forsett, what was your
Definitely a sense that a
lot of people knew about these
rumours and for the most part knew
them to be true, it was a majority
of women working there, and it did
feel like there was predatory
behaviour about, and you had to keep
Justin Forsyth has
admitted that he made some personal
mistakes during his time at Save the
Children, Brendan Cox has said that
his behaviour was inappropriate, is
that enough, do you think?
a real sense from the longer
statements, we know it was
inappropriate, but the truth is, for
a lot of people, so many
conversations, day after day with
people about this scandal, that was
happening under our very eyes, and
it was incredibly uncomfortable and
I think it made a lot of women feel
unsafe, not just those that were
directly assaulted. But all of us.
And I think, at least most of us,
and I think that culture, is
something very difficult to push up
against both because there was a
sense of collusion at the top,
protection, sometimes, and also
because Save the Children do amazing
work and there is great people
working for them, you don't want to
go against that good work, there was
a cultural problem.
As you say, it
is difficult because they are doing
this fantastic work, as
organisations, but does that mean
that those two people in question,
Brendan Cox and Justin Forsyth, have
done enough to actually try and
explain and apologise for the
behaviour that they carried out at
Look, I mean, they are
saying that now, it is a particular
time when people are coming out and
making these statements, hard to
know how genuine that is. After
Brendan left, we still all of us
still got an e-mail, even though we
should not have, and it is still
inappropriate things that happened
after he left. Which made me feel
like there was not a sense that this
was really wrong and I understand
and people understand when they have
abused their power. This is not just
Save the Children, we have been
speaking about this across several
sectors. There is a cultural
problem, I don't think, it was not
just misogyny or issues of abuse of
power, there is also race, I
constantly would be in ruins about
global campaigns and nobody from the
global South in that room and it
made me feel uncomfortable, heads of
offices in many different countries,
headed by white men, when there is
very talented local people that
could do the job. I support foreign
aid and Save the Children but it is
a really important time now to look
long and hard at the number of
practices that are happening and the
culture in those places.
think there is a crisis in the
sector as a whole?
I cannot speak
across the sector because I worked
only for Save the Children, to be
honest, it was not a great time, I
left after 17 months. I felt like
there was a crisis that had happened
and by moving on those people, those
people leaving, they thought that
was the end of it. I definitely
think that this is in a port in time
for the development sector to come
together and change their ways. That
may mean a change in the number of
people at the top because it is hard
for individuals to change behaviour.
Brendan Cox has checked -- Brendan
Cox has stepped back from his
charitable work, some female Labour
MPs have said it was the right thing
to do and showed he was willing to
face the things he is meant to have
done, do you think that was a strong
enough criticism of Brendan Cox, or,
fair enough, it is as Jess Phillips
says, they are friends.
I have not
spoken to Brendan for a long time, I
don't know how much of this was
forced, all this information was
coming out, this was not right, and
I need to step back, because I don't
want to sully the name of those
great in the juicing is. Set up in
Jo Cox's name. -- those great
institutions. We do not want to put
women from speaking, it was
atrocious what happened to Jo Cox
that is not a free pass from Rafael
anyone else to abuse their power and
assault women, that is never OK, we
have to be strong on that.
Cox has denied any kind of sexual
assault, he said the behaviour was
inappropriate, let's leave it there.
Some important economic figures
were published yesterday,
they showed an unexpected rise
in unemployment, but also a rise
in average weekly earnings and signs
that productivity growth
is also increasing.
The government has talked a lot
about Britain's historically
low unemployment rate,
and Chancellor Phillip Hammond said
this was more evidence
that it is succeeding in creating
"an economy fit for the future".
That wasn't the view of shadow
chancellor John McDonnell,
who has been speaking about living
standards this morning.
Working people and those on low
and middle incomes especially
have suffered the worst decade
for living standards
perhaps as far back
as the Napoleonic wars.
And the prognosis for the future is,
well, is similarly bleak, with at
best, marginal recovery, but for
many, stagnating living standards.
That was John McDonnell,
who has also endorsed a report
by the think-tank Class,
led by my guest of
the day, Faiza Shaheen.
It says that despite record
employment, many British
workers are "overworked,
underpaid, stressed and beset
with job insecurity
and wage stagnation".
It's conducted a survey of 2,000
people and says 80% of them
expect to be poorer over
the coming year.
Well, to discuss this,
we're joined by the Conservative MP
he's an aide
to the chancellor Philip Hammond.
Take us through your survey and the
figures, 80% expect to be poorer,
does not mean that they will be.
There is something very important
about how workers feel and feel for
the economy and if it is working for
them, if after ten years of
historically poor wage growth, they
still don't think they will get an
above inflation pay rise, that tells
us something about their
insecurities, how much they might go
out and spend. Other statistics that
stood out for me, three in four
people do not feel the economy works
for them, 20% taking on a second
job, another 20% have considered it.
This is really... Lots of signs that
people are finding our labour market
incredibly precarious and perilous.
But finding it powerless is not the
same as saying they will definitely
be worse off in 12 months' time - do
you think you have misrepresented
the results by talking about how
people are feeling and confusing it
with what will actually happen?
It is only right that the 31 million
workers, or 32 million, we have a
temper Jipcho on what they feel is
working for them, and we should be
The job figures speak for
themselves in terms of the numbers,
although there has been this rise in
unemployment for the first time in
many years. Do you accept that when
it comes to wages, if real incomes
are falling - and they have been
stagnating for ten years - people
feel worse off, they ARE worse off?!
I would accept that but there is a
context of. We have record people in
employment, I think the work you do
is commendable and the concerns of
people need to be addressed. The
Prime Minister herself, when she
became Prime Minister, mentioned the
fact about precariousness in
employment was an issue and there
was the Taylor review to look at
these sort of issues. But let's not
lose sight of some of the data.
We've had a national living rage
introduced for the first time in
2016 at £7 20, I believe. --
national living rage death that has
now increased by about 9%. We have
got record numbers of people in
employment, when any people
predicted that there would be a rash
of unemployment and unemployment
would spike. Thankfully that hasn't
happened. Rebel mentioned zero-hours
contracts, you haven't but people
do, but 2.8% of the workforce has
zero-hours contracts are, so that is
not something which is universally
felt across the piece. So, while it
is there enough for your think-tank
to look at some of the difficulties,
I think there is an overarching
story of considerable success in
Do you accept some of the
No, I think a lot
of that data clouds what's really
happening. The headline employment
figures completely do not capture
the hardship that people face day to
day and the levels of stress. We
spoke to someone that told us about
half of mental health workers
themselves feeling that they've got
mental health problems and feeling
like failures. That's very serious,
it's a sign that the economy is not
working, we are not putting people
and our people's health first.
would you do?
Look, there's a number
of things we can do. Essentially it
is the minimum wages still, they
called it the national living rage,
but we need a real living rage
commission that actually does speak
to people's real costs. And we know
that people are in huge amount of
debt, they're finding it very hard
to make ends meet. And we need to do
something ultimately about power.
This is not something which has just
happened in the last few years since
Brexit or under the Conservatives,
this is a long-term thing, we've
seen workers having less power, less
say in the workplace and less
ability to barter with their bosses.
We need to do something to have
higher levels of collective
bargaining again. And when we look
at countries that do have better
workplace environments, higher
wages, they are places which have
stronger trade unions and stronger
collective-bargaining, that is the
truth of it.
Let's go back to that
stress which is felt by people
thinking they just cannot afford to
make ends meet - how is the
government going to address the fact
that although wages have risen just
recently, they are still not keeping
pace with inflation, inflation is
not coming down at the moment. It
may come down in a year or two -
what are people supposed to do in
I think what we are trying
to do in the medium term is to look
at productivity. Everyone knows that
increasing productivity is going to
be the key to getting better growth
and higher wages. We want to have a
higher wages economy. With respect
to the higher wages that people are
getting, we're looking at investing
in skills and apprenticeships, a
whole range of things. If you looked
at the figures...
Actually those figures were
announced yesterday, they are the
most recent. It has been quite
sluggish, we accept that. The OBR
revised downward growth figures on
the back of that. I happen to think
that we are turning the corner on
that, but we will have to wait and
Do you agree that productivity
is key? Jeremy Corbyn has talked an
awful lot about policies which
should focus on increasing
productivity for British workers,
and now these figures suggest that
is happening, do you applaud that?
There's a couple of things you need
to do to make sure that productivity
goes up. What we haven't had is the
investment in recent years in
equipment and different things, and
that's public as well as private
investment, and that will help. But
sometimes productivity is used as a
bit of a get out of jail card. You
don't expect productivity in sectors
like care or hairdressing... You
don't know how that is going to
look. Productivity is a bit of an
old measure in economics. We have to
really look at the way we talk about
wage all. And when you look at the
evidence of, the number one thing
affecting wages is that fall in the
labour share which is to do with the
lack of power, the ability to say to
your bosses, you're not going to get
that pay rise, instead, we're going
to share it out in productivity you
may think is an old-fashioned
measure but it is absolutely
critical to the long-term future and
bases of growth.
But what what about
sectors where that isn't relevant?
The second thing I would say is that
you represent a think-tank. You're
saying that the answer is more
collective bargaining power and more
unionisation, that I would say is a
political debate. I don't happen to
agree with you, I don't think that
having huge amounts of trade union
power that we had in the 1970s is
going to be the answer to more
But that is clearly a
political view that you have. It is
actually just based on evidence,
It is a function of your...
That is not of unsure of your
research, that's a political view
that you happen to take about the
merits of unionisation.
Faiza says a
policy is required which entitles
workers to extra compensation for
working. The majority of workers
told the report that they get no
extra pay - should that be dealt
I have no idea, I haven't read
the report, I'm sorry about that.
But I don't think that that is
necessarily something that the
government can legislate for.
the review did point to some of
those things, and the problem is,
the Taylor review has been done and
there is going to be more
consultations and this problem is
just being kicked down the road. And
in the meantime people are telling
is very strongly that they are
finding it very difficult, and when
you look at other indicators, like
household debt, which is back to
near record levels, that is not an
economy that is successful. It is
not working for workers, and who is
it working for?
Even if you look at
the data that is favourable, as you
would say, in broad macro terms,
unemployment... All of that, yeah.
But in the end, if people say they
cannot afford to live, are you
saying, you're wrong?
I'm not saying
When will the Treasury be
prepared to embrace the fact that so
many people do feel that they are
not going to be better off in future
I'm not going to sit here and
say it's a bed of roses and
everything is fine. Clearly people
are under a lot of stress, but
you've got to look at the direction
of travel. There have been huge
successes, as you yourself is
accepted and I think we're going to
improve. I think the productivity
figures are going to improve,
clearly the employment figures are
as good as... Let me put it the
other way. If for whatever reason we
had a serious problem with
unemployment, people like yourselves
rightly would be making hay about
this. And the fact is that we
actually have very good implement
Are you surprised by that?
That unemployment has been so low?
Not really, because what we've seen
over the years is a growth in jobs,
but the quality of those jobs hasn't
been questioned. That's really the
critical thing, because having a bad
job is bad for your mental health,
just as much as not having a job at
all. We can do better than this, is
my point. And we need to do better,
because people are on the brink
here, they are telling us, like I
say, that this is very, very hard
for them to manage. The big thing
which needs to happen is that the
public spending cuts need to end,
because public sector workers above
everybody else in this report were
shouting loudest about work
intensification, about how difficult
their workplaces have become.
have a debate about the quality of
jobs and I think that is a good
debate to be having. In another
context we would be talking about
unemployment and we would be talking
about millions of people, as one of
the MPC members of the Bank of
England predicted, that there would
be 5 million unemployed.
It does not
have to be either raw, does it?
is a sign of the success we have
There's just time before we go
to find out the answer to our quiz.
The question was, what are
Conservative MPs using to message
each other, instead of WhatsApp?
Is it a) Invisible ink?
b) A pager?
c) A "military-grade
encyrption" app called Confide?
Or d) passing messages to each
other in St James's Park?
So, what's the correct answer?
Well, pages seemed to me to be
pretty old school!
They really are,
even by my standards!
I don't know
much about Confides, but I'm kind of
thinking it might be that one!
you would be right! Apparently while
WhatsApp used to be the go to tool
for Parliamentary plotting, with MPs
of all parties using it, they're now
looking for other ways to
communicate which won't end up in
We are joined now by a technology
journalist and by a Conservative MP
and former technology journalist.
Are you surprised that WhatsApp is
falling out of favour?
Not at all,
because one of the problems is not
that the encryption is not good but
it is because it can be screen grab,
and that is what we see making the
papers, screen grabs of
So, is this the
answer for politicians?
Any app has
got issues. You have to measure your
threat level, if you like! Confide
is better than WhatsApp because it
can't be screen grab. There were
some problems with Confide last year
because this was the app which the
Trump staff were losing last year
and it had all kinds of problems,
which to be fair they say they've
Warning alerts everywhere, no
doubt! So you don't think it is
guided by an to leaks?
to remember what they have actually
sent, because you can't screenshot
it, the down shot of that is that it
does not hold onto the history of
the conversation. So, if you want to
hold your fellow Tory MP to
something they've said, it will not
be there to hold them to it.
part of these WhatsApp groups?
hate to break it to you but actually
WhatsApp is still very much the main
Oh, is it?!
And as Kate
said, these apps are only as secure
as the users, whoever it is. And we
all know from the Sunday papers that
what happens on WhatsApp is not
necessarily as encrypted as we might
And actually it's not the
technology, it's the personalities.
If people want to leak what has been
said, then that is what they will
And that is true if it is a
conversation in the corridor on if
it is on WhatsApp.
I always say to
people, the weak point is the human
beings, not the technology.
is not much reassurance, then, for
I think everybody
is circumspect and yet it is in the
corridor on WhatsApp! And actually
we should bear in mind that some of
this stuff ends up in the papers big
because people want it to end up in
But WhatsApp is very
appealing, isn't it? You can see the
attraction. Why wouldn't Tory MPs
join a group forgetting lines agreed
and getting the narrative, it has
Dug through the vast
majority of WhatsApp groups across
political parties are about making
sure that everyone is on the same
page and going in the same
direction. Every department will
have its own little support group
that is very straightforward. This
is what we are talking about at such
a juncture... I hate to say this is
not as exciting or as secretive in
most cases as it...
Yes, it is! How
many groups are you a member of?
haven't counted recently, but lots,
is the short answer!
Have you looked
from any of them?!
Almost all of
those groups are very prosaic, I'm
Cake, do you think we could
go back to the good old pager, I
remember those beeping all the time
when we were meeting politicians?
You could do but that is not
actually an effective means of Jimmy
Nikki King. What is nice about
something like WhatsApp or Confide
is, it's happening all the time. I'm
a member working with pages and you
had to wait for people to ring you
back - that's old school!
It is! Are
you a member of a WhatsApp group?
Everybody says many but nobody
is telling me which ones!
That's all for today.
Thanks to our guests.
Thanks to Faiza for being our best
of the day.
The one o'clock news is starting
over on BBC One now.
I'll be here at noon
tomorrow with all the big
Jo Coburn is joined by Faiza Shaheen from the think tank Class to examine the latest immigration figures and look ahead to Theresa May's crucial meeting on the Brexit deal at Chequers.