06/03/2018 Daily Politics


06/03/2018

Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Jo is joined by former cabinet minister Theresa Villiers to discuss the latest news from Westminster.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 06/03/2018. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to

the Daily Politics.

0:00:360:00:39

As police investigate the possible

poisoning of a former Russian spy,

0:00:400:00:42

one MP says it "bears

all the hallmarks

0:00:420:00:44

of a Russian attack".

0:00:440:00:45

We'll bring you the latest

on this developing story.

0:00:450:00:53

There are already statues

of Margaret Thatcher in Westminster,

0:00:530:00:55

but none in prime position

in Parliament Square -

0:00:550:00:57

is it because, as one MP

claims, she was a woman?

0:00:570:01:01

Should schools have separate

uniforms for boys and girls?

0:01:010:01:04

We'll be debating

gender-neutral uniforms.

0:01:040:01:10

And as the Chinese President says

he wants to stay in office for,

0:01:100:01:13

well, as long as possible,

we'll be looking at how other

0:01:130:01:15

leaders have managed

to have hang on to power.

0:01:150:01:23

All that in the next hour and,

and hanging on for the whole

0:01:230:01:26

of the programme today,

it's the Conservative MP

0:01:260:01:28

and former Northern Ireland

secretary Theresa Villiers.

0:01:280:01:30

At least I hope so.

0:01:300:01:31

Welcome to the show.

0:01:310:01:33

Hello.

0:01:330:01:35

First today, police

are investigating

0:01:350:01:37

the collapse of Sergei Skripal,

a former Russian agent convicted

0:01:370:01:40

of spying for Britain,

who was found unconscious on a bench

0:01:400:01:42

at a shopping centre on Sunday.

0:01:420:01:47

Investigators are trying to identify

what substance left the Russian,

0:01:470:01:51

who was granted refuge in the UK

in 2010 under a "spy swap",

0:01:510:01:54

and a woman understood

to be his daughter, critically

0:01:540:01:56

ill in hospital.

0:01:560:01:57

The pair had no visible injuries,

and a number of locations

0:01:570:01:59

in the city centre were cordoned

off, while teams in protective

0:01:590:02:02

gear have used hoses

to decontaminate the street.

0:02:020:02:06

The possibility of an

unexplained substance

0:02:060:02:08

being involved has drawn comparisons

with the 2006 poisoning

0:02:080:02:10

of the Russian dissident

Alexander Litvinenko.

0:02:100:02:16

Well, to find out more, let's speak

to our correspondent Leila Nathoo,

0:02:160:02:18

she's in Salisbury.

0:02:180:02:21

What's the latest that we know about

Sergei Skripal and the woman that

0:02:240:02:28

was with him?

0:02:280:02:32

We now understand that the woman who

was with Sergei Skripal when they

0:02:320:02:36

collapsed just behind me on that

bench that is currently covered by a

0:02:360:02:41

tent is in fact his daughter, Yulia

0:02:410:02:45

bench that is currently covered by a

tent is in fact his daughter, Yulia.

0:02:450:02:46

Police have so far refused to

confirm the identities of the two,

0:02:460:02:50

describing them and me as a

66-year-old man and 33-year-old

0:02:500:02:53

woman. We now know it is Sergei

Skripal and his daughter who are

0:02:530:02:58

still in a critical condition in

hospital. Some background on Yulia

0:02:580:03:04

she moved to the UK with Sergei

Skripal in 2010 when he was brought

0:03:040:03:09

over to the UK in that swap. She

then moved back to Moscow but it is

0:03:090:03:15

understood she visited her father

regularly in Salisbury in recent

0:03:150:03:19

years and she had recently left

Moscow as well to come here to visit

0:03:190:03:22

him. She also had a brother who it

is understood died in Saint

0:03:220:03:27

Petersburg last year. The family now

believe that that is suspicious. The

0:03:270:03:33

family are at pains to say they do

not believe Sergei Skripal was a spy

0:03:330:03:38

for MI6 as the Russians alleged and

will be charges he was imprisoned on

0:03:380:03:45

in 2006. Police are so far not

entertaining any of those strands of

0:03:450:03:49

enquiry, they are not engaging with

that at all, they are simply saying

0:03:490:03:52

they are investigating what happened

here. They are looking into how the

0:03:520:03:55

two became unconscious. We

understand they are examining some

0:03:550:04:00

CCTV footage that was retrieved from

nearby that shows a man and a woman

0:04:000:04:05

walking just where I am now. They

are trying to piece together the

0:04:050:04:10

lead up, really, to the couple being

found unconscious.

0:04:100:04:13

Have you any sense from the police

or doctors when we can expect the

0:04:140:04:19

results of what the substance was

that killed them?

0:04:190:04:25

No, not as yet. They are still

describing the substance as unknown.

0:04:250:04:28

Yes.

They are at pains to say there

is no risk to the public now. They

0:04:280:04:34

do not believe there is any risk. We

have confirmation that a couple of

0:04:340:04:38

police officers had been admitted to

hospital with minor symptoms. They

0:04:380:04:43

have now been discharged and it's

understood only one emergency

0:04:430:04:46

service personnel is now still in

hospital. But with minor symptoms.

0:04:460:04:51

Some reported to be itchy eyes or

queasiness. No wider risk to the

0:04:510:04:56

public. The results of the

toxicologist test will be key to the

0:04:560:05:01

inquiry to ascertain exactly what

they took and how it might have been

0:05:010:05:05

ingested or inhaled. An Italian

chain restaurant on the high street

0:05:050:05:11

view 100 metres away has been

cordoned off and a nearby pub has

0:05:110:05:16

too. They are trying to piece

together the last movements before

0:05:160:05:19

the couple was found slumped and

almost comatose according to

0:05:190:05:23

eyewitnesses, just a few metres

behind me.

Thank you. I must correct

0:05:230:05:28

the mistake I just made, they are

critically ill at the moment, they

0:05:280:05:32

haven't... They are not yet dead.

0:05:320:05:34

We're joined now by BBC

Newsnight's Diplomatic Editor Mark

0:05:340:05:36

Urban, and the Labour MP Chris

Bryant.

0:05:360:05:39

Welcome. What is your sense of what

has happened, Mark?

0:05:390:05:44

It is hard to go beyond those

sketchy outlines. Of course, I think

0:05:440:05:49

one should always hesitate to rush

to judgment in a case like this

0:05:490:05:53

until clearly there is some clear

evidence from the hospital about

0:05:530:05:56

what substance may have bought those

two people to this state. One thing

0:05:560:05:59

we can know quite clearly is that

there is form. We know about

0:05:590:06:05

Alexander Litvinenko and we know

about a case that we exposed on

0:06:050:06:10

Newsnight more than ten years ago

when MI5 SSA hit team was sent to

0:06:100:06:14

the UK to kill Boris borrows ski.

0:06:140:06:19

The Russian millionaire was dead. We

also know about the mysterious

0:06:190:06:23

poisoning about a man in Weybridge.

There is a lot of circumstantial

0:06:230:06:29

evidence. There is some kind of

policy practice of attacking and

0:06:290:06:37

poisoning people in ex-aisle in

order to send a message.

Do you

0:06:370:06:42

think people are rushing to judgment

in terms of talking about hostile

0:06:420:06:46

intent, as the Defence Secretary,

Gavin Williamson, has said, before

0:06:460:06:50

we actually know what has happened?

I don't know he said that in

0:06:500:06:54

relation to this, he said that in

relation to other...

He said that

0:06:540:06:57

yesterday.

In relation to this? I

think he was referring to something

0:06:570:07:02

different.

He said that more

broadly.

Mark is right to say we

0:07:020:07:05

need to look at the wider picture of

Russian engagement. It is true that

0:07:050:07:09

Vladimir Putin's personal record is

to regularly resort to excessive

0:07:090:07:14

violence, think of Aslan, the Moscow

theatre siege, Georgia, Ukraine, chi

0:07:140:07:20

Crimea. And large numbers of

journalists. Working for a British

0:07:200:07:27

bank, he was murdered in Russia. It

is a long list. You are absolutely

0:07:270:07:31

right, we shouldn't judge -- jump to

conclusions but when we do

0:07:310:07:37

investigate, we investigate

thoroughly. My anxiety is that over

0:07:370:07:39

the last few years, Theresa May and

David Cameron, both as Prime

0:07:390:07:44

Minister, were culpable in not

allowing sufficient investigation.

0:07:440:07:49

Theresa May, after Alexander

Litvinenko, wrote saying she refused

0:07:490:07:52

to have an inquiry because she said

she thought the Kremlin might

0:07:520:07:57

misunderstand that. I think we have

been allowing the Russians to get

0:07:570:08:00

away with murder on our soil too

frequently recently. We need to put

0:08:000:08:04

a stop to it.

It's in our national

security interests. What do you say

0:08:040:08:12

to that, has there been a lack of

grip on behalf of the British to

0:08:120:08:15

investigate?

Absolutely not. All of

these cases have been investigated

0:08:150:08:18

by the police. They haven't. As you

acknowledge, there was a full-scale

0:08:180:08:24

enquiry into the death of Alexander

Litvinenko.

It was way too late and

0:08:240:08:27

what did we do?

Nothing. It is right

not to rush to judgment, the police

0:08:270:08:32

will be approaching this with an

open mind. If it turns out there is

0:08:320:08:37

a connection with the Russian state,

obviously, that would be wholly

0:08:370:08:41

unacceptable and would have a major,

damaging effect on the relations

0:08:410:08:45

between UK and Russia.

Russia say

they have no information about this

0:08:450:08:49

and that the Kremlin is willing to

cooperate. But on the basis of you

0:08:490:08:54

accusing previous governments of not

quite doing enough, let's have a

0:08:540:08:57

listen to the Shadow Home Secretary,

Diane Abbott.

0:08:570:08:59

I will be writing to Amber Rudd

to say that if it does prove to be

0:08:590:09:03

the case that the Russian state

is involved in this latest death,

0:09:030:09:06

what assurances can she give,

both about the rigour

0:09:060:09:09

of the investigation

and where we go from here?

0:09:090:09:12

I don't like defaulting

to a Red Menace analysis

0:09:120:09:16

but we can't allow London

and the Home Counties to become

0:09:160:09:21

a kind of killing field.

0:09:210:09:27

That's Diane Abbott. Mark, what do

you make of the Russian response?

0:09:270:09:31

It's self-evident, if they had any

involvement, they are not going to

0:09:310:09:34

admit it. The key thing here that we

can see from the government is that

0:09:340:09:41

this is a fiendishly difficult issue

for them. We know, in the past, that

0:09:410:09:45

both in the case of Alexander

Litvinenko and in the case I

0:09:450:09:48

mentioned before this attempt to

kill Boris Berezovsky, the official

0:09:480:09:53

assessment in the security service

just a couple of buildings down

0:09:530:09:55

Millbank here was that this was

Russian state action. That kind of

0:09:550:10:01

assessment remains highly

classified, people in Whitehall were

0:10:010:10:03

very annoyed with us when we

publicised it in the case of the

0:10:030:10:07

Boris Berezovsky thing. The reason,

of course, once you bring them out

0:10:070:10:13

into the open, it demands action and

a response. That is an extremely

0:10:130:10:15

difficult thing to do. By their

nature, except when you something as

0:10:150:10:22

esoteric as polonium, where you can

then give a forensic line, a

0:10:220:10:27

forensic chain back to a Russian

government establishment, they are

0:10:270:10:30

deniable. It is self-evident that

nobody is going to claim such an

0:10:300:10:34

attack if indeed that's what's

happened in Salisbury because the

0:10:340:10:37

purpose of it is to send a message.

What action could the British

0:10:370:10:42

government take? How do you

intensify pressure on Russia, which,

0:10:420:10:46

arguably, has led to the Russian

response being tougher? They have

0:10:460:10:50

stiffened their resolve. Claims of

being humiliated by Britain.

What

0:10:500:10:56

would you suggest? I will go back

one step and then answer your

0:10:560:10:59

question. It's not just the private

security view, it was also the

0:10:590:11:03

public inquiry.

The judge.

The judge

came to the conclusion that it was

0:11:030:11:08

state sanctioned and personally

sanctioned by President Putin. What

0:11:080:11:10

did we do? Theresa May -- Theresa

May shrugged her shoulders. People

0:11:100:11:16

like Vladimir Putin learned that

impunity, we can do what we want.

0:11:160:11:21

What would you do?

One of the things

we could have done and I argue for a

0:11:210:11:25

long time, we should have the same

laws which applies in the United

0:11:250:11:31

States of America and Canada and the

Netherlands and various other

0:11:310:11:34

countries. By simply don't

understand why Cameron and Theresa

0:11:340:11:37

May repeatedly have refused to

intimate that in the UK. They have

0:11:370:11:42

another chance coming up in the next

few weeks -- initiate that in the

0:11:420:11:45

UK. We need a full public inquiry as

to what happened in this particular

0:11:450:11:50

circumstance. The reason I spoke

over you, Theresa

0:11:500:11:55

circumstance. The reason I spoke

over you, Theresa, there haven't

0:11:550:11:56

been full investigations in some

cases. I simply don't believe that

0:11:560:12:00

all of these 13 Russians who are

opponents of Putin who died in this

0:12:000:12:06

country have personally decided to

commit suicide, I just don't believe

0:12:060:12:08

that.

Are you saying the police are

under pressure not to investigate

0:12:080:12:12

deaths on our streets?

Yes. Yes.

Yes. Yes.

I cannot believe that for

0:12:120:12:17

a moment, that is the stuff of

conspiracy theories. We have some of

0:12:170:12:20

the most effective policing the

world. They will investigate every

0:12:200:12:24

case, including today's shopping

events. I cannot believe that wider

0:12:240:12:29

international considerations is ever

going to get in the wake of the

0:12:290:12:32

police doing their job thoroughly --

today's shocking events.

The

0:12:320:12:35

information I have from security

staff is that quite often what

0:12:350:12:39

happens in some of these cases is

that the first view is taken very,

0:12:390:12:43

very quickly. Suicide is thought as

a convenient means of avoiding...

0:12:430:12:50

The dangers of imperilling the

diplomatic situation.

What happens

0:12:500:12:56

now in terms of the investigation?

0:12:560:13:02

You work a case like this from

numerous angles, don't you? If, as

0:13:020:13:07

we believe, his daughter came over,

there were family reasons for her to

0:13:070:13:11

come over to be with her dad last

week. You analyse things like CCTV,

0:13:110:13:15

her travel plans, is there any

evidence she was followed? If the

0:13:150:13:21

assumption now is shifting towards,

was some kind of poison administered

0:13:210:13:25

in a restaurant or nearby in the

park where they fell ill, CCTV

0:13:250:13:30

analysis once again, who is visible?

Does somebody arouse suspicion as

0:13:300:13:35

somebody who approach them or very

close to them? There are so many

0:13:350:13:39

different lines of enquiry.

Underlying it all, the fight to save

0:13:390:13:44

their lives in hospital and

establish what it is that has made

0:13:440:13:48

them so ill.

You won't be surprised

by the fact that the Russians are

0:13:480:13:52

criticising the coverage here in the

UK. I presume they will pretty much

0:13:520:13:56

stick to those lines?

0:13:560:14:01

Inevitably. In a sense, the moment,

you can say why not? There is no

0:14:010:14:06

evidence of a state attempt to

poison Sergei Skripal and his

0:14:060:14:11

daughter, as yet. The problem is,

from a Russian point of view and a

0:14:110:14:15

messaging point of view, is that

they've got form.

It's just worth,

0:14:150:14:20

you know, if somebody was

0:14:200:14:26

you know, if somebody was involved,

we won't be able to... He got back

0:14:260:14:29

to Russia very quickly, the murder

of Alexander Litvinenko. The Russian

0:14:290:14:34

law refuses to allow extradition of

Russian citizens. Russian state law

0:14:340:14:37

says that there is impunity for any

Russian operative murdering somebody

0:14:370:14:42

in another country considered to be

a traitor to Russia -- the alleged

0:14:420:14:46

murder of. It is clear. It is a

publicly declared intent to do this.

0:14:460:14:51

If you look around the world it is a

very long list at the moment.

0:14:510:14:55

President Putin wanted to press the

reset button with Putin... It didn't

0:14:550:15:00

work, he got nothing out of it.

David Cameron wanted to do the same,

0:15:000:15:03

wanted more trade with Russia and it

didn't work. We need to walk into

0:15:030:15:06

this with our eyes wide open.

The

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will

0:15:060:15:11

answer an urgent question on this in

the comments. Thank you.

0:15:110:15:18

Don't worry - if you were panicking

0:15:240:15:26

because you thought we'd forgotten

about Brexit, or perhaps

0:15:260:15:28

were breathing a sigh of relief,

it's all still rumbling on,

0:15:280:15:30

And today one of Brexit's biggest

critics - the MEP Guy Verhofstadt,

0:15:300:15:33

who is EU Parliament's chief Brexit

negotiator - is meeting

0:15:330:15:36

David Davis in Downing Street.

0:15:360:15:37

Last week Mr Verhofstadt said

a new EU-UK relationship couldn't be

0:15:370:15:40

achieved by "putting a few extra

cherries on the Brexit cake".

0:15:400:15:42

After her Mansion House speech

he said he hoped that Theresa May

0:15:420:15:45

had put "serious proposals

in the post".

0:15:450:15:47

No doubt David Davis will be

enjoying playing host.

0:15:470:15:52

Let's talk now to our

deputy political

0:15:520:15:54

editor John Pienaar.

0:15:540:15:58

Guy Verhofstadt was not impressed

with the speech but we haven't had

0:15:580:16:02

amazing amount of reaction.

He was

the first out of the race. He has

0:16:020:16:11

been quite dismissive about what she

had to say, about picking and

0:16:110:16:15

choosing cherries and all a strict.

I doubt it is going to be much more

0:16:150:16:22

accommodating in this meeting in

Downing Street. We will be hearing

0:16:220:16:25

from him and David Davis, the Brexit

secretary, this afternoon, who I

0:16:250:16:29

imagine we'll be doing what he does,

which is to argue that the lights

0:16:290:16:35

are going to, and soon, don't take

the negativism from Brussels to

0:16:350:16:39

seriously.

Should we be surprised by

the response from someone like Guy

0:16:390:16:42

Verhofstadt from the European

Parliament, an arch federalist and

0:16:420:16:45

very against Brexit. Is he ever

going to be persuaded?

Idea that we

0:16:450:16:52

should be surprised by his response

at all. We haven't truly begun

0:16:520:16:59

negotiations on future relationship

with Britain in the EU so it is not

0:16:590:17:04

a time for cracks to appear on the

wall, you could argue. Taking

0:17:040:17:09

Theresa May is's speech at the end

of last week, it was received

0:17:090:17:12

reasonably well across her party. It

was more like an equilibrium than

0:17:120:17:18

any kind of unification because

those opposing wings are not to be

0:17:180:17:23

united. At either end of the seesaw

they were sitting reasonably still

0:17:230:17:26

for a moment, which is about as much

of a triumph as Theresa May can

0:17:260:17:30

expect at this stage.

Do you agree?

Are you sitting quiet at the moment

0:17:300:17:36

to see what happens? Le Roux I think

the idea of an equilibrium is quite

0:17:360:17:39

a good idea.

Balancing the two

sites. That is not just an issue of

0:17:390:17:46

the Conservative Party, it has

divided the country and I think the

0:17:460:17:50

Prime Minister's speech actually did

a pretty good job of listening to

0:17:500:17:53

both sides of the debate and coming

up with a pragmatic set of proposals

0:17:530:17:58

for a new relationship with Europe.

It is not surprising that a hardline

0:17:580:18:03

federalist like Guy Verhofstadt is

not much of a fan. He has a lifetime

0:18:030:18:07

in promoting political integration

of the EU and is not likely to be

0:18:070:18:11

sympathetic to a country which has

decided to be that project.

There

0:18:110:18:16

has been no indication from any

other quarter that Theresa May has

0:18:160:18:19

significantly moved the dial. We

stood with her position as it was

0:18:190:18:24

with a few more words but still

essentially asking for a pick and

0:18:240:18:27

mix Brexit deal, the very deal that

Brussels in all its forms the same

0:18:270:18:31

cannot be achieved.

As a former

Northern Ireland Secretary of State

0:18:310:18:36

you surprised that the Northern

Ireland border issue is proven to be

0:18:360:18:41

most intractable?

Was always

important that we got this right.

0:18:410:18:45

The government's proposals over

Somerset at two perfectly credible

0:18:450:18:48

options as to how we deal with this.

This doesn't have to be a big

0:18:480:18:54

problem. We can, with common sense

and goodwill on both sides, come up

0:18:540:18:59

with a technology-based solution

which keeps the board are pretty

0:18:590:19:01

much as open and free flowing as it

is now.

Although that has been

0:19:010:19:05

rejected by parts of the EU. Are you

happy with the binding commitments

0:19:050:19:11

that Theresa May has promised to

binding state aid, that Britain will

0:19:110:19:15

pay into some EU funds for

associated membership of some

0:19:150:19:20

systems and the legal system will

remain in some way related to the

0:19:200:19:26

ECJ?

I can accept a deal which is

broadly along those lines. Depends

0:19:260:19:30

on the detail and, frankly, those

kind of compromises do make me

0:19:300:19:34

uncomfortable. Anything that looks

as if we would be a rule taker,

0:19:340:19:38

subject to EU rules without being

able to vote on change them, is

0:19:380:19:41

something that I find difficult, but

it is possible to respect the result

0:19:410:19:46

of the referendum whilst aligning to

certain aspects of EU rules and

0:19:460:19:52

institutions. It all depends on the

detail of the outcome of the

0:19:520:19:56

negotiations.

Do you really think

the Prime Minister's heart is in

0:19:560:19:59

Brexit?

I think it is. She was very

clear in Parliament yesterday,

0:19:590:20:04

someone asked, is Brexit whether?

Chalobah simple answer, yes to drop

0:20:040:20:08

She didn't the first time she was

asked, of course, in the press

0:20:080:20:10

conference.

She is determined to

deliver any partnership with Europe.

0:20:100:20:16

She wants to deliver something with

which the majority of people in this

0:20:160:20:19

country can be comfortable whether

they voted Leave Remain, a close

0:20:190:20:24

relationship but one which sees us

respect the referendum resulted

Has

0:20:240:20:29

the tone changed?

It was more

fulsome on Friday. There will be

0:20:290:20:37

losses, hits taken, as well as the

games and there will be some loss of

0:20:370:20:41

access to markets and we had not

heard that said in words of one

0:20:410:20:44

syllable in quite that way before.

Some would say it is just a question

0:20:440:20:48

of common logic and political

reality and as for Theresa May, she

0:20:480:20:52

is never going to be an ideological

committed Brexiteer like Theresa

0:20:520:20:57

Villiers and she campaigned, not

over enthusiastically, but campaigns

0:20:570:21:00

to remain and this is not ideal

place to be but she as a pragmatist.

0:21:000:21:07

She is at the top of the pyramid and

has to make it work if it can be

0:21:070:21:11

made to work.

Pienaar, thank you.

0:21:110:21:14

There are already statues

of Margaret Thatcher

0:21:140:21:16

at Westminster - here's

the statue of Britain's first

0:21:160:21:18

female Prime Minister in

the members' lobby just by the House

0:21:180:21:21

of Commons chamber.

0:21:210:21:22

But should there be one

outside the building,

0:21:220:21:24

in Parliament Square,

alongside Churchill, Disraeli,

0:21:240:21:25

Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Ghandi?

0:21:250:21:28

Well, the Scottish Lib Dem MP

Jo Swinson, who says she's no

0:21:280:21:31

fan of Mrs Thatcher,

has argued it's time for her to be

0:21:310:21:36

recognised and says there's a hint

of misogyny in the vitriol

0:21:360:21:39

aimed against her.

0:21:390:21:40

But not everyone agrees.

0:21:400:21:41

The First Minister of Scotland,

Nicola Sturgeon, was asked

0:21:410:21:43

about it at the weekend

and replied "steady on".

0:21:430:21:46

So should she be recognised,

and if not why not?

0:21:460:21:49

The SNP MP Alison

Thewliss joins us now.

0:21:490:21:57

Should there be a statue of her in

Parliament Square?

It is a matter

0:21:570:22:01

for Westminster council but from my

point of view and lots of other

0:22:010:22:09

women, they could be on before

Margaret Thatcher. There is a statue

0:22:090:22:13

in Parliament and we need to look at

the broad spectrum of woman who

0:22:130:22:16

could be honoured.

She was the first

female Prime Minister in Britain.

0:22:160:22:21

Isn't that a big deal?

It is that

you have to look at the wider

0:22:210:22:25

context and if you were to put the

structure in Glasgow it is not

0:22:250:22:28

something like constituents would

like, given the impact she had on

0:22:280:22:30

the economy of Scotland.

This is to

stand alongside Churchill in

0:22:300:22:35

Parliament Square. Would that not be

appropriate?

I think it is fine to

0:22:350:22:38

say that we honour the first female

Prime Minister. That is absolutely

0:22:380:22:43

fine but there was a statue already

in Parliament about lots of other

0:22:430:22:46

woman who also need to be honoured

for their part in public life.

Who

0:22:460:22:50

are you suggesting?

There are lots

of women who could be honoured. We

0:22:500:22:55

are seeing a statue unveiled for

Lady Barber who was a rights

0:22:550:22:58

campaigner and campaigned and was

one of Glasgow's first female

0:22:580:23:05

councillors. Glasgow is addressing

the issue of not many women being

0:23:050:23:10

honoured and they publicly funded

that statute it was crowd funded.

0:23:100:23:14

Why are you against the idea of the

first woman Prime Minister who broke

0:23:140:23:20

the glass ceiling, made it to the

top in politics, whatever you may

0:23:200:23:25

think about what she did or didn't

do for women. Should that not just

0:23:250:23:28

the honoured in its own right?

There

was no reason why that can't be

0:23:280:23:32

honoured and it is the decision for

the council whether they want to go

0:23:320:23:35

ahead and allow for that statue to

be raised. The argument but there is

0:23:350:23:40

not enough room in Parliament Square

seems daft it obvious is a big

0:23:400:23:44

square!

Theresa Villiers?

I think

the reason there is not a statue in

0:23:440:23:52

Parliament Square is less to do with

gender and more to do with the fact

0:23:520:23:55

that those statues only tend to be

erected sometime after an individual

0:23:550:24:00

has died and certainly many years

after they have left politics but I

0:24:000:24:04

think it is a good idea to

commemorate our first woman Prime

0:24:040:24:07

Minister with a statue in Parliament

Square, not least because whilst her

0:24:070:24:12

premiership was polarising aspects

of it are controversial, she did

0:24:120:24:17

transform the economy of this

country. She turned the country

0:24:170:24:19

around from what looked like

terminal decline and we are all far

0:24:190:24:24

better off as a result of that, so

that is one of the reasons why she

0:24:240:24:28

should be considered as a candidate

for a statue in Parliament Square.

0:24:280:24:32

But to be honoured as a woman as the

first female Prime Minister, surely

0:24:320:24:36

she had to do something for women

and Dawn Butler, the shadow wounded

0:24:360:24:42

equalities minister, said that

female Tory prime ministers have

0:24:420:24:45

done absolutely nothing for women.

Should politicians really that if

0:24:450:24:50

they haven't done anything for the

rights of women, why should they be

0:24:500:24:52

honoured in that way?

Mrs Thatcher

enabled millions of women to start

0:24:520:24:59

their own business, to get jobs they

wouldn't otherwise have got, to buy

0:24:590:25:02

their own council house. There are a

whole range of things she did for

0:25:020:25:05

women in this country, so I think

she is deserving of a statue.

0:25:050:25:12

Alison?

I would disagree with most

of those points, given the impact on

0:25:120:25:17

Scotland, the long-term impact on

women in Scotland more when you see

0:25:170:25:21

the impact of ill-health and

inequality still lagging behind in

0:25:210:25:24

Scotland as a result of the

devastation that was wreaked in

0:25:240:25:28

Scotland's industries, and I grew up

in Lanarkshire. Many women were put

0:25:280:25:33

on the poverty line as a result of

closures. There is a long-standing

0:25:330:25:38

post-industrial legacy in Scotland.

Our party politics getting in the

0:25:380:25:42

way here? Is it that female

politicians on the left do not want

0:25:420:25:45

to honour a woman politician on the

right, particularly someone like

0:25:450:25:50

Margaret Thatcher, who many will

argue was very, very divisive? Do

0:25:500:25:54

you think ideology is getting in the

way? Harriet Harman, former deputy

0:25:540:25:59

leader of the Labour Party, said

that Margaret Thatcher was not a

0:25:590:26:02

sister.

There are plenty of women

you could go about honouring,

0:26:020:26:07

through the suffragette Warren,

equal rights...

What is the answer

0:26:070:26:16

to the question? Do you think there

is a problem with women on the left

0:26:160:26:19

trying to honour somebody like

Margaret Thatcher on the right?

I

0:26:190:26:22

think there is a question fallen on

the right, about women that they

0:26:220:26:24

would honour. It shouldn't be

divisive. It should be about who we

0:26:240:26:26

want to honoured. In Glasgow women

are recognised across the board.

You

0:26:260:26:35

talked about her legacy in terms of

women voters, or some women voters,

0:26:350:26:41

but in terms of what she did for

women in politics, would you accept

0:26:410:26:44

that it fell short of what she could

have done in terms of the ladder for

0:26:440:26:48

women underneath her?

We certainly

made more progress in recent years

0:26:480:26:55

but that has been a slow process in

many democracies around the world.

0:26:550:27:01

It is... Certainly the dramatic

increase in the numbers of women in

0:27:010:27:03

parliament...

She had the power to

do something much more, didn't she?

0:27:030:27:09

I certainly would have very much

wanted the remedy of the imbalance

0:27:090:27:14

to have started more quickly in

politics than it did but that

0:27:140:27:17

shouldn't attract from the fact of

Mrs Thatcher's huge achievements. --

0:27:170:27:26

should not detract.

She only

promoted one other woman to the

0:27:260:27:29

Cabinet. That is a pretty good

record. Leave I think the problem

0:27:290:27:33

was there was not enough effort to

made to get more women to stand for

0:27:330:27:38

Parliament so the reality is they

were very few women MPs to promote.

0:27:380:27:43

I would certainly acknowledge that

it took the whole political class

0:27:430:27:47

too long to wake up to water problem

that was and I'm glad that dramatic

0:27:470:27:50

progress has been made since.

What

about a of Nicola Sturgeon?

I think

0:27:500:27:56

that would be fine.

Funny, that!

She

is Scotland's first female First

0:27:560:28:03

Minister.

Is Margaret Thatcher was

the first Prime Minister who was a

0:28:030:28:09

woman did not

And she has a statue

already. Donald Dewar was the first

0:28:090:28:16

First Minister of Scotland. Nicola

Sturgeon is still serving at the

0:28:160:28:18

moment and you don't usually put up

statues of serving politician so

0:28:180:28:21

that maybe for the future.

0:28:210:28:23

When you go to vote,

you don't have to take anything

0:28:230:28:26

with you to the polling station.

0:28:260:28:27

You don't need identification,

or your voter registration card,

0:28:270:28:29

and they even lay on the pencils.

0:28:290:28:31

But that won't be the case

in some parts of England

0:28:310:28:34

at local elections in May,

when voters in several pilot areas

0:28:340:28:36

will be asked to provide photo ID.

0:28:360:28:38

Here's our reporter

Greg Dawson, with more.

0:28:380:28:43

You might not think Bromley looks

like a place in the grip of election

0:28:430:28:47

fever and you would probably be

right with two months to go, the

0:28:470:28:51

council is already preparing people

here for something different this

0:28:510:28:56

made. Ordinarily, turning up to vote

at your polling station Ilbo is

0:28:560:28:59

little more than giving your name

and address. You don't even need a

0:28:590:29:02

polling card. But in me here in

Bromley, that changes. You will need

0:29:020:29:08

that polling card and quite likely

some photo ID, whether it is a

0:29:080:29:12

passport or driving licence. As well

as Bromley, four other areas,

0:29:120:29:18

Woking, Gosport, Oxford and Swindon

are also taking part in the pilot.

0:29:180:29:22

In 2040 and the integrity of

election practice was called into

0:29:220:29:26

question during the election of this

man as mayor of Tower Hamlets.

0:29:260:29:30

Lutfur Rahman was eventually found

guilty of corrupt and illegal

0:29:300:29:35

practices, including voter

intimidation. EPROM did a review of

0:29:350:29:38

electoral fraud and the Government's

idea of ID checks to stop vote

0:29:380:29:42

stealing.

It is just a way of

identifying who you are so I can't

0:29:420:29:47

see it being a problem.

If it stops

fraud, it is a good thing, I would

0:29:470:29:51

say.

It would deter me from voting

and you want to get more people

0:29:510:29:55

voting. You don't want to make it

more difficult. I am wondering about

0:29:550:29:58

my mother, who is 91. She would not

have photo ID to take to the polling

0:29:580:30:06

station.

That is one of many

concerns flagged by the Labour

0:30:060:30:09

Party.

When you go to vote Labour

this may, take photo ID...

Cat Smith

0:30:090:30:15

has come along to warn people they

will need more than a ballot paper

0:30:150:30:18

and a pencil.

This measure is a

sledgehammer to crack a nut. Needing

0:30:180:30:22

to take ID to the polling station

risks disenfranchising far more

0:30:220:30:27

people. This is not about party

politics but about ensuring everyone

0:30:270:30:30

who is entitled to vote in this

country does not have a barrier put

0:30:300:30:33

up to run from voting.

The number of

cases impersonating someone else at

0:30:330:30:40

the polling station is vanishingly

small. The Electoral Commission

0:30:400:30:45

reports that in last year's election

there were just 28 cases of alleged

0:30:450:30:50

in-person voter fraud. But the

Government is pressing ahead.

It is

0:30:500:30:55

a very important granted top it is

not a victimless crime, either. That

0:30:550:30:58

is the stealing of somebody's vote,

their right to speak, so the

0:30:580:31:03

Electoral Commission are fully

behind these pilots because they

0:31:030:31:06

think it is the right thing to do to

test out the integrity of the poll

0:31:060:31:09

can be improved. We use it when we

might rent a house, for benefits,

0:31:090:31:13

Warren Weir go abroad and

travelling, all sorts of things that

0:31:130:31:16

all sorts of people use ID for.

The

five local authorities will do all

0:31:160:31:21

they can to accommodate voters

without photo IDs so providing your

0:31:210:31:25

proof of address with a utility bill

may be accepted. A similar pilot is

0:31:250:31:30

planned for 2019 before a national

roll-out will be considered.

0:31:300:31:36

And Cat Smith, Labour's shadow

minister for voter engagement,

0:31:360:31:38

you saw her in the film,

joins us now.

0:31:380:31:45

They vanishingly small number,

hardly a problem?

We can't be

0:31:450:31:49

certain about the actual level of

this kind of voter fraud but even if

0:31:490:31:53

it's a small number, that is still

wrong, we need to do something about

0:31:530:31:57

it. Voter ID is asked for in many

democracies in the world. We have an

0:31:570:32:02

example in the United Kingdom, and

in Northern Ireland people are asked

0:32:020:32:05

for ID before they vote.

Is there

anything intrinsically wrong with

0:32:050:32:10

asking for people to come with photo

ID?

I think what this highlights is

0:32:100:32:14

just what is a serious problem but a

very small problem, voter fraud in

0:32:140:32:20

terms of impersonation at polling

stations. Last year, almost 45

0:32:200:32:28

million votes cast, 28 allegations

made that somebody had impersonated

0:32:280:32:31

somebody at a polling station, of

that, one conviction has resulted.

0:32:310:32:35

That is serious and police should be

given the resources to investigate

0:32:350:32:40

every single allegation of voter

fraud. But to risk disenfranchising

0:32:400:32:45

legitimate voters who have a right

to vote is a sledgehammer to crack a

0:32:450:32:48

nut.

If people are given enough time

to prepare, to get hold of some sort

0:32:480:32:54

of photo ID, would that be the

answer?

I think it's very clear that

0:32:540:32:57

people haven't had time to prepare

and when I was out speaking to

0:32:570:33:01

voters yesterday in one of the

polling areas, it was very clear

0:33:010:33:05

that people were very surprised, on

the doorstep, they had to take IDE.

0:33:050:33:09

The government and councils have

been very slow in communicating,

0:33:090:33:13

that change electoral law. For many

people, they know they can turn up

0:33:130:33:17

at the polling station, give their

name and get their ballot paper and

0:33:170:33:20

cast their vote for their preferred

candidate. That will change. That

0:33:200:33:25

does risk disenfranchised voters who

don't have IDE, roughly speaking

0:33:250:33:28

that is going to be around 7.5% of

the electorate -- don't have IDE.

0:33:280:33:37

Perhaps people don't know it is

coming, maybe they will vote on the

0:33:370:33:43

way home from Jim, will they go back

and vote? Will it be so late that

0:33:430:33:47

they won't have time -- home from

the gymnasium. Far more people will

0:33:470:33:53

be disenfranchised compared to the

committed fraudsters who will find

0:33:530:33:56

their way round this.

It is

traditional to rock up at the

0:33:560:33:59

polling station at any time, take

the pencil lead but the cross beside

0:33:590:34:03

the name you want to vote for.

People don't adapt that is a need to

0:34:030:34:09

change or that quickly. It will

disenfranchise an awful lot of

0:34:090:34:12

people.

I don't believe it will. One

of the reasons these pilot schemes

0:34:120:34:18

is being run is to iron out

potential problems. I know that the

0:34:180:34:23

Cabinet Office is working very

closely with the Electoral

0:34:230:34:25

Commission. They believe, the

electrical machine, that a

0:34:250:34:29

requirement to produce voter ID is

needed.

0:34:290:34:33

It's only reasonable if you have to

produce voter ID, if you have to

0:34:330:34:39

produce ID for all sorts of purposes

in this country. Whether it is to

0:34:390:34:42

travel abroad, get a mortgage, it is

not unreasonable when you take the

0:34:420:34:46

very serious decision to exercise

your vote, to be asked to identify

0:34:460:34:51

yourself.

What forms of photo ID are

there other than driving licence and

0:34:510:34:55

password? You may not have a

passport if you don't travel and you

0:34:550:34:59

don't drive. It is not that easy.

One option they use in Northern

0:34:590:35:04

Ireland, they have a specific voter

ID card that you can apply for. When

0:35:040:35:09

these pilots are completed, it will

be very important to ensure that if

0:35:090:35:12

we go ahead and do this on a

national basis, that people are able

0:35:120:35:17

to get access to low-cost readily

available photo IDs that they can

0:35:170:35:21

exercise their right to vote.

Will

it drive down voter turnout?

I don't

0:35:210:35:25

think it will have two.

It might

not.

It is not unreasonable when

0:35:250:35:32

someone is taking part in democracy

in order to prevent ID fraud and

0:35:320:35:37

voter fraud that they produce photo

ID, as they do for so many other

0:35:370:35:41

things in life.

Do you think it will

disproportionately affects labour

0:35:410:35:46

voters?

Today we have seen a letter

go to the Cabinet Office to the

0:35:460:35:50

minister responsible from 40

charities and academics highlighting

0:35:500:35:52

which kind of groups are going to be

disenfranchised by this trial and

0:35:520:35:55

that includes older voters and we

had in that clip. The lady who said

0:35:550:36:01

her older mother would not have

photo IDs. It would disenfranchise

0:36:010:36:05

some younger voters, the British

youth Council and NUS has signed up.

0:36:050:36:10

You think it will affect some of

your voters more?

It will affect

0:36:100:36:14

voters from all political parties.

Although voters, it may affect the

0:36:140:36:18

Tory vote slightly more. With

younger voters it is more likely to

0:36:180:36:21

affect the Labour vote. This is not

about party politics, this is about

0:36:210:36:26

the disenfranchisement of legitimate

voters in this country. Theresa

0:36:260:36:31

mentioned in Northern Ireland that

there is a card you can take to the

0:36:310:36:34

polling station, the Mitchell

commission recommended that this was

0:36:340:36:40

rolled out as part of this trial --

the Electoral Commission. The

0:36:400:36:42

government has chosen not to do it.

There is no indication this card

0:36:420:36:45

would be made available for

elections in England, Scotland and

0:36:450:36:48

Wales. It is a red herring to throw

that in.

Monroe Bergdorf, who was

0:36:480:36:53

appointed as an adviser to Labour's

women and equalities minister, Dawn

0:36:530:36:59

Butler, is now going to... Has

resigned. Is that the right

0:36:590:37:03

decision?

I think so, yes. Monroe

was not a paid adviser, she was part

0:37:030:37:10

of the voluntary panel of LGBT

voices that the Shadow Minister for

0:37:100:37:15

Women and Equalities pulled together

to advise the Labour Party on LGBT

0:37:150:37:19

issues. It was a very broad group

with lots of different backgrounds

0:37:190:37:23

and opinions but I don't endorse the

comments that Monroe made. I think

0:37:230:37:28

it is the right decision that she

has resigned.

Those views were quite

0:37:280:37:33

well known. Many of them from tweets

she had made. Was it right to

0:37:330:37:39

appoint her?

A lot of these tweets

were a long time ago. I was not

0:37:390:37:43

aware of them. I think it is right

that she has resigned.

Although she

0:37:430:37:48

was on our sister programme, stating

that white people are racist. That

0:37:480:37:53

was only a year ago. Should Labour

have thought twice before appointing

0:37:530:37:57

her?

This wasn't a paid appointment,

this was a panel of...

She was still

0:37:570:38:03

going to be an adviser on

equalities.

It is right she resigned

0:38:030:38:06

but I don't endorse the views that

she has put forward. When she

0:38:060:38:12

resigned she put out a statement and

how she said she found very hounded

0:38:120:38:16

by the press treatment she has had

over recent days.

Was it on fire,

0:38:160:38:20

the press treatment?

I think it is

unfair when press hound anybody.

--

0:38:200:38:25

was unfair?

When anyone is a

volunteer, to do that.

They were

0:38:250:38:33

reporting the controversial comments

she had made.

It has resulted in

0:38:330:38:37

some very unpleasant and abuses

trolling, not necessarily from just

0:38:370:38:42

the press but social media

generally. It is a topic we have

0:38:420:38:45

discussed on this programme before.

It is deeply unpleasant. Thank you.

0:38:450:38:49

Should schools have separate

uniforms for boys and girls?

0:38:490:38:52

That's not the view

of the Liberal Democrats,

0:38:520:38:54

who are calling on the government

to encourage all schools to adopt

0:38:540:38:57

a gender neutral uniform policy.

0:38:570:38:59

Many schools have already

changed their rules

0:38:590:39:01

about school uniform.

0:39:010:39:03

This secondary school in Lewes,

East Sussex, has said

0:39:030:39:08

all pupils must wear trousers,

a change it said it made in response

0:39:080:39:11

to concerns over the length

of skirts and to cater for a handful

0:39:110:39:14

of transgender pupils.

0:39:140:39:16

Most schools haven't banned skirts,

but have removed references

0:39:160:39:18

to gender in their uniform policy,

meaning girls could choose to wear

0:39:180:39:21

the trousers and boys the skirts.

0:39:210:39:25

So why are some schools

making these changes?

0:39:250:39:28

Well, we're joined now

by Ashley Harrold, he's headteacher

0:39:280:39:30

at Blatchington Mill School in

Brighton.

0:39:300:39:36

Welcome. What is your policy on

uniform?

Good afternoon. Thank you

0:39:360:39:42

for having me on. Our uniform

policy, we looked at it a year ago

0:39:420:39:46

and made some adjustments and

changes in order to make sure it was

0:39:460:39:50

accessible to all students. An

hourly, we took out references to

0:39:500:39:53

boys and girls on uniform. --

primarily we took out. We focused on

0:39:530:39:59

choice. The other factors, a general

equality approach to our uniform and

0:39:590:40:05

the cost, supporting families in

hardship you couldn't afford it. We

0:40:050:40:08

looked at having won price for all

sizes -- one price for all sizes of

0:40:080:40:15

uniform.

How big an issue is this

for you and parents and pupils?

0:40:150:40:22

In reality, it actually probably

affects a relatively small number of

0:40:220:40:26

students. We removed the reference

to boys or girls in terms of skirts

0:40:260:40:30

and trousers and the uniform is the

same for students in terms of the

0:40:300:40:33

jumper, shirt and the tie. They

choose between shorts, a SCUD or

0:40:330:40:38

trousers on the bottom half. In

doing so, all students can identify

0:40:380:40:43

in the way they want to -- a skirt

or trousers. The vast majority of

0:40:430:40:47

students conform to a fairly

standard gender stereotype and they

0:40:470:40:50

would wear what you expect them to

have worn under the old policy.

0:40:500:40:54

Right.

But for any student who don't

feel that is the case, they don't

0:40:540:40:58

feel ostracised and the message we

are sending to them as a school,

0:40:580:41:01

they are still part of our community

and they are welcome.

How have

0:41:010:41:04

parents reacted?

The support from

parents has been absolutely strong.

0:41:040:41:10

Within Brighton and Hove, there is a

strong feeling that equality is a

0:41:100:41:14

strong issue and the students have a

choice, that has been widely

0:41:140:41:18

positively received.

What would you

say about concerns that it might

0:41:180:41:22

lead to some confusion amongst the

pupils and the children at schools?

0:41:220:41:27

It's actually much less of a mass

issue then you would imagine. It's

0:41:290:41:33

an individual issue. As a school,

we're not taking a view on gender

0:41:330:41:36

and we're not trying to impose any

mindset or value system onto our

0:41:360:41:41

students. We are saying we recognise

young people actually don't always

0:41:410:41:44

identify with the gender they were

born. Within that context, we want

0:41:440:41:48

them to be able to express

themselves within our school system

0:41:480:41:52

and school processes. It comes back

to the principle of uniform. For us,

0:41:520:41:57

it is identifying our school and

community. We are hugely proud of

0:41:570:42:02

our school and we want students to

feel they are part of that. By

0:42:020:42:05

wearing the uniform, they are

engaged in everything we are about,

0:42:050:42:08

the values we support, rat

tolerance. Around academic

0:42:080:42:12

achievement and success as a young

person -- about tolerance. Mental

0:42:120:42:16

health with young people, it is not

a mass issue before a minority of

0:42:160:42:20

students, not being able to wear a

uniform they identify with could

0:42:200:42:24

have a detrimental impact about the

way they view themselves and how

0:42:240:42:27

they feel others view them.

Thank

you.

0:42:270:42:29

As I said, the Liberal Democrats

want the Government

0:42:290:42:31

to back this policy.

0:42:310:42:32

Layla Moran speaks for the Lib Dems

on education and Ella Whelan writes

0:42:320:42:35

for the website Spiked.

0:42:350:42:37

Welcome.

0:42:370:42:38

You don't have a problem with boys

wearing trousers and girls wearing

0:42:400:42:45

skirts?

Absolutely not, this is not

where it is about. The origin of a

0:42:450:42:48

campaign came from a goal in a

school who refused to let her wear

0:42:480:42:52

trousers and she was a bit of a

tomboy and she didn't see it was

0:42:520:42:55

fair that she couldn't play football

with the boys. When she was wearing

0:42:550:42:58

her skirt it would fly everywhere.

That is where the campaign started.

0:42:580:43:03

It was passed at our Scottish

conference and backed by the

0:43:030:43:06

Scottish Government, that is great.

We think the same thing should

0:43:060:43:09

happen across the UK.

Why shouldn't

children just be allowed to wear

0:43:090:43:13

what they want?

That is a

fascinating question in relation to

0:43:130:43:17

schools, children should not be

allowed to do what they want at

0:43:170:43:19

school. No matter what people say

about uniform, used to work in a

0:43:190:43:24

school in most teachers tell you

that in the form is quite

0:43:240:43:26

fundamental for discipline. It's a

way of telling kids that they not

0:43:260:43:31

only have to fit in and conform and

respect authority, which is a dirty

0:43:310:43:35

word today but quite important in

relation to education. It's also a

0:43:350:43:39

way of saying we are all the same,

no one stands out. If you will

0:43:390:43:44

advocate for individuals to be able

to fetishise their individuality in

0:43:440:43:47

a school system, that will give

scope for the abuse of authority

0:43:470:43:52

Baston uniform should be uniform?

I

have worked in schools that have

0:43:520:43:56

teaching backgrounds, I have worked

in schools with uniforms and

0:43:560:44:00

without. I don't think there much

evidence to suggest what she said is

0:44:000:44:03

true. The point of this was about

actually allowing students to be

0:44:030:44:08

able to be comfortable in what they

are in. The quality of education

0:44:080:44:12

only improves if people can truly

feel that they are comfortable in

0:44:120:44:15

what they are wearing. What we heard

from Ashley and his policy is

0:44:150:44:21

probably my ideal policy. No

specific reference in the uniform to

0:44:210:44:25

this is what girls we had this is

what boys wear, you just have a list

0:44:250:44:28

and from that list pick what you

like.

Is it really about allowing

0:44:280:44:32

children to wear what they want? It

is just saying you can wear what you

0:44:320:44:37

want within a strict uniform code,

be that trousers or skirts.

I don't

0:44:370:44:41

think many people will be utterly

disgusted to the point of protest

0:44:410:44:45

about the fact that boys might wear

skirts and girls might wear

0:44:450:44:50

trousers. This is such a storm in a

teacup, it is adults budding adult

0:44:500:44:53

concerns on to children. The gender

of session in schools is crazy. This

0:44:530:44:57

is a minority of students, it's not

a big issue. Schools in Bristol who

0:44:570:45:02

had put up this gender neutral

issue, no boys have worn skirts.

The

0:45:020:45:05

point is they have the choice.

It is

a storm in a teacup.

Because it is

0:45:050:45:10

two or three students in a school

doesn't mean it is important.

Or

0:45:100:45:13

none.

There is good evidence to show

there are some transgender children

0:45:130:45:19

who, partly because of these kind of

issues, don't come out until much

0:45:190:45:22

later on and usually at university.

When they are able to throw off the

0:45:220:45:25

shackles of this kind of thing.

That

might not be a bad thing. You talked

0:45:250:45:30

about confusion. We are telling

children from a young age, they have

0:45:300:45:35

to fetishise and focus on and worry

about their gender.

Can I just

0:45:350:45:41

pushed... No. Kids in their own

homes wear what they like, they

0:45:410:45:44

express individuality.

It is a

different environment at school.

If

0:45:440:45:46

there is a child who is actively

questioning their gender at school,

0:45:460:45:50

are we saying they shouldn't be

allowed to do that in a school

0:45:500:45:53

environment? That is entirely

unfair. A lot of these arguments

0:45:530:45:57

used to be deployed against gay

people. But if you allow people to

0:45:570:46:01

talk about it, somehow it is

catching. That they will be

0:46:010:46:04

confused. I'm really worried about

the way this narrative has gone

0:46:040:46:07

down.

Are you putting ideas into

children's heads?

Ideas about what?

0:46:070:46:12

To think about gender in a certain

way.

What is wrong about that? Is

0:46:120:46:16

there anything wrong with allowing

them to think about it?

That is

0:46:160:46:20

fine. What do you think?

0:46:200:46:25

Schools should be allowed to make

their decisions on these issues. And

0:46:250:46:28

they want to go down this path by

don't have a big issue with it but I

0:46:280:46:31

do it is the most important issue in

education. There are far more

0:46:310:46:35

important things even in terms of

school uniform did I think a far

0:46:350:46:38

more important issue is what it

costs, rather than the nature of it

0:46:380:46:42

in terms of gender separation.

We

have talked about uniform. Would you

0:46:420:46:46

take on a stage further in terms of

toilets, for example?

I was going to

0:46:460:46:51

bring that up. We have our spring

conference this weekend and I

0:46:510:46:56

believe we may be talking about

extending it to toilets. I would be

0:46:560:46:59

up for that. I was working for a

school that was about to have that

0:46:590:47:04

policy as a result of changing the

school building and there were some

0:47:040:47:08

transgender students in the school

and they used it as an opportunity

0:47:080:47:10

to modernise in that way. The most

interesting thing I found was the

0:47:100:47:14

number of boys who were in favour of

it who said they actually felt quite

0:47:140:47:19

uncomfortable at your riddles and

they said this would not have to be

0:47:190:47:22

a way that they would have to do

this any more. -- uncomfortable at

0:47:220:47:25

your rivals. I think having a

conversation about gender neutral

0:47:250:47:31

pronouns is a good one and what I

would like to see in parliament too

0:47:310:47:34

in front of select committees.

You

can tell the Lib Dems have their

0:47:340:47:39

priorities in order. The whole

fascination with gender ends up in

0:47:390:47:43

this farcical situation in which you

are worrying children about their

0:47:430:47:46

gender. We are not worrying about

the fact that we should be Draconian

0:47:460:47:50

and stop individuals from expressing

themselves in their own personal

0:47:500:47:53

life. School is a completely

different area. I'm worried about

0:47:530:47:57

the fat, and a lot of people are,

that you would eradicate the notion

0:47:570:48:00

of gender, which is quite important

for some young people. I remember

0:48:000:48:05

sneaking off into the girls' toilets

and that being somewhere where my

0:48:050:48:08

social life happened at school and

similar things happened with boys.

0:48:080:48:12

If we're talking about bullying, if

you are going to institute a policy

0:48:120:48:15

in which you allow young people to

dress however they like, this is why

0:48:150:48:21

uniform is important. It stops

people from being bullied in one

0:48:210:48:24

way.

You accept that children are

talking about these issues?

0:48:240:48:29

Particularly at secondary school?

These things openly being discussed

0:48:290:48:32

in the playground anyway so isn't it

really just an acceptance of what is

0:48:320:48:35

going on?

I would challenge that. I

don't think children are having

0:48:350:48:40

discussions about whether or not

they are transgender. They are very

0:48:400:48:44

free in expressing themselves. But

putting adult concerns I think is

0:48:440:48:49

damaging.

I have been to schools in

my constituency...

You think come

0:48:490:48:54

back to daughter was after that. --

you can come back. To us after that.

0:48:540:49:03

Now, let's return to our top story

for today - the suspicious

0:49:030:49:06

collapse of former Russian spy

Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.

0:49:060:49:08

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has

been discussing the case

0:49:080:49:10

in the House of Commons.

0:49:100:49:12

Police and partner agencies are now

investigating. Honourable members

0:49:120:49:14

will note the echoes of the death of

Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. And

0:49:140:49:19

while it would be wrong to prejudge

the investigation, I can reassure

0:49:190:49:24

the house that should evidence

emerge that implies a state

0:49:240:49:28

responsibility, Her Majesty's

government will respond

0:49:280:49:32

appropriately and robustly and I

hope honourable members on both

0:49:320:49:36

sides of the house will appreciate

it would not be right for me now to

0:49:360:49:40

give further details of the

investigation for fear of

0:49:400:49:43

prejudicing the outcome.

The fact

that we've got Boris Johnson in the

0:49:430:49:50

House of Commons, the Foreign

Secretary, answering an urgent

0:49:500:49:52

question - is that prejudging what

has happened?

There is always a risk

0:49:520:49:57

with politicians commenting at all

about a police investigation or a

0:49:570:50:00

court case because sometimes that

can jeopardise eventual prosecution

0:50:000:50:05

but given the concerns around this

case and the Litvinenko precedent it

0:50:050:50:09

is not surprising, I suppose, that

the Foreign Secretary is at the

0:50:090:50:12

dispatch box but is no doubt... He

won't be able to comment in any kind

0:50:120:50:16

of detail for fear of damaging the

police investigation.

And whatever

0:50:160:50:22

is concluded from the police

investigation, Boris Johnson

0:50:220:50:24

alluding to having a robust

response, what would that look like?

0:50:240:50:30

It is hard to say at this stage. I

think we can't jump to the rush to

0:50:300:50:36

judgment on that but, Beasley,

relations with Russia went into the

0:50:360:50:39

deep freeze after Litvinenko. They

subsequently thawed out to some

0:50:390:50:44

degree. Obviously it would be a

massive setback in terms of UK/

0:50:440:50:48

Russia relations if the conclusion

of this case is that the Russian

0:50:480:50:51

state had something to do with these

shocking events in Salisbury.

Let's

0:50:510:50:56

leave it there.

0:50:560:50:57

The National People's Congress

is taking place in Beijing today.

0:50:570:51:00

That's the annual sitting

of the Chinese Parliament -

0:51:000:51:02

yes, annual - and they'll be

considering a plan to allow

0:51:020:51:05

Xi Jinping to become ruler for life

by abolishing the limit on how long

0:51:050:51:08

someone can be president.

0:51:080:51:09

It sounds like US President Donald

Trump is a fan of the idea.

0:51:090:51:12

He is reported to have said,

"I think it's great.

0:51:120:51:15

Maybe we'll give that

a shot one day."

0:51:150:51:17

So if you're a world

leader and you just don't

0:51:170:51:21

fancy giving up the job,

here's our guide

0:51:210:51:23

to staying in power.

0:51:230:51:24

MUSIC: Never Gonna Give

You Up by Rick Astley

0:51:240:51:31

Well, hello, there.

0:51:310:51:33

And welcome to the Daily Politics

five-step guide to

0:51:330:51:38

how to hang onto power.

0:51:380:51:46

For a really long time, even though

everybody wants you to go, although

0:51:460:51:49

they may have stopped telling you

that because they are absolutely

0:51:490:51:52

terrified.

0:51:520:51:54

First things first -

control the media.

0:51:540:51:56

Accusing them of fake news is one

thing but what you really want

0:51:560:51:59

is total control of the message.

0:51:590:52:00

North Korea is famous

for its pro-government broadcasts.

0:52:000:52:03

And don't forget the internet.

0:52:030:52:05

The great firewall of China

is thought to be the most extensive

0:52:050:52:08

system of censorship in the world.

0:52:080:52:09

There are even restrictions

on Winnie the Pooh -

0:52:090:52:11

that's because it's the nickname

of the Chinese president Xi Jinping.

0:52:110:52:18

Number two, change jobs.

0:52:180:52:20

If you can't rewrite

the constitution, like they're doing

0:52:200:52:23

in China, think about swapping jobs.

0:52:260:52:28

Vladimir Putin!

0:52:280:52:29

Russia's Vladimir Putin has gone

from Prime Minister to President,

0:52:290:52:31

back to Prime Minister

and then President again.

0:52:310:52:33

All you need is a faithful

pal to keep your seat

0:52:330:52:36

warm while you're away, but avoid

anyone who is too ambitious.

0:52:360:52:41

Number three, get a fancy title.

0:52:410:52:44

It's always worth making

yourself sound important.

0:52:440:52:47

Idi Amin was Uganda's dictator or,

as he preferred to be called,

0:52:470:52:53

His Excellency, President for Life,

Lord of all the Beasts of the Earth

0:52:530:52:57

and the Fishes of the Sea

and Conqueror of the British Empire

0:52:570:52:59

in Africa in General

and Uganda in Particular.

0:52:590:53:02

Snappy!

0:53:020:53:05

Number four, if you must have

elections, always win.

0:53:050:53:10

As Stalin said, it's not the people

who vote that count,

0:53:100:53:13

it's the people who count the votes.

0:53:130:53:15

Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-Un

both won elections with

0:53:150:53:18

a remarkable 100% of the vote.

0:53:180:53:21

In recent years, Raul Castro

in Cuba and Assad in Syria

0:53:210:53:24

were a little more understated.

0:53:240:53:26

They had between 97% and 99%.

0:53:260:53:31

And finally, number five,

image is everything.

0:53:310:53:35

President Amin leaves his

imprint on everything.

0:53:350:53:38

How you look, what you wear,

how many guns you have.

0:53:380:53:41

And make sure everybody

gets an eyeful.

0:53:410:53:49

Elisabeth Glinka reporting and I am

joined by the foreign correspondent

0:53:550:53:57

Martin Bell did talk have been many

dictators you have not met and

0:53:570:54:02

interviewed?

I have met a few. I

remember interviewing Idi Amin in

0:54:020:54:07

Kampala in 1975. I had to kneel in

front of this huge throwing.

How did

0:54:070:54:12

you feel?

He gave me some wonderful

sound bites but then when he started

0:54:120:54:22

filling up the room, I realised it

had turned into a wedding ceremony.

0:54:220:54:25

He was about to marry a

representative of the Army.

What was

0:54:250:54:35

he like?

A buffoon, very dangerous.

He had total control of the security

0:54:350:54:41

apparatus. He was partly contained

by the British because he had been a

0:54:410:54:45

sergeant in the King's African air

force. If you suppress enough, cut

0:54:450:54:50

down on the free press, ran a

savage, oppressive regime, these

0:54:500:54:54

people can last almost a lifetime.

Why do you think they want to last a

0:54:540:54:59

lifetime and go on and on?

It is the

thirst for power, for being

0:54:590:55:04

somebody. A lot of them come from

humble origins and you'd get a sense

0:55:040:55:07

of entitlement. Even in my four

years in Parliament, I found I was

0:55:070:55:13

getting a sense of entitlement.

It

is interesting that you say that

0:55:130:55:16

because if, as has happened with

Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher,

0:55:160:55:22

you win elections time after time,

do you think in the end power

0:55:220:55:26

corrupts?

It does tend to corrupt,

as the man said, you've seen it time

0:55:260:55:31

and time again. I've found very few

humble politicians in senior

0:55:310:55:37

positions. An exception, actually,

was Ronald Reagan, who was generally

0:55:370:55:41

quite a humble, ordinary guy. But

mostly, power feeds its own

0:55:410:55:47

appetite.

What you think is

happening in China with Xi Jinping?

0:55:470:55:52

I think we have a dictatorship

perpetuating itself, under cover of

0:55:520:55:58

an occasional meeting...

Very

occasional!

There is a pattern to

0:55:580:56:06

it, isn't there? I remember

attending President Somoza of

0:56:060:56:11

Nicaraguan. I was at his 60th

birthday party and they were all

0:56:110:56:16

seeing happy birthday to him and he

was there for life until he ran away

0:56:160:56:20

to Paraguay and was assassinated

five years later. Nearly all of them

0:56:200:56:24

come to a bad end

Yes, but some of

them do last a very long time.

0:56:240:56:28

Mugabe...

But even he got removed

under special conditions. I would

0:56:280:56:34

regard him as the exception.

What

you think is key to these dictators

0:56:340:56:39

holding onto power?

I think total

ruthlessness, and ability project

0:56:390:56:44

themselves as the saviour of their

people. One of my first foreign

0:56:440:56:48

assignments was the overthrow of a

dictator in 1966 in Ghana. He was

0:56:480:56:56

also the Redeemer, the saviour, and

if people believe that you can have

0:56:560:56:59

a try long time.

You a marginal seat

now. Are you a bit jealous?

I've

0:56:590:57:06

ever met any dictators, I'm afraid,

though I have met Vladimir Putin.

I

0:57:060:57:10

thought you were going to say you

had never met a dictator you liked!

0:57:100:57:13

What was Vladimir Putin like?

Quite

quiet. I met him as part of the G8

0:57:130:57:20

conference in County Fermanagh when

I was Secretary of State for

0:57:200:57:23

Northern Ireland. He was very polite

and laughable but quiet.

In terms of

0:57:230:57:28

people who are democratically

elected, you could think of

0:57:280:57:31

President Jacques Chirac to change

the law to ensure he would face

0:57:310:57:34

prosecution, it is not beyond the

realms of democratically elected

0:57:340:57:37

politicians to do things that people

might think land themselves to being

0:57:370:57:42

more dictator like.

Yes, but in most

of our democracy there are checks

0:57:420:57:46

and balances. Go back to Watergate,

Nixon didn't survive. As to what is

0:57:460:57:52

going on at the moment, I'm not

sure. This is a test of the checks

0:57:520:57:57

and balances.

Do you think things

have changed very much? Are we

0:57:570:58:00

always going to have that churn of

dictators in the world?

Human nature

0:58:000:58:04

doesn't change. They're always have

been wars, there always will be

0:58:040:58:10

wars. Politics attract the same

kinds of people and they're always

0:58:100:58:12

have been dictators and always will

be but there seems to be a bit of a

0:58:120:58:16

surge in dictatorships at the

moment.

Any that stood out to you?

0:58:160:58:21

You mentioned Idi Amin but any

others that stood out to you?

I

0:58:210:58:26

think Tito. Tito repressed his

people but it was almost a benign

0:58:260:58:31

repression and I remember a story

which indicates... Two prisoners on

0:58:310:58:37

his islands, one asks the other hand

Hughes in four aunties is ten years.

0:58:370:58:41

The prisoner asks what he did and he

says, I did nothing. The guy says,

0:58:410:58:45

the most you get for doing nothing

is eight years.

And on that note,

0:58:450:58:50

Martin Bell, thank you very much.

Thank you, Theresa, for being our

0:58:500:58:54

guest of the day. That is it. The

one o'clock news is starting on

0:58:540:58:58

Jo Coburn is joined by former Cabinet minister Theresa Villiers for the latest news from Westminster, including the campaign for a new statue of Margaret Thatcher.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS