15/03/2018 Daily Politics


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15/03/2018

Jo Coburn is joined by Jack Straw to discuss the diplomatic row over the Russian spy poisoning, Jeremy Corbyn's response and child sexual exploitation in Telford.


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LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to

the Daily Politics.

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Tit for tat.

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Russia has said it will expel UK

diplomats "soon" in retaliation

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to Britain expelling 23

Russian diplomats.

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With Theresa May set to visit

Salisbury later today,

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where the former Russian double

agent and his daughter were

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poisoned, has she gone far enough?

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Has Jeremy Corbyn

misjudged his response

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to the attack, after failing

to back Theresa May's decision

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to blame Russia?

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The Labour leader upset

some of his backbenches

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by appearing to echo

the Moscow line that more time

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and more evidence was needed to

prove Putin really was responsible.

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In the light of the allegations

of widespread child sexual

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exploitation in the Shropshire town

of Telford, including cases

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involving girls as young

as 11, we'll be speaking

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to their MP about it.

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And how did Vladimir Putin rise

from a lowly KGB colonel

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to become one of the world's

most powerful leaders?

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We'll be speaking to one

of the world's leading experts

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about power and psychology.

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All that in the next hour

and with me throughout is the former

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Home and Foreign Secretary,

Jack Straw.

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Welcome back to the programme.

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Thank you.

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First today, the Brexit Secretary

David Davis has indicated

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he's willing to be flexible

on the length of the transition

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period after the UK

leaves the EU next year.

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The British government had argued it

wanted a two year implimentation

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period where Britain follows similar

trading rules to now to give

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businesses time to get

ready before we leave.

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Brussels, however,

wants a shorter time.

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Here he is talking to

Newsnight's Nick Watt last night.

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I'm not bothered, too much

about the question of whether it's

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Christmas 2020 or Easter 2021.

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So, if it means Christmas 2020,

you'd live with that?

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I would live with that.

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But, this is...

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We're still in the middle

of a negotiation but, frankly,

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what I would not do is delay

the decision, as it were,

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in order to get a month or two more.

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David Davis, the Brexit secretary.

He seems pretty relaxed about the

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timescale of the implementation

period. You can paint to remain in

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the EU.

I did.

As many Labour people

dead. The sky hasn't fallen in since

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the referendum? It hasn't. -- as

many Labour people did.

We have

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dropped to the bottom of the Labour

G20, the major industrialised

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countries in the world. We are at

the bottom of them in terms of

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growth. Although the predictions

made at the time of the referendum

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the immediate problems were not

fulfilled, that's true. We were in a

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period of a kind of phoney situation

for about a year where things just

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carried on. There isn't any doubt

about the fact now that Brexit is

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having a significant impact on our

output. No question about that.

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Despite that, people can point to

high levels of unemployment and low

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levels of unemployment. But in terms

of growth, we had a trend for years

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about 2% to 2.5%. That is down to

1.5%. That might be a small

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percentage but it involves big

numbers. It means there is less tax

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revenue for the government to spend.

Although tax receipts have been at.

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But not as much as they would have

been. There is less money in

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people's pockets.

How much did

people care, people who voted to

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leave about the big macro figures,

about whether growth is up or down

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by a few percentage points? Despite

what you say, the Dow hasn't moved

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that dramatically. Labour has moved

its position on the customs union,

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saying it would now like to have one

with EU. Do you think they will move

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any further when it comes to the

single market, they have said not?

I

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doubt it. Keir Starmer, our shadow

Brexit secretary, he is somebody who

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is very bright, good judgment and a

safe pair of hands. Yes, he has

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moved the party's position to a

customs union. I doubt we will move

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to the single market. The problem

that about the single market, if you

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join it, I would like that, people

will say, why don't we rejoin the

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EU? That is a very big question. On

your point about as the dial moved

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on people's voting preferences, not

much by all accounts. No doubt that

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for a lot of people who voted

Brexit, this was done out of a sense

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that not so much about the economic

detail, but they wanted "To take

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back control". That was very

powerful as a slogan, more than a

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slogan. I think that tipped the

balance in the last week of the

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campaign in favour of Brexit.

Do you

think backbench Labour MPs have

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confidence in Jeremy Corbyn's view

on the EU?

His position has shifted,

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they probably do. Keir Starmer is

the person leading that.

You will

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leave it there. -- we will leave it

there.

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Moscow says it's still

considering how to retaliate,

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following Britain's decision

to expel 23 Russian diplomats.

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The Russian Foreign Ministry said

measures would be implemented

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as soon as possible.

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This morning, the British Foreign

Secretary, Boris Johnson,

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said international allies are key.

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There's a global disgust

at what has happened.

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And that's very important.

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And we will continue to make

the case to our friends and

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allies that, as a...

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As a committee of nations,

we need to stand up to Russia.

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As the Foreign Secretary said,

Britain is busy building

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an international coalition to strike

back against Russia.

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The Nato council will meet

in Brussels today to discuss

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the Salisbury attack.

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And last night, Donald Trump's

ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley,

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gave a powerful denunciation

of Russia at a security

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council meeting.

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Let me make one thing clear,

from the very beginning.

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The United States stands in absolute

solidarity with Great Britain.

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The United States believes that

Russia is responsible for the attack

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on two people in the United Kingdom,

using a military grade nerve agent.

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Dozens of civilians and first

responders were also exposed.

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Police officer Nick Bailey

was the first to arrive on the scene

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and remains hospitalised

in serious condition.

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Our thoughts and prayers

go out to the victims

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of this atrocious crime.

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And beyond the United States,

leaders around the world have

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been quick to react.

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Germany's new Foreign Minister Heiko

Maas said:

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"We take the assessment

of the British government

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Moscow should be ready

to be transparent ...

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And it is clear this cannot go

without consequences."

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Canadian Prime Minister,

Justin Trudeau,

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was clear who was responsible.

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He said:

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"The attack is despicable...

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Russia's likely

involvement in this is also

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absolutely unacceptable

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and needs to be condemned

in the strongest terms."

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And, despite some innitial reticence

yesterday to blame Russia,

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French President Emmanuel Macron

said this morning:

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"France agrees

with the United Kingdom

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that there is no other plausible

explanation and reiterates

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its solidarity with its ally."

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Joining us now is former

British ambassador

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to Russia Sir Tony Brenton,

and Russian journalist

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Tonia Samsanova.

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Welcome to both of you. Tony, you

were Russian ambassador in 2006,

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that was when Alexander Litvinenko

was poisoned. After his death, there

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were also expressions of support

from world leaders, European

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leaders. Did they follow through

with any meaningful action?

Jack, I

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had the privilege of working for him

for many years, can I greet him?

You

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may.

We got lots of warm words from

the Americans and our European

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allies after the Alexander

Litvinenko murder. The Americans

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were willing to follow through with

substantive action, we played with

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the idea of throwing out a rush of

the G8. The Europeans were much more

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disappointing, warm words but not

much else. -- throwing Russia out.

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Will that be the case this time

round despite the declarations of

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support that we had from the likes

of Germany and now France?

I hope

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not. The political context is

different, Russia has sunk to the

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bottom of the international league

table in terms of trust in

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popularity. The EU already extensive

sanctions against Russia. I am sure

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we are working very hard saying what

happened in Salisbury ten days ago

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could easily happen in Frankfurt or

Avignon tomorrow. There are obvious

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things EU Ken Duke, most notably

when you its own sanctions on Russia

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-- can do, most notably. For an

extended period. We are working hard

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to do that.

Is this what Vladimir

Putin wants? What is the motivation

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behind what people call the level of

distrust, disruption and deflection

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by Moscow?

I regret to say that I

think that what is going on is the

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best present for Vladimir Putin

before the elections on this Sunday

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held in Moscow. Putin's campaign is

based on the theory that Russia is

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surrounded by enemies and the

European countries and the United

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States are in a situation where they

want to invade Russia and they

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present a real threat to the country

and he is the only leader that can

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do something with it. Before the

Salisbury accident, there was no

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hint that anybody in the United

Kingdom or in France actually cares

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about invading Russia. But now, when

we have ministers and all sorts of,

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like, very high-profile defence

ministers and foreign leaders saying

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that Russia should be punished or we

should reunite against Russia the

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only thing the propaganda channel

needs to do is transcript it,

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translated into Russian and show it

before election day.

That is the

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problem, Tony. You said yourself the

political situation is different,

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the level of mistrust is much

greater. But actually there is still

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a massive leap between what Tonia is

said, Russia was being ignored

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largely, there was no tough action

talk, bearing -- bearing in mind

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their actions in Syria, the

annexation of Crimea and involvement

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in the Ukraine but this attack in

Salisbury is a game change in your

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mind?

Absolutely. Tonia is right.

Putin was always going to win those

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elections even though this

reinforces his victory. She is also

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right that in the west, we will have

to find ways of getting tensions

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with Russia down. We are on the edge

of a new Cold War. We all remember

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how dangerous and expensive the old

one was. That is expensive but long

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term. Immediately, we need to

demonstrate the Russians that

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outrageous attacks such as that that

took place in Salisbury ten days ago

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cannot be permitted and the

international community will react.

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Tonia?

It depends on what British

society and Pollard wants to

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achieve. If you want to persuade

your people that Russia is bringing

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a nerve threat to the citizens of

this country and no such kind of

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attack on this soil can happen there

is one way to do it -- British

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society and Parliament wants to

achieve. If the goal that you want

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to achieve is to punish them and say

this cannot happen any time soon or

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you can't do that, then there it is

different sorts of actions that

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could be implemented. Obviously, as

a Russian citizen, I feel extremely

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sorry for the British people, for

the fact that probably my country

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did that to you. I feel really bad

about that and I feel ashamed of

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that. But on the other hand, we are

dealing with the government, which

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has some buttons which you should

push on. Why are you not doing that?

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Right.

Instead, I am a mother of

three children, I don't want a new

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war to happen. Why would we extend

the attention now?

Are we on the

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edge of a new Cold War we already in

it?

As Tony suggested, we are on the

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edge. Tonia, no one is threatening

invasion of Russia. To point out, is

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the only country that has been

invaded in Europe recently, Ukraine,

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was invaded by Russia, not by the

west. I wanted to ask you, you are

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suggesting that this poisoning in

Salisbury has played into Putin's

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hands, do you think that was one of

the motives of those in the GR you

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who organised it in order to help

Putin? -- in the GRU.

I can only

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speculate. I don't have evidence or

clues but one of the explanations

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I've find reasonable, we have to

bear in mind that the Kremlin

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administration and GRU are parties

of the Russian government. They

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don't like each other. GRU don't

like the Foreign Office. They think

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of others, they don't speak to each

other. They can't possibly

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coordinate things. I am absolutely

sure that probably Mr Lavrov, the

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Foreign Secretary and even the head

of the Kremlin knew from the news

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and the embassy that actually

something happened in Salisbury.

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Because they don't brief each other.

Thinking that GRU would be thinking

0:14:110:14:16

about the elections is quite

unlikely to happen. Because it's not

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their responsibility.

But they all

work in silos. We talked about

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Sergey Lavrov having a certain

amount of influence but how far does

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that go.

Sergey Lavrov is a very

distinguished and experienced

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international diplomat but he's not

part of the so-called St Petersburg

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Mafia. Tony knows about that. He is

not part of the inner clique.

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Because of the intelligence agencies

in Russia, he would have had no

0:14:420:14:45

knowledge of all...

He has to react.

He is a spokesman for these

0:14:450:14:51

purposes.

Looking ahead, Tony, we

had news that the Nato chief is

0:14:510:14:56

going to meet Boris Johnson again.

Part of Britain's attempts to build

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some sort of coalition. Again,

beyond invoking article five, which

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we have already heard from Nato that

it feels this is the right moment

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for that, what else could there be?

I have said what the EU could be

0:15:100:15:16

doing in renewing and extending

sanctions. We will introduce

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measures against Russian with

illicit money in London and I hope

0:15:220:15:27

the Americans and others will note

the names we have got and will act

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similarly. There is a cluster of

things like that. The key target of

0:15:300:15:35

our actions has been and this comes

back to something Tonia was saying

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has been the GRU. We have kicked out

23 people from the Russian Embassy

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who were certainly agents of two key

Russian intelligence agencies. The

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aim of that is to severely damage

their ability to operate in London

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and I imagine that the extent of the

expulsions have come as a shock to

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the Russians, the aim being to

discourage them from doing this

0:16:010:16:05

again. I'm sure we will be

communicating with the Americans and

0:16:050:16:09

the Europeans these names and

encouraging them to get tougher on

0:16:090:16:14

the Russian intelligence presences

in their countries.

Before I get

0:16:140:16:20

Tonia's response as to how hard that

will have hit Russia, people will

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say, why did we have so many spies

here in the first place. Why weren't

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they kicked out earlier?

The answer

is we don't let people we know to be

0:16:290:16:40

spies in, but patterns of behaviour

emerge that lead us to conclude

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they're spies. If you kick them out,

they will then kick one of our

0:16:440:16:49

people out. Their kicking out

innocent diplomats from Moscow. So

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in a sense you're stuck with them.

Are you surprised there hasn't been

0:16:550:17:01

a public retaliation, apart from the

scorn from Moscow and from Vladimir

0:17:010:17:04

Putin. They say there will be

retaliation. Should we be expecting

0:17:040:17:09

it iminnocently? Sni -- Imminently.

They'll retaliate a roughly similar

0:17:090:17:19

number of diplomats. I'm sure

they're working on the list. The

0:17:190:17:26

worrying thought is they're so angry

with the UK that they will go beyond

0:17:260:17:31

the steps that we have taken and we

are then in an escalating cycle of

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mutual reprisals. I hope that is not

the situation. But that is what we

0:17:390:17:46

will have to watch.

I can't agree

Russia is angry with the UK, Russia

0:17:460:17:52

got what she wanted. There will be

no attendance at the World

0:17:520:17:58

Championship, but the UK didn't

impose any sanctions that would be

0:17:580:18:01

harmful.

Like seizing property here

or saying to the elite close to

0:18:010:18:06

Vladimir Putin you can't come here,

would that hurt?

That would hurt.

0:18:060:18:10

The only thing that Vladimir Putin

cares about is his close cronies who

0:18:100:18:16

live here. For me it is like easy to

say that, they're all people with

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illegal assets here and who just

take money from Russia and park them

0:18:220:18:27

here and buy properties here and I

know generally the British public is

0:18:270:18:32

not happy with that. When you say

Russia is angry with the British

0:18:320:18:36

reaction, it is not true. When

you're watching this on state TV and

0:18:360:18:44

they're produced for domestic use.

When you see somebody is insulting,

0:18:440:18:50

it shows how strong he is towards

his domestic audience. When I see

0:18:500:18:54

British... Politicians talking the

same way, I'm surprised, because I

0:18:540:19:01

don't want Russia to teach the world

how diplomacy should be like this.

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Well in the United States in the

midsts of the reactions, we heard

0:19:060:19:12

the US Secretary of State, Rex

Tillerson had been dismissed. What

0:19:120:19:17

impact will that have on a different

bit of foreign policy, the Iran

0:19:170:19:22

deal?

It could have a serious

impact. President Trump mentioned

0:19:220:19:27

Iran as one of the points of

disagreement between him and Rex

0:19:270:19:34

Tillerson. I don't know Mr Pompeo,

but I have spoke to people who know

0:19:340:19:39

him and they say this is a man who

is very bright and interested in

0:19:390:19:44

foreign policy and he is open to

arguments. The problem about the

0:19:440:19:50

Iran deal is it... He claims

President Trump is a good deal for

0:19:500:19:54

Iran. It is. But a lot of benefits

have not been delivered by the west.

0:19:540:19:58

It is a very good deal for the west,

because it is a non-proliferation,

0:19:580:20:04

an arms control.

But Trump doesn't

like it.

We think he doesn't like it

0:20:040:20:09

for the reason that Obama agreed it

and not for any other reason. I hope

0:20:090:20:16

and pray that the rationale argument

that it is in America's interest

0:20:160:20:19

will work and that Russia, China,

France, Germany and the United

0:20:190:20:23

Kingdom are all very clear that the

deal has to stay. The United States

0:20:230:20:29

has got to take account of that.

We

are going to leave it there. Thank

0:20:290:20:31

you very much.

0:20:310:20:36

Has Jeremy Corbyn

misjudged his response

0:20:360:20:38

to the Salisbury attack?

0:20:380:20:39

The Labour leader received fierce

criticism from Conservatives

0:20:390:20:41

and some of his own MPs

after he failed to back

0:20:410:20:44

Theresa May's decision to directly

blame the Russian state.

0:20:440:20:50

Our response as a country must be

guided by the rule of law, support

0:20:510:20:57

for international agreements and

respect for human rights. So when it

0:20:570:21:01

comes to the use of chemical weapons

on British soil, it is essential

0:21:010:21:07

that the Government works with the

UN to strengthen its monitoring

0:21:070:21:13

system and involves the office of

the prohibition of chemical weapons.

0:21:130:21:17

The Prime Minister said on Monday,

either was a direct act by the

0:21:170:21:21

Russian state or the Russian

Government lost control of their

0:21:210:21:27

potentially catastrophically

damaging nerve agent and allowed it

0:21:270:21:30

to get into the hands of others. Our

response must be decisive and

0:21:300:21:36

proportionate and based on clear

evidence.

0:21:360:21:40

Yvette Cooper, who chairs

the Home Affairs Select Committee,

0:21:400:21:42

was among those who spoke to condemn

Russia's actions.

0:21:420:21:46

Can I welcome the Prime Minister's

statement, her conclusion

0:21:460:21:52

about the culpability of the Russian

state is an immensely serious one?

0:21:520:21:55

And that, in addition

to their breaches of international

0:21:550:21:57

law, of the use of chemical weapons,

but also their continued

0:21:570:22:00

disregard for the rule of law

and for human rights must be met

0:22:000:22:03

with unequivocal condemnation.

0:22:030:22:08

A group of backbench MPs have put

down a Commons motion supporting

0:22:080:22:11

the Prime Minister's position,

praising her actions rather

0:22:110:22:14

than those of their party leader.

0:22:140:22:14

We're joined now by

Labour MP John Woodcock.

0:22:140:22:22

And a journalist.

Let's talk about

why were you so unhappy with what

0:22:240:22:31

Jeremy Corbyn said?

Well I think

what you saw yesterday was not a

0:22:310:22:35

group of MPs who were standing up

and criticising our leader, but we

0:22:350:22:41

thought it was important to put what

we thought was the right position to

0:22:410:22:49

be unequivocal in our support with

the Government against this threat

0:22:490:22:53

and accept the culpability of the

Russian state. What you had in the

0:22:530:22:57

statement and then after it in

briefing that was given by Jeremy

0:22:570:23:02

Corbyn's spokesman was a different

picture and so given what was said

0:23:020:23:06

after the statement, we thought it

was... It is important to be, for us

0:23:060:23:12

all to be clear at a time when the

UK has been attacked using chemical

0:23:120:23:18

weapons by a foreign state that

there should be no doubt what the

0:23:180:23:24

vast majority of Labour MPs think.

Did you want to hear Jeremy Corbyn

0:23:240:23:29

say and condemn the Russian state

for the Salisbury attack?

Of course.

0:23:290:23:32

I want to see every single member of

Parliament doing that, because I

0:23:320:23:38

think it is our responsibility in

this circumstances to take that

0:23:380:23:42

action. I was heartened yesterday

that nearly every MP, including

0:23:420:23:55

every party leader, including

Caroline Lucas of Greens accepted

0:23:550:24:01

Russian culpability. So we have had

our shadow Defence Secretary being

0:24:010:24:06

clear on this today as well. Which

is also helpful.

0:24:060:24:15

is also helpful.

They seem to need

to clarify the position of Jeremy

0:24:150:24:19

Corbyn, because there was criticism

of Jeremy Corbyn's spokesman who

0:24:190:24:24

referred to the problematic history

of the use of UK intelligence. Why

0:24:240:24:28

do they want to focus on that,

rather than Russia.

I don't think

0:24:280:24:32

they did. Jeremy Corbyn repeated

what Theresa May said before. He has

0:24:320:24:38

been unequivocal in ensuring etch

knows as long as the evidence backs

0:24:380:24:42

this up, they will take action. What

is more interesting is there is a

0:24:420:24:47

clear outcome we need to see, not

just the expulsion of diplomats or

0:24:470:24:54

sanctions, but looking at the way

Russia will be hit, which is in the

0:24:540:24:59

City and money laundering. And that

is what we should be talking about.

0:24:590:25:05

Instead we are talking about the

exact wording of statements made in

0:25:050:25:08

Parliament.

Hang on, you can't avoid

the fact that Jeremy Corbyn's view

0:25:080:25:17

was equivocal and he was saying we

need the evidence. I don't know

0:25:170:25:20

whether you saw this. We have had a

Russian journalist plugged into

0:25:200:25:27

Moscow who completely accepted that

this was the responsibility of the

0:25:270:25:33

main Russian intelligence agency,

the GRU. There was no equivocation

0:25:330:25:37

from here and she said it worked in

the interests of Russia. I think

0:25:370:25:43

Jeremy Corbyn actually made an error

in suggesting we needed more

0:25:430:25:47

evidence. Listen, I have got the

scars about the intelligence failure

0:25:470:25:51

over Iraq. But that was... A very

different. Because there we knew

0:25:510:25:56

that Saddam had had the stuff and

the question was did he still have

0:25:560:26:00

it. Here is there no doubt this

nerve agent was yuzed and this this

0:26:000:26:06

nerve agent came from a Russian

laboratory. So Russia was given then

0:26:060:26:11

a period to say, well, did you use

it or has it come out of your

0:26:110:26:16

control? They failed to answer that.

I think Theresa May was right to

0:26:160:26:21

come to the conclusion that she did.

I think it was a generous to a fault

0:26:210:26:26

for the Prime Minister to leave open

the option that this was in some way

0:26:260:26:32

Russia losing track of its agents.

We have seen over the last ten years

0:26:320:26:38

an absolutely clear pattern and we

will, this is not the time to dwell

0:26:380:26:41

too much on this, but actually there

will be a time to look at the UK

0:26:410:26:47

Government's action in the last ten

years which has been really at times

0:26:470:26:51

to turn a blind eye to similar

incidents.

But the question here was

0:26:510:26:56

whether you could make a definitive

judgment on who was to blame, Jeremy

0:26:560:27:01

Corbyn seemed to leave the door open

in the way zwrabg straw said and --

0:27:010:27:07

Jack Straw said and said we should

be cautious about making that

0:27:070:27:10

judgment. What other plausible

explanation could there be. What do

0:27:100:27:16

you think? There is in their minds a

possibility that it could have been

0:27:160:27:20

someone other than the Russian

state. What is that plausible

0:27:200:27:26

explanation?

Jeremy Corbyn and the

Labour and colleagues have said as

0:27:260:27:30

long adds we as we have the evidence

we will take action. Jeremy Corbyn

0:27:300:27:37

said the same yesterday. But we have

international obligations to the

0:27:370:27:42

international community and Europe

and abroad to make sure we follow

0:27:420:27:48

certain procedures, not jumping to

conclusions.

So you don't want to

0:27:480:27:51

jump to the conclusion it was the

Russian state.

I think it was.

Do

0:27:510:27:56

you think Jeremy Corbyn believes

that?

I'm not the next Prime

0:27:560:28:00

Minister of this country and don't

have obligationses to follow

0:28:000:28:05

protocol. I feel uncomfortable being

lectured. Jack if you see the

0:28:050:28:12

Chilcot report was told he was

hiding certain documents.

Hang on a

0:28:120:28:17

second, I was responsible for one of

people responsible for the decision

0:28:170:28:21

to go to war in Iraq 15 years ago.

Chilcot said nothing that I hidden

0:28:210:28:30

documents. They disagreed with the

process we used, there was no

0:28:300:28:35

suggestion about my bad faith. Let

make that clear.

Do you think there

0:28:350:28:39

is a reason to be cautious until we

know and until we have the evidence,

0:28:390:28:43

if we could ever get that evidence?

There was a reason to be cautious,

0:28:430:28:51

is why Theresa May took her time. On

Sunday I was on the BBC and I said

0:28:510:28:55

the Government needs to be cautious

about this, not least because of

0:28:550:28:58

experience over Iraq. But the result

of that caution is there is now

0:28:580:29:05

evidence about the origin of this

nerve agent. At the time, the

0:29:050:29:09

evidence is there, it is good enough

for a Russian journalist as well as

0:29:090:29:14

politicians. Why not for the leader

of opposition.

The outcome will be

0:29:140:29:19

Russia will be held responsible.

We

are talking about the Labour

0:29:190:29:25

leader's reaction, do you think he

was explicit enough?

In my opinion,

0:29:250:29:30

we have people who have been proved

wrong on policy and Jeremy Corbyn

0:29:300:29:36

has been found right on Iraq and

Turkey.

Is the answer is yes you did

0:29:360:29:45

support his response?

Sure.

What do

you say?

I think reasons to be

0:29:450:29:52

confident is that the overwhelming

majority of MPs in this country are

0:29:520:29:57

behind the Government's stance. The

majority of countries beyond that.

0:29:570:30:01

I'm asking about Jeremy Corbyn.

I

know. I think it is important to set

0:30:010:30:07

it in context. I do, Jeremy Corbyn

is very influential and what he has

0:30:070:30:12

been able to do in gathering

hundreds of thousands of supporters,

0:30:120:30:16

they do listen to him and I think

that it was unfortunate that for

0:30:160:30:20

the, some of the last 24 hours there

seemed to be an alignment between

0:30:200:30:27

his spokesman and the disinformation

coming from the Kremlin. There is an

0:30:270:30:33

opportunity for him to follow the

lead of our shadow Defence Secretary

0:30:330:30:37

and make clear that we see Russia to

be unequivocally responsible for

0:30:370:30:45

this chemical weapons attack.

0:30:450:30:50

Isn't that where the focus should

be? We will look at pictures of

0:30:500:30:54

Theresa May in Salisbury at the

moment.

It is such a shame and

0:30:540:30:58

unforgivable that at a time where we

are at a crisis of international

0:30:580:31:01

diplomacy. Rather than trying to

hold the government accountable to

0:31:010:31:04

make sure they take affirmative and

quick action, John Isner Miliband

0:31:040:31:08

Jeremy Corbyn who has time and time

again been proven right. This

0:31:080:31:13

government is a shambles. Boris

Johnson is not taken seriously by

0:31:130:31:16

anyone around the world.

We will

have a look at these pictures. The

0:31:160:31:25

Prime Minister Theresa May is in

Salisbury where the attack happened

0:31:250:31:27

against Sergei Skripal and his

daughter Julia who were found

0:31:270:31:29

slumped on a bench. She's meeting

local businesses and representatives

0:31:290:31:34

from Public Health England. The

advice came out to people who were

0:31:340:31:36

in the vicinity of where Sergei

Skripal and his daughter was found

0:31:360:31:42

slumped, wash their clothes and take

precautions although the risk was

0:31:420:31:47

very low. Answer Michael's comments.

0:31:470:31:51

At the privilege of being elected to

Parliament, as I don't know whether

0:31:530:31:57

one day you might wish to do, you

have to take a judgment on

0:31:570:32:01

everything. But most importantly on

matters of national security, what

0:32:010:32:05

do you think is the right thing to

protect your citizens? What is the

0:32:050:32:10

right thing to uphold international

law? All of us have not come in this

0:32:100:32:15

with, how does it fit into the

internal prism of a Labour dynamic.

0:32:150:32:20

We have thought that the Russian

state has, for many years, has been

0:32:200:32:25

culpable of attacks on our soil, of

flagrant violations. Therefore it is

0:32:250:32:30

the right thing to back the Prime

Minister. I want everybody else to

0:32:300:32:34

do that and I want Jeremy to do

that. That is our focus, doing what

0:32:340:32:40

we think is right.

If Jeremy Corbyn

were to become Prime Minister, do

0:32:400:32:45

you have confidence in his security?

It is valid but not one I will get

0:32:450:32:50

into at the moment. Rightly, the

focus is on the package of measures

0:32:500:32:54

that the UK Government is setting

forward and how should we respond.

0:32:540:32:59

Would you have faith in him being in

charge of national security?

It

0:32:590:33:03

needs to do some thinking before I

have that faith. That's the problem

0:33:030:33:08

is the Jeremy has sometimes been

right about his position on

0:33:080:33:12

international issues of conflict.

But sometimes, overwhelmingly wrong

0:33:120:33:16

because my recollection is, I could

be incorrect about this, he was

0:33:160:33:21

opposed to the invasion of

Afghanistan in the light of 9/11 and

0:33:210:33:26

he was wrong about that. He was

opposed to the first Gulf War and he

0:33:260:33:29

was wrong about that. He was opposed

to action in Kosovo and he was wrong

0:33:290:33:35

about that. You need to make

judgments rather than every case

0:33:350:33:38

where you are faced with a really

difficult decision and ask for more

0:33:380:33:42

information and more evidence.

Sometimes you have to make these

0:33:420:33:46

decisions on the basis of inadequate

evidence. But we are blessed by the

0:33:460:33:49

fact that the evidence is forensic

and very clear.

Thank you.

0:33:490:33:54

One of the ways Russia

could make life

0:33:540:33:56

difficult is supplying gas.

0:33:560:33:59

Or stopping the supply of gas.

0:33:590:34:01

So just how reliant is the UK -

and Europe - on Russian gas?

0:34:010:34:05

To discuss this, I'm

joined by energy expert,

0:34:050:34:07

Professor Jim Watson.

0:34:070:34:08

He's the Director of the UK

Energy Research Centre

0:34:080:34:10

and a Professor of Energy Policy

at the University of Sussex.

0:34:100:34:13

Welcome. How reliant are we on

Russian gas?

Not very reliant at all

0:34:130:34:20

in the case of the UK. Roughly less

than 5% on average in a year of our

0:34:200:34:26

gas comes from Russia is mainly via

pipelines that connect the UK to

0:34:260:34:30

Belgium and the Netherlands.

What

about Europe?

In general it is much

0:34:300:34:35

higher and as you go closer to the

Russian border, from west to east,

0:34:350:34:38

countries like Germany and Poland

and other countries that use gas

0:34:380:34:43

will use more Russian gas and that

will tend to come via pipeline

0:34:430:34:46

systems. Some countries are almost

wholly dependent on Russian gas via

0:34:460:34:51

a single pipeline. The vulnerability

changes from west to east.

As a

0:34:510:34:56

result of that, Germany approved a

multi-billion dollar gas pipeline to

0:34:560:35:00

Europe. When it comes to asking for

support from our allies, will they

0:35:000:35:05

have to think carefully before they

do anything that is too explicit in

0:35:050:35:10

terms of condemning Russia because

then they suffered themselves?

I

0:35:100:35:14

think that is right.

-- they may

suffer.

It has been hard for the EU

0:35:140:35:18

to have a concerted and coordinate

response on energy and security

0:35:180:35:22

questions with respect to gas in

Russia because the member states

0:35:220:35:25

have different interests. The UK, we

have lots of other sources of gas

0:35:250:35:30

and flexibility compared to the

interests of Germany or some of the

0:35:300:35:33

new Eastern European states are very

different. Having that combined

0:35:330:35:38

agreement for strong action will be

tough.

The flip side, if we're not

0:35:380:35:42

that reliant on Russian gas, Theresa

May says will look to other

0:35:420:35:47

countries to provide gas will not

hurt Russia.

No, we already look to

0:35:470:35:50

other countries. About half of the

gas we get, perhaps a bit more, is

0:35:500:35:55

now imported. Our biggest source of

imports is Norway, which has been a

0:35:550:35:58

very reliable source of imports,

with some problems of undersea

0:35:580:36:03

pipelines occasionally and liquid

gas which mainly comes from Qatar.

0:36:030:36:07

The Russian gas element is quite

small. We have that diversification

0:36:070:36:11

already. We need to think about,

particularly in response to the cold

0:36:110:36:14

weather we have had recently, have

we got enough flexibility in our gas

0:36:140:36:20

system and gas storage? I would look

to that if we want to strengthen the

0:36:200:36:24

resilience of our gas system and

protect us from future shocks.

0:36:240:36:28

Strengthening our resources. What

about more broadly, energy security

0:36:280:36:32

in the future, is that a big threat

to us?

Gas is one of the areas where

0:36:320:36:37

people have traditionally worried.

There are things we can do about it

0:36:370:36:40

but oil or electricity, you have

very different discussions.

0:36:400:36:45

Electricity, the big issue is that

we have a much changing electricity

0:36:450:36:50

system. Renewable energy coming onto

the system and the need to run that

0:36:500:36:55

flexibility, more flexibly. Power

stations play a role. A different

0:36:550:37:02

conversation in respect of oil, we

have different places we rely on oil

0:37:020:37:07

from an international relations. I

always come back to making sure we

0:37:070:37:10

have flexibility and resilience

arrangements, enough storage, naff

0:37:100:37:15

arrangements with large industrial

countries to make sure that if we

0:37:150:37:17

have a really tight spot like we did

in the recent cold weather, they can

0:37:170:37:21

turn down demand in response to

things that we have.

Thank you.

0:37:210:37:27

Police in the Shropshire town

of Telford are working with several

0:37:270:37:31

dozen girls who are either victims

of child sexual exploitation, or

0:37:310:37:33

thought to be at risk of grooming.

0:37:330:37:36

The Sunday Mirror said it uncovered

Britain's "worst ever" child

0:37:360:37:39

grooming scandal at the weekend,

with up to 1,000 girls abused

0:37:390:37:42

by grooming gangs since the 1980s.

0:37:420:37:46

The town's MP Lucy Allan said

girls were being traded

0:37:460:37:48

for sex in a "routine way".

0:37:480:37:50

One victim, "Holly", spoke

anonymously to Victoria Derbyshire

0:37:500:37:52

about her abuse at the hand

of gangs in the town.

0:37:520:37:56

He started violently raping me.

0:37:560:38:00

He'd beat me with his

belt, and things,

0:38:000:38:05

if I didn't agree

to let him rape me.

0:38:050:38:10

And then he would try to make me

feel better, or make himself feel

0:38:100:38:14

better, I guess, by trying

to give me money or, yeah, top up my

0:38:140:38:17

phone, and things, again.

0:38:170:38:20

From that man, it

moved on to many men.

0:38:200:38:23

Like, it was about seven

abusers, in the end.

0:38:230:38:31

So you were passed around or they

would all turn up en masse?

They

0:38:320:38:38

would be whoever caught me first,

whoever saw me walking home from

0:38:380:38:43

school first or walking to my

friends' house.

Distressing

0:38:430:38:46

testimony.

0:38:460:38:47

Joining us now is the

Conservative MP for Telford,

0:38:470:38:49

Lucy Allan and from Cardiff,

the former chief prosecutor

0:38:490:38:51

for North West England Nazir Afzal.

0:38:510:38:52

Welcome. Lucy, the investigation by

the daily Mirror reveals, as far as

0:38:520:39:01

they are concerned, allegations on a

massive scale. The police are

0:39:010:39:05

disputing the scale, the numbers

involved, saying they are working

0:39:050:39:08

with several dozen girls and

officers, what is your belief?

We

0:39:080:39:12

know that many victims do not come

forward. Sometimes they feel it is

0:39:120:39:16

their fault, that they were somehow

to blame. They are afraid of

0:39:160:39:19

retaliation. The police numbers will

never reflect the full-scale of the

0:39:190:39:25

incidence of this crime.

0:39:250:39:30

This is a pattern that,

unfortunately and tragically, seems

0:39:300:39:34

to be repeating itself. Do you

recognise the pattern that has gone

0:39:340:39:37

on here in terms of the abuse and

abused children not being believed?

0:39:370:39:43

Good afternoon. Absolutely. I have

been talking about this for almost a

0:39:430:39:47

decade after Rochdale and leading

nationally for four or five years on

0:39:470:39:52

this issue. There is nowhere in this

country where this abuse isn't

0:39:520:39:56

taking place. Men are being

predators and picking on very abused

0:39:560:40:02

girls, chaotic and troubled in their

backgrounds who are somehow left

0:40:020:40:05

behind. Who are just not listened

to. They have a voice but not

0:40:050:40:10

listened to by authorities. In terms

of numbers, following on from what

0:40:100:40:14

Lucy said a moment ago, absolutely

right. They will rarely report, they

0:40:140:40:20

are difficult cases to prosecute

because very often Stockholm

0:40:200:40:24

syndrome sets in, they feel to

protect themselves they should not

0:40:240:40:27

talk to anybody about what they have

been through. We are talking about

0:40:270:40:31

hundreds if not thousands across the

country and pretty much in every

0:40:310:40:35

town and city in the United Kingdom

will have such a network.

One of the

0:40:350:40:38

claims in the investigation is that

the council 's labelling abused

0:40:380:40:44

children as prostitutes, for

example, they are not believing what

0:40:440:40:48

the victims, alleged victims, were

saying. What has been the council's

0:40:480:40:53

response Lucy?

That is a historic

approach, I don't think people now

0:40:530:41:02

refer to victims of child sexual

exploitation as prostitutes, which

0:41:020:41:04

is a good step forward. But there is

an element of they may have indulged

0:41:040:41:08

in risky behaviour, they have made

-- they may have brought it on

0:41:080:41:11

themselves. A lot of the victims

feel that, "It was my fault, I did

0:41:110:41:15

get in a car with this man, I did

send him an image of myself, and he

0:41:150:41:20

has now used that to threaten me and

coerce me into sex with him and his

0:41:200:41:26

friends". There is an internalised

sense of shame. That stops victims

0:41:260:41:31

from coming forward.

Jack, do you

recognise, again, the pattern of

0:41:310:41:35

what has happened because of your

own experiences?

Is of course I

0:41:350:41:40

recognise it. Although no one has

mentioned it this morning, abuse of

0:41:400:41:49

young girls, typically, bind men has

no ethnic boundaries, but this

0:41:490:41:53

particular kind of gang abuse is

particular, I'm sorry to say but it

0:41:530:41:58

is just true, is particularly

prevalent amongst the Pakistani

0:41:580:42:03

heritage community. Not the Indian

heritage community, is or

0:42:030:42:06

Bangladeshi, there is a bit of that.

Something wrong inside the culture

0:42:060:42:10

of some Pakistanis and their groups.

We have had examples of this in my

0:42:100:42:17

former constituency where I am still

heavily involved in local matters.

0:42:170:42:24

Happily, in Blackburn, because there

have been very good coordination

0:42:240:42:27

between the police and social

services, we didn't have any

0:42:270:42:31

cover-ups of what was going on. We

were able to nip it in the bud but

0:42:310:42:36

in an adjacent town, including

Rochdale, and across the Pennines in

0:42:360:42:40

Rotherham, you have had these

terrible examples. Where the social

0:42:400:42:44

services and the police really

covered their eyes at what was going

0:42:440:42:50

on with disastrous consequences.

Do

you see that happening here in

0:42:500:42:53

Telford? This racial element that,

again, mainly involving Asian men or

0:42:530:42:59

Pakistani heritage. Do you recognise

that?

We grooming gangs are, without

0:42:590:43:07

doubt, of Pakistani heritage in

Telford. There have been two cases

0:43:070:43:10

that were prosecuted where gangs of

Pakistani men were sentenced for

0:43:100:43:16

long periods of time for abuse of

white, working-class girls, who came

0:43:160:43:21

from difficult backgrounds, who were

not sympathetic victims in many

0:43:210:43:25

respects. And very difficult, as

your guest said, to prosecute.

0:43:250:43:31

Nazir, how do we have an honest

conversation about this, if this is

0:43:310:43:34

the pattern that has repeated itself

in terms of grooming gangs? Whether

0:43:340:43:40

it is Rochdale, Rotherham, Newcastle

and in Telford. How do you deal with

0:43:400:43:45

it?

We contextualise it. 80% of sex

offenders are British, white men.

0:43:450:43:50

But this type of abuse it is

disproportionately British Pakistani

0:43:500:43:54

men, you can't be shy about saying

these things. Ten years ago Jack

0:43:540:43:58

mentioned it and he got a tremendous

amount of abuse for saying so.

0:43:580:44:06

amount of abuse for saying so. The

reality is, this is the problem we

0:44:060:44:08

have to deal with and the

communities themselves recognise it.

0:44:080:44:10

There is some phenomenal vocal work

going on to try to identify

0:44:100:44:12

perpetrators and those who are being

abused. We also have to recognise

0:44:120:44:17

that there are Asian victims who are

really reluctant to come forward.

0:44:170:44:22

The answer is education, calling out

where you see it. Putting money into

0:44:220:44:27

all the good work happening at NGO

level. Ultimately, it is providing

0:44:270:44:32

support to victims to come forward

to ensure that the perpetrators are

0:44:320:44:35

brought to justice. Those who are

tasked with doing this, police and

0:44:350:44:40

prosecutors, should not be shy about

taking this forward.

What are the

0:44:400:44:44

causes? Nazir, you answer and then

will I -- I will ask Jack.

0:44:440:44:51

Criminality. When I prosecuted one

gang in the north of England, not in

0:44:510:44:55

Rochdale, the drug trade went down

by 50% whilst they were in custody.

0:44:550:44:59

It is tackling other areas of

criminality that these men are

0:44:590:45:02

involved in.

0:45:020:45:05

Jack

Pakistani men are involved in

the night-time economy, at an

0:45:050:45:11

astonishing rate. They're involved

in selling in takeaways or in the

0:45:110:45:16

taxi trade. That is part of the

night-time economy. But there is a

0:45:160:45:23

bigger issue about the culture of

Pakistani men and Nazir is right to

0:45:230:45:28

say when I mentioned this in 2011,

said it was a Pakistani problem, the

0:45:280:45:38

balloon went up. But then it

deflated. Some said, didn't you say

0:45:380:45:43

Asian. I said listen, pal, the

reason is I'm not talking about

0:45:430:45:51

Asians, I'm talking about Pakistani.

You have been knowing what has going

0:45:510:45:55

on and you have got to confront it.

It goes back to some of the nature

0:45:550:46:00

of Pakistani society in the villages

from which these people come. It is

0:46:000:46:04

complicated. Some people attribute

it to Islam. That is not the case.

0:46:040:46:09

It is a cultural problem. About the

way in which this particular segment

0:46:090:46:16

of Pakistani men happen to regard

white girls. They see them as easy

0:46:160:46:23

meat. And they come from difficult

backgrounds, where they're unlikely

0:46:230:46:29

to report accept after a lot of

encouragement.

Were you dismayed

0:46:290:46:37

when the Labour Rotherham MP was

criticised for saying that by the

0:46:370:46:41

Labour Party.

I gave every support

to Sara.

She said British Pakistani

0:46:410:46:47

men are raping and exploiting white

girls.

She was right.

Are

0:46:470:46:52

politicians not facing up to it, it

is too difficult to have the

0:46:520:46:55

conversation?

It is about social and

cultural attitudes towards white

0:46:550:47:01

working class girls. There is no

doubt about that and we cannot bury

0:47:010:47:05

our heads in the sand. We have to

accept that. If the local police

0:47:050:47:10

chief says, yes, child abuse happens

with white males, of course it does.

0:47:100:47:16

Let's not conflate it with grooming,

gang-type behaviour. That is

0:47:160:47:23

different.

Finally, how do we break

the pattern?

We bring offenders to

0:47:230:47:31

justice, provide support to victims,

we may to NGOs who are doing work in

0:47:310:47:38

identifying victim and perpetrators

and community intelligence needs to

0:47:380:47:41

improve. When I first talked about

it, we said do we want a nation of

0:47:410:47:48

grasses, no, we want a nation of

good neighbours. We need to listen

0:47:480:47:53

to people and use the information

and bring these people to justice.

0:47:530:47:56

Thank you.

0:47:560:48:01

Thank you. The pm Prime Minister is

visiting Salisbury. She will receive

0:48:030:48:10

a briefing from public health

England. She said this recently.

I'm

0:48:100:48:20

pleased come to Salisbury to speak

to people and announced yesterday

0:48:200:48:23

the action that we are taking, we do

hold Russia cup pabl for this brazen

0:48:230:48:31

act that has taken place on the

streets of what is such a remarkable

0:48:310:48:35

city, where people come and visit

and enjoy and I've come here also to

0:48:350:48:42

say thank you to our emergency

services, to our police, our health

0:48:420:48:48

services, to everybody at Porton

Down and elsewhere where who have

0:48:480:48:55

been working to investigating to get

to the bottom of those responsible

0:48:550:48:59

and also to ensure that the public

are reassured and it has been great

0:48:590:49:04

to meet some tourists here, people

coming to Salisbury, still enjoying

0:49:040:49:08

this city.

Theresa May there in

Salisbury giving an interview.

0:49:080:49:16

So could we be looking at a return

to a Cold War with Russia?

0:49:160:49:19

Over recent years, relations

between "us" and "them" have been

0:49:190:49:22

going from bad to worse,

as our reporter Greg Dawson

0:49:220:49:24

has been finding out.

0:49:240:49:27

In the late nineties post-Soviet

Russia was in turmoil. President's

0:49:300:49:40

Yeltsin's health was deteriorating.

But in 1999 Yeltsin named Vladimir

0:49:400:49:47

Putin as Prime Minister and soon he

was acting President and in 2000 he

0:49:470:49:51

was elected President of Russia.

Anglo Russians relations grew tense

0:49:510:50:00

with the Kremlin pursuing a more

assertive policy.

Alexander

0:50:000:50:06

Litvinenko who, died last night has

accused the Kremlin of murdering

0:50:060:50:09

him.

In 2006, former Russian agent,

Alexander Litvinenko, acritic of the

0:50:090:50:23

Kremlin died of polonium poisoning.

The British asked the extradition of

0:50:230:50:31

a Russian agent and Russia refused.

Amid rumours the murder was ordered

0:50:310:50:40

by Vladimir Putin.

TRANSLATION:

Britain should understand its action

0:50:400:50:46

will not remain without an answer

and will have severe consequences.

0:50:460:50:53

In 2014 relations soured following

Russia's intervention in Ukraine and

0:50:530:50:58

the downing of a Malaysian plane in

a suspected missile strike by rebels

0:50:580:51:04

using Russian weapons. The British

Government and the US and the EU

0:51:040:51:10

imposed sanctions on Russia and

suspended military co-operation.

0:51:100:51:14

Russia responded by cutting off food

imports from the UK. Last year,

0:51:140:51:18

Boris Johnson became the first UK

Foreign Secretary to visit Russia in

0:51:180:51:23

five years, but faced a chilly

reception after suggesting Russian

0:51:230:51:29

involvement in Syria may amount to

war crimes. Theresa May accused

0:51:290:51:34

Russia of meddling in elections and

planting fake news. Ichlgts

I have a

0:51:340:51:43

simple message we know what you're

doing and you will not succeed.

The

0:51:430:51:49

poisoning came when Moscow described

Anglo Russian relations at an

0:51:490:51:55

all-time low. The expulsion of

diplomats the latest stage.

0:51:550:52:07

Vladimir Putin faces almost certain

re-election as president

0:52:070:52:09

of Russia at the weekend.

0:52:090:52:10

But how difficult is it to live

and work in Russia if you're

0:52:100:52:14

a critic of Mr Putin?

0:52:140:52:15

Opposition activists have

long accused the Kremlin

0:52:150:52:16

of using the security services

and state-controlled

0:52:160:52:18

TV to attack them.

0:52:180:52:20

And when Panorama went

to investigate, they found

0:52:200:52:22

the same tactics were used

against their reporter John Sweeney.

0:52:220:52:26

SPEAKS RUSSIAN.

0:52:260:52:29

It soon becomes clear why we've been

followed and filmed.

0:52:320:52:35

One of the main TV

channels in Russia runs

0:52:410:52:44

a special report about me.

0:52:440:52:47

As well as repeating

the vandalism claim,

0:52:550:52:58

it accuses me of making up stories

about students and soldiers

0:52:580:53:00

I haven't even met.

0:53:000:53:03

My police statement and passport

also leaked the media.

0:53:060:53:10

This is how things work

in Putin's Russia.

0:53:100:53:17

And Panorama reporter

John Sweeney joins us

0:53:170:53:20

in the studio and from Dublin,

Professor Ian Robertson,

0:53:200:53:22

one of the world's leading

experts on neuropsychology

0:53:220:53:24

and an authority on power.

0:53:240:53:29

Was Vladimir Putin always as

dangerous as he is now?

No, leaders

0:53:290:53:36

like this are made largely, albeit

there is a certain personality there

0:53:360:53:41

and he was a man who grew up in

tough times in St Petersburg. He was

0:53:410:53:49

a fight, a physically courageous

man, but an aggressive man and

0:53:490:53:54

nationalistic. He held off the

crowds this Dresden when they were

0:53:540:54:02

besieging the KGB post he was n't

always like this. Power is a change

0:54:020:54:09

agent and if you have unfetterred

power it causes a remarkably

0:54:090:54:14

consistent set of behaviours and

changes which Vladimir Putin shows.

0:54:140:54:18

Of course it looks as if he is going

to win again. So he will become more

0:54:180:54:23

dangerous?

I'm afraid so. Because

what happens when you have

0:54:230:54:29

unfetterred power for so long, you

develop a grand yosty and a feeling

0:54:290:54:37

of identification of your own

interests and those of the state and

0:54:370:54:43

so you... Your risk perception is

dulled and your self-awareness is

0:54:430:54:50

dulled.

John Sweeney you have

operated there, I saw the film last

0:54:500:54:54

night, do you feel the effects of

that in terms of the control by the

0:54:540:54:59

police, by the Security Services in

a sense that you can't fully operate

0:54:590:55:03

in Russia the way you would like to?

Absolutely. We were tailed the whole

0:55:030:55:11

time, 24/7. It was so cold it was

easy, you would wake up and before

0:55:110:55:18

breakfast you would check out the

cars, two men sitting with the

0:55:180:55:21

engines running. But it was in your

face. And the harassment, the two

0:55:210:55:27

doorsteps, how did they know where I

was, being followed all the time,

0:55:270:55:33

being lied about. There was a moment

when you get all of this together

0:55:330:55:36

and you think this is like the

mafia, the horse's head in the bed

0:55:360:55:40

stuff.

Is it worse?

I have been to

Russia since the nineties when

0:55:400:55:46

people were being killed big time.

This is the worst trip I have had,

0:55:460:55:51

the surveillance in the face, the

two or three items on pro-Kremlin TV

0:55:510:56:00

and the feeling that... Vladimir

Putin's risk analysis has been

0:56:000:56:05

dulled. That is now in a position.

So the opposition, two men, people

0:56:050:56:11

say he was afraid of. Boris

Berezovsky shot dead and another has

0:56:110:56:16

been barred from standing two months

in prison or police cells.

The

0:56:160:56:24

critic you filmed being strong

armed. They're not hiding this. Have

0:56:240:56:30

you met Vladimir Putin?

Of course he

came in 2003 and I met him on other

0:56:300:56:37

occasions. The professor is right

about him in Lord Acton's phrase,

0:56:370:56:44

all power corrupts, but absolute

power corrupts absolutely. I spent

0:56:440:56:50

13 years in government...

Did it

corrupt the Labour Party

Are you a

0:56:500:56:57

psycho?

No.

You would say that.

I

was going to make a serious point.

0:56:570:57:07

You're accountable, more than in the

Russian system. But towards the end

0:57:070:57:11

of that 13 years I got used to power

and to being whisked around in a

0:57:110:57:17

police vehicle, trappings of power,

and my kids and my wife used to sort

0:57:170:57:22

of as it were stick the needle in

and say hang on, because happily in

0:57:220:57:27

this country, you have to lose

power, it took a bit of a while to

0:57:270:57:30

decompress. If you're assured of

power forever, I think it is right

0:57:300:57:39

you feel the changes taking place.

What about that Russia and Vladimir

0:57:390:57:45

Putin is acting from a position of

weakness and that is what makes him

0:57:450:57:50

more dangerous?

I do think that is a

point, with great power, you make so

0:57:500:57:58

many enemies by having to exert

control that you also have a lot of

0:57:580:58:02

anxieties. The greatest fear that

goes with the power is the fear of

0:58:020:58:07

loss of control. Particularly when

you have a small, an economy that is

0:58:070:58:12

not thriving, the risk is that he

will take... Be inclined to do

0:58:120:58:18

radical things of kind he h done

already.

We're going to have to

0:58:180:58:23

leave it there. Will you go back,

John?

Yes if they will let me in. My

0:58:230:58:29

job is to report difficult places.

I'm back in the USSR. That is what

0:58:290:58:34

it feels like.

Leaders of the

France, Germany and the UK say the

0:58:340:58:44

Russians should reveal details of

novichok to the organisation for

0:58:440:58:49

chemical weapons. Thank you I'm back

tomorrow. Bye-bye.

0:58:490:58:56

Jo Coburn is joined by former Labour cabinet minister Jack Straw to discuss the diplomatic row over the Russian spy poisoning, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's response and child sexual exploitation in Telford.