20/03/2018 Daily Politics


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20/03/2018

Jo Coburn presents the latest political news, interviews and debate.


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LineFromTo

Hello.

On today's show -

0:00:370:00:40

Theresa May considers more

sanctions against Russia.

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Fishermen aren't happy

with the latest Brexit plans.

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And should new dads get

more paternity leave?

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With me today Anand Menon,

Professor of Foreign Affairs,

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who runs the Brexit analysis unit,

the UK in a Changing Europe.

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Welcome to the programme.

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Pleasure to be here.

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First, Theresa May has been chairing

a meeting of the Government's

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National Security Council this

morning, discussing what further

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measures, if any, should be taken

against Russia for the nerve agent

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attack on Sergei Skripal

and his daughter.

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Our diplomatic editor,

James Landale, joins us.

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James, tell us about some of the

measures she could use?

There are

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lots of tools the Prime Minister

could deploy to exert the pressure

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on Moscow. See could expel more

diplomats. She could be more

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explicit about the economic pressure

that is going to be employed on

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wealthy Russians who have links to

the Kremlin, based in the UK. There

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is a whole palette of things she

could do. But the impression I get

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is that there is a live debate

within government about how

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strongly, if at all, the government

should respond to the latest

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retaliation. Essentially what has

happened so far is there has been

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the ritual exchange of diplomats.

The Russian diplomats are leaving

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today. We have seen some pictures of

the coaches. There is a debate

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within government that says yes, we

should continue to respond to the

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Russians and look at the next phase

of this process. Others say, no, it

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is more in our strategic interest to

keep this debate an international

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one. Maintain the international

pressure rather than get sucked into

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a bilateral tit-for-tat row with the

Russians. Interesting to see which

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way they go.

It does look as if the

government, particularly Boris

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Johnson, want cover from EU partners

and from Nato, who have certainly

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shown solidarity, although there was

some quibbling over the wording

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yesterday from the EU. Will these

other organisations actually exert

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any sanctions and measures

themselves against Russia?

My own

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assessment is it would be very hard

to get specific new unanimous EU

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support for something like EU

sanctions. There is not the appetite

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for it. Even before this crisis,

there was an appetite among some

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European countries, saying they want

to try to weaken EU sanctions

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against Russia anyway. I don't think

that is what the British are asking

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for. What they are saying is, look,

this incident in Salisbury, that is

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just version of Russia's aggression

affecting the United Kingdom. Look

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at this as a pattern of behaviour by

Russia. Look at the threats to your

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own countries. What do you think you

could do to put more pressure on

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Russia individually, unilaterally?

We are not talking about agreeing to

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anything collectively, but just

getting other nations, saying,

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Russia has stepped over a line and

this is what we must do in terms of

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putting pressure on economically and

in terms of cyber. In every

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international forum Russia feels

more uncomfortable, more under

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pressure. In a few months, they may

think they have overreached and gone

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too far.

When might we hear about

any new measures?

There is a meeting

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this morning. What normally happens

is we get a readout from the lobby

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correspondence. We also may get an

update on where the investigation

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is. Quite often the NAC -- NEC is

briefed on that. Also what is going

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on in terms of the process of

keeping some samples to the chemical

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weapons inspectors, who began their

work yesterday.

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Thank you. Do you think Theresa May

should exert further sanctions bear

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in mind the rhetoric has been quite

strong on Russia?

I agree with

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James. I think the danger with

tit-for-tat is Putin is not the sort

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of guy who lets the other guy have

the last word. There is a danger in

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ratcheting at up. We have plenty of

backing within the European Union,

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at least from a diplomatic position.

There will be no more new sanctions.

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The EU has done all it can. There

has been an impressive show of

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Western unity. We have to fight to

keep that. That is when the Russians

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start to feel the heat. If we keep

doing small measures at commonly

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Russians retaliate, we are in danger

of being outgunned. And it may not

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achieve that much.

Theresa May and

Jeremy Corbyn said we need to engage

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with Russia. Expel the diplomats,

what form or that engagement take?

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We haven't expelled all the

diplomats. Back in the Cold War

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there was a channel of communication

with Russia. There are all sorts of

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issues. We are still, I hope,

talking about Syria behind the

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scenes. There are also divisions we

need to talk to Russia about. We

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should not be cutting them off.

Let's move on.

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Time for our daily quiz.

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The cash-strapped Parliamentary

authorities have got into hot water

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for spending nearly £10,000.

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So our question for today

is, what on?

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Is it...

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a) A home cinema for

John Bercow's appartment.

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b) Money to stop the trees

in Parliament's atrium from

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falling over.

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c) A relaxation room

for stressed MPs.

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Or d) Training for MPs

on how to use Instagram.

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At the end of the show

Anand will give us

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the correct answer.

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You may have heard the words

"Cambridge Analytica",

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"Facebook" and "elections" this

morning and wondered

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what that's all about.

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Well, we'll try our best to explain.

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Cambridge Analytica is a political

consultancy firm which is accused

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of using the data of 50 million

Facebook members to influence the US

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presidential election in 2016.

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Last night Channel 4 News aired

a film showing an undercover

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reporter posing as a potential

client from Sri Lanka.

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Let's take a look what was said

in the meeting between the reporter

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and Cambridge Analytica

CEO Alexander Nix.

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Joining me now is the BBC's

technology reporter, Zoe Kleinman,

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and Labour's Shadow Digital

Minister, Liam Byrne.

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So we can you bring us up to date

with the story? We have seen an

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excerpt there about some of the

practices of Cambridge Analytica.

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They say it was exaggerated. What

has been going on?

They denied all

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wrongdoing. What they have been

accused of is twofold. Number one,

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getting hold of an enormous amount

of Facebook data, 50 million users.

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Using that data to target messages

supporting Donald Trump in the

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run-up to the US presidential

election. Number two, they have been

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filmed saying they are able to

influence the elections by

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discrediting rivals, by setting up

stayings, where they might be

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caught. It is against the law.

Sending girls to politicians'

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houses. That sort of thing. They say

they were taken out of context. They

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were playing along with the

undercover reporters because they

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thought they may be clients. It has

opened up enormous questions about

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what these companies are doing and

how much influence they have.

Liam

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Byrne, let's talk about harvesting

data. Surely all political parties

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do this when they hire a consultants

and they have election campaigns,

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they go aggressively after voters.

Is this any different?

Yes, it is

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different because they collected the

data for one purpose and reused for

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something else. The reason we are

all very concerned is because we

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know it is not just bad companies,

there are bad countries as well. We

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know Russia intervened in the

American elections, we know they

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intervened in France and Germany.

There is a suspicion that could have

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been up to no good in the Brexit

referendum. We need to make sure

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there is not an unholy alliance

between bad companies and bad

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countries. We need to get the bottom

of this. What we have learned is the

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information minister doesn't have

the speed to get search warrants as

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she needs them. We were promised

more laws on this last night. We

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have just heard this morning in the

House of Commons the minister

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slightly backtracking from this and

saying, no, we didn't guarantee

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Chilcot the information Commissioner

with new laws. We will come back to

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you.

You don't think they are going

to do that?

I thought last night

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there were but now I'm pretty

alarmed they want.

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alarmed they want.

At the time when

this happened it was quite common

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practice. A man who is a Cambridge

academic made a personality quiz

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that people could take on Facebook.

Facebook has a set of instructions

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which it gives to all developers saw

their stuff will work on the

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Facebook platform. At the time it

was established as a default. If

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anybody use that, not only their

data but the date of their friends

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would be collectable by the

developer. This was common practice.

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This was guess your personality

type, a fun game. It was played by

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about 270,000 people. But in the

playing of that, and their friends

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networks etc, possibly reached up to

50 million users in terms of the

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data the app was able to harvest.

The developer sold that data to

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Cambridge Analytica. Not only do we

have a situation where Facebook's

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data should not have been sold on,

but a situation where it is not

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transparent. Obama has an app which

he used to get himself re-elected.

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It was very obvious what you're

doing. Planning a personality game

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it was not obvious you are

supporting Donald Trump.

Where

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should the boundaries be, Liam

Byrne? We all know when we complete

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quizzes or go shopping on the

Internet, there is a box that asks

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if you are happy for the company to

share your information. You hope if

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you do not take that box your

information will not be shared.

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Presumably there are millions of

people who tick the box, and perhaps

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they don't really care. Is that

where the problem lies?

The problem

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is twofold. Data was used in a way

that it was not collected for.

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People were misled when they offered

their data. The second real concern

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though is that Facebook say that

they received assurances that the

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data was destroyed. Now it turns out

that perhaps it wasn't. A real

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question about who provides the

oversight and the guarantees that

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data is actually being used in the

correct manner. And frankly, even

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the Secretary of State describes

this as a wild West where there are

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no rules. That is why we are saying,

isn't it time to give the sheriff a

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bit more power to bring some order?

We asked Cambridge Analytica for an

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interview but nobody was available.

One of the slightly shadowy things

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that has developed is when the DC MS

Minister Damian Collins tweeted that

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Facebook were in the offices of

Cambridge Analytica last night until

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they were told to stand down by the

information Commissioner. What do

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you make of that?

It is unusual and

strains that the two had not been in

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touch. It is good that Facebook is

deferring to the UK authorities. It

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is happening on UK soil.

What will

happen now, Liam Byrne? You would

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like new legislation and more powers

for the information Commissioner.

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Would that do it? Three things need

to change. The information

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Commissioner needs more power.

Second, we are proposing an

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amendment called the honest ads act,

which means the Commissioner has the

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power to find out who is paying for

what ads. At the moment dark ads are

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very possible. The big changes that

we to bring the legislation for

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these social media firms up to date.

They are regulated by a law brought

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in in 2000, before they grew to the

size and scale they are today. We

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will also propose an amendment that

said said deadline for when the

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government needs to bring in that

the legislation.

Do you think there

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has been widespread interference in

the way it has been interfering in

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election?

It is hard to say. The

digital minister has talked about

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these company having a duty of care

towards their companies. I would

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imagine that includes our data not

being used for things we were not

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told about initially, particularly

when it comes to shaping political

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views. The best thing about this

story is that at one point the Dr

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changed his name to Dr Spectre.

It is surreal.

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This time yesterday,

the Brexit Secretary, David Davis,

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was holding a press conference

in Brussels, to announce agreement

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on a transition deal with the EU

which covers the "implementation

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period" from next March

until the end of 2020.

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Mr Davis said it was a "decisive

step" in the Brexit process.

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The United Kingdom will be able to

step out, sign and ratify new deals,

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new trade deals with old friends,

and new allies, around the globe.

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For the first time in more than 40

years.

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These will come into force when the

implementation period is over.

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Providing new opportunities for

businesses across the United

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Kingdom, and seizing one of Brexit's

greatest opportunities.

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That was the Brexit secretary David

Davis yesterday. How big a moment

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was this, do you think? David Davis

seems to think it was, was it?

It

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was a big moment for a lot of

companies in this country who had

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been crying out for this agreement

so they didn't have to trigger

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contingency plans, so it was a step

forward. To site the old saying

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nothing is agrees until everything

is agreed and Jacob Rees-Mogg said

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yesterday, so there is a long want

to go before this is wrapped up. Is

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How much did the Government give way

in your mind?

There are some areas

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on the transition deal where they

gave away, so the rights of EU

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citizens who arrived during

transition, are initially the Prime

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Minister said they won't have the

same rights who arrived before

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Brexit day, now they will. And we

will have to abide by new EU laws so

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the Government gave way on most of

the points the EU was insisting on.

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Did the EU give way as well?

They

have given way on some the

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withdrawal points so on the rights

of EU citizens they backed off their

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original demand but they seem to

have got what they wanted.

Were you

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surprised by the storm created over

fishing rights?

Yes and no. I mean

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there are lots of different

constituencies involved in the

0:17:160:17:20

Brexit vote and fishing was

something where the government said

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early on and Brexiters said we will

reclaim our fishing water, this is a

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direct contradiction so it was

fairly predictable.

Well, with us

0:17:280:17:35

here is Nigel Evans and Alison

McGovern.

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Take back control, have the

fishermen and people who wanted to

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take back control of British waters

and fishing rights have they been

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betrayed?

No look I am looking for

Jacob Rees-Mogg on within of those

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trawlers, no the reality is we will

be in no worse off position during

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the transition period, it could be

better, because it is open to

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negotiation, at the end of the

period, after the transitional

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period, then we will have taken back

control of our waters, one area I

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find odd, though, is Nicola Sturgeon

saying this has let down the

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Scottish fishermen because frankly,

if we stuck with what Nicola

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Sturgeon wants we would be stuck in

the European Union for eternity and

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wouldn't have any control in 2020.

It is not just Nicola Sturgeon. It

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is Scottish Tories who met with the

Chief Whip and were told to stop

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whining because it is not like they

are going to vote Labour, is that

0:18:380:18:41

the way with your colleagues?

No,

they are meeting with the Prime

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Minister today, that is how

important they are being taken. They

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have met with Michael Gove and we

want to make certain in the whole

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mix we do, when we finally do leave

the European Union after the

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transitional period, that we have

got total control of our water, we

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are leaving the Common Fisheries

Policy and we will be able to get

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the best deal for our fish American.

Do you accept Alison McGovern. You

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are still behind the idea of

remaining within the EU, do you

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accept that this was a moment that

some success and progress has been

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made

Think there are is two problems

with what has happened over

0:19:170:19:20

transition, the first of those is

that many of the big decisions are

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still being kicked down the road,

whether that is the position of

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Ireland or what our eventual

relationship will be, we still don't

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know, so, a lot of us talked about

and the importance of a transition,

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when the first, vote first happened

for the reason Anand Menon

0:19:370:19:42

mentioned, which is businesses would

need a long lead in to deal with the

0:19:420:19:46

circumstances if that long lead is

is still real really a road to know

0:19:460:19:52

where, what are we talking about? We

don't know what our relationship is

0:19:520:19:56

going to be, and the second problem,

is to be honest, people like Nigel,

0:19:560:20:01

wept round in 2016 telling people,

when we leaf the EU, we will take

0:20:010:20:06

back control, we will have control

of fishery, and the borders, and

0:20:060:20:11

now, they are being told sorry, but

that is not really what is on offer

0:20:110:20:15

any more, and, I don't think that is

good enough, really, for people in

0:20:150:20:20

Britain, whether they voted leave or

remain. I think people were told

0:20:200:20:23

they could have something and they

are being told we are going to have

0:20:230:20:27

open borders, it is not really fair

on people. That is a huge problem.

I

0:20:270:20:35

thought it was bizarre to see Michel

Barnier and David Davis standing

0:20:350:20:39

behind that board full of sheets

with green ink over it, to o show

0:20:390:20:44

where agreements were made and some

where agreements are are still to

0:20:440:20:46

happen. I agree with Alison, if it

is is a road to know where I would

0:20:460:20:51

be opposed to it. It's a red to

leaving the European Union, so that

0:20:510:20:55

at the end of 2020, after the

transitional arrangement, both

0:20:550:21:01

Alison and and I can have a drink of

champagne in the strainers bar.

0:21:010:21:06

Somehow I don't think I will.

I'll

buy.

No thanks. That was clear.

The

0:21:060:21:11

issue of Northern Ireland, we are no

further on than we were before, in

0:21:110:21:17

order to not have an effective

border we need to be in the single

0:21:170:21:21

market. The Government is not

dealing with that issue. Is

Do you

0:21:210:21:27

agree...

Alison is saying unless we

say in the single market, even

0:21:270:21:32

Jeremy Corbyn isn't looking at. They

are looking at fudged customs union.

0:21:320:21:36

O do you make it would make it

easier to solve the problem?

No, we

0:21:360:21:42

are got going to do it. We are said

Theresa May has said there will be

0:21:420:21:46

no hard border between Northern

Ireland and Ireland.

Do you agree

0:21:460:21:49

with Alison on this point, about

that border, that that hasn't been

0:21:490:21:53

resolved. Itself is being kicked

further down the road and by doing

0:21:530:22:00

so, does it increase the chances of

a solution being found.

I agree on

0:22:000:22:05

the fact if you are not in the

single market or the customs union

0:22:050:22:10

it is almost impossible. The

government has talked about

0:22:100:22:13

technology, the agreement doesn't

just say no border, it says no

0:22:130:22:17

physical infrastructure, now

technology means cameras which is

0:22:170:22:20

physical infrastructure, no-one has

come up with a way of removing that

0:22:200:22:23

border short of single market and

customs union membership yet. That

0:22:230:22:27

is open to discussion, I suspect

what they want to do, is play chick

0:22:270:22:30

within the Irish in a sense, they

want to drag this out for as long as

0:22:300:22:34

possible. The Irish have two

problem, they don't want a border

0:22:340:22:38

and they want to continue trading

with us and the Government wants to

0:22:380:22:42

push the border issue...

The

European Union wanted to put the

0:22:420:22:46

cart before the horse, when hen you

do that it is amazing the cart

0:22:460:22:49

doesn't go all that far, what we

need to do is deal with the UK EU

0:22:490:22:54

border and if we get that right, now

we can get on with that, the whole

0:22:540:23:00

problem between Northern Ireland and

Ireland disappears.

It doesn't. The

0:23:000:23:06

idea a trade deal gets rid of these

issues is wrong, we would need to

0:23:060:23:12

have full regulatory convergence and

the only way do that is a single

0:23:120:23:15

market. For people who think this is

a non-issue, put yourself in the

0:23:150:23:21

shoes of my age, who is Northern

Irish, who has identity that looks

0:23:210:23:25

both ways who has grown up with

peace and imagine how this

0:23:250:23:28

discussion feels to them of people

dismissing concerns about the

0:23:280:23:33

border. That is unfair.

Are you

going to join Jacob Rees-Mogg when

0:23:330:23:38

he goes on that boat to discard the

fish?

I am not sure my sea legs are

0:23:380:23:46

that good. No, it is not jubilati

for Jacob Rees-Mogg but it is semi.

0:23:460:23:57

And for more reporting

and analysis of Brexit,

0:23:570:23:59

check out the BBC News website.

0:23:590:24:00

That's bbc.co.uk/brexit.

0:24:000:24:02

For the last couple of years

new dads have been entitled to take

0:24:020:24:05

more time off work when their baby

is born, sharing parental

0:24:050:24:08

leave with their partner.

0:24:080:24:09

But a report out today from

the Equalities Select Committee says

0:24:090:24:11

very few men are actually taking it.

0:24:110:24:13

It argues the government should be

doing much more to encourage fathers

0:24:130:24:16

to stay at home, including

increasing paternity pay.

0:24:160:24:18

Elizabeth Glinka has been to meet

one dad who has chosen to take time

0:24:180:24:21

off with his young children.

0:24:210:24:29

Shared parental leave is something

that has been available to dads here

0:24:290:24:33

in the UK since 2015 but the latest

figures show that only between two

0:24:330:24:38

and 8% of fathers are likely to take

that up. We have come here to south

0:24:380:24:43

London, to see Michael, and his two

daughters. Hello. Hello. And Michael

0:24:430:24:51

is a stay at home dad. Michael, what

do you make of these figure, why do

0:24:510:24:56

you think so few dads are taking up

the opportunity of having time off

0:24:560:24:59

with their children?

Think it is a

difficult decision to make, there

0:24:590:25:03

are still a lot of barriers cultural

and economic to deciding to really

0:25:030:25:08

take time off for your kids.

What difference has it made to you

0:25:080:25:12

having time off with the children?

I

think it has been great for me h it

0:25:120:25:15

has brought out a lot of different

aspects of my personality, I have

0:25:150:25:20

learned to be more patient and more

caring, as a person, and for the

0:25:200:25:26

kids, I think I have managed to

develop a much closer relationship

0:25:260:25:30

with them.

When you tell people you

are a stay at home dad, how do they

0:25:300:25:34

react to that?

I get different types

of reaction, a lot of times people

0:25:340:25:40

commend me but I think that is

strange because you would never

0:25:400:25:44

commend a mother for staying home

and taking care of their children.

0:25:440:25:48

Other times people just are a little

surprised I have decided to take a

0:25:480:25:54

year off of my professional activity

to watch my children.

So what do you

0:25:540:25:57

think would make a difference, in

terms of encouraging more men to

0:25:570:26:01

actually do what you are doing?

I

think that if we are really as a

0:26:010:26:06

society looking for pay equality,

and for equality gender equality, in

0:26:060:26:11

general, we need to start at home,

as well. So I think that the

0:26:110:26:15

Government could make some efforts,

to ensure that all fathers are paid

0:26:150:26:21

and enjoy longer paternity leave,

but I also think it's a question

0:26:210:26:26

that should be addressed, in the

family, and in the home.

OK, thank

0:26:260:26:31

you very much. And thank you girls

shall we baefc to the studio? Can we

0:26:310:26:37

wave. Bye.

They were very well behaved there.

0:26:370:26:43

They were very well behaved there.

0:26:430:26:44

Maria Miller chairs

the Equalities Select Committee,

0:26:440:26:46

and joins us now from central

lobby inside parliament.

0:26:460:26:48

Welcome to the programme, take up of

the Government shared parental leave

0:26:480:26:51

policy is as low as 2%, does that

surprise you?

Well, it does on one

0:26:510:26:56

level when you look at the fact that

more than half of new dads want to

0:26:560:27:01

be able to spend more time with

their children, and are talking

0:27:010:27:06

about down trading their jobs to be

able do that, so the low take up of

0:27:060:27:10

share is aed parental leave showses

that you know, family have

0:27:100:27:16

modernised more quickly than the

workplace has.

Does it mean it is a

0:27:160:27:19

failure the policy?

It is a policy

that needs review, and the Select

0:27:190:27:25

Committee report we have published

today tells the Government how they

0:27:250:27:28

should review that, by firstly,

giving dads 90% of pay for their

0:27:280:27:34

parental leave they give the pattern

the I leave they have for two weeks

0:27:340:27:41

but having 12 weeks protected time

for dads during the first week,

0:27:410:27:45

first year of a child's life to make

sure that dads take that. It is a

0:27:450:27:51

use it or lose it which we know

works to change the culture and get

0:27:510:27:56

dads to take this leave rather than

have to say just continuing in the

0:27:560:28:00

old ways.

Right and just to clarify

would they get paid the 90% of their

0:28:000:28:05

earnings during that time?

At the

moment we haven't got a full costing

0:28:050:28:09

for that, we want Government to look

at it as part of their review of

0:28:090:28:15

their policies is on Shahhed

parental leave but we have to

0:28:150:28:20

believe they get paid more because

as your interviewer has said that is

0:28:200:28:24

one of the reasons dads are not

taking up this important part of

0:28:240:28:28

their children's lives.

No doubt the

take up would be high perthe

0:28:280:28:31

policies is as you explained them

get put into force but are companies

0:28:310:28:35

signed up to this idea of losing

members of staff, key members of

0:28:350:28:40

staff for that length of time?

What

we are hearing now from larger

0:28:400:28:44

companies, who perhaps are looking

at this in more detail is they are

0:28:440:28:51

equalising the support, to allow

dads to have more paid leave, but I

0:28:510:28:57

am not sure the company, the country

can afford to ignore this, because

0:28:570:29:02

we have got so many new dads who are

saying they could down trade their

0:29:020:29:08

jobs, leave the labour market and if

the government wants to tackle the

0:29:080:29:15

gender pay gap, they won't really

tackle that until they have tackled

0:29:150:29:20

the issue of dads taking up more of

those caring responsibilities,

0:29:200:29:25

particularly in the first year.

Do

you think if Government is committed

0:29:250:29:28

enough to closing the gender pay gap

and helping dads stay at home who

0:29:280:29:34

have newborn kids, because although

the proposals are better on the face

0:29:340:29:37

of it, are they really radical

enough to reverse the sort of gender

0:29:370:29:42

roles in the way they are set?

I

think they are radical enough to get

0:29:420:29:46

dads to really think again about

their role in their children's lives

0:29:460:29:49

and ability to take time off,

particularly if they are low paid,

0:29:490:29:53

but you know, the most important

thing the Prime Minister said

0:29:530:29:58

recently in this topic she is

supporting flexible working from day

0:29:580:30:02

one and wants to see businesses take

that and that, of course, would

0:30:020:30:08

really benefit not only dads but

mums who often fail to get the good

0:30:080:30:14

quality jobs to get back into the

labour market and get rid of this

0:30:140:30:22

dreadful gender pay gap. I think

there are positive noises coming

0:30:220:30:25

from the Government and I hope this

Select Committee report today will

0:30:250:30:29

give them further food for thought.

0:30:290:30:33

We've been joined by John Adams,

who runs Dad Blog UK,

0:30:330:30:35

and by Kate Andrews

from the Institute for

0:30:350:30:37

Economic Affairs.

0:30:370:30:42

Welcome. What do you think of the

proposals and the way Maria Miller

0:30:420:30:45

explained them?

I am in favour of

the majority of the proposals. The

0:30:450:30:52

one about parental leave is a bit

confusing. I'm not sure if the

0:30:520:30:57

committee is proposing we do away

with shared parental leave.

The

0:30:570:31:02

implication seems to be a few

overhaul the system, that you would

0:31:020:31:06

somehow abandon shared parental

leave. Would you be in favour of

0:31:060:31:11

that?

No, I think it is a bit too

soon to abandon shared parental

0:31:110:31:15

leave. Where other nations have

introduced it, Sweden, Iceland, for

0:31:150:31:21

example, where they have introduced

ring-fenced leave for a father 's,

0:31:210:31:28

stand-alone leave, what you've got

is a much greater male participation

0:31:280:31:37

domestically, greater female

participation in the workforce and

0:31:370:31:39

greater gender equality all round.

It does come at a cost to business,

0:31:390:31:43

it has to be said.

But a price worth

paying because of the benefits to

0:31:430:31:50

society?

The policy should not be to

get an equal split between men and

0:31:500:31:56

women doing the same thing. It

should be to give partners the

0:31:560:31:59

freedom to choose what is right for

them in their own home, whether that

0:31:590:32:03

is the woman staying at home, the

man will stop regardless, it should

0:32:030:32:06

be a free choice. It should be as

flexible as possible. In terms of

0:32:060:32:15

paternity pay, I support the

decision to increase it. Small

0:32:150:32:19

businesses can reclaim most of the

costs from the government. It is a

0:32:190:32:22

cost to the taxpayer but it may be

something we want to prioritise and

0:32:220:32:27

Lagarde in a separate discussion. I

am more concerned about essentially

0:32:270:32:31

required badly. This is the

government saying if you don't make

0:32:310:32:34

the decision, we will threaten Terry

-- to use it might lose it, threaten

0:32:340:32:41

your benefits or your time off if

you don't do what we want. In

0:32:410:32:46

countries like Sweden they have had

problems getting men to take it up.

0:32:460:32:50

They still do not have a 50-50

split.

0:32:500:32:55

Do men actually want this? Would it

work?

I think Kate is right. We are

0:32:550:33:03

not getting to 50-50. We shouldn't

really be looking at having a great

0:33:030:33:07

world where childcare is shared, or

moment that work part-time. It has

0:33:070:33:14

to be what is right for each

individual family. These proposals

0:33:140:33:17

will create flexibility so families

can choose what is right for them.

0:33:170:33:21

There are barriers in place at the

minute would stop them from showing

0:33:210:33:25

their abilities as carers for

children within the family unit.

0:33:250:33:37

This policy has worked. It may sound

heavy-handed, but it is a case of

0:33:370:33:41

changing work and culture.

Will it

do that, do you think? Isn't Eddie

0:33:410:33:47

Kidd until the working culture

changes, you will not get the

0:33:470:33:50

flexibility?

The key is changing

culture. That is why they are

0:33:500:33:56

adopting this sort of approach. In

the workplace at the moment it is

0:33:560:33:59

still considered a bit odd that the

dad is going to do this. Introducing

0:33:590:34:05

the system as a way of bringing

about a cultural shift. You don't

0:34:050:34:08

have three choices.

Culturally we

have so much of a problem. Hopefully

0:34:080:34:16

the future generations will move in

that direction. I agree completely.

0:34:160:34:20

They haven't done it so far. Is it

because the law is not favouring

0:34:200:34:25

them and the culture is not changing

quickly enough?

You do not bring in

0:34:250:34:30

heavy-handed policies to force

people to do something that may not

0:34:300:34:33

be right in their individual

circumstances. Increasing paternity

0:34:330:34:36

pay, making it easier for men to

take time off work, that is one

0:34:360:34:40

thing. But saying everybody has to

do it this way is what I am not

0:34:400:34:44

comfortable with.

What are the

challenges you face being a stay at

0:34:440:34:47

home dad at the beginning? When I

was on paternity leave, you didn't

0:34:470:34:54

see many men at all. Is it

difficult?

It is. The biggest issue

0:34:540:35:00

is social isolation. The issue you

have is that women will be

0:35:000:35:09

socialised from before their child

is born. It carries on into nursery.

0:35:090:35:13

You do not always become a stay at

home dad from day one because mum is

0:35:130:35:19

breast-feeding. Very often you

become one through redundancy or

0:35:190:35:22

other things. There are tightly knit

social groups already formed among

0:35:220:35:29

women. You have to make your way

into them. What is really sad, my

0:35:290:35:35

own daughters get socially

instituted, but you're stoned.

That

0:35:350:35:43

is a shame. From any would like to

stay at home and they hear these

0:35:430:35:49

stories, which are true, from

personal experience, it will put men

0:35:490:35:56

off, never mind the cultural

practices at work?

Of course. It

0:35:560:36:01

starts in the home. Men and women

need to have some serious

0:36:010:36:03

conversations about how they want to

raise their kids. Mum and dad are

0:36:030:36:07

illegal. We want to see them do

similar roles at home or at work.

0:36:070:36:11

Women need to be stronger about this

and have serious and frank

0:36:110:36:16

conversations with every male

partner, to say, it is not just on

0:36:160:36:19

me to do the housework. Men are

becoming more receptive to that,

0:36:190:36:24

which is positive.

On the gender pay

gap that Maria Miller talked about,

0:36:240:36:28

she said some of these moves will

have to deal with the gender pay gap

0:36:280:36:32

that she says blight the lives of so

many women over 35. Do you agree?

0:36:320:36:38

Queue equalised between the genders

in terms of who looks after the

0:36:380:36:41

kids, absolutely. One of the reasons

for the gender pay gap was that

0:36:410:36:45

women disproportionately looked the

kids. So yes, I would imagine it

0:36:450:36:48

would.

The main reason for gender

pay gap is a mother pay gap. Many

0:36:480:36:57

figures are distorted. If you're

going to tackle it you have to have

0:36:570:37:01

more women pursuing the same career

trajectories as men.

0:37:010:37:03

Thank you.

0:37:030:37:04

Later today, Labour will confirm

who will be taking over

0:37:040:37:06

as the party's

new General Secretary.

0:37:060:37:08

Iain Watson is across the story.

0:37:080:37:14

Why should we care about who the new

general secretary is?

There are two

0:37:150:37:20

reasons. This is hugely symbolic

because we are having two female

0:37:200:37:25

candidates competing for this role.

Christine Blower, who used to be in

0:37:250:37:32

charge of the annuity, and Jennie

Formby from the Unite union.

0:37:320:37:35

Secondly, both are on the left of

the party. Symbolically this shows

0:37:350:37:39

how the party is shifting towards

those who support Jeremy Corbyn's

0:37:390:37:45

leadership and heavy party machine

will effectively be in the hands of

0:37:450:37:48

those around his leadership, whoever

wins. -- how the party machine.

0:37:480:37:53

Jennie Formby is the favourite. She

is a close personal and political

0:37:530:37:57

ally of Len McCluskey, who heads the

biggest union fonder of Labour. She

0:37:570:38:07

will be working in tune with the

leadership and the Labour leader's

0:38:070:38:12

office, perhaps a lot more so than

the previous incumbent, who was

0:38:120:38:15

elected under Ed Miliband. Some of

the areas she will be looking at is

0:38:150:38:21

how to change the Labour Party

campaigns, using some of the

0:38:210:38:25

techniques that got Jeremy Corbyn

elected and re-elected as Labour

0:38:250:38:28

leader, using them more widely in

terms of the Labour Party. More

0:38:280:38:33

grassroots campaigning as well. One

of the other reasons we should be

0:38:330:38:37

watching closely is she is also

going to be the person who

0:38:370:38:40

implements the party's democracy

review. It can change the way the

0:38:400:38:44

Labour Party operates. Again, giving

more power to the members, shifting

0:38:440:38:48

the balance of power away from some

of the MPs. She could be a highly

0:38:480:38:53

influential figure.

Explain why a

number of Labour staffers walked

0:38:530:38:59

out?

Yes, some key staff left. Six

yesterday. Before that, the general

0:38:590:39:04

secretary. Before that the person in

charge of elections and campaigns.

0:39:040:39:10

Some big losses. Most of them

leaving in the next few months. And

0:39:100:39:13

certainly in some cases they felt

they were more in tune with the

0:39:130:39:16

previous regime than the likely

regime under somebody who is firmly

0:39:160:39:19

on the left of the party, closely

connected to the United macro trade

0:39:190:39:25

union. Some of those leaving felt

more comfortable under previous

0:39:250:39:30

Labour leaders. Some had worked for

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. This

0:39:300:39:34

also gives the person coming in,

likely to be Jennie Formby, room for

0:39:340:39:41

manoeuvre in reshaping the party

machine, reshaping the backroom role

0:39:410:39:45

of the party, more in the image of

those who have supported Jeremy

0:39:450:39:49

Corbyn's leadership all along.

Thank

you.

0:39:490:39:51

I've been joined in the studio

by the Labour backbencher

0:39:510:39:54

and supporter of Jeremy Corbyn,

Chris Williamson, and

0:39:540:39:55

by Margaret Prosser,

a Labour peer and former President

0:39:550:39:58

of the TUC.

0:39:580:40:00

Welcome. Margaret Prosser, do you

have any reservations about the

0:40:000:40:07

outcome of this election?

I've got a

lot of reservations about the way

0:40:070:40:11

the whole thing has been organised.

In a way you could describe the

0:40:110:40:17

general secretary of the Labour

Party as being the civil servant of

0:40:170:40:22

the organisation. Obviously it is a

political party, obviously the

0:40:220:40:26

general secretary is good to be a

person with a political background,

0:40:260:40:31

political membership. But that

person has two slightly stand above

0:40:310:40:33

the fray. The way this has been

conducted, as soon as a vacancy was

0:40:330:40:40

announced, it was almost immediately

announced by senior people within

0:40:400:40:45

the party, senior members of

Parliament, that Jennie Formby would

0:40:450:40:49

be a really good candidate. Now

there should be, there is, a person

0:40:490:40:56

specification for this job. There is

an application form, and interview

0:40:560:41:01

process, other candidates. How is it

that the leadership of the party has

0:41:010:41:04

decided who they want before any

that process has been conducted?

0:41:040:41:09

They may say they have a preference.

They may say that. But this puts the

0:41:090:41:14

whole thing into some kind of a

shambles. It just is really not

0:41:140:41:20

fair.

Why has the leadership done

that for a post that is supposed to

0:41:200:41:26

be above the party political fray?

First of all it is not an election,

0:41:260:41:31

it is an appointment by the National

executive. The leadership doesn't

0:41:310:41:35

the point. It is the NEC that will

appoint.

Should they have expressed

0:41:350:41:41

such a firm preference for Jennie

Formby?

I'm not sure Jeremy has

0:41:410:41:45

expressed any preference one way or

the other. It is a matter for the

0:41:450:41:50

National Executive Committee. We

have two incredibly tandem with --

0:41:500:41:54

talented candidates who I think will

serve the party will be well. They

0:41:540:41:59

are effectively the civil service of

the Labour Party. The Labour Party

0:41:590:42:02

is a flourishing party now. It is

very much in tune with the British

0:42:020:42:06

people and we are going to have a

general secretary who will ensure

0:42:060:42:11

that we implement Labour's programme

throughout the membership of the

0:42:110:42:16

party, and helps to mobilise this

mass movement the Labour Party is

0:42:160:42:21

now, to carry Jeremy over the

threshold of Number 10 when the

0:42:210:42:25

general election comes and bring

more people into the party. It has

0:42:250:42:28

to be a good thing.

Do Jeremy Corbyn

not express a preference in the way

0:42:280:42:35

that you thought due Everybody

around him is expressed a

0:42:350:42:40

preference.

0:42:400:42:45

preference.

That is my point. The

whole view has been that Jennie

0:42:460:42:51

Formby is going to be the right

person for the job. I have known her

0:42:510:42:55

since the early 1980s. She is a very

capable woman. Whether or not she is

0:42:550:43:01

right for this position, would be a

matter for another discussion.

Do

0:43:010:43:04

not think she is right?

The party is

split down the middle. I have to

0:43:040:43:10

remind everybody that just because I

am not a Corbyn fan does not make me

0:43:100:43:15

a right-winger. I have never in my

life been a right winger. I am on

0:43:150:43:18

the progressive left of the party.

Loads of people who express

0:43:180:43:22

themselves to be on the left are

actually quite reactionary in many

0:43:220:43:26

ways.

Do you feel you are being

described as a right winger?

If you

0:43:260:43:33

are a Blairite, my goodness, you

might as well hide yourself away. It

0:43:330:43:38

is a pathetic way of describing what

is going on in the party, and we

0:43:380:43:41

need somebody in that general

secretary position who is going to

0:43:410:43:45

be able to bring people together.

Do

you accept it is split? That is

0:43:450:43:53

Margaret Prosser's perception.

Margaret would show she is not a

0:43:530:44:01

right-winger -- would say. Do you

accept that is the current state of

0:44:010:44:07

the Labour Party?

Margaret says the

party is split down the middle. I

0:44:070:44:12

absolutely disagree with that. I

have been a member for 42 years and

0:44:120:44:15

I have never known to more united.

It is true, there are a handful of

0:44:150:44:20

people who don't like the direction

of travel. There are a few people in

0:44:200:44:25

the Parliamentary Labour Party. Hold

on a second, Margaret, the

0:44:250:44:29

Parliamentary Labour Party is not

the Labour Party. We are a party of

0:44:290:44:34

600,000 members. Overwhelming

support for it. The other important

0:44:340:44:38

thing is that Labour's programme is

very much in tune with the

0:44:380:44:44

overwhelming majority of the British

people. Let's just remember that. We

0:44:440:44:49

are incredibly moderate and

mainstream. That is the Labour Party

0:44:490:44:53

now. Plain common sense is what we

are offering.

Do you welcome this

0:44:530:44:57

move to allow the members do have

more say? Do you agree the

0:44:570:45:02

Parliamentary Labour Party is not

the Labour Party?

I of course

0:45:020:45:07

welcome a move to engage more and

more people. What I don't welcome is

0:45:070:45:11

the way in which this has been

organised. We do have loads of

0:45:110:45:15

people engaged with Momentum, who

are also members of other parties.

0:45:150:45:21

That is not true.

It is true. We

know it is true.

I'm sorry, but it

0:45:210:45:26

is not true. You can't be a member

of Momentum unless you are a member

0:45:260:45:33

of the Labour Party. They did a

fantastic job in mobilising people

0:45:330:45:36

at the last election.

That was not

what I said.

0:45:360:45:47

what I said.

Go on.

What I said was

there are many people in momentum

0:45:500:45:53

who are also members of other

parties. Well, research has shown

0:45:530:45:58

that is the case. Secondly, if the

vast majority of people in this

0:45:580:46:04

country agree with the current

position of the Labour Party, how

0:46:040:46:06

come we didn't win the election? I

absolutely accept that the manifesto

0:46:060:46:13

met the grievances and the upsets

and the awful situations, that many

0:46:130:46:18

people find themselves in, where I

kind of differ as we go along that

0:46:180:46:22

path, is who is going to deliver

that programme for us? I have no

0:46:220:46:26

faith that the current leadership

would be able to do that.

We had the

0:46:260:46:32

biggest increase in vote share since

1945.

But you didn't win.

The reason

0:46:320:46:37

is there was a view abroad and that

is true of the party head office,

0:46:370:46:41

that pause we were a long way behind

in the opinion polls so it is

0:46:410:46:45

understandable and they were

fighting a defensive campaign. If we

0:46:450:46:50

fought an offensive campaign.

You

thought they fought a defensive

0:46:500:46:55

campaign?

No I think the party head

office were fighting a defensive

0:46:550:47:02

campaign...

Let me ask one final

question...

Given the opposition in

0:47:020:47:10

the election was the Conservative

Party, who fought the worst campaign

0:47:100:47:13

in living memory.

And we fought the

best campaign.

Leave that aside, the

0:47:130:47:18

fact of the matter is, that the

leadership of the administration of

0:47:180:47:23

the party needs to be a person to

bring everyone together and you may

0:47:230:47:27

take the view that the party is not

split down the middle. I think that

0:47:270:47:32

is utter tosh, Chris, frankly.

I can

assure you in all the meetings I go

0:47:320:47:37

to, there is huge support for the

agenda that Jeremy is spearheading

0:47:370:47:41

now.

We have to finish the

discussion, you won't agree on that

0:47:410:47:45

which is fair enough. We will find

out later or have that appointment

0:47:450:47:51

confirmed, the Labour Party are

saying that staff haven't walked

0:47:510:47:54

out, in the way I expressed it, they

are working their three month notice

0:47:540:48:00

period but they are leaving, as a

result of the way this is handled

0:48:000:48:06

and you may say that is what happens

when there is a change of the guard.

0:48:060:48:09

Thank you both for joining us.

0:48:090:48:11

Thank you both for joining us.

0:48:110:48:13

Later this afternoon, a mother

and her six-year-old son will be

0:48:130:48:15

heading to Downing Street to present

a petition calling for him to be

0:48:150:48:19

granted a special licence

to use medical cannabis.

0:48:190:48:21

Alfie Dingley has a rare form

of epilepsy and can suffer as many

0:48:210:48:24

as 30 seizures a day.

0:48:240:48:26

Our reporter Greg Dawson

is live at College Green

0:48:260:48:27

with Alfie and Hannah now...

0:48:270:48:35

Thank you 380,000 signatures on that

petition, which will be presented to

0:48:350:48:39

Number Ten this afternoon. It is all

about this boy, six-year-old Alfie,

0:48:390:48:45

he has enjoyed his day today, he has

been given a red bus which he has

0:48:450:48:48

loved rolling round here, his mother

Hannah is with us, Hannah, just tell

0:48:480:48:54

us a bit more about Alfie's

condition please.

Alfie has a very

0:48:540:48:56

rare condition, there is only nine

boys in the world with PCHD19. It is

0:48:560:49:01

genetic, it is very rare, there is

no understanding about how to treat

0:49:010:49:06

it, and it is very aggressive and

we, he has had a very difficult time

0:49:060:49:10

since he was a baby.

You have taken

him to the Netherlands where he was

0:49:100:49:14

treated with cannabis oil. Talk to

me about the differences that you

0:49:140:49:20

noticed.

Before we went to Holland

Alfie was in hospital every four to

0:49:200:49:24

ten days with a severe cluster of

seizures needing up to five doses of

0:49:240:49:31

steroids plus other medicines, he

had tonic chronic seizures where he

0:49:310:49:36

went purple. Very frightening. He

would always need a balance. We

0:49:360:49:40

lived like that for 18 months and it

is the most horrendous thing we have

0:49:400:49:45

had to endure, it was awful. Our

doctor said if we carry on Alfie

0:49:450:49:51

would become very sick, you know,

possibly get psychosis or his organs

0:49:510:49:55

would fail and he could die. We had

no choice, we took him to Holland

0:49:550:50:01

Add and you noticed a huge change.

He has one seizure a month. One dose

0:50:010:50:07

of steroids, he had a happy life. He

noticed his sister, he played with

0:50:070:50:12

her, we had family days together,

which were normal and we hadn't had

0:50:120:50:15

that for a long time. It was a

miracle for us and we wanted to

0:50:150:50:20

replicate that in the UK, with our

family and with our friends and with

0:50:200:50:23

our job, and you know try to get

back to some sort of normality.

At

0:50:230:50:29

the moment Alfie cannot have that

cannabis oil, he had a seizure last

0:50:290:50:34

week, naturally he becomes ago

sieve, and that is difficult for you

0:50:340:50:37

to manage.

It is horrendous, I get

no help other than from family, he

0:50:370:50:43

has a seizure on Monday night. We

had to rush him into hospital and he

0:50:430:50:47

carried on having seizures on

Tuesday so he had two doses of

0:50:470:50:50

steroids, this is what he does to

me, if you look at my hands, this is

0:50:500:50:55

what he does, he is aggressive, he

is angry, he does, I am frightened,

0:50:550:51:01

I can't leave him alone with his

sister, it is horrendous, he

0:51:010:51:03

couldn't go to school because I

can't put him in a situation at

0:51:030:51:07

school where he might hurt other

children, it is no life and we have

0:51:070:51:12

gone from having a lovely life, in

another country, to having a

0:51:120:51:16

horrible life again where I am a

full-time carer, it is very

0:51:160:51:21

stressful, very upsetting is and it

is more upsetting because I know

0:51:210:51:24

none of it needs to happen.

The Home

Office said they couldn't let you

0:51:240:51:29

use licensed this medication in the

UK, subsequently they said they

0:51:290:51:32

would consider a three month trial,

but they could make no promise, you

0:51:320:51:37

haven't heard anything since that,

that was about three months ago,

0:51:370:51:40

what is your response to this delay?

It is very upsetting, we are getting

0:51:400:51:45

a lot of platitudes, we are getting

people saying we understand your

0:51:450:51:49

situation, they don't, they don't

live my life every day, they don't

0:51:490:51:53

live my son's life, we want clear

clarity, we want to understand that

0:51:530:51:58

they are committed to helping Alfie,

committed to helping our family, we

0:51:580:52:01

want them to make that public and we

want them to help our doctor, to

0:52:010:52:07

prescribe this and get a licence.

Without their support and without

0:52:070:52:10

them driving this, this won't happen

and it needs to come from them. I am

0:52:100:52:14

a full-time care e my partner is

trying to keep a roof on our heads,

0:52:140:52:19

it is not my job to do this, it is

the Home Office's job to make this

0:52:190:52:23

happen and today, we want clarity

and we want their support publicly.

0:52:230:52:28

Thank you for joining me Hannah.

Hannah Deacon and Alfie who is over

0:52:280:52:32

there. A lot of supporters including

Sir Patrick Stewart. Just quickly,

0:52:320:52:37

we only have a few seconds but

outline the reasons you are

0:52:370:52:41

supporting the case?

Because it is

exceptional and it is urgent, and

0:52:410:52:46

the longer wider process of the uses

of medical marijuana in the UK will

0:52:460:52:53

have to be discussed. This case has

extreme urgency attacks to it and I

0:52:530:52:58

would hope -- attached to it, I hope

would the Home Office will come to a

0:52:580:53:05

conclusion in Alfie's favour very

quickly.

Thank you to your guests

0:53:050:53:08

there.

That case was very powerfully and

0:53:080:53:13

emotionally put to the Home Office,

do you think that should consider

0:53:130:53:18

it, they weren't available to do an

interview?

This is a total no

0:53:180:53:24

brainer, where it can can do good,

you regulate it and use it. Drugs

0:53:240:53:29

they press crane asking dangerous

and have side effects which is the

0:53:290:53:34

case with marijuana, but when it can

alleviate suffering, I don't see the

0:53:340:53:38

case for not.

What you to say when

they have stalled in terms of a

0:53:380:53:43

response to granting a pilot, even

for three months, to give some sort

0:53:430:53:48

of leaf to Anna and Alfie?

Who knows

what processes go on within

0:53:480:53:52

departments. It is not unusual for

things to get stalled in the system.

0:53:520:53:56

With luck the publicity this case is

getting will do something to shift

0:53:560:54:00

the wheels of the Home Office, but I

don't understand why this can't just

0:54:000:54:03

be done.

And if the Home Office

would like to get in tough with the

0:54:030:54:08

programme and we would be delighted

to talk to anyone from the

0:54:080:54:11

department to find out if they will

make an exception, in the case of

0:54:110:54:16

Alfie. While we have been talking I

have two other bits of news to bring

0:54:160:54:21

you, first of all a letter that has

been sent by Jean-Claude Juncker,

0:54:210:54:26

and this is from the European

Commission head, congratulating

0:54:260:54:31

Vladimir Putin on his re-election,

in the letter Jean-Claude Juncker

0:54:310:54:36

says I have argued that positive

relations between the European Union

0:54:360:54:38

and the Russian Federation are

crucial to the security of our

0:54:380:54:41

continent and our common objective

should be to reestablish a

0:54:410:54:47

co-operative pan-European security

order. I hope you will use your

0:54:470:54:50

fourth term in office to pursue this

goal and I wish you every success in

0:54:500:54:56

carrying out your responsibilities.

Is that appropriate what we are

0:54:560:54:58

going through at the moment?

I think

the phrase that comes to mind is

0:54:580:55:03

tone deaf. What is interesting it is

Sarah Wollaston who has confirmed

0:55:030:55:09

this. Who a lot of people would have

had down as a potential rebel so it

0:55:090:55:16

is interesting it will feed into how

people feel.

Briefly we are talking

0:55:160:55:23

about Cambridge Analytica and how

data has been harvested and the DCMS

0:55:230:55:30

has confirmed it has request that

Mark Zuckerberg the CEO of Facebook

0:55:300:55:36

appear before the committee's fake

news inquiry.

0:55:360:55:40

news inquiry.

0:55:400:55:42

Time to find out the

answer to our quiz.

0:55:420:55:45

The question was, what has

Parliament just spend £10,000 on?

0:55:450:55:46

a) A home cinema for

John Bercow's appartment.

0:55:460:55:48

b) Money to stopt the trees

in Parliament's atrium

0:55:480:55:50

from falling over.

0:55:500:55:51

c) A relaxation room

for stressed MPs.

0:55:510:55:53

Or d) Training for MPs

on how to use Instagram.

0:55:530:55:55

So Anand,

what's the correct answer?

0:55:550:55:57

I think I know. I think it's B. Is

Which were...?

The trees.

You were

0:55:570:56:02

right. Pathetically excited or not.

You don't get to take

0:56:020:56:09

You don't get to take a tree home.

0:56:090:56:11

Believe it or not, the fig

trees are costing nearly

0:56:110:56:13

£10,000 to keep straight.

0:56:130:56:14

Even without this, the trees

cost £20,000 a year

0:56:140:56:16

as it is to maintain,

and this has led to calls for root

0:56:160:56:19

and branch reform.

0:56:190:56:21

The Commons has ordered a review

into how to keep costs down

0:56:210:56:23

leading to speculation

the trees could be axed.

0:56:230:56:25

However a spokesman has said:

0:56:250:56:33

We've been joined in the studio

0:56:520:56:53

by Freddie Blackett, who runs

an indoor gardening company.

0:56:530:57:01

What is the plant?

It is difficult

to remember the Latin name, we call

0:57:020:57:08

him big Ken.

That is better! Do you

think fig trees were the right trees

0:57:080:57:13

for lining the atrium?

In short, I

don't. I think these particular

0:57:130:57:18

types of figs are native to propical

-- tropical conditions.

We haven't

0:57:180:57:24

had a lot that?

They are suited to

warm low light conditions can and as

0:57:240:57:30

you can see Portcullis House does

not provide at least those light

0:57:300:57:34

conditions, and you know, it is that

type of space is better suited to

0:57:340:57:41

plants like succulent, palms rather

than tropical plants like figs.

Are

0:57:410:57:45

you surprised they are leaning, and,

there are attempts to straighten

0:57:450:57:49

them?

As a result of that there are

two things you need to consider when

0:57:490:57:54

you are buying plants for a large

space like this or a small one like

0:57:540:57:57

a flat or home, and that is the

plant and the space, and if the

0:57:570:58:01

plants in this case a tropical one

is inappropriate for a consieve

0:58:010:58:07

triessentially it won't be growing

in the appropriate conditions.

But

0:58:070:58:10

it is, surely a lovely thing to have

in terms of the a working

0:58:100:58:13

environment. Portcullis Houses is

where all the politicians and the

0:58:130:58:17

staff in Parliament gather, and all

the services are there, they do add

0:58:170:58:21

something to the, woring

environment?

Absolutely. I read John

0:58:210:58:28

O'Connell said that politicians

should be spend Mogger on necessity,

0:58:280:58:33

plants plants will be very effective

at removing pollutants from the air

0:58:330:58:38

strike at reducing noise and

creating a greater sense of calm.

0:58:380:58:42

All of those things provide a

working environment that helps MPs

0:58:420:58:47

better serve their constituents.

You

can leave the plant here. Thank you

0:58:470:58:52

very much. Andrew will be here

tomorrow for live coverage of Prime

0:58:520:58:59

Minister minister's questions. Bye.

0:58:590:59:01