11/07/2011 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Jeremy Paxman.

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It's like an entire immune system going into violent reaction.


Suddenly the politicians who wanted him to smile upon them find Rupert


Murdoch repellant. If I was running that company right now, with all of


the problems and difficulties and the mess that there is, they should


be focusing on clearing those up rather than on the next corporate


move. The affliction spread, as other


News International papers are accused of invading the privacy of


Gordon Brown and his family. Newsnight has new details of how Mr


Brown reacted when Rebekah Brooks broke the story of his son's


illness. It has happened at the moment Mr


Murdoch was poised to take an even bigger role in British life. Can


his ambitions survive this deluge of opprobrium.


Rumours this afternoon is to save the Sky deal, Murdoch might dump


all of his UK newspapers. More accusation that is policemen


were corrupted in exchange for informationment


Also tonight, enough air conditioning to play football in


the desert, how did a country with a smaller population than West


Yorkshire persuade FIFA to let them stage the World Cup. The attack on


2022 is because it fits the prejudice that people have in their


mind, an Arab nation cannot have won.


No-one, it seems, was safe from the attention of corrupt journalists.


There were allegations today that they even tried to hack the phones


of members of the Royal Family, and that reporters from the Sun and


Sunday Times, blagged details of Gordon Brown's bank account and of


his son's medical reports. David Cameron, meanwhile, stood by his


decision to appoint the former editor of the News of the World,


Andy Coulson, as his communications director. There is no sign of this


scandal diminishing any time soon. First tonight, we have this


reportment Today, the hacking story moved on.


With new victim, Gordon Brown and his family. New charges, against


more Murdoch newspapers. Both broadsheet and tabloid. And the


exposure of more unethical methods by members of the press. The Brown


revelations came from investigations by the BBC and the


Guardian. The first relates to a flat Mr


Brown bought in this block in Westminster, in 1992. Eight years


later, the Sunday Times ran a story suggesting it was bought for a


knock-down sum. The BBC has received a tape of a call to a firm


of solicitors, which seems to suggest how the details were


The caller, beard beard beard, is known to have been working for the


Sunday Times at that time. Another charge is also from 2000,


that someone rang the Abbey National in Bradford six times, and


got details of Mr Brown's account. The Ab by-election y wrote to him


warning him somebody was pretending to be him, a letter was sent to the


Sunday Times too, the Abbey never got firm proof that the paper was


behind the calls. The worst charges are about Gordon Brown's son Fraser,


born in 2006, the Brown's think that the front page story that he


had cystic fibrosis, came from his medical records. These are serious


allegations, indeed many Members of Parliament and like many members of


the public I'm shocked and horrified that people could do this


to Gordon and his family, it is extremely serious and needs to be


looked at with urgency. Tonight Gordon Brown said his family were


shocked by the scale of law breaking and intrusion into their


private lives. He is expected to do an interview tomorrow.


It all seemed to happen today in one extraordinary mad rush around


4.00. Not long after those revelations about what may have


happened to Gordon Brown and his family started trickling out over


the Internet, came the extraordinary news from News


Corporation, that they are withdrawing their undertakings


about spinning off Sky News. That, only minutes before the Culture


Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, was due to address MPs about the future of the


News Corporation bid for Sky. Whilst at the same time, David


Cameron was six miles away in Canary Wharf, fielding questions


from journalists. The PM sent a clear warning to the


Murdochs, don't think of taking over Sky until you have cleaned up


your act. All I would say is this, if I was running that company right


now, with all of the problems and the difficulties, and the mess,


frankly, that there is, they should be focused on clearing those up


rather than on the next corporate move. That is the view I would take


if I was running that company. at the house it was Ed Miliband who


wanted to grill Cameron about Sky, but the PM passed the issue to


Jeremy Hunt. And now Hunt suddenly had to cope


with the dramatic news from the Murdochs. I understand that in the


last few minutes News Corporation have withdrawn their undertakings


in news. On January 25th, John January 25th I said I was minded to


refer News Corporation's proposed merging to buy BSkyB, to the


Competition Commission, in the absence of any specific


undertakings in lieu. As a result of News Corporation's announcement


this afternoon, I will refer this to the Competition Commission, with


immediate effect. And will be writing to them this afternoon.


wasn't Cameron there to answer questions himself, Labour wanted to


know? Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister was wrong not to come to


the House of Commons today. As on every occasion during this crisis,


he has failed to show the necessary leadership the country expects. He


saw no need for a judicial inquiry, he saw no need to change course on


BSkyB, and he has failed to come clean on Andy Coulson. This is a


Prime Minister running scared. Some stories think Rupert Murdoch


shouldn't just wait for the Competition Commission, but ditch


the BSkyB all together. I know it is very unusual for people in the


position of Mr Murdoch to behave honourably and simply with decency,


but he ought to recognise what's gone on in his organisation, why


there is doubt about its integrity and he ought to withdraw the bid


for BSkyB, just leave it. Only three weeks ago both Cameron and


Miliband were happily drinking with Rupert Murdoch at his summer bash.


The mood has change today dramatically, you would be hard


pressed now to find any politician who would want to be seen there.


I gather you have new information tonight? Newsnight has been talking


to one of Gordon Brown's senior colleagues from his days in Downing


Street, who has told us how in 2006, in the autumn, the office received


a phone call, that somebody from, the political editor of the Sun


rang to say that the paper had a tip-off from Edinburgh infirmary,


from somebody inside, that Fraser had cystic fibrosis. This was right


in the middle of the Pre-Budget Report. Gordon Brown acted very


badly, how could they know, how could they report it, how was that


in the public interest, he wouldn't let them make a story out of his


son's illness. Mr Brown was concerned it would come out in a


positive way, not in a way that would be described as tragic or


heart-breaking. Mr Brown wanted to issue a pre-emptive statement to


stop the Sun coming out with an exclusive story on this. Whereupon


Rebekah Brooks phoned up Paul McBride, Gordon Brown's press


spokesman, and - Damien McBride and got heavy on it, saying there was


no justification of a pre-emptive story and this was not the way


things were done, she was frightened Gordon Brown would stop


the Sun exclusive, in the end the Sun managed to get the story out by


being interviewed on Sky News, and Gordon Brown did manage to issue


the positive statement about the situation a few minutes later.


With us now are the Labour MP, Tom Watson, who has unearthed many of


the allegations against News International, and the former press


secretary to David Cameron. You are a very good friend of Gordon Brown,


how significant is this story about his son? I didn't know about it


until I actually saw it today. But, I wouldn't want that kind of thing


about my children slapped all over the papers, and I would be very


upset if it came out. It is yet another tragic story in this saga


that isn't over. And yet, having had that done to him, he still went


to Rebekah Brooks's wedding? Yeah, isn't that the weird thing about


politics. You are on this tread mill, you have to do these things.


There is a sense he has a big responsibility, he has to win


elections and a lot of people behind him. He probably didn't want


to go to the wedding but felt he had to. You will have to ask him


why he went. This frankly twaudry relationship between politicians,


not just of your party but all parties and this particular empire


is being increatesingly exposed isn't it? Yeah, and the good that


is already coming out of this, we have to get the criminals in jail.


But the good coming out of it is those days are over. The


familiarity between these people is going to be reduced. If you ask for


the Prime Minister's diary, when Rupert Murdoch visits Number Ten,


if he goes downstairs it is published, but if he has a private


meeting in the flat it is considered a private meeting. Those


silly little arrangements have to stop. Do you think this is a


turning point? I do, I think we have a real problem, it has gone on


for decades, swaggering editors and newspaper proprietor, cutting


across newspaper editorials of their newspapers, it is counter-


productive and undermined journalism itself. If what comes


out of it is a proper regulatory framework, and the kind you have in


broadcasting and on the print press it would be a good outcome. There


is nothing new, Tom Baldwin, the prerogative of the harlot, this is


since newspapers began. Why did David Cameron hire Andy Coulson?


was going to explain. There was a very concerted attempt not to play


this game, to keep the media at arm's length to focus on an agenda.


By hiring a tabloid editor? What happened is in 2007 there was a


feeling that actually there would be an election immediately. Gordon


Brown would do everything to get headlines for the next day, there


was a modification in that approach. That may have been wrong. All I'm


saying now is. What you call a modification is an abandonment of


what you said would be a new policy? Not an abandonment, but not


putting them at arm's length. was a mistake? With hindsight it


was. To be fair, both parties on this have had a problem. Alastair


Campbell, for the best part of ten years was telling Tony Blair that


we needed to do something about the media, and he was right. There was


a period where actually there was a cross-party consensus on this, that


broke in 200. Now, from where we are, if something good comes out it


means proper regulation of the media. Once and for all we can put


the profession of journalism into a I hooer plain. Everyone is


incredibly pious at a time of embarrassment like this. Let's try


to engage with practical mechanisms, for how this relationship, which


has been the dominant feature of what has come out today. This


relationship between a particular media empire, but let's say all


media empires and politicians ought to be reconstructed? Yeah, get rid


of the PCC and rebuild it. No Press Complaints Commission? You need


independent representation on a new body. You need sanction that is


people would volunteer to so when an editor make as mistake and is


guilty of a wrongdoing they can oblige the paper to put it right.


You need far more transparency at the heart of Government. These


private sessions needing to. Do you think there should be a requirement


to make it public? The meetings between owners and editors. When a


proprietor meets someone in Downing Street. They will get around it by


sending a flunky? They may try to get round the world, now Rupert


Murdoch can go in the back passage and have a meeting in the Number


Ten flat and no-one knows about it, that is remarkable. You have to


separate proprietors from their editorial and decisions, you don't


have them dictating what to do. Because there is a proper code, if


you break the code you have to put it right. The other really


tarnished outfit to come out of this so far, and doubtless there


may be many more, is the police, who are both incompetent, and some


of them corrupt. What should happen to Assistant Commissioner Yates?


John Yates misled parliament, he was task today review this 2006


evidence, within that evidence was the signs that Milly Dowler's phone


had been hacked and the Soham families were in there, he came to


parliament and said there was no new evidence. I think his position


is untenable. He should be sacked? He should resign with dignity.


have certainly questions to answer the police, the fact that they had


access to this information, the only ones that did and they didn't


take it. Do you have confidence in John Yates? I don't, personally.


you think he should resign? position is not good, frankly, yeah.


Commercial confidence in Rupert Murdoch is leaking like a sieve,


shares in BSkyB dropped again today, as did the shares in the American


operation. In the long and inglorious history of newspaper


Barons there have occasionally been some who are sane and decent, they


are comfortably outnumbered by the Conrad Blacks and Rupert Murdoch


and others. Murdoch claimed to be something different, a newspaper


man who happened to become a multimedia tycoon. He never


surrendered his close, personal control of his empire. As we report,


that is increasingly seen as part of the problem.


Rupert Murdoch sits atop a complex British arm of his News Corp


operation. His son James oversees the company's European and Asian


interests, including News International, that is the company


that owns the Times, the Sunday Times and the Sun, and until


yesterday, the News of the World, James is also chairman of BSkyB, of


which, News Corporation owns 31%, they want to own it all. In an


effort to save the deal in which they would get it all they have


sacrificed the News of the World. As Rupert Murdoch left his London


home today, it was clear this wasn't going to go any where near


as swaujing the anger threatening to - assuageing the anger


threatening to overcome the deal. They were going to buy off BSkyB,


limiting the amount of British news media they were in charge of. This


afternoon they withdrew that undertaking, triggering the


Competition Commission investigation that they had been


working so hard to avoid. Why would they do that? The answer is given,


where they are now, given the position that they can see going


forward, getting a Competition Commission investigation is about


the best position they can hope to be in. I think they are giving it


time and letting things quieten down while the Competition


Commission does their job, hopefully that will deal with


questions about whether or not News Corp is a fit and proper


organisation to hold this license. Once that is all dying down the


Competition Commission will have progressed and hopefully find in


favour of the ablgquigs. Then it will go ahead, with nobody really


complaining that much. That question of whether News Corp


executives are fit and proper people to be involved in


broadcasting is another headache for the company. A question to be


judged by offcome. Up until 2010 Stuart Purves was in charge of


standards for Ofcom. If you were to decide today, that members of the


BSkyB, because of their connection say with News International, not


many have one, but some do, that they were not fit and proper people,


how can they hold the BSkyB license today. You have to say what will be


done about the present BSkyB license, put aside the acquisition.


The American side of the Murdoch empire may prove problematic. Now


running the Dow Jones in the wall treat journal, Les Hinton was in


charge there at the alleged time of bribes. Even if he wasn't in charge,


the company could full foul of the American law. In the US law you can


be found liable for an FTCA accusation. For anyone acted within


the scope of their employment makes payments intended to benefit at


least in part the business organisation. So there really are


potentially two pronging of this investigation from a US standpoint


if it doesn't sue, the kprot level, or perhaps, although we don't know


at this point as to culpable individuals. James Murdoch, some


believe, could be vulnerable too, he approved huge payments to the


victims of hacking. You embarked on a sustained and deliberate cover-up,


this is the ago saying, because you knew how terrible it was and you -


this is what people are saying, because you knew how terrible it


was. I acted on the advice of executives and lawyers. Within the


complete investigation, that is a regret for me. The investigation


buys the Murdoch's time, but to do what. The rumour swirling around


the Times newspaper this afternoon, is that title might be the subject


of the Murdoch's next drastic move. To the guys in New York, this


Wapping appears to be in a bit of a time warp, it is about the Murdoch


heritage, it is about how he first got into newspapers in Britain,


rather than the future of News Corp. It could go? I'm not suggesting it


happens today, or in five years time. Maybe if there is a post-


Rupert Murdoch moment, who knows when that will be, when the guys in


New York actually want to run it as a different kind of company.


Remember that the only ground that is the Competition Commission are


going to judge the Sky deal on is plurality, that is its impact on


the number of distinct voices in British news. If the Murdoch empire


gets rid of its British newspaper, well the plurality problem goes


away. Michael Wolf is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair,


and knows Rupert Murdoch better than most, after spending 50 hours


interviewing him and his family for a biography. This talk that we hear


over on this side of the Atlantic, that Murdoch might just get rid of


all his newspapers here, in order to concentrate on television, does


it make sense to you? We hear it on this side of the Atlantic too. What


we are hearing is the voice of panic. Nobody knows what to do. I


think every scenario is open for discussion. There are also, there


has always been a faction within News Corp here that says why do we


have these newspapers. Newspapers, British newspapers, makes no sense


to us. We own a lot of businesses which are growing, that business is


shrinking. So this becomes inside of News Corporation a political


moment to say let's get rid of them. In a more general way, it is


looking at this crisis, and saying we are really in trouble. It is


also looking and saying how do we continue to run the News


International. So many of its executives are now utterly


discredited. Are you referring to members of his family?


referring to Rebekah Brooks, I'm referring to James Murdoch, who


obviously has suffered an enormous loss of credibility. Is part of the


problem here the way in which Rupert Murdoch runs what is a


public company, as if it were a private thiefdom? That is a


question that is coming up in this country more and more, that this is


an issue of governance. That is a question that will have to go to


the board. We now have a situation of course where the Murdochs,


people named Murdoch, are not accountable in conventional ways,


we have a situation in had which people named Murdoch have and are


you suffering a heamorrhage of credibility. I think they are


reasonably at the point where this heamorrhage has been so great that


you have to ask are these people who caught to be running a great


public company. He's a pretty old man now, look 20 years down the


road s this going to be a company, do you think, controlled by a


Murdoch? You know, I would say, you know a matter of months down the


road, this may not be a company controlled by someone named Murdoch.


Do you think have any insight into why it is he's so protective of


Rebekah Brooks? Well, I do. I think it is a family issue, number one,


and remember, the Murdochs see this as a family company. The first


issue is what is good for the family. Rebekah is very close to


James and close to his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Matthew


Freund. I know Murdoch and Rebekah themselves are very close. Rebekah


told me the story once about she stopped smoking about - because


Murdoch challenged her in a swimming race. If she won she would


give up cigarettes. We are talking about a really family intimate


relationships. The other aspect of this is that traditionally when


someone in News Corp is attacked outside by someone outside the


company, they close ranks, they never fire anyone. In the New York


post they had to admit that the editor of page 6, Richard Johnson,


was taking bribes, being paid to write stories. Richard still works


for News Corporation. This is an entire newspaper should


down here? Absolutely. They shut down a newspaper so that, in part,


the executives could cope their jobs. Do you hear anything about


potential lawsuits there? There has been a shareholders lawsuit filed


in Delaware today. I expect there will be more suits, of course there


will be. What are they trying to claim?


are trying to claim that there is a level of unfitness here.


Thank you. No-one, neither the Murdoch empire,


nor the politicians who courted it, nor journalism, more broadly, is


emerging from this scandal smelling good. For the police the smell is


especially bad, the best they can get away with are accusations of


being feeble and incompetent, at worst our suspicions of corruption


and accusation that is individual officers were bought and sold.


Scotland Yard got testy today claiming people were trying to


wreck the current inquiry that the News of the World tried 0 get phone


numbers for the Royal Family by bribing police officers.


Once again, the ethics which should underminute the relationship


between police and journalists, is under scrutiny as never before.


When it works it is symbiotic, hacks need story, police need to


investigate. A shrew of allegations in recent days shows the darker


side. Any journalist worth his salt will try to persuade police


officers to share information, that is what good information is all


about. There is a line that can't be crossed. News today that a


member of the Royal Protection Squad, has passed on information in


return for cash has come as a shock. Personal protection officers travel


in the same car as the royals, close ones in back-up vehicles.


Others guard buildings. The BBC was told today that News of the World's


former royal editor asked his editor, at the time, Andy Coulson,


who went on to work for the PM, or �1,000 for a protection officer to


give information. There were phone number force the royals and others


in the household. It is unforgivable, for a protection


officer who is trusted and trusted by the principles themselves,


protection comes in variety of different falls. Protecting their


personalities and identity is something that all police should


sign up to. The story gets so much worse, the e-mail suggesting these


payments were made was discovered by the internal investigation in


2007. They didn't disclose until last month. The met police have


serious questions to answer about the failure of a previous


investigation to uncover the truth. John Yates carried out what the


home affairs committee referred to as a review in 2009, but decided no


further action was needed. He said this so-called review was not a


review at all. John Yates said today he suggests he informed the


committee he had thoroughly looked I think it is a matter of semantics.


When is a review not a review, and when is the checking of facts a


review. I think we will need to clarify these questions with John


Yates. John Yates is a very experienced police officer, who has


held some of the most important jobs in the Metropolitan Police. I


think we need to give him the benefit of the doubt until he


appears before the committee and plains the difference between the


two. He said there were very few victims. He said all the victims


had been contacted, he said that all the mobile phone companies had


been put on notice in relation to this. All of these things are lies.


Some have claimed that senior police officers were too scared at


being turned over themselves to tackle News of the World. Something


that has always been denied. Can we expect police officers to


follow a different moral code to the rest of the law-abiding


population. If not, from time to time there will be embarrassing


stories about alleged affairs. Are these purely personal matters, or


does it lead to the perception that some police officers are open to


influence. There is former Assistant


Commissioner Andy Hayman who headed the first inquiry in 2006 into


phone hacking. He found himself in the headlines over a relationship.


The solicitor behind it wrote to the home affairs committee last


Mr Hayman didn't respond to our questions. Newsnight has been told


that police officers from other units were leaking information too.


In connection with this diamond heist at the Dome for example,


though it remains unconfirmed. Even in terror investigations, we are


told the tabloids have deep pockets. The tabloids came and said open


check book, they were offering very, very big money. How much, roughly.


I can tell you it was six figures. �100,000 plus, with these sums


swirling around, it is easy to assume other revelations will come.


Bob Milton who headed up the Special Branch protection squad and


was in charge of security vetting. Let's deal with the royal security.


Are you surprised an officer was prepared toe enter into


negotiations to sell a brift royal telephone book? I'm devastated this


has been made. Royalty protection, VIP protection at the highest level


of integrity, this is a very bad day. This is presumably someone who


you vetted? I was responsible for the high standards of vetting in


the United States. This family would have had the same as everyone


else, if they had access to confidential information. What


should be done? A full and hope inquiry has to what why this person


was, was it a principal protection officer, someone who sits next to


the Queen, or someone who stood outside Buckingham Palace and got


hold of the book, we don't know. this, as far as you know, widely


available? Anyone working in the environment of the royal protection


may have had access to 0 it at some point. That would have had to have


had access on security grounds. The point I'm a making is the police


officers are vetted at different levels. It may well not be someone


at the highest level of vetting. The broader question of the


relationship between the tabloid% and the police, this is a murky


area? The police and press need to speak to each other, and they need


to get their message across. There need to be some strict rules about


passing of confidential information, it should not happen. It certainly


shouldn't happen for money. That is despicable and a betrayal of the


trust that people who have given that information, whether it is


police officers working in the community, and working with


families of victims, or in this case somebody working close to the


Royal Family. It is a criminal offence? Yes it is, they should be


have the full wait of the law applied to them. What about the


fear that some police have of being turned over in the tabloid press,


have you come across that, ever heard of it? The worry we have


always is are you vulnerable to an approach from an outside agency. We


carry significant responsibility, we have access to very, very secret


and confidential material. If you are not squeaking clean yourself,


you may well behind that you are vulnerable to an outside agency


trying to axe fire that knowledge. They are human - Access that


information. They are human beings, and someone will have an affair?


They need to be open and honest about that. They can't hide the


affairs and risk somebody using that information to try to put them


under pressure. They have to be open and honest, if they are having


an affair, they need to declare it? To whom? They have a vetting


officer. If they are cleared to that level of vetting they should


be speaking direct to the officer. If Peter Hain was - Andy Hainaut


was performing an investigation what should have happened?


can't put senior police officers in the hands and the way of delivering


information. If you have done something that makes you vulnerable,


then you need to do something about The other person who is under close


scrutiny at the moment, is John Yates, the assistant commissioner


at the yard, is his position tenable any longer? Somebody should


take responsibility. Whether a police officer, or somebody else, I


don't know, nobody seems to step up and take responsibility. John Yates


vm a very professional and competent police officer. He has


admitted he had a lack of judgment two years ago. He will have to make


his own decision on whether or not he feels his position is untenable.


I couldn't answer that. What do you think personally, would you resign?


It depends why he made the decision. If he made it on operational


grounds, then fair enough. For any other reason, if he was influenced


by any other way he should step down.


It was 45 degrees in the gulf state of Qatar today, FIFA, the governing


body of world football has ruled that sweltering heat to that is no


bar to run around a football pitch. The decision to hold the World Cup


there in 2022, is one of the most astonishing for an organisation


that seems to like defying belief. Qatar has not what you call a


world-boating reputation for soccer. How did it get the world's most


glittering football tournament. The head of the bid has spoken to us.


Doha's skyline is designed as a display of wealth. Gas and oil


reserves turn into steel and glass. In just 20 years this gleaming


Metropilis has risen out of the desert, and the rate of range for


the people who live here, some of the richest in the world, has been


breath-taking. The 2022 FIFA World Youth Cup


is...Qatar. And it has a new catalyst for


development, the 2022 World Cup. Awarded by FIFA last December, but


dogged ever since by murky allegation, that they won the prize


using corrupt means. Now for the first time the head of


the bid has hit back, strenuously denying the allegations and saying


they are being unfairly targeted. Attack on 2022 is because it fits


the prejudice that people have in their mind, an Arab nation could


not have won. That is what I'm trying to say.


Qatar says the real reason for its victory was its promise to spend


more than �60 billion. Not on bunging officials, but on 12


new stadium, new roads and new airports and a new Metro system,


all built for FIFA's month-long football party.


This is perhaps the best example of Qatar's bold vision for its future.


Ten years from now, they say, this will be a brand new megacity,


housing 190,000 people. Over there behind me will be the new 8 6,000


seater stadium, build for the 2022 world come final. As you can see,


there is a lot of work to be done. Representatives from other


countries, who bit against Qatar, still say FIFA got it wrong.


still think it is unusual to say the least to hold an event of such


extraordinary magnitude in such a city. You have to question whether


it makes sense to build the kind of infrastructure it takes to create


the World Cup. By far the biggest challenge will be combatting the


scourging summer sun. Temperatures can reach more than 50 degrees,


posing a serious risk to help. typical day we can see up to 40


heat presentations. Most are not life threatening, I remember some


days we had on a regular, at least once day we would see a life-


threatening heat stroke. This is what Qatar says is the


solution to its problem with the heat. 12 air conditioned stadiums


like this one, with jets puching cool air out across the pitch, and


with smaller ones in the stands. At the pitch side it is pleasant. Up


there in the stands it is stickier, and the problem for Qatar is, it


isn't air condition the whole country.


The other more mofgs answer would be to move the World Cup to -


controversial answer would be to move the World Cup to winter.


This man led the bid and has the task of delivering the project?


Would you be prepared to move the World Cup to winter. This is not a


question for us, it is for the entire football community. If they


said they would prefer it, would you do it? It is a question for


them, for the football family, for us we are ready to host it in the


winter in the summer, whenever it First impressions of a modern,


westernised city, with the usual freedoms are quickly disspelled.


Drinking alcohol is banned, except in some hotels and restaurants and


there are severe restrictions on sexual behaviour and on the freedom


of eggs presidential. There is a perception that Qatar is


a human rights compliant country, in fact, it isn't. When people go


to Qatar and find out the true situation, they are often shocked


at the level of restrictions that they could face. For example, if


they say anything in relation to Islam, or to the Amir, or being


seen drunk in public, for example, that could land them a sentence of


up to six months in prisement. Nearly all the places Newsnight


went, we were accompanied by media minders. This is not a country


where you can be completely open. The media is not completely free?


Can I ask you a question, why do you think the media is not


completely free. I understand if you insult the amount mir here you


could be liable to a jail sentence of seven years, that doesn't happen


in a country that is truly free? think the World Cup will accept


accelerate a lot of the initiatives Qatar is doing. Among them freedom


of speech, human rights, and so on. A lot of things Qatar is taking on


now. There is a level of freedom of speech, maybe not the same as in


some countries, like the US and England. Each country has its own


factors, culture and tradition. Certain things would be within


acceptable norms, certain things would not be. Can any sport, even


one as big as football, really deliver that source of social and


political change. This man has worked in sports


marketing for the gulf for over 20 years? What they have done is very


much identified sport as wait to put their country on the map. In


the Middle East other countries have tried to do other things,


Dubai is a commercial hub, Abu Dhabi is a cultural hub. It has


brought global recognition for this tiny country, not necessarily for


the reasons it might have imagined. Since the vote Qatar's bid has been


mired in corruption allegations. A whistle-blower claimed three FIFA


members were paid $1.5 million to vote for Qatar, claims she has


since retracted. Even if she is now tl telling the truth, the bid is


still under scrutiny, especially with the country's most powerful


football executive facing accusations he bribed officials,


during a bid for the FIFA presidency.


Qatar fears its reputation will also be tarnish.


Did you bribe FIFA members to get the World Cup? No. At no point you


bought any money or gifts or anything beyond the controls to win


the race? Had We never broke FIFA's rules. The problem is people will


look at FIFA's own Ethics Committee to say that he was bribing people


to get votes, and people will believe that they was doing that


for this vote too? His issues are separate from the bid. We ran our


campaign, we lobbied, out of all people we lobbied him the strongest,


because he from the very first day was not on board with the bid.


Football has grown so much in popularity and power over the last


few years, that for a country like this, hosting the World Cup is seen


as an opportunity to build a nation. But ever since it won the vote back


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