24/04/2012 Newsnight


Emily Maitlis has the story of the Murdoch empire's secret e-mails that have put the political career of the culture secretary in doubt.

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Did Jeremy Hunt fly too close to the Sun? Labour calls for the


Culture Secretary to step down, saying he gave News Corp executives


highly sensitive information on the takeover of BSkyB. The Secretary of


State refuses to go and insists he's done nothing wrong. Now isn't


that time for knee-jerk reactions. We had evidence presented today


that alleged meetings and conversations that simply did not


happen. Did James Murdoch intend to create havoc at the heart of


government? And can Jeremy Hunt stay in his job? Allegra and Paul


have some answers. Jeremy Hunt's survival depends on a strategy of


flat denial of what these emails say. He's not someone the Cameron


project intends to lose. But he knows he must put his side of the


story sooner rather than later. Labour's deputy leader goes head-


to-head with a defender of the Culture Secretary. And we'll be


asking the phone-hacked George Galloway, Neville Thurlbeck - he of


the For Neville emails - and Labour peer Lord Puttnam what to make of


the relationship between press and politicians. Also tonight: The


teenage victims of domestic violence. How can one in four be


abused by their partners? He threw a microwave at my head. I was left


in a wheelchair. I walk up and I was at the other end of her room


and Heidi -- and he was stamping on me. Good evening. Jeremy Hunt's own


website proclaimed him a cheerleader for Murdoch. He may be


feeling distinctly less of one this evening. Today, the Leveson Enquiry


took a turn no one had expected. James Murdoch appeared to drop the


Government into a whole new level of trouble with allegations of a


chain of emails and text messages that link the Culture Secretary


with News Corporation over the issue of the takeover of BskyB. --


BSkyB. Jeremy Hunt insists he's done nothing wrong and wants to


bring forward his own appearance at Leveson to clear his name. This


evening, we'll be asking if the controversy leads to the very top


of government. First, here's David Grossman with a report containing


some very strong language. James Murdoch giving evidence, this time


to the levees inquiry and this time... Eyes were to God that the


evidence shall be the truth. Although he was asked about phone-


hacking, the sensational, jaw- dropping part of the testimony had


to do with the bid to take over BSkyB. What we got was this


extraordinary cache of e-mails, over 160 pages. Detailing an


amazing level of contact between the government and the heart of the


Murdoch empire and the specifics of the BSkyB bid. They were mostly


written by Frederic de Shell, he was at the time the Director of


Public Affairs for News Corporation in Europe. 24th January,


confidential, statement, manage to get some information on the plans


for tomorrow. Although absolutely illegal. What do you make of that?


I thought it was a joke, that little!, it is winking, it's a joke.


Initially, the bid was being overseen by the Business Secretary


and he appeared to be enthusiastic. But all the time there was contact


with Jeremy Hunt and his team at Culture, Media and Sport. When on


15th September, the BBC's Robert Peston said that Vince Cable was


likely to contravene in the bed, Fred Michelle sends an e-mail


saying... Jeremy Hunt isn't aware and thinks it isn't credible. He is


checking out. Much was made at the inquiry of an article that Mr Hunt


has on his website describing him as, like all good Conservatives,


actually do for her Rupert Murdoch's contribution to the


health of British television. way you did communicate was three


you're chillier, Mr Hunt, to find out what was happening? -- through


you're a cheerleader. Mr Michel is a diligent executive and he


communicated with many people across the spectrum, as is


evidenced in this. By this stage there was concern that Vince Cable


was becoming implacably opposed to the bed so they tried other parts


of the government to get intelligence. One conversation with


Rupert Harrison, who was and is an adviser to George Osborne, the


Chancellor. Meeting of the report Harrison, who works with George,


confirmed tensions in the Coalition around Vince Cable and his current


policy positions. He made a political decision, probably


without even reading the legal advice. At the same time, Jeremy


Hunt, the Culture Secretary, had been told by his civil servants


that he should no longer have any contact with News Corporation.


Although an e-mail from Mr Michel to the Mr Murdoch suggested that a


mobile phone conversation might be a lull. Your reply, for one reply


which might be relevant... 12:02pm. The early afternoon. You must be


joking, I will text in and find some time. You were angry? By was


displeased. On 21st December, the bombshell. Vince Cable is removed


from overseeing the BSkyB bid after he is caught telling undercover


reporters that he has declared war on Rupert Murdoch and the job has


given to Jeremy Hunt. On Christmas Eve, Frederick Michelle e-mails


James Murdoch, just Spock, he was happy for me to be the point of


contact with him at and Adam on behalf of James Murdoch going


forward. Very important to avoid giving those against any


opportunity to attack the fairness. This had gone through January and a


the 23rd, Frederick writes another e-mail. Just spoke to to a hitch,


we will report separately. There is an extraordinary discussion about


what Jeremy Hunt is planning in terms of the undertakings been Loew


of this. These were the promises that News Corporation offered in


terms of returning for the bid has not been reported to the


Competition Commission. Once he announces publicly that he has a


strong undertaking, it is almost game over for the opposition and in


another e-mail, he gives James Hunt was planning to go to


Parliament in two days. I have a very constructive conversation, he


is keen for me to work with his team on the statement during the


course of tomorrow and offers some possible language. That is really


good is. He is it appropriate that here you are getting the


confidential information as to what is going on a a high level in


government? I think... I think... What I was concerned with is the


substance of what was being CT it and not necessarily the Channel.


One interesting point to note in all of this, in his witness


statement to the inquiry, Frederick Michelle says that when he refers


to these e-mails to contacts and conversations with Jeremy Hunt, he


never actually had any contact. It was with his advisers. So... Is


this actually evidence of a man who has been caught out trying to


impress his bus with influence and contact? Jeremy Hunt tonight says


that he is keen to show that is what happened and he was to give


his evidence as soon as possible. We have evidence for today that


alleged meetings with me that did not happen and we need to get to


the bottom of that and rather than jumping on a political bandwagon,


what the public its to hear is what Lord Justice Levison himself thinks


after he has heard all the evidence. And there is plenty more evidence


to come tomorrow. It could be just as explosive. It is the turn of


Rupert Murdoch. David Grossman. With me now, our political editor,


Allegra Stratton, and our economics editor, Paul Mason. How much


trouble is Jeremy Hunt in? They are confident that he will stay, they


have tried to bring forward his appearance so that he can put his


own side of the argument and in that, there is a sense that he


should be left alone until he can put his side and there is some


suggestion that Levison isn't letting him bring forward his case


so he might have a window where it is hanging in the air and they are


confident because we have this Walter Mitty? As to what extent


either Frederick Michelle or Adam Smith, the interlocutor for


Michelle, with Jeremy Hunt, to what extent are they both acting with


their bosses knowledge? That is important. To what extent does


Frederick Michel inflate the information he has? The example


given around Westminster today is that early in the process he


asserts that Vince Cable is minded to support the bid and anybody who


knows Vince Cable knows that isn't the correct interpretation of Vince


Cable and Jeremy Hunt says that if you look at that, what is done to


other evidence? Jeremy Hunt is incredibly important to the Cameron


project and are seen as for the market, up until now, and many in


the future a very safe pair of hands. Perhaps a very famous


epithet! It is curious that we're not talking about James Murdoch


principally tonight. How do you think he came out of this? Prior to


this, we were asking, what do we think the Murdoch family strategy


is? This is a big week. We all know that the strategy is to bring down


one-on-one ministers in this Government because despite that


generally self-effacing approach, I was not doing anything untoward,


the effect is to create the impression, through evidence,


primarily out of the mouth of the lieutenant of James Murdoch, that


there was untoward and incredible access for that corporation to the


man who was supposed to take an objective decision. How ironic that


the Levison inquiry was set up because there was a feeling that


the Murdoch press was able to drop politicians in it and had a dossier


on them and could control politics? And here, through the platform of


the Nelson Inquiry, we have the destruction of a minister's career.


We are only at the beginning of this process because they are


members of the Armed Forces listed and members of the intelligence


service and maybe the royal household that will be named as


having been paid by the Murdoch family but this started with an


Minister and nobody expected this level of evidence to be presented


and as you said, he has to show that it is wrong. News Corp did


quite well? Yes, if you were a shareholder, he would say that not


only in James performance and what he said, I have batted for this


corporation, I took the elbow of the Prime Minister at Christmas and


asked him briefly to bear in mind our problems. A is a school of


thought that this is contrary to that, is this the worst and the


earliest? The idea that the Prime Minister is due to come soon. This


is a man alongside Vince Cable he was involved in the policy


implications of this and what could come next are suggestions of crime


in a sand being too close but not suggestions of policy being


affected. -- implications of grime. The focus is on Jeremy Hunt tonight.


And a lot of politicians... A huge number of people involved. It is


incredibly sticky. Anybody in Westminster... Frederick Michelle


was doing a very good job getting around all these people but there


is another individual drag into this, Alex Salmond, and today it


wasn't the same testimony that he has said that in return for support


from newspapers in Scotland he would also helped Jeremy Hunt get


involved in the bid for BSkyB. Thank you both very much. We


invited the Government tonight but they declined. We can talk to the


Labour deputy leader and shadow culture secretary, Harriet Harman.


And fighting for the conservative corner, Jacob Rees Mogg. Welcome to


both of you. The entry on the Kapadia for Jeremy Hunt was changed


today to say that he had resigned. Was that you? Certainly not. He did


not pause in calling for his resignation. Would not have been


better to wait for his response? The position is, if you are the


Secretary of State with responsibility for making a


decision which is a very important commercial decision which also has


big implications for the landscape across the media, you have to ask


in a quiz a judicial capacity so do not think like a politician, think


like a judge and be impartial. It is quite evident that although he


promised to act with impartiality and fairness, Jeremy Hunt did not


actually fulfilled the responsibilities of his office.


Both you and Ed Miliband rushed to the stump, what of this is only a


partial picture of what happened. We have not even heard his side of


the story. If you look at the e- mails at revising Rupert Murdoch,


before Jeremy Hunt did things, in great detail, what he was going to


do and what he was going to say was actually played out. If you look at


the email on 24th January, in minute detail, it goes into exactly


what Jeremy Hunt is going to say to the House of Commons in order to


justify rejecting the proposal by OFCOM that the bid should go to the


Competition Commission. Either Frederick Michelle is clairvoyant


and psychic and can work out exactly what Jeremy Hunt will do


the next day and tell his bus, James Murdoch, or else he was


informed on Jeremy Hunt's behalf. It is quite clear that he knew in


advance what was going on. The other thing is that you cannot say


you are acting impartially if you are giving information to one side


You don't buy this is the head of PR at News International, whatever,


bigging up his role to his bosses? Well, it's not credible to think he


was not given information when he was able to predict, before it has


happened, exactly, including the words, that Jeremy Hunt would be


using, having said that he discussed what the words were that


Jeremy Hunt should use to the House and then uses those words. This is


of great seriousness. You have to - Let's look from the beginning.


First, Jeremy Hunt is not the minister in charge. At which point


he's perfectly entitled to see members of the family and have a


private view. He then becomes the minister in charge, at which point


he won't meet with James Murdoch or other members of the family. The


phone call is a suggested call. It is not one that we are told that he


had. Hold on. We are told by this Frederic Michel man that JH doesn't


mean Mr Hunt. It means anybody in Mr Hunt's office and the company


News Corp is in negotiations with the Government about an jund taking


in lieu and therefore it -- jund taking in lieu, therefore it has to


have a response so disagreement can be reached. What about the e-mails,


"He wanted Mr Murdoch to understand he wanted to build political


cover."? I have one, "Vince Cable call went very well. Cable said he


was coming as planned tomorrow evening. Cable appreciated." We all


know that the President of the board of trade loathed Rupert


Murdoch. He wanted to block the bid and yet this Frederic Michel is


boasting to his bosses that Cable is a supporter of Murdoch. He is a


PR man, who uses a -- emoticons and is not credible. How do you explain


the point that the words he anticipated came out? They were in


a negotiation about the undertakings in lieu. If the


Government is shown to have leaked, that will not be unique to this


Government. When you are acting in a quasijudicial capacity it's a


very different standard of responsibility you accept and I


think Jeremy Hunt, because he had been, as you say, involved in the


discussions with James Murdoch, when he didn't have responsibility


for the decision, when Vince Cable was not able to carry on with


responsibility, Jeremy Hunt should have said, "I can't be impartial


and act in a quasijudicial way, because everybody knows I've


committed myself to this bid. Somebody else will have to do it."


Your lot must be furious they were thrown out and another bias comes


along? I don't think there was any bias once Jeremy Hunt took over in


the quasijudicial role. I think from that point he behaved


rigorously. Hold on. He called it the office -- called in Ofcom and


the Office of Fair Trading. He didn't have to do that. He took


independent advice throughout the process. His behaviour was so above


board that it was painfully honest. Meanwhile, you have David Cameron


who said he hadn't been involved in any of this process at a dinner


party just after Jeremy Hunt took over admitting that he discussed it.


It's completely irrelevant. Why? Because the minister was making the


What was David Cameron denying he had been involved if he was having


that chat? He wasn't involved in the decision. It was being made


which the Prime Minister could not constitutionally intervene in.


Rupert Murdoch would have had dinner with the Queen for all it


would have mattered, because the decision was being made by the sos


for culture. You are completely happy -- the Secretary of State for


culture. So you are happy with the relationship over this incredibly


Yes. I don't think it is acceptable to say you will be operating in qas


say juddaigs manner, collude with the other side about the


information you give in parliament, give the information to one side


before parliament, and take on that responsibility, when you have


already committed yourself to the same objective as the bid. I think


that really, instead of David Cameron saying he's done absolutely


the right thing, he should be upholding high standards in public


office, and saying this is different, this is not politics,


this is quasi-judicial commercial decision making, and Jeremy Hunt


has let his office down and should resign. Have you spoken to Jeremy


Hunt? I don't know Jeremy Hunt, I'm supporting the Conservative cabinet


minister, who I think has done a good, decent and proper job. Don't


you worry that you are putting yourself out on a limb here, with


somebody who hasn't even managed to deny the whole thing, all he has


said is he wants to appear before Leveson and refers up? All we have


heard is a string of allegation, they say he leaked his statement,


there is no evidence of that. We knew News Corporation was in


negotiations with the Government to give this undertaking. There had to


be an exchange of information relating to the undertaking.


Allegations are being cast around without evidence for them.


Jeremy Hunt left. If in the process of this he left, would that wipe


the slate clean, as far as you are concerned? I think it would uphold


the important issue of people acting quasi-judicially, how will


the public think the Government, in future decisions, with huge


commercial implications, will act impartially, on the evidence,


according to law, when Jeremy Hunt has now got to respond to a whole


shrew of e-mail. Jeremy Hunt will document everything he has done, as


he did in his successive statements to the Commons. We would very much


like to keep you both here for the next discussion, which will broaden


out a bit. As I was mention, David Cameron, it emerged today,


discussed plans for the takeover at a private dinner with James Murdoch,


it was heard that S NP's Alex Salmond helped with the bid. Tony


Blair flew half way around the world for the relationship. What do


we make of the relations between these parties, are they really over.


The News of the World was characterised by cavalier or


swashbuckling attitude to rissnk Knowing what we know now about the


culture at News of the World in 206, for example, they must have been


cavalier about risk, that is matter of huge regret. Your meetings with


Gordon Brown, they appear to be largely a social nature? That's


correct, pretty much, I remember on the middle one, the 15th of


December 2008, I don't remember, but he would have told me lots of


things about the economy. It was made clear to Mr Cameron, by


me, that after discussions with the editor and the leadership at News


International and my father, that autumn the Sun would either be


endorsing the Conservative Party, or certainly, you know, moving away


from its traditional, or recent support of Labour, as it had been


through the summer. Yes, and this must have been


welcome news to Mr Cameron, wasn't it? It seemed that way.


Two days after the revelation that Mr Cable might not be approaching


the BSkyB bid with an entirely open mind, if I can put it in that way.


It was two days after Mr Cable had been removed from his


responsibilities after showing acute bias. So the state of the bid


was very much in your mind on the 23rd of December. It was, there was


a big question mark about what would happen going forward, there


was no discussion with Mr Cameron, other than I have detailed in my


witness statement, he reiterated what he said publicly, which was


the behaviour had been unacceptable. I imagine I expressed a hope that


things would be dealt with in a way that was appropriate and judicial.


I'm not sure you have given me an answer Mr Murdoch, a solution, that


is? I think it is a little above my pay grade, Sir. I doubt it!


Although I have no idea about your pay grade, I certainly know mine!


Jason Rees Mogg is still with us, also here the recently elected


Respect MP, Galloway ga, the Labour peer, film maker and architect of


Ofcom, and Neville Thurlbeck of the For Neville e-mails, working for


the charity Talking2Minds. Sorry, Neville was arrested over


allegations of phone hacking, he's bailed until May, for legal reasons


we can't ask him about that case, for the record he denies phone


hacking. I have to get that out of the way before going on with the


debate, that is the wider relationship between Murdoch and


politicians. It does feel like another day and another heap of man


Euro-has come out of the news -- manure has come out of the News


Corporation stables? If you put an organisation under the microscope


of something like the Leveson Inquiry, you will find that will


embarrass the company severely. Today the company has found itself


in a difficult position, and Mr Hnut has found himself in an even


more difficult position. Whether or not Mr Hnut is guilty of any bias


is kind of by the by. He or his staff have allowed themselves to


give the appearance of bias, which it has undermined the department,


and what Mr Hnut does not have in his favour, is time. This thing


will run very quickly, he has to get on top of it very quickly,


otherwise it will form a very, very negative life force for him and the


Government. Who do you think comes out of this worse? The Government,


you can't really blame a capitalist company for doing everything that


it could to get a bigger market share of the market that it was in.


But if only we could have seen the e-mails from the Tony Blair and


Gordon Brown Premiership, with the Murdochs, then we would know that


both Labour and the Conservatives have been in bed with, and have not,


like Neville, infamously, made their excuses and left. Have you


any evidence of business deals that involved the Blair Government and


the Murdochs? As you put it, Tony Blair flew half way around the


world to play homage at the Murdoch king. The attendance at Chequers by


Murdoch and the partners, far outstriped than under the Tory


years. It is not that the Tories are not guilty, but both are guilty


with being in bed with an evil, wicked empire, a stain on the


country. I left my mobile in the cloakroom in case Neville Thurlbeck


hacked it, because he and his fellows have been systematically


corrupting the system in this country for at least 25, maybe 40


years. You are a Labour peer, this is one for you, there is just as


much dirt on both sides, toxicity? You use that word, it is right. We


are all victims of this. I feel sorry, genuinely, for Neville, I


feel sorry for a lot of the people caught up in this. We are dealing


in a culture that has got progressively worse for a number of


years, it is not getting bottomed out. I like Jeremy Hunt as a guy,


it doesn't matter if he stays or goes f he goes politicians and


politics will say, job done, next, another one comes in and off we go


again. We have to bottom this out. I mention today Jacob before we


went on air, I mean it sincerely, it is his generation that have to


deal with this, we can't go on with this ludicrous situation. What


Leveson is unravelling is a situation where this was a banana


Republic, this was a joke, the bankrupt police, the corrupt press,


we have corrupt politicians and it was getting worse. When will this


start. Isn't it odd that you are not, you don't feel apologetic for


any of this, you are defending the Culture Secretary staujly tonight


and saying business is fine? -- staunchly tonight, and saying


business is fine? We have to have a sense of proportion, some


disgraceful things have happened, and the criminal law is working


through to deal with those. It is in the nature of politics and


journalism that politicians and journalists want to be close to


each other. My father was invited to Chequers Bihar rolled Wilson,


fat lot of use it did for Harold Wilson, as editor of the Times.


Lord Salisbury wrote articles under other people's names criticising


politicians in the 19th century. Politics and journalism has this


relationship and it always will, but the criminal law should be


upheld. Of course politicians will seek to influence journalist, the


proper attitude for journalists towards politicians should be that


of the dog to the lampost, and it isn't. You have favoured, or rather


your father's newspaper, the Times, has favoured. You have favoured


politicians, in exchange for business concession. That is


corrupt, everyone watching this knows that. I think this is very


niave. It assumes that just because you have lunch with somebody you


then write a piece saying they are fabulous, you don't, that is not


the way it works. With Alex Salmond it is there in writing. He has


denied that and it is referred to the Leveson Inquiry, so that is out


of the way. You have to be kaifrt with PR people. You are getting an


easy ride here, you are the one a lot of this dirt should be aimed at,


you have created these incredible complicated relationships between


the people that you write about? There is, as we have said there is


always a strong relationship between newspaper pro-priorers,


journalists and -- proprietors, and politicians, there is nothing wrong


with that, you know. Charities and others seek to influence


Governments and we accept it. When a corporation comes along with


money, that isn't necessarily wrong. It becomes wrong when Government


ministers become unduly influenced by that. That still remains to be


seen. It has to be said that Frederic Michel, I know him, not


well, but I know Frederic Michel. He's a very, very persuasive


operator, we have to wonder, also, whether Frederic Michel was being,


was overplaying his hand with his very demanding boss. You think he


as not that credible? I'm not saying he's not that credible. What


I'm saying is we have to hear what Mr Hnut has to say. Because it


might Hans It -- it might transpire that Frederic Michel has been


overplaying his hand to a great extent. He has admitted that the JH


references can also refer to Adam Smith and members of his team.


made this a priority, many years ago, you were one of the architects


of media regulation, did you think we would be embroiled in this kind


of taudryness? It is heard breaking, he believe when we created Ofcom we


were protecting ministers from becoming embroiled in exactly this


situation. They should never have touched the BSkyB deal at all?


Never. What really hurts me, I put this to Jacob, is Ofcom was there


to give advice. If my reading of these e-mails clear, there was


every attempt by the Government to undercut and subvert what Ofcom was


doing. What James Murdoch we know hates Ofcom. There is another


problem Jacob has to address, why was it, when the Prime Minister did


his famous speech, the bonfire of the quangos, the one he chose to


pick out, was Ofcom has to be cut back. Not only has Ofcom not been


cut back, but why did he choose it? Two questions to answer, the first


one, is that Jeremy Hunt actually consulted Ofcom, which he didn't


legally need to do. That is an important part of the bid process,


and an important part of the defence of Jeremy Hunt. Ofcom


regulates more than television, it also regulates telecoms, and


telecoms has become so competitive that it needs much less regulatory


interference than it used to need. There are savings to be made.


want to move on to tomorrow, that will be a big day for Leveson. We


have Rupert Murdoch, the mogul himself, appearing at the inquiry.


I'm interested to know whether you think this will now be the end? Do


you think the Cameron Government, possibly the Labour Government,


will shut the doors on this relationship with the Murdochs?


think the Murdochs will be out of the British media market before


very long. I think the shareholder, the other directors, powerful


people, really are at the end of their tether in all of this, I


think the Murdochs will have to devest their media interests. There


is no way they will be able to take over Sky TV now, and the newspapers


won't make good of this too. you happy to be rid of British


politicians? I make no comment on that, that is a very interesting


point you make about Murdochs quitting newspapers. It is long


been thought within News International that the son, James,


has absolutely no interest in the newspapers. That he will devest


himself of them when the time comes. That is why the Murdochs have


exploded this bomb in the Government's court today.


Thank you very much indeed. Over the next seven days two women


will be killed by their partners or ex-partners, the group most at risk


of violent relationships, according to the Director of Public


Prosecutions s teenage girls. A survey by the NSPCC, found one in


four teenagers has been physically abused by their partner. Currently,


domestic violence relates to something that happens between


adults, the Government is thinking of applying it to under 18s because


of the gap in services. One young woman who experienced it first hand


is Taylah Douglas, this is her story.


When I first met him it was good, he was my first proper boyfriend.


He properly turned into a different person about two or three months


into the relationship. He would call me a bitch, and call me ugly,


and call me fat, he would call me a slut. He started to push me, and


pull me, and he started to hit me really, like, burn me with lighters,


and then it got on to hitting, punching and slapping. He told me


that I couldn't go back home. He took away my phone, even if I


wanted to go back, I couldn't call anyone, I had no money for train


ticket. I felt isolated, I felt completely aown. I just woke up one


day and -- alone. I just woke up one day and I felt different, I


knew if I didn't leave it would end up in a really bad way, I didn't


know if he was going to kill me or what was going to happen. The day I


did escape, I didn't take anything with me, I just got out of there. I


went to the council, when they first offered me housing, they


offered me a bed and breakfast, which was on the same road as my


I had to move, all together, seven times, I went to certain hostels


more than once, I moved all together several times, every time


I have moved he has found me. In one of my hostels he showed up and


forced his way in, and he threw a microwave at my head. He went


unconscious, and I was probably unconscious for a couple of minutes,


not very long, but enough to wake up and I was on the other side of


the room, and he was just stamping all over me on my head, on my body,


and then I kept going in and out of consciousness.


The nurse said that she was going to have to contact the police, and


I told her I didn't want her to, I told her I wanted to go home, and


the police turned up any way. They said they were going to go to his


address and find him, if they found him, arrest him. But they didn't


find him, that was the end of it. Did the police offer you any other


help, like counselling, social services? No they never offered me


anything, the police didn't offer me any sort of other help.


I was never offered a refuge. you even know about it? I didn't


even know what a refuge was until now. I didn't know what a refuge


was. Some of the hostels I stayed in were disgusting, there were drug


needles, in the bathrooms. I was living at one point inbetween a


crack head and a prostitute. You are only supposed to live in


emergency accommodation, which is bed and breakfast, or three months,


I had been there for three years. When all this happened to me, I


felt very alone. I didn't realise how common my experience was. I


want to know what can be done to help teenagers like me. I have come


to meet a girl who was in a same- sex relationship, she felt so


trapped by the abuse, that she ended up harming herself.


I started cutting myself, I drunk bleach at one point, where me and


my ex-girlfriend had an argument, and I drunk bleach, I thought,


that's going to watch away my problems, bleach burns, that will


wash away my problems. So I took the bleach, and then I got sent to


hospital. In one incident Armani was threatened at knife-point by


her girlfriend, she didn't want the police to be involved. I felt like


it wasn't necessary, it wasn't relevant for the police to be


involved, it would cause more drama. I personally don't like police.


There is a lack of trust for the police? Unlike Armani, eventually


after months of abuse, I did get the police involved. I called the


police at least 15 times, I wanted them to help me protect myself from


my ex-boyfriend, I didn't want to press charges because I was too


scared, now you want to know why nothing was done.


The Chief Constable in charge of domestic abuse nationally has


agreed to meet me. I called the police 20 times and he


only got arrested once, he was held in a cell overnight but released


the next morning. Since then nothing has happened, do you think


the police take domestic violence seriously when it is a 16-year-old


boy hitting a 16-year-old girl? think your story shows we have a


lot to do in relation to getting police officers to understand.


Actually young people are in relationships at a lot younger age,


and to understand that this is not acceptable, whatever the age, and


that's the work that I'm doing right the way across the police


service in England and Wales, to actually get a training programme


in place. Sometimes the police asked me in front of my ex-


boyfriend, what I wanted to do, if I wanted to press charges? I didn't


want to say anything in front of my ex-boyfriend, as it is a really


awkward situation. Do you not think it is wrong to ask the victim in


front of the attacker? For me that is basic common sense, that you


wouldn't ask somebody such a question in front of someone else.


What else can they say? Even if I didn't want to press charges, isn't


it the case that the police are supposed to pursue the


investigation any way? Yes, they are. Because you have made an


allegation of crime. Actually you have made an allegation against


somebody, which is serious, we know from the evidence base and the


training tells us, that unless we respond then quite often people


become repeat victims. She told me about new policies the police are


working on. We are doing work with the Home Office to propose we


reduce the common definition of domestic abuse to also include


young people right down to the age of 16. We are piloting a thing


called Domestic Violence Protection Orders, which removes the


individual, the perpetrator from the home, which enables property


safety planning and the victim to make choices over a period of time.


The Government says it is spending �28 million on domestic violence


services, but in the last year they have seen big cuts by local


authorities. How is the Government going to help people like me when


services are being cut? I'm here at the House of Commons, to talk to


the minister, Lynne Featherstone, I want to talk to her about my


experience of domestic violence and talk to her about shou she and the


Government will help other young women. I'm really nervous,


hopefully my nerves will turn into excitement and it will go well. Do


you recognise there has been cuts and that there will be more?


Obviously this Government and the coalition of left with the biggest


deficit since the war. So, yes, there have been Government cuts,


but, as I said, we have ring-fenced �28 million of Home Office funding,


and �10 million of the Ministry of Justice funding, to support


services, to send out a message to local authorities, who actually do


most of the funding, to the violence against women charities


and support services, to say, don't cut this, this is a vulnerable


sector. Women's Aid reckon the refuges face cuts, do you think


cutting that will help women like me? Of course not. The Government


has ring-fenced spending to set an example, it has never been done in


the Home Office before, never ring- fenced that amount of money to say


this is really important, because girls like you are so vulnerable.


I'm really sorry that there is hard times going on, but it is not just


the Government, we have all got to play our part in this, local


authorities included. Whoever is responsible for


providing support for girls in abusive relationships, for some,


help comes too late. This is Cassie, we were friends in


Germany. Here she is again. Jennifer's daughter, Cassandra, was


killed by her ex-boyfriend, it took seven years to bring him to justice


t and only after he attempted to murder nearly Gill friend.


death has actually destroyed me as a person, as a mum. -- another


girlfriend. Her death has actually destroyed me as a person. As a mum.


The impact it has on her friends and sisters, and on the community.


Now Jennifer runs the Cassandra Learning Centre, helping other


girls just like me. What do you feel when you meet someone like me,


in a similar situation to your daughter? My immediate feelings is


to smother you with everything a mother would do. To protect you and


to give you all the information that I can to keep you safe. Just


to make sure you don't go through that hurt, that pain.


You looks a if you are going to cry. Sorry.


Let me love you. It's OK. You're alive. OK.


What shocked me making the film was how common what I went through is,


and what really shocked me is how many girls and women end up dead. I


think that Jennifer is really an amazing woman. When her daughter


died she could have given up, but instead, she used her knowledge and


her grief to help other people like me. I appreciated meeting the


minister, and I appreciated meeting the police as well. I just hope


that everything they promised they can pull through with. I think that


it will really help people in the future, so that no-one has to go


through what I went through. Taylah Douglas making that film for


Let's take you through the front pages of the Telegraph. The same


That's all from Newsnight tonight, plenty more tomorrow, very good


Another spell of wet and windy weather to sweep across the country.


It starts overnight, the strongest gusts along the south coast, the


strong winds blow the rain further north throughout the day. Dry


brighter spells in parts of western Scotland. After a dry start


northern England turns soggy. Cool in the east with a strong wind off


the North Sea. Some pretty vicious afternoon showers, torrential


downpours, hail and thunder, likely to be mixed in. Frequent showers


across the south west of England, the winds actually falling lighter


through the afternoon, after a blustery morning. Gusty throughout


the day. Further outbreaks of heavy rain, followed by lively storms.


The wet weather reaching the south west corner of Northern Ireland.


Sunny intervals, showers, the mixture too across Scotland. With


the best of the dry and bright weather across Scotland. We're not


done there. More wet weather, particularly across north-east


England and eastern Scotland again on Thursday. Again it will feel


cool, with the outbreaks of rain. Further south, again that mixture


of sunshine and showers on Thursday. Likely to see some fairly lively


downpours once more, hail and thunder can't be ruled out. It will


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