03/05/2012 Newsnight


03/05/2012

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


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Tonight, the biggest test of public opinion since the general election.

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The first chance to hear how voters across Britain are reacting to the

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double-dip recession, the polls closed half an hour ago. In London,

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Boris or Ken, the result could influence party politics for years.

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If Boris remains mayor, it could give the Tories a boost on the

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tough night. But the two-term mayor could come to test a Prime Minister

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who hasn't yet won one majority. We will be reporting from elections

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around the country, and assessing the impact on the three main

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parties. Plus, how the operators of Heathrow

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Airport undermined a minister on how long the queues had been at

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immigration. If you are travelling this bank holiday, good luck, we

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will hear from the Immigration Minister.

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The last days of Osama Bin Laden, new documents showed how he planned

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to relaunch Al-Qaeda, and murder President Obama.

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And Putin's palace, as he prepares to take over the presidency again.

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Newsnight investigates whether he plans to live like the new Tsar of

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Russia? Good evening, one foreign reporter,

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likened today's elections the length and breath of Britain, to

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talent show with really boring contestants. That, however, is not

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how the results will be seen in party headquarters, for the

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governing parties, how will voters react to big national issues, the

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continuing recession, the aftermath of the budget. For Labour, how

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credible does Ed Miliband looks a leader, as a possible Prime

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Minister. And for the smaller parties, will voter disaffection

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mean they might pull off some big surprises. Our political editor is

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here. What's at stake tonight? tomorrow night we will know whether

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these mid-term blues that the Government has certainly been

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suffering are actually long-term blues, but it is not just for the

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Government, it is also that we will have a better sense whether the

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leader of the opposition cuts it across the country, south as well

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as north. With these in 2012, basically half way through a

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parliamentary term, they are always going to be up for the opposition.

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To a certain extent we are playing a game of numbers, this 350 versus

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750 gain that is Labour must make. It is difficult to ascertain what

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they will get. The numbers will help us evaluate the bad run the

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Government has had since the budget, has it stuck and crystalised in

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people's mind that these people are not particularly competent in

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running the country. Also in the turns will with see the Liberal

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Democrats really suffering still, and in the south, does the Labour

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leader look like somebody people would endorse. In London there is a

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big race for mayors going on. Around the country we have found

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results about referendas for mayors, similar to what we have had in

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London. If there is bad turn out on that, and people are not interested,

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that is a bad audit on a key radical piece of this Government's

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policy, that it will be difficult for them to style them he was

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selves out of. In London we have a big race of personalities of two

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people known by their first names. Good strategists think London's

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voting preferences are like a doughnut, at least that was it last

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election, will it work this time round. The school of political

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bakery thinks this, London is a Labour city, if only those people

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in its middle vote, so think Boris Johnson's strategists, but they

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squinted and saw a doughy ring out in the suburbs where Conservatives

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hid and lived. Last year they were lured out and voted Conservative,

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four years on Ken Livingstone wants a piece of them. Today with the

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polls shut, and nothing left to do but harry voters, Newsnight thought,

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let them eat dough NUTs. It is in the outer metropolitan zone. I was

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aware that Ken cared last time, was really aware, and I have seen what

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has happened in London whilst Boris has been in power. You live in

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central London, which means you are the space inside the doughnut.

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About about do you live? Balham. How have you gone, is it the colour

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of your jacket? No. It is the colour of his jumper. Boris?

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come? I just like him, I think he's personable, I really don't like Ken.

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Political bakery not the most sustaining of political strategies,

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then, we headed into the suburbs, nonetheless, to find out how much

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success Livingstone has been having. London Bridge, the site of the

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great doughnut givaway, brings people in from places like Bexley,

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Livingstone targeted these voters with an immediate popular pledge,

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he would cut their train fares by as much as �1,000 over four years.

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I think I'm going to go with Labour. Not because I believe Ken

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Livingstone should come back in, but just because I believe Labour

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will do well for us. It is all Conservative round here, mainly.

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What makes you vote Labour? always have, and I like Livingstone,

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I like what he started in the beginning, with the bus passes et

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cetera. Did you vote Labour at the last election? Yes. Where are these

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Tory voters round here, this is supposed to be heavy Tory area?

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They are hiding, they saw you coming and they hid. I think it

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will stay Conservative. Will you help Boris Johnson keep it

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Conservative? Probably, yes. Bexley Ken Livingstone seemed to

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have made some inroads, what did the academics think? Last time

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Boris Johnson did well, particularly in outer East London,

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this time Ken Livingstone and Labour targeted that area. But, of

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course, Boris is still pretty powerful out there, both candidates

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were trying to target it this time. Now we will see tomorrow whether

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this means that Ken has managed to redowse the Tory lead out there, or

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whether it has allowed a bit more Boris voting in central and Inner

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London. It was because of how well Boris Johnson did in outer London

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last time, that Labour really hit it this time. If Ken wins, it is

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because they put effort into places like this, Bexley Heath, but his

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colleagues have a sober appraisal of the process, they think if Boris

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wins is it is because Boris is Boris, but if Ken wins it is

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because he has been buoyed along by Labour in the polls in recent

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months. The candidate to be London mayor was the day before the

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candidate to be Labour leader, that is not way to run a party.

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On whether Ken Livingstone should have been Labour's man, there is a

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weight of opinion. He may well have turned out to be the wrong

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candidate. He brought with him an enormous amount of experience to

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this election, but also an enormous amount of baggage, it is the

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baggage maybe more than the experience that has been judged by

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the voters. Birmingham could be one of the big stories of the night, it

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is where Labour launched their campaign, there is also derby,

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Newcastle, Plymouth, and Southampton. And can they hold on

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to Glasgow? The Government has been beefing up the amount Labour can

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expect to win. They said it should be over 700 seats, Labour say it is

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more likely to be around 300. The trouble for Downing Street is

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that while a little sugar in moderation is a good pick-me-up,

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too much and there is a crushing low. Just as Boris Johnson will

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reset the political narrative, it could be used against David Cameron

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in months and years to come. Boris Johnson would have been elected as

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a saloon-bar Conservative, a true- blue, low-tax, anti-Europe

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politician. David Cameron's critics want him more like Boris Johnson,

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not less. The London candidates are poor

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indicators of their political party's actual standing with the

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public. Ken Livingstone is now less popular than his party, Boris

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Johnson is more. The national political scene, any way, has

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already got significant dates in next week's diary, appearances at

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Leveson by Cameron's former adviser, Andy Coulson. The Tory Party expect

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a sugar high from any Johnson victory, but they see plenty of

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lows too. Tessa Jowell ran Ken Livingstone's

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campaign, Michael Fallon is Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party,

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and Ed Davey is Energy Secretary and here for the Liberal Democrats

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tonight. What is your sense about Ken Livingstone, has he lost?

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wait until tomorrow. There is not a single ballot paper yet been

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counted. I have been out, obviously today, and for the last weeks and

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months. The film is absolutely right, that we have had a strategy

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which has focused on two things, first of all outer London Boroughs,

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but also mobilising the Labour vote in those areas that -- where the

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turnout is traditionally very low. Was the film right that it was the

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wrong candidate? You have a Labour Party leader, Ed Miliband, who said

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this is a new generation of Labour, and you go to candidate which seems

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to be a turn-off for many people who would otherwise vote Labour?

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The Labour Party chose Ken Livingstone. But they are not I

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infallible, they could have made a mistake? Any of us could be

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mistakes for our party. But you go out, round London, with Ken

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Livingstone, what were people talking about on the streets and

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doorsteps, they were talking about his fares' pledge. What Ken

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Livingstone did, with all his experience of being a big city

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mayor, completely different from Boris Johnson, was to develop four

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pledges to deal with the terrible pressure on the cost of living that

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people are facing right across London.

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If he polls way behind the party in London, then you have made a huge

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mistake, haven't you, because London should be a target you could

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pick? You should be able to win in London and be confident? There are

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two elections in London, one is the mayoral, and Boris Johnson has, by

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the latest poll, a small poll lead, how does he have that? Indeed.

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Because he establishs himself as an independent, not a story. Ken

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Livingstone is the Labour Party candidate, standing on Labour

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platform. But a mayoral contest will always be different. For

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instance, the Greater London Assembly also being elected today.

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Are you fairly confident that Boris Johnson will win? I think it is a

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very close election and it was very close last time. It is a very

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important test. If Labour hadn't won this tomorrow night, then I

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think it will be because they didn't have candidate they could be

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proud of, as we are proud of, having Boris as our candidate. It

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will be because, like in Bradford, they still haven't present add

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credible alternative to an economic policy -- a credible altern --

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presented a credible alternative to an economic policy and credible

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response to the worst financial situation of any European country.

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Boris Johnson is a if he Numan, Stephen Dorrell saying in your own

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party that you are run by two posh boys that don't know the price of

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milk. Boris Johnson fits the posh boy picture, yet he seems to

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connect with people better than David Cameron? He's an attractive

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personality, and he's an attractive personality, he's coming across as

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the more attractive one. What does that do to attract working-class

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voters? There is a difference between this election and the way

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the Government stands at the moment. This is Boris's general election,

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he is campaigning on his record of four years of getting crime down

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and improving the transport system, for the Government as a whole, of

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course, it is a mid-term position. We have only been in two years, we

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are still taking some very tough decisions. He is campaigning on a

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good four-year record. He would make a good Prime Minister and

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leader of your party? He's mayor at the moment. I hope he will be re-

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elected mayor tomorrow for the next four years. And be able to preside

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over the Olympics and showcase our city in this very important year.

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One step at a time. A leader in waiting? It is far too early to

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start speculate beg who the next leader of the Tory Party --

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speculating about who the next leader of the Tory Party will be.

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Let's get him re-elected on the basis of his record. I don't know

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what to say about the Liberal Democrats in this election, there

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are those that think this is the future of your party, that Brian

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Paddick is absolutely nowhere? Brian has been a fantastic

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candidate. He's the only candidate that has a really positive platform.

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He has shown he's fighting crime in London for over 30 years, and

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that's why he wanted today put himself at the head of the London

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police force in terms of the met commissioner. So he's dragged back

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by the party, by the fact it is so terribly unpopular? Let's be clear,

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fight last time has been replicated a bit this time. You have two very

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big characters, Liberal Democrats wouldn't deny. That Ken and Boris,

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known by their first names, as was said earlier, it was always

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difficult, as was last time, for Brian to come through. It is a

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widely held view by independent commentators, that in the mayoral

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debates, Brian won those debates. He has enthused those people.

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will be lucky to come third? think he will do well. I'm not

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suggesting he will win. But he has fought a very positive campaign.

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What is interesting, if you look at the campaigns of Ken and Boris,

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they have been very negative, they have been attacking each other,

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really quite unsavoury campaigns. One of them will win? One of them

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may well, I won't be excited about it. When people look at what Brian

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Paddick is saying, they say at least someone is addressing the

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problems of Londoners. London may be one of the most obvious prizes

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of the night, but across the country there is the possibility of

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a series of political shifts, and in ten cities there have been

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referendums about whether or not to have a mayor.

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We will our guests in a moment. First to Birmingham. How are things

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looking in the West Midlands? looks like a long night of it here.

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A third of the 120 seats on the council here have been contested.

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But Labour are pretty confident that it is not going to take them

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that long to collect the extra four seats they need for an overall

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majority for the first time in eight years. When I tell you that a

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swing from the Conservatives to Labour of.5% or less would be

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sufficient in the -- 2.5% or less would be sufficient in the marginal

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Tory wards, you can see why Labour is so confident. This city has been

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run for the last eight years by a Conservative- Liberal Democrat

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coalition, Ed Miliband would love the message from Birmingham tonight

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to be that the political tide is turning against Tory-Lib Dem

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coalitions everywhere. There is a great deal to play for here, Ed

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Miliband launched his campaign here a few days ago, I wouldn't bet on

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the possibility of him being back soon.

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Now over to Wales. There is one clear question here in

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Wales tonight, that is this, just how well are Labour going to do?

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They think the answer is a very clear, very well indeed. They have

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asked the electorate in Wales to send the vicious UK coalition, as

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they put it, a message. That is precisely what they think voters in

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Wales have done today. A very different story from four years ago.

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They had a devastating night in 2008, the electorate as it was put

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back then, had given Labour a "belting", all other parties gained

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ground. But tonight then, on a decent night, Labour will get most

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of that ground back. On a good they will get it all back, then they

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will keep pushing. They want to take Wrexham from the Liberal

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Democrats. They want to take Swansea from the Liberal Democrats.

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On a great night for Labour in Wales, they will ge get what they

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really, really want, -- get what they really, really want, that is

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to control Cardiff council, and again take that from the Liberal

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Democrats. If that happens, then Wales will deliver Ed Miliband and

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Labour a genuinely good-news story. They will deliver the Liberal

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Democrats a genuine headache. Off to Liverpool now to hear the

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latest. Yes, here the ballot boxes are being counted. When Liverpool

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decides who its first directly elected mayor will be, that will

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become the first such post in the North West of England. No directly

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elected mayors yet, but there will be two, because Salford is counting

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as well. I should tell you that speculation is the Labour council

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leader is going to be swapping his plaque on his door tomorrow,

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because he's the front runner to become the city mayor. I have been

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speaking to one Labour senior source this evening, who said it is

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going very well for them. They think Joe Anderson might win on the

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first ballot. There is 12 candidates standing, but it may not

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go to a second ballot. Elsewhere in the region, the question is how

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badly will the coalition parties do. They certainly didn't do too badly

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last year. What about the Liberal Democrats, they suffered a meltdown

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last year, this time is there a recovery, or are they in something

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of a political death spiral. Thank you very much. More now from

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the political panel, Michael Fallon, Ed Davey and Tessa Jowell. I was

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thinking listening to that, where in the great history of Lib Dem

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mid-term triumphs are we going to see tonight? We have been waiting

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for a mid-term blues for 90 years. It is 90 years since we have been

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able to say, I do actually think on the doorsteps, when we have been

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out there, things are a lot better than last year. I think they will

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be even better next year. I think people are beginning to listen to

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us, as Nick Clegg said a few days ago, in a way that they weren't

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listening last year, that is clear. What has happened between last year

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and this year, people have been seeing on the television the real

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problems in economies across Europe, in Greece, in Spain, in Portugal,

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in Ireland, where there have been massive expenditure cuts. Public

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service workers have taken 6% cuts in Ireland. There rb riots on the

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streets. I think people, therefore, are beginning to understand we had

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to take tough decisions and clear up the mess we interited, they have

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-- inher rites, and they have begun to listen to that message. People

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are saying you are the ones with the burning exits, you can't stay

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in the coalition because you will be more unpopular and you can't go

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out any of the windows? I'm hearing people say that Liberal Democrats

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areic maing a big difference. They are beginning to hear that we have

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made sure that people on lower pay and middle incomes are getting tax

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cuts. They know that wouldn't happen if Liberal Democrats weren't

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in the coalition. Are you looking to 700 seat to pick

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up? It is far too early to predict in that way. We obviously hope to

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make progress. We had a very bad election defeat two years ago.

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There are obvious parts of the country like at the south of

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England where we hope to make progress from our position. In 20

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10 both. So communities are represented by Labour councils, as

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an antedote to this Government that has all the prong priorities, but

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also building towards the next general election. If you are going

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to be cautious and modest about what Labour might do, I wonder if

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Michael Fallon is tempted. A good result for them would be 800 seats?

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That is not our estimate, the London School of Economics, Tony

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Travis, he says Labour ought to be getting about 800 seats and 40% of

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the votes, he said a good result for Labour would be 900 seats. The

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good comparison is four years ago. These were seats we won when Gordon

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Brown was at the height of his unpopularity. We're defending a

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very high base. So if they can't get 900 seats, then really they are

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not there. I Can I say, there is a game going

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on here, which the Conservatives have been doing all day, which is

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ramping up the number of seats. are not ramping down? You wouldn't

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do that? We are absolutely not. We are giving a commentry on our

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experience of work in particular areas of the country. Glasgow,

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London, and the Brad for West -- Bradford West election, if you

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can't start winning these things, Ed Miliband will not be Prime

0:21:040:21:08

Minister. We have a mayoral contest in London, a contest between two

0:21:080:21:12

big personalities, Boris Johnson, who makes Londoners laugh, and Ken

0:21:120:21:17

Livingstone, who will cut their fares and introduce an EMA, it is a

0:21:170:21:20

big choice. But there is also the Greater London Authority. That is

0:21:200:21:25

the other big contest in London. That is the Labour-Tory fight.

0:21:250:21:30

as we discussed earlier, they may do better there, Labour, than in

0:21:300:21:37

the mayoral elections? It is a reasonable test, Bradford, London?

0:21:370:21:40

It is a terrible month for the Conservative Party, what kind of

0:21:400:21:43

relaunch will you have to have? have to look at the results and

0:21:430:21:47

learn from the results. Obviously the last month has not been good.

0:21:470:21:51

We have been taking some very tough decisions, but Ed Davey he referred

0:21:510:21:57

to them. You have also been accused of shambles and incompetence, and

0:21:570:22:00

the posh boys thing, you will have to be more competent? We wholly

0:22:000:22:05

accept, that we can always improve the way we communicate our message

0:22:050:22:07

and focus people on the really big achievements of this Government.

0:22:070:22:12

Parliament has just ended. We have put the first-ever cap on welfare

0:22:120:22:17

spending, we have put the first ever controls on immigration. We

0:22:170:22:22

have reformed education and taken people out of tax. These are the

0:22:230:22:26

real things. What about the people in the party that you talk to, what

0:22:260:22:31

do they want you to do differently? They want us to explain our

0:22:310:22:34

achievements, they want us to explain how we are actually

0:22:340:22:42

tackling the appalling deficit we hin inherited. How we are re--

0:22:420:22:50

inherited, how we are reforming the economy and other important issues.

0:22:500:23:00
0:23:000:23:02

We will have more on this, Question -- Vote 2012 starts tonight on BBC

0:23:020:23:06

One. Now, if you are flying through

0:23:060:23:10

Heathrow Airport this bank holiday weekend, or any British airport any

0:23:100:23:15

time soon, you will be aware of the row about queues at Heathrow. Today

0:23:150:23:22

the airport operator, BAA, produced figures that appeared to undermine

0:23:220:23:26

the Immigration Minister's queues, saying they were 90 minutes.

0:23:260:23:29

Officials are expected to go on strike next week in a dispute over

0:23:290:23:32

pensions. We will hear from a minister in a minute. First we have

0:23:320:23:36

some of the details. What are these targets that the passengers

0:23:360:23:41

arriving in Britain are supposed to expect? It is pretty low tech stuff,

0:23:410:23:44

the person that joins the back of the queue is different a card, and

0:23:440:23:49

they clock how long it takes for them to get to the top of the queue

0:23:490:23:52

and get processed. The targets, there is no sanctions for this, if

0:23:520:23:56

they miss the targets it is a rap on the knuckles. The Government

0:23:560:24:00

hopes it achieve that those arriving from the EEA, the European

0:24:000:24:03

Union and other rich countries, they will be processed within 25

0:24:030:24:09

minutes, those from the non-EEA, the rest of the world, European

0:24:090:24:12

Economic Area, 45 minutes. The Immigration Minister Damian Green

0:24:130:24:15

was called to the House of Commons, because there was a shrew of

0:24:150:24:19

protests about the length of queues at Heathrow Airport. He said that

0:24:190:24:24

the target for EEA was indeed being metaphor about 24 minutes, but that

0:24:240:24:31

he did it, he conceded that it was about 90 minutes for non-EEA people.

0:24:310:24:35

The BAA were conducting their own survey, this is the airport

0:24:350:24:38

managers, on the very day the minister was speaking. They said

0:24:380:24:44

the fact it is up to an hour-and-a- half, for some people arriving into

0:24:440:24:50

Terminal 5. 21 out of 23 days were missed targets. 23 days for April

0:24:500:24:55

missing targets. BAA saying that is a conservative estimate. They said

0:24:550:24:59

the queues were so long during some of the terminals, that the EEA

0:25:000:25:05

people and the non-EEA people were amongling together and they

0:25:050:25:10

couldn't standby the statistics. They say they will throw people at

0:25:100:25:13

the problem, there will be people from the back office and they will

0:25:130:25:18

be flying columns going from terminal to terminal dealing with

0:25:180:25:23

the problems. There is 480 staff extra for the Olympic. There is an

0:25:230:25:28

IF crash today, so no processing visa, and a strike by border staff

0:25:280:25:36

next Thursday in the long-running dispute over pensions Earlier I

0:25:360:25:39

spoke to the Immigration Minister, Damian Green.

0:25:390:25:42

This is pretty embarrassing, while you were telling parliament and the

0:25:420:25:47

people of this country that the longest queue was 90 minutes, the

0:25:470:25:51

BAA figures suggest it was three hours? Border Force figures

0:25:510:25:55

measured it at 90 minutes, BAA do their measurements at different

0:25:550:26:02

times. They make it three hours. Either way it is too long. I am

0:26:030:26:07

clear. You accept the figures. They measure more frequently than the

0:26:070:26:11

Border Force? I don't dispute the figures, but on BAA or Border Force,

0:26:110:26:15

the figure is too long. That is why we have taken decisive action this

0:26:150:26:19

week to stop this kind of thing. April was a bad month at Heathrow,

0:26:190:26:23

nobody would deny that, I certainly wouldn't. What we have done from

0:26:230:26:28

the beginning of May is a series of measures, we have introduced 80

0:26:280:26:32

People's Palace available at peak times. We have a central control

0:26:320:26:36

room so we can know immediately which terminal may be building up

0:26:360:26:40

problems. We have mobile teams of people who can be deployed to

0:26:400:26:43

different terminals as problems emerge. From the beginning of next

0:26:430:26:47

month we have a completely new rostering system that will allow us

0:26:470:26:51

to be more flexible. It is aimed at getting the right number of people

0:26:510:26:54

in the right terminal at the right time. On Monday you said some

0:26:540:26:58

people were exaggerating all of this, they weren't exaggerating

0:26:580:27:02

this, it is absolutely terrible, as would you accept. There is a degree

0:27:020:27:05

of complacency about this? I said on Monday it wasn't acceptable. I

0:27:050:27:11

said the queues were too long. There have been some stories proved

0:27:110:27:17

to be not true, but at no stage would anyone deny that queues,

0:27:170:27:21

whether an hour-and-a-half or three hours are too long. We don't want

0:27:210:27:25

that happening at Heathrow. other figure BAA came up with, at

0:27:250:27:30

Terminal 5 they missed their target for non-EU nationals by 23 out of

0:27:300:27:32

30 days in April, that is particularly embarrassing, coming

0:27:320:27:39

up to the Olympics, isn't it? as I say, was bad at Heathrow. That

0:27:390:27:44

is why we have gripped it and taken decisive action. Now a few days

0:27:440:27:49

into May we have a few people available, more controls and so on.

0:27:490:27:53

You mentioned the Olympics, on top of what we have done now, for the

0:27:530:27:56

Olympics we do have many hundreds of volunteers who we have trained

0:27:560:28:00

up, who will be able to work at the border, because we are aware that

0:28:000:28:04

Olympic period, the eyes of the world will be on Britain, and we

0:28:040:28:09

want to give people as good a welcome as possible. We are already,

0:28:090:28:13

for instance, taking the finger prints, the biometrics of thousands

0:28:130:28:17

of the actual competitors and officials who will be coming here.

0:28:170:28:21

They can have their path smoothed through the border. We are working

0:28:210:28:25

very hard to make sure that the Olympics isn't in any way

0:28:250:28:29

overshadowed by this. Would you accept this is not an unskilled job,

0:28:290:28:33

we demand, as a nation, we demand proper border security, we demand

0:28:330:28:37

skilled people, and training up volunteers may help speed the

0:28:370:28:42

queues, but will it continue to make us as safe as people think we

0:28:420:28:46

should be? Yes, that is why we have been doing it for months. For

0:28:460:28:49

months we have had plan to train people up, so they can, they have

0:28:490:28:52

the appropriate level of training for the jobs we will be asking them

0:28:520:28:56

to do at the border. As you say, and one of the things that

0:28:560:29:00

occasionally gets forgotten in this debate, the first priority has to

0:29:000:29:04

be border security, we have to make sure everyone coming through our

0:29:040:29:08

border has a legitimate right to be here and isn't seeking to cause us

0:29:080:29:12

harm. That is the first priority. Along with that we need to meet our

0:29:120:29:16

service standards, and make people's experience of the airport

0:29:160:29:21

as smooth as possible. Given how bad it was in April, which you have

0:29:210:29:24

now conceded, couldn't it be even worse if we are faced with a strike,

0:29:240:29:28

do you think the figures for May will be as terrible as for April?

0:29:280:29:33

Would profoundly hope not. In the first few days it isn't, precisely

0:29:330:29:36

because of the measuress we have taken from the start of May. It is

0:29:360:29:40

not a question of now conceding April is bad, I knew April is bad,

0:29:400:29:48

we have seen the figures. You can't guarantee it will be any better in

0:29:480:29:51

May? We have contingency plans ready for the strike, if it happens,

0:29:510:29:56

if a lot of people do go out on strike, I hope they don't. It is an

0:29:560:29:59

unnecessary strike, they shouldn't go on strike, they should keep

0:29:590:30:02

talking. A lot of unions have reached an agreement on pensions,

0:30:020:30:06

its a completely unnecessary strike, if it does happen to any large

0:30:060:30:12

degree we have people trained up to make sure that the borders work

0:30:120:30:17

effectively. Do we deduce from everything you have said, that was

0:30:170:30:20

an apology for the chaos in April? Of course I regret people have to

0:30:200:30:24

wait too long. All sensible people would, what people are saying what

0:30:240:30:30

have you done about it, what we have done is put more people in at

0:30:300:30:34

peak times, peak times, a new central control room and rosering

0:30:340:30:39

system. We have taken -- rostering system, whenever taken swift and

0:30:390:30:43

immediate action. In the days before his death a year

0:30:430:30:47

ago, Osama Bin Laden was obsessing over how to rebrand and relaunch

0:30:470:30:50

Al-Qaeda. That and his hopes of killing President Obama were among

0:30:500:30:53

the revelations of some of the documents found at Osama Bin

0:30:530:30:56

Laden's heightout in Pakistan, during the raid which killed him.

0:30:560:30:59

It was released today by the American authorities.

0:30:590:31:09
0:31:090:31:12

Our diplomatic editor has been taking a look. Early in 2010, Bin

0:31:130:31:17

Laden was facing up to crisis in his global strategy. The ailation

0:31:170:31:22

of most of the nation from the mujahadin...In His own words, too

0:31:220:31:26

many fighters waging holy war in their own way, killing too many

0:31:260:31:32

civilians. Bomb attacks near mosques in Afghanistan and Pakistan

0:31:320:31:36

had? "extreme negative impact on the partisans of the Jihad".

0:31:360:31:40

aim of his struggle? "direct attrition against the American

0:31:400:31:44

enemy, until it is broken and too weak to interfere in the matters of

0:31:440:31:49

the Islamic world". He urged the killing of General Petraeus. "the

0:31:490:31:57

man of the hour. Or President Obama? Ggs the head of the

0:31:570:32:01

infidelity". The killing of President Obama would put Joe Biden

0:32:010:32:04

in charge, and man that Bin Laden said was totally unprepared for the

0:32:040:32:10

post, leading the US into a crisis. The Arab Spring revived the Al-

0:32:100:32:17

Qaeda chief who wrote shortly before his death. "these events are

0:32:170:32:27

the most important for centuries. The The more moderate

0:32:270:32:32

interpretation of Islam he believed was.

0:32:330:32:39

Younger more radical voices would do this, stirred up with cadres

0:32:390:32:44

from Al-Qaeda returning to their home countries.

0:32:440:32:49

If galvanised by big ideas, Bin Laden was also preoccupied with

0:32:490:32:52

tactics, media activity is said to be a main piece of the war. He

0:32:520:32:56

argued that they must mobilise all the resource that is have

0:32:560:33:00

expressive abilities in speech, poetry, visual or audio. On

0:33:000:33:05

security precautions he said cowerers should always meet under

0:33:050:33:09

cover, where satellites or drones couldn't see them. And that the

0:33:090:33:13

American technology and its modern systems can't arrest a man if he

0:33:140:33:18

does not commit skaur error. Osama Bin Laden insisted that suicide

0:33:180:33:21

bombers should not be sent alone because of the psychological

0:33:210:33:26

factors affecting a person in such cases, necessitate the presence of

0:33:260:33:29

a companion to support and bolster him.

0:33:290:33:32

Fascinating stuff, I thought reading through the documents as

0:33:320:33:35

you formed any opinion as to how isolated he was in this compound,

0:33:350:33:40

and how hands on, in charge as a leader of this organisation?

0:33:400:33:44

paradox is both of those things are true. Very hands on, taking a

0:33:440:33:51

detailed interest in the minute usingia of communiques, the

0:33:510:33:58

language used for people giving instructions to people in Yemen and

0:33:580:34:01

Somalia, about tactics, not targeting civilians, the procedures

0:34:010:34:05

for electing leaders. We used to be told by counter terrorism people

0:34:050:34:09

that it was not a sort of organisation with a membership list.

0:34:090:34:13

There was one seesed from 2002. So quite a formal organisation where

0:34:130:34:20

he tried to insist on standards, but because of what the west might

0:34:200:34:23

all operation security, his desire to preserve himself, he couldn't

0:34:230:34:27

communicate in a timely, regular and detailed fashion, that caused a

0:34:270:34:30

breach, if you like, of many of the more wayward individuals and what

0:34:310:34:34

he wanted them to do. We haven't time to go through the strange

0:34:340:34:37

stuff, pick out something that particularly caught your eye?

0:34:370:34:42

is a tale in here that really indicates what a remarkable and

0:34:420:34:45

strange historical phenomenon Al- Qaeda was. And the organisation and

0:34:450:34:50

running it was. How difficult it was. There is a man mentioned in

0:34:500:35:00
0:35:000:35:02

there, Abu Talhar, Bin Laden heard he was going to do a martyr dom

0:35:020:35:07

event, and Bin Laden said if he hasn't done it already, can he do a

0:35:070:35:11

manual about some things because he's good at that. What an

0:35:110:35:17

extraordinary thing. I have traced this person, he was a Moroccan-born

0:35:170:35:22

terrorist, and he did die in an attack on Bagram Air Base around

0:35:220:35:28

the time Bin Laden wrote that, he never got the message to write the

0:35:280:35:35

manual. It is dae sign foult for a structure for the future? That is -

0:35:350:35:40

- it is a design foult for a structure for the future.

0:35:410:35:46

Vladimir Putin's grip on power reminds some of the authoritarian

0:35:460:35:50

Tsars, there is there is comment that he has built a Tsar-like

0:35:500:35:56

palace. A mysterious complex has risen up on the black sea. A former

0:35:560:36:01

member of Vladimir Putin's inner circle these he can prove it was

0:36:010:36:09

built with public money for the private use of the leader.

0:36:090:36:14

A palace, fit for a Tsar. Lavishly constructed by Italian

0:36:140:36:19

architects, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.

0:36:190:36:23

Its gates crowned by an imperial eagle.

0:36:230:36:27

This newly built mansion on Russia's Black Sea Riviera, has all

0:36:270:36:31

the facilities the country's ruler might require, including a landing

0:36:310:36:35

pad with space for three helicopters. But officially, it

0:36:350:36:43

belongs to an obscure private company. But who is it for? Efforts

0:36:430:36:46

by campaigners to breakthrough security and penetrate the palace

0:36:460:36:50

ground have only deepened the mystery that has been tantalising

0:36:500:36:55

Russians. Was it built as a personal retreat for their modern-

0:36:550:37:00

day Tsar, Vladimir Putin, about to start a third term as President. Is

0:37:000:37:03

it yet another example of the corruption many believe is now

0:37:030:37:12

engulfing the country. This is a man who should know. The

0:37:120:37:16

first insider from Putin's own business circle to blow the whistle

0:37:160:37:20

on how he says the Russian leader has benefited personally from his

0:37:200:37:26

position. The Kremlin's denied his allegations. But for several years,

0:37:270:37:32

the man, who now works in the Estonian capital, Tallin, was one

0:37:320:37:37

of those responsible for building palace, until he pulled out in

0:37:370:37:42

disgust, he says, and fled abroad for his own safety. TRANSLATION:

0:37:420:37:48

hadn't worked 15-hours a day for ten years to build a par lays. That

0:37:480:37:52

didn't interest me -- palace, that didn't interest me, I tried to do

0:37:520:37:57

something good for Russia. These are the records of payments,

0:37:570:38:00

overseen by Kolesnikov to an overseas company belonging to

0:38:000:38:05

friends of Putin, that financed the palace. He alleges much of the

0:38:050:38:11

money was diverted from charitable donations. The story begins, he

0:38:110:38:15

says, with Roman Abramovich, now owner of Chelsea Football Club, he

0:38:150:38:20

was one of several tycoons who gave millions of dollars to upgrade

0:38:200:38:25

Russian hospitals. Kolesnikov imported the equipment, also

0:38:250:38:30

involved were two personal friends of Vladimir Putin's, Nikolai

0:38:300:38:34

Shamalov and Dmitri Gorelov. He says they got the equipment at a

0:38:340:38:39

discount, and unknown to the donors, transferred some of the savings

0:38:390:38:42

into offshore companies. At the suggestion of Vladimir Putin

0:38:420:38:46

himself. Much of it was invested on Putin's

0:38:460:38:50

instructions in needy Russian industries. But not all. The

0:38:500:38:57

Kremlin had a pet project of its own.

0:38:570:38:59

TRANSLATION: At the beginning of 2005, they said there was a nice

0:38:590:39:04

piece of land on the Black Sea, where a small house to be built for

0:39:040:39:09

relaxation. But the original scheme, and this is clear in our contract

0:39:090:39:13

with the Department of Presidential affairs, was for just $14 million,

0:39:130:39:20

a small house with a swimming pool, nothing more. But today that little

0:39:200:39:25

retreat, that his company helped finance, covers a whole

0:39:250:39:32

mountainside. An environmental activist, seen here, wanted to

0:39:320:39:37

discover who destroyed protected forest to build huge a huge complex.

0:39:370:39:41

Originally it was thought to be owned by a company owned by Putin's

0:39:410:39:46

friends. The activists, assumed to be workmen, got right up to the

0:39:460:39:50

palace, before being spotted by private security. Then they were

0:39:500:39:54

approached by other guards, with badges more usually seen around the

0:39:540:40:00

Kremlin. TRANSLATION: There were employees of the federal guard

0:40:000:40:05

service, whose job it is to protect the high state official, they were

0:40:050:40:08

even in uniform. They showed us their official IDs, there was no

0:40:080:40:15

sign it was a private house. whose palace is it really?

0:40:150:40:22

Newsnight set off to investigate. Through a snowy landscape, that

0:40:220:40:28

became steadily more impassable. Unlike Putin, we didn't have the

0:40:280:40:35

advantage of a helicopter. The palace, we think, is a further

0:40:350:40:39

30kms down this road, but the snow is getting too deep for us to

0:40:390:40:42

continue. We thought we would be stopped by the secret police, but

0:40:420:40:48

in the end, we have simply been stopped by the Russian winter. This

0:40:480:40:52

man saw the palace many times as it was being built. He says it was his

0:40:520:40:57

job to discuss with Kremlin officials how best to implement

0:40:570:41:01

Putin's wishes. But he and his partner, Putin's friend, Shamalov,

0:41:010:41:11

were beginning to fall out. TRANSLATION: At the end of 200 came

0:41:110:41:14

the financial crisis. Many of our investment projects needed extra

0:41:150:41:19

money. When I asked Putin he promised to provide it. But he

0:41:190:41:22

didn't. Then Shamalov told me the decision was to stop our other

0:41:220:41:25

projects and put all the money into the palace.

0:41:250:41:33

By the end of 2009, Kolesnikov had left Russia.

0:41:340:41:38

He sent ant open letter to the President, accusing Putin, then

0:41:380:41:42

Prime Minister, of corruption. The Kremlin said it had nothing to do

0:41:420:41:47

with the palace. But a journalist on one of Russia's few opposition

0:41:470:41:50

paper, obtained documents to back up Kolesnikov's story. The

0:41:500:41:54

agreement to build the palace on state-owned land. It was very

0:41:540:41:57

important for us to find the documents to prove the land was

0:41:570:42:02

sold to the company, which belonged to Putin's friends. The department

0:42:020:42:06

for presidential affairs, the man there denied about knowing about

0:42:060:42:09

the store, and that he never signed any documents. And here is the

0:42:100:42:14

document with his signature. This showed us that he lied.

0:42:140:42:18

That still doesn't prove the palace was meant for Putin himself. But

0:42:180:42:27

there is circumstantial evidence. TRANSLATION: It's also the building

0:42:270:42:34

of a road direct to the palace, a gas supply, the Government spend

0:42:340:42:39

tens of million of dollars on these. If this was just for Putin's friend

0:42:390:42:42

Shamalov, why would the federal guard service commission and

0:42:420:42:47

monitor the building of the palace. Where would Shamalov need three

0:42:470:42:50

helipads, a private person doesn't need these, but for a President,

0:42:500:42:54

they are essential. The implication is clear, an elaborate scheme,

0:42:540:42:58

planned over many years to give Putin a private palace on public

0:42:580:43:03

money. Without his name appearing on a single document.

0:43:030:43:07

Kolesnikov's claims can't all be proved. There is no clear evidence

0:43:070:43:12

that charity funds were diverted, as for his former partners, Putin's

0:43:120:43:15

friends, Shamalov and Gorelov, their companies say they are not

0:43:150:43:22

available for comment. Meanwhile, the environmental

0:43:220:43:25

campaigners tried, without success, to stroll along the palace beach

0:43:250:43:29

last summer, by then the owners were another private company, less

0:43:290:43:35

closely connected with Putin. But was that just a smoke screen.

0:43:350:43:39

TRANSLATION: I think it is so that this property can't later be

0:43:390:43:42

returned to the Government. Because clearly the man that this place

0:43:420:43:48

really belongs to, feels he may lose power. And then by law this

0:43:480:43:52

residence will go to the next President, if it still belongs to

0:43:520:43:58

the Kremlin. If it is private it can't be touched. Outside the

0:43:580:44:01

activists' house, we saw secret police lurking, they know his

0:44:010:44:08

campaign to protect the environment is becoming increasingly political.

0:44:080:44:11

We have been watching him since he protested against the alleged

0:44:110:44:15

corruption of both local and national leaders, at the holiday

0:44:150:44:18

home of the regional governor on the Black Sea coast. The governor

0:44:190:44:22

is believed by some to have helped Putin choose the site for his

0:44:220:44:27

palace. When Newsnight met him, he denied the Kremlin chief had any

0:44:270:44:32

private rest home at all. Thars I know the President and Prime

0:44:320:44:37

Minister have official residences in Sochi, they were built in

0:44:370:44:43

Stalin's time, they received guests there and spent their summer

0:44:430:44:45

holidays, even then they were working. They are Government

0:44:450:44:50

residences, and they have nothing else, as far as I know.

0:44:500:44:55

Vladimir Putin will soon return to his special office in the Kremlin,

0:44:550:44:59

he's being re-elected with an overwhelming majority. He will be

0:44:590:45:03

governing what the campaigning group, Transparency International,

0:45:030:45:09

says is by far one of the world's most corrupt leading states.

0:45:090:45:16

Levelled with nigh yearia, 38 places below India. -- Nigeria, and

0:45:160:45:24

38 places below India. Now a look at the front papers.

0:45:240:45:34
0:45:340:45:34

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 78 seconds

0:45:340:46:52