04/02/2013 Newsnight


The lessons to be learned from the Stafford hospital scandal, the fall of Chris Huhne and the discovery of Richard III. The stories behind the day's headlines with Kirsty Wark.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 04/02/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Mistreatment, misdiagnosis, and management failings may have led to


as many as a thousand needless deaths at Stafford General Hospital.


How did it happen, and how do we make sure it doesn't happen again.


We both believed that hospitals were safe, we didn't know anything


else. As soon as we got in the hospital we knew that something was


terribly wrong. This is the hospital that's been under the


spotlight, but the questions are now much wider. How can patient


safety best be protected in the NHS?


I speak to one woman whose mother died there, she met the Prime


Minister tonight. The lie that destroyed Chris Huhne,


what a difference a year makes. innocent of these charges and I


intend to fight this in the courts, I'm confident a jury will agree.


I have pleaded guiltied today. Until very recent days, still


talked about as a possible future Deputy Prime Minister, today Chris


Huhne faces the possibility of prison.


He was Shakespeare's number one villain. Now is the winter of our


discontent, made glorious summer by this son of York. Richard III,


exhumed and now identified, should he be rehabilitated. I will ask the


direct to Richard Eyre, and Tudor historian, Suzannah Lipscomb.


Good evening, the devastating events at Stafford General Hospital,


which may have contributed to the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of


patients in the hospital's care, between 2005-2009, reveals


something rotten in the NHS. The public inquiry into the NHS


foundation Trust will report on Wednesday. It is likely to have


far-reaching implications for the management and nursing in the NHS,


in relation to candour, transparency, training and


responsibility. Ahead of the report, the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt,


blamed a culture of targets and performance management, which


defined the NHS under Labour. Why of the culture so especially bad at


Stafford General Hospital, who will accept responsibility, and could


anything like it ever happen again? The stories from Stafford Hospital


have proved shocking. Described as horrific and haunting for patients


and their families. Hundreds are alleged to have died needlessly,


through lack of care and fundamental deficiencies. There


have already been a string of investigations. Robert Francis QC


led a public inquiry back in 2010, his full inquiry reports back this


week. In his first report he described his shock at hearing


about suffering to patients, that included being left in unwashed


sheets, unable to reach food and drink, or without adequate pain


relief. He said it was failure on a scale that cannot be adequately


expressed in statistics. Julie Bailey's 86-year-old mother,


Bella, was admitted to Stafford Hospital in 2007, for what should


have been a routine hernia operation. We believed that she was


going into somewhere safe. We both believed that hospitals were safe,


we didn't know anything else. As soon as we got in the hospital we


knew that something was terribly wrong. It was just really out of


control. Just going on to the wards, there was just screaming and


shouting. She says she saw chaos on the wards, and decided she was not


going to leave her mother there alone. So she and other members of


the family stayed, 24-hours a day, for eight week, to care for Bella


themselves. They used to tell us off, and there was no clean sheets


to change the bed with. There was another woman that had fallen


opposite, there was just blood everywhere. They had to go and pick


patients off the floor and try to patch them up, and then hunt for


staff. It wouldn't have marred some days, because the staff, I would


say 60% of them shouldn't have been on the wards. They weren't nursing.


A succession of Labour health secretaries was encouraging NHS


managers to seek Foundation Trust status for hospitals, with emphasis


on targets to bring down waiting times and tighter financial control.


In 2009 one regulator did attempt to find out what was going on at


Mid Staffs. Dr Heather Wood was sent in by the Healthcare


Commission, because mortality rates appeared to be higher than expected.


What does she think went wrong at Stafford? A struggle Trust,


completely lost its way, had the wrong priorities, and pursued


Foundation Trust status, really at the expense of its core business of


looking after patients safely. Relatives of patients say it was


not just lack of care, but a lack of openness when things went wrong,


that let people down. Frank and Janet Robinson's 20-year-


old son, John, was injured in an accident on his mountain bike in


2006, he was taken 0 Stafford A&E Department, but was discharged and


told he had bruised ribs. couldn't walk out, he was pushed


out in a wheelchair and given a container to be sick in. They had


to ask for painkillers because he was still in a lot of pain. John


died a few hours later with a ruptured spleen, his parents blame


the hospital for not identifying the injury. In 2006 a report


prepared by an A&E consultant in at the hospital, not present on the


day of the accident, concluded that John's unfortunate and untimely


death may have been avoided had he been more proper low assessed.


had an accident, and we appreciate he had an accident and was badly


injured. Had John have died as a result of that accident it would


have been hard to accept, but you accept them sort of things. John


needed care, and the A&E Department at Stafford was in meltdown.


Robinsons are seeking a new inquest, because the A&E's consultant


internal report was sent to the Trust lawyers, but did not reach


the coroner or the family. The lawyers from that time told us


there was never any attempt to cover up the facts of John's death.


And their first duty was to the Trust, and not to patients. Legal


regulators have agreed. Today the hospital is under new


management. In response to the family's concerns over the care of


Bella Bailey and John Robinson, the She also gave her sincere apologies


to Mr and Mrs Robinson, and said the Trust has apologise today Julie


Bailey. She said today Stafford is a very different place. In his


second report, Robert Francis looks more widely at NHS management, at


questions he says constantly went through his mind. Why did those in


charge not detect that something so serious was going on, and why was


nothing done about it? I think Mid Staffs was a perfect


storm, where everything came together. I think at that time it


was a target culture and it was very prevalent. People, doctors,


were pushed into situations, and I don't think they were always


comfortable with that. Elective cases were prioritised. I would


hope that has been altered, and changed. But I do think there are


pockets around the country where that may still be a problem.


expectation is that the report will be highly critical of NHS


structures, the plethora of regulating bodies and the


individuals in management at the time. That may include the chief


executive of the NHS in England, Sir David Nicholson, who cases


calls to resign. He was chief executive -- who faces calls to


resign. He was chief executive of the two strategic health


authorities from 2005-2006, before taking up his current role. He has


evidently been at the heart of the development of the command and


control structure in the NHS. I don't think I'm alone in thinking


that he, and the cadre of people that he has appointed and also have


very senior positions, that those people are not the right leaders to


change that culture. But Sir David has a pivitol role in


the Government's full-scale reorganisation of the NHS in


England. It ordered this full public inquiry after pledging to go


beyond Labour's first independent inquiry. So it will want to show it


has done all it can to avoid a repeat of Mid Staffs. Sir David


himself has said he has not seen anything yet that would make him


think he should resign. Last week he apologised for those affected on


behalf of the NHS. He said patients will be given a bigger say. There


is also renewed interest in a concept known as "zero harm", based


on Florence Nightingale's edict, that the hospital should the sick


no harm. Antony Sumara was parachuted in to fix Mid Staffs. He


said there must be a wholesale change in culture, removing targets


where say 95% of patients remain free of hospital-acquired


infections. The concept of "zero harm" greatly appeals to him.


zero harm, airlines use it, the building construction industry use


it, but the NHS has an idea that it is OK to harm people. What would he


do? I would be tougher to make sure that those who work in the NHS are


held directly to account for patient safety and care. And we


don't have this idea that it is OK to harm some people and compared to


other Trusts we are not that bad. After her experiences at Stafford


Julyy Bailey founded Curet The NHS, with other families. They will be


the toughest judges of the response on Wednesday, for them apologise


will not be enough, they want nothing less than a new world of


health cautious breaking the concept that harm is inevitable.


Just before we came on air I spoke to Deb Hazeldine, whose mother was


treated at Stafford General Hospital, and who spoke to the


Prime Minister about the public inquiry earlier today.


What happened to your mother when she went into hospital? Mum was 67,


she was admitted into Mid Staffs in July of 2006. She had a fall at


home, not sustained any injuries, but we were told that she would


need on going physiotherapy to get back on her feet after the


physiotherapy she had. She was put straight on to an open ward, even


though we asked she be put in an isolation ward. She quickly


contracted C-diff and MRSA. Then what happened to her general health


and care? The care was appalling. There was some very kind nurses,


but lots of nurse and doctors who weren't kind and didn't support --


nurses and doctors who weren't kind and didn't support mum. You work in


the NHS and you know about the atmosphere. What kind of things


happened to your mum? Entering the ward one day, I could hear my mum


screaming at the top of her voice, she was in so much pain. I dropped


my bag and ran into her. She was half on a komode, half on the floor.


That is when she grabbed my hand and said "please don't let me die


in here". I fed my mum, I cleaned my mum. My mum had ulcers on her


leg because she was left in a wet bed for such a long time. She had


pain in her back, she would constantly say she was in pain.


there any sense of embarrassment or worry from the general staff there?


Yes, the nurse that is were really caring. There were a couple on the


ward would try 0 do their very best. There were some nurses that were


very dismissive as well, they didn't try to help. I tried to be


there as much as I can. I had to say to my mum's consultant could


you please write in the notes that I can visit, because of the abuse I


got off staff members when I went in. You didn't make a complaint?


a family we couldn't be there 24/7, I was worried because mum would be


in there. We decided when mum came home we would complain.


Unfortunately she never came home. She didn't come home and you have


been part of the big campaign. You saw David Cameron earlier this


evening. I did. What was the general demeanor of


the meeting? It was very respectful, I think, to our loved ones. It was


very respectful. What did you ask from him? Accountability, that is


the main thing to me. There were hundreds of people who died


horrifically, and nobody, at this point, has been held accountable.


What concrete changes do you want to see happen now, and presumably


you spoke to David Cameron about those? Yes, I did. We need


accountability to come back into the NHS. Poor care is insulting to


all of the caring and compassionate staff, as well as all the patients.


We need the recommendations of the Francis Report to be implemented,


and a complaints system fit for purpose, it currently isn't, the


patients don't have a voice if something goes wrong. Who should


resign over this, you say nobody has gone yet. Who should? If you


look it public inquiry, anybody found to be failing, that starts


with David Nicholson. Now head of the NHS in England? Yes, there is


no accountability, we cannot let this one continue to run the NHS.


Thank you very much indeed. We invited Sir David Nicholson on


to the programme tonight, but he didn't want to speak ahead of the


inquiry report on Wednesday. We also contacted mid-Staffordshire


Foundation Trust for a comment. They said they have apologised to


Miss Hazeldine for the poor care given to her mother in 2006, and it


is suffering cause today her and her family. There were systemic


problems at Stafford Hospital at that time, which meant that the


care provided to these patients and others in some areas of the


hospital was inadequate. Such a poor standard of care is


inexcusable and indefensible, today Stafford is a very different place.


External regulators have verified and acknowledged the improvements


that have been made, is what they said.


Joining me is Mike Farrer, chief executive of the NHS Confederation.


And Peter Walsh, from the group who campaign for patient safety. He has


helped some of those involved in the Mid Staffs case.


Peter Walsh, do you think the NHS in England has lost its way?


Something has gone very wrong with the NHS. That is obvious. Obviously


the inquiry started to be all about what happened at Stafford, but it


is much wider than that now. I would love to say this was a


totally isolated incident, but as a national charity, we see pockets of


what happened at Stafford in hospitals around the country.


Farrer, I was struck by something Debbie Hazeldine said, talking


about the nurses, they weren't nursing. What's happened to


compassion and care? Jeremy Hunt seems keen that is put at the heart


of the NHS again, clearly that was lacking? I think the evidence from


Mid Staffs is absolutely horrendous, speaking as one who came into


National Health Service to do good for people, I feel ashamed of what


happened there. What I can say is we absolutely use this as an


opportunity to learn every single lesson we can and make sure it


doesn't happen again. I think what we do to guarantee to the public


that these horrendous issues are dealt with, requires us to take a


fundamental look at everything, from the nursing on the wards,


through to the ways in which the NHS organisations judge themselves


and they are accountable to the public, and how they operate in the


wider system. This is a moment in time to get this right. You heard


Deb Hazeldine saying they didn't want to complain while their mother


was in hospital, in case it affected her mother adversely.


There has clearly been a breakdown in trust between patients and


nursing staff. Whether they be auction sillies, doctors or porters,


there is a complete breakdown of trust? Yes, and I think that is


inexcusable that the people who need us at that great time of


problem can't trust us. Whether that is the nursing staff, the


management of hospitals, or indeed, the way in which we account for


ourselves. We have to do better, we have to rebuild trust. That starts


by being much more open. We have to listen to patients. It is


inexcusable in today's environment that we're not listening to


patients as part of the whole process of care. But there can't be


just tinkering. Let's talk about zero harm, something like C-diff,


it might be we don't want more than 5% of patients to get that, now it


is 0 per cent, there should never be a -- 0%, there should never be a


presumption that anyone should get this in hospital? We gave evidence


to the inquiry about vitally important patient safety alerts,


life and death matters, where trusts around the country were


failing to implement. Mortality rates, strong indicators of


something going wrong. Duty of candour, are you really saying that


a nurse auction silly could actually call out a consultant for


doing something wrong, it is such a hierarchical organisation, I


couldn't imagine that ever happening? There is lots of


platitudes to be spoken about Stafford, and the recommendations.


Change of culture and openness, the challenge for Jeremy Hunt will be,


will he fully implement the recommendations, which I'm sure


will include a statutory, meaningful duty of candour. What


kind of health service would not guarantee as an essential standard


openness with patients and family when things go wrong. A duty of


candour, should that be implemented if recommended on Wednesday? I do,


and Peter is absolutely right. I would say that resource to a legal


duty, to be open and honest with patients, is really an indictment


to the fact that the culture we have at the moment doesn't honestly


share with patients and their families what is going on in terms


of their care. And the first thing that happens, of course, if there


is a complaint, it seems to be in mid-Stafford, that rather than


dealing with the complaint, you hire an army of lawyers to defend


you. That the lawyers' obligation is to the Trust and not the


patients. How could things be as skewed as that, Mike Farrer? If we


were getting this right, and now we must, we can't fail this time. We


would have a situation where staff on the wards were reviewing care,


with the families, the families know their loved one is well and


making sure we could do everything we comfortable it would be a


culture where you didn't have to recourse a lot or whistle blow,


because we would be learning what we need to as we went along. That


is the critical bit. You look down the list of different organisations


involved in patient care, there must be 20 or 30 or 40. There is a


myriad organisations which dilute the idea of accountability? Yes,


things are being made more complex. When you make things more complex


and fragmented, you introduce more risk. What we need is a tough


regulator, rather than more regulation, we need better


regulation. A regulator, like the aviation industry, that would act


on single indicators of a lack of safety. Mortality rates, patient


safety alerts, but fundamental is openness and transparency.


Protecting whistleblowers, and ensuring that patients are


empowered, not just by information, by honesty about what then goes on,


but independent support with their complaints. It looks a if there is


going to be, Mike Farrer, an absolute recommendation, and


presumably it will be statutory soon, that the ratio of nursing


staff to patients will have to change, and are we even having


enough nurses to do that? There is a very important point here that


builds off Peter's point. We can look externally at the regulation


levels, and setting standards for nursing levels, but it is people in


the hopts that have to take the responsibility. They are the ones


there 24/7, 365 days a year. It is their responsibility to know what


is safe care. If you have a difficult patient on a ward you


might need to increase staffing. It is their responsibility, they are


the ones, not the regulators, who need to make sure the buck stops


with them, and management. Then we need a regulatory system that gives


confidence that what is happening in the NHS is open and transparent.


Where we need to step in we K the responsibility of quality of care


lies with the hospital and all of us in the National Health Service.


That is where we should look first. We await the report on Wednesday.


It still seems some what incredible, but there now may be a royal


funeral, Richard III, the last King of England to die in battle may be


interned somewhere, maybe Westminster Abbey, after a deformed


skeleton with battle wounds has been identified as king after lying


under a car park in Leicester for many years. He was Shakespeare's


arch villain, accused of killing his brother's soon. We will talk to


our guests in a moment. First this. Now is the winter of our discontent.


Made glorious summer by this son of York. They found Richard III! In


the absence of any other broadcaster willing to hammer this


story to death, it falls to us, soberly and gravely, to train the


spotlight of Newsnight scholarship on this subject.


Hidden under a car park in Leicester, one of the most


notorious kings in our history. A ruthless power-snatcher, and


alleged child killer, the only thing Richard III hasn't been


accused of is failing to pay-and- display. The pith and marrow of


this story concerns a swab in the mouth of a blameless Canadian. But


how can it be? Now here is the science part. Richard III had an


older sister, Anne of York, skip forward a few generations and her


17th great-grand nephew is a Canadian carpenter living in London,


Michael Ibsen. The Leicester university team took his DNA, and


that of another distant descendant of Anne as, and compared that with


the car park skeleton. The scans matched, and the team announced,


alongside all the other evidence, this put the identity of the


skeleton beyond reasonable doubt. The skeleton exhumed at Greyfriars


in 2012, is indeed Richard III the last Plantagenet King of England.


It is exciting in terms of methodology, DNA put together with


archaeology, research and desk- based research, that is impressive.


It is exciting, I'm not sure how much it means beyond the excitement


of the process, but yes, today is a thrilling day to be a medieval


historian. A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse. So now we know


it was him under the car park, why are we so fascinated by Richard any


way? Some historians insist he wasn't so much worse than other


Monarchs. Maybe it is Shakespeare, the gap between the black


propaganda put about in the 16th century, and crystalised in


Shakespeare. The gap between that and the truth of Richard's regin,


which is he didn't do a lot of bad things, just one or two extremely


bad things. Someone who should know all about


this is actor Jonjo O'Neil, who has given his Richard III at Stratford.


Immediate instinct of probably towards humour, finding the glee in


it. There is a lot of humour in Richard, he's a very funny


character. I immediately started to find parallels in characters in


South Park and other modern stuff that I have enjoyed and that I saw


in Richard. When it comes to the canon, most


good judges give props to Richard III. Is it he is most enjoyed


villain, possibly? One of the most celebrated villains, certainly, in


Shakespeare. It is the second- biggest part to hamlet, in terms of


the sheer -- Hamlet, in terms of sheer volume and the amount he has,


the second-largest amount of lines in all Shakespeare, second to


Hamlet. It also emerged today that this car lot isn't just a dig of


world historical interest. This is CSI boss worth! In the case of the


larger wound, if the blade had penetrated seven sent meeters into


the braifpb, -- centimeters into the brain, which we can't determine,


death would have been instant. didn't have his hands bound, he was


stabbed through the heart with a knife. This is obviously a burial


designed to humiliate. Richard's remains may end up here at St


Martin's, and Leicester will share with Paris the unlikely distinction


of boating a Cathedral with a famous hunchback.


Sir Richard Eyre is an award- winning theatre director, drink


bringing Richard III to life on the age. Suzannah Lipscomb is an expert


in the Tudor period. Good king bad king, does it make a difference to


how we view him? It doesn't make a difference. Richard has this


reputation from Sir Thomas Moore and Shakespeare of being a crooked


man with a crooked back. There is this thing about his physical


deformties and his character. We are beyond that now. We discovered


he did have a curved spine. So they weren't just doing him down? No, I


think the slightly surprising thing coming out today is the Tudor


propaganda wasn't just an invention, there was something in it.


exciting day, or overplayed, the arrival of Richard III in the scene


again? An exciting day for the University of Leicester, and the


car park attendants. I would have been much more excited if they had


exhumed another draft of Shakespeare's play. I think the


reason we are having this conversation at all is because


Shakespeare's done Richard III a huge favour. This is terribly bad


news for Richard III Society, they have said he's a man who is


absolutely blameless. What's more, that he had had a perfectly


straight spine. I think this revelation actually does, at least


allow Shakespeare something more than mere poetic license. When you


directed Richard III, how did you, you directed Ian McKellan in it,


what were your lines on how to play Shakespeare's Richard III. Do you


think there is a lot of fun in it? There is a lot of fun. Of course


he's a soldier. His first speech is telling you how terrible it is for


him that peace has broken out, and grim visage to all has vanished, to


be replayed by all the efeninecy of peace. He will tell you he will do


terrible things and he does do terrible things. It is interesting


seeing Chris Huhne saying he was innocent today, and Richard III


does that in the first seen. He convinced Lady Anne that he is


uncorrupt and uncorruptible. He turns to the audience, having


seduced her and convinced her of an innocence, and says "was ever woman


in this humour wooed, was ever woman in this humour won". He he is


an utterly beguiling villain. The great defenders of Richard III


traduced the play, because the play is actually an extraordinary


complex play about politic. It is a handbook for tyranny. He was a


complex man, we now know there were certain enlightened aspects of


things, the first man to give bail. But he died a horrific and


humiliating death. And henry VII had to establish himself and give


him a humiliating death? He was the last king to die on the battlefield


in England, quite fairly, Henry the Tudor, I will upset a lot of


Ricardians, but henry the Tudor won, the problem for that is that


Richard III had the reputation as a Great War yo, we discover he was


probably attacked from behind, and then humiliating wounds. That was


necessary to demonstrate he was dead. He was carried through


Leicester to say he hasn't gone into hiding, he actually is dead,


and Henry Tudor is now Henry VII, king. That has to be the way it


worked out. The big debate is where will his bones be buried? The Queen


has to give her permission for Westminster Abbey. Leicester?


have been buried in all sorts of places. Canterbury, Reading,


Gloucester, not necessarily Westminster Abbey. I suppose it


might be wise to consider putting him somewhere where he knew success.


Somewhere like Richmond, maybe York, perhaps not Leicester. I'm sure the


University oflessor would be very sad if he went -- University


oflessor would be sad if he went elsewhere. Who are the best lines,


in terms of actors that you have seen play it and the best lines,


you have directed Ian McKellan, what are the best actors and best


lines? My favourite line is when Elizabeth says to the old Queen


Margaret, I'll misquote the line, but it is "teach me how to curse my


enemies". This is the unrevealed part of the play is that it has


some of the most powerful parts for women in the whole of the


Shakespearian canon. And far from being glorification of revelling in


the Godfather-like revelling in the villainy and viciousness, it shows


you the consequences of it. The most devastating scene is the scene


with three women who have all lost people. What is your favourite bit


of Richard III, or as a Tudor you don't have any bits? I suppose


everybody is struck by the opening. Nobody can walk away from that play


and forget that dramatic opening, I would have to go with the classic


lines about the winter of our discontent. Thank you very much.


As Richard Eyre was saying, now for a very modern tragedy, Chris Huhne


once a cabinet high flyer, today fell to the ground with a


resounding crash, exposed as a liar. He announced he would resign as MP


for Eastleigh. After years of lying he admitted a speeding offence, and


now faces the prospect of a jail sentence. In the course of today's


events, texts between his son and himself were admitted into evidence.


Chris Huhne is the kind of politician to not just cross the


road to pick up a fight but get in a car and race to it. The ambitious


Lib Dem was accused of being in such a hurry to get on he would


frequently speed there. Chris Huhne didn't rush to the position he


found himself today, after a year of saying he didn't ask his wife to


accept points on her driving license on his behalf, today the


former cabinet minister pleaded guilty. I have pleaded guilty today,


I'm unable to say more, while there is an outstanding trial. But having


taken responsibility for something which happened ten years ago, the


only proper course of action for me is now to resign my Eastleigh seat


in parliament, which I will do very shortly. If all political careers


end in failure, few end in court. At some point in the last seven


days Chris Huhne made a decision that wraps up seven-and-a-half


years as an MP. A one-time contend Tory lead his party, and until very


recent days, still talked about as a possible future Deputy Prime


Minister, today Chris Huhne faces the possibility of prison.


That quote about all political lives ending in failure goes on to


say that they do so because of human affairs. In the last two


years, the Huhne family have been all too human. Huhne admitted


having an affair in June 2010. His marriage to the respected economist,


Vicky Pryce, broke down, and a year later allegations were published in


the newspaper. In 2003, now a decade ago, when the then Lib Dem


MP was trying to fast and furiously win election to Westminster, he was


alleged to have been in such a hurry, his car had been caught by


cameras speeding between Stanstead Airport and London. The prosecution


alleged that Huhne had bust the speed limit so frequently, he was


facing political ruin before his career started, he asked his wife


to take the point, but the cabinet minister denied this. I want to say


simply that these allegations are simply incorrect. They have been


made before and they have been shown to be untrue. I very much


welcome the referral to the police as it will draw a line under the


matter. Throughout he would see a funny side. Philip Hammond, the


Transport Secretary, said people who break the speed limit are


perfectly decent people. Apparently Philip had broken the speed limit


and got some points. I put my haunds and lost my license from


speeding so I'm in a good position to say. Huhne had to eventually


stand down from cabinet, he vowed to fight the charge and believing


he would eventually return to political life. Today the judge


revealed that Huhne's lawyer fought hard to have the case dismissed,


not once but twice, and the judge overruled this, and he published


fresh evidence, text messages between Huhne and his 18-year-old


I'm shocked and saddened by what's happened, but I believe that Chris


Huhne has taken the right decision in resigning as an MP.


Why does it matter? He was central to the coalition negotiations with


the Conservative Party after the hung parliament election of May


2010, clearly one of the leading Lib Dems in the cabinet. Many


people would have assumed that if he had been found not guilty or


acquitted, for some reason over these charges, he would have


returned to the fray. Either to the cabinet, quite quickly, or even


potentially as a future leader of the Lib Dem party, were Nick Clegg


to step down at some point. Suddenly all of that is over.


Instead of racing down the M11, the strategists of Westminster will


right now be familiarising themselves to another motorway, the


M3 to Eastleigh, where they will spend the days and weeks ahead. As


fits the cabinet minister most agrossive to Tory colleagues in


Government, the battle for Eastleigh will be bitter. It is the


first time in this parliament where the coalition partners go up


against each other. Newsnight hit the road to see how quickly the


Tories had hit the road, not very, up past Strawberryfields, the Tory


HQ had not a leaflet ready. It came as a surprise to you, we weren't


expecting a by-election, as it is better to be prepared and not miss


a opportunity, but we have spoken about it, but no hotel rooms have


been booked. Eastleigh is one of 20 Lib Dem seats targeted by the


Tories, if they can't win here, a majority in 2015 is tricky. UKIP is


a problem for them. UKIP take votes from all parties. It is amazing,


people will vote liberal locally, but UKIP nationally. They take from


everybody. That will be shared out amongst us. The Lib Dems are road


testing a strategy, that they think will help them outperform


competitors. Elbow grease. Chris Huhne hadn't given you a signal of


what he was going to do, do you have a candidate? We have a


candidate. We will go through democratic processes to get a


candidate, we have a good pool of talent waiting to be considered as


a potential MP for Eastleigh. another high-profile politician


admitted telling an untruth, with such unauspicious settings, the


scene is set for a bloody battle. David Cameron face as revolt of


over 100 MPs tomorrow as the Commons votes on the same-sex


Marriage Bill, which he has championed.


Tonight, in an effort to win over colleagues, George Osborne, William


Hague and Theresa May published a joint letter to the Telegraph, in


which they questioned whether it was any longer acceptable to


exclude people from marriage simply because they love someone of the


same sex. We talk to two Conservative MPs who plan to vote


differently on gay marriage tomorrow.


Anne McIntosh, why shouldn't gai people get married? I think there


is confusion here between rights for gay people and religious


freedoms. What saddens me mostly about the debate, I have worked


very closely with Nick and I have high regard for him and the


arguments that the other side are putting forward. I think in the


countryside the church plays a very special role. It is not necessarily


just getting married in church, it is getting married full stop?


you can't redefine marriage in this way. I would have no problem, if


for example, civil partnership could be blessed in urge ch, that I


think would be already -- church, that would be already a great step


forward. We were specifically told when we voted on civil partnerships


this wouldn't lead to marriage. This is a breakdown in trust.


is nothing Nick Herbert would say to change your mind? No, I have


made a public promise to my electorate. It wasn't something


raised at the election, this has come out of the blue. But my


electorate understand exactly where I stand on this issue. What about


your electorate? It is a free vote and people are entitled to their


view, it is an issue of conscience. All of the independently conducted


opinion polls are showing a majority of the public are in


favour of this change. That is a majority that is growing very fast


in this country, as it has in others. We know that particularly


amongst younger people there is very strong support indeed. What


you are doing is looking ahead. Because ComRes poll for ITN news


suggests today that as a result of this going through, if it does go


through, which we expect, you are likely lose more votes than you


will gain at the moment. That particular poll has been quite


criticised by other pollsters for asking leading questions, and


excluding all the other things people will vote on. There are


bigger issues. Does it sadden you that Anne McIntosh doesn't believe


that you should get married in church, or get married full stop?


Of course I would like as many members in parliament to vote for


it, I think it will pass tomorrow with a substantial majority. I'm


happy about that. I'm happy because I don't think it is right any


longer to exclude two people who love each other from an institution.


Religious freedom is protected. The churches that don't want to do this


won't have to. You say religious freedom is not protected. Churches


don't have to agree to it? I don't think that will stand up in law, as


a Scottish advocate I would argue that. Can I also say, this is the


narrow step along, the first step along a long road, in France they


are redefining how you describe wives and husbands and parents can


no longer be described as mothers and fathers. Are you really saying


that is the outcome of this? It is happening in France and other


countries where this law has been passed. It is the law of unintended


consequences. I personally believe a loving relationship is one thing,


I don't dispute that. But you don't want people to have the same


rights? Marriage is very special, you can't rewrite the law.


special for you. That it is one man and one woman. Today two eminent


QCs told the Times that it was inconceivable to have a legal


challenge, because the European Court on human rights protects


marriage. Gay marriage has been in the netherlands for over ten years


and Spain for seven years, there is no legal challenge successful. It


is important for people to understand that the Church of


England, the Catholic Church that don't want to do this won't have to.


Why shouldn't other religious organisations, like the quakers,


liberal Jews, Unitarians do it. concerned are you about a split in


the party over this. If it gets through, it won't get through


because of Conservative support, it will be because of Liberal Democrat


and Labour members support it. Are you disappointed that David Cameron


wasn't managed to convince you. He has shown leadership in as much as


he has championed sh, but he has not convinced -- championed it, but


he has not convinced you? The whole way it is raised is unfortunate. If


it was in the general election and we had the opportunity to debate it,


if I had the opportunity to explain my view to the electorate, to


explain why I stood, then I could have said this is what I was going


to do. Is this damaging? David Cameron has made it clear. We did


not stand on this in the manifesto, it wasn't in the coalition


agreement either, I stood my campaign on the coalition agreement.


David Cameron's first speech as party leader to the conference, he


made it clear and won applause. He's reflecting the fact that


attitudes have changed. These laws do come accepted, Ann voted against


civil partnerships when proposed, and now says they are a good thing.


Attitudes have changed. Look what Maria Miller said today, she


likened this to attitudes, prosive attitudes that her party stands d


progressive attitude that is her party stand for, do you accept


that? That is completely different. I don't think you can have a


marriage physically between anything other than a man and a


woman. This could be handled so much better. There is reason to


delay. To delay or not do it at all? I stood on the manifesto, we


were committed, Nick and I, to introduce tax allowances for


married couples, that hasn't gone through, this is proceeding apace,


and if there are court cases they will come before the next election.


How big a landmark will it be for gay people? It will be incredibly


important, it is immensely meaningful, and tomorrow, millions


of people will be watching this vote, and asking themselves whether


actually Members of Parliament are understanding that we are accepting


the place in society. That is all we have time tonight, until


we have time tonight, until tomorrow, a very good night.


The break from the winter weather was all too short, it is back a


cold, icey windy start to Tuesday, some disruptive snow across parts


of northern England. The band of snow across the Pennines, an amber


warning from the Met Office, be prepared for disruption. For south-


east England it is a dry start. Despite the sunshine, colder than


recent mornings. Rain and sleet elsewhere, and stormy in Cornwall,


gusts overnight of 70 miles an hour. Strengthening again during Tuesday.


Watching this area of showers in shout Wales, the valleys with


accumulating snow could cause problems in the morning. Icey in


Wales. Northern Ireland with fresh snow on the ground, after the


showers overnight. Heavy snow showers in Scotland. Blizzards on


the hills. The met thofs amber warning here, particularly across -


- Met Office amber warning here, particularly across the Highland.


No snow settling in the London area it will come later in the day and


will fizzle out, it will feel bitterly cold in the strong winds.


As for Wednesday, it is an Arctic wind, snow showers more to the east


than anywhere else, sunshine on offer. Thursday and Friday, the


What will the lessons of the Stafford hospital scandal be? Plus, the fall of Chris Huhne and the discovery of Richard III. In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Kirsty Wark.

Download Subtitles