10/04/2014 Newsnight


With Laura Kuenssberg. Nigel Evans is found not guilty, Greece returns to the bond market and Akram Khan talks about choreographing part of the London 2012 opening ceremony.

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As many of you know I have gone through 11 months of hell. Cleared,


Nigel Evans, the former Deputy Speaker, another very public


prosecution of sex offences fails, but one of the men who testified in


the case tells Newsnight he feels humiliated. And parliament has to


change. Even though we work in one big building together, there was no


mechanism to deal with this problem. There still isn't. We will be


talking live to Nigel Evans' lawyer. The drug meant to protect us from a


flu pandemic might not work. The research on Tamiflu is finally out


in the open. Remember this? Two years since Greece nearly crashed


out of the euro, but today the markets actually want to buy up its


debts, is it time to call off the crisis.


We will ask a former MP and one of Gordon Brown's key business


advisers. A... 80,000 people went quiet, the


silence of 80,000 people is very loud. Dancer Akram Khan tells us how


terrifying it was to choreograph the Olympics.


After the journey from the speaker's chair to the dock, Nigel Evans says


nobodying will the same again. The MP was cleared of charges of sexual


offences against seven young men, on the steps of the court he said there


was no young women. A deliberate echo of the Coronation Street car,


Bill Roache, cleared of similar charges earlier this year. As


another high-profile case fails to secure conviction as wave of


Conservative MPs are calling for change at the Crown Prosecution


Service service, one of the seven men at the centre of the case he


feels has told Newsnight feels angry.


In my darkest and loneliest times there were only two or one sets of


foot prints in the sand. For those of you of fate will know, they


weren't mine. The fact is I have work to do. It is the work that I


have done for the last 22 years. Nigel Evans burst into tears as he


was cleared of all charges at Preston Crown Court, he stood in the


dock, hands clasped, listening as each of the nine "not guilty"


verdicts were read out in turn. Mr Nigel Evans was elected Deputy


Chairman of ways and means. In 2010 he was one of three MPs elected to


the high-profile role of Deputy Speaker, he stepped down last


September to fight the charges of sexual assault and rape. The


56-year-old was alleged to have used his political influence to take


advantage of young male victims, often while drunk, often in bars and


clubs near the House of Commons. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome


our Prime Minister, David Cameron. Following today's not guilty verdict


the Prime Minister led a long line of MPs offering their backing. It is


hard to imagine the relief that Nigel must feel after such a


traumatic time. I very much welcome what he said on the steps of the


court and I think everyone should pay heed to that. I'm sure to get on


with working with his constituents in the Ribble Valleys and for the


future I'm sure it is something he will be discussing with the Chief


Whip when he returns to parliament. But on the Internet and across


Westminster there was also sharp criticism of both the police and the


CPS, both in private and in public, many Tory MPs were asking how this


case ever got to court in the first place. In truth it wasn't long after


this trial started that the prosecution case started to fall


apart. Witnesses changed their Tories in the dock, victims gave


contradictory evidence. One accuser, a young university student said he


had been drinked champagne and gin at the MP's local pub and his home


last year. He told police he was pushed into the bedroom and forcibly


undressed by Evans, in court he said there was no pushing, he had taken


off his own clothes and passed up the chance to sleep in daven room.


Three of the seven men called to give evidence against Evans didn't


want the MP arrested or charged in the first place. One said: To be


honest I didn't think there were any grounds to be charged: I


Decisions to prosecute are made on paper, somebody has to look at the


wider picture. If you have an individual that doesn't want to come


to court for whatever reason, the wider picture may be that the whole


case depends on lots of individuals. You can't give the decision


necessarily to an individual witness as a prosecutor you have to look at


the case as whole. Today the police defended the decision to bring


charges, saying they have to investigate no matter what role the


accused hold. We worked with the Crown Prosecution Service at an


early stage, and all the evidence was subject to careful scrutiny


before a decision was taken to charge. Particularly where


complainants didn't see themselves as victims. Only after very careful


consideration was the decision made to put this before a jury and the


belief that there was sufficient evidence to justify a realistic


prospect of conviction. Today's emphatic not guilty verdict may be a


huge relief to Nigel Evans. But the detail of went on in bars in Soho


are embarrassing to the MP, during the case he admitted to making


repeated passes to younger staff. One of the victims said he didn't


see it was a criminal offence, but there may be something about the


culture of parliament that made this possible. He said at some point


there will be a major Skandia that will make -- scandal that will make


this case look like small fry. There is a new Code of Conduct following


the Evans case, but it is entirely voluntary, another bullying advice


line for parliamentary staff is being launched. Those who have


worked in parliament say the pressures of the job can often leave


people alone and vulnerable. I think after a while people end up


in many, many occasions drinking too much, I think that naturally because


of the late hours they stay away from their family and their staying


on -- they are staying on their own in Westminster, they get lonely in


the job. They end up having strong bonds with a researcher because they


are working crazy hours together, hours which are stressful. You put


that together and this is a sense in which people form relationships


which are perhaps inappropriate, they end up having affairs because


they are way from home and drinking too much and having a lifestyle that


isn't perhaps a healthy lifestyle. Nigel Evans left court cleared of


any wrongdoing, he acknowledged from today his life was never going to be


the same again. Reforming the heavy drinking high-pressure culture of


Westminster could take a good while longer.


Earlier tonight I spoke to one of the men who made the allegations


about Mr Evans. He wanted to remain anonymous. But I asked him first how


did he feel about today's verdict? I'm really angry, I was a bit upset


at first but I have just been really angry all afternoon, I have not been


able to do any work. What are you angry about? I'm angry because I


felt when I went to give evidence and I was cross-examined it was, I


knew it was going to be difficult, but I found it very humiliating and


degrading. How did it make you feel when you were in the witness box,


being spoken to in that way? I felt like I, I can remember the defence


barrister smiling when he would trip me up by words saying what did I


mean by this and that. It was confusing and scary. Why didn't you


go to the police at the time? The next day I got on the train home and


I did Google sort of Victim Support. I didn't find much for men and I was


very conscious of the fact that because he was a public figure what


this would mean with it being in the press and in the papers. The fact


that I used to work in parliament so even though I would get anonymity,


everyone of my old friends would know and I didn't want people to


know, but eventually I decided that something I had to do something. I


thought that it might happen again. There was a message that went to


party whips earlier on about his behaviour and you had been working


in parliament, do you feel that the parties took it seriously at the


time. I don't think any of the main parties know what to do. The strange


thing about parliament is they make the laws but they don't like any,


they don't like a place of business. They don't have a HR department, our


bosses are technically as it were self-employed and we are all small


businesses so we have, even though we work in one big buiing together,


there was no mechanism to deal with this problem. There still isn't. So


you were too scared of the potential public ramifications if you told the


police? And the political parties you didn't feel would take it


seriously enough. No, I know that the, they were certainly aware that


MPs and young 20-something researchers who are vulnerable


because they fear for their careers and all the hard work that they do


can be just thrown away in an instant, and I think a lot of


people, senior people count on that, that it can be brushed under the


carpet. Do you accept though that different people have different


interpretations of what is acceptable, especially in a


highly-charged environment, when there is a lot of alcohol around?


Yeah. There are some young researchers who certainly enjoy the


contact that they get. And that is entirely up to them. But there are


plenty, if not most who don't appreciate that at all, and they


just want to work and they got into politics that they want to change


the world. But they find that when they get there they have got to put


up with a lot of stuff. Some of the witnesses in this case


I know if you are a defence barrister that is your job, I don't


feel like my evidence changed, think when I properly spoke to the police


and gave my interview, that was recorded, from then on you know my


line was very clear. I think. So that's my opinion on that. There


have been suggestions some of this was some kind of plot? I don't


understand the logic behind that. I have lost everything in this last


year and had to slowly rebuild my life, I had ambitions for a


political career after working in parliament and I don't see that as a


real possibility any more. It has taken me almost a year to get a new


job outside of politics. Mr Evans said there was


If cases are going to be prosecuted by more senior barristers, larger


police resources, which may well be appropriate, because serious


complaints such as rape should be properly investigated, of course


they should. The defence need that equality of arms to combat them.


Fortunately Mr Evans was able to pay for private legal fees. Many people


KRNTHS and the attack on Legal Aid will see continued miscarriages of


justice in the future. What would you like to see change in the


systems, there is a lot of calls for anonymity of defendants in these


cases, would you support that? There is a view that a lot of people came


forward about the Savile case, because they had seen it on


television. There are many, many protections that are forwarded,


afforded sorry, to the genuine victims of sexual assaults. They are


guaranteed anonymity for life. Defendants are not guaranteed any


anonymity. There is a strong view amongst many defence lawyers that


anonymity should be guaranteed up to the point that somebody is


convicted. Just briefly, I'm afraid we are running out of time, briefly


Mr Evans spoke outside the court, and he did through the course of the


trial admit to some behaviour that many people would find


inappropriate. Does he accept that he did anything wrong, do you think?


Mr Evans is a single man, he had close friendships with people ooh if


we take anybody's life and lay it out in front of a court of law,


under the microscope of the media things will come out. He's a decent


man, he's a decent politician, he cares deeply about his constituents,


and I wish him a long career in parliament. Thank you very much


indeed for joining us from Salford tonight. Now, the drugs don't work!


Or at least that's the claim made today. The Government has already


paid almost ?5 million for stockpiles of the antiviral Tamiflu,


bought up when there were fears of a bird flu pandemic that could wipe


out hundreds of thousands of people. But a group of searchers has today


said it doesn't actually prevent the spread of flu or reduce dangerous


complay mytations -- complication and has little more effect than


taking paracetamol. Are they right? It has taken time to come to this


conclusion because the drug company refused legally to hand over their


data. What is going on? How can you spend more than ?400


million on a drug that just doesn't seem to work terribly well. That, it


seems, it what the last British Government did. From 2006 it built


up a stockpile of Tamiflu, a drug for people who have the flu, to help


the country in the event of a major pandemic. But the Cochrane


Collaboration, announced today it believes Tamiflu may be of very limb


-- limited, while they found it would shorten flu symptoms by half


way. There was no good evidence to support claims it reduced admissions


to hospital. It announced increased risk of suffering from nausea and


vomiting after taking the drug. The big question is why we ended up


buying so much Tamiflu. Governments have always had the responsibility


to deal with contagious diseases. I'm here at the site of the Soho


cholera epidemic. That was pretty easy to solve. All the omissions had


to do was take the handle off water pump. Flu, however, is much harder


to deal with. Many think of the flu as a few days in bed. It is however


a fast growing disease, if it morphs into a particular strain it can


cause devastation. The so called Spanish flu killed 228,000 British


people. The purchase of Tamiflu was fuelled by fear of a repeat. What if


a bird flu turned into a lethal human disease? The Government's risk


register noted that a new flu pandemic might cause 750,000 deaths.


Would the emergency services cope if, as the worst case scenario


planning implied, one in five people were too sick to work? Tamiflu was


insurance against a catastrophe. But why did the British Government not


look at the evidence that the Cochrane researchers were looking at


before deciding to buy all the Tamiflu. They couldn't, the company


that makes Tamiflu only recently released the data. I think the most


extraordinary thing here is in refusing to hand over this


information for half a decade, they broke no law. And in fact that's


really the problem here. Our regulatory framework is broken and


drug companies and researchers are routinely and legally withholding


vitally important information about the results on clinical trials in


treatments we used to. Doctors, researchers and patients can't make


informed decisions about which treatment is best as long as this is


permitted. We need clear legislation to ensure all trials on all the


treatments currently being used are made fully, publicly available. So


why does that missing trial data matter? So let as imagine I'm trying


to sell a new fictional drug. I perform lots of tests and I get all


of these results for it. That vertical line there, that is the


average result. Now, let's imagine I don't publish all the results. By


hiding some of the data I can shift the average. Or suppose I publish


all of the results but I don't publish that generated them. And


what if my research wasn't totally air tight? The real effects might be


different from the one that is I'm claiming. And that is what the


Cochrane research essay they came to when they looked at the data on


Tamiflu. That conclusion is strongly rejected by Roche who insist it is a


vital treatment for flu. Senior he officials in the department say it


was still the right decision to stockpile Tamiflu. They say it might


not be strong enough but when you are worried about pandemics you get


all the help you can get. We invited guests into the studio but nobody


was available. I'm joined by one of the writers report, and the


Professor of Experimental Medicine at Imperial College. You advised the


Government on this issue, what is the point of spending hundreds of


millions on Tamiflu if it doesn't work that well? It is important to


recognise it does work under some circumstances. It doesn't probably


work under some of the circumstances when we use it. But if it is used


early there is no doubt it is an effective antiviral drug. But the


researchers have gone through every piece of data and every review and


survey on the drug, and are you sure we shouldn't have any reservations


at all and say we have to have it and haven't got an option. We spend


?500 million on it. We have to ask Carl on t the review they have done


is a very useful thorough piece of work where they have looked at not


all the data, all the published work, and new evidence that has come


to light. I'm very pleased that has been done. Which the drug company


held on to for five years? That im think that the evidence that


Tamiflu is a good drug to prevent that sort of severe disease is


rather strong. That wasn't what the new study was about. Are you


actually saying we should scrap using this drug? Yes, I am saying


that. What we have a difference of opinion here is I'm talking to you


about the gold standard evidence, randomised contr trials. What Peter


is talking about observational data, what he sees on the ground. That is


a much lower level of evidence. That shouldn't be used to establish


treatment effectiveness. We have learned that over the last 30 years,


that is where we have established the Cochrane collaboration. The drug


isn't as effective as it might be, isn't it better than nothing in a


serious situation? What was shown in 2005 is in the UN report there would


be many deaths, only 90 worldwide at that point. Since that time we


purchased 14 million doses of the drug. We have had continual concerns


over flu. The unintended consequences is increase in


emergency admissions out of hours going through the roof. What should


happen if we use it in an intensive care population, which is an


interesting trial, we should do the clinical trials for that population.


It should be a non-manufacturer trial, but a publicly-funded trial,


that would provide the answer. To use observational data is


misleading. He says you're misleading? I don't think it is,


there are different standards of trial, and the standards that Carl


is asking for are the highest possible standards. The trouble is


if you restrict your evidence gathering to only those studies that


pass your very, very narrow, highest, most stringent standards,


you throw out a lot of useful information that may reflect better


the way in which he ought to be using these drugs. I agree this is


the gold standard and what we should be aspiring to, but in reality it is


so difficult to get public funding for studies of this sort. I would


love that to be easier. That is not the case, the UK has a budget of ?1.


4 billion year. What you are vague is not practice evidence-based


evidence, let's practice what we see, observation, and opinion. It is


clear can you do clinical trials in high-risk populations, we have done


it with people on the roadside when they have traffic accidents. We did


a trial of steroids shown to be harmful. We do need to do the


clinical trials. However, if we only find it useful in that small


population, which is important. And the immunosuppressed population, why


are we stockpiling it for all of us in the community. It doesn't make


sense. Use the money to do the important clinical trials. I totally


agree, we have to do evidence-based medicine, we have to do the proper


studies, lots of things which we thought were really beneficial we


have thrown out. Do you agree we should stop stockpiling? Absolutely,


I was on the panel that ultimately agreed we ought to stockpile. I


think we have to remember we were stockpiling against an eventuality


that was much more severe than what developed in 2009/10: Should we get


more Tamiflu just in case? It would be irresponsible for us not to have


a stockpile. If one of these highly pat though -- pathogenic strains


arrives, it is not that we will use it but a sensible precaution. After


five years to get the data from Roche, it is essential all the


research is given to researchers. What would you feel if we just carry


on buying Tamiflu? I think what's happening and the problem is, if we


keep buying Tamiflu we are stopping do the research and it is blocking


innovation to come to the best strategies. We should use that money


to come up with alternative strategies. You can't just go let's


have a fear approach to healthcare. We cannot afford to do that. We must


leave it there I am afraid. Thank you very much. You might not quite


be in time to start smashing the plates in celebration, but the put


upon population of Greece has something to cheer about, their


economy. The country today reentered the bond market. In other words


Greece looks a good enough bet for financial types who want to buy up


their debt. That means they are trusted enough to be able to pay it


back one day. Can we call off the euro crisis at last. I'm joined from


Athens by an economist who was a member of the Greek parliament until


a couple of years ago. And a Government minister and adviser to


Gordon Brown. Firstly to Athens, does it feel where you are like it


might be time to call off the crisis? No, I think that would be


completely irresponsible to say, and no-one, even those extremely happy


about the news today would even dare to even think something like that.


We're really far away from saying that the crisis is over. This is


just a movement that generate, if you wish, a positive signals in the


market that we are some how on the right track. We could have done


without it we never the less decided to go ahead with the issue, and that


is pretty much what it is so far. We should be with our heads between our


shoulders. Two years ago we were talking still about the potential


collapse of the eurozone. Greece looked like it was in massive,


massive problems. Nobody could have dreamt then they would be returning


to the markets 24-months later. Surely this is a corner being


turned? Yes, it means that for two years now all the European Union


organisations got together and tried to guarantee as much as they could


the coalition of the 17 member states of the eurozone so we would


not have one of the members fall out, and as a result the breakdown


of the euro. And today really what it shows, it is not just the


issuance of the Greek bond to the market, but really an issuance of


the European Union reforms that have been taking place for the last two


years that basically guarantee the fact that if ever Greece would have


a problem the organisations and institutions of the zone, the


eurozone are strong enough to handle it. With borrowing costs falling for


Greece and many of the European countries, does this show that


essentially the central banks have just solved it by issuing blank


cheques, or has austerity worked? I think it is more a reflection of the


state of the European, rather than the state of Greece or some other


countries. Some countries have done fatastically well in their reforms,


for example Ireland. But really I think what the market is showing its


confidence in is Mario Dragi saying he would do whatever it takes. The


head of the European Central Bank? Yes. I don't think it is a vote of


confidence in the economic measures. The crisis has gone from the acute


to the chronic. There is extremely long road ahead of reforms. The real


economy is still suffering. I mean Greece has had 25%, a quarter of its


GDP wiped out. It has unemployment, one in two young people, more than


one in two young people are unemployed. It actually has


deflation, which make its debt burden higher. The debt burden is


essentially unsolvable. It may have liquidity but it is unsolvable. When


there was those rumours of Greece crashing out of the currency with


unknown contagion, it is a better position that people thought we


would be in now? Of course it is a much better position. Because the


existential part of the crisis is over. However, the real crisis that


people feel, you know, the one in four people who are unemployed, the


fact that there is a debt burden, there is still going to have to be a


restructured of the debt to make it affordbling. What is the feeling


amongst people who live there, who are not paying attention to what the


bond markets are up to. What is the feeling of the population? I took a


taxi to come to the studio here and I was asking about that myself. I


also walked around to just let you know that there is not very much of


a feeling, neither of happiness nor of sadness. It is kind of neutral.


Very well said, we have about 60% plus youth unemployment, 30% regular


unemployment, Greeks have lost 30% of their GDP, as long as liquidity


in the market is not out there, and people don't feel that they have a


present let alone a future. I don't think it is appropriate to suggest


that anyone down the road is going to be feeling any happiness about


the issuance of bonds today. Is there any sense of gratitude to the


rest of Europe for writing those blank cheques. Angela Merkel the


German leader in Greece tomorrow, she was massively attacked and


treated with huge hostility previously, will she be, maybe not


welcomed, but perhaps at least tolerated when she visits tomorrow


do you think? I think there is a big misunderstanding here, and several


degrees of separation between the citizen down the street and Angela


Merkel and the troika and the west. What I'm trying to say is that


basically our problem in Greece is a structural problem. We have a broken


productive system, and we haven't really done very much to reform


that. This is what you do see daily in the streets, you see still an


overly bureaucratic market, an overly bureaucratic economy that


stifle, if you like, innovation, entrepeneurship, and the rather


unpredictable rules that change every day about three new taxes


indicators that are changing every single day that stifles people's


ability to do any type of activity, that is very much the view out


there. That is the view from Athens, but how will we however know when


there has been success, if it is not the markets being confident enough


to think that Greeks will pay their debts back, which is a big step, how


will we know when everything is fine? First of all I'm not saying,


and I don't think anybody said that the markets are confident enough to


think that the Greek also pay their debt back. The they are confident


enough to believe that the European Union and the ECB will stand behind


the Greek debt. There is only one test at the end of it which is


employment, growth, investment. And the lives of real people. That is


when we will know. By the way that will be years, if not longer,


decades perhaps. Thank you very much . Juliette Binoche and Kylie Minogue


aren't too shabby as partners on the potential dance floor, Akram Khan,


one of the best-loved British choreographers has worked with them


both, as well as a host of other stars. Khan, who trained as a


traditional Indian dancer is breaking new ground with a show he


devised with the English National Ballet. We have been to take a look.


There are many different layer that is we have to touch upon. And the


poetic body, the spiritual body. The politic Kalt body, the message --


political body, the message you are getting through that body, it is not


just an athletic body, a religious body. Akram Khan, dancing the lead


in his own piece, Dust, at the Barbican in London. He's joined by


tap ma a Roho of the English National Ballet. It is an unusual


collaboration for a man with a background in Indian dance. But then


it is an unusual work, about the First World War. I was fascinated


about the idea of women moving from, you know, bei regarded as housewives


to suddenly being workers in a factory. They had to build


ammunition, weapons and lots of different things, they had to look


after wounded soldiers. And so the role of women transformed. In


society, the way society works and that was a pivitol moment for me.


The interest in me was to reflect through the idea of trenches in the


Second World War. I don't know if it was all method and you made them


live in a trench for a week? I would have loved to do that. What a good


idea! Now we all lead busy lives and don't get to contemporary dance as


often as we would like. If you are thinking you haven't seen Akram


Khan's work before, think again. We eventually got on stage, on that


day and 80,000 people went quiet. The silence of 80,000 people is very


loud. It is epic. So it was not silence, it was almost distorting in


your ears. That freaked me out a little bit! In what way, you thought


my gosh we are at really something special here? Something special and


if you mess out you don't have a second show to try to rectify it!


Kicking off the London Games was something the young Akram Khan could


hardly have dreamt of, the son of Bengali immigrants growing up over


their restaurant in south London. I never imagined I would be at the


Olympic, I remember watching the Olympics opening and being


completely in awe of the ceremonies that we saw, but I never thought I


would be part of T As dancer and choreographer, Khan's background is


in a classical Indian tradition. But not exclusively. I was inspired by


Michael Jackson, Charley chaplain, Bruce Lee, all my heros. A Newsnight


mash-up, apologies. But as he performs with the English National


Ballet by night, by day he's here rehearsing a different piece with


these students from the national youth dance company. They are


appearing at Sadler's Wells next week. Slow, slow, don't rush me,


pull me up, even this. It has to feel heavy. You just come out of


this move. It is amazing to push yourself to your limit and do things


to more extreme, it is more challenging, it is different to any


choreography I have done before. There is a lot more to it, something


deeper. A lot of his work is spiritual. He will come in and say


something, like a sentence and all of a sudden you have a whole newer P


pective on what -- new perspective on what the movement is and how it


should feel. He sheds different light on everything. This group


disproves the theory that watching YouTube videos makes teenagers idle.


It is an inspiration. We didn't have that in our time, this group are far


more advanced than I was when I was 16 for sure. Because they have the


access through the computer to so many different art forms. But for me


it is not the final outcome, you know. Y can't learn everything on


YouTube. From here, again, hold it, more, more, give more to your body.


You can't get it from a computer, or even from a class. Akram Khan's


story is that you have to dance to the beat of a different drum. The


choreography is just the structure for you to get through to the end.


Between A and B, the beginning and the end. The structure is only there


for it to be a guide, a Road Map. Almost as amazing as the Olympics


ceremony, the front pages just in. The Guardian:


Perish the thought that you have been checking your work e-mails


while watching us at the same time. But if you have been in France you


wouldn't have even had the chance. They have just introduced rules to


protect about a million workers from work e-mail outside office hours


between 9.00am and 6.00pm. Employees will have to switch off their work


phones and e-mails. We tried to talk to a French guest about this but


they weren't answering their devices. What could they have been


doing instead? Bon N uit! Temperatures falling sharply


outside, a chilly start to Friday morning. Cloudy across parts of the


Midlands and East Anglia, early showers, mist


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

Nigel Evans is found not guilty, Greece returns to the bond market and Akram Khan talks about choreographing part of the London 2012 opening ceremony.

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