17/03/2016 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with James O'Brien.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 17/03/2016. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Could George Osborne's budget be unravelling over disability cuts?


Discontent is brewing among Tory backbenchers.


I think it takes a backward step from where we


So I, with other colleagues, the urging


So I, with other colleagues, are urging


the government to press the pause on it.


We ask - what will the impact be on those effected?


Also, tonight a runnning Newsnight investigation -


another Labour figure, this time an MP, calls


for an inquiry into bullying of Muslim women within the party.


What experiences have you had that are similar? I have had members of


the Labour Party having meetings from which I have excluded from.


And Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, has been laying


out her big vision for the future of schools.


We'll be grilling the schools minister on what it means


With the dizzy political high afforded by the so-called sugar tax


now dissipating, serious scrutiny of some of yesterday's more


substantive budget announcements increased today.


And cuts to support payments currently available to disabled


people could well prove to be the most problematical


Some Conservative MPs have already broken ranks and yet more have


privately expressed concern that George Osborne's plan to save over


?1 billion in Personal Independence Payments unfairly targets some


The Chancellor was getting a lesson in how to change direction with a


bit of elegance. Pupils in this leads school showing him skills that


would be handy for politicians dash getting over daunting obstacles and


bending over backwards. The Chancellor, make himself need to


perform a nifty backflip in the coming days over disability welfare


payments. There is growing disquiet on Conservative benches. We are on


the side of trying to get vulnerable people to be independent, get into


work or continue in work. That is the government is macro agenda, to


improve their life chances. It is a backward step. I would urge other


colleagues to press pause on it. The PIP, brought in in 2013 to replace


the disability living allowance, on Friday the government announced the


way it is calculated for some people, starting next January. We


are looking at the government trying to save more than a billion pounds a


year. It is a relatively small minority of those who are receiving


PIP will lose. But those who will lose will lose significant amounts,


more than ?3000 a year each. In 2013, this was the projection the


new PIP system would save 2.5 Oleon and remove 600,000 claimants. Those


savings never came. Every subsequent forecast has seen the costs rising


and savings further. Without changes to the PIP, this is what the latest


rejection was. With changes, the cost comes down a bit, but rises


again from 2018. In 2010 when the government first introduced the


fiscal consolidation programme, one of the things they did to make the


sums add up, was pencil in a 20% cut in what was then disability living


allowance, which is now the personal independence payment. They never


planned how they would deliver to 20% cut and indeed, they haven't


delivered it. The cuts have been announced in the last week and is a


way of the government finding the money from PIP it promised to cut in


2010, but never delivered. Today, the Chancellor was hinting there may


be some flexibility in the government's position. We have got


to make sure we have a system that works. We have set out proposals to


do that. We are always happy to listen to proposals others may have


on how we can improve on that. But we have got to make sure we control


our disability budget, so as it rises, it absolutely goes to the


people in our society who need it most. Today's photo opportunity was


supposed to project a positive image of the Chancellor and his budget.


That is now in danger, since the savings from disability welfare


payments are set against cuts in capital gains tax, which will almost


exclusively help the better off. It is hard to see who the beneficiaries


to changes to capital gains tax are. But there will be people close to


the top of the income and wealth distribution. In general, these are


going to be right towards the top of the income and wealth distribution.


More Conservative MPs are worried this juxtaposition of tax cuts to


the rich and benefits cuts to some disabled people is poisonous but the


government's reputation. We are more generous than previous governments


in relation to disability. The PIP payments now is much better than the


way Atos callously treated people. But this puts us on the back foot,


when we should be looking at more long-term reform. It is a short-term


fix and looking at other priorities, it doesn't sit so well. As the


Chancellor sat down for breakfast, Whitehall sources were trying to


untangle his budget and the benefit changes, which they insist nothing


to do with it. The reforms to PIP, they say, have come after


consultation an independent review. Nevertheless, it seems likely a


rethink all have to be served up soon.


Joining me now is disability rights campaigner Kaz Aston.


It is tempting to see every cut as callous but the Chancellor is keen


to see money reached the right people. It is not an infinite supply


of money, what is the problem with the proposed changes to PIP? It is


looking at over 200,000 people who will potentially lose ?3000 a year.


You are on a reduced income anyway because you are quite often unable


to work. It will take more pressure to take people to try to earn more


money, or how they will manage, is a big question. But it is putting


pressure on their health. We have got to remember they have a


disability and stress isn't good. It will push them under the knife. What


sort of things will they be spending the ?3000 on a moment? They could be


spending it on extra care and extra support to manage their health. Also


they can go to work and try to do more with their lives or education.


People with a disability don't want to give up, but look at a more


sustainable way to carry on and take an active role in society. The


supply of money isn't infinite, it has been pointed out the overall


expenditure is going up. As a country we spend more on looking


after disabled people than on defence. There is nothing wrong with


that, but there must come a point when every government has the right


to say, we should save a bit there. If you have got to cut money, you


have got to cut many. But for people trying to maintain their health and


be as well and as independent as they can, they need support to do


that. If you put more stress and pressure on them, it is a negative


knock on. We are looking at 44% of the 5.5 million working age


individuals in the UK who have a work limiting health condition,


being in work, being employed. You mentioned people might have to find


ways to raise more money, I don't want to sound like the child catcher


out of Chitty, Chitty bang bang, but working might be the way? A lot of


people don't want to give up work, people with MS, like I have got,


quite have to return earlier because they cannot maintain the pace of


work. With MS, more women have it than men, they have to look after


children and extra pressures as well. So a lot of extra pressure


going on the body, which for example, MS, finds it really hard.


It is difficult to live with. Of course, a couple of Conservative MPs


breaking ranks. I am hearing a few more might we waiting in the wings.


Who is speaking for you politically at the moment, who is speaking for


the recipients? There is a lot going on, a lot of good charities doing


some good work, but this seems to have been rushed through quickly.


Yes, of course, we need to be cutting costs all the time to keep


the country going. However, sometimes you need to put a bit more


thought into it. Is anyone championing disabled people? I know


Jeremy Corbyn is waging war on them, who is defending them? We are having


to fight for ourselves because there are so many agendas. It is quite


lonely. When you are trying to manage your health and your


lifestyle and keep as well as you can, you do feel alone. Many thanks


indeed. Every state school in England


will become an Academy and be removed from local authority


control by the end of 2022, This unprecedented change


to the education system was confirmed in a white paper


unveiled by education Rather than the situation


which existed before in which schools were islands


and stronger heads were unable The weaker schools were left


to languish under the monopoly We now have a system


where the best leaders can take control of those weaker


schools, turn them around, and in doing so, transform the life


chances of young people Outstanding sponsors,


great heads, successful trusts, aren't constrained by


geographical borders. They can extend their reach


to where ever they're needed, whether they can make


that difference. The proposals have already been


criticised by teaching unions, opposition politicians


and educational charities. So why, in the cases


of thriving schools, is the Government apparently


eschewing the age old adage that if it ain't broke, you don't fix it


and what does the future hold School Minister Nick Gibb joins me


now, along with Newsnight's Chris Nick Gibb, the last Labour


government introduced academy status for schools judged to need it. The


Coalition Government extended academy status to schools who really


wanted it. Your government is now imposing it on schools that neither


need or want it? It is an extension of the successful policy of the last


five years. We want to give professionals the autonomy to run


their own school. They do already have that? This is giving them more


autonomy and successful headteachers flourish when they are given the


freedom academy status has brought. That is why we are seeing these good


schools that have become academies, seven percentage points better than


other schools. It gives the headteachers the freedom to run


their own school, but extend the winning formula to other schools, so


they can take what they are doing and apply it to weaker schools in


the area. We want educational excellence in every part of the


country and we leave the helm of those outstanding and teachers to do


that. What does the look of freedom look like at the moment. What are


you targeting? It means freedom over the curriculum, freedom over what


they pay their staff. They have control over the day-to-day running


of the school. The teachers who have had that freedom, they love it.


There are plenty of academies that aren't flourishing? There are, but


the academies programme takes swift action to underperformers. We


enabled the regional school Commissioners around the country to


take action, even changing the sponsor of an academy. This was my


original point, the powers are already in place to help the schools


that need it, the invitation is already in place. Why this


compulsion, why are you forcing it on schools who are already


performing extremely well? Your own department's figures shows me that


of the school body is improving and most successful, it is an


overwhelming majority of them are local authority run. The laws of


logic would suggest you take the massive majority of excess and make


everybody else emulate that is, you are doing it the other way around.


When you look at the figures on the local authority, we have taken out


the worst performing schools. So you can play with statistics. I am not


playing with statistics, the figures dictate every school is included,


the worst performing, the best performing, the slow performing. I


can take you to an academy sponsor... They have taken schools


underperforming and in special measures and transformed them into


or three years to outstanding schools. We want that approach to


happen across the country. Even when teachers don't want it and haven't


asked for it. We want those headteachers to help across the


country. These are the headteachers of some of the best schools in the


country? We want them to help us with the underperforming schools in


their area. It is about spreading the excellence. Only child gets one


chance at education and we have to work together collaboratively and


spread things that are working in those high performing schools. Where


is the evidence? They are improving at twice the


rate. Where is the evidence that taking a primary school already very


good, the one my children go to, for example, and forcing them to become


an Academy is going to make a good school even better? Those schools


that have become voluntarily Academies, the results are 7%


better. I am not asking about the voluntarily changing schools, but


those quite happy with the situation as it is who had been told today


they cannot carry on quite happily and successfully and have the change


for reasons I fail to grasp. This is a five-year plan, we want schools to


be part of a collaborative system, the multi-academy trusts system, to


take what is working in successful schools and spread it to


underperforming schools. There should not be underperforming


schools in Alice Stem and in teaching and in education, we have


to work together to make school every work or school, that is what


parents want -- in our system. I am a parent and my children's school is


brilliant, why do you need to change it? Because we want at school to


help those that are not brilliant. Your children are lucky but many


children go to schools... And failing schools can have Academy


status imposed upon them? We need them to help the other schools. You


broke this story, you would be education correspondent on the


financial Times, have you dug into the detail of these proposals? Yes,


there are big risks that the Minister I am sure will be aware.


One of the biggest is that the Academy chains are just not that big


and not that good at the moment. Especially outside London. The


research shows that are only three chains that reliably, on the


department's figures, improve results faster than the national


average and better. They are all in London, that no Academies outside


that position outside London. This will put enormous power on the


Department of education and will require an enormous amount of


implementation and administration to change the 15,000 schools from one


status to another and the Department of education is a sort of


catastrophe. One of the worst apartment in Whitehall. It was


money, it struggles with budgets, it is very bad at doing basic


administrative things and this is a big implementation risk. Over the


last five years, that 1.4 million more children in good and


outstanding schools today than in 2010. We have formed the primary


curriculum, children are reading better, 120,000 six-year-olds this


year reading more effectively than without the reforms. Emanating from


the Department for education. We have reformed the GCSE


qualifications, putting them on a par with the best in the world. As a


consequence, more young people receive a better of it -- a better


education. This white Paper ensures we take the successes of the last


five years so they apply in every part of the country where for years


they had been languishing with some underperforming schools, that is


what this is about. The successes of the last five years point to the


current system being effective, surely? And not in need of root and


branch change. It is not just GCSE is your department is changing,


A-levels, league tables, funding formulas, cuts. Your own department


describes the workload crisis teaches base. Tenders -- changes


have been mooted for primary assessment. And against that epic


change in difficulty, you insist, incest, Minister, that every single


state school in the country undergoes quite contemplated legal


process that many of them have no desire to undertake whatsoever. You


say Kotze, ?1.6 billion of extra funding. There is a one West! You


can pick one word! We will have a much fairer system of funding. There


has been a lot of change in terms of the curriculum and exam system in


five years and in what is coming to fruition now. Premier schools are


preparing Muslims years. In a time of change, which impose such a


complicated legal process? -- preparing for the last five years.


There will also be a period of stability for the curriculum as the


changes begin and teachers learn how to teach the new curriculum. We have


promised that. But we have to make sure that the excellence we have in


successful schools in this country spreads to every part of the country


and that is why we are changing the teacher training system and


qualification system so every school is a good school. While I have the


pleasure of your company, you saw the film we made about the


disability cuts and some of your Parliamentary colleagues expressing


grave misgivings. It is a while since I did maths, but the


calculations I have done see about ?4.4 billion being taken from


disabled people and about ?5.5 billion being given back to


relatively high earners. This is the return of the nastier party. Not at


all, the PIPs will go up in real terms in every year of this


Parliament and there are more people in receipt of disability benefits as


a consequence of what has happened in the last couple of years than


before. We spent ?50 billion a year on disability benefits. There has


been judicial cases in recent years that have extended PIPs that we


introduced to help disabled people deal with the extra costs of


day-to-day life as a consequence of their disability. Some of those


cases have extended PIPs the people who do not have two incur extra


costs as a consequence of their disability and that is why the


government has consulted on how to address that issue and we will be


consulting disability groups and Members of Parliament as we can


comment those reforms. Many thanks indeed.


The Labour MP for Bradford West, Naz Shah, has revealed details


of what she claims are attempts by members of her local party


She decided to speak out after a Newsnight investigation


into the blocking of women entering politics in wards with high numbers


Last week, the Luton MP Gavin Shuker told Newsnight's Katie Razzall


that he had felt extremely pressured by elements within the party to stay


silent about things he knew to be true.


Labour's National Exectuive Committe has already taken over control


Tonight, Naz Shah has been talking to Katie about her own experiences.


But first, a quick reminder of the story.


Six weeks ago, we broadcast claims by Muslim women


that the Labour Party had a problem in its ranks.


The charity Muslim Women's Network UK wrote to Jeremy Corbyn,


talking of systematic misogyny by Muslim men in his party.


We spoke to women who told us they had been sabotaged and blocked


People were just turning up at my family home and trying


Because I didn't have my father's consent and support,


Labour officials must be allowing this to happen.


After that report, more women approached us with experiences


they said they'd had of the so-called biraderi,


a kind of patriarchal clan politics that's often seen as an import


These included councillors and ex-councillors from the party.


I had phone calls to say, your son is five, do you want him


Stuff was posted through my letterbox and when I opened it,


a picture of a Page Three nude model and a picture of my


Throughout our investigation, we've heard allegations of threats,


pressure put on families and other tactics used against women,


Though up till now, nobody in this town felt willing to go on camera.


That was until our second report aired last Friday night.


After watching it, the Labour MP for Bradford West, Naz Shah,


wrote a stinging piece in the Huffington Post,


saying the women's testimonies resonated with her because she'd


experienced similar bullying and intimidation.


She's agreed to talk to me exclusively about what's


going on in the Labour Party, in seats like these.


What experiences have you had that are similar to the women we have


spoken to our investigation? I have had members of the Labour Party


having meetings I have been excluded from. When those meetings have


happened, I have been discussed and it has been agreed, somebody had a


printed picture of me, somebody had an article printed of me and it was


agreed they would look for further evidence to desecrate my character


because I am a Muslim. In Muslim woman living in Bradford, that would


really be very damaging for me culturally. What kind of picture? A


picture of me and a friend at a party. Was it. There was a bar


behind. I have not got a drink in my hand, I do not drink alcohol, but it


was damaging. I was asked in my campaign between Labour members in


one campaign office whether I was in a relationship with a serving MP at


the time. I said, no, and I said, why? You would not ask a man that


question. I challenged them and it was interesting. It was the kind of


misogyny that exists, it is shocking. How does it work? The


women from the communities we have spoken to say they are blocked and


the selection process is dubious. Yes, it is because what happens is


you have people, you have people that are agreed you will be selected


and you will tell people how the boat and they will vote that.


Amongst my six wards, there are some very dubious practices in some of


those wards, not all sex, I must say. There is a higher number, I


hired volume of Pakistani membership, that is a fact. -- a


higher number. Where there is a higher number of Pakistani


membership, it is a culture of gatekeeping and power politics for


the sake of having power and that power resides with the men. How do


this small number of men have the power? They control the electorate,


it is family loyalties, climbed loyalties, a Pakistani model of


doing things, which means you will follow your parents and your family,


how your family will support that person. I have had good guys from


the community who have said, please, please lot will never let you win


another election, they will ruin you, just back down. Do you think


that is true? A lot of women claim they were deselected because they


were too vocal as councils. Could you be ousted? Absolutely. Because


they control the electorate. And it is cultural, not religious? Let us


be clear, this is not a Muslim issue. If anything, I get my


strength from my religion to address this because inequality is not


accepted in my religion. I get strength to challenge this had on


through my faith. It is a difficult issue. People worry about appearing


racist if they talk about it, do they? Let us be clear, there are


times when you cannot address something because you will be seen


as attacking that community. Never so much as now because of


Islamophobia and the rise of that, do we tackle it, does it look like I


am attacking my own community? No, I am doing the right thing, whether


you are Muslim, white, black, Asian, pink, it does not matter, what is


wrong is wrong. That has to be our starting point. It has to be for


democracy, politics needs women. And women deserve better. Do you think


the Labour Party is doing enough in this area? In terms of my


experiences, I have had the most support from the Labour Party


leadership. I am meeting with Jeremy Corbyn next week to look at these


issues. I have had support from fellow women MPs, male MPs, I really


have been supported, I have not had, experienced anything to stop what I


am trying to do. Muslim Women's Network UK want an Independent


enquiry by the Labour Party in this and they have Britain to Jeremy


Corbyn scheme for it, do you support that? Absolutely. Do you think they


will get that? Yes, I do not see why not, Labour being transparent in


terms of fairness and justice and equality, we stand for that. I put


that in my article, it is in my DNA and the Labour Party DNA and we


should be transparent and open and if we need to be doing anything


including an enquiry, we should do that. Why have you spoken out now?


It is incumbent upon me, there is more reason to speak about it


because I have come through the system. I have a responsibility to


other women behind me and those women that do not help women, they


say there is a special place in hell for them and I do not want to be


there, simple. Naz Shah talking to


Katie Razzall there. And the Labour Party have given us


the following statement. "The Labour Party has been


at the forefront of the fight We have transformed


the representation of women in politics and championed equality


for women in the workplace. Any complaints or evidence


of sexism, intimidation, received by the Labour Party


are dealt with fairly, according to our


procedures and the law." EU leaders are tonight


desp Party erately It's an urgent task,


nnot just because a tidal wave of humanity continues


to wash up on Greek shores, but also because the 28 heads


of member states need to establish a united front before presenting it


to the Turkish Prime Minister While the Dutch Prime Minister has


spoken of the crisis being curtailed within a month of a deal


being reached, his Lithuanian and Belgian counterparts have


questioned the morality and even the legality of a plan to see


all migrants travelling to Greece Damian Grammaticas is at


the summit in Brussels. any sign of that deal? As we are


talking now, the world filtering out is a leaders seem to be dotting the


eyes and crossing the tea on that consensus. One thing is legal


safeguards to guarantee that any refugee landing in Greece will get a


hearing of their asylum claim before they could be returned. The second


thing, is dealing with the concerns of Cyprus, which has a very troubled


relationship with Turkey. I'm trying to progress Turkey's membership bid


for the EU while keeping Cyprus's concerns in view as well. Turkey


doesn't acknowledge or recognise the Cypriots government, so that is a


stumbling block. Any others? If the leaders wrap up this deal, as we are


hearing now, in the morning the Turkish Prime Minister will be here


and it will be put to him. He will have two signed off on it as well.


That is when you might see the most difficult negotiations, particularly


over the EU saying they would take around 70,000 refugees from Turkey


directly to the EU, in return for all of those being sent back to


Turkey. That might not be acceptable to the Turks. They have said they


don't want to become a holding pen for huge numbers of refugees heading


for the EU. So many, many people might not be covered by these talks.


Difficult talks ahead. Staying with the EU,


the Polish Deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was in London


earlier this week and was interviewed by Evan Davies,


who began by asking him how worried he is by the prospect of Britain


voting to leave the EU. I hope that the UK will remain


as part of the European Union We have some geopolitical


turbulence around us. In particular, when you look


at the eastern border lines of the European Union,


they are not as secure We have the situation in the Ukraine


and in Russia and it is better to be Can we talk about


the migrant crisis? Because you talk about these


geopolitical differences. It is an agreement that will be


taking probably quite a lot of Syrians from Turkey for putting


into the European Union, And I am wondering how many


Poland is happy to take? In Poland, we have a very specific


situation because of the war We actually have accepted


355,000 refugees. Not only refugees, but migrant


workers, different people. In this figure, we also find many


people who escape from the situation And with regard to the refugees,


we also agreed to a figure to accommodate a specific number


of refugees from the Middle East. For a country of more


than 50 million people. And I wonder whether you'd be much


better defending the rights of Poles to go to Britain, or the rights of


Poles to get benefits in Germany... First, I would love those Poles


to come back to Poland. You're very good at defending,


if you like, migrants' rights when they're Polish migrants,


but you have been very much less... Migrants coming to Spain and Italy


from Northern Africa. We have people, refugees


from the Middle East. I think the European Union has


to take all those three elements of the whole refugee


jigsaw into consideration. And we have helped to accommodate


lots of refugees from the Ukraine. When we look at the clash of values,


Western Europeans are frankly very worried about some of the things


the Polish government They're worried about the commitment


to what they would think Does it worry you that there


is clearly a division? There is a split, but


the split is obvious. We have been left after


the Second World War and we have not Because of a frozen economy,


some economists say. And we are now catching up


in terms of the economy. In terms of the democratic


standards, we are actually up to the standards which


are in Western Europe, Look at the level of corruption,


for instance, which is Corruption has actually


been dropping. Poland is on a very strong global


compared to countries like Italy or Spain, which are probably viewed


by many Western Europeans How long do you think it will be


before Poland reaches an income level, a wage level,


that means Polish workers will not want to be leaving and going


to richer countries in Western Well, I hope this level,


we will be able to reach quite soon. Our current predictions


for the average salary level in the European Union


are around 2030. They are now on the level of 70%,


69-70% of average EU. But you don't have to be


on 100 not to migrate. I hope it will happen over the next


five to seven years. Deputy Prime Minister,


thank you very much indeed. Optogenetic treatment of neurons


spawning dendritic spines This is neither a Scrabble crib


sheet nor a sesquipedalian's fantasy sequence, but a process


by which memories previously believed to have been banished


by Alzheimer's disease can New research at the Picower


Institute of Memory and Learning at the Massachusetts Institute


of Technology has been conducted on mice with Alzheimers-like


symptoms, but the ramifications for humanity could


prove considerable. Dr Susumu Tonegawa is the research


leader and a former winner Professor, what have you been doing


and what are you most excited about? With Alzheimer's disease, it is well


known that before the signature of this disease appears, there is a


period of a few years where patients already show mammary impairments. --


memory. Many researchers hoped is because these patients cannot form


new mammary. We have shown in mouse models, these mice can form new


memory very well. But they cannot retrieve the memory. That is the


most exciting finding. The second exciting finding is we could cure


this impairment of memory recall by increasing the connection of spines


on the memory holding cells. Just a natural recall, the mouse showed


normal, retrievable memory. I am going to embarrass myself, but you


create these spines by shining a special type of light onto them?


Yes, that is exactly what we did. It is a technology called Optogenetics.


These memory sells, apply strength of Lou light, -- bluelight, we could


increase the spine density of these memory bearing cells. The extension


of this technology to human beings is within reach? It depends on


technological development. Among the experts, the opinion is not the


same. Some optimistic people will say some kind of a cure will be


based on this type of principle can be done within the next few years,


maybe three or four years. But more conservative engineers and


researchers would say, it will take longer than that. What would you


say, professor? I am not really an expert on this. I am not an


engineering person. But I would be cautious. I make sure this type of


research will provide us with precise information about where in


the brain the brain cells should be activated. So I would be


conservative, but eventually I think this type of experimental results


will help engineers and surgeons to target specific small areas of the


brain to simulate, to reduce the disorder. Many thanks indeed.


Congratulations. Thank you very much. That is all we have time for


tonight. Good night. Cloud is going to be a feature in


the weather story over the next few days and a lot of it. It has been


spilling into the North Sea and will continue


Download Subtitles