15/04/2016 Newsnight


With Kirsty Wark. More on Labour MP Ian Lavery's financial affairs. Have authorities in Norway been too zealous in child protection? And vinyl - why do we still love it?

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At the end of a week of more questions about the financial


and sexual conduct of politicians and the rumour mill in overdrive


about a super injunction, what do we have a right to know?


Tonight we have more on the financial affairs of Labour


And we'll be talking to the deputy editor of the Sunday Times


and a lawyer for Hacked Off about privacy.


It's a parent's nightmare - having your child taken


Have authorities in Norway been too zealous in their approach


to child protection, separating families who have


"Marius, I think they are going to take the baby."


And, on the eve of Record Store Day - why does


In the Newsnight studio a rare beast - a man who cuts


On Newsnight last night we brought you another story of financial


morality to add to the rich mix of the Panama Papers.


This one concerns not princes, prime ministers and presidents,


but a Labour MP, several instances of non-disclosure of very


large sums of money and the Labour Party hierarchy,


who, when John Sweeney repeatedly asked for an explanation,


Ian Lavery has been the MP for Wansbeck since 2010, and before


that he was the General Secretary of the National Union


As a union official he should have declared his preferential union


As an MP he should have declared some very large redundancy figures,


but the figures he did declare don't add up.


Politicians of right an left are struggling to catch up with the age


of transparency. Date dump, embarrassed David Cameron


of his father's tax arrange. In Panama. Online disclosures led to


Culture Secretary John Whittingdale's outing his own


unusual relationship, with a dominatrix.


Labour's Ian Lavery seems reluctant to provide complete answers over his


redundancy and mortgage arrangements.


The books of the union he used to run suggest it paid for his


mortgage. Yesterday, we asked him a simple question, did he pay the


mortgage off? Did you pay it off? The union... And again. Did you pay


off your mortgage? My mortgage was paid off... And again. Had a


financial agreement which was acceptable to both parties.


Tonight, Mr Lavery got back to us releasing the following statement.


The arrangement for accommodation was common for co-union officials


across the coalfield. That doesn't answer the question, did he pay off


the mortgage? Tonight, Mr Lavery faces fresh questions. Firstly, over


whether his mortgage should have been declared on the union's books.


Well the statement and annual return requires all benefits, and salary to


be set out that are being derived from union funds, therefore, if it


is right that that is a benefit and certainly a subsidised mortgage


could be well be regarded as a benefit, then in those


circumstances, I think it should have been set out on the statement


and annual return. There is another weird thing. Last


night just before Newsnight went on air, a Labour official told us to


find out about the mortgage, all we had do was get in touch with the NUM


North East area based in Durham. Today we did so, and they told us


they had nothing to do with Mr Lavery's mortgage.


Mr Lavery is already under investigation by the Parliamentary


commissioner for standards, over his failure to declare 62,00 pounds in


redundancy payments he received from 2010-2012. And then there is the


mystery 85,00 pounds, redundancy payment, which pops up on the


union's books in 2013. Here is what he said about it, when we challenged


him on it yesterday. So the 85,00 pounds, it is a mystery. Well it is


not a mystery to me. I haven't got any control. I left in 2010. I have


told you two time, I will tell you three, four times I don't recognise


that payment. You don't recognise that payment. So it's a mystery


payment? You can call it whatever you want. I will tell you that... It


is given to, it says in the books, payment for former, past General


Secretary redundancy costs. You have one on me, I haven't seen the book


since I left in 2010. To be fair he did tell us he did receive what he


called the final payment of my redundancy in 2013. But not how


much. Did Mr Lavery record this 2013


redundancy payment to the Parliamentary register of members'


interests? He did not. So, big questions remain for Mr Lavery and


the Labour Party. How much was the redundancy payment in 2013? If it


wasn't ?85,000? Why didn't he declare it to Parliament? And how


does Jeremy Corbyn square calls for more prance transz barn is when he


has a trade union spokesperson who refuses to tell us clearly, whether


Well, the question of how much people have the right to know


about the lives of public figures has loomed large, not just for MPs,


The decision on whether to lift an injunction on reporting of one


well-known celebrity's alleged extramarital affairs will be given


Here to discuss the difficulty of finding a balance between press


freedom and the right to a private life are Sarah Baxter,


deputy editor of the Sunday Times, and privacy lawyer


Good evening to both of you. Where do you stand on what people have the


right to know about people in public life? Sarah? I stand in favour of


maximum freedom, and the right to know. I don't think we should be


too, we shouldn't sensor ourselves and think, this story is not quite


right for the public, I think the public pay good money to read good


stories and our buyers should be in Fay of disclosure. This is? Terms of


politician, public figure, who say one thing and do another. Where is


your line in the sand about who you report on is this We make the


judgments all the time but pretty much even in this world says one


thing and does another if you look closely, with celebrities, I used to


edit the Sunday Times magazine, you wouldn't believe the amount of PR


control that goes on. Every day I was in hand-to-hand combat with PRs


saying you can't say this. They would try, we were one of the few


publications that wouldn't given copy approval, so then they turn


round and say hang on, when we have a story that is interesting to


reader, they don't want you do know about it I am not sympathetic. You


take the same view? I don't. , I think it depend what the Tory is


about. I know you say good monetary policy for good stories. We don't


pay for stories on the Sunday Times. I suns you say your eunderstand you


say your readers pay good money. Some stories are not in the public


interest and also the public aren't interested in them. I wonder, what


the drive for greater transparency has come from is it because we don't


trust politicians any more, or is it because we are a much less


deferential society and rightly less deferential? 'T trust politicians


any more, or is it because we are a much less deferential society and


rightly less deferential? I would "degree with that, and the thing


about the internet and twitter and blogs is it gives far Mr People a


voice, and that voice, I think has become a democratic voice, so it is


not just what the newspaper has printed and what is on the front


cover we hear about, and that we discuss, and that I think has led to


greater transparency but it there is, I think a big difference between


scrutiny and transparency, where you have something that is in the public


interest, a public figure and an entertainer and their private life.


Let us talk about the MP Ian Lavery here, because we have talked about


whether or not he told the yuen -- union, about his morn and also


whether he disclosed in Parliament. At what point do you start


investigating someone who is now in public life, because if you went


right back to Year Zero, a lot of people wouldn't go into public life


because not even has a clean past. Of course the Sunday Times has been


investigating Ian Lavery. My colleague James Lyons did an


excellent job of exposing some of the things that were going on at the


Northumberland numb which now only has six members yet spent a lot of


voluntary contributions from miners who had industrial injuries on


paying the wages of staff. So where we see a scandal, there is no


statute of limitation. Do you think... That should be a lesson to


people who are thinking of wrongdoing. Do you think that would


put people off going into public service, from the point of view when


they start they would expect to be scrutinised but in a previous life,


do they expect their previous life to come for attention? I think in


that case if you are already a public figure and a union loader at


the time it is not... A public official. It is not appropriate.


However if you are at university and during your time at university, you


have various private conversations you go to parties and you are not a


public figures in fact you haven't decided what you are going to do.


Everyone can find out about it because of coarse you can say public


domain on Facebook, how much scrutiny, you have to have the


personal Auton hi to be able to without being in fear. Do you agree


that? I don't. The more transparent we are becoming, the more tolerant


we are become, I am sure it doesn't feel like that to speech who have


had a minor misdemeanor and are pulling up years later. I think you


can laugh things off. If you are looking to victims of the press and


you can see the effect it has on their life it makes you take a


different view. Now the case of John Whittingdale. Interestingly, I think


you probably take a different view on this. John Whittingdale had a


relationship with a woman who turned out to be a sex worker, that


relationship finished, a good while before he then became Culture


Secretary. But the fact was he was looking at press regulation and


papers knew about what was going on, is he a legitimate cause for


investigation? What I find out is astonishing which Hacked Off which


Charlotte was involved with which exposed hip. He was a single man,


with a girl who he claims hid, he didn't know... So, I think the point


of this is the decisions they seemed to be very surprising, that the


independent decisions were made not to run the story. It wasn't


surprising at all. At the same time at the Brooks Newmark. What hacked


off were saying it was about editorial... It would have felt


personal to him. Going through the courts at the moment and due on


Monday, is a decision over a privacy injunction that was challenged by a


newspaper in your stable, a well-known male celebrity and it is


all over the internet but not in The Papers and not on Newsnight. Where


is the public interest in that? I think there is no public interest in


that story. I think that if you make a private decision within your


relationship, that you are going to open your relationship out, you


shouldn't be under some kind of duty to send some kind of Press


Association message saying we have had this conversation, you have to


have personal autonomy in your relationship. I am not worried that


John Whittingdale's relationship has doll light. I am not worried if this


injunction is lifted and we hear more about this celebrity couple. I


really think in the end people will say, now, what was that, why, it is


nice work for lawyer, they are earning a lot of money fighting


privacy case, but really, it is like, you know, Canute holding back


the tide when the internet has the details. If you say look, you can


read it somewhere else, what position are they left in, if they


can't assert their right? People will turn round and say we can


publish what we like. If they are embarrassed about their behaviour


they need not indulge in it. Five people from Birmingham have


been arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences,


as part of an investigation launched after the recent attacks


in Brussels and Paris. One of the men was arrested as he


arrived on a flight into Gatwick. We understand the arrests


were as a result of co-operation between MI5 and the French


and Belgian authorities. Our reporter Secunder


Kermani is here. What do you know about this? What we


know is that three men and a woman were arrested last night in


Birmingham. That another man was arrested this morning as he arrived


at Gatwick Airport. He was flying in from Morocco. Police have been


searching a property in Birmingham and bomb disposal experts were


called briefly, but police say they have no information that an imminent


attack was planned in the UK. But Whitehall officials say the arrests


are significant and part of an extensive investigation into the


attacks in Paris and Brussels and they say as well that the Moroccan,


I have learned that Moroccan intelligence services were involved.


What new details have you learned about the suspects? What we have to


bear in mind is the suspects haven't been charged yet. The police are at


an early stage of the investigation. But I have been speaking to a well


placed source who says that the members of this group that were


arrested are suspected of being involved in the logistical support


for the attacks in Paris and in Brussels. And I understand that the


group was under surveillance for a number of months, but they were


allowed to continue so the authorities could see who they were


interacting. And that came to an end when one of the members flew back


into the UK. They're still yet to be charged and a decision will be made


over the weekend. Thank you. This week the name of 21-month-old


Ayeesha Jane Smith was added to the list of toddlers and young


children killed by relatives known to the social services -


everyone remembers Victoria Climbie and Baby P, and there


are sadly many others. Ayeesha's mother, Kathryn Smith,


will serve a minimum of 24 years for viciously


torturing her daughter to death. Every day social workers have


to make difficult judgements, and when they are looking at best


practice, Norway's often cited as a country that devotes more


attention and resources Thirty-five years ago, for example,


it was the first state in the world to appoint a children's ombudsman -


an independent official to protect their rights,


an idea that's been copied in the UK But now the country's social


services are being accused by campaigners at home and abroad


of an excess of zeal - of taking children into care


without good reason. It is a house that had


five children. Their father plays


one of his favourite songs - not to entertain anyone,


just to calm his nerves. Their two girls aged eight and ten,


their two boys aged two and five and their baby


were taken away in November. And Ruth and Marius's


world fell apart. I was waiting for the girls to come


home from school. And it passed 10 or 15 minutes


and they didn't come. I saw it came, two black cars,


one continued driving on the Inside the car was a child


protection officer. She said the two girls had


been taken away in the other black car and two older boys


were being taken away too. They still had the baby,


but not for much longer. It was the second day in the evening


we saw two cars driving here and two black cars again and I said,


they have brought the kids home. Were you excited, you got really


excited when you saw those cars? Then I saw four policemen


coming out of the car. I told Marius, I think they're


going to We were questioned about why


they were in the home. We admitted spanking


the kids, but not... Not every time when they would


do something bad. They didn't find any


physical marks or anything like that when they had


medical examination of them. It's very clear until


the smallest detail. It is not allowed for any


physical correction. Their lawyers wouldn't let me ask


any more questions, because they're still under investigation


and the authorities aren't allowed to discuss this or any other


individual case to protect Beginning on November


16th when the Norwegian authority for child protection,


the Barnevernet, had taken away Claims that Marius and Ruth's kids


and hundreds of others have been taken without reason have triggered


demonstrations all over the world. Even if the protestors


can't know all the facts. The campaign's strong abroad,


because Marius is an immigrant from Romania and the


couple belonged to an evangelical Christian community


with global links. But in Norway today,


there are solid members of


the establishment who also think the country's child


protection system is out of control. Ingla is head of state archive


in the city of Bergen. I grew up believing


that the Norwegian system was the best in the world,


best for children. The UN are stating


that all the time. Then suddenly I discovered that this


cannot be the case, and that was because of


things that happened in my Because of what happened to this


little girl, his grand daughter, who was taken


away several years ago. The Norwegian child child protection


service known as Barnevernet said But that is not how


it looked to Ingla. So this was the passive,


non-sounding child. How long is this


before she was taken? This is in the middle


of November, so this is is basically


two months before she was taken. She was put into


emergency fostering, because the child protection service


said she was suffering serious psychological harm, because her


parents count meet her They said her mother, who is from


China and has now gone back there, was depressed and her father,


Eric, was simple, though he has never been diagnosed with any


condition, other than a slight lack of short-term memory


when he was small. I did everything, I changed nappies,


I change nappies and I Just days before child


protection started their urgent assessment of the family,


a doctor at the local health clinic found the little girl


was developing normally, but Barnevernet said


later that even if they had known that it


wouldn't have affected their We put forward a huge report


on my son's psychological They haven't mentioned


that by one word. So they're closing


their eyes and they say that we can only rely


the assessments that these persons working for Barnevernet have made.


Of course, parents whose children are taken into care in any country


are nearly always angry with the system, but I'm astonished


It devotes more resources and attention to children


and their rights than almost any country on earth and child


protection usually just provides guidance to parents with problems,


it is only in what they regard as extreme cases they they seek


The number of children and young people taken forcibly into


Partly as a reaction to the state's failure to protect an eight-year-old


boy, Christopher, who was beaten to death by his step father in 2005.


More than 150 leading Norwegian professionals


- psychologists, lawyers social work experts -


have written a letter saying the child protection service


is a dysfunctional organisation that makes major miscalculations with


So how does the Norwegian Government feel about


We don't have many children in alternative care, compared to, for


So why there is so much attention to the Norwegian system?


There is evidence that parents say isn't accepted.


That is a concern we looking into and that is why we want


to look into the child welfare to see what goes wrong and also


Could children be taken off parents simply because


the parents had exercised mild corporal punishment.


It is important we have programmes helping parents


avoiding to use corporal punishment in the child's upbringing.


That is actually an answer to your question.


But parents have to know the law and live by the law in Norway.


Ruth and Marius's background is religious.


All her family are Pentecostals and he is a foreigner from Romania.


Their supporters think they're victims of discrimination and in


Norway children with an immigrant parent are four times more likely


than others to be removed by force from their families.


But there is no means of knowing if cultural


difference has been a factor in this case, or the others I have


Child protection denies any prejudice.


After the children were taken, Ruth and Marius say


they offered to fix whatever needed fixing about the way


But they said child protection didn't even want to


discuss trying to reunite the family.


Now though, since we filmed with the couple, their baby son has


But they fear there is still a long way to go before they know whether


the other four children will ever be returned.


And you can see a longer version of Tim Whewell's report from Norway


on Our World on Saturday and Sunday evening at 9.30pm on


Sales of vinyl are up more than 60% this year,


and Record Store Day, which is tomorrow, has become


But an ICM survey has revealed that almost half the people who buy vinyl


So what is the allure of vinyl, that artists from Foals


to Primal Scream to Kanye West are choosing it for their new releases?


Is it about the sound, or the artwork, or is vinyl


Joining me is Frank merit, who runs a studio and says last year they had


a backlog of orders for five months. You have vinyl with you. What do you


have? Myles Davis, Kind of Blue. A classic record. What about the


quality of vinyl versus down load. From a bit size, an mp3 is about the


tenth of a size of a CD final and vinyl is infit nit in its quality.


Why are people buying vinyl, but half are buying it and don't listen


to that music on vinyl? It doesn't surprise me, I think it is to do


with ownership and the fact that we remember as vinyl buyers, we


remember our first record. Do you remember your first record? Yes The


Kinks Dead End Street. I can remember the shop and the time of


year. It was a thing. What about you? Europe The Final Count down!


But it was something and a lot of it to me was about the album covers and


the art which is being re-created on CDs, but it is different on vinyl.


You have a large format and you can really go to down on your design and


you know here the sleeve is on both sides and it opens up, double


sleeve. Beautiful artwork. Yes. Importantly as well, we remember our


first records. Who remembers their first mp3? That lot of people buy


vinyl and don't own a record player. That is the ownership aspect, one


wants to give ones support to musicians and to small independent


labels who you know, they don't make much from making records, the


profits are low. And it is a passion that people want to. That whole


thing about trying to get people back to vinyl, such as The Foals


releasing EPs on vinyl and then on to down load, are they doing that


because it is a passion for vinyl, or because they feel is a cachet and


they want people to feel that? It goes back to ownership aspect and it


shows commitment and that someone is going to go to a shop or buy a


physical product and own it and they're going to love that product


and feel it. The texture of the sleeve. It ages and reacts to its


environment. If you mistreat a record it will get crackly. If you


love it and look after it, it will play beautifully. Is this going to


be, you say you have a bag log of orders, do you think we are going


back to vinyl completely? No, I don't think so. Vinyl sales globally


are around the two to three per cent mark of audio sales. Like you have


your kindle and your book? Yes, vinyl, record sales are on the up,


50% on average each year. And record players are also on the up. Thank


you. Time for a one paper tomorrow morning and is the The Times and it


is another financial story, it is the Blair rich project and there are


secret trusts for Tony Blair's earnings.


That's almost all we have time for tonight, but before we go,


an extraordinary piece of public art has emerged in the Egyptian


capital of Cairo - a mural, spreading over 50 buildings.


The artist, El Seed, managed to evade government censorship


by painting his mural in fragments and working in a poor,


often overlooked area of the city, where Egypt's


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