What do we know about how the country will vote? What went on at BHS? The human trafficker who may be falsely accused. With Emily Maitlis.
Browse content similar to 08/06/2016. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Tonight - as the voter registration deadline is extended, we ask
what we know about the demographics of how the country will vote.
We speak to the polling expert prepared to put himself on the line
and call it with two weeks to go - and to Labour's Harriet Harman.
And we're in Cardiff conducting our own extremely
Well, I'm just wondering whether I could offer
I've not voted in bureaucrats in Brussels.
He basically said, "It's my business, I can do what I want."
I'm going to come down there and kill you.
The commons select committee hears allegations of death threats
and serial lying from the men who've been at the top of BHS.
We talk to the pensions minister Ros Altman.
Does she understand what went wrong?
An Eritraen man is extradited to Italy on allegations
It's the first arrest of its kind in the migration crisis,
but tonight suggestions surface they may have the wrong man.
Everybody is saying this is my friend, my childhood friend.
He's just a refugee from a camp in Sudan in 2015.
Around this time last night - just an hour before the deadline -
the crashing of the website for voter registration sent those
wishing to sign up for the EU referendum poll into something
Popular wisdom believes late registration favours the Remain camp
- with those for Brexit long energised and already signed up.
Impossible to prove of course - before the 23rd of June -
but when the deadline was extended until tomorrow night,
it led to voices from the Leave camp warning it was on the 'cusp
This referendum is a moment when every
the safe seats of a general election do not exist -
and tonight, we're exploring what that means for the campaigns.
First to our Political Editor, Nick Watt.
Egg dramatic developments since the website crashed last night and we
reported it on Newsnight. The government realised they had to grab
hold of this one quickly, so we will see the introduction in Parliament
of emergency secondary legislation, allowing for what you were talking
about, the extension of the deadline to tomorrow night. The Leave
campaign were initially suspicious, thinking it might be a ruse by the
government to increase the size of the electorate to the advantage of
the Remain campaign. The official vote Leave campaign had been
operating on the basis of a low turnout. Aware of the danger of
appearing like conspiracy theorists, they have come out and say they
wholly were open this. And they have made a virtue of it saying, if you
want to get turkey out the European Union, even more people can vote
leave. We have a defection, we haven't had a defection in politics
for some time. Doctor Sara Woollaston, the independent minded
conservative MPs Totnes has announced that she is moving from
vote Leave to Remain. She is unamused by the vote Leave campaign
that Britain spends ?350 million a week to the European Union, the net
figure is a third of that. The second reason is she says there
would be a penalty on the NHS if we left because it would hit the
economy and of course she is a GP. And looking back at this extension
to the deadline, we don't know, but is there a sense that this would
genuinely favour one side over another? What is your gut feeling?
The government says it is acting entirely selflessly, and doing this
to promote democracy, transparency and openness, but there is no doubt
the smiles were on the Remain ministers today, because as you say
they believe that if you get a higher turnout, then you are more
likely to have voters who don't wake up every day thinking about the EU,
they think of bread and butter, therefore they hope they are more
likely to vote for Remain. It is interesting Remain have been
nervous, this is why I am spending time in the north-west of England
because there is a fear that in some of those natural Labour heartlands
whilst we are focusing on the blue on blue showing within the
Conservative Party, we are perhaps missing out on a more dangerous
story for the Remain site, the inability of the Labour Party, the
bread elite to get out the red grassroots. Thank you.
We will hear from a senior Labour politician in a moment.
But first let's get into the question of what the campaigns
do know about who to target with our Policy Editor Chris Cook.
Lots of elements of this campaign are ageless. Doorknocking,
gladhanding, battle buses. But a referendum is not a general
election. On June the 23rd, the whole nation will be one
constituency. So how are the two campaigns choosing where to fight? I
think this referendum has been more about globalisation than persuasion.
Both campaigns have been focusing heavily on their core areas. This
map shows the distribution of marginal seats that were really
fought over at the 2015 general election. Scotland has loads of
marginal seats. If you look down the east coast of England there are not
many. In London there are a few here and there. The referendum is going
to be very different. Each side will be going to areas where they think
they are strongest and trying to get out the vote in this biggest
numbers. So where are those numbers? Starting with the Leave campaign,
most Eurosceptic areas according to one poll. The East of England, the
area so neglected at the last election, is essential to the
referendum. The Remain, London and Scotland in particular are
absolutely critical if they are going to win. There is a literature
on getting out the vote that was effectively used by President Obama
and his teenager in the election which basically suggests that the
tighter your operation is, the more you contact voters on the day, you
can give yourself another one, two, three points by pushing voters out
of their armchairs into the polling stations. This is rather tough for
the main parties who are fighting in a lot of areas they have neglected
for a long time. This isn't like a general election where the focus is
on a handful of marginal seats. In lots of places, areas that aren't
used to full pelt campaigning at a general election have got huge areas
of activities going on. In some of our best areas, every household in
that parliamentary constituency has been visited more than once. That
probably didn't happen in a general election. You could be forgiven for
finding it hard to follow this campaign. It does not help at the
polls are not trusted. Academics were wrong last year, most of the
forecasts were wrong ahead of the general election. The polls have not
convinced most people that they have got this one nailed down. There are
significant variations between phone polls and online polls, and we all
mode the story of the expert who didn't see Jeremy Corbyn coming.
Before that didn't see a Conservative majority government
coming. And then possibly didn't see President Trump coming. So a lot of
people got a lot of things wrong. Elections are getting more complex
to follow anyway as campaigns get ever less national. Campaigners can
now quietly tailor ads to recipients online and in the posts with greater
sophistication. And it's seriously tough to get any sense of a campaign
where you don't even know what arguments are being put to your
neighbours. Chris Kirk, there. In the moment we will speak to Labour's
former deputy leader Harriet Harman. First, Lord Hayward,
a Tory psephologist who was on John Major's team
in the 1992 election and predicted Tell us what you feel will happen
this time round? As far as I'm concerned the polls are
overestimated how close it will be. As far as I can see there are more
people deviating towards Leave. If you take any particular demographic,
let's say bankers, who should be overwhelmingly in favour, my
conversations and say actually the banking industry, Surrey, which will
should be rock-solid Remain, they are not as solid as people think.
Then you've got Labour areas, they are not as solid as people would
expect. But these are just conversations, and you are at odds
with a lot of other pollsters. And I've been at odds on previous
occasions. I started with the polls and what they are predicting. And
then gone out, discussed it with other people, listened over months
to what people were saying and said, how often am I speaking to somebody
who is actually deviating from what should be the polling Norm? Do you
see yourself as a Leave supporter? I am a Remain supporter. So in saying
Leave are doing better than the polls suggest I am arguing against
my own position. So where are the gaps? Who isn't showing up? You've
talked about the banking community. I think it is pretty general. There
are problems you are going to go on to talk about, the Labour
supporters, the professional community in general. And I think
the campaign has been male dominated. There's been very poor
messaging, we would expect women to be much more solidly Remain because
they genuinely generally vote according to pocketbook issues. Your
assumption is a male dominated campaign tells what, more women to
go with the male voices? And saying there is no messaging being received
by large parts of the community. Whether it is the standard
traditional Labour voter or the female voter, the professional
photo, they are not receiving the message on economic issues. You will
forgive our viewers if there is a lot of scepticism about any pollster
at this point in proceedings telling them what will happen. I have a
history of telling pollsters they are wrong and on this occasion I
think they are wrong. The tendency is more towards Leave at the moment.
It can be turned around for Remain. If the turnout is high and based on
different messaging from where we are at the moment, the result may be
different. One has to remember that within the next few days 20% of the
population will have already voted. Could be as high as 18%. Harriet
Harman, do you accept that the traditional Labour voter does not
look like a Remainer or a Leaver? We have a unified position within the
Labour Party. For people who vote Labour and support baby and share
the principles, it is not much help to them to see Michael Gove slugging
it out with David Cameron, because actually they are not interested.
And their point of view is not what motivates them. And I think the
problem has been that there are Labour arguments for staying in that
our voters haven't been able to hear us putting across. Your voters, 45%
of Labour voters said in a poll at the end of last month they were not
sure of your party's position. That's not surprising bearing in
mind the airwaves have been absolutely dominated by the argument
within the Tory party. You think SNP supporters, Lib Dem supporters or
green supporters would say that? Presumably you would know your
party's position if you were an actual supporter or voter? If you
look at Loughborough University research, it shows not only is it am
elated by men but it is dominated by Tory men, and that is the fact of
the debate so far. Therefore what we need is more ability for women to
hear specific arguments that we certainly want to put forward about
why it is important to stay in. And for people to hear Labour arguments
because we have different arguments. For example on the health service,
we think there are problems with the health service. You can't just say
the Tories are too loud. People will turn round and say Labour has been
nonexistent. We are saying the huge volcanic bust up in the Tory party
is, not surprisingly, grabbing media attention. But if we want balance in
this debate in order to help people make up their mind so that they make
the sort of decision that they really want to make, the balance
needs to not just be between Leave and Remain, it leads to also be
between men and women and also between Labour and Tory. Our
supporters are entitled to hear why we as Labour people are urging them
to vote in. So for example on the health service point, Leave are
saying you've got to leave if you care about the health service. We
are saying actually we think the government are doing things
completely wrong, so we don't agree with David Cameron on what he is
doing the health service, but we say blame the government, not the EU.
That point could have been made very clearly by Jeremy Corbyn if he
wanted to share a Platt with David Cameron. We have been making these
points, but it is difficult to get them through. When I was acting
leader, I set up the Labour in campaign as a separate campaign,
because I felt we needed to get our message across separately. Was it a
missed opportunity? For Jeremy Corbyn to sound alongside David
Cameron and say, we are sharing a platform because it is bigger than
party politics. As Leader of the Labour Party, he wants to put
forward Labour's arguments. I have appeared at some things with David
Cameron, not because I agree with him, but because I want people to
see that Labour is four in. It is important that we have separate
arguments, because we have our own points of view. For example, at
work, we think that the EU guaranteeing maternity pay and
holiday leave, it is important that the EU does that, because we do not
trust future Tory governments to not decide to repeal all of those. We
have just seen Nick, who is in Salford and other areas, safe Labour
seats for ages. You think these places have been ignored, or have
been left off the chart? If nearly half your voters in a poll just two
weeks ago don't know your party's position, that is catastrophic. It
is for us to do make sure they know what our position is and why, and
that they haven't been ignored. This is a different proposition. Normally
it is vote for this person in this party in this area. But we've got
Labour values and principles about why we want to stay in, and we need
to get that across to our voters, and it is to all of us in the Labour
Party to get that idea across. Thank you for coming in.
Well, we know there's a divide between young and old when it comes
to the suggested voting patterns of the EU.
Katie Razzall took the referendum road to South Wales this week -
to look at the generational divide that appears to be emergeng there.
Pettigrew Bakeries in Cardiff caters to all tastes.
Mixing the traditional with the modern, there's so much
But when it comes to the referendum, the choice is down to in or out.
So, for Newsnight's visit, we requested a twist on some
of the bakery's most popular products.
I'm just wondering whether I could offer
Well, well, I feel democracy, really.
I've not voted in bureaucrats in Brussels who I don't even know.
One reason for the generational divide in this referendum may be
that many young voters, like this 26-year-old artisan baker,
see their identity as bound up with Europe.
I've always classed myself as European, so it would be nice
to still go to France and think that we are one
I can't work out which one of them is lying.
I can't work out which one of them's planned for the future.
Whether it's in the Welsh valleys or further afield,
received wisdom in this referendum is that the young are in favour
In the Swansea Valley, we gathered three generations
of the same family, who appeared to some up those divisions.
I'm going to vote to stay in, because I see myself having
a better future in the EU, with the jobs.
I've never had any doubt at all.
I didn't want to go in in the first place.
I know that the Remain campaign had a campaign during this referendum
which was "Persuade your granny onto your side".
I love my youngest granddaughter very much,
I've had no doubt right from the start.
We are being taken over, and we are being told what to do
I see myself having a better future in Europe, like if you look
at things like workers' rights, immigration and free movement
as well, because you look at the way things are now,
it might be that I have to move into Europe to work myself one day,
and it's going to be a pain if I'll have to apply for a visa with every
So I think, for me and my future, it's better to stay in.
And it's my generation that has to deal with the fallout if we go.
I think of you all the time, Charlotte.
Do you know how you're going to vote?
I'm hoping that somebody's going to say something and I'm
It's me that's got to pick up the pieces eventually.
No offence to you guys, but, like.
It's going to be me and my children that have to clean up that
Because we're not part of the EU any more, so we will just be
on the island by ourselves drowning, saying, help us, and the EU's
going to go, no, you're not our problem any more.
Are most of your friends of your age group, do you talk about it?
The ones that are voting are voting to remain.
A lot of young people aren't interested in things
The young could keep the UK in the EU, but only if they
These Cardiff students are keenly political.
Their University Challenge - to get others to follow their lead.
I'm Beth Button, President of NUS Wales, and I'm going to be voting
I am a second year philosophy and politics student,
I'm a third year history student, and I'll be voting to remain.
I'm studying Spanish and Italian, and I'm going to vote Leave.
I'm a fourth year law student at Cardiff University,
and I'll be voting to leave the European Union.
I have a very positive case for staying in the EU.
I think, for young people particularly, there's jobs out
there, there's opportunities for travel, education
We have a lot of power because we are part of the EU.
If were not part of the EU any more, there's no guarantee that we will
The referendum isn't about putting rockets on Dover and propelling us
We are always going to be part of Europe.
And of course, we're going to be stronger in Europe.
It's the European Union that makes decisions and trade deals on our
There is a large democratic deficit at the moment within the EU
and the European institutions, and I think if we left
there would be a lot more opportunity for young people,
if Britain was a more sovereign nation.
I think it's really funny when you use the term,
I'm pretty sure there's a lot of Welsh and angry Scottish people
as well who would say that the UK isn't democratic enough.
This guy said to me, this older man, literally said to me,
you younger generation need to just realise that
you don't have the knowledge and the experience to know what's
You need to let the older people make the decision for you.
And that, for me, really stung, because I thought, actually,
we not only have a right to vote and have a voice in this referendum,
Back in the Swansea Valley, it's too late to change
But would Charlotte and her Remain - supporting husband have more
luck in their local, a traditional mining pub,
where many, but not all, disagree with them?
HE SPEAKS WELSH. Does that mean leave or remain?
I think Cameron, when he did his so-called deal with the EU,
gained nothing whatsoever, and if we vote to remain now,
When we ruled ourselves, we were all using outside toilets.
Now, it's so bloody good, everyone wants to come here.
Could Yarrick and Charlotte persuade the older punters?
As for the people that are coming in, we simply can't afford
But is it not true that the ones that come here to work actually
contribute more into the system
Why do you think it is that your views don't chime
I think it's because I care about different things
They are focusing on immigration, you know, politics, that sort
of thing, our own sovereignty and so on.
I care about our scientific institutions, farming
There aren't enough pints that I could buy them!
Their minds are made up.
So, you know, I think it's just an age thing.
They come from a small, Welsh mining village,
They are not ready to change their minds, which is fine.
Everyone's entitled to their opinion.
Families and the generations disagreeing on the right
This referendum has got them talking.
Ocassionally the serene quiet of a select committee hearing gets
Today - as the BHS family saga unravelled before MPs -
BHS chief executive Darren Topp and his financial lieutenant
Michael Hitchcock called Dominic Chappell- the man
who bought BHS for a pound - a "Premier League liar"
Topp claimed Chappell threatened to kill him when he'd
Mr Chappell denied this - and the claim he owned a gun -
but - pantomime aside - what did we learn today
Here's our Business Editor, Helen Thomas.
In life, BHS's understated styles captured the British
Instead, a tawdry and increasingly lurid slanging match.
At issue: who is to blame for the failure of a story high
street name and the loss of 11,000 jobs.
Lawyers, accountants, advisers, trustees and regulators.
They've all been questioned on what went wrong.
Today was the latest stage of the postmortem.
Dominic Chappell, the man who bought BHS from billionaire retailer
Sir Philip Green for just ?1. It collapsed barely a year later.
MPs were presented with two competing visions of
In one version of reality he was a total liability.
A compulsive liar who didn't understand BHS, and who shouldn't
In the other version, his own, he was a hard-working businessman
whose attempts to turn round BHS were blocked.
Both versions raised questions for Sir Philip Green.
He'll have his turn in Westminster next week.
A trio of BHS managers laid out the case against Mr Chappell.
And if it doesn't smell right invariably it is not right.
Over ?1.5 million Dominic Chappell took out of the company.
If I take out all the expletives he basically said, "Do not
"I've had enough of you telling me what to do over
"It's my business, I can do what I want."
"And if you kick off about it I'm going to come down
So why did a businessman as experienced as Philip Green sell
And why did respected advisers like Grant Thornton and Olswang
One explanation had been that Dominic Chappell had shown he had
But it was suggested today he'd got that money from investors,
not to pump into BHS but instead to higher property off
What we learnt today was that the ?35 million had been earmarked
to acquire another property, not part of the BHS group,
but part of Sir Philip's broader empire, we understand.
And that was the sole purpose of the ?35 million.
So it does put the seller in an intriguing situation
where they were looking for credibility on ?35 million
to bolster the credibility of the buyer of BHS.
But that ?35 million was actually intended to acquire a property
which is not part of the BHS group, but was presumably known
In Dominic Chappell's version, Sir Philip Green should
Do you think he is a successful businessman?
He's been very successful at raising large amounts of money out
of companies by taking huge dividends out of them, yes.
There were shops there that had no heating.
There were shops there that had no air handling.
There were shops there where the staff, bless them,
who loved and adored BHS, came in at weekends to paint,
to replace lights, because no one had given that company any money
And another disagreement over pensions.
Mr Chappell said the stand-off between Sir Philip Green
and the pension regulator hurt his attempts
He has spent the last however many years doing deals and it is a quite
You can't simply go to the pension regulator and say,
I will put ?50 million into this pension scheme,
It just doesn't work like that and it shouldn't work like that.
A defiant Dominic Chappell said today pushed thereby
You should expect Sir Philip Green to vigorously contest much
Indeed BHS's last Chief Executive Darren top told me that he disagreed
with Mr Chappell's assertion that Sir Philip had tipped the business
Mr Topp said that decision was taken unanimously at a BHS board
Mr Topp said business had simply run out of money.
Raising funds against its property had fallen short.
An MP said today that they were getting closer to the truth
One thing seems clear, no one looks set to emerge untainted.
Simon Walker - from the Institute of Directors - joins me now.
Along with Ros Altman the pensions minister. Welcome, both. When you
see this kind of squalid soap opera unfolding, it must make you wince?
It is completely an excusable and absolutely outrageous. What worries
me is that it makes people think that's what petition business is
like. And British business is about hard-working people who have often
mortgaged their houses in order to get companies going. This is as far
from the world of normal businesses in this country as can be. So what
went wrong? Where did the regulations fail here? Everything
failed at every stage. I don't think Sir Philip was the only villain but
as someone said, selling that company to a twice bankrupt racing
driver with no retail experience was the equivalent of giving your keys
to your car to a five-year-old and then saying, you crashed it. It is
completely wrong to have done that. But your report rightly asks, where
were the advisers? One of the most important law firms in the City of
London was standing by them. Rand Thornton, a well-known accountancy
deal was there. Lord Grabban QC is the chairman of Arcadia and seems to
have been extremely relaxed about the sale of BHS. He wasn't even on
the subcommittee, he learned about it five days later. The pension
regulator said she learned about it in the newspaper sometime later.
Everything went wrong. It is a scar on the face of British business, its
damages everyone. If you believe, as I do, that capitalism is worthwhile
and works in the interest of ordinary people, you have a
particular responsibility to say how appalling this is. Dominic Chappell
knew something was going wrong, and he brought the government and you
personally into that meeting by saying he asked to meet you? He did
ask to meet me and I did not think it was appropriate for him to try to
meet the Minister, to go round the back door and bypass the pensions
regulator. Why would it be the back door, if he was worried about the
way the business was being handled, he could see things were not right,
is that not responsible thing to do, contact the pensions minister? Not
at all. The appropriate thing to do is go the pensions regulator and
work out any issues that you have if you've got a problem with your
pension scheme. Don't try and come to the Minister. Do you think the
pensions regulator is the right body to deal with these issues after
everything we have heard over the past few weeks? I do actually, and I
would like to reassure the members of the BHS pension scheme and the
workers who worked so royally, that their pensions are protected by the
pension protection fund. Why did the pensions regulator say that they'd
heard it through a newspaper report when we know that actually Philip
Green had got in touch with them before he'd corrected the head of
the pensions regulator and why, for example, was Philip Green not
allowed to put money into the pension fund to try to increase the
amount that was there? Again I think it is important for business owners
to understand that a pension fund and its liabilities are real
liabilities, and they have lives attached. And there are appropriate
ways to deal with the pension scheme. Because what they should be
doing is going to the pensions regulator and saying, if you have a
big deficit, how am I going to be able to sort this out? How will I be
able to look after my pension, as there are established processes that
the pensions regulator will sit down with any business and say, if you
want to deal with your pension fund and you have a problem, let's sit
round the table and talk about it. It was said that it was not taken
seriously by the pensions regulator when they offered to go in and sort
it out. That is not the case as far as I am aware. And the impression
here has been that the business doesn't understand the
responsibility that they actually have under pensions law for the
pension scheme, and the pension promises they have made to their
members. The business should be going to the pensions regulator. The
pensions regulator will ask for lots of information. If the business does
not supply that information, the regulator cannot do anything. How do
you see Philip Green at the end of all of this? He was appointed a tsar
at the end of 2010. Efficiency tsar. We will have to wait for these
investigations to run. You think he will be in the clear? I cannot
prejudge anything. But I want to reassure people that we have a
pension protection fund. EU law requires us to protect pensions,
whereas previously British law did not. HBOS took eight years and have
not reported fully on what led to the fall of that bank. We cannot
wait until 2025 to work out where the regulators, lawyers, accountants
let us down. So what needs to happen? We need the select committee
to give some findings and come to the truth, otherwise it will damage
the reputation of business as a whole, and we need to know the
answers quickly. The regulators will report back by the end of the year.
An Eritrean man suspected of running a huge human trafficking network
that sent thousands of migrants to Europe has been extradited
from Sudan to Italy - in the first operation of its kind
to bring an African people smuggler to justice for his role
However tonight, suggestions are starting to emerge
that the joint operation - which was based on intercepting
telephone calls - may actually have got the wrong man.
This is meant to be Mered Medhanie as he arrives in Italy to face
An alleged top people smuggler who styled
He was arrested in Khartoum in a joint
operation by British, Italian and Sudanese authorities
Medhanie and his gang are a significant organised
They have been involved with the movement of thousands of
So we would consider this to be a major
disruption of an organised crime group.
But tonight there are growing reports that they picked up the
wrong man and instead of notorious people trafficker, Mered Medhanie,
they have arrested an ordinary Eritreans refugee who happens to
That's according to one prominent Eritrean
rights activist who was actually interviewed the real Mered Medhanie
I don't believe they have the right person.
The person that they have is a 28-year-old refugee
who happens to have the same first name as him.
I have spoken to his sister, spoken to his friends, I
have received over 400 testimonies from people who know the person
Everybody is saying this is my friend, my childhood friend.
He is just a refugee in a camp in Sudan in 2015.
We spoke to two friends of another Medhanie,
Italian authorities, though, who earlier in the day
gave a press conference, still say they have the right
person, and the National Crime Agency here has said it's too early
So what do we know about the man who the police were actually after?
We've been told the real Medhanie was living in Khartoum,
but he had previously reportedly been living in Tripoli,
The smuggling route he allegedly operated goes from Eritrea,
through Ethiopia and Sudan to Libya, where packed boats head off
to the Italian islands of Lampedusa and Sicily.
In one telephone conversation intercepted by authorities,
Medhanie boasts that in the first half of 2014:
Medhanie had teams working in Italy too,
He reportedly charged up to 5000 euros for the whole journey.
One of the smuggling operations British authorities linked
to Medhanie's group ended in disaster three years ago.
Over 300 people drowned off the coast of Lampedusa.
But the search to bring those responsible for the deaths,
And for many others might not be over yet.
We leave you this scene filmed during the flash floods
in Woodcote Road, Wallington in South East London,
following the recent spell of hot weather.
Today's storms have faded away now, a dry start for tomorrow. Early mist
and fog in the West, low cloud in the East burning off more slowly.
Sunny spells widely by the afternoon, warm day