07/07/2016 Newsnight


07/07/2016

James O'Brien with the latest on the Conservative leadership election. Plus Robert Harris on Tony Blair and Chilcot on the UK's Basra record.


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Transcript


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A second female Prime Minister for Britain.

:00:00.:00:00.

Andrea Leadsom, 84 votes, Theresa May, 199 votes.

:00:07.:00:18.

Therefore Michael Gove, having the lowest number of

:00:19.:00:21.

votes, has been eliminated from the ballot.

:00:22.:00:24.

The Tories already have a female leader of course - in Scotland.

:00:25.:00:27.

I really don't have any message for that monster.

:00:28.:00:33.

He basically took away a person who was peaceful, who

:00:34.:00:39.

wanted unity in the world, who wanted the communities to unite.

:00:40.:00:42.

And: we've seen the headlines, but what lies buried

:00:43.:00:50.

deep within the pages of the Chilcot Report?

:00:51.:00:55.

I will be delving into this, extracting the tale of one

:00:56.:01:00.

particularly murky episode. And novelist Robert Harris explores

:01:01.:01:07.

the many lives of his former He often wore make-up, even when he

:01:08.:01:16.

was not in a television studio. I don't know why, maybe it's just

:01:17.:01:20.

appealed to him, that sense of always being a performer.

:01:21.:01:26.

Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom will duke it out to lead

:01:27.:01:30.

the Conservative Party and, of course, the nation

:01:31.:01:34.

after the final round of voting by MPs saw Justice

:01:35.:01:36.

Secretary Michael Gove limp home in third place.

:01:37.:01:39.

I would have described it as a massive shock once but,

:01:40.:01:43.

given the unprecedented political upheaval of the last

:01:44.:01:46.

fortnight, Mrs Leadsom's presence on the ballot -

:01:47.:01:49.

not to mention the absence of a Johnson or an Osborne -

:01:50.:01:52.

It all means not only that the next Prime Minister will be a woman

:01:53.:01:58.

but also that we won't have a firm hand on the country's tiller

:01:59.:02:01.

Newsnight's political editor Nick Watt is with me.

:02:02.:02:08.

Nick. As you were saying, an emphatic win for Theresa May, almost

:02:09.:02:17.

200 votes and 60% of Tory MPs think she should be Prime Minister. She

:02:18.:02:22.

will face in the final round Andrea Leadsom. She is also vote share

:02:23.:02:28.

increase to 25% of the total, 84 votes. Michael Gove in third place,

:02:29.:02:33.

humiliating result for him because his vote share went down and he is

:02:34.:02:36.

therefore disqualified from the contest. Theresa May's team, are

:02:37.:02:43.

they as confident as the numbers suggest? On paper she should walk it

:02:44.:02:48.

but her team are nervous, they think that Andrea Leadsom, as the Brexit

:02:49.:02:54.

campaign could run an insurgency campaign, some ministers say she is

:02:55.:02:58.

connecting in their constituencies. One Cabinet minister I spoke to said

:02:59.:03:02.

that if she becomes Prime Minister with only 25% of Tory MPs supporting

:03:03.:03:08.

hurt the Tories could have and Jeremy Corbyn situation. You called

:03:09.:03:11.

and humiliation for Michael Gove, any word on how he's taking it?

:03:12.:03:17.

Licking his wounds and the word from this camp is that he's really hurt

:03:18.:03:20.

at the end of this week from which she cannot escape from the image of

:03:21.:03:25.

being the double assassin. They say he won't be cutting any deals. He

:03:26.:03:30.

will accept a Cabinet post if he is offered one, if he is not offered

:03:31.:03:34.

one he will not brood and think when he can return. The dilemma for him

:03:35.:03:40.

is who dizzy endorse? He says it must be a Brexiteer as the next

:03:41.:03:44.

Prime Minister that Andrea Letson does not share his worldview. We

:03:45.:03:49.

thought we would take a look at her although I should warn that this

:03:50.:03:52.

report contains some flash photography.

:03:53.:03:57.

I can announce the result of the election for the leadership of the

:03:58.:04:03.

Conservative Party. Will it be third time lucky for the plucky outsider

:04:04.:04:07.

in the Conservative leadership contest? Andrea Leadsom has not even

:04:08.:04:14.

made it to the Cabinet yet she is now within reach of the premiership

:04:15.:04:18.

after making it the final stage of the battle choose David Cameron's

:04:19.:04:29.

succession. What do we want? She has a Eurosceptic fan base on the right

:04:30.:04:34.

of the party after playing a leading role on the Brexit side of the

:04:35.:04:38.

referendum campaign and debate Mrs Leadsom showed she will run an

:04:39.:04:42.

insurgency campaign by instructing the supporters to march on Whitehall

:04:43.:04:45.

other she did not trouble it with her presence. Concerns are raised

:04:46.:04:50.

about her lack of Cabinet experience could make a something of a novice

:04:51.:04:55.

as Prime Minister. Opponents also point to the socially conservative

:04:56.:05:00.

views which prompted her today to highlight her unease about same-sex

:05:01.:05:05.

marriage. Because she decided to abstain on the subject of same-sex

:05:06.:05:10.

marriage, this does not in any way make her less respectful of loving

:05:11.:05:14.

couples who just happened to be in a same-sex relationship. We have moved

:05:15.:05:23.

on. Get over it! Mrs Leadsom, who has so far escaped scrutiny as a

:05:24.:05:27.

relatively junior minister now finds her CV under the spotlight. Shortly

:05:28.:05:35.

after her election to Parliament in 2010 she finished her record in the

:05:36.:05:39.

City to MPs. I should declare that I have been in banking even longer

:05:40.:05:44.

than my honourable friend having been 23 years in investment banking

:05:45.:05:49.

and funds management. Now it seems that giving a ten year stint, she

:05:50.:05:53.

only had official approval to deal with funds for three months.

:05:54.:05:58.

Supporters of Theresa May say that she is a safer pair of hands. I

:05:59.:06:02.

think what people want is someone who can not only bring the party

:06:03.:06:08.

together but the country together. I think the results today has

:06:09.:06:12.

demonstrated that Theresa has that ability. It is no time for a risk.

:06:13.:06:17.

Friends of Andrea Leadsom are hurt by a tax on her record and what

:06:18.:06:23.

regard as a sneering attitude to the membership of the parliament Bible

:06:24.:06:26.

study group. They say that Christianity lies at the root of the

:06:27.:06:31.

plain speaking approach to politics and explains why she takes pride in

:06:32.:06:37.

delivering on her promises. With this background, the team have high

:06:38.:06:42.

hopes that Leadsom will go down as a major figure in British political

:06:43.:06:47.

history. This candidate can outstrip Margaret Thatcher. She is the real

:06:48.:06:52.

deal. She is absolutely fantastic. You ain't seen nothing yet. Would

:06:53.:06:58.

Theresa May outstrip Lady Thatcher? I don't think any of us would want

:06:59.:07:03.

to make that comparison. Theresa May's camp are nervously watching

:07:04.:07:08.

the newcomer, they hope the Home Secretary's overwhelming support

:07:09.:07:14.

among MPs will said the grass roots message to Tories determined to vote

:07:15.:07:17.

with their hearts we Brexit campaigner. Last time it was very

:07:18.:07:23.

close, this time it's two and a half times as many votes for Theresa May

:07:24.:07:27.

as for her nearest rival. So my message to the membership is, please

:07:28.:07:31.

think long and hard about your decision. British politics has

:07:32.:07:37.

undergone a roller-coaster ride in recent months. It is now over to

:07:38.:07:40.

Tory members to decide whether something of the old order is

:07:41.:07:45.

re-established. I'm hopeful, optimistic. Or if Britain will

:07:46.:07:51.

venture out of Europe with a true, though untested believer.

:07:52.:07:54.

We're joined now from our Edinburgh studio by Ruth Davidson, leader

:07:55.:07:56.

of the Scottish Conservatives, who earlier today announced

:07:57.:07:58.

she was backing Theresa May for Prime Minister.

:07:59.:08:03.

Michael Gove, Ruth, I know that he is not the force that he was a

:08:04.:08:09.

fortnight ago but he said the successful candidate must be on the

:08:10.:08:13.

winning side of the argument. Theresa May was not. Does Michael

:08:14.:08:18.

Gove have a point? Well I think it must be someone who can unite both

:08:19.:08:22.

the country and the party and I think Theresa May is the only one

:08:23.:08:26.

that can do that. She's already got the vast majority of the

:08:27.:08:29.

parliamentary party behind her and has huge support in all parts of the

:08:30.:08:31.

country and my colleagues in Scotland, both

:08:32.:08:52.

in the Commons and the house of Lords, the MEPs, myself in Holyrood,

:08:53.:08:55.

all four of us in this position is back and we also have to talk about

:08:56.:08:58.

some of the divides in this country, including the privileged few and

:08:59.:09:00.

those like me who went to the local comprehensive, someone who can speak

:09:01.:09:03.

to that and make sure government is for everyone in this country and not

:09:04.:09:05.

for those people who feel far removed from the corridors of power.

:09:06.:09:08.

Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom both went to grammar school, why can't

:09:09.:09:10.

Andrea Leadsom unite the party. There will be a lot of challenges

:09:11.:09:13.

for whoever comes up. This won't be easy years. We don't have much time,

:09:14.:09:18.

why can't Andrea Leadsom unite the party and the country? She hasn't

:09:19.:09:22.

got the plurality of the party behind her, she did not get support

:09:23.:09:25.

of the party in Scotland and in other parts of the country but I'm

:09:26.:09:29.

not here to criticise Conservative colleagues. It takes a lot of guts

:09:30.:09:37.

to put your name on a ballot paper, it takes guts to say you want to

:09:38.:09:40.

lead and I want to see a big broad debate across the UK and all the

:09:41.:09:43.

hustings planned for the candidates, it is right that the membership get

:09:44.:09:46.

there and say but I think it's right that in terms of the person who's

:09:47.:09:49.

got a steal for the job, who can go eyeball to eyeball with Angela

:09:50.:09:53.

Merkel and Nicholas Turgeon, it can only be Theresa May. When David

:09:54.:09:57.

Cameron re-signed two digit think would be the next prime Minster?

:09:58.:10:02.

Theresa May. What did she mean when she described the nasty party? About

:10:03.:10:08.

the few people used to have of us. She talked about that when she was

:10:09.:10:12.

chairman of the party. She has held big roles in the party and done a

:10:13.:10:17.

lot of work in the country, I know that every time I called her during

:10:18.:10:21.

the referendum, to make speeches all to come to drop to Scotland's

:10:22.:10:24.

business women, she was there and heartbeat. Anything she needed to

:10:25.:10:29.

do. She's got a huge capacity for work, all the leadership skills, she

:10:30.:10:33.

can see the way others work, the way people look at the party and don't

:10:34.:10:36.

like what they see and she knows the way she wants to change the party so

:10:37.:10:40.

it is for everyone and not just for one section of the society. Can you

:10:41.:10:46.

put flesh on those bums and tell me some of the ideologies you would

:10:47.:10:51.

have filed under nasty? I think the way that we spoke in the past, I was

:10:52.:10:56.

not a member of the party back in the days that you are talking about,

:10:57.:11:00.

I was still a BBC journalist being neutral like you are now. She was

:11:01.:11:04.

talking about the way in which often our opponents have thought we only

:11:05.:11:08.

spoke to one section when actually we are a broad church. I know in my

:11:09.:11:13.

first selection when I stood as a candidate, Michael Martin, the

:11:14.:11:16.

disgraced former Speaker of the House of Commons, I was being told

:11:17.:11:22.

that Margaret Thatcher shot the railroads when actually they were

:11:23.:11:27.

shot long before her, not because of industrial policy but they made

:11:28.:11:30.

steam locomotives when the world had moved on to diesels are many myths

:11:31.:11:34.

have been perpetrated about our party by its opponents and it's time

:11:35.:11:38.

to break them down. And by having to state educated women by merit, I

:11:39.:11:42.

think it will help address some of that. -- two state educated women.

:11:43.:11:54.

This is not a myth, Theresa May says she can't guarantee the lives of the

:11:55.:11:58.

immigrants who are here. She says she wants to guarantee them. I

:11:59.:12:02.

publicly said that I think she should give that guarantee. Why

:12:03.:12:09.

hasn't she? She knows if she takes on this role she's got work to do in

:12:10.:12:13.

making sure that the British abroad are allowed to stay, and looked

:12:14.:12:17.

after. I think the person in that role should be able to say,

:12:18.:12:20.

irrespective of that, that they should stay. The one thing David

:12:21.:12:24.

Cameron will tell you over the last five years is, while I am a

:12:25.:12:28.

supporter of colleague, when I disagree I will say and they will

:12:29.:12:32.

know about it. Do you know what her vision for Brexit is? Does it

:12:33.:12:37.

involve the single market? Have you had a conversation with her? I have

:12:38.:12:41.

and I've said that I want Scotland to have access to that single

:12:42.:12:45.

market. I think it is important for Scottish business, for a lot of

:12:46.:12:49.

sectors, passports for financial services and the best deal for

:12:50.:12:54.

Scotland's fishermen. A lot of sectors have specific interests and

:12:55.:12:58.

we need a hard negotiator who is tough and steely and can go toe to

:12:59.:13:02.

toe with the big players in Europe and who already has contacts with

:13:03.:13:06.

all the interior ministers like Theresa May does. While I think that

:13:07.:13:10.

Andrea Leadsom has a huge, Bright future in the party and has done

:13:11.:13:14.

incredibly well, I have been up against debates and she is talented

:13:15.:13:18.

but I think we need someone who can hit the ground running on day one

:13:19.:13:23.

and that is Theresa May. Hit the ground running yet not offer any

:13:24.:13:29.

decrease in immigration? There has been a lot of discussion. Actual

:13:30.:13:34.

policy? I think there will have to be a lot of work done, not just on

:13:35.:13:40.

the framework... What will that policy look like? On what is on the

:13:41.:13:46.

table form the other 27 nations. I don't think you can criticise anyone

:13:47.:13:50.

who wants the top job for wanting to keep their cards close to their

:13:51.:13:54.

chest before they go to Europe to negotiate. Forgive me for not having

:13:55.:13:59.

congratulated you sooner, Ruth, you got engaged on 23rd May. Andrea

:14:00.:14:05.

Leadsom described as of today as not happy with the legislation that

:14:06.:14:08.

would let you marry your girlfriend. I was a huge proponent of same-sex

:14:09.:14:13.

marriage and that still parts of the UK where that is not permitted, I've

:14:14.:14:20.

been invited by Amnesty to give the animal Pride march in Belfast...

:14:21.:14:23.

Would you want to be in a party led by a woman not happy with the fact

:14:24.:14:27.

that you could marry your fiance in a church? This is my party. She has

:14:28.:14:38.

such is not a huge supporter of it, how do you feel, is it a crisis of

:14:39.:14:43.

conscience, or water off a ducks back? I don't know Andrea Leadsom

:14:44.:14:47.

well, she said it was something to do with her faith, as a woman of

:14:48.:14:52.

faith myself. About my Christianity and some of the difficulties after

:14:53.:14:56.

reconciling my faith and my sexuality I know it can take time

:14:57.:15:00.

for people to do that. I'm very pleased that Theresa May was

:15:01.:15:03.

instrument or in bringing forward same-sex marriage, something I have

:15:04.:15:08.

supported going forward, and whoever becomes Prime Minister will get an

:15:09.:15:12.

invitation to my wedding when it happens! With Davis, thank you, and

:15:13.:15:18.

when that happy day dawns, I hope it is wonderful that you -- Ruth

:15:19.:15:20.

Davidson. The murder of Glasgow shopkeeper

:15:21.:15:25.

Asad Shah on 24th March this year sent shockwaves

:15:26.:15:27.

through the Shawlands area of the city and saw hundreds take

:15:28.:15:29.

to the streets for a vigil Today his killer pled guilty to the

:15:30.:15:32.

murder at Glasgow High Court. A well loved petition Pakistani

:15:33.:15:59.

shopkeeper, Asad Shah, is brutally murdered by another Muslim. A

:16:00.:16:05.

community, a family, are left asking why. Initially, tabloids linked the

:16:06.:16:12.

murder to a Facebook post hours before his death, where Asad Shah

:16:13.:16:15.

wished everybody a happy Easter. Others said he belonged to the

:16:16.:16:22.

persecuted Ackerman Ahmadiyya sect of Islam. This is the story of a

:16:23.:16:28.

murder planned in Bradford, carried out in Glasgow and inspired by

:16:29.:16:32.

events in Pakistan. It ties together the killing of a Scottish shopkeeper

:16:33.:16:38.

with the killing of the Pakistani politician five years ago. Both

:16:39.:16:43.

victims are accused by some Muslims as having committed Basa me. Today

:16:44.:16:49.

the killer of Asad Shah pleaded guilty to the murder. I haven't

:16:50.:16:55.

called him a man. I don't have any message for that monster. He

:16:56.:17:05.

basically took away a person who was peaceful, who wanted unity in the

:17:06.:17:11.

world, who wanted the community is to unite, who wanted to help the

:17:12.:17:20.

community and him harming somewhat someone of peace, literally, he is

:17:21.:17:32.

the enemy of humanity. On the 24th of March, Asad Shah had been working

:17:33.:17:37.

in his family's shop when he was brutally attacked. After stabbing

:17:38.:17:41.

him to death, his killer, who had travelled 200 miles from Bradford,

:17:42.:17:45.

calmly waited at a bus stop opposite for the police. Asad Shah's brother

:17:46.:17:52.

witnessed the attack but still finds it ethical to talk about. He said

:17:53.:17:58.

his father had brought the family to Scotland in the 1990s from Pakistan

:17:59.:18:04.

to escape religious intolerance. His pharmacy was set on fire by

:18:05.:18:08.

extremist there and a hospital was burnt down. We had an apartment

:18:09.:18:14.

above the pharmacy where my parents were with the kids. It was set on

:18:15.:18:19.

fire. My dad thought about our future and thought we would be safer

:18:20.:18:27.

in Britain. It's unimaginable, that's what's happened to my

:18:28.:18:30.

brother. And it was all my dad trying to protect the kids, thinking

:18:31.:18:35.

something like this would happen in Pakistan, and it has happened here.

:18:36.:18:39.

But it seems Asad Shah wasn't targeted for his faith, but for

:18:40.:18:45.

videos posted online. Recorded in his shop but discussing his

:18:46.:18:51.

spiritual beliefs. In some he claims to be a prophet himself. One of

:18:52.:18:56.

those who watched the videos and was incensed by them was 32-year-old

:18:57.:19:01.

Tanveer Ahmed, a minicab driver from Bradford, who would go on to murder

:19:02.:19:06.

Asad Shah. Tanveer Ahmed was a fervent admirer of another killer

:19:07.:19:12.

who had murdered a prominent Pakistani politician who had

:19:13.:19:18.

proposed to reform Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws. He was

:19:19.:19:25.

held up as a hero, despite being executed earlier this year. His

:19:26.:19:31.

brother says Tanveer Ahmed had talked to him about the Glasgow

:19:32.:19:32.

shopkeeper Asad Shah. Photo tributes online portrayed the

:19:33.:19:50.

two killers together. Qadri's brother says Tanveer Ahmed was

:19:51.:19:56.

inspired by his example. Tanveer Ahmed wasn't the only person

:19:57.:20:14.

in Britain to admire Qadri. A number of mosques, including some in

:20:15.:20:18.

Glasgow and Bradford expressed support for him, even if they

:20:19.:20:23.

haven't for Tanveer Ahmed. Both Tanveer Ahmed and Qadri came from a

:20:24.:20:27.

strand of Islam normally associated with a spiritual, liberal

:20:28.:20:33.

interpretation of religion, one that completely opposes Al-Qaeda and

:20:34.:20:40.

Isis, but the murders they committed upsets the narrative. Extremism it

:20:41.:20:47.

seems is much more contradicted. Tonight, Tanveer Ahmed faces a

:20:48.:20:52.

lengthy jail sentence. But even from behind bars he seems able to spread

:20:53.:20:57.

his messages. This post on Facebook appears to be him sending his

:20:58.:21:03.

supporters Eid greetings earlier this week but we haven't been able

:21:04.:21:10.

to confirm it. It ends with a chilling warning, cut the heads from

:21:11.:21:15.

the bodies. The man who murdered your brother, he said he did so

:21:16.:21:19.

because he was defending the honour of the Prophet Muhammad because your

:21:20.:21:22.

brother was claiming to be a prophet. I think it's very clear,

:21:23.:21:32.

when you look at the history, the Prophet Muhammad did not result to

:21:33.:21:37.

violence and things like this. Asad Shah's family have been torn apart

:21:38.:21:41.

by the murder. They want to preserve his memory but are in fear of their

:21:42.:21:44.

lives. It's been very difficult for the family. The family don't feel

:21:45.:21:52.

safe any more. Living here in Scotland. And it has split the

:21:53.:22:04.

family apart, since the incident. And some members of the family have

:22:05.:22:11.

left Scotland, or are in the process of leaving and it really shouldn't

:22:12.:22:17.

have come to this. In the last few years,

:22:18.:22:24.

the word "whatever" and its youthful abbreviation "whatevs" have become

:22:25.:22:28.

bywords for banality, the stock response of

:22:29.:22:30.

the uninterested to tidings about which they

:22:31.:22:32.

could not care less. Strange, then, that Tony Blair's

:22:33.:22:33.

employment of it in a 2002 missive to George W Bush -

:22:34.:22:36.

"I will be with you, whatever" - has proved

:22:37.:22:39.

to be the most important of all 2.6 million words

:22:40.:22:43.

in the Chilcot Report. But we can't be sure of that

:22:44.:22:46.

quite yet because we That plum job's fallen

:22:47.:22:48.

to Newsnight's Diplomatic Editor, Mark Urban, who's now had 36 hours

:22:49.:22:53.

with a tome three times I have done a deep dive into volume

:22:54.:23:10.

eight here, there all manner of different stories and aspects of

:23:11.:23:13.

this. You can take your pick, really. The reason I have chosen to

:23:14.:23:19.

tell this story tonight is because it's a pretty extraordinary tale.

:23:20.:23:23.

Like many of other things, aspects of this were already in the public

:23:24.:23:27.

domain. The idea that Britain's exit from Iraq and Basra was subject to

:23:28.:23:33.

some sort of deal, and here it is in all its sordid detail, after years

:23:34.:23:38.

of trying to bring peace to the streets of Basra and failing, the

:23:39.:23:43.

British Army and MI6 ended up talking to a jailed militia

:23:44.:23:47.

commander in a cell on the outskirts of Basra.

:23:48.:23:53.

In mid-2007 after operations to hit the Shia militia and is, the dish

:23:54.:24:02.

military tried a new tack, opening up discussions with a senior

:24:03.:24:07.

commander they had arrested two years before. In the Chilcot Report

:24:08.:24:08.

the prisoner is called Jam1. They came up with a trial deal.

:24:09.:24:31.

British arrest operations would stop, it couple of British military

:24:32.:24:35.

prisoners would be released and JAM1 would demonstrate his ability to

:24:36.:24:40.

deliver a reduction in violence. The secretive talks came at an Aqua

:24:41.:24:45.

time, just as the British military wanted to hand Basra over to Iraqi

:24:46.:24:50.

forces and pull back to outside the city. -- awkward time. The Americans

:24:51.:24:55.

had spent the summer doing the opposite, surging forces and

:24:56.:24:58.

re-entering many areas. But the British wanted out. The security

:24:59.:25:03.

situation was difficult for us. Every move outside our bases

:25:04.:25:07.

required detailed planning and was high risk. I thought we were having

:25:08.:25:14.

limited effect on improving the security situation in Basra. 90% of

:25:15.:25:20.

the violence was directed against us. Politically there was no contact

:25:21.:25:27.

between us and the local provincial government. Coalition sponsored

:25:28.:25:36.

reconstruction had almost ceased. An MOD civil servant wrote that pulling

:25:37.:25:38.

out of Basra city created... The British toe had started to roll

:25:39.:25:52.

over the deals with debt captive, JAM1, from one month to the next.

:25:53.:25:58.

Each time releasing more Iraqi military prisoners. One MoD civil

:25:59.:26:01.

servant told the Defence Secretary...

:26:02.:26:19.

Covered by their deal, the British pulled out of their main downtown

:26:20.:26:25.

Basra base early in September. The Americans were seething and accused

:26:26.:26:31.

the British of leaving Iraqis to the mercy of the militias, a charge one

:26:32.:26:36.

Chilcot witness rejected. Yes, I think it is unfair. As we heard from

:26:37.:26:41.

the general, we consolidated at the airport as part of a planned and

:26:42.:26:47.

coherent transition from coalition lead to Iraqi lead for

:26:48.:26:55.

responsibility for security. All agreed with the approach and the

:26:56.:27:01.

timings. I think it is unfair. A joint intelligence committee report

:27:02.:27:04.

showed a steep fall in attacks on British forces as a result of the

:27:05.:27:09.

deal and speculated about a broader deal with the militias. Their

:27:10.:27:15.

prisoner, JAM1, asked to be on the next wave of prisoner releases. Time

:27:16.:27:22.

was running out. By the end of 2007, JAM1, who the Chilcot Report doesn't

:27:23.:27:29.

name, but we know to have been... Was released. In the last months

:27:30.:27:36.

violence picked up again. It reached a peak in March 2008 when Iraqi

:27:37.:27:41.

forces engaged in a full-scale battle. For some days the British

:27:42.:27:45.

hung back at the airport and American advisers went into Basra to

:27:46.:27:50.

help restore the situation. It all added to the sense of an ignominious

:27:51.:27:52.

end to the mission. It will take years for the full

:27:53.:27:55.

impact of the Chilcot Report into the Iraq war to be

:27:56.:27:59.

properly measured. Yesterday, as the man at its heart

:28:00.:28:01.

responded to its publication, it took mere moments for talk

:28:02.:28:05.

to turn to the demeanour and even They are, though, subjects

:28:06.:28:08.

which have long exercised Once a close friend of the former

:28:09.:28:13.

Prime Minister, it's fair to say they'd fallen out by the time Harris

:28:14.:28:17.

published his 2010 novel, The Ghost, featuring

:28:18.:28:20.

a thinly-disguised Blair facing In this film, Robert Harris

:28:21.:28:23.

considers his former I first met Tony Blair in 1992, just

:28:24.:28:42.

before John Major beat Neil Kinnock in that general election. My

:28:43.:28:46.

overwhelming impression, I had never met him before, he was then the

:28:47.:28:50.

Labour employment spokesman and I was a columnist on the Sunday Times.

:28:51.:28:54.

He was above all refreshingly normal and he always talked as if he was

:28:55.:28:58.

separate from politics in a funny way. He empathised with somebody

:28:59.:29:03.

outside politics and he would say, I don't know why I'm doing this. We

:29:04.:29:06.

don't seem to be going anywhere. I don't know why just don't give it

:29:07.:29:12.

all up and go back to being a barrister and spend more time with

:29:13.:29:18.

my wife and kids. One can't underestimate the importance of that

:29:19.:29:22.

quality in Tony Blair, and what made in 1997 election possible. I was

:29:23.:29:31.

with him in his constituency home in his sitting room, standing with him

:29:32.:29:38.

at 10pm on election night when the election poll was first revealed and

:29:39.:29:42.

David Dimbleby said we predict it will be the Labour Party with a

:29:43.:29:46.

majority of 146. Extraordinary, nobody had forecast that. I remember

:29:47.:29:51.

saying to him, how do you feel, because I had to write it up. He

:29:52.:29:56.

said, I feel nothing, really. I'm just ready to get onto the next

:29:57.:30:01.

thing. When I first arrived at his home in Sedgefield it was the

:30:02.:30:05.

ordinary policemen on the door, but when I left, and it was clear he

:30:06.:30:10.

would be Prime Minister, there were five or six men with machine guns

:30:11.:30:13.

patrolling the gardens. From that time onwards I guess he never lived

:30:14.:30:20.

a normal life again. I remember going to dinner at Chequers in the

:30:21.:30:24.

summer after he was elected Prime Minister. Really almost the first

:30:25.:30:32.

warning sign I got was that they were discussing a cabinet meeting,

:30:33.:30:37.

and Roy Jenkins was there. In the 70s or 60s when he was a cabinet

:30:38.:30:42.

minister, they had two hours on a Tuesday and two hours on Thursday.

:30:43.:30:46.

Tony Blair said they wouldn't do that, just 45 minutes once per week.

:30:47.:30:54.

Ireland but Jenkins looking at him, and I looked at Roy, and it was the

:30:55.:30:58.

first moment where we thought, it will be a very personal, one-man

:30:59.:31:03.

government. -- I remember. He often wore make-up, even when not in a

:31:04.:31:08.

television studio. I don't know why, maybe it appealed to him, that sense

:31:09.:31:13.

of always being gay performer. You don't pray together for example? No,

:31:14.:31:20.

we don't pray together, Jeremy. Religious faith is very important

:31:21.:31:27.

for him. He developed a very, good and evil point of view of the world.

:31:28.:31:31.

When I saw he had written to George Bush, I am with you whatever, it has

:31:32.:31:37.

the biblical connotation, I will be with you even to the end. And so, I

:31:38.:31:45.

think you can see their this sort of very personalised, for want of a

:31:46.:31:52.

better word, MSI and it kind of view of politics. -- Messianic view of

:31:53.:32:02.

politics. As things went wrong, he developed a kind of masochism

:32:03.:32:08.

strategy that reached its full flowering yesterday with the

:32:09.:32:10.

publication of the Chilcot Report. That was almost like Christ nailed

:32:11.:32:16.

to the cross. With Tony Blair you can never be quite sure where the

:32:17.:32:20.

performance ends and the private man begins. I felt there there was

:32:21.:32:26.

perhaps a mixture of the two and he was playing Christ on the cross, but

:32:27.:32:33.

also in a way, he is in anguish, and he has morphed into this strange

:32:34.:32:40.

figure that is not any longer quite of this world. It's said that all

:32:41.:32:46.

prime ministers go mad after a time. And certainly Margaret Thatcher

:32:47.:32:52.

began to behave erratically. But I don't think any has gone quite as

:32:53.:32:58.

strange, I'm afraid, as Tony Blair, simply because he started out so

:32:59.:33:00.

ordinary to begin with. David Cameron - remember him?

:33:01.:33:06.

- didn't make much of it, and Alistair Campbell famously

:33:07.:33:11.

forbade Tony Blair to speak of his own faith in public, boldly

:33:12.:33:13.

stating, "We don't do God." But the next Prime Minister

:33:14.:33:16.

definitely does. Both contenders are

:33:17.:33:18.

practising Christians. Theresa May is a vicar's daughter

:33:19.:33:19.

and Andrea Leadsom today declined to deny that she believed

:33:20.:33:22.

the Almighty had ever On the other side of the Atlantic,

:33:23.:33:24.

Christianity and right-wing politics often seem to combine to create

:33:25.:33:31.

homophobic rhetoric and ugly scenes So, could we see more of that

:33:32.:33:34.

over here, or perhaps, instead, a kinder, more

:33:35.:33:37.

morally upright frame for politics, influenced

:33:38.:33:40.

by the Christian religion? David Grossman has been

:33:41.:33:43.

considering the leadership One of 5.4 FM in London and across

:33:44.:34:05.

the UK and Digital radio. David Cameron once famously described his

:34:06.:34:09.

own Christian faith as rather like the reception of the London radio

:34:10.:34:14.

station Magic FM in the Chiltern Hills, it fades in and out, he said.

:34:15.:34:20.

But for a large number of the current crop of Conservative MPs

:34:21.:34:25.

their faith is constant and informs their politics. It is central to

:34:26.:34:30.

their political lives. What's more large number of those who contested

:34:31.:34:33.

the conservatively to ship this time say they are active Christians. The

:34:34.:34:39.

question is, is this just a coincidence or has something

:34:40.:34:43.

happened to the Conservative Party and its relationship with God and

:34:44.:34:50.

church? There was, and I was part of it, an influential organisation

:34:51.:34:54.

still active in the party today called the conservative Christian

:34:55.:34:59.

Fellowship. Over a long period it recruited churchgoers, went to

:35:00.:35:02.

churches and said get involved with politics. There may be an element of

:35:03.:35:08.

that work coming to fruition but that work was certainly done before

:35:09.:35:13.

people like Theresa May applied to be party members. Front runner

:35:14.:35:17.

Theresa May is a vicar's daughter and says her faith is active and

:35:18.:35:23.

deep. I think the point is that it is part of me. Part of who I am and

:35:24.:35:28.

how I approach things. I think it's right that we don't flaunt these

:35:29.:35:33.

things in British politics. But it is a part of me, it is there and it

:35:34.:35:38.

obviously helps to frame my thinking and my approach. The other

:35:39.:35:44.

contenders still in the race, Andrea Leadsom, has come to faith more

:35:45.:35:48.

recently and seems more enthusiastic about discussing it. Ace I always

:35:49.:35:55.

tried to ensure that I am doing what I think God would want me to do. I

:35:56.:36:00.

don't mean that in the sense that I am not responsible for what I am

:36:01.:36:04.

doing but try to keep in mind that God is there and guiding my hands,

:36:05.:36:10.

and helping me. Andrea Leadsom is part of the all-party Christians in

:36:11.:36:14.

Parliament group who meet to pray and study the Bible together. The

:36:15.:36:19.

chairman of the group says Christian conservatives in particular have had

:36:20.:36:23.

an image problem. Frankly over the last couple of decades Christians on

:36:24.:36:28.

the right, we have not helped ourselves by pinpointing a couple of

:36:29.:36:32.

issues and sometimes using the language. I think we are learning a

:36:33.:36:36.

lot but that is not the way forward. It doesn't express the love of the

:36:37.:36:41.

God we seek to follow. We've got to get over that. I don't blame people

:36:42.:36:46.

for thinking we are hung up on one or two issues. It was the case a few

:36:47.:36:51.

years ago. I hope increasingly it is not the case. Yet those issues,

:36:52.:37:01.

abortion and particularly gay marriage are important to many party

:37:02.:37:03.

activists who will be picking the next Prime Minister. David Cameron

:37:04.:37:06.

drew criticism from his grasp modes legislating for gay marriage about

:37:07.:37:09.

it being in the party manifesto. Today Andrea Leadsom said she would

:37:10.:37:16.

have preferred the law not to be changed. I would have preferred

:37:17.:37:20.

civil partnerships to be available to heterosexual and to gay couples

:37:21.:37:24.

and four marriage to have remained as a Christian service that was her

:37:25.:37:32.

men and women who wanted to commit in the eyes of God. But crucially

:37:33.:37:38.

Andrea Leadsom isn't proposing to change the law back. It seems we are

:37:39.:37:41.

a long way from the kind of religious rights are active in

:37:42.:37:42.

American politics. Well, to discuss this and the wider

:37:43.:37:45.

leadership race I'm joined by Conservative peer and commentator

:37:46.:37:47.

Danny Finkelstein, Guardian columnist Zoe Williams

:37:48.:37:49.

and Tim Montgomerie of the Times. And also the star of the film that

:37:50.:38:02.

we just saw! Is religion having a resurgence in the Conservative

:38:03.:38:08.

Party? I don't know but I welcome its overall influence. If you look

:38:09.:38:11.

at Theresa May and some of the flagship reforms she has pioneered

:38:12.:38:16.

against human trafficking, changing the stop and search laws that

:38:17.:38:22.

discriminated and targeted minority communities particularly in London,

:38:23.:38:26.

I think that sort of moral purpose... The Conservatives used to

:38:27.:38:30.

talk about economic issues and it was more up like a party of

:38:31.:38:32.

accountancy focus. I think what some of the Christians in the

:38:33.:38:52.

party have brought in is not an American right style of politics but

:38:53.:38:54.

it is a concern for bigger moral issues and I think it is overall

:38:55.:38:57.

very good. Andrea Leadsom and are interested in tackling the problems

:38:58.:38:59.

of young children, she wants much more spending on early intervention.

:39:00.:39:01.

They could not hold these views unless they went to church? No axed

:39:02.:39:06.

amuck sometimes I think there is coverage of the party claiming that

:39:07.:39:12.

they are only interested in gay rights or abortion, whereas if you

:39:13.:39:16.

go to a sermon in a church it is more likely to be on social justice

:39:17.:39:20.

and concern for the poor and we are seeing those Christians coming to

:39:21.:39:23.

the front of the party when they go week in, week out to cure about

:39:24.:39:29.

those issues in churches. Zoe, are you joining your hands in prayer? I

:39:30.:39:36.

am an atheist, all religions are equally ridiculous to me and I think

:39:37.:39:40.

the place of religion in politics is to create an authoritarian frame

:39:41.:39:44.

where one person establishes that authority over another, whether

:39:45.:39:46.

because they are heterosexual or think of themselves as more moral,

:39:47.:39:52.

that's equally problematic. And the weird thing is that Christians and

:39:53.:39:57.

politics are obsessed with sets. It's all about, sexuality and

:39:58.:40:02.

abortion. If they were more into equality, Jesus's big thing, we

:40:03.:40:06.

could talk. I don't keep abreast of major religions and maybe honesty is

:40:07.:40:11.

not a big thing any more yet I don't take either of these women seriously

:40:12.:40:16.

as people of faith when they are not honest. Leadsom all day long has

:40:17.:40:21.

been embellishing her CV and her achievements and her role in the

:40:22.:40:25.

financial sector. She insists she has done nothing of the sort. She

:40:26.:40:30.

called herself an investment manager when she was an age are at the time.

:40:31.:40:35.

She is not an honest person, I think. Bat she was in human

:40:36.:40:39.

resources at the time. So to take her as an honest voice in Christian

:40:40.:40:48.

politics is strange. Is it not the problem that if a politician can

:40:49.:40:52.

say, God told me to do it, then all bets are off? It is a bizarre

:40:53.:41:04.

metropolitan... To which by the way, I belong, idea that people who are

:41:05.:41:09.

Christian and outlandish. I am Jewish and I have never experienced

:41:10.:41:12.

Christianity in the Conservative Party as an oppressive force. I

:41:13.:41:20.

think Tim is correct. What has happened which is increased

:41:21.:41:23.

Christian activism in the party in the last 15 years has gone alongside

:41:24.:41:29.

increased social liberalism. Those two things have coexisted. I think

:41:30.:41:32.

we should not try to look into people's souls and tell them...

:41:33.:41:39.

Let's look entirely at the surface. Because on the surface it is the

:41:40.:41:44.

gender of the two leading candidates that the editors find most

:41:45.:41:49.

interesting. Zoe, do you dream of a day where we would not even notice

:41:50.:41:53.

that both candidates are women? That they will be a long time coming.

:41:54.:41:59.

It's extraordinary that the Conservatives should deliver an

:42:00.:42:03.

all-female short list, having ridiculed... There was an

:42:04.:42:08.

interesting tweet which I disagreed with which was the reason that

:42:09.:42:12.

conservatives are so good at women is that they don't obsess about

:42:13.:42:16.

identity politics like the left too. I don't agree. This has occurred

:42:17.:42:21.

acres of a bloodbath, a public school stitch up and then they all

:42:22.:42:29.

turned on each other, like Lord Of The Flies. And so happened that the

:42:30.:42:33.

only two people left all women. It's a triumph of deregulated free-market

:42:34.:42:37.

politics that yields the result is that the left-wingers would love to

:42:38.:42:43.

see. This is not proof of anything. No. The reason that the Labour

:42:44.:42:52.

Party, the left, boastful and saw women is because they thought women

:42:53.:42:57.

would vote Conservative. And for a long period of history the

:42:58.:42:59.

Conservative Party has done women are better than men. But it has

:43:00.:43:04.

stopped doing that and what many modernisers have wanted to achieved

:43:05.:43:10.

is that it should do that again. Two things, this is an encouraging

:43:11.:43:13.

development, secondly, only a small one. It comes despite the fact that

:43:14.:43:18.

we are still a long way from equality. Because these women did

:43:19.:43:23.

not come through all women short lists, they had to fight for seats.

:43:24.:43:31.

They became much better politicians because they had to overcome

:43:32.:43:35.

obstacles, sometimes more so, than the men face. Whereas the women who

:43:36.:43:39.

have come through the Labour Party haven't had that same element of

:43:40.:43:42.

political gorilla warfare that businesses are read to win these

:43:43.:43:51.

seats. For example? The Labour have all women short lists. Give an

:43:52.:43:55.

example of a rubbish Labour woman who would not have won a Tory seat.

:43:56.:44:01.

You haven't had a woman he'd still whereas the Tory party has a stream

:44:02.:44:05.

of women coming through. You don't seriously think these two women are

:44:06.:44:10.

the best politicians in the Conservative Party? I think Theresa

:44:11.:44:14.

May is incredibly impressive as a politician. You were backing Michael

:44:15.:44:22.

Gove at the weekend. I backed Boris Johnson committee would have been my

:44:23.:44:29.

choice. Go for the hat-trick, who will you back next? And that we will

:44:30.:44:33.

have a two-month contest because I have no idea what Theresa May thinks

:44:34.:44:37.

about, for example, Seve Javid and his idea of borrowing... Were not

:44:38.:44:47.

some of the Labour women suggesting that at the last general election?

:44:48.:44:51.

They was adjusting borrowing on every front! -- Sajid Javid. It's

:44:52.:44:59.

exactly the same, it just came from a Tory. I think the Conservative

:45:00.:45:06.

Party has a number of very good women and it is very good that we

:45:07.:45:11.

have to women in but that should not disguise the fact that the party and

:45:12.:45:15.

British politics is a long way from achieving equality in politics for

:45:16.:45:23.

women. The point is that not all women are feminists. Neither of

:45:24.:45:25.

these two will improve the lot of women. Thank you all very much. That

:45:26.:45:32.

is all that we have time for. Good night.

:45:33.:45:43.

Hello, not much changing over the next few days, more rain and some

:45:44.:45:51.

sunshine. Heavy rain overnight will clear from

:45:52.:45:53.

James O'Brien with the latest on the Conservative leadership election, with comment from Ruth Davidson. Plus Asad Shah's killer's extremist links exposed, Robert Harris on Tony Blair and Chilcot on the UK's Basra record.


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