01/08/2016 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Evan Davis, including a look at the food queues of Venezuela and Cameron's honours.

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Thank you very much indeed, Liverpool.


He can still attract a big crowd - Jeremy Corbyn rallies his troops


But in Westminster, the chatter has been very different.


They're not talking about it in public, but behind the scenes


Labour's warring factions have been trying to answer a vital question -


can the MPs unilaterally dump Corbyn and have their own leader


Rebel Labour MPs have been thinking about their options


should Jeremy Corbyn win the Labour leadership again in September.


Newsnight has learnt that MPs on both sides have been in touch


with parliamentary officials to discuss the mechanics


of a declaration of independence at Westminster from


The veteran MP Greville Janner may have died last year,


but allegations of child sexual exploitation have not gone away.


His family are determined to defend him.


Dad is dead, and so there's not the possibility of the other side


It's the people making the accusations' word,


We're in the food queues in Venezuela, where something


It's hard not to view the goings on in the Labour Party this summer


without thinking that this is more than a fleeting domestic row.


Can it carry on into next summer too?


Well, it's been said that the two wings of the party are like a couple


who want a divorce, but can't bring themselves to separate,


because neither can afford to move out.


Publicly of course, no-one in Labour yet wants to talk about a split.


But it turns out there have been conversations


about what could happen if Mr Corbyn wins again.


What the implications might be of MPs detaching themselves


Is this a solution, or an aggravation


Nick Watt has been looking at the rebel MPs options.


It is hard lay summer of -- hardly a summer of love in the Labour Party.


Jeremy Corbyn has lost the confidence of his MPs, but tonight


thousands of supporters turned out for him in Liverpool. His


challenger, Owen Smith, is putting up a fight. But thoughts are turning


to life under a rejuvenated Jeremy Corbyn. A full split is being


discussed on the fringes of the party, by the two historic splits in


the Labour Party have left a painful legacy. For the moment, a full split


is seen as a step too far. This unhappiness with Jeremy and people


are worried about the general election, but I don't see any


inclination for a split. I don't hear colleagues talking about it. I


don't think it will happen. I think it is a media fixation. With a full


split unlikely, some MPs are exploring other avenues. Some of


Jeremy Corbyn's Labour opponents have been dusting down the


Parliamentary rule books to see if they could be called the opposition


if they can command greater support at Westminster. We understand both


sides from Labour's war have been in touch with Parliamentary officials


to see whether this is a realistic prospect. The rules it would appear


are somewhat opaque. If a large breakaway group wanted to go to the


speaker and claim to be the opposition, without breaking away


officially from the Labour Party, that could place the Speaker in a


difficult position. That in effect he would be making a judgment as to


whether the Labour Party continued in its current form. In the shadows


some Labour figures are looking at clipping Jeremy Corbyn's wings, by


reviving the tradition of holding elections to the Shadow Cabinet.


Labour MPs who are opposed to him would have the first say on changing


the rules. If they were voting in Shadow Cabinet elections I imagine


they would choose members they saw as more moderate and so you would


have a party leader from one faction of the party and a Shadow Cabinet


representing an alternative point of view. It is hard to see that they


would be electing many Jeremy Corbyn supporters. That would change


things. Reviving Shadow Cabinet elections would involve changing


party rules, I would have to be approved by the national executive


committee and the Labour Party conference. The most likely outcome


may be a continuing stand off between Labour's opposing factions.


We have spoke on the senior figures opposed to Jeremy Corbyn who say


their best hope is for Theresa May to go back on her word and call an


early general election to gain a mandate for the EU renegotiate


shuns. Who would have thought that Labour MPs would look to a Tory


Prime Minister to challenge their leader for them. Nick is with me.


Let us focus on the conversations with The Speaker's office. If they


concluded that can't work? It is interesting that the distrust is so


great that the two factions have been holding separate informal


meetings. What this shows about the Corbyn camp is they're so worried


about their control of party, they're saying could this happen sta


message they're getting is it is a matter in the hands of the Speaker


the anti-Corbyn people say can we pull this off, because they're


determined to marginalise Jeremy Corbyn. It comes down on the side of


he or she who holds the title deeds of Labour Party, that will be Jeremy


Corbyn and that explains why we are moving away from splits and


breakaways. 75% of MPs said they didn't have confidence in Jeremy


Corbyn. How many of them are serious enough to up the ante, as opposed we


don't have confidence in him, but if the party want him we will stick


with him. How many of those are there? That 80% figure looks good on


Pape e but one of Jeremy Corbyn's opponents said it is a flimsy


figure. This person said 60 who said they had no confidence in Jeremy


Corbyn will rediscover their confidence if he is elected leader


and you will have a functioning front bench. 30 will hunker down and


MPs. And there may be a core group hostile, that was the phrase in the


internal Jeremy Corbyn office group and this person said s as for us, we


will be progressively picked off with deselections. This is why you


came down this idea of stand off. What does that mean? Perhaps it mean


another Tory government. What can it mean you have a disagreement between


the leader and the bulk of his or her own MPs. It may see our


favourite verb come back, that is unresignations, those who resigned


will unresign and come back. Difficult for senior people to do


that. Because we can play back what they said on these programmes. So


that is the first thing. I think the second thing that will happen is the


shadow, Shadow Cabinet. It is difficult to revive the rules and


you may have a parallel op ocean where senior figures will stand up


and say their own things. But some of those most ardent opponents of


Jeremy Corbyn are saying weirdly their best hope is in Theresa May


finding herself having to go back on her word and call a general election


if she runs into difficulties over an EU mandate, because they say


Jeremy Corbyn would struggle to do well there and then hopefully that


would be their chance. But by then, you may have a very different Labour


Party and many more MPs from the left. Thank you.


The dead can't defend themselves, but their families can.


And the family of the late Greville Janner, the long serving


Labour MP for Leicester West and later a peer, are certainly


fighting back against the numerous allegations that he sexually


He died last year, after several years with dementia, having never


He had been questioned in 1991, and there had been subsequent


investigations into him, but without any action taken.


Then last year, in the post-Saville era, his case shot to the fore.


The Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales said


that she thought there had been enough evidence in the past


Despite her reservations and despite his illness,


Janner made a brief, confused appearance in court


However, the case against Greville Janner is down


to be one topic of the huge Independent Inquiry


into Child Sexual Abuse, under Justice Lowell Goddard.


And that has annoyed the Janner family.


To them he was a loving father who tried to help, not


I sat down with Lord Janner's daughter Marion this


afternoon, at her - and what had been his - home.


I asked how aware of the allegation he was in the year before he died.


Completely unaware, because he didn't have the cognitive


understanding to grasp what was going on.


So in fact, we had a news blackout in the house,


so he had absolutely no idea - which was one of the


The family have felt absolutely, 100% behind him all the way.


You were personally obviously very loyal, you looked


I wonder whether, at any point in that, you've


had your own doubts or questions, or whether you have thought


at any stage, did he abuse children in his past?


No, no, absolutely not, because we have the evidence


We know, so it's not a sort of blind loyalty


because he was a wonderful dad, it just wasn't like that.


It's the facts, we have had evidence, which is


There are investigative journalists who have done some


fantastic discovery work, and we know that he cannot have


Let's focus on one case, which is actually the one, I think,


in which most of the evidence has been accumulated and talked about.


It's an interesting one, because obviously the facts


Your father befriended the boy, he was a teenager,


he was in a children's home and he saw quite a lot


of your father, and your father wrote to him, love Greville letters,


so there's no question about the relationship.


And then this boy said it was a sexual relationship.


Do, at the very least, you ever think to yourself,


was that a bit weird, that relationship?


It's not strange for somebody of dad's generation or for our family.


My grandparents, dad's parents, had an open house during the war,


so anyone could come and stay with them.


We were a family who has a family of sort of history of rescuing


people, and dad was fired up with a sense of social justice,


and he was just really committed to helping people whose lives


And because we have such a loving family, I think dad really fell


for people who didn't have a family at all,


and were stuck in a children's home, so it seemed, at the


Looking back you think, that was naive, risky,


courageous, but at the time it just seemed like the right thing to do.


It seemed absolutely the right thing to do.


One of the facts, and I think it's disputed, is whether or not your


father spent the night alone with this chap over some periods.


He claims it was at the Holiday Inn in Leicester, with your father,


The Scottish case has been looked at, hasn't it?


Are you convinced there were no points at which your father


actually spent the night with this complainant?


I've absolutely no idea, but if he did, it would have been


Obviously, we now regret that he put himself in a position


where he was open to accusation, but it was done out


What do you think of the process now?


We've got a country that has obviously become greatly more


concerned about these issues than it used to be.


Justice Lowell Goddard is leading an inquiry into child abuse,


and your father is one stream of this inquiry.


It's an outrage, it's an absolute outrage.


The other 12 strands are all institutions,


big institutions - the NHS, the church -


and there's one strand on one individual who was never convicted,


and at the time, at this round of accusations,


had severe dementia so couldn't defend himself, and is now dead.


It doesn't contain within it the possibility of justice.


It goes against everything that the British believe in.


There's not the possibility of the other side of


It's the people making the accusations' word,


against a corpse, which doesn't work.


It cannot be just, it cannot be right.


The numbers and the persistence of cases and chatter,


It's been well described by other people who've been


proved false accusations, and they've come out the other end


That actually, if you're in a situation where you can make


such a serious allegation about someone, and be


I mean, frankly you don't have a lot to lose.


Justice Lowell Goddard is presumably an intelligent and bright person,


and a bit worldwide and who will make judgments about the evidence


and isn't just going to hear it all in a completely naive way


and just write it down and say, here's what happened.


Presumably this is now the first time someone is going, in public,


to sit down and pronounce in a kind of objective way, listening to all


How can it be all sides of the argument, with dad dead?


And also, the individuals can't be cross-examined, because


People are being automatically believed, so anyone can


come forward and say, this person did this to me,


this person did that to me, or Greville Janner did this to me,


and will be automatically believed, so the process is grotesque


Marion Janner, thank you very much


In response to that interview today lawyers for Lord Janner's alleged


victim says they cannot have been waiting years for justice.


You don't have to go back far to remember Hugo Chavez's Venezuela


being hailed as a beacon of socialist success -


a country that had rejected western imposed neo-liberalism and carved


Well, it's not a beacon of anything at the moment.


It has gone badly wrong in the post-Chavez years,


and they are not keen on people


In essence, when oil prices fell, the money ran out.


BBC reporter Vladimir Hernandez grew up in Venezuela and has been


there with film-maker Greg Brosnan, looking at what that means


This is what a trip to the supermarket looks like in Venezuela.


A lot of people have come up to us and told us how angry they are,


because they've been here for over 12 hours and they've not been able


This man in blue warns us, they've seen you.


And then we're surrounded by soldiers.


Welcome to my country, Venezuela, a country of food queues


that the government doesn't want us filming, a country


As soon as we get out the car, people have started shouting


and telling us that they're hungry, really.


They told me they have been protesting for three days


Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro faces an economic crisis unlike any


The socialist experiment his predecessor, Hugo Chavez,


began 17 years ago is failing, triggering massive food


Maduro inherited Chavez's socialist experiment,


but not the high oil prices that financed his public spending.


This man is blind and relies on government food aid.


This woman is feeding her baby with sugared water.


She said she can't produce breastmilk, she's too malnourished.


She was eating three times a day when she took this picture a year


ago. There is some food on sale, but most


people can't afford to buy it. Venezuela has the highest inflation


in the world and it's hitting the poor hardest. The government has


made some staples like flour and rice available at pre-inflation


prices, but there's not enough to go around. That is the supermarket, and


those queues of people, who have been there since the early hours,


been told there is flour today. These cues literally go round all of


the building, going downstairs into the basement, and then come up again


until they are finally able to get into the supermarket, hoping to get


flour. President Maduro took over when the long serving President Hugo


Chavez died three years ago to stop his popularity has plunged, as many


Venezuelans claimed their hunger on his economic mismanagement. The


government says it's not to blame, but the victim of an economic war,


waged by speculators and foreign powers intent on regime change in


Venezuela. This is where the Venezuelan


government shows its military strength, with missile launchers,


this is a country that rises, but here they are trying to show they


are still strong. President Maduro's official term


lasts until 2019. A movement is pushing for a referendum and to


remove him from office early. For now, Venezuelans will have to wait


in line. Vladimir Hernandez reporting,


and he was working with There's a longer


version on the iPlayer. Look for the Our World documentary


series and you'll see You get quite a lot of perks


as a Prime Minister - the house, the cat, the opportunity to mingle


with world leaders and the chance to pretend you might


detonate a nuclear weapon. But you also get some


power to bestow honours David Cameron's farewell honours


list has been leaked, and it seems an an OBE is in store


for Samantha's stylist, and a Companion of Honour


for George Osborne. One or two useful funders


get a gong, and a few The list has aroused howls


of outrage and surprise - although it's hardly the first time


a Prime Minister's use the power The basic question is whether it's


right the PM should have some slips in a pocket


or handbag, to offer people. I'm joined by Lord Bell, Tim Bell,


who was knighted in the Thatcher resignation honours and became


a peer later on, and writer Good evening to you both. Yasmin,


you had an MBE at one stage? I did. It's one of the things I most


regret, accepting. I did return it over the Iraq war. It's so easy, I


can't describe to you how easy it is to feel incredibly, foolishly


flattered. That you will be more precious and important than the


others. And MBE as well? Yes, but even so, it's so easy, so I do


understand what it means. Did it mean a lot to you, when you got the


knighthood in that that Shell resignation, what did that mean to


you? I was extremely grateful. And very flattered, and it meant a great


deal to me, it still does. It didn't mean anything to anybody else, but


so what? What did you get it for, do you think? I got it for services to


the former Prime Minister. I worked for her for 15 years, for nothing


and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, I had a wonderful time. I met lots of


people I liked, I had a great time, I was given a night to it, I was


very proud of it, I Worrallo with pride and I will continue to do so.


I'm interested. It seemed right that she should express her gratitude in


some way. A handwritten note would be... I suppose the controversy is


whether the Prime Minister should have the power to use our honour,


our respect and bestow that upon you with a public,. Would you think of


that? It seems a bit strange, really. You were working for her as


a political ally. Yes? As an adviser, actually. Yes, I don't


think it means anything at all. It's like being given a box of


chocolates. It doesn't carry any weight whatsoever. The peerage is


slightly different, because I get a chance to speak in the legislature


and I can help pass laws and end laws, its a different concept. I was


a elected as a peer, which means have a vote in the House of Lords,


and that's another job, and I get paid for it. That's different. How


outrageous is it, do you think about the Prime Minister does have this


right? Prime ministers need to get things done, basically. This is like


billionaires getting goody bags, it's like that. Lord Bell was very


successful and had a lot of power and a lot of influence. Why did you


need this damp, this goody bag, on top of it? And it isn't personal.


Like I said, I didn't want to take it but I was enormously flattered. I


understand. It's just wrong for any political leader to use it as a gift


bag for their friends. Lord Bell? You say it was impersonal, it was


entirely personal. It was given to me in her resignation less. No me,


I'm not being personal. I just want to push you on this, Yasmin Alibai


Brown, the argument has been put this is the least corrupt way of


Prime Minister 's rewarding loyalty and being nice to friends, and if


you take away these little things they can give away then you start


getting brown envelopes. Most people who get these are incredibly


powerful and many of them are incredibly rich. They don't need


anything extra. Look, I don't know of a single care worker who is a


Dame, there isn't one. They go to certain kinds of people. I own


means, the political parties can have their own reward system, they


can take them on holidays, that's fine. We're talking about the


difference between the political parties and the nation and we need


something that doesn't have a stench bust up Lord Bal, the question is...


Stench? I am not worth anything. And I don't have fortunes of money and


everything I've got I worked for. None of it was given to me by


anybody. You can have the envy argument, but it is pointless. In


your experience, does actually motivate people? A backbench MP,


been a bit of a troublemaker in the past and then the Prime Minister


wants you to come onside and come on matey Foster explained to me how it


works? Is it explicit? I don't recognise the example you gave me.


I'm sure it can be imagined, I'm sure people can dream it up, but I'm


not aware of it. I wasn't a troublesome backbencher, I was very


much at the forefront of the campaign is, and I got rewarded for


the things I've done. I was very grateful for it. I thought it was a


very nice gesture by Mrs Thatcher and the people who approved it. It


doesn't make any difference what anybody else says, it won't make any


difference to how proud I am. That's fine, but there is a very serious


argument to be had here. People still like to think there is no


corruption in Britain. There are subtle forms of corruption. I


personally know of people, two men who played paper money and got an


MBE and then got a higher something and then got into the Lords. It was


a very systematic thing. And it worked. Now there is something wrong


here. I like them very much as individuals, but there is something


wrong, where there is this perception that things can be


bought, these things can be bought. In fairness we have known this for


quite a while going back to the 1920s. You know that you don't need


to respect Lord Bell and his honour, but if you want to you can. We need


a good, clean, honours system which isn't dependent on patronage from


the political leaders and I would go further, that not even patronage


from the Royal family. It needs to be independent, it needs to be


something that everybody feels they can get.


Lord Bell enjoy your Hon hours. I don't have the faintest, how you


create the system. We need to leave it there. Thank you both.


You know it's August by the way, not just because it's been raining,


but because we're down to a shorter duration for 30 minutes


The Government announced today that the license fee will be


extended to the iPlayer from September 1st.


We're not quite sure if the semi-mythical TV detector


vans will be able to enforce this, or if indeed they still exist.


Yes, there is a TV set at No 5. It is in the front room. And they're


watching Columbo. If you don't have a TV licence it won't take us long


to find you.


Will Labour split? Greville Janner's daughter defends her father. Plus a look at the food queues of Venezuela and Cameron's honours.

With Evan Davis.

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