17/08/2016 Newsnight


17/08/2016

The report into Tory bullying, the latest on the Garden Bridge, the latest news from Ukraine and Angela Rippon dances off Throne of Games. With Evan Davis.


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Transcript


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The Garden Bridge across the Thames in London.

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We love to sneer. That's the brilliant thing about the democracy

:00:08.:00:21.

of our country, that we can all say what we want. But people need to

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spot through all of that what our people's separate agendas.

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We'll ask the chairman of the Garden Bridge Trust

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A year ago, this young Conservative activist killed himself.

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He said he'd been bullied by a more senior party worker.

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Today the Conservatives published their own inquiry

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And yes, they knew it was a risk to put that particular man in charge.

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So did the party properly discharge its duty of care

:00:50.:00:51.

And guess who's finally hauled Steve Smith off

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You know how public money so often gets spent in London -

:01:00.:01:14.

sprucing it up, attracting tourists, hosting Olympics.

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And you know how hard it is for other parts

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of the country to get the same financial attention.

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Well, there is one London project that has come to typify the problem

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more than any other - it's costing the taxpayer

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It's not even something that all Londoners want.

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It is a garden bridge across the Thames.

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It's amazing how controversial it has turned out to be.

:01:38.:01:40.

The designer Thomas Heatherwick - famous for the Olympic

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torch - is behind it, backed by Joanne Lumley.

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But can it be dismissed as a celebrity-promoted indulgence?

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Or is it a cost-effective investment for the national taxpayer?

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At nearly 370 metres long, and covered with flowers, shrubs and

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trees, the Garden Bridge Is no ordinary river crossing. It is

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hoping to be an attraction in itself, as well as Regis in

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congestion in a busy part of London. It has attracted ?60 million of

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taxpayer money. Few would argue that the designs for the Garden Bridge

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are unimpressive, but plenty of people don't want it ever to be

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built, and they are asking questions, like, will the money ever

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be had for it to go ahead? It appears that the finances are more

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precarious than anyone has previously admitted. If we could all

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slow down for a moment, look up... Many supporters have made their case

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passionately. This was an example of Britain at its best, proof that we

:02:55.:02:59.

could bear to be ground-breaking. I grew up in the 1970s and 80s, when

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nothing happened. It felt like Britain was stuck and a bit

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paralysed was it was cities like Paris and Barcelona that dared to

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create future culture. And amenity, and celebrate the public dimension.

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The idea of a free garden that open longer than any of the Royal Parks,

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for all of us, is a thrilling thing. But the bridge is not having an easy

:03:32.:03:38.

ride. Transport For London have conceded that the procurement

:03:39.:03:40.

process was neither is open or as fair as it should have been, and in

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July, Newsnight reported that the Government is deciding whether or

:03:47.:03:49.

not to continue underwriting the project. If it doesn't, the bridge

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is finished. On top of that, the Garden Bridge Trust is yet to buy

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the land they need on both sides of the river, plus the National Audit

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Office and Charity commission are investigating. The major problem

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could well be the money. If the bridge is ever going to be built,

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the team behind it need to raise ?175 million. They got ?60 million

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from us, the taxpayers, leaving 115 million to come from the private

:04:18.:04:22.

sector, companies and individuals. Newsnight has learned that several

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funders have pulled out in the last year, and what we have been led to

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believe is a ?30 million shortfall is actually more like ?52 million.

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Newsnight has analysed or public statements made by the Garden Bridge

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Trust and asked further questions about its finances. This graph shows

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that despite ongoing claims of successful fundraising, for the 14

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months up to this June, the shortfall remained broadly

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consistent, at around ?30 million. When we queried this with the Trust,

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that shortfall appear to have widened by more than ?20 million.

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The Trust said it had raised ?34 million of private money in 2014,

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?17.8 million in 2015, and a further ?11 million this year. Add on the 60

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million of taxpayer cash, and you get to ?122.8 million, leaving the

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bridge short of ?52 million. A spokesperson also explained that

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last year a small number of pledges made by interested organisations did

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not progress to formal funding contracts. It took until the month

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of May this year until we got any kind of breakdown of where the money

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was coming from to pay for the bridge, and when it came, it turned

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out large numbers of donors didn't want us to know who they were. There

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have been huge issues with the funding right from the start, with

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60 million public funds going in, but also amounts of fund raising, we

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don't know who it is coming from, whether it is individuals or

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companies, so many have chosen to remain anonymous, which is unusual

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when you want to sponsor and promote a project or stop we need to

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understand the issues with these people and companies. Are there

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conflicts of interest? Raising money for these kinds of project is rarely

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simple, and when they get negative press, it doesn't help. We love to

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sneer. That is the brilliant thing about the democracy of our country,

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we can all say what we want. People need to spot through all about what

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people's separate agendas are, wanting to believe that somehow

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there is something other than just wanting to do something great for

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all of us. Ultimately, whether the bridge is ever built is out of the

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hands of its supporters. It is politicians, both Labour and

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Conservative, who will decide whether it has a future.

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Joining me to answer the serious concerns on the funding and future

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of the Garden Bridge is Lord Mervyn Davies,

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We have to talk about the finances, which are so open eight. The

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estimated cost is ?175 million. More like 185 because of the delays. OK.

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You have raised how much privately? There are 38 committed sponsors who

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have raised nearly ?70 million. The pipeline is very strong, so I would

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say, when you look at these images, this is an iconic project, well

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governed, I think it is important to remember the history of this. It was

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started by Transport For London, then the Trust took over in May of

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2015. We have an experienced group of trustees will stop the funding

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has good momentum, and inevitably with a project like this, there was

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some opposition. Last year, there was talk of having raised ?85

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million privately cos I don't understand the discrepancy between

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what you are saying, 70, and this 85. In June of this year, you've

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mentioned ?83 million. I have heard ?63 million. There are a lot of

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figures. The figure is ?69.5 million, call it 70. We have had one

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or two mac that have gone away, maybe because of the uncertainty.

:08:34.:08:38.

One of them was because of a change of chief executive in the company,

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but I think it is important to note that the project as good momentum on

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fundraising. To be blunt, it looks like you're moving backwards. You

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have lost more money over the last year 's... Look, we have satisfied

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nearly 90 conditions for Westminster and Lambeth Council. We have good

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momentum on planning, on our partnership with the Secretary of

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State, the Department for Transport, and also Transport For London, so

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they sit at the table of the trust. I would say with confidence that we

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as a group of trustees believe we will raise the money. OK. A lot of

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the money is anonymous. No, 38 committed sponsors who have signed

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commitments... They are not anonymous. How many of the 38 would

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not be anonymous? A number of them will only announce their inclusion

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as donors when the building work starts. We don't have to worry about

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conflict-of-interest? No. There are five donors, and I have raised money

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for the Royal Academy, for the breakthrough breast Cancer, a number

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of situations where great UK philanthropies want their names to

:10:04.:10:07.

be out of the limelight, so we do have five anonymous donors. You are

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saying, because it is 40 million at the moment of anonymous pledge

:10:14.:10:16.

money, as we understand it, and that is rather a lot, but you are saying

:10:17.:10:20.

that will disappear, or most of it. There will be five donors. I would

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like to add another thing, when people talk about the Government

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talk about -- when people talk about the Government contribution. The

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money from Transport For London we are very paying over a longer

:10:33.:10:43.

period. We are also paying back but might we have been charged VAT, so

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the Government gives as ?30 million in one hand and takes it back

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through VAT. I have to ask this, because so far you have not built

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anything or acquired the land at either end of the bridge, and yet, I

:10:57.:11:02.

think you spent ?36 million. That is 20% of the entire cost of the

:11:03.:11:07.

project. It is about what it cost in today's prices to build the

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millennium Bridge. You could build a bridge for the money you have spent,

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and we have nothing to show for it. You like to get the planning,

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construction and all the work they have done, it is hugely expensive.

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?10 million was spent by Transport For London before the trust even got

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started, so actually, the monitoring of the cost... To be clear, the ?36

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million includes ?10 million before the Trust ever became involved? The

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36 has been spent since the trust was created. We have wide experience

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at the Trust and all that money has been spent in preparation for

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digging in the Thames, getting licences and getting us ready. That

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doesn't cost tens of millions of pounds. Getting this ready, getting

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the construction, the prototypes, the design, that takes time. Has a

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lot of it been spent on fundraising? No. The actual running costs of the

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trust and fundraising has been financed by a private family. It is

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going to be a formidable challenge, because you not only have to raise

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the ?185 million, minus the public's contribution, their results are the

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ongoing running cost, and the authorities want to know that you

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have the money to run the thing. And I think that you want a pot of ?50

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million from which you can invest and earn some money to keep it

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going. We have money that has been pledged for an endowment for the

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running of the bridge. That was included in the 70 million? It is

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separate. You have more money than that? It is separate. We will hold

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events. We have got planning... There are many ways of raising

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money. In order to get planning, with Lambeth and with Westminster,

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we had to present, and to the Government, a detailed business case

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on how the bridge would be maintained and run afterwards. So

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all we need to do, we have done the planning, we now need to do a deal

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to get the land, and we are there. And the rest of the money. Just that

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small thing! We, as a group of trustees, are very confident that we

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can get the money. When we look at a project like this, I wonder, because

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it attracts people to say, procurement was very strange, and we

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won't go into that now. People object to the money, people don't

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like the design. If the country wanted projects like this, you would

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have to break a few eggs in order to create an omelette. If that means

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riding roughshod over procurement rules, so be it. No, no, no. That is

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the truth of it, isn't it? It is not. I have a bank CEO and chairman.

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We have to have good governance, the right skills at trustee level, which

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we have, then I think you have to be very resilient. This is an iconic

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project, and I think it is wonderful for Britain. It sums up what is

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great about Britain. It is creative, imaginative, and I think on an

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evening like this in London, visitors, Londoners, walking across

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a bridge with 27,000 perennials, 270 trees, you know, it will be magical.

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Not nice, magical. 2018 or 2019? 2019.

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Last summer, 21 year old Elliot Johnson took

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In one of the letters he left, he said he'd been bullied

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and betrayed, and he singled out a man called Mark Clarke,

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the man running the Conservative Road Trip 2015, a roving

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Elliot's death prompted questions to be asked

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Should it have known that Mark Clarke was a bully?

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Well, Mr Clarke has always denied the charge, but today came

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the results of the official Conservative Party inquiry.

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From the law firm Clifford Chance, it identified 13 alleged victims

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of bullying and inappropriate behaviour, as well as six

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Yes, the party's top managers did know that Mr Clarke had

:15:29.:15:33.

But on the specific issue of whether the two chairmen

:15:34.:15:39.

of the party knew last year of bullying of activists,

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James Clayton has been reporting on this story since last summer.

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If anyone expected the law firm Clifford Chance's report into

:15:52.:15:59.

allegations of bullying harassment and inappropriate behaviour to lay

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blame at the feet of senior party figures they would be sorely

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disappointed. On the face of it the report cleared both the men

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responsible for running the party at the time. Its verdict on Lord

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Feldman was that there was no evidence he was aware of allegations

:16:17.:16:22.

of bullying or harassment of young activists by Mr Clarke or those

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associated with prior to the August 14, 2016 complaint. That was the

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complaint made by Elliot Johnson. The same assessment was given to

:16:32.:16:36.

Grant Shapps. This is despite 12 other individuals complaining of

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bullying or inappropriate behaviour by Mark Clarke on the previous 20

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months. It's led some to call the report are quite large but a closer

:16:44.:16:46.

look reveals a striking number of warnings which were missed or

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ignored by the Conservative Party hierarchy. In 2014 when Mark Clarke

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was being considered for a rollback CC HQ Grant Shapps exam did his

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candidate file when he ran as a parliamentary candidate in tooting.

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The findings published today show that candidate report included: the

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report also said that the then campaign director Lord Gilbert

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recalled: Paul Abbott was Grant Shapps chief of staff, in 2014,

:17:26.:17:31.

before Mark Clarke was hired he was told: the report also says that Mr

:17:32.:17:41.

Abbott sent Mark Clarke an e-mail about a Conservative future

:17:42.:17:55.

election, describing: the attitude of senior party figures to Mark

:17:56.:17:58.

Clarke was simply summed up in one e-mail from Grant Shapps to Tory

:17:59.:18:02.

election guru Sir Lynton Crosby, he had contacted Grant Shapps is about

:18:03.:18:10.

Mark Clarke. Grant Shapps replied explaining he was aware of the

:18:11.:18:14.

reputation of Mark Clarke but employing him was a calculated risk.

:18:15.:18:18.

Although the enquiry found that Lord Feldman had not been aware of any

:18:19.:18:23.

allegations of Mark Clarke bullying activists before 2015 the report

:18:24.:18:27.

intriguer winger revealed that following the complaint from Elliot

:18:28.:18:29.

Johnson he wrote in an internal correspondence that he had: when

:18:30.:18:38.

asked to clarify his comments he said he was referring to his

:18:39.:18:43.

competence as a campaign organiser. On one specific allegation brought

:18:44.:18:46.

by Newsnight last September the report said it found no evidence to

:18:47.:18:50.

corroborate the claim that Lord Feldman had been handed a dossier

:18:51.:18:53.

about the behaviour of Mark Clarke by Ben Howlett as far back as 2011.

:18:54.:19:00.

The enquiry found the MP had met up with Lord Feldman and handed him a

:19:01.:19:04.

set of papers which mentioned Mark Clarke but they had only discussed

:19:05.:19:07.

political concerns about him and other young activists. Despite the

:19:08.:19:12.

report exonerating senior figures it has left many wondering how so many

:19:13.:19:17.

complaints could have been made to the Conservative Party about Mark

:19:18.:19:21.

Clarke form must of bullying to sexually inappropriate behaviour,

:19:22.:19:25.

all of which he denies without any responsibility being taken by those

:19:26.:19:26.

who ran the party. Now at the centre of

:19:27.:19:29.

it all, Mark Clarke. His solicitors told Clifford Chance

:19:30.:19:32.

that "the allegations made against Mr Clarke are wholly untrue

:19:33.:19:34.

and unsubstantiated. Many are based on totally

:19:35.:19:36.

fabricated media reports". Mr Clarke said he has been

:19:37.:19:39.

cooperating with the police and won't respond to allegations

:19:40.:19:41.

while the police investigation into Elliot Johnson's

:19:42.:19:43.

death is ongoing. Earlier, I spoke to Elliot Johnson's

:19:44.:19:48.

father, who received a summary I began by asking what he made

:19:49.:19:50.

of it. We received an additional letter

:19:51.:20:06.

from Patrick McLoughlin with the summary. He says that the report

:20:07.:20:13.

states that the Conservative Party acted entirely properly. However in

:20:14.:20:17.

the very next sentence they go on to say that they are making changes to

:20:18.:20:23.

the way that they, the volunteer leaders operate as a code of conduct

:20:24.:20:26.

and making changes to the complaints procedure. So what is it? Have they

:20:27.:20:33.

acted entirely properly or having Ortis De Villiers? It interesting

:20:34.:20:38.

that it does imply, or does report that clearly senior figures in the

:20:39.:20:41.

party when they started the road trip which son was involved in, the

:20:42.:20:47.

new that this chap, Mark Clarke, had let's call it an interesting

:20:48.:20:52.

history, that he came with quite a lot of baggage. As I remember Grant

:20:53.:20:58.

Shapps said Mark Clarke came with a chequered history so they were aware

:20:59.:21:03.

of it and prepare to take a risk, take a gamble. The report tells us

:21:04.:21:07.

that a phrase was used by Grant Shapps that this is an "Calculated

:21:08.:21:13.

risk". He's a good campaigner but there is this other history. It's a

:21:14.:21:19.

risk too far, you cannot take a calculated risk with a person like

:21:20.:21:22.

that when you are dealing with young people. A lot of people see you

:21:23.:21:26.

should have been talking to the enquiry but you were reluctant, you

:21:27.:21:31.

did not want to have anything to do with it, why? We saw it as a

:21:32.:21:36.

whitewash from the start, this was run by the Conservative Party, they

:21:37.:21:40.

chose their own solicitors, not independent, and they were paying

:21:41.:21:44.

for it so how can it possibly be independent? Our view was that they

:21:45.:21:51.

wanted to use us as some kind of cover, you might say. Some kind of

:21:52.:21:55.

gloss over the enquiry. We were not prepared to be used as a tool in

:21:56.:22:00.

that way. You have quite a lot of anger at the Conservative Party and

:22:01.:22:04.

the way they dealt with your son. Would you at least concede that

:22:05.:22:10.

looking back on it, as the coroner found in the inquest earlier this

:22:11.:22:15.

year, his tragic death was a more complicated tragedy than simply the

:22:16.:22:20.

bullying by Mark Clarke? The coroner said he believed himself to have

:22:21.:22:24.

failed with money, politics, with his parents and filled with life. We

:22:25.:22:30.

have had our own psychologist report conducted and he said that people

:22:31.:22:35.

put into that kind of extreme pressure, youngsters especially, do

:22:36.:22:38.

react in those ways, make claims they have failed in life and with

:22:39.:22:45.

money. They are lost, they are losing track of the reality of their

:22:46.:22:51.

lives, and I think Eliot was no different. Nothing to do with him

:22:52.:22:55.

being gay or finding that difficult? Nothing to do with that at all.

:22:56.:23:02.

Elliott was openly gay, he was badly bullied, badly treated by people

:23:03.:23:06.

within the Conservative Party and his employer responded by actually

:23:07.:23:10.

making things worse. I know it's been a difficult year for you, thank

:23:11.:23:12.

you so much for talking to us. In the last week, Russia has accused

:23:13.:23:16.

Ukraine of instigating Ukraine has denied it,

:23:17.:23:18.

and there has been a war There have been other reported

:23:19.:23:22.

incidents between the countries, So after a long period

:23:23.:23:25.

in which Ukraine has been in the background,

:23:26.:23:28.

should we worry that a cold war I spoke to the Ukrainian ambassador

:23:29.:23:31.

here, Natalia Galibarenki, and asked her what support Ukraine

:23:32.:23:36.

hopes for from the West. We expect that the West will not be

:23:37.:23:43.

tricked by the Russian so there is a strict sanction

:23:44.:23:52.

policy, there is also a policy of support to Ukraine,

:23:53.:23:55.

and I think that our Western So, sanctions against

:23:56.:23:57.

Russia, support... Let me ask you this: Do you think

:23:58.:24:01.

the West is resigned now to Crimea Of course, there is a tendency

:24:02.:24:07.

of accepting the real politik. The fact that Russia

:24:08.:24:15.

is controlling Crimea, even nevertheless that Ukraine

:24:16.:24:24.

are striving to do everything we can to have Crimea

:24:25.:24:26.

on the top of the agenda Do you think it will come

:24:27.:24:29.

back at some point? I think so, you know,

:24:30.:24:33.

because we cannot be sure that people who are living

:24:34.:24:37.

on the peninsula now are really happy with the Russian

:24:38.:24:40.

authoritarian regime, because we are receiving information

:24:41.:24:42.

and confirmations that there is already a crackdown

:24:43.:24:44.

on human rights in Crimea. People are not really that happy

:24:45.:24:50.

about the restriction of their rights, so our idea

:24:51.:24:52.

is that we will not be fighting for Crimea on a battlefield,

:24:53.:24:57.

we will be trying to create a success story in Ukraine to show

:24:58.:25:00.

people on the peninsula, look, you would be better

:25:01.:25:03.

with us in Ukraine. What about the West

:25:04.:25:07.

and its support for Ukraine? You want sanctions against Russia

:25:08.:25:10.

and support for Ukraine, you've been clear about that,

:25:11.:25:14.

but is the commitment, do you think, of the

:25:15.:25:16.

West really there? If I was to be really ambitious,

:25:17.:25:22.

I would be expecting from the West more military and technical

:25:23.:25:27.

support to the Ukraine. On the other hand, I do

:25:28.:25:30.

understand their argument about, for example, not providing lethal

:25:31.:25:36.

weapons to Ukraine, because they are afraid

:25:37.:25:38.

about the escalation Did the West betray you,

:25:39.:25:43.

do you think, when Crimea was taken, when the war was going

:25:44.:25:51.

on in the Russian end of Ukraine? The only country who betrayed

:25:52.:25:54.

Ukraine was Russia. For years, we were thinking of them

:25:55.:25:56.

as our good neighbour, You know, I even know people

:25:57.:25:59.

in Kiev who are saying, we will never be a victim of any

:26:00.:26:07.

external aggression because we have the Russian Black Sea Fleet

:26:08.:26:10.

stationed in Crimea. Two years ago, we had

:26:11.:26:13.

no armed forces. We were not prepared to encounter

:26:14.:26:19.

Russian aggression. But now, like the situation in

:26:20.:26:22.

Donbas showed, because of the great level of patriotism in Ukraine,

:26:23.:26:27.

we were capable of curbing them We have been hardliners

:26:28.:26:33.

on the Russian issue within the EU. Maybe the EU is going

:26:34.:26:44.

to change policy. The good news is that this country

:26:45.:26:50.

will not just withdraw from all of the continent,

:26:51.:26:54.

so I think that even irrespective of the status,

:26:55.:26:58.

London will be playing a major, important role in all these

:26:59.:27:01.

international affairs and also My idea and hope is that the UK

:27:02.:27:03.

will remain staunch Ambassador, thank

:27:04.:27:08.

you very much indeed. With four days of Olympic action to

:27:09.:27:23.

go it's all about the fight for second place in the medals table,

:27:24.:27:28.

Team GB versus China. Meanwhile from a couch in London team Steve Smith

:27:29.:27:32.

is fighting for a first-place finish, were just not sure of what

:27:33.:27:37.

the contest is. Tonight however, it is Angela Rippon's time to shine.

:27:38.:27:40.

Look, it is either this or Evan and another

:27:41.:27:44.

You know, we discovered Radio 3 hadn't spent their full Olympics war

:27:45.:28:05.

chest so we hired Cal here to essay the Brazilian song book for us.

:28:06.:28:09.

This is a stupendous ride from Laura Trott.

:28:10.:28:33.

And she is engaged to another top cyclist, also a Brit.

:28:34.:28:40.

Do you think they have got a tandem at home?

:28:41.:28:43.

The derny bike is slowly making its way...

:28:44.:28:45.

There goes the derny bike.

:28:46.:28:46.

Because he is the only one not peddling.

:28:47.:28:56.

Have you got any cycling music?

:28:57.:28:59.

He has got to close the gap and towards the line,

:29:00.:29:11.

Bolt wins a gold in less than ten seconds, Andy Murray has

:29:12.:29:19.

four hours to win gold, I mean, you know, come on.

:29:20.:29:22.

I mean, if it took Usain Bolt four hours to do the 100 metres

:29:23.:29:25.

I would say that's a clear.

:29:26.:29:31.

Oh! Oh!

:29:32.:29:32.

The white flag went up is what he is saying.

:29:33.:29:36.

Let's have a look, we can see the official just a left-hand side

:29:37.:29:41.

He is celebrating and that's his reaction

:29:42.:29:45.

Throw the coach in, go on, you've got to throw the coach in. One of

:29:46.:30:04.

the joys I have two seed is looking at those amazing masculine

:30:05.:30:10.

physiques, they are just beautiful. Everyone is talking about Top Gear,

:30:11.:30:15.

you were the first presenter, if Tony hall, who I know watches this,

:30:16.:30:20.

if he got down on his knees and said Angela, please, come back? I would

:30:21.:30:26.

say find somebody else. If you are going to have a successful programme

:30:27.:30:29.

you how to think who is going to be watching it and what their

:30:30.:30:33.

expectation is. We never think about that. You have do think who is

:30:34.:30:37.

watching it and what do they want from the presenters. Everyone is

:30:38.:30:43.

getting very excited about Strictly Come Dancing. Yes. Give me a rhythm.

:30:44.:30:51.

You have been watching throne of games. You know what we say at the

:30:52.:30:55.

BBC, no refunds. I'll Very long time viewers of this show

:30:56.:31:03.

might remember we weren't always very kind to John Major back

:31:04.:31:10.

when he was Prime Minister. We weren't always respectful

:31:11.:31:12.

of his cones hotline or his back However it's now been pointed out

:31:13.:31:15.

that his decision to divert lottery cash to elite sport is in fact

:31:16.:31:19.

the main reason for Team GBs So whatever else he might have got

:31:20.:31:22.

wrong, credit where it's due.

:31:23.:31:27.

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