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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The Garden Bridge across the Thames in London.
We love to sneer. That's the brilliant thing about the democracy
of our country, that we can all say what we want. But people need to
spot through all of that what our people's separate agendas.
We'll ask the chairman of the Garden Bridge Trust
A year ago, this young Conservative activist killed himself.
He said he'd been bullied by a more senior party worker.
Today the Conservatives published their own inquiry
And yes, they knew it was a risk to put that particular man in charge.
So did the party properly discharge its duty of care
And guess who's finally hauled Steve Smith off
You know how public money so often gets spent in London -
sprucing it up, attracting tourists, hosting Olympics.
And you know how hard it is for other parts
of the country to get the same financial attention.
Well, there is one London project that has come to typify the problem
more than any other - it's costing the taxpayer
It's not even something that all Londoners want.
It is a garden bridge across the Thames.
It's amazing how controversial it has turned out to be.
The designer Thomas Heatherwick - famous for the Olympic
torch - is behind it, backed by Joanne Lumley.
But can it be dismissed as a celebrity-promoted indulgence?
Or is it a cost-effective investment for the national taxpayer?
At nearly 370 metres long, and covered with flowers, shrubs and
trees, the Garden Bridge Is no ordinary river crossing. It is
hoping to be an attraction in itself, as well as Regis in
congestion in a busy part of London. It has attracted ?60 million of
taxpayer money. Few would argue that the designs for the Garden Bridge
are unimpressive, but plenty of people don't want it ever to be
built, and they are asking questions, like, will the money ever
be had for it to go ahead? It appears that the finances are more
precarious than anyone has previously admitted. If we could all
slow down for a moment, look up... Many supporters have made their case
passionately. This was an example of Britain at its best, proof that we
could bear to be ground-breaking. I grew up in the 1970s and 80s, when
nothing happened. It felt like Britain was stuck and a bit
paralysed was it was cities like Paris and Barcelona that dared to
create future culture. And amenity, and celebrate the public dimension.
The idea of a free garden that open longer than any of the Royal Parks,
for all of us, is a thrilling thing. But the bridge is not having an easy
ride. Transport For London have conceded that the procurement
process was neither is open or as fair as it should have been, and in
July, Newsnight reported that the Government is deciding whether or
not to continue underwriting the project. If it doesn't, the bridge
is finished. On top of that, the Garden Bridge Trust is yet to buy
the land they need on both sides of the river, plus the National Audit
Office and Charity commission are investigating. The major problem
could well be the money. If the bridge is ever going to be built,
the team behind it need to raise ?175 million. They got ?60 million
from us, the taxpayers, leaving 115 million to come from the private
sector, companies and individuals. Newsnight has learned that several
funders have pulled out in the last year, and what we have been led to
believe is a ?30 million shortfall is actually more like ?52 million.
Newsnight has analysed or public statements made by the Garden Bridge
Trust and asked further questions about its finances. This graph shows
that despite ongoing claims of successful fundraising, for the 14
months up to this June, the shortfall remained broadly
consistent, at around ?30 million. When we queried this with the Trust,
that shortfall appear to have widened by more than ?20 million.
The Trust said it had raised ?34 million of private money in 2014,
?17.8 million in 2015, and a further ?11 million this year. Add on the 60
million of taxpayer cash, and you get to ?122.8 million, leaving the
bridge short of ?52 million. A spokesperson also explained that
last year a small number of pledges made by interested organisations did
not progress to formal funding contracts. It took until the month
of May this year until we got any kind of breakdown of where the money
was coming from to pay for the bridge, and when it came, it turned
out large numbers of donors didn't want us to know who they were. There
have been huge issues with the funding right from the start, with
60 million public funds going in, but also amounts of fund raising, we
don't know who it is coming from, whether it is individuals or
companies, so many have chosen to remain anonymous, which is unusual
when you want to sponsor and promote a project or stop we need to
understand the issues with these people and companies. Are there
conflicts of interest? Raising money for these kinds of project is rarely
simple, and when they get negative press, it doesn't help. We love to
sneer. That is the brilliant thing about the democracy of our country,
we can all say what we want. People need to spot through all about what
people's separate agendas are, wanting to believe that somehow
there is something other than just wanting to do something great for
all of us. Ultimately, whether the bridge is ever built is out of the
hands of its supporters. It is politicians, both Labour and
Conservative, who will decide whether it has a future.
Joining me to answer the serious concerns on the funding and future
of the Garden Bridge is Lord Mervyn Davies,
We have to talk about the finances, which are so open eight. The
estimated cost is ?175 million. More like 185 because of the delays. OK.
You have raised how much privately? There are 38 committed sponsors who
have raised nearly ?70 million. The pipeline is very strong, so I would
say, when you look at these images, this is an iconic project, well
governed, I think it is important to remember the history of this. It was
started by Transport For London, then the Trust took over in May of
2015. We have an experienced group of trustees will stop the funding
has good momentum, and inevitably with a project like this, there was
some opposition. Last year, there was talk of having raised ?85
million privately cos I don't understand the discrepancy between
what you are saying, 70, and this 85. In June of this year, you've
mentioned ?83 million. I have heard ?63 million. There are a lot of
figures. The figure is ?69.5 million, call it 70. We have had one
or two mac that have gone away, maybe because of the uncertainty.
One of them was because of a change of chief executive in the company,
but I think it is important to note that the project as good momentum on
fundraising. To be blunt, it looks like you're moving backwards. You
have lost more money over the last year 's... Look, we have satisfied
nearly 90 conditions for Westminster and Lambeth Council. We have good
momentum on planning, on our partnership with the Secretary of
State, the Department for Transport, and also Transport For London, so
they sit at the table of the trust. I would say with confidence that we
as a group of trustees believe we will raise the money. OK. A lot of
the money is anonymous. No, 38 committed sponsors who have signed
commitments... They are not anonymous. How many of the 38 would
not be anonymous? A number of them will only announce their inclusion
as donors when the building work starts. We don't have to worry about
conflict-of-interest? No. There are five donors, and I have raised money
for the Royal Academy, for the breakthrough breast Cancer, a number
of situations where great UK philanthropies want their names to
be out of the limelight, so we do have five anonymous donors. You are
saying, because it is 40 million at the moment of anonymous pledge
money, as we understand it, and that is rather a lot, but you are saying
that will disappear, or most of it. There will be five donors. I would
like to add another thing, when people talk about the Government
talk about -- when people talk about the Government contribution. The
money from Transport For London we are very paying over a longer
period. We are also paying back but might we have been charged VAT, so
the Government gives as ?30 million in one hand and takes it back
through VAT. I have to ask this, because so far you have not built
anything or acquired the land at either end of the bridge, and yet, I
think you spent ?36 million. That is 20% of the entire cost of the
project. It is about what it cost in today's prices to build the
millennium Bridge. You could build a bridge for the money you have spent,
and we have nothing to show for it. You like to get the planning,
construction and all the work they have done, it is hugely expensive.
?10 million was spent by Transport For London before the trust even got
started, so actually, the monitoring of the cost... To be clear, the ?36
million includes ?10 million before the Trust ever became involved? The
36 has been spent since the trust was created. We have wide experience
at the Trust and all that money has been spent in preparation for
digging in the Thames, getting licences and getting us ready. That
doesn't cost tens of millions of pounds. Getting this ready, getting
the construction, the prototypes, the design, that takes time. Has a
lot of it been spent on fundraising? No. The actual running costs of the
trust and fundraising has been financed by a private family. It is
going to be a formidable challenge, because you not only have to raise
the ?185 million, minus the public's contribution, their results are the
ongoing running cost, and the authorities want to know that you
have the money to run the thing. And I think that you want a pot of ?50
million from which you can invest and earn some money to keep it
going. We have money that has been pledged for an endowment for the
running of the bridge. That was included in the 70 million? It is
separate. You have more money than that? It is separate. We will hold
events. We have got planning... There are many ways of raising
money. In order to get planning, with Lambeth and with Westminster,
we had to present, and to the Government, a detailed business case
on how the bridge would be maintained and run afterwards. So
all we need to do, we have done the planning, we now need to do a deal
to get the land, and we are there. And the rest of the money. Just that
small thing! We, as a group of trustees, are very confident that we
can get the money. When we look at a project like this, I wonder, because
it attracts people to say, procurement was very strange, and we
won't go into that now. People object to the money, people don't
like the design. If the country wanted projects like this, you would
have to break a few eggs in order to create an omelette. If that means
riding roughshod over procurement rules, so be it. No, no, no. That is
the truth of it, isn't it? It is not. I have a bank CEO and chairman.
We have to have good governance, the right skills at trustee level, which
we have, then I think you have to be very resilient. This is an iconic
project, and I think it is wonderful for Britain. It sums up what is
great about Britain. It is creative, imaginative, and I think on an
evening like this in London, visitors, Londoners, walking across
a bridge with 27,000 perennials, 270 trees, you know, it will be magical.
Not nice, magical. 2018 or 2019? 2019.
Last summer, 21 year old Elliot Johnson took
In one of the letters he left, he said he'd been bullied
and betrayed, and he singled out a man called Mark Clarke,
the man running the Conservative Road Trip 2015, a roving
Elliot's death prompted questions to be asked
Should it have known that Mark Clarke was a bully?
Well, Mr Clarke has always denied the charge, but today came
the results of the official Conservative Party inquiry.
From the law firm Clifford Chance, it identified 13 alleged victims
of bullying and inappropriate behaviour, as well as six
Yes, the party's top managers did know that Mr Clarke had
But on the specific issue of whether the two chairmen
of the party knew last year of bullying of activists,
James Clayton has been reporting on this story since last summer.
If anyone expected the law firm Clifford Chance's report into
allegations of bullying harassment and inappropriate behaviour to lay
blame at the feet of senior party figures they would be sorely
disappointed. On the face of it the report cleared both the men
responsible for running the party at the time. Its verdict on Lord
Feldman was that there was no evidence he was aware of allegations
of bullying or harassment of young activists by Mr Clarke or those
associated with prior to the August 14, 2016 complaint. That was the
complaint made by Elliot Johnson. The same assessment was given to
Grant Shapps. This is despite 12 other individuals complaining of
bullying or inappropriate behaviour by Mark Clarke on the previous 20
months. It's led some to call the report are quite large but a closer
look reveals a striking number of warnings which were missed or
ignored by the Conservative Party hierarchy. In 2014 when Mark Clarke
was being considered for a rollback CC HQ Grant Shapps exam did his
candidate file when he ran as a parliamentary candidate in tooting.
The findings published today show that candidate report included: the
report also said that the then campaign director Lord Gilbert
recalled: Paul Abbott was Grant Shapps chief of staff, in 2014,
before Mark Clarke was hired he was told: the report also says that Mr
Abbott sent Mark Clarke an e-mail about a Conservative future
election, describing: the attitude of senior party figures to Mark
Clarke was simply summed up in one e-mail from Grant Shapps to Tory
election guru Sir Lynton Crosby, he had contacted Grant Shapps is about
Mark Clarke. Grant Shapps replied explaining he was aware of the
reputation of Mark Clarke but employing him was a calculated risk.
Although the enquiry found that Lord Feldman had not been aware of any
allegations of Mark Clarke bullying activists before 2015 the report
intriguer winger revealed that following the complaint from Elliot
Johnson he wrote in an internal correspondence that he had: when
asked to clarify his comments he said he was referring to his
competence as a campaign organiser. On one specific allegation brought
by Newsnight last September the report said it found no evidence to
corroborate the claim that Lord Feldman had been handed a dossier
about the behaviour of Mark Clarke by Ben Howlett as far back as 2011.
The enquiry found the MP had met up with Lord Feldman and handed him a
set of papers which mentioned Mark Clarke but they had only discussed
political concerns about him and other young activists. Despite the
report exonerating senior figures it has left many wondering how so many
complaints could have been made to the Conservative Party about Mark
Clarke form must of bullying to sexually inappropriate behaviour,
all of which he denies without any responsibility being taken by those
who ran the party. Now at the centre of
it all, Mark Clarke. His solicitors told Clifford Chance
that "the allegations made against Mr Clarke are wholly untrue
and unsubstantiated. Many are based on totally
fabricated media reports". Mr Clarke said he has been
cooperating with the police and won't respond to allegations
while the police investigation into Elliot Johnson's
death is ongoing. Earlier, I spoke to Elliot Johnson's
father, who received a summary I began by asking what he made
of it. We received an additional letter
from Patrick McLoughlin with the summary. He says that the report
states that the Conservative Party acted entirely properly. However in
the very next sentence they go on to say that they are making changes to
the way that they, the volunteer leaders operate as a code of conduct
and making changes to the complaints procedure. So what is it? Have they
acted entirely properly or having Ortis De Villiers? It interesting
that it does imply, or does report that clearly senior figures in the
party when they started the road trip which son was involved in, the
new that this chap, Mark Clarke, had let's call it an interesting
history, that he came with quite a lot of baggage. As I remember Grant
Shapps said Mark Clarke came with a chequered history so they were aware
of it and prepare to take a risk, take a gamble. The report tells us
that a phrase was used by Grant Shapps that this is an "Calculated
risk". He's a good campaigner but there is this other history. It's a
risk too far, you cannot take a calculated risk with a person like
that when you are dealing with young people. A lot of people see you
should have been talking to the enquiry but you were reluctant, you
did not want to have anything to do with it, why? We saw it as a
whitewash from the start, this was run by the Conservative Party, they
chose their own solicitors, not independent, and they were paying
for it so how can it possibly be independent? Our view was that they
wanted to use us as some kind of cover, you might say. Some kind of
gloss over the enquiry. We were not prepared to be used as a tool in
that way. You have quite a lot of anger at the Conservative Party and
the way they dealt with your son. Would you at least concede that
looking back on it, as the coroner found in the inquest earlier this
year, his tragic death was a more complicated tragedy than simply the
bullying by Mark Clarke? The coroner said he believed himself to have
failed with money, politics, with his parents and filled with life. We
have had our own psychologist report conducted and he said that people
put into that kind of extreme pressure, youngsters especially, do
react in those ways, make claims they have failed in life and with
money. They are lost, they are losing track of the reality of their
lives, and I think Eliot was no different. Nothing to do with him
being gay or finding that difficult? Nothing to do with that at all.
Elliott was openly gay, he was badly bullied, badly treated by people
within the Conservative Party and his employer responded by actually
making things worse. I know it's been a difficult year for you, thank
you so much for talking to us. In the last week, Russia has accused
Ukraine of instigating Ukraine has denied it,
and there has been a war There have been other reported
incidents between the countries, So after a long period
in which Ukraine has been in the background,
should we worry that a cold war I spoke to the Ukrainian ambassador
here, Natalia Galibarenki, and asked her what support Ukraine
hopes for from the West. We expect that the West will not be
tricked by the Russian so there is a strict sanction
policy, there is also a policy of support to Ukraine,
and I think that our Western So, sanctions against
Russia, support... Let me ask you this: Do you think
the West is resigned now to Crimea Of course, there is a tendency
of accepting the real politik. The fact that Russia
is controlling Crimea, even nevertheless that Ukraine
are striving to do everything we can to have Crimea
on the top of the agenda Do you think it will come
back at some point? I think so, you know,
because we cannot be sure that people who are living
on the peninsula now are really happy with the Russian
authoritarian regime, because we are receiving information
and confirmations that there is already a crackdown
on human rights in Crimea. People are not really that happy
about the restriction of their rights, so our idea
is that we will not be fighting for Crimea on a battlefield,
we will be trying to create a success story in Ukraine to show
people on the peninsula, look, you would be better
with us in Ukraine. What about the West
and its support for Ukraine? You want sanctions against Russia
and support for Ukraine, you've been clear about that,
but is the commitment, do you think, of the
West really there? If I was to be really ambitious,
I would be expecting from the West more military and technical
support to the Ukraine. On the other hand, I do
understand their argument about, for example, not providing lethal
weapons to Ukraine, because they are afraid
about the escalation Did the West betray you,
do you think, when Crimea was taken, when the war was going
on in the Russian end of Ukraine? The only country who betrayed
Ukraine was Russia. For years, we were thinking of them
as our good neighbour, You know, I even know people
in Kiev who are saying, we will never be a victim of any
external aggression because we have the Russian Black Sea Fleet
stationed in Crimea. Two years ago, we had
no armed forces. We were not prepared to encounter
Russian aggression. But now, like the situation in
Donbas showed, because of the great level of patriotism in Ukraine,
we were capable of curbing them We have been hardliners
on the Russian issue within the EU. Maybe the EU is going
to change policy. The good news is that this country
will not just withdraw from all of the continent,
so I think that even irrespective of the status,
London will be playing a major, important role in all these
international affairs and also My idea and hope is that the UK
will remain staunch Ambassador, thank
you very much indeed. With four days of Olympic action to
go it's all about the fight for second place in the medals table,
Team GB versus China. Meanwhile from a couch in London team Steve Smith
is fighting for a first-place finish, were just not sure of what
the contest is. Tonight however, it is Angela Rippon's time to shine.
Look, it is either this or Evan and another
You know, we discovered Radio 3 hadn't spent their full Olympics war
chest so we hired Cal here to essay the Brazilian song book for us.
This is a stupendous ride from Laura Trott.
And she is engaged to another top cyclist, also a Brit.
Do you think they have got a tandem at home?
The derny bike is slowly making its way...
There goes the derny bike.
Because he is the only one not peddling.
Have you got any cycling music?
He has got to close the gap and towards the line,
Bolt wins a gold in less than ten seconds, Andy Murray has
four hours to win gold, I mean, you know, come on.
I mean, if it took Usain Bolt four hours to do the 100 metres
I would say that's a clear.
The white flag went up is what he is saying.
Let's have a look, we can see the official just a left-hand side
He is celebrating and that's his reaction
Throw the coach in, go on, you've got to throw the coach in. One of
the joys I have two seed is looking at those amazing masculine
physiques, they are just beautiful. Everyone is talking about Top Gear,
you were the first presenter, if Tony hall, who I know watches this,
if he got down on his knees and said Angela, please, come back? I would
say find somebody else. If you are going to have a successful programme
you how to think who is going to be watching it and what their
expectation is. We never think about that. You have do think who is
watching it and what do they want from the presenters. Everyone is
getting very excited about Strictly Come Dancing. Yes. Give me a rhythm.
You have been watching throne of games. You know what we say at the
BBC, no refunds. I'll Very long time viewers of this show
might remember we weren't always very kind to John Major back
when he was Prime Minister. We weren't always respectful
of his cones hotline or his back However it's now been pointed out
that his decision to divert lottery cash to elite sport is in fact
the main reason for Team GBs So whatever else he might have got
wrong, credit where it's due.