31/01/2017 Newsnight


With Emily Maitlis. Did a row between David Cameron and the Daily Mail editor shape the Brexit vote? Plus the latest on the Trump presidency and Yanis Varoufakis.

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that goes right to the heart of the Brexit campaign.


Did a feud between the then Prime Minister


and the editor of the Daily Mail help to shape how the nation voted?


Newsnight understands Paul Dacre believes


David Cameron was trying to have him removed.


What does a feud between the country's most powerful figures


tell you about how the battle was lost and won?


is that this was a very important engine of the result.


And Dacre versus Cameron - Dacre won. Absolutely.


We'll hear from the Sun's former political editor, Trevor Kavanagh.


Also tonight, the Home Secretary says Donald Trump's


immigration travel ban could become a propaganda tool for Isis.


This came out of thin air, as a kind of a stage play,


for some of the folks in the White House who seem to want drama.


We speak live to the deputy assistant


to the President of the United States.


And Viewsnight - tonight Greece's former Finance Minister,


We need to establish a universal basic income


to be funded from the returns of capital, not tax.


It's what I call universal basic dividend.


This will allow us to spread the returns from automation


Tonight, we bring you an extraordinary story


that goes right to the heart of the Brexit campaign.


It involves two of the country's most powerful men -


the former Prime Minister David Cameron


and the editor of the Daily Mail, Paul Dacre.


Newsnight has learnt the Mail's editor believes


Mr Cameron was trying to have him removed from his job,


fearing he could not win the EU referendum


whilst he was still at the helm of Britain's most popular newspaper.


Lord Rothermere, who owns the newspaper group, was a Remainer.


So did Prime Minister at the time seek the help of Lord Rothermere


in removing what he felt would be the thorn in Cameron's side?


The British people have spoken, and the answer is we're out.


Cast your mind back to that heady summer of 2016,


the Brexit campaign and the fallout from it,


politics had never looked more brutal,


watching some of the most powerful figures in the country


knock the stuffing out of each other.


Amidst the carnage, one particularly major casualty -


just a year after his election, the Prime Minister had been felled.


But for another of Britain's most powerful people,


a man whose face you'll rarely see, Brexit marked the ultimate victory.


but every day his message is received by millions.


For 25 years, he's been the editor of the Daily Mail,


In the run-up to the 2015 general election, his newspaper


had savaged the Labour Party and championed Mr Cameron.


But on Brexit, it had been Mr Cameron who'd been


on the receiving end of a relentless Daily Mail assault.


With the result in the balance, the Daily Mail had nailed


its colours to the mast and won the sweetest of victories.


Looking at the coverage at the time, you could be forgiven


for wondering if it was about more than just Dacre's


if it wasn't tinged by something rather personal.


Well, now I can reveal an intriguing subplot to that whole Brexit


campaign that might help explain the pretty brutal treatment


of a Prime Minister he had so recently helped to get elected.


I've learned that early in the campaign Paul Dacre


heard something guaranteed to make any editor see red.


He'd been told the Prime Minister was trying to get him sacked.


This is the story of a very personal stand-off


between two of the country's most powerful men.


It's a story of how the pre-eminent figure


in British journalism went to war with the Prime Minister and won.


This is where it all began, almost exactly a year ago.


David Cameron had a deal on Europe, one he hoped he could


take to the country to persuade us to stay in the EU.


and that is Paul Dacre, a man he needs to have on side.


Dacre is invited to the private flat in Downing Street,


From what I understand, the two chat amicably


within the early-evening chaos of a family setting.


The kids are still up, the TV's on, the two men share a glass of wine,


and the Prime Minister asks his guest if he'll cut him some slack,


just pull back a bit from some of the intense euroscepticism.


The response from Mr Dacre is, I'm told, swift and uncompromising.


He can't change his position on such a core principle,


His readers, too, viscerally Eurosceptic -


Then, I'm told, he points to the television,


showing pictures of migrants arriving in southern Europe.


"Those are the pictures that will decide the outcome


of the referendum," the Prime Minister is told.


Over the coming weeks, Dacre sticks to his line.


But not everyone at the paper is pro-Brexit.


Lord Rothermere, who owns the Daily Mail,


It will be Rothermere who Cameron approaches next.


In March, Dacre learns something that leaves him incandescent.


He's told the Prime Minister approached Viscount Rothermere


with a view to having Dacre removed from his job.


Is it conceivable that David Cameron would have requested


Paul Dacre be removed from his post by his proprietor?


with what I know to be the case about the attitude at the very apex


of the Cameron government about Dacre.


A member of the Cameron government told me very recently


that there could be no revival in centrism in this country


as long as Paul Dacre was editor of the Mail.


And that was presented to me as an absolute precondition


of any advance of the centre-right or centre-left,


You're operating here in a context where one individual, one editor,


is regarded as being of supreme importance in their political


universe, as if the Daily Mail is a kind of planet which exercises


a huge gravitational pull over the whole of the print media.


A spokesman from Lord Rothermere's office refused to confirm or deny


Newsnight's story but added, over the years, Lord Rothermere


has been lent on by more than one Prime Minister to remove


but as he told Lord Justice Leveson on oath,


he does not interfere with the editorial policies of his papers.


The relationship between David Cameron and Paul Dacre


Back in 2005, Tory hopefuls lined up to lead the party.


Paul Dacre originally backed Ken Clarke, an arch Europhile.


But as Cameron's popularity grew, he attracted the Mail's backing,


even though, politically, the two men were often at odds.


Of course, there's always a honeymoon when a leader


comes in who has the makings of a potential Prime Minister.


But Cameron in 2005 hit the ground running with


his modernisation agenda, which was green, it was about recycling,


it was about gay rights, it was about being nice to hoodies.


It was almost as if he had drawn up a list


And so, obviously, there was an ideological gap


between the Mail and the Conservative Party at that point.


And then there was Andy Coulson, a Murdoch old hand


who David Cameron wanted to bring into the heart of his team.


Dacre warned him not to - Cameron ignored him.


Coulson would eventually be jailed for phone hacking.


When Dacre found himself dragged in front of the Leveson Inquiry,


he felt a palpable sense of grievance.


Am I alone in detecting the rank smells of hypocrisy and revenge


in the political classes' current moral indignation


over a British press that dared to expose their greed and corruption?


The same political class, incidentally,


that, until a few weeks ago, had spent years


indulging in sickening genuflection to the Murdoch press.


I'm told Dacre refused to take Cameron's phone calls.


there were plenty of reasons for Dacre to dislike Cameron.


But would David Cameron, a sitting PM, who'd vowed to the papers


to preserve their press freedom, really seek to oust an editor?


I asked David Cameron if he'd tried to have Dacre removed.


It is wrong to suggest that David Cameron believed


he could determine who edits the Daily Mail.


Remember, that is not actually the question we asked.


It is a matter of public record that he made the case


to argue that we give up our membership of the EU,


particularly when they had not made the case before.


This appears to refer to the Mail's former support


His statement finishes by confirming those two meetings.


He made this argument privately to the editor of the Daily Mail,


Paul Dacre, and its proprietor, Lord Rothermere.


From Paul Dacre's office, simply this.


For 25 years, I have been given the freedom to edit the Mail


on behalf of its readers without interference


from Jonathan Rothermere or his father.


It has been a great joy and privilege.


June the 24th brings a new political dawn,


Shortly afterwards, Dacre is told by Rothermere something he has known


privately for months - that David Cameron wished him gone.


But the big question remains - was the Mail's coverage,


influenced by a very personal feud at its heart?


What we can say unequivocally was that the most brash


and noisy and confident newspaper in the country was stridently


anti-EU, and increasingly bitter and hostile towards Cameron.


So alleging causality is impossible,


without access to the mind of every voter.


is that this was a very important engine of the result.


a newspaper editor who wielded too much power?


Or an elected PM seeking to make his mark on the free press?


Matthew Dodd and ending that report. Earlier I spoke to Trevor Kavanagh,


the former political editor of the Sun, and I asked whether editors


ever get removed by politicians. I've never heard of one in my


lifetime being removed, and I think the idea that the person involved


here, Paul Dacre, one of the biggest newspaper editors, one of the giants


of Fleet Street, would be removed by a compliant proprietor is almost


totally preposterous. Isn't it conceivable that a Prime Minister


would want to be cut a bit of slack if he felt that he was facing the


political fight of his life and wanted a fair playing field? It's


easy to imagine David Cameron, in that period in March, just before


the campaign got into its stride, wondering and worrying whether he


was going to lose, and lose everything in the process, including


his job, and therefore to panic, and start thinking what he could do to


silence one of the biggest guns aimed in his direction. But the idea


that you would ask Lord Rothermere to get rid of the man who has turned


the Daily Mail into such a huge success is fantasy, and he would


have been utterly deluded before he even began that conversation. What


would tell us, then, about David Cameron at that time the political


year? I think a man who saw everything beginning to disappear


before his very eyes, he had just won the general election, against


all the odds, or apparently against the odds, and here he was possibly


about to lose the premiership because of its promise to hold a


referendum. He must've been extremely alarmed, and to take a


step like this would have been an act of sheer desperation. Isn't


there an understanding perhaps that he saw Paul Dacre, a man who swore


his priority was to Brexit, but thought, hang on, you supported Ken


Clarke, a renowned Europhile, he is not being consistent on the stew at


all? Well, supporting Ken Clarke is one thing, we at the Sun very nearly


did the same thing when he was a candidate for the leadership of the


Conservative Party, simply because of this sort of feisty personality.


But in the end, we had the same advice is Paul Dacre, we could not


get over the point that he was resolutely pro-European, so I don't


think the two things are quite comparable. What does it reveal to


you about the extent of Paul Dacre's power? He is a giant in Fleet


Street, has been for many years, I cannot imagine anyone being stupid


enough to think that a proprietor would simply dismissing, especially


in the heat of battle over an issue as big as Brexit. And I think that


he emerges stronger, in fact, from the result, because he was fervently


in support, he campaigned vigorously for Brexit, Brexit was the outcome,


and all his enemies or opponents are scattered before him on the


battlefield. So who is there now to beat Paul Dacre?


Is it conceivable that this falling out could have had an impact on the


Daily Mail Brexit coverage or on the vote itself? It is true that Paul


Dacre found out through other sources than Lord Rother mere


himself that Cameron had asked for this, asked for him to be sacked.


And no human being would be able to avoid the feeling that they were


going to up the empty and double down on the campaign. I think the


Daily Mail was vigorous and devoted an enormous amount of space to the


campaign and the arguments. And I would be surprised if it did not


have some effect on the outcome although I think a lot of other


factors were involved and it might have been that the gap could have


been even bigger. The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd,


today issued a stark message about President Trump's immigration


ban, warning that it could be used But a Reuters poll tonight


shows that more 49% of Americans agree


with it, whilst 41% This evening, in Washington,


Democrats walked out of congressional hearings,


in essence choosing to boycott the appointment of Steve Mnuchin


as Treasury Secretary. Later this evening,


we will hear Trump's choice for the Supreme Court -


a decision which bears enormous cultural weight in America


and is often bitterly divisive. Here's our diplomatic


editor, Mark Urban. The Trump administration wants to


move on from the entry ban story, not least because it believes that


the president has done no more than implement a policy he campaigned on.


He has an agenda that he articulated clearly to the American people. And


it is his job to lay out that vision and the people he appoints and


nominates and announces as staff members, their job is to fulfil


that. But they do not like it they should not take the job. But it is


the President's agenda we are fulfilling. But the row over the


executive order, leaving people scattered across the world by very


weight for further vetting, continues and lawsuits are expected.


There may be challenges to this rule, clearly it was put together at


the last minute without input from the people who enforce the law, the


people who make them all, the people who are affected by the law.


The executive order took shape last Friday.


Key to the drafting was Steve Bannon, strategy


director, and Stephen Miller, just 31, another staffer


On Friday afternoon Trump signed the order at the Pentagon


with the Vice President and Defence Secretary looking on.


Sidelining key departments, the White House extended the ban


to holders of valid visas and green card residents.


Angry officials briefed journalists alleging a cavalier


Stephen Miller saying we're not going to go to the other agencies or


talk to the lawyers, we're going to do this all alone. You get a very


young person in the White House on a power trip and you can just write


executive orders and tell all your agencies to go to hell.


Within an hour of the order being signed, detentions


It didn't take long then for legal challenges to begin.


By Sunday, some officials were rowing back on green card


Influential senators were complaining about the implementation


and reports appearing that border control officers were


obstructing court orders to release some detainees.


This executive order... Was mean-spirited and un-American. This


came out of nowhere, there is no national emergency, no earthquake,


no trees toppling, no bomb found in a waste can at Kennedy airport. This


seems to have been in my common opinion as a former very tough


prosecutor, this came from thin air as a kind of stage play for some


folks in the White House who seem to want drama.


By yesterday evening, acting Attorney General Sally Yates


was instructing officials not to contest cases


White House staffer Stephen Miller went on Fox News


to defend her dismissal, but also to cast light


on the broader concept behind Trump immigration policies.


How do we keep this country falling into the same trap as happened to


places like Germany and France. We have permit intergenerational


problem of Islamic radicalism that becomes a routine feature of life in


those countries. New normal. This afternoon the Homeland Security


secretary gave a robust defence of administration policy


but there were nods too towards the failure of coordination,


a ragged and imperfect process that Trump's appointees as they get


a grip of their departments, As you have more and more Cabinet


officials and you start to seek deputy secretaries getting


confirmed, there will likely be more bureaucratic pushback. The question


is even if there is pushed back whether it actually matters. Again


proximity is power in Washington and the factors Stephen Bannon and


Stephen Miller have the closest proximity to President Trump. Until


President Trump Caesar believes their advice is hurting him


politically he will continue to listen to them.


With the entry ban, as with many other Trump policies,


The Supreme Court could provide the hearing of last resort.


Later this evening the president is expected to announce his


appointment of a right leaning candidate to a vacant


Joining me from Washington now is Sebastian Gorka


who is Deputy Assistant to the President


Sebastian, the sacking of Sally Yates set the bar quite high, does


the president intend to get rid of everyone who refuses to execute his


ideas? That is the sort of argument I would not expect from the BBC. Let


us not get carried away. Sean Spicer simply sent a message in his


masterful press conference yesterday afternoon where he said we have a


new president, if there are members of the bureaucracy who do not wish


to execute the policies of the new president well come in a private


company those individuals would have to resign or be fired. The issue is


does someone who works as a federal employee wish to implement the


policies of the new president. That simple. I'm sorry you find me


extreme, some 900 people have signed notices or petition saying they


disagree with these executive orders. Will you make moves to get


rid of them all? That is not my call, not my job to do it. Should


president Trump do that? Should a CEO get rid of people who do not


want to work in his company and abide by his rules? If the BBC had


employees that completely acted in ways flagrant to the request of the


governor and his actual policies, what would happen to them? So the


answer is yes, then. She assumed that she was in her job to uphold


the law and that she could not uphold the law by carrying out his


demands. I think she fell victim to the politicisation of national


security. The fact is this order is based upon an Obama identification


of seven nations of primary concern to the United States when it comes


to immigration. So we are acting on analysis from the last


administration. We simply wanted to make sure there was no further


threat and 109 people were slightly delayed out of 325,000 entering


America on Saturday. If that is too much for someone to execute that


mission then they will play the consequence. And there was no


national emergency and you had to roll back on key elements. Let me


just bring in Katie, a Reuters poll tonight shows whatever you think the


Liberals and the airports are saying that the majority of Americans agree


with this band. That is kind of a shocking number and I just have to


say also that the job of a civil servant in this country is not just


to obey the whims of the Roman emperor, of the leader, you know it


is to uphold the Constitution. And they have been strong and persuasive


arguments advanced that show that this executive order is not


constitutional and is very contrary to the American idea as it has been


broadcast around the world. As I think many Americans are quite


ashamed that I new president has so quickly... Not according to the


folds of the Roman emperors were not elected and Donald Trump made very


clear on the campaign trail that this is what he was going to do. It


can come as no surprise. Yes, and I think that team has been very


effective at creating a mandate out of a very tight race. And assuming


that the electoral victory justifies any action that they can dream of


doing. That was a campaign promise. You may make promises on a campaign


which are chaos in reality. You had to pull back on... How is 109 people


chaos? Green cards, military translations. Mild with delayed. So


you're saying this has gone according to plan? Absolutely, I met


with general Kelly, the new Secretary of Homeland Security, he


told me that like clockwork, what the left wing media presented was


absolutely and utterly fallacious. The idea that principles were not


consulted, but agencies were not brought into the decision-making


process. Does it matter to you if leaders in Europe and around the


world think this is the efforts of a dictator gone mad? It matters to us


that people are being mowed down in mass numbers in France, being


massacred on the streets of Paris, Brussels, and we do not want that to


happen here. That is what matters to us and anyone using that kind of


language with a duly elected, democratically chosen head of


government, should have their credentials examined very closely.


Katie, this is part of it, whenever there are protests or placards,


whenever the left together if you like, this plays into the hands of


Trump because he knows the rest of the country is delighted. I think


that is a good point, he is a wonderful showman and you can see in


the way he is rolling out his announcement of his Supreme Court


nomination later tonight, eight o'clock prime time, the rumour is


that he has his finalists both appearing in the White House. It is


going to be great entertainment I'm sure. Is there any Supreme Court


choice the Democrats could accept? My sense is that Democrats are


hoping that Congress, which distorted the make-up of the court


by not even considering Barack Obama's nomination will wait until


another vacancy opens up and then evaluate both Garland and whoever


Trump chooses to nominate. We will find a probably tomorrow morning to


the Supreme Court choice is but let me ask you, whilst governments


around the world are trying to work out Donald Trump has a strategy that


was the question of the state visit. If that gets pushed back, by one


year, 18 months, is that still acceptable to president Trump? I'm


not going to speak directly for the president, the fact is the blizzard


of Theresa May that just happened a few days ago went superbly. As a


result I expect everything to go along swimmingly. You know there is


a petition of more than a million people who do not want him to come


and see the Queen? Absolutely, I know that but I know there is also a


duly elected government. A duly elected government, the British or


American one? The British one, that is going to invite the duly elected


chief executive of the United States. And if we keep government


policies hostage to petitions that everyone would say I do not want to


pay any taxes and there would be a petition for zero taxes. That is


about how a representative democracy functions or a republic. This is


what the left will come up against time and again within the Trump


administration, this is a man who was voted in by a credible electoral


system, a populist, who is enacting the things he said and was


democratically elected to do. Where do you go from here? I think Trump


speaks the language of as I said, showmanship and I think of people


protest and he concedes there is a lot of opposition... Protests by


walking out, people were called idiots today and you can see the


point. I see the point and I am a bit at a loss, it is dismal, I think


that the mood in a lot of places that are predominantly Democratic as


opposed to Republican is discouraged and searching. But I am encouraged


by the example of Elizabeth Warren, people in government, who are not


running over to this and who seem to be marshalling their resources. We


have run out of time, thank you both.


This is where we give people a chance to opine.


You wont agree with everything they say.


As I speak, the House of Commons is still in session.


MPs will be there until midnight tonight debating whether or not


to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty -


which would start the clock on us leaving the European Union.


Tomorrow, just as Newsnight comes on air, the MPs will vote.


But tonight, we thought we would look


There have been figures floated in the press that the UK might face


a bill of around 60 billion euros to cover spending commitments we've


already entered into and things like the pensions of EU staff.


In just over a month's time, Theresa May hopes


to trigger the start of the Brexit negotiations.


The UK is focused on paving the way for a bright future


based on new trading relations across the globe.


they are putting the finishing touches to the list of demands


that will concentrate on a much more immediate challenge.


When the talks are under way here in Brussels,


it will soon become apparent that they are a divorce negotiation.


one of the first items on the table in any divorce is alimony.


My impression of the British position is they enter a football


club, they say what we really want to do is play cricket,


because we already invested in our cricket equipment.


And when we go, we would like to take away


with an early focus on demands for a substantial exit fee.


Though there are tentative signs of a mellowing.


Newsnight understands that a figure of just over 34 billion euros


somewhat lower than the 60 billion floated last year.


The new amount has been reached by examining the UK's


roughly 12% share of the EU's assets and liabilities,


The UK's share of the EU's total budget shortfall


works out at between 24 and 30 billion euros.


And the UK's share of the EU's pensions bill of 50-60 billion


euros is between 6-7.2 billion euros.


The UK will be expected to pay at least a third of its commitments


under the EU's current budget up to December 2020,


21 months after the planned Brexit date.


That works out at around 10 billion euros.


There are also the EU's assets of 153 billion euros.


The UK will say its 18 billion share


should be deducted from the liabilities.


Some in the EU say their figures already take account of this.


Definitive figures are notoriously difficult to pin down.


The new exit bill is slightly lower, because the EU acknowledges


that the UK should not have to fund those parts of the budget


up to 2020 where spending has not yet been committed.


The overall figure that is being bandied around in Brussels


That assumes that we're fully liable for the seven-year period,


and we might be able to escape some of that.


but it is not going to be a small bill.


I would have difficulty getting it down to any lower than 40.


Newsnight understands that the exit bill and the rights of EU citizens


in the UK will be the first items tabled by Brussels.


One EU source told me not a single member state


is going to pay one cent to help the UK leave.


A leading MEP from Germany is hoping for a benign settlement.


Either we keep everything in the EU like it is,


that would mean somebody would have to cover the difference.


And that would be on the net payers' side.


The net payers are not very keen on the idea.


My home country Germany, being the biggest net payer, not at all.


The other possibility is that the UK is obliged to pay.


Whether it will be the full money or with some other sort,


It will be very difficult to find a way of filling this gap -


10 billion is quite a lot of money from an EU budget of 130 billion.


And that is why we go to this solution of increasing revenues,


On the other hand if we decide to cut spending, of course the big


losers are the net recipients, the countries that are benefiting


So it's going to be difficult because it is already like this,


there's a big gap between net contributors and net beneficiaries.


But it is going to be exacerbated by Brexit, of course.


The UK is hoping that old friends in the EU will ride to its rescue.


Yann Squier suggests that Germany wants to be constructive,


What we want to achieve is a fair deal and fair means the obligations


And what will not happen is that the European institution


and the European government will let the UK go away


Pay nothing and forgetting about all the obligations


they have on the continent. No way.


Britain will soon be on the route out of the EU.


We can expect some hard stares across the negotiating table


but money could still make or break the talks.


Our report shows there is something of a mixed blessing for David Davis


on that sum of money. On the one hand, the 60 billion euros figure


seems to be coming down, but 34 billion euros is the figure doing


the rounds now, a colossal sum of money. But before David Davis can


get to the talks, he has to get the Parliamentary bill triggering the


negotiations onto the statute book, and tomorrow there are three votes.


There will be a vote on the SNP amendment, which would stop the bill


in its tracks. It will fail. The second one is about the second


reading, that will go through, we expect about 29 Labour rebels. The


third and final vote will be on the programme motion, how much time


should the bill have? It looks like a higher number of Labour MPs voting


against the Government on that. Next week it is consider that committee


stage, on the floor of the House of Commons, and if, as seems likely,


amendments are not passed, you will see the Shadow Business Secretary


resigning from the Shadow Cabinet to let them vote against the bill. This


is all in the House of Commons, but the real battle will be in the


Lords. Government whips in the Lords are not relaxed, but they are


confident that pro EU peers will not seek to block the bill, and there


are two restraining influences. They know that if they are seen to thwart


the will of the people from that referendum, it is not going to end


well for them. In the second place, any peers who have not appreciated


that point are being told by the Government, if you block the bill,


we will hold an election with two key pledges - take the UK out of the


EU and abolish you! I thought it would end like that!


Before we go, time for our fact of the day.


As Peter Capaldi announces he's standing down as the 12th


Doctor Who, in fact 14 actors have been credited on screen


as the Doctor, including the late John Hurt.


But we mustn't count Peter Cushing, because he played a completely


different character calling himself Doctor Who.


Anyway here they all are, you decide if it's right.


It changes nothing, absolutely nothing!


Hello there. Mild weather in the next


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