19/04/2017 Newsnight

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In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Emily Maitlis.

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Talking Tory - what direction will Theresa May's election


We've heard so little of her plans on spending, defence,


austerity and foreign aid - what goes; what stays?


We talk to those who knew the last manifesto inside out.


And to the Tory leader in Scotland, Ruth Davidson.


The Scottish Conservatives always put the union first,


That's why whether you're a tactical voter, and I'm not


necessarily someone who expounds that, but if you're


a principled voter, your vote, if you don't want the SNP,


if you don't want to encourage their tunnel vision


to break up Britain, is to vote for the


What do you do if you're a Labour voting Brexiteer who likes this


And non-Tory area as we are, we're not going to vote for those, but who


else have we got in front of us? And how do Lib Dems claw back


the South West that went Just two years ago this month, David


Cameron's Conservative manifesto was promising a Brighter,


More Secure Future. An irony presumably not


lost on the former PM - What will she chose


to promise the nation? Brexit determined her reign,


Brexit has dominated it so far. But what about all the other stuff


that decides how we vote? Spending plans, schools,


foreign aid and defence. What will she set out to achieve -


and what may trip her up Our political editor Nick Watt


has been having a look, Nick, let's just focus


on the aid budget. There is something of a battle going


on at senior levels of the Conservative Party. 0.7% pledge of


gross national income that should be spent on overseas aid. There are


senior figures who are saying that should be rolled in with a 3% of GDP


that is spent on defence. The much smaller amount spent on issue


national trade, and that should create an overarching security


budget that would come to around 3% of GDP. Now, that would run into


trouble potentially with the official development assistance


rules which govern what you can define as international aid


spending. What kind of resistance is she getting on this? I think it's


fair to say the International Development Secretary will be keen


to keep the ring fenced budget. She believes it benefits developing


countries and has a benefit to the UK, because it helps to create a


much more stable and safer world. But also its defenders believe they


have some powerful arguments, some of which are being heard


sympathetically at senior levels. In the first place there is a feeling


that, would you potentially be sending a signal that the UK at the


time of Brexit is stepping back from the wider world? That's being heard


sympathetically. The second one is, the biggest threat to


the Conservatives in this general election will be from the Liberal


Democrats. Do you want to be handing them a gift? With these issues in


mind we thought today we would look at the approach Theresa May may


adopt in those non-Brexit issues. The architects of David Cameron's


modernisation project always feared it could go up in a puff of smoke.


Their nemesis Theresa May now has a chance to remodel the Conservative


offer for the people she wants to champion, ordinary working families.


Her election manifesto will give the Prime Minister the opportunity to


jump and mend or perhaps build on some of David Cameron's signature


themes. One of his former advisers hoped she seizes her chance. She has


this opportunity to reset the whole social settlement of our country,


and with an opposition in such disarray, the way is open for her to


introduce a really radical reforms. I think we're in 1945 moment.


There's a huge international event happening, but behind the scenes in


1945 they were preparing for the welfare state. I would like to see


Theresa May Bibi Glenn Catley of our time. Behind the scenes at


Westminster there is something of a pre-manifesto battle going on as


ministers seek to promote cherished ideas and, in some cases, to grab


territory from rival colleagues. There is the sound of sniping in the


air. Newsnight understands there is a


push in Whitehall to change David Cameron's landmark commitment to


spend 0.7% of gross national income on overseas aid. There are calls to


bundle this up with defence spending into one overarching budget, a move


that being resisted by the intervention International


Development Secretary. Priti Patel has a reputation as a right-wing aid


sceptic but she believes the ring fenced aid budget delivers enormous


benefits to developing countries. That is a risk, that you lose if you


remove that target, you lose all the goodwill that comes from a


significant amount of the population that does actually believe in our


overseas aid spending. We always recognised and one of the ways we


justify the overseas spending as it is part of our soft power and is


also part of our defence, because if we help poor countries and


developing nations to grow and prosper economically, then we can


trade with them and partner them. One of the most expensive


commitments made by David Cameron was the so-called pension triple


lock, the pledge that the state pension rises by at least 2.5% or


inflation or average earnings if they are higher. Newsnight


understands ministers are taking a hard look at this commitment and no


decisions have been taken. I don't think it sustainable for


long and it's had its effect. We've seen pensioner poverty falling.


Pensioner incomes are higher than disposable incomes for working age


families. The work of the triple lock is coming to an end. We do need


to rebalance the fiscal settlement towards younger people. We need to


cut costs overall, I'm afraid, still, painful though that is. But


where there is public spending changes to be made, I'd like to see


a greater investment in younger people. That will ultimately bring


the costs down in the future. I think there is an unfairness in the


current measure and we need to rebalance a little.


David Cameron unleashed a schools revolution with the creation of a


new generation of free schools, but there was one line he never crossed,


selection by academic ability. Theresa May will put her plans


Manaus grammar schools in the manifesto but Newsnight understands


this will be modest. The Prime Minister sees the creation of just


20 new grammars. A wounded Philip Hammond will adopt


a highly cautious approach as he tries to stabilise the public


finances. Newsnight understands that under current thinking of the


manifesto will avoid making major commitments on the big ticket item


of social care ahead of the publication of a Green paper later


this year. This government isn't going to make


a dramatic breach with the last one, in terms of the overall spending.


The fact is we still have a significant Budget deficit, we still


have a national debt that needs to be paid down and the right thing to


do for the long-term, for the next generation, for the people who will


be growing up after Brexit is to get our national accounts into balance.


The curtain finally fell on the Cameron project today when George


Osborne announced he would take his leave of Parliament. The baton has


passed to an older and very different generation of


conservatives. Lots to chew over. How far from the Cameron manifesto


is Theresa May likely to move? Camilla Cavendish was Head


of Policy for David Cameron, Andrew Mitchell was


the International Development Lovely to have you both here. Let's


go through them. This 0.7% which has been so strongly ring fenced, and


you will remember it well, it under threat? Should it be negotiable now?


I hope not and I don't think so. It wasn't David Cameron who first


committed the Conservative Party to the 0.7, it was Michael Howard when


he was leader. Not exactly a limp wristed lefty. It is a core promise


of the Conservative Party. I very much hope it will be retrained. Of


course it is also the law of the land now, we passed as legislation


to try and take it out of party politics. It could be bundled,


remain the same? It can't actually, it's not just the money but the


rules under which it is spent. The pooled funds on defence diplomacy


and development, within that ring fence there is another ring fence


that protects the development budget. If you take away the rules


will be plundered by other departments. Can we get through this


one? My experience is that is what happens. It is under threat, Andrew,


as you know. The UK is the second largest aid donor in the world. A


lot of people feel is too much. You and I both know when you're trying


to go into very, very poor countries and deal with sometimes very corrupt


governments, some of that money is wasted. That is a fact. There is a


decision to be made if we want to continue at this level or not. I


think they may go for trying to redefine the rules, because if you


had a bit more flexibility in the rules, you would be able to use it


in a different way, have the military for example offering


humanitarian assistance. There are ring fences within ring fences, it's


very frustrating for government in terms of meeting the objectives. You


can use the military or delivering humanitarian aid and it comes off


the disappeared budget. We need to be very per about this. The rules


are set why the OECD. You have to persuade 33 countries to change


those rules and it won't happen. You speak from experience in the field


and you have worked right inside number ten. Does it feel to you like


it is tied? I've always been concerned is too high and I I'm


concerned now because we are still running a deficit and because of


Brexit, we have a Conservative government that is no longer


committed to producing a surplus by 2020, which Cameron and Osborne


were, because we don't know what economic perils lie ahead. I'm


concerned it is too high. It would be popular with the country she cut


this, at least in your party? We promised and is the law of the land


that we would spend what is a relatively small amount of public


expenditure on the poorest people in the world. That is in tune with the


people of Britain. I would be surprised in a general election if


we were to go back on our word, that we gave, that we would allocate 0.7%


of GDP to helping the neediest. She has to be outward looking at this


point. The bigger question, you have to roll everything together and say


what this manifesto must not be is inward looking little England. --


that will bring. There is a strong argument for retaining the 0.7%, but


on any absolute financial basis, I'm afraid it should be looked at.


Pushed around by tabloid newspaper bosses... Around the world Britain


is lauded and deeply respected for the lives we are changing, the


millions of lives we are saving as a result of this budget. Yet in


Britain it receives very hostile treatment from elements within the


press. It's never about... Of course it's about what you achieved. The


way in which the coalition refashion development was to make sure we


focused on results the money is achieving. Moving onto the grammar


schools, such a who are about that, it comes down to 20. What does it


say, she is rowing back? If you read the small print when she announces


that was always going to be about 20 schools. She is treading very


carefully. It is something she obviously feels very passionate


about. She was a grammar school girl herself. She believes in this very


small experiment, which is, I think, a signal to the Tory rank and file


and people who would like to see more selective education. I think


there is a much bigger issue, which is technical education. If she


really cares about, she's talked a lot about it, I think we need to


look much more closely at what we are investing in. Technical


education and perhaps moving some of the money away from universities and


towards vocation. There is a perception is a more old-fashioned


conservatism she's going for here, not progressive so much but


something that reminds people of the good things of the past. I don't


agree with that. Nick's report mentioned 20 schools which I think


is right. I remember in John Major's government after the 92 election, we


had a policy of a grammar school in every town and none were built or


opened at that time. Is 20 is a modest start but I think is the


right way to implement this policy. What about triple lock? Have


pensioners had their heyday? Will it get harder? I think triple lock is


almost certain to go. The only question is what is replaced with.


The easiest thing would be to go to double locks, which simply means you


would index to inflation, which is a very safe thing to do politically


because interest rates are low, inflation is low. Does that mean


they end up with less money? Not in the short term. In the long-term,


yes, absolutely. Older voters, the core of the Conservative Party,


which is why there was a great deal of worry about this. We've basically


seen younger people unable to get on the housing ladder, having pay for


university and all sorts of debts... I think it's what Danny Kruger said


in the report. It has had the impact we wanted it to her. Now


intergenerational equity means we have to change it. And focused


particularly, I think, on issues where the younger generation have


lost out. Housing is probably the most significant one. Thank you


both. Well, there is already a sense


of deja vu with elements Yesterday, Theresa May warned


about the prospect of a Labour government propped up


by the Scottish National Party - a rerun of David Cameron's


warning in 2015. Today, Nicola Sturgeon declared


she would not rule out what she preferred to call


a progressive alliance with Greens, Lib Dems and Labour in government -


all the parties banding in together Let me say this very clear


and straightforwardly... If the Parliamentary arithmetic lent


itself to the SNP being part of a progressive alliance that


would keep the Tories out of government, then the SNP


would seek to be part of that, Well, one of the Tories' biggest


beasts is their leader She was also one of the most vocal


opponents to Brexit last year. I spoke to her just


before we came on air. I asked her why she thought prounion


voters were supportive of other parties should vote Conservative.


The Scottish Conservatives always put the union first. That's what


people know. That's why whether you are a tactical voter or a principal


voter, your vote, if you don't want the SNP or to encourage their tunnel


vision to break up Britain, is to vote for the Scottish Conservatives.


You seem today Nicola Sturgeon saying she would happily get into


bed with Jeremy Corbyn and prop him up and make him Prime Minister. I


know why. Jeremy Corbyn doesn't care about the union. During the


referendum campaign he didn't come to Scotland once. When he was lost


in Scotland he said he was fine with there being another independence


referendum. If you care about the United Kingdom in Scotland, you know


your vote should be for the Scottish Conservatives. You are one of the


most admired, vocal, visible faces of the Remain Campaign. It must be


so hard for you to have to sell a message of hard Brexit to Scotland.


If you look at what the Prime Minister said in her speech, a lot


of the things she was talking about had been asked for from the Scottish


Government. Things like workers' rights, things like closer


co-operation on security. Things like free trade. I don't remember


her threatening about co-operation on security if it didn't work.


There's clearly a huge amount we put into that. One thing the Prime


Minister did say, and I'm sure this got at Nicola Sturgeon's knows, that


she wants the country to come out of Brexit more unified. I'm sure of the


nationalist she doesn't want that let's also say this. In Scotland,


whether they voted leave or remain, there is an understanding that the


UK will be leaving the European Union. We want someone who can get


the best deal for us because that will benefit people in Scotland as


well as the rest of the UK. In this general election, the choice is to


have which prime ministers sitting across the table from 27 other


political leaders. Do you want Theresa May with a strong hand, a


clear plan, or do you want Jeremy Corbyn, who the vast majority of his


party don't think is fit to lead the Labour Party, never mind lead the


country. The markets seem to conclude yesterday's announcement


would herald a softer Brexit. Do you think that's what it's about? I'm


not sure the markets are the best arbiter. But I believe is that a


Prime Minister with a stronger majority in the House of Commons has


the freedom of movement to be able to make decisions that benefited the


whole country. You say freedom of movement. Amber Rudd talked about


more compromise with the EU as a result of a larger majority, is that


what this is about? I think it gives the prime ministers space to make


long-term decisions to the benefit of the whole country. I think it


also means it's not having one or two small caucuses, however


organised they are in the House of Commons, being able to derail the


process, because the majority is so slim. I would encourage people at


home who want to give the Prime Minister every latitude to be able


to be strong in those negotiations, to sit across from 27 other


countries, to fight Britain's Corner, to give her the strength she


needs. Otherwise it's Jeremy Corbyn who will be sitting there and I


wouldn't trust him to run a bath. There is quite a big debate going on


about certain Tory policies, such as the commitment of 0.7% to eight.


Does that need to be guaranteed? I am committed to the target. I think


international aid not only benefits the countries that receive it but we


benefit too. The Prime Minister gave her commitment to that not three


weeks ago. There is talk about bundling it with trade, maybe


defence. Would that work? I want to make sure we did the best work


abroad. I think we have a commitment to 0.7% in aid. I think it takes


moral courage to be one of the leading countries that espouses


that. Moral cowardice to dilate that presumably? They would have to be a


legal process. We know it was enshrined in law at the Parliament.


There are a lot of people across the political spectrum who show that


particularly at this time, as we are leaving the European Union, we want


to show we are good global citizens, but we aren't inward looking, we


aren't pulling up the drawbridge, we are getting out there into the


world. I think maintaining that commitment shows our commitment to


the rest of the world. The SNP were told now isn't the time when they


asked for a second referendum. Talk us through when the time is, then.


The Prime Minister has put this on two points of principle. You cannot


revisit this question about the constitutional future of Scotland


when people in Scotland don't know what Brexit is going to look like.


When with that be? You've got to be able to see what the Brexit deal is


that's coming out of Brussels brought back to the UK, and also the


attendant power was passed on from there. Does that mean in two years?


I'm trying to get a sense of how one that would be. The second principle


is important too and very important for the rest of the UK audience.


People from the SNP are espousing a nationalist vision. The second thing


is that people of Scotland don't want to revisit this question.


They've been asked time and time again, you can't drag people back to


a decision they have already made. She said now isn't the time and you


said we need the Brexit negotiations to take place. If that process two


years, is it until 2019, is it the years after that? I'm trying to work


out when it would be. It's when we see what the Brexit deal looks like


and how those attendant powers, some of which will go to the Welsh


assembly, to Northern Ireland and Scotland... So it would be crazy to


rule it out for the whole Parliament? It's not been pinned to


a date. Nicola Sturgeon wants to pin it to a date because she is


desperate to push this through on a political issue. The Prime Minister


is talking about a point of principle. The people of Scotland


have to know what they are being asked to vote on. They've got to


want to be dragged back to what was a very divisive vote in Scotland.


The people of Scotland don't want to be dragged back there. They were


promised that it would last for a generation and now Nicola Sturgeon


is going back on that. Thank you. The Brexit vote, we know, has thrown


party loyalties wide open, and one of the hardest tasks


for the electorate this time round will be working out


which allegiance comes first. Many Labour heartlands of the North


emerged as Brexit strongholds. So does that mean they will swing


behind the Tories this time around? David Grossman is in


Manchester to ask them. Seats that were once known as simply


Labour or Conservative, now have an extra, and who knows,


perhaps overriding designation. Whether they voted


for Brexit or not. This creates a challenge


for all the parties, no doubt. Labour's problem is that it has


to try to hang on to seats like this, Manchester Withington,


where voters opted overwhelmingly At the same time as trying to pick


up votes in places like this, Pendle in Lancashire,


where the electorate Because a message that plays well


in a place like this is likely to turn voters off


in places like this. IN UNISON: It's almost as if Labour


needs to be two parties. In our first past the post electoral


system, in order to win an electoral majority they have to put together


a coalition that includes older, socially conservative


blue-collar voters. The kind of voters who voted


for Brexit, who are not very With younger, ethnically diverse,


socially liberal university graduates, the so-called


metropolitan liberal elite, who dominate in places


like London and Manchester, where Labour do very well,


and dominate the Labour They need both of


those groups to win. And the problem is, what those two


groups want are now polar opposites. If we look at the constituencies


who voted either most strongly for Brexit or against Brexit,


projections suggest that setting Scotland side,


16 of the top 20 most remain voting While 12 of the top 20


most leave voting seats In Manchester Withington,


remain voters like Ben and Jess say they feel they have little choice


in this election. They don't want to vote


Lib Dem, they say, just Is Jeremy Corbyn


a potential Prime Minister? It's not anything personal


against him, I quite like what he stands


for and his values. But I think his conduct


through Brexit is disappointing. He never showed any


great leadership. Having personal values is one thing,


but you've got to show that you are capable of delivering


something beneficial for people as a result of those,


and I'm not really convinced he's It's a shame, because I think


locally there's a lot But, on a national scale,


I think it just looks About 35 miles north of Manchester


is the seat of Pendle, currently Conservative


but previously Labour, and one of the seats the party


has to win if it wants Amongst its mainly Brexit voting


residents, I could find little enthusiasm for the current Labour


Party. Do you think Jeremy Corbyn has


anything to say that will attract traditional Labour voters


who voted for Brexit? Lots of voters round


here voted for Brexit. I don't think Jeremy Corbyn


will, actually, no. I don't think his is a strong


enough leadership... I just feel that there's a lot


of disillusionment at the moment in the Labour Party,


even in the strongholds Perhaps maybe that people


are sick of the same, the same, the same,


but at the moment we don't feel And obviously, a non-Tory area,


as we are, we ain't going to vote for those, but what else have we got


in front of us? In a sense, the seeds of this


problem were sown by Tony Blair. In his early days as Labour leader,


he boasted in an interview with me about how he was changing his party,


even in traditional Labour areas The critical thing that has


happened is that the whole structure and culture


of the party has changed. You look at these delegates that


are coming, indeed from places like the north-west,


you look at these delegates, they're different, they're young,


they're go ahead, they've got This is not the Labour Party


living in the past, this is the Labour Party


addressing the future. The Blair gamble back in the 1990s


was we can move Labour aggressively to the centre ground,


focus on the middle-class voter and put together a coalition of


partisan tribal traditional Labour voters and middle-class


swing voters who just want good management,


good government, because the first group, the partisan tribal


Labour voters haven't got anywhere else to go, so we can hold


onto them, even if we don't particularly cater to what they're


asking for, don't particularly give That's the bill that's come due now,


because now the Labour Party is turning round to these voters


and saying, you need to stay loyal with us


in these difficult times, and they're saying,


well, why should we? Labour is trying hard to unite


its disparate tribes by focusing on what they mostly agree


on: on the economy, But since Theresa May


is working equally hard to try to define this election as about


Brexit and about leadership, Labour is not the only party having


to walk a Brexit tightrope. Lib Dems are looking for a revival


fuelled by Remainers. But many of their former


heartlands were solidly Will they welcome back


the Yellow Ribbon? James Clayton went to test


the waters of the South West. Tranquil, historic, generally


all-round lovely Bath. The setting of a Lib


Dem massacre in 2015. What happened here shocked even


the most pessimistic of Lib Dems. They lost nearly 1-in-2


of their voters here, letting It was a result that


was mirrored in much of the south-west,


but now - revenge. Theresa May's announcement yesterday


is a chance for the Lib Dems to retake what they believe


is their territory. Shortly after Theresa May's


announcement, I went They claim to have already had


23 new members since Fantastic, I'll give you a call


in the next couple of days. That was someone who is


looking to get involved Just a spontaneous phone call,


which we've been fielding all day. To be fair, when you said you've


been getting lots of phone calls, we've been here for three or four


minutes, and you've just got another This is Operation Phoenix,


and these are its foot soldiers. What's your big strategy for winning


this election, or can you not say? The whole Brexit issue is getting


people politically motivated, that weren't previously


in political parties. Until six months ago,


I hadn't joined a political And it was Theresa May's speech


about citizens of the world being citizens of nowhere that


prompted me to go out that very day This is a fantastic


chance for the Lib Dems, because the Lib Dems are one


of the few parties who are actually And there are so many


people now who are leaving the parties because they are


so depressed, demoralised. Depressed and demoralised maybe,


but in some areas Brexit gives Liberal Democrats reckon they've got


a pretty good chance of taking south-western seats,


like this one here in Bath. One of the reasons for


that is because Bath voted Now the problem with that, is that


most of the south-western seats they want to take off


the Tories, they voted out. Just down the road is


the constituency of Wells. It's one of a glut of more


traditional rural seats that the Liberal Democrats lost


to the Conservatives in 2015, and it poses a problem


for Operation Phoenix. If you look at the referendum


result, 69% of people in Bath voted to remain,


but unfortunately for the Lib Dems, that's not replicated


across the south-west. Places like Taunton Deane,


Yeovil and here in Wells voted out. So, if the Liberal Democrats think


they can use this election as a second referendum on Brexit,


the south-west might not be So you've never voted


Conservative before? I was Liberal Democrat,


and I'm only voting now because of the situation we are in,


to make sure she gets in and gets through with Brexit,


because I voted for Brexit. So you voted Liberal


Democrat in 2015? And now you're going to vote


Conservative in 2017? I voted Conservative


at the last election, but I was Lib Dem before that,


and I object to being told that I'm an idiot and I don't


know my own mind, and I cannot understand an argument


one way or the other. The EU referendum has


reset the political It may well be that their best


chance of gains are in the more affluent areas of southern England,


which includes Bath, rather than the rump


of Eurosceptic south-west. Back in Bath, I caught up


with the president of the local There's only one party who says


they are going to reverse that, and that's the Liberal Democrats,


not the Conservative Party. Well, that's quite


a staggering thought. I don't know how you


reverse Article 50. I don't think there's


an Article 51a. Have you spoken to people


who voted Remain? A lot of them don't really care


about the intricacies, they just want to vote for a party


that reflects their views on Europe. They may want that, but it's no


longer on the table. By calling this election,


Theresa May senses a countrywide opportunity to take seats off Labour


and win a sizeable majority. But that calculation only


works if she can hold Bath may well be the yardstick


by which the PM's decision to go Former Lib Dem leader


and Deputy Prime Minister Nick That is the tricky bit, isn't it,


Nick Clegg? The woman in that piece we just heard saying loved Brexit,


might have been Lib Dems, now if they hear you talking about the EU,


campaigning on that at all, they will think they are not your people


any more? We will see in the next seven weeks. The thing about Brexit,


it's not just really about whether you voted this way or that way last


June. It's become a kind of vortex, the prism through which everything


else is now refracted in British politics. I will give you an


example, those two ladies, I don't know the modestly but I expect


I'll be pretty concerned that this Conservative government there is a


funding crisis in the NHS, terrible crisis in social care that is not


being addressed and huge cuts to the school system. I think one of the


things we will be explaining to them is, whatever you voted in the Brexit


referendum, having such a Brexit obsessed government means they are


not doing their day job, not providing the decent public services


people want. That's part of the problem. In terms of the way you


campaign, you will not be banging on about Europe? You won't actually


mention Europe? I talk about it at the drop of a hat and I will


continue to. Even in the south-west? You can't hide from people the facts


this general election has been triggered by the Prime Minister the


cynical opportunistic reasons, to capitalise on the weakness of her


opponent, Jeremy Gubin, and to get an election in before the bad news


of Brexit comes. -- Jeremy Corbyn. Whatever people choose to talk


about, Brexit will be the dominant theme. You can't hide away from


that. But the idea you can't talk about the way in which Brexit,


ironically enough, means the oxygen is being sucked away from other


things that people passionately care about, schools, hospitals, social


care... Will be things are linked and should be discussed. Do you


think you can repair the damage done to you all you that you did yourself


last time round? Don't ask me, I'm not objective. I think it's a


nonsense is this idea that the coalition is the ball and chain...


Countless people who now say... I'm not talking about the coalition but


the fact you lost a lot of seats, did you think you can win them back?


We can't do much worse than we did at the last election! Can you double


it? I'm not a soothsayer... You don't have to be. We will do far


better than last time. I suspect, it's just an instant, we will do


better than people expect for right now. Why? Because there is a great


big gap in this election campaign. Give us a ballpark, 13, 14? It's not


game of bingo. You Applebee 's MPs, or waiting in the wings. -- you have


all these MPs. I don't think it'll be interesting to your viewers what


number I plucked out of thin air. That is not issue. What are your


expectations Montero that we will do clearly much better than we did last


time, we can't do much worse. More than that, we will hopefully with a


sizeable Parliamentary party, provide the effective... Lead the


opposition against this damaging had Brexit. Which Theresa May wants to


garner a landslide majority. If it sizeable enough, could it go into


government again? Would you work with Labour? There is absolutely no


realistic prospect of Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister. Are you


ruling out? It's just not going to happen. Can I surprise you? Let me


be very candid with you. I think we should be very plain speaking in


this campaign, because I think most people know what's going to happen


at the end of this process. Theresa May will be Prime Minister on June


nine. I think most people realise there is almost a foregone


conclusion that conservatives will remain the party of government. The


question then becomes, what kind of majority they have, what kind of


mandate to Jake Lehmann what do they do for the next five years? They


seem to expect opposition should be extinguished and they can oppose...


And therefore, back to your question, when I was a leader in


2010, the key test for the Liberal Democrats was how could we step up


to the plate to provide responsible government? That might happen again.


No. It's how we provide effective opposition. It would not be


inconceivable to work with the Conservatives? No way, get Tim on


the programme and asking, he's the leader. There is no way the Liberal


Democrats are going to install Jeremy Corbyn is the leader of this


country nor are we going to sustain Theresa May in power to inflict on


the a self harming, economically speaking, self harming had Brexit


that nobody voted for last year. We don't have much time. Opposition


is not something to be dismissed. Much though I enjoyed my time in


government and felt we did a good job, I value, that's one of the


reasons I'm standing as a candidate, I value an effective opposition in a


healthy democracy. We don't have that at the moment because Labour


has collapsed. This is about Tim Farron. He got himself into some hot


water defining where liberal beliefs and Christian beliefs coincide. Yes,


he said homosexuality is not a sin, but is he... Is he allowed to be a


Christian thinker and a liberal? At the moment it seems like he's been


put on the spot and being told to choose between his Christian


beliefs, what he thinks of homosexuality, in the privacy of his


mind, and his position as the Lib Dem leader? I think you've said it.


It's the privacy of his faith, which he should be able to hold and hold


dearly, in the private way that many people hold faith to themselves, or


indeed don't at all. What he does as a legislator and politician, that is


legitimate... He wasn't really able to say that. He had to come out


today and say... I'm just saying to you my view on politicians and their


faith and how it affects their public duties, you should judge them


not by what their private faith is but what their public actions. As


you know you voted time and time again, alongside all other Liberal


Democrats, in of anti-discrimination measures, equal marriage. Judging by


his actions as an MP, not by the somewhat sort of sanctimonious


judgments about his own private faith. His own private faith is his.


Let him have that, let him have that freedom and privacy of faith but


also judging by his actions as a legislator, which are impeccably


liberal ones. Parting thought for George Osborne, as he steps down,


the man who masterminded your decapitation? Good luck to him. I


think it's quite telling, however much I staunchly disagreed with


George Osborne over many years, he is a particular conservative, a


metropolitan turn of mind, he believes in globalisation, he


believes in a cosmopolitan view of the world. If the Conservative Party


can't retake the ball like that, whatever you think, like or dislike


George Osborne, his a formidable figure in the Conservative Party, if


they can't keep people like that it becomes more narrow and sect like


and that won't serve the Conservative Party well in the long


run. Nick Clegg, thank you. That is all we have time for tonight. Hirst


is back tomorrow. Good night. -- Kirsty is back tomorrow.


Hello. Let's see what the weather has in store for the rest of the


week. If anything, turning a little warmer across southern