Battleground Britain Special Newsnight


Battleground Britain Special

Analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Evan Davis. We are out of the studio and in three very different constituencies. What do the voters actually care about?


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Transcript


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It's not true of course, but sure as hell a lot of it is,

:00:00.:00:11.

and in this election the outcome will be determined in different

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So tonight we are out and about in battleground Britain.

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Three constituencies each chosen for a special reason,

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This is Bishop Auckland, the beautiful market

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town in County Durham, in the election battleground

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I'm 200 miles south in the Conservative seat

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The heart of a town lies in its people.

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We're taking that to heart, and we'll be speaking

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Scotland is a very different battle ground indeed.

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We'll hear why this seat of Berwickshire is important,

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I'm standing outside the town hall, with 30 days

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It's easy to watch our programme, or any other, and to get

:01:13.:01:20.

the impression that an election is just a contest fought

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between party leaders on a national stage.

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Certainly it felt like that today with Theresa May and husband Philip

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on the One Show sofa and Jeremy Corbyn

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But we are going to ignore both of those stories tonight -

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because for good or ill, we have a voting system that

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also makes our election 650 local contests.

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Each seat has its own candidates, its own local parties,

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And with national party loyalties in an elasticated

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state at the moment, local action is often where it's at.

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So tonight we've ditched the studio and have come out

:01:54.:01:56.

We are in three ordinary constituencies, chosen

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because the way their voters turn on June the 8th could help deliver

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three very different futures for Britain.

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A little later in the programme, we'll be off to the Conservative

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The seat is number 50 on Labour's target list,

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and we're dropping in to look at the Labour in power scenario.

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If Labour can win Stevenage, they are probably the largest

:02:24.:02:26.

It's a London commuter belt town, but it's a long way

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And the Tories were 5000 votes ahead last time.

:02:32.:02:37.

But the constituency voted Labour throughout the Blair heydays.

:02:38.:02:48.

We'll also visit the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency

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This is an SNP seat, but is number three on the Tories' UK target list.

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A comfortable Tory victory there takes us to the Conservative

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consolidation outcome, a modest increase in

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A rural seat, it spans a large portion of south-east of Scotland.

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Most voters here backed unionist parties last time.

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Will that help the Tories take it, and signify a resurgence

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But our first stop is here in Bishop Auckland.

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A Labour seat now, this is number 46 on the Tory target list,

:03:24.:03:28.

and a win would suggest we're looking at the Tory landslide

:03:29.:03:31.

scenario, with a majority of around 100.

:03:32.:03:34.

This has a long history, but its economy has been shaped

:03:35.:03:37.

by the rise and fall of the coal mines here.

:03:38.:03:40.

Today, the Conservatives need a 4.5% swing from Labour to clinch it.

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They came within 328 votes of winning it last time.

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Well, with me here is our political editor, Nick Watt.

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Nick, we're here because if the Conservatives can win

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in seats like this then we'd expect them to be on course

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for a landslide majority, and they would have stolen

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significant ground from Labour on their home turf.

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The polling experts have said that if the Conservatives win this seat,

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they would have a majority of 100, and that is as you say landslide

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territory. Some recent opinion polls have suggested we are heading that

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way, the guardian ICM poll yesterday gave the Conservatives a 22 point

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lead all the others say it is more narrow. But our pollsters were

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cautious and suggested local election results last week implied a

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swing from Labour to the Conservatives of 2.5%, and that

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wouldn't really get you into a landslide, it would be a Tory

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majority of 60, not bad, who would complain? But that is only ten above

:04:49.:04:53.

the figures that ministers are saying would we make this early

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election worthwhile. If we're talking about this scenario today,

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what would the impact of that B? It is something that our age group

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would refer to as a Basildon moment, that moment in 1982 where it came

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obvious that the Tories would get a fourth election victory. It has been

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Labour since 1935 when Hugh Dalton recaptured it from the Liberals. He

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was the Labour Chancellor who inadvertently leaked his budget in

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1947, but after spending two Dacia, I would say the Tories have quite a

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big hurdle to climb, which is entrenched Labour support even from

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Labour voters who have doubts about Jeremy Corbyn, but there is a

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reasonable Ukip vote here, and if that splits is the way opinion polls

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show they will, maybe the Tories will get across the line. Thank you,

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Nic. And Nick has spent the last couple

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of days here in Bishop Auckland, testing the temperature of those

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who live here and asking whether this town will stay Labour

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or help give the Conservatives Medieval castles and grand houses

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pepper the western half of the Bishop Auckland constituency. But

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this is a parliamentary seat of two halves. As you head east into former

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coal-mining areas, you see tell-tale signs of post-industrial decline.

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There is real rapport poverty as well as urban poverty. Lots of

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people struggling to make ends meet in their lives. So there is a lot of

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the just about managing people do get talked about, and there are

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those who go from one job to another, they are worried about

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permanent and stability. Theresa May would dearly love to win this seat,

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which has been in labour hands since 1935. The Prime Minister should have

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little difficulty in picking up votes in the more prosperous parts

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of the constituency. The hope will be that her central message about

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championing ordinary working families will win over Labour and

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Ukip voters in the more deprived areas. Success for the Tories,

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buoyed by their victory in the nearby Tees Valley mayoral contest,

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may depend in large part whether Labour voters are prepared to

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support their leader. One lifelong supporter will be casting his ballot

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the labour, but with little enthusiasm. He is too idle to shave,

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and he's not right, he's not a Labour top man, I would say. He's

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got to get himself sorted, because if not, we are going down the

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Suwanee. His friend Danny isn't going to vote at all. Labour? No

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backbone whatsoever. I would vote for Labour now. Labour will get it

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around here no problem at all. But there is no leadership. So there are

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strong doubts about Jeremy Corbyn in the Bishop Auckland Labour

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heartlands, but head over to the leafy aside whether Tories can count

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on strong support, and you can see signs of that Corbyn Fanclub. I

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think the media are saying that Jeremy Corbyn is in very good. I

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think he's a very good leader, and I think he stands his ground. I joined

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the Labour Party to get him in. The contrasting views show that nothing

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is straightforward about this seat, where the picture on the ground is

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more nuanced than polling numbers would suggest. Apathy may be a

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strong factor, and Bishop Auckland is no longer a straight Labour/ Tory

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fight. Theresa May will only prevail if she can eat into 7000 Ukip votes.

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Tell me why you wrote Ukip. Because immigration in this country is out

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of control. Some people say that Ukip in a sense of done their job,

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we are out of the EU. No, I don't agree. It's not job done, is it?

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Half a job. Tories tend not to put their heads above the parapet in

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Bishop Auckland. One mum of an aspiring ping-pong champion is full

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of praise for Theresa May. I do like her, and coming from the feminist

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point of view, I like that we've got a woman again. I think she's a

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strong character, I like what she said about Brexit, and I think

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probably a lot of people are thinking like that, they think she

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is a strong leader and that helps the shift from Labour to Tory. I

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don't think Labour have got a lot going for them at the moment. And

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there are even Labour voters who praised the Prime Minister. I think

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she's very strong. I think she won't take anything, she'll be a good

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candidate and stand strong in terms of Brexit. But I don't believe in

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the Conservative policies, really. If the Tories do win this seat, it

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could well be remembered as a seismic moment in British politics.

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It would be significant because it would say something about what was

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happening across the nation as a whole, which might surprise people,

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if this seat particularly went Conservative. In this overlooked

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corner of north-east England, visitors would barely know an

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election is under way. Many people told us they are simply

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uninterested, and the greatest noise issue is not from election's

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loud-hailers, but from one of England's most spectacular

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waterfalls. Nic Watt there.

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Arguably, the grand divide in England, exposed

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by the referendum last year, was between big cities

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like Manchester and London and secondary towns and cities that

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tended to vote more enthusiastically for Brexit.

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It's that factor that might or might not be reshaping the party

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loyalties of seats we think of as naturally Labour or Tory.

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Well, let's reflect on what's changing.

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I am joined here in Bishop Auckland by James Wharton, former

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He has been Conservative MP for Stockton South since May 2010.

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And Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central

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since 2010 and a shadow Business Minister.

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Good evening to you both. Chi first of all, what you think is happening

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here among traditional Labour voters? Is there some sense of them

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switching away? I think what we are seeing is we have Brexit divided the

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country and divided northern voters as well, 58% of northern voters

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voted to leave. The Conservative Party have taken on Ukip's language

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and mantle is attracting them, but what I find on the doorstep, and we

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have many fantastic candidates taking our message into the

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communities, is that the Labour vote, the memory of the Tory

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government and the cuts to public services combined with the fact that

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people do not feel better off, people know that we are 10% on

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average worse than when the Conservative first came into power,

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that is still the message. Are you expecting to lose seats in the

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north-east, though? We are fighting for every vote. That isn't what I

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asked. The polls suggest that we may experience losses, but on the day

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itself, I think people will remember what a Tory government means. What

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is your experience, James Wharton? I would be surprised if we don't take

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seat in the north-east, what is underlying that is where and when.

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What do you think it is? I think a long time people voting in the

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north-east were removed from those who represented them. Brexit is one

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big reason, it highlighted that. Nearly all of the Labour MPs in this

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region supported remain, and a lot of the Labour voters supported

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leave, and there wasn't a voice for them, and they looked elsewhere.

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What do you say, Chi, to Labour voters when they say, I might not

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vote Labour or I don't like Jeremy Corbyn. What do you say? I say to

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them, Labour voters who are thinking of switching to Tory, I say that if

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in two years' time you will be lying at a -- lying awake at night out of

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guilt will the Tories are doing to our schools, NHS and economy, and

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your responsibility for that. And for James to say that our

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candidates, our MPs, have not been rooted in their communities, when

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the Tory party is full of people who can't even imagine what it is like

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to take a bus, never mind to go to a food bank... Let James answer. I

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have lived the north-east all my life. I have seen the complacency of

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many of the Labour politicians and the reason. The big thing we face in

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this country going forward, and people know this, is going to be

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Brexit, getting the deal are going to that process, and there is a

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choice in this election between Theresa May and her strong and

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stable leadership... LAUGHTER

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. Lets just ask about the pitch of the

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north-east to your parties. It was the Tories who came up with this

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Northern Powerhouse slogan, who seem to have a vision or ambition for the

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North. You must feel terrible that Labour didn't talk about it in that

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way for so long? Labour has always been rooted in the

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industrial heartlands. Labour is for a resurgent industry and we know

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what industry means, jobs, good quality jobs, making and building

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things. The industrial strategy, you are Shadow Minister for industrial

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strategy. What is it? Industrial strategy is to invest in our

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transport, in innovation infrastructure, to invest in

:15:35.:15:38.

communities and skills, for lifelong learning so we have the skilled

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people to deliver the skilled jobs which mean higher wages and mean we

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can compete internationally and globally. You were the Northern

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Powerhouse minister until last summer. What has happened to that,

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what is going on? Just last week we had the first mayor elected in the

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north-east region. There are more in the north than anywhere else. And

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with that comes significant devolution and new powers. Three

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years ago George Osborne talked about high speed three. It was going

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to be an east West think that would make northern cities more than the

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sum of their parts. When is that going to be finished? You do not

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finish a project on economic growth. When is it going to start? We have

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seen devolution delivered in the Tees Valley. On every single train,

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they will be replaced by 2022. These are big investment that had been

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needed by -- nearly four years. Our economy can have workers moving

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around thanks to our investment and we will set up the bank of the North

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which will attract investment here and control that investment. Is it

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your contention that the Northern Powerhouse is on track and being

:17:08.:17:10.

delivered to the people of the North? I think it is. When you say

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Northern Powerhouse... You cannot change something that dramatically

:17:23.:17:28.

overnight. You are going to see new trains and devolution deal, the

:17:29.:17:31.

shape of politics is changing across the north of England and people are

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doing that. We that in the vote. Investment is going to follow. In

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seven years we have doubled the debt under the Tories. We have to leave

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it there. Well, that's it from

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Bishop Auckland for now. We shall return later,

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but the next leg on this UK Thanks, Evan - and good evening

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from Abbotsford in the heart of the Scottish Borders,

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the home of Sir Walter Scott, who did more than his fair share

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to forge both Scottish identity and the idea of a Scotland's place

:18:03.:18:05.

in the United Kingdom. We are here because constituencies

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like this are the kind the Conservatives need to win

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if they are to consolidate But more than that -

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this election serves to emphasise how much Scotland

:18:15.:18:18.

is "another country". For many here, this is a return

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to the arguments of the 2014 Nicola Sturgeon says it's a chance

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to put Scotland in Scotland's hands. Ruth Davidson, after a Tory surge

:18:25.:18:29.

at last week's local elections, says it's an opportunity

:18:30.:18:32.

for unionists to prevail. For Labour, who took a drubbing

:18:33.:18:35.

in the locals and even managed to lose Glasgow council,

:18:36.:18:38.

the question is whether this election brings

:18:39.:18:40.

a fightback or wipeout. The resurgence of the Tories appears

:18:41.:18:44.

to be a direct result In power in Scotland

:18:45.:18:47.

for more than a decade, the last general election

:18:48.:18:51.

was a triumph when they took So this election is for the heart

:18:52.:18:54.

and soul of Scotland, but if the Conservatives gain even

:18:55.:18:58.

a handful of seats, it would contribute to the idea

:18:59.:19:01.

that they are the only party who can Scotland has been at the heart

:19:02.:19:04.

of seismic shifts in politics In 1997 Labour in Scotland

:19:05.:19:19.

was the backbone of Tony Blair's The Conservatives were all

:19:20.:19:24.

but dead in the water Ten years later, the Scottish

:19:25.:19:29.

National Party formed a minority administration in Hollywood and have

:19:30.:19:36.

been in power ever since. Now they command the heights

:19:37.:19:40.

of Scotland at Westminster. But people are beginning to ask

:19:41.:19:44.

whether they have reached peak nat and how that would play

:19:45.:19:48.

into a second independence When Nicola Sturgeon announced

:19:49.:19:50.

there would be a second referendum, did that galvanise unionism

:19:51.:19:57.

in the Scotland? So we've got this odd paradox

:19:58.:20:00.

going on in Scottish politics now where the Unionist parties

:20:01.:20:03.

want to talk about independence because they know they have this 55%

:20:04.:20:06.

majority against it. And the SNP want to talk about other

:20:07.:20:10.

things because they know that they actually are more in tune

:20:11.:20:13.

with the views of the Scottish people on social policy,

:20:14.:20:16.

on Europe, on social justice, There has always been

:20:17.:20:18.

tactical voting here. But this time it may

:20:19.:20:27.

have a radically different effect Labour is in a terrible,

:20:28.:20:29.

terrible position. The weakest I have

:20:30.:20:34.

ever seen the party. I think what is happening is that

:20:35.:20:39.

people are saying, well, another independence referendum,

:20:40.:20:41.

you know, we don't want that. We don't want to wrangle

:20:42.:20:44.

over this question, And so what is happening

:20:45.:20:47.

is they are voting Conservative because they have positioned

:20:48.:20:52.

themselves clearly, clearly as the party that will fight

:20:53.:20:54.

against another referendum. If the Conservatives

:20:55.:20:59.

are going to take any seats from the Nationalists,

:21:00.:21:01.

this one, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk,

:21:02.:21:03.

is first on the hit list. I am in Hawick though,

:21:04.:21:07.

and here is the conundrum. This was once the centre

:21:08.:21:12.

of the textile industry, but a combination of automation

:21:13.:21:16.

and globalisation has decimated Hawico is a family firm founded

:21:17.:21:18.

in the town in 1874. It makes luxury cashmere

:21:19.:21:28.

clothing which is exported Brexit is by far and

:21:29.:21:30.

away the biggest issue Scottish independence,

:21:31.:21:39.

all the uncertainty that we have with all that are our

:21:40.:21:47.

single biggest issues. While the view of the management

:21:48.:21:49.

might be clear, there are some I have never voted Tory

:21:50.:21:52.

in my life and I have But this time I'm going to vote Tory

:21:53.:22:00.

because I voted to come out, I voted to stay together,

:22:01.:22:04.

so I have to vote Tory. They say that Ruth Davidson has

:22:05.:22:08.

detoxified the Tories. But I'm not really wanting another

:22:09.:22:10.

referendum because we have had the result already and I think

:22:11.:22:17.

they're just sort Alistair Moffat farms just

:22:18.:22:20.

a few miles from here. He feels the apparent conundrum

:22:21.:22:28.

of this election particularly Because we are a frontier people

:22:29.:22:30.

and have been for a thousand years, we do not see the frontier people

:22:31.:22:36.

on the other side of the Tweed People want to stay

:22:37.:22:40.

in the British union, To avoid another unnecessary

:22:41.:22:45.

referendum, as they see it. But also the Conservatives are

:22:46.:22:50.

apparently embracing hard Brexit. And many people here do not want out

:22:51.:22:55.

of the European Union. In rural England a seat like this

:22:56.:23:03.

would have been safe Tory territory. But for years even before

:23:04.:23:07.

the rise of the SNP, this was a liberal rather

:23:08.:23:10.

than a Conservative stronghold. It will be here where we discover

:23:11.:23:13.

whether Ruth Davidson has done enough to detoxify the Tories north

:23:14.:23:16.

of the border. What would a Conservative land

:23:17.:23:24.

grab in Scotland mean Nicola Sturgeon surprised many

:23:25.:23:27.

by using the backdrop of Brexit to call for a second referendum

:23:28.:23:31.

earlier this year. But could May have outmanoeurvered

:23:32.:23:36.

her with her snap election? And if so, what would

:23:37.:23:38.

the SNP do next? Well, I caught up earlier this

:23:39.:23:41.

evening with the party's former I asked him what he would

:23:42.:23:44.

regard as a mandate This election will not

:23:45.:23:47.

decide independence. Independence will be

:23:48.:23:52.

decided in a referendum. That is the established policy

:23:53.:23:54.

of the Scottish National Party. This election will decide

:23:55.:23:59.

whether the decisions about Scotland's future should

:24:00.:24:01.

remain in Scotland's hands. These are decisions to be made

:24:02.:24:05.

by the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish people,

:24:06.:24:07.

not to be dictated And that is what an SNP victory

:24:08.:24:09.

in this election will reinforce. You asked me what would

:24:10.:24:14.

happen if the SNP... Can I just say that

:24:15.:24:20.

unlike the rather presumptuous vainglorious announcements

:24:21.:24:24.

from the Conservative Party about what they're going to win,

:24:25.:24:27.

the SNP have never taken a single So we will let

:24:28.:24:30.

the electorate decide. You talk about Ruth Davidson saying

:24:31.:24:35.

it is a vainglorious boast to take Gordon,

:24:36.:24:41.

your own seat. But you have said things like,

:24:42.:24:43.

independence is inevitable, Well, to say that independence,

:24:44.:24:45.

there is a movement of Scottish politics towards independence,

:24:46.:24:51.

that is as certain as anything can That is not the same thing as saying

:24:52.:24:54.

I'm going to overturn a 20,000 No, but you got a 6500 majority

:24:55.:24:58.

in the last general election. I had a 20,000 majority over

:24:59.:25:06.

the Conservative Party. I mean, the Tories have this always

:25:07.:25:09.

extending list of seats I'm merely saying that

:25:10.:25:13.

in the north-east of Scotland and in the borders of Scotland,

:25:14.:25:17.

and in any common-sense area of Scotland, the people who make

:25:18.:25:19.

vainglorious boasts before an election can often be brought

:25:20.:25:27.

down to earth with a large bump. You could say that you would be

:25:28.:25:30.

making a vainglorious boast between a second independence

:25:31.:25:33.

referendum because you have said, independence is inevitable,

:25:34.:25:35.

it is just generational. My belief has always been that once

:25:36.:25:37.

the key decision was to establish the Scottish Parliament,

:25:38.:25:43.

once the Scottish Parliament was established, then it would

:25:44.:25:45.

increase and enhance its powers over That was a process which was as near

:25:46.:25:48.

inevitable as anything I have always said the exact timing

:25:49.:25:52.

of when that happens and how that happens,

:25:53.:25:58.

that is for political debate and for I may say the destination

:25:59.:26:00.

is what is set. The route and the number of stops

:26:01.:26:06.

you have on the way, But that is interesting,

:26:07.:26:09.

you say the destination is set. So what you are essentially saying

:26:10.:26:13.

is the Scottish people could deliver no message at this general election

:26:14.:26:16.

which would indicate that they do not want a second

:26:17.:26:20.

independence referendum, No, the Scottish people,

:26:21.:26:22.

my whole basis and being in politics What I am saying is once we

:26:23.:26:28.

established the Scottish Parliament, and we are sitting here not far

:26:29.:26:34.

from Linlithgow and the late Tam Dalyell stayed in the Binns

:26:35.:26:38.

a few minutes from here. And Tam and I disagreed on many,

:26:39.:26:41.

many things in politics, about the establishment

:26:42.:26:45.

of a Scottish Parliament. But the one thing we agreed

:26:46.:26:47.

on is once you have established a national parliament of Scotland,

:26:48.:26:50.

it would over a period of time accrue the powers and become

:26:51.:26:53.

an independent parliament. The people decide the timetable,

:26:54.:26:56.

they decide when that happens. Two years ago the SNP got half

:26:57.:27:00.

the vote in the general election. If that figure is significantly

:27:01.:27:08.

lower in this election, are you saying that irrespective

:27:09.:27:12.

of how they voted on Brexit, No, what I'm saying is the SNP

:27:13.:27:17.

will go into this election looking for every vote and every possible

:27:18.:27:23.

constituency, striving hard And you judge the winning

:27:24.:27:25.

of an election by the party that gets the most seats

:27:26.:27:31.

and the most votes. And you do not take

:27:32.:27:33.

anything for granted. But if the direction of travel,

:27:34.:27:35.

can I just ask, is the direction of travel in this election,

:27:36.:27:43.

if Ruth Davidson moves and takes a number of seats including perhaps,

:27:44.:27:45.

first of all, Berwickshire, which is a very, very

:27:46.:27:48.

slender majority. Or Gordon, yes, because in fact

:27:49.:27:49.

if they tactically voted against you on the same turnout,

:27:50.:27:55.

on the same percent Why would they not

:27:56.:27:57.

tactically vote against I saw an interesting figure

:27:58.:28:01.

in the polls a couple of weeks ago. It did not ask how people

:28:02.:28:05.

were voting, it looked at the parties and said,

:28:06.:28:07.

do you like this party? 53% of people in

:28:08.:28:10.

Scotland like the SNP. The figure for the

:28:11.:28:12.

Conservative Party was 24%. But you have not got over

:28:13.:28:15.

the 50% hurdle for a second I'm interested in the fact that

:28:16.:28:18.

you will go for a second independence referendum no matter

:28:19.:28:22.

what the result of this election is. No, the mandate for the second

:28:23.:28:26.

referendum was last year. The decision on what happens at this

:28:27.:28:29.

election is a matter But you judge whether you win

:28:30.:28:32.

or lose an election by winning And on that criteria

:28:33.:28:36.

the Scottish National Party have won every major election

:28:37.:28:40.

in Scotland since 2010. I'm joined here by the fireside

:28:41.:28:42.

by elections supremo and psephologist John Curtice,

:28:43.:28:53.

who crunches the numbers at the University of Strathclyde,

:28:54.:28:55.

and by Alex Massie, Scotland editor Alex Salmond is right that they have

:28:56.:29:10.

the mandate for a second referendum. But is there anything that could

:29:11.:29:16.

alter the thinking of that? Not for the SNP. In a technical sense or

:29:17.:29:22.

factual sense if you prefer the SNP already have their mandate for a

:29:23.:29:29.

second referendum, authorising the Scottish Government, that vote was

:29:30.:29:32.

passed a few weeks ago. But politics is not just about facts and

:29:33.:29:37.

technicalities and hitherto the SNP have done well covered lies in on a

:29:38.:29:41.

sense of inevitability and the momentum is with them that the are

:29:42.:29:45.

of national aberration if you like is at hand. If they were to lose

:29:46.:29:50.

seats in this election that would check that momentum. It will remain

:29:51.:29:56.

the largest party, but they will see a setback, which will embolden

:29:57.:30:02.

conservatives who think we can push this further down the line.

:30:03.:30:07.

The suits Ruth Davidson makes this about unionism? Ever since the

:30:08.:30:17.

referendum of 2014, the constitutional question has been the

:30:18.:30:22.

seat of Scottish politics, and this election is simply a continuation of

:30:23.:30:27.

that process. The truth is, what has happened is not so much SNP support

:30:28.:30:32.

has gone down that heavily, but rather that the Conservative Party

:30:33.:30:35.

has become much more successful at bringing the Unionist vote in, and

:30:36.:30:40.

essentially it is taking votes from the Labour Party. The other thing

:30:41.:30:46.

which is true is the SNP is defending a quite remarkable base.

:30:47.:30:51.

50% of the vote, 56 out of 59 seats, difficult to beat, and the

:30:52.:30:56.

difficulty for the SNP in particular is you can see what happened in last

:30:57.:31:03.

year's Scottish parliament election. Here on the border with England, up

:31:04.:31:08.

in the north-east, and so on. The Liberal Democrat equally picking off

:31:09.:31:10.

places like Fife north-east and Edinburgh West. And therefore the

:31:11.:31:17.

SNP are finding that the anti-SNP vote is congregating against

:31:18.:31:22.

particular parties. And of course there is this idea that we have

:31:23.:31:28.

always had tactical voting but there are particular areas where it looks

:31:29.:31:34.

as if the best candidate, the Unionist candidate, will be the one

:31:35.:31:40.

in certain areas for example Edinburgh. Yes, I think we can

:31:41.:31:46.

expect to see a nonaggression pact between Unionist parties in

:31:47.:31:48.

Edinburgh which could if everything fell their way leave Edinburgh like

:31:49.:31:53.

Berlin, divided into four zones. You would have the Liberal Democrats in

:31:54.:31:56.

Edinburgh West, Tories in the south-west, Labour in Edinburgh

:31:57.:32:02.

South and the SNP would be the largest group. Whether that actually

:32:03.:32:06.

happens, a lot needs to go right for the Unionist parties for that

:32:07.:32:10.

transpire, but it is possible, and we see a breakdown in tribalism,

:32:11.:32:13.

particularly amongst Conservative voters who are happy to endorse a

:32:14.:32:17.

Labour Liberal Democrat candidate if that's candidate is the person best

:32:18.:32:22.

place to defeat the SNP, because you are either on team SNP, or team

:32:23.:32:29.

anti-SNP in Scotland. But one of the big Scottish stories may well be

:32:30.:32:32.

that what happens to Labour after this election, we don't know the

:32:33.:32:36.

result is yet but there are certainly questions about whether

:32:37.:32:38.

Corbyn should even be in the election literature. That party is

:32:39.:32:46.

only defending one seat, and above South, and it is vulnerable. The

:32:47.:32:49.

Labour Party fell to third yet again as they did further south, but my

:32:50.:32:56.

reading of where we are at, is although the Labour Party is down in

:32:57.:32:59.

Scotland, it is not quite out. It still managed to get a fifth of the

:33:00.:33:04.

vote here, and the gap between them and the Conservatives is still

:33:05.:33:07.

sufficiently narrow that actually the battle for who is going to be

:33:08.:33:11.

the principal party of unionism in Scotland has not yet been won and

:33:12.:33:15.

lost. Ten seconds, does Theresa May have to tread carefully in tone in

:33:16.:33:21.

Scotland? In the long-term, yes. Whitehall, Westminster, Downing

:33:22.:33:24.

Street are very good at next week, next month, but the battle of

:33:25.:33:27.

Scotland will not be decided this year or even next year. This is a

:33:28.:33:31.

matter for five years, ten year down the line. Thank you both very much

:33:32.:33:33.

indeed. Let's hand over now

:33:34.:33:34.

to David Grossman in Stevenage. Welcome to the Cromwell Hotel

:33:35.:33:38.

in old Stevenage, a coaching in since the 16th century and once

:33:39.:33:46.

the home of Oliver Cromwell's One secret nobody knows yet

:33:47.:33:49.

is where this seat is heading It's currently Conservative,

:33:50.:33:56.

but If Jeremy Corbyn can take it back, history suggests

:33:57.:34:04.

he should be on course to win the election,

:34:05.:34:06.

it's around 50 on any ARCHIVE NEWSREEL: Where better

:34:07.:34:08.

to recapture the spirit of these ventures than at Stevenage,

:34:09.:34:12.

Hertfordshire, where in the town centre, known as phase one

:34:13.:34:14.

of the overall plan... A new town to help solve Britain's

:34:15.:34:16.

post-war housing problems. The new A1 motorway and aerospace

:34:17.:34:24.

jobs gave it a futuristic feel. It was the sort of place

:34:25.:34:30.

Harold Wilson had high hopes for. The Britain that is going to be

:34:31.:34:35.

forged in the white heat The answer to that is rather rude

:34:36.:34:37.

to a minority of people... In 1964, a young hopeful

:34:38.:34:41.

Shirley Williams became MP for the area, although boundary

:34:42.:34:47.

changes mean it is a Since the seat of Stevenage

:34:48.:34:49.

was created, whichever party has won here has gone

:34:50.:34:54.

on to win the country. The victory of millionaire

:34:55.:34:58.

Blairite Barbara Follett in 1997 was emblematic

:34:59.:35:05.

of New Labour's triumph. At the last general election,

:35:06.:35:11.

the Conservatives got 44.5% of the vote, with Labour

:35:12.:35:13.

ten points behind. The Conservative majority of a shade

:35:14.:35:20.

under 5000 votes may seem like a big enough mountain for Labour to scale

:35:21.:35:23.

on its own, but consider this. At the last general election,

:35:24.:35:28.

Ukip polled 6,800 votes here, and many of them could now

:35:29.:35:30.

be in play. And according to the most

:35:31.:35:37.

authoritative academic analysis, this area, Stevenage,

:35:38.:35:40.

voted strongly to leave the EU. Another straw in the wind that

:35:41.:35:45.

will make Labour sweat, as last week's local elections

:35:46.:35:47.

Labour start of the night with five of the six Stevenage seats

:35:48.:35:52.

on Hertfordshire County Council. By morning they had lost three

:35:53.:35:54.

to the Conservatives. Now although Stevenage is home

:35:55.:36:04.

to plenty of London commuters - it's just 25 minutes on the train

:36:05.:36:07.

to Kings Cross - it's certainly not Lots of companies and

:36:08.:36:10.

organisations do business here. Among them is the wine society,

:36:11.:36:15.

a cooperative that's been making its members happy

:36:16.:36:18.

by the bottle or Where better to assemble a group

:36:19.:36:20.

of politically-engaged residents who have all at one time to voted

:36:21.:36:29.

labour to taste test the current The wine society provided us

:36:30.:36:33.

with some politically themed wines. The first item on our

:36:34.:36:40.

agenda was to pick one That is going to be

:36:41.:36:42.

hard to beat, I think. I'm very glad to say it

:36:43.:36:54.

has got a screw top. I suppose if you were to put me

:36:55.:36:57.

on the line I would probably be I would be fairly central

:36:58.:37:01.

and you could argue may be leaning slightly to the right,

:37:02.:37:06.

but I'm open to listening And seeing as to whether that is

:37:07.:37:08.

the man I want to vote for. In the past I have mainly voted

:37:09.:37:14.

either Liberal Democrat or green. Probably as I have got

:37:15.:37:17.

older I have changed. I have been a Labour voter, I have

:37:18.:37:23.

been a Liberal Democrat voter. I have probably veered a lot more

:37:24.:37:26.

towards the Liberal Democrats. How do you view the Labour Party

:37:27.:37:32.

at the moment, do you see them as someone you might be

:37:33.:37:36.

giving your vote I view the Labour Party as a lot

:37:37.:37:39.

of very different people who have I do not think we should

:37:40.:37:45.

see the Labour Party We are a large group who have come

:37:46.:37:48.

together and band together with the common aim to achieve

:37:49.:37:52.

what we want. I am suspending my decision

:37:53.:37:58.

until I know a bit more But at the moment for me it is very

:37:59.:38:01.

much a leadership election. To be absolutely honest with you,

:38:02.:38:05.

for the longest time I did not, I was one of these people

:38:06.:38:08.

who did not pay much It is only within the past few years

:38:09.:38:11.

where I have noticed how it is affecting the people around me

:38:12.:38:15.

that I have taken And I'm now a fully paid-up

:38:16.:38:18.

member of the Labour Party because Jeremy Corbyn actually

:38:19.:38:23.

grabbed hold of me, as it And those things that

:38:24.:38:26.

I was unhappy about, How do you feel about

:38:27.:38:32.

the Labour Party at this election, are they somebody you might end

:38:33.:38:37.

up voting for? I would not dream whatsoever

:38:38.:38:39.

of voting for the Labour Party as it He may well have, you know,

:38:40.:38:42.

great qualities in Jeremy Corbyn, I think the country need somebody

:38:43.:38:47.

that has gravitas. I think the country needs

:38:48.:38:49.

somebody that can actually I think the Shadow Cabinet

:38:50.:38:52.

is something at the moment that I could not entertain voting for,

:38:53.:39:00.

whether it is John McDonnell, all I think of the front bench team

:39:01.:39:08.

do not have anything that gives me any belief that what

:39:09.:39:12.

they say, I can believe. I think we would be a laughing

:39:13.:39:14.

stock on the world stage. What is going to inform your

:39:15.:39:18.

vote at this election? The focus on our services

:39:19.:39:21.

within the country. I know there is a whole big talk

:39:22.:39:24.

about Brexit and it seems to be an election about Brexit

:39:25.:39:28.

at the minute. You have got the Conservatives

:39:29.:39:32.

saying they are the ones that are going to push for it

:39:33.:39:35.

were the other parties would not. But I feel we are losing track

:39:36.:39:38.

of the services around our local towns and the country and the NHS

:39:39.:39:41.

and things like that. So that is going to be

:39:42.:39:44.

what is important for me. I voted to leave because I

:39:45.:39:46.

think Europe is a con. I didn't vote because there

:39:47.:39:51.

are too many people coming It is a bosses club and I'm

:39:52.:39:54.

not a boss so I didn't If you go into negotiation you need

:39:55.:39:59.

to have a clear idea of what you want and what you're

:40:00.:40:06.

trying to achieve. And what you do not want is being

:40:07.:40:08.

undermined by your own party And I have not seen much evidence

:40:09.:40:11.

of that up until now. I would like to pick up something

:40:12.:40:17.

that Charlie said earlier on, that's actually the general election

:40:18.:40:20.

is not all about Brexit. Brexit is important,

:40:21.:40:23.

but if we are not careful we will lose sight of all the other

:40:24.:40:25.

things that we actually need But Brexit, we have a job to do,

:40:26.:40:28.

we need somebody that's And somebody that actually has a job

:40:29.:40:34.

and gets on and does it. And Theresa May, do you think

:40:35.:40:42.

she has leadership qualities? I think you certainly know

:40:43.:40:44.

what she wants to achieve and I think she certainly has more

:40:45.:40:47.

of the support of party than for Again this five or six weeks I think

:40:48.:40:50.

is the chance to show what they're trying to achieve and how they're

:40:51.:40:57.

going to do it. That was our own, I should say

:40:58.:41:00.

unscientific gathering of voters. There is another month until polling

:41:01.:41:09.

day so everything remains in play even if the polls suggest

:41:10.:41:11.

it's all over. That's it from here,

:41:12.:41:16.

let's go 200 miles back up the A1 While we have been on air, it has

:41:17.:41:34.

emerged that President Trump has sacked James Komi, the director of

:41:35.:41:38.

the FBI, apparently on the advice of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mark

:41:39.:41:42.

Urban is back in the studio in London and joins us now. How did

:41:43.:41:47.

this newsbreak? Remarkably, about half an hour go from the White House

:41:48.:41:52.

press secretary Sean Spicer. The correspondence was then released.

:41:53.:41:57.

President Trump sending a letter to director Komi saying he had been

:41:58.:42:01.

terminated, and in a typical Trump fashion, thanking him for saying he

:42:02.:42:06.

wasn't a subject of the investigation into his campaigns

:42:07.:42:12.

Russia ties, and putting the onus on his Attorney General. That put the

:42:13.:42:17.

onus on the deputy Attorney General, who actually said the director of

:42:18.:42:22.

the FBI was being fired because he had declared Hillary Clinton to be

:42:23.:42:27.

in the clear last summer on the e-mail saga, and that shouldn't have

:42:28.:42:35.

been done by an FBI director, said the deputy Attorney General. Where

:42:36.:42:44.

does this leave the FBI? Locked, as you can see, in this battle with the

:42:45.:42:48.

Justice Department, whoever succeeds, there is this trial going

:42:49.:42:53.

on, it is a bureaucratic trough of dominance, the Justice Department

:42:54.:42:59.

plays that role of the Director of Public Prosecutions, in this country

:43:00.:43:03.

they decide these things. At this incredibly sensitive time when the

:43:04.:43:07.

FBI is investigating allegations of ties between President Trump's

:43:08.:43:11.

campaign and Russian intelligence, and there is also the whole

:43:12.:43:15.

political background to this. People on all sides of this has been

:43:16.:43:18.

blaming James Comey. Hillary Clinton blamed him for flip-flopping on the

:43:19.:43:23.

e-mails issued just before the election. An extraordinary crisis

:43:24.:43:28.

really leaving big questions for whoever takes the helm at the FBI

:43:29.:43:32.

about how they keep the Russia investigation credible. Mark, thank

:43:33.:43:39.

you. I dare say we will have more on that tomorrow, but that is it for

:43:40.:43:41.

tonight. In case you didn't know,

:43:42.:43:44.

today was the first day of nominations if you want to stand

:43:45.:43:46.

as a candidate in You have till Thursday at 4pm

:43:47.:43:49.

to make your intentions known We dug up a little guide to how

:43:50.:43:54.

in the Pathe library which we feel hasn't dated

:43:55.:44:00.

at all since it was made in 1950. Any potential candidate must be

:44:01.:44:03.

a British subject over 21 and sponsored by ten voters

:44:04.:44:08.

in the district. He must deliver his nomination

:44:09.:44:11.

papers to the returning officer and deposit ?150 in cash as proof

:44:12.:44:13.

of his serious intention. This is a precaution against

:44:14.:44:20.

the waste of public time and money. Freak candidates are dissuaded

:44:21.:44:24.

by this deposit, because the money is forfeited if the candidate fails

:44:25.:44:26.

to poll more than one eighth Let us think before we vote,

:44:27.:44:29.

and if you can't think, But in fact, few independent

:44:30.:44:36.

candidates are freaks. Often they are well

:44:37.:44:46.

known public figures. For example, Commander

:44:47.:44:47.

Stephen King-Hall. Good evening. The skies are clear,

:44:48.:45:05.

it is turning chilly. The good news is that Wednesday is looking

:45:06.:45:08.

beautiful across most of the UK, but it will be a chilly start. These are

:45:09.:45:13.

the temperatures first thing on Wednesday in city centres. These

:45:14.:45:19.

temperatures just outside of town, enough for some grass frost in rural

:45:20.:45:26.

areas. Mind the sunshine, it is strong this time of year, just as

:45:27.:45:30.

strong as it is in July, so you might burn if you are out for a

:45:31.:45:35.

lengthy period of time. There will be cloud around in northern parts of

:45:36.:45:38.

Scotland, but other than that it is looking like a stunning afternoon,

:45:39.:45:42.

and a fine evening on the way as well, Wednesday night into Thursday.

:45:43.:45:47.

Then it is all change from Thursday onwards, we are anticipating thicker

:45:48.:45:52.

cloud drifting in from the south-west and we will start to see

:45:53.:45:56.

the cloud building, showers affecting southern counties, some of

:45:57.:45:58.

them moving into Wales and the Midlands, but most of them should be

:45:59.:46:05.

light, many of us with a dry and sunny day again on Thursday, with

:46:06.:46:09.

humidity rising, and you will notice that certainly by the time we get to

:46:10.:46:13.

Friday, it will feel close, and there is a risk of some

:46:14.:46:15.

thunderstorms developing almost anywhere across England and Wales.

:46:16.:46:20.

Temperatures despite the cloud and rain will get up to 90 degrees in

:46:21.:46:23.

the south, teams in the North, but

:46:24.:46:24.