19/07/2017 Newsnight


19/07/2017

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines. With Kirsty Wark.


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# On BBC Radio two. Harry come in Glamorgan, how do you

:00:14.:00:24.

feel this afternoon? Are you embarrassed to pick up your

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Are you embarrassed to pick up your paycheque?

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The British hate talking about their pay and sometimes with good reason.

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Today we learned that the best rewarded BBC

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Is that the market at work or just jobs for the boys?

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Also tonight, we have a special report from South Africa

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on the British lobby firm hired to run a controversial social media

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campaign which some say stoked racial division.

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In the middle of this extraordinary political drama group of British

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spin doctors ended up here in South Africa. Bell Pottinger were hired to

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clean up toxic reputation. And the government wishes

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you a happy retirement - just one year later

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than you'd been expecting. The Pensions Secretary

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is here with the good news. After today the public knows more,

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but not everything, about the pay of almost 100 of television

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and radio's best known presenters. What is true is that Radio

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host Chris Evans earns at least ?2.25 million,

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whereas the highest paid female presenter, Claudia Winkelman,

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who presides over Strictly with Tess Daly gets

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approximately ?0.5 million. Who decides who's worth

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more and why is the list The Director general of the BBC,

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Tony Hall, began the day promising that in three years' time the BBC

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will deliver pay and gender parity. But how on earth are

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they going to do that? I'll be asking James Purnell

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in a moment but first Today, the BBC published

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the salaries of its best-paid It's released the names

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of the 96 people on more than ?150,000 a year,

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AND their pay. So, we've learned a lot today

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about the TV labour market. We know that Newsnight's

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own Evan Davis and Kirsty Wark For example, we don't know anything

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about the wages paid to people via intermediaries,

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for example, people who have their We also don't know what

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exactly people have done So, are they working seven days

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or a one day a week? One caller to the ?700,000 Jeremy

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Vine today thought, too large. I can't see how you can

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justify, you and the rest of the staff of the BBC,

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can justify picking your paycheque up every week, when there are men

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and women in this country who are working their fingers

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to the bone, who don't get nowhere near the money you're earning,

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and are on the minimum wage,

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and struggling to live. I have laid today before Parliament

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a BBC Charter review... This former Culture Secretary

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introduced these transparency rules. There are two things

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which I think need to be borne in mind -

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firstly, that for some people,

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actually working for the BBC is a privilege and they are willing

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to accept a bit less than they might And I think that is

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right and admirable. Secondly, there comes a point

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where the BBC I think has to say, and it's for them to judge this,

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but they have to say, OK, if you can command a much higher

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salary elsewhere, or you've been offered it, then good

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luck, we wish you all the best, but I'm afraid we simply

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can't match that. But does the BBC need

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to pay those sums John Humphrys, the Today Programme

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and Mastermind presenter, I would have thought it highly

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unlikely that I would leave the BBC Why should I, it's

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the best job there is? But that's the thing,

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it keeps coming back to this - why are we paying people

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who want to work at the BBC and can't imagine

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leaving so much money? notion, isn't it, that you should

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only get a lot of money What is it that you think

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the BBC thinks is worth I don't know what you mean,

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what do you mean? What is it that you

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think the BBC sees...? You mean, what is my

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special, unique talent? What is your special, unique talent,

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that justifies the money? I ask people questions,

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of...that I think, that I hope, And I think I do that

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reasonably competently. Gender has emerged as perhaps

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the most important issue Around two-thirds of the names

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on the list are of men. The problem, though,

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of gender can't be looked If you look at under-50s

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on the list, there are actually roughly even numbers

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of men and women. The problem comes, though,

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that if you look at the over-50s, there are 45 men on the list,

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and just 11 women. There are four times as many men

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over 50 earning more than ?150,000 The BBC has a woman problem,

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but it has a particular Agents like Mary Greenham think

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the BBC is serious about this. My relationship with the BBC

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and my workings with the BBC And they are an organisation that do

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want to get it right, they will get it right,

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they already have measures in place to get it right,

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and they will work with other organisations to make sure

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that in 20 years' time, this isn't a problem, and we're just

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talking about equality. I think it's a great time

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for women at the BBC, I think as a result of today,

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more women will get And so, the message to me,

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being top talent manager, is to get more women on my books,

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because now is a golden time to get So, watch out, BBC producer,

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I'm going to be calling These 96 names are not

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representative. What they get paid is, I promise

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you, not a normal BBC salary. But the patterns they show up

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are ones worth paying attention to. James Purnell, the BBC's Director

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of Radio and Education is here. I'm also joined by Liz Forgan -

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she's an old media hand who has been a senior executive at Channel Four,

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the Guardian and here at the BBC, as well as chair

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of the Arts Council. First, James Purnell, Toni Hall has

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promised there will be equality on air and in pay by 2020. Can we

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clarify categories, this is all on air? We have said all on air 50-50,

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and we said we would get rid of the gender pay gap, and that is the gap

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between all men and women employed at the BBC which is currently 10%.

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So that means people in graphics, editing, planning, they will all

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have to pay parity by 2020? All of them? On average. When you compare

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what women earn and what men are in, you will get rid of the gap at the

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moment which is about 10%. This is something that all organisations who

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employ more than 250 people have to face up to. We will all have our

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gender pay gap disclosed next year. We want to get rid of the gender pay

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gap and we are a bit better than average, but we want to get rid of

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it. You are going to get rid of the pay gap and the gender imbalance in

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terms of on-air talent. How you going to do that? In three years? We

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need to change the mix of Google, so when people retire or leave to go

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somewhere else. We need to bring on a more diverse mix. 60% of new

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entries on this list are women and 20% are from an ethnic minority

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background. We will improve that and we will look at pay as well. Quite a

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lot of men have taken pay cuts already. John Humphrys said that

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today. Will you expect more male talent on-air to take a pay cut? I

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am not going to start negotiating on air. It is not a cookie cutter

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approach, but with every contact we go through and look at them. But how

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will you actually do it? How would you say to Gary Lineker you are

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earning ?2.6 million, we want to bring new female in sport, can you

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take a pay cut? I will not go into individual contracts. But what is

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parity in terms of on-air pay? Is it same hours, Zenjov? That is a good

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question. If someone has the same job, experience, history, audience

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value, they are paid the same. With top people it is very hard to

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compare those cases. It is a rigorous process, we do research and

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we look at the audience and we look at the commercial value. We

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negotiate what comes up. You have got, for example, female presenters

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and three female presenters on the Today programme. They broadcast for

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the same amount of time, a lot of them have the same experience. Would

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you expect them to get the same money? I would not, actually. John

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Humphries is the outstanding interviewer of his generation and

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brings a unique value to the BBC and that is something we recognise. He

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said there that actually he did not look for pay rises, but he kept

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getting them and he has also said he will not go anywhere else, so that

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is not about the market. You just want to give him lots of money. I

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have never said it is just about the market. It is about value to the

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BBC. On that programme the lowest paid person is a man. We can go into

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the detail of that, but that is not right because a different equation

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operates on the Today programme. Sarah Montague is a senior presenter

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on that programme. She has not been there as long as John, but she has

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over 100 programmes a year and she is not on the list. How did that

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happen? I cannot go into individual details, but the lowest paid

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person... That is not what I am asking. She has been on that

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programme for more than 12 years and somehow she is not on the list. Is

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that a mistake? That is one of the things we will look at. I am

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sticking with the Today programme. One presenter gets a very lucrative

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offer from LBC and they come to you and say, I have had a very lucrative

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offer, do you say, that is fantastic, go. Or do you give them

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more money? Suddenly the pay parity goes completely out the window. It

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depends. Sometimes we let people go all we walk away from negotiations.

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That has happened recently in terms of news presenters. Normally we say

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there is a market value here, does it change the value of the people?

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If that puts the parity completely out the window and there is a

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terrible imbalance, would you give them more money as well? The key

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criteria is value to the audience and that is why comparisons are hard

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to make. What will happen here? We are constantly being told there is

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no money in the BBC. By and large in the older categories men get paid

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more than women. Will you take money from men and give it to women? We

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have been reducing talent costs and we have made lots of other savings

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like on the IT programme, and there are other ways of funding. We can

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change the mix, we can bring on a more diverse group of people and we

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can look at the relativities of pay. Thank you for the moment. Liz for

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them, you were here 20 years ago. Should you have done more then? It

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gets more difficult the older the presenters are. Probably yes. When I

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think about myself it never occurred to me to ask what the pay range of

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the job I did the BBC was. If I had been a man, I would have done. Women

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have responsibility also in this history, we are less assertive and

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have been in the past. Do not look at me like that. It is not an

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excuse. There may be partly an historical explanation, but it is an

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indefensible state of affairs and it has to be remedied. You are critical

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of the notion that the BBC had to be close. But if this is the big bang

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and as a result of that disclosure, as James Purnell said, we will have

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pay parity and gender parity on screen and off screen in three

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years' time, that is better? That would be a brilliant outcome of this

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day which in other respects I find quite sad. There is an overwhelming

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argument for the BBC to disclose more information than it has done,

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but there is no need to have individual salaries in order to tell

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you what is going on with the BBC. It could have published data split

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by a number of people in pay categories, split by gender, race,

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anything you like. That would have told us what was going on. Not

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individual salaries. If you think as James Purnell seems to think that

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part of this will be sold by taking the money away from the men and

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giving it to the women, that looks like charity for the women. That is

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not the basis for a policy. The BBC is a big place and there is money

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here and money there. If that is a priority by the BBC, which it now

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has to be, there are ways of addressing this issue without taking

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money away from men directly. That would be a very crude way of going

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about it. What Tony Hall committed the BBC to

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today, halfway through 2017, is to have this fixed, essentially, in

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two-and-a-half years' time? I would be amazed, if he

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manages to ears. Similarly, for the whole of our staff, we have

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constantly had disproportionate increases for the lowest-paid. It is

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a matter of pulling all the levers that we can. Our pay gap is 10%, so

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I think... 10% is a lot to do in two-and-a-half years, without

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actually saying to some of the well-paid men in the BBC, you look

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at that huge difference in the top ten of those hundred, massive

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difference, proportionately, what men get compared to women, are you

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actually going to make the men take a pay cut? I am not going to get

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into those individual negotiations. I am not asking for that, I'm asking

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you across-the-board - are you going to ask men to take pay cuts? We have

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been doing that, and people on this list, disproportionately men, have

:16:42.:16:44.

been taking pay cuts, John Humphrys spoke about that today. But it's not

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going to be done in a box ticking away, it is going to be based on

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getting the right talent. If we were to start from today, yes, it would

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be very hard to get there. Actually we been working on it for three

:16:57.:17:02.

years now, we're aiming to get to equality by 2020, probably the only

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organisation I know that is doing that.

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We have reported before on the growing problems

:17:08.:17:09.

for South Africa's president Jacob Zuma.

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The African National Congress is due to elect a new leader later this

:17:11.:17:13.

year, but the final years of Mr Zuma's presidency have been

:17:14.:17:16.

mired in controversy over alleged fraud and his relationship

:17:17.:17:18.

with an influential Indian family the Guptas.

:17:19.:17:21.

Another actor in the drama has been the British PR firm Bell Pottinger,

:17:22.:17:25.

which was hired by the Guptas and has implicated in

:17:26.:17:31.

which was hired by the Guptas and is implicated in

:17:32.:17:34.

a controversial social media campaign in the country.

:17:35.:17:36.

Now, Bell Pottinger has apologised for its work in South Africa.

:17:37.:17:39.

But senior figures within the ANC have told the BBC they want a full

:17:40.:17:42.

disclosure of the PR company's work there.

:17:43.:17:44.

These are murky times in South Africa. The recession is bad enough,

:17:45.:17:59.

but it's scandal that's casting the heaviest shadow here. And no

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ordinary scandal, a mountain of newly leaked e-mails has helped

:18:05.:18:08.

expose what many believe is a criminal plot to capture the state

:18:09.:18:18.

itself. And these e-mails show the scale of money-laundering, the

:18:19.:18:21.

proximity to power, the extent to which this family hold sway over the

:18:22.:18:28.

president and those closest to him. So it's dynamite? It is absolute

:18:29.:18:34.

dynamite. The e-mails appear to show how one wealthy Indian born family

:18:35.:18:38.

allegedly bought and bribed their way to the heart of government and

:18:39.:18:44.

the presidency of Jacob Zuma. One official including the job of

:18:45.:18:51.

finance minister. They offered an initial 600,000 payment. As a bribe?

:18:52.:18:59.

I would not like to say that. But they were trying to buy your loyalty

:19:00.:19:08.

as a minister, a shadow state run by the Guptas? Essentially. The family

:19:09.:19:14.

have strenuously denied all allegations, President Zuma, too.

:19:15.:19:19.

But howls of outrage here continue to grow. You can save there is a

:19:20.:19:33.

serious conflict of interest, defeating justice, by those in

:19:34.:19:37.

certain positions of power, who made it possible for these Fulcher is to

:19:38.:19:43.

make a meal of our democracy. By the vultures, you mean the Guptas? The

:19:44.:19:49.

Guptas. In the middle of this extraordinary political drama, a

:19:50.:19:53.

group of British spin doctors landed here in Johannesburg, Bell

:19:54.:20:01.

Pottinger, hired by the Guptas to clean up their toxic reputation.

:20:02.:20:04.

Anyone would have told them it was a risky job, but the contract for Bell

:20:05.:20:10.

Pottinger was worth ?100,000 per person. The team was led by

:20:11.:20:14.

Victoria, soon to become a hate figure across South Africa. Leak

:20:15.:20:19.

e-mails now seem to reveal her extraordinary strategy, to deflect

:20:20.:20:23.

attention from the Guptas and their problems by focusing on race and

:20:24.:20:30.

inequality, to play up this country's enduring divisions. It was

:20:31.:20:35.

either a cynical ploy or a naive blunder. It goes from years of

:20:36.:20:47.

racial segregation, and then fewer years of democracy, where everyone's

:20:48.:20:52.

rights are, and race becomes less of an issue, always as a powder keg of

:20:53.:21:00.

racial division. And so when we have actions like those of Bell Pottinger

:21:01.:21:04.

starting a chain, it is quick for it to become a wildfire. Bell Pottinger

:21:05.:21:08.

wrote or edited speeches for the Guptas' political allies. The firm

:21:09.:21:14.

later judging this civil war comment as causative or neutral. Meanwhile,

:21:15.:21:22.

a campaign against white monopoly capital began on social media,

:21:23.:21:26.

quickly going viral and getting amplified by uglier, more radical

:21:27.:21:35.

voices. What is this one? It is a dog, basically, with puppies. It was

:21:36.:21:42.

part of a propaganda campaign to get the media off this corrupt network's

:21:43.:21:46.

back. So they were trying to distract attention? Pal and it

:21:47.:21:53.

happened to many of us, all journalists who were writing about

:21:54.:21:57.

state capture, or who were interested in this new crony

:21:58.:21:59.

network, really you could see almost daily, there would be... Largely

:22:00.:22:06.

driven on Twitter and social media, quite insulting images of them made.

:22:07.:22:14.

And only now do you understand that it was actually a constructed

:22:15.:22:17.

campaign. Bell Pottinger's precise role in some of this is hard to pin

:22:18.:22:22.

down. Slick new websites appeared from nowhere, along with an army of

:22:23.:22:26.

what appeared to be automated fake Twitter account suggest we asked an

:22:27.:22:30.

expert here if he could seek Bell Pottinger's hand behind the scenes.

:22:31.:22:35.

Looking at all of the messages that have been treated, the fact that the

:22:36.:22:38.

narrative fits in exactly with the messaging they were trying to

:22:39.:22:42.

convey, and that they recommended to the Guptas family, it stands to

:22:43.:22:45.

reason that they had to be either behind it or at least very closely

:22:46.:22:51.

involved. Bell Pottinger won't comment on allegations made to

:22:52.:22:54.

Newsnight that fake Twitter accounts were created in London. In a

:22:55.:22:58.

statement earlier in the month, the chief executive of the firm conceded

:22:59.:23:02.

that the company had been behind an inappropriate and offensive social

:23:03.:23:08.

media campaign. Africa is ours, it's not yours! Before long, the anger

:23:09.:23:14.

stirred up online was spinning onto the streets. These people, from a

:23:15.:23:20.

group called Black First To Land First, with alleged ties to the

:23:21.:23:25.

Guptas, attacked a white journalist's house and threatened

:23:26.:23:32.

others. We are going to end whiteness... I got a taste of the

:23:33.:23:40.

group's rhetoric Krish it was you British, you are worried about the

:23:41.:23:44.

Guptas because you believe the Guptas are organising black people

:23:45.:23:48.

to take the world back. That is why you are organising all these

:23:49.:23:51.

activities. About Bell Pottinger, what do you think of their role here

:23:52.:23:56.

in South Africa? See you, British guy. I told you, I'm not talking to

:23:57.:24:05.

you any more, so shut up... But it wasn't long before South Africans

:24:06.:24:08.

started fighting back against the race baiting, and much more. Furious

:24:09.:24:19.

satire against the Guptas and President Zuma. I've got to go now,

:24:20.:24:29.

important meeting...! For Bell Pottinger, online, a storm of rage

:24:30.:24:34.

and indignation. Eventually, Bell Pottinger got the message, dropped

:24:35.:24:38.

the Guptas as clients, apologised for an inappropriate and offensive

:24:39.:24:43.

campaign, sacked the partner in charge and launched an internal

:24:44.:24:45.

investigation. Back in London, the company insists it was misled about

:24:46.:24:49.

what was really going on here. But was it? From the very start, said

:24:50.:24:56.

one source, there was utter fury and discussed internally about this

:24:57.:25:01.

contract. Management knew the depth of feeling in the office and

:25:02.:25:09.

defended their decision. That's a claim Bell Pottinger denies, saying,

:25:10.:25:12.

we took action as soon as we were made aware of behaviour that went

:25:13.:25:15.

against the very core of our ethical policies. The picture is muddied by

:25:16.:25:22.

a bitter falling out between Lord Tim Dell and the company he founded,

:25:23.:25:28.

the peer, who left last year, says he warned against taking on the

:25:29.:25:32.

Guptas account, and says its senior management knew all about it. The

:25:33.:25:35.

company declined to comment on this claim, but a source that told us

:25:36.:25:40.

Dell himself had helped to secure the account. The source said chief

:25:41.:25:44.

executive is Henderson had been aware of plans to promote economic

:25:45.:25:48.

emancipation, but was not aware of the details of what his staff were

:25:49.:25:51.

doing until the story broke in the South African media. So, what now?

:25:52.:25:57.

The demand here is for the company to reveal all. If they want to truly

:25:58.:26:07.

retain some red ability out of this saga, it must be on the basis of

:26:08.:26:10.

total transparency, building institutions takes a long time. The

:26:11.:26:15.

kind of institutions we are talking about are vital to any state

:26:16.:26:18.

anywhere in the world. Destroying them can happen overnight, and Bell

:26:19.:26:23.

Pottinger has contributed to that. And that makes my blood boil, it

:26:24.:26:26.

makes me so angry, that essentially, they came here to destroy what we've

:26:27.:26:34.

painstakingly, painfully built over 23 years. This has been a bruising

:26:35.:26:43.

experience all-round, but the larger battle is only just getting started

:26:44.:26:48.

here in South Africa. A fightback against state capture, against

:26:49.:26:53.

President Zuma and against a Rainbow Nation's dangerous decline.

:26:54.:26:57.

Bell Pottinger said they could not comment on the issues raised

:26:58.:27:01.

in his report while an independent investigation was under way.

:27:02.:27:03.

They say they will publish the findings of the report in full soon.

:27:04.:27:09.

If you're 47 years old or younger, you won't get your state pension

:27:10.:27:12.

until your 68th birthday and by then who knows if it will be

:27:13.:27:15.

That was the surprise announcement made today in the Commons

:27:16.:27:26.

by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and we'll be

:27:27.:27:28.

talking to him in a minute, who said it would save the taxpayer

:27:29.:27:31.

But the unions say it's just clobbering six million people

:27:32.:27:35.

when life expectancy increases are grinding to a halt.

:27:36.:27:38.

Some might say that with all the brouhaha over BBC pay

:27:39.:27:41.

Our political editor Nick Watt is here.

:27:42.:27:53.

What has happened today wanted we had a rare sighting of prime

:27:54.:27:58.

ministerial power today, when Theresa May told her Cabinet

:27:59.:28:01.

colleagues that no minister is unstackable. At around the time she

:28:02.:28:05.

was speaking, we had the announcement from David Gauke that

:28:06.:28:08.

this is no zombie administration, when he said that he would be

:28:09.:28:11.

accelerating the raising of the retirement age. What he's doing is

:28:12.:28:15.

accepting the recommendation by John Cridland, the former

:28:16.:28:18.

Director-General of the CBI, that you should ring forward by seven

:28:19.:28:23.

years the raising of the retirement age from 67 to 68. This is designed

:28:24.:28:27.

to show that the Government is grappling with the issue that caused

:28:28.:28:30.

Theresa May such grief in the general election Britain's ageing

:28:31.:28:34.

population. This will save the Government billions of pounds, but

:28:35.:28:39.

it is also, they say, designed to ensure fairness by ensuring that

:28:40.:28:44.

people spend no more than a third of their adult life in receipt of the

:28:45.:28:51.

state pension. When is it going to happen? Well, the legislation for

:28:52.:28:54.

this is not due to be introduced until the G20 three. That's the time

:28:55.:29:00.

you have the next review of future rises in the state pension age. --

:29:01.:29:05.

until 2023. That will happen shortly after the publication of the

:29:06.:29:09.

findings of the 2021 Census. That may well provide the answer to the

:29:10.:29:13.

big issue which could completely throw the Government's strategy into

:29:14.:29:17.

the air, which is the answer to this question - is the growth in life

:29:18.:29:21.

expectancy falling? Now, the Institute of health equality has

:29:22.:29:25.

warned this week that after steadily increasing over the past century,

:29:26.:29:29.

the rise in life expecting seen is beginning to store. And that will

:29:30.:29:37.

give them nerves in the Treasury, because they are hoping, looking

:29:38.:29:39.

decades ahead, that you could eventually balance the books by

:29:40.:29:43.

raising the retirement age to save money.

:29:44.:29:47.

Earlier, I was joined by the Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke.

:29:48.:29:50.

I began by asking him why the Government only accepted

:29:51.:29:52.

the Cridland report recommendations today, four months

:29:53.:29:54.

after it was published, and not before the General election.

:29:55.:29:57.

We were looking at the Cridland report, we hadn't made a conclusion

:29:58.:30:01.

as to what we would do in response to it when the general

:30:02.:30:04.

Because it wouldn't have been very popular to put it in the manifesto.

:30:05.:30:12.

We hadn't reached a conclusion as to what we were going to do.

:30:13.:30:16.

The general election, as you know, was called very suddenly.

:30:17.:30:18.

At that point, we weren't in a position to respond

:30:19.:30:20.

So, we looked at it again, it was one for the new government

:30:21.:30:26.

after the general election, we've looked at it...

:30:27.:30:28.

It was March, and if I remember rightly, the election

:30:29.:30:30.

Well, the election was called in April, but we hadn't

:30:31.:30:35.

reached a conclusion as to what we were going to say

:30:36.:30:37.

This is clearly a complex matter, it's not an easy,

:30:38.:30:42.

But it's not even going to be legislated for in this Parliament,

:30:43.:30:54.

because the DUP won't wear it, so it may never happen.

:30:55.:30:57.

Well, in terms of the timing, we shall see.

:30:58.:30:59.

We don't need to immediately rush into legislation,

:31:00.:31:01.

The lifetime of this Parliament would not be

:31:02.:31:07.

Well, we don't need to make an immediate decision

:31:08.:31:11.

But the fact that we can give people as much notice as possible

:31:12.:31:16.

We will, of course, look at any new evidence on life expectancy.

:31:17.:31:24.

The ONS publishes a report every couple of years,

:31:25.:31:26.

so we'll have an opportunity to see further reports from the ONS.

:31:27.:31:29.

But as I say, the ONS does something specifically on life expectancy

:31:30.:31:35.

But the evidence at the moment points very strongly -

:31:36.:31:41.

very strongly - to the need to increase the state pension age,

:31:42.:31:45.

otherwise we impose a burden on future taxpayers

:31:46.:31:49.

would simply be unfair, and we end up with a state pension

:31:50.:31:54.

But isn't this now a complete failure of imagination,

:31:55.:31:59.

the pension to poorer areas, you should be weighting the pension

:32:00.:32:04.

It is such a failure to think outside the box?

:32:05.:32:10.

Well, John Cridland looked at this point about variable pensions

:32:11.:32:12.

and so on, and the conclusion that he reached was that that

:32:13.:32:17.

would result in a degree of complexity that would create

:32:18.:32:21.

uncertainty for people, that people wouldn't be

:32:22.:32:24.

So you go for this, and therefore, now, are you actually

:32:25.:32:28.

factoring this into your fiscal planning straightaway?

:32:29.:32:32.

Well, we, erm, that'll be a matter for the OBR, but yes, that's...

:32:33.:32:37.

That's the trajectory that we are going on, so, yes,

:32:38.:32:40.

we believe that this is the right approach.

:32:41.:32:45.

Given the information that we have in front of us,

:32:46.:32:48.

given the profile of the demography of this country, is that we do need

:32:49.:32:52.

to move towards 68 coming in earlier than was previously.

:32:53.:32:57.

Now, you will be aware that Theresa May spoke on LBC today,

:32:58.:33:01.

and she said, in terms of all of these leaks

:33:02.:33:04.

from the Cabinet, that no minister is unsackable.

:33:05.:33:11.

Now, erm, you know who the leakers are -

:33:12.:33:13.

Well, I don't know who the leakers are, but I think whoever the leakers

:33:14.:33:18.

How many strikes before they are out, do you think?

:33:19.:33:23.

As I say, I don't know who the leakers are, and I don't

:33:24.:33:27.

know if the Prime Minister knows who the leakers are.

:33:28.:33:29.

The important thing is that the Cabinet works

:33:30.:33:35.

constructively together, that we have meetings which are held

:33:36.:33:38.

in confidence, and in particular, that we stand behind the Prime

:33:39.:33:42.

But you're one of her biggest supporters,

:33:43.:33:48.

you are steadily with her - it must be very frustrating, should

:33:49.:33:51.

Well, I think when it comes to the personnel of the Cabinet,

:33:52.:33:56.

that is quite literally above my pay grade.

:33:57.:33:58.

But I think all of us in the Cabinet owe the Prime Minister loyalty.

:33:59.:34:03.

And I think my sense is that the vast majority

:34:04.:34:08.

of the Parliamentary party want us to get on with the job.

:34:09.:34:12.

It means we have to face up and do some of the difficult things that

:34:13.:34:19.

governments have to do, like what we're doing today.

:34:20.:34:21.

And we've got to demonstrate that we're governing for the good

:34:22.:34:24.

of the British people as a whole, and I think we can do that,

:34:25.:34:27.

I think we are doing that, I think every day goes on,

:34:28.:34:30.

But we're all looking forward to a recess, too.

:34:31.:34:35.

While we are preoccupied with Brexit negotiations,

:34:36.:34:40.

we are not the only European country locking horns with the mother ship.

:34:41.:34:44.

Today the EU gave Poland a week to halt judicial reforms that

:34:45.:34:48.

would put courts under direct control by Warsaw or face punishment

:34:49.:34:52.

for undermining democracy in the largest former communist

:34:53.:34:55.

Trouble has been brewing over democratic rights

:34:56.:35:02.

in Poland since the election of the Conservative Law and Justice

:35:03.:35:05.

Here's our Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban.

:35:06.:35:17.

Why has it come to a head now? It has been drip, drip, but a series of

:35:18.:35:25.

issues caused this to come up now in Brussels. Last week it was steps to

:35:26.:35:30.

put people on the committee that chooses all the judges. The Supreme

:35:31.:35:39.

Court as well, two different bits of legislation going through which

:35:40.:35:42.

increase the influence of Parliament in the selection of the judiciary

:35:43.:35:48.

and the EU is saying that threatens the separation of state powers and

:35:49.:35:52.

is incompatible with membership of the EU. What are the implications

:35:53.:36:01.

for the EU? They have been murmuring darkly about article seven measures.

:36:02.:36:06.

It has never been brought in before. It would be a big step and that is

:36:07.:36:11.

saying you no longer meet the criteria necessary to belong to the

:36:12.:36:16.

EU because you have taken steps to undermine democracy. They will not

:36:17.:36:21.

do it immediately and there are some big questions. They can start the

:36:22.:36:25.

process by majority rule, but if it gets to the sanctions point, which

:36:26.:36:29.

is saying you are suspended, you cannot take part in meetings of the

:36:30.:36:37.

EU, that requires the agreement of Hungary which has an assertive

:36:38.:36:43.

leader as well, and it could veto sanctions. It could be quite the

:36:44.:36:47.

damage and ongoing stand-off between the Eastern European countries,

:36:48.:36:49.

Poland and Hungary and the EU. We did ask the Polish

:36:50.:36:53.

government to join us I'm joined instead by

:36:54.:36:56.

Kamila Gashuk Pihovitch - she's the spokesperson

:36:57.:36:58.

for the opposition Modern Party. She joins me from the parliament

:36:59.:37:00.

building in Warsaw, from where she has just stepped out

:37:01.:37:03.

of the debate. We hear the protests outside. Can

:37:04.:37:14.

you tell us what is going on in the chamber and also outside? At the

:37:15.:37:20.

moment we have a commission on human rights and justice ongoing. The

:37:21.:37:27.

subject is the act of liquidation of the Supreme Court. I have chaired

:37:28.:37:36.

meetings and the current government represents nothing more than

:37:37.:37:42.

populism and nationalism. It has opened a wound with Polish

:37:43.:37:45.

democracy. At the moment we have three acts which aim at the total

:37:46.:37:52.

liquidation of the independent judiciary system. The first act

:37:53.:38:02.

dismissed all people in the Supreme Court and the new person who will be

:38:03.:38:05.

appointed, the new judges, will be the minister of justice, a

:38:06.:38:12.

politician from the Law and Justice Party. It is against the

:38:13.:38:16.

constitution. All the opposition parties have a lot of amendments

:38:17.:38:20.

here and you are trying to talk this out. Actually at the moment since a

:38:21.:38:29.

couple of days we have thousands of people demonstrating all over Poland

:38:30.:38:34.

peacefully but systematically against this liquidation of the

:38:35.:38:39.

independence of the Polish judiciary system. I think that also the

:38:40.:38:46.

lawyers Association started seriously thinking about some kind

:38:47.:38:50.

of hunger strike to defend the Constitution, defend the human

:38:51.:38:57.

rights if all these three acts will be implemented. Speaking about

:38:58.:39:09.

Poland as a democratic country could be an overstatement in a few days.

:39:10.:39:14.

If you are saying talking about Poland as a democratic country could

:39:15.:39:18.

be an overstatement, you must think it is possible you will have article

:39:19.:39:24.

seven triggered against you. On the other hand, this government was

:39:25.:39:27.

elected with a large mandate at the end of 2015. Do you think Poland

:39:28.:39:33.

will be set aside from the European Union? What will it be? This huge

:39:34.:39:42.

mandate, I am not sure it was a huge mandate. Poland is comprised of 38

:39:43.:39:54.

million citizens and only 4.5 million voted for the ruling party

:39:55.:40:02.

at this moment. They do not receive the right to change the Polish

:40:03.:40:06.

constitution, but they tried to do this with the ordinary acts, the act

:40:07.:40:12.

of dismissal of the judges in the Supreme Court. We heard today from

:40:13.:40:22.

the EU a very strong statement that the European Union sees what is

:40:23.:40:29.

happening in Poland at the moment. Law and Justice broke the Polish

:40:30.:40:39.

constitution, law and justice broke all those laws on which the European

:40:40.:40:44.

Union was built. The European Union sees that the Polish government, the

:40:45.:40:50.

Law and Justice Party government threatens Polish journalists. Thank

:40:51.:40:56.

you very much for joining us. It is important to underline... OK.

:40:57.:41:02.

Before we go, in an unbridled abuse of presenter power this morning,

:41:03.:41:07.

I insisted we end the show with Scotland versus England

:41:08.:41:09.

at the European Football Championships in Utrecht tonight.

:41:10.:41:11.

It is the first real opportunity. It has been taken. Clean off the line.

:41:12.:41:29.

They find it. And Taylor again. What an effort from her. It is on the

:41:30.:41:41.

side and history is made. A free header and then touched in. It is

:41:42.:41:43.

six right at the death. After the thunderstorms that

:41:44.:41:56.

affected many over the last couple of days, things are coming down, but

:41:57.:42:01.

that does not mean dry all the time. We will see some rain in the morning

:42:02.:42:06.

in eastern areas and that will clear way to give brighter skies. It will

:42:07.:42:10.

stay wet for a good part of the day in the far north of Scotland.

:42:11.:42:13.

Sunshine and showers

:42:14.:42:14.

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