With Evan Davis. How should returning British IS fighters be dealt with? Plus the Jared O'Mara row, how AirBnB affects UK housing and Lady Trumpington reflects on her career.
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So-called Islamic State was driven from its own capital last week.
But hundreds of Brits had gone out to fight with them,
and so hundreds of Brits may now choose to return.
What sort of welcome should we offer them?
One minister talked of the need to kill them, some want
the British fighters kept out, some want them to be
We'll ask if we can distinguish between the dangerous
The great Airbnb debate - it's created a market in tourist
lets for spare rooms, but has it created a deregulated
So there are wards in Westminster where one in ten properties are
permanently in the short-let sector and that's not good.
This Labour MP has resigned a post on the Commons equalites committee
for stupid comments he made in his early 20s.
Should we forgive errors made 15 years ago?
Will anybody make it into public office if we don't?
And as Lady Trumpington says farewell to the Lords,
we ask her how she dealt with sexual harrassment in her day.
I think you curse them and it's quite possible to slap their face,
We don't know how many people have left Britain to fight
with so-called Islamic State over the last few years.
There is talk of 850 of whom half may have already come back,
That would leave hundreds still out there.
But if we don't really know how many, we can't know all their names.
And with Isis now pushed out of its own self-declared
capital city, Raqqa, we don't know where
the remaining ones are, or what they are currently
The only thing we do know is that we need some approach
One idea would be to ease them back into mainstream society.
But one government minister, Rory Stewart, said yesterday that
in most cases, they'll need to be killed.
He's clarified that he meant that they would fight
to the death, not that we should illegally assassinate them.
But Mr Stewart has prompted quite a debate.
Our diplomatic editor Mark Urban has been looking at it.
In the rubble of the self-proclaimed caliphate live the corpses
Some infamous figures like Sally Jones were reportedly
killed in the fight for Raqqa, but the fate of many is unknowable,
so in terms of the IS group, how many UK jihadists joined?
More than 800 tasted life in Syria and Iraq
with various groups, and many died, a feat
with various groups, and many died, a fate
which apparently the Government wishes would befall them all.
And we have to make sure that if they ever do return from Iraq
and Syria they do not pose a future threat to our national security,
but they have made their choice - they have chosen to fight
for an organisation that uses terror and the murder of civilians
How many are still with IS, that's very hard to know,
Figures compiled by the BBC suggest that of the 800 plus
who went out, at least 74 are believed to have died.
Around 400 are thought to have returned home,
with a few dozen of them convicted, but hundreds
The majority of the foreign fighters, and we will come to find
this out in the days ahead as we continue to work
through and clear Raqqa, but the majority of them, we
assess, were killed in the battle at Raqqa.
Raqqa, as an example, was a place where Isis could freely plot,
organise, resource, launch and export their terror.
They can't do that any more, and there are so few places now.
As a matter of fact, 95% of the territory that
Isis once held is now underneath partner controls.
Now the caliphate is almost extinguished,
There are many possible routes, from Turkey to Iran,
How likely are returnees to get back undetected?
I think that the UK agencies are probably going to be operating
on the presumption that they can't be confident, that they will do
their best but there can be no certainty that they are going
to identify and detain all those who might merit that.
There are difficult judgments for the security service.
Since some of them may have realised the folly of
their ways, and of course the summer's attacks in the UK didn't
involve anyone known to have been in Syria and Iraq -
It all adds to the complexity of the task facing MI5.
As well as those we are looking at today, risk can also come
from returnees from Syria and Iraq, and also the growing pool of over
20,000 individuals that we've looked at in the past,
MI5 has means of watching the returnees and grading
If you look at the individuals who went sort of early on, let's say
2011, 2012, the sort of first travellers out there, one could
argue, or one could believe the stories that they were going out
there very much to go and, you know, protect the Syrian people.
If you're going in 2015 to go join the Islamic
State, then you're joining a group that publicly has been decapitating
aid workers, that has been launching attacks in the West, that has
conducted all sorts of heinous activity, and so when you're looking
at an individual who has gone out then, you are clearly going to be
more concerned, than maybe someone who went a lot before.
Some of the IS fighters slipped away. They are hunted now but among
them, or the ones who have already returned, will long worried the
counterterrorist community. Richard Barrett is a former British
diplomat and intelligence officer, now a terrorism expert involved
in countering extremism. What is your guess as to what
proportion of the returnees comeback regretting having gone and what
proportion come back fired up with a mission to attack home? It is very
hard to assess. About half have come back, so about 400, maybe. That is
probably true in Denmark and Sweden. In other countries in the EU it is
more like 30%. But EU wide, there has been about 5000 people go and
therefore you have 1200 coming back, that is quite a lot of people to
deal with. He might think, even if only 1% of the dangers and field
with the ideology, if you like, what do you do? Do you lock all of them
up or can you tell the difference between the ones who come back ready
to just reintegrate into normal life? You have to make that
assessment. How do you make that assessment? You have to examine when
they went and why they went, because the date it is important. And why
they came back and when they came back, because that is also
important. If they came back about 2014 when the caliphate was
declared, you might say they were disillusioned and disagreed with
what was going on and made a mistake. But if they lasted until
the fall of Raqqa, they were obviously more committed to the
cause. But that doesn't give you the answer either because they may have
gone wanting to join the Islamic state, not necessarily to train to
come back as a domestic terrorist, they are two different things in my
view. But having been subject to the ideology, they may come back all
fired up, ready to do something stupid here. What do you think our
approach should be? The great thing about our country and the great
thing about terrorism is that we have this stick to our values and we
mustn't let terrorism undermined those values. Therefore, people who
comeback must be treated according to the rule of law. Must be treated
like any person suspected of criminal activity. There has to be a
criminal investigation and during that investigation, what do you do
with them? If you put them in prison, is it legal? But if they go
in, they might radicalise other people in prison. If you leave them
outside, and they do something, people will say, what the hell was
going on. The answer is going to be expensive, leaving them out and
watching what they are doing. I don't know how many officers it
takes to follow one person, but we are talking probably more than we
have got? It is enormously resource intensive. This is what all
governments in Europe understand and that is why there is little action
so far to address this problem of returnees, so hopefully they won't
come back. I was going to say, that is the hope. A lot of people are
saying it would be better if they have died out there, is that your
view? It isn't going to happen, some of them are going to come back, many
are back already. What will you do now? You can't escape the problem by
the hoping it doesn't care. I suppose you might call it social
work, which you intensively coach and look after them, nurture them to
a peaceful existence. Does it work, is that more expensive than
surveillance? It will work with some, but I don't think it will
change the mindset of people, but it will change their behaviour. It is
important to disengage them from violent activity and change their
views on how society should be. We all have our own view on how society
should be and it is only when we impact our fellow citizens with
violence, we make a problem. As a former senior intelligence person,
how useful are the ones who returned, comeback disillusioned, if
you like, are they ready to shop their mates, is it how that works?
Some may do that and that will be invaluable if they can point out the
people who were members of the Islamic state and people like Jihadi
John, we want to identify those people quickly because they have
committed serious crimes. You don't want them wondering about free.
Richard Barrett, thank you very much.
The Labour MP Jared O'Mara, who won his Sheffield Hallam back
in June by beating Nick Clegg in that very studenty seat,
has resigned his place on the Commons Equalities Committee
over some comments of his which surfaced today.
They'd been left on various internet forums.
Apologies for any offence, but I'll give you a taste of the remarks -
there was reference to having an orgy with the pop band
Girls Aloud, there were comments on fat women and he referred to gays
as fudge packers, and driving up the Marmite motorway.
As I say, he has apologised and resigned from the Equalties
Committee, but here's the thing - these comments were made 15 years
Should we really hold him to account now for those views?
Or should there be a statute of limitations on speech crimes,
trails of which are inevitably left all over the web?
It's a problem that the millennials might find cropping up
We have asked two political writers to talk this through with us. First
on Jarrod O'Mara himself, should he have resigned? Absolutely. No
question, he cannot be seen to be taking a qualities issue seriously
before he has really explained and thought through his previous
comments. He has apologised for them and they were 15, 13 years ago?
Parliament is supposed to hold our trust. It's not just the women and
equality is select committee, it isn't just a body to scrutinise
bills and talk about law, it represents the body of the British
people as we face up to what are very serious issues of
discrimination in the world today. It is impossible for us to have
faith in that committee while it holds people like Jarrod O'Mara, and
people like Philip Davies, the controversial Tory MP. We're not
here to discuss Philip Davie is. He's not here to defend himself. Do
you agree with it? I don't think he should lose the Labour whip and he
shouldn't stand down as an MP. But it's not just any select committee,
it is about women and equalities. I am sure we will come back to that in
a second, and he was in his early 20s when he made those comments. If
you are a child, you are an idiot, but at 22, 23, you are an adult.
Does this reflect his current personality and views towards
homosexuality or women? I don't think we have seen enough to prove
they don't. There is a question to answer about his views today based
on those comments back then? Until we see otherwise, yes. He's not
someone who is known for his great feminism. There are other
controversies over him. I don't fundamentally disagree, but Jess
Phillips, chair of the women's Parliamentary Labour Party said she
talked to him today and she does accept his apology and things he was
genuine. She is not known for being a tolerance of misogyny.
Tell me what the rules are. What age do we forgive, what age do you start
having to take response to the? If he was 17, we would probably forgive
his crimes, but 22, do be or not? What are the rules? Set them out
because this will come out time and time again. That is the thing. I'm
not entirely sure and that is why I think the Jared O'Mara story is
interesting and we will look back on it. We have not really had this
until now. These young people who grew up on the Internet, became
MPs... Have left their trail all over the place. Of course, and if
someone said some stupid things at 14-15, I would say that was clear,
unless it was quite extreme Nazi stuff, you know, it would have to be
really a torrent, and anything from sort of mid-20s on words I think is
clear-cut again, but early 20s, I think it is a bit weird,
case-by-case basis. Into just both of us as millennial writers who have
no problems putting ourselves over the Internet, and there are things
in our careers we may disagree about, and something to even be
embarrassed about, but as writers I would say that Marie and I both
explain our political journeys, we talk about the way in which we have
changed our minds and that is quite an important part of being a writer
in the public sphere, demonstrating that ability, and my answer to your
question, if MPs have embarrassing tales online, what they will have to
do in the future is right at the beginning, we are also in an age of
transparency, so embrace that, they need to 'fess up up, and that is
basically good PR advice, 'fess up before folks find it. If he had
said, I had written all this nonsense in the past, all this
rubbish, would that have made a difference? If it had not been
exposed... I think so, yes, but that being said I would argue that not
everyone our rage can remember everything they have posted before,
and I know that because I looked at my early Facebook account recently,
and was quite higher -- horrify. How can you confess when you don't
exactly know what you have posted... We are all delighted that AOL
Instant Messenger shut down this week! Your older viewers may not
realise this but we have a lot of memories of that, we millennial 's.
Talking about redemption for people who have gone out to fight with Isis
in Syria. Are we overblowing speech crimes in the great pantheon of our
career mistakes? I don't think so. What would that say to women and
LGBT people, that this person said this incredibly offensive stuff, not
just silly jokes that were on the line, but genuinely offensive stuff?
It would send such a message, I think, to say it is sort of fine. So
I think him resigning from the committee while remaining as MP and
apologising is kind of a decent way to do it. Speech crimes, the problem
is in the phrase they are, you said two words, and I think it was about
ten. A more open society would be one in which we accuse people less
often of speech crimes but we could also have intelligent debate about
changing our minds. Thank you very much indeed.
Of all the services the internet can provide, Airbnb is perhaps
In case you haven't encountered it, it is where people turn their spare
rooms into overnight accommodation for tourists.
The easy matchmaking between renters and rentees has
Not great for hotels, but for everybody else
Well, Airbnb has scaled up - from just being a simple way
for homeowners to earn a bit of pocket money, to also being
a platform for professionals to run money-making property portfolios -
and to do so outside the regulations facing hotels.
For some neighbours of Airbnb properties, the service
We'll debate its merits shortly, but first our technology editor,
David Grossman, looks at the Airbnb phenomenon.
Like the low-cost airlines before them, short-term letting apps
like Airbnb are making travel more affordable for people.
They get to stay in interesting places, and as the slogan says,
And if property owners can make a few quid too, who's complaining?
As we've seen from taxi apps like Uber, the sharing economy isn't
In terms of short-term letting apps like Airbnb,
the evidence is that it's starting to have a profound impact in some
local housing markets, and on the experience
Our research shows that it's primarily a London problem,
but it's very definitely a growing problem in other large cities,
with a tourist interest, so Manchester is seeing a lot
of growth, and in Glasgow and Edinburgh we're particularly
The London Borough of Westminster is particularly hard-hit,
with an estimated 5000 properties taken out of the traditional
It is taking homes away from people who might
otherwise be living there - on scale.
So there are wards in Westminster where one in ten properties
are permanently in the short-let sector, and that's not good.
To be clear, no one is saying that a property owner shouldn't be
able to let a room out, or go away on holiday
and let their flat-out - that's all absolutely fine.
It's the increasing professionalisation of this
This is what a real hotel looks like, regulated to have
minimal impact on locals, because - however welcome to a city
- short-term visitors don't make great neighbours.
It's been going on for couple of years now, and it has got
to the point recently where we've wanted to move away from it.
This neighbour of a busy short-term-let flat
in London doesn't want to be identified
because she is frightened of repercussions.
You don't know who's around you, you don't know that when you come
home at night you're going to get a good night's sleep.
It's just irritating when you're just dropping off,
to have a sudden reminder, oh, yeah, your neighbours
are Airbnb - they're back now, they're going to keep you awake.
Often, the first sign of a property moving over to short-term letting
is the appearance outside of these - key boxes.
Getting complete data from Airbnb is extremely hard,
but we've analysed the website to find out how many hosts let out
That may be an indication that they're operating as a business.
In London, we found 12,428 entire homes run by multi-listing hosts.
That's 37.5% of all entire Airbnb homes in the city.
London's top ten hosts ran a total of 1634 entire home
In Edinburgh we found 1794 entire homes run by multi-listing hosts.
That's a third of all Airbnb entire homes in the city.
Edinburgh's top ten hosts ran a total of 302 entire home
In Bristol, we found 226 entire homes run by multi-listing hosts.
That's 30% of all the entire Airbnb homes in the city.
Bristol's top ten hosts ran a total of 127 entire home
Unlike residential properties, mortgages on holiday lets qualify
for mortgage interest tax relief, and the returns can be two
or three times as big as conventional letting.
So much so that instead of buy to let, people are now setting up
hugely lucrative rent to let businesses.
It's increasingly common for landlords to rent property out,
and find that property is sublet, either with their consent -
although perhaps not with their entire understanding -
or entirely without their consent, in what you might choose to call
a sort of rent arbitrage, in that I pay you the market rent
from an ordinary let property on the family market.
If I then put it on Airbnb on the holiday let market,
for the same period of time, provided I can keep it full,
I will get more money from Airbnb and so I can guarantee to pay
you a set sum of money and make a profit on the difference.
It's possible to construct vast portfolios of property in this way,
creating virtual hotels complete with a check-in desk.
It's one of the most popular nightspots in the capital.
It's where groups of people come for a curry and a night out.
And it's also one of the hotspots for Airbnb -
there are lots of properties listed around here, many of them run
I've checked into one, or at least I've booked it.
I've been e-mailed some instructions of how I have to check in.
I have to go and pick up the keys from a shop which is,
When I got there, the shop - well, it didn't feel
More like just a guy sat behind a desk with a big ledger in front
of him with all the bookings for different places.
My name was on there, he checked my ID, he gave me
the keys, he gave me the instructions how to get there.
Floor's a bit creaky, but apart from that it
In fact, it says in the welcome folder that the entire building -
nine flats - are available from the same Airbnb hosts.
But whatever this place is, it clearly isn't somebody's home.
This place has been kitted out - the whole building has been
Looking for evidence of any wrongdoing is very tricky.
Since 2015 property owners in Greater London have been legally
allowed to short-term let somewhere for a maximum total of 90 days
It makes it virtually impossible for us or anyone else,
like the local authority, to prove what's going on.
The problem is that it's not actually an offence
to breach planning control, unless you're told to stop
breaching planning control, so they have to be caught and told
to stop, and then caught again breaching the being told
to stop and carrying on, so you have to catch people twice.
Although Airbnb has introduced restrictions on people letting out
somewhere in London for more than 90 days, it's a simple matter to list
on one of the many other short-term letting sites.
It's really difficult to track how these landlords
are using the different sites, and so we can't really judge
whether they are moving properties around across different platforms,
but we know anecdotally that this has been reported,
and so it's something that if we had this availability to share the data
across the platforms, and they worked together
with the GLA, this is something that we would be able to keep
Well, I think that the Government needs to accept that local
authorities have to have legal powers to act to ensure that
when people are letting short lets, that they notified.
when people are letting short lets, that they notify.
If you have a notification it makes it much more straightforward then
for a local authority to be able to monitor, make sure
that the law is being upheld - it doesn't stop people letting,
Other cities and countries are far further ahead in regulating
Airbnb declined our request for an interview, but said
they already go far further than any other platform
in making sure their listings comply with the law.
This may not be much comfort to those trapped
on the other side of the wall, or the floor, or the ceiling, from
I'm nervous that it's just going to turn into a strange hotel
situation, in all the blocks, without any regulation
Really, it feels like your block is changing?
I am concerned that as we see this go on, if nothing changes,
the block will just turn into a hotel.
Well, Airbnb have given us a statement.
"We are good partners to London and have
introduced automated hosting limits to help ensure home sharing is good
news for everyone, and that growth is responsible and sustainable.
We are pleased to lead our industry on this matter and urge policymakers
to ensure other platforms act responsibly in London,
It is not just a problem in London, though.
Joining us now in the studio are Roddy Campbell
from Shared Economy UK, the trade body for the UK's sharing
economy, and founder of the website Vrumi which allows householders
But in Liverpool we're joined by the Labour councillor
Laura, let's start with you. Short lets, what sort of problems do they
cause for your? Do you get a lot of complaints as a councillor? It is a
recent phenomenon in our city in Liverpool, certainly moving out of
the city into the more residential areas, but we have seen summers of
absolute mayhem, where residents have had to call the police, naked
men running down the street playing football, stag parties and so on
going on, and of course in a city with a lot of student residents
really do value that quieter time they used to get in the summer,
which is now filled with hen and stag parties completely without any
regulation. As Europe is just short, we would welcome home sharing that
is genuine, but this is undeclared businesses not paying tax -- as
Europe is just showed. But the tourists coming in, that kind of
behaviour, it could happen in a hotel. If they want to run out and
play football naked at night, isn't it the same thing? I wouldn't think
so because the hotels would be staffed and this is completely
unstaffed and unsupervised, and these are small terraced streets I
am talking about, not big country manners or something. Four bedroom
terraces with 20 people for the weekend, it creates mayhem for the
neighbours and other residents. Roddy Campbell, that is effectively
a lot of what is going on location. Businesses setting these up to defy
the regulations? I don't know how you make the leap,
London is my main area, that is where I operate my business in. Am I
allowed to set up a hotel in London where ever I want. They are hotels
about stuff? There are plenty of regulations for short-term lets. How
those are in force and whether they are enforced is another question.
Enforcement issue for you guys, you are the council, it is your job?
There are no regulations. We can't enforce anything, there are no
regulations. There are minimal regulations in London, but outside
of London we don't even have the 90 day restriction. We are asking home
sharing sites to share their data with local authorities so we can
regulate them and ensure minimum standards and have have a 90 day
cap. Sharing the data so nobody can run their business for more than 90
days and a 90 day national limit would sort out the professionals?
There is a lot of laws on data protection and data sharing. But we
can pass a law on that? If they pass a law on that then yes. We can't
enforce the rules at the moment because somebody could put 90 days
on one site, and 90 days on another. In London, that is illegal and they
can be prosecuted for that and after they have been warned by the local
authority, they can be fined for that. But the point is, we have to
make it easier for the authorities to levy the fine against the rule
breakers because they have to be able to catch the rule breakers to
levy the fine. It is difficult for them to watch a property for 180
days or 91 days. Can I ask about the scale of this? When people are
talking about rogue minicab company is, if there are two rogue drivers
in the fleet who are not getting their tax and insurance done, it is
not a problem. But if there is a thousand, then it is a problem. The
numbers went through very fast on your tape, there are 226 properties
your tape, there are 226 property job people identified as
multi-property operators in Bristol and it was 1600 in London out of 3.3
million households. The idea this is a massive business... The buy to let
businesses big. Private renting is a huge business and the short term
rental is a sliver of that business. Let me put that to Laura. The
numbers are relative to the size of Liverpool or London and we talking
about a small industry? Absolutely, but it is growing very fast and the
complaints are growing fast. We don't know where they are, we have
landlord licensing in Liverpool and we work hard to get that across the
city so we can regulate the private rented city. -- sector. This is
coming in below the radar, should these people be paying council tax,
or business tax? We don't know where they are until we get the complaints
in and then it is too late. Airbnb said we want to see everybody's
income and then we can regulate the industry better. As a trade
Representative Association would you support that? I am speaking as the
owner and founder of a business roughly similar to Airbnb. I know
hate Chim RC and the Treasury have had conversations about what can and
can't be done and what is right, and being on the board, Airbnb have had
endless meetings with Treasury and HMRC about what can and can't be
done. In the end they are a platform, like me having my make-up
done by your very nice make-up man. He takes in travelling actors
through his website. I am sure he pays his tax, declares it. Would he
expect travelling actors to reveal his income to the taxman? Probably
not. Local authorities are picking up the cost of this. We could run
this a bit longer because it raises a lot of issues, but we have got to
leave it there. People love to complain
about politicians, but you won't hear much grumbling
about Baroness Trumpington. She's a Tory member of the House
of Lords, appointed back in 1980 During a career as a minister
and a peer, Trumpington has been independent of thought and has
always been one to She has also been mischievous,
for example, she famously directed a V-sign at Lord King,
when he remarked upon her age Her life chronicles much
of the history of the 20th century. She once worked for David
Lloyd George on his farm. She is the sort of person
for whom the words national But today, her 95th birthday,
she is stepping down from the Lords. They have been marking the end
of her era with a party this evening, here is a picture
of her celebrating with Prime Minister John Major
and the Lords Speaker. I sat down with her on Friday,
to talk about her life I began by asking her
whether life is better now Well, better for those
who have money. I think it's amazing the way people
climbed out of the mud Well, I can think of
Betty Boothroyd, for instance. She was a great success and she had
to fight to begin with. Another big woman in your life
was Margaret Thatcher of course? And you still think
of her with affection because you often argued with her,
I think? But that was my value
to her and she realised But if I didn't agree
with her about something, I said so. It gave her a chance to know what
the opposition might say to her. Important in politics not
to have all the yes men What about the issue
of women in politics? Because a lot has changed
in your lifetime. And a lot has changed since you were
in the Lords, which was 1980. How should women deal
with men who are interested Because it is a big issue today,
a lot of women are very angry about it, how should women react,
slap them in the face go I think you curse them and it's
quite possible to slap their face. One of the big changes
between men and women between your young life and now is,
men just used to grope women Because women have
learned to fight back. Really, women used to be
terrified of making a fuss. If the man deserves it, he deserves
to have a public fuss made of him. Just tell me about David Lloyd
George, because he was one What about this thing
with him measuring you up? You are a young girl working
on his estate and he's taking a physical interest
in you, correct? Anyway, I was much too frightened
and shy at that time to object. Of course, you worked at Bletchley
in the Second World War as part When Churchill visited us he said,
you are the birds that laid the golden eggs,
but never cackled. And that was the important thing,
was that we never talks. Tell me about this episode
in the House of lords, this is one you were very famous
for, which was Lord King, made some reference to your age
and you did the V-sign at him? And then the survivors
of World War II started to look pretty old as well,
as my noble friend, the baroness reminded me,
I believe claiming to be Now on some stories, you weren't
really making every sign, Now on some stories,
you weren't really making a V-sign but on other accounts,
you knew very well, you knew I did know, because I thought
he was insufferable. Trumpington, we associate anything
with Trump with the president How extraordinary the Americans
are to have let him get away... Well I won't say what
I was going to say. Can I ask what you are going to miss
most as you leave the lords and say farewell on that long period
in your life? I will have permission to sit
on the steps of the throne and I will be able to eat meals
there, but I won't be a member You will miss them and I'm
sure they will miss you. Baroness Trumpington,
thank you so much. And that is all we have time for. I
will be back tomorrow but until then, good night.
Good evening. One thing we won't be in