24/10/2017 Newsnight


24/10/2017

With Evan Davis. Is universal credit a botch job? Plus the man who fought for Raqqa, Aaron Banks, getting the best from Brexit and Harvey Weinstein.


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Transcript


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The government wants to be remembered

:00:00.:00:00.

The problem is that for many, it's only being remembered

:00:00.:00:11.

for botching up the introduction of Universal Credit.

:00:12.:00:17.

If Universal Credit is not changed, we'll have some real tragedies

:00:18.:00:19.

It just simply isn't possible for people to

:00:20.:00:23.

fend off absolute chaos if they've got no money at all.

:00:24.:00:29.

It'll roll out to seven million families in the next five years.

:00:30.:00:35.

Labour's shadow welfare secretary wants a pause,

:00:36.:00:37.

Jac Holmes went from Bournemouth to Syria to fight IS.

:00:38.:00:52.

Now he's been killed after the City fell.

:00:53.:00:56.

We'll hear from a friend who also left the UK,

:00:57.:00:58.

He says he bankrolled Brexit, he certainly put some pounds into UKIP.

:00:59.:01:11.

Hello. There's no point in having a great idea

:01:12.:01:26.

with a plan and a blueprint, lots of fancy marketing,

:01:27.:01:28.

if you then completely screw up the implementation.

:01:29.:01:30.

Well, MPs debated the government's flagship welfare policy -

:01:31.:01:34.

Universal Credit - again today, and the overriding

:01:35.:01:39.

question is whether it falls into that category of

:01:40.:01:42.

It's a big reform, a simplifying one, six benefits merged into one.

:01:43.:01:48.

But the simple fact is, that for too many people

:01:49.:01:50.

for whom it is designed, it isn't working.

:01:51.:01:52.

Basically, the transition period, I think people will find it quite

:01:53.:02:00.

difficult, because you obviously have to go online and sign

:02:01.:02:07.

up to Universal Credit, and then they give you the appointment

:02:08.:02:10.

at the Job Centre, which takes about two weeks.

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So, you can't apply for the advance payment until you have that

:02:13.:02:15.

interview with the guy at the Job Centre.

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But, within that time, I obviously had no money,

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so I had to rely on family and friends to help me out, and then

:02:22.:02:25.

when I did actually get the advance payment,

:02:26.:02:26.

I had to pay back some of the family and friends,

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with that payment, so yeah, I mean, it is hard.

:02:30.:02:31.

They do make it quite difficult for you, you have to do everything

:02:32.:02:35.

online, you have to phone a number, that's not free, so I had to go

:02:36.:02:38.

to the Citizens Advice Bureau to make the phone call and stuff.

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Ironically, the government set out ideas to help people in debt today,

:02:42.:02:53.

and yet, Citizens Advice say that the government's

:02:54.:02:56.

own Universal Credit is itself forcing people into debt.

:02:57.:02:58.

It's not just the seven day waiting period when you apply,

:02:59.:03:03.

or the fact, after seven days, you then have a month of assessment

:03:04.:03:06.

before getting payments; it's also the lack of help

:03:07.:03:08.

It is as though the benefit is administered for the convenience

:03:09.:03:12.

of the provider, rather than the recipient.

:03:13.:03:16.

Well, Universal Credit has been a huge controversy in Westminster,

:03:17.:03:18.

many MPs have faced the wrath of constituents

:03:19.:03:20.

Which is why it came up yet again today.

:03:21.:03:23.

Our political editor Nick Watt has been looking at the pressure

:03:24.:03:26.

I'm going to have to ask you to leave... In motive, painful and

:03:27.:03:42.

politically toxic. Welfare reform is perilous for politicians of all

:03:43.:03:47.

hues. Run the mouse up the screen. Not like that... The Ken Loach film

:03:48.:03:54.

I, Daniel Blake, struck a chord. With its betrayal of an uncaring

:03:55.:04:01.

system. Universal Credit, this government's

:04:02.:04:08.

flagship welfare reform joins a long list of troubled projects, delayed

:04:09.:04:13.

by years, are set by technical hitches, and challenged on the Tory

:04:14.:04:19.

benches, but it limps on. I think if Universal Credit is not

:04:20.:04:23.

changed, we will have some real tragedies happening in our society.

:04:24.:04:27.

It just simply isn't possible for people to be able to stay in their

:04:28.:04:31.

accommodation if they are in the private sector, to fend off absolute

:04:32.:04:37.

chaos if they've got no money at all. Today, the government found

:04:38.:04:42.

itself defending Universal Credit in the second parliamentary debate in a

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week. In every phase and in every respect, the development of

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Universal Credit has been all about enhancing the way it helps you get

:04:51.:04:56.

into work, and get on in work. Already, Universal Credit is

:04:57.:04:59.

transforming lives, and we want more families to benefit from the

:05:00.:05:05.

satisfaction, from the self-esteem, and from the financial security that

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comes from progressing to a job, a better job and a career.

:05:10.:05:16.

So just what is Universal Credit? It was first piloted in 2012, was meant

:05:17.:05:22.

to be fully up and running by this year, and fully rolled out by 2022.

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Essentially, it rolls six in work and out of work benefits into one

:05:32.:05:36.

simpler system. Also, it aims to encourage work by ensuring that

:05:37.:05:40.

claimants receive more take home pay if they work extra hours.

:05:41.:05:45.

There is deep frustration in Downing Street that Universal Credit is

:05:46.:05:49.

under constant attack, because ministers feel it is a highly

:05:50.:05:53.

progressive reform, thanks to the way in which it in centre rises

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work. The Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke believes he is

:05:58.:06:01.

involved in something of a rescue mission to salvage this landmark

:06:02.:06:06.

reform. In his eyes, many of today's problems were caused by the failure

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of the architect of the scheme, Iain Duncan Smith, to appreciate the vast

:06:12.:06:15.

challenge of introducing such a wide-ranging reform.

:06:16.:06:21.

David Gauke is not giving much away at the moment, but Downing Street is

:06:22.:06:24.

looking seriously at implementing the main demand by Tory backbench

:06:25.:06:29.

critics to reduce the initial payment period from six weeks to

:06:30.:06:36.

four, or to abolish the so-called seven waiting days, in which no

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benefits are paid in the first week. If the government is feeling

:06:42.:06:43.

particularly ambitious, it could look at two further reforms,

:06:44.:06:49.

allowing people to earn more before their benefits first start being

:06:50.:06:55.

reduced. This would be juiced George Osborne's cup to the worker

:06:56.:06:58.

allowance, costing around ?2 billion. Changing the rate at which

:06:59.:07:01.

benefits are reduced as someone earns more money, the Chancellor cut

:07:02.:07:09.

the tape rate from 65 to 63% in the budget. Some Cabinet ministers want

:07:10.:07:14.

this to go down to 60%. This would cost around 500 million per

:07:15.:07:21.

percentage point cut. One of the main Tory backbench critics says the

:07:22.:07:27.

government will have two move. With Universal Credit, it is a cobbler

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Kate did benefit. I pick everybody will blame everybody else. My

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understanding is a huge number of people leading the project lost

:07:36.:07:38.

their jobs, some resigned and some couldn't cope. The problem is, for

:07:39.:07:45.

me, the waiting time of six weeks, we want it reduced to four rates,

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and we want to see the table rate reduced. Step-by-step, the

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government is pressing ahead with Universal Credit. The challenge is

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to ensure that the eventual merits of the system will overcome memories

:07:59.:07:59.

of its troubled birth. We did ask the government to join us

:08:00.:08:03.

tonight but nobody was available. However, with me

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are Debbie Abrahams, Labour's Shadow Secretary of State

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for Work Pensions. And Edward Boyd, Managing Director

:08:12.:08:14.

of Centre for Social Justice, and a former advisor

:08:15.:08:16.

to Iain Duncan Smith. Thanks, both, for coming in. Can we

:08:17.:08:27.

get a bit detailed, because it is quite interesting. Let's start with

:08:28.:08:35.

this every -- seven-day period. You apply and nothing happens for seven

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days. It should go. We have been clear that at least a week should be

:08:40.:08:42.

removed. The government said they wanted to have a system that

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replicated real life in terms of work and waiting for a month before

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you got your first support, but this is more than that in six weeks.

:08:54.:09:03.

This... This is the sum of the six weeks and seven days. What was the

:09:04.:09:07.

thinking? When we originally designed this, there was no

:09:08.:09:11.

seven-day weight. I will agree on this. I don't think any government

:09:12.:09:19.

of any cover is thankful reforming welfare. Labour trying to bring in

:09:20.:09:23.

tax credits in 2003, or this government with Universal Credit,

:09:24.:09:26.

one thing everyone is missing is, when this is fully rolled out, the

:09:27.:09:30.

estimate is 300,000 more people will be in work. That was based on 2014 -

:09:31.:09:35.

15 data. That is disingenuous to say that,

:09:36.:09:45.

Ed. 300,000 before, and that data rolled out past any changes the

:09:46.:09:50.

government has made. It is still a massive effect. We have got from

:09:51.:09:56.

you, and admission, you would get rid of the seven-day waiting period.

:09:57.:10:01.

It saves 140 million, there was a Russian now that people out of work

:10:02.:10:05.

for a short period of time would need benefits, but it is not the

:10:06.:10:11.

right thing. Next one, it is not the first seven-day waiting period, but

:10:12.:10:14.

paying people monthly in arrears. That one is training you to have the

:10:15.:10:21.

benefit system aligned with the way work works. The figures published

:10:22.:10:26.

yesterday showed that people on the lowest incomes, a quarter are paid

:10:27.:10:30.

weekly or monthly. Weekly or fortnightly. We want to have

:10:31.:10:34.

alternative pay arrangements that are offered to everyone, not the

:10:35.:10:37.

obscure arrangement in guidance we have now that nobody seems to know

:10:38.:10:42.

what to do about, everybody has a chance to have alternative pay

:10:43.:10:48.

fortnightly, also, it doesn't go to a single householder, which happens

:10:49.:10:51.

at the moment, which is predominantly men. It is

:10:52.:10:55.

discriminatory against women. It should be split, if that is an

:10:56.:11:00.

option. The housing element can go directly to the landlord. Ed, when

:11:01.:11:04.

you designed paying people a month in arrears, was that a problem or is

:11:05.:11:08.

it a feature of the system you devised? It is a positive thing.

:11:09.:11:13.

When rolled out, 7 million or 8 million will be on Universal Credit.

:11:14.:11:17.

Several will be in work. The overwhelming majority will be paid

:11:18.:11:20.

monthly to make sure that Universal Credit works with being in work, you

:11:21.:11:28.

had to have them working. If you have benefit pay fortnightly or

:11:29.:11:31.

separate from that, your earnings will go up and down, and be very

:11:32.:11:35.

difficult to manage your income. For those people, it works well.

:11:36.:11:39.

Foremost, it does, but people that struggle managing money for a month,

:11:40.:11:45.

and there are reports of quite a view, they are used to getting money

:11:46.:11:51.

which they spend. It may sound patronising, but that is what

:11:52.:11:55.

everybody says is the fact. You say that. I am worried we will argue

:11:56.:12:01.

about data, but 3% of jobs are paid fortnightly in the UK. It is a tiny

:12:02.:12:05.

proportion of people who are paid at that level. This is where Universal

:12:06.:12:09.

Credit is revolution every. Instead of saying, you can't budget well, so

:12:10.:12:13.

we will adapt the system to you. It says that you can make sure that you

:12:14.:12:17.

can get a budget advance if you need it. It is about changing someone's

:12:18.:12:21.

life. If you can't manage money well, we will help you get

:12:22.:12:25.

somewhere. It is transformational. The principal... No, no, that is not

:12:26.:12:33.

fair. The principal, we support, but what Ed is describing isn't there.

:12:34.:12:38.

The principles about simple vacation and ensuring work pay, getting into

:12:39.:12:41.

work, progressing to work, that doesn't happen. Then we have the

:12:42.:12:48.

administrative clock ups. Good idea, badly executed? I mentioned at the

:12:49.:12:55.

outset about single householder, the fact it is only paid monthly, we

:12:56.:12:59.

also have the fact that severe disability premiums weren't

:13:00.:13:03.

transferred across. The most severely disabled people are about

:13:04.:13:10.

?3200... I could go on. Some people are worse off. But when you devised

:13:11.:13:16.

it, you weren't quite as mean as it has turned out to be. If you going

:13:17.:13:20.

to do something as ambitious as that, doesn't it make sense to spend

:13:21.:13:24.

money on it and make it work in the early days, rather than having it

:13:25.:13:31.

discredited by penny-pinching? We invented it slightly more generously

:13:32.:13:34.

than it is now. The first important point before that to say, if you

:13:35.:13:39.

look at all the data in amongst all the changes, people are more likely

:13:40.:13:43.

to be in work and earning more money under this system rather than the

:13:44.:13:47.

old system. It is not perfect, but it is better... Some groups say.

:13:48.:13:51.

With different family structures, that is not always the case. Single

:13:52.:13:56.

parents are definitely worse. A single-parent nurse, I had, she had

:13:57.:14:03.

a six-week delay, the red arrears notice when I went to see her. I can

:14:04.:14:07.

respond to that, briefly, with single parents, you can take a case

:14:08.:14:11.

study like that, but on the whole, if you are a single-parent with two

:14:12.:14:16.

kits, under the old system, working 16 hours, the new system has 63%. We

:14:17.:14:25.

are getting the dazzled with numbers. We will see if the

:14:26.:14:29.

government reforms on this in the next few days. Thank you both very

:14:30.:14:30.

much. Jac Holmes, a 24 year old man

:14:31.:14:33.

from Bournemouth who went to join Kurdish forces in the fight

:14:34.:14:37.

against so-called Islamic State Just a week after the liberation

:14:38.:14:40.

of the city, he was reportedly helping to clear the city of mines

:14:41.:14:46.

and explosives when he was killed. Mr Holmes had been fighting Isis

:14:47.:14:50.

off and on since 2015. He appeared in a television

:14:51.:14:53.

interview as recently as last month, speaking in Raqqa to the BBC's

:14:54.:14:55.

Quentin Sommerville. This isn't your country,

:14:56.:15:02.

it's not your war, why are you here? I think the fight against

:15:03.:15:05.

Daesh is everyone's war. There's Daesh all over Europe,

:15:06.:15:07.

especially in England, and we need to stop them here and in Iraq,

:15:08.:15:14.

or they're going to spread. Well, he was fighting with the YPG,

:15:15.:15:19.

a Kurdish force, which is a big part of the SDF,

:15:20.:15:25.

the Syrian Democratic Forces. Another British man

:15:26.:15:29.

who had gone out to fight He spent a lot of time

:15:30.:15:34.

in Syria with Mr Holmes - and I spoke to him earlier

:15:35.:15:38.

from a YPG base on the I have known Jac Holmes for three

:15:39.:15:45.

years now. I met him on the very day he arrived in Syria, in 2015. And I

:15:46.:15:52.

have known him ever since. He was a passionate humanitarian. He cared

:15:53.:15:55.

very deeply about Syria. And he was someone that had a real hatred for

:15:56.:16:02.

Isis and everything based at four. What do you know of what happened

:16:03.:16:13.

yesterday that took Jac's life. Temporary map was pulling security.

:16:14.:16:18.

While they were clearing buildings, forcing civilians to return home,

:16:19.:16:21.

and unfortunately there was a suicide vest that had been missed.

:16:22.:16:31.

That was hidden, and left behind by the Islamic State.

:16:32.:16:33.

And it was in a very volatile state, and it detonated

:16:34.:16:36.

Obviously, the battle for Raqqa was over, what were his plans?

:16:37.:16:48.

He's been fighting now, for three years.

:16:49.:16:51.

He's been a very passionate advocate for solidarity

:16:52.:16:53.

with the Kurdish people, with the Syrian people,

:16:54.:16:55.

and he's been pushing for the British government to do

:16:56.:16:58.

more to help the SDF in solidifying their games,

:16:59.:17:00.

and actually injecting some humanitarian invade, and investment

:17:01.:17:02.

The only way he could do that was by coming home

:17:03.:17:06.

and sharing his experiences, talking about what he did

:17:07.:17:08.

And really, to explain really what he was doing there.

:17:09.:17:16.

The fact that the battle for Raqqa was over, and he was getting ready

:17:17.:17:20.

to return makes this terribly, terribly tragic, doesn't it.

:17:21.:17:25.

Yeah, it's a devastating blow for the international volunteers,

:17:26.:17:27.

and for all the people volunteering here, both on the humanitarian side

:17:28.:17:30.

He cared a lot about democracy, about people.

:17:31.:17:51.

The Yazidi people were very close to his heart.

:17:52.:17:54.

And his death has been a huge blow to us all.

:17:55.:17:56.

Coming just as we have liberated Raqqa at the end

:17:57.:17:58.

of his last tour in Syria, it shows you how dangerous

:17:59.:18:01.

the Islamic State is, how terrible their legacy mines are,

:18:02.:18:03.

and how we really need to invest in the country,

:18:04.:18:06.

and Detry start rebuilding in a much more positive way than we are

:18:07.:18:13.

and actually start rebuilding in a much

:18:14.:18:14.

more positive way than we are

:18:15.:18:16.

Give us a sense, if you would come of that battle for Raqqa

:18:17.:18:20.

and the role the international fighters had in it.

:18:21.:18:22.

The battle for Raqqa was incredibly, incredibly dangerous.

:18:23.:18:24.

It was a war of attrition, there were a lot of snipers,

:18:25.:18:32.

there were a lot of minds being used very effectively.

:18:33.:18:34.

I mean, the Americans, for the first time, have invested

:18:35.:18:42.

I heard more bombs fall on Raqqa them all the bombs that I have

:18:43.:18:51.

It was extraordinary, real shock and awe.

:18:52.:18:58.

But at the same time, I personally was overwhelmed

:18:59.:19:03.

And really what the foreign volunteers have achieved as well.

:19:04.:19:16.

The British Foreign Office do not recommend that people go out

:19:17.:19:19.

They are always saying this is a very, very

:19:20.:19:22.

No regrets that you went out there, despite what we now know,

:19:23.:19:26.

the terrible, terrible losses of comrades and friends.

:19:27.:19:28.

I've never regretted the morality of what I've done,

:19:29.:19:30.

I came out here as a humanitarian, as someone who is a humanist,

:19:31.:19:38.

And when I came out in 2014, when Jac came out in 2015,

:19:39.:19:45.

there was no help coming from the international community.

:19:46.:19:48.

There were no jets in the sky, there was no military

:19:49.:19:50.

support on the ground, very little humanitarian support

:19:51.:19:52.

So we've seen a massive change over the last three years.

:19:53.:19:58.

And I hope, in some small way, that the international volunteers

:19:59.:20:01.

have shown the world that internationalism is still very

:20:02.:20:03.

strong, that solidarity and compassion is still

:20:04.:20:05.

But you are now on your way home now?

:20:06.:20:13.

I am indeed on my way home to my family.

:20:14.:20:16.

But for me, only half the battle is done.

:20:17.:20:18.

I am going to go straight home, and I'm them to tell people

:20:19.:20:21.

what I have been doing out here, why I have been here,

:20:22.:20:26.

and what the options are for the future, cause Assad

:20:27.:20:29.

I would hope that the SDF is now the Democratic opposition to asset

:20:30.:20:35.

I would hope that the SDF is now the Democratic opposition to Assad

:20:36.:20:38.

and we finally have a plan for peace in Syria.

:20:39.:20:42.

One of Nigel Farage's good personal and political friends

:20:43.:20:47.

He's not a household name, but he is a big player

:20:48.:20:51.

on the populist right of UK politics.

:20:52.:20:53.

He was there with Nigel Farage when he met Donald Trump just

:20:54.:20:55.

after the US election; he has a feisty presence on Twitter

:20:56.:20:58.

and he's a vocal critic of the BBC's Brexit coverage.

:20:59.:21:01.

He made his money in insurance and he spent some of it on UKIP

:21:02.:21:04.

and then on the Leave.EU campaign, the unoffocial brexit campaign,

:21:05.:21:08.

and then on the Leave.EU campaign, the unoffocial Brexit campaign,

:21:09.:21:10.

His book chronicling the exploits of that campaign -

:21:11.:21:14.

the Bad Boys of Brexit - is now, apparently, being made

:21:15.:21:18.

The narrative is he's not really a bad boy at all -

:21:19.:21:22.

but a patriot prepared to play dirty to save his country.

:21:23.:21:25.

But has Banks been taking some artistic license with the truth?

:21:26.:21:27.

John Sweeney reports - but not from Hollywood.

:21:28.:21:35.

Arron Banks started on the long road to Hollywood back in 2014,

:21:36.:21:40.

when he reacted to a put-down by top Tory William Hague,

:21:41.:21:44.

When I woke up this morning, intending to donate ?100,000

:21:45.:21:52.

to Ukip, I understand that Mr Hague called me a nobody?

:21:53.:21:56.

So, in light of that, I decided today to donate ?1 million

:21:57.:22:03.

to the party and not the 100,000 we originally agreed.

:22:04.:22:05.

I was hoping that Mr Hague will now know who I am.

:22:06.:22:09.

I think after this lot, he might just do!

:22:10.:22:12.

This is the moment Arron Banks first entered public life.

:22:13.:22:17.

I am a self-made person, I made my money from a desk

:22:18.:22:20.

But with Mr Banks' businessman, or political high roller,

:22:21.:22:38.

what you see is not quite what you get.

:22:39.:22:40.

His manor is mortgaged and Mr Banks does not live here,

:22:41.:22:42.

it is a wedding venue, owned by one of his companies.

:22:43.:22:45.

Arron Banks is a multimillionaire with a jet set lifestyle.

:22:46.:22:50.

He is made out to be a bit like Blofeld and this

:22:51.:22:53.

It is somewhere near Bristol and it is handy for the house

:22:54.:22:59.

Bought for around ?900,000 and with ?500,000 on the mortgage.

:23:00.:23:12.

Arron Banks owns Eldon, a car insurance brokerage registered here.

:23:13.:23:17.

Go Skippy.com, cheaper car insurance.

:23:18.:23:24.

He hopes to float Eldon's parent group for 250 million quid.

:23:25.:23:29.

A valuation that got him into The Sunday Times Rich List.

:23:30.:23:32.

Banks claims Eldon will make ?24 million profit this year,

:23:33.:23:36.

up from only 300,000 last year, should we believe it?

:23:37.:23:40.

If you move from less than half a million profit in one year

:23:41.:23:43.

to 24 million the next year, I wish every other company could do

:23:44.:23:46.

that, but it is really quite big by any standard.

:23:47.:23:57.

A phenomenal turnaround, I would say.

:23:58.:24:02.

Arron Banks told Newsnight that the ?250 million valuation is

:24:03.:24:05.

He says new AI, artificial intelligence tech is

:24:06.:24:13.

But there has been trouble with Eldon's numbers in the past.

:24:14.:24:20.

They said a breakdown in the relationship has occurred

:24:21.:24:27.

because by failing to supply accurate information,

:24:28.:24:29.

management is imposing a limitation of scope on our work.

:24:30.:24:34.

Not so, says Mr Banks, the auditors resigned

:24:35.:24:36.

Banks also has an insurance underwriting business,

:24:37.:24:43.

It seems to pay out more in claims and expenses

:24:44.:24:49.

When we look at the Gibraltar market as a whole the year ending 2015,

:24:50.:24:58.

on average, the market takes in a pound a premium and pays out

:24:59.:25:01.

If you look at the largest five motor insurance

:25:02.:25:07.

companies in Gibraltar, they only pay out 92p

:25:08.:25:09.

in claims and expenses, so 8p in every pound

:25:10.:25:13.

that they generate is moved towards profit.

:25:14.:25:17.

For Southern Rock, they pay out ?2.86p for every ?1

:25:18.:25:19.

So that is nearly three times as much as Southern Rock

:25:20.:25:26.

Mr Banks' lawyers told us we had drawn serious

:25:27.:25:29.

On Southern Rock, they said this comparison is not an indicator

:25:30.:25:38.

that is applied to or appropriate to be applied to Southern Rock.

:25:39.:25:52.

Because it is not a pure underwriter and has

:25:53.:25:54.

These figures do not take account of that.

:25:55.:25:57.

They suggested another yardstick but only gave us figures for one

:25:58.:26:00.

They declined to offer data for previous years for us to analyse.

:26:01.:26:04.

Mr Banks' lawyers also told us that Southern Rock's profitability

:26:05.:26:07.

was a matter of public record and that it made 42 million

:26:08.:26:10.

But that profit came from recapitalisation,

:26:11.:26:13.

in other words, a cash injection from another bank's business.

:26:14.:26:25.

Another of Mr Banks' businesses has also been

:26:26.:26:27.

Mr Banks was the sole director and one of only two shareholders

:26:28.:26:32.

in a company called African Compass Trading.

:26:33.:26:37.

It sold a herbal substitute for Viagra called Star 150.

:26:38.:26:41.

It's slogan, naturally, every man wants to be

:26:42.:26:44.

Even herbal medicines need approval by the regulator, the MHRA.

:26:45.:26:54.

They told us, as part of a criminal investigation in 2014,

:26:55.:26:56.

into the sale and supply of an authorised medicine

:26:57.:27:06.

into the sale and supply of unauthorised medicine

:27:07.:27:08.

or products, they seized around ?50,000 worth of Star 150 pills

:27:09.:27:10.

They told us their investigation is closed and to the best

:27:11.:27:14.

of Newsnight's knowledge, it has not resulted

:27:15.:27:16.

Mr Banks told Newsnight that African Compass Trading shut down

:27:17.:27:22.

three and a half years ago, owing to, in his words,

:27:23.:27:25.

A few run-ins with regulators and auditors, that is

:27:26.:27:35.

The Electoral Commission is already investigating leave.EU,

:27:36.:27:46.

a company controlled by Mr Banks about its conduct during

:27:47.:27:48.

Newsnight has uncovered disturbing evidence that raises questions

:27:49.:27:54.

about his political funding, even before the Brexit vote.

:27:55.:28:00.

In September, 2014, Tory MP Mark Reckless triggered

:28:01.:28:07.

a by-election in Rochester and Strood in Kent when

:28:08.:28:09.

Five former employees told us that staff from Mr Banks' company

:28:10.:28:16.

were asked to go to Rochester to help the Ukip campaign.

:28:17.:28:23.

We have got the number of an insurance salesman

:28:24.:28:28.

And we are told he also went to the Rochester by-election.

:28:29.:28:33.

We had, like, a photo and then we were like chaperoning

:28:34.:28:41.

You were chaperoning people, to the polling stations, yes?

:28:42.:28:47.

Were they Ukip voters or everybody voters?

:28:48.:28:53.

Well, it was for Ukip, it was all there for Ukip, so, yes,

:28:54.:28:58.

Probably between ten and 15 cars, I expect.

:28:59.:29:14.

I wasn't deducted any pay for being out of the office, so,

:29:15.:29:21.

you could say that I was paid for the two days that I was there.

:29:22.:29:27.

One estimate of the cost of 15 drivers ferrying voters

:29:28.:29:31.

to the polls would be ?9,000, a sum that would have put Ukip's

:29:32.:29:34.

The Tories, of course, are also in trouble for failing

:29:35.:29:41.

to declare election expenses on a larger scale than this.

:29:42.:29:47.

Mark Reckless told Newsnight neither I nor my agent authorised

:29:48.:29:50.

spending except that which was appropriately declared.

:29:51.:29:56.

But we found no record of this spending in the returns.

:29:57.:29:59.

So where does that leave Arron Banks?

:30:00.:30:03.

It is only lawful if you stay within the regulated proceedings

:30:04.:30:05.

for spending money for the purposes of the election of the candidates.

:30:06.:30:10.

If you go outside of it, it is unlawful on the part

:30:11.:30:13.

of the third party who organised the assistance, Mr Banks

:30:14.:30:15.

If they did it and incurred those costs, without the authority

:30:16.:30:24.

of the agent, as it appears that they may have done,

:30:25.:30:26.

that is called an illegal practice and it is an offence,

:30:27.:30:29.

Arron Banks told us all expenditure incurred during the by-election

:30:30.:30:40.

was properly expensed in full and notified to Ukip at the time.

:30:41.:30:47.

But the party's record-keeping, he said, left something to be desired.

:30:48.:30:52.

No prosecution is on the cards because a criminal allegation has

:30:53.:30:55.

to be made within one year of any potential offence.

:30:56.:31:02.

But this story bites because after Rochester,

:31:03.:31:03.

the BBC along with other broadcasters gave Ukip

:31:04.:31:05.

and its party leader Nigel Farage a much bigger platform.

:31:06.:31:17.

Hollywood loves a winner, the Arron Banks box set may well

:31:18.:31:24.

binge on his business antics, but playing fast and

:31:25.:31:26.

That may not go down so well at the box office.

:31:27.:31:31.

We did invite Mr Banks to join us tonight but we are told

:31:32.:31:37.

In a statement he told us: "Since the referendum result

:31:38.:31:42.

and my support for Donald Trump, I have been the subject

:31:43.:31:45.

of politically motivated attacks by the 'mainstream media'

:31:46.:31:48.

It comes as no surprise that "Newsnight" would join

:31:49.:31:53.

the party at this late stage with their own particular

:31:54.:31:56.

type of trashy 'News of the World' journalism!"

:31:57.:32:01.

He added: "After allegations of me being a "Russian spy, part

:32:02.:32:04.

of a worldwide conspiracy to subvert democracy,

:32:05.:32:06.

the only surprise is how long it's taken Newsnight

:32:07.:32:09.

to have a pop at me! BBC Fake news is alive and well!"

:32:10.:32:14.

Cramming one opinion into two minutes.

:32:15.:32:21.

Tonight, the trade economist Shanker Singham, from the think tank

:32:22.:32:23.

the Legatum Institute, looks at how we might get

:32:24.:32:25.

The Harvey Weinstein case has ignited a debate about the quiet

:32:26.:34:17.

It feels as though we have re-calibrated attitudes,

:34:18.:34:23.

so that it is no longer quiet, or tolerated.

:34:24.:34:26.

But one important aspect of the cover-up of sexual predation

:34:27.:34:30.

has come under examination today: it's the role of compensation

:34:31.:34:33.

settlements for victims attached to non-disclosure agreements

:34:34.:34:35.

designed to keep them quiet about what happened.

:34:36.:34:39.

The Financial Times today reported on a former London-based assistant

:34:40.:34:44.

She was harassed by Weinstein; a colleague of hers was assaulted.

:34:45.:34:53.

They wanted to report it, but they were put under pressure

:34:54.:34:56.

by phalanxes of lawyers, both Weinstein's and their own,

:34:57.:34:58.

Zelda Perkins thus kept quiet, and that's why she hasn't

:34:59.:35:04.

So should we tolerate these contracts?

:35:05.:35:08.

With me is the lawyer Harini Iyengar, who works

:35:09.:35:10.

in this field and has drawn up similar agreements.

:35:11.:35:14.

In Washington is Maya Raghu, director of Workplace and Equality

:35:15.:35:16.

Thanks for joining us. Harini Iyengar, I want to start with you,

:35:17.:35:25.

are these enforceable? Is Zelda Perkins said something, it she

:35:26.:35:29.

presumably will not be chased up now? If she said something to years

:35:30.:35:36.

after they had signed it, could he have won in court if she reported

:35:37.:35:41.

it? It depends. It depends on the circumstances. So far, we only know

:35:42.:35:46.

what was in the FT. She used the word to rest. If she entered into a

:35:47.:35:52.

contract under duress, under pressure, it wouldn't be

:35:53.:35:55.

enforceable. Certainly, the kind of settlement I am involved in between

:35:56.:35:59.

two parties advised and have decided it is the best way to resolve a

:36:00.:36:05.

dispute. She was legally advised, but as she described it, there were

:36:06.:36:09.

a lot of lawyers. She is a young woman, a bunch of men sitting across

:36:10.:36:15.

her table, would a judge recognised that as an intimidating by its

:36:16.:36:22.

nature? If she didn't exercise free will, the contract shouldn't be

:36:23.:36:27.

enforceable. Do you think these contracts are desirable? I do,

:36:28.:36:30.

actually. You have two distinguished the criminal aspect of rape and

:36:31.:36:37.

sexual assault. Unfortunately, in the last few years, I have had three

:36:38.:36:41.

cases that did involve rape. They are not entirely separate. When we

:36:42.:36:45.

look at employment tribunal, litigation in particular, sexual

:36:46.:36:49.

harassment, that is getting compensation in monetary form. Why

:36:50.:36:53.

do you need to attach to that that you don't tell people what has

:36:54.:36:59.

happened? It is on the basis the allegations are not admitted. It

:37:00.:37:07.

avoids expensive litigation. Litigation can be in private if

:37:08.:37:11.

there is a sexual harassment element to it, but it is still stressful. I

:37:12.:37:17.

maintain it is better. You might advise a woman to go with it? Many

:37:18.:37:22.

women want to get it over with and take the compensation. They want to

:37:23.:37:25.

get proper compensation that reflects what they would have got if

:37:26.:37:31.

and when they had gone to court. Maya Raghu, I am interested in what

:37:32.:37:39.

you think on this. I think there are circumstances in which N'Diaye as

:37:40.:37:43.

are important and useful for individuals that are coming forward

:37:44.:37:46.

to complain about sexual harassment or assault. However, generally in

:37:47.:37:53.

the US, they have been used to silence victims to cover up the

:37:54.:37:59.

extent of sexual harassment in some workplaces, and really to shield

:38:00.:38:03.

serious harassers from any serious accountability. There are a couple

:38:04.:38:08.

of key differences from what we were just hearing. In the US, mini

:38:09.:38:14.

workers will end up negotiating settlement agreements with their

:38:15.:38:18.

employer, in case of sexual harassment without an attorney. That

:38:19.:38:22.

is because the vast majority of victims simply don't have access or

:38:23.:38:27.

resource to hire an attorney. Many of these workers are in low-wage

:38:28.:38:32.

jobs and in fast food industries or retail, and it is not a realistic

:38:33.:38:36.

option to have someone even advise them on their options, let alone on

:38:37.:38:39.

the terms of a settlement agreement. Many women suffer in silence and

:38:40.:38:44.

don't come forward because they think they are the only ones, and

:38:45.:38:49.

that acts to prevent others from coming forward and revealing the

:38:50.:38:55.

extent of a problem. Harini, how do we get out of the fact that the

:38:56.:38:58.

lawyers were part of the cover-up for Weinstein? He made multiple

:38:59.:39:04.

settlements. The process didn't work. I have not come across

:39:05.:39:10.

settlement agreements where the sum of money seems very large compared

:39:11.:39:13.

to what one thinks APA would be earning, and indeed, what you might

:39:14.:39:22.

get. She was on 20,000. Looking without the details, it seems

:39:23.:39:24.

greatly inflated, and that causes concern. As a business, why is a

:39:25.:39:30.

business, and what would the shareholders and board had to say

:39:31.:39:34.

about excessive sums of money being spent on an employee's behaviour? Do

:39:35.:39:39.

you think the whole existence of this institution with no

:39:40.:39:42.

whistle-blowing around it, does actually foster the secrecy and

:39:43.:39:47.

cover up of Weinstein type cases? I do. Especially in cases like we have

:39:48.:39:53.

in the US, where there is such a power imbalance between the worker

:39:54.:39:58.

and employer, especially if the worker is unrepresented. That is

:39:59.:40:01.

when you can get settlement agreements with nondisclosure

:40:02.:40:04.

agreements that sometimes prevent them from talking about the

:40:05.:40:08.

underlying acts, even if they would constitute a crime in the US. What

:40:09.:40:12.

would you do... Sorry to cut you off, what would you do about it? One

:40:13.:40:18.

of the things we have done is we recently launch the first national

:40:19.:40:27.

legal network for gender equity to help women and vulnerable people

:40:28.:40:29.

experiencing sex as cremation and harassment, in implement and in

:40:30.:40:35.

schools, to give them advice and connect them to a network of

:40:36.:40:37.

attorneys across the country that can help them. The second thing is

:40:38.:40:41.

we know there are legislators across the country, whether in Congress or

:40:42.:40:46.

in the States, who think about a legislative solution. And very

:40:47.:40:52.

briefly, you would never allow here, would you, a cover-up of a criminal

:40:53.:41:00.

offence? In a sentence. Neither from the women or the business side.

:41:01.:41:05.

Thank you both very much indeed. We leave you with the work

:41:06.:41:08.

of Hadar Averbuch-Elor and Daniel Cohen-Or,

:41:09.:41:15.

of the University of Tel Aviv, who have developed software that

:41:16.:41:19.

automates and simplifies the process of bringing still photos

:41:20.:41:22.

to life with 3D animation. It's known that Facebook are

:41:23.:41:25.

also involved, so expect to see the effect bringing joy

:41:26.:41:33.

to your newsfeed - or possibly creeping you out -

:41:34.:41:34.

sooner rather than later.

:41:35.:41:38.

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