01/02/2018 Newsnight


01/02/2018

News stories with Kirsty Wark. Including the Finsbury Park attacker jailed, the Ofsted chief on her Islam comments, the Tory Brexit row and will boxing ring girls be next to go?


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Transcript


LineFromTo

EDL founder Tommy Robinson's

writings were found

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in Osborne's possession -

we'll ask him if he bears any

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responsibility for the killing.

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And we'll ask

if we are witnessing

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a resurgence of the far right

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Also tonight, religion in schools,

Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman's

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comments have sparked

an angry debate.

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She is playing divide and rule

politics with different faiths.

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We'll talk to Ms Spielman

and discuss whether extremism has

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spun out of control in some areas.

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Also tonight - darts, Formula One.

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Will the boxing ring

girls be the next to go?

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We'll debate whether

women should fight

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for their right to bare arms

and legs and the rest.

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Good evening.

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Darren Osborne was convicted of

murder and attempted murder today,

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after deliberately driving a van

at a group of Muslim men

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near Finsbury Park mosque

in London last June,

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killing father-of-six Makram Ali

and injuring nine others.

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The CPS prosecuted the case

as a terrorist offence

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because Osborne's actions

were in order to advance

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a political purpose.

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Commander Dean Haydon,

head of Scotland Yard's

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counter-terrorism operation,

said the internet had played

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a significant role in in fuelling

Osborne's "hate-filled agenda".

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The trial heard that far-right

material online played a key part

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in his radicalisation and,

in the lead-up to the June

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attack, Osborne had searched online

for English Defence League founder

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Tommy Robinson, and Britain First's

Jayda Fransen and Paul Golding.

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I'll be talking to Robinson

in a moment or two, but first

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here is John Sweeney.

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The final murder of the summer had

echoes of the other attacks. A

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killer radicalised online. A vehicle

marooned on pedestrians. And,

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driving it all, hate. This attack

was by a far right fanatic out to

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kill Muslims. -- vehicle knocked

down pedestrians. Darren Osborne

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appears to have found hate after

watching this, a BBC miniseries

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about systematic child abuse in

Rochdale. He went on-line searching

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for far right website and followed,

amongst others, Tommy Robinson,

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former leader of the English Defence

League. In this pub, the night

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before the attack, he wrote a note

condemning men hunt in packs preying

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on our children. The court heard

evidence he had become brainwashed.

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Darren Osborne, over four weeks in

the lead up to the attack, became,

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in my mind, radicalised. It started

with him watching a TV documentary

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drama in relation to six abuse in

Rochdale. That, we believe, was the

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catalyst for the start of his

radicalisation. -- sex abuse in

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Rochdale.

His plan was to kill the

Labour Party leader at a

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demonstration. The QC questioned,

were you hoping that you would have

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an opportunity to attack Jeremy

Corbyn and kill him?

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He could not get close to the

demonstration and drove around

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London until he found another

target. This is the moment of

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impact, when he drove into a crowd

near the Finsbury Park mosque.

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Darren Osborne has been convicted of

murder and attempted murder. Nine

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people were injured in the attack.

Seven months on it is worth noting

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one other commonality between the

fanatics of so-called Islamic State

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and the far right, in their goal of

turning Britain apart they have

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failed. -- caring Britain apart.

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As you heard there, police have

commented on the speed

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at which Osborne was radicalised.

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The court heard he had been seeking

out far-right material online

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in the weeks before he carried

out his attack.

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Among the material he read and saved

were tweets from the man

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known as Tommy Robinson -

the former leader of

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the English Defence League.

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I spoke to Robinson

earlier and I asked him

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if he accepted any responsibility

for the radicalisation

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of Darren Osborne.

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No, of course I don't. I'm insulted

you asking me that. What I cannot

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understand is the narrative in the

media this week, every headline has

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a picture of me. I did not know this

man, I don't know this man, I did

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not direct message him, which is a

lie that has been put out on social

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media.

Not the BBC.

Yes, on the BBC.

All of the media said I said Tim

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direct messages on Twitter. That is

a lie. -- sent him direct messages.

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I work for a media company in

Canada. The problem I have is that

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when we are talking about what has

radicalised this man, we had 512

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people injured and children blown to

pieces. 48 injured, nine murdered.

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49 injured and eight people

murdered. We had all of this in a

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five-week barrier. You'd think what

everybody is trying to do is to make

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it to the Mac that he was invited to

a silent march.

There is evidence he

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was looking you up a lot on the

Internet. -- make it down to the

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fact he was. You tweeted, where was

the day of rage after terrorist

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attacks, all I saw was lighted

candles. Emerson bombed our kids, we

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were told not to look back in anger.

-- a Muslim bombed.

Will you put a

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screen shot of that? You have taken

it out of context. After Grenfell

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Tower happened far left

organisations had a day of rage

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planned. They had leaflets for it.

You have that leaflet. But you have

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purposely left it out of it and you

are making it sound like I said

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that. I was showing the hypocrisy in

this country. Would you have done is

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misrepresent the truth of the tweet.

On purpose.

When a Muslim bombed our

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kids we were told not to look back

in anger, what was the purpose of

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that? That was on the dashboard of

Darren Osborne's van when he

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attacked.

He wrote the reasons why

he done this. Why aren't we talking

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about that? I'll tell you why.

He

obsessively look you up online. That

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is all I am saying.

He wrote

terrorists marched through our

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country today. There was a march.

You are the BBC News. You didn't

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report on that March.

Do you accept

there is a lot of hate speech about

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Chris you didn't report

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Do you take any responsibility for

that being hate speech?

Do you think

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it is?

I'm asking you.

You have

Muslims in this country calling for

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the death of homosexuals. That is

hate speech. Me saying don't look

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back in anger is not hate speech.

Why do you think that he obsessively

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looked for you online? It is the

case that you were presenting in a

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way that encouraged him to take

action against people.

Absolutely

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unbelievable you are saying that. 49

million people watched that video.

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The reason why people were searching

for me is because I give them the

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truth. Unlike you.

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truth. Unlike you.

Fact is, after he

attacked outside Finsbury Mosque. He

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wrote a letter. In that letter he

quoted your tweet.

No he didn't.

It

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was heard in court.

For your

viewers, read what he said. He

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quoted Sadiq Khan. He is a part and

parcel of living in a big city. He

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quoted Jeremy Corbyn.

He quoted you

in his letter.

No, he didn't.

We

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were told not to look back in anger.

He said don't look back in anger.

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The front page of the sun newspaper,

after the Manchester attack, was

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don't look back in anger. He quoted

a national newspaper.

Do you deny he

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quoted you in anyway?

He didn't

quote me. Why are you not looking at

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the reasons. Why are you not looking

at the fact we have three massive

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terrorist attacks.

That is not what

this is about.

This is the reason

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why he has done it.

It is about the

rise of far right mainstream.

This

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is unbelievable.

He was radicalised

in four weeks.

I'm embarrassed for

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the BBC. We have three terrorist

attacks in quick succession. Rather

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than talking about those and why he

reacted he told you why he reacted,

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you want to put it on the fact that

I report the truth.

Terrorist

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attacks are appalling.

You do not

think they are anything to do with

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the reason why he done this? You

think it is because I said don't

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look back in anger?

I'm asking,

there are contributing factors, he

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was radicalised online.

His wife

said...

The police said that he

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obsessively looked at your, looked

for you online and quoted your

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tweets. That's a fact.

His wife said

he was radicalised after that BBC

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documentary. Why don't you sit the

producer of that documentary down

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and ask if he feels responsible? You

don't.

Is what Darren Osborne did

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appalling and reprehensible?

Of

course, what sort of silly question

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is that? He has knocked down in the

street. It also would the BBC is BBC

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is doing is disgusting and

irresponsible as a media outlet.

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Thanks very much.

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Joining me now is Fiyaz Mughal,

who founded Measuring

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Anti-Muslim Attacks -

a group which monitors anti-muslim

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activity and supports

those affected by it.

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Good evening. Do you think there is

growing concern about aggression on

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the far right?

Absolutely. Over the

last five years my group has been

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clearly making the case that there

has been an enormous amount of

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anti-Muslim hatred and anti-Muslim

material being pumped out by groups

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and individuals, which has been on

the online space and easy to find.

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Much of this rhetoric, the issue of

calling Muslims generally

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paedophiles, people who prey on

women, this generalisation, creates

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mindsets which sadly we have seen

today to kill in our streets.

When

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these are put up online. And clearly

offensive. How quickly can you get

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them down?

We cannot get them down.

We've been having these discussions

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with social media outlets for six

years. There is a lazy approach by

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these agencies to remove materials.

They say free speech means counter

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speech will flood out the negative

messages. They give this grandiose

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view which is unrealistic.

There

is... If you want to call it on both

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sides of this divide, and it's a

horrible thing to say, but it isn't

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all one-way traffic.

It isn't. Tommy

Robinson is a result of anti-Muslim

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extremism. He promotes division in

this country. He has the gall to sit

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here and says he has nothing to do

with issues is a problem.

Where do

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you see it? On the online space,

posters, do you hear it on the

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streets? Where do you think it is

most pervasive?

In the online space.

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Less so on the streets. The EDL's

back has been broken. That was

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evident in 2012 when they fractured

and fragmented 2013. The online

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space is toxic. Social media

companies are not providing

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resources for counter speech. And

they are not listening. If they do

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not take off material that is

causing fractures in our community

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then there needs to be some redress

and measure to make them change

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their macro behaviour.

Given that

you say it has been six years since

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you have been trying to have some

degree of responsibility with online

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providers. -- change their

behaviour. What else can you do to

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alter the atmosphere?

To alter it we

need positive messaging. We need

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good role models. We need positive

images of Muslims playing a positive

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role in our country consistently. We

need fewer voices and less oxygen

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given to people like Robinson and

his ilk who pour out of these

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messages and take no responsibility

for the fractures and divisions they

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cause.

Those fractions and deep --

fractures and deep divisions, you

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get them from all sectors of

society. How do you count it from

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not just the far right, but the far

left, and different religious

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extremists?

Lots of work has been

done on the Islamist side. We tackle

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this issue daily. What we are saying

is that what people like Robinson

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and the fractures he creates.

Thanks

very much indeed.

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Theresa May met China's President Xi

today on the latest

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stage of her trip.

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Certain corners of the UK were

celebrating after the Prime Minister

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used the trip to secure the Scotch

whisky trademark for another decade.

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But away from trade,

it's been a week of politics

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dominated by Brexit.

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Today, battle lines were drawn

between London and Brussels

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when Mrs May announced she would be

tough on migrants entering Britain

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during the transition period.

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But, tonight, the battle was closer

to home, as a row exploded

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with her government.

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Our political editor

Nick Watt is here.

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Yet another round.

Interestingly a

story in the EFTA saying Theresa

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May's advisers are looking into

whether the UK could work up a

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customs deal with the European Union

that would cover goods -- financial

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Times. Downing Street saying this is

not going on. I spoke to a Brexit

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Minister, Brexit leading minister

who said if you do that it is not a

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coherent trade policy because you

could not sign your own trade deals

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and this plays into the row about

the customs union and the fear among

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Brexiteers that civil servants are

skewing evidence and reports to walk

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ministers towards one conclusion

which is we have to stay in the

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customs union. Brexit Minister Steve

Baker appeared in the Commons to

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give some support to that view and

around the time he was speaking, Sir

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Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet

Secretary, popped up on Twitter and

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looks like he was responding to

something Steve Baker said when he

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said civil servants are always

wrong. He said...

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Steve Baker apologised this evening

for his comments in the House of

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Commons today and indicated he had

sort of misquoted Charles Grant, the

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director of the Centre For European

Reform who he said had given the

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impression civil servants were

skewing things in the direction of

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the customs union.

This is what we

think is going on but what else is

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happening behind the scenes?

There

is real concern among Brexit

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backbenchers and leaning ministers

that that leaked a BuzzFeed that

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says UK civil servants as every

option in Brexit makes us poor, they

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have two fears, one Eurosceptic Tory

said the civil service out of

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control and doing their own thing or

has Theresa May given the authority

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to do this and not telling anyone,

and this is what the Eurosceptic

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Tory said, if this is what the Prime

Minister is doing, this is how you

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kick off a civil war in one easy

step.

Thanks.

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Today, Ofsted's Chief Inspector

threw her full weight behind

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the head teacher of a predominantly

Muslim state primary school

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in London who banned the hijab

for girls under the age of eight -

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a move that resulted

in the resignation of the chair

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of governors who had originally

supported the ban.

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Today in a speech at a Church

of England conference,

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Amanda Spielman said that schools

had to pursue "muscular liberalism,"

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and that inspectors

are increasingly brought

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into contact with those

who want to actively pervert

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the purpose of education.

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Strong words - but strong words too

from the Muslim Council

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of Great Britain who called the ban

"appalling" and discriminatory.

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Here's our political

editor Nick Watt.

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It is one of the great European

debates. Just where should religion

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and fit in our public spaces? The

secular state of France has a simple

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view. No religious symbols in any

area associated with the state.

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Across the channel and on the other

side of the spectrum Britain has

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traditionally allowed religion a

place at the heart of its public

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sphere, generally on its terms.

Close to one of England's grandest

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cathedral is the Chief Inspector of

Schools declared neither view is

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right today. Amanda Spielman hailed

the role of faith schools at a

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tolerant society but told her

audience in London that those values

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of respect and tolerance cannot be

used to place all belief beyond

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criticism.

Ofsted inspectors are

increasingly brought into contact

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with those who want to actively

perverts the purpose of education

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under the pretext of religious

belief they use education

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institutions to narrow young

people'shorizons, and in the worst

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cases to indoctrinate impressionable

minds with extremist ideology.

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She added... The chief Inspector's

mornings were mainly aimed at

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Islamic extremists although she has

concerns about intolerance in other

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faiths. In her mind she believes it

is important to tackle extremist

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ideology as well as extremist

violence. She has some sympathy for

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Michael Gove's phrase about the

importance of draining the swamp and

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not just beating back the crocodiles

that come close to the boat. The

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former Education Secretary was

speaking in 2014 at the height of a

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dispute with the Home Office in the

wake of the so-called Trojan horse

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row about extremism in Birmingham

schools. Today Amanda Spielman

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praised a London headteacher who try

to stop young girls from wearing the

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hijab and she spoke of reticence

among some church schools to

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challenge fundamentalist practices,

as she cited a Tower Hamlets school

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that lost its outstanding rating in

2014 after failing to respond

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adequately to warnings about

extremism.

It means by making sure

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being anxious to do the right thing

we do not do the wrong thing. We

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have to make sure we have tolerance

and respect for all faiths in

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schools but we can accidentally go

so far we find ourselves bringing

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community tensions into schools.

She

is recklessly playing divide and

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rule politics with different faiths.

There are big questions. Also, it is

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not just the divide and rule but the

singling out and demonisation of

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Muslim communities that most of

third sector organisations are

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uncomfortable with.

Younger children

of all faiths and none will be

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skipping, walking or dragging their

feet to school in the morning.

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Little do they know they lie at the

heart of a passionate debate about

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the values of their country.

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Amanda Speilman is with me now.

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Can I quote something from your

speech today, you said Ofsted

0:21:280:21:34

inspectors of increasingly brought

into contact with those who actively

0:21:340:21:39

perverts the purpose of education.

What do you mean? There are schools

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in the state sector and independent

schools, where we find

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unsatisfactory things being taught.

I have talked before about the kinds

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of books, not just in libraries but

being taught from, encouraging

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husbands to beat their wives. Those

things are simply not compatible.

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They are presumably a minority of

schools? Quite a small minority but

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we are also coming across evidence

there are tensions in communities,

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often between different parts of the

same

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same faith, for example, tensions

between those Muslims who like very

0:22:230:22:29

young girls to wear their hijab and

those who do not and we see the

0:22:290:22:33

tensions imported into schools so

part of our responsibility is to

0:22:330:22:37

make sure all children have the

right educational experience.

You

0:22:370:22:42

make it clear we are not just

talking about the Muslim faith but

0:22:420:22:47

unfortunately, are there more issues

there than for example in Anglican

0:22:470:22:52

schools, civic schools?

It is very

hard, I do not have numbers but we

0:22:520:23:01

see it in schools of all faiths.

There are fantastic schools of every

0:23:010:23:06

faith and no face and there are

schools that cause concern in every

0:23:060:23:10

quarter.

We can turn to the primary

school in new in east London. You

0:23:100:23:16

talk about what is happening and the

response to the hijab ban as a

0:23:160:23:23

matter of regret and what you said

in your speech today was this school

0:23:230:23:29

introduced a ban on young girls

under eight wearing the hijab and

0:23:290:23:34

you strongly supported the

headteacher in her freedom to do

0:23:340:23:37

that.

This is the kind of thing I

was warning about last year, which

0:23:370:23:44

got attention at the time. It was

represented as being Islamophobic

0:23:440:23:50

but it is not. This is concern about

bringing adult pressures and

0:23:500:23:55

disagreements to bear on young

children in primary schools.

I'm

0:23:550:23:59

interested because this new primary

School is outstanding academically

0:23:590:24:04

and presuming it had an outstanding

report before you brought inspectors

0:24:040:24:10

in yesterday and has achieved a lot.

If that is the case, why do you

0:24:100:24:15

think you have to step in and say

what this teacher is doing is

0:24:150:24:19

correct if the school is thriving?

We look not just at educational

0:24:190:24:24

outcome, we have to look at the

personal development and welfare of

0:24:240:24:27

children and if we see things that

suggest any kind of bullying, that

0:24:270:24:33

is what inspectors look at. They

talk to children and get a sense of

0:24:330:24:39

whether the culture, pressures in

the school are as they should be.

I

0:24:390:24:42

suppose you could say that if you

have said in a major speech you back

0:24:420:24:48

the teacher because wearing the

hijab for

0:24:480:24:55

hijab for under eightis wrong for

the school, is this something you

0:24:550:24:59

think you could say wearing the

hijab after puberty is right. I

0:24:590:25:05

think I support the idea that no

child under eight should wear the

0:25:050:25:09

hijab, or is it simply this school?

The point is that the headteacher

0:25:090:25:15

made a decision. On what basis? On

the basis it is the responsibility

0:25:150:25:21

of the head to set uniform policy.

What was her reason for not allowing

0:25:210:25:26

kids under eight to wear the hijab?

That is before puberty and there is

0:25:260:25:34

no religious requirement, it is a

cultural preference.

So that school

0:25:340:25:41

is one thing, and another another

thing. Taking a position on this,

0:25:410:25:48

are you stepping into an area where

actually you would rather was

0:25:480:25:53

devolved to headteachers in the

first place?

This is our concern.

0:25:530:25:57

When we see a school is being

bullied. The school took the

0:25:570:26:02

decision some months ago. The policy

has been running for a while but

0:26:020:26:07

when it attracted media attention

great pressure was brought to bear,

0:26:070:26:12

not in the immediate community.

You

put inspectors in yesterday. I

0:26:120:26:16

wonder if the outcome could be

anti-theft local to a lot of Muslims

0:26:160:26:20

who would say we would rather we

have this policy. You could conflate

0:26:200:26:29

what could be seen as conservatism

with extremism.

On the contrary.

0:26:290:26:34

There are different issues. It is so

important that schools... Schools

0:26:340:26:46

have a responsibility to promote

cohesion in a diverse world. They

0:26:460:26:49

can never give every parent exactly

what they want but they have to take

0:26:490:26:53

sensible decisions for the benefit

of all children. I am concerned when

0:26:530:26:57

I see the schools losing authority

to take the right decisions.

We have

0:26:570:27:02

a new Education Secretary. I wonder

if you would like to see that

0:27:020:27:08

Education Secretary press ahead with

a revived grammar School programme

0:27:080:27:11

given it was in the Conservative

manifesto.

That is something that

0:27:110:27:15

was in the manifesto. It is not

something I have taken a position

0:27:150:27:19

on. My job is to inspect schools.

Do

you think the addition of grammar

0:27:190:27:25

schools would be valuable?

That is

not something I have expressed an

0:27:250:27:29

opinion on before and I'm not going

to now.

We can discuss this further.

0:27:290:27:34

I'm joined here in the studio

by Gita Sahgal, founder

0:27:340:27:42

of the center for Secular Space

and Sajid Gulzar -

0:27:420:27:44

chief executive and executive head

of Prince Albert Community Trust,

0:27:440:27:47

which currently runs three

schools in Birmingham.

0:27:470:27:49

Good evening. What message do you

think Amanda Spielman is giving by

0:27:490:28:02

backing new?

I think any school

needs to be free to set its own

0:28:020:28:06

uniform policy. There is no

requirement for Muslim girls of the

0:28:060:28:13

age of eight and below to wear the

hijab, but equally, I am not sure

0:28:130:28:19

how the banning of the hijab fits in

with the British value of mutual

0:28:190:28:23

respect and tolerance for all

faiths.

In your school, would girls

0:28:230:28:29

of any age be allowed to wear the

hijab, would anyone who wants to

0:28:290:28:35

wear something of a religious nature

a cross or what ever, be allowed to

0:28:350:28:41

wear ripped?

Within reason. We have

many Muslim girls who wear the hijab

0:28:410:28:45

and many who do not. In my almost 20

years in education I have not come

0:28:450:28:54

across any community tensions

between those who do or do not. We

0:28:540:28:57

have families where you might have

sisters who send their children to

0:28:570:29:02

the school, one wearing the hijab,

one not. It has never been a

0:29:020:29:07

problem.

Do you think mutual tolerance,

0:29:070:29:15

allowing people to wear what they

wish and when, is a good thing for

0:29:150:29:20

British society?

I think we are

confusing the issue of growing

0:29:200:29:27

fundamentalism with tolerance.

Amanda Spielman, when she gave the

0:29:270:29:31

speech in front of the Church of

England audience in considered

0:29:310:29:35

words, did suggest faith schools are

not talking to each other

0:29:350:29:40

necessarily, the church is not

sufficiently challenging

0:29:400:29:45

fundamentalists in their midst and

that the church is hindering the

0:29:450:29:49

registration of the inspection of

unregistered schools. So this

0:29:490:29:53

problem is wider than that of

Muslims. When we look at the issue

0:29:530:29:58

of tolerance, we cannot narrow it to

the issue of the hijab. I think the

0:29:580:30:03

promotion of the hijab, and this has

not just happened because of

0:30:030:30:08

individual choices, there has been a

policy led by the Muslim Council of

0:30:080:30:12

Britain to promote the hijab in

mainstream schools. Many schools

0:30:120:30:17

have adopted it as a policy when it

has been completely unrecognised in

0:30:170:30:22

traditional Muslim culture.

0:30:220:30:28

traditional Muslim culture.

Are you

talking about freedom to choose?

0:30:280:30:30

There is a freedom to choose, and

often within families girls dress

0:30:300:30:37

differently.

There may be a

difference in families. What we are

0:30:370:30:41

seeing in the promotion of very

young children, not only wearing the

0:30:410:30:46

hijab, but the promotion of fasting.

St school under fire, the school in

0:30:460:30:52

Newham, they had not banned fasting.

Children were fainting in school,

0:30:520:31:01

sometimes staff were, that is a

health and safety issue.

We don't

0:31:010:31:06

have any proof for that. -- the

school under fire, the school in

0:31:060:31:12

Newham.

I don't think he was lying

when he made that claim.

Are there

0:31:120:31:19

certain things within your school

that you say are not acceptable?

0:31:190:31:23

Would fasting be acceptable? Are

there other things that you say,

0:31:230:31:28

this is the curriculum, this is the

way I run my school, this is what I

0:31:280:31:32

do?

The point is one of dialogue and

working with the community you

0:31:320:31:37

serve, regardless of what faith

background, or cultural persuasion

0:31:370:31:44

that community is. We take a stance

on fasting. We strongly discourage

0:31:440:31:49

children to fast, particularly if it

is very long, which it has been in

0:31:490:31:54

recent years. We have asked the

imams to come in and discuss it with

0:31:540:32:03

the parents. When there is

discussion it is OK. The discussion

0:32:030:32:08

of the hijab, that is certainly

outside my experience of being a

0:32:080:32:12

head teacher responsible for several

schools in Birmingham. It is not

0:32:120:32:16

something I have come across in

Birmingham. I do not know of any

0:32:160:32:20

promotion of the hijab in that

respect at all.

The

0:32:200:32:33

respect at all.

The trust, the one

that was responsible for the mixed

0:32:330:32:37

sex school, it was a body that

actually wrote regulations for it.

0:32:370:32:51

It is only fair to put it to you.

What you say about that?

That's

0:32:510:33:00

right. I didn't catch your name. You

absolutely use your role as they

0:33:000:33:06

head to decide what is and isn't

acceptable. And to set boundaries.

0:33:060:33:10

You discourage fasting. That's your

responsibility as they head to make

0:33:100:33:18

those decisions.

Are the decisions

of head teachers being eroded?

That

0:33:180:33:23

is what we saw at Saint Stephens. A

policy which had been put in place

0:33:230:33:28

for some months. Not liked by all

parents but accepted. Outside groups

0:33:280:33:33

came in and put pressure on the

school to reverse the policy. They

0:33:330:33:36

were not part of the school

community.

Will you be on their

0:33:360:33:43

macro case? Are you going to follow

this through to get a good

0:33:430:33:48

atmosphere in the school? -- will

you be on their case?

All we can do

0:33:480:33:52

is report on what we find. That is

why we visited the school, so that

0:33:520:33:58

we can report.

Thanks very much

indeed.

0:33:580:34:00

Should young women be employed

in the service of a sport

0:34:000:34:03

to promote and enhance

the atmosphere around

0:34:030:34:05

certain sportsmen?

0:34:050:34:06

Until recently the answer was yes -

for Formula One and darts amongst

0:34:060:34:09

others.

0:34:090:34:12

But the mood has changed in light

of the me too campaign

0:34:120:34:15

and the Presidents Club.

0:34:150:34:16

Such is the furore around

yesterday's announcement that F1's

0:34:160:34:20

"grid girls" will go,

and this debate has gained currency

0:34:200:34:23

in a whole host of sports

and encompasses everything

0:34:230:34:25

from banner waving to

counting out the rounds

0:34:250:34:27

in boxing, to cheerleading.

0:34:270:34:29

So what next?

0:34:290:34:30

I'm joined in the studio

by former Formula 1

0:34:300:34:32

journalist Beverley Turner.

0:34:320:34:33

And in Glasgow by Victoria Obahor,

who works in the boxing

0:34:330:34:36

world as a "ring girl"

and is worried her job might

0:34:360:34:39

be under threat.

0:34:390:34:43

Good evening. Victoria, do you think

boxing is about to ban ring girls?

I

0:34:430:34:52

hope not. The opinions of people

saying it should be banned is

0:34:520:34:59

diabolical. It is absurd.

What do

you do as a ring girl?

I scored the

0:34:590:35:08

boxes into the ring. I tell the

audience what the next round is...

0:35:080:35:14

It is fun, it is part of the show,

exciting, glamorous. -- I escort the

0:35:140:35:21

boxs into the ring.

Do you think it

is part of the entertainment?

Yes.

0:35:210:35:27

This is somebody earning a living,

doing what she wants to do. Why do

0:35:270:35:33

you have such a problem with that?

It is not that I necessarily have a

0:35:330:35:38

problem with it. We must remember

that the girls in Formula 1 have not

0:35:380:35:42

been banned. The Formula 1

organisation has decided that that

0:35:420:35:46

image of women as the

0:35:460:35:55

image of women as the totty no

longer represents the brand. And

0:35:550:35:56

quite right. Long gone are the days

of the women being the icing. It

0:35:560:36:03

sends a powerful message to the next

generation.

But these are women who

0:36:030:36:07

are earning a living, doing what

they enjoy coming you might say the

0:36:070:36:11

same of any other entertainer.

It is

an entertainment business. And in

0:36:110:36:16

entertainment no job is secure. This

isn't about feminism, taking these

0:36:160:36:19

women's jobs away from them.

It is!

To some extent but it is about the

0:36:190:36:26

owners of Formula 1 who are

conspicuous by their macro -- by

0:36:260:36:34

their absence in this debate.

Bernie

Ecclestone said it was a ridiculous

0:36:340:36:38

thing. That might be a generational

thing. The conversation started with

0:36:380:36:44

Formula 1. What do you think of the

idea that there will be no more

0:36:440:36:48

great girls?

I think it is a shame.

-- no more grid girls. I think it is

0:36:480:36:58

political correctness gone mad.

Have

you ever had inappropriate behaviour

0:36:580:37:02

towards you or any of the other

women who work with you?

None

0:37:020:37:06

whatsoever. It is fun. Everybody is

there for a good show that the

0:37:060:37:13

boxers put on and ourselves walking

in the ring. We are not doing any

0:37:130:37:17

harm to anybody. People have their

opinions, but it's me, it's my

0:37:170:37:21

income, and I love doing it and I

want to keep doing it.

Do you get

0:37:210:37:30

power from doing it?

Feminists say

that it is degrading. It isn't. I

0:37:300:37:35

have worked hard for the way I look,

my body, and if I want to express

0:37:350:37:41

myself in that way then fair enough.

She's right, isn't she?

I don't

0:37:410:37:46

think so. I'm not saying that she

couldn't do any other job. I'm quite

0:37:460:37:52

surprised by the outpouring of

sympathy from a lot of middle-aged

0:37:520:37:55

men who have clearly been worried

about the long-term career prospects

0:37:550:37:59

of these girls. Strangely they are

not interested in the long term

0:37:590:38:04

career prospects of female drivers,

of which there are none.

But there

0:38:040:38:13

are female boxers. You are saying

women shouldn't be there for the

0:38:130:38:18

entertainment purposes of

essentially a male sport. NFL is

0:38:180:38:22

about to kick off. All of the

adverts have the cheerleaders.

0:38:220:38:27

Cheerleaders are completely

different.

Why?

Beer athletic,

0:38:270:38:32

gymnasts. You and I couldn't do what

they do. You and I could hold a

0:38:320:38:40

number up in a boxing ring. -- they

are athletic.

What you think about

0:38:400:38:45

that?

That's ridiculous. We are all

doing a job. Whether we are athletic

0:38:450:38:52

or not. I'm doing a job as well as

them. I do not get your views on

0:38:520:38:57

that at all.

Do you think male

attitudes are changing? Men are now

0:38:570:39:05

saying for themselves, actually,

this is not to do with the sport any

0:39:050:39:09

more, maybe they have daughters,

sisters...

It is totally that. We

0:39:090:39:17

have so many images of women in the

palms of our hand. You no longer

0:39:170:39:21

have to go to a Formula 1 race to

get a glimpse of a woman on the

0:39:210:39:25

tarmac. Those days are gone.

I'm

asking... Women are patronising

0:39:250:39:34

other women about the decisions and

choices they make.

It's not about

0:39:340:39:38

patronising other women. I want my

daughters and my son to grow up with

0:39:380:39:42

a very good view of what it is to be

a woman. I don't want them to grow

0:39:420:39:46

up thinking we only judge women by

what they look like. In Formula 1

0:39:460:39:50

and boxing, the women...

What do you

think?

That's my prerogative. You

0:39:500:39:57

don't want your children, for

instance your daughter, to do that

0:39:570:40:00

then that is up to you. But my

mother is proud of me when I go up

0:40:000:40:05

there.

Thank you both very much. On

the front pages, Theresa May and the

0:40:050:40:13

Chinese president.

0:40:130:40:19

Cut pay-outs for blunders or the NHS

will go bust on the front of the

0:40:190:40:25

Daily Telegraph. And ministers

watering down EU migrant plan in the

0:40:250:40:29

Telegraph. In the Guardian, Labour

plan to force cheap sale of land to

0:40:290:40:33

the state. And a review of far right

attack after the verdict. That is

0:40:330:40:43

all. Goodbye.

0:40:430:40:48

The Finsbury Park attacker is jailed, plus the Ofsted chief on her Islam comments, the Tory Brexit row and will boxing ring girls be the next to go?