26/06/2014 Question Time


David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Wolverhampton, panellists include Anna Soubry MP, Lord Prescott, Paul Nuttall MEP, Maajid Nawaz and Neil Wallis.

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Tonight, we are in Wolverhampton, and welcome to Question Time. And


good evening, everyone, whether at home or in our audience, waiting to


put questions to the panel who do not know what they will be until


they hear them. Conservative Defence Minister Anna Soubry, Labour's


former Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, deputy leader of UKIP,


Paul Nuttall, former Islamist extremist who recanted and is now a


Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate, Maajid Nawaz, and the


ex-Executive Editor of the News of the World, and friend and


ex-colleague of Andy Coulson, Neil Wallis.


We had many interest -- interesting questions. Let's start. Does hiring


Andy Coulson show that David Cameron has bad judgement? John Prescott.


Since I wrote to him on the first day he was about to appoint Andy


Coulson, when he was leader Opposition, warning him he would be


in real danger if he appointed this man, because I had been involved


years before with this phone hacking and I knew he was actively involved


in it. He had not been convicted, and now we know he has. And he still


took command. I think there were many others, even his deputy leader,


who told him not to do it. So that was a matter of bad judgement, and


he made a mistake and he is now paying for it. Neil Wallis, I said


you were a friend of Andy Coulson, and a colleague of his. Did David


Cameron show bad judgement by hiring him? On what he knew at the time,


no. There was an interesting piece in The Times today which pointed out


that Andy Coulson was actually very good at his job. Can you make an


argument that if they had looked at the wider picture and with


hindsight, maybe. What I thought was that Cameron, and I agree with Judge


Saunders, I thought he and the various political leaders yesterday


made an appalling error of judgement when they issued statements


condemning him while there was a trial still going on, before the


other verdicts had been heard. That is a different matter. Because, as


John Prescott said, and I would like you to address it, there were a


number of people who went to the Prime Minister and said, you must


not have him in Number Ten. Yes. But to finish off my point, you are


entitled to a fair trial, whether you are employed by a Prime Minister


or a plumber. That is the point of complaint. But yes, there were


people who advised against it. Then again, there are people who will


always advise you. If you remember, the Labour Party hired Damian


McBride, for instance. There is no suggestion that he, who I know and


is an interesting person, had done anything criminal at all. But these


can be close calls, and with hindsight I can understand why John


Prescott wants to fill his boots. Two of the journalists went to jail


in 2006 working for the same paper. It was not just a rumour. I knew and


they refused to believe it. There was evidence. You did not know Andy


Coulson was responsible. That is the point. When we had the enquiry and


there was a lot of evidence taken by the enquiry on oath, and that


concluded that the Prime Minister did not do anything wrong when he


hired Andy Coulson, based on the evidence put before him. Forgive me,


John, I don't know whether you gave evidence put before him. Forgive me,


evidence to the committee, for example, the select committee. In


2010, the DC MS committee, came to the conclusion that Andy Coulson was


not responsible and was not involved in phone hacking. There was a police


investigation. They -- he told them that they believed him. Let me just


say that the enquiry also found that on four occasions, the primers to,


before he hired him, challenged him and said, were you involved in it?


Four times he said no, as he did to others. Now the Prime Minister has


apologised for that. others. Now the Prime Minister has


right thing in apologising but did not do


right thing in apologising but did on, based on the evidence before


him. Cameron was warned. Why did he appoint him if he was warned? Was it


just to cosy up to Murdoch? The Murdoch issue is


just to cosy up to Murdoch? The this. It is right that there were


allegations but there were a number of investigations that absolutely


found that Andy Coulson was of investigations that absolutely


involved in phone hacking. The Prime Minister did the right thing. Lord


Leveson said, I can't give judgements on this until the court


case is underway. On whether the Prime Minister was right, he was


clear the Prime Minister Erdogan nothing wrong. Clearly, it was an


error of judgement. Andy Coulson resigned in 2006 under a cloud and


he was hired in 2007. He had been warned by journalists, and as Lord


Prescott has told us, by politicians. Allegedly he was warned


by Buckingham Palace not to take him on. He listened to nobody and he


went ahead and did it. He either took him on because he thought he


was a man of the people... The Tories were perceived as toffs and


he have the common touch. Or else he took him on because he was trying to


cosy up to News International in the run-up to the 2010 general election.




He is making a serious allegation, so let him make it. That is a very


serious allegation. There is an insidious relationship between the


press and politicians in this country, and it needs to go away


now. Why didn't he do security clearance? When I came on a cabinet,


everybody goes there. They are given security clearance before you get


into that job. He did not give them security coverage at the highest


level. It is no good saying it is not true while John is speaking. Let


him make his point. As long as I have my chance. It is my job to make


sure you do. Yes, he was warned. Nick Clegg warned him before the


appointment in 2010. Yes, he was warned. But even Prime Minister


David Cameron has said something which I genuinely believe. John, I


know you have been a victim of this. And you have suffered as a result of


it. But it is actually really about people like the McCanns, who lost


their daughter. The Prime Minister said that the test here is the


victim test. If the Dowler family are not happy with what is going


on... Gemma lost her 13-year-old sister in this. If they are not


happy with what is going on, something is going wrong. Those are


the real victims. The Prime Minister said that as the victim test, we


have to look at how they respond to this. They are not happy with the


situation, and they are not happy with the outcome. It is not about


me, you and your friends. Although John has suffered, it is really


about those who have lost family members. And they are still pushing


for justice. A couple of weeks ago, the party leaders had photos taken


holding copies of the Sun. Doesn't that prove they would all have done


the same as Cameron did? You say that by holding copies of the sun


for publicity, your party leader doing exactly the same thing as


Cameron, cosying up to Murdoch. It is wrong and I wouldn't have done


it. Tony Blair did the same, didn't he? I think that was wrong. The


incestuous relationship between press and politicians is a serious


matter. And with Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, there was this feeling


that you had to cosy up to the Murdoch press and they will win the


election for you. I used to argue strongly against that, because


Rebekah Brooks particularly played them both off. I thought that was


wrong. They played it not only to Labour by other parties as well.


That needs to change. That is why Lord Leveson's rules need to come


in, so we don't repeat it again. I have a vague memory that Nigel


Farage had dinner with Rupert Murdoch recently, didn't he? Didn't


he tell you? I believe he did. The good thing with all this, I suppose,


is that newspaper sales are going down radically in this country. In


the next century, by 2014 there will be no newspapers because people are


getting information from the internet. -- 2014. I think the days


of the big press barons are behind us and that is a good thing. Lets


get the chronology of this slightly right, OK. The original arrests in


phone hacking were in 2006. There was a Labour government in power. He


was the Deputy Prime Minister. There were jail sentences in 2007. He was


the Deputy Prime Minister. Labour were in power for the next three


years, during which time there were various Home Secretaries, all of


whom had access to this file, all of whom talked to the Metropolitan


Police about this. And let's not forget, remember a bloke Tony Blair?


He became, in 2010, the Godfather to Rupert Murdoch's children. What


happened here was Labour ignored it. The Labour government he was the


Deputy Prime Minister of, because it suited them. Rubbish. Let me give


you the evidence. Why didn't the various Labour Home Secretaries


demand further enquiries? Because they chose not to. Do you know why?


For the simple reason that they wanted to cosy up to Rupert Murdoch.


You can justifiably ask, why did politicians do this? Why is it that


in my time as a senior executive there, and incidentally I was an


editor of a Mirror Group paper that was supporting Labour, why do


politicians always, always are prepared to crawl over broken glass


to politicians. The relationship with Murdoch, I've been against for


years, never went to his parties, you know, I thought it was wrong.


When those people were prosecuted, they were working with you and


Coulson, you became the Deputy Leader later in the middle of all


this right, but one of the real problems was, I was trying to


convince people my phone had been hacked. The police said it's wrong,


the Crown Prosecution Service said it was wrong, your papers said it


was wrong, I was just shouting as a left-winger. It's now been proved it


was right. So what we said, and I managed to get it, I said we've got


to get a Leveson Inquiry, it mustn't happen again. Let's let the court


look after the criminal acts and your papers were really involved in


massive actual hacking of people to thousands of people. But you all


denied it I was one of them. You all attacked me. I got hacked too. I'm


just telling you. Yes. Is In 200, Mr Prescott, you


said you already knew. Pardon? In 2006, you said you already knew, so


why did you do nothing about it? I had to prove it. It's a fair point.


If I'd have had the evidence, what's interesting, I watched the Panorama


programme the other night, they said they told a member of the Cabinet.


Nobody can find out who that was. They never told me. I'd have been


writing to the courts when I found out. But I was denied by the police,


denied by the prosecutors. It was only later when they came and told


me that my phone had been hacked 44 times that. Was when they were


exposed. It's remarkable that you were the Deputy Prime Minister...


APPLAUSE And one of the most powerful


politicians in Government and you couldn't go to your Prime Minister?


politicians in Government and you But I had to... Of course I did tell


my Prime Minister but they would say what is the proof, right, that's the


first point. They told me there was no proof. It


was only when the courts yesterday said you and your lot were involved


in the papers, Murdoch, tapping thousands of people. You all said


it's a rogue reporter, then it came out, it's thousands of you at it,


you lied all the time. You are asking me why I couldn't get it. I


had them against me. Maajid? The truth lies somewhere in


the middle probably. You can't be Deputy Prime Minister of the country


and not know it. There is an incestious relationship going on


here about Murdoch and it should be about what the structure should be,


is it the Royal Charter? We are too busy fighting over whether who knew


Murdoch who was his best friend and godfather, I mean why is it all


about Murdoch? There aren't plenty of journalists not involved in that.


There were local journalists doing good jobs. Let's not just make it


about Murdoch. Let's discuss the solutions about how to regulate


this. Fewer and fewer local journalists. The man in the pink


shirt? Going back to Leveson, I think David Cameron's using Leveson


in the same way as Tony Blair used the Hutton Report as a shield. No,


because the Leveson Inquiry was judge-led. People gave their


evidence on oath. He took evidence across the board, it took eight


months and he made his findings. With the benefit of the hindsight


which we now have, given the evidence at the time in front of the


Prime Minister, Leveson and others found that actually, he made a


decision that give than evidence was not a wrong decision. Leveson dealt


with all the points that arise out of the employment of Coulson. He had


all the evidence on it and listened to all of it under oath or that he


listened to some of it and exonerated the Prime Minister on


some of it but some he didn't address? He certainly looked at the


events leading up to the employment of Andy Coulson in 2007. There were


subsequent inquiries by the Metropolitan Police which John can


be cross about quite rightly but he was cleared in all the police


inquiries. There were others from the Select Committee and they said


they believed him when he said he was not involved in phone hacking.


The woman on the gangway, then you in a second. I think David Cameron


said himself "I gave a friend a job," so no matter what people were


to tell him, you, John, no matter what bad things people were telling


him about Andy Coulson, he said he was his friend. I don't think he was


a friend. He used those words. That's what he said in his speech.


He said he gave him a second chance because he was sacked or resigned


from the News of the World, but honestly, I don't believe that they


were friends. The woman in spectacles in the fourth row. Seems


to me that everyone's going back to the leave son inquiry but David


Cameron rushed that through because he knew for a fact once the court


case came to light and Andy Coulson was isn't down he'd have that to


protect himself. The inquiry shouldn't have been held until the


court had been heard, the court case had been herd. If the Leveson


Inquiry was held now, it would be a completely different reaction veled


have against David Cameron. Everyone agreed that it was the right thing


to do, the Leveson Inquiry. The man at the back? You, Sir? The


organisations and newspapers, including TV journalists, they are


all guilty of the same offence. What is the offence? Phone hacking.


This is my point that I didn't think it's just about Murdoch or the


Corporation, this was a widespread problem, we picked on one company


and one symbolic representation of the media generally. That's why it's


high time we start focussing on the solutions to make sure that what


Gemma Dowing is saying, the campaign to make sure that just it is is


delivered -- justice is delivered. The Royal Charter that was proposed


that was a voluntary code for journalists to subscribe to, they


haven't subscribed to. So there are two models competing, the


journalists one and the other one. The Parliament's ratified and they


have to start working together to find a solution for the sake of the


McCanns and the Dowler family to find justice for people who've lost


their families and suffered and have these horrors.


Look, did you, when you were the Deputy Editor, to Coulson, did you


know that this was going on? Did you have any indication or do you sit


there as a Deputy sometimes substituting and not knowing all the


stories in the paper were coming from hacking? Well, I guess that I


was a bit like the Deputy Prime Minister who didn't know anything.


Are you saying you didn't know? Are you saying you didn't know?


APPLAUSE I have always said that I thought


that phone hacking was disgusting and was wrong. But did you know? No,


I didn't. So they were just plooeddy incompetent, he was saying? I don't


know who you are to call anybody bloody incompetent. Certainly were


and you must have known. When you get a story, you look at it and say,


what is the source? It didn't work like that. But not when I was a


journalist. It wasn't like that. We have had an eight month trial,


that's been going on now for three years. There was Leveson and there


was a continued wrangle about it. The latest estimate is that there's


been in the region of ?40 million. 400 detectives have been tied up on


this for years. I have to wonder at a time when there's only 30 Defence


Secretaryives investigating operation Yewtree into child sexual


abuse, they have only spent ?3 million on child sexual abuse,


whether we have proportion Ality or whether this is a time to think, you


know what, if you took 20% of that ?40 million and put it into child


sexual abuse, whether that might have been a better use of the money.


Absolutely right. More investigated in child sexual




You lot will now think twice warm front you -- before you ever think


about that. Child sex was involved in the story. We are talking about


Madeleine McCann's family, Milly Dowler's family as well. Child sex


was involved in the story. Nobody Sa above the law. Nobody is above the


law. Absolutely. Remember, some people


pleaded guilty in all of this. We forget that. It's not just the


conviction of Coulson. There are four other people who pleaded guilty


because precisely this investigation was extant from the police. During


the last three years, listening to the panel, Murs Murdoch's doubled


his wealth. It's cost the country ?120 million. Who is going to send


him the bill? He will get it. He will get it. It's


said that they are now considering a corporate liability right and that's


why he's being interviewed by the police. Can't go into details but I


can tell you the consequences if anyone's found guilty, they carry


the full costs, so hang on, he might have to pay for it!


Let's move on. We have had 20 minutes or so on this. At home,


you've got comments you want to make, text


you've got comments you want to make, us Use Twitter: And if you


want to see what other people are saying, press the red button. Keep


the Tweets coming, we like to trend every Thursday night.


And we usually do. Question from Graham Sedgely, please? How fearful


should we be of British combatants returning from Syria?


Anna Soubry, you start on this one? Of course we should be fearful.


These are young males utterly committed to a cause which I think


most of us overwhelmingly would say was the wrong cause. They would have


gone off, engaged in fighting and will no doubt come back in favour of


their cause, I would hope they wouldn't so yes we are fearful and


should be fearful. This should be said. The overwhelming majority of


young Muslim men, just like all Muslims, are ordinary, good, decent,


law-abiding people. This is a small minority. It's still significant


because they are so dangerous, but we think that there are somewhere


between 400 to 500 out in Syria or Iraq who're Jihadists. There are


Sarah Krauss measures which the Government is already taking to make


sure we reduce the numbers -- various measures. The majority are


law abiding people. various measures. The majority are


can't be brainwashed. Some have been. When we all work together on


this in various agencies and as a society, we hope we'll minimise


those when they return. Do you society, we hope we'll minimise


distinction between going abroad society, we hope we'll minimise


here and creating mayhem in Britain? society, we hope we'll minimise


Are they not too slightly different things? Not really because if they


are fighting abroad they are things? Not really because if they


those countries, even though we things? Not really because if they


don't like the Syrian regime, they are engaged effectively in terrorism


in a war so that in itself is wrong. If they then come back here and


engage or try to engage in similar sorts of activity that are unlawful,


the full force of the law should come down on them.


The in pink? Many young men went to fight in Spanish Civil War against


the fascists and we didn't have any Government worrying about what they


were going to do when they come back even though a lot would have been


communists. Why is this so different? I think this


communists. Why is this so different. These are often young


men. There are others on the panel that know more about this than I do.


men. There are others on the panel These are young men who have a cause


often which means that they would go so far, something which I don't


think we have ever seen before so far, something which I don't


our world where they are so far, something which I don't


their cause and to kill others, so they are very different in the


circumstances of the Spanish Civil War. I said before you used


circumstances of the Spanish Civil member of a group and then you


abandoned that and you are a democrat now, a rather different


kettle of fish. Do you think we should be fearful of people coming


kettle of fish. Do you think we back? We should. Fearful of


kettle of fish. Do you think we in this country. We have to


emphasise that if you see somebody that looks like me walking around


the street, doesn't mean that they are going to attack.


APPLAUSE However, having said that,


APPLAUSE However, young men that have gone to fight


from across the world. young men that have gone to fight


called foreign fighters. They have gone to fight in Syria, more than


ever went to Afghanistan. We are dealing with a hardened minority.


There will be a Syria blow back. We have to prefair for that.


There will be a Syria blow back. We have to prefair for I worry because


I saw the video of the young man from Cardiff speaking -- prepare for


that. I saw myself in from Cardiff speaking -- prepare for


young man in 2010 wanted to be Prime Minister, he said. He spoke about


the problems that the ewe were having in Cardiff. He spoke about


how we could get involved. Somewhere between 2010 and 014, we lost that


young man. If he succeeded, he would have been the first Muslim Prime


Minister in this country but we lost his passion and init's terrorists


got to him - 20146789 the question is, what can we do to make sure we


don't lose more young men like that. That. You were lost, so explain why


you were misguided in your own mind? I was born and raised in Essex. I


faced severe violent racist attacks with hammers, machetes,


screwdrivers, I watched my white friends stabbed. It's what we call


the bad old days. Things have improved incredibly since then,


around the Stephen Lawrence murder. Then there was the ideological


narrative. A world view was sold to me that somehow there was a global


war which was a false narrative. On the solutions, I want to very


quickly say that look, it's been about 13 years since 9/11 and it's


still until this day what we don't have is a coordinated strategy


across all Government departments led by the Communities and Local


Government department to intervene in communities on a several society


level to identify young men like this guy who wanted to be Prime


Minister, to channel their energy in a positive way so they end up on a


Question Time panel instead of in Syria. We have to provide examples


of role models so positive energy is channelled instead of negativity.


With the fact that it has been revealed the government made the


mistake of deporting Abu Qatada on the basis of terrorist actions of


which he has been acquitted... He has been acquitted on one set of


charges. The verdict on the other two are in September. By Jove, we


did the right thing in deporting that man. Absolutely. It is about


time we let the Arab steel with their situation. At the end of the


day, we have the G8, and they also have the Arab league and so on. But


they seem to take a step back. We need to not make them do anything


but, you know, maybe push harder so they can deal with their own


situation. At the end of the day, it is a far place from us. Also, I like


what you do a lot of the time, but you are on the fence a lot of the


time, to be honest. With your Twitter, for example, I know you do


not want me to bring it up, where you send some photos of the profit


and so on, all you have to do is do something and stir things up in the


community. Muslim people living in this country, brought up and


everything, it just takes a little bit of something small to ignite


things. You, as a politician, coming from an extremist group, need to be


much more careful about what you say and do. This was about the cartoon


of the Prophet Mohammed. I don't think you needed to do it. I have


read your explanation in the Independent and I think it is a


lousy excuse, to be honest. It is something you should not have done.


I will let him answer in a moment, but what is your view about people


who go to fight in Syria, British men in particular? I am quite


astounded by it, to be honest. At the end of the day, we are British


Muslims. This is our country, and I love my country.


It is a very difficult question, but I have come to the conclusion,


having been involved in Iraq, which turned out to be wrong, that it was


about regime change, not about using the UN. I am glad to see we stopped


from going into Syria, but it does appear we are back to the old


crusades. Put on a white sheet with a Red Cross and we fight the Arabs


and Christianity fights Muslims, and we are beginning to see that. All


these young men watching on the television see people they identify


with in a very family way, and they feel they are being slaughtered in


many places, driven out of their country, for what reason? For a


reason that we seem to think that our open, democratic society is what


we should impose on them. They probably think it is far different.


In a way, we should reconsider what we are contributing to that. As to


the men coming back, the lads coming back, which has been talked about,


it is not the same as the Spanish civil war. But basically we have now


passed terrorist legislation. If you commit an offence here, and they


will be checked on when they come back, that is what you get


prosecuted for. If they commit atrocities in other countries, there


is the international court to take them. But everybody has to start


thinking differently about this. We are contributing to what these young


kids are seeing on the TV as their own people getting knocked about,


for what? We had better start rethinking it. We are talking about


500 Brits who have gone out to fight in Syria. I suspect it would have


been more if William Hague and David Cameron got their way and we got


involved in what is essentially a civil war. There would have been


double that and it would have been utter madness. I think what we have


to do in this country is to tackle extremism. Yes, it has to be done on


a government basis but equally from the Muslim communities themselves.


They have to deal with the tiny minority of extremists. 99% of


Muslims in this country are peaceful, hard-working, obey the


rule of law and are a benefit to Britain. OK. But the problem is you


have a small minority who are basically giving everyone a bad


name. This has to be done through education, teaching British values


in schools, dealing with these pop-up jihadist meetings through


anti-terrorist organisations, and the big one is let's stop involving


ourselves in far-flung Middle East wars that have absolutely nothing to


do with us. I thought, incidentally, Maajid


Nawaz's contribution was excellent. I am old enough to remember the


troubles in Ulster. I covered it as a reporter when they were at their


worst, the times of the IRA, the Protestant terrorists, etc. And all


I can see is that the only way to solve this is a two-way thing. It is


a government thing, inasmuch as you have to cut of the source of the


arms, the weapons that went to the IRA. In this circumstance, what all


governments have failed to do is to cut off the supply of


governments have failed to do is to preachers who come in here. As the


governments have failed to do is to father of our boy in Cardiff said,


he said he wasn't radicalised by the internet, he was radicalised in a


room in Cardiff. In a mosque in Cardiff. How do we resolve that? We


have to stop these radical extremists coming in. The other


thing, it really comes down to the community. The community in Northern


Ireland, the Catholic community, basically got sick to death and did


not believe any more in what was going on. And it is when the


community properly trains its young, properly talks to its young people,


give them aspiration, and they make it clear they genuinely do not agree


with this, then it started to change. It's a big responsibility on


government to stop the preachers and give job opportunities and put money


into it, but it is equally important that the community actually


genuinely believes and convinces their young that it must not carry


on and we must stop this. I have listened to what has been said, and


the Conservative Party, the leading party in the country, have to make a


stand on these extremists that are going out of the country and coming


back in. You talk about action but the public want to know what you are


going to do. When these come back into the country, what action are


you going to take? There is or was the fact that we have good


intelligence and counterterrorism measures. We have already taken away


passports, so that they cannot even go out there, at least 64 people.


Are we talking 500, 1000? go out there, at least 64 people.


believe, and it is difficult without go out there, at least 64 people.


good intelligence and good counterterrorism officers, which we


do have. It is very difficult because we know one of the


do have. It is very difficult going on holiday to Turkey and then


finding their way to Syria or Iraq. I am seeing evidence in


Nottinghamshire of I am seeing evidence in


work within my local Muslim community, where I can think of one


of my Muslim councillors who works absolutely with other women to


persuade them in relation to the way they are bringing up their sons and


the messages they are giving to their sons in that community. The


other thing which is terribly important is the fact that many of


these important is the fact that many of


marginalised, often because they feel excluded because of racism and


prejudice and ignorance, and because they feel they have no place and no


value. What about when they come back from fighting in Syria? They


will feel it even more, surely. The question was about them coming back,


and you are in the government. What would you like to see happen? If we


are only talking about 500, they can easily be controlled by, for


example, you could tag them for a certain period of time, so you could


monitor where they are going, what they are doing. After two or three


months, when they have settled back into the community, leave them


alone. If we can prove they have committed criminal offences and been


involved in conspiracy, when they return that is what would happen. It


is a criminal act to go and fight abroad, since 1870. We know that and


that is why we take the passports away from people. We are introducing


those measures as well, so when people come back we can take that


action. I want you to answer the attack made on you. I am sure it was


well-intentioned. I understand where you are coming from. The gentleman


was talking because on my Twitter account, you can go and check it


out, somebody tweeted an image of the Prophet Mohammed. As a Muslim, I


retweeted it and said, I am not offended by anyone who is not bound


by those rules to tweak the image. I said God is greater than to take


offence. It was a cartoon of Jesus saying hello to Muhammad and


Mohammed saying, how are you doing. It was really bland and it caused


uproar. The reason is that it is prohibited within traditional


interpretations of Sunni Islam to draw the Prophet Mohammed. My point


was, coming back to this theme of communities, and this is where I


would like to address you, sir. I have served time in prison, I


opposed the Iraq war from a jail cell in Egypt. I know where you are


coming from. I have seen all of the grievances of your worst nightmares,


so I empathise with the concerns of Muslim communities. The issue is


that we have to take the level of responsibility in our communities to


address these issues. If racism was widespread when I grew up among


white working classes in Essex, responsibility was taken to a point


where we now have a black president of America. In civil society, it is


now to blue to be racist. Likewise with homophobia and anti-Semitism.


That is how civil society debates can shift when people get involved


in activism. My purpose in retweeting the image was to say, we


have to open up our faith to scrutiny, open our views and beliefs


to scrutiny, as everyone else is scrutinised. We have to feel mature


enough not to feel offended when somebody says, I do not agree with


this view of your religion. We need to have an open debate about it, and


that is what it means to be in a liberal society. You are right, it


does have to be tackled in the communities. But equally, through


our own actions, since the turn-of-the-century, we have been


giving oxygen to these hate preachers because we have been


following this sort of neo-conservative foreign policy


where we think we can run around the world acting as the world's police


man and spreading Western democracy to countries that have never known


democracy. I am sorry. It just does not work. These civil wars are none


of our business and we do not want to see any British blood spilled in


these countries any more. I would like to take the next question. With


Cameron 's seemingly having lost the battle over the next European


Commission president, does this indicate future failure to


renegotiate Britain's's relationship within the EU? It looks as though


Jean-Claude Juncker is going to become president of the commission.


I will get to vote on this in a couple of weeks. Pretty rare for you


to go and vote in the European Parliament! You are hardly ever


there. How many times have you been there since you have been an MEPs?


Just the odd occasion. My job is to drive public opinion in this country


and we have been very successful. Coming off the back of winning those


European elections. I will get the opportunity to vote on Mr Juncker in


a couple of weeks, and I will certainly be voting against his


appointment because the European Parliament has that right to veto.


The European Union has told us that we are very democratic now and we


will give the European Parliament the right to vote on the European


Commissioner. Guess how many candidates we have been given? One.


Democracy, EU style. The fact is that if Mr Juncker is appointed, as


we suspect, it will prove three things. One, the European Union has


learned nothing from the European elections, where there was


widespread euro scepticism across the European Union. Two, Mr


Cameron's promise of renegotiation is pie in the sky, because you


cannot renegotiate with an organisation that does not want to


enter into negotiations. Thirdly, written is more isolated in Europe


than it has ever been. Europe is going this way, we are going that


way. The best thing to do is to leave the European Union, be friends


with our European partners and trade with them, but leave the politics


behind. Let me just here from the question before we come to Anna


Soubry. Restate your view. I think it will be very difficult for him to


renegotiate within the EU. But I think it is worth noting that around


the time of the in-out referendum, we will have the presidency of the


Council of ministers, and therefore he will be able to set the agenda


somewhat. But that's by no means means he will be able to renegotiate


a different relationship with the EU. And if this failure to get a


change over Juncker means bad things for the renegotiation. Yes, he is


part of the old guard. If we get elected, as a majority government,


in 2015, we have set ourselves the absolute promise that we have two


years to look at how we renegotiate our relationship with the European


Union. I will put my cards on the table. I hope to remain a member of


the European Union. It is in Britain's interests to remain within


the European Union, but I don't like the current arrangement. I take the


view, and it is increasingly shared across the European Union, that


there is a mood for change. I think in those two years we will be able


to establish alliances and sees that mood and we will be able to


renegotiate. And then we will put it to the test and give people a


referendum, and you will at last have the opportunity to decide


whether you are in or out. If you vote the UKIP, they can't deliver


that. All that they do, frankly, is take the money and don't turn up.


You are paid, let me finish, you are an elected representative, not just


of UKIP but of all the people in the constituency you represent, just


like I am. I don't just represent the Tories, I represent all my


constituents, and I certainly take my responsibilities seriously and I


don't just take the money and not turn up to vote.


APPLAUSE Hang on, hang on.


Over half the votes which go through the European Parliament are


non-legislative, they are not worth the paper they are written on. If


there's a talk shop, it has no power to initiate any laws. The


commission, which meets in secret, actually hands the laws down to the


European Parliament to rubber stamp. The fact of the matter is, this is


totally and utterly undemocratic and we'd be better off out. For you,


Anna, for example, to make the laws of this land, all we want is for the


people who make the laws to be the people we representing.


APPLAUSE Do you have any qualms about, as you


put it, having a flakey attendance record and taking about ?600,000 a


year to do it? ?600,000? ! I wish I did take ?600 thoufz. An MEP's


salary is ?81,000, but on top of that, you get... Let me finish. On


top of that, you get 301 euro a day to sign in and, as I very rarely


sign in, I earn less money than any other MEP. How many staff do you


have though? My constituency has 7. 5 million people. Yours is about


70,000. You will no doubt be issuing a writ for the ?6 00,000?


70,000. You will no doubt be issuing idea where that figure came from.


Over a number of years undoubtedly then.


Over a number of years undoubtedly Juncker? I notice


Over a number of years undoubtedly whole thing's been blown out of


proportion? As you know, I don't agree with Ken on this one and it's


not about the personality. The point is, it's not about the


personalities, it's the fact that we need a new type of way of doing the


European Union, dealing with the European Union. We don't need more


of the same. Theres a generation of people. We need a new way of doing


the EU if we are to stay in it as I want us to be in a European Union


that works for the people, represents the


right thing by them. We can do that. All right. There are others here.


right thing by them. We can do that. know you are keen to keep on and on


about it, but we have just got to ask John Prescott his view? In the


1970s, I fought to get a referendum and we did get one and


1970s, I fought to get a referendum that would take us out of Europe and


I've never believed in a federal Europe. The free movement is giving


us the federal Europe which I'm still against. But the people voted


to stay in and I think they'll vote to stay in again. Now, coming to


Juncker, I've worked with him and also I was in the European


Parliament for a while. It wasn't a Parliament, it was an assembly.


Still is. It has extra powers. But in my view, I disagree with him, I


mean he's a decent kind of guy, he believes in a federal Europe. But


Cameron has others in Europe that wanted to make some changes. He lost


them by the way he negotiated. He got rid of them by going out and


saying she's on my side, that created chaos in Germany. All the


others supporting him were there. He's shown incompetence in


negotiations again and very bad judgment. That's our Prime Minister.


Second row from the back, you Sir? What I think of Mr Juncker


personally is neither here nor there, but you keep using the word


democracy. Mr Juncker's group is the biggest in the European Parliament,


shouldn't they get the top job like the Conservatives do for being the


biggest group in the British Parliament? I suspect - I'm the only


true independent on this - and I suspect I'm like Cameron and haven't


got a clue how to work this out. So on the one hand, I really, really


resent the lack of democracy in Europe. I find it absolutely


unbelievable, the idea that they can decide that this man from Luxembourg


is going to be the effectively the Prime Minister of Europe. President


of Europe. That's not democracy because you haven't got a vote in


it. Did you choose? No you didn't. So I'm also, I agree, I'm not going


to say anything but I'm against the federalists. I don't believe anybody


should be telling me how to run the nuts-and-bolts of this country. I


do, on the other hand, believe in a European, if you like, economic free


zone. I would like the fact that I can move around Europe. I like being


part of Europe in that way. I suspect I might, as John pointed


out, end up voting to stay. But I have to say, every single day it


gets harder because they slap the lack of democracy in our face.


You, Sir, up there? This whole debate is a prime example of why


voter turnout is so low. Nobody really cares about Mr Juncker or who


is the President. It's about what actually happens to the real people.


At the moment, we haven't had a question that affects real people in


the UK and that's why people are so disenfranchised. John Prescott sat


there and moaned about the Asians, yet you were part of the Government


who voted for a war in Iraq and I just find it utterly mind-blowing.


I'm happy that the Liberal Democrats didn't support the Iraq war but it's


about the process and how to make it relevant is that the suggestion of


Nick Clegg, what we have been pushing for, the countries should


have a say as to who is Head of The Commission and not the MEPs,


especially those elected not to do anything and claim the money for it.


Hold on, stop fighting little battles and come back to the


question that the questioner asked. Does the failure over this


particular battle mean that the battle to get change will be more


difficult? Yes, it will be more difficult but there are serious


concerns ALL: Three parties have taken the same


stance and it's rare that happens and they've done it. It's happened


over this issue. They have done it because there are genuine concerns


that Anna and everyone on the panel have raised about, for example, the


sheer waste of money in the EU, the bureaucracy and the way in which the


Parliament shifts every year. Millions of pound are wasted on


shifting the Parliament twice a year. That is why we need a


referendum. Juncker is from the old way of doing


things and there needs to be a new vision for Europe. We all love our


Swiss watches and Belgium chocolate, German cars and proposing in Paris,


like I did! What we don't like, is the waste of money...


LAUGHTER A referendum is a good thing from within Europe, stay


within Europe and I would vote for negotiating to stay within the EU so


we can stlen then our hand. -- strengthen our hand. I think


everybody on the panel ice maizing the real point is is people want to


know what are the terms that we want to renegotiate in terms of what are


the key factors in what people want. I know a lot of people in business


want to remain part of Europe but they are not happy with the aspect


of the political, you know, integration and things like that.


Also when you look at a day when today, for example, the statistics


of immigration shows 400,000 more net migration to the UK which is not


necessarily a problem, but people need to remember we need to develop


our infrastructure to absorb these people and that's the real key, yew


issue here and it's about making the infrastructure available. Because


people are getting really, really annoyed that it's not the


infrastructure which is built. People are very passionate in this


country, we have a very, very diverse community and everybody


should be proud of that. But it's the infrastructure, it's not built


to absorb this. Paul Nuttall, does he have the


solution for you in UKIP or not? I think to be honest, the idea of


being completely out of Europe is very, very, very dangerous. Very


dangerous. Hear, hear. APPLAUSE


Just a brief answer, Paul. I want to get one last question in too before


we stop. If Britain came out, we could trade and be friends with our


European partners. We are the sixth largest economy. We have links to


the Commonwealth. This country could be more democratic, more free and


have more money. It makes sense to leave the European Union. We'd be


far better in campaigning for what issues are and trying to move


people's votes to come back to making more decisions in


Westminster. All right, we'll leave it there.


Campaign to stay in. I don't like leave ago sirious topic like this,


but this is one topic that everyone is concerned about, and it's a


question from Samina Hussain. Does Suarez' match ban suggest football


is soft on violent behaviour? Is football soft on behaviour, just


four months for biting someone's shoulder? You never bit anyone's


shoulder, did you, John? I bet you wanted to? I'm a bit traditionalist


like that. Just a little right hook. Suarez, properly treated. Is it


right. Should he have been drummed out of football? He's a shocker.


It's so sad because he's actually a brilliant footballer, I mean even


Paul, we'd agree on this wouldn't we, a Liverpool fan! It was


outrageous, third time he's done it. Personally if you could, I would


have him charged. Something Personally if you could, I would


that, he'd be on the edge of going Personally if you could, I would


away. Four months. Liverpool are selling him, aren't they?


away. Four months. Liverpool are think the fact that he's now gone


and think the fact that he's now gone


to see him in a Red Shirt until November, will be far more difficult


for us to win the league. He'll have to take his teeth out!


APPLAUSE I'm going to agree with my UKIP


colleague and say, I'm also a I'm going to agree with my UKIP


Liverpool fan. I've been a long-life fan. Oh, dear. You'll Never Walk


Alone. We have just discussed something about the young men


getting involved in violence and the dangers of that and how to stop it.


This is not an example to set. Sportsmen should be setting a better


example. Things should be coming together to pull this country


together and not divide it. It's justified that he's disciplined. I


can't resist this. It's a great topic to get our teeth into! And I


just want to say, if Liverpool get an off, they should bite their hand


off! All right.


We've got to stop, but you look so eager to come in. I'll just bring


you in, the young man eager to come in. I'll just bring


left there. Quickly. I was wondering if the BBC was soft on football


violence as they had Joey Barton on the panel a few weeks ago. Very


true, very true. What kind of an example of that is that as a


panelist? We have got John Prescott. To be fair, John acted in


self-defence. No charges! Our hour is


self-defence. sorry. I know there are lots to say


on that, but our time is up. Next week we are in Croydon and


we'll have Alan Johnson, Jo Swinson for the Liberal Democrats and the


Deputy editor of for the Liberal Democrats and the


Tony Gallagher. The week after that, we'll be in Inverness. We have a


panel with no politicians at all on it in Inverness. Don't ask me why,


but that's the way it is. If you want to come


but that's the way it is. If you Inverness, go to the website and


but that's the way it is. If you address is on the screen. Or you can


call us: We'll get in touch with you. My


thanks to all our panelists here and to all of you who came to


Wolverhampton to take part in tonight's Question Time. Until next


Thursday, good night. What's up?


Oi, oi! Hey, Glastonbury.


How you doing?


David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Wolverhampton, with Conservative defence minister Anna Soubry MP, Labour's former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott, deputy leader of UKIP, Paul Nuttall MEP, anti-extremism campaigner and Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Maajid Nawaz and the former executive editor of the News of the World, Neil Wallis.

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