08/09/2016 Question Time


David Dimbleby presents a special edition of Question Time from Oldham featuring the two candidates for leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn MP and Owen Smith MP.

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Tonight, the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn,


and the challenger for the leadership, Owen Smith,


Our audience here is made up of Labour voters,


evenly divided between supporters of the two candidates.


There are also some voters from other parties ?


As always on Question Time, neither contender knows any


You can use Facebook and Twitter to comment on what you hear.


Our hashtag is #bbcqt, or text 83981,


and push the red button to see what others are saying.


The question then is, who should lead the Labour Party?


Please welcome Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith.


Welcome to you both. Thank you very much. Our first question from


Stephen Williams, please. Mr Corbyn has no support from his MPs, Mr


Smith has no support from his party. Should they not stand aside and let


a unity candidate unite the party? Step aside, both of you, and unite


the party. There are no absolutes in this respect. Yes, there is huge


support within the party a direction of this party in opposing austerity


and campaigning for equality across Britain. Yes, a number of MPs do


support me, a large number do not. I understand that. But when this


election is over, if I am elected leader of the party, I hope the MPs


will come together, we will once again have a Shadow Cabinet that is


balanced and extended to all wings of the party, and we will get


together to take on the Tories and what they are doing to education, to


health, to housing, and creating greater inequality in this country.


That is what I am offering. APPLAUSE


Just before I come to Owen Smith, what makes you think 80% of the


parliamentary party who abandoned you will suddenly come flooding


back? I have been talking to lots of them. MPs talk a great deal. I think


after the election and after conference is over, you will see the


wish of MPs to reflect the wishes of party members all over the country,


that there is a coming together in order to oppose this Tory


government. APPLAUSE


There are still three weeks to go in this contest and it's an incredibly


important choice we face before us in the Labour Party. I'm incredibly


proud that I got the support of 170 of our 220 MPs in Westminster, and


that shows that I can command respect and support in the


Parliamentary Labour Party, where we have to take the fight to the Tories


and build the case for a future Labour government. I am also pleased


that in the one vote we have had in the contest so far, in the GMB, one


of the great trade unions in this country, I won. 40,000 people voted,


26,000 voted for me, 17,004 Jeremy. I am incredibly confident that I can


win this contest. I say to everybody in the Labour movement right now, it


is in your hands, the choices with you as to whether we want to be with


Jeremy and in opposition potentially for a generation, or start leading


the way back to Labour being in power. That is where we need to be


and that is what I intend to deliver.


APPLAUSE Do you want to come back on that?


What is your view? The squabbles have made the party look


unelectable. Both of you look unelectable. You should stand aside


and let somebody else, Harriet Harman, somebody like that,


somebody, anybody, leads the party to victory. Otherwise, ten more


years of Conservative government that nobody wants, especially not


you two, I'm sure. So stand aside. Thanks for your vote of confidence,


I really appreciate it. I just say this to you. Over the past year we


have recruited 300,000 members to the Labour Party. That surely has to


be something worth noticing. APPLAUSE


80% of the constituency parties, the local parties that nominated,


nominated me for the leadership. Now, you not think that we have the


wherewithal or capabilities to do things, but I am sure you would


understand that those people that have nominated us both think we can


do the job, both want the party to succeed, and that very large body of


members want to go doorknocking, campaigning and all that kind of


thing. I think what you have had is a few weeks of incredibly negative


press about the party because of the leadership election. Indeed, we have


had a year of negative press about the party. I think after conference


you will see something happening which will be that unity, to take on


the Tories and what they are doing in this country. I really do believe




I admire Jeremy's optimism but I don't think that is what we will


see. The truth is it is not just 300,000 new members we have seen. We


have seen Labour going backwards, back at 26-27% in the polls. Right


now, the chances are we would be out of power for a generation. If there


were an election tomorrow, Labour would lose up to 60 seats. The


entire reason I am standing in this campaign is in order to get Labour


back to where it needs to be, taking on the Tories, really defending our


record, standing up for what we believe in and presenting a credible


alternative to the Tories. Instead of which, I think Jeremy is more


satisfied with leading the Labour Party in opposition. I'm never going


to be satisfied with that. I want to lead us back to government.


APPLAUSE How will you lead better than he


does? How will you unite the party? The first thing to do is to be a


credible opposition. Today, for example, we have seen a 20% rise


since last year in zero-hours contract, 1 million extra people


announced today on waiting lists in the NHS. And the Tories doing


something not even Margaret Thatcher dared to do, bringing back to tear


education. Jeremy has not commented on any of these things. The Tories


are running amok in this country right now and we in the Labour


Party, all of us here, everybody right across this party, not just


the Parliamentary Labour Party, we are all guilty of letting down not


our party, the people we seek to serve, the people who need a Labour


government to get those waiting lists down, to invest in the NHS,


make sure we don't have grammar schools back. But we can't do any of


that in opposition. We have to win to do it. It is not a dirty word, it


is what we are about. I will go to you first. Up until the


mass resignations that took place within the Labour Party, within the


PLP, were we not ahead by a couple of percent?


APPLAUSE Was that not the point at which we


started falling backwards? No. Let me correct you, sir. You are wrong.


In 89 polls, under Jeremy's leadership, we were behind in 85 of


them. We were at level pegging in four. We are at a lower ebb in the


polls than since 1982 when I was 12. We are a disaster. We were behind in


85 polls in a row under Jeremy, before the PLP resigned. And we are


further behind right now. You, sir, on the left. I would like to say to


you, Jeremy, ignore some of the negative comments that are coming,


because I have been a Labour Party supporter for a very long time. I


walked up and down the street knocking on doors, and people love


you. People want you to be the Prime Minister.


APPLAUSE The reason they want you to be Prime


Minister is because you care about them, they know you will fight for


justice, fight for poverty, education, employment. He can make


the speech! Well done. All right, we have heard from a staunch supporter


of Jeremy Corbyn. I would like to hear from a staunch supporter of


Owen Smith's campaign. Yes, you, sir. It is fair to say the Labour


Party membership has gone up, but why did we get annihilated in


Scotland behind the Tories bastion Mark what is your view about the


Smith campaign? I think the Labour Party is in a sad situation because


I can't same heart is beating on either side, to be honest. I think


it is sad that we have booing when we oppose Jeremy, but I think Owen's


campaign is more balanced. It is one thing to have principles and


beliefs, but you have to sell it to the British people in our electoral


system, and Scotland showed that you did not do that.


APPLAUSE One of the reasons I am supporting


Owen is that I believe the Parliamentary Labour Party is the


most important thing to focus on. It is what makes us electable. But I


have been on the committee of our young CLP group for a while and I


have been so disappointed. The discourse has not been constructive,


it has been divisive and abusive at times. I have this associated myself


from it completely because it upsets me. You can hear it tonight with


people booing. It is both sides but I have heard it mostly from Jeremy's


side, and I think that is bad. It just upsets me when one party, and


at the end of this I don't want people to split and leave. I have


had members of 30 years' time they want to leave if one or the other


wins. It is not right. We are one party and I think what is happening


in general is disgraceful. APPLAUSE


Jeremy, why have you not considered your core vote? You may have the


support of the membership but not of the core vote, which is what counts


and wins a general election. Jeremy Corbyn. First, on the point is taken


from the back, there should be no abuse, there should be no online


abuse, no Twitter abuse, there should not be abuse in political


debate. I never make personal attacks on anybody, that is not the


way I conduct myself, and I want other people to do the same. Yes,


the party has to come together. Yes, after this election is over at the


result will be announced and from that point on we have to be a strong


campaigning party. We were more or less level pegging with the Tories


until there was this series of resignations from the Shadow


Cabinet. And I hope that Owen or understand that after this election


there has to be a coming together, and that all numbers of the


Parliamentary Labour Party will be prepared to come together to achieve


that. Your point about the core vote, the core vote is people who


have consistently voted Labour for very many years. It is also a very


large number of people who are intrinsically inclined towards


Labour but have not bothered to vote in the past. Only 47% of young


people voted in the last general election. There is an energising of


politics over the past year. Many of those that have joined the party,


many of those that are active in local groups are very well connected


with colleges, universities, young people at work. I tell you this,


after this leadership is over there will be that energising in politics,


which will challenge the Tories. What are the Tories offering? They


are offering greater inequality, they are offering continuation of


low wages, and in many cases zero-hours contracts. They are


offering selectivity in education rather than universality, which is


something I believe in. They are not offering anything that will solve


the housing crisis people face across this country. A Labour


opposition offering investment in a growing economy, a Labour opposition


offering to invest to drive down begin qualities in Britain and


invest in a growing economy with sustainable jobs, I think that is


something that is very attractive and will bring an awful lot of


people over to Labour. APPLAUSE


One more question about the future after this thing is over, this


election is decided. Maureen Kelly has a question. If Jeremy wins the


contest, will it inevitably lead to a split in the party? As many have


suggested, Owen Smith. What do you think? I hope and pray that it does


not. One of the reasons I am running is to stop the split. The question


was, will it inevitably lead to it? How will it be avoided. Jeremy, or


I, whoever wins, needs to working credibly hard to heal the rifts. You


will work with him if he wins? I have already said I will happily


vote Labour. You will join the Shadow Cabinet if he wins? I have


said I could not serve Jeremy with integrity because I don't agree can


lead us to victory. So the division is already there. Would you urge the


80% to come behind Jeremy, or should they stay to one side and let them


get on with it because he is going to lose? It is for others to decide.


But you must have a view. My view is that I would not serve in Jeremy's


Shadow Cabinet because I could not do that with integrity. But that is


not to split the party because I will always be Labour. I am never


going to leave the Labour Party, I will be Labour until the day I die.


I have worried because this is at the heart of it. It is about


reality. Jeremy says we were ahead in the polls. We were not. He says


we are doing OK in Scotland and we are not, having gone from second to


third, behind the Tories. And he says he can win by getting voters to


come back and vote Labour when all of the numbers tell us everybody who


has ever knocked on a door in this country knows that we will not win


by getting nonvoters. The way we win this by getting people who voted


Tory to vote Labour at the next election and Jeremy is not going to


persuade them. APPLAUSE


A brief point from you at the front set. I think Alyn Smith has answered


the question. He's open to a party splitting. Why would a Labour Party


member not serve under Jeremy Corbyn? If he was a true labour


member, he would serve under any Labour leader. As Jeremy has done.


You are in the wrong party. That's the sort of abuse we have been


subjected to in this campaign. I'm a Labour man and have been Labour all


my life. I will always be Labour. How come you won't serve under him?


The crucial moment when I decided I would stand was when John McDonnell


said to me that he was prepared to see the party split in order to


further his project. That's the moment I realised we needed to stand


up and be counted and make sure we didn't split the party. Jeremy


Corbyn, can you comment on what John McDonnell said? We had a discussion


in my office in which Owen was present and Owen generously offered


me unopposed election to a nonexistent job that wasn't his gift


to give if I resigned from the party. That's a different


conversation, Jeremy. It was really generous of you, Owen. You and I


managed to work together quite well on issues surrounding the DWP.


Indeed, we had a major victory on that. All of us had that major


victory, which was very good. 3 million families didn't lose ?1000


this year because of that victory we managed to impose in the House of


Lords and our opposition in the House of Commons. That was good,


surely. I don't fully understand what the problem is. You obviously


have enormous talents so why can't we work together? I've said it


several times, Jeremy. And I will say it again to you. If I felt you


were going to lead Labour back to power then I would work with you in


the Shadow Cabinet. But I feel you are satisfied to lead us in


opposition. We need a leader who is determined to lead Labour back into


government. I don't think you can do that, and I don't think you think


you can do it. I think that's a desperate shame for this country


because we need a Labour government to stop zero hours contracts, to


invest in the NHS and ensure we have decent housing. The only way we will


achieve all those things we want is if we are in government. Why do you


say that Mr Corbyn doesn't think he can do it? Why is he bothering to


stand for leadership again? I saw him be asked five times on Channel 4


if you really wanted to be Prime Minister and he didn't answer it.


I've seen him in the Shadow Cabinet opposite me in the last several


months offering scant leadership, not discussing the DWP issues. The


truth is, Jeremy and I worked together for some extent, but we had


one meeting in 11 months. I asked to meet on several occasions and he


wasn't available. A couple more points on this before moving onto


particular policies. Good evening, Owen. Could you explain to me a


specific policy, a Labour policy, that you would ASBO is too which is


completely and utterly different to Jeremy? -- you would espouse two. I


would want to remain in the European Union. Jeremy has wanted to leave


for 45 years. I don't believe we should trigger article 50, Jeremy


says we should trigger it immediately. I think we should be


members of the single market, even if we leave, and Jeremy disagrees, a


fundamental difference. That takes us to a question we have on this


exact subject from Robert Barnes. Should there be a second referendum


on EU membership or the terms of our Brexit negotiations? That's the


proposal Owen Smith put. I think we have to negotiate with the European


Union on the terms of exit. We have to recognise, regrettable as they


are, the results of the referendum. We have to make sure we have access


to European markets for manufactured goods. We have to make sure we have


protection of workers and consumer rights, paternity and maternity


leave, and other environmental protection is gained through


membership of the European Union. And we have to have that positive


relationship with Europe meaning the ability to sell our goods. Do you


want to remain in the single market if possible? A single market if


possible, and I think it probably is, that means we would have to be


prepared to negotiate trade relations with other countries, but


crucially 70% of our exports go to Europe already and it makes a lot of


sense to get on with negotiating now. I also hope continued


membership of the European investment bank, I think that's


important. In other trade treaties, such as with the United States, I'm


very sceptical of the transatlantic trade investment partnership and the


agenda that goes with that. APPLAUSE I would want us to develop trade


relations that empower democratic government, don't undermine it and


give power to global corporations as I believe TTIP would do. What is


your belief on controlling immigration, where some Labour


voters were uncertain on what you thought. Non-European immigration is


already subject to a great deal of control. EU free movement of people


is an issue that comes directly with market access. The points I was


making throughout the referendum campaign was that we should sign the


amendments for the workers directive to prevent the undercutting of wages


by groups of workers brought in from different countries to work in


Britain, and that we should try to protect them and their conditions.


But communities that have been greatly affected by an influx of


people coming into work should be funded properly through a migrant


impact fund. In fact, Gordon Brown's government introduced that but the


Tories abolished it, so we should have support for those communities.


The country voted out. Owen Smith says it's not the end of the story.


I say we have to know what Brexit means. Theresa May says Brexit means


a Brexit but this week shows the Tories don't have a clue. David


Davis says we are leaving the single market, as Jeremy has agreed.


Theresa May says it doesn't. Earlier it meant ?350 million per week for


the NHS and that was a lie. They said there would be points-based


immigration. They said we would have trade deals done and dusted with


Australia and America in a matter of months and those countries say it


could be years before we have those deals in place. My simple message to


the Labour movement, we have to stand up to the Tories, oppose them


properly, hold them to account, negotiate hard alongside them and


determine what Brexit will really mean. If it means worse living


standards for the British people, less money for the NHS, less


workers' rights, less environmental protection, we should either have a


general election with Labour arguing we should go back in, or potentially


a second referendum and test the actual deal, not what we were


promised, which was clearly a lie, but what the Tories are actually


going to deliver. I feel they will use these excuses. Nigel Lawson said


this week that they would finish Thatcher's revolution. That's what


they have in mind and it would be an ugly, hard Brexit for Britain and


places like Oldham would suffer. Unless I misunderstood, you said you


wanted Labour to go into the next election saying the party policy


would be to ignore the Brexit vote and go back into the EU Busted


exactly. We need to find out what it is. -- into the EU? Exactly. We


don't know where we are going. You do know where you're going, you want


to go back in! I hope we are. I think we should be strong about that


because I've always believed that the best things about the European


Union, the ability to safeguard workers' rights... Did you vote for


the referendum to happen? We all voted for it. And you don't accept


the result? My view is we don't know what we were voting for. We were


lied to about 350 million, Theresa May says Brexit means Brexit. We


shouldn't give them a blank cheque on this. Jeremy is giving them a


free ride. I say to hold them to account and find out what is really


on offer. If it's worse for the people of Oldham then of course


Labour should put in a manifesto that we would improve the


livelihoods of the people of Oldham. And if that means voting to go back


into the EU? Yes we should. The referendum has delivered a decision.


It might not be the decision we wanted, and I think it's up to


Parliament to work with that. I want to protect the conditions we have


gained in Europe. I want market access within Europe, and one of the


points I made during the campaign was that the EU needed to reform, it


was proposing privatisation across the continent, and was bringing in


unpleasant ideas about how national governments should run their


economies. I think we need to negotiate a good trading arrangement


with Europe, protect those conditions and give us market


access. Let's go back to Robert Barnes who asked the question.


What's your view of what you've heard? I totally disagree with Owen


Smith. More than 17 million people voted to leave the European Union,


and if you were leader the Labour Party would want to take is back in.


That isn't what 17 million people voted for. We may not know the terms


of the negotiation, but what would you do if the remain side had won


and the leave side wanted a second referendum. It's hypocritical to say


you want a second referendum. The country wanted out. Abide by that.


The lady up there. To Jeremy, it's fine saying you were there debating


Brexit during the referendum, but we didn't hear that on the doorstep


from you at all. APPLAUSE What do you mean? That the


referendum could have been won if he had spoken out more? I think so, to


get those extra votes, definitely. We put the case to remain and


reform. We didn't win the referendum, obviously. We have to


work with the results of it. I did campaign for Remain. I campaigned to


remain and reform the European Union. 65%, on opinion polls, of all


Labour voters, voted to remain. How did 45% of Labour voters think the


party backed Brexit? 45? 45% thought the party Labour act Brexit. --


backed Brexit. The attempt to impose privatisation on the railway


services across Europe... I don't think the European Union is perfect.


I don't think anybody thinks the European Union is perfect. What


about her argument, it's not the moment to be saying those things,


but stay in, loudly and clearly. If we said everything in European Union


was perfect I suspect we would have got less votes to remain than the


other way round. The man in the blue shirt. I voted Ukip in the last two


elections. If the Labour Party is going to get anywhere it's got to


get those Ukip votes back to itself. I'm faced with a situation as a


voter where we have a gentleman here, should he managed to overcome


the democratically elected leader of the Labour Party, he will then


attempt to overcome the decisions of the country that we should leave the


European Union. Where are we supposed to take our vote? And where


is our opposition? We have Theresa May now saying we don't want a


points system for immigration. Yes we do, that's what we voted for. She


said that's not what people want, but it's what the people do want.


Why isn't the opposition screaming this? They are hiding behind wanting


to go back into the European Union. That's not what we want and not what


we voted for. May I put a point to you, thank you for your question. Do


you think we should have an effective trading relationship with


Europe? Yes we should. We had that before we joined the European Union.


We had arrangements with America as well. It took three days to send


troops to die for America, and they say it will take nine years to come


up with a trade deal. Where are our politicians? We've had the European


Union for so long that you forgotten how to make decisions and represent


your country. What made you vote Ukip and leave


Labour? I simply wanted out of the European Union. You did say you


voted Labour before? Yes, I always vote. I am the older generation.


Don't you agree there has to be an effective trading relationship with


Europe, and don't you recognise that 2 million British people also live


in other parts of Europe? So we have two except that there is a very


close, often personal relationship with twin families here and families


all across Europe. And a lot of European National is that live in


this country work extremely hard and help to run our health and education


service and many other services. Do you want complete freedom of


movement? I supported freedom of movement but I was and still am


concerned about the level of undercutting of wages. Look at


Sports Direct in places like that. There has to be much tougher Labour


regulations in Britain and there has to be an end to undercutting across


Europe where they try and destroy industrywide agreements. I


understand, but that is a different point. Is what you are saying that


if we had proper minimum wage here, there would be less of a drag of


people coming into Britain and you want about, or you want open


borders? It will also have to be better wages and conditions in other


parts of Europe. Isn't this pie in the sky, compared with the immediate


possibility of reducing immigration, which you know was not popular among


Labour voters? I ask people to be realistic about what European


workers actually do in Britain, the number that help to run our vital


services, and the effects on 2 million British people living in


other parts of Europe. Owen Smith. I think the question revealed what I


was saying, which is that we don't know what we really voted for


because we do not have the points waste system you were talking about,


we do not have the extra money for the NHS. And I remain concerned that


the Tories will use this as an excuse to make us worse off as


working people in this country. And I don't think the Labour Party


should be Sangwan about that. Even if people voted to leave, I think


they voted with an idea of what Britain would look like after we


left. At the moment that is not clear, and I am very clear that the


Labour Party should be being a much more powerful opposition. How can we


go through two Prime Minister's Questions and not mention Brexit,


the biggest issue that has faced our country in generations, and the


biggest illustration that we, our leader right now, is not holding


Theresa May and the Tories to account.


APPLAUSE A couple of quick points and then we


will move on. The EU referendum seems to have proven that the core


voting block of the Labour Party, the working class, the Everyman that


Labour is supposed to represent, want something else. They want Ukip,


Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, they want to nationalism, not


immigration. How is Labour going to change? Are we going to stick to


these progressive values, or are we going to reflect the values that


people seem to want? I think what they want is investment. Can you


answer his definition? Is he right or wrong? I am not sure the answer


is nationalism. In many areas there have been traditional Labour voters.


You can overlay a map and see where the biggest effect of austerity have


been, the biggest appeal of Ukip has been, the biggest Brexit vote has


been, the biggest loss of industrial jobs. The answer to dealing with


those things is for a Labour government to invest more, which is


why I have talked about the need for a new deal, ?200 billion worth of


borrowing to invest in those areas. If we invest in them, some of the


pressures people feel and the concerns they have about immigration


could be dealt with and dissipated. Don't you think you are insulting


the intelligence of voters, saying they have been hoodwinked? If you


say that, everyone who votes Conservative is hoodwinked, too.


They were clearly hoodwinked about 350 million quid for the NHS because


that is not coming. Can you restate your point to Jeremy Corbyn? Calling


for a second referendum seems quite hypocritical. I am in favour of


Remain, in fact I'm leaning towards Owen Smith because he wants to


remain in the European Union. But the idea that democracy should be


done again because we did not like the result is wrong and doesn't make




It is an advisory referendum. You can ignore it, or you can accept the


results. Ignoring it is an option but don't go through the facade of a


second referendum. That does not make sense. I am not calling for a


second referendum. Surely, the issue is security for people, security of


work, security of education, security of a growing economy, which


comes about if Labour is able to offer an alternative which is about


investment, is about collecting the uncollected taxes, about building


that houses that are necessary, rather than subsidising the private


rented market. All those kind of issues are surely those that are


actually very popular, not just with people in a difficult situation, but


with everyone across the country who wants to live in a country of social


justice rather than division. Isn't there some support for that idea? I


think there is. If I got a fiver for everyone with their hand up I would


be a rich man by the end of the programme. I will come to a woman.


As you know, 16 and 17-year-olds did not have the right to vote in the


referendum. I want to know what you have to say to young people who feel


this decision was made for them and how you intend to engage them.


APPLAUSE I would say 16 and 17-year-old is


absolutely should have had the right to vote in this election. I would


extend that right in all referendums and elections to 16 and


17-year-olds. We might have seen a different result if we had done


that. I do not think it is anti-democratic to say, let's get to


the end of the process, when we know what is really on offer from the


Tories, as opposed to what they promised, and at that point allow


the British people to either rubber-stamp the deal, possibly at a


general election, rather than a second referendum, or reject it. I


think we will move on to another subject. Can I quickly answer?


16-year-olds should have the right to vote. We tried to get it included


but were unfortunately not successful. I think we should


include in the negotiations the need for universities to maintain the


closest possible relationship with European universities. There are


already signs that that is in danger of breaking down, and I think all


students should have access to the Rasmus project, so we continue that


close, good relationship of young people from all over Europe coming


together. That is something that is a plus for all of us. Thank you for


your question. APPLAUSE


Jeremy Corbyn supports scrapping Trident, Owen Smith supports talks


with so-called Islamic State. Why should I take either of you


seriously on security? Why should he take either of you seriously on


security? Who wants to go on this first? I did not say we should have


talks with Islamic State. I did not say that. What I said was that the


chances were we would never be able to negotiate with Islamic State,


that they are a death cult. At some point, for us to resolve this, we


will need to get people round the table from Isis, you said.


APPLAUSE You have not read the first part in


which I said we would not be negotiating with Islamic State. In


the second part of my answer, having been interrupted by the presenter, I


went on to say that in my experience, as someone who worked on


the peace process in Northern Ireland for three years, all peace


process is eventually dealt with by all parties coming together, but


only, of course, once all parties have pronounced violence and sued


for peace and sought to be part of the peace process. Now, the chances


are, everybody can see, Isis are never going to fall into that


category, are they? They are never going to want to sue for peace. The


chances are, therefore, they will need to be defeated militarily


before there can be peace. But if, whatever Isis is, if Isis were to


renounce violence, then of course you would want to make sure there


was a peace process in the Middle East dealing with that, and we


should all want that. But it was a slight misrepresentation of what I


said. Do you agree with his position? I have all is said I would


not negotiate with Isis. I want to see a political solution in Syria,


which means involving all the countries in the region and the


urgent negotiation of a rapid ceasefire to get aid in, urgent


negotiation to support and help refugees, and a copper hence if plan


to bring about peace across the whole region.


APPLAUSE -- a comprehensive plan.


The other part, you want to scrap Trident. Parliament voted


effectively on replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system and


the submarines that go with it. To ask the question back, under what


circumstances would anyone use a nuclear weapons? We know that if


they nuclear weapons was ever used anywhere in the world, the


consequences to the environment, the economy and human life are


absolutely catastrophic. There are many in the military that do not


want Trident replaced and would rather see the resources spent on


more conventional issues, and dealing with issues of terrorism and


cyber security. 187 countries around the world do not have nuclear


weapons. We are signatories of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and


I think we should adhere to our requirements under that, which is to


take steps towards disarmament. APPLAUSE


You have a crazed dictator in the Far East, currently strengthening


his nuclear deterrent. The Chinese thought that he would weaken in a


couple of years. Clearly they were wrong. We have the situation in


Russia as well. You can't play games with this, Jeremy. Think about it.


Nobody is playing games. We are serious about this and I am sure you


are, to bring about a peaceful world. Do nuclear weapons help do


that? Can we not put as much pressure on -- as possible on China


about North Korea to try and bring about removing nuclear weapons from


the Korean Peninsula, in the same way that we have managed to bring


about nuclear weapons free zones in a number of areas, including Central


Asia, Africa and Latin America, and now the discussions about an Arctic


nuclear free zone? Surely there has to be a space to go forward on


bringing about nuclear disarmament. We have managed to ban chemical


weapons by agreement. We have managed to ban cluster bombs by


agreement. Surely we can work really hard at that by giving meaning to


what the Labour government of the 60s achieved, which was the nuclear


Non-Proliferation Treaty. APPLAUSE


I am someone who believes in multilateral disarmament. I want to


get rid of nuclear weapons across the world. The difference between us


is how we do it. Jeremy things we do it by unilaterally getting rid of


hours and using moral persuasion to get America and Russia to get rid of


theirs thereafter. I think that is naive. I don't think that is likely


to happen. Other countries have pursued that course and got rid of


their nuclear weapons and Russia and America held onto theirs. I also


think we have to be incredible serious about our duty as a Labour


government in waiting to keep this country safe. And the world feels a


more dangerous place to me than it has done pretty much any point in my


lifetime. I don't think now is the time for us to get rid of our


nuclear deterrent. I think it is time for us to get Labour back into


power in order to make the argument for multilateral disarmament across


the world. APPLAUSE


A number of other questions. I will take a scattering of them. The


Jewish community is very worried about the state of the Labour Party


at the moment. What is your plan to root out anti-Semitism? What do you


mean? Most Jews do not feel safe on the streets, and there have been


anti-Semitic reports in the Labour Party and they have done nothing to


try and eliminate that. The young man is right, unfortunately. The


Jewish community has traditionally looked to Labour to represented. We


have been the farty they felt closest to their views.


Unfortunately, right now it is only 8% of the Jewish community voting


Labour and that is a big decline in recent months and years. We have


seen anti-Semitism in our party. I don't think we have been strong


enough in speaking out against that and it has diminished our capacity


to speak out against it in the country. If it is not the Labour


Party is speaking against racism and anti-Semitism and being heard in


Britain, nobody else will do it. The answer has to be that we have to


have zero tolerance for it in the Labour Party. We have to make sure


that anybody found guilty of anti-Semitism or any racism has no


place in the Labour Party. Any difference between you two on this?


Yes, Jeremy has not been strong enough in speaking out about it. The


report from Shami Chakrabarti is not viewed by the Jewish community as


being adequate, is not thought to have taken the issue seriously, and


I think we need a new review and a much more detailed, more


high-powered review to look at the problem we have in Labour and to


deal with it. When I became leader I understood a


number of people had been suspended from the party before I became


leader. I received reports of anti-Semitic remarks and behaviour


at certain party events and I am well aware of the rise of


anti-Semitism across Britain and Europe. The first point,


anti-Semitism is absolutely and totally unacceptable anywhere in our


society, and our party. The second point, I did ask Shami Chakrabati,


the former director of Liberty to undertake an investigation, and I


asked her to do it quickly so I could be in a position to put a


statement to the national executive and put proposals to the conference


to deal with issues of suspension and anti-Semitism in the party. We


launched that report, and it obviously should be subject to


review at a later stage to see how it's getting on. We have to say to


everybody in the Labour Party, this is a safe place to be. It's a


welcoming party to be, of people of all faiths, of all religions, to


come to our party and work together to achieve the kind of social


justice... APPLAUSE Your own Labour MP Ruth Smeaton said


that you failed to intervene, and it was final proof when she was heckled


at the meeting, final proof for me that you are unfit to lead and a


Labour Party under your stewardship cannot be a safe space for British


Jews. I'm very disappointed Ruth would say that. She was subject to


some appalling abuse earlier this week and last weekend. I send my


support, sympathy and solidarity to her, as I would anybody is subject


to that kind of abuse. I do not accept any kind of racist abuse in


any form or forum. She has been subject to abuse and Ruth is


currently being protected by the police, so serious is the abuse she


has been subjected to. The point she makes and the point other members of


the Jewish community have made, under Jeremy's leadership, we have


seen people coming into the Labour Party from the hard left of


politics, bringing anti-Semitic attitudes into the party. That is


not acceptable. Who are you talking about? I think there are people on


the far left flooding into the Labour Party. That's their word not


mine. The AWL, the Alliance of workers liberty, said a couple of


weeks ago that they would flood into the Labour Party. Other people from


hard left groups have come into Labour. I saw a tweet recently from


Jeremy's... Purporting to be from Jeremy's team to a hard left group


saying that you are welcome to come to Jeremy's rallies, just leave the


flags and banners at home. The reason for that, we have seen some


of those flags and banners at some of Jeremy's rallies. Unfortunately,


some of those people are bringing a attitude into the party from the


hard left. When you say the hard left, the Labour Party as a


left-wing party. Are you saying these people shouldn't be allowed


in? People coming in from the AWL and SWP, these people who have not


been prescribed as not being members of the Labour Party, not being able


to join. Some of the ways people are trying to get into the party,


advocating Jeremy. Are you saying he's allowing it or advocating it? I


think some people around Jeremy are absolutely encouraging it and that


there is no doubt. I'm sure we can agree on two things. Firstly, that


all of us together are going to make sure that we defeat any aspects of


anti-Semitism within our party and society. On that I'm sure we are


absolutely agreed, yes? We are agreed but I'm not sure you are


entirely committed to it. Owen, that is a completely unfair way of saying


it. I have spent my life opposing racism in any form, as have you.


APPLAUSE I stand here, and many people on the


left... Many people on the hard left of our party who have been alongside


you over many years do associate anti-Zionist, anti-imperialist,


antique anti-Israel perspective. I don't think you have been strong


enough in speaking out against them and distancing yourself. We are all


opposed to anti-Semitism and any form of racism in our society. That


is what the core of our party is about. It was a statement put to the


national executive that was unanimously agreed. Some of your


Jewish Labour MPs do not feel the Labour Party under your leadership


is a safe place. I support them in their right to their identity and


what they say. I support them when they say they are abused, just as I


would support anyone else who is abused. Just as you would. They


don't feel that support. The young man who asked that in the first


place? Jeremy says he's antiracism but he supports groups such as Hamas


who call for the death of all Jews. No, I do not support Hamas, as you


know. I have met people from Hamas. Do I agree with them? No. I think


there is a chance of one day of getting a peace agreement between


Palestine and Israel. I believe that and I want it to happen. Following


on from the gentleman's question, a lot of members of the Muslim


community also do not feel safe on the street. Islamophobia is an up


and coming issue affecting many people in this country. Definitely.


You say definitely, but you endorsed the Prevent strategy. Especially


after many of the terrorist atrocities around the world. The


backlash, the Muslim community, there are hate crimes against them.


There are women who want to wear a headscarf who don't feel safe to


leave the house. My question to you is, what will you do to make it


safer for Muslims, as well as the Jewish community, apart from


endorsing the Prevent programme, which virtually everybody is


against. I hate to say it, but you are wrong. What I said was, when


Prevent was started in 2005 under the Labour government, was designed


to try to better integrate people who felt isolated in the Muslim


community into wider society. It clearly hasn't worked. It wasn't


working well under Labour, and has now been completely subverted by the


Tories and is seen by many people as a racist project. So why do you want


to increase the funding? I want to increase the funding in order to


change it. How would you change it? By taking it back to what it was


meant to be at the beginning, a scheme that was designed to


integrate people. It has to be a scheme that was designed to mitigate


against radicalism, and make sure the Muslim community feel fully


integrated and celebrated in our community. All of us want that in


our country. I'm certain it up I was leader of the Labour Party it would


be my policy. We only have five minutes left. I would like to say


something to him. Moving on from Prevent, don't you think we should


actually build a much stronger sense of community cohesion among all


faiths and groups, and generate a sense of antiracism in society. The


danger is it isolates the Muslim community, targets young Muslims and


expect teachers to report on them if they think they are going in a bad


direction. Instead we should bring communities together. That bothers


me about it. What bothers me as much is the growth of hate crime and


racist violence on the streets of this country. We have to unite


together to oppose all of that. APPLAUSE


I want quick answers to this question. Our junior doctors right


to go on strike and do you support them? It's a yes or no. They have


every right to go on strike but I hope the government will, even now,


engage in proper negotiations with the BMA, proper negotiations with


junior doctors who are the lifeblood of our National Health Service. They


do not want to withdraw labour, they want to support our NHS. The problem


is Jeremy Hunt. The question wasn't do they have the right to strike,


the question was are they right to strike? They felt they were forced


into it. They have withdrawn the strike they planned because they


hoped to get negotiations going and they are hoping the government will


make some progress on it. I hope the government is listing because those


doctors are crucial to our health service. Owen Smith? I would also


defend their right to go on strike. I think the strike is potentially


dangerous which is why they said they would call off the five-day


strike they were planning. I completely understand the way they


feel about our NHS. ?2.5 billion in debt in our country. A, maternity


units closing down. The Tories undermining the NHS at every turn.


That's why we need a Labour government to reinvest again and I


would invest 60 billion over a five-year parliament. A lot of solid


political questions. Eight an intriguing question from Suzy


Robertson. My dad is a retired bus driver and was proud to receive an


MBE from the Queen for services to trade unions. What's your view on


the monarchy? Jeremy Corbyn. I'm glad he received an honour, well


done to him, but I just don't think serving politicians should receive


an honour. That was not the question. The question was, what's


your view the monarchy? I'm I thought the view was on the honours?


No, what's your view on the monarchy? I'm not campaigning on the


issues of the monarchy, I'm campaigning on the issues of


democracy in our society. I'm in favour of retaining the economy. I


think the Queen does a great job and I'm sure your father was very


pleased to get the award. Good on him. Patrick Morrell, very brief,


please. How would you heal the divisions in the Labour Party, and


as a winner would you offer a post to the winner, and as loser would


you serve under the winner? I think we have that answered. I want the


party to come together. I want us to end the election campaign, agree on


our general political direction on austerity, social justice and those


things we agree on. Of course I would be delighted to work with Owen


Smith. Would you offer him a post? I've already done it. I think he


should be president or chairman of the party. It doesn't exist! We end


where we started. Our time is up, I'm afraid. Thank you both very much


indeed. Question Time will be


in Salisbury next week, with Education Secretary Justine


Greening for the Conservatives, Labour's Shadow Chancellor John


McDonnell, and Tony Blair's former Director


of Communications Alastair Campbell. BOOING


Hold it. The following week we'll be


in Sutton Coldfield. If you would like to come along,


go to our website, or call


0330 123 99 88. Thanks to Jeremy Corbyn,


Owen Smith, and the audience. From Oldham, until next


Thursday, goodnight.


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