David Dimbleby chairs topical debate from Hastings. On the panel are Liam Fox, Stella Creasy, Zanny Minton Beddoes, Kerry-Anne Mendoza and Nick Ferrari.
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Tonight we're in Hastings, and welcome to Question
On our panel tonight one of the three Brexiteers, the Conservative
International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox.
Stella Creasy, the Labour MP, who today
forced the Government to agree free abortions
in Britain for women from
The Editor-in-Chief of the The Economist,
The founder and editor of the left-wing news website
host who teaches politicians to count, Nick Ferrari.
Rememeber at home using Twitter, Facebook or text.
The first question from Marianne Smith, please.
Is it right that ten DUP votes have been
bought by the Government when
Mrs May told a nurse that there was no magic money tree?
So, she actually said that here on
Question Time to a nurse when she was on the programme before the
"There isn't a magic money tree that we can shake that
suddenly provides for everything that people want."
after the election had no overall majority.
That's what's required by our constitution and that's what
The DUP share a lot of common elements with the
Conservative Party, on things like the union,
believing in the union of
They support our Brexit deal, they support our
proposals we have with dealing with extremism.
They are very important elements going forward.
It's the billion pounds she's talking about.
What of course we, it's the MPs from the DUP, clearly,
they wanted to get better funding for Northern Ireland and things like
infrastructure and who can blame them.
They've got an influence that they didn't have before and that's
But there is something that was different
about Northern Ireland, if
you look at the city deals done in England,
there were over nearly over ?3.2 billion worth
In Scotland three-quarters of billion
of city deals done, in Wales half a billion.
They weren't getting any of the benefit
of that programme that the
So to get the funding that it deserves, Theresa May
has to depend on them to stay in power?
No, but the funding has been allocated for a number of specific
Mental health is one of them, clearly.
The facilities in Northern Ireland should be better
but also Northern Ireland's infrastructure in terms of its
economy, has a number of deficiencies.
Northern Ireland in terms of exports is the lowest
exporting part of the United Kingdom.
We were told two weeks ago there wasn't any?
The money will come from the Treasury, it will have to come
from within the existing programmes that we have.
So there is a money tree, you just shake it?
But we do have programmes that need to be funded.
Remember this money does not go to the DUP, this money
goes to the Government of Northern Ireland itself.
But it is money that is found when you needed to find a
It's not money that was sitting there that nobody
There are lots of places in this in this country that could do with a
I'm interestedin how you started this answer, you said that
the Government had a duty to form a government.
It didn't have a duty to do a grubby deal.
It could have perfectly well functioned as a
We have had minority governments before,
although, they tend to be quite weak ones but it's not at all clear to me
that this deal which not own is frankly, a grubby bribe of a billion
that this deal which not only is frankly,
pounds, it also makes the whole peace process somewhat harder.
I would say that it makes Brexit more
In this case to paraphrase someone, no deal might have
The question was, was it right, and it was right and it
It was wrong because it was shabby but it's what politicians
sometimes do, and politicians of all colours.
We can look in the past at Labour, how they, when they were in
power they channelled vast sums of money to
northern cities such as
Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, where they have the core vote, so in a way
it is the same sort of thing it is equally shabby.
It shouldn't have been done but it was done.
How can you possibly equate investing in the regeneraling
of much needed regeneraling ration of towns and cities across
the land with a grubby little deal that Theresa May made simply to
Where I believe it was a good thing, that given what
we have seen as utterances of Jeremy Corbyn and from the Shadow
Chancellor, John McDonald, a couple of weeks ago or so.
prospect of having Jeremy Corbyn as our
Prime Minister, as I would of as
going for a Sunday drive with Richard Hammond, so I'm rather
pleased that they have done the deal.
We can talk about the mechanics of what's happening in
Parliament and the fact it basically equates
to every single DUP, MP,
being worth ?1 million, but actually what matters here is that this
country hasn't had a pay rise for ten years.
People, I see it in my surgery, in my constituency every day, people
for whom there is far too much month left
at the end of their money and
And I'm talking to schools where teachers are
My local hospital has a nurses shortage.
Our public sector workers, those firemen, those policemen that kept
us safe, who ran into burning building buildings.
And yesterday, Some of them might have turned on
the news halfway through the day and thought finally, somebody is
listening, so what a cruel, horrible moment it was,
when the Government voted down our attempt, to say, you
know what, there is agreement across this House that these people deserve
a pay rise, let's do something about it.
To come back to Marianne's question, we all
watched that nurse plead with Theresa May, plead with her,
that she hadn't had a pay rise for ten
years and she needed a break and the Prime
Minister looked her square in
the eye and said there was no magic money tree and when the British
public refused to give Theresa May a majority,
the first thing she did with that majority that she bought with ?1.5
She said to that nurse, she said to the police
that ran into the Manchester concert bombing and the terrorist attacks on
London and she said to the firefighters that ran up 20
storeys in Grenfell Tower, to save lives,
storeys in Grenfell Tower, to save lives -
I can't believe Liam Fox mentioned security in connection
The Tory Party tried to smear Corbyn with his connection
with attempting to create a peace deal in Northern Ireland and now you
have gone into cruelly with actual terrorist sympathisers who have
I think it is incredible, especially from Labour,
that they are not recognising, as Nigel Dodds said, Labour
tried to do a deal in 2015 and 2010 and also the SNP tried to do a deal
with the DUP so I feel like it's a bit of hypocracy from everybody.
with the DUP so I feel like it's a bit of hypocrisy from everybody.
Liam Fox, do you want to come back on the money point?
It's a very good point, a point I was going to make, that
Stella did not mention about the confidence
Liam, do you think I would have voted
to go into coalition with the
people I've just been fighting about abortion rights with?
You tried to go into coalition with them in 2010.
Gordon Brown tried to stay in power by doing
2010, so let's have none of this high mind stuff.
Can I ask you, one question is, did you really need to do this?
It seems hard to believe that the DUP, when push came
to shove, would vote against you if it meant that
Jeremy Corbyn would be in power, given his relationship
I think you have a view that your good negotiators,
I think you have a view that you're good negotiators,
with the crack negotiating team, it strikes me
that in this area it was
Mr Fox, you can't explain that the deal with the DUP is to improve
infrastructure, this is really just a employ to get into power.
infrastructure, this is really just a ploy to get into power.
Should MPs receive a wage freeze and cap on expenses in this time of
And I think, Stella Creasy, I'm right in saying you got a 10% pay
Yes, I and opposed it, and I donated and I have donated it
Yes, I and opposed it, and I have donated it
towards the cost in my office of having more casework staff to be
able to respond to the need of my local community because I won't
I think that if we're going to ask the public sector to
continue with pay restraint we will have to do the same.
I don't think there will be an option.
We had that correction back in 2015, I think
that the public found that hard to swallow.
I think if we got that correction and we are going to have to impose
continued restraint on public sector, we are going to have to lead
Would you like to see the pay cap ended?
I think we need to look at the control of public
We have a balance here to strike between our duty to remunerate those
who work in the public sector and also to look
after the interests of
the taxpayers who pay the wages for those in the public sector.
I think that we've got a number of public
pay review bodies coming forward, that's the appropriate place to look
But we need to remember that when we're talking about our
public spending, we are spending as a country
debt interest, for which we get nothing at all.
And that's because of the debts we've run up in the
past and the interest that's accrued on the debts.
We've got to get to a point where we stop doing that and
what people call austerity is actually living within your means.
Hang on, you know the pressure there is.
You know the pressure there is on the 1% pay cap.
You opposed it when Labour put up, are you saying there
will not be any change and there should not be any
change in that policy, or are you saying wait for
Maybe the Chancellor will find her way around it.
The Chancellor has made clear that we will look at the pay review
bodies for the groups such as the nurses
that we will look at and as
But the idea that the country can spend money that it doesn't have and
simply leave the debt to the next generation is simply not acceptable.
I have to say, this is high hypocracy indeed from the man who
submitted an expenses claim for three pence for driving 100m,
and frankly I'm surprised to see you
I thought your best friend Adam Werritty might
replace you which he did when you were Secretary Of Defense and was
also, put up, I believe, in an apartment in London as taxpayer's
expense, that's paid for by you, and you were later forced to return
that you can sit here and talk about those terms with
a straight face and tell these people, talk about terms of
austerity, restraint, and living within your own means, when you were
quite happy to subordinate those in your own interests.
Can I just say, that you know we are here to have a debate,
I think people here would like to have a real debate about the real
I would like to debate with Liam, because you're talking Liam, like
you haven't been in government responsible for our economy for the
last seven years, and you're talking like your government doesn't have
I agree, I want to get the debt down, because every pound we're
paying in interest is money we're paying to bankers,
rather than putting into
That's why I get frustrated when I see your
government wasting money on things like the bedroom tax, which costs
more than it saves, on things like the contract to the DWP and
the person-to-person payments and you wasted ?3 million.
Your government has promised every single
If your government was the financial manager
of a company, you would have sacked them by now.
You talk about the next generation, you know, there wasn't be any
midwives around in the NHS if you don't value them.
You talk about the next generation, you know, there won't be any
midwives around in the NHS if you don't value them.
I haven't had pay rise for seven years and I'm very experienced.
Sorry, are you saying you're leaving, you say
You talk about the Pay Review Body, the Pay
Review Body reports that 80% of the midwives that left
the profession would have stayed if they were
Let's hear from the woman in green at the back.
I would want to pay more tax so that our firefighters, paramedics, anyone
in public service I value the education I have, the education my
I value the education I have, the education my
grandchildren will be getting and I value my family
having a hospital bed, so I don't understand why it is
The young man in the check shirt in the middle in the third row.
Going back to MPs' pay, I don't think a lot of people
realise just how important all MPs' jobs are.
The initial question was, should MPs have a pay restraint.
And what I find truly extraordinary is that I heard a figure,
and bear in mind these nurses and firefighters and others,
their pay has been capped for seven years.
And it's a possibility it might be capped for another seven years.
The last time I looked, when I went to Sainsbury's,
Tesco or Waitrose, the prices haven't been capped for seven years.
Nor have your rents, nor has your mortgage,
And what is amazing, it's not just the 1 billion,
or 1.5 billion that we've debated, the deal with the DUP.
There are so many other things on which this government
and previous governments waste extraordinary amounts of money.
For instance, I'll just say the foreign aid budget,
which I find quite incredible, ?17 billion.
But one other thing, which is a ?56 billion white
elephant called HS2, which is where we all need better
broadband, and I understand that Hastings is an area that doesn't
have the greatest rail service, so possibly I'm playing
The man in blue with spectacles in the middle.
I appreciate we're living through a time of great austerity,
but I'm very concerned about recent changes to the benefit system.
I tell you, I was made redundant a year ago,
I've had 19 job interviews in a year.
But a recent change to the benefit system means you now have to be
unemployed for nine months, or 39 weeks, before you get any help
I'm close to losing my home because of this.
Zanny Minton Beddoes, back to the main question.
I think the audience are raising incredibly important points
which lead into what I think we should be doing and need to have
as a country is a very serious conversation about about what kind
of services we want, what we want to be paying people
in the public sector, what that means in terms
of spending, and how we are going to raise the tax
We still have, Doctor Fox is right, a pretty big budget deficit.
We are spending far more than we are bringing in.
We are about to, because of Brexit, I'm afraid, have a hit
in our economy which will mean less tax revenue.
People are going to be poorer, and therefore there will
It's perfectly reasonable that we may want to spend
more on public services, but we're starting from
So if we want to spend more, we need to raise more tax revenue.
And Jeremy Corbyn, I'm afraid, is wrong to think that all of that
tax revenue can come from corporations or the very rich.
We have to have a proper, serious, grown-up conversation,
as the lady in the back row said, about how much tax we as a society
want to pay, and what kind of public services we want.
We mentioned Brexit and I want to move on to Brexit.
Which we've had many more questions about than anything.
But just before I do, Question Time is going to be
That's the last programme of the summer.
We are going to be back in September.
But if you want to come to Burton upon Trent,
Andy Thomson, let's have your question, please.
Why have 101 MPs this evening again gone against the will of the British
people by voting to remain in the single market
Stella Creasy was one of them.
50, I think, Labour, and 50 other parties voting against,
voting in favour of remaining in the single market.
Let me be very clear, right, we are leaving the European Union.
The question now is what is the best deal for Britain.
And I voted against the Article 50 legislation.
I voted tonight to make a point about the importance of having
single market membership as part of the negotiations,
for exactly the point that Zanny is talking about.
Because the economic and social cost of these things
And we need some honesty here about the choices
And I worry about a government that before it has even begun
the negotiations takes things off the table.
So I want all of these options on the table.
650,000 jobs in London alone are dependent on the single market.
If we want a Brexit that is going to work for this
country, we have to decide what we think is important.
And I think people's livelihoods and being able to keep
a roof above their heads, to know there is a job
for them and their kids, is something we should prioritise.
How do you leave the EU and remain in the customs union
There are 101 different combinations that could happen.
One of the things that is frustrating about this debate
for the last nine months is that you have had Brexit means Brexit
Different countries are part of the European Free Trade association.
There are countries that are part of the customs union.
The Prime Minister said she would like to be an associate
It's a membership that doesn't even exist yet.
At the moment this government is asking for the moon on a stick.
And I want this country to be able to have some serious
options to choose from, because the reality
Now, I know that is going to be a difficult message for people,
but I think you want politicians who are acting in what they think
None of this is about repeating the referendum or undermining it.
It's about saying what is in our best interests as a country.
And I think that's the first thing you elect politicians to do.
So, Liam Fox, 101 different combinations.
Did you think that Stella Creasy and others were going
against the will of the British people by voting to stay
Let's face it, the people who say we want to stay
in the single market, stay in the customs union,
but we still respect the will of the British people,
They tried to frustrate the will of the British people.
The British people made very clear in the referendum,
and then in the general election, incidentally.
The Conservative Party said we will leave the single market.
82% of voters voted for one of those parties that is going
And I would say to those who are intent on thwarting
what the British public voted for in the referendum, we voted
to have control of our own laws, our borders and our money.
That means not being under the influence of the European Court
of Justice, not having complete free movement, as we have
What don't you understand about democratic referendum,
or binary, because that's what we voted for?
That's not actually true about the Labour manifesto,
but also, we've just had a general election.
Your government asked for a thumping mandate for that approach,
for that hard Brexit, come what may,
The public said that's not what they want.
If you're right about this issue, why did your party leader sack four
shadow ministers tonight because they voted with you?
I'm not going to pretend there's not a debate
Actually, there are plenty on your side, Liam, who agree with us,
that the government should be asking about all options, that you don't go
into negotiations writing off two thirds of things.
Not one Conservative joined you tonight.
Not a single Conservative voted with you tonight.
Liam, have some honesty with this audience.
There are Conservatives who also agree that single market membership
should be something that is part of the discussions.
It doesn't mean it will happen but it does mean it is part
Why are you cutting off our nose to spite our face?
Let's bring in other members of the panel and the audience.
There seems to be, both from you, Liam, and from the audience,
As far as I remember, the referendum was about did
It was not did we want to leave the single market, did
we want to leave the customs union, and it so happens...
It has been interpreted in the past year to be Brexit means
Stella is right that the results of the election were not a thumping
You can say, "Not", but if you look at opinion polls now,
opinion polls seem to suggest that a majority of the British people
actually want to stay in the customs union.
Go and look at the Mail on Sunday opinion poll.
Better if some of you speak than all of you shout.
Who disagrees with what Zanny has just said?
Let's hear from the woman on the right.
What did you vote for when you voted?
I didn't vote most recently because I didn't think
For hundreds of years, this country has stood
on its own and has been the best in the world for almost everything.
We've joined up with others, and it's a load of rubbish.
We should be back where we were, on our own.
Anybody else want to take issue with what she said?
I think there's a little addressed issue in society that
there's this balance between freedom and responsibility.
There is not only left and right in the world, obviously,
because Brexit proved that, split down party lines.
But there is this issue that people want to be free,
and we voted by a slim majority, but we voted to be free from
Anyone saying it's going to be terrible if we stay,
or great if we stay, terrible if we leave,
What about the 101 different combinations, as Stella Creasy says,
And they should be available within the referendum of last year?
We can't all vote on 101 different things.
That's what the government's for, we delegate that to them.
Nice for some of us, but hell for most of us.
Stella says that 650,000 jobs in London depend on the EU.
They are not going to go away just because we leave.
And you say that we want to be isolationist.
The share of the world GDP that the EU has is going down
We want to look to the rest of the world.
There's a big world out there, which we can be part of.
And what do you think of remaining in the single or remaining
I think we should come out of both of them.
Just before we move on, to the gentleman there
who has tried 19 times, I wish you the very best of luck
and I hope somebody is watching tonight that gives you a go.
That gentleman there who has lost his job and tried 19 jobs.
By the way, I will write you a reference.
I have known you for 20 years and you are the finest guy
This is the reality of the situation.
Would it be a good idea to perhaps pay some cash so we could get back
Yes, possibly, but it is never going to happen.
To bring up the point from the young man sitting over here,
It is a big, brave, bold world out there.
And I ask you in all honesty, as you look at the European Union
at the moment, as you see where Greece is, where Italy's
economy is, as you see where unemployment is in Spain
and Portugal, would you want to now tie yourself to something like that
which is past its prime and possibly like the old Soviet Union?
And just finally, much as I respect Liam and I respect
the whole front row, the rugby front row of our
negotiators, Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox,
I can't help but think the person who should be doing
the negotiations is Arlene Foster, because by God she got a good
I think the audience have raised really good points.
In fact, journalist Paul Mason wrote an incredible piece prior
to the EU referendum which was about
And the fact that you could even have a referendum where people
who were never going to be responsible for delivering that
Brexit, or that Remain, were allowed to make whatever
promises they felt like on the day in order to get their victory,
and never have to take accountability for the result.
And I think there's a real case now, actually.
We've got Brexit people in the audience and on the panel.
And your main argument about Brexit and the fact that we should go
ahead is that we had to have the democratic mandate.
I agree with you, which is why I think there is a legitimate case
for saying that when the Brexit deal comes back, we hold
If, as our panel are saying, our MPs really have got the best
interests of Britain at heart, rather than self-interest,
then after the British people have had the opportunity to vote us
in or out on Brexit, there should be a cross-party
project for the good of the nation, to come together, so that then
You are the man in waiting, in charge of negotiating deals
with the rest of the world, as I understand it, once the main
So presumably you are slightly hanging around.
To answer your point, we have actually got a lot of work
to do to prepare to leave the European Union, in terms
of the agreements that we are party to as part of the European Union.
We have to turn them into agreements for the United Kingdom outside.
And the reason it's important, 90% of global growth in the next ten
If we as a country want to generate the wealth that we will need
for all those things that everybody wants in terms of spending
on public services, that growth is going to come
We need to access and get into those markets, outside the European Union.
That's where growth is going to come.
I'm sorry, let me just put a question.
Are there any circumstances in which remaining in the single
market or the customs union, the question asked,
would appeal to you, you would find it a sensible course?
Or is Brexit means Brexit? If we stay in the single market, we are
subjected to the course, and if we stay in the customs union we can't
negotiate our trade agreements as we are bounded by the common ex-tariff
and then we are not able to work with developing countries... We will
have both an economic and a moral mission to be able to make the best
of the decision that the British people have given us. That
opportunity is taking advantages of those big markets that are out there
for our future prosperity. Stella Creasy? I want, I think this
is great rhetoric, But can I add reality to the great new world we
are going to conquer. Yes, there are growing economies growing faster
outside of the Europe. 61% of the countries have a union with the
trade deals. 61% of our trade is with either the
European Union or with countries with which the European Union has a
free trade, so we have free trade with those countries, the rest is
divided half to the United States and half to other countries. The
United States we may get a free trade deal but tariffs are low. The
US would want access to agriculture markets, what we want is greater
access for services. I think more free trade is great. But it means
that the British people, having hormone beef, chlorine washed
chicken, yes, it does as that is what the Americans want. And the
other thing, Liam, as you know well, the Americans will not negotiate
with you until they know the relationship that you have the rest
of the European Union and ditto with the other emerging economies. And a
fact, if the trade with the EU decreases by 5% you have to increase
trade with the 10 biggest Commonwealth economies by more than
30%. So a tiny decline in trade. How would you go along with it? Stay
in the customs union. Can you put your hand on heart and say staying
in the customs union and single market accords with the wishes of
the 52% of the British people who wanted to remain? Yes. There will be
changes to the way that Britain has a relationship with the European
Union but it is a negotiation that should not exclude the sensible
approach, to have all options on the table.
But we have to leave. We have been told to leave by the people. We have
been given an instruction. If we stay in the single market we are
still in the European Union to all intents and purposes.
Stella, I come to you. The woman up there, the second row
from the back? I would trust what Zanny says as she works for the the
The Economist, so I think we should listen to her.
And the woman in the front? Thank you. We have, we are close to
Europe, there is 300 million people, how are we going to, with the rest
of the world, Australia has a population of about 23 million,
Norway about 5 million, Canada 40-odd million, and someone said
well, India has a huge population but there are not that many rich
people in India, why reject the 300 million people on our doorstep? We
are not rejecting the people... This is, we are not rejecting Europe.
Correction, not rejecting. We want an open and liberal trade
agreement with the European Union. But there are very, very big markets
out there that we can take advantage of. As for the US are not having
talks, we are beginning discussions on the 24th of July, next month.
I want to go on. There are many other questions yes? This debate
proves why you need more Parliamentally scrutiny. Liam is not
levelling, whoever we trade with, we will have to abuy bide by their
regulations. You need to know the options. What I and the others who
are concerned about walking away from the single market membership,
it is not just the tariffs but the standards, your employment rights,
environmental standards, we can look at the deal without compromising the
commitment that the referendum has had. Believe me, I don't want to run
the referendum again. But I do want what is in the best interests of the
country. I want the British public to know that the politicians have
done a proper job of scrutinising the options so that we have the best
deal. I can't tell you hand on heart that is what is happening now.
Keith Piggot, please? The horror of Grenfell Tower became politicised
during the PM's Question Time, do the panel think that Parliament
should adopt Theresa May's collect Ian's guilt approach to resolve or
Jeremy Corbyn's austerity point-scoring? As you know there was
a division of opinion in the House of Commons. Nick Ferrari? I thought
that was one of the lowest moments in Prime Minister's Questions I have
seen for some time. There are people as we speak, who don't know where
loved ones are, who don't know where their families are. Incredibly
diligent men and women wading through, I apologise for this but up
to three feet of broken appliances, ash, goodness knows what else, to
see the leader of the political party to score a cheap point over
that, I thought was reprehensible. Beaten by your Shadow Chancellor,
John McDonald, suggesting irresponsible, and incorrectly, it
could be illegally, that they were murdered by political decisions.
There is a time... There is a time...
APPLAUSE There is a time for able
politicians, such as Stella and Liam and the colleagues to debate this
but while the brave men and women are searching for fragments of bone
or teeth, this is not the time to get political about it.
What I think is more reprehensible than your point is that it has taken
a tragedy like Grenfell Tower to even race the issue. No-one was
speaking about it before. Why shouldn't Jeremy Corbyn bring it up?
There will be a time to answer you, sir. I hope that there is a sea
change as to how the Hillsborough challenge was run, I hope that there
is sea change movement, I really do. But there are no party political
points to score. I don't want to do this, you can see that you can track
legislation to Tony Blair, to the coalition government, no one party
emerges with any credit here, so they should not be playing this
You know what I think is reprehensible, I think it is
reprehensible and disgusting, that the reason that building was wrapped
in combustible cladding is because of the poverty of the people living
in that tower block was offensive enough to hide behind combustible
cladding... And I make no apology for saying it.
Well it is wrong, you have to, actually. This is not about party
politics, this is about, what it is about is saying there were a chain
of events that led to this fire that have to be analysed, and questions
have to be asked and answered openly. It is not me saying that, it
is not Jeremy Corbyn saying that, it is the survivors of this disaster.
It is the residents of that tower who wrote in 2014, saying that they
believed this was a fire risk. They wrote in March of this year.
They said it would take a catastrophic event for our concerns
to be listened to. And tragically, that proved true because those
people, because they were poor, because they were immigrants... No.
No. You cannot say that. They were ignored. I guarantee if they were
the richer residents of Chelsea making that complaint... There was a
Fire Brigades Union stadium, they play where there is this cladding.
There are hotels, ?200 a night, they have this cladding. You have to let
the inquiry take its course. You must.
In 2009, six people were killed in a tower block fire in Southwark. The
coroner said in 2013 that the cladding was to blame and that all
tower blocks should be retro fitted with sprinklers, the government did
not provide the resources, they sent a letter, it was not compulsory,
they had the choice. David Cameron had the bonfire of building
regulations, and he boasted that. Liam Fox? Like a lot of people who
have worked for the Emergency Services, this fire brought back a
lot of unpleasant memories for me. I was a junior doctor, there was a
fire, you may remember it, David, the so-called Ice Cream Wars, people
holding their children in their arms in a baricated flat block and people
died in that. For me it brought back unpleasant memories of that. There
will be a time to ask a lot of these questions but there is still a great
deal of suffering going on. People have had their lives ruined. People
have had their families, they will never be together again. We need to
conduct the debate with a little bit of respect for them. Politicising it
is deeply tasteless and it is offensive. I could not agree more
but can I say... I think there has been a public possibility failure
for decades. We have to come to terms with that. It has come at a
lot of levels, at government, inspection, building, at local
authority level, and we would be wise now to let the inquiry take its
course, stop pointing fingers and remember this is essentially still a
dreadful, dreadful human tragedy that we're witnessing.
Stella Creasy, what Corbyn said in the House of Commons is that the
fire was the result of disastrous effects of austerity, of a price
paid in public safety, the terrible consequences of deregulation,
cutting corners that stem from a disregard for working-class
communities. Do you endorse that view? I am mindful if my community
in Walthamstow that there are people in blocks that have cladding that is
being investigated. So I agree we have to choose our words carefully.
I am concerned by what we have seen by the judge in the encary, who has
said he doesn't think he can satisfy the concerns of the green fell
residents in terms of what he can look at. He is looking at the fire
and what happened after. Absolutely, there is a time and a place for
those discussions. If there is one thing we have learned from
Hillsborough, if you are looking for both truth and accountability,
transparency matters. It does look like there is increasing concern
about building regulations. We don't know which way it goes. We know
looking at whether or not the building regulations in this country
have been applied or been too flexible or not enforced, it is a
question to be answered. Was your leader right to say it was
a disregard for working class communities and the disastrous
effects that caused this fire. Right or wrong to say in the House of
Commons? I don't agree with the way in which he put it, I do agree that
the inquiry should look at a wider range of issues. All of us, you can
hear the heat in the audience, you can hear the concern. I understand
where Jeremy was coming from in being concerned, and all of us must
channel our anger into what is the best thing for those people worried
about the cladding around them it is right to have proper investigation.
And I would like the public advocate process fast tracked. Having the
voices of the residents, the victims, front and centre, why are
they not able to negotiate with the judge about his remit? That they
have not, the worry is that the questions may not get looked at. We
all want a proper and independent investigation as to what happened.
Zanny Minton Beddoes? We need a proper investigation, that is
transparent but also speedy. Part of the problem with public enquiries is
that they go on. It is incredibly emotional issue. It is a terrible,
terrible tragedy. Is it right it should abpolitical
issue? No, I think that Jeremy Corbyn was utterly wrong to say
that. I think it was both inaccurate and
unhelpful and importantly unful helpful as adding to the emotion
make it is less likely we have the speedy transparent inquiry we must
have. And it can happen. There was a terrible fire in Clint.
There was a quick an sips of what needed to happen with building are
laces and enforcement and things changed fast.
We need that, but we also need to have, frankly, a broader look.
And this is where I think austerity here is not irrelevant
But there is a broader problem with the housing
stock in this country, that this is partly a reflection of.
And we need to have a debate on that.
The inquiry isn't going to have that.
The inquiry needs to look at building regulations
and what caused the fire, how it spread, what can be done
as quickly to improve things as possible.
But beyond that, we need a broader debate as a country.
Building regulations isn't part of the inquiry at the moment,
and I think that's the concern that many of us have, that that
ought to be something we are looking at now.
This is a collection of 600 Victorian cuttings
The first cuttings says how to keep fire away from people and how
They are never learned, they are just forgotten.
And that has happened in this case, for decades, by all parties.
What will be done to make sure that the government,
whoever it may be, will listen to this public enquiry and make sure
that they do the recommendations, that it goes into legislation?
You think the enquiry may just be published and nothing happens.
That's a very relevant point, but sort of revisiting something I said.
Tragically, every now and again, something comes along
that just sears its way into our consciousness,
We've got to be careful what we say because that's been
a momentous week for that, or the King's Cross fire,
And it causes massive change, because it is the will of the people
and the politicians know there has to be change.
I'm telling you now, in two or three years,
there won't be cladding on any of these hotels, any of these
hospitals, any of these schools, any of these apartment blocks,
and Britain will be a bloody better place for it.
Can we also as a country end the critique
of health and safety, because this government boasted
about having a one in, two out approach to regulation.
If we are learning anything, actually regulations about health
If one of the things that comes out of this is a recognition that health
and safety is there exactly for those reasons, that's
You raised the point about legislation is very key.
But you can legislate, and you can have regulations all you like.
We have to make sure they are implemented.
Politicians, we can pass laws, but if they are not being
implemented on the ground, if there is not a mechanism
to ensure that they are being implemented, then
Part of the reason that enforcement isn't taking place
is because of cuts to local government funding of 40%.
If you're not paying for the inspectors to enforce
the legislation, then there's a problem.
I just wanted to say that we need to move from the disgrace
of the current situation to amazing grace.
Let's take politics out of social housing, and boost our economy
through social infrastructure, and build more social housing.
We've got a few minutes left, eight or so minutes.
Do the mainstream media still serve any useful purpose?
We have the founder of the Canary, which is I imagine not mainstream
media of the kind you are talking about, newspapers and television.
Newspapers primarily, yes, but TV, radio...
Frankly, I don't think you would be in the audience or we would be
on the panel if there was no purpose to the exchanges that we are having.
I think we need to get as much public discourse as possible.
Perhaps we need to look at the formats that we have,
in terms of whether they are interesting to young voters,
whether we are creative enough in the way that we get
But the more that we can get information, the more we can get
people involved in the political process and public policy
I think the media does need to innovate, but the other thing
that we require a free media for is a counterbalance
We need a media that is able to say things that politicians don't like,
there needs to be an ability for people to express views we don't
That is how you keep a free and open society,
and that, hopefully, is the legacy we would want
Kerry-Anne Mendoza, you founded the Canary,
Do mainstream media serve any useful purpose, or do young people,
younger voters, look to people like you for their information?
I would disagree with Liam's analysis about format.
The issue is a painful lack of diversity in our mainstream media.
And it's a lack of diversity on several levels.
First, you have a lack of diversity in terms of ownership.
80% of our media is owned by six corporations.
But that lack of diversity then permeates into the newsrooms.
So the whole path into journalism these days
is you basically go to a handful of universities, maybe six.
And then you do an unpaid internship, probably
There was a study that came out yesterday.
51% of our journalists were public school educated.
Compared to 7% of the population at large.
So what you end up with is a mostly white, mostly male,
mostly middle-class media, based mostly in London.
And the problem with that is that that narrow slice of humanity
And this isn't about people being evil or being cruel.
It's just simply, it shouldn't be a controversial point to say
that the newsrooms of the British media should look and sound
like the modern Britain in which they sit.
That should not be a controversial point.
It will be an unpalatable fact for you but the reality
is that the people who were involved in the brutal racist killing
of Stephen Lawrence would not be behind bars without the power
And the editor took a great risk and could have
The other thing is, of course we talk about young people.
Actually, I have been in and around the newspaper
I have a television show, I'm on the radio and I write
a column for the Sunday express, so I cover the whole damn lot.
Never has the mainstream media been more important.
Because while I respect what people like them are doing and it's great
and it gets kids involved, which is fantastic, don't
forget that when you go to these sort of utterings,
which at many times are like the mad ramblings of a man on the top deck
of the bus speaking into his hand, they have no journalistic
Which is why we heard that the Pope was endorsing Donald Trump.
So that is why we need to give journalists,
like the people who work on this show, on Question Time,
who work on my radio show on LBC, because when you hear it from us,
it will be true, or to the best of our endeavours it will be true.
Firstly, you want to talk about facts.
Firstly, our readership isn't predominantly young.
Our readership is predominantly 25 to 50.
I was addressing that man's question.
We range from 20 through to our most veteran reporter
who was a journalist in traditional media before I was even born.
We are diverse ethnically, in terms of religion, Jewish,
The idea that you can work for a station that
You know, Nick, just this week a Muslim man was beaten
to within an inch of his life, and the people painted
So when we are talking about journalistic responsibility,
I think we need to look at the mainstream media
As a younger voter, I think that you can bleat
on about different types of media, but the media report what they see.
And frankly, our politicians' behaviour is such a turn-off.
Both sides are point-scoring cheaply, and we had
the Conservatives jeering and cheering when they voted down
You can blame the different types of media for young
voters not engaging, they can only report what they see.
Actually, it's the behaviour of the politicians that turns us off.
Zanny Minton Beddoes, as the editor of a long
Very long established, and independent, I must say,
Do mainstream media serve any purpose?
I think there's a hunger for real news, for good analysis out there,
as much among young people as older people.
You have to reach people in the way that they want
We reach lots of people through Facebook, through Twitter,
through Snapchat, one of our biggest recent successes.
You can't keep doing exactly the same as you did,
but the people really value authoritative,
I think it's great to have lots of voices.
I think in this country, and I spent most of my career
outside this country, interesting coming back how
the press is dominated by a few publications.
There has been an incredible power there.
But that is waning, because if you look at this election
result, in some sense it's a damning indictment of the power of the Daily
Stella Creasy, do you think it was social media that built up
Oh, look, 60% of people under 30 get their news from Facebook.
Clearly, the way in which people are consuming news has changed.
I think in a healthy democracy you need both news and analysis,
but you need to be able to tell the difference between both.
And frankly, whether it is offline or online, I think you need to have
So I agree that we need to look again.
We have traditionally separated broadcast and print.
Our print media doesn't have the same impartiality.
I think you would not say the Daily Mail was impartial.
What I worry about is, I do have younger people
in my community coming to me who are very critical of official
sources of information and will then send me links from Russia Today
I want us to be able to have a debate about sources,
because I think all of you should be open to the scrutiny
about what is your evidence base for the claims you are making.
And I do think the new media model...
Briefly, the man who asked the question.
I would just like to state that today earlier on social media I put
this question out with particular focus to newspapers.
I had about 20 of my friends respond.
Not one of them, from the age of in their 20s through to their 50s,
It's all through the internet and social media.
Next week, Question Time is going to be in Burton upon Trent,
the last programme before the summer break.
We are back on September the 14th with a programme
If you want to be in the audience there in Burton upon Trent,
or Stratford, if you can remember it on September the 14th,
That's the best way, probably, or ring us.
If you've been listening on five live, Question Time Extra
Time follows and goes on until the early hours.
My thanks to our panellists and to all of you who came
Until next Thursday from Question Time, good night.
We're not going to get out of this one, are we?
David Dimbleby chairs topical debate from Hastings. On the panel are Conservative international trade secretary Liam Fox, Labour MP Stella Creasy, editor-in-chief of The Economist Zanny Minton Beddoes, founder and editor of left-wing news site The Canary Kerry-Anne Mendoza, and LBC radio host Nick Ferrari.