27/05/2012 Sunday Politics East Midlands


27/05/2012

Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna.


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Good morning and welcome to the And here, or will be anti-social

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behaviour reforms make life tougher for offenders? And is it time the

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1678 seconds

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number of ethnic minority MPs Hello, I'm Marie Ashby. Our guests

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this week are Anna Soubry, the Conservative MP for Broxtowe, and

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Toby Perkins, Labour MP for Chesterfield. Coming up: Keith Vaz

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reflects on 25 years as Leicester East MP. His highs and lows. And we

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ask if politicians need to work much harder to get more people from

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ethnic minorities into Parliament. First, the case of Fiona Pilkington,

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who killed herself and her daughter at Barwell in Leicestershire,

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shocked the nation. The family had suffered years of harassment

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despite making countless calls to the police for help. Now the

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Coalition has launched a raft of reforms to replace the

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controversial ASBO system and make the police more accountable to

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victims. So will they work? Earlier the chairman of the Nottinghamshire

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Police Federation Phill Matthews told our Political Editor John Hess

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that they ignore reality. I think it just shows a lack of

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understanding from the Home Secretary and Government about what

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we do at the moment. We at within the law. What does she think we can

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be forced to do that we are not doing at the moment? One is the

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ASBO effective enough? They were once they were in place. They were

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difficult and time-consuming to get. But once you got them in place they

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were quite effective. All this is happening against 20% cuts in

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police budgets? Yes. These are time-consuming to resolve and take

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a lot of time and effort from the officers. While you are cutting one

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in five officers from this county I do not think it will be achievable.

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What is morale light among your colleagues just now? Absolutely

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rock-bottom. The Home Secretary is not listening to the staff

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associations in this country. We have tried to consult and she has

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ignored everything we have had to save. A key plank of your govt's

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reforms is this so called Community trigger which would force police

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and councils to act if five households make a complaint. Phill

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Matthews says his officers already do that Phill Matthews has also

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told us there's a danger these reforms will take away officers

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ability to distinguish between what's serious and what isn't.

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have had constituents come to me and I have been very concerned

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about the stories they have to tell about when they are making

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complaints. Usually about groups of youths. I can think of one case

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that was clearly racially motivated. I had to intervene but as soon as I

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went to the senior inspector he took it very seriously and made

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officers at street level take it seriously. It is important police

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can make their own judgments. police are right to be concerned

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but they need a big change to the way they work and operate. You get

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some great police officers but you also get some of you, in my

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experience, do not always take the sort of action people want them to

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take an they should be taking. That leads to a number of people

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becoming increasingly cynical. We know that things are not being

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reported when they should be because when you ring the police

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they do not do anything about it. It is not simply about cuts but

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also about mind sets. These proposals are good because they put

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the victim at the heart of it. Police and other agencies in

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Leicestershire have learned some tough lessons from the Pilkingtons

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case. The government clearly believes other areas of the country

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now have to get the message too. When you are hearing from the

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police who are the experts dealing with these things every day on the

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ground, they say these proposals show that there is no understanding

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of policing. There is a replacement for the ASBO which will not even

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because people are to get a criminal record. It is a weakening.

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A message going out there that you can do best and not even get a

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criminal record. I think at the same time we are hearing about

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police cuts and that morale is through the floor, people are going

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to be pretty horrified. The message from Theresa May is that we are

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going to make its offer for offenders. When Toby says that

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people are not being given a criminal record, a criminal record

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when you are 14 or 15 unfortunately lives with you for the rest of your

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life. I am pleased that children will not get criminal records. I

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think that is right. That blights them for the rest of their lives,

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doesn't it? Isn't it a good thing that we do not give people criminal

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records? There was a case in Nottingham of someone who had an

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ASBO on two separate occasions and he abused it. He had ruined the

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lives of shopkeepers and now he is doing six months in jail. He would

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still be carrying on under the current system. If you commit a

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criminal offence you should be dealt with for that. One of the

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great treks that we are proposing is that you will be dealt with for

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the criminal offence but latched on to that will be the anti-social

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behaviour order but also address the reason be person committed that

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the fence in the first place which is something that did not happen

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before. A isn't it just a watered- down ASBO? It is not. It is about

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recognising that all sorts of anti- social behaviour comes in different

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shapes and sizes. It might be music played too loudly by neighbours or

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stones thrown at windows. It is a huge range of offences? What we are

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hearing from the police forces is that they do not think it is

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realistic. The reality that the police are facing is that there are

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16,000 less of them. They are increasingly stretched and the time

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that is going to be taken is not going to be realistic. Next month

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marks an important milestone for one of our leading Members of

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Parliament. It's 25 years, yes a quarter of a century, since Keith

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Vaz was first elected MP for Leicester East. Later we'll be

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discussing whether constituency parties should select more ethnic

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minority candidates to run for Parliament. First Eleanor Garnier

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has been talking to Keith Vaz about his achievements, and his regrets.

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The year was 1987 and Labour's Keith Vaz won the seat of Leicester

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East one of just four black and ethnic minority MPs to be elected

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that year. He was the first Asian MP since the 1920s and the first

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ever Asian Minister in the Commons when Tony Blair made him Minister

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for Europe. It was an immensely proud moment more for my family.

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Minister for justice and then Europe. Interesting going to summit

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meetings, strange I don't' think India has been admitted - what is

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that guy doing there? Keith Vaz first made his mark in Parliament

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as the outspoken supporter of people who'd lost money in the BCCI

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banking collapse, and those he confronted included the Bank of

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On the case have only just closed I am frustrated. It was a very long

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campaign. Those responsible were not brought to justice. He's also

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had an impact as Chair of the influential Home Affairs Select

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Committee a role that's seen his profile soar. But what's been the

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committee's biggest achievement? Probably it has been the phone

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hacking scanda. But there have also been other victories. Gurkah.

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There's a long list of celebrities Keith Vaz has been accused of

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courting he's also criticised for taking himself too seriously 18'05

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I was criticised for taking myself too seriously. You can be the most

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important man in the world but you still make mistakes and do things

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differently. In 2001 he was at the centre of a major controversy over

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his role in passport applications by two Indian businessmen - the

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Hinduja brothers - who helped fund the Millennium Dome. What one shd

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do in circumstances like that is pause and explain and I don't think

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That was a mistake in the way in which I handled it, I should have

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been better. If we lack judgement it's because the average person may

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not have chosen the right path - you learn from your mistakes. Of

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course I do - I've made lots of mistakes that I'd like to change.

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Through thick and thin he's retained the backing of his

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Leicester constituents winning 6 elections on the trot. But how can

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Parliament catch up with Leicester and become a better representation

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of the Country's ethnic makeup? think it will happen but it I don't

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think we need structural change. It has to be done through the

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political parties because you can only get to parliament through the

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one of the main two or three political parties. I think they

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have embraced the race agenda in a very positive way. What's left to

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achieve? You can't stop thinking about tomorrow there's more to be

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done, everyday, there's lots more to do, everyday there's another

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issue that has emerged, there is still a huge amount left to do

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after I'm finished perhaps when I'm done I'll be a journalist! Keith

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Vaz giving us an insight into his 25 years as an MP. I would like to

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applaud his service to this country not only in the word he has done

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but in inspiring ethnic-minority is to become elected representatives.

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We ought to have 60 or at 70 minority ethnic politicians sitting

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in Westminster. I am frustrated and impatient for representative

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democracy. Ideally urged the parties to select the deluge of

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talent that is in Leicester, my home town, and all around the

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country to make sure they get selected and elected and serve our

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society as Keith Vaz has done very well. There is a long way to goal.

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There is a huge way to go. If we are honest about it we have a real

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problem at the moment in politics. Denature and life of being an MP is

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such that there are not enough good people coming through from all

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walks of life. That is one of the key things I'd read with Keith Vaz.

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We want MPs that reflect real life, he is absolutely right. But is that

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really happening? You only became an MP at the last election, when

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you look around the Commons, do you see today's Britain reflected?

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someone remarked that Keith Vaz has been an massive help for other East

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Midlands MPs. I think in terms of the issue, the start of the

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question was slightly pessimistic. At the last General Election the

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number of ethnic-minority candidates almost doubled. There

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are 27 now it and it is right to be impatient, we need to do much

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better but at the same time we recognised that the Labour Party

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has a guarantee for an ethnic minority to get onto a very short

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list. We are seeing candidates coming through and I think we will

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continue to see improvements but we all need to put pressure on the

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parties to increase the pace of change. Deep female shortlist was

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pressed and we have had a great improvement in that case, should we

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go down the same line in this case? I absolutely. It is the only way

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democracies around the world can ensure that for a time limited

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period they will become representative of the people in

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this country. But once you have trained the structures, as we have

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seen time and again, the Labour Party, under Conservatives, the

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Conservatives made great strides in collecting 10 new black minority

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ethnic MPs but at the end of the day there is still a race penalty.

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The talent is not recognised. I know as a matter of fact there is a

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deluge of talent that needs to be recognised and tutored and given

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the basic opportunity so that they can fulfil their potential. It is

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not a lack of talent. His shortlisting the way to go? There

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is a very good argument that when you do it for a short period of

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time just to jump over this huge hurdle that we have, we do not have

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a parliament that begins to reflect modern Britain, I am not totally

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convinced but I have got an open mind. Both parties really do go out

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and make an effort to try to get people from all sorts of

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backgrounds involved in our party and we are not doing that very

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successfully. How can it be that Keith Vaz is our own minority MP in

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the whole of the East Midlands? know there is a large ethnic

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minority across the whole of the East Midlands saw two or may have

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one MP is very disappointing but at the same time you have to look at

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whatever methods are available to make Parliament more representative.

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That is about sex and race and also about people who did not go to

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university. I am one of the few who did not. We need to have less, if

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you are professional politicians. We want people who have done

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something else in their lives and then come into Parliament and have

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something more to add. You have been beating best drum for a long

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time but do you have any reason to be optimistic on this? I do for one

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principal reason. ICD talent every day that wants to come forward in

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spite of all the obstacles. What I am emerging -- urging political

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parties to do, it is in their interest, parties cannot win the

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next General Election unless the target black minority and ethnic

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communities to vote for them. People will vote for a political

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party when they know there is diversity of faces and views.

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if we do not get more candidates, what are the dangers? The danger is

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that people will switch off, they will say this democracy does not

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look like us or sound like us or reflect our views. What we need to

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do is Excite and engage. Everybody benefits from a diverse dynamic in

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Government that we can see. I hope you will consider standing for

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Parliament because we need people just like you. Thank you for

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joining us from London. Now time for a round-up of some of power

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:48:20.:48:33.

other political stories in 60 seconds. You can't keep Barwell out

:48:33.:48:36.

of the news. A residents group is campaigning to stop a proposal by

:48:36.:48:40.

Hinckley and Bosworth to build more than 2,000 homes on the edge of the

:48:40.:48:43.

town. We're used to charting the rise of young politicians on the

:48:43.:48:46.

Sunday Politics. Not long ago we reported on Ian Campbell taking the

:48:46.:48:48.

chains of office in Retford. Now Peter Wildgoose has been elected

:48:49.:48:52.

Mayor of Matlock. He too is just 23. We also like to be there when the

:48:52.:48:55.

balloon goes up. Rutland and Melton MP, Alan Duncan,has persuaded REG

:48:55.:48:58.

Windpower to fly these blimps to demonstrate how high turbines

:48:58.:49:06.

planned for Ketton will reach. The final decision rests with council.

:49:06.:49:09.

Finally a Bulwell woman has smoked the most expensive cigarette of her

:49:09.:49:13.

life. Discarding a cigarette end has cost her a �600 fine and �200

:49:13.:49:23.
:49:23.:49:25.

in costs after she failed to attend Nottingham court. And that is where

:49:25.:49:31.

Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna.


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