27/05/2012 Sunday Politics East Midlands


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


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


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1678 seconds


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


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


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


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


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


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


who killed herself and her daughter at Barwell in Leicestershire,


shocked the nation. The family had suffered years of harassment


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


Coalition has launched a raft of reforms to replace the


controversial ASBO system and make the police more accountable to


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


Police Federation Phill Matthews told our Political Editor John Hess


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


understanding from the Home Secretary and Government about what


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


What is morale light among your colleagues just now? Absolutely


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


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


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


reforms is this so called Community trigger which would force police


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


Matthews says his officers already do that Phill Matthews has also


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


becoming increasingly cynical. We know that things are not being


reported when they should be because when you ring the police


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


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


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


Leicestershire have learned some tough lessons from the Pilkingtons


case. The government clearly believes other areas of the country


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


behaviour order but also address the reason be person committed that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


marks an important milestone for one of our leading Members of


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


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


discussing whether constituency parties should select more ethnic


minority candidates to run for Parliament. First Eleanor Garnier


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


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


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


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


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


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


Minister for justice and then Europe. Interesting going to summit


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


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


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


banking collapse, and those he confronted included the Bank of


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


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


had an impact as Chair of the influential Home Affairs Select


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


his role in passport applications by two Indian businessmen - the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Parliament catch up with Leicester and become a better representation


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


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


political parties because you can only get to parliament through the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


in Westminster. I am frustrated and impatient for representative


democracy. Ideally urged the parties to select the deluge of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


question was slightly pessimistic. At the last General Election the


number of ethnic-minority candidates almost doubled. There


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


democracies around the world can ensure that for a time limited


period they will become representative of the people in


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


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


Conservatives made great strides in collecting 10 new black minority


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


whatever methods are available to make Parliament more representative.


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


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


you are professional politicians. We want people who have done


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


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


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


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


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


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


next General Election unless the target black minority and ethnic


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Windpower to fly these blimps to demonstrate how high turbines


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


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


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


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


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

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