06/04/2014 Sunday Politics East Midlands


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including a look over Maria Miller's expenses apology. With Labour's Caroline Flint.

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Morning folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.


Pressure on Culture Secretary Maria Miller mounts as the Tory press,


Tory voters and even a Tory Minister turn against her. That's our top


story. The economic outlook is getting


rosier. But Ed Miliband is having none of it. The cost of living


crisis is here to stay, says Labour. Shadow Minister Caroline Flint joins


us for the Sunday Interview. And we bring you the Sunday Politics


Gallery. But which former world leader is behind these paintings of


world leaders? In the East Midlands, warm words


from the Prime Minister, but will the Government really act to save


our last pit? new London borough. A blue flint for


regeneration or economic Armageddon? And with me as always, the best and


the brightest political panel in the business - Janan Ganesh, Helen Lewis


and Nick Watt. Their tweets will be as brief as a Cabinet Minister's


apology. A frenzy of betting on the Grand


National yesterday. But there was one book on which betting was


suspended, and that was on the fate of Culture Secretary Maria Miller,


now the 2/1 favourite to be forced out the Cabinet. She galloped


through her apology to the Commons on Thursday in just 32 seconds. But


speed did her no favours. There s been mounting pressure on her to


resign ever since, especially from Tories. And this weekend the


Chairman of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority,


Ian Kennedy, said it's time MPs gave away the power to decide how


colleagues who break the rules are punished. An inquiry into Maria


Miller's expenses claims was launch in 2012, following allegations he


claimed ?90,000 to fund a house she lived in part time with her parents.


She had designated this her second home. She was referred to the


Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, who recommended that


she repay ?45,000. But this week the Commons Standards Committee,


comprising of MPs from all parties, dismissed the complaint against


Maria Miller and ordered her to repay just ?5,800 for inadvertently


overclaiming her merge claimants. She was forced to apologise to the


Commons for the legalistic way she dealt with the complaints against


her. But Tony Gallagher told the Daily Politics on Friday: We got a


third call from Craig Oliver who pointed out, she is looking at


Leveson and the call is badly timed. I think if you are making a series


of telephone calls to a newspaper organisation investigating the


conduct of a Cabinet Minister, that comes close


After that interview Craig Oliver contacted us, saying there was no


threat in anyway over Leveson. I mead it clear at the time. Tony


Gallagher is talking rubbish about me, and you can use that. The Daily


Telegraph have released a tape of a phone call between Maria Miller s


aid, Joanna Hindley, and a reporter investigating her expenses claim.


Joanna Hindley said: Maria's obviously been having quite


a lot of editor's meetings around Leveson at the moment. So I'm just


going to kind of flag up that connection for you to think about.


The Prime Minister is sticking by his Culture Secretary, but this


weekend's crescendo of criticism of her presents him with a problem and


he could be wishing Maria Miller would just fall on her sword. Even


over 80% of Tory voters in a Mail on Sunday poll think she should go On


the Andrew Marr Show, the Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan


Smith, defended his colleague. I've known her always to be a reasonable


and honest person. But is she doing the Government or her any good by


staying in office at the moment do you think? This is a matter the


Prime Minister has to take consideration of and she herself. My


view generally is I'm supportive of Maria, because if we are not careful


we end one a witch-hunt of somebody. And I'm joined now by the


Conservative MP, Bob Stewart, and the man in the white suit, former MP


and anti-sleaze campaigner Martin Bell. Welcome to you both. Stuart


Stuart sturkts let me put this to you, a Conservative MP told this


programme, this is a quote, she has handled this appallingly. Downing


Street has acted like judge and jury, for Craig Oliver to get


involved is disastrous. She's been protected by the whips from the


start. What do you say to that? It's not great, is it? The fact of the


matter is the question one should ask is, did she deliberately try to


make money? Did she deliberately try to obscure ate? The answer is she


certainly didn't deliberately try to make money, in the system, which was


the old system, and with regard to obscure ago, I wasn't there, but


let's put it this way. She was going through a quasi-judicial process and


might have ended up in court, so she has a right to defend herself. Hold


on o you said she doesn't do it to make money, she remortgaged the


house a couple of times to earn more interest to us, the taxpayer, and


when interest rates went down she didn't reduce the amount she was


charging in expenses. Well, the point is the adjudicator said there


was ?45,000 she was owed. And then a committee, Standards Committee, said


actually it should be reduced. That was mainly MPs but there are three


lay members. Yes, but they don't have the vote. OK, fine, that is


where it is wrong and we've got to get it sorted. Let me put another


quote from our Conservative MP. He didn't want to be named. None of you


do at the moment. I'm being named. But you are backing her. George


young in cahoots. He's been leading on the Standards Committee to find


her innocent. The Standards Committee is unfit for purpose. I


think the Standards Committee should be revisited. I think the system is


still evolving. And I think actually we ought to have totally independent


judgment on MPs' pay and allowances. We haven't have not got there yet


and that is where it is wrong. Martin Bell, have MPs interfered in


the Maria Miller process and with the current Standards Commissioner


in the same way that they saw off a previous Commissioner they thought


was too independent? Andrew it is exactly the same. Yesterday I looked


at a diary entry I made for May 2000, I said, dreadful meeting


standards and privileges, they are playing party politics. One of them


told Elizabeth fill kin to her face the gossip in the tea room was she


had gone crazy. Nothing's changed. What this shows is most of all,


what's the committee for? If it is just going to rubber stamp what the


party wants and its mates, I don't see any point. But it hasn't rubber


stamped. It's changed it. Well, it has watered down. That's why we


should make it totally independent and it shouldn't be involved in the


House of Commons. It is plus plus ca change isn't it? MPs', scandal, and


MPs closing ranks for one of their own. Has the Commons learned


nothing? And this is after the expenses scandal, where everything


was out for everybody to see, you would think MPs would be careful.


This is before the expenses scandal. We are looking at an historical


event, during your time, Martin not mine. I'm clean on this. You


campaigned for him as an independent. I did, he was a good


friend of mine. And now you've joined the club. And now you are


defending Maria Miller? I'm defending someone who hasn't been


proved guilty of anything beyond the fact she was rather slow to come


forward with evidence. My point on that, is I understand that. MPs are


being lambasted the whole time these days. There were a heck of a lot of


them, Martin, who are utterly decent. She didn't try to make


money. We've just been through that. I don't think that's right. The jury


is out on that. What should have happened in the Miller case, Martin


Bell? I don't think there should be a committee on standards. I think


the Commissioner should make a report. There has been to be justice


for the MP complained against. Then the committee of the whole House can


consider it. But we are, the House of Commons, then as now is incapable


of regulating itself. That's been proving yet again. She made a


perfunctory apology. She threatened and instructed the Standards


Commissioner investigating her, and her special adviser linked expenses


to Leveson, when trying to stop the Daily Telegraph from publishing I


mean, is that the behaviour of a Cabinet Minister? Well, it's


probably not the behaviour of someone that's got time on their


hands. She's a very busy Cabinet Minister. Well, she had enough time


to write lots of letters to the Standards Commission ser. She felt


under such threat. She had the time. She had to make the time. Die know


the lady is not trying desperately to make money. I disagree but on


that. The fact of the matter is this was an old, old system, that


we've tried to put right, or the Commons has tried to put right. I


agree that MPs shouldn't get involved in this. Should we get rid


of this committee? It serves no purpose except to cause trouble The


adjudicator has said that and it should be the end of it. It


shouldn't come back to the Commons. Although her special adviser


threatened them over Leveson she was and is the Minister responsible for


trying to introduce something like Leveson and that is something a big


chunk that the press doesn't want. She is a target. It has a good


record on this issue. It played wit a straight bat. The facts aren't in


dispute are they? Will she make it to the next cabinet reshuffle and


then go? Iain Duncan Smith said it is a matter for the Prime Minister.


In my view, as things stand, I question did she deliberately want


to make money? I don't think she did. Should she go? No. Should she


be reshuffled? I don't know. Goodness me, you are asking someone


who will never be reshuffled, because he will never make it. I was


only asking for your opinion, not your ability to do it. This is a


problem for Cameron isn't it? It is a problem for Cameron. There is


nothing wrong with returning to be badge benches, as you know. Hear,


hear. To that. Stick with me. Helen, can she survive? Is I'm going out of


the prediction game when I said Clegg is going to win the date, so I


owe Janan a tenner on that one. Grant Shapps has supported her. She


was ringed by Sir George young and Jeremy Hunt... This is pretty


devastating. On past form David Cameron hates having to bounce


people out of the cabinet. He will want to keep Maria Miller until the


summer reshuffle. This is a question mark on whether she survive this is.


This isn't damaging to the Conservative or the Labour Party, it


is damaging to everyone. This is catastrophic damage to the entire


political establishment. Every single speech that David Cameron and


Ed Miliband have given since 20 9, talking about restoring trust, they


can wipe them from their computers, because voters are going to look


that there and say, this lot haven't learnt anything. They are giving


perfunctory apologies and then you have MPs sitting in judgment on MPs


and rather than paying back ?45 000, she pays back ?5,800 after MPs have


been into it. Damage is huge. Just getting rid of one Cabinet Minister,


you will need to do more than that. You will notice that Labour haven't


made huge weather of this. No, goodness me, they have their own


skeletons. Exactly. The person who has made hay out of this is Nigel


Farage, who has not been backwards in coming forward. He doesn't seem


to care about skeletons. The Prime Minister has be-Gunby backing her,


but that's not popular even with Tory voters. How does he get out of


this? This is the problem for him. Five years ago his reaction to the


expenses scandal was seen by many Tory backbenchers as excessive. They


felt hung out to dry by a man who is independently wealthy. To go from


that to making a special exemption to Maria Miller because it is


politically suitable is more incendiary and provocative. It is


not just upsetting the voters and the Daily Telegraph but a good


number of people behind him. I think they will get rid of her. I think


the Government, to paraphrase Churchill, will zoo the decent thing


after exhausting all options, of the European elections a reshuffle. The


culture department has gone from a baulk water in haul to one of the


most politically sensational jobs because of its proximity to the


Leveson issue. She has to be replaced by someone Lily skillful


and substantial. Mr Cameron is not short of smart women? Nikki Morgan,


the education department, these are absolutely outstanding women and the


problem that the generation elected in 2005, Maria Miller generation,


there are some really good people elected in 2010. You are not


responsible for hacking into the culture Department's Twitter account


last night? I was out at the time! They all say that! One so, Maria


Miller is like a modern-day Robin Hood... She robs the poor to help


the rich. Which one of us has not embezzled the taxpayer? I reckon it


is the lady. You have the perfect cover. We would not know how to


would we? You cannot tweet from a mobile device, can you? Play it


safe. No, do something dramatic Have lots of pledges. Have just a


few pledges. Ah, there must be a Labour policy review reaching its


conclusion because everyone has some free advice for the party about its


message and the man delivering it. Here's Adam. He is well liked by the


public don't quite buy him as a leader. The papers say he is in hock


to the unions and the party has a lead in the polls but it is not


solid. Bartenders Neil Kinnock. That is what they said Winnie who lost


the 1982 election. The whole country deserves better and we will work to


ensure that the day will come when with the Labour government, the


country will get better. Someone who was there can see some spooky


parallels. The important lesson from 1992 is it cannot rest on your


laurels and hope for the best, you cannot sit on a lead of seven points


because the election narrows that and you cannot rely on the


government not getting its act together because the Conservative


Party was well funded and organised, the double whammy posters, the tax


bombshell, but incredibly effective and the message was unified and they


beat us on the campaign. The lesson for Labour today is this lead will


evaporate quite possibly over the next few months and we might go into


the election behind in the polls. But Ed Miliband is getting


conflicting advice about how to avoid 1992 happening. Be bold, be


cautious and then, the idea that Labour can squeak into office with


just 35% of the vote, which worries some people. Each month, the Labour


Party meets around the country and last week, everybody spoke about the


dangers of this 35% strategy. They were increasingly unhappy and it is


very important that those people around the leader naturally have a


duty to protect him and they make sure he gets this message that while


there is total support for him, they do want this key year in the run-up


to the General Election to be putting out an alternative which we


can defend on the doorstep. The doorstep where Neil Kinnock made his


concession speech is crammed with Spanish back hackers. The old Labour


offices are no a budget hostel. Labour headquarters is down the road


and they are putting the finishing touches to a speech Ed Miliband will


give this week about the cost of living and I am told he will drop


hints about new policies in juicy areas like housing, low pay, growth


and devolving power. As for the charge that they are not radical


enough, his people say they want to be bold but they have to be credible


as well. They say that Labour is more united than it has ever been


but there has been some grumbling that the cost of living campaign is


not the same as a vision for the country. And that Ed Miliband was


not statesman-like enough at Prime Minister's Questions and one figure


who sat at the same table in the Neil Kinnock years summed it up like


this. Things are OK but it feels like we're playing for the draw


Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint joins me now for the Sunday


Interview. This 35% victory strategy, it does not sound very


ambitious? I am campaigning to win this election with a majority


government and everybody else around the table is also. But we want to go


to every corner of the country and win votes for Labour and win seats,


that is what we are working towards. To avoid last time, the coalition


bartering. But that 35% is a victory strategy so are you saying there is


no 35% strategy and that no one at the heart of Labour is not arguing


for this? We are working to win around the country and to win all of


those battle ground seats and we must have a strategy that appeals to


a cross-section of the public but within that, that broad group Queen


Elizabeth Olympic Park and. You could do that with 35% of the vote?


There is lots of polling and everyone looks at this about what we


need to do to get seats and we want to have a comprehensive majority at


the next election to win to govern this country. Last week, we have


been reading reports of splits in the party over policy and on


tactics, even strategy. A struggle for control of the General Election


manifesto, we are told. What are you arguing over? I said on the


committee and just listening to the film before, it is about being


radical but also credible and we are talking about evolution and that is


an important subject but we are also united and to be honest, in 201


people were writing us off saying we would turn on ourselves and that has


not been the case. We are not arguing about the fundamentals, we


are discussing the policies that are coming up with different colleagues


and talking about how we can make sure they are presented to the


public and that is part of a process. That is a discussion, not


disagreement. The Financial Times, which is usually pretty fair,


reports a battle between Ed Miliband's radical instincts and the


more business fiscal conservatism of Ed Balls. What side are you on? I am


for radical change, I am for energy and I believe strongly we must be


formed the market and people might portray that as anti-business but


this is about more competition and transparency and others coming into


this market so our policy on this is radical, not excepting the status


quo. It is also for business. Opinion polls show that few people


regard Ed Miliband as by Minister material -- Prime Minister material.


That has been true since he became leader. And in some cases, they have


been getting worse. Why is that Opinion polls say certain things


about the personalities of leaders, David Cameron is not great either.


And they were not great when he was in opposition. At this stage, he was


getting 49% as Prime Minister real material and Ed Miliband, 19. -


Prime Minister material. When you look at certain questions that the


public is asked about who you think you would trust about being fair in


terms of policy towards Britain who understands the cost of living


crisis, they very much identify with Ed Miliband. We are ahead in the


polls. Ed Miliband has made that happen. We have one more


councillors, we have been running in by-elections and we have held this


government over the barrel over six months on energy prices. That is to


do with his leadership. The more that voters save him, the less they


seem convinced. In 2011, he had been leader for one year, and only 1 %


regarded him as weird, by 2014, that was 41%. Look at that! Look at that


weirdness! What people need is to know where the Labour Party stands


on fundamental issues. And in those areas, particularly the cost of


living and fairness and people being concerned that we are entering into


a period where people will be worse for the first time ever at the end


of the Parliament, these things are important and Ed Miliband is part of


our success. Definitely. I think this is ridiculous, to be fair, he


is not a politician that says, I am dying with the Arctic monkeys, I


know who is the number one. He did not play that game. -- down. He is


not either there to portray himself as someone who was with the


children, I know everything about popular culture. His authenticity is


the most important thing. People do not think he is authentic, unless


they think we were at is authentic. Is it true that his staff applaud


him when he comes back after giving even a mediocre speech? I have never


heard that. I have never heard about him being applauded. And I am


pleased to applaud him with he makes speeches, I have given him a


standing ovation. You have to do that because the cameras are


rolling! No, he made a good speech. Five minutes without notes. It took


a long time to memorise I don't blame him! The cost of living.


Focusing on that, it has paid dividends. But inflation is falling


and perhaps collapsing, unemployment is falling faster than anybody


thought, as we can see. Wages are rising, soon faster than prices


Retail sales are booming, people have got money in their pockets


Isn't the cost of living crisis narrative running out of steam? I do


not think so and I should say that I welcome any sign of positive changes


in the economy, if anybody gets a job in Doncaster, I am pleased by


the end of this Parliament families will be over ?900 worse off because


of tax and benefit changes and the working person is ?1600 worse off


and it is the first government since the 1870s where people will be at


the end of the Parliament. We believe the government made wrong


choices that lead the rich off at the expense of those on middle and


lower incomes. -- let the rich. The average family ?794 worse off from


tax and benefit changes. That has been backed up. They are those


figures. But he has skewed these figures by including the richest,


where the fall in tax and the penalty they pay is highest. If you


take away the richest, it is nowhere near that figure. Everybody agrees


and even the government and knowledges that at the end of their


tenure in Parliament, people will be worse off. 350,000 extra people who


would desperately like full-time work who are working part-time and 1


million young people unemployed and the reason the cost of living has a


residence is people feel that. I was in a supermarket and at Doncaster


and someone summed this up, he said I work hard and at the end of the


week, beyond paying bills, I have got nothing else. If you take away


the top 10% who are losing over ?600,000, the average loss comes


down to around ?400, less than half of what you claim. That figure is


totally misleading. These are the figures from the IFS. It still


shows... Whatever way you shape this, people will still be worse


off, families worse off because of these changes to tax and benefits


and working people because wages have not kept up with prices. Your


energy portfolio, you back the enquiry into the big six companies


and you intend to go ahead with the price freeze and reconfigure the


market even before it reports. If you win, this is a waste of time?


Whilst we have had this process before the announcement, we always


feel if it goes that way, there might be areas we have not thought


of that the enquiry will also draw attention to that we might want to


add on. You are right, our basic reforms for the new regulator, to


separate generation supply, we will pursue that. What happens if this


report concludes that your plans are not correct? You will still go


ahead? I don't think so. Actually, if you look at the report that Ofgem


produced, some of the issues Labour has been drawing attention to like


vertical integration, they cover that. I was asking about the


Competition Commission? The report last week is a result of working


together and I think it is clearly accepted in this sector, look at SSE


last week, they will separate the business. We are pushing at the open


door. It has already pulled out of gas. So it follows if you freeze


energy prices across the market, it might be the right thing to do but


there will be a cost in terms of jobs and investment, correct? Well,


I met with SSE last weekand the chief executive and talked about


these issues. The jobs changes are partly about them looking at how


they could be more efficient as a company. On offshore wind that


wasn't really to do with the price freeze. That was more to do with


issues around confidence in that area and therefore willing to put


the money into it, as well as technical issues as well But


there'll be job losses. Is that a price worth paying? We believe the


reason we are having a price freeze is these companies have been


overcharging customers and haven't been investing in their


organisations and making them more efficient. I do not believe a price


freeze is linked to job losses. These companies do need to be more


efficient. Goal for all of us is realising the fantastic opportunity


for more jobs and growth from an energy sector that has certainty


going forward. That's what Labour will deliver. Caroline Flint, thank


you. It's 1130 and you're watching The


Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who leave us


now for Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up


In the East Midlands, warm words from the Prime Minister, but will


the Government really act to save our last pit?


I'm in the business of trying to save jobs, of making sure wd have


diverse supplies of energy. So if we can help, we will help.


And a lost generation. How can we find jobs for our young people and


do they have the skills for work? There is a real cliff edge looming


if we don't do the right thhng right now to engage young people `nd


respond to the entry`level work the sector needs.


Hello, I'm Marie Ashby and ly guests this week are Nicky Morgan, the


Conservative MP for Loughborough and a Treasury Minister, and Toby


Perkins is the Labour MP for Chesterfield. He's also a Shadow


Minister on his party's bushness team. Well, it has been a bhg


weekend for gambling. But one of our councils is joining forces with more


than 60 others around the country calling for tougher planning


regulations to limit the nulber of betting shops. Nottingham Chty


Council is concerned at the growth of bookies on the High Stredt. As a


Treasury Minister, you'll know gambling brings in a lot of revenue,


around ?3 billion and millions in taxes. As a government I gudss it's


not in your interests to cut the growth of this industry? As a


government, what we want is local areas to have control over what


their local High Street looks like. So I think it is great that a local


council has said that we want to determine what kind of shops are on


the High Street. Councils h`ve the power to say what they would like to


have in the High Street or not. The last Budget reduced duty on bingo


but put it up on fixed odds betting terminals. Should there be tighter


controls on planning to limht the numbers being allowed to opdn? I


think it is for local areas. Local communities are concerned that


sometimes there are lots of betting shops on the High Street. If local


people are concerned they c`n persuade the council to takd


action. There is the abilitx for councils to take that action. In


Nottingham for example therd a 3 in the city. Your brief for Labour is


small businesses. Are you worried that independent operators `re being


squeezed out of the High Street That is one aspect. There is also


the fact we have not seen an increase overall in the number of


betting shops. We have seen more moving into more deprived areas


There is a sense that some of our town centres and districts `re


becoming simply charity shops, betting shops and payday lenders.


Nicky is right to say we nedd to do more to support local authorities


and communities to have a s`y about what is in their area. What is also


being called for is the planning regulations that see betting shops


being judged as though they are a financial services provider rather


than a separate class. It mdans it is difficult for local authorities


to turn those applications down You would like to see more controls I


would like to see... There hs a role for betting shops. We must `llow


people to do what they want to do. But there should be a separ`te class


for betting shops and it wotld allow local authorities to say we have


enough in that area. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport says


problem gambling is a seriots issue and they're currently reviewing what


measures, if any, are needed concerning planning. There `re real


concerns that betting operators are targeting the most vulnerable in the


most deprived areas. That is why in the Budget the Chancellor ptt up the


duty on fixed odds betting lachines which are often described as being


the most addictive. The gambling industry tell us they will try to be


responsible. Local councils do have power already to limit the number of


betting shops but they have to choose to take that power. The


Department for Culture is dte to report back on gambling this spring.


Well, If you were having a bet on the coal industry this weekdnd you


might get long odds on its survival. UK Coal has begun the process of


closing down the last deep line in the East Midlands. Thoresby Colliery


in North Nottinghamshire is expected to close within the next 18 months,


with the loss of 600 jobs. Dven a recent visit from the Chancdllor


looks like it won't be enough to save it. Union leaders say with


European funding the pit cotld be kept open for another four xears.


This week though the Prime Linister stepped in, promising help.


We will do everything we can. We are talking to the company, we `re


talking to the businesses rdlated to this company. We will do evdrything


we can to help them. There `re obviously limits. This is t`xpayers'


money that would have to be involved. But we will work with them


as closely as we can. I am hn the business of trying to save jobs and


making sure we have diverse supplies of energy. If we can help, we will


help. That is not money to help close them down. You're offdring


money to try to keep them alive as working concerns? We want to do


everything we can to keep pdople in their jobs and keep businesses


going. There are limits to what we can do because you are not `llowed


to just wilfully spend taxp`yers' money helping particular businesses.


Well, we're joined by Jeff Wood who's the president of the Tnion of


Democratic Mineworkers. Jeff, do you believe David Cameron? If hd can


stand by his words, what we urgently need is the Government to m`ke an


application for European st`te closure aid. That would givd


Thoresby Colliery at least tntil December 2018 under current state


aid rules. What we keep hearing from the Department for Energy and


Climate Change is that we c`n't apply for various reasons. We have


been to Brussels with all the trade unions this weekend and thex made it


quite clear the Government can make their application for state closure


aid. They just need to put application in. But this is still


about the pit closing. Therd is no way of saving it? ?? GREEN dvery pit


has got a finite life. Therd is another pit with far more rdserves


than Thoresby. Thoresby Colliery can currently continue until 2008. There


are additional reserves aftdr that. At the moment, the company hs in


financial difficulties. There is a deal on the table which is `


commercial loan. The departlent said that with a commercial loan you


can't apply for European st`te closure aid. That is not wh`t


Brussels said. You can run both side`by`side. So why aren't you


going to Europe to find out what can be done and whether you can do this


deal? We are doing everything we can and we very much want to support the


miners in particular, whose jobs are going to be potentially affdcted


with this. We are working whth all parties including the UDM to see


what can be done. There is `ctive engagement going on. You sax that


there is coal still at Thordsby How much are we talking about? H would


say there are is at least fhve years' worth of production left at


Thoresby. 1.2 million tonnes a year. There are additional reserves


are available. Obviously, wd would need further investment to `chieve


that and further tipping sp`ce. Does not make sense to get the coal that


is in there out first? Well, what has happened is that the co`l price


has dropped around the world significantly. Since the last


restructuring of UK Coal, which was last year, the call market has


changed enormously. `` coal market. There is a lot more cheaper US coal


because of the shale gas revolution over there. Things have changed


substantially. You are right. The future, in terms of the coal


available, as part of the dhscussion happening at the moment. Wotld


Labour try to save Thoresby? I think what Jeff has said about thdre being


action that would keep the coal under the closure programme, it does


have to have an end date in mind. The Prime Minister is saying he will


do everything he can. But actually the words we are hearing sedm to


suggest that nothing can be done in terms of Europe. We agree whth Jeff.


We think there is an opporttnity for the Government to go under the coal


closure programme and take ` positive approach as the EU


Commissioner suggested, as the Czech Republic government has dond. They


could save nearly 1300 jobs. Up to four years. That is vital at this


time. When we can buy coal so much more cheaply abroad why shotld we


prop up what's left of the hndustry here? I certainly think there is.


People talk about a diverse energy mix and the fact that we have


security of supply. When yot look politically at the moment in Russia


and what has been happening in the Ukraine, there is still 19 lillion


tonnes of coal buried in thhs country and 40% of our energy at the


moment is derived from coal. If those two minds at close down we


will be dependent on Vladimhr Putin's coal as well as his gas ``


mines. Is that a good idea? Is it wise to rely totally on the Russian


supply? I'm not sure that is the case. I mentioned about the US coal.


We get energy from a number of different supplies. Wind, g`s,


coal. Yes, but still a lot from Russia. Well, actually, there are


other countries in Europe that are far more dependent on Russi`n coal.


At the heart of this are thd miners and their jobs and their security


and that is who we want to focus on in terms of helping people to make


the best of what is a very unfortunate situation. Will Labour


throw their weight behind these miners? I've got to say, he`ring


Conservatives worried about miners and their jobs, it has come rather


late. In terms of their jobs at Thoresby Colliery, it is very


important and we should do everything we can. But Labotr didn't


exactly do a lot, did they? Well, they had virtually all been closed


by then. What has happened hn the mining industry is a tragedx. These


are important jobs but over the course of 30 years it is a tragic


loss. But saying that there is only a certain life span for these pits,


four or five years maximum, it would close anyway. In the context of this


pit, yes, we are talking about where the industry is now and we need to


do what we can to support that. But I was talking about the history we


all know about over the last 30 years. This week we have he`rd


headlines about the smog and pollution in this country. We have


all seen it. Should we be using coal at all? In Brussels, we went to a


presentation about a project the Government are putting ?1 bhllion


into, for the Drax power st`tion carbon capture and storage. We are


talking about burning British coal. You can capture the carbon. There


will be a pipeline across and they have 70 million tonnes of c`pacity.


But we won't have any British coal left. If we close down the lines.


There is one colliery mothb`lled at the moment with 25 years' worth of


top coal reserves there. Thd investment needed is about ?150


million. The point is that overall we have a strategy of decarbonising


our energy sector. Producing less carbon which means moving to other


forms of energy generation. Coal is still important but there are other


ways to generate energy. We are in a transitional period and, as the


Prime Minister said, this is taxpayers' money. Should we move


away from coal? Obviously, ht has shrunk in terms of its contribution.


I think we should look towards carbon capture and storage. It could


have given new life to the hndustry. I think also in terms of thd


relationship with Europe it is important. There is resentmdnt about


the money we send over therd. This is 600 people losing their jobs We


need to be fighting for it. Our members in the union, we all get the


same benefits. Why can't we have the same benefits from Europe as they do


in Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic? Make the applicathon. Jeff


Wood, thank you. Whatever job prospects the future


holds for our young people, it's unlikely they'll find careers in


mining. But where will they find work, and do they have the skills to


do it? There's a heavy emph`sis on providing apprenticeships, but many


employers say young people `re having to be taught to maths,


English and IT before they can even begin training them for the


workplace. These are Derby's very own boys from


the black stuff. Repairing cracked pavements and filling in potholes.


This is unglamorous but essdntial work. For this 19`year`old, it is a


job opportunity through a council`run apprenticeship scheme.


He is fortunate. Not all yotng job`seekers have the basic dducation


and skills to be considered. It gives me a new set of skills and


hopefully I'll have a career out of this. In the next five or shx years,


I could go into my own business The rate of youth unemployment hn the


East Midlands now stands at just over 20% but what is more


significant are the number of young people neither in employment,


education or training. That stands at 74,000, up by 3000 since the


coalition came to power. To combat youth unemployment, Labour`run Derby


City Council will double thd number of apprenticeships to 75. It is the


difficult, especially as thdre are a lot of older people still staying


on. The retirement age is gdtting longer. A lot of skilled jobs are


being taken by older people. It is also expanding its scheme that


places young job`seekers with local private firms in an attempt to plug


a growing skills gap. I just worry that with almost one million young


people out of work across the country we are heading very fast to


having a lost generation. Wd feel it is important as city leaders to set


an example to people across the city to say take on apprenticeshhps, give


them the skills they need to be suitable for a job in today's labour


market. This bit of kit at ` Nottingham manufacturer is `lso for


a drop or two of the black stuff. Oil. The company makes filtration


equipment to clean up fuel. The business plans to expand but the


lack of engineering skills hn the local jobs market, especially in


basic maths and science, is becoming a real headache. It is tricky.


People are out there but it can be hard work. That is right across the


piste from shop floor, design, it is hard to find them. This forler civil


servant may have a solution. His Government`backed employer first


programme is creating an alternative job centre for firms needing those


skilled staff. There is a cliff edge looming if we don't do the right


thing right now to engage young people and respond to the


entry`level work the sector needs. There are also issues around


technical skills and intermddiate skills. As businesses operating in


the sector expand, they can take advantage of market growth. As the


region's economy hots up, the worry now is whether we have got dnough


skilled workers ready for the revival.


So our businessman was saying the revival could be snuffed out because


we just haven't got enough xoung people coming through with the


skills in science and maths. More than slightly worrying! Absolutely.


I think it has been systematic in our education system for a long


time. But there are lots of excellent schools in the East


Midlands. In Loughborough, we have a scheme called Bridge to Work which


works with the college, the schools and employers to make sure xoung


people and their parents ard aware of apprenticeships, traineeships,


work experience opportunitids. But there is an issue and every business


meeting I go to says we can't find the right people. It is partly the


academics, English and maths, but also employability skills. There is


an issue there. I think it hs going to be solved by schools, businesses


and Government working together The Government says there are now more


apprentices than ever beford. You have to accept they are tackling the


problem of youth unemployment. I think they're two different


questions. There are really positive steps over the course of thd last


seven or eight years in apprenticeships. There is


cross`party consensus that they are valuable. The figures in yotr report


show there is still a long way to go. The number of people not in


employment, education or tr`ining is going up, not down. What I think we


need is to have an economy that works on a skill basis on long`term


growth. A lot of the recovery has been based on the property boom in


the south rather than the rdal economy and the people in this area


who could benefit. It has come to something when we are having to


train young people in maths, English, IT before they can even go


on to apprenticeships. How has that happened that they are coming out of


school without these skills? Unfortunately, under the last


government we did not see the emphasis on standards that we now


see. Michael Gove is determhned to ensure higher standards. Of course


he won't agree with me on this. We saw grade inflation where pdople


were told they were getting As and doing very well. That is not fair on


the young person or the employers. They need to know there are


measurable standards. That hs why the traineeships have been


introduced so young people can catch up on those skills. Labour's fault?


Under the Conservatives, before Labour came to power in 1997, over


half of all schools would not have 30% of kids getting five GCSEs. By


the end of the Labour government, virtually every single school had


that. Now the economy has changed and unskilled jobs have redtced


There is still a long way to go but the progress made by people in our


education sector was fantastic. What would you do now and how wotld you


pay for that? We should partly look at the kind of economy you want and


have a real investment in skills and actually making things again.


Manufacturing has continued to fall. It is also about having a rdal


investment in young people. We saw, under schemes set up by the last


government, that from the start of young people's lives right the way


through, they need investment. That must carry on because that hs


long`term progress. Something has to be done, doesn't it? It is on a


cliff edge. We know youth unemployment is still too hhgh.


There is more to be done to tackle it. If we are going to do it, we


should work together in a partnership. Now with a round`up of


other stories here's John Hdss with 60 Seconds.


A warning from Bassetlaw's LP John Mann that 800 years of local justice


in Robin Hood country is threatened. He has secured a Commons debate


tomorrow night on proposals to close Worksop Magistrates' Court `nd shift


cases to be heard in Mansfidld and Nottingham.


Next, the Government's decision not to go ahead with a national badger


cull. Derby North MP Chris Williamson campaigned against it and


said it is a victory for common`sense.


Protesters fighting funding cuts to Lincolnshire's libraries ard taking


their case to the county's LPs. The Save Lincolnshire Libraries group


has already won a judicial review of the County Council's decision. It


will now lobby MPs at Westmhnster. And a County Council`led scheme to


bring high`speed broadband to rural Derbyshire could reach thousands


more people. The ?28 million project was aimed at 80,000 homes and


businesses. Another ?4 millhon could be available to extend the scheme.


That's the Sunday Politics hn the East Midlands. Thanks to our guests


Nicky Morgan and Toby Perkins. Next week it's Jessica Lee and Jon


Ashworth. Now back to Andrew Neil. chair next week. And with that, back


to Andrew. Welcome back and time now to get more from our panel. So they


can justify their meagre patents. This cost of living mantra will last


all the way until the election. Cannot? Ed Miliband leaves he is


onto something and for most of this Parliament, inflation has


outstripped wages. That is going to go the other way and wages will


rise, to which you say Ed Miliband has nothing to say. He says if you


think people are going to feel better in the blink of an eye, you


are a Conservative and do not understand the depth of this and he


is taking the message from a presidential election in America in


2012 and make Romney was ahead on some of the economic indicators but


Barack Obama was ahead on the key one, do you believe this candidate


will make your family's life better? The message that Ed Miliband


will try to say is the next election is about whose side are you on? And


he believes Labour will be on the side of more voters than


conservatives. It would be crazy for Labour not to talk about the cost of


living because even if wages exceed inflation next year, it is not as if


voters will walk around feeling like Imelda Marcos, they will still feel


as if they were struggling and not just compared... Retail sales are


slowing? That is not the sign of palpable disparity. Circumstances


are better than three years ago but not better than five years ago. The


Reagan question will still be employed, are you better off than at


the last election? But things in America were actually getting worse


when he asked that. I covered that election, that is why it resonated


and they did get worse. The Ayatollah had quadrupled the price


of oil. This is based on things getting relatively better, after a


very long wait, so the cost of living critique will have to adapt?


It will but it gets out of a very sticky spot and the IFS says wages


will not outstrip inflation and by that time they can start talking


about other things, plans for the railways and tuition fees and at the


moment, everything is up for grabs. Labour know that every time they


talk about something they want to do, the question is, how do you pay


for it? They can talk about the economy and they don't have


substantial things to say. Is it true that Mr Iain Duncan Smith was


going to make a major announcement on benefit cheats? Or something to


do with that this morning? But he decided against it because of the


tobacco over Maria Miller? It would be very odd to go on to The Andrew


Marr Show to have a chat and see what he is having for lunch. Patrick


went from the Guardian said he was going to set out higher financial


penalty phase for providing inaccurate information in claims.


This is a bad day to do that, given that MP expenses are treated far


more lenient the than any one from Joe public. That would be


fascinating, if true. And he is making a very big speech on well for


tomorrow and this tweet from Patrick went at the Guardian, he has proper


sized on welfare matters and he tends to know what is going on. But


it would be deeply unfortunate if that was the message today. How can


he make a speech that has anything about cracking down on benefit


claimants? Not today but I am not sure tomorrow. Do you get the


impression that nobody in both main parties is very confident of winning


in 2015? I column last week said the result, the most likely result from


one year on is another hung parliament and which government


results from that depends on the mathematical specifics of whether


the Tories can do a deal as well as Labour, leaving everything in the


hands of Nick Clegg or whether one party can do a straightforward deal


but I do not detect any sense of exuberance or confidence in either


camp. And the Tories are still shooting themselves over losing the


boundary commission reforms because that was going to net them 20 seats


and they lost that because they messed up the House of Lords reform


and there are still furious with themselves. The former US President,


George W Bush, has been a busy boy and here at the Sunday Politics we


thought you'd like to see the results of his artistic endeavours.


Time for the gallery. I was a prize to find myself saying,


some of these are not bad! -- surprised. Vladimir Putin? I like


the one of Tony Blair but his early ones of dogs, to be in the presence


of the master is to see his portrait of a Joanne Love. He is not of the


Turner prize but I was surprised. He gets the mask of Vladimir Putin


also Tony Blair. I was impressed that he did not allow personal or


political grudges to influence his artwork. Jacques Chirac, he comes


out of this incredibly well! And Angela Merkel comes out


astonishingly well. Quite generous as well. Tony Blair is the best one


and the reason is he had the closest relationship with them and he has


talked about this portrait, saying he was quite fond of him and you can


see that. These are awful, they would not get you an A-level but you


must admire him to have the guts to do this, and display them publicly!


An A-level? Just doing joined up numbers gets you that these days!


What do you do when you retire? This is less embarrassing than some of


the other things people have done. As good as Churchill? I don't


know... No! Churchill was brilliant! And on that! That's all for today.


Tune into BBC Two every day at lunchtime this week for the Daily


Politics. And we'll be back at the later time of 2:30pm next Sunday


after the London Marathon. Remember, if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday




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