06/04/2014 Sunday Politics East Midlands


06/04/2014

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.

:00:35.:00:38.

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

:00:39.:00:41.

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

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story. The economic outlook is getting

:00:47.:00:49.

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

:00:50.:00:54.

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

:00:55.:01:04.

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

:01:05.:01:07.

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

:01:08.:01:08.

world leaders? In the East Midlands, warm words

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

:01:16.:01:16.

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

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

:01:23.:01:34.

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

:01:35.:01:37.

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

:01:38.:01:39.

apology. A frenzy of betting on the Grand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Chairman of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority,

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

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

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

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

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

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Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, who recommended that

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

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comprising of MPs from all parties, dismissed the complaint against

:02:53.:02:56.

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

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

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Commons for the legalistic way she dealt with the complaints against

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

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

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

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of telephone calls to a newspaper organisation investigating the

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conduct of a Cabinet Minister, that comes close

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

:03:32.:03:37.

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

:03:38.:03:41.

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

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

:03:46.:03:50.

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

:03:51.:03:55.

Joanna Hindley said: Maria's obviously been having quite

:03:56.:04:01.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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the Maria Miller process and with the current Standards Commissioner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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perfunctory apology. She threatened and instructed the Standards

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Commissioner investigating her, and her special adviser linked expenses

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

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

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

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

:09:57.:10:02.

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

:10:03.:10:08.

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

:10:09.:10:13.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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devastating. On past form David Cameron hates having to bounce

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

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

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

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

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political establishment. Every single speech that David Cameron and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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politically suitable is more incendiary and provocative. It is

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

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

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

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

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

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most politically sensational jobs because of its proximity to the

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

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

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the education department, these are absolutely outstanding women and the

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

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

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responsible for hacking into the culture Department's Twitter account

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:15:59.:16:01.

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

:16:02.:16:05.

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

:16:06.:16:12.

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

:16:13.:16:18.

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

:16:19.:16:23.

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

:16:24.:16:31.

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

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

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

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

:16:51.:16:52.

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

:16:53.:16:58.

because the election narrows that and you cannot rely on the

:16:59.:17:02.

government not getting its act together because the Conservative

:17:03.:17:05.

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

:17:06.:17:10.

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

:17:11.:17:15.

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

:17:16.:17:20.

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

:17:21.:17:27.

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

:17:28.:17:30.

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

:17:31.:17:36.

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

:17:37.:17:40.

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

:17:41.:17:45.

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

:17:46.:17:52.

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

:17:53.:17:57.

very important that those people around the leader naturally have a

:17:58.:18:03.

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

:18:04.:18:08.

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

:18:09.:18:13.

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

:18:14.:18:20.

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

:18:21.:18:23.

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

:18:24.:18:31.

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

:18:32.:18:35.

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

:18:36.:18:39.

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

:18:40.:18:42.

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

:18:43.:18:49.

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

:18:50.:18:51.

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

:18:52.:18:57.

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

:18:58.:19:01.

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

:19:02.:19:05.

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

:19:06.:19:11.

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

:19:12.:19:13.

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

:19:14.:19:19.

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

:19:20.:19:21.

Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint joins me now for the Sunday

:19:22.:19:36.

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

:19:37.:19:42.

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

:19:43.:19:45.

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

:19:46.:19:52.

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

:19:53.:19:56.

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

:19:57.:20:04.

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

:20:05.:20:10.

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

:20:11.:20:15.

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

:20:16.:20:19.

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

:20:20.:20:25.

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

:20:26.:20:28.

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

:20:29.:20:38.

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

:20:39.:20:43.

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

:20:44.:20:47.

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

:20:48.:20:54.

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

:20:55.:20:58.

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

:20:59.:21:05.

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

:21:06.:21:10.

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

:21:11.:21:14.

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

:21:15.:21:20.

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

:21:21.:21:26.

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

:21:27.:21:30.

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

:21:31.:21:34.

are discussing the policies that are coming up with different colleagues

:21:35.:21:39.

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

:21:40.:21:42.

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

:21:43.:21:48.

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

:21:49.:21:52.

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

:21:53.:21:58.

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

:21:59.:22:04.

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

:22:05.:22:09.

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

:22:10.:22:15.

this is about more competition and transparency and others coming into

:22:16.:22:18.

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

:22:19.:22:26.

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

:22:27.:22:33.

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

:22:34.:22:39.

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

:22:40.:22:47.

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

:22:48.:22:51.

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

:22:52.:22:55.

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

:22:56.:23:02.

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

:23:03.:23:12.

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

:23:13.:23:16.

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

:23:17.:23:20.

terms of policy towards Britain who understands the cost of living

:23:21.:23:24.

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

:23:25.:23:31.

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

:23:32.:23:38.

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

:23:39.:23:41.

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

:23:42.:23:46.

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

:23:47.:23:52.

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

:23:53.:23:59.

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

:24:00.:24:09.

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

:24:10.:24:11.

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

:24:12.:24:18.

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

:24:19.:24:21.

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

:24:22.:24:26.

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

:24:27.:24:33.

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

:24:34.:24:39.

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

:24:40.:24:43.

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

:24:44.:24:51.

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

:24:52.:24:55.

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

:24:56.:25:01.

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

:25:02.:25:05.

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

:25:06.:25:10.

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

:25:11.:25:19.

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

:25:20.:25:24.

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

:25:25.:25:29.

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

:25:30.:25:34.

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

:25:35.:25:38.

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

:25:39.:25:44.

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

:25:45.:25:50.

and perhaps collapsing, unemployment is falling faster than anybody

:25:51.:25:54.

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

:25:55.:26:00.

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

:26:01.:26:05.

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

:26:06.:26:11.

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

:26:12.:26:17.

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

:26:18.:26:21.

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

:26:22.:26:26.

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

:26:27.:26:33.

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

:26:34.:26:38.

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

:26:39.:26:41.

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

:26:42.:26:48.

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

:26:49.:26:53.

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

:26:54.:26:59.

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

:27:00.:27:04.

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

:27:05.:27:08.

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

:27:09.:27:14.

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

:27:15.:27:17.

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

:27:18.:27:24.

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

:27:25.:27:28.

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

:27:29.:27:33.

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

:27:34.:27:36.

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

:27:37.:27:41.

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

:27:42.:27:49.

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

:27:50.:27:55.

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

:27:56.:28:01.

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

:28:02.:28:09.

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

:28:10.:28:13.

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

:28:14.:28:17.

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

:28:18.:28:24.

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

:28:25.:28:28.

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

:28:29.:28:32.

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

:28:33.:28:37.

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

:28:38.:28:40.

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

:28:41.:28:46.

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

:28:47.:28:50.

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

:28:51.:28:54.

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

:28:55.:29:00.

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

:29:01.:29:05.

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

:29:06.:29:09.

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

:29:10.:29:12.

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

:29:13.:29:20.

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

:29:21.:29:24.

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

:29:25.:29:30.

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

:29:31.:29:48.

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

:29:49.:29:55.

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

:29:56.:29:59.

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

:30:00.:30:03.

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

:30:04.:30:07.

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

:30:08.:30:10.

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

:30:11.:30:14.

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

:30:15.:30:17.

issues around confidence in that area and therefore willing to put

:30:18.:30:21.

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

:30:22.:30:27.

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

:30:28.:30:32.

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

:30:33.:30:35.

overcharging customers and haven't been investing in their

:30:36.:30:38.

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

:30:39.:30:43.

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

:30:44.:30:48.

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

:30:49.:30:51.

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

:30:52.:30:55.

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

:30:56.:30:58.

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

:30:59.:31:01.

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

:31:02.:31:04.

now for Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up

:31:05.:31:14.

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

:31:15.:31:18.

the Government really act to save our last pit?

:31:19.:31:22.

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

:31:23.:31:26.

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

:31:27.:31:29.

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

:31:30.:31:33.

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

:31:34.:31:37.

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

:31:38.:31:40.

respond to the entry`level work the sector needs.

:31:41.:31:43.

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

:31:44.:31:46.

Conservative MP for Loughborough and a Treasury Minister, and Toby

:31:47.:31:49.

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

:31:50.:31:53.

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

:31:54.:31:58.

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

:31:59.:32:01.

than 60 others around the country calling for tougher planning

:32:02.:32:04.

regulations to limit the nulber of betting shops. Nottingham Chty

:32:05.:32:07.

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

:32:08.:32:10.

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

:32:11.:32:14.

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

:32:15.:32:21.

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

:32:22.:32:25.

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

:32:26.:32:28.

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

:32:29.:32:32.

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

:32:33.:32:37.

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

:32:38.:32:42.

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

:32:43.:32:46.

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

:32:47.:32:50.

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

:32:51.:32:54.

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

:32:55.:32:56.

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

:32:57.:32:59.

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

:33:00.:33:03.

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

:33:04.:33:11.

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

:33:12.:33:15.

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

:33:16.:33:18.

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

:33:19.:33:21.

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

:33:22.:33:25.

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

:33:26.:33:29.

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

:33:30.:33:31.

becoming simply charity shops, betting shops and payday lenders.

:33:32.:33:37.

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

:33:38.:33:40.

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

:33:41.:33:47.

being called for is the planning regulations that see betting shops

:33:48.:33:50.

being judged as though they are a financial services provider rather

:33:51.:33:53.

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

:33:54.:33:57.

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

:33:58.:34:01.

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

:34:02.:34:07.

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

:34:08.:34:11.

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

:34:12.:34:15.

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

:34:16.:34:18.

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

:34:19.:34:21.

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

:34:22.:34:26.

concerns that betting operators are targeting the most vulnerable in the

:34:27.:34:31.

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

:34:32.:34:35.

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

:34:36.:34:39.

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

:34:40.:34:46.

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

:34:47.:34:49.

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

:34:50.:34:53.

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

:34:54.:34:59.

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

:35:00.:35:02.

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

:35:03.:35:06.

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

:35:07.:35:09.

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

:35:10.:35:13.

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

:35:14.:35:16.

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

:35:17.:35:19.

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

:35:20.:35:23.

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

:35:24.:35:28.

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

:35:29.:35:31.

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

:35:32.:35:34.

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

:35:35.:35:37.

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

:35:38.:35:42.

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

:35:43.:35:45.

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

:35:46.:35:49.

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

:35:50.:35:53.

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

:35:54.:35:57.

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

:35:58.:36:01.

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

:36:02.:36:04.

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

:36:05.:36:14.

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

:36:15.:36:17.

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

:36:18.:36:20.

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

:36:21.:36:23.

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

:36:24.:36:26.

Thoresby Colliery at least tntil December 2018 under current state

:36:27.:36:29.

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

:36:30.:36:32.

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

:36:33.:36:36.

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

:36:37.:36:40.

quite clear the Government can make their application for state closure

:36:41.:36:43.

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

:36:44.:36:48.

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

:36:49.:36:52.

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

:36:53.:36:55.

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

:36:56.:36:59.

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

:37:00.:37:04.

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

:37:05.:37:07.

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

:37:08.:37:10.

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

:37:11.:37:13.

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

:37:14.:37:17.

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

:37:18.:37:21.

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

:37:22.:37:25.

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

:37:26.:37:30.

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

:37:31.:37:35.

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

:37:36.:37:39.

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

:37:40.:37:44.

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

:37:45.:37:48.

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

:37:49.:37:51.

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

:37:52.:37:55.

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

:37:56.:38:00.

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

:38:01.:38:03.

has dropped around the world significantly. Since the last

:38:04.:38:07.

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

:38:08.:38:18.

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

:38:19.:38:22.

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

:38:23.:38:25.

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

:38:26.:38:28.

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

:38:29.:38:31.

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

:38:32.:38:35.

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

:38:36.:38:38.

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

:38:39.:38:42.

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

:38:43.:38:46.

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

:38:47.:38:50.

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

:38:51.:38:53.

closure programme and take ` positive approach as the EU

:38:54.:38:56.

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

:38:57.:39:03.

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

:39:04.:39:08.

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

:39:09.:39:11.

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

:39:12.:39:17.

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

:39:18.:39:21.

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

:39:22.:39:24.

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

:39:25.:39:28.

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

:39:29.:39:34.

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

:39:35.:39:37.

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

:39:38.:39:44.

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

:39:45.:39:48.

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

:39:49.:39:51.

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

:39:52.:39:58.

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

:39:59.:40:01.

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

:40:02.:40:05.

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

:40:06.:40:09.

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

:40:10.:40:13.

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

:40:14.:40:17.

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

:40:18.:40:21.

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

:40:22.:40:28.

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

:40:29.:40:30.

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

:40:31.:40:36.

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

:40:37.:40:41.

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

:40:42.:40:49.

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

:40:50.:40:55.

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

:40:56.:40:59.

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

:41:00.:41:04.

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

:41:05.:41:08.

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

:41:09.:41:12.

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

:41:13.:41:15.

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

:41:16.:41:18.

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

:41:19.:41:22.

presentation about a project the Government are putting ?1 bhllion

:41:23.:41:25.

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

:41:26.:41:33.

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

:41:34.:41:38.

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

:41:39.:41:43.

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

:41:44.:41:47.

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

:41:48.:41:54.

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

:41:55.:41:58.

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

:41:59.:42:01.

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

:42:02.:42:06.

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

:42:07.:42:11.

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

:42:12.:42:14.

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

:42:15.:42:24.

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

:42:25.:42:29.

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

:42:30.:42:37.

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

:42:38.:42:40.

relationship with Europe it is important. There is resentmdnt about

:42:41.:42:45.

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

:42:46.:42:50.

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

:42:51.:42:54.

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

:42:55.:42:57.

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

:42:58.:43:05.

Wood, thank you. Whatever job prospects the future

:43:06.:43:08.

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

:43:09.:43:11.

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

:43:12.:43:15.

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

:43:16.:43:18.

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

:43:19.:43:21.

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

:43:22.:43:23.

workplace. These are Derby's very own boys from

:43:24.:43:26.

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

:43:27.:43:31.

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

:43:32.:43:35.

job opportunity through a council`run apprenticeship scheme.

:43:36.:43:41.

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

:43:42.:43:47.

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

:43:48.:43:51.

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

:43:52.:43:57.

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

:43:58.:44:01.

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

:44:02.:44:04.

significant are the number of young people neither in employment,

:44:05.:44:10.

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

:44:11.:44:17.

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

:44:18.:44:20.

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

:44:21.:44:27.

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

:44:28.:44:30.

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

:44:31.:44:38.

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

:44:39.:44:41.

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

:44:42.:44:47.

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

:44:48.:44:50.

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

:44:51.:44:55.

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

:44:56.:44:59.

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

:45:00.:45:02.

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

:45:03.:45:10.

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

:45:11.:45:13.

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

:45:14.:45:21.

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

:45:22.:45:24.

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

:45:25.:45:27.

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

:45:28.:45:32.

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

:45:33.:45:39.

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

:45:40.:45:45.

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

:45:46.:45:47.

programme is creating an alternative job centre for firms needing those

:45:48.:45:55.

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

:45:56.:45:59.

thing right now to engage young people and respond to the

:46:00.:46:02.

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

:46:03.:46:05.

technical skills and intermddiate skills. As businesses operating in

:46:06.:46:10.

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

:46:11.:46:16.

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

:46:17.:46:19.

skilled workers ready for the revival.

:46:20.:46:23.

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

:46:24.:46:27.

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

:46:28.:46:30.

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

:46:31.:46:34.

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

:46:35.:46:39.

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

:46:40.:46:42.

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

:46:43.:46:45.

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

:46:46.:46:48.

people and their parents ard aware of apprenticeships, traineeships,

:46:49.:46:54.

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

:46:55.:46:59.

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

:47:00.:47:04.

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

:47:05.:47:08.

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

:47:09.:47:12.

and Government working together The Government says there are now more

:47:13.:47:17.

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

:47:18.:47:22.

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

:47:23.:47:25.

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

:47:26.:47:28.

seven or eight years in apprenticeships. There is

:47:29.:47:30.

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

:47:31.:47:37.

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

:47:38.:47:41.

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

:47:42.:47:48.

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

:47:49.:47:52.

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

:47:53.:47:55.

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

:47:56.:48:00.

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

:48:01.:48:03.

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

:48:04.:48:06.

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

:48:07.:48:09.

school without these skills? Unfortunately, under the last

:48:10.:48:12.

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

:48:13.:48:17.

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

:48:18.:48:24.

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

:48:25.:48:27.

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

:48:28.:48:32.

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

:48:33.:48:35.

measurable standards. That hs why the traineeships have been

:48:36.:48:38.

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

:48:39.:48:41.

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

:48:42.:48:45.

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

:48:46.:48:52.

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

:48:53.:48:55.

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

:48:56.:49:02.

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

:49:03.:49:06.

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

:49:07.:49:10.

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

:49:11.:49:14.

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

:49:15.:49:18.

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

:49:19.:49:23.

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

:49:24.:49:26.

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

:49:27.:49:29.

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

:49:30.:49:35.

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

:49:36.:49:38.

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

:49:39.:49:42.

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

:49:43.:49:46.

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

:49:47.:49:49.

other stories here's John Hdss with 60 Seconds.

:49:50.:49:53.

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

:49:54.:50:00.

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

:50:01.:50:03.

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

:50:04.:50:06.

cases to be heard in Mansfidld and Nottingham.

:50:07.:50:10.

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

:50:11.:50:14.

cull. Derby North MP Chris Williamson campaigned against it and

:50:15.:50:17.

said it is a victory for common`sense.

:50:18.:50:21.

Protesters fighting funding cuts to Lincolnshire's libraries ard taking

:50:22.:50:25.

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

:50:26.:50:28.

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

:50:29.:50:34.

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

:50:35.:50:37.

bring high`speed broadband to rural Derbyshire could reach thousands

:50:38.:50:42.

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

:50:43.:50:47.

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

:50:48.:50:55.

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

:50:56.:50:58.

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

:50:59.:51:00.

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

:51:01.:51:15.

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

:51:16.:51:24.

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

:51:25.:51:29.

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

:51:30.:51:35.

onto something and for most of this Parliament, inflation has

:51:36.:51:40.

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

:51:41.:51:44.

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

:51:45.:51:49.

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

:51:50.:51:53.

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

:51:54.:51:58.

is taking the message from a presidential election in America in

:51:59.:52:01.

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

:52:02.:52:06.

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

:52:07.:52:12.

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

:52:13.:52:15.

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

:52:16.:52:21.

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

:52:22.:52:25.

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

:52:26.:52:30.

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

:52:31.:52:34.

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

:52:35.:52:38.

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

:52:39.:52:45.

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

:52:46.:52:50.

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

:52:51.:52:56.

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

:52:57.:53:03.

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

:53:04.:53:07.

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

:53:08.:53:13.

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

:53:14.:53:19.

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

:53:20.:53:22.

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

:53:23.:53:28.

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

:53:29.:53:34.

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

:53:35.:53:38.

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

:53:39.:53:43.

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

:53:44.:53:45.

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

:53:46.:53:51.

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

:53:52.:53:54.

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

:53:55.:54:00.

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

:54:01.:54:05.

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

:54:06.:54:09.

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

:54:10.:54:13.

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

:54:14.:54:17.

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

:54:18.:54:22.

penalty phase for providing inaccurate information in claims.

:54:23.:54:25.

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

:54:26.:54:32.

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

:54:33.:54:38.

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

:54:39.:54:42.

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

:54:43.:54:48.

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

:54:49.:54:52.

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

:54:53.:54:57.

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

:54:58.:55:00.

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

:55:01.:55:09.

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

:55:10.:55:14.

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

:55:15.:55:18.

one year on is another hung parliament and which government

:55:19.:55:23.

results from that depends on the mathematical specifics of whether

:55:24.:55:27.

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

:55:28.:55:31.

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

:55:32.:55:34.

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

:55:35.:55:41.

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

:55:42.:55:44.

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

:55:45.:55:48.

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

:55:49.:55:51.

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

:55:52.:55:55.

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

:55:56.:55:59.

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

:56:00.:56:01.

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

:56:02.:56:49.

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

:56:50.:56:56.

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

:56:57.:57:02.

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

:57:03.:57:10.

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

:57:11.:57:15.

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

:57:16.:57:18.

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

:57:19.:57:25.

out of this incredibly well! And Angela Merkel comes out

:57:26.:57:28.

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

:57:29.:57:34.

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

:57:35.:57:39.

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

:57:40.:57:43.

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

:57:44.:57:47.

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

:57:48.:57:56.

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

:57:57.:58:03.

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

:58:04.:58:06.

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

:58:07.:58:13.

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

:58:14.:58:18.

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

:58:19.:58:21.

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

:58:22.:58:24.

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

:58:25.:58:26.

Politics.

:58:27.:58:33.

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