04/05/2014 Sunday Politics East Midlands


With Marie Ashby. Andrew Neil interviews the Conservative chairman Grant Shapps and Sir Malcolm Bruce, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, on the European elections.

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debate what it means for London. And with me, as always, the best and


the brightest political panel in the business - Nick Watt, Helen Lewis


and Janan Ganesh. They'll be throwing metaphorical rotten eggs


into the twittersphere. First this morning - Gerry Adams,


President of Sinn Fein, has spent a fourth night in police custody after


he was arrested in connection with the killing of Jean McConville more


than 40 years ago. Sinn Fein has claimed that the arrest is


politically motivated coming, as it does, during local and European


election campaigns. Northern Ireland's deputy first minister,


Martin McGuinness, has indicated he might review the party's support for


policing in the province if Gerry Adams is charged. The Jean


McConville murder was one of the most notorious cases of the


Troubles. The widowed mother of ten was


kidnapped from her home in December 1972, never to be seen alive again.


The IRA denied involvement but in 1999 admitted it had murdered her


and several others, known as the Disappeared. Before his death, the


former IRA commander Brendan Hughes pointed the finger at Gerry Adams,


claiming: In April this year, either Bell was


charged with aiding and abetting the murder. -- Ivor Bell. Gerry Adams


has always insisted he is innocent of any part in the abduction and


killing all burial of Mrs McConville.


We were hoping to speak to the Northern Ireland Secretary, Theresa


Villiers, but having agreed to do an interview with us this morning, she


pulled out. But we are joined from Belfast by Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey.


Welcome to the Sunday Politics. And the police just doing their job by


questioning Gerry Adams? Gerry Adams said publicly some time ago that he


was available to speak to the police, but that is not what this is


about at the moment, because what we have here is clearly evidence in our


mind of political interference in what should be due process. Gerry


Adams made it clear some time ago he wanted to speak to the police, it


was available at any time, and yet that request was not taken up until


three weeks into an election and we believe that was deliberately


orchestrated by a small number of people. What evidence can you


present this morning that proves that claim? The direct circumstances


Gerry Adams finds himself in at the moment, take that in stark contrast


when they have dealt with members of the British Army for instance...


That is just circumstantial. The PSNI know that the soldiers involved


in that and a number of other high-profile killings of citizens


here, and not one of those people has been arrested. In fact any of


the people who were interviewed were interviewed by request. There was a


stark contrast, in terms of how they have dealt with the British military


involving state killings. We haven't got too much time. Sinn Fein said it


would review its support for the PSNI if Gerry Adams is charged. That


sounds like political interference in the police process. It's not


because we have a clear mandate from the people who elect us. Policing


has been an important part of the peace process here for many years,


Sinn Fein plays an important role in local policing partnerships. We


negotiate to make sure we have powers transferred here to elected


representatives in the north. It is a long way to go before we have


policing highly accountable, and making sure they deliver a very


impartial service. How will he react if Gerry Adams is charged? I am


still trying to get a clear answer. If Gerry Adams is charged, will you


withdraw support for the Northern Ireland police service? We view this


as a serious situation and a serious ongoing situation and we will


monitor how this pans out. We have a very important role to play to


support the police service here. We have done consistently, worked with


them on a daily basis, but we will not accept political interference by


a small number of people in the police who are undermining the


police. We will not accept political policing. If there was evidence, and


I emphasise the word if, because we have seen none, but if there were


evidence to justify Gerry Adams being charged, why should he not be


charged? It is my understanding from the family of Gerry Adams that there


has not been a single shred of evidence put forward. I understand


that, but if there was evidence, why should he not be charged? You put


that caveat yourself and then you expect me to speculate, there is no


way I will do that. The fact of the matter is there hasn't been one


single shred of evidence put to Gerry Adams in the last few days, in


fact what has been put to him is a range of issues of newspaper


cuttings, books, statements made from people, including from people


who didn't want their statements released until they have died.


who didn't want their statements was charged, again I emphasise the


word if, does the police process fall apart? The police process is a


fragile entity, it requires work and we have been saying this publicly


and privately with the Irish and British


and privately with the Irish and process has to be nurtured and


developed. We are not out of the woods yet. From a Republican point


of view we have been working flat out. I just wanted a quick answer to


my question, is a yes or no? What question I asking me? Is the peace


process in jeopardy? It is fragile and I am not going to have words put


into my mouth but I don't want to use. It has to be worked out and


nurtured. Thank you for joining us. Nick Watt, you were a Northern


Ireland correspondent like myself in days gone by. Where is this going to


go? It shows how challenging the peace process is because on the one


hand you have the unspeakable pain of the McConville family, but you


also have the danger of not having mechanisms to deal with the past.


South Africa is a good example, you have to have some mechanism to deal


with the past because if you don't, you are going to have, as Sinn Fein


have now, someone in a police cell but you don't have the arrests of


the Bloody Sunday soldiers. Paramilitary prisoners were released


after two years... We have seen no action against somebody accused of


the Hyde Park bombings, it is not a one-way street. We have the


decommissioning of IRA weapons by the IRA, therefore destroying


crucial evidence. You have these inconsistencies because you don't


have an mechanism for dealing with the past, but doing that is really


difficult because of the pain of real people. Don't you get a feeling


that here in London they are hoping he will not be charged? Definitely


because it would be nice if everything went away, but the civil


case of the family is taken out of the hands of the police. You can see


here a real failure in Westminster to see this as anything other than


settled. David Cameron we know sees himself as a chairman. I was


speaking to a friend in Northern Ireland who said he has never met


Gerry Adams and I think this is very revealing. They consider this as a


settled issue that will not trouble Westminster again. It would be, but


the relatives of the disappeared don't want it to be settled. This


points to the reality that the Belfast agreement probably had to be


done, but the moral price at which it was purchased was far greater


than we were willing to admit during the euphoria. For a country that


prides itself by the rule of law to tolerate the early release of


prisoners and former pal and military -- paramilitaries, I think


was a very serious matter. As for the PSNI, it only exists because its


predecessor failed to command the confidence of the nationalist


community. It is a very big deal if even the PSNI ends up falling into


the same trap. We have to is leave it there I'm afraid. It was the


Conservative's local election campaign launch on Friday, and what


did David Cameron focus on? Burning local issues like the state of our


roads, rubbish collection or care of the elderly? No. It was Europe. The


Prime Minister re-iterated again his promise of an in-out referendum on


our membership of the EU in 2017. And it's being reported this morning


that he will share a platform with Nigel Farage in a pre-general


election debate. Here's what the UKIP leader had to say about the


issue when he was on the Marr Show this morning with Ed Miliband. David


Cameron very often makes these vague promises, then doesn't deliver


afterwards. I don't think he has any intention of allowing me into any of


these debates. Perhaps Ed Miliband wants to debate? We have got to have


the TV debates as we did join the last general election. I think David


Cameron is doing everything he can to wriggle out of them. It is up to


the broadcasters but whether they invite Nigel. My main desire is that


the debates go ahead. We are joined now by Grant Shapps. Will he be


included? The debates were not without problems, they took place


during the campaign period and disrupted the flow of the campaign,


taking it out of the regions, people getting to speak to the leaders so a


longer period for that would be helpful. I think they are good idea


and they should go ahead, but all of the negotiation about who is


involved is yet to happen. So it is not a done deal that Nigel Farage


will be included? That needs to be negotiated with the TV companies.


The Conservatives believe we should have debates, but exactly the format


and the timing, all of the -- that will be debated in the autumn, but


first we have European elections, the Queen 's speech and a Scottish


referendum. The local election campaign was launched on Friday. Why


did you talk more about Europe than local councils? Both are important.


The local elections are critically important for people, their local


services. It is easy to forget, for example, that the council tax has


been largely frozen since this Government came to power, a big


contrast to Dublin under the previous Labour government. So why


did you go on and on about Europe? Let me show you the poster used to


launch your local election campaign. There it is, and in-out referendum


on Europe, the day of the local elections, where is the word local?


Is it in small print? I hear what you're saying, I am happy to be here


to talk about the local elections. But you are right, they are on the


same day, and not many people know that only by voting conservative can


you get an in-out referendum. -- Conservative. UKIP cannot deliver,


we can, it is the same date, so people... This was the launch of the


local election campaign. Why does the Prime Minister have to keep on


promising something he has already promised? The actual referendum


would be in 2017. He promised it before, he keeps repeating it


because he knows people don't really trust him. I think it is a question


of the fact that, actually, unless you remind people that the pledges


there, that the only way to get an in-out referendum is to vote for


it, this is a critical moment at which we need people to vote for


that referendum if they want it. It is not the case, as I saw this


morning, being said by Nigel Farage, that a referendum was promised


before and not delivered. There was no referendum in the last manifesto.


There will be in the next one. There was a cast-iron guarantee, in the


Sun in 2006. Let's just clear that up... Once the Lisbon Treaty... In


the Sun article, he said, we will have a referendum on the Lisbon


Treaty. Clearly, because that treaty had been passed before the general


election, it is difficult to have a referendum on something in the past.


We joined Europe in the 1970s, having a referendum on that! Look,


that is about the future. Our relationship with Europe is


absolutely critical. Most people in this country feel, I was not old


enough to vote in that referendum, most of those who voted, they voted


for a Common Market, that is not what we have got. We want to


continue the work we have been doing in the EU Budget, what did UKIP do?


They voted against it. We want more of those powers brought home, and we


will put it to a referendum, and people will have to vote


Conservative to get it. We have been looking at new research, almost two


thirds of Conservative members are considering voting for UKIP, almost


two thirds. I have a simple message here, which is this. If you vote for


UKIP... Can we have it up? 30% are likely, 30% are possible. That is


why it is important we are making these arguments. If you vote for


UKIP, you are voting to take us further away from returning powers


to this country, further from a referendum. It is support for Ed


Miliband becoming Prime Minister, and he will do exactly what Labour


have always done - hand away powers, and away the rebate for nothing in


return, giving Europe even more so over the day-to-day affairs in


Britain. Why are so many people considering voting UKIP? It is to


hold your feet to the fire, they do not trust you on a referendum, so


they will vote UKIP to force you to tap in your line. We have a very


tough line. If I had said four years ago that this government would


manage to cut the overall EU budget, would take us out of the


bailout fund that Labour got us into, passing a law that no more


powers can go to Europe without a referendum, if I had said that,


people would say, I do not believe it will happen. Not only have we


done these things, we are promising and in-out referendum, and the only


way to get it is to vote Conservative. Nigel Farage has


said, we can't change anything in Europe, and it is no wonder that the


president of the European Commission has said, we love having these UKIP


MEPs, because they don't turn up and vote, apart from when they vote


against the cut in the budget. It goes beyond UKIP in your party,


because this research also showed that those Conservative members most


likely to vote for UKIP, they said they do not feel valued or respected


by their own leadership, and they regard David Cameron as ideological


eat more remote from them than UKIP. What I would say is look at that


list... Let me take that step further. What people need our series


solutions to serious problems. When people vote for a UKIP MEP, I will


say, which one of the 40% of the MEPs who got in for UKIP last time


are you voting for, the ones above left or defected, the ones have gone


to jail? 40% have ended up not delivering. People have a right to


know what to expect when they vote in these elections. They can look at


our record at home, and this goes to the point you have raised about what


we have done in Britain to get this economy back on track, recover from


Labour's recession. We are prepared to take those decisions in Europe as


well. Presumably, active Conservative members, they know


that, so why do they not feel valued by the leadership? I spend time


going up and down the country meeting Conservative members, and


they are on the doorstep, last weekend 150 out in Enfield


campaigning for the European and local elections... Why are they keen


on UKIP? When I meet somebody who says that, not necessarily a


member... Have you met members of say they will vote UKIP? No, but a


vote for UKIP is... Do not do it, you will end up with Labour having


more control, handing away powers to Europe. 51-year-old meeting members


who say they will vote UKIP, you must be out of touch. -- if you are


not meeting members. Some of your members are thinking of voting UKIP.


I spend huge amount of time travelling around, I just told you


about this action day in Enfield, where we had an enormous turnout.


Those members were on the doorsteps pointing out that you can only get


reform in Europe by voting Conservative. Labour and the Lib


Dems will not deliver, UKIP can't, Conservatives will. You have not got


that message across, because a YouGov poll shows, on Europe, who


has the best policies? Tories 18%, Labour 19%, UKIP 27%. On the


economy, Tories 27%, Labour 23, UKIP 4. Why don't you shut up about


Europe and talk about the economy? Look, on the 27th of May, we have


European elections, as well as local elections. If I don't talk about the


European elections, you would say what you said at the beginning about


not talking about the local elections! These are serious


elections, and the point I am tried to make is that the issues at stake


are not peripheral, they are not unimportant. Our MEPs have been


battling to cut red tape from a European level on small businesses,


the same thing this government has been doing for small businesses


domestic league, where for example every small business owner watching


this show knows they have got ?2000 back in employment announced on


national insurance contributions. We are doing it at home, we are doing


it in Europe, and it is important to tie that together. Ireland that Mr


Cameron saying, you should stop banging on about Europe... -- I


remember. This is before the last general election, as in days for the


Lib Dems, 18%. Even then, you didn't win the election, and now you are


only three or four points ahead, it doesn't look good for you, does it?


Even then, the poll did not turn out to be what it was on the day. No,


that is what happens, that is the voting intentions now! You are in a


worse position than a year before the last election, which you didn't


win. We are almost proving the point that you can take a clip at any


moment in time, not sounding like a politician, but the only poll that


matters is on the day. In just over a year's time, people will have a


completely different picture to look at than these opinion polls. We have


an economy from being a basket case, the great Labour recession


knocking 7% of this economy, hurting every family, to a point where we


the fastest-growing economy in the developed world. In a year's time, I


hope people will see that we are the people who've taken the difficult


decisions, got the economy to the right place, more security for you


and your family. Do not give the car keys back to the people who crashed


it in the first place. If I had a pound for every time I have heard


that! It is clearly not getting through. On the Pfizer attempted of


AstraZeneca, Mr Miliband called this morning for a tougher public


interest test such big takeovers. Do you agree with that or not? Let me


be absolutely clear, if there is any kind of joining, we are in favour of


British jobs, British aren't deep, expanding our pharmaceutical sector.


-- R But what Mr Mallon and wants to do with rent caps, he is


anti-business. -- Mr Miliband. He wants to take us back to the bad old


those. -- bad old days. Should there be a bigger public interest test? We


have seen some takeovers that people have criticised, but others, like


Bentley, Land Rover, which have been very successful. Should there be a


tougher test?! We will have tests that ensured this get-together


becomes a great Anglo-American project, or it doesn't happen, but


the Miliband approach is simply to be anti-business, anti-jobs and


anti-job security. Grant Shapps, thank you.


A challenging week for the Liberal Democrats with a local election


campaign overshadowed by another row with the Conservatives about knife


crime. Adam has spent the day with Nick Clegg on the campaign trail.


How nice! Nick Clegg is taking me on a political mini break to the


Cotswolds. Yes, we are getting the train. He wants to highlight what


his party is doing in local government, and a personal passion


of his in Europe. Graham Watson, the Lib Dem MEP for the south-west, has


been running a campaign to have prunes recognised as a laxative. Is


that Lib Dems battling for Britain in Europe? It is not our front page


manifesto commitment! It is one of many things that Graham does, he


does many other things. In fact, he is a good example of an MEP who took


a pioneering role, for instance, in making sure... There is the proven


world, but also the crime-fighting role. -- prune. He has done work to


make sure that when British criminals flee justice, we can bring


them back. And he has promoted prunes! First stop, a gorgeous


country pub, but it turns out everyone is a journalist or a very


on message activist. Dark days, being a Lib Dem in the last few


years? Strangely not. If you find you are a Lib Dem deep down, you do


not get that disheartened, because you know that, locally, you are


doing so well for the people that you live next door to that,


actually, I find I am almost impervious to what happens on a


national level. I am mayor of Cirencester. Have you taken any


leadership lessons from Nick Clegg, inspiring new in your leadership of


Cirencester? I think what he has demonstrated his patience. It has


been a tough time, he has taken a lot of flak, and as the mayor of a


town, lots of people agree with you and a fair few don't. You are a full


on mayor, he is just a Deputy Prime Minister, do you outrank him? I


don't think so, he is in government, I am not. So our there any normal


people in here? We are from Swindon, you cannot get more


abnormal. Are you a big fan of his? No! What has he done wrong? I don't


believe in his views at all. Where has he got to? Nigel Farage would


have had a pint! At this time in the morning a copy was more appropriate.


I have no time for a drink of any kind, because now we are off to look


at a local traffic blackspot. This is amazing, like a Lib Dem election


leaflet brought to life, Lib Dems pointing at a road. High-vis


jackets! Next we had to giggle full bath, but there will be no Regency


sightseeing for us, oh no, Nick is taking us to an abandoned


wilderness. We have just had a health and safety briefing, we have


been told to look out for dive-bombing seagulls and an angry


fox. That is the sort of thing Nick Clegg has to put up with. He wants


to talk about the economy but he has to dodge the day's beat new story,


letters leaked by a Tory suggesting that Lib Dems are soft on knife


crime. Isn't that a new kind of warfare? I just think it is silly.


They may think they are clever by catching some headlines but they are


not helping people who worry about knife crime, like I do. We work


together... Just like the Coalition! This is a co-working


space where different businesses share the same office. My time with


the Deputy Prime Minister is drawing to a close. We haven't talked about


the most important story of the week, that you were voted the best


looking party leader and the most likely to be a good cook. Right,


this is news to me and I can guarantee you that my scepticism of


opinion polls has just been confirmed. Just as well because the


more serious polls don't look great for him or his party. Goodbye, and


thanks for the offer of a ride home!


He is still walking. Malcolm Bruce joins us now. According to Lib Dem


briefing documents, you are likely to choose -- lose a big chunk of


your MEPs. If you lose a lot, what would that say about a party that


boasts of its pro-Europe credentials? It would be


disappointing because we have the most hard-working MEPs. The worry


that we have is that people think the European Parliament is not


important but it takes decisions that affect us. They would be


disappointing for Britain as well as the Liberal Democrats. Isn't the


problem that the more you bang on about your pro-European credentials,


the more you slip in the polls? I do think so, we have two weeks to go


and we are campaigning extremely hard. You are forced in the polls. I


can tell you there are people out there who do believe Britain should


stay in the EU and they are worried that other parties will take us out.


The Liberal Democrats are clear, we want to stay in, we will work for


reform and do it effectively. If you lose the Liberal Democrats,


Britain's influence in Europe will be weakened. Your track record in


Europe shows you have been spectacularly wrong again and again.


In your 2009 manifesto you said the European Central Bank and the euro


have been tried and tested over ten years providing a clear picture of


the benefits of Eurozone membership and that proved to be nonsense. It


was nonsense everywhere. Every developed bank in the world was


tried and tested and failed. Europe may not be perfect, but the question


people have to decide is if we are going to leave Europe and be


isolated on RM, or use our influence to reform it from inside. We have


allies, you work with them, that is something the Lib Dems do better


than any other parties. Your 2004 manifesto, you claim that being


outside the euro would lead to job losses and reduced prosperity. You


were just plain wrong, weren't you? Yes, but the reason is that to some


extent the euro did not observe any rules and regulations when it was


set up. That is why we never recommended Britain should join at


the outset because the criteria had not been met. In 2001 Nick Clegg was


writing to the Financial Times... Your track record is important. He


wrote that the Tisch monetary policy is not all it is cracked up to be.


Britain would gain greater control over its affairs by joining the


euro. How wrong can he be? We have always argued that the currency had


to abide by strict criteria. It hasn't done so and that is one of


the reasons it has failed. We recognise there is no future for


Britain joining the euro and we are not advocating it. Lets put your


2010 manifesto on the screen. I didn't say it was not our long-term


interest. If Europe succeeds as an entity, if the euro becomes one of


the world leading currencies, there will come a point when it may be


justified. In the circumstances we are in the moment, there is no


recommended timescale. Let's get this right. Despite the Eurozone


crisis which has cost millions of jobs, countries that were teetering


on the brink of bankruptcy, the Eurozone now facing stagnation and


some countries on the brink of deflation, you still won't rule out


Britain joining? We are ruling it out in the foreseeable future. You


can miss the point that we are out in the foreseeable future. You


working as a coalition partner in government that has secured recovery


for the UK, and working as Liberal Democrats in the parliament that


have cut back the European budget in cooperation with others. What would


the world look like if it were right for Britain to join the euro? You


have 27 states at the moment, with too many countries still struggling


to meet the criteria so until you have a strong and cohesive enough


single Eurozone in which all the countries can meet that criteria,


Britain is better off out. So a more centralised Eurozone, that is what


you would like Britain to join? No, because it can only happen by


consent. Any circumstances in which any further powers would be


transferred from the UK to the EU, we would support a referendum. You


have just said that for the Eurozone to work, it has to be more


centralised and you said if that happens, that is what Britain would


join. I didn't say that, I said it would require the consent of all


member states to agree to the criteria. We certainly do not


envisage joining in the foreseeable future. Since you are the proud


party of in, why weren't you just give us a referendum on in or out?


Because it has to have a context. What David Cameron is doing is


dangerous because I think the major players like Britain and France are


not keen on the idea of being bullied into reforms on the


instigation of just one member state which is threatening possibility to


withdraw. They will have to agree to rules... Just have it now. Do you


want in or out? To have a referendum against no background is to put it


out of context. We are in the middle of a crisis, a year away from the


general election. We have made it clear... You said we are in the


middle of the Eurozone crisis? So we are not in the middle of it? What's


the middle? The reality is that the Western world has gone through a


deep crisis. The UK is coming out of it, the Eurozone is coming out of


it. Greece have been able to borrow on the markets in recent weeks which


is a sign of success. It is in our interest is the Eurozone succeeds


and recovers and we should be part of it but not necessarily on the


same conditions as everyone else. The Liberal Democrats work with


others to deliver Britain's interests and if they are not there,


their interests will be undermined. You are watching Sunday Politics. We


say goodbye to viewers in Scotland now.


In the East Midlands: Safe Tory seat or the chance for a UKIP


breakthrough? We'll have the latest from Newark. I think British jobs


for British people, local jobs. What about Nigel Farage? No, sorry, no.


And e`cigs? Plain packaging? We'll be looking at the fight to cure us


of our smoking habit. I've been smoking since I was 14. It keeps you


can. Hello, I'm Marie Ashby, and my


guests this week: Nigel Mills, the Conservative MP for Amber Valley and


Labour's Ashfield MP and Shadow Minister for Equalities and Women,


Gloria De Piero. Well, what a week it's been for politics in the East


Midlands! We'll look more closely at the Newark by election in a moment,


but first the events of the last few days, and it all began when the


Newark MP, Patrick Mercer, announced he was standing down after a damning


report by the Parliamentary Standards Committee over his conduct


in a lobbying scandal. I am going to resign my seat in Nottinghamshire in


the town of Newark, and I hope that my successor, who has been well and


carefully chosen, will be the Conservative candidate. Thank you


very much indeed. Then there was fevered speculation


that the UKIP leader Nigel Farage would contest the seat. By Wednesday


he announced that he wouldn't because he didn't know the East


Midlands very well. He certainly knows it a little better now after


being hit with an egg on a visit to Nottingham. He is going to remember


the East Midlands, but maybe not for the right reasons. Nigel, what do


you make of Patrick Mercer's resignation? Did he do the right


thing? Yes, absolutely. I think Patrick should have resigned a year


ago when the scandal first came out, but there was no way he could stay.


This was no minor misdemeanour. The second worst breach of the rule


since 1947. An extremely serious offence we should never dream of


doing. You should not take money from lobbyists to do it for


something else. He has said sorry, he also said he was ashamed of his


behaviour, is that enough? It brings politics and politicians into


disrepute. You would hope systems exist to root out that kind of


behaviour. It is a messy business, isn't it? I'm think it has ended in


the right way with him leaving Parliament. Let's take a closer look


at that by`election in Newark. It has always been a bit different. The


Nottinghamshire town held out for the King in the Civil War against


the forces of Parliament. But now it seems the Parliamentarians are


causing havoc there all over again. The resignation of Patrick Mercer


means there'll now be a by`election in Newark on June fifth. It's


probably one the Conservatives could do without, but on paper at least it


shouldn't be a problem for them. Newark is a very safe Tory seat. At


the last election they had a majority of 16,000. Polling just


under 27,600 votes, Labour got just under 11,500, the Lib Dems just over


10,000 and UKIP were a distant fourth with under 2,000. But of


course, UKIP are riding high in the opinion polls, so could this be


their moment for a Parliamentary breakthrough? Des Coleman's been to


Newark to assess the mood. There are not too many of these in


the East Midlands, yet when you see one, you know you're in a safe


Conservative seat. But the town has had a Labour MP, and even a Liberal


MP, in the past. William Gladstone was MP here way back in the


19th`century. Let's take a tour around Newark today. Of course, the


marketplace is a great melting pot for Newark. What is the feeling


here? I have always voted Conservative ever since I started


voting. It sounds awful, but they do not look very manly. What about


Nigel Farage? No, sorry, no. British jobs for British people, local jobs


for people in Newark. It sounds like a UKIP line, are you going to vote


for them? Possibly. Who would you consider voting for? I think I am


with him, definitely. We have come to a Labour area, let's see what the


people here have to say. Are there any other parties that can help?


Now, mate, no. I would take none. The people that are running the


country at the moment and generally speaking are looking after the hire


people, the people on the ground floor that matter, create things,


they are getting kicked in the teeth. But the focus will be whether


Conservative areas like he will turn the UKIP. Do you think Colling is


ready for UKIP? No, I don't think anyone should be ready for UKIP


because I don't like what he stands for. What are your opinions on UKIP,


would you change your vote and vote for UKIP? Not at the moment, I don't


think I know enough about it. My husband would kill me if I did not


vote for the Tories. Does Nigel Farage excite you? Who? Never heard


of him. Well, joining us to discuss all that


is Jason Zadrozny, a Lib Dem councillor in Nottinghamshire, and


coincidentally the party's candidate against Gloria for the Ashfield


seat. Welcome. Nigel, some encouraging signs in the villages


around Newark, the Tory truck `` the Tory vote is holding up. But it is


going to be a hard fight. There is no such thing as a safe seat in a


by`election. We have to get out there and sure it is very important


to vote Conservative in this by`election to elect effective MPs


in the country's interest. What is the Labour strategy here? Hoping you


can carve it up through the middle. It is the 44th safest Conservative


seat in the country, so I'm surprised you're saying it might be


a struggle to hold on. We want to talk about the things which form the


core of Labour's strategy in the next election, it is about families


that are still struggling, it is about childcare, freezing energy


bills, getting people back to work. Those are the things we want to do


to change Britain, that will be our message in Newark. We will be


fighting for votes. We have got a great candidate. We are aware that


it is one of the safest Tory seats in Britain as well. Jason, you held


the seat before, but that was back in the late 1880s. A while ago, yes.


But anything can happen in a by`election. Both parties are going


to struggle. This sort of event does not bathe anyone in glory, frankly.


We have been very popular for a long time, we have one South well Council


for longer than I have been alive. The polls are not looking great.


People are concentrating on the European election, that really it


will come down to who is best to represent Newark, in a very large


local election. Is it going to come down, Nigel, to how much damage UKIP


can cause the Conservatives? We have a European election before that


by`election. They are generally Eurosceptic in that election. This


is a parliamentary by`election for a Westminster seat, we have to deal


with the important message about how we fix the economy, create jobs,


improve the health service and schools. These are not things UKIP


can do. You do not think UKIP will do well? I am sure UKIP will do


better than they did in 2010. But I think we will put the work in and


hopefully retain a receipt. Gloria, will UKIP damage the Conservative


vote? What is really harmful and hurtful and worrying, when you hear


people saying, I think UKIP is as much about an anti`politics feel as


it is about anything else, and that is a big wake`up called to all


politicians. We cannot sit there and fight amongst ourselves. We do not


want to fight for a dwindling number of votes amongst us. We have got to


change ourselves as well. There was a sense that people feel there is no


other option, the parties are not giving them anything so they have to


look elsewhere? UKIP is the Party of Satan bites and fear at the moment.


Everything that is negative and pessimistic `` the party of sound


bites. There is a dwindling number of people, but there is still 60% of


people, because it is a European election, it is licensing people to


think about another party. They are voting for UKIP no matter what they


really feel. In the parliamentary by`election, coming up to the 2015


general election, people will come home to the parties they feel really


represent them. We fight every election but we do not know what the


people of Newark feel. I have got friends there, through and through


liberals. I think if we can get the message out of what we have done


locally, we will hold onto the share of the vote. Nigel, this is a


by`election you could well do without. Would not have been better


if he had stayed in his seat until a better time the Tories? No, he went


at the right time and it is a good thing he has gone. I think for him


to stay would have been completely wrong. If you lose the seat, it does


not bear thinking about, does it? That is the issue with a by`election


in a safe seat. Newark was a seat taken by Labour, but it shows how


far they have got to go. It is a totally different seat. Our Labour


are going to be campaigning there? Of course. It is one of the safest


Tory seats in the country, remember. You are not going to fight hard for


it? Of course, we have got a great candidate. Of course we will. It


will give us the opportunity to say we are the only party who will help


living standards and help people while they are struggling. Not too


long until the 5th of June. And next week we'll be setting out our stall


in Newark, literally. On Wednesday we'll be in the Market Place to hear


your views. So do come along if you're in town.


Now, cigarette smokers trying to give up their habit in the East


Midlands say they're alarmed at moves to ban smoking nicotine


substitutes like e`cigarettes in public places. At the moment the


proposal is only for Wales, but it's an idea that's gaining ground. It


highlights the sensitive subject of tobacco policy, with smoking causing


thousands of early deaths and illnesses but also generating huge


revenues for the government. Here's Chris Doidge.


In Nottingham, it is estimated as much as half of the population


smokes. I have been smoking since I was 14, it is the only thing that


keeps me calm. Local authorities are trying to do something about it. As


you can see, on the high street here, we are making it as accessible


service as possible. Smokers trying to kick the habit are offered


nicotine patches and gum, but not the latest, rapidly growing


innovation, East cigarettes. We are waiting for electronics to become


regulated. That will obviously get away from that grey area. For some,


East cigarettes or a lifetime `` East cigarettes. I don't smoke much


anyway. I find these a lot cheaper to start off with. It is beneficial


for my health. I feel like a cigarette, I don't like it. This is


asking questions to consumers of tobacco. But also of regulators,


both in Westminster and Brussels. In Ripley in Derbyshire, one of the


hundreds of electronic cigarette shops, with a mind`boggling array of


flavours available. Polar bears. The store manager acknowledges consumers


do not feel they have all of the facts about what is known as the


ping. There are some doubts out there, whether that is to do with


imported liquid from China not been tested in the UK, they are not sure


whether they will be able to passive smoke them, whether it is safe or


not, it is. The regulation is tightening, first a ban on selling


to under 18 's, next, possibly stopping their use in public places.


The government is also looking at declaring them a pharmaceutical


product. We have had a lot of customers who are worried about the


fact that if it goes to a pharmaceutical way of purchasing,


what are they going to do, how were they going to get these products


they need? Not good for you either, presumably? Definitely, it will ruin


our business. 540 jobs will be lost next year at this Nottingham


factory. The government is blaming the increase in taxes for the need


to close the plant. Rightly, trade unions say the company is also


blaming overregulation. `` privately. There are a lot of


difficult issues for politicians to have the balance when it comes to


cigarettes. We're joined by Professor John


Britton, Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies


based at Nottingham University. What is your view of e`cigarettes, good


or bad? Definitely good. They have the potential to help millions of


smokers stop smoking and prevent millions of deaths in the United


Kingdom. They are huge benefits of health. To me, the challenges


involved in managing the risks that. What risks? The risks are of the


product itself, which are unregulated, users do not know what


they are inhaling into their lungs. And the risks that commercial


pressures will drive towards pushing these products out into nonsmokers,


ridiculously the biggest market of nonsmokers for the future, today's


young people. Could they not just prolong the process of giving up?


Not necessarily, smokers smoke for nicotine but are killed by the


smoke. If they switch to a nicotine product that does not deliver smoke,


and Carrie is amusing that that `` and carry on using that, that will


not be bad. Gloria, you use e`cigarettes. Was that to help you


give up real cigarettes? I smoked real cigarettes, but if I am honest


I did not know how I was going to give up. Then e`cigarettes came


along, I tried one, three years ago, and I have not smoked a cigarette


since. I am so pleased. I agree with you, I would like them to be


regulated and what I am putting in my lungs. I would like to know where


this stuff is made. What is your reaction when people see you with


e`cigarettes? They think I look slightly ridiculous. But I am not


kidding myself. Can you use one in the House of Commons? In the


tearooms, I would not sit smoking in the chamber. Bands are happening,


Nigel, aren't they? Ireland has banned e`cigarettes in hospitals,


Wales are considering a ban in public places. Does the public want


this? No, we should be very careful. It would be wrong to have more


restrictions on e`cigarettes than on real cigarettes. You have to go into


a pharmacy to get one behind the counter, rather foolish thing to do.


You want these to easily available. We need to make sure what is in


them. There is a drive to ban them, isn't there? There seems to be this


move towards that. We want people to stop smoking, not to start, we need


to be careful about what is going on. I think it is completely wrong


to try to ban these things. What will the effect of banning them be?


Banning in public places, you mean. Or the most part it is not a big


imposition, smokers are used to smoking out doors and will accept


that imposition without too much of a complaint. But my concern is, as


expressed, that these are products that are substitutes and


alternatives for smoking. It is important we realise that potential.


If you say you cannot use them in places where smokers are desperate,


that seems wrong to me. Soave safer for passive smokers? There is a


theoretical risk but it is probably a trivial one. The main one is a


problem of courtesy and intrusion, if you are sitting in a restaurant,


you would rather not have other people's vapour blowing into your


face. But we cannot get away from the fact that cigarettes do bring in


a lot of revenue for the government, but if you then drive this problem


underground, it makes it easier for illicit tobacco to flourish?


Cigarettes are big revenue, they are also a big drain on the public


purse. I don't think you should say let's keep smoking to keep revenue


going, that would be crazy. You want to make sure this market on


e`cigarettes is a fair one. And that they are not somehow being sold out


of other devious outlets. But these things look like to be a step in the


right direction. It sounds like you're sitting on the fence. Will


the government come out and say, one way or the other, how it feels about


these? There is work being done to see what the best way of regulating


these is. It is wise to sit on the fence in these things, we do not


know what is in these e`cigarettes. Should we be having them out there


in the first place? If you move to ban them before we can examine these


potential suppliers, things coming from China, it will be years before


you get them on the market. If you are buying them out of car boots, or


smoking more cigarettes, you have to get the balance right. We should


check and make sure they are safe as they can be. To say, no, you cannot


sell them until we have spent years checking them, is a foolish thing to


do. The anti`smoking campaign, to get smoking banned in places, quite


graphic adverts on cigarette packets, say, these are good thing.


They support them. The anti`smoking campaigners are behind them, and


that says a lot. What do you think the government's stands should be on


this? That they want these products out there, they should be easy for


smokers to access, priced competitively against cigarettes,


and a justification to bed cigarette prices up still further. We need


regulation and streamlined regulation to make sure that when


you buy one of these products you know you're not inhaling something


that is going to cause long`term harm. We need restrictions on


marketing and promotion to protect children. And you still think they


are a good idea in the meantime. In the meantime if we can get more


smokers smoking electronic, that is a good thing.


Time for a round`up of some of the other political stories in the East


Midlands this week. Here's our Political Editor, John Hess, with 60


Seconds. The government says there been an


improvement at Derby's Al`Madinah School, which was placed in special


measures. The Department for Education says the latest report


shows it is making good progress. Nottingham City Council has welcomed


government plans for tougher planning restrictions for betting


shops. The council had signed up to a campaign to limit the number of


bookies on the high street. One MP has spoken out against sexual


harassment for interns working in Parliament. The Labour MP told radio


fours that all parties need to tackle the issue. There are people


who are victims who were not listened to, who do not feel they


can speak out. And a second Labour MP has joined the battle against a


ban on importing mangoes from India. John Ashworth wants to overturn an


EU ban on mangoes. That's the Sunday Politics in the


East Midlands. Thanks to Gloria De Piero and Nigel Mills. Thanks very


much for joining us. Now back to Andrew Neil. Thanks for


on our website. That is all we have got time for this week. Next week,


London's local elections. Welcome back. Now, the Government is


not very good at predicting the future. That's according to a report


from a committee of MPs this morning who say that its Horizon Scanning


programme that's supposed to identify potential threats, risks,


emerging issues and opportunities isn't much good at reading the tea


leaves. But can it really be any worse than our panel? Here they are


predicting the future of then culture secretary Maria Miller


before Easter. Can she survive? I'm getting out of


the prediction game after I said Nick Clegg would win the debates.


But I almost think she might. If there is a big event that moves this


off the front pages. David Cameron will want to keep Maria Miller until


at least his summary shuffle. I think they will get rid of her. I


think they will do the decent thing after exhausting all other options.


Maria Miller resigned a few days later of course! The best and the


brightest, when did that slip in? This week it will be exactly a year


until the General Election, so what better time to get our panel to gaze


into their crystal balls again. What's the outcome of the election


in 2015? I'm going to go with the polls and say Ed Miliband as the


Prime Minister. But the polls are only a snapshot of opinion now, you


think they will be the same in a year? No, I think they will narrow.


I think UKIP's vote share will fall. I think they are currently coasting


on a high and that will tailor way so they won't take as many votes off


the Tories. Labour with a majority or is the largest party. Another


liberal Conservative coalition, and I say that because he is already in


touching distance of Labour. I don't think UKIP will get 15, maybe half


of that, and most of the votes they lose will either not vote at all go


to the Tories and that should be enough to be the biggest party in a


hung parliament I don't envisage a Tory majority. I am also going to go


with the polls. For Ed Miliband to be hoping to win at this stage, he


has got to be way ahead in the polls. Labour needs to be much


further ahead if he is going to win so David Cameron, probably the


leader of the largest party. Last time after the election David


Cameron went to the 1922 committee and announced he was Prime Minister


as head of the Coalition. He has agreed this time he will consult


them and it will be much more difficult for him to get a


coalition. People at home have now concluded there will be a Liberal


Democrat landslide! Are we going to have debates? Yes, probably further


away from polling day then last time. That is the Liberal Democrat


point, isn't it? Yes, it sucks all the life out of the campaign, so the


last six weeks will be left to traditional campaigning. What did


you make of this in the Sunday Times this morning, this two, three, five


formula. There should be a Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg debate, then


there should be another one with them and UKIP and the Greens. It


might be testing the patience of the nation to tune into all of those. If


you're going to say Nigel Farage should be there, the Green party


should be too. They know that as soon as you put them on a podium


next to them, he looks like he has equal stature and that is a problem.


David Cameron does not want the debates to happen on the way they


happened last time. It is generally regarded, Lynton Crosby believes


they were a disaster for David Cameron because they allowed Nick


Clegg to be the fresh person. He knows he cannot say no to them so


the moment you see David Cameron suggesting that Caroline Lucas


should be in the debate, you know he is not serious. What he will try to


do is have more debates, have them outside the main part of the general


election so that it doesn't dominate. The problem the David


Cameron is that the campaign will be much longer. It is a five-week


campaign so it is quite difficult for him to say we will only have one


debate in that campaign. I think smother it with love, hopefully it


will go to the courts for him and hopefully they will never happen and


he will be delighted. The European election and the local elections are


coming up. The three mainstream parties are saying it is a flash in


the pan, they don't really matter and so on, but if UKIP comes a


strong first, if Labour comes a poor second and the Tories come a poor


third, it will have consequences for all three, and the Lib Dems come


forth or even fish. It will have consequences and not just in the


media but on the ground. One of the big stories is what will happen to


the Lib Dems, they face losing all of their MEPs. A good result for


them is lit -- in the local elections is losing 250 councillors.


These are the most interesting elections we have had for some


time. Are we heading for a Nick Clegg summer leadership crisis? I


think we are heading towards reversing the clock back to where we


were before the Eastleigh by-election. That quiet and things


down for Nick Clegg. If they lose all their MEPs, and there is a real


chance they will, Vince Cable will be out on manoeuvres because age is


not on his side. If he can say Nick Clegg is a loser and a failure, he


will be back. Will the Tories go into headless chicken mode if they


come third? Yes, if UKIP come first there will not be as much panic as


if Labour come first. Is Labour comes a poor second, will there be


some pressure on Ed Miliband to reopen his attitude to the


referendum? I don't think so and my colleague was talking to Labour


sources who said he is absolutely not going to. That is something you


can say definitely about him, he decides on a course and he sticks to


it. There is one potential upside for David Cameron in a really bad


Conservative results, it could strengthen his hand in the


renegotiations of Britain's EU membership because he doesn't even


need to say to Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande it is there. David


Cameron hasn't just been fighting for his party into the local


elections. He also got his knuckles wrapped by the Speaker, John Bercow,


at Prime Minister's Question Time, for talking for too long. Take a


look at this. There is a better future ahead of us but we must not


go backward to the policies that put us in this mess in the first place.


I don't know what they are paying him, Mr Speaker. Order, order. I


haven't finished! In response to that question, the Prime Minister


has finished and he can take it from me that he has finished. I can't


remember a speaker ever speaking to a Prime Minister like that. Clearly


in that case, John Bercow crossed a line. It is Prime Minister 's


questions, he is entitled to answer the questions. There is really bad


blood between those two, going back a long way. They hate each other and


the worrying thing about that was the look of triumphalism on the


speaker's face afterwards. He is a remarkable, revolutionary


who has made the House of Commons more


who has made the House of Commons someone else replaces him. He is


quite popular with Labour, is he not? Yes, he is married to a Labour


activist and is notably sympathetic to Labour but I think this is a


difficult situation. David Cameron also overstepped the line. As soon


as the speaker says order, the idea is that the House was to order and


David Cameron pushed him. They are both trying to score points off each


other. We cover Prime Minister 's questions every week on the daily


politics, and there is a danger that he sees it as an opportunity to do


some grandstanding. You slightly sends his vanity gets the better of


him. It is


With Marie Ashby. Andrew Neil interviews the Conservative chairman Grant Shapps and Sir Malcolm Bruce, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, on the forthcoming European elections.

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