25/05/2014 Sunday Politics East Midlands


With Marie Ashby. Andrew Neil is joined by communities secretary Eric Pickles, Labour MP Diane Abbott and Ukip's Patrick O'Flynn to discuss the local and European elections.

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Good morning, welcome to the Sunday Politics. Senior Liberal Democrats


say the public has lost trust in Nick Clegg. They call for him to go


after the local election meltdown. And before the likely Europa rove a


catastrophe tonight. Labour and Tories struggled to cope with the


UKIP insurgency as Nigel Farage hosts his success and declares the


UKIP Fox is in the Westminster henhouse.


And in the East Midlands: The latest on what the local elections mean in


our area. And fasten your seat belts, it's Ken


Clarke versus UKIP in the studio. hall spread, the Liberal Democrats


disappeared, UKIP failed to show. More analysis in just over half an


hour. Cooped up in the Sunday Politics


henhouse, our own boot should -- bunch of headless chickens. Nick


Watt, Helen Lewis, Janan Ganesh. The Liberal Democrats lost over 300


councillors on Thursday, on top of the losses in previous years, the


local government base has been whittled away in many parts of the


country. Members of the European Parliament will face a similar


comment when the results are announced tonight. A small but


growing chorus of Liberal Democrats have called on Nick Clegg to go


This is what the candidate in West Dorset had to say.


People know that locally we worked incredibly hard on their councils


and as their MPs, but Nick Clegg is perceived to have not been


trustworthy in leadership. Do you trust him? He has lacked bone on


significant issues that are the core values of our party.


This is how the party president responded.


At this time, it would be foolish for us as a party to turn in on


ourselves. What has separated us from the Conservatives is, while


they have been like cats in a sack, we have stood united, and that is


what we will continue to do. The major reason why is because we


consented to the coalition, unlike the Conservatives. We had a vote,


and a full conference. Is there a growing question over


Nick Clegg's leadership? Different people have different views. My own


view is I need to consult my own activists and members before coming


to a conclusion. I am looking at holding a meeting for us to discuss


the issue. I have been told by some people they do not think a meeting


is required, they think he should stay, and other people have decided


he should go. As a responsible Democrat, I should consult the


members here before coming to my conclusions. What is your view at


the moment? I have got to listen to my members. But you must have some


kind of you. Because I have an open mind, I do not think he must stay, I


am willing to say I have not made my mind up. From a news point of view,


that is my official position. I can assure you there is not much news in


that! I said earlier I am not going to say he must go must stay, I am


consulting my members. But you must have some kind of view of your own


before you have listened to your members. There are people who are


wrongfully sanctioned and end up using food banks, I am upset about


that, because we should not allow... I do not mind having a


sanctioning system, that I get constituents who are put in this


position, we should not accept that. I rebel on the issue of a referendum


on membership of the EU. I am also concerned about the way the rules


have been changed in terms of how parents are treated in their ability


to take children to funerals out of school time. There are questions


about the leader's responsible T for those policies. Nick Clegg has made


it clear he is a staunch pro-European, he wants the Liberal


Democrats to be in, he does not want a referendum, if you lose a chunk of


your MEPs tonight, what does that say about how in June you are with


written public opinion? There are issues with how you publish your


policies. I do not agree 100% with what the government is doing or with


what Nick Clegg says. I do think we should stay within the EU, because


the alternative means we have less control over our borders. There is a


presentational issue, because what UKIP want, to leave the EU, is worse


in terms of control of borders, which is their main reason for


wanting to leave, which is strange. There are debate issues, but I have


got personal concerns, I do worry about the impact on my constituents


when they face wrongful sanctions. You have said that. A fellow Liberal


Democrat MP has compared Nick Clegg to a general at the Somme, causing


carnage amongst the troops. I am more interested in the policy


issues, are we doing the right things? I do think the coalition was


essential, we had to rescue the country from financial problems. My


own view on the issue of student finance, we did the right thing in


accordance with the pledge, which was to get a better system, more


students are going to university, and more from disadvantaged


backgrounds. But there are issues. But Nick Clegg survive as leader


through till the next election? It depends what odds you will give me!


If you are not going to give me is, I am not going to get! If you listen


to John hemming, he has got nothing to worry about. He does have


something to worry about, they lost 300 seats, on the uniform swing, you


would see people like Vince cable and Simon Hughes lose their seats.


But nobody wants to be the one to we'll be nice, they would rather


wait until after the next election, and then rebuild the party. Yes


there is no chance of him walking away. Somebody like Tim Farron or


Vince Cable, whoever the successor is, though have to close the dagger


ten months before an election, do they want that spectacle? If I were


Nick Clegg, I would walk away, it is reasonably obvious that the


left-wing voters who defect had towards the Labour Party in 2010


will not return while he is leader. And anything he was going to achieve


historically, the already has done. Unlike David Miliband, sorry, Ed


historically, the already has done. transformed the


-- what is Vince Cable going to do? Vince Cable is in China, on a


business trip. It is like John Major's toothache in 1990. What is


Tim Farron doing? He is behind Nick Clegg,


Tim Farron doing? He is behind Nick next election? Yes. Yes. Yes. I am


sorry, Nick Clegg, you are finished! We will speak to Paddy


Ashdown in the second part of the show to speak about the Liberal


Democrats. The UKIP insurgency could not deliver the promised earthquake,


but it produced enough shock waves to discombobulated the established


parties. They are struggling to work out how to deal with them. We


watched it all unfold. Behind the scenes of any election


night is intensely busy. Those in charge of party strategy and


logistics want their people focused, working with purpose and rehearsed


to make sure their spin on the results is what viewers remember and


take on board. A bit of a buzz of activity inside the BBC's studio,


kept and primed for the results. What this does not show due is the


exterior doubles up for hospital dramas like Holby City, there are


doorways that are mock-ups of accident and emergency, but the


electorate will discover which of the parties they have put into


intensive care, which ones are coming out of recovery and which


ones are in rude health. We joined David Dimbleby. Good evening,


welcome to the BBC's new election centre. When three big beasts become


for on the political field, things have changed. Eric Pickles says we


will be seen off next year, we will see you at Westminster! This party


is going to break through next year, and you never know, we might even


hold the balance of power. Old messages that gave voters in excuses


to go elsewhere on the ballot paper exposed the older players to


questions from within their ranks. In the hen house of the House of


Commons, the fox that wants to get in has ruffled feathers. The reason


they have had amazing success, a rapid rise, partly what Chuka Umunna


says about being a repository, but they have also managed to sound like


human beings, and that his Nigel Farage's eight victory. For some


conservatives, a pact was the best form of defence. It would be


preferable if all members of UKIP and voters became Tories overnight.


That seems to be an ambitious proposition. Therefore, we need to


do something that welcomes them on board in a slightly different way.


Labour had successes, but nobody but they're wizards of Spain was


completely buying a big success story. Gaffes behind the scenes and


strategic errors were levelled at those who have managed the campaign.


They have played a clever game, you shuffle bedecked around, and if UKIP


does quite well but not well enough, that helps Labour get in. That kind


of mindset will not win the general election, and we saw that in the tap


ticks and strategy, and that is why, on our leaflets for the European


elections, we chose deliberately not to attack UKIP, that was a bad


error. Not so, so somebody who has been in that spotlight. If you look


at the electoral maths, UKIP will still be aiming at the Tories in a


general election. They are the second party in Rotherham, Labour


will always hold what the room, it is safe, there is no point being


second in a safe seat. UKIP have taken Castle Point, a Tory seat they


will target. The question for the next election, can they make a


challenge? The Tories will be under the gun from UKIP. The substance of


these results is UKIP not in government, they do not have any


MPs, they do not run a single Council, at dismissing them ceased


to be an option. The question is, who will they heard most and how do


you smoke the keeper's threat? Joining me now, day about and


Patrick O'Flynn. Do you agree not enough was done for the elections?


No, we have very good results around Hammersmith and Fulham, Croydon


Redbridge, and we picked off council wards in Haringey meaning that Lynne


Featherstone and Simon Hughes worked on. The Ashcroft polling shows that


in key marginals, we are well ahead and on course to win in 2015. I will




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