25/05/2014 Sunday Politics East Midlands


25/05/2014

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

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

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

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catastrophe tonight. Labour and Tories struggled to cope with the

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UKIP insurgency as Nigel Farage hosts his success and declares the

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UKIP Fox is in the Westminster henhouse.

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

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

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

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

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hour. Cooped up in the Sunday Politics

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

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

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

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

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country. Members of the European Parliament will face a similar

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comment when the results are announced tonight. A small but

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

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

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People know that locally we worked incredibly hard on their councils

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

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

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significant issues that are the core values of our party.

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This is how the party president responded.

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

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

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

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

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

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and a full conference. Is there a growing question over

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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students are going to university, and more from disadvantaged

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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historically, the already has done. transformed the

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

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

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Tim Farron doing? He is behind Nick Clegg,

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

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

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

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

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but it produced enough shock waves to discombobulated the established

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

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watched it all unfold. Behind the scenes of any election

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

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logistics want their people focused, working with purpose and rehearsed

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

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

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

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

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

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electorate will discover which of the parties they have put into

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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be

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