06/07/2014 Sunday Politics East Midlands


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include Nick Clegg, Alistair Darling, Frances O'Grady and Matthew Hancock.

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Up to a million public sector workers will strike this week.


It's one of the biggest walk-outs since 201 .


The country's top trade unionist Frances O'Grady and


Tory Business Minister Matt Hancock go head-to-head.


The Tour de France seems to have cheered him up - just as well


for the Deputy Prime Minister hasn't got much else to smile about.


Nick Clegg joins me live from Sheffield to discuss the


Just over ten weeks until Scotland determines its future.


The man leading the campaign AGAINST independence, Alistair Darling,


joins me from Edinburgh. In the East Midlands:


The plans to give more power to Nottingham, Derby and Leicester


And with me throughout the show three top-flight political


journalists always ahead of the peleton - Nick Watt,


They'll be tweeting faster than Tour de France cyclists can pedal.


The news is dominated this morning by stories swirling


around allegations of an historic Westminster paedophile ring.


Concern has grown because of the disappearance of a dossier


handed over to the Home Office in 1983, along with over 100 official


files related to it and possibly containing details of historic child


Labour is calling for a public inquiry led by a child protection


But speaking earlier on The Andrew Marr Show this morning


the Education Secretary Michael Gove ruled that out.


The most important thing that we need to do is ensure that the due


process of law pursues those who may be guilty of individual crimes and


we also learn lessons about what may or may not have gone wrong in the


past, but it is also important to emphasise that many of the


allegations that are being made are historic. And what we do now in


order to keep children safer is better and stronger than was the


case when 20 or 30 years ago. Without getting into a boring


tit-for-tat, public inquiry, "yes" or "no"? No. Helen, can the


Government go on resisting calls for a full-scale inquiry? It is very


hard. There are cynical and non-cynical reasons for calling for


an inquiry. The cynical one allows you to say I can't comment on this.


The non-cynical is it manages to get people to air allegations in a way


that is safe. What we saw at the Leveson Inquiry was helpful, people


who felt they had been shut out from justice getting a chance to tell


their side of the story. A public inquiry in this case is a good idea.


Labour have called for a lot of public inquiries. A list was made in


2012 of how many they called for. Not only Savile, but the West Coast


Main Line and breast implants. On this particular issue, the people


don't trust the politicians, they don't trust the police either


because they may have been complicit in a cover-up. They may not trust


the Home Office who we are told some of their officials were mentioned in


the dossier? That is what David Cameron is hanging on to. This is a


matter now because they are alleged criminal activity, it is for the


police to investigate. In that big piece in the Sunday Times, Tim


Shipman reports one of the people making the allegations lives in the


United States making the allegations lives in the


been out to the United States to interview him. The Prime Minister


would say that is how serious the police are taking it. The problem


for the Prime Minister - he police are taking it. The problem


allergic to big public inquiry. His finest moment was his response to


the Bloody Sunday inquiry shortly after he became Prime


inrequest -- that inquiry took 2 years to report. The problem is the


dossier has gone missing, the files have gone missing, more allegations


keep coming out either directly or indirectly. It doesn't look like it


is going to go away? The fact the dossiers are missing means it is


inappropriate for the Home Office to be investigating this. There is


inappropriate for the Home Office to a police investigation. If after


that, there are questions unanswered which can only be answered by


that, there are questions unanswered public inquiry, or which require


resources that can only be commanded by a public inquiry, I could see the


case for going down that road. I fear that sometimes in this country


we invest almost supernatural powers in what a public inquiry can do I


wonder whether there is another example of a country that goes


through this stale ritual every few years of a scandal emerging, the


opposition calling for an inquiry, the Government saying no and then


holding the line or giving in. I don't know what we think this


inquiries can do. It comes back to your point, Helen, you should be


careful what you call an inquiry on so it doesn't devalue the concept.


On Thursday up to a million public sector workers - including teachers,


firemen and council workers - will go on strike.


Their unions have differing gripes but the fact they're all striking


on the same day is designed to send a strong message to the government.


As the economy picks up again they're demanding an end


Growth has returned strongly to the UK economy


and unemployment is at its lowest level for more than five years.


So why is there still talk of austerity


The deficit is coming down but much more slowly than the government


And accumulated deficits - the national debt -


The UK is now in hock to the tune of ?1.3 trillion - and rising.


In fact, we're only 40% of the way through George Osborne's planned


austerity, with the chancellor now saying he won't manage to balance


Unions are now rebelling against tight pay controls.


Since 2010, average public sector pay, which goes to about 1 in 5


Over the same period, prices increased by 16% -


meaning the average public sector worker saw their pay squeezed


Going head-to-head on the public sector strikes and austerity -


the general secretary of the TUC Frances O'Grady, and Conservative


We have seen it, public sector pay squeezed by 9% under the Coalition


Government. Isn't it time to take your foot off the brake a bit? I


don't think it is the right time to let go of the public finances at


all. We were always clear that this is what's called a structural


deficit, it doesn't go away just because the growth is returning and


the economy is coming back. We have protected and are protecting the


lowest paid public sector workers who weren't part of the pay freeze


and now pay going up by 1%. These are difficult decisions. We have had


that discussion many times. They are necessary in order to keep that plan


on track and as we can see in the wider economy, it is working.


People's living standards will have to continue to fall if you are in


the public sector? We need to keep public spending under control and


pay restraint is one of the main ways of being able... The answer is


yes? The answer is this is necessary. The answer is yes, this


is necessary. It isn't because we want to. We have to. This strike


isn't going to change the Government's mind, is it? It does


seem like the Government isn't listening. We have had years... They


are listening, they just don't agree. Ordinary people, including


those in the public sector, are finding it really tough. What really


sticks in the throat is the idea that money can be found to give tax


cuts to billionaires, to millionaires and to big


corporations. But it can't be found to help 500,000 workers in local


government, dinner ladies, school meal workers, lollipop men and women


who are earning less than the living wage. What do you say to that? We


have protected those who are the least well-paid in the public


sector. But this is about a long-term... How can you? Hold on.


You have said you have protected them. This involves ordinary people,


many watching this programme, they have had a 1% pay rise in some cases


since 2010. The average gas bill is up 57%, electric bill up 22%, food


costs up 16%, running a car 11% in what way have you protected people


from spending they have to make Firstly, you read out the average


increases in public sector pay. That has had the biggest impact at the


top end and those at the bottom end have been best protected, as best we


could. Of course, we have also taken two million people out of income tax


and increased the income tax threshold which has a big positive


impact. We have frozen and then cut fuel duty, which would have been 20


pence higher. I wanted to take on this point about priorities. We have


got to make sure that we get the economy going at the same time and


we raised more money from those at the top than we did before 2010


partly because we have encouraged them to invest. And this is a really


important balance of making sure we get the books back in order, we have


stability for family finances and we get the economy going. Why not


spread the living wage? We know you could pay for that pay increase


itself if you spread the living wage through the private sector and


guarantee... The living wage being above the minimum wage? Absolutely.


?7.65 in the rest of the country, ?8.80 in London. What is the answer?


I'm a fan of the minimum wage. But not for public sector workers. Being


able to pay low-paid workers as much as possible within the constraints


of the public finances is something I have pushed very hard. The


evidence we can increase the minimum wage has to be balanced which the


Low Pay Commission do with the impact on the number of jobs... Even


after a pay freeze for quite a while among public sector workers, they


are still paid 15% on average more than those in the private sector?


That is not true. It is, according to the ONS figures. I read that


report this morning. If you look at the whole package, what they are


saying is public service workers are worse off. Average earnings in the


public sector are ?16.28 an hour compared to ?14.16 private. You are


comparing apples and pears. It's the kind of jobs and the size of the


workplace that people work in. They are still overall on average better


off? Lower paid workers tend to be better off because unions negotiate


better deals for lower paid workers. They are more unionised in the pry


private sector. The public sector is worse off. This is a political


strike, isn't it? There is a whole disparate range of reasons. The


strike is saying that you are against this Government, that is


what this is about? I this I what firefighters, local government


workers and health workers who are protesting, too, alongside teachers


are saying is that this Government is not listening, it is out of


touch, people can't carry on having cuts in their living standards


depending on benefits. When will the public sector worker ever get a real


increase in their pay under a Conservative Government? Well, we


certainly hope to have the books balanced by 2018. Not before then?


2018 is when we hope to be able to be in surplus. It is testament. .


So, no real pay increase for public sector workers before 2018?


Interestingly, this isn't just about the Conservatives and the Lib Dems,


the Labour Party leadership have said it is a test of their


credibility that they support the squeeze on public sector pay. I look


forward to them, they ought to come out and say very clearly that these


strikes are wrong and they are against the strikes and stop taking


union money. It is a democratic right. Hold on. They are - they


think the policy of pay restraint is necessary. Alright. On this point


about democracy... Ask yourself why so many ordinary decent public


service workers are so fed up. They have seen so many billions of pounds


wasted through outsourcing to organisations like G4 S. In Unite


and UNISON the turnout in this vote was under 20%. Alright. OK. One


final question... Hold on. You said millions and millions voted on


this... I want to ask you this question. Is the story in the Mail


on Sunday today that Mr Cameron s planning a big crackdown on the


unions over balloting, is that true? Well, strikes like this... I know


the cases, is it true you are going to dhang the law? Strikes like this


make that argument stronger. The Conservative Party is in Government


on the basis of 23% of the electorate... We have run out of


time. Thank you very much. "Should Scotland be


an independent country?" That's the question the people of


Scotland will answer in a referendum If the polls are to be believed


the voters will answer "no". But in 2011 - ten weeks before


the Holyrood elections - the polls told us that Labour was going to win


and look what happened there - a Alistair Darling is leading


the campaign against independnence. is one that puts the matter of


independence to bed for a generation. In numerical terms, what


would that be? We need a decisive result in September, I think we will


get that provided we get our arguments across in the next couple


of months. What would it be in figures? I am not going to put a


number on it. People will look at it and say, OK, you have had two and a


half years of debate and Scotland has now decided. The polls may be


encouraging at the moment but I am not complacent, there is still a


long way to go. Speculating... If you don't want to answer that, that


is fair enough. Your side claims that a vote for independence is a


vote for massive uncertainty but if it is a no vote there is lots of


uncertainty too. All of the Westminster parties are promising


devolution but there is no timetable, no certainty. Yes, there


is. For the first time I can remember, all three parties are more


or less on the same page in terms of additional powers, we already have


powers in terms of policing and transport, now more powers are


planned in relation to tax and welfare. But you are all saying


different things. Between 2009 and 2012, the three parties have


slightly different proposals but they came together and there was an


agreed series of reforms in relation to tax which are now on the statute


book. If you go back to the devolutionary settlement in 199 ,


people unified around a single proposition so there is history here


and these three parties have delivered and they will deliver in


the event of people saying we will stay part of the UK. If Scotland


vote no to independence, when will Scotland get these extra powers I


would imagine that in the general election all three parties will have


something in their manifesto and you would expect to see legislation in


the session of Parliament that follows that. Imagining is not


certainty. Because the three parties have said this is what they will do,


and it is important having said that they stick to it. If you look in the


past when the Nationalists said the same thing, when they cast doubt


over what would happen in 2012, we delivered. The only party that


walked out of both of these discussions were the Nationalists


because they are not interested in more powers, they want a complete


break. You cannot say that if Edinburgh gets more devolution that


wouldn't mean fewer Scottish MPs in Westminster, can you? Nobody has any


plans to reduce the number of MPs. If you step back from this moment,


what people have been asked to do in September is to vote on the future


of their country, Scotland, and whether we should be part of the UK.


When I say part of the UK, full members of the UK with


representation in the House of Commons and the institutions that


affect our lives. This is a critically important vote. We want


to see more decentralisation of power to Scotland, and to local


authorities within Scotland, but we don't want a complete break with the


uncertainties, the risks and the downright disadvantages that would


throw Scotland's away if we were to make that break. The economic


arguments are dominating people s thinking, the polls show, that is


what is dominating at the moment. You cannot guarantee continued


membership of the European Union given all the talk now about an


in-out UK referendum. Firstly I don't think anyone has ever argued


Scotland wouldn't get back in. The big question is the terms and


conditions we would have to meet and we are applying to get into


something that is established, it wouldn't be a negotiation. What we


have said is there is no way Europe would let Scotland keep the rebate


which Scotland has, there would be big questions over whether we have


to join the euro, and other terms and conditions. The European Union


does not act with any great speed, on average it takes eight and a half


years to get into Europe. I don t want that uncertainty or the


disadvantages that would come Scotland's away that come with


losing clout in the European Union. The second point you asked me about


is in relation to the UK's membership of the European Union,


and if you look at polls, the majority of people still want to


stay in the UK. Frankly, a lot of people on my side didn't make the


argument against independence for a long time, we have been doing that


over the last two and a half years and we are making progress and that


is why I can say I think we will win provided we continue to get our


arguments across. Similarly with the European Union, the case needs to be


made because it is a powerful case. Isn't it true that the Nationalists


win either way? They win if it is a yes vote, and they win if it is a no


vote. They wanted devolution max so they win either way. There is a


world of difference between devolution and further devolution


where you remain part of the UK There is a world of difference


between that and making a break where Scotland becomes a foreign


country to the rest of the UK. You lose that security and those


opportunities. You lose the same currency, the opportunity with


pensions and so on. They are entitled to argue this case with


passion, they want a break, but the two things are worlds apart. Gordon


Brown said that the no campaign was too negative, have you adjusted to


take that criticism into account? Ever since I launched this campaign


over two years ago I said we would make a strong powerful case for


remaining part of the UK. Look at our research, where we have had


warnings from people to say that if we do well with research in Scotland


we get more than our population share of the grand and we gain from


that. There is a positive case but equally nobody will stop me from


saying to the Nationalists, look at the assertions you make which are


collapsing like skittles at the moment. Their assertions don't stand


up. They assert that somehow milk and honey will be flowing. It is


perfectly healthy within a referendum campaign to say that what


you are saying simply isn't true. You have been negative, we all know


about the so-called Cyber Nats book you compared Alex Salmond to the


leader of North Korea. On! The context was that Alex Salmond was


being asked why it was that UKIP had additional seat and he appeared to


blame television being been doing from another country, from BBC South


of the border. If you cannot have humour in a debate, heaven help us.


I think it is important in this debate that people from outside


politics should be allowed to have their say whatever side they are on


because that will make for a far better, healthier debate. Nobody


should be put in a state of fear and alarm by worrying about what will


happen if they stand up. Despite the nastiness, more and more people are


making a stand. We have run out of time. Thank you.


I will be talking to the SNP's hippity leader, Nicola Sturgeon


next week on Sunday Politics. Scotland: For Richer or Poorer will


be on BBC Two at 9pm tomorrow. Disastrous results in the European


elections, it is fair to say the Lib Dems are down in the doldrums. In a


moment I will be speaking to Nick Clegg, but first Emily has been


asking what Lib Dems would say to the Prime -- Deputy Prime Minister


on Call Clegg. Our phone in this week is the challenges facing the


Liberal Democrats. They are rock bottom in the polls and have dire


results in the local and European elections so what can the party do


to turn things around? Get in touch, we are going straight to line


one and Gareth. How much is a problem of that loss of local


support? It is a massive problem because those are the building


blocks of our success. The councillors who gets the case work


done are also the people who go out and deliver the leaflets and knock


on doors. Interesting, and it is not just local support the party has


lost, is it? In the next general election there are some big-name


Liberal Democrat MPs standing down like Malcolm Bruce and Ming


Campbell, how much of a problem will that be? That is a real challenge


and we have some of our brightest and best reaching an age of maturity


at the same moment so that is quite an additional test in what will be a


difficult election anyway. So how does the party need to position


itself to win back support? Let s go to Chris online free, has the party


got its strategy right? There is always a danger of appearing to be a


party that merely dilutes Labour or dilutes the Conservatives. We have a


of is serious, positive messages and we need to get those across in the


next election because if we don t people will vote for the Tories


Nick, what do you think of the party's message at the moment? I


have had a look at early draft of our manifesto and there is some good


stuff in there but the authors are probably too interested in what may


think we have achieved in the last five years and not really focusing


on what the voters will want to be hearing about the next five years.


Perhaps they should get out more and test some of these messages on the


doorstep. So you want to see the top ranks of the party on the doorstep.


Gareth online one also wants to make a point about the manifesto. There


is clearly a problem somewhere near the top and there are some people


who seem to be obsessed with power for power's sake, and happy with a


timid offer but the Liberal Democrats want to change things We


are running out of time so let's try to squeeze one more call in. What


are your thoughts on the long-term future of the party? I think serious


long-term danger is that the party could be relegated to the fringes of


the UK and no longer being a national party. We have gone back


decades if that happens because for many years we have been represented


in every part of the country at some level and we have got to rescue


ourselves from that. Some interesting views but we are going


to have to wait until the general election next year to find out how


well the Lib Dems face up to these challenges. Thanks for listening, we


are going to finish with an old classic now.


# I'm sorry, I'm sorry... #. Nick Clegg, welcome to the


programme. I want to come onto your situation in a minute but as you


will have seen in the papers, there is mounting concern over and


historic Westminster paedophile ring, and files relating to it


mysteriously disappearing. Why are you against a full public enquiry


into this? I wouldn't rule anything out. I think we should do anything


it takes to uncover this and achieve justice.


delivered, even all these many years later. How do you do it? There is an


inquiry in the Home Office about what's happened to these documents,


serious questions need to be asked about what happened in the Home


Office and those questions need to be answered. There are inquiries in


the BBC, in the NHS and most importantly of all the police are


looking into the places where this abuse was alleged to have taken


place. All I would say is, let's make sure that justice is delivered,


truth is uncovered and I think that the way to do that, as we have seen,


is by allowing the police to get on with their work. You say that, but


there are only seven police involved in this inquiry. There are 195


involved in the hacking investigations. We can both agree


that child abuse is more important and serious than hacking. The Home


Office, there are reports that Home Office officials may have been


mentioned in the dossier, people don't trust people to investigate


themselves, Mr Clegg? No, I accept that we need to make sure that and


the police need to make sure that the police investigations are


thorough, well resourced. I can t think of anything more horrendous, I


can't, than powerful people organising themselves and worse


still, this is what is alleged, covering up for each other to abuse


the most vulnerable people in society's care - children. But at


the end of the day, the only way you can get people in the dock, the only


way you can get people charged, is by allowing the prosecuting


authorities and the police to do their job. I have an open mind about


what other inquiries take place A number of other inquiries are taking


place. I assume any additional inquiries wouldn't be able to second


guess or look into the matters which the police are looking into already.


All I would say is that people who have information, who want to


provide information which they think is relevant to this, please get in


touch with the police. Alright. Let's come on to our own inquiry


into the state of the Lib Dems. You have attempted to distance yourself


and the party from the Tories, but still stay in Government - it is


called aggressive differentiation. Why isn't it working? It's not


called aggressive differentiation. It is called "coalition". It is two


parties who retain different identities, different values, have


different aspirations for the future. But during this Parliament


have come together because we were facing a unique national emergency


back in 2010, the economy was teetering on the edge of a


precipice. I'm immensely proud, notwithstanding our political


challenges, which are real, I'm immensely proud that the Liberal


Democrats, we stepped up to the plate, held our nerve and without


the Liberal Democrats, there wouldn't now be that economic


recovery which is helping many people across the country. Why


aren't you getting any credit for it? Well, we won't get credit if we


spend all our time staring at our navals. If it wasn't for the Liberal


Democrats, there wouldn't be more jobs now available to people. They


don't believe you, they are giving the Tories the credit for the


recovery? Well, you might assert that, we will assert and I will


shout it from the rooftops that if we had not created the stability by


forming this Coalition Government and then hard-wired into the


Government's plans, not only the gory job of fixing the public


finances, but doing so much more fairly than would have been the


case, if the Conservatives had been in Government on their own, they


wouldn't have delivered these tax cuts. They wouldn't have delivered


the triple lock guarantee for pensions or the pupil premium. OK.


Why are you 8% in the polls? Well, because I think where we get our


message across - and I am here in my own constituency - this is a


constituency where I am a campaigning MP - we can dispel a lot


of the information and say we have done a decent thing by going into


Government and we have delivered big changes, big reforms which you can


touch and see in your school, in your pensions, in your taxes and


then people do support us and, in our areas of strength, we were


winning against both the Conservative and Labour parties It


is a big effort. Of course, there are lots of people from both left


and right who want to shout us down and want to vilify our role in


Government. What we also need to do - and Nick Harvey was quite right -


having been proud of our record of delivery, we also need to set out in


our manifesto as we are and as we will our promise of more, of more


support in schools. So why is it then... Why is it then that a Lib


Dem MP in our own film says you are in danger of no longer becoming a


National Party. That could be the Clegg legacy, you cease to be a


National Party? I'm a practical man. I believe passionately in what we


have done in politics. I am so proud of my party. I don't spend that much


time speculating that the end might be nigh. There is no point in doing


that. Let's get out there, which is what I do in my own constituency, in


challenges circumstances and say we are proud of what we have done, we


have done a good thing for the country, we have delivered more


Liberal Democrat policies than the party has ever dreamed delivering


before. We have a programme of change, of reform, of liberal


reform, which is very exciting. Just over the last few weeks, I have been


setting out our plans to provide more help to carers, to make sure


teachers in every classroom are properly qualified, that all kids in


school are being taught a proper core curriculum. That parts company


from the ideological rigidities with which the Conservatives deal with


education policy. Those are thing which speak to many of the values


that people who support us... Alright. When Mike Storey gets out


and about, he told this programme two weeks' ago that he finds that


you "are toxic on the doorstep" Look, as everybody knows, being the


leader of a party, which for the first time in its history goes into


Government, which is already a controversial thing to do because


you are governing with our enemies, the Conservatives, and on top of


that, doing all the difficult and unpopular things to fix the broken


economy which was left to us by Labour, of course as leader of that


party I get a lot of incoming fire from right and left. The right say


that I'm stopping the Conservatives doing what they want. There is a


good reason for that. They didn t win the election. The left say that


somehow we have lost our soul when we haven't. That happens day in day


out. Of course that will have some effect. My answer to that is not to


buckle to those criticisms, those misplaced Chris -- criticisms from


left and right, but to stand up proudly. Is it your intention to


fight the next election against an in-out referendum on Europe? Yes.


Unless there is major treaty change? Our position hasn't waivered, it


won't waiver, we are not going to flip-flop on the issue of the


referendum like the Conservatives did. We want an in-out referendum.


With ve legislated for the trigger when that will happen, when in u


powers are transferred to the European Union. That is what we have


said for years. We legislated for that... So no change? No change


Alright. We are expecting a reshuffle shortly. Will you keep


Vince Cable as Business Secretary to the election? I'm immensely proud of


what Vince has done. Yes, I intend to make sure that Vince continues to


serve in the Government in his present capacity Look what he has


done on apprenticeships, he's done more than many people for many years


to make sure we build-up manufacturing, the north here, not


just the south. I'm proud of what he's done. We have talked about some


heavy things. We know you have got into kickboxing. Is there any danger


of you becoming a mammal - you know what I mean - a middle-aged man in


Lycra! Will the Tour de France influence you? Absolutely no risk of


that whatsoever having seen the Tour de France start yesterday near


Leeds. I have the yellow Yorkshire sign on my pullover. I will see them


later whisk through my constituency. I will not try to emulate them. I'm


sure that is to the relief of a grateful nation. Thank you.


It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics.


We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now


for Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up here in 20 minutes,


the Week In the East Midlands,


the courts order a council to hand regeneration money back


because it didn't allow European They are penalising the people


of Mansfield. Because it is them who have to pay


the money back Building up a head of steam,


is it time for our big city councils to get back


some of those big economic powers? My guests this week, a newcomer to


the studio, the region's newest MP, Robert Jenrick, who won New`rk


for the Conservatives in thd recent by election, and a veteran guest,


and just as welcome, Chris Leslie, Shadow Treasury spokesman


and Labour's Nottingham East MP Well, it's been an up and


down week for our Labour MPs. Three of them have been chosen to


take a leading role So good news for Leicester South's,


Jonathan Ashworth, Ashfield's Gloria De Piero, and from Derbyshire,


Chesterfield's Toby Perkins. But there was also a demotion for


Dennis Skinner, the Bolsover MP who was voted off Labour's ruling group,


the National Executive Commhttee. We never like to miss


a chance to show the Beast of Bolsover in action, so ldt's see


what the NEC will be missing. Why doesn't he have a public inquiry


and get this matter settled and make sure that the people of Bolsover are


able to leave their complaint at At this government and this


little squirt of a minister. Thousands of blind people are having


to march through the sheets of London to hang onto


their Disability Living Allowance. What a savage indictment of this


lousy rotten Tory government. Such passion, and of course


his interventions during thd State In a Skinner style,


how could you deprive I feel like I should be jabbing


my finger at you. Dennis is fantastic


and is a legend in his own right. He manages to communicate


and articulate what is wrong with the government and the attitude


of the Conservatives over ddcades, but ultimately it was an eldction


among Labour members of Parliament. I did,


but he did not have the numbers At the end


of the day it was an election. I am actually a bit sad to lose him,


but Dennis would acknowledge it is


a democracy and he would st`nd He will continue to be making sure


that ministers fear him Robert, I do not suppose yot are


a Skinner fan, are you? I have been at the receiving end


of Dennis Skinner. I have only been at the House


of Commons for three weeks. When I was sworn in,


he was the one who shouted out, He is a character


and he is great for the the`tre All those three Labour MPs we were


hearing about, the deputy organisers for the


election, are East Midlands MPs Does that mean what happens here


will influence Labour's approach My view is that the East Midlands


is really going to be critical. It is the heart of the country


and we need to convince as opposition that the people


of East Midlands should support It is about keeping our finger


on the pulse, listening to what the peopld of the


East Midlands have to say, `nd my colleagues involved in the campaign


will be well placed to do that. It sounds as if they are pl`nning a


strong attack on the East Mhdlands. There are undoubtedly a lot of key


seats here in the East Midl`nds We have a number of seats wd want to


defend and some we want to take like Nottingham South,


a stone's throw from the sttdio The good news is the East Mhdlands


is an area that is growing faster than anywhere else in the British


economy. My own constituency has had


8000 new jobs since 2010. If you want to look anywherd


in the country for good news stories coming out of the government,


it is the East Midlands. I would perhaps say that evdn


though some of the statistics on the economy, at last, ard


starting to recover, most pdople, in my constituency in Nottingham,


are not feeling the benefit yet There are other issues they are


going to be voting on as well and the quality of public sdrvices,


what the government are doing to the NHS, is going to come vdry much


to the fore. We are in the last year


before the general election and Dennis Skinner as much as anybody


else will be making sure we hold You only have to look four weeks ago


to the Newark by`election to see the Labour vote dropping 5% in a


seat that ordinarily any opposition seeking to win a government in a


year's time would be hoping to win. We won the first by`election


for the Conservatives in 20 years. In the East Midlands people


feel it is getting better. Of course it is not as good


as we want it to You have just won that by`election


and it is time to press on. I was given a pass


when I joined the House of Commons which says 05/15 on it so every day


I work I know that time is short in politics and we are not going to


take anything for granted. It is not hard to imagine what


Dennis Skinner would have m`de of the story that has emergdd


from Mansfield this week. The District Council there has


been told it's got to hand back The cash was part of a grant


from Brussels to help to pax for an office development


and improvement works at But the government says it broke EU


rules by not tendering This week the council lost ` High


Court case against the decision The council says it's going to


appeal against the decision But one former councillor


and local businessman criticised Mansfield not being a wealthy town


and having to pay back ?150,000 for something that is not rdally


anything wrong plus all the court Looking to what happened in December


when the European money was channelled


through, they signed it all off I do not know why nobody is


getting onto them and finding out. Instead we are having to pax


the money so it is a double whammy. I suppose the French governlent


would look after their own first. I suppose


the German government would. I am bothered about people


in this area. We need the money


and need to get the facilithes right and I think the council do ` proper


job and it is not their fault. It is penalising the people


of Mansfield because it is them who have to pay the money back


and where is it going to cole from? Well, we're joined by Margot Parker,


a UKIP MEP for the East Midlands, and Margot this seems


an extraordinary situation, the council having to give back


regeneration money. You see the heavy hand of Etropean


legislation. It takes over from what would be


perhaps a common`sense approach It would be right to be abld to get


contracts to local companies but of course they broke the spirit of the


agreement which was basically you I don't know if there was


a political motivation behind that at the time that was awarded, but


there will be many more likd this. The businessman we saw said that


the grant was handled by thd old Presumably if they got it wrong


with that one as he claims they Maybe, but I do not think this is


a European issue. It is typical of UKIP to make


this out to be a European issue The reason it is not a European


question... Let me explain why, this was


a contract which was only offered to a limited number of contractors


when it should have been offered to all contractors whether thex were


from wherever in the countrx. Small businesses should havd


been able to bid for that. That should not have been on a small


number of approved contractors. It is about making sure we have


competition so the price for the taxpayer is as low `s


possible and that was the problem. Do not be blinded by this


because it has the word EU. This case against Mansfield District


Council was brought by the Department for Communithes and


Local Government, your government. It is a European issue whatdver


Chris would like to say. We would be fined by the EU


unless we take action on thhs. There is a very strong case


that this is the kind of arda This is something the Conservative


government wants to include in its renegotiation


before the referendum... The court heard that Europe has no


interest in this, no one has actually made anx


complaint, so this is the government No, the government is being forced


to take a European regulation If we do not do this


it will be fined. What does it look like taking money


from councils on behalf of Durope? It is the kind of area that when the


Prime Minister goes to Europe after the general election, if he has the


mandate to go there, renegotiate and He is not going to


renegotiate anything. Mansfield District Council said it


did not want to comment bec`use it did not want to jeopardise `ny


appeal but issued a statement saying they follow rigorous procedtres and


all funding regulations are adhered to and added there was never any


attention not to comply with Lots of public bodies procure


for contracts. They want to spend money


on the local area. You should be allowing comp`nies to


compete so it is the best v`lue The fact we have so many politicians


pursuing their own agenda, laking out it is the evil hand of the EU,


this was a British government suing Will you be raising this


in Brussels? What do you feel about


the government's role in thhs? We want to see local jobs


and local businesses to be `ble to I do not want to see


a company coming from Germany I want smaller companies


to be able to do that. A company from another part


of Nottinghamshire, say, that was excluded because it was


an approved number of firms. I believe in open competition but I


do not believe Europe should have this overarching effect


when it tells people how thdy must This is about competition


and the British rule should be The rules are being enforced


on the British government bx Europe, The only way we can change this is


if the government can renegotiate This council said there was never


any intention not to comply with the procurement process but how


many more councils could end up in the same situation, paying back


money because of the same problem? As long as all local authorhties do


the right thing when they h`ve They should be saying to all the


companies in the area you c`n bid. It doesn't matter if it is local,


national, European. We want all countries to make sure


that when it is public monex being spent that everybody can have


a chance to get the best value Let's not get sidetracked


because you have an obsession She should see what is


at the reality of the case. I do not need you to remind me


of the difficulties. I represented a trade assochation


and because of that I saw wd had no influence in Europe and I knew that


small businesses had no voice Mansfield District Council light be


glad of a few extra powers, but details emerged this wedk


of plans to give even more dconomic Nottingham, Derby and Leicester


could soon get greater freedom to run their own affairs, whoever wins


the next general election. This is a replica of a sewer


that was built by a Leicestdr Those eminent town hall Victorians


were also building reservoirs providing gas


and electricity supplies. Some places even set up


their own banks. They had the power


and the clout to get Leicester's current boss is envious


of the power his city's Victorian The pumping station is


a permanent reminder of that. They had the full range


of powers open to them. Today central government constantly


feels the need to interfere. But are these images prompthng


today's politicians to give Giving power to local peopld


to make local decisions. City regions offering England's


cities new economic powers that will Mayors and council leaders


and cities need the power to be able to ensure that their cities have


the infrastructure in place, the services, the roads, the sewers the


things that enable people to know that cities are


the places to come and to invest. There's a touch of flower power


outside the offices of the council. This Leicester suburban borough does


not welcome the prospect of being Its leader, a Liberal Democrat,


is a city regions sceptic. It sounds like a good thing unless


you are in a borough or a dhstrict What would happen if somebody was in


charge without a democratic mandate? They would impose it where they


thought it was appropriate. So it would be the city acthng


as a Big Brother? Is this one of those big political


ideas that is going to boom and bust in but simply fade away


after the next general election Charting the rise and fall of


political ideas is Alistair Jones. Enhanced powers for big cithes,


why is it back on the agend`? Labour started up in the 1970s but


Thatcher took it much furthdr much faster and in many respects took


away a lot of the powers of local authorities leaving them with very


little other than monitoring service provision rather than being


a true service provider. This woman hopes to be elected


the first Conservative MP I think the City Deal could


develop those projects. She welcomes the coalition's


City Deal initiative. That is giving cities


like Nottingham targeted funding It is different from Labour's city


regions policy which she fe`rs would The City Deal in Nottingham has


?25 million and Nottingham was allowed to spend some of th`t money


upfront unlike many other chties. Could City Deal really deliver


the power it has promised whthout giving our cities back


their political muscle? We need to have a wide rangd


of financial measures where we can raise the money that is needed


at a local level and be accountable Is local taxation the price


of big`city power? That particular flower may


take some time to bed down. What we have to do is get ott


of the habit of seeing Whitdhall and Westminster holding onto all


of these powers. We have seen more centralis`tion in


recent years when local authorities Road schemes, skills investlent that


needs to take place, help whth regeneration, those are the sorts


of decisions we have to try... What does it mean in cities like


Nottingham, Leicester and Ddrby We used to have


a regional development agency We are left with these conftsed


bodies, the Local Enterprisd Partnerships, a lot of acronyms


and they do not have any resources, they do not have as strong


coordination as they should do. If Whitehall trusted those


local leaders people would It has to be about trusting


local decision`making. Why should there be all those powers


for the London leadership btt for It is very important in this


government that we move wealth and jobs, opportunities, outside


of London and the south`east. Are you going to give more


powers to the cities? You have seen that


from this government, major projects like HS2, now the


Chancellor is talking about HS3 There was a conference in Lhverpool


were Nottingham was represented and they were looking at wh`t great


cities can do to get more Three out of four jobs created


since 2010 have been in the regions outside of London


and the south`east. Giving more power to cities in the


East Midlands would mean giving more I do not think it is


about party politics. The key thing is how can yot


make great cities good placds to That is what the government is all


about, we are trying to boost the The economy is the fastest`growing


part of the British economy. The Labour plans are


rehashing old plans. What I would be concerned


about is giving Labour politicians the powers to raise more taxes


which puts at risk everything that has been worked on by the British


public, by the government, Do not hand back the keys to


the people who wrecked the British We are getting


the election slogans out early. Are councils up to


handling more power? We have to trust local people to


pick the leaders to do They used to talk about loc`lism and


offered all sorts on that btt we have still got local areas having to


go with a begging bowl to Whitehall. It should not be for the Ch`ncellor


We should have more local leadership.


Some places have chosen to had them and some have not.


In Nottingham, how the council has run its tram


We do not want to impose maxors on different parts


of the country which is why we have been committed to doing refdrendums


and in Nottingham there seels to be difference of opinion.


People just outside of the city are not that kedn to be


You are centralising crime and health.


Time for a round`up of the other political storhes.


Tempers are still running hhgh at the Erewash borough council.


Last week tempers broke out after a council meeting.


The Labour opposition now s`ys the council is simply out


The ruling Tories have dismhssed the claims as ridiculous


and accused Labour of running a dirty tricks c`mpaign.


Derbyshire's Conservative MPs have stepped up their lobby of the


government to get the new skills academy for HS2 built in Derby.


The city is on a shortlist for the academy


The MPs have written to the Minister for Schools and Enterprise


emphasising Derby's long heritage in train making.


Library users have until tomorrow to have their voice


The County Council has been consulted


on plans to hand over 36 libraries over to local communities to run.


The council has warned that some libraries may close.


The change could save an estimated ?100,000 a year.


That's the Sunday Politics here in the East Midlands.


Thanks to Chris Leslie and Robert Jenrick


progress in London was being made before that started. I wish we had


longer for that. It is all over to you.


What will Thursday's mass public sector strike achieve?


Has David Cameron's anti-Juncker attacks clawed back support


And is Alan Johnson really thinking about challenging Ed Miliband


We will start with the strikes, Matt Hancock was hardline in the


head-to-head that he did with the TUC. I guess that the Tory internal


polling and focus groups must be telling them that there are votes in


taking a tough line? There is that and there is the fact that they are


now much more confident on any economic policy two or three years


ago. They shied away from it because the economy was shrinking, there was


still a danger that public sector job losses would lead to higher


unemployment overall. Now, the economy is growing, they have a good


story to sell about employment so they are much more bolshy and brazen


than they were two or three years ago. They know that it always causes


problems for Labour. Labour is naturally sympathetic to the public


sector workers, pay being squeezed, they are striking to make an issue


of it. And yet they can't quite come out and give the unions 100% Labour


support? Exactly. You saw Tristram Hunt on the Marr Show this morning


squirming to support the idea of strikes, but not this particular


strike. It was always the question that gets asked to Labour - who


funds you? That is a real problem. The bit that gets me is they trail


this ef are I time there is a - every time there is a strike, this


idea of cutting it to ballots and local election turnout was a third.


Boris Johnson was elected Mayor of London with 38% turnout. We need to


talk about-turnout across our democracy. That is an easy rebuttal


for Labour to make. Matt Hancock was hardline about changing the strike


law. When you asked him the question, if you are not going to


stabilise the public finances till 2018, does this mean the pay freeze


or no real term pay increase in the public sector will increase till


2018, h e was inner vous on that one. -- he was nervous on that one.


This strike is different to those strikes that took place in 2010 At


that time, the TUC and the Labour Leadership thought there was going


to be a great movement out there, not a kind of 1926 movement, but a


great movement out there. This time round, I think the climate is


different. Ed Miliband talking about wage increases being outstripped by


inflation and people not seeing the recovery coming through into their


pay packets. Slightly more tricky territory for the Tories. If The


Labour machine cannot make something out of Matt Hancock telling this


programme there will be no increase in pay for workers in the public


sector till 2018, they have a problem? They do have a problem


They have to say always that they would not just turn the money taps


on. That is the dance that you are locked in all the time. Can we all


agree that Alan Johnson is not going to stand against Ed Miliband this


side of the election? Some politicians are cynical enough. I


don't think Alan Johnson is one Do we agree? There is nothing in it for


Labour and certainly not for Alan Johnson. No way. It is the last


thing he would want to do. There are some desperate members going around


trying to find a stalking horse Alan Johnson will not be their man.


He has more important things to do on a Thursday night on BBC One!


Isn't it something about the febrile state of the Labour Party that


Labour, some Labour backbenchers or in the Shadow Cabinet, can float the


idea of this nonsense? If there was a time to do it, maybe it was in the


middle of the Parliament. With ten months left, you are stuck with the


leader you chose in 2010. I remember them failing to understand this in


January of 2010 when there was that last push against Gordon Brown. Five


months before an election, they were trying to do something. The deputy


Leader of the Labour Party had something to do with it. There is


deep unease about Ed Miliband. There are problems but Alan Johnson is not


the man. I think there is no chance of it!


If the most recent polls are to be believed, David Cameron appears to


have enjoyed a 'Juncker bounce' - clawing back some support from UKIP


after he very publicly opposed the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker


to the post of EU Commission president. Last week Nigel Farage


took his newly enlarged UKIP contingent to Strasbourg


for the first session of the new European Parliament.


These two gentlemen have nothing to say today. It was the usual dull,


looking back to a model invented 50 years ago and we are the ones that


want democracy, we are the ones that want nation state, we are the ones


that want a global future for our countries, not to be trapped inside


this museum. Thank you. I can see we will be covering more of the


European Parliament at last! It's rumoured he's likely to stand


in the next general election in the Kent constituency of Thanet South,


currently held by the Conservatives. Last week the Conservatives selected


their candidate for the seat - Craig McKinlay -


a former deputy leader of UKIP. Did you get the short straw, you


have got a seat that Nigel Farage is probably going to fight? Not in the


slightest. It is a seat that I know well. It is a seat that there's


obvious euro scepticism there and my qualities are right for that seat.


UKIP got some very good... What are your qualities? Deep-seated


conservatism, I was a founder of UKIP, I wrote the script back in


1992. My heart is Conservative values. They are best put out to the


public by me in South Thanet. It would be ridiculous if Nigel chose


that seat. We need a building block of people like myself to form a


Government if we are going to have that referendum that is long


overdue. I don't think he's got the luxury of losing somebody who is


very similar in views to him. He would be best look looking


elsewhere. You wouldn't like him to stand in your seat, would you? It


would seem to make very little sense. People would say what is UKIP


all about if it's fighting people who have got a similar view to them?


We do need to build a majority Government for the Conservatives


next year because only us are offering that clear in-out


referendum. I want to be one of those building blocks that is part


of that renegotiation that we will put to public in a referendum.


Sounds to me like if the choice is between you and Nigel Farage next


May in Thanet South, it is Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee? Not at all The


danger to this country is another Labour Government. That is one of


the main reasons that I left UKIP in 2005 because that last five years of


the Labour Government was the most dangerous to the fundamentals of


Britain that we have ever seen. I'm happy with the Conservatives. I have


full Conservative values. I am a Euro-sceptic. Thank you for joining


us. The Westminster bubble yet again, which has a herd mentality, a


bubble with a herd mentality, it got it wrong yet again. Mr Cameron's


isolated, he is useless at diplomacy, all of which may be true,


but the British people liked it and his backbenchers liked it? True


Although some of us would say it is possible... You are speaking for the


bubble? I'm speaking for my segment of the bubble. Some of us argued


that he got it wrong diplomatically and it would be wrong politically.


It will be the passage of time. We saw UKIP decline between the 20 4


European elections and the 2005 General. You would expect something


similar to happen this time round. The question is how far low do they


fall? They are still registering 12-15% in the opinion polls. They


are. When Mr Cameron wielded his veto which again the Westminster


bubble said it's terrible, it is embarrassing, he overtook Labour in


the polls for a while doing that. He's had a Juncker bounce. If you


were a strategist, would you not conclude the more Euro-sceptic I am,


the better it is for me in the polls? In the short-term, yes. This


is the short-term thinking we are supposed to despise. The electricion


is very clever for a different - the selection is very clever for a


different reason. It is this anti-London feeling in Thanet South.


He is a councillor, he grew up in the constituency. He is a chartered


accountant. He is somebody who can be seen to be a champion of local


people. If they had parachuted in a special adviser, they would be in


real trouble. He wants to get out... This is the third representative of


the bubble? He wants to get out of the European Union which David


Cameron doesn't want to do. It was interesting for that statement to


MPs on Monday, there were mild Euro-sceptics who said, "I can't


take this." The Speaker said can the baying mob, the Conservative MPs,


quieten down, please. Ben Bradshaw, the former Minister made it, he


said, "I'm reminded when the leader of the Labour Party before Harold


Wilson made that famous Euro-sceptic speech and Mrs Gaitskell said


darling, the wrong people are cheering." That is the challenge.


Thank you, bubbles! The Daily Politics is back


at its usual Noon time every day And I'll be back here on BBC One


next Sunday at 11pm for the last Sunday Politics of the summer - I'll


be talking to Scotland's Deputy Remember, if it's Sunday,


it's the Sunday Politics.


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate including interviews with the deputy prime Minister, Nick Clegg, former chancellor Alistair Darling, Frances O'Grady of the TUC, and skills minister Matthew Hancock.

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