Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby are joined by Jonathan Ashworth MP, Lord Paddy Ashdown, the founder of Cobra Beer Lord Karan Bilimoria, and the founder of Wetherspoons Tim Martin.
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It's Sunday morning and this is the Sunday Politics.
Was Fidel Castro a revolutionary hero or a murderous dictator?
After the Cuban leader's death, politicians divide over his legacy.
Can the NHS in England find billions of pounds' worth of efficiency
The Shadow Health Secretary joins me live.
Should we have a second Brexit referendum on the terms
of the eventual withdrawal deal that's struck with the EU?
Former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown and former Conservative cabinet
What does the Autumn Statement mean? go head-to-head.
And with me, Tom Newton Dunn, Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards.
They'll be tweeting throughout the programme
Political leaders around the world have been reacting to the news
of the death of Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary who came
to power in 1959 and ushered in a Marxist revolution.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson described the former leader
as an "historic if controversial figure" and said his death marked
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Castro was "a champion of social
justice" who had "seen off a lot of US presidents"
President-elect Donald Trump described the former Cuban leader
as a "brutal dictator", adding that he hoped his death
would begin a new era "in which the wonderful Cuban people
finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve".
Meanwhile, the President of the European Commission,
Jean-Claude Juncker, said the controversial leader
was "a hero for many" but "his legacy will be judged
I guess we had worked that out ourselves. What do you make of the
reactions so far across the political divide? Predictable. And I
noticed that Jeremy Corbyn has come in for criticism for his tribute to
Castro. But I think it was the right thing for him to do. We all know he
was an admirer. He could have sat there for eight hours in his house,
agonising over some bland statement which didn't alienate the many
people who want to wade into attacked Castro. It would have been
inauthentic and would have just added to the sort of mainstream
consensus, and I think he was right to say what he believed in this
respect. Elsewhere, it has been wholly predictable that there would
be this device, because he divided opinion in such an emotive way.
Steve, I take your point about authenticity and it might have
looked a bit lame for Jeremy Corbyn to pretend that he had no affection
for Fidel Castro at all, but do you think he made a bit of an error
dismissing Castro's record, the negative side of it as just a floor?
He could have acknowledged in more elaborate terms the huge costs. He
wanted to go on about the health and education, which if you actually
look up the indices on that, they are good relative to other
countries. But they have come at such a huge cost. He was not a
champion of criminal justice. If he had done that, it would have been
utterly inauthentic. He doesn't believe it. And he would have
thought there would be many other people focusing on all the epic
failings. So he focused on what he believed. There are times when
Corbyn's prominence in the media world now as leader widens the
debate in an interesting and important way. I am not aware of any
criticisms that Mr Corbyn has ever announced about Mr Castro. There
were four words in his statement yesterday which is spin doctor would
have forced him to say, for all his flaws. He was on this Cuban
solidarity committee, which didn't exist to criticise Castro. It
existed to help protect Castro from those, particularly the Americans,
who were trying to undermine him. And Corbyn made a big deal yesterday
saying he has always called out human rights abuses all over the
world. But he said that in general, I call out human rights abuses. He
never said, I have called out human rights abuses in Cuba. In the weeks
ahead, more will come out about what these human rights abuses were. The
lid will come off what was actually happening. Some well authenticated
stories are pretty horrendous. I was speaking to a journalist who was
working there in the 1990s, who gave me vivid examples of that, and there
will be more to come. I still go back to, when a major figure diet
and you are a leader who has admired but major figure, you have to say
it. That is the trap he has fallen into. He has proved every criticism
that he is a duck old ideologue. But he is not the only one. Prime
Minister Trudeau was so if uses that I wondered if they were going to
open up a book of condolences. I think it reinforces Corbyn's failing
brand. It may be authentic, but authentic isn't working for him.
When I was driving, I heard Trevor Phillips, who is a Blairite, saying
the record was mixed and there were a lot of things to admire as well as
all the terrible things. So it is quite nuanced. But if you are a
leader issuing a sound bite, there is no space for new ones. You either
decide to go for the consensus, which is to set up on the whole, it
was a brutal dictatorship. Or you say, here is an extraordinary figure
worthy of admiration. In my view, he was right to say what he believed.
There was still a dilemma for the British government over who they
sent to the funeral. Do they sent nobody, do they say and Boris
Johnson as a post-ironic statement? There is now a post-Castro Cuba to
deal with. Trump was quite diplomatic about post-Castro Cuba.
And Boris Johnson's statement was restrained. The thing about Mr
Castro was the longevity, 50 years of keeping Marxism on the island.
That was what made it so fascinating.
Before the last election, George Osborne promised the NHS
in England a real-terms funding boost of ?8 billion per year by 2020
on the understanding that NHS bosses would also find ?22 billion worth
Since last autumn, NHS managers have been drawing up what they're calling
"Sustainability and Transformation Plans" to make these savings,
but some of the proposals are already running into local
opposition, while Labour say they amount to huge cuts to the NHS.
Help is on the way for an elderly person in need in Hertfordshire.
But east of England ambulance call operators
they're sending an early intervention vehicle
with a council-employed occupational therapist on board.
It's being piloted here for over 65s with
When they arrive, a paramedic judges if the patient can be
treated immediately at home without a trip to hospital.
Around 80% of patients have been treated this way,
taking the strain off urgently-needed hospital beds,
So the early intervention team has assessed the patient and decided
The key to successful integration for Hertfordshire being able
to collaboratively look at how we use our resources,
to have pooled budgets, to allow us to understand
where spend is, and to let us make conscientious decisions about how
best to use that money, to come up with ideas to problems
that sit between our organisations, to look at things collaboratively.
This Hertfordshire hospital is also a good example of how
You won't find an A unit or overnight beds here any more.
The closest ones are 20 minutes down the road.
What's left is nurse-led care in an NHS-built hospital.
Despite a politically toxic change, this reconfiguration went
through after broad public and political consultation
with hospital clinicians and GPs on board.
It's a notable achievement that's surely of interest to 60% of NHS
trusts in England that reported a deficit at the end of September.
It's not just here that the NHS needs to save money and provide
The Government is going to pour in an extra ?8 billion into the NHS
in England, but it has demanded ?22 billion
worth of efficiencies across the country.
In order to deliver that, the NHS has created 44 health
and care partnerships, and each one will provide
a sustainability and transformation plan, or STP, to integrate care,
provide better services and save money.
So far, 33 of these 44 regional plans, drawn up by senior people
in the health service and local government,
The NHS has been through five years of severely constrained spending
growth, and there are another 4-5 years on the way at least.
STPs themselves are an attempt to deal in a planned way
But with plans to close some A units and reduce the number
of hospital beds, there's likely to be a tough political battle
ahead, with many MPs already up in arms about proposed
This Tory backbencher is concerned about the local plans for his
I wouldn't call it an efficiency if you are proposing to close
all of the beds which are currently provided for those coming out
of the acute sector who are elderly and looking
That's not a cut, it's not an efficiency saving,
All 44 STPs should be published in a month's time,
But even before that, they dominated this week's PMQs.
The Government's sustainability and transformation plans
for the National Health Service hide ?22 billion of cuts.
The National Health Service is indeed looking for savings
within the NHS, which will be reinvested in the NHS.
There will be no escape from angry MPs for the Health Secretary either.
Well, I have spoken to the Secretary of State just this week
about the importance of community hospitals in general,
These are proposals out to consultation.
What could happen if these plans get blocked?
If STPs cannot be made to work, the planned changes don't come
to pass, then the NHS will see over time a sort of unplanned
deterioration and services becoming unstable and service
The NHS barely featured in this week's Autumn Statement
but the Prime Minister insisted beforehand that STPs
are in the interests of local people.
Her Government's support will now be critical for NHS England
to push through these controversial regional plans,
which will soon face public scrutiny.
We did ask the Department of Health for an interview,
I've been joined by the Shadow Health Secretary,
Do you accept that the NHS is capable of making ?22 billion of
efficiency savings? Well, we are very sceptical, as are number of
independent organisations about the ability of the NHS to find 22
billion of efficiencies without that affecting front line care. When you
drill down into the 22 billion, based on the information we have
been given, and there hasn't been much information, we can see that
some of it will come from cutting the budget which go to community
pharmacies, which could lead, according to ministers, to 3000
pharmacies closing, which we believe will increase demands on A and
GPs, and also that a lot of these changes which are being proposed,
which was the focus of the package, we think will mean service cuts at a
local level. Do they? The chief executive of NHS England says these
efficiency plans are "Incredibly important". He used to work from
Labour. The independent King's Fund calls them "The best hope to improve
health and care services. There is no plan B". On the sustainable
transformation plans, which will be across England to link up physical
health, mental health and social care, for those services to
collaborate more closely together and move beyond the fragmented
system we have at the moment is important. It seems that the ground
has shifted. It has moved into filling financial gaps. As we know,
the NHS is going through the biggest financial squeeze in its history. By
2018, per head spending on the NHS will be falling. If you want to
redesign services for the long term in a local area, you need to put the
money in. So of course, getting these services working better
together and having a greater strategic oversight, which we would
have had if we had not got rid of strategic health authority is in the
last Parliament. But this is not an attempt to save 22 billion, this is
an attempt to spend 22 billion more successfully, don't you accept that?
Simon Stevens said we need 8 billion, and we need to find 22
billion of savings. You have to spend 22 billion more efficiently.
But the Government have not given that 8 billion to the NHS which they
said they would. They said they would do it by 2020. But they have
changed the definitions of spending so NHS England will get 8 billion by
2020, but they have cut the public health budgets by about 4 million by
20 20. The budget that going to initiatives to tackle sexually
transmitted diseases, to tackle smoking have been cut back but the
commissioning of things like school nurses and health visitors have been
cut back as well. Simon Stevens said he can only deliver that five-year
project if there is a radical upgrade in public health, which the
Government have failed on, and if we deal with social care, and this week
there was an... I understand that, but if you don't think the
efficiency drive can free up 22 billion to take us to 30 billion by
2020, where would you get the money from? I have been in this post now
for five or six weeks and I want to have a big consultation with
everybody who works in the health sector, as well as patients, carers
and families. Though you don't know? I think it would be surprised if I
had an arbitrary figure this soon into the job. Your party said they
expected election of spring by this year, you need to have some idea by
now, you inherited a portfolio from Diane Abbott, did she have no idea?
To govern is to make choices and we would make different choices. The
budget last year scored billions of giveaways in things like
co-operating -- corporation tax. What I do want to do... Is work on a
plan and the general election, whenever it comes, next year or in
2020 or in between, to have costed plan for the NHS. But your party is
committed to balancing the books on current spending, that is currently
John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor's position. What we are
talking about, this extra 30 billion, that is essentially current
spending so if it doesn't come from efficiency savings, where does the
money come from? Some of it is also capital. Mainly current spending. If
you look at the details of the OBR, they have switched a million from
the capital into revenue. Why -- how do you balance spending?
That is why we need to have a debate. Every time we ask for
Labour's policy, we are always told me a debate. Surely it is time to
give some idea of what you stand for? There's huge doubts about the
Government 's policy on this. You are the opposition, how would you do
it? I want to work with John McDonnell to find a package to give
the NHS the money it needs, but of course our Shadow Chancellor, like
any Shadow Chancellor at this stage in the cycle, will want to see what
the books look like a head of an election before making commitments.
I am clear that the Labour Party has to go into the next general election
with a clear policy to give the NHS the funding it needs because it has
been going through the largest financial squeeze in its history.
You say Labour will always give the NHS the money it needs, that is not
a policy, it is a blank cheque. It is an indication of our commitment
to the NHS. Under this Conservative government, the NHS has been getting
a 1% increase. Throughout its history it has usually have about
4%. Under the last Labour government it was getting 4%, before that
substantially more. We think the NHS should get more but I don't have
access to the NHS books in front of me. The public thinks there needs to
be more money spent on health but they also think that should go cap
in hand with the money being more efficiently spent, which is what
this efficiency drive is designed to release 22 billion. Do you have an
efficiency drive if it is not the Government's one? Of course we
agree. We agree the NHS should be more efficient, we want to see
productivity increased. Do know how to do that? One way is through
investments, maintenance, but there is a 5 million maintenance backlog.
One of the most high risk backlogs is something like 730 million. They
are going to switch the capital spend into revenue spend. I believe
that when you invest in maintenance and capital in the NHS, that
contribute to increasing its productivity. You are now talking
about 5 billion the maintenance, the chief executive says it needs 30
billion more by 2020 as a minimum so that 35 billion. You want to spend
more on social care, another for 5 billion on that so we have proper
care in the community. By that calculation I'm up to about 40
billion, which is fine, except where do you get the and balance the
account at the same time? We will have to come up with a plan for that
and that's why I will work with our Shadow Treasury team to come up with
that plan when they head into the general election. At the moment we
are saying to the NHS, sorry, we are not going to give you the
investment, which is why we are seeing patient care deteriorating.
The staff are doing incredible things but 180,000 are waiting in
A beyond four hours, record levels of people delayed in beds in
hospitals because there are not the beds in the community to go to save
the NHS needs the investment. We know that and we know the
Government's response to that and many think it is inadequate. What
I'm trying to get from you is what your response would be and what your
reaction will be to these efficiency plans. Your colleague Heidi
Alexander, she had your job earlier this year, she warned of the danger
of knee jerk blanket opposition to local efficiency plans. Do you agree
with that? Yes. So every time a hospital is going to close as a
result of this, and some will, it is Labour default position not just
going to be we are against it? That is why we are going to judge each of
these sustainability plans by a number of yardsticks. We want to see
if they have the support of local clinicians, we want to see if they
have the support of local authorities because they now have a
role in the delivery of health care. We want to see if they make the
right decisions for the long-term trends in population for local area.
We want to see if they integrate social care and health. If they
don't and therefore you will not bank that as an efficiency saving,
you will say no, that's not the way to go, you are left then with
finding the alternative funding to keep the NHS going. If you are
cutting beds, for example the proposal is to cut something like
5000 beds in Derbyshire and if there is the space in the community sector
in Derbyshire, that will cause big problems for the NHS in the long
term so it is a false economy. An example like that, we would be very
sceptical the plans could work. Would it not be honest, given the
sums of money involved and your doubts about the efficiency plan,
which are shared by many people, to just say, look, among the wealthy
nations, we spend a lower proportion of our GDP on health than most of
the other countries, European countries included, we need to put
up tax if we want a proper NHS. Wouldn't that be honest? I'm not the
Shadow Chancellor, I don't make taxation policy. You are tempting me
down a particular road by you or I smile. John McDonnell will come up
with our taxation policy. We have had an ambition to meet the European
average, the way these things are measured have changed since then,
but we did have that ambition and for a few years we met it. We need
substantial investment in the NHS. Everyone accepts it was
extraordinary that there wasn't an extra penny for the NHS in the
Autumn Statement this week. And as we go into the general election,
whenever it is, we will have a plan for the NHS. Come back and speak to
us when you know what you are going to do. Thank you.
Theresa May has promised to trigger formal Brexit negotiations
before the end of March, but the Prime Minister must wait
for the Supreme Court to decide whether parliament must vote
If that is the Supreme Court's conclusion, the Liberal Democrats
and others in parliament have said they'll demand a second EU
referendum on the terms of the eventual Brexit deal before
And last week, two former Prime Ministers suggested
that the referendum result could be reversed.
In an interview with the New Statesman on Thursday,
Tony Blair said, "It can be stopped if the British people decide that,
having seen what it means, the pain-gain cost-benefit analysis
John Major also weighed in, telling a meeting
of the National Liberal Club that the terms of Brexit
were being dictated by the "tyranny of the majority".
He also said there is a "perfectly credible case"
That prompted the former Conservative leader
Iain Duncan Smith to criticise John Major.
He told the BBC, "The idea we delay everything simply
because they disagree with the original result does
seem to me an absolute dismissal of democracy."
So, is there a realistic chance of a second referendum on the terms
of whatever Brexit deal Theresa May manages to secure?
Lib Dem party leader Tim Farron has said, "We want to respect
the will of the people and that means they must have their say
in a referendum on the terms of the deal."
But the Lib Dems have just eight MPs - they'll need Labour support
One ally is former Labour leadership candidate Owen Smith.
He backs the idea of a second referendum.
But yesterday the party's deputy leader, Tom Watson, said that,
"Unlike the Lib Dem Brexit Deniers, we believe in respecting
To discuss whether or not there should be a second referendum
on the terms of the Brexit deal, I've been joined by two
In Somerset is the former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown,
and in Shropshire is the former Conservative cabinet minister
Paddy Ashdown, let me come to you first. When the British people have
spoken, you do what they command, either you believe in democracy or
you don't. When democracy speaks, we obey. Your words on the night of the
referendum, what's changed? Nothing has changed, Andrew, that's what I
said and what I still believe in. The British people have spoken, we
will not block Parliament debating the Brexit decision, Article 50, but
we will introduce an amendment to say that we need to consult the
British people, not about if we go out but what destination we would
then achieve. There is a vast difference in ordinary people's
lives between the so-called hard Brexit and soft Brexit. Soft Brexit,
you remain in the single market, you have to accept and agree on
immigration. Hard Brexit you are out of the single market, we have many
fewer jobs... Why didn't you say before the referendum there would be
a second referendum on the terms? Forgive me, I said it on many
occasions, you may not have covered it, Andrew, but that's a different
thing. In every speech I gave I said this, and this has proved to be
true, since those who recommended Brexit refused to tell us the
destination they were recommending, they refuse to give any detail about
the destination, if we did vote to go out, it would probably be
appropriate to decide which destination, hard Brexit or soft
Brexit we go to. They deliberately obscure that because it made it more
difficult to argue the case. It wasn't part of the official campaign
but let me come to Owen Paterson. What's wrong with a referendum on
the terms of the deal? We voted to leave but we don't really know on
what conditions we leave so what's wrong with negotiating the deal and
putting that deal to the British people? This would be a ridiculous
idea, it would be a complete gift to the EU negotiators to go for an
impossibly difficult deal because they want to do everything to make
sure that Brexit does not go through. This nonsense idea of hard
Brexit and soft Brexit, it was never discussed during the referendum
campaign. We made it clear we wanted to take back control, that means
making our own laws, raising and spending the money agreed by elected
politicians, getting control of our own borders back, and getting
control of our ability to do trade deals around the world. That was
clear at all stages of the referendum. We got 17.4 million
votes, the biggest vote in history for any issue, that 52%, 10% more
than John Major got and he was happy with his record number of 14
million, more than Tony Blair got, which was 43%, so we have a very
clear mandate. Time and again people come up to me and say when are we
going to get on with this. The big problem is uncertainty. We want to
trigger Article 50, have the negotiation and get to a better
place. OK, I need to get a debate going.
Paddy Ashdown, the EU doesn't want us to leave. If they knew there was
going to be a second referendum, surely there was going to be a
second referendum, surely their incentive would be to give us the
worst possible deal would vote against it would put us in a
ridiculous negotiating position. On the contrary, the government could
go and negotiate with the European Union and anyway, the opinion of the
European Union is less important than the opinion of the British
people. It seems to me that Owen Paterson made the case for me
precisely. They refuse to discuss what kind of destination. Britain
voted for departure, but not a destination. Because Owen Paterson
and his colleagues refused to discuss what their model was. So the
range of options here and the impact on the people of Britain is huge.
There is nothing to stop the government going to negotiate,
getting the best deal it can and go into the British people and saying,
this is the deal, guys, do you agree? Owen Paterson? It is simple.
The British people voted to leave. We voted to take back control of our
laws, our money, our borders. But most people don't know the shape of
what the deal would be. So why not have a vote on it? Because it would
be a gift to the EU negotiators to drive the worst possible deal in the
hope that it might be chucked out with a second referendum. The
biggest danger is the uncertainty. We have the biggest vote in British
history. You have said all that. It was your side that originally
proposed a second referendum. The director of Leave said, there is a
strong democratic case for a referendum on what the deal looks
like. Your side. Come on, you are digging up a blog from June of 2015.
He said he had not come to a conclusion. He said it is a distinct
possibility. No senior members of the campaign said we would have a
second referendum. It is worth chucking Paddy the quote he gave on
ITV news, whether it is a majority of 1% or 20%, when the British
people have spoken, you do what they command. People come up to me and
keep asking, when are you going to get on with it? What do you say to
that, Paddy Ashdown? Owen Paterson has obviously not been paying
attention. You ask me that question at the start. Owen and his kind have
to stick to the same argument. During the referendum, when we said
that the Europeans have it in their interest to picket tough for us,
they would suffer as well. And that has proved to be right. The European
Union does not wish to hand as a bad deal, because they may suffer in the
process. We need the best deal for both sides. I can't understand why
Owen is now reversing that argument. Here is the question I am going to
ask you. If we have a second referendum on the deal and we vote
by a very small amount, by a sliver, to stay in, can we then make it
best-of-3? No, Andrew! Vince Cable says he thinks if you won, he would
have to have a decider. You will have to put that income tax, because
I don't remember when he said that. -- you have to put that in context.
Independent, 19th of September. That is a decision on the outcome. The
central point is that the British people voted for departure, not a
destination. In response to the claim that this is undemocratic, if
it is democratic to have one referendum, how can it be
undemocratic to have two? Owen Paterson, the British government, on
the brink of triggering article 50, cannot tell us if we will remain
members of the single market, if we will remain members of the customs
union. From that flows our ability to make trade deals, our attitude
towards freedom of movement and the rest of it. Given that the
government can't tell us, it is clear that the British people have
no idea what the eventual shape will be. That is surely the fundamental
case for a second referendum. Emphatically not. They have given a
clear vote. That vote was to take back control. What the establishment
figures like Paddy should recognise is the shattering damage it would do
to the integrity of the whole political process if this was not
delivered. People come up to me, as I have said for the third time now,
wanting to know when we will get article 50 triggered. Both people
who have voted to Remain and to Leave. If we do not deliver this, it
will be disastrous for the reputation and integrity of the
whole political establishment. Let me put that you Paddy Ashdown. It is
very Brussels elite - were ask your question but if we don't like the
answer, we will keep asking the question. Did it with the Irish and
French. It is... It would really anger the British people, would it
not? That is an interesting question, Andrew. I don't think it
would. All the evidence I see in public meetings I attended, and I
think it is beginning to show in the opinion polls, although there hasn't
been a proper one on this yet, I suspect there is a majority in
Britain who would wish to see a second referendum on the outcome.
They take the same view as I do. What began with an open democratic
process cannot end with a government stitch up. Contrary to what Owen
suggests, there is public support for this. And far from damaging the
government and the political class, it showed that we are prepared to
listen. We shall see. Paddy Ashdown, have you eaten your hat yet? Andrew,
as you well know, I have eaten five hats. You cannot have a second
referendum until you eat your hat on my programme. We will leave it
there. Paddy Ashdown and Owen Paterson, thank you much. I have
eaten a hat on your programme. I don't remember!
It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics.
We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who leave us now
In the East Midlands, never mind the just managing jams,
what about those who are not managing at all?
We have brought the Chancellor's Autumn Statement to the town
that voted very heavily to leave the European Union.
And more money from the Chancellor for housing.
Will it be enough to cut the waiting list?
I don't think we've had a really good consistent housing policy for
Hello, I am Marie Ashby and my guests are the Conservative
former Chancellor himself, and the Labour MP for Gedling
Let's get your reaction to the Autumn Statement.
The Chancellor painted a picture of growing debt and
I was very reassured by the statement.
At last, after all the madness of the last few months,
there is the man who understands economic policy
and there is a sound and
tough guy when he needs to be talking about the real world.
And getting us all to face up to the fact that the next few
The global economy is in no great state either.
He explained how he is going to stick
to sensible economic policies and concentrate on what little money
he has got to try and develop a modern, competitive
economy to give people jobs for the future.
He is going to have to stick to that as well and not be
That infrastructure investment which has been promised is
Your party is attacking the Chancellor,
isn't it, for not tackling social care at all.
The first thing to say about the Autumn Statement was,
in or out of the EU, it was an admission of the failed
We now have a Government that can't see anything
about extra spending about on the NHS or social care
and is having to borrow an extra 122 billion over the period
of the next five years without a clear indication
of when the budget will come into surplus at the same
time as living standards are being squeezed.
I think people out there will see it as
an Autumn Statement that carries on the failed policies
He should apparently have spent a lot more money and somehow get rid
I think if you followed Vernon's remedy, the debt
Back in the real world, the fact is the
financial crash of 2006-2008 is the main cause of where
we were and we haven't successfully here or in the rest of
You predicted that there could be a recession.
After the Brexit vote, you predicted there could be a recession.
Could that still happen in your view?
I think there is a real risk of a recession.
I am usually quite a cheerful guy, as you will admit.
Yes, I think there is a serious risk of a recession in the next year
If that is the case, is it likely that Theresa May
I'm asking do you think she could do that?
The last Government that I was in that called
because it could not think of what else to do
What we need is a clear-headed man like Philip Hammond who is
not going to play silly short-term politics.
He knows you get lobbied for more money every time you go near the
House of Commons if you are the Chancellor.
A change of policy is
He was keen to spend money on infrastructure with more
than ?1 million for affordable housing.
Will that be enough to tackle the region's housing shortage?
Nottingham's new waterside neighbourhood is taking shape.
45 homes have just been finished on old
industrial land within spitting nistance of the city's sights.
The idea of living here on the banks of the Trent is
This development has taken 20 years to come about.
There are many other brown field sites in
Nottingham that have waited just as long to be built on.
On the surface things seem to be picking up.
In Nottingham, just over two and half thousand homes are
in the pipeline, being built or recently completed.
I guess the idea ultimately is that all of this land
we see in front of us here will be developed?
Yes, this is just the
start of a huge regeneration project.
There is economic uncertainty, however I think in
Nottingham we are determined to make this work.
We are determined to do
what we can to work with developers to bring sites forward, to make
development possible and to regenerate these areas.
The developer behind this project believes
successive governments could have done much more to help.
Arguably, we are not producing enough homes of the right type.
Clearly, the results show that we could doing better.
What did you make of the Autumn Statement?
The housing infrastructure fund is a step in the
The new money, additional money for affordable housing is important.
Some of the money announced on Wednesday's should
trickle down to the East Midlands and perhaps to affordable housing
Jordan has just moved into one of the new
council houses in a generation in this Conservative run district.
The local authority has paid for some of this
under the Right to Buy scheme and derelict houses are also
But money is tight and the extra cash on the Government is welcome.
It is fantastic news and we will be able to build more houses
We will be bidding for that money and building more developments
and getting people off the waiting lists.
45 families will have a new home here.
That is out of the waiting list of around a thousand.
The housing crisis will take some solving.
Housing is part of the big push on infrastructure.
What else is in it for the East Midlands?
We're joined by Maria Machancoses, the programme directors of
It is the body that has been set up to improve
Very few mentions of the Midland Engine in the Autumn Statement.
?5 million for a transport hub in Birmingham.
This is in addition to the 12 million that was announced
As you know, we are working very hard with the Trent eight
authorities and businesses, universities and colleges to submit
to Government our priorities. What this 5 million that we receive is to
help us shape some of the projects that we have in mind and these
projects will enable solutions to improve the east and west
connectivity between the cities and the towns. Tell us about those
projects. What will we see here in the Midlands? We will address some
the bottlenecks. They are not allowing businesses to connect with
each other in a faster and reliable way. There are a number of
interventions around Birmingham and also in the south-west and into the
East Midlands that would allow that connectivity to happen. That is what
we are calling the Midlands rail harp. We heard from a Economist last
week that says there are billions of pounds in cash for the Northern
Powerhouse. He could do it is a Government behind this Midland
engine? I believe in it strongly. We have got to spread the benefits of
economic success across the country. Stop it being in London and the
south-east. There is a limit to how far they can go down there. The
Midlands and the north should be able to support a moderate economy.
We have Rolls-Royce and hotel. Also a lot of smaller businesses. --
Toyota. Political lobbying and we have a marginal seat you, can we
have a bypass? We cannot afford that sort of stuff at the moment. I am
glad that Philip did not produce a list of projects that Gordon and
George did occasionally. What we need is for business people to focus
on where we need to spend money and cut business costs. Links between
Birmingham and Derby and Nottingham are attractive. Vernon Coker, can I
bring in here, is a Government behind this? I think I agree with
Ken about the need to secure economic growth. If we are talking
about transport and links with the east and west are important but the
big thing from our point of view is the lack that the Government is
saying they will lecture via the Midlands rail line by 2023. Nothing
is being said about that. Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield, the
electrification of that is very crucial. That is what businesses did
to me and the Government has not said anything at all. This is what
you are about, Maria. How concerned are you that this all education is
being delayed? It has been made clear that electrification on the
Midlands is very important. We are also putting the all education in
the context of high-speed rail to. It does seem sometimes that our
region is being sidelined. We are a waiting for it here and we're going
to be waiting long time for that. We had been talking about it for eight
years and we have not seen every evidence of it. I quite agree but
instead of going back to the usual political rows, equal to the West
Country and there's not enough coming here at, Scotland is
unfurling treated... Jobs are at stake. These are difficult times.
Why does it take so long? I would like to see that I would like to see
someone that electrified the Midlands rail line is the key
business. Business going to London could travel more comfortably
because it would be quieter. I want to see a good business case for what
that would do to stimulate economic activity. Jobs and investment
here... All of the big business leaders and people from the various
and people who use the line would and people who use the line would
all say the electrification make a big difference. When you have a
second-class line, as we have at the moment, it does influenced
investment decisions and the way people are talking about it.
High-speed rail going ahead is going to make a big difference. We might
as well have a moderate train. High-speed rail brings a new
capacity. That is important. I am glad that is steaming ahead.
Everyone else arguing what they would like to see in the real...
Another delay means businesses are very concerned about it. The money
you spend has got to be on something that has some immediate practical
impact. The only one that is not a electrified north to south. It is
the only one. It is a good service. It is not as good as it should be.
It is important. It is very important to show the certainty to
businesses and communities that we are doing our very best and planning
for the future to provide them for a faster and better connections,
north, south. What we are trying to do with the Midlands connect is that
certainty and providing businesses and the clear voice to Government
what it is we require in terms of infrastructure to support growth and
put us at the global stage. When will we see evidence of that? We are
submitting the final strategy in March and that will have a plan of
action. We will require when and hopefully it will be starting to get
the support from Government and getting them ready and starting now.
These projects take a long time to implement. We can see that. It is a
real thing and we are working with the Government of long-term planning
and support. Thank you very much indeed for joining us. We have
discussed some of the big policy ideas behind the Autumn Statement.
What affect will have on people here in the East Midlands? Here is our
political editor. We now know that Brexit means slow economic growth
and higher inflation. We have brought the Autumn Statement to
Mansfield, the town which voted 70% of all the European union -- leave
the European Union. When we get everything together we will be our
own country again and that is what we need. You do not think economic
bad news is enough to put you off? No, it will get better. I did not
think Brexit was a good idea but now we have gone that way it has to be
in the best interest of the country. You would hope so anyway. Modest and
medium term. Here in the final lounge it is all about people having
the money to spend. Productivity means sales and it is also about
getting here easily. That means spending money on transport
infrastructure. We need people into spend money and we also attract
people from further appeal to the field. People cannot get here, they
are not going to come and do that. -- further afield. The Autumn
Statement was trailed as one to help beat just about managing. There are
a lot of in that than to please. They are going to dig it off of us
-- to get off of us, the pensioners. There are people you lot worse off
than we are. Two independent think tank said said those on low incomes
face grim years. Credit unions use money to lend and encourage saving.
My message is to look at your budget and then at what you have coming in
and out and put something aside for a emergencies. Even a small amount
can make a big difference. What about those who have nothing?
Nowhere to sleep at night? The Government is going to spend ?10
million over two years. Is it enough? We are now seeing 39 people
sleeping rough in Nottingham on a single night. It was down to three
at one stage. The situation has got worse and got worse quickly. What we
need is not a ?10 million initiative, we need is a national
strategy. The Government delegated the responsibility to local
authorities. This is a national problem and not a local problem.
Back to those managing, a group which accounts for the politicians.
Does the Autumn Statement mean jam today and vote tomorrow? The
Institute for Fiscal Studies said that prospects for PR dreadful.
People on low wages may be earning less into thousand and 21 than in
2007. It is a grim outlook, isn't it? It is a very difficult time.
We... People have been badly hit by the fiscal collapse of a couple
years ago which we have not fully recovered from. There is no strong
economic growth taking place in any western country for very long. We
are getting to the end of the economic cycle and people who voted
to make themselves poor are believing the European Union, if
we're not careful. It is very difficult to look ahead without
telling yourself we have got to pull yourself together, pursue sensible
policies and make sure the living standards to go back to getting back
on a path. That means moderate businesses and moderate economy run
sensibly with access to the markets. Any reasons to be cheerful? Raising
the threshold in which people pay tax, increasing the living wage.
That is going to help people in work. It is going to be a tough
period. The choice of the Government have made are making that worse. If
you look at the Institute for Fiscal Studies are saying, it points out
the rise in the threshold is the freezing of work benefits has caused
problems. What could be Government have done, in your view, to made a
difference? It should not adopt look at the National insurance threshold.
What they should not have done was the changes to the in work benefits
which affect those people who are trying to do the right thing, going
to work. They are having more money ticking off them when they are at
work. That is a choice the Government has made. Some of the
backbenchers are saying that is the wrong thing to have done. As the
Government on the wrong thing? We were subsidising low pay, low
productivity and long hours culture with vast in work benefits which
have exploded over the last 20 years. We were running up debt and
relying on the tightness of strangers. The deficit... It was a
third of what it was in worst GDP ratio when Auden Brown went, thank
heavens. It has been difficult. -- Gordon. The immediate outlook is
worrying. The thing I would say is that if you go back to 2010 when
Labour lost the election, the economy was growing. The deficit was
falling and the economy was growing. It was the decisions made by the
coalition Government that choked off that growth and we had the severe
austerity imposed which turned out we were going to balance the books,
that field. We have ditched that moved to something else. We have
more people in work then we have before. We have created more than
30,000 jobs in three months as here. There are reasons to be positive,
are in there? You can point to that but what we point to is that living
standards have fallen. Living standards are likely to fall and if
you look at the analysis of the budget that has been made... The
Autumn Statement, rather. It is the purist and those just above that to
our paying the most. There are warnings that food inflation could
rise. That is not going to help anybody. All inflation is going to
rise a bit, I'm afraid. We have to minimise the impact. These are
predictions. They have been wrong before. We voted for Brexit and we
have had a crash in the value of sterling. People got the idea we
were going to leave the single market and the custom union... The
economy is growing. The economy is growing but it is slowing quite
rapidly. The idea that all we have to do is spend more public money...
All the people burning names are people I would love to be able to
help but Gordon is to have two budget eight year handing the stuff
out and he left us with the deepest recession... Time now for a round-up
of some of the other blood cult stories. Here's Tony with 60
seconds. -- the other political stories. The overnight closure of
the A services is to be referred to the Health Secretary. Campaigners
welcomed the move. The NHS as trust says it does not have enough doctors
to cover the overnight shifts. Plans to change the way Derby City Council
is elected have been rejected. Councillor voted against the planned
to switch to elections every four years. They will stick with the
current system of voting. Former striking miners and their families
have released a Christmas single to say thank you to the people who
provided food to help them through the 1984 strike. Proceeds of the
single will be given to food banks. There is a lack of Christmas cheer
in Leicester were some have said the city's tree is an embarrassment. The
council says it has had excellent feedback. It is not even December
yet. That is the Sunday politics here in the East Midlands. Thank you
to Ken Clarke and then in Cork for joining us in the studio. We will be
back next week. Now it is back to hand you back to Andrew
have got to make sure London is open. Thank you. Andrew, back to
you. Is Theresa May serious
about curbing executive pay? Who will be crowned Nigel Farage's
successor as Ukip leader? And can the Lib Dems pull off
a by-election upset in Richmond? So,,, on pay talk about the
executive of what executives get compared to the average worker in
the company, giving shareholders real power to vote down pay rises if
they don't like them, which is pretty much what Ed Miliband
proposed in the general election in 2015. Is she serious about this? She
is very serious, and the Tory party probably does owe Ed Miliband an
apology for trashing his ideas and 2015 and then putting them all up
for votes in November 20 16. She is very serious, and this all comes
back to her desperate fear that unless capitalism reforms itself and
becomes more acceptable to the just about managing or even 78% of the
country who are not earning vast wealth at anywhere near the figures
you see in the City, serious things will happen and the political sense
of trust will implode. She has already been bartered down by her
own Cabinet on this. She wanted to go further and make workers on the
board mandatory. They have managed to stop that. What will her fallback
position be on workers on the board if she is not able to get it into
some claw? We would like to have workers on the board, but whatever
they do on the board there will have no voting powers on the board. When
you look at what was leaked out over the weekend, that we should know the
ratio of the top to the average and that shareholders who own the
company should determine, in the end, the highest-paid salaries, you
kind of think, what could the possible objection be to any of
that? Two things. One, I agree with Tom that she is deadly serious about
this agenda and it comes under the banner, that sentence in the party
conference speech about "It's time to focus on the good that government
can do". She is by instinct more of an interventionist than Cameron and
Osborne. But she is incredibly cautious, whether it is through the
internal constraints of opposition within Cabinet, or her own small C
Conservative caution in implementing this stuff. Part of the problem is
the practicalities. George Osborne commission will Hutton to do a
report which came out with similar proposals, which were never
implemented. It is quite hard to enforce. It will antagonise business
leaders when she's to woo them again in this Brexit furore. So there are
problems with it. And judging by what has happened so far, my guess
is that the aim will be genuinely bold and interesting, and the
implementation incredibly cautious. Does it matter if she annoys some
business leaders? Isn't that part of her brand? Will there be problems on
the Tory backbenches with it? I think there will be and I think it
does matter at this sensitive time for when we are positioning
ourselves as a country and whether we are going to brand ourselves as a
great city of business, implementing quite interventionist policies. Any
suggestion that the government can control how much the top earners
get, I think would be received in a hostile way. What would be wrong
with the shareholders, who own the company, determining the pay of the
higher hands, the executives? Morally, you can absolutely make
that argument but to business leaders, they will not like it.
Ultimately, this will not come down to more than a row of beans. There
was a huge debate about whether there should be quotas of women on
boards. In the end, that never happened. All we get is figures. But
quotas of women, for which there is a case and a case against too, that
was a government mandate. This is not, this is simply empowering
shareholders who own the company to determine the pay of the people they
hire. There is a strong moral argument for it. Strong economic
argument. But the Tory backbenchers will not like this. The downside is
that this is a world where companies are thinking about upping sticks to
Europe. No, they say they are thinking of that. Not one has done
it yet. Others have made massive investments in this country. But is
it not an incentive for those making these threats to actually do it? In
Europe, bankers' pay is now mandated by Brussels. It is a vivid way of
showing you are addressing the issue of inequality. I think she will go
with it, but let's move on to Ukip. I think we will get the result
tomorrow. There are the top three candidates. Paul Nuttall, Suzanne
Evans and on my right, John Reid Evans. One of them will be the next
leader. Who is going to win? It is widely predicted to be Paul Nuttall
and is probably the outcome that the Labour Party fears most. Paul
Nuttall is a very effective communicator. He is not a household
name, far from it, but people will begin to learn more about him and
find that he is actually quite a strong leader. Can people Ukip
together again after this shambolic period since the referendum? If
anyone can, he can. And his brand of working collar, Northern Ukip is the
thing that will work for them. Do you think he is the favourite? It
would be amazing if he doesn't win. His greatest problem will be getting
Nigel Farage off his back. He is going on a speaking tour of North
America. A long speaking tour. Ukip won this EU referendum. They had the
chance to hoover up these discontented Labour voters in the
north, and all he has done is associated with Ukip with Farage.
But Nigel Farage is fed up of Ukip and will be glad to be hands of it.
The bigger problem is money. If it is Paul Nuttall, and we don't know
the results yet, but he is the favourite, if it is him, I would
suggest that that is the result Labour is frightened of most. To be
honest, I think they are frightened of Ukip whatever the result.
Possibly with good cause. The reason I qualify that is that what you call
a shambles over the summer has been something that goes beyond Monty
Python in its absurdity and madness. That calls into question whether it
can function as a political party when you have what has gone on. The
number of leaders itself has been an act of madness. In a context which
should be fantastic for them. They have won a referendum. There is a
debate about what form Brexit should take, it is a dream for them, and
they have gone bonkers. If he can turn it around, I agree that he is a
powerful media communicator, and then it is a threat to Labour. But
he has got to show that first. Indeed. The by-election in Richmond
in south-west London, called by Zac Goldsmith over Heathrow. Has it
turned out to be a by-election about Heathrow, or has it turned into a
by-election, which is what the Lib Dems wanted, about Brexit? We will
know on Thursday. If the Lib Dems win, they will turn it into an EU
referendum. It seems incredibly close now. The Lib Dems are swamping
Richmond. They had 1000 activists there yesterday. That is getting on
for 100th of the population of the place! If the Lib Dems don't manage
to win on Thursday and don't manage to turn it into an EU referendum
despite all their efforts, it will probably be a disaster for the
party. What do you hear, Isabel? I hear that the Lib Dems have
absolutely swamped the constituency, but this may backfire. I saw a bit
of this myself, living in Witney, when the Lib Dems also swamped and
people began to get fed up of their aggressive tactics. I understand
that Zac Goldsmith is cautiously optimistic that he will pull this
one off. Quick stab at the result? I don't know. But we are entering a
period when by-elections are acquiring significant again. If the
Lib Dems were to make a game, it would breathe life into that near
moribund party like nothing else. Similarly, other by-elections in
this shapeless political world we are in are going to become
significant. We don't know if we are covering it live on Thursday night
yet because we have to find at the time they are going to declare.
Richmond are quite late in declaring, but if it is in the early
hours, that is fine. If it is on breakfast television, they be not. I
want to show you this. Michael Gove was on the Andrew Marr Show this
morning. In the now notorious comment that I made, I was actually
cut off in midstream, as politicians often. The point I made was not that
all experts are that is nonsense. Expert engineers, doctors and
physicists are not wrong. But there is a subclass of experts,
particularly social scientists, who have to reflect on some of the
mistakes they have made. And the recession, which was predicted that
we would have if we voted to leave, has gone like a puff of smoke. So
economic experts, he talks about. The Chancellor has based all of his
forward predictions in this Autumn Statement on the economic expert
forecasters. The Office for Budget Responsibility has said it is 50-50,
which is the toss of a coin. But what was he supposed to do? You
would ideally have to have a Budget that had several sets of scenarios,
and that is impossible. Crystal ball territory. But you do wonder if
governments are right to do so much of their fiscal projections on the
basis of forecasts which turn out to be wrong. They have nothing else to
go on. The Treasury forecast is to be wrong. No doubt the OBR forecast
will prove not to be exact. As you say, they admitted that they are
navigating through fog at the moment. But he also added that it
was fog caused by Brexit. So Brexit, even if you accept that these
forecasts might be wrong, is causing such a level of uncertainty. He put
the figure at 60 billion. That could come to haunt him. He hasn't got a
clue. He admitted it. He said, Parliament mandates me to come up
with something, so I am going to give you a number. But I wouldn't
trust it if I were you, he basically said. I agree with you. The man who
borrowed 122 billion more off the back of a coin toss was Philip
Hammond. It begs the question, what does that say about the confidence
Philip Hammond has in his own government's renegotiation? Not a
huge amount. I agree. Philip Hammond quoted the OBR figures. He basically
said, this is uncertain and it looks bad, and on we go with it. It is a
very interesting situation, he said. He was for Remain and he works in a
department which regards it as a disaster, whatever everyone else
thinks. I have just been told we are covering the by-election. We are
part of the constitution. Jo Coburn will have more
Daily Politics tomorrow And I'll be back here on BBC One
next Sunday at 11. Remember - if it's Sunday,
it's the Sunday Politics. to signify the Africans
who were here. The story of Henry VIII
and his six wives and into the private lives
of Henry's six wives. My heart is filled with sorrow.
I am not a fool.
Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby present the latest political news, interviews and debate. They is joined by shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth MP, Liberal Democrat peer Lord Paddy Ashdown, the founder of Cobra Beer Lord Karan Bilimoria, the founder of Wetherspoons Tim Martin, and Kenneth Clarke MP. The political panel comprises Isabel Oakeshott, Tom Newton Dunn and Steve Richards.