18/11/2012 Sunday Politics East


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Labour seizes Corby, the Tories get a drubbing, and the Lib Dems lose


their deposit. And now our Police and Crime Commissioners are elected,


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2382 seconds


just how will they change the Hello, and welcome to Sunday


Politics East, I'm Etholle George. Later, Labour regains Corby, with a


swing of almost 13%. We have stood as a one-inch a candidate for in


one nation Labour Party. -- in one nation candidate for in one nation


Labour Party. And the region's Police and Crime Commissioners'


plans for their forces. But first, let me introduce our guests of the


week, Richard Bacon, Conservative MP for South Norfolk, Simon Wright


the Liberal Democrat MP for Norwich South, and Steve Morphew, Norwich


Labour Party president. Let's start with our soundbite of the week, now


a jury has decided that former Luton MP Margaret Moran falsely


claimed �53,000 in expenses. This is what she had to say at the time.


I do not want my constituents to think there is something dodgy,


there was not. I say that hand on heart. I would not. I am trying to


do a good job for my constituents and to give 110%.


Has justice been done, others went to jail? Margaret Moran is a shadow


of the person she was, she is a broken woman. Her health has


probably suffered, she has a reputation in tatters she won never


recover from. On the just decide come up when Ron Dearing has been


done, it should be identified and brought out -- wrong doing. One of


the reasons I am other MPs came in was because of the disillusionment


that there was with the political system because of the degree of


scandals associated with expenses. What is so important now is that


those of us in government today do what we can to clean up the system.


Does it seem fair that stress brought on by the subject being


involved in investigation means they do not pay the penalty? That


is difficult because what is most important is that wrong doing it


comes to surface, and help you punish people is separate. But it


cannot go on acknowledged and she will have to pay a price. Does this


draw a line under this sorry business of expenses? The decision


over whether someone is fit to stand trial or not is not something


politicians should interfere with. We have over 200 new MPs since the


last election and in much more open approach to expenses. Not as open


as I would like, and would like there to be instant publication of


expenses, so there is still more to do. -- I would like.


Now to Labour's romp home in the Corby by-election. Andy Sawford,


won a majority of almost 7,800, with a huge 12.7% swing to Labour


in the bell-weather seed. -- seat. The results also put a smile on the


faces of UKIP supporters in the town. But was this just a flash in


the pan, or is there something more profound in this result? Here is


Andrew Sinclair. It is easy to dismiss Corby as just


another by-election result that has not really matter. Parties do


always lose ground. But Corby was always going to be different. The


industrial town and the rolling countryside Borrie microcosm of the


whole country. Politicians believe that what people think here


reflects what everybody is thinking. The economy is important to me.


Corby needs a real boost. There are hardly any jobs, the foreigners are


getting them. Immigration is a big issue in this town. Jobs and the


economy were the main issues. The Tories spoke about the falling


unemployment figures and growth in investment as a sign of things were


turning a corner, voters did not agree. Labour talked about creating


jobs and focused on public services, the switching off of street lights


and the threat to the local hospital. They do not think the


Government is listening gone public services and they think they're a


major threat to Kettering General Hospital and they want a government


to build public services and a river for everybody. Immigration


was a serious concern. UKIP has said no other parties were


listening, one reason why it did so well. Eastern European immigration


has a massive knock-on effect to so many things and that is what people


wanted to talk about. It affects the NHS, housing, jobs, and


schooling. So if PPCs does reflect what the country is thinking,


should politicians do more than dismiss results? -- so with Corby.


A constituency that so dramatically throughout labour two years ago


seems now willing to give the party another chance, is this mid-term


blues or the start of something bigger?


Just a few minutes ago, I spoke to Andy Sawford and asked him why he


believes he won in Corby. Can I start by saying how proud I am that


people across Corby put their trust in me? We won because we worked


hard across the constituency to rebuild trust from the voters, and


refocused on their priorities. We had a big listening exercise and


people want action on the economy. They feel let down by David Cameron.


Two years ago, a lot of people who voted for me this week just to


David Cameron and they feel let down, so this is a big moment for


Labour and it shows we are reconnecting with voters. We have


heard what people had to say and they said there are problems that


need addressing locally, youth unemployment, the issue of


regeneration, how will you deliver? What I have said about unemployment


is that fighting for jobs here is my top priority, particularly for


young people, so I will call for alternative economic policies in


Parliament and I will say we should have a tax on bonuses for bankers


and a guarantee for younger people and jobs. I will work hard locally


with businesses, the council and other organisations to make sure we


match the skills young people have all with good jobs becoming


available to do everything we can to support local businesses to grow


and create jobs. Concerns over immigration have surfaced during


this campaign, how will you address those? One of the big issues in


Corby in particular and across this constituency of the number of


agency workers there are recruited from overseas on local people do


not feel they have had a fair chance to find work and apply for a


job. So I have promised to try to stop agencies just recruiting from


overseas. I think that is wrong. And joining us now is Professor


Paul Whiteley, from the Department of Government at the University of


Essex. The first by-election win for 15 years, do you think it is


the beginning of the end for David Cameron?


Obviously, Labour is going to be very cheerful about this and I


think there was an element of punishing the Conservatives over


the withdrawal of Louise Mensch, that was so quick. The present


economic climate is one of the key factors driving first and unless we


see more prosperity and growth, I think Labour will continue to take


places in by-elections -- driving first.


Is there anything about Corby intrinsically that makes it such an


important seat? It is not exactly a marginal, but


it is close and that is why it is interesting politically in


elections. Seats like that swing towards the party that is likely to


be most successful in the long-run. You can make too much of by-


elections because there are sometimes spectacular swings and


this can disappear in a general election, but it is a sign of the


times. What about the position of UKIP and the Liberal Democrats been


beaten into 4th place? elections for the PCCs has been


terrible for the Lib Dems and UKIP is snapping at the heels of the


Conservatives and this will affect the politics of the next couple of


years, especially in the context where there are a majority of


people who would leave the European Union if we had a referendum. This


has changed in comparison with 10 years ago. So this will be quite an


issue. Richard Bacon, this was a terrible result for you, the people


of Corby feel let down by the Conservatives.


It is a by-election and you can make too much of them. It is an


interesting result and we have to take notice but it is common for


party's mid-term to lose by- elections and we had the factor of


Louise Mensch. But she lost by a great deal, should we not read


something into that? -- but you lost. The swing to Labour was less


than in the crew and Norwich by- election. It is commonplace for


governments taking tough decisions to lose elections. We are doing


this because we were left in such a mess by it the Labour Party.


Simon, it was a shocking result for the Lib Dems and it's not the only


recent by-election, UKIP are overtaking you in the polls. It was


a bad result but a Liberal-Democrat candidate has been working hard in


Corby. The experience of party is not in the front running for a by-


election is that you get squeezed out. UKIP did exceptionally well


because there was a factor of Europe that emerged. But you also


need to look at the fact that Labour hammered away to get the


biggest result here. There was another factor with Corby, the


media were talking this up as a constituency where you can draw the


mood of the nation, so it was important for Labour to get the


best result. In that context, somebody is going to be squeezed


out. But she came 4th! Nobody was saying that we were in the running


for running it, we were always going to get squeezed out by the


bigger organisations. Steve, why did you lose Corby in


the first place? Because we lost the confidence of the country and


we are starting to regain the confidence and that was a good


indication. When you have been in politics for a while, you know when


the wind has changed. It looks as though the wind is blowing our way,


I knew when it was against us before and I know it is for us now.


Professor, do you believe -- Was this a vote for Labour, or a


vote against the Conservatives? big issue is the economy and of the


coalition can show this is improving, they may be able to


repeat the exercise of Barack Obama we do this successfully in the


presidential elections. If this continues to flop line, the


coalition are likely to lose the election -- flat line. This must be


a big worry for the Conservatives. The economy will play a big factor


in whether we are returned and there have been signs of economic


groves with nearly 1 million jobs created in the last two years.


Richard, you've got a lot of work to do to win over people before the


next election, and there is still 80% of the cuts to come.


government has to live within its means and cannot spend money it


does not have. The know at the last government left said, sorry, --


sorry, there is no money. -- note. People understand that the


government has to live within its own means.


Now to our other elections this week - for the new role of Police


and Crime Commissioners. You can see from the map that all our


forces have Conservative Commissioners, except for one


Independent in Norfolk and one Labour Commissioner in Bedfordshire.


Average turnout here was 15%. But 85 out of 100 of you decided not to


vote at all. And in several of our counties, almost 3% of ballot


papers were spoiled, many of those defaced by people criticising the


elections. Despite this, those elected have high hopes of success.


Have six Alexei Commissioner with the lowest mandate in the country.


-- Essex collapse a Commissioner. This is what the government does


and money will be tight, but if we are to get everybody pulling


together, their real opportunities. Labour go ahead in Suffolk but it


is a Tory win. Most important is to get the police plan ready for


public scrutiny. The only Labour police and crime Commission that


wins in Bedfordshire in the east. The turnout has been disappointing


and it has been because of the timing, people are not sufficiently


informed about it, and because of the obstacles the government chose


to put in the way of allowing the parties and the candidates to


inform people about the elections. Thames Valley Alexis for a


Conservative Commissioner up on the second ballot -- it lacks. As long


as you sit on top, you will reduce crime. You need to put resources


where they are required and make sure the officers are in the right


place, and you drive up performance. Northamptonshire, which also had a


by-election, had the highest regional turnout. I am promising a


voice so there is a leader of the criminal justice system for the


first time, there is a directly the leader -- directly elected leader,


and people in the middle who have never been victims up but no police


will turn up. A former MP wins for Cambridgeshire on the second ballot.


We have to put together the whole operation, it is new. I intend to


set up office away from the police headquarters to show my neutrality.


That is going to be a task, and I have to look at the staff that we


have and do some reorganisation. Hertfordshire's turnout was 14.5%,


just below the average in the east. It is important to shake up crime


reduction, working together with partnerships to make sure the safe


place is an even safer place to live and work and I am looking


forward to that. The only Independent is the elected in


Norfolk. I am going to see places in Suffolk and see if they will


carry on collaboration. This was the former Tory chairman of the


police authority. Steve Morphew, you, of course, were


standing as the Labour candidate in Norfolk. In the build-up to this


election, it emerged you failed to declare an interest in a charity


which was awarded �36,000 by a cabinet committee, of which you


were chairman. You issued a statement saying you had done


nothing wrong, but this is your first opportunity to give your side


of the story. It is an allegation that it


happened and I have disputed it and I have asked the council to


investigate because it is serious. But most people are surprised it


emerged at the time and in the way it did, but I am treating it


seriously. You are concerned about the recording of minutes of


meetings where apparently you wanted to make it plane it you


declared an interest, it yes? Having been on the Council for 15


years and declared an interest on numerous occasions, I could not


conceive by had not declared an interest, but I want to make sure


that is the case. Did you check the minutes? The meeting was in March


and I left the council immediately afterwards. The next meeting was in


June and I have not seen a copy of the minutes, the first time I saw


them was a couple of minutes ago. Professor Broadening it out, the


lowest turnout in a national election, does this damage


democracy? The electoral system helped 12 people who are


Independent to be elected. If it had been first past the post, the


Conservatives would have won in Norfolk and Labour would have won


in Suffolk. So the system made a difference. But the striking thing


about this is the terrible turnout. Frankly, the government promoted


this, I think it is a good idea, but they did not sell it and they


should have done. The public had no desire for this


post, demonstrated by the turnout and the thousands of defaced ballot


papers, why have the Conservatives pushed this policy? The government


did not promote it as well as it should have done, and there was a


clear sense on the part of some people who spoiled their ballot


papers that this was an overt attempt to politicise the police. I


think that was not correct, but there was a big concern about that


and the fact that so many Independents was elected was also


because of a sense that there were some Independents people of good


character with experience who deserved a chance.


An in-depth investigation into the dire voter turnout is being


launched by the Electoral Commission, isn't this a blot on


the government which you are part of? It is disappointing we did not


see a higher turnout. It was introduced as part of the coalition


agreement and it is only right that the Liberal Democrats support that,


but we were not very enthusiastic about this proposal. But we do


support greater accountability and transparency in the police, but


this system does not appear to have caught the imagination of the


public. You must have believed in the role,


isn't it a good thing to have democratically elected


commissioners? I did not support a role, I supported the importance of


police and crime reduction and I have always said it was the issues


I was standing for and I opposed the creation of the role because of


the politicisation. The Elf -- the overwhelming majority of the


country have rejected a flagship government policy it in a way that


is dangerous for democracy because people are actively excluding


themselves from the democratic process. Everybody has to listen,


the government, the media, and the public need to look at how we


tackle this to make sure this does not happen again. This is bad news


for the country. Do you think it will improve policing? Home Office


did a survey asking about the existing arrangements for political


control and nobody had heard about the police authorities. That is


unlikely to happen in this case. Some of these people will become


prominent and so it will be good. think there is a good chance it


will, it will take some time to gain public confidence, but there


is a chance it will succeed. It has the potential to, but the new PCCs


have to prove themselves and if they do, they will see a higher


turnout. Asked the right questions, came up with the wrong answers,


they need to review it. In time, we will see what the


outcome will be. And we've just got time to see what has come to light


this week, in Deborah McGurran's political roundup, all in 60


seconds. This MP voted against Labour's


calls to cut fuel duty. I would not support them if I was not confident


the government were going to listen. The Tories' campaign manager was


forced to apologise for appearing to encourage a rival candidate in


the Corby by-election. He has been guilty of Scilly back in. This man


will not be charged for his spending while he ran Essex county


council after it was revealed he but more than a quarter of a


million pounds on his credit card. I went to London mostly by train.


Were well opening Peterborough's new station, the Transport Minister


let this slept. It has improved in at the time since I came, because


the entrance was very dark. And in the jungle, Nadine diaries revealed


her metal. -- Dorries. That's all we've got time for.


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