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It's Sunday Morning, and this is the Sunday Politics.
Theresa May says she has no plans to increase tax levels,
but refuses to repeat David Cameron's 2015 manifesto
promise ruling out hikes in VAT, national insurance and income tax.
The leaders of the EU's 27 member states unanimously
agree their negotiating strategy for the upcoming Brexit talks, but
And in the last of our series of interviews ahead of Thursday's
local elections, I'll be talking to the leader of Plaid Cymru Leanne
Here in the east, will the first elected regional mayor manage
And tributes to our MPs ending their parliamentary careers.
They hit an all-time low after coalition government,
but are the Lib Dems poised to bounce back,
And with me to analyse the week's politics,
Isabel Oakeshott, Steve Richards, Tom Newton-Dunn.
They'll be tweeting using the hashtag #bbcsp.
So when Theresa May was interviewed just over an hour ago
on The Andrew Marr Show, the Prime Minister was asked
to confirm that she would repeat David Cameron's 2015 election
promise not to raise VAT, national insurance and income tax
We have absolutely no plans to increase the level of tax,
but I'm also very clear that I don't want to make specific proposals
on taxes unless I'm absolutely sure that I can deliver on those.
But it is, would be my intention as a Conservative Government
and a Conservative Prime Minister, to reduce the taxes
The Tories like to have a clear tax message in elections, are they
getting into a bit of a mess? That method wasn't clear, but does it
mean, saying they have no plans to increase the level of tax? We are
clear there will not be a rise in VAT, a lot of commentators will get
overexcited about that, but there was no great expectations there
would be a rise in VAT. Tempting as it is, because even one percentage
point on VAT rate is 4.5 billion for the exchequer so it is tempting but
there has been no speculation that would happen. We can see that she
clearly wants to reiterate the language about hard-working families
but I don't think we are that much the wiser. Even if she does not put
up rates, according to projections the overall tax burden, as a
percentage of GDP, is rising, will rise in the years ahead. That is why
it was an odd phrase, I know she is doing it to be evasive but to say
they have no plans to raise the general level of taxation, they do
have. We also know they have specific plans because it was in the
last budget, they had a tax rise which they had to revise, National
Insurance rises, so very wisely in my view they are keeping options
open, the 2015 tax-and-spend debate was a fantasy world, totally
unrelated to the demands that would follow. They now have the
flexibility, one of the arguments you had heard last time was Philip
Hammond saying to her, we have to break away from the 2015 manifesto
commitment and we can only do it this way, that is one of the better
arguments. The Tories like to talk about tax cuts in elections, whether
they do it is another matter, but they are not being allowed to talk
about tax cuts, they are now on the defensive over whether they will
raise taxes. That is not a healthy position for the campaign to be in.
If you look at the numbers, quite frankly, if you will not do this at
this election with eight 20 point lead over Labour, then when will you
take these tough decisions? Reading between the lines of what Theresa
May has said all over different broadcasters this morning, income
tax will go down for low-income families, such as the threshold rise
that microbes that was already factored in. She has had to commit
to it again. VAT will be fat, national insurance contributions
will go up. Do you think they will go up? I think so, she had plenty of
opportunity to rule it out and she didn't. There was a terrible mess
with the budget, it is a good tax argument but not a good electoral
argument that you are eroding the base so heavily with people moving
into self-employment that as you raise national insurance
contributions for everybody but the self-employed, it is something the
Treasury will have to look at. The other triple lock on pensions, we
don't know if they will keep to that either? If they are sensible they
will find a form of words to give them flexibility in that area as
well. I would say there is no question over that, that has gone.
As Mrs May would say, you will have to wait for the manifesto. That is
what all the party leaders tell me! Labour have spent the weekend
pushing their messages Speaking at a camapign rally
in London yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn promised a Labour
government would fix what he called People are fed up, fed up with not
being able to get somewhere to live, fed up waiting for hospital
appointments, fed up with 0-hours contracts, fed up with low pay, fed
up with debt, fed up with not being able to get on in their lives
because we have a system that is rigged against so many.
I've been joined from Newcastle by Labour's elections
and campaigns co-ordinator, Ian Lavery.
Good morning. To deal with this rigged economy, as Mr Corbyn calls
it, the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has a 20 point plan for
workers out today. When you add up everything he plans to do to help
workers, how much will it cost? The full costings, one thing I need to
say at the very beginning, the costings of any policy which we have
already ruled out and any policy we will be ruling out in the next few
days and weeks will be fully costed in the manifesto and in addition to
the fact that it will be fully costed, we will see it in the
manifesto how indeed it has been funded, so we are very clear,
anything we have seen already, and there are some exciting policy
releases and there will be more in the future, anything we are going to
do will be fully costed and in the manifesto. You announced a 20 point
plan but cannot tell me what the costs will be this morning so at the
moment it is a menu without prices? It is not a menu without prices, it
is a fantastic opportunity. This 20 point plan is something which will
transform the lives of millions of millions of people in the
workplace... But what is the cost? It will be welcomed by many people
across the UK. The fact the costings have not been released, you will
have to be patient, it will be released very clearly, it will
identify that in the manifesto. Let me come down to one of the points,
the end of the public sector pay freeze. Can you give us any idea how
much that will cost? The end of the public sector pay freeze, so
important to the future of the Labour Party, it is an massive
policy decision. Let me say at this stage, Theresa May, the Prime
Minister, this morning, on The Andrew Marr Show, did not have the
common decency, courtesy all respect to condone the fact that nurses, the
heroes of the NHS, have had a reduction of nearly 14% in their
wages since 2010 and are using food banks to feed themselves! Does that
not say everything that is wrong with today's society? So can you
tell me what it will cost, which is what my question was? What I will
say is everything the Labour Party pledges, everything that we come out
with, what we will roll out between now and the 8th of June, will be
fully costed, people will be very much aware of how much the costings
will be, where the funding will come from, when the manifesto is
published. What about doubling paternity leave, nu minimum wage,
four new bank holidays, any idea what it will
cost? These are exciting new proposals and of course today cost
money but we are the sixth richest economy in the world. It is about
redistribution of the wealth we create. We are seeing growth in the
economy, it is how we utilise the finances in the best way we possibly
can for a fairer society for the many and not the few. You just can't
tell me how much it will cost? That is why I will repeat again that you
need to be very patient. Do you know the cost yourself? You are the head
of the campaign, do you know the cost of these things yourself? I am
very much aware of how much the costings are likely to be, they have
been identified, they will be published in the manifesto. You
really do understand I would not be releasing today, live on your show,
any costings or predictions with regards the manifesto. Why not? You
have released the policy, why not the cost? Because there is a fine
detail and we will identify it to the general public in the manifesto.
We not only explain how much it will cost but we will explain where the
funding comes from. Be patient. Will some of the costs be met by
increasing taxes? I would think at this point in time there is not any
indication to increase basic taxes and again the taxes and spending of
the Labour Government with the proposals of the 20 point plan, the
issues we have got, housing, the NHS, crime, education will all be
identified with the costings in the publication. Can you tell us this
morning, we'll tax for most people rise or not to finance this? We in
the Labour Party are looking to a fair tax system which will be
clearly identified in the manifesto. Mr McDonnell also wants to ban all
0-hours contracts. Would that include those who actually like
those contracts? There are nearly 1 million, depending on which figured
you'd use, there are nearly 1 million people on zero-hours
contract and the vast proportion of those want to be able to live a
decent life, a secure life, they want to understand whether they will
be at work the next day, they're included hours... I understand a lot
of people don't like zero-hours contract and your proposal will
address that, but there are those, I saw one survey where 65% of people
on zero-hours contract like the flexibility it gives them. Will you
force them off zero-hours contract or if they like them will they
continue with them? We will discuss it with employee is to make sure
individuals in the workplace have the right to negotiate hours in that
workplace. Guaranteed hours is very, very important. Zero-hour contracts
are an instrument in which employers abuse and exploit mainly young
people, mainly female people in the workplace. We would be banning
zero-hour contract. But there are those, students for example, who
like them, would they be forced off zero-hour contracts in your
proposal? Our proposal would be banning zero-hour contract and
introducing contracts which have set hours in the workplace. You also say
no company will be able to bid for a public contract unless the boss
earns no more than 20 times the lowest paid, or the average wage,
I'm not quite sure which. What would happen if British Aerospace bids to
build more joint strike Fighters and the boss is paid more than 20 times?
I understand the point you raise but we have an obscene situation in this
country, Andrew, in which the bosses at the very top make an absolute
fortune... But what would happen then? Who would build joint strike
Fighters... The difference in wages between the top earners in the
country and the people in the factories, in the workshops,
producing the goods, is vast. I understand that is the reason you
want a ratio. What I am saying is, what happens if the ratio is
greater? Who gets the contract if not British Aerospace? Who else
builds the planes? We are going to introduce a wage rate CEO of one to
20. -- wage ratio. We want to close the gap between the people at the
very top and people who produce the goods. Let me try one more Time, who
would build the joint strike fighter? We would look at the issue
as it came along but the policy is clear... Can you name a single
defence contractor weather boss' salary is less than 20 times average
earnings? We are not reducing, we have rolled that out as part of this
fantastic plan to transform society to get rid of discrimination, to try
and bring together our communities. We will introduce a pay ratio of one
to 20. Fair enough, thank you very much.
It's a month after the triggering of Article 50, and EU leaders -
with the exception of Britain - met in Brussels this weekend
to agree their opening negotiating stance, to get the divorce
It is inside this psychedelic chamber where Britain's 'Grexit'
future will be decided over the next two years, but there is a vast gulf
in rhetoric coming from the UK and the EU. With parallel narratives
emerging for both sides. There is broad agreement that an orderly
withdrawal is in the interests of both sides. But Theresa May's
position is that the terms of our future trade deal should be
negotiated alongside the terms of our divorce. Meanwhile the EU says
the terms of the UK's exit must be decided before any discussion on a
future trade deal can begin. But don't forget that divorce
settlement. Don't remind me. In Brussels, many think written should
pay even more, while in the UK ministers said the divorce bill
should be capped at 3 billion. After you. Thank you.
For are you looking forward to it? Isn't that divorce bill a bit high?
Isn't this about punishing Britain? We are very united, you all seem so
surprised but it's a fact. How soon can we get a deal? We have to wait
for the elections. It was the decision of Mrs May. It took over an
hour for the leaders to make their entrances but once inside it's just
a few minutes to agree the negotiating guidelines. They set out
three main areas. The first phase of talks on the divorce settlement will
deal with the existing financial commitments to the EU, the Northern
Ireland border and the rights of EU citizens in the UK. They said a UK
trade agreement can be discussed when the first phase of talks
reaches significant progress. And that there must be unity in the
negotiations, that individual EU members won't negotiate separately
with the UK. They are quite good here at negotiating because they are
used to it. They set a maximum and then they have to recede a little
bit depending on what the other side is prepared to offer. I think there
is room for manoeuvre in some issues, but I don't think some of
the baseline things will change that much. For example I don't think the
European Union will concede on the rights of citizens who are already
in the UK. It will be very difficult for them to accept that they will
not be any exit bill, and the question of Northern Ireland is very
important as well, the hard order question. The baseline things are
not going to move that much, then you have room for manoeuvring
between. On security, defence and the fight against terrorism, the
guidelines said the EU stands ready to work together. And after lunch,
friendly signs from some EU leaders as they gave individual press
conferences. Paul and said the talks should open doors to new
opportunities and even German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had
earlier said some in Britain were deluded about Brexit, softened her
tone saying there was no conspiracy against the UK. Unity was the
buzzword at this summit and for once everybody seemed to be sticking to
the script. That unity is not only amongst the 27 states, it's also
among the institutions so many of the divisions we have seen in the
past at European level do not exist. That is very important and it's not
be unity that is directed somehow against the UK because I think we
all want this to be an orderly process and part of that is that the
EU side is unified. So although there are no surprises here, what
took place in this room was a significant step towards the real
Brexit negotiations which will begin soon after the general election in
June, said to be the most complex the UK has faced in our lifetimes.
Isabel, Steve and Tom are still with me.
Isabel, doesn't the British media have to be a bit careful here? We
would never take at face value anything a British politician tells
us. We would question it, put it in context and wonder if they are
bluffing, but we seem to take at face value anything a European
politician says about these negotiations. You only have to look
at the front page of the Sunday Times today to see that. They quoted
at length Juncker, who didn't like the food at the reception and this
and that, and I think the mood is very optimistic. The key thing is
the EU trade Commissioner has said we will get a free trade deal and a
lot of people seem to be wilfully ignoring that incredibly big
concession. That is what will happen in their view. Everything that is
said at the moment needs a slight rerun over. They are all in
negotiating positions, plus we seem to be completely unaware that they
all have their own domestic constituencies as well. Angela
Merkel has an important election coming up in September,
Euroscepticism is quite different from Britain of course, but there's
a different kind of euro scepticism in Germany, she has got to deal with
that. Of course she has, which is why you are right, nothing should be
taken too seriously out of the mouths of British politicians or
European politicians until October this year. We have got to wait for
the French elections, then German elections, and if you look through
this you can see a way forward. There's no trade talks until pay up,
but what was actually written was no trade talks until we make
significant progress on the money. You can define significant progress
in a lot of ways but come December, fireworks over the summer, we all
get very excited about it, in these chairs I'm sure, come December
things will look a lot smoother. The German elections are at the end of
September but I've seen reports in German press, depending how it goes
it could take until Christmas before a new coalition government is put
together. The Brussels long-standing negotiating tactic of nothing is
agreed until everything is agreed, then I guess the British could say
we agree a certain sum of money if that's what it takes but that
depends on them, what good trade deal we get. If we don't get that,
the sum of money is off the table. In that sense, the two are going
parallel. However, I wouldn't entirely dismiss what people are
saying in their pre-election periods to their own electorates because
they have to some extent to deliver subsequently. Of course Angela
Merkel is campaigning and electioneering, who wouldn't, she
has a tough election to fight, but she is measured and thoughtful and
when she says things like some of the British are delusional, that is
unusually strong language for her. What was she referring to? I don't
know, it wasn't specific. Have the cake and eat it perhaps the
sequencing the British don't want. When they thought the British
government was going to effectively demand membership of the single
market, that's not going to happen now. Unless you sign up to the four
pillars, that's the cake and eat it proposition, which they are right in
saying Theresa May has made. But everybody has access, even with no
deal you have access. The other side of it is I think there will be a
united position from them. And so, as somebody pointed out in that
report, they are experienced, tough negotiators, so I don't think it
will be quite as easy as some think. I spoke to one of those who drew up
Article 50 and they said to me they deliberately put this two year
timetable in to make it impossible for anybody to think about leaving.
This is really tight, this negotiation. Easy, it isn't.
This coming Thursday, voters up and down the country
will be going to the polls in this year's local elections.
Over the past few weeks I've interviewed representatives
of the Conservative Party, Labour, the Liberal Democrats,
Today it's the turn of Plaid Cymru and the SNP.
A little earlier I spoke Alex Salmond, who until 2014
I started by asking him why Scots should vote SNP in local elections
when the Scottish Government had just cut central Government funding
It's actually a funding increase going into Scottish councils this
year, and if you look at the funding position for example between
Scottish councils and those in England, which are obviously
directly related through the Barnett formula, the funding in Scotland has
been incomparably better than that in England so there's a whole range
of the -- of reasons... What's happening south of the border
indicates the protection the Scottish Parliament has been able to
put in that helps vital services in Scotland. But there hasn't been a
funding increase, the block grant from Westminster to Edinburgh was
increased by 1.5% in real terms but the grant to councils was cut by
2.6%. It was going to be a cut of 330 million, the Greens got you to
reduce it to 170 million but it is still a cut of 2.6%. Your own
Aberdeenshire Council has had a cut to 391 million. You have cut the
money to councils. Yes, but councils have available to them more
resources this year, and as you say the budget increased that further
which is why we put forward an excellent local government budget in
Aberdeenshire and resisted a Tory attempts to knock ?3 million off...
You asked me about Aberdeenshire, and Aberdeenshire has put forward a
budget for investment expansion and resisted a Tory attempts to knock ?3
million off the education budget, and I'm very grateful you have given
me the opportunity to make that point. The Government in Edinburgh
has cut the money to Aberdeenshire by ?11 million. It is a cut. But
there is an investment budget in Aberdeenshire that has been made
available by the ability to increase the council tax by 2.5% after a
nine-year freeze in Scotland, and that has brought more resources into
local government and that's why the butchered in Aberdeenshire has been
an investment budget including protection of the education budget
in the face of a Tory and liberal attempt to cut bit. You have to
compare what is happening in Scotland and England, and there's no
doubt Scottish local authorities have been much better funded than
those in England over the last few years and that's been the ability of
the Scottish Government to protect the services at local level. A good
reason for voting SNP. If they have been so well funded, why after a
decade of SNP rule do one in five Scottish pupils leave primary school
functionally illiterate? You have got to take these things... Nicola
Sturgeon has made it a top priority to address these challenges but
let's take another statistic. 93% of Scottish kids are now emerging from
school to positive destinations, that means to further education,
apprenticeships or work. Why are one in five functionally illiterate? You
argue one statistic, I'm arguing Scottish education is putting in
some substantially good performances like the 93% going on to positive
destinations. You can't have a failing education system if you have
got that 93%, and incidentally a record low youth unemployment in
Scotland without the second lowest unemployment rate in Europe. These
pupils are being prepared by the Scottish education system. Let's
take the figures in the round on education. It's so important. Under
your watch, under your government, the Scottish schools in the most
important global comparison have fallen from tenth to 19th in
science, and 11 to 24th in maths, that is a record of decline and
failure. That is by the OECD and first questions about that, but the
OECD has also described Scotland is one of the best educated societies
in the world. That was from the school system in previous years gone
by. For those who are currently in Scottish schools, you have fallen
from 11th to 24th in mathematics. The OECD was commenting on
introduction of the new curriculum for excellence in which they have
given a resounding thumbs up to it, and that's the same source as the
rankings which you are comparing. Nicola Sturgeon has said there are
challenges on Scottish education, particularly the access through the
education system and the attainment gap but don't tell me it's failing
when 55% of our pupils have gone on to higher education. That's one of
the most impressive figures in the world. Why have you cut 4000
teachers? The pupil numbers in Scotland have been falling over
recent years as well and now of course we are increasing the number
of people going through teachers training so we can make sure that
number increases, but listen, the Scottish Government and Scottish
Parliament, as you very well know, are subject to real terms spending
cuts over the last few years and all public services have been under
pressure. The main reason in terms of teacher numbers has been an
attempt on the Scottish Government to protect the teacher pupil ratio,
and that will now be enhanced by a further taker -- intake. You
promised you would reduce primary class sizes to 18 and instead they
are now 23.5 and rising. You broke that promise. You didn't mention
where we started from. We have kept the teacher pupil ratio very solid
in Scotland and that's been against a range of public expenditure cuts
but the new intake of teachers into the new teacher training in Scotland
I think will enhance the system. You have spent in the pasty in
Hollywood 43 hours on Government time debating independence. How many
hours have you debated education on Government time? I don't have that
they get a hand... The answer is zero, you have spent zero-hours
debating education on Government time. Isn't it time the SNP got back
to concentrating on the day job? Andrew, as you very well know Nicola
Sturgeon has identified a key priority, closing the attainment gap
in Scottish education. That is exactly what she has done. Let me
answer the question, it is difficult to be in a remote location, if you
talk before I answer the question then the view was will not be able
to listen. I let you answer that without saying a word. Is this
general election about independence, as you say it is, or not about
independence, as Mrs Sturgeon says it is? No, I have said exactly the
same as Nicola Sturgeon on that. The issue what independence will be
decided in a national referendum of the Scottish people. The mandate for
that referendum was gained in last year's Scottish elections. What this
election is about is backing the right of the Scottish parliament to
exercise that mandate and also providing real opposition to this
Tory Government and allowing the Scottish Parliament to reverse
austerity and some of the public expenditure cutbacks you have been
talking about, that is what this is about, backing our Scottish
Parliament. Alex Salmond, speaking
to me earlier. I'm now joined by the leader
of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood. You accuse the Government of wanting
an extreme Brexit, those are your words. What is the difference
between hard Brexit and extreme Brexit? My concern is the way in
which we leave the European Union could be very damaging to Wales if,
for example, there are tariffs introduced then that would have a
real impact in terms of Welsh jobs, and I want to make sure that we have
a Brexit that doesn't cause the damage to Wales that could be
caused. But what is the difference between extreme and hard? Anything
that puts Welsh jobs at risk is either extreme or hard and
unacceptable to Plaid Cymru, and we will do what we can to protect those
jobs. You want Wales to remain a member of the single market even if
the UK isn't, which would mean Wales having to accept the free movement
of people, still being under the jurisdiction of the European Court,
and you also want to stay in the customs union which means you could
not do your own free trade deals. What is the difference between that
and being a member of the European Union? We would be like Norway,
outside the European Union and inside the single market. The key
question is the issue of jobs and the ability to continue to trade.
Wales exports, we are the biggest exporter in the whole of the UK, so
there are many jobs reliant upon those goods being able to be sold to
the single market. Is it central to the UK? Out of the four countries
that make up the UK... Proportionally, yes. If you remain
in the single market, it is hard to see how Wales could stay in the
single market if the UK -- when the rest of the UK was not, you cite
Norway, that has free movement, it has to be said, it effectively have
to accept the jurisdiction of the European Court, it is not in the
customs union so it can do some of its own free trade deals, but the
Welsh people voted to leave. We have to accept the principle of free
movement if there is not going to be a hard border between the north and
south of Ireland. There is going to be free movement within Ireland and
therefore freedom of movement, as we said in the referendum campaign,
would be very, very difficult to rule out. You lost that campaign, as
you know, Wales voted to leave, 17 Council areas voted to leave, only
five voted to remain. Doesn't it explain why your party is going
nowhere? A majority in Wales voted to leave but you effectively want to
support that and de facto remain in the EU? I don't accept that, we
accepted the result but Plaid Cymru now is about defending Wales. There
are so many risks facing our people from the jobs perspective, the
privatisation perspective, the cuts perspective, and from the fact that
the Tories would like to grab power was back from our National Assembly,
so the key point... If you look at the Wales bill that went through
recently, the list of reserved powers there suggests there are some
powers currently within the Welsh Assembly jurisdiction that would be
dragged back. Which power was will Westminster take back? They could
take powers back over the NHS, for example. There is no indication they
want to do that. The Tories have attacked the Welsh NHS. That is my
point! Quite viciously. If they increase their mandate, I wouldn't
put it past them to try to take power was back over the NHS and then
of course we risk our NHS being privatised though this election is
all about defending Wales, protecting Welsh people from further
privatisation and cuts and a power grab from the Tories. Why is there
never a breakthrough for your party, Plaid Cymru? Labour dominated in
Wales for years, the Tories do quite well, Ukip had a surge for a while,
it looks like the Tories will have another surge, never you, always the
bridesmaid, never the bride. Wait until Thursday and I think you will
see that in many parts of Wales we will increase our representation at
a local council level. In the Rhondda, where I am assembly member,
we are looking to increase our representation... You are only 13%
in the polls will stop which is half of even the Tories in Wales! If you
don't breakthrough in the selection, if the real problem is going
nowhere, do you think you will pack it in? Robert Green not, I have a
job to do, a vision of Wales which is about building up our nation and
standing on our own two feet and my job is not done yet. Thank you for
being with us as part of your job, we will see how it goes on Thursday.
It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics.
We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now
Welcome to Sunday Politics East, I'm Amelia Reynolds.
The faces that will disappear from the green benches this election.
I really don't want to retire and do nothing.
I think I've still got challenges that I can face.
not only in the county council elections
but history will be made when the people of Cambridgeshire
and Peterborough choose their first elected mayor.
The mayor will have a multi-million pound budget and wide ranging
Although Cambridge has one of the most highly qualified work
there is still a serious skills shortage in the area.
They are the workforce of the future beginning their careers in this
These engineering students are actually apprentices.
Earning while they learn, up to ?13,000 per year.
That money has opened big doors for me, such
Some people cannot afford to run a car.
I'm currently having the time of my life.
A few of my mates and other people mentioned about
You develop and learn stuff easier if you wre a
Not everyone can just look at a whiteboard and know
While vocational courses are becoming more popular, more
apprenticeships are needed to fuel Cambridgeshire's growth.
The new mayor will have a designated budget
to create more places but obstacles still remain.
There is still an existing stigma around vocational
and apprenticeship education as opposed to more traditional,
academic routes such as A levels and university.
The reality is that the opportunities that are open to
apprentices and people who follow a vocational route are many and
By creating a new, young, skilled labour force, it's hoped
the new mayor will be able to strengthen local communities,
keeping workers close to their homes.
The College of West Anglia works alongside local businesses to
pinpoint the type of labour that is needed and demand is growing.
We have an ageing workforce and a lot
We are expecting people to come in at the ground and be able
to deliver what those people leaving at the
other end of the business are leaving with.
We are making sure that, by bringing apprenticeships
into that business, we are giving them the opportunity to
Not only themselves, but also the business.
Closing the skills gap is fundamental to the
success of businesses across Cambridgeshire.
Not only is there a shortage of skills, there is a
mismatch between the skills people have and what employers need.
Places like the College of West Anglia are key
Whoever's elected next week will have powers to
kick-start a housing boom and improve roads
What can a new mayor do for me or us?
If they want to do something for me, let him come round and canvas for my
For Wisbech especially, I think put a bit of money in.
A lot of the shops you see, when they are empty,
they turn into pound shops, charity shops.
Basically, try and promote the town because it's just
full of charity shops and building societies, property places.
This ship has come in from Latvia this morning.
As you see, we have started unloading.
Hopefully we will be finished by tomorrow
One of the companies that could benefit is
People were laid off as the recession bit.
Just one ship a month would need its cargo unloading.
That figure has now jumped, with the port turning over
A lot of the lads here are migrant workers from Eastern Europe.
If it is a hard Brexit, it might give us a pretty big
Especially on boat days where gear up threefold.
I think it would be a great idea if we
had some sort of apprenticeship scheme where we start from the
bottom, work their way into a proper job.
May the fourth will be an important day in history for the
county as it awaits its first-ever mayor.
A role that could have a very real stake in the future of
Here with me are Chloe Smith, Conservative MP for Norwich North,
and Daniel Zeichner, the Labour MP for Cambridge,
which is at the heart of the devolution deal.
Daniel Zeichner, what difference do you think the new mayor will make?
I think there are two things. Cambridgeshire got a very good deal
on housing from the governments. 500 new council homes. That is what
makes it worth having for the people in Cambridge. The lady in Wisbech as
what difference it makes to her, transport powers. We can take
control of our local bosses. If they are run by private companies, the
mayor has more control. Kevin Price, Labour candidate, promised me we
will make those powers very useful. Not everyone else has. The people in
Wisbech said there has not been a lot of engagement. Do people really
want a mayor? Do they get it? From talking to people on doorsteps, most
people don't fully understand it. It's a new concept of a new idea. I
hope whoever is elected will make it work and it is important for local
MPs like me to work with them and make it work.
Chloe Smith, the whole devolution deal wasn't a success
Well, it was a case of not being able to agree together. My personal
view is that it could have been beneficial. Some of the points
Daniel make stretch more widely across the east. Did you miss out?
Assignment to be honest, the past is the past. I think many of these
powers are things that might continue to be worked on. Norfolk, I
will talk about my own neck of the woods. The transport issues for us
are very vital. I continue to campaign around the great Eastern
mainline. More on roads. It was illed as giving
local people more say Well, before Daniel nods his head to
that, I have to say, he just said this is a good thing for Cambridge.
It is not bad to have this on offer. They batted the past, I'm not
terribly dated up what has been said around Norfolk and Suffolk about
this. The council had to make decisions, it is close to my home. I
think it is a shame that a Labour-controlled Norwich City
Council could not agree to play nicely with the others. I would like
to see these issues return to discussion in Norfolk and Suffolk
because I think there are important things hair that little bit would
you want, such as greater transport links, some of the points are and
housing and young people's jobs. Looking at the film and the skills
gap, is that something a mayor could tackle? Yes. The problem at the
moment is the skill system is in turmoil with the apprenticeship
leading. There are some worries about funding for some of the
providers. The mayor will need to get a grip on this very quickly. The
bigger point about this is looking at post-Brexit, we will need so many
people to be filling the loss of jobs. It is vital we get this done
quickly. OK, more from both of you in just a minute.
Now, it's not only the Government that
general election but many faces from parliament, too.
Former MPs who could be standing again include
Sir Bob Russell in Colchester, Brian Binley in Northampton North
But some of our most distinguished MPs
After 34 years, the political career of former Social
Hertfordshire MP Peter Lilley draws to a close.
Does my right honourable friend realise I'm standing
down after 34 years because of her?
Because I have confidence that the country will be
safe after the election under her strong and stable leadership.
Another MP standing down this time is the former deputy speaker and
member of Saffron Walden Sir Alan Hazlehurst.
Can I first of all pay tribute to my right honourable
friend for his service, not just to his constituents over
the years but his service to his house when he
took the chair as deputy speaker of this house.
Speaker Bercow called former minister and Chelmsford MP
Simon Burns to speak for the last time.
In wishing the right honourable gentlemen all the best for the
It has been a great honour to represent the people of Chelmsford
here at the House of Commons and it has been a fascinating job.
There have been highs, lows, high drama
But also, there is the looking forward to future challenges.
Northampton South MP David McIntosh has confirmed he is to go.
As is the Brentwood MP, who earned this compliment from the
Can I first of all pay tribute to my right honourable friend, my
So, after 25 years in parliament the former Communities
and Local Government Secretary is standing down.
I spoke to Sir Eric Pickles earlier this week and asked
him if he'd had to do much soul searching.
Ten days ago, I had no idea that, tonight, they would be selecting
I had decided that I had fought my last general
election and I needed to decide whether I really wanted to do
I decided that, in truth, I really didn't.
Theresa May called you her chum this week.
I was her deputy when we were in opposition.
I think she's a great person to work with
and I am really delighted in the way in which she has taken to the job of
You say you are everyone's charm, after
25 years, is it going to be the people you miss most, or what?
I am going to miss that daily cameraderie and
gossip that goes with being a Member of Parliament.
Yesterday was a very emotional day for me when Parliament
closed down and 25 years of your life is a long time,
but I hope I'll keep in touch with people.
In many ways, it is not the grandstanding, it is
I clearly did a lot of things with regards to planning.
I change the nature of housing, I reformed local governments
Is there something that is niggling you now?
Something you wish you had achieved or you had done?
I feel like I put a lot of effort into weekly collections,
I put a lot of effort into that, I put a lot of resources.
I hoped that local authorities would rise to the
occasion and I'm very pleased I live in an area that has
In some places, fortnightly and monthly collections.
It does seem to me that, unless you are prepared to provide
a weekly collection, then in some way local
Something else you have been connected to, the
Looking back on that, it was criticised,
A lot of money spent, perhaps not reaching the people it
I thought the report, if I'm being very blunt, was
premature and it seemed to me to be something to do with the sector
I'm pleased to see police and fire, and health,
and probation, and housing all working together.
It just seems to me to have been just a little
premature to make a judgment about that in a relatively small
I remain in the Prime Minister's special envoy on
That is actually quite a busy programme.
We're building a new learning centre.
I'm involved in getting goods and treasures back from the Nazis.
I'm involved in spreading Holocaust education.
I've been involved in anti-racist activities just about as
long as I've been a member of the Conservative Party, and I'm looking
forward to devoting an enormous amount of time to doing that.
Sir Eric Pickles, thank you very much.
And we're going to lose a lot more faces.
No denying Labour are going into this election on the back foot.
I'm not so sure about that. That is what pundits say, but not what it
seems to be out on the street. You have seen people can misread the
mood and I think it will be an interesting five or six weeks. This
is a long campaign. Chloe Smith, when I was talking
to Eric Pickles this week, his advice for fellow
Conservatives was, Is that good advice? It is always
good advice. Like many others across this region, high-value talking to
my constituents as well. Daniel's part of Jeremy Corbyn's team and
what we see nationally from that team is chaos and confusion. This is
a large long and stable leadership at this election.
No, this is about getting the best deal for Britain.
But Theresa May kept saying she didn't want a general election.
Well, we are now in that two-year period of negotiation for a good
Brexit deal and this is about having a leader that can get a good deal.
That will make a difference in fact towns, cities and counties across
the east. We need the strength behind that leader to go and do
that. Daniel Zeichner, five weeks to go
and, locally, you haven't got They will all be in place. Don't we
about that. That is not an issue. It is the repeated narrow mantra that
is the problem being repeated by the Conservatives. You need something
more subtle and sophisticated than just shouting to negotiate with
Europe. Do you remember who won the war that John Major fought over
beef? No, of course you don't. You need to look at the Plantier Starmer
set out. That will get a good deal for Britain. -- Kier Starmer.
Chloe Smith, Labour have already come up with plans
Support for small businesses in this region.
We haven't heard what policies are there for this
I think this is Labour's seven different plans now. That is a
measure of chaos and not a confident approach. You are not seeing a kind
of unity that people want. You are seeing a coalition of that. What
about this region? What are your policies? To reason may has been
talking this morning about a better deal for workers in relation to
pensions. -- Theresa May. You will see those plans in the manifesto and
I'm sure we will come back and at once they are published. The other
things that are important are things like transport links. If we can
continue to have a strong economy and locking the growth that has been
achieved their eye having a strong leader that will also go to Europe
to get a good deal, then we can make a great deal of progress on those
things for our region as well. Daniel Zeichner, realistically,
what's the future looking I'm not denying, and the moment, it
looks challenging. We have been here before. As people think hard about
what their future life will be, they see petrol prices going up, prices
rising in the shops, the health service under pressure and schools
sending out begging letters. We are a rich country, we can do so much
better than that. I had to stop you there.
Time now for our 60 second political round up of the week,
and Guess who's impressed with Essex man?
Deborah McGurran has the answer and more.
Clacton once again at the middle of a political storm
Arron Banks turned up with a plan to fight the seat but, within hours,
What I said the meeting was that Clacton is
I will be financially supporting them whatever,
The Conservative Euro MP Vicky Ford has been chosen to fight Chelmsford,
following Sir Simon Burns' stepping down.
The Liberal Democrats have Cambridge very firmly in their
sights as leader Tim Farron turned up in the most marginal seat
The opportunity of the British people and people in
Cambridge is to change the direction of the country.
Kettering MP Philip Hollobone will benefit from a
Ukip pact not to field candidates against the pro-Brexit Tories.
Ukip have also pledged not to stand against Peterborough's
I don't think there will be very many instances of us standing
And Jeremy Corbyn, on a visit to Harlow,
I love Essex men and love Essex women, and I love Essex.
In all honesty, I don't really care much for Ukip during this election.
It is a question about Ukip candidates and what they want.
Voters need to know what they want and I think that you would have just
urge people to vote Conservative in the local general elections.
Daniel Zeichner, do you support collaberations on the left
Is that a good idea? I think you just trust voters to make the right
choices. You cannot use them as pawns on a chessboard. The Ukip
party has been captured by hardline Brexiteers and people need to know
what that will mean for the future. It is the Conservative Party that is
ironically more split many Labour Party.
It need not go that way. It is about the national interest, getting a
good deal from Europe and only trees reason may can deliver that. The
rest is potentially a coalition of chaos about what you want. --
Theresa May. Will people come vote, Daniel Zeichner? There was a lot of
fatigue around elections. Do you trust a woman who tells you that
there will not be a general election then completely, complete the
promise? Do you listen to that? No. Then why listen to anything else she
says? Will voter fatigue be an issue? Welcome myself, I want to
talk to people out on the doorsteps, I enjoy that. That is what politics
is all about. It is about working hard for your constituents and
getting the best deal. Rather than packed and tactical voting? I agree
with that. Thank you, both of you. We'll be back next week
after the county councils elections and the results from
that mayoral contest Hope you can join us
for all the analysis on the results. actually give us a blank cheque and
we will take the mandate that we want. To all three of you, thank
you. Andrew, back to you. So, how will Thursday's local
election results affect Who's winning the
election ground war? And as he celebrates 100
days in the White House, We have the local elections, Metro
elections in Liverpool, greater Birmingham, West Midlands, how will
they play into the general election? Significantly, it is very unusual.
People keep comparing this with the election in 83, not! Margaret
Thatcher was nervous and to wait until after the local elections to
call the election to see the result. We are getting these result in the
middle of an election campaign so it will be important, whoever does
badly will suffer a dent in confidence in terms of how they
approach the election and we are also going to have mayoral figures
as a reminder of another big difference with the 80s that however
big, say, the Conservatives win in Westminster, there are now sectors
of power in other parts of the United Kingdom which were not there
in the 80s. One of the reasons niches that are rated in 83 was
memories were still alive in political circles of 1970, Wilson
saw the local election results and thought, I can win, he was told he
would win by the Economist magazine, who had done the analysis, and of
course he lost, so that is why she waited, Mrs May does not need to
wait for that at all now, and on the Metro elections, the one she will be
looking at is the West Midlands, that is the one that is a
competition. I think she can really lose on Thursday in the local
elections, governing parties are supposed to take effect again,
losing lots of council seats. She is projected to put on 100 or so seats,
Labour projected to lose around 200, the first time the main opposition
party has shed seats since something like 83 so clearly the local
elections give Mrs May great momentum going into the general
election campaign but there is a downside in that, which is what we
have already heard fighting about this morning, if it looks like it is
going too well for the Tories, it says to voters, why bother turning
up? Sushi comes up with totally unbelievable sound bites this
morning that this is the most important general election in her
lifetime. Really?! For her it is! It always is until the next one! I
wonder if voter turnout is a problem? Tory voters are more likely
to vote than Labour voters. If there is a sense that it is all over bar
the shouting, the overall turnout will be low that Tory voters are
still likely to turn out more than Labour voters so she would still win
some. I don't think she needs to be too worried, I think there will be a
significantly low turnout, even I am finding it hard to be that excited
about this general election. Really, the policies, we have spent a lot of
time talking about them today and we have to examine them, but all this
is about is, do you want Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn in Number Ten?
Those are the only question is, apart from possibly how strong do
you feel about Brexit, that will be on the voters' minds. You may say
that but I will not be put off from going through a list of policies
that we have already had in the last 24 hours. On the Conservatives, more
powers to stop company bosses under pensions, of course Philip Green was
in mind there. Labour has come up with quite a few policies, actually,
give all work of equal rights, whether part-time or full-time,
temporary or permanent. Ukip, scrap VAT or takeaway -- on takeaway food
and end the BBC licence fee. The Liberal Democrats have come out
posed to the runway at Heathrow. I thought I knew that already? Will
any of these policies make a difference? They are all nice handy
things that people quite liked but probably not, is the answer. They
are an awful way away from polling day now for people to remember and
latch onto. I don't think you make your mind up on small issues like
Heathrow, unless you live in Richmond-upon-Thames, maybe, but the
problem Labour have got with unfailing a lot of these retail type
policies which, in themselves, are very popular, is no one will listen
to them until they get over the leadership credibility issue. Jeremy
Corbyn could the world on a stick, but if no one believes he can
deliver it then he will not be listened to and he has not done much
apart from a speech yesterday in which is claim to fame was getting
arrested, I don't see how that would work for him getting to Number Ten.
They are not making progress on it. Labour has rolled out a number of
policies which, taken individually, would have certain traction in
normal times, quite interesting ideas, this sense of unfairness, a
feeling that ordinary workers have not done well out of the recovery,
those who caused the crash have, 20 points, I went through some of them
earlier, putting aside they are not costed, we are assured they will be.
The problem I suggest is not the costing but the cut through? Every
election has a context which is determined by opinion polls, however
sceptical we are these days, and if one party is way ahead it is
difficult for the other party to appear relevant, because if people
assume they are not going to win, even some of its own MPs are saying,
we are not going to win this, so you can vote for us, it is very hard to
get attention and relevance. Where I think all the parties are bad with
their current leaders is framing arguments, so those policies you
have highlighted makes sense. The best leaders are brilliant framers
of an argument and neither Theresa Maynor Jeremy Corbyn R. They have
been campaigning, their manifestos are not out yet, both sides have
been telling us we have to wait for costings, but it has not stopped
them campaigning. Let's remind you of where they have been and what
they have been doing so far. Let's start with Jeremy Corbyn, his
first official visit was in the ultra-marginal Conservative seat of
Croydon Central where the MP Gavin Barwell has a lead of just 165. That
is not the only Conservative seat he has visited, along the way he popped
in on Bristol North West, a Conservative majority of nearly
5000. The Tory seat of Cardiff North, a lead of just over 2000,
Warrington South, just over 2700, and Crewe and Nantwich, Tory
majority of three and a half thousand. Yesterday he visited
Bethnal greed and Bob, a Labour lead of 20 4000. Theresa May kicked off
her campaign in Bolton, Labour majority of over 4000. On her way
round the UK she had a comfy stop in her own maidenhead seat, where she
is defending a majority of nearly 30,000, before travelling to other
Labour marginals including Dudley North, a Labour lead of 4000.
Bridgend, a lead of just under 2004 Labour, before becoming ambitious
and visiting shadow minister Richard Bergen's Leeds East seat, which he
won by over 12,500 votes. Yesterday she went north of the border to
Aberdeenshire, where amongst other places she visited the SNP seat of
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, where the Tories would have to gain
over 7000 votes to unseat the NP. What do you make of it all so far?
It is remarkable she is doing these visits in Scotland. Past but even
five years and the idea of a Tory Prime Minister going round Scotland
would be utterly counter-productive, and actually they are ambitious for
Scotland now under with Davidson, a prospect of multiple seats, and that
would be a real genuine shift in Scottish politics, the likes of
which we have not seen for 15 or 20 years. If she gets that, that helps
towards 100 seats, because if she wins ten in Scotland, it is
effectively 20, the SNP lose ten, she gains ten, she wants to do that
in the Midlands with Labour, and the North. To get the 100 majority,
other than Scotland, she has to win Labour seats, that is all that is
there. And clearly she has been told, it is obvious, that she has a
chance of doing so, otherwise you don't go to these parts of the
country in the first few days of the campaign. All logic points to her
being able to pull it off as well. The opinion polls, the state of the
Labour Party. The only qualification I have in this is that politics is
so wild and free Braille at the moment, it doesn't feel like
landslide to rain. That is true, it doesn't. It is early days, we
haven't yet had the manifestos, the campaign is yet to gather momentum.
It doesn't feel like landslide territory. I disagree, look at every
single poll, the Tory lead is 10% in Wales, you can see her picking up 20
seat there. Put this together, I am told by the way she is going into
traditional Labour heartland again tomorrow, the key is the Ukip vote.
That will implode... Crumble towards Tories? If she can hoover that up
and retain the Tory vote, she will have a majority of 150.
I cannot let you go without reminding you that it is Donald
Trump's 100 days. He's not making a lot of it now, this is what he said
last night. We are just beginning in our fight
to make America great again. Now, before we talk about my first
100 days, which has been very exciting and very productive,
let's rate the media's 100 days. Because, as you know,
they are a disgrace. There you go, still bashing the
media, that was at a rally in Virginia, the 100 days was last
night. He seems happier campaigning than running the country. You each
have 20 seconds to give me your board on the first 100 days.
Remarkable, he will not stop slagging off the media but America
first has not meant America first in terms of national policy, he has
reneges on what he said about Nato being obsolete. He is moving from
the old right to the centre because that is where you get things done,
he is a pragmatist, also is about's friend Nigel Parrott is no longer
welcome, we read this morning! Allegedly! He loves campaigning but
finds governing much more difficult. Who would have thought being
president of the United States was a difficult job?! He loves rallies but
being president and politics is a very difficult thing indeed. Thank
you, there we go, Mr Trump's 100 days, we will see what the next 100
brings. The Daily Politics is back
on BBC Two after the bank holiday on Tuesday at midday,
with all the latest And I'll be back here
on BBC One next Sunday Remember - if it's Sunday,
it's the Sunday Politics. The East End girl who became the
nation's favourite. We don't know what it is,
but she definitely has... Something. From stage to screen
and into our hearts. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
Ooh, in't she wonderful? If you're not careful, you'll end up
playing this sexy little blonde