11/03/2018 Sunday Politics London


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS


11/03/2018

Sarah Smith and Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include Jack Straw, Sam Gyimah and Baroness Neville-Jones.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 11/03/2018. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Morning, everyone.

0:00:370:00:38

I'm Sarah Smith and this

is the Sunday Politics.

0:00:380:00:41

I'll be bringing you up to speed

on all the political

0:00:410:00:44

comings and goings in

Westminster and beyond.

0:00:440:00:46

Coming up in today's programme.

0:00:460:00:49

As the investigation into the nerve

agent attack in Salisbury continues,

0:00:490:00:52

we'll be taking to the former

Home Secretary Jack Straw

0:00:520:00:55

and former Security Minister,

Pauline Neville Jones.

0:00:550:00:59

Is there room for more spending?

0:00:590:01:00

Ahead of his spring statement this

week, the Chancellor Philip Hammond

0:01:000:01:03

has hinted austerity could be over

as he said there was "light

0:01:030:01:06

at the end of the tunnel".

0:01:060:01:14

We join the Universities minister

Sam Gyimah on what's jokingly been

0:01:140:01:16

called a "punishment

tour" of the country -

0:01:160:01:18

trying to attract students

to the Conservative Party.

0:01:180:01:23

Most of my friends always slander

the Conservative name saying it's

0:01:230:01:26

only for middle aged men who want to

benefit from themselves.

At first I

0:01:260:01:30

was like, I'm not going to say it.

One of my flatmates was like, if you

0:01:300:01:35

are not Labour, don't talk to me and

I was like OK.

0:01:350:01:38

In London, the Liberal Democrat

leader Vince Cable tells us why he's

0:01:380:01:41

confident the party can make gains

in May's local elections.

0:01:410:01:47

All that coming up in the programme.

0:01:530:01:55

And as usual we've got three

Westminster insiders who will take

0:01:550:01:58

us behind the headlines and tell us

what's really going on.

0:01:580:02:00

Today I'm joined by Tom Newton Dunn,

Dia Chakravarty and George Eaton.

0:02:000:02:04

The unfolding events over the past

week in the cathedral city

0:02:040:02:07

of Salisbury could have been taken

straight from the pages

0:02:070:02:09

of a spy thriller.

0:02:090:02:11

The poisoning of a Russian former

double agent who had passed secrets

0:02:110:02:13

to Britain and moved to Salisbury

after a 2010 spy swap, involved

0:02:130:02:17

the use of a sinister nerve agent.

0:02:170:02:20

It has shocked the country

with the finger of suspicion

0:02:200:02:23

pointing firmly at Moscow.

0:02:230:02:30

The big story of the week started

in Salisbury after a former

0:02:300:02:34

Russian double agent,

Sergei Skripal, and his daughter

0:02:340:02:36

Yulia and the policeman who went

to their aid all mysteriously fell

0:02:360:02:39

ill because an as yet

unidentified nerve agent.

0:02:390:02:47

12 years ago, Alexander Litvinenko

was killed by polonium 210.

0:02:470:02:51

Was this more Russian foul play?

0:02:510:02:55

Boris Johnson was quick

to retaliate, saying there could be

0:02:550:02:58

implications for this summer's

World Cup in Russia.

0:02:580:03:01

I think it will be very difficult

to imagine that UK representation

0:03:010:03:06

in that event could go ahead

in the normal way.

0:03:060:03:09

Did he mean the England team?

0:03:090:03:11

The Prime Minister explained.

0:03:110:03:13

The point the Foreign Secretary

was making yesterday was that,

0:03:130:03:16

depending on what comes out

in relation to the investigation

0:03:160:03:18

into the attack on the two

individuals that took place

0:03:180:03:22

in Salisbury, that it might be

appropriate for the government

0:03:220:03:25

to look at whether ministers

and other dignitaries should attend

0:03:250:03:29

the World Cup in Russia.

0:03:290:03:32

Russian state TV mocked the Foreign

Secretary for his comments,

0:03:320:03:35

but the government's

firm language persisted.

0:03:350:03:39

The use of a nerve agent on UK soil

is a brazen and reckless act.

0:03:390:03:45

This was attempted murder

in the most cruel and public way.

0:03:450:03:52

We still can't get through a week

without mentioning the B word

0:03:520:03:55

as the Chancellor delivered

the latest big Brexit speech.

0:03:550:03:58

He's determined to get

a good deal for the city.

0:03:580:04:01

We still can't get through a week

without mentioning the B word

0:04:010:04:05

So I'm clear not only

that it is possible to include

0:04:050:04:08

financial services within a trade

deal, but that it is very much

0:04:080:04:11

in our mutual interest to do so.

0:04:110:04:12

Perhaps unsurprisingly

the EU disagreed.

0:04:120:04:14

Also when it comes to financial

services, life will be

0:04:140:04:17

different after Brexit.

0:04:170:04:21

The EU had other things to worry

about, though, as Donald Trump put

0:04:210:04:25

forward his highly controversial

plan to make American steel

0:04:250:04:28

and aluminium great again.

0:04:280:04:31

Surrounded by metal workers,

the President signed proclamations

0:04:310:04:34

to impose a 25% tariff on steel

and a 10% tariff on aluminium

0:04:340:04:39

imports into the US.

0:04:390:04:42

The European Union has not treated

us well and it's been a very,

0:04:420:04:46

very unfair trade situation.

0:04:460:04:49

Claims of Parliamentary bullying

and sexual harassment hit

0:04:490:04:52

the headlines with some

of the allegations going

0:04:520:04:54

all the way to the top.

0:04:540:04:56

Back in 2010, a woman called

Kate Emms took up the position

0:04:560:05:00

as John Bercow's private secretary.

0:05:000:05:03

But she stood down from that post

after less than a year.

0:05:030:05:07

Her colleagues told Newsnight

that this is because Mr Bercow's

0:05:070:05:10

bullying left her unable to continue

in that job.

0:05:100:05:14

Theresa May enthusiastically

welcomed Saudi royalty

0:05:140:05:16

to Downing Street this week.

0:05:160:05:19

Mohammed bin Salman was even treated

to lunch at the Palace.

0:05:190:05:24

Billboards sprung up extolling

in the crown prince's virtues.

0:05:240:05:31

Supporters of the man

they call Mr Everything say

0:05:310:05:33

he is a great reformer.

0:05:330:05:34

But protests surrounding UK arms

sales were also highly visible

0:05:340:05:37

and with Saudi's intervention

in Yemen ongoing, the visit

0:05:370:05:39

angered Jeremy Corbyn.

0:05:390:05:40

British arms sales have sharply

increased and British military

0:05:400:05:44

advisers are directing the war.

0:05:440:05:47

It cannot be right

that her government...

0:05:470:05:51

Mr Speaker, it cannot be right

that her government is colluding

0:05:510:05:55

in what the United Nations says

is evidence of war crimes.

0:05:550:06:01

Clearly riled, Theresa May

got her own back, calling

0:06:010:06:04

Jeremy Corbyn out on the eve

of International Women's Day.

0:06:040:06:08

Can I thank the Right

Honourable Gentleman

0:06:080:06:10

for telling me that it is

International Women's Day tomorrow.

0:06:100:06:13

LAUGHTER.

0:06:130:06:16

I think that's what's

called "mansplaining".

0:06:160:06:24

Tom, Dia and George

were watching that with me.

0:06:240:06:32

Now some insight and analysis into

what's going on behind the

0:06:350:06:36

headlines. The big story of the week

is obviously the poisoning of Sergei

0:06:360:06:41

Skripal and whether or not Russia

was involved. A lot of people have

0:06:410:06:44

been quick to assume that President

Putin sanctioned this and it's a

0:06:440:06:49

Russian state operation but can we

be sure of that?

Reasonably sure,

0:06:490:06:53

yes, clearly there is no physical

proof to produce at the moment. I

0:06:530:06:56

think by the end of last week the

government were in no doubt that

0:06:560:07:01

this was ordered by the Russian

state and in particular Vladimir

0:07:010:07:05

Putin, who, under Russian state

rules, has to sign of all foreign

0:07:050:07:10

assassinations personally since rule

change in 2006. The reason I think

0:07:100:07:14

they are almost certain about this

is quite frankly no one else has a

0:07:140:07:18

motive to do that. Who would want to

do a better job in spite of analogy

0:07:180:07:23

on an old colonel living quietly in

Salisbury? Not the people have the

0:07:230:07:30

modes of delivery to do this, to

pass a nerve agent, chemical

0:07:300:07:34

weapons, on Britain's streets.

Thirdly, this will be the killer,

0:07:340:07:39

the scientific proof it was an

extremely rare nerve agent, used,

0:07:390:07:44

not one of the more widely available

once you see in things like Syria,

0:07:440:07:49

it's a rare particular type which

has only been known to be produced

0:07:490:07:52

in one or two laboratories in the

world, one of them is in Moscow. The

0:07:520:08:00

Moscow foreign spy service. What is

fascinating is not just was Vladimir

0:08:000:08:03

Putin responsible? It is why he

wanted us to know he was

0:08:030:08:08

responsible, because he left such a

massive calling card, and that has

0:08:080:08:12

been really bothering cabinet

ministers in the last week.

Dia, we

0:08:120:08:19

had from the Chief Medical Officer

who said traces of this nerve agent

0:08:190:08:22

has been found in the restaurant

where Sergei Skripal and his

0:08:220:08:26

daughter were eating and 500 people

were there at the same time and they

0:08:260:08:30

should wash their clothes and clean

their possessions that were with

0:08:300:08:33

them. There is a small rescue but

there is a risk. Frightening news

0:08:330:08:38

like that is what drives home to

people why it matters this is

0:08:380:08:40

happening in the UK.

Absolutely and

there are so many questions about

0:08:400:08:45

this, even before we do want to who

was doing this. That's very

0:08:450:08:48

important. This also questions about

how the whole thing has been

0:08:480:08:53

handled, seven days, and they are

now telling these terrified

0:08:530:08:57

residents to wash their clothes and

possessions. Is that going to be

0:08:570:09:02

enough? What exactly is this agent?

If we see people in scary laboratory

0:09:020:09:08

suits walking around, doing what

they need to do, a quarantine going

0:09:080:09:13

on, is it enough to say go and wash

your clothes seven days later? The

0:09:130:09:19

communication around it, I

understand it is sensitive, that I

0:09:190:09:22

think it has been dire. Really quite

woeful. If I was living in Salisbury

0:09:220:09:28

I would be very, very worried.

George, the UK Government, once the

0:09:280:09:34

investigation has finished and they

decide whether this was a

0:09:340:09:38

state-sponsored assassination, they

need to decide how to respond. All

0:09:380:09:41

we have practically heard of so far

is some rubber mats might not go to

0:09:410:09:45

the World Cup in Russia, presumably

will have to do come up with

0:09:450:09:50

something better than that --

diplomats. What can we do that

0:09:500:09:53

Russia will care about?

The pressure

from some Labour Party and

0:09:530:09:58

Conservative MPs is to introduce a

version of the Magnitsky Act, which

0:09:580:10:04

means it's easier to freeze the

assets of Russians suspected of

0:10:040:10:08

human rights abuses or corruption,

and expel them, but Britain is

0:10:080:10:12

severely limited and I think it's

worth asking the question why did

0:10:120:10:16

Russia choose this moment to target

Britain? We are set to leave the

0:10:160:10:21

European Union, huge burdens on

governments, stretching the

0:10:210:10:24

government bandwidth to its limits,

and Donald Trump and the USA who we

0:10:240:10:30

supposedly have a special

relationship with, is imposing

0:10:300:10:33

tariffs on steel and has not made

any robust intervention over this,

0:10:330:10:36

despite the fact he normally rushes

to tweet when there is a terrorist

0:10:360:10:41

attack on British soil after making

unhelpful remarks. He has not been

0:10:410:10:45

standing shoulder to shoulder with

Britain in this instance.

There has

0:10:450:10:49

been a suggestion this should come

up at the next Nato summit in

0:10:490:10:54

Brussels, and they could be looking

for some kind of coordinated

0:10:540:10:58

response from international allies.

Is that likely?

It's difficult to

0:10:580:11:04

see at the moment. Russia's strength

here is significant and Vladimir

0:11:040:11:09

Putin, such a brazen act, clearly he

does not feel Britain has the

0:11:090:11:12

capacity to respond. Last December,

when we were short of gas, the one

0:11:120:11:18

country we turn to was Russia.

We

will be back to talk about the other

0:11:180:11:23

stories during the programme.

0:11:230:11:25

The poisoning of Sergei Skripal

and his daughter carries

0:11:250:11:27

echoes of the murder

of Alexander Litvinenko,

0:11:270:11:29

the ex KGB officer who died

after drinking tea laced

0:11:290:11:31

with radioactive polonium 210

in a London hotel in 2006.

0:11:310:11:35

And this morning, his widow,

Marina Litvinenko urged Theresa May

0:11:350:11:38

to adopt American-style laws that

are tougher on Russia.

0:11:380:11:44

You need to be very selective who

you are friends with. And when you

0:11:440:11:50

allow people with money to come to

your country and make a business,

0:11:500:11:53

you need to be sure what kind of

money these people try to bring to

0:11:530:11:57

your country because very often this

money is stolen from Russian people

0:11:570:12:02

and sometimes it is a very serious

crime behind it. I'm

0:12:020:12:12

crime behind it. I'm absolutely

asking this question to unite this

0:12:120:12:17

action already done in the United

States, in Europe. I think the UK

0:12:170:12:22

has to do the same steps.

0:12:220:12:23

Joining me now from Edinburgh

is the former Home and Foreign

0:12:230:12:26

Secretary, Jack Straw.

0:12:260:12:28

Thank you very much for joining us

this morning. Do you agree that the

0:12:280:12:35

UK needs to introduce tougher laws,

the likes of which the US has?

I do

0:12:350:12:39

think we should do this now. I think

have to take this very careful

0:12:390:12:45

step-by-step way, so I think the

approach of Amber Rudd and her

0:12:450:12:50

security minister, Ben Wallace, is

the right one. Jumping to

0:12:500:12:55

conclusions in this situation is not

a sensible way to proceed. The other

0:12:550:12:58

thing we have to think about very

carefully, when it comes to those

0:12:580:13:02

who are saying something must be

done and if you are in government,

0:13:020:13:05

you get this all the time, in

situations like this, something has

0:13:050:13:09

got to be done, is what happens when

you have to get back to normality? I

0:13:090:13:13

often reflect on the sanctions were

imposed to Zimbabwe for the

0:13:130:13:19

different situation but there are

parallels. In retrospect, Robert

0:13:190:13:28

Mugabe was a very bad man, but in

retrospect I often wonder if it was

0:13:280:13:33

a sensible thing to do. In the end

we had to get the troops down again.

0:13:330:13:40

It was very tricky so people need to

think very carefully indeed. This is

0:13:400:13:44

on the assumption the Russian state

was behind this, which has not yet

0:13:440:13:47

been approved or announced.

If we do

establish that and work on the

0:13:470:13:54

presumption for now and I understand

your reservations, would President

0:13:540:13:58

Putin care if we were to try and

institute some kind of sanctions or

0:13:580:14:04

punishments or does it just increase

the siege mentality Russia is under

0:14:040:14:07

threat from the rest of the world

which in many ways bolstered his

0:14:070:14:11

position in advance of the elections

coming up soon?

If we were to do it

0:14:110:14:16

unilaterally, just the UK, he

wouldn't careful stop with the EU,

0:14:160:14:20

and more other major allies

including the USA, he might take

0:14:200:14:27

notice but frankly, I think he

regarded as a medal if we were

0:14:270:14:32

simply to do it by ourselves and he

knows that, post the collapse of the

0:14:320:14:37

Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union in

the early 1990s, there is a huge

0:14:370:14:41

amount of Russian money in the UK,

particularly in London, and a

0:14:410:14:46

Magnitsky Act won't make that much

difference to the level of

0:14:460:14:50

dependence of some very highly

respectable British London based

0:14:500:14:54

financial institutions with Russian

money.

0:14:540:15:01

With the Alexander Litvinenko case,

an enquiry two tiers to get to the

0:15:020:15:06

bottom of what happened there, and

could only conclude that it was

0:15:060:15:11

probably orchestrated by the Russian

state. Can you take any sort of

0:15:110:15:16

action on the basis of something

probably being true?

People need to

0:15:160:15:21

bear in mind the example of Iraq.

The evidence against Saddam Hussein

0:15:210:15:28

having and continuing to have

biological weapons was overwhelming.

0:15:280:15:32

The question came up in United

Nations Security Council

0:15:320:15:38

resolutions, passed unanimously.

That is what Tony Blair and I used

0:15:380:15:43

almost 15 years ago to persuade

people to go to war against Iraq,

0:15:430:15:46

and it turned out to be completely

incorrect, so you've got to be

0:15:460:15:51

really careful. I have the scars

literally on my back in respect of

0:15:510:15:55

this. In the heat of the moment,

with people in the House of Commons

0:15:550:15:59

and the newspapers screeching,

something 's got to be done, being

0:15:590:16:04

non-explicit about what... Moreover,

we shouldn't descend to the level of

0:16:040:16:12

the criminal justice system in the

Russian Federation or other states

0:16:120:16:16

like that. There are demands today

from some Conservatives to ban the

0:16:160:16:24

Russia Today programme.

The Shadow

Chancellor said today that he

0:16:240:16:32

doesn't think Labour MPs will be

appearing on there in the future.

0:16:320:16:35

Will you do the same?

I have not

appeared on there for some time, but

0:16:350:16:39

I will make a decision on my own

terms. We have to be careful about

0:16:390:16:44

doing that in the absence of

evidence. Far better for Britain's

0:16:440:16:50

position in the world to have high

standards of probity. It's better to

0:16:500:16:56

bear in mind that well intentioned

people who do not lie at all,

0:16:560:17:01

including myself, and the House of

Commons by a huge majority, and

0:17:010:17:05

public opinion at the time, came to

the wrong decision with respect to

0:17:050:17:09

whether or not Saddam Hussein still

had biological weapons on the basis

0:17:090:17:14

of probabilities. That is the

difficulty here. People will of

0:17:140:17:19

course be very impatient indeed to

have a culprit here, and obviously

0:17:190:17:24

stacking it up on the basis of

circumstantial evidence, you can

0:17:240:17:28

make a very good case that it is the

Russian state, but we need a bit of

0:17:280:17:33

sobriety before we come to that

conclusion. Thank God that Amber

0:17:330:17:38

Rudd is the Home Secretary at the

moment. Someone else I could think

0:17:380:17:42

of in the British Cabinet, and she

is taking a very measured approach

0:17:420:17:48

to this.

0:17:480:17:50

Here with me now is Pauline Neville

Jones, who was Security

0:17:500:17:54

and Counter Terrorism Minister under

David Cameron, when Theresa May

0:17:540:17:55

was Home Secretary.

0:17:550:17:58

That was fascinating, listening to

Jack Straw drawing parallels with

0:17:580:18:02

Iraq and what was supposedly the

evidence of chemical and biological

0:18:020:18:06

weapons there, saying we have to be

very careful about pointing the

0:18:060:18:10

finger of blame. With your security

experience, will we ever be able to

0:18:100:18:14

establish whether this was

sanctioned by the Russians?

I doubt

0:18:140:18:18

the Russian state will admit it was

involved. In order to get absolute

0:18:180:18:23

proof, what we needed with

Litvinenko was to have a trial.

0:18:230:18:28

There hasn't been a trial because

the Russians wouldn't cooperate. I

0:18:280:18:33

think it's right for the government

to be cautious about saying anything

0:18:330:18:37

now, because it mustn't be seen to

lead the investigation and therefore

0:18:370:18:41

damage it, but once we have

established a degree of probability

0:18:410:18:46

about the cause, that is the time

for action. I think the chances of

0:18:460:18:51

it not being connected with Russia

in some way are very low.

The means

0:18:510:18:55

would point to that, but what is the

motive? This is a retired agent

0:18:550:19:01

who's been living here for years.

Came as part of the spy as well. The

0:19:010:19:07

unwritten rule of espionage is that

you don't touch spies. What dangers

0:19:070:19:13

does he pose to the Russian regime?

I think we simply don't know the

0:19:130:19:21

full story. There's plenty of

evidence that the Russian regime is

0:19:210:19:25

pretty vicious. Even if he was part

of a swap, I don't think you can

0:19:250:19:30

exclude the fact that the Russian

state might decide to take action

0:19:300:19:34

against him.

Looking at pictures of

him and his daughter there. It's

0:19:340:19:40

difficult to see what threat they

posed to the Russian state. Is it

0:19:400:19:45

not worth considering the

possibility that they may have been

0:19:450:19:47

involved in something else that

isn't technically state faction --

0:19:470:19:57

state sanctioned?

If possible. It is

possible that the Mafia was

0:19:570:20:01

involved. The question is, what lay

behind the Mafia and where did the

0:20:010:20:05

nerve agent come from? Is it

possible to come from elsewhere than

0:20:050:20:11

a state laboratory? It's difficult

to imagine that the threat isn't

0:20:110:20:18

going to go back to Russia somehow.

Is it possible to take action

0:20:180:20:24

against wealthy Russian oligarchs

living in London, even if we change

0:20:240:20:28

the laws and bring in something like

the Magnitsky act? Mrs Litvinenko

0:20:280:20:35

got a letter from Theresa May, Home

Secretary at the time, saying that

0:20:350:20:39

we want to make sure nothing like

this happens again in the UK, and

0:20:390:20:43

now it has.

There are already powers

which the government can use. One of

0:20:430:20:48

the reasons why there was an

argument in the Commons the other

0:20:480:20:51

day about this so-called Magnitsky

amendment was that the government

0:20:510:20:57

said, we've got the powers. You may

say, we need to use these powers,

0:20:570:21:03

for example to investigate people

who have unexplained wealth. There

0:21:030:21:08

are things we can do.

These are

people who are not necessarily

0:21:080:21:13

linked to Putin and the regime, so

these are two distinct things.

They

0:21:130:21:19

are. You have to be careful how you

do this, and it requires resources.

0:21:190:21:24

This is a complicated job. Jack

Straw put his finger on it when he

0:21:240:21:28

said, we need to act in concert with

allies. This is the thing that the

0:21:280:21:32

Russians really are going to take

notice of. At the moment, it's fair

0:21:320:21:38

to say that although we are Aljaz

overtime, we have gradually

0:21:380:21:44

increased the pressure. With

sanctions, and Nato have increased

0:21:440:21:49

measures on its borders, but we

still have a great deal of

0:21:490:21:53

harassment from the Russians. They

are taking action in people's

0:21:530:21:56

politics. They are conducting cyber

attacks. We need to act as an

0:21:560:22:03

alliance so that the Russians really

do believe, and they seek positive

0:22:030:22:08

evidence of it, that action against

one is an action against all, and

0:22:080:22:13

collective action follows. We need

to have a strategy that brings

0:22:130:22:18

together what we do militarily, what

we do to protect our citizens in the

0:22:180:22:24

cyber sphere, what we do in

broadcasting, so we have an all

0:22:240:22:28

encompassing way of dealing with

Russia.

Thank you very much for

0:22:280:22:35

coming to talk to us.

0:22:350:22:37

The new Universities Minister,

Sam Gyimah, has set himself

0:22:370:22:39

a rather ambitious task.

0:22:390:22:40

Travelling up and down the country,

he's trying to attract students

0:22:400:22:43

to the Conservative Party.

0:22:430:22:44

With just one in five voters aged

between 18 and 24 voting Tory

0:22:440:22:47

in the 2017 election,

it's been jokingly called

0:22:470:22:49

his "punishment tour".

0:22:490:22:50

Our reporter Elizabeth Glinka

joined Sam on his visit

0:22:500:22:52

to Canterbury Christ Church

University.

0:22:520:22:54

And just to warn you,

her report contains flashing images.

0:22:540:23:02

Was that a youth quake?

0:23:130:23:15

Reports of a massive

increase in young voters at

0:23:150:23:17

the last general election may

have been exaggerated.

0:23:170:23:20

# I got the big size

12s on my feet...

0:23:200:23:23

Nationally, the turnout didn't

really change, but of

0:23:230:23:26

the young people that did vote,

a whopping 67% went for Labour.

0:23:260:23:32

And in a place like

Canterbury, where there

0:23:320:23:34

are more than 30,000 students,

it's thought that their votes played

0:23:340:23:37

a big part in the city

electing its first ever Labour MP.

0:23:370:23:42

Canterbury.

0:23:420:23:43

This has been Conservative

since World War I.

0:23:430:23:46

An extraordinary surge

in their share, up 20% here.

0:23:460:23:53

In general, everyone just

always seems to think

0:23:530:23:54

that the Conservatives are always

doing something wrong,

0:23:540:23:56

so even if you don't know

about the Conservatives,

0:23:560:23:59

all you hear, you just think

negative things about it.

0:23:590:24:01

Most of my friends always slander

the Conservative name, saying,

0:24:010:24:03

"It's only for middle-aged men who

want the benefit from themselves."

0:24:030:24:07

Do you think you have

to be quite brave to

0:24:070:24:09

say, "I am a Conservative?"

0:24:090:24:10

Yeah.

0:24:100:24:11

At first, I was like,

OK, I'm not going

0:24:110:24:13

to say anything to my friends,

because they will just kick off.

0:24:130:24:16

One of my flatmates was like,

"If you are not a Labour

0:24:160:24:19

voter, don't talk to me."

0:24:190:24:20

Labour had a lot of backing.

0:24:200:24:22

They had people like

AJ Tracey jumping on.

0:24:220:24:24

So once they see that,

everyone kind of runs

0:24:240:24:26

to it, like, let's vote Labour.

0:24:260:24:27

# Tracksuit grey, black,

blue

0:24:270:24:29

# I was just a hope-filled kid

like you...

0:24:290:24:31

AJ Tracey is just one of any number

of current music acts who publicly

0:24:310:24:34

endorsed the Labour Party

at the last general election,

0:24:340:24:36

helping to build a brand

which was apparently three times

0:24:360:24:39

more attractive to young voters.

0:24:390:24:44

To be fair, it's not

as if there was some sort of golden

0:24:440:24:47

era of Conservative hipsters,

but the figures suggest

0:24:470:24:50

things are getting worse.

0:24:500:24:54

And that's why the new Universities

Minister, Sam Gyimah,

0:24:540:24:57

is currently on a nationwide tour,

including here in Canterbury,

0:24:570:25:00

where he is attempting to

at least start a conversation

0:25:000:25:03

with a generation of voters who see

his party as old, male and stale.

0:25:030:25:06

Minister, this seems

a good time to jump in.

0:25:060:25:10

This is an incredibly difficult job,

isn't it, convincing young people

0:25:100:25:15

to vote Conservative?

0:25:150:25:17

We do have our work cut out for us,

but I think the first thing to do

0:25:170:25:21

is actually to be on campus.

0:25:210:25:23

If we allow Jeremy Corbyn to be

the only one on campus, then we only

0:25:230:25:26

have ourselves to blame.

0:25:260:25:29

Many students will say to you, well,

it's fine, you're having

0:25:290:25:32

a review on student fees

and many other things.

0:25:320:25:34

The Labour Party's promising us

they're going to get rid of fees.

0:25:340:25:37

We know what happens when you

promised something for free.

0:25:370:25:39

Numbers are going to be capped,

which means fewer people

0:25:390:25:42

going to university.

0:25:420:25:44

It's the well off that

are going to do it.

0:25:440:25:46

That's not what we're about.

0:25:460:25:48

I'm not really worried

about Jeremy Corbyn's free

0:25:480:25:50

for all offer, because it's not

realistic, and he can't deliver it,

0:25:500:25:52

and we only need to look

at countries like Scotland to see

0:25:520:25:55

that it's not going to work.

0:25:550:25:57

And what reaction are you expecting

when you head in there?

0:25:570:25:59

Well, I thought it might

be rowdy like PMQs.

0:25:590:26:02

I've no idea.

0:26:020:26:03

I haven't had the mob treatment

anywhere yet so far.

0:26:030:26:05

# Your face ain't big for my boot

0:26:050:26:07

# Kick up the yout

0:26:070:26:08

# I know that I kick up the yout...

0:26:080:26:11

There might not have been

a youth quake nationally,

0:26:110:26:14

but there was a bit of a youth quake

in Canterbury, and I want to listen

0:26:140:26:17

and I want to understand.

0:26:170:26:19

You know, we've had enough

of austerity politics.

0:26:190:26:21

We've had enough of student fees,

things like that, and we've seen

0:26:210:26:24

the NHS get less and less

funded over time.

0:26:240:26:28

And it's hard to

ignore those things.

0:26:280:26:29

You know, we are going to take

action against you.

0:26:290:26:32

# Bros in my ear saying

"Stormz, don't do it"

0:26:320:26:34

# Devil on my shoulder

I don't lack

0:26:340:26:36

# Hit 'em

with a crowbar, I don't scrap...

0:26:360:26:39

Well, lots of discussion,

some of it a bit feisty,

0:26:390:26:41

but did the Minister win any

hearts and minds?

0:26:410:26:43

He's really good at talking

to students, and he's

0:26:430:26:45

here to talk to everyone.

0:26:450:26:47

Would it make you feel differently

about voting Conservative?

0:26:470:26:49

I took from your comments that

you were not a Conservative voter.

0:26:490:26:53

Definitely not, but I did think

he made some good points,

0:26:530:26:55

and he was very measured.

0:26:550:26:57

It's quite clear that there

are a number of people here who have

0:26:570:27:00

been seduced by Jeremy Corbyn,

but I think the purpose of this

0:27:000:27:03

is to let them realise

that there is a Conservative voice,

0:27:030:27:05

there is a Conservative point

of view, and that as a minister

0:27:050:27:08

I am here to listen.

0:27:080:27:11

Clearly a smart man.

0:27:110:27:12

I'm not sure it's better

or worse to have a smart

0:27:120:27:16

Tory or a stupid Tory,

but he knew what he was

0:27:160:27:18

talking about, even though

I disagree with him.

0:27:180:27:20

Would it make you think twice

about voting Conservative?

0:27:200:27:23

No, I will never vote

Conservative in my life.

0:27:230:27:27

So as the sun sets in Canterbury,

there's still a long way to go.

0:27:270:27:33

And Universities Minister Sam

Gymiah joins me now.

0:27:330:27:40

A smart Tory. That is a compliment

from one of the students! Do you

0:27:410:27:46

think you persuaded many of them to

vote Tory?

The point of the exercise

0:27:460:27:51

was not to persuade people to vote

Conservative. As Universities

0:27:510:27:56

Minister, I'm very conscious that

students are investing a

0:27:560:28:00

considerable amount of money in

their education, so they should have

0:28:000:28:05

a voice in the corridors of power.

Gone are the days that the

0:28:050:28:09

Universities Minister 's spends time

with the chancellors and not the

0:28:090:28:14

students. Jeremy Corbyn has a voice

on the campus, and if we allow that

0:28:140:28:19

to continue, we only have ourselves

to blame. The starting point in the

0:28:190:28:23

process is listening and engaging,

rather than going in there to preach

0:28:230:28:26

to them about what their problems

and answers are.

You have a mountain

0:28:260:28:32

to climb with young people. Let's

have a look at the numbers. At the

0:28:320:28:37

last election, between 18 to

24-year-olds, 67% voted Labour.

0:28:370:28:43

Unless you can change those minds,

you have a generational problem with

0:28:430:28:50

voters, and you will not see

Conservative governments in the

0:28:500:28:52

future, unless people change their

minds.

What I am doing at the moment

0:28:520:28:57

is pressing, which is why the party

is beginning to engage with students

0:28:570:29:01

at this level. A number of things

have come up as I've travelled

0:29:010:29:04

around the country that we can

address. Austerity keeps coming up.

0:29:040:29:09

We stopped making the case for why

we had to reduce the deficit from

0:29:090:29:15

the extreme levels that we inherited

from the Labour Party. One man said

0:29:150:29:19

to me, all I have ever heard the

Conservatives talk

0:29:190:29:32

about is austerity. It must be your

ideology. That is clearly not the

0:29:320:29:35

case. It is a matter of necessity,

not ideology.

We have the spring

0:29:350:29:38

statement coming up next week. The

Chancellor has said this morning

0:29:380:29:40

that we are in a much better

financial position at the moment

0:29:400:29:44

then we have been, but it doesn't

sound like he's going to end

0:29:440:29:48

austerity. Would you encourage him

to do so?

This brings statement is

0:29:480:29:52

an update on the public finances.

But he is going to point further

0:29:520:29:57

ahead to the budget in the autumn,

and he doesn't seem to be talking

0:29:570:30:02

about the increased public spending

you think will attract people to the

0:30:020:30:06

Tories.

We are not going to say we

are going to return to discredited

0:30:060:30:10

economic policies of 40 years ago.

What he should be saying to young

0:30:100:30:15

people is that the balanced approach

that he is pursuing, in a world

0:30:150:30:20

where we have technological

challenge and a global market

0:30:200:30:24

economy, the Conservatives are

uniquely placed to deliver

0:30:240:30:28

prosperity for them. Another issue

that comes up is our motives. When

0:30:280:30:33

we talk about economic prosperity,

people feel it is for the few.

0:30:330:30:37

Sometimes I have to explain that the

top rate of tax has been higher

0:30:370:30:45

under the Conservatives, and that

the top 1% pay 20% of income tax.

0:30:450:30:48

They didn't know that. We need to

talk about -- we need to persuade

0:30:480:30:54

them that when we talk about

economic prosperity, it is their

0:30:540:30:57

future we are talking about.

0:30:570:31:02

You addressed tuition fees in the

film but look at maintenance grants

0:31:020:31:06

being cut by this government so the

poorer students to go to university

0:31:060:31:09

will lead with larger debt than

those from better off backgrounds.

0:31:090:31:13

When that is their experience right

now on campus, no wonder they keep

0:31:130:31:18

thinking you are looking after the

better off and not the

0:31:180:31:23

disadvantaged.

Canterbury has the

best proportion of students went

0:31:230:31:26

university for the first time in

their families. Many of those would

0:31:260:31:29

not be at university at all had we

pursue the Jeremy Corbyn policy.

0:31:290:31:38

Jeremy Corbyn is promising to

abolish tuition fees so that would

0:31:390:31:43

make it easier for students to go to

university.

Once you make university

0:31:430:31:46

free you can't have a current policy

we have which is that the numbers

0:31:460:31:50

who can go to university are capped.

At a time when the numbers were not

0:31:500:31:56

capped, our own history, very few

people went to university and mentor

0:31:560:32:00

very few poor people went

university. A consequence of the

0:32:000:32:05

Conservative policy is a lot of

disadvantaged people are giving to

0:32:050:32:07

university for the first time and we

have a student finance scheme where

0:32:070:32:11

you do not pay a penny as a first

burner unless you in over £25,000

0:32:110:32:17

and after 30 years, whatever you

have managed to pay, is written. I'm

0:32:170:32:22

not saying is perfect.

That very

system is replacing grants for

0:32:220:32:26

poorer students with loans. Why? If

you are so keen to get disadvantaged

0:32:260:32:33

students into universities, wide

takeaway maintenance grants?

There

0:32:330:32:37

is a review looking at the whole

system, but when many students

0:32:370:32:40

complain about the student finances,

they focus on accommodation.

0:32:400:32:44

Somewhere like London, landlords

want to get the years rent in

0:32:440:32:49

advance. That is a difficult

situation for them and the cost of

0:32:490:32:54

living issues, rather than assuming

we know...

There's an interest rate

0:32:540:33:00

on a student loan of over 6% which

is way in excess of what people are

0:33:000:33:05

borrowing on mortgages etc.

The cost

of living in University...

They must

0:33:050:33:12

be worried about it.

Whatever your

level of earnings, you pay 9% of

0:33:120:33:16

your income, which means higher rate

in graduates pay more to the system

0:33:160:33:20

but I also think to narrow the

debate on student fees, students

0:33:200:33:27

have a lot of interest, not all

students think student fees is their

0:33:270:33:31

big issue. Someone to see their

politicians care about making the

0:33:310:33:36

world a better place. What kind of

world they are going into, they will

0:33:360:33:41

get on the housing ladder, housing

is big issue for them but the

0:33:410:33:45

economy prospers, so I think that's

why you have got to listen and not

0:33:450:33:48

assume all students have the same

view and there is one answer that

0:33:480:33:52

deals with all the problems of every

18-21 -year-old.

Mental health keeps

0:33:520:33:56

cropping up. I'm sure the university

's lecturers strike came up as well.

0:33:560:34:03

Now students are paying £9,000 in

fees, they are consumers as well as

0:34:030:34:07

students, so should they get a

refund for the lessons they have not

0:34:070:34:10

been taught?

Universities do not pay

lecturers on the day they strike,

0:34:100:34:17

they should not pocket those funds,

but look at compensation for

0:34:170:34:21

students and there are real ways of

compensating students.

Would you

0:34:210:34:25

compel them to do that?

I'm not in a

position to compel them to do that.

0:34:250:34:31

There is the regulator for

university who has a wide-ranging

0:34:310:34:34

remit. I'm encouraged some

universities are taking this

0:34:340:34:39

seriously. Kings College London will

offer financial compensation. I

0:34:390:34:45

think they should look at this very

seriously. I am disappointed I am

0:34:450:34:49

seeing lots of petitions out there

from Durham University, a petition

0:34:490:34:53

of 5000 students, asking for

compensation. I want to university

0:34:530:35:00

to respond constructively, because

we are in the age of the student and

0:35:000:35:02

we are there to serve.

One quick

question, talking about Russia on

0:35:020:35:07

the programme so far this morning, a

story this morning in the papers

0:35:070:35:11

saying over £800 million has been

donated to the Tory party from

0:35:110:35:15

Russian link to donors since Theresa

May took over, even notice that you

0:35:150:35:20

wanted an arms length relationship.

Is that something that should be

0:35:200:35:23

discouraged in the future and should

the money be returned now?

To make a

0:35:230:35:28

donation to a political party in

this country you have to be a

0:35:280:35:31

citizen Dungannon

0:35:310:35:39

citizen Dungannon -- and betting

needs to be taken place. Modern

0:35:390:35:44

Britain is made up by people from

all sorts of places. Some groups of

0:35:440:35:50

people cannot participate in Aber

Democratic life to the fall, and we

0:35:500:35:52

have got to be clear, these are

British citizens from Russia. Not

0:35:520:35:57

the Kremlin donating to the

Conservative Party.

Of course not,

0:35:570:36:02

but there could be a question of

where those funds came from in the

0:36:020:36:07

first place for the wedding end up

on the front page of a Sunday

0:36:070:36:10

newspaper saying this much money has

been donated to the Conservative

0:36:100:36:14

Party, maybe it would be better to

think again where you receive your

0:36:140:36:17

large donations from?

It's not just

the letter of the law but vetting

0:36:170:36:21

should be thorough.

Sam Gyimah,

thank you very much for coming in to

0:36:210:36:28

talk to us.

0:36:280:36:29

It's coming up to 11.40.

0:36:290:36:30

You're watching

the Sunday Politics.

0:36:300:36:31

Still to come, we'll be

discussing the economy.

0:36:310:36:33

Is it time to end austerity?

0:36:330:36:35

First though, its time for

the Sunday Politics where you are.

0:36:350:36:38

Hello and welcome to

the London part of the show.

0:36:450:36:48

I'm Alex Forsyth.

0:36:480:36:49

Coming up later in the programme:

0:36:490:36:51

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable

tells us why he is confident

0:36:510:36:54

the party can make gains

in May's local elections.

0:36:540:36:59

I'm joined for the duration

by Siobhan McDonagh,

0:36:590:37:02

Labour MP for Mitcham

and Morden, and Bob Blackman,

0:37:020:37:04

Conservative MP for Harrow East,

and Baroness Kramer,

0:37:040:37:08

Liberal Democrat Treasury

Spokesperson and former MP

0:37:080:37:11

for Richmond Park.

0:37:110:37:13

I want to start with housing.

0:37:130:37:15

The Prime Minister has often spoken

about the housing market -

0:37:150:37:18

last year she admitted

it was "broken".

0:37:180:37:21

This week, she donned

a hi-vis jacket and visited

0:37:210:37:22

a construction site in London.

0:37:220:37:25

She was there to deliver

a keynote speech about how

0:37:250:37:28

to get housing built,

and she challenged developers

0:37:280:37:31

to get their priorities right.

0:37:310:37:34

The bonuses paid to the heads

of some of our biggest developers

0:37:340:37:37

are based not on the number of homes

they build, but on their

0:37:370:37:40

profits or share price.

0:37:400:37:41

I expect developers to do their duty

for Britain and build

0:37:410:37:44

the homes our country needs.

0:37:440:37:47

But in London, where the housing

crisis is most acute,

0:37:470:37:51

council leaders rejected the idea

that local authorities

0:37:510:37:53

and developers were to blame.

0:37:530:37:55

The Labour Mayor of Lewisham,

Sir Steve Bullock,

0:37:550:37:57

who is also the housing spokesperson

for London Councils,

0:37:570:38:01

said the Prime Minister had shied

away from the one policy that

0:38:010:38:04

could increase house-building.

0:38:040:38:07

I find it really hard to understand

why the Prime Minister thinks

0:38:070:38:11

that a local council can force

a private developer to build out

0:38:110:38:18

a planning permission

which they have been given.

0:38:180:38:21

The single thing that would make

a difference, not just in London

0:38:210:38:26

but across the nation,

would be to raise the cap

0:38:260:38:31

on what we can spend on new housing.

0:38:310:38:33

The housing revenue account.

0:38:330:38:36

Let us borrow against

the assets that we've got.

0:38:360:38:38

This has stopped being

a matter of controversy

0:38:380:38:40

within local government.

0:38:400:38:43

People from all political

persuasions are now agreed that just

0:38:430:38:47

give us the ability to build

and we will get on and do it.

0:38:470:38:52

Sir Steve Bullock's views.

Let me come to you first,

0:38:520:38:56

Bob, if I can, on this.

So why doesn't the governor do that,

0:38:560:38:58

just give councils the power

to borrow and build?

0:38:580:39:00

Well, the reality is the government

has allocated to the Mayor of London

0:39:000:39:03

and London councils a record

sum of money.

0:39:030:39:07

£3.15 billion for the development

of housing and yet, in London,

0:39:070:39:10

it's the one area in the country

where the house-building

0:39:100:39:13

is going down instead of up.

So we've got a Mayor of London

0:39:130:39:17

who made all sorts of promises.

He's failing to deliver on those

0:39:170:39:20

promises and actuallly now we need

some action to go with the money

0:39:200:39:23

that the government has provided.

But you hear the council

0:39:230:39:27

saying actually they need

more powers to do this?

0:39:270:39:30

Well, it's interesting

that the Mayor of Lewisham is on.

0:39:300:39:33

He said he's cancelling

the compulsary purchase order around

0:39:330:39:37

Millwall football club

where the original idea

0:39:370:39:41

was to develop housing

yet his deputy Mayor says no,

0:39:410:39:44

the compulsary purchase

order is going forward.

0:39:440:39:51

That a specific case but obviously

there is a capital wide problem.

One

0:39:510:39:55

of the problems is we have the same

thing in Enfield, a scheme for

0:39:550:39:59

10,000 homes has been cancelled

effectively because of the

0:39:590:40:01

interference of the Mayor. Haringey,

Private partnerships seem to be

0:40:010:40:07

going awry because of divisions in

the Labour Party. You have got girls

0:40:070:40:12

caught, under challenge, old Oak

Common, huge numbers of homes can be

0:40:120:40:17

built -- Earls Court. Also Transport

for London to develop homes is

0:40:170:40:24

problematic.

I can see you shaking

your head.

What Bob knows is most of

0:40:240:40:31

these schemes are about building

private houses at high costs in

0:40:310:40:35

London where the average house is 15

times the average salary. We are

0:40:350:40:40

never ever going to get to the

300,000 properties the government

0:40:400:40:46

wants unless councils and housing

associations are allowed to build.

0:40:460:40:49

The last time we built that number

was 1969. Councils and housing

0:40:490:40:56

associations were building. We have

got the land, the policy, the paper,

0:40:560:41:01

the high viz jackets, the one thing

we don't have is getting our act

0:41:010:41:04

together and getting out there in

building.

What Theresa May has said

0:41:040:41:09

here if there is a duty on

developers. She is putting the onus

0:41:090:41:12

on the private companies to get

their act together on this and get

0:41:120:41:15

building. Is that not thumping

Labour would welcome?

It's part of

0:41:150:41:20

it but not the total. Is the most

expensive way in the world to build

0:41:200:41:24

your social housing for families who

can't afford to buy by planning

0:41:240:41:29

agreements. The cheapest and best

way to do it is to go out there and

0:41:290:41:33

use the land there, 40% of all empty

sites are owned by the public

0:41:330:41:38

sector, I think government should

force the public sector to use them

0:41:380:41:41

in the first place for housing.

I

can hear you, Susan, next to me.

0:41:410:41:49

Developers make their money by

keeping supply short and Theresa

0:41:490:41:54

May, the word naive is perhaps a

gentle comment on telling developers

0:41:540:41:58

to ignore their property interests

and go ahead and build. The power

0:41:580:42:03

needs to be put into the hands of

local councils. I think we could use

0:42:030:42:08

the GLA fund, frankly, to try

building in London but local council

0:42:080:42:11

levels, people need to have that

opportunity, but the onus and

0:42:110:42:15

pressure has to be to deliver

affordable and social housing. Where

0:42:150:42:20

I live, in Barnes, Richmond, I am

watching three new blocks going up

0:42:200:42:25

and every single one of them is

wall-to-wall luxury housing. When

0:42:250:42:28

you see the lights on at night,

everybody knows this story, less

0:42:280:42:32

than a third of the lights are on.

They are just investment properties.

0:42:320:42:37

The Prime Minister has made housing

a real priority for her and pledged

0:42:370:42:42

to build this new generation of

Council social housing to do

0:42:420:42:46

something about this and make home

ownership a dream for future

0:42:460:42:50

generations. You hear the criticism.

Siobhan is right about one thing,

0:42:500:42:56

the land is 40% owned by the public

sector already. The big problem is

0:42:560:43:03

the cost of land particularly in

London where it contributes to the

0:43:030:43:05

high cost. Through the relevant

agencies now, we can force that

0:43:050:43:13

public land to be used for housing

falls at the planning permission is

0:43:130:43:17

not an issue. That has been granted

by local authorities. It's getting

0:43:170:43:21

the housing built. We have too few

housing developers in this country.

0:43:210:43:25

Ten years ago, we had 2500 companies

who build houses and now down to

0:43:250:43:33

about ten who realistically

contribute. We have to broaden the

0:43:330:43:37

scope. It is all about making the

contracts and getting them in place.

0:43:370:43:42

In my view, in the public sector, I

think we should ignore the cost of

0:43:420:43:46

the land, take that out of the

equation, build the homes and then

0:43:460:43:50

charge rent on the cost of building

the homes and ignore the cost of the

0:43:500:43:54

land.

Often, in the housing debate,

we hear attacks on record of various

0:43:540:44:00

governments. Isn't the truth we have

a broken market and if the people

0:44:000:44:03

who live in London who can't afford

their homes who are suffering?

That

0:44:030:44:07

doesn't get a roof over any homeless

family had, we have to get out and

0:44:070:44:11

do it. Bob is right about the public

sector sites but in order to get

0:44:110:44:16

cancelled and the health service and

the prison service to do that, you

0:44:160:44:19

have to make it there priority --

councils. You have to say there will

0:44:190:44:26

be financial consequences because

without that it's never going to

0:44:260:44:28

happen and you can have as many

glossy report as you like but there

0:44:280:44:32

is a role here for government to

force public bodies to use their

0:44:320:44:36

land in the first place for housing.

And we have done it before.

The

0:44:360:44:43

housing associations are sitting on

huge amounts of money in assets and

0:44:430:44:47

money they could use but they don't

because they're quite comfortable.

0:44:470:44:50

We have to leave up there, sadly and

we can't solve the housing crisis

0:44:500:44:54

but we have made inroads, I'm sure.

0:44:540:44:58

It's been a big week

for the Liberal Democrats -

0:44:580:45:01

they marked the 30th anniversary

of the formation of the party, and

0:45:010:45:04

members are attending their annual

spring conference this weekend.

0:45:040:45:06

At the forefront of their concerns

will be the upcoming

0:45:060:45:08

local elections in May -

which their leader has said will be

0:45:080:45:11

crucial to rebuilding

Lib Dem influence at every

0:45:110:45:13

level of government.

0:45:130:45:14

So how will they fare in London?

0:45:140:45:16

Bhavani Vadde reports.

0:45:160:45:17

The Lib Dems are the only party

that is consistently argued

0:45:170:45:19

for staying in the EU.

0:45:190:45:21

They've put this at the heart

of the local election campaign.

0:45:210:45:27

This week, they've released messages

in 21 different European languages,

0:45:270:45:29

targeting EU nationals.

0:45:290:45:32

This is the first test of opinion

since the general election,

0:45:320:45:37

and Brexit and the impact of Brexit,

the negative hit on London,

0:45:370:45:40

will be a big theme.

0:45:400:45:44

We've had a massive increase

in our membership,

0:45:440:45:45

much of it in the capital,

mostly young people.

0:45:450:45:48

We've now got a significantly

bigger party nationally

0:45:480:45:51

than the Conservatives,

for example, and lots of energy,

0:45:510:45:55

much of it again centred

around the Brexit issue.

0:45:550:46:02

A key target for the party

is the Royal Borough of Kingston.

0:46:020:46:06

The Conservatives ended 12 years

of Lib Dem control there at the last

0:46:060:46:09

local elections in 2014.

0:46:090:46:12

This time, it's expected to be

close, with an unusually high number

0:46:120:46:15

of marginal wards in the borough.

0:46:150:46:19

It was a completely different

ball game back in 2014.

0:46:190:46:23

Essentially, a lot of people

were punishing us nationally

0:46:230:46:26

in local elections, but this time

round, I think people

0:46:260:46:30

are really looking at

what the local issues are.

0:46:300:46:33

More homes, not the luxury tower

blocks, better air quality...

0:46:330:46:38

The borough also voted

to remain in the EU.

0:46:380:46:41

I mean, I'm a politician,

and I'm bored with Brexit,

0:46:410:46:44

and I think actually when you talk

to people on doorsteps,

0:46:440:46:47

it's very much the same view.

0:46:470:46:48

Most people are satisfied

with the job that we are doing here.

0:46:480:46:51

We've invested heavily

in the infrastructure,

0:46:510:46:53

so we've spent more money

than we were going to on roads

0:46:530:46:56

and pavements and playgrounds.

0:46:560:46:59

Kingston is also home

to the coronation stone,

0:46:590:47:02

where seven Saxon kings were said

to have been crowned,

0:47:020:47:05

the last being Ethelred the Unready.

0:47:050:47:08

In old English, unready actually

means "badly advised",

0:47:080:47:11

so are the Lib Dems also ill-advised

to be sticking to their anti-Brexit

0:47:110:47:15

message when it has failed to bring

them electoral glory?

0:47:150:47:20

It's now becoming much more

clear what's at stake.

0:47:200:47:23

We've had the referendum.

0:47:230:47:24

I think a lot of people took

the view "let the government get

0:47:240:47:27

on with it, see what happens",

but we can now see

0:47:270:47:30

that we are going to leave

if the government gets its way,

0:47:300:47:32

leave the single market.

0:47:320:47:34

Massive implications for London and

all its service-based industries.

0:47:340:47:39

The party celebrated its 30th

birthday this week.

0:47:390:47:42

It's been a journey which saw

them rise to government,

0:47:420:47:44

and then punished

in the polls for their part

0:47:440:47:48

in that coalition.

0:47:480:47:49

Their record in south-west London

reflects the roller-coaster

0:47:490:47:52

of their electoral fortunes.

0:47:520:47:54

Their three London MPs hold

seats in these boroughs.

0:47:540:47:58

The party runs Sutton Council,

and are the main opposition group

0:47:580:48:01

in Kingston and Richmond -

both councils they once controlled,

0:48:010:48:05

and have high hopes of winning back.

0:48:050:48:08

The Lib Dems need local election

success to build towards whenever

0:48:080:48:12

the next general election is come,

so if they don't do really quite

0:48:120:48:16

well in London, and indeed

outside London this time,

0:48:160:48:22

then it will be seen as evidence

that they are simply treading water,

0:48:220:48:26

not making progress.

0:48:260:48:29

A Labour Party which has this bigger

capacity to, as it were,

0:48:290:48:31

send a massive message

to the government and Mrs May may be

0:48:310:48:34

an easier shift of votes

for die-hard remainers

0:48:340:48:37

than the Lib Dems.

0:48:370:48:40

So in this overwhelmingly remains

city, the Lib Dems have so far

0:48:400:48:44

failed to capitalise

on their continued

0:48:440:48:47

anti-Brexit stance.

0:48:470:48:49

Will they be able to do

so at the polls in May?

0:48:490:48:57

Susan Kramer, the Lib Dems failed to

capitalise on the anti-Brexit vote

0:49:010:49:07

at the general election, so why do

you think it might be difficult at

0:49:070:49:10

these -- different at these local

elections?

The highlight, Vince

0:49:100:49:17

Cable one Twickenham, and Ed Davey

one Kingston, which we had lost

0:49:170:49:22

before. So we did see a return.

But

not nationally.

I'm talking about

0:49:220:49:28

the specific areas you are focused

on. When we are out on the doorstep,

0:49:280:49:34

we find... In many of these cases,

we were a local force for many

0:49:340:49:39

years, so people know us there. When

we are in Kingston, we just talked

0:49:390:49:46

to people and we identify that three

new schools are needed, including a

0:49:460:49:51

special school, and we cannot let

the Conservatives take money out of

0:49:510:49:54

the special needs budget, and we get

a very strong response. We talk

0:49:540:50:00

about the housing need, and we need

affordable housing. Various projects

0:50:000:50:05

have been built on the Richmond

side, which have a very high luxury

0:50:050:50:12

content. No affordable and certainly

no social housing. There are really

0:50:120:50:18

big local issues.

You say you are

fighting at a local level, but the

0:50:180:50:22

message at the top of the party is

very much, we are an anti-Brexit

0:50:220:50:27

party. Are you kicking at an open

door in London?

We are

0:50:270:50:37

door in London?

We are an

anti-Brexit party. We do not deny

0:50:370:50:39

that for one second. We think that

is the best outcome. Many people

0:50:390:50:43

want to engage... As you know, when

we had the referendum, there was so

0:50:430:50:46

much that none of us knew, and now

this extraordinary complexity. The

0:50:460:50:51

level of damage is beginning to

become apparent. People are feeling

0:50:510:50:56

it in their pocket.

Isn't the danger

for the Lib Dems that if you do

0:50:560:51:01

campaign at an anti-Brexit message,

at a local level, councillors will

0:51:010:51:05

not be able to affect change,

because it is those in Parliament...

0:51:050:51:12

People are sending a message. They

vote locally for their councillors,

0:51:120:51:17

but they are getting the opportunity

to send a message to their

0:51:170:51:20

government.

Labour's message is

quite confused on Brexit. What are

0:51:200:51:27

they saying?

If people are going to

vote Labour in London, as they did

0:51:270:51:32

in enormous numbers last June in the

general election, they are making a

0:51:320:51:37

point about being anti-Brexit. They

are also making a point about

0:51:370:51:41

housing, because this is not just

about people on low incomes. If you

0:51:410:51:46

knock on the door, if it is a

private Tennant, they are almost all

0:51:460:51:53

virtually Labour.

Thomas, are you

going to take the flak for this in

0:51:530:51:58

the local elections?

Not at all. The

reality is that Conservative

0:51:580:52:06

councils in London have always done

a really good job of delivering high

0:52:060:52:11

quality services at a lower cost.

Zac Goldsmith took back Richmond

0:52:110:52:17

from the Lib Dems at the general

election.

We won it at the

0:52:170:52:22

by-election. Won by 45.

The polls

say you are going to take a right

0:52:220:52:30

hammering.

It will be interesting.

We are talking about the Liberal

0:52:300:52:34

Democrat performance. I think we

will take seats off the Lib Dems in

0:52:340:52:41

Sutton. I'm looking forward to

taking seeds of Labour in Harrow.

I

0:52:410:52:47

think you are being optimistic.

They

are one of the worst performing

0:52:470:52:50

councils in London and in the

country, with the third highest

0:52:500:52:54

level of council tax. The key point

about London election is not to be

0:52:540:53:00

thinking about parties, but looking

at individual councils, how they

0:53:000:53:05

have performed as a council, and

look at the opposition.

If you look

0:53:050:53:10

at the polls, there are some really

significant councils that you could

0:53:100:53:14

lose. The Tories really struggling

in London? Are they going to

0:53:140:53:20

struggle for some time? Have they

given up on the capital?

Far from

0:53:200:53:24

it. One of the things we have to do

is say, people have to go out on the

0:53:240:53:31

doorsteps and sell the benefits of

having a Conservative run council.

0:53:310:53:36

These national issues run through to

locally. Our local councils are

0:53:360:53:41

definitely suffering from the cuts

they are facing. School funding...

0:53:410:53:45

It isn't the school that has had to

go to its parents and say, could you

0:53:450:53:51

fund this? Could you help us with

that? What I am saying is, people

0:53:510:53:57

are feeling this byte locally

because of what is happening

0:53:570:54:01

nationally. The idea that they can't

send a message is a false one.

0:54:010:54:08

People will vote on the things that

matter to them, and it will be a mix

0:54:080:54:13

of national issues, a mix of Brexit.

In Richmond it's going to be

0:54:130:54:18

Heathrow. They are fed up of local

Conservatives being opposed to

0:54:180:54:26

Heathrow Airport, but living with

the party centrally being in favour

0:54:260:54:28

of that third runway.

Susan says it

is a mix of the local and national

0:54:280:54:34

in these elections, but isn't it the

case that the government has

0:54:340:54:39

overlooked London, because they have

been so focused on regional

0:54:390:54:43

devolution elsewhere. We hear a lot

about the northern powerhouse and

0:54:430:54:48

train links elsewhere in the

country.

In London, we got

0:54:480:54:52

devolution first.

Under a Labour

government, I think you will find.

0:54:520:54:58

In the same year that we got

elected. It was the first bill

0:54:580:55:02

introduced under the Labour

government in 97.

I supported the

0:55:020:55:08

principle of having the Mayor of

London, and I think it is the right

0:55:080:55:11

thing for London. As a party, we

have to continue that process of

0:55:110:55:17

devolution. We have the 100%

retention of business rates for

0:55:170:55:20

London. We've got massive amounts of

money...

We will have to leave it

0:55:200:55:26

there, and we will see what me and

the local election results bring.

0:55:260:55:31

Thank you very much.

0:55:310:55:33

On Tuesday, the Chancellor

will give us his Spring Statement -

0:55:330:55:36

he's ditched the big event

that was the Spring Budget.

0:55:360:55:38

Instead it'll be a run-down of

the state of the nation's finances.

0:55:380:55:41

So what could be in it

for London, and what would

0:55:410:55:44

our guests want to see?

0:55:440:55:47

Susan, you are the Lib Dems'

Treasury spokeswoman. Were you to be

0:55:470:55:52

there at the dispatch box, what

would you give for London?

I believe

0:55:520:55:56

we should never look at it as London

or the regions. Everybody is in need

0:55:560:56:06

of massive infrastructure spending.

Frankly, this government has always

0:56:060:56:11

insisted on counting infrastructure

spending as if it was part of the

0:56:110:56:14

deficit. It never should. We should

be out there borrowing because, new

0:56:140:56:21

rail systems, whether it is new

transport networks, all of that

0:56:210:56:25

should be funded despite what is

happening on a day-to-day basis. I

0:56:250:56:31

would be doing major investment

across the country, both London, in

0:56:310:56:35

the north and in the Midlands.

Labour's manifesto did promote the

0:56:350:56:40

idea of borrowing to invest, but you

got quite a kicking from the

0:56:400:56:48

Conservatives.

My personal wish from

the Spring statement is we could

0:56:480:56:49

have the 1.1 million pounds that the

Department of local government and

0:56:490:56:55

Housing gave back to the Treasury.

If they gave that back, we could

0:56:550:57:01

build over 20,000 prefabs on the

public land we were speaking about.

0:57:010:57:05

We would have 20,000 houses by the

summer.

Will that happen?

One of the

0:57:050:57:12

problems is that money that was

allocated to London for the Mayor of

0:57:120:57:16

London to use was returned,

essentially. 3.5 billion was

0:57:160:57:21

allocated.

He has returned money for

affordable and social housing.

You

0:57:210:57:28

are out campaigning for the local

elections. What are people saying

0:57:280:57:31

they want to hear about local

spending?

Local spending is

0:57:310:57:36

allocating the money most

effectively. One of the problems in

0:57:360:57:40

most part of London is you will see

rough sleepers on the increase,

0:57:400:57:45

unfortunately, and providing decent

housing for people at a price they

0:57:450:57:48

can afford. The differences

possibly, I have taken some action,

0:57:480:57:54

and on the 3rd of April, why

homeless reduction act becomes

0:57:540:57:59

reality and local councils will have

responsibility.

With the NHS and

0:57:590:58:04

social care, and London councils

have struggled through this period.

0:58:040:58:14

This is something that could be

tackled. Both the social care and

0:58:140:58:19

the funding side. The country is

ready for a dedicated tax to support

0:58:190:58:24

the NHS and social care. We have

asked the government if they would

0:58:240:58:29

put in place at least the beginning

of that, with a penny on the pound

0:58:290:58:33

in income taxed just literally for

the NHS and social care, and that

0:58:330:58:38

would take off the pressure. If the

government did just that one thing

0:58:380:58:42

in the spring statement, that would

genuinely change people's lives.

A

0:58:420:58:47

final brief thought if we can. When

the Chancellor stands up, what can

0:58:470:58:53

we hear from Jeremy Corbyn in

response? Will he

0:58:530:59:00

response? Will he just or will he

have ideas of his own?

He has plenty

0:59:050:59:07

of ideas, and if we could just have

that money back and build 20,000

0:59:070:59:10

homes for the people who need them.

I would like to see improvements to

0:59:100:59:13

infrastructure, like Crossrail 2. We

raise the money from income tax and

0:59:130:59:22

other taxes, and it will be sent to

other parts of the country. I would

0:59:220:59:26

like to see the money raised in

London used in London for the

0:59:260:59:29

benefit of Londoners. I want to see

the money we raise in taxes used in

0:59:290:59:34

London on big infrastructure

projects.

0:59:340:59:39

That's all we have time for.

0:59:390:59:40

My thanks to Susan Kramer, Siobhan

McDonagh and to Bob Blackman.

0:59:400:59:43

And with that it's back to Sarah.

0:59:430:59:45

Welcome back.

0:59:450:59:46

The Chancellor's been out

and about this morning,

0:59:460:59:48

setting out his stall ahead

of the Spring Statement on Tuesday.

0:59:480:59:51

Here's what he told Andrew Marr.

0:59:510:59:52

There is light at the end

of the tunnel because what we are

0:59:520:59:55

about to see is debt starting

to fall after it's been growing

0:59:551:00:00

for 17 continuous years.

1:00:001:00:02

That's a very important moment

for us, but we are still

1:00:021:00:05

in the tunnel at the moment.

1:00:051:00:06

We have to get debt down.

1:00:061:00:10

We have got all sorts of other

things we want to do.

1:00:101:00:13

We've taken a balanced approach over

the last couple of fiscal events.

1:00:131:00:16

Using flexibility that we had

to continue paying down debt,

1:00:161:00:22

but also to provide additional

support to our public services,

1:00:221:00:25

to invest in Britain's future

and to reduce taxes for families

1:00:251:00:27

and small businesses

who are feeling the pressure.

1:00:271:00:31

Also appearing on the Andrew Marr

programme, the Shadow Chancellor

1:00:311:00:35

John McDonnell called

on the government to end

1:00:351:00:37

its austerity programme.

1:00:371:00:44

One thing he has done is he has

shifted the deficit onto the

1:00:441:00:47

shoulders of NHS managers, onto

shoulders of head teachers, and onto

1:00:471:00:52

the shoulders of local government

leaders and these Conservative

1:00:521:00:57

council leaders now are saying that

they are facing a financial crisis

1:00:571:01:03

because the government have had

cutbacks. This is not a matter of

1:01:031:01:09

celebration. I think he should come

into the real world because the

1:01:091:01:13

resolution foundation said in their

report today, 11 million people now,

1:01:131:01:17

not just the poorest but those just

about managing, will be hit next

1:01:171:01:20

month by the cuts in support they

get to the benefit system, so this

1:01:201:01:24

is not a matter for celebration by

any means.

To unpick what we can

1:01:241:01:29

expect in the spring statement and

other stories next week, the panel

1:01:291:01:32

are still with me. We had the

Chancellor saying there is light at

1:01:321:01:37

the end of the tunnel. How much

pressure does is put on him from his

1:01:371:01:42

own side let alone from the

opposition to spend some more money?

1:01:421:01:45

There's an interesting split in the

Conservatives, those who say now we

1:01:451:01:48

have a lemonade of the current

budget deficit on day-to-day

1:01:481:01:51

spending, we should take a chance to

invest heavily in infrastructure to

1:01:511:01:55

give the NHS more money, to spend

money on schools, and then you have

1:01:551:02:05

the fiscal conservatives like Philip

Hammond to say actually debt is

1:02:051:02:10

still 84% of GDP, we have got to

start delivering overall surplus is

1:02:101:02:15

not borrowing money to get it down

because we face economic economic

1:02:151:02:18

risks from Brexit. We know Philip

Hammond does not look optimistically

1:02:181:02:23

at that. And an ageing population on

those pressures, so when things

1:02:231:02:27

start to seem as if they are

improving, you can't reduce the

1:02:271:02:32

momentum.

It was interesting early

on the programme, talking to Sam

1:02:321:02:39

Gyimah, he said students thought

austerity was the ideological

1:02:391:02:43

position of the Conservative Party,

not a practical necessity. So if now

1:02:431:02:49

we are reaching a point where there

is potentially more money to spend,

1:02:491:02:52

politically would be wise?

It is

because if the Conservatives failed

1:02:521:03:00

to establish this narrative which

they have been trying to form long

1:03:001:03:03

time, under Theresa May they have

abandoned it, this idea that living

1:03:031:03:06

within 1's means as a country is an

end to itself, I'm not sure what

1:03:061:03:13

will separate them from the Labour

ideology. If they absolutely abandon

1:03:131:03:17

the point they have to be careful

about how they spend their money,

1:03:171:03:22

they could pledge 10 billion to one

sector, and the Labour Party will

1:03:221:03:27

pledge 100. If they cannot make that

case it is responsible to be

1:03:271:03:34

spending money responsibly because

otherwise if you don't pay off your

1:03:341:03:37

debt, it will mean higher taxes on

future generations, these students

1:03:371:03:42

and their children have lost that

political argument already.

The

1:03:421:03:46

defining political argument of this

premiership of Theresa May for the

1:03:461:03:50

many and not for the few, are the

fiscal messages we are hearing from

1:03:501:03:54

the Chancellor, do they relate to

that?

Not in the slightest. You

1:03:541:03:59

heard on the Andrew Marr programme,

giving a receptacle slap in the

1:03:591:04:06

face, the author of the just about

managing speech, Mick Timothy is

1:04:061:04:13

going to try to beat up the

Chancellor on behalf of the Prime

1:04:131:04:18

Minister's behalf, so those tensions

will remain. I think the Chancellor

1:04:181:04:22

is even more anal-retentive on the

purse strings at the moment simply

1:04:221:04:25

because of the government, the

Tories don't have a majority. That

1:04:251:04:31

means any single minority interest

who can scrape together ten or 12

1:04:311:04:37

Tory MPs, you can force the

government to do a U-turn and they

1:04:371:04:41

are piling up from defence spending,

a strong Tory bid coming down the

1:04:411:04:46

line on Universal Credit, putting

back 3 billion into it. IDS, the

1:04:461:04:56

socially conservative touchy-feely

end of the party, to the NHS,

1:04:561:05:01

tuition fees, every single one of

those minority interests will want

1:05:011:05:05

some sort of salvation. Now the

Chancellor announces bigger that £10

1:05:051:05:10

million -- £10 billion a year more

yet to play with.

Now usually at

1:05:101:05:15

this point we are talking about the

word Brexit and it does not come up

1:05:151:05:23

yet and we can't

1:05:231:05:29

yet and we can't ignore it it has

been a big Brexit week.

Yes, we've

1:05:291:05:35

heard Philip Hammond tell us

financial services will have to form

1:05:351:05:42

the ultimate deal we get from the

EU, and we've also heard the EU's

1:05:421:05:47

guidelines. They are,

unsurprisingly, taking a hard line.

1:05:471:05:53

Those two things have happened.

Another interesting thing, there was

1:05:531:06:01

an interesting appointment that

happened in the EU last

1:06:011:06:14

happened in the EU last week,

Jean-Claude Juncker's write man

1:06:141:06:16

became secretary-general of the

commission. There is a lot of

1:06:161:06:21

disquiet amongst the MPs about this

from across the European Union, but

1:06:211:06:26

also political divides within the

EU, and tomorrow they are demanding

1:06:261:06:31

some answers in the European

Parliament about this particular

1:06:311:06:35

appointment and we, the Brexit

nerds, we'll look at it very

1:06:351:06:39

carefully. It raises some

interesting questions and

1:06:391:06:41

transparency and accountability

within the European framework.

The

1:06:411:06:47

international trade Secretary Liam

Fox is off to Washington at the very

1:06:471:06:50

time the US president is threatening

tariffs on steel and aluminium and

1:06:501:06:56

it's an interesting one for British

government because Trump has said

1:06:561:07:00

allies can come and make their case

to be exempted from this and Canada

1:07:001:07:02

and Mexico have been, but we should

not be going separately as the UK

1:07:021:07:08

because we are part of the European

Union at the moment, but if we can

1:07:081:07:11

cut a deal, how would that go down

in Brussels?

Conservatives like Liam

1:07:111:07:15

Fox said for years once we are

outside the EU the advantages is we

1:07:151:07:22

can get beneficial trade deals with

major economies like the USA, and

1:07:221:07:26

now he has the chance to test Donald

Trump's words, so there's been lots

1:07:261:07:31

of rhetoric about Donald Trump about

you guys will get a big trade deal,

1:07:311:07:35

but in reality he's always been a

protectionist on trade. Will you

1:07:351:07:39

make an exception for Britain? Does

he think we are a significant and

1:07:391:07:44

economy to make that case? If Liam

Fox could get something, it would be

1:07:441:07:48

a win for the Brexiteers. The

government postponed the boat on a

1:07:481:07:54

customs union because they were

worried about losing it on the floor

1:07:541:07:57

of the Commons after the Labour

shift full support they can get a

1:07:571:07:59

concession, it would help.

A

potential windfall Liam Fox but

1:07:591:08:04

fraught with danger. If he gets a

deal, the EU will be furious and

1:08:041:08:07

that could affect the Brexit

negotiations. If he doesn't come it

1:08:071:08:11

will be rather embarrassing.

He

can't get a deal until 2021, an

1:08:111:08:15

awful long time away. We remain

within the EU's tariffs regime until

1:08:151:08:25

2021 because that is what we wanted.

New Year's Eve 2020. There ain't a

1:08:251:08:33

huge amount the government can do.

If the government could broker a

1:08:331:08:36

deal, there's talk of doing this,

not country by country, but the Port

1:08:361:08:43

Talbot manufacturers, high-density

steel used to warships, he could try

1:08:431:08:50

to broker some sort of exemption

with that, but it will interview

1:08:501:08:53

read the EU and give us an

1:08:531:09:00

read the EU and give us an even

worse deal. I don't think Liam Fox

1:09:001:09:02

I'm afraid we'll win this debate.

The big story with the Labour Party

1:09:021:09:06

the moment of course is the election

for their new general secretary. The

1:09:061:09:12

founder of momentum standing against

Jennie Formby from Unite. This is

1:09:121:09:16

not the left and right battle we

have been used within the Labour

1:09:161:09:19

Party the two very strong

significance figures from the left

1:09:191:09:22

of the party battling it out to take

over general secretary. Does it

1:09:221:09:26

matter which one of them wins and

how this proceeds for the Labour

1:09:261:09:30

Party?

It matters because you have

two rival conceptions about the

1:09:301:09:33

Labour Party should be. The view of

momentum is you need more power is

1:09:331:09:39

transferred to members giving

members greater influence over

1:09:391:09:44

policy and the trade unions still

have half of the boat on Labour

1:09:441:09:48

Party policy which act as a block

and gives the general secretary huge

1:09:481:09:52

power and then you have the Labour

Party founded by the trade unions,

1:09:521:09:57

we are nothing without the trade

unions, of course they have to be at

1:09:571:10:00

the centre of the Labour Party and

therefore it is entirely appropriate

1:10:001:10:05

Jennie Formby should become the new

party general secretary, but this is

1:10:051:10:07

a fascinating element and the left

have defeated all of the internal

1:10:071:10:11

opponents and it is now the split

within the new party establishment

1:10:111:10:16

that is playing out and some will

draw comparisons with the Blairites

1:10:161:10:19

and Brown Knights of the past. The

two rival visions of what Corbin is

1:10:191:10:24

should mean for Labour.

With policy

and vocations? Will make a

1:10:241:10:28

difference to the of the Labour

Party or is it about who it is?

1:10:281:10:34

Small policy implications. Momentum

are about as far left as you can

1:10:341:10:38

possibly get at the moment in terms

of selling up nationalisation is.

1:10:381:10:45

Len McCluskey, unite, not perhaps

quite as hard left as momentum. I

1:10:451:10:52

think it is more the culture who

runs the party, who has controls and

1:10:521:11:00

what's fascinating is watching the

Labour moderates this week. There's

1:11:001:11:04

a few of them around. One of them

described it as predator versus

1:11:041:11:10

alien for the two terrible enemies

eating each other as the revolution

1:11:101:11:16

always eats its children will be a

great battle my feeling is the union

1:11:161:11:19

will win it. They have the muscle

and bigger numbers than momentum at

1:11:191:11:23

the moment.

Labour moderates, it's

been suggested Harriet Harman could

1:11:231:11:27

be interested in being the next

Speaker of the House of Commons. The

1:11:271:11:31

second ever female speaker of

course, but John Bercow has been

1:11:311:11:35

there for a long time although there

are allegations about bullying in

1:11:351:11:38

his office which have resurfaced

this week. Is there an opportunity

1:11:381:11:42

do you think?

Yes, would be

interesting is how these bullying

1:11:421:11:49

allegations, which are only

allegations at this stage, play out.

1:11:491:11:53

It's been talked about quite a lot

and we have talked about this in the

1:11:531:11:56

Green room actually, when John

Bercow to go but he set himself a

1:11:561:12:01

limit, coming to an end, the middle

of this year. Does that mean he's

1:12:011:12:04

now leaving his job? I think he has

immensely enjoyed it but the MPs

1:12:041:12:11

perhaps not so much on both sides.

It will be interesting to see how

1:12:111:12:16

that happens. And if it would be

Harriet Harman, how the Tory MPs are

1:12:161:12:20

going to react to her taking on as

well?

The Tory MPs don't like John

1:12:201:12:26

Bercow.

They don't like John Bercow

or Harriet Harman but for her to

1:12:261:12:34

become the speaker would be

significant. Both culturally and

1:12:341:12:37

politically. She's done more than

any other MP to advance women's

1:12:371:12:41

rights and you can see why, with

such concern about the harassment

1:12:411:12:45

allegations and bullying now at

Westminster, for Harriet Harman to

1:12:451:12:50

become the speaker would be a very

important development for the its

1:12:501:12:55

Labour MPs actually who have propped

up John Bercow. He lost the

1:12:551:12:59

confidence of his own side and if

they start to turn on him his days

1:12:591:13:02

could be numbered.

Very briefly,

Harriet Harman? Can you see it?

Yes

1:13:021:13:09

because John Bercow has about ten

Tory MP mates, plus the entire

1:13:091:13:13

Labour vote and will always win

unless the Tories can find someone

1:13:131:13:16

they liked even more than John

Bercow and there aren't that many

1:13:161:13:19

more public people in the party than

Harriet Harman.

Thank you all for

1:13:191:13:24

coming in.

1:13:241:13:26

Join me again next Sunday

at 11 here on BBC One.

1:13:261:13:29

Until then, bye bye.

1:13:291:13:35

As the investigation into the nerve agent attack in Salisbury continues, Sarah Smith talks to the former home secretary Jack Straw and former diplomat and security minister, Pauline Neville Jones. She is also joined by the universities minister, Sam Gyimah - who is touring the country trying to attract young people to the Conservative Party. On the political panel are the Sun's political editor Tom Newton-Dunn, the Daily Telegraph's Brexit editor Dia Chakravarty and political editor of the New Statesman George Eaton.