03/11/2013 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss are joined by Unite leader Len McCluskey, the head of the Muslim Council of Britain, Farooq Murad, and shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna.

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Sunday Politics. It began as Sunday Politics. It began as


Plebgate, now it is Plodgate. The evidence of three police officers to


MPs is branded a great work of fiction. They tried to intimidate


the Grangemouth bosses, but in the end it was the union that


capitulated. I will ask Len McCluskey about Unite union's strong


arm tactics at Grangemouth and Falkirk. They preach women should be


sidelined and confined to the private sphere. They argued they


should be covered up. headlines: 700 jobs and a ?1 billion


investment. Work is In the north east and Cumbria. Fears


investment. In In the north east and Cumbria. Fears


the region could lose millions of pounds of health funding. And does


Hitachi's new authority is investigating --


investing thousands of pounds in a GPS tracking system to keep tabs on


its staff. With me as always, the best and the


brightest political panel, Helen Lewis, Janan Ganesh and Nick Watt


who will be tweeting their humiliating climb-down is what they


got wrong last week in the programme. If this can happen it to


a Cabinet minister, what hope is there for anyone else? Thus the Home


Affairs Select Committee concluded what many already thought about the


treatment of Andrew Mitchell by three self-styled PC plebs. They met


him to clear the air over what did or did not happen when he was


prevented from ramming his bike through the Downing Street gates.


But the officers gave the media and inaccurate account of that meeting.


Two of them are even accused of misleading the Commons committee.


The Independent Police Complaints Commission will now reopen there


enquiry. This is not a story about Andrew Mitchell, it is about the


police. Keith Vaz is often in high dudgeon and this is the highest dad


and I have seen him in for some time. They could be held for


contempt of Parliament and technically they could be sent to


prison. It has blown up into an enormous story. I do not know what


is worse, the police trying to stitch up a Cabinet member and try


to mislead the media or the incompetence they have done it from


day one. That is quite good. I would sleep more soundly at night if I


knew the pleas were good at this. It is the incompetence that shocks me.


And this is just a sideshow. We are still waiting on the main report as


to what exactly happened outside Downing Street gates. But that not


will be good for the police either. The file has gone from the


Metropolitan police to the CPS, so we are limited about what we can


say. This is about the police Federation. They were set up under


statute in 1990 as a deal in which a police would not go on strike. This


is a political campaign to get a Cabinet minister out and the legacy


of this is the police Federation will have to be reformed. We will


keep an eye on it. They were Ed Miliband's union backers, they swung


the Labour leadership for him in 2010. Now the Unite union looks like


his biggest headache. The Sunday Times has seen extracts of the


report into the alleged vote rigging to select a Labour candidate in


Falkirk. There was evidence of coercion and Gregory as well as


deliberate attempt to frustrate the enquiry. We will be speaking to Len


McCluskey, the Unite union's General Secretary, in a moment. First out


the saga began an almost ended up with the loss of 800 jobs at a


petrochemical plant in Grangemouth. Unite were key players in the


Grangemouth dispute and the union headed by Len McCluskey has come


under fire for its intimidator Tariq tactics. In one instance


demonstrators complete with an inflatable rat picketed the home of


a INEOS director. The police were called. It was part of a strategy


the union called leverage. But turning up at people's houses seems


to represent an escalation. At the centre of the rout was Steve in


deals -- Stephen Denes. INEOS launched an investigation into him


as he was suspected of using company time to engineer the selection of


labour's candidate in Falkirk. That candidate was Karie Murphy, a friend


of Len McCluskey. Stevie Deans resigned last week and denies any


wrongdoing, but it capped a dramatic climb-down by Unite union. Len


McCluskey joins me now. Thanks to the Sunday Times we now know what is


in this labour report on the Falkirk vote rigging. Forgery, coercion


trickery, manipulation. You must be ashamed of how Unite union behaved


in Falkirk. The Sunday Times article is lazy journalism. There is nothing


new in the article. This was all dealt with by the Labour Party in


the summer. We rejected those allegations then and we said we had


done nothing wrong and both the Labour Party and the police in


Scotland indicated there had been no wrongdoing. The report itself says


you were trying to thwart the investigation. First you tried to


fix the selection of a candidate to get your woman in and then you


thwarted the investigation into the dirty deeds. The reality is the


Labour Party report was deeply flawed. The Labour Party then


instructed a solicitor, a lawyer, to do an in-depth investigation and


during that investigation they got to the bottom of what had happened


and they decided there was no wrongdoing whatsoever. At the time I


was so confident we had done nothing, I called for an independent


enquiry. They were forced to conclude there was no wrongdoing


because the people who originally complained changed their evidence


and we now know they did so because Unite union officials helped them to


rewrite their retraction and Stevie Deans approved it. That is not true.


We have had 1000 e-mails thrown into the public arena and what is that


all about? Who is leaking this? They showed the Unite union was rewriting


the retractions. This interview would go a lot better if you are


allowed me to finish the question that you asked. These e-mails were


put into the public arena by the PR company from INEOS. Why are they


doing this? The truth of the matter is that all of the investigations


that took place demonstrate there was nothing to answer. This idea


that the Unite union has rewritten and the evidence from the families


has been withdrawn, the families are a part of Stevie deems' family. They


clarified the position. Do you deny that union officials were involved


in the retractions? I deny it completely. This is important.


Independent solicitors to witness statements from the family and they


are the ones that were influencing the Labour Party with the position


is clarified and there is no case to answer. Do you deny Stevie deems saw


their retractions? It is his family. So you do not deny it? It is his


family. This is an ordinary, decent family who were faced with the full


weight of the pleas, a forensic solicitor. Of course they spoke to


Stevie Deans. This whole thing is a cesspit. Does it not need an


independent investigation? This is a trap being laid by Tory Central


office. They are making all the demands. The media, the Daily Mail,


the Sunday Times, the Conservative mouthpiece, they are laying tracks


for Ed Miliband and Ed Miliband should not fall into them. Since


when did it become part of an industrial dispute to send mobs to


the home of company families. This is a legitimate form of protest and


it is a silent protest. We believe if faceless directors are making


decisions that cripple communities, they cannot expect to simply drift


back to their own leafy suburbia and not be countable. This is silent


protest. It is lawful. It may be silent in Grangemouth, but it was


not silent elsewhere. You went with a giant rat, loud-hailers telling


everybody the neighbour was evil. No, we did not. You had


loud-hailers, you even encouraged passing children in Grangemouth to


join in. That is nonsense. Look at the rat. The reality is the


Grangemouth community was going to be decimated, Grangemouth was going


to become a ghost town. I reject totally this idea there were


loud-hailers and children involved. That is a lie perpetrated by the


Daily Mail. But you have used these tactics in other disputes. We have


used the tactics in other disputes, but we have not used loud-hailers at


people's homes. Because the labour laws are so restrictive we have to


look at every available means that we can protest. It is an outrage, an


absolute outrage, that this is happening to British workers in the


21st-century. It could not happen elsewhere. Is not intimidation the


wider hallmark of your union? You were quoted as saying to do whatever


it takes during your attempts to take over the Labour Falkirk


constituency. You were instructing to dig out the nasty stuff on your


opponents. That is not true. Let's see these e-mails? This is a con


trick. Nobody is looking to dig out... This is the words of your


legal services advisor. Unite has tried to instigate a revival of


trade union values within the Labour Party. That is what Ed Miliband


wanted us to do. As soon as we started to be in any way


ineffective, there were screams and howls of derision. When the company


started to investigate Stevie Deans, your friend, your campaign manager,


that he was using company time to moonlight on the job, you called


INEOS and said unless you stop the investigation we will bring


Grangemouth to a standstill. I never said that at all. You brought it to


a standstill. We never brought it to a standstill, the company did. Who


says that I said that we would bring it to a standstill? You have read it


in the newspapers. You should not believe everything. I did not make


that threat to the management. You carried the threat out. You


instigated an overtime ban and a work to rule. And that is what


Grangemouth to a standstill because the company decided to close the


petrochemical site down. Because Stevie Deans was suspended due


introduced industrial action? Our members in Grangemouth felt he was


being unfairly treated. In the end you're grandstanding almost cost


Scotland is most important industrial facility. The day was


saved by your total capitulation. Grandstanding, capitulation and


humiliation are grand phrases. There is nothing about capitulation. Len


McCluskey did not wake up one day and decide to have a dispute with


INEOS. The workers in that factory democratically elect their shop


stewards to represent them and to express to management their concerns


and their views. That is what happened with INEOS. Jack Straw has


condemned your union's handling of Grangemouth as a catastrophe. Have


you considered your position? Jack Straw and others in the Labour


Party, you have to ask them what their agenda is. I am not interested


in what he says. The truth of the matter is we responded to the


requirements and needs of our members. At a mass meeting last


Monday 100% supported their shop stewards and their union. We will


continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our members when they


are faced with difficult situations. You have lost all the union rights.


You have had to agree to a no strike rule, you have lost pension rights.


We have not lost rights at all, we are still working with the company


to implement its survival plan. The Prime Minister is always attacking


unions and just lately he has taken to praising the automotive


industry. Jaguar Land Rover, Foxhall, BMW at Cowley, they are all


Unite union members were the shop stewards are engaged positively to


implement survival plans and to make a success for the company. That is


what we do, but by the same token we stand shoulder to shoulder with our


members who are in struggle and we will always do that and we will not


be cowed by media attacks on us Is your leadership not proving to be as


disastrous for the members as Arthur Scargill was for the NUM? My


membership is growing. I am accountable to my members, two are


executive, and the one thing they will know is that when they want me


standing shoulder to shoulder with them when they have a problem, I


will be there, despite the disgraceful attacks launched on us


by the media. "A country ready to welcome your


investment which values your friendship and will never exclude


anyone because of their race, religion, colour or creed." The


words of the Prime minister at the World Islamic Economic Forum which


was hosted for the first time in London this week. The PM's warm


words are sure to be welcomed by British Muslims who have endured a


spate of negative headlines. There's been the controversy over the


wearing of the veil, attitudes to women, and the radicalisation of


some young British Muslims. In a moment I'll be talking to the


Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Farooq Murad.


First - here's Giles Dilnot. The call to Friday prayers at the east


London Mosque which has strong links with the Muslim Council of Britain,


one of the more vocal groups amongst British Muslims. Despite the fact it


frequently happens, it is neither helpful nor accurate to describe the


British Muslim community. There are so many different sects,


traditions, cultures and nationalities, it is more accurate


to describe the British Muslim communities, but there is one


question being put to them - are they doing enough internally to


address some challenging issues Are they willing to confront


radicalisation, attitudes to non-muslins, two women, and cases of


sexual exploitation in a meaningful way? A number of them say no, not


nearly enough. This former jihad de has spent ten years telling young


Muslim teenagers how they can reject extremist radicalisation, using


Outward Bound courses and community work, but he and others doing this


work thing -- think some elders are failing the youngsters. This has


been going on for decades, one figures -- thing is said in public


to please people but in private something very different is being


said and the messages are being confused. Some of the young people,


it pushes them further into a space where they are vulnerable for


radical recruiters. For many Muslim youngsters, life is about living 1's


faith within an increasingly secular society, a struggle not helped if


rigid interpretations of the Koran are being preached, say some


sectors. Some practices often don't make sense in 21st-century Britain,


and you are perhaps creating obstacles if you stick to those and


it is perhaps better to let go of those cultural problems, especially


when they need to clear injustices like forced marriage, reticence to


talk about grooming for example or discrimination against women. There


is a long list but I am very clear that in fact the bad Muslim is the


one who sticks to unflinching, narrow dogmatic fundamentalist


perception of religion. One issue often focused on is the wearing of


minicab. Polling suggests 80% of Britons would favour a ban in public


places. -- the niqab. Many people don't seem to recognise the legacy


of the niqab. Many people preach that women should be sidelined and


that they are sexual objects that should be covered up and the


preservation of morality falls on their shoulders. The Muslim Council


of Britain recently got praise for holding a conference on combating


sexual exploitation. In the wake of abuse cases that had involved


predominantly Pakistani men. For one man who has followed the story for


some years, the Muslim Council of Britain needs to do much more. We


need to get along together and if things like attitudes towards the


normal slim girl in stark contrast to the expression of honour and


chastity of the Muslim girl, your sister or daughter, are such that


actions that would be an fought off with a slim girl becomes permissible


with a white girl, then we are all in trouble. To some, attitudes to


women are not limited to sexual interactions at the very structures


of life in Muslim communities and indeed the Muslim Council of Britain


itself. I would like to ask the Muslim Council of Britain what they


are doing about the fact that very few mosques give voices to


are doing about the fact that very the fact that someone women are


experiencing female genital mutilation and forced marriages


what about the women who are getting married and their marriages are not


being registered and they are being left homeless and denied maintenance


rights, what about the fact there are sharia rights that have been


found to be discriminating against women, and the fact there are men in


this country who continue to hold misogynistic views about women, what


are you doing? The occasional press release will not solve this problem


of a deeply patriarchal community. That all of these issues can be


exploited to the point of Islam phobia is not doubted, but many


Muslims feel that unless the communities do tackle this openly, a


big cultural gap will exist between the two.


And the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Farooq


Murad, joins me now. One visible sign that sets muslins aside is the


veils that cover women's faces. Do you think it makes them impossible


to be part of mainstream society? The niqab is not an obligatory


requirement. But do you accept that those who wear it are cutting


themselves off from mainstream society? Some people do, and whilst


wearing niqab, some of them are working in various walks of life


successfully and it is seen as a faith requirement, but it is a red


herring in the sense that it applies to such a small number of Muslim


girls. For many Muslim preachers, isn't separation precisely the point


of the niqab? Certainly not, if you look at the Muslim women in the


public sphere, we have many very successful women. But not the ones


who are veiled. Not in the public arena as such, but the veil is a


practice which is practised by a very small number. Do you favour


it? I personally think it is not a requirement. But do you think women


should wear the veil? I think it is wrong to force women to wear the


veil. I asked if in your opinion women should wear the veil? It is


important not to force women to wear the veil. Should they of their free


choice where the veil? A lot of individuals do things out of their


free choice which I do not approve of, I don't think it is conducive it


helps their cause, but I do not have the right to take their choice away


from them. I am still unsure if you think it is a good thing or a bad


thing. Are not many Muslim women in this country being forced by Muslim


preachers and often their male relations who want to keep Muslim


women their place? As I said, it is wrong for anyone to force Muslim


women. But how would we ever know in a family if a woman was being


forced? Exactly, we don't know what is going on in people 's homes and


what pressure is being applied. I want you to look at this picture,


very popular on Islamic websites, and it shows the women who is


wearing the niqab having a straight route to heaven, and the other


Muslim woman dressed in western gear condemned to hell. Do you consider


that a proper message for Muslim women? Not at all, I don't. So any


Islamic websites in Britain... The Muslim Council of Britain is an


organisation of five affiliates from across the country and this is not


coming from any of them. As I said, those minority views propagated by


individuals should not be used to represent Muslim community. So that


would not have the support of the Muslim Council of Britain? It would


not have the support. What about the Muslim free school that requires


children as young as 11 to wear a black veil outside of school? Do you


agree with that? I am not sure exactly what the policy is... I have


just told you, do you agree that girls as young as 11 should wear a


black burka outside of school? I don't think it should be imposed on


anybody. But this is the desired dress School of the Muslim females.


I am asking for your view. I said it at the beginning that I do not think


it should be imposed. Would you send your daughter to a school that would


wear a black burka at the age of 11? Would you? No. It seems that some


muslins are determined to segregate young Muslim girls right from the


start to very early from society. It is not their segregation as such, I


would say that there are faith schools, if you look at an Islamic


girls school in Blackburn in a traditional setting, it has come the


top of the league table this year in the secondary school league tables.


But it doesn't make 11-year-olds wear black burkas. Many of those


girls go on to have a successful career. Not wearing black burkas. I


am sure there are examples of women who do have successful careers.


There is a very conservative movement from the continent on


Islam, and the issue supposedly based on Islamic law on their


website. Here is one of their recent judgements. The female is encouraged


to remain within the confines of her home as much as possible, she should


not come out of the home without need and necessity. What do you


think of that? We need to say the whole context of that quote. They


are saying they should stay at home as much as possible, do you agree


with that? I see many Muslim women who are walking about... But this is


what the mosque is recommending women should do. The practice is


quite the contrary. Let me show you another one. Another Fatwa. Do you


agree with that? These have been picked out from material dating back


to different cultural settings and in practice they are not applied.


This is advice being given as we speak. This is not being practised.


Do you agree with it? No, not at all. These are from the DL Monday


mosques, how come 72 of these mosques are affiliated to your


counsel? There may be publications from one of their scholars, but they


have been written in countries abroad and translated. This is


advice being given to young women now. They are affiliated to the


Muslim Council of Britain. Do you ever speak to them about that? The


Muslim Council is a very broad organisation. We are working on lots


of common issues to create a community which positively


integrates. Did you ever speak to them to say this is not appropriate


for British Muslims? There may be certain ad buys and publications


available, but people make their choices. So it is OK for your


organisation to issue things like that? Many of these things will fall


under scrutiny and we need to create that. Why do only 26% of British


mosques have facilities for women? If you go back to the requirement of


prayer, it was not obligatory for women to come to the masks to


prayer. When a poorer community began putting up mosques at the very


beginning in terraced houses... Did you have a policy to encourage them?


Is it on your website? It is in our practices that 20% of the council


have to be female. Coming out of this movement there is a conscious


stream of superiority between Muslims and non-Muslims. Look at


this quote. He is a well-known picture in this country.


That is what he wants to stop. I disagree with that. We believe we


live in this society and Muslims in any society of the world, and they


have historically lived as minorities in many countries... You


would this associate yourself from that? Why do you allow people like


that to be affiliated to you? The requirement is for any organisation


to be affiliated is that they are bound by the Charity commission s


rules and regulations. We only accept those who are under the law


of this country. This is a matter of taste. Let me move on to a bigger


issue. In 2009 you signed the Istanbul dash-mac the Istanbul


declaration was signed. Do you still support it? No, we never signed it


declaration was signed. Do you still or supported it. One of your leading


lights signed it. In the media mainstream he defended his position.


You have this associated yourself from it? What is wrong with that? I


am not sure about the declaration because we disassociated ourselves.


Before reading it? We did not sign it. You have not read it? I do not


know all the aspects of the declaration, but at the time in the


national newspapers and media there national newspapers and media there


was a discussion and a debate and it was highlighted that that was not


was a discussion and a debate and it what was meant by the declaration.


When did you decide so is the yourself from the declaration? From


day one. We never signed it. The East London Mosque which you are


personally closely associated with is the venue for a number of


extremist speakers, who espoused extremist positions. In 2009 the


mosque posted a video and presentation by somebody described


by the UN Security Council as an Al-Qaeda leader supporter. Another


speaker described Christians and Jews as Phil. You have had a jihad


is supporter of the Taliban there. Why do you do nothing to stop


extremists like that at this mask with which you are associated with?


We do not have anything to do with any rhetoric that condones or


supported violence. We issue guidelines and the mosque itself is


a registered charity which has its own rules and regulations, but it is


a very large mosques and lots of organisations book and come and told


their gatherings. We rent out the facilities. You were prepared to


speak alongside a man who saluted suicide bombers, and said 9/11 was a


Zionist conspiracy. Why would you share a platform like that? I did


not share a platform like that. Different organisations come and


have conferences here. Why did you agree? I did not agree with that. I


completely reject that. When you add all this up the attitude to women,


the alliance with the most fundamentalist Islamic mosques, the


toleration of intolerant views, a willingness for you to be counted


among them, why should anybody of goodwill, either a Muslim or a


non-Muslim, regard the MCB as a good force? It is an organisation which


embraces different organisations which are affiliated in the Muslim


community. You have taken snippets of certain individual views which


are not the views of our affiliates. It would be unfair to represent our


view based on those which you have highlighted in this programme. The


work that we do is quite clear and is on our website. They are all


associated with you, but we will have to leave it there. You are


associated with you, but we will watching the Sunday Politics. Coming


up: I will be talking to If Hello and welcome to your local


part of Sunday politics. Just as satisfying but a bit closer to home.


Coming up this week: Fears that some of the most deprived areas of the


north east and Cumbria could lose out on millions of pounds of health


spending under a new NHS funding model. North`east Liberal Democrat


Euro MP Fiona Hall and the Labour MP for Washington and Sunderland,


Sharon Hodgson, are here to discuss that and the rest of the week's


news. And let's get going with good news. Construction work has begun on


Hitachi's new rail plant in County Durham. It will eventually employ a


workforce of 730. The Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, was


in Newton Aycliffe on Friday to give the project Government's official


stamp of approval, along with Business Secretary Vince Cable who


said it was a major step forward for both north`east manufacturing and


the railways. This is the proper this really big


project. Hitachi are going to commit a to it. We are talking about 700


jobs to it, a lot of jobs in the construction stage and in the supply


stage. We are getting a real revelation in Britain. Heavy


investment is going into Rail. But the trains are


manufactured in Japan and shipped over here? It was made very clear by


the company. But there is a commitment to building up their


supply chain here. These trains will be exported on over Europe.


Vince Cable talking to our business correspondent Ian Reeve.


In the North East, we have had some really positive signs lately, which


is great. But we must not forget that when pots of money is dished


out, it is not dished out fairly. ?225 million of that money was given


to the south`east London, and only 34 million to the East. But this is


good news for manufacturing? Yes, it is, but you have to see it as a


whole, not in isolation. Should wee bit disappointed it is just an


assembly plant? No, there is a commitment to build them here. We


have already got local companies signed up in the supply chain. It is


also worth remembering that this is Hitachi rail Europe and they have


said the interested in the UK market and in continental orders. And that


is only there because we are part of Europe. HS2 could secure vital jobs


in Durham? But you are dithering on it? Not at all. There was a vote on


Thursday on that. But Labour MPs have been attacking it. Most


north`east MPs I know that are in support. The report we had recently


said that it will be up on `` it will be a positive benefit in the


north`east. But one MP was criticising the report for just


that? That was just one MP. There is not a bottomless pit of money, we


have to be fiscally responsible. But Labour are in support of High Speed


two. Having good news on the way, Hitachi when it opens, but there was


bad news this week in the manufacturing sector with job losses


in the steel industry. We are not out in the woods in terms of


manufacturing yet? No, we are not. We started another place. I have


spent the week going round a meeting a lot of companies in the region and


I was quite struck by how several of them in different sectors said


cautiously that it is getting better, this last quarter or two, we


have been on the right side of the line. That is something to be very


pleased about. Can we be confident that manufacturing is in good hands


in the north`east? The workers in the North East are being renowned


for being some of the best. Getting enough government support? No, I


think we can always get a fair slice of the government funding. But with


regard to unemployment, I think there is still a lot of worry here


in the north`east, and in my constituency in particular,


long`term unemployed has gone up by the worst amount in the whole


country. Thank you. Now, parts of the north`east and


Cumbria has some of the worst health problems in Britain. But a new


funding formula being considered could reduce the amount of money GPs


get to tackle them. NHS England is considering switching resources away


from the most deprived areas and towards places with the highest


number of older people. But there are potential winners as well as


losers as Mark Denton reports. Pennywell in Sunderland, a place


that is used to facing problems, high unemployment, anti`social


behaviour ` for years, they have been challenges here. If you live in


this area, you are more likely to die earlier. Women's life expectancy


is three years less than the English average, men's is five years less.


There are high levels of cardiovascular and respiratory


disease, principally from smoking, but also from the history of heavy


industry diseases. There are also concerns about obesity, based on


poor diet. But despite those problems, could this area be about


to see money axed from its health budget? NHS England is reviewing the


way it handled money to clinical commissioning groups. At the moment,


deprivation is taken into account. But one idea is to scrap that and


switch funding to areas with high levels of elderly people And that


could leave a hole in the North's health service funding. . Sunderland


could lose ?41 million, Newcastle ?15 million, Gateshead ?21 million,


and Cumbria ?62 million. Inevitably, commissioning groups will have to


look at cutting some of the provision that they give no. `` give


now. That may be some of the obesity clinics, smoking clinics. It may


have an impact on people's health. The plan is to remove ?230 million


from the health Commissioner's budget for the North East and


Cumbria. That would have a devastating effect on health care in


the north`east of England. What makes matters ten times worse is I


asked about this year ago and received an assurance from the


Minister that they would not do what they are now consulting on doing But


they see things rather differently 70 miles away. . Just although there


is a North Yorkshire market town of horse `` Hoares. Some in the local


health service thinks of funding shake`up could benefit this


community. This is a huge area. The doctors have got a lot of ground to


cover here. If they put the business on age, it should benefit the


practice enormously and help to put it on a secure financial footing.


The cost of complying with rules and regulations, many of which have been


brought in the last three years, falls disproportionately on us.


North Yorkshire is a very popular place for people to grow old in.


People who are more elderly have more complex health and social needs


and this has to be reflected in a higher health care budget. There is


still time for town and country to make their case. NHS England will


make a final decision next month. The funding challenge ` giving areas


with very different health needs a fair deal.


This is taking health funding from deprived areas in the north and


least deprived areas in the south. This is not something that will


definitely happen. It is being consulted on. NHS England is doing a


bit of kite flying here. I would say it as a bad thing myself. Under the


coalition government, we have ring fenced health funding, but we have


also made it a legal obligation to address inequality. I agree with the


figures about the North East. We get 17 years less of healthy disability


free living in the poorest areas than in people in places like


Hampshire. If you are going to have a legal obligation on inequality,


you cannot do this. Why is it coming back again? Why aren't Liberal


Democrats in government saying stop this? Because this is a consulting


`` phase. Dead of University have come forward with `` with good


academic evidence against this. We need that evidence to come forward


now. Just a consultation, kite flying? I would love to be able to


trust the government that they will not just steam roller this through.


It is what they have done with all the health and social care changes.


The unfairness of this policy if it happens is just astonishing. Healthy


life expectancy in South East Hampshire is 68 years. And in my


constituency it is 58 years. Yet Sunderland, pierhead, `` Peter


constituency it is 58 years. Yet But does this principle not make


some sense? We have an ageing population, it does cost more to do


with the health concentrations of older people, surely that is needed?


But if you are healthy, it is not much of a cost. We have long`term


implications from our industrial past, higher smoking and alcohol


abuse... But we saw that GP practice who feel they have not had enough


money in the past, not enough recognition for dealing with an


ageing population. There might have been small adjustment that could


have happened. This adjustment is not small. But suspicion he will be


that it is very convenient. This formula benefits Conservative


constituencies, unlike Labour constituencies in the North. But


there is a legal obligation to address and fairness. That is by


this funding proposal at it is being flagged at the moment cannot go


ahead. But there is a legal requirement to address inequality


and the government put this in place. Any changes in funding, that


legal obligation has got to be carried out.


And the issue of NHS funding for the north`east will be raised at


Westminster on Tuesday by the Middlesbrough South MP Tom


Blenkinsop. Now, back in January, Cumbria County


Councillors took one of their most important decisions. They appeared


to rule out the area as the site for the UK's high`level nuclear waste


store. District councillors in Copeland and Allerdale took a


different view, but that did not matter as all local authorities had


to agree for the idea to move forward. Ten months later, ministers


have reopened the consultation over where to put the underground storage


and suggested a change in the rules. As Emily Unia reports, campaigners


have called that a shameless attempt to usurp local democracy.


Side`by`side, but fiercely opposed. Those for and against continuing


with this search for somewhere to bury your waist and Cumbria. Hoping


to make their voices heard outside the county council in January. The


decision by county council is to pull out of the process overruled


the yes vote by Copeland and Allerdale Borough Council. But now


the government wants to overrule that. It is a move that makes more


sense for some politicians in West Cumbria. In that consultation, it is


clear to me that the rights are given to the local people and the


local authority will just be there to listen to the community and then


take the final decision. But those who hoped January's vote was binding


are angry about what they say is an astonishingly undemocratic move by


the government. They believe it is `` is geology is unsuitable. It has


not gone down well with the local MP. It is the same old faces the


same old antinuclear campaign. In a campaign against the presence of


radioactive material, it is a curious one given that 75% of those


materials nationally are already there. Well, let's put that point to


Eddie Martin, a former leader of the county council who has helped set up


the new Cumbria trust. We have not issued any mysteriess, we are


totally in support of Sellafield. We have argued very strongly for much


greater investment in Sellafield than hitherto. We are not


antinuclear. One or two members of the Cumbria trust may be, but the


Cumbria trust is not antinuclear. But you do want to prevent an


antinuclear store `` and nuclear store being put in Cumbria. It is


morally indefensible to put nuclear waste into a deep repository which


is geologically unsafe. I do not know if the camera can see these,


these are the number of holes which have been made in West Cumbria.


Hundreds and hundreds of boreholes. Not just searching for a geological


disposal facility, for oil, for gas, first seismic activity. There


are all the boreholes, hundreds of them. What we know from qualified,


distinguished professors of geology, West Cumbria is not


suitable. That was still being explored. You're concerned as well


about damaging Cumbria, but that image would already be damaged?


There is a great deal of expertise at Sellafield. What we are saying is


that far from storing it under the present conditions, there has to be


greater investment in Sellafield in order to store it under the best


conditions, not disability to this Swedish facility I visited recently.


`` not dissimilar. Why do you want to stop the councils from having a


look at this? At what? You holster for this store? Because we are told


by a significant number of well`qualified people that you


cannot put it in Copeland or Allerdale because they geology is


not correct. We are talking about 30 years from now anyway.


Now to the rest of the week's news and two of the North's MPs used


debates at Westminster to draw attention to the problems faced by


disabled people. Here is Mark with the week in 60 seconds.


Hate crimes against disabled people should be treated the same as


religious or racial attacks according to a Gateshead MP. This is


a national problem and a national scandal where people with learning


disability are having dreadful experiences because of bullying.


They risked elderly and blind people from electrical vehicles has been


raised by our north`east MP. They are so quiet, the pose a danger to


those members of the public who rely on hearing sound to judge when it is


safe to cross the road. Finally, a late`night levy, the


first in the UK, is started in Newcastle.


Well, let's talk a little bit more about electric vehicles and the


danger they might pose to pedestrians because they are just


too quiet. I understand you want this to


happen. But if manufacturers like this, why the need to legislate? I


went out on the street blindfolded with a guide dog and that gave me a


powerful sense of how scary it is out there and how much you are


dependent on what you can hear. What they are saying is that if it is


just a voluntary thing, you cannot be sure that all manufacturers will


follow that. In terms of confidence, people who are visually impaired,


will worry when they are going out. They persuaded me and I persuaded my


group in the European Parliament. The wonderful to include it as a


statutory part of legislation on noise which is decided at a European


level. We are hoping that we will win the day on this point and that


we will get it through. In your constituency, bloody want more


legislation on this? `` do they want more legislation on this?


they are already doing this by themselves. I have driven in one of


these vehicles and the noise that is admitted if you drive at less than


90 mph, `` at more than 90 mph, there is greater noise. I am very


pleased to hear this has been done and I am baffled by the government


is resisting it. The evidence is pretty sketchy. To rush to law on


sketchy evidence is that a good idea? I do not think it is


satisfactory until we have had accidents.


Don't forget to let me know your views by following me on twitter and


letting rip, politely. Next week, a north`east MP turns the tables and


puts some tough questions north`east MP turns the tables and


Thank you for coming, north`east MP turns the tables and


puts some tough questions to Thank you for coming, great to see


you. Andrew, back to you. Labour 's relationship with Unite and other


issues all to be discussed in the Week Ahead and we're joined now by


the shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna. First I would like to get


your reaction to the interview I did earlier with the General Secretary


of the union Unite - Len McCluskey. Let's look at what he said. This is


a trap being laid by Tory Central office. They are making all of the


demands and the Daily Mail, the Sunday Times, are you telling me


they are not the conservative mouthpiece in the media? They are


laying traps for Ed Miliband and he should not fall into them. Though it


is all a Tory plot. Len McCluskey denies a lot of the allegations put,


but let me be clear in an industrial dispute, the use of aggressive or


intimidatory tactics by either side is totally unacceptable. Do you


think it is wrong for Unite to send its members to the homes of


managers? I don't know what happened in that particular case, but I think


you should keep people 's families out of these things and if you are


doing something that can upset particularly children, that is a bad


thing. I know he denied a number of things you put to him. We now know


some of the content of Labour 's own report into what happened at Falkirk


and they found all sorts of things - forgery, coercion, trickery and even


that their own investigation was being thwarted by Unite. What should


Labour do next? I have not read the report. We are told that the latest


allegations that have been made is something that the police are


looking into so that is not something I think would be


appropriate for me to comment on. We learned Labour Party members in the


Falkirk constituency have complained to the leader of the Scottish party


about a lack of action by the Labour Party on what happened in Falkirk. I


am not part of the Scottish party and that is news to me. But the


police have indicated they are looking at the new information that


has come to light. It is a bit like the 1980s and there was an


electrifying moment when Neil Kinnock took on the militant


tendency in Bournemouth in 1985 Ed Miliband has sort of tried to take


on the Unite union, but it has not worked. Does then not need to be an


electrifying moment for Ed Miliband? Your own paper has praised him for


seeking to address the issues we have in politics and the


disconnection from people. In many respects the situation in Falkirk


categorises the process of further ongoing change where we are trying


to establish a better relationship with individual trade union members.


In parts of my constituency, some of the most deprived parts, we had


people queueing round the block to vote. I do not think the issue is


that people are not political, but they have never felt so far from


party politics as they do now and that is why Ed Miliband announced


this big chains about how we do things in the Labour Party, so we


change structures in the Labour Party that were set up in the 2 th


century. The reform of the way in which we connect and our


relationship with the union puts us in a good position because we have


this relationship between the 3 million working people who ensure


our public services function. At Grangemouth INEOS stood up to


unite. At Grangemouth and Falkirk Labour rolled over to the Unite


union. I do not agree with that I'd just explained the reason. I do not


think it is fair to ask people to give evidence in an enquiry on the


basis of the report will be confidential and then to publish it


after. But if somebody is trying to take over a Labour constituency to


send an MP of their choice to our Parliament, that should not be


secret, that should be public. Ed Miliband acted very decisively. That


constituency party is still in special measures as I understand it.


This idea that somehow the Unite union runs the Labour Party, they do


not. The special measures mean according to Eric Joyce, that an


ally of Stevie Deans is chairing the meeting. I am interested in the Tory


suggestion that they would offer free Tory party membership to union


members. I then moving onto your turf? We do not know exactly all the


facts and the truth of the allegations that have been made On


your point I think it is healthy the Conservatives are looking to recruit


trade union members. A lot of their rhetoric is very negative in respect


of trade unions. If you look at Unison a third of the members vote


Conservative. In Unite union some of their members vote Tory. I think


trade unions have a lot to bring to our country. It is one of the things


many up and down the country will find very frustrating, a lot of the


good work that unions do if it gets tarnished with all the negative


stuff you see... Unite are working in partnership with GM and the


senior management in Ellesmere Port and the government ensured that we


kept that plant open. That gets overlooked by all of this. Do you


not think the bolshie behaviour from unions are motivated not by


strength, but by weakness. Unite know they cannot paralyse the


country in the way their forebears used to be able to do. Their


penetration rates in the private sector is 11%. The union movement is


weaker than it was before I was born. Some of that truck killers and


bad behaviour either death spasms of their movement rather than something


that is motivated by the fact they can't paralyse the country. You have


two increase the membership. But there is an issue about the public


perception of trade unions. It is right they should be a voice of


protest and anger and stand up for their members when it is necessary.


But people join unions for their aspiration. The unions do a lot so


that people can move up in their workplace. That profile needs to


come across as strongly as the protest part. I want to move on to


business. The head of the CBI has said that Labour's pro-enterprise


credentials have suffered a setback. He said that in relation to Ed


Miliband's speech. I was on the radio earlier. If you look at the


things in the speech, some of that was going to be uncomfortable for


some of the countries and they tend to be companies represented by the


CBI, like energy companies, like land developers, a lot of the big


business lose out from is not doing the corporate tax cut. The energy


freeze is going to help over 2. million businesses that have been


hit by high energy bills. The business community has said we had


to bring the public sector finances back into balance. That is why we


decided to switch the money being used to reduce corporation tax and


use that to help a much greater variety of businesses by doing a


business rate cut. It is all pro enterprise. They also seem to be


critical of your new idea of a living wage. They are not critical.


It would not be compulsory, but there would be a tax credit if they


paid it. It is good for business because if people are earning more


than they are more productive. It is good for the employee and good for


us as well because it means we are not having to subsidise people to be


paid to the extent we have with tax credits and benefits. Everybody


benefits from this. We all know after 2009 we need to have bold


change. Does Labour paid a living wage? We have got over 20 of our


councils signed up to doing so and we have made commitments in respect


to Whitehall. Does the Labour Party pay it? I believe so. Would it not


be worth checking? Do you get a living wage? Yes, of course I do. I


understand we paid a living wage. What does it feel like for Tristram


Hunt who has taken over your mantle as Labour's next leader? Is that a


relieved or are you angry? He is one of my best friends and at the end of


the day if we got obsessed with this soap opera stuff we would never get


anything done and we are working together to make sure we have got


the right skills in our workforce. That is all for today. The daily


politics is on all week. I will be here again next weekend at 12:2 pm


after the Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph. Remember if it is


Sunday, it is the Sunday Politics. Planet Earth - it's unique.


It has life. To understand why, we're going to


build a planet...up there. There were the objects that were


making the Earth. We're now weightless.


That's how our planet started. Your arms are a little bit long


Is that as small as they go? This is like every shopping trip


I've ever been on.


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