17/11/2013 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With Justine Greening, Andy Burnham and Mark Pritchard.

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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.


Downing Street announces an inquiry into allegations of hardball tactics


and intimidation by unions in industrial disputes. That's our top


Thousands dead. Hundreds of Thousands dead. Hundreds of


thousands without homes. Millions affected. What is Britain doing to


help the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan? We'll ask


International Development Secretary Typhoon Haiyan? We'll ask


Justine Greening. Winter is coming and so, it seems,


is another crisis in England's hospitals. I'll be asking the Shadow


Health Secretary how he'd put visit a North East street to see how


its residents cope with rising fatalities on the capital's streets,


and renewed calls to get lorries off the roads in peak hours.


With me, the best and brightest political panel that money can buy.


Janan Ganesh, Nick Watt and this week, Zoe Williams, who'll be


tweeting their thoughts throughout the programme.


The Government has announced a review to investigate what the Prime


Minister has called "industrial intimidation" by trade union


activists. Bruce Carr QC will chair a panel to examine allegations of


the kind of tactics that came to light during the Grangemouth


dispute, when the Unite union took their protests - replete with a


giant rat - outside the family homes of the firms' bosses. Earlier this


morning the Cabinet office minister, Francis Maude spoke to the BBC and


this is what he had to say. To look at whether the law currently works


and see if it is ineffective in preventing the kind of intimidatory


activity that was alleged to have taken place around range mouth


during the previous disputes -- Grangemouth. We make no presumptions


at the beginning of this. I do think it is a responsible thing for the


government to establish what happened and really do a proper


review into whether the law is adequate to meet the needs. That was


Francis Maude. This is a purely political move, isn't it? Unite did


this a couple of times, it is hardly happening all over the country but


the government want to say, we are prepared to investigate Unite


properly, Labour isn't. This seemed a lot worse when I thought it was a


real rat. I thought it was a giant dead rat. I am not sure if you know


much about rats but real rats are not this big, even the ones in


London. The thing is, obviously it is naked politics but I think it is


more intelligent than it looks. They are trying to taint Miliband as a


week union puppet and that doesn't really wash. They hammer away with


it and it might wash for some people. But it really castrates


Miliband in the important issues he has to tackle. Zero hours, living


wage, all of those things in which he needs to be in concert with the


unions, and to use their expertise. He is making them absolutely toxic


to go anywhere near. It keeps the Unite story alive, have to kill --


particularly since Mr Miller band is under pressure to reopen the


investigation into what Unite are up to -- Mr Miliband. They are


frustrated, not only at the BBC but the media generally at what they


think is a lack of coverage. I see the political rationale from that


respect. There is a risk. There are union members who either vote Tory


or are open to the idea of voting Tory. All Lib Dem. If the party


comes across as too zealous in as -- its antipathy, there is an electoral


consequence. Ed Miliband has been careful to keep a distance. Yes


they depend on vast amounts of money. When Len McCluskey had a real


go at the Blairites, Ed Miliband was straight out there with a very


strong statement. Essentially Len McCluskey wanted Blairites in the


shadow cabinet sacked and Ed Miliband was keen to distance


himself or for that is why it is not quite sticking. Another story in the


Sunday papers this morning, the Mail on Sunday got hold of some e-mails.


When I saw the headline I thought it was a huge cache of e-mails, it


turns out to be a couple. They peel away the cover on the relationship


between Ed Miliband and Ed Balls, with some of Ed Miliband's cohorts


describing what Mr balls is trying to do as a nightmare. How bad are


the relations? They are pretty bad and these e-mails confirm the


biggest open signal in Westminster, which is that relations are pretty


tense, -- open secret. That Ed Miliband doesn't feel that Ed Balls


is acknowledging the economy has grown that Labour needs to admit to


past mistakes. The sort of great open signal is confirmed. On a scale


of 1-10, assuming that Blair-Brown was ten. I think it is between six


and seven. They occupy this joint suite of offices that George Cameron


and -- David Cameron and George Osborne had. It is not just on the


economy that there were tensions, there were clearly tensions over


HS2, Ed Balls put a huge question over it at his conference. There


will be more tensions when it comes to the third runway because my


information is that Mr balls wants to do it and Ed Miliband almost


resigned over it when he was in government. I don't think Ed


Miliband is thinking very politically because he has tried


live without Ed Balls and that is not tenable either. -- life without.


He has defined a way of making it work. That is where Tony Blair had


the edge on any modern politician. He didn't want to make Ed Balls his


Shadow Chancellor, he had to. Somebody said to him, if you make Ed


Balls Shadow Chancellor, that will be the last decision you take as


leader of the Labour Party. Is it as bad? I was surprised at how tame the


e-mails were. At the FT it is compulsory, one French word per


sentence! To call him a nightmare, compared to what they are willing to


say in briefings, conversations bits of frustrations they express


verbally come what is documented in the e-mails is actually pretty


light. It has been a grim week for the people of the Philippines as


they count the cost of the devastation wrought by Typhoon


Haiyan. HMS Daring has just arrived near the worst hit areas - part of


Britain's contribution to bring aid to the country.


It has been one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the


Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan hit the country nine days ago, leaving


devastation in its wake. The numbers involved are shocking. The official


death toll is over 3600 people, with many thousands more unaccounted for.


More than half a million people have lost their homes and the UN


estimates 11 million have been affected. David Cameron announced on


Friday that the UK government is to give an extra ?30 million in aid,


taking the total British figure ?250 million. An RAF Sea 17 aircraft


landed yesterday with equipment to help aid workers get too hard to


reach areas. HMS Illustrious is on its way and due to arrive next


weekend. The British public have once again dipped into their pockets


and given generously. They have given more than ?30 million to the


Disasters Emergency Committee. The International Development


Secretary, Justine Greening, joins me now for the Sunday Interview


Good morning, Secretary of State. How much of the ?50 million that the


government has allocated has got through so far? All of it has landed


on the ground now. HMS Daring has turned up, that will be able to


start getting help out to some of those more outlying islands that


have been hard to reach. We have seen Save the Children and Oxfam


really being able to get aid out on the ground. We have a plane taking


off today that will not read just carrying out more equipment to help


clear the roads but will also have their staff on board, too. We have


?50 million of aid actually on the ground? We instantly chartered


flights directly from Dubai where we have preprepared human Terry and


supplies, and started humanity work -- humanitarian supplies.


A lot of it has now arrived. I think we have done a huge amount so far.


We have gone beyond just providing humanitarian supplies, to getting


the Royal Air Force involved. They have helped us to get equipment out


there quickly. We have HMS Illustrious sailing over there now.


Why has that taken so long? It was based in the Gulf and is not going


to get there until two weeks after the storm first hit and that is the


one ship we have with lots of helicopters. The first decision we


took was to make sure we could get the fastest vessel out there that


was able to help HMS Daring. HMS Illustrious was just finishing an


exercise and planning to start to head back towards the UK. We have


said to not do that, and diverted it. Shouldn't it have happened more


quickly? We took the decisions as fast as we were able to, you can't


just turn a big warship around like the HMS Illustrious. We made sure we


took those decisions and that is while it will be taking over from


HMS Daring come and that is why HMS Daring is ready there. It will be


able to provide key support and expertise that has not been there so


far. The US Navy is doing the heavy lifting here. The US Navy had the


USS Washington, there is an aircraft carrier, 80 planes, 5000 personnel


and they have the fleet, they are doing the real work. We obviously


helping but the Americans are taking the lead. It is a big international


effort. Countries like the US and the UK, that have a broader ability


to support that goes beyond simply call humanitarian supplies -- have


made sure we have brought our logistics knowledge, we have sent


out our naval vessels. It shows we are working across government to


respond to this crisis. Why does only just over 4% of your aid budget


go on emergency disaster and response? A lot depends on what


crises hit in any given year. We have done a huge amount, responding


to the crisis in Syria, the conflict there and the fact we have 2 million


refugees who have fled the country. We are part of an international


effort in supporting them. Shouldn't we beginning more money to that


rather than some of the other programmes where it is harder to see


the results question of if we were to give more money to the refugees,


it would be a visible result. We could see an improvement in the


lives of children, men and women. What we need to do is alongside that


is stop those situations from happening in the first place. A lot


of our development spend is helping countries to stay stable. Look at


some of the work we are doing in Somalia, much more sensible. Not


just from an immigration but there is a threat perspective. There is a


lot of terrorism coming from Somalia. You only have to look at


Kenya recently to see that. Which is why you talk about what we do with


the rest of the spend. It is why it is responsible to work with the


government of Somalia. Should we give more, bigger part of the budget


to disaster relief or not? I think we get it about right, we have to be


flexible and we are. This Philippine relief is on top of the work in


Syria. Where can you show me a correlation between us giving aid to


some failed nation, or nearly failed nation, and that cutting down on


terrorism? If you look at the work we have done in Pakistan, a huge


amount of work. Some of it short-term. It is written by


terrorism. That is -- ridden by terrorism. That is not going to fix


it self in a sense. Look at the work that we do in investing in


education. The things that little girls like Malala talk about as


being absolutely key. We are ramping up our aid to Pakistan, it will be


close to half ?1 billion by the time of the election. Why should British


taxpayers be giving half ?1 billion to a country where only 0.5% of


people in Pakistan pay income tax, and 70% of their own MPs don't pay


income tax. It is a good point and that is why we have been working


with their tax revenue authority to help them increase that and push


forward the tax reform. You are right, and I have setup a team that


will go out and work with many of these countries so they can raise


their own revenues. You really think you will raise the amount of tax by


sending out the British HRM see How many troops I we sending out to


protect them? They don't need troops. We make sure that we have a


duty of care alongside our staff, but we have to respond to any crisis


like the Philippines, and alongside other countries we have two work


alongside them so that they can reinvest in their own public


services. If they can create their own taxes, will we stop paying aid?


We need to look at that but the new Pakistan Government has been very


clear it is a priority and we will be helping them in pursuing that.


Let me show you a picture. Who are these young women? I don't know I'm


sure you are about to tell me. They are the Ethiopian Spice Girls and


I'm surprised you don't know because they have only managed to become so


famous because your department has financed them to the tune of ?4


million. All of the work we do with women on the ground, making sure


they have a voice in their local communities, making sure they have


some control over what happens to their own bodies in terms of


tackling FGM, female genital mutilation... Did you know your


department has spent ?4 million on the Ethiopian Spice Girls? Yes, I


do, and we have to work with girls and show them there is a life ahead


of them with opportunity and potential that goes beyond what many


of them will experience, which includes early and forced marriage.


It is part of the work we do with local communities to change


attitudes everything you have just said is immeasurable, and they


broadcast on a radio station that doesn't reach most of the country so


it cannot have the impact. It only reaches 20 million people and the


project has been condemned saying there were serious inefficiencies.


That aid report was done a while ago now, and it was talking about the


project when it first got going and a lot of improvements have happened


since. I would go back to the point that we are working in very


difficult environments where we are trying to get longer term change on


the ground and that means working directly with communities but also


investing for the long-term, investing in some of these girls


start changing attitudes in them and their communities. Why does the


British taxpayers spend ?5 million on a Bangladesh version of Question


Time? We work with the BBC to make sure we can get accountabilities...


That is bigger then the BBC Question Time Normal -- budget. That includes


the cost of David Dimbleby's tattoo! We are working to improve


people's prospects but also we are working to improve their ability to


hold their governments to account so that when they are not getting


services on the ground, they have ways they can raise those concerns


with the people who are there to deliver services for them. In your


own personal view, should the next Conservative Government, if there is


one, should you continue to ring fence spending on foreign aid? But


it is critical that if we are going to spend 7.7% of our national


income, we should make sure it is in our national interest and that means


having a clear approach to humanitarian responses, in keeping


the country safe, and a clearer approach on helping drive economic


development and jobs so there is a long-term end of the dependency Do


you believe in an shrine in the percentage of our GDP that goes on


foreign aid in law? Yes, and that is a coalition agreement. There have


been a lot of agreements that you are sceptical about ring fencing. We


are focused on shaking up the economy and improving our public


finances. Why haven't you done that? At the end of the day we will be


accountable but we are committed to doing that. You are running out of


time, will you do it? I hope we can find the Parliamentary time, but


even if we don't, we have acted as if that law is in place and we have


already met 0.7% commitment. If you are British voter that doesn't


believe that we should enshrine that in by law, which means that with a


growing economy foreign aid will rise by definition, and if you think


we should be spending less money on the Ethiopian Spice Girls, for whom


should you wrote in the next election? I think we have a very


sensible approach. I don't know what the various party manifestoes.. The


only party who thinks we shouldn't be doing this is UKIP. I think you


have to look at the response to both the Philippines crisis and Children


In Need. Of all the steps we are taking to get the country back on


track, it shows the British people will respond to need when they need


it and it is one of the things that makes Britain's special.


Thank you. "It's always winter but never Christmas" - that's how


doctors describe life inside accident and emergency. The College


of Emergency Medicine have warned that this year could bring the


"worst crisis on record". If that dire prediction comes, expect a


spring of political recriminations, but how prepared are the NHS in


England? And what do they make of this autumnal speculation? Giles has


been to Leeds to find out. This winter has already come to our


hospitals. It had an official start date, November the 3rd. That is when


weekly updates are delivered to the NHS's most senior planners, alerting


them to any sudden changes in patient numbers coming in. Where do


they numbers register most then A They are the barometer for what


is going on everywhere else, and they are the pressure point, so if


the system is beginning to struggle then it is in the A department


that we see the problems. It is not that the problems are the A


departments, but they are the place where it all comes together. Plans


to tackle those problems start being drawn up in May and they look at


trends, even taking notice of any flu epidemics in New Zealand. They


also look at the amount of bets But the weather, economic realities


structural reforms, and changes to the general health of the


population, are all factors they have to consider. We get huge


amounts of information through the winter in order to help the NHS be


the best it can be, but we had to redouble our efforts this year


because we expected to be a difficult winter. We know the NHS is


stretched so we are working hard to be as good as we can be. That means


they are looking at winter staffing levels, plans to ask for help from


neighbouring hospitals, and dovetailing help with GP surgeries,


and still having the ability to move up an extra gear, a rehearsed


emergency plan if the NHS had to face a major disease pandemic. You


spend any time in any of our hospitals and you realise the NHS


knows that winter is coming and they are making plans, but you also get a


palpable feeling amongst health workers across the entire system


that they do get fed up of being used as a political football.


Doctors and all health care professionals are frustrated about


the politics that surrounds the NHS in health care. They go to work to


treat patients as best as they can, and the political knock-about does


not help anyone. I find it frustrating when there is a


commentary that suggests the NHS does not planned, when it is


surprised by winter, and wherever that comes from it is hard to take,


knowing how much we do nationally and how much our hard working front


line staff are doing. When the Coalition have recently tried to


open up the NHS to be a more independent body, it is clear the


NHS feel they have had an unhealthy dose of political wrangling between


parties on policy. The NHS is not infallible or making any guarantees,


but they seem confident that they and their patients can survive the


winter. Joining me now from Salford in the


Shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham. Tell me this, if you were


health secretary now, you just took over in an emergency election, what


would you do to avoid another winter crisis? I would immediately halt the


closure of NHS walk-in centres. We heard this week that around one in


four walk-in centres are closed so it makes no sense whatsoever for the


Government to allow the continued closure of them. I would put nurses


back on the end of phones and restore an NHS direct style service.


The new 111 service is not in a position to provide help to people


this winter. I think the time has come to rethink how the NHS care is


particularly for older people so I propose the full integration of


health and social care. It cannot make any sense any more to have this


approach where we cut social care and let elderly people drift to


hospitals in greater numbers. We have two rethink it as a whole


service. So you would repeal some of the Tory reforms and move


commissioning to local authorities so the NHS should brace itself for


another major top-down health reorganisation? No, unlike Andrew


Lansley I will work with the organisations ie inherit. He could


work with primary care trusts but he turned it upside down when it needed


stability. I will not do that but I will repeal the health and social


care act because last week we heard that hospitals and health services


cannot get on and make sensible merger collaborations because of


this nonsense now that the NHS is bound by competition law. Let me get


your views on a number of ideas that have been floated either by the


press or the Coalition. We haven't got much time. Do you welcome the


plan to bring back named GPs for over 75s? Yes, but it has got harder


to get the GP appointment under this Government because David Cameron


scrapped the 48-hour guarantee that Tony Blair brought in. He was


challenged in the 2005 election about the difficulty of getting a GP


appointment, and Tony Blair brought in the commitment that people should


be able to get that within 48 hours. That has now been scrapped.


Do you welcome the idea of allowing everyone to choose their own GP


surgery even if it is not in our traditional catchment area? I


proposed that just before the last election, so yes. Do you welcome the


idea of how a practice is being rated being a matter of public


record, and of us knowing how much, at least from the NHS, our GP earns?


Of course, every political party supports transparency in the NHS.


More information for the public of that kind is a good thing. Do you


welcome this plan to make it will form the collect in an NHS hospital


-- make wilful neglect a criminal -- make wilful neglect a criminal


offence. It is important to say you can't pick and mix these


recommendations, you can't say we will have that one and not the


others. It was a balanced package that Sir Robert Francis put forward.


My message is that it must be permitted in full. If we are to


learn the lessons, the whole package must be addressed, and that includes


safe staffing levels across the NHS. Staff have a responsible to two


patients at the government also has responsible at T2 NHS staff and it


should not let them work in responsible at T2 NHS staff and it


understaffed, unsafe conditions -- a responsibility to NHS staff. Is


there a part of the 2004 agreements that you regret and should be


undone? A lot of myths have been built up about the contract. When it


came in, there was a huge shortage of GPs across the country. Some


communities struggle to recruit This myth that the government have


built, that the 2004 GP contract is responsible for the AM decries is,


it is spin of the worst possible kind -- the A crisis. You would


redo that contract? It was redone under our time in government and


change to make it better value for money. GPs should be focused on


improving the health of their patients and that is a very good


principle. Not so great if you can't get 24-hour access. I agree with


that. We brought in evening and weekend opening for GPs. That is


another thing that has gone in reverse under Mr Cameron. It is much


harder to get a GP appointment under him and that is one of the reasons


why A is an oppressor. -- under pressure. What do you make of the


review into intimidatory tactics by unions? If there has been


intimidation, it is unacceptable, and that should apply to unions as


well as employers. Was Unite wrong to turn up and demonstrate? I don't


know the details, this review will look into that presumably. I need


reassurance that this is not a pretty cool call by Mr Cameron on


the designed to appear near the election -- that this is not a


political call. Are you sponsored by unite? No. Do you get any money from


Unite? No. What have you done wrong? It seems others are getting money


from Unite. Can I tell you what I think is the scandal of British


party political funding, two health care companies have given ?1.5


million in donations to the Tory party, they have ?1.5 billion in NHS


contracts. I wonder why you don t spend much time talking about that


and obsess over trade union funding. We are happy to talk about that We


see from e-mails that Mr Miliband's closest advisers regard Mr Ed Balls


a bit of a nightmare about him as a bit of a nightmare about him as


well? I don't at all, he is a very good friend. I can't believe that


you are talking about those e-mails on a national political programme.


My goodness, you obviously scraping the barrel today. I have been in


front-line labour politics for 0 years. I can't remember the front


bench and the wider party being as united as it is today and it is a


great credit to Ed Miliband and Ed Balls. We are going into a general


election and we are going to get rid of a pretty disastrous coalition


government. It was worth spending a few seconds to establish your not


having nightmares. Thank you for having nightmares. Thank you for


joining me. It's just gone 11:30am. You're


watching the Sunday Politics. Coming up in just over 20 minutes, I'll be


talking to the MP Hello and a warm welcome to your


local part of the show, just for the North East and Cumbria. Coming up...


Can the new Police Commissioners keep crime down in the face of


shrinking budgets or will council tax have to rise? We will ask


Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird.


My other guests this week is North East Liberal Democrat Lord Shipley


and, on the weekend of their first`ever party conference in the


region, the deputy leader of UKIP, Paul Nuttall. You have planned well


in Parliamentary and other elections in the last 12 months, you think you


could make the big breakthrough and actually win seats in the North?


Look at last night. We are polling well. We polled 56 and 58%. We are


holding our first confidence in the North East and that shows how much


our membership has grown in this part of the world in the last couple


of years and we are wanting to take this forward to the European


elections. Is it not just a protest vote? No, I do not agree with that.


We have proved very well in local elections and county elections. When


you are looking at the situation in the North East and Cumbria, your


party is falling well behind UKIP. We have many more councillors than


they do and UKIP, friendly have two fight not just the odd by`election,


but only county elections and local elections, they will find more of


difficulty. Wait until next year. More on UKIP later, but first, what


were you doing around this time last year? Were you among the 15% of


people who bothered to vote in the first Police and Crime Commissioner


elections? 12 months on, their profile may still be relatively low,


but that is not to say the Police Commissioners are not grappling with


some big issues. The most difficult is how to keep crime levels down


with fewer officers and shrinking budgets. Do you know how I am? No, I


am afraid not. The police and ten Commissioner Ron Hogg is proud of


the work he has done in the first year. What has been difficulties


trying to get out to the community, to put across the cost of policing,


so as not to disrupt services. It is not going to get easier for any of


the commissioners. Durham will have to find savings of ?5 million over


the next two years, Cleveland ?7 million, Cumbria ?4 million in


Northumbria ?10 million. The challenge of funding is going to get


even worse. The financial resources for policing our getting squeezed


every year. In that climate, how do the commissioners keep promises?


Cumbria have said they will keep the number of officers for two years.


But only have to be a part of the council tax bill purely from the


police? The amount of money that we are talking about will think police


the precept. It is around ?4 per year. If we proceed with the


proposals with this year. Some are unhappy about trusting that slice of


money to the police commissioners. That money will be an 43 pairs of


hands up and down the country. The success failure of the commissioners


will be judged by voters in 2016. Given the cuts they have to make,


the main struggle to make an impact. The Police and Crime Commissioner


for Northumbria, Labour's Vera Baird, is here now. With the impact


on resources, can you do a lot more than manage a declaim? It is a great


challenge. We have been forced to lose 1,000 officers. The lease


constable is championing the front line and I agree with that, because


that is really front`line lies and Republic confidences. We face the


loss of another ?10 million in our region and the are looking at


everything else apart from cutting officers and personnel. Well that be


possible? We are systematically going through is the support, the


cost of running particular parts of the estate, the prospect of jointly


buying things with other police forces. You thinking of raising the


council tax, for you did last year? We did last year, but 82% of people


who were consulted before this happened, said the would do that. I


will ask the public again if I have two. Is it fair to ask people to pay


more in these difficult financial times? We have the smallest council


tax precept in the country. That is by a long way. A lot of the houses


in this region are banned a. This was only half of what people were


paid PPO to pay. But the government will say is, we give you their


resources, so you should be able to manage without raising the council


tax. But they have cut it by another ?10 million on top of the other


cuts. Let us talk about the Labour attitude. They did not Police and


Crime Commissioners want, they did not feel they should put so much


power in the hands of one person. I think the pioneers in this role have


to do not only a good job, it is exciting and challenging, I think I


have made the success of it. You need a good relationship with the


chief constable. But where we agree is that the one to one relationship,


if it does not work, could have a dramatically add impact. I think the


jury is still out is whether this individualistic approach is the way


to go. One thing I am sure is that democracy will not come back. That


is not going to go away. The Liberal Democrats did not like this idea.


Where are you on this? I agree with the that the jury is out. I think


just one year to assess it was rather harsh. I think you have to


wait a couple of years before this is judged. I am surprised that 70%


of people are aware that the have a police claim Commissioner, even if


they do not know the social name of them. Only 20% apparently dead. I am


encouraged by that. I am in favour of the police run panel in its


entirety being elected. But only 15% of people voted for the policing


claim Commissioner is, how many people would turn out to vote for


that? I think once it is established, once the panel is


elected, you would then guarantee that the likes of Northumberland


would have a representative on the police authority. What is the view


of UKIP about this? I think the elections last year when a disgrace.


They did not allow for a free leaflet to go for everyone's house.


They had to pay for it themselves. The big parties ensured that they


were able to put their machinery in place. What about the way it is


working? Again, I think the jury is out. We are only talking about one


year. It would help the commissioners if the government did


not keep cutting their resources for them? Actually, claim is down, do


you then need as many staff? But there has been a huge amount of


back`office bureaucracy in the police force. I think that needed


reformed. I am heartened by what he said, which is what she said she is


going through the budget line by line, to look at all aspects of the


police force cost. That is exactly the right thing to do.


It has been a good 12 months for UKIP in the region as we have heard,


but could that be derailed? Their policy of leaving the European Union


does not play well with many business leaders, who believe jobs


would be put at risk. Only last week came this warning from Nissan, a


firm which employs 6,000 workers in Sunderland. It is a very productive


time, but it is a European point based in the United Kingdom. If


anything change, we would have to reconsider our strategy. It could


have implications on investment? You cannot look at the United Kingdom


independent of its environment. That was the Chief Executive of Nissan.


Though, we have felt that Hitachi, have made a similar announcement. Is


this not worrying? We have been hearing all of this at the time. We


were told years ago that we would have problems every did not join the


union and that has not transpired. You are as Guinness is to just your


party and assuming that you know exactly what you are talking about.


The business world is split on this. So why are these chief Executive


saying this? Not all of them are. If we left the European Union beaded


same eight trade deal. If we came out, we would sign a free trade deal


and be able to deal and trade with the rest of the world. There is no


way that we would he suddenly putting this edgy party just because


we left the European Union surely? Well, you have to remember that


Nissan will then be faced with the tariff barrier. The calls would


become much more expensive. There is no evidence that the rest of Europe


would sign up to a free trade agreement. Finally, of the trade


agreements we are part of that in the European Union, we would be a


side of the street trade agreements. What UKIP is saying is simply


incorrect. There are 12 million jobs on the continent which are directly


related to British trade. They would not put 12 million jobs at this by


not signing a free trade treaty. Do you not have a referendum? I do not


have the problem holding a referendum because I am sure it


would be one and stone by those wanting to remain within the


European Union. Fundamentally, so much of our trade goes to the


European Union, we would suddenly find ourselves faced with the tariff


barrier. All our goods would become much more expensive. The Chief


Executive of Nissan and Hitachi are absolutely right. What about the


truth of what these companies are seeing. If we came out, we could


sign free`trade deals with the rest of the world. Our trade with Europe


is going down year`on`year and trade with the rest of the world is going


up and up. The European Union is effectively an economic block for


hours. Germany has built trade and the road and they remain within the


union, why are they not talking about coming out of it? I am


absolutely convinced we will be doing this debate for quite a while.


We talked earlier about crime, but what about the job of supervising


offenders after they get out of prison? The government believes the


best way of keeping them out of trouble is to hand over the


supervision of many offenders to private companies and charities.


Ministers believe it will be more efficient than the existing


Probation Service. Those proposals passed through their latest stage in


the Commons this week, but as Fergus Hewison reports, their potential


impact is causing concern. Serving up coffee, but there is a lot more


to this class cafe in Newcastle in the CIA. Many of the people employed


here are eight offenders. `` former of offenders. I have been involved


in petty claim for much of my life. There I came from, everyone seemed


to be pinching things and stealing things. For him, the cafe has become


a weird of the life of claim. This has been a great help to help build


a foundation in work. It has also made me meet new friends and


improved my spirit. He has also been involved with the project which runs


the cafe. He said he had a positive experience with the probation


service. The Rectory help with the aims and aspirations of where I


wanted go. The North East and Cumbria as one of the worst records


in the United Kingdom of people reoffending. Under plans debated in


the House of Commons, some of the services of the probation service


will be handed over to other groups. This will only involve


low`risk offenders. This will also link into people who receive no help


us support once the finish a sentence. Some people are not so


sure. I think there could be a reversal in the expertise of what


the probation service has given offenders. There is absolutely no


guarantee that this will work. Probation workers have been on


strike over the issue, but Conservative MPs say many of the


proposals are put forward by the last Labour government. In 2008,,


when the Labour Party were planning to put this format, it is said, we


estimate that 29,400 prisoners will start shortly. Why does he not know


like the plan which has been in the offing for nearly ten years and is


finally being produced by the coalition government? The Labour


Party says a desperate overhaul of the system and an ex`offenders are


treated is drastically needed. A lot of Labour MPs have been worried


about this. Let us get Police Commissioner Vera


Baird's view on the changes to probation. Yes, the probation


service results have been very good. But this is about bringing support


for people on lower`level sentencing, lower than one year.


This is the plan. This is the plan that Labour were planning to


introduce? Yes, they were going to bring in support for people with


less than one year sentences. The very people who should be delivering


that should be the probation trust, not private companies. There is no


evidence that this will work, but there is evidence that the current


system is not working, because reoffending rates are to Harry. How


I begun to improve it? By fragment in the service and bringing people


in the desk in one category and then went your situation changes, you


find yourselves being dealt with by a completely different organisation?


The rate of reoffending as I ended stricken down, but the probation


trust has one of the best reputations and records in doing


this. He's a huge contract. They are going to be delivered not to local


companies who know the ADF, they are going to be delivered to huge


nationwide companies. The government said reoffending rates are too high,


is this a good idea to try this? Reoffending is that 600,000 times a


year and that needs to come down. I hope charities will come on to take


the low two major risk probationers. If the probation trust is doing such


a good job, why is this being considered? Many of them, but are


600,000 we offenders. It is possible there could be a problem. The jury


may be out there, but more generally, there is to be a National


probation service, with 30,000 high`risk offenders still in that.


OK, thank you. Now, some good news on jobs and a


plan to save Durham Tees Valley Airport. Just a couple of the


stories making the news this week, all in a jet`powered 60 Seconds.


Prepare for take`off. Unemployment is down by 1,000 dead in the East.


There is a plan to rescue Durham Tees Valley Airport. A Wearside MP


said Mark trains will be cancelled only once the North East mainline is


privatised. We will see 15,000 trains officially late or cancel or


without the operator reaching the required standard. He liberal MP has


this voted against the bedroom tax, well another regional MP voted for


it feel for forehead. And that is about it from us. There


is more on my blog about police commissioners, including details of


a new poll, that is at bbc.co.uk/richardmoss. You can also


track me down on Twitter. Next Sunday, we have a special report on


the problems receiving it. We will return to this


if we hear more. Thank you. Andrew, it is back to you.


Who'd be an MP? It's a good question. Certainly something Mark


Pritchard must have asked himself when his picture graced the front


page of the Daily Telegraph, with allegations that he had offered to


set up business deals overseas in return for hundreds of thousands of


pounds. Mr Pritchard dismissed the claims as hurtful and wrong. He


referred himself to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner


who has now said there is insufficient evidence to


investigate. In a moment we'll talk to Mr Pritchard, but first let's


take a look back at how the story unfurled. A Conservative MP has


denied allegations that he used his Parliamentary contacts for financial


gain... The daily Telegraph says Mark Pritchard offered to broker


investments overseas. In a statement he said the allegations made by the


Telegraph are false. Mr Pritchard was secretly filmed... What do you


make of these allegations? He has referred himself to the


Parliamentary Commissioner for standards to clear his name and I


suspect this story will reopen the debate about what MPs should be


allowed, having business interests elsewhere. Is it not clear that you


did ask for money in consultancy services? First of all I would like


to apologise for the sunglasses I have had a lot of comments about


that. On a serious point, these claims by the Telegraph of false.


You didn't ask for ?3000? They are false, hurtful and malicious. It is


known widely that I have sued the Telegraph previously. I have also


been critical of their coverage of the plebgate affair, their reporting


of that. I have been supportive of the cross-party Royal Charter and I


know that some people in the media don't like my position on that. That


is why it is malicious. I believe in a free press. That free press also


has a responsibility to be fair accurate and lawful. In discussions


with this business who turned out to be a Telegraph reporter, it is true


that you ask for ?3000 a month consultancy fee. The point is..


That is the point. No. That video has been cut and pasted to serve the


Telegraph's story. The story was that we want to get Mark Bridger,


for whatever reason, at any cost. -- Mark Bridger hard. I would not go


down the line they were hoping I would go down. Everything I own


outside of Parliament is openly declared. We are allowed to have


outside witness interests. The Telegraph need to say clearly


whether they accept that or they don't. I think you need to say


clearly whether you asked for the money or not. You then went on to


ask for ?300,000 if it was a 10 million deal, you asked for 3%


commission. Let me be clear, if I was asking for income in return for


lobbying, or raising issues in Parliament, or setting up


Parliamentary groups, or going to ministers, writing to ministers


that would be completely inappropriate. I was approached by


somebody to advise them on business. It is entirely proper and entirely


within the rules for members of Parliament to have outside


consultancies and interests. Did you or didn't you? I am answering the


question in the way that I want to answer it, not in the way that fits


a particular narrative. The narrative, unfortunately, of some


parts of the Telegraph and to be fair, there are some very good


journalists, I know there is a dispute about the direction of that


paper at senior parts. Do they want to return to being a Catholic,


objective newspaper or do they want to slip into the slippery slope of


being an agnostic rag, looking for sensationalist headlines? Part of


this has come from your membership of these all-party Parliamentary


groups. You were in Malta when you are first approached, I think you


were on a trip there, Hungary is another one, there is an


uncomfortable overlap between your political and business interests. I


have no business interests in any of those countries. Some of the country


is the Telegraph mentioned, let me be clear, I have not even visited.


You were boasting that you knew the Albanian Prime Minister and the


Mayor of Teheran and the previous prime minister. I make no apology


for making foreign trips. I think it is unfortunate we have a narrative


developing in some parts of the press that if a politician goes


abroad at the taxpayers expense it is wrong. If they go abroad at a


host government's expense it is wrong. If they go abroad with a


charity, NGO and private company, even if it is declared, it is wrong.


We want people with an international perspective in Parliament. Look at


this map. You are a member of 5 country groups. I don't know what


Canada has done not to deserve you, or Australia. 54 groups, you are a


part of. You're like... This is the Mark Pritchard British Empire. That


is very kind. If I had global interests that white I would not be


in Parliament. No, no, no. That is the point... It is the suspicion,


that you used these groups to drum up business for your consultants.


Prove it, that is the trouble. These sorts of headlines, create


suspicion. I am suing the Telegraph... Have you issued a writ?


I expect an apology. Have you issued a writ? I have just answered your


question. It is yes or no, have you issued a writ? I am in final legal


discussions tomorrow about issuing a writ. You have raised something for


top the fact is that is inaccurate. I am a member of 40-something


Parliamentary groups, of which I make no apology. We have got 54 Let


me answer the question if I may It would be very useful. There are 196


countries around the world, it is less than a quarter of the country


groups on my figures. I make no apology. One of my regrets is not


having visited Syria, I don't know if I am a member of the Syria group,


part I should become a member, I make no apology. -- perhaps I should


become. When it came to the Syria vote, I was blind sided foot of yes,


we have excellent briefings. I had to make a judgement based on part


knowledge with nothing beats being on the ground, as even BBC


journalists recognised this week. Nothing beats being on the ground.


You posted about your connections in Albania to getting a business


contract. You meet these people through these all Parliamentary


groups. That is where there is an unhealthy overlap. That is what the


Telegraph said, let's wait and see. Look... You are a newspaperman, you


know lots of people in the newspaper industry, as well as being a


respected broadcaster. I am not going to prejudice my legal


proceedings against the Telegraph. I make no apology. A good politician


has to be local am a national and international. Hang on hang on -


has to be local, national and international. We need politicians


who get out of the Westminster bubble, who have a business


hinterland, who keep their foot in the real world and have an


international perspective. And ask for 3% commission? I have answered


the question. It was a cut and pasted video, photo shopped to suit


the agenda of the Telegraph. They need to get back to serious news


reporting and I wish those well at the senior part of the Telegraph who


want to get to those days. We look forward to the writ. Thank you.


Now - there's been more good news on the economy for George Osborne this


week - inflation's down, growth forecasts have been revised up and


unemployment has fallen again. On Friday the former Bullingdon boy


donned a head torch and went down't pit for just one of many photo


opportunities ahead of the Autumn Statement, which he'll deliver in


the Commons on fifth December. And, who knows, he might even take his


hard hat off for that. # Going underground.


# Let the boys all saying and let the boys all shout for tomorrow


# Lah, lah, love, love. # I talk and talk until my head


explodes. # Make this boy shout, make this boy


scream. # Going underground.


# I'm going underground. # I'm going underground.


George Osborne in his heart out he probably sleeps with it on. This


Autumn Statement is becoming a more important part of the political


calendar for the coalition. It looks like this is where they are finally


going to come up with some kind of response to Ed Miliband's game


changing electricity price freeze. The idea which is mooted is they


will move people's green tax on two general bills which is not an answer


but cosmetically it could have apolitical impact. George Osborne is


receiving a lot of representations from lobby groups, business, MPs on


his own side, for tax cuts and extra bits spending and he has to spend


the next two weeks reminding people of something that has been skewered


by the economic recovery. This country has a fiscal deficit which


is twice that of France, supposedly the crisis economy in western Europe


or if you accept it will take another parliament again to


eliminate this deficit, we are not even halfway through the age of


austerity. He is in no position to give anything away. He has to hold


the line. Danny Alexander has been useful but this is his real


challenge. He is going to give stuff away. When the Autumn Statement


comes away, 15 months from an election, Nick Clegg has been


talking about raising the tax allowance threshold even further,


talk of moving green levies of the electricity bills, he is going to


give stuff away. We will get funding for free school meals that Nick


Clegg mentioned in his party conference. The significance of the


Autumn Statement is twice a year, a Chancellor stands up and we all look


at the state of the economy. If you talk to members of the Chancellor's


circle, it is interesting how nervous they are. They say, don t


assume we are going to have this wonderful growth for ever, don't


assume everything is fine in the eurozone. I think what would help


the Chancellor is if somebody was able to see some of that humility in


public. It is recognised that he was far too triumphalist


speech he made on the 9th of September, when he said to Ed Balls,


we have one and you cannot make an economic policy on the cost of


living -- we have... Won. economic policy on the cost of


people don't seem to learn from Norman Lamont's green shoots. Labour


has moved from complaining there is no growth, now there is, to say


has moved from complaining there is is gross but living standards are


not rising. If the economy grows by nearly 3% next year, even the bank


is saying it will grow by 2.8%, living standards could start to


rise. It does but everybody in a difficult position politically if


the economy starts growing, ironically. We need to remind


ourselves that economy, the natural direction of an economy is to grow.


Unless the politicians screw up Unless you have some idiot in


charge! It is not a cause for the Morris dance that they seem to be


doing, certainly on the Tory side. Osborne is put in a difficult


position goes he will have to stop giving stuff away, he cannot push


the austerity line at the same time as jangling his magical growth - he


will have to start giving stuff away. It puts Labour in a difficult


position, it is very unlikely that living standards will match GDP Not


since 2003, GDP has been a great indicator. Wages have stagnated for


ten years, food has gone up 17% energy has gone up 24%. That is a


decade in which everybody has got poorer. The real sweet spot comes


when wages start to outstrip inflation. It is a sweet spot and


will be a huge challenge for Ed Miliband. As ever on the economy


with a sweet spot, you have a danger moment because that is when the


governor of the Bank of England will have to look at interest rates.


Everything he was saying last week was when we move toward 7%


unemployment come that is not the trigger for raising interest rates,


it is the moment when we look at it. Everything was saying he did not


want to do that. When do you anticipate wages outstripping


inflation? It hasn't happened for so long. The second half of next year.


Wages and prices are not the sole measure of living standards, there


are broader measures which no one seems willing to use.


That's all for today. The Daily Politics will be back at tomorrow at


midday on BBC Two and I will back here on BBC One at 11:00am next


week. Remember if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With international development secretary Justine Greening, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham and Conservative MP Mark Pritchard.

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