04/05/2014 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


With Richard Moss. Andrew Neil interviews the Conservative chairman Grant Shapps and Sir Malcolm Bruce, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, on the European elections.

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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Walls are being


re-painted in Belfast as Gerry Adams begins his fourth day in police


custody in connection with one of the most brutal and shocking murders


of the Troubles. That's our top story.


He may have got egg on his face this week but Nigel Farage is a serious


electoral threat in this month's elections. I'll ask the Conservative


Party Chairman Grant Shapps how worried he is.


And we're on the trail of Nick Clegg. You were voted the best


looking party leader and the most likely to be a good cook.


looking party leader and the most In the North East and Cumbria, UKIP


and Labour candidates go head to head in the studio.


And we get the views on immigration from the Eastern Europeans living


and full of Euro candidates here to


debate what it means for London. And with me, as always, the best and


the brightest political panel in the business - Nick Watt, Helen Lewis


and Janan Ganesh. They'll be throwing metaphorical rotten eggs


into the twittersphere. First this morning - Gerry Adams,


President of Sinn Fein, has spent a fourth night in police custody after


he was arrested in connection with the killing of Jean McConville more


than 40 years ago. Sinn Fein has claimed that the arrest is


politically motivated coming, as it does, during local and European


election campaigns. Northern Ireland's deputy first minister,


Martin McGuinness, has indicated he might review the party's support for


policing in the province if Gerry Adams is charged. The Jean


McConville murder was one of the most notorious cases of the


Troubles. The widowed mother of ten was


kidnapped from her home in December 1972, never to be seen alive again.


The IRA denied involvement but in 1999 admitted it had murdered her


and several others, known as the Disappeared. Before his death, the


former IRA commander Brendan Hughes pointed the finger at Gerry Adams,


claiming: In April this year, either Bell was


charged with aiding and abetting the murder. -- Ivor Bell. Gerry Adams


has always insisted he is innocent of any part in the abduction and


killing all burial of Mrs McConville.


We were hoping to speak to the Northern Ireland Secretary, Theresa


Villiers, but having agreed to do an interview with us this morning, she


pulled out. But we are joined from Belfast by Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey.


Welcome to the Sunday Politics. And the police just doing their job by


questioning Gerry Adams? Gerry Adams said publicly some time ago that he


was available to speak to the police, but that is not what this is


about at the moment, because what we have here is clearly evidence in our


mind of political interference in what should be due process. Gerry


Adams made it clear some time ago he wanted to speak to the police, it


was available at any time, and yet that request was not taken up until


three weeks into an election and we believe that was deliberately


orchestrated by a small number of people. What evidence can you


present this morning that proves that claim? The direct circumstances


Gerry Adams finds himself in at the moment, take that in stark contrast


when they have dealt with members of the British Army for instance...


That is just circumstantial. The PSNI know that the soldiers involved


in that and a number of other high-profile killings of citizens


here, and not one of those people has been arrested. In fact any of


the people who were interviewed were interviewed by request. There was a


stark contrast, in terms of how they have dealt with the British military


involving state killings. We haven't got too much time. Sinn Fein said it


would review its support for the PSNI if Gerry Adams is charged. That


sounds like political interference in the police process. It's not


because we have a clear mandate from the people who elect us. Policing


has been an important part of the peace process here for many years,


Sinn Fein plays an important role in local policing partnerships. We


negotiate to make sure we have powers transferred here to elected


representatives in the north. It is a long way to go before we have


policing highly accountable, and making sure they deliver a very


impartial service. How will he react if Gerry Adams is charged? I am


still trying to get a clear answer. If Gerry Adams is charged, will you


withdraw support for the Northern Ireland police service? We view this


as a serious situation and a serious ongoing situation and we will


monitor how this pans out. We have a very important role to play to


support the police service here. We have done consistently, worked with


them on a daily basis, but we will not accept political interference by


a small number of people in the police who are undermining the


police. We will not accept political policing. If there was evidence, and


I emphasise the word if, because we have seen none, but if there were


evidence to justify Gerry Adams being charged, why should he not be


charged? It is my understanding from the family of Gerry Adams that there


has not been a single shred of evidence put forward. I understand


that, but if there was evidence, why should he not be charged? You put


that caveat yourself and then you expect me to speculate, there is no


way I will do that. The fact of the matter is there hasn't been one


single shred of evidence put to Gerry Adams in the last few days, in


fact what has been put to him is a range of issues of newspaper


cuttings, books, statements made from people, including from people


who didn't want their statements released until they have died.


who didn't want their statements was charged, again I emphasise the


word if, does the police process fall apart? The police process is a


fragile entity, it requires work and we have been saying this publicly


and privately with the Irish and British


and privately with the Irish and process has to be nurtured and


developed. We are not out of the woods yet. From a Republican point


of view we have been working flat out. I just wanted a quick answer to


my question, is a yes or no? What question I asking me? Is the peace


process in jeopardy? It is fragile and I am not going to have words put


into my mouth but I don't want to use. It has to be worked out and


nurtured. Thank you for joining us. Nick Watt, you were a Northern


Ireland correspondent like myself in days gone by. Where is this going to


go? It shows how challenging the peace process is because on the one


hand you have the unspeakable pain of the McConville family, but you


also have the danger of not having mechanisms to deal with the past.


South Africa is a good example, you have to have some mechanism to deal


with the past because if you don't, you are going to have, as Sinn Fein


have now, someone in a police cell but you don't have the arrests of


the Bloody Sunday soldiers. Paramilitary prisoners were released


after two years... We have seen no action against somebody accused of


the Hyde Park bombings, it is not a one-way street. We have the


decommissioning of IRA weapons by the IRA, therefore destroying


crucial evidence. You have these inconsistencies because you don't


have an mechanism for dealing with the past, but doing that is really


difficult because of the pain of real people. Don't you get a feeling


that here in London they are hoping he will not be charged? Definitely


because it would be nice if everything went away, but the civil


case of the family is taken out of the hands of the police. You can see


here a real failure in Westminster to see this as anything other than


settled. David Cameron we know sees himself as a chairman. I was


speaking to a friend in Northern Ireland who said he has never met


Gerry Adams and I think this is very revealing. They consider this as a


settled issue that will not trouble Westminster again. It would be, but


the relatives of the disappeared don't want it to be settled. This


points to the reality that the Belfast agreement probably had to be


done, but the moral price at which it was purchased was far greater


than we were willing to admit during the euphoria. For a country that


prides itself by the rule of law to tolerate the early release of


prisoners and former pal and military -- paramilitaries, I think


was a very serious matter. As for the PSNI, it only exists because its


predecessor failed to command the confidence of the nationalist


community. It is a very big deal if even the PSNI ends up falling into


the same trap. We have to is leave it there I'm afraid. It was the


Conservative's local election campaign launch on Friday, and what


did David Cameron focus on? Burning local issues like the state of our


roads, rubbish collection or care of the elderly? No. It was Europe. The


Prime Minister re-iterated again his promise of an in-out referendum on


our membership of the EU in 2017. And it's being reported this morning


that he will share a platform with Nigel Farage in a pre-general


election debate. Here's what the UKIP leader had to say about the


issue when he was on the Marr Show this morning with Ed Miliband. David


Cameron very often makes these vague promises, then doesn't deliver


afterwards. I don't think he has any intention of allowing me into any of


these debates. Perhaps Ed Miliband wants to debate? We have got to have


the TV debates as we did join the last general election. I think David


Cameron is doing everything he can to wriggle out of them. It is up to


the broadcasters but whether they invite Nigel. My main desire is that


the debates go ahead. We are joined now by Grant Shapps. Will he be


included? The debates were not without problems, they took place


during the campaign period and disrupted the flow of the campaign,


taking it out of the regions, people getting to speak to the leaders so a


longer period for that would be helpful. I think they are good idea


and they should go ahead, but all of the negotiation about who is


involved is yet to happen. So it is not a done deal that Nigel Farage


will be included? That needs to be negotiated with the TV companies.


The Conservatives believe we should have debates, but exactly the format


and the timing, all of the -- that will be debated in the autumn, but


first we have European elections, the Queen 's speech and a Scottish


referendum. The local election campaign was launched on Friday. Why


did you talk more about Europe than local councils? Both are important.


The local elections are critically important for people, their local


services. It is easy to forget, for example, that the council tax has


been largely frozen since this Government came to power, a big


contrast to Dublin under the previous Labour government. So why


did you go on and on about Europe? Let me show you the poster used to


launch your local election campaign. There it is, and in-out referendum


on Europe, the day of the local elections, where is the word local?


Is it in small print? I hear what you're saying, I am happy to be here


to talk about the local elections. But you are right, they are on the


same day, and not many people know that only by voting conservative can


you get an in-out referendum. -- Conservative. UKIP cannot deliver,


we can, it is the same date, so people... This was the launch of the


local election campaign. Why does the Prime Minister have to keep on


promising something he has already promised? The actual referendum


would be in 2017. He promised it before, he keeps repeating it


because he knows people don't really trust him. I think it is a question


of the fact that, actually, unless you remind people that the pledges


there, that the only way to get an in-out referendum is to vote for


it, this is a critical moment at which we need people to vote for


that referendum if they want it. It is not the case, as I saw this


morning, being said by Nigel Farage, that a referendum was promised


before and not delivered. There was no referendum in the last manifesto.


There will be in the next one. There was a cast-iron guarantee, in the


Sun in 2006. Let's just clear that up... Once the Lisbon Treaty... In


the Sun article, he said, we will have a referendum on the Lisbon


Treaty. Clearly, because that treaty had been passed before the general


election, it is difficult to have a referendum on something in the past.


We joined Europe in the 1970s, having a referendum on that! Look,


that is about the future. Our relationship with Europe is


absolutely critical. Most people in this country feel, I was not old


enough to vote in that referendum, most of those who voted, they voted


for a Common Market, that is not what we have got. We want to


continue the work we have been doing in the EU Budget, what did UKIP do?


They voted against it. We want more of those powers brought home, and we


will put it to a referendum, and people will have to vote


Conservative to get it. We have been looking at new research, almost two


thirds of Conservative members are considering voting for UKIP, almost


two thirds. I have a simple message here, which is this. If you vote for


UKIP... Can we have it up? 30% are likely, 30% are possible. That is


why it is important we are making these arguments. If you vote for


UKIP, you are voting to take us further away from returning powers


to this country, further from a referendum. It is support for Ed


Miliband becoming Prime Minister, and he will do exactly what Labour


have always done - hand away powers, and away the rebate for nothing in


return, giving Europe even more so over the day-to-day affairs in


Britain. Why are so many people considering voting UKIP? It is to


hold your feet to the fire, they do not trust you on a referendum, so


they will vote UKIP to force you to tap in your line. We have a very


tough line. If I had said four years ago that this government would


manage to cut the overall EU budget, would take us out of the


bailout fund that Labour got us into, passing a law that no more


powers can go to Europe without a referendum, if I had said that,


people would say, I do not believe it will happen. Not only have we


done these things, we are promising and in-out referendum, and the only


way to get it is to vote Conservative. Nigel Farage has


said, we can't change anything in Europe, and it is no wonder that the


president of the European Commission has said, we love having these UKIP


MEPs, because they don't turn up and vote, apart from when they vote


against the cut in the budget. It goes beyond UKIP in your party,


because this research also showed that those Conservative members most


likely to vote for UKIP, they said they do not feel valued or respected


by their own leadership, and they regard David Cameron as ideological


eat more remote from them than UKIP. What I would say is look at that


list... Let me take that step further. What people need our series


solutions to serious problems. When people vote for a UKIP MEP, I will


say, which one of the 40% of the MEPs who got in for UKIP last time


are you voting for, the ones above left or defected, the ones have gone


to jail? 40% have ended up not delivering. People have a right to


know what to expect when they vote in these elections. They can look at


our record at home, and this goes to the point you have raised about what


we have done in Britain to get this economy back on track, recover from


Labour's recession. We are prepared to take those decisions in Europe as


well. Presumably, active Conservative members, they know


that, so why do they not feel valued by the leadership? I spend time


going up and down the country meeting Conservative members, and


they are on the doorstep, last weekend 150 out in Enfield


campaigning for the European and local elections... Why are they keen


on UKIP? When I meet somebody who says that, not necessarily a


member... Have you met members of say they will vote UKIP? No, but a


vote for UKIP is... Do not do it, you will end up with Labour having


more control, handing away powers to Europe. 51-year-old meeting members


who say they will vote UKIP, you must be out of touch. -- if you are


not meeting members. Some of your members are thinking of voting UKIP.


I spend huge amount of time travelling around, I just told you


about this action day in Enfield, where we had an enormous turnout.


Those members were on the doorsteps pointing out that you can only get


reform in Europe by voting Conservative. Labour and the Lib


Dems will not deliver, UKIP can't, Conservatives will. You have not got


that message across, because a YouGov poll shows, on Europe, who


has the best policies? Tories 18%, Labour 19%, UKIP 27%. On the


economy, Tories 27%, Labour 23, UKIP 4. Why don't you shut up about


Europe and talk about the economy? Look, on the 27th of May, we have


European elections, as well as local elections. If I don't talk about the


European elections, you would say what you said at the beginning about


not talking about the local elections! These are serious


elections, and the point I am tried to make is that the issues at stake


are not peripheral, they are not unimportant. Our MEPs have been


battling to cut red tape from a European level on small businesses,


the same thing this government has been doing for small businesses


domestic league, where for example every small business owner watching


this show knows they have got ?2000 back in employment announced on


national insurance contributions. We are doing it at home, we are doing


it in Europe, and it is important to tie that together. Ireland that Mr


Cameron saying, you should stop banging on about Europe... -- I


remember. This is before the last general election, as in days for the


Lib Dems, 18%. Even then, you didn't win the election, and now you are


only three or four points ahead, it doesn't look good for you, does it?


Even then, the poll did not turn out to be what it was on the day. No,


that is what happens, that is the voting intentions now! You are in a


worse position than a year before the last election, which you didn't


win. We are almost proving the point that you can take a clip at any


moment in time, not sounding like a politician, but the only poll that


matters is on the day. In just over a year's time, people will have a


completely different picture to look at than these opinion polls. We have


an economy from being a basket case, the great Labour recession


knocking 7% of this economy, hurting every family, to a point where we


the fastest-growing economy in the developed world. In a year's time, I


hope people will see that we are the people who've taken the difficult


decisions, got the economy to the right place, more security for you


and your family. Do not give the car keys back to the people who crashed


it in the first place. If I had a pound for every time I have heard


that! It is clearly not getting through. On the Pfizer attempted of


AstraZeneca, Mr Miliband called this morning for a tougher public


interest test such big takeovers. Do you agree with that or not? Let me


be absolutely clear, if there is any kind of joining, we are in favour of


British jobs, British aren't deep, expanding our pharmaceutical sector.


-- R But what Mr Mallon and wants to do with rent caps, he is


anti-business. -- Mr Miliband. He wants to take us back to the bad old


those. -- bad old days. Should there be a bigger public interest test? We


have seen some takeovers that people have criticised, but others, like


Bentley, Land Rover, which have been very successful. Should there be a


tougher test?! We will have tests that ensured this get-together


becomes a great Anglo-American project, or it doesn't happen, but


the Miliband approach is simply to be anti-business, anti-jobs and


anti-job security. Grant Shapps, thank you.


A challenging week for the Liberal Democrats with a local election


campaign overshadowed by another row with the Conservatives about knife


crime. Adam has spent the day with Nick Clegg on the campaign trail.


How nice! Nick Clegg is taking me on a political mini break to the


Cotswolds. Yes, we are getting the train. He wants to highlight what


his party is doing in local government, and a personal passion


of his in Europe. Graham Watson, the Lib Dem MEP for the south-west, has


been running a campaign to have prunes recognised as a laxative. Is


that Lib Dems battling for Britain in Europe? It is not our front page


manifesto commitment! It is one of many things that Graham does, he


does many other things. In fact, he is a good example of an MEP who took


a pioneering role, for instance, in making sure... There is the proven


world, but also the crime-fighting role. -- prune. He has done work to


make sure that when British criminals flee justice, we can bring


them back. And he has promoted prunes! First stop, a gorgeous


country pub, but it turns out everyone is a journalist or a very


on message activist. Dark days, being a Lib Dem in the last few


years? Strangely not. If you find you are a Lib Dem deep down, you do


not get that disheartened, because you know that, locally, you are


doing so well for the people that you live next door to that,


actually, I find I am almost impervious to what happens on a


national level. I am mayor of Cirencester. Have you taken any


leadership lessons from Nick Clegg, inspiring new in your leadership of


Cirencester? I think what he has demonstrated his patience. It has


been a tough time, he has taken a lot of flak, and as the mayor of a


town, lots of people agree with you and a fair few don't. You are a full


on mayor, he is just a Deputy Prime Minister, do you outrank him? I


don't think so, he is in government, I am not. So our there any normal


people in here? We are from Swindon, you cannot get more


abnormal. Are you a big fan of his? No! What has he done wrong? I don't


believe in his views at all. Where has he got to? Nigel Farage would


have had a pint! At this time in the morning a copy was more appropriate.


I have no time for a drink of any kind, because now we are off to look


at a local traffic blackspot. This is amazing, like a Lib Dem election


leaflet brought to life, Lib Dems pointing at a road. High-vis


jackets! Next we had to giggle full bath, but there will be no Regency


sightseeing for us, oh no, Nick is taking us to an abandoned


wilderness. We have just had a health and safety briefing, we have


been told to look out for dive-bombing seagulls and an angry


fox. That is the sort of thing Nick Clegg has to put up with. He wants


to talk about the economy but he has to dodge the day's beat new story,


letters leaked by a Tory suggesting that Lib Dems are soft on knife


crime. Isn't that a new kind of warfare? I just think it is silly.


They may think they are clever by catching some headlines but they are


not helping people who worry about knife crime, like I do. We work


together... Just like the Coalition! This is a co-working


space where different businesses share the same office. My time with


the Deputy Prime Minister is drawing to a close. We haven't talked about


the most important story of the week, that you were voted the best


looking party leader and the most likely to be a good cook. Right,


this is news to me and I can guarantee you that my scepticism of


opinion polls has just been confirmed. Just as well because the


more serious polls don't look great for him or his party. Goodbye, and


thanks for the offer of a ride home!


He is still walking. Malcolm Bruce joins us now. According to Lib Dem


briefing documents, you are likely to choose -- lose a big chunk of


your MEPs. If you lose a lot, what would that say about a party that


boasts of its pro-Europe credentials? It would be


disappointing because we have the most hard-working MEPs. The worry


that we have is that people think the European Parliament is not


important but it takes decisions that affect us. They would be


disappointing for Britain as well as the Liberal Democrats. Isn't the


problem that the more you bang on about your pro-European credentials,


the more you slip in the polls? I do think so, we have two weeks to go


and we are campaigning extremely hard. You are forced in the polls. I


can tell you there are people out there who do believe Britain should


stay in the EU and they are worried that other parties will take us out.


The Liberal Democrats are clear, we want to stay in, we will work for


reform and do it effectively. If you lose the Liberal Democrats,


Britain's influence in Europe will be weakened. Your track record in


Europe shows you have been spectacularly wrong again and again.


In your 2009 manifesto you said the European Central Bank and the euro


have been tried and tested over ten years providing a clear picture of


the benefits of Eurozone membership and that proved to be nonsense. It


was nonsense everywhere. Every developed bank in the world was


tried and tested and failed. Europe may not be perfect, but the question


people have to decide is if we are going to leave Europe and be


isolated on RM, or use our influence to reform it from inside. We have


allies, you work with them, that is something the Lib Dems do better


than any other parties. Your 2004 manifesto, you claim that being


outside the euro would lead to job losses and reduced prosperity. You


were just plain wrong, weren't you? Yes, but the reason is that to some


extent the euro did not observe any rules and regulations when it was


set up. That is why we never recommended Britain should join at


the outset because the criteria had not been met. In 2001 Nick Clegg was


writing to the Financial Times... Your track record is important. He


wrote that the Tisch monetary policy is not all it is cracked up to be.


Britain would gain greater control over its affairs by joining the


euro. How wrong can he be? We have always argued that the currency had


to abide by strict criteria. It hasn't done so and that is one of


the reasons it has failed. We recognise there is no future for


Britain joining the euro and we are not advocating it. Lets put your


2010 manifesto on the screen. I didn't say it was not our long-term


interest. If Europe succeeds as an entity, if the euro becomes one of


the world leading currencies, there will come a point when it may be


justified. In the circumstances we are in the moment, there is no


recommended timescale. Let's get this right. Despite the Eurozone


crisis which has cost millions of jobs, countries that were teetering


on the brink of bankruptcy, the Eurozone now facing stagnation and


some countries on the brink of deflation, you still won't rule out


Britain joining? We are ruling it out in the foreseeable future. You


can miss the point that we are working as a coalition partner in


government that has secured recovery for the UK, and working as Liberal


Democrats in the parliament that have cut back the European budget in


cooperation with others. What would the world look like if it were right


for Britain to join the euro? You have 27 states at the moment, with


too many countries still struggling to meet the criteria so until you


have a strong and cohesive enough single Eurozone in which all the


countries can meet that criteria, Britain is better off out. So a more


centralised Eurozone, that is what you would like Britain to join? No,


because it can only happen by consent. Any circumstances in which


any further powers would be transferred from the UK to the EU,


we would support a referendum. You have just said that for the Eurozone


to work, it has to be more centralised and you said if that


happens, that is what Britain would join. I didn't say that, I said it


would require the consent of all member states to agree to the


criteria. We certainly do not envisage joining in the foreseeable


future. Since you are the proud party of in, why weren't you just


give us a referendum on in or out? Because it has to have a context.


What David Cameron is doing is dangerous because I think the major


players like Britain and France are not keen on the idea of being


bullied into reforms on the instigation of just one member state


which is threatening possibility to withdraw. They will have to agree to


rules... Just have it now. Do you want in or out? To have a referendum


against no background is to put it out of context. We are in the middle


of a crisis, a year away from the general election. We have made it


clear... You said we are in the middle of the Eurozone crisis? So we


are not in the middle of it? What's the middle? The reality is that the


Western world has gone through a deep crisis. The UK is coming out of


it, the Eurozone is coming out of it. Greece have been able to borrow


on the markets in recent weeks which is a sign of success. It is in our


interest is the Eurozone succeeds and recovers and we should be part


of it but not necessarily on the same conditions as everyone else.


The Liberal Democrats work with others to deliver Britain's


interests and if they are not there, their interests will be undermined.


I think a lot of people recognise say goodbye to viewers in Scotland


I think a lot of people recognise that the best approach is to change


our relationship with Europe, see it reformed and then give the choice to


people as to whether we stay in Europe or we leave. That is a much


better way to deal with the current situation because if you have an


important relationship, the best thing to do is to try to fix it if


it is going wrong, rather than immediately take the decision on


whether to break it off. That is the Conservative view, for Labour they


say there is an overwhelming economic case for staying in Europe.


The Shadow Business Secretary was in Peterlee on Thursday, meeting young


people. Unemployed young people. Labour's message is that leaving the


EU will jeopardise jobs in the region. The debate is hotting up


nicely. UKIP is making quite a lot of the pace. Jonathan Arnott,


Theresa Villiers is right, isn't she? This is about relationship


counselling with Europe, not about the option of divorce. The problem


is that we have tried for 40 years to get reform of the European Union.


It has failed. Reform requires 27 other countries all to agree. It


isn't going to happen, it hasn't happened, it is time to be honest


with the British people, say it is not working and accept one of two


things. isn't going to happen, it hasn't


happened, it is Either you take the approach that the UK should be part


of Europe and accept everything, the euro and the whole shebang, or you


take the UKIP position and say you want to be good neighbours with


Europe, trade freely with them but not have European government. There


has been some evidence your message has appealed to people. Some good


pulling this week. There are three seats up for grabs in the North


East. `` some good polling. What is your ambition? Looking at the


opinion polls, we would be disappointed if we did not take one


of those three seats. It is quite clear that across the North of


England, the last few polls have showed UKIP on over 30% of the vote,


one of those has had UKIP ahead of Labour. If that were true, we would


take two seats in the North East. That would be the absolute ultimate


dream for us, but we are certainly doing very well indeed. Just one


week ago, you told me you were not seen much sign of UKIP support on


the Labour doorsteps. Sticking to that? In fact, it is a kind of


strange situation because we are looking at these polls which are


coming out, but I think there is quite a lot of questioning about


whether you can really take the polls seriously, because our


experience on the doorstep is really quite different. We are getting a


really warm response as Labour candidates on the doorstep. Every


session, there are UKIP voters, definitely UKIP voters in the North


East, they are particularly in marginal seat for Labour and people


who are feeling hit and want to do a protest vote. `` marginal seats. Why


then has your leaflets this week had a go at UKIP if you're not worried


about them? We want to set out what UKIP is putting forward as a


political party. That is important in terms of transparency. The UKIP


agenda in terms of things which people hold dear in the North East


needs to be exposed a little bit, like privatisation of the NHS, like


scrapping workers' rights, like... That is not our policy. You're


planning on scrapping maternity leave. No, we're not. It is in your


manifesto, which I know you have denounced previously. It's not. They


are in the manifesto. You are happy to put out leaflets on false UKIP


policies. You are the party... Lower taxation for the rich. You are the


party that privatised part of the NHS. These are policies which UKIP


have defended in the past. Nigel Farage is on record in the European


Parliament on this. We have a lot to discuss on this. The big issue for


many people in these elections is immigration. Ten years ago this


week, Poland joined the European Union, allowing its citizens to work


and live in our region. This year Romanians and Bulgarians got the


same rights. UKIP says that has lowered wages, increased the


benefits bill, put services under strain. Not a view shared by many


migrants, who say they are paying their taxes and doing the jobs


sometimes that nobody else wants to do. We invited a UKIP candidate to


meet with them. Meet Gergana Ivanova. She is a


Bulgarian working in an Indian restaurant in Newcastle. It is that


kind of world these days. She is also a journalism student at


Sunderland University. After her studies she wants to stay in the UK.


It is definitely more secure. About everything. I don't mean the free


treatments, I don't mean the benefits. I mean that if you want to


work, you can go out and find a job. But some think too many migrants


have arrived here in the last decade, including this man, UKIP


European candidate Richard Elvin, so we have invited him to meet Gergana,


tell her why and explain posters like this. Our services currently


can't cope, our schools, our hospitals, our housing and we feel


the time has come to have a moratorium on immigration until we


can put our house in order. Everyone says the migrants steal English


people's jobs. We don't steal someone's job if we don't deserve


it. I don't think that we infer that they steal jobs. When you have a


massive oversupply of labour, it forces down the pay rates. That is


one of the things we are very concerned about, it has driven down


living standards. For the moment, the doors remain open to people like


this man, a teacher in Romania who is working as a carer in an old


people's home in Middlesbrough. But he says he is not depriving anyone


of a job. In my care home, maybe more than 80% of carers are


foreigners, Romanian, Thai, Chinese, Polish.


It is not my, you know, my right to say this, but I think it is the


truth, for me it is the truth: English people don't want these


jobs. Ileana is also Romanian. She has been here 20 years. She helps


new arrivals like this man find his feet. She says most migrants are


desperate to work. Although he is being paid properly, she admits some


may not be. I am very honest here. I know families who are working from


nine o'clock in the morning until five o'clock or six o'clock for ?17


per day and are still happy to be able to put food on the table


because a lot of them don't have knowledge what is the minimum wage


here, because of the language barrier. So they are prepared to


take the jobs no matter what. Some who have been here longer might soon


become employers themselves. Edyta and Margaret arrived from Poland


seven years ago. Now they don't just work in this Middlesbrough cafe `


they own it. We settled here very well. She is more English than


Polish now. She corrects my English all the time. We bought a house


here, we have made lots of friends. And now here we are, we have got our


own business. The Polish community is one community who bring to your


budget about 30% money above than they got from the benefits. So they


pay their taxes, they have worked, so we can be proud of ourselves.


Some are not convinced. This man is a UKIP voter from County Durham. He


is concerned migration is stretching the services his taxes have funded.


I have had very little time off work ever since I left school, I have


been virtually fully employed all the way through, I have paid taxes


and national insurance and everything. Other people who didn't


pay into the system come in and get a free ride. I have got nothing


against Romanian people or Bulgarian people. What I am saying is, we


can't cope with the numbers. But just how large are those numbers?


The latest figures available date from December 2012 and they suggest


that at that point there were around 12,000 people from Eastern Europe


living in the North East. That is less than half of one percent of the


region's population. But whatever the size of that migrant community,


they appear to have become a big issue in this month's European


elections. Let's turn to our aspiring MEPs. How


would you answer the UKIP charge that migration has lowered wages and


put a strain on services? I think there is a lot of misinformation


around the debate around immigration. I think nationally, not


just regionally, nationally we need to have a more measured discussion


about immigration and how we deal with our needs. Are they completely


wrong? There is a lot of scaremongering, which feeds people's


concerns, especially in a period... You heard there descriptions of


Romanians working for below the minimal wage in the black market.


Absolutely. That is where Labour is really focused on. We are really


putting forward a political agenda which is about tackling the


exploitation. Because that is abuse by employers of abusing the rights


that those workers have the right to, and that certainly pulls down


wages for other people. We need to enforce the minimum wage much more,


that means we need more inspections, it means we need investment in


infrastructure. But you are happy for people to come? We need better


penalties for employers who do not pay or do not treat workers as they


should. According to the law. We also need to... There are lots of


issues, lots of these issues are actually national policy issues that


have to be dealt with by government. We have to wait until the general


election. I am going to move on. I am out of time. Jonathan Barnett,


the truth is that as we saw, a lot of people in Eastern Europe are here


to pay taxes and work and make a good light `` make a good life for


themselves. They are contributing. In some way that is true. Research


shows that for everyone and people that come into the country, of


working age, it is the equivalent of 23 jobs lost in the UK as a result.


There are issues there. I think what you also find is that when you have


got a massive oversupply of people coming in, prepared to go jobs at


minimal wage or sometimes even below, that oversupply means that it


is very difficult to find a job at minimum wage. What about that man in


the BT. He said in his experience British people don't want to do the


job he is doing. That is a rather cynical approach to take. That is


his opinion. Our experiences on the doorstep. Seeing people out of work,


they are desperate to get any job they can find, they want to work.


The idea that British people do not want to work is really doing the


British people down anyway. We should take a much more positive


approach than that. We should reward hard work. You have said that


UKIP's poster campaign is part of their, in your view it is racist. I


have never said that. No Labour had implied that it is inflammatory. It


is scaremongering. Who is right? There is a fear factor. UKIP are


playing on the politics of fear. The figures for the north`east. We have


a foreign`born population of 1.7%. That includes the 0.5% of eastern


Europeans. But our unemployment levels are five `` are far higher.


It is not about I grant workers taking jobs from local workers. It


is about not enough jobs in the north`east economy. The focus should


be jobs in the economy. You might describe yourself `` you might not


describe yourself as the races but it's saying that if wages are low,


it is deadly migration, if services are not good, it is migration, its


gear groups `` its gear mongers a community and attract racist. The


problem is we have unlimited immigration from Europe. And


elsewhere. You said it is costing jobs. What we should have is a


system of work permits. Those people who have skills and will genuinely


benefit the UK economy, who are taking jobs in areas where frankly


we need the skills, those should be people who are allied to coming so


we should have a clear policy that does not discriminate on whether you


are from Europe not from Europe. Very briefly. The key thing to


remember is that this is about a two Way St. There are 2 million Britons


working in the rest of Europe are living retired or studying in the


rest of Europe. There are about 2 million Europeans living and


working... We have got to move on. We will never get to the truth of


the figures. I am going to move on. Thank you. A new business park, a


low carbon enterprise zone and a fund that helps new firms get going


in Bury. Three of many projects paid for in part by European money. In


the north`east, we have done well in the past and EU structural funds but


with mirror poorer countries joining, we `` will we get a big


share in the future? I met with the policy commissioner and asked him


what he thought the impact of such spending had been in the region. If


I look at the figure of the north`east, they must benefit


because we have created 11,000 jobs and safeguarded more than 11,000


jobs and I think we have assisted more than 30,000 `` 13,000 SMEs.


What has been done in the north`east in the past is exactly what we would


like to do and see all over Europe, to promote and push the economy to


safeguard jobs. Argument of people like the UK Independence Party is


that Britain puts millions, and that of millions of pounds into the


European Union, some of that comes back to the north`east. If Britain


came out of the European Union, it could keep that money and spend it


anyway without patting it through a bunch of Eurocrats in Brussels. I


would say the UKIP representative should ask the representatives of


the regions. I know from the representatives of the regions


around Europe that they are in favour of this kind of policy


because this is a guarantee for them to receive money for the regional


development. The additional value is that there is money provided for


seven years. Which is completely different from a national budget


which is usually for one, in some countries two years. Another problem


is the EU is getting larger, more countries coming in from eastern


Europe that are not as rich. That could lead to less money for the


north`east, potentially in the future. The main task of EU policy


is to reduce the disparity between regions but additional members in


particular from the former communist countries, a huge market


opportunity, for instance, for Britain and its companies because


these are the emerging markets of Europe. Here we have significant


increases of welfare level, people can consume more if there is


adequate support and in that respect, Britain and British


companies and British jobs are pushed by this kind of development


and this is a market opportunity we should take into account also.


Britain has some decisions to make in the future, there may be a


referendum on whether to stay in the EU. You Do believe that a region


like the north`east, a poorer region might suffer more if the UK lost the


European Union perhaps than wealthier regions? If the UK would


leave, it would leave also the single market. This is something


which should be taken into account and this is something which has to


be discussed in the British public and to balance the pros and cons and


the British people have to decide. The consequences, there are a lot of


consequences which would affect every part of the UK and I would say


that the less developed even more than probably the more developed


regions. The less`developed regions should have an interest to be part


of Europe because only if you are in a big family, you can benefit from


the strength of a big family. Jonathan Arnett, ?500 million came


to the north`east from the EU in the last six years, another 600 Liam


Payne coming in the next six years. He said, creating jobs. He would


throw all that away. It is money that comes back from what we spend


on the EU in the first place. Would you spend ?20 to get a ?10 Marks


Spencer 's voter? The European Union expected to be grateful for the ?10


voucher! It is ridiculous. This is money that is guaranteed for seven


years. You send UKIP would deliver that money to the north`east,


guaranteed for seven years? That doesn't make much difference whether


it is seven years or five years. Is a key UKIP commitment that our share


of that money will come to the north`east to help the north`east


economy? That is what we're getting from the EU. UKIP offering that? We


should be helping the regions. There is not a specific figure set at the


moment but we should make sure that project that need to be funded are


funded. Not all European Union funding is needed anyway because the


money is going on things that they tell us how we must spend it. Your


party got into government and good control the pot of money, you could


do a lot of good in the north`east? We certainly could. Regional


economic devolution is part of the Labour agenda. The EU... It is only


partly paid back to us? The EU firms are not determined, the spending of


those EU funds is not determined by Brussels. Those are determined


locally. Currently the next seven years, like you said, it is actually


?660 million for the north`east and the Tees Valley. That will be


decided by local business together with other actors had that money is


spent best in the region. The problem is, as we pointed out to the


Commissioner, that is going to dwindle as time goes on because a


lot of money is going to be funding eastern European infrastructure


rather than north`east infrastructure. There are funds we


get from the structural funds. Other funds we get as the region as well


from the Common agricultural policy, for example, which are about


investigation in the role of the economy, there are funds which come


from the research budget which go into our universities and


innovation. The key thing is that switching all of that money through


Westminster is very dangerous for the north`east because we have seen


what has happened with funding through this government. 's regional


funds are a win`win in that as the Commissioner said, we get some money


but they also develop Eastern European economies for British


businesses. I do not see that developing economies in Eastern


Europe is what UK taxpayers' money should be spent on. I don't think


that is an efficient use of your taxes or my taxes. Our taxi should


be used generally speaking to help people directly in the UK. `` our


taxes. Where there is a case for helping foreign countries, things


like natural disasters, that is the sort of thing foreign aid should be


for, not to European countries. We will have to leave it there. Next


week we will have Conservative and Liberal Democrat candidate in the


studio and we will be talking to the Green Party. A parties contesting


the elections in the north`east were three seats are up for grabs. The


Northwest has fewer than 11 parties fighting it out for their eight


parliament seats. You can see a full list of candidates on the BBC


politics website. The details are on the screen. We may be concentrating


on European matters but there has been plenty of other things going


on. Including a victory for campaigners trying to make a Cumbria


railway station accessible to disabled people. Here is the rest of


the week's news in 60 seconds. Cumbrian MP Rory Stewart's four`year


campaign to get a lift in so that is railway station in Penrith has ended


in successful stop the Department for Transport is to include the work


initially just round of funding to ensure access to all platforms from


disabled and elderly passengers. `` for disabled and elderly passengers.


One MP told a Westminster Hall debate he still had concerns about


it. Their status and their prestige, I don't want that to be undermined


by unlicensed taxes and the consequences of some of the things


potentially that could happen if this ill thought through legislation


is pushed through Parliament. Co Durham MP has called for action to


save the Durham miners Gayla. A long`term future of the event has


been put at risk after the Durham miners Association was landed with a


?2 million legal bill. That is about it from us. We are


back same time and place next week with the second of our European


specials, which includes a look at some of the smaller parties will


been to cause an upset. More information on what is going on in


the European elections, you can go to my blog. If you live on Teessider


want to hear the main parties argued out,


on our website. That is all we have got time for this week. Next week,


London's local elections. Welcome back. Now, the Government is


not very good at predicting the future. That's according to a report


from a committee of MPs this morning who say that its Horizon Scanning


programme that's supposed to identify potential threats, risks,


emerging issues and opportunities isn't much good at reading the tea


leaves. But can it really be any worse than our panel? Here they are


predicting the future of then culture secretary Maria Miller


before Easter. Can she survive? I'm getting out of


the prediction game after I said Nick Clegg would win the debates.


But I almost think she might. If there is a big event that moves this


off the front pages. David Cameron will want to keep Maria Miller until


at least his summary shuffle. I think they will get rid of her. I


think they will do the decent thing after exhausting all other options.


Maria Miller resigned a few days later of course! The best and the


brightest, when did that slip in? This week it will be exactly a year


until the General Election, so what better time to get our panel to gaze


into their crystal balls again. What's the outcome of the election


in 2015? I'm going to go with the polls and say Ed Miliband as the


Prime Minister. But the polls are only a snapshot of opinion now, you


think they will be the same in a year? No, I think they will narrow.


I think UKIP's vote share will fall. I think they are currently coasting


on a high and that will tailor way so they won't take as many votes off


the Tories. Labour with a majority or is the largest party. Another


liberal Conservative coalition, and I say that because he is already in


touching distance of Labour. I don't think UKIP will get 15, maybe half


of that, and most of the votes they lose will either not vote at all go


to the Tories and that should be enough to be the biggest party in a


hung parliament I don't envisage a Tory majority. I am also going to go


with the polls. For Ed Miliband to be hoping to win at this stage, he


has got to be way ahead in the polls. Labour needs to be much


further ahead if he is going to win so David Cameron, probably the


leader of the largest party. Last time after the election David


Cameron went to the 1922 committee and announced he was Prime Minister


as head of the Coalition. He has agreed this time he will consult


them and it will be much more difficult for him to get a


coalition. People at home have now concluded there will be a Liberal


Democrat landslide! Are we going to have debates? Yes, probably further


away from polling day then last time. That is the Liberal Democrat


point, isn't it? Yes, it sucks all the life out of the campaign, so the


last six weeks will be left to traditional campaigning. What did


you make of this in the Sunday Times this morning, this two, three, five


formula. There should be a Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg debate, then


there should be another one with them and UKIP and the Greens. It


might be testing the patience of the nation to tune into all of those. If


you're going to say Nigel Farage should be there, the Green party


should be too. They know that as soon as you put them on a podium


next to them, he looks like he has equal stature and that is a problem.


David Cameron does not want the debates to happen on the way they


happened last time. It is generally regarded, Lynton Crosby believes


they were a disaster for David Cameron because they allowed Nick


Clegg to be the fresh person. He knows he cannot say no to them so


the moment you see David Cameron suggesting that Caroline Lucas


should be in the debate, you know he is not serious. What he will try to


do is have more debates, have them outside the main part of the general


election so that it doesn't dominate. The problem the David


Cameron is that the campaign will be much longer. It is a five-week


campaign so it is quite difficult for him to say we will only have one


debate in that campaign. I think smother it with love, hopefully it


will go to the courts for him and hopefully they will never happen and


he will be delighted. The European election and the local elections are


coming up. The three mainstream parties are saying it is a flash in


the pan, they don't really matter and so on, but if UKIP comes a


strong first, if Labour comes a poor second and the Tories come a poor


third, it will have consequences for all three, and the Lib Dems come


forth or even fish. It will have consequences and not just in the


media but on the ground. One of the big stories is what will happen to


the Lib Dems, they face losing all of their MEPs. A good result for


them is lit -- in the local elections is losing 250 councillors.


These are the most interesting elections we have had for some


time. Are we heading for a Nick Clegg summer leadership crisis? I


think we are heading towards reversing the clock back to where we


were before the Eastleigh by-election. That quiet and things


down for Nick Clegg. If they lose all their MEPs, and there is a real


chance they will, Vince Cable will be out on manoeuvres because age is


not on his side. If he can say Nick Clegg is a loser and a failure, he


will be back. Will the Tories go into headless chicken mode if they


come third? Yes, if UKIP come first there will not be as much panic as


if Labour come first. Is Labour comes a poor second, will there be


some pressure on Ed Miliband to reopen his attitude to the


referendum? I don't think so and my colleague was talking to Labour


sources who said he is absolutely not going to. That is something you


can say definitely about him, he decides on a course and he sticks to


it. There is one potential upside for David Cameron in a really bad


Conservative results, it could strengthen his hand in the


renegotiations of Britain's EU membership because he doesn't even


need to say to Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande it is there. David


Cameron hasn't just been fighting for his party into the local


elections. He also got his knuckles wrapped by the Speaker, John Bercow,


at Prime Minister's Question Time, for talking for too long. Take a


look at this. There is a better future ahead of us but we must not


go backward to the policies that put us in this mess in the first place.


I don't know what they are paying him, Mr Speaker. Order, order. I


haven't finished! In response to that question, the Prime Minister


has finished and he can take it from me that he has finished. I can't


remember a speaker ever speaking to a Prime Minister like that. Clearly


in that case, John Bercow crossed a line. It is Prime Minister 's


questions, he is entitled to answer the questions. There is really bad


blood between those two, going back a long way. They hate each other and


the worrying thing about that was the look of triumphalism on the


speaker's face afterwards. He is a remarkable, revolutionary speaker


who has made the House of Commons more relevant, he is holding the


executive to account, but that look on his face showed he had crossed


the line. Does he survive after the next election? He has improved the


importance of the Commons, is that enough to keep him in the Speaker 's


chair? The most public bit of the Commons is still the Prime Minister


's questions, and we can conclude that John Bercow's interventions


take more time than any delays he complains about so I wouldn't be


surprised if, in a few years' time, someone else replaces him. He is


quite popular with Labour, is he not? Yes, he is married to a Labour


activist and is notably sympathetic to Labour but I think this is a


difficult situation. David Cameron also overstepped the line. As soon


as the speaker says order, the idea is that the House was to order and


David Cameron pushed him. They are both trying to score points off each


other. We cover Prime Minister 's questions every week on the daily


politics, and there is a danger that he sees it as an opportunity to do


some grandstanding. You slightly sends his vanity gets the better of


him. It is supposed to be Prime Minister 's questions. At the end of


that session, the Speaker read out a statement from the Chief clerk, and


immensely respected figure, saying he is taking early retirement. It is


pretty clear that the reason he has decided to go early is because he is


finding it tricky to maintain a cordial relationship with the


speaker, and the speaker might want to think about his man management


skills. That's all for today. The Daily Politics will be back on BBC


Two at lunchtime from Tuesday onwards. Remember, it is a bank


holiday tomorrow. I'll be back here at 11am next week. Remember - if


it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.


With Richard Moss. Andrew Neil interviews the Conservative chairman Grant Shapps and Sir Malcolm Bruce, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, on the forthcoming European elections.

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