11/05/2014 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


11/05/2014

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news and interviews. With UKIP's Nigel Farage and Labour's Douglas Alexander ahead of the European and local elections.


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Transcript


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics, where we're talking

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about the Europe-wide contest that really matters. No, not Eurovision.

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The European elections. There are local elections across England too

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on May 22nd. The party leaders are campaigning ahead of polling day.

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The results could be a pointer to the Big One, May 2015. We'll be

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speaking to the man in charge of Labour's election battle plan. Has

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the opposition really got its sights set on all-out victory in 2015? Or

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will it just be content with squeaking home? And you can't

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mention elections these days without talking about the impact of this

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In the North East and Cumbria: him if UKIP really

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In the North East and Cumbria: Conservative and Lib Dem candidates

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fight it out as both try to hold onto their seats.

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And who's voting for UKIP? We've the view from South Shields.

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And I'm joined by three journalists guaranteed to bring a touch of

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Eurovision glamour to your Sunday morning. With views more

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controversial than a bearded Austrian drag act and twice the

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dress sense, it's Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh. So you might

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have thought you've already heard David Cameron promise an in-out

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referendum on EU membership in 2017 if he's still Prime Minister. Many

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times. Many, many times. Well he obviously doesn't think you've been

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listening, because he's been saying it again today. Here he is speaking

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to the BBC earlier. We will hold a referendum by the end of 2017. It

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will be a referendum on an in-out basis. Do we stay in a reformed

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European Union or do we leave? And I've said very clearly that whatever

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the outcome of the next election, and of course I want an overall

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majority and I'm hoping and believing I can win an overall

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majority, that people should be in no doubt I will not become Prime

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Minister unless I can guarantee that we will hold a referendum. Here's

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saying there that an overall majority there will definitely be a

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referendum. If these are the minority position, he won't form a

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new coalition unless they agree to a referendum, too. The Lib Dems a

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pulmonary agree to that. They probably will because the Prime

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ministers have a strong argument which is I gave you a referendum

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back in 2010 so the least I need is theirs and the Lib Dems are the only

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party who have stood in recent elections on a clear mandate to hold

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a referendum, so it is difficult for them to say no, there was

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interesting the interview he did earlier today. He named everything

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was going to ask for. The most controversial with him, as he said

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in his speech last year, he wants to take Britain out of the commitment

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to make the European Union and ever closer union. That is a very big

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ask, but the point is, he may well get it because the choice for the

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European Union now, France and Germany, is a clear wonderful do

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Britain in or out? Previously, it was can you put up with a British

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prime ministers being annoying? I think you'll find the answer is they

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are willing to pay a price but not any price to keep Britain in. In

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this scenario, Labour would have lost the election again because we

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are talking the slowly happen if Mr Cameron is the largest party or has

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an overall majority. Could you then see Labour deciding we had better go

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along with a referendum, too? I think that's unlikely because as I

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think that's unlikely because there's a huge upside for that for I

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think what's interesting is the idea he would for minority government.

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Would you get confidence and look at other options that might well happen

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with the way the arithmetic is going or is he going to hold out and say

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the only way I will be Prime Minister is in a majority

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Conservative government? No, the implication of his remarks was I

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wouldn't form a coalition government unless my coalition partners would

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also agree to vote for a referendum. He's basically talking about is

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negotiating strategy in those coalition talks. It's a red line and

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a huge opportunity for the Lib Dems, because they know David Cameron

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absolutely has to do, for accidental reasons, as a person who survives as

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Tory leader, to ask for that referendum, so they can ask anything

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they want in return and if I was Nick Clegg, I would work out in the

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next year one absolute colossal negotiating demand for those

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coalition talks. For a party around 10% in the polls, they will do have

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the Prime Minister over a barrel on this one, assuming that coalition

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talks goes well. They could make Michael Gove Tbyte meeting. OK, we

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need to move on. So, the politicians are out and about on what used to be

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called the stump ahead of local and European elections in less than two

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weeks' time. But, without wanting to depress you on a damp Sunday

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morning, the party strategists are already hard at work on their

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campaign plans for the General Election next May. Yes, it's less

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than a year to go. They may have taken their time, but Labour's

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battleplan for 2015 is starting to take shape. As well as take

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promising to freeze your energy bills, and reintroduce the 50p rate

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of tax, Ed Miliband now says he wants to intervene in the housing

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market to keep rents down. There's even talk that the party leadership

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wants to bring more railway lines into public ownership. And Labour is

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gambling that its big push on the cost of living will see it through

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to the general election despite evidence that growth is firmly back.

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Labour's campaign chief Douglas Alexander hopes it all adds up to

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victory next May. But so far, the evidence is hitting home very thin.

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One survey today shows that 56% of people don't think Mr Miliband is up

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to the job of Prime Minister. As we head towards one of the least

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predictable general elections in 70 years, has Labour got a message to

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win seats up and down the country? And Labour's election co-ordinator

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and Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander, joins me now.

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Welcome to Sunday Politics. A lot of these policies announced polar

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pretty well. By popular with the country. When you add them together,

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it's a move to the left and what would be wrong with that? I think is

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your packet suggests, the contours in the coming campaign are becoming

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clear. Our judgement is the defining issue of the year in British

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politics will be the widening gap between the wealth of the country

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and the finances of ordinary families. We believe it will be a

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cost of living election and we have been setting out our thinking in

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relation to energy prices and rent, but you will hear more from Labour

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Party in the coming months because we're now less than one year away

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from a decisive moment. If the leftish think tank suggested any of

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his policies in that Tony Blair years, you would have opposed them.

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Let's be clear, when not going for an interest but seeking to secure a

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majority for the only way to do that is not simply to appeal to your

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base, but to the centre ground. I believe we got genuine opportunities

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in the next year. You have the Conservatives in a struggle with

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UKIP on the right of politics. The Lib Dems 9% of trying to find their

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base, and there's a genuine opportunity in the next year for

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Labour to dominate the centre ground of politics and secure the majority

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Labour government we are planning for in the coming year. I notice you

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didn't deny you wouldn't have opposed. You say you have got an

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message for aspirational voters in the South. This is what John Denham

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said. He thinks you're talking too much to your core vote.

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He is right to recognise we took a terrible beating in 2010. 29%. If

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you look at what we've done in the last week, for example, the

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signature policy on rent Ed Miliband announced to launch the campaign,

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there's now more than 9 million people in the country in the private

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rented sector, more than 1 million families. Many of them are in the

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south-east. They are seeing circumstances where, suddenly,

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landlord will increase the rent and they put the pressure involved in

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schooling, health care facing the families, so it is important both in

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terms of policy and in terms of politics that we speak to the whole

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country, not simply to one part of it falls up what is the average rise

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in event last year? I don't know. Can you tell me? 1%. 1% not in real

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terms. I'm not sure what the problem is. It will happen to wages in last

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year, we are facing circumstances where people will be worse off, up

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to ?1600 off worse and frankly, if our opponents want to argue that the

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economy has healed and they deserve a victory lap, good luck to them

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because actually, what we are hearing from the Buddhist public,

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not just in the north and south, is not the cost living crisis is

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continuing and it affects families. There was nothing aspirational about

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your party election broadcast for the European elections. It looked

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like crude class war to money people. That's a bit of it. Bedroom

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tax. Isn't it going to look bad that two thirds of those affected are

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disabled? Who cares? They can't fight back. Shall be lay-offs and

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NHS nurses? The National Health Service? Oh yes. Mr Cameron? Who

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said that? Me. My gosh. The man has shrunk. He's actually shrunk. What

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shall we do with him? Can we hunt him? Nothing about Europe, Labour

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policy. News that the Tories would result in negative campaigning and

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smear. You didn't tell you would be just as bad. Let's start the party

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broadcast. The one thing guaranteed to have most people reaching for the

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remote control these days are the words, there now follows a party but

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the broadcast. I make no apology in the factory to be innovative in how

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we presented. It's factual. It was a policy -based critic of this

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government. And the Lib Dems role within it. So you're claiming it's

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factual to betray the camera and cabinet is not even knowing what the

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NHS is, -- the Cameron Cabinet. They attack the disabled because they

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can't fight back. The Pinellas Tanner severely Prime Minister Sun

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and he was treated during a short life by the NHS. It's a fact many

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disabled people across the country including in my constituency have

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been directly affected by the bedroom tax. And ultimately, this

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Conservative led government, including the Lib Dems, will be held

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accountable by the politicians. You say that, the Prime Minister, who

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had a severely disabled son of. I you not ashamed about? I shadowed

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Iain Duncan Smith of five months also they don't have the excuses of

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seeing that saying nobody told them the consequences of the bedroom tax.

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They went into this with their eyes open. They knew about the hardship

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and difficulty. If they were one-bedroom properties available

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across the country for people to move into, their argument would be

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OK but they knew they were dealing with the most vulnerable people. Did

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you sign off that part of the broadcast? Of course I stand by the

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fact of it. I wish David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith would apologise to

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the disabled people of the country and the poorest people for the

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effects of the bedroom tax. I hope we get that apology between now and

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election. As someone who thinks integrity is important in politics,

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not ashamed of this kind of thing? It's important we scrutinise the

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policies of this government as well as adding a positive agenda for

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change. You want that you won't promise this is the last time we'll

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see such a negative press campaign? I don't think it is negative or

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personal to scrutinise the government. So we'll get more of

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this? I'm less interested in the background of the cabinet than their

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views. You call the upper-class twits. It's for the British public

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to make a judgement in terms of the British... That's how you depicted

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them. We are held in accountable for the bedroom tax, the NHS, taxation,

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and our record they have to defend. One reason are so fearful in this

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election is actually because they know they have a poor record. Let's

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look at other part of the election campaign. This poster. Particularly

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digitally doing the rounds. On that shopping basket, can you tell us

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which items take the full 20% VAT? It's representative of household

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shopping, which includes items like cleaning products, and we know that

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food is not that trouble. People don't go to the supermarket and say

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this is -- vatable. So you are denying that ?450 extra is being

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paid? Yes, where'd you get that figure? For an average family to pay

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?450 a year extra VAT, they would have to spend ?21,600 a year on

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vatable products at 20%. The average take-home pay is only 21,009. They

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have got to spend on all sorts of things which are zero VAT. So in

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addition to the items, has a range of products people face in terms of

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VAT. How could an average family of ?21,000 a year spent 21,006 and the

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pound a year on 20% vatable items? It's not an annual figure, is it? So

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what is it then? If it's an annual, what is it? The increased VAT in

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this parliament is calculated over the course of a Parliament. For the

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whole of the Parliament? And you're illustrated this with a shopping

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basket which almost has no VAT on it at all? People will be buying a

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weekly shop in the course of this Parliament every week. Did you sign

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off on this as well? Of course. It didn't dawn on you you're putting

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things on it which have no VAT? If you want to argue some people go to

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the shops and say these are vatable or not, I disagree. Even your rent

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cap announcement went wrong. You're working on the rent rises and it

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turns out it wasn't. It was a post your policy. It is the exception

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rather than the rule to have the position we have at the moment. In

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Northern Ireland we have seen the continued rise in terms of the

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rented sector but there is a widespread recognition that for

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those people in the rented sector, change is necessary. Are you

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coordinating this campaign? It seems accident prone. This is a party that

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has set the agenda more effectively than a Conservative party that said

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when David Cameron was elected he wasn't going to bang on about

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Europe. The day after the election we expect the Conservative party to

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be engulfed in crisis. I'm proud of what we talk about and I think there

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is a clear contrast about a party talking about issues people care

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about, and a Conservative party talking about exclusively a

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referendum. Are you in charge of the campaign? I am coordinating the

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campaign is, yes. The expensive election guru you have hired, has he

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been involved in any of this? We have started our discussions with

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him. You are going to have to brief him about British politics because

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he doesn't know anything about it. I make no apology for hiring him. He

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has a lot of experience in winning tight elections and that is what we

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are expecting. If you are expecting us to say, they have passed and we

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have to hold them accountable, then I am sorry but we have a campaign

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that holds the Government and the Conservatives to account for what I

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think is a very hopeless record in government. Thank you.

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He leads a party with zero MPs but his media presence is huge. He's had

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an expenses scandal, but the public didn't seem to mind. He's got a

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privileged background but he's seen as an anti-establishment champion.

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Nothing seems to stick to him, not even eggs. I speak of course of

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Nigel Farage. We'll talk to him in a moment, but first Giles has been out

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on the campaign trail ahead of elections that could make or break

:18:34.:18:36.

the UKIP leader. Nigel Farage likes a stage, and at

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this stage of the Euro and local election campaign he is, like his

:18:40.:18:43.

party, in buoyant mood. They feel they are on the verge of what they

:18:44.:18:47.

see as causing an earthquake in British politics. Today Nigel is

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filling thousands seat venues and bigger. Not that there's much sign

:18:53.:19:02.

of that at this press launch. But it's a threat with serious money

:19:03.:19:05.

behind it, that they believe the media and the political elite just

:19:06.:19:07.

haven't realised yet, much less learned how to counter it. Not that

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it's all been plain sailing. Offensive comments from some

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candidates has not only seen UKIP labelled as racist, but necessitated

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a rally by the party to visibly and verbally challenge that. The

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offensive idiotic statements made by this handful of people have been

:19:25.:19:26.

lifted up and presented to the great British public as if they represent

:19:27.:19:31.

the view of this party, which they do not. They never have and they

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never will. APPLAUSE I don't care what you call us, but

:19:35.:19:50.

from this moment on, please do not call must trust a racist party. We

:19:51.:20:01.

are not a racist party. The need to say that is not just

:20:02.:20:04.

about the European and local elections even at that campaign

:20:05.:20:07.

launch it's clear UKIP's leader has set his sights firmly on the

:20:08.:20:10.

ultimate prize. I come from the south of England and I would not

:20:11.:20:12.

want to be seen as an opportunist heading to the north, north Norfolk

:20:13.:20:17.

or whatever it will be. I will make my mind up and stand in the general

:20:18.:20:23.

election for somewhere in Kent, East Sussex, Hampshire, somewhere in my

:20:24.:20:28.

home patch. Back at UKIP HQ they are still drilling down how the last

:20:29.:20:37.

fortnight of campaigning should go. They aren't taking any chances, and

:20:38.:20:40.

one imagines having offices above those of Max Clifford is a reminder

:20:41.:20:43.

how fragile built reputations can be of the bubble bursting. They want

:20:44.:20:46.

their reputation to be built on votes and they know anything but

:20:47.:20:49.

significant success on May 22nd and some seats in Westminster in 2015

:20:50.:20:57.

isn't going to be good enough. And after that, having sold yourselves

:20:58.:21:00.

as the honest outsiders, that stance is harder to maintain once your

:21:01.:21:03.

people are on the inside. And subtle changes from the past are already

:21:04.:21:10.

noticeable. The ordinary man of the people stance is still working.

:21:11.:21:12.

Characteristically outside a pub, Nigel Farage is glad handed by a

:21:13.:21:19.

customer. Two weeks to go, let's cause an upset. Wouldn't that be

:21:20.:21:24.

great? The only sign that such an interaction is different now is the

:21:25.:21:27.

ever presence of bodyguards who shadow his every move. Over lunch

:21:28.:21:39.

ahead of Question Time, a radio appearance, and then off to

:21:40.:21:42.

Scotland, I ask him if some of those minded to vote UKIP who see him as a

:21:43.:21:46.

man they'd be comfortable having a drink with are the sort of people

:21:47.:21:49.

he'd be entirely comfortable sitting down with. Every political party

:21:50.:21:51.

attracts support from across the spectrum and there will be some

:21:52.:21:54.

magnificent people who vote for us and some ne'er-do-wells. The one

:21:55.:22:02.

common thing about UKIP voters is that they are often not very

:22:03.:22:08.

political. And it's that people's army that if UKIP can get to a

:22:09.:22:12.

polling booth might just create that earthquake they want.

:22:13.:22:17.

Nigel Farage joins me now. When you decided not to stand at the new work

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by election coming said if you lost it that the bubble would have

:22:22.:22:28.

burst. What did you mean by that? I was asked at seven 20p -- at 7:21pm

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if I would stand, I have decided by the next morning that I would not. I

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didn't know he was going to resign. You claim only a handful of UKIP

:22:54.:22:57.

candidates have ever said things that are either stupid or offensive,

:22:58.:23:04.

I'm right on that, yes? 0.1%, I'd rather it was non-. But why have you

:23:05.:23:10.

chosen a candidate to fight this by-election that has said many

:23:11.:23:14.

things most people would regard as stupid or offensive? Roger is

:23:15.:23:20.

fighting this for us, someone of 70 years of age who grew up with a

:23:21.:23:26.

strong Christian Bible background, in an age when homosexuality was

:23:27.:23:31.

imprisonable. He had a certain set of views which he maintained for

:23:32.:23:35.

many years which he now says he accepts the world has moved on and

:23:36.:23:41.

he is relaxed about it. The comments about homosexuality are not from the

:23:42.:23:46.

dark ages, they are from two or three years ago. From when he was a

:23:47.:23:52.

Conservative, yes, so will you be asking David Cameron that question?

:23:53.:23:56.

I have never seen a single comment from Roger that would be deemed to

:23:57.:24:04.

be offensive. Do you regard his comments on homosexuality as

:24:05.:24:09.

offensive? When he grew up, homosexuality was illegal in this

:24:10.:24:14.

country. But this was in 2012 but he said that. Most people have his age

:24:15.:24:25.

still feel uncomfortable about it -- of his age. In 2012 he said, if two

:24:26.:24:32.

men can be married, why not three, why not a commune. Many people in

:24:33.:24:38.

this country are disconcerted by the change in the meaning of marriage

:24:39.:24:43.

and in a tolerant society we understand that some people have

:24:44.:24:47.

different views. But he has changed his views now in only two years? He

:24:48.:24:52.

says he is more relaxed about it. Was he your candidate? He is a

:24:53.:25:03.

first-class campaigner who has had 30 years in industry, he served in

:25:04.:25:07.

the European Parliament, he is a good candidate. This morning's

:25:08.:25:12.

papers suggest you are about to select Victoria Ayling for Grimsby,

:25:13.:25:17.

but she is on camera saying that, of immigrants, I just want to send a

:25:18.:25:22.

lot back. This is all very interesting, and we can talk about

:25:23.:25:26.

it, all we could talk about the fact that in 12 days we have a European

:25:27.:25:30.

election and every voter across the UK can vote on it and it is really

:25:31.:25:37.

interesting. Are you happy to pick a candidate that says of immigrants, I

:25:38.:25:45.

just want to send a lot back? I have seen the tape, it is a complete

:25:46.:25:50.

misquote and she says it in the context of illegal immigrants. I

:25:51.:25:58.

have seen the full quote and in the context it is not about illegal

:25:59.:26:01.

immigrants. Let's come onto the European campaign, you have used a

:26:02.:26:06.

company that employs Eastern European is to deliver leaflets in

:26:07.:26:11.

London and the Home Counties. Have we? I'm told that in Croydon one

:26:12.:26:17.

branch might have done that. Have you found some indigenous Brits to

:26:18.:26:23.

deliver leaflets in Europe? We have thousands joining the party every

:26:24.:26:27.

month and they are not all indigenous because what is

:26:28.:26:30.

interesting is that in today's opinion polls, UKIP is above the Lib

:26:31.:26:46.

Dems and the Conservatives amongst the indigenous voting.

:26:47.:26:56.

We have not agreed a manifesto for the general election, we will do

:26:57.:27:03.

over the course of the summer. This is in your local election. We are

:27:04.:27:09.

having local elections in some part of the country but we are fighting a

:27:10.:27:13.

European election. It is impossible with the British media to have an

:27:14.:27:18.

intelligent debate on the European question. But as I say, we are also

:27:19.:27:24.

fighting the local elections too. You have promised these tax cuts,

:27:25.:27:31.

how much will they cost? I have met -- read the local election manifesto

:27:32.:27:35.

and it doesn't make those promises. We do talk about local services, we

:27:36.:27:40.

do talk about the need to keep council tax down but we don't talk

:27:41.:27:48.

about income tax. Absolutely not. In local election campaigning you say

:27:49.:27:52.

you would restore cuts to policing, double prison places, restore cuts

:27:53.:27:58.

to front line NHS, spend more on roads, how much would that cost? You

:27:59.:28:05.

are obviously reading different documents to me. We are voting for

:28:06.:28:10.

local councillors in district councils who have got little local

:28:11.:28:17.

budgets. Every party in a manifesto puts his aspirations in it. Have you

:28:18.:28:23.

read it? Of course I have, cover to cover, which is why I'm saying you

:28:24.:28:29.

are misquoting it. By the way, on the bubble bursting, you told that

:28:30.:28:36.

to Norman Smith of the BBC. 75% of British laws are now made in the

:28:37.:28:41.

European Union. Now AstraZeneca is potentially going to be taken over

:28:42.:28:46.

by Pfizer. The BBC is refusing to show the public that that decision

:28:47.:28:51.

cannot be taken here but by an elected European commissioner, and

:28:52.:28:55.

we sit and argue about what is in or not in the local election manifesto.

:28:56.:29:09.

It is my job, but let me come on to AstraZeneca. Is it your view that a

:29:10.:29:12.

British government should stop the takeover of AstraZeneca? It cannot.

:29:13.:29:24.

Can we please get this clear. I sat next to Chuka Umunna the other day

:29:25.:29:29.

at question time and he said what could and couldn't be done. He said

:29:30.:29:34.

I am being studiously neutral, and the reason is we don't have this

:29:35.:29:38.

power. That is what the European elections is about. Should France

:29:39.:29:44.

have the takeover of the food company Danan? We seem to do things

:29:45.:30:02.

to the Nth degree and nobody else does, perhaps because we have this

:30:03.:30:06.

culture and we obey it. In your view, you don't think Pfizer should

:30:07.:30:15.

be able to take over AstraZeneca? There is some good science within

:30:16.:30:16.

AstraZeneca which is in being asset stripped and lost.

:30:17.:30:26.

Because it is run by a Swede and a Frenchman and most of its employees

:30:27.:30:31.

are overseas. I understand that but there are still some good science

:30:32.:30:36.

being produced here. What did you think of the Prime Minister saying

:30:37.:30:39.

he would not form a government after the election unless he was able to

:30:40.:30:45.

have a referendum in 2017? I sat here talking to you and you said to

:30:46.:30:52.

me that David Cameron had given a cast-iron guarantee that if David

:30:53.:30:56.

Cameron becomes Prime Minister he will have a referendum on the Lisbon

:30:57.:31:00.

Treaty, but he didn't deliver on that. He knows that people struggle

:31:01.:31:05.

to believe the renegotiation is worth a row of beans. He is saying

:31:06.:31:11.

he will not form a government unless he can go forward with the

:31:12.:31:15.

referendum. I know he is desperately trying to pretend to be Eurosceptic

:31:16.:31:18.

whilst at the same time saying he will campaign for Britain to remain

:31:19.:31:23.

in. In a sense, that is what this election is about. We have three

:31:24.:31:27.

traditional parties, all of whom passionately believe in the

:31:28.:31:30.

continued membership of the European Union and we have UKIP saying we

:31:31.:31:34.

want trade and cooperation but there is a bigger and better world out

:31:35.:31:40.

there. You are now travelling with I think four bodyguards, has this

:31:41.:31:51.

affected you and your family life? I can't stand it. I've always wondered

:31:52.:31:55.

about the place and on my own thing. Sadly we have a couple of

:31:56.:31:59.

organisations out there headed up by senior Labour Party figures who

:32:00.:32:01.

purport to be against fascism and extremism, who received funding from

:32:02.:32:07.

the Department of communities, from the trade unions, who have acted in

:32:08.:32:11.

a violent wait more than once. You are saying the Labour Party is

:32:12.:32:16.

behind the threats? No, I said a taxpayer funded, trade union funded

:32:17.:32:20.

and headed by senior Labour Party figures, and I'm happy for them to

:32:21.:32:23.

come to my meetings and have an itinerant with me, but it's not so

:32:24.:32:27.

much fun when there are banging you over the head. I is still keen to be

:32:28.:32:33.

an MP? Yes, what UKIP will then do is target before the general

:32:34.:32:38.

election next year for the one life be easier if you just went to the

:32:39.:32:43.

Lords? That's the last thing I want to do. There's an awful lot to do.

:32:44.:32:47.

Most of all, I will not rest until we are free from political union and

:32:48.:32:51.

government from Brussels. Nigel Farage, thank you for being with us.

:32:52.:32:54.

It's just gone 11.30am. You're watching the Sunday Politics. We say

:32:55.:32:57.

goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who leave us now for Sunday Politics

:32:58.:33:00.

Scotland. Coming up here in 20 minutes, our panel talks about the

:33:01.:33:02.

big stories of the week. Hello and welcome to your local part

:33:03.:33:15.

of the show and the second of our European election specials. Last

:33:16.:33:19.

Sunday Labour and UKIP candidates in the North East argued over migration

:33:20.:33:23.

and jobs. This week it's the turn of Conservative Martin Callanan and

:33:24.:33:25.

Liberal Democrat Angelika Schneider to go head`to`head. UKIP are a

:33:26.:33:32.

potential threat to their hopes. We're in South Shields a year after

:33:33.:33:35.

they came second in the by`election there. We've been talking to voters

:33:36.:33:39.

to see if Nigel Farage's party can build on that success. And we'll be

:33:40.:33:44.

talking to the Greens who say it's time to put fracking and nuclear

:33:45.:33:47.

power on the election agenda. Well, Labour believe they can

:33:48.:33:50.

overcome the threat from UKIP to top the poll in the North East on May

:33:51.:33:54.

22. The party leader Ed Miliband took his campaign to Tyneside on

:33:55.:33:57.

Friday afternoon with a visit to Newcastle's Grainger market. There

:33:58.:34:01.

may be elections for the European Parliament but Labour has chosen to

:34:02.:34:04.

focus mainly upon economic themes and its familiar message about what

:34:05.:34:07.

it calls the "cost of living crisis". Angelika Schneider, you

:34:08.:34:16.

have tried to position yourself as the party who are pro`EU. Our labour

:34:17.:34:21.

just as pro`EU as you are, and they are not sullied by being in

:34:22.:34:30.

government with the Conservatives? If you look at the Labour election

:34:31.:34:33.

broadcast, if you listen to Ed Miliband, the real issue for the

:34:34.:34:38.

European elections is to actually talk about Europe and make the case

:34:39.:34:41.

for Europe, and talk about what you want to do in Europe. We don't hear

:34:42.:34:44.

anything from Labour about these issues. The polls suggesting people

:34:45.:34:51.

not buying that. Your poll ratings are pretty terrible. You might not

:34:52.:34:57.

keep your seat here? I agree that the polls are looking challenging

:34:58.:35:01.

for the Liberal Democrats. In life, when the going gets tough you have

:35:02.:35:06.

two choices, you can either go in the corner and feel sorry for

:35:07.:35:09.

yourself or you can go out and speak to more people, make the case for EU

:35:10.:35:13.

membership, make the case for jobs and growth here in the north`east,

:35:14.:35:18.

make the case for tackling crime, tackling crack `` climate change.

:35:19.:35:25.

That is what we're doing is Liberal Democrats, standing proud and

:35:26.:35:30.

fighting EU membership. Is it good by Brussels? I don't think so

:35:31.:35:37.

actually. There has been no specific regionwide Paul's, but a revolt is

:35:38.:35:46.

solid, I have been going out. The Conservatives have never been that

:35:47.:35:50.

strong in the north`east. We have always managed to get a seat in the

:35:51.:35:56.

last three European elections, so I am quietly optimistic. I am not

:35:57.:36:03.

taking anything for granted. Why do you think the Conservatives are not

:36:04.:36:09.

reaping any benefits? We have been traditionally, the north`east has

:36:10.:36:11.

been a Labour area, a difficult battle for us. It was a lot better

:36:12.:36:22.

under Margaret Thatcher's time? If you look at some of the performance

:36:23.:36:26.

of many of our labour authorities in the region, many people have been

:36:27.:36:29.

let down, they are still living in poor conditions. Primarily driven by

:36:30.:36:34.

the Labour Party. It is a hard message to get across but we're

:36:35.:36:36.

trying to do that. Well, it was a year ago this week

:36:37.:36:40.

that UKIP made one of its big breakthroughs in the North East,

:36:41.:36:43.

coming second in the South Shields by`election. Since then the party

:36:44.:36:46.

claims it's been winning new members and gaining support daily across the

:36:47.:36:49.

region. Our correspondent Mark Denten has been back to South

:36:50.:36:52.

Shields to try and gauge levels of support for UKIP ahead of this

:36:53.:36:56.

month's elections. A year ago, the South Shields

:36:57.:37:00.

by`election, Labour holding onto a seat they have had since 1935.

:37:01.:37:05.

Labour supporters celebrated, there are party's majority dropped by over

:37:06.:37:12.

4000, putting on the squeeze UKIP. UKIP got nearly a quarter of the

:37:13.:37:16.

votes here in South Shields in that election. 5000 people voted for

:37:17.:37:20.

them, 3000 more than voted Conservative, 17 times more than

:37:21.:37:26.

voted Liberal Democrat. Flash in the pan or platform for success at the

:37:27.:37:32.

European elections? What do the voters of South Shields make of

:37:33.:37:37.

UKIP? The Conservatives promised this and that for the country. It

:37:38.:37:43.

has gone downhill badly. Labour have done the same thing. I used to vote

:37:44.:37:52.

Labour, now I have gone to UKIP. Listening to the people and picking

:37:53.:37:59.

up on what people want, not just saying what people want to hear.

:38:00.:38:05.

What do you want? More control on immigration. I don't agree with a

:38:06.:38:11.

lot of the policies. The immigration ones I don't agree with. My family

:38:12.:38:16.

actually came from Arabia originally. I think that a lot of

:38:17.:38:24.

the workers that do immigrate work really hard. How UKIP's policies

:38:25.:38:32.

going down here? If there is a bit of an international flavour here,

:38:33.:38:36.

that is really no surprise because South Shields has a history of

:38:37.:38:40.

immigration going back over 100 years. With UKIP calling for tougher

:38:41.:38:44.

immigration policies, is that encouraging the voters around here

:38:45.:38:51.

or is it a turn`off? I wouldn't be one for voting for it if that was

:38:52.:38:58.

the case. It brings in, it helps the economy as well. The UK has an open

:38:59.:39:05.

door policy for everyone, basically. Migrants are coming in from

:39:06.:39:12.

everywhere. Obviously, the way the country is at the moment with the

:39:13.:39:15.

Conservatives, working`class people worse off now. The cost of living

:39:16.:39:25.

has gone through the roof, we just have to come in line with the cost

:39:26.:39:28.

of living. I think change is needed, definitely. Would you vote UKIP? If

:39:29.:39:37.

they could make the change, yes. I hear on from that election, we're

:39:38.:39:44.

ready for more voting. Our UKIP just a protest vote easily dismissed, or

:39:45.:39:46.

the stuff of nightmares for the other parties?

:39:47.:39:53.

We still have the Liberal Democrat and Conservative parties candidates

:39:54.:40:02.

still here. And also here is the Green Party's lead candidate in the

:40:03.:40:06.

North East, Shirley Ford. We would like to have voters backing us. UKIP

:40:07.:40:12.

is a party of protest and anger, we are a party of answers. We are the

:40:13.:40:18.

only party that is able to deliver a referendum on the European Union, so

:40:19.:40:22.

if you want to leave like some of those voters did, you're only going

:40:23.:40:25.

to be able to do that through a referendum only we can do. UKIP

:40:26.:40:28.

never turns up the European Parliament. Whatever their

:40:29.:40:35.

complaints, they have no mechanism. It is a protest vote. They should be

:40:36.:40:39.

looking to a party that will actually deliver a solution. Your

:40:40.:40:45.

party has moved as far in Europe as it possibly can without pulling out.

:40:46.:40:51.

All UKIP want to do is leave the EU, and you can't offer seeing you will

:40:52.:40:54.

leave the EU, you have promised referendums before and not deliver

:40:55.:41:02.

them. There will be a referendum in our general election manifesto, we

:41:03.:41:07.

have tried to put a bill through the House of Commons which was vetoed by

:41:08.:41:11.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Unfortunately we don't have a

:41:12.:41:15.

majority in our own right, but David Cameron said last week if he is

:41:16.:41:18.

Prime Minister there will be a referendum on the European Union.

:41:19.:41:23.

Whatever UKIP say in protest, they cannot deliver that. If you want at

:41:24.:41:27.

referendum on EU must vote Conservative. Angelika, it must be

:41:28.:41:35.

depressing, you call yourselves the party of in, it is actually the

:41:36.:41:42.

party of oat. As Martin was saying, UKIP is a party of protest and fear

:41:43.:41:49.

and anger. It is a party that doesn't believe in staying in the

:41:50.:41:54.

European Union. We are looking for answers to very complex issues, and

:41:55.:41:58.

it is up to us as Liberal Democrats to make the case for more, located

:41:59.:42:03.

answers, which is being constructively involved in the

:42:04.:42:09.

European Parliament. Those arguments don't seem to be holding water with

:42:10.:42:14.

people. People do believe that jobs through Europe are very important

:42:15.:42:20.

for the north`east. 156,000 jobs in trade with the EU, a lot of people

:42:21.:42:26.

are working here, in Sunderland, big companies have come out to say they

:42:27.:42:32.

would reconsider investment. People do know what it is like when big

:42:33.:42:42.

industry dies. You actually might end up sliding down fifth, sixth, in

:42:43.:42:47.

these elections? What we're trying to achieve is say, look, we're the

:42:48.:42:53.

only pro`European party, appealing to one third of the British

:42:54.:42:58.

population that is pro`European. And we say, please do back the Liberal

:42:59.:43:05.

Democrats in this election. Shirley Ford, what sense do you get

:43:06.:43:08.

campaigning about why people might be turning to UKIP? `` to you?

:43:09.:43:16.

Because people are very angry, both with the Conservative and Liberal

:43:17.:43:20.

Democrat government, but they feel abandoned and disillusioned with the

:43:21.:43:23.

Labour Party. They are looking for an alternative, and when we talk to

:43:24.:43:27.

people, when they hear our policies, which offer a living wage for

:43:28.:43:33.

stopping fracking and nuclear, which they might expect, but also for

:43:34.:43:39.

bringing banks into public hands and ending, excuse me, ending Lope

:43:40.:43:49.

culture. Those are things... There is a danger that you are just

:43:50.:43:53.

getting a protest vote. It is a very dangerous place to be. But I think

:43:54.:44:00.

people are fed up with the way that the Big three ignore real people. I

:44:01.:44:06.

work in a primary school in South Shields, every day I can see and

:44:07.:44:11.

hear people saying how angry and fed up and stressed out they are. People

:44:12.:44:17.

really do want to change, we are offering hope, we are offering a

:44:18.:44:21.

referendum, we agree on a referendum, to give people the

:44:22.:44:27.

vote, but we say we want to vote to change the inside. Martin, the other

:44:28.:44:35.

danger of this is that UKIP's vote, you could easily lose a few seats?

:44:36.:44:42.

UKIP did very well in the elections then there are support plummeted in

:44:43.:44:46.

the general election. When people feel that they have what they regard

:44:47.:44:50.

as a serious decision to make in the general election, who was Prime

:44:51.:44:55.

Minister? Is it David Cameron or Ed Miliband? That is the decision

:44:56.:45:00.

people face. I am sure you will see people coming back to us to support

:45:01.:45:03.

us. In the choice between David Cameron or Ed Miliband, I cannot

:45:04.:45:10.

believe that anyone... Angelika, the danger also for you in Redcar and

:45:11.:45:13.

Berwick, you could have no MPs in the north`east? Are candidates are

:45:14.:45:23.

absolutely fantastic candidates. They do have great support on the

:45:24.:45:32.

doorstep. Quite frankly, are polling suggests that we can hold onto both

:45:33.:45:36.

of the seats and we will fight very hard to do this. I want to make this

:45:37.:45:43.

point, it is essential to have a political alternative in the

:45:44.:45:49.

north`east. There is no joy if the whole region is represented by

:45:50.:45:52.

Labour, because political alternatives give people the

:45:53.:45:58.

choice. We'll have to leave it there, you have made your point.

:45:59.:46:01.

Well, it's not only UKIP putting forward an anti`EU message at these

:46:02.:46:03.

elections. An Independence from Europe was set up by a former UKIP

:46:04.:46:07.

member and is standing a full slate of candidates in the North East.

:46:08.:46:10.

Candidate Sheridan Forbes outlined the platform her party is standing

:46:11.:46:13.

on. The principles would be leaving the EU, taking back UK border

:46:14.:46:19.

control, making sure we have more scrutiny on the borders, which would

:46:20.:46:23.

take pressure off the National Health Service, schools, local

:46:24.:46:28.

authorities, and places where, at the moment, we are feeling the pinch

:46:29.:46:32.

because of posterity that Europe has put on us.

:46:33.:46:35.

Meanwhile the English Democrats are also standing. Kevin Riddiough is

:46:36.:46:38.

its lead candidate in the region. He says the North East wouldn't miss

:46:39.:46:42.

out economically if we left the EU. There is no reason why trade

:46:43.:46:45.

barriers should change from us leaving the European Union. The

:46:46.:46:51.

European Union is purely a title. We have got a European free trade

:46:52.:46:55.

agreement, no one needs to move their businesses, big businesses can

:46:56.:46:58.

come back to us. It is as simple as that. The EU is a diktat, if you

:46:59.:47:05.

like, making the rules, which is stifling trade if anything, rather

:47:06.:47:09.

than opening a free`market economy. The BNP are also contesting the

:47:10.:47:12.

elections and had the national launch of their campaign this week

:47:13.:47:15.

with party leader Nick Griffin, who's also an MEP in the North West.

:47:16.:47:18.

They say the main issue is immigration and have pledged to

:47:19.:47:21.

withdraw from the EU. The party, however, have so far declined to

:47:22.:47:25.

offer up one of their North East candidates for an interview.

:47:26.:47:27.

Well, the last time European elections were fought in the North

:47:28.:47:31.

East, back in 2009, almost four out of every ten votes did go to parties

:47:32.:47:34.

other than Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems. Shirley Ford, what

:47:35.:47:38.

are your ambitions in the north`east elections? We are getting closer, if

:47:39.:47:48.

you look at the poll ratings, we are overtaking in some polls, the Lib

:47:49.:47:53.

Dems. It is very volatile with this PR system. If you look at the

:47:54.:47:56.

Northwest, we are very, very close to winning that final seat they are

:47:57.:48:00.

that Nick Griffin one last time around. The change of dynamics will

:48:01.:48:04.

mean that we are seriously contending for the North West seat.

:48:05.:48:08.

We are looking for a very strong results in the north`east. But if

:48:09.:48:13.

people analyse your policies for the north`east, industries such as

:48:14.:48:22.

steel, high carbon industries, people want to save their jobs and

:48:23.:48:27.

won't want to vote Green? You need to invest in the right sort of jobs.

:48:28.:48:34.

Are we paying for people who are in the wrong sorts of jobs, is that it?

:48:35.:48:39.

Public investment is currently going into nuclear. Public money is going

:48:40.:48:45.

into researching fracking and underground gas. That money needs to

:48:46.:48:50.

be going into renewable energies that are safe, clean and green. That

:48:51.:48:55.

would bring people's Energy Bill stone. Martin, parties that are

:48:56.:49:05.

hostile to Europe, a reflection that Westminster parties have failed to

:49:06.:49:10.

resolve the issue? In many respects, yes. That is why we are seeing ``

:49:11.:49:19.

saying... You have been dragged down by these parties? Not necessarily.

:49:20.:49:26.

There should be a referendum, party leadership has adopted that as a

:49:27.:49:30.

policy, we're the only major party who can deliver a referendum.

:49:31.:49:42.

Caroline Lucas says thank you. Would you help yourself that you promised

:49:43.:49:49.

an in dash out referendum? We are with the Conservatives in

:49:50.:49:57.

government. A deal on the table that we can actually decide upon needs to

:49:58.:50:03.

happen, but at the moment there is nothing new coming out of Brussels.

:50:04.:50:08.

A lot of people would say, as Martin said, it is a very different

:50:09.:50:14.

organisation to the way it is now. If you said, look, we will offer you

:50:15.:50:18.

a vote on this, what is wrong with that? We have said we would have a

:50:19.:50:25.

referendum. When there is a big change and people can have the

:50:26.:50:28.

choice then. We have legislated in government that there will be a

:50:29.:50:35.

referendum as a treaty change. We will have to leave it there I'm

:50:36.:50:36.

afraid. Well, if our interviews with the

:50:37.:50:39.

Euro election candidates have left you frustrated, angry or just plain

:50:40.:50:42.

bemused, there's something you can do about it. Why not come along to

:50:43.:50:45.

Gateshead tomorrow lunchtime when there's an opportunity to put your

:50:46.:50:48.

questions face`to`face to today's Conservative and Lib Dem guests, as

:50:49.:50:51.

well as candidates from Labour and UKIP. I'll be there too keeping

:50:52.:50:55.

order with our world famous "hot seat" or "chaises chaud" as they

:50:56.:50:58.

might be known in the continent. You can find us in Trinity Square in the

:50:59.:51:02.

middle of Gateshead tomorrow from 12 noon until 2pm. And if you can't

:51:03.:51:06.

make it, we'll be showing the best of the questions, and the answers of

:51:07.:51:10.

course, on Look North later in the week.

:51:11.:51:12.

Now we've talked lots about the Euro elections. There's the locals too in

:51:13.:51:15.

some areas. Then there's the small matter of the Scottish referendum in

:51:16.:51:18.

September. But that's not enough for a small corner of Teesside which is

:51:19.:51:22.

holding its own vote about whether to become part of North Yorkshire.

:51:23.:51:25.

Here's Fergus Hewison with that and the rest of the week's news in 60

:51:26.:51:35.

seconds. One County Durham man has taken his

:51:36.:51:39.

case for tougher gun controls the Westminster. His sister and mother

:51:40.:51:45.

were shot dead, and he met the Shadow Secretary of State Cooper. ``

:51:46.:51:54.

Yvette Cooper. South Shields MP has challenged David Cameron over

:51:55.:52:00.

welfare cuts. My constituent's disability means he needs a

:52:01.:52:03.

specially adapted bed and cannot share a room with his wife, yet

:52:04.:52:08.

still we are hit by the bedroom tax. Can the premise to explain why this

:52:09.:52:10.

government is punishing his disability? As the honourable lady

:52:11.:52:17.

knows, we have discretionary housing payments are exactly the sort of

:52:18.:52:21.

case, the money has been topped up, so there is no reason poor people

:52:22.:52:25.

can be disadvantaged. Finally, people will get a vote, but the Paul

:52:26.:52:32.

on May 27 will not be legally binding.

:52:33.:52:39.

And that's about it from us. If you live in Cumbria and would like to

:52:40.:52:42.

hear from the Europan election candidates standing in the North

:52:43.:52:45.

West, then BBC Radio Cumbria is the place. They will be debating the

:52:46.:52:49.

issues on Friday morning from 11. Meanwhile in the North East BBC

:52:50.:52:52.

Newcastle will be talking to candidates from the main parties

:52:53.:52:55.

each weekday morning, starting on Tuesday with UKIP. That's at 9am.

:52:56.:53:00.

We're back same time, same place next Sunday with a look at the local

:53:01.:53:04.

elections. Bet you're counting the minutes already. For

:53:05.:53:05.

the website now. Now it is back to you, Andrew.

:53:06.:53:17.

Welcome back, let's go straight to our panel. What did you make of Mr

:53:18.:53:26.

Alexander's defence of the Labour party election broadcast? It is

:53:27.:53:29.

difficult for them because they started by saying they were not

:53:30.:53:33.

going to do negative campaigning and they have thrown that away for an

:53:34.:53:38.

advert which is funny but crude in the class war sense. He didn't look

:53:39.:53:46.

thrilled to be defending it. There is a page in Tony Blair's memoirs

:53:47.:53:52.

talking about negative campaigning, and he says that anything too

:53:53.:53:55.

extreme turns off the average voter so his line of attack on Hague was

:53:56.:54:07.

funny jokes but... I think this failed the Blair test, it was too

:54:08.:54:12.

vicious. If your strategy is to shore up your car vote, that advert

:54:13.:54:19.

was genius. If your strategy is to reach out to a broader number of

:54:20.:54:25.

voters, Middle Britain, then that advert was a complete disaster. It

:54:26.:54:29.

looks like there is a lot of negativity and smears all round in

:54:30.:54:33.

the next year. That definitely looks the way we are going. They will be

:54:34.:54:52.

essentially trying to re-run by -- the American election. I am slightly

:54:53.:55:03.

puzzled why we cannot have our own election gurus who live here and

:55:04.:55:09.

understand the country. I should point out that the ?450 extra VAT

:55:10.:55:15.

that was claimed in that Labour poster, both Ed Balls and the Labour

:55:16.:55:21.

Treasury team have said that is ?450 per year. Nonsense the VAT rise, one

:55:22.:55:27.

year. I should also point out that Nigel Farage said to Norman Smith,

:55:28.:55:31.

the BBC is always reliable Norman Smith that if you run in Newark and

:55:32.:55:38.

lost the bubble would burst. I should also point out that although

:55:39.:55:43.

a number of the tax rises I mentioned on council tax, minimum

:55:44.:55:48.

wage tax and some other things that UKIP wants to cuts, a couple of

:55:49.:55:53.

these are in the local manifesto but several are not. They are on the

:55:54.:55:59.

UKIP website, which is still current and dated 2014. We like to make sure

:56:00.:56:06.

we are absolutely right. Let's talk about Nick Clegg and Michael Gove

:56:07.:56:12.

and the latest spat. Let me show you this headline in the Observer this

:56:13.:56:19.

morning. From both the Independent, he called him a zealot, lunatic is

:56:20.:56:31.

of -- another word. Do we take this seriously? It hinges on this

:56:32.:56:36.

question of what counts as an area of need in education. The Lib Dems

:56:37.:56:41.

say an area of need is one where there are not enough school places

:56:42.:56:45.

to meet local demand. He says it can also be a place where there are

:56:46.:56:49.

surplus places but that is for a reason. Local places don't trust

:56:50.:57:01.

those schools to do a good job for their kids. It surprises me because

:57:02.:57:07.

there isn't a yawning distance between David Laws and Michael Gove.

:57:08.:57:11.

David Laws has found himself between a rock and a hard place because I

:57:12.:57:16.

asked -- as I understand it most Lib Dems don't like the free schools but

:57:17.:57:20.

Mr laws was quite sympathetic to it and he is now having to this respect

:57:21.:57:28.

it. When they asked people who are the most hated politicians in a poll

:57:29.:57:31.

were this week, Michael Gove is off the charts, far above David Cameron

:57:32.:57:47.

or George Osborne. This is tit-for-tat war. The Liberal

:57:48.:57:50.

Democrats believe Michael Gove had a hand in leaking the document that

:57:51.:57:55.

showed Nick Clegg was opposing the tougher Chris Grayling position on

:57:56.:57:58.

knife crime. They are saying there were Cabinet ministers who never

:57:59.:58:03.

usually attend the sub Cabinet meeting, they turned up and the

:58:04.:58:08.

document is leaked so what we are getting is tit for tat on that. It

:58:09.:58:12.

is inevitable but it is not good for either side of the Coalition. Voters

:58:13.:58:17.

will look at it and say it is politics of the playground. I read

:58:18.:58:22.

in the Mail on Sunday this morning that some Tory insiders are accusing

:58:23.:58:33.

Lib Dems of spreading rumours about the camera in marriage. The

:58:34.:58:37.

rebuttals of education story is that the free school meals is sucking

:58:38.:58:51.

money away. I always thought they would work together without fuss and

:58:52.:58:57.

yet it has been more the source of disagreement then I would have

:58:58.:59:02.

expected a couple of years ago. Is it serious? It is serious obviously,

:59:03.:59:07.

using that language, but is it fatal for the Coalition? I think it is a

:59:08.:59:12.

road bump because I don't think anybody wants to dissolve the

:59:13.:59:17.

Coalition. It is a challenge for Labour because where do they stand

:59:18.:59:21.

on the free schools? They invented the Academy programme so it is

:59:22.:59:25.

difficult for them to take a hands-off approach at this stage.

:59:26.:59:28.

There was a danger for Michael Gove that he looks ideological but the

:59:29.:59:32.

danger for the Liberal Democrats is that they are breaking the rules for

:59:33.:59:35.

the Coalition they said that they wouldn't break which is that they

:59:36.:59:39.

looked like opposition in government. Is Michael Gove's

:59:40.:59:47.

position safe? Very safe. If he moves in a reshuffle that will be to

:59:48.:59:55.

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

:59:56.:59:58.

Two at lunchtime from Tuesday onwards. I'll be back here on BBC

:59:59.:00:01.

One at 11am next week. Remember if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday

:00:02.:00:02.

Politics. What if the person

:00:03.:00:51.

that killed her... I found out she'd been taking drugs.

:00:52.:00:52.

Just let me explain. You wasn't at that party all night.

:00:53.:00:56.

Yeah, I was. What was she even doing there?

:00:57.:00:59.

Oi, you keep your mouth shut. She was exchanging a significant

:01:00.:01:02.

number of texts and calls with someone in the weeks

:01:03.:01:04.

leading up to her death. It's like we didn't

:01:05.:01:07.

really know her at all.

:01:08.:01:10.

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