06/07/2014 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include Nick Clegg, Alistair Darling, Frances O'Grady and Matthew Hancock.

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Up to a million public sector workers will strike this week.


It's one of the biggest walk-outs since 201 .


The country's top trade unionist Frances O'Grady and


Tory Business Minister Matt Hancock go head-to-head.


The Tour de France seems to have cheered him up - just as well


for the Deputy Prime Minister hasn't got much else to smile about.


Nick Clegg joins me live from Sheffield to discuss the


Just over ten weeks until Scotland determines its future.


The man leading the campaign AGAINST independence, Alistair Darling,


joins me from Edinburgh. In the North East and Cumbria:


joins me from Edinburgh. Are voters listening to Labour?


And with me throughout the show three top-flight political


journalists always ahead of the peleton - Nick Watt,


They'll be tweeting faster than Tour de France cyclists can pedal.


The news is dominated this morning by stories swirling


around allegations of an historic Westminster paedophile ring.


Concern has grown because of the disappearance of a dossier


handed over to the Home Office in 1983, along with over 100 official


files related to it and possibly containing details of historic child


Labour is calling for a public inquiry led by a child protection


But speaking earlier on The Andrew Marr Show this morning


the Education Secretary Michael Gove ruled that out.


The most important thing that we need to do is ensure that the due


process of law pursues those who may be guilty of individual crimes and


we also learn lessons about what may or may not have gone wrong in the


past, but it is also important to emphasise that many of the


allegations that are being made are historic. And what we do now in


order to keep children safer is better and stronger than was the


case when 20 or 30 years ago. Without getting into a boring


tit-for-tat, public inquiry, "yes" or "no"? No. Helen, can the


Government go on resisting calls for a full-scale inquiry? It is very


hard. There are cynical and non-cynical reasons for calling for


an inquiry. The cynical one allows you to say I can't comment on this.


The non-cynical is it manages to get people to air allegations in a way


that is safe. What we saw at the Leveson Inquiry was helpful, people


who felt they had been shut out from justice getting a chance to tell


their side of the story. A public inquiry in this case is a good idea.


Labour have called for a lot of public inquiries. A list was made in


2012 of how many they called for. Not only Savile, but the West Coast


Main Line and breast implants. On this particular issue, the people


don't trust the politicians, they don't trust the police either


because they may have been complicit in a cover-up. They may not trust


the Home Office who we are told some of their officials were mentioned in


the dossier? That is what David Cameron is hanging on to. This is a


matter now because they are alleged criminal activity, it is for the


police to investigate. In that big piece in the Sunday Times, Tim


Shipman reports one of the people making the allegations lives in the


United States making the allegations lives in the


been out to the United States to interview him. The Prime Minister


would say that is how serious the police are taking it. The problem


for the Prime Minister - he police are taking it. The problem


allergic to big public inquiry. His finest moment was his response to


the Bloody Sunday inquiry shortly after he became Prime


inrequest -- that inquiry took 12 years to report. The problem is the


dossier has gone missing, the files have gone missing, more allegations


keep coming out either directly or indirectly. It doesn't look like it


is going to go away? The fact the dossiers are missing means it is


inappropriate for the Home Office to be investigating this. There is


inappropriate for the Home Office to a police investigation. If after


that, there are questions unanswered which can only be answered by


that, there are questions unanswered public inquiry, or which require


resources that can only be commanded by a public inquiry, I could see the


case for going down that road. I fear that sometimes in this country


we invest almost supernatural powers in what a public inquiry can do I


in what a public inquiry can do. I wonder whether there is another


example of a country that goes through this stale ritual every few


years of a scandal emerging, the opposition calling for an inquiry,


the Government saying no and then holding the line or giving in. I


don't know what we think this inquiries can do. It comes back to


your point, Helen, you should be careful what you call an inquiry on


so it doesn't devalue the concept. On Thursday up to a million public


sector workers - including teachers, firemen and council workers -


will go on strike. Their unions have differing gripes


but the fact they're all striking on the same day is designed to send


a strong message to the government. As the economy picks up again


they're demanding an end Growth has returned strongly to


the UK economy and unemployment is at its lowest


level for more than five years. So why is there still talk


of austerity The deficit is coming down but much


more slowly than the government And accumulated deficits -


the national debt - The UK is now in hock to the tune


of ?1.3 trillion - and rising. In fact, we're only 40% of the way


through George Osborne's planned austerity, with the chancellor now


saying he won't manage to balance Unions are now rebelling


against tight pay controls. Since 2010, average public sector


pay, which goes to about 1 in 5 Over the same period,


prices increased by 16% - meaning the average public sector


worker saw their pay squeezed Going head-to-head on the public


sector strikes and austerity - the general secretary of the TUC


Frances O'Grady, and Conservative We have seen it, public sector pay


squeezed by 9% under the Coalition Government. Isn't it time to take


your foot off the brake a bit? I don't think it is the right time to


let go of the public finances at all. We were always clear that this


is what's called a structural deficit, it doesn't go away just


because the growth is returning and the economy is coming back. We have


protected and are protecting the lowest paid public sector workers


who weren't part of the pay freeze and now pay going up by 1%. These


are difficult decisions. We have had that discussion many times. They are


necessary in order to keep that plan on track and as we can see in the


wider economy, it is working. People's living standards will have


to continue to fall if you are in the public sector? We need to keep


public spending under control and pay restraint is one of the main


ways of being able... The answer is yes? The answer is this is


necessary. The answer is yes, this is necessary. It isn't because we


want to. We have to. This strike isn't going to change the


Government's mind, is it? It does seem like the Government isn't


listening. We have had years... They are listening, they just don't


agree. Ordinary people, including those in the public sector, are


finding it really tough. What really sticks in the throat is the idea


that money can be found to give tax cuts to billionaires, to


millionaires and to big corporations. But it can't be found


to help 500,000 workers in local government, dinner ladies, school


meal workers, lollipop men and women who are earning less than the living


wage. What do you say to that? We have protected those who are the


least well-paid in the public sector. But this is about a


long-term... How can you? Hold on. You have said you have protected


them. This involves ordinary people, many watching this programme, they


have had a 1% pay rise in some cases since 2010. The average gas bill is


up 57%, electric bill up 22%, food costs up 16%, running a car 11% in


costs up 16%, running a car 11%, in what way have you protected people


from spending they have to make? Firstly, you read out the average


increases in public sector pay. That has had the biggest impact at the


top end and those at the bottom end have been best protected, as best we


could. Of course, we have also taken two million people out of income tax


and increased the income tax threshold which has a big positive


impact. We have frozen and then cut fuel duty, which would have been 20


pence higher. I wanted to take on this point about priorities. We have


got to make sure that we get the economy going at the same time and


we raised more money from those at the top than we did before 2010,


partly because we have encouraged them to invest. And this is a really


important balance of making sure we get the books back in order, we have


stability for family finances and we get the economy going. Why not


spread the living wage? We know you could pay for that pay increase


itself if you spread the living wage through the private sector and


guarantee... The living wage being above the minimum wage? Absolutely.


?7.65 in the rest of the country, ?8.80 in London. What is the answer?


I'm a fan of the minimum wage. But not for public sector workers. Being


able to pay low-paid workers as much as possible within the constraints


of the public finances is something I have pushed very hard. The


evidence we can increase the minimum wage has to be balanced which the


Low Pay Commission do with the impact on the number of jobs... Even


after a pay freeze for quite a while among public sector workers, they


are still paid 15% on average more than those in the private sector?


That is not true. It is, according to the ONS figures. I read that


report this morning. If you look at the whole package, what they are


saying is public service workers are worse off. Average earnings in the


public sector are ?16.28 an hour compared to ?14.16 private. You are


comparing apples and pears. It's the kind of jobs and the size of the


workplace that people work in. They are still overall on average better


off? Lower paid workers tend to be better off because unions negotiate


better deals for lower paid workers. They are more unionised in the pry


private sector. The public sector is worse off. This is a political


strike, isn't it? There is a whole disparate range of reasons. The


strike is saying that you are against this Government, that is


what this is about? I this I what firefighters, local government


workers and health workers who are protesting, too, alongside teachers


are saying is that this Government is not listening, it is out of


touch, people can't carry on having cuts in their living standards


depending on benefits. When will the public sector worker ever get a real


increase in their pay under a Conservative Government? Well, we


certainly hope to have the books balanced by 2018. Not before then?


2018 is when we hope to be able to be in surplus. It is testament. .


be in surplus. It is testament... So, no real pay increase for public


sector workers before 2018? Interestingly, this isn't just about


the Conservatives and the Lib Dems, the Labour Party leadership have


said it is a test of their credibility that they support the


squeeze on public sector pay. I look forward to them, they ought to come


out and say very clearly that these strikes are wrong and they are


against the strikes and stop taking union money. It is a democratic


right. Hold on. They are - they think the policy of pay restraint is


necessary. Alright. On this point about democracy... Ask yourself why


so many ordinary decent public service workers are so fed up. They


have seen so many billions of pounds wasted through outsourcing to


organisations like G4 S. In Unite and UNISON the turnout in this vote


was under 20%. Alright. OK. One final question... Hold on. You said


millions and millions voted on this... I want to ask you this


question. Is the story in the Mail on Sunday today that Mr Cameron's


on Sunday today that Mr Cameron s planning a big crackdown on the


unions over balloting, is that true? Well, strikes like this... I know


the cases, is it true you are going to dhang the law? Strikes like this


make that argument stronger. The Conservative Party is in Government


on the basis of 23% of the electorate... We have run out of


time. Thank you very much. "Should Scotland be


an independent country?" That's the question the people of


Scotland will answer in a referendum If the polls are to be believed


the voters will answer "no". But in 2011 - ten weeks before


the Holyrood elections - the polls told us that Labour was going to win


and look what happened there - a Alistair Darling is leading


the campaign against independnence. is one that puts the matter of


independence to bed for a generation. In numerical terms, what


would that be? We need a decisive result in September, I think we will


get that provided we get our arguments across in the next couple


of months. What would it be in figures? I am not going to put a


number on it. People will look at it and say, OK, you have had two and a


half years of debate and Scotland has now decided. The polls may be


encouraging at the moment but I am not complacent, there is still a


long way to go. Speculating... If you don't want to answer that, that


is fair enough. Your side claims that a vote for independence is a


vote for massive uncertainty but if it is a no vote there is lots of


uncertainty too. All of the Westminster parties are promising


devolution but there is no timetable, no certainty. Yes, there


is. For the first time I can remember, all three parties are more


or less on the same page in terms of additional powers, we already have


powers in terms of policing and transport, now more powers are


planned in relation to tax and welfare. But you are all saying


different things. Between 2009 and 2012, the three parties have


slightly different proposals but they came together and there was an


agreed series of reforms in relation to tax which are now on the statute


book. If you go back to the devolutionary settlement in 199 ,


people unified around a single proposition so there is history here


and these three parties have delivered and they will deliver in


the event of people saying we will stay part of the UK. If Scotland


vote no to independence, when will Scotland get these extra powers? I


would imagine that in the general election all three parties will have


something in their manifesto and you would expect to see legislation in


the session of Parliament that follows that. Imagining is not


certainty. Because the three parties have said this is what they will do,


and it is important having said that they stick to it. If you look in the


past when the Nationalists said the same thing, when they cast doubt


over what would happen in 2012, we delivered. The only party that


walked out of both of these discussions were the Nationalists


because they are not interested in more powers, they want a complete


break. You cannot say that if Edinburgh gets more devolution that


wouldn't mean fewer Scottish MPs in Westminster, can you? Nobody has any


plans to reduce the number of MPs. If you step back from this moment,


what people have been asked to do in September is to vote on the future


of their country, Scotland, and whether we should be part of the UK.


When I say part of the UK, full members of the UK with


representation in the House of Commons and the institutions that


affect our lives. This is a critically important vote. We want


to see more decentralisation of power to Scotland, and to local


authorities within Scotland, but we don't want a complete break with the


uncertainties, the risks and the downright disadvantages that would


throw Scotland's away if we were to make that break. The economic


arguments are dominating people s thinking, the polls show, that is


what is dominating at the moment. You cannot guarantee continued


membership of the European Union given all the talk now about an


in-out UK referendum. Firstly I don't think anyone has ever argued


Scotland wouldn't get back in. The big question is the terms and


conditions we would have to meet and we are applying to get into


something that is established, it wouldn't be a negotiation. What we


have said is there is no way Europe would let Scotland keep the rebate


which Scotland has, there would be big questions over whether we have


to join the euro, and other terms and conditions. The European Union


does not act with any great speed, on average it takes eight and a half


years to get into Europe. I don t want that uncertainty or the


disadvantages that would come Scotland's away that come with


losing clout in the European Union. The second point you asked me about


is in relation to the UK's membership of the European Union,


and if you look at polls, the majority of people still want to


stay in the UK. Frankly, a lot of people on my side didn't make the


argument against independence for a long time, we have been doing that


over the last two and a half years and we are making progress and that


is why I can say I think we will win provided we continue to get our


arguments across. Similarly with the European Union, the case needs to be


made because it is a powerful case. Isn't it true that the Nationalists


win either way? They win if it is a yes vote, and they win if it is a no


vote. They wanted devolution max so they win either way. There is a


world of difference between devolution and further devolution


where you remain part of the UK. There is a world of difference


between that and making a break, where Scotland becomes a foreign


country to the rest of the UK. You lose that security and those


opportunities. You lose the same currency, the opportunity with


pensions and so on. They are entitled to argue this case with


passion, they want a break, but the two things are worlds apart. Gordon


Brown said that the no campaign was too negative, have you adjusted to


take that criticism into account? Ever since I launched this campaign


over two years ago I said we would make a strong powerful case for


remaining part of the UK. Look at our research, where we have had


warnings from people to say that if we do well with research in Scotland


we get more than our population share of the grand and we gain from


that. There is a positive case but equally nobody will stop me from


saying to the Nationalists, look at the assertions you make which are


collapsing like skittles at the moment. Their assertions don't stand


up. They assert that somehow milk and honey will be flowing. It is


perfectly healthy within a referendum campaign to say that what


you are saying simply isn't true. You have been negative, we all know


about the so-called Cyber Nats book you compared Alex Salmond to the


leader of North Korea. On! The context was that Alex Salmond was


being asked why it was that UKIP had additional seat and he appeared to


blame television being been doing from another country, from BBC South


of the border. If you cannot have humour in a debate, heaven help us.


I think it is important in this debate that people from outside


politics should be allowed to have their say whatever side they are on


because that will make for a far better, healthier debate. Nobody


should be put in a state of fear and alarm by worrying about what will


happen if they stand up. Despite the nastiness, more and more people are


making a stand. We have run out of time. Thank you.


I will be talking to the SNP's hippity leader, Nicola Sturgeon,


next week on Sunday Politics. Scotland: For Richer or Poorer will


be on BBC Two at 9pm tomorrow. Disastrous results in the European


elections, it is fair to say the Lib Dems are down in the doldrums. In a


moment I will be speaking to Nick Clegg, but first Emily has been


asking what Lib Dems would say to the Prime -- Deputy Prime Minister


on Call Clegg. Our phone in this week is the challenges facing the


Liberal Democrats. They are rock bottom in the polls and have dire


results in the local and European elections so what can the party do


to turn things around? Get in touch, we are going straight to line


one and Gareth. How much is a problem of that loss of local


support? It is a massive problem because those are the building


blocks of our success. The councillors who gets the case work


done are also the people who go out and deliver the leaflets and knock


on doors. Interesting, and it is not just local support the party has


lost, is it? In the next general election there are some big-name


Liberal Democrat MPs standing down like Malcolm Bruce and Ming


Campbell, how much of a problem will that be? That is a real challenge


and we have some of our brightest and best reaching an age of maturity


at the same moment so that is quite an additional test in what will be a


difficult election anyway. So how does the party need to position


itself to win back support? Let s does the party need to position


itself to win back support? Let's go to Chris online free, has the party


got its strategy right? There is always a danger of appearing to be a


party that merely dilutes Labour or dilutes the Conservatives. We have a


of is serious, positive messages and we need to get those across in the


next election because if we don't next election because if we don t


people will vote for the Tories. Nick, what do you think of the


party's message at the moment? I have had a look at early draft of


our manifesto and there is some good stuff in there but the authors are


probably too interested in what may think we have achieved in the last


five years and not really focusing on what the voters will want to be


hearing about the next five years. Perhaps they should get out more and


test some of these messages on the doorstep. So you want to see the top


ranks of the party on the doorstep. Gareth online one also wants to make


a point about the manifesto. There is clearly a problem somewhere near


the top and there are some people who seem to be obsessed with power


for power's sake, and happy with a timid offer but the Liberal


Democrats want to change things. timid offer but the Liberal


Democrats want to change things We are running out of time so let's try


to squeeze one more call in. What are your thoughts on the long-term


future of the party? I think serious long-term danger is that the party


could be relegated to the fringes of the UK and no longer being a


national party. We have gone back decades if that happens because for


many years we have been represented in every part of the country at some


level and we have got to rescue ourselves from that. Some


interesting views but we are going to have to wait until the general


election next year to find out how well the Lib Dems face up to these


challenges. Thanks for listening, we are going to finish with an old


classic now. # I'm sorry, I'm sorry... #.


Nick Clegg, welcome to the programme. I want to come onto your


situation in a minute but as you will have seen in the papers, there


is mounting concern over and historic Westminster paedophile


ring, and files relating to it mysteriously disappearing. Why are


you against a full public enquiry into this? I wouldn't rule anything


out. I think we should do anything it takes to uncover this and achieve


justice. delivered, even all these many years


later. How do you do it? There is an inquiry in the Home Office about


what's happened to these documents, serious questions need to be asked


about what happened in the Home Office and those questions need to


be answered. There are inquiries in the BBC, in the NHS and most


importantly of all the police are looking into the places where this


abuse was alleged to have taken place. All I would say is, let's


make sure that justice is delivered, truth is uncovered and I think that


the way to do that, as we have seen, is by allowing the police to get on


with their work. You say that, but there are only seven police involved


in this inquiry. There are 195 involved in the hacking


investigations. We can both agree that child abuse is more important


and serious than hacking. The Home Office, there are reports that Home


Office officials may have been mentioned in the dossier, people


don't trust people to investigate themselves, Mr Clegg? No, I accept


that we need to make sure that - themselves, Mr Clegg? No, I accept


that we need to make sure that and that we need to make sure that - and


the police need to make sure that the police investigations are


thorough, well resourced. I can t thorough, well resourced. I can't


think of anything more horrendous, I can't, than powerful people


organising themselves and worse still, this is what is alleged,


covering up for each other to abuse the most vulnerable people in


society's care - children. But at the end of the day, the only way you


can get people in the dock, the only way you can get people charged, is


by allowing the prosecuting authorities and the police to do


their job. I have an open mind about what other inquiries take place. A


number of other inquiries are taking place. I assume any additional


inquiries wouldn't be able to second guess or look into the matters which


the police are looking into already. All I would say is that people who


have information, who want to provide information which they think


is relevant to this, please get in touch with the police. Alright.


Let's come on to our own inquiry into the state of the Lib Dems. You


have attempted to distance yourself and the party from the Tories, but


still stay in Government - it is called aggressive differentiation.


Why isn't it working? It's not called aggressive differentiation.


It is called "coalition". It is two parties who retain different


identities, different values, have different aspirations for the


future. But during this Parliament have come together because we were


facing a unique national emergency back in 2010, the economy was


teetering on the edge of a precipice. I'm immensely proud,


notwithstanding our political challenges, which are real, I'm


immensely proud that the Liberal Democrats, we stepped up to the


plate, held our nerve and without the Liberal Democrats, there


wouldn't now be that economic recovery which is helping many


people across the country. Why aren't you getting any credit for


it? Well, we won't get credit if we spend all our time staring at our


navals. If it wasn't for the Liberal Democrats, there wouldn't be more


jobs now available to people. They don't believe you, they are giving


the Tories the credit for the recovery? Well, you might assert


that, we will assert and I will shout it from the rooftops that if


we had not created the stability by forming this Coalition Government


and then hard-wired into the Government's plans, not only the


gory job of fixing the public finances, but doing so much more


fairly than would have been the case, if the Conservatives had been


in Government on their own, they wouldn't have delivered these tax


cuts. They wouldn't have delivered the triple lock guarantee for


pensions or the pupil premium. OK. Why are you 8% in the polls? Well,


because I think where we get our message across - and I am here in my


own constituency - this is a constituency where I am a


campaigning MP - we can dispel a lot of the information and say we have


done a decent thing by going into Government and we have delivered big


changes, big reforms which you can touch and see in your school, in


your pensions, in your taxes and then people do support us and, in


our areas of strength, we were winning against both the


Conservative and Labour parties. It Conservative and Labour parties It


is a big effort. Of course, there are lots of people from both left


and right who want to shout us down and want to vilify our role in


Government. What we also need to do - and Nick Harvey was quite right -


having been proud of our record of delivery, we also need to set out in


our manifesto as we are and as we will our promise of more, of more


support in schools. So why is it then... Why is it then that a Lib


Dem MP in our own film says you are in danger of no longer becoming a


National Party. That could be the Clegg legacy, you cease to be a


National Party? I'm a practical man. I believe passionately in what we


have done in politics. I am so proud of my party. I don't spend that much


time speculating that the end might be nigh. There is no point in doing


that. Let's get out there, which is what I do in my own constituency, in


challenges circumstances and say we are proud of what we have done, we


have done a good thing for the country, we have delivered more


Liberal Democrat policies than the party has ever dreamed delivering


before. We have a programme of change, of reform, of liberal


reform, which is very exciting. Just over the last few weeks, I have been


setting out our plans to provide more help to carers, to make sure


teachers in every classroom are properly qualified, that all kids in


school are being taught a proper core curriculum. That parts company


from the ideological rigidities with which the Conservatives deal with


education policy. Those are thing which speak to many of the values


that people who support us... Alright. When Mike Storey gets out


and about, he told this programme two weeks' ago that he finds that


you "are toxic on the doorstep". Look, as everybody knows, being the


leader of a party, which for the first time in its history goes into


Government, which is already a controversial thing to do because


you are governing with our enemies, the Conservatives, and on top of


that, doing all the difficult and unpopular things to fix the broken


economy which was left to us by Labour, of course as leader of that


party I get a lot of incoming fire from right and left. The right say


that I'm stopping the Conservatives doing what they want. There is a


good reason for that. They didn't good reason for that. They didn t


win the election. The left say that somehow we have lost our soul when


we haven't. That happens day in, day out. Of course that will have some


effect. My answer to that is not to buckle to those criticisms, those


misplaced Chris -- criticisms from left and right, but to stand up


proudly. Is it your intention to fight the next election against an


in-out referendum on Europe? Yes. Unless there is major treaty change?


Our position hasn't waivered, it won't waiver, we are not going to


flip-flop on the issue of the referendum like the Conservatives


did. We want an in-out referendum. With ve legislated for the trigger


when that will happen, when in u powers are transferred to the


European Union. That is what we have said for years. We legislated for


that... So no change? No change. that... So no change? No change


Alright. We are expecting a reshuffle shortly. Will you keep


Vince Cable as Business Secretary to the election? I'm immensely proud of


what Vince has done. Yes, I intend to make sure that Vince continues to


serve in the Government in his present capacity Look what he has


done on apprenticeships, he's done more than many people for many years


to make sure we build-up manufacturing, the north here, not


just the south. I'm proud of what he's done. We have talked about some


heavy things. We know you have got into kickboxing. Is there any danger


of you becoming a mammal - you know what I mean - a middle-aged man in


Lycra! Will the Tour de France influence you? Absolutely no risk of


that whatsoever having seen the Tour de France start yesterday near


Leeds. I have the yellow Yorkshire sign on my pullover. I will see them


later whisk through my constituency. I will not try to emulate them. I'm


sure that is to the relief of a grateful nation. Thank you.


It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics.


We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now


for Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up here in 20 minutes,


the Week Labour hopes to lead


the race to Downing Street `nd make But has the party got


the right policies ` and Middlesbrough's Labour MP Andy


Macdonald and Durham Conservative councillor Richard Bell join me


in the studio. And these people were thrown out


of a North East town hall for trying Now the law is changing `


but do the new rules go far enough? the North


of England is suddenly flavour The Government's ambition to create


a "powerhouse" of the north's big This week, the deputy


Prime Minister Nick Clegg l`unched something called "Northern Futures"


with a call for big, bold ideas to And more enthusiasm


for all things northern camd from Chancellor George Osborne who


dropped into Simpsons Malt in Berwick to announce more funding


for businesses in the North East. This will be the first


in the country like this. It is part of our long`term economic


plan to support growth in all parts of our country, not just thd


north`east as a region, but also in Richard Bell. Less than a year to go


until the election the sudddn until the election the sudden


Osbourne wants at what the north all the time. What America got got into


them? I would like to think is all coordinated but I do not thhnk it


is. The Chancellor's visit to Berwick was about countryside growth


and the network fund which hs a and the network fund which is a


continuation of a pilot that has been running for a couple of years.


In my own ward we about to projects supported by that. The aucthon


In my own ward we about to projects supported by that. The auction mart


has built new business units and created a new business in Middleton.


And a gentleman starting a coffee importing and roasting business.


And a gentleman starting a coffee importing and roasting business We


importing and roasting business. We grow a lot of coughing in tdas,


grow a lot of coughing in teas, don't you know. ?23 million for


small businesses in role in areas including Gateshead is great news.


Site were not except that it is just happening now. A lot of this work


has been quietly happening for a year or two. Your site last four


years berating this governments for years berating this governmdnts for


its lack of interest in the north. You can't complain now wonder


its lack of interest in the north. You can't complain now wonddr making


a virtue of getting out there? Looe`macro it is a bit late in the


late to stop paying attention to the north. It is being abandoned for the


duration of this administration. Absolutely it has. George Osborne


seems to define the North as stopping at the M 62 until this


latest announcement. The concentration on the North of


England has been limited and sparse. Four out of five jobs creatdd are in


London and the south`east. Why matter the figures are disputes this


week when they? That the regional growth fund has done the north`east


very good. The reality is that you should be welcoming the fact they


are taking this seriously? H take are taking this seriously? H take


the interest seriously, I just are taking this seriously? I take


the interest seriously, I jtst wish the interest seriously, I just wish


it had happened a long time ago We it had happened a long time ago. We


have to see what the delivery is. Expressing an interest is OK, but


what does it mean? What is the follow`through going to be? That's


why have doubts. Richard Bell, that is a good point. There is a lot of


speaking but not much commitment. The money for the businesses is


welcome. And been put on a high`speed rail line having a


Government department moved here. Know, and I think we should be doing


more to move civil service jobs and other jobs out of the south`east if


we can. I would except that. But it is welcome news. It is churlish to


say nothing at happen for a fuel years. Things are happening on the


ground, things have been built in my ward and on the back of somd of


ward and on the back of some of these grant initiatives. Thdse are


being quietly all the time. Look at Hitachi, getting money from the


regional growth fund. So it is not fair to say we have been forgotten


about. Things happening quietly all about. Things happening quidtly all


the time. Maybe the mistake they made was leaving it a bit late.


the time. Maybe the mistake they made was leaving it a bit l`te. We


will return to that subject later. Now to Labour's plans to help


the region's economy grow. This week, the party gave more


details of its policy based upon There'll be fewer but stronger


local enterprise partnerships. ?30 billion of spending


on transport, schools infrastructure and housing


will be devolved to city regions While councils willbe able to keep


additional business rates they generate, to reinvest


in local jobs and business. Those proposals are just


the latest in a series of announcements from Labour


as it firms up the content of its The party's already committdd itself


to ending out`of`work benefits for 18`to`21`year`olds,


abolishing the benefit changes it calls the bedroom tax as well


as freezing energy bills. So no shortage of ideas `


but how much are the party's It's a battleground,


a key part of the South and Labour's held the seat since 1997,


but they came perilously close to The party's majority of just over


1,600 here actually makes it one of the ten most marginal Labour


seats in the country. So have they made any progrdss


since 2010? Do the shoppers here think they


are being sold something sweeter now or do they think they'rd still


getting a bit of a bit of a lemon? Time to join the bargain hunters


and hawkers, then, to see if they can name anything of


the recent slew of Labour policies. Even when, now,


we can't afford it because we've got What policy have they got


on that though, do you know? So does that worry Labour fhgures


in this constituency? It would next May,


I think what they're waiting for and slowly hearing are policies from


Labour which will address that. So, for example, the freeze on


energy prices I think reson`ted very And this week, the idea


of repatriating some of the money to local areas rather than it being


spent in Westminster, I think, But if


the policies are not always cutting Are shoppers and traders sold on


Ed Miliband? I'm a Labour man right through,


so let?s see what he can do He's alright as a person but he


doesn't come across with that extra I don't think is


the right man to lead the party. I think David would


have been better. Absolute conker, and his brother,


yes. He's just got one of those faces I


can't get away with, to be fair We could do somebody


a bit tougher for Labour. I want Labour to come back


in power so I don't mind You can't name any


of their policies though? I know, yes,


because I've got "baby`brain"! That rather mixed verdict is


giving hope to this man. Conservative candidate Will Goodhand


believes Labour's lack of appeal could help him win this


seat and deliver a Tory Government. They set out saying that thd


economic plan that the Conservatives had wasn't going to work


and the fact it, it is working. We have had 56,000 more jobs since


2010 in the North`East, we have had a thousand fall in the numbdr


of people and jobseeker's allowance just in Middlesbrough South and


East Cleveland in the past year. And almost in a panic in response,


Labour are throwing out policies that are just not credible


and people can really see through. With policy announcements coming


by the pound from Labour, perhaps they do need more time to


filter through to the public. On the evidence of this market day,


the party is yet to seal thd deal. So has Labour got the poliches `


election and the leader ` Middlesbrough to win


the next General Election? Andy McDonald, remarkable isn't a?


All this energy on the bedroom freeze in the bedroom tax. Not a


mention of any of those. Surprise, disappointed? It is difficult for a


lot of people to annunciator and able to tell us what the party


policies. The reality is when it policies. The reality is when it


comes to polls, the ones whdre we comes to polls, the ones where we


have elections, Labour are doing well. We are returning more


councillors and gaining mord job of councillors and gaining mord job of


councils. So when it matters, it fills us through. Him as matter that


these people are taking these things in. People have to understand what


you are standing for an uttdrly get you are standing for an uttdrly get


that from them. the video also showed there was some desird to


that from them. the video also showed there was some desire to vote


Labour as well. So I think ht showed there was some desird to vote


Labour as well. So I think it is Labour as well. So I think it is


filtering through even though people can't annunciator each and dvery


can't annunciator each and every policy. But they are getting the


message. Richard Bell, there is some message. Richard Bell, therd is some


truth in because some of those people I spoke to, although they


could name policies, they s`id they could name policies, they said they


were in favour of Labour. There was a great enthusiasm for David Cameron


and the Conservatives either. , maybe not. The difference is that


Cameron has shown repeatedlx that maybe not. The difference is that


Cameron has shown repeatedly that is Cameron has shown repeatedly that is


capable of taking tough dechsions and his decisive and gives strong


leadership. I doubt very much weather Ed Miliband is capable of


that. Nonpolitical people that I speak to most often say to le he


that. Nonpolitical people that I speak to most often say to me he is


speak to most often say to le he is a bright bloke but is not like


speak to most often say to me he is a bright bloke but is not lhke he's


a bright bloke but is not like he's up to the job. We will go on to the


individual in a moment. You are a councillor in Durham so presumably


you are welcome that Labour has proposed radical idea this week to


transfer powers? If you talk about the Adonis review, broadly, I would


welcome them. They are building on proposals and ideas Michael


Heseltine had a of years ago. Won but the Conservatives didn't


implement them. Looe`macro the Conservatives in this region will be


glad to see funding devolved centrally, so, yes, I'm not saying


we would not welcome some of that devolution that has been mentioned.


Greg Stone, it is a policy that is maybe not taught about in the pub,


but it is radicalism to? It is good stuff, but it is a continuation of


what the coalition has been doing. Blake has been involved with giving


more power to Newcastle and Sunderland and that recognition that


we can't just have a centralised London ` dominated political system


and economic system, I think is filtering through to all parties. It


has been the case for too long now include in the last Government, that


include in the last Governmdnt, that the North East, given the powers to


do what it can to transform the economy, transport, things like


housing, it should not be taken in housing, it should not be t`ken in


Whitehall. It should be taken housing, it should not be taken in


Whitehall. It should be takdn in housing, it should not be t`ken in


Whitehall. It should be taken in the regions. But given that, th`t


enthusiasm for the north`east that you are showing, Nick Clegg this


week I looked in the news release he week I looked in the news rdlease he


had and is meant as a Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds. No mention


Sunderland Newcastle Carlisle. We must evolve to the cities and create


the economic growth we need. That is a good thing. Won but is it more


focused on M 62 corridor rather than think about the north`east? Is a


story had about John Prescott's Northern Way, the original cons back


that macro concept for that... I think the job for the North East in


particular for the north`east combine authority would is not


dominated by Labour council leaders is how they can punch their weight


and make and use these new powers and resources to transform the


region's economy and make that happen. The evidence in recent years


happen. The evidence in recdnt years has not been that good on that


front. Andy, let us and so the criticism of Ed Miliband in the


film. Nearly people are not getting the message cause they do like the


the message cause they do lhke the messenger? Has it got the right


messenger? Has it got the rhght values, is the intellectually up to


it and canny persuade people? I it and canny persuade peopld? I


think he can. I think Yaz all the qualities we need for a Prile


qualities we need for a Prime Minister is not unusual for a leader


of the opposition to be lagging behind a Prime Minister in opinion


polls. But when it comes to the real poll, that can be turned around. And


we are seeing consistent support for labour across elections when it


matters. Is this specific about the Adonis proposals. He talked about


local enterprise partnerships. We have two in this region, ond in


have two in this region, one in Seaside, one of the north`e`st.


have two in this region, ond in Seaside, one of the north`east. I've


heard that before but I fairweather real concentration is and where they


overlap, there are lots of `reas in overlap, there are lots of areas in


the country where there is no distinction. At least in the


distinction. At least in thd north`east of England we have two


distinct conurbations. So would you begin a merger? I'm quite content


with how we have gone about this in the Tees Valley. I think there is a


the Tees Valley. I think thdre is a momentum there and are some


successes that we can build on if we can devolve money and power to these


sub regions, real money and real power, then we can make a


difference. We will have to think very carefully before we go ahead


with a full merger. Bitch about, is there not a danger in all these


proposals as an ally County Durham gets overshadowed by either urban


areas such as Teeside by Tyneside? I'd been so. All areas are


benefiting. The old north`e`st benefiting. The old north`e`st


structure which was abolished by structure which was abolishdd by


this Government, and I may know Pollard is flat, was big,


bureaucratic and expensive. They give a lot of projects to Newcastle.


give a lot of projects to Ndwcastle. If you had on to the south of the


region, the Tees Valley, people feel that they did not get their fair


crack of the whip down therd. So I agree that the power structure is


agree that the power structtre is the way forward. And all the local


the way forward. And all thd local authorities are now working closely


together. Ed Miliband, he's not much as much a busted flush as Nhck Clegg


is the? Nick Clegg is do good job in the national interest. He has put


that had a party interest and I think you look at the outcole of


think you look at the outcome of this general election, the key


decision will be on weather the country is correct in the ptblic


finances that Labour left us. I think the former show their Miliband


is very much a? Is not prime is very much a? Is not prime


ministerial. There is a hugd amount ministerial. There is a huge amount


of doubt in the public out `` about his policies. There are huge


his policies. There are hugd divisions in the shadow cabinet in


Westminster, too. For the last 25 years we've been


able to switch on TV and watch our But if you wanted to see


your local councillor in action, you Try to film a meeting or usd social


media in the council chamber and you Well,


those days appear to have gone after Local Government Secretary Dric


Pickles threw his not inconsiderable More doctors, more nurses, lore


midwives, more people being treated. And is official,


the best NHS in the world. The cut and thrust of


Prime Minister's Questions. It's this party that created the NHS


and every time we have to s`ve it But while the mother


of all Parliaments has being on screen for 25 years,


many local councils have not been That is soon to change with new


legislation about to become law So for the first time, we can


bring you these exciting scdnes This has been


the first meeting which Middlesbrough council allowdd to be


filmed, and, while this meeting has been very calm, a previous `ttempt


by people to record a meeting ended Middlesbrough Town Hall in May


of this year, and an argument over somebody filming a meeting that led


to the chamber being cleared All part of


a long campaign to get Middlesbrough What is wrong with the membdrs


of the public actually filming the That have paid a good sum of money


to represent them ` being open? Very simply,


it's democracy we want to see. Middlesbrough Council says ht had in


the past been concerned about the potential for selective misleading


or mischievous editing of footage. Now it is embracing change


and allowing filming and putting a recording of leetings


online following some the councils Where Middlesbrough may havd


resisted, Newcastle has embraced. For two years, it has been


the filming their meetings `nd has When hundreds of people wanted to


come to hear decisions being made and hear that their point of view


was being put forward, it was really important that we enabled many more


people ` who clearly could not be in the council chamber and wanted to


be part of that debate ` could The act, giving people


the right to film and use social media from council meetings, also


includes some of the public bodies, But will people really find watching


council meetings riveting? I was asked a few months ago


by a councillor I bumped into in the town centre `


why do I go to these meetings? Add do think will rival the


x`height! Middlesbrough councillor to be dragged and kicked into


allowing them to format meeting. What are be got to hide? personally,


nothing! I've always thought we should film Council meetings, I


think it is a very welcome move. think it is a very welcome move.


When I was a council in the 90s I When I was a council in the 90s, I


thought then it might be a good a dear that macro idea to publish


these things. Now we have social media, it makes it easier to but it


on websites and the rest of it. So I think it is a step forward. See want


to thank Eric pickles was striking a blow for democracy? Good for him.


Richard Bell, do have any concerns about this? Meetings could be


hijacked potentially when people are hijacked potentially when people are


cameras are there? Selectivd cameras are there? Selective


extracts it is not without `ny extracts it is not without any


danger? I have reservations. We'll welcome people coming along and


filming. But you played thehr filming. But you played thehr


extracts from Prime Minister's Questions, and that is probably


extracts from Prime Minister's Questions, and that is prob`bly the


least productive part of the least productive part of the


Parliamentary week. It is a football match, throwing rocks at each other


kind of mentality. The real work of Parliament does get televised


because it is boring and tale. I because it is boring and tame. I


fear there is a danger that people will home in on the juicy or the


outrageous. A typical counchl outrageous. A typical counchl


meeting last over two hours and that is not gripping television. There is


a point here, isn't there? Letting cameras into the Commons has not


enhance the reputation of MPs has its? the point is well made about


select committees and elsewhere, its? the point is well made about


select committees and elsewhere, and of course, quite frankly, it is


tedious. It is a bit like televising trials, criminal trials. A lot of


the work is dull and it is not good for television. Nevertheless, there


is a democracy point here and I think it is superb that people can


see what the politicians and elected representatives are doing in their


names. Should Labour Day to step further and open up hospital trust


meetings? Let's do this first and see how we get on. I think xou


meetings? Let's do this first and see how we get on. I think you run


see how we get on. I think xou run the risk of creating a situation in


the risk of creating a situ`tion in which everything will be televised


and then it may close down some frank and open debates that people


testing each other out in a way they might not want to do. Let's start


going down the road and see how far we get. But putting council meetings


on the web is an excellent step forward, I think. Bead at the end


was good to watch them do you? I was told at our last full counchl


meeting which, if I have to say, told at our last full council


meeting which, if I have to say was a lively one. The numbers of people


following steadily fell through because of the meeting. Does that


mean you should raise game `ddict? mean you should raise game `ddict?


Maybe will make people make shorter, sharper speeches? brats. But a lot


of business is relatively dtll, it needs to be thorough and it needs to


be done diligently. It is a make for exciting television as a spdctator


exciting television as a spectator sport. What would you say to Eric


pickles? I would say councils have nothing to hide let us try them and


if it works, we could look at if it works, we could look `t


extending it further. You have to extending it further. You h`ve to


make sure that people have the opportunity to have frank


conversations and fly ideas and not everything that is aired in a public


body is necessarily going to be a firm proposal. Again, it is back to


this business of selective reporting. If you're having to


stream hours of it, it may not be quite interesting.


Now, a committee of MPs travelled to South Tyneside on Friday to hear


from people using food banks and from those running them.


Here's Mark Denton with that and the rest of the week's news


Nestle is to become the first major money factor to commit to paint the


money factor to commit to p`int the living wage. The firm, which has its


confectionery headquarters hn York confectionery headquarters in York


already plays that Rocca pays a living wage to its 8000 employees.


It all up in a Saint agency workers and contract staff. Cumbria county


council's Chief Executive was pay council's Chief Executive w`s pay


more than ?100,000 widgets at the more than ?100,000 widgets at the


retirement last year. She ldft retirement last year. She left


council last May and the details of a payoff which includes pension


contributions were revealed this week by BBC radio Cumbria. An


week by BBC radio Cumbria. @n enquiry by MPs into hunger food


poverty came to South Tyneshde on Friday to hear from people using


Friday to hear from people tsing food banks. The all`party group


includes this MP. we want to look at the rise of food poverty in the UK


and makes recommendations to the Government about what needs to


change. Won finally, the Northeast's new Euro MPs for Labour


and UKIP have taken their seats Northeast's new Euro MPs for Labour


and UKIP have taken their sdats in and UKIP have taken their seats in


the European Parliament in Strasbourg.


I'm off to don my Lycra and catch up with the Tour ` I think they've


But we'll be back same time, same place next week for


progress in London was being made before that started. I wish we had


longer for that. It is all over to you.


What will Thursday's mass public sector strike achieve?


Has David Cameron's anti-Juncker attacks clawed back support


And is Alan Johnson really thinking about challenging Ed Miliband


We will start with the strikes, Matt Hancock was hardline in the


head-to-head that he did with the TUC. I guess that the Tory internal


polling and focus groups must be telling them that there are votes in


taking a tough line? There is that and there is the fact that they are


now much more confident on any economic policy two or three years


ago. They shied away from it because the economy was shrinking, there was


still a danger that public sector job losses would lead to higher


unemployment overall. Now, the economy is growing, they have a good


story to sell about employment so they are much more bolshy and brazen


than they were two or three years ago. They know that it always causes


problems for Labour. Labour is naturally sympathetic to the public


sector workers, pay being squeezed, they are striking to make an issue


of it. And yet they can't quite come out and give the unions 100% Labour


support? Exactly. You saw Tristram Hunt on the Marr Show this morning


squirming to support the idea of strikes, but not this particular


strike. It was always the question that gets asked to Labour - who


funds you? That is a real problem. The bit that gets me is they trail


this ef are I time there is a -- every time there is a strike, this


idea of cutting it to ballots and local election turnout was a third.


Boris Johnson was elected Mayor of London with 38% turnout. We need to


talk about-turnout across our democracy. That is an easy rebuttal


for Labour to make. Matt Hancock was hardline about changing the strike


law. When you asked him the question, if you are not going to


stabilise the public finances till 2018, does this mean the pay freeze


or no real term pay increase in the public sector will increase till


2018, h e was inner vous on that one. -- he was nervous on that one.


This strike is different to those strikes that took place in 2010. At


strikes that took place in 2010 At that time, the TUC and the Labour


Leadership thought there was going to be a great movement out there,


not a kind of 1926 movement, but a great movement out there. This time


round, I think the climate is different. Ed Miliband talking about


wage increases being outstripped by inflation and people not seeing the


recovery coming through into their pay packets. Slightly more tricky


territory for the Tories. If The Labour machine cannot make something


out of Matt Hancock telling this programme there will be no increase


in pay for workers in the public sector till 2018, they have a


problem? They do have a problem They have to say always that they


would not just turn the money taps on. That is the dance that you are


locked in all the time. Can we all agree that Alan Johnson is not going


to stand against Ed Miliband this side of the election? Some


politicians are cynical enough. I don't think Alan Johnson is one.


politicians are cynical enough. I don't think Alan Johnson is one Do


we agree? There is nothing in it for Labour and certainly not for Alan


Johnson. No way. It is the last thing he would want to do. There are


some desperate members going around trying to find a stalking horse.


Alan Johnson will not be their man. He has more important things to do


on a Thursday night on BBC One! Isn't it something about the febrile


state of the Labour Party that Labour, some Labour backbenchers or


in the Shadow Cabinet, can float the idea of this nonsense? If there was


a time to do it, maybe it was in the middle of the Parliament. With ten


months left, you are stuck with the leader you chose in 2010. I remember


them failing to understand this in January of 2010 when there was that


last push against Gordon Brown. Five months before an election, they were


trying to do something. The deputy Leader of the Labour Party had


something to do with it. There is deep unease about Ed Miliband. There


are problems but Alan Johnson is not the man. I think there is no chance


of it! If the most recent polls are to be


believed, David Cameron appears to have enjoyed a 'Juncker bounce' -


clawing back some support from UKIP after he very publicly opposed the


appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker to the post of EU Commission


president. Last week Nigel Farage took his newly enlarged UKIP


contingent to Strasbourg for the first session


of the new European Parliament. These two gentlemen have nothing to


say today. It was the usual dull, looking back to a model invented 50


years ago and we are the ones that want democracy, we are the ones that


want nation state, we are the ones that want a global future for our


countries, not to be trapped inside this museum. Thank you. I can see we


will be covering more of the European Parliament at last!


It's rumoured he's likely to stand in the next general election in the


Kent constituency of Thanet South, currently held by the Conservatives.


Last week the Conservatives selected their candidate for the seat -


Craig McKinlay - a former deputy leader of UKIP.


Did you get the short straw, you have got a seat that Nigel Farage is


probably going to fight? Not in the slightest. It is a seat that I know


well. It is a seat that there's obvious euro scepticism there and my


qualities are right for that seat. UKIP got some very good... What are


your qualities? Deep-seated conservatism, I was a founder of


UKIP, I wrote the script back in 1992. My heart is Conservative


values. They are best put out to the public by me in South Thanet. It


would be ridiculous if Nigel chose that seat. We need a building block


of people like myself to form a Government if we are going to have


that referendum that is long overdue. I don't think he's got the


luxury of losing somebody who is very similar in views to him. He


would be best look looking elsewhere. You wouldn't like him to


stand in your seat, would you? It would seem to make very little


sense. People would say what is UKIP all about if it's fighting people


who have got a similar view to them? We do need to build a majority


Government for the Conservatives next year because only us are


offering that clear in-out referendum. I want to be one of


those building blocks that is part of that renegotiation that we will


put to public in a referendum. Sounds to me like if the choice is


between you and Nigel Farage next May in Thanet South, it is Tweedle


Dum and Tweedle Dee? Not at all. May in Thanet South, it is Tweedle


Dum and Tweedle Dee? Not at all The Dum and Tweedle Dee? Not at all. The


danger to this country is another Labour Government. That is one of


the main reasons that I left UKIP in 2005 because that last five years of


the Labour Government was the most dangerous to the fundamentals of


Britain that we have ever seen. I'm happy with the Conservatives. I have


full Conservative values. I am a Euro-sceptic. Thank you for joining


us. The Westminster bubble yet again, which has a herd mentality, a


bubble with a herd mentality, it got it wrong yet again. Mr Cameron's


isolated, he is useless at diplomacy, all of which may be true,


but the British people liked it and his backbenchers liked it? True.


Although some of us would say it is possible... You are speaking for the


bubble? I'm speaking for my segment of the bubble. Some of us argued


that he got it wrong diplomatically and it would be wrong politically.


It will be the passage of time. We saw UKIP decline between the 20 4


European elections and the 2005 General. You would expect something


similar to happen this time round. The question is how far low do they


fall? They are still registering 12-15% in the opinion polls. They


are. When Mr Cameron wielded his veto which again the Westminster


bubble said it's terrible, it is embarrassing, he overtook Labour in


the polls for a while doing that. He's had a Juncker bounce. If you


were a strategist, would you not conclude the more Euro-sceptic I am,


the better it is for me in the polls? In the short-term, yes. This


is the short-term thinking we are supposed to despise. The electricion


is very clever for a different -- is very clever for a different -


the selection is very clever for a different reason. It is this


anti-London feeling in Thanet South. He is a councillor, he grew up in


the constituency. He is a chartered accountant. He is somebody who can


be seen to be a champion of local people. If they had parachuted in a


special adviser, they would be in real trouble. He wants to get out...


This is the third representative of the bubble? He wants to get out of


the European Union which David Cameron doesn't want to do. It was


interesting for that statement to MPs on Monday, there were mild


Euro-sceptics who said, "I can't take this." The Speaker said can the


baying mob, the Conservative MPs, quieten down, please. Ben Bradshaw,


the former Minister made it, he said, "I'm reminded when the leader


of the Labour Party before Harold Wilson made that famous Euro-sceptic


speech and Mrs Gaitskell said darling, the wrong people are


cheering." That is the challenge. Thank you, bubbles!


The Daily Politics is back at its usual Noon time every day


And I'll be back here on BBC One next Sunday at 11pm for the last


Sunday Politics of the summer - I'll be talking to Scotland's Deputy


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


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate including interviews with the deputy prime Minister, Nick Clegg, former chancellor Alistair Darling, Frances O'Grady of the TUC, and skills minister Matthew Hancock.

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