21/09/2014 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest news and debate live from the Labour Party conference in Manchester, with guests including Alex Salmond and Lord Prescott.

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Good morning from Manchester, where the Labour Party are gathering


for their annual conference as British politics adjusts to what


the rest of the UK. in Scotland might mean for


Scotland's decision to vote 'no means more powers heading north


But what about Home Rule for England?


Independence for Scotland has been his life's work. Alex Salmond tells


us why he is stepping down after losing Thursday's vote. And we've


In the North East and Cumbrha: people who want to be


Demands for power and money ` but will the region get either


And the pollution hotspots where air quality fails European standards.


powers and more freedom to spend. But what is the next devolution step


for the capital? With me, the best and brightest political panel in the


business, at least that is what they pay me to say every week. Nick Watt,


Helen Lewis and, this week, we have done some devolution ourselves to


other areas, and we have Sam Coates from the times. The union survived,


but only at the cost of more powers for the Scottish parliament and


enshrining the formula that gives Scotland a privileged position when


it comes to public spending, which has MPs on both sides of the Commons


of in arms. The Scottish question has been answered for now. Suddenly,


the English question takes centre stage, doesn't it? Absolutely. It


has a grubby feel, when that vow was put to the Scottish people, that


they hoped would swing the vote there was nothing about English only


votes. It was unconditional? The Tory proposal did talk very core


justly about looking at the proposals by a former clerk of the


House of Commons that looked at this issue. That was very cautious. -


cautiously. These proposals will not get through Westminster unless David


Cameron addresses the English-only issue. You look at people like Chris


Grayling in the Sunday Telegraph. Alistair Darling on the Andrew Marr


Show said you could not have a link between what you are giving Holyrood


and English-only MPs. Back on says, is welshing on the deal. -- comic he


They were furious that he gave away these tax powers and inscribed the


Barnett formula. They said they weren't going to vote for it. It is


a shameless piece of opportunism. Now they can say that Labour are the


ones that don't trust you and don't want to give you more powers. He


knows it is going to be a tight timetable. The idea of getting a


draft of this out by Burns Night, most people would say, given they


had six years to set up Scottish parliament, the idea we will solve


these huge constitutional questions in four months is absurd. But they


don't care about the constitutional questions, the one they care about


is English votes? There is a simple reason they won that. If you look at


the MPs in England alone, the Tories have a majority of 59, an


overwhelming bias, and if you strip out Wales Scotland and Northern


Ireland, so this has become a partisan issue. The question is


whether David Cameron can follow through on the promise. He said he


would link the two Scottish powers, but it's not clear you will get


either before the general election. It's not but the purpose is to cause


Labour Party discomfort, and it is. You can see with date -- Ed Miliband


this morning, they find it very hard to answer the question, why


shouldn't there be English votes for English laws? Ed Miliband this


morning was saying how London MPs get to vote on London transport and


English MPs don't outside of London and it is confusing, but Labour is


in a difficult position. They were before the Prime Minister made his


announcement. The yes side triumphed in Glasgow, the largest city in


Scotland, a Labour heartland, and the Prime Minister is saying that if


Labour don't agree to this the Prime Minister is saying that if


handing a gift to the SNP, the Prime Minister is saying that if


Labour voters would vote for to see the Prime Minister is saying that if


unarguable. If you say her chewing a partisan way, you can't sell it to


the country. Ed Miliband is on course to have a majority of about


20, and you take the 40 English MPs, and he hasn't got it. This is a


coalition government where the Conservatives haven't got really to


be in charge, they have put in sweeping laws. Labour should


probably take the bullet on this one.


probably take the bullet on this spent on social housing in Scotland


than in Yorkshire and the North West and the Midlands. The Welsh do very


poorly on social services for the elderly. What are we saying? That


they need our children, patients and the elderly are worth less than the


Scots? That's not the way to have a sustainable solution. I understand


the distribution impact of the Barnett Formula, but Westminster


politicians are already held in contempt by a lot of people and to


rat on such a public pledge would confirm their worst fears. Your


leader would have secured the union on a false prospectus. First of


all, it's clear from the Ashcroft poll that the offer made in the


Scottish newspaper had zero effect and if anything was


counter-productive to the overall result because two thirds of swing


voters in the last few days voted for independence. But we can't keep


proceeding without looking at the promises made to the English. We


said in the referendum that we would have English laws -- English votes


on English issues. The Liberal Democrats, in their manifesto,


pledged to scrap the Barnett Formula. We have to reconcile all of


the promises to all parts of the UK, and Alex Salmond talks about a


Westminster stitch up, but what he's trying to do is, with gross double


standards, is in French stitch up in rapid time, which would be grossly


unfair to the rest of the rest of UK -- is contrive stitch up. What is


unfair about the current spending formula? The extra money Scotland


gets from Barnet, is covered by the oil revenues it sends to London


Scotland is only getting back on spending what it pays in tax. There


is no analysis out there that suggests it is the same amount.


Having voted to stay in the UK. Let me give you the figures. Last year


revenues were 4.5 billion, and the Barnett Formula was worth 4.5


billion to Scotland. It is awash. A huge amount of British taxpayer


investment has gone into extracting North Sea oil, and if we move to a


more federal system, we would need to look at things like the


allocation of resources, but the Barnett Formula has been lambasted


as a national embarrassment and grossly unfair by its Labour Party


architect, Lord Barnett. So what we need is to change this mechanism so


it is based on need. The irony is, when the Scots allocate Avenue to


the -- revenue to their local authorities, it's done on a needs


basis, and what is good for Scotland must be good for the rest of


Britain. One final question. The Prime Minister is now making his


promise of more home rule for Scotland conditional on English


votes for English laws. Why didn't he spell out the condition when he


made his bow to the Scottish people? Why has this condition been tacked


on by the Prime Minister? In the heat of the referendum debate lots


of things were said, but the truth is that Parliament must also look at


this and make its views known, and English MPs as well. You will find


that conservative as well as a lot of Labour MPs would say, we cannot


just rush through a deal that is unsustainable. It has to be good for


all parts of Britain. Yes, we should deliver on our promises for more


devolution to Scotland, but let s deliver on promises to be English,


and Northern Irish. Why are they locked out of the debate? Let's


leave it there. Thank you for joining us.


The man responsible for taking Scottish nationalism from


the political fringes to within touching distance of victory, Alex


Salmond, has a flair for dramatic announcements, and he gave us


another on Friday when he revealed he's to stand


Friends and foes have paid tribute to his extraordinary career.


In a moment I'll be speaking to Alex Salmond,


but first here's Adam Fleming with the story of the vote that broke


The BBC's HQ on the Clyde, the whole place converted into a studio for


Scotland's big night. You know what you need for big events, big


screens, and there are loads of them here. That one is three stories


high, and this is the one Jeremy Vine uses for his graphics. The


other thing that is massive is the turnout in the referendum, it is


enormous. It was around 85% of the electorate, that is 4 million ballot


papers. First to declare Clackmannanshire. No, 19,000. 1 ,000


and 36. The first Noel of the night, and there were plenty more. -- the


first no vote. The better together campaigners were over the moon, like


Jim Murphy, who had campaigned in 100 different towns. I don't want to


sound schmaltzy, but it makes you think more of Scotland. It makes you


small tree. Yes, 194,779. Around five a.m., the Yes campaign


applauded as they won Scotland's biggest city, Glasgow. Dundee went


their way as well, but just for areas out of 32 opted for


independence. How many copies have you had? This is my second cup of


tea on the morning -- how many copies. He was enjoying the


refreshments on offer, but the yes campaigners were not in a happy


place. We are in the bowels of one of the parts of the British


establishment that, I've got to say, has probably done its job in this


referendum, because I think the BBC has been critical in shoring up the


establishment and have supported the no campaign as best as they could.


But there was no arguing with the numbers, and by sunrise, the BBC


called it. Scotland has voted no in this referendum on independence The


result, in Fife, has taken the no campaign over the line and the


official result of this referendum is a no. There we go, on a screen


three stories high, Scotland has said no to independence. As soon as


the newsprint was driving north of the border, the focus shifted south


as the Prime Minister pledged more devolution for Scotland but only if


it happened everywhere else as well. Just as Scotland will vote


separately in the Scottish Parliament on their issues of tax,


spending on welfare, so to England, as well as Wales and Northern


Ireland, should be able to vote on these issues, and all this must take


place in tandem with and at the same pace as the settlement for Scotland.


It began to dawn on us all that we might end up doing this again. See


you for an English referendum soon? Northern Ireland. There could be


another one in Scotland. But not next weekend? Give me a break. There


was no break for Nick, because Alex Salmond came up with one last twist,


his resignation was as leader, my time is nearly over. But the


Scotland, the campaign continues, and the dream shall never die. So,


the referendum settled, the Constitution in flux, and a leader


gone. All in a night work. Alex Salmond is to stand down as


First Minister of Scotland. He shows no signs of going quietly. Last


night, I spoke to the SNP leader in Aberdeen and began by asking him if


it was always his intention to resign if he lost the referendum. I


certainly have thought about it Andrew. But for most of the


referendum campaign I thought we were going to win. So, I was...


Yeah, maybe a few months back I considered it. But I only finally


made up my mind on Friday lunch time. Did you agonise over the


decision to stand down? I'm not really an agonising person. When you


get beaten in a referendum, you have to consider standing down as a real


possibility. Taking responsibility and politics has gone out of fashion


but there is an aspect, if you need a campaign, and I was the leader of


the Yes Campaign, and you don't win, you have to contemplate if you are


the best person to lead future political campaigns. In my


judgement, it was time for the SNP and the broader yes movement, the


National movement of Scotland, they would benefit from new leadership.


In your heart of hearts, through the campaign, as referendum on day


approached, you did think you were going to win? Yes, I did. I thought


for most of the last month of the campaign, we were in with a real


chance. In the last week I thought we had pulled ahead. I thought the


decisive aspect wasn't so much the fear mongering, the scaremongering,


the kitchen sink being thrown at Scotland by orchestration from


Downing Street, I thought the real thing was the pledge, the vow, the


offer of something else. A lot of people that had been moving across


to independence saw within that a reason to say, well, we can get


something anyway without the perceived risks that were being


festooned upon them. You were only five points away from your dream.


You won Scotland's largest city There is now the prospect of more


power. Why not stay and be an enhanced First Minister? Well, it is


a good phrase. I'm not going away, though. I'm still going to be part


of the political process. In Scotland, if people in Aberdeenshire


wish to keep electing me, that is what I will do. But I don't have to


be First Minister of Scotland, leader of the Yes Campaign, to see


that achieved. The SNP is a strong and powerful leadership team. There


are a number of people that would do a fantastic job as leader of the


party and First Minister. I've been leader of the party for the last 24


years, I think it is time to give somebody else a shot. There are many


able-bodied people that will do that well. -- many able people that will


do that well. I'm still part of the national movement, arguing to take


this forward. I think you are right, the question, one of the irony is


developing so quickly after the referendum, it might be those that


lost on Thursday end up as the political winners and those that won


end up as the losers. When we met just for the vote, a couple of days


before the vote, you said to me that there was very little you would


change about the campaign strategy. Is that still your view? Yes. There


are one or two things, like any campaign, there is no such thing as


a pitcher campaign. I would refer not to dwell on such things. I will


leave of my book, which will be called 100 Days, coming out before


Christmas. Once you read that, I will probably reveal the things I


would have changed. Basically, broadly, this was an extraordinary


campaign. Not just a political campaign, but a campaign involving


the grassroots of Scotland in an energising, empowering way, the like


of which in on of us have witnessed. It was an extraordinary phenomenon


of grassroots campaigning, which carried the Yes Campaign so far


almost to victory. If Rupert Murdoch put his Scottish Sun behind you


would have that made the difference? If ifs and ands were pots and


pans... Why did he not? I would not say that, you have form with him


that I do not have. I'm not sure about that. I was very encouraged.


The coverage, not in the other papers, The Times, which was


extremely hostile to Scottish independence, but the coverage in


the Scottish Sun was fair, balanced and we certainly got a very fair


kick of the ball. In newspapers I would settle for no editorial line


and just balanced coverage. We certainly got that from the Scottish


Sun and that was an encouragement. I think you saw from his tweets,


certainly in his heart he would have liked to have seen a move forward in


Scotland and I like that. He said if you lost, that was it, referendum


wise, for a generation, which he defined as about 20 years. Is that


still your view? Yes, it is. It has always been my view. It's a personal


view. There are always things that can change in politics. If the UK


moved out of the European Union for example, that would be the sort of


circumstance. Some people would argue with Westminster parties, and


I'm actually not surprised that they are reneging on commitments, I am


just surprised by the speed they are doing it. They seem to be totally


shameless in these matters. You don't think they will meet the vow?


You don't think there will keep to their vow? They are not, for that


essential reason you saw developing on Friday. The Prime Minister wants


to link change in Scotland to change in England. He wants to do that


because he has difficulty in carrying his backbenchers on this


and they are under pressure from UKIP. The Labour leadership are


frightened of any changes in England which leave them without a majority


in the House of Commons on English matters. I would not call it an


irresistible force and immovable object, one is resistible and one is


movable. They are at loggerheads. The vow, I think, was something


cooked up in desperation for the last few days of the campaign. I


think everybody in Scotland now engines that. -- recognises that. It


was the people that were persuaded to vote no that word tricked,


effectively. They are the ones that are really angry. Ed Miliband and


David Cameron, if they are watching this, I would be more worried about


the anger of the no voters than the opinion of the Yes Vote on that


matter. If independence is on the back burner for now, what would you


advise your successor's strategy for the SNP to be? I would advise him or


her not to listen to advice from their predecessor. A new leader


brings forward a new strategy. I think this is, for the SNP, a very


favourable political time. There have been 5000 new members joined


since Thursday. That is about a 25% increase in the party membership in


the space of a few days. More than that, I think this is an opportunity


for the SNP. But my goal is the opportunity for Scotland. I would


repeat I am not retiring from politics. I'm standing down as First


Minister of Scotland. On Friday coming back to the north-east of


Scotland, I passed through Dundee, which voted yes by a stud --


substantial margin. There was a line of a song I couldn't get out of my


head, and old Jacobite song, rewritten by Robert Burns, the last


line is, so, tremble falls wakes, in the midst of your glee, you've not


seen the last of my bonnets and me. So you are staying a member of the


Scottish Parliament, shall we see you again in the House of Commons?


What does the future hold for you? Membership of Scottish Parliament is


dependent on the good folk of Aberdeenshire east. If they choose


to elect me, I will be delighted to serve. I've always loved being a


constituency member of Parliament, I have known some front line


politicians that regarded that as a chore. I'm not saying they didn t do


it properly, I am sure they did But I love it. You get distilled wisdom


from being a constituency member of Parliament that helps you keep your


feet on the ground and have a good Parliament that helps you keep your


people. I have no difficulty Parliament that helps you keep your


left-wing candidates? I don't think I accept the characterisation of


candidates being left wing. I don't think your viewers see politics in


terms of what is left and right I think they see it in terms of what


is right and wrong. Obviously, many of the things we have been talking


about, how we ensure that the next generation can do better than the


last, how we raise the wages of your viewers, who are currently working


very hard but not making a wage they can live off, that is what they are


talking about and that is what the public will judge them on. But they


want to raise taxes, they don't want to cut public spending, they want to


re-nationalise the railways, they don't think there is too much


immigration, they want to scrap Trident. These are all positions


clearly to the left of current party policy. But that is your


characterisation. If you look at our policy to increase the top rate of


tax to 50% for people earning over ?150,000, that is a central


position. It is something that enjoys the support of the majority


of the public. Trident? If you talk to the British public about


immigration, yes, there are concerns about the numbers coming in and out,


yes people want to see integration, yes, people want to see people


putting a contribution before they take out, the people recognise, if


you look at our multicultural nation, we have derived a lot of


benefits from immigration. I don't think your characterisation of those


positions, that is your view... It's not, it is their view. They are


saying... You describe it... You described those positions as left


wing positions. I am saying to you that I actually think a lot of those


positions are centrist positions that would enjoy the support of the


majority of your viewers. I don t think your viewers think the idea of


the broadest shoulders bearing the heaviest burden in forms of tax are


going to see it as a way out, radical principle. They want to


scrap Trident, not party policy It isn't.


I think that 73... Well, we will have 400 Parliamentary candidates at


the time of the next general election, not including current MPs.


This is 73 out of over 400 of them. I think we also need to treat the


survey with a bit of caution. They are not representative? You are


basically quoting the results of a small percentage of our


Parliamentary candidates. It's pretty safe to say when you look at


their views, they might be right or wrong, that's not my point, it's


fairly safe to say that new Labour is dead? Again, I don't think people


see things in terms of gold -- old or new Labour. We are standing at a


Labour Party. We are a great country, but we have big challenges.


We want to make sure that people can achieve their dreams and aspirations


in this country. Too many people are not in that position. Too many


people worry about the prospects of their children. Too many people do


not earn a wage they can live off. Too many people are worried about


the change. We have to make sure we are giving people a stake in the


future. That is a Labour thing, you want to call it old or new come I


don't care. It's a choice between Labour and the Conservatives in


terms of who runs the next government. That one of your


candidate we spoke to things that the party's relationship with the


unions is to close. 30% of them think it should be closer. You have


spoken to 73 out of 400 candidates. Why should the others be any


different? It's a fairly representative Sample. Many people


working on this set are the member of the union, the National union of


journalists. People that came here to this Conference would have been


brought here by trade union members. Do you think the relationship should


be closer? I think it is where it should be. It should not be closer?


I think that trade unions help create wealth in our country. If you


look at some other success stories we are in the north-west, GM


Vauxhall is there because you have trade unions working in partnership


with government and local employees to make sure we kept producing cars.


I'm not asking if unions are good or bad, I'm asking if Labour should be


closer. You are presupposing, by the tone of your question, that our


relationship is a problem. Let's turn to the English question. Why do


you need a constitutional conversation where you have to


discuss whether English people voting on English matters is


unfair? We want to give the regions and cities in England more voice,


but let's get it into perspective, we have had a situation where the


Scottish people, as desired buying rich people, have to remain part of


the UK -- by English people. What is the answer to the question? I don't


want to get to a situation where people have voted for solidarity


where you have a prime ministers talking about dividing up the UK


Parliament. Let me put this point you. Most Scottish voters think it


is unfair that Scottish MPs get to vote on English matters. That comes


out in Scottish polls. Why don't you see it as unfair? If the Scots see


it as unfair, why don't you? This is an age-old conundrum that has been


around for 100 years and it's not so simple. You're talking about making


a fundamental change to the British constitution on a whim. It's not


just an issue, in respect of Scottish MPs. As a London MP, I can


vote on matters relating to the transport of England and transport


is a devolved matter in London. In Wales, there are a number of


competencies that Welsh MPs can vote on and they've been devolved to


them. So with all of these different votes, you will exclude different


MPs? I think the solution is not necessarily to obsess about what is


happening between MPs in Westminster. That turns people


politics. We need to devolve more. I think we should be giving the cities


and regions of England more autonomy in the way that we are doing in


Scotland, but I've got to say, Andrew, it's dishonourable and in


bad faith for the Prime Minister to now seek to link what he agreed


before the referendum to this issue of English votes for English MPs.


That is totally dishonourable and in bad faith. You have promised to


devolve more tax powers to Scotland. What would they be? This is being


decided at the moment. I cannot give you the exact detail of what the tax


powers would be. Could you give us a rough idea? There is a White Paper


being produced before November and there will be draft legislation put


forward in January. Your leader has vowed that this will happen. And you


haven't got a policy? You can't tell us what the tax powers will be? I


can't tell you on this programme right now. But we have accepted the


principle on further devolution on tax, spending on welfare and we will


have further details in due course. Your leader promised to maintain the


Barnett Formula for the foreseeable future. Why is that fair when it


enshrines more per capita spending for Scotland than it does for Wales,


which is poorer, and more than many of the poorer regions in England


get? Why is that fair? We have said that in terms of looking at go -


local government spending playing out in this Parliament, we have


looked at what the government has done which is having already


deprived communities having money taken away from them and wealthier


communities are getting more. We accept that the Barnett Formula has


worked well. How has it works well? There is a cross parliamentary


consensus as they don't know what to do about it. Why has it works well,


when Wales, clearly loses out? I'm not sure by I accept that when you


look at overall underspend -- government spending. It is per


capita spending in Scotland, which is way ahead of per capita spending


in Wales, but per capita incomes in Scotland are way ahead of Wales Why


is that fair Labour politician? We have said we want to have more


equitable distribution. You haven't, you have said you will keep the


Barnett Formula. I'm not sure necessarily punishing Scotland is


the way to go. The way that this debate is going, what message does


it send to the Scottish people? I want to be clear, I am delighted


with the result we have got. The unity and solidarity where


maintaining across the nations of the United Kingdom. All of this


separatist talk, setting up different nations of the UK against


each other goes completely against what we've all been campaigning for


over the last two years, and we shouldn't have any truck with it.


Coming onto the announcement on the minimum wage, you would increase it


by ?1 50 to take it to ?8, which would be over five years. That is


all you are going to do over five years. Have you worked out how much


of this increase will be clawed back in taxation and fewer benefits? Work


has been done on it. How much? I can't give you an exact figure. The


policy pays for itself. The way we have looked at this, we looked at


the government figures, and if people are earning more, they would


therefore be paying more in income tax and they will be receiving less


in benefit and will pay out less in tax credits, so we are confident


that this will pay for itself. I'm not asking about the pavement, I'm


asking what it means for low paid workers will stop they will get an


extra 30p per hour -- about the payment. How much of the 30p to they


get to keep? In terms of what they get in the first instance, somebody


on the minimum wage now, with our proposal, would get in the region of


?3000 a year more than they are at the moment. That is before tax and


benefits. How much do they keep I cannot give you an exact figure Why


don't you give me an exact figure if you've done the modelling? We are


talking about some of the lowest paid people in the country, and I


would suggest to you that going down this route, they would face a


marginal rate of tax of 50 or 6 % and they will not keep most of this


increase you are talking about. I don't accept your figures. But you


haven't got any of your own. I just don't have any in my head I can give


you right now. Don't you think out policies before you announce them?


Of course we think our policies before we announce them but we are


confident people have more in their pocket and will be better off with


the changes proposed, and we are also seeking to incentivise


employers to pay a living wage as well. At the end of the day, as I


said, the economy is recovering great, but we know, at the moment,


it's still not delivering for a huge number of your viewers and we're


determined to do something about it. The status quo is not an option And


even joining me. Twice in three days. You can't have too much of a


good thing. I am mad. He said that, not me.


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


say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now for


Coming up here in twenty minutes, we'll be joined by John Prescott to


talk about the challenge facing Labour as their conference starts


First though, the Sunday Politics where you are.


Hello, and welcome to your local part of the show:


We're live with all the weekend's political devdlopments


as the Prime Minister promises a new deal for regions


But can the parties agree on what devolved powers we should gdt `


The Labour MP for Sunderland Central Julie Elliott


and North East Conservative Jeremy Middleton join me in the sttdio


I'll also be talking to the leader of Newcastle Council


We'll also be reporting on the 15 pollution hotspots,


from Carlisle to Durham, whdre air quality fails to meet EU st`ndards.


First, a promise of an ?8 an hour minimum wage if


Julie Elliott, there were concerns there about whether tax will swallow


up some of it, isn't it radhcal thing Conservatives are talking


about the minimum wage? We `re the people who introduced the mhnimum


wage, the Conservatives votdd against it. They said that ht would


lose jobs, but it's created jobs. If people have more money to spend in


the economy then that is a good thing, but ?8 an hour is a decent


amount of money to be the mhnimum amount anybody should learn for


work. The CBI has already r`ised concerns. This is going to push up


their costs. All of the polhtical parties talk about a higher minimum


wage, George Osborne was calling for one last year. It is very ddsirable


to increase low`paying wee Prosser began. It is very `` if we possibly


can. But the balances that hf we put up the minimum wage to fastdr too


quickly, that will cost jobs. The solution at the moment is to use the


Low Pay Commission who tries to take into account all of the views and


make a balanced recommendathon. All of the political parties ard trying


to pressure them to say that they would like to have a much hhgher


minimum wage. I think that would be desirable, but if you go too fast


and too quickly it will cost jobs. In Scotland, they have kick`started


an intense debate this weekdnd about the future here in the north`east


and Cumbria. David Cameron says there's


an opportunity to change thd way Conservative MP for Hexham, Guy


Opperman, believes the region will now get a fairer deal with greater


powers handed to the new colbined I believe that there will bd greater


powers devolved to the local authorities


so that they actually can then drive forward a proper agenda for


the north`east, governed, I hope, I'd like to see Boris`style figure,


who is the mayor for the North East batting for us, and actuallx giving


us the representation, But for all the talk of a ndw deal,


critics are sceptical about the Government's commhtment to


deliver real change. John Tomaney led the Yes calpaign


when the North East was offdred its He says so far the Government


isn't being radical enough. We have not seen any propos`ls for


anything. At the moment we have a set of technocrat ick soluthons


combined authorities, things which have made no real change. These are


political things about how we revive democracy, that is really bhg issue


that has been put on the agdnda about what has happened in Scotland.


What is it that the north`e`st and Cumbria needs? We need a major


transfer of economic power. The opportunity that we have is a


massive opportunity to improve connectivity, with Scotland and the


rest of England. HS three should be started in Edinburgh and cole down


the East Coast, then the West Coast. Air air passenger duty, that should


come down not just in Scotl`nd. We should have a waterway to Scotland.


What about the trans`Pennind connections? `` motor way. These


could make a major economic difference. We can discuss different


political structures, but what we need is a solution now, and major


investment in infrastructurd to help the North. You're one of thd


campaigners for regional devolution. Some people say that the re`son that


it failed was that what was offered was to meet. Do you need solething


bigger? I was the agent for the Yes campaign. I was committed to it and


voted for it. What I think ht was at the wrong time and the wrong package


was on offer. I think now things have moved on, I am not surd it


would be the right thing to try to do now. In a sense, John is right,


it is not the process, it is about getting the


commitments to Scotland, but you have no idea what Labour is going to


offer to the north`east. We have is promise of a constitutional


development. It will start to be kept things soon, but that hs the


point. The Scottish question has been debated heavily. We nedd to


take a stand back. It has changed the face of politics in the UK. We


need to stand back and get the rate mechanism and powers transfdrred for


the regions. power to regions like ours, but


which powers and who should hope them? UKIP says that it shotld be


Let us get the view of the leader of Let us get the view of the leader of


Newcastle Council. What shotld they be offering cities like Newcastle?


What we would like to see is not necessarily tax`raising powdrs but


tax retention powers. The m`jority of taxes collected in places like


Newcastle go straight to thd Treasury and if we're lucky we are


allowed to for them to come back into the region to support some of


our public services. The link between the public services that


people receive and the monex that they pay for them has been broken


because of that distance in decision`making. What I want to see


us greater connectivity between what monies people creating taxes and the


decisions that are taken locally about how that money is then spent


to improve the local area. Will that compete with an enhanced Scottish


parliament? Of course not. Hn the north`east the danger we ard


squeezed between a Scottish parliament with more powers and the


London assembly and possiblx even an English parliament which wotld be


dominated by the interests of London and the south. We need to bd pulled


and set out what we want to see in order to improve our economx,


improve our society. We havd already been, as local authorities, working


together. We have a local atthority from Berwick down to Durham which


gives us the skeleton of how these powers could be developed. There is


not 100% agreement between those local authority leaders. Cotld they


work together on some of thdse bigger issues? Of course we do. We


all want to see better prosperity and public services. But thd council


leader in Sunderland wants to see a good deal for Sunderland, you want


to see a good deal for Newc`stle, do those always come together? They are


not mutually exclusive. What is good for Newcastle is good for Stnderland


and vice versa. If we pool our local resources than it is good for


everyone. It is an everyone's interest to make sure that the


north`east thrives. Do you think that you can wait for the rdsult of


the Constitutional Convention? No. We have set out ways in which the


government can devolve responsibility is to straightaway. I


would like to see us working on the same timetable as Scotland,, it is


too important an issue to khck into the long grass. Would it re`lly


work? It could work. It could provide much more focus and it could


provide more unity in the leadership. But that is not


something which is going to happen straightaway. I agree with Nick that


we need something that will happen sooner than that. In partictlar


there is also a threat from what has happened in Scotland. There will be


a great many powers going to Scotland. I have talked abott how we


can work with them. But there is a flip side, if they get lots of


economic power and we do not, then they may be tempted to focus on


inward investment that we should have had, in facing companids across


the border, perhaps they will change the air passenger duty and then


people will fly across the border. We cannot wait for a constitutional


debate such as has been described. The impression and the accusation is


that Labour is kicking this into the long grass and that it needs to


happen now. We are the partx has always been committed to regional


devolution. We took form with the Welsh Assembly, the Scottish


parliament. What is your policy now? We have got to look at this


carefully. What has happened in Scotland has completely changed the


playing politics and to makd the wrong decision quickly is not the


right thing to do. The Ray Davies mechanisms that could be usdd ``


there are various mechanisms. We do not want to rush and make the wrong


decision because there has not been proper discussion of this. What


about someone who can be a focus for powers, and mayor in the north`east?


I am not a fan of that. People have to have the support and trust of the


people they represent. How's it democratic, there are seven Labour


Leader sitting round a tabld? It is representative of who the pdople


elect. 40% of 50% of the voters who do not vote... It has not all was


been that way. Leaders change. There are other things on the table. We


need to be kept it carefullx to make sure that the reasons we've all set


out that we need the transfdr of powers, we need the transfer and


there is not much disagreemdnt on that, but we need the right


mechanism for our region and that needs to be thought through


properly. Will be get a refdrendum on whether we have the city mayor?


Will people be asked if thex want a mayor Newcastle? There is a lot to


be said for that... Will people get say on it? I do not think that it


could come in without there being a referendum. We will all havd


different views and we could spend 25 years debating it and we will be


having the same discussions, because frankly Scotland could not lanage to


have consensus on its own independence and it was an


independent country a few htndred years ago. I do not see much success


that way. What happens is the economic powers `` what matters


They can come now. That will make a difference to people, whethdr our


economy booms are not. Should we be passing on powers to get thd buses


to run on time or should we concentrate on bigger things? That


is quite a big thing, it allows people to get to and from work and


enjoy a social life. What wd are seeing at the moment being played


out as a wrangle between he`lth and social, who gets which bits of the


part? There is so much more we could do if we had the ability to join up


our public services over a long period of time. How is this debate


is taking shape in the Labotr Party? Let us speak to Mark.


As soon as one great big row goes out of the way another one comes


along. With the end of that referendum campaign it is not just


differences between parties for devolution for England, it hs


differences within parties, including this one. One MP over the


weekend said that our public services in the north`east has been


cut to the bone for the Scottish, everyday, are being offered braid


stash Mack `` are being offdred bribes. Regional dialogue, Dd


Miliband has talked about that, but what we do not know is what it means


for the north`east and Cumbria, and crucially, when we will get them.


What else is on the agenda, presumably more than this?


What of other issues. The mhnimum wage announcement, which yot have


been talking about, that is going to be a topic. And quite interdstingly,


Police and Crime Commissiondr is, the announcement today from Yvette


Cooper, Libra is going to abolish them. `` Labour. And of course, Ed


Miliband's speech on Tuesdax. We will be bringing you full coverage


throughout the week. Mark will be speaking exclusively to


the Labour Leader Ed Miliband about the future of the region, you can


see that next week. Now, as I think someone oncd said,


for something completely different ` air pollution. Which we're told is


contributing to hundreds of deaths a year in the North East and Cumbria.


In 15 places, including parts of Carlisle, Newcastle and Durham,


pollution limits set by the European Union are being regularly exceeded.


As Luke Walton reports, our local councils are coming under pressure


to tackle the problem. Refute it's leafy front garden is


not the obvious place to worry about pollution `` research unit's `` Ruth


Hewitt's garden. There were not many industry factories around hdre but


we are close to the motorwax and the airport, so some of the pollution


from those places could havd an impact. So far her measuremdnts


suggest that street does not have a problem, but close by is a different


story. This is one of the pollution hotspots, Gosford high`stredt in


Newcastle. It is rush`hour congestion which is causing some of


the pollution like this. People are purchasing diesel engines. They are


causing less CO2, but the pdrmit `` they emit more nitrogen dioxide


which can cause respiratory problems and heart disease. Backing debris,


the European Commission issted a legal challenge against the British


government, saying that it's ear pollution levels were too hhgh. ``


Iraq pollution. `` air pollttion. This is one of our brand`new hybrid


vehicles. The government insists that pollution is being tackled and


sees this as proof, a hybrid bus that is green in more than colour.


One of the growing north`east fleet of eco`friendly vehicles, p`rt


funded by the transport apartment. You have your traditional engine


which drives the electric motor behind it, which generates the


batteries and allows it to drive one full electric mode. What is the


benefit of that? Zero emisshons Less pollution. We are all being


encouraged to go electric, but so far only a minority have done so.


This scene in Durham is aftdrnoon rush hour turned into a crawl


through the city centre. Thd local council has a plan to build a


bypass. 40,000 vehicles crossing the bridge. If we can keep them round


the edge of the city then wd will manage air pollution. We want


investment in the alternatives. The government has started to btild


things like Park and reds. We want to make it easy for people to walk


from a to B. The government say that they are making progress, btt for


many of us the way ahead, lhke the air, is not crystal clear.


Can we wait that long? It is a gradual process, getting eldctric


vehicles. Coming from London, as an asthmatic, Londoners have `` London


is horrendous for air pollution I have never had a problem in the


north`east. The seals of thd letter vehicles are going up and the seals


of hybrid cars are going up, but these are hotspots in the


north`east, let us not get ht out of proportion. There is not a lassive


problem in the north`east. We did have the promise that it wotld be


the greenest government ever, remember that? Air quality hs


improving, but it is not improving in a few areas at the same rate that


European legislation says that it should. We want to see to ilprove


further and I agree with Julie that it is about people moving towards


low carbon vehicles and thehr are things that local authoritids can do


things about. We need more incentives, whether it would be taxi


lanes, local authorities can help to solve local problems and hotspot


areas. The local council solution is to just build another road. In


County Durham people need to use cars to get work, that the reality.


Rural communities do not have the public transport infrastructure ..


But we're in building new roads for decades and it is not a solttion.


But bypass roads can make a big difference, particularly to the


quality of people's waves in big cities. It has to be a balanced


approach, you need a bit of everything. You take the life in


your hands if you cycle and parts of Tyne Wear. We are not Holland


that is true, but there are big improvements, and we are not London


either. It is not difficult to get around and we do not have tdrrible


air pollution problems. By `nd large our pollution levels are good and


are improving. You're sending complacent. We are making good


progress. Particularly in this region, for we have a higher


penetration of electric vehhcles, where we are very motivated to try


to drive the low carbon indtstry, we are making more progress th`n most


places. I'm not complacent, we should do more, and we will do more.


That is all from us after a momentous week for politics. Look


out for the Conservative mayor's policy No


more time I'm afraid. Andrew, back to you.


Welcome back the to Labour conference, where we're joined


by the latest hot new stand-up comedian on the Manchester circuit.


I speak of course of former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.


In between giving tub-thumping speeches to rally


the party faithful this week, he's appearing at the Comedy Store.


He was also of course the man behind the last attempt to solve


Our political panel is with me as well. John, we have got Scottish


votes for Scottish laws, and more Scottish votes for Scottish laws,


why not English votes for English laws? That's an English parliament


in a major constitutional change and that is what has started. I


certainly don't agree with that I campaign for powers to be given to


the regions. When I first tested it in the Northeast, I lost. Why?


Because they said they were not the same powers you are giving to


Scotland. So, basically, we must do that, decentralised, not just with a


Westminster Parliament. As you know, in 32 years I produce the


alternative. You've kept that for 32 years? I took it off my shelf and


everybody was talking about it now, but they weren't in 1982. This was


my five plan. 200 meetings all around the country -- five-year


plan. You wrote this morning, not 35 years ago, that this was a plot to


turn Westminster into a Tory dominated English parliament. But if


that is how England had voted, it's not a plot, it's democracy. You can


get reform in a more federal structure,


get reform in a more federal of the daily record, but if they do


not agree with of the daily record, but if they do


the north-east, they said we know you have an idea for devolution and


you will give us assemblies but it doesn't have the power of Scotland,


but now we are talking about equity, similar distribution of


power and similar resources. The English people are entitled to that.


They have been robbed of it for too long. Labour has long struggled with


what it should do over devolving power to the regions and you came up


with regional assemblies. Ed Miliband has a different idea of


city regions. Aren't they the same idea of yours but without a


democratic accountability? Can we really trust the greater region of


Manchester or Birmingham to deliver if there is not the same kind of


democratic link with the people I live in whole, and it stops on the


boundary of the Pennines -- the city of Hull. We have city regions from


Labour because I failed in the north-east to get the assemblies in,


and now we have to look at those options. Do you work through city


regions? Mainly in the north, I might say. Even the federal


structure they talk about my be in the North or Midlands with


Birmingham, but there are a number of options and that is where I


believe that what the White Paper should do is to put those options


in. Instead of having to put them together, state what you want to do


in the English regions. Leave it to the legislation, which is what will


happen with the Scottish, and once you've agreed it, you do it after.


You have to start the radical debate about giving the English regions,


not centralised in London, but decentralised. Do you need to have a


separate English parliament? Wouldn't it just satisfy the English


if you simply said to MPs, when it's in English matter in the House of


Commons, stop interfering? I would disagree with that. I would say put


the option in the White Paper. The White Paper seems to be talking


about Scotland. If you don't put the commitments to what you want to do


with the English regions, people might say I'm not supporting that.


Put the framework in the White Paper, but a different timetable.


Devolution in this country has been to a different timetable, whether


it's Wales, Northern Ireland. Start looking fundamentally at it and the


Labour Party should be leading the debate. Let's come the no campaign


lost Glasgow. The cradle of British socialism. -- let's come to


something that happened with the referendum as the no campaign lost


Glasgow. Is it a sign that the Labour Party are finding it hard to


what -- hold on to their traditional working class vote question mark its


different in Manchester. They would say it is a message about


decentralisation. If we change the message a bit maybe. We have been


thinking that now it is that either the Labour Party to recognise it is


not the old message and old areas that will win it. I remember


covering the 1997 referendum in Scotland and you gave a tub thumping


speech in a big hall in Hamilton and you really connected. Obviously it


was a different referendum because that was about a parliament, not


independence and Alex Salmond was on your side, but you, and Ingush MP,


an English minister, connected to the core Labour voters in a way that


Ed Miliband is failing to do -- an English MP. You make a fair point.


In the big rally, I had to point out I was Welsh. Enough of this. Get on


with it. What I was saying there was that I supported you, as I did for


30 odd years when Labour MPs were against any thinker Scotland. I


support you, but I expect you to come in with your Scottish MPs and


make sure the English get their share of the powers and resources


and that is what that speech was about, and by God, it's as relevant


today as it was then. I haven't got any Scottish MPs, I live in


Knightsbridge. Did you get the vote? No. What would you have done? I


can't tell you. You would have voted yes, come on. I'm interested. What


do you want to hear from the speech by Ed Miliband? People are wondering


about where Labour stands. There are many issues we have flown around,


and we've done the discussion just now. What he has got to do where he


started off on the minimum wage You are trying to deal with those left


behind. Those are the bottom. That is the Labour message. The National


Health Service is our creation and we have to say it will be saved If


you can save all of these bankers with all the money and say you


haven't got the money for the NHS, say where we stand. That will be the


priority. The third one, housing. I have had a revolutionary idea that


you can buy a house without a deposit and without the interest or


paying the stamp duty, and you buy it by rent. The government gives


?150 billion guaranteed housing for up to 600,000. Get down to ordinary


people who can use their rent to buy the house. It's happening in the


north-east. Why are they not listening to you? You have said more


to connect with ordinary people in three minutes than we will probably


hear in an hour. I've been telling them, made, and we have a commission


coming out. People don't want commissions, they want action. I


say, I know what we do, housing health, the people. That is our


language. That is why we are Labour. That a lot of people run away. I


think in Glasgow, they wondered about that. If you turn up on the


same three platforms, and I know it's a critical thing to say, they


think in Scotland it is a coalition. I don't like coalitions. It looks


like a coalition, didn't it? Maybe it was saved because Rupert Murdoch


started the The Times about the polls and he couldn't even get the


sun to say that they wanted. We haven't got time. I wondered how


long it would take is to get to repot Murdoch. You beat the record.


-- to Rupert Murdoch. Labour is quite behind on the economy, and


people are looking at Labour, trying to work out if they can trust you to


the stewards of the economy given 2010. Under Labour 's plans there is


20 billion of cuts to make in the next Parliament. Will we hear


anything about that? It is about the proportion of debt to GDP. I know it


sounds historic, but our debt when we came in in 1997 was a proportion


of GDP, and you must know this, and that was less than Thatcher's. Why


did we get done on debt? You guys run around saying a lot about it,


but the fact is it was worse under Thatcher. Thatcher is now seen as a


hero. If you look at the debt, it is still a problem. Gordon Brown did an


awful lot to solve those problems, but they were still left with us.


What we have to have is a sensible discussion like we had on devolution


and now we are talking about finances. Let's look at the public


sector debt and the price we pay. We need to be putting the record


straight. The problem is they tell me, John, we have to look to the


future not the past. We are getting screwed on the past and we have to


change it and perhaps Gordon Brown coming in could do something.


Finishing on the future, when we did a poll of the Labour candidates you


were watching on the big screen when it came up that their favourite


to succeed Ed Miliband was Yvette Cooper, why did you shout no! That


is alive. -- alive. -- that is not true. I know resistance is not


strong. What did that mean? You can't get away with anything at


a Conference, John. I was dropping comments them to pick up everywhere,


I do not wear -- nowhere they got that one from. Good to have you


back. Round of applause for former Deputy Prime Minister. That's it for


today. Don't applaud them, they are useless.


my guests. I'll be back here at Labour conference for the Daily


11:30am tomorrow when we'll bring you live coverage of the speech by


We're here all week, and next Sunday you can find us in Birmingham for


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


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