28/09/2014 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

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Morning folks and welcome to The Sunday Politics,


live from the Conservative Conference in Birmingham.


There will be one less Conservative MP here after Mark Reckless defected


He joins us live from his constituency, where he has


It has not been the best of starts for the Prime Minister, as he


arrives in Birmingham for the last Tory conference before the election.


On top of the Reckless defection, a junior Tory minister has resigned


RAF jets have carried out their first mission over Iraq


A senior northern Tory gives his verdict on the threat from TKIP


And a new property tax to r`ise billions for the NHS ` but `re


In London, how the richest 1% are pulling further away, and why those


priced out are choosing to move away.


And joining me, three of the country's most loyal journalists,


who sadly have yet to resign or defect to our inferior rivals.


Nick Watt, Polly Toynbee and Janan Ganesh.


And, of course, they'll be tweeting throughout the programme.


And you too can get involved by using the hashtag #BBCSP.


At the current rate of Tory resignations,


Mr Cameron could be speaking to an empty hall when he makes his keynote


address to the Tory conference here in Birmingham tomorrow.


It's been a classic car crash of a start to the conference, with a UKIP


defection, a minister shamed into resignation by a sex scandal and


Ed Miliband's memory lapses now look like a little local difficulty.


Here's what the Prime Minister had to say


These things are frustrating and frankly counter-productive and


rather senseless. If you want to have a European referendum, if you


want to get the deficit down, if you want to build a stronger Britain


that we can be proud of, there is only one option, which is to have a


Conservative government after the next election.


And Mark Reckless joins me now from Rochester.


Welcome to the programme. Why did you lie to all your Conservative


colleagues and mislead those who elected you? Well, I am keeping


faith with my constituents and keeping my promises to them. You


heard the Prime Minister saying that the Conservative led government was


dealing with the deficit and cutting immigration. The reality is, we have


increased the national debt by more in five years than even Labour


managed in 13, and immigration is back up to the levels we saw under


Labour. I believe in the promises I made in 2010, and I want to keep my


words to my electorate, not least to deal with the deficit, cut


immigration, reform the political system, to localise powers back to


the community, particularly over house-building. The government has


broken its word on all those things are. I want to keep my word to my


voters here, and that is why I have done what I have done, by moving to


UKIP. You have not kept your words to your Conservative constituency


chairman. You assured him 48 hours ago that you would not defect, and


you left his voice mail on the Conservative Party chairman's office


telephone, missing to come to Birmingham to campaign for the


Tories. This is your voice mail .. I have just picked up your e-mail ..


So, Friday night, telling Grant Shapps you are coming to Birmingham


to campaign for the Tories. The next day, you are joining UKIP. Why did


you are a? I sounded a bit more hesitant on that call than I usually


do, and I am not sure if that was the full conversation. But you


cannot discuss these things in advance, you have to make a


decision. I have decided the future of this country is better served by


UKIP then it is by the Conservative Party under David Cameron. I made a


lot of promises to my constituents, and I want to keep those promises.


That is why I am moving to UKIP so I can deliver the change this


country really needs. In May of this year, you said that Nigel Farage,


quote, poses the most serious threat to a Tory victory at the election.


So, you agree, voting UKIP means a Labour government? I think voting


UKIP means getting UKIP. While in the past a disproportionate number


of UKIP people were ex-Conservatives, now, they are


winning a lot more people, from all parties. People are so disillusioned


with the political class in Westminster, that they have not


voted often for a generation. Those are the people Nigel Farage is


inspiring, and frankly, he has also inspired me. What he has done in the


last 20 years, building his party, getting people from all walks of


life, sending up for ordinary people, I think deserves support.


That is a key reason why I am moving.


That is a key reason why I am about it. It is not credible now to


pretend that you are going to do those things. They have omitted to


give every Scot ?1600 per year in definitely. If you want to stand up


for the English taxpayer, and really tackle the debt, then UKIP are the


party be their MP. I am being open and


honest, giving people a say. I am trying to do the right thing by my


constituents, and whatever the risk is to me personally, I think it is


the right thing to do. It is what MPs should be in politics to try and


do for the people they represent. Your defection, coming after Douglas


Carswell's, confirms the claim that UKIP is largely a depository for


disaffected right-wing Tories like yourself, isn't it? On the contrary,


the number of people I met in Doncaster yesterday was


extraordinary. When I first went to Conservative conferences 20 years


ago, there was some enthusiasm for politics, I remember Norman Tebbit


speaking against Maastricht, people fought they could change things


there was real politics. But I do not think you will see that at


Birmingham this week, it is PR people, lobbyists, corporate, few


ordinary members of. At Ancaster, people had saved up for months just


to get the rail ticket to Doncaster. People who believe in UKIP, who


believe in Nigel Farage, who believe in the team, as agents of change,


who can actually deal with a political class at Westminster which


has let able down. We want proper reform to the political system,


which David Cameron promises but does not deliver. Final question -


after the next election, the Prime Minister is going to be either David


Cameron or Ed Miliband, that is the choice, one or the other - who would


you prefer? Well, what we would prefer is to get the most UKIP


policies implemented. We want a first rate we want to deal with


immigration. I asked about who you wanted to be Prime Minister. We will


look at the circumstances. We need as many UKIP MPs as possible, to


restore trust in politics. If people vote UKIP, they will get UKIP. How


serious is this? I think it is very serious. It is the old Tory disease,


destroyed John Major, and it has been bubbling away again. It is


beginning to feel like the worst days of Labour in the early nineteen


eighties. It matters, because people care passionately. It is nothing


like Labour in the early 1980s, it is bad, but it is nothing like that.


There are these very strong strands. People like David Davis


writing a large piece in the Daily Mail attacking the leader on the


first day of the conference. That is the kind of thing that Labour used


to do. That is what David Davis does all the time! But this is authentic


in the sense that there is a real, genuine dispute about Europe. Some


of us were not around in the 19 0s, but I imagine it is pretty bad.


There is the short-term problem of the by-election they might lose the


media problem of the general election which they cannot win if


UKIP remain anywhere near their current level of support. But in


many ways the longer term question is the most pressing, which is, does


it make sense for the Conservative Party to remain one party, or would


it not be better for the hard-core of 20-30 intransigent Eurosceptics


to essentially join UKIP or form their own party? At least the


Conservatives would become more internally manageable. And probably


lose the next election. Probably, yes. That is what you are advising


them? If the reward is to have a coherent party in 15 years' time. It


is just as well you are a columnist, not a party strategist. I


was an anorak in the 1980s, who watched the Labour conference on the


TV. Were you wearing your anorak? Of course I was, that is how sad I am.


But once again the crisis from UKIP has forced the Prime Minister to


step in an even more Eurosceptic direction. Said on television what


he was trying not to say, which is that if he does not get his way in


the European negotiations, he will recommend to the British people that


we should go. He began by saying, as I have always said, and when they


say that, you know they are saying something new. He basically said,


Britain should not stay if it is not in Britain's interests. I think this


is big stakes for both the Tories and four UKIP. The Tories are able


to write off Clacton. Rochester is number 271 on the UKIP friendly


list. If the Tories win it, big moment for them. If UKIP lose it,


this strategy of various will be facing a bit of a setback.


To what extent are Mark Reckless's views shared by Conservative


The Sunday Politics commissioned an exclusive poll of Conservative


Pollsters ComRes spoke to over ,000 councillors -


that's almost an eighth of their council base - and Eleanor Garnier


There is not a single party conference at the seaside this year,


and Sunday Politics could not get through them all without a trip to


the coast. So here we are on the shore in Sussex. There are plenty of


Conservative councillors here, and Tory MPs as well, but one challenge


they all face is UKIP, who have got their sights on coastal towns.


Places like Worthing East and surer and, with high numbers of


pensioners, providing rich pickings for UKIP. In West Sussex, the Tories


run the county council, but UKIP are the official opposition, with ten


councillors. We cannot lose any more ground to UKIP. If we lose any more


ground, if you look at the way it has swung from us to them, it is


getting near to being the middle point, where we might start losing


seats which we have always regarded as safe seats. So, it has got to be


stemmed, it cannot go any further. Our exclusive survey looked at the


policy areas where the Conservatives are vulnerable to UKIP. If an EU


Referendum Bill is called tomorrow, 45% say they would vote to leave,


39% would stay in. Asked about immigration...


It was those issues, Europe and immigration, that Mark Reckless said


were the head of his decision. I promised to cut immigration while


treating people fairly and humanely. I cannot keep that promise as a


Conservative, I can keep it as UKIP. When asked if Conservative


councillors would like an electoral pact with UKIP in the run-up to the


general election, one third said they support the idea. 63% are


opposed and 7% don't know. Conservative councillors who left


the party to join UKIP say it wasn't easy. I left because basically the


Conservatives left me. I saw it as a difficult decision to change, but


what I was seeing with UKIP was freed. Me being able to speak for my


residents. Back to our survey and on climate change 49% said it was


happening, but that humans are not to blame. Our survey showed that 60%


think David Cameron was wrong to pursue legalising gay marriage, with


31% saying it was the right thing to do and 9% not sure. In Worthing


councillors said gay marriage was divisive. That has really been an


issue here, it might have damaged the party slightly, and I think in a


way by setting a rule like that it is a very religious thing and it is


almost trying to play God to make that decision. But some of the


party's toughest decisions have been over the economy. 56% in our survey


thought the spending cuts the Government has so far announced have


not gone far enough. 6% were not sure. They are prepared for


difficult decisions, but local activists say the party's voice must


be clearer. I think the message has to be more forceful, it has to be


specially targeted to the ex-Conservative voters who now vote


UKIP, especially in this area, the vast majority of UKIP people are


disillusioned Conservatives. The message has to be loud and strong,


come back and we are the party to give you what you want. With just


eight months until the general election, the pressure is on and


local Conservatives are searching for clues to help their party stem


the flow of defections. Joining me now is William Hague, the former


Foreign Secretary and the Leader of the House of Commons.


Tories like Mark Reckless are defecting to UKIP because they don't


trust the party leadership to deliver on Europe, do they? They


believe people like you and David Cameron will campaign to stay in and


they are right. They said before they defected that people should


vote Conservative to get a referendum on Europe, and that is


right of course. The only way to get a referendum is to do that and this


is the point, the people should decide. However a future government


decides it will campaign, it should be the people of the country who


decide. Can you say to our viewers this morning that is not enough


powers are repatriated back to Britain, you would want to come


out, can you say that? Our objective is to get those powers and stay in.


The answer to the question is I won't be deciding, David Cameron


won't be deciding, you the voters will be deciding. But you have to


give us your view. If you don't get enough powers back, would you vote


to come out and recommended? Our objective is to get those powers and


be able to stay in. You just get endless speculation years in


advance. I will decide at the time how I will vote. Surely that is the


rational position for everyone to take but I want a referendum to take


place. I understand that. As you pointed out to Mark Reckless just


now, unless there is a Conservative government, people won't have that


choice. Under a Labour government they will not get a choice at all.


Our survey of Tory councillors shows that almost 50% would vote to leave


the EU in a referendum. I think it showed, wasn't it 45, and 39%, but


again, I'm pretty sure they will decide at the time. They will want


to see what a future government achieves in a renegotiation before


they decide what to vote in a referendum. Unless David Cameron is


Prime Minister and there is a Conservative government, there will


not be a renegotiation. That is a point you have made four times. I


think they have got it. Your Cabinet colleague says we should not be


scared of quitting the EU, but you went native in the Foreign Office,


didn't you? You used to be a Eurosceptic, you are now the Foreign


Office line man. No, I don't think so! We brought back the first


reduced European budget ever in history. Even Margaret Thatcher ..


Leaving the EU scares you, doesn't it? Not much scares me after 26


years in politics but we want to do the best thing for the country.


Where we scared when we got us out of liability for Eurozone bailouts?


We were not scared of anybody. People said we couldn't achieve


things but we negotiated these things. We can do that with a wider


negotiation in Europe. Mr Reckless says he cannot keep the Conservative


promise to tackle immigration. You have failed to keep your promise to


keep net immigration down. You promised to cut it below 100,00 ,


you failed. It is over 200,000 people. We have cut it from 250 000


in 2005, the last figures were 240,000. I think we can file that


under F four failed. It includes students, we want them in the


country. You knew that when you made the promise. But has it come down?


Yes, it has. Have we stopped the promise. But has it come down?


coming here because of our benefit system? Yes. None of that happened


under Labour. If Mark Reckless had his way, it would be more likely we


would have a Labour government. They have an open door policy on


immigration. You are not just losing MPs to UKIP, you are losing voters.


Polling by Michael Ashcroft shows that 20% of people who voted Tory in


2010 have abandoned youth and three quarters of them are voting UKIP


now. We will see in the general election. Politics is very fluid in


this country and we shouldn't deny that in any way but UKIP thought


they were going to win the by-election in Newark, we had a


thumping Conservative victory, and I think opinion polls are snapshots of


opinion now. They are not forecast of the general election and we will


be doing everything we can to get our message across. Today we are


announcing 3 million more apprenticeships in the next


Parliament. I think this is what people will be voting on, rather


than who has defected. Your activist base once parked with UKIP. Our


survey shows a third of Tory councillors would like a formal pact


with UKIP. Why not? It shows two thirds are against it. No, it shows


one third want it. I read the figures, it showed 67% don't want


it. We are not going to make a pact with other parties, and they don't


work in the British electoral system even if they were desirable. You are


sharing the Cabinet committee on English votes for English laws. Is


further devolution for Scotland conditional on progress towards


English devolution? No, the commitment to Scotland is


unconditional. We will meet the commitments to Scotland but we


believe, we the Conservatives believe, that in tandem with that we


have to resolve these questions about fairness to the rest of the UK


as well. That will depend on other parties or the general election


result. Are you committed to the Gordon Brown timetable? Yes,


absolutely. So you are committed to producing draft legislation by Burns


night, that is at the end of January. Will you produce proposals


for English votes on English laws by then? We will, but whether they are


agreed across the parties will depend on the other parties. There


was no sign that they were agreeable at the Labour conference. We will


produce our ideas on the same timetable as the timetable for


Scottish devolution. You will therefore bring forward proposals


for English votes for therefore bring forward proposals


that seems to be in perpetuity. It is widely regarded as being unfair


to Wales and many of the poorer English regions. Why do you


perpetuate it? It will become less relevant overtime if more


tax-raising powers... It goes all the way back to the 1970s, we made a


commitment on that, we will keep our commitments to Scotland as more --


but as more tax-raising powers devolved, the Barnett formula is


less significant. If you transfer ?5 billion of tax-raising powers to


Scotland, 5 billion comes off the Barnett formula? It will be a lot


more complicated than that, but yes, as their own decisions about


taxation are made, the grand from Westminster will go down. And you


can guarantee that if there is a majority Conservative government,


there will be English votes for English laws after the election


Yes, I stress again that there are different ways of doing it but if


there is no cross-party agreement on that, the Conservatives will produce


our proposals and campaign for them in the general election. Don't go


away because I want to move on to some other matters.


Now to the fight against so-called Islamic State terrorists.


Yesterday, RAF Tornado jets carried out their first flights over Iraq


since MPs gave their approval for air-strikes against the militants.


When you face a situation with psychobabble -- psychopathic killers


who have already brutally beheaded one of our own citizens, who have


already launched and tried to execute plots in our own country to


maim innocent people, we have a choice - we can either stand back


from this and say it is too difficult, let's let someone else


try to keep our country safe, or we take the correct decision to have a


full, comprehensive strategy but let's be prepared to play our role


to make sure these people cannot do not trust harm.


And William Hague is still with me - until July he was, of course,


Why have only six Tornado jets being mobilised? Do not assume that is all


that will be taking part in this operation. That is all that has been


announced and I do not think we should speculate. Even the Danes are


sending more fighter jets. There is no restriction in the House of


Commons resolution passed on Friday on what we can do. So why so


little? Do not underestimate what our Tornados can do. They have some


unique capabilities, capabilities which have been specifically asked


for by our allies. When you are on the wrong end of six Tornados, it


will not feel like a small effort. But there will be other things which


can add to that effort. We are joining in a month after the


operation started, we are late, we are behind America, France,


Australia, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, one hand tied behind our


backs cause of the rule about not attacking Syria - why is the British


government leading from behind? First of all, we are a democratic


country, and you know all about Parliamentary approval. You could


have recalled parliament. We have done that, with a political


consensus. Other European countries also took the decision on Friday to


send their military assets. Our allies are absolutely content with


that, and Britain will play an important role, along with many


other nations, including Arab nations. General Sir David Richards


Sheriff, who just steps down as the Nato Deputy Supreme Commander, he


condemns the spineless lack of leadership and the absence of any


credible strategy. It is embarrassing,isn't it? Of course,


they turn into armchair generals. We are playing an important role, we


are a democratic country. Your viewers will remember, we had a vote


last year on military action in Syria and we were defeated in the


House of Commons, a bad moment for our foreign policy. We have taken


care to bring this forward when we can win a vote in the House of


Commons, and that is how we will proceed. The air Chief Marshal until


recently in charge of the RAF, he says, it makes no sense to bomb Iraq


but not Syria. He calls the decision ludicrous. Of course, it DOES make


sense to bomb Iraq, because the Iraqi government has asked for our


assistance. This came up a lot in the debate on Friday, and the Prime


Minister explained, similar to what I have just been saying, that there


is not a political consensus about Syria in the House of Commons. When


we did it last year, we were defeated, and it was described by


all commentators as a huge blow to the government and to our foreign


policy. So, we will bring forward proposals when there is a majority


in this country to do so in the House of Commons. Professor Michael


Clarke, one of the world top experts on military strategy and history, he


says there are very few important IS targets in northern Iraq, that they


are all in Syria, and we are limiting ourselves to the periphery


of the campaign. First of all, just because you are not doing everything


does not mean you should not do something. Secondly, the United


States and other countries are engaged in the action against


targets in Syria. This is a coalition effort, with people doing


different things. Thirdly, if we were to put their proposal to the


House of Commons tomorrow, and it was defeated, we would not have


achieved a great deal. You do not know it would have been defeated.


The Labour Party has given no indication they would have supported


that. So, you are hostage to the Labour Party? We have to win a


democratic vote in the House of Commons, and the Labour Party is a


very large part of the House of Commons. You are asking us to pursue


a policy which at the moment could be defeated in Parliament. Is it not


embarrassing to be on the wrong side of so many of these military


experts? Why should we trust the judgment of here today, gone


tomorrow, politicians? We have the military experts with us now. We


have a national security council, we do not have sofa government, unlike


the last government. The national security council is chaired by the


Prime Minister. Alongside the Chief of Defence Staff and the heads of


the intelligence agencies. And we take decisions together with the


people who have the information now. So, you will know what British


and American intelligence says about Syria. The Prime Minister has said


there is a danger that the British-born jihadists will come


back and attack us. But the intelligence reports which you will


have seen are clear - Al-Qaeda and its associates are selecting,


indoctrinating and training jihadists in Syria, not Iraq. Does


that not make the Syrian exclusion even more ludicrous? I cannot


comment on intelligence. Is the situation in Syria I direct threat


to this country? Yes, it is. Have we excluded action? No, we haven't


Could you come back to the House? The Prime Minister said, it was in


the motion put to the House of Commons, that if we want to take


action in Syria, we will come back to the House of Commons. But we have


not taken any decision about that and we would not do so if we thought


we were going to be defeated again. The government supports US strikes


on Syria, show you must relieve they are legal. Either way the legal


basis differs from one country to another, according to their reading


of international law. But you have supported it. We do believe that


they and Arab countries are taking action legally and we support their


action. But I understand your legitimate questions. But it comes


back to your basic question, why in Iraq and not Syria. Nonetheless it


is important to take action in Iraq. We are also engaged in Syria


in building up the political strength of the more moderate


opposition and in trying to bring about a peace agreement, and we do


not exclude action in Syria in the future. If we propose doing


something, then we ask for the specific legal advice. Why would you


not ask for the legal advice anyway? Because you have to be sure


of the legal advice at the time and also we do not comment on the advice


given to us by the Law officers Mr Blair ended up publishing his. That


was because there was a huge legal dispute. So you have not had legal


advice yet that Britain attacking Syria would be legal? The legal


situation is unlikely to be the barrier in this case, let me put it


that way. Within international law, you can act in the event of extreme


humanitarian distress and elective self-defence, so one can imagine


strong legal justification, but of course, we will take the legal


advice at the time. watching The Sunday Politics. We say


goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who Scotland. Coming up here in 20


minutes, The Week Ahead. Hello


and welcome to your local p`rt of the show ` live with all thd latest


political news and debate as it Labour's big idea to save


the NHS is to tax We'll find out if that's won


the support of voters in a key Talking about that `


and the rest of the party conference news ` including


the latest crisis to engulf the Conservative party ` is the


North East's newest Tory Pedr, Lord Callanan ` and the Labour MP


for Middlesbrough We'll also be asking Ed Milhband and


Nigel Farage the same questhon ` And let's start with the disarray


in the Tory party after that ministerial resignation


and defection to UKIP ` it lade for a pretty unpleasant start to Sunday


for Conservatives in the north. Probably not the start of the


conference that you wanted. . Now, we have had better start to the


conference season. It is a distraction and should be treated as


such. I hope that sometime through the week we will get onto the main


issues, which is to show th`t we are dealing with the economy


successfully, managing the country properly and get through thd next


election and how we want to govern afterwords. One issue you whll have


to deal with is UKIP. They had a good conference, more defections, to


Conservative MPs have gone over How big a threat are they? They are big


threat to every party. We whll see as the when the by`elections and get


elected. They have no members of Parliament. When it comes to the


general election, people will realise it is a straight choice


tween whether they want Davhd Cameron are Ed Miliband as prime


minister. Our system is first past the post. Nigel Farage says he is


parking his stake on your l`wn. I you worried? I am not compl`cent.


People are wanting change, they want better conductivity with thdir


politicians, they want us to be listening more. That is right. It is


our job in the Labour Party to respond more to the people who will


be voting in the next gener`l election, to be responding to their


concerns. Are they tapping hnto concerns? They are. In the Duropean


elections, the local elections that we have just had, they had ` strong


showing. It remains whether that will be translated into a gdneral


election. Well of course perhaps


the most significant development this week was the decision


by MPs to back RAF air strikes The Penrith and the


Border Conservative MP Rory Stewart, who chairs the defence select


committee and visited Iraq last month, was among those who backed


the Government's position ` so too did most of the region's


Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs But three north east Labour MPs `


Blyth's Ronnie Campbell, Jarrow's Stephen Hepburn


and Easington's Grahame Morris Andy McDonald, there are three of


your colleagues there. Do you have sympathy with the way they voted?


Huge sympathy with the way they voted. You do not take thesd


decisions lightly. I respect the decisions they made. I thought we


need to act to repel a genocide People come here what is happening


in Iraq now with what happened in 2003. We have psychopaths r`mpaging


across Iraq killing Muslims, Christians, and we cannot stand by


and allow that to happen. I think this has been the right response. It


was not an easy response by any means, but I think it was the right


one. Have you got any idea of what your constituents views are on this?


The views you get are often via e`mail in these situations. I have


got to say there wasn't the outcry that I was expecting. A lot of


people were supporting the decision made. Speaking to people yesterday


evening, they were supportive of the difficulties. Tony Blair dalaged his


reputation by taking action and Iraq. His David Cameron dond the


same? I listen to the debatd in the House of Commons and I listdn to


passionate speeches on both sides, politics at its best. I respect


those who voted against milhtary action, and I respect the f`ct that


they help those views. We h`ve these distractions and defections and


resignations, let's get back to the big issues. Our brave men and women


are putting their lives on the line to defend our freedoms and to do


vendor a right to exist peacefully, and that is a very grave matter We


will see what happens with those developments.


Now attention may be turning to the Conservative gathering in Bhrmingham


but Labour's final conference before the General Election centred on what


They plan to increase the NHS budget by ?2.5 billion a year,


funded by a so`called "manshon tax" on the most expensive properties `


as well as a levy on tobacco firms and new tax avoidance measures.


So how has the idea gone down in the seats


An affluent part of the reghon, helped by a Conservative MP, but not


by much. His majority was 332 at the last election. As Mr Miliband's


speech came through, our voters here getting his message? I am a GP. He


said he would get a thousand more GPs. The local training schdme


cannot fill all its vacancids, so I do not know


down rapidly. The NHS is in crisis suddenly. It does not compute. I did


not think he went through it clear enough. He topped a lot abott


raising money for the NHS. `` he spoke a lot about. I do not believe


it. One idea is a mansion t`x. very concerned about the NHS. Where


I live, people are waiting tp to three weeks for a GP appointment.


The idea we would have 8000 more GPs would make a massive differdnce The


NHS will be the big issue at the next election. But we'll Labour


Party Mac fans for financing it when Labour `` fans outside of its main


voting core. People are beghnning to work out it is not simple. Ht is a


basic principle of taxation in this country, those with the bro`dest


shoulders make the biggest contribution. This is the w`y to do


it. You are looking at part of it as being raised from tobacco companies.


It is entirely right that you try and put the fun together to address


the needs that are manifesthng themselves now with these shortages.


It would be quicker and simpler if we said our health service needs


more money. We will increasd tax on incomes to help it. It is dhfficult


to make ends meet now. If you ask people who are struggling to pay


income tax at the moment, there response would be that therd is a


better way to do it. There `re concerns about the NHS and hts


future. It has started to unravel. People's suspicions are right. There


are not that many large houses. People would worry about how much


the houses are worth. Peopld live in big houses but may not have much of


an income. This would start off as a mansion tax and then move on to


people in more modest sized houses. It would have to be to raisd any


significant sums. They see `ll these measures together would raise ? .5


billion. It sounds a lot, btt the health service budget has bden


raised by much more than th`t already this year. In practhce it


will not work. People would not argue that the figures are not


backed up. We are demonstrating that we are recruiting more doctors, more


nurses, more GPs into the hdalth service and we are already


increasing the budget. But ht has to take its place eggs against all the


other priorities, housing, education. People will seek to raise


any significant sums of mondy, they will need to go after peopld in more


modest sized homes. We need to get the economy growing again, we need


people and businesses to pax more in taxation. If we are be elected, it


will increase in future also. It is becoming clear ill will not work. I


think it will work. `` it whll not. This lot came into power in 201 and


said there would be no top`down changes. Every time we go into


office we are having to put it right. We are getting same story


now. You have to value all these homes, people will argue about it.


If the Tories are so concerned that this plan will not work, whx will be


not let our plans be submitted to the OBR? What are they scardd of


West remarked the truth is xou have not set a plan yet post`election.


Whatever money you put in now, is not enough. It will never bd enough


of the National Health servhce. Every year of this government we


have spent more on the National Health service. That will continue.


It is about proper management, increasing efficiencies within the


service. Labour started the privatisation process with opt outs.


And we have continued with that and those proposals. The Labour Party


want to scare people on this. Last year Andy Burnham had their


campaign, 24`hour is to savd the National Health service. Of course


that faces challenges, but we are dealing with them. We need to look


at it in line with the other issues that need further public spdnding.


Now, like buses, you wait ages for one Labour policy ` then


The party revealed this week it intends to scrap


Police Commissioners ` only two years after they were established.


Labour says that would save ?50 million which could be put back


But the Labour politicians who've been doing the job `


like Northumbria's Vera Baird ` say they've achieved "a great ddal" She


warned against going back to the days of unelected and


Those of us who have gone into it have made the best of it. They will


ask the police commissioners who are Labour to join in. The thred


north`eastern once you have good relationships with their chhef


constables have been involvdd. Well let's talk to David Clhff,


a management consultant who's currently doing a research project


at Sunderland University looking at I know you are at early stages with


your studies. What are you hn cling so far? I think it is very darly to


make any form of judgement on what is a fundamental change in how we


police. We are working towards policing by consent. It was to


achieve a re`connection with the public that the previous structures


were felt not to properly address. Some concerns have been expressed


about the expense concerned. Police and Crime Commissioner is in this


country are not on top of the police hierarchy, they are not operational


officers as the term refers to in other countries. It refers to the


commissioning role. When we talk about savings around the rule, we


have to look at the best value extracted from the oversight of a


large constabulary and how we pay for staff across the police. Could


you said that we could be qtite hasty and say get rid? Any system


needs fine tuning. There has been a lot of antipathy towards policing


crime commission is. We nevdr had that with police authorities. ``


commissioners. We are seeing is the whole of the policing systel. It has


been brought centrestage by these posts. The debate they are


generating is healthy. The voter turnouts have been terrible for


these. Is there evidence yet of public engagement in these roles? We


had 16 to 22% turnout anywax. I think what we're dealing with is an


awful lot of public and votdr in Ayrshire around crime and dhsorder


issues. Primarily we did not vote for the previous structures and


their aspects of private service that we do vote on. I think it is a


very interesting phenomena hn terms of where we are going polithcally.


`` in Ayrshire. We need to have notifications in a system that is


evolving and we need to see how this pans out over a couple of tdrms


Thank you very much. Do you have to accept that in terms of the public,


it has been a bit of a dud? There was a low turnout in local dlections


as well as elections were police commissioners. It is easy for me to


say yes let's abolish them. That is not to say the role cannot be


effective if the right person gets elected to it. I am a strong


supporter of it. It is about time we introduce some democratic


accountability into our polhce force. I think it will take time to


bed in. If you get is a mothvator to, and it is going individtals and


the role, I think they can lake a difference and engage with the


public. I think it is rated to do it and I think we should continue with


it. You have decided to scr`p them. It has not cut the public's


imagination. The last turnott for the last police commissioner


by`election was 10%. There light be a better way to do this thing. We


can learn a lot of lessons from some of the excellent practice that we


have seen over the last few years. In the north`east we have bden


blessed by three excellent commissioners who have done a great


job in engaging with the vi` `` public. When India was annotnced as


being out of control. There is no suggestion that we turn back the


clock and go back to police authorities. If you have got a


secretary, all that expertise can be retained. We have got to be


thoughtful how we extract the best practice. There has been a lot of


heads knocking together which has been to the benefit to our


communities. We were promisdd lots of independence and we got lots of


party politicians. A few independents have been elected. As


Andy said, at some of them `re doing good jobs in certain areas. They are


increasing accountability, they do need to make themselves better


known. As those roles develop and as individuals do different thhngs


around the country, the perception on these positions will change over


time. Now local councillors make


the news for all sorts of rdasons ` disputes over planning, expdnses


rows, spats over budgets etcetera. But this week two Newcastle


councillors hit the headlinds Here's Fergus with that ` and the


rest of the news ` in 60 seconds. Go North East and Stagecoach


oppose the idea, but Labour said this week they would


return control of bus services in The Barnett Formula,


which allocates more governlent money to Scotland than to Northern


England, needs to be urgently The North in particular,


has been disadvantaged A Newcastle councillor has been


shot with a rubber bullet dtring a David Stockdale was travellhng with


fellow councillor Dipu Ahad who himself was arrested and held


by Israeli Defence Forces. A tear gas canister landed


about 1.5 metres in front of me I swerved to avoid it,


but unfortunately I swerved into the line of fire of sole


rubber bullets are being fired. And finally, he was chairman of Tyne


Tees Television and Northumbrian Water, where he over saw thd


building of the Kielder Resdrvoir. Sir Ralph Carr`Ellison who died


this week aged 88, chaired Berwick Conservatives and was knighted for


his services for the Tory p`rty And one last bit of news


from the Lib Dems. They've selected


the man they think can hold onto He's Josh Mason, deputy grotp leader


on Redcar and Cleveland Council The party's current MP Ian


Swales is standing down.Now The party's current MP Ian


Swales is standing down. Now ` as you know ` we like to go to


the very top to try and get answers Issues like the need to dual the


length of the A1 which all parties agree is a priority ` but none


so far have got round to dohng it. So when my colleague Mark Ddnten


spoke to Ed Miliband this wdek, he asked the Labour leader


for a commitment. I don't know if you drive up it the


A1 north of Newcastle, is hopeless, it is slow, it is a single


carriageway, will you dual ht? You need to also understand, we need


to get the deficit down. Cynicism about politics is too


great to make false promises. I do want to see that happen, I


do understand the concerns `bout it. It is obviously something wd are


looking at in our spending review. So what about UKIP leader


Nigel Farage? I spoke to him ahead of


his party's conference this week. Surely he'd commit himself ` after


all the party's new North E`st Euro MP Jonathan Arnott said it would be


worth the ?600 million bill. So was that, I asked,


a UKIP commitment? No, it's not UKIP commitment,


it's a UKIP opinion from a TKIP MEP And what he will need to do is


convince Patrick O'Flynn, who's in charge of UKIP's economic policy,


that that is the right thing to do. MPs and MEPs lobby and try


and get it changed. I'm off to the Conservative


conference ` wish me luck. Plenty on Look North


and BBC local radio next wedk about that ` or of course you can


follow me on my blog or on Twitter. And we'll be here ` same tile,


same place ` next Sunday. For now it's back to Andrew


for the rest of the show. My thanks to you both. Andrew, back


to you. Here we are back in Birmingham with


the Conservatives. The Tories thought all they had to do was come


here, have a rally, a jamboree, and off they go to the races, or in


their case the general election Two races later it hasn't quite worked


out like that. Let's look at the state of this conference as it gets


under way. On our panel we are joined by David Davis. You wrote an


article in the Mail on Sunday this morning which was an Exocet at the


heart of David Cameron's modernising strategy. It was designed to act as


a lever. It was designed to cause trouble. No, we are in the running


for the next general election. One of the characteristics of having a


five year fixed term Parliaments is that the last year is about


campaigning. It is important we beat Miliband, he would be a disastrous


Prime Minister. You think the whole modernising strategy was a wrong


turn, that is what the article said. Yes. Has that opened the door to


UKIP? It has left a lot of people disillusioned with politics. What do


you do to get it right? Who was listening to you?


Frankly we need to take a more robust series of policies. How many


more UKIP defections will there be? I do not think there will be any


more. I would be very surprised I know Nigel Farage has a brilliant


sense of timing, but I do not think he has got the resources to do that,


namely, another Tory MP. So it could be another Labour one, maybe? I


think an awful lot will hinge on what happens in Rochester. Because


that is not a slam dunk. Clack and unfortunately looks like it will be


a walkover for them. unfortunately looks like it will be


for that. Despite some of the derision of Mr Miliband, the Tories


are flat-lining in the sun decks, they have been there almost since


the disastrous budget, the omnishambles, of 2012, Labour is


still several points ahead, nothing seems to change? And David Cameron


is now the leader in trouble. It is almost as if a week is a long time


in politics. I thought the Labour and friends was Saab --


sub-suboptimal. It was so parochial. You could've watched the top


speeches without knowing that the borders of Ukraine, and Iraq and


Syria were in question. I hope, because of Friday's discussion in


Parliament, that this conference will raise its sights a bit, and we


will have something in Cameron's speech, possibly that of George


Osborne as well, which is a bit more global. People hoped UKIP had gone


away during the summer, people at this conference, I mean, but it is


back with a bang. They are still up at 15% in the polls, the Tories


languishing on 32 - what is going to change? UKIP won 3% of the last


election, I always thought they would get about 6%. If, by the turn


of the year, they are still in double digits, I think at that point


you can begin to wake of his party's chances of winning. I have


had three people say to me so far, come election day, it will be fine,


people will sober up and so on. It will be all right on the night is


not a very good strategy, frankly. When they get past 5%, I start to


bite into our 3-way marginal seats, with liberals, Labour and Tories,


and we have got about 60 of those in the Midlands and the north, so it


really is quite serious. And if I may steal one of David's lines, when


you were interviewing Mark Reckless this morning, and was not talking


about the EU referendum, he was talking about how he felt he had


broken his pledges to the electorate because the Conservatives he said


had failed on immigration and on the deficit, and those sort of


bread-and-butter issues could be really potent on the doorstep, which


means the Tories have got to run the kind of campaign they ran in Newark,


which is a real centre ground, Reddan but a campaign, in which they


would hope to get Liberal Democrat and Labour voters out to vote


tactically against UKIP. I think today we have seen Cameron been


pushed to the right. He has had to say, yes, I would leave Europe,


which he has never said before. It is a huge stepping stone, a big


difference. It takes the Tory party somewhere else. May be get them a


lot of votes. But it has not so far. But I think it loses a lot of


people. The industry organisations, for example. The prospect of going


out of Europe, but is quite a fight for them. Is it not the lesson that


you can out UKIP UKIP? Well, you do not need to, really. I agree, last


week was sub-sub-suboptimal. Hold on, that is enough subs! I would not


be crowing too much! But what I was going to say, he left out something


incredibly important, the deficit. But how many people outside the M25


are thinking about the deficit? One problem we face with Miliband is, he


is good at politics and bad at economics, in a way. He comes up


with bonkers policies which people love, price-fixing, things like


that. Our problem will be about relevance on the doorstep. I do not


think at the end of the day it will be about Europe. But was there not a


moment of danger for you at the conference, that one area where


Miliband is potentially vulnerable is not having credible team with


business. Who turned up at the Labour conference, the head of


Airbus, saying, we have got to stay in the European Union? The danger is


that Europe allows the Labour Party to gain credibility with business.


There is some truth in that. But we are in effectively the home


straight, the last six months, and people will be fussing about prices


and jobs. Very parochial. They will not be saying, what does the CBI


think about this? It is, what is happening to me, in my town, in my


factory, in my office. That is where the fight will be. Is it not the


truth that if UKIP stays anywhere near around this level of support,


it is impossible for the Tories to win an overall majority? I would


say, if it is this level of support, it is impossible for the Tories to


finish as the biggest party, even in a hung Parliament. The Tories keep


trying to win back UKIP voters with cold logic - witches it makes Ed


Miliband becoming prime minister more likely. UKIP is basically a


vessel phenomenon, coming from the gut, and David Cameron has never


found the emotional pitch in his rhetoric to meet that. I wonder


whether we will see that moron Wednesday. It is just not him. I


hope we do. -- more on Wednesday. I hope you're right that we do


actually engage on emotion. So far with UKIP, our policy has been to


insult them. It does not work. I know that from my constituency. We


have to say to them, there is a wider Tory family, we understand you


are patria, we understand you are worried about your family, and we do


the same. What does it tell us about the state of the Tories, seven


months from the election, the economy is going well, they are not


that far behind Labour, and yet there is all sorts of leadership


speculation? It is extraordinary. They are doing well, they are in


with a shout. It depends. UKIP has to be kept below 9% of. -- below


9%. I think David Cameron is one of the few who speaks human, actually


talks quite well to people and does not look like a swivel-eyed loons.


Whereas a lot of people behind him do. You look at Duncan Smith and


Eric Pickles, they are all kind of driven, ideological men, with very


right-wing policies. And nice people! Don't hold back! He is not


the Addams family, he is basically quite human. I think a lot of people


do not realise how ideological he is himself and how well he has led his


party in the direction they all want to go. You go on about him being


this metropolitan moderniser, I do not think that is what he is,


really. It may not be visible from the guardian offices in the


metropolis! Everybody where you are, Polly, is a metropolitan moderniser.


And where you are, too. That is the nature of living in London. The


trouble is, when these people get into Westminster, they are part of


Westminster, too. If you could only win by being an outsider, the moment


you get in, you are done for. All teeing up nicely for Boris Johnson


to be the next leader? I do not think so! The point of my Exocet, or


lever, this morning, is that I think this is winnable. If we are good


Tories for the next six months, we can do this. It is by denying ground


to UKIP, not giving in to them, not buckling. Denying ground. Thank you


to our panel. They did all right today, but the normal. That is your


lot for today. I am back tomorrow. We will have live coverage of George


Osborne's speech to the conference. I am back next week in Glasgow for


The Sunday Politics at the Labour conference. How could you miss


that? Remember, if it is Sunday it is The Sunday Politics. Bye-bye


of statutory press regulation in sponge cake may be a bridge too far.


I think I've overdone it with the pistachios


and somehow, the custard's split, but it's too late!


of statutory press regulation in sponge cake may be a bridge too far.


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