Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, and debate. Former London mayor Ken Livingstone and former shadow chancellor Chris Leslie discuss Labour's fortunes.
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It's Sunday morning and this is the Sunday Politics.
A row has broken out between Number Ten and former
Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan over Brexit and, believe it or not,
the price of Theresa May's leather trousers.
I feel as though I'm one of the people that
If you do that, you are likely to attract attention,
It's not just Nicky Morgan making life difficult
for the Prime Minister - we'll be taking a look at the rest
Fully paid-up rebel Ken Clarke joins us live.
Protestors disrupted a speech by Jeremy Corbyn yesterday,
but is his biggest problem Labour's miserable performance
Here... and Corbyn critic Chris Leslie
Why do children in the South have better prospects than those living
And claims air pollution in parts of the region are
think of it as an early Christmas present from us.
We guarantee you won't be disappointed.
And speaking of guaranteed disappointments - I'm joined
by three of the busiest little elves in political journalism.
It's Iain Martin, Polly Toynbee and Tom Newton Dunn.
So, we knew relations between Theresa May and some
of her backbenchers over Europe weren't exactly a bed of roses.
But signs of how fractious things are getting come courtesy of this
morning's Mail on Sunday which has the details of a series of texts
from one of Mrs May's senior advisers to and concerning
the former Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan.
Mrs Morgan is one of those arguing for a so-called soft Brexit,
and has been pressing the PM to reveal more of her negotiation
She's also apparently irked Downing Street by questioning
Mrs May's decision to purchase and be photographed in a ?995 pair
She said she had "never spent that much money on anything apart
Mrs Morgan was due to attend a meeting at Number 10 this week
But that invitation seems to be off, after a fairly extraordinary
argument by text message with Mrs May's joint chief
She texted the MP Alistair Burt, another of those arguing
for a so-called soft Brexit, cancelling Nicky Morgan's invitation
and telling him to not "bring that woman to Number Ten again".
The following day Nicky Morgan texted Fiona Hill, saying
"If you don't like something I have said or done, please
If you don't want my views in future meetings you need to tell them."
Shortly afterwards she received the reply "Well, he just did.
And according to the Mail, Mrs Morgan, who you'll see
in our film shortly, has now been formally banned
So, Tom, much ado about nothing or telling you about the underlying
tensions over Brexit? Both, if I am allowed to choose both. It says
something about British politics today, that this is the most
important thing we can find to talk about, because the Government are
not giving us anything to talk about cs especially on Brexit because they
don't have a plan as we know. There is is a lot of truth that are being
spoken from this row, one is that Mrs May comes into Downing Street
with a lot of baggage including spectacular fall outs with Cabinet
Ministers in the past. Nicky Morgan being one. We heard about the row
over banning children from school. She fell out with Boris Johnson, so,
she then enters Number Ten with history. When you are in Number Ten
you start, you cannot be controversial and my way but the
high way, which is why Fiona Hill kept Theresa May in the Home Office.
You need to behave differently in the top job. It is surprising Nicky
Morgan hats taken such a robust line. She seemed such a gentle soul
as a minister. She did, Brexit has done funny things to people.
Everything has been shaken up. It reveals really how paranoid they
are, I mean you cannot have a situation really in which the, in
which you know, Number Ten has got realise if the Prime Minister's
entire stick is her authenticity and incredible connection, which is
genuine, with voters outside the Metropolitan bubble, when she
chooses to wear ?995 leather trousers you have to anticipate that
journalists and MPs are going to take the mickey, that is how life
works, but I think they are trying to run Number Ten as they ran the
Home Office, and you see that in the rows they have had with Mark Carney
and Boris Johnson this week, now you might be able to run one Government
department in that control freakish way but not Government will hold
together for too long, if it is run in that fashion. By try doing the
whole Government like one department. This is just the start,
Polly, we are still several months away from triggering Article 50. We,
The Tory party is split down the middle, the thing that mattered most
to the nation since the last war, it is not frivolous. It may look as if
it is about trousers, it is about the most serious thing. What was
split down the middle? Aren't the Euro-files and the Eurosceptics used
to be the outliers, it is now the Europhiles, it is not a split down
the middle. They won't vote against Brexit but they will, I think exert
the maximum influence they can, to make sure that it is not a Brexit, a
self-harming Brexit, to make sure that the country understand, when it
comes to that point, that there may be really hard decision to make, do
you want a real economic damage to be done to the country, to your own
wallet, in, in exchange for being able to stop free movement or is
that trade off in the end going to be just too expensive? We have seen
polls suggesting people are beginning to move, and not willing,
a poll out now saying people wouldn't be willing to sacrifice any
money at all, for the sake of stopping immigration. So if itself
comes to that trade off, the people are going to need to be confronted
with that choice. The Irony is, I think the Tories are in the most
exceptionally strong position, I mean what is happening here is that
British politics is being realigned and remade along leave and remain
lines, if the Prime Minister's luck hold, the Tories are looking at
being somewhere 45, 46, 47% of the vote with an opposition split
between a far left Labour Party and depleted Liberal Democrats, that
sound like a recipe for something similar to what happened in the
1980s. You are seeing extraordinary alliances between left and right.
The Scottish referendum rebuilt Scottish politics along the lines of
pro independence, anti-independence and now Brexit maybe doing the same.
So, rows within the Conservative Party over the price
of trousers might be new, but over Europe, not so much.
And this week's Commons vote on when the Government will fire
the starting gun on Brexit, and what it will say
about its plans before it does so, confirmed that instead
of the eurosceptics being the outsiders,
it's now the Remainers who are leading the resistance.
While the Prime Minister was schmoozing in the gold-plated
Gulf this week, back home the Commons was voting
on a Labour motion forcing her to publish a plan for Brexit.
Through some parliamentary jiggery-pokery, the Government
basically got its way, but it did provide a platform
for some mischiefmaking by Tory MPs who voted to remain,
We are getting somewhat tired, are we not, of this constant level
of abuse, this constant criticism that we are somehow Remoaners
that want to thwart the will of the people,
go back on it and that we don't accept the result.
I don't like the result, and yes, I do believe the people
It's not good enough that these things are dragged
out of the Government by opposition day motions.
I'm pleased that it's happened but I wish the Government was taking
Is Nicky Morgan really listening to her constituents
I think I'm one of the people who stuck their head
above the parapet so if you do that you're likely to attract attention,
you're likely to attract abuse, but also actually levels of support.
I'm having e-mails from around the country with people saying thank
you for what you are doing, party members around
the country saying thank you for what you are doing
and saying, and I and others will continue to do that.
I just think, as a backbench Member of Parliament,
you've got to be there, particularly when we have a weak
opposition, to ask the question that government needs to be scrutinised
on before we embark on such a huge issue.
Nobody comes into politics to become a thorn in their party leader's
side, but at the end of the day it's such a massive issue that
if you don't stand up for what you believe in,
I'm not sure what the point is of going into politics.
That puts her on a collision course with activists in her local
party like Adam Stairs, a committed leader who accuses
Nicky has promised me and the rest of our Conservative association
she will be voting for Article 50 and she will support
the Prime Minister's timetable, and we have just got to trust that
and hope that goes ahead, but there's a lot of people
who think she's taking sideswipes at the Government
The Conservatives are very popular, she wants to be a Conservative MP
and we want to see a Conservative government being
I have no idea what she's playing at, I think she just needs to get
on with her job as an MP, which she does very well,
Now let's head to Anna Soubry's constituency nearby to see
how her stance is going down with the voters.
If Anna Soubry doesn't fully back Brexit, what does
Well, she's going to have a little bit of a problem because the voters,
especially in this area, they voted to come out of the EU
so she will definitely have a little bit of a problem.
She should stick for what she believes in,
but I guess from a democratic perspective she does...
She has admitted the fact over and over again that she wanted
to remain, but her views at the moment, even in her e-mails,
depicted the fact she's anti-Brexit still.
Theresa May will host her most pro-European MPs at Downing Street
this week to discuss the countdown to Brexit.
Although now we know not everyone is invited.
And the MP leading the resistance in the Commons on Wednesday
was Ken Clarke, he was the only Conservative MP who voted
against the Government's plan to trigger Article 50 by the end
of March and he joins us now from Nottingham.
Welcome back to the programme Ken Clarke. Now, tell me this when David
Cameron resigned after losing the referendum, you had to pick a new
leader, which candidate did the Tory Europhiles like you put up to
deliver a so-called soft Brexit, or no Brexit at all? Well, I can't
speak for the others but I voted for Theresa May, I gave a notorious
interview, it wasn't meant to be, I was chatting to Malcolm Rifkind but
somebody turned a camera on, I called her a bloody difficult woman
which the Tory party probably needs, compared with Margaret Thatcher and
said I was going to vote for her, I gave a vote for one of the younger
ones first, but I told Teresa I would vote for her, she was the only
serious candidate in my view. You voted for somebody you thought was a
difficult woman, she is being difficult in ways you don't like,
your side of the Tory party, you had your chance to put up somebody more
in line with you, instead you shut up, so, why the complaints about it
not going in your direction? I am not making complaint, it is not
Teresa's fall we are in the dreadful mess, she was on the Remain side,
she made a good speech during the campaign on the referendum, setting
out the economic case for being in, setting out the security case for
being in, which was Home Secretary, she was particularly expert in, it
wasn't her fault that not a word it was reported anywhere, in the
national media. Now, my views have been the same, I am afraid
throughout my adult life, for the 50 years I have been in politics, and
my views have been the mainstream policy of the Conservative Party
throughout all that time, I don't expect to have a sudden conversion
on the 24th June, and I think what I owe to my constituency, and to
Parliament, is that I exercise my judgment, I make speeches giving my
reasons, I make the best judgment that I can, of what is the national
interest. I understand that. I would be a terrible hypocrite if I... Of
course that is not what I am asking. How many Conservative MPs do you
think you can count on to oppose this so-called hard Brexit? Is it
40, 20, 10, 5, 1? I have no idea, because Anna, and Nicky, who you
have just seen on the video who are also sticking to their principle,
they are only saying what they are been saying ever since they have
been in politics, probably may have more idea than me.
That is three, how many more? I don't know, we will find out. We are
living in a bubble in which the tone of politics is getting nastier and
the reporting is getting sillier, so it is all about Theresa May's
trousers and whether Boris has made some inappropriate jokes. What we
need if we are going to abandon the basis upon which we made ourselves a
leading political power in the world for the last 40 years and the basis
upon which our economy has prospered because Margaret Thatcher got the
others to adopt the single market and we benefited from that more than
any other member state, so now we need a serious plan, a strategy.
What is our relationship going to be in the modern world? How will our
children and grandchildren make the best union they can? We need
Parliament's approval of a White Paper and then start years of
negotiation. This will run and run. This interview hasn't got time to
run and run so let me get another question in. You seem to be quoted
in the mail on Sunday this morning as saying if the Prime Minister
sides too much with the heart Brexit group, she won't survive, is that
your view? Yes because only a minority of the House of Commons
think it is frightfully simple and you can just leave. The referendum
campaign, the only national media reporting of the issues were
completely silly and often quite dishonest arguments on both sides.
Let me just check this, explain to me the basis... Know, excuse me, I
have to interrupt because you said the Prime Minister won't survive so
just explain to our viewers why she won't survive. She will be in a
minority she starts adopting the views of John Redwood or Iain Duncan
Smith. It's clear majority of the House of Commons doesn't agree with
that and it would be pretty catastrophic if that is what we were
going to do when we turn up and faced 27 of the nation state, and
tell them we are pulling out of the biggest market in the world. How
long do you give the Prime Minister then? If you don't think she will
survive by going for a heart Brexit? I don't think she will go for a
heart Brexit. Really, surrounded by David Davis and Liam Fox? Do you
think Liam Fox will determine the policy of the Cabinet? Liam has
always been ferociously against the European Union although he served in
a government that was pro-European for about two and a half years. Does
he not survive either? You're trying to reduce it to my trying to
forecast Cabinet reshuffle is which I haven't got a clue whether there
will be a Cabinet reshuffle, they may be ministers for the next ten
years, I have no idea. Liam and me, but also Liam and the majority of
his Cabinet colleagues don't start from the same place. The way forward
is for them to produce a White Paper setting out the strategy on which
all the Cabinet are agreed. People should stop leaking the Cabinet
papers they are getting, they should stop leaking against each other, get
down and do the work when they have got the agreed strategy. I'm sorry
to interrupt again but we haven't got much time. We saw in our film
that a number of constituency members in those areas which are
strongly Remain MPs like yourself, in our case in this film it was
Nicky Morgan, the constituency party members are unhappy about this.
What's your message to them? Don't they deserve an MP that reflects
their way of thinking? Leavers are unhappy and Remainers are very
grateful. Mine don't go in for abuse... That's probably because
you're not on e-mail, Mr Clarke. I get more from Remainers. I'm a great
fan of Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan, I don't agree with them on
everything, but the views they are putting forward are the ones they've
always held and I think we are doing the Government to favour by saying
what it now depends on is your success in agreeing a policy and
then explaining to the public what you want to do. I shall be surprised
if they manage that by the end of March, I think it is best to get the
policy right first but we shall see. Have you been invited then, you say
you are being helpful, have you been invited to this meeting in Downing
Street on Wednesday for the soft Brexiteers? No, because I haven't
been joining any of these groups. It's fair to say most of my
colleagues know exactly what my views are. No doubt those that
haven't had this kind of discussion with their colleagues before have
been invited. I didn't expect to be invited. I get on perfectly well
with Theresa May but I haven't been invited, but I don't think there's
much significance in that. What do you think of the way Downing Street
has handled Nicky Morgan? I feel sorry for women in politics. I'm
glad to say men in politics don't have great lead stories about what
they are wearing. Apart from my suede shoes, I'm lucky because I'm
not a very snappy dresser. It is tedious in these days that we still
have a absurd pop newspaper stories about what they are wearing.
That commenting on the Prime Minister's trousers, is it really
grounds for banishment? No, of course not. Nikki and Teresa will
have serious political discussions and if they want to have an argument
about what they are wearing, their closest friends will advise them to
keep it private. It is absurd. Given that the party appears to be
deciding it has been all -- ordered to changes policies about Britain's
relationship with the world, it needs to be taken seriously and this
Lola. Is filling a vacuum before the serious discussion starts. Thank you
for filling our vacuum this morning and of course no one would ever
criticise how you dress. Of course. Now, seasoned observers will warn
against reading too much into parliamentary by-elections,
but they can provide a vital boost for a party leader under pressure,
or provide damaging ammunition Following a disappointing result
for Labour last week in Richmond, Jeremy Corbyn may have been hoping
for an early Christmas present at this week's
contest in Lincolnshire. In Sleaford and North Hykeham,
a constituency that supported Leave in the EU referendum,
there was little Christmas cheer for Labour as it fell from second
in 2015 to fourth place. That was at least a better
performance than in Remain-supporting Richmond Park,
where the party's candiate lost his deposit after attracting
fewer voters than the reported number of local
Labour Party members. Speaking for the Labour Party this
week, MP Vernon Coaker said their policies on other major
issues were "lost to an extent Some MPs feel that a lack of clarity
is holding the party back. This week three frontbenchers
were among the 23 Labour MPs to defy the party line and vote
against a motion to begin the process of leaving the EU
by the end of March. And a number of Labour MPs we've
spoken to since Thursday's vote have said they fear the party now runs
the risk of being squeezed by the Lib Dems and UKIP,
or in the words of one, "being cannabilised,
eaten from both ends". To compound their troubles,
a national poll released on Friday put Labour
at a seven-year low, trailing 17 It's still a season of joy
for many of Mr Corbyn's supporters - they point to a series of victories
under his leadership, including a by-election win
in Tooting and the London mayoral Though neither candidate was a
Corbynite. But there's a distinct lack
of goodwill on the party of his critics - although having
failed comprehensively to challenge him this summer,
what they intend to do This morning Diane Abbott played
down the significance of the results. The reports of the Labour
Party's demise are exaggerated, we are the largest social Democratic
party in Europe and the surging membership is down to the current
leadership. We have the right policies on the NHS, investing in
the economy, and as you know the Tories are fatally split on Europe.
And we're joined now by the former mayor
of London Ken Livingstone, and the former Shadow
Ken Livingstone, in the most recent by-election Labour collapsed from
second to fourth place, the one before that your party lost its
deposit. What is the positive gloss on that? There's nothing new in
this, where you have got seats which are solidly Tory, often voters
switched to Lib Dem to kick other voters out. We have had good swings
that indicate a Labour government so don't pay too much attention. It is
like Orpington 50 years ago. Labour voters switched just to kick the
Tories out. Don't read too much into these results, Labour did win
tooting so it is OK. First of all I don't think it was a problem with
the candidates in the by-elections, they did a really good job locally,
but there is an issue with those residents and their attitudes to the
national party, and I just think that when you have warning bells
going off like that, we have to listen to what people are saying. I
think what they are saying is they want an opposition party to have a
plan. So yes we have got to attack the Conservatives where they are
going wrong on the NHS, running headlong over the cliff for a hard
Brexit, but we also need a plan for what Labour's alternative will be.
When do we get that plant? Effectively you have got it already.
John McDonnell has gone on relentlessly for the need for a
massive public investment. For decades now under Labour and Tory
governments we haven't invested in infrastructure, our roads are a
disgrace, a broadband is antique. We need to be honest about this, if
Theresa May can come back and say I've done a deal, we are leaving the
EU, we will control our borders, we won't have to pay 350 million a year
and stay in the single market, well... But that won't happen. If we
are going to stumble along for two years heading for an economic
disaster, that's why only eight MPs voted to leave, because they knew
the harm it would do to their voters. If you have got a plan, why
are things getting worse for you in the national polls, 17 points
behind? If you look back, when I was leader of Chelsea my poll rating
went down... But you have not been as bad since 1983 when you lost an
election by a landslide. Over the next two years our economy will not
grow strongly, it will limp along at best, as we get closer to Brexit it
will get worse. All Labour MPs should be focusing on the economic
alternative because nobody ever wins an election without a credible
economic strategy. So as long as the country goes to hell in a hand
basket, Labour will be fine. That's not good enough. You're not a
commentator any more, you are part of the leadership of the party. It
is to you. I will continue to argue the case for credibility,
particularly in our policies, but the leadership cannot just sit back
and watch this drift. On the Brexit situation, the Conservative
manifesto at the last general election promised it would be yes to
the single market, why aren't we holding them to account for the
broken promise potentially they are about to do? If I had still been an
MP, I would have been voting with you, rebelling, because we are not
going to get any good deal to leave. Theresa May will stumble on for a
couple of years trying to balance... The party policies were heard from
Diane Abbott this morning is to get the best possible deal to leave. And
I will believe it when it happens. So you don't believe a central part
of Jeremy Corbyn's policy? Jeremy has accepted the fact people voted
to leave. He now said we now need to get the best possible deal and you
don't think it's achievable. I don't, because why would the other
27 members give us a better deal staying outside? You've confused me,
why are you such a big supporter of Corbyn with his policy you don't
think it's achievable? Everybody knows we are not going to
get a soft exit, so we either have the hard Brexit and we lose perhaps
millions, certainly hundreds of thousands of jobs, or we have to say
we got it wrong. I mean, you, a lot of people have been saying that all
Labour's unclear on Brexit, that is why it is going wrong, I would
suggest to you, that actually what the concentration on is the Tories
are unclear about Brexit, they are in power, that is what matters, a
bigger problem for Labour is whether Mr Corbyn's leadership will cut
through or not. I think the YouGov poll this weekend not only gave us
that double punch of a 17 point lead for the Conservatives but it had a
33 point lead, 33 point, for Theresa May over Jeremy Corbyn, so part of
the plan, think, has to be to address this leadership issue, to
make sure it is also a party that is listening to the wider public and
not just the small number of members or the trotsites in Momentum or
whoever is the latest Marxist on the... You The thing that is ox
fibbing Labour. One MP said Labour has quoted bunkum. We have has 18
months of Labour MPs stabbing Jeremy in the back and some in the front.
The vast majority of Labour MPs have stopped undermining Jeremy. You
weren't doing that well before. Can you imagine a situation in which you
have elected a new leader and the first year it is all about getting
rid of imand undermining him. I disagree with Tony Blair on lots of
policy issue, I didn't run wound saying this man is not fit to
govern. That is because you had no support for that at the time. The
idea people will take lectures from Ken on divisiveness, that is like
takes lectures from Boris Johnson on diplomacy, you have to make sure,
yes, that we find some accommodation after the leadership election this
summer, but the plan is not there right now, and you and the rest of
the leadership has to be held accountable for delivering that, I
want to hear what the plan is. It is FDR he told us earlier. If you have
got now because as we saw in the Autumn Statement, debt to GDP ratio
at 90%, you can't convince the public by saying we will throw more
money at the problem, the public want a credible plan, where the sums
add up, that you are not making promises that won't be delivered.
They want that plan. We need to point out our history, when Labour
Waugh the election in 45 Government debt was two times that it was now..
Now.. They generated exports and within 50 years we virtually paid
off that debt. Austerity is not the way to go. Our economy is a disgrace
compared with Germany. I agree. What we have to start saying, there is
decent jobs, where are they going to be coming from, can we have a
society based on fair play and prosperity for everybody not just
the wealthy, that means saying, some time, that people have to
contribute, they have to put in, so we have to listen to what the public
are saying on issues for instance like immigration, as they said in
the Brexit referendum, but make sure we have our approach set out
clearly, so people know there is a ability to manage, and control these
things, not just ignore them. Those tax dodgers who launder their money
through Panamanian banks. If we crackdown on what might be 150
billion a year of tax evasion and avoidance. That is a real outlier
estimate as you know, way the highest, you cannot build the FDR
programme on tax evasion revenues, alone, but let me ask you. You can
say to Starbucks, if you are not going to pay tax on your profits we
will tax every cup of coffee. Why don't you nationalise it? I was just
checking that would be the policy. Let me ask you this. By what time do
you get, start to get worrieded if the polls haven't given to turn
round? I mean, I think they will turn round. When do you start to get
worried? If they haven't? If in a year's time it was as bad as this we
would be worried. I don't think it will be. Jeremy and his team will
knows can on the economy, and that is wins every election. Bill
Clinton, remember it's the economy stupid. People know if you are going
to spend money they want to see where it is coming from, otherwise
they will think it is their taxes that will go up and the
Conservative, Theresa May, will scare the British public over plans
that are not properly... What do you do if things haven't got better in
12 months? We lost the leadership election in the summer but we will
hold our leadership to account. What does that mean? It means asking for
the plan, testing what the proposals are, are they properly credible, do
they make sure that they meet the test the public... You just have to
bite the bottom lip now, you privately, a lot of you think your
party is heading for catastrophe. I don't think it is acceptable that we
have this level of performance, currently, I am sure Ken agrees the
opinion polls, and those by by-election were just not good
enough. We have to show leadership, certainly on Brexit, hold the
Government to account. Attack them for the crisis in the NHS, yes and
on the economy, to deliver credible policy force, example on defending
national security and making sure we stand up for humanitarian
intervention. Final point, your party has lost Scotland. You are now
in third place behind the stories -- Tories. I never thought I would be
able to say that in a broadcast, if you lose the north too, you are
heading for the smallest Parliamentary Labour Party since the
war, aren't you. But that is our weakness, we in the 13 years of the
last Labour Government neglected rebuilding our manufacturing in the
way the Germans have done. Millions of people used to have good job, we
used to have 8 million jobs in manufacturing it is down two. It is
in the north, that Jeremy's strategy has the most relevance, of actually
getting the investment and rebuilding. All right. We will see.
Come back in 12 months if not before and we will check it out.
It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics.
We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who leave us now
Coming up here in 20 minutes, we'll be talking
about Boris Johnson's tour of the Middle East after straying
off message, again, and the protestors attempting
First though, the Sunday Politics where you are.
Hello and a warm welcome to your local part of the show just
Claims that air pollution in some parts of the region are almost
Are plans to expand the road network going to make the problem worse?
Talking about that - and the rest of the week's news -
including claims that parents in the North need to be more "pushy"
to help their children get on - is the Conservative MP for Skipton
and Ripon, Julian Smith and Northumbria's Police
The new Police and Crime Bill is back in Parliament this week.
It's a wide-ranging piece of legislation which will enable
Police Commissioners to take on responsibility for
There's also been controversy over plans to hand over some police
If money is tight, I'm sure you have found that,
it might make perfect sense for a Police Commissioner to also be
What we have done is, we have welcomed the duty to collaborate
and what we have done is to set up, a couple of years ago,
a strategic board and we have worked ever since to see how we can
They are very different services, but we have joint premises
Police are located in fire stations, and so on.
We have a joint set of premises called SafetyWorks!
in the West End of Newcastle where children come in classloads
and learn about fire prevention, crime prevention and child
It's run by the fire service and ourselves.
We are looking at all sorts of potential...
So you are co-operating. Would you have any...?
It's the bottom end joint work which is going to
Would you have any concerns about a PCC being in charge
It's not what I want to do and it doesn't seem to me that
It's about giving better service, governance is the last
As long as those in charge of both services can work jointly together,
Julian Smith, in North Yorkshire, the commissioner there,
Julia Mulligan, is actually very keen to be in charge
She produced a report talking about how she could run both
I'm bringing together ambulance, fire, police next
week in Fountains Abbey and we are welcoming the police
I'm disappointed to hear Vera's comments, it sounds
We have got to seize the opportunity to reduce costs,
to bring together blue lights as closely as possible whilst
retaining their individual independence and in places
like Ron North Yorkshire, where we have got challenges
with ambulance response times, I welcome all of
Does a Police Commissioner being in charge of the Fire
I think Vera is right, we want to focus on the detail
rather than actually government at this stage, but we have
to have a vision and the vision has to be not just buildings but how
you get these organisations taking much more responsibility
The fire and ambulance in parts of North Yorkshire are doing this
and I think we need to push ahead quicker and faster.
The bottom end is where vision comes, of course.
It's people who have got eyes on the ball,
day-to-day, who can see what they can do together.
We are doing exceptionally well here.
I want to move it to another issue in this bill, which you have
voiced concerns about, which is giving civilians
more powers that the police currently have.
The problem is, we have lost more than 800 officers,
we have lost 1000 police through Tory cuts.
Northumbria has had the worst financial cuts of any police
Can't civilians help? 23%...
We are very happy with specials, they are properly trained police
officers who volunteer from time to time to come in.
There is absolutely everything to be said for that.
And there are lots and lots of volunteers who are there,
keen to support police. OK.
But what they shouldn't be asked to do, is the job of police.
There is no limits, literally in this legislation save for a very
tiny core of police powers of in what volunteers
Julian Smith, cheap policing without police
If you speak to police officers and go to police stations,
they talk about the huge value of the support they get
and the difference that that civilian support makes
They probably want more police officers, not the chance
The important thing is under the coalition government
and under this government, we have seen a big cut in crime
across the country and we need, in order to continue with that
high-performance, push hard to be creative on costs and make sure
policing is on the front line and we get as much civilian support
in order to have as many front line officers as possible.
That doesn't seem to have much to do with the issue.
Look at all the child sexual exploitation.
If you look at all the statistics, you see crime going
Take a look at the amount of time that police have to take over child
sexual exploitation compared to small crimes like criminal
damage, bending a mirror on a car, it's completely different.
You are not comparing pairs with pears.
Crime is going down under the Conservative government.
We are not going to get agreement between you on this,
so we will have to move on to other issues.
Now, what's it like growing up in the North?
Are there the same opportunities for young people to get on in life?
These questions are the focus of a year-long investigation started
this week by the Children's Commissioner.
But her call for northern parents to be more pushy
is already drawing criticism - as our correspondent
Early morning and for this family in Stockton, the school run beckons.
The investigation launched this week aims to give the young an equal
chance of achieving ambitions, wherever they live.
I'd like to be a primary schoolteacher when I'm older
because I feel primary schools are a key stage in everyone's lives.
I want to be something to do with, like, politics or an actor.
The Children's Commissioner once more than parents to be
pushier when it comes to demanding good education.
The message doesn't go down well here.
I fought hard to live in an area where I'm able to send my children
just excellent schools and in itself is surely need trying to help them
So the idea that more than parents on pushy,
I think it's rubbish. I think it's offensive.
So, is the children's Commissioner guilty of bashing
When I was talking about parents, and there has been a big debate this
week about pushy parents, I was actually say that given
that we know that schools are falling behind at secondary
school stage and there are huge variations across the region,
actually there is something here that parents want to know
about their schools, want to talk to schools
Launching a year-long inquiry, the Commissioner painted a mixed
At primary school, pupils have some of the country's best results.
But by secondary, the region's GCSE results lag behind top performing
areas with fewer than average going to top universities.
This school has been praised by Ofsted for its focus
on standards, but the challenge is not just about academic learning.
It's also about encouraging students to aim high when it
It's a real positive because you are going to understand
Staff here serve disadvantaged areas of Newcastle but see that as no
Because a lot of children, especially in this region,
maybe don't have parents who are in those massive high jobs,
we need to be able to instil that aspiration in children and show
that they know that they can reach for the stars.
As for this group of sixth formers, many are positive
about their education, optimistic for the future.
Even if some are considering moving away.
There are definitely more opportunities down south then
If you've got the drive to do something, I don't forget
that is where you are from, you can do it.
In the past, a lot of people didn't go to university,
But now, like, education is important now and a lot of people
A North East MP says the problem isn't education,
It's a sad fact of life for the North East of England,
one of our biggest export is our young people.
When they get to the age to work in the jobs market in awful lot
of the mortality youngsters have to go outside the region
-- an awful lot of our more talented youngsters.
And therefore, I think Anne Longfield needs
to look at that as well, look at the jobs market,
And that does have an impact on aspiration of our young people.
How to ensure the North's next-generation scale the heights?
Asking the question will prove easier than answering it.
Julian Smith, the aims of the children's Commissioner,
to look at problems in the north, most people would welcome,
but she has got parents group was backed up,
straightaway, by using this idea of the need for them
Yeah, I have seen no evidence that parents in the North are anything
but incredibly passionate about the life opportunities
Every constituent who comes in talks to me about their childreneducation
are refocused on how to get the best deal for their child.
I think the key thing is we now have 1.5 million more
children across the country, 46,000 more children
in the North East, going to good or outstanding schools,
but we have to continue to move forward and get even better
statistics and that is why the government is looking
at selection and other opportunities to make that happen.
That's opened a can of worms, selection!
Anyway, zero Baird, actually, it may not be the only solution,
but if parents were more assertive with schools that perhaps one
delivering for their children, it might help, might it not?
Extraordinary that a Tory can talk about equality of opportunity
I don't think it's about pushiness, I think it's about opportunity.
And it is right, we have the highest number of NEETs, we have the highest
number of unemployed people, we have the highest number of people
Michael Wilshaw, who has just stopped being the head of Ofsted,
links poverty and deprivation with lack of ambition
Until there is some better opportunities in the North East
which requires the government to give it some real attention
here and let's make it very clear, it's nothing to do with lack
Two thirds of young people who are in poverty are in households
where there is work and yet educational opportunities
We have lost the largest number of public sector jobs
in the entire country, the swap over to
The government has improved the schools, what more can it do?
16 out of 17 underachieving schools are in the north of England.
How much is it the fault of those schools and the aspirations of those
schools rather than necessarily government funding or policies
Very much more government funding and policies made in Whitehall.
There is no evidence at all to separate poverty and deprivation
They go together like a horse and cart.
And until the government put some significant funding back up here,
which it has systematically robbed of funding, I have already mentioned
OK, Julian Smith, the central accusation is not enough funding
and it's all down to poverty and that is what you need
Well, doom and gloom from Vera today.
We have an upwardly mobile economy in the North East,
we have Nissan committing to their investment recently,,
we have higher levels of employment than under the time Vera was...
We still have children coming out of secondary school
who are performing worse than their compatriots in the South.
We will continue to make sure that every child in our country
and in the North East has the same opportunities...
Lots of money was thrown at schools in London and the improvement
That's what the North East needs, isn't it?
46,000 more children going to good or outstanding schools.
More to do, but we need to be positive about the position
we are in, which is a much stronger position than when you're Labour...
This region has been destroyed by this Tory government.
Hang on... Just let me reply.
We lost a quarter of a million public sector jobs.
We have had replaced by a very low number of sector jobs.
The highest private levels in British statistical history.
Once again, Julian is not counting apples and apples.
We have low quality jobs with uncertain hours and very low pay.
Julian Smith, a brief time for you to answer that.
Vera doesn't deny... You really...
Let him speak. Julian Smith, just answer.
We need to focus on the North East a little bit harder.
As I said, we have got the best job situation we have had in the history
of statistical analysis on jobs and fear is unable
Under the Conservative government, we have a jobs revolution.
Tell that to people on zero hours contracts.
We are not going to reach agreement yet again.
Now, Sunderland was the first place to vote Brexit -
and this week MPs travelled to Wearside as part of
a Parliamentary inquiry to discover exactly what that will mean.
Here's that and the rest of the week's news -
including a new plan for jobs on Teesside - all in 60 seconds.
The North East Chamber of Commerce and Sunderland Council were among
those giving evidence to MPs about the impact of Brexit.
The chairman of the new exiting the EU committee, Hilary Benn,
said it was crucial to hear views from outside Westminster.
This is the very first visit we have undertaken as a select committee.
We didn't want to sit in Westminster and just take evidence there,
because this is so important to the future of the economy
Carlisle's MP has called for a review of the scheme
designed to ensure people in high flood risk areas can get insurance.
John Stevenson said most leaseholders in blocks of flats
Lord Heseltine has launched a plan that aims to create 25,000 jobs
across the Tees Valley in the next ten years.
It was drawn up by the five local authorities of Teesside.
And finally, as work continues to fill a 66-foot-wide sinkhole
in Ripon, may ageing Morgan says he is concerned about the future.
It's the second sinkhole to open up in the city in two years.
Julian Smith, of course that sinkhole is in your constituency.
Is enough being done to get your constituents back
I pay tribute to the work of the emergency services,
who dealt very quickly, along with the borough council,
Harrogate Borough Council, to deal with the huge challenge
of this sinkhole appearing in the back gardens of a number
I attended the emergency meeting that weekend.
But you are right, we have a big challenge in Ripon.
We have probably got more sinkhole under the city than most cities
in the country and I will be looking carefully at how we can progress
and look at the technologies that are available, we have heard,
in Japan, and other countries of the world, to deal
But it is serious issue for a key conurbation in North Yorkshire.
We will see what happens and let's hope no more open up
in the next few days - or weeks or months!
Now, thousands of people in the North East are being exposed
to a higher risk of lung cancer, heart disease and dementia
because air pollution is above safe levels.
That was the claim made by the Green Party's new co-leader
Caroline Lucas this week on a visit to Durham.
She says plans to expand the road network will only
worsen the problem - but the local Labour-run council
It's often invisible, the pollution being produced
by all these vehicles in Durham, particularly those fuelled by
Particulates are tiny pieces of oily soot that can be inhaled.
Nitrogen dioxide, or NO2, is an invisible but toxic gas.
It is estimated that together, they contribute to almost
50,000 premature deaths in the UK each year.
They have a direct effect on human health.
Particulates go straight into our lung region
and people who are suffering from from respiratory illnesses,
for example children, elderly population and those
who are already suffering from respiratory illnesses,
Because pollution from traffic can exceed safe levels in parts
of Durham, the council is obliged to try and reduce it to help
Other places across the North East and Cumbria are having
to do the same thing, including in Carlisle, Gateshead,
Newcastle, South Tyneside, York and even Malton in
So we have to ensure that new development
Air pollution has therefore become a big issue and during a visit
to Durham, Green Party leader Caroline Lucas spelt out its dangers
to a public meeting and warned against council plans
Air-pollution absolutely is a silent and deadly killer and it's one
which local authorities, government as well, don't
I have yet to be persuaded that road-building is the answer,
because although it can look like a short-term fix,
what happens all too often is that the so-called relief road
then becomes congested itself and you end up having to build more
I would like this even prioritising instead public
But the Labour run council in Durham denies it isn't doing enough.
There are a number of projects we have been involved in,
But we also just introduced the SCOOT system, which is designed
to move through traffic on a more freely basis.
And obviusly that will cut down air-pollution by not wasting time
people being stood moving through the area.
So those are two schemes we have done.
Also, also, we are working on cycling routes and
Well, we did go have consultation, and asked the people,
the vast majority of people thought it was the right solution for
The government says it has invested almost ?1 billion
to encourage people to switch to low emission vehicles.
And it says it will update as quality plans next year
as a further measure to tackle air-pollution.
Vera Baird, a Labour council there standing accused of looking
for a solution to this as building more roads, that's not
No, what is a solution is some government action for once.
They have been taken to court four times now to get them to do some
serious clean air legislation, 2011, 2014, to Europe,
2015, the Supreme Court and just a week ago,
they were ordered a game to get a grip on nitrogen dioxide.
But it doesn't help with your local council just deciding
on a relief road, which may generate more traffic?
Local authorities have to work within their budget to do
We would like some fundamentally improved funding for public
We could extend the Metro, that would save a lot.
But basically, the government has declined to get a grip on this.
They have been criticised repeatedly by Europe and also by the courts.
Julian Smith, you are just not getting a grip on this?
Thousands of people are dying every year because of air-pollution.
Well, we have announced the clean air zones,
we have got a consultation on this issue, that launches in October.
And the big shift that is happening very rapidly is on the technology
changes in areas such as electric cars and a driverless cars
and in the Autumn Statement, two weeks ago, I was delighted
to see ?300 million going into that area and into investing into more
thinking on research and development for new technologies.
But the problem is, as Vera Baird mentioned the EU,
it is the EU limits at the moment that are the only things that
And even then, you are breaching them and being taken to court.
The suspicion is, post-Brexit, you might want to relax those limits.
Well, as you know, there will be a bill going through Parliament
in the New Year with regard to the transposition
It would be a great way of avoiding these court cases,
I think the important thing is what actions are being taken,
as I said, there's consultation at the moment, there are these clean
And the big push in terms of the technology is key.
We have also made huge strides on the international stage on Paris
climate change talks, on committing to the big
targets in this area and being a leader in that.
Vera Baird, they are doing what they can?
These are key threats to the public health of our cities and you mention
a range of diseases, lung disease to heart attack
and strokes are caused by these pollutants.
They have actually reduced from 12 clean air zones to five,
But you can't stand in the way of the economy?
And they are only intending to put them in place
at the time when they thought the European Commission
That is an express finding by a High Court judge.
That they were playing to that agenda and not doing it as fast
We will have to leave it there, we are running out of time.
And that's about it from us for this week.
We're back, same time, same place next Sunday when we'll be
still the biggest factor. We are running out of time.
Now, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was rebuked
by Downing Street this week - yes, again - after the Guardian
revealed he had accused Saudi Arabia of being among countries engaged
in fighting "proxy wars" in the Middle East, breaking
the Foreign Office's convention of not criticising a key UK ally
in the region and annoying the prime minister who'd just returned
The Defence Secretary Michael Fallon was asked about it
And let's be very clear about this, the way some of his remarks
were reported seemed to imply we didn't support the right
of Saudi Arabia to defend itself, and it is being attacked by Houthi
terrorists from over the border with Yemen,
didn't support what Saudi is doing in leading the campaign to restore
Some of the reporting led people to think that, and that is all...
This was simply the way it was reported and interpreted.
The way it was interpreted left people with the impression
that we didn't support Saudi Arabia and we do.
Well, Mr Johnson has been in the Saudi capital
Riyadh this morning, so how's he been received?
Our security correspondent Frank Gardner is in neighbouring
Bahrain, where Mr Johnson was earlier in the weekend.
It has probably been a long time since there has been such interest
in a British Foreign Secretary visiting the gulf region. What are
the political elites there making of it all? Well, they think to be
honest it is a bit of a storm in a tea cup this is a bit of a Whitehall
story, I think a lot of people I have spoken to tend to believe that
Number Ten have made such a fuss about this, that it has created a
story in itself. That said, though, I think that behind the scenes there
was a certain amount of damage limitation taking place between
London and Riyadh, a bit of smoothing of feathers and reassuring
and the Stade Saudis tell me they are reassured the message they are
taking is. Coming from Number Ten and they are not taking Boris
Johnson's comments to heart. He is in the dam, he has met the king, I
tweet add picture of that just a few minutes ago. He has been meeting
Crown Prince, and he is now meeting the Foreign Minister, so the Saudis
got an opportunity to brief him according to their vision of the
Middle East. They will share their security concern, which is not just
what is going on in Yemen, but they are very concerned about what they
see as Iranian expansionism, that has been a theme here at this
conference in Bahrain that Boris Johnson addressed only a day or two
ago. If we put aside Mr Johnson's supposed gaffes or even the Downing
Street slapping down of him, we have had the Prime Minister in the region
earlier this week, we have got Mr Johnson there now, can we yet divine
what the May Government strategy is in the Golf? -- Guff. In three
words, in Boris Johnson's words Britain is back. He was very quick
to say not in a jingoistic running up flags, new imperial list way,
although that is Howley be seen by some. He gave a very forceful speech
which seemed to go down well the gulf hosts here on Friday night
which said Britain made a strategic mistake in, after 1968 in
withdrawing east of Suez and it will reverse that decision, and invest ?3
billion over the next ten years in building up its military not bases
exactly but facilities -- facilities that are here in this part of the
world. There are currently 15 hundred hundred British servicemen
and women in this region, seven warships and so on. It isn't
entirely true to say Britain withdrew east of Suez because we
have had a military presence on and off here, the RAF had a base here in
Bahrain during the Gulf War of 91. In 2003, of course, British planes
and troops deployed from this area, but he and Theresa May are both
saying post-Brexit, Britain's big emphasis or one of the big pushes is
going to be to redouble its ties with gulf Arab nations, that isn't
going to come as an easy bit of new, I think, to human rights campaigners
and anti-arms campaigners because a large part of the ?7 billion of
bilateral trade Britain did with Saudi Arabia comes from arms deals
and those arms are being used in the conflict in Yemen, in some cases
with tragic consequences. Thank you very much for talking to us.
Instead of concentrating on Mr Johnson's gaffes, or Downing Street
reaction to it. Frank Gardner there has just given us a really important
development, or explained what the British are up to there now. They
want to be back in the gulf big time. Isn't that something we should
be debating and discussing? It is fascinating. It is yet another
example post-Brexit I would say this is someone who voted to Brexit, that
the world is changing, and Britain's role is going to be transformed
post-Brexit. I mean just on the Boris point, I completely agree, I
think a lot of it is ridiculous, in a Whitehall belt way stuff, but I
think what is really important about it, is that Number Ten feel
threatened by him, and the reason that these ridiculous gaffes and
many of them are not even gaffes are pounced upon is he is the main rival
for the Crown, so it is high level power play politics, and it is May
trying to keep him in his place. What do you make though, of Britain
is back in the gulf? That is the big story, is it not. Utterly bizarre,
post imperial fantasy, the idea we are back east of Suez? We are
breaking off from our closest ally, most like us, the rest of Europe,
democratic, decent human rights country, and instead we are allying
ourself to perilous, dangerous, unpleasant countries... Why should
we be back in the gulf? If that is the trade off, these are, you know,
these renasty kingdoms, petty unpleasant and unstable countries.
Don't we have to keep the straits open otherwise the oil supply
collapses and the world economy will go into the worst recession
depression ever? Don't we have to be involved in that We do, and I think
what happens is if we leave Europe and we need trade everywhere else,
we have to travel the world on our knees begging for friends from the
most unsavoury people, where ever they are, whether it is... You keep
saying we are leaving Europe, that is a geographic impossibility.
Britain is part of Europe, we are the... Not what Liam Fox is saying.
The key power in Nato, we are leaving the European Union, that is
a different Tring from Europe. I am trying to move away from Mr Johnson,
or even Downing Street to... You got yourself into a Brexit row.
Everything is through the prism of Brexit, even what you have for
breakfast, when you mix up the word like I did last week. What do you
make of what Frank Gardner told us? I am somewhere between the two. It
is a nighs the line say we are back in the Middle East and we will take
this part of the world seriously, the truth is our military is almost
tiny, it is smaller than it was in the Napoleonic wars, that is not a
huge amount more. Of course there S one of the two new aircraft
carriers, that will be deployed in the gulf, to help the Americans keep
the straits of her muz open, because it is in Europe's interest, not just
Britains, Europe's interest that these straits stay open, which is
more so than America. That is what FRANK was talking about. That is no
change, British foreign policy has been keeping the straits open... Now
we have the ability do it. We don't have an aircraft aier at the moment.
Nor do we have the fleet of ships it needs. It is a great thing to be
trade morgue with the Nice, to be turning -- Middle East, to be
turning round more tax revenues and the like. Even selling weapons. I
don't know what more can be done. You look at what has happened. BBC
has had horrific reports from the Yemen and if you look at what the
weapons are being used for, is that the trade we want? Right. Let us
move on. Mr Corbyn was giving a speech yesterday but he was
inter#ru79ded by Peter Tatchell. -- interrupted.
Peter, could we leave this to the questions please?
Peter, we are trying to make a speech here and then
Was Peter Tatchell right do that yesterday? It is a bit of a
distraction really. Jeremy Corbyn 17% in the polled is not going to be
able to change... You mean his personal rating. If you want to do
something about Syria you ought to be addressing the Government rather
than a failing Labour leader. Peter Tatchell's line was Labour in
general, Mr Corbyn in particular had not been vocal enough in condemning
what the Russians and their Assad allies are doing in Aleppo. It was
interesting Mr Corbyn had to ask Emily Thornberry if and when had
they condemned what the Russians were doing? It was unclear. Other
than Mrs Thornbury herself. There is a fascinating fault line in politics
which is the Trump administration, the way in which parts of the
British left have made themselves useful idiots once again for the
Kremlin and it its policies. I think more broadly, you consider all the
things we have been discussing, it is a national tragedy what is
happening to the Labour Party. You don't know whether to laugh or cry
watching that event. Corbyn was at a stop the war rally event only last
week, and they of course are very close to the Kremlin, they blame the
west, well they blame the west much more... They always blame the west.
And not the Russians. I agree Jeremy Corbyn having to check with Emily
Thornberry what the Labour Party's policy was on bombing Aleppo... If
and when they condemned it. He needs to no better. The fact that we are
talking about what was a pretty small scale protest, rather than
anything Corbyn said, shows he wasn't saying anything relevant. We
will get a huge amount of tweet saying the BBC are anti-Corbyn. I
understand that, that shouldn't intimidate us from saying, from
analysing what is happening, and here is one yard stick, of course it
is fundamentally the Government's choice, but it could be an indicator
of whether the Labour Party is relevant or not in only issues, in
reason pert Murdoch is making a take over bid for all of Sky and so far
you would have to bet, policy, that it is going to get through pretty
much unscathed. It is extraordinary. It is connected with Leveson, and
the fact that that has disappeared. That the idea of restraining the
press in any way at all, and virtual will I the whole of the press is
behind that, and it seems to go with allowing what wasn't allowed before.
He was judged as unfit before. He is as unfit now, to control that much
of the media, and as he was when he made the last bid for Sky. It is
time people stood up and said so. You look at the press he runs, the
cultural effect he has has on this country which has been appalling,
you know about this. Tom, I better let you have a word. I don't agree
at all Polly but the lesson for the Labour Party, is if they don't want
to have any influence at all, they have to be credible, and stand a
reasonable chance of becoming Prime Minister or becoming Government,
that is the only way they will get leverage. We need to leave it there.
I was going to say we will come back to it. We will see. The Daily
Politics will be back at noon tomorrow.
and we'll be back here next Sunday for the last show of 2016.
Remember - if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.
Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Former London mayor Ken Livingstone and former shadow chancellor Chris Leslie discuss Labour's electoral fortunes, and former chancellor Ken Clarke talks about rebelling over this week's Brexit vote. The Political Panel consists of Iain Martin of Reaction, Tom Newton Dunn of The Sun and Polly Toynbee of The Guardian.