30/04/2017 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss are joined by Labour elections coordinator Ian Lavery MP and Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood AM.

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It's Sunday Morning, and this is the Sunday Politics.


Theresa May says she has no plans to increase tax levels,


but refuses to repeat David Cameron's 2015 manifesto


promise ruling out hikes in VAT, national insurance and income tax.


The leaders of the EU's 27 member states unanimously


agree their negotiating strategy for the upcoming Brexit talks, but


And in the last of our series of interviews ahead of Thursday's


We are in Middlesbrough with the to the leader of Plaid Cymru Leanne


We are in Middlesbrough with the four candidates who want to be the


first elected mayor for the Tees They hit an all-time low


after coalition government, but are the Lib Dems


poised to bounce back, And with me to analyse


the week's politics, Isabel Oakeshott, Steve Richards,


Tom Newton-Dunn. They'll be tweeting


using the hashtag #bbcsp. So when Theresa May was interviewed


just over an hour ago on The Andrew Marr Show,


the Prime Minister was asked to confirm that she would repeat


David Cameron's 2015 election promise not to raise VAT,


national insurance and income tax We have absolutely no plans


to increase the level of tax, but I'm also very clear that I don't


want to make specific proposals on taxes unless I'm absolutely sure


that I can deliver on those. But it is, would be my intention


as a Conservative Government and a Conservative Prime Minister,


to reduce the taxes The Tories like to have a clear tax


message in elections, are they getting into a bit of a mess? That


method wasn't clear, but does it mean, saying they have no plans to


increase the level of tax? We are clear there will not be a rise in


VAT, a lot of commentators will get overexcited about that, but there


was no great expectations there would be a rise in VAT. Tempting as


it is, because even one percentage point on VAT rate is 4.5 billion for


the exchequer so it is tempting but there has been no speculation that


would happen. We can see that she clearly wants to reiterate the


language about hard-working families but I don't think we are that much


the wiser. Even if she does not put up rates, according to projections


the overall tax burden, as a percentage of GDP, is rising, will


rise in the years ahead. That is why it was an odd phrase, I know she is


doing it to be evasive but to say they have no plans to raise the


general level of taxation, they do have. We also know they have


specific plans because it was in the last budget, they had a tax rise


which they had to revise, National Insurance rises, so very wisely in


my view they are keeping options open, the 2015 tax-and-spend debate


was a fantasy world, totally unrelated to the demands that would


follow. They now have the flexibility, one of the arguments


you had heard last time was Philip Hammond saying to her, we have to


break away from the 2015 manifesto commitment and we can only do it


this way, that is one of the better arguments. The Tories like to talk


about tax cuts in elections, whether they do it is another matter, but


they are not being allowed to talk about tax cuts, they are now on the


defensive over whether they will raise taxes. That is not a healthy


position for the campaign to be in. If you look at the numbers, quite


frankly, if you will not do this at this election with eight 20 point


lead over Labour, then when will you take these tough decisions? Reading


between the lines of what Theresa May has said all over different


broadcasters this morning, income tax will go down for low-income


families, such as the threshold rise that microbes that was already


factored in. She has had to commit to it again. VAT will be fat,


national insurance contributions will go up. Do you think they will


go up? I think so, she had plenty of opportunity to rule it out and she


didn't. There was a terrible mess with the budget, it is a good tax


argument but not a good electoral argument that you are eroding the


base so heavily with people moving into self-employment that as you


raise national insurance contributions for everybody but the


self-employed, it is something the Treasury will have to look at. The


other triple lock on pensions, we don't know if they will keep to that


either? If they are sensible they will find a form of words to give


them flexibility in that area as well. I would say there is no


question over that, that has gone. As Mrs May would say, you will have


to wait for the manifesto. That is what all the party leaders tell me!


Labour have spent the weekend pushing their messages


Speaking at a camapign rally in London yesterday,


Jeremy Corbyn promised a Labour government would fix what he called


People are fed up, fed up with not being able to get somewhere to live,


fed up waiting for hospital appointments, fed up with 0-hours


contracts, fed up with low pay, fed up with debt, fed up with not being


able to get on in their lives because we have a system that is


rigged against so many. I've been joined from Newcastle


by Labour's elections and campaigns co-ordinator,


Ian Lavery. Good morning. To deal with this


rigged economy, as Mr Corbyn calls it, the Shadow Chancellor John


McDonnell has a 20 point plan for workers out today. When you add up


everything he plans to do to help workers, how much will it cost? The


full costings, one thing I need to say at the very beginning, the


costings of any policy which we have already ruled out and any policy we


will be ruling out in the next few days and weeks will be fully costed


in the manifesto and in addition to the fact that it will be fully


costed, we will see it in the manifesto how indeed it has been


funded, so we are very clear, anything we have seen already, and


there are some exciting policy releases and there will be more in


the future, anything we are going to do will be fully costed and in the


manifesto. You announced a 20 point plan but cannot tell me what the


costs will be this morning so at the moment it is a menu without prices?


It is not a menu without prices, it is a fantastic opportunity. This 20


point plan is something which will transform the lives of millions of


millions of people in the workplace... But what is the cost?


It will be welcomed by many people across the UK. The fact the costings


have not been released, you will have to be patient, it will be


released very clearly, it will identify that in the manifesto. Let


me come down to one of the points, the end of the public sector pay


freeze. Can you give us any idea how much that will cost? The end of the


public sector pay freeze, so important to the future of the


Labour Party, it is an massive policy decision. Let me say at this


stage, Theresa May, the Prime Minister, this morning, on The


Andrew Marr Show, did not have the common decency, courtesy all respect


to condone the fact that nurses, the heroes of the NHS, have had a


reduction of nearly 14% in their wages since 2010 and are using food


banks to feed themselves! Does that not say everything that is wrong


with today's society? So can you tell me what it will cost, which is


what my question was? What I will say is everything the Labour Party


pledges, everything that we come out with, what we will roll out between


now and the 8th of June, will be fully costed, people will be very


much aware of how much the costings will be, where the funding will come


from, when the manifesto is published. What about doubling


paternity leave, nu minimum wage, four new bank holidays, any idea


what it will cost? These are exciting new


proposals and of course today cost money but we are the sixth richest


economy in the world. It is about redistribution of the wealth we


create. We are seeing growth in the economy, it is how we utilise the


finances in the best way we possibly can for a fairer society for the


many and not the few. You just can't tell me how much it will cost? That


is why I will repeat again that you need to be very patient. Do you know


the cost yourself? You are the head of the campaign, do you know the


cost of these things yourself? I am very much aware of how much the


costings are likely to be, they have been identified, they will be


published in the manifesto. You really do understand I would not be


releasing today, live on your show, any costings or predictions with


regards the manifesto. Why not? You have released the policy, why not


the cost? Because there is a fine detail and we will identify it to


the general public in the manifesto. We not only explain how much it will


cost but we will explain where the funding comes from. Be patient. Will


some of the costs be met by increasing taxes? I would think at


this point in time there is not any indication to increase basic taxes


and again the taxes and spending of the Labour Government with the


proposals of the 20 point plan, the issues we have got, housing, the


NHS, crime, education will all be identified with the costings in the


publication. Can you tell us this morning, we'll tax for most people


rise or not to finance this? We in the Labour Party are looking to a


fair tax system which will be clearly identified in the manifesto.


Mr McDonnell also wants to ban all 0-hours contracts. Would that


include those who actually like those contracts? There are nearly 1


million, depending on which figured you'd use, there are nearly 1


million people on zero-hours contract and the vast proportion of


those want to be able to live a decent life, a secure life, they


want to understand whether they will be at work the next day, they're


included hours... I understand a lot of people don't like zero-hours


contract and your proposal will address that, but there are those, I


saw one survey where 65% of people on zero-hours contract like the


flexibility it gives them. Will you force them off zero-hours contract


or if they like them will they continue with them? We will discuss


it with employee is to make sure individuals in the workplace have


the right to negotiate hours in that workplace. Guaranteed hours is very,


very important. Zero-hour contracts are an instrument in which employers


abuse and exploit mainly young people, mainly female people in the


workplace. We would be banning zero-hour contract. But there are


those, students for example, who like them, would they be forced off


zero-hour contracts in your proposal? Our proposal would be


banning zero-hour contract and introducing contracts which have set


hours in the workplace. You also say no company will be able to bid for a


public contract unless the boss earns no more than 20 times the


lowest paid, or the average wage, I'm not quite sure which. What would


happen if British Aerospace bids to build more joint strike Fighters and


the boss is paid more than 20 times? I understand the point you raise but


we have an obscene situation in this country, Andrew, in which the bosses


at the very top make an absolute fortune... But what would happen


then? Who would build joint strike Fighters... The difference in wages


between the top earners in the country and the people in the


factories, in the workshops, producing the goods, is vast. I


understand that is the reason you want a ratio. What I am saying is,


what happens if the ratio is greater? Who gets the contract if


not British Aerospace? Who else builds the planes? We are going to


introduce a wage rate CEO of one to 20. -- wage ratio. We want to close


the gap between the people at the very top and people who produce the


goods. Let me try one more Time, who would build the joint strike


fighter? We would look at the issue as it came along but the policy is


clear... Can you name a single defence contractor weather boss'


salary is less than 20 times average earnings? We are not reducing, we


have rolled that out as part of this fantastic plan to transform society


to get rid of discrimination, to try and bring together our communities.


We will introduce a pay ratio of one to 20. Fair enough, thank you very


much. It's a month after the triggering


of Article 50, and EU leaders - with the exception of Britain -


met in Brussels this weekend to agree their opening negotiating


stance, to get the divorce It is inside this psychedelic


chamber where Britain's 'Grexit' future will be decided over the next


two years, but there is a vast gulf in rhetoric coming from the UK and


the EU. With parallel narratives emerging for both sides. There is


broad agreement that an orderly withdrawal is in the interests of


both sides. But Theresa May's position is that the terms of our


future trade deal should be negotiated alongside the terms of


our divorce. Meanwhile the EU says the terms of the UK's exit must be


decided before any discussion on a future trade deal can begin. But


don't forget that divorce settlement. Don't remind me. In


Brussels, many think written should pay even more, while in the UK


ministers said the divorce bill should be capped at 3 billion. After


you. Thank you. For are you looking forward to it?


Isn't that divorce bill a bit high? Isn't this about punishing Britain?


We are very united, you all seem so surprised but it's a fact. How soon


can we get a deal? We have to wait for the elections. It was the


decision of Mrs May. It took over an hour for the leaders to make their


entrances but once inside it's just a few minutes to agree the


negotiating guidelines. They set out three main areas. The first phase of


talks on the divorce settlement will deal with the existing financial


commitments to the EU, the Northern Ireland border and the rights of EU


citizens in the UK. They said a UK trade agreement can be discussed


when the first phase of talks reaches significant progress. And


that there must be unity in the negotiations, that individual EU


members won't negotiate separately with the UK. They are quite good


here at negotiating because they are used to it. They set a maximum and


then they have to recede a little bit depending on what the other side


is prepared to offer. I think there is room for manoeuvre in some


issues, but I don't think some of the baseline things will change that


much. For example I don't think the European Union will concede on the


rights of citizens who are already in the UK. It will be very difficult


for them to accept that they will not be any exit bill, and the


question of Northern Ireland is very important as well, the hard order


question. The baseline things are not going to move that much, then


you have room for manoeuvring between. On security, defence and


the fight against terrorism, the guidelines said the EU stands ready


to work together. And after lunch, friendly signs from some EU leaders


as they gave individual press conferences. Paul and said the talks


should open doors to new opportunities and even German


Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had earlier said some in Britain were


deluded about Brexit, softened her tone saying there was no conspiracy


against the UK. Unity was the buzzword at this summit and for once


everybody seemed to be sticking to the script. That unity is not only


amongst the 27 states, it's also among the institutions so many of


the divisions we have seen in the past at European level do not exist.


That is very important and it's not be unity that is directed somehow


against the UK because I think we all want this to be an orderly


process and part of that is that the EU side is unified. So although


there are no surprises here, what took place in this room was a


significant step towards the real Brexit negotiations which will begin


soon after the general election in June, said to be the most complex


the UK has faced in our lifetimes. Isabel, Steve and Tom


are still with me. Isabel, doesn't the British media


have to be a bit careful here? We would never take at face value


anything a British politician tells us. We would question it, put it in


context and wonder if they are bluffing, but we seem to take at


face value anything a European politician says about these


negotiations. You only have to look at the front page of the Sunday


Times today to see that. They quoted at length Juncker, who didn't like


the food at the reception and this and that, and I think the mood is


very optimistic. The key thing is the EU trade Commissioner has said


we will get a free trade deal and a lot of people seem to be wilfully


ignoring that incredibly big concession. That is what will happen


in their view. Everything that is said at the moment needs a slight


rerun over. They are all in negotiating positions, plus we seem


to be completely unaware that they all have their own domestic


constituencies as well. Angela Merkel has an important election


coming up in September, Euroscepticism is quite different


from Britain of course, but there's a different kind of euro scepticism


in Germany, she has got to deal with that. Of course she has, which is


why you are right, nothing should be taken too seriously out of the


mouths of British politicians or European politicians until October


this year. We have got to wait for the French elections, then German


elections, and if you look through this you can see a way forward.


There's no trade talks until pay up, but what was actually written was no


trade talks until we make significant progress on the money.


You can define significant progress in a lot of ways but come December,


fireworks over the summer, we all get very excited about it, in these


chairs I'm sure, come December things will look a lot smoother. The


German elections are at the end of September but I've seen reports in


German press, depending how it goes it could take until Christmas before


a new coalition government is put together. The Brussels long-standing


negotiating tactic of nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,


then I guess the British could say we agree a certain sum of money if


that's what it takes but that depends on them, what good trade


deal we get. If we don't get that, the sum of money is off the table.


In that sense, the two are going parallel. However, I wouldn't


entirely dismiss what people are saying in their pre-election periods


to their own electorates because they have to some extent to deliver


subsequently. Of course Angela Merkel is campaigning and


electioneering, who wouldn't, she has a tough election to fight, but


she is measured and thoughtful and when she says things like some of


the British are delusional, that is unusually strong language for her.


What was she referring to? I don't know, it wasn't specific. Have the


cake and eat it perhaps the sequencing the British don't want.


When they thought the British government was going to effectively


demand membership of the single market, that's not going to happen


now. Unless you sign up to the four pillars, that's the cake and eat it


proposition, which they are right in saying Theresa May has made. But


everybody has access, even with no deal you have access. The other side


of it is I think there will be a united position from them. And so,


as somebody pointed out in that report, they are experienced, tough


negotiators, so I don't think it will be quite as easy as some think.


I spoke to one of those who drew up Article 50 and they said to me they


deliberately put this two year timetable in to make it impossible


for anybody to think about leaving. This is really tight, this


negotiation. Easy, it isn't. This coming Thursday,


voters up and down the country will be going to the polls in this


year's local elections. Over the past few weeks I've


interviewed representatives of the Conservative Party,


Labour, the Liberal Democrats, Today it's the turn


of Plaid Cymru and the SNP. A little earlier I spoke


Alex Salmond, who until 2014 I started by asking him why Scots


should vote SNP in local elections when the Scottish Government had


just cut central Government funding It's actually a funding increase


going into Scottish councils this year, and if you look at the funding


position for example between Scottish councils and those in


England, which are obviously directly related through the Barnett


formula, the funding in Scotland has been incomparably better than that


in England so there's a whole range of the -- of reasons... What's


happening south of the border indicates the protection the


Scottish Parliament has been able to put in that helps vital services in


Scotland. But there hasn't been a funding increase, the block grant


from Westminster to Edinburgh was increased by 1.5% in real terms but


the grant to councils was cut by 2.6%. It was going to be a cut of


330 million, the Greens got you to reduce it to 170 million but it is


still a cut of 2.6%. Your own Aberdeenshire Council has had a cut


to 391 million. You have cut the money to councils. Yes, but councils


have available to them more resources this year, and as you say


the budget increased that further which is why we put forward an


excellent local government budget in Aberdeenshire and resisted a Tory


attempts to knock ?3 million off... You asked me about Aberdeenshire,


and Aberdeenshire has put forward a budget for investment expansion and


resisted a Tory attempts to knock ?3 million off the education budget,


and I'm very grateful you have given me the opportunity to make that


point. The Government in Edinburgh has cut the money to Aberdeenshire


by ?11 million. It is a cut. But there is an investment budget in


Aberdeenshire that has been made available by the ability to increase


the council tax by 2.5% after a nine-year freeze in Scotland, and


that has brought more resources into local government and that's why the


butchered in Aberdeenshire has been an investment budget including


protection of the education budget in the face of a Tory and liberal


attempt to cut bit. You have to compare what is happening in


Scotland and England, and there's no doubt Scottish local authorities


have been much better funded than those in England over the last few


years and that's been the ability of the Scottish Government to protect


the services at local level. A good reason for voting SNP. If they have


been so well funded, why after a decade of SNP rule do one in five


Scottish pupils leave primary school functionally illiterate? You have


got to take these things... Nicola Sturgeon has made it a top priority


to address these challenges but let's take another statistic. 93% of


Scottish kids are now emerging from school to positive destinations,


that means to further education, apprenticeships or work. Why are one


in five functionally illiterate? You argue one statistic, I'm arguing


Scottish education is putting in some substantially good performances


like the 93% going on to positive destinations. You can't have a


failing education system if you have got that 93%, and incidentally a


record low youth unemployment in Scotland without the second lowest


unemployment rate in Europe. These pupils are being prepared by the


Scottish education system. Let's take the figures in the round on


education. It's so important. Under your watch, under your government,


the Scottish schools in the most important global comparison have


fallen from tenth to 19th in science, and 11 to 24th in maths,


that is a record of decline and failure. That is by the OECD and


first questions about that, but the OECD has also described Scotland is


one of the best educated societies in the world. That was from the


school system in previous years gone by. For those who are currently in


Scottish schools, you have fallen from 11th to 24th in mathematics.


The OECD was commenting on introduction of the new curriculum


for excellence in which they have given a resounding thumbs up to it,


and that's the same source as the rankings which you are comparing.


Nicola Sturgeon has said there are challenges on Scottish education,


particularly the access through the education system and the attainment


gap but don't tell me it's failing when 55% of our pupils have gone on


to higher education. That's one of the most impressive figures in the


world. Why have you cut 4000 teachers? The pupil numbers in


Scotland have been falling over recent years as well and now of


course we are increasing the number of people going through teachers


training so we can make sure that number increases, but listen, the


Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament, as you very well know,


are subject to real terms spending cuts over the last few years and all


public services have been under pressure. The main reason in terms


of teacher numbers has been an attempt on the Scottish Government


to protect the teacher pupil ratio, and that will now be enhanced by a


further taker -- intake. You promised you would reduce primary


class sizes to 18 and instead they are now 23.5 and rising. You broke


that promise. You didn't mention where we started from. We have kept


the teacher pupil ratio very solid in Scotland and that's been against


a range of public expenditure cuts but the new intake of teachers into


the new teacher training in Scotland I think will enhance the system.


You have spent in the pasty in Hollywood 43 hours on Government


time debating independence. How many hours have you debated education on


Government time? I don't have that they get a hand... The answer is


zero, you have spent zero-hours debating education on Government


time. Isn't it time the SNP got back to concentrating on the day job?


Andrew, as you very well know Nicola Sturgeon has identified a key


priority, closing the attainment gap in Scottish education. That is


exactly what she has done. Let me answer the question, it is difficult


to be in a remote location, if you talk before I answer the question


then the view was will not be able to listen. I let you answer that


without saying a word. Is this general election about independence,


as you say it is, or not about independence, as Mrs Sturgeon says


it is? No, I have said exactly the same as Nicola Sturgeon on that. The


issue what independence will be decided in a national referendum of


the Scottish people. The mandate for that referendum was gained in last


year's Scottish elections. What this election is about is backing the


right of the Scottish parliament to exercise that mandate and also


providing real opposition to this Tory Government and allowing the


Scottish Parliament to reverse austerity and some of the public


expenditure cutbacks you have been talking about, that is what this is


about, backing our Scottish Parliament.


Alex Salmond, speaking to me earlier.


I'm now joined by the leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood.


You accuse the Government of wanting an extreme Brexit, those are your


words. What is the difference between hard Brexit and extreme


Brexit? My concern is the way in which we leave the European Union


could be very damaging to Wales if, for example, there are tariffs


introduced then that would have a real impact in terms of Welsh jobs,


and I want to make sure that we have a Brexit that doesn't cause the


damage to Wales that could be caused. But what is the difference


between extreme and hard? Anything that puts Welsh jobs at risk is


either extreme or hard and unacceptable to Plaid Cymru, and we


will do what we can to protect those jobs. You want Wales to remain a


member of the single market even if the UK isn't, which would mean Wales


having to accept the free movement of people, still being under the


jurisdiction of the European Court, and you also want to stay in the


customs union which means you could not do your own free trade deals.


What is the difference between that and being a member of the European


Union? We would be like Norway, outside the European Union and


inside the single market. The key question is the issue of jobs and


the ability to continue to trade. Wales exports, we are the biggest


exporter in the whole of the UK, so there are many jobs reliant upon


those goods being able to be sold to the single market. Is it central to


the UK? Out of the four countries that make up the UK...


Proportionally, yes. If you remain in the single market, it is hard to


see how Wales could stay in the single market if the UK -- when the


rest of the UK was not, you cite Norway, that has free movement, it


has to be said, it effectively have to accept the jurisdiction of the


European Court, it is not in the customs union so it can do some of


its own free trade deals, but the Welsh people voted to leave. We have


to accept the principle of free movement if there is not going to be


a hard border between the north and south of Ireland. There is going to


be free movement within Ireland and therefore freedom of movement, as we


said in the referendum campaign, would be very, very difficult to


rule out. You lost that campaign, as you know, Wales voted to leave, 17


Council areas voted to leave, only five voted to remain. Doesn't it


explain why your party is going nowhere? A majority in Wales voted


to leave but you effectively want to support that and de facto remain in


the EU? I don't accept that, we accepted the result but Plaid Cymru


now is about defending Wales. There are so many risks facing our people


from the jobs perspective, the privatisation perspective, the cuts


perspective, and from the fact that the Tories would like to grab power


was back from our National Assembly, so the key point... If you look at


the Wales bill that went through recently, the list of reserved


powers there suggests there are some powers currently within the Welsh


Assembly jurisdiction that would be dragged back. Which power was will


Westminster take back? They could take powers back over the NHS, for


example. There is no indication they want to do that. The Tories have


attacked the Welsh NHS. That is my point! Quite viciously. If they


increase their mandate, I wouldn't put it past them to try to take


power was back over the NHS and then of course we risk our NHS being


privatised though this election is all about defending Wales,


protecting Welsh people from further privatisation and cuts and a power


grab from the Tories. Why is there never a breakthrough for your party,


Plaid Cymru? Labour dominated in Wales for years, the Tories do quite


well, Ukip had a surge for a while, it looks like the Tories will have


another surge, never you, always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Wait


until Thursday and I think you will see that in many parts of Wales we


will increase our representation at a local council level. In the


Rhondda, where I am assembly member, we are looking to increase our


representation... You are only 13% in the polls will stop which is half


of even the Tories in Wales! If you don't breakthrough in the selection,


if the real problem is going nowhere, do you think you will pack


it in? Robert Green not, I have a job to do, a vision of Wales which


is about building up our nation and standing on our own two feet and my


job is not done yet. Thank you for being with us as part of your job,


we will see how it goes on Thursday. It's just gone 11.35,


you're watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers


in Scotland who leave us now Hello and welcome to your


local part of the show. The clue is in the iconic


transporter Bridge. We have come out of the studio


and we are in Middlesbrough. Voters across much of the Northeast


and all of Cumbria will go to the polls on Thursday


to elect local councillors. But something different


is happening here. People will be choosing


the first ever elected mayor But are people


interested in the role? Will they engage in a contest


which could be drowned out by the hubbub of


the general election campaign. Who better to ask than the four


candidates who are standing who have hopefully talked to lots of voters


over the last couple of weeks. Sue Jeffrey, Labour


candidate, first of all. Now, it is a tough sell with any


new job, but voters interested in this when you talk


to them about it? In the first couple


of weeks, perhaps not. But now I'm knocking on doors


and getting a lot of responses People are actually seeing


the benefits of us standing together, 660,000 people,


actually starting to do something for the Tees Valley around jobs,


the economy, skills, transport. So, yes, I think people


are getting it now. Chris Foote Wood for the Liberal


Democrats, you are a veteran What is engagement like in this one,


compared to others? It is obvious that there


is going to be a low turnout. It is something new and people don't


understand what it is about. But I want to get across the point


that this is something real. Scotland and Wales have done


very well on devolution. Now Tees Valley is getting


its own form of devolution. This is happening,


whether you agree with it or not. You have an opportunity to choose


someone who will have real power and bring real,


new money into the area. Let's talk now to John Tennant,


the Ukip candidates. You have said that you would hold


a referendum on whether So presumably, you are not convinced


the public are on board with this? Because we were never asked


whether we wanted to be part I am the only candidate


here offering a referendum to give people a chance to have their say


on whether they want First and foremost,


that is democracy. It should be upheld and I am


the democracy candidate. We may discuss later whether that


referendum would be binding But Ben Houchen,


for the Conservatives, of course Theresa May called


this general election. Does that make it a tougher


sell for use yet people interested in your candidacy


all the election in general? On top of my key pledge to buy


back Teesside airport, We find that people are really


engaging in it because we are now at a point, given that it is Sunday


today, that we have less than a week We have had for too long,


Labour politicians, local authorities that have destroyed


the area for decades and no better example of that and the ruination


of Teesside airport. So that has really engaged people


and I think people have really Another issue on which we will be


hearing from Labour later on that. Deals could not be agreed to bring


these mayors to either Cumbria or the North East with ministers,


but Tees Valley will join the likes of Manchester and the West Midlands


who will be getting this new role. David McMillan has


been taking a look. What is this place


called the Tees Valley? Stockton and Middlesbrough


in the middle, Cleveland in the east, Hartlepool in the north


and in the west, Darlington. And the new mayor is going to get


new powers over things I transport, skills and the economy and also


getting new money. The mayor needs to engage


in a new kind of conversation with electors in the region so that


residents have really got a voice in how some part of that


mayoral budget is spent. So what could the mayor do with this


new money and power? Many people would like to


see a new road bridge But the budget is not


going to stretch that far. What it will pay for are detailed


plans and architectural designs, giving the mayor more clout


when they ask the government There are things that the mayor has


direct control over. They can take charge of the buses


if they want to and they will be in charge of adult skills,


deciding what has to be taught to meet the demands


of the local job market. The mayor will also be the face,


the name, the chief ambassador of the Tees Valley, selling


the region to potential visitors, The Tees Valley makes


an important contribution It's part of the really successful


story of exports of the North East. If we have a mayor who can talk


about the whole of the Tees Valley, about all the places,


their contributions, Finally, the mayor is a kind


of Tees Valley tactician, deciding what sort of development


should go where to benefit So they will need a strategy


for business and industry. They will need a plan


for culture and tourism. They will have to decide what sort


of housing is required The mayor will be based


here at Cavendish House in Stockton and ultimately,


all of this is about insuring more of the decisions that matter


to the Tees Valley are made We move inside to the Transporter


Bridge Visitor Centre, Let's explore some of the issues


and powers involved in this new job. Chris Foote Wood, we have already


talked about a worrying lack of engagement from the public,


but you have three years in your What is the one thing that


you would say you could achieve in those three years that would make


a difference to people's lives? There are so many things that


you can do, even in three years. But in the first year,


even in the first week, there are things that can be done,


for example, the South Tees Development Corporation,


which is one of a number which the mayor will be able to set


up, it is already in being but it I want to see something happening


on the SSI site of Redcar. We really need to get


moving on that. And we need to lay plans


for these new bridges across the Tees which will,


in a few years' time, make a complete transformation


for people to travel around the Tees Valley.


OK. We will return to some


of those is use. Ben Houchen, what is


the one thing... I have a feeling I know


what the answer is going to be! What is the one thing you think


you can achieve in three years? Apart from the combined authorities'


target that they have set themselves to create 25,000 jobs over the next


period, I think we have But as a personal commitment that


I want to achieve over the next three years,


it is to buy back Teesside airport. I think the absolute disgrace


that this has become under Labour run local authorities,


the sell-off in the mid-2000s, has ruined our local airport


and we are at the final stage where we have a last chance


and within this week we have a final The service is going


from the airport already. You don't know whether you can


deliver it and there are other ways of getting that airport


revived, aren't there? No, I think we really


are at that last chance saloon. We have had for too long,


Labour and authorities, for which all the leaders


of the council says on the board authorities, for which the leaders


of the council sit on the board, of the council sit


on the board, of the airport, If we let this chance go,


the airport will go. I have said it before,


and I will say it again. We need a new, fresh idea and if I'm


elected on the 4th of May, Sue Jeffrey for Labour,


you might want to deal with that, but let's also hear what is the one


thing you think you could deliver in three years that would make


a difference to people? I have made it absolutely clear


that my key priority is jobs, bringing jobs back to the Tees


Valley. 25,000 new jobs over


the next ten years. It is already in place,


we have a strategic economic plan But more importantly,


I have been working, leading the team that is revitalising


the South Tees steel site And I am working with a range


of business leaders, industrialists, to try and find ways to get


that investment in. And I am also working


with government on that and I think that is a key role for the mayor,


work with partners, what with government,


key people in the area This is crucial, can a mayor


actually deliver jobs? Can it get somebody into work?


Yes. Or can they just sit


around planning things? What I'm already doing is I'm


talking to the industry that are likely to want to come


and invest on that site. I'm encouraging them to come


and look at that site and work with me and to pull together


packages of incentives that will enable them


to want to bring their investment But I can't stop without


mentioning the airport. The fact is, the airport


is going to be a thriving airport. It will be one that will work


with the people of the Tees Valley. But we won't do that by wasting


the money of the Tees Valley people by buying that airport,


we will do it by using the money of the Tees Valley people


to invest in that airport. Where is the evidence that


Durham Tees Valley Airport, Teesside Because we have seen


a dramatci fall in passengers At least there is a plan there,


your plan is just hope and wait for private companies


to do something? I have a very clear plan,


not just about investing in the airport itself,


about investing in the business So there are a whole range


of business opportunities. They can grow and thrive if we get


the right incentives packages there. There is the whole issue around


transport links to that airport, Already there are proposals


on the cards for investment in that station to make sure that it comes


back to a situation where we can start getting people


going back to the airport. But most importantly,


it is the links to the Heathrow expansion and again,


I have been talking to people about how we can link


into the Heathrow expansion But that won't happen


in the first three years. Things are starting


to happen around that now, since the decline started


at Teesside airport. It is only now that she is standing


at me that for some reason Can I say that that


is complete nonsense. We have been working to deliver


improvements in that airport over the last number of years


and the fact is, we have been having to deal with a very


difficult economic situation. We are now in a circumstance


where we can see an opportunity It has been a one-party


state in Teesside... There is no evidence of you guys


ever doing anything. You, Sue, gave planning permission


for 350 houses to be built right next to the airport,


which is going to stop expansion of the airport.


You are on the board. You made the application,


and you are going to ruin I was not on the board


when the decision was made to secure The issue is how do we invest


in the airport to deliver a thriving airport that will secure the future


that we all want for it? John Tennant, we will let you talk


about the airport as well, but again, if you get this job,


you have raised doubts about whether you think


it is a worthwhile job, but let's say that


you have to do it. What is the one thing you think


you could achieve in three years First of all, I think it's very


important that everybody has a say in whether they want to be part


of this combined authority, so I would deliver that referendum


before I was given a mandate... I want to check with


you on that before we move on. It would not be binding,


it would cost money. Because the government


have the decision in the end. So you can give an indication of it,


but what a waste of money. You have got two ways


of looking at this. Either we use taxpayers' money


to give people a real voice, all we waste it


on buying an airport. Or we try and build a super bridge


that we cannot afford. Or do we use some of that money


to give people a voice? I think that is the most


important thing. And you would be handing back


this ?15 million a year ?15 million a year is a drop


in the ocean for the entire region. Let's say you hold a referendum


and people are suddenly enthusiastic about this job,


you have to do it. What is the one thing you would do


to make a difference in three years? I would like to see a Metro system


delivered in this area. Obviously that will take


longer than three years but I would like to get


the groundwork going on that and that will help industry starts


thriving again and get You would have to speak to various


different companies, different parts of the private


sector and speak to Westminster to put together a credible plan


for building a Metro system. Somebody has to get it


started and that can be me. But, John, you can't have a metro


system without a bridge. You have rubbished the bridge,


but without the bridge, we cannot have a Metro loop system


around the Tees Valley. Chris Foote Wood, let's


deal with the bridge. We are sat next to


the Transporter Bridge. A Middlesbrough company started


last century to fund But the truth is that


you cannot fund a bridge You still have to go cap


in hand to the government. Where is the power and independence


of a mayor who says, I would like a bridge,


I can draw up a plan, but I still have to persuade


ministers to fund it? Well, whoever builds a bridge,


it has got to come primarily I would say, look at


the Humber Bridge which goes from nowhere to nowhere,


which was still built. We have a bridge here that


could bring prosperity to the region and have everybody travelling around


on a Metro system. Every successful city


as a Metro system. We need that, and to get that,


we must have a bridge. It is an irrefutable argument


and as long as we make that argument stronger,


we have as much right as anybody else to have one


of these structures built. We have built bridges all over


the world, why can't Can I tell you the actual


circumstances about the bridge? What has happened is that we have,


as part of our involvement in an organisation called Transport


for the North, we have secured funding from government


to do a feasibility study Once we have completed


that feasibility study, we will be making a bid


to government for the It is really important


that as the Tees Valley, we stand together and say that


that is an essential part It is not about going cap in hand


anywhere, we have already got ourselves in a situation


that we have the I am now absolutely funding


that we had to make their bid -- I am now absolutely certain that


we have to make the bed and we will get the funding.


Ben Houchen, it was the Conservative government to try to sell his idea


But John Tennant is right, ?15 million a year in this fund


In isolation, ?15 million a year is not a amount when you take


But a lot of that money can be front-loaded.


We are looking at leveraging that against the Northern


I will be speaking to the operators of the Teesside pension fund.


I think we can build a war chest of more than half ?1 billion


which then gives us a critical mass to invest across the region.


That sounds like a hell of a lot of borrowing.


I thought the Conservatives didn't like borrowing.


The borrowing is guaranteed against income the government


So in the same way that if you know you have guaranteed income over 30


years of which we get ?15 million a year, then what we are saying


is that we are going to borrow that to get it sooner,


to be able to invest more heavily in the short-term,


knowing that we can guarantee that income in the long-term.


John Tennant, you were not convinced by that?


I'm not convinced because it is more borrowing while there are paying


Debts to invest in the infrastructure of the area


and benefit the economy, that has got to be a good thing?


And you are in favour of turning them down and saying I don't


No, I am in favour of saying that people have a voice first.


We know that you personally am not convinced by the role.


So you would turn down, if you had the choice,


that ?15 million a year and powers to make a difference


Know, in the short term I would have to accept it and get


But crucially, people must have their say


And there is no point all of us burying our heads in the sand


First of all, a referendum would cost us ?1 million.


And I firmly believe that that million pounds can be spent


But secondly, there seems to be a complete misunderstanding


about the money that is available to the combined authority


There is actually an investment pot of ?450 million before we even start


And that is made up of a range of funding pots including European


money, skills money, money to support people


A whole range of things and that ?450 million is earmarked,


much of it, for schemes which I will be promoting


In terms of the 15 million, that can be used to borrow,


but unfortunately, this Conservative government has failed to give us


the power to enable that borrowing to take place yet.


And I have been talking to ministers over the last six months or so,


saying, when we going to get these powers, and they


I think one of the first thing is that the mayor will have to do


is put pressure on the Conservative government, if there is one,


to ensure that we get the borrowing powers.


The next thing I was going to raise with Chris Foote Wood, is...


We all accept that I have the mayor has not got the powers


they need to do everything, but what is the one power


unit of the government for if you were to become Mayor?


-- what is the one power you would ask the government for?


The extra power, and extra is quite right, we do need the power


to borrow and every organisation that develops does it by borrowing.


There is nothing wrong with that as long as it is secured.


If you look at Scotland and Wales, they were set up with a certain


They have both increased their powers and I'm certain that


We are a long way from Scotland and Wales, we are a long way


from London, in terms of the powers on offer!


What I'm saying is, they increased those powers.


And when we get this new system going and it is real devolution,


not as much as Scotland and Wales but will make a difference,


when we proven and I think three of the people around this table


think it is going to work, and make it work, then we can say


History has shown that when you set something up, extra powers come.


Ben Houchen, you have heard the criticism of the government


Would there be a power you would see?


-- would that be a power that you would seek?


What would be the extra power you would see?


That is definitely a power that I would seek but it is important


to look at as part of this package, rather than looking at specific


Sue is in denial, on the 8th of June, we will re-elect


the Conservative government with a vast increase majority.


That means we will have a Conservative government


and the best opportunity for this region to gain even more powers


and more autonomy is to elect a Conservative mayor.


So they will only deal with Conservatives?


No, I don't think that is true at all.


But I think anybody would be remiss to think that it would be easier


into Whitehall with Conservative colleagues and say, I am leader


across the Tees Valley, these are the powers that we need.


It is easier putting out an open door rather than a closed door.


You would, because you are head of the combined authority!


I'm already having those conversations and I think the key


is you that a mayor is having to deal with is dealing with people


from all colours of the political spectrum and all places


And that pragmatism to negotiate with whoever you need to is very


important and I think that needs to be recognised.


John Tennant, you're not a fan, but if there was one power


you could deliver that would persuade you that the mayor


It's not about powers, it's about representation.


we have the Conservatives talking about having colleagues in


Westminster, that means they will do their bidding. We have Labour who


worry 1-party state in teeth Valley. -- in the Tees Valley. We have the


ability to put pressure on to the government. We have succeeded in the


past and we can do it again. In terms of my extra power... ? I think


you told us! Very briefly. The really important one is funding for


skills. We need to have control over skills funding if we are to give our


young people opportunities to get the jobs we will create. Also, if


you ask for more powers, you have to ask for a greater salary to deal


with those powers... Lets not deal with that. Can I just say? No,


because there is another issue I want to. The electoral system means


that the voters have two votes. Who would be your second choice, Chris


Foote Wood? Who would you advise voters to vote for? That is entirely


for people to decide. Who is your personal preference? Everybody has a


first and second preference. Would you cast your vote for the person


you want to be mayor, then you look at the other three and by


definition, you choose the least worst option. And in your view, who


is that? I won't answer that but I urge people to use both their votes


otherwise it will be danger -- there will be a danger as happened in


Middlesbrough because the Labour candidate got one third of the boat


and got elected because other people did not use their second boat. Full


out of these esteemed colleagues would you put second? I think the


people the watch and vote for it if you wouldn't believe is... Who would


be your second choice? I wouldn't offer advice. Ben Houchen,? I don't


do tactical voting. What I would say is if you want to have a sieve


ensures it is overseeing the Labour Party because it is between me and


the Labour Party. The Labour Party already run the five local


authorities. If people are happy with the way the area has been run


over the last 30 to 40 years, we need to look at that again. John


Tennant? I take a similar view to Chris. You have to use your second


vote. It should be the least worst. But you don't want them to vote


Labour? I would urge feeble not to. And not Conservative either, because


I don't -- I would urge people not to. And not Conservative either


because I don't believe in wasting money on airport.


Next week, there will be another election intruding on our


we will take the mandate that we want. To all three of you, thank


you. Andrew, back to you. So, how will Thursday's local


election results affect Who's winning the


election ground war? And as he celebrates 100


days in the White House, We have the local elections, Metro


elections in Liverpool, greater Birmingham, West Midlands, how will


they play into the general election? Significantly, it is very unusual.


People keep comparing this with the election in 83, not! Margaret


Thatcher was nervous and to wait until after the local elections to


call the election to see the result. We are getting these result in the


middle of an election campaign so it will be important, whoever does


badly will suffer a dent in confidence in terms of how they


approach the election and we are also going to have mayoral figures


as a reminder of another big difference with the 80s that however


big, say, the Conservatives win in Westminster, there are now sectors


of power in other parts of the United Kingdom which were not there


in the 80s. One of the reasons niches that are rated in 83 was


memories were still alive in political circles of 1970, Wilson


saw the local election results and thought, I can win, he was told he


would win by the Economist magazine, who had done the analysis, and of


course he lost, so that is why she waited, Mrs May does not need to


wait for that at all now, and on the Metro elections, the one she will be


looking at is the West Midlands, that is the one that is a


competition. I think she can really lose on Thursday in the local


elections, governing parties are supposed to take effect again,


losing lots of council seats. She is projected to put on 100 or so seats,


Labour projected to lose around 200, the first time the main opposition


party has shed seats since something like 83 so clearly the local


elections give Mrs May great momentum going into the general


election campaign but there is a downside in that, which is what we


have already heard fighting about this morning, if it looks like it is


going too well for the Tories, it says to voters, why bother turning


up? Sushi comes up with totally unbelievable sound bites this


morning that this is the most important general election in her


lifetime. Really?! For her it is! It always is until the next one! I


wonder if voter turnout is a problem? Tory voters are more likely


to vote than Labour voters. If there is a sense that it is all over bar


the shouting, the overall turnout will be low that Tory voters are


still likely to turn out more than Labour voters so she would still win


some. I don't think she needs to be too worried, I think there will be a


significantly low turnout, even I am finding it hard to be that excited


about this general election. Really, the policies, we have spent a lot of


time talking about them today and we have to examine them, but all this


is about is, do you want Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn in Number Ten?


Those are the only question is, apart from possibly how strong do


you feel about Brexit, that will be on the voters' minds. You may say


that but I will not be put off from going through a list of policies


that we have already had in the last 24 hours. On the Conservatives, more


powers to stop company bosses under pensions, of course Philip Green was


in mind there. Labour has come up with quite a few policies, actually,


give all work of equal rights, whether part-time or full-time,


temporary or permanent. Ukip, scrap VAT or takeaway -- on takeaway food


and end the BBC licence fee. The Liberal Democrats have come out


posed to the runway at Heathrow. I thought I knew that already? Will


any of these policies make a difference? They are all nice handy


things that people quite liked but probably not, is the answer. They


are an awful way away from polling day now for people to remember and


latch onto. I don't think you make your mind up on small issues like


Heathrow, unless you live in Richmond-upon-Thames, maybe, but the


problem Labour have got with unfailing a lot of these retail type


policies which, in themselves, are very popular, is no one will listen


to them until they get over the leadership credibility issue. Jeremy


Corbyn could the world on a stick, but if no one believes he can


deliver it then he will not be listened to and he has not done much


apart from a speech yesterday in which is claim to fame was getting


arrested, I don't see how that would work for him getting to Number Ten.


They are not making progress on it. Labour has rolled out a number of


policies which, taken individually, would have certain traction in


normal times, quite interesting ideas, this sense of unfairness, a


feeling that ordinary workers have not done well out of the recovery,


those who caused the crash have, 20 points, I went through some of them


earlier, putting aside they are not costed, we are assured they will be.


The problem I suggest is not the costing but the cut through? Every


election has a context which is determined by opinion polls, however


sceptical we are these days, and if one party is way ahead it is


difficult for the other party to appear relevant, because if people


assume they are not going to win, even some of its own MPs are saying,


we are not going to win this, so you can vote for us, it is very hard to


get attention and relevance. Where I think all the parties are bad with


their current leaders is framing arguments, so those policies you


have highlighted makes sense. The best leaders are brilliant framers


of an argument and neither Theresa Maynor Jeremy Corbyn R. They have


been campaigning, their manifestos are not out yet, both sides have


been telling us we have to wait for costings, but it has not stopped


them campaigning. Let's remind you of where they have been and what


they have been doing so far. Let's start with Jeremy Corbyn, his


first official visit was in the ultra-marginal Conservative seat of


Croydon Central where the MP Gavin Barwell has a lead of just 165. That


is not the only Conservative seat he has visited, along the way he popped


in on Bristol North West, a Conservative majority of nearly


5000. The Tory seat of Cardiff North, a lead of just over 2000,


Warrington South, just over 2700, and Crewe and Nantwich, Tory


majority of three and a half thousand. Yesterday he visited


Bethnal greed and Bob, a Labour lead of 20 4000. Theresa May kicked off


her campaign in Bolton, Labour majority of over 4000. On her way


round the UK she had a comfy stop in her own maidenhead seat, where she


is defending a majority of nearly 30,000, before travelling to other


Labour marginals including Dudley North, a Labour lead of 4000.


Bridgend, a lead of just under 2004 Labour, before becoming ambitious


and visiting shadow minister Richard Bergen's Leeds East seat, which he


won by over 12,500 votes. Yesterday she went north of the border to


Aberdeenshire, where amongst other places she visited the SNP seat of


West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, where the Tories would have to gain


over 7000 votes to unseat the NP. What do you make of it all so far?


It is remarkable she is doing these visits in Scotland. Past but even


five years and the idea of a Tory Prime Minister going round Scotland


would be utterly counter-productive, and actually they are ambitious for


Scotland now under with Davidson, a prospect of multiple seats, and that


would be a real genuine shift in Scottish politics, the likes of


which we have not seen for 15 or 20 years. If she gets that, that helps


towards 100 seats, because if she wins ten in Scotland, it is


effectively 20, the SNP lose ten, she gains ten, she wants to do that


in the Midlands with Labour, and the North. To get the 100 majority,


other than Scotland, she has to win Labour seats, that is all that is


there. And clearly she has been told, it is obvious, that she has a


chance of doing so, otherwise you don't go to these parts of the


country in the first few days of the campaign. All logic points to her


being able to pull it off as well. The opinion polls, the state of the


Labour Party. The only qualification I have in this is that politics is


so wild and free Braille at the moment, it doesn't feel like


landslide to rain. That is true, it doesn't. It is early days, we


haven't yet had the manifestos, the campaign is yet to gather momentum.


It doesn't feel like landslide territory. I disagree, look at every


single poll, the Tory lead is 10% in Wales, you can see her picking up 20


seat there. Put this together, I am told by the way she is going into


traditional Labour heartland again tomorrow, the key is the Ukip vote.


That will implode... Crumble towards Tories? If she can hoover that up


and retain the Tory vote, she will have a majority of 150.


I cannot let you go without reminding you that it is Donald


Trump's 100 days. He's not making a lot of it now, this is what he said


last night. We are just beginning in our fight


to make America great again. Now, before we talk about my first


100 days, which has been very exciting and very productive,


let's rate the media's 100 days. Because, as you know,


they are a disgrace. There you go, still bashing the


media, that was at a rally in Virginia, the 100 days was last


night. He seems happier campaigning than running the country. You each


have 20 seconds to give me your board on the first 100 days.


Remarkable, he will not stop slagging off the media but America


first has not meant America first in terms of national policy, he has


reneges on what he said about Nato being obsolete. He is moving from


the old right to the centre because that is where you get things done,


he is a pragmatist, also is about's friend Nigel Parrott is no longer


welcome, we read this morning! Allegedly! He loves campaigning but


finds governing much more difficult. Who would have thought being


president of the United States was a difficult job?! He loves rallies but


being president and politics is a very difficult thing indeed. Thank


you, there we go, Mr Trump's 100 days, we will see what the next 100


brings. The Daily Politics is back


on BBC Two after the bank holiday on Tuesday at midday,


with all the latest And I'll be back here


on BBC One next Sunday Remember - if it's Sunday,


it's the Sunday Politics. The East End girl who became the


nation's favourite. We don't know what it is,


but she definitely has... Something. From stage to screen


and into our hearts. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!


Ooh, in't she wonderful? If you're not careful, you'll end up


playing this sexy little blonde


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss are joined by Labour elections coordinator Ian Lavery MP and Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood AM. The Political Panel consists of journalist Isabel Oakeshott, Tom Newton-Dunn of The Sun and journalist Steve Richards.

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