Sarah Smith and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith, George Galloway and Peter Hitchens.
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Good morning, everyone,
and welcome to the Sunday Politics.
I'm Sarah Smith.
And this is your guide to everything
that's happening in the world
of politics this Sunday morning.
On today's show:
Theresa May's right-hand man
Damian Green has denied claims that
police found pornography
on a computer in his office in 2008.
He says the allegations by a former
police chief are "political smears."
With claims of sexual harassment
at Westminster growing by the day,
can either Theresa May
or Jeremy Corbyn do anything to get
to grips with a scandal
threatening to engulf
the entire political class?
We'll ask a minister and senior
member of the Shadow Cabinet.
And some on the left of politics
have been gathering to mark 100
Here, protests gather pace over
fracking for shale gas in North
And why the number of
apprenticeships has fallen so
dramatically, we report
So there's plenty of
explosive political news
to get you in the mood
for bonfire night -
and with me as usual,
three journalists who know quite
a bit about parliamentary plots -
if rather less about
gunpowder and treason.
It's Tom Newton Dunn,
Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards.
So what are the big political
stories making the news this Sunday?
Well, the papers are brimming
with further allegations against MPs
in the sexual harassment scandal,
which according to one newspaper has
left Westminster frozen in fear.
First Secretary of State Damian
Green, already under
investigation over allegations -
which he strongly denies -
of propositioning a female activist,
is the subject of new claims that
police discovered pornography
on a computer in his Westminster
office in 2008.
Mr Green denies the allegation,
made by former senior
police officer Bob Quick,
saying it is "completely untrue,"
and adding that he is the victim
of disreputable "political smears."
Michael Fallon, who resigned
as Defence Secretary this week
over his past behaviour,
is also subject to fresh claims
he lunged at a female journalist
in 2003 after a lunch.
Labour is facing questions
over its handling of sexual
This morning Shadow Cabinet minister
Dawn Butler refused to be drawn
on whether Jeremy Corbyn knew
about alleged misconduct by MP
Kelvin Hopkins when he was promoted
to the Shadow Cabinet.
And there is a reminder that normal
political life goes on,
with reports that the Cabinet has
agreed to put housing at the heart
of Philip Hammond's upcoming Budget.
Well, let's hear from
Home Secretary Amber Rudd now -
she was on the Andrew Marr Show
earlier talking about the claims
against her Cabinet colleague Damian
Absolutely not. I think it is
something that will take place in
terms of clearing out Westminster of
that sort of behaviour, and I think
that Westminster afterwards,
including the Government, will be
better for it. When we are confident
that men and women can work any
respectful environment and people on
the receiving end of abuse of power
can come forward. That will be a
Let's see what our panel make of
this fairly explosive week. Good
morning to all of you. Starting with
you, Steve. Not a party political
issue but the Tories are in
Government. How much harder for them
is it an Labour?
Always harder when
you are in Government because it
makes governing almost impossible.
And the wider context is a Prime
Minister who lost her overall
majority a few months ago and
actually that is the context of
everything. When you are having to
deal with the scandal of such
unpredictability, where the
terms are so imprecise, it is a
"lunge", a resignation issue, to use
that term, and nightmare. I don't
think it is fatal. Scandals rarely
bring down governments, but it makes
governing for Theresa May a form of
Damian Green has denied all
allegations made against him, but
there are more this morning. He is
being investigated by the Cabinet
Office at the moment. If Theresa May
were to effectively lose her Deputy
Prime Minister, has serious without
I think very serious indeed. I
think it is very significant and
strange he was not defended in the
Home Secretary Amber Rudd in that
clip we saw today, she didn't say I
am certain he will survive, and I am
beginning to feel that Damian may
not survive this. We don't know
whether it is the last of the
allegations that may come out in
relation to him. It seems to me that
the allegations were previously of a
rather minor order, but this seems
to have escalated. And I think one
of the big problems for Theresa May,
and there are the many at the
moment, for months we have been
saying that this Government has no
bandwidth to do anything except
Brexit and right now she can't even
do Brexit. What is the point of it
It is important to make clear
not only that Damian Green denies
all of these allegations, but the
computer mentioned was in a shared
office so there is no reason it
would definitely be his
# No guarantee it would definitely
be his. But we have had two MPs on
television this morning, Anna
Soubry, saying he should stand down.
There is an awful lot going on here.
It is not just a pretty awful sexual
harassment scandal. There are also
without a doubt MPs, police
officers, going about settling
scores. For me I have to say for our
pretty discredited police officer
Bob Quick, to make accusations
against serving Cabinet minister, to
suggest he should go for extreme
pornography on computers he may or
may not have known, it may be
extremely distasteful but it is
alarming for democracy to have
ex-police officers like this coming
in and trying to play with
democracy. Some politicians are also
meeting claims, some for the right
reasons to get the allegations out
there and so on but others for their
own agendas and all of this puts the
Prime Minister in an unbelievably
hard situation. I agree with Steve
and Isabel, she desperately needs
two show leadership in all this, but
every way she could turn there are
incredible downfalls, people blaming
her for trying to get to the bottom
of all this. It is very people who
she is relying on for her
leadership, the very Tory MPs the
support she can't lose.
It is not
just the Tory party and of course
Jeremy Corbyn will be making a
speech later today where this will
inevitably and there are accusations
about how the senior leadership in
the Labour Party have handled this.
What about that situation?
the Government is much harder
because you are meant to be doing
10,000 other things at the same
time. This is about a deregulated
work environment. For all those who
say, I hate the way Britain is too
regulated, this is what happens in a
deregulated work environment. The
House of Commons has no HR or
whatever, MPs, advisors, so, MPs
actually don't have much power but
they do have power over who the
point and how to treat them. I think
this is the way forward in terms of
the practical outcome, but it is
across the political spectrum.
it is unclear what it will be. Can
the party sort this out?
sure I entirely agree, Steve, you
cannot regulate all human
interaction and a lot of these
stories have been about interactions
between politicians and journalists
alike, who have gone out for lunch,
chosen to drink, presumably to
create an informal atmosphere, and
at what point is a step towards
somebody to say goodbye, a peck on
the cheek or whatever, a lunge? You
can't regulate that sort of thing.
Throughout the programme will come
back to some of these things and how
they might be regulated.
Now, the Home Secretary has
also today been talking
about what she calls the "moral
duty" of social media companies
to stop child sexual exploitation,
ahead of a meeting with her US
counterparts this week.
We're joined now by the Home Office
minister Sarah Newton -
she's in our Truro studio.
Thanks very much for coming in to
speak the first night. I want to
talk to you about the Government's
efforts to tackle child pornography,
but let's pick up on some of the
sexual harassment issues at
Westminster first. Two of your
parliamentary colleagues this
morning saying they think the first
Secretary of State Damian Green
should step down whilst being
investigated. Do you agree?
has vigorously denied these
accusations, and the Cabinet Office
is investigating these accusations,
so we do have processes for when
ministers have these accusations
made against them so they are
properly investigated. And that is
what is going on at the moment.
that process people can be confident
in? He is effectively being
investigated by Jeremy Heywood, one
of his colleagues.
This is a tried
and tested process that has stood
the test of time, and it is
Has it? Surely what we
are learning is it has not stood the
test of time and that in fact
allegations like this have been
swept under the carpet and ignored
for years and years in Westminster,
exactly what we are learning right
I think you are conflating two
things they are, and what we really
do need to do is look at the whole
range of allegations people have
been making, and make sure
Parliament is a safe place for
people to work, a respectful
environment for people who have been
subjected to harassment or bullying
or inappropriate behaviour, so that
they feel confident to come forward
knowing they will be listened to,
that there will be an open and
transparent and fair to everyone
concerned process for getting to the
bottom of it, and that is exactly
what the Prime Minister and the
Leader of the Cows have set out,
Prime Minister's meeting with all
the leaders of the parties tomorrow
to set out a proper process so we
can modernise the work environment
at Westminster -- leader of the
House have set out.
You think Damian
Green should remain in the Cabinet
well being investigated?
be down to Sir Jeremy Heywood. If he
thinks the misdemeanours have a
basis, that he should stand aside,
that will be the recommendation. I
will not second the inquiry on what
Sir Jeremy Heywood finds.
in the Whips' Office yourself for a
year. And much has been said this
week of the whips being in receipt
of a lot of information about bad
behaviour, and instead of reporting
it to authorities they were using it
as ammunition. Was that your
Absolutely not. I was at
the Whips' Office up to 2015 and,
yes, I heard about the rumours of a
black spreadsheet, and I can
certainly say I never saw such a
thing. How I went about my business
as a whip is really twofold. It is
quite a technical job in many ways,
about of the Government through the
House, working with the House
authorities, the opposition. Also...
Did you ever hear rumours of these
people's bad behaviour?
you ever hear rumours of MPs
misbehaving, sexual harassment,
allegations are that?
If anybody had
brought a complaint to me about the
behaviour of one of the MPs who were
in my flock, I would take that
really seriously, but bull-mac, that
You said nobody
brought you a complaint. Did you
hear rumours? -- but no, that didn't
About the members of my
flock? Absolutely not.
Is that the
MPs you were specifically in charge
I did not have that experience
Let's move on and talk about
the Home Secretary's trip to
Washington this week, where she will
urge tech companies to go further
and faster on online child abuse. We
have heard a lot from this
Government urging these companies to
do something. One specific ideas of
what they could do, do you have a
clear idea of what you are asking
from tech companies?
right. As you know, this horrendous
crime of child sexual exploitation
and grooming is constantly evolving
as the opportunities for the
perpetrators arise. They are now
using live streaming, different
sorts of platforms, which are
largely controlled by the big
companies in America. What we really
want them to do is to step up and
use their huge expertise, used the
huge money they have got, to help
find technological solutions to read
their sites and rid the opportunity
of these paedophiles to be able to
groom young people. We need the
politicians in America to exert
pressure, as well as other
companies, because these are global
problems. We are not going to solve
this problem in the UK alone. We
have made a lot of progress, working
with Facebook and other companies as
well, but we really need to keep one
step ahead of the technology, one
step ahead of the perpetrators, who
are using these opportunities to
commit horrendous crimes.
It was back in 2014 Theresa May for
the Internet companies to do more in
terms of child abuse online and we
have not seen significant action,
and it does not appear these kind of
calls from the Government actually
Well, at the moment we are seeing
the police being able to make about
400 arrests per month, about 500
children being safeguarded. The
Government itself is investing a lot
of money in new technology like the
project Arachnid, and making sure
the police have the specialist
resources they need to go
undercover, and absolutely find
these perpetrators and bring them to
justice, but we do need to
constantly have the engagement and
support of the companies themselves
to invest in further technologies to
prevent this from happening. As you
say, we have made progress but we
need to see yet more.
thank you very much for speaking to
Michael Fallon's decision
to resign this week,
saying his past conduct with women
fell short of the standard expected
of the Armed Forces, led
to something of a minor reshuffle.
And the Prime Minister took
Westminster by surprise
when she announced his replacement,
former Chief Whip and relative
newcomer to the ministerial
ranks, Gavin Williamson.
Here he is speaking on the day
of his appointment.
It's an immense privilege to have
been appointed Secretary
of State for Defence,
and what we need to be doing
is continuing to focus
on countering Daesh,
making sure that our national
security is at the forefront
of everything that we do,
and we have some of the world's
greatest armed services,
and it's such a privilege to be able
to work with them.
Gavin Williamson, who you saw there,
arrives at the Ministry of Defence
at a challenging time
for UK defence.
The Government has promised
an above-inflation increase
in spending every year
but the Ministry of Defence
is already committed to finding
£20 billion of savings
over the next ten years.
The Cabinet Office is currently
conducting a security review
which will look at military
capabilities and funding up to 2022,
while there are continuing
reports of shortages
of manpower and equipment.
And if Labour were to win power,
questions persist over
what a Jeremy Corbyn premiership
would mean for defence budget
and the traditional cornerstones
of UK defence policy
like Trident and Nato.
Well we're joined now
by the Shadow Defence
secretary, Nia Griffith.
Well we're joined now
by the Shadow Defence
secretary, Nia Griffith.
Let's talk about defence spending
first. Would Labour commit to the
same thing this Government has which
is an above inflation increase in
spending every year?
absolutely clear about that. First
and foremost we'd meet our
commitment of spending at least 2%
of GDP on defence as is our Nato
commitment and we would match the
Government's year-on-year 0.5%
increase above inflation. This is
really important. Labour's always
had a good strong track record of
spending on defence.
seems to have a different view.
Speaking at a protest in 2010 he
said Labour wanted to fight all the
cuts except those in the Armed
Forces where we want to see a few
more cuts taking place. He doesn't
seem committed to defence spending?
In the manifesto for this year's
election, 2017, he and John
McDonnell have been absolutely clear
we support the exact words I've been
using now, at least 2% of the spend
of GDP spent on defence.
Corbyn's changed his mind on that?
He's been very clear about that and
it was in our manifesto this year.
You criticised the Government on
whether they meet their 2%
commitment on defence. You saying
they were fiddling the figures
because they were including
pensions. You would strip that out
and snake sure there's 2% spending
on defence which doesn't include
Government would argue you are
allowed to include pensions by the
Nato rules. But we've been very
clear, really, when you're talking
about defence spending it should
mean defence. When you look at the
last year of the Labour Government
we spent 2.5% GDP on defence. We are
very much committed to looking at
what we need in our defence budget
and looking to the problems they
have now where they can't meet the
commitments they've made.
sprip pensions out of those figures.
In order to live up to these
commitments you have to find an
extra billion for the defence
budgets because we're not
calculating pensions anymore?
McDonnell is well aware of what they
are doing. Putting in the conflict
resolution money which Gordon Brown
kept separate. He is well aware of
the figures and the difficulties. We
are certainly very committed to a
defence budget that really does make
I'm not clear whether
you're telling me it will be 2% 69
spending, excluding pensions?
want it to be 2% of GDP as in the
way Labour always calculate it had
up until 2010, not including
A significant increase in
We are talking
about making sure the spending we
need is there because, at the
current situation, we have with the
current Government, they are
overstretched. Even the very caution
National Audit Office says they are
at immense risk of not being able to
meet the expenditure commitment the
they have made. Others talk about a
black hole. You mentioned it that
£20 billion. There is a real issue
we have to address.
To you know what
it will cost, how muchedingsal funds
will have to be found?
We have to
rook at what are the needs at the
time as well as the facts we want to
make that 2% commitment not
including things which have just
been brushed in now by the
on to a different aspect of defence.
There is a treaty banning nuclear
weapons opened at the UN for
signatories. 122 countries have
already signed it. Would an incoming
Labour Government sign that treaty?
The important point here is there
was an Is inned opportunity for
there to be observers from the UK.
There should have been at that
That doesn't change
the calculation whether or not an
incoming Labour Government would
sign that treaty?
We are committed
to a strong multi-lateral disarming
programme. That's what we've seen
This is a multilateral
approach to try to get rid of
nuclear weapons. What you say you
want. Would a Labour Government sign
You we have to look at
how you go about things. We need toe
somebody clear we want to
de-escalate tensions across the
world. Work with other nuclear
partners to help stop the
proliferation of nuclear weapons. We
want to work with those countries
who feel very strongly about the
treaty so we can work together. We
have to do that in a multilateral
This is a multi-lateral
disarmament framework. Under the
auspice Is of the UN disto see how
else it could be organised. This is
a great opportunity for you, who
have been a lifelong campaigner for
disarmament.ment Labour Government
will be the first nuclear power to
do so, sign it and lead the way.
need to use our position to be
responsible and call for responsible
multi-lateral disarmamentment there
was progress made on this in the
eighties and nineties with
considerable amount of are heads put
to one side and destroyed. We need
to get back on the front foot there.
I don't see any presence by the UK
Government at the moment on that
aagain da. It is not helpful for the
nukes leer nations to be separated
from the non-nuclear nation in the
That's why I don't
understand why you're not taking the
opportunity to say a Labour
Government would Take The Stand.
should wok together and we should
use our position as a nuclear power
to work for a multilateral
You were very
clear in your manifesto that the
Labour Party would keep Trident for
Abs will yously.
know throughout his life, Jeremy
Corbyn's long wanted to get rid of
it. He signed up to the manifesto
saying Trident would stay. Has he
changed his minds?
thing is that was a manifesto
Jeremy, John McDonnell's agreed to.
We stood on it in 2017 because that
is the Labour Party position.
Absolutely. I'm asking if the Labour
Leader really believes in that
He believes in democracy
in the party. That is the Labour
Party position. I don't see that
position changing at all. He has
said very clearly that he accepts
that is our Labour Party position.
And that is the manifesto we've
stood on and will continue to stand
I'll need to ask questions about
sexual harassment in Westminster. It
is as much as inissue for the Labour
Party as the Conservative. It was
not clear listening to Dawn Butler,
your colleague on The Andrew Marr
Show this morning, she was asked
whether or not the leadership knew
about allegations by Kelvin Hopkins.
Do you know?
I absolutely do not
know at this moment in time. That's
why there has to be an
investigation. It is extremely
important to find out what the
allegations were, exactly what
happened, who was told and who told
what to whom. Then we will be in a
position to see what the situation
is. In the meantime, Kelvin Hopkins
has been suspended which is the
cricket thing to do.
has been outspoken about what she
let the leadership know. If it is
the case the leadership did know
about these allegations should he
have been put into the Shadow
The real question is who
did know what when.
But what I'm
asking you is...
I am anot going to
speculate whether there was an if or
whatever. We need to know how that
information was transmitted. Was it
put in writing. What it made clear,
who was told what, when. Until we
have a full investigation it would
be inappropriate to comment. What is
absolute lie clear, we need to get
this right for the future. We must
have proper procedures so we deal
with incidents as and when they
occur. And we deal with them
prepperly in a way which gets to the
bottom of the issue and deals with
Why should anyone have
confidence the Labour Party will
treat issues that seriously when,
firstly there's a question whether
they knew about Kelvin hop kips and
others have been dissuaded from
making complaints. Knots just Bex
Bailey. Monica Lennon said when she
was harassed at a party senior
figures in the Labour Party told her
it was her own fault. It seems as if
there hasn't been a culture within
Labour to make a complaint.
why we're having a thorough review
of procedures. We brought in new
procedures in July. We need to
ensure there's a proper helpline
available. We are appointing an
independent organisation which will
deal with allegations first-hand so
nobody has to go to somebody they
think might know other people, be
friends with other people. They can
go somewhere completely confidential
and private. These are often things
you can't want to tell your cross
friends about. We will appoint that
organisation and make sure people
can go there and access to it is
made widely known. It is very, very
important when people come into a
job, they know if anything does
happen, they will be able to
complain. Whether they are ordinary
party members or working in
Thank you for talking
For Thank you for talking to us some
on the left of politics,
this weekend wasn't just a chance
to mark the anniversary
of the failed gunpowder
plot here in Britain,
but also events in Russia 100 years
ago, when Bolshevik revolutionaries
led by Lenin seized power
and ushered in seven
decades of Communist rule.
For critics, that's something
to regret, not celebrate.
Elizabeth Glinka went to one event
in London to find out more.
The 7th November 1917.
Red Guards under the leadership
of Vladimir Lenin begin to occupy
Government buildings in Petrograd.
This uprising, known
popularly as Red October
because of the difference
in the Gregorian calendar,
was, in fact, a coup.
The winds of socialist change had
been blowing for some time.
The Tsars had resisted reform
and millions toiled in a state
of almost medieval surfdom.
Nearly two million
Russians would die.
The revolution had really begun nine
months earlier in February 1917.
The world's first socialist
republic was declared.
October, well that
was the Bolsheviks
asserting their authority.
A hundred years on, as this
event at the TUC shows,
there's still plenty of people
who want to remember and even
celebrate those momentous events.
Mainly as an event in history,
this is an example of historical
development in action,
the ability of people to club
together and be able to affect
the discourse of history.
It was people's first attempt at
trying to build socialism.
Although there were many terrible
things that happened,
I think we have to try
and draw from experience.
Jeremy Corbyn's close friend
and adviser, Andrew Murray,
was chairing the opening session.
He didn't want to talk to us
but we did manage to speak
to the daughter of one of the most
famous Communists of all time.
It's an historic moment
which opened up possibilities
for further changes
and allowed other people
to strive for a different world.
A world, which it seems,
some are still keen to push for.
We're growing, so there is obviously
a positive reflection.
There is a lot of negative
propaganda that comes
from the Cold War period.
It is harder to talk
to older people maybe.
But younger people
are quite receptive.
The events and discussions taking
place here today cover a whole range
of topics from women's
rights to the Third World
and the impact on British socialism.
But there's much less discussion
of the Russian Civil War,
the purges and the political
repression that would come later.
We wanted to have this conference
because we wanted to show it
in a positive light.
Whatever one's view of what happened
to the Soviet Union subsequently
the fact is it is important
to understand the process
of revolutionary change
for its own sake.
Red October would usher
in 70 years of communism.
The proletarite would rise,
find respect and security.
But the suppression of the peoples
of Eastern Europe, the forced labour
camps and the murder of hundreds
of thousands, if not millions
of people, make it difficult
for many to see that revolution
as something to celebrate.
That was Elizabeth Glinka reporting.
So is the centenary
of the Russian Revolution a cause
for celebration, or regret?
Well, to discuss this I'm
joined by former Labour
and Respect MP George Galloway,
and the journalist Peter Hitchens.
Good morning. Let me start with you
George Galloway. Is the October
revolution a cause for celebration?
With the, if not for the October
revolution, we'd been conducting
this interview in German. Though the
truth is this interview wouldn't be
taking place and we probably
wouldn't be alive for a variety of
reasons. The Soviet Union broke the
back of Hitler, as Mr Churchill
often owe pined in Parliament and
elsewhere. If not for the Soviet
Union, Hitler would have ruled. And
his successorsness, perhaps until
now, from Vladivostok all the way to
You say we wouldn't be
able to have this discussion. In the
former Soviet Union we couldn't have
this office either?
true. But even the...
George will be
able to say, that of course.
the sun has spots on its face as
they used to say in the Soviet
Union. There is no doubt tremendous
abrasions, big crimes, a lot of
suffering but, if not for the
transformation, then the Soviet
Union, Russia's GDP increased from
1930 to 190 and the Nazi occupation.
And the strength that defeated
Hitlerism would not have been there.
Peter Hitchens, does it offend you
there are people celebrating 100
years since the Russian Revolution?
Offend? No, but in the Soviet Union,
in which I lived, you would not have
been able to say it was set up by a
cynical bitch, almost bloodless, but
engineered by the German Imperial
Government using -- a cynical
putsch, almost bloodless. That this
was the inauguration of an immensely
long period of repression,
brutality, secret police,
concentration camps and lies, which
I am likely to have seen come to an
end in my lifetime, and I cannot see
why anybody looking at that
disastrous country where so much
misery was needlessly imposed on so
many people for so long could
possibly celebrate the beginning of
it, which was completely avoidable,
and as I say was truly the result of
the cynical foreign policy and
intelligence operations of the
Imperial German Government is trying
to save it skin...
including George Galloway
acknowledges the tyranny and terror
He doesn't. He gives
statistics about GDP but fails to
mention the people murdered in
camp... He was of course formerly a
Trotskyite and sung the praises of
Lenin, which I have not done and
neither have I done today. I have
never been a Communist, unlike Peter
Hitchens, but I do acknowledge and
celebrate that an entirely different
world opened up as a result of the
events in October 19 17. China, you
have just seen their party congress,
decorated with the iconography of
the Bolshevik Revolution, and China
is the most powerful, or soon will
be the most powerful country on the
With one of the most
I don't think
that is true. There is repression in
Enormous repression in
China! How can you possibly argue
there is an?
China has taken more
people out of poverty in the last 30
years than any country, resume,
system, ever has -- how can you
possibly argue there is not?
despots always argue, trying to
distract your attention from the
mountains of skulls behind them,
their supposed economic success,
which generally does not turn out to
be as great as claimed. The Soviet
Union was an enormous pile of rust
by the time I lived there and was a
Yes, that is
why it fell down. But we are talking
about the Revolution 100 years ago.
Is it possible to separate the two
events? A popular overthrowing of a
government is perhaps different from
the tyranny and terror that
It was not a popular
overthrow. You sure this Eisenstein
propaganda as if it were fact. What
we see was a film made afterwards.
What actually happened was a putsch
in the middle of the night in which
hardly anybody... Nobody has even
That German connection,
a rather more important...
has even mentioned during this year
until now that there was a Russian
Revolution. There were two. The
first one was a genuine uprising,
overthrowing the old regime, and I
think we can all be glad of it. The
second one was a cynical for --
foreign financed putsch and it does
not deserve to be spoken out.
that true, and Menshevik revolution
would have done better than a
It is not my business
and entirely counterfactual fiction,
if I may...
Unlike how you open this
That is the most
important thing. If not for the
Soviet Union, we wouldn't be here.
Hetmyer might still, and most of the
world, with its allies -- Adolph
Hitler might have won and they make,
and most of the world...
of Bolshevism and coming is on
Europe was colossal.
Let's bring it
all a little bit more up-to-date.
You were saying earlier you have
never been a Leninist, although
Peter Hitchens confesses he was at
Absolutely was a
Trotskyist, and now nor the complete
folly of that particular political
John McDonnell in the
Labour Party openly says he is a
Trotskyist, a Leninist, is that a
problem for the Labour Party?
would have thought, arts would be
more respected now than he has been
for quite some time as capitalism is
collapsing around our ears. From
2008 the Economist itself, the bible
of capitalism, began to resurrect
Marxist economics and analysis, so I
really don't think it is. Jeremy
Corbyn is not a Marxist. It only
took them four years, 54...
I think we are moving into
an era where Governments like the
Chinese Government are making plans,
and are succeeding in implementing
them, and thus transforming their
position. China in 1949, and I don't
need to tell you, was just about the
most backward place you could
possibly imagine. And from 1949 to
now it has sold transforms that it
is the world's biggest economy...
are in danger of getting sidetracked
by China here.
I have to put this
point in. If China was backward in
1949 it was far more backward by the
time Mao Zedong finished his great
leap forward and starved millions of
people to death in the period of
economic lunacy. You just don't
What George was saying
they are, and a sense certainly
amongst younger voters in this
country and others, where they are
turning against capitalism, they
don't think it has worked or
delivered for them, that this kind
of Marxist Leninist philosophy is
becoming more popular?
not. The fact the current system is
failing does not seem to recommend
the Soviet system, which is
demonstrably a failure, and even its
own leaders admitted it failed and
that is why they tried to reform it
in the period I was there and why it
collapsed. Whatever you might want
to conclude from examining our
position, the Soviet alternative is
not the thing you want the dues.
This was a long period of disaster,
and I remember at the end of it
watching in Moscow said a film which
has never been shown here, and the
title means approximately we can't
go on living like this, and for the
first time, the politburo told the
truth about what life was like in
the dreadful place and everyone in
that cinema was weeping because
finally they saw the truth being
told about the dreadful
anti-civilisation in which they had
been taught to live for so long. The
idea we should celebrate it revive
it seems to me to be verging on the
George, one interesting
question about this of course,
whilst there are events going on in
London and across the UK to mark
this centenary, it is not being
celebrated in Russia.
I was in
Russia a couple of weeks ago. There
is a big debate about whether it
ought to be, and many people are
Vladimir Putin is
not. He would want to ignore it.
the Communist Party is the second
biggest party in Russia. And it is
the ruling party in China, which,
with respect, is not a separate
thing, because China is continuing
the Russian Revolution and doing
rather better at it than the
Russians did, but there are many
people, particularly older, that is
true, who think that the era of the
Soviet Union was better than the
very cold period of capitalism that
succeeded it. So half the world
followed for a time the red flag,
the red banner of Leninism. No one
will do so again. Leninism of the
kind that Peter used to proselytise
is certainly not coming back, but
Marxism is going to live on.
Thank you both, gentlemen,
for coming on to speak about that.
It's coming up to 11.40am.
You're watching the Sunday Politics.
Coming up on the programme:
We've taken the moodbox to where
else but bonfire night celebrations.
We've taken the moodbox to where
else but bonfire night celebrations?
It wasn't just Westminster
that had the fireworks this week.
We're asking people in Guildford
does Theresa May have control
of her Government and her party?
Hello, and a warm welcome
to your local part of the show,
just for those of you clever enough
to have decided to live
in the North-east and Cumbria.
This weekend, why have the number
fallen so dramatically?
Just when they seem
to be needed the most.
We report from Teesside.
Talking about that and the latest
on the controversy around fracking
for shale gas in North Yorkshire
are Conservative MP
Kevin Hollinrake and the Labour
MP for Blyth Valley,
Welcome to you.
We also have the Liberal Democrat
leader, I will be talking
to Sir Vince Cable about
the Northern powerhouse.
First though, it has been
a tumultuous week at Westminster,
with several of the North's MPs
talking of the need to tackle
a sexist and bullying culture there.
Newcastle's Chi Onwurah told
the House of Commons that both male
and female researchers had been made
to feel deeply uncomfortable in one
of the Parliamentary bars
but that the issue had not
been taken seriously.
I knew a number of researchers,
male and female, made to feel deeply
uncomfortable in the sports
and social club here
by members of Parliament.
I was told that that happens in pubs
all over the country.
Would the Leader of the House
confirm that the duty
of care that we owe
extends 24/7 and to every
restaurant, bar in this place.
Chi Onwurah in the House
of Commons this week.
What do we make of the events
in Westminster, and does
the culture need to change?
Ronnie Campbell, you've been
in politics for 30 years.
Is there anything you've heard,
with male behaviour
towards women this week,
that has anything surprised you?
It hasn't really, because I think
in the olden days it was more
covered up, and I think with women
coming in, the amount of women
coming in, now I think
it is coming to a head.
It used to be like that at one time,
I heard stories when we first got
there and I saw things
I shouldn't have been seeing.
Of course, it did happen but
hopefully we will get it sorted out.
The leaders will get together
and come up with a scheme
where people can be proud to go
on without complaints.
Without naming names,
what needs to happen to people?
It depends, just touching
a knee, I would not think
that was a resigning offence
but if you are groping somebody,
or rape, it was even suggested this
week that someone was raped.
That is a sacking offence.
Kevin Hollinrake, you joined
the House of Commons more recently
after a career in business.
What do you make of the culture
in Westminster, is it a problem?
If there is sexual harassment,
which clearly contravenes
or sexual assault, it should be
reported to relevant authorities
and I think there is an issue
in Parliament, that you work
for an MP, or researchers can work
for an MP and there is no really
independent means of redress
of grievances, and we would need
to institute that in the House
of Commons, so people feel
if there is an issue,
they've got somewhere independent
they can go to.
The word "Culture" is an overarching
word, I do not think it is cultural.
I don't think most people
in Westminster are engaged
in sexual harassment.
There's always been
the idea that there are men
messing about, really?
It's a gentleman 's club?
It is changing, as the make-up
of the House of Commons is changing
but most members of Parliament
are not sexual predators, and do not
engage in sexual harassment.
Were things acceptable,
or appeared to be acceptable
in the past, that are not now?
Or are people calling this out now?
It's a cultural change?
In the past, it was swept under
the carpet, it would go to the whips
and would be swept under the carpet
as they did not want the scandal.
Usually it was shoved
under the carpet.
I can give at least two or three
really bad stories in the early
days, when it was dominated by men
at that particular time,
there were only half a dozen women
on the benches in those days but now
since more women are coming in,
and more researchers
coming in now as well,
I've never seen so many researchers,
because MPs have a lot
of money to bring them in.
All of these people
have to be protected.
We are not all predators, but those
that are need to be dealt with.
OK, the Liberal Democrat leader
Vince Cable will be meeting
the Prime Minister and other party
leaders on Monday to discuss plans
for a new independent grievance
procedure for all staff
working at Westminster.
He is with me in the studio now.
Sir Vince Cable, what do
you make of all this
and what needs to change?
I think as you have just heard,
we are talking about a wide
spectrum of behaviour,
there is something that is criminal
and that is rape,
it is a police matter.
There are minor things
and in between there is crass
and nasty behaviour by men,
usually, it can go the other
way but in practice men
are taking advantage of women
with whom they have
a good deal of power.
In the past, this has either been
tolerated or as Ronnie says,
it has been swept under the carpet.
It has happened in all parties,
nobody is holier than thou in this
area, and what we have come
to is recognising that you've got
to have a proper system
and it is dealt with.
We've had problems in the past,
in my party we have set up
an independent person,
we call them a pastoral care
officer, to hear cases of this kind
and it should be common practice.
Let's move onto other issues,
as important as it is.
You've looked at north-east
businesses when you have
visited here, and a lot
as a member of government.
What is your assessment
of the state of the economy now
as compared to then?
It has recovered from the depths
of the banking crisis.
We were in a terrible state,
businesses were going bust,
they could not get back credit,
deep recession, things
are closer to how they were.
And the north-east?
The north-east has, historically,
lagged behind the rest
of the country in many ways.
That is the legacy of manufacturing.
At the moment, it is partly
the uncertainty around Brexit,
but things are weakening
at the moment.
Certainly business investment is not
happening, companies are holding
back investment decisions,
with what will happen
in future and I think
things are a bit fragile,
to be fair.
One of the ideas, we are supposed
to tackle this North-South divide
but the Northern Powerhouse,
which was born while you were
still in government.
A lot of businesses and politicians
think it has done little.
I think that is fair,
to the extent to which it exists,
it's largely the cross Pennine idea
of bringing together Liverpool,
Leeds and Hull, it doesn't really
encompass the north-east,
it's been left out of the picture.
What would you do differently
with the Liberal Democrats
to change that?
I would do two things.
I think we need a lot
more public investment.
I accept you need to have budget
discipline that you need to treat
capital investment separately
to ordinary government spending.
They could do more in freeing up
the investment programme
with Network Rail, that would be
an obvious way of doing it.
Or the other, the communities
minister Sajid Javid
has been advocating,
the government borrowing to invest
in affordable housing.
We should be doing a lot more.
Without the Treasury stopping it.
The other point is having more
power in the regions.
You cannot run the country
Manchester, Birmingham, they've now
got quite powerful deals.
I heard you this week
criticising quite strongly
the north-east council,
failing to come
to a devolution deal.
But they looked at the deal,
they were supposed to accept it
and they said is not good enough,
are they supposed
to accept anything?
No, but the big conurbations,
the guys who run Manchester
and Birmingham, they are tough
and they basically have more
power and more control...
It's a better deal?
In the north-east, I think Teesside
has gone its own way and you have no
North and South Tyneside boroughs
squabbling with each
other and it does not
create a good impression
when you are negotiating
They've got to get
their act together.
Sir Vince Cable, thanks.
Kevin Hollinrake, you raise the need
for fair infrastructure spending
between the regions,
with the Prime Minister this week
at Prime Minister's Questions.
You accept that the government
has a long way to go?
It's been a problem for decades
which is why I raised the point
with the Prime Minister and have
done many times before.
We are putting more money in,
13 billion by 2020 and that will
help things like trans-Pennine rail.
Some of that is for
potholes, I understand?
Some of it is but hundreds more
trains and more seats on these
trains between Manchester and Leeds,
these are good things and we need
more money for our roads, railways,
the digital networks and I think
it is a time where we should
separate the current spending
from investment spending.
I think it is a time to look...
Does your government get that?
The answer was positive from
the Prime Minister on Wednesday.
A 50% in the next four years,
those are figures and facts,
but this is not North versus South.
For decades we have seen transport
investment happening in London
and the regions do not get the same
deal - for every £35
spent in Yorkshire, £100
per capita in London.
We want to see a fairer
distribution in future and this
is what the Prime Minister
agreed should happen.
It is the conservatives who are
delivering for devolution here.
We have the mayor on Teesside,
and there's a possibility
of Newcastle and Northumberland
getting this as well?
Yes, that's what they say,
but I think it is pie in the sky,
it's what is on the table
and we have not seen that yet.
We are getting positive answers but,
as you said before,
that is all we are getting.
Until I see the money...
But some of the money
being spent on new trains...
I haven't got the line in yet,
that's been on the go since I got
elected 30 years ago.
The link to the Metrocentre,
that will cost quite a bit of money
but I cannot see that happening
in my lifetime,
to tell you the truth.
I've waited 30 years already
and if devolution has to do that,
that is fine but I still think
it is pie in the sky.
We can hope, we will see
what happens in the budget.
Staying with the economy,
the government has made much
of its success in creating
helping many more young people
in particular into work and giving
them the high skill
training they need.
But it wasn't until this month
where figures suggested the number
of people starting apprenticeships
had fallen dramatically.
As David McMillan reports, that's
been blamed upon the introduction
of a new charge on large employers.
Teesport, where the spirit
of seafaring adventure meets
meticulous industrial planning.
For many plotting a career
here, and apprenticeship
For many plotting a career
here, an apprenticeship
is the way forward.
I was always going to be
hands-on, some sort of trade
within the industry,
it was electrical that caught my eye
and I'm glad I picked that.
I'm one of the young generation
to come into the engineering world,
whether it is civil,
mechanical or electrical
but if you don't get one
you will struggle.
It's important to get
But apprenticeships have
hit troubled waters.
A new apprenticeship levy
was introduced by the government
this year in boosting funding
and addressing the skills shortage
but the number of people starting
apprenticeships has fallen by nearly
two thirds in the first three months
since the assessment began.
Labour say that the government has
created an unnecessary problem
which could have a big impact
in places like the Tees Valley.
I think what has happened
is the confusion around
the introduction of the scheme has
a lot of people basically saying
it is too difficult and I will not
get involved at all.
For employers paying the levy,
they are using the cash to fund
in the programme, which is what you
would expect for them to do.
I think the difficulty comes
with smaller companies
who are not paying this levy,
and they find for the first time
the government is expecting them
to pay some of the costs.
The new system sees big
companies ordered to pay
a percentage of their wage bill
on apprenticeships, but smaller
firms are not forced
to provide training.
This Teesside Conservative accepts
there have been teething troubles
but believes that the levy
will deliver in the long run.
It's really important in training
the next generation.
By all means, we will try and find
constructive solutions but that
isn't why it matters so much.
We have a bold ambition to deliver
millions of apprenticeships
apprenticeships make a difference
to young people.
I think there was a long-standing
suspicion that they were not worth
the paper they were written on.
That has to change.
Here, six new apprentices have
started work at this car parts
maker in Eaglescliffe.
Hundreds applied for the jobs.
The boss here says that the levy
needs to be reformed so that smaller
firms take more responsibility
for meeting that demand.
Unless there is an incentive
for those smaller companies
to also train apprentices,
who constantly rely on taking
from bigger companies or believe
that they cannot train their own.
The levy has had a difficult start.
The future success will have a big
bearing on the career prospects
for many young Teessiders.
David McMillan reporting.
The government has been
bullish in the past
about the apprenticeships that it
has created, here we have
Let's look at the overall facts,
2.3 million apprenticeships
between 2010-15, and ambition
for 3 million between 2015-2020.
We already have one
million under our belts.
It's a big change to
the apprenticeship levy and it
will take time for companies to get
used to that.
A drop of 60%...
I think that is very short term,
and selective evidence.
The employers I speak
to in my constituency are very much
looking to take on more apprentices
and put this money to one side,
fill the pot up first before you use
that money to train apprentices.
I think that is a very short-term
and misleading statistic.
Some employers are struggling
to understand the scheme.
Some are not saying it is value
for money, especially
the smaller companies,
they do not like the details,
that apprentices have to be away
for 20% of the time.
Small employers are looking at free
access for training,
that's a fantastic scheme.
For larger employers I can
understand they are having
to pay into the levy,
and are taking time to adjust
but they will adjust.
I am seeing that, I've spoken
to employers in my constituency
and it makes sense.
If you pay a levy,
and you join back in terms
of training your apprentices.
This is about ensuring employers
pay their fair share but it needs
to take time to bed down?
Yes, but I think that cut of 60%,
that is down to austerity.
And the apprenticeships
and the skills people as well,
they have all been cut.
They have been cut to the bone.
Well, it is the employers making
these decisions, not the government.
As far as we are concerned,
all we are looking at is putting
more money into the pot,
taxpayers money, to get
good quality apprentices.
That hasn't come through yet,
the good quality stuff.
We want good quality apprentices
and the only way we can do
that is by putting the taxpayers
money in and we
suggested £1 billion.
What about £2.5 billion
going in a year by 2020?
Some of it is taxpayers money
and others from employers.
We should be training our young
local people in the UK to give them
more skills to take advantage
of the economic opportunities...
One of the problems
is getting the quality.
We will have to leave.
We will have to leave it there.
We will see what happens
when it transpires.
That's have a look at the other
stories making the political
news this week in our 60
Second Round Up...
It proves to be one of now
ex-Defence Secretary Michael
Fallon's last jobs as he visited
the ANP Group's yard
at South Tyneside on Monday.
They hope to secure
government contracts on five
new Royal Navy frigates.
Pregnant but Screwed,
a new women's campaign group held
a Halloween march in Newcastle,
demanding better rights
for working mothers.
The UK's seven elected mayors, among
them the Tees Valley's Ben Houchen,
met in London for the first time
wanting new powers over
skills and taxation.
I want more powers, I've been
speaking to the central
government about that,
the Northern powers minister has
said that they are open
to a second devolution deal.
Sunderland's main court building
is more than a century old.
Damp and neglected with poor access
for disabled people,
according to Wearside MP Bridget
She called on the Justice Minister
Dominic Raab to take action.
Finally, more details have been
revealed by the government backed
Great Exhibition of the North
in June next year.
There will be a giant
fountain in the River Tyne,
a new anthem of the North,
and the return of Stevenson's
rocket to the region.
That's not our way of rolling stock
on the railways anyway!
The protests over fracking for shale
gas in North Yorkshire have been
growing in recent weeks,
with more arrests among protesters
and the police and crime commission
for the county warning
of the escalating costs
of policing this site.
There's no sign of the
controversy going away.
In 2016, North Yorkshire County
Council gave planning permission
for fracking at the site in Kirby
Friends of the Earth
and Frack Free Ryedale went
to the High Court to stop it
but they lost.
Protests on the site continue
as preparations for drilling began.
Today more than 20 protesters have
been charged with offences including
obstruction and assault.
The anti-fracking protest cost
North Yorkshire Police
£100,000 in September on top
of officer's wages.
The county's Police and Crime
Commissioner Julia Mulligan said
it was likely to impact policing
across the county.
Kevin Hollinrake, you are the MP
for Kirby Misperton.
In the last week or so you have met
protesters, I'm sure you have spoken
to plenty of locals.
What impact does this have
on the small community
in your constituency?
It is very difficult, and I
absolutely support the right of
peaceful protest, and the protesters
who protest peacefully. It's
absolutely right, that there are
some people in these protesters who
go way beyond that. Locking
themselves onto equipment or
premises, or breaking into the site,
when I was there, two protesters
were lying in the road after locking
themselves into a steel pipe full of
asbestos. Six police officers were
trying to chip away at it to release
them without causing damage to
themselves or the individuals. It
blocked the road for six or seven
hours. That kind of protest is
obviously trying to stop what is
going on but given the cost to
policing, the convenience to local
policing, will any other community
do this in future?
It is right that
we look to the central government to
fund the cost of policing and make
sure we have police officers in the
streets of our communities... Will
we do that? I have a meeting with
the Police and Crime Commissioner, I
absolutely think it should happen as
there is no doubt that many of these
protesters are connected to national
campaigns rather than simply being
people of course have the right to
protest, but this is cutting energy
bills for individuals and
businesses, fracking has to be
allowed to take place, doesn't it?
The High Court said it has to take
Place and unfortunately that is the
law. I don't really believe in
fracking but let's see what happens.
When that happens, and the water
starts to colour...
You were a coal
miner, this is less environmentally
destructive then coal mining?
there was a coal mine going there,
there would still be objections.
Either way, there will be
objections. You would not open a new
coal mine in this day and age. There
would be protesters there. I'm a
great believer in that. I want clean
But if the Labour Party
wants to lower energy bills, this is
one way of doing it?
We had to see
how it works out. We've heard
stories of fracking and what has
happened in Lancashire and in
places, and we will have to wait and
see. Kevin is going to be an
I do not believe that
there is a situation where water
will be polluted or contaminated, we
have independent monitoring,
independent scientific monitoring,
this is the writ is geological
survey ensuring it is done properly.
If it cannot be done Robbie I will
oppose it but if it can, it makes
more sense to employ something we
These protesters are
determined and will not fade away,
it's incredibly bad purposes for an
area that needs tourism?
As I say I
do not feel that it is fair that
people will interrupt other people's
But if they do, it's a bad
image for the area.
I do not think
it is the right way to protest. I do
not think that shale gas exploration
will lead to contamination of water
or fundamentally damage the
countryside or changes anything more
then this area.
That's all from us,
we are not here next Sunday. Time
for a giant Sunday roast in bed,
All right, and at that point
we have to end it there.
My thanks to Rosena and Andrew,
and with that it's back to Sarah.
It's been a tricky
week for Theresa May -
again, you might think.
She's lost a Cabinet minister
and been forced into a reshuffle
which did little for party unity,
to say nothing of losing a Commons
vote on Brexit and yet more reports
of fireworks in Cabinet meetings -
this time apparently over housing.
So, is the Prime Minister's time
in office going with a bang
or more of a whimper?
Well, we sent Ellie Price
and the entirely unscientific
Sunday Politics moodbox
to Conservative-held Surrey,
to find out.
Three, two, one.
# Ignite the light
and let it shine...#
It's a tale of lit fuses, plots,
but enough of the recent goings
on in the Conservative Party,
it's firework night here
in Guildford and we're asking,
does Theresa May have control
of her Government and her party?
Yes or no?
# Baby you're a firework...#
With all the scandals in Government
at the moment
and Brexit seems to be dragging on
a little bit longer than we thought.
So, at the moment, I don't think
she is in control.
She's too many people sniping
at her back, really.
Do you think Theresa
May's in control?
I think she's in control.
She's in a good job
having a tough time.
No, I don't.
I think she's a mess.
Even when you read her body language
when she's being interviewed
by people, she doesn't
seem like she's in control.
I think she has poor advisers.
I'm going to put it in the "yes".
I do think she's struggling but,
I still hope, still think she has
a bit of a grip on them.
The Queen is England's role.
It's her birth right.
She is England's role
of this country.
I'm going to vote for Theresa May.
I don't think there's anyone
who could do a better job.
I think she's had a bit of
a poisoned chalice with Brexit but
I think she could have done better.
The money's not going
to where it needs to go.
I think she should resign, really.
I feel a bit sorry
for her, actually.
I think she's been witch-hunted
a little bit.
She's doing her best.
With everything that's
going on with the Cabinet at the
moment, I think the Conservative
Party is in a real mess, actually.
Well, you get bickering in all parts
not just the Conservative Party.
And that's just sort
of par for the course.
But I'm sure she'll
hold everybody together
despite the current difficulties.
The Tories weren't in control
when they had the referendum
in the first place for the euro.
We've had two years
of complete chaos.
I don't see an end to it.
Well, I seem to have
acquired a few new friends.
The oohs and ahs are
over and so the moodbox
and the result is...
The majority of people
here in Guildford
don't think Theresa May
is in control.
That was Ellie with the entirely
unscientific moodbox, and thanks
to Bushy Hill Junior School
in Guildford for having her along.
Let's put the Sorbol question to our
panel. Equally unscientific but all
seasoned Westminster watchers. Is
Theresa May in control of her
Government at the moment or is all
of this sex harassment allegations
swimming around loosening her grip?
Depends what you mean by in control.
All Prime Ministers have a degree of
control. They retain the power much
tat wrongage as we saw with her
reshuffle. Didn't go down well with
her MPs but she did it. You can't be
fully in control of these situations
in effectively what is a hung
Parliament. If she won a land sheep
in the election she would have the
authority to do what she wanted. She
could float over something like
this. Stories like this, you could
say she's perfectly suited for it,
the vicar's daughter, the church
goer, to sort it out. It is much
more complicated than that. I don't
think she will be able to get a full
grip of it. There are some practical
things that need to happen that will
happen. I remember with back to
basics and John Major, that equally
vague scandal, what was back to
basics about? It was still running
months afterwards, stories about a
minister having an affair. This is
different. I can see it will be
impossible for her to fully get to
grips with it.
Does it provide an
opportunity for Theresa May to be
seen to be taking really serious
action, trying to root out a bad
culture in Westminster and therefore
get some political credit for it?
That opportunity was available to
her all of last week and she hasn't
taken it. What's remarkable for me
is the near complete breakdown in
discipline in the higher ranks the
Tory Party. It is extraordinary you
have Cabinet level ministers who are
not supporting their colleagues.
Ministers and former ministers
giving interviews in which they slag
off their former colleagues. It is
an absolute unholy mess. There is no
sense that she is gripping this. Or
has any particular solution. I think
we can have a lot of sympathy for
her in terms of finding a solution.
How on earth do you grip a problem
like this where you're talking about
apparently an indefinite period of
retrospective examination of
potential faults. 15 years is no
longer too historic for somebody to
dredge up some small thing that may
or may not have happened to them. It
is very difficult for her. But she's
being battered around by events.
Where does this story go next?
think the whip's office on every
party, Tories, Labour, Liberal
Democrats, SNP all have their own
whipping operations. That seems to
be the place of it really. This is
because, where do we draw the line?
Going forward what mechanisms are
put in place to top this helping
again. To take allegations
seriously, report them and
investigate them independently. Or
is there a bigger job to go back
into the past retrospective, who
knew what when as Nia said about
Kelvin Hopkins. This is a Shadow
Defence Secretary saying what did
the Labour Party leader know about
Kelvin Hopkins' allegations when he
promoted him? Theresa May is unable
to do the retrospective bit. She's
simply too weak. I asked this of
Number Ten last week. Why are you
not more front-foot the on this.
They said they would be if they
possibly could be. She's running a
minority Government. She cannot be
seen to be going after a witch-hunt
on her own people. So, I think this
goes on. Enof thebly what the whips
new -- inevitably what the whips
knew will be parment. Amber Rudd did
the same thing on Andrew Marr.
are being precise about the fact
they didn't know anything. Sarah
Newton said she heard no allegations
about her flock, the the MPs she was
in charge of rather than rumours
about any other Tories.
say, I do not recognise the more
lurid allegations. What about the
less lurid once? So, this smells
very, very bad indeed.
Corbyn's going to have to answer
some of these questions as well?
Yeah, but the whip's thing is a red
herring. Their remit is to get the
vote out for the Government
fundamentally. Everybody knows that.
They are not there, it is one of the
problems. They are not there to be
moral guides to these MPs. They are
there to win votes for the
Government or the opposition if that
becomes possible. And deal brutally
with MPs to make sure they get out
and vote. Of course they knew
virtually everything. But whether
they were obliged to act as moral
guard yawns in these situations, I
don't think they were. It was not
part of their job. Maybe you need
moral guardians in there but not the
Normally, less than
three-weeks out from a budget that's
what we'd been talking about.
Dominating our conversation. Given
that's set for November 22nd, is
that an opportunity for the
Government to seize back control of
Philip Hammond may be
glad we're not spending too much
time talking about the budget. It
should be an opportunity for the
Government to seize the agenda, draw
a line under all of this. I think
one of the very difficult as pects
of this so-called scandal for the
Government to manage is knowing
quite how long it will run. In the
normal scheme of things they lose
steam after a couple of weeks. But
there are so many potential gayses
that could come out, it might run
longer than that. Rather like the
expenses scandal. But there is an
opportunity at the budget to reset
the' again da. I just don't think
Philip Hammond will take it. I think
he's a very caution Chancellor. At
the moment, there is a feeling
Theresa May's leadership is so weak
it will be too dangerous for them to
do anything particularly dram attic
why. I expect a steady as you go
budget where they will be hoping not
to make any mistakes.
You say there
is disagreement in the Cabinet about
what should be in the budget?
Disagreement between the Chancellor
and the Prime Minister. The
witch-hunt is hiding a huge story
which is the incredible dysfunction
between Number Ten and number 11.
Philip Hammond and Theresa May can't
bear to be in the same room with
each other let alone agreeing what's
in the budget. It is coming down to
housing. Everybody agrees it has to
be the centrepiece of the budget.
They have to get more houses built.
Philip Hammond wands that bee
deregulation. Theresa May wants to
are borrow up to 50 billion
merchandise more for the Government
to build for themselves.
That's all for today.
There's no Sunday Politics
while Parliament is in recess,
but I'll be back here at 11am
on BBC One in two weeks' time.
Until then, bye bye.
Sarah Smith and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. The programme includes an interview with shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith. Plus former MP George Galloway and journalist and author Peter Hitchens discuss the Russian revolution. Steve Richards, Isabel Oakeshott, Tom Newton Dunn are on the political panel.