12/02/2017 Sunday Politics North West

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Andrew Neil is joined by Baroness Smith and Oliver Letwin. The political panellists are Janan Ganesh, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Steve Richards.

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Commons Speaker John Bercow is accused of compromising his


impartiality by revealing he voted Remain in last year's EU referendum.


The EU Withdrawal Bill clears its first Parliamentary hurdle.


But will the House of Lords be quite so accommodating?


Labour's Leader in the Lords joins us live.


And we report from Stoke-on-Trent ahead of a crucial by-election


later this month, where Ukip is looking to give


And in the North West, riding roughshod over rural businesses -


why the countryside is not champing at the bit for rate reform.


And with me a political panel who frequently like to compromise


Steve Richards, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Janan Ganesh.


I'll be trying to keep them in order during the course of the programme.


So, Commons Speaker John Bercow has insisted his ability


to act impartially is not damaged by reports that he voted to Remain


The Sunday Telegraph reveals that Speaker Bercow revealed his views


in front of an audience of students at Reading University


This may not be popular with some people in this audience -


I thought it was better to stay in the European Union than not,


partly for economic reason, being part of a big trade bloc,


and partly because I think we're in a world of power blocs,


and I think for all the weaknesses and deficiencies


of the European Union, it is better to be part of that big


Speaker Bercow speaking at Reading University earlier this month. Does


he not care is this I get that impression, he knows perfectly well,


it states he has to be particularly -- Parliamentary neural. Whether


there are going to be enough votes to force him out, the question, the


last speaker wept out with the 20 vote against him. You yes to have


the command of the support across the House. There is a Deputy


Speaker, waiting, who would be superb. I think even the people who


pretend to support Macis have had enough -- Speaker Bercow have had


enough of his ways. The reason I ask whether he care, he didn't just tell


the students that he voted to Remain, he then gave them a running


commentary on all the issues that will be part of the Brexit


negotiations, workers' rights, immigration, trade policy, everyone


maternity leave got a hat tip from him. He would be a very well


prepared Brexit minister if attendance needs a colleague --


David Davis needs a colleague. I don't think this story makes his


position untenable, what does is the wired pattern of behaviour of


excessive candour on his political views, going back years, this is a


guy who when the Queen visited Parliament described her as theical


lied scope Queen. He had a running argument with David Cameron. We know


his views on Brexit, we know his views on Donald Trump. . He has


given interviews, none of the views are illegitimate but the candour


which they are expressed with is scrupulous. Given Lyndsay Hoyle is a


class accuse. He is the Deputy Speaker. And a fairly ready


replacement, whether there is more of a movement to say, maybe not


force Bercow out but acknowledge he has had a few years in the job and


the question of successor ship comes into play. Has he concluded he is


untouchable? What I can definitely say, is that he is determined to


fight this one out, and not go of his own volition, so if he goes he


will have to be forced out. He wants to stay. Which will be tough. It


will be tough. Likely as things stand. I would say this, I speak to


someone who likes the way he has brought the House of Commons to


life, held ministers to account, forced them into explain thing,


whenever there is a topical issue you know it will be in the House of


Commons. He has changed that. He has. Time has been courageous, Ied a


mire the way he has been a speaker. I would say this, during the


referendum campaign, he asked me Nick Clegg, and Peter Hitchens to


debate Brexit if his constituency. It was a packed out meeting. He


chaired it. I said don't you want to join in? He didn't. He showed no


desire to join in, he was impartial. He goes out to universities and kind


of demyth GCSEs Parliament by speaking to them in a way, he


doesn't gets credit for it and stays on after and drinks with them.


Sometimes he, you know, it is clearly a mistake to have gone into


his views retrospectively on that referendum campaign, I don't think


that, did he try and stop Article 50 from being triggered in the House of


Commons? That would be a scandal. Even that would be beyond him.


Briefly, yes or no, could you imagine Betty Boothroyd behaving


like that? Not at all. None of the recent speakers I could imagine


doing that. It is good he is different.


The bill that will allow the government to trigger Article 50


and begin Brexit negotiations was voted through


Many MPs were in a difficult position - unsure whether to vote


with their conscience, their constituency,


Europe, once such a divisive issue for the Conservatives,


is now causing major divisions inside the Labour Party.


So, let's have a look what happened in a bit more detail:


Thanks to academic research carried out since the referendum,


we now have estimates of how each individual constituency voted.


It's thought that 410 constituencies voted Leave.


On Wednesday night, the EU Notification of Withdrawal Bill


was voted through by the House of Commons.


The bill left the Labour Party divided.


Jeremy Corbyn told his MPs to respect the result


of the referendum and vote for the government's bill -


But 52 Labour MPs defied Mr Corbyn's thee-line whip


That's about a fifth of the Parliamentary Labour Party.


Of those 52 Labour MPs who voted against the bill,


the majority, 45 of them, represent seats that voted Remain.


However, seven Labour MPs voted against the Article 50 Bill,


even though their constituents voted Leave in the referendum.


The Conservative Party were much more united.


The vast majority of Tory MPs, 320 of them, voted for the bill.


Just one Conservative MP, Ken Clarke, voted against it.


His constituency, Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire, voted Remain.


The bill will now go to the House of Lords -


peers will start debating it on Monday the 20th of February.


Joining me now is Matthew Goodwin, politics professor at


He's got a book out next month called


Brexit: Why Britain Voted To Leave The European Union.


Welcome to the programme. Has Brexit, how you voted in the


referendum and your continuing attitudes toward it, is that now


becoming the new dividing line in British politics? I think it


certainly is contributing to a new dividing line, in western politics


more generally, we know over the last ten years, that the old left


and right division has been making way for a new division, between


essentially social liberals and Conservative, and Brexit was a, an


incident a moment that really reflected that new dividing line, so


it wasn't just the case that Brexit has cut across Labour's base, it is


that dividing line, that deeper division is cutting across social


democracies more generally. Is there a possibility, no higher than that,


that it will reShane our party politics? I think it is too early to


know whether this is a fundamental long-term realignment. If we look at


what is happening in local by-election, what is happening at


by-elections, pictures a bit mixed but if you look at how some of the


Labour vote is responding, I think that potentially reflects the


possibility of a terminal decline for the Labour Party, it is going to


be incredibly difficult for Labour to win these voters back, these are


traditional working class, socially Conservative voters who are leaving


the party, don't forget, since the 1997 general election. It is not


just because of the referendum. If that was the case, Labour would


become more a party of the Metropolitan areas, and less of a


party outside of these area, is that what you are saying? What we are S


seeing across the west can social democracy that retrenchment into the


cosmopolitan, Metropolitan city area, university towns, you can


seeing in many European states populist right parties filling the


traditional socialist area, why are they doing that? Because they are


offering two message, economic and cultural protectionism. Social


Democrats are clinging to that economic protectionism but not


saying much about migration and multiculturalism and that sort of


stuff. Are there deeper forces at work than Jeremy Corbyn? He often


gets the blame for what is happening to the Labour Party now, but if you


look the way the Greek socialist party has been wiped out. The German


Social Democrats are in trouble. The Italian socialist party has lost a


referendum. The French socialist are coming close to being wiped out on


April 23rd, Labour's problems, are part of a much wider problem of


social democracy S Jeremy Corbyn is a surface problem, what I mean by


that is you could replace him tosh with another leader, they would


still have this fundamental tension within the electorate. They are


trying to appeal to two differenter reconcilable groups of voters who


think differently about the key issues of the day. It is very


difficult for any centre left party now to assemble the kinds of


coalitionses we saw in the '90s with Clinton and Blair and Schroeder.


Those days are gone. Does that explain why it is now Labour, rather


than the Conservatives, historically the party divided over the European


Union, does all of that help to explain why its Labour that now


seems, disunited over the EU? I think so, I think also that the


issue of Brexit, and the EU, is so immatly wrapped up with that issue


of immigration, if you look at who has been abandoned Labour since 2015


or the late 90s, the one thing those voters share is a rejection of the


so-called liberal consensus on EU membership and mass immigration. It


is difficult for any Labour lead eer co-bin or Clive Lewis on Dan Jarvis,


to bring those voters back unless they are going to move on that


cultural terrain. If they are not, they may not go to Ukip, they might


go to somewhere more difficult for Labour which is political apathy.


Thank you for that. Attention now shifts to the House


of Lords where peers will begin scrutinising the EU Withdrawal Bill


in just over a week. Brexit Secretary David Davis urged


the Lords "to do its patriotic duty" and resist the urge to tinker


with the legislation. Former minister Oliver Letwin


went one further - mooting the possibility


of the abolition of the Lords if it sought to frustrate


the bill in any way. Here he is posing the question


in the Commons on Thursday. Would he find time, in government


time for a debate, should the other place seek to delay beyond the end


of March the passage of our accession to Article 50, for this


House to discuss the possibility of either the abolition or full-scale


reform of the other place? And Oliver Letwin joins


me now from Dorset. Welcome back to the programme Mr Let


win. Before we come on to the Lord's, can I get your thoughts on a


matter that has been making the news this morning and John Bercow's


remarks about being a remain voter an giving something of a running


commentary on various Brexit issues, has he sqloefr stepped the mark as


speaker? -- overstepped the mark. I think this is slightly a fuss about


nothing. Every person who thinks about politics will have had some


opinion about great matters like Brexit, and I really don't see any


particular reason why his opinion shouldn't be known after the fact.


I, I was there throughout the five days of the Brexit debate, and I


have to say, I thought he was pretty scrupulously fair in the way he


handled the House, so, I, I don't really share the view that there is


some terrible thing that has been revealed this weekend. Let me come


on to what we are here to talk about, which is the Lords. Why have


you raised the threat of the abolition of the Lord for doing its


job of scrutinising what is coming out the Commons? Well, you know,


Andrew, this question of the job of the House of Lords and scrutiny, has


to be looked at carefully. There are all sorts of bills that come out the


House of Commons which are detailed things that relate to, finance, and


expenditure, and the criminal law, and all that sort of thing, and all


of that, I admire the work that the House of Lords does, as you say


scrutinising and we shouldn't use that word loosely, it means looking


carefully at the detail, line by line of complicated legislation,


hundreds of Paps in some cases, and spotting, using the considerable


expertise many, not all be many of the peers have, in any given field,


to identify things where the Commons has got it wrong in the sense that


the legislation wouldn't achieve what the Government of the day is


seeking to make it achieve. That is a serious proper role for an Upper


House and the House of Lords performs it pretty


Now this is a very different case. This is a two clause bill. The first


clause which is the operative clause says the Prime Minister should go


ahead and sign... I understand all that. We haven't got that much time,


this is becoming a monologue. There is nothing to scrutinise, Andrew.


There were plenty of amendments put before the Commons, none of them got


through, it is true. There are eight Labour amendments in the Lords, are


you resigned to this bill coming back to the Commons with amendments?


No, it should not come back with amendments. There were hundreds of


amendments literally put down in the House of Commons, they were all


drunk. They were all trying one way or another to derail the process.


This is a binary issue, should Theresa May sign the withdrawal or


not? What should the Commons do? The Commons has now voted in favour of


it. Node do should tolerate and unelected chamber forcing the


British people... The people voted in a referendum and the Commons


voted. The matter is now signed and sealed and should not be derailed by


the House of Lords. On Labour amendment wants confirmation that


when it is done, the potential Brexit agreement will be put before


parliament before any vote in the European Parliament, that has been


an agreed principle, what is wrong with that amendments? The government


has already agreed there will be a vote, but actually, what the


amendments were seeking was to give the Commons a further vote on


whether we actually leave or not. That is already decided. Neither the


House of Lords nor anybody else has a right in my view, despite the fact


I was a remain, to what the will of the British people. Nobody should


think an unelected chamber should now try to change the course of


British history by asserting amendments in a very effective on


clause bill which says go ahead and trigger Article 50. Are you


concerned that amendments by the Lords which would then have to go


back to the Commons for consideration, are you concerned


that could derail or delay the Prime Minister's timetable for Article 50?


Yes, exactly. That would be the result of a prolonged bout of


ping-pong between the two houses, or much worse, if the House of Lords


failed to give way and the Parliament act had to be used. It


would really be intolerable. It is not good for our country. Those of


us who voted remain would prefer for that not to happen. The whole


country -- it is important for the whole country that this happens in a


rapid way and allowing the government free rein to negotiate,


that is surely in all our advantages? Deed think any efforts


to abolish the House of Lords, an issue you have raised, does that


make it easier because your friend David Cameron stuffed the upper


chamber with donors, lapdogs and lingerie designers? I was among


those who advocated for many years wholesale reform of the House of


Lords, to turn it into a serious elected second chamber. I think we


should have an upper house which commands legitimacy. This is a


second issue. Here we have not got such a House and it seems to be very


clear that it should not seek to derail on delay the action which has


been mandated by the referendum, agreed by the House of Commons, and


what we want to see now is a smooth orderly effect for this bill, so it


becomes law and Theresa May can go ahead and negotiate on our behalf.


One more question on the process, if the Lords to amend the bill and it


goes back to the Commons and the Commons sends these amendments back


again, take them out, how long could this ping-pong between the two


chambers go on in your experience? It is a very, very interesting and


complicated question with the clerks of the two ends of the Palace of


Westminster not always agreeing about this. But through certain


machinations of slightly changing amendments as they go, in my


experience this could carry on for an awful long time if clever people,


and there are plenty of clever people in the House of Lords, want


to do that and that is precisely why I think we should not tolerate it.


Oliver Letwin, thank you for joining us from Dorset.


Joining me now is Labour's Leader in the House of Lords, Angela Smith.


The Commons passed this bill without any amendments... There were


changes, the government did concede a couple of points. But the


amendments did not go through. Does that put pressure on the Lords to do


the same? I think the Lords always feels under pressure to do the right


thing. When I heard Oliver Letwin, I did not know whether to laugh or


cry. We will not frustrate, we will not wreck, we will not sabotage. We


will do what David Davis said was our patriotic duty. We will


scrutinise the bill. We have at amendments from the Labour Party. We


will look at those. It depends on the government response if we vote


on those. There could be amendments asking the Commons to look again.


That is normally what we do. It is not the wrong thing to do. But if


you do this and make amendments, it then goes back to the Commons. If


the Commons rejects the Lords' amendments, what do you think will


happen? I do not see any extended ping-pong at all. It is perfectly


legitimate. We are not talking about the outcome of negotiations, we are


talking about the process. The process of engaging with Parliament


and reporting to Parliament. It would be totally responsible for


Parliament to say, off you go, Theresa May, have two years of


negotiation and come back and talk to us at the end. The has to be a


process where the government can use the expertise of parliament to get


this right. But if you do put in some amendments, it has to go back


to the Commons, they may well say they don't want those amendments and


it may go back to the Lords, could that at the very least delay the


Prime Minister's Brexit timetable? I don't think so. She said the end of


March. Time has been built in for all the normal processes. I think


Oliver Letwin and others are getting a bit overexcited. This is the


normal process. Unless the government get things right the


first time every time, the has to be this kind of process. These are


reasonable amendments. This is a Labour amendment we are talking


about here, you want a vote in the UK Parliament before any


vote in the European Parliament if and when the Brexit deal is done,


the Commons and the Lords get to vote on it first. But the government


I think have already agreed to that so what is the point? It needs to be


on the face of the bill. It is over well if the government have agreed


it. Lord dubs had an agreement about child and look what happened to


that. Does not sound as if you would go to the wire on that? It is


important it is not just about the vote at the end, you have the


ongoing engagement. If it is going to be a bad deal, we need to know


long before we get to that stage? Is it something you would hold out for?


I don't know yet. It is about how the House of Lords votes, Labour do


not have a majority, we never had a majority in the House of Lords when


we were in government. It is wrong to suggest that we cannot debate


these issues... I don't think anyone is suggesting that. They are. It is


not unfair to ask the government to ask the House of Commons to look


again to look at those issues if that is what the House of Lords


decides. Bit of the House of Commons says we looked, we are sticking with


what we voted for, we rejected every amendment by at least 30 votes on


all occasions, the Lords then have to buckle, is that what you are


saying? Some point I think it is clear the House of Commons have to


have its say. I think it is inconceivable that having had a


referendum, which was not overwhelming, but it was a clear


result, the House of Lords has no intention of sabotaging that but


there are things which are not good about the process that we think


could be improved. We have not just have the result of the referendum


which voted to leave, but we have had the will of the Commons that


passed this legislation by a majority of 372. And I am not


contesting that for a second! Could you cite a precedent for the upper


house amending a bill which passed by 372 votes in the Commons? Quite


other things will come to the House of Lords with big majorities from


the Commons and quite often the amendments we get, with that then


forward and the government sees it could do better. Though not


necessarily saying the government has got things wrong, but they could


do things better. That happens time and time again and it is not


unusual. If you were seen to thwart the referendum result and the vote


in the Commons, the elected chamber of parliament, is the threat of


abolition hanging over you? I think that is really ridiculous and


absolute nonsense. We are not tying to what the decision of the House of


Commons, we are trying to do better. It is a bit rich of the government


and Oliver Letwin to complain about getting things through in time when


the House of Commons spent -- the government spent three months trying


to debate this issue. There have been some strong questions put to


the government from the House of Lords on all sides. I don't know if


the amendments have been passed or not. I think we have a good case for


the government to get debate the point. If a traditional MP like


Oliver Letwin is calling for the abolition of the hereditary and


appointed chamber, and the Labour person like yourself was trying to


defend that, that would not be a sustainable position, I would


suggest! We saw this with the Strathclyde report as well, this is


a government like no other. It is the first Conservative government in


history not to have an automatic majority. They do not like challenge


or scrutiny. But you get my point, Labour cannot go to the wire in


defending and an elected second chamber, can it? Actually, Labour


can go to the wire in saying the government does not get it right


every time. House of Lords is going to normal processes and people like


Oliver Letwin are really getting a little bit over excited, and people


who have been anonymously briefing. Who has been anonymously briefing? I


don't know, they are anonymous! I understand people want to make


amendments, that is the role of the House of Lords, but can I just for


the avoidance of doubt, is it still your case that whatever amendments


to make, whatever may go back and forward, it is not your intention to


stop Article 50 being triggered by the end of March? I have been saying


that, exactly that for months and months and months. It is


inconceivable that an unelected House will thwart the will of the


House of Commons and a referendum on this issue. But that does not mean


we will be bullied by Oliver Letwin and others. But the triggering will


happen by the end of March? I very much suspect so unless Theresa May


has second thoughts, I suspect that will happen. Thank you.


Now, just because it's parliamentary recess next week


There are two by-elections round the corner -


one in Copeland, and another in Stoke-on-Trent Central


where the former Shadow Education Secretary,


Tristram Hunt, vacated his seat to take up a role


as Director of the Victoria Albert Museum in London.


But Labour are facing a fight to hold onto the constituency


Seconds away, Ukip's new leader has stepped into the ring


as their candidate in a by-election bout to see


At the last election Ukip came second to Labour here


But now they are confident they can land a knockout blow,


because this place is packed with people that voted to leave the EU.


70% of people voted to leave the European Union.


I'm the only candidate standing in this election


who is a true Brexiteer, who has always campaigned to leave


the EU and therefore I believe I would be the best person


But he has had to fight off allegations


he wasn't living in the constituency when he entered the contest.


Explain to me what is going on with this issue about your house?


Well, we took up the lease the day before nominations.


Everything we've done is perfectly legal and within the law.


The Labour Party are trying to get off the real issues in this election


and focus on something which is banal nonsense.


And there's been trouble as well for the Labour contender.


He's been labelled a Remoaner after he sent a series


of anti-Brexit tweets, filled with words


I can't believe I'm about to ask this question in a nursery


on a Sunday morning TV programme, but did you really tweet that


I tweeted many things about Brexit, that's tweet is out there.


It was done quite after the referendum result and it


was my way of showing my frustration at the fact that months


after the result we hadn't had anything from the government.


Theresa May had failed to produce any plan,


she had failed to give any meaningful statement


about what Brexit meant other than bland statements


about Brexit is Brexit, and it's a hard Brexit, or a soft Brexit.


The context of it was it was out of frustration.


So you didn't mean to insult the 70% of the people who live here


I never mean to insult anybody and you know,


I've made it quite clear, if I'm elected as the member


of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central, I will absolutely respect


the wishes of the people of Stoke Central.


I will make sure my vote in parliament is to trigger Article 50.


While the Tories' man has done little bit of rebranding too.


I voted Remain and I've been open about that, but my top priority


is about the economy and to ensure we still have an


Theresa May has set out clear proposal to ensure we develop


a trade relationship with Europe and make that a success.


It means the Lib Dems and the Greens are the ones battling Brexit.


Well, when the Lib Dem candidate is actually here.


The candidate is a consultant cardiologist.


He is actually at work today doing very important heart surgery.


He will be back tomorrow, back on the campaign trail working hard.


30% of people voted to Remain and nobody else


is representing them, so, you know, it is still a live issue.


It is still something people care about.


We are only at the start of the Article 50 process


We are very a clear that we are standing up for those


who want to remain in the single market, who want to protect jobs


Labour have taken people for granted in this area for a great many years.


Ukip, I'm afraid, all Ukip can offer to politics is division.


I've covered a lot of by-elections where Ukip have come second.


We'll find out if they really got Labour on the ropes this


And here is a full list of all the candidates standing


in the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election.


They do atract lots of candidates. You can get that on the BBC website


as well. I was trying to think back, here we have the main opposition


party defending two seats in by-elections in the midterm of a


government. All the speculation is where the


opposition party can hold on, that is unprecedented. I can't give of an


equivalent. You wouldn't just expect them to win seats they have held


traditionally, you would expect hem to make inroads into seats held by


the other party, I wonder if they fail to hold on to just one of


these, whether it accelerates the momentum and criticism of the


leadership of the moment. I think they are interesting constituencies.


Matthew good win was talking about the left win coalition over the


years, almost being too broad for its own good, including places like


Primrose Hill and Hackney. Big university towns in Manchester,


Bristol. Diverse ethnically and included places like Stoke which are


more Conservative. With a small c. Less economically well-off, more


diverse, can the left hang on to both bits of country. Recent


evidence suggests it cannot and the opportunity for Ukip is to pick up


the second of those two types of community, the Stokes and the cope


lands. That what makes the by-elections interest I would


suggest. It is not just about Mr Corbyn's future about which we hear


too much, it is about this traditional Labour coalition, can it


still survive, particularly in places like Stoke? Europe clearly is


a test. I think it's a myth by the way that Labour are only split now,


over Europe and it has always been a Tory problem, last time I was on I


mentioned it. That is why we had a referendum in 75. That is why they


had a round then. But they were in chaos behind the scenes over what


they thought about the euro, skillful leadership can paper over


the cracks, and to address the wider issue of whether we are now in an


era where left right issues have disappeared, and there is more of a


regional divide, if you take Europe out of the equation which you can't,


but if you were able to, issues about health, transport housing do


split more left-right than a regional divide, so I think there is


still fundamental left-right issues, but Europe isn't one of them and


Europe has to be managed by a Labour leader skill fully and evidently


that hasn't happened now. How would you see the by-elections in the


current political context? Labour should be walking them, it should be


a sign of the March of the Labour Party taking on the current


Conservative Government. I don't think they raise any questions about


Corbyn's leadership because the people who put him in don't think


that winning elections matter, you have to remember this will be the


mainstream media, it will be our fault why any of those Labour


candidates don't win, the thing that is interesting is whether there is


is a role for Ukip. The argument after the referendum was Ukip has


done its job, it got the referendum, nothing to see here, I remember


speaking to put a Nuttall before he was Ukip leader, on the day after


the battle and he said this is Year Zero, where Ukip starts now, and


this, and this is the interesting thing, does, do we see this one


particular party having a role in the future? And I think it is all to


play for, they could not not have stood in this seat. They have to win


it to be an electoral force. The Labour candidate in Copeland has


made the NHS the issue for her in this, that goes into the left-right,


are we spending enough, are we not? That will be a test of what you were


saying to see if traditional left-right issue, which at the


moment would play Labour's way I would suggest, are big enough to


overcome all the things you have been talking about and Matthew has


been talking about. Maybe at this particular junction they are not,


but I don't think any of those issues will go away, and that is why


I question whether we are see the end of a historic left-right divide.


At the moment with Europe so prominent, clearly these


by-elections are unusual. And they will be a test of leadership for


Theresa May in the coming months if not at the moment, as they have been


in a way that he hasn't risen to, for the Labour leader.


We will be leave on BBC One on the night, February 23rd off back of


this week, we will bring you the result of both these crucial


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


We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now


Coming up here in 20 minutes, the Week Ahead.


First though, the Sunday Politics where you are.


Coming up in the North West: Riding roughshod over rural businesses -


why the countryside's not champing at the bit for rate reform.


But under starters orders in the studio this week


are Lucy Powell, the Labour MP for Manchester Central,


and David Rutley, the Conservative for Macclesfield.


Another bad week for Jeremy Corbyn. Brexit rebellion, rumours of a


leadership contest. How long can it go on? With the country in such flux


and the need for an effective opposition, the last thing we need


is more speculation about the leadership of the Labour Party. The


last thing we need is more navel-gazing. It has been a


difficult period but we got to move on and get back to the job of being


an effective opposition. Totally unfounded? Angela Rayner and


Rebecca's names are being mentioned. Anyone on manoeuvres, you need to


stop it, we got so much going on in these the Labour Party to focus on


the job. And, David, a minor local


rebellion in your party - Antoinette Sandbach backing Labour's


defeated amendment to give Parliament a decisive say


over the final deal. I think it is absolutely vital that


Parliament has a vote on a deal if there is a deal and if there is no


deal, we also need a vote. The vote for Brexit was to bring back control


to this Parliament and I voted for that democratic decision-making in


this Parliament. MPs this week promised a meaningful


vote on the final deal but they will have to back it off back which could


the North West. If voters were the North West. If voters were


looking for the sovereignty of Parliament over Brexit, they haven't


got it. Parliament has decided this week it will back Article 50 and now


everything is to play for. We need to work on a negotiation with the


EU. There are huge opportunities. The Germans wanted rebuttals, the


French want to trade with us. Between a rock and a hard place for


most people want to support the will most people want to support the will


of the British public. Now we need to come forward with the best


vote in parliament. Lucy, Labour vote in parliament. Lucy, Labour


were accused of rolling over for the Government on this. Should they have


put up more resistance? What we had to do this week was give effect to


the outcome of the referendum. That's why I and many other MPs who


campaigned to remain in the EU voted to trigger Article 50 but that isn't


a blank cheque, it doesn't mean we will ball over on anything but what


most people in this region and country want to see is for us to


work together to get the best outcome and not stand there saying,


we told you it would be terrible and actually make that an outcome, we


got to get the best possible outcome for the North West for all the


people we represent out of something many of us didn't want to see


happen, but that's life, that's democracy.


Onto health care now, and it's been a week of ups


There have been worrying death rates, and a high-profile


resignation, but also significant improvements at some previously


struggling hospitals, and plans for a state-of-the


It's not the place to wear a white coat yet.


Before Clatterbridge's new cancer centre can open


on this site in Liverpool, local people are being asked to dig


deep to help pay for it and famous faces have been helping.


Sad subject, really, but it's something that affects us all,


whether individually or through a family or friend


at some stage in your life and having a facility like this


in the heart of Liverpool can only benefit people in the city.


Over ?100 million is due to be spent on all 11 floors of hospital,


which will be built behind me by around 2019.


It seems like a rare good headline for the NHS in a week


where there has been a lot of bad news.


This has been a week where the pressures facing the NHS


in the North West have been laid bare, Royal Blackburn Hospital


There are too many people that come. There's only so much that we can do.


We need beds and staff. It's like banging your head on a brick wall.


Times are desperate. We need more staff and more space.


2,000 doctors warned Theresa May of unacceptable safety concerns this


week and there were reports of unsafe levels of overcrowding


You don't want to be in hospital if you don't need to be.


I would far rather have capacity in the community in terms of nursing


That's the responsibility of council social care and the man who runs


that in Liverpool resigned over funding cuts, warning social care


We don't know where we'll be in two years.


As it currently stands, it will be difficult for us


to get through this year, but I imagine it'll be harder,


but I'm doing everything I can to make sure that people take social


Back in the NHS, more bad news at the Countess of Chester Hospital,


told not to reintroduce neonatal and intensive care because


But despite all the shortages, inspectors recorded improvements


at Morecambe Bay and ten side, two hospitals in special


It has certainly been a challenge for all of us,


but it's about the leadership team supporting the staff to deliver.


For the politicians over the last week, though,


it's been images like this that have been hard for them to avoid.


Some insight into the incredible work done at the Royal Blackburn


Hospital under incredible pressure. This week, Jeremy Hunt has conceded


that waiting times are too long in A but at the same time the Prime


Minister has said we don't need more money for social care. That doesn't


add up. There's no question that they're not unusual pressures on the


NHS at the moment. I've been in hospital for the last two weeks


visiting family who have been through A and been cared for very


well and Macclesfield Hospital, so we got some great care, we got extra


funding going into the NHS and we got extra funding... not enough,


though. We put money where the crisis is. It's not just the money,


it's what we can do to improve health care and social care. The


Liverpool adult social care said he has had enough, I can do this any


more because of the impact it has had on people. He says it's got two


years of life left. There are pressures but we need to look more


innovative ways of doing things. In Macclesfield, we've found within its


best bases in the hospital, an extra 29 beds and we've would have more


domiciliary care, care at home, working closely with GPs and social


so let's get more innovative. It will just be cash alone. Is there


enough cash? 500 million pledged isn't enough. Its 10 billion per


year going into the NHS. What we're seeing now is the aggregate of a


number of Conservative policy is all coming home to roost. It does take a


few years for Government policies to have a direct impact on public


years of a Conservative Government, years of a Conservative Government,


we're now seeing the full force of all of those policies, the cuts to


social care, the changes to primary care, the cuts being made to


hospitals as well, all of those things are now piling this


unbearable pressure on the NHS and my husband is in A Doctor here in


the region and that's what he will tell you, that A and hospitals


cannot deal with the amount of people coming in who should be being


looked after in the community or in social care. David, this bed


blocking, we could have predicted when council budgets were slashed.


There are examples of the strikers were there fewer delays and


discharges in St Helens, for example. We need to look at how much


quicker we can integrate care between social care... but Lucy's


point that the slicing services has led to a reduction in hospital care.


There are challenges but we are putting more money in. Lucy would


agree that it's not just about changes that are taking place or the


money, there is no increasing and unprecedented demand over the last


year and this is about demographics. But those ageing populations and


demographic changes have been coming for a very long time, they've now


been made a cute by the huge cuts to adult social care, which hasn't been


the same everywhere. Some councils, particularly those most deprived


like Manchester and Liverpool have seen absolutely enormous cuts to


their social care budget. Other authorities less so. in some places


that are under an emotional delved -- under intense pressure, there are


improvements. Yes there are places where things can be done


professionally but let's not hide behind that, this is a profound and


deep problem we are facing. The accumulative effect of many


different policy decisions that the Conservatives have made. You need


more demographics to limit all on the Conservatives. We knew the


demographics were coming yet the Government decided to take billions


of pounds out of adult social care. It's false economy. We're putting


7.6 billion in now. In that, there is 900 million extra to help social


care so steps are being taken. Is a bit extra going in in the last year


but that on the backdrop of huge cuts over many years which we're now


just seeing the impact of commerce of these things are false economies


so you have to get early intervention. The money has to go


into prevention and early intervention instead of just saying


we go to plough more than more money into acute services, which is what


has happened, so we could have saved money, actually. There's an


opportunity with devolution and seeing integrated care coming


together in Manchester, we can learn from that.


Rural communities say their way of life is at risk


The amount of local tax paid by companies is being recalculated


in April for the first time in seven years.


And critics reckon towns and cities could benefit


at the cost of the countryside, as Mark Edwardson reports


from a riding school in Cumbria facing a 60% hike.


Ella Wadsworth is a 19-year-old student who's visually impaired.


I can't drive legally so coming here and getting on a horse,


Ella rides 17-year-old cob Jack three times a week


It's one of many rural enterprises facing a business


If the Government are trying to encourage people to go out and do


sports, how do they expect people like me who are students and have


to save money and come and do what we love?


So the costs, you think, could become prohibiting?


Business rates are the commercial version of council tax.


It's claimed rural businesses, which typically occupy more space,


are put at an unfair disadvantage by a bricks-and-mortar tax based


The rise is from ?183 per stable to ?375.


Other facilities at Witherslack hall Farm will push the bill even higher.


We are either going to have to pay it and just carry on as we are,


but it would mean that we weon't grow as a business.


Other possiblities are we will have to put the price of the lessons up.


Do you feel like the business is under threat?


Riding schools will be joined by livestock markets and kennels


and catteries as businesses facing the biggest increases


But there will be winners too - oil refineries, cement works,


bingo halls and even photo booths are looking at reductions


You can easily look at the geographical size


of a business and compare that to their turnover and make sure


you reduce business rate accordingly, but in the end we're


asking the Government to put yet another bit of sellotape


And the industry's not taking the increase lying down.


Why is it the case this is happening now?


Because we don't believe it's appropriate for this


level of increase to have happened right now.


The Valuation Office Agency says it uses, "a wide range


We approach all classes of property fairly and equally."


The riding school's got two months before it's officially saddled


Also with us is Christian Spence from Greater Manchester Chamber


of Commerce, who recently advised MPs on local Government finance.


We sat with you, Christian. On the face of it, this looks fed enough,


your business can make more money, therefore it pays more tax, that is


basically -- basic redistribution of wealth. Not quite, because it is


based purely on valuation property itself and that can be affected by


wider economic conditions and also improvements the business has made


so if you're looking to invest in a property to improve it, even to


install plant and machinery to make it more productive, it adds to the


value as far as an operational system and then you get taxed on


those benefits. that sounds to me like it would not be an incentive


for people to improve businesses or the high street because you will get


lumped with more tax. This is a tax that gets increased the time and it


raises ?29 billion a year. Businesses are used to the Sachs, a


like corporation tax, it's been around long time -- used to this


tax. There comes a point where you have to have a valuation and there


are thresholds in place. For some brutal businesses there are good or


great as well, small pubs and petrol stations, small stores and things.


But in Suffolk, they will see raises a 152% and they clearly are the


victims of their own success and have made it a tourist hub and


because they have done that they will be punished. There are


challenges around. The value of your property is increasing, but again


you can anticipate this stuff. One reform that the Government said it


will put in place is not have these rates revaluation is done every six


or seven years, we will do them more frequently so it is not a big


surprise. is doing it annually less of a shock? It could be. For many


small businesses, they would say that business rates are too high and


that they are not competitive, especially with the development of


so many online businesses who perhaps don't have the same level of


business rates as, say, a high-street provider or another


service with a high overhead so we do need to look at the context of


the overall environment. What do you replace the revenue with if you


reduce the rates? You need to look at how you can better adapt that to


the modern business environment that we had in. It is a difficult issue,


these re-evaluations are always difficult to do so we got to make


sure that we got the revenues coming in to provide the sort of services


we were just talking about in terms of adult social care and other very


important services that local authorities provide, but we got to


make sure that they don't diss incentivise -- failed to act as an


incentive for businesses. I think there are some important reforms


ahead. In the pilot scheme where councils will keep 100% of their


business rates, is that a good idea or two places like Greater


Manchester stand to lose out? In the last figures, it was only Trafford


and Stockport that had a net gain through taxation so why would we


want to go through that ordeal? What you've got is a concept that in


principle is a really good idea. Businesses have complained for the


long term that their connectivity between the business community and


local Government has been strained for a very long time and that


relationship has not been fruitful, so I think devolving is good in


principle. Anything that returns control closer to the places where


the money is going to be spent is inherently and in principle a good


thing. The challenge is for local authority is by retaining rates, how


it will incentivise Government to look after its businesses. The


question is can you go more money from it? From local authorities like


Manchester and London, it doesn't Manchester and London, it doesn't


have a great deal of land to build premises on because it's not about


the number of businesses, it's about businesses occupying large floor


space. Is that a body that Greater Manchester will lose out on


devolution in terms of business trip attention? It depends on business


attention so Labour supporters the devolution of business rates but


it's got to be set in the context of not further cuts elsewhere so the


other grams coming from central Government, if they're going to be


cut alongside it, overall the pot of money available to local authorities


will continue to diminish and then important services like children's


services and adult social care will get cut even further so we have to


make sure that those... There are safeguards in place, for example,


local authorities like Oldham found a big local employer was moving


somewhere else that they would be safeguards in place for that loss of


revenue. David, is it fair that Surrey essentially holds the


Government to ransom and they say you can keep 100% of business rates


worrying about business rates? The worrying about business rates? The


conversation there between Surrey and Government is unusual so I'm not


sure I follow your point. I don't know the detail on the text


messages, but there was no special deal for Surrey, just part of the


normal dialogue between businesses normal dialogue between businesses


and county councils. one minute you've got a leading Conservative


local authority saying they're going local authority saying they're going


to put up council tax by 50% to meet the shortfall in social care. It's


hitting the airwaves and media, creating unwelcome headlines and


next thing you got text messages with special advisers and the call


of their 15% hike. they made the decision but I think there are


people who suffer with text messages from time to time. Let's not go too


far down that track. it's about the substance, not the fact it was


leaked, is the fact they have been offered 100% business trip retention


which hasn't worked across the board. Is that fair? Those


conversations between Government and conversations between Government and


Sally are part normal conversation between local Government and


businesses. With another school closure


and the rest of the week's news, here's Gill Dummigan with 60


Seconds. Standing firm - anti-fracking


protesters forced a concrete company to pull out of supplying


a site in Lancashire. Cuadrilla - which is


drilling for shale gas - We will not be intimidated,


we will not be bullied. A second university technical


college is to close. Oldham's - for pupils over 14 - has


failed to attract enough of them. Burnley's UTC has


already shut up shop. ID checks could be increased


for travellers to and The Manx Government


is considering extending checks for air passengers


to those by ferry. Whosoever shall call


upon the name of the Lord... Cheshire East Council


stood accused of lacking brotherly love after refusing


the Exclusive Brethren Christian Group permission


to build a meeting hall. And the leader of St Helens Council


is back in business. Barrie Grunewald has


recovered after he was put in a medically induced coma


in Gran Canaria in October. the closure of another university


technical college, David, is the idea pointless? I think there are


real opportunities within them but real opportunities within them but


clearly they need to learn more about how to make them work


effectively but we need to focus on technical colleges and education


more broadly. I think it's an area where we have failed as a nation for


decades and we need to put more focus on that, so we will learn from


university technical colleges. You like we've said to the Government


all along that the starting age of 14 was structurally never going to


work because parents and children don't want to swap schools halfway


through school life and unfortunately we've seen millions of


pounds going into several university technical colleges across the region


is now closed so I think let's learn the lessons, but this is a heavy


price to pay and a lot of money that has gone wasted for something that


we all told the Government beforehand was going to be difficult


to make work. My thanks to Lucy Powell


and David Rutley. I'll see you again the week


after next, but for now I'll hand After the excitement and late nights


in the Commons last week, MPs are having a little break this


week as we head into But there's still plenty


in the diary in the near future - let's just remind ourselves of some


key upcoming dates. There they are. We have the two


by-elections on February 23rd. The budget is 8th March. That will be


the last spring budget under this Government because it moves to the


autumn. That round of French elections


narrows the candidates, probably about eight or nine, down to two,


the two who come first and second, then go into a play off round on May


7th. That will determine the next President. Steve, listening to


Oliver Letwin and to the Labour leader in the House of Lords, is


there any way you think that end of March deadline for Mrs May could be


in jeopardy? No, I don't. Andrew Smith couldn't have been clearer


with you they would do nothing to block not just Article 50 but that


timetable, so I would be surprised if they don't make it. Given her,


Theresa May's explicit determination to do so, not to do so would have


become a problem for her, I think one way or another... No before this


vote last week there was a vote nor the deadline, to agree the deadline


by all sides. Plain sailing do you think? There is no serious


Parliamentary resistance and it would be a personal embarrassment, I


think for the Prime Minister to name the the end of March as the deadline


and to miss it, unless she has a good excuse. I I reckon it will


change the atmosphere of politics for the next two years, as soon as


the negotiations begin, people in our profession will hunt for any


detail and inside information we can find, thing also be leaked, I think


from the European side from time to time, it will dominate the headlines


for a solid two years and change politics. Let me just raise a


possible, a dark cloud. No bigger than man's hand, that can complicate


the timetable, because the Royal Assent on the current timetable has


to come round the 13th. I would suggest that the Prime Minister


can't trigger that until she does get the Royal Assent. If there is a


bit of ping-pong that could delay that by receive day, the last thing


the Europeans would want, they have another big meeting at the end of


March which is the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. They don't


want Article 50 to land on the table... It would infuriate


everybody. My guess is she will have done it by then, this is between the


Commons and the Lords, I mean Andrew Smith couldn't have been clearer,


that they might send something back but they didn't expect a kind of a


long play over this, so. The Liberal Democrats, they are almost an


irrelevance in the Commons but not the Lords, they feel differently.


Now, we don't know yet what the European Union negotiating position


is going to be, we don't know because there are several crucial


elections taking place, the Dutch taking place in March and then the


one we put up, the French, and, at the moment, the French one is, it


seems like it is coming down, to a play-off in the second round between


Madame Le Pen who could come first in the first round and this Blairite


figure, independent, centre-leftish Mr Macron, he may well get through


and that, and the outcome of that will be an important determine napt


on our negotiations. -- determinant. You o couldn't have two more


different candidate, you have a national a front candidate and on


the other hand the closest thing France could have you to a liberal


President. With a small l. A reformist liberal President. It


would be the most French thing in the world to elect someone who while


the rest of the world is elected elitist, to elect someone who is the


son of a teacher, who has liberal views, is a member of the French


elite. It would be a thing for them to elect a man like that which I why


I see them doing it. If it is Le Pen, Brexit becomes a minor


sideshow, if it is Le Pen, the future of the European Union is?


Danger, regardless of whether we are were in or out. I suggest if it is


Mr Macron that presents some problems. He doesn't have his own


party. He won't have a majority in the French assembly, he is untried


and untested. He wants to do a number of things that will be


unpopular which is why a number of people close to Mrs Le Pen tell me


that she has her eye on 2022. She thinks lit go to hell in a hand


basket under Mr Macron. He hasn't got the experience. What I find


fascinating. It is not just all to play for in France, it is the fact


what happens in France and Germany, not so much Holland I think but


Germany later on in the year, how much it impacts what we are going to


get. How much which ex #i78 panting on them. And at the time we are


trying to, withdrawing ourself from European politics it is fascinating


how much it will affect us. You see what Matthew was talking about


earlier in the show, that what we do know, almost for sure, is that the


socialist candidate will not get through to the second round. He


could come firth but the centre-right candidate. If we were


discussing that monthing a we would say it between teen the centre-right


and the national fronts. We are to saying that. Matthew good win who


spent a time in France isn't sure Le Pen will get into the second round,


which is interesting. It is, I mean, it is going to be as important for


the future of the European Union, as in retrospect the British 2015


general election was, if Labour had got in there would have been no


referendum. That referendum has transformed the European Union


because we are leaving and the French election is significant. We


will be live from Paris on April 23rd on the day France goings to the


first round of polls. Tom Watson, he was on The Andrew Marr Show earlier


today, was asked about Mr Corbyn, this is what he had to say.


We had a damaging second leadership election, so we've got


The polls aren't great for us, but I'm determined now we've got


the leadership settled for this parliament, that we can focus


on developing a very positive clear message to the British people


So Julia, I don't know who are you are giggling. I find it untenable


that, he is a very good media performer and he comes on and he is


sitting there so well, you know, things are bad but don't worry we


are looking at what we can do to win 2020. The idea that Tony Blair and


Gordon Brown were sitting in their offices or on TV screens at this


time in the electoral cycle thinking well I wonder if we can come up with


a policy the British people might like. It is a nonsense, this is


Tuesday night book zlufb. I am going to ask you the question I was going


to before. I would suggest that he the right. The deputy Labour leader


Tom Watson is violent the leadership is settled, with one caveat, unless


the Corbynistas themselves to decide to move on Mr Corbyn, if the left of


the Labour Party decides then it is not settled. Settled. If that


doesn't happen that is That would be the worst situation if you are a


Labour moderate. The Corbynistas would be saying the problem is no


Corbynism, it is Corbyn himself, if we a younger person leading the


process we can win the next general election, which means you have


another itration of this, another five year experiment. And that is


worst of all. If you are a Labour moderate, what you want is Jeremy


Corbyn contest the next general election, possibly loses badly and


then a Labour not moderate runs for the leadership saying we have tried


your way, the worst would be Corbyn going, and a younger seven version


of him trying and the experiment being extended. I see no easy way


out of this. That is why he radiated the enthusiasm of someone in a


hostage video in that interview. Maybe he has the Stockholm Syndrome


now. The Labour moderates have had their day in the sun, two days in


the sun and they lost. I suggest they are not going to try for the


hat-trick again. Is there any indication that on the more Corbyn


wing of the Labour Party, there is now doubts about their man. Yes,


just to translate Tom Watson, what he meant was I Tom Watson am not


going to get involved in another attempted coup. I tried it and it


was a catastrophe. That is question enhe says it is set selled. It is


because there is speculation on a daily basis. I disagree, Julia said


I think this lot don't care about winning, I think they do. If the


current position continue, one of two things will happen. Either


Jeremy Corbyn will decide himself will decide he doesn't want to carry


on. He half enjoys I it and half hates it. Finds it a strain. If that


doesn't happen there will be some people round him who will say, look,


this isn't working. There is another three-and-a-half years. There is a


long way to go. I can't see it lasting in this way with politics in


a state of flux, Tories will be under pressure in the coming two


years, to have opinion polls at this level, I think is unsustainable.


Final thought from you.? Yes, the idea it St another three-and-a-half


years is just madness, but the people we are putting up at


replacement for Jeremy Corbyn, and they have been focus grouping them.


Most members wouldn't know who most of people were let alone most of the


public. Angela rain? They are not


overwhelmed with leadership potential at the moment. Very


diplomatically put. Neither are the Tories, but they happened to have


one at the moment. All right. That is it.


Now, there's no Daily or Sunday Politics for the next week


But the Daily Politics will be back on Monday 20th February and I'll be


back here with the Sunday Politics on the 26th.


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


Just back from a very long shift at work...


The staff are losing - they're just giving in.


Panorama goes undercover to reveal the real cost


Andrew Neil presents the latest political news, interviews and debate and is joined by shadow leader of the House of Lords Baroness Smith and Conservative Oliver Letwin. The political panellists are Janan Ganesh from the Financial Times, Julia Hartley-Brewer from talkRADIO and journalist Steve Richards.