19/03/2017 Sunday Politics North West

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Andrew Neil and Nina Warhurst with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew is joined by head of NHS Providers Chris Hopson, Nick Clegg MP and Andrew Gwynne MP.

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It's Sunday morning and this is the Sunday Politics.


She faces huge political fights over Brexit, Scottish independence,


After a tumultuous political week, we'll analyse the PM's prospects.


With chatter increasing about a possible early General Election,


Jeremy Corbyn's campaign chief joins me live.


NHS bosses warn health services in England are facing "mission


impossible" and waiting times for operations will rocket,


unless hospitals are given more cash this year.


The chief executive of NHS Providers joins me live.


Move over George Clooney and Julia Roberts,


make way for Burley and Wigan - our councils in Cannes for some


All that to come before 12:15pm, and I'll also be talking


to the former leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg


from his party's spring conference in York.


With me here in the studio, throughout the programme,


three of the country's top political commentators:


Tom Newton Dunn, Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards.


They'll be tweeting their thoughts using #bbcsp.


So, the political challenges facing Theresa May are stacking up.


As well as negotiating Britain's exit from the EU,


the PM must now deal with SNP demands for a second referendum


on Scottish independence, backbenchers agitating against cuts


to school budgets, and a humiliated Chancellor forced to u-turn on a key


budget measure just one week after announcing it.


Here's Adam Fleming on aturbulent political week


Monday, 11:30am, TV crews gather in the residence of the First


Minister of Scotland, who's got a surprise.


She wants a vote on whether Scotland should leave the UK


By taking the steps I have set out today I am ensuring that Scotland's


future will be decided, not just by me, the


Scottish Government, or the


SNP, it will be decided by the people of Scotland.


Westminster, 6:25pm the same day, MPs reject


amendments to the legislation authorising the Prime Minister to


The Bill ceremonially heads to the Lords where peers abandoned


attempts to change it and it becomes law.


But Downing Street doesn't trigger Article 50 as many had expected.


Some say they were spooked by Nicola Sturgeon.


We get an e-mail from the Treasury can the


We get an e-mail from the Treasury cancelling


the planned rise in National Insurance for


the self-employed announced the budget.


It's just minutes before Prime Minister's Questions at noon.


The trend towards greater self-employment does create a


We will bring forward further proposals


but we will not bring forward increases to NICs later in this


It seems to me like a government in a bit of chaos here.


By making this change today we are listening to our colleagues


fulfil both the letter and the spirit of our manifesto tax


Thursday, 7am, Conservative campaign HQ and the


Electoral Commission fines the party ?70,000 for misreporting spending


But that's not what the Prime Minister


Because at 12:19pm she gives her verdict on a


We should be working together, not pulling apart.


We should be working together to get that


right deal for Scotland, that


So, as I say, that's my job as Prime Minister and


so for that reason I say to the SNP now is not the time.


Friday and time for the faithful to gather.


SNP activists at their spring conference


Conservatives in Cardiff to hear the Prime Minister


promote her plan for a more meritocratic Brexit Britain.


At 11:10am comes some news about a newspaper that's frankly


I'm thrilled and excited to be the new editor of The


Evening Standard and, you know, with so many


big issues in our world what


good analysis, great news journalism.


It's a really important time for good journalism that The


Evening Standard is going to provide.


There was no let-up yesterday as Gordon Brown launched proposals


Under my proposals we keep the Barnett


Formula, we keep the fiscal transfers, but we also bring the


and fisheries back to the Scottish Parliament.


And just think, all this and we're still counting down to the


What a week in politics. It has been a torrid week for the government,


Isabel Oakeshott, but does Theresa May shake it off, or is this a sign


of worse to come? We may all be feeling a bit breathless after the


events of last week and we are in for a a long war of attrition with


the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon's strategy will be to foster over lengthy


periods of time as much resentment and anger as she can in Scotland and


try to create the impression that independence is somehow inevitable.


Is Scotland the biggest challenge for Theresa May in the next year or


so? I think it probably is because if you look at how relatively easily


the Brexit bill went through on an issue where people could hardly feel


more passionate in the Commons, and actually despite all the potential


drama it has gone through quite smoothly. To go back to your


original question, she just carries on. Don't underestimate the basic


quiet and will towards Theresa May amongst the majority of Tory


backbenchers. Yes, there are difficult little issues over school


funding, sorry, it's not a little issue, it is a big one but she will


get over that and treat each thing as it comes and keep pressing on.


Has she not called Nicola Sturgeon's Bluff in that the First Minister


said I want a referendum, here is roughly when I wanted, the Prime


Minister says you're not having one. What happens next? She has done


quite well and impact the progress Theresa May made this week in


frustrating Nicola Sturgeon was evident when Nicola Sturgeon said,


OK, maybe we can talk about the timing after. Nicola Sturgeon has


already been the first one to blink. I would slightly disagree with


Isabel Oakeshott, I don't agree Scotland will be the biggest hurdle


for her. What this week showed as is Theresa May... It was a reality


bites week. Theresa May is juggling four mammoth crises at the same


time, Brexit obviously which I still think will be the biggest challenge


to get a good deal, Trump left field who popped up at GCHQ on Friday and


Scotland and the fiscal challenge, this enormous great problem, and it


reinforced the point this is not an easy time in politics. The budget is


over four years. That was one small problem, the immediate problem is


how to fill the social care crisis and the ageing demographic. This is


not normal times in British politics and Theresa May does not have a


normal workload on her plate, hence why I think we will see more


mistakes made as time goes on and as she has this almost impossible


workload to juggle. How tempted do you think the Prime Minister is to


call an early election? There is more chatter about it now. Is she


tempted and if there is will she succumb? I will answer that in a


second as Harold Wilson used to say. I want to agree, disagree with the


rest of the panel about how she has out manipulated Nicola Sturgeon this


week. I think Nicola Sturgeon expected Theresa May to say no to


her expected timetable. It would be amazing if she had said yes. She


expected her to say no but Sturgeon catalyst that will fuel support for


her cause. There is no sign of that. The latest poll this morning shows


66-44 against independence and only 13% think they would be better off


with an independent Scotland and a clear majority do not want a second


referendum. But the calculation of resistance from Westminster combined


with Brexit which hasn't started yet, I think this is her


calculation, she didn't expect Theresa May to say, sure, go ahead,


I'm sure she expected Theresa May to say no, you can't have it at your


desired timetable. On the wider point, I think Theresa May is in a


fascinating position, she is both strong because she faces weak


opposition and is ahead in the opinion polls. But faces the most


daunting agenda of any Prime Minister for 40 or 50 years, I


think. So it's a weird combination. I don't think she wants to call an


election. I don't think she has thought about how you would


manipulate it, what the trigger would be, and whether she's got the


energy and space to prepare for and then mount a campaign was beginning


the Brexit negotiation. Now, you could see the cause would be the


small majorities that will make her life hellish, which it will do.


Whether a landslide would help is another question, they can be


difficult too. But I think the problems outweigh the advantages of


going early. Do you think she would go for an early election? I don't


and I think you have to look at the rhetoric coming out of No 10 which


is so firm on this question, it is a delicious prospect for us as


commentators to think there might be an election around the corner but


they are so firm on this I can't see it happening. I agree, we are in


unanimous agreement on this one. It is superficially attractive because


she would love the big majority and she would get a lot more through


Parliament especially with Brexit. The nitty-gritty of it makes an


early General Election this year almost impossible. How do you write


a manifesto on high Brexit versus soft Brexit, it opens up a Pandora's


box of uncertainties. And there is enough with the European elections.


The EU will say are we negotiating with you or the person who may


replace you? How do you keep the Tory party united going to an


election? How do you call one, with a vote of no confidence in yourself


you may end up losing. Easy on paper but difficult in practice. We shall


see. So if Theresa May did go


for an early election this spring, The party's campaigns


and elections chief Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne, the government, as we


have just been talking about, executed one of the most


embarrassing U-turns in recent history this week. It has been a


torrid time for the Theresa May government. Why are the Tories still


so chipper? The Labour Party has been on an


early election footing since before Christmas and we are preparing


ourselves for that eventuality in case that does come. That means that


we've got to get ourselves into a position whereby we can not only


challenge the government but we can also offer a valuable alternative


for the British people to choose from should that election arise. So,


would you welcome an early General Election? Well, of course, I don't


want this government to be in power so of course if there is an


opportunity to put a case to the British people as to why there is a


better way, and I believe the Labour way is the better way than of course


we would want to put that case to the country. So, would Labour vote


in the Commons for an early election? Well, of course as an


opposition, not wanting to be in opposition, wanting to be in


government should the government put forward a measure in accordance with


the Fixed-term Parliaments Act then that's something we would very


seriously have to consider. I know you would have to consider it but


would you vote for an early election or not? Well, of course we want to


be the government so if the current government puts forward measures to


bring forward a General Election we would want to put our case to the


British public and that's one of the jobs that I've been given, together


Labour Party organisation early into a position where we can fight a


General Election -- organisationally. For the avoidance


of doubt, if the Government work to issue a motion in the Commons for an


early election, the Labour Party would vote for an early election?


It would be very difficult not, Andrew. If the Government wants to


dissolve parliament, wants a General Election, we don't want the Tories


in government, we want to be in government and we want to have that


opportunity to put that case to the British people.


Are you ready for an early election? You say you have been on a war all


but since the Labour conference last autumn, but are you ready for one?


How big is the election fighting fund? We have substantial amounts of


money in our fighting fund, that is true, because not only has the


Labour Party managed to eliminate its own financial deficit that it


inherited from previous election campaigns, we have also managed to


build up a substantial fund in the off chance we have an election. We


have also expanded massively operations at Labour HQ, we are


taking on additional staff, and one of the jobs that myself and Ian


Lavery who I job share with are currently doing is to go around the


Parliamentary Labour Party to make sure that Labour colleagues have the


support and the resources that they need, should they have to face the


electorate in their constituencies. So you are on a war footing, ready


for the fight, you say you would vote for the fight, so have you got


your tax and spend policies ready to roll out? That is something the


shadow Treasury team will be discussing. One of the things is, if


there is an early General Election, the normal timetable for these


things gets fast-track because our policy decision-making body, its


annual conference, we have the national policy forum that creates


policies suggestions. You have been on a war footing since the last


Labour conference, that is what Mr Corbyn told us. So you must have a


fair idea of what policies you would fight an early election on. How much


extra per year would you spend on the NHS? Well, look, I'm not going


to set out the Labour manifesto for an election that hasn't been called.


I'm just asking you about the NHS. You must have a policy for that. We


have a policy for the NHS. So how much extra? I will not set out


Labour's tax-and-spend policies here on The Sunday Politics when there


hasn't even been election called. You said you had been on a war


footing and you are prepared to vote for one, so if you can't Tommy that,


can you tell me what the corporation rate tax on company profits be under


a Labour government -- tell me that. You will have to be patient. I have.


And wait for Mrs May to trigger an early election. If there is an


election on the 4th of May the rich would have to be issued on the 27th


of March, so that's not long to wait. If that date passes we aren't


having an election on the 4th of May and the normal timetable for policy


development will continue. All right. You lost Copeland, I think


you were in charge of a by-election for Labour, your national poll


ratings are still dire, even after week of terrible times for the


Tories. Sometimes you even lose local government by-elections in


safe seats, including in the place you are now, in Salford. How long


does Mr Corbyn have to turn this around? Well, look, the issue of the


Labour leadership was settled last year. The last thing the Labour


Party now needs is another period of introspection with the Labour Party


merely talks to the Labour Party. We are now on an election footing in


case Mrs May does trigger an early General Election. We need to be


talking to the British people are not to ourselves. So any speculation


about the Labour leadership might excite you in the media but actually


for us in the Labour Party it's about re-engaging and reconnecting


with the voters. Rather than being excited, I feel quite daunted at the


prospect of an early election. So I wouldn't get that right. Normally,


given the number of mistakes this government has made, and its


mid-term, you would expect any self-respecting opposition to be


about ten points ahead. On the latest polls this morning you are 17


behind. There is a 27-30 point gap from where you should normally be as


an opposition. Are you telling me that if that doesn't change, you


still fight the General Election with Mr Corbyn?


These are matters for the future. I believe the leadership issue was


settled last year. We have had two leadership contest in two years.


Would you seriously contemplate going into the next election, if it


is early I perfectly understand Jeremy Corbyn is your man, but if it


is not until 2020, and you are still 17 points behind in the polls, will


you go into the next election like that? There is a lot of future


looking and speculation there, I don't know what the future holds,


where the Labour Party will be in 12 months let alone by 2020 summit


cross those bridges when we come to it. My main challenge is to make


sure the Labour Party is in the best possible place organisationally to


fight an election, that's my challenge and I'm up for that to


make sure we are in the best possible place to make sure Labour


returns as many Labour MPs as possible. Thank you for joining us.


And we're joined now from the Liberal Democrats' spring


conference in York by the former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.


Good morning. In his conference speech today, Tim Farron lumps


Theresa May with Vladimir Putin, Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump. In


what way is Mrs May similar to Marine Le Pen? Of course he is not


saying Theresa May is identical to Marine Le Pen, I think what Tim


Wilby spelling out shortly in his speech is that we need to be aware


what's going on in the world, the International settlement that was


arrived at after the First World -- Second World War, that bound


supranational organisations is under attack from characters as diverse as


Vladimir Putin, Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump, and that by side in so


ostentatiously with Donald Trump and pursuing this very hard Brexit,


Theresa May appears to be giving succour to that much more


isolationist chauvinist view of the world than the multilateral approach


that Britain has subscribed to for a long time. The exact words he plans


to use are welcome to the New World order, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump,


Marine Le Pen, Theresa May, aggressive and teenage to, anti-EU,


nationalistic. In what way is Mrs May fitting into any of that? In


what way is she similar to Vladimir Putin? I'm not aware she has


interfered with other people's elections. The clue is in the quote


you just read out, which is the world order. The world order over


the last half century or more, by the way a lesson I'm afraid we have


to learn in Europe because of the terrible bloodshed of two world was


in the space of a few decades, was based on the idea might is not


right. Strong arm leaders cannot throw their weight around. What we


have now with Putin, the populism across parts of Europe and Donald


Trump who thinks the EU will unravel is a shift to a radically different


view of the world. Mrs May doesn't think any of that. She is not


antenatal, not anti-EU, she says she wants the EU to succeed. She's not


aggressive as far as I'm aware so I'm not sure why you would lump the


British Prime Minister in with these other characters. Let me explain, by


choosing this uncompromising approach to Brexit, clearly in doing


so she, in my view, maybe not yours or others, is pursuing a self


harming approach to the United Kingdom but also pulling up the


threads that bind the rest of the European Union together, in so


ostentatiously siding with Donald Trump, somehow declaring in my view


speciously that we can make up with the trade we will lose, she's not


challenging the shift to a more chauvinist approach to world affairs


that is happening in many places. You are at your party's Spring


conference, I think we can agree any Lib Dem come back will take a long


time. Would Tory dominance be more effectively challenged by a


realignment of the centre and the centre-left? Are you working towards


that? I missed half the question but I think you are talking about a


realignment. As a cook a way to get over Tory dominance, would you want


that to happen? Are you working towards that? My view is the


recovery of the Lib Dems will be quicker than you suggest. People


often forget that even the low point of our fortunes in the last election


we still got a million more votes than the SNP, it's only because we


have got this crazy electoral system... But the SNP fight in


Scotland, you fight in the whole country! But I'm saying the way


seats are allocated overlooks the fact that 2.5 million still voted


for us. But my own view is of course there are people feeling


increasingly homeless in the liberal wing of the Conservative Party


because they are now in a party which is in effect indistinguishable


from Ukip on some of the biggest issues of the day, and homeless folk


on the rational, reasonable wing of the Labour Party. I would invite


them to join the Liberal Democrats and I would invite everyone across


parties to talk about the idea is that bind us because the Westminster


village can invest a lot of energy building new castles in the sky,


inventing new names for parties when actually what you want is for people


on the progressive centre ground of British politics to talk about the


ideas that unite them, from the dilemmas of artificial intelligence


to climate change. Do you think in your own view, can Brexit still be


thwarted or is it now a matter of getting the best terms? I think we


are in an interlude, almost a calm between two storms, the storm of the


referendum itself and the collision between the Government's stated


ambitions for Brexit and the reality of having to negotiate something


unworkable with 27 other governments. The one thing I can


guarantee you is that what the Government has promised to the


British people cannot happen. Over a slower period of time we will work


out our new relationship with the European Union. Theresa May said she


will settle divorce arrangements, and pensions, so one, negotiate new


trade agreements, new climate change policies and so on, and have all of


that ratified within two years, that will not happen so I think there


will be a lot of turbulence in the next couple of years. Will you use


this turbulence to try to thwart Brexit, to find a way of rolling


back the decision? It's not about repeating the debates of the past or


thwarting the will of the people but it is comparing what people were


promised from the ?350 million for the NHS every week through to this


glittering array of new trade agreements we will sign across the


world, with the reality that will transpire in the next couple of


years and at that point, yes it is my belief people should be able to


take a second look at if that is what they really want. A couple of


quick questions, would you welcome an early general election? I always


welcome them, we couldn't do worse than we did last time. That is


certainly true. You have a column in the Evening Standard, have you


spoken to the new editor about whether he will keep your column or


spike it? No, I wait in nervous anticipation. Can you be a newspaper


editor in the morning and an MP in the afternoon? Do I think that's


feasible? Sorry, I missed a bit. There is no prohibition, no law


against MPs being editors. They have been in the past and no doubt will


again in the future. He is taking a lot on, he is an editor, also


wanting to be an MP, a jetsetting academic in the States, working in


the city, I suspect something will give. It seems to me even by his


self-confidence standards in his own abilities I suspect he is taking on


a little bit too much. Very diplomatic, Mr Clegg, I'm sure you


will get to keep the column. Thanks for joining us.


Now, for the last six months England's NHS bosses have been


warning the health service needs more money to help it meet


But in his first Budget, the Chancellor offered


no immediate relief, and today the head of


the organisation representing England's NHS trusts says hundreds


of thousands of patients will have to wait longer for both emergency


care and planned operations, unless the Government


Warnings over funding are not exactly new.


Back in 2014 the head of the NHS in England, Simon Stevens,


published his plan for the future of the health service.


In his five-year forward view, Stevens said the NHS in England


would face a funding shortfall of up to ?30 billion by 2020.


To bridge that gap he said the NHS would need more money


from the Government, at least ?8 billion extra,


and that the health service could account for the rest by making


The Government says it's given the health service more than what it


asked for, and that NHS in England will have received


That number is disputed by NHS managers and the chair


of Parliament's health committee, who say the figure is more


like ?4.5 billion, while other parts of the health and social care budget


have been cut, putting pressure on the front line.


Last year, two thirds of NHS trusts in England finished


the year in the red, and despite emergency bailouts


from the Government, the NHS is likely to record


Meanwhile national targets on waiting times for A


departments, diagnostic tests, and operations are being


This month's Budget provided ?2 billion for social care


but there was no new cash for the NHS, leading trusts to warn


that patient care is beginning to suffer, and what is being asked


And I'm joined now by the Chief Executive of NHS


Providers in England, Chris Hopson.


Welcome to the programme. Morning, Andrew. I will come onto the extra


money you need to do your job properly in a minute but first, part


of the deal was you had to make 22 billion in efficiency savings, not a


bank that money but spend it on patient care, the front line, and so


on. How is that going? So, last parliament we realised around 18


billion of productivity and efficiency savings, we are realising


more this year so we are on course to realise 3 billion this year, that


is a quarter of a billion more than last year but all of us in the NHS


knew the 22 billion would be a very stretching target and we are


somewhat inevitably falling short. So it is 22 billion by 2,020.


Roughly. That was the time. We are now into 2017. So how much of the 22


billion have you achieved? We realised around 3 billion last year


and we will realise 3 billion this year, Court of billion more, 3.25


billion this year, so we are on course for 18-19,000,000,000. By the


2021 period? You are not that far away. The problem is the degree to


which demand is going up. We have record demand over the winter period


and that actually meant we have seen more people than we have ever seen


before but performance is still under real pressure. Let me come


onto that. When you agreed on the 22 billion efficiency savings plus some


extra money from the government, I know there is a bit of an argument


about how much that is actually worth, had you not factored in this


extra demand that you saw coming over the next three or four years?


Let's be very clear committee referred to Simon Stevens's forward


view and we signed up to it but the 22 billion was a process run at the


centre of government by the Department of Health with its arms


length bodies, NHS England and others and is not something that was


consulted on with the NHS. But you signed up to it. We always said that


the day that that Spending Review was announced, the idea that the NHS


where customer demand goes up something like four or 5% every


year, the idea that in the middle years of Parliament we would be able


to provide the same level of service when we were only getting funding


increases of 1.3%, 0.4% and 0.7%, and I can show you the press release


we issued, we always said there was going to be a gap and that we would


not be able to deliver what was required. The full 22 billion in


other words? What we said to Simon Stevens at the Public Accounts


Committee a few months ago, the NHS didn't get what it was asked for.


Today the NHS, cope with the resources it has according to you.


How much more does it need? Are reported is about 2017-18 and we


estimate that what we are being asked to do, and again, Andrew, you


clearly set it out in the package, we are a long way off the four-hour


A target and a long way off the 92%. The waiting times and


operations. How much more do you need? And we are making up a ?900


million deficit. If you take all of those into account we estimate you


would need an extra ?3.5 billion next year in order to deliver all of


those targets and eliminate the deficit. That would be 3.5 billion


on top of what is already planned next year and that would be 3.5


billion repeated in the years to come too? Yes, Andrew it is


important we should make an important distinction about the NHS


versus other public services. When the last government, the last Labour


government put extra money into the NHS it clearly said that in return


for that it would establish some standards in the NHS Constitution,


the 95% A target we have talked about and the 92% elective surgery


we have talked about. The trust we represent are very clear, they would


want to realise those standards, but you can only do it if you pay for


it. The problem is at the moment is we are in the longest and deepest


financial squeeze in NHS history. As we have said, funding is only going


up by 1% per year but every year just to stand still cost and demand


go up by more than 4%. There is clearly a demand for more money. I


think people watching this programme will think probably the NHS is going


to have to get more money to meet the goals you have been given. I


think they would also like to be sure that your Mac running the NHS


as efficiently as it could be. We read this morning that trusts have


got ?100 million of empty properties that cost 10 million to maintain, 36


office blocks are not being used, you have surplus land equivalent to


1800 football pitches. Yes, there are a number of things that we know


in the NHS we need to do better but let me remind you, Andrew, in the


last Parliament we realised ?18 billion worth of cost improvement


gains. We are going to realise another 3 billion this year, 0.25


billion more than last year so these things are being targeted. But


having that surplus land, it is almost certainly in areas where


there is a demand for housing. Absolutely. So why not release it


for housing? You get the money, the people get their houses and its


contribution and a signal that you are running NHS assets as


efficiently as you can? Tell me if I'm going to too much detail for


you. One of the reasons as to why our trusts are reluctant to realise


those land sales is because there is an assumption that the money would


go back to the Treasury and wouldn't benefit NHS trusts. You could make a


deal, couldn't you? That's part of the conversation going on at the


moment. The issue is that we would want to ensure that if we do release


land, quite rightly the benefit, particularly in foundation trusts


which are, as you will remember, deliberately autonomous


organisations, that they should keep the benefit of those land sales.


Have you raised that with the government?


Yes we have. What did they say? They are in discussions of it. We heard


somebody who moved from one job and then to another job and given a big


salary and then almost ?200,000 as a payoff. There is a national mood for


the NHS to get more money. But before you give anybody any more


money you want to be sure that the money you have got already is being


properly spent, which for us, is the patient at the end of the day. And


yet there seem to be these enormous salaries and payoffs. I've worked in


a FTSE 100 on the board of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and I


have worked in large organisations. I can look you completely straight


in the eye and tell you that the jobs that our hospital, community,


mental health and ambulance chief Executives do are amongst the most


complicated leadership roles I have ever seen. It doesn't seem to me to


be unreasonable that in order to get the right quality of people we


should pay an appropriate salary. The reality is the salaries are paid


are not excessive when talking about managing budgets of over ?1 billion


a year and talking about managing tens of thousands of staff. There


was a doctor working as a locum that earned an extra ?375,000. One of the


problems in the NHS is a mismatch between the number of staff we need


and the number of staff coming through the pipeline. What is having


to happen is if you want to keep a service going you have to use Mackem


and agency staff. Even at that cost? You would not want to pay those


amounts. But you are. The chief Executives's choice in those areas


is giving the service open or employing a locum. I'm sure you


could find a locum prepared to work for less than that. What indication,


what hopes do you have of getting the extra ?3 billion? The government


has been very clear, for the moment it wants to stick to the existing


funding settlement it has agreed. So there was nothing in the budget. Can


I finish by making one important point. Please, finish. This is the


first time the NHS has said before the year has even started that we


can't deliver on those standards. We believe, as do most people who work


in the NHS, that the NHS is on a gradual slow decline. This is a very


important inflection point to Mark, this is the first time before the


financial year starts that we say we cannot meet the targets we are being


asked to deliver and are in the NHS Constitution. We have run out of


time. Chris Hopson, thank you for being with me.


It's just gone 11:35am, you're watching the Sunday Politics.


We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now


I'm Nina Warhurst, coming up in the North West:


Move over George and Julia, make way for Burnley and Wigan -


our councils in Cannes for some pre-Brexit business.


Yes, this place is normally a playground for the stars, but this


week the Northern Powerhouse headed to Provence.


Phil McCann's on the Cote d'Azur and I'm not.


But we have the Manchester Ship Canal and sunshine and light,


Antoinette Sandbach is the Conservative MP for Eddisbury,


and Jim McMahon the Labour MP for Oldham West and Royton.


We start with the Conservative Party's fine by the Electoral


Commission for failing to report election spending properly.


Last year, police were investigating seven current or former North West


MPs whose constituencies were visited by this battlebus


That's because costs like these overnight stays at the Holiday Inn


in Bolton were declared as national spending, rather than as part


Bury North's David Nuttall - with the bus here -


was one of three Greater Manchester MPs under investigation.


He and Mary Robinson in Cheadle say they've had no update,


but Hazel Grove MP Will Wragg - seen with David Cameron here -


says his case has been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.


And Lancashire Police are still investigating Rossendale


Here's what David Nuttall told us last year.


Now, all the candidates where it visited all put it down as local...


This is my fifth general election, and every general


election I've fought, we've dealt with these


That was his defence this week, as well as Will Wragg,


Antoinette, the defence seems to be, that's the way it is,


that's the way it's always been - that doesn't wash with


This was national campaigning, and the Conservative Party have


accepted, with those fines, that they made errors in declaring


I know that Labour had a battle bus that came and stayed


in the Nunsmere Hotel, a very nice hotel in my constituency.


I sure it was declared, but they too have been fined for mistakes,


Clearly, there is an issue of a national spend,


but I don't think it can be blamed on the individual MPs.


Jim, is that a point, they've been notable


We've approached several to get a comment on this.


Is it exactly the same for the Labour party?


I think we should separate out the individual MPs


I think all of which do a decent job, regardless of party politics,


in terms of providing a decent representation


And election law, which is pretty clear in terms of how


you fight elections, where funding ought to come


from and how you contribute funding in different places.


Sometimes that's complicated, particularly in national campaigns,


where there is a degree of national party involvement.


Often, that's done in a way without the candidate


and agent being spoken to, or discussed when the battle bus


So you do have sympathy with any party's MPs then?


I think maybe where my sympathies end is that, actually,


fundamentally, the responsibility lies with the candidate


and the agents to make sure the declaration is correct.


OK, but I've stood in elections where unions have written out


With a very strong political message, which doesn't count as part


of Labour Party spend and never has done.


So maybe there are lessons to be learned...


I would say, that would be trade unions writing to their own members,


giving a view about how they view the candidates.


And that's clearly designed to influence the way they vote,


and to influence them to vote Labour, and that's never, ever


But that doesn't come from central party spending.


And let's be clear, the amount we're talking about is 0.6%


The concern from the Electoral Commission is, once again,


voter's confidence in democratic elections are undermined.


So regardless of the point that it's a tiny fraction...


The Conservatives underspent on their national


The budget should have been easier to account for in that sense!


And the way that the Electoral Commission has communicated this,


I think, has helped contribute to that lack of confidence.


I think it could perhaps have been approached in a different way.


But how do you explain then, the Electoral Commission,


it's very unusual for them, by the way, to get into this.


They like to be a bit under the radar when it comes to getting


They were very clear that the Conservative Party


It's cost the public money, because the Conservative Party


didn't provide answers to the questions of the report.


We're going to have to move on, and we'll find out in May


whether the CPS move forward with prosecutions.


From battlebuses to Brexit, and we're officially under starter's


orders after both Houses gave their go-ahead to trigger


But our council leaders aren't sitting around waiting


for the Prime Minister to fire that starting pistol.


They've been looking for a head start in the south of France.


And poor old Phil McCann was forced to go too.


Normally in Cannes, it's Julia and George on the red carpet.


At this time of year, it is more about Wigan and Wirral.


This annual event is Europe's biggest investment exhibition,


where our councils pitch stalls and marquees to try and get a slice


We need investment, this is a great opportunity for Manchester


We're coming out here to see what we can learn and how we can


attract more and more investment into Lancashire.


I'm bit shocked about it, you're next door to Malta, you know,


This year, it's the biggest British delegation to this international


And they knew that when they came to the sunshine of the south


of France, they had to cast a light on the shadow that's been created


So what does business make of Brexit?


If you think it's bad, please raise your hands.


We all recognise the uncertainties which Brexit


represents, not just in terms of political uncertainty,


but also economic management and fiscal uncertainty as well.


One of the roles we've all got to play here


is to demonstrate we're still open for business.


It's unclear what the full outcome will be, but I think,


as a place to invest, the UK, no matter how you look


at it, all the different metrics you look at,


it's is still a very strong, important investment market.


North West councils know that they need to show the region


But they also know the idea of them swanning about here


in the south of France, sipping champagne, doesn't


And so they try to show what they'll achieve


Like Wirral's plan to regenerate Birkenhead.


I just gauge by the level of interest I've had from developers


and investors in the last year, I just think the time's right.


There is a buzz about Wirral and Birkenhead.


And in Manchester, where contentious plans for tower blocks,


headed up by this man, will be rethought.


There is no doubt that some of the suggestions that have been


made to us during the consultation process, during the planning


We need to refine certain aspects of it, we need to change


We still fundamentally believe in scale.


It's that kind of progress that people who can afford these


yachts want to hear, as they think about where


to invest their cash, as Britain gets ready to sail away


I was chatting to Phil today as he applied his actor son. He said, far


from being all doom and gloom over there, in the light of Brexit, the


result is from trading bodies. You noted your concern about Brexit by


denying the whip over Article 50. Do you think things are as bad as they


seem? I actually voted for Article 50 and


supported the bill. My abstention was in terms of a meaningful vote at


the end of the process, but absolutely supported the bill. I


supported the Prime Minister in going out there and selling Britain.


I think there are opportunities, I went to see her take those


opportunities, both in forging a new relationship with Europe, but also


forging a new relationship outside of Europe. She's way that out very


clearly in her Lancaster house speech. I'm delighted to hear of the


optimism out there. Jim, do you think it will be


optimistic moving forward for businesses from Europe?


I think in North West point of view, the crowd here what happened from


London. What happened because Theresa May stands up and makes a


speech. It will happen because relationships are developed at a


local level. We see the growth in Merseyside and Greater Manchester,


the work being done in Lancashire as well, that's because of local


weighbridge, that's local leadership, relationships are being


forged. I think that's fantastic, being ambassadors for investment is


fantastic. That is because George Osborne and


the whole northern power has concept was about driving down powers to


local communities so they could go out there, so they can make the


plans and sell their local area. I think George Osborne's promotion of


the Northern Powerhouse has been absolutely key in the perception in


the international investment community about the opportunities


that are appear in the North West. Well, we soon will see if they have


time for the Northern Powerhouse time for the Northern Powerhouse


partnership, because Brexit has worked out well for Antoinette's


constituency neighbour, George Osborne.


He lost his job as Chancellor, but he's now been appointed editor


Here he is in his Tatton seat, which he says he wants


He also told us a few months back that he'd like to carry


on as a North West MP if Tatton disappears due to boundary changes.


Antoinette, quite an extraordinary announcement this week.


The big question on everybody's lips, how can you possibly do two


Well, I think he did two massive jobs well


when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer,


Hang on, that's a big job that serves the public,


that the public accept as part of his role an MP.


It's totally different to serving a Russian businessman?


Clearly, he's been offered a job, I don't know what the contract is,


I don't know what the terms are, but has clearly demonstrated


that he has the ability to show that leadership role and to work


at an incredibly intense level, if I can put it that way.


You both told me, when you arrived today, about the pressures


on you at constituency level, having a surgery on Fridays.


You must concede that to do your job properly,


to serve your constituents well, and to be in Parliament


and listen to every debate that goes on thoroughly,


you can't spend every morning in a newsroom?


I have to say, if you look at the BBC Parliament channel,


you'll see that quite often we aren't able to listen to every


debate, because there are other calls on our time.


I sit on the BEIS Select Committee, and a considerable of my time


is devoted to those inquiries and that evidence.


Once again, though, serving the public rather than a newspaper?


I think George Osborne has served the public


for an exceptionally long time, I think he has a good track record,


and at the end of the day, it will be up to his constituents


That's true, and actually, Jim, that's the argument from the local


They've said, yes, he was a brilliant Chancellor


and he was a brilliant local MP at the same time,


But we all play a part to a lesser or greater extent in the workings


of Parliament, that's how we govern our country, that's how


And if you're an MP, you have your constituency work


and be a dilligent constituency MP, supporting people, making


sure you're helping your local area to do well.


You've also got to make sure you're playing your role


as a parliamentarian, and then behind that


George Osborne did that as Chancellor, but he's


massively distracted now, one by his international


responsibilities, giving professional advice.


I've no grievance with people getting on and doing well,


but there's got to be a limit to what you can do before it truly


impacts on your ability to be an MP, which is a full-time


But that's a matter for his constituents to judge?


His constituents haven't had the ability to judge it...


He decided mid-term, in a process, by the way,


where his seat is likely to be deleted in the boundary review


Clearly, on a human level, you can understand why he might think,


if my constituency doesn't exist, then I won't be an MP


beyond that point anyway, and I am going to start


preparing for what future, my future outside of politics.


We don't know, those boundary changes haven't been completed,


It's not me hedging my bets, it's George Osborne hedging his bets.


Too many local children are waiting too long


for mental health treatment, the message from the


Children's Commissioner for England this week.


MPs meanwhile called for more action to tackle suicides.


So are politicians becoming more keen to address


I spoke to Alastair Campbell - Burnley fan and former head


of communications for Tony Blair - who's had his own problems


I think we've made a lot of progress in terms of how


And think it's much, much higher up the agenda than it used to be.


The fact that we're talking about it now, that I do more talks


and interviews about this than anything else at the moment.


My big worry, with the National Health Service under


as much pressure as it is, that actually psychiatric and


mental health services are going down to the bottom


In 2012, the Government pledged parity of esteem between mental


It should now be a legal obligation for CCGs to deliver that.


As we know, in the North West, that is not always the case.


Saying parity, saying we should look at mental health in the same way


as we look at physical health, that's easy.


Theresa May said something in her mental health


She said it almost as if she was expecting


a round of applause for it - she said that by 2021,


from their own region to another region to find a psychiatric bed.


That's twice as long as the time she says she's


the most complicated thing any Prime Minister's had


When local authorities, when local commissioning bodies


have their own say over the budget, and they choose what to invest in,


how do we stop it being a patchwork of services across,


not just the North West, but across the country?


It's very difficult, because ultimately, the pressures


But what's happening at the moment - you talk about patchwork -


what's hanging around the country, commissioning groups that are under


massive financial pressures, historically what has happened


is that the psychiatric and mental health services have been first


in the queue for cuts, and that's happening again.


Ultimately, we have to win the argument, that if we invest


properly in mental health services now,


and we catch people young, that we're going to be saving money


We'll save money and addiction services, in prisons,


in court services, we'll save money from the divorce courts.


We've just got to have this sense of needing to think big about this,


and we've got to understand that if we invest in our mental


health now, we'll be making savings for the future.


Let's start with that point that Alastair Campbell finished on, we


know our prisons are getting fuller, we know A raises are on their


knees. If we address mental health in the right way,, its basic


economics at the Government in severe ignoring?


They're not ignoring it. An additional ?1 billion has been put


into specifically children's mental health. There is a shortage of Child


psychologists, which is a problem. But they are targeting money,


particularly at that early age group. And a further 1.25 billion is


going into adult mental health services by 2021, as Alastair


Campbell pointed out. Much like social care, people who


suffer from mental health conditions are not getting the right treatment


will say that is the drop in the oven. We know that here, when it


comes to referral for depression and entirety, St Helens, you're seen


within five days, in Manchester it's 50 days. Ultimately, that is the


responsible sales local Government level that's?


It is the response ability of the Clinical Commissioning Groups to


level the services, new standards have been set to make sure that


patients will be seen within the set period of time.


Is that fair, that CCGs the typical bond there is an equipment can say,


we're giving the money, you deal with it?


To be honest, this transcends different governments. For too long,


we haven't given mental health the attention it ought to have had. As a


society, we're very uncomfortable dealing with people with mental


health problems. A lot of people fall through the net because of


that. There's no doubt that the fragmentation of mental health


service, the money that has been taken away, is as where having an


impact. As Alston said, I want to put on record Alastair's courage for


telling his own story about this. More people need to do that. We need


to create an environment where people have that conversation in


public. I do agree with that. Members of


Parliament are increasingly coming forward and speak with their own


experiences. George Walker has spoken very movingly in the Cadillac


house about his own experiences. There is that financial commitment


that is clearly needed? You say yourself that is a problem in


recruiting child psychiatrists, so there are gaps?


There are gaps, and those need to be addressed. But at least the


discussion is taking place about the parity of mental health services.


It should be a legal responsibility, parity of esteem was pledged five


years ago. The problem is, if you were to track


back to the different stages, and recognise if there is an issue, once


the assessment is carried out, in some places it can take 50 days.


You're a young person, that is a big chunk of your school life that has


been taken away, notwithstanding everything that has taken this


before that. But get the support and investment in that person that is


needed, for a lot of people at assist rubble. We can see that in


circumstances where meat has been identified, they just get the help


they need. It is important to come to your MP,


because we can often help to make sure that support is in place.


Here's Katie Waldeman now with a look at the rest


Care home in crisis - Healthwatch Liverpool says


the city's lost 220 beds in the past year and may soon struggle to


There was misery for Merseyrail passengers


Members of the RMT Union went on strike over plans


I honestly don't know why they're doing it.


I don't agree with right now, because I'm missing my


trains, but there's probably got to be a good reason behind it.


Pay up for policing - Lancashire's Crime Commissioner


calls for the Government to stump up for the cost of controlling


This is not a mess of our making, this is


something that has been decided at Westminster once again.


A row rumbled on over deal-making on Pendle council -


Labour and the Lib Dems denied any agreement with the country's last


And the Government's investigating claims that the itinerary for this


trip to Cheshire were left on a train.


They included details of the Prime Minister's hotel.


Well, we started in Cannes, let's finish in Gorton in Manchester.


Because the former Labour Party and Respect Party MP George Galloway


has been there ahead of a possible by-election bid following the death


And this bus has also been touring there with him.


The killings of Tony Blair, it says. We know the damage George Galloway


can do to Labour Party when a one state, is this a concern for you?


It would be a by-election of a circus to come to town, and achieve


cloud on this by-election seems to be George Galloway. I have no time


or respect for George Galloway. I think you's opportunist, I think he


preys on division. I think the voters of Gordon will see through


that, and they will support the candidate. I think people respect


the work that George Coffman did as an MP, they had a good


parliamentarian resenting them, they want to know they have the same


standard began. Even if he does have the same impact


again, there is a huge majority for the Labour Party in Gordon. While


the Conservative Party fight this election?


It has been said it is a marginal seat, even with a 25 as a majority!


I'm not sure I agree with that, but bull fight.


The Labour band in Manchester is so strong, people, and support the


Labour brand. But bid on what it stands for, there


is no programme from Jeremy Corbyn, and I think it's possible that a


good Conservative candidate collapses will find and execute the


labour will be. Thank you to Antoinette and general.


you both. Say goodbye. Goodbye. Back to you.


So, can George Osborne stay on as a member of Parliament


Will Conservative backbenchers force a Government re-think


And is Theresa May about to cap gas and electricity prices?


Whose idea was that first of all? They are all questions for the Week


Ahead to. Let's start with the story that is


too much fun to miss, on Friday it was announced the former Chancellor


would be the new editor of London's Evening Standard newspaper, a


position he will take up in mid-May on a salary of ?200,000 for four


days a week. But Mr Osborne has said he will not


be stepping down as MP for Tatton in Cheshire,


a job he's held since 2001, Alongside these duties,


he's also chairman of While being committed to one day


a week at Black Rock, an American asset management firm -


a part-time role that earns him Then he's polishing his academic


credentials, as a fellow at the McCain Institute,


an American thinktank, And finally as a member


of the Washington Speaker's Bureau, he also earns his keep


as an after-dinner speaker, banking around ?750,000


since last summer. So there you go. Nice little earners


if you can get them. The problem, though, is he has put second jobs on


the agenda and lots of his fellow MPs are not happy because they have


got second jobs but not making that kind of money. No, and a lot of MPs


on both sides actually are unhappy about it exactly for those reasons.


I find it a very interesting appointment. We have got these


people on the centre and centre right of politics who have been used


to power since 1997, they have been on the airwaves today, Tony Blair,


Nick Clegg, George Osborne, and they are all seeking other platforms now


because power has moved elsewhere. So Tony Blair is setting up this new


foundation, Nick Clegg refused to condemn George Osborne, Tony Blair


praised the appointment. They are all searching for new platforms.


They might have overestimated the degree to which this will be a huge


influential platform. The standard was very pro-Tory at the 2015


election but London voted Labour, it was pro-Zac Goldsmith but they


elected Sadiq Khan. It might be overestimating the degree to which


this is a hugely influential paper. But I can see why it attracts him as


a platform when all these platforms have disappeared, eg power and


government. All of these people who used to be in power are quietly


getting together again, Mr Blair on television this morning, George


Osborne not only filling his bank account but now in charge of


London's most important newspaper, Nick Clegg out today not saying


Brexit was a done deal, waiting to see what happens, even John Major


was wheeled out again today in the Mail on Sunday. They are all playing


for position. I half expect David Cameron to turn up as features


editor on The Evening Standard. Brexit and breakfast! With Mr Clegg,


did he not? I do not think this is sustainable for George Osborne, I


worked at The Evening Standard and I was there for three years, I know


what the hours are like for a humble journalist, never mind the editor.


If he thinks he can get at 4am everyday to be in the offices at 5am


to oversee the splash, manage everything in the way and edited


should he is in cloud cuckoo land. What this says to people is there is


a kind of feel of soft corruption about public life here, where you


see what you can get away with. He thinks he can brazen this out and


maybe he can but what kind of message does that send to people


about how seriously people take the role of being an MP? He must have


known. He applied for the job. The Russian owner didn't approach him,


he approached Lebedev, the proprietor, for it. He must have


calculated there would be some kickback. I wonder if he realised


there would be quite the kickback there has been. I think that's


probably right. This hasn't finished yet, by the way, this will go on and


on. How on earth does George Osborne cover the budget in the autumn? Big


budget, lots of physical changes and tax rises to deal with the messages


out of this week. You can see already, Theresa May budget crashes.


It could be worse. She's useless! Or, worse than that, me, brilliant


budget, terrible newspaper, I've never buying it again. He has


hoisted his own petard. He has not bought it properly through. It's a


something interesting about his own future calculations, if he wants to


stay on as an MP in 2020 and be Prime Minister as he has or was


wanted to be he has got to find a new seat. How do you go into an


association and say I should be an MP, I can do it for at least four


hours Purdy after editing The Evening Standard, making a big


speech and telling Black Rock how to make a big profit. The feature pages


have to be approved for the next day and feature pages are aware the


editor gets to make their mark. The news is the news. The feature is


what concerns you, what he is in your bonnet. That defines the


newspaper, doesn't it? It is not over yet. Too much 101 on


newspapers. And Haatheq at. School funding, the consultation


period ends, it has been a tricky one for the government, some areas


losing. I guess we are seeing this through the prism of the National


Insurance contributions now, it is a small majority, if Tory MPs are


unhappy she may not get her way. Talking to backbench MPs who are


unhappy the feeling is it is not going to go ahead in the proposed


form that the consultation has been on. No 10 will definitely have to


move on this. It is unclear whether they will scrap it completely, or


will they bring in something possibly like a base level, floor


level pupil funding below which you can't go? You would then still need


to find some extra money. So there are no easy solutions on this but


what is clear it is not going to go ahead in its current form. Parents


have been getting letters across the country in England about what this


will mean for teachers and so on in certain schools. It's not just a


matter of the education Department, the schools, or the teachers and


Tory backbenchers. Parents are being mobilised on this. The point of the


new funding formula is to allocate more money to the more


disadvantaged. That means schools in the more prosperous suburbs are


going to lose money. Budget cuts on schools which are already


struggling. It comes down again to be huge problem, the ever smaller


fiscal pool, ever greater demands, NHS, social care, education as well,


adding to Theresa May and Phillip Hammond's enormous problems. Here is


an interesting issue, Steve. There was a labour Leader of the


Opposition that once suggested perhaps given these huge energy


companies which seemed to be good at passing on energy rises but not so


good at cutting energy prices when it falls, that perhaps we should put


a cap on them until at least we study how the market goes. This was


obviously ludicrous Marxism and quite rightly knocked down by the


Conservatives, except that Mrs May is now talking about putting a cap


on energy prices. Yes, I think if it wasn't for Brexit we would focus


much more on Theresa May's Ed Miliband streak. Whether this


translates into policies, let us see. That bit we don't know. That


bit we don't know but in terms of argument her speech to the


Conservative conference on Friday was about the third or fourth time


where she said as part of the speech, let's focus on the good that


government can do, including in intervening in markets, exactly in


the way that he used to argue. As you say, we await the policy


consequences of that. She seems more cautious in terms of policy in


fermentation. But in terms of the industrial strategy, in terms of


implying intervention in certain markets, there is a kind of


Milibandesque streak. And there comes a time when she has to walk


the walk as well as talk the talk. They talk a lot about the just about


managing, just about managing face rising food bills because of the


lower pound and face rising fuel bills because of the rise in oil and


in other commodities. One of the two things you could do to help the just


about managing is to cut their food bills and the second would be to cut


their fuel bills. At some stage she has to do something for them. We


don't know what is going to happen to food bills under Brexit, that


could become a really serious issue. They could abolish tariffs. There


has been a lot of talking the talk and big announcements put out and


not following through so I agree with you on that but lots of Tory


MPs will have a big problem on this and the principle of


continually talking about interfering in markets, whether it's


on executive pay, whether it is on energy, at a time when Britain needs


to send out this message to the world in their view, in the view of


Brexit supporting MPs, that we are open for business and the government


is not about poking around and doing this kind of thing. Of course, you


could argue there is not a problem in the market for energy, it is a


malfunctioning market that doesn't operate like a free market should,


so that provides even Adam Smith, the inventor of market economics


would have said on that basis you should intervene. I was in Cardiff


to listen to Theresa May's latest explanation for doing this. By the


way, we've been waiting nine months, this was one of her big ideas. You


are right, let's see a bit of the meat, please. My newspaper has been


calling for some pretty hefty government action on this for quite


some time. For the just about managings? Yes and specifically to


sort out an energy market dominated by the big six, which is manifestly


ripping people off left, right and centre. Theresa May's argument in


Cardiff on Friday morning which, by the way, went down like a proverbial


windbreak at the proverbial funeral because Tories... You know what I


mean Andrew, the big hand coming into from the state telling


businesses what to do. They went very quiet indeed. They were having


saving the union and Nato but there was no clapping for that. The point


being, this is what she needs to do to prove her assault, to prove those


first words on the steps of Downing Street. We await to see the actions


taken. On that unusual agreement we will


leave it there. The Daily Politics will be back on BBC Two tomorrow at


noon and everyday during the week. And I'll be here on BBC One


next Sunday at 11am. Remember, if it's Sunday,


it's the Sunday Politics. I've not given myself that time


to sit down


Andrew Neil and Nina Warhurst with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

As the NHS in England warns of a severe financial crisis, Andrew talks to Chris Hopson, head of NHS Providers. He is also joined by former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg MP and Labour Party campaign and elections chair Andrew Gwynne MP.

On the political panel are the Sun's Tom Newton Dunn and journalists Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards.