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.