With Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers. Guests include Heidi Alexander MP and Johnny Mercer MP. On the political panel are Janan Ganesh, Polly Toynbee and Nick Watt.
Browse content similar to 08/11/2015. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
As evidence grows that the Russian passenger jet downed over
Egypt's Sinai desert last weekend WAS the target of
a terrorist attack, we look at how Moscow and the West will respond.
We will have the latest from each at and Russia. -- Egypt.
Are we now on the brink of an even more dangerous phase of Islamist
David Cameron says he's ready to lead Britain out of the EU
if he doesn't get what he wants from renegotiation,
Will his list of demands result in a good deal or turn out to be
And the row over a new contract for junior doctors in England
And coming up here: action,
Is a deal to save Stormont now likely within days?
We will have the latest on the negotiations.
Sinn Fein and the UUP on next year's centenary commemorations.
And with me, as always, the three journalists that help make this show
the most anticipated TV event since the John Lewis Christmas advert!
It's Nick Watt, Polly Toynbee and Janan Ganesh.
We're not sure if they'll make you start thinking
But they may well bring a tear to your eye.
So, this week, we'll see what many eurosceptics and europhiles have
been waiting for with all the excitement of a child thinking about
their Christmas wish list, even though it's only early November.
David Cameron will publish his letter to the President of the
European Council setting out the "broad outlines" of what he wants
to achieve from his renegotiation of Britain's EU membership.
The upfront briefing from Ten Downing Street says that
he'll challenge both the in and out campaigns to be more
But, to assuage the eurosceptic majority in his party he'll use his
strongest language yet to say that if he doesn't get what he wants,
Whether they believe him is another matter.
This is what Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has to say this
The British people will not be fobbed off with a set of cosmetic
This is about fundamental change in the direction of travel in the
European Union, to make sure that it works for Britain, and that it is
an effective organisation for all the citizens of Europe, driving our
prosperity and competitiveness in the 21st century.
If we cannot do that, then we will not be able to win a referendum.
That was the Foreign Secretary. Janan Ganesh, is anything happening?
There is a problem the David Cameron, the things he is most
likely to get from his renegotiation are not the things that will move
the average voter, so what he is likely to get our protections for
non-euro countries within the EU, and that will be very technical
institutional stuff, double majority voting and so forth. That is doable,
the Germans don't want a fragmented EU in terms of the currency. Does
your average undecided voter decide on the basis of that? I think they
are more moved by free movement and immigration, maybe even economic
regulation, so the things he is most likely to get may not help him in a
year or 18 months' time when he is campaigning to win a referendum. You
get the feeling he has delayed telling us what he is really looking
for because he is bound to disappoint. Indeed, and he has to be
very careful to ask for things he can get. Three of the main things he
can get, but I don't think he will get the four years' delay for in
work benefits, it is discriminatory and goes against the basic
principles and yet he is asking again. We can only hope he has had a
nod and a wink from 27 other countries that they will agree to
that because if he fails to get it, it will agree to that because if he
fails to get it, it'll renegotiation and it is a good package, so we will
hope it is not a cavalier piece of speaking. What is your take? Philip
Hammond did say some of the changes would be introduced through domestic
legislation and it does look like the ban on EU migrants claiming in
work benefits for four years, the Government will they would thereby
codify some recent European Court judgments that have gone in favour
of the UK and not embedded in treaty change, but the hard language about
treaty change, the reason they are standing soaked up, is George
Osborne is absolutely confident that he is going to get a treaty change
agreement, protections for the Euro outs and Britain will get an opt out
from an ever closer union. George Osborne's the is that the protection
for the Euro outs is the most important thing he can get the
benefit of Britain but he knows politically the campaign, the most
important thing he has to get those migrant benefit restrictions. We
will see what he says on Tuesday, that is when the speech is being
made. A senior US government official is
quoted today by CNN saying they are "99.9% certain" that the 224
passengers aboard the Russian jet which crashed into the Sinai Desert
last Saturday were the victims That's the view in London as well
as Washington and now, A memorial service has been held
today in the Russian city of St Petersburg, where the charter
flight was heading, while Moscow draws up plans to repatriate 80,000
of its holidaymakers from various locations in Egypt, after it
suspended all flights there, following in the wake of Britain's
decision to suspend flights from Sharm el-Sheikh where thousands of
British citizens are still stranded. The downing of the flight is
a tragedy for those who lost their lives, and an inconvenience
for those stuck in Sharm. But its geopolitical significance
will be massive if it represents the emergence of Islamic State,
much better funded and organised than al-Qaeda, as a terrorist group
capable of hitting targets far from In a moment, we will speak to Steve
Rosenberg in St Petersburg. First, we are joined by Sally Nabil from
Sharm el-Sheikh. Does the Egyptian Government Phil Borley get
now? The British were the first to stop flights, the Americans followed
another Russians have banned all flights to Egypt except to get
people out, is it beginning to trouble the Cairo Government? The
Egyptian Government seems to be in a very tight situation, from an
economic perspective. Tourism is very important to the economy, it is
a lifeline to the Egyptian economy, which is already in a bad shape and
the tourism industry depends mainly on Russia and Britain, so the fact
that no more to wrists, from Russia or Britain, will be coming to Egypt
is a huge blow to tourism here and Egypt needs foreign currency and it
depends on tourist spot that mainly, so it is a major blow to the
industry and put the Government in a tight situation. On the other hand,
the way the Egyptians have handled security in Sharm el-Sheikh airport
was a matter of great concern and criticism from different countries
around the world, even the tourists I have spoken to, they told us when
they first arrived, the security measures were a mess, so now the
measures have been tightened, some to wrists I spoke to yesterday told
me it makes them feel better -- some to tourist. If the President Sese
Government is feeling beleaguered in Cairo and will take another economic
hit because of the tourism, can we expect further crackdown on the
Sinai province terrorist groups? It is hard to tell at the moment, but
the Sinai military operation has been going on for nearly two years
now and every now and then, we hear about major attacks carried by
mainly the IS affiliated group called the Sinai province, so the
fact that the group have operated in Sinai the nearly two years, it seems
the insurgency group is still gaining momentum and if it happens
to be true they managed to smuggle a bomb on board the plane, it is a
major blow to the security operators. Sally Nabil, thank you.
Let's go to St Petersburg, we are joined by Steve Rosenberg. Is there
any indication yet of how, assuming that it is shown to be a terrorist
attack, any indication of how Vladimir Putin is going to respond?
No, not yet. I think it is important to remember that despite the growing
suspicion that this was a bomb, the official Kremlin line still is that
it is keeping an open mind about this disaster, it is treating all
theories equally and the Kremlin says the fact that it has suspended
all flights to Egypt does not mean it favours the terror theory over
any other. Having said that, if it is proven to be a bomb, then judging
by the way President Putin has responded in the past to terror
attacks, I think we can expect a forceful response from him. How is
the domestic politics? I know it is hard to tell, because the media is
so controlled by the Kremlin, but is this an opportunity for Mr Putin to
further strengthen his position with a tougher crackdown, or is there
their fear in the Kremlin that having casualties as a result of his
war on terror will not make him very popular? It is an interesting
question. I remember back in 2004, when there was a string of terror
attacks on Russian soil, there were bombs in the Moscow Metro, two
planes bombed out of the sky and the year ended with the school siege in
Beslan, where 330 people were killed. None of that seemed to dent
Vladimir Putin's popularity. Quite the opposite, he used it to
strengthen the power of the Kremlin. Now, you could argue that if this
doesn't prove to have been a bomb, that could undermine the narrative
that the Kremlin has been pushing domestically about its military
operation in Syria. In other words, Russia has been saying it has been
carrying out air strikes in Syria to boost national security in Russia,
to destroy terrorists so they couldn't come to Russia and kill
people there, that narrative will be seriously undermined. But whether
Russians would connect the dots and say, President Putin said we would
be safer but we clearly are not, I don't think that would happen,
because the Kremlin control so tightly the media here, particularly
television, and television is the key to influencing public opinion.
So if the Kremlin was to change the narrative to something more like we
have been attacked, we are the victims of terror, we need to carry
on our battle against international terrorism, I think the Russian
public would support that and from the people I have spoken to on the
streets of St Petersburg this morning, I haven't heard a word of
criticism of Vladimir Putin. Most people have said to me, I understand
Russia is at threat of terror attacks and they don't seem to
connect what may have happened to the Russian air bus with Russia's
military operation in Syria. Steve Rosenberg in St Petersburg.
We're joined now by the foreign affairs analyst Tim Marshall,
Dr Domitilla Sagramoso, an expert in Russian security
And joining us from our Plymouth studio is the
He sits on the Commons Defence Committee, and is
Tim Marshall, if, as the intelligence suggests, this attack
was coordinated with Islamic State leaders in Iraq, and its affiliates
in the Sinai called soon I province, it means Islamic State has
the capability to plot mass casualty attacks outside of Syria and Iraq --
called Sinai province. I think in the future, they will be able to do
it globally and this is the first sign of them doing it outside of the
countries they operate in. The head of the FSB came back the lead met
Putin on Friday and Putin immediately set ground the planes,
that shows us what they truly believe. Britain is third, it is
Russia and Germany and France in the amount of tourists there. President
Sisi has been to Moscow three times since he was elected. He is trying
to pull Russia back from America. So it is difficult for the Egyptians
and Russians to come back out to openly unsaved. So to come back to
your original point, I think it is pretty clear that the Isis affiliate
in Sinai swore allegiance to Isis in Iraq. They are under a lot of
pressure from the Russians, 20% of the bombing was against Syria. They
have told their affiliate in the Sinai, you are the ones who can do
it from you do the operation, they have killed the Russians and the
Russians have to respond, I agree with what the Moscow correspondent
said, Putin does not respond -- not not respond, Putin responds and
response with violence. Johnny Mercer, if what we are saying is
true and it was a planned attack by Islamic State, it takes IS into what
is called full spectrum terrorist activity and it is better financed
than Al-Qaeda, it is better resourced and organised in Syria and
Iraq and Osama Bin Laden ever was sitting in a cave in Afghanistan,
this takes the global war on terrorism to a whole new level.
This threat is existential. You can see, if this is proved to be
something that has originated from so-called Islamic State, you can see
their strategic region. This is why the Prime Minister has been going on
about this for so long. We have to do something about so-called Islamic
State because the threat will only get closer. We see this great
outpouring of humanity with that little boy washed up on a beach. We
have had 30 of our own terrorists massacred in Tunisia.
I understand. Is the British response which the Prime Minister
has not managed to get Pollard to agree to on deploying eight Tornado
jets into Syria, is that really adequate given what you have called
an existential threat? We need to do what we are asked to
do by the coalition. It is not a question of how much manpower or
machinery we are sending but the effect we can achieve on the ground.
We have been asked to provide those Tornado jets because they have a
specific tactical and technical capability to the coalition are
asked when it comes to dynamic targeting within Syria. We should
stand up to that and do our duty, and have the stomach for the fight.
The idea we are asking people to do some mass bombing in Syria with no
strategy, is misinformed. We should have got past this by now.
What does this mean for Russia and Mr Putin?
To a certain extent, this has brought the ball back to Russia. I
would disagree with what the correspondent was saying, that the
Russians will not be particularly affected and critical of Mr Putin's
paper in the Middle East. On the one hand they understand, that is their
argument that the President Assad regime needed to be faced for stock
because it had fallen, then jihadists groups in Damascus and
western parts of the country weather and they understand that.
On the other hand, they will put brakes to any attempt to send ground
troops which I think they are not planning to do either. I imagine he
will have another response to the bombing.
He hasn't done much, Tim Marshall. He has been bombing the other groups
against President Assad. He may now extend the bombing to
Islamic State. If you look at the pattern of
bombing, 80% against the Free Syrian Army, it's changed on Thursday.
There was an increase on bombing on Isis targets and I think you'll see
more of that in coming days. There is no way the Russians will react.
The Russian public, if you look at 9/11 and the reaction of the
American public, lots of things have happened to lots of countries, the
immediate reaction in the first weeks and months is not, our foreign
policy is wrong, but revenge. The most potent of many of the human
emotions. I am certain in the short term the Russian public will support
more action. Your original point, Isis is in Libya, Syria,
Afghanistan, Iraq, India, growing very slowly in many other countries,
and it has become the poster boy for jihadists. It has replaced Al-Qaeda
and with that comes money and people prepared to kill themselves.
Johnny Mercer, the head of MI5 says the threat of terrorism to the UK is
the highest he has seen, that was before the jet went down over the
Sinai desert. We now know, we have had it independently corroborated,
that I S has been using mustard gas on civilians in Aleppo, not because
it is a very use to them, but as a sign, we have got it, a sign to the
West. Is that a response series SATs is
there a response seriously adequate to this?
Until now, we have not been militarily involved as much as we
should have. We are in a difficult place here, we are learning all
still healing from the mistakes in the last 15 years in terms of
foreign policy engagement. That can't mean we draw up the
drawbridge and think the way to keep safe at home and keep our way of
life is to have no strategic involvement overseas.
If it is proved this is done by so-called Islamic State, it
demonstrates their strategic reach and reinforces that argument that we
have to do something about this threat. It is only going to come
closer and it is not good enough for it to come closer, the something to
happen, and afterward for us to say, we should have done this and that.
We need an intelligent foreign policy such intervention strategy,
this is what the banister is trying to do and we should support him.
He referred to help Afghanistan and Iraq hang over this country's
foreign policy and military responses. Does Afghanistan, from
the Soviet era, does that hang over, is it a restraint on what the
Kremlin might do today? Totally, they are aware of the risks
that occurred when they intervened and the deaths and casualties in
Afghanistan. One of the reasons why the Civic union became so weak and
eventually led to its disintegration. There is only one
other point I would like to make which people in Russia are now
talking about, experts, is the fact that to a certain extent this attack
was also very much targeted against Egypt. I think a lot of the focus
has been on Russia. For me, it was always not very clear white Isis in
Egypt in the Sinai desert was going to attack if Russian plane, and why
not the people who were under the bombs?
It seems very much that we should not forget the dimension that to a
certain extent the Russians might not have been the initial main
objective of the attack, but to have an impact on Egypt and the Egyptian
tourism industry, because a country suffering the most from this attack
is actually going to be Egypt. Because its economy is so weak. We
had to be more careful when we analysed these groups and the
connections, and not immediately assume that Isis is giving this
order. I disagree with that interpretation.
Tim Marshall, here is the rub at the moment. We now face this potential
far wider or dangerous better resourced terrorist threat than ever
before. It happens at a time when we want to get together to deal with
this but the British are not bombing in Syria. Our allies America have
stopped bombing, Saudi Arabia, UAE, has devoted its jets, Bahrain has
not been part of anything since debris, the Saudis since September,
Jordan since August. America which is half-hearted in this, is almost
on its own in dealing with this now. And with a president not keen on
doing this, who was pushed into it. The British situation is different.
The politics of the matter, it is clear, is not in the House of
Commons. The SNP, Labour, Tory rebels, will
vote it down. We were talking earlier, because of a rock, we are
not going to do without Parliamentary vote. -- Iraq.
The French are putting their aircraft carrier back into the Gulf.
It was that the two months and they are selling it back from another
operation. At the request of the Americans. In
2007, since then, the Americans do not have a carrier in the Gulf.
The Tornado jets would make a difference. To say, we as a culture
with commonalities in our belief systems, we are standing together.
At the moment, they are not. We will leave it there.
The uneasy truce between supporters of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
and the majority of Labour MPs is under renewed strain this week.
First, MPs from the right of the party swept the board
at elections for posts that will give them a role in making policy.
Then Mr Corbyn's senior policy adviser, a young man called
Andrew Fisher, was suspended from the party, apparently after Blairite
MPs complained he had backed an anarchist at the general election
We already know that at least one MP wants to trigger
a leadership election if next May's election results are underwhelming.
But, if there is a contest, how would it work, and what hurdles
would face Mr Corbyn and his potential challengers?
Giles has been delving into the Labour Party rule book.
Be warned, there is flash photography in his film.
That some Labour MPs did not and do not want Jeremy Corbyn
That there are internal tensions between some MPs and Jeremy Corbyn's
That Labour has not removed a sitting leader since 1935 is a fact.
And that Jeremy Corbyn won the ballot to become leader with
a whisker off 60% of the vote is also a fact.
What is surprising about these facts is that it's Jeremy Corbyn's team
themselves who are very keen to see the rules surrounding any challenge
Because, when it comes to the rule book, the mechanism for such
It starts well enough with chapter four, clause two, B, two:
The wording of this clause is, in fact, already out-of-date as
of last conference, as any MP who can get 20% of support from
Labour Parliamentarians, that's MPs and now MEPs which, as of now means
Whether there is anyone who could do that at the moment is
a very moot point, however much some might wish there was.
If they get them, they then write to the Party General Secretary, and
Then Labour's National Executive Committee decides the timetable and
The problem is, nowhere in the rules is it specified what happens next.
It seems, within party circles, depending on their views,
The challenger or challengers are put on the ballot with
But the incumbent leader then needs 15% of Labour Parliamentarians to
nominate them so they too appear on it.
He is not popular inside the PLP, that is very clear.
So, if he's not going to go through automatically,
he has to knock on doors and get people to sign the form.
The challenger is on the ballot, others may also seek 20% nomination
threshold, and they too appear, but the leader is automatically included
The idea, the incumbent, somebody with 60% of the electorate in the
Labour Party, might not be on the ballot paper, yet someone at best
on the fringes of the Labour Party could be, is obviously unthinkable.
Only the named challenger goes forward
with their 20% nomination, and it is a straight binary head-to-head with
the leader who again is automatically in the contest.
Mr Corbyn might need more protective gear from scenario one and two, but
this programme understands option three is what the current leader's
team and the party solicitor think is the correct interpretation.
Of course, any talk of leadership challenges
might well upset the 60% of those who clearly wanted Jeremy Corbyn to
not only lead the party but lead it into the 2020 general election.
This wouldn't happen in any other organisation where you
have a new CEO judged on metrics that happened in the
Let us give him a bit more time before we start mounting challenges
or talking about challenges, because he does have an overwhelming mandate
Nonetheless, in bars and offices across Westminster, some Labour MPs
are thinking into the night how they can stop Jeremy Corbyn.
And some have no desire to remove him,
but think the idea of challenging any leader is important as an idea.
As a historian, I realise the Labour Party has a major problem
And I want a situation where it can say
they are not doing a decent job, and therefore they have got to go.
Because if he had won, he's there for two or three years.
So, if the rules were clarified, would it make
I can't see it happening for a very long time.
At the moment, the only way to be able to get rid
of Jeremy Corbyn, if that is what you want, is to convince people he
I see absolutely no evidence of that happening at all.
Of course that doesn't mean someone won't try.
Pole, even if the Parliamentary party had the stomach for a coup
against Mr Corbyn, it would result in civil war within the party
because the next election would go back to the same electorate that
elected Mr Corbin? could happen but if he was an
absolute disaster, losing by-elections, and by disaster,
significantly worse than Ed Miliband's results. After all,
Labour doesn't get rid of its leaders. Until something of that
kind happens, where you have a really persuasive argument that
there is not a hope in hell of him winning the next election, that
might bring the party round, but any rebels had to bring enough up the
party round to say, look, winning is what really matters and this guy
isn't going to win for us. Are there people talking, plotting coup is
already? Of course, the counterrevolutionaries, and they are
delighted with themselves in the PLP, they have a serious of
modernisers who have been elected to the chairmanship of these committees
-- a series of modernisers. 10% of them visited bag of loot voted for
this candle. The problem is, they have the power to trigger a
leadership contest but do not have the power to decide the contest,
that will be for the people who overwhelmingly voted for Mr Corbyn
and I agree, it will take up catastrophic meltdown over the next
year to get the contest taking place, but even if you had that
contest, I still think you will find, because he has only been there
a year, his supporters will say it is not our fault, give him more time
and you will find even in those circumstances, Jeremy Corbyn or
Jeremy Corbyn person would win. Mr Corbyn does sometimes create
unnecessary problems for himself. Let me show you this clip from
Andrew Fisher, he was a political adviser to Mr Corbyn. He has been
suspended from the party but he is still working for the Labour
leader. One of its problems is this is what he had to say.
I had the most excruciating half-hour of my life where I was
I sometimes have nightmares, very violent, bloody nightmares
But it was excruciating and he said, look, we got to explain to people
there is more to life than moving from the bedroom to the sofa.
That was his attitude towards people who are unemployed.
For this plummy accented, Oxbridge-educated Tory
in a red rosette, frankly, to be saying that, was the most
It took every sinew of my self-discipline not to thump him.
Though Mr Fischer is no stranger to defend himself, having called other
Labour members vile gits and scumbags. You wonder why Mr Corbyn
feels he needs someone like this. And if you think Mr Corbyn is trying
to prevent an internal push against himself, why he would making the
late make several of the personnel decisions he has -- why he would be
making several other personnel decisions. If you are hoping to get
him out, your hub would have to be that the new members that have
changed the composition of the Labour Party are not hardened,
militia style activists that will defend him to the last ditch, but
are dreamers and kids who got excited over the summer and will
break away in the coming years and will realise that internal party
warfare means turning up to tedious meetings on a wet Thursday night and
they will not be there to protect him in the worst instances. I think
Polly is right, he won't go unless he is an obvious disaster, but I
don't think he will come across as an obvious disaster until the spring
of 2020, by which time it is too late and Labour have already lost
the last of the late next election. -- lost the next election.
It's coming up to one o'clock, you're watching the Sunday Politics.
We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who leave us now
Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics in Northern Ireland.
On this Remembrance Sunday, as wreaths are laid to remember
the war dead, how will the parties here approach next
year's centenaries of the Battle of the Somme and the Easter Rising?
the Ulster Unionist Councillor Doug Beattie
and the former Sinn Fein Lord Mayor of Belfast, Tom Hartley.
Also today, with their thoughts on that private
meeting between David Cameron and the First and Deputy First
Ministers, my guests of the day are the academic Cathy Gormley-Heenan
We are told he keeps a very close eye on the talks at
Stormont, though the Prime Minister only tends to get personally
The First and Deputy First Ministers held a private meeting with
David Cameron in Downing Street on Friday afternoon.
It is understood the discussions centred around Stormont's finances.
So, does that development signal the likelihood
The Secretary of State wasn't giving much away when I asked her
about political progress on The View on Thursday night.
And that the Cenotaph this morning in both us, she was asked about the
significance of Freddie's meeting. I cannot comment on that meeting, it
was a private meeting. The Prime Minister has obviously been
following the process of the talks very carefully. It was no trouble
for him to meet the First and 51st Ministers for an update. But I think
it was useful meeting, and it is still going to be a crucial week.
The Taoiseach has said the deal is on for this week. I am very hopeful
and happy with the reports I am getting. That the deal is on here. I
hope it can be included successfully in the next couple of days. I am in
Enniskillen today, I will be talking to the Prime Minister in Downing
Street tomorrow and afterwards I will make arrangements to meet with
the First and Deputy First Minister and I hope we can have this
concluded. Enda Kenny, talking there in Enniskillen.
Let's hear what Cathy Gormley-Heenan and Newton Emerson make
The situation is developing, as we are on air. Newton, I suppose we
shouldn't be surprised a lot of people have been talking about
choreography in the background over the last week or two, it seems now
that a deal is on. Yes, and it will be roughly the day it was available
last year and the year before and various other deals, but what seems
different this time is that it is not the Sicily and all party deal.
It seems to be between Sinn Fein and the DUP. -- not necessarily. That
changes the dynamic. It could have ramifications for how Stormont feels
and operates in the future. What do you make of the fact that Enda Kenny
is saying this morning he is due to meet David Cameron tomorrow and then
he will meet with Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson tomorrow night? I
suspect that is to talk about finances as well, it was reported
earlier that the DUP and Sinn Fein had presented a paper although
didn't table it as part of the formal negotiations, to ask the
Irish Government for 550 million euros so I suspect the conversation
tomorrow will be about that. As much as the conversation on Friday with
David Cameron was probably about finance rather than the mechanics of
the agreement. What do you make of Newton's point, it doesn't have to
be, she confirmed this, it doesn't have to be a 5 party deal. What will
happen if a deal is reached is that it will be presented to the Assembly
as a legislative consent motion. It means that those issues will be
dealt with by a single, unified unitary bill that will be taken
forward by Westminster. The fact the DUP and Sinn Fein her -- are the
July just parties will mean that despite any debate, the legislative
consent motion will pass. Does not really matter the Ulster Unionists
and the SDLP are left outside the tent? What is presumably critical is
that the DUP and Sinn Fein are inside. Yes, that is all that
matters. The only reason they ever cared about the smaller parties
being on board is to have tribal cover when they do a deal with each
other. If both of those parties have now done a deal, 1 of the things
that means is that the DUP is no longer so worried about protecting
its flank. What we're looking at is a Stormont Castle deal between the
two main parties, rather than a Stormont House deal between the five
parties? Yes, exactly. That is OK in the run-up to the election, the
smaller parties will say that this was not an inclusive agreement, that
all the parties had signed up to. What about the difficult issues? The
Secretary of State confirmed that national security veto continues to
be an issue for nationalists. There are outstanding issues for what the
rough and legacy, could some of those issues be dealt with later or
does this have to be a deal that includes everything, where all the
detail is tied down? I don't see why it has do include all of the issues.
I suspect there will be a form of words to cover the issues. I suspect
that Sinn Fein has raised some of the non-financial issues to help
cover its own moves on welfare reform. It is interesting to see
what appears to be a more relaxed approach on the part of Enda Kenny
today, saying I think a deal is on. The Secretary of State was very
cagey about it, she said that a deal was possible but she would not say
that it was probable. Admittedly, we are further down the road, but does
it tell you that the Nationalists are more relaxed about this and
Unionists? No, it tells me that they have been listening and reading the
books on how to negotiate, because there are keeping civil underpinning
all successful negotiations to create a win - win solution. One of
those is no leaks, no offering ultimatums, no going to the press
before you go to the parties, and listening more than talking. We have
finally seen evidence of that bust up the fact that Theresa Villiers
did not say what had happened on Friday night speaks volumes.
Interesting to hear your thoughts, we will talk more on that later.
Leading politicians from the Republic have joined
Remembrance services here to honour the war dead.
The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, was in Enniskillen,
and earlier this morning the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs
joined the Secretary of State and other dignitaries to lay a
So, as we approach 2016 and the marking of two major historical
anniversaries on both sides of the border, the Battle of the Somme
and the Easter Rising, how will the parties approach the commemorations?
The Ulster Unionist Party has revealed it is likely to be present
in Dublin at some point next Easter, potentially holding its own event.
Joining me are Doug Beattie, a UUP councillor in Craigavon,
and the former Sinn Fein Lord Mayor of Belfast, Tom Hartley.
You are both very welcome to the programme. Thank you for joining us.
Doug Beattie, just before we get into this, can I ask you for the
latest of elements, does it seem to you that a deal is going to happen
this week and possibly your party might be outside the tent? Let's be
clear that Sinn Fein and the DUP are doing a deal behind closed doors and
the Osterley Unionist party are being held out. When we see the
deal, I think Mike Nesbitt will see if it is a deal that is good for the
people of Northern Ireland, and if it is we will sign up. If it is not,
we most definitely will not. The fact is, they are doing a deal
regardless of the input from the other parties, it is beyond me.
Let's talk about Remembrance Sunday and the commemorations more
generally. Today, Remembrance Sunday is still a contested space here. As
a former soldier, what does it mean for you? It means everything, it is
the 1 day of the year, collective Dave where we have the opportunity
to remember and reflect. But it is a very private thing for individuals.
Sadly for me it is a private, to remember and reflect on friends and
colleagues and families who have passed away, and for those
ex-combatants who have died and the many thousands of civilians who have
passed away over conflicts past and present. It is very private. Before
we have from Tom Hartley, have advanced at this stage are the
Ulster Unionist plans to be in Dublin next Easter? Well, we have
been sending representatives down to remember our war dead from the
Easter Rebellion, for a number of years. We are now looking at how we
can do that further, how we can engage politically about the
repercussions of what happened in 1916 and the relevance they have
today. What happened 100 years ago, nearly, has absolute relevance to
what is happening today. Tom Hartley, do you welcome the Ulster
Unionist being in Dublin discussing the Easter Rising, but possibly with
their own event and possibly putting forward their own interpretation of
what is wrong with the Nationalists view of the Easter Rising? Very much
so. In fact, I think it is necessary. I think we need to
address the Quebec city of our history. It is complex and often
difficult. -- address the complexities. I want to see a
process where people can engage and talk to one another, here different
views, for instance next year I am starting to organise a number of
lectures, one of which will be a Unionist critique of 1916, another
will look at the communities of Donegal and Monaghan and Cabannes,
who were really effective immediately after the rising. --
caravan. I will be looking at how we replace rouble like Roger Casement
-- we place people like. They were raised as Northern Protestants but
Roger Casement ended up republican. Can we look at that just outside the
normal way that people look at this? But there will be discordant
and dissonant voices. You may hear things from Doug Beattie and others
that you don't like and don't agree with. I would argue that is
democracy. But is part of life, part of history. We are not
one-dimensional. I keep saying history doesn't run along parallel
lines in Ireland, it is complex, layered and difficult. But it is our
history and I think we have doing get with it. Do you need to separate
out that debate from acts of remembrance? There are two separate
things going on, one is a historical discussion, the other is remembering
people who lost their lives in conflict. Absolutely, there is even
more to that, and ideological and political depth, if you look at the
1916 rising, there is an ideological questions still to be asked, because
the proclamation had a distinct set of principles it wanted to put out,
which Unionists would clearly be opposed to. I suppose the question
is, broadly, should Unionists really be getting involved in marking the
centenary of the Easter Rising? The DUP's line is commemorations of the
Easter Rising will be important to many people but they are not
something with which many Unionists will feel much affinity or are
likely to participate in. Alistair said to me that the rising was
"foreign, grubby, failed rebellion in some other place". -- Jim
Allister. He speaks for himself and the TUV Blatt he might speak for
some members of the UUP. You have to remember that the 1916 rebellion
took place on UK soil. It was a battle held on UK soil, so we have
to look at it, and see what the consequences were, and we have to
remember. If you were to ask me, what do you think? I would say that
everyone has the right to remember what is important to them and I
would be happy to go down to Dublin and be involved in remembering all
combatants and civilians, but not in Northern Ireland. Tom Hartley, can I
ask about the Irish republican plans to mark the centenary of the Battle
of the Somme? It involved the 36th Ulster Division, mostly from
Northern Ireland. Is it right that the Irish Government acknowledges
the significance of the Battle of the Somme and Ulstermen who died
with Mac yes, because it is a major historical event. We have then to
address it. It may be a challenge, but it needs addressed. We can't
ignore it. History has happened. We have to engage with it. There will
be those who will engage through talking, those who will engage
through commemoration, but I think what we need in all of this is to
say, let's stop hurting each other over our dead, let's bring a degree
of dignity. One of the things I notice about history conversations
is, people often get together and try and browbeat each other, to say,
your history doesn't really matter. In fact, we can learn through these
events to engage, have differences of opinion and be able to talk about
different aspects and interpretations of history. If we
come out of next year with a deeper understanding of each other and the
dignity of the other, I think it will be a successful year.
Is that what it is all about? Accepting that all kinds of things
happened 100 years ago that we may like or may not, but an open,
honest, respectful discussion is the way for a? Absolutely. Every person
that wants the run version of history to be reinforced their
another person who is really hungry or those alternative versions of
history. Deceit understand why the interpretation might be different.
-- to seek to understand. What people saw the consequences of the
Easter Rising, and I think it is interesting that the Irish
Government in their state-sponsored initiatives have education at the
heart of it, putting emphasis on schools and on asking schoolchildren
to design a proclamation for the 21st century, with a lot of the
social and economic and equality measures underpinning it. So I
agree. Newton, are you optimistic that what Doug and Tom want to
achieve can and will be achieved? We know that politics both sides of the
border, the chances are there will be individuals and parties who will
choose to be offended at some of what happens. Of course there will
be. Sinn Fein is running its own separate commemoration. But I think
it would be as well to make both these commemorations as ecumenical
as possible. I am struck by how there has been little reflection of
the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising, which was believed for a
long time to have contributed to tensions in Northern Ireland. It fit
into republican frustration, Unionists to get as a basis for
provocation because there was a very militaristic celebration in the
South. We have a much better effort going on in Dublin now but we have
to recognise that it is a dangerous moment. You also have to point out
that the Northern Ireland Executive release a statement said they had
shown great leadership and I know they have been busy with other thing
but perhaps that is one of the things that will be picked up again
after the conclusion of the talks. How do you legislate... Welcome, you
can, but deal the fact that the commemoration good step over the
line? You have to have it as inclusive as possible. The mention
of an educational basis for this commemoration is the way to go
because a synergy look into the history in any detail, including
that of the loyalists and the Unionist uprising in Northern
Ireland, you realise how multilayered it is. I think that
diffuses the situation. Well, complexity is perhaps what will be
teased out in the next 12 months. Thank you to all.
Now let's pause for a look back at the political week gone past
Possible, not probable, the Secretary of State said a deal was
not yet done. There is a concluded agreement -- I do not think there is
a concluded agreement. It is possible we can get at that stage
but I do not think there are that stage. For the 1st time in majority
of MLAs voted in favour of same-sex marriage. But the DUP petition of
concern blocked the motion. I think those who are against, like myself,
on the wrong of history. Nothing changed following yet another
academic selection debate. I have two sides of this argument. They are
poles apart. It will remain so. We need to have a democratic fail-safe
and have to listen to the attitude of local expertise there is in our
system. And with arts cuts on the agenda, the Culture Minister used
some colourful language. You do have a complete brass neck.
Just time for a quick look at what's coming up this week,
The parties, we know, have been called to Stormont tomorrow at
10:30. We understand that sources suggesting a deal has been pencilled
in for Thursday. I will believe it when I see it expect I have no doubt
there is a deal but when it comes to precise times and days, there is
always something else over the horizon. I asked the Secretary of
State, is there a shadow deal that they have to sign up to? She said
there is not at this stage. Do you think perhaps later there might be?
It is interesting that Peter Robinson's comment said we will have
a deal or not in ten days, which is tomorrow. We will see if he is a
soothsayer or not! Let's talk about the SDLP. The leadership result due
on Saturday. Can Colum Eastwood beat Alasdair McDonnell? What I have
heard is he doesn't have the numbers. The interesting thing
coming out is the internal report showing it would be the fifth
largest party after the next election. That is the first time
that the symmetry of the Stormont Executive system will have changed.
That is big. What is your assessment of the debate going on within that
party, Cathy? I think whoever the leader is after the leadership
contest in November, faces a serious challenge. Alistair McDonnell had to
explain to the electorate why after four years of rebuilding the party
it has continued to have per election results. Colum Eastwood
will have to be able to explain to those voting what he is going to do
to turn that around. If he was elected, it would be a very short
window of opportunity he has to turn things around before the next
election. That's it from Sunday Politics
for this week. My thanks to Bob Stewart and to
Stephen Pound and, with that, The row between junior doctors and
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has The disagreement centres
around a proposed new contract The Government says the existing
arrangements are outdated and claims the move will help
deliver the Conservative manifesto The British Medical Association,
representing junior doctors, says the changes will result in working
practices that are unsafe and unfair Any industrial action could involve
a walk-out from all but emergency work,
in what is likely to be the biggest Well, the Labour Party has called
on Mr Hunt to scrap his plans, and the Shadow Health Secretary
Heidi Alexander joins us now. Welcome to the programme. Is the
Labour Party in favour of the concept of a 7 day a week Health
Service? We are but I think you need to understand the barriers that
exist in order to provide that service.
Jeremy Hunt the Health Secretary has implied that if you change the
junior doctors's contract, then in some way that automatically means
you have a 7 day NHS. It doesn't. You don't just need junior doctors.
They are already working weekends and nights. You need consultant
cover, diagnostics support, pharmacists, 24/7 social care.
If Jeremy Hunt isn't being honest about the resources he would put in
to deliver that 24/7 NHS, then picking a fight with junior doctors
which is what he seems determined to do at the moment, will not provide
the solution he said it will. If you wanted a proper 7-day-a-week
NHS, would you also had to change the junior doctors's contract?
I'm not totally convinced that changing their contracts will
actually result in more junior doctors being available on the ward.
There are some things that should probably...
You have said the existing contract is not perfect, do you need to
change it in some ways for seven day cover? Along with the things you
mentioned. If you listened to what hospital bosses and chief executive
say, they are saying very clearly that the junior doctor contract is
not the main issue here. There are other things that would
need to change. One of the things that really concerns junior doctors
is that the proposals that seemed to be on the table at the moment are
bad for patient safety, and they are not convinced that the proposals
will result in them not working even more excessive and exhausting hours
than they at the moment. The contract at the moment has
financial penalties built into it which means, if a hospital forces
junior doctors to work very long hours, then that hospital is
financially penalised. And that system, whilst it may not be
perfect, has the broad confidence of junior doctors, and they are very
worried this proposal that has come forward in the last couple of days,
even though negotiations have been going on for years, will compromise
patient safety. Was the BMA right to begin a strike
ballot without sitting down with Jeremy Hunt over the new offer? I
think the BMA and junior doctors feel that they have been backed into
a corner because of the way that Jeremy Hunt has handled these
negotiations. He started off by saying that the
BMA and junior doctors would have two agreed to 22 out of 23
preconditions laid down by the doctors and dentists's remuneration
board. He went on to imply, which has
angered Junor doctors even more, if you change this contract it will
somehow result in lives being saved. And then we have a situation on
Wednesday, 24 hours before the ballot of junior doctors is due to
start, that he decides the best way to conduct negotiations is to issue
a press release from the Department of Health. And that is the best way
to conduct negotiations. He has been talking to the BMA since
2012, this is not a new problem. He has made an 11% pay offer. He
said other than the few already working illegal hours, less than 1%
would see come would lose some pain but that is because they would not
be working as much. 75% would get a rise, is that not something worth
talking about? A lot of this is spent, Andrew.
How do you know? The 11% pay offer applies to a
proportion of the junior doctors's contract, the other proportion of
their wage will actually be going down. So, you cannot say that this
is an 11% pay rise. Let me finish this point. How do you know if you
don't sit around negotiations? Listen to Jeremy Hunt, he is saying
the overall pay envelope for junior doctors will remain broadly the
same. How can it possibly be an 11% pay rise?
A rise in the basic and they will do less overtime, less hours would
count as overtime. It is cogitated as it may be the
junior doctors will think this does not take us forward.
Don't they owe it to those of us who pay their salaries, the people who
use the NHS, to sit down with Mr Hunt and go through it? I think they
have tried but the way in which the Health Secretary has handled these
negotiations has been absolutely appalling.
Take the example of this. On Wednesday, again, 24 hours before
the ballot opens, it is the first time that the Health Secretary says
that the Care Quality Commission are going to be involved in monitoring
the hours of junior doctors. Why didn't we hear that two months ago?
Why did we hear that six months ago? This is the Care Quality
Commission... If you were a junior doctor, would you vote for strike
action? I am not a junior doctor, it is not
for me as a politician to sit in a TV studio on a Sunday afternoon and
tell junior doctors how they should vote in a ballot. I am not going
If they do vote for strike action, will the Labour Party support them?
I am not going to prejudge the outcome of the ballot. You have come
on and argued the junior doctors' case, with knowledge and some
eloquence, so if they vote for strike action, why, given everything
you have said, would you not support them? Jeremy Hunt can avoid a strike
tomorrow if he avoids the threat of contract imposition. I will ask
Jeremy Hunt when I speak to him. Would you, if they vote for strike
action, will the Labour Party support them? It is a simple
question. I will be happy to come back and speak to you in a couple of
weeks, but I am not going to prejudge the outcome of a democratic
process that is currently under way. The Government in a mess or other
junior doctors chancing their arm? It is interesting, it is where is
where those two Conservative manifesto commitments made, the
seven-day NHS and the other thing, the ?22 billion of efficiency
savings in the NHS to meet the ?30 billion funding gap. What is
interesting is if there is pain here, imagine what it will be like
in other areas of the public services. The NHS is protected, it
has a ring fenced budget that rises in line with inflation. Other areas
that are not protected will face cuts of 25%, so this is just an
early taste of how difficult things will get next year on the other side
of the Spending Review. I want to put something to you that the
cheaper the defence staff said to me, not about the NHS, he would be
worried if Mr Trident Macca delete Corbin's views on Trident became
Labour policy -- Jeremy Corbyn's views on Trident became Labour
policy, that he would never press the button. Let's hear what Richard
Houghton had to say. The whole thing about deterrence rest on the court
Macca delete -- rest on the use. If you say you are never going to use
it, I say you use it every minute of every day and the purpose of the
deterrent is you don't have to use it because you successfully deter.
So no point in spending billions and billions if our enemies think we
will never use it? Yes, because deterrence is then
will never use it? Yes, because deterrence is then completely
undermined. Isn't that the point, if you have
the deterrent, you say you will use it, even if you might not. If you
don't have it, you save the money. What is the logic of having it and
saying you will not use it? I think Jeremy was probably answering a
hypothetical question. He has been clear that the Labour Party is going
to have a review of its policy. I am somebody who welcomes that review,
to be honest. I understand that, but my point is you can have a review
and say we won't have the deterrent or we will have the deterrent. What
is the logic of saying we will have it but won't use it? As I say, I
think Jeremy was answering a hypothetical question. I think it is
a difficult question. His views on nuclear weapons are long held. The
Labour Party needs to go through this review. We need to decide
democratically as a party whether we want to commit to the renewal of
Trident. At the point at which that decision is taken, Labour Party
members will obviously be deciding... Thank you, you can come
back and tell me that. There's no Sunday Politics next week
because MPs are taking a break from Westminster - but we'll be back
on the 22nd November. Remember, if it's Sunday,
it's the Sunday Politics -
Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers with the latest political news and debate, including developments following the Russian plane crash in Egypt and an interview with shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander.
On the political panel are Janan Ganesh of The Financial Times, and Polly Toynbee and Nick Watt of The Guardian.