14/05/2017 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

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


Theresa May unveils plans to build many more affordable homes


in England, but with no price tag, timetable or building targets -


Labour takes aim at the City with what it calls a Robin Hood Tax


to fund public services, but will traders just


Don't look at the polls - Jeremy Corbyn, at least,


insists he can win this election - so which way will


And coming up here: group in Leeds.


and here, what the parties are saying about tackling the air


pollution problem in London. And coming up here:


selected focus group of political pundits -


they're not so much Can the Alliance Party


translate its success undecided as clueless -


Tom Newton Dunn, Isabel Oakeshott So, we've got two new


policies this morning. Labour say they will introduce


a financial transaction tax if they win the general election


and what they're calling "the biggest crackdown on tax


avoidance in the country's history". The Conservatives say they'll work


with local authorities in England to build council houses


with the right to buy. Theresa May says the policy


"will help thousands of people get on the first rung


of the housing ladder". Steve, what do you make of them? I


have been conditioned after doing tax and spend debates in


pre-election periods for many decades to treat policy is not as


literal but as arguments. In other words if you look back to 2015 the


Tory plan to wipe out the deficit was never going to happen and yet it


framed and large event. In that sense the Robin Hood tax is a


sensible move for Labour to make at this point because it is part of a


narrative of reconfiguring taxation to be fair. Treating it as an


argument rather than something that would happen in day one of Labour


government is sensible. In terms of building houses Theresa May said


right from the beginning when she was in Number Ten that there is a


housing deficit in this country rather than the economic deficit


George Osborne was focusing on, and this is an example of trying to get


house-building going. It seems entirely sensible, not sure how it


works with right to buy but again as framing of a 90 minute it makes


sense. I disagree with Steve on one front which is how sensible Theresa


May's policy is on the housing announcement. I think more broadly


these two announcements have something in common which is that


over the next 24 hours both will probably unravel in different ways.


Ye of little faith! The Mayor of London has already said he doesn't


agree with this, and when people see the actual impact of what looks like


a populist tax will very potentially affect people's pensions, it might


become a lot less popular. On the Tory housing plans, I think it is


difficult to imagine how they are going to implement this huge, what


looks like a huge land and property grab. Through compulsory purchase


orders, which are not a simple instrument. They say they will


change the law but really the idea of paying people below the market


value for their assets is not something I can see sitting easily


with Tory backbenchers or the Tories in the House of Lords. Tom. Both


would appear superficially to be appealing to traditional left and


traditional right bases. What is more Tory than right to buy, then


councils sell on these houses, and Labour slapping a massive tax on the


city. The Tories' plan, I would say look a bit deeper and all of the


Tory narrative from the last six years which hasn't worked well is


talking about the private sector increasing supply in the market. Now


Mrs May is talking about the role for the state after all so this is


the shift creeping in. On the Labour transaction tax, one of the most


interesting things I heard in days was from Paul Mason, former BBC


correspondent, now a cog in Easter extreme. On Newsnight he said don't


worry about whether the Labour manifesto will add up, I'm promising


it will, the bigger Tory attack line should be what on earth will be the


macroeconomic effect of taking so much tax out of the system. Very


well, we shall see. At least we have some policies to talk about.


Now, on Tuesday Labour will launch its manifesto.


But we've already got a pretty good idea of what's in it -


that's because most of its contents were leaked to the media


Labour has a variety of spending pledges including an extra


?6 billion a year for the NHS, an additional ?8 billion for social


care over the lifetime of the next parliament,


as well as a ?250 billion in infrastructure over


The party will support the renewal of the Trident submarine system,


although any Prime Minister should be extremely cautious


about its use, and the party will hold a strategic defence


and security review immediately after the election.


In terms of immigration, Labour will seek "reasonable


management of migration", but it will not make "false


Elsewhere, university tuition fees will be abolished,


and the public sector pay cap, which limits pay rises


for public sector workers to 1%, will be scrapped.


The party also aims to renationalise the railways, the Royal Mail


and the National Grid, as well as creating at least one


A senior Labour backbencher described it to the Sunday Politics


as a manifesto for a leadership who don't "give a toss


about the wider public", and several other Labour candidates


told us they thought it had been deliberately


leaked by the leadership, with one suggesting


the leak was intended to "bounce the National Executive"


And we're joined now from Salford by the Shadow Business Secretary,


Welcome to the programme. The draft manifesto proposed to renationalise


the number of industry. You will wait for the franchises to run out


rather than buy them out at the moment so can you confirm the


railways will not be wholly nationalised until 2030, after three


Labour governments, and Jeremy Corbyn will be 80? I'm not going to


comment on leaks, you will just have to be patient and wait to see what


is in our manifesto. But you have already announced you will


nationalise the railways, so tell me about it. We have discussed taking


the franchises into public ownership as they expire, however the detail


will be set out in the manifesto so I'm not prepared to go into detail


until that policy is formally laid out on Tuesday. That doesn't sound


very hopeful but let's carry on. You will also nationalise the National


Grid, it has a market capitalisation of ?40 billion, why do you want to


nationalise that? Again, I'm not going to speculate on leaks, you


will just have to be patient. But you said you will nationalise the


National Grid so tell's Y. The leaks have suggested but you will just


have to wait and see what the final manifesto states on that one. So is


it a waste of time me asking you how you will pay for something that


costs 40 billion? Be patient, just couple of days to go, but what I


would say is there is growing pressure from the public to reform


the utilities sector. The Competition and Markets Authority


stated in 2015 that bill payers were paying over till debt -- ?2 billion


in excess of what they should be paying so there is a clear need for


reform. The bills we get are from the energy companies, you are not


going to nationalise them, you are going to nationalise the


distribution company and I wondered what is the case for nationalising


the distribution company? As I said, our full plans will be set out on


Tuesday. In relation to the big six energy companies, we know in recent


years they have been overcharging customers... There's no point in


answering questions I am not asking. I am asking what is the case for


nationalising the National Grid? There is a case for reforming the


energy sector as a whole and that looks at the activities of the big


six companies and it will look at other aspects too. You will have to


be patient and wait until Tuesday. What about the Royal Mail? Again,


you will have to wait until Tuesday. Why can't you just be honest with


the British voter? We know you are going to do this and you have a duty


to explain. I'm not even arguing whether it is right or wrong. The


Royal Mail was sold off and we know it was sold under value and British


taxpayers have a reason to feel aggrieved about that. There is a


long-term strategy that would ensure the Royal Mail was classified as a


key piece of infrastructure but the details of that will be set out in


our manifesto because we want to ensure businesses and households


ensure the best quality of service when it comes to their postal


providers. You plan to borrow an extra 25 billion per year, John


McDonnell has already announced this, on public investment, on top


of the around 50 billion already being planned for investment. You


will borrow it all so that means, if you can confirm, that many years


after the crash by 2021, Labour government would still be borrowing


75 billion a year. Is that correct? We have set out ?250 billion of


capital investment, and ?250 billion for a national investment bank. Our


financial and fiscal rules dictate we will leave the Government in a


state of less debt than we found it at the start of the parliament so we


won't increase the national debt at the end of our Parliamentary term.


How can you do that if by 2021 you will still be borrowing around 75


billion a year, which is more than we borrow at the moment? The 500


billion figure is set out over a period of ten years, it's a figure


that has been suggested by Peter Helm from Oxford University as a


figure that is necessary to bring us in line with other industrial


competitors. Similar figures have been suggested by groups such as the


CBI. By the way I have not included all 500 billion, just the 250


billion on public spending, not the extra money. You talk about the


fiscal rules. The draft manifesto said you will leave debt as a


proportion of trend GDP law at the end of each parliament, you have


just said a version of that. What is trend GDP? In clear terms we will


ensure the debt we acquire will be reduced by the end of the


parliament. We won't leave the Government finances in a worse state


than we found them. OK, but what is trend GDP? Our rule is we will


ensure public sector net debt is less than we found it when we came


to power in Government on June the 8th. But that is not what your draft


manifesto says. I'm not going to comment on leaks, you are just going


to have to wait until Tuesday to look at the fine detail and perhaps


we will have another chat then. You have published your plans for


corporation tax and you will increase it by a third and your


predictions assumed that will get an extra 20 billion a year by the end


of the parliament. But that assumes the companies don't change their


behaviour, that they move money around, they leave the country or


they generate smaller profits. Is that realistic? You are right to


make that point and you will see when we set out our policies and


costings in the manifesto that we haven't spent all of the tax take.


We have allowed for different differentials and potential changes


in market activity because that would be approved and direction to


take. But corporation tax is allowed to be cut in France and the United


States, it's only 12.5% in Dublin. Many companies based in Britain are


already wondering whether they should relocate because of Brexit,


if you increase this tax by a third couldn't that clinch it for a number


of them? No, we will still be one of the lowest corporation tax rate in


the G7. Let's look at what's important for business. Cutting


corporation tax in itself doesn't improve productivity, or business


investment and there's no suggestion cutting corporation tax in recent


years has achieved that. Businesses need an investment in tools in


things they need to thrive and prosper, they also need to reduce


the burden at the lower end of the tax scale, before we get to the


Prophet stage. One key example is business rates. We have made the


proposal to government to in -- exclude machinery so businesses can


invest and grow operations in the future but the Government refused.


Corporation tax has been cut since 2010. When it was 28% it brought in


?43 billion a year. Now it is down to 20%, it brought in ?55 billion a


year. By cutting it in the last year, it brought in 21% more, so


what is the problem? It might have brought in more money, but has it


increased business investment in the long term. It is not just about


cutting corporation tax, but it is on the ability of businesses to


thrive and prosper. Business investment in the UK is below are


industrial competitors. Wages are stagnating which doesn't indicate


businesses are not doing well. Let me get it right, you are arguing if


we increase business tax by a third, that will increase investment? I am


not saying that. You just did. Know I didn't, I said reducing business


tax isn't enough, you have to invest in the things businesses need to


thrive and prosper. You have also got to lessen the burden on


business. You have announced a financial transaction tax. Your own


labour Mayor of London said he has vowed to fight it. He said I do not


want a unilateral tax on business in our city, so why are you proceeding


with it? This isn't a new initiative, there is a growing


global pressure to make sure we have fairness in the financial sector.


Ordinary British people are paying for our banking crisis they didn't


cause. Another important point, stamp duty reserve tax was brought


in in the 1600 and there have been little reforms. The sector has


changed and we have do provide changes to the system for that


change. High-frequency trading where we have a state of affairs where a


lot of shares are traded on computers within milliseconds. We


need a tax system that keeps up with that. What happens if they move the


computers to another country? Emily Thornaby said this morning, other


countries had already introduced a financial transaction tax, what


other countries have done that? There are ten countries looking at


introducing a transaction tax. Which ones have done it so far? They will


be later announcing a final package, going through the finer detail at


the moment. But the European Commission tried to get this done in


2011 and it still hasn't happened in any of these countries. But you are


going to go ahead unilaterally and risk these businesses, which


generate a lot of money, moving to other jurisdictions. There is not a


significant risk of that happening. The stamp duty reserve tax is levied


at either where the person or company is domiciled or where the


instrument is issued rather than worth the transaction takes place.


This tax in itself is not enough to make people leave this country in


terms of financial services because there is more to keep these


businesses here in terms of the investment we are making, the


economy that Labour will build, in terms of productivity improvement we


will see. Thank you very much, Rebecca Long-Bailey.


And listening to that was the Home Office Minister, Brandon Lewis.


Over the years, you have got corporation tax by 20%, it is lower


than international standards, so why are so many global companies who


make money out of Great Britain, still not paying 20%? It is one of


the problems with the point Labour were making and Rebecca could not


answer, these companies can move around the world. One of the


important things is having a low tax economy but these businesses, it


encourages them to come at a rate they are prepared to pay. People may


say they are right, if they were paying 19, 20% incorporation tax.


But they are not. Google runs a multi-million pound corporation and


did not pay anywhere near 20%. There are companies that are trading


internationally and that is why we have to get this work done with our


partners around the world. Has there been an improvement? It is more than


they were paying before. Whether it is Google or any other company,


alongside them being here, apart from the tax they pay, it is the


people they employ. The deal was, if you cut the business tax, the


corporation tax on profits, we would get more companies coming here and


more companies paying their tax. It seems it doesn't matter how low, a


number of companies just pay a derisory amount and you haven't been


able to change that. As you outlined, the income taken from the


changing corporation tax has gone up. That is from established British


companies, not from these international companies. It is


because more companies are coming here and paying tax. That is a good


thing. There is always more to do and that is why we want to crack


down. In the last few weeks in the Finnish Parliament, Labour refused


to put to another ?8.7 billion of tax take we could have got by


cracking down further. You claim to have made great progress on cracking


down on people and companies to pay the tax they should. But the tax gap


is the difference between what HMRC takes in and what it should take in.


It has barely moved in five years, so where is the progress? He have


brought in 150 billion more where we have cracked down on those tax


schemes. The gap is still the same as it was five years ago. It's gone


from 6.8, 26.5. It has gone down. The Prime Minister and the


Chancellor said they want to continue work on to get more money


on these companies while still having a competitive rate to


encourage these companies. While big business and the wealthy continue to


prosper, the Office for Budget Responsibility tell us those on


average earnings in this country will be earning less in real terms


by 2021 than they did in 2008. How can that be fair? I don't see it


that way. I haven't seen the figures you have got. What I can say to you,


Andrew, we have made sure the minimum wage has gone up, the actual


income tax people pay has gone down. So in their pocket, real terms,


people have more money. You are the self-styled party of work. We keep


emphasising work. Under your government you can work for 13 years


and still not earn any more at the end of it, and you did at the start.


Where is the reward for effort in that? I have not seen those figures.


There are 2.8 million more people, more jobs in economy than there was.


1000 jobs every day and people are working and developing through their


careers. This is what I thought was odd in what Rebecca was saying,


investing in people is what the apprenticeship levy is about,


companies are investing their works force to take more opportunities


that there. We are talking about fairness, politicians talk about


hard-working people and we know the average earnings are no higher than


they were in 2008. We know the pay and bonuses of senior executives


have continued to grow and the Institute for Fiscal Studies has


shown 3 million of the poorest households will lose an average of


?2500 a year in the next Parliament, benefits frozen, further sanctions


kick in. 3 million of the poorest losing 2500. Under the Tories, one


law for the rich and another for the poor. It is quite wrong. First of


all, we have got to be fair to the taxpayer who is funding the welfare


and benefit system. Which is why the welfare was right. Get more people


in work and then it is important to get more people upscaling. As that


allowance rises, people have more of the money they earn in their pocket


to be able to use in the economy. People will be worse off. 2500,


among the poorest already. They will have more money in their pocket as


we increase the allowance before people pay tax. We have seen


millions of people coming out of tax altogether. The reason I ask these


questions, you and the Prime Minister go on and on about the just


about managing classes. I am talking about the just about managing and


below that. It is all talk, you haven't done anything for them. We


have made sure they have an increasing minimum wage, it has gone


up more under us than any other previous government. Their wages


will be still lower in real terms. Let me come on to this plan for


housing. We have announced a new plan to increase affordable housing,


social housing, some council housing and social housing built by the


associations. How much money is behind this? It is part of the 1.4


billion announced in the Autumn Statement. How many homes will you


get for 1.4 billion? That depends on the negotiations with local


authorities. It is local authorities, who know the area best.


I will not put a number on that. 1.4 billion, if you price the house at


100,000, which is very low, particularly for the South, back at


you 14,000 new homes. That is it. What we have seen before, how the


local government can leveraged to build thousands more homes. That is


what we want to see across the country. It is not just about the


money, for a lot of local authorities it is about the


expertise and knowledge on how to do this. That is why support from the


housing communities minister will help. What is the timescale, how


many more affordable homes will be built? I will not put a number on


it. You announced it today, so you cannot tell me how many more or what


the target is? It is a matter of working with the local authorities


who know what their local needs are, what land they have got available.


What we saw through the local elections with the Metro mayors,


they want to deliver in their areas, whether it is the West of England,


the north-east, Liverpool, Manchester and we want to work with


them. You have said variations of this for the past seven years and I


want some credibility. When you cannot tell us how much money, what


the target and timescale is, and this government, under which


affordable house building has fallen to a 24 year low. 1.2 million


families are on waiting lists for social housing to rent. That is your


record. Why should we believe a word you say? This is different to what


we have been doing over the last two years. We want to develop and have a


strong and stable economy that can sustain that 1.4 billion homes. This


is important. In 2010, we inherited the lowest level of house building,


75,000 new homes. That is about 189,000 over the last four years.


That is a big step forward after the crash, getting people back into the


industry. More first-time buyers onto the market. Final question, in


2010, 2011, your first year in government, there were 60,000


affordable homes built. May not be enough, but last day it was 30 2000.


So why should we trust anything you say about this? On housing, we have


delivered. We have delivered more social housing. Double what Labour


did in 13 years, in just five years. This is what this policy is about,


working with local authorities to deliver more homes to people in


their local areas. Thank you. Now, they have a deficit


of between 15 and 20% in the polls, but Jeremy Corbyn and those


around him insist Labour can win. If the polls are right they've got


three and half weeks to change voters' minds and persuade those


fabled undecided voters We enlisted the polling organisation


YouGov to help us find out how the performance of party leaders


will affect behaviour Leeds, a city of three quarters


of a million people, eight Parliamentary seats and home


to our very own focus group. Our panel was recruited


from a variety of backgrounds and the majority say they haven't


decided who to vote for yet. Watching behind the glass,


two experts on different sides Giles Cunningham, who headed up


political press at Downing Street under David Cameron


and Aaron Bastani, Corbin supporter, under David Cameron


and Aaron Bastani, Corbyn supporter, I think Theresa May sees herself


as a pound shop Thatcher. Milliband's policies but when it


came about who you want,


if you wake up on maybe a 2015, We found in a couple of focus


groups, people saying we'd be quite relieved,


even though some of those same people have been saying we quite


like the Labour policies. I think the fact that Corbyn's


going so hard on his values, this is a really progressive


manifesto, they live But I think that's a new challenge,


that wasn't there in 2015. Is there anyone here that


you don't recognise? After a little warm up,


the first exercise, recognising I think it's nice to have a strong


woman in politics, I do. But I've got to say,


when she comes on the news, I kind of do think,


here we go again. Tell me about Tim Farron, what


are your impressions of Tim Farron? It isn't going to do anything,


it isn't going to change anything. You'll be surprised to hear it's


actually the Greens. Strong and stable leadership


in the national interest. Yes, Team May, it's


the British equivalent of make What do we think about this one


for the many and not the few? It's not quite as bad


as strong and stable, but it will probably get


on our nerves after a while. We must seize that chance today


and every day until June the 8th. But that's not quite my


question, my question is, if you are Prime Minister,


we will leave, come hell or high water, whatever is on the table


at the end of the negotiations? If we win the election,


we'll get a good deal with Europe. Assertive and in control


and he felt comfortable But the second one, I thought


he was very hesitant. I thought he was kind of,


hovering around, skirting around and that's the second


time I've seen a similar interview with the question


being asked regarding Brexit. I don't think I'd have


any confidence with him You think you are going up


against some quite strong people, how are you going to stand


up for us? When you are in negotiations,


you need to be tough. And actually is right


to be tough sometimes, particularly when you are doing


something for the country. There's a reason for talking


about strong and stable leadership. It's about the future


of the country, it's It's just that people kind of listen


to that kind of thing and think Both on The One Show


and in the news. She attracts the public better


than what Corbyn does. She didn't answer the question


in a more articular way than Corbyn Imagine that Theresa


May is an animal. So, in your minds,


what animal is coming to mind I've done a Pekinese because I think


she's all bark and no bite. Alpaca because she's


superior looking and woolly I don't think his policies


are for the modern, real world. A mouse because they are weak


and they can be easily bullied, but also they can catch


you by surprise if you're What do you take away


from what you saw then, and what message would you send back


to the Tories now? I think what came over is people see


Theresa May as a strong politician, not everyone likes her,


but you don't need to be liked to be elected,


because ultimately it's about who do you trust with your future


and your security. I think what I also take out


of that focus group, was it was a group of floating


voters, there was no huge appetite for the Lib Dems and there was no


huge appetite for Ukip. So my messaged back to CCHQ


would be stick to the plan. I thought the response


to the manifesto was excellent. It's clear that people aren't


particularly keen on Theresa May, There are some associations with her


about strength and stability, which is exactly what the Tory party


want of course, but they are not positive and nobody thinks


that she has a vision So, what I'd say the Jeremy Corbyn,


what I'd say to the Labour Party is, they need to really emphasise


the manifesto in Jeremy Corbyn himself has to perform


out of his skin and I think he has to reemphasise those


characteristics which may be have come to the fore may be


over the last 12 months, resilience, strength and the fact


that he's come this far, why not take that final step and go


into ten Downing Street? We're joined now by the American


political consultant For the sake of this discussion,


assume the polls at the moment are broadly right, is there any hope for


Mr Corbyn in the undecided voters? Know, and this is a very serious


collection with serious consequences to who wins. Nobody cares whether


you can draw and what animal they represent, they want to know where


they stand, and I felt that was frivolous. I come to Britain to


watch elections because I learned from here. Your elections are more


substantial, more serious, more policy and less about personality


and that peace was only about personality. That's partly because


Mrs May has decided to make this a presidential election. You can see


on the posters it is all Team May. I agree with that, and in her language


she says not everyone benefits from a Conservative government, I don't


see how using anything Republicans have used in the past. In fact her


campaign is more of a centrist Democrats but it is a smart strategy


because it pushes Corbyn further to the left. Of course you said Hillary


Clinton have won. On election night the polling was so bad in America,


the exit polls that were done, the BBC told America she had won. No, I


was anchoring the programme that night, I ignored your tweet. The BBC


had the same numbers. Yes, but we did not say she had won, I can


assure you of that. Because of people like you we thought she had


but we didn't broadcast it. That was a smart approach. My point is other


than teasing you, maybe there is hope for Jeremy Corbyn. I think you


will have one of the lowest turnout in modern history and I think Labour


will fall to one of the lowest percentages, not percentage of


number of seats they have had, and this will be a matter of


soul-searching for both political parties. What you do with a sizeable


majority, and she has a responsibility to tell the British


people exactly what happens as she moves forward. He and Labour will


have to take a look at whether they still represent a significant slice


of the British population. Do you see a realignment in British


politics taking place? I see a crumbling of the left and yet there


is still a significant percentage of the British population that once


someone who is centre-left. And they like a lot of Mr Corbyn's policies.


I'm listening to Michael foot. I went to school here in the 1980s and


I feel like I'm watching the Labour Party of 35 years ago, in a


population that wants to focus on the future, not the past. Thank you.


It's just gone 11.35, 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.


The Prime Minister has been criticised for not paying enough


attention to Northern Ireland during this Brexit-inspired


Well, I have been personally engaged. I have contact with both


Michelle and Arlene. We'll be hearing more


from Theresa May, plus our party leader coverage continues


with Naomi Long of Alliance. Where does her party fit


into the local picture where orange and green battle-lines have been


reinforced with positions And with their thoughts on that


and more, my guests of the day are Chris Donnelly and Felicity


Huston. The Prime Minister has


defended her record of involvement in the on-going Stormont stand-off,


and says she's clear about the Brexit deal she wants


for Northern Ireland. Theresa May made the comments


during a visit to the Balmoral show yesterday, the first time she's come


to Northern Ireland since last July. Her decision not to come


here in March before triggering Article 50,


despite visiting other parts She was asked how she believes


the question of the border with the Republic of Ireland


is going to be resolved. I am very clear that we want to see


no return to the borders of the past, no hard border, and I am clear


that we need to see as seamless and frictionless a border as possible.


Today I see the importance of the agriculture food industry in


Northern Ireland and the world that is done between Northern Ireland and


the republic. There is goodwill on all sides. I put it in my Article 50


letter, they have put it in their guidelines, that we want to ensure


that we have a resolution of this issue between Northern Ireland and


the Republic of Ireland that will be good for both Northern Ireland and


the Republic and the whole of the United Kingdom. There is some


criticism that you have been two hands off and given that there is a


political vacuum at Stormont and Northern Ireland find itself at the


forefront of Brexit that you should be more personally engaged. Will you


be in the future? I have been personally engaged. I have had


contact with both Michelle and Arlene, the leaders of Sinn Fein and


the DUP in Northern Ireland in the run-up to Easter when we were


particularly looking at the talks and prior to that but what is


important if we are going to see what we all want, which is a return


to a strong, stable, devolved administration in Northern Ireland


is that the parties in Northern Ireland come together and agree,


come to an agreement, that can enable that to be re-established. As


you know, after the general election, there will be several


weeks until the end of June for those parties to come together and


to see a resolution. We all want to see devolved administration restored


in Northern Ireland. Let's hear from my guests,


Chris Donnelly and Felicity Huston. As far as Theresa May 's presence in


Northern Ireland at last is concerned, is it a case of better


late than never? I am glad to see her here. She is going round the


country. She is criticised if she comes and she is criticised if she


doesn't come. To be complaining that she is not involved with the talks,


we are not supposed to be grown-ups by now who can settle our own


devolved issues? I don't know if it would have made any difference if


she had come here. People would have shouted and screamed. It looked as


if he didn't care about the big issues. I don't know if it was that.


I think that there were places that it was more useful for it HER to


appear. I wish we would have our own talks and solve our own problems and


not expect the British, the Irish and the Americans to come in. I


think from Theresa May 's perspective she has more pressing


concerns. I think the last Prime Minister was sacked by Brexit and


she is well aware that her political legacy will be defined by how she


handles these negotiations. The problem with the pitch is that


Michelle come to some sort -- Michelle and Arlene can do source of


an agreement, they are a central player in those issues, legacy


issues, where both James Brokenshire around the West insurer with the


Westminster committee have weighed in, that is an important thing that


needs to be resolved with the British and the agreement on the


language act. That is one of the outstanding areas. I don't think she


can afford to stand aloof because we are not really going to get the


progress unless the British government are centrally involved.


Alliance had its best ever Assembly election result last month


increasing its first preference and share of the vote.


But a general election is a very different ball game,


so can the party translate its recent success into


Joining me is party leader, Naomi Long.


Well, can you? I believe we can. I think it is not just the view of the


party but actually many commentators have recognised that is the case. I


think there are real opportunities, not just for us in those seats but


also to grow our vote in other seats and to send a very strong message to


other parties who have failed to get devolution bag up and running that


that is what people want to see as a priority after this election because


come the 8th of June, we need to go back into a room together and get


devolution restored. It is absolutely crucial for the future of


Northern Ireland. We saw the Prime Minister in Northern Ireland that


last during this election campaign, talking about some of the issues


that are thrown up by the Brexit debate. In the absence of a devolved


setup, who do you think can best serve the interest of Northern


Ireland on the issue of Brexit? Is it Theresa May and the UK Government


orders the Taoiseach in Northern Ireland would grow Ireland have a


role? I have a role. She is going to be leading the negotiations from the


UK said -- I think they both have a role. I have to say, to date,


without much success in terms of charming the people that she needs


to work with but how she handles that will be critical to Northern


Ireland 's future. I don't believe that is the only person that we need


to be dealing with. We need to be speaking to the Taoiseach because


they have a role along the border on how we deal with the sensitive


issues that affect the peace process and arrangements on an island bases


as well as the kind of East-West arrangements that are part of the


Good Friday agreement. Both will be involved but there are are also 26


other EU states out there who will also have to reach a decision on the


future of Northern Ireland and it is important we do not lose sight of


them and ensure that they understand the sensitivities for Northern


Ireland. London and Dublin both have roles. You told me last October,


there is a real opportunity for us to have two voices at the table, one


on the inside of Europe and one speaking for us in these


negotiations in the British government. Who would choose one


voice-over to when things are so crucial? Do you stand by that?


Absolutely. It would be madness for us to alienate the voice of the


Irish government in this because they will be in the negotiations


with 26 other EU states. They have many of the same concerns that we


have when it comes to the border and cross-border trade and cooperation


and all those other things. It would be insane for us not to find


ourselves a way of dealing with them which is why we have been involved


in the dialogue on Brexit and we will continue to do that. There


could be a Unionist disposition who could be tempted to vote for


Alliance who would agree with Jim Nicholson when he says Brussels


should keep out of this issue. Northern Ireland can stick up for


itself. Northern Ireland cannot stand up for itself because we don't


have a voice at the negotiating table saw this negotiation will take


place between London and the other 27 states. One of which happens to


be Dublin which has a vested interest in seeing a good result for


Northern Ireland. I think it is a practical... I think it is quite a


significant part of the 26, given that it is going to be directly


impacted and it is one of the most pro-European countries in Europe. It


will not want to annoy the Irish and drive them out either. I think it


would be mad for anyone and I don't think it's about being a Unionist or


a nationalist, it is about being pragmatic and practical in response


to what I think are practical issues that we are going to have to face.


It is interesting you should take that line. The issue for Alliance is


your candidates in this election campaign could well become piggy in


the middle between pro-Brexit Unionist candidates and Andy Brexit


candidates. In a first past the post system, your supporters might choose


to support you. We hear this in every election, we are used to


hearing that. We're not in the middle. We are leading from the


front in terms of what we want to do. Part of the reason people are


coming to Alliance is because they are wary of increasingly


nationalist, inward looking politics, not just in Northern


Ireland but actually globally, in terms of how people are responding


to the challenges that we face and I think that what they want to see is


a recognition of the importance of interdependence, a recognition of


the importance of cooperation and a recognition that regardless of


Brexit, our future will continue to be entwined with Europe, whether we


like that or not. What we need to do, Mark, is to develop positive


relationships with Europe, regardless of Brexit, so that we can


continue to function and we can continue to make a success of


Northern Ireland. When Arlene Foster says this is about securing Northern


Ireland 's place in the union, she is wrong? Of course she is wrong. If


it was about that, it would be a referendum on the border. It is not


a referendum on the border. It is an election to decide who will


represent constituencies best at Westminster and part of that will be


about their position with regards to Brexit, part of that will be about


their position with regards to social policy and economic policy


and part of that will be about the work that they do on the ground and


I think the public recognise that. We hear every election now in


Northern Ireland as if it is going to make a difference to the border


and the border has not moved one inch since 1998, nor will it as a


result of this election. What will happen as a result of this election


is that we will either have 18 MPs over in Westminster speaking with a


common voice in favour of what is best for Northern Ireland or we want


and that is a choice that the Northern Ireland Republic PUBLIC are


well aware that they need to make. We like to see a second referendum


on Brexit? No, I don't want to see a second referendum but I do want to


see the outcome of the negotiations put to a referendum because people


voted for a principle that we would vote to leave the EU. It was unclear


as a result of that campaign which bits we would completely leave.


Would leave the customs union, the single market, would we be the


Switzerland of Ireland? Would we be like Norway? There were all those


debates and they were never answered. I think it is right and


proper that having made a decision about the direction that we have to


take that we then put the final arrangements to the public so they


can decide whether that meets what they actually wanted in terms of


their expectations. Just to come back to Northern Ireland politics.


Is devolution your number one priority, getting the message


across? First of all we want to stand and say that we are wanting


that second referendum when it comes to the issue of the deal that we get


in Northern Ireland. We want to send strong voices to Westminster to make


it clear that we do need a special deal for Northern Ireland and the


second issue was about devolution and sending a strong message to the


parties that had been blocking the restoration of devolution that we


want to see that restored and people can vote for the same thing they


voted for last time, they can give parties the same mandate they gave


before and what they will get is a repeat of what he had in the past.


They need to send a message by voting for parties who are committed


to making devolution work and that will send the strongest possible


message unequivocally to those entering the talks on the 9th of


June. If you win in your constituency and you are returned as


an MP, who is going to lead your party delegation in those talks? You


will have a focus elsewhere. Can you continue if you are an MP to be the


party leader? Of course I can and of course I can continue to lead the


delegation. If you look at what happened in Stormont in the talks


before, Mark Durkan was heavily involved Iniestia P delegation. We


had Gerry Adams there. There is absolutely no reason... When I was


an MP, I was our chief negotiator. I was our chief negotiator in the


house and at no point did anybody say I was not doing a good job as an


MP. You would have to give up yours would not be your seat in Stormont?


That is automatic. MPs are required in Westminster for a large


proportion of the week to vote, scrutinise and provide a voice for


constituents. No person can be in two places at once. What I have said


is that is absolutely correct and that is why we supported net double


jogging. Voluntarily. I stood down from my position in the semi when I


was last in Westminster and it is now law that people have to but what


I am saying is... Do you imagine that our MPs go to Westminster and


that they stay there and they do not remain connected with issues


affecting their constituents? What a nonsense that would be. It is


another thing being an MP and a party leader. If you have a strong


coherent party behind you and an excellent deputy leader, there is


absolutely no conflict whatsoever. The reality is that there are some


of the parties that struggled with this who could not be led from


anywhere. That is their difficulty and we don't have those problems in


Alliance. Let's hear what Felicity


and Chris make of that, Naomi Long did not likely phrase


piggy in the middle in terms of being squeezed by the power blocs


but is it a fair point to make? Historically it was the case to


make. The first past the post feature meant that the Nationalists


and the Unionists faced off. That is likely to be even more of an issue


with Brexit dominating this campaign. It is but there are a


number of caveats I were add to that. They had their best ever


election in March. Those 72,000 people voted for Alliance


candidates. They are now at the stage where in Naomi Long, they are


one of the two favourite candidates in east Belfast and she will benefit


from the Westminster first past the post. In other constituencies where


they realise... They have decided to set them out. McAllister in north


Belfast, that is going to lend more credibility to the notion that it is


a straight battle between John Finnigan and Nigel Dodds. Which will


be an interesting battle. Felicity, what do you make of the idea


underscored again by Naomi Long that Dublin has an important part to play


in those discussions about how exactly Brexit happens? I think that


is the case. Dublin wants no hard border, the UK wants no hard border.


So that is probably what is going to happen. Are you happy for the Dublin


administration to speak on behalf of you question mark I don't see them


doing that. I see them... They are not talk about the Northern Island


people. There are people in Northern Ireland to think that is the case.


The Taoiseach is voted in by people of the Irish Republic. That is his


job. That is fine. Everybody is working towards the same thing. I


don't really see a big problem with that one.


Let's take a look back at the week in 60 seconds with Gareth Gordon.


The number of general election candidate in Northern Ireland is


down but more women are standing. The DUP and Ulster Unionist Party


stepping aside for each other in two key constituencies. Whilst there is


no formal pact, those two very significant moves I think will help


the unionist people to send to unionist MPs back. If the DUP made a


significant move on the Irish Sandwich, what would Sinn Fein be


prepared to do over Ulster Scots? I am quite open for doing something if


there is a therefore it. I said that from day one. The EU chief


negotiator on Brexit visited Dublin and warned it will have


consequences. Some controls are part of border management. To protect the


single market. Something the Taoiseach seems all too aware of. We


know how corrugated and seriously issues are for Europe as a whole and


for Ireland. Gareth Gordon there, now tributes


from across the political spectrum are being paid to Brendan Duddy,


widely credited as an important The Londonderry business man


died at the age of 80 Mitchel McLaughlin is


in our studio in Derry. Thanks very much indeed for being


with us today. There are many people who invested a great deal of their


time and effort into the peace process but what is interesting


about Brendan Duddy is he did that over such a long period of time and


with so little public recognition for his efforts. Good morning, Mark.


Could I also extend my sympathies to the wider family. Brendan Duddy was


a friend and acquaintance over a 50 year period, so I had a lot of


respect for him and I wasn't the least bit surprised by his modesty


and reticence about going into the details of his involvement in the


peace process, which was undoubtedly very significant and very helpful.


When did you first become aware that Brendan Duddy was acting as a


middleman between the British government and the Republican


leadership? In the early days of the process, Sinn Fein had already


designated Martin McGuinness as a single point of contact and


negotiator and those circumstances, Brendan Duddy was acting as a


contact person. Eventually I became of his -- aware of his involvement


where he was seeking without success to contact to conduct Martin


McGuinness and he used me as a contact back to Martin. Roughly when


was that? What period are we talking about? The early 90s and throughout


that period. He had been involved for 20 years before that. He was


involved in the 70s, trying to persuade the IRA to remove their


guns. He was a contact between Margaret Thatcher and the IRA. I was


for instance aware of the messages that were delivered prior to the


rights march on bloody Sunday. That was contradicted for many years by


the British government. Brendan 's role in that particular exchange


where he was working with the most senior RUC officer at the time, and


other very decent and Bravo man, is the background to that situation. I


was unaware of it for many years. -- honourable man. We know he used his


own front room in his own home for a venue for discussions between Martin


McGuinness and representatives of the predicament. For many people,


that is above and beyond the call of duty. It was a remarkable commitment


and it was not a conference or a political meeting or a discussion


that Brendan Duddy did not contribute to, either from the floor


or from the platform. He had a profile as one of the most prominent


businessmen in the town. He also demonstrated his commitment to


building understandings and exchanges across the political


divisions that exist and he was quite clear in his own politics in


later years declared himself a Republican. He wished to see a


united Ireland. He was the person I first heard you ring the statement


that we should begin in the Irish back to the Irish. It is important


that his contribution should be recognised that the time of his


passing. Good to talk to you. Thanks, Mitchel McLaughlin,


a final thought from Chris. We really should be marking the


passing of Brendan Duddy on a programme like this. Yes, I think


so. He was somebody will never betrayed a dress. He was defined by


his honesty and that is important given the role he was to fulfil for


decades. I think he was clearly somebody who clearly believed in


dialogue to ease tensions. And he was one of those people who planted


dialogue to ease tensions. And he Tories are saying. It is a very


was one of those people who planted the


Tories are saying. It is a very emotive


Tories are saying. It is a very the seeds


Tories are saying. It is a very emotive subject


Tories are saying. It is a very the seeds of the


Tories are saying. It is a very emotive subject and we


Tories are saying. It is a very the seeds of the piece


Tories are saying. It is a very emotive subject and we have


Tories are saying. It is a very the seeds of the piece that


Tories are saying. It is a very emotive subject and we have run


Tories are saying. It is a very the seeds of the piece that was


Tories are saying. It is a very emotive subject and we have run out


Tories are saying. It is a very the seeds of the piece that was to


emotive subject and we have run out of time.


the seeds of the piece that was to come.


On Thursday nominations closed in the 650 parliamentary


seats across the country, so now we know exactly who's


We've been analysing the parties' candidates to find out


what they might tell us about the make-up of the House


Well, we know Theresa May is committed to delivering Brexit and


analysis of Conservative candidates has shown that


in their top 100 target seats, 37 candidates supported leave


during last year's referendum campaign


and 20 supported remain; 43 have not made public


In the last parliament, the vast majority of Labour MPs


were hostile to Jeremy Corbyn so how supportive are Labour


Well, of 50 of Labour's top 100 target seats


17 candidates have expressed support for Mr Corbyn.


20 candidates supported Owen Smith in last year's leadership contest


or have expressed anti-Corbyn sentiment, and


If they won those, the Labour benches would be


marginally more sympathetic to Mr Corbyn than they are now.


What do the figures tell us about where the other


Well, the Lib Dems have decided not to stand against the Greens


in Brighton Pavilion, and are fielding 629


candidates this year - that's two fewer than 2015.


The number of Ukip candidates has fallen dramatically.


They are standing in 247 fewer constituencies than 2015,


throwing their support behind solidly pro-Brexit Tories


in some areas such as Lewes and Norfolk North.


The Greens are fielding 103 fewer candidates


than at the last election, standing down to help


other progressive candidates in some places.


The most liking statistic is the demise in Ukip candidates, is this


their swansong? And I think so. It is remarkable how few Ukip


candidates are standing. It is hard to see they will suddenly revive in


the next couple of years. I think this is probably the end. Frank


Luntz mentioned the fragmentation of the left was a feature of this


election, but also there is the consolidation of the right, and if


you take the things together that could explain why the polls are


where they are. Absolutely, that's precisely what happened at the start


of the 1980s, the right was incredibly united and that's when we


started talking about majorities of over 100 or so. No matter what the


size of Theresa May's majority, it will be the total collapse of Ukip,


but not just because we are now leaving the EU and that was their


only reason for being, but a whole lot of people voted for Ukip because


they felt the Tories were no longer listening. Theresa May has given the


impression that she is listening, and that is the biggest possible


thing that could happen to the Tory vote. Fragmentation of the left,


consolidation of the right? It's one of the lessons that is never learnt,


it happened in the 1980s, it doesn't take much for the whole thing to


fracture so now you have on the centre-left the SNP, the Labour


Party, the Greens, the Liberal Democrats all competing for the same


votes and when you have, fleetingly perhaps, large numbers coalescing on


the right in one party, there is only going to be one outcome. It


happens regularly. It doesn't mean the Tories haven't got their own


fragility. Two years ago, David Cameron and George Osborne the


dominant figures, neither are in Parliament now which is a symptom of


the fragility this election is disguising. Mrs May's position in a


way reminds me of Mrs Thatcher in the 1980s, I won't be outflanked on


the right, Nicolas Sarkozy in France, I won't be outflanked on the


right, so the National Front didn't get through either timed he ran to


the second round on like this time, and now Mrs May on Brexit won't be


outflanked Iver and as a result has seen off right flank. And also she


is looking to the left as well with some of the state interventions.


What was interesting about the analysis you showed a few minutes


ago was the number of Tory candidates who have apparently not


declared which way they voted in the referendum, and you would have


thought if this election was all about Brexit, as some would claim,


that would become an unsustainable position, and actually more it's


about leadership. But the point that I'm now hearing from a number of


Labour candidates that they are seeing Tory leaflets that don't even


have the Tory candidate's name on them, it is just about Theresa May.


I am glad they are keeping to the law because by law they have to put


it on. It has been harder for some of the smaller parties too because


of the speed of the election being called. We have the manifesto is


coming out this week. I think Labour Forshaw on Tuesday, we are not yet


sure when the Tories will bring bears out. I suggest one thing, it


will at least for people like me bring an end to the question you


will have to wait for the manifesto. And Rebecca Long baby will never


have that excuse again, isn't it wonderful! She is not the only one.


When you are trying to take the north and Midlands from Labour, I


would go to one or the other. For me, I can barely hold back my


excitement over the Tory manifesto. This will be, I think, the most


important day for the British government for the next five years.


That wasn't irony there? You actually meant that? I'm not even


being cynical at all on Sunday Politics! This is a huge day and


it's because I think we will see... I don't think Mrs May will play it


safe and I don't think we will get the broadbrush stuff that she might


be advised to do. I think she will lay out precisely what you want to


do over the next five years and take some big risks. Then finally after a


year of this guessing and theorising, we will finally work out


what Mrs May is all about. She will say she doesn't want the next


parliament to be all about Brexit, though she knows that's the next


important thing she has to deliver in some way, so she gets a mandate


for that if the polls are right but she


does have very different ideas from Mr Cameron about how to run a


country. She will I assume one to mandate for what these different


ideas are. Otherwise there is no point in holding an early election.


You will get a majority, but if you get a mandate to carry on


implementing the Cameron and Osborne manifesto it would be utterly


pointless. I agree, it is the pivotal event of the election and it


will be interesting to see the degree to which she expands on the


line which interests me about its time to look at the good that


government can do. Because in a way this moves the debate on in UK


politics from, from 97 the Blair Brown governments were insecure


about arguing about the role of government. Cameron Osborne


government similarly so, so here you have a Labour Party talking about


the role of government and the state, and Tory leader apparently


doing so was well. I think that will be really interesting to see whether


it is fleshed out in any significant way. And it is not a natural Tory


message. Harold Macmillan talked about the role of the state, Ted


Heath Mark two was pretty big on the state, the industrial policy and so


on, and even if it is not thought to be that Tory, does she get away with


it because she deliver such a big victory if that's what she does


deliver? Just inject a little note of scepticism, I wonder how much of


this is authentically Theresa May. I was interested to and talk to


someone who used to sit in cabinet meetings during which Theresa May


never expressed an opinion on anything outside the Home Office


briefs. Other ministers were roving all over their colleagues' briefs.


So where are the ideas coming from? I think we can point to Nick


Timothy. One of her closest advisers in Downing Street. It will be


interesting to see how that evolves. On Thursday I think we will all be


talking about something called Urdington Toryism. Urdington is the


suburb of Birmingham where Nick Timothy comes from, who is very much


Theresa May's policy brain and leading inspiration. Urdington


Toryism is about connecting the party with traditional working class


voters, and their belief to do that is not just taking away government


out of their lives but showing them that government can actually help


their lives. It can be a force for good to rebuild the trust. A lot of


what Mrs May talks about is all... It is talk and then a lot of it


suddenly goes by the wayside. What happened to worker directors on the


boards. It is designed to appeal to that constituency and then nothing


happens. She had an excuse before in the sense that it wasn't in the 2015


manifesto and she had a small majority so therefore she arguably


had to water down some of the stuff for example in her Tory conference


speech, which had a lot of this active government material in it. If


she puts it in the manifesto, it is a sign she plans to do it and will


have no excuse if she then gets nervous afterwards because it will


be in there. If it wasn't for Brexit, this great overwhelming


issue, I think this election will be seen as quite a significant


development in terms of an argument around the role of government,


much-needed. But Brexit unfortunately overshadows it all. As


much as we like our arguments over the role of government we will hear


strong and stable, stable and strong ad nauseam, aren't we? Absolutely,


and we heard the same old lines from the Labour Party as well so they are


all at it. It will be a fascinating week, stop talking it down! Thanks


to our panel. The Daily Politics will be


back on BBC Two at noon I'll be back here at the same time


on BBC One next Sunday. Remember - if it's Sunday,


it's the Sunday Politics.


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