27/11/2016 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.


Was Fidel Castro a revolutionary hero or a murderous dictator?


After the Cuban leader's death, politicians divide over his legacy.


Can the NHS in England find billions of pounds' worth of efficiency


The Shadow Health Secretary joins me live.


Should we have a second Brexit referendum on the terms


of the eventual withdrawal deal that's struck with the EU?


Former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown and former Conservative cabinet


And in Northern Ireland: go head-to-head.


As environmentalists lose their attempt to stop


dredging in Lough Neagh, I'll be asking the former


Environment Minister they took to court if he made a mistake.


And with me, Tom Newton Dunn, Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards.


They'll be tweeting throughout the programme


Political leaders around the world have been reacting to the news


of the death of Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary who came


to power in 1959 and ushered in a Marxist revolution.


Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson described the former leader


as an "historic if controversial figure" and said his death marked


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Castro was "a champion of social


justice" who had "seen off a lot of US presidents"


President-elect Donald Trump described the former Cuban leader


as a "brutal dictator", adding that he hoped his death


would begin a new era "in which the wonderful Cuban people


finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve".


Meanwhile, the President of the European Commission,


Jean-Claude Juncker, said the controversial leader


was "a hero for many" but "his legacy will be judged


I guess we had worked that out ourselves. What do you make of the


reactions so far across the political divide? Predictable. And I


noticed that Jeremy Corbyn has come in for criticism for his tribute to


Castro. But I think it was the right thing for him to do. We all know he


was an admirer. He could have sat there for eight hours in his house,


agonising over some bland statement which didn't alienate the many


people who want to wade into attacked Castro. It would have been


inauthentic and would have just added to the sort of mainstream


consensus, and I think he was right to say what he believed in this


respect. Elsewhere, it has been wholly predictable that there would


be this device, because he divided opinion in such an emotive way.


Steve, I take your point about authenticity and it might have


looked a bit lame for Jeremy Corbyn to pretend that he had no affection


for Fidel Castro at all, but do you think he made a bit of an error


dismissing Castro's record, the negative side of it as just a floor?


He could have acknowledged in more elaborate terms the huge costs. He


wanted to go on about the health and education, which if you actually


look up the indices on that, they are good relative to other


countries. But they have come at such a huge cost. He was not a


champion of criminal justice. If he had done that, it would have been


utterly inauthentic. He doesn't believe it. And he would have


thought there would be many other people focusing on all the epic


failings. So he focused on what he believed. There are times when


Corbyn's prominence in the media world now as leader widens the


debate in an interesting and important way. I am not aware of any


criticisms that Mr Corbyn has ever announced about Mr Castro. There


were four words in his statement yesterday which is spin doctor would


have forced him to say, for all his flaws. He was on this Cuban


solidarity committee, which didn't exist to criticise Castro. It


existed to help protect Castro from those, particularly the Americans,


who were trying to undermine him. And Corbyn made a big deal yesterday


saying he has always called out human rights abuses all over the


world. But he said that in general, I call out human rights abuses. He


never said, I have called out human rights abuses in Cuba. In the weeks


ahead, more will come out about what these human rights abuses were. The


lid will come off what was actually happening. Some well authenticated


stories are pretty horrendous. I was speaking to a journalist who was


working there in the 1990s, who gave me vivid examples of that, and there


will be more to come. I still go back to, when a major figure diet


and you are a leader who has admired but major figure, you have to say


it. That is the trap he has fallen into. He has proved every criticism


that he is a duck old ideologue. But he is not the only one. Prime


Minister Trudeau was so if uses that I wondered if they were going to


open up a book of condolences. I think it reinforces Corbyn's failing


brand. It may be authentic, but authentic isn't working for him.


When I was driving, I heard Trevor Phillips, who is a Blairite, saying


the record was mixed and there were a lot of things to admire as well as


all the terrible things. So it is quite nuanced. But if you are a


leader issuing a sound bite, there is no space for new ones. You either


decide to go for the consensus, which is to set up on the whole, it


was a brutal dictatorship. Or you say, here is an extraordinary figure


worthy of admiration. In my view, he was right to say what he believed.


There was still a dilemma for the British government over who they


sent to the funeral. Do they sent nobody, do they say and Boris


Johnson as a post-ironic statement? There is now a post-Castro Cuba to


deal with. Trump was quite diplomatic about post-Castro Cuba.


And Boris Johnson's statement was restrained. The thing about Mr


Castro was the longevity, 50 years of keeping Marxism on the island.


That was what made it so fascinating.


Before the last election, George Osborne promised the NHS


in England a real-terms funding boost of ?8 billion per year by 2020


on the understanding that NHS bosses would also find ?22 billion worth


Since last autumn, NHS managers have been drawing up what they're calling


"Sustainability and Transformation Plans" to make these savings,


but some of the proposals are already running into local


opposition, while Labour say they amount to huge cuts to the NHS.


Help is on the way for an elderly person in need in Hertfordshire.


But east of England ambulance call operators


they're sending an early intervention vehicle


with a council-employed occupational therapist on board.


It's being piloted here for over 65s with


When they arrive, a paramedic judges if the patient can be


treated immediately at home without a trip to hospital.


Around 80% of patients have been treated this way,


taking the strain off urgently-needed hospital beds,


So the early intervention team has assessed the patient and decided


The key to successful integration for Hertfordshire being able


to collaboratively look at how we use our resources,


to have pooled budgets, to allow us to understand


where spend is, and to let us make conscientious decisions about how


best to use that money, to come up with ideas to problems


that sit between our organisations, to look at things collaboratively.


This Hertfordshire hospital is also a good example of how


You won't find an A unit or overnight beds here any more.


The closest ones are 20 minutes down the road.


What's left is nurse-led care in an NHS-built hospital.


Despite a politically toxic change, this reconfiguration went


through after broad public and political consultation


with hospital clinicians and GPs on board.


It's a notable achievement that's surely of interest to 60% of NHS


trusts in England that reported a deficit at the end of September.


It's not just here that the NHS needs to save money and provide


The Government is going to pour in an extra ?8 billion into the NHS


in England, but it has demanded ?22 billion


worth of efficiencies across the country.


In order to deliver that, the NHS has created 44 health


and care partnerships, and each one will provide


a sustainability and transformation plan, or STP, to integrate care,


provide better services and save money.


So far, 33 of these 44 regional plans, drawn up by senior people


in the health service and local government,


The NHS has been through five years of severely constrained spending


growth, and there are another 4-5 years on the way at least.


STPs themselves are an attempt to deal in a planned way


But with plans to close some A units and reduce the number


of hospital beds, there's likely to be a tough political battle


ahead, with many MPs already up in arms about proposed


This Tory backbencher is concerned about the local plans for his


I wouldn't call it an efficiency if you are proposing to close


all of the beds which are currently provided for those coming out


of the acute sector who are elderly and looking


That's not a cut, it's not an efficiency saving,


All 44 STPs should be published in a month's time,


But even before that, they dominated this week's PMQs.


The Government's sustainability and transformation plans


for the National Health Service hide ?22 billion of cuts.


The National Health Service is indeed looking for savings


within the NHS, which will be reinvested in the NHS.


There will be no escape from angry MPs for the Health Secretary either.


Well, I have spoken to the Secretary of State just this week


about the importance of community hospitals in general,


These are proposals out to consultation.


What could happen if these plans get blocked?


If STPs cannot be made to work, the planned changes don't come


to pass, then the NHS will see over time a sort of unplanned


deterioration and services becoming unstable and service


The NHS barely featured in this week's Autumn Statement


but the Prime Minister insisted beforehand that STPs


are in the interests of local people.


Her Government's support will now be critical for NHS England


to push through these controversial regional plans,


which will soon face public scrutiny.


We did ask the Department of Health for an interview,


I've been joined by the Shadow Health Secretary,


Do you accept that the NHS is capable of making ?22 billion of


efficiency savings? Well, we are very sceptical, as are number of


independent organisations about the ability of the NHS to find 22


billion of efficiencies without that affecting front line care. When you


drill down into the 22 billion, based on the information we have


been given, and there hasn't been much information, we can see that


some of it will come from cutting the budget which go to community


pharmacies, which could lead, according to ministers, to 3000


pharmacies closing, which we believe will increase demands on A and


GPs, and also that a lot of these changes which are being proposed,


which was the focus of the package, we think will mean service cuts at a


local level. Do they? The chief executive of NHS England says these


efficiency plans are "Incredibly important". He used to work from


Labour. The independent King's Fund calls them "The best hope to improve


health and care services. There is no plan B". On the sustainable


transformation plans, which will be across England to link up physical


health, mental health and social care, for those services to


collaborate more closely together and move beyond the fragmented


system we have at the moment is important. It seems that the ground


has shifted. It has moved into filling financial gaps. As we know,


the NHS is going through the biggest financial squeeze in its history. By


2018, per head spending on the NHS will be falling. If you want to


redesign services for the long term in a local area, you need to put the


money in. So of course, getting these services working better


together and having a greater strategic oversight, which we would


have had if we had not got rid of strategic health authority is in the


last Parliament. But this is not an attempt to save 22 billion, this is


an attempt to spend 22 billion more successfully, don't you accept that?


Simon Stevens said we need 8 billion, and we need to find 22


billion of savings. You have to spend 22 billion more efficiently.


But the Government have not given that 8 billion to the NHS which they


said they would. They said they would do it by 2020. But they have


changed the definitions of spending so NHS England will get 8 billion by


2020, but they have cut the public health budgets by about 4 million by


20 20. The budget that going to initiatives to tackle sexually


transmitted diseases, to tackle smoking have been cut back but the


commissioning of things like school nurses and health visitors have been


cut back as well. Simon Stevens said he can only deliver that five-year


project if there is a radical upgrade in public health, which the


Government have failed on, and if we deal with social care, and this week


there was an... I understand that, but if you don't think the


efficiency drive can free up 22 billion to take us to 30 billion by


2020, where would you get the money from? I have been in this post now


for five or six weeks and I want to have a big consultation with


everybody who works in the health sector, as well as patients, carers


and families. Though you don't know? I think it would be surprised if I


had an arbitrary figure this soon into the job. Your party said they


expected election of spring by this year, you need to have some idea by


now, you inherited a portfolio from Diane Abbott, did she have no idea?


To govern is to make choices and we would make different choices. The


budget last year scored billions of giveaways in things like


co-operating -- corporation tax. What I do want to do... Is work on a


plan and the general election, whenever it comes, next year or in


2020 or in between, to have costed plan for the NHS. But your party is


committed to balancing the books on current spending, that is currently


John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor's position. What we are


talking about, this extra 30 billion, that is essentially current


spending so if it doesn't come from efficiency savings, where does the


money come from? Some of it is also capital. Mainly current spending. If


you look at the details of the OBR, they have switched a million from


the capital into revenue. Why -- how do you balance spending?


That is why we need to have a debate. Every time we ask for


Labour's policy, we are always told me a debate. Surely it is time to


give some idea of what you stand for? There's huge doubts about the


Government 's policy on this. You are the opposition, how would you do


it? I want to work with John McDonnell to find a package to give


the NHS the money it needs, but of course our Shadow Chancellor, like


any Shadow Chancellor at this stage in the cycle, will want to see what


the books look like a head of an election before making commitments.


I am clear that the Labour Party has to go into the next general election


with a clear policy to give the NHS the funding it needs because it has


been going through the largest financial squeeze in its history.


You say Labour will always give the NHS the money it needs, that is not


a policy, it is a blank cheque. It is an indication of our commitment


to the NHS. Under this Conservative government, the NHS has been getting


a 1% increase. Throughout its history it has usually have about


4%. Under the last Labour government it was getting 4%, before that


substantially more. We think the NHS should get more but I don't have


access to the NHS books in front of me. The public thinks there needs to


be more money spent on health but they also think that should go cap


in hand with the money being more efficiently spent, which is what


this efficiency drive is designed to release 22 billion. Do you have an


efficiency drive if it is not the Government's one? Of course we


agree. We agree the NHS should be more efficient, we want to see


productivity increased. Do know how to do that? One way is through


investments, maintenance, but there is a 5 million maintenance backlog.


One of the most high risk backlogs is something like 730 million. They


are going to switch the capital spend into revenue spend. I believe


that when you invest in maintenance and capital in the NHS, that


contribute to increasing its productivity. You are now talking


about 5 billion the maintenance, the chief executive says it needs 30


billion more by 2020 as a minimum so that 35 billion. You want to spend


more on social care, another for 5 billion on that so we have proper


care in the community. By that calculation I'm up to about 40


billion, which is fine, except where do you get the and balance the


account at the same time? We will have to come up with a plan for that


and that's why I will work with our Shadow Treasury team to come up with


that plan when they head into the general election. At the moment we


are saying to the NHS, sorry, we are not going to give you the


investment, which is why we are seeing patient care deteriorating.


The staff are doing incredible things but 180,000 are waiting in


A beyond four hours, record levels of people delayed in beds in


hospitals because there are not the beds in the community to go to save


the NHS needs the investment. We know that and we know the


Government's response to that and many think it is inadequate. What


I'm trying to get from you is what your response would be and what your


reaction will be to these efficiency plans. Your colleague Heidi


Alexander, she had your job earlier this year, she warned of the danger


of knee jerk blanket opposition to local efficiency plans. Do you agree


with that? Yes. So every time a hospital is going to close as a


result of this, and some will, it is Labour default position not just


going to be we are against it? That is why we are going to judge each of


these sustainability plans by a number of yardsticks. We want to see


if they have the support of local clinicians, we want to see if they


have the support of local authorities because they now have a


role in the delivery of health care. We want to see if they make the


right decisions for the long-term trends in population for local area.


We want to see if they integrate social care and health. If they


don't and therefore you will not bank that as an efficiency saving,


you will say no, that's not the way to go, you are left then with


finding the alternative funding to keep the NHS going. If you are


cutting beds, for example the proposal is to cut something like


5000 beds in Derbyshire and if there is the space in the community sector


in Derbyshire, that will cause big problems for the NHS in the long


term so it is a false economy. An example like that, we would be very


sceptical the plans could work. Would it not be honest, given the


sums of money involved and your doubts about the efficiency plan,


which are shared by many people, to just say, look, among the wealthy


nations, we spend a lower proportion of our GDP on health than most of


the other countries, European countries included, we need to put


up tax if we want a proper NHS. Wouldn't that be honest? I'm not the


Shadow Chancellor, I don't make taxation policy. You are tempting me


down a particular road by you or I smile. John McDonnell will come up


with our taxation policy. We have had an ambition to meet the European


average, the way these things are measured have changed since then,


but we did have that ambition and for a few years we met it. We need


substantial investment in the NHS. Everyone accepts it was


extraordinary that there wasn't an extra penny for the NHS in the


Autumn Statement this week. And as we go into the general election,


whenever it is, we will have a plan for the NHS. Come back and speak to


us when you know what you are going to do. Thank you.


Theresa May has promised to trigger formal Brexit negotiations


before the end of March, but the Prime Minister must wait


for the Supreme Court to decide whether parliament must vote


If that is the Supreme Court's conclusion, the Liberal Democrats


and others in parliament have said they'll demand a second EU


referendum on the terms of the eventual Brexit deal before


And last week, two former Prime Ministers suggested


that the referendum result could be reversed.


In an interview with the New Statesman on Thursday,


Tony Blair said, "It can be stopped if the British people decide that,


having seen what it means, the pain-gain cost-benefit analysis


John Major also weighed in, telling a meeting


of the National Liberal Club that the terms of Brexit


were being dictated by the "tyranny of the majority".


He also said there is a "perfectly credible case"


That prompted the former Conservative leader


Iain Duncan Smith to criticise John Major.


He told the BBC, "The idea we delay everything simply


because they disagree with the original result does


seem to me an absolute dismissal of democracy."


So, is there a realistic chance of a second referendum on the terms


of whatever Brexit deal Theresa May manages to secure?


Lib Dem party leader Tim Farron has said, "We want to respect


the will of the people and that means they must have their say


in a referendum on the terms of the deal."


But the Lib Dems have just eight MPs - they'll need Labour support


One ally is former Labour leadership candidate Owen Smith.


He backs the idea of a second referendum.


But yesterday the party's deputy leader, Tom Watson, said that,


"Unlike the Lib Dem Brexit Deniers, we believe in respecting


To discuss whether or not there should be a second referendum


on the terms of the Brexit deal, I've been joined by two


In Somerset is the former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown,


and in Shropshire is the former Conservative cabinet minister


Paddy Ashdown, let me come to you first. When the British people have


spoken, you do what they command, either you believe in democracy or


you don't. When democracy speaks, we obey. Your words on the night of the


referendum, what's changed? Nothing has changed, Andrew, that's what I


said and what I still believe in. The British people have spoken, we


will not block Parliament debating the Brexit decision, Article 50, but


we will introduce an amendment to say that we need to consult the


British people, not about if we go out but what destination we would


then achieve. There is a vast difference in ordinary people's


lives between the so-called hard Brexit and soft Brexit. Soft Brexit,


you remain in the single market, you have to accept and agree on


immigration. Hard Brexit you are out of the single market, we have many


fewer jobs... Why didn't you say before the referendum there would be


a second referendum on the terms? Forgive me, I said it on many


occasions, you may not have covered it, Andrew, but that's a different


thing. In every speech I gave I said this, and this has proved to be


true, since those who recommended Brexit refused to tell us the


destination they were recommending, they refuse to give any detail about


the destination, if we did vote to go out, it would probably be


appropriate to decide which destination, hard Brexit or soft


Brexit we go to. They deliberately obscure that because it made it more


difficult to argue the case. It wasn't part of the official campaign


but let me come to Owen Paterson. What's wrong with a referendum on


the terms of the deal? We voted to leave but we don't really know on


what conditions we leave so what's wrong with negotiating the deal and


putting that deal to the British people? This would be a ridiculous


idea, it would be a complete gift to the EU negotiators to go for an


impossibly difficult deal because they want to do everything to make


sure that Brexit does not go through. This nonsense idea of hard


Brexit and soft Brexit, it was never discussed during the referendum


campaign. We made it clear we wanted to take back control, that means


making our own laws, raising and spending the money agreed by elected


politicians, getting control of our own borders back, and getting


control of our ability to do trade deals around the world. That was


clear at all stages of the referendum. We got 17.4 million


votes, the biggest vote in history for any issue, that 52%, 10% more


than John Major got and he was happy with his record number of 14


million, more than Tony Blair got, which was 43%, so we have a very


clear mandate. Time and again people come up to me and say when are we


going to get on with this. The big problem is uncertainty. We want to


trigger Article 50, have the negotiation and get to a better


place. OK, I need to get a debate going.


Paddy Ashdown, the EU doesn't want us to leave. If they knew there was


going to be a second referendum, surely there was going to be a


second referendum, surely their incentive would be to give us the


worst possible deal would vote against it would put us in a


ridiculous negotiating position. On the contrary, the government could


go and negotiate with the European Union and anyway, the opinion of the


European Union is less important than the opinion of the British


people. It seems to me that Owen Paterson made the case for me


precisely. They refuse to discuss what kind of destination. Britain


voted for departure, but not a destination. Because Owen Paterson


and his colleagues refused to discuss what their model was. So the


range of options here and the impact on the people of Britain is huge.


There is nothing to stop the government going to negotiate,


getting the best deal it can and go into the British people and saying,


this is the deal, guys, do you agree? Owen Paterson? It is simple.


The British people voted to leave. We voted to take back control of our


laws, our money, our borders. But most people don't know the shape of


what the deal would be. So why not have a vote on it? Because it would


be a gift to the EU negotiators to drive the worst possible deal in the


hope that it might be chucked out with a second referendum. The


biggest danger is the uncertainty. We have the biggest vote in British


history. You have said all that. It was your side that originally


proposed a second referendum. The director of Leave said, there is a


strong democratic case for a referendum on what the deal looks


like. Your side. Come on, you are digging up a blog from June of 2015.


He said he had not come to a conclusion. He said it is a distinct


possibility. No senior members of the campaign said we would have a


second referendum. It is worth chucking Paddy the quote he gave on


ITV news, whether it is a majority of 1% or 20%, when the British


people have spoken, you do what they command. People come up to me and


keep asking, when are you going to get on with it? What do you say to


that, Paddy Ashdown? Owen Paterson has obviously not been paying


attention. You ask me that question at the start. Owen and his kind have


to stick to the same argument. During the referendum, when we said


that the Europeans have it in their interest to picket tough for us,


they would suffer as well. And that has proved to be right. The European


Union does not wish to hand as a bad deal, because they may suffer in the


process. We need the best deal for both sides. I can't understand why


Owen is now reversing that argument. Here is the question I am going to


ask you. If we have a second referendum on the deal and we vote


by a very small amount, by a sliver, to stay in, can we then make it


best-of-3? No, Andrew! Vince Cable says he thinks if you won, he would


have to have a decider. You will have to put that income tax, because


I don't remember when he said that. -- you have to put that in context.


Independent, 19th of September. That is a decision on the outcome. The


central point is that the British people voted for departure, not a


destination. In response to the claim that this is undemocratic, if


it is democratic to have one referendum, how can it be


undemocratic to have two? Owen Paterson, the British government, on


the brink of triggering article 50, cannot tell us if we will remain


members of the single market, if we will remain members of the customs


union. From that flows our ability to make trade deals, our attitude


towards freedom of movement and the rest of it. Given that the


government can't tell us, it is clear that the British people have


no idea what the eventual shape will be. That is surely the fundamental


case for a second referendum. Emphatically not. They have given a


clear vote. That vote was to take back control. What the establishment


figures like Paddy should recognise is the shattering damage it would do


to the integrity of the whole political process if this was not


delivered. People come up to me, as I have said for the third time now,


wanting to know when we will get article 50 triggered. Both people


who have voted to Remain and to Leave. If we do not deliver this, it


will be disastrous for the reputation and integrity of the


whole political establishment. Let me put that you Paddy Ashdown. It is


very Brussels elite - were ask your question but if we don't like the


answer, we will keep asking the question. Did it with the Irish and


French. It is... It would really anger the British people, would it


not? That is an interesting question, Andrew. I don't think it


would. All the evidence I see in public meetings I attended, and I


think it is beginning to show in the opinion polls, although there hasn't


been a proper one on this yet, I suspect there is a majority in


Britain who would wish to see a second referendum on the outcome.


They take the same view as I do. What began with an open democratic


process cannot end with a government stitch up. Contrary to what Owen


suggests, there is public support for this. And far from damaging the


government and the political class, it showed that we are prepared to


listen. We shall see. Paddy Ashdown, have you eaten your hat yet? Andrew,


as you well know, I have eaten five hats. You cannot have a second


referendum until you eat your hat on my programme. We will leave it


there. Paddy Ashdown and Owen Paterson, thank you much. I have


eaten a hat on your programme. I don't remember!


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.


As environmentalists lose a case against sand


dredging in Lough Neagh, I'll be asking the former


Minister Mark H Durkan, and the Green MLA Steven Agnew


Jim Allister vows to go on as TUV leader despite falling numbers


And with me throughout with their thoughts,


The environmental group Friends of the Earth has failed in its legal


attempt to end sand dredging in Lough Neagh, after taking


The group had argued the Department of the Environment should have


stopped the dredging, rather than allow it to continue


while the companies involved applied for planning permission.


However, that was rejected in court on Friday.


Joining me now are the Green MLA Steven Agnew, and from our Foyle


studio, the former Environment Minister Mark H Durkan.


Mark, you must be relieved at this ruling?


I very much welcome the ruling, not only did they make the right


decision but they made it correctly as a -- I made it correctly as well.


But the judges face -- realised the difficulties facing me, and the


pragmatic steps that I did take to have this activity on the lough


regular realised. Why did you ignore the advice


of your officials who urged I don't think it's fair to say I


ignored them, I considered the advice, as I did on any decision I


had to make, and I balanced it against other factors. In this


instance I balanced the potential or possible environmental damage that


was being caused by the sand dredging against the definite


economic consequences of issuing a stock that is there and then, and


those consequences would have been devastating. We are talking about a


few hundred people losing their jobs overnight through no fault of their


own, they are doing something that may their fathers and grandfathers


did, activity that's been going on in the region of 90 years, and


nobody batted an eye about it until a couple of years ago. But


environmental damage would have been very serious. Are you prepared to


take that risk. The problem was the lack of information around the


lough. I'm the only minister who had taken any action to address this


issue, as soon as I became aware of it. I issued an enforcement notice,


which Stephen Agnew welcomed me doing at the time. I came under


serious criticism from industry at the time I did that. So it was a


difficult situation. I appreciate the concerns that have been raised


by Friends of the Earth and others about possible environmental damage,


however, a desktop study commissioned by myself and others


found that the environmental damage is more than likely negligible. You


welcomed what he did at the time. The court has vindicated him by


saying he handled the situation in an acceptable way. His decision was


within his remit. What I would say is that the court said he was


entitled to make the decision, they didn't say it was the right


decision. As you pointed out, he was twice advised by his department to


call for a stop notice. He chose not to do so. He said he was receiving


other advice, he had to weigh it up. It is a special protection area,


development should not be allowed on the site is a can be shown there is


no risk. What about the potential economic consequences? I think there


should be a level playing field and every developer should have to


follow the rules. This sand dredging has been going on for decades. There


was an opportunity to draw the line in the sand and say no more, and I


think he should have done that until we get the evidence this is so.


Friends of the Earth said the effect of dredging was overestimated. Until


we can gather the evidence as to why -- the sand dredgers have not and


cannot prove that they are not at least in part responsible, and I


think we need to get the evidence. It is very difficult to collect that


evidence when ?1.5 million -- 1.5 million tonnes of sand are still


being extracted every year without authorisation. We've been promised


for years there would be a planning application. We are yet to see


planning approval. But we are now seeing an application, had it not


been for my action we wouldn't have seen that. We are working through


that. The information that has been missing is being assimilated as we


speak. I think that is very important. But good evidence is hard


to gather when the sand dredging is still continuing. I do welcome your


action, as you know, when you are minister I raised at a number of


times, and in that sense we worked together. But I do think you need to


go that stepfather and stop the dredging so that we can get the


evidence as to whether or not this is causing the environmental damage.


-- go that stepfather. I know you wouldn't have had reason to be


overly critical of me, I took it is maybe a slight rebuke that I had


maybe ignored the advice of my officials on two occasions on this


matter, but you will concede it was OK for me to ignore advice from the


same officials when they came to locking. That is a different issue.


-- locking. He was environment minister, and


he's just said he made a decision that was good for the economy. It is


about balancing all of those competing interests. That is the job


of the environment minister. I find it bizarre that -- we have decided


as a society that environmental protection is something that is


important, and I don't think we can just cherry pick as and when we


reinforce our regulations. Are you not concerned about the removal of


1.5 million tonnes of sand each year from the bottom of Lough Neagh? We


do not know what the environmental consequences of that are. We've


already referred to wintering birds, we need to find out what impact that


is happening -- having. I am proud of the role I have played in


protecting the environment. Of course I am concerned there might be


environmental damage being done here, that is why these studies are


now being tried out, and a planning application was sought and has


subsequently been made. That is why the implement -- information has now


been acquired, and it has been missing. For decades and decades and


decades. There are not many factors at play in the bird population. I


have discussed it with Friends of the Earth, in private. I've had an


acknowledgement from them that if the sand dredging is a factor in


this, it is a small one. You are tapping the microphone with your


hand, making a little bit of a noise which may be difficult for our


viewers to hear what you are saying. What is your advice to your


successor who is now responsible for this, the infrastructure Minister?


What you think he needs to do next to chart the best way for the? I


think it is important that Chris works with the industry to make sure


that their application comes forward in a timely manner, but it is


important that he also works with Friends of the Earth and


environmental groups who are opposed to this practice in general. It is


like you rightly outlined, Mark, about striking a balance. It is not


always easy to do so. However, when I came to the role of environment


minister said it was my vision to create a better environment and a


stronger economy. For too long those things have been pitched against


each other and we have had the mindset that what is good for the


economy has been bad for the environment. That doesn't have to be


the case. I think it is possible to have a thriving economy and to make


sure -- ensure robust environment up to. I will be trying to ensure as a


member of the opposition that the new minister does that as well. What


do you think Chris Hazard should do next? We had the report, lack of


enforcement has said we have up to ?250 million Bill for cleaning up


sites that have been used for unauthorised waste. If we do not


enforce our environmental laws it will damage the economy as well as


our environment. The TUV leader Jim Allister has


insisted he has no plans to retire, as he addressed his eighth


conference. He told delegates in Cookstown


he is already looking forward to the council elections,


when he hopes the party But the attendance at the gathering


was well down on last year, with some blaming


the party poor performance Our political correspondent


Enda McClafferty was there. His political opponents may believe


he is heading for retirement, but there was no hint yesterday that Jim


Allister is about to exit the political stage. So it seems it is


not yet time for Jexit, but for Brexit. As he addressed his eighth


party conference, he already had his sights on the next council election,


and he had a defiant message for those at Stormont rushing him out of


the door. I will continue to shine the spotlight of exposure into the


dark corners of Stormont. I will continue to be the thorn in the


flesh of Sinn Fein, DUP misrule. And I will rub salt in as well when I


get the and I hope the salt may never lose its savour. The attack


the first and Deputy First Ministers for using a spin doctor to try and


cover uncomfortable truths. We need you to go down to Ulster carpets.


But I am here as a spin doctor, not to measure carpets! Are, but you


see, David, we have a major problem. There is no more room left under our


carpets to sweep away all the dirty business.


But make no mistake about it, Jim Allister is facing the biggest test


of his political career. After the party's poor showing in the Assembly


election, when only one of their 15 candidates was elected, he has got


to convince unionist voters got -- that the TV is more than just a


one-man band. It is not a one-man band in the province at-large, there


are lots of people supporting them, lots of people wishing them well. As


for the party faithful, who turned out in fewer numbers than last year,


how did they assess the state of the TV? At how different people saying


they don't vote for TV, but I hope Jim stays there to expose all that


is going on. -- TUV. If they went out and joined the various branches,


we would get stronger. But people tend to sit on their backsides and


do nothing about it. Jim Allister will be back at Stormont on Monday,


on what has become a crowded opposition bench. There is no doubt


his traditional Unionist voiced will still be heard, but will his call


for more voters to back his brand of unionism be heard beyond the


conference centre? He has four years to make sure it is.


Let's hear from my guests of the day, Sam McBride


Sam, a familiar message from Jim Allister, but fewer people


I think it's very obvious, I think the party was refreshingly upfront


about it yesterday, there was no attempt yesterday to pretend it was


a good year, they did appallingly in the Assembly election. They lost


them both high-profile councillor, Henry Reilly, just over a year after


he joined, and with no election for several years they are facing a


period in the wilderness as it were. They have been there before with Jim


Allister when he first came into the Assembly. He managed to confound the


critics at that point, came back with 75,000 votes in the European


elections, but at the moment it looks pretty grim.


Deirdre, the challenge for the TUV has always been to not to look


like a one man band, cast in the image of its leader.


That problem is as big now if not bigger than ever. There is no clear


successor, I don't think anyone could name somebody they feel would


be the successor, and Jim is very much a one-man band. I think it


seems his moment in the sun has come and gone, there is a new


dispensation in politics, and the media focus has turned to the


official opposition so he doesn't have the spotlight he once had, and


he is clearly not a comedian. His message does not resonate in


Northern Ireland, the corruption, the behind-the-scenes dealing. He


doesn't have a positive message to put forward. What would his


alternative be? It is ironic he is so anti-the European Union that he


absolutely wants to leave as soon as possible and yet the European


elections is where he did quite well.


The opposition benches are now more crowded than before,


and that has arguably eclipsed the part played by Jim Allister


You would think there would be some traction for the TUV. The DUP and


Sinn Fein are caught in this warm embrace on the hill. I think the


difficulty for Jim Allister's been all the baggage that has gone along


with his brand of unionism, and I think yes, there is an opposition,


Mike Nesbitt is the leader as he calls himself, but the difficulty


for those parties is I think they haven't been massive -- massively


effective, and I think Jim Allister has been arguably better as exposing


things that they have. The Mr Gove the vegan thing he said yesterday


was that he is going to keep going. -- the most significant thing. There


is nobody that comes close to his calibre within the party. But I


think people want a positive alternative. He is saying we will go


back to direct rule, is that his solution to this? He doesn't like


the cosy consensus he talks about, but I think all that negativity does


not appeal to the public. Let's have a word about Friday,


when the First and Deputy First Ministers met with their Scottish


and Welsh counterparts at And no surprise that top


of the agenda was Brexit. Martin McGuinness had some strong


criticism for Theresa May and in a separate development,


the Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin also had a go


at the Prime Minister but first, I think the British Prime Minister


should have been here today. This was her first opportunity to attend


the meeting and to meet with the devolved institutions, and I think


it was a missed opportunity on her behalf. It is with dismay that I


view her absence. There is some evidence the British Government is


not engaging enough with the devolved administrations. And


particularly when you consider that in Northern Ireland a substantial


majority have voted to remain, likewise in Scotland, I think there


is a need for the UK Government to engage. Also we know the Secretary


of State for Northern Ireland is not on the main negotiating Cabinet


committee, which is worrying. And I think overall there has been a lack


of proactive engagement with the devolved administrations. And today


was a wonderful opportunity that could have facilitated such


engagement, and also providing badly needed reassurances.


There is an irony in Scottish and Irish nationalists criticising the


British by Minister for not attending an event. Fundamentally


the honest answer is that neither Westminster nor the devolved


administrations really know what they want out of this. Scotland has


a bit more of a clear picture in terms of what the SNP wants, but in


terms of Scott -- Stormont, one half is arguing for one thing and one for


another. On some issues like the border they think it should be as


low-key as possible, but if you push it to whether they should be British


passport control at Dublin airport, Sinn Fein are against that the DUP


are possibly open to it, so it is difficult. I don't think the Prime


Minister will be quaking in her boots at the criticism, nor will


this -- she see it as a missed opportunity to talk about Brexit. It


is clear that she does treat the devolved administrations with


contempt. She has topped about wanting a grown-up relationship with


the devolved administrations. That is patronising and insulting. --


talked about. She has had the shortest political honeymoon in


political history, and she does seem to her go out of her way. I think


she should have been there symbolically, she should have said I


am listing, I understand your concerns. We hope the Maltese Prime


Minister saying sorting out the Irish border, what happens between


Northern Ireland and the Republic needs to be the first thing to be


sorted out before the Brexit negotiations. The other macro to a


certain extent it has been sorted out in a sense, the question is


where does the border and then go? Does go to Dublin airport, ports in


the south of Ireland? That is a difficult issue. At this point there


is no clear message from Stormont, other than the British Government


line about there being no return to the borders of the past. There is no


real clear sense of where it is going, otherwise --. No return to


the borders of the past is meaningless. This whole ministerial


Council was sold as an opportunity to cast some light on this. We are


no clearer. Let's have a look back


at the political week gone past in 60 seconds -


with Stephen Walker. The Finance Minister outlined his


grand designs to raise more money from rates.


If you live in a house valued over ?400,000, I don't think it


unreasonable to say you should pay more according to the value of the


home. The Chancellor said we are to get an extra ?277 million. In


another chamber, the Stormont speaker said sorry for not revealing


his connection to loyalist group -- eight loyalist group. I apologise to


the house for not having done so. The tug-of-war between local


councils and the Executive over regeneration rumbles on. The


distribution of power, allowing other people to take the lead on


things, is sneered at. And political football: the DUP communities


Minister made a promising debut. I've never kicked a Gaelic football,


so that was a first for me. I was glad I was able to get a point for


putting a ball over the bar! And let's have a final word


with Deirdre and Sam. That was an entertaining sequence


with Paul Givan playing Gaelic football there -


but what's the real I think it is welcome, he is perhaps


illustrating the new accommodation between the two main parties. He is


a younger minister, we may see things moving on. Progress here is


slow. We are saying the sports minister should be a minister for


all sports at this stage of devolution. He really adopted Ian


Paisley's approach, throwing himself into it. He is a keen footballer,


this is a line that Gregory Campbell crossed for the DUP. On the sporting


aspect they are quite comfortable, not on the


have got to make sure London is open.


have got to make sure London is not on the other aspects. That's it


from us, open. Thank you. Andrew, back to


you. Is Theresa May serious


about curbing executive pay? Who will be crowned Nigel Farage's


successor as Ukip leader? And can the Lib Dems pull off


a by-election upset in Richmond? So,,, on pay talk about the


executive of what executives get compared to the average worker in


the company, giving shareholders real power to vote down pay rises if


they don't like them, which is pretty much what Ed Miliband


proposed in the general election in 2015. Is she serious about this? She


is very serious, and the Tory party probably does owe Ed Miliband an


apology for trashing his ideas and 2015 and then putting them all up


for votes in November 20 16. She is very serious, and this all comes


back to her desperate fear that unless capitalism reforms itself and


becomes more acceptable to the just about managing or even 78% of the


country who are not earning vast wealth at anywhere near the figures


you see in the City, serious things will happen and the political sense


of trust will implode. She has already been bartered down by her


own Cabinet on this. She wanted to go further and make workers on the


board mandatory. They have managed to stop that. What will her fallback


position be on workers on the board if she is not able to get it into


some claw? We would like to have workers on the board, but whatever


they do on the board there will have no voting powers on the board. When


you look at what was leaked out over the weekend, that we should know the


ratio of the top to the average and that shareholders who own the


company should determine, in the end, the highest-paid salaries, you


kind of think, what could the possible objection be to any of


that? Two things. One, I agree with Tom that she is deadly serious about


this agenda and it comes under the banner, that sentence in the party


conference speech about "It's time to focus on the good that government


can do". She is by instinct more of an interventionist than Cameron and


Osborne. But she is incredibly cautious, whether it is through the


internal constraints of opposition within Cabinet, or her own small C


Conservative caution in implementing this stuff. Part of the problem is


the practicalities. George Osborne commission will Hutton to do a


report which came out with similar proposals, which were never


implemented. It is quite hard to enforce. It will antagonise business


leaders when she's to woo them again in this Brexit furore. So there are


problems with it. And judging by what has happened so far, my guess


is that the aim will be genuinely bold and interesting, and the


implementation incredibly cautious. Does it matter if she annoys some


business leaders? Isn't that part of her brand? Will there be problems on


the Tory backbenches with it? I think there will be and I think it


does matter at this sensitive time for when we are positioning


ourselves as a country and whether we are going to brand ourselves as a


great city of business, implementing quite interventionist policies. Any


suggestion that the government can control how much the top earners


get, I think would be received in a hostile way. What would be wrong


with the shareholders, who own the company, determining the pay of the


higher hands, the executives? Morally, you can absolutely make


that argument but to business leaders, they will not like it.


Ultimately, this will not come down to more than a row of beans. There


was a huge debate about whether there should be quotas of women on


boards. In the end, that never happened. All we get is figures. But


quotas of women, for which there is a case and a case against too, that


was a government mandate. This is not, this is simply empowering


shareholders who own the company to determine the pay of the people they


hire. There is a strong moral argument for it. Strong economic


argument. But the Tory backbenchers will not like this. The downside is


that this is a world where companies are thinking about upping sticks to


Europe. No, they say they are thinking of that. Not one has done


it yet. Others have made massive investments in this country. But is


it not an incentive for those making these threats to actually do it? In


Europe, bankers' pay is now mandated by Brussels. It is a vivid way of


showing you are addressing the issue of inequality. I think she will go


with it, but let's move on to Ukip. I think we will get the result


tomorrow. There are the top three candidates. Paul Nuttall, Suzanne


Evans and on my right, John Reid Evans. One of them will be the next


leader. Who is going to win? It is widely predicted to be Paul Nuttall


and is probably the outcome that the Labour Party fears most. Paul


Nuttall is a very effective communicator. He is not a household


name, far from it, but people will begin to learn more about him and


find that he is actually quite a strong leader. Can people Ukip


together again after this shambolic period since the referendum? If


anyone can, he can. And his brand of working collar, Northern Ukip is the


thing that will work for them. Do you think he is the favourite? It


would be amazing if he doesn't win. His greatest problem will be getting


Nigel Farage off his back. He is going on a speaking tour of North


America. A long speaking tour. Ukip won this EU referendum. They had the


chance to hoover up these discontented Labour voters in the


north, and all he has done is associated with Ukip with Farage.


But Nigel Farage is fed up of Ukip and will be glad to be hands of it.


The bigger problem is money. If it is Paul Nuttall, and we don't know


the results yet, but he is the favourite, if it is him, I would


suggest that that is the result Labour is frightened of most. To be


honest, I think they are frightened of Ukip whatever the result.


Possibly with good cause. The reason I qualify that is that what you call


a shambles over the summer has been something that goes beyond Monty


Python in its absurdity and madness. That calls into question whether it


can function as a political party when you have what has gone on. The


number of leaders itself has been an act of madness. In a context which


should be fantastic for them. They have won a referendum. There is a


debate about what form Brexit should take, it is a dream for them, and


they have gone bonkers. If he can turn it around, I agree that he is a


powerful media communicator, and then it is a threat to Labour. But


he has got to show that first. Indeed. The by-election in Richmond


in south-west London, called by Zac Goldsmith over Heathrow. Has it


turned out to be a by-election about Heathrow, or has it turned into a


by-election, which is what the Lib Dems wanted, about Brexit? We will


know on Thursday. If the Lib Dems win, they will turn it into an EU


referendum. It seems incredibly close now. The Lib Dems are swamping


Richmond. They had 1000 activists there yesterday. That is getting on


for 100th of the population of the place! If the Lib Dems don't manage


to win on Thursday and don't manage to turn it into an EU referendum


despite all their efforts, it will probably be a disaster for the


party. What do you hear, Isabel? I hear that the Lib Dems have


absolutely swamped the constituency, but this may backfire. I saw a bit


of this myself, living in Witney, when the Lib Dems also swamped and


people began to get fed up of their aggressive tactics. I understand


that Zac Goldsmith is cautiously optimistic that he will pull this


one off. Quick stab at the result? I don't know. But we are entering a


period when by-elections are acquiring significant again. If the


Lib Dems were to make a game, it would breathe life into that near


moribund party like nothing else. Similarly, other by-elections in


this shapeless political world we are in are going to become


significant. We don't know if we are covering it live on Thursday night


yet because we have to find at the time they are going to declare.


Richmond are quite late in declaring, but if it is in the early


hours, that is fine. If it is on breakfast television, they be not. I


want to show you this. Michael Gove was on the Andrew Marr Show this


morning. In the now notorious comment that I made, I was actually


cut off in midstream, as politicians often. The point I made was not that


all experts are that is nonsense. Expert engineers, doctors and


physicists are not wrong. But there is a subclass of experts,


particularly social scientists, who have to reflect on some of the


mistakes they have made. And the recession, which was predicted that


we would have if we voted to leave, has gone like a puff of smoke. So


economic experts, he talks about. The Chancellor has based all of his


forward predictions in this Autumn Statement on the economic expert


forecasters. The Office for Budget Responsibility has said it is 50-50,


which is the toss of a coin. But what was he supposed to do? You


would ideally have to have a Budget that had several sets of scenarios,


and that is impossible. Crystal ball territory. But you do wonder if


governments are right to do so much of their fiscal projections on the


basis of forecasts which turn out to be wrong. They have nothing else to


go on. The Treasury forecast is to be wrong. No doubt the OBR forecast


will prove not to be exact. As you say, they admitted that they are


navigating through fog at the moment. But he also added that it


was fog caused by Brexit. So Brexit, even if you accept that these


forecasts might be wrong, is causing such a level of uncertainty. He put


the figure at 60 billion. That could come to haunt him. He hasn't got a


clue. He admitted it. come to haunt him. He hasn't got a


clue. He admitted it. He said, Parliament mandates me to come up


with something, so I am going to give you a number. But I wouldn't


trust it if I were you, he basically said. I agree with you. The man who


borrowed 122 billion more off the back of a coin toss was Philip


Hammond. It begs the question, what does that say about the confidence


Philip Hammond has in his own government's renegotiation? Not a


huge amount. I agree. Philip Hammond quoted the OBR figures. He basically


said, this is uncertain and it looks bad, and on we go with it. It is a


very interesting situation, he said. He was for Remain and he works in a


department which regards it as a disaster, whatever everyone else


thinks. I have just been told we are covering the by-election. We are


part of the constitution. Jo Coburn will have more


Daily Politics tomorrow And I'll be back here on BBC One


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


it's the Sunday Politics.


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