28/05/2017 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


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

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Good morning and welcome to the Sunday Politics.


New CCTV images are released showing suicide bomber, Salman Abedi,


on the night he attacked Manchester Arena, killing 22 people.


Are the politicians and the security services doing


Theresa May says Britain needs to be "stronger and more resolute"


in confronting extremist views, as she outlines plans


for a new Commission to counter extremism.


We'll be talking to the Security Minister.


Jeremy Corbyn says a Labour government would recruit 1,000


more staff at security and intelligence agencies.


And coming up here: As election campaigning resumes


after Monday's Manchester bomb attack, I'll be joined live


in the studio by the leader of the SDLP, Colum Eastwood.


Join me in half an hour. what the Conservatives are offering


the capital, having voted Remain. To help guide me through this


morning, I'm joined by Steve Richards, Julia


Hartley-Brewer and Tim Marshall. They'll be sharing their thoughts


on Twitter and you can join So, with a week and a half to go,


the election campaign And some recent polls


suggest the race is just We'll be taking a closer look


at that in just a moment but, first, here are some of the key events over


the next 10 days or so: Tonight at 6pm will see the third


of the party leader interviews. This time it's the SNP's


Nicola Sturgeon facing questions While many across the UK will be


enjoying tomorrow's bank holiday, there will be no break


in campaigning for And in the evening it will be


the turn of Ukip's Paul Nuttall On Tuesday the SNP


publish their manifesto - the last of the major parties to do


so - after last week's Then on Wednesday, the BBC's


Election Debate will see representatives from the seven main


parties debate in front On Thursday, Lib Dem leader Tim


Farron will have his interview... Before Friday's Question Time


special with Theresa May They won't debate each other,


but will take questions consecutively from members


of the audience. The final week of campaigning


is a short one, with politicians cramming in three days


of door-knocking before voters go We'll have an exit poll once


voting has ended at 10pm, with the result expected early


in the morning of June 9th. Well, it's Sunday, and that always


means a spate of new opinion And they make for fascinating,


if a tad confusing, reading. There are five new opinion


polls today, which have the Conservative lead


over Labour anywhere from six points to 14 points.


So, what's going on? Professor John Curtice


is the expert we always turn to at times like this,


and he joins me from Glasgow. Take us through these polls. They


seem to be all over the place? They may seem to be but there is a very


consistent key message. Four of these five polls, if you compare


them with what they were saying before the Conservative manifesto


launch on the 18th, four say the Conservatives are down by two


points. Four of them say the Labour vote is up by two points. A clear


consistent message. The Conservative lead has narrowed. Why does this


matter? It matters because we are now in a position where the leads


are such that the Conservatives can no longer be sure of getting the


landslide majority they want. Some posters suggesting they may be in


trouble and it is going to get rather close. Others suggested is


further apart. There are two major sources of... The Poles agree that


young voters will vote Labour if they vote. Older voters will vote


for the Conservatives. How many of those younger voters will turn out


to vote? The second thing is whether the evidence in the opinion polls


that the Conservatives are advancing more in the North of England and the


Midlands is realised that the ballot box? If it is not realised, the


Tories chances of getting a landslide look remote. If it is,


they could still well indeed get a majority more than 80%. The


Conservatives have lost some ground depending on which opinion poll you


look at. What about the Labour Party? It is gaining ground. It has


been gaining ground ever since week one. They started on 26, they now


average 35. There were a lot of people out there at the beginning of


the campaign who were saying, I usually vote Labour but the truth is


I'm not sure about Jeremy Corbyn. They seem to have decided the Labour


manifesto wasn't so bad. They have looked at Theresa May and have said,


we will stick with Labour. Labour have managed to draw back into the


fold some of their traditional voters who were disenchanted,


together with, crucially, some of those younger voters who have never


voted before, who have always been a particular target for Jeremy Corbyn.


What is your reaction to previous opinion polls and elections weather


has been a feeling that some of the Labour support has been overstated?


This be a worry this time? That is one of the uncertainties that faces


the opinion polls and the rest of us. We had a conference on Friday at


which it was carefully explained that pollsters have been trying to


correct the errors that resulted in an overestimation of Labour support


a couple of years ago, particularly among younger voters. You shouldn't


assume the opinion polls will be wrong this time because they were


wrong the last time. We want in truth know whether or not the polls


have got it right. Even if they are wrong in terms of the level, they


are not wrong in terms of the trend. The trends have been dramatic so


far. A big rise in Tory support early on at the expense of Ukip. And


subsequently, a remarkable rise in Labour support, albeit from a low


initial baseline. This election has already seen quite a lot of


movement. We shouldn't rule out the possibility there will be yet more


in the ten days to come. That is his analysis. Let's talk to


the panel. Julia, how concerned should Conservative headquarters be


at this particular point at what looks like an apparent surge by


Labour? Depends if you want a massive landslide majority or might


not. I assume the Tory party do. Whether anybody thinks that is a


good idea is a different matter. Undoubtedly the manifesto league was


a total disaster. Social care policy and the U-turn. Lots of stuff in the


Labour manifesto was very appealing. The tactic from Sir Lynton Crosby


was clear. It is all about Theresa May. Don't even mention the


candidate or the party. The Labour Party, the candidates are on the


moderate side are saying, don't mention Jeremy Corbyn. This has been


a battle between two big people. The more we have seen of Theresa May,


she has gone down. The more we have seen of Jeremy Corbyn, he has gone


up. If you make it about strong and stable leadership and then you do


something like a massive unprecedented U-turn on a key policy


like social care, the knock is even greater. Do you think that is the


reason for the change in the opinion polls or is Labour gaining some


momentum? I think it is part of the reason. You can understand why the


focus was on her at the beginning because her personal ratings were


stratospheric. What is interesting is all successful leaders basically


cast a spell over voters in the media. None of them are titans. All


of them are flawed. It is a question of when the spell is broken. This is


a first for a leader's spell to be broken during an election campaign.


That was a moment of high significance. The fact the Labour


Party campaign is more robust than many thought it would be is the


other factor. I think it is the combination of the two, that the


trend, as Professor John Curtis said, the trend has been this


narrow. There has not been much campaigning. Local campaigning


resumed on Thursday, national campaigning on Friday. Do you think,


Tim Marshall, that the opinion polls are reflecting what happened in


Manchester and people's thoughts about which party will keep them


safe? No, I think that will come next week. I think it is too soon


for that. It was quite understandable from the V -- the


very beginning for Lynton Crosby to frame the campaign in terms of


Theresa May and Brexit. The electorate can have its own view.


You always have to go back to Clinton's it's the economy stupid


for most of the electorate. It is framed in your electricity bill. It


is framed in your jobs. Both manifestos have got more holes in


them than Swiss cheese. It comes down to which manifesto you believe.


The Labour manifesto makes more promises about things you care about


like your electricity bill. Interesting, but in the end despite


while we thought would be a Brexit election, it has been a lot about


public services. It always comes down to bread-and-butter issues. I


don't think we have quite seen how the terrorist you has played out. We


had the Westminster attack only a couple of months ago. That was


already factored in in terms of who you trust and who you don't trust.


The IRA stuff from Jeremy Corbyn is already factored in. People actually


care about how ordinary government policies affect their lives. Thank


you very much. The election campaign was,


of course, put on hold following the terrorist


attack in Manchester But now that campaigning has


resumed, it's hardly surprising that security


is now a primary concern. The Labour Party has announced it


would recruit 1,000 more Jeremy Corbyn, speaking on ITV at


short while ago, says previous cuts have undermined security.


It seems that the cuts in police numbers have led to some very


dangerous situation is emerging. It is also a question of a community


response as well. So that where, an imam, for example, lets the police


he is concerned about a muddy, I would hope they would act. And I


would hope we have -- and I would hope they would have the resources


to act as well. Joining me now from Leeds


is the Shadow Justice Good morning. You have announced a


thousand more Security and Intelligence agency staff. That is


in line with what the government has already announced and the Shadow


Home Secretary, Diane Abbott, has said you would not be spending any


more money. It doesn't amount to much, does it? That is just one of


the parts of our pledge card on the safer communities. There is also


10,000 extra police, because the Conservatives cut the police by


20,000. That 10,000 extra police would mean in -- and extra police


officer in each neighbourhood. There are 3000 extra put -- prison


officers. Prison staff has been cut by 6000. That is a third. It is not


helping keep communities safer. We are pledging 3000 extra


firefighters. Also, a thousand extra security staff and 500 extra border


guards. There have been 13 areas identified where our borders are not


as secure as they should be. That is the list of numbers you have given.


If we concentrate on the security services, because it was Jeremy


Corbyn he said there will be more police on the streets under Labour.


If the security sources need more resources they should get them. Why


aren't you giving them more? We are committing to a thousand more


police. The Godinet is doing that as well. You are not committing


anything more. The government has not delivered on that promise. We


will deliver on that promise is -- promise. What Jeremy has made very


clear is that you can't do security on the cheap. Austerity has to stop


at the police station door, and at the hospital door. But we will be


giving the resources required to keep our communities safer. So you


will give them the resources and more powers? Well, the police need


to be empowered. But when you listen to what the Police Federation are


saying, they have been speaking out for a long time about the danger


caused by police cuts. And I'm talking not only about terrorism,


not only about acts of extreme violence, but anything from


anti-social behaviour to burglary. Use it more powers. What sort of


powers are you thinking of giving the security services? We need to


listen to them. That is not a power. We need to listen to the


intelligence community and the security service, to the army and


the police, about what they think and how they think our communities


could be made safe. One thing is clear. Cutting the number of police


by 20,000 makes our community is less safe, not more safe. You said


you will listen to the security services. Can voters be reassured


and guaranteed that Jeremy Corbyn will listen to the security services


and the police in terms of more powers if that is what they want?


Until now he has spent his whole political career voting against


measures designed to tackle home-grown and international


terrorism. Jeremy Corbyn's speech on safer communities earlier this week


made clear he is listening to the security services. So he would grant


those new powers. He voted against the terrorism Act in 2000, into


thousands and six. In 2011. And in 2014, the data retention and


investigatory Powers act. Which new powers will he be happy to enact?


Just to say, Jeremy Corbyn along with Theresa May, David Davis and


many Conservative MPs, voted against legislation where they thought it


would be ill-advised, ineffective or actually counter-productive. It is a


very complex situation. What we don't want to do is introduce


hastily prepared laws with one eye to the newspaper headlines, which


can act as recruiting sergeants for terrorism. And actually, when I said


earlier that Jeremy Corbyn made clear in his speech this week that


he has been listening to the security services, what he said


about the international situation has also been said by the former


head of MI5, Stella Rimington, and her predecessor. As well as


president of back -- President Barack Obama.


You say he will give the police and security services the resources and


powers they need. If we look back at some of the legislation Jeremy


Corbyn and others voted against in 2000, it gave the Secretary of State


the -- new powers... Does Jeremy Corbyn still think that is a bad


idea? Jeremy Corbyn along with Theresa May, David Davis and


others... I know you want to bracket it with Conservatives but I'm


interested in what Jeremy Corbyn will do when he says we are going to


be smarter about fighting terrorism. If he's not prepared to vote in


favour of those sorts of measures, or trying to impose restrictions on


suspects, I'm trying to find out what he will do. It is a complex


situation. With this legislation the devil is often in the detail. If it


was a simple and stopping terrorism by voting a piece of legislation


through Parliament, it would have been stopped a long time ago. Sadly


there are no easy answers, and that is recognised by Barack Obama,


Stella Rimington, the head of the MI5, by David Davis and other


Conservative MPs. What is clear, as Jeremy made clear in his speech this


week, is the way things are being done currently is not working. We


have got to be tough on terrorism and the unforgivable acts of murder,


but also tough on the causes of terrorism as well. The sad truth is


there are no easy answers. If there were, the problem would have been


solved a long time ago. If you more security and terrorism officers but


your leader is still uncomfortable with giving them the powers they


need to do their jobs because it is complicated legislation, they will


want to know how you are going to do it. At another stop the War rally in


2014, Jeremy Corbyn said the murder of a charity worker was jingoism. At


the beginning of that speech he mentioned the importance of the


one-minute silence for the memory of Alan Henning who was murdered. What


he has also made clear is responsibility for acts of terrorism


and murder lies with the murder, and something that's really disappointed


me is that the Prime Minister said the other day that in Jeremy


Corbyn's speech on this on Monday, he said... Whether she agrees with


him on his politics, she knows he didn't say that in his speech, but


what troubles me is you have got a Prime Minister who must have sat


down with her advisers earlier that day and said, well I do know he


didn't say that but if we say he did we might win some votes. I think


that is shameful and it shows Theresa May cannot be trusted. These


issues should transcend party politics. We need to pull together


on this issue. Thank you very much. Well, the Conservatives have


promised a new statutory commission The party says it will identify


extremism, including the "non-violent" kind,


and help communities stand up to it. Also this morning,


the Security Minister, Ben Wallace, has attacked internet giants


for failing to tackle terror online, and accused them


of being ruthless money-makers. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.


Those comments you have made about social media companies failing in


their responsibility to take down extremist material, what will you do


to compel them? I think we will look at the range of options. The Germans


have proposed a fine, we are not sure whether that will work, but


there are range of pressures we can put onto some of these companies.


Some have complied. In the article in the Sunday Telegraph today I did


say it is not all of them. They are not immune to pressure. We can do


internationally, and the Prime Minister urged at the G7 and


international response. I think there are a range of issues. We


could change the law. You mentioned the G7, and rhetoric and warm words


are fine to an extent but it is action people want. If you have made


these impassioned remarks in the newspapers about them failing to do


the job, people want to know what powers do you have now to say to


social media companies take down this material? We have an act that


was recently passed. In this area we have just finished consulting on one


of the areas we could use but we cannot pre-empt the consultation. We


have right now officials from my department over in the United States


with American officials working with CSPs because what we see is that


they do respond to pressure. The best example is we think they have


the technology and the capability to change the algorithms they use that


maximise profit over safety. But you are relying on these companies


devoting more resources to this line of work that you would like to see


them do. Have you got any evidence they will do that? They said, only a


few weeks ago before the election was called the Home Secretary hosted


a Round Table with them. We have evidence they are trying to improve


it. A few are refusing to or being difficult, and that's why the Prime


Minister was right to step up not only the language she was using but


to say we are not going to allow this to progress any more. People


will be worried about who will make the judgment about what is


unacceptable and what should be taken down. Let me show you this,


which was shared widely across social media. If you read that quote


you could argue it is at the same end if you like. The man in the


picture is a terrorist hate preacher, the jihadist who was


killed in Yemen by the Americans. Is this the sort of thing you would be


demanding social media companies take down? You have to look at the


context it was deployed in. I could show you some of the 270,000 pieces


we have had removed since 2010 from internet sites that have been


extreme. The big issue is not often the individual image, it is the way


these companies set up the algorithms to link you. If you were


watching that on Facebook delivered to you, perhaps you would like to


look at this, because that's how they set it up. If you go onto


YouTube, you can get let down the path from looking at Manchester... I


understand your example, but from a practical level are you expecting


media companies to take down that sort of posts if it appeared? Yes...


You are? Who will make the decisions about what will radicalise young


people that could lead someone down the path to let off a bomb? If I


invite your viewers to look at the work the Guardian have done on


Facebook guidance, to say for example it is OK to produce videos


or broadcast videos of seven-year-olds being bullied as


long as it wasn't accompanied by captions, I don't think you need to


be an expert to say that is not acceptable. Something more worrying


for you as a journalist and me as a politician, another set of guidance


that says... I think this is quite menacing... That certain people


don't deserve our protection. That includes journalists and politicians


and people who are controversial. So I think there is more work to be


done but at the end of the day it is the pathway this stuff leads to. It


is more about examining how much progress you can make. The


Government says there are up to 23,000 potential terrorist attackers


in this country, 3000 of those posing a serious threat being


monitored. That is pretty disturbing, these are big numbers.


Yes, and the tragedy of Manchester shows this is not about failure, it


is about the scale of the challenge we face and that is why it is


important that alongside people is powers. Should you double the size


of MI5 for example? We have increased year-on-year in real terms


not only the money but the numbers of people in MI5. It is now 2000 we


have committed to increased to... Before the attack. Before our


manifesto we had recruited, we have increased the whole of government


spending on counterterrorism from ?11.7 billion in 2015 up to 15.7


billion. Would you expand the number of people in MI5? I have asked them


on a regular basis if they have the resource if they are happy with it,


and the answer comes back time and time again, yes we are. You have


quite extensive powers at your disposal, the question is if you are


using them. Measures were introduced in 2012 to replace control orders,


but they have rarely been used. Only seven are currently in operation.


Why? Because there are a whole... It is just one tool in the tool box.


Other powers we use, we take away people's passports if we think they


are about to travel. How many? I cannot comment, it is a sensitive


issue. Plenty of people are finding their passport has been removed and


at the same time we strip people of citizenship to make sure they don't


come back. On top of that, because of the investment made in GCHQ, MI5


and counterterrorism, we have more powers and more ability to monitor


them. But are you using them enough? Only seven TPIMs are in operation.


You won't give me any of the other measures at your disposal, but if


they are only in single figures, that doesn't seem to compare with


the numbers who are being monitored. Also, we have to strike a balance


between... We have to satisfy the court so we have to make sure there


is enough evidence to restrict people's freedoms. TPIMs do all


sorts of good things to keep people safe. It sends people away from


where they live, it tags them... I tell you why they are better. The


control orders were on track to be struck down by the courts because


one of the things we have to satisfy is the courts but we also have to


satisfy, we have to make sure we get the balance between the community is


right and the measures we take. If we alienate our communities, we


won't get the intelligence that allows us to catch it. There is no


point in having more police and intelligence services if you don't


give them the powers to do the job. Jeremy Corbyn were licensed James


Bond to do precisely nothing. And -- thank you.


The revelation that the Manchester suicide bomber, 22-year-old


Salman Abedi, was born in this country has raised fresh concerns


about the effectiveness of the UK's counter-extremism policy.


In a moment we'll be talking to two people who've spent their careers


investigating radicalisation in the UK.


Douglas Murray, of the Henry Jackson Society,


and Sara Khan, author of The Battle for British Islam and CEO


of the counter-extremism organisation Inspire.


We asked both for a personal take on how to confront the problem


of Islamist extremism. First up, here's Douglas Murray.


Even after all these dead, all this mourning and defiance,


We remain stuck in the John Lennon response to terrorism -


Our politicians still refuse to accurately identify


the sources of the problem, and polite society


This country gave asylum to the Libyan parents of Salman Abedi.


Their son repaid that generosity by killing 22 British people,


one for each year of life this country had given him.


We need to think far more deeply about all this.


Eastern Europe doesn't have an Islamic terrorism problem


France has the worst problem because it has the most Islam.


Are we ever going to draw any lessons from this?


For the time being, the game is to be as inoffensive as possible.


The rot isn't just within the Muslim communities.


Consider all those retired British officials and others who shill,


and are in the pay of the Saudis and other foreign states,


even while they pump the extreme versions of Islam into our country.


It is high time we became serious too.


Islamist extremism is flourishing in our country.


We're failing to defeat it, so what can we do about it?


Whenever I say we must counter those Muslim organisations


who are promoting hatred, discrimination, and sometimes even


violence, I'm often either ignored by some politicians out


of a misplaced fear of cultural sensitivity, or I find myself


experiencing abuse by some of my fellow Muslims.


These groups and their sympathisers tour Muslim communities,


hold events, and have hundreds of thousands of followers


Yet there is little counter challenge to their toxic


anti-Western narrative, which includes opposition


I've seen politicians and charities partner


with and support some of these voices and groups.


Many anti-racist groups will challenge those on the far


right but not Muslim hate preachers, in the erroneous belief that to do


But it's Islamophobic not to challenge them because it implies


Following the attack on Monday, it cannot be business as usual.


We must counter those who seek to divide us.


Sarah Karen Allen Douglas Murray join me know. You wrote a book,


strange death of Europe. What did you mean in your film when you said,


let's get serious? Several things. Let me give you one example. The


young man who carried out this atrocious attack was a student at


Salford University for two years. He was on a campus which is, from its


leadership to its student leadership, opposes all aspects of


the government's only counter extremism programme. They boast they


are boycotting it. They always did this. The university he was at was


against the only counter extremism policy this state has. This is just


one example of a much bigger problem. What are you suggesting?


Shut down the University? Force them to change their policies? I think in


the case of Salford, which discourages students from reporting


Islamic extremism... When you discover you have produced a suicide


bomber in Manchester, you should be held responsible. What do you say to


that? I think it is quite clear from I am experienced there have been


politicians who have undermined Prevent, community organisations,


Islamist groups who have been at the forefront of undermining and


countering Prevent, but also wider counter extremism measures. Islamist


-- Islamist extremes and has flourished in this country. If


Summer Rae had given us a crystal ball ten years ago and said, look


forward and you will see hundreds of people leave this country to join


Isis, we will have hundreds of people convicted of Islamist


offences, I think we would have been quite shocked that things have got


worse as opposed to getting better. Douglas Murray, the essence of your


argument when you made the comparison between the numbers of


Muslims in other countries is that we have too much Islam in Britain?


The aunt Tilly Muslim Brotherhood give is that the answer to


absolutely everything is Islam. Less Islam is a good thing. Let me


finish. The Islamic world is in the middle of a very serious problem. It


has been going on since the beginning. I think it is not worth


continuing to risk our own security simply in order to be politically


correct. I would disagree with Douglas on that. Nobody is going to


deny that since the end of the 20th century there has been a rise in


Islamist extreme terror organisations. Yes, there is a


crisis within contemporary Islam, but there is a class. There are


competing claims about what the faith stands for. While we are


seeing Islamist terror organisations, leading theologians


are saying that the concept of a caliphate is outdated. Muslims


should be adopting a human rights culture. I entirely agree with that.


There are obviously people trying to counter that. I would urge us to


take the long view. In the history of Islam there have been many


reformers. Most of the time they have ended a up being the ones on


the brunt of the violence. I deeply resent what you and others do in


this country. I want you to win. But they are a Billy good minority. A


poll last year found that two thirds of British Muslims found they would


not report a family member they found to be involved in extremism to


the police. You are proposing more Draconian measures. I wish they


could win. We should do everything we can to support people like that.


What we should recognise the scale of the problem is beyond our current


understanding. You counter radicalisation on a university


campus or online? Discussion we had with Ben Wallace about the material


that is out there. If we pursue in a hard-line way perhaps the sort of


thing Douglas Murray is suggesting, gone is freedom of speech, gone is


freedom of debate and discussion? The best way to counter extremism is


through the prism of human rights. We cannot abandon our human rights


to fight extremism. Where I think we are going wrong, where there is a


gap, is the lack of counter work to challenge Islamist ideals. How many


people are going to say we need to counter that strict narrative? That


is where we are not doing enough work. What about the human rights


point, that you cannot take away people's human rights? I'm not


suggesting that. I'm suggesting we do things that ensure that 22 people


don't get blown up on an average Monday again, OK? Dissent to be


opposed to people want to blow up our daughters is not opposing human


rights. If you're taking government money and you are an institution


like Salford University you should be held responsible for not


cooperating with standard security measures. You can challenge


extremism without abandoning human rights. We have got to actually


counter the Islamist narrative. We're not doing enough. This is not


about closing down free speech. This is encouraging it. This is the most


effective way of countering the Islamist narrative. Why isn't it


doing better? A number of reasons. One is there is a denial taking


place. A lot of apologetics. Part of it is the way we talk about Muslims


in this country. We use the term Muslim community as if they are


homogenous. There is a positive trend but there is a negative trend


among British Muslims. We need to counter those promoting the idea


that Muslims are part of a collective identity. I agree. It is


also the case there is massive push back because a lot of Muslims are


defending the faith in this country. We think we can push them down a


better path but they are defending absolutely everything. We need to


get real about that. Thank you very much.


It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics.


We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who leave us now


Coming up here in 20 minutes, the Week Ahead.


Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics in Northern Ireland.


Election campaigning has resumed following a pause for a number


of days as a mark of respect for the victims of the


We'll ask how much the events of last Monday night have changed


the tone of the debate in the run up to June 8th.


And we'll hear from the leader of the SDLP, Colum Eastwood,


on the challenge of retaining his party's three Westminster seats.


Plus, here to share their thoughts on all of that and more,


my guests of the day are Patricia MacBride


Politicians are back on the campaign trail this weekend after a pausing


as a mark of respect to those killed in the Manchester bomb.


Unionists accused Sinn Fein of hypocrisy by condemning


the attack but not condemning the previous IRA


Sinn Fein says the criticism is outrageous and that the party has


Let's hear the thoughts of Sophie Long and Patricia MacBride.


Welcome to you both. Let's talk about that situation, the SDLP and


alliance accuse the unionist parties are playing part of tics foot --


politics by attacking Sinn Fein over this issue. Is that fair? I think it


is. It's simply not going to happen. More importantly, the people who are


considering voting for Sinn Fein are not going to be swayed either way


whether that statement is made or not, they will vote the way they


intended. It was an attempt at trying to bring her into a position


where Michelle doesn't have any baggage in terms of the conflict,


she was never a Republican prisoner, she has no background in that area.


She has family connections. But if you delve deep enough into any one's


family is, there will be connections. It is a doll and it is


disingenuous politics, trying to get her to react in that way.


Is it a damned if they do damned if they don't


It's incredibly difficult to ask them to make these broad moral


statements when their existence and their identities as a political


party is founded on this partial moral view on the use of violence


which a lot of her supporters still see as having some legitimacy. As


Patricia points out, they are looking ahead to the election. I


think on the one hand you can say that, yes, absolutely all violence


is wrong. If you want to be taken as a publicly reasonable person, you


cannot make any exceptions. But Sinn Fein are in a difficult spot here.


Of course certain parties are tried to push them into a corner to make


controversial statements and alienate themselves from their base.


Jeremy Corbyn has come in for a lot of criticism for his past


He has now condemned all acts of irate violence after coming under


pressure to distance himself from the group's activities. To think


that will continue to be an issue between now and June eight? The


Tories will continue to make it an issue, but it was touring ministers


who are meeting the Republicans in the 1970s, before Jeremy Corbyn ever


did. We will hear more from you later in the programme.


Now - will unionists ride to the rescue of the SDLP to help it


hold on to its three Westminister seats?


As the party comes under pressue from Sinn Fein,


Colum Eastwood has called on unionists to vote for his party.


Or has Brexit made them more concerned about the Union


than helping the SDLP outpoll Sinn Fein?


I'm joined by the SDLP leader, Colum Eastwood.


Welcome to you. Thank you for joining us. It looks as though you


were openly concerned that you will struggle to hold onto your receipts


on June eight. How worried are you that the market decline in recent


years will be accelerated in the selection? We just had an election a


few weeks ago where we retained 12 seats and a reduced Assembly. The


SDLP just had a very good election. You want me to list the previous


elections were you did badly? We have had four campaigns in the month


I've been the leader. We just had a very good election. We've gone up


for the first time in a long time and I think that is a very good


start. Different electoral system, much more challenging I would think


for the SDLP this time around. It is and it isn't. We are in a tight


fight in all three of the constituents that we hold. --


constituencies. We are telling people that we are in a tight fight


and we're telling people to come out and vote for us. And I think people,


whether you vote for Sinn Fein, traditionally in SDLP boater or


union is concerned about Brexit, the only choices to vote SDLP, we have


been the most pro-European party, we campaigned against Brexit, we have


worked against Brexit ever since we voted against it, we have spoken


against it in the House Commons. The other party will support Theresa


May, they think he is a fantastic Prime Minister and Sinn Fein won't


do anything at all. A vote for Sinn Fein in the election is a wasted


vote. The fight for these seats will be take, you push the unionist vote


for the SDLP. How could that be considered anything other than a


lasted ditch move? Diver member Martin McGuinness standing and


appealing for unionist votes. I remember Jerry McAdams as well. We


are asking people to vote for the party that will stand up for their


interests. I am an Irish nationalist, there was no denying


that or returning I am not. If you tell people, if you vote for


Unionists normally or Sinn Fein, you're worried about a heart Brexit,


the only party in this election in this Parliament in this Chamber who


I actually stand up for you as the SDLP. I don't think anybody can say


otherwise. Sinn Fein don't even go, they make it public, in this


election they will have no impact at all in Westminster. It's a strange


mixed mission. You are telling unionist to vote SDLP or they'll get


Sinn Fein. I have not mentioned Sinn Fein when appealing for unionist


votes. If people want strong representation, standing up against


a hard border and heart Brexit and hard Tory government, of coarse they


should vote for the SDLP. We are not going to pretend we are not Irish


nationalists. Rather than Sinn Fein is what you are effectively saying?


I don't think unionist will vote for Sinn Fein. Or you will get Sinn


Fein? I am asking traditional Sinn Fein voters to vote for us as well.


I asked for Sinn Fein voters to do the same. I am saying, if people


want proper representation in Westminster, it is a pretty obvious


choice. If they want to see people standing against Tory cuts, people


standing against a hard border, of course they have to vote for the


SDLP. Other parties won't do that. At the start of this campaign, you


were at the forefront of trying to put together a pack that included


your party in Sinn Fein, much to the annoyance of unionist. That pact


crumbles in a few days, it was a disaster, you were exposed. Now


you're turning around and saying how Unionists, over me. I was trying to


create a broad-based alliance. It didn't work. Because the Alliance


Party came out straightaway and told us we were all sectarian for even


considering working together. That forced the Green Party... But they


said... It was very clear that that is not what she was saying, Naomi


Long. The Alliance Party said that the Green Party were now tainted.


She did not say that. When I spoke to Naomi Long about it, she said she


absolutely didn't say it, wouldn't say it and wasn't happy that it was


a party statement. A party statement that was saying something like that


would not go out unless I had seen it. No way. When the party, the


Alliance Party say that the Green Party are tainted for working with


nationalists, it's a very strange departure for the Alliance Party.


You have to go looking for other party's voters to get you over the


line. Where are your own voters? Every party looks for voters right


across the spectrum in every election. I told you already, Sinn


Fein asking for unionist votes. This is an election where we are looking


for every vote we can possibly get. We are looking for traditional SDLP


voters as well. Are great Richie said, when she was returned in 2015,


she did it without unionist votes. She said she didn't need them. Now,


surprise, surprise, she has changed her tune and she is looking for


unionist votes. She always said she would take votes from anybody who


wants proper representation... With a margin that she won that the bike,


it meant that she didn't need all the unionist votes. She represents


people from whatever background in South Down. The problem is,


Margaret's main opponent won't represent anybody because he won't


go to Westminster. He admits that upfront. If people vote for them,


they know that is the deal. We accept that. But in this particular


election with Brexit on the horizon, for any influence at all, we should


go everywhere we possibly can go, whether it's a European Parliament,


where Sinn Fein have four MPs out of 751, or Westminster where we have


three. Etiquette is important that we turn up, give a voice to the


people who are worried about the heart Brexit, goods or to a


potential Tory government in the polls are now nearing so much that


it looks as if we could even have a hung parliament if those polls stay


the same. The idea that not turning up is a viable option in this


election, I don't think it is true at all. Using Margaret Ritchie is


the clear choice in South down. The reason I ask this question is that


you're hugely critical of him when you are campaigning to unseat him


not long ago, as party leader. Why should people believe you when you


say he is up to the step? When did I say I was critical of Alasdair


McDonnell? Because he wasn't... This is a battle for Westminster. The


battle in South Down, whatever anybody tries to tell you it is


between two people, it is between Alasdair McDonnell and Emma. Have


you been out campaigning for him? It's a bit late in the campaign.


Have you been out with Margaret Ritchie and Mark Durkan? A number of


times. But not Alasdair McDonnell? I have a plan for next week. I was


meant to be with him next Tuesday, but we took a positive campaign. He


wanted 2015 with the smallest share of the vote ever in Westminster


election. People in South Belfast understand that 78% of them voted to


remain in the European Union. It is between Emma, who will be a


cheerleader for Theresa May, or Alasdair McDonnell. They put out


figures that didn't stack up, a finance minister who put up figures


that didn't stand up about the results in the last number of years.


I don't know the figures stack up or don't stack up, they are not here,


but the SDLP vote is down in a constituency in the Sinn Fein vote


is up. You don't deny that, do you? No. But even the commentators are


telling us Alice McDonnell is the only chance to wind in a


constituency against Emma. People on the ground understand that, the know


he has stood up for them in the last couple of years. And he has won


every time people have told them he wouldn't wind. It is a two horse


race, between Alastair and Emma. Other candidates wouldn't see as a


two horse race, but we will see in due course how that goes out. You


went and put your neck on the line to get an anti-Brexit put together,


and you failed. Do you accept that as a misjudgment on your part? Not


at all. Would you do the same thing again with the benefit of hindsight?


Absolutely. I think we should reinforce the referendum result in


Northern Ireland in we should send a strong message here who don't want a


heart Brexit or heart border, wanted remain in the custom union, in a


single market... -- hard border, heart Brexit. There was a lot of


negotiation... He doesn't want a hard border, but he wants custom


checks of some sort. We will see how that goes out in the next couple of


years. We had one year to negotiate this. The SDLP are on the Brexit


committee in Westminster. It was the SDLP who for Steven Davis to make a


concession that Northern Ireland would be able to automatically


re-enter the European Union, a hugely significant thing that the


British Government has accepted because in Scotland, for example,


unionist debug Scotland, the Tory government have been saying that


Scotland not be able to enter the European Union. -- unionist of


Scotland. What other people were talking about border control what


ever about Brexit, I don't know if you believe this election will be


about art that, but it is about getting the institutions up and


running again at storm and for a lot of people. Do you believe that is


doable between the election on June eight and the deadline which is now


been put by the secretary of state of June nine? -- Stormont. I am an


optimist, I bequeath you do this if we get our heads together. We have


been negotiating for weeks, we know how to fix this. At the people in


the DUP understand they have to accept that Irishness is here to


stay covered the people who care about the Irish language is here to


stay. We need to get this deal done. If we change the Petition of


Concern, if we put it back to where it's supposed to be, it should be


used to protect rights, not blocked them. We could move forward. Other


red bias, whether or not Sinn Fein will support Arlene Foster as First


Minister, and one has said that they want on this side of a report...


There are ways around that. I think Arlene Foster should go early to


that inquiry and get that evidence out of the way and let's see that.


She says should be First Minister. This incentive issues are what


matter to me. -- substantive issues. I know what people to block progress


on gay rights or Irish language or anything else. -- I don't want


people to block. We think we he get this over the line. You think Sinn


Fein wants a return to the devolved situation? They keep telling me that


they do. Do you believe that? I don't know. You don't know whether


to believe them? I think there was an internal debate whether it is


right strategy reform them. We need to make sure there is no scorched


earth, we have to work on all the issues. There was no point in


winning a big mandate if you don't use it. How will we know with this


election has been a success for Colin Eastwood and the SDLP? If you


lose two seats come with three seats, you are in deep water. I


don't know how... What I worry about is if the SDLP lose seats to people


who are either going to go and support Theresa May or people who


aren't going to go in the poll, but... You could lose all three


seats, but you would continue being the leader. Is that what you're


saying? This is my fourth campaign in 18 months. No one expected that.


We have a long-term plan to change the SDLP and bring around a good


change in society here. I'm confident we could do that in the


long term. You're confident you will win them. If you don't win those


seats, will there be an SDLP to lead? Absolutely, if there wasn't it


would be a poorer place. Every election, journalists and


commentators tell us that we are finished, and every election they


change their mind. A few weeks ago, we came back with more seats


proportionate to the Assembly. Thank you very much indeed.


Let's hear more from my guests Sophie Long and Patricia MacBride.


There are challenges for the SDLP. Would you be positive that it will


come out to the other end of this process with its tail up or not? I


did the SDLP will be in a difficult position in this election at the


Assembly election, there percentage of the vote increase. They may see


themselves losing seats even if that happens in this election. South is


addressed and South Belfast is at risk to a DUP loss. I'm not sure not


Sinn Fein can take that seat, but they are putting in a very strong


fight there. What about Foyle? I don't think that is at risk at this


point in time, Mark Durkan has a solid enough base. But there may be


a position where SDLP vote share goes up with a number of seats go


down. That would be a difficult one to spin when it came out to the


other side of the election. You think that anyone will heed his call


to vote for the SDLP? 85% of TV voters voted for Brexit. -- TUV. You


think he will change the dynamics? There are unionist and South Danae


who have voted for Margaret Ritchie in the past. And the difficulty is,


in Northern Ireland, it's going to come down to keeping the extreme,


which some people perceive as Sinn Fein out. Unionists might give their


vote to the SDLP, but there are other issues that have not been


raised in SDLP, like their strong NT opinion on women accessing sexual


health services. It is quick obligated. Attend the what basis


people decide to cast their ballot, doesn't it? I do agree with you.


Part of this election is we are election wary after just coming


through an Assembly campaign. There were certainly not the same level of


dynamism as he was in the campaign. The stakes of the Messiah. This


election is being fought on what are we going back to Stormont, not how


we are going to deal with Brexit. -- the stakes are quite high.


The Conservatives are running candidates in seven constituencies


The party has failed to gain any substantial foothold over the years


despite a collaboration with the Ulster Unionists which gave


birth to the failed UCUNF experiment in the 2010 general election.


So what do Conservatives have to offer?


On the 8th of June, the option for the people of Northern Ireland and


the United Kingdom is very simple. You can either vote for the


coalition of chaos, Jeremy Corbyn and Labour, and of course the very


clear in Northern Ireland, we have our own coalition of chaos, that is


a correlation of Stormont between DUP and Sinn Fein. Just yesterday we


had the updates on the RHI scandal costing upwards of ?490 million, so


my message to the people ,, the great people, is that you could vote


for the party of Government, the Conservative Party, to do a late


with this coalition of chaos so we can move to that stronger leadership


of Theresa May from the 8th of June. Mark Logan from the NI


Conservatives. Patricia and Sophie


are still with me. The Conservatives have never made


much of an impact here - why not? The political right is a crowded


field here. People have other options. There has always been a


sense that they are disinterested in Northern Ireland, you could see that


in the refusal of Theresa May to come here during the crisis talks. I


think that speaks volumes. It is a crowded field and also people are


responding to disinterest. You Seo reason for that to change in this


election? -- you don't see a recent? People don't identify with the


conservative party, it is as simple as that. Some do. Not in a great


number. They have indications have... Success. But there was also


his spectacular failure that someone left the unionist party because of


the agreement that was made between the Ulster Unionist and


Conservatives in the past. That was obviously a big loss. I don't see


them coming back in terms of being able to secure any significant


number of seats, even in local Government. Final question, again


something to churches had earlier. Are voters election wary? The fact


that we could have significant change Thomas we haven't been able


to put this into practical use. People are losing their faith in the


electoral political process. If you very much indeed. That is it from


us. very much indeed. That is it from


re-elected. Is the That's it - now back


to Jo in London. That's it - now back


re-elected. Is the only choice for strong and stable leadership.


Now, after the Manchester attack, will the final week of election


campaigning different in tone from what came before? My panel are here.


Tim Marshall, it will be very front of Centre for the next few days. Is


that a good thing for the election if it is going to be framed to who


do you feel more safe with? It is inevitable but I think it will only


be part of the election. As I said before the opt out, for many voters


this is also about economics, unemployment. It is not all about


Brexit, nor is it only about security. What it will do, I hope,


is get the tone of the debate right. Although I have already seen the


tone being lowered. I wasn't impressed with Mr Corbyn's speech


last week blaming it on a foreign policy, which is a wafer thin


analysis of what is going on. Inappropriate timing too soon? No, I


think the argument is utter nonsense. I don't want to attack


just one side. The Conservative party, I've forgotten which minister


has already said that we would be safer under a Tory Prime Minister,


it has got nothing to do with Labour or Tory government, the next Islamic


attack. It is to do with jihadist ideology, not party policies. You


raise an important issue about tone. It also points to a broader


argument, one we were having earlier, has politics been two


courses with this issue of extremism? Has the conversation


about it tiptoed around some of the sensitive issues? And by the media.


You highlight the problem of this being part of the election campaign


by saying, has politics been too cautious? Who do you mean by


politics? And in an election campaign there is a duty to be a


divide, and adamant about values, policies etc. Security is an issue


that transcends those political divides. So I think it is deeply


unhealthy. It is nobody's fault a tragedy occurred. But if you ask me


does it help or enhance an election debate? Emphatically not. A tragic


event brings politics, as you call it, together. Security is an issue


that is complex and doesn't divide neatly. Elections are political


battles, by definition. So I think the coming together of this, a


tragedy occurred anyway, but it is an unfortunate context. Do you agree


or do you think this is a time to talk about these issues? Is it a


time to review the level of argument? This is a political


debate. I personally think the politicians should have been out and


about on Wednesday. There is no wrong time to get it right. We


mustn't let the terrorists affect our way of life. But they have when


we disrupt the election campaign. It may be party political. But for a


lot of voters, including me, I want to hear from party leaders. What do


you plan to do about this? Right now, I've not heard anything that


suggests any of these parties have got to grips with the real problem,


which is that we are not actually tackling the problem in our midst.


Douglas Murray touched on it earlier. We have not even come to


grips with the scale of the problem. Does Labour have a grip -- Power


Point in terms of terrorist legislation? It is complicated. And


not all of it has worked or is used enough by government? It is another


example where this doesn't work in an election debate because David


Davis has opposed a lot of this terrorism legislation. He is now


heading Brexit. There is a civil liberties argument which I


personally have doubts about. Again, it brings people together from the


major parties. And Corbyn didn't actually say it was the cause of


terrorism, British foreign policy, but it helped to facilitate


terrorism, which is a different argument. Again, that would be


supported by some Tories as well. That is why it is difficult in an


election campaign for this issue to dominate. The front page of the


Sunday Times talks about a campaign relaunch, which may not, grow as a


great surprise following the social care fiasco. Do we know what that


will entail? It sounds like Boris Johnson will play a role. The whole


point is it was all about Theresa May and it turns out that is not


quite good enough. The more we have seen of Theresa May, the less


impressive she has looked. Certainly the Andrew Neil interview just


repeating the same thing again and again. Voters don't like that. They


like people who are honest and actually engage with them. When we


see beat interviews in the next few days, I think it will be interesting


to see if she changes tack and tries to engage with what people are


asking. If it is back to leadership and Brexit, and the economy, will


that be more comfortable ground? I think so. I understand framing it in


terms of Brexit. But she has got to broaden it out. I think that is why


she is broadening it out. I don't think the tragic events will


absolutely dominate. That would be a small victory for terrorism. This is


a country of 65 million people with an awful lot of issues. We have 65


million votes, well, 65 million people with opinions in two weeks.


It is quite a long campaign. There is still time to go. What do you


think Labour will be focusing on from now on? I would imagine they


will look very closely at where they are well ahead in the opinion polls


and focus on that relentlessly. Public services, NHS etc. And try to


get it off as soon as possible from security and fees is used which, on


one level at least, appear to be a gift to the Conservatives. I assume


that is what they are going to do. But this is a very unpredictable


campaign where nothing has gone according to plan. Let's look ahead.


On Wednesday evening we have got an election debate. It is in Cambridge.


Leaders of some of the parties. Amber Rudd will be representing the


Conservatives. We don't know yet who will represent Labour. Today we have


had Amber Road and Diane Abbott against each other on Andrew Marr.


Let's have a look. I think there is something to be said for a Home


Secretary who has actually worked in the Home Office. I work in the home


office for nearly three years as a graduate trainee. This government


has always felt that urgency. That is why we have been putting in


additional money. It is significant that the commission for extremism in


the manifesto was put in before Manchester. We need to do more. You


voted against prescribing those groups. Because there were groups on


that list I deemed to be dissidents rather than terrorist organisations.


We are making good progress with the companies who put in place


encryption. We will continue to build on that. It was 34 years ago.


I had a rather splendid Afro at the time. I don't have the same


hairstyle. And I don't have the same views. It is 34 years on. The


hairstyle has gone. Some of the views have gone. So you no longer,


you regret what you said about the IRA? The hairstyle has gone, the


views have gone. I would say to Diane Abbott that I have changed my


hairstyle are few times in 34 years but I have not changed my view of


how we keep the British public safe. Let's get away from hairstyle sides


talk about the prospect of the two of them taking part in the election


debate. Would you like to see that? On one level I would like to see it


and another the level I would like to see an intelligent debate. I'm


glad I never had an Afro or supported the IRA. Whenever Diane


Abbott steps out in a TV studio or a radio studio, Labour haemorrhage


votes. She cannot say things like my regret supporting this or that


legislation. She is an absolute disaster. If Labour put her up, they


are beyond mad. Who do you think Labour


are beyond mad. Who do you think are beyond mad. Who do you think


Labour should put up? By the way, I did have an Afro! I based my whole


log on Kevin Keegan and it was good. That is the wrong question. I will


explain why. The Labour campaign, it seems to me there were only five or


six people put up. That is the fault of others who refused to take part.


It also shows the degree to which the current leadership can only rely


on five or six people. I would imagine we are talking about a pool


of five or six people. As for my judgment as to who the best public


performer is in that pool, it would be by some margin John McDonnell,


who is a very good interviewee and performer. I think he is a very good


performer. It would come back to the economy at some point, presumably.


But then it comes back to the IRA. I don't think the debate will be very


illuminating. I think if Amber Rudd is there, Diane Abbott should be


there. I think the leaders should be debating. Some people say it is


froth. I think the leader -- the electorate gets a sense of the


leaders. On haircuts, I would like to thank both of them are talking


about the haircuts. I am looking forward to tomorrow's papers and the


theme that will run through the week. Let's not finish on the hair.


Thank you very much for being our guests. That is it for today. Thank


the panel for Jonny May. Andrew Neil will be back next weekend. And I


will be back on BBC Two on Tuesday. That is at midday with more daily


politics. In the meantime, have a very lovely bank holiday. From all


of us here, bye-bye. It's cold.


Tastes a bit like avocado. And soon we're all


going to be eating them. Four crickets have the same amount


of calcium as a glass of milk,


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