07/05/2017 Sunday Politics Scotland


Andrew Neil and Gordon Brewer with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

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


The local election results made grim reading for Labour.


With just a month to go until the general election,


will promising to rule out tax rises for all but the well off help


The Conservatives have their own announcement on mental health,


as they strain every sinew to insist they don't think they've got


But is there still really all to play for?


And tonight we will find out who is the next


President of France - Emmanuel Macron or Marine Le Pen -


after an unpredictable campaign that ended with a hack attack


on Mr Macron, considered the frontrunner.


The SNP remain the largest party in local Government


while the Scottish Tories claim only they have the strength


We look at the battle to translate local votes into Westminster seats.


And joining me for all of that, three journalists ready


to analyse the week's politics with all the forensic


focus of Diane Abbott preparing for an interview,


and all the relaxed, slogan-free banter of Theresa May


It's Janan Ganesh, Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards.


So, the Conservatives are promising, if re-elected, to change mental


health laws in England and Wales to tackle discrimination,


and they're promising 10,000 more staff working in NHS mental health


treatment in England by 2020 - although how that's to be


Here's Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt speaking


There is a lot of new money going into it.


In January, we said we were going to put an extra ?1 billion


Does this come from other parts of the NHS, or is it


No, it is new money going into the NHS


It's not just of course money, it's having the people


who deliver these jobs, which is why we need


Well, we're joined now from Norwich by the Liberal Democrat health


This weekend, they've launched their own health announcement,


promising a 1% rise on every income tax band to fund the NHS.


Do you welcome the Conservatives putting mental health onto the


campaign agenda in the way that they have? I welcome it being on the


campaign agenda but I do fear that the announcement is built on thin


air. You raised the issue at the start about the 10,000 extra staff,


and questions surrounding how it would be paid for. There is no


additional money on what they have already announced for the NHS. We


know it falls massively short on the expectation of the funding gap


which, by 2020, is likely to be about 30 billion. That is not


disputed now. Anyone outside of the government, wherever you are on the


political spectrum, knows the money going in is simply not enough. So,


rather like the claim that they would add 5000 GPs to the workforce


by 2020, that is not on target. Latest figures show a fall in the


number of GPs. They make these claims, but I'm afraid they are


without substance, unless they are prepared to put money behind it.


Your party's solution to the money problem is to put a 1% percentage


point on all of the bands of income tax to raise more money 20-45. Is


that unfair? Most pensioners who consume 40% of NHS spending, but


over 65s only pay about 20% of income tax. Are you penalising the


younger generations for the health care of an older generation? It is


the first step in what we are describing as a 5-point recovery


plan for the NHS and care system. So, for what is available to us now,


it seems to be the fairest way of bringing in extra resources, income


tax is progressive, and is based on your ability to pay for your average


British worker. It would be ?3 per week which is the cost of less than


two cups of coffee per week. In the longer run, we say that by the end


of the next Parliament, we would be able to introduce a dedicated NHS


and care tax. Based, probably, around a reformed national insurance


system, so it becomes a dedicated NHS and care tax. Interestingly, the


former permanent secretary of the Treasury, Nick MacPherson, said


clearly that this idea merits further consideration which is the


first time anyone for the Treasury has bought into the idea of this.


Let me ask you this. You say it is a small amount of tax that people on


average incomes will have to pay extra. We are talking about people


who have seen no real increases to their income since 2007. They have


been struggling to stand still in terms of their own pay, but you are


going to add to their tax, and as I said earlier, most of the health


care money will then go to pensioners whose incomes have risen


by 15%. I'm interested in the fairness of this redistribution?


Bearing in mind first of all, Andrew, that the raising of the tax


threshold that the Liberal Democrats pushed through in the coalition


increased the effective pay in your pocket for basic rate taxpayers by


about ?1000. We are talking about a tiny fraction of that. I suppose


that you do have to ask, all of us in this country need to ask


ourselves this question... Are we prepared to pay, in terms of the


average worker, about ?3 extra per week to give us a guarantee that


when our loved ones need that care, in their hour of need, perhaps


suspected cancer, that care will be available for them? I have heard two


cases recently brought my attention. An elderly couple, the wife has a


very bad hip. They could not allow the weight to continue. She was told


that she would need to wait 26 weeks, she was in acute pain. They


then deduct paying ?20,000 for private treatment to circumvent


waiting time. They hated doing it, because they did not want to jump


the queue. But that is what is increasingly happening. Sorry to


interrupt, Norman Lamb comedy make very good points but we are short on


time today. One final question, it looks like you might have the chance


to do any of this, I'm told the best you can hope to do internally is to


double the number of seats you have, which would only take you to 18. Do


you think that promising to raise people's income tax, even those on


average earnings, is a vote winner? I think the people in this country


are crying out for politicians to be straight and tenet as it is. At the


moment we heading towards a Conservative landslide... -- tell it


as it is. But do we want a 1-party state? We are electing a government


not only to deal with the crucial Brexit negotiations, but oversee the


stewardship of the NHS and funding of our schools, all of these


critical issues. We need an effective opposition and with the


Labour Party having taken itself off stage, the Liberal Democrats need to


provide an effective opposition. Norman Lamb, thank you for joining


us this morning. Thank you. Labour and Tories are anxious


to stress the general election result is not a foregone conclusion,


whatever the polls say. Order you just heard Norman Lamb say


there that he thought the Conservatives were heading for a


landslide... But did Thursday's dramatic set


of local election results in England, Scotland and Wales give


us a better idea of how the country Here's Emma Vardy with


a behind-the-scenes look at how Good morning, it's seven o'clock


on Friday, May 5th... The dawn of another results day.


Anticipation hung in the air. Early results from the local


elections in England suggest there's been a substantial swing


from Labour to the Conservatives. While the pros did their thing,


I needed breakfast. Don't tell anyone, but I'm


going to pinch a sausage. The overnight counts had delivered


successes for the Tories. But with most councils


only getting started, there was plenty of action


still to come. It's not quite the night


of Labour's nightmares. There's enough mixed news


in Wales, for example - looks like they're about to hold


Cardiff - that they'll try and put But in really simple terms,


four weeks from a general election, the Tories are going forward


and Labour are going backwards. How does it compare being


in here to doing the telly? Huw, how do you prepare yourself


for a long day of results, then? We're not even on air yet,


as you can see, and already in Tory HQ this morning,


there's a kind of, "Oh, I'm scared this will make people


think the election's just I think leave it


like that - perfect. I want the Laura look.


This is really good, isn't it? Usually, we're in here


for the Daily Politics. But it's been transformed


for the Election Results programme. But hours went by without Ukip


winning a single seat. The joke going around


Lincolnshire County Council today from the Conservatives


is that the Tories have eaten We will rebrand


and come back strong. Morale, I think, is inevitably


going to take a bit of a tumble. Particularly if Theresa May starts


backsliding on Brexit. And then I think we will be


totally reinvigorated. There are a lot of good people


in Ukip and I wouldn't want to say anything unkind,


but we all know it's over. Ukip press officer.


Difficult job. Ukip weren't the only ones


putting a brave face on it. Labour were experiencing


their own disaster day too, losing hundreds of seats


and seven councils. If the result is what these


results appear to indicate, Can we have a quick word


for the Sunday Politics? A quick question for Sunday Politics


- how are you feeling? Downhearted or fired up for June?


Fired up, absolutely fired up. He's fired up.


We're going to go out there... We cannot go on with another


five years of this. How's it been for you today?


Tiring. It always is, but I love elections,


I really enjoy them. Yes, you know, obviously we're


disappointed at some of the results, it's been a mixed bag,


but some opinion polls and commentators predicted we'd be


wiped out - we haven't. As for the Lib Dems,


not the resurgence they hoped for, After a dead heat in Northumberland,


the control of a whole council came The section of England


in which we had elections yesterday was the section of England


that was most likely to vote Leave. When you go to sleep at night,


do you just have election results The answer is if that's still


happening, I don't get to sleep. There we go.


Maybe practice some yoga... Thank you very much


but I have one here. With the introduction


of six regional mayors, Labour's Andy Burnham


became Mr Manchester. But by the time Corbyn came


to celebrate, the new mayor We want you to stay for a second


because I've got some I used to present news,


as you probably know. I used to present BBC


Breakfast in the morning. The SNP had notable successes,


ending 40 years of Labour What did you prefer -


presenting or politics? And it certainly had been a hard day


at the office for some. Ukip's foothold in local government


was all but wiped out, leaving the Conservatives


with their best local So another election results


day draws to a close. But don't worry, we'll be doing it


all again in five weeks' time. For now, though, that's your lot.


Now let's look at some of Thursday's results in a little more detail,


and what they might mean for the wider fortunes


In England, there were elections for 34 councils.


The Conservatives took control of ten of them,


gaining over 300 seats, while Labour sustained


While the Lib Dems lost 28 seats, Ukip came close to extinction,


and can now boast of only one councillor in the whole of England.


In Scotland, the big story was Labour losing


a third of their seats, and control of three councils -


while the Tories more than doubled their number of councillors.


In Wales, both the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru made gains,


There was some encouraging news for Jeremy Corbyn's party


after Liverpool and Manchester both elected Labour mayors,


although the Tories narrowly won the West Midlands mayoral race.


We're joined now by who else but elections expert John Curtice.


You saw him in Emma's film, he's now back in Glasgow.


In broad terms, what do these local election results tell us about the


general election result? First we have to remember what Theresa May


wants to achieve in the general election is a landslide, and winning


a landslide means you have to win big in terms of votes. The local


election results certainly suggest Theresa May is well on course to win


the general election, at least with four weeks to go, and of course


people could change their minds. We all agree the Conservatives were


double-digit figures ahead of Labour in these elections. However, whereas


the opinion polls on average at the moment suggest there is a 17 point


Conservative lead, and that definitely would deliver a


landslide, it seems the local election figures, at least in


England, are pointing to something close to an 11 point Conservative


lead. That increase would not necessarily deliver a landslide that


she wants. The truth is, the next four weeks are probably not about


who wins this election unless something dramatic changes, but


there is still a battle as to whether or not Theresa May achieves


her objective of winning a landslide. She has to win big. The


local elections as she is not sure to be there, and therefore she is


going to have to campaign hard. Equally, while Labour did have most


prospect of winning, they still at least at the goal of trying to keep


the conservative majority relatively low, and therefore the Parliamentary


Labour Party are alive and kicking. Interesting that the local election


results don't produce a landslide if replicated on June 8th, but when I


looked at when local elections had taken place a month before the


general election, it was in 1983 and 1987. The Tories did well in both


local elections in these years, but come the general election, they


added five points to their share of the vote. No reason it should happen


again, but if it did, that would take them into landslide territory.


Absolutely right, if they do five points better than the local


elections, they are in landslide territory. We have to remember, in


1983, the Labour Party ran an inept campaign and their support ballet.


In 1987, David Owen and David Steele could not keep to the same lines. --


their support fell away. That underlines how well the opposition


campaign in the next four weeks does potentially matter in terms of


Theresa May's ability to achieve their objective. It is worth


noticing in the opinion polls, two things have happened, first, Ukip


voters, a significant slice going to the Conservatives, which helped to


increase the Conservative leader in the bowels. But in the last week,


the Labour vote seems to have recovered. -- in the polls. So the


party is not that far short of what Ed Miliband got in 2015, so the


Conservative leader is back down to 16 or 17, as we started. So we


should not necessarily presume Labour are going to go backwards in


the way they did in 1983. I want to finish by asking if there are deeper


forces at work? Whether the referendum in this country is


producing a realignment in British politics. The Scottish referendum


has produced a kind of realignment in Scotland. And in a different way,


the Brexit referendum has produced a realignment in England and Wales. Do


you agree? You are quite right. Referendums are potentially


disruptive in Scotland, they helped to ensure the constitutional


question became the central issue, and the 45% who voted yes our been


faithful to the SNP since. Although the SNP put in a relatively


disappointing performance in Scotland on Thursday. Equally, south


of the border, on the leave side, in the past 12 months and particularly


the last few weeks, the Conservatives have corralled the


leave vote, about two thirds of those who voted leave now say they


will vote Conservative. Last summer, the figure was only 50%. On the


remain side, the vote is still fragmented. The reason why Theresa


May is in the strong position she is is not simply because the leave vote


has been realigned, but the remain vote has not. Thank you for joining


us. You can go through polls and wonder who is up and down, but I


wonder whether the Scottish and Brexit referendums have produced


fundamental changes. In Scotland, the real division now is between the


centre-left Nationalist party and the centre-right Unionist party.


That has had the consequence of squeezing out Labour in the


argument, never mind the Greens and the Lib Dems. In London, England,


Wales, the Brexit referendum seems to have produced a realignment of


the right to the Tories' advantage, and some trouble for the Labour blue


vote -- blue-collar vote. It works for the pro Brexit end of the


spectrum but not the other half. In the last century, we had people like


Roy Jenkins dreaming of and writing about the realignment of British


politics as though it could be consciously engineered, and in fact


what made it happen was just the calling of a referendum. It's not


something you can put about as a politician, it flows from below,


when the public begin to think of politics in terms of single issues,


dominant issues, such as leaving the European Union. Rather than a broad


spectrum designed by a political class. I wonder whether now Remain


have it in them to coalesce behind a single party. It doesn't look like


they can do it behind Labour. The Liberal Democrats are frankly too


small in Parliament to constitute that kind of force. The closest


thing to a powerful Remain party is the SNP which by definition has


limited appeal south of the border. It is hard. The realignment. We


don't know if it is permanent or how dramatic it will be, but there is


some kind of realignment going on. At the moment, it seems to be a


realignment that by and large is to the benefit of the Conservatives.


Without a doubt, and that can be directly attributed to the


disappearance of Ukip from the political landscape. I have been


saying since the referendum that I thought Ukip was finished. They


still seem to be staggering on under the illusion... Some people may have


picked up on Nigel Farage this morning saying that Ukip still had a


strong role to play until Brexit actually happens. But I think it's


very, very hard to convince the voters of that, because they feel


that, with the result of the referendum, that was Ukip's job


done. And those votes are not going to delay the party -- to the Labour


Party because of the flaws with Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, they are


shifting to the Tories. I agree. The key issue was the referendum. It has


produced a fundamental change that few predicted at the time it was


called. Most fundamental of all, it has brought about a unity in the


Conservative Party. With some exceptions, but they are now off


editing the Evening Standard and other things! This is now a party


united around Brexit. Since 1992, the Tories have been split over


Europe, at times fatally so. The referendum, in ways that David


Cameron did not anticipate, has brought about a united front for


this election. In a way, this is a sequel to the referendum, because


it's about Brexit but we still don't know what form Brexit is going to


take. By calling it early, Theresa May has in effect got another go at


a kind of Brexit referendum without knowing what Brexit is, with a


united Tory party behind her. We shall see if it is a blip or a


long-term trend in British politics. Now let's turn to Labour's big


campaign announcement today, and that was the promise of no


income tax rise for those earning less than ?80,000 -


which of course means those earning more than that could


face an increase. Here's Shadow Chancellor John


McDonell on the BBC earlier. What we are saying today, anyone


earning below ?80,000, we will guarantee you will not have an


increase in income tax, VAT or national insurance contributions.


For those above 80,000, we are asking them to pay a modest bit more


to fund our public services. A modest bit. You will see it will be


a modest increase. Talking about modest increases, so we can have a


society which we believe everyone shares the benefits of.


We're joined now by Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon, in Leeds.


Mr McDonnell stressed that for those earning over 80,000, they would be


paying more but it would be modest. He used the word modest 45 times.


But there is only 1.2 million of them. -- 4-5 times. So that would


not raise much money. This is about the key part of this tax policy for


the many, not the few. We are saying that low earners and middle earners


won't be paying more tax under a Labour government, which is not a


policy the Conservatives have committed to yet. As John McDonnell


also said in his interview earlier, if there is a tax rise on the top 5%


of earners, earning over ?80,000, it would be a modest rise. I am trying


to work out what that would mean in terms of money. If it is too modest,


you don't raise much. What will happen is the Labour Party's


manifesto, published in the next couple of weeks, wilfully set out


and cost it. I can't make an announcement now. -- will fully set


out and cost it. Moving on to the local elections, Mr Corbyn says he


is closing the gap with the Tories. What evidence is there? John Curtis


just said there was an 11% gap in the results, Labour 11% behind. The


polls before that suggested Labour were anything up to 20% behind. Was


it a great day for Labour? Certainly not. Is there a lot to do between


now and June? Sure, but we are relishing every moment of that.


Comparing equivalent elections in 2013, the Tories increased their


share of the vote by 13%. You lost 2%. That's a net of 15%. In what way


is that closing the gap? We have gone down to 11 points behind. Am I


satisfied? Certainly not. Is Labour satisfied? Certainly not. A week is


a long time in politics, 4-5 weeks is even longer. The local elections


are over, the general election campaign is starting, and we want to


put out there the policies that will improve the lives of low and middle


income earners. And also many people looking to be well off as well. You


lost 133 seats in Scotland. Are you closing the gap in Scotland? The


journey back for Labour in Scotland, I always thought, wouldn't be an


easy one. Since the council election results and Scotland that we are


comparing this to, there has been an independence referendum and the


terrible results for Labour in the 2015 general election. So it is a


challenge, but one hundreds of thousands of Labour members are


determined to meet. That is why we're talking about bread and butter


policies to make people's lives better. These local elections took


place midtown. Normally mid-term was the worst time for a government. --


took place midterm. And the best for an opposition. That is a feature of


British politics. So why did you lose 382 councillors in a midterm


election? As Andy Burnham said when he gave his acceptance speech after


his terrific first ballot result win in Manchester, it was an evening of


mixed results for Labour. Generally bad, wasn't it? Why did you lose all


of these councillors midterm? It is not a welcome result for Labour, I


am not going to be deluded. But what I and the Labour Party are focused


on is the next four weeks. And how we are going to put across policies


like free school meals for primary school children, ?10 an hour minimum


wage, the pledge not to increase tax for low and middle earners, 95% of


earners in this country. And saving the NHS from privatisation and


funding it properly. These are just some of the policies, including by


the way a boost in carers' allowance, that will make the lives


of people in Britain better off. Labour are for the many, not for the


few. But people like from political parties aspiring to government is to


be united and to be singing from the same song sheet among the leaders.


You mentioned Andy Burnham. Why did he not join Mr Corbyn when Jeremy


Corbyn went to the rally in Manchester on Friday to celebrate


his victory? First of all, Andy Burnham did a radio interview


straight after his great victory in which he said Jeremy Corbyn helped


him to win votes in that election. Why didn't he turn up? As to the


reason Andy Burnham wasn't there at the meeting Jeremy was doing in


Manchester, it was because, I understand, Andy was booked into


celebrate his victory with his family that night. I don't begrudge


him that and hopefully you don't. The leader has made the effort to


travel to Manchester to celebrate one of the few victories you enjoyed


on Thursday, surely you would join the leader and celebrate together?


Well, I don't regard, and I am sure you don't, Andy Burnham a nice time


with his family... -- I don't begrudge. He made it clear Jeremy


Corbyn assisted him. I can see you are not convinced yourself. I am


convinced. The outgoing Labour leader in Derbyshire lost his seat


on Thursday, you lost Derbyshire, which was a surprise in itself... He


said that genuine party supporters said they were not voting Labour


while you have Jeremy Corbyn as leader. Are you hearing that on the


doorstep too? I have been knocking on hundreds of doors this week in my


constituency and elsewhere. And of course, you never get every single


voter thinking the leader of any political party is the greatest


thing since sliced bread. But it's only on a minority of doorsteps that


people are criticising the Labour leader. Most people aren't even


talking about these questions. Most people are talking about Jeremy


Corbyn's policies, free primary school meals, ?10 an hour minimum


wage. Also policies such as paternity pay, maternity pay and


sickness pay for the self-employed, that have been hard-pressed under


this government. So I don't recognise that pitch of despondency,


but I understand that in different areas, in local elections,


perspectives are different. That was Derbyshire. The outgoing Labour


leader of Nottinghamshire County Council said there was concern on


the doorstep about whether Jeremy Corbyn was the right person to lead


the Labour Party, and even Rotherham, loyal to Mr Corbyn, won


the mail contest in Liverpool, he said that the Labour leader was more


might on the doorstep. -- the mayor contest. Does that explain some of


the performance on Thursday? I am confident that in the next four


weeks, when we get into coverage on television, that people will see


further the kind of open leadership Jeremy provides. In contrast to


Theresa May's refusal to meet ordinary people. She came to my


constituency and I don't think that a single person who lives here. And


also she is ducking the chance to debate with Jeremy Corbyn on TV. She


should do it and let the people decide. I don't know why she won't.


Finally, the Labour mantra is that you are the party of the ordinary


people, why is it the case that among what advertisers call C2s, D


and E', how can you on the pulse of that social group, how can you do


that? Our policy is to assist, protect and improve the living


standards of people in those groups and our policy is to protect the


living standards of the majority... They do not seem to be convinced? We


have four weeks to convince them and I believe that we will. Thank you


for coming onto the programme. But the wooden spoon from Thursday's


elections undoubtedly went to Ukip. Four years ago the party


won its best ever local government performance,


but this time its support just Ukip's share of the vote


plunging by as much as 18 points, most obviously


benefiting the Conservatives. So is it all over for


the self-styled people's army? Well we're joined now


by the party's leader in the Welsh Assembly,


Neil Hamilton, he's in Cardiff. Neil Hamilton, welcome. Ukip


finished local elections gaining the same number of councillors as the


Rubbish Party, one. That sums up your prospects, doesn't


it? Rubbish? We have been around a long time and seemed that I'd go


out, go in again, we will keep calm and carry on. We are in a phoney


war, negotiations on Brexit have not started but what we know from


Theresa May is that in seven years, as Home Secretary and Prime


Minister, she has completely failed to control immigration which was one


of the great driving forces behind the Brexit result. I'm not really


looking for any great success in immigration from the Tories, and a


lot of people who have previously voted for Ukip will be back in our


part of the field again. They don't seem to care about that at the


moment, your party lost 147 council seats. You gain one. It is time to


shut up shop, isn't it? You are right, the voters are not focusing


on other domestic issues at the moment. They have made up their


minds going into these negotiations in Brussels, Theresa May, as Prime


Minister, needs as much support as she can get. I think they are wrong


in this respect, it would be better to have a cohort of Ukip MPs to back


her up. She was greatly helped by the intervention of Mr Juncker last


week as well, the stupidity in how the European Commission has tried to


bully the British government, in those circumstances the British


people will react in one way going the opposite way to what the


Brussels establishment one. She has been fortunate as an acute tactician


in having the election now. I struggle to see the way back for


your party. You aren't a threat to the Tories in the south. Ukip voters


are flocking to the Tories in the south. You don't threaten Labour in


the north. It is the Tories who threaten Labour now in the north.


There is no room to progress, is there? The reality will be is that


once we are back on the domestic agenda again, and the Brexit


negotiations are concluded, we will know what the outcome is. And the


focus will be on bread and butter issues. We have all sorts of


policies in our programme which other parties cannot match us on.


The talk is putting up taxes to help the health service, we would scrap


the foreign aid budget and put another ?8 billion in the health


service, no other party says that. These policies would be popular with


the ordinary working person. Is Paul Nuttall to blame on the meltdown of


what happened, no matter who is leader? These are cosmic forces


beyond the control of any individual leader? These are cosmic forces


at the moment, it is certainly not Paul Nuttall's .com he's been in the


job for six months and in half that time he was fighting a by-election


-- certainly not Paul Nuttall's time he was fighting a by-election


fault. We have two become more time he was fighting a by-election


professional than we have been recently. It has not been a


brilliant year for Ukip one way or another, as you know, but there are


prospects, in future, that are very rosy. I do not believe that the


Tories will deliver on other promises that they are now making.


The Welsh assembly elections are not until 2021, you are a member of


that, but at that point you will not have any MEPs, because we will be


out on the timetable. With this current showing he will have no


end', you could be Ukip's most senior elected representative. That


would be a turnout for the books! -- no elected MPs. The Tories are not


promoting the policies that I believe them. You will see that in


the Ukip manifesto when it is shortly publish... Leaders talk


mainly about the male genital mutilation and is -- female and


burqas. No, when the manifesto launched, we have a lot of policies,


I spoke moments ago about it, but also on foreign aid. Scrapping green


taxes, to cut people's electricity bills by ?300 per year on average.


There are a lot of popular policies that we have. We will hear more from


that in the weeks to come. Paul Nuttall said "If the price of


written leaving the year is a Tory advance after taking up this


patriarch course, it is a price that Ukip is prepared to pay". That


sounds like a surrender statement? It is a statement of fact, the main


agenda is to get out of the EU and have full Brexit. That is why Ukip


came into existence 20 years ago. When it is achieved, we go back to


the normal political battle lines. Niall Hamilton in Cardiff, thank you


very much for joining us. It's just gone 11.35am,


you're watching the Sunday Politics. Good morning and welcome


to Sunday Politics Scotland. The SNP won most


local council seats. While the Tories made


significant gains. As the battle lines are drawn anew,


we look at the prospects And as France heads to the polls,


we'll be asking if TV debates really TRANSLATION: Yes, they deserve the


truth. I treat the French like adults, I don't lie to them.


I treat the French like adults, I don't lie to them.


Local election results don't always have us on the edge of our seats.


But when they come just a few weeks before a general election,


it's natural to wonder if they're an indicator of things to come.


The SNP and the Tories had much to celebrate.


The Nationalists now the biggest group in councils


But it was the Tories who saw some of the biggest gains of the night.


In a moment, we'll chew over what it all means.


This is what regime change looks like, the First Minister parading


her 39 councillors, as the SNP overtakes Labour in its Glasgow


heartland. There is no doubting the overall winner was in this election


and what you see is history in the making. They used to top of red


Clydeside, but note the city Chambers is a sea of yellow. It's


not just here in Glasgow, read throughout the country, the SNP have


taken the lead in more local authorities than ever before. Take


taken the lead in more local Edinburgh for example, for the first


time the SNP is the biggest group on the council. Remarkable free party


which didn't have a single Edinburgh councillor as recently as 2003.


However, in places like yes vote in Dundee, the Nationalists lost their


overall majority. While the Tories have seen gains. Should be barred to


be worried? That is just something to do with the STV system. We have


this strange system in Scotland where we have four major elections


under four different voting systems. I don't think people understand the


difference. Do you think the SNP will be worried about the rise of


the Conservatives? Not really, because I think we're seeing in the


Scottish Parliament that Nicola Sturgeon actually picked his death


as the SNP against the Conservatives. She thinks there is,


and I agree with her, there is a limit, a ceiling to the Conservative


vote in Scotland and she will be looking for disaffected Labour


people to come to SNP rather than go to the Conservatives.


CHEERING But it is the Tories who have


grabbed the headlines. The only party in the selection to make big


gains overall. Who would have thought it? Who indeed. Meet


20-year-old Thomas care, the first Conservative councillor ever elected


in Glasgow Shettleston. The polls predicted a Tory surge, but if you


imagined they would see gains in the country's most deprived areas. You


don't know any Tories around your? Definitely not. They must have put


in the wrong number down. Do you know anyone around you is but a


Conservative? A feud. I think if you have swayed towards the way the yes


vote went. Celtic, Rangers, getting involved in politics. It is quite


clear that there are real no-go areas for Tories now. Even though


people might say they will not fulfil eateries, they clearly are.


Even though of course the voting system means a new local elections


they could not have been a first preference, they could have been


second or third. There are still crosses in those boxes now which I


think would have been on the ball ten years ago. Would you think this


resurgence has come from? -- where. It is not surprising, because it has


been coming for quite a long time in Scotland. They had a low base start,


but these are with MPs such as Ruth Davidson, there has been a nicer


name of the Tory party that the leaders of the Tories in Scotland


have had have been personable, very attractive speakers that I think has


been of huge benefit to the Tories. But with no mainstream party having


automatic control of any council, coalitions will have to be formed


and deals done. Given the deed constitutional divide in Scotland,


don't hold your breath waiting for any deals between the SNP and the


Well, joining me now are the SNP's former


Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and the former Tory


Kenny MacAskill, I am curious, given the SNP did very well in these local


elections, the Tories did extremely well compare to where they were


coming from, where that leaves this idea of a second independence


referendum? Do you think it was wise for the Scottish Government makes


achieving about it? I think they had no alternative given what happened


with the Brexit vote and were Scotland clearly went any


significant diffident direction. I Scotland clearly went any


don't think it's necessarily immediately on the horizon, because


we still don't know where we're going with Brexit, whether we are


shooting over the cliff or whether we are going to be able to pull


back, so this is going to continue to run and run. The push for an


independence referendum came because of actions taken by the UK


Government and by an electorate third of the border. Are you saying,


when you say it's not an third of the border. Are you saying,


prospect, what are you saying in four or five or six years' time? I


think it depends upon events. In the rest to begin shooting onto the


agenda because of the Brexit vote that had not been anticipated. --


independence referendum. Equally, I think it is hard to see how you can


have an independence referendum without having some clarity about


just what Brexit negotiations are going to result in. Whether it's


going to become amateurs, but equally, what the alternative is


going to be. Those factors on both have to put before the electorate


and at the present moment, they are not there from either side. Do think


it would be wiser as an ex-Minister for the Scottish Government to have


it be more like what you're saying, which is to say we reserve our


options here and we will await anti-white happens, rather than


saying, you is the timetable we want to have one by next spring. The


timetable is not going to be within the grasp of the Scottish


Government, so I think there are going to be difficulties there.


People want clarity, but I do think the SNP Government was to them


People want clarity, but I do think events. Scotland today markedly


different position from the UK on Brexit. The referendum was quite


clear about that. The rest were the hard Brexit posted by Theresa May,


the language that she has used in the last few weeks is reminiscent of


almost preparing for war rather than delicate negotiations of the


diplomatic nature, so some of these things are beyond the Scottish


Government's control and had to react to them. Again, the SNP did


emerge as by far the largest party, but when Nicola Sturgeon says it is


ludicrous to claim there has been a backlash against the SNP, given the


rise of the Tory vote, surely if ludicrously hard to say it's


ludicrous? Clearly there has been. No, nobody can deny they have had a


good result. But the other not had the results Margaret Thatcher even


John Major was pulling in 1992. There has always been a right of


centre vote in Scotland, it hasn't really had that representation


probably because of factors coming from London. They are trying to get


back to where they were in the 1980s. They are certainly not


getting back to the position where they were in the 1950s. This


election was won by the SNP. There was a areas where they suffered by


tactical voting and a Unionist alliance. There were areas where


they know themselves the under middle and their laurels with the


general election coming. It it was a victory for the SNP and it was a


good night for the Conservatives and disastrous for the Labour Party. I'm


not quite sure what your message is that you're trying to send out about


the second independence referendum? The indication seems to be there if


the SNP don't get 50% or more any general election, somehow they have


no mandate for it. I think the big mistake that Nicola Sturgeon made


was assuming that all of her supporters, the SNP supporters, were


against Brexit and the fact is, tens of thousands of them were in fact in


favour Brexit. So we are seeing is an off uncertainty and division cars


to buy the first referendum whereby only 2.5 years ago we gave a solid


vote 55% to 45%. The fact is, the Scottish Government say we have in


our manifesto that if the circumstances are Brexit have arisen


because of Brexit, we will use that for a second independence


referendum. Bruising that that doesn't matter? I saying that two


thirds of the votes cast on Thursday, and a Member that will be


a much bigger pool in the general election, two thirds of those were


for Unionist parties. The messages that we want the referendum. The


normal way we work in politics is that if you see something in your


manifesto and then you win the election, you then do it. If you


don't do it, the SNP were not keeping commitments in their


manifesto, you'd be screaming if it was things over things like


manifesto, you'd be screaming if it education and health. They are only


keeping their manifesto by having a second independence referendum. By


being obsessed with it, the our breaking manifesto. McGregor not


answering my question about whether or not you think they have no


mandate or whether prounion parties getting over 50% in general


elections means that the SNP have less of a mandate? I think they are


treading water on Thursday compared to... You're not answering my


question! Iamb answering your question. It is clear that there is


a majority in Scotland who don't want this referendum. People don't


want uncertainty. They want the day job to be done by Nicola Sturgeon


and her ministers. They want education to improve. Would you


challenge to write to have won if she wants to? Well, I would. I would


see the majority in Scotland don't want it. It was a bad idea to have


it in your manifesto in the first place. Kenny MacAskill, ginger


subject. Labour's plans on tax. These said would be any taxes on


subject. Labour's plans on tax. people earning over ?80,000 a year.


subject. Labour's plans on tax. -- under. What do you make of that?


You can't ask me about the SNP. I would have to say I am not


frightened by these things in any way. Far from being some Marxist


resurgent John McDonnell, if the policies that are even watered down


from Denis Healey. It was him he was herald up by likening Tories know as


a manager that Labour should be following. He was going to taxi rich


until the pips squeak. I have to say, I don't see why people are


getting any palaver. 95% of people... C quite like this idea?


Eye think there comes a time when we have to decide what society is about


Eye think there comes a time when we soul that is right the coming


general election is not going to be about Indyref 2, it will be about


the society we seek. And I fear what kind of society the Tories will


create. I quite like the policies that Denis Healey carried out and I


think people thought the government is under... It has been overblown.


John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn I think are incompetent. I have to say


the policies they put forward are not the policies of... The policies


being put forward by the Tories are right wing and it is becoming more


right wing. What do you make of Nicola Sturgeon's comment that it is


ludicrous to say there is a backlash against the SNP? She has got a


point, the SNP are by far the biggest party in these local


elections. You may have done well, but you are way behind. SNP lost


elections. You may have done well, overall control in Dundee and Angus,


that is part of the Hartland. They have no overall control in any


council now. They are the biggest party in most cases, including


Glasgow. That is no surprise. They have been the biggest party in


elections in the past ten years. But they are treading water. Using there


is a backlash? John Curtin said Thursday was a disappointing day for


the SNP. They have not made any gains, we made huge gains. Do you


think it is a backlash against the SNP by the idea of a second


independence referendum? I think it is both. People are sick to death of


Indyref 2. Thank you both very much. Now, let's turn to the fortunes


of the other parties. The Tory resurgence pushed


Labour into third place The Liberal Democrats flat-lined


overall, but saw some encouraging gains in seats they're targeting


in the general election. And the Greens saw a record number


of councillors elected. Labour has held control of Glasgow


since 1980 and was dominant for their kids before, but on Friday


that hold was broken. Across Scotland Labour lost seats, councils


and power. These are not good election results for the Labour


Party. They come in a sequence of retreat and advisers. That is bad,


Party. They come in a sequence of there is a problem about strategy


and a UK level and Scotland level. It is not as bad as it could've


been. In Glasgow they have lost control of the city they have


reclaimed 30% of the vote. This is not as bad as it could have been


reclaimed 30% of the vote. This is foreign labour versus expectations.


They are still sort of semi-alive and insignificant parts of the


country, the West of Scotland, Edinburgh and Dundee they have got


significant representation. But it most cases Labour votes did not go


to the SNP but the Tories. They are adamant they can turn their fortunes


around, turning -- pointing out they are second in many seats. They think


they can trump the Tories as the main Unionist opposition. The


Liberal Democrats mostly held steady, although from a base in some


cases which was low. They made progress in areas they are targeting


to win in next month was 's general election, polling 52% in one of the


words and Edinburgh West. When you have such a massive Tory surge come


through and we have come out of it unscathed, that is really quietening


courage insane. It has put us in a very strong position to win places


like Edinburgh West and North East Fife and East Dunbartonshire. And


some seats in the Highlands, too. It has been very clear that we have


made gains and the result in Edinburgh is fantastic, doubling


representation and the sort of result in East Berkshire. The Greens


had a record number of candidates elected giving them a presence on


had a record number of candidates six councils and the good play a


pivotal role in Glasgow City Council, should the SNP decide not


to operate as a minority administration.


With me now to discuss their party's prospects are Labour's James Kelly


and Alex Cole-Hamilton from the Liberal Democrats.


Alex, you heard Karen Lindsey there saying when the Tories were surging,


it was terrific that the Liberal Democrats held their own. The


trouble is that it was you who were supposed to be surging. According to


Tim Farron you were going to make huge gains and you have got nowhere.


I don't agree at all. Our best result in this election were in


those days where we were at the main contention to take this leads from


Westminster constituencies. In North contention to take this leads from


East Fife where we beat them contention to take this leads from


15%. Losing overall for councillors in Scotland is a tremendous triumph?


I pay tribute to those councillors who lost. This is an election where


there was a national narrative, Theresa May was asking them to vote


whether national ticket. We held our own across the country, but over all


the SNP in places like East Dumbartonshire, and Dundee and the


Highlands, to put and a good position to cars upsets. Are you


going to win sees that you just said, you mention? Absolutely. We


have activists already on the ground. We see attrition in the SNP


vote and these results, it was an STV election when tactical voting


does not happen. This was before Pan unionists comment, N Easter March,


in Fife and Edinburgh. James Kelly, one of the reasons, perhaps the main


reason that the Tories did well, is the position themselves as being the


people who are opposed to independence, to another


independence referendum and the people who want to retain the United


Kingdom. All things which are officially Labour policy. Wide you


think it is the conservatives who have managed to position and get all


these votes by opposing another independence referendum and not


Labour? Because to an extent the Conservatives have become a one


issue party. We were clear in the selection we are opposed to


independence, a second independence referendum, but we also promoted


candidates who were going to stand up for the communities, support


public services... But the bottom line is that voters... Tories had


nothing to say anything about that. But a lot of voters do not want


another independence referendum. Ruth Davidson is good to stop it.


Labour, I do not know what they are going to do. What are you going to


see in the general election to stop all those people who voted Tory in


the local elections, doing exactly the same thing as remark we have got


a much more wider and in-depth political messages than the


Conservatives. That is saying the electorate are too daft to


understand the nuances of your policy. On Thursday, Nicola Sturgeon


acted as a recruiting Sergeant for the Tories and people use their


votes in protest, voting Tory. the Tories and people use their


they could have voted for Labour. They didn't. In these elections


coming up, the real reason for these elections is that Labour are in


second place. In the vast majority of seats across the country, they


are now compared them in these seats. You are John -- running the


general election campaign. You going to convince people who voted


Conservative Cosby do not want another independence referendum,


that Labour is the way to persist that. If you do not want that in


Scotland, vote Labour. We are talking about the issues that matter


to people. Now, for these photos, look, we have got some proposals


about the health service. Now, the main thing is we do not want an


independence referendum. Why should we vote Labour question work that is


patronising to see people do not care about education and the health


service. So why did they vote Conservative? Why did they not


fought for you? We will speak about investment in public services,


prioritising and tackling issues that matter to people. Do the


Liberal Democrats have any better ideas how to sweep up the


anti-independence for? You were more ideas how to sweep up the


hard line against the second independence referendum than the


Tories were. But people voted Tory rather than liberal Democrat. You


will see more Tory voters coming over in seats like eastern


Berkshire, Argyll and Bute and five to do that. -- eastern Berkshire. We


are the only party who stand on the political stage offering Scotland


stronger as part of the United Kingdom, and the youth key stronger


as part of the European union. We are the only party offering them


that. There are reports this morning that Tim Farron and his team, having


had a long baleful look at the local election results, have decided the


best they can hope for in the general election is to double the


number of seats to name. Is that your view? From the hallway you have


been talking this morning, it seems you have two or three seats in


Scotland you would like to target and your ambitions do not go much


further than that. On the contrary. I was on the phone to the federal


director of campaigns last night asking that we escalate national


investment in seats like Caithness because of the strength of the


council results. We are looking to return in strength in Scotland. Are


you looking for a Liberal Democrats to become the main opposition? The


main opposition party? What was your question question work Tim Farron


has been saying that the four domain general election, he wants to be the


main opposition. They are asleep at the wheel. We have to increase our


national vote share by 7%. We are back in touching distance of Clegg


mania back in 2010. You cannot say we are not in position to be that


mania back in 2010. You cannot say official opposition when we see a


Labour Party that does not know what it believes about Brexit. We are the


only party standing up for those 40% of people who voted for roaming. We


are out of time. To be continued. The French are at the polls today


with the recent fiery TV debate between the two candidates


still ringing in their ears. While most of the party leaders have


signed up to argue with each other in front of the cameras,


the two main contenders for That might impact on the programme's


television appeal, but will it have Jonathan Rippon's been looking


at a format that has become part of the American electoral landscape,


but has a rather more The candidates need no introduction.


The first US presidential debate took place in 1960. Nixon came


across a shifty and sweaty, compared to the cool and useful Kennedy. Some


women cost the election. In the last year's debates, many thought Hillary


Clinton outperformed Donald Trump year's debates, many thought Hillary


but he still won the election. Donald Trump is not in charge of the


law in our country. Because you would be in jail how important are


the TV debates? Britain's first was in 2010. With leaders from the three


main UK parties at the time. The SNP were not happy at being excluded and


went to court. If they had won, the BBC faced having to black out the


debate to viewers in Scotland. We are pleased to be able to bring the


prime ministerial debates to the people of Scotland and in that


regard we take responsibility in terms of due impartiality, fairness


and independence very seriously. Nicola Sturgeon, deputy leader of


the SNP at the time, had to watch the debate on TV. What a difference


a few years makes. In 2015 David Cameron was regularly pursued by a


chicken as he tried to dodge another debate. Eventually he relented but


on condition that every other leader to part two. Nicola Sturgeon's


performance was judged as a success and her party went on to landslide


vote today in Scotland. But with the two events related? Less than two


years later and it is line again. Well it is for some. We will not be


doing the TV debates. Theresa May has made it clear she will not take


part in a TV debate. She says it is about leadership barters refusing to


defend her record in television debates. Jeremy Corbyn has since


decided he will not be taking part either. ITV is going ahead without


decided he will not be taking part the Labour or Tory leaders. The BBC


says that no leader should stop a programme in the people's interests.


Many now believe the real debate has moved online and the major parties


are expected to spend millions on a social media campaigns this time


around. Well, joining me now from London


is Professor Charlie Beckett from the LSE's department


of media and communications. The obvious question is do these


things make a blind bit of difference? Television is important.


things make a blind bit of Photos tell us that is where they


get most of their information and the TV debates are the most dramatic


form of political television, it is where the TV can really reach out to


people who are not the kind of people who will watch a programme.


We have just been talking to a Liberal Democrat who said Clegg


mania is back, but arguably it never arrived. The Lib Dems didn't appear


to get actually much of an update from it in the general election that


followed. No, it may not have translated into votes, but it


certainly made it a much more interesting campaign, just as Nicola


Sturgeon did last time around, when suddenly the rest of the UK were


introduced to her. That may have had a negative impact, because the


Tories put out a scary story about the SMP and Labour. I think it


animates the campaigns, even if it doesn't change the results. That's


the most important point of media during the campaigns. Democracy is


the most important point of media not just about the result, the ideal


that we have a proper conversation, including with the leaders. I wonder


if journalists and commentators interpret this, because what happens


is you have the TV debate and be hacked and what they mean. But for


example during the American presidential campaign, everyone said


Tom was full and anyone the election. Was it that he did better


because he is somehow by other means convinced people? -- Donald Trump


was full. Or is it that sitting watching it, all the commentators


misinterpreted what the American people absolutely, journalists over


interpret. The love the drama, there it is. They would at the


personalities, they look at the glitches. They miss out the basic


messages. Thinking about David glitches. They miss out the basic


Cameron, when you look to the most serious polls, David Cameron got his


basic point across. It's not really about changing things overnight,


it's about getting the fundamental messages about your character and


your policies indeed out to a much wider audience. You think that


Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen debate has had any effect in France?


That was extraordinary. Each debate is different. I think that there are


people were put off by the hostility that the two of them showed each


other. It was a nominal, it was 18 million people watching. --


phenomenal. It is up to the politicians, but people should have


that option. These things are established in America and the are


established in France. We have got used to them, but they have not


really been established in the same way here. Do you think that will


continue will get a stage soon whether just has to be one of these


debates? I am afraid we have no rules, regulations, there is no


obligation on the politicians to do them. I think broadcasters will


always want to do them and sometimes in Scotland you will get everyone


turning up, but of course, you cannot blame the politicians for


making political decisions. Theresa May does not want to take any kind


of risk. You can't force her to take part. Thank you very much indeed for


that. No... Now it's time to take a look


back and what's coming This week I'm joined


by Kathleen Nutt, journalist with National and the political


editor of the Daily TV debates, Kathleen Nutt, what do


you make them? I think they are a very important part of the election


campaign. Add a element of excitement and drama to a campaign


and pull people in who may be our not interested in politics, but by


then watching the debates, they will learn about the personality, the


policies, and then that will make volley may prompt and vote and


increase turnout. Theresa May does not see it like that. She prefers to


engage with voters in a much more controlled and safe environment. And


also, there are only three words you need to know, strong, stable,


Government. What is in it for her by mixing that up? I would say, if you


are a strong leader, you should be out there debating with your


opponents on TV. What do you think? Cyanide she's not going to take the


risk. The Beatles being as they are, there is no need. I think there is a


risk there. -- with the polls being as they are. Nicholas Turgeon's in


the 2015 leaders debate did her a lot of good here. -- Nicola


Sturgeon. Except the dynamic of that election. It was that SNP and Labour


are going to gang up. Local election results, Labour it was awful, but


John Curtis has been making the point this morning has indeed have


various representatives of the Labour Party that the polls said


they were about 17 points ahead, in England and Wales it was 11 point


times. Their argument is that this is terrible. We are not trying to


deny that, but it is not as bad... We are not in this territory where


Labour are going to be completely wiped out either in England or


Scotland. Real 's. They are partially benefiting in comparison


to 2012. It was very bad. The voting system helped them a little bit more


than in 2015 where they lost all MPs but one. This time, the nature of


the voting system meant they were always going to get the second


preferences. When we are looking to the general election, it looks like


in terms of real votes, they are not far behind we are Ed Miliband was.


Despite everyone think Jeremy Corbyn is the terrible leader. In Scotland,


I suspect that is true. But they are quite far behind we are Ed Miliband


was in England. What do you make of that, Kathleen Nutt? You can see we


are the biggest party, this is a great victory for us. I still think


the SNP won the Government elections. They will remain the


biggest party in local government in Scotland and in some ways, the local


government elections reflected the Scotland and in some ways, the local


result of the Holyrood elections last year. With Tories pushing


Labour into third place. I think the loss of the Tories will have helped


since the EU referendum last year and some of the 38% of auditors


reported for Brexit Wooler piled on behind the Tories. -- 32% of voters


who voted for Brexit will have piled in behind the Tories. I think it is


also a wake-up call for the SNP, they won it, but with 33% share of


the vote rather than... This has become a great mystery. As I


understand it was 33% of the SNP. It was 24 but the Conservatives and 24


Labour. -- 20 four Labour. There are so many independent candidates that


distort it a bit. It is quickly that Nicola Sturgeon 's Coll for a second


independence referendum has motivated voters. A lot of those


voters have chosen the Tories further best outlet for their anger


at the prospect of another referendum. That changes the dynamic


on the last two elections. In the immediate aftermath of the


independence referendum, we had a general election and yes voters were


angry and came out in big numbers. It is the same in 2016. I'm not sure


it will be the same next month. Thank you both very much.


I'll be back at the same time next week.


We don't know what it is, but she definitely has... Something.


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