Sarah Smith and Gordon Brewer with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include Hilary Benn and Theresa Villiers.
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I'm Sarah Smith, and welcome
to The Sunday Politics,
where we always bring you everything
you need to know to understand
what's going on in politics.
Coming up on today's programme...
The Government says
the international trade minister
Mark Garnier will be investigated
following newspaper allegations
of inappropriate behaviour
towards a female staff member.
We'll have the latest.
The Prime Minister says she can
agree a deal with the EU and plenty
of time for Parliament to vote on it
before we leave in 2018. Well
Parliament play ball? New evidence
cast out on the economic and
environmental case for Heathrow
And on Sunday Politics Scotland:
missed targets, longer waiting Yeah,
times and rising costs.
missed targets, longer waiting
times and rising costs.
That was Audit Scotland's
diagnosis of the NHS.
I'll be speaking to Shona Robison.
All that coming up in the programme.
And with me today to help make sense
of all the big stories,
Steve Richards and Anne McElvoy.
Some breaking news this morning.
The Government has announced
that it will investigate
whether the International Trade
Minister Mark Garnier broke
the Ministerial Code
of inappropriate behaviour.
It comes after reports in the Mail
on Sunday which has spoken to one
of Mr Garnier's former employees.
News of the investigation
was announced by the Health
Secretary Jeremy Hunt
on the Andrew Marr show earlier.
The stories, if they are true,
are totally unacceptable
and the Cabinet Office will be
conducting an investigation
as to whether there has been
a breach of the ministerial code
in this particular case.
But as you know the
facts are disputed.
This is something that covers
behaviour by MPs of all parties
and that is why the other thing
that is going to happen
is that today Theresa May
is going to write to John Bercow,
the Speaker of the House of Commons,
to ask for his advice as to how
we change that culture.
That was Jeremy Hunt a little
earlier. I want to turn to the panel
to make sense of this news. This is
the government taking these
allegations quite seriously.
has changed in this story is they
used to be a bit of delay while
people work out what they should say
about it, how seriously to take it.
As you see now a senior cabinet
member out there, Jeremy Hunt, with
an instant response. He does have
the worry of whether the facts are
disputed, but what they want to be
seen doing is to do something very
quickly. In the past they would say
it was all part of the rough and
tumble of Westminster.
does not deny these stories, which
is that he asked an employee to buy
sex toys, but he said it was just
high jinks and it was taken out of
context. Is this the sort of thing
that a few years ago in a different
environment would be investigated?
Not necessarily quite the frenzy
that it is nowadays. The combination
of social media, all the Sunday
political programmes were ministers
have to go on armed with a response
means that you get these we have to
be seen to be doing something. That
means there is this Cabinet Office
investigation. You pointed out to us
before the programme that he was not
a minister before this happened. It
does not matter whether he says yes,
know I did this or did not,
something has to be seen to be done.
Clearly ministers today are being
armed with that bit of information
and that Theresa May will ask John
Bercow the speaker to look into the
whole culture of Parliament in this
context. That is the response to
this kind of frenzy.
If we do live
in an environment where something
has to be seen to be done, does that
always mean the right thing gets
Absolutely not. We are in
witch hunt territory. All of us work
in the Commons over many years and
anyone would think it was a scene
out of Benny Hill or a carry on
film. Sadly it is not that much fun
and it is rather dull and dreary.
Yes, there are sex pests, yes, there
is sexual harassment, but the idea
this is going on on a huge scale is
Doesn't matter whether it
is a huge scale or not? Or just a
Any workplace where
you have the mixing of work and
social so intertwined and you throw
a huge amount of alcohol and late
night and people living away from
home you will have this happen.
does not make it OK.
It makes sexual
harassment not OK as it is not
anywhere. This happens to men as
well and if they have an issue into
it there are employment tribunal 's
and they can contact lawyers. I do
not think this should be a matter of
the speaker, it should be someone
completely independent of any party.
People think MPs are employees of
the party or the Commons, they are
Because they are self-employed
to whom do you go if you are a
That has to be
clarified. I agree you need a much
clearer line of reporting. It was a
bit like the situation when we came
into the media many years ago, the
Punic wars in my case! You were not
quite sure who to go to. If you work
worried that it might impede your
career, and you had to talk to
people who work next to you, that is
just one example, but in the Commons
people do not know who they should
go to. Where Theresa May might be
making a mistake, it is the same
mistake when it was decided to
investigate through Levinson the
culture of the media which was like
nailing jelly to a wall. Look at the
culture of anybody's job and the
environment they are in and there is
usually a lot wrong with it. When
you try and make it general, they
are not trying to blame individuals,
or it say they need a better line on
reporting of sexual harassment,
which I support, the Commons is a
funny place and it is a rough old
trade and you are never going to
iron out the human foibles of that.
Diane Abbott was talking about this
When I first went into Parliament so
many of those men had been to all
boys boarding schools and had really
difficult attitudes towards women.
The world has moved on and
middle-aged women are less likely
than middle-aged men to believe that
young research are irresistibly
attracted to them. We have seen the
issues and we have seen one of our
colleagues been suspended for quite
That is a point, Jarrod O'Mara, a
Labour MP who has had the whip
suspended, this goes across all
The idea that there is a
left or right divide over this is
absurd. This is a cultural issue. In
the media and in a lot of other
institutions if this is going to
develop politically, the frenzy will
carry on for a bit and other names
will come out over the next few
days, not just the two we have
mentioned so far in politics. But it
also raises questions about how
candidates are selected for example.
There has been a huge pressure for
the centre to keep out of things. I
bet from now on there will be much
greater scrutiny of all candidates
and tweets will have to be looked at
and all the rest of it.
candidates is interesting. Miriam
Gonzalez, Nick Clegg's wife, says
that during that election they knew
about Jarrod O'Mara and the Lib Dems
knew about it, so it is difficult to
suggest the Labour Party did not as
There is very clear evidence
the Labour Party did know. But we
are in a situation of how perfect
and well-behaved does everyone have
to be? If you look at past American
presidents, JFK and Bill Clinton,
these men were sex pest
extraordinaire, with totally
inappropriate behaviour on a regular
basis. There are things you are not
allowed to say if you are feminists.
Young women are really attracted to
powerful men. I was busted for the
idea that there are young women in
the House of commons who are
throwing themselves at middle-aged,
potbellied, balding, older men. We
need to focus on the right things.
When it is unwanted, harassing,
inappropriate and criminal,
absolutely, you come down like a
tonne of bricks. It is not just
because there are more women in the
Commons, it is because there are
more men married to women like us.
We have to leave it there.
As attention turns in
Westminster to the hundreds
of amendments put down on the EU
Withdrawal Bill, David Davis has
caused a stir this week by saying
it's possible Parliament won't get
a vote on the Brexit deal
until after March 2019 -
when the clock runs out
and we leave the EU.
Let's take a look at how
the controversy played out.
And which point do you envisage
Parliament having a vote?
As soon as possible thereafter.
As soon as possible
possible thereafter, yeah.
As soon as possible thereafter.
So, the vote in Parliament...
The other thing...
Could be after March 2019?
It could be, yeah, it could be.
It depends when it concludes.
Mr Barnier, remember,
has said he'd like...
Sorry, the vote of our Parliament,
the UK Parliament, could be
after March 2019?
Yes, it could be.
The thing to member...
Which would be...
Well, it can't come
before we have the deal.
You said that it is POSSIBLE that
Parliament night not vote
on the deal until AFTER
the end of March 2019.
I'm summarising correctly
what you said...?
Yeah, that's correct.
In the event we don't do
the deal until then, yeah.
Can the Prime Minister please
explain how it's possible
to have a meaningful vote
on something that's
already taken place?
As the honourable gentleman knows,
we're in negotiations
with the European Union, but I am
confident that the timetable under
the Lisbon Treaty does give time
until March 2019
for the negotiations to take place.
But I'm confident, because it is in
the interests of both sides,
it's not just this Parliament that
wants to have a vote on that deal,
but actually there will be
ratification by other parliaments,
that we will be able to achieve that
agreement and that negotiation
We are working to reach
an agreement on the final deal
in good time before we leave
the European Union in March 2019.
Clearly, we cannot say
for certain at this stage
when this will be agreed.
But as Michel Barnier said,
he hopes to get a draft deal
agreed by October 2018,
and that's our aim is well.
agreed by October 2018,
and that's our aim as well.
I'm joined now by the former
Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary
Benn, who is the chair
of the Commons Brexit Committee,
which David Davis was
giving evidence to.
When you think a
parliamentary vote should take place
in order for it to be meaningful?
has to be before we leave the
European Union. Michel Barnier said
at the start of the negotiations
that he wants to wrap them up by
October of next year, so we have
only got 12 months left, the clock
is ticking and there is a huge
amount of ground to cover.
not think there is any point in
having the vote the week before we
leave because you could then not go
That would not be
acceptable. We will not be given a
bit of paper and told to take it or
leave it. But the following day
Steve Baker, also a minister in the
department, told our committee that
the government now accepts that in
order to implement transitional
arrangements that it is seeking, it
will need separate legislation. I
put the question to him if you are
going to need separate legislation
to do that, why don't you have a
separate bill to implement the
withdrawal agreement rather than
seeking to use the powers the
government is proposing to take in
the EU withdrawal bill.
If we stick
to the timing, you have said you do
not think it is possible to
negotiate a trade deal in the next
12 months. You say the only people
who think that is possible British
ministers. If you do not believe we
can get a deal negotiated, how can
we get a vote on it in 12 months'
If things go well, and there
is still a risk of no agreement
which would be disastrous for the
economy and the country, if
things go there will be a deal on
the divorce issues, there will be a
deal on the nature of the
transitional arrangement and the
government is to set out how it
thinks that will work, and then an
agreement between the UK and the 27
member states saying, we will now
negotiate a new trade and market
access arrangement, and new
association agreement between the
two parties, and that will be done
in the transition period. Parliament
will be voting in those
circumstances on a deal which leads
to the door being open.
But we would
be outside the EU at that point, so
how meaningful can vote be where you
take it or leave it if we have
already left the EU? Surely this has
to happen before March 2019 for it
to make a difference?
I do not think
it is possible to negotiate all of
the issues that will need to be
covered in the time available.
it is not possible to have a
meaningful vote on it?
will have to have a look at the deal
presented to it. It is likely to be
a mix agreement so the approval
process in the rest of Europe,
unlike the Article 50 agreement,
which will be a majority vote in the
European Parliament and in the
British Parliament, every single
Parliament will have a vote on it,
so it will be a more complex process
anyway, but I do not think that is
the time to get all of that sorted
between now and October next year.
Whether it is before or after we
have left the EU, the government
have said it is a take it or leave
it option and it is the Noel Edmonds
option, deal or no Deal, you say yes
or no to it. You cannot send them
back to re-negotiate.
If it is a separate piece of
legislation, when Parliament has a
chance to shape the nature of that
But it can't change
what has been negotiated with the
Well, you could say to the
government, we're happy with this
but was not happy about that chukka
here's some fresh instructions, go
back in and...
It seems to me what
they want is the maximum access to
the single market for the lowest
possible tariffs, whilst able to
control migration. If they've got to
get the best deal that they can on
that, how on earth is the Labour
Party, saying we want a bit more,
owing to persuade the other 27?
certainly don't want the lowest
possible tariffs, we want no tariffs
are taught. My personal view is
that, has made a profound mistake in
deciding that it wants to leave the
customs union. If you want to help
deal with the very serious question
of the border between Northern
Ireland and the Republic of Ireland,
the way you do that is to stay in
the customs union and I hope, will
change its mind.
But the Labour
Party is simply saying in the House
of Commons, we want a better deal
than what, has been able to get?
depends how the negotiations unfold.
, has ended up on the transitional
arrangements in the place that Keir
Starmer set out on behalf of the
shadow cabinet in August, when he
said, we will need to stay in the
single market and the customs union
for the duration of the transition,
and I think that is the position,
has now reached. It has not been
helped by differences of view within
the Cabinet, and a lot of time has
passed and there's proved time left
and we have not even got on to the
negotiations. -- there's very little
On phase two, the labour
Party have set out six clear tests,
and two of them are crucial. You say
you want the exact same benefits we
currently have in the customs union
but you also want to be able to
ensure the fair migration to control
immigration, basically, which does
sound a bit like having your cake
and eating it. You say that you will
vote against any deal that doesn't
give you all of that, the exact same
benefits of the single market, and
allowing you to control migration.
But you say no deal would be
catastrophic if so it seems to me
you're unlikely to get the deal that
you could vote for but you don't
want to vote for no deal?
absolutely don't want a no deal.
Businesses have sent a letter to the
Prime Minister saying that a
transition is essential because the
possibility of a no deal and no
transitional would be very damaging
for the economy. We fought the
general election on a policy of
seeking to retain the benefits of
the single market and the customs
union. Keir Starmer said on behalf
of the shadow government that as far
as the longer term arrangements are
concerned, that should leave all
options on the table, because it is
the end that you're trying to
achieve and you then find the means
to support it. So we're setting out
very clearly those tests.
were to vote down an agreement
because it did not meet your tests,
and there was time to send, back to
the EU to get a better deal, then
you would have significantly
weakened their negotiating hand
chukka that doesn't help them?
don't think, has deployed its
negotiating hand very strongly thus
far. Because we had a general
election which meant that we lost
time that we would have used for
negotiating. We still don't know
what kind of long-term trade and
market access deal, wants. The Prime
Minister says, I don't want a deal
like Canada and I don't want a deal
like the European Economic Area. But
we still don't know what kind of
deal they want. With about 12 months
to go, the other thing, needs to do
is to set out very clearly above all
for the benefit of the other 27
European countries, what kind of
deal it wants. When I travel to
Europe and talk to those involved in
the negotiations, you see other
leaders saying, we don't actually
know what Britain wants. With a year
to go it is about time we made that
One related question on the
European Union - you spoke in your
famous speech in Syria about the
international brigades in Spain, and
I wonder if your solidarity with
them leads you to think that the UK
Government should be recognising
Catalonia is an independent state?
No, I don't think so. It is a very
difficult and potentially dangerous
situation in Catalonia at the
moment. Direct rule from Madrid is
not a long-term solution. There
needs to be a negotiation, and
elections will give Catalonia the
chance to take that decision, but I
am not clear what the declaration of
independence actually means. Are
they going to be borders, is they're
going to be an army? There will have
to be some agreement. Catalonia has
already had a high degree of
autonomy. It may like some more, and
it seems to me if you look at the
experience here in the United
Kingdom, that is the way to go, not
a constitutional stand-off. And I
really hope nobody is charged with
rebellion, because actually that
would make matters worse.
Now, the Government has this
week reopened the public
consultation on plans for a third
runway at Heathrow.
While ministers are clear
the £18 billion project
is still the preferred option,
new data raises further questions
about the environmental
impact of expansion,
and offers an improved
economic case for a second
runway at Gatwick instead.
So, with opponents on all sides
of the Commons, does the Government
still have the votes to get
the plans off the ground?
Here's Elizabeth Glinka.
The debate over the expansion
of Heathrow has been
going on for decades.
Plans for a third runway
were first introduced
by the Labour government in 2003.
Then, after spending millions
of pounds, finally, in 2015,
the airport commission recommended
that those plans go ahead,
and the government position
appeared to be fixed.
But, of course, since then,
we've had a general election.
The Government have lost
their Commons majority.
And with opposition on both front
benches, the Parliamentary
arithmetic looks a little bit up
in the air.
A lot has changed since the airport
commission produced its report,
and that don't forget
was the bedrock for the Government's
decision, that's why the government
supposedly made the decision
that it made.
But most of the assumptions
made in that report have
been undermined since,
by data on passenger numbers,
on economic benefits, and more
than anything, on pollution.
There's demand from international
carriers to get into Heathrow.
More and more people want to fly.
And after the referendum,
is going to be absolutely critical
to the UK economy, so if anything,
I think the case is stronger
for expansion at Heathrow.
A vote on expansion had been due
to take place this summer.
But with Westminster somewhat
distracted, that didn't happen.
Now, fresh data means
the Government has had to reopen
the public consultation.
But it maintains the case
for Heathrow is as strong as ever,
delivering benefits of up
to £74 billion to the wider economy.
And in any case, the Government
says, action must be taken,
as all five of London's airports
will be completely
full by the mid-2030s.
Still, the new research does cast
an alternative expansion at Gatwick
in a more favourable economic light,
while showing Heathrow
is now less likely to meet
its environmental targets.
Campaigners like these in Hounslow
sense the wind is shifting.
We're feeling encouraged,
because we see all kinds
of weaknesses in the argument.
Certainly, quite a few MPs,
I think certainly Labour MPs,
are beginning to think perhaps it's
not such a great idea
to have a third runway.
Their MP is convinced colleagues
can now be persuaded
to see things their way.
The Labour Party quite
rightly set four key tests
for a third runway at Heathrow.
And in my view,
Heathrow is not able...
The Heathrow option is not able
to pass any of those.
So, I see a lot of colleagues
in the Labour Party around
the country beginning
to think twice.
And if you look at the cross-party
MPs supportin this anti-Heathrow
And if you look at the cross-party
MPs supporting this anti-Heathrow
protest this week, you will see
some familiar faces.
You know my position -
as the constituency MP,
I'm totally opposed.
I think this is another indication
of just the difficulties
the Government have got off
of implementing this policy.
I don't think it's going to happen,
I just don't think
it's going to happen.
So, if some on the Labour
front bench are, shall
we say, not supportive,
what about the other side?
In a free vote, we could have had up
to 60 Conservative MPs
voting against expansion,
that's the number that is normally
used and I think it's right.
In the circumstances where it
requires an active rebellion,
the numbers would be fewer.
I can't tell you what that
number is, but I can tell
you that there are people right
the way through the party,
from the backbenches
to the heart of the government,
who will vote against
And yet the SNP, whose Commons
votes could prove vital,
are behind the Heathrow plan,
which promises more
And other supporters are convinced
they have the numbers.
There is a majority of members
of Parliament that support Heathrow
expansion, and when that is put
to the test, whenever that will be,
I think that will be
Any vote on this issue
won't come until next summer.
For both sides, yet more time
to argue about weather
the plans should take off
or be permanently grounded.
Elizabeth Glinka there.
And I'm joined now by the former
Cabinet minister Theresa Villiers,
under David Cameron.
Thanks for coming in. You have made
your opposition to a third runway at
Heathrow consistently clear. , have
reopened this consultation but it is
still clearly their preferred
It is but what I have always
asked is, why try to build a new
runway at Heathrow when you can
build one at Gatwick in half the
time, for half the cost and with a
tiny fraction of the environment
will cost average is that true,
though? Private finance is already
to go at Heathrow, because that's
where people want to do it and
that's where the private backers
want to put it. It would take much
longer to get the private finance
for Gatwick? Part of that private
finance is passengers of the future,
but also, the costs of the surface
transport needed to expand Heathrow
is phenomenal. I mean, TfL estimates
vary between £10 billion and £15
billion. And there's no suggestion
that those private backers are going
to meet those costs. So, this is a
hugely expensive project as well as
one which will create very
ultimately where passengers and
airlines want to go to, isn't it?
Every slot is practically full.
Every time a new one comes up, it is
up immediately, it's a very popular
airport. Gatwick is not where they
want to go?
There are many airlines
and passengers who do want to fly
from Gatwick, and all the forecasts
indicate that a new runway there
would be full of planes very
rapidly. But I think the key thing
is that successive elements have
said, technology will deliver a way
to resolve the around noise and air
quality. I don't have any confidence
that science has demonstrated that
technology will deliver those
solutions to these very serious
environmental limbs which have
stopped Heathrow expansion for
Jim Fitzpatrick in the film
was mentioning that people think
there is a need for even more
collectivity in Britain post-Brexit.
We know that business has been
crying out for more routes, they
really think it hurts business
expansion that we don't get on with
this. More consultation is just
going to lead to more delay, isn't
This is a hugely controversial
decision. There is a reason why
people have been talking about
expanding Heathrow for 50 years and
it is never happened, it's because
it's a bad idea. So, inevitably the
legal processes are very complex.
One of my anxieties about, pursuing
this option is that potentially it
means another lost decade for
airport expansion. Because the
problems with Heathrow expansion are
so serious, I believe that's one of
the reasons why I advocated, anyone
who wants a new runway in the
south-east should be backing Gatwick
is a much more deliverable option.
Let me move on to Brexit. We were
talking with Hilary Benn about a
meaningful vote being given to the
House of Commons chukka how
important do you think that is?
course the Commons will vote on
this. The Commons is going to vote
on this many, many times. We have
also had a hugely important vote not
only in the referendum on the 23rd
of June but also on Article 50.
will that vote allow any changes to
it? Hilary Benn seemed to think that
the Commons would be able to shape
the deal with the vote. But actually
is it going to be, saying, take it
or leave it at all what we have
Our Prime Minister
negotiates on our behalf
well-established precedent that
after an agreement is reached
overseas, then it is considered in
the House of Commons.
What if it was
voted down in the House of Commons?
Well, the legal effect of that would
be that we left the European Union
without any kind of deal, because
the key decision was on the voting
of Article 50 as an irreversible
Is it irreversible,
though? We understand, may have had
legal advice saying that Yukon
stopped the clock on Article 50.
Would it not be possible if the
Commons voted against to ask the
European Union for a little bit more
time to try and renegotiate?
is a debate about the reversibility
of Article 50. But the key point is
that we are all working for a good
deal for the United Kingdom and the
I'm concerned that some of the
amendments to the legislation are
not about the nature of the deal at
the end of the process, they're just
about frustrating the process. I
think that would be wrong. I think
we should respect the result of the
Will it be by next
summer, so there is time for
Parliament and for other
I certainly hope that
we get that agreement between the
two sides, and the recent European
summit seemed to indicate a
willingness from the European side
to be constructive. But one point
where I think Hilary Benn has a
point, if we do secure agreement on
a transitional deal, that does
potentially give us more time to
work on the details of a trade
agreement. I hope we get as much as
possible in place before exit day.
But filling out some of that detail
is made easier if we can secure that
But filling out some of that detail
two-year transitional deal.
That is interesting because a lot of
Brexiteers what the deal to be done
by the inflammation period, it is
not a time for that.
recognise we need compromise, I am
keen to work with people across my
party in terms of spectrum of
opinion, and with other parties as
well to ensure we get the best
Let me ask you briefly
before you go about the possible
culture of sexual harassment in the
House of commons and Theresa May
will write to the Speaker of the
House of Commons to make sure there
is a better way that people can
report sexual harassment in the
House of commons. Is that necessary?
A better procedure is needed. It is
sad it has taken this controversy to
push this forward. But there is a
problem with MPs who are individual
employers. If you work for an MP and
have a complaint against them,
essentially they are overseeing
their own complaints process. I
think a role for the House of
commons authorities in ensuring that
those complaints are properly dealt
with I think would be very helpful,
so I think the Prime Minister's
letter was a sensible move.
think there is a culture of sexual
harassment in the House of commons?
I have not been subjected to it or
seen evidence of it, but obviously
there is anxiety and allegations
have made their way into the papers
and they should be treated
appropriately and properly
Thank you for talking
Thank you for talking to us.
Next week the Lord Speaker's
committee publishes its final report
into reducing the size
of the House of Lords.
With over 800 members the upper
house is the second largest
legislative chamber in the world
after the National People's
Congress of China.
The report is expected to recommend
that new peerages should be
time-limited to 15 years and that
in the future political peerage
appointments will also be tied
to a party's election performance.
The government has been under
pressure to take action to cut
members of the unelected chamber,
where they are entitled
to claim an attendance
allowance of £300 a day.
And once again these expenses
have been in the news.
The Electoral Reform Society
discovered that 16 peers had claimed
around £400,000 without speaking
in any debates or submitting any
questions for an entire year.
One of the Lords to be
criticised was Digby Jones,
the crossbencher and former trade
minister, he hasn't spoken
in the Lords since April 2016
and has voted only seven times
during 2016 and 2017.
Yet he has claimed around
£15,000 in this period.
When asked what he does
in the House he said,
"I go in and I will invite for lunch
or meet with inward
investors into the country.
I fly the flag for Britain."
Well, we can speak now
to Lord Jones who joins us
from Stratford Upon Avon.
Thank you very much for talking to
us. You provide value for money in
the House of Lords do you think?
Definitely. I am, by the way, very
keen on reform. I want to see that
15 year tide. I would like to see a
time limit, an age limit of 75 or
80. I would like attendants
definitely define so the whole
public understood what people are
paying for and why. The £300, as a
crossbencher I get no support, and
nor do I want any, speech writing,
secretarial assistance, none of
that, and the £300 goes towards
Whilst you are in there
because we will talk about the
reform of the Lords in general, but
in terms of you yourself, you say
you invite people in for lunch, is
it not possible for you to take part
in debates and votes and ask
questions at the same time?
ever listened to a debate in the
laws? Yes, many times.
times. You have to put your name
down in advance and you have to be
there for the whole debate.
to be around when the vote is called
and you do not know when the book is
called, you have no idea when the
boat is going to be called.
part of being a member of the House
of Lords and what it means. If you
are not prepared to wait or take
part in debates, why do you want to
be a member? It is possible to
resign from the House of Lords.
There are many things members of the
Lords do that does not relate to
parrot fashion following somebody
else, which I refuse to do, about
speaking to an empty chamber, or
indeed hanging on sometimes for
hours to vote. There are many other
things that you do. You quote me as
saying I will entertain at lunchtime
or show people around the House,
everything from schoolchildren to
inward investors. I will meet
ministers about big business issues
or educational issues, and at the
same time I will meet other members
of the Lords to get things moving.
None of that relates to going into
the House and getting on your hind
legs, although I do go in and sit
there and learn and listen to
others, which, if
others, which, if more people would
receive and not transmit, we might
get a better informed society. At
the same time many times I will go
after I have listened and I am
leaving and if I have not heard the
debate, I will not vote.
debate, I will not vote.
an essential part of being part of a
legislative chamber. This is not
just an executive committee, it is a
legislature, surpassing that law is
essential, is it not?
essential, is it not?
Do you really
believe that an MP or a member of
the Lords who has not heard a moment
of the debate,
of the debate, who is then listening
to the Bell, walks in and does not
know which lobby, the whips tell
him, they have not heard the debate
and they do not know what they are
voting on and they go and do it?
That is your democracy? Voting seems
to be an essential part of this
chamber, and you have your ideas
about reforming the chamber. It
sounds as though you would reform
yourself out of it. You say people
who are not voting and who are not
taking part in debate should no
longer be members of the House.
did not say that. I said we ought to
redefine what attendance means and
then if you do not attend on the new
criteria, you do not have to come
ever again, we will give you your
wish. I agree attendance might mean
unless you speak, you are going.
Fair enough, if that is what is
agreed, yes. Sometimes I would speak
and sometimes I would not. If I did
not, then off I go. Similarly after
15 years, off you go. If you reach
75 or 80, off you go. Why do we have
92 members who are only there
because of daddy.
because of daddy.
You are talking
about hereditary peers. You would
like to reduce the House to what
kind of number?
I would get it down
You would get rid of half
the peers there at the moment? You
think you are active enough to
remain as one of the 400?
remain as one of the 400?
No, I said
that might well include me.
that might well include me. Let's
get a set of criteria, let's push it
through, because the laws is losing
respect in the whole of the country
because there are too many and all
these things about what people pay
for. I bet most people think the
money you get is paid. It is not, it
is re-funding for all the things you
have to pay for yourself. But I
understand how respect has been lost
in society. Let's change it now.
Let's get it through and then, yes,
if you do not meet the criteria, you
have got to go and that includes me.
Lloyd Jones, thank you for talking
Lloyd Jones, thank
you for talking to us.
Good morning and welcome
to Sunday Politics Scotland.
Coming up on the programme...
Is it time for some blue-sky
thinking about NHS services?
I'll be speaking to Health
Secretary Shona Robison.
And about claims settle her sad --
sexual harassment in the Scottish
Ruled directly from Madrid
and a defiant deposed leader.
Who will be running the lives
of Catalans this week?
And we take a look back to 50 years
ago when an astounding by-election
victory in Hamilton marked
the beginning of the rise
of nationalism at the centre
of political debate.
The National Health Service has
rarely been free of debilitating
symptoms and troubling conditions
and in its annual review,
Audit Scotland's assessment
is troubling, identifying a host
of missed targets, longer waiting
times and health boards struggling
to keep up with rising costs.
The watchdog also warned
there is no "long-term plan"
to transform the NHS.
So is it time for some
I spoke to the Health
Secretary Shona Robison,
but I began by asking her
about allegations today that sexual
harassment is rife in the Scottish
That me first of all ask you...
There is material in the papers this
morning claiming that sexual
harassment is rife in the Scottish
Parliament. Is that a picture that
I am very concerned
by the reports that I have read, and
there is clearly a focus at the
moment what about sexual harassment
in a number of institutions, and out
which find it hard to believe that
the Scottish parliament is immune.
What I would say to anybody is that
it is really importing these issues
are brought out, and people of this
match had reported to the
parliamentary authorities, to the
police, possibly, and also, if it is
a party issue, to the political
parties. We need to bring these
things out and the open, by the
editors got is Parliament,
Westminster or the BBC. It is really
important that things that perhaps
have been brushed under the cap
before too long in regard of sexual
harassment, these things need to be
brought out, because clearly it is
totally unacceptable that people are
faced with that type of behaviour.
Have you personally ever been
subjected to behave if you feel is
an appropriate or do you know of
female colleagues who feel that way?
I have been very lucky in that I
have not had that personally, but I
am aware in blocks of life, not used
in political life, that it is
commonplace for women to have
remarks made. Actually, on social
media, we do all get a level of
abuse that I think we get as women
that perhaps wouldn't be directed at
men about how we live and what we
were, and obviously that isn't
necessarily as serious as sexual
harassment in your day-to-day job,
but I think it is part of an issue
as a society we have where women are
targeted in different ways. If it is
in the workplace, where there is
perhaps a relationship with a the
person is being sexually harassed,
that is very serious.
I just wonder
what I do think the Scottish
Government needs to do something. I
mean, to say the Scottish Government
should start this would be
ridiculous, but perhaps could do
something to encourage people to
come forward. -- should stamp this
out. Nothing is being done about it,
everybody runs for cover. They field
concerns have been ignored,
according to the lawyer.
very serious indeed. The Scottish
parliament as an a situation needs
to look at this very seriously
indeed antiseptic people, whoever
they are, and women in particular,
that if they are facing anything in
the workplace, then the institution
encourages them to come forward, in
confidence, so there will be no
repercussions, and confidence to
report such matters, and as a party,
I would certainly say that our
headquarters are open, they will
take any issues of concern, and they
would be treated confidentially, and
a originality -- all the other
parties would say the same. This
practice Government has taken a lot
of action and equality and making
sure that the gift in message that
that type of behaviour in whatever
institution is absolutely wrong and
must be stamped out, and if there is
anything more we can do as a
Government, then I am sure we well.
First of all, the Parliament has to
make sure that it has and openness
to say that this behaviour is wrong,
and as collies, if we see anything
like that, we should also been
speaking up and think that type of
behaviour is absolutely wrong, and I
would encourage all of my colleagues
across any of the parties to do
There is a discussion going on
about taxation and whether it should
be increased in Scotland. No
decision has been taken yet. Alex
Neill has been saying this morning
that any increases in tax as a
result of these discussions should
be reserved for the NHS.
agree? I was make a very strong PNA
negotiations around the budget for
the health budget.
He is suggesting
it should be...
around the budget, which are
ongoing, but have a discussion about
what the priorities are for
Government. I think it is fair to
say that they have budget has been a
key priority for Government. It is a
good £6 billion will... 2 billion
over the course of the rest of this
Parliament for the health budget.
These discussions will be ongoing,
and I will certainly be making a
very strong case that the health
budget should continue to be
You are not saying it
should be increased from taxation?
The NHS has already had a commitment
to get the lion's share of
resources, so I will continue to
make that argument.
There is a
programme to transform the NHS. We
have had this Audit Scotland report
this week which was extremely
critical of the performance of your
Government. What I find particularly
concerning, looking at it, was that
if we look to the future, to the end
of this, this big programme to
integrate social care with the NHS
was supposed to take pressures off
hospitals so that it would be up a
cute bed, and get people out into
the community. By that as evidence
that they're blocking has reduced,
but they also say is that there is
little indication the balance of
funding will shift in the coming
years, not just now, but in the
coming years. They say that they
have examined the situation and find
that all evidence of multi-year
plans to move funding and reduce the
number of acute beds. How is that
possible when this flagship policy
has now been in place for years?
Audit Scotland does recognise that
the reforms put in place are
beginning to show something...
Assisting that even at the reforms
work they will have no effect.
delayed discharge, that is making
progress, and that is recognised. We
have made a bet commitment to
transfer £500 million of acute
It is a
very congregated subject, the NHS.
You can quote me lots of figures.
Audit Scotland is saying that there
is little evidence of multi-year
plans to move funding and reduce the
number of acute beds. That was
supposed to be the end point of your
transformation, and they are saying
there is no evidence that even if
your transformation worked it will
have the effect that you say it
will. Just talking about the amount
of money you in is not the point.
agree with Audit Scotland that money
is not the answer. It has to be
reformed, as well as obviously
proper investment and enough
investment, it is re-form. One of
the recommendations and they make is
for a financial Fearon to set
alongside the health and care
delivery plan to track...
Why is it
What has already gone on
to make sure we can put that in
place, and it will be published in
the spring to set alongside the
health and care delivery plan to
make sure that that money is tight
as it changes. Previously, we hadn't
made such a bold commitment, to
transfer £500 million from acute
anti-community services, and they
talked about shifting the balance of
the, but there was no figure. We now
have a figure. The financial
framework but track that and it will
demonstrate how that money, going
from acute into community services
will make the difference. That needs
That financial framework
will help. A year ago, Audit
Scotland produced a report saying
the problem with all these grand
what about social care, which you
have just repeated, is that there is
no funding plan in place, so no one
knows how much it is going to cost,
and there are no benchmarks in place
so that we won't know, even if there
was funding there, whether it is
And yet, that is still the
case. It is more than grand words,
because £250 million went into
social care through the health
budget in order to build up those
communities services, to tackle
daily and avoid people...
Scotland say there are no benchmarks
in place. There are benchmarks.
are wrong? No, they are not wrong.
We need to do more and give
transparency to that. But we have
said that what we need to do, how we
are going to do it. The financial
framework in the spring will set out
the financial dimension of that, but
it is very clear that putting more
money in and having the system same
is not going to cut the mustard, and
that is by keeping people out of
hospital, tackling delay, and
developing commuters services is
absolutely good thing today.
take up something you mentioned a
moment ago, which is a £250 million
which was silly health budget,
allocated to social care. Audit
allocated to social care. Audit
Scotland say that that money did not
go to the NHS, it went to social
care through the NHS. They say if
you strip that money out, the
revenue budget for the NHS actually
fell in real terms last year. I
can't remember the number of times
I've had Scottish Government
ministers boasting about how they
are increasing health spending in
real terms. Would you accept the
point that if you strip out this
yard and £59 which went actually to
social care, they have budget
actually fell last year in real
You can ship it out. They do.
They actually don't, because they
recognise that it is actually one
system, and they said that in real
terms, paragraph 12, on page 12, it
sets out the real terms increases
that we have seen in the health
budget, and then we go on to talk
about the last two years, and they
make the point that the 250 million
is part of an integrated system and
therefore has to be included, and
that of course means it was a real
This Pacific would
make the point that when she's
studied that out, the revenue budget
for the health service fell last
They don't say it should be.
They recognise it as part of the
When you slip the
money for integration that will go
to social care, in the current
financial climate, while the NHS
budget, without that money, increase
in real terms.
The NHS budget is one
budget. We don't have any acute
services, primary care and social
care all different. We have an
antiquated system. All of the money
works as one system, and of course,
all of the parties wanted us to put
money into social care. We can take
part of the money out. It is like
saying take the money out a primary
care family have budget, take money
out of social care. It is one
integrated system, and their father
has been a real terms entries in the
What about the
current year? Why can you say I do,
yes, if you strip that money out
there well I would be an entries and
they have budget, but it doesn't
matter. But that be, excluding the
money that goes to social care, and
entries any health budget in the
Yes or no. You cannot
strip that money out.
because you know the figures. Why
can't you just say yes or no to my
No, there is not if your
term reduction. You don't take this
social care money out, because it is
Audit Scotland did and
said you should in order to be
Audit Scotland recognise it
as an integrated system that works
through the whole attitude into
They raised the issue
and said you could strap it out as a
matter of transparency. They said
that, not me. I suspect, from what
you are saying, is that they would
not be an entries in the revenue
budget for the NHS.
Am I right?
There is an entries in the revenue
budget for the health budget every
year. You cannot strip the 250
million. It is one system. If we did
that, it is about like saying that
it doesn't matter about delayed
discharge. You could be in a
hospital bed and not get on because
you don't count that money. Of
course you have to count that money.
We haven't even touched on the fact
about the targets. Renal health is a
different -- renal health is
difficult to learn. Performance in
six out of a target is going
backwards, and you have failed to
meet seven out of eight in the last
year, and there is no evidence the
health of the population is
improving. The opposition parties
are saying, look, with a less like
that you should resign.
all, the system in Scotland is
outperforming all of these systems
in the UK, with the same opposition
parties are in charge of, so that is
the first thing. If you look at
those eight targets...
It is OK for
you to be failing because the Tories
It is happy critical
for my opponents to be saying that
the Scottish health system...
reasonable to say, look, wouldn't it
be better to let some have a go at
Whoever would be in my shoes
would face the same issues and the
same problems, and they would be
implementing this same plant, a plan
that I and my colleagues put in
place, and that there is no other
plan. It is a plan that I am
determined to deliver, and if you
want to talk about the targets, the
Audit Scotland obvious in exhibit
that something to focus too much
You are going
backwards on targets.
Every look at
the attackers, four of them are
actually very close to being met. If
you look at the 31 day cancer
target, 0.1% of if I'm been met. Any
departments, the best performing in
When will they be
met? By next year?
We will make
progress over the next 12 to 18
months in meeting the cancer target,
at very high priority. BA idea
target is almost the best performing
in the UK over 2.5 years. Whether as
a problem is with elective and
We don't have time. How
many targets for you made when Audit
Scotland produces airport next year?
I would want us to make progress on
all of those targets. You will meet
those targets? They will be going in
the right direction, and the work
that Professor Derek Bell is
undertaking, Bissouma he undertook
an unscheduled care. He is working
on collective outpatient.
on collective outpatient.
during the referendum campaign that
if we voted against independence the
NHS would be privatised, how much
has the NHS being privatised since
1914? You macro this year there will
be 20 minutes in the the private
sector, that's 22% of the health
budget. A tiny proportion going into
private sector spending and. Yellow
markers so it turned out...
the NHS is not going to be
privatised under the pet SNP. If you
look at the virgin health care and
all the other private companies
coming in in England people should
be very worried, in Scotland there
will be no privatisation of health
care in Scotland.
Despite being sacked
by Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy
on Friday as regional premier,
Carles Puigdemont gave no indication
in a speech on Saturday
that he considered himself dismissed
and called on "democratic
opposition" to direct
rule from Madrid.
Our reporter Niall O'Gallagher
was in Barcelona for us
watching the events unfold.
Even at the last minute it wasn't
clear that Catalonia's declaration
of Independence would go ahead. With
the region's autonomy due to be
suspended the pressure group to
implement the result of the
contested referendum. Supporters of
independence gathered outside the
parliament in Barcelona. But hopes
of a deal receded over the horizon.
In the morning, thousands gathered
outside the Catalan part liniment.
While they debated what to do,
Spanish state power was present.
People have been waiting for hours
for the Catalan parliament to make
that declaration of Independence, a
declaration in Spain says will be it
illegal and the people here say it
is now time for the parliament to
act. By the early afternoon, the
owner moment had arrived. After a
majority of pro-union members had
left the chamber in protest, the
rest voted by secret ballot. The
result was met with judo should I do
those waiting outside. But within
the hour, the Spanish Sennett voted
to strip Catalonia from its powers
and remove the government. Catalonia
will be ruled by Madrid until
elections are held in December.
24 hours afterwards who has Brit
recognise the Republic of Catalonia?
No one. So it is a former president
of a regional region of Spain, has
put himself outside the law.
speaking near the border of France,
the Catalan leader made it clear
that he did not recognise the
state's right to remove him.
best way to achieve the games of
today is to oppose Article 155,
which is against the will of the
Catalan people and the majority have
felt like a European nation.
felt like a European nation.
governments now claimed the right to
govern this region and Spain has the
power and the international support
to assert its authority. Catalonia's
proclamation has been heard that has
not been accepted. After a clear
day, the future remains uncertain.
Now, Professor of Economics Sevi
Rodriguez Mora has been
following the events closely
in his home city of Barcelona.
I wonder Professor, now the Spanish
government rather than arresting
Carles Puigdemont, is this the first
sign that we could have some form of
negotiation and reconciliation?
think there was never an option to
arrest him unless he did something
openly illegal. He has said that he
is still the president and the
Spanish black is still flying on the
government building in Catalonia and
I imagine there will will run normal
regional elections in December.
you don't expect Carles Puigdemont
and his colleagues to set up an
independent state? You macro no, I
don't think they have the financial
resources to do so.
They could try
to do it for a external purposes,
big demonstrations and attract
international public attention, but
the cost would be too big. It would
not be reasonable to do that. This
is completely crazy as far as I'm
Can I just ask you, you
helped define bound temp map to, so
you are against independence. But
you are in favour of elections.
Someone said to me, you might
actually do well in these elections.
Our party is the largest opposition
party in Catalonia, it is the third
party in Spain. Our party was
founded by the people who were
opposed to Catalan nationalism.
Would you suggest expect the Catalan
nationalists to take part in these
elections? Yes to much you macro the
most radical of them,
most radical of them,
these guys I
don't know. But the two main parties
in the Catalan nationalist movement
I think they will participate.
they Catalan party supporting
independence in Catalonia, would you
suggest that is a mandate to declare
They should try to
change the Spanish constitution.
They will have 40% of the Spanish
parliament would be willing to do
that. They can try to do that. I
think it is possible to find an
agreement. There has been a
commission instigated to present
Thank you very much.
To independence movements
closer to home now.
50 years ago this week,
an astounding by-election victory
in Hamilton marked the beginning
of the SNP's rise to power
and period of history which has seen
nationalism at the centre
of political debate,
with the establishment
of a Scottish Parliament
and a referendum on independence.
Graham Stewart looks back on why
Winnie Ewing's election win of 1967
marked a turning point in history.
Winnie Ewing 18,300 97. Winnie
Ewing's spectacular or when in
Labour's safest seat rocked the
I was a
threat at that time seemed a threat
to both parties because they had a
nice cosy car park, a safe labour
and Tory seats a knew where they
were. The trade union hacks and it
was all nice and lo and behold a
safe seat like Hamilton toppled and
they thought if this can happen in
Hamilton it can happen anywhere and
a shiver ran down the Labour MP's
The Labour MP who was
supporting a majority of 16 and a
half thousand four a majority was
secured. We didn't George Leslie who
stood for the SNP in that year
believes wedding Winnie Ewing was a
big asset to that party.
energy she injected into the party,
we had sometimes a community hall or
a classroom and Winnie could talk
the hind legs off a donkey. She
would somehow make it so that she
was talking person personally to
every single person.
I attended one
of her meetings and she is a very
good Speaker. And she gets a point
across very good very well.
because she is a woman and secondly
because I agree with a lot of what
The legacy of Winnie
Ewing's 1967 victory was that it put
the Scottish question centre stage.
The political establishment takes
Scotland much more seriously. The
Treasury was much more aware that
Treasury was much more aware that
they Scotland was distinct.
months after Hamilton, the Tory
leader Edward Hage made this
declaration at the party's
conference in Perth.
We will give
the people of Scotland genuine
participation in the making of all
events that affect them and the
historic unity of the United
The Labour Party also
supported this. And when each Ewing
was chosen to preside over its
The Scottish parliament is
hereby reconvened. White macro in
the 1967 by-election, Winnie Ewing
also supported joining the European
community, something the SNP still
Winnie Ewing put her
insisted that Scotland was part of
Europe coining the memorable phase
stop the world, Scotland wants to
It was multicoloured
multicultural, progressive thing
that Winnie Ewing was progressing.
She was rejecting ethnic nationalism
and embracing civic nationalism. So
the modern SNP really found its
voice in the Hamilton by-election
through Winnie Ewing.
38, a Glasgow solicitor has won
It has by no means been a
straightforward trajectory since the
election in 1967, but the events of
60 year 50 years ago marked the
beginning of a political fun than on
and that we are still feeling today.
I have to say thanks to Hamilton for
making history but Scotland and give
a neat independent voice in
Now it's time to take a look back,
as well as forwards,
to the week ahead.
I'm joined now by journalist Pennie
Taylor and former MSP Mary Scanlon.
Welcome to both of you.
Let's just talk about the sexual
harassment business which is all
over everything today. Is this
something you came across Mary in
the Scottish parliament? Is it
I read the article in the
Herald two-day, there is very little
else about it. It would be unusual
if it didn't exist in the Scottish
Parliament. In an could do more. I
can do more by alerting people as to
what constitutes bullying, for
example, malicious rumours,
victimisation, exclusion, and I
think people need to be much more
aware of the insidious type of
harassment that can exist, and I
think also that many people have
almost got used to, and I think both
employers and employees through the
whole country in the organisation, I
think there is scope for a lot more
awareness and training around this
Health,. This report this
week is not great.
It was a damning
report following other damning
report. I think, family, the
striking message from it was serious
change is required, and there is no
evidence that it is going to happen.
The evidence seems to be that in as
it is working, it is not reducing
them demand for acute beds.
got a perfect storm in Scotland as
you have across the UK, really, with
growing numbers of older people,
with multiple conditions needing
treatment, but that has been
entirely predictable. You have got
an ageing workforce as well, which
means that people are retiring and
are not able to bring people in at
the other end to staff the service.
May Day, one of the things that
Audit Scotland says, and they have
said this before about the NHS and
other areas in public service,
exactly come up with grandiose games
and plans, but there is nothing
there spelling out what was count as
these plans working. The
benchmarking is not there.
that is actually the most
disappointing thing of all, and it
should be the banner headline. There
is no single health care assessment
of the quality of health care. We do
know that the out of 14 health
boards, you can get cancer treatment
within 62 days, but if you live in a
deprived area, most people are
actually diagnose that stage four.
They have not got 62 days to this
debate. Every year, and they are
boring enough to have read all of
these NHS Audit Scotland reports
since devolution, every year,
almost, we have increased life
expectancy. That has now stood still
for five years. Personal injury
claims, money set aside for that,
that money should be going into
podiatry and physiotherapy.
idea benchmarking, Pennie, it is any
of England seem to have got the
message. We have had this problem in
education as well. There is not
being laid out saying, how are we
going to know whether spending all
this money and making this change is
largely working? Curriculum for
excellence being another example.
has to be measurable. And this is
what the auditor general has said.
You need milestones by which this
service can be judged. And also she
is calling for long-term financial
planning instead of year-on-year
budget setting. And I have had no
commitment to that from the
Government so far.
I didn't have
time to get into it with John
Robinson, but another area is
primary care. No one seems to have
any data on the people they employ,
what those people do, by that one GP
in one area in the country is as
efficient as one in another. There
is no information.
One of the
problems with that is getting the
information into the central system.
It is very complicated. As a First
Minister said, this is tough stuff.
It is incredibly tough. It is also
incredibly important to get it
The most important plasma
disappointing thing, listening to
Nicola Sturgeon on First Minister's
Questions, and shoulder today, I am
sorry, but they are in total denial.
We want for them is to say, this is
very disappointing, have faith in
us, we will put it right. You cannot
put that if you are in denial. This
is the worst ever Audit Scotland
report, and it has repeated what
they have been saying for years.
You're going to have to leave it
there. We are completely out of
time. Thank you very much.
That's all from the us this week.
I'll be back at the
same time next week.
Until then, goodbye.
Sarah Smith and Gordon Brewer with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include chair of the Exiting the EU Select Committee Hilary Benn and former transport minister Theresa Villiers. Steve Richards, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Anne McElvoy are the political panel.