The latest political news, interviews and debate in Scotland.
Browse content similar to 21/01/2018. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Morning, everyone, and welcome
to the Sunday Politics.
I'm Sarah Smith.
And this is your essential briefing
to everything that's happening this
morning in the world of politics.
Big fines for bosses who take
bonuses from firms with black holes
in their pension funds -
will the Prime Minister's promise
help the Government get
back on the front foot
after the collapse of Carillion?
reform if they obstruct the passage
of the EU Withdrawal Bill.
Arch-remainer Lord Adonis
says that's their job.
We'll bring the MP
and the peer together.
Henry Bolton fights to save his job
after a week of damaging headlines
about his relationship
with a 25-year-old model.
We'll be talk to
the Ukip leader live.
Will it be his last
interview as party leader?
And on Sunday Politics Scotland,
Scottish Labour leader
Richard Leonard joins me live
in the studio to discuss his
plans to turn around
the fortunes of his party.
All that coming up in the programme.
And with me today, our regular
gaggle of experts providing
the inside track on all the big
stories - Tom Newton Dunn,
Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards.
First this morning, Theresa May
is proposing what she's
calling tough new rules
to penalise company executives
who try to line their own pockets
by putting their workers'
pensions at risk.
"An unacceptable abuse,"
she says, "that will end."
Her comments come as the Government
attempts to seize the initiative
after the collapse of the giant
and out-sourcing company, Carillion,
which went into liquidation
on Monday with debts
of around £1.5 billion.
One of Britain's biggest
construction firms, Carillion,
has been put into liquidation.
20,000 workers face
an uncertain future.
Carillion employed people providing
essential services in our schools,
hospitals, railways and prisons.
They had to be told they would be
paid when they turned
up to work on Monday.
Let me be clear that all employees
should continue to turn up to work
confident in the knowledge
that they will be paid
for the public services
that they are providing.
The firm had around 450
contracts with government,
on top of private work
and overseas projects.
Some of those had been handed
to the company after it issued
profit warnings last year.
Prime Minister, why were contracts
awarded to Carillion
despite the warnings?
Labour and the unions
Why did the Government
not heed the warnings?
Why did they continue to give
billions of pounds of contracts
to a company that the City
were backing against in 2013?
That's the real question.
And it's emerged the firm's former
chief executive, Richard Howson,
who left the firm last year,
received £1.5 million in pay
and bonuses in 2016,
while many ordinary employees face
the prospect of being laid-off
and a huge black hole
in the company's pension scheme
could result in their
pensions being slashed.
Subcontractors who hadn't been paid
for weeks were warned they might get
just 1p for every pound
they are owed.
Some warned that they too
might go to the wall.
We are not really a business
of a size that can trade
through that without some form
of support from the Government.
If it's not forthcoming, I think
ourselves and lots of businesses
like us will probably go
out of business.
In the wake of the collapse...
For Labour though, this was not just
about the failure of one company.
By Monday night, Jeremy Corbyn had
taken to social media.
At Prime Minister's Questions,
he pressed the point home.
This is not one isolated case
of government negligence
and corporate failure.
It is a broken system.
Virgin and Stagecoach's management
of East Coast Trains,
Capita and Atos' handling
of disability assessments,
and security firm G4S's failure
to provide security at the Olympics
were all examples, according
to Jeremy Corbyn, of the private
sector failing the public sector.
These corporations, Mr Speaker,
need to be shown the door.
We need our public services
provided by public employees
with a public service ethos
and a strong public oversight.
As the ruins of Carillion lie
around her, will the Prime Minister
act to end this costly racket?
Theresa May pointed out
it was the Blair and Brown
partnership deals and she suspected
there was something else behind
the current Labour leadership's
hostility to the private sector.
But what Labour oppose isn't just
a role for private companies
in public services but the private
sector as a whole.
This is a Labour Party that has
turned its back on investment,
on growth, on jobs.
A Labour Party that will always put
politics before people.
So, under a Labour government,
how far would their
nationalisation plans go?
Would every binman, builder
and even bankers have to be
employed by the state?
Carillion's collapses the big story
of the week and it will continue to
have political consequences I will
talk through now at the panel. Tom
Newton Dunn, presumably the caps of
Carillion has prompted this promise
from Theresa May that she will
punish bosses who continue to take
bonuses when they have black holes
in the pension fund, is this
This is our
expectation, the Prime Minister has
acted dramatically as a response to
the collapse of Carillion last week.
The problem as I recall a party
conference speech she gave in
October, 2016, the citizens of
nowhere, calling out a rotten
corrupt apples across the country
then, Philip Green who presided over
the collapse of BHS, leaving a
massive pensions black hole, an
entire year and a bit has passed and
no apparent government action. I
fear Theresa May with the bold words
in the new look Observer this
morning, action today, still action
It is what people want to
Certainly people do want to
hear it, although they are amazed it
has not happened before. Jeremy
Corbyn is playing this beautifully.
There is a much more worrying bigger
picture here for the Conservatives.
The opportunity they have created
for Jeremy Corbyn to underline his
case that unfettered free markets do
not work and somehow or other
Carillion symbolises everything that
is wrong about the system, as we
heard him say in the clip. I do not
think most voters are particularly
ideological, they just want things
to work. But if the Government is
seen to be incompetent on this
scale, it creates a vacuum for the
leader of the Labour Party to put an
ideological spin on it and he is
doing it very effectively.
Minister is right when she says more
of these PFI contracts were signed
under Blair and Brown than under
subsequent Tory governments, but now
you have a Jeremy Corbyn Labour
Party in opposition, they do not
have to shoulder the blame for that?
Jeremy Corbyn oppose them at the
time. The late 1970s in reverse,
that is what we are seeing. Bowman
the minority Labour government being
torn apart. Now we have a minority
Conservative government being
challenged by tidal waves which put
challenged by tidal waves which put
them on the defensive all the time.
We have not time to go through other
examples, but just on this one,
Theresa May is quite well equipped,
as Tom said, from the beginning, she
taught the language of intervention
and corporate governments, coming
after the bad people in the private
sector, but because of the lack of
action to follow it up and because
Jeremy Corbyn genuinely believes in
these things, it is much easier for
him to swim with these tidal waves
than her lead in this deeply
pressurised minority government.
have been talking to all three of
you through the programme, let us
pick up on Carillion with the Shadow
Attorney General, Labour's Shami
Chakrabarti. Labour have been very
critical of the Government's
response to the collapse of
Carillion, what would Labour have
done differently this week if you
had been in government?
I think what
we would do and what we will do, as
soon as we are in government, is
look in a far more fundamental way
at PFI, outsourcing, and by the
We will get on the principles
of this, but if you had won the
election in 2017, it would have been
a Labour government handling the
collapse, what would have been
different in your response?
not have left it so late, we would
not have bailed out a company that
already had raised serious warning
signals in the City, we would not
have allowed them to get into
subcontracting with, for example,
Cerco, worth millions of pounds,
profit warnings against that company
Cerco are a big government
provider, should they be looking at
all of their contracts with the
likes of Cerco who have also issued
You do have to look
at all of the arrangements and the
subcontracting arrangements. It is
not because I am ideological leap
opposed to the private sector, it
will be smaller private sector
companies suffering from nonpayment.
Should the Government help? The man
running the small business in the
film saying they might go to the
Quite possibly. But with
accountability. It is all very well
for Mrs May to say she will sting
the big executives, there has to be
ministerial responsibility as well.
One of my concerns is that when
vital public services of a kind
almost constitutional, for example,
prisons, get contracted out, what
you are actually devolving as
something goes terribly wrong, in a
vital utility, a matter of security,
infrastructure, and ministers, of
whatever colour, put up their hands
and say, it is wicked executives.
What we need is ministerial
responsibility, oversight, of course
we want a thriving private sector,
but some vital services need to be
run by public servants and with
ministers held to account.
when you hear Labour Shadow
ministers talking, it sounds as
though they want to take absolutely
everything back into public
That is not the case. I
believe in a mixed economy and I
know my colleagues do too but there
are times when some things need to
be in public hands. That will
include on constitutional grounds
talking about people's human rights,
basic security, and it will also
mean sometimes when you have a big
organisation and outsourcing is used
to grind down the working conditions
of some workers and break down the
sense of community solidarity.
is it appropriate for private
For example, there are
some things that the private sector
probably does better. When you're
running a police force, you are
unlikely to say, we will make the
motorbikes for the police officers
better than BMW. Maybe you will but
I doubt it will happen any time
You need to look at this. What
about cleaning in offices and police
stations? Should that be run by the
police or outsourced?
stations? Should that be run by the
hospitals are better example because
cleanliness in a hospital is quite
often a matter of life and death.
Sometimes it is better even for
something that seems not a core
service like claiming to be in
public hands. You need to look at
this on a case-by-case basis.
not have many examples of where it
is appropriate for private companies
to be involved. Prisons and
probation, what about catering in
prisons, does that have to be in
What you want to do is
look at the quality of the service,
the quality of the conditions, for
the people working there, and to see
what would be best value for the
public and for the public purse. It
is not ideological, but in some
cases, principles are at stake.
are left with the problem here of
workers worried about pensions,
working for Carillion and
subcontractors who might not get
paid. If the Government work to talk
about putting taxpayers' money into
helping out those people or those
companies, would the Labour Party
We would want to look at the
conditions of spending public money?
In principle? It is not the fault of
the subcontracting small companies
they will not get paid.
if you decide to spend public money,
for example, to help the smaller
businesses, you want accountability
in response. You
in response. You might well want to
legislate to give priority to
pension funds, for example, over
shareholders who have not done their
job of corporate governance in these
Moving on to talk about
something else, if you don't mind,
the serial six attacker, this time
last week we were sitting here
talking about the fact the Justice
Minister said he would launch a
judicial review and now he will not
because it has little chance of
succeeding. Should the Government be
pursuing a judicial review?
at the time, I held my tongue about
it because I am used to politicians
wading in in a knee jerk way when
there is a case of this kind, my
view is that if there is to be a
judicial review of the parole board
decision, the best person to bring
such a review would be a victim
because the chances are their best
arguments would be under the Human
Rights Act which gives rights to
victims and not to politicians.
Crowdfunding attempt to raise money
to do that perhaps?
If the Justice
Secretary wants to make a name for
himself with this as a new Justice
Secretary, he might better give his
attentions to making sure the people
have decent levels of legal aid so
they can vindicate their rights
under the Human Rights Act. In
relation to the case of John Worboys
and the crisis of public confidence,
that it is in danger of creating, we
could do with an end review of the
whole case, from the moment a young
woman went to the police and was not
believed to the moment this release
decision was made arguably with the
lack of transparency and involvement
He was prosecuted for
offences against 12 women and we
know there were almost 100 other
women who came forward. The CPS said
there was not enough evidence and
they cannot revisit that decision,
if there was not enough evidence
then, there will not be enough now.
I am not second-guessing the
particular CPS decision is because I
am not in a position to do that but
there are issues for the whole
system from the moment that a woman
went to the police and was not
treated with the respect she
treated with the respect she
deserved, to victims.
Kier Starmer was director of
prosecutions at the time and he said
he didn't have any involvement in
the decision-making behind it.
did his predecessor.
But he should
have done, shouldn't he? He has
prosecuted for only 12 cases, the
DPP should be involved in that.
argument is this whole
story on this whole case and the
numbers of women involved and
frankly the anxiety this decision
has caused to women who weren't even
victims means there needs to be an
end to end review of how the system
has worked in this case, from the
moment a woman went to the police
and was arguably not believed in was
made without the input of victims
who I would expect to be given
notice and the opportunity to make
representations to the parole board.
There's a story running in the
Sunday Times this morning about
Momentum and saying they are trying
to deselect 50 Labour MPs. The fact
of the matter is whether have been
Parliamentary selections, momentum
candidates have... Do you think
actually the Parliamentary Labour
Party should better
Party should better reflect Jeremy
Corbyn's Labour Party?
not prioritising the selection of
some candidates over others. They
are part of the Labour movement that
has always had various strands
within it. What is exciting to me is
not exciting to the Sunday Times,
fair enough, but we have a
Democratic party becoming more
There is still a
massive disconnect between those who
sit in Parliament and those who have
joined since Jeremy Corbyn became
I think these things become
exaggerated. I have noticed people
uniting around purposes, not least
the scandal around Carillion. I
don't really spot this red Menace in
the way other people do. It's a
democratic party, and most popular
movement of about 600,000 people and
I think that something to be
Thank you for
talking to this morning.
Momentum haven't been that
successful so far.
I think it has
been overblown on the basis of the
evidence. You quoted the procedure
is taking place so far, they haven't
prevailed that often and in the
Sunday Times this morning they
resorted to the example of Haringey
Council where there are a lot of
specific local issues. At this point
it is unclear whether the selection
will become the overwhelming theme
over the next few years in the
Labour Party. It might do but the
evidence so far is it is much more
nuanced than some papers are
Three new Momentum
members on the NEC this morning, is
it going to make a difference do you
A huge difference because
Corbyn and his wing of the party can
now do precisely what they want, as
long as they have the union muscle
behind them during conference votes,
then the party and any which way he
wants to run it is his. I disagree
with Steve, the difference in
language Jeremy Corbyn and his close
associates were using after the NEC
elections this week on mandatory
reselection is, Shami wasn't asked
if she believed in them, Rebecca
Long-Bailey was, and they refused to
rule them out and say they were a
bad thing. In my view, it is without
doubt that Corbyn will at some stage
try to reshape the Parliamentary
party more in his image and you may
argue why should he not do that.
Shami was saying the party is much
more united around Jeremy Corbyn and
when we see a story like Carillion
it is easier for him to get the
backing of the Parliamentary party.
I think that's right. How unpleasant
and ugly and divisive is it to have
the story is out, whether or not
they are completely accurate or
whoever is briefing, I think it
looks very bad on the atmosphere of
the Parliamentary party. Where I do
think Shami has a good point is on
the size of the Labour membership.
600,000, the Conservatives can only
dream of getting a fraction of
dream of getting a fraction of this,
so clearly there is a big problem
for the Tory party there in matching
what Labour is doing.
We should ask,
mandatory reselection for Labour
MPs, are you in favour, Shami?
democratic process should be across
the board and for everyone. Where
MPs are doing a good job, including
working with their membership, and
you have to work with your
membership to get the vote out in
the Labour Party, that relationship
works well and I think that
relationship will only work better
into the future. I have been all
over the country to all sorts of
CLPs campaigning, and you would be
surprised at the number of places
where there is a very happy
relationship between the MP and the
party regardless of the particular
strand they come from.
Thank you for
Now, the Government's flagship
Brexit legislation -
the EU Withdrawal Bill -
hasn't always had the easiest
of times in the House of Commons,
but this week, MPs voted to send it
through for consideration
in the House of Lords.
A number of peers having expressed
concern about the so-called Henry
VIII powers the bill grants
to ministers to make changes to some
laws without parliamentary scrutiny.
And of course, a number
of peers are dismayed
about the process of Brexit itself.
So, are we likely to see more
dramatic attempts to change
the Bill in a chamber full
of unelected lawmakers?
Ellie Price has been
taking their temperature.
You'd think a bill that sought
to enshrine EU law into British law
after Brexit would be popular
with the pro-Remain
crowd in Parliament.
But when the Withdrawal Bill cleared
the Commons this week,
one Tory Remain-supporting MP said
he hoped the House of Lords would
make an enormous amount of changes.
Good lord, what are they up to?!
I think what will happen
is that the Government will suffer
a series of defeats,
which will reduce the power
of ministers to do things
without proper scrutiny,
and put in place a sensible series
of votes - both in Parliament
and the people at the end
of the process - so that when we do
get an end point to Brexit,
people can say that it's
been done properly.
So a second referendum
is on the table?
It's definitely on the table.
You would expect a Lib Dem
to say that, but some Tory
peers want changes too.
If it comes to the situation
where it looks as if what people
voted for cannot be delivered,
then we have to decide how
best to move forward.
I don't believe the House of Lords
is trying to block Brexit at all.
I think what the House of Lords
is doing is its constitutional duty.
So anyone hoping the House of Lords
will deliver a fatal blow to Brexit
will be disappointed,
but so too will anyone hoping
that the Withdrawal Bill will come
out of there unchanged.
So what is all the fuss about?
The extent of the Government taking
powers to itself while giving
powers to Parliament,
Henry VIII powers, this issue,
of course, about the kind
of protections we've had under EU
law that we've contributed
to for consumer protection,
they are coming into UK law
and that's what this bill does
but it needs to make sure they're
protected in UK law; they can't just
be overturned the next day.
There has to be a mandatory
process to do that.
But this was the reaction when some
elected MPs over in the Commons
voted against aspects
of the Withdrawal Bill,
causing a government defeat.
One of their own colleagues even
talked of treachery.
Another MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg,
this week said the laws would face
reform if it tried to frustrate
the democratic will of the people.
So is the chamber full of unelected
Remainers playing with fire?
Since I've been leader
in the House of Lords,
for just over two years,
what I've found is every time
someone doesn't agree
with something we're doing,
they will get quite
hysterical about "take
away their powers," it's almost
an off-with-their-heads moment.
But you know, there is quite
prescribed powers we do,
we take them seriously
and responsibly, and,
we will send them back
to the House of Commons.
And even one of the lesser-spotted
Lords isn't worried.
There are a number of lords
are in cahoots with Messrs Tusk
and Juncker in trying to persuade
the British people that they made
a grave mistake when they voted
to leave Brexit, and I have no doubt
they will have a bit
of fun doing that.
But on the big issues,
like whether we should
have a second referendum,
the Lords voted by a majority
of more than 200 against that last
year; or if you look at the Commons
vote where the majority was over 200
against remaining in the single
market and the customs union,
I think the Lords will look
to the elected House and do
what they're good at,
which is to consider the detail.
Of course, one of the biggest
differences between the Lords
and Commons is the presence
of nearly 200 crossbenchers -
members who aren't in a party
and don't take the whip,
and they include some
of the most distinguished legal
minds in the country.
And debate over the bill's
constitutional implications may well
lead to more than one showdown
with the Commons.
It's worth remembering
that the Corporate Manslaughter
and Corporate Homicide Bill went
back and forth between the two
Houses seven times only a few years
ago, and that was just an aspect
of the criminal justice system,
it wasn't about the biggest decision
this country is taking since 1945.
So I think people need to be
a little bit relaxed about that.
Like the MPs on the Green
benches of the Commons,
the Lords on their red benches
agreed to trigger Article 50.
But the Lords, like the Commons,
is split on what Brexit
should actually look like.
There may be some toing and froing,
or ping-pong as it's known around
here, but pretty much everyone
agrees the Lords can't
and won't block the bill,
and it will go through,
probably, by the end of May.
Ellie Price reporting.
by the MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.
This week he was elected
chair of the influential
European Research Group,
made up of Brexit-backing
And in the studio, we're
joined by Andrew Adonis.
He's a Labour peer who resigned
from his role as a Government
adviser last month over
its Brexit strategy.
Lord Adonis, you have made your
opposition to Brexit clear, recently
describing it as a national list
spasm that can be stopped. Do you
think the EU Withdrawal Bill is the
opportunity to stop Brexit?
this is the biggest decision the
country will take since 1945. I do
not think the Lords can stop it,
this is an issue for the people. It
started with the people in a
referendum and my view is the final
sites should go to the people. The
critical issue over the coming
months will be the relationship
between the House of Lords and the
House of Commons in seeing people
have the final say.
When you say
people have the final say, you are
talking about a second referendum?
The first referendum on Mrs May's
terms on departure of the EU, not a
rerun of the referendum two years
ago because when we have that we
didn't know what the terms would be.
We are a democracy, we engage the
people, this is the biggest decision
since 1945 and the people should
have the final say.
Let me bring in
Jacob Rees-Mogg on that, you are
confident we will have a Brexit deal
that will look attractive to most of
the electorate so presumably you
wouldn't be too worried about the
second referendum on the terms of
I think the ambition of
the Lords in putting forward a
second referendum is to try to stop
tax it, and Lord Adonis has been
clear about that. He said only
yesterday he wanted to delete all of
the clauses of the Withdrawal Bill.
We have had a referendum, then a
general election where both main
parties backed the referendum
results. I think if somebody wants a
second referendum they should win a
general election first, campaigning
for one, rather than getting
unelected peers to use it as a
stratagem to obstruct Brexit. It is
noticeable Lord Adonis and others
have not called for a second
referendum on other things
referendum on other things like the
Lord Adonis, you have
sent you will make the Government's
life an absolute misery over the EU
Withdrawal Bill which sounds as if
you are using it as a stick to beat
a policy or a decision you don't
like rather than your real role
which is legislative scrutiny.
There's a huge amount of scrutiny to
do. The powers which ministers are
given in this bill is without
precedent in a single piece of
legislation, they have order making
powers over the whole sphere of
legislation that was previously
enshrined in European law so if the
House of Lords doesn't pay attention
to that it's not doing its job.
Coming back to Jacob's remarks,
Jacob himself has been a
supporter of the second referendum.
In the House of Commons in 2011 he
himself set out a case for a
referendum on the terms of departure
from the European Union if the
electorate voted first time around
to set the process in train. Jacob
is contradicting his own position.
You are shaking your head, Jacob
That is simply inaccurate. There was
a proposal for a referendum to begin
a process of negotiating
nonmembership, to give them a
mandate, and he would come back with
what he achieved, and there would be
a referendum on the result. The
Prime Minister decided to have a
straightforward referendum, in or
out. Lord Adonis is speaking about
discussion before the referendum
terms were set, then they were set,
everyone knew what they were voting
for, to leave the EU, it was clear
that meant leaving the single market
and the customs union. I put a dent
Lord Adonis, he would not be calling
for a second referendum had Remain
That is completely untrue. We
did not know what the terms were.
The Conservative manifesto for the
election before said we would stay
in the single market. These are
Jacob's words, in the House of
Commons, in 2011, it might make
sense to have the second referendum
after the renegotiation is
He says he is talking
about Cameron's renegotiation that
he went to before.
Exactly the same
principle applies now. We are seeing
the terms Mrs May is coming back
with, it is absolutely right that
people should have a safe and it
should not be Jacob Rees Mogg and
Brexit ideologues deciding what the
The difficulty with this
is that people decided in a
referendum, the general election
manifestos of both parties committed
to carrying out the result of the
referendum, if Lord Adonis wants to
put his case forward, he should try
to stand for election, something I
do not think he has ever done, win a
general election campaigning to
reverse the result. Unelected peers
should not try to frustrate the will
of the British people, as now
expressed in two Democratic votes.
On that, you have been issuing some
veiled threats this week, saying the
House of Lords would get into
difficulties if they try to
frustrate Brexit, what do you mean
I think what Baroness Smith
is saying is very sensible, the
House of Lords will abide by the
Constitutional conventions, it will
look to revise, I have concerns
about some of the Henry
to get Brexit through without the
people the final say. He is dodging
the issue because nobody is talking
about the House of Lords asserting
itself against the people. The issue
which it will come down to resist
the House of Lords invites the House
of Commons, Jacob and his
colleagues, themselves to reach a
decision again on the issue of
whether they should have a
referendum on the final terms. It is
not anti-democratic, it is the
proper expression of democracy and
the House of Lords. It is something
which Jacob himself has supported in
the past, no longer convenient for
him to recognise that fact, but
people's past does catch up with
them. Nigel Farage has come to
support a referendum on Mrs May's
Brexit deal because he realises it
is inevitable. As people realise the
gravity of this decision and the
fact Parliament itself is not in a
great place to take it because there
has been a referendum. The case for
a referendum on Mrs May's terms will
be unstoppable and the House of
Lords will play an important
democratic role in inviting the
House of Commons to reach a decision
Jacob Rees Mogg, it would
be ironic if the British
constitution is working its way with
the House of Lords making its
revisions sending it back to the
Commons, for you to argue against
that, when what you wanted was for
us to take control back of our own
I am all in favour of
taking back control and decisions
being made in the House of Commons
with the Lords acting as a revising
Chamber. You have to understand the
motives, they are trying to obstruct
Brexit. Lord Adonis said the
decision to leave for is as big a
mistake as appeasement in the 1930s,
almost hysterical reaction to the
Brexit decision, and they are using
it as a strategy to frustrate
Brexit. What they should do is not
used the unelected Lords but they
should campaign in a general
election if they have to campaign to
do it as the Labour Party notably
didn't in 2017, to call for a second
referendum and reverse the result,
but they do not have the courage
because they know the British people
are not with them.
different thing before we finish,
are you excited the buyer tapestry
is coming to Britain, you don't
think it is maybe a bit cheeky of
the French celebrating something to
a celebrating the Norman victory
over the British?
tapestry. I think it is a splendid
gesture. We could send them a
fragment of the union Jack from
Nelson's ship at Trafalgar to remind
them that by and large we win the
Some people have suggested
we send Jacob but Bayeaux tapestry
is much more recent in its views.
the big issue of Brexit... We will
have to leave it there, Jacob Rees
Mogg, Lord Adonis, thank you for
And you can find
more Brexit analysis
and explanation on the BBC website,
It's coming up to 11.40am.
You're watching the Sunday Politics.
Good morning, and welcome
to Sunday Politics Scotland.
Coming up on the programme:
The Scottish Labour leader
Richard Leonard joins me live
in the studio to talk
about his plans to turn around
the party's fortunes.
Patrick Harvie tells me that the SNP
must reverse council cuts before
the Greens will back the Scottish
And private money helped
to build new schools
and hospitals across the UK,
but amid the controversy and fallout
from Carillion's collapse,
is it time for a rethink?
For every hospital or school built,
we have paid for three.
Since 1999, Scottish Labour has had
as many different leaders as Italy
has had prime ministers.
In the same period, they have gone
from coalition government
to the third party of Holyrood.
Among its former leaders,
one resigned after calling himself
a "muddler," another stepped down
describing it as a "branch party,"
and its last leader, Kezia Dugdale,
made it clear her party's internal
politics were fractious.
That was before she headed to
Australia to take part in a game
Its latest leader, it's fair to say,
is about as far away from celebrity
as it's possible to get,
but after a few months in the job,
is he wanting to get out of there?
Well, let's find out.
You haven't had enough, have you?
Absolutely not, I have only just
Let's talk about Europe, Neil
Finlay, at your Brexit spokesperson,
says a second referendum on EU
membership cannot be ruled out. You
have responded by saying you think
it is more likely that the Tories
will lose a vote on the final deal
and they will be a general election
at which you presumably hope Labour
will sweep to power, and when Labour
sweeps to power, it should do what
exactly about the EU?
what stage the negotiations have
reached. My scenario is that I think
the deal forged by to reason me,
David Davies, Boris Johnson, will be
an insufficient one to satisfy the
demands of the people of this
country and the elected
representatives of this country, so
I can see there being a voting down
of the deal which will precipitate
And Labour would argue
in that election campaign and once
it wins it, in your view, for what,
staying in the single market and the
We have made clear we
think it is important that access,
tariff free access to the single
market is important, because we have
said our priority is jobs, and the
economy, but also things like
environmental protection, consumer
protection and workers' rights,
which we want to see safeguarded in
a post Brexit UK.
Does that mean you
are in favour of being in the
customs union for example?
a compelling case for being in the
customs union, in the sense that
that would certainly provide us with
a tariff free trading area to be a
part of, so I think that has an
appeal to it, but...
It is not
Jeremy Corbyn's view. The whips
towed Labour to vote recently
against a proposal to
issues around the timing of issues
being taken and there was a
proposition put to Parliament which
was too premature, and that was why
the Parliamentary Labour Party...
Not just Jeremy Corbyn but Kia
Starmer... They took a decision not
to vote for that amendment.
view of the customs union. What
about the single market?
appealing for us to have access to
the single market.
You are saying
stay in the customs union, what
about staying in the single market?
Membership of the single market
would bring with it difficulties
because there would be a membership
fee to pay, and we would be in a
situation where we would presumably
be a member of the single market but
without full membership rights to
decide what the rules of the single
You are against that?
I don't think it is an advantageous
A poll in the Observer
this morning said 56% of likely
Labour voters want Labour to back
staying in both the single market
and the customs union. Why so
resistant to backing staying in the
Because I think there
has been a referendum in which the
voice of the people has been heard,
and I have consistently said I don't
think it is the place for
politicians to stand in the wake of
the decision taken by the people,
and I would apply that to the 2016
referendum and also the 2014
referendum in Scotland.
OK. In what
wait... Fine, if you come out and
Jeremy Corbyn comes out in favour of
the customs union, which he hasn't
done yet, but as of now, in what way
is your position different from the
Well, let me give you an
example. Just before Christmas, to
reason me was asked whether the
working time directive would be
incorporated and continued in UK law
after Brexit -- the Prime Minister
was asked. She refused to answer.
The easiest way of doing that is to
stay in the single market, by the
It is currently UK law because
it has been transposed from the
European directive as regulations in
UK law. Theresa May could simply say
we will maintain this provision
which provides for working people
are right to paid holidays and a
limitation on the amount of working
time they have to spend each week
and each month.
Government wants powers over
immigration after we leave the EU,
it says Scotland has economic issues
which means we need it. Would you
back them in that?
I have an open
mind on whether there needs to be a
distinctive immigration policy for
Scotland. When we were in power in
the Scottish parliament, Labour
introduced a fresh talent initiative
which was a recognition that they
needed to be a nuanced approach to
migration in Scotland, and that
wasn't just about...
So you might be
in favour of further immigration
I can see there being a case
to be made for a power of variation
for the Scottish context. It could
also be a power which incidentally
could be extended to London, Wales
OK. Nicola Sturgeon said
this week she will make a decision
later this year whether to hold
another independence referendum. If
she does, the British government
will certainly tell her she cannot
have one at least until after the
next Scottish elections. Would you
back the British government in that?
It is not a case of whether about
the British government. I am there
to represent the interests of the
Scottish Labour Party, and we have
been absolutely clear that we do not
see the case within a matter of a
couple of years for a second
independence referendum. The people
were asked in 2014 and they gave a
very clear answer, so I am firm on
the question of whether they should
be a second independence referendum.
They should not be, there is no case
Nicola Sturgeon says she has
a mandate from the manifesto of the
2016 Scottish elections and that
runs until 2021, and the issue is
that she should have... I know you
are against the referendum, but the
Scottish Government should have the
right to call one, that's what I'm
She put before the
Scottish Parliament in the spring of
last year the proposition that they
should be a second independence
referendum, and that sparked a real
polarisation of opinion in Scotland.
I have never witnessed... I have
never witnessed since the days of
Margaret Thatcher a political leader
so divisive because of that call she
made for a second independence
referendum, and that's why I think
the SNP have been forced to row back
If the SNP say they will have
a new referendum and the British
government says no, from the side of
it -- sound of it, you support the
It is not a case
of being one side of the British
government, I am opposed to it
because I cannot see sufficient
material change to call for the
second referendum, when it was
undertaken that it would be a once
in a generation opportunity for
people to vote. I think we need to
move on from the Scottish
independence referendum question.
a budget debate last week called by
your own party or finance spokesman
denounced what he called was £700
million of cuts to councils planned
in the Scottish Budget. But when he
was asked to explain how you,
Labour, would raise £700 million in
the addition to the money you would
get by putting taxes up, he didn't
have a clue. Can you enlighten us?
We will enlighten you and the rest
of the people of Scotland in the
course of the next ten days. The
stage one debate on the Scottish
draft budget takes place a week on
Wednesday. What I can say to you
this morning is that we will
undertake to put forward our plans
on how we would...
What are they,
why is it a secret?
It is not
entirely secret. I have been on
record as saying I think the
additional penny on the top rate of
income tax is a woefully timid
approach. There needs to be a much
more ambitious approach to the top
rate of taxation. It was no secret
in 2016 manifesto, we said the top
rate ought to be 50p in the pound,
so that I think is a reasonable
Are you still in favour
of a penny on the basic rate? That
is not Corbin's policy but that of
Scottish Labour till you became
leader. Do you still support that or
would you prefer to do what Corbin
wants to do, put all the onus on
higher rate taxpayers?
revealing too much in advance of our
announcement, the number of high
wealth individuals in Scotland is
less than in other parts of the UK,
or less than the UK as a whole, so
it is our empirical observation that
we simply cannot look alone to
people on the top rate of earnings
to fill the whole of that gap. But I
have also said as well that...
completely confused. You are saying
you are in favour of a penny on the
No, I'm saying we need
to look beyond simply the top rate
of income tax. One thing I think is
worth examining is the case for a
wealth tax. We have set up a tax and
investment commission to look at
that as an idea because one of the
features of the society we live in
has been a massive increase not just
in income inequality but wealth
inequality, and it is duty bound on
us as a party in favour of
redistribution and equality to
address that question of wealth
Kezia Dugdale, you
reprimanded her for going to
Australia to appear in a game show.
She appears to have kept £40,000 of
the £45,000 she received from that,
the other £5,000 to charity. If and
when you are on Quickly Come Dancing
would you give the proceeds to
charity or the party, and you think
she should have done?
hypothetical because there is no
chance of me appearing on any
You can give me
the real answer now, do you think
you should have given the money to
charity or the party?
That it is a
decision for there to make and
people will judge her based on that.
Richard Leonard, don't rule yourself
Have you seen me dance?
the nation wants to see you dance!
We have to leave it there, thanks
The collapse of the construction
firm Carillion seems to have
polarised politics in a way not seen
since the 1980s, with Labour
championing public ownership
and the Conservative government
standing up for the benefits
of free enterprise.
In truth, all governments,
not least the Scottish Government,
have been happy to benefit
from shiny new schools and hospitals
funded by the private sector.
But as the National Audit Office
pointed out this week,
there's little evidence that PFI
contracts represent good value
for money, often leaving
the taxpayer paying billions more
in the form of repayments.
In a moment, we'll discuss
whether it really is a case
of "public good, private bad",
but first, here's Graham Stewart.
The artist impression of how the
three companies see a bridge which
would span the distance to the
island and are revealed. Now they
will be doing the sums before
submitting a tender which will need
to design, build and operate than
pay for the bridge. It was the first
major Government project funded by
the Private Finance initiative.
Built at a cost of £20 million by
the mother group. Like all five
companies they wanted their money
back and when tolls were charged a
public protested, forcing the then
Scottish executive to buy out the
bridge contract for more than the
bridge costs to build in the first
place. Nearly three decades on and
private finance is just as
controversial. This week the
construction giant Carillion into
liquidation after that lost money on
big Government contracts and run up
huge debts. It is partly responsible
for projects such as the Aberdeen
bypass and its collapse threatens
thousands of jobs across the UK.
That rekindled an age-old debate in
the Commons this week.
corporations need to be shown the
door. We need our public services
provided by public employees with a
public service ethos and a stronger
public oversight. As the ruins of
Carillion lie around her, will the
Prime Minister act to end this
costly racket of the relationship
between Government and some these
What Labour opposes not
just a role for private companies
and public services but the private
sector as a whole. The vast majority
of people in this country in
employment are employed by the
private sector. But the Shadow
Chancellor calls business is the
But when in power,
Labour were even more enthusiastic
about the Private Finance initiative
than the Conservatives as the former
Health Secretary under Gordon Brown
explained this week.
Each choice we
were given was the wrong one,... The
I was a Treasury
official, they have never liked PFI.
Who told you you had to do it that
way? Was it Gordon Brown of the
It was both.
banging on about politics again.
SNP Government have been happy to
take credit for schemes funded by
What have the SNP
Government ever done for us?
belt or do not skills, 750.
who the schools used to be...
skills may be modern but been
concerns over loading standards ever
since Mrs Elliott fell from an
Edinburgh primary. A total of 17
schools across the city were forced
to close. This exposed some of the
flaws of privately funded schemes.
By the cash for the buildings
consist Ali expensive new schools or
hospitals but as the watchdog
pointed out, private companies
borrow at a higher rate of interest
and that can end up costing the
taxpayer millions of pounds more
over the coming decades.
hospital or school built we pay for
three. So instead of having three
hospitals and three schools, we're
actually only getting one. That is
what a bad deal this is for the
One junior minister in the
last Labour Government concedes with
hindsight that some deals did not
offer value for money but says the
private sector should not be
Some companies go bust
and others do well. Canadian is a
private company that has happened to
have gone bust, the vast majority
are doing well. I can think of some
one by councils in Scotland to
England 1990s did not quite go bust
because they were part of the local
council but they had massive
mismanagement and financial
The private sector's will
in the running of the deal raises
under scrutiny. The Scottish
Government has floated the idea of
the public sector bid for ScotRail.
One transport union has predicted
that the lead to an immediate 6%
drop in fields. Others are not so
The total amount taken by any
of the franchise operators in
Britain as between 2.5% to 3%. The
margins are very very tight. Those
politicians who think they can
transform the industry by
redirecting those profits into
reducing fears will be disappointed.
Jeremy Corbyn pots Labour Party
would bring private rail companies
back into public ownership as well
as ending the private finance
initiative. There are calls for the
current Government to operate a
level playing field between private
and public sectors.
It needs to open
the books on PFI, there should be no
hiding behind commercial confidence.
And the high interest rates and the
returns to investors.
On a clear day
the splendour of the Skye Bridge is
there for all to see but when it
opened in 1995 the Government
stopped the ferry service, granting
the consortium that built the bridge
a monopoly to charge tolls. 20 years
on opponents of private finance say
all they want is transparency.
That was Graham Stewart reporting.
Joining me now from Aberdeen
is the SNP's Gillian Martin,
and in Edinburgh is the Conservative
Jamie Halcro Johnston.
Before we get into a debate on this,
I know your constituency contains
the Aberdeen bypass, as far as you
an awareness everyone going to keep
their jobs and not be completed on
There has been no more update
on that since earlier in the week
when actually Balfour Beatty and the
other part of the consortium are
looking to work with the
administration people over how they
will finish the contract. They are
going to finish the contract they
said they will, and they are going
to I hope employ those that are may
lose their jobs as a result of
Carillion. It still needs to be
built and to the deadline they set
and it still has to be built to the
deal that was made. That is ongoing.
Jeremy Corbyn says private companies
doing public contracts should be
shown the door. Do you agree?
private companies should be shown
the door? No, because you are
conflicting, we do not have PFI in
Scotland, we have put in place that
you would have a non-profit capping
on private companies so it is
considered a different situation,
and that is the situation with the
high pass, they have a commitment to
deliver that in budget and on time
and that is what is different from
situations in a list of the UK.
PFI is bad, PFI renamed by the
Scottish Government is good?
not think it is a case of renaming
it, it is completely different. It
is better value for money for one
thing is and that is a cap on
profits which there was not with
PFI. Some of the things in the
report are conflicting court is
going on in the rest of the UK with
The National Audit Office
produced a report this week,
previous reports have been a bit
ambiguous, they say it depends on
the project but this was a blanket
finding that PFI projects were not
good value for money for the public.
If you look across the study of PFI,
that the number of very important
projects that have been delivered
because of it and it is a role for
private sector finance within these
projects but we recognise that there
are concerns around costings and
flexibility of some of the contracts
and also the opaque nature of some
of these contracts that is why it's
critical we get more transparency
within that process. Also looking
forward to that when these contracts
are being negotiated, a renegotiated
in some cases, the effort is made to
ensure that local authorities...
Would you accept the argument that
PFI contracts and the Scottish
Government's non-distribute of
contacts, there's no commonality
I'm not sure if that
is no commonality but we try to
ensure that local authorities and
other public bodies that are
involved in accessing private
finance as part of these contracts
are not held to ransom. Anything
that can be done to improve that is
obviously very welcome. One of the
issues that has come up is
transparency, they can be very
opaque and that is why from a UK
Government point of view they have
done a lot of work ensuring they
meet their commitments to make these
contracts more transparent, whether
that is ensuring they have included,
liabilities and included are,
Government accounts are publishing
data so that people can make a
The other side of this is
because so many contracts have
either been PFI of this
nondestructive model that the
Scottish Government has introduced,
don't we tend to forget that
straightforward contracts with the
Government raises money and build
things like the Scottish Parliament,
can be vastly overbudget and it is
the public who have to take the rap
when they have overbudget so there
are advantages to these private
That is the difference
between PFI and the other model that
you describe, nonprofit distribution
model. It is a case again...
PFI the private companies take the
that as I was saying the Scottish
Government was the public who took
The difference now is we
do not have that model so we do not
have a situation of the cost of
something major would be completely
and utterly runaway costs that
they're not have...
contracts they are not run away, as
is the private companies that take
PFI does not exist
in Scotland any more. The applicant
with a different model and do not
forget we have the Scottish
investment banks being set up so we
are looking at refining the model
even warmer other part of the jigsaw
in place which could mean a deal
difference to how things are built
The consensus once again this year
is that the deal the SNP Government
does to get its budget
through Holyrood will be
done with the Greens.
So what will that party get
in return for such crucial support?
Earlier I spoke to their
co-convenor Patrick Harvie.
Where are we with the budget? You
will vote against it unless you get
Last week there
was an opposition debates, Labour
debate billed as no confidence in
the Scottish budget which I think
opposition parties especially when
there was a minority Government have
a responsibility to be constructive,
we did this, we have been clear all
the way along that there are three
key areas women need to do more.
we just go through?
We have an
agreement that they need to amend
the draft budget to deal with local
Government public sector pay and
look at the public sector pay, they
said they will give 3% to anyone
ended in the coming under £30,000.
You will not relate and vote against
the people over the past 30,003%
UMPIRE: Game, set and match, There's
not a specific
pay policy itself and that will be
subject to negotiation with the
unions. The ambition and a fair case
of people deserve and inflation
-based increase and if you look
particularly at the spears of
teachers who have gone from seeing a
decade of erosion and their pay,
they don't compare very preventable
countries. I know it is... I am
trying to get to, have you seen you
will not vote for the budget unless
that is a 3% pay rise for people
earning over £30,000?
What we have
said as the Government has to
reverse the proposal for £157
million of cuts...
Let's stick to
Make a fair contribution
to the extra cost the local
Government will have to meet if they
were having a policy that is what is
acceptable to the unions.
not answer my question which was as
one of your red lines that public
sector workers who are running more
than £30,000 should get an efficient
paydays of the present?
do not think the Government has made
a strong case for that cut off but
it is for the unions to negotiate.
That is not a deadline for you and
It is for the unions to
decide. Unique causation at local
Government level is separate to that
policy and local governments needs
to be any position of knowing that
they have the resources available to
make a fair pay offer at local
You want more
money for local Government? How
The spice analysis suggests
that is £157 million... That is the
independent analysis not recover any
particle party so we think that is
the fairest figure, it is the
equivalent analysis to the one be
used last year they said there was
blood and £60 million of cuts. We
reverse that, it is a very similar
figure. But above that cancer need a
fair contribution to the costs that
they are going to face.
157, plus how much work they need to
make what you call a fake pet --
fair pay settlement?
That is a
judgment call. The more we can do on
that, the better position councils
will be in to negotiate...
I want to
know your red line, gear, it is you
want at least £157 million more for
local government but some extra to
take care of pay demands?
is unacceptable and has to go if the
government had to be consistent with
the way they voted on Wednesday last
week when they said they needed to
amend their draft budget to protect
local services. But they does have
to be a contribution... A lot of
councils are budgeting for something
like 2% pay increase, if they want
to go that little bit further, there
will be a fair contribution.
Carbon projects, that could be
anything, couldn't it, any amount of
money because there are so many
In many ways this
isn't about the money in the coming
year's budget but the direction of
travel. The low carbon
infrastructure task force recommends
that 70% of capital budget should be
on low carbon. We are way below that
Your red line on that
one is just make a bit of progress?
We have said that there needs to be
that long-term direction of travel
-- long-term, but we have flagged
specific areas where local
communities are campaigning for
improvements, new stations and rail
lines for example. The ability of
communities to put those ideas on
the table is limited at the moment
so we have suggested mechanism, a
relatively small amount of money,
single figures of millions of
pounds, where the Government could
empower people to get their own
appraisals and analysis done,
viability studies for projects and
have public transport to meet
Bottom line, you
will vote the Budget through, there
is no way you will oppose it?
is simply unrealistic. Look at the
track record. We are the only party
that has brought down a budget under
the previous minority government
when the Tories were voting for
budget after budget after budget. We
judge these things on their merits
and very clearly, we have been bound
by our party conference, we took
these principles to party members
who democratically voted on our
FIM Derek Mackay I
think, I had better give them the
money on local government, he has
probably put that in his
calculations, and otherwise that is
It is clear that Derek has
proposed a tax plan that includes
clear mistakes, he acknowledges it,
calls it an anomaly where islanders
will get a tax cut. There are clear
opportunities for a better, fairer
plan to fund the public services our
country relies on.
We have to leave
it there, Patrick Harvie, thank you.
Now it's time to look back
over events and forwards
to the week ahead.
Joining me this week
are the journalist Peter Geoghegan
and the former Conservative health
spokesperson and MSP Mary Scanlon.
Peter, Richard Leonard, I am not
sure I know what Labour policy is on
Brexit, but I am not sure... He was
very adamant that Britain should
stay in the customs union, I am not
sure that is Labour policies.
interesting, Jeremy Corbyn said
previously we should leave the
customs union and the single market.
When it came to the single market he
was saying, we shouldn't stay in,
whereas he was passionate about the
customs union. The UK has a deficit
of good straight with the EU but a
surplus of services so if we left
the single market there could be all
sorts of barriers to sending our
services to the rest of the EU so in
some respects you could argue that
Britain needs to be in the single
market more than the customs union,
but when you listen to Richard
Leonard it seemed to be that the red
lines were drawn, and it wasn't
quite clear what the reason for
drawing the red
line the way it is was. You can see
the differences with the Labour
Party at the UK level. It was also
interesting the way he was talking
about timing with Starmer and Corbyn
saying some have been premature. It
gives you the impression the Labour
Party are looking at things less as
red lines than choreography and it
is maybe reflected in Scotland, it
is easier to say these things
because there isn't the same issue
around Labour Leave voters than the
rest of the UK.
Meret, Peter makes a
point about services. President
Macron says this is your passport in
for financial services and you
cannot get that unless you are a
member of the single market. John
McDonnell earlier said getting that
passport in is one of his red lines.
I am not sure how you square these
I have to say the charming
Mr Macron did an excellent job, but
he is one of 20 countries
negotiating with the UK. There is
still a long way to go in the
negotiations, and I think the point
Peter was making is that it has been
very unclear prior to the Brexit
referendum and since just exactly
what Labour's case is, and that is
why I think there are so many
hold-ups, so much mudslinging at
Westminster, because the Government
has no idea what amendments the
Labour Party will support or not
support, and as a Remainer, I would
also say that if Corbyn and the
Labour Party had been clearer about
Brexit in the lead up to the Brexit
referendum, we might be in a
different place now.
OK. That is a
very interesting way of not blaming
David Cameron, who called the thing
in the first place.
Of course he
did, but he probably expected a
little more support from the Labour
Party, and I think that was
Police Scotland, Peter,
Susan Deacon, the new chair of the
SPLA is coming up the committee this
week with more shenanigans and
shenanigans and accusations and
counter accusations. Where is this
It is almost like following
Brexit in some respects, the
machinations seem so labyrinthine
and going on. We had the chief of
Police Scotland's wife talking about
accusations, there are still lots of
questions. Susan Deacon is new in
his job and the SPLA were rapped
over the knuckles by auditors before
Christmas who said their
investigations were not fast or
thorough enough and we have the
issue was well about what happened
in November. Then at the 11th hour,
in transit, people were told to come
back. There was a meeting between Mr
Masterson and then SPA cheap which
did not have minutes so we don't
know what happens, the issue of not
limiting becoming an issue with the
Scottish Government so Susan Deacon
will have do answer questions. There
is a need for clarity.
start the answer to each question by
saying, I wasn't there! Is this just
soap operas, Mary? It obviously had
serious implications but is it just
soap operas, or do you think there
is a structural problem with Police
Scotland or the SPA or both.
is but also a cultural problem.
Taking for Gormley out of it there
were problems when it was Stephen
House. When Police Scotland was set
up you have the SPA and Stephen
House both hiring lawyers to
determine what their job
descriptions were, so there is a
long history here. Whether Phil
Gormley has done something wrong or
not, he doesn't deserve... He has
been paid £214,000 to do nothing,
but at the same time, seven months
is a long time to wait to be
interviewed, so I do have a little
bit of empathy with the points his
wife is making this week. But the
fact is that Police Scotland is
rudderless, leaderless, they are
about to take over the British
Transport Police that the worst
possible time -- Scottish transport
We have to leave it there.
That's all from us for this week.
I'll be back on Wednesday afternoon
with Politics Scotland.
Until then, goodbye.