Sarah Smith and Gordon Brewer with the latest political news, interviews and debate, with guests including Theresa Villiers MP, Lord Callanan and Jon Trickett MP.
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Morning everyone, and welcome
to the Sunday Politics.
I'm Sarah Smith.
And this is the programme that
will provide your essential briefing
on everything that's
moving and shaking in
the world of politics.
Can the Conservative Party speak
with one voice on Brexit?
As Tory splits spill out
in to the open once again this week,
can the Prime Minister
reassert her authority
over a divided party?
We'll be speaking to the former
Minister, Theresa Villiers -
hitherto a loyal voice,
but who says she's now worried
about Brexit being diluted.
Is Jeremy Corbyn heading for a fight
with Labour councillors?
As local government chiefs accuse
the party's ruling body of trying
to intervene in local decisions,
we'll be speaking to one
of Jeremy Corbyn's key allies.
And on Sunday Politics Scotland:
New allegations around
the shenanigans enveloping
The Conservative Justice
spokesperson tells this programme
they are absolutely extraordinary.
All that coming up in the programme.
All that coming up in the programme.
And to help me to make sense
of all the big stories today, I'm
joined by Camilla Tominey,
Rafael Behr and Rachel Shabi.
I'm sure they certainly
won't all speak with one voice.
The newspaper headlines
make pretty grim reading
for the Government this morning.
'Tories in Turmoil',
'PM told to raise her game'.
Tory Brexit divisions erupted
in public once again this week.
So, is the Government's
biggest priority now
becoming its biggest headache?
Morning, Home Secretary. They
A new cabinet since
that modest reshuffle but still the
same old Brexit split. Foreign
Secretary Boris Johnson, who spent
so much time on that infamous boss
promising extra money for the NHS,
went off Brive at the meeting on
Tuesday, pushing the government to
honour that much maligned pledge.
you want to be the health secretary?
Philip Hammond was in Brussels from
where he sent a swift review.
Johnson is the foreign secretary. I
gave the Health Secretary an extra
£6 billion at the recent budget.
labour leader Jeremy Corbyn piled in
at Prime Minister 's questions.
the Prime Minister agree with the
Foreign Secretary that the national
Health Service needs an extra £5
I think the right
honourable gentleman, as I recall
was here for the autumn budget which
was given by the Chancellor of the
Exchequer, where he announced he
would be putting £6 billion more
into the National Health Service.
Meanwhile, Jacob Rees-Mogg took on
the Brexit Secretary David Davis
over the transition deal.
only actually out at the end of the
transition. That is a big shift in
government policy and a big move
away from the vault.
I do not accept
Next day, Theresa
May travelled to the World Economic
Forum in Davos to heal a different
divide, this time her special
relationship with Donald Trump.
relationship with Donald Trump. Her
Chancellor described in modest
change in Britain's relationship
with the EU. Now he was being
rebuked by furious colleagues as
well as his boss. David Davies
insists the Cabinet are united. They
want a good deal.
There is no
difference between the Chancellor
and myself and indeed the Prime
Minister, in terms of the fact we
both want a Brexit that serves the
British economy and the British
The EU will set out their
bargaining position for a phase two
of the Brexit negotiations tomorrow.
But can we find an agreed British
So to discuss the implications of
all of the week's events I've got my
expert panel. Welcome. Camilla,
these are quite remarkable headlines
this morning about the party being
in turmoil over Theresa May's
leadership and the direction of
Brexit policy. Let's start with
Brexit. How deep are the divide?
think they are very deep. The tide
has turned a bit in the last week.
Normally when you are covering these
issues in the lobby, there is
underlying hysteria. I think there
are quite a lot of people on both
sides scratching their heads,
looking at some of the editorials we
saw in the week about the Tory
party, particularly when referring
to Theresa May as a Wizard of Oz
character. A lot in the Tory party
can't disagree with that. They
regard her as a caretaker Prime
Minister. A lot of them have been
giving her the benefit of the doubt
particularly on Brexit because she
has been consistent about what
Brexit means. That did not mean
leaving the single market and the
Customs Union. -- that it must mean.
To have Boris Johnson and Philip
Hammond freelancing on the sidelines
makes her look weak and unable to
keep the Cabinet together. That
gives the general impression to the
country that they aren't quite in
charge of things and that she
particularly isn't across her brief.
The key question at the heart of
this is which of these Cabinet
ministers are reflecting the Prime
Minister pots opinion on this --'s
opinion on this. Does she agree with
Philip Hammond, or is she looking
for a more significant divergence?
This is absolutely critical. We talk
about Brexit divisions. We are used
to thinking about the division being
about Remainers and levers. That is
not the division we are talking
about. There is a group of people in
government who have now focused on
the practical technical difficulty
of what is required to get Britain
safely out of the European Union.
And they for the most part, and I
will include the Prime Minister,
have understood it is a long
incremental process. You want an
arrangement that looks pretty much
like the status quo. If there is
going to be divergence from EU
rules, it will be incremental. We
get the impression the Prime
Minister has signed off on that
approach because she is a cautious
person. The problem is the
Chancellor said it out loud. He had
the temerity to say it. This is the
plan. You have the other group of
people, the harder, more ideological
Brexiteers are not in government,
who don't have to focus on the
practical reality, look at that and
think, that doesn't sound like
emancipation and freedom, that
sounds a bit boring. When you listen
to what some of the critics of the
Prime Minister from the hard Brexit
position are saying, it is not
obvious what they are asking her to
do. What they want from her is a
sense of clarity, a sense of whether
or not she can have the confidence
to stand up and say, the Chancellor
is right. They are testing courtesy
of she can do that and she won't do
that because she doesn't want the
huge tsunami of betrayal from the
It is also impossible
Bridgeford Theresa May to try and
cross. How can she reconcile these
different views of what Brexit is
going to look like at the point
where we have to start laying out
what Britain's approach will be?
That is the problem. The divisions
are seemingly irreconcilable in the
party. That is their own problem. It
has become a national problem
because they are doing it while in
government. They have a over us
while they are falling apart. That
is completely irresponsible. In
terms of where we are going to end
up, we all know. We saw from phase
one of EU that actually everything
was conceded to the soft Brexit
model was conceded two in what was
agreed to during the parameters of
phase one. It seems like, do we
really have to go through this all
again, this pretend, this bickering,
this biting, when we know in the end
we are going to end up with a
situation that is a soft Brexit
because this is where the major
constituency is in Westminster and
We have a couple of
guest to make disagree with that. We
will return to you guys later.
Well, the Cabinet Minister David
Lidington was talking
to Andrew Marr this morning,
and was asked about the backlash
on the Government's Brexit strategy
from Jacob Rees-Mogg and other
Jacob, like everybody else, needs to
see how negotiations go. We are
about to start negotiations. I'm not
going into detail about that
process. Secondly, the very fact
that we will have left the European
Union is a big deal indeed. The bill
in front of Parliament extinguishes
the power of the European Court and
supranational EU law over the UK.
I'm joined now by the former
Cabinet Minister, Theresa Villiers.
She has written a piece in today's
Sunday Telegraph telling
of her growing concern that
Brexit is being diluted.
Thank you for coming on. What do you
mean by Brexit been diluted?
consistently argued the case for
compromise and I recognise it is
necessary. What I was saying in my
article this morning was that if you
go too far with compromise,
eventually you get to the point
where we wouldn't generally be
leaving the European Union, we
wouldn't be respecting the result of
You are concerned
that is the direction they're
I am concerned. We must
retain the right to divergence Romeu
laws. One of the key points of
leaving the European Union is to
ensure that we make our own laws in
our own parliaments and not be
subject to laws made by people we
don't elect and can't remove.
has made you concerned that is the
direction in which we are heading?
Is it Chancellor talking about
modest changes or something
happening behind the scenes?
It is a
combination of things. I think in
part the government faces a
difficult challenge convincing
people on the Leave side of the
debate. So many times in the past
there have been Prime Ministers
who've gone to Brussels and said, it
will be fine, we would bring you
back a deal, and at the last minute
there has been, territory has been
given away. We have made
compromises. I accept the need for
that. There is only so far you can
go before ultimately you find
yourself in a position where you are
deleting Brexit so much that it
isn't leaving the European Union in
a real sense.
When you hear Philip
Hammond say they will only be modest
changes to our relationship with the
EU, you think he is reflecting
government policy? Downing Street
tried to refute what he was saying.
Only actually said was, you can't
call leaving the single market and
Customs union a modest change. You
are anxious, are you, that right at
the top they are worried about
keeping fairly close alignment with
The Prime Minister set out a
bold vision for Brexit in her
Lancaster House speech. My article
is about appealing to the government
to stick to that vision and
implemented so that once we leave
the European Union we are back in
control of our laws, money and
The Prime Minister has set
this out in Lancaster House and in
Florence. Why do you think she would
be backsliding? Makes you think
anything has changed?
I don't think
she wants to backslide. I think what
is happening is that she is under
huge sustained pressure from a range
of quarters to reverse the result of
the referendum. So in part, but I am
trying to do is to re-emphasise the
positive case for Brexit. And we
emphasise that whilst there are
those who want to soften things up
and frustrate the implementation of
the referendum, others are
enthusiastic about implementing that
vision in the Lancaster House
Were those people who want
to frustrate her? You must be
worried they are right inside the
Cabinet for you to write a newspaper
article about this. You must be
worried if his right at the top of
I don't believe that. I
think the Cabinet is united in
wanting to do this.
wanting to do this.
different views we had this week?
This is an issue that has divided
the country. The key battle now is
what is going to be the end state we
ask for in the negotiations? We must
ask for an end state based on the
Lancaster House speech, which means
retaining control, making our own
laws in our own Parliament. That is
how we have -- we become genuinely
an independent country again and
respect the result of the
Do you think the
Chancellor was contravening stated
policy when he talked about modest
changes. --? Was he out of line?
wouldn't make too much of that one
comment. That has not wanted my
concerns. What I want to do is
ensure the case for a real Brexit is
made. I fully acknowledge the
technical scale of the exercise of
withdrawing from the European Union.
It is very complicated. That is one
of the reasons why I have had a --
advocated and supported compromise.
There is only so far you can go
without -- with compromise without
finding yourself selling out on the
people who voted to leave.
phase will be about the
implementation period before we get
to the final future relationship
with the EU. We learned a little bit
more about the government approached
and that this week. David Davis made
it sound as if there will be no
changes to free movement of people
whatsoever during the two-year
transition phase. Does that concern
you? That seems to be a change in
For me, the important issue
is what happens at the end of the
You are relaxed
about two years of transition which
looks most identical to staying in
I accept that looks like
what is current to happen. I think
there is a case for a transition
period. I think my worry now is if
we go into the transition period
without the clearest possible
understanding of what the
arrangements are when we leave, so I
believe that we must have as much
detail as possible in relation to
our agreement with the European
Union, that we reach before the
transition period starts. If we go
into it not knowing the end state,
that would worry me.
When it comes to the end state, what
are the things you couldn't sign up
to? What's being described as easy
movement of people in and out of the
UK, would that lead to a point it
was a Brexit deal you couldn't agree
The key issues are the end state
must allow the UK to run its own
trade policy and make its own
decisions on rules and regulations.
So no involvement from the European
Court of Justice?
The Government has
agreed a time limited role for that.
I don't see it as a problem but any
enlargement of that role I would see
Do you think there's
any possibility you could end up
voting against this in Parliament?
I'm not going to make predictions on
how I will vote on a deal that
hasn't been agreed yet. I want to
make sure we work together to try to
bridge divisions, to come up with an
agreement with the European Union
which gives us a new partnership
with them, which hopefully a
majority can be comfortable
whichever way they vote in June 2000
Joining me now from
Newcastle is the Brexit
Minister Lord Callanan.
Can you offer any reassurance to
Theresa Villiers and any other
members of your party who are
worried about this that government
is not going soft on Brexit?
not going soft, there's been no
backsliding on the Prime Minister's
Lancaster house speech. We will be
regaining control of our laws, money
and borders. We will be establishing
an independent trade policy as she
set out in her speech.
set out in her speech.
Villiers is completely wrong when
she says she's worried Brexit is
being diluted, is she?
Yes, she is
wrong. It's not being diluted, the
Prime Minister is in charge of the
negotiations and we will be
negotiating with our European
partners in good faith, our friends
and allies, but the objectives
remain as she set out.
So it was the
Chancellor who was wrong when he
said there would only be modest
changes in our relationship?
Chancellor has said he is of the
vision the Prime Minister has set
out. We will be negotiating with our
European partners to bring about
frictionless trading arrangements
but the important part of the
negotiations is that we have to
regain control of our ability to set
our own rules and undulations.
Though there may be some areas where
if there are integrated supply lines
we might want to reflect current EU
regulations but the important thing
is we decide those matters for
David Davis presumably
speaks for government when he is
describing the transition phase, and
he says during this implementation
period people will of course be able
to travel between the UK and the EU
to live and work. That sounds like
free movement is continuing as
before but we were told it would end
as soon as we left the EU in 2019.
We would introduce a registration
scheme so we knew he was coming to
You could do that right
now. This registration idea, this is
not something that comes about
because we have left the EU, we
could have introduced that years ago
if we wanted to. Several European
countries asked the UK citizens to
Let's see what the
negotiations produced, but what we
want to do is reflect current rules
and regulations as closely as
possible so that at the end of the
implementation period, and it's
important that is strictly
time-limited, we agree with the EU
on that, at the end of that state we
will introduce a new immigration
policy and take control of our
rules, regulations and borders. It
sounds a lot like a red line that
has gone very pale pink.
We are about to have the
negotiations. We will sit down in
good faith with our European
partners, talk about how the
implementation period will work and
what the end state will be.
don't have to wait to find out what
the UK Government position is
because David Davis set it out this
week and pretty much described free
movement continuing as it is.
said, we are having the
negotiations, we are about to start
them, let's not give away our
positions before we do that. We want
to reach an agreement as soon as
possible so we get certainty that
business knows where we are going at
the end of the period and we move
towards the new state at the end of
a strictly time-limited
So would it
be helpful if the Prime Minister
were to make another speech, where
she set out clearly what the
Government's position is on the
future direction of travel on the
transition period and future end
state so that instead of listening
to Cabinet ministers with diverging
views on this, we knew from the
Prime Minister what the Government's
The policy remains what
she set out in detail in the
Lancaster house speech followed up
by the Florence speech where she
outlined the new end state we want
to end up with and the procedures
for getting there. She set it out in
great detail, that was very clear
but we need to have under --
negotiation at the end of the day.
These are difficult, complicated and
tricky areas but we remain focused
on the end state which is we will be
leaving the single market and the
customs union, having independent
trade policy and deciding our own
rules and regulations.
Withdrawal Bill will come to the
Lords this week to your house, are
we going to see government
We will be listening to
the debate. We showed that we were
prepared to reflect and think about
contributions made, and if people
have suggestions that we agree with
that we will improve the legislation
and of course we will do that. The
House of Lords has a very important
role and we will carry that out
effectively and we will listen to
what the debate says.
So you are
open to government amendments
changing the EU Withdrawal Bill? On
issues like Henry VIII powers or
something like that?
We have already
compromised on those areas in the
House of Commons so we will listen
to what the debate brings. Peers
take their role of scrutinising EU
legislation closely and we will
reflect on that and introduce
changes if we think they are
Thanks for talking to us
And you can find more Brexit
analysis and explanation on the
This week Labour's
ruling body, the National
Executive Committee, or NEC,
stepped in to a bitter row
about a controversial housing
project in the London
borough of Haringey.
It's led to deep divisions
between the NEC and councillors
across the country, with the Labour
leader of Newcastle City Council
calling it a "declaration of war".
With Jeremy Corbyn supporters
consolidating their grip
on the ruling body of the party,
Emma Vardy's been looking
at the new battle lines being drawn.
You might not think to look at it
but this council estate in north
London is being seen as a battle
ground for the very soul of the
Labour Party. Labour run Haringey
plans to redevelop the estate in
partnership with a private company
but the pro-Corbyn pressure group
momentum has led a campaign opposing
You do not gift people's houses
to a private developer and say you
can demolish these...
ruling body, the NEC, intervened
telling Haringey to force the
project, some Labour supporters were
We have now got the
National executive committee
effectively telling a Labour council
what to do and I'm thinking where
does this end?
This, some believe,
is what they see as the hard left of
the party using the row as an excuse
to get rid of more moderate Labour
council is ahead of next year 's
elections. Around a third of the
Haringey Labour group of either been
deselected or they have stood down.
How is this being seen by other
Labour council is looking on?
There's 100 names on an open letter
to the NEC today saying stay out of
local council business, and one of
them, the Labour leader of Corby
Borough Council who can be found up
there, called it a disgrace.
signed the letter because I wanted
to demonstrate solidarity with a
colleague, also to send a message to
the NEC that we believe it is
inappropriate to intervene in the
way they did. Labour and local
government are the people governing
here in this country, we are not in
Government nationally, we are in
Government locally and we are doing
a good job locally. We are
protecting our people.
Do you think
the NEC will listen?
I would hope
The intervention that led to
this row came for the first time
since Momentum leader was elected as
one of its members.
The NEC has
expressed a view, it has not
mandated, not stormed in and taken
over, and I think for every person
you can find who is upset I can find
tenants who are delighted.
Corbyn's support base on the NEC has
been strengthened after recent
elections so could this lead to
sweeping changes on party policy in
Where you can see
greater radicalism is on areas of
economic policy, following Carillion
Labour has been clear they want an
end to outsourcing completely if
they are elected, that they would
like to take contracts back
in-house, and at a local of all the
tensions exist as well.
What is the
risk with upsetting councils?
causes local divisions and they want
parties to be focused on governing.
It also threatens to cause tensions
between MPs. A lot of MPs see Labour
councillors as proud bastions of the
party and see them as a barrier to
those who they think are taking too
much of a faction or ideological
What would your message
beta Jeremy Corbyn?
That the Labour
Party are very fortunate to have a
large cohort of very experienced and
talented councillors up and down the
country. We know what we are doing,
a us to get on with that.
councils aside, in Parliament Jeremy
Corbyn has won the
Corbyn has won the support of many
Labour MPs who now believe he should
lead them into the next election,
but could it be the relationship
with the wider party in local
government that becomes the one that
is more difficult to manage?
Emma Vardy reporting.
Jon Trickett is a member
of the Shadow Cabinet, and also sits
on Labour's National Executive
He joins me now from Yorkshire.
We have got the leader of Newcastle
City Council, the Labour leader,
saying this is a declaration of war,
the NEC getting involved in the
local government decision.
thing to say is Labour is in
Government throughout this country
in local councils, we are very proud
of our record in local government
but the NEC took a decision the
other day, it was unanimous by the
way, nobody voted against it, and
Nick was in the room. He made a
strong case for the autonomy of
councils and in general that is what
we think too. In fact we want to
bring more powers back to local
You cannot reconcile
giving more power to councils with
the idea there is a top-down diktats
on what decisions councils must
Let me just finish the point
because what the NEC did was to ask
for a pause. We did it politely but
we said before that should happen,
let's have a conversation between
Haringey and the NEC and that
conversation is now taking place or
Wilby. I think this is an
exaggerated row and when people look
at the facts, we have asked for a
pause is not necessarily a change in
policy, though we think the policy
was wrong and we want a conversation
You are having a
conversation between the NEC and
Haringey. If Haringey Council
refused to change their minds about
this, they will then be subject to a
diktats from the NEC, will they not?
I'm not going to go into a
speculative conversation with you
but let's remember the background to
this. This is effectively a huge
deal outsourcing huge amounts of
resources and assets in Haringey. It
is very controversial and remember
this, the NEC received a letter from
22 Labour councillors on Haringey
Council asking for a pause. We
reacted to that request from within
Haringey itself and all of this
takes in the background of problems
at Grenfell and also with the
collapse of Carillion, both of which
I think our matters we need to be
thinking about when we are thinking
in local councils about outsourcing
additional provision. I am
optimistic we will find an amicable
It gets to a
fundamental policy aspect of the
Labour Party as to who makes
decisions and surely you say some
Labour councils were concerned about
this, the majority of Labour members
on the council were in favour of it.
The ruling body of the Labour Party
is obliged by the Constitution to
take a view where there is clearly a
dispute within one of our
constitutional elements. And there
was an absolutely clear position
that there was a dispute. We were
asked to intervene. We took a view
and asked the council to think about
it again and agreed to mediation. I
don't think this is unreasonable.
The Constitution of the party
requires the NEC from time to time
to make sure that the constitutional
elements operate within the
policies, programmes and principles
of the Labour Party. I think it is a
storm in a teacup.
It is about the
controversial issue of outsourcing.
That is something you are speaking
out about this week, saying the
Labour government would reverse
outsourcing, setting out clear rules
for companies you would give
contracts to, including the idea
that the boss should not be paid
more than 20 times more than the
lowest paid worker. It would be
quite difficult to find construction
companies to build, say, HS2 if
you're going to stick to those
Well, there are all kinds of
different contracts which are
outsourced. Some of them can be done
by the public sector, others can't.
We will be thinking about those
services which are outsourced. The
facts are if you work for the
Council or the government, the top
ratio to the average pay is 20 to
one. In the private sector it is 156
to one. That means in a year's work
by a chief executive, the average
worker has to work 156 years, almost
for working like -- lifetimes. We
don't think that is how taxpayers
want the money spent.
When you say
you won't give government contracts
to companies who don't have this 20
to one pay ratio you are talking all
We have said
we want to move towards a ratio of
20 to one. I don't think people
watching will have any compunction
to say that is not unreasonable. If
you are a boss you should definitely
earn more than the average pay. But
156 times? I don't think that is
Depends how quickly you
would move towards this. If you got
into government and took over the
management of say HS2, and there are
£7 billion worth of contracts, most
are companies which don't fit your
criteria, would you be cancelling
those contracts are maintaining
contracts with companies that don't
fit your pay rules?
are already left, you cannot easily
break those contracts, nor should
you want to. It would be illegal. If
the contract was operating in a way
which was contrary to the contract,
clearly we would want to look at
bringing that back in-house. It is
horses for horses -- courses.
horses for horses -- courses.
would continue with the contracts
the government signed for the
construction of HS2 even though
these companies don't meet your
In the case of HS2,
remember, it went to Carillion, and
20 Carillion after government knew
they were in trouble.
There are ten
more companies involved in this.
Carillion are in trouble. The truth
is the government gave them billions
of pounds, I think it was £1.4
billion, to a company which was
clearly going belly up. It is
Jon Trickett, thank you. I will talk
to the panel about what we have
heard on the programme so far. In
Trieste -- interesting ideas from
Jon Trickett. It would be harder to
impose their rules about outsourcing
and private companies, wouldn't it?
Not necessarily. The Carillion thing
as come at an interesting time. It
has exposed in bold the kind of
suspicion we have had for some time,
which is that these PFIs are really
just a vehicle for private companies
to take public funding and not
deliver on the services that they
were supposed to do. It ends up
costing us more. It is in line with
a shift in public mood we have seen.
There is overwhelming support for
nationalisation across sectors, from
utilities to railways and actually
across politics. Conservative voters
favour nationalisation. It is no
wonder that we have this level of
discontent when we see something
like Carillion happen. Yes, it might
be difficult in the short term to
return some of those contracts into
public hands. But it is going to be
cheaper and more efficient and
better for everyone in the long
term, that much is clear.
do you think it is even possible to
impose these kinds of rules, the 20
to one pay ratio, four any company
with a government contract?
as Andrew Gilligan's piece in the
Sunday Times showed, a lot of these
ideological premises have no basis
in law whatsoever. Momentum has
suggested to Capp pay at £60,000.
What effect would that have on head
teachers in Haringey? The people in
Haringey did not vote for a
Momentum, they voted for Labour.
Haringey is a broad church. It takes
in top on one hand and Highgate on
the other. Our Momentum's policies
representative of the constituency
as a whole? No. It is deeply
worrying people are being deselected
by people with fanatical views. John
Landis man is hugely controversial
figure. He claims to be a Bastian of
socialism and socialist policies,
yet at the same time we have
discovered, and the Sunday Express
have had a lot of in-depth analysis
of his own finances, he recently
loaned £5,000 to his son's property
company, which in turn is charged
with franchising McDonald's outlets.
John Landsman is not here to defend
himself. Move on from that point.
Let me bring in Raphael first.
Haringey is emblematic of a wider
thing happening in the Labour Party.
You have got the NEC that met this
week, the first time since you had
more Momentum members elected.
Interesting to watch if it changes
the decisions they make. How
worrying will it be people to see
them getting involved in something
as local as the decisions in
Momentum is a complex
institution. It is not an
ideological phalanx or something
captured by the hard left. What is
very interesting about this is that
this is a tension within the left
and labour that predates Jeremy
Corbyn and Momentum. You have a
tension between people who would
start with a fixed idea of what it
means invincible to be on the left,
and people who take a slightly more
pragmatic view to
pragmatic view to get elected.
Broadly within the Labour Party at
the moment Jeremy Corbyn as won the
ideological argument. People have
been marginalised. The problem is
when you had the election last year
and labour did better than a lot of
people thought, including a lot
better than Jeremy Corbyn and John
McDonnell thought, something
switched and Labour thought, we can
do this, we can get into government.
Suddenly the pragmatic tendency
started to appear within the Corbyn
movement. The tension is not between
anti-Corbyn and pro Corbyn. It is
about how you sneak up power, not
alienate too many people. Can you
actually win, beat Theresa May and
get into government? That tension is
happening inside the head of Jeremy
Corbyn and John McDonnell. It is
happening inside the head of Jon
Trickett. We have to leave
Trickett. We have to leave that now.
It's coming up to 11.40 -
you're watching the Sunday Politics.
Good morning and welcome
to Sunday Politics Scotland.
Coming up on the programme:
New allegations about
the Phil Gormley affair -
the Tories' Justice spokesperson
tells this programme
they are "absolutely extraordinary".
Could the Lib Dems be about to back
the Scottish Budget?
I'll be asking party
leader Willie Rennie.
And as austerity continues
to hammer council budgets,
could culture be the next victim?
We'll have a special
report from Stirling.
The loss to the city will be
enormous. Has ever heard of a city
without a museum? -- who has ever
The Scottish Police Authority was
set up to oversee Police Scotland
independently of Government.
Last November they reached
a unanimous decision to reinstate
the suspended Chief Constable Phil
He was informed, and press
releases drafted announcing
his return to work.
Then, following two meetings
with the Justice Secretary,
the chair of the Scottish Police
Authority changed his
mind and emailed board
the decision be "paused".
He also contacted Mr Gormley
on his way back to Scotland
at the time, and told
him not to come back.
MSPs are concerned about political
interference in the day-to-day
running of the police.
The Justice Secretary
insists he only asked essential
and pertinent questions.
So what happened in those
Was the chair of the SPA
made to change his mind?
It all came under intense scrutiny
at Holyrood this week -
firstly in Committee and then
in Parliament itself.
Did basically tell you at that first
or second meeting to change your
No, it was not that exquisite.
So why did you change our mind?
said in my earlier answer, I think
that for the Chief Constable to
return it would be best that it was
in the most conducive situation
possible. If the Cabinet Secretary
was unhappy for reasons that I did
not understand, and what it was best
to try and resolve those issues
before he returned.
You were asked
earlier whether you felt that the
cabinet secretary was directing you
to stop the process. Will you accept
that if you look at that
objectively, it is quite difficult
not to conclude that you felt the
cabinet secretary was telling you to
stop this process?
I think direction
is a more formal term, and I could
not say that I had been directed.
The position I was in, I felt I was
at not in a position to move forward
with that decision.
You had no
choice but to pause the decision?
It was called a
one-sided meeting and he felt he had
no choice but to reverse the
decision of his independent board by
changing his mind based on the
cabinet secretary being unhappy. So
the independent chair of an
independent body has two meetings
with the Justice Secretary where in
the first he has told he has made a
bad decision, and after the second
years left in no doubt that he had
to reverse it. Andrew Flanagan
clearly said he had not been
requested by the Justice Secretary
to change his decision, and he was
not directed to do so. Questions
were asked, and as I said, I
absolutely and of the view that the
Justice Secretary was right to ask
Well, the Justice Secretary Michael
Matheson declined our invitation
to come on the programme,
so earlier I spoke with
the Conservative's Justice
Spokesperson Liam Kerr,
and the SNP's Ben Macpherson.
First of all, I am curious as to
what you make of these reports that
were in the Sunday Post this
morning, and I should briefly
explain what this is about. Kate
Frame, the police investigations and
review Commissioner, suggested that
the Government was trying to
interfere with her independence. It
was about to the publication of a
report on the Phil Gormley avail.
She claims that summoning the
Scottish Government was trying to
delay it. What did you make of that?
I found this extraordinary. These
are absolutely extraordinary
revelations. What they show is that
Government interference in
supposedly independent bodies,
trying to do an independent job, is
endemic throughout the system. But
it also shows is that there is a
wider issue of Government, because
we have seen John Swinney trying to
interfere in the named person
witnesses, or at any rate there are
delegations to that. This is showing
that this interfering is with
independent public bodies is endemic
throughout the Scottish Government.
In MacPherson, what do you make of
it? This is arguably more serious
than the allegations about Michael
Matheson. -- Ben MacPherson. He
could have said he hadn't interfered
in the timing and could be judged to
be irresponsible, given the
circumstances. This looks much more
on the face of it, if these e-mails
are accurate, like a straightforward
case of the Government trying to
interfere in the normal day-to-day
workings of someone who is supposed
to be an independent commissioner.
On issues important like this, it is
important to be rational and
reasonable. This is a story that has
broken this morning. There has not
been any Parliamentary time or
otherwise to look at it. What is
absolutely clear from the story in
the Sunday Post, and the statement
made by the park, is that no
incidents of Government interference
have taken place. Those are his
words rather than mine.
words. Only because she resisted.
Let me just read you what Kate
Frame, the piece to make sure in
review said, she said if these
e-mails are accurate, my perception
of your remarks is of governmental
interference with my independence.
That is a direct quote.
correspondence to give the context
but a Government official. But as a
comment to the story, they have made
very clear that there had been no
incidents of Government
But again, I make the
point only because it would appear
that Kate Frame resisted them. She
herself is saying that the remark
she received from this fellow, who
is the deputy director of police
division of the Scottish Government,
were, and ever video game, my
perception is of governmental
interference. If this was the former
Labour Liberal Democrat
administration, and something like
this had happened, the SNP would be
all over it like a rash. Saying,
this is an absolutely outrageous
I am not going to
comment on that. I think it is
important that we look at this story
in the context of the days ahead,
the policing subcommittee that I sit
on the well perhaps want to take a
look at it. But what is very clear
to me today is that when asked to
react to this story, they have said
that there is no instance of
other issue at stake, which is about
Michael Matheson, I am not quite
clear what your objections are to
what he did. I do think that the
substance of what he did, to stop
the return of Phil Gormley, was OK?
It is just the way it was done?
think it is interesting how you
phrase that. The substance of
Michael Matheson and interfere to
prevent the return of Phil Gormley.
But was that wrong?
The issue here is that there was a
meeting to which the independent
chair of an independent body, the
SPAD, is called into, unannounced,
between the cabinet secretary and
the former SPAD chair. This is a
meeting that is an minuted. The
chair goes then, with a unanimous
board decision we heard in committee
last week, saying the situation of
Phil Gormley should be coming back
to work. He emerges a short time
later. From an an minuted meeting
with no notes, with an eight
different decision. Mr Matheson
would have us believe that he did
not play any part in that decision.
For all of the people, this is just
process. You seem to agree that he
was right to interfere and stop Phil
Gormley returning, or am I
What you are
misunderstanding, if I may, if that
this meeting, if Michael Matheson
wished to interfere, he can do that.
What he does not have power to do is
just do it in a closed meeting.
you are objecting to the process.
Michael Matheson makes the point
that if he had not intervened,
giving the people inside Police
Scotland had not been made aware of
the suburbs and return of Mr
Gormley, if he had not intervened
people like you would be screaming
that this was an appalling and that
the SNP Government was incompetent,
and that of course it was ministers
responsibility to stop a situation
like this are rising.
contrary, what is appalling is that
if Mr Matheson is now saying that he
did intervene, which he previously
didn't, if he did intervene, then he
has to go through an appropriate
process, and that process involves
not waiting, apart from anything
else, for nine weeks to come before
Parliament and talk about what
happened in that meeting.
your response to that, Ben
MacPherson? Again, I think he is not
quite say this, but the issue of
substance is conceded, but you
presumably could see the issue of
process, that he should have... The
meeting should have been minuted. He
should have towed -- told MSPs what
is going on.
It's important to
recognise there is an ongoing
statutory investigation with these
allegations. We should all be
mindful of that. What is clear, and
implicitly Liam Cooper has just
admitted, that the Cabinet secretary
was absolutely right to ask the
questions about the process in which
the decision of the SNP was made. --
We don't have endless
time, what about the point of
process? He should have told what
MSPs was going on, and he should
have made sure minutes were taken.
We have just got people post like
word for what has happened. --
people post like word.
In terms of correspondent from the
Scottish Government, the Public
audit committee has received
correspondent detailing the fight
that the follow-on correspondent
that took place there after the
meeting was much more substantial
than any formal minute.
out of time. Liam Kerr, returning to
these e-mails to and from Kate
frame, the police investigation
commission, what do you think should
happen about this? What will you be
I think first of all the
Cabinet Secretary needs to reflect
very carefully on events of the last
few months and indeed the debate
that to please in Parliament when I
cold on transparency. I would expect
that to be happening. There needs to
be a fool public enquiry. A public
enquiry? Into the SNP. The way
Nicola Sturgeon was my government is
conducting itself is losing
confidence from the public, hang on,
you cannot have a public enquiry
into the fact that you do not like
the SNP government, that is silly.
Of course not. I think we need a
filling quietly into what is going
Do you mean the
relationship between ministers and
We need tact
transparency. There has been no
transparency throughout this
process. There has been no
transparency from the Cabinet
I am not quite sure why
you want an enquiry?
I wonder --
want an enquiry into transparency.
John Swinney is currently facing
allegations over a billion of
independent witnesses on the main
person -- named person enquiry.
do you want to happen specifically
about this Kate frame situation?
Will your committee be doing
anything about this?
That is a
question for our committee to
discuss. That will be for John
Finnie to take forward. That is not
a question I can answer at the
moment. This is an important matter.
It seems like you do not know what
to do about it.
We have seen a
headline this morning about how we
can take this matter forward. It
will be discussed in Parliament this
week. It is important that there is
a lot of sensational as from Liam
Kerr today. They have been proven
wrong and it has proven that the
Cabinet Secretary was right to act
the way he did. There has been
touring have Chrissy, it is about
time we got behind our police
service. -- hypocrisy.
wondering how long it would take for
one of you to say you are not
backing the fleece. Thank you both
very much indeed.
Now, since we recorded that
interview, the Police Investigations
and Review Commission have confirmed
to the BBC that the emails
However, they insist that,
since the report came out
as scheduled, there was no actual
And in a statement,
the Scottish Government said:
"There have been no incidents
of Government interference,
and the release of the audit
document went ahead
within the planned timescale."
Now, since the SNP no longer has
a Holyrood majority, they depend
on support from at least one
of the other parties
to pass their budget.
It was thought that would
come from the Greens,
but could the Lib Dems be
about to outmanoeuvre them?
Well, let's find out,
because their leader, Willie Rennie,
joins me now from Dundee.
I know you are dying to talk about
the budget. Let's get your views on
this. The report which is at the
centre of these new allegations was
not about Phil Gormley, it was
apparently about procedures in
general terms, to do with cases like
Phil Gormley but it did not name
them. What do you make of these
relegations this morning and what
you think should be done about them?
-- revelations. The government is
developing an unhealthy culture of
intervention. If I was in the
Justice Secretary's position, I
would probably have made the same
cold because the circumstances about
Phil Gormley's return were not
right. That is not the centre of the
problem here. We have a
concentration of power within the
justice system. We have the Justice
Secretary, the chair of the police
authority and the Chief Constable.
Those three positions held by three
people, you do not have that
dispersed power, share power across
What about specific
allegations not about Kate frame but
with matters to do with keep
It is inevitable that you
get to circumstances like this
because the power is concentrated in
just three hands. That is why we
need to change the system to
disperse power because the Justice
Secretary is not tempted in the way
that he has inevitably he has been
on both those issues. It is
inappropriate to intervene in such
cases, but it is inevitable that it
happens because power is so close to
the Justice Secretary. He can
intervene so easily without telling
parliament, and that is why we need
to have an independent review of how
the police structure is operated. We
should -- believe it should be
Another dancing on the head
of a pinpoint, Michael Matheson
saying he did not interfere in the
return of Phil Gormley, but you
would accept that he intervened. It
is the difference between the two
words. This case
with Kater Frame and the delay of
the publication of a document. Would
you accept that something on that
last remark -- Kate Frame.
honest I have not seen all the
detail on that. I think it is a
culture where the government seems
to readily interfering and
intervening in many cases like this.
Even if he didn't actually
interview, they did try to. I think
that is the kind of questions we
need to be asking. I think there
should be a statement to Parliament
on this issue this week and we need
to put an end to it.
everyone's Patrick Harvey and the
Greens would come to the
government's rescue. Are you
galloping to the rescue instead?
Talks with Derek Mackay broke down
before Christmas on an important
issue for the Northern Isles on the
internal ferry services because
there was a promise that they had
made to fund the services to avoid
massive cuts to the lifeline
services and public services. They
withdrew that commitment that they
had made over many, many years and
then tried to strong arm is into
voting for the budget. There was a
breakdown of trust so we broke down
the talks as a result of that. There
is still time to the the damage and
that was done. We could talk to the
government, there is still time left
before we finalise the budget and
agree the budget, and we have powers
over education, that I have
explained to you before.
issue over the ferry is your red
line issue? If they conceded on that
you would fought with them?
not the only issue we are voting
for. But the handled it, broke down
the trust between us and them we
have had in previous years. There
was a precondition before any talks
with the government, was that the...
But do you have any redline is
beyond that? On the face of it you
are seeing is a much more modest
amount than the demands that were
made by Patrick Harvey about, you
know, effectively about £200 million
worth of restoration cuts to
councils. It was a precondition for
further talks about the big issues
that we have been arguing for, about
investment in mental health,
investment up to £1.2 billion, but
also £500 million investment in
education for schools, nurseries and
Those have been a priority
set out in our manifesto in 2016. We
put out these issues for discussion
and debate, we could not reach
agreement last year, I was hoping we
could beat agreement this year or
remove some weight on tax which will
raise more men of the. -- more
I am slightly chuckling
here. Your phrase, what is a red
line? Could sum up the history of
the Liberal Democrats.
What I am
explaining here are the kinds of
things we want to see. We are not
the biggest party in parliament so
we cannot provide everything that we
want. We have put forward and
coherently a package of proposals to
transform the education system to
invest in that system, to boost the
economy. Because the economy hasn't
struggling in recent months
following the Brexit vote. We need
to make that investment to turn
around the economy, but we also need
to invest in mental health.
are the things we would be happy
with. You had a clash with Nicola
Sturgeon, at First Minister's
Questions. You appear to be accusing
her of lying and there was a bit of
bad-tempered exchanges. Would you
like to withdraw that allegation?
accept what the presiding officer
has said about the use of language
in Parliament. You can understand my
frustration and strong feelings on
this issue when the First Minister,
in a debate that I was part of back
in 2016, when she gave assurance to
the question that she would be
standing up for the children's Ward
in Paisley. When she knew fine well
that it was a matter of discussion
and debate for the health board and
the community. She said to the
question, there are no proposals.
That is a politician's Ansa, she was
dodging it and she got round of
applause at the of her question and
her answer. The audience were
convinced she was going to stand up
for the ward. I think it is
inappropriate note to say it is the
doctors who forced her to make this
decision. I therefore think that
what she said back then was
misleading the parents of sick kids
in Paisley. That is why I felt so
strongly about the issue.
just a difference of words. You have
swapped the word lying for a
The presiding officer
has given it a ruling. I think you
know what I mean and you know how
strongly as I feel about this issue.
You are not withdrawing what you
I have written to the
presiding officer, I have made it
clear I accept his judgment about
the language. But I feel incredibly
strongly about this issue. Because
the First Minister did mislead the
people of Paisley believing she was
quick to stand up for that ward and
I think those issues of integrity
are incredibly important.
where you get to fit on your best
big smile. There is a full thing
that people want another referendum
on the EU? It is fantastic. You have
been saying that you have had
discussions with the SNP about your
position on having another
referendum. Have you had any
Tavish Scott did have a
meeting and they are sitting on the
fence. I would rather they came of
that fence and back what is going in
popular position, to have a say on
the final outcome of the Brexit
deal. It would be sensible for them
to do that. I suspect they are a bit
too attracted to having an
independence referendum than backing
If polls in Scotland
swing to people saying they want
another independence referendum, we
will have the same big smile from
you and you will see, yes, bring it
We rejected a bad deal three
years ago, I do not think we will
have another one.
thank you very much.
Now, as local authorities
across Scotland battle
to balance their books,
is it inevitable that arts
and culture will lose out?
Stirling Council published dozens
of proposals this week aimed
at saving around £20 million over
the next five years.
Among the projects facing funding
cuts are the city's museum
and a children's orchestra.
The council is encouraging people
to get involved in its consultation
before any final decision
are made next month.
Katie Hunter reports.
One, two, three.
These women find
sunshine singing in the sterling
museum. The facility's funding could
be cut. Doctor Victoria McBurney
will be singing, says it is good for
Cutting the arts is
a big mistake, it is a huge mistake
because the arts give us pleasure
and they encourage creativity. If we
do not have that, I really am fed up
sending people to psychology
departments and signing them offer
stress and trying to offer them some
help when they are saying, let's get
back to creators. If you would get
the first people to survive...
could lose almost a quarter of £1
million of council funding over the
next five years.
It was literally a
The museum tells many stories
of Striling's bloody past, now it
faces a fight for the future.
have the world's oldest football,
world's oldest curling stone, the
War of Independence, you name it, we
have it. If it is about Striling, it
is here. And most of the city will
-- the laws of the city will be
It isn't just the city's
museum facing cultural cuts, this is
the wrap Lough estate, home to a
project that aims to transform
children's lives through music. --
Raploch. Big noise has been behind
Major concerts in Scotland and
beyond. It works and some of
Scotland like most deprived
communities. It could lose £200,000
of funding by 2023, a worrying
prospect for families who take part.
Hannah, she is very musical, she
enjoys it very much so. It is
something she can do with her
friends as well, Hannah is quite
shy. When she wants to be. She comes
out shell and she is quite energetic
and I would not say loud, she is
very vocal when she comes to big
What is it you like about
playing the cello?
Because I didn't
want... I didn't want an oestrogen.
-- -- E string. I have played in
some... One of them I had... There
were a couple of big noise all
playing on stage. Did you play at
the Albert Hall? Yes.
council needs to save £23 million
over the next five years. It has set
out dozens of areas that could be
cut. The final decisions will be
made next month. The groups we spoke
to said they were sympathetic to the
challenges the council faces. The
leader says that they will not have
to close their doors.
culture are very important to
Stirling. We are determined to
maintain that in the city as we move
forward. What we have to look at,
are there any potential
efficiencies, any potential to
increase income? Is their ways that
we can improve the financial model
so that the council becomes less
exposed and we can create a more
sustainable model in terms of arts
Back at the Stirling
Smith, the singers have moved into
the sunshine. And to coin a cliche,
they have made this on their own.
Don't take our Smith away.
Now it's time to take
a look back over events,
and forwards to those looming
in the week ahead.
Joining me now are two
journalists and broadcasters -
Lesley Riddoch and David Torrance.
Let's start with these new
allegations about the police, David
Ford. The Scottish Government insist
no actual interference happened.
Does that get them off the hook? On
the face of it, the e-mails try to
interfere, and evidence credit here,
it is to police investigations
Commissioner was turning up to it.
O'Shea the Scottish Government on
this, that there was no
interference, spectacularly misses
the point, as the e-mails clearly
show there was a an
attempt, not the
first time he has been in the news
incidentally. As you say, the
Commissioner has had a clear no to
that attempt. An attempt to
influence the timescale, not a musty
conclusions. But it is yet another
example of civil servants going
beyond their remit and behaving
Why do they do
things like this? Would it not be
better to just not bother? The
report came out and it was not much
of a fuss about it.
I bothered to
look back at what the complete audit
said, and it baffles me about
journalism in Scotland that we end
getting so hung up on these
particular personal details when
really there is some substantial
points in that. Not enough
explanation on how the SBA, who are
meant to be the watchdog for the
police, the standards authority.
There was no information or
explanation about how they reached
decisions, the average time to
resolve something is excessive. The
public having to produce evidence
regarding complaints is not
appropriate. There is no guidance
about whistle-blowing. That would
worry me as a... That is the framing
of our police system.
was on the face of it, and we know
these e-mails are genuine, an
attempt by the Scottish Government
to say, could you delay this?
looked at that, they seem to be
suggesting that you can actually
find a different way that is less
public to resolve this instead are
published yet. Before the big
investigation that is going on it to
the Chief Constable. I don't know
whether that really washes very
well, but I also don't know how long
this interest in the quite
pernickety business of these details
of timing will continue. I don't
know that Michael Matheson's jacket
is a shaky peg.
This seems to be
dragging on for ever. There is now a
big row surrounding Police Scotland.
Obviously that does not affect
policing on a day-to-day level, but
surely this has to be sorted out and
It does. Having written a
couple of articles about Police
Scotland myself when of its
considerable worry about the control
room is not responding properly to
urgent calls, there is also worries
about 40-50 stations being closed.
It is overcentralised, and I
completely agree with Willie Rennie,
there is not the underpinning of any
local accountability. Because I used
to be able to be the one that hired
and fired chief constables, now they
are way beyond reach and that system
is one that the Scottish Government
set up, a lot of police on the beat
want to see and broken back up into
David, could Willie Rennie
gallop to the rescue on the Scottish
budget? The significance of what he
was saying, his commands I say more
moderate than the demands of last
Sunday, Patrick Harvie on this
programme basically demanding tens
of millions of pounds. It was less
clear that Willie Rennie is
It was clear in that
interview that Willie Rennie was
trying to keep the negotiations
giving, on that front. I suspect he
is pushing an open door. I have
spoken to some SNP MSPs, one who'd
used the phrase about finding a new
dance partner, which I thought was
quite amusing. In relation to those
budget negotiations, and a lot of
nationalist find the Greens quite
tricky to deal with. I think Willie
Rennie is probably aware of that.
The interesting thing is that it is
a reminder that this is a menorah to
Government, and it often gets
overlooked. In the first term, back
in 2007, there was this sort of
dance that took place quite
frequently over the budget
Jeremy Corbyn this morning on
television was absolutely adamant
that Labour will not back another
The poll was showing a
majority of a second referendum, but
when you break it down, Labour
voters, young people and Scots are
the three groups who support for
domain has increased.
It also showed
that there might be a tiny majority
for domain, but certainly not enough
that could be changed.
something about this myself, do not
go for a second referendum, because
this was an advisory referendum,
every time that a referendum takes
place our Parliamentary sovereignty,
you weaken an already weakened idea
in British politics. The MPs need to
stand up and do something here. You
look at the Midlands, the big areas
that were in favour of leaving, it
is still so.
If Jeremy Corbyn is
saying no and the Conservatives are
saying no, it is not a runner.
SNP have made noises in favour of
it, but they are still not gone as
far as backing it.
meetings do not seemed getting far.
I think the point is salient. The
figures show a chef, I wonder how
strongly voters actually feel about
the idea of a second referendum.
they rank it? Other things like the
NHS are more important.
say yes if boost, but do they at
least feel strongly about it? I
That's all from the us this week.
I'll be back on Wednesday
with Politics Scotland.
Until then, goodbye.
Sarah Smith and Gordon Brewer with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Sarah is joined by Conservative MP Theresa Villiers, Brexit minister Lord Callanan and shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett MP. On the political panel are journalist and commentator Rachel Shabi, political columnist for The Guardian Rafael Behr and Sunday Express political editor Camilla Tominey.