Sarah Smith and Gordon Brewer with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include Jack Straw, Sam Gyimah and Baroness Neville-Jones.
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I'm Sarah Smith and this
is the Sunday Politics.
I'll be bringing you up to speed
on all the political
comings and goings in
Westminster and beyond.
Coming up in today's programme.
As the investigation into the nerve
agent attack in Salisbury continues,
we'll be taking to the former
Home Secretary Jack Straw
and former Security Minister,
Pauline Neville Jones.
Is there room for more spending?
Ahead of his spring statement this
week, the Chancellor Philip Hammond
has hinted austerity could be over
as he said there was "light
at the end of the tunnel".
We join the Universities minister
Sam Gyimah on what's jokingly been
called a "punishment
tour" of the country -
trying to attract students
to the Conservative Party.
Most of my friends always slander
the Conservative name saying it's
only for middle aged men who want to
benefit from themselves.
At first I
was like, I'm not going to say it.
One of my flatmates was like, if you
are not Labour, don't talk to me and
I was like OK.
In London, the Liberal Democrat
leader Vince Cable tells us why he's
And on Sunday Politics Scotland...
Richard Leonard tries to rally
the troops but could the single
market crack become a chasm?
I'll be speaking to him
from his party conference in Dundee.
All that coming up in the programme.
And as usual we've got three
Westminster insiders who will take
us behind the headlines and tell us
what's really going on.
Today I'm joined by Tom Newton Dunn,
Dia Chakravarty and George Eaton.
The unfolding events over the past
week in the cathedral city
of Salisbury could have been taken
straight from the pages
of a spy thriller.
The poisoning of a Russian former
double agent who had passed secrets
to Britain and moved to Salisbury
after a 2010 spy swap, involved
the use of a sinister nerve agent.
It has shocked the country
with the finger of suspicion
pointing firmly at Moscow.
The big story of the week started
in Salisbury after a former
Russian double agent,
Sergei Skripal, and his daughter
Yulia and the policeman who went
to their aid all mysteriously fell
ill because an as yet
unidentified nerve agent.
12 years ago, Alexander Litvinenko
was killed by polonium 210.
Was this more Russian foul play?
Boris Johnson was quick
to retaliate, saying there could be
implications for this summer's
World Cup in Russia.
I think it will be very difficult
to imagine that UK representation
in that event could go ahead
in the normal way.
Did he mean the England team?
The Prime Minister explained.
The point the Foreign Secretary
was making yesterday was that,
depending on what comes out
in relation to the investigation
into the attack on the two
individuals that took place
in Salisbury, that it might be
appropriate for the government
to look at whether ministers
and other dignitaries should attend
the World Cup in Russia.
Russian state TV mocked the Foreign
Secretary for his comments,
but the government's
firm language persisted.
The use of a nerve agent on UK soil
is a brazen and reckless act.
This was attempted murder
in the most cruel and public way.
We still can't get through a week
without mentioning the B word
as the Chancellor delivered
the latest big Brexit speech.
He's determined to get
a good deal for the city.
We still can't get through a week
without mentioning the B word
So I'm clear not only
that it is possible to include
financial services within a trade
deal, but that it is very much
in our mutual interest to do so.
the EU disagreed.
Also when it comes to financial
services, life will be
different after Brexit.
The EU had other things to worry
about, though, as Donald Trump put
forward his highly controversial
plan to make American steel
and aluminium great again.
Surrounded by metal workers,
the President signed proclamations
to impose a 25% tariff on steel
and a 10% tariff on aluminium
imports into the US.
The European Union has not treated
us well and it's been a very,
very unfair trade situation.
Claims of Parliamentary bullying
and sexual harassment hit
the headlines with some
of the allegations going
all the way to the top.
Back in 2010, a woman called
Kate Emms took up the position
as John Bercow's private secretary.
But she stood down from that post
after less than a year.
Her colleagues told Newsnight
that this is because Mr Bercow's
bullying left her unable to continue
in that job.
Theresa May enthusiastically
welcomed Saudi royalty
to Downing Street this week.
Mohammed bin Salman was even treated
to lunch at the Palace.
Billboards sprung up extolling
in the crown prince's virtues.
Supporters of the man
they call Mr Everything say
he is a great reformer.
But protests surrounding UK arms
sales were also highly visible
and with Saudi's intervention
in Yemen ongoing, the visit
angered Jeremy Corbyn.
British arms sales have sharply
increased and British military
advisers are directing the war.
It cannot be right
that her government...
Mr Speaker, it cannot be right
that her government is colluding
in what the United Nations says
is evidence of war crimes.
Clearly riled, Theresa May
got her own back, calling
Jeremy Corbyn out on the eve
of International Women's Day.
Can I thank the Right
for telling me that it is
International Women's Day tomorrow.
I think that's what's
Tom, Dia and George
were watching that with me.
Now some insight and analysis into
what's going on behind the
headlines. The big story of the week
is obviously the poisoning of Sergei
Skripal and whether or not Russia
was involved. A lot of people have
been quick to assume that President
Putin sanctioned this and it's a
Russian state operation but can we
be sure of that?
yes, clearly there is no physical
proof to produce at the moment. I
think by the end of last week the
government were in no doubt that
this was ordered by the Russian
state and in particular Vladimir
Putin, who, under Russian state
rules, has to sign of all foreign
assassinations personally since rule
change in 2006. The reason I think
they are almost certain about this
is quite frankly no one else has a
motive to do that. Who would want to
do a better job in spite of analogy
on an old colonel living quietly in
Salisbury? Not the people have the
modes of delivery to do this, to
pass a nerve agent, chemical
weapons, on Britain's streets.
Thirdly, this will be the killer,
the scientific proof it was an
extremely rare nerve agent, used,
not one of the more widely available
once you see in things like Syria,
it's a rare particular type which
has only been known to be produced
in one or two laboratories in the
world, one of them is in Moscow. The
Moscow foreign spy service. What is
fascinating is not just was Vladimir
Putin responsible? It is why he
wanted us to know he was
responsible, because he left such a
massive calling card, and that has
been really bothering cabinet
ministers in the last week.
had from the Chief Medical Officer
who said traces of this nerve agent
has been found in the restaurant
where Sergei Skripal and his
daughter were eating and 500 people
were there at the same time and they
should wash their clothes and clean
their possessions that were with
them. There is a small rescue but
there is a risk. Frightening news
like that is what drives home to
people why it matters this is
happening in the UK.
there are so many questions about
this, even before we do want to who
was doing this. That's very
important. This also questions about
how the whole thing has been
handled, seven days, and they are
now telling these terrified
residents to wash their clothes and
possessions. Is that going to be
enough? What exactly is this agent?
If we see people in scary laboratory
suits walking around, doing what
they need to do, a quarantine going
on, is it enough to say go and wash
your clothes seven days later? The
communication around it, I
understand it is sensitive, that I
think it has been dire. Really quite
woeful. If I was living in Salisbury
I would be very, very worried.
George, the UK Government, once the
investigation has finished and they
decide whether this was a
state-sponsored assassination, they
need to decide how to respond. All
we have practically heard of so far
is some rubber mats might not go to
the World Cup in Russia, presumably
will have to do come up with
something better than that --
diplomats. What can we do that
Russia will care about?
from some Labour Party and
Conservative MPs is to introduce a
version of the Magnitsky Act, which
means it's easier to freeze the
assets of Russians suspected of
human rights abuses or corruption,
and expel them, but Britain is
severely limited and I think it's
worth asking the question why did
Russia choose this moment to target
Britain? We are set to leave the
European Union, huge burdens on
governments, stretching the
government bandwidth to its limits,
and Donald Trump and the USA who we
supposedly have a special
relationship with, is imposing
tariffs on steel and has not made
any robust intervention over this,
despite the fact he normally rushes
to tweet when there is a terrorist
attack on British soil after making
unhelpful remarks. He has not been
standing shoulder to shoulder with
Britain in this instance.
been a suggestion this should come
up at the next Nato summit in
Brussels, and they could be looking
for some kind of coordinated
response from international allies.
Is that likely?
It's difficult to
see at the moment. Russia's strength
here is significant and Vladimir
Putin, such a brazen act, clearly he
does not feel Britain has the
capacity to respond. Last December,
when we were short of gas, the one
country we turn to was Russia.
will be back to talk about the other
stories during the programme.
The poisoning of Sergei Skripal
and his daughter carries
echoes of the murder
of Alexander Litvinenko,
the ex KGB officer who died
after drinking tea laced
with radioactive polonium 210
in a London hotel in 2006.
And this morning, his widow,
Marina Litvinenko urged Theresa May
to adopt American-style laws that
are tougher on Russia.
You need to be very selective who
you are friends with. And when you
allow people with money to come to
your country and make a business,
you need to be sure what kind of
money these people try to bring to
your country because very often this
money is stolen from Russian people
and sometimes it is a very serious
crime behind it. I'm
crime behind it. I'm absolutely
asking this question to unite this
action already done in the United
States, in Europe. I think the UK
has to do the same steps.
Joining me now from Edinburgh
is the former Home and Foreign
Secretary, Jack Straw.
Thank you very much for joining us
this morning. Do you agree that the
UK needs to introduce tougher laws,
the likes of which the US has?
think we should do this now. I think
have to take this very careful
step-by-step way, so I think the
approach of Amber Rudd and her
security minister, Ben Wallace, is
the right one. Jumping to
conclusions in this situation is not
a sensible way to proceed. The other
thing we have to think about very
carefully, when it comes to those
who are saying something must be
done and if you are in government,
you get this all the time, in
situations like this, something has
got to be done, is what happens when
you have to get back to normality? I
often reflect on the sanctions were
imposed to Zimbabwe for the
different situation but there are
parallels. In retrospect, Robert
Mugabe was a very bad man, but in
retrospect I often wonder if it was
a sensible thing to do. In the end
we had to get the troops down again.
It was very tricky so people need to
think very carefully indeed. This is
on the assumption the Russian state
was behind this, which has not yet
been approved or announced.
If we do
establish that and work on the
presumption for now and I understand
your reservations, would President
Putin care if we were to try and
institute some kind of sanctions or
punishments or does it just increase
the siege mentality Russia is under
threat from the rest of the world
which in many ways bolstered his
position in advance of the elections
coming up soon?
If we were to do it
unilaterally, just the UK, he
wouldn't careful stop with the EU,
and more other major allies
including the USA, he might take
notice but frankly, I think he
regarded as a medal if we were
simply to do it by ourselves and he
knows that, post the collapse of the
Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union in
the early 1990s, there is a huge
amount of Russian money in the UK,
particularly in London, and a
Magnitsky Act won't make that much
difference to the level of
dependence of some very highly
respectable British London based
financial institutions with Russian
With the Alexander Litvinenko case,
an enquiry two tiers to get to the
bottom of what happened there, and
could only conclude that it was
probably orchestrated by the Russian
state. Can you take any sort of
action on the basis of something
probably being true?
People need to
bear in mind the example of Iraq.
The evidence against Saddam Hussein
having and continuing to have
biological weapons was overwhelming.
The question came up in United
Nations Security Council
resolutions, passed unanimously.
That is what Tony Blair and I used
almost 15 years ago to persuade
people to go to war against Iraq,
and it turned out to be completely
incorrect, so you've got to be
really careful. I have the scars
literally on my back in respect of
this. In the heat of the moment,
with people in the House of Commons
and the newspapers screeching,
something 's got to be done, being
non-explicit about what... Moreover,
we shouldn't descend to the level of
the criminal justice system in the
Russian Federation or other states
like that. There are demands today
from some Conservatives to ban the
Russia Today programme.
Chancellor said today that he
doesn't think Labour MPs will be
appearing on there in the future.
Will you do the same?
I have not
appeared on there for some time, but
I will make a decision on my own
terms. We have to be careful about
doing that in the absence of
evidence. Far better for Britain's
position in the world to have high
standards of probity. It's better to
bear in mind that well intentioned
people who do not lie at all,
including myself, and the House of
Commons by a huge majority, and
public opinion at the time, came to
the wrong decision with respect to
whether or not Saddam Hussein still
had biological weapons on the basis
of probabilities. That is the
difficulty here. People will of
course be very impatient indeed to
have a culprit here, and obviously
stacking it up on the basis of
circumstantial evidence, you can
make a very good case that it is the
Russian state, but we need a bit of
sobriety before we come to that
conclusion. Thank God that Amber
Rudd is the Home Secretary at the
moment. Someone else I could think
of in the British Cabinet, and she
is taking a very measured approach
Here with me now is Pauline Neville
Jones, who was Security
and Counter Terrorism Minister under
David Cameron, when Theresa May
was Home Secretary.
That was fascinating, listening to
Jack Straw drawing parallels with
Iraq and what was supposedly the
evidence of chemical and biological
weapons there, saying we have to be
very careful about pointing the
finger of blame. With your security
experience, will we ever be able to
establish whether this was
sanctioned by the Russians?
the Russian state will admit it was
involved. In order to get absolute
proof, what we needed with
Litvinenko was to have a trial.
There hasn't been a trial because
the Russians wouldn't cooperate. I
think it's right for the government
to be cautious about saying anything
now, because it mustn't be seen to
lead the investigation and therefore
damage it, but once we have
established a degree of probability
about the cause, that is the time
for action. I think the chances of
it not being connected with Russia
in some way are very low.
would point to that, but what is the
motive? This is a retired agent
who's been living here for years.
Came as part of the spy as well. The
unwritten rule of espionage is that
you don't touch spies. What dangers
does he pose to the Russian regime?
I think we simply don't know the
full story. There's plenty of
evidence that the Russian regime is
pretty vicious. Even if he was part
of a swap, I don't think you can
exclude the fact that the Russian
state might decide to take action
Looking at pictures of
him and his daughter there. It's
difficult to see what threat they
posed to the Russian state. Is it
not worth considering the
possibility that they may have been
involved in something else that
isn't technically state faction --
If possible. It is
possible that the Mafia was
involved. The question is, what lay
behind the Mafia and where did the
nerve agent come from? Is it
possible to come from elsewhere than
a state laboratory? It's difficult
to imagine that the threat isn't
going to go back to Russia somehow.
Is it possible to take action
against wealthy Russian oligarchs
living in London, even if we change
the laws and bring in something like
the Magnitsky act? Mrs Litvinenko
got a letter from Theresa May, Home
Secretary at the time, saying that
we want to make sure nothing like
this happens again in the UK, and
now it has.
There are already powers
which the government can use. One of
the reasons why there was an
argument in the Commons the other
day about this so-called Magnitsky
amendment was that the government
said, we've got the powers. You may
say, we need to use these powers,
for example to investigate people
who have unexplained wealth. There
are things we can do.
people who are not necessarily
linked to Putin and the regime, so
these are two distinct things.
are. You have to be careful how you
do this, and it requires resources.
This is a complicated job. Jack
Straw put his finger on it when he
said, we need to act in concert with
allies. This is the thing that the
Russians really are going to take
notice of. At the moment, it's fair
to say that although we are Aljaz
overtime, we have gradually
increased the pressure. With
sanctions, and Nato have increased
measures on its borders, but we
still have a great deal of
harassment from the Russians. They
are taking action in people's
politics. They are conducting cyber
attacks. We need to act as an
alliance so that the Russians really
do believe, and they seek positive
evidence of it, that action against
one is an action against all, and
collective action follows. We need
to have a strategy that brings
together what we do militarily, what
we do to protect our citizens in the
cyber sphere, what we do in
broadcasting, so we have an all
encompassing way of dealing with
Thank you very much for
coming to talk to us.
The new Universities Minister,
Sam Gyimah, has set himself
a rather ambitious task.
Travelling up and down the country,
he's trying to attract students
to the Conservative Party.
With just one in five voters aged
between 18 and 24 voting Tory
in the 2017 election,
it's been jokingly called
his "punishment tour".
Our reporter Elizabeth Glinka
joined Sam on his visit
to Canterbury Christ Church
And just to warn you,
her report contains flashing images.
Was that a youth quake?
Reports of a massive
increase in young voters at
the last general election may
have been exaggerated.
# I got the big size
12s on my feet...
Nationally, the turnout didn't
really change, but of
the young people that did vote,
a whopping 67% went for Labour.
And in a place like
Canterbury, where there
are more than 30,000 students,
it's thought that their votes played
a big part in the city
electing its first ever Labour MP.
This has been Conservative
since World War I.
An extraordinary surge
in their share, up 20% here.
In general, everyone just
always seems to think
that the Conservatives are always
doing something wrong,
so even if you don't know
about the Conservatives,
all you hear, you just think
negative things about it.
Most of my friends always slander
the Conservative name, saying,
"It's only for middle-aged men who
want the benefit from themselves."
Do you think you have
to be quite brave to
say, "I am a Conservative?"
At first, I was like,
OK, I'm not going
to say anything to my friends,
because they will just kick off.
One of my flatmates was like,
"If you are not a Labour
voter, don't talk to me."
Labour had a lot of backing.
They had people like
AJ Tracey jumping on.
So once they see that,
everyone kind of runs
to it, like, let's vote Labour.
# Tracksuit grey, black,
# I was just a hope-filled kid
AJ Tracey is just one of any number
of current music acts who publicly
endorsed the Labour Party
at the last general election,
helping to build a brand
which was apparently three times
more attractive to young voters.
To be fair, it's not
as if there was some sort of golden
era of Conservative hipsters,
but the figures suggest
things are getting worse.
And that's why the new Universities
Minister, Sam Gyimah,
is currently on a nationwide tour,
including here in Canterbury,
where he is attempting to
at least start a conversation
with a generation of voters who see
his party as old, male and stale.
Minister, this seems
a good time to jump in.
This is an incredibly difficult job,
isn't it, convincing young people
to vote Conservative?
We do have our work cut out for us,
but I think the first thing to do
is actually to be on campus.
If we allow Jeremy Corbyn to be
the only one on campus, then we only
have ourselves to blame.
Many students will say to you, well,
it's fine, you're having
a review on student fees
and many other things.
The Labour Party's promising us
they're going to get rid of fees.
We know what happens when you
promised something for free.
Numbers are going to be capped,
which means fewer people
going to university.
It's the well off that
are going to do it.
That's not what we're about.
I'm not really worried
about Jeremy Corbyn's free
for all offer, because it's not
realistic, and he can't deliver it,
and we only need to look
at countries like Scotland to see
that it's not going to work.
And what reaction are you expecting
when you head in there?
Well, I thought it might
be rowdy like PMQs.
I've no idea.
I haven't had the mob treatment
anywhere yet so far.
# Your face ain't big for my boot
# Kick up the yout
# I know that I kick up the yout...
There might not have been
a youth quake nationally,
but there was a bit of a youth quake
in Canterbury, and I want to listen
and I want to understand.
You know, we've had enough
of austerity politics.
We've had enough of student fees,
things like that, and we've seen
the NHS get less and less
funded over time.
And it's hard to
ignore those things.
You know, we are going to take
action against you.
# Bros in my ear saying
"Stormz, don't do it"
# Devil on my shoulder
I don't lack
# Hit 'em
with a crowbar, I don't scrap...
Well, lots of discussion,
some of it a bit feisty,
but did the Minister win any
hearts and minds?
He's really good at talking
to students, and he's
here to talk to everyone.
Would it make you feel differently
about voting Conservative?
I took from your comments that
you were not a Conservative voter.
Definitely not, but I did think
he made some good points,
and he was very measured.
It's quite clear that there
are a number of people here who have
been seduced by Jeremy Corbyn,
but I think the purpose of this
is to let them realise
that there is a Conservative voice,
there is a Conservative point
of view, and that as a minister
I am here to listen.
Clearly a smart man.
I'm not sure it's better
or worse to have a smart
Tory or a stupid Tory,
but he knew what he was
talking about, even though
I disagree with him.
Would it make you think twice
about voting Conservative?
No, I will never vote
Conservative in my life.
So as the sun sets in Canterbury,
there's still a long way to go.
And Universities Minister Sam
Gymiah joins me now.
A smart Tory. That is a compliment
from one of the students! Do you
think you persuaded many of them to
The point of the exercise
was not to persuade people to vote
Conservative. As Universities
Minister, I'm very conscious that
students are investing a
considerable amount of money in
their education, so they should have
a voice in the corridors of power.
Gone are the days that the
Universities Minister 's spends time
with the chancellors and not the
students. Jeremy Corbyn has a voice
on the campus, and if we allow that
to continue, we only have ourselves
to blame. The starting point in the
process is listening and engaging,
rather than going in there to preach
to them about what their problems
and answers are.
You have a mountain
to climb with young people. Let's
have a look at the numbers. At the
last election, between 18 to
24-year-olds, 67% voted Labour.
Unless you can change those minds,
you have a generational problem with
voters, and you will not see
Conservative governments in the
future, unless people change their
What I am doing at the moment
is pressing, which is why the party
is beginning to engage with students
at this level. A number of things
have come up as I've travelled
around the country that we can
address. Austerity keeps coming up.
We stopped making the case for why
we had to reduce the deficit from
the extreme levels that we inherited
from the Labour Party. One man said
to me, all I have ever heard the
about is austerity. It must be your
ideology. That is clearly not the
case. It is a matter of necessity,
We have the spring
statement coming up next week. The
Chancellor has said this morning
that we are in a much better
financial position at the moment
then we have been, but it doesn't
sound like he's going to end
austerity. Would you encourage him
to do so?
This brings statement is
an update on the public finances.
But he is going to point further
ahead to the budget in the autumn,
and he doesn't seem to be talking
about the increased public spending
you think will attract people to the
We are not going to say we
are going to return to discredited
economic policies of 40 years ago.
What he should be saying to young
people is that the balanced approach
that he is pursuing, in a world
where we have technological
challenge and a global market
economy, the Conservatives are
uniquely placed to deliver
prosperity for them. Another issue
that comes up is our motives. When
we talk about economic prosperity,
people feel it is for the few.
Sometimes I have to explain that the
top rate of tax has been higher
under the Conservatives, and that
the top 1% pay 20% of income tax.
They didn't know that. We need to
talk about -- we need to persuade
them that when we talk about
economic prosperity, it is their
future we are talking about.
You addressed tuition fees in the
film but look at maintenance grants
being cut by this government so the
poorer students to go to university
will lead with larger debt than
those from better off backgrounds.
When that is their experience right
now on campus, no wonder they keep
thinking you are looking after the
better off and not the
Canterbury has the
best proportion of students went
university for the first time in
their families. Many of those would
not be at university at all had we
pursue the Jeremy Corbyn policy.
Jeremy Corbyn is promising to
abolish tuition fees so that would
make it easier for students to go to
Once you make university
free you can't have a current policy
we have which is that the numbers
who can go to university are capped.
At a time when the numbers were not
capped, our own history, very few
people went to university and mentor
very few poor people went
university. A consequence of the
Conservative policy is a lot of
disadvantaged people are giving to
university for the first time and we
have a student finance scheme where
you do not pay a penny as a first
burner unless you in over £25,000
and after 30 years, whatever you
have managed to pay, is written. I'm
not saying is perfect.
system is replacing grants for
poorer students with loans. Why? If
you are so keen to get disadvantaged
students into universities, wide
takeaway maintenance grants?
is a review looking at the whole
system, but when many students
complain about the student finances,
they focus on accommodation.
Somewhere like London, landlords
want to get the years rent in
advance. That is a difficult
situation for them and the cost of
living issues, rather than assuming
There's an interest rate
on a student loan of over 6% which
is way in excess of what people are
borrowing on mortgages etc.
of living in University...
be worried about it.
level of earnings, you pay 9% of
your income, which means higher rate
in graduates pay more to the system
but I also think to narrow the
debate on student fees, students
have a lot of interest, not all
students think student fees is their
big issue. Someone to see their
politicians care about making the
world a better place. What kind of
world they are going into, they will
get on the housing ladder, housing
is big issue for them but the
economy prospers, so I think that's
why you have got to listen and not
assume all students have the same
view and there is one answer that
deals with all the problems of every
Mental health keeps
cropping up. I'm sure the university
's lecturers strike came up as well.
Now students are paying £9,000 in
fees, they are consumers as well as
students, so should they get a
refund for the lessons they have not
Universities do not pay
lecturers on the day they strike,
they should not pocket those funds,
but look at compensation for
students and there are real ways of
compel them to do that?
I'm not in a
position to compel them to do that.
There is the regulator for
university who has a wide-ranging
remit. I'm encouraged some
universities are taking this
seriously. Kings College London will
offer financial compensation. I
think they should look at this very
seriously. I am disappointed I am
seeing lots of petitions out there
from Durham University, a petition
of 5000 students, asking for
compensation. I want to university
to respond constructively, because
we are in the age of the student and
we are there to serve.
question, talking about Russia on
the programme so far this morning, a
story this morning in the papers
saying over £800 million has been
donated to the Tory party from
Russian link to donors since Theresa
May took over, even notice that you
wanted an arms length relationship.
Is that something that should be
discouraged in the future and should
the money be returned now?
To make a
donation to a political party in
this country you have to be a
citizen Dungannon -- and betting
needs to be taken place. Modern
Britain is made up by people from
all sorts of places. Some groups of
people cannot participate in Aber
Democratic life to the fall, and we
have got to be clear, these are
British citizens from Russia. Not
the Kremlin donating to the
Of course not,
but there could be a question of
where those funds came from in the
first place for the wedding end up
on the front page of a Sunday
newspaper saying this much money has
been donated to the Conservative
Party, maybe it would be better to
think again where you receive your
large donations from?
It's not just
the letter of the law but vetting
should be thorough.
thank you very much for coming in to
talk to us.
It's coming up to 11.40.
the Sunday Politics.
Still to come, we'll be
discussing the economy.
Is it time to end austerity?
First though, its time for
the Sunday Politics where you are.
Good morning and welcome
to Sunday Politics Scotland.
Coming up on the programme....
Smiles and glad hands
at the conference.
But behind the scenes,
how big a problem has
Scottish Labour got over
the single market?
I'll be asking their leader,
Richard Leonard, whether
Jeremy Corbyn's remarks
on immigration were xenophobic.
And the Scottish Youth Theatre
gets set to close.
I'll be asking Creative Scotland
if there's any chance
of an 11th-hour funding reprieve -
the answer appears
to be, yes, there is.
At the Scottish Labour Conference,
its new leader, Richard Leonard,
promised a fundamental change
in the Scottish economy and said
he would not only stop future
Private Finance Initiative deals,
but bring existing ones back
into the public sector.
But was he really threatening
to cancel contracts?
He also ran into a row over
a speech by Jeremy Corbyn
which Nicola Sturgeon and some
in the Labour Party itself said was
using the language of Nigel Farage.
Well, a little earlier
I spoke to Richard Leonard.
You said in your speech yesterday
that not only under you would do no
longer be any PFI contracts but you
wanted to bring existing ones in
house. How exactly do you propose to
Well, there are around 130
both PFI PPP and not-for-profit
contracts out there and they are in
large measure all different and it
would be a case of renegotiating
each one of them. Some of them
frankly are coming towards the end
of their lives, some are in
of their lives, some are in the
hands of companies who would
probably look forward to an
opportunity to get themselves out of
those contracts. So I think the
environment for negotiation is good
at the moment. Whilst I said in my
speech yesterday that under a future
Scottish Labour government, we would
not sign any new PFI deals or NPD
deals, I think there is action that
could be taken at the moment and we
have a debate tabled in the next few
days and the Scottish Parliament on
this whole question of public
infrastructure, hopefully we will
call for a review of the Scottish
To be clear, if I am
a contractor who has one of these
PFI contracts and I am listening to
you, I do not need to worry that you
will somehow break the contract?
This will only be if I am willing to
negotiate with you?
Well, it will be
a negotiation, absolutely, again, I
have said that there are priorities,
the priorities would be what you
might call the low hanging fruit of
those contracts coming to the end of
the alive, so let us look at how
they can excel and bringing that
into the public sector, but for
reasons that I am sure that you
understand, I am keen to see the
removal of private contractors from
the National Health Service. So
where did our facilities and
management companies who are
currently delivering services in our
hospitals, I would like to see the
contracts brought out as a matter of
But if I am one of these
contractors and I do not want to
negotiate with you and I have a
contract and I want to stick to
that, I would be allowed to do that?
Well, the point of entering into a
negotiation is to try to find a
What if I do not want to
negotiate and I want to settle with
my current contract?
Well, in the
commercial world, my experience of
over 20 years as a trade union
negotiator, it is that in the end
people are prepared to reach
settlements and to go through a
negotiation process to find that. So
I would be very surprised if there
were any contractors involved in
delivering public services in
Scotland that would not be at least
open to a conversation about how an
earlier termination of the contract
could be reached.
Sorry, why? If I
had a contract and I built a PFI
hospital or a bold and I have lots
of money coming in from it and for
the next ten years, I am telling you
I am happy with this, thank you, I
am making a lot of money out of it.
Yes, but Gordon, this is in the
context of seeing the collapse of
Carillion, one of the biggest
providers of public contracts in the
public realm, not just in Scotland,
but throughout the UK. There are
other major players in that field
whose share prices have dropped.
Others are giving up profit
warnings, so I think that the
climate is right, to start opening
up negotiations with these
companies. It is
companies. It is a good time to have
I am interested
in how much of your rhetoric
yesterday involved forcing people to
do things. In that one that is up
for negotiation. You also spoke
about local authority pension funds
and getting them involved in
financing council houses. Again,
presumably, this is a good idea that
you would like to tell them, you
cannot mandate local authority
pension funds to do that?
authority pension schemes are
managed by the trustees of those
But in the end
they are accountable to the pension
holders, to the employees, two
people contributing to those
schemes. To the employers
contributing to those schemes
including local authorities. So I
think it is a perfectly sensible
proposition to put the local
authorities, to employers, who are
investing in these pension schemes,
to say, instead of putting money
into stock San Siro the Far East,
why do we not look at how we can
reinvest in our local economies? Let
us look at AB of generating steady
income streams through investment in
public housing. Also meeting the
public need as well.
My point is
about forcing people to do things.
Trustees of a pension fund might
tell you, sorry, these derivatives
that we are investing in, we think
these are better deal for our
pension fund members and we hear
what you are telling us about
council houses but no thank you.
There is nothing you can do about
My school of Democratic
Socialism is founded on the
principle of persuasion and not
coercion. So I am not suggesting
that we would seize assets or force
people to do things, I am telling
you that we would look at ways of
bringing about a change in the
culture, and behaviour and a change
in practice. And I think it is
eminently sensible to open up
conversations and there are examples
already of pension funds, Local
Government Pension Scheme is used to
invest in local infrastructure. I
think Manchester Council, Islington
Council and even Falkirk Council in
Scotland have looked at this as a
possible way forward.
It is an idea
whose time has come. When Jeremy
Corbyn at your party conference
talked about wanting to be outside
the single market because he wanted
to prevent employers from being able
to import cheap agency labour to
undercut the Labour Party -- labour
in this country, Nicola Sturgeon,
the First Minister said that he was
using the sort of language that she
is more used to hearing from Nigel
Farage, that sentiment has been
echoed today by former Secretary of
State for Scotland, sorry, Shadow
Secretary of State for Scotland, Ian
Murray, and your former Deputy
Leader, they all have a point, do
I think that they are
wrong, I recognise that emotions in
this debate are very high and that
people have very strong views, about
what they would like to see the
future shape of both Scotland and
the UK was mad relationship with the
European Union look like after
Brexit, but I just think that it is
wrong to try to equate anything that
Jeremy Corbyn has said with Nigel
Farage. Why? Because the truth of
the matter is that Jeremy Corbyn
throughout his entire life is one of
the most anti-racist campaigners I
have known, he has always stuck for
workers' rights and represents one
of the most multicultural
constituencies with the large amount
of immigration in that of any within
the entire UK. To suggest that the
Jeremy Corbyn is in anyway looking
towards a blog to any access to the
single market because of what it
might do to migration is false.
that is precisely what he said. Let
me read you what he said, one of the
reasons for being outside the single
market was to prevent employers
being able to import cheap agency
labour to undercut existing pain
conditions in the name of free
market orthodoxy and the point that
the Nicola Sturgeon and Kezia
Dugdale and Ian Murray would make
about that is that the problem with
undercutting pay is with the
practices of employers in this
country, who also sometimes undercut
pee and do not pay the minimum wage
to indigenous British workers. It
has nothing to do with immigration
from Europe in the manner that
Jeremy Corbyn has a -- suggest the
debtors because of cheap labour from
If you are suggesting that
the problem in that scenario is with
the employer, I would agree with you
because it is the employer who is
doubly exploiting workers in that
situation. But there is a point and
it has been in the Labour Party
manifesto in the last two elections
that we would like to see a practice
where UK employers deliberately go
out to source labour from parts of
the European Union in order to bring
them in on a less than going rate
basis. We should be arguing for all
kinds of the trade union going rate
in these industries and that is
extremely important, fundamental
principle of the trade union
movement and the Labour Party.
is what you implement in this
country, you do not do it like you
are suggesting, the connection with
the single market is completely
irrelevant in this case.
watched all of my life against the
exploitation of workers and against
the double exploitation of workers,
expressed are those who are migrant
workers that are often brought in in
order to be paid a lesser rate than
the going rate for local workers. It
is about making sure that people
have equality of treatment,
something I have walked for all of
my adult life and that Jeremy Corbyn
has campaigned for as well.
not embarrassed about this? Surely
from the point of view of the Labour
Party, the idea that a party with
your international traditions can be
criticised for parochialism and
xenophobia by Scottish
Nationalists... Anyon, things have
come to a pretty pass, have they
Scottish Nationalists hurl all
kind of insults at the Scottish
Labour Party, past, present and no
doubt future, but I do not pay too
much credence to the allegations
that have been made. I think it is a
cheap stunt to try to score a party
political points around what is a
very serious issue, because Brexit,
no matter what you think of single
market membership, Brexit is a
hugely important political challenge
that we all this and I would have
thought that over the course of the
last few weeks we have demonstrated
the importance of cross-party
working within the Scottish
Parliament to ensure that the
Continuity Bill is past.
running out of time, on the single
market, if you are like the majority
possibly of the Scottish public that
think it is important to stay within
the single market, many young people
believe that is the case, and
probably a majority of your own
party think it is important to
remain in the single market, if
there is a general election shortly,
which is what both you and Jeremy
Corbyn would like, it issued advice
to be that if you want to remain in
the single market, fought Scottish
Nationalists or Lib Dem?
the SNP want to take us out of the
UK single market, which is worth
four times as many jobs as the
European Union single market is the
Scottish economy. So I do not think
voting for the SNP would solve any
I do not think
many people would consider the
Liberal Democrats are on the verge
of forming a UK Government.
is that choice that must be made. If
I vote for the Labour Party I am
voting to come out of the single
Gordon, the SNP can never
form a UK Government, the Lib Dems
do not look like they are going to
form one any time now. If people
would like to see a change in this
country, they must abort the Labour
Party in. But a vote for the Labour
Party is a vote to be the single
market. No. We will debate the
proposition that the conference this
morning which will include Keir
Starmer's six tests which include
how we can reclaim the benefits of
the single market and that is
broader Labour Party stands.
Leonard, thank you very much, we
will have to leave it there.
you, God, thank you so much. --
thank you Gordon.
Over the past 40 years,
The Scottish Youth Theatre has been
responsible for kick-starting
the careers of many young actors
which have gone on to huge success,
such as Karen Gillan,
Kate Dickie and Gerard Butler.
But this week, the organisation
announced its imminent closure,
after failing to secure regular
funding from the arts
agency, Creative Scotland.
A campaign's been launched to keep
the youth theatre open.
At the same time, there have
been questions about
the funding decision.
In a moment we'll hear from the boss
of Creative Scotland, but first,
Andrew Black reports on what's been
a tense week for
the arts in Scotland.
Add these Scottish Youth Theatre's
based in Glasgow, young actors are
walking on a performance based on
the theme of taking audacious steps.
These performers been working as a
part of the year Theatre's national
ensemble, which will tour Scotland
in the summer. As things stand, it
could be the last production it ever
puts on. For these performance, it
is vital the Youth Theatre stays
There are rather youth
theatres, but there aren't ones that
can say they are Scotland's youth
Theatre. I've worked with people
from as far afield as Orkney and
Shetland and Inverness and Dumfries,
it is encompassing of everyone in
What SYT does is provide
extraordinary support for young
people who are not just going to be
actors, but support staff as well.
The bosses say it may close this
summer. A third of its budget is
provided but limited funds means it
may not be able to support the Youth
Theatre. One way it hopes to
continue is through securing direct
funding as part of national company
status for the Youth Theatre.
not looking for a simple hand-out.
We want to be strategic with this.
We have a way to go to court weird
that title, but we're absolutely a
day for that. I just hope there is
enough of a conversation that can
get us somewhere quickly, because
time is not on our side.
Kate Dickie is one of several
international stars forgot how had
to make Scottish Youth Theatre.
feel we have to fight to keep SYT
going. It offers something unique.
Unique to our country and to bring
any kids and young people from all
over to work together and put on
plays, not just acting, directing,
it keeps that pathway open for our
The theatre has had
some good news -
and entrepreneur has put up cash to
allow the year theatre as Mike
national ensemble to tour in the
I spent time with the
ensemble this week, these are young
kids ranging from 13 upwards. The
immediate thing you notice is their
confidence. It is bubbling out of
them. Big ten sing, they can dance,
they can do anything. Just at the
drop of a hat, at an age where I
would've run a from something like
that. You can see that plays a huge
role in their own self-esteem and
It has been a tense time
at the Scottish Youth Theatre, its
leaders are hoping to agree a
long-term future solution when they
meet the Scottish Government next
week. Meanwhile, greater Scotland
says it is working with the theatre
and other funding options. --
Creative Scotland says it is working
with the Theatre.
I am joined by Janet Archer, the
chief executive Creative Scotland.
Why did you stop their money?
They made an application last year
alongside 184 other organisations
for a pot of money which was about
£33 million a year. We weren't able
to find all the applications.
waiting to fund then?
can't go into the detail of the
application, what I can say is I had
a good conversation with Jacky
Hardacre on Friday, she told me she
is not asking for a reversal of the
decision we made about regular
funding. We have been talking to
Scottish Youth Theatre about other
options in terms of Creative
Scotland funding and we will
continue to do that.
So they are not
now asking for the money?
Youth Theatre is asking for funding,
they have accepted that regular
funding decisions have been made, so
were talking about project funding,
a different programme that we run.
We find 121 organisations through
regular funding. We funded last year
321 organisations through project
funding, the type of funding we are
talking about now. It is a different
form of funding, not the same
amounts, but can apply for up to two
years' funding. For more than one
project, and it is flexible, you
don't have to wait for a deadline,
in the wake that you have with
Silica get some of
this project funding, perhaps?
because an application, they could.
-- if they put in an application,
they could. It helps if they have
partners on board. With regular
funding, Creative Scotland is about
22% of the overall mix, so there is
a range of other backers and
supporters. It Scottish Youth
Theatre is able to galvanise support
from other places and the master us
for a funding application of a
different kind -- come to us for an
application of a different kind...
The point of regular funding as it
helps an organisation plan ahead
over a number of years. You're
simply can't do that?
You can apply
for up to two years through project
funding. It's not the same as
What kind of money
were talking about? They £200,000,
their budget is around 600,000 a
year. I were talking about much less
than that with project funding?
guidelines say you can apply for up
to £200,000 or 150 with
Is that per annum or
Per project, but some
organisations have managed to work
project funding in a way that helps
them the more flexible.
To be clear,
what you seem to be suggesting is
that if they put an application for
project funding, they could in
theory end up with the same matter
money they got out of regular
That is possible. It is
under huge pressure, so we are only
able to fund one in three of
applications that come in. However
there is a possibility that Scottish
Youth Theatre good apply for project
funding and be successful.
don't quite understand the widely
can get regular funding? I take your
point that you have a lot of
applications, a but this is a
long-standing organisation that has
been successful, why did you decide
now that you couldn't continue to
fund them on a regular basis?
Obviously, we had to make decisions
based on the application were
received at the time, which was last
April. We had more applications...
The implication is that the
applications from people who got
money had more merit?
We base our
decisions based on the merit of the
applications we received. We also
wanted to extend opportunity for
audiences and people across Scotland
to be able to access the range of
art forms and companies of different
sizes across the country. So we had
to look at the applications that
came into us. We assess them on
their strengths of artistic content
and management validity. Some of the
others were better, yes. When
organisations are not successful,
that is the case.
One of the options
under discussion is the idea of
becoming a national company, which
is a technical designation which
means your money would not come from
you at Creative Scotland, rather
directly from the Scottish
Government. Do you think it's a good
idea for them to get that statist?
That's for the Government to
consider, I don't think it is
appropriate for me to comment on
that just now.
But and might be
helpful to then if you were to say
you supported that?
disappointed they didn't talk to us
about this subject, because we are
in dialogue with them until a few
days ago and having what we thought
were productive conversations and
relations to options around funding
Are using that if they
told you they might have to close
down, you would have given them some
We will continue the
conversations around alternative
funding, not just from Creative
Scotland, because we are only one
part of the mix. I think at some for
everyone to recognise that a our
funding in the overall mix is 22%.
Can you perhaps not give a
guarantee, but some sort of
guarantee, do you think that between
yourself and the other people you've
been talking about getting involved
in this, perhaps, you can stop this
organisation having to close in
July, as they say they may have
We have been having serious
conversations about options with
Scottish Youth Theatre, we as a
normalisation understand Youth
Theatre very well, I started my own
career at the Welsh Youth Theatre,
we would hope everyone with a stake
in Scottish Youth Theatre's future
to come forward. They have a
magnificent voice in support across
We have to leave it
there. Thank you for coming in this
To explore the future
of the Scottish Youth Theatre
a little further, I'm joined now
by Joan McAlpine MSP,
who's the convener of
Holyrood's Culture Committee.
First, I want is BT about Richard
Leonard. Nicola Sturgeon said he had
-- Nicola Sturgeon said Jeremy
Corbyn had used language that
sounded like Nigel Farage, which was
flatly rejected by Richard Leonard?
I think it was disappointing Richard
Leonard didn't condemn it, because
that type of language used by Nigel
Farage and others whips up
aggression towards immigrants as we
have seen that since the Brexit
vote. I think it's our role as
responsible politicians to speak
against that. I agree that
immigrants have contributed
enormously to this country and
politicians in the Labour Party
should be doing the same thing.
reason for staying outside the
single market, you will buy it?
is absurd. Richard Leonard talks
about his credentials as a trade
unionist, trade unions once us to
stay in the single market. In the
SNP, we want powers to come to the
Scottish Parliament but the Scottish
Labour Party didn't support us in
OK, Scottish Youth Theatre,
you heard Janet Archer, the message
seems to be that we might well come
up with money?
I think this exposes
a real problem with creative
Scotland's regular funding process.
A couple of weeks ago, my committee
had Janet Archer in the chair in
front of the test act and were
dissatisfied with the answers given
on how they make those decisions.
This isn't the first decision they
have reversed. Although they are not
talking about reversing this
particular decision, Ducati the
reverse decisions a couple of weeks
ago as a result of outcry, and they
admitted before my committee the
process needed reviewed and they
came and gave an apology. So you
then have to look at organisations
like Scottish Youth Theatre who were
not successful in that process that
Janet Archer has already said was
flawed, no wonder they are upset.
She says they spoke to him and they
no longer want the regular funding?
They said they had been in dialogue
with Creative Scotland since the
decision was made, but I have been
speaking to the Scottish Youth
Theatre and they told me they had
had one meeting with Creative
Scotland when they were told there
is open project funding and nothing
else. This is a process that takes
time. Other companies that missed
out on regular funding were offered
transitional funding. Scottish Youth
Theatre were not, because they
weren't previously regularly funded
organisation. They had been here
before, Creative Scotland four years
ago wouldn't fund the Scottish Youth
Theatre and the Scottish Government
had to come in then. I know the
Scottish Government is working hard
on getting something together,
because I don't think you can treat
this organisation this in way as
others. This is our National Youth
Theatre. The arts Council of England
find a National Youth Theatre. Janet
mentioned her background in Wales.
If this was something going on in
Scottish Ballet or opera, you
wouldn't close them down, you would
find a way to fix it.
That brings up
another point, the companies you've
mentioned, these so-called national
companies, they're directly funded
by the Government, not Creative
Scotland. One idea is that the
Scottish Youth Theatre could become
a national company. The woman who
runs it said that she had a way to
go to get to that stage, do you
think that would be a good idea?
think that was honest of Jacky. We
have a number of national companies,
one particular dance company did get
regular funding from Creative
Scotland, and there are used for
choirs who get that funding as well.
You would have to look at the
National youth performing companies
as a whole. The Government has a
great strategy for developing a
youth arts and it is very much about
giving access to everyone and
setting up youth hugs all over the
country. There is another strand,
which is your elite youth performing
companies, if you like, of your most
talented youngsters. Perhaps we need
to think a little differently about
that. In sports, we want all young
people to have access to sports,
Akashi we agree there are very
talented youngsters who could go on
medal at Olympic Games, and they
have additional investment. I think
that is the wager be
thank you very
Now it's time to look back
over events and forwards
to the week ahead.
I'm joined now by a comedian who's
also a political commentator
and former political adviser
to senior Labour politicians,
And alongside her,
the political editor
of the Daily Record,
Richard Leonard, these remarks that
were very controversial that Jeremy
Corbyn made and have been criticised
by Nicola Sturgeon and by Ian Murray
and Kezia Dugdale, what do you make
of that? Do the Labour Party need to
Yes, I think so. I
worry that this was more a badly
written line in the speech. I am not
sure that some of the context that
has been taken from it is correct.
Jeremy Corbyn has spoken in the past
about the way that immigration and
freedom of movement could
potentially lower wages. Is there
any evidence for that, it is
difficult to pinpoint Evra is. But
that is a different discussion to
suggest that he does not want
migrants coming in.
That is a
different issue. What do you make of
Do you agree with David that the
language could have been different?
I was surprised that Jeremy Corbyn
went there. It was clumsy, whenever
the Labour Party goes into talking
about immigration, it is difficult.
Yes, Gordon Brown talking about
British jobs for British workers.
had an immigration mug that went
down badly at the 2015 campaign. To
take a step back, immigration was a
huge issue in terms of the Brexit
vote and was Labour Party members
are comfortable with it or not, at
some point we will have the article
it a policy on immigration. The idea
of equating Jeremy Corbyn to Nigel
Farage is ridiculous. The criticism
against them was that he was someone
who wanted open borders, Nigel
Farage has said that people from
other countries are ripping off our
NHS, he said that people from other
countries are bringing diseases and
things like that.
from inside the Labour Party,
presumably, the argument would be
that that kind of language that
Jeremy Corbyn used is giving the
opportunity to other organisations,
quality the SNP of the Lib Dems are
the Conservatives, to suggest
otherwise. This is dog resting.
time you talk about immigration
there is that danger. What he said
was about trying to stamp out
exploitation which we would all
agree with. There has been a list
out this week of companies in the UK
that are not paying the minimum wage
and many staff that are not getting
that the minimum wage are migrants.
I say this as the daughter of
immigrants, you have to protect
everyone across the piece.
everyone across the piece. But what
I also think is happening is
politics within the Labour Party.
David, on that, if this fact
becoming this conference that one
sentence or half a sentence, a
surrogate for a division of the
I think the single
market is a surrogate for a wider
division. The hard left and the
moderates. On immigration, a final
point, it is a failure of all the
political parties that they have not
made the case for immigration, they
have been scared about what voters
think on this and they have been
hesitant to actually suggest that
immigration could be great for the
country and this is why. It leads to
problems when you talk about that
issue. On the wider point of the
single market we have seen this big
bunfight in the last two days at the
Scottish Labour Party Conference
about other this morning there would
be a vote on the single market or
not and the immigration issue plays
into that but it is about a wider
split in the party which is between
supporters of Jeremy Corbyn and
moderates. The idea that the hard
left suddenly is not for the single
market and the moderates are all for
it, they are mapping themselves onto
this division based on a wider
But there is the issue of how
radical Richard Leonard and Jeremy
Corbyn really are. That was my point
in asking Richard Leonard about PFI
contracts, because it sounded like a
revolutionist speech! It turns out
all he really means was that we will
have a chat with these companies and
we might ask them to the negotiate
but there's not much that they can
do about it.
There are some
explosive headlines and then when
you drill down to it, it is being
dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
What is interesting is that Jeremy
Corbyn gets elected as this
terrifying sort of radical, and as
he is doing better and better than
the polls, and that the last general
election, in some ways, you find
that the closer they get to power or
the perception of power, they are
starting to moderate their views and
try to find some compromises. I
think that is interesting politics.
You could argue that as the old
politics rather than the new
politics. Remember, Jeremy Corbyn
went into the last general election
campaign having campaigned against
Trident his whole adult life,
compromising and suggesting they
would put the renewal of Trident in
the general election manifesto.
danger, particularly for young
people that flock to the Labour
Party over the past few years, is
that if it turns out that all of
this radical stuff is really just
the same as what moderate Labour is
saying when it comes down to brass
tacks, they will not be very
I do think there has been
a distinct shift in the radical
vision of what they want to do in
the future. When you are talking
about a private company...
about a private company... I was in
Dundee, Ninewells Hospital is a
running sore in that city, it is one
of the few hospitals will be have to
pay for car parking and they are
making money from that. The buyout
that contract would cost the
government a lot of money and that
is probably why it has not been done
by the current Scottish Government.
But going forward he has suggested
that they will take private
companies out of the health service
and that is a fundamental
difference. So I believe that there
is radical and intent, but whether
you can retrofitted to the previous
policies, I take that point, it is
difficult, you cannot just rip up
contracts without paying penalties.
We will have to leave it there.
Thank you both. Are you sure, people
can come to see you as a stand-up
comic, no longer as a political
Some people would suggest
you could put a cigarette paper
between the two! Yes, I am on
tonight at 8pm.
Is it easy to sell
You would be surprised!
Politics and comedy are so close
together right now.
Thank you both.
That's all from us this week.
I'll be back at the
same time next week.
Until then, goodbye.
As the investigation into the nerve agent attack in Salisbury continues, Sarah Smith talks to the former home secretary Jack Straw and former diplomat and security minister, Pauline Neville Jones. She is also joined by the universities minister, Sam Gyimah - who is touring the country trying to attract young people to the Conservative Party. On the political panel are the Sun's political editor Tom Newton-Dunn, the Daily Telegraph's Brexit editor Dia Chakravarty and political editor of the New Statesman George Eaton.