Andrew Neil and Julia George with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew is joined by head of NHS Providers Chris Hopson, Nick Clegg MP and Andrew Gwynne MP.
Browse content similar to 19/03/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
It's Sunday morning and this is the Sunday Politics.
She faces huge political fights over Brexit, Scottish independence,
After a tumultuous political week, we'll analyse the PM's prospects.
With chatter increasing about a possible early General Election,
Jeremy Corbyn's campaign chief joins me live.
NHS bosses warn health services in England are facing "mission
impossible" and waiting times for operations will rocket,
unless hospitals are given more cash this year.
The chief executive of NHS Providers joins me live.
And in the south-east, has the arrival of Uber in Sussex
driven a coach and horses through local licensing
All that to come before 12:15pm, and I'll also be talking
to the former leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg
from his party's spring conference in York.
With me here in the studio, throughout the programme,
three of the country's top political commentators:
Tom Newton Dunn, Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards.
They'll be tweeting their thoughts using #bbcsp.
So, the political challenges facing Theresa May are stacking up.
As well as negotiating Britain's exit from the EU,
the PM must now deal with SNP demands for a second referendum
on Scottish independence, backbenchers agitating against cuts
to school budgets, and a humiliated Chancellor forced to u-turn on a key
budget measure just one week after announcing it.
Here's Adam Fleming on aturbulent political week
Monday, 11:30am, TV crews gather in the residence of the First
Minister of Scotland, who's got a surprise.
She wants a vote on whether Scotland should leave the UK
By taking the steps I have set out today I am ensuring that Scotland's
future will be decided, not just by me, the
Scottish Government, or the
SNP, it will be decided by the people of Scotland.
Westminster, 6:25pm the same day, MPs reject
amendments to the legislation authorising the Prime Minister to
The Bill ceremonially heads to the Lords where peers abandoned
attempts to change it and it becomes law.
But Downing Street doesn't trigger Article 50 as many had expected.
Some say they were spooked by Nicola Sturgeon.
We get an e-mail from the Treasury can the
We get an e-mail from the Treasury cancelling
the planned rise in National Insurance for
the self-employed announced the budget.
It's just minutes before Prime Minister's Questions at noon.
The trend towards greater self-employment does create a
We will bring forward further proposals
but we will not bring forward increases to NICs later in this
It seems to me like a government in a bit of chaos here.
By making this change today we are listening to our colleagues
fulfil both the letter and the spirit of our manifesto tax
Thursday, 7am, Conservative campaign HQ and the
Electoral Commission fines the party ?70,000 for misreporting spending
But that's not what the Prime Minister
Because at 12:19pm she gives her verdict on a
We should be working together, not pulling apart.
We should be working together to get that
right deal for Scotland, that
So, as I say, that's my job as Prime Minister and
so for that reason I say to the SNP now is not the time.
Friday and time for the faithful to gather.
SNP activists at their spring conference
Conservatives in Cardiff to hear the Prime Minister
promote her plan for a more meritocratic Brexit Britain.
At 11:10am comes some news about a newspaper that's frankly
I'm thrilled and excited to be the new editor of The
Evening Standard and, you know, with so many
big issues in our world what
good analysis, great news journalism.
It's a really important time for good journalism that The
Evening Standard is going to provide.
There was no let-up yesterday as Gordon Brown launched proposals
Under my proposals we keep the Barnett
Formula, we keep the fiscal transfers, but we also bring the
and fisheries back to the Scottish Parliament.
And just think, all this and we're still counting down to the
What a week in politics. It has been a torrid week for the government,
Isabel Oakeshott, but does Theresa May shake it off, or is this a sign
of worse to come? We may all be feeling a bit breathless after the
events of last week and we are in for a a long war of attrition with
the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon's strategy will be to foster over lengthy
periods of time as much resentment and anger as she can in Scotland and
try to create the impression that independence is somehow inevitable.
Is Scotland the biggest challenge for Theresa May in the next year or
so? I think it probably is because if you look at how relatively easily
the Brexit bill went through on an issue where people could hardly feel
more passionate in the Commons, and actually despite all the potential
drama it has gone through quite smoothly. To go back to your
original question, she just carries on. Don't underestimate the basic
quiet and will towards Theresa May amongst the majority of Tory
backbenchers. Yes, there are difficult little issues over school
funding, sorry, it's not a little issue, it is a big one but she will
get over that and treat each thing as it comes and keep pressing on.
Has she not called Nicola Sturgeon's Bluff in that the First Minister
said I want a referendum, here is roughly when I wanted, the Prime
Minister says you're not having one. What happens next? She has done
quite well and impact the progress Theresa May made this week in
frustrating Nicola Sturgeon was evident when Nicola Sturgeon said,
OK, maybe we can talk about the timing after. Nicola Sturgeon has
already been the first one to blink. I would slightly disagree with
Isabel Oakeshott, I don't agree Scotland will be the biggest hurdle
for her. What this week showed as is Theresa May... It was a reality
bites week. Theresa May is juggling four mammoth crises at the same
time, Brexit obviously which I still think will be the biggest challenge
to get a good deal, Trump left field who popped up at GCHQ on Friday and
Scotland and the fiscal challenge, this enormous great problem, and it
reinforced the point this is not an easy time in politics. The budget is
over four years. That was one small problem, the immediate problem is
how to fill the social care crisis and the ageing demographic. This is
not normal times in British politics and Theresa May does not have a
normal workload on her plate, hence why I think we will see more
mistakes made as time goes on and as she has this almost impossible
workload to juggle. How tempted do you think the Prime Minister is to
call an early election? There is more chatter about it now. Is she
tempted and if there is will she succumb? I will answer that in a
second as Harold Wilson used to say. I want to agree, disagree with the
rest of the panel about how she has out manipulated Nicola Sturgeon this
week. I think Nicola Sturgeon expected Theresa May to say no to
her expected timetable. It would be amazing if she had said yes. She
expected her to say no but Sturgeon catalyst that will fuel support for
her cause. There is no sign of that. The latest poll this morning shows
66-44 against independence and only 13% think they would be better off
with an independent Scotland and a clear majority do not want a second
referendum. But the calculation of resistance from Westminster combined
with Brexit which hasn't started yet, I think this is her
calculation, she didn't expect Theresa May to say, sure, go ahead,
I'm sure she expected Theresa May to say no, you can't have it at your
desired timetable. On the wider point, I think Theresa May is in a
fascinating position, she is both strong because she faces weak
opposition and is ahead in the opinion polls. But faces the most
daunting agenda of any Prime Minister for 40 or 50 years, I
think. So it's a weird combination. I don't think she wants to call an
election. I don't think she has thought about how you would
manipulate it, what the trigger would be, and whether she's got the
energy and space to prepare for and then mount a campaign was beginning
the Brexit negotiation. Now, you could see the cause would be the
small majorities that will make her life hellish, which it will do.
Whether a landslide would help is another question, they can be
difficult too. But I think the problems outweigh the advantages of
going early. Do you think she would go for an early election? I don't
and I think you have to look at the rhetoric coming out of No 10 which
is so firm on this question, it is a delicious prospect for us as
commentators to think there might be an election around the corner but
they are so firm on this I can't see it happening. I agree, we are in
unanimous agreement on this one. It is superficially attractive because
she would love the big majority and she would get a lot more through
Parliament especially with Brexit. The nitty-gritty of it makes an
early General Election this year almost impossible. How do you write
a manifesto on high Brexit versus soft Brexit, it opens up a Pandora's
box of uncertainties. And there is enough with the European elections.
The EU will say are we negotiating with you or the person who may
replace you? How do you keep the Tory party united going to an
election? How do you call one, with a vote of no confidence in yourself
you may end up losing. Easy on paper but difficult in practice. We shall
see. So if Theresa May did go
for an early election this spring, The party's campaigns
and elections chief Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne, the government, as we
have just been talking about, executed one of the most
embarrassing U-turns in recent history this week. It has been a
torrid time for the Theresa May government. Why are the Tories still
so chipper? The Labour Party has been on an
early election footing since before Christmas and we are preparing
ourselves for that eventuality in case that does come. That means that
we've got to get ourselves into a position whereby we can not only
challenge the government but we can also offer a valuable alternative
for the British people to choose from should that election arise. So,
would you welcome an early General Election? Well, of course, I don't
want this government to be in power so of course if there is an
opportunity to put a case to the British people as to why there is a
better way, and I believe the Labour way is the better way than of course
we would want to put that case to the country. So, would Labour vote
in the Commons for an early election? Well, of course as an
opposition, not wanting to be in opposition, wanting to be in
government should the government put forward a measure in accordance with
the Fixed-term Parliaments Act then that's something we would very
seriously have to consider. I know you would have to consider it but
would you vote for an early election or not? Well, of course we want to
be the government so if the current government puts forward measures to
bring forward a General Election we would want to put our case to the
British public and that's one of the jobs that I've been given, together
Labour Party organisation early into a position where we can fight a
General Election -- organisationally. For the avoidance
of doubt, if the Government work to issue a motion in the Commons for an
early election, the Labour Party would vote for an early election?
It would be very difficult not, Andrew. If the Government wants to
dissolve parliament, wants a General Election, we don't want the Tories
in government, we want to be in government and we want to have that
opportunity to put that case to the British people.
Are you ready for an early election? You say you have been on a war all
but since the Labour conference last autumn, but are you ready for one?
How big is the election fighting fund? We have substantial amounts of
money in our fighting fund, that is true, because not only has the
Labour Party managed to eliminate its own financial deficit that it
inherited from previous election campaigns, we have also managed to
build up a substantial fund in the off chance we have an election. We
have also expanded massively operations at Labour HQ, we are
taking on additional staff, and one of the jobs that myself and Ian
Lavery who I job share with are currently doing is to go around the
Parliamentary Labour Party to make sure that Labour colleagues have the
support and the resources that they need, should they have to face the
electorate in their constituencies. So you are on a war footing, ready
for the fight, you say you would vote for the fight, so have you got
your tax and spend policies ready to roll out? That is something the
shadow Treasury team will be discussing. One of the things is, if
there is an early General Election, the normal timetable for these
things gets fast-track because our policy decision-making body, its
annual conference, we have the national policy forum that creates
policies suggestions. You have been on a war footing since the last
Labour conference, that is what Mr Corbyn told us. So you must have a
fair idea of what policies you would fight an early election on. How much
extra per year would you spend on the NHS? Well, look, I'm not going
to set out the Labour manifesto for an election that hasn't been called.
I'm just asking you about the NHS. You must have a policy for that. We
have a policy for the NHS. So how much extra? I will not set out
Labour's tax-and-spend policies here on The Sunday Politics when there
hasn't even been election called. You said you had been on a war
footing and you are prepared to vote for one, so if you can't Tommy that,
can you tell me what the corporation rate tax on company profits be under
a Labour government -- tell me that. You will have to be patient. I have.
And wait for Mrs May to trigger an early election. If there is an
election on the 4th of May the rich would have to be issued on the 27th
of March, so that's not long to wait. If that date passes we aren't
having an election on the 4th of May and the normal timetable for policy
development will continue. All right. You lost Copeland, I think
you were in charge of a by-election for Labour, your national poll
ratings are still dire, even after week of terrible times for the
Tories. Sometimes you even lose local government by-elections in
safe seats, including in the place you are now, in Salford. How long
does Mr Corbyn have to turn this around? Well, look, the issue of the
Labour leadership was settled last year. The last thing the Labour
Party now needs is another period of introspection with the Labour Party
merely talks to the Labour Party. We are now on an election footing in
case Mrs May does trigger an early General Election. We need to be
talking to the British people are not to ourselves. So any speculation
about the Labour leadership might excite you in the media but actually
for us in the Labour Party it's about re-engaging and reconnecting
with the voters. Rather than being excited, I feel quite daunted at the
prospect of an early election. So I wouldn't get that right. Normally,
given the number of mistakes this government has made, and its
mid-term, you would expect any self-respecting opposition to be
about ten points ahead. On the latest polls this morning you are 17
behind. There is a 27-30 point gap from where you should normally be as
an opposition. Are you telling me that if that doesn't change, you
still fight the General Election with Mr Corbyn?
These are matters for the future. I believe the leadership issue was
settled last year. We have had two leadership contest in two years.
Would you seriously contemplate going into the next election, if it
is early I perfectly understand Jeremy Corbyn is your man, but if it
is not until 2020, and you are still 17 points behind in the polls, will
you go into the next election like that? There is a lot of future
looking and speculation there, I don't know what the future holds,
where the Labour Party will be in 12 months let alone by 2020 summit
cross those bridges when we come to it. My main challenge is to make
sure the Labour Party is in the best possible place organisationally to
fight an election, that's my challenge and I'm up for that to
make sure we are in the best possible place to make sure Labour
returns as many Labour MPs as possible. Thank you for joining us.
And we're joined now from the Liberal Democrats' spring
conference in York by the former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
Good morning. In his conference speech today, Tim Farron lumps
Theresa May with Vladimir Putin, Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump. In
what way is Mrs May similar to Marine Le Pen? Of course he is not
saying Theresa May is identical to Marine Le Pen, I think what Tim
Wilby spelling out shortly in his speech is that we need to be aware
what's going on in the world, the International settlement that was
arrived at after the First World -- Second World War, that bound
supranational organisations is under attack from characters as diverse as
Vladimir Putin, Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump, and that by side in so
ostentatiously with Donald Trump and pursuing this very hard Brexit,
Theresa May appears to be giving succour to that much more
isolationist chauvinist view of the world than the multilateral approach
that Britain has subscribed to for a long time. The exact words he plans
to use are welcome to the New World order, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump,
Marine Le Pen, Theresa May, aggressive and teenage to, anti-EU,
nationalistic. In what way is Mrs May fitting into any of that? In
what way is she similar to Vladimir Putin? I'm not aware she has
interfered with other people's elections. The clue is in the quote
you just read out, which is the world order. The world order over
the last half century or more, by the way a lesson I'm afraid we have
to learn in Europe because of the terrible bloodshed of two world was
in the space of a few decades, was based on the idea might is not
right. Strong arm leaders cannot throw their weight around. What we
have now with Putin, the populism across parts of Europe and Donald
Trump who thinks the EU will unravel is a shift to a radically different
view of the world. Mrs May doesn't think any of that. She is not
antenatal, not anti-EU, she says she wants the EU to succeed. She's not
aggressive as far as I'm aware so I'm not sure why you would lump the
British Prime Minister in with these other characters. Let me explain, by
choosing this uncompromising approach to Brexit, clearly in doing
so she, in my view, maybe not yours or others, is pursuing a self
harming approach to the United Kingdom but also pulling up the
threads that bind the rest of the European Union together, in so
ostentatiously siding with Donald Trump, somehow declaring in my view
speciously that we can make up with the trade we will lose, she's not
challenging the shift to a more chauvinist approach to world affairs
that is happening in many places. You are at your party's Spring
conference, I think we can agree any Lib Dem come back will take a long
time. Would Tory dominance be more effectively challenged by a
realignment of the centre and the centre-left? Are you working towards
that? I missed half the question but I think you are talking about a
realignment. As a cook a way to get over Tory dominance, would you want
that to happen? Are you working towards that? My view is the
recovery of the Lib Dems will be quicker than you suggest. People
often forget that even the low point of our fortunes in the last election
we still got a million more votes than the SNP, it's only because we
have got this crazy electoral system... But the SNP fight in
Scotland, you fight in the whole country! But I'm saying the way
seats are allocated overlooks the fact that 2.5 million still voted
for us. But my own view is of course there are people feeling
increasingly homeless in the liberal wing of the Conservative Party
because they are now in a party which is in effect indistinguishable
from Ukip on some of the biggest issues of the day, and homeless folk
on the rational, reasonable wing of the Labour Party. I would invite
them to join the Liberal Democrats and I would invite everyone across
parties to talk about the idea is that bind us because the Westminster
village can invest a lot of energy building new castles in the sky,
inventing new names for parties when actually what you want is for people
on the progressive centre ground of British politics to talk about the
ideas that unite them, from the dilemmas of artificial intelligence
to climate change. Do you think in your own view, can Brexit still be
thwarted or is it now a matter of getting the best terms? I think we
are in an interlude, almost a calm between two storms, the storm of the
referendum itself and the collision between the Government's stated
ambitions for Brexit and the reality of having to negotiate something
unworkable with 27 other governments. The one thing I can
guarantee you is that what the Government has promised to the
British people cannot happen. Over a slower period of time we will work
out our new relationship with the European Union. Theresa May said she
will settle divorce arrangements, and pensions, so one, negotiate new
trade agreements, new climate change policies and so on, and have all of
that ratified within two years, that will not happen so I think there
will be a lot of turbulence in the next couple of years. Will you use
this turbulence to try to thwart Brexit, to find a way of rolling
back the decision? It's not about repeating the debates of the past or
thwarting the will of the people but it is comparing what people were
promised from the ?350 million for the NHS every week through to this
glittering array of new trade agreements we will sign across the
world, with the reality that will transpire in the next couple of
years and at that point, yes it is my belief people should be able to
take a second look at if that is what they really want. A couple of
quick questions, would you welcome an early general election? I always
welcome them, we couldn't do worse than we did last time. That is
certainly true. You have a column in the Evening Standard, have you
spoken to the new editor about whether he will keep your column or
spike it? No, I wait in nervous anticipation. Can you be a newspaper
editor in the morning and an MP in the afternoon? Do I think that's
feasible? Sorry, I missed a bit. There is no prohibition, no law
against MPs being editors. They have been in the past and no doubt will
again in the future. He is taking a lot on, he is an editor, also
wanting to be an MP, a jetsetting academic in the States, working in
the city, I suspect something will give. It seems to me even by his
self-confidence standards in his own abilities I suspect he is taking on
a little bit too much. Very diplomatic, Mr Clegg, I'm sure you
will get to keep the column. Thanks for joining us.
Now, for the last six months England's NHS bosses have been
warning the health service needs more money to help it meet
But in his first Budget, the Chancellor offered
no immediate relief, and today the head of
the organisation representing England's NHS trusts says hundreds
of thousands of patients will have to wait longer for both emergency
care and planned operations, unless the Government
Warnings over funding are not exactly new.
Back in 2014 the head of the NHS in England, Simon Stevens,
published his plan for the future of the health service.
In his five-year forward view, Stevens said the NHS in England
would face a funding shortfall of up to ?30 billion by 2020.
To bridge that gap he said the NHS would need more money
from the Government, at least ?8 billion extra,
and that the health service could account for the rest by making
The Government says it's given the health service more than what it
asked for, and that NHS in England will have received
That number is disputed by NHS managers and the chair
of Parliament's health committee, who say the figure is more
like ?4.5 billion, while other parts of the health and social care budget
have been cut, putting pressure on the front line.
Last year, two thirds of NHS trusts in England finished
the year in the red, and despite emergency bailouts
from the Government, the NHS is likely to record
Meanwhile national targets on waiting times for A
departments, diagnostic tests, and operations are being
This month's Budget provided ?2 billion for social care
but there was no new cash for the NHS, leading trusts to warn
that patient care is beginning to suffer, and what is being asked
And I'm joined now by the Chief Executive of NHS
Providers in England, Chris Hopson.
Welcome to the programme. Morning, Andrew. I will come onto the extra
money you need to do your job properly in a minute but first, part
of the deal was you had to make 22 billion in efficiency savings, not a
bank that money but spend it on patient care, the front line, and so
on. How is that going? So, last parliament we realised around 18
billion of productivity and efficiency savings, we are realising
more this year so we are on course to realise 3 billion this year, that
is a quarter of a billion more than last year but all of us in the NHS
knew the 22 billion would be a very stretching target and we are
somewhat inevitably falling short. So it is 22 billion by 2,020.
Roughly. That was the time. We are now into 2017. So how much of the 22
billion have you achieved? We realised around 3 billion last year
and we will realise 3 billion this year, Court of billion more, 3.25
billion this year, so we are on course for 18-19,000,000,000. By the
2021 period? You are not that far away. The problem is the degree to
which demand is going up. We have record demand over the winter period
and that actually meant we have seen more people than we have ever seen
before but performance is still under real pressure. Let me come
onto that. When you agreed on the 22 billion efficiency savings plus some
extra money from the government, I know there is a bit of an argument
about how much that is actually worth, had you not factored in this
extra demand that you saw coming over the next three or four years?
Let's be very clear committee referred to Simon Stevens's forward
view and we signed up to it but the 22 billion was a process run at the
centre of government by the Department of Health with its arms
length bodies, NHS England and others and is not something that was
consulted on with the NHS. But you signed up to it. We always said that
the day that that Spending Review was announced, the idea that the NHS
where customer demand goes up something like four or 5% every
year, the idea that in the middle years of Parliament we would be able
to provide the same level of service when we were only getting funding
increases of 1.3%, 0.4% and 0.7%, and I can show you the press release
we issued, we always said there was going to be a gap and that we would
not be able to deliver what was required. The full 22 billion in
other words? What we said to Simon Stevens at the Public Accounts
Committee a few months ago, the NHS didn't get what it was asked for.
Today the NHS, cope with the resources it has according to you.
How much more does it need? Are reported is about 2017-18 and we
estimate that what we are being asked to do, and again, Andrew, you
clearly set it out in the package, we are a long way off the four-hour
A target and a long way off the 92%. The waiting times and
operations. How much more do you need? And we are making up a ?900
million deficit. If you take all of those into account we estimate you
would need an extra ?3.5 billion next year in order to deliver all of
those targets and eliminate the deficit. That would be 3.5 billion
on top of what is already planned next year and that would be 3.5
billion repeated in the years to come too? Yes, Andrew it is
important we should make an important distinction about the NHS
versus other public services. When the last government, the last Labour
government put extra money into the NHS it clearly said that in return
for that it would establish some standards in the NHS Constitution,
the 95% A target we have talked about and the 92% elective surgery
we have talked about. The trust we represent are very clear, they would
want to realise those standards, but you can only do it if you pay for
it. The problem is at the moment is we are in the longest and deepest
financial squeeze in NHS history. As we have said, funding is only going
up by 1% per year but every year just to stand still cost and demand
go up by more than 4%. There is clearly a demand for more money. I
think people watching this programme will think probably the NHS is going
to have to get more money to meet the goals you have been given. I
think they would also like to be sure that your Mac running the NHS
as efficiently as it could be. We read this morning that trusts have
got ?100 million of empty properties that cost 10 million to maintain, 36
office blocks are not being used, you have surplus land equivalent to
1800 football pitches. Yes, there are a number of things that we know
in the NHS we need to do better but let me remind you, Andrew, in the
last Parliament we realised ?18 billion worth of cost improvement
gains. We are going to realise another 3 billion this year, 0.25
billion more than last year so these things are being targeted. But
having that surplus land, it is almost certainly in areas where
there is a demand for housing. Absolutely. So why not release it
for housing? You get the money, the people get their houses and its
contribution and a signal that you are running NHS assets as
efficiently as you can? Tell me if I'm going to too much detail for
you. One of the reasons as to why our trusts are reluctant to realise
those land sales is because there is an assumption that the money would
go back to the Treasury and wouldn't benefit NHS trusts. You could make a
deal, couldn't you? That's part of the conversation going on at the
moment. The issue is that we would want to ensure that if we do release
land, quite rightly the benefit, particularly in foundation trusts
which are, as you will remember, deliberately autonomous
organisations, that they should keep the benefit of those land sales.
Have you raised that with the government?
Yes we have. What did they say? They are in discussions of it. We heard
somebody who moved from one job and then to another job and given a big
salary and then almost ?200,000 as a payoff. There is a national mood for
the NHS to get more money. But before you give anybody any more
money you want to be sure that the money you have got already is being
properly spent, which for us, is the patient at the end of the day. And
yet there seem to be these enormous salaries and payoffs. I've worked in
a FTSE 100 on the board of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and I
have worked in large organisations. I can look you completely straight
in the eye and tell you that the jobs that our hospital, community,
mental health and ambulance chief Executives do are amongst the most
complicated leadership roles I have ever seen. It doesn't seem to me to
be unreasonable that in order to get the right quality of people we
should pay an appropriate salary. The reality is the salaries are paid
are not excessive when talking about managing budgets of over ?1 billion
a year and talking about managing tens of thousands of staff. There
was a doctor working as a locum that earned an extra ?375,000. One of the
problems in the NHS is a mismatch between the number of staff we need
and the number of staff coming through the pipeline. What is having
to happen is if you want to keep a service going you have to use Mackem
and agency staff. Even at that cost? You would not want to pay those
amounts. But you are. The chief Executives's choice in those areas
is giving the service open or employing a locum. I'm sure you
could find a locum prepared to work for less than that. What indication,
what hopes do you have of getting the extra ?3 billion? The government
has been very clear, for the moment it wants to stick to the existing
funding settlement it has agreed. So there was nothing in the budget. Can
I finish by making one important point. Please, finish. This is the
first time the NHS has said before the year has even started that we
can't deliver on those standards. We believe, as do most people who work
in the NHS, that the NHS is on a gradual slow decline. This is a very
important inflection point to Mark, this is the first time before the
financial year starts that we say we cannot meet the targets we are being
asked to deliver and are in the NHS Constitution. We have run out of
time. Chris Hopson, thank you for being with me.
It's just gone 11:35am, you're watching the Sunday Politics.
We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now
Hello, I'm Natalie Graham and this is the Sunday Politics
Uber is operating in Brighton and Hove,
but has its arrival driven a coach and horses through local
We'll be speaking to the councillor in charge for Brighton in the city.
Joining me to discuss that and other matters
are the Conservative MP for Gillingham, Rainham,
who's a labour activist based in Brighton.
Thank you much for joining us, both of you.
Now, first, it's the biggest fine ever issued by
This week, the Conservative Party was ordered to pay ?70,000
because it had breached the rules on how much the party could spend
in constituency campaigns and the general election,
including in South Thanet and at the by-election
So, Rehman Chishti, the electoral commission found
there was a realistic prospect, and I quote this, the money gave
So, if Conservative candidates had an unfair advantage at an election,
it's surely only right that the election is
Well, look, what I would say is that we have accepted
You're talking about the battle bus, which was due to give
through different parts of the country.
The Conservative Party have said that that was considered to be
a national expense and not a local expenditure.
The electoral commission have now said, look,
you have been at a wrong in this and the Conservative Party have
said, look, we accept it was an administrative error.
Other political parties in the past...
Labour and Lib Dems have been in similar positions.
Whichever party, whether it was deliberate or not,
if it is an unfair advantage at the ballot box, and election
surely should be held again on fair rules.
What I would say is, let's wait for the full
investigation to come out but, this point in time, we have done
everything we can to cooperate with the electoral commission,
they have find us for the administrative error that has
been made, but what I would say in terms of our national
expenditure, taking that into account, the figure
Even if it had been put in together, we would not have been over the
statutory limit in relation to our expenditure.
If it was deliberate, and we don't know, this
is in the hands of the police now, should there then be a re-election
Well, I think you're putting the horses before the...
I think what you'd say, if, then have me back on this show
when a decision is made and we will discuss it.
At this point in time, the police are looking at it.
Certainly in Kent, I haven't heard anything about matters
being referred to the CPS, according to the media.
We will see, Rehman, and we'll have you back when he time comes.
Simon Fanshawe, if there were by-elections in those seats
which, let's not forget, Labour held a few years ago,
would the party be in shape to fight them here in the
The point that you need to take on, Rehman,
is that the mistakes that were made, and it wasn't just the battle bus,
it's three categories, was ?286,000 worth of errors.
OK, in ?15 million worth of expenditure, I accept
This Government and the party is not showing great maths at the moment.
This is a problem for all three parties.
What it does, though, is it undermines trust
particularly undermines trust when it comes out in a week at
which the budget was miscalculated, you had to do a U-turn...
We're going to talk about the U-turn later.
There's something very seriously wrong if you leave out almost
I'm more than happy to talk about the budget, but come
Look, all the parties have made mistakes.
Oh I did it wrong because William did it wrong...
Welcome let them look into it, because I think what you have coming
have a transparent process coming of the electoral commission
They find your party, they find the Lib Dems.
This investigation is carrying on, let's see where it goes.
Now, this week, Medway will hold its biggest
ever recruitment fair, just for teachers.
Attempting to attract new, experience professionals to teach
That is one of the south-east where schools are struggling
to recruit enough teachers in recent years.
Luckily, not everyone feels the same as Roald Dahl's witches, or no one
As it appears, it can be hard to find a teacher to fill a vacancy
The problem's a national one.
But it's particularly tricky here in Medway.
There's two fundamental reasons and the first
Clearly, we are very close to London, so an experienced teacher
or a new teacher could drive 20 minutes up the road to London
and therefore receive an enhanced salary.
The second one is about perception of Medway, which,
I think there has been, certainly in the past,
a view that Medway is a difficult place to work,
And there are some challenges around that.
I think colleagues are working really hard to change that and,
that and, certainly, Medway School is improving.
Last month, the education select committee published a report
which included a submission for Medway Council saying local
schools are struggling to recruit and that the number of teachers
applying for vacancies has reduced significantly in the past two years.
It's working hard to address this with teacher workshops and a website
Once a teacher is in the job, challenges continue.
According to a recent Department for Education survey,
teachers work an average of 54 hours per week.
93% said their workload was a fairly serious problem.
Just over half said it was a very serious problem.
The national union of teachers tells us that around half teachers
are thinking of leaving the profession in the
They say a lot of those extra hours work are spent on paperwork
and things relating to Ofsted and not preparing things that
Difficulties are not confined to Medway towns.
Teach First place trainees is in areas where the need is high.
What we find across the south-east is that it's a lot of where we work
We've got Medway, Sheppey, Margate all the way down to dinner
Dover and right across to the south coast as well.
It's also an isolation in terms of employment
In the budget, the Chancellor announced the next ?320 million
Critics say that education funding is being misdirected and therefore
not helping with recruiting and retaining
We've seen, in the last few years, a kind of real perfect storm and it
We've had some of the lowest key stage two results.
That would be a pressure in and of itself in recruiting
I've always supported good schools expanding.
I think it much rather see people putting their focus onto that,
rather than just building another school and another school,
and another school, with no guarantee of success
Where we've got good and outstanding schools,
let's use their skills and abilities, let's work
with them to increase the provision they can offer,
rather than a political ideology that we see with free schools.
The Department for Education has told us it recognises
It says it's putting resources into recruitment
Over the next decade, there will be hundreds of thousands
of extra school places needed which, in turn,
Rehman Chishti, you're an MP for the Medway towns and also
Now, at the moment, the number of teachers leaving is rising.
The number of people coming into teaching is falling.
Pupil numbers are predicted to rise and that's before the schools
across the country suffer budget cuts as a result of
We are heading for a crisis, aren't we?
Well, let me make it very clear, actually.
I went to local schools in Gillingham.
I was the first in my family to go off to university
to achieve my aspiration of being a barrister.
Through hard work, determination and thanks to brilliant teachers
I would be the first to say, look, teachers do a great job
but there are challenges out there and we, as a Government,
have put forward an extra ?1.3 billion in relation
to recruiting more teachers because it's not simply an issue
But it's not working, Rehman Chishti.
If you listen to what we just saw in Helen's report or any teacher
will tell you and Department for Education would admit,
it's not meeting its targets of fulfilling those vacancies.
What I would say is, look, rather than saying it's
not meeting its target, I would say there are challenges,
but are we doing everything possible as a Government to address that?
So, extra investment, ?1.3 billion has gone in.
What I would say, in the year 2016-2017, there are 15,000 extra
trainee teachers coming through and what we have seen
over the last 20 years, you know, in respect
parties, there has been a stability in a number of teachers
As you'll also know, there's a high dropout rate
after the first year and after the first five years
In Medway particularly, where you are trying very hard
against the odds to recruit teachers, what success are
Well, I would say, if you look at the national figure.
The national figure of the past five years, seven out of ten teachers
at the last five years are staying in the profession.
What we have done is a Government, some of the issues that need
to people leaving the profession are in terms of the workload.
We had a consultation with the teachers to see how
Behaviour, how teachers can get the best of that...
In Medway, are you actually getting the teachers that you need
The reason I would say yes is that you had on their Sean McEwan
Eight years ago, that school was at requires improvement and it's
now one of the most demographically challenging areas and it is
That could only happen by having fantastic teachers,
A similar things happening through the Medway towns.
Simon Fanshawe, what's the answer here to attract
people into a profession which they are clearly not attracted
to, especially in deprived coastal areas of Sussex and Kent?
You are in the Government and you are saying you're the ones
A quarter teachers are leaving after three years.
15,000 teachers leaving last year before retirement.
We know the scale of the problem, so I don't think there's any value
particularly in saying there's not a crisis.
I think the second thing is, the increases are
because you've missed your target the past five years.
The second thing is that it's not just in the south east,
So, in the south-east, it seems to be that one of the answers
is to make having more easily obtained for teachers.
So, for instance, I think that legislation should allow planning
to have more housing and social rent, or whatever,
Part buy-part rent to enable people to get on the ladder.
Secondly, I think what you've got to do is incentivise good teachers.
Well, academies can do that, can't they?
That one of the things schools are unhappy about.
Yes, but you need to have the emphasis on good teachers
and you've got to agree on the metrics, what
It's not about giving all teachers nor money,
it's about really trying to reward really good teachers and relieve
them of some of the bureaucracy and let them get on the teaching.
Thirdly, I think it is to stop sending personally signed
Bible to all schools, Michael Gove.
Protesting about free schools in the budget.
But the NAO office and the Department for Education to say
that it would provide the number of places, it will provide a fifth
Just to make this point, grammar schools are not
18% in areas where there are 18% free school meals, grammars have 3%.
Rehman Chishti, I want to talk about...
They are not engines of social mobility!
I went to a secondary high school which closed down.
Rehman Chishti, I want to ask about school funding.
We know that many Conservative MPs are angry.
They went to meet with Theresa May and Justin Greening last week
to demand changes to the plans to change school funding.
They think this is going to be the next climb-down.
Look, when members of Parliament have concerns with regard to any
area dominated give it had meetings with ministers.
I have representation, which I've made to make gains
in relation to funding for schools in my constituency.
It's the job of every member of Parliament.
When there is an issue which affects you...
Like the hospital in Medway, which got the ?18 million is needed
and now it has come out of special measures down to the hard
work of the staff there and with the support
When there is a concern, we have to raise it at every level.
The reason is MPs are complaining is because what they are doing
is taking the existing amount of funding and redistributing it.
We're going to run out of time, onto the rest of the programme.
It's a concept you are going to be familiar with if you work in London,
but using an app on your phone to order a taxi is a relatively
is a relatively new phenomenon here in the south-east.
Four months ago, Uber began operating in Brighton and Hove.
In February, was given a licence to operate in the Lewes.
Traditional cabbies in Sussex say it's putting them out of business
because Uber's not playing by the same rules.
In a minute, we'll be acting whether the Uber model is running
rings around our local councils, but here's a summary
There's no doubt that Uber is a hit with passengers.
It is at enables you to call a cab at the push of a button.
It began operating in Brighton and Hove,
but traditional taxi drivers are unhappy with the new arrival.
If they were going to come here, I'd open welcome them with open arms.
As they don't adhere to the rules, they are not welcome.
Uber was given a licence by the City Council on the condition
they employ drivers who are licensed in Brighton and Hove.
To get a license in the city, cabbies have to meet
A different set of standards to London taxi drivers, for example.
In Brighton, we have the highest standards in terms of drivers,
vehicles, security in the taxi, CCTV, signage on the side.
The public have got that reassurance.
So far, not all the drivers in the city are licensed here.
According to the Council, Uber has employed 17 drivers
Uber isn't breaking any laws by bringing in drivers from London,
but taxi companies in Brighton and Hove say it means they are not
The Uber driver who turned up within a few minutes when I ordered
a cab using the app to really was licensed
You come from London and they have different rules in London for taxis
to Brighton and Hove, so they say it's not fair.
This is made by his country, not by us.
Basically, the Uber model can kind of trample all over individual
Wherever we are licensed, we have to adhere to
Changes were made as early as 2015 to facilitate people having more
freedom to drop-off and pick-up across the UK, and that is
to bring competition and choice to the market.
Consumers can benefit with a more reliable service and better
Uber is expanding, and is expected to start operating in more towns
across Sussex and Kent in the near future.
Its business model seems to be outwitting the old fashioned
Is there anything our local councils can do to control it?
Joining us now from Brighton is Jackie O Quinn,
of the licensing committee in the city, which gave a licence
Jackie, Uber said it is not doing anything wrong.
Would you say it's abiding by the terms of the license?
Well, in strict legal terms, yes, it is because they do use Brighton
and Hove licensed taxi drivers, but they are not really abiding
Whereby we thought they would have considerably more Brighton and Hove
That would create a level playing field with our local taxi drivers
because we could carry out taxi enforcement, meaning
We do not have the power to check Transport for London taxis.
Well, we have really pushed hard on this.
We have a meeting with a senior representative from Transport
for London to look at setting up joint enforcement
we would be able to stop Transport for London cabs and check them over,
I also wrote to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and he is very keen
for us to be involved in petitioning, essentially,
the Department for Transport for better legislation that deals
I'm enlisting the support of our local MP, Peter Kyle, in this.
We have outdated legislation which still doesn't deal
Now, Transport for London would say their taxis are perfectly safe.
They may not have the same conditions precisely
as Brighton and Hove ones, but the wider question, Jackie,
They are offering an incredibly popular service.
Passengers are voting with their feet and using them.
Is it your job to arbitrate in this market?
I recently went up to a local Government Association meeting
and it was put very, very strongly that our first duty
with taxis and customers is their safety.
That is absolutely paramount that people are safe.
Now, personally, I would say that you are safer in a Brighton and Hove
licensed taxi because they do have more stringent standards
and because you have CCTV cameras in that taxi.
So, yes, I think it is evidently an area that we should
be responsible for and have a say in.
Simon Fanshawe, you're a resident of Brighton and Hove.
You're probably familiar with this situation, I imagine.
Uber's not doing anything wrong, and it is incredibly popular.
You can't fight modernisation, can you, ultimately?
Well, there are questions about how you regulate the so-called gig
economy and so forth, but the Uber question
Uber's business model, it seems to me, is really, really clear.
It is to drive prices down and down, and down, to the extent that
you dominate the market, of which you overtake the market,
you hike up prices, driverless cars are coming in,
it's a long-term strategy and it is a way, frankly,
of transferring money from taxi drivers to shareholders.
You saw on the video, with Travis, abusing that driver
Practically none of the Uber rides in the states make any money at all,
they are subsidising an asset grab and they are pushing
I will never take an Uber, so it down to the public.
Uber will be the first to point out...
What's the answer here, Rehman Chishti?
Should there be coordinated local licensing, for example,
Rather than TFL giving a licensing, when the taxi drivers from Newbiggin
to other areas and got a problem, it's left for the local
What I would say, I would look Peter Kyle, who I know is working
very hard as local constituency, this year they can look
at a Parliamentary solution to this issue.
And you can hear more from the taxi drivers in Brighton and Hove
on tomorrow's episode of Inside Out which is at 7:30pm, here on BBC One.
Now, it's time for some of the other news you may have missed this week
The former regional leader of the English Democrats has been
jailed for seven months for electoral fraud.
Steve Uncles, who stood as a candidate for the Kent Police
and Crime Commissioner, put forward a series of fake
candidates for local council elections in 2013.
A recently elected Labour official from Hove has been expelled
from the party after it emerged that he was jailed for breaking UN
Raid Al-Tahir believes his expulsion now is because of his opposition
This is about something that happened 17 years ago.
But Labour's, defence Minister, Ivor Kaplan, said Riyadh's expulsion
was a straightforward application of the rules.
And a fresh deal has been agreed to resolve the industrial dispute
between Southern rail and the train drivers' union, Aslef.
Drivers were forced to return to the negotiating table at a deal
last month was rejected by Aslef members.
The new proposal will be put to drivers in a referendum.
One question to Simon Fanshawe, are you feeling positive or negative
about the future of your party, Labour, in Brighton?
Fantastically positive about Peter Kyle, he's a great MP,
incredibly negative about idiotic people who think he
That's all we've got time for from the south-east this week.
My thanks to both of my guests for the day, Rehman Chishti
It's been great to have you back with us.
you both. Say goodbye. Goodbye. Back to you.
So, can George Osborne stay on as a member of Parliament
Will Conservative backbenchers force a Government re-think
And is Theresa May about to cap gas and electricity prices?
Whose idea was that first of all? They are all questions for the Week
Ahead to. Let's start with the story that is
too much fun to miss, on Friday it was announced the former Chancellor
would be the new editor of London's Evening Standard newspaper, a
position he will take up in mid-May on a salary of ?200,000 for four
days a week. But Mr Osborne has said he will not
be stepping down as MP for Tatton in Cheshire,
a job he's held since 2001, Alongside these duties,
he's also chairman of While being committed to one day
a week at Black Rock, an American asset management firm -
a part-time role that earns him Then he's polishing his academic
credentials, as a fellow at the McCain Institute,
an American thinktank, And finally as a member
of the Washington Speaker's Bureau, he also earns his keep
as an after-dinner speaker, banking around ?750,000
since last summer. So there you go. Nice little earners
if you can get them. The problem, though, is he has put second jobs on
the agenda and lots of his fellow MPs are not happy because they have
got second jobs but not making that kind of money. No, and a lot of MPs
on both sides actually are unhappy about it exactly for those reasons.
I find it a very interesting appointment. We have got these
people on the centre and centre right of politics who have been used
to power since 1997, they have been on the airwaves today, Tony Blair,
Nick Clegg, George Osborne, and they are all seeking other platforms now
because power has moved elsewhere. So Tony Blair is setting up this new
foundation, Nick Clegg refused to condemn George Osborne, Tony Blair
praised the appointment. They are all searching for new platforms.
They might have overestimated the degree to which this will be a huge
influential platform. The standard was very pro-Tory at the 2015
election but London voted Labour, it was pro-Zac Goldsmith but they
elected Sadiq Khan. It might be overestimating the degree to which
this is a hugely influential paper. But I can see why it attracts him as
a platform when all these platforms have disappeared, eg power and
government. All of these people who used to be in power are quietly
getting together again, Mr Blair on television this morning, George
Osborne not only filling his bank account but now in charge of
London's most important newspaper, Nick Clegg out today not saying
Brexit was a done deal, waiting to see what happens, even John Major
was wheeled out again today in the Mail on Sunday. They are all playing
for position. I half expect David Cameron to turn up as features
editor on The Evening Standard. Brexit and breakfast! With Mr Clegg,
did he not? I do not think this is sustainable for George Osborne, I
worked at The Evening Standard and I was there for three years, I know
what the hours are like for a humble journalist, never mind the editor.
If he thinks he can get at 4am everyday to be in the offices at 5am
to oversee the splash, manage everything in the way and edited
should he is in cloud cuckoo land. What this says to people is there is
a kind of feel of soft corruption about public life here, where you
see what you can get away with. He thinks he can brazen this out and
maybe he can but what kind of message does that send to people
about how seriously people take the role of being an MP? He must have
known. He applied for the job. The Russian owner didn't approach him,
he approached Lebedev, the proprietor, for it. He must have
calculated there would be some kickback. I wonder if he realised
there would be quite the kickback there has been. I think that's
probably right. This hasn't finished yet, by the way, this will go on and
on. How on earth does George Osborne cover the budget in the autumn? Big
budget, lots of physical changes and tax rises to deal with the messages
out of this week. You can see already, Theresa May budget crashes.
It could be worse. She's useless! Or, worse than that, me, brilliant
budget, terrible newspaper, I've never buying it again. He has
hoisted his own petard. He has not bought it properly through. It's a
something interesting about his own future calculations, if he wants to
stay on as an MP in 2020 and be Prime Minister as he has or was
wanted to be he has got to find a new seat. How do you go into an
association and say I should be an MP, I can do it for at least four
hours Purdy after editing The Evening Standard, making a big
speech and telling Black Rock how to make a big profit. The feature pages
have to be approved for the next day and feature pages are aware the
editor gets to make their mark. The news is the news. The feature is
what concerns you, what he is in your bonnet. That defines the
newspaper, doesn't it? It is not over yet. Too much 101 on
newspapers. And Haatheq at. School funding, the consultation
period ends, it has been a tricky one for the government, some areas
losing. I guess we are seeing this through the prism of the National
Insurance contributions now, it is a small majority, if Tory MPs are
unhappy she may not get her way. Talking to backbench MPs who are
unhappy the feeling is it is not going to go ahead in the proposed
form that the consultation has been on. No 10 will definitely have to
move on this. It is unclear whether they will scrap it completely, or
will they bring in something possibly like a base level, floor
level pupil funding below which you can't go? You would then still need
to find some extra money. So there are no easy solutions on this but
what is clear it is not going to go ahead in its current form. Parents
have been getting letters across the country in England about what this
will mean for teachers and so on in certain schools. It's not just a
matter of the education Department, the schools, or the teachers and
Tory backbenchers. Parents are being mobilised on this. The point of the
new funding formula is to allocate more money to the more
disadvantaged. That means schools in the more prosperous suburbs are
going to lose money. Budget cuts on schools which are already
struggling. It comes down again to be huge problem, the ever smaller
fiscal pool, ever greater demands, NHS, social care, education as well,
adding to Theresa May and Phillip Hammond's enormous problems. Here is
an interesting issue, Steve. There was a labour Leader of the
Opposition that once suggested perhaps given these huge energy
companies which seemed to be good at passing on energy rises but not so
good at cutting energy prices when it falls, that perhaps we should put
a cap on them until at least we study how the market goes. This was
obviously ludicrous Marxism and quite rightly knocked down by the
Conservatives, except that Mrs May is now talking about putting a cap
on energy prices. Yes, I think if it wasn't for Brexit we would focus
much more on Theresa May's Ed Miliband streak. Whether this
translates into policies, let us see. That bit we don't know. That
bit we don't know but in terms of argument her speech to the
Conservative conference on Friday was about the third or fourth time
where she said as part of the speech, let's focus on the good that
government can do, including in intervening in markets, exactly in
the way that he used to argue. As you say, we await the policy
consequences of that. She seems more cautious in terms of policy in
fermentation. But in terms of the industrial strategy, in terms of
implying intervention in certain markets, there is a kind of
Milibandesque streak. And there comes a time when she has to walk
the walk as well as talk the talk. They talk a lot about the just about
managing, just about managing face rising food bills because of the
lower pound and face rising fuel bills because of the rise in oil and
in other commodities. One of the two things you could do to help the just
about managing is to cut their food bills and the second would be to cut
their fuel bills. At some stage she has to do something for them. We
don't know what is going to happen to food bills under Brexit, that
could become a really serious issue. They could abolish tariffs. There
has been a lot of talking the talk and big announcements put out and
not following through so I agree with you on that but lots of Tory
MPs will have a big problem on this and the principle of
continually talking about interfering in markets, whether it's
on executive pay, whether it is on energy, at a time when Britain needs
to send out this message to the world in their view, in the view of
Brexit supporting MPs, that we are open for business and the government
is not about poking around and doing this kind of thing. Of course, you
could argue there is not a problem in the market for energy, it is a
malfunctioning market that doesn't operate like a free market should,
so that provides even Adam Smith, the inventor of market economics
would have said on that basis you should intervene. I was in Cardiff
to listen to Theresa May's latest explanation for doing this. By the
way, we've been waiting nine months, this was one of her big ideas. You
are right, let's see a bit of the meat, please. My newspaper has been
calling for some pretty hefty government action on this for quite
some time. For the just about managings? Yes and specifically to
sort out an energy market dominated by the big six, which is manifestly
ripping people off left, right and centre. Theresa May's argument in
Cardiff on Friday morning which, by the way, went down like a proverbial
windbreak at the proverbial funeral because Tories... You know what I
mean Andrew, the big hand coming into from the state telling
businesses what to do. They went very quiet indeed. They were having
saving the union and Nato but there was no clapping for that. The point
being, this is what she needs to do to prove her assault, to prove those
first words on the steps of Downing Street. We await to see the actions
taken. On that unusual agreement we will
leave it there. The Daily Politics will be back on BBC Two tomorrow at
noon and everyday during the week. And I'll be here on BBC One
next Sunday at 11am. Remember, if it's Sunday,
it's the Sunday Politics. I've not given myself that time
to sit down Two years ago, former England
captain Rio Ferdinand lost his wife Rebecca to cancer, leaving him as
sole parent to their three children.
Andrew Neil and Julia George with the latest political news, interviews and debate.
As the NHS in England warns of a severe financial crisis, Andrew talks to Chris Hopson, head of NHS Providers. He is also joined by former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg MP and Labour Party campaign and elections chair Andrew Gwynne MP.
On the political panel are the Sun's Tom Newton Dunn and journalists Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards.